The Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1,
No. 2, July, 1850., by Various

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850.

Author: Various

Release Date: February 5, 2010 [EBook #31187]

Language: English

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[Pg 145]



No. II.—JULY, 1850.—VOL. I.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. Table of contents has been created for the HTML version.



[From the London Eclectic Review.]


When "Gilfillan's Gallery" first appeared, a copy of it was sent to an eminent lay-divine, the first sentence of whose reply was, "You have sent me a list of shipwrecks." It was but too true, for that "Gallery" contains the name of a Godwin, shipwrecked on a false system, and a Shelley, shipwrecked on an extravagant version of that false system—and a Hazlitt, shipwrecked on no system at all—and a Hall, driven upon the rugged reef of madness—and a Foster, cast high and dry upon the dark shore of Misanthropy—and an Edward Irving, inflated into sublime idiocy by the breath of popular favor, and in the subsidence of that breath, left to roll at the mercy of the waves, a mere log—and lastly, a Coleridge and a De Quincy, stranded on the same poppy-covered coast, the land of the "Lotos-eaters," where it is never morning, nor midnight, nor full day, but always afternoon.

Wrecks all these are, but all splendid and instructive withal. And we propose now—repairing to the shore, where the last great argosy, Thomas De Quincey, lies half bedded in mud—to pick up whatever of noble and rare, of pure and permanent, we can find floating around. We would speak of De Quincey's history, of his faults, of his genius, of his works, and of his future place in the history of literature. And when we reflect on what a mare magnum we are about to show to many of our readers, we feel for the moment as if it were new to us also, as if we stood—

"Like stout Cortea, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific,
——and all his men
Gathered round him with a wild surmise,
Silent, upon a peak of Darien."

We can not construct a regular biography of this remarkable man; neither the time for this has come, nor have the materials been, as yet, placed within reach of us, or of any one else. But we may sketch the outlines of what we know, which is indeed but little.

Thomas De Quincey is the son of a Liverpool merchant. He is one of several children, the premature loss of one of whom he has, in his "Suspiria de Profundis" (published in "Blackwood") most plaintively and eloquently deplored. His father seems to have died early. Guardians were appointed over him, with whom he contrived to quarrel, and from whose wing (while studying at Oxford) he fled to London. There he underwent a series of surprising adventures and severe sufferings, which he has recounted in the first part of his "Opium Confessions." On one occasion, while on the point of death by starvation, his life was saved by the intervention of a poor street-stroller, of whom he afterward lost sight, but whom, in the strong gratitude of his heart, he would pursue into the central darkness of a London brothel, or into the deeper darkness of the grave. Part of the same dark period of his life was spent in Wales, where he subsisted now on the hospitality of the country people, and now, poor fellow, on hips and haws. He was at last found out by some of his friends, and remanded to Oxford. There he formed a friendship with Christopher North, which has continued unimpaired to this hour. Both—besides the band of kindred genius—had that of profound admiration, then a rare feeling, for the poetry of Wordsworth. In the course of this part of his life he visited Ireland, and was introduced soon afterward to OPIUM—fatal friend, treacherous ally—root of that tree called Wormwood, which has overshadowed all his after life. A blank here occurs in his history. We find him next in a small white cottage in Cumberland—married—studying Kant, drinking laudanum, and dreaming the most wild and wondrous dreams which ever crossed the brain of mortal. These dreams he recorded in the "London Magazine," then a powerful periodical, conducted by John Scott, and supported by such men as Hazlitt, Reynolds, and Allan Cunningham. The "Confessions," when published separately, ran like wildfire, although from their anonymous form they added nothing at the time to the author's fame. Not long after their publication, Mr. De Quincey came down to Scotland, where he has continued to reside, wandering from place to place, contributing to periodicals of all sorts and sizes—to "Blackwood," "Tait," "North British Review," "Hogg's Weekly Instructor," as well as writing for the "Encyclopædia Britannica," and publishing one or two independent works, such as "Klosterheim," a tale, and the "Logic of Political Economy." His wife has been long dead. Three of his daughters, amiable and excellent persons, live in the sweet village of Lasswade, in the neighborhood of Edinburgh; and there he is, we believe, at present himself.

From his very imperfect sketch of De Quincey's[Pg 146] history, there rush into our minds some rather painful reflections. It is painful to see a

"Giant mind broken by sorrows unspoken,
And woes."

It is painful to see a glorious being transfigured into a rolling thing before the whirlwind. It is painful to be compelled to inscribe upon such a shield the word "Desdichado." It is painful to remember how much misery must have passed through that heart, and how many sweat drops of agony must have stood, in desolate state, upon that brow. And it is most painful of all to feel that guilt, as well as misery, has been here, and that the sowing of the wind preceded the reaping of the whirlwind.

Such reflections were mere sentimentalism, unless attended by such corollaries as these: 1st. Self-control ought to be more than at present a part of education, sedulously and sternly taught, for is it not the geometry of life? 2dly. Society should feel more that she is responsible for the wayward children of genius, and ought to seek more than she does to soothe their sorrows, to relieve their wants, to reclaim their wanderings, and to search, as with lighted candles, into the causes of their incommunicable misery. Had the public, twenty years ago, feeling Mr. De Quincey to be one of the master spirits of the age, and, therefore, potentially, one of its greatest benefactors, inquired deliberately into his case, sought him out, put him beyond the reach of want, encouraged thus his heart, and strengthened his hand, rescued him from the mean miseries into which he was plunged, smiled approvingly upon the struggles he was making to conquer an evil habit—in one word, recognized him, what a different man had he been now, and over what magnificent wholes had we been rejoicing, in the shape of his works, instead of deploring powers and acquirements thrown away, in rearing towers of Babel, tantalizing in proportion to the magnitude of their design, and the beauty of their execution. Neglected and left alone as a corpse in the shroud of his own genius, a fugitive, though not a vagabond, compelled day after day to fight absolute starvation at the point of his pen, the marvel is, that he has written so much which the world may not willingly let die. But, it is the world's fault that the writings it now recognizes, and may henceforth preserve on a high shelf, are rather the sublime ravings of De Quincey drunk, than the calm, profound cogitations of De Quincey sober. The theory of capital punishments is much more subtle and widely ramified than we might at first suppose. On what else are many of our summary critical and moral judgments founded? Men find a man guilty of a crime—they vote him for that one act a purely pernicious member of society, and they turn him off. So a Byron quarrels with his wife—a Coleridge loses his balance, and begins to reel and totter like Etna in an earthquake—a Burns, made an exciseman, gradually descends toward the low level of his trade—or a De Quincey takes to living on laudanum, and the public, instead of seeking to reform and re-edify each brilliant begun ruin, shouts out, "Raze, raze it to its foundation." Because the sun is eclipsed, they would howl him away! Because one blot has lighted on an imperishable page, they would burn it up! Let us hope, that as our age is fast becoming ashamed of those infernal sacrifices called executions, so it shall also soon forbear to make its most gifted sons pass through the fire to Moloch, till it has tested their thorough and ineradicable vileness.

Mr. De Quincey's faults we have spoken of in the plural—we ought, perhaps, rather to have used the singular number. In the one word excitement, assuming the special form of opium—the "insane root"—lies the gravamen of his guilt, as, also, of Coleridge's. Now, we are far from wishing to underrate the evil of this craving. But we ought to estimate Mr. De Quincey's criminality with precision and justice; and, while granting that he used opium to excess—an excess seldom paralleled—we must take his own explanation of the circumstances which led him to begin its use, and of the effects it produced on him. He did not begin it to multiply or intensify his pleasures, still less to lash himself with its fiery thongs into a counterfeit inspiration, but to alleviate bodily pain. It became, gradually and reluctantly, a necessity of his life. Like the serpents around Laocoon, it confirmed its grasp, notwithstanding the wild tossings of his arms, the spasmodic resistance of every muscle, the loud shouts of protesting agony; and, when conquered, he lay like the overpowered Hatteraick in the cave, sullen, still in despair, breathing hard, but perfectly powerless. Its effects on him, too, were of a peculiar kind. They were not brutifying or blackguardizing. He was never intoxicated with the drug in his life; nay, he denies its power to intoxicate. Nor did it at all weaken his intellectual faculties any more than it strengthened them. We have heard poor creatures consoling themselves for their inferiority by saying, "Coleridge would not have written so well but for opium." "No thanks to De Quincey for his subtlety—he owes it to opium." Let such persons swallow the drug, and try to write the "Suspiria," or the "Aids to Reflection."

Coleridge and De Quincey were great in spite of their habits. Nay, we believe that on truly great intellects stimulus produces little inspiration at all. Can opium think? can beer imagine? It is De Quincey in opium—not opium in De Quincey—that ponders and that writes. The stimulus is only the occasional cause which brings the internal power into play; it may sometimes dwarf the giant, but it can never really elevate the dwarf.

The evil influences of opium on De Quincey were of a different, but a very pernicious sort: they weakened his will; they made him a colossal slave to a tiny tyrant; they shut him up (like the Genii in the "Arabian Tales") in a[Pg 147] phial filled with dusky fire; they spread a torpor over the energies of his body; they closed up or poisoned the natural sources of enjoyment; the air, the light, the sunshine, the breeze, the influences of spring, lost all charm and power over him. Instead of these, snow was welcomed with an unnatural joy; storm embraced as a brother; and the stern scenery of night arose like a desolate temple round his ruined spirit. If his heart was not utterly hardened, it was owing to its peculiar breadth and warmth. At last his studies were interrupted, his peace broken, his health impaired, and then came the noon of his night; a form of gigantic gloom, swaying an "ebon sceptre," stood over him in triumph, and it seemed as if nothing less than a miraculous intervention could rescue the victim from his power.

But the victim was not an ordinary one. Feeling that hell had come, and that death was at hand, he determined, by a mighty effort, to arise from his degradation. For a season his struggles were great and impotent, as those of the giants cast down by Jove under Etna. The mountain shook, the burden tottered, but the light did not at first appear. Nor has he ever, we suspect, completely emancipated himself from his bondage; but he has struggled manfully against it, and has cast off such a large portion of the burden that it were injustice not to say of him that he is now free.

It were ungracious to have dwelt, even so long, upon the errors of De Quincey, were it not that, first, his own frankness of disclosures frees us from all delicacy; and that, secondly, the errors of such a man, like the cloud of the pillar, have two sides—his darkness may become our light—his sin our salvation. It may somewhat counteract that craving cry for excitement, that everlasting Give, give, so much the mistake of the age, to point strongly to this conspicuous and transcendent victim, and say to his admirers, "Go ye and do otherwise."

We pass gladly to the subject of his genius. That is certainly one of the most singular in its power, variety, culture, and eccentricity, our age has witnessed. His intellect is at once solid and subtle, reminding you of veined and figured marble, so beautiful and evasive in aspect, that you must touch ere you are certain of its firmness. The motion of his mind is like that of dancing, but it is the dance of an elephant, or of a Polyphemus, with his heavy steps, thundering down the music to which he moves. Hence his humor often seems forced in motion, while always fine in spirit. The contrast between the slow march of his sentences, the frequent gravity of his spirit, the recondite masses of his lore, the logical severity of his diction, and his determination, at times, to be desperately witty, produces a ludicrous effect, but somewhat different from what he had intended. It is "Laughter" lame, and only able to hold one of his sides, so that you laugh at, as well as with him. But few, we think, would have been hypercritical in judging of Columbus' first attitudes as he stepped down upon his new world. And thus, let a great intellectual explorer be permitted to occupy his own region, in whatever way, and with whatever ceremonies, may seem best to himself. Should he even, like Cæsar, stumble upon the shore, no matter if he stumble forward, and by accepting, make the omen change its nature and meaning.

Genius and logical perception are De Quincey's principal powers. There are some writers whose power, like the locusts in the Revelation, is "in their tails"—they have stings, and there lies their scorpion power. De Quincey's vigor is evenly and equally diffused through his whole being. It is not a partial palpitation, but a deep, steady glow. His insight hangs over us and the world like a nebulous star, seeing us, but, in part, remaining unseen. In fact, his deepest thoughts have never been disclosed. Like Burke, he has not "hung his heart upon his sleeve for daws to peck at." He has profound reticence as well as power, and he has modesty as well as reticence. On subjects with which he is acquainted, such as logic, literature, or political economy, no man can speak with more positive and perfect assurance. But on all topics where the conscience—the inner most moral nature—must be the umpire, "the English Opium Eater" is silent. His "silence" indeed, "answers very loud," his dumbness has a tongue, but it requires a "fine ear" to hear its accents; and to interpret them what but his own exquisitely subtle and musical style, like written sculpture, could suffice?

Indeed, De Quincey's style is one of the most wondrous of his gifts. As Professor Wilson once said to us about him, "the best word always comes up." It comes up easily, as a bubble on the wave; and is yet fixed, solid, and permanent as marble. It is at once warm as genius, and cool as logic. Frost and fire fulfill the paradox of "embracing each other." His faculties never disturb or distract each other's movements—they are inseparable, as substance and shadow. Each thought is twin-born with poetry. His sentences are generally very long, and as full of life and of joints as a serpent. It is told of Coleridge, that no shorthand-writer could do justice to his lectures; because, although he spoke deliberately, yet it was impossible, from the first part of his sentences, to have the slightest notion how they were to end—each clause was a new surprise, and the close often unexpected as a thunderbolt. In this, as in many other respects. De Quincey resembles the "noticeable man with large gray eyes." Each of his periods, begin where it may, accomplishes a cometary sweep ere it closes. To use an expression of his own, applied to Bishop Berkeley, "he passes, with the utmost ease and speed, from tar-water to the Trinity, from a mole-heap to the thrones of the Godhead." His sentences are microcosms—real, though imperfect wholes. It is as if he dreaded that earth would end, and chaos come again, ere each prodigious[Pg 148] period were done. This practice, so far from being ashamed of, he often and elaborately defends—contrasting it with the "short-winded and asthmatic" style of writing which abounds in modern times, and particularly among French authors. We humbly think that the truth on this question lies in the middle. If an author is anxious for fullness, let him use long sentences; if he aims at clearness, let them be short. If he is beating about for truth, his sentences will be long; if he deems he has found, and wishes to communicate it to others, they will be short. In long sentences you see processes; in short, results. Eloquence delights in long sentences, wit in short. Long sentences impress more at the time; short sentences, if nervous, cling more to the memory. From long sentences you must, in general, deduct a considerable quantum of verbiage; short have often a meagre and skeleton air. The reading of long sentences is more painful at first, less so afterward; a volume composed entirely of short sentences becomes soon as wearisome as a jest-book. The mind which employs long sentences has often a broad, but dim vision—that which delights in short, sees a great number of small points clearly, but seldom a rounded whole. De Quincey is a good specimen of the first class. The late Dr. Hamilton, of Leeds, was the most egregious instance of the second. With all his learning, and talent, and fancy, the writings of that distinguished divine are rendered exceedingly tedious by the broken and gasping character of their style—reading which has been compared to walking on stepping-stones instead of a firm road. Every thing is so clear, sharp, and short, that you get irritated and provoked, and cry out for an intricate or lengthy sentence, both as a trial to your wind, and as a relief to your weariness.

The best style of writing, in point of effect, is that which combines both forms of sentence in proper proportions. Just as a well-armed warrior of old, while he held the broadsword in his right hand, had the dagger of mercy suspended by his side, the effective writer, who can at one time wave the flaming brand of eloquence, can at another use the pointed poignard of direct statement, of close logic, or of keen and caustic wit. Thus did Burke, Hall, Horsley, and Chalmers.

Akin to De Quincey's length of sentence, is his ungovernable habit of digression. You can as soon calculate on the motions of a stream of the aurora, as on those of his mind. From the title of any one of his papers, you can never infer whether he is to treat the subject announced, or a hundred others—whether the subjects he is to treat are to be cognate, or contradictory, to the projected theme—whether, should he begin the subject, he shall ever finish it—or into how many foot-notes he is to draw away, as if into subterranean pipes, its pith and substance. At every possible angle of his road he contrives to break off, and hence he has never yet reached the end of a day's journey. Unlike Christian in the "Pilgrim," he welcomes every temptation to go astray—and, not content with shaking hands with old Worldly Wiseman, he must, before climbing Mount Difficulty, explore both the way of Danger and that of Destruction. It may be inquired, if this arise from the fertility or from the frailty of his genius—from his knowledge of, and dominion over every province of thought, or from his natural or acquired inability to resist "right-hand or left-hand defections," provided they promise to interest himself and to amuse his readers. Judging from Coleridge's similar practice, we are forced to conclude that it is in De Quincey too—a weakness fostered, if not produced, by long habits of self-indulgence.

And yet, notwithstanding such defects (and we might have added to them his use of logical formulæ at times when they appear simply ridiculous, his unnecessary scholasticism, and display of learning, the undue self-complacence with which he parades his peculiar views, and explodes his adversary's, however reputed and venerable, and a certain air of exaggeration which swathes all his written speech), what splendid powers this strange being, at all times and on all subjects, exerts! With what razor-like sharpness does he cut the most difficult distinctions! What learning is his—here compelling wonder, from its variety and minute accuracy; and there, from the philosophical grasp with which he holds it, in compressed masses! And, above all, what grand, sombre, Miltonic gleams his imagination casts around him on his way; and in what deep swells of organ-like music do his thoughts often, harmoniously and irrepressibly, move! The three prose-writers of this century, who, as it appears to us, approach most nearly to the giants of the era of Charles I., in spirit of genius and munificence of language, are, Edward Irving, in his preface to "Ben Ezra," Thomas Aird, in parts of his "Religious Characteristics," and Thomas De Quincey, in his "Confessions," and his "Suspiria de Profundis."

In coming down from an author to his works we have often a feeling of humiliation and disappointment. It is like comparing the great Ben Nevis with the streamlets which flow from his base, and asking, "Is this all the mighty mountain can give the world?" So, "What has De Quincey done?" is a question we are now sure to hear, and feel rather afraid to answer.

In a late number of that very excellent periodical, "Hogg's Instructor," Mr. De Quincey, as if anticipating some such objection, argues (referring to Professor Wilson), that it is ridiculous to expect a writer now to write a large separate work, as some had demanded from the professor. He is here, however, guilty of a fallacy, which we wonder he allowed to escape from his pen: there is a difference between a large and a great work. No one wishes either De Quincey or John Wilson to write a folio; what we wish from each of them is, an artistic[Pg 149] whole, large or comparatively small, fully reflecting the image of his mind, and bearing the relation to his other works which the "Paradise Lost" does to Milton's "Lycidas," "Arcades," and "Hymn on the Nativity." And this, precisely, is what neither of those illustrious men has as yet effected.

De Quincey's works, if collected, would certainly possess sufficient bulk; they lie scattered, in prodigal profusion, through the thousand and one volumes of our periodical literature; and we are certain, that a selection of their better portions would fill ten admirable octavos. Mr. De Quincey himself was lately urged to collect them. His reply was, "Sir, the thing is absolutely, insuperably, and forever impossible. Not the archangel Gabriel, nor his multipotent adversary, durst attempt any such thing!" We suspect, at least, that death must seal the lips of the "old man eloquent," ere such a selection shall be made. And yet, in those unsounded abysses, what treasures might be found—of criticism, of logic, of wit, of metaphysical acumen, of research, of burning eloquence, and essential poetry! We should meet there with admirable specimens of translation from Jean Paul Richter and Lessing; with a criticism on the former, quite equal to that more famous one of Carlyle's; with historical chapters, such as those in "Blackwood" on the Cæsars, worthy of Gibbon; with searching criticisms, such as one on the knocking in Macbeth, and two series on Landor and Schlosser; with the elephantine humor of his lectures on "Murder, considered as one of the fine arts;" and with the deep theological insight of his papers on Christianity, considered as a means of social progress, and on the Essenes. In fact, De Quincey's knowledge of theology is equal to that of two bishops—in metaphysics, he could puzzle any German professor—in astronomy, he has outshone Professor Nichol—in chemistry, he can outdive Samuel Brown—and in Greek, excite to jealousy the shades of Porson and Parr. There is another department in which he stands first, second, and third—we mean, the serious hoax. Do our readers remember the German romance of Walladmor, passed off at the Leipsic fair as one of Sir Walter Scott's, and afterward translated into English? The translation, which was, in fact, a new work, was executed by De Quincey, who, finding the original dull, thought proper to re-write it; and thus, to charge trick upon trick. Or have they ever read his chapter in "Blackwood" for July, 1837, on the "Retreat of a Tartar tribe?" a chapter certainly containing the most powerful historical painting we ever read, and recording a section of adventurous and romantic story not equaled, he says, "since the retreat of the fallen angels." This chapter, we have good reason for knowing, originated principally in his own inventive brain. Add to all this, the fiery eloquence of his "Confessions"—the labored speculation of his "Political Economy"—the curiously-perverted ingenuity of his "Klosterheim"—and the solemn, sustained, linked, and lyrical raptures of his "Suspiria," and we have answered the question, What has he done? But another question is less easy to answer, What can he, or should he, or shall he yet do? And here we venture to express a long-cherished opinion. Pure history, or that species of biography which merges into history, is his forte, and ought to have been his selected province. He never could have written a first-rate fiction or poem, or elaborated a complete or original system of philosophy, although both his imagination and his intellect are of a very high order. But he has every quality of the great historian, except compression; he has learning, insight, the power of reproducing the past, fancy to color, and wit to enliven his writing, and a style which, while it is unwieldy upon small subjects, rises to meet all great occasions, like a senator to salute a king. The only danger is, that if he were writing the history of the Crusades or Cæsars, for instance, his work would expand to the dimensions of the "Universal History."

A great history we do not now expect from De Quincey; but he might, produce some, as yet, unwritten life, such as the life of Dante, or of Milton. Such a work would at once concentrate his purpose, task his powers, and perpetuate his name.

As it is, his place in the future gallery of ages is somewhat uncertain. For all he has hitherto done, or for all the impression he has made upon the world, his course may be marked as that of a brilliant but timid meteor, shooting athwart the midnight, watched but by few eyes, but accompanied by the keenest interest and admiration of those who did watch it. Passages of his writings may be preserved in collections; and, among natural curiosities in the museum of man, his memory must assuredly be included as the greatest consumer of laudanum and learning—as possessing the most potent of brains, and the weakest of wills, of almost all men who ever lived.

We have other two remarks to offer ere we close. Our first is, that, with all his errors, De Quincey has never ceased to believe in Christianity. In an age when most men of letters have gone over to the skeptical side, and too often treat with insolent scorn, as sciolistic and shallow, those who still cling to the gospel, it is refreshing to find one who stands confessedly at the head of them all, in point of talent and learning, so intimately acquainted with the tenets, so profoundly impressed by the evidences, and so ready to do battle for the cause, of the blessed faith of Jesus. From those awful depths of sorrow in which he was long plunged, he never ceased to look up to the countenance and the cross of the Saviour; and now, recovered from his evils, and sins, and degradations, we seem to see him sitting, "clothed and in his right mind, at the feet of Jesus." Would to God that others of his class were to go, and to sit down beside him!

We may state, in fine, that efforts are at[Pg 150] present being made to procure for Mr. De Quincey a pension. A memorial on the subject has been presented to Lord John Russell. We need hardly say, that we cordially wish this effort all success. A pension would be to him a delicate sunset ray—soon, possibly, to shine on his bed of death—but, at all events, sure to minister a joy and a feeling of security, which, during all his long life, he has never for an hour experienced. It were but a proper reward for his eminent abilities, hard toils, and the uniform support which he has given, by his talents, to a healthy literature, and a spiritual faith. We trust, too, that government may be induced to couple with his name, in the same generous bestowal, another—inferior, indeed, in brilliance, but which represents a more consistent and a more useful life. We allude to Dr. Dick, of Broughty Ferry, a gentleman who has done more than any living author to popularize science—to accomplish the Socratic design of bringing down philosophy to earth—who has never ceased, at the same time, to exhale moral and religious feeling, as a fine incense, from the researches and experiments of science to the Eternal Throne—and who, for his laborious exertions, of nearly thirty years' duration, has been rewarded by poverty, and neglect, the "proud man's contumely," and, as yet, by the silence of a government which professes to be the patron of literature and the succorer of every species of merit in distress. To quote a newspaper-writer, who is well acquainted with the case: "I know that Dr. Dick has lived a long and a laborious life, writing books which have done much good to man. I know that he has often had occasion to sell these books to publishers, at prices to which his poverty, and not his will consented. I know, too, that throughout his life he has lived with the moderation and the meekness of a saint, as he has written with the wisdom of a sage; and, knowing these things, I would fain save him from the death of a martyr."

[From Household Words.]




There is no really beautiful part of this kingdom so little known as the Peak of Derbyshire. Matlock, with its tea-garden trumpery and mock-heroic wonders; Buxton, with its bleak hills and fashionable bathers; the truly noble Chatsworth and the venerable Haddon, engross almost all that the public generally have seen of the Peak. It is talked of as a land of mountains, which in reality are only hills; but its true beauty lies in valleys that have been created by the rending of the earth in some primeval convulsion, and which present a thousand charms to the eyes of the lover of nature. How deliciously do the crystal waters of the Wye and the Dove rush along such valleys, or dales, as they there are called. With what a wild variety do the gray rocks soar up amid their woods and copses. How airily stand in the clear heavens the lofty limestone precipices, and the gray edges of rock gleam cut from the bare green downs—there never called downs. What a genuine Saxon air is there cast over the population—what a Saxon bluntness salutes you in their speech!

It is into the heart of this region that we propose now to carry the reader. Let him suppose himself with us now on the road from Ashford-in-the-water to Tideswell. We are at the Bull's Head, a little inn on that road. There is nothing to create wonder, or a suspicion of a hidden Arcadia in any thing you see, but another step forward, and—there! There sinks a world of valleys at your feet. To your left lies the delicious Monsal Dale. Old Finn Hill lifts his gray head grandly over it. Hobthrush's Castle stands bravely forth in the hollow of his side—gray, and desolate, and mysterious. The sweet Wye goes winding and sounding at his feet, amid its narrow green meadows, green as the emerald, and its dark glossy alders. Before us stretches on, equally beautiful, Cressbrook Dale; Little Edale shows its cottages from amidst its trees; and as we advance, the Mousselin-de-laine Mills stretch across the mouth of Miller's Dale, and startle with the aspect of so much life amid so much solitude.

But our way is still onward. We resist the attraction of Cressbrook village on its lofty eminence, and plunge to the right, into Wardlow Dale. Here we are buried deep in woods, and yet behold still deeper the valley descend below us. There is an Alpine feeling upon us. We are carried once more, as in a dream, into the Saxon Switzerland. Above us stretch the boldest ranges of lofty precipices, and deep amid the woods are heard the voices of children. These come from a few workmen's houses, couched at the foot of a cliff that rises high and bright amid the sun. That is Wardlow Cop; and there we mean to halt for a moment. Forward lies a wild region of hills, and valleys, and lead-mines, but forward goes no road, except such as you can make yourself through the tangled woods.

At the foot of Wardlow Cop, before this little hamlet of Bellamy Wick was built, or the glen was dignified with the name of Raven Dale, there lived a miner who had no term for his place of abode. He lived, he said, under Wardlow Cop, and that contented him.

His house was one of those little, solid, gray limestone cottages, with gray flagstone roofs, which abound in the Peak. It had stood under that lofty precipice when the woods which now so densely fill the valley were but newly planted. There had been a mine near it, which had no doubt been the occasion of its erection in so solitary a place; but that mine was now worked out and David Dunster, the miner, now worked[Pg 151] at a mine right over the hills in Miller's Dale. He was seldom at home, except at night, and on Sundays. His wife, besides keeping her little house, and digging and weeding in the strip of garden that lay on the steep slope above the house, hemmed in with a stone wall, also seamed stockings for a framework-knitter in Ashford, whither she went once or twice in the week.

They had three children, a boy and two girls. The boy was about eight years of age; the girls were about five and six. These children were taught their lessons of spelling and reading by the mother, among her other multifarious tasks; for she was one of those who are called regular plodders. She was quiet, patient, and always doing, though never in a bustle. She was not one of those who acquire a character for vast industry by doing every thing in a mighty flurry, though they contrive to find time for a tolerable deal of gossip under the plea of resting a bit, and which "resting a bit" they always terminate by an exclamation that "they must be off, though, for they have a world of work to do." Betty Dunster, on the contrary, was looked on as rather "a slow coach." If you remarked that she was a hard-working woman, the reply was, "Well, she's always doing—Betty's work's never done; but then she does na hurry hersen." The fact was, Betty was a thin, spare woman, of no very strong constitution, but of an untiring spirit. Her pleasure and rest were, when David came home at night, to have his supper ready, and to sit down opposite to him at the little round table, and help him, giving a bit now and then to the children, that came and stood round, though they had had their suppers, and were ready for bed as soon as they had seen something of their "dad."

David Dunster was one of those remarkably tall fellows that you see about these hills, who seem of all things the very worst made men to creep into the little mole holes on the hill sides that they call lead-mines. But David did manage to burrow under and through the hard limestone rooks as well as any of them. He was a hard-working man, though he liked a sup of beer, as most Derbyshire men do, and sometimes came home none of the soberest. He was naturally of a very hasty temper, and would fly into great rages; and if he were put out by any thing in the working of the mines, or the conduct of his fellow-workmen, he would stay away from home for days, drinking at Tideswell, or the Bull's Head, at the top of Monsal Dale, or down at the Miners' Arms at Ashford-in-the-water.

Betty Dunster bore all this patiently. She looked on these things somewhat as matters of course. At that time, and even now, how few miners do not drink and "rol a bit," as they call it. She was, therefore, tolerant, and let the storms blow over, ready always to persuade her husband to go home and sleep off his drink and anger, but if he were too violent, leaving him till another attempt might succeed better. She was very fond of her children, and not only taught them on week-days their lessons, and to help her to seam, but also took them to the Methodist Chapel in "Tidser," as they called Tideswell, whither, whenever she could, she enticed David. David, too, in his way, was fond of the children, especially of the boy, who was called David after him. He was quite wrapped up in the lad, to use the phrase of the people in that part; in fact, he was foolishly and mischievously fond of him. He would give him beer to drink, "to make a true Briton on him," as he said, spite of Betty's earnest endeavor to prevent it—telling him that he was laying the foundation in the lad of the same faults that he had himself. But David Dunster did not look on drinking as a fault at all. It was what he had been used to all his life. It was what all the miners had been used to for generations. A man was looked on as a milk-sop and a Molly Coddle, that would not take his mug of ale, and be merry with his comrades. It required the light of education, and the efforts that have been made by the Temperance Societies, to break in on this ancient custom of drinking, which, no doubt, has flourished in these hills since the Danes and other Scandinavians bored and perforated them of old for the ores of lead and copper. To Betty Dunster's remonstrances, and commendations of tea, David would reply, "Botheration, Betty, wench! Dunna tell me about thy tea and such-like pig's-wesh. It's all very well for women; but a man, Betty, a man mun ha' a sup of real stingo, lass. He mun ha' summut to prop his ribs out, lass, as he delves through th' chert and tood-stone. When tha weylds th' maundrel (the pick), and I wesh th' dishes, tha shall ha' th' drink, my wench, and I'll ha' th' tea. Till then, prithee let me aloon, and dunna bother me, for it's no use. It only kicks my monkey up."

And Betty found that it was of no use; that it did only kick his monkey up, and so she let him alone, except when she could drop in a persuasive word or two. The mill-owners at Cress brook and Miller's Dale had forbidden any public-house nearer than Edale, and they had more than once called the people together to point out to them the mischiefs of drinking, and the advantages to be derived from the very savings of temperance. But all these measures, though they had some effect on the mill people, had very little on the miners. They either sent to Tideswell or Edale for kegs of beer to peddle at the mines, or they went thither themselves on receiving their wages.

And let no one suppose that David Dunster was worse than his fellows, or that Betty Dunster thought her case a particularly hard one. David was "pretty much of a muchness," according to the country phrase, with the rest of his hard-working tribe, which was, and always had been, a hard-drinking tribe; and Betty, though she wished it different, did not complain just because it was of no use, and because she was no worse off than her neighbors.

Often when she went to "carry in her hose"[Pg 152] to Ashford, she left the children at home by themselves. She had no alternative. They were there in that solitary valley for many hours playing alone. And to them it was not solitary. It was all that they knew of life, and that all was very pleasant to them. In spring, they hunted for birds'-nests in the copses, and among the rocks and gray stones that had fallen from them. In the copses built the blackbirds and thrushes; in the rocks the firetails; and the gray wagtails in the stones, which were so exactly of their own color, as to make it difficult to see them. In summer, they gathered flowers and berries, and in the winter they played at horses, kings, and shops, and sundry other things in the house.

On one of these occasions, a bright afternoon in autumn, the three children had rambled down the glen, and found a world of amusement in being teams of horses, in making a little mine at the foot of a tall cliff; and in marching for soldiers, for they had one day—the only time in their lives—seen some soldiers go through the village of Ashford, when they had gone there with their mother, for she now and then took them with her when she had something from the shop to carry besides her bundle of hose. At length they came to the foot of an open hill, which swelled to a considerable height, with a round and climbable side, on which grew a wilderness of bushes, amid which lay scattered masses of gray crag. A small winding path went up this, and they followed it. It was not long, however, before they saw some things which excited their eager attention. Little David, who was the guide, and assumed to himself much importance as the protector of his sisters, exclaimed, "See here!" and springing forward, plucked a fine crimson cluster of the mountain bramble. His sisters, on seeing this, rushed on with like eagerness. They soon forsook the little winding and craggy footpath, and hurried through sinking masses of moss and dry grass, from bush to bush, and place to place. They were soon far up above the valley, and almost every step revealed to them some delightful prize. The clusters of the mountain-bramble, resembling mulberries, and known only to the inhabitants of the hills, were abundant, and were rapidly devoured. The dewberry was as eagerly gathered—its large, purple fruit passing with them for blackberries. In their hands were soon seen posies of the lovely grass of Parnassus, the mountain cistus, and the bright blue geranium.

Higher and higher the little group ascended in this quest, till the sight of the wide, naked hills, and the hawks circling round the lofty, tower-like crags over their heads, made them feel serious and somewhat afraid.

"Where are we?" asked Jane, the elder sister. "Arn't we a long way from hom?"

"Let us go hom," said little Nancy. "I'm afreed here;" clutching hold of Jane's frock.

"Pho, nonsense!" said David; "what are you afreed on? I'll tak care on you, niver fear."

And with this he assumed a bold and defying aspect, and said, "Come along; there are nests in th' hazzles up yonder."

He began to mount again, but the two girls hung back and said, "Nay, David, dunna go higher; we are both afreed;" and Jane added, "It's a long wee from hom, I'm sure."

"And those birds screechin' so up there; I darna go up," added little Nancy. They were the hawks that she meant, which hovered whimpering and screaming about the highest cliffs. David called them little cowards, but began to descend, and, presently, seeking for berries and flowers as they descended, they regained the little winding, craggy road, and, while they were calling to each other, discovered a remarkable echo on the opposite hill side. On this, they shouted to it, and laughed, and were half frightened when it laughed and shouted again. Little Nancy said it must be an old man in the inside of the mountain; at which they were all really afraid, though David put on a big look, and said, "Nonsense! it was nothing at all." But Jane asked how nothing at all could shout and laugh as it did? and on this little Nancy plucked her again by the frock, and said in turn, "Oh, dear, let's go hom!"

But at this David gave a wild whoop to frighten them, and when the hill whooped again, and the sisters began to run, he burst into laughter, and the strange spectral Ha! ha! ha! that ran along the inside of the hill, as it were, completed their fear, and they stopped their ears with their hands, and scuttled away down the hill. But now David seized them, and pulling their hands down from their heads, he said, "See here! what a nice place with the stones sticking out like seats. Why, it's like a little house; let us stay and play a bit here." It was a little hollow in the hill side surrounded by projecting stones like an amphitheatre. The sisters were still afraid, but the sight of this little hollow with its seats of crag had such a charm for them that they promised David they would stop awhile, if he would promise not to shout and awake the echo. David readily promised this, and so they sat down. David proposed to keep a school, and cut a hazel wand from a bush, and began to lord it over his two scholars in a very pompous manner. The two sisters pretended to be much afraid, and to read very diligently on pieces of flat stone which they had picked up. And then David became a sergeant, and was drilling them for soldiers, and stuck pieces of fern into their hair for cockades. And then, soon after, they were sheep, and he was the shepherd; and he was catching his flock and going to shear them, and made so much noise that Jane cried, "Hold! there's the echo mocking us."

At this they all were still. But David said, "Pho! never mind the echo; I must shear my sheep:" but just as he was seizing little Nancy to pretend to shear her with a piece of stick, Jane cried out, "Look! look! how black it is coming down the valley there! There's[Pg 153] going to be a dreadful starm. Let us hurry hom!"

David and Nancy both looked up, and agreed to run as fast down the hill as they could. But the next moment the driving storm swept over the hill, and the whole valley was hid in it. The three children still hurried on, but it became quite dark, and they soon lost the track, and were tossed about by the wind, so that they had difficulty to keep on their legs. Little Nancy began to cry, and the three taking hold of each other, endeavored in silence to make their way homeward. But presently they all stumbled over a large stone, and fell some distance down the hill. They were not hurt, but much frightened, for they now remembered the precipices, and were afraid every minute of going over them. They now strove to find the track by going up again, but they could not find it any where. Sometimes they went upward till they thought they were quite too far, and then they went downward till they were completely bewildered; and then, like the Babes in the Wood, "They sate them down and cried."

But ere they had sate long, they heard footsteps, and listened. They certainly heard them and shouted, but there was no answer. David shouted, "Help! fayther! mother! help!" but there was no answer. The wind swept fiercely by; the hawks whimpered from the high crags, lost in the darkness of the storm; and the rain fell, driving along icy cold. Presently there was a gleam of light through the clouds; the hill side became visible, and through the haze they saw a tall figure as of an old man ascending the hill. He appeared to carry two loads slung from his shoulders by a strap; a box hanging before, and a bag hanging at his back. He wound up the hill slowly and wearily, and presently he stopped, and relieving himself of his load, seated himself on a piece of crag to rest. Again David shouted, but there still was no answer. The old man sate as if no shout had been heard—immovable.

"It is a man," said David, "and I will mak him hear;" and with that he shouted once more with all his might. But the old man made no sign of recognition. He did not even turn his head, but he took off his hat and began to wipe his brow as if warm with the ascent.

"What can it be?" said David in astonishment. "It is a man, that's sartain. I'll run and see."

"Nay, nay!" shrieked the sisters. "Don't, David, don't! It's perhaps the old man out of the mountain that's been mocking us. Perhaps," added Jane, "he only comes out in starms and darkness."

"Stuff!" said David, "an echo isn't a man; it's only our own voices. I'll see who it is;" and away he darted, spite of the poor girls' crying in terror, "Don't; don't, David; oh, don't!"

But David was gone. He was not long in reaching the old man, who sate on his stone breathing hard, as if out of breath with his ascent, but not appearing to perceive David's approach. The rain and the wind drove fiercely upon him, but he did not seem to mind it. David was half afraid to approach close to him, but he called out, "Help! help, mester!" The old man remained as unconscious of his presence. "Hillo!" cried David again. "Can you tell us the way down, mester?" There was no answer, and David was beginning to feel a shudder of terror run through every limb, when the clouds cleared considerably, and he suddenly exclaimed, "Why, it's old Tobias Turton of top of Edale, and he's as deaf as a door nail!"

In an instant David was at his side; seized his coat to make him aware of his presence, and, on the old man perceiving him, shouted in his ear, "Which is the way down here, Mester Turton? Where's the track?"

"Down? Weighs o' the back?" said the old man; "ay, my lad, I was fain to sit down; it does weigh o' th' back, sure enough."

"Where's the foot-track?" shouted David, again.

"Th' foot-track? Why, what art ta doing here, my lad, in such a starm? Isn't it David Dunster's lad?"

David nodded. "Why, the track's here—see!" and the old man stamped his foot. "Get down hom, my lad, as fast as thou can. What dun they do letting thee be upon th' hills in such a dee as this?"

David nodded his thanks, and turned to descend the track, while the old man, adjusting his burden again, silently and wearily recommenced his way upward.

David shouted to his sisters as he descended, and they quickly replied. He called to them to come toward him, as he was on the track, and was afraid to quit it again. They endeavored to do this; but the darkness was now redoubled, and the wind and rain became more furious than ever. The two sisters were soon bewildered among the bushes; and David, who kept calling to them at intervals to direct their course toward him, soon heard them crying bitterly. At this, he forgot the necessity of keeping the track, and darting toward them, soon found them, by continuing to call to them, and took their hands to lead them to the track. But they were now drenched through with the rain, and shivered with cold and fear. David, with a stout heart, endeavored to cheer them. He told them the track was close by, and that they would soon be at home. But though the track was not ten yards off, somehow they did not find it. Bushes and projecting rocks turned them out of their course; and, owing to the confusion caused by the wind, the darkness, and their terror, they searched in vain for the track. Sometimes they thought they had found it, and went on a few paces, only to stumble over loose stones, or get entangled in the bushes.

It was now absolutely becoming night. Their terrors increased greatly. They shouted and cried aloud, in the hope of making their parents hear them. They felt sure that both father and[Pg 154] mother must be come home; and as sure that they would be hunting for them. But they did not reflect that their parents could not tell in what direction they had gone. Both father and mother were come home, and the mother had instantly rushed out to try to find them, on perceiving that they were not in the house. She had hurried to and fro, and called—not at first supposing they would be far. But when she heard nothing of them, she ran in, and begged of her husband to join in the search. But at first David Dunster would do nothing. He was angry at them for going away from the house, and said he was too tired to go on a wild-goose chase through the plantations after them. "They are i' th' plantations," said he; "they are sheltering there somewhere. Let them alone, and they'l come home, with a good long tail behind them."

With this piece of a child's song of sheep, David sat down to his supper, and Betty Dunster hurried up the valley, shouting, "Children, where are you? David! Jane! Nancy! where are you?"

When she heard nothing of them, she hurried still more wildly up the hill toward the village. When she arrived there—the distance of a mile —she inquired from house to house, but no one had seen any thing of them. It was clear they had not been in that direction. An alarm was thus created in the village; and several young men set out to join Mrs. Dunster in the quest. They again descended the valley toward Dunster's house, shouting every now and then, and listening. The night was pitch dark, and the rain fell heavily; but the wind had considerably abated, and once they thought they heard a faint cry in answer to their call, far down the valley. They were right: the children had heard the shouting, and had replied to it. But they were far off. The young men shouted again, but there was no answer; and after shouting once more without success, they hastened on. When they reached David Dunster's house, they found the door open, and no one within. They knew that David had set off in quest of the children himself, and they determined to descend the valley. The distracted mother went with them, crying silently to herself, and praying inwardly, and every now and then trying to shout. But the young men raised their strong voices above hers, and made the cliffs echo with their appeals.

Anon a voice answered them down the valley. They ran on as well as the darkness would let them, and soon found that it was David Dunster, who had been in the plantations on the other side of the valley; but hearing nothing of the lost children, now joined them. He said he had heard the cry from the hill side farther down, that answered to their shouts; and he was sure that it was his boy David's voice. But he had shouted again, and there had been no answer but a wild scream as of terror, that made his blood run cold.

"O God!" exclaimed the distracted mother, "what can it be! David! David! Jane Nancy!"

There was no answer. The young men bade Betty Dunster to contain herself, and they would find the children before they went home again. All held on down the valley, and in the direction whence the voice came. Many times did the young men and the now strongly agitated father shout and listen. At length they seemed to hear voices of weeping and moaning. They listened—they were sure they heard a lamenting—it could only be the children. But why then did they not answer? On struggled the men, and Mrs. Dunster followed wildly after. Now, again, they stood and shouted, and a kind of terrified scream followed the shout.

"God in heaven!" exclaimed the mother; "what is it? There is something dreadful. My children! my children! where are you?"

"Be silent, pray do, Mrs. Dunster," said one of the young men, "or we can not catch the sounds so as to follow them." They again listened, and the wailings of the children were plainly heard. The whole party pushed forward over stock and stone up the hill. They called again, and there was a cry of "Here! here! fayther! mother! where are you?"

In a few moments more the whole party had reached the children, who stood drenched with rain, and trembling violently, under a cliff that gave no shelter, but was exposed especially to the wind and rain.

"O Christ! my children!" cried the mother, wildly, struggling forward and clasping one in her arms. "Nancy! Jane! But where is David? David! David! Oh, where is David? Where is your brother?"

The whole party was startled at not seeing the boy, and joined in a simultaneous "Where is he? where is your brother?"

The two children only wept and trembled more violently, and burst into loud crying.

"Silence!" shouted the father. "Where is David? I tell ye? Is he lost? David, lad, where ar ta?"

All listened, but there was no answer but the renewed crying of the two girls.

"Where is the lad, then?" thundered forth the father with a terrible oath.

The two terrified children cried, "Oh, down there! down there!"

"Down where? Oh, God!" exclaimed one of the young men; "why it's a precipice! Down there!"

At this dreadful intelligence the mother gave a wild shriek, and fell senseless on the ground. The young men caught her, and dragged her back from the edge of the precipice. The father in the same moment, furious at what he heard, seized the younger child, that happened to be near him, and shaking it violently, swore he would fling it down after the lad.

He was angry with the poor children, as if they had caused the destruction of his boy. The young men seized him, and bade him think what he was about; but the man believing his[Pg 155] boy had fallen down the precipice, was like a madman. He kicked at his wife as she lay on the ground, as if she were guilty of this calamity by leaving the children at home. He was furious against the poor girls, as if they had led their brother into danger. In his violent rage he was a perfect maniac, and the young men pushing him away, cried shame on him. In a while, the desperate man, torn by a hurricane of passion, sate himself down on a crag, and burst into a tempest of tears, and struck his head violently with his clenched fists, and cursed himself and every body. It was a dreadful scene.

Meantime, some of the young men had gone down below the precipice on which the children had stood, and, feeling among the loose stones, had found the body of poor little David. He was truly dead!

When he had heard the shout of his father, or of the young men, he had given one loud shout in answer, and saying, "Come on! never fear now!" sprang forward, and was over the precipice in the dark, and flew down, and was dashed to pieces. His sisters heard a rush, a faint shriek, and suddenly stopping, escaped the destruction that poor David had found.


We must pass over the painful and dreadful particulars of that night, and of a long time to come; the maniacal rage of the father, the shattered heart and feelings of the mother, the dreadful state of the two remaining children, to whom their brother was one of the most precious objects in a world which, like theirs, contained so few. One moment to have seen him full of life, and fun, and bravado, and almost the next a lifeless and battered corpse, was something too strange and terrible to be soon surmounted. But this was woefully aggravated by the cruel anger of their father, who continued to regard them as guilty of the death of his favorite boy. He seemed to take no pleasure in them. He never spoke to them but to scold them. He drank more deeply than ever, and came home later; and when there, was sullen and morose. When their mother, who suffered severely, but still plodded on with all her duties, said, "David, they are thy children too," he would reply, savagely, "Hod thy tongue! What's a pack o' wenches to my lad?"

What tended to render the miner more hard toward the two girls was a circumstance which would have awakened a better feeling in a softer father's heart. Nancy, the younger girl, since the dreadful catastrophe, had seemed to grow gradually dull and defective in her intellect, she had a slow and somewhat idiotic air and manner. Her mother perceived it, and was struck with consternation by it. She tried to rouse her, but in vain. She could not perform her ordinary reading and spelling lessons. She seemed to have forgotten what was already learned. She appeared to have a difficulty in moving her legs, and carried her hands as if she had suffered a partial paralysis. Jane, her sister, was dreadfully distressed at it, and she and her mother wept many bitter tears over her. One day, in the following spring, they took her with them to Ashford, and consulted the doctor there. On examining her, and hearing fully what had taken place at the time of the brother's death—the fact of which he well knew, for it, of course, was known to the whole country round—he shook his head, and said he was afraid they must make up their minds to a sad case; that the terrors of that night had affected her brain, and that, through it, the whole nervous system had suffered, and was continuing to suffer the most melancholy effects. The only thing, he thought, in her favor was her youth; and added, that it might have a good effect, if they could leave the place where she had undergone such a terrible shock. But whether they did or not, kindness and soothing attentions to her would do more than any thing else.

Mrs. Dunster and little Jane returned home with heavy hearts. The doctor's opinion had only confirmed their fears; for Jane, though but a child, had quickness and affection for her sister enough to make her comprehend the awful nature of poor Nancy's condition. Mrs. Dunster told her husband the doctor's words, for she thought they would awaken some tenderness in him toward the unfortunate child. But he said, "That's just what I expected. Hou'll grow soft, and then who's to maintain her? Hou mun goo to th' workhouse."

With that he took his maundrel and went off to his work. Instead of softening his nature, this intelligence seemed only to harden and brutalize it. He drank now more and more. But all that summer the mother and Jane did all that they could think of to restore the health and mind of poor Nancy. Every morning, when the father was gone to work, Jane went to a spring up in the opposite wood, famed for the coldness and sweetness of its waters. On this account the proprietors of the mills at Cressbrook had put down a large trough there under the spreading trees, and the people fetched the water even from the village. Hence Jane brought, at many journeys, this cold, delicious water to bathe her sister in; they then rubbed her warm with cloths, and gave her new milk for her breakfast. Her lessons were not left off, lest the mind should sink into fatuity, but were made as easy as possible. Jane continued to talk to her, and laugh with her, as if nothing was amiss, though she did it with a heavy heart, and she engaged her to weed and hoe with her in their little garden. She did not dare to lead her far out into the valley, lest it might excite her memory of the past fearful time, but she gathered her flowers, and continued to play with her at all their accustomed sports, of building houses with pieces of pots and stones, and imagining gardens and parks. The anxious mother, when some weeks were gone by, fancied that[Pg 156] there was really some improvement. The cold-bathing seemed to have strengthened the system: the poor child walked, and bore herself with more freedom and firmness. She became ardently fond of being with her sister, and attentive to her directions. But there was a dull cloud over her intellect, and a vacancy in her eyes and features. She was quiet, easily pleased, but seemed to have little volition of her own. Mrs. Dunster thought if they could but get her away from that spot, it might rouse her mind from its sleep. But, perhaps, the sleep was better than the awaking might be; however, the removal came, though in a more awful way than was looked for. The miner, who had continued to drink more and more, and seemed to have almost estranged himself from his home, staying away in his drinking bouts for a week or more together, was one day blasting a rock in the mine, and being half-stupefied with beer, did not take care to get out of the way of the explosion, was struck with a piece of the flying stone, and killed on the spot.

The poor widow and her children were now obliged to remove from under Wardlow-Cop. The place had been a sad one to her; the death of her husband, though he had been latterly far from a good one, and had left her with the children in deep poverty, was a fresh source of severe grief to her. Her religious mind was struck down with a weight of melancholy by the reflection of the life he had led, and the sudden way in which he had been summoned into eternity. When she looked forward, what a prospect was there for her children! It was impossible for her to maintain them from her small earnings, and as to Nancy, would she ever be able to earn her own bread, and protect herself in the world?

It was amid such reflections that Mrs. Dunster quitted this deep, solitary, and, to her, fatal valley, and took up her abode in the village of Cressbrook. Here she had one small room, and by her own labors, and some aid from the parish, she managed to support herself and the children. For seven years she continued her laborious life, assisted by the labor of the two daughters, who also seamed stockings, and in the evenings were instructed by her. Her girls were now thirteen and fifteen years of age: Jane was a tall and very pretty girl of her years; she was active, industrious, and sweet-tempered: her constant affection for poor Nancy was something as admirable as it was singular. Nancy had now confirmed good health, but it had affected her mother to perceive that, since the catastrophe of her brother's death, and the cruel treatment of her father at that time, she had never grown in any degree as she ought; she was short, stout, and of a pale and very plain countenance. It could not be now said that she was deficient in mind, but she was slow in its operations. She displayed, indeed, a more than ordinary depth of reflection, and a shrewdness of observation, but the evidences of-this came forth in a very quiet way, and were observable only to her mother and sister. To all besides she was extremely reserved: she was timid to excess, and shrunk from public notice into the society of her mother and sister. There was a feeling abroad in the neighborhood that she was "not quite right," but the few who were more discerning, shook their heads, and observed, "Right, she was not, poor thing, but it was not want of sense; she had more of that than most."

And such was the opinion of her mother and sister. They perceived that Nancy had received a shock of which she must bear the effects through life. Circumstances might bring her feeble but sensitive nerves much misery. She required to be guarded and sheltered from the rudenesses of the world, and the mother trembled to think how much she might be exposed to them. But in every thing that related to sound judgment, they knew that she surpassed not only them, but any of their acquaintance. If any difficulty had to be decided, it was Nancy who pondered on it, and, perhaps, at some moment when least expected, pronounced an opinion that might be taken as confidently as an oracle.

The affection of the two sisters was something beyond the ties of this world. Jane had watched and attended to her from the time of her constitutional injury with a love that never seemed to know a moment's weariness or change; and the affection which Nancy evinced for her was equally intense and affecting. She seemed to hang on her society for her very life. Jane felt this, and vowed that they would never quit one another. The mother sighed. How many things, she thought, might tear asunder that beautiful resolve.

But now they were of an age to obtain work in the mill. Indeed, Jane could have had employment there long before, but she would not quit her sister till she could go with her—and now there they went. The proprietor, who knew the case familiarly, so ordered it that the two sisters should work near each other; and that poor Nancy should be as little exposed to the rudeness of the work-people as possible. But at first so slow and awkward were Nancy's endeavors, and such an effect had it on her frame, that it was feared she must give it up. This would have been a terrible calamity; and the tears of the two sisters and the benevolence of the employer enabled Nancy to pass through this severe ordeal. In a while she acquired sufficient dexterity, and thenceforward went through her work with great accuracy and perseverance. As far as any intercourse with the workpeople was concerned, she might be said to be dumb. Scarcely ever did she exchange a word with any one, but she returned kind nods and smiles; and every morning and evening, and at dinner-time, the two sisters might be seen going to and fro, side by side—Jane often talking with some of them; the little, odd-looking sister walking silent and listening.

Five more years, and Jane was a young woman. Amid her companions, who were few of them above the middle size, she had a tall[Pg 157] and striking appearance. Her father had been a remarkably tall and strong man, and she possessed something of his stature, though none of his irritable disposition. She was extremely pretty, of a blooming, fresh complexion, and graceful form. She was remarkable for the sweetness of her expression, which was the index of her disposition. By her side still went that odd, broad-built, but still pale and little sister. Jane was extremely admired by the young men of the neighborhood, and had already many offers, but she listened to none. "Where I go must Nancy go," she said to herself, "and of whom can I be sure?"

Of Nancy no one took notice. Her pale, somewhat large features, her thoughtful, silent look, and her short, stout figure, gave you an idea of a dwarf, though she could not strictly be called one. No one would think of Nancy as a wife—where Jane went she must go; the two clung together with one heart and soul. The blow which deprived them of their brother seemed to bind them inseparably together.

Mrs. Dunster, besides her seaming, at which, in truth, she earned a miserable sum, had now for some years been the post-woman from the village to the Bull's Head, where the mail, going on to Tideswell, left the letter-bag. Thither and back, wet or dry, summer or winter, she went every day, the year round. With her earnings, and those of the girls, the world went as well with them as the world goes on the average with the poor; and she kept a small, neat cottage. Cramps and rheumatisms she began to feel sensibly from so much exposure to rain and cold; but the never-varying and firm affection of her two children was a balm in her cup which made her contented with every thing else.

When Jane was about two-and-twenty, poor Mrs. Dunster, seized with rheumatic fever, died. On her death-bed, she said to Jane, "Thou will never desert poor Nancy; and that's my comfort. God has been good to me. After all my trouble, he has given me this faith, that, come weal, come woe, so long as thou has a home, Nancy will never want one. God bless thee for it! God bless you both; and he will bless you!" So saying, Betty Dunster breathed her last.

The events immediately following her death did not seem to bear out her dying faith; for the two poor girls were obliged to give up their cottage. There was a want of cottages. Not half of the work-people could be entertained in this village; they went to and fro for many miles. Jane and Nancy were now obliged to do the same. Their cottage was wanted for an overlooker—and they removed to Tideswell, three miles off. They had thus six miles a day to walk, besides standing at their work; but they were young, and had companions. In Tideswell they were more cheerful. They had a snug little cottage; were near a meeting; and found friends. They did not complain. Here, again Jane Dunster attracted great attention, and a young, thriving grocer paid his addresses to her. It was an offer that made Jane take time to reflect. Every one said it was an opportunity not to be neglected: but Jane weighed in her mind, "Will he keep faith in my compact with Nancy?" Though her admirer made every vow on the subject, Jane paused and determined to take the opinion of Nancy. Nancy thought for a day, and then said, "Dearest sister, I don't feel easy; I fear that from some cause it would not do in the end."

Jane, from that moment, gave up the idea of the connection. There might be those who would suspect Nancy of a selfish bias in the advice she gave; but Jane knew that no such feeling influenced her pure soul. For one long year the two sisters traversed the hills between Cressbrook and Tideswell. But they had companions, and it was pleasant in the summer months. But winter came, and then it was a severe trial. To rise in the dark, and traverse those wild and bleak hills; to go through snow and drizzle, and face the sharpest winds in winter, was no trifling matter. Before winter was over, the two young women began seriously to revolve the chances of a nearer residence, or a change of employ. There were not few who blamed Jane excessively for the folly of refusing the last good offer. There were even more than one who, in the hearing of Nancy, blamed her. Nancy was thoughtful, agitated, and wept. "If I can, dear sister," she said, "have advised you to your injury, how shall I forgive myself? What shall become of me?"

But Jane clasped her sister to her heart, and said, "No! no! dearest sister, you are not to blame. I feel you are right; let us wait, and we shall see!"


One evening, as the two sisters were hastening along the road through the woods on their way homeward, a young farmer drove up in his spring-cart, cast a look at them, stopped, and said, "Young women, if you are going my way. I shall be glad of your company. You are quite welcome to ride."

The sisters looked at each other. "Dunna be afreed," said the young farmer; "my name's James Cheshire. I'm well known in these parts; you may trust yersens wi' me, if it's agreeable."

To Jane's surprise, Nancy said, "No, sir, we are not afraid; we are much obliged to you."

The young farmer helped them up into the cart, and away they drove.

"I'm afraid we shall crowd you," said Jane.

"Not a bit of it," replied the young farmer. "There's room for three bigger nor us on this seat, and I'm no ways tedious."

The sisters saw nothing odd in his use of the word "tedious," as strangers would have done[Pg 158] they knew it merely meant "not at all particular." They were soon in active talk. As he had told them who he was, he asked them in their turn if they worked at the mills there. They replied in the affirmative, and the young man said,

"I thought so. I've seen you sometimes going along together. I noticed you because you seemed so sisterly like, and you are sisters, I reckon."

They said "Yes."

"I've a good spanking horse, you seen," said James Cheshire. "I shall get over th' ground rayther faster nor you done a-foot, eh? My word, though, it must be nation cold on these bleak hills i' winter."

The sisters assented, and thanked the young farmer for taking them up.

"We are rather late," said they, "for we looked in on a friend, and the rest of the mill-hands were gone on."

"Well," said the young farmer, "never mind that. I fancy Bess, my mare here, can go a little faster nor they can. We shall very likely be at Tidser as soon as they are."

"But you are not going to Tidser," said Jane, "your farm is just before us there."

"Yay, I'm going to Tidser though. I've a bit of business to do there before I go hom."

On drove the farmer at what he called a spanking rate; presently they saw the young mill-people on the road before them.

"There are your companions," said James Cheshire; "we shall cut past them like a flash of lightning."

"Oh," exclaimed Jane Dunster, "what will they say at seeing us riding here?" and she blushed brightly.

"Say?" said the young farmer, smiling, "never mind what they'll say; depend upon it, they'd like to be here theirsens."

James Cheshire cracked his whip. The horse flew along. The party of the young mill-hands turned round, and on seeing Jane and Nancy in the cart, uttered exclamations of surprise.

"My word, though!" said Mary Smedley, a fresh buxom lass, somewhat inclined to stoutness.

"Well, if ever!" cried smart little Hannah Bowyer.

"Nay, then, what next?" said Tetty Wilton, a tall, thin girl of very good looks.

The two sisters nodded and smiled to their companions; Jane still blushing rosily, but Nancy sitting as pale and as gravely as if they were going on some solemn business.

The only notice the farmer took was to turn with a broad, smiling face, and shout to them, "Wouldn't you like to be here too?"

"Ay, take us up," shouted a number of voices together; but the farmer cracked his whip, and giving them a nod and a dozen smiles in one, said, "I can't stay. Ask the next farmer that comes up."

With this they drove on; the young farmer very merry and full of talk. They were soon by the side of his farm. "There's a flock of sheep on the turnips there," he said, proudly, "they're not to be beaten on this side Ashbourne. And there are some black oxen, going for the night to the straw-yard. Jolly fellows, those, eh? But I reckon you don't understand much of farming stock?"

"No," said Jane, and was again surprised at Nancy adding, "I wish we did. I think a farmer's life must be the very happiest of any."

"You think so?" said the farmer, turning and looking at her earnestly, and evidently with some wonder. "You are right," said he. "You little ones are knowing ones. You are right: it's the life for a king."

They were at the village. "Pray stop," said Jane, "and let us get down. I would not for the world go up the village thus. It would make such a talk!"

"Talk! who cares for talk?" said the farmer; "won't the youngsters we left on the road talk?"

"Quite enough," said Jane.

"And are you afraid of talk?" said the farmer to Nancy.

"I'm not afraid of it when I don't provoke it willfully," said Nancy; "but we are poor girls, and can't afford to lose even the good word of our acquaintance. You've been very kind in taking us up on the road; but to drive us to our door would cause such wonder as would perhaps make us wish we had not been obliged to you."

"Blame me, if you arn't right again!" said the young farmer, thoughtfully. "These are scandal-loving times, and th' neebors might plague you. That's a deep head of yourn, though—Nancy, I think your sister caw'd you. Well, here I stop then."

He jumped down, and helped them out.

"If you will drive on first," said Jane, "we will walk on after, and we are greatly obliged to you."

"Nay," said the young man, "I shall turn again here."

"But you've business."

"Oh! my business was to drive you here—that's all."

James Cheshire was mounting his cart, when Nancy stepped up, and said, "Excuse me, sir, but you'll meet the mill-people on your return, and it will make them talk all the more, as you have driven us past your farm. Have you no business that you can do in Tidser, sir?"

"Gad! but thou'rt right again! Ay, I'll go on!" and with a crack of his whip, and a "Good night!" he whirled into the village before them.

No sooner was he gone than Nancy, pressing her sister's arm to her side, said, "There's the right man at last, dear Jane."

"What!" said Jane, yet blushing deeply at the same time, and her heart beating quicker against her side. "Whatever are you talking of, Nancy? That young farmer fall in love with a mill-girl?"[Pg 159]

"He's done it," said Nancy; "I see it in him—I feel it in him. And I feel, too, that he is true and stanch as steel."

Jane was silent. They walked on in silence. Jane's own heart responded to what Nancy had said; she thought again and again on what he said. "I have seen you sometimes;" "I noticed you because you seemed so sisterly." "He must have a good heart," thought Jane; "but then he can never think of a poor mill-girl like me."

The next morning they had to undergo plenty of raillery from their companions. We will pass that over. For several days, as they passed to and fro, they saw nothing of the young farmer. But one evening, as they were again alone, having staid at the same acquaintance's as before, the young farmer popped his head over a stone wall, and said, "Good evening to you, young women." He was soon over the wall, and walked on with them to the end of the town. On the Sunday at the chapel Jane saw Nancy's grave face fixed on some object steadily, and, looking in the same direction, was startled to see James Cheshire. Again her heart beat pit-a-pat, and she thought, "Can he really be thinking of me?"

The moment chapel was over, James Cheshire was gone, stopping to speak to no one. Nancy again pressed the arm of Jane to her side, as they walked home, and said, "I was not wrong." Jane only replied by returning her affectionate pressure.

Some days after, as Nancy Dunster was coming out of a shop in the evening, after their return home from the mill, James Cheshire suddenly put his hand on her shoulder, and, on her turning, shook her hand cordially, and said, "Come along with me a bit. I must have a little talk with you."

Nancy consented without remark or hesitation. James Cheshire walked on quickly till they came near the fine old church which strikes travelers as so superior to the place in which it is located, when he slackened his pace, and taking Nancy's hand, began in a most friendly manner to tell her how much he liked her and her sister. That, to make a short matter of it, as was his way, he had made up his mind that the woman of all others in the world that would suit him for a wife was her sister. "But before I said so to her, I thought I would say so to you, Nancy, for you are so sensible, I'm sure you will say what is best for us all."

Nancy manifested no surprise, but said calmly, "You are a well-to-do farmer, Mr. Cheshire. You have friends of property; my sister, and—"

"Ay, and a mill-girl; I know all that. I've thought it all over, and so far you are right again, my little one. But just hear what I've got to say. I'm no fool, though I say it. I've an eye in my head and a head on my shoulders, eh?"

Nancy smiled

"Well now, it s not any mill-girl—mind you, it's not any mill-girl; no, nor perhaps another in the kingdom, that would do for me. I don't think mill-girls are in the main cut out for farmers' wives, any more than farmers' wives are fit for mill-girls; but, you see, I've got a notion that your sister is not only a very farrantly lass, but that she's one that has particular good sense, though not so deep as you, Nancy, neither. Well, I've a notion she can turn her hand to any thing, and that she's a heart to do it when it's a duty. Isn't that so, eh? And if it is so, then Jane Dunster's the lass for me; that is, if it's quite agreeable."

Nancy pressed James Cheshire's hand, and said. "You are very kind."

"Not a bit of it," said James.

"Well," continued Nancy; "but I would have you to consider what your friends will say, and whether you will not be made unhappy by them."

"Why, as to that," said James Cheshire, interrupting her, "mark me, Miss Dunster. I don't ask my friends for any thing. I can farm my own farm; buy my own cattle; drive my spring-cart, without any advice or assistance of theirs; and therefore I don't think I shall ask their advice in the matter of a wife, eh? No, no, on that score I'm made up. My name's Independent, and, at a word, the only living thing I mean to ask advice of is yourself. If you, Miss Dunster, approve of the match, it's settled, as far as I'm concerned."

"Then so far," said Nancy, "as you and my sister are concerned, without reference to worldly circumstances, I approve it with all my heart. I believe you to be as good and honest as I know my sister to be. Oh, Mr. Cheshire! she is one of ten thousand."

"Well, I was sure of it," said the young farmer; "and so now you must tell your sister all about it; and if all's right, chalk me a white chalk inside of my gate as you go past i' th' morning, and to-morrow evening I'll come up and see you."

Here the two parted with a cordial shake of the hand. The novel signal of an accepted love was duly discovered by James Cheshire on his gate-post, when he issued forth at day-break, and that evening he was sitting at tea with Jane and Nancy in the little cottage, having brought in his cart a basket of eggs, apples, fresh butter, and a pile of the richest pikelets (crumpets), country pikelets, very different to town-made ones, for tea.

We need not follow out the courtship of James Cheshire and Jane Dunster. It was cordial and happy. James insisted that both the sisters should give immediate notice to quit the mill-work, to spare themselves the cold and severe walks which the winter now occasioned them. The sisters had improved their education in their evenings. They were far better read and informed than most farmers' daughters. They had been, since they came to Tideswell, teachers in the Sunday-school. There was comparatively little to be learned in a farm-house for the[Pg 160] wife in winter, and James Cheshire therefore proposed to the sisters to go for three months to Manchester into a wholesale house, to learn as much as they could of the plain sewing and cutting out of household linen. The person in question made up all sorts of household linen, sheets, pillow-cases, shirts, and other things; in fact, a great variety of articles. Through an old acquaintance he got them introduced there, avowedly to prepare them for housekeeping. It was a sensible step, and answered well. At spring, to cut short opposition from his own relatives, which began to show itself, for these things did not fail to be talked of, James Cheshire got a license, and proceeding to Manchester, was then and there married, and came home with his wife and sister.

The talk and gossip which this wedding made all round the country, was no little; but the parties themselves were well satisfied with their mutual choice, and were happy. As the spring advanced, the duties of the household grew upon Mrs. Cheshire. She had to learn the art of cheese-making, butter-making, of all that relates to poultry, calves, and household management. But in these matters she had the aid of an old servant, who had done all this for Mr. Cheshire, since he began farming. She took a great liking to her mistress, and showed her with hearty good-will how every thing was done; and as Jane took a deep interest in it, she rapidly made herself mistress of the management of the house, as well as of the house itself. She did not disdain, herself, to take a hand at the churn, that she might be familiar with the whole process of butter-making, and all the signs by which the process is conducted to a successful issue. It was soon seen that no farmer's wife could produce a firmer, fresher, sweeter pound of butter. It was neither swelted by too hasty churning, nor spoiled, as is too often the case, by the buttermilk or by water being left in it, for want of well kneading and pressing. It was deliciously sweet, because the cream was carefully put in the cleanest vessels and well attended to. Mrs. Cheshire, too, might daily be seen kneeling by the side of the cheese-pan, separating the curd, taking off the whey, filling the cheese-vat with the curd, and putting the cheese herself into press. Her cheese-chamber displayed as fine a set of well-salted, well-colored, well-turned and regular cheeses as ever issued from that or any other farm-house.

James Cheshire was proud of his wife: and Jane herself found a most excellent helper in Nancy. Nancy took particularly to housekeeping; saw that all the rooms were exquisitely clean; that every thing was in nice repair; that not only the master and mistress, but the servants had their food prepared in a wholesome and attractive manner. The eggs she stored up; and as fruit came into season, had it collected for market, and for a judicious household use. She made the tea and coffee morning and evening, and did every thing but preside at the table. There was not a farm-house for twenty miles round that wore an air of so much brightness and evident good management as that Of James Cheshire. For Nancy, from the first moment of their acquaintance, he had conceived a most profound respect. In all cases that required counsel, though he consulted freely with his wife, he would never decide till they had had Nancy's opinion and sanction.

And James Cheshire prospered. But, spite of this, he did not escape the persecution from his relations that Nancy had foreseen. On all hands he found coldness. None of them called on him. They felt scandalized at his evening himself, as they called it, to a mill-girl. He was taunted, when they met at market, with having been caught with a pretty face; and told that they thought he had had more sense than to marry a dressed doll with a witch by her side.

At first James Cheshire replied with a careless waggery, "The pretty face makes capital butter though, eh? The dressed doll turns out a tolerable dairy, eh? Better," added James, "than a good many can, that I know, who have neither pretty faces, nor have much taste in dressing to crack of."

The allusion to Nancy's dwarfish plainness was what peculiarly provoked James Cheshire. He might have laughed at the criticisms on his wife, though the envious neighbors' wives did say that it was the old servant and not Mrs. Cheshire who produced such fine butter and cheese; for wherever she appeared, spite of envy and detraction, her lovely person and quiet good sense, and the growing rumor of her good management, did not fail to produce a due impression. And James had prepared to laugh it off; but it would not do. He found himself getting every now and then angry and unsettled by it. A coarse jest on Nancy at any time threw him into a desperate fit of indignation. The more the superior merit of his wife was known, the more seemed to increase the envy and venom of some of his relatives. He saw, too, that it had an effect on his wife. She was often sad, and sometimes in tears.

One day when this occurred, James Cheshire said, as they sat at tea, "I've made up my mind. Peace in this life is a jewel. Better is a dinner of herbs with peace, than a stalled ox with strife. Well now, I'm determined to have peace. Peace and luv," said he, looking affectionately at his wife and Nancy, "peace and luv, by God's blessing, have settled down on this house; but there are stings here and stings there, when we go out of doors. We must not only have peace and luv in the house, but peace all round it. So I've made up my mind. I'm for America!"

"For America!" exclaimed Jane. "Surely you can not be in earnest."

"I never was more in earnest in my life," said James Cheshire. "It is true I do very well on this farm here, though it's a cowdish situation; but from all I can learn I can do much better in America. I can there farm a much[Pg 161] better farm of my own. We can have a much finer climate than this Peak country, and our countrymen still about us. Now, I want to know what makes a man's native land pleasant to him?—the kindness of his relations and friends. But then, if a man's relation are not kind?—if they get a conceit into them, that because they are relations, they are to choose a man's wife for him, and sting him and snort at him because he has a will of his own?—why, then, I say, God send a good big herring-pool between me and such relations! My relations, by way of showing their natural affection, spit spite and bitterness. You, dear wife and sister, have none of yourn to spite you. In the house we have peace and luv. Let us take the peace and luv, and leave the bitterness behind."

There was a deep silence.

"It is a serious proposal," at length said Jane, with tears in her eyes.

"What says Nancy?" asked James.

"It is a serious proposal," said Nancy, "but it is good. I feel it so."

There was another deep silence; and James Cheshire said, "Then it is decided."

"Think of it," said Jane, earnestly—"think well of it."

"I have thought of it long and well, my dear. There are some of these chaps that call me relation that I shall not keep my hands off, if I stay among them—and I fain would. But for the present I will say no more; but," added he, rising and bringing a book from his desk, "here is a book by one Morris Birkbeck—read it, both of you, and then let me know your minds."

The sisters read. On the following Lady-day James Cheshire had turned over his farm advantageously to another, and he, his wife, Nancy, and the old servant, Mary Spendlove, all embarked at Liverpool, and transferred themselves to the United States, and then to the State of Illinois. Five-and-twenty years have rolled over since that day. We could tell a long and curious story of the fortunes of James Cheshire and his family—from the days when, half repenting of his emigration and his purchase, he found himself in a rough country, amid rough and spiteful squatters, and lay for months with a brace of pistols under his pillow, and a great sword by his bedside for fear of robbery and murder. But enough, that at this moment, James Cheshire, in a fine cultivated country, sees his ample estate cultivated by his sons, while as colonel and magistrate he dispenses the law and receives the respectful homage of the neighborhood. Nancy Dunster, now styled Mrs. Dunster, the Mother in Israel—the promoter of schools and the counselor of old and young—still lives. Years have improved rather than deteriorated her short and stout exterior. The long exercise of wise thoughts and the play of benevolent feelings, have given even a sacred beauty to her homely features. The dwarf has disappeared, and there remains instead, a grave but venerable matron—honored like a queen.


At the threshold of the door, leading from the court-yard to the house, the daughters of Sidi Mahmoud received us with cordial welcome. They are two very beautiful girls. The eldest, who is about fourteen years of age, particularly interested me. There is an expression in her soft, intelligent, eyes which shows that she feels the oppression of captivity. Her features are not those of a regular beauty; but the grace which marks all her movements, the soul breathing animation which lights up her countenance, and the alternate blush and pallor which overspread her delicate cheek, seem to mark the fair Zuleica for a heroine of romance.

While I gazed on her, I thought she looked like a personification of her lovely namesake, the glorious creation of Byron's muse. Her beautiful chestnut hair was unfortunately (in compliance with the custom of the country) tinged with a reddish dye. It was combed to the nape of the neck, and a red woolen band was closely twisted round it, so that the most beautiful adornment of a female head was converted into a long, stiff rouleau, which either dangled down her back, or was hidden in the folds of her dress. On her head she wore a small, closely-fitting fez. Her sister, a pretty, smiling girl of ten years of age, had her hair arranged in the same manner, and she wore the same sort of fez. She was wrapped in a shawl of a clear sea-green hue, which was draped round her figure very gracefully, but entirely concealed her arms. Her full trowsers of rose-colored calico descended nearly to her ankles. The costume of the elder sister was marked by greater elegance. Her shawl was dark red, but of less size and thinner texture than that worn by her sister. After we had been a few minutes together, we became quite familiar friends, and the young ladies permitted me to have a minute inspection of their dresses. They conducted us to their drawing-room, or, as they called it, their salon. This apartment, like all the rooms in the house, is exceedingly small; and on my expressing some surprise at its limited dimensions, the elder sister replied in her broken French, "Mauresques pas tener salons pas jolies comme toi Français;" by which she meant to say that their houses or saloons are not so fine as those of the Europeans; for they call all Europeans, indiscriminately, French. There was but little furniture in the drawing-room.

Over the middle part of the floor was spread a very handsome Turkey carpet; and along the sides of the apartment were laid several carpets of various kinds and patterns. In one corner of the room there was a looking-lass in a miserable-looking frame, and beside it a loaded musket. Whether this weapon be destined for the defense of the elegant mirror or of the lovely Zuleica, I pretend not to say.

Having observed a telescope fixed at the window, I expressed some surprise. Zuleica,[Pg 162] who converses very intelligibly in what she calls lingua franca (a jargon principally composed of French words), informed me that this telescope constitutes her principal source of amusement, and that she is almost continually occupied in looking through it, to watch the arrival of her friends, and the movements of the steamers in the harbor. The walls of the apartment were simply whitewashed, and the window and doors were arched as a precaution against accidents in the earthquakes so frequent in this country. The only decorations on the walls were two little frames, containing passages from the Koran.

Among the other articles of furniture contained in this apartment, I must not omit to mention a small table, on which lay some sheets of paper (having Arabic characters inscribed on them) a book, and an inkstand.

When I entered the room, the young ladies brought a straw stool, and requested me to sit down on it, while they themselves squatted on the floor. A white muslin curtain hung over a doorway, which led to the sleeping apartment of the father and mother. Nothing could be more plain than the furniture of this apartment. Two small French iron bedsteads indicated, it is true, great advancement in civilization; and between these bedsteads a piece of carpet covered the rough red tiles with which the floor was paved. There was neither washing-stand nor toilet-table; but, indeed, the apartment was so small that there was no room for them. I was next conducted to the boudoir, where coffee, pomegranates, melons, and sweetmeats were served. To decline taking any thing that is offered is regarded as an affront by the Mohammedans, so I was compelled to receive in my bare hand an immensely large slice of some kind of sweet cake, spread over with a thick jelly.

The collation being ended, the young ladies conducted me to their own sleeping-room. Here we found a slave at work. She was a negress, for whom I was told Sidi Mahmoud had paid 600 francs. I suppose this negress saw something irresistibly droll in my appearance, for as soon as I appeared she burst into an immoderate fit of laughter, and it was some time ere she recovered her composure.

Little Zuleica very good-naturedly opened several trunks to gratify me with the sight of some of her best dresses. She drew forth a number of garments of various descriptions, all composed of rich and beautiful materials. When I say that she had at least twenty elegant tunics of silk or gauze, and several others richly embroidered with gold, I do not overrate the number. I expressed my astonishment at the number and variety of the garments, of which I imagined I had seen the last; but Zuleica turned to me with an arch smile, which seemed to say she had a still greater surprise in store for me. Then diving into the lowest depths of one of the trunks, she drew forth a complete bridal costume. It consisted of a robe or tunic of rich red damask silk, embroidered with gold, a gold girdle, a splendid caftan, loose trowsers of silk, and a vail of white gauze, several yards in length, and sprigged with gold. I was also shown several valuable jeweled ornaments, destined to be worn with this splendid costume.

Seeing the bridal dress thus ready prepared I conjectured that Zuleica was betrothed, and I ventured to ask her when she was to be married. At this question she blushed and looked confused; then, after a little hesitation, she replied, "Quand trouver mari."...

Among Zuleica's ornaments were several set with splendid diamonds and pearls. My hostess, after having examined and admired them, asked whether the jewels were all real. Zuleica looked a little offended at this question, and answered proudly, "Mauresques jamais tenir ce que n'est pas vrai." We were greatly amused by the interest and curiosity with which these Moorish girls examined every thing we wore, and even asked the price of any article which particularly pleased them. No part of my dress escaped the scrutinizing eyes of Zuleica. She was particularly charmed with a small handkerchief I wore round my throat. I took it off and, requested her to accept it as a token of my remembrance.

The eldest sister had so engaged my attention that the younger one appeared to think I had neglected her, and she timidly requested that, as I had seen all Zuleica's beautiful things, I would look at some of hers also. Accordingly, she began showing me her dolls, meanwhile relating to me in her lingua franca the history of each. These dolls were attired in the costumes of Moorish ladies, and little Gumara assured me that the dresses were all her own making. After I had admired them, and complimented Gumara on her taste, she told me with an air of mystery that she had yet one thing more to show. So saying, she produced a doll with a huge black beard and fierce countenance, and dressed completely in imitation of the Sultan. While I was engaged in admiring it, Sidi Mahmoud entered. He had heard that I could speak Italian, and he came to have a little conversation with me about Italy, a country with which he is acquainted, and in which he has himself traveled much. The father's unexpected appearance dismayed the young ladies, who colored deeply while they endeavored to hide the miniature effigy of the Sultan. I afterward learned that Zuleica and her sister are brought up under such rigorous restraint, that even the possession of a doll in male attire is a thing prohibited.—Leaves from a Lady's Diary.

The works of men of genius alone, where great faults are united with great beauties, afford proper matter for criticism. Genius is always executive, bold, and daring; which at the same time that it commands attention, is sure to provoke criticism. It is the regular, cold, and timid composer who escapes censure and deserves praise.—Sir Joshua Reynolds.

[Pg 163]

[From Household Words.]


They judge not well, who deem that once among us
A Spirit moved that now from earth has fled;
Who say that at the busy sounds which throng us,
Its shining wings forevermore have sped.
Not all the turmoil of the Age of Iron
Can scare that Spirit hence; like some sweet bird
That loud harsh voices in its cage environ,
It sings above them all, and will be heard!
Not, for the noise of axes or of hammers,
Will that sweet bird forsake her chosen nest;
Her warblings pierce through all those deafening clamors
But surer to their echoes in the breast.
And not the Past alone, with all its guerdon
Of twilight sounds and shadows, bids them rise;
But soft, above the noontide heat and burden
Of the stern present, float those melodies.
Not with the baron bold, the minstrel tender,
Not with the ringing sound of shield and lance,
Not with the Field of Gold in all its splendor,
Died out the generous flame of old Romance.
Still, on a nobler strife than tilt or tourney,
Rides forth the errant knight, with brow elate;
Still patient pilgrims take, in hope, their journey;
Still meek and cloistered spirits "stand and wait."
Still hath the living, moving world around us,
Its legends, fair with honor, bright with truth;
Still, as in tales that in our childhood bound us,
Love holds the fond traditions of its youth.
We need not linger o'er the fading traces
Of lost divinities; or seek to hold
Their serious converse 'mid Earth's green waste-places,
Or by her lonely fountains, as of old:
For, far remote from Nature's fair creations,
Within the busy mart, the crowded street,
With sudden, sweet, unlooked-for revelations
Of a bright presence we may chance to meet;
E'en now, beside a restless tide's commotion,
I stand and hear, in broken music, swell
Above the ebb and flow of Life's great ocean,
An under-song of greeting and farewell.
For here are meetings: moments that inherit
The hopes and wishes, that through months and years
Have held such anxious converse with the spirit,
That now its joy can only speak in tears;
And here are partings: hands that soon must sever,
Yet clasp the firmer; heart, that unto heart,
Was ne'er so closely bound before, nor ever
So near the other as when now they part;
And here Time holds his steady pace unbroken,
For all that crowds within his narrow scope;
For all the language, uttered and unspoken,
That will return when Memory comforts Hope!
One short and hurried moment, and forever
Flies, like a dream, its sweetness and its pain,
And, for the hearts that love, the hands that sever,
Who knows what meetings are in store again?
They who are left, unto their homes returning,
With musing step, trace o'er each by-gone scene;
And they upon their journey—doth no yearning,
No backward glance, revert to what hath been?
Yes! for awhile, perchance, a tear-drop starting,
Dims the bright scenes that greet the eye and mind;
But here—as ever in life's cup of parting—
Theirs is the bitterness who stay behind!
So in life's sternest, last farewell, may waken
A yearning thought, a backward glance be thrown
By them who leave: but oh! how blest the token,
To those who stay behind when THEY are gone!


Come, soft sleep!
Bid thy balm my hot eyes meet—
Of the long night's heavy stillness,
Of the loud clock's ceaseless beat,
Of the weary thought of illness,
Of the room's oppressive heat—
Steep me in oblivion deep,
That my weary, weary brain,
May have rest from all its pain;
Come, oh blessedness again,—
Come, soft sleep!
Come, soft sleep!
Let this weary tossing end,
Let my anguished watch be ceasing,
Yet no dreams thy steps attend,
When thou bring'st from pain releasing.
Fancies wild to rest may lend
Sense of waking misery deep,
Calm as death, oh, on me sink,
That my brain may quiet drink,
And neither feel, nor know, nor think.
Come, soft sleep!
W. C. Bennett.

[Pg 164]

[From the Autobiography of Leigh Hunt, unpublished.]


Many brave and good men have been anglers, as well as many men of a different description; but their goodness would have been complete, and their bravery of a more generous sort, had they possessed self-denial enough to look the argument in the face, and abstained from procuring themselves pleasure at the expense of a needless infliction. The charge is not answered by the favorite retorts about effeminacy, God's providence, neighbors' faults, and doing "no worse." They are simple beggings of the question. I am not aware that anglers, or sportsmen in general, are braver than the ordinary run of mankind. Sure I am that a great fuss is made if they hurt their fingers; much more if they lie gasping, like fish, on the ground. I am equally sure that many a man who would not hurt a fly is as brave as they are; and as to the reference to God's providence, it is an edge-tool that might have been turned against themselves by any body who chose to pitch them into the river, or knock out their brains. They may lament, if they please, that they should be forced to think of pain and evil at all; but the lamentation would not be very magnanimous under any circumstances; and it is idle, considering that the manifest ordination and progress of things demand that such thoughts be encountered. The question still returns: Why do they seek amusement in sufferings which are unnecessary and avoidable? and till they honestly and thoroughly answer this question, they must be content to be looked upon as disingenuous reasoners, who are determined to retain a selfish pleasure.

As to old Izaak Walton, who is put forward as a substitute for argument on this question, and whose sole merits consisted in his having a taste for nature and his being a respectable citizen, the trumping him up into an authority and a kind of saint is a burlesque. He was a writer of conventionalities; who, having comfortably feathered his nest, as he thought, both in this world and in the world to come, concluded he had nothing more to do than to amuse himself by putting worms on a hook, and fish into his stomach, and so go to heaven, chuckling and singing psalms. There would be something in such a man and in his book, offensive to a real piety, if that piety did not regard whatever has happened in the world, great and small, with an eye that makes the best of what is perplexing, and trusts to eventual good out of the worst. Walton was not the hearty and thorough advocate of nature he is supposed to have been. There would have been something to say for him on that score, had he looked upon the sum of evil as a thing not to be diminished. But he shared the opinions of the most commonplace believers in sin and trouble, and only congratulated himself on being exempt from their consequences. The overweening old man found himself comfortably off somehow; and it is good that he did. It is a comfort to all of us, wise or foolish. But to reverence him is a jest. You might as well make a god of an otter. Mr. Wordsworth, because of the servitor manners of Walton and his biographies of divines (all anglers), wrote an idle line about his "meekness" and his "heavenly memory." When this is quoted by the gentle brethren, it will be as well if they add to it another passage from the same poet, which returns to the only point at issue, and upsets the old gentleman altogether Mr. Wordsworth's admonition to us is,

"Never to link our pastime, or our pride,
With suffering to the meanest thing that lives."

It was formerly thought effeminate not to hunt Jews; then not to roast heretics; then not to bait bears and bulls; then not to fight cocks, and to throw sticks at them. All these evidences of manhood became gradually looked upon as no such evidences at all, but things fit only for manhood to renounce; yet the battles of Waterloo and of Sobraon have been won, and Englishmen are not a jot the less brave all over the world. Probably they are braver, that is to say, more deliberately brave, more serenely valiant; also more merciful to the helpless, and that is the crown of valor.

It was during my infancy, if I am not mistaken, that there lived at Hampstead (a very unfit place for such a resident), a man whose name I suppress lest there should be possessors of it surviving, and who was a famous cock-fighter. He was rich and idle, and therefore had no bounds to set to the unhappy passions that raged within him. It is related of this man, that, having lost a bet on a favorite bird, he tied the noble animal to a spit in his kitchen before the fire, and notwithstanding the screams of the sufferer and the indignant cries of the beholders, whose interference he wildly resisted with the poker, actually persisted in keeping it there burning, till he fell down in his fury and died.

Let us hope he was mad. What, indeed, is more probable? It is always a great good, when the crimes of a fellow-creature can be traced to madness; to some fault of the temperament or organization; some "jangle of the sweet bells;" some overbalance in the desired equipoise of the faculties, originating, perhaps in accident or misfortune. It does not subject us the more to their results. On the contrary, it sets us on our guard against them. And, meantime, it diminishes one of the saddest, most injurious, and most preposterous notions of human ignorance—the belief in the wickedness of our kind.

But I have said enough of these barbarous customs.

[Pg 165]

[From Household Words.]


One of the most remarkable of self-educated men, James Ferguson, when a poor agricultural laborer, constructed a globe. A friend had made him a present of "Gordon's Geographical Grammar," which, he says, "at that time was to me a great treasure. There is no figure of a globe in it, although it contains a tolerable description of the globes and their use. From this description I made a globe in three weeks, at my father's, having turned the ball thereof out of a piece of wood; which ball I covered with paper, and delineated a map of the world upon it, made the meridian ring and horizon of wood, covered them with paper, and graduated them; and was happy to find that by my globe (which was the first I ever saw) I could solve the problems."

"But," he adds, "this was not likely to afford me bread."

In a few years this ingenious man discovered the conditions upon which he could earn his bread, by a skill which did not suffer under the competition of united labor. He had made also a wooden clock. He carried about his globe and his clock, and "began to pick up some money about the country" by cleaning clocks. He became a skilled clock-cleaner. For six-and-twenty years afterward he earned his bread as an artist. He then became a scientific lecturer, and in connection with his pursuits, was also a globe maker. His name may be seen upon old globes, associated with that of Senex. The demand for globes must have been then very small, but Ferguson had learned that cheapness is produced by labor-saving contrivances. A pretty instrument for graduating lines upon the meridian ring, once belonging to Ferguson, is in use at this hour in the manufactory of Messrs. Malby and Son. The poor lad "who made a globe in three weeks" finally won the honors and riches that were due to his genius and industry. But he would never have earned a living in the continuance of his first attempt to turn a ball out of a piece of wood, cover it with paper, and draw a map of the world upon it. The nicest application of his individual skill, and the most careful employment of his scientific knowledge, would have been wasted upon those portions of the work in which the continued application of common routine labor is the most efficient instrument of production.

Let us contrast the successive steps of Ferguson's first experiment in globe-making with the processes of a globe manufactory.

A globe is not made of "a ball turned out of a piece of wood." If a solid ball of large dimensions were so turned, it would be too heavy for ordinary use. Erasmus said of one of the books of Thomas Aquinas, "No man can carry it about, much less get it into his head;" and so would it be said of a solid globe. If it were made of hollow wood, it would warp and split at the junction of its parts. A globe is made of paper and plaster. It is a beautiful combination of solidity and lightness. It is perfectly balanced upon its axis. It retains its form under every variety of temperature. Time affects it less than most other works of art. It is as durable as a Scagliola column.

A globe may not, at first sight, appear a cheap production. It is not, of necessity, a low-priced production, and yet it is essentially cheap; for nearly all the principles of manufacture that are conditions of cheapness are exhibited in the various stages of its construction. There are only four globe-makers in England, and one in Scotland. The annual sale of globes is only about a thousand pair. The price of a pair of globes varies from six shillings to fifty pounds. But from the smallest 2-inch, to the largest 36-inch globe, a systematic process is carried on at every step of its formation. We select this illustration of cheapness as a contrast, in relation to price and extent of demand, to the lucifer match. But it is, at the same time, a parallel in principle. If a globe were not made upon a principle involving the scientific combination of skilled labor, it would be a mere article of luxury from its excessive costliness. It is now a most useful instrument in education. For educational purposes the most inexpensive globe is as valuable as that of the highest price. All that properly belongs to the excellence of the instrument is found in combination with the commonest stained wood frame, as perfectly as with the most highly-finished frame of rose-wood or mahogany.

The mould, if we may so express it, of a globe is turned out of a piece of wood. This sphere need not be mathematically accurate. It is for rough work, and flaws and cracks are of little consequence. This wooden ball has an axis, a piece of iron wire at each pole. And here we may remark, that, at every stage of the process, the revolution of a sphere upon its axis, under the hands of the workman, is the one great principle which renders every operation one of comparative ease and simplicity. The labor would be enormously multiplied if the same class of operations had to be performed upon a cube. The solid mould, then, of the embryo globe is placed on its axis in a wooden frame. In a very short time a boy will form a pasteboard globe upon its surface. He first covers it entirely with strips of strong paper, thoroughly wet, which are in a tub of water at his side. The slight inequalities produced by the overlapping of the strips are immaterial. The saturated paper is not suffered to dry; but is immediately covered over with a layer of pasted paper, also cut in long narrow slips. A third layer of similarly pasted paper—brown paper and white being used alternately—is applied, and then, a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth. Here the pasting process ends for globes of moderate size. For the large ones it is carried farther. This wet pasteboard ball has now to be dried—placed upon its axis in a rack. If we were determined to follow the progress of this individual[Pg 166] ball through all its stages, we should have to wait a fortnight before it advanced another step. But as the large factory of Messrs. Malby and Son has many scores of globes all rolling onward to perfection, we shall be quite satisfied to witness the next operation performed upon a pasteboard sphere that began to exist some weeks earlier, and is now hard to the core.

The wooden ball, with its solid paper covering, is placed on its axis. A sharp cutting instrument, fixed on a bench, is brought into contact with the surface of the sphere, which is made to revolve. In less time than we write, the pasteboard ball is cut in half. There is no adhesion to the wooden mould, for the first coating of paper was simply wetted. Two bowls of thick card now lie before us, with a small hole in each, made by the axis of the wooden ball. But a junction is very soon effected. Within every globe there is a piece of wood—we may liken it to a round ruler—of the exact length of the inner surface of the sphere from pole to pole. A thick wire runs through this wood, and originally projected some two or three inches at each end. This stick is placed upright in a vice. The semi-globe is nailed to one end of the stick, upon which it rests, when the wire is passed through its center. It is now reversed, and the edges of the card rapidly covered with glue. The edges of the other semi-globe are instantly brought into contact, the other end of the wire passing through its center in the same way, and a similar nailing to the stick taking place. We have now a paper globe, with its own axis, which will be its companion for the whole term of its existence.

The paper globe is next placed on its axis in a frame, of which one side is a semi-circular piece of metal; the horizon of a globe cut in half would show its form. A tub of white composition—a compound of whiting, glue, and oil is on the bench. The workman dips his hand into this "gruel thick and slab," and rapidly applies it to the paper sphere with tolerable evenness: but, as it revolves, the semi-circle of metal clears off the superfluous portions. The ball of paper is now a ball of plaster externally. Time again enters largely into the manufacture. The first coating must thoroughly dry before the next is applied; and so again till the process has been repeated four or five times. Thus, when we visit a globe workshop, we are at first surprised at the number of white balls, from three inches' diameter to three feet, which occupy a large space. They are all steadily advancing toward completion. They can not be hurriedly dried. The duration of their quiescent state must depend upon the degrees of the thermometer in the ordinary atmosphere. They cost little. They consume nothing beyond a small amount of rent. As they advance to the dignity of perfect spheres, increased pains are taken in the application of the plaster. At last they are polished. Their surface is as hard and as fine as ivory. But, beautiful as they are, they may, like many other beautiful things, want a due equipoise. They must be perfectly balanced. They must move upon their poles with the utmost exactness. A few shot, let in here and there, correct all irregularities. And now the paper and plaster sphere is to be endued with intelligence.

What may be called the artistical portion of globe-making here commences. In the manufactory we are describing there are two skilled workers, who may take their rank as artists, but whose skill is limited, and at the same time perfected, by the uniformity of their operations. One of these artists, a young woman, who has been familiar with the business from her earliest years, takes the polished globe in her lap, for the purpose of marking it with lines of direction for covering it with engraved strips, which will ultimately form a perfect map. The inspection of a finished globe will show that the larger divisions of longitude are expressed by lines drawn from pole to pole, and those of latitude by a series of concentric rings. The polished plaster has to be covered with similar lines. These lines are struck with great rapidity, and with mathematical truth, by an instrument called a "beam compass," in the use of which this workwoman is most expert. The sphere is now ready for receiving the map, which is engraved in fourteen distinct pieces. The arctic and antarctic poles form two circular pieces, from which the lines of longitude radiate. These having been fitted and pasted, one of the remaining twelve pieces, containing 30 degrees, is also pasted on the sphere, in the precise space where the lines of longitude have been previously marked its lines of latitude corresponding in a similar manner. The paper upon which these portions of the earth's surface are engraved is thin and extremely tough. It is rubbed down with the greatest care, through all the stages of this pasting process. We have at length a globe covered with a plain map, so perfectly joined that every line and every letter fit together as if they had been engraved in one piece—which, of course, would be absolutely impossible for the purpose of covering a ball.

The artist who thus covers the globe, called a paster, is also a colorer. This is, of necessity, a work which can not be carried on with any division of labor. It is not so with the coloring of an atlas. A map passes under many hands in the coloring. A series of children, each using one color, produce in combination a map colored in all its parts, with the rapidity and precision of a machine. But a globe must be colored by one hand. It is curious to observe the colorer working without a pattern. By long experience the artist knows how the various boundaries are to be defined, with pink continents, and blue islands, and the green oceans, connecting the most distant regions. To a contemplative mind, how many thoughts must go along with the work, as he covers Europe with indications of populous cities, and has little to do with Africa and Australia but to mark the coast lines; as year after year he has[Pg 167] to make some variation in the features of the great American continent, which indicates the march of the human family over once trackless deserts, while the memorable places of the ancient world undergo few changes but those of name. And then, as he is finishing a globe for the cabin of some "great ammirall," may he not think that, in some frozen nook of the Arctic Sea, the friendly Esquimaux may come to gaze upon his work, and seeing how petty a spot England is upon the ball, wonder what illimitable riches nature spontaneously produces in that favored region, some of which is periodically scattered by her ships through those dreary climes in the search for some unknown road amidst everlasting icebergs, while he would gladly find a short track to the sunny south. And then, perhaps, higher thoughts may come into his mind; and as this toy of a world grows under his fingers, and as he twists it around upon its material axis, he may think of the great artificer of the universe, having the feeling, if not knowing the words of the poet:

"In ambient air this ponderous ball He hung."

Contemplative, or not, the colorer steadily pursues his uniform labor, and the sphere is at length fully colored.

The globe has now to be varnished with a preparation technically known as "white hard," to which some softening matter is added to prevent the varnish cracking. This is a secret which globe-makers preserve. Four coats of varnish complete the work.

And next the ball has to be mounted. We have already mentioned an instrument by which the brass meridian ring is accurately graduated; that is, marked with lines representing 360 degrees, with corresponding numerals. Of whatever size the ring is, an index-hand, connected with the graduating instrument, shows the exact spot where the degree is to be marked with a graver. The operation is comparatively rapid; but for the largest globes it involves considerable expense. After great trouble, the ingenious men whose manufactory we are describing, have succeeded in producing cast-iron rings, with the degrees and figures perfectly distinct; and these applied to 36-inch globes, instead of the engraved meridians, make a difference of ten guineas in their price. For furniture they are not so beautiful; for use they are quite as valuable. There is only one other process which requires great nicety. The axis of the globe revolves on the meridian ring, and of course it is absolutely necessary that the poles should be exactly parallel. This is effected by a little machine which drills each extremity at one and the same instant; and the operation is termed poleing the meridian.

The mounting of the globe—the completion of a pair of globes—is now handed over to the cabinet-maker. The cost of the material and the elaboration of its workmanship determine the price.

Before we conclude, we would say a few words as to the limited nature of the demand for globes. Our imperfect description of this manufacture will have shown that experience, and constant application of ingenuity, have succeeded in reducing to the lowest amount the labor employed in the production of globes. The whole population of English globe-makers does not exceed thirty or forty men, women, and boys. Globes are thus produced at the lowest rate of cheapness, as regards the number of laborers, and with very moderate profits to the manufacturer, on account of the smallness of his returns. The durability of globes is one great cause of the limitation of the demand. Changes of fashion, or caprices of taste, as to the mounting, new geographical discoveries, and modern information as to the position and nomenclature of the stars, may displace a few old globes annually, which then find their way from brokers' shops into a class somewhat below that of their original purchasers. But the pair of globes generally maintain for years their original position in the school-room or the library. They are rarely injured, and suffer very slight decay. The new purchasers represent that portion of society which is seeking after knowledge, or desires to manifest some pretension to intellectual tastes. The number of globes annually sold represents to a certain extent the advance of education. But if the labor-saving expedients did not exist in the manufacture the cost would be much higher, and the purchasers greatly reduced in number. The contrivances by which comparative cheapness is produced arise out of the necessity of contending against the durability of the article by encouraging a new demand. If these did not exist, the supply would outrun the demand; the price of the article would less and less repay the labor expended in its production; the manufacture of globes would cease till the old globes were worn out, and the few rich and scientific purchasers had again raised up a market.

The Body.—Among the strange compliments which superstition pays to the Creator, is a scorn and contempt for the fleshy investiture which he has bestowed on us, at least among Christians; for the Pagans were far more pious in this respect; and Mohammed agreed with them in doing justice to the beauty and dignity of the human frame. It is quite edifying, in the Arabian Nights, to read the thanks that are so often and so rapturously given to the Supreme Being for his bestowal of such charms on his creatures. Nor was a greater than Mahomet of a nature to undervalue the earthly temples of gentle and loving spirits. Ascetic mistakes have ever originated in want of heartiness or of heart; in consciousness of defect, or vulgarity of nature, or in spiritual pride. A well-balanced body and soul never, we may be sure, gave way to it. What an extraordinary flattery of the Deity to say, "Lord! I thank thee for this jewel of a soul which I possess; but what a miserable casket thou hast given me to put it in!"—Leigh Hunt.

[Pg 168]

[From The Ladies' Companion]


By the Author of "TWO OLD MEN'S TALES," "EMILIA WYNDHAM," &c.

[Continued from page 35.]


Since trifles make the sum of human things....
Oh! let the ungentle spirit learn from thence,
A small unkindness is a great offense:
Large favors to bestow we strive in vain,
But all may shun the guilt of giving pain.
Hannah More.

If Lettice had made her reflections, and had started upon her new undertaking with a heart yearning with the desire to perform its duties well, Mrs. Melwyn had not been without undergoing a somewhat similar process upon her side, and this was her course of thought:

"She had at first felt the utmost dislike to the plan.

"She had, in the course of her life, seen so much discomfort and dissatisfaction arise upon both sides from this sort of connection, that she had taken up quite a prejudice against any thing of the sort.

"It was a very great pity," she often said to herself, "that so it should be, but the case was almost universal. If it could be otherwise, what desirable connections might be formed in a world such as the present! Such numbers of women of all ages, and all degrees of mental qualifications, find themselves suddenly without resource, through the accident of early death in the case of the professions, or of disaster in commercial life; and so many others, through disease or advanced age, or the still more cruel stroke of death, find themselves stranded, lonely, and deserted, and languishing for a fireside friend. What comfortable, beneficial unions might be brought about in such cases, one should think; and yet why did they never or seldom turn out well?

"Faults there must be. Where did they lie?—On both sides," answered her understanding. "Not surely alone upon the side of the new comer—the paid one, consequently the obliged one, consequently the only one of the parties who had duties that she was pledged to perform, and which, it is true, she too often very imperfectly performed—but also upon the other. She, it is true, is pledged to nothing but the providing meat, lodging, and salary; but that will not dispense her from obligations as a Christian, and as a member of the universal sisterhood, which are not quite so easily discharged.

"It must double the difficulty to the new comer," thought Mrs. Melwyn, "the being treated so carelessly as she too often is. How hard it must be to perform duties such as hers, if they are not performed in love! and how impossible it must be to love in such a case—unless we meet with love. Even to be treated with consideration and kindness will not suffice upon the one side, nor the most scrupulous endeavor to discharge duty upon the other—people must try to love.

"How soothing to a poor, deserted orphan to be taken to the heart! How sweet to forlorn old age to find a fresh object of affection! Ah, but then these sort of people seem often so disagreeable, do one's best, one can not love or like them! But why do they seem so disagreeable? Partly because people will overlook nothing—have no mutual indulgence in relations which require so much. If one's child has little ways one does not quite like, who thinks of hating her for it? If one's mother is a little provoking and tedious under the oppressive weight of years or sickness, who thinks of making a great hardship of it? But if the poor, humble friend is only a little awkward or ungainly, she is odious; and if the poor, deserted mother, or widow, wife, or aged suffering creature is a little irritable or tedious, she is such a tyrant!

"Oh how I wish!...

"Well, Catherine is a sensible, well-judging creature, and she assures me this Miss Arnold is a remarkably sweet-tempered, affectionate, modest, judicious girl. Why should I not try to make such a being love me? Why should we not be very happy together? There is Randall, to be sure, sets herself extremely against it; but, as Catherine says, 'Is Randall to be mistress in this family, or am I?' It is come quite to that point. And then it will be a great thing to have somebody between me and Randall. She will not be so necessary to me then, whatever she may be to the general; and when she makes herself so disagreeable, if this young lady is as comfortable to me as Catherine says she will be, I really shall not so much care.

"Then," continuing her meditations, which, though I put down in black and white, were thought, not spoken, "then Catherine says she is so greatly to be pitied, and is so exemplary; and she said, in her darling, coaxing way, 'dear mamma, it will give you so much pleasure to make the poor thing a little amends for all her hardships, and if poor papa is a little cross at times, it will be quite an interest to you to contrive to make up for it. She will be quite a daughter to you, and, in one respect, you will have more pleasure in making her happy than even in your own loving daughter, because one is dear from our natural affections, and the other will be so from generous beneficence; and though natural affection is such a sweet, precious, inestimable thing, generous beneficence is yet nobler, and brings us still nearer to God.'

"If I could make her love me!—and with such an affectionate temper why should I not? She wants a parent, I want a child. If I study her happiness disinterestedly, kindly, truly, she can not help loving me; but I will not even think of myself, I will try to study her good, her well-being; and I will let the love for me come or not as it may, and God will help me. He always does help me—when I have the courage to dare to forget myself, and leave the issues of things to His Providence."[Pg 169]

Such were the dispositions upon both sides with which the two met. But the best resolutions win no battle. They are part, and a very serious part of every undertaking, but they are far from being all. We are so imperfect ourselves, and we have to do with such imperfect beings, that evils and difficulties, unexpected, are sure to arise in our communication with others, even when both sides meet with the very best intentions; therefore, whoever intends to carry out such good intentions, and make a right piece of work of it, must calculate upon these things, just as the mechanic is obliged to make a large allowance for unavoidable obstructions in carrying out any of his theories into action and reality—into useful, every-day working order.

In due time, a fly from the railway—one of those dirty, hired carriages which are the disgrace of England—deposited Miss Arnold and her luggage at the door of General Melwyn's handsome mansion of the Hazels, and in all due form and order she was introduced into the dining-room. It was between six and seven o'clock in the evening when she entered the very handsomely furnished apartment, where, over a half-and-half sort of fire—it having been rather a warm February day—sat the general and his lady.

Lettice was tired, heated, and red with the jumbling of the railway, the bother at the station, and the knocking about in the very uneasy carriage in which she had come up; and she felt in that disagreeable sort of journey disorder of toilet, which makes people feel and look so awkward. But she put the best face upon the matter, and entering, made a very respectful courtesy to Mrs. Melwyn, who met her, holding out her hand; and with her face and appearance Lettice felt charmed in a moment. Mrs. Melwyn, who did not want penetration, saw that in Lettice, spite of present disadvantages, which she was sure she should like very much. Not so the general. He was a perfect fool of the eye, as military men are too apt to be. Whatever was awkward or ill-dressed, was perfectly abhorrent to him; and he took a dislike to "the creature" the moment he cast his eyes upon her.

It seemed but an unpromising beginning.

The heart of poor Lettice sunk within her in a way she was little accustomed to, as the general, in a very pettish mood, stirred the fire, and said. "When are we to have dinner, Mrs. Melwyn? What are we waiting for? Will you never teach that cook of yours to be punctual?"

"It is not her fault, indeed," was the answer, in a low, timid voice; "I ventured to order dinner to be put off half an hour, to suit the railway time."

The general was too well bred to utter what he very plainly looked—that to have been thus kept waiting for Miss Arnold he thought a very unwarrantable proceeding indeed.

He stirred up the fire with additional vigor—made it blaze fiercely—then complained of these abominable coals, which burned like touchwood, and had no heat in them, and wondered whether Mrs. Melwyn would ever have the energy to order sea-borne coal, as he had desired; and then, casting a most ungracious look at the new comer, who stood during this scene, feeling shocked and uncomfortable to a degree, he asked Mrs. Melwyn "how long she intended to keep the young lady standing there before she dressed for dinner?" and suggested that the housemaid should be sent for, to show her to her room.

"I will take that office upon myself," said Mrs. Melwyn. "Come, Miss Arnold, will you follow me?" And lighting a candle, for it was now dark, she proceeded toward the door.

"For heaven's sake, don't be long!" said her husband, in an irritable tone; "it's striking six and three quarters. Is dinner to be upon the table at seven o'clock, or is it not?"


"Then, Miss—Miss—I beg your pardon—and Mrs. Melwyn, I hope you will be ready to take your usual place at table."

They heard no more; for Mrs. Melwyn closed the door, with the air of one escaping—and, looking uncomfortable and half frightened, led the way up-stairs.

It was a pretty, cheerful little room, of which she opened the door; and a pleasant fire was blazing in the grate. The bed was of white dimity, trimmed with a border of colored chintz, as were the window-curtains; the carpet quite new, and uncommonly pretty; chairs, dressing-table, writing-table, all very neat and elegant; and the tables comfortably covered each with its proper appendages.

It was quite a pretty little den.

Mrs. Melwyn had taken much pleasure in the fitting up of this small room, which was next to her own dressing-room. She had fancied herself going to receive into it a second Catherine: and though the very moderate amount of money of which she had the power of disposing as she pleased, and the noisy remonstrances and objections of Randall, had prevented her indulging in many petty fancies which would have amused and occupied her pleasantly since the dismal day of Catherine's wedding, still she had persisted, contrary to her wont, in having in some degree her own way. So, in spite of all Randall could do, she had discarded the ugly old things—which the lady's maid, excessively jealous of this new comer, declared were more than too good for such as her—and had substituted this cheerful simplicity; and the air of freshness and newness cast over every thing rendered it particularly pleasing.

"What a beautiful little room!" Lettice could not help exclaiming, looking excessively delighted. She liked pretty things, and elegant little comforts as well as any body, did Lettice, though they seldom fell to her share, because she was always for giving them up to other people.[Pg 170]

"Do you like it, my dear?" said Mrs. Melwyn, in what Lettice thought the sweetest, softest voice she had ever heard. "I have taken great pleasure in getting it ready for you; I shall be glad, indeed, if you can make yourself happy in it."

"Happy! Who could help being happy in such a paradise?" "And with such a sweet, gentle, charming person as Mrs. Melwyn," mentally added Lettice. "What matters it how cross the poor old general is," thought she.

"But, my dear, I don't see your trunks. Will you ring the bell for them? The general must not be kept waiting for his dinner, and he can not endure those who sit down at his table, either to be too late, or not to be in an evening dress. Military men, you know, are so used to this sort of precision, that they expect it from all around them. You will remember another day, my dear, and—" then the under housemaid opened the door. "Tell them to bring up Miss Arnold's trunks directly."


She did not at that moment exactly know which was the proper servant whose office it ought to be to carry Miss Arnold's trunks. Miss Arnold was an anomaly. There was no precedent. Not a servant in this family would stir without a precedent. The trunk was probably too heavy for the under-housemaid to carry up—that under-housemaid, one of the fags of an establishment like this, kept merely to do what the upper-servants are too fine to do. In households like the one before us, you must have two in every department—there is a chance, then, if you want any thing done, you may get it done. The under-servant is always, as I said, a sort of fag or slave in the eyes of the upper ones. They will allow her to make herself useful, though it should not be exactly her place. Mrs. Melwyn had provided for the attendance upon Miss Arnold by having recourse to this said under-housemaid, and adding a couple of sovereigns to her wages unknown to Randall, but she had forgotten the carrying up of her trunk. Had it been Catherine, this would have been done as a matter of course by the two footmen, and she had a sort of faint hope they would do it of course now. But, she did not like to ask such a thing, so she said "them;" hoping somebody would answer to it some way or other, but—

"Who?" asked Bridget bringing the matter to a point.

"Why, I am sure I don't exactly know. Who is there below? I suppose you could not carry them up yourself, Bridget?"

"I am afraid not, ma'am; there's only one trunk, and it looks heavy."

"Oh!" cried Lettice, "I can come and help you. We can carry it up together, for Myra and I carried it down together." And she was quitting the room. But Mrs. Melwyn laid her hand upon her shoulder.

"No, my dear, upon no account; Bridget, fetch up the gardener's boy, he'll help you to carry the trunk up."

Mrs. Melwyn looked excessively annoyed and distressed: Lettice could not imagine what could be the matter.

The gentle, kind lady seemed nervous and embarrassed. At last, evidently making a very great effort with herself, she got out, "Excuse me, my dear, but there is a little thing.... I would rather not, if you please ... servants are so insolent, you know they are ill brought up; if you please, my dear, it will be better not to offer to do things for yourself, which young ladies don't usually undertake to do; such as carrying up trunks. And then, I think, it will be better not to allude to past circumstances, servants are apt to have such a contempt for people that have not been very rich. It's very strange and wrong, but so it is. You will be more comfortable, I think, if you maintain your own dignity. I hope you will not be hurt at me for giving you this little hint, Miss Arnold."

"Hurt! Oh, madam!" And Lettice could not forbear taking up the beautiful white hand of this most fair and delicate woman, and kissing it with the most respectful reverence. "Whatever you will be so very kind as to suggest to me I will so carefully attend to, and I shall be so much obliged to you."

How sweet was this gentle manner to poor Mrs. Melwyn! She began to feel lightened from quite a load of anxiety. She began to believe, that happen what would, she should never be afraid of Lettice. "Catherine was quite right; oh, what a comfort it would be!"

"Well then," she continued, with more cheerfulness, "I will go away and see that your things are sent up to you, for there is no time to be lost. Bless me! it's striking seven. You never can be ready. Oh! here it comes! I forgot to tell you that Bridget is to answer your bell and wait upon you. I have settled all that—you will find her quite good natured and attentive; she's really an obliging girl."

And so she was. The upper housemaid took care to preserve strict discipline, and exact prompt obedience in her own department, whatever the mistress of the mansion might do in hers.

"Well, then, I will leave you and make your excuses to the general, and you will follow me to the dining-room as soon as you can. We must not keep dinner waiting any longer. You will excuse that ceremony, I am sure. The general is an invalid, you know, and these matters are important to his health."

And so saying, she glided away, leaving Lettice almost too much astonished to be delighted with all this consideration and kindness—things to which she had been little accustomed. But the impression she received, upon the whole, was very sweet. The face and manner of Mrs. Melwyn were so excessively soft; her very dress, the color of her hair, her step, her voice; every thing spoke so much gentleness. Lettice[Pg 171] thought her the loveliest being she had ever met with. More charming even than Catherine—more attaching even than Mrs. Danvers. She felt very much inclined to adore her.

She was but a very few hours longer in the house before pity added to this rising feeling of attachment; and I believe there is nothing attachés the inferior to the superior like pity.

Dressed in one of her best new dresses, and with her hair done up as neatly as she possibly could in that hurry, Lettice made her way to the dining-room.

It was a large, lofty, very handsome, and rather awfully resounding room, with old family pictures upon every side. There was a sideboard set out sparkling with glass and plate; a small table in the middle of the apartment with silver covers and dishes shining in the light of four wax candles; a blazing fire, a splendid Indian screen before the door; two footmen in liveries of pink and white, and a gentleman in a black suit, waiting. The general and Mrs. Melwyn were seated opposite to each other at table.

The soup had been already discussed, and the first course was set upon the table when Miss Arnold entered.

Had she been a young lady born, an obsequious footman would have been ready to attend her to her seat, and present her with a chair: as it was, she would have been spared this piece of etiquette, and she was making her way to her chair without missing the attention, when the general, who observed his saucy footmen standing lounging about, without offering to move forward, frowned in what Lettice thought a most alarming way, and said in a stern voice, and significant manner, "What are you about?" to the two footmen. This piece of attention was bestowed upon her to her surprise and to Mrs. Melwyn's great satisfaction.

"We thought you would excuse us. The soup has been set aside for you," said the lady of the house.

"Oh, thank you, ma'am, pray don't trouble yourself."

"Give Miss Arnold soup."

Again in a stern, authoritative voice from the General. Mrs. Melwyn was used to the sternness, and most agreeably surprised at the politeness, and quite grateful for it. Lettice thought the voice and look too terrible to take pleasure in any thing connected with it.

She had no need to feel gratitude either—it was not done out of consideration for her. The general, who, with the exception of Randall, kept, as far as he was concerned, every servant in the utmost subservience, did not choose that any one who had the honor of a seat at his table should be neglected by those "rascals," as he usually styled his footmen.

It being the first evening, Mrs. Melwyn had too much politeness to require Miss Arnold to enter upon those after-dinner duties, the performance of which had been expressly stipulated for by Catherine; stipulated for, not only with Lettice, but with the general himself. She has made her father promise that he would suffer this young lady to undertake the place of reader—which Catherine had herself filled for some time, to the inexpressible relief of her mother—and that Miss Arnold should be permitted to try whether she could play well enough at backgammon to make an adversary worth vanquishing.

He had grumbled and objected, as a matter of course, to this arrangement, but had finally consented. However, he was not particularly impatient to begin; and besides, he was habitually a well-bred man, so that any duty which came under his category of good manners he punctually performed. People are too apt to misprize this sort of politeness of mere habit; yet, as far as it goes, it is an excellent thing. It enhances the value of a really kind temper in all the domestic relations, to an incalculable degree—a degree little appreciated by some worthy people, who think roughness a proof of sincerity, and that rudeness marks the honest truth of their affections. And where there is little kindness of nature, and a great deal of selfishness and ill-tempered indulgence, as in this cross, old man before us, still the habit of politeness was not without avail; it kept him in a certain check, and certainly rendered him more tolerable. He was not quite such a brute bear as he would have been, left to his uncorrected nature.

Politeness is, and ought to be, a habit so confirmed, that we exercise it instinctively—without consideration, without attention, without effort, as it were; this is the very essence of the sort of politeness I am thinking of. It takes it out of the category of the virtues, it is true, but it places it in that of the qualities; and, in some matters, good qualities are almost as valuable, almost more valuable, than if they still continued among the virtues—and this of politeness, in my opinion, is one.

By virtues, I mean acts which are performed with a certain difficulty, under the sense of responsibility to duty, under the self-discipline of right principle; by qualities, I mean what is spontaneous. Constitutional good qualities are spontaneous. Such as natural sweetness of temper—natural delicacy of feeling—natural intrepidity; others are the result of habit, and end by being spontaneous—by being a second nature: justly are habits called so. Gentleness of tone and manner—attention to conventional proprieties—to people's little wants and feelings—are of these. This same politeness being a sort of summary of such, I will end this little didactic digression by advising all those who have the rearing of the young in their hands, carefully to form them in matters of this description, so that they shall attain habits—so that the delicacy of their perceptions, the gentleness of their tones and gestures, the propriety of their dress, the politeness of their manners, shall become spontaneous acts, done without reference to self, as things of course. By which means, not only much that is disagreeable to their is avoided,[Pg 172] and much that is amiable attained, but a great deal of reference to self is in after life escaped; and temptations to the faults of vanity—pride—envious comparisons with our neighbors, and the feebleness of self-distrust very considerably diminished.

And so, to return, the politeness of the general and Mrs. Melwyn led to this result, the leaving Miss Arnold undisturbed to make her reflections and her observations, before commencing the task which Mrs. Melwyn, for the last time, undertook for her, of reading the newspaper and playing the hit.

Lettice could not help feeling rejoiced to be spared this sort of public exhibition of her powers, till she was in a slight degree better acquainted with her ground; and she was glad to know, without being directly told, what it was customary to do in these respects. But in every other point of view, she had better, perhaps, have been reader than listener. For, if she gained a lesson as to the routine to be followed, she paid for it by receiving at the same time, a considerably alarming impression of the general's ways of proceeding.

"Shall I read the newspaper this evening?" began Mrs. Melwyn, timidly.

"I don't care if you do," roughly.

Polite men, be it observed, en passant, do not at all make it a rule to exercise that habit to their wives. The wife is a thing apart from the rest of the world, out of the category of such proprieties. To be rude to his wife is no impeachment of a man's gentleman-like manners at all.

"Is there any thing worth reading in it?"

"I am sure I don't know what you will think worth reading. Shall I begin with the leading article?"

"What is it all about?"

"I am sure I can't say."

"Can't you look?"

"The sugar question, I think."

"Well, what has the fool to say about that?"

"The speech of Lord **** last night upon the much discussed subject of the sugar question, has no doubt been read and commented upon, in their various ways, and according to their different impressions—shall we say prejudices?—by our readers. The performance, it is upon all hands agreed, was masterly, and, as far as eloquence is concerned, that the accomplished statesman who uttered this remarkable speech did only justice to..."

"Well—well—well—well," in a sneering tone—"I really do wonder how long you could go on droning and dinning, and dinning and droning such palpably empty editorial nonsense as that into a man's ears. Now, I would be glad to ask you—merely to ask you, as a rational woman, Mrs. Melwyn—what possible amusement or profit can be drawn from a long exordium which says absolutely nothing—tells one absolutely nothing but what every one knew before—stuff with which all editors of newspapers seem to think it necessary to preface their remarks. What in the name of—is the use of wasting your breath and my patience—can't you skip? Are you a mere reading machine, madam?"

"Shall I pass on to the next subject?"

"No, that's not my meaning—if you could take a meaning. What I want is only what every rational person expects when these confounded lucubrations of a stupid newspaper editor are read up—that the reader will have the sense to leave all these useless phrases and useless syllables out, and give the pith and marrow to the listener. Well—well, never mind—if you can't, you can't: get on, at all events."

Mrs. Melwyn colored faintly, looked nervous and uneasy—glanced down the columns of the newspaper, and hesitated.

"Well—can't you go on? What's the use of sitting there looking like a child of six years old, who's afraid of being whipped? If you can't, you can't—if you haven't the sense you haven't, but for —— sake get on."

"'Mr. **** rose, and in a manner upon which we can not exactly bestow our approbation, but which, nevertheless, seemed to us in an unaccountable manner to obtain the ear and the attention of a very crowded house, &c., &c.'"

"There you are again! why the deuce can't you pass over all that, and tell us what the confounded blockheads on that side did really say?"

"I read this debate to you yesterday, you know. These are only the editor's remarks upon it. Shall I give you the summary of last night's debate?"

"No, let's hear what the fool says upon this cursed sugar question. He's against the measure, that's one comfort."

"He does not seem to be so exactly," glancing down the page.

"I'll take the liberty of judging that matter myself, Mrs. Melwyn, if you'll only be so particularly obliging as to read on."

Which she did. Now reproached for reading in such a low, cluttering manner, with that d——d soft voice of hers, that it was impossible to hear; and when she raised it, asked, "What the deuce was the use of shouting so as to be heard by the fellows in the servants' hall?"

In this style the newspaper was at last, for better for worse, blundered through, in the most uncomfortable manner possible, by the terrified reader.

Lettice sat by, deeply attentive. She was a brave, high-spirited girl, and she did not feel dismayed; her predominant sentiment was self-congratulation that she should be able to spare that sweet, soft, kind Mrs. Melwyn the ungrateful task.

She sat observing, and laying down her own plans of proceeding. It was not the first time in her life she had been exposed to what is called scolding; a thing every day, I verily believe—and am most happy to do so—going more and more out of fashion, though still retained, as a habit, by many people otherwise[Pg 173] well-meaning enough. It was retained in its full vigor by the general, who was not well-meaning at all; he usually meant nothing on earth by what he did, but the indulgence of the present humor, good, bad, or indifferent. Lettice had lived in a sphere of life where this sort of domestic violence used to be very common; and she had learned to bear it, even from the lips of those she loved, with patience. She knew this very well, and she thought to herself, "if I could get into the habit of hardly caring for it from those very near and dear to me, surely it will be easy enough to meet it with indifference from a poor, cross, peevish, suffering old man, whom I don't care for in the least. The way must be, to get into the habit of it from the first, to let the words

"Pass by me as the idle wind which I regard not."

I must put all my vanity, all my spirit, all my own little tempers, quietly out of the way; and never trouble myself with what he says, but go reading on in the best way I can, to please him, but with the most unruffled outward appearance of tranquillity; and the utmost secret indifference as to whether I succeed or not. He shall be sooner tired of scolding, than I of looking as if I never heard it. He'll give over if I can persevere, instead of looking all colors and all ways, as that dear, gentle Mrs. Melwyn does."

The trial at backgammon was, if such a thing could be, worse. It seemed as if it was impossible to give satisfaction here. The general not only played his own game, but insisted upon playing that of his adversary; and was by turns angry at her stupidity in missing an advantage through want of skill, asking, "What could be the possible interest or pleasure of playing with such a mere child?" and vexed, if the plan he pointed out ended in his own discomfiture, for he could not bear to lose.

Backgammon, too, was an unlucky game to be played with one of a temper such as his. Every favorable throw of the dice, it is true, filled him with a disagreeable sarcastic exultation; but a positively bad one, and still more, a succession of bad ones, drove him furious. After a long course of provoking throws, such as sometimes happen, he would seem half mad, storm, curse, and swear, in the most ridiculous, if it had not been blasphemous, manner; and sometimes end by banging the tables together, and vowing he would never play at this confounded game again as long as he lived.

There was an exhibition of this sort that very evening. Mrs. Melwyn looked much distressed, and almost ashamed, as she glanced at Lettice to see how she took it; but Lettice appeared to be too much engaged with a knot in her netting to seem to take it at all, which evidently relieved Mrs. Melwyn. The scene had not, however, been lost upon our friend, who had observed it with a smile of secret contempt.

Mentally, however, congratulating herself upon her good, robust nerves; such things, she well knew, being perilous to those cursed with delicacy of that sort. The best endeavors, the best intentions, would be without avail in such cases, such sufferers would find their powers of endurance destroyed by these successive acts of violence, till it would be impossible to meet them tolerably. Again she looked at Mrs. Melwyn, and with great pity. Again she rejoiced in the idea of saving her from what she perceived was indeed, to such a frame and temper as hers, a source of very great suffering; and again she resolved to keep up her own spirits, and maintain the only true defense, courage and indifference. She felt sure, if she could only, by a little effort, do this for a short time, the effort would terminate in a habit; after which it would cost her little or nothing more.

The general, though polite to Lettice in their first communications, held her in far too little esteem to care one doit what he did or said before her. He was an excessively proud man; and the idea that a girl, so greatly his inferior in every way, should keep him in check, or venture even to make a remark upon him, far less presume to judge his conduct, never entered his head. I wonder what he would have felt, if he could have been made aware of that secret smile.

Now a tray with wine, spirits, and water, was introduced. The general took his accustomed glass of whisky and water, then opened his cigar-box, and began to smoke. This process invariably made Mrs. Melwyn feel rather sick, and she rose this evening to go away; but being asked what she was moving for, she resumed her seat, and sat till two cigars had been smoked, and the clock told half-past ten; when, as the general loved early hours, she was suffered to take her departure.

The servant entered with lighted candles. Mrs. Melwyn took one, and bade him give Miss Arnold another; and they went up stairs together.

"Good night, my dear," said the lady of the house, with a wearied, worn air, and a tone in which there was a good deal of sadness.

She never could get used to these scenes, poor thing; every time the general was cross she felt it acutely; he had grown dreadfully cross since Catherine married. Mrs. Melwyn hardly knew what to do with him, or how to bear it.

"Good night, my dear, I hope you will sleep comfortably."

"Can I be of any further use to you, madam, to-night."

"Oh, no, thank you; don't come into my dressing-room—Randall is very particular: she considers that her own territory. She does not like any one to come in, especially at night; but just let me look whether your fire burns," she added, entering Lettice's room.

The fire was blazing merrily; Mrs. Melwyn put her candle down upon the chimney-piece, and stood there a little while before it, looking again irresolute. It seemed as if she wished, and did not know how, to say something. Lettice stood at a short distance, respectfully expectant.[Pg 174]

"I declare it's very cold to-night," with a little shiver.

"I did not feel it cold, but then this is so thoroughly comfortable a house."

"Do you think so? Shall you find it so? The wind comes sharply down the passages sometimes, but I wish, I hope, you won't care much for that ... or ... or ... or ... any little painful things; they can't be helped, you know, in this world."

"Ah, madam! if I may venture to say so, there is one good thing one gets out of great hardships—little things do seem so very little afterward."

"Ay, if they are really little, but—"

"Things that are ... that don't seem little to people of more gentle nurture, who have lived in a different way, seem, and are, little to those who have roughed it till they are themselves roughened. That was what I intended to say. One is so very happy to escape dreadful, real, positive distress, that all the rest is like mere play."

Mrs. Melwyn looked at her in a pensive, anxious, inquiring manner. She wanted to see if she was understood; she saw that she was. She saw something truly heartening and encouraging in the young girl's countenance. She shook hands with her and bade her good night very affectionately, and went to her own dressing-room.

Randall was as cross that night as it was possible for the most tyrannical servant to be, but some way or other, Mrs. Melwyn did not feel as if she cared for it quite so much as usual; she had her mind filled with the image of Lettice. Something so very nice about her—she thought to herself—in one respect even better than Catherine. She should not be so afraid of her being distressed by disagreeable things; she should venture to tell her about Randall, and other vexations which she had carefully concealed from Catherine, lest they should make her unhappy. Thus she represented it to herself: the truth was, lest Catherine should make a point of Randall being parted with, an effort she knew herself quite incompetent to make.

She should be able to complain of Randall, without feeling that she should be urged to conquer her weakness, and part with her. There was something very comfortable in this; so Randall pouted away, and Mrs. Melwyn heeded it not very much, not nearly so much as usual; and when Randall perceived this, she was excessively offended, and more and more cross and disagreeable. She had quite quickness enough to perceive how much her despotism must be weakened by the rule being thus divided, and she saw even so early something of the effects she deprecated. The observation, however, did not tend to soften her or to render her more obliging, it was not the least in her plan to contend with the new comer in this way; she meant to meet her, and her mistress, with open defiance, and bear both down by main force.


"Cowards die many times before their death."

The courage of Lettice, as I have told you, was strong, and her nerves good, but in spite of this, assisted by the best resolutions in the world, she did find it a hard matter to stand the general. She was very hopeful the first day or two—the habitual politeness, of which I have spoken, came in aid. It exercised a sort of instinctive and involuntary check upon the old man's rude intemperance of language when irritated. Lettice did her very best to read the newspaper to his satisfaction; skipping every unnecessary word, just as Catherine had been accustomed to do, without hurting the sense in the least; and getting over the ground with all the rapidity the old veteran desired. This was a plan poor Mrs. Melwyn was far too nervous to adopt. If she missed a word it was sure to be the wrong one to miss—one necessary to, instead of encumbering the meaning. It was quite indispensable that she should read simply and straightforwardly what was put before her, or she was certain to get into confusion, and have herself scolded. Even the dreaded and dreadful backgammon did tolerably well, while the general's politeness to the stranger lasted. Lettice was surprised herself, to find how easily the task, which had appeared so awful, was discharged; but she had not long to congratulate herself. Gradually, at first by slow degrees, but afterward like the accelerated descent of a stone down the hill, acquired habit gave way to constitutional ill-humor. Alas, they tell us nature expelled with a pitchfork will make her way back again; most true of the unregenerated nature—most true of the poor blind heathen—or the poor untutored Christian, to all intents and purposes a heathen—too true even of those assisted by better considerations, higher principles, and higher aids.

First it was a little low grumbling; then a few impatient gestures; then a few impatient words—words became sentences; sentences of invective—soon it was with her, just as it had been with others. This graduated progression assisted, however, gradually to harden and prepare her. She was resolved not to look frightened, though her very knees would knock together at times. She was determined never to allow herself to feel provoked or hurt, or ill-used, let the general be ever so rude; and to soften her heart by any such ideas she never allowed herself. Steadily she kept in mind that he was a suffering, ill-disciplined, irritable old man; and by keeping these considerations in view, she actually achieved the most difficult—almost heroic effort. She managed to attain a frame of mind in which she could pity his sufferings, feel indulgence for his faults, and remain quite placid under their effects as regarded herself.

This conduct before a very long time had elapsed produced an effect far more agreeable than she had ever ventured to anticipate.[Pg 175]

The general began to like her.

Like many other cross people, he was excessively difficult to be pleased in one article—the way people took his scoldings. He was offended if they were received with cheerfulness—in the way Edgar had tried to laugh them off—he was still more vexed if people seemed hurt or suffering under them: if they cried, it was bad, indeed. Like many others not absolutely wicked and cruel, though he could not control his temper, he really did feel vexed at seeing the pain he had produced. His conscience would cry out a little at such times. Now, nothing made him so uncomfortable and irritable, as having a quarrel with his conscience; a thing that did not very often happen, to be sure—the said conscience being in his case not a very watchful guardian, but it was all the more disagreeable when it spoke. The genuine good temper and habitual self-possession—the calmness without disrespect—the cheerfulness without carelessness—the respectful attention stripped of all meanness or subservience which Lettice managed to preserve in her relations with him—at last made its way quite to his heart, that is to say, to his taste or fancy, for I don't think he had much of a heart. He began to grow quite fond of her, and one day delighted, as much as he surprised Mrs. Melwyn, by saying, that Miss Arnold really was a very pretty sort of young woman, and he thought suited them very well. And so the grand difficulty of managing with the general's faults was got over, but there remained Mrs. Melwyn's and the servants'.

Lettice had never laid her account at finding any faults in Mrs. Melwyn. That lady from the first moment she beheld her, had quite won her heart. Her elegance of appearance, the Jove-like softness of her countenance, the gentle sweetness of her voice, all conspired to make the most charming impression. Could there lie any thing under that sweet outside, but the gentlest and most indulgent of temper?

No, she was right there, nothing could be more gentle, more indulgent than was Mrs. Melwyn's temper; and Lettice had seen so much of the rough, the harsh, the captious, and the unamiable during her life, that grant her the existence of those two qualities, and she could scarcely desire any thing more. She had yet to learn what are the evils which attend the timid and the weak.

She had yet to know that there may be much concealed self-indulgence, where there is a most yielding disposition; and that they who are too cowardly to resist wrong and violence courageously, from a weak and culpable indulgence of their own shyness and timidity, will afford a poor defense to those they ought to protect, and expose them to innumerable evils.

Lettice had managed to become easy with the general; she could have been perfectly happy with Mrs. Melwyn, but nothing could get over the difficulties with the servants. Conscious of the misrule they exercised; jealous of the newcomer—who soon showed herself to be a clever and spirited girl—a sort of league was immediately instituted among them; its declared object being either to break her spirit, or get rid of her out of the house. The persecutions she endured; the daily minute troubles and vexations; the difficulties cast in her path by these dangerous yet contemptible foes, it would be endless to describe.

Whatever she wanted she could not get done. Even Bridget, under the influence of the upper-housemaid, proved a broken reed to lean upon. Her fire would never be lighted; nor her room done at the proper time; and when she came down with red hands, purple cheeks, and, worst of all, a red nose, looking this cold spring the very picture of chill and misery, the general would look cross, and Mrs. Melwyn not pleased, and would wonder, "How she could get so starved, and why she did not make them light her fire."

She could make no reply but that she would ask Bridget to be more punctual.

It was worse, when do what she would—ring as she would—nobody would come to fasten her dress for dinner till the last bell was sounding, and when it was impossible for her to pay all those nice attentions to her appearance which the general's critical eye demanded. Though he said nothing he would upon such occasions look as if he thought her a sloven; and Mrs. Melwyn, on her side, seemed excessively fretted and uneasy, that her favorite would do herself so little justice, and run the risk of forfeiting the general's favor; and this last piece of injustice, Lettice did feel it hard to bear.

It was the same in all the other minutiæ of domestic life. Every trifling circumstance, like a midge's sting, though insignificant in itself, was rendered in the sum total most troublesome.

If they were going out walking, Miss Arnold's shoes were never cleaned. She provided herself with several pairs, that one at least might always be ready, and she not keep the general and Mrs. Melwyn waiting. It was of no use. The shoes were never ready. If there were several pairs, they were lost, or odd shoes brought up.

She did not care for labor. She had no foolish pride about serving herself, she had been used to that sort of thing; she had not the slightest wish on earth to be a fine lady; but that was forbidden. It was one of the things Mrs. Melwyn had made a point of, and continued to make a point of; but then, why did she not take care she should be better served?

She, the mistress in her own house! Was it indifference to her guest's comforts? No, her unremitting personal kindness forbade that idea. What was it then, that left her helpless guest thus exposed to want and insult? Yes, want! I may use the word; for in her new sphere of action, the things she required were absolute necessaries. The want in its way was as great as she had ever known. Yes, insult—for every little negligence was felt as an insult—Lettice knew too well that as an insult it was[Pg 176] intended. What made this kind Mrs. Melwyn permit such things? Weakness, nothing but weakness—culpable weakness—horror of that which would give her feeble spirit pain.

Lettice found it extremely difficult to be candid in this instance. She who had never experienced what this weakness of the spirit was, found it almost impossible to be indulgent to it. She felt quite vexed and sore. But when she looked so, poor Mrs. Melwyn would put on such a sad, anxious, weary face, that it was impossible not to feel concerned for her, and to forgive her at once. And so this good, generous, kind-hearted being's temper achieved another victory. She was able to love Mrs. Melwyn in spite of all her weakness, and the evils she in consequence suffered; and this indulgent affection made every thing easy.

There were times, however, when she found it almost too difficult to get on; but upon one occasion after another occurring of this nature, and still more when she discovered that Mrs. Melwyn was a yet greater sufferer from this servile tyranny than herself, she at last determined to speak out, and see whether things could not be established upon a more reasonable and proper footing.

There was one day a terrible quarrel with Randall. It happened that Randall was from home, drinking tea with a friend. She had either bound up the general's ailing arm too tight, or the arm had swelled; however, for some reason or other the injured part became extremely painful. The general fidgeted and swore, but bore it for some time with the sort of resolute determination, with which, to do him justice, he was accustomed to meet pain. At last the aching became so intolerable that it was scarcely to be endured; and after ringing twenty times to inquire whether Randall was come home, and uttering a heavy imprecation each time he was answered in the negative; what between pain and impatience he became so fevered that he really seemed quite ill, and his sufferings were evidently more than he could well endure. Poor Mrs. Melwyn, helpless and feeble, dared not propose to do any thing for him, though she suffered—soft, kind creature that she was—almost more in witnessing his distress than he did in the midst of it. At last Lettice ventured to say, that she thought it a great pity the general should continue to suffer this agony, which she felt assured must be positively dangerous, and modestly ventured to suggest that she should be allowed to undo the bandage and relieve the pressure.

"Dear me," said Mrs. Melwyn, in a harried, frightened way, "could you venture? Suppose you should do mischief; better wait, perhaps."

"Easily said, ma'am," cried the general. "It's not your arm that's aching as if it would drop from your body, that's plain. What's that you're saying, Miss Arnold?"

"If you could trust me to do it, I was saying; if you would give me leave, I would undo the bandage and endeavor to make it more comfortable. I am afraid that this pain and tight binding may bring on positive inflammation. I really should not be afraid to try; I have seen Mrs. Randall do it hundreds of times. There is no difficulty in it."

"Dear Lettice, how you talk!" said Mrs. Melwyn, as if she were afraid Randall was behind the door. "No difficulty! How could Randall bear to hear you say so?"

"I don't know, ma'am; perhaps she would contradict me. But I think at all events there is no difficulty that I could not manage."

"Well, then, for Heaven's sake, try, child!" cried the general; "for really the pain is as if all the dogs in Hockley were gnawing at it. Come along; do something, for the love of—"

He suffered Lettice to help him off with his coat, and to undo the bandage, which she accomplished very handily; and then observed that Mrs. Randall, in her haste to depart upon her visit, had bound up the wound in a most careless manner; and the irritation had already produced so serious an inflammation that she was quite alarmed, and suggested that the doctor should be sent for.

The general swore at the idea of the doctor, and yet more violently at that old hag Randall's confounded carelessness. Mrs. Melwyn looked miserable; she saw the case was bad, and yet she knew that to send for the doctor, and take it out of Randall's hands, would be an insult never to be forgiven.

But Lettice was steady. She was not quite ignorant in these matters, and she felt it her duty to be firm. She expostulated and remonstrated, and was just carrying her point when Mrs. Randall came home; and, having heard below how things were going on, hurried, uncalled for, into the dining-room.

She came in in a mighty pucker, as she would herself have called it, and began asking who had dared to open the wound and expose it to the air: and, seeing Miss Arnold preparing to apply a bread-and-water poultice, which she had made, fell into such a passion of rage and jealousy that she forgot herself so far as to snatch it from Lettice's hand, vowing, if any body was to be allowed to meddle with her arm, she would never touch it again so long as she lived.

Mrs. Melwyn turned pale, and began in her softest way,

"Now, really, Randall. Don't be angry, Randall—do listen, Randall. The bandage was too tight; I assure you, it was. We should not have thought of touching it else."

"What the devil, Randall, are you about to do now?" cried the general, as she took possession of the arm, in no gentle fashion.

"Bind it up again, to be sure, and keep that air out of it."

"But you hurt me confoundedly. Ah! it's more than I can bear. Don't touch it—it's as if it were on fire!"

"But it must be bound up, I say," going on without the least regard to the torture she was evidently putting him to.[Pg 177]

But Lettice interfered.

"Indeed, Mrs. Randall," she said, "I do not think that you seem to be aware of the state of inflammation that the arm is in. I assure you, you had better apply the bread-and-water poultice, and send for Mr. Lysons."

"You assure me. Much you know about the matter, I should fancy."

"I think I know this much. Dear Mrs. Melwyn! Dear general! It is more serious than you think. Pray, let me write for Mr. Lysons!"

"I do believe she's right, Randall, for the infernal torture you put me to is more than I can bear. Ach! Let it go, will you? Undo it! Undo it!"

But Mrs. Randall, unrelentingly, bound on.

"Have done, I say! Undo it! Will nobody undo it? Lettice Arnold, for Heaven's sake!" His face was bathed with the sweat of agony.

Randall persisted; Mrs. Melwyn stood pale, helpless, and aghast; but Lettice hastened forward, scissors in hand, cut the bandage, and liberated the tortured arm in a minute.

Mrs. Randall was in an awful rage. She forgot herself entirely; she had often forgotten herself before; but there was something in this, being done in the presence of a third person, of one so right-minded and spirited as Lettice, which made both the general and his wife view it in a new light. A sort of vail seemed to fall from before their eyes; and for the first time, they both seemed—and simultaneously—aware of the impropriety and the degradation of submitting to it.

"Randall! Randall!" remonstrated Mrs. Melwyn, still very gently, however; but it was a great step to remonstrate at all—but Randall was abusing Lettice most violently, and her master and mistress into the bargain, for being governed by such as her! "Randall! Randall! Don't—you forget yourself!"

But the general, who had been silent a second or two, at last broke forth, and roared,

"Have done with your infernal noise! won't you, you beldam! Here, Lettice, give me the poultice; put it on, and then write for Lysons, will you?"

In matters such as this, the first step is every thing. Mrs. Melwyn and her fiery partner had both been passive as a poor bewitched hen, we are told, is with a straw over her neck. Once shift her position and the incubus is gone.

The arrival of Mr. Lysons completed the victory. Mortification was upon the eve of setting in. The relief from the bandage, and the emollient poultice applied by Lettice, had in all probability saved the general's life.

Little Mrs. Randall cared for this demonstration of her mistaken treatment; she had been too long accustomed to triumph, to yield the field undisputed to a rival. She took refuge in sulky silence, and when Mr. Lysons was gone, desired to speak with Mrs. Melwyn.

The usual harangue was made. "As she could no longer give satisfaction—would Mrs. Melwyn please to provide herself in a month."

The blood run cold to Mrs. Melwyn's heart. What! Randall! Impossible! What should she do! What would the general do? What would become of the servants? Who would look after them? What could be done without the faithful Randall?

"Oh, Randall! you don't think of leaving me," she began.

I am not going to repeat the dialogue, which was much the same as that which usually ensues when the mistress entreats the maid to stay, thus putting herself into an irremediably false position. The result of such entreaties was the usual one. Randall, assured of victory, took the matter with a high hand, and, most luckily for all parties, refused to be mollified.

Then poor Mrs. Melwyn, in dismay and despair, returned to the drawing-room. She looked quite ill; she dared not tell the general what had happened—positively dared not. She resolved to make one other appeal to Randall first; to bribe her, as she had often done before, to bribe high—higher than ever. Any thing, rather than part with her.

But she was so nervous, so restless, so miserable, that Lettice observed it with much compassion, and came and sat by her, which was her way of comforting her friend when she saw she wanted comfort. Mrs. Melwyn took her hand, and held it between both hers, and looked as if she greatly wanted comfort, indeed.

The general, soon after this, rose to go to bed. It was earlier than his usual hour, for he was quite worn out with what he had suffered.

So he left the two ladies sitting over the fire, and then Mrs. Melwyn at last opened her heart, and disclosed to her friend the dismal tidings—the cause of her present misery—and related in detail the dreadful occurrence of Randall's resignation.

It was time, Lettice thought, to speak out, and she determined to venture upon it. She had long anxiously desired to emancipate the woman she loved with all the intensity of a child, from the fearful yoke under which she suffered: to dissolve the pernicious enchantment which surrounded her. She spoke, and she did so with so much gentleness, reason, firmness, good-nature; that Mrs. Melwyn yielded to the blessed influence. In short, it was that night determined that Randall's resignation, so far as Mrs. Melwyn was concerned, should be accepted. If that potentate chose to communicate her resolution herself to the general, it was well, and he must decide; otherwise Lettice would take upon herself to do this, and, unless he opposed the measure, Randall should go.

With little difficulty Lettice persuaded Mrs. Melwyn not to ring for Randall that night, saying that now she had resigned her position, her mistress had better allow herself to be put to bed by her friend. This was not a difficult task. That she should not meet Randall again[Pg 178] was what Mrs. Melwyn in her terror as much desired as Lettice did in her prudence. In short, the general, under the influence of Lettice's representations—she was beginning to gain great influence with him—consented to part with the maid; and Lettice had the inconceivable satisfaction of herself carrying to that personage her wages, and a handsome gratuity, and of seeing her that very morning quit the house, which was done with abundance of tears, and bitter lamentations over the ingratitude of mankind.

How the house felt after she was gone, those who have been visited with a domestic plague of this nature will understand. To those who have not, so great a result from so apparently insignificant a cause would be utterly unimaginable.

"And so they lived very happy ever afterward."

Well—don't stare—they really did.

A good genius was substituted for an evil one. Under her benign influence it is astonishing how smoothly and merrily things went on. The general was so comfortable that he very often forgot to be cross; Mrs. Melwyn, content with every thing, but her power of showing her love for Lettice—though she did this in every way she could think of.

And so I will leave this good, sensible, God-fearing girl for the present,

"blessing and blest in all she does,"

and tell you how Myra went to Mrs. Fisher, and something about that lady.

(To be continued.)

[From Guizot's Discourse on the English Revolution.]



George III. had been seated on the throne sixteen years, when, at fourteen hundred leagues from his capital, more than two millions of his subjects broke the ties which bound them to his throne, declared their independence, and undertook the foundation of the republic of the United States of America. After a contest of seven years, England was brought to recognize that independence, and to treat upon equal terms with the new state. Since that time sixty-seven years have elapsed, and, without any violent effort, without extraordinary events, by the mere development of their institutions and of the prosperity which is the natural attendant on peace, the United States have taken an honorable place among great nations. Never was so rapid an elevation, so little costly at its origin, nor so little troubled in its progress.

It is not merely to the absence of any powerful rival, or to the boundless space open to their population, that the United States of America have owed this singular good fortune. The rapidity and the serenity of their rise to greatness are not the result of such fortunate accidents alone, but are to be attributed in a great degree to moral causes.

They rose into existence as a state under the banner of right and justice. In their case, too, the revolution from which their history dates was an act of defense. They claimed guarantees and asserted principles which were inscribed in their charters, and which the English parliament itself, though it now refused them to its subjects, had formerly triumphantly claimed and asserted in the mother-country, with far greater violence and disorder than were occasioned by their resistance.

They did not, to speak strictly, attempt a revolution. Their enterprise was, no doubt, great and perilous. To achieve the conquest of their independence, they had to go through a war with a powerful enemy, and the construction of a central government in the place of the distant power whose yoke they threw off: but in their local institutions, and those which regarded the daily affairs of life, they had no revolution to make. Each of the colonies already enjoyed a free government as to its internal affairs, and when it became a state found little change necessary or desirable in the maxims and organization of power. There was no ancient order of things to fear, to hate, to destroy; the attachment to the ancient laws and manners, the affectionate reverence for the past, were, on the contrary, the general sentiments of the people. The colonial government under the patronage of a distant monarchy, was easily transformed into a republican government under a federation of states.

Of all the forms or modes of government, the republican is unquestionably that to which the general and spontaneous assent of the country is the most indispensable. It is possible to conceive of an absolute monarchy founded by violence, and indeed such have existed; but a republic forced upon a nation, popular government established contrary to the instinct and the wishes of a people—this is a spectacle revolting equally to common sense and to justice. The Anglo-American colonies, in their transition, into the republic of the United States, had no such difficulty to surmount; the Republic was the full and free choice of the people; and in adopting that form of government they did but accomplish the national wish, and develop instead of overturning their existing institutions.

Nor was the perturbation greater in social than in political order. There were no conflicts between different classes, no violent transfer of influence from one order of men to another. Though the crown of England had still partisans in the colonies, their attachment had nothing to do with their position in the scale of society; indeed the wealthy and important families were in general the most firmly resolved on the conquest of their independence and the foundation of a new system. Under their direction the people acted, and the event was accomplished. And if society underwent no revolution, so neither did men's minds. The philosophical ideas of the eighteenth century, its moral skepticism and its religious unbelief, had no doubt[Pg 179] penetrated into the United States, and had obtained some circulation there; but the minds to which they found entrance were not entirely carried away by them; they did not take root there with their fundamental principles and their ultimate consequences: the moral gravity and the practical good sense of the old Puritans survived in most of the admirers of the French philosophers in America. The mass of the population remained profoundly Christian, as warmly attached to its creed as to its liberties.

While they rebelled against the authority of the King and the Parliament of England, they were submissive to the will of God and the precepts of the Gospel, and while struggling for independence, they were governed by the same faith which had conducted their ancestors to this land, where they laid the foundations of what was now rising into a state.

The ideas and passions which now convulse and disorganize society under the name of democracy, have an extensive and powerful sway in the United States, and ferment there with all the contagious errors and destructive vices which they involve. But they have hitherto been controlled and purified by Christianity, by the excellent political traditions, and the strong habits of obedience to law, which, in the midst of liberty, govern the population. Though anarchical principles are boldly proclaimed on this vast theatre, principles of order and conservation maintain their ground, and exercise a solid and energetic influence both over society and over individual minds; their presence and their power are every where felt, even in the party which especially claims the name of democratic. They moderate its actions, and often save it, unknown to itself, from its own intemperance. It is to these tutelary principles, which presided over the origin of the American revolution, that it owes it success. May Heaven grant that in the formidable struggle which they have now to sustain on every side, they may continue to guide this powerful people, and may be always at hand to warn them in time of the abysses which lie so near their path!

Three great men, Cromwell, William III., and Washington, stand forth in history as the heads and representatives of those supreme crises which have determined the fate of two great nations. For extent and energy of natural talents, Cromwell is perhaps the most remarkable of the three. His mind was wonderfully prompt, firm, just, supple, and inventive, and he possessed a vigor of character which no obstacle could daunt, no conflict weary; he pursued his designs with an ardor as exhaustless as his patience, whether through the slowest and most tortuous ways, or the most abrupt and daring. He excelled equally in winning men, and in ruling them by personal and familiar intercourse; he displayed equal ability in leading an army or a party. He had the instinct of popularity and the gift of authority, and he let loose factions with as much audacity as he subdued them. But born in the midst of a revolution, and raised to sovereign power by a succession of violent shocks, his genius was, from first to last, essentially revolutionary; and though he was taught by experience the necessity of order and government, he was incapable of either respecting or practicing the moral and permanent laws on which alone government can rest. Whether it was the fault of his nature, or the vice of his position, he wanted regularity and calmness in the exercise of power; had instant recourse to extreme measures, like a man constantly in dread of mortal dangers, and, by the violence of his remedies, perpetuated or even aggravated the evils which he sought to cure. The establishment of a government is a work which requires a more regular course, and one more conformable to the eternal laws of moral order. Cromwell was able to subjugate the revolution he had so largely contributed to make, but he did not succeed in establishing any thing in the place of what he had destroyed.

Though less powerful than Cromwell by nature, William III., and Washington succeeded in the undertaking in which he failed; they fixed the destiny and founded the government of their country. Even in the midst of a revolution they never accepted nor practiced a revolutionary policy; they never placed themselves in that fatal situation in which a man first uses anarchical violence as a stepping-stone to power, and then despotic violence as a necessity entailed upon him by its possession. They were naturally placed, or they placed themselves, in the regular ways and under the permanent conditions of government. William was an ambitious prince. It is puerile to believe that, up to the moment of the appeal sent to him from London in 1688, he had been insensible to the desire of ascending the throne of England, or ignorant of the schemes long going on to raise him to it. William followed the progress of these schemes step by step; he accepted no share in the means, but he did not repel the end, and, without directly encouraging, he protected its authors. His ambition was ennobled by the greatness and justice of the cause to which it was attached—the cause of religious liberty and of the balance of power in Europe. Never did man make a vast political design more exclusively the thought and purpose of his life than William did. The work which he accomplished on the field or in the cabinet was his passion; his own aggrandizement was but the means to that end. Whatever were his views on the crown of England, he never attempted to realize them by violence and disorder. His mind was too well regulated not to know the incurable vice of such means, and too lofty to accept the yoke they impose. But when the career was opened to him by England herself, he did not suffer himself to be deterred from entering on it by the scruples of a private man; he wished his cause to triumph, and he wished to reap the honor of the triumph. Rare and glorious mixture of worldly ability and[Pg 180] Christian faith, of personal ambition and devotion to public ends!

Washington had no ambition; his country wanted him to serve her, and he became great rather from a sense of duty than from taste; sometimes even with a painful effort. The trials of his public life were bitter to him; he preferred independence and repose to the exercise of power. But he accepted, without hesitation, the task which his country imposed on him, and in fulfilling it did nothing to diminish its burden. Born to govern, though he had no delight in governing, he told the American people what he believed to be true, and persisted in doing what he thought wise, with a firmness as unshaken as it was simple, and a sacrifice of popularity the more meritorious as it was not compensated by the pleasures of domination. The servant of an infant republic, in which the democratic spirit prevailed, he won the confidence of the people by maintaining its interests in opposition to its inclinations. While founding a new government, he practiced that policy, at once modest and severe, measured and independent, which seems to belong only to the head of an aristocratic senate ruling over an ancient state. His success does equal honor to Washington and to his country.

Whether we consider the general destiny of nations, or the lives of the great men whom they have produced; whether we are treating of a monarchy or a republic, an aristocratic or a democratic society, we gather the same light from facts; we see that the same laws determine the ultimate success or failure of governments. The policy which preserves and maintains a state in its ancient security and customary order is also the only policy that can bring a revolution to a successful close, and give stability to the institutions whose lasting excellence may justify it to succeeding ages.


My father, whose manners were at once highbred and lively, had some great acquaintances; but I recollect none of them personally, except an old lady of quality, who (if memory does not strangely deceive me, and give me a personal share in what I only heard talked of; for old autobiographers of childhood must own themselves liable to such confusions) astounded me one day by letting her false teeth slip out, and clapping them in again.

I had no idea of the existence of such phenomena, and could almost as soon have expected her to take off her head and readjust it. She lived in Red Lion-square, a quarter in different estimation from what it is now. It was at her house, I believe, that my father one evening met Wilkes. He did not know him by sight, and happening to fall into conversation with him, while the latter sat looking down, he said something in Wilkes's disparagement, on which the jovial demagogue looked up in his face, and burst out a laughing.

I do not exactly know how people dressed at that time; but I believe that sacks, and negligées, and toupees were going out, and the pigtail and the simpler modern style of dress coming in. I recollect hearing my mother describe the misery of having her hair dressed two or three stories high, and of lying in it all night ready for some visit or spectacle next day. I think I also recollect seeing Wilkes himself in an old-fashioned flap-waistcoated suit of scarlet and gold; and I am sure I have seen Murphy, the dramatist, a good deal later, in a suit of a like fashion, though soberer, and a large cocked-hat. The cocked-hat in general survived till nearly the present century. It was superseded by the round one during the French Revolution. I remember our steward at school, a very solemn personage, making his appearance in one, to our astonishment, and not a little to the diminution of his dignity. Some years later, I saw Mr. Pitt in a blue coat, buckskin breeches and boots, and a round hat, with powder and pigtail. He was thin and gaunt, with his hat off his forehead, and his nose in the air. Much about the same time I saw his friend, the first Lord Liverpool, a respectable looking old gentleman, in a brown wig. Later still, I saw Mr. Fox, fat and jovial, though he was then declining. He, who had been a "beau" in his youth, then looked something quaker-like as to dress, with plain colored clothes, a broad round hat, white waistcoat, and, if I am not mistaken, white stockings. He was standing in Parliament-street, just where the street commences as you leave Whitehall; and was making two young gentlemen laugh heartily at something which he seemed to be relating.

My father once took me—but I can not say at what period of my juvenility—into both houses of Parliament. In the Commons, I saw Mr. Pitt sawing the air, and occasionally turning to appeal to those about him, while he spoke in a loud, important, and hollow voice. When the persons he appealed to, said "Hear! hear!" I thought they said "Dear! dear!" in objection; and I wondered that he did not seem in the least degree disconcerted. The house of Lords, I must say (without meaning disrespect to an assembly which must always have contained some of the most accomplished men in the country), surprised me with the personally insignificant look of its members. I had, to be sure, conceived exaggerated notions of the magnates of all countries; and perhaps might have expected to behold a set of conscript fathers; but in no respect, real or ideal, did they appear to me in their corporate aspect, like any thing which is understood by the word "noble." The Commons seemed to me to have the advantage; though they surprised me with lounging on the benches, and retaining their hats. I was not then informed enough to know the difference between apparent and substantial importance; much less aware of the positive exaltation, which that very simplicity, and that absence of pretension, gave to the most potent assembly in Europe.—Leigh Hunt's Autobiography.

[Pg 181]

[From Household Words.]


Within the precincts of that resort for foreigners and provincials in Paris, the Palais Royal, is situate the Rue du 24 Fevrier. This revolutionary name, given after the last outbreak, is still pronounced with difficulty by those who, of old, were wont to call it the Rue de Valois. People are becoming accustomed to call the royally named street by its revolutionary title, although it is probable that no one will ever succeed in calling the Palais Royal Palais National; the force of habit being in this instance too great to efface old recollections. Few foreigners have ever penetrated into the Rue de 24 Fevrier, though it forms one of the external galleries of the Palais Royal, and one may see there the smoky kitchens, dirty cooks, the night-side in fact, of the splendid restaurants, whose gilt fronts attract attention inside. Rubicund apples, splendid game, truffles, and ortolans, deck the one side; smoke, dirty plates, rags, and smutty saucepans may be seen on the other.

It is from an office in the Rue de 24 Fevrier, almost opposite the dark side of a gorgeous Palais Royal restaurant, that issue 40,000 copies of a daily print, entitled the "Constitutionnel."

Newspaper offices, be it remarked, are always to be found in odd holes and corners. To the mass in London, Printing-house square, or Lombard-street, Whitefriars, are mystical localities; yet they are the daily birth-places of that fourth estate which fulminates anathemas on all the follies and weaknesses of governments; and, without which, no one can feel free or independent. The "Constitutionnel" office is about as little known to the mass of its subscribers as either Printing-house square or Whitefriars.

There is always an old and respectable look about the interior of newspaper establishments, in whatever country you may find them. For rusty dinginess, perhaps, there is nothing to equal a London office, with its floors strewed with newspapers from all parts of the world, parliamentary reports, and its shelves creaking under books of all sorts, thumbed to the last extremity. Notwithstanding these appearances, however, there is discipline—there is real order in the apparent disorder of things. Those newspapers that are lying in heaps have to be accurately filed; those books of reference can be pounced upon when wanted, on the instant; and as to reports, the place of each is as well known as if all labeled and ticketed with the elaborate accuracy of a public library.

Not less rusty and not less disorderly is the appearance of a French newspaper office; but how different the aspect of things from what you see in England!

Over the office of the "Constitutionnel" is a dingy tricolor flag. A few broken steps lead to a pair of folding-doors. Inside is the sanctuary of the office, guarded by that flag as if by the honor of the country: for tricolor represents all Frenchmen, be he prince or proletarian.

You enter through a narrow passage flanked with wire cages, in which are confined for the day the clerks who take account of advertisements and subscriptions. Melancholy objects seem these caged birds, whose hands alone emerge at intervals through the pigeon-holes made for the purpose of taking in money and advertisements. The universal beard and mustache that ornament their chins, look, however, more unbusiness-like than are the men really. They are shrewd and knowing birds that are inclosed in these wire cages.

At publishing time, boys rushing in for papers, as in London offices, are not here to be seen. The reason of this is simple: French newspaper proprietors prefer doing their work themselves—they will have no middle men. They serve all their customers by quarterly, yearly, or half-yearly subscriptions. In every town in France there are subscription offices for this journal, as well, indeed, as for all great organs of the press generally. There are regular forms set up like registers at the post-office, and all of these are gathered at the periodical renewal of subscriptions to the central office. The period of renewal is every fortnight.

Passing still further up the narrow and dim passage, one sees a pigeon-hole, over which is written the word "Advertisements." This superscription is now supererogatory, for there no advertisements are received; that branch of the journal having been farmed out to a company at 350,000 fr. a year. This is a system which evidently saves a vast deal of trouble. The Advertising Company of Paris has secured almost a monopoly of announcements and puffs. It has bought up the last page of nearly every Paris journal which owns the patronage and confidence of the advertising public of the French capital. At the end of the same dark passages are the rooms specially used for the editors and writers. In France, journals are bought for their polemics, and not for their news: many of them have fallen considerably, however, from the high estate which they held in public opinion previous to the last revolution. There are men who wrote in them to advocate and enforce principles, but in the chopping and changing times that France lives in, it is not unusual to find the same men with different principles, interest, or gain, being the object of each change. This result of revolution might have been expected; and though it would be unfair to involve the whole press in a sweeping accusation, cases in point have been sufficiently numerous to cause a want of confidence in many quarters against the entire press.

The doings of newspaper editors are not catalogued in print at Paris, as in America; but their influence being more occult, is not the less powerful, and it is this feeling that leads people to pay more attention to this or that leading article than to mere news. The announcement of a treaty having been concluded[Pg 182] between certain powers of Europe, may not lower the funds; but if an influential journal expresses an opinion that certain dangers are to be apprehended from the treaty in question, the exchanges will be instantly affected. This is an instance among many that the French people are to be led in masses. Singly they have generally no ideas, either politically or commercially.

The importance of a journal being chiefly centered in that portion specially devoted to politics, the writers of which are supposed, right or wrong, to possess certain influences, it is not astonishing the editorial offices have few occupants. The editorial department of the "Constitutionnel" wears a homely appearance, but borrows importance from the influence that is wielded in it—writers decorated with the red ribbon are not unfrequently seen at work in it. In others, and especially in the editorial offices of some journals, may be seen, besides the pen, more offensive weapons, such as swords and pistols. This is another result of the personal system of journalism. As in America, the editor may find himself in the necessity of defending his arguments by arms. He is too notorious to be able to resort to the stratagem of a well-known wit, who kept a noted boxer in his front office to represent the editor in hostile encounters. He goes out, therefore, to fight a duel, on which sometimes depends not only his own fate, but that of his journal.

With regard to the personal power of a newspaper name, it is only necessary in order to show how frequently it still exists, to state that the provisional government of February, 1848, was concocted in a newspaper office, and the revolution of 1830 was carried on by the editors of a popular journal—that among the lower orders in France, at the present time, the names that are looked up to as those of chiefs, belong to newspaper editors, whose leading articles are read and listened to in cheap newspaper clubs, and whose "orders" are followed as punctually and as certainly as those of a general by his troops. A certain class of French politicians may be likened to sheep: they follow their "leaders."

The smallness of the number of officials in a French newspaper office is to be accounted for from the fact that parliamentary debates are transcribed on the spot where the speeches are made; and the reporting staff never stirs from the legislative assembly. The divers corps of reporters for Paris journals form a corporation, with its aldermen, or syndici, and other minor officers. Each reporter is relieved every two minutes; and while his colleagues are succeeding each other with the same rapidity, he transcribes the notes taken during his two minutes' "turn." The result of this revolving system is collated and arranged by a gentleman selected for the purpose. This mode of proceeding insures, if necessary, the most verbatim transmission of an important speech, and more equably divides the work, than does the English system, where each reporter takes notes for half or three quarters of an hour, and spends two or three hours, and sometimes four or five, to transcribe his notes. The French parliamentary reporter is not the dispassionate auditor which the English one is. He applauds or condemns the orators, cheers or hoots with all the vehemence of an excited partisan.

"Penny-a-liners" are unknown in Paris; the foreign and home intelligence being elaborated in general news' offices, independent of the newspapers. It is there that all the provincial journals are received, the news of the day gathered up, digested, and multiplied by means of lithography; which is found more efficacious than the stylet and oiled "flimsy" paper of our Penny-a-liners. It is from these latter places too, that the country journals, as well as many of the foreign press, the German, the Belgium, and the Spanish, are supplied with Paris news. England is a good market, as most of our newspapers are wealthy enough to have correspondents of their own.

My first visit to the "Constitutionnel" was in the day-time, and I caught the editor as he was looking over some of his proofs. Their curious appearance led me to ask how they were struck off, and, in order to satisfy me, he led the way up a dark stair, from which we entered upon the composing-rooms of the premises. These, in appearance, were like all other composing-rooms that I had seen; the forms, and cases for the type, were similar to those in London; the men themselves had that worn and pale look which characterizes the class to which they belong, and their pallor was not diminished by their wearing of the long beard and mustache. Their unbuttoned shirts and bare breasts, the short clay pipe, reminded me of the heroes of the barricades; indeed, I have every reason to know that these very compositors are generally foremost in revolutions; and though they often print ministerial articles, they are not sharers in the opinions which they help to spread. The head printer contracts for the printing, and chooses his men where he can find them best. As a body, these men were provident, I was told, and all subscribed to a fund for their poor, their orphans and widows; they form a sort of trade union, and have very strict regulations.

I found a most remarkable want of convenience in the working of the types. For instance, there were no galleys, or longtitudinal trays, on which to place the type when it was set up; but when a small quantity had been put together in column on a broad copper table, a string was passed round it to keep it together. Nor was there any hand-press for taking proofs; and here I found the explanation of the extraordinary appearance of the proofs I had seen below. For when I asked to have one struck off, the head printer placed a sheet of paper over the type, and with a great brush beat it in, giving the proof a sunken and embossed appearance, which it seemed to me would render correction exceedingly difficult. The French, it seems, care[Pg 183] not for improvement in this respect, any more than the Chinese, whom the brush has served in place of a printing-press for some three thousand years.

This journal has, as I have said, from 40,000 to 50,000 subscribers, in order to serve whom it was necessary that the presses should be at work as early as eleven o'clock at night. But there is no difficulty in doing this, where news not being the sine quà non of journalism, provincial and foreign intelligence is give as fresh, which in England would be considered much behind in time. But even when commencing business at the early hour above mentioned, I found that it had been necessary for the paper to be composed twice over, in order to save time; and thus two printers' establishments were required to bring out each number of the journal in sufficient time for the country circulation by early morning trains. The necessity for this double composition is still existing in most of the French newspaper offices, but had been obviated here lately, by the erection of a new printing-machine, which sufficed by the speed of its working to print the given number of copies necessary for satisfying the wants of each day.

Having seen through the premises, and witnessed all that was interesting in the day-time, I was politely requested to return in the evening, and see the remaining process of printing the paper and getting it ready to send out from the office.

Punctually at eleven o'clock I was in the Rue du 24 Fevrier. Passing through the offices which I had seen in the morning, I was led by a sort of guide down to some passages dimly lighted with lamps. To the right and to the left we turned, descending stone steps into the bowels of the earth as it seemed to me; the walls oozing with slimy damp in some parts; dry and saltpetry in others. A bundle of keys, which were jingling in my guide's hand, made noises which reminded me of the description of prisoners going down into the Bastile or Tower. At another moment a sound of voices in the distance, reminded me of a scene of desperate coiners in a cellar.

These sounds grew louder, as we soon entered a vast stone cellar, in which rudely dressed men, half-naked as to their breasts and arms, were to be seen flitting to and fro at the command of a superior; their long beards and grimy faces, their short pipes and dirty appearance, made them look more like devils than men, and I bethought me that here, at last, I had found that real animal—the printer's devil.

There were two or three printing-presses in the room, only one of which was going. Its rolling sound was like thunder in the cave, in which we stood. As paper after paper flew out from the sides of this creaking press, they were carried to a long table and piled up in heaps.

Presently some of the stoutest men shouldered a mass of those, and my conducter and myself following them, we entered a passage which led to another cellar, contiguous to that in which the papers were printed. There, sitting round a number of tables, were several young women. These women seized upon a portion of the papers brought in, and with an amazing rapidity folded them into a small compass. In a few minutes all the papers I had seen printed were folded and numbered off by dozens. Then comes another operation: a man came round and deposited before each woman a bundle of little paper slips, which I found to be the addresses of the subscribers. The women placed the labels and the paste on one side, and commenced operations. A bundle of papers, folded, was placed before each; the forefinger, dipped in the paste, immediately touched the paper and the label simultaneously, and the "Constitutionnel" flew out with a speed perfectly astonishing from the hands of these women, ready to be distributed in down or country. They were then finishing the labeling of the papers for Paris circulation; 20,000 copies scarcely sufficing for the supply.

This was the concluding sight in my visit to a Paris Newspaper-Office.




His languid eyes are closing,
On the pale, placid cheek,
The lashes dark reposing,
So wearily, so weak.
He gasps with failing breath,
A faint and feeble strife with death;
Fainter and fainter still—'tis past.
That one soft sigh—the last.
Thy watching and thy fearing,
Mother, is over now;
The seal of death is bearing
That pale but angel brow,
And now in the deep calm
That follows days of wild alarm,
Thy heart sinks down, and weeps, and weeps,
O'er him who silent sleeps.
Oh, Mother, hush thy crying,
The ill of life is o'er,
E'en now his wings are flying
Unto a happy shore;
Those wings of stainless white
Unfolded ne'er to earthly sight,
He spreads them now, they bear him high
Unto the angel company.
From sight of evil shrinking,
From thought of grief like thine
At the first summons sinking
Into the arms divine.
Oh! thou who knowest life,
Temptation, trial, toil and strife,
Wilt thou not still thine aching breast
To bless his early rest?

[Pg 184]

[From the Autobiography of Leigh Hunt.]



Just after this period I fell in with a new set of acquaintances, accounts of whom may not be uninteresting. I forget what it was that introduced me to Mr. Hill, proprietor of the Monthly Mirror; but at his house at Sydenham I used to meet his editor, Du Bois; Thomas Campbell, who was his neighbor; and the two Smiths, authors of The Rejected Addresses. I saw also Theodore Hook, and Mathews, the comedian. Our host was a jovial bachelor, plump and rosy as an abbot; and no abbot could have presided over a more festive Sunday. The wine flowed merrily and long; the discourse kept pace with it; and next morning, in returning to town, we felt ourselves very thirsty. A pump by the road-side, with a plash round it, was a bewitching sight.

They who knew Mr. Campbell only as the author of Gertrude of Wyoming, and the Pleasures of Hope, would not have suspected him to be a merry companion, overflowing with humor and anecdote, and any thing but fastidious. These Scotch poets have always something in reserve. It is the only point in which the major part of them resemble their countrymen. The mistaken character which the lady formed of Thomson from his Seasons is well known. He let part of the secret out in his Castle of Indolence; and the more he let out, the more honor it did to the simplicity and cordiality of the poet's nature, though not always to the elegance of it. Allan Ramsay knew his friends Gay and Somerville as well in their writings, as he did when he came to be personally acquainted with them; but Allan, who had bustled up from a barber's shop into a bookseller's, was "a cunning shaver;" and nobody would have guessed the author of the Gentle Shepherd to be penurious. Let none suppose that any insinuation to that effect is intended against Campbell. He was one of the few men whom I could at any time have walked half a dozen miles through the snow to spend an evening with; and I could no more do this with a penurious man than I could with a sulky one. I know but of one fault he had, besides an extreme cautiousness in his writings, and that one was national, a matter of words, and amply overpaid by a stream of conversation, lively, piquant, and liberal, not the less interesting for occasionally betraying an intimacy with pain, and for a high and somewhat strained tone of voice, like a man speaking with suspended breath, and in the habit of subduing his feelings. No man felt more kindly toward his fellow-creatures, or took less credit for it. When he indulged in doubt and sarcasm, and spoke contemptuously of things in general, he did it, partly, no doubt, out of actual dissatisfaction, but more perhaps than he suspected, out of a fear of being thought weak and sensitive; which is a blind that the best men very commonly practice. He professed to be hopeless and sarcastic, and took pains all the while to set up a university (the London).

When I first saw this eminent person, he gave me the idea of a French Virgil. Not that he was like a Frenchman, much less the French translator of Virgil. I found him as handsome, as the Abbé Delille is said to have been ugly. But he seemed to me to embody a Frenchman's ideal notion of the Latin poet; something a little more cut and dry than I had looked for; compact and elegant, critical and acute, with a consciousness of authorship upon him; a taste over-anxious not to commit itself, and refining and diminishing nature as in a drawing-room mirror. This fancy was strengthened in the course of conversation, by his expatiating on the greatness of Racine. I think he had a volume of the French poet in his hand. His skull was sharply cut and fine; with plenty, according to the phrenologists, both of the reflective and amative organs: and his poetry will bear them out. For a lettered solitude, and a bridal properly got up, both according to law and luxury, commend us to the lovely Gertrude of Wyoming. His face and person were rather on a small scale; his features regular; his eye lively and penetrating; and when he spoke, dimples played about his mouth; which, nevertheless, had something restrained and close in it. Some gentle puritan seemed to have crossed the breed, and to have left a stamp on his face, such as we often see in the female Scotch face rather than the male. But he appeared not at all grateful for this; and when his critics and his Virgilianism were over, very unlike a puritan he talked! He seemed to spite his restrictions; and, out of the natural largeness of his sympathy with things high and low, to break at once out of Delille's Virgil into Cotton's, like a boy let loose from school. When I had the pleasure of hearing him afterward, I forgot his Virgilianisms, and thought only of the delightful companion, the unaffected philanthropist, and the creator of a beauty worth all the heroines in Racine.

Campbell tasted pretty sharply of the good and ill of the present state of society, and, for a bookman, had beheld strange sights. He witnessed a battle in Germany from the top of a convent (on which battle he has left us a noble ode); and he saw the French cavalry enter a town, wiping their bloody swords on the horses' manes. He was in Germany a second time—I believe to purchase books; for in addition to his classical scholarship, and his other languages, he was a reader of German. The readers there, among whom he is popular, both for his poetry and his love of freedom, crowded about him with affectionate zeal; and they gave him, what he did not dislike, a good dinner. Like many of the great men in Germany, Schiller, Wieland, and others, he did not scruple to become editor of a magazine; and his name alone gave it a recommendation of the greatest value, and such as made it a grace to write under him.[Pg 185]

I remember, one day at Sydenham, Mr. Theodore Hook coming in unexpectedly to dinner, and amusing us very much with his talent at extempore verse. He was then a youth, tall, dark, and of a good person, with small eyes, and features more round than weak; a face that had character and humor, but no refinement. His extempore verses were really surprising. It is easy enough to extemporize in Italian—one only wonders how, in a language in which every thing conspires to render verse-making easy, and it is difficult to avoid rhyming, this talent should be so much cried up—but in English it is another matter. I have known but one other person besides Hook, who could extemporize in English; and he wanted the confidence to do it in public. Of course, I speak of rhyming. Extempore blank verse, with a little practice, would be found as easy in English as rhyming is in Italian. In Hook the faculty was very unequivocal. He could not have been aware of all the visitors, still less of the subject of conversation when he came in, and he talked his full share till called upon; yet he ran his jokes and his verses upon us all in the easiest manner, saying something characteristic of every body, or avoiding it with a pun; and he introduced so agreeably a piece of village scandal upon which the party had been rallying Campbell, that the poet, though not unjealous of his dignity, was, perhaps, the most pleased of us all. Theodore afterward sat down to the pianoforte, and enlarging upon this subject, made an extempore parody of a modern opera, introducing sailors and their clap-traps, rustics, &c., and making the poet and his supposed flame, the hero and heroine. He parodied music as well as words, giving us the most received cadences and flourishes, and calling to mind (not without some hazard to his filial duties) the commonplaces of the pastoral songs and duets of the last half century; so that if Mr. Dignum, the Damon of Vauxhall, had been present, he would have doubted whether to take it as an affront or a compliment. Campbell certainly took the theme of the parody as a compliment; for having drank a little more wine than usual that evening, and happening to wear a wig on account of having lost his hair by a fever, he suddenly took off the wig, and dashed it at the head of the performer, exclaiming, "You dog! I'll throw my laurels at you."

Mathews, the comedian, I had the pleasure of seeing at Mr. Hill's several times, and of witnessing his imitations, which, admirable as they were on the stage, were still more so in private. His wife occasionally came with him, with her handsome eyes, and charitably made tea for us. Many years afterward I had the pleasure of seeing them at their own table; and I thought that while Time, with unusual courtesy, had spared the sweet countenance of the lady, he had given more force and interest to that of the husband in the very plowing of it up. Strong lines had been cut, and the face stood them well. I had seldom been more surprised than on coming close to Mathews on that occasion, and seeing the bust which he possessed in his gallery of his friend Liston. Some of these comic actors, like comic writers, are as unfarcical as can be imagined in their interior. The taste for humor comes to them by the force of contrast. The last time I had seen Mathews, his face appeared to me insignificant to what it was then. On the former occasion he looked like an irritable in-door pet: on the latter, he seemed to have been grappling with the world, and to have got vigor by it. His face had looked out upon the Atlantic, and said to the old waves, "Buffet on; I have seen trouble as well as you." The paralytic affection, or whatever it was, that twisted his mouth when young, had formerly appeared to be master of his face, and given it a character of indecision and alarm. It now seemed a minor thing; a twist in a piece of old oak. And what a bust was Liston's! The mouth and chin, with the throat under it, hung like an old bag; but the upper part of the head was as fine as possible. There was a speculation, a lookout, and even an elevation of character in it, as unlike the Liston on the stage, as Lear is to King Pippin. One might imagine Laberius to have had such a face.

The reasons why Mathews's imitations were still better in private than in public were, that he was more at his ease personally, more secure of his audience ("fit though few"), and able to interest them with traits of private character, which could not have been introduced on the stage. He gave, for instance, to persons who he thought could take it rightly, a picture of the manners and conversation of Sir Walter Scott, highly creditable to that celebrated person, and calculated to add regard to admiration. His commonest imitations were not superficial. Something of the mind and character of the individual was always insinuated, often with a dramatic dressing, and plenty of sauce piquante. At Sydenham he used to give us a dialogue among the actors, each of whom found fault with another for some defect or excess of his own. Kemble objecting to stiffness, Munden to grimace, and so on. His representation of Incledon was extraordinary: his nose seemed actually to become aquiline. It is a pity I can not put upon paper, as represented by Mr. Mathews, the singular gabblings of that actor, the lax and sailor-like twist of mind, with which every thing hung upon him; and his profane pieties in quoting the Bible; for which, and swearing, he seemed to have an equal reverence.

One morning, after stopping all night at this pleasant house, I was getting up to breakfast, when I heard the noise of a little boy having his face washed. Our host was a merry bachelor, and to the rosiness of a priest might, for aught I knew, have added the paternity; but I had never heard of it, and still less expected to find a child in his house. More obvious and obstreperous proofs, however, of the existence of a boy with a dirty face, could not have been met with. You heard the child crying and objecting;[Pg 186] then the woman remonstrating; then the cries of the child snubbed and swallowed up in the hard towel; and at intervals out came his voice bubbling and deploring, and was again swallowed up. At breakfast, the child being pitied, I ventured to speak about it, and was laughing and sympathizing in perfect good faith, when Mathews came in, and I found that the little urchin was he.

Of James Smith, a fair, stout, fresh-colored man, with round features, I recollect little, except that he used to read to us trim verses, with rhymes as pat as butter. The best of his verses are in the Rejected Addresses; and they are excellent. Isaac Hawkins Browne with his Pipe of Tobacco, and all the rhyming jeux-d'esprit in all the Tracts, are extinguished in the comparison; not excepting the Probationary Odes. Mr. Fitzgerald found himself bankrupt in non sequiturs; Crabbe could hardly have known which was which, himself or his parodist; and Lord Byron confessed to me, that the summing up of his philosophy, to wit, that

"Naught is every thing, and every thing is naught,"

was very posing. Mr. Smith would sometimes repeat after dinner, with his brother Horace, an imaginary dialogue, stuffed full of incongruities, that made us roll with laughter. His ordinary verse and prose were too full of the ridicule of city pretensions. To be superior to any thing, it should not always be running in one's head.

His brother Horace was delicious. Lord Byron used to say, that this epithet should be applied only to eatables; and that he wondered a friend of his (I forget who) that was critical in matters of eating, should use it in any other sense. I know not what the present usage may be in the circles, but classical authority is against his lordship, from Cicero downward; and I am content with the modern warrant of another noble wit, the famous Lord Peterborough, who, in his fine, open way, said of Fenelon, that he was such a "delicious creature, he was forced to get away from him, else he would have made him pious!" I grant there is something in the word delicious which may be said to comprise a reference to every species of pleasant taste. It is at once a quintessence and a compound; and a friend, to deserve the epithet, ought, perhaps, to be capable of delighting us as much over our wine, as on graver occasions. Fenelon himself could do this, with all his piety; or rather he could do it because his piety was of the true sort, and relished of every thing that was sweet and affectionate. A finer nature than Horace Smith's, except in the single instance of Shelley, I never met with in man; nor even in that instance, all circumstances considered, have I a right to say that those who knew him as intimately as I did the other, would not have had the same reasons to love him. Shelley himself had the highest regard for Horace Smith, as may be seen by the following verses, the initials in which the reader has here the pleasure of filling up:

"Wit and sense,
Virtue and human knowledge, all that might
Make this dull world a business of delight,
Are all combined in H. S."

Horace Smith differed with Shelley on some points; but on others, which all the world agree to praise highly, and to practice very little, he agreed so entirely, and showed unequivocally that he did agree, that, with the exception of one person (Vincent Novello), too diffident to gain such an honor from his friends, they were the only two men I had then met with, from whom I could have received and did receive advice or remonstrance with perfect comfort, because I could be sure of the unmixed motives and entire absence of self-reflection, with which it would come from them. Shelley said to me once, "I know not what Horace Smith must take me for sometimes: I am afraid he must think me a strange fellow: but is it not odd, that the only truly generous person I ever knew, who had money to be generous with, should be a stockbroker! And he writes poetry, too," continued Shelley, his voice rising in a fervor of astonishment; "he writes poetry and pastoral dramas, and yet knows how to make money, and does make it, and is still generous!" Shelley had reason to like him. Horace Smith was one of the few men, who, through a cloud of detraction, and through all that difference of conduct from the rest of the world, which naturally excites obloquy, discerned the greatness of my friend's character. Indeed, he became a witness to a very unequivocal proof of it, which I shall mention by-and-by. The mutual esteem was accordingly very great, and arose from circumstances most honorable to both parties. "I believe," said Shelley on another occasion, "that I have only to say to Horace Smith that I want a hundred pounds or two, and he would send it me without any eye to its being returned; such faith has he that I have something within me, beyond what the world supposes, and that I could only ask his money for a good purpose." And Shelley would have sent for it accordingly, if the person for whom it was intended had not said Nay. I will now mention the circumstance which first gave my friend a regard for Horace Smith. It concerns the person just mentioned, who is a man of letters. It came to Mr. Smith's knowledge, many years ago, that this person was suffering under a pecuniary trouble. He knew little of him at the time, but had met him occasionally; and he availed himself of this circumstance to write him a letter as full of delicacy and cordiality as it could hold, making it a matter of grace to accept a bank-note of £100 which he inclosed. I speak on the best authority, that of the obliged person himself; who adds that he not only did accept the money, but felt as light and happy under the obligation, as he has felt miserable under the very report of being obliged to some; and he says, that nothing could induce him to withhold his name, but a reason, which the generous, during his lifetime, would think becoming.[Pg 187]

I have said that Horace Smith was a stockbroker. He left business with a fortune, and went to live in France, where, if he did not increase, he did not seriously diminish it; and France added to the pleasant stock of his knowledge.

On returning to England, he set about exerting himself in a manner equally creditable to his talents and interesting to the public. I would not insult either the modesty or the understanding of my friend while he was alive, by comparing him with the author of Old Mortality and Guy Mannering: but I ventured to say, and I repeat, that the earliest of his novels, Brambletye House, ran a hard race with the novel of Woodstock, and that it contained more than one character not unworthy of the best volumes of Sir Walter. I allude to the ghastly troubles of the Regicide in his lone house; the outward phlegm and merry inward malice of Winky Boss (a happy name), who gravely smoked a pipe with his mouth, and laughed with his eyes; and, above all, to the character of the princely Dutch merchant, who would cry out that he should be ruined, at seeing a few nutmegs dropped from a bag, and then go and give a thousand ducats for an antique. This is hitting the high mercantile character to a niceity—minute and careful in its means, princely in its ends. If the ultimate effect of commerce (permulti transibunt, &c.) were not something very different from what its pursuers imagine, the character would be a dangerous one to society at large, because it throws a gloss over the spirit of money-getting; but, meanwhile, nobody could paint it better, or has a greater right to recommend it, than he who has been the first to make it a handsome portrait.

The personal appearance of Horace Smith, like that of most of the individuals I have met with, was highly indicative of his character. His figure was good and manly, inclining to the robust; and his countenance extremely frank and cordial; sweet without weakness. I have been told he was irascible. If so, it must have been no common offense that could have irritated him. He had not a jot of it in his appearance.

Another set of acquaintances which I made at this time used to assemble at the hospitable table of Mr. Hunter, the bookseller, in St. Paul's Church-yard. They were the survivors of the literary party that were accustomed to dine with his predecessor, Mr. Johnson. They came, as of old, on the Friday. The most regular were Fuseli and Bonnycastle. Now and then, Godwin was present: oftener Mr. Kinnaird the magistrate, a great lover of Horace.

Fuseli was a small man, with energetic features, and a white head of hair. Our host's daughter, then a little girl, used to call him the white-headed lion. He combed his hair up from the forehead; and, as his whiskers were large, his face was set in a kind of hairy frame, which, in addition to the fierceness of his look, really gave him an aspect of that sort. Otherwise, his features were rather sharp than round. He would have looked much like an old military officer, if his face, besides its real energy, had not affected more. There was the same defect in it as in his pictures. Conscious of not having all the strength he wished, he endeavored to make out for it by violence and pretension. He carried this so far, as to look fiercer than usual when he sat for his picture. His friend and engraver, Mr. Houghton, drew an admirable likeness of him in this state of dignified extravagance. He is sitting back in his chair, leaning on his hand, but looking ready to pounce withal. His notion of repose was like that of Pistol:

"Now, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap."

Agreeably to this over-wrought manner, he was reckoned, I believe, not quite so bold as he might have been. He painted horrible pictures, as children tell horrible stories; and was frightened at his own lay-figures. Yet he would hardly have talked as he did about his terrors, had he been as timid as some supposed him. With the affected, impression is the main thing, let it be produced how it may. A student of the Academy told me, that Mr. Fuseli coming in one night, when a solitary candle had been put on the floor in a corner of the room, to produce some effect or other, he said it looked "like a damned soul." This was by way of being Dantesque, as Michael Angelo was. Fuseli was an ingenious caricaturist of that master, making great bodily displays of mental energy, and being ostentatious with his limbs and muscles, in proportion as he could not draw them. A leg or an arm was to be thrust down one's throat, because he knew we should dispute the truth of it. In the indulgence of this willfulness of purpose, generated partly by impatience of study, partly by want of sufficient genius, and, no doubt, also by a sense of superiority to artists who could do nothing but draw correctly, he cared for no time, place, or circumstance, in his pictures. A set of prints, after his designs, for Shakspeare and Cowper, exhibit a chaos of mingled genius and absurdity, such as, perhaps, was never before seen. He endeavored to bring Michael Angelo's apostles and prophets, with their superhuman ponderousness of intention, into the common-places of modern life. A student reading in a garden, is all over intensity of muscle; and the quiet tea-table scene in Cowper, he has turned into a preposterous conspiracy of huge men and women, all bent on showing their thews and postures, with dresses as fantastical as their minds. One gentleman, of the existence of whose trowsers you are not aware till you see the terminating line at the ankle, is sitting and looking grim on a sofa, with his hat on and no waistcoat. Yet there is real genius in his designs for Milton, though disturbed, as usual, by strainings after the energetic. His most extraordinary mistake, after all, is said to have been on the subject of his coloring. It was a sort of livid green, like brass diseased. Yet they say, that when praised for one of his pictures, he would modestly observe,[Pg 188] "It is a pretty color." This might have been thought a jest on his part, if remarkable stories were not told of the mistakes made by other people with regard to color. Sight seems the least agreed upon, of all the senses.

Fuseli was lively and interesting in conversation, but not without his usual faults of violence and pretension. Nor was he always as decorous as an old man ought to be; especially one whose turn of mind is not of the lighter and more pleasurable cast. The licenses he took were coarse, and had not sufficient regard to his company. Certainly they went a great deal beyond his friend Armstrong; to whose account, I believe, Fuseli's passion for swearing was laid. The poet condescended to be a great swearer, and Fuseli thought it energetic to swear like him. His friendship with Bonnycastle had something child-like and agreeable in it. They came and went away together, for years, like a couple of old schoolboys. They, also, like boys, rallied one another, and sometimes made a singular display of it—Fuseli, at least, for it was he that was the aggressor.

Bonnycastle was a good fellow. He was a tall, gaunt, long-headed man, with large features and spectacles, and a deep, internal voice, with a twang of rusticity in it; and he goggled over his plate, like a horse. I often thought that a bag of corn would have hung well on him. His laugh was equine, and showed his teeth upward at the sides. Wordsworth, who notices similar mysterious manifestations on the part of donkeys, would have thought it ominous. Bonnycastle was passionately fond of quoting Shakspeare, and telling stories; and if the Edinburgh Review had just come out, would give us all the jokes in it. He had once an hypochondriacal disorder of long duration; and he told us, that he should never forget the comfortable sensation given him one night during this disorder, by his knocking a landlord, that was insolent to him, down the man's staircase. On the strength of this piece of energy (having first ascertained that the offender was not killed) he went to bed, and had a sleep of unusual soundness. Perhaps Bonnycastle thought more highly of his talents than the amount of them strictly warranted; a mistake to which scientific men appear to be more liable than others, the universe they work in being so large, and their universality (in Bacon's sense of the word) being often so small. But the delusion was not only pardonable, but desirable, in a man so zealous in the performance of his duties, and so much of a human being to all about him, as Bonnycastle was. It was delightful one day to hear him speak with complacency of a translation which had appeared of one of his books in Arabic, and which began by saying, on the part of the translator, that "it had pleased God, for the advancement of human knowledge, to raise us up a Bonnycastle." Some of his stories were a little romantic, and no less authentic. He had an anecdote of a Scotchman, who boasted of being descended from the Admirable Crichton; in proof of which, the Scotchman said he had "a grit quantity of table-leenen in his possassion, marked A. C., Admirable Creechton."

Kinnaird, the magistrate, was a stout, sanguine man, under the middle height, with a fine, lamping black eye, lively to the last, and a person that "had increased, was increasing, and ought to have been diminished;" which is by no means what he thought of the prerogative. Next to his bottle he was fond of his Horace; and, in the intervals of business at the police-office, would enjoy both in his arm-chair. Between the vulgar calls of this kind of magistracy, and the perusal of the urbane Horace, there must have been a gusto of contradiction, which the bottle, perhaps, was required to render quite palatable. Fielding did not love his bottle the less for being obliged to lecture the drunken. Nor did his son, who succeeded him in taste and office. I know not how a former poet-laureat, Mr. Pye, managed; another man of letters who was fain to accept a situation of this kind. Having been a man of fortune and a member of Parliament, and loving his Horace to boot, he could hardly have done without his wine. I saw him once in a state of scornful indignation at being interrupted in the perusal of a manuscript by the monitions of his police-officers, who were obliged to remind him, over and over again, that he was a magistrate, and that the criminal multitude were in waiting. Every time the door opened, he threatened and he implored

"Otium divos rogat in patenti

Had you quoted this to Mr. Kinnaird, his eyes would have sparkled with good-fellowship: he would have finished the verse and the bottle with you, and proceeded to as many more as your head could stand. Poor fellow, the last time I saw him, he was an apparition formidably substantial. The door of our host's dining-room opened without my hearing it, and, happening to turn round, I saw a figure in a great coat literally almost as broad as it was long, and scarcely able to articulate. He was dying of a dropsy, and was obliged to revive himself, before he was fit to converse, by the wine that was killing him. But he had cares besides, and cares of no ordinary description; and, for my part, I will not blame even his wine for killing him, unless his cares could have done it more agreeably. After dinner that day, he was comparatively himself again, quoted his Horace as usual, talked of lords and courts with a relish, and begged that God save the King might be played to him on the piano-forte; to which he listened, as if his soul had taken its hat off. I believe he would have liked to die to God save the King, and to have "waked and found those visions true."

[Pg 189]

[From Colburn's New Monthly Magazine.]



The main object of this poem is to impress the beautiful and animating fact, that the greatest visible agent in our universe, the Sun, is also one of the most beneficent; and thus to lead to the inference, that spiritual greatness and goodness are in like proportion, and its Maker beneficence itself, through whatever apparent inconsistencies he may work. The Sun is at once the greatest Might and Right that we behold.

A secondary intention of the poem is to admonish the carelessness with which people in general regard the divinest wonders of the creation, in consequence of being used to their society—this great and glorious mystery, the Sun, not excepted. "Familiarity," it is said, "breeds contempt." To which somebody emphatically added, "With the contemptible." I am far from meaning to say that all who behold the Sun with too little thought are contemptible. Habit does strange things, even with the most reflecting. But of this I am sure, that in proportion as any body wishes to prove himself worthy of his familiarity with great objects, he will not be sorry to be reminded of their greatness, especially as reverence need not diminish delight; for a heavenly "Father" can no more desire the admiration of him to be oppressive to us, than an earthly one; else fatherliness would be unfatherly, and sunshine itself a gloom.

When the Florentines crowded to some lectures of Galileo, because they were on a comet which had just made its appearance, the philosopher was bold enough to rebuke them for showing such a childish desire to hear him on this particular subject, when they were in the habit of neglecting the marvels of creation which daily presented themselves to their eyes.


Presence divine! Great lord of this our sphere!
Bringer of light, and life, and joy, and beauty—
God midst a million gods, that far and near
Hold each his orbs in rounds of rapturous duty;[A]
Oh, never may I, while I lift this brow,
Believe in any god less like a god than thou.
Thou art the mightiest of all things we see,
And thou, the mightiest, art among the kindest;
The planets, dreadfully and easily,
About thee, as in sacred sport, thou windest;
And thine illustrious hands, for all that power,
Light soft on the babe's cheek, and nurse the budding flower.
They say that in thine orb is movement dire,
Tempest and flame, as on a million oceans:
Well may it be, thou heart of heavenly fire;
Such looks and smiles befit a god's emotions,
We know thee gentle in the midst of all,
By those smooth orbs in heaven, this sweet fruit on the wall.
I feel thee, here, myself, soft on my hand;
Around me is thy mute, celestial presence,
Reverence and awe would make me fear to stand
Within thy beam, were not all Good its essence:
Were not all Good its essence, and from thence
All good, glad heart deriv'd, and child-like confidence.
I know that there is Fear, and Grief, and Pain,
Strange foes, though stranger guardian friends of Pleasure:
I know that poor men lose, and rich men gain,
Though oft th' unseen adjusts the seeming measure;
I know that Guile may teach, while Truth must bow,
Or bear contempt and shame on his benignant brow.
But while thou sit'st, mightier than all, O Sun,
And e'en when sharpest felt, still throned in kindness.
I see that greatest and that best are one,
And that all else works tow'rd it, though in blindness
Evil I see, and Fear, and Grief, and Pain,
Work under Good, their lord, embodied in thy reign.
I see the molten gold darkly refine
O'er the great sea of human joy and sorrow,
I bear the deep voice of a grief divine
Calling sweet notes to some diviner morrow,
And though I know not how the two may part,
I feel thy rays, O Sun, write it upon my heart.
Upon my heart thou writest it, as thou,
Heart of these worlds, art writ on by a greater:
Beam'd on with love from some still mightier brow,
Perhaps by that which waits some new relater;
Some amaz'd man, who sees new splendors driven
Thick round a Sun of suns, and fears he looks at heaven.[B]
'Tis easy for vain man, Time's growing child,
To dare pronounce on thy material seeming:
Heav'n, for its own good ends, is mute and mild
To many a wrong of man's presumptuous dreaming.
Matter, or mind, of either, what knows he?
Or how with more than both thine orb divine may be!
Art thou a god, indeed? or thyself heaven?
And do we taste thee here in light and flowers?
Art thou the first sweet place, where hearts, made even,
Sing tender songs in earth-remembering bowers?
Enough, my soul. Enough through thee, O Sun,
To learn the sure good song—Greatest and Best are one.
Enough for man to work, to hope, to love,
Copying thy zeal untir'd, thy smile unscorning:
Glad to see gods thick as the stars above,
Bright with the God of gods' eternal morning;
Round about whom perchance endless they go,
Ripening their earths to heavens, as love and wisdom grow.


[A] Rapturous—transporting, carrying away. The reader can take the word either in its spiritual or material sense, or both; according as he agrees or disagrees with Keppler and others respecting the nature of the planetary bodies.

[B] Alluding to a central sun; that is to say, a sun governing other suns, which is supposed to exist in the Constellation Hercules.

[Pg 190]

[From Household Words.]



Traveling in the Bush one rainy season, I put up for the night at a small, weather-bound inn, perched half way up a mountain range, where several Bush servants on the tramp had also taken refuge from the down-pouring torrents. I had had a long and fatiguing ride over a very bad country, so, after supper, retired into the furthest corner of the one room, that served for "kitchen, and parlor, and all," and there, curled up in my blanket, in preference to the bed offered by our host, which was none of the cleanest; with half shut eyes, I glumly puffed at my pipe in silence, allowing the hubble-bubble of the Bushmen's gossip to flow through my unnoting ears.

Fortunately for my peace, the publican's stock of rum had been some time exhausted, and as I was the latest comer, all the broiling and frying had ceased, but a party sat round the fire, evidently set in for a spell at "yarning." At first the conversation ran in ordinary channels, such as short reminiscences of old world rascality, perils in the Bush. Till at length a topic arose which seemed to have a paramount interest for all. This was the prowess of a certain Two-handed Dick the Stockman.

"Yes, yes; I'll tell you what it is, mates," said one; "this confounded reading and writing, that don't give plain fellows like you and me a chance; now if it were to come to fighting for a living, I don't care whether it was half-minute time and London rules, rough and tumble, or single stick, or swords and bayonets, or tomahawks—I'm dashed if you and me, and Two-handed Dick, wouldn't take the whole Legislative Council, the Governor and Judges—one down t'other come on. Though, to be sure, Dick could thrash any two of us."

I was too tired to keep awake, and dozed off, to be again and again disturbed with cries of "Bravo, Dick!" "That's your sort!" "Houray, Dick!" all signifying approval of that individual's conduct in some desperate encounter, which formed the subject of a stirring narrative.

For months after that night this idea of Two-handed Dick haunted me, but the bustle of establishing a new station at length drove it out of my head.

I suppose a year had elapsed from the night when the fame of the double-fisted stockman first reached me. I had to take a three days' journey to buy a score of fine-wooled rams, through a country quite new to me, which I chose because it was a short-cut recently discovered. I got over, the first day, forty-five miles comfortably. The second day, in the evening, I met an ill-looking fellow walking with a broken musket, and his arm in a sling. He seemed sulky, and I kept my hand on my double-barreled pistol all the time I was talking to him; he begged a little tea and sugar, which I could not spare, but I threw him a fig of tobacco. In answer to my questions about his arm, he told me, with a string of oaths, that a bull, down in some mimosa flats, a day's journey ahead, had charged him, flung him into a water-hole, broken his arm, and made him lose his sugar and tea bag. Bulls in Australia are generally quiet, but this reminded me that some of the Highland black cattle imported by the Australian Company, after being driven off by a party of Gully Rakees (cattle stealers), had escaped into the mountains and turned quite wild. Out of this herd, which was of a breed quite unsuited to the country, a bull sometimes, when driven off by a stronger rival, would descend to the mimosa flats, and wander about, solitary and dangerously fierce.

It struck me, as I rode off, that it was quite as well my friend's arm and musket had been disabled, for he did not look the sort of man it would be pleasant to meet in a thicket of scrub, if he fancied the horse you rode. So, keeping one eye over my shoulder, and a sharp look-out for any other traveler of the same breed, I rode off at a brisk pace. I made out afterward that my foot friend was Jerry Johnson, hung for shooting a bullock-driver the following year.

At sun-down, when I reached the hut where I had intended to sleep, I found it deserted, and so full of fleas, I thought it better to camp out; so I hobbled out old Gray-tail on the best piece of grass I could find, which was very poor indeed.

The next morning, when I went to look for my horse, he was nowhere to be found. I put the saddle on my head and tracked him for hours; it was evident the poor beast had been traveling away in search of grass. I walked until my feet were one mass of blisters; at length, when about to give up the search in despair, having quite lost the track on stony ground, I came upon the marks quite fresh in a bit of swampy ground, and a few hundred yards further found Master Gray-tail rolling in the mud of a nearly dry water-hole as comfortably as possible. I put down the saddle and called him; at that moment I heard a loud roar and crash in a scrub behind me, and out rushed, at a terrific pace, a black Highland bull charging straight at me. I had only just time to throw myself on one side flat on the ground as he thundered by me. My next move was to scramble among a small clump of trees, one of great size, the rest were mere saplings.

The bull having missed his mark, turned again, and first revenged himself by tossing my saddle up in the air, until, fortunately, it lodged in some bushes; then, having smelt me out, he commenced a circuit round the trees, stamping, pawing, and bellowing frightfully. With his red eyes, and long, sharp horns, he looked like a demon; I was quite unarmed, having broken my knife the day before; my pistols were in my holsters, and I was wearied to death. My only chance consisted in dodging him round the trees until he should be tired out. Deeply did I regret[Pg 191] having left my faithful dogs Boomer and Bounder behind.

The bull charged again and again, sometimes coming with such force against the tree that he fell on his knees, sometimes bending the saplings behind which I stood until his horns almost touched me. There was not a branch I could lay hold of to climb up. How long this awful game of "touchwood" lasted, I know not; it seemed hours; after the first excitement of self-preservation passed off, weariness again took possession of me, and it required all the instinct of self-preservation to keep me on my feet; several times the bull left me for a few seconds, pacing suddenly away, bellowing his malignant discontent; but before I could cross over to a better position he always came back at full speed. My tongue clave to the roof of my mouth, my eyes grew hot and misty, my knees trembled under me, I felt it impossible to hold out until dark. At length I grew desperate, and determined to make a run for the opposite covert the moment the bull turned toward the water-hole again. I felt sure I was doomed, and thought of it until I grew indifferent. The bull seemed to know I was worn out, and grew more fierce and rapid in his charges, but just when I was going to sit down under the great tree, and let him do his worst, I heard the rattle of a horse among the rocks above, and a shout that sounded like the voice of an angel. Then came the barking of a dog, and the loud reports of a stockwhip, but the bull, with his devilish eyes fixed on me, never moved.

Up came a horseman at full speed; crack fell the lash on the black bull's hide; out spirted the blood in a long streak. The bull turned savagely—charged the horseman. The horse wheeled round just enough to baffle him—no more—again the lash descended, cutting like a long, flexible razor, but the mad bull was not to be beaten off by a whip: he charged again and again; but he had met his match; right and left, as needed, the horse turned, sometimes pivoting on his hind, sometime on his fore-legs.

The stockman shouted something, leapt from his horse, and strode forward to meet the bull with an open knife between his teeth. As the beast lowered his head to charge, he seemed to catch him by the horns. There was a struggle, a cloud of dust, a stamping like two strong men wrestling—I could not see clearly; but the next moment the bull was on his back, the blood welling from his throat, his limbs quivering in death.

The stranger, covered with mud and dust, came to me, saying as unconcernedly as if he had been killing a calf in a slaughter-house, "He's dead enough, young man; he won't trouble any body any more."

I walked two or three paces toward the dead beast; my senses left me—I fainted.

When I came to myself, my horse was saddled, bridled, and tied up to a bush. My stranger friend was busy flaying the bull.

"I would like to have a pair of boots out of the old devil," he observed, in answer to my inquiring look, "before the dingoes and the eagle hawks dig into his carcase."

We rode out of the flats up a gentle ascent, as night was closing in. I was not in talking humor; but I said, "You have saved my life."

"Well, I rather think I have," but this was muttered in an under tone; "it's not the first I have saved, or taken either, for that matter."

I was too much worn out for thanking much, but I pulled out a silver hunting-watch and put it into his hand. He pushed it back, almost roughly, saying, "No, sir, not now; I shalln't take money or money's worth for that, though I may ask something some time. It's nothing, after all. I owed the old black devil a grudge for spoiling a blood filly of mine; besides, though I didn't know it when I rode up first, and went at the beast to take the devil out of myself as much as any thing—I rather think that you are the young gentleman that ran through the Bush at night to Manchester Dan's hut, when his wife was bailed up by the Blacks, and shot one-eyed Jackey, in spite of the Governor's proclamation."

"You seem to know me," I answered; "pray, may I ask who you are, if it is a fair question, for I can not remember ever having seen you before."

"Oh, they call me 'Two-handed Dick,' in this country."

The scene in the roadside inn flashed on my recollection. Before I could say another word, a sharp turn round the shoulder of the range we were traversing, brought us in sight of the fire of a shepherd's hut. The dogs ran out barking; we hallooed and cracked our whips, and the hut-keeper came to meet us with a fire-stick in his hand.

"Lord bless my heart and soul! Dick, is that thee at last? Well, I thought thee were't never coming;" cried the hut-keeper, a little man, who came limping forward very fast with the help of a crutch-handled stick. "I say, Missis, Missis, here's Dick, here's Two-handed Dick."

This was uttered in a shrill, hysterical sort of scream. Out came "Missis" at the top of her speed, and began hugging Dick as he was getting off his horse, her arms reached a little above his waist, laughing and crying, both at the same time, while her husband kept fast hold of the stockman's hand, muttering, "Lord, Dick I'm so glad to see thee." Meanwhile, the dogs barking, and a flock of weaned lambs just penned, ba'aing, made such a riot, that I was fairly bewildered. So, feeling myself one too many, I slipped away, leading off both the horses to the other side of the hut, where I found a shepherd, who showed me a grass paddock to feed the nags a bit before turning them out for the night. I said to him, "What is the meaning of all this going on between your mate and his wife, and the big stockman?"

"The meaning, stranger: why, that's Two-handed Dick, and my mate is little Jemmy that[Pg 192] he saved, and Charley Anvils at the same time, when the blacks slaughtered the rest of the party, near on a dozen of them."

On returning, I found supper smoking on the table, and we had made a regular "bush" meal. The stockman then told my adventure, and, when they had exchanged all the news, I had little difficulty in getting the hut-keeper to the point I wanted; the great difficulty lay in preventing man and wife from telling the same story at the same time. However, by judicious management, I was able to gather the following account of Two-handed Dick's Fight and Ride.

"When first I met Dick he was second stockman to Mr. Ronalds, and I took a shepherd's place there; it was my second place in this country, for you see I left the old country in a bad year for the weaving trade, and was one of the first batch of free emigrants that came out, the rest were chiefly Irish. I found shepherding suit me very well, and my missis was hut-keeper. Well, Dick and I got very thick; I used to write his letters for him, and read in an evening, and so on. Well, though I undertook a shepherd's place, I soon found I could handle an ax pretty well. Throwing the shuttle gives the use of the arms, you see, and Dick put into my head that I could make more money if I took to making fences; I sharpening the rails, and making the mortice-holes, and a stranger man setting them. I did several jobs at odd times, and was thought very handy. Well, Mr. Ronalds, during the time of the great drought, five years ago, determined to send up a lot of cattle to the north, where he had heard there was plenty of water and grass, and form a station there. Dick was picked out as stockman; a young gentleman, a relative of Mr. Ronalds, went as head of the party, a very foolish, conceited young man, who knew very little of bush life, and would not be taught. There were eight splitters and fencers, besides Charley Anvils, the blacksmith, and two bullock drivers.

"I got leave to go because I wanted to see the country, and Dick asked. My missis was sorely against my going. I was to be storekeeper, as well as do any farming and work, if wanted.

"We had two drays, and were well armed. We were fifteen days going up before we got into the new country, and then we traveled five days; sometimes twenty-four hours without water, and sometimes had to unload the drays two or three times a day, to get over creeks. The fifth day we came to very fine land; the grass met over our horses' necks, and the river was a chain of water-holes, all full, and as clear as crystal. The kangaroos were hopping about as plentiful as rabbits in a warren; and the grass by the river side had regular tracks of the emus, where they went down to drink.

"We had been among signs of the blacks, too, for five days, but had not seen any thing of them, although we could hear the devils cooing at nightfall, calling to each other. We kept regular watch and watch at first—four sentinels, and every man sleeping with his gun at hand.

"Now, as it was Dick's business to tail (follow) the cattle, five hundred head, I advised him to have his musket sawed off in the barrel, so as to be a more handy size for using on horseback. He took my advice; and Charley Anvils made a very good job of it, so that he could bring it under his arm when hanging at his back from a rope sling, and fire with one hand. It was lucky I thought of it, as it turned out.

"At length the overseer fixed on a spot for the station. It was very well for water and grass, and a very pretty view, as he said, but it was too near a thicket where the blacks would lie in ambush, for safety. The old bushmen wanted it planted on a neck of land, where the waters protected it all but one side, and there a row of fence would have made it secure.

"Well, we set to work, and soon had a lot of tall trees down. Charley put up his forge and his grindstone, to keep the ax sharp, and I staid with him. Dick went tailing the cattle, and the overseer sat on a log, and looked on. The second day a mob of blacks came down on the opposite side of the river. They were quite wild, regular myals, but some of our men with green branches, went and made peace with them. They liked our bread and sugar; and after a short time we had a lot of them helping to draw rails, fishing for us, bringing wild honey, kangaroos, rats, and firewood, in return for butter and food, so we began to be less careful about our arms. We gave them iron tomahawks, and they soon found out that they could cut out an opossum from a hollow in half-an-hour with one of our tomahawks, while it took a day with one of their own stone ones.

"And so the time passed very pleasantly. We worked away. The young men and gins worked for us. The chiefs adorned themselves with the trinkets and clothes we gave them, and fished and hunted, and admired themselves in the river.

"Dick never trusted them; he stuck to his cattle; he warned us not to trust them, and the overseer called him a blood-thirsty, murdering blackguard for his pains.

"One day, the whole party were at work, chopping and trimming weather-boards for the hut; the blacks helping as usual. I was turning the grindstone for Charley Anvils, and Dick was coming up to the dray to get some tea, but there was a brow of a hill between him and us: the muskets were all piled in one corner. I heard a howl, and then a scream—our camp was full of armed blacks. When I raised my head, I saw the chief, Captain Jack, we called him, with a broad ax in his hand, and the next minute he had chopped the overseer's head clean off; in two minutes all my mates were on the ground. Three or four came running up to us; one threw a spear at me, which I half parried with a pannikin I was using to wet the grindstone, but it fixed deep in my hip, and[Pg 193] part of it I believe is there still. Charley Anvils had an ax in his hand, and cut down the first two fellows that came up to him, but he was floored in a minute with twenty wounds. They were so eager to kill me, that one of them, luckily, or I should not have been alive now, cut the spear in my hip short off. Another, a young lad I had sharpened a tomahawk for a few days before, chopped me across the head; you can see the white hair. Down I fell, and nothing could have saved us, but the other savages had got the tarpaulin off, and were screaming with delight, plundering the drays, which called my enemies off. Just then, Dick came in sight. He saw what was the matter; but although there were more than a hundred black devils, all armed, painted, bloody, and yelling, he never stopped or hesitated, but rode slap through the camp, fired bang among them, killing two, and knocking out the brains of another. As he passed by a top rail, where an ax was sticking, he caught it up. The men in the camp were dead enough; the chief warriors had made the rush there, and every one was pierced with several spears, or cut down from close behind by axes in the hands of the chiefs. We, being further off, had been attacked by the boys only. Dick turned toward us, and shouted my name, I could not answer, but I managed to sit up an instant; he turned toward me, leaned down, caught me by the jacket, and dragged me on before him like a log. Just then Charley, who had crept under the grindstone, cried, 'Oh, Dick, don't leave me!' As he said that, a lot of them came running down, for they had seen enough to know that, unless they killed us all, their job would not be half done. As Dick turned to face them, they gave way, and flung spears, but they could not hurt him: they managed to get between us and poor Charley. Dick rode back a circuit, and dropped me among some bushes on a hill, where I could see all. Four times he charged through and through a whole mob, with an ax in one hand, and his short musket in the other. He cut them down right and left, as if he had been mowing; he scared the wretches, although the old women kept screeching and urging them on, as they always do. At length, by help of his stirrup leather, he managed to get Charley up behind him. He never could have done it, but his mare fought, and bit, and turned when he bid her, so he threw the bridle on her neck, and could use that terrible left arm of his. Well, he came up to the hill, and lifted me on, and away we went for three or four miles, but we knew the mare could not stand it long, so Dick got off, and walked. When the blacks had pulled the drays' loads to pieces, they began to follow us, but Dick never lost heart—"

"Nay, mate," interrupted Dick, "once I did; shall never forget it, when I came to put my last bullet in, it was too big."

"Good Heavens!" I exclaimed, "what did you do?"

"Why, I put the bullet in my mouth, and kept chawing and chawing it, and threatening the black devils all the while, until at last it was small enough, and then I rammed it down, and dropped on my knee, and waited until they came within twenty yards, and then I picked off Captain Jack, the biggest villain of them all."

Here Dick, being warmed, continued the story: "We could not stop; we marched all evening and all night, and when the two poor creturs cried for water, as they did most of the night, as often as I could I filled my boots, and gave them to drink. I led the horse, and traveled seventy miles without halting for more than a minute or two. Toward the last they were as helpless as worn-out sheep. I tied them on. We had the luck to fall in with a party traveling just when the old mare was about giving in, and then we must all have died for want of water. Charley Anvils had eighteen wounds, but, except losing two fingers, is none the worse. Poor Jemmy, there, will never be fit for any thing but a hut-keeper; as for me, I had some scratches—nothing to hurt; and the old mare lost an ear. I went back afterward with the police, and squared accounts with the blacks.

"And so, you see, stranger, the old woman thinks I saved her old man's life, although I would have done as much for any one; but I believe there are some gentlemen in Sydney think I ought to have been hung for what I did. Any how, since that scrimmage in the bush, they always call me 'Two-handed Dick.'"

[From Household Words.]


Oh, grieve not for the early dead,
Whom God himself hath taken;
But deck with flowers each holy bed—
Nor deem thyself forsaken,
When one by one, they fall away,
Who were to thee as summer day.
Weep for the babes of guilt, who sleep
With scanty rags stretch'd o'er them,
On the dark road, the downward steep
Of misery; while before them
Looms out afar the dreadful tree,
And solemn, sad Eternity!
Nor weep alone; but when to Heaven
The cords of sorrow bind thee,
Let kindest help to such be given
As God shall teach to find thee;
And, for the sake of those above,
Do deeds of Wisdom, Mercy, Love.
The child that sicken'd on thy knee,
Thou weeping Christian mother,
Had learn'd in this world, lispingly,
Words suited for another.
Oh, dost thou think, with pitying mind,
On untaught infants left behind?

[Pg 194]



The two principal houses at which I visited, till the arrival of our relations from the West Indies, were Mr. West's (late President of the Royal Academy), in Newman-street, and Mr. Godfrey Thornton's (of the distinguished city family), in Austin-Friars. How I loved the Graces in one, and every thing in the other! Mr. West (who, as I have already mentioned, had married one of my relations) had bought his house, I believe, not long after he came to England; and he had added a gallery at the back of it, terminating in a couple of lofty rooms. The gallery was a continuation of the house-passage, and, together with one of those rooms and the parlor, formed three sides of a garden, very small but elegant, with a grass-plot in the middle, and busts upon stands under an arcade. The gallery, as you went up it, formed an angle at a little distance to the left, then another to the right and then took a longer stretch into the two rooms; and it was hung with the artist's sketches all the way. In a corner between the two angles was a study-door, with casts of Venus and Apollo, on each side of it. The two rooms contained the largest of his pictures; and in the farther one, after stepping softly down the gallery, as if reverencing the dumb life on the walls, you generally found the mild and quiet artist at his work; happy, for he thought himself immortal.

I need not enter into the merits of an artist who is so well known, and has been so often criticised. He was a man with regular, mild features; and, though of Quaker origin, had the look of what he was, a painter to a court. His appearance was so gentlemanly, that, the moment he changed his gown for a coat, he seemed to be full-dressed. The simplicity and self-possession of the young Quaker, not having time enough to grow stiff (for he went early to study at Rome), took up, I suppose, with more ease than most would have done, the urbanities of his new position. And what simplicity helped him to, favor would retain. Yet this man, so well bred, and so indisputably clever in his art (whatever might be the amount of his genius), had received so careless, or so homely an education when a boy, that he could hardly read. He pronounced also some of his words, in reading, with a puritanical barbarism, such as haive for have, as some people pronounce when they sing psalms. But this was perhaps an American custom. My mother, who both read and spoke remarkably well, would say haive, and shaul (for shall), when she sung her hymns. But it was not so well in reading lectures at the Academy. Mr. West would talk of his art all day long, painting all the while. On other subjects he was not so fluent; and on political and religious matters he tried hard to maintain the reserve common with those about a court. He succeeded ill in both. There were always strong suspicions of his leaning to his native side in politics; and daring Bonaparte's triumph, he could not contain his enthusiasm for the Republican chief, going even to Paris to pay him his homage, when First Consul. The admiration of high colors and powerful effects, natural to a painter, was too strong for him. How he managed this matter with the higher powers in England, I can not say. Probably he was the less heedful, inasmuch as he was not very carefully paid. I believe he did a great deal for George the Third with little profit. Mr. West certainly kept his love for Bonaparte no secret; and it was no wonder, for the latter expressed admiration of his pictures. The artist thought the conqueror's smile enchanting, and that he had the handsomest leg he had ever seen. He was present when the "Venus de Medicis" was talked of, the French having just taken possession of her. Bonaparte, Mr. West said, turned round to those about him, and said, with his eyes lit up, "She's coming!" as if he had been talking of a living person. I believe he retained for the emperor the love that he had had for the First Consul, a wedded love, "for better, for worse." However, I believe also that he retained it after the emperor's downfall; which is not what every painter did.


Peace has a dwelling near a river
Where the darkened waters quiver.
Where the ripple we can hear
Bursting on the pebbly shore,
Making music soft and clear
For evermore, for evermore.
Peace has a dwelling near a wood
Where the cooing pigeons brood,
Where the sweet-voiced nightingale
Unto the moon her song doth pour,
And songsters swell the echoing vale
For evermore, for evermore.
Peace has a dwelling in the soul
That can its hopes and fears control;
In silent wood or city's din
Alike it may be found to dwell;
Its dearest home is that within
The chastened heart's profoundest cell.
Peace has a dwelling where no more
The ear can hear the torrent roar,
Or lists the rippling of the river,
As softly it turns up its wave,
Where never more the moon-beams quiver
Within the silent grave.
Peace—oh, thou white-garmented
Maiden, with the flower-decked head,
Come, make thy mansion in my heart!
A tenant thou shalt freely rest,
And thou shalt soothe each bitter smart
That racks the chambers of my breast
Charles Dryden.

[Pg 195]

[From Household Words.]


The day-dream of mankind has ever been the Unattainable. To sigh for what is beyond our reach is, from infancy to age, a fixed condition of our nature. To it we owe all the improvement that distinguishes civilized from savage life—to it we are indebted for all the great discoveries which, at long intervals, have rewarded thought.

Though the motives which stimulated the earliest inquiries were frequently undefined, and, if curiously examined, would be found to be sometimes questionable, it has rarely happened that the world has not benefited by them in the end. Thus Astrology, which ascribed to the stars an influence over the actions and destinies of man; Magic, which attempted to reverse the laws of nature, and Alchemy, which aimed at securing unlimited powers of self-reward; all tended to the final establishment of useful science.

Of none of the sciences whose laws are fully understood, is this description truer than of that now called Chemistry, which once was Alchemy. That "knowledge of the substance or composition of bodies," which the Arabic root of both words implies, establishes a fact in place of a chimera. Experimental philosophy has made Alchemy an impossible belief, but the faith in it was natural in an age when reason was seldom appealed to. The credulity which accepted witchcraft for a truth, was not likely to reject the theory of the transmutation of metals, nor strain at the dogma of perpetual youth and health; the concomitants of the Philosopher's Stone.

The Alchemists claim for their science the remotest antiquity possible, but it was not until three or four centuries after the Christian era that the doctrine of transmutation began to spread. It was among the Arabian physicians that it took root. Those learned men, through whom was transmitted so much that was useful in astronomy, in mathematics, and in medicine, were deeply tinctured with the belief in an universal elixir, whose properties gave the power of multiplying gold, of prolonging life indefinitely, and of making youth perpetual. The discoveries which they made of the successful application of mercury in many diseases, led them to suppose that this agent contained within itself the germ of all curative influences, and was the basis of all other metals. An Eastern imagination, ever prone to heighten the effects of nature, was not slow to ascribe a preternatural force to this medicine, but not finding it in its simple state, the practitioners of the new science had recourse to combination, in the hope, by that means, of attaining their object. To fix mercury became their first endeavor, and this fixation they described as "catching the flying bird of Hermes." Once embarked in the illusory experiment, it is easy to perceive how far the Alchemists might be led; nor need it excite any wonder that in pursuit of the ideal, they accidentally hit upon a good deal that was real. The labors, therefore, of the Arabian physicians were not thrown away, though they entangled the feet of science in mazes, from which escape was only effected, after the lapse of centuries of misdirected efforts.

From the period we have last spoken of, until the commencement of the eleventh century, the only Alchemist of note is the Arabian Geber, who, though he wrote on the perfections of metals, of the new-found art of making gold, in a word, on the philosopher's stone, has only descended to our times as the founder of that jargon which passes under the name of "gibberish." He was, however, a great authority in the middle ages, and allusions to "Geber's cooks," and "Geber's kitchen," are frequent among those who at length saw the error of their ways, after wasting their substance in the vain search for the elixir.

A longer interval might have elapsed but for the voice of Peter the Hermit, whose fanatical scheme for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre was the cause of that gradual absorption, by the nations of the West, of the learning which had so long been buried in the East. The crusaders, or those, rather, who visited the shores of Syria under their protection—the men whose skill in medicine and letters rendered them useful to the invading armies—acquired a knowledge of the Arabian languages, and of the sciences cultivated by Arabian philosophers, and this knowledge they disseminated through Europe. Some part of it, it is true, was derived from the Moors in Spain, but it was all conveyed in a common tongue which began now to be understood. To this era belong the names of Alfonso the Wise, King of Castile; of Isaac Beimiram, the son of Solomon the physician; of Hali Abbas, the scholar of Abimeher Moyses, the son of Sejar; of Aben Sina, better known as Avicenna, and sometimes called Abohali; of Averroes of Cordova, surnamed the Commentator; of Rasis, who is also called Almanzor and Albumasar; and of John of Damascus, whose name has been latinized into Johannes Damascenus. All these, physicians by profession, were more or less professors of alchemy; and besides these were such as Artephius, who wrote alchemical tracts about the year 1130, but who deserves rather to be remembered for the cool assertion which he makes in his "Wisdom of Secrets" that, at the time he wrote he had reached the patriarchal—or fabulous—age of one thousand and twenty-five years!

The thirteenth century came, and with it came two men who stand first, as they then stood alone, in literary and scientific knowledge. One was a German, the other an Englishman; the first was Albertus Magnus, the last Roger Bacon.

Of the former, many wonderful stories are told: such, for instance, as his having given a banquet to the king of the Romans, in the gardens[Pg 196] of his cloister at Cologne, when he converted the intensity of winter into a season of summer, full of flowers and fruits, which disappeared when the banquet was over; and his having constructed a marvelous automaton, called "Androïs," which, like the invention of his contemporary, Roger Bacon, was said to be capable of auguring all questions, past, present, and to come.

To know more than the rest of the world in any respect, but particularly in natural philosophy, was a certain method by which to earn the name of a necromancer in the middle ages, and there are few whose occult fame has stood higher than that of Roger Bacon. He was afraid, therefore, to speak plainly—indeed, it was the custom of the early philosophers to couch their knowledge in what Bacon himself calls the "tricks of obscurity;" and in his celebrated "Epistola de Secretis," he adverts to the possibility of his being obliged to do the same thing, through "the greatness of the secrets which he shall handle." With regard to the invention of his greatest secret, we shall give the words in which he speaks of the properties of gunpowder, and afterward show in what terms he concealed his knowledge. "Noyses," he says, "may be made in the aire like thunders, yea, with greater horror than those that come of nature; for a little matter fitted to the quantity of a thimble, maketh a horrible noise and wonderful lightning. And this is done after sundry fashions, whereby any citie or armie may be destroyed." A more accurate description of the explosion of gunpowder could scarcely be given, and it is not to be supposed that Bacon simply confined himself to the theory of his art, when he knew so well the consequences arising from a practical application of it. On this head there is a legend extant, which has not, to our knowledge, been printed before, from which we may clearly see why he contented himself with the cabalistic form in which he conveyed his knowledge of what he deemed a fatal secret.

Attached to Roger Bacon's laboratory, and a zealous assistant in the manifold occupations with which the learned Franciscan occupied himself, was a youthful student, whose name is stated to have been Hubert de Dreux. He was a Norman, and many of the attributes of that people were conspicuous in his character. He was of a quick intelligence, and hasty courage, fertile in invention, and prompt in action, eloquent of discourse, and ready of hand; all excellent qualities, to which was superadded an insatiable curiosity. Docile to receive instruction, and apt to profit by it, Hubert became a great favorite with the philosopher, and to him Bacon expounded many of the secrets—or supposed secrets—of the art which he strove to, bring to perfection. He instructed him also in the composition of certain medicines, which Bacon himself believed might be the means of prolonging life, though not to the indefinite extent dreamed of by those who put their whole faith in the Great Elixir.

But there never yet was an adept in any art or science who freely communicated to his pupil the full amount of his own knowledge; something for experience to gather, or for ingenuity to discover, is always kept in reserve, and the instructions of Roger Bacon stopped short at one point. He was himself engaged in the prosecution of that chemical secret which he rightly judged to be a dangerous one, and, while he experimented with the compound of sulphur, saltpetre, and charcoal, he kept himself apart from his general laboratory, and wrought in a separate cell, to which not even Hubert had access. To know that the friar had a mysterious occupation, which, more than the making of gold or the universal medicine, engrossed him, was enough of itself to rouse the young man's curiosity; but when to this was added the fact, that, from time to time, strange and mysterious noises were heard, accompanied by bright corruscations and a new and singular odor, penetrating through the chinks close to which his eyes were stealthily riveted, Hubert's eagerness to know all that his master concealed had no limit. He resolved to discover the secret, even though he should perish in the attempt; he feared that there was good reason for the accusation of dealing in the Black Art, which, more than all others, the monks of Bacon's own convent countenanced, but this apprehension only stimulated him the more. For some time Hubert waited without an opportunity occurring for gratifying the secret longing of his heart; at last it presented itself.

To afford medical assistance to the sick, was, perhaps, the most useful practice of conventual life, and the monks had always among them practitioners of the healing art, more or less skillful. Of this number, Roger Bacon was the most eminent, not only in the monastery to which he belonged, but in all Oxford.

It was about the hour of noon on a gloomy day toward the end of November, in the year 1282, while the Friar and his pupil were severally employed, the former in his secret cell, and the latter in the general laboratory, that there arrived at the gate of the Franciscan convent a messenger on horseback, the bearer of news from Abingdon, that Walter de Losely, the sheriff of Berkshire, had that morning met with a serious accident by a hurt from a lance, and was then lying dangerously wounded at the hostelry of the Checkers in Abingdon, whither he had been hastily conveyed. The messenger added, that the leech who had been called in was most anxious for the assistance of the skillful Friar, Roger Bacon, and urgently prayed that he would lose no time in coming to the aid of the wounded knight.

Great excitement prevailed among the monks on the receipt of this intelligence, for Walter de Losely was not only a man of power and influence, but moreover, a great benefactor to their order. Friar Bacon was immediately sought and speedily made his appearance, the urgency of the message admitting of no delay. He[Pg 197] hastily enjoined Hubert to continue the preparation of an amalgam which he was desirous of getting into a forward state, and taking with him his case of instruments with the bandages and salves which he thought needful, was soon mounted on an easy, ambling palfrey on his way toward Abingdon, the impatient messenger riding before him to announce his approach.

When he was gone, quiet again reigned in the convent, and Hubert de Dreux resumed his occupation. But it did not attract him long. Suddenly he raised his head from the work and his eyes were lit up with a gleam in which joy and fear seemed equally blended. For the first time, for months, he was quite alone. What if he could obtain access to his master's cell and penetrate the mystery in which his labors had been so long enveloped! He cautiously stole to the door of the laboratory, and peeped out into a long passage, at the further extremity of which a door opened into a small court where, detached from the main edifice and screened from all observation, was a small building which the Friar had recently caused to be constructed. He looked about him timorously, fearing lest he might be observed; but there was no cause for apprehension, scarcely any inducement could have prevailed with the superstitious Franciscans to turn their steps willingly in the direction of Roger Bacon's solitary cell.

Reassured by the silence, Hubert stole noiselessly onward, and tremblingly approached the forbidden spot. His quick eye saw at a glance that the key was not in the door, and his countenance fell. The Friar's treasure was locked up! He might see something, however, if he could not enter the chamber. He knelt down, therefore, at the door, and peered through the keyhole. As he pressed against the door, in doing so, it yielded to his touch. In the haste with which Friar Bacon had closed the entrance, the bolt had not been shot. Herbert rose hastily to his feet, and the next moment he was in the cell, looking eagerly round upon the crucibles and alembics, which bore witness to his master's labors. But beyond a general impression of work in hand, there was nothing to be gleaned from this survey. An open parchment volume, in which the Friar had recently been writing, next caught his attention. If the secret should be there in any known language. Hubert knew something of the Hebrew, but nothing yet of Arabic. He was reassured; the characters were familiar to him; the language Latin. He seized the volume, and read the few lines which the Friar had just traced on the last page.

They ran thus:

"Videas tamen utrum loquar in ænigmate vel secundum veritatem." And, further (which we translate): "He that would see these things shall have the key that openeth and no man shutteth, and when he shall shut no man is able to open again."

"But the secret—the secret!" cried Hubert, impatiently, "let me know what 'these things' are!"

He hastily turned the leaf back and read again. The passage was that one in the "Epistola de Secretis" which spoke of the artificial thunder and lightning, and beneath it was the full and precise receipt for its composition. This at once explained the strange noises and the flashes of light which he had so anxiously noticed. Surprising and gratifying as this discovery might be, there was, Hubert thought, something beyond. Roger Bacon, he reasoned, was not one to practice an experiment like this for mere amusement. It was, he felt certain, a new form of invocation, more potent, doubtless, over the beings of another world, than any charm yet recorded. Be it as it might, he would try whether, from the materials around him, it were not in his power to produce the same result.

"Here are all the necessary ingredients," he exclaimed; "this yellowish powder is the well known sulphur, in which I daily bathe the argent-vive; this bitter, glistening substance is the salt of the rock, the salis petræ; and this black calcination, the third agent. But the proportions are given, and here stands a glass cucurbit in which they should be mingled. It is of the form my master mostly uses—round, with a small neck and a narrow mouth, to be luted closely, without doubt. He has often told me that the sole regenerating power of the universe is heat; yonder furnace shall supply it, and then Hubert de Dreux is his master's equal!"

The short November day was drawing to a close, when, after carefully tending the wounded sheriff, and leaving such instructions with the Abingdon leech as he judged sufficient for his patient's well-doing, Roger Bacon again mounted his palfrey, and turned its head in the direction of Oxford. He was unwilling to be a loiterer after dark, and his beast was equally desirous to be once more comfortably housed, so that his homeward journey was accomplished even more rapidly than his morning excursion; and barely an hour had elapsed when the Friar drew the rein at the foot of the last gentle eminence, close to which lay the walls of the cloistered city. To give the animal breathing-space, he rode quietly up the ascent, and then paused for a few moments before he proceeded, his mind intent on subjects foreign to the speculations of all his daily associations.

Suddenly, as he mused on his latest discovery and calculated to what principal object it might be devoted, a stream of fiery light shot rapidly athwart the dark, drear sky, and before he had space to think what the meteor might portend, a roar as of thunder shook the air, and simultaneous with it, a shrill, piercing scream, mingled with the fearful sound; then burst forth a volume of flame, and on the wind came floating a sulphurous vapor which, to him alone, revealed the nature of the explosion he had just witnessed.

"Gracious God!" he exclaimed, while the cold sweat poured like rain-drops down his forehead, "the fire has caught the fulminating powder! But what meant that dreadful cry?[Pg 198] Surely nothing of human life has suffered! The boy Hubert—but, no—he was at work at the further extremity of the building. But this is no time for vain, conjecture—let me learn the worst at once!"

And with these words he urged his affrighted steed to its best pace, and rode rapidly into the city.

All was consternation there: the tremendous noise had roused every inhabitant, and people were hurrying to and fro, some hastening toward the place from whence the sound had proceeded, others rushing wildly from it. It was but too evident that a dreadful catastrophe, worse even than Bacon dreaded, had happened. It was with difficulty he made his way through the crowd, and came upon the ruin which still blazed fiercely, appalling the stoutest of heart. There was a tumult of voices, but above the outcries of the affrighted monks, and of the scared multitude, rose the loud voice of the Friar, calling upon them to extinguish the flames. This appeal turned all eyes toward him, and then associating him with an evil, the cause of which they were unable to comprehend, the maledictions of the monks broke forth.

"Seize the accursed magician," they shouted; "he has made a fiery compact with the demon! Already one victim is sacrificed—our turn will come next! See, here are the mangled limbs of his pupil, Hubert de Dreux! The fiend has claimed his reward, and borne away his soul. Seize on the wicked sorcerer, and take him to a dungeon!"

Roger Bacon sate stupefied by the unexpected blow; he had no power, if he had possessed the will, to offer the slightest resistance to the fury of the enraged Franciscans, who, in the true spirit of ignorance, had ever hated him for his acquirements. With a deep sigh for the fate of the young man, whose imprudence he now saw had been the cause of this dreadful event, he yielded himself up to his enemies; they tore him from his palfrey, and with many a curse, and many a buffet, dragged him to the castle, and lodged him in one of its deepest dungeons.

The flames from the ruined cell died out of themselves; but those which the envy and dread of Bacon's genius had kindled, were never extinguished, but with his life.

In the long years of imprisonment which followed—the doom of the stake being averted only by powerful intercession with the Pope—Bacon had leisure to meditate on the value of all he had done to enlarge the understanding and extend the knowledge of his species. "The prelates and friars," he wrote in a letter which still remains, "have kept me starving in close prison, nor will they suffer any one to come to me, fearing lest my writings should come to any other than the Pope and themselves."

He reflected that of all living men he stood well-nigh alone in the consciousness that in the greatest of his inventions he had produced a discovery of incalculable value, but one for which on every account the time was not ripe.

"I will not die," he said, "without leaving to the world the evidence that the secret was known to me whose marvelous power future ages shall acknowledge. But not yet shall it be revealed. Generations must pass away and the minds of men become better able to endure the light of science, before they can profit by my discovery. Let him who already possesses knowledge, guess the truth these words convey."

And in place of the directions by which Hubert de Dreux had been guided, he altered the sentence as follows:

"Sed tamen salis petre,
Luru Mone Cap Ubre
et sulphuris."

The learned have found that these mystical words conceal the anagram of Carbonum pulvere, the third ingredient in the composition of Gunpowder.

[From a Month at Constantinople.]



A Turkish Bath.—The second day I was at Constantinople I had a bath, in the proper Turkish fashion; and this was quite as novel in its way as every thing else had been. The establishment patronized was the head one in Stamboul; and we went from the street into a very large hall, entirety of marble, with a gallery round the walls, in which were couches, as well as down below. On these different visitors were reposing: some covered up and lying quite still, others smoking narghilés, and drinking coffee. Towels and cloths were drying on lines, and in the corner was a little shed, serving as a Câfé.

We went up-stairs and undressed, giving our watches and money to the attendant, who tied our clothes up in a bundle. He then tucked a colored wrapper round our waists, and threw a towel over our shoulders, after which we walked down stairs, and put on some wooden clogs at the door of the next apartment. The first thing these did was to send me head over heels, to the great discomfiture of my temporary costume, and equal delight of the bathers there assembled. We remained in this room, which was of an increased temperature, idling upon other couches, until we were pronounced ready to go into the second chamber. I contrived, with great care and anxiety, to totter into it upon my clogs, and found another apartment of marble, very warm indeed, and lighted from the top by a dome of glass "bull's-eyes." In the middle of this chamber was a hot, raised octagon platform, also of marble, and in the recesses of the sides were marble vases, and tanks, with taps for hot and cold water, and channels in the floor to carry off the suds. Two savage, unearthly boys, their heads all shaved, with the exception of a tuft on the top, and in their scant costume of a towel only, looking more like wild Indians than Turks, now seized hold of me, and forcing me back upon the hot marble floor commenced a[Pg 199] dreadful series of tortures, such as I had only read of as pertaining to the dark ages. It was of no use to resist. They clutched hold of the back of my neck, and I thought they were going to strangle me; then they pulled at my arms and legs, and I thought again they were going to put me on the rack; and lastly, when they both began to roll backward and forward on my chest, doubling my cracking elbows underneath them, I thought, finally, that my last minute was come, and that death by suffocation would finish me. They were fiends, and evidently delighted in my agony; not allowing me to look to the right or left after my companions, and throwing themselves on me again, whenever they conceived I was going to call the dragoman to my assistance. I do not know that I ever passed such a frightful five minutes, connected with bathing, nervous as are some of the feelings which that pastime gives rise to. It is very terrible to take the first summer plunge into a deep, dark river and when you are at the bottom, and the water is roaring in your ears, to think of dead bodies and crocodiles; it is almost worse to make that frightful journey down a steep beach, in a bathing machine, with a vague incertitude as to where you will find yourself when the doors open again: but nothing can come up to what I suffered in my last extremity, in this Constantinople bath. Thoughts of Turkish cruelty and the sacks of the Bosphorus; of home, and friends, and my childhood's bowers—of the sadness of being murdered in a foreign bath—and the probability of my Giaour body being eaten by the wild dogs, crowded rapidly on me, as these demons increased their tortures; until, collecting all my strength for one last effort, I contrived to throw them off, one to the right and the other to the left, some half dozen feet—and regained my legs.

The worst was now over, certainly; but the persecution still continued sufficiently exciting. They seized on me again, and led me to the tanks, where they almost flayed me with horse-hair gloves, and drowned me with bowls of warm water, poured continuously on my head. I could not see, and if I again tried to cry out, they thrust a large soapy swab, made of the fibres that grow at the foot of the date palm, into my mouth, accompanying each renewed act of cruelty with a demand for baksheesh. At last, being fairly exhausted, themselves, they swathed me in a great many towels; and I was then half carried, half pushed, up stairs again, where I took my place upon my couch with feelings of great joy and thankfulness.

I now began to think that all the horrors I had undergone were balanced by the delicious feeling of repose that stole over me. I felt that I could have stopped there forever, with the fragrant coffee steaming at my side, and the soothing bubble of the narghilés sounding in every direction. I went off into a day dream—my last clear vision being that of a man having his head shaved all but a top knot, which was long enough to twist round and round, under his fez—and could scarcely believe that an hour had elapsed, when the dragoman suggested our return to the bustling world without.

The Slave Market at Constantinople.—No European goes to the East with a clear idea of a Slave-market. He has seen fanciful French lithographs, and attractive scenes in Eastern ballets, where the pretty girls appeared ready, on the shortest notice, and in the most bewitching costumes, to dance the Gitana, Romaika, Tarantella, Redowa, or any other characteristic pas that might be required of them. Or if not schooled into these impressions, he takes the indignant view of the subject, and thinks of nothing but chains and lashes, and finds, at last, that one is just as false as the other.

There is now no regular slave-market at Constantinople. The fair Circassians and Georgians reside in the houses of the merchants, to whom many of them are regularly consigned by their friends, and of these it is impossible for a Frank to obtain a glimpse, for the usual privacy of the harem is granted to them. The chief dépôt of the blacks is in a large court-yard attached to the Mosque of Suleyman. In a street immediately outside the wall was a row of coffee-houses, where opium, was also to be procured for smoking, which is by no means so general a practice as is imagined; and over and behind these were buildings in which the slaves were kept. It is true that these were grated, but the lattices through which only the Turkish women can look abroad, gave a far greater notion of imprisonment.

There were a great many women and children grouped about in the court-yard, and all those who appeared to possess any degree of intelligence were chatting and laughing. Some were wrapped up in blankets and crouching about in corners: but in these, sense and feeling seemed to be at the lowest ebb. I should be very sorry to run against any proper feelings on the subject, but I do honestly believe that if any person of average propriety and right-mindedness were shown these creatures, and told that their lot was to become the property of others, and work in return for food and lodging, he would come to the conclusion that it was all they were fit for—indeed, he might think that they had gained in exchanging their wretched savage life for one of comparative civilization. I would not pretend, upon the strength of a hurried visit to a city, to offer the slightest opinion upon the native domestic and social economy; but I can say, that whenever I have seen the black slaves abroad, they have been neatly dressed, and apparently well kept; and that, if shopping with their mistresses in the bazaars, the conversation and laughing that passed between them was like that between two companions. The truth is that the "virtuous indignation" side of the question holds out grander opportunities to an author for fine writing than the practical fact. But this style of composition should not always be implicitly[Pg 200] relied upon; I knew a man who was said by certain reviews and literary cliques to be "a creature of large sympathies for the poor and oppressed," because he wrote touching things about them; but who would abuse his wife, and brutally treat his children, and harass his family, and then go and drink until his large heart was sufficiently full to take up the "man-and-brother" line of literary business, and suggest that a tipsy chartist was as good as a quiet gentleman. Of this class are the writers who even call livery "a badge of slavery," and yet, in truth, if the real slave felt as proud of his costume and calves as John feels, he might be considerably envied for his content by many of us.

As we entered the court-yard, a girl rose and asked Demetri if I wanted to buy her. I told him to say that I did, and would take her to England. She asked Demetri where that was, and on being told that it was so many days' journey, she ran away, declaring that she would never go so far with any body. We next went up to a circle of black females, who had clustered under the shade of a tree. A Turkish woman in her vail was talking to them. I made Demetri tell them that we had no slaves in England, as our queen did not allow it, but that every one was free as soon as they touched the land. This statement excited a laugh of the loudest derision from all the party, and they ran to tell it to their companions, who screamed with laughter as well; so that I unwittingly started a fine joke that day in the slave-market.

Dogs in Constantinople.—After an hour's doze I woke up again, and went and sat by the window. The noise I then heard I shall never forget.

To say that if all the sheep-dogs going to Smithfield on a market-day had been kept on the constant bark, and pitted against the yelping curs upon all the carts in London, they could have given any idea of the canine uproar that now first astonished me, would be to make the feeblest of images. The whole city rang with one vast riot. Down below me at Tophané—over at Stamboul—far away at Scutari—the whole eighty thousand dogs that are said to overrun Constantinople, appeared engaged in the most active extermination of each other, without a moment's cessation. The yelping, howling, barking, growling, and snarling, were all merged into one uniform and continuous, even sound, as the noise of frogs becomes when heard at a distance. For hours there was no lull. I went to sleep, and woke again, and still, with my windows open, I heard the same tumult going on: nor was it until daybreak that any thing like tranquillity was restored. In spite of my early instruction, the dogs delight to bark and bite, and should be allowed to do so, it being their nature, I could not help wishing that, for a short season, the power was vested in me to carry out the most palpable service for which brickbats and the Bosphorus could be made conjointly available.

Going out in the day-time, it is not difficult to find traces of the fights of the night, about the limbs of all the street-dogs. There is not one, among their vast number, in the enjoyment of a perfect skin. Some have their ears gnawed away or pulled off; others have had their eyes taken out; from the backs and haunches of others, perfect steaks of flesh have been torn away; and all bear the scars of desperate combats.

Wild and desperate as is their nature, these poor animals are susceptible of kindness. If a scrap of bread is thrown to one of them now and then, he does not forget it; for they have, at times, a hard matter to live—not the dogs among the shops of Galata or Stamboul, but those whose "parish" lies in the large burying-grounds and desert-places without the city; for each keeps, or rather is kept, to his district; and if he chanced to venture into a strange one, the odds against his return would be very large. One battered old animal, to whom I used occasionally to toss a scrap of food, always followed me from the hotel to the cross-street at Pera, where the two soldiers stand on guard, but would never come beyond this point. He knew the fate that awaited him had he done so; and therefore, when I left him, he would lie down in the road and go to sleep until I came back. When a horse or camel dies, and is left about the roads near the city, the bones are soon picked very clean by these dogs, and they will carry the skulls or pelves to great distances. I was told that they will eat their dead fellows—a curious fact, I believe, in canine economy. They are always troublesome—not to say dangerous—at night; and are especially irritated by Europeans, whom they will single out among a crowd of Levantines.

[From the Autobiography of Leigh Hunt.]


Christ-Hospital is a nursery of tradesmen, of merchants, of naval officers, of scholars; it has produced some of the greatest ornaments of their time; and the feeling among the boys themselves is, that it is a medium, between the patrician pretension of such schools as Eton the Westminster, and the plebeian submission of and charity schools. In point of University honors, it claims to be equal with the best; and though other schools can show a greater abundance of eminent names, I know not where many will be found who are a greater host in themselves. One original author is worth a hundred transmitters of elegance; and such a one is to be found in Richardson, who here received what education he possessed. Here Camden also received the rudiments of his. Bishop Stillingfleet, according to the memoirs of Pepys, lately published, was brought up in the school. We have had many eminent scholars, two of them Greek professors, to wit, Barnes, and the present Mr. Scholefield, the latter of whom attained an extraordinary succession of University honors. The[Pg 201] rest are Markland; Middleton, late Bishop of Calcutta; and Mitchell, the translator of "Aristophanes." Christ-Hospital, I believe, toward the close of the last century, and the beginning of the present, sent out more living writers, in its proportion, than any other school. There was Dr. Richards, author of the "Aboriginal Britons;" Dyer, whose life was one unbroken dream of learning and goodness, and who used to make us wonder with passing through the school-room (where no other person in "town-clothes" ever appeared) to consult books in the library; Le Grice, the translator of "Longus;" Horne, author of some well-known productions in controversial divinity; Surr, the novelist (not in the Grammar school); James White, the friend of Charles Lamb, and not unworthy of him, author of "Falstaff's Letters" (this was he who used to give an anniversary dinner to the chimney-sweepers, merrier than, though not so magnificent as Mrs. Montague's); Pitman, a celebrated preacher, editor of some school-books, and religious classics; Mitchell, before mentioned; myself, who stood next him; Barnes, who came next, the editor of the "Times," than whom no man (if he had cared for it) could have been more certain of obtaining celebrity for wit and literature; Townsend, a prebendary of Durham, author of "Armageddon," and several theological works; Gilly, another of the Durham prebendaries, who wrote the "Narrative of the Waldenses;" Seargill, a Unitarian minister, author of some tracts on Peace and War, &c.; and lastly, whom I have kept by way of climax, Coleridge and Charles Lamb, two of the most original geniuses, not only of the day, but of the country. We have had an embassador among us; but as he, I understand, is ashamed of us, we are hereby more ashamed of him, and accordingly omit him.

Coleridge I never saw till he was old. Lamb I recollect coming to see the boys, with a pensive, brown, handsome, and kindly face, and a gait advancing with a motion from side to side, between involuntary consciousness and attempted ease. His brown complexion may have been owing to a visit in the country; his air of uneasiness to a great burden of sorrow. He dressed with a quaker-like plainness. I did not know him as Lamb: I took him for a Mr. "Guy," having heard somebody address him by that appellative, I suppose in jest.

Every upper boy at school appears a giant to a little one. "Big boy" and senior are synonymous. Now and then, however, extreme smallness in a senior scholar gives a new kind of dignity, by reason of the testimony it bears to the ascendency of the intellect. It was the custom for the monitors at Christ-Hospital, during prayers before meat, to stand fronting the tenants of their respective wards, while the objects of their attention were kneeling. Looking up, on one of these occasions, toward a new monitor who was thus standing, and whose face was unknown to me (for there were six hundred of us, and his ward was not mine), I thought him the smallest boy that could ever have attained to so distinguished an eminence. He was little in person, little in face, and he had a singularly juvenile cast of features, even for one so petite.

It was Mitchell, the translator of Aristophanes. He had really attained his position prematurely. I rose afterward to be next to him in the school; and from a grudge that existed between us, owing probably to a reserve, which I thought pride, on his part, and to an ardency which he may have considered frivolous on mine, we became friends. Circumstances parted us in after life: I became a reformist, and he a quarterly reviewer; but he sent me kindly remembrances not long before he died. I did not know he was declining; and it will ever be a pain to me to reflect, that delay conspired with accident to hinder my sense of it from being known to him, especially as I learned that he had not been so prosperous as I supposed. He had his weaknesses as well as myself, but they were mixed with conscientious and noble qualities. Zealous as he was for aristocratical government, he was no indiscriminate admirer of persons in high places; and, though it would have bettered his views in life, he had declined taking orders, from nicety of religious scruple. Of his admirable scholarship I need say nothing.

Equally good scholar, but of a less zealous temperament was Barnes, who stood next me on the deputy-Grecian form, and who was afterward identified with the sudden and striking increase of the Times newspaper in fame and influence. He was very handsome when young, with a profile of Grecian regularity; and was famous among us for a certain dispassionate humor, for his admiration of the works of Fielding, and for his delight, nevertheless, in pushing a narrative to its utmost, and drawing upon his stores of fancy for intensifying it; an amusement for which he possessed an understood privilege. It was painful in after life to see his good looks swallowed up in corpulency, and his once handsome mouth thrusting its under lip out, and panting with asthma. I believe he was originally so well constituted, in point of health and bodily feeling, that he fancied he could go on all his life without taking any of the usual methods to preserve his comfort. The editorship of the Times, which turned his night into day, and would have been a trying burden to any man, completed the bad consequences of his negligence, and he died painfully before he was old. Barnes wrote elegant Latin verse, a classical English style, and might assuredly have made himself a name in wit and literature, had he cared much for any thing beyond his glass of wine and his Fielding.

What pleasant days have I not passed with him, and other schoolfellows, bathing in the New River, and boating on the Thames. He and I began to learn Italian together; and any body not within the pale of the enthusiastic, might have thought us mad, as we went shouting the beginning of Metastasio's ode to Venus, as loud as we could bawl, over the Hornsey-fields.

[Pg 202]


At Oxford, my love of boating had nearly cost me my life. I had already had a bit of a taste of drowning in the river Thames, in consequence of running a boat too hastily on shore; but it was nothing to what I experienced on this occasion. The schoolfellow whom I was visiting was the friend whose family lived in Spring Gardens. We had gone out in a little decked skiff, and not expecting disasters in the gentle Isis, I had fastened the sail-line, of which I had the direction, in order that I might read a volume which I had with me, of Mr. Cumberland's novel called "Henry." My friend was at the helm. The wind grew a little strong, and we had just got into Iffley Reach, when I heard him exclaim, "Hunt, we are over!" The next moment I was under the water, gulping it, and giving myself up for lost. The boat had a small opening in the middle of the deck, under which I had thrust my feet; this circumstance had carried me over with the boat, and the worst of it was, I found I had got the sail-line round my neck. My friend, who sat on the deck itself, had been swept off, and got comfortably to shore, which was at a little distance.

My bodily sensations were not so painful as I should have fancied they would have been. My mental reflections were very different, though one of them, by a singular meeting of extremes, was of a comic nature. I thought that I should never see the sky again, that I had parted with all my friends, and that I was about to contradict the proverb which said that a man who was born to be hung would never be drowned; for the sail-line, in which I felt entangled, seemed destined to perform for me both the offices. On a sudden, I found an oar in my hand, and the next minute I was climbing, with assistance, into a wherry, in which there sat two Oxonians, one of them helping me, and loudly and laughingly differing with the other, who did not at all like the rocking of the boat, and who assured me, to the manifest contradiction of such senses as I had left, that there was no room. This gentleman is now no more, and I shall not mention his name, because I might do injustice to the memory of a brave man struck with a panic. The name of his companion, if I mistake not, was Russell. I hope he was related to an illustrious person of the same name, to whom I have lately been indebted for what may have been another prolongation of my life.

On returning to town, which I did on the top of an Oxford coach, I was relating this story to the singular person who then drove it (Bobart, who had been a collegian), when a man who was sitting behind surprised us with the excess of his laughter. On asking him the reason, he touched his hat, and said, "Sir, I'm his footman." Such were the delicacies of the livery, and the glorifications of their masters with which they entertain the kitchen.—From the Autobiography of Leigh Hunt.



The following very graphic and very severe critical estimate of William Pitt, the great Prime Minister of England during the stormy era of the French Revolution, was written by Coleridge for the London Morning Post, with which he was then connected. It appeared in the number of that paper, dated Wednesday, March 19, 1800. We copy it from Coleridge's "Essays on His Own Times," just published in London.

Plutarch, in his comparative biography of Rome and Greece, has generally chosen for each pair of lives the two contemporaries who most nearly resemble each other. His work would, perhaps have been more interesting, if he had adopted the contrary arrangement and selected those rather, who had attained to the possession of similar influence or similar fame, by means, actions, and talents, the most dissimilar. For power is the sole object of philosophical attention in man, as in inanimate nature: and in the one equally as in the other, we understand it more intimately, the more diverse the circumstances are with which we have observed it co-exist. In our days the two persons, who appear to have influenced the interests and actions of men the most deeply and the most diffusively are beyond doubt the Chief Consul of France, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain; and in these two are presented to us similar situations with the greatest dissimilitude of characters.

William Pitt was the younger son of Lord Chatham; a fact of no ordinary importance in the solution of his character, of no mean significance in the heraldry of morals and intellect. His father's rank, fame, political connections, and parental ambition were his mould; he was cast, rather than grew. A palpable election, a conscious predestination controlled the free agency, and transfigured the individuality of his mind; and that, which he might have been, was compelled into that, which he was to be. From his early childhood it was his father's custom to make him stand up on a chair, and declaim before a large company; by which exercise, practiced so frequently, and continued for so many years, he acquired a premature and unnatural dexterity in the combination of words, which must of necessity have diverted his attention from present objects, obscured his impressions, and deadened his genuine feelings. Not the thing on which he was speaking, but the praises to be gained by the speech, were present to his intuition; hence he associated all the operations of his faculties with words, and his pleasures with the surprise excited by them.

But an inconceivably large portion of human knowledge and human power is involved in the science and management of words; and an education of words, though it destroys genius, will often create, and always foster, talent. The young Pitt was conspicuous far beyond his[Pg 203] fellows, both at school and at college. He was always full grown: he had neither the promise nor the awkwardness of a growing intellect. Vanity, early satiated, formed and elevated itself into a love of power; and in losing this colloquial vanity he lost one of the prime links that connect the individual with the species, too early for the affections, though not too early for the understanding. At college he was a severe student; his mind was founded and elemented in words and generalities, and these too formed all the superstructure. That revelry and that debauchery, which are so often fatal to the powers of intellect, would probably have been serviceable to him; they would have given him a closer communion with realities, they would have induced a greater presentness to present objects. But Mr. Pitt's conduct was correct, unimpressibly correct. His after-discipline in the special pleader's office, and at the bar, carried on the scheme of his education with unbroken uniformity. His first political connections were with the Reformers, but those who accuse him of sympathizing or coalescing with their intemperate or visionary plans, misunderstand his character, and are ignorant of the historical facts. Imaginary situations in an imaginary state of things rise up in minds that possess a power and facility in combining images. Mr. Pitt's ambition was conversant with old situations in the old state of things, which furnish nothing to the imagination, though much to the wishes. In his endeavors to realize his father's plan of reform, he was probably as sincere as a being, who had derived so little knowledge from actual impressions, could be. But his sincerity had no living root of affection; while it was propped up by his love of praise and immediate power, so long it stood erect and no longer. He became a member of the Parliament—supported the popular opinions, and in a few years, by the influence of the popular party, was placed in that high and awful rank in which he now is. The fortunes of his country, we had almost said, the fates of the world, were placed in his wardship—we sink in prostration before the inscrutable dispensations of Providence, when we reflect in whose wardship the fates of the world were placed!

The influencer of his country and of his species was a young man, the creature of another's predetermination, sheltered and weather-fended from all the elements of experience; a young man, whose feet had never wandered; whose very eye had never turned to the right or to the left; whose whole track had been as curveless as the motion of a fascinated reptile! It was a young man, whose heart was solitary, because he had existed always amidst objects of futurity, and whose imagination, too, was unpopulous, because those objects of hope, to which his habitual wishes had transferred, and as it were projected, his existence, were all familiar and long established objects! A plant sown and reared in a hot-house, for whom the very air that surrounded him, had been regulated by the thermometer of previous purpose; to whom the light of nature had penetrated only through glasses and covers; who had had the sun without the breeze; whom no storm had shaken; on whom no rain had pattered; on whom the dews of heaven had not fallen! A being, who had had no feelings connected with man or nature, no spontaneous impulses, no unbiased and desultory studies, no genuine science, nothing that constitutes individuality in intellect, nothing that teaches brotherhood in affection! Such was the man—such, and so denaturalized the spirit—on whose wisdom and philanthropy the lives and living enjoyments of so many millions of human beings were made unavoidably dependent. From this time a real enlargement of mind became almost impossible. Pre-occupations, intrigue, the undue passion and anxiety with which all facts must be surveyed; the crowd and confusion of those facts, none of them seen, but all communicated, and by that very circumstance, and by the necessity of perpetually classifying them, transmuted into words and generalities; pride, flattery, irritation, artificial power; these, and circumstances resembling these, necessarily render the heights of office barren heights, which command, indeed, a vast and extensive prospect, but attract so many clouds and vapors, that most often all prospect is precluded. Still, however, Mr. Pitt's situation, however inauspicious for his real being, was favorable to his fame. He heaped period on period; persuaded himself and the nation, that extemporaneous arrangement of sentences was eloquence; and that eloquence implied wisdom. His father's struggles for freedom, and his own attempts, gave him an almost unexampled popularity; and his office necessarily associated with his name all the great events, that happened during his administration. There were not, however, wanting men, who saw through this delusion; and refusing to attribute the industry, integrity, and enterprising spirit of our merchants, the agricultural improvements of our land-holders, the great inventions of our manufacturers, or the valor and skillfulness of our sailors to the merits of a minister, they have continued to decide on his character from those acts and those merits, which belong to him and to him alone. Judging him by this standard, they have been able to discover in him no one proof or symptom of a commanding genius. They have discovered him never controlling, never creating events, but always yielding to them with rapid change, and sheltering himself from inconsistency by perpetual indefiniteness. In the Russian war, they saw him abandoning meanly what he had planned weakly, and threatened insolently. In the debates on the Regency, they detected the laxity of his constitutional principles, and received proofs that his eloquence consisted not in the ready application of a general system to particular questions, but in the facility of arguing for or against any question by specious generalities, without reference to any system. In these debates, he combined what is most dangerous in democracy, with all that is most degrading in the old superstitions[Pg 204] of monarchy; and taught an inherency of the office in the person, in order to make the office itself a nullity, and the Premiership, with its accompanying majority, the sole and permanent power of the State. And now came the French Revolution. This was a new event; the old routine of reasoning, the common trade of politics were to become obsolete. He appeared wholly unprepared for it: half favoring, half condemning, ignorant of what he favored, and why he condemned, he neither displayed the honest enthusiasm and fixed principle of Mr. Fox, nor the intimate acquaintance with the general nature of man, and the consequent. prescience of Mr. Burke.

After the declaration of war, long did he continue in the common cant of office, in declamation about the Scheldt and Holland, and all the vulgar causes of common contests! and when at last the immense genius of his new supporter had beat him out of these words (words signifying places and dead objects, and signifying nothing more), he adopted other words in their places, other generalities—Atheism and Jacobinism—phrases, which he learned from Mr. Burke, but without learning the philosophical definitions and involved consequences, with which that great man accompanied those words. Since the death of Mr. Burke, the forms and the sentiments, and the tone of the French have undergone many and important changes: how, indeed, is it possible that it should be otherwise, while man is the creature of experience! But still Mr. Pitt proceeds in an endless repetition of the same general phrases. This is his element; deprive him of general and abstract phrases, and you reduce him to silence. But you can not deprive him of them. Press him to specify an individual fact of advantage to be derived from a war, and he answers, Security! Call upon him to particularize a crime, and he exclaims, Jacobinism! Abstractions defined by abstractions! Generalities defined by generalities! As a minister of finance, he is still, as ever, the man of words and abstractions! Figures, custom-house reports, imports and exports, commerce and revenue—all flourishing, all splendid! Never was such a prosperous country, as England, under his administration! Let it be objected, that the agriculture of the country is, by the overbalance of commerce, and by various and complex causes, in such a state, that the country hangs as a pensioner for bread on its neighbors, and a bad season uniformly threatens us with famine. This (it is replied) is owing to our prosperity—all prosperous nations are in great distress for food!—still prosperity, still general phrases, uninforced by one single image, one single fact of real national amelioration; of any one comfort enjoyed, where it was not before enjoyed; of any one class of society becoming healthier, wiser, or happier. These are things, these are realities; and these Mr. Pitt has neither the imagination to body forth, nor the sensibility to feel for. Once, indeed, in an evil hour, intriguing for popularity, he suffered himself to be persuaded to evince a talent for the Real, the Individual; and he brought in his poor bill!! When we hear the minister's talent for finance so loudly trumpeted, we turn involuntarily to his poor bill—to that acknowledged abortion—that unanswerable evidence of his ignorance respecting all the fundamental relations and actions of property, and of the social union!

As his reasonings, even so is his eloquence. One character pervades his whole being. Words on words, finely arranged, and so dexterously consequent, that the whole bears the semblance of argument, and still keeps awake a sense of surprise; but when all is done, nothing rememberable has been said; no one philosophical remark, no one image, not even a pointed aphorism. Not a sentence of Mr. Pitt's has ever been quoted, or formed the favorite phrase of the day—a thing unexampled in any man of equal reputation. But while he speaks, the effect varies according to the character of his auditor. The man of no talent is swallowed up in surprise; and when the speech is ended, he remembers his feelings, but nothing distinct of that which produced them—(how opposite an effect to that of nature and genius, from whose works the idea still remains, when the feeling is passed away—remains to connect itself with the other feelings, and combine with new impressions!) The mere man of talent hears him with admiration—the mere man of genius with contempt—the philosopher neither admires nor contemns, but listens to him with a deep and solemn interest, tracing in the effects of his eloquence the power of words and phrases, and that peculiar constitution of human affairs in their present state, which so eminently favors this power.

Such appears to us to be the prime minister of Great Britain, whether we consider him as a statesman or as an orator. The same character betrays itself in his private life; the same coldness to realities, and to all whose excellence relates to reality. He has patronized no science, he has raised no man of genius from obscurity; he counts no one prime work of God among his friends. From the same source he has no attachment to female society, no fondness for children, no perceptions of beauty in natural scenery; but he is fond of convivial indulgences, of that stimulation, which, keeping up the glow of self-importance and the sense of internal power, gives feelings without the mediation of ideas.

These are the elements of his mind; the accidents of his fortune, the circumstances that enabled such a mind to acquire and retain such a power, would form a subject of a philosophical history, and that, too, of no scanty size. We can scarcely furnish the chapter of contents to a work, which would comprise subjects so important and delicate, as the causes of the diffusion and intensity of secret influence; the machinery and state intrigue of marriages; the overbalance of the commercial interest; the panic of property struck by the late revolution; the short-sightedness of the careful; the carelessness of the fat-sighted;[Pg 205] and all those many and various events which have given to a decorous profession of religion, and a seemliness of private morals, such an unwonted weight in the attainment and preservation of public power. We are unable to determine whether it be more consolatary or humiliating to human nature, that so many complexities of event, situation, character, age, and country, should be necessary in order to the production of a Mr. Pitt.

[From Household Words.]


The lamentable deficiency of the commonest rudiments of education, which still exists among the humbler classes of the nation, is never so darkly apparent as when we compare their condition with that of people of similar rank in other countries. When we do so, we find that England stands the lowest in the scale of what truly must be looked upon as Civilization; for she provides fewer means for promoting it than any of her neighbors. With us, education is a commodity to be trafficked in: abroad, it is a duty. Here, schoolmasters are perfectly irresponsible except to their paymasters; in other countries, teachers are appointed by the state, and a rigid supervision is maintained over the trainers of youth, both as regards competency and moral conduct. In England, whoever is too poor to buy the article education, can get none of it for himself or his offspring; in other parts of Europe, either the government (as in Germany), or public opinion (as in America), enforces it upon the youthful population.

What are the consequences? One is revealed by a comparison between the proportion of scholars in elementary schools to the entire population of other countries, and that in our own. Taking the whole of northern Europe—including Scotland, and France, and Belgium (where education is at a low ebb), we find that to every 2-1/4 of the population, there is one child acquiring the rudiments of knowledge; while in England there is only one such pupil to every fourteen inhabitants.

It has been calculated that there are, at the present day in England and Wales, nearly 8,000,000 persons who can neither read nor write—that is to say, nearly one quarter of the population. Also, that of all the children between five and fourteen, more than one half attend no place of instruction. These statements—compiled by Mr. Kay, from official and other authentic sources, for his work on the Social Condition and Education of the Poor in England and Europe, would be hard to believe, if we had not to encounter in our every-day life degrees of illiteracy which would be startling, if we were not thoroughly used to it. Wherever we turn, ignorance, not always allied to poverty, stares us in the face. If we look in the Gazette, at the list of partnerships dissolved, not a month passes but some unhappy man, rolling perhaps in wealth, but wallowing in ignorance, is put to the experimentum crucis of "his mark." The number of petty jurors—in rural districts especially—who can only sign with a cross is enormous. It is not unusual to see parish documents of great local importance defaced with the same humiliating symbol by persons whose office shows them to be not only "men of mark," but men of substance. We have printed already specimens of the partial ignorance which passes under the ken of the Post Office authorities, and we may venture to assert, that such specimens of penmanship and orthography are not to be matched in any other country in Europe. A housewife in humble life need only turn to the file of her tradesmen's bills to discover hieroglyphics which render them so many arithmetical puzzles. In short, the practical evidences of the low ebb to which the plainest rudiments of education in this country has fallen, are too common to bear repetition. We can not pass through the streets, we can not enter a place of public assembly, or ramble in the fields, without the gloomy shadow of Ignorance sweeping over us. The rural population is indeed in a worse plight than the other classes. We quote—with the attestation of our own experience—the following passage from one of a series of articles which have recently appeared in a morning newspaper: "Taking the adult class of agricultural laborers, it is almost impossible to exaggerate the ignorance in which they live and move and have their being. As they work in the fields, the external world has some hold upon them through the medium of their senses; but to all the higher exercises of intellect, they are perfect strangers. You can not address one of them without being at once painfully struck with the intellectual darkness which enshrouds him. There is in general neither speculation in his eyes, nor intelligence in his countenance. The whole expression is more that of an animal than of a man. He is wanting, too, in the erect and independent bearing of a man. When you, accost him, if he is not insolent—which he seldom is—he is timid and shrinking, his whole manner showing that he feels himself at a distance from you, greater than should separate any two classes of men. He is often doubtful when you address, and suspicious when you question him; he is seemingly oppressed with the interview, while it lasts, and obviously relieved when it is over. These are the traits which I can affirm them to possess as a class, after having come in contact with many hundreds of farm laborers. They belong to a generation for whose intellectual culture little or nothing was done. As a class, they have no amusements beyond the indulgence of sense. In nine cases out of ten, recreation is associated in their minds with nothing higher than sensuality. I have frequently asked clergymen and others, if they often find the adult peasant reading for his own or others' amusement? The invariable answer is, that such a sight is seldom or never witnessed. In the first place, the great bulk of them can not[Pg 206] read. In the next, a large proportion of those who can do so with too much difficulty to admit of the exercise being an amusement to them. Again, few of those who can read with comparative ease, have the taste for doing so. It is but justice to them to say, that many of those who can not read, have bitterly regretted, in my hearing, their inability to do so. I shall never forget the tone in which an old woman in Cornwall intimated to me what a comfort it would now be to her, could she only read her Bible in her lonely hours."

We now turn to the high lights of the picture as presented abroad, and which, from their very brightness, throw our own intellectual gloom into deeper shade. Mr. Kay observes in the work we have already cited:

"It is a great fact, however much, we may be inclined to doubt it, that throughout Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, Bohemia, Wirtemberg, Baden, Hesse Darmstadt, Hesse Cassel, Gotha, Nassau, Hanover, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, and the Austrian Empire, ALL the children are actually at this present time attending school, and are receiving a careful, religious, moral, and intellectual education, from highly educated and efficient teachers. Over the vast tract of country which I have mentioned, as well as in Holland, and the greater part of France, all the children above six years of age are daily acquiring useful knowledge and good habits under the influence of moral, religious, and learned teachers. ALL the youth of the greater part of these countries, below the age of twenty-one years, can read, write, and cipher, and know the Bible History, and the history of their own country. No children are left idle and dirty in the streets of the towns—there is no class of children to be compared in any respect to the children who frequent our "ragged schools"—all the children, even of the poorest parents, are, in a great part of these countries, in dress, appearance, cleanliness, and manners, as polished and civilized as the children of our middle classes; the children of the poor in Germany are so civilized that the rich often send their children to the schools intended for the poor; and, lastly, in a great part of Germany and Switzerland, the children of the poor are receiving a better education than that given in England to the children of the greater part of our middle classes."

"I remember one day," says Mr. Kay in another page, "when walking near Berlin in the company of Herr Hintz, a professor in Dr. Diesterweg's Normal College, and of another teacher, we saw a poor woman cutting up, in the road, logs of wood for winter use. My companions pointed her out to me, and said, 'Perhaps you will scarcely believe it, but in the neighborhood of Berlin, poor women, like that one, read translations of Sir Walter Scott's Novels, and many of the interesting works of your language, besides those of the principal writers of Germany.' This account was afterward confirmed by the testimony of several other persons. Often and often have I seen the poor cab-drivers of Berlin, while waiting for a fare, amusing themselves by reading German books, which they had brought with them in the morning, expressly for the purpose of supplying amusement and occupation for their leisure hours. In many parts of these countries, the peasants and the workmen of the towns attend regular weekly lectures or weekly classes, where they practice singing or chanting, or learn mechanical drawing, history, or science. The intelligence of the poorer classes of these countries is shown by their manners. The whole appearance of a German peasant who has been brought up under this system, i. e., of any of the poor who have not attained the age of thirty-five years, is very different to that of our own peasantry. The German, Swiss, or Dutch peasant, who has grown up to manhood under the new system, and since the old feudal system was overthrown, is not nearly so often, as with us, distinguished by an uncouth dialect. On the contrary, they speak as their teachers speak, clearly, without hesitation, and grammatically. They answer questions politely, readily, and with the ease which shows they have been accustomed to mingle with men of greater wealth and of better education than themselves. They do not appear embarrased, still less do they appear gawkish or stupid, when addressed. If, in asking a peasant a question, a stranger, according to the polite custom of the country, raises his hat, the first words of reply are the quietly uttered ones, 'I pray you, sir, be covered.' A Prussian peasant is always polite and respectful to a stranger, but quite as much at his ease as when speaking to one of his own fellows."

Surely the contrast presented between the efforts of the schoolmaster abroad and his inactivity at home—refuting, as it does, our hourly boastings of "intellectual progress"—should arouse us, energetically and practically, to the work of educational extension.



The days of Infancy are all a dream,
How fair, but oh! how short they seem—
'Tis Life's sweet opening Spring!
The days of Youth advance:
The bounding limb, the ardent glance.
The kindling soul they bring—
It is Life's burning Summer time.
Manhood—matured with wisdom's fruit,
Reward of learning's deep pursuit—
Succeeds, as Autumn follows Summer's prime.
And that, and that, alas! goes by;
And what ensues? The languid eye,
The failing frame, the soul o'ercast;
'Tis Winter's sickening, withering blast,
Life's blessed season—for it is the last.

[Pg 207]

[From the Autobiography of Leigh Hunt.]



Boyer, the upper master of Christ-Hospital—famous for the mention of him by Coleridge and Lamb—was a short, stout man, inclining to punchiness, with large face and hands, an aquiline nose, long upper lip, and a sharp mouth. His eye was close and cruel. The spectacles which he wore threw a balm over it. Being a clergyman, he dressed in black, with a powdered wig. His clothes were cut short; his hands hung out of the sleeves, with tight wristbands, as if ready for execution; and as he generally wore gray worsted stockings, very tight, with a little balustrade leg, his whole appearance presented something formidably succinct, hard, and mechanical. In fact, his weak side, and undoubtedly his natural destination, lay in carpentry; and he accordingly carried, in a side-pocket made on purpose, a carpenter's rule.

The merits of Boyer consisted in his being a good verbal scholar, and conscientiously acting up to the letter of time and attention. I have seen him nod at the close of the long summer school-hours, wearied out; and I should have pitied him, if he had taught us any thing but to fear. Though a clergyman, very orthodox, and of rigid morals, he indulged himself in an oath, which was "God's-my-life!" When you were out in your lesson, he turned upon you a round, staring eye like a fish; and he had a trick of pinching you under the chin, and by the lobes of the ears, till he would make the blood come. He has many times lifted a boy off the ground in this way. He was, indeed, a proper tyrant, passionate and capricious; would take violent likes and dislikes to the same boys; fondle some without any apparent reason, though he had a leaning to the servile, and, perhaps, to the sons of rich people; and he would persecute others in a manner truly frightful. I have seen him beat a sickly-looking, melancholy boy (C——n) about the head and ears, till the poor fellow, hot, dry-eyed, and confused, seemed lost in bewilderment. C——n, not long after he took orders, died out of his senses. I do not attribute that catastrophe to the master; and of course he could not wish to do him any lasting mischief. He had no imagination of any sort. But there is no saying how far his treatment of the boy might have contributed to prevent a cure. Tyrannical schoolmasters nowadays are to be found, perhaps, exclusively in such inferior schools as those described with such masterly and indignant edification by my friend Charles Dickens; but they formerly seemed to have abounded in all; and masters, as well as boys, have escaped the chance of many bitter reflections, since a wiser and more generous intercourse has come up between them.

I have some stories of Boyer, that will completely show his character, and at the same time relieve the reader's indignation by something ludicrous in their excess. We had a few boarders at the school; boys, whose parents were too rich to let them go on the foundation. Among them, in my time, was Carlton, a son of Lord Dorchester; Macdonald, one of the Lord Chief Baron's sons; and R——, the son of a rich merchant. Carlton, who was a fine fellow, manly, and fall of good sense, took his new master and his caresses very coolly, and did not want them. Little Macdonald also could dispense with them, and would put on his delicate gloves after lesson, with an air as if he resumed his patrician plumage. R—— was meeker, and willing to be encouraged; and there would the master sit, with his arm round his tall waist, helping him to his Greek verbs, as a nurse does bread and milk to an infant; and repeating them, when he missed, with a fond patience, that astonished us criminals in drugget.

Very different was the treatment of a boy on the foundation, whose friends, by some means or other, had prevailed on the master to pay him an extra attention, and try to get him on. He had come into the school at an age later than usual, and could hardly read. There was a book used by the learners in reading, called "Dialogues between a Missionary and an Indian." It was a poor performance, full of inconclusive arguments and other commonplaces. The boy in question used to appear with this book in his hand in the middle of the school, the master standing behind him. The lesson was to begin. Poor ——, whose great fault lay in a deep-toned drawl of his syllables and the omission of his stops, stood half-looking at the book, and half-casting his eye toward the right of him, whence the blows were to proceed. The master looked over him; and his hand was ready. I am not exact in my quotation at this distance of time; but the spirit of one of the passages that I recollect was to the following purport, and thus did the teacher and his pupil proceed:

Master. "Now, young man, have a care; or I'll set you a swinging task." (A common phrase of his.)

Pupil. (Making a sort of heavy bolt at his calamity, and never remembering his stop at the word Missionary.) "Missionary Can you see the wind?"

(Master gives him a slap on the cheek.)

Pupil. (Raising his voice to a cry, and still forgetting his stop.) "Indian No!"

Master. "God's-my-life, young man! have a care how you provoke me."

Pupil. (Always forgetting the stop.) "Missionary How then do you know that there is such a thing?"

(Here a terrible thump.)

Pupil. (With a shout of agony.) "Indian Because I feel it."

One anecdote of his injustice will suffice for all. It is of ludicrous enormity; nor do I believe any thing more flagrantly willful was ever[Pg 208] done by himself. I heard Mr. C——, the sufferer, now a most respectable person in a government office, relate it with a due relish, long after quitting the school. The master was in the habit of "spiting" C——; that is to say, of taking every opportunity to be severe with him, nobody knew why. One day he comes into the school, and finds him placed in the middle of it with three other boys. He was not in one of his worst humors, and did not teem inclined to punish them, till he saw his antagonist. "Oh, oh, sir!" said he; "what! you are among them, are you?" and gave him an exclusive thump on the face. He then turned to one of the Grecians, and said, "I have not time to flog all these boys; make them draw lots, and I'll punish one." The lots were drawn, and C——'s was favorable. "Oh, oh!" returned the master, when he saw them, "you have escaped, have you, sir?" and pulling out his watch, and turning again to the Grecian, observed, that he found he had time to punish the whole three; "and, sir," added he to C——, with another slap, "I'll begin with you." He then took the boy into the library and flogged him; and, on issuing forth again, had the face to say, with an air of indifference, "I have not time, after all, to punish these two other boys; let them take care how they provoke me another time."

Often did I wish that I was a fairy, in order to play him tricks like a Caliban. We used to sit and fancy what we should do with his wig; how we would hamper and vex him; "put knives in his pillow, and halters in his pew." To venture on a joke in our own mortal persons, was like playing with Polyphemus. One afternoon, when he was nodding with sleep over a lesson, a boy of the name of Meaer, who stood behind him, ventured to take a pin, and begin advancing with it up his wig. The hollow, exhibited between the wig and the nape of the neck, invited him. The boys encouraged this daring act of gallantry. Nods and becks, and then whispers of "Go it, M.!" gave more and more valor to his hand. On a sudden, the master's head falls back; he starts, with eyes like a shark; and seizing the unfortunate culprit, who stood helpless in the act of holding the pin, caught hold of him, fiery with passion. A "swinging task" ensued, which kept him at home all the holidays. One of these tasks would consist of an impossible quantity of Virgil, which the learner, unable to retain it at once, wasted his heart and soul out "to get up," till it was too late.

Sometimes, however, our despot got into a dilemma, and then he did not know how to get out of it. A boy, now and then, would be roused into open and fierce remonstrance. I recollect S., afterward one of the mildest of preachers, starting up in his place, and pouring forth on his astonished hearer a torrent of invectives and threats, which the other could only answer by looking pale, and uttering a few threats in return. Nothing came of it. He did not like such matters to go before the governors. Another time, Favell, a Grecian, a youth of high spirit, whom he had struck, went to the school-door, opened it, and, turning round with the handle in his grasp, told him he would never set foot again in the place, unless he promised to treat him with more delicacy. "Come back, child—come back!" said the other, pale, and in a faint voice. There was a dead silence. Favell came back, and nothing mere was done.

A sentiment, unaccompanied with something practical, would have been lost upon him D——, who went afterward to the Military College at Woolwich, played him a trick, apparently between jest and earnest, which amused us exceedingly. He was to be flogged; and the dreadful door of the library was approached. (They did not invest the books with flowers, as Montaigne recommends.) Down falls the criminal, and, twisting himself about the master's legs, which he does the more when the other attempts to move, repeats without ceasing, "Oh, good God! consider my father, sir; my father, sir; you know my father!" The point was felt to be getting ludicrous, and was given up. P——, now a popular preacher, was in the habit of entertaining the boys that way. He was a regular wag; and would snatch his jokes out of the very flame and fury of the master, like snap-dragon. Whenever the other struck him, P. would get up; and, half to avoid the blows, and half render them ridiculous, begin moving about the school-room, making all sorts of antics. When he was struck in the face, he would clap his hand with affected vehemence to the place, and cry as rapidly, "Oh, Lord!" If the blow came on the arm, he would grasp his arm, with a similar exclamation. The master would then go, driving and kicking him; while the patient accompanied every blow with the same comments and illustrations, making faces to us by way of index.

What a bit of a golden age was it, when the Rev. Mr. Steevens, one of the under grammar-masters, took his place, on some occasion, for a short time! Steevens was short and fat, with a handsome, cordial face. You loved him as you looked at him; and seemed as if you should love him the more, the fatter he became. I stammered when I was at that time of life; which was an infirmity that used to get me into terrible trouble with the master. Steevens used to say, on the other hand, "Here comes our little black-haired friend, who stammers so. Now, let us see what we can do for him." The consequence was, I did not hesitate half so much as with the other. When I did, it was out of impatience to please him.

Such of us were not liked the better by the master, as were in favor with his wife. She was a sprightly, good-looking woman, with black eyes, and was beheld with transport by the boys, whenever she appeared at the school-door. Her husband's name, uttered in a mingled tone of good-nature and imperativeness, brought him[Pg 209] down from his seat with smiling haste. Sometimes he did not return. On entering the school one day, he found a boy eating cherries. "Where did you get those cherries?" exclaimed he, thinking the boy had nothing to say for himself. "Mrs. Boyer gave them me, sir." He turned away, scowling with disappointment.

Speaking of fruit, reminds me of a pleasant trait on the part of a Grecian of the name of Le Grice. He was the maddest of all the great boys in my time; clever, full of address, and not hampered with modesty. Remote rumors, not lightly to be heard, fell on our ears, respecting pranks of his among the nurses' daughters. He had a fair, handsome face, with delicate, aquiline nose, and twinkling eyes. I remember his astonishing me, when I was "a new boy," with sending me for a bottle of water, which he proceeded to pour down the back of G., a grave Deputy Grecian. On the master asking him one day, why he, of all the boys, had given up no exercise (it was a particular exercise that they were bound to do in the course of a long set of holidays), he said he had had "a lethargy." The extreme impudence of this puzzled the master; and I believe nothing came of it. But what I alluded to about the fruit was this: Le Grice was in the habit of eating apples in school-time, for which he had been often rebuked. One day, having particularly pleased the master, the latter, who was eating apples himself, and who would now and then with great ostentation present a boy with some half-penny token of his mansuetude, called out to his favorite of the moment: "Le Grice, here is an apple for you." Le Grice, who felt his dignity hurt as a Grecian, but was more pleased at having this opportunity of mortifying his reprover, replied, with an exquisite tranquillity of assurance, "Sir, I never eat apples." For this, among other things, the boy's adored him. Poor fellow! He and Favell (who, though very generous, was said to be a little too sensible of an humble origin) wrote to the Duke of York, when they were at college, for commissions in the army. The duke good-naturedly sent them. Le Grice died in the West Indies. Favell was Killed in one of the battles in Spain, but not before he had distinguished himself as an officer and a gentleman.


What is the enterprise and general prosperity of the Americans to be attributed to (their country is not naturally so rich or fruitful as Mexico), except to their general enlightenment? The oldest manufacturers of cotton in the world are the Hindoos; labor with them is cheaper than it is in any other part of the world: yet we take the cotton that grows at the doors of their factories, bring it 13,000 miles to this country, manufacture it here where labor is so expensive, take it back 13,000 miles, and undersell the native manufacturer. Labor is dearer in America than in any part of the world, and yet we dread and fear their competition more than that of any other nation. The reason of all this is obvious. All the advantages which the Hindoo possesses are far more than counterbalanced by his intellectual inferiority to ourselves; while we dread the American, with reason, because he is, intellectually at least, our equal, and, considering the general intelligence and good conduct of the hands he employs, our superior. To what cause, except that of a decided superiority in captains and crews, can we attribute the fact that the Americans have deprived us of so large a portion of the whale fishery, as in a measure to have monopolized it? American clocks, which we now see in almost every hall and cottage, ought to set us thinking. We may be sure of this, the commerce of the world will fall into the hands of those who are most deserving of it. If political or philanthropic considerations should fail to show us the necessity of educating our people, commercial considerations will one day remind us of what we ought to have done. We can only hope that the reminder may not come too late.

Enlightenment is the great necessity and the great glory of our age; ignorance is the most expensive, and most dangerous, and most pressing of all our evils. Among ourselves we find a variety of motives converging upon this conclusion. The statesman has become aware that an enlightened population is more orderly, more submissive, in times of public distress, to the necessity of their circumstances; not so easily led away by agitators; in short, more easily and more cheaply governed. The political economist is well aware of the close connection between general intelligence and successful enterprise and industry. The greater the number of enlightened and intelligent persons, the greater is the number of those whose thoughts are at work in subduing nature, improving arts, and increasing national wealth. The benevolent man is anxious that all should share those enjoyments and advantages which he himself finds to be the greatest. Both Churchman and Dissenter know well enough that they are under the necessity of educating. And the manufacturer, too, who is employing, perhaps, many more hands than the colonel of a regiment commands, is now becoming well aware how much to his advantage it is that his men should prefer a book or a reading-room to the parlor of a public house; should understand what they are about, instead of being merely able to go through their allotted task as so many beasts of burden; and that they should have the strong motive of making their homes decent and respectable, and of bettering their condition. All these motives are now working—strongly, too—in the public mind, and have begun to bear fruit.—Frazer's Magazine.

[Pg 210]

[From Bartlett's "Nile Boat."]


The Egyptian Pyramids.—How many illustrious travelers in all ages have sat and gazed upon the scene around! and how endless are the speculations in which they have indulged! "The epochs, the builders, and the objects of the pyramids," says Gliddon, "had, for two thousand years, been dreams, fallacies, or mysteries." To begin at the beginning, some have supposed them to be antediluvian; others, that they were built by the children of Noah to escape from a second flood—by Nimrod, by the Pali of Hindostan, and even the ancient Irish. It was a favorite theory until very lately, that they were the work of the captive Israelites. The Arabians attributed them to the Jins or Genii; others to a race of Titans. Some have supposed them to have been the granaries built by Joseph; others, intended for his tomb, or those of the Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea, or of the bull Apis. Yeates thinks they soon followed the Tower of Babel, and both had the same common design; while, according to others, they were built with the spoils of Solomon's temple and the riches of the queen of Sheba. They have been regarded as temples of Venus, as reservoirs for purifying the waters of the Nile, as erected for astronomical or mathematical purposes, or intended to protect the valley of the Nile from the encroachments of the sands of the desert (this notable theory, too, is quite recent); in short, for every conceivable and inconceivable purpose that could be imagined by superstitious awe, by erudition groping without data in the dark, or reasoning upon the scanty and suspicious evidence of Grecian writers. At length, after a silence of thousands of years, the discoveries of Champollion have enabled the monuments to tell their own tale; their mystery has been, in great measure, unraveled, and the names of their founders ascertained. The explorations of Colonel Vyse, Perring, and recently of Lepsius, have brought to light the remains of no less than sixty-nine pyramids, extending in a line from Abouroash to Dashoor. These, by the discovery of the names of their founders, are proved to have been a succession of royal mausolea, forming the most sublime Necropolis in the world. The size of each different pyramid is supposed to bear relation to the length of the reign of its builder, being commenced with the delving of a tomb in the rock for him at his accession, over which a fresh layer of stones was added every year until his decease, when the monument was finished and closed up. Taking the number of these Memiphite sovereigns and the average length of their reigns, the gradual construction of the pyramids would, therefore, it is presumed, extend over a period, in round numbers, of some sixteen hundred years! Imagination is left to conceive the antecedent period required for the slow formation of the alluvial valley of the Nile until it became fit for human habitation, whether it was first peopled by an indigenous race, or by an Asiatic immigration, already bringing with them from their Asiatic birth-place the elements of civilization, or whether they grew up on the spot, and the long, long ages that might have elapsed, and the progress that must have been made, before monuments so wonderful could have been erected.


Such is the latest theory, we believe, of the construction and import of the pyramids.

The entrance to the great pyramid is about forty feet from the ground. At the entrance, the stones follow the inclination of the passage:[Pg 211] there are a few foot-holes to aid you in descending the slippery blocks. Stooping down at the entrance of the low passage, four feet high, we began the sloping descent into the interior. This first passage continues on a slope, down to a subterranean room; but at the distance of 106 feet, a block of granite closes it; and an upper passage ascends from this point at an angle of 27°. Climbing by a few steps into the second passage, you ascend to the entrance of the great gallery. From this point a horizontal passage leads into what is called the Queen's Chamber, which is small, and roofed by long blocks, resting against each other, and forming an angle: its height to this point is about twenty feet. There is a niche in the east end, where the Arabs have broken the stones in search for treasure; and Sir G. Wilkinson thinks, that "if the pit where the king's body was deposited does exist in any of these rooms, it should be looked for beneath this niche." He remarks besides, that this chamber stands under the apex of the pyramid. At the base of the great gallery, to which we now return, is the mouth of what is called the well, a narrow funnel-shaped passage, leading down to the chamber at the base of the edifice, hollowed in the rock, and if the theory of Dr. Lepsius is correct, originally containing the body of the founder. The long ascending slope of the great gallery, six feet wide, is formed by successive courses of masonry overlaying each other, and thus narrowing the passage toward the top.

Advancing 158 feet up this impressive avenue, we come to a horizontal passage, where four granite portcullises, descending through grooves, once opposed additional obstacles to the rash curiosity or avarice which might tempt any to invade the eternal silence of the sepulchral chamber, which they besides concealed, but the cunning of the spoiler has been there of old, the device was vain, and you are now enabled to enter this, the principal apartment in the pyramid, and called the King's Chamber, entirely constructed of red granite, as is also the sarcophagus, the lid and contents of which had been removed. This is entirely plain, and without hieroglyphics; the more singular, as it seems to be ascertained that they were then in use. The sarcophagus rests upon an enormous granite block, which may, as suggested by Mrs. Poole, in her minute account of the interior, have been placed to mark the entrance to a deep vault or pit beneath. There are some small holes in the walls of the chamber, the purpose of which was for ventilation, as at length discovered by Col. Howard Vyse.

Above the King's Chamber, and only to be reached by a narrow passage, ascending at the south-east corner of the great gallery, having notches in which pieces of wood were formerly inserted, and from the top of that, along another passage, is the small chamber discovered by Mr. Davison; its height is only three feet six inches; above it are four other similar niches, discovered by Colonel Howard Vyse, the topmost of which is angular. Wilkinson supposes that the sole purpose of these chambers is to relieve the pressure on the King's Chamber, and here was discovered the cartouche containing the name of the founder, Suphis, identical with that found upon the tablets in Wady Maghara, in the desert of Mount Sinai.

The second pyramid, generally attributed, though without hieroglyphical confirmation, to Cephrenes, is more ancient and ruder in its masonry than that of Cheops. Standing on higher ground, it has from some points an appearance of greater height than that of the great pyramid, and its dimensions are hardly less stupendous. It is distinguished by having a portion of the smooth casing yet remaining, with which all the pyramids were once covered, and it is a great feat to climb up this dangerous, slippery surface to the summit. Yet there are plenty of Arabs who for a trifling beckshish will dash "down Cheops and up Cephrenes" with incredible celerity. Its interior arrangements differ from those of the great pyramid, in that in accordance with Lepsius's theory, the sarcophagus of the builder is sunk in the floor, and not placed in the centre of the edifice. The glory of opening this pyramid is due to the enterprising Belzoni.[Pg 212]

The third pyramid is of much smaller dimensions than the two others, but beautifully constructed. It was the work, as is proved by the discovery of his name, of Mycerinus or Mencheres, whose wooden coffin in the British Museum, very simple, and unornamented, as well as the desiccated body, supposed to be that of the monarch himself, has probably attracted the notice of our readers. This pyramid is double, i. e., eased over with a distinct covering. Besides these principal ones, there are still standing other and smaller pyramids, more or less entire, grouped about these larger ones, and forming a portion of this stupendous Necropolis of Memphis.

The Great Hall At Karnak.—We had spent so much time in the examination of Luxor, and of the other portions of Karnak, that the evening was advanced when we arrived at the Great Hall. The shadows were creeping solemnly through the intricate recesses of its forest of columns, but the red light rested for a while upon their beautiful flower-shaped capitals, the paintings upon which, scarred and worn as they are by the accidents of 3000 years, still display, under a strong light, much of their original vividness. It is a perfect wilderness of ruin, almost outrunning the wildest imagination or the most fantastic dream. We paced slowly down the central avenue. The bases of the columns are buried among the fallen fragments of the roof and a mass of superincumbent earth; from his hiding-place, amidst which the jackal began to steal forth, and wake the echoes of the ruins with his blood-curdling shriek; while the shadowy bat flitted, spirit-like, from dusky pillar to pillar. From the centre of the hall, whichever way we looked through the deepening gloom, there seemed no end to the labyrinthine ruins. Obelisks and columns, some erect in their pristine beauty, others fallen across, and hurled together in hideous confusion, forming wild arcades of ruin; enormous masses of prostrate walls and propylæa, seemed to have required either to construct or to destroy them the power of a fabled race of giants. Pillars, obelisks, and walls of this immense hall, were covered with the forms of monarchs who reigned, and of the gods who were once worshiped within it. Involuntarily the mind goes back, in gazing on them, to the period of its original splendor, when Rameses in triumph returned from his oriental conquests—pictures the pile in all its completeness, the hall of a hundred and thirty columns with its superb roof, glittering in all the vivid beauty of its paintings, thronged with monarchs, and priests, and worshipers, and devoted to splendid and gorgeous ceremonies.


Next morning, after an early breakfast, I was again among the ruins of the Great Hall, which I had but imperfectly surveyed the previous evening. I give its dimensions from Wilkinson, with a description of the rest of the temple. "It measures 170 feet by 329, supported by a[Pg 213] central avenue of twelve massive columns, 66 feet high (without the pedestal and abacus) and 12 in diameter, besides a hundred and twenty-two of smaller, or rather less gigantic dimensions, 41 feet 9 inches in height, and 27 feet 6 inches in circumference, distributed in seven lines on either side of the former. The twelve central columns were originally fourteen, but the two northernmost have been inclosed within the front towers or popylæa, apparently in the time of Osirei himself, the founder of the hall. The two at the other end were also partly built into the projecting wall of the doorway, as appears from their rough sides, which were left uneven for that purpose. Attached to this are two other towers, closing the inner extremity of the hall, beyond which are two obelisks, one still standing on its original site, the other having been thrown down and broken by human violence. Similar but smaller propylæa succeed to this court, of which they form the inner side." This is the spot which I have selected for a retrospective view of the Great Hall, the obelisk still standing, but the propylæa in the fore-ground a mass of utter ruin. Still following the intricate plan of the great temple through the ruined propylæa in the fore-ground, we reach another court with two obelisks of larger dimensions, the one now standing being 92 feet high and 8 square, surrounded by a peristyle, if I may be allowed the expression, of Osiride figures. Passing between two dilapidated propylæa, you enter another smaller area, ornamented in a similar manner, and succeeded by a vestibule, in front of the granite gateways that form the façade of the court before the sanctuary. This last is also of red granite, divided into two apartments, and surrounded by numerous chambers of small dimensions, varying from 29 feet by 16, to 16 feet by 8. The walls of this small sanctuary, standing on the site of a more ancient one, are highly polished, sculptured, and painted, and the ceiling of stars on a blue ground, the whole exquisitely finished. The entire height of the hall, i. e., the central portion, is not less than 80 feet, the propylæa still higher.

The imagination is no doubt bewildered in following these numerous details, and yet much is left undescribed and even unnoticed, and the eye, even of the visitor, more than satisfied with seeing, will return to the prominent objects, those alone, of which he can expect to retain a vivid recollection. The Great Hall will attract his attention above every thing else.



The construction of the Erie railroad through the hitherto secluded valleys of the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers, and reaching now almost to the Allegany, has opened to access new fields for the tourist, abounding with the loveliest and the grandest works of Nature. From the Hudson to the Lakes, the scenery is constantly changing from the romantic and beautiful to the bold and rugged; and again from the sublime and fearfully grand to the sweetest pictures of gentle beauty. There is probably no road in the world that passes through such a variety of scenery as does the Erie, and there is certainly none that can present to the traveler such a succession of triumphs of art over the formidable obstacles which nature has, at almost every step, raised against the iron-clad intruders into her loveliest recesses. The enchanting magnificence of the scenery keeps the attention alive, while its varying character at every turn,[Pg 214] continually opens new sources of enjoyment. Immense rocky excavations salute you upon every side. Miles of mountain acclivities of solid rock have been borne away by the Herculean arm of persevering industry. You see where the lofty cliff has been beaten down; the huge mountain-barrier leveled; rough and rugged precipices overcome; chasms spanned, and wide valleys and rivers crossed.

The scenery in the valley of the Delaware is grand beyond description; and in the valley of the Susquehanna, after passing out of a wilderness, where every portion is stamped with the impress of grandeur, a truly agricultural region, in a high state of cultivation, and smiling with abundance, meets the eye. At the point where the road first strikes the Susquehanna, that noble river is seen in the plenitude of its magnificent beauty.

From the Slate Rock Cutting. Port Jervis in the distance.

It is not our purpose to point out the particular objects most worthy of examination, or to describe any one of the numerous landscapes which lie all along the track; but we will venture to assert, that nowhere between sun and sun can such a combination and variety of the wonderful in nature and art, with the beautiful be seen, as in a day's ride on the Erie railroad. Sketches of some of these views accompany this article, and we may, from time to time, give such others as we think will prove interesting to our readers.

The reader is familiar with the geography of the road: commencing at Piermont, on the Hudson, twenty-four miles from New York, on the long pier that projects a mile into the river, it winds its way westward among the hills along the course of the Sparkill. Just before leaving the pier, looking north, the view on the preceding page is presented.

From the Sparkill the road leads over to the Ramapo, where the first lovely scenery commences, in a wild and broken, but picturesque region; thence through Orange county, beautiful mostly from its fertility and high cultivation. Passing on, the road approaches the Shawangunk mountains, which are seen stretching away to the northeast, where the eye catches a misty glimpse of the distant Catskills. The appearance of these mountains from the east is truly sublime; and ascending toward the summit the country is as rugged as the wildest steeps of the Appenines or Styrian Alps. After passing the summit of the mountain through a rock-cutting, half a mile in length, the road winds by a gentle slope of a dozen miles along the mountain side to the valley below. About half way down, another deep cutting through the rock is passed, on emerging from which, a view of remarkable loveliness meets the eye. At this point the traveler has an unbroken view of the enchanting valley of the Neversink in all its cultivated beauty. The accompanying view represents the scene from the spot where the road boldly sweeps toward the south, and shows the western verge of the valley bordered by a chain of mountains, at the foot of which gleams the village of Port Jervis and its level fields, losing themselves far in the south where rolls the Delaware, beyond which again the distant town[Pg 215] of Milford may be seen in the misty light. Running south through this beautiful area is a winding grove of trees, marking the course of the Neversink to where it unites with the Delaware.


We will present only one other view, which represents one of the imposing structures which characterize the Erie road. This is the viaduct over the valley of the Starrucca, built of stone. It is elevated one hundred feet above the valley, is over twelve hundred feet long, and twenty-five wide, and is composed of eighteen heavy piers, with arches of fifty feet span. It is simple in its design, but symmetrical and beautiful, and is altogether the noblest piece of work upon the whole line of the road. It is one of the most interesting objects which invite the notice of the traveler, and gives dignity and grandeur, as well as a picturesque character to the work. In this immediate neighborhood is some of the finest scenery to be found on the whole line of the road, and will tempt many a traveler to repeat his visit, and linger to explore new beauties, which the eye in the rolling car does not detect.

[From Dr. Moore's new work on "Health, Disease, and Remedy."]


The effects of cold and heat recall to my mind the words that I heard in my youth from the lips of Abernethy, "Cold is bracing, heat relaxing—that is the notion, but only consider its absurdity. Heat excites, how then can it relax? There is a difference between heat and moisture and mere heat. They say a cold bath is bracing. Ah! a man jumps into a cold bath, and he feels chilled; he jumps out again, and rubs himself with a coarse cloth; he is invigorated, refreshed, and cheery; he feels as if he could jump over the moon. So, if a man takes a glass of brandy, he feels vigorous enough for a little while, but the brandy is any thing but bracing. Keep the man in the cold water, and see what a poor, shivering mortal he would be; you might almost knock him down with a feather; and add more brandy to the man, and he becomes a lump." Heat and cold, in fact, both operate in the same manner, by exciting the vital powers into action, but to use either to excess as surely debilitates, disorders, and overpowers the system as an abuse of brandy would do. All things that cause action of course must act as stimuli, and whatever rouses the heart and nerves must be proportioned to the degree of power existing in the patient, or it can not be safe; it is spurring the jaded horse that kills him. Moderation is the course prescribed in the law of nature and of God, and it needs no exquisite discernment to distinguish right from wrong in a general way, or to see when the system needs rest, and when rousing.

Sea-bathing is serviceable only as a stimulus to all the functions by rousing the nerves, and hence the heart and arteries, to greater activity. In this manner, I have seen vast benefit in a multitude of cases, more particularly those in which the lymphatic system and the glands were diseased, as in scrofula, tumid abdomen, and harsh skin, with deficient appetite, and indisposition to take exercise. It does mischief if it does not at once improve power. In such cases, however, great care is required to avoid too long a chill, which always aggravates the glandular congestion. Salt stimulates the skin, but a certain degree of cold, and, perhaps, of shock, is necessary for the beneficial effects, a warm bath very often increasing the malady. I speak from my experience of the effects of sea-bathing, and would strongly urge the propriety[Pg 216] of preparing children for plunging in the sea, by getting them accustomed to cold sponging at home, as this plan will often supersede the need of visiting the sea for their benefit, and enable them to bear the sea the better when advisable.

Sea-air and sea-water exert a very decided influence upon children, and, indeed, upon all who are not accustomed to it, whether in health or disease. Young persons coming from inland situations are very apt to become somewhat fevered by the change, and bilious disorder is a common consequence of their approaching the sea; and in almost all persons sea-bathing begets after a while a slight intermittent disorder, which seldom goes quite off in less than a fortnight from the last bath. If the bath be resorted to daily, this disorder usually comes on in about a week; if only twice or thrice a week, it may not appear for a month, and those who bathe only now and then, without regularity, do not seem to be subject to it. I am disposed to think that this new action of the system promotes the cure of glandular disease, but it may, if neglected, conduce to internal disorder of a worse kind, and I have frequently seen a dangerous remittent fever supervene upon it in delicate and excitable children. These results prove the stimulating operation of sea-water, and sufficiently show the necessity of caution in its use. Instead of improving the powers of the body, it may produce debility by over-exciting them; hence it is prudent in most cases not to bathe oftener than every other day, and to use milder measures if, after the second or third occasion, there is not a visible increase of vigor. Where exercise can not be taken immediately after the bath, friction of the body, especially over the back and stomach, is desirable. The best time for cold bathing, where there is any debility, is about two hours after breakfast. Early bathing is best for the robust. Let it be remembered that cold acts always as a stimulant; whenever it does good, it rouses the nervous system; it makes a greater demand for oxygen; it enables the body to absorb more of the vital air, and thus it facilitates the changes on which the energy of life depends. In this respect it acts like all other stimulants proper to the body, and not like alcoholic stimuli, which excite the brain, while they diminish the influence of the vital air upon the blood, and favor capillary obstructions and inflammations.

The influence of cold on the nervous system is no new discovery, for ever since man has felt and inferred from his feeling, he must have known that influence alike from experience and observation. Used as a bath, we have seen that it may produce very contrary effects; like any other powerful agent, it both excites and depresses. The first action of nearly all remedies is to excite; from fire to frost, from aqua fortis to aqua fontis, the influence is always more or less stimulating, and it is capable of depressing the vital powers in proportion to its power of exciting them. Thus the hydropathists have in their hands the power of producing all the stages of the most vehement fever, from the rigor of the severest cold fit to the fiercest excitement which the heart and brain will bear, succeeded by a perspiration proportionately violent; and hence sometimes inadvertently they lose a patient by the production of a sudden sinking like the collapse of cholera. Some tact and skill, therefore, are requisite for the safe employment of such an agency as cold water.

Paracelsus treated that form of St. Vitus' Dance which prevailed in his day, and which he called chorea lasciva, by cooling his patients in tubs of cold water; and Priesnitz brings his patients also to the right point by baths that allow no idleness to whatever function of nature may remain capable of action within them, and thus he often removes partial complaints by a general diversion. Aubrey, in his account of the great Harvey, informs us of a bold piece of practice with cold water. He says, that when Harvey had a fit of the gout that interfered with his studies, "He would sitt with his legges bare, though it were frosty, on the leads of Cockayne-house, put them into a payle of water till he was almost dead with cold, and betake himself to his stove, and so 'twas gone." Harvey doubtless knew how to balance matters in his own mind between the risk and the remedy, and he might feel justified in treating himself with less gentleness than his patients; but, perhaps, physicians should try such extreme remedies only on themselves. Since Harvey's day, the virtues of cold water in fever and inflammation have been abundantly tested, and we find it is capable of producing contrary effects, according to the condition of the body at the time. Thus, if it be long applied, or applied when the vital action is low, it dangerously depresses the vascular system, to be followed by a more or less dangerous and obstinate reaction; but if the system be tolerably strong, without being very excitable, the use of cold in a moderate degree always safely increases vigor. It is therefore always safe so far to employ cold, as will help to maintain the ordinary temperature of the body. Thus, in fever, when the skin is hot, sponging it with cold water is both most refreshing and curative; while a free use of cold water as drink is almost always in such cases highly advantageous.

It has been well shown by Dr. R. B. Todd, in his Lumleian Lectures at the College of Physicians, on what principle cold may be employed to modify and control a great number of diseases, especially those of a convulsive character. But these things are of course known, or ought to be known, by professional men; and as they are not of a character to admit of practical application, except by those accustomed to treat disease, it will answer no good purpose to enlarge on the subject in this place.

The warm-bath is among the most useful of remedial measures. One who has experienced the delicious refreshment of a warm-bath at about the temperature of the blood (100°), after exhausting fatigue and want of sleep, whether[Pg 217] from disease or exertion, will need no arguments in its favor. It is exactly under such conditions that it is most useful. From time immemorial, thermal springs of tepid warmth have been lauded for their virtues in relieving nervous disorders, and diseases dependent on insufficiency of blood, and exhaustion of the brain, such as the dyspepsy of anxious persons, and individuals debilitated by excitement, bad habits, and hot climates. The mode in which it acts seems evident—it checks waste of warmth from the skin, invigorates its vessels without producing perspiration, admits a little pure water into the blood by absorption, and by its tranquillizing influence on the nerves, favors the action of any function that may have been checked or disturbed. The body becomes highly electric in warm water, and probably all the conditions of increased power are present for the time at least; and of course, so far as warm bathing promotes appetite, digestion, assimilation, and sound sleep, it contributes to the establishment of increased vigor. Thus we find, that hypochondriacal patients have often found new hopes in the genial lymph as it embraced and laved their naked limbs; they have felt the elements were still in their favor; they have rejoiced in the sunny air, and taken their homely meals as if they were ambrosia, with hearts grateful to the Hand that helped them. The blessing may, however, be abused—the remedy may be made a luxury, the means of health a cause of weakness. When continually resorted to by persons well nourished, but inactive, it is apt to produce a flaccidity of the system, and to encourage that relaxation of the veins which predisposes to excessive formation of fat. For the same reason, it is generally injurious where there is a tendency to dropsy, and in some such cases I have known it immediately followed by great lymphatic effusion in the cellular tissue, which has been quickly removed, however, by saline aperients and tonics.

As it is the combination of heat and moisture that renders the thermal bath so efficacious, it frequently happens that a thoroughly hot bath most effectually facilitates the cure, and we are not astonished that the parboiling waters of Emmaus, at 148°, on the shores of Tiberias, are as famous for their cures as any of the German baths. The semi-barbarians about the sea of Galilee, the inhabitants of Iceland, and the savages of America, know how to employ the hot bath skillfully; and if we were equally accustomed with them to exercise our natural instinct and common sense, we also might bathe in hot water without consulting the doctor; but as it is, we had better take advantage of a better opinion than our own. I the more earnestly urge this course, because I know the danger of all hot baths, wherever there is acute disease of an inflammatory kind affecting internal organs, more especially of the lungs, heart, and bowels. Even acute rheumatism is more likely to attack the heart when the hot bath is employed; and where there is any considerable structural disorder of that organ, the use of the bath in any form is at all times attended with risk.

Warm baths are useful in all nervous disorders attended with debility, in all cases in which there is dryness of the skin and a tendency to feverish less, in mental fidgetiness, in irregular circulation, as when a person can not take due exercise, and is subject to coldness of the feet or hands, and in many forms of congestion and dyspepsia, with tenderness over the stomach. It is serviceable in the convulsive diseases of children, and in painful diseases, especially of a spasmodic kind, but more particularly in cases of chronic irritation from local causes, whether of the skin or of internal parts. It is injurious to plethoric persons, to persons subject to hæmorrhage of any kind, and in the active stage of fever. But whether it would be good or bad in any individual case, can be determined only by one who has ability to examine and judge of that case.

As a general rule, mineral and salt-water warm baths are less relaxing than those of pure water. The vapor bath, when the vapor is not breathed, acts more powerfully, though much in the same manner as the warm bath, but it is more useful in common cold and rheumatism. The warm-air bath, at from 100° to 120°, is highly convenient and useful, where it is desirable to excite perspiration, as in rheumatism, scaly eruptions, and certain stages of fever and cholera. The plan most readily adopted is that of Dr. Gower: A lamp is placed under the end of a metallic tube, which is introduced under the bed-clothes, which are raised from the body by a wicker frame-work, and the degree of heat regulated by moving the lamp.

The cold bath is unsafe in infancy and old age, in plethoric habits, in spitting of blood, in eruptive diseases, in great debility, during pregnancy, and in case of weakness from any existing local disease of an acute nature; but in nearly all other states of the body, cold water is the best stimulant of the nerves, the finest quickener of every function, the most delightful invigorator of the whole frame, qualifying both brain and muscles for their utmost activity, and clearing alike the features and the fancy from clouds and gloom.

Cold may always be safely applied when the surface is heated by warmth from without, as from hot water or the vapor bath, and, indeed, whenever the body is hot without previous exercise of an exhausting kind. Probably, the method adopted by the Romans, in their palmiest days, of plunging into the baptisterium, or cold bath, immediately after the vapor or hot bath, or, as a substitute, the pouring of cold water over the head, was well calculated to invigorate the system, and give a high enjoyment of existence. The Russian practice of plunging into a cold stream, or rolling in the snow, after the vapor-bath, is said to be favorable to longevity. The Finlanders are accustomed to leave their bathing-houses, heated to 167°, and to pass into the open air without[Pg 218] any covering whatever, even when the thermometer indicates a temperature 24° below zero, and that without any ill effect, but, on the contrary, it is said that by this habit they are quite exempted from rheumatism. Would that the luxury of bathing, so cheaply enjoyed by all classes of old Rome, were equally available among ourselves. The conquerors of the world introduced their baths wherever they established their power; but we have repudiated the blessings of water in such a form, and now the Russian boor and the Finnish peasant, the Turk, the Egyptian, the basest of people, and the barbarians of Africa, shame even the inhabitants of England's metropolis; for every where but in our land, though the duty of cleanliness may not be enjoined as next to godliness, as with us, yet the benefit and the luxury of the bath are freely enjoyed, as the natural means of ablution and of health.

"With us the man of no complaint demands
The warm ablution, just enough to clear
The sluices of the skin, enough to keep
The body sacred from indecent soil.
Still to be pure, even did it not conduce
(As much it does) to health, were greatly worth
Your daily pains."—Armstrong.


With the exception, perhaps, of the lower order of the working clergy, there is no class of the community, as a body, so desperately poor as the bar. If it were not for extrinsic aids, one-half, at least, of its members must necessarily starve. Of course a considerable number of them have private property or income, and in point of fact, as a general rule, he who goes to the bar without some such assistance and resource is a fool—and probably a vanity-stricken fool—a fond dreamer about the

Eloquium ac famam Demosthenis aut Ciceronis;

forgetting that at the outset these worthies had the leisure to acquire, and the ample means to pay for the best education that the world could afford. The aspirant for forensic fame who can not do this is dreadfully overweighted for the race, and can scarcely hope to come in a winner; for the want of all facilities of tuition and of one's own library, which is a thing of great cost, must be severely felt, and the necessity of working in some extraneous occupation for his daily bread must engross much of that time which should be devoted to study, and the furtherance otherwise of the cardinal object he has in view. We have read of many cases in which men have struggled triumphantly against all such obstacles, and no doubt some there were—but for the most part, as in Lord Eldon's instance, they were grossly exaggerated. Next, of those who have no patrimony or private allowance from friends, the press, in its various departments, supports a very large number. Some are editors or contributors to magazines or reviews—daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly; some are parliamentary reporters; some shorthand writers; some reporters of the proceedings in the courts of law for the daily journals and the now almost innumerous legal publications, from the recognized reports down to the two-penny pamphlet; then some are secretaries to public boards or bodies, some to private individuals. All these are comparatively well off in the world, and may "bide their time," though that time very rarely comes in any prolific shape, and meanwhile devote their tempora subseciva to the profession without the physical necessity of doing any thing ungentlemanly. But there are hundreds of others hanging on to the profession in a most precarious position from day to day, who would do any thing for business, and who taint the whole mass with the disgrace of their proceedings. These are the persons who resort to the arts of the lowest tradesmen, such as under-working, touting for employment, sneaking, cringing, lying, and the like. These are the persons who, in such shabby or fraudulent cases as may succeed, share the fees with low attorneys, and who sign habitually, for the same pettifogging practitioners, half-guinea motions in the batch, for half-a-crown or eighteenpence apiece; and, in short, do any thing and every thing that is mean and infamous. Alas for the dignity of the bar! The common mechanic, who earns his regular thirty shillings a week, the scene-shifter, the paltry play actor, enjoys more of the comforts and real respectability of human life than one of those miserable aspirants to the wool-sack, who spends his day in the desperate quest for a brief, and sits at night in his garret shivering over a shovel-full of coals and an old edition of Coke upon Littleton.—Frazer's Magazine.


23d April, 1850.

Beneath the solemn shadow he doth sleep
Of his own mountains! closed the poet's eyes
To all earth's beauty—wood, and lake, and skies,
And golden mists that up the valleys creep.
Sweet Duddon's stream and Rydal's grassy steep,
The "snow-white lamb," his cottage-maiden's prize,
The cuckoo's note, and flowers, in which his wise
And gentle mind found "thoughts for tears too deep"—
These, Wordsworth! thou hast left; but oh, on these,
And the deep human sympathies that flow
Link'd with their beauty, an immortal train,
Thy benediction rests; and as the breeze
Sweeping the cloud-capp'd hills is heard below.
Descends to us a rich undying strain!
H. M. R.
[Pg 219]

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]



[Continued from Page 10.]



As I gained the street, at a considerable distance from the "Place," I was able to increase my speed; and I did so with an eagerness as if the world depended on my haste. At any other time I would have bethought me of my disobedience to the Père's commands, and looked forward to meeting him with shame and sorrow, but now I felt a kind of importance in the charge intrusted to me. I regarded my mission as something superior to any petty consideration of self, while the very proximity in which I had stood to peril and death made me seem a hero in my own eyes.

At last I reached the street where we lived, and, almost breathless with exertion, gained the door. What was my amazement, however, to find it guarded by a sentry, a large, solemn-looking fellow, with a tattered cocked hat on his head, and a pair of worn striped trowsers on his legs, who cried out, as I appeared, "Halte là!" in a voice that at once arrested my steps.

"Where to, youngster?" said he, in a somewhat melted tone, seeing the shock his first words had caused me.

"I am going home, sir," said I, submissively. "I live at the third story, in the apartment of the Père Michel."

"The Père Michel will live there no longer, my boy; his apartment is now in the Temple," said he, slowly.

"In the Temple!" said I, whose memory at once recalled my father's fate; and then, unable to control my feelings, I sat down upon the steps, and burst into tears.

"There, there, child, you must not cry thus," said he; "these are not days when one should weep over misfortunes; they come too fast and too thick on all of us for that. The Père was your tutor, I suppose?"

I nodded.

"And your father—where is he?"


He made a sign to imitate the guillotine, and I assented by another nod.

"Was he a royalist, boy?"

"He was an officer in the gardes du corps," said I, proudly. The soldier shook his head mournfully, but with what meaning I know not.

"And your mother, boy?"

"I do not know where she is," said I, again relapsing into tears at the thought of my utter desolation. The old soldier leaned upon his musket in profound thought, and for some time did not utter a word. At last he said,

"There is nothing but the Hotel de Ville for you, my child. They say that the Republic adopts all the orphans of France. What she does with them I can not tell."

"But I can, though," replied I, fiercely: "the Noyades or the Seine are a quick and sure provision; I saw eighty drowned one morning below the Pont Neuf myself."

"That tongue of yours will bring you into trouble, youngster," said he, reprovingly: "mind that you say not such things as these."

"What worse fortune can betide me, than to see my father die at the guillotine, and my last, my only friend, carried away to prison."

"You have no care for your own neck, then?"

"Why should I—what value has life for me?"

"Then it will be spared to you," said he, sententiously; "mark my words, lad. You need never fear death till you begin to love life. Get up, my poor boy, you must not be found there when the relief comes, and that will be soon. This is all that I have," said he, placing three sous in my palm, "which will buy a loaf; to-morrow there may be better luck in store for you."

I shook the rough hand he offered, with cordial gratitude, and resolved to bear myself as like a man as I could. I drew myself up, touched my cap in soldier-like fashion, and cried out. "Adieu;" and then, descending into the street, hurried away to hide the tears that were almost suffocating me.

Hour after hour I walked the streets; the mere act of motion seemed to divert my grief, and it was only when foot-sore and weary, that I could march no longer, and my sorrows came back in full force, and overwhelmed me in their flow. It was less pride or shame than a sense of my utter helplessness, that prevented me addressing any one of the hundreds who passed me. I bethought me of my inability to do any thing for my own support, and it was this consciousness that served to weigh me down more than all else; and yet I felt with what devotion I could serve him who would but treat me with the kindness he might bestow upon his dog; I fancied with what zeal I could descend to very slavery for one word of affection. The streets were crowded with people; groups were gathered here and there, either listening to some mob orator of the day, or hearing the newspapers read aloud. I tried, by forcing my way into the crowd, to feel myself "one of them," and to think that I had my share of interest in what was going forward, but in vain. Of the topics discussed I knew nothing, and of the bystanders none even noticed me. High-swelling phrases met the ear at every moment, that sounded strangely enough to me. They spoke of Fraternity—of that brotherhood which linked man to man in close affection; of Equality—that made all sharers in this world's goods; of Liberty—that gave freedom to every noble aspiration and generous thought; and, for an instant, carried away by the glorious illusion, I even forgot my solitary condition, and felt proud of my heritage as a youth of France I looked[Pg 220] around me, however, and what faces met my gaze! The same fearful countenances I had seen around the scaffold: the wretches, blood-stained, and influenced by passion, their bloated cheeks and strained eye-balls glowing with intemperance; their oaths, their gestures, their very voices having something terrible in them. The mockery soon disgusted me, and I moved away, again to wander about without object or direction through the weary streets. It was past midnight when I found myself, without knowing where I was, in a large open space, in the midst of which a solitary lamp was burning. I approached it, and, to my horror, saw that it was the guillotine, over which, in mournful cadence, a lantern swung, creaking its chain as the night-wind stirred it. The dim outline of the fearful scaffold, the fitful light that fell upon the platform, and the silence, all conspired to strike terror into my heart; all I had so lately witnessed seemed to rise up again before me, and the victims seemed to stand up again, pale, and livid, and shuddering as last I saw them.

I knelt down, and tried to pray, but terror was too powerful to suffer my thoughts to take this direction, and, half-fainting with fear and exhaustion, I lay down upon the ground and slept—slept beneath the platform of the guillotine. Not a dream crossed my slumber, nor did I awake till dawn of day, when the low rumbling of the peasants' carts aroused me, as they were proceeding to the market. I know not why or whence, but I arose from the damp earth, and looked about me with a more daring and courageous spirit than I had hitherto felt. It was May; the first bright rays of sunshine were slanting along the "Place," and the fresh, brisk air felt invigorating and cheering. Whither to? asked I of myself, and my eyes turned from the dense streets and thoroughfares of the great city to the far-off hills beyond the barrier, and for a moment I hesitated which road to take. I almost seemed to feel as if the decision involved my whole future fortune—whether I should live and die in the humble condition of a peasant, or play for a great stake in life. "Yes," said I, after a short hesitation, "I will remain here; in the terrible conflict going forward many must be new adventurers, and never was any one more greedy to learn the trade than myself. I will throw sorrow behind me. Yesterday's tears are the last I shall shed. Now for a bold heart and a ready will, and here goes for the world!" With these stout words I placed my cap jauntily on one side of my head, and, with a fearless air marched off for the very centre of the city.

For some hours I amused myself gazing at the splendid shops, or staring in at the richly-decorated cafés, where the young celebrities of the day were assembled at breakfast, in all the extravagance of the new-fangled costume. Then I followed the guard to the parade at the "Carousel," and listened to the band; quitting which, I wandered along the quays, watching the boats, as they dragged the river, in search of murdered bodies or suicides. Thence I returned to the Palais Royal, and listened to the news of the day, as read out by some elected enlightener of his countrymen.

By what chance I know not, but at last my rambling steps brought me opposite to the great, solemn-looking towers of the "Temple." The gloomy prison, within whose walls hundreds were then awaiting the fate which already their friends had suffered; little groups, gathered here and there in the open Place, were communicating to the prisoners by signs and gestures, and from many a small-grated window, at an immense height, handkerchiefs were seen to wave in recognition of those below. These signals seemed to excite neither watchfulness nor prevention; indeed, they needed none, and perhaps the very suspense they excited was a torture that pleased the inhuman jailers. Whatever the reason, the custom was tolerated, and was apparently enjoyed at that moment by several of the turnkeys, who sat at the windows, much amused at the efforts made to communicate. Interested by the sight, I sat down upon a stone bench to watch the scene, and fancied that I could read something of the rank and condition of those who signalled from below their messages of hope or fear. At last a deep bell within the prison tolled the hour of noon, and now every window was suddenly deserted. It was the hour for the muster of the prisoners, which always took place before the dinner at one o'clock. The curious groups soon after broke up. A few lingered round the gate, with, perhaps some hope of admission to visit their friends but the greater number departed.

My hunger was now such, that I could no longer deny myself the long-promised meal, and I looked about me for a shop where I might buy a loaf of bread. In my search, I suddenly found myself opposite an immense shop, where viands of every tempting description were ranged with all that artistic skill so purely Parisian, making up a picture whose composition Snyders would not have despised. Over the door was a painting of a miserable wretch, with hands bound behind him, and his hair cut close in the well-known crop for the scaffold, and underneath was written, "Au Scélérat;" while on a larger board, in gilt letters, ran the inscription:

"Boivin Père et Fils, Traiteurs pour M. lea Condammées."

I could scarcely credit my eyes as I read and re-read this infamous announcement; but there it stood, and in the crowd that poured incessantly to and from the door, I saw the success that attended the traffic. A ragged knot were gathered around the window, eagerly gazing at something, which, by their exclamations, seemed to claim all their admiration. I pressed forward to see what it was, and beheld a miniature guillotine, which, turned by a wheel, was employed to chop the meat for sausages. This it was that formed the great object of attraction, even to those to whom the prototype had grown flat and uninteresting.[Pg 221]

Disgusted as I was by this shocking sight, I stood watching all that went forward within with a strange interest. It was a scene of incessant bustle and movement, for now, as one o'clock drew nigh, various dinners were getting ready for the prisoners, while parties of their friends were assembling inside. Of these latter, there seemed persons of every rank and condition: some, dressed in all the brilliancy of the mode; others, whose garments bespoke direst poverty. There were women, too, whose costume emulated the classic drapery of the ancients, and who displayed, in their looped togas, no niggard share of their forms; while others, in shabby mourning, sat in obscure corners, not noticing the scene before them, nor noticed themselves. A strange equipage, with two horses extravagantly bedizened with rosettes and bouquets, stood at the door; and as I looked, a pale, haggard-looking man, whose foppery in dress contrasted oddly with his care-worn expression, hurried from the shop, and sprung into the carriage. In doing so, a pocket-book fell from his pocket. I took it up, but as I did so, the carriage was already away, and far beyond my power to overtake it.

Without stopping to examine my prize, or hesitating for a second, I entered the restaurant, and asked for M. Boivin.

"Give your orders to me, boy," said a man busily at work behind the counter.

"My business is with himself," said I, stoutly.

"Then you'll have to wait with some patience," said he, sneeringly.

"I can do so," was my answer, and I sat down in the shop.

I might have been half-an-hour thus seated, when an enormously fat man, with a huge "bonnet rouge" on his head, entered from an inner room, and, passing close to where I was, caught sight of me.

"Who are you, sirrah—what brings you here?"

"I want to speak with M. Boivin."

"Then speak," said he, placing his hand upon his immense chest.

"It must be alone," said I.

"How so, alone, sirrah?" said he, growing suddenly pale; "I have no secrets—I know of nothing that may not be told before all the world."

Though he said this in a kind of appeal to all around, the dubious looks and glances interchanged seemed to make him far from comfortable.

"So you refuse me, then," said I, taking up my cap, and preparing to depart.

"Come hither," said he, leading the way into the room from which he had emerged. It was a very small chamber; the most conspicuous ornaments of which were busts and pictures of the various celebrities of the revolution. Some of these latter were framed ostentatiously, and one, occupying the post of honor above the chimney, at once attracted me, for in a glance I saw that it was a portrait of him who owned the pocket-book, and bore beneath it the name "Robespierre."

"Now, sir, for your communication," said Boivin; "and take care that it is of sufficient importance to warrant the interview you have asked for."

"I have no fears on that score," said I, calmly, still scanning the features of the portrait, and satisfying myself of their identity.

"Look at me, sir, and not at that picture," said Boivin.

"And yet it is of M. Robespierre I have to speak," said I, coolly.

"How so—of M. Robespierre, boy? What is the meaning of this? If it be a snare—if this be a trick, you never leave this spot living," cried he, as he placed a massive hand on each of my shoulders, and shook me violently.

"I am not so easily to be terrified, Citoyen," said I; "nor have I any secret cause for fear—whatever you may have. My business is of another kind. This morning, in passing out to his carriage, he dropped his pocket-book, which I picked up. Its contents may well be of a kind that should not be read by other eyes than his own. My request is, then, that you will seal it up before me, and then send some one along with me, while I restore it to its owner."

"Is this a snare—what secret mischief have we here?" said Boivin, half aloud, as he wiped the cold drops of perspiration from his forehead.

"Any mishap that follows will depend upon your refusal to do what I ask."

"How so—I never refused it; you dare not tell M. Robespierre that I refused, sirrah?"

"I will tell him nothing that is untrue," said I, calmly; for already a sense of power had gifted me with composure. "If M. Robespierre—"

"Who speaks of me here?" cried that identical personage, as he dashed hurriedly into the room, and then, not waiting for the reply, went on, "You must send out your scouts on every side—I lost my pocket-book as I left this a while ago."

"It is here, sir," said I, presenting it at once.

"How—where was it found—in whose keeping has it been, boy?"

"In mine only; I took it from the ground the same moment that you dropped it, and then came here to place it in M. Boivin's hands."

"Who has taken care of it since that time," continued Robespierre, with a slow and sneering accentuation on every word.

"The pocket-book has never left my possession since it quitted yours," was my reply.

"Just so," broke in Boivin, now slowly recovering from his terror. "Of its contents I know nothing; nor have I sought to know any thing."

Robespierre looked at me, as if to corroborate this statement, and I nodded my head in acquiescence.

"Who is your father, boy?"

"I have none—he was guillotined."

"His name?"


"Ah, I remember; he was called L'Irlandais."[Pg 222]

"The same."

"A famous Royalist was that same Tiernay, and, doubtless, contrived to leave a heritage of his opinions to his son."

"He left me nothing—I have neither house, nor home, nor even bread to eat."

"But you have a head to plan, and a heart to feel, youngster; and it is better that fellows like you should not want a dinner. Boivin, look to it that he is taken care of. In a few days I will relieve you of the charge. You will remain here, boy; there are worse resting-places, I promise you. There are men who call themselves teachers of the people, who would ask no better life than free quarters on Boivin. And so saying, he hurriedly withdrew, leaving me face to face with my host.

"So then, youngster," said Boivin, as he scratched his ear thoughtfully, "I have gained a pensioner! Parbleu! if life were not an uncertain thing in these times, there's no saying how long we might not be blessed with your amiable company."

"You shall not be burthened heavily, Citoyen" said I; "Let me have my dinner—I have not eaten since yesterday morning, and I will go my ways peacefully."

"Which means straight to Robespierre's dwelling, to tell him that I have turned you out of doors—eh, sirrah?"

"You mistake me much," said I; "this would be sorry gratitude for eaten bread; I meant what I said—that I will not be an unwelcome guest, even though the alternative be, as it is, something very nigh starvation."

Boivin did not seem clearly to comprehend the meaning of what I said; or perhaps my whole conduct and bearing puzzled him, for he made no reply for several seconds. At last, with a kind of sigh, he said,

"Well well, it can not be helped; it must be even as he wished, though the odds are, he'll never think more about him Come, lad, you shall have your dinner."

I followed him through a narrow, unlighted passage, which opened into a room, where, at a long table, were seated a number of men and boys at dinner. Some were dressed as cooks—others wore a kind of gray blouse, with a badge upon the arm bearing the name "Boivin" in large letters, and were, as I afterward learned, the messengers employed to carry refreshments into the prison, and who, by virtue of this sign, were freely admitted within the gates.

Taking my place at the board, I proceeded to eat with a voracity that only a long fast could have excused; and thus took but little heed of my companions, whose solecisms in table etiquette might otherwise have amused me.

"Art a marmiton, thou?" asked an elderly man in a cook's cap, as he stared fixedly at me for some seconds.

"No," said I, helping myself, and eating away as before.

"Thou can'st never be a commissionaire, friend, with an appetite like that," cried another; "I wouldn't trust thee to carry a casserole to the fire."

"Nor shall I be," said I, coolly.

"What trade, then, has the good fortune to possess your shining abilities?"

"A trade that thrives well just now, friend-pass me the flask."

"Indeed, and what may it be?"

"Can you not guess, Citoyen," said I, "if I tell you that it was never more in vogue; and, if there be some who will not follow it, they'll wear their heads just as safely by holding their peace."

"Parbleu! thou hast puzzled me," said the chief cook; "and if thou hast not a coffin-maker—." A roar of merriment cut short his speech, in which I myself could not but join heartily.

"That is, I know," said I, "a thriving business; but mine is even better; and, not to mystify you longer, I'll just tell you what I am—which is, simply, a friend of the Citoyen Robespierre."

The blow told with full force; and I saw, in the terrified looks that were interchanged around the table, that my sojourn among them, whether destined to be of short or long duration, would not be disturbed by further liberties. It was truly a reign of terror that same period! The great agent of every thing was the vague and shadowy dread of some terrible vengeance, against which precautions were all in vain. Men met each other with secret misgivings, and parted with the same dreadful distrust. The ties of kindred were all broken; brotherly affection died out. Existence was become like the struggle for life upon some shipwrecked raft, where each sought safety by his neighbor's doom! At such a time—with such terrible teachings—children became men in all the sterner features of character: cruelty is a lesson so easily learned.

As for myself, energetic and ambitious by nature, the ascendency my first assumption of power suggested was too grateful a passion to be relinquished. The name—whose spell was like a talisman, because now the secret engine by which I determined to work out my fortune—Robespierre had become to my imagination like the slave of Aladdin's lamp; and to conjure him up was to be all-powerful. Even to Boivin himself this influence extended; and it was easy to perceive that he regarded the whole narrative of the pocket-book as a mere fable, invented to obtain a position as a spy over his household.

I was not unwilling to encourage the belief—it added to my importance, by increasing the fear I inspired; and thus I walked indolently about, giving myself those airs of "mouchard" that I deemed most fitting, and taking a mischievous delight in the tenor I was inspiring.

The indolence of my life, however, soon wearied me, and I began to long for some occupation, or some pursuit. Teeming with excitement as the world was—every day, every hour, brimful of events—it was impossible to sit calmly on the beach, and watch the great, foaming current of human passions, without longing to be in the stream. Had I been a man at that time, I should have become a furious orator of the Mountain—an[Pg 223] impassioned leader of the people. The impulse to stand foremost, to take a bold and prominent position, would have carried me to any lengths. I had caught up enough of the horrid fanaticism of the time, to think that there was something grand and heroic in contempt for human suffering; that a man rose proudly above all the weakness of his nature, when, in the pursuit of some great object, he stifled within his breast every throb of affection—every sentiment of kindness and mercy. Such were the teachings rife at the time—such the first lessons that boyhood learned; and oh! what a terrible hour had that been for humanity if the generation then born had grown up to manhood, unchastened and unconverted!

But to return to my daily life. As I perceived that a week had now elapsed, and the Citizen Robespierre had not revisited the "restaurant," nor taken any interest in my fate or fortunes, I began to fear lest Boivin should master his terror regarding me, and take heart to put me out of doors—an event which, in my present incertitude, would have been sorely inconvenient. I resolved, therefore, to practice a petty deception on my host, to sustain the influence of terror over him. This was, to absent myself every day at a certain hour, under the pretense of visiting my patron—letting fall, from time to time, certain indications to show in what part of the city I had been, and occasionally, as if in an unguarded moment, condescending to relate some piece of popular gossip. None ventured to inquire the source of my information—not one dared to impugn its veracity. Whatever their misgivings in secret, to myself they displayed the most credulous faith. Nor was their trust so much misplaced, for I had, in reality, become a perfect chronicle of all that went forward in Paris—never missing a debate in the Convention, where my retentive memory could carry away almost verbally all that I heard—ever present at every public fête or procession, whether the occasions were some insulting desecration of their former faith, or some tasteless mockery of heathen ceremonial.

My powers of mimicry, too, enabled me to imitate all the famous characters of the period; and in my assumed inviolability, I used to exhibit the uncouth gestures and spluttering utterance of Marat—the wild and terrible ravings of Danton—and even the reedy treble of my own patron, Robespierre, as he screamed denunciations against the enemies of the people. It is true these exhibitions of mine were only given in secret to certain parties, who, by a kind of instinct, I felt could be trusted.

Such was my life, as one day, returning from the Convention, I beheld a man affixing to a wall a great placard, to which the passing crowd seemed to pay deep attention. It was a decree of the Committee of Public Safety, containing the names of above seven hundred royalists, who were condemned to death, and who were to be executed in three "tournées," on three successive days.

For some time back the mob had not been gratified with a spectacle of this nature. In the ribald language of the day, the "holy guillotine had grown thirsty from long drought;" and they read the announcement with greedy eyes, commenting as they went upon those whose names were familiar to them. There were many of noble birth among the proscribed, but by far the greater number were priests, the whole sum of whose offending seemed written in the simple and touching words, "ancien curé," of such a parish! It was strange to mark the bitterness of invective with which the people loaded these poor and innocent men, as though they were the source of all their misfortunes. The lazy indolence with which they reproached them, seemed ten times more offensive in their eyes than the lives of ease and affluence led by the nobility. The fact was, they could not forgive men of their own rank and condition what they pardoned in the well-born and the noble! an inconsistency that has characterized democracy in other situations besides this.

As I ran my eyes down the list of those confined in the Temple, I came to a name which smote my heart with a pang of ingratitude as well as sorrow—the "Père Michel Delannois, soi disant curé de St. Blois"—my poor friend and protector was there among the doomed! If up to that moment, I had made no effort to see him, I must own the reason lay in my own selfish feeling of shame—the dread that he should mark the change that had taken place in me—a change that I felt extended to all about me, and showed itself in my manner, as it influenced my every action. It was not alone that I lost the obedient air and quiet submissiveness of the child, but I had assumed the very extravagance of that democratic insolence which was the mode among the leading characters of the time.

How should I present myself before him, the very impersonation of all the vices against which he used to warn me—how exhibit the utter failure of all his teachings and his hopes? What would this be but to imbitter his reflections needlessly. Such were the specious reasons with which I fed my self-love, and satisfied my conscience; but now, as I read his name in that terrible catalogue, their plausibility served me no longer, and at last I forgot myself to remember only him.

"I will see him at once," thought I, "whatever it may cost me—I will stay beside him for his last few hours of life; and when he carries with him from this world many an evil memory of shame and treachery, ingratitude from me shall not increase the burden." And with this resolve I turned my steps homeward.



At the time of which I write, there was but one motive-principle throughout France—"Terror." By the agency of terror and the threat[Pg 224] of denunciation was every thing carried on, not only in the public departments of the state, but in all the common occurrences of every-day life. Fathers used it toward their children—children toward their parents; mothers coerced their daughters—daughters, in turn, braved the authority of their mothers. The tribunal of public opinion, open to all, scattered its decrees with a reckless cruelty—denying to-day what it had decreed but yesterday, and at last obliterating every trace of "right" or "principle," in a people who now only lived for the passing hour, and who had no faith in the future, even of this world.

Among the very children at play, this horrible doctrine had gained a footing; the tyrant urchin, whose ingenuity enabled him to terrorize, became the master of his playfellows. I was not slow in acquiring the popular education of the period, and soon learned that fear was a "Bank" on which one might draw at will. Already the domineering habit had given to my air and manner all the insolence of seeming power; and, while a mere boy in years, I was a man in all the easy assumption of a certain importance.

It was with a bold and resolute air I entered the restaurant, and calling Boivin aside, said,

"I have business in the Temple this morning, Boivin; see to it that I shall not be denied admittance."

"I am not governor of the jail," grunted Boivin, sulkily, "nor have I the privilege to pass any one."

"But your boys have the entree; the 'rats' (so were they called) are free to pass in and out."

"Ay, and I'm responsible for the young rascals, too, and for any thing that may be laid to their charge."

"And you shall extend this same protection to me, Master Boivin, for one day, at least. Nay, my good friend, there's no use in sulking about it. A certain friend of ours, whose name I need not speak aloud, is little in the habit of being denied any thing: are you prepared for the consequence of disobeying his orders?"

"Let me see that they are his orders," said he, sturdily; "who tells me that such is his will?"

"I do," was my brief reply, as, with a look of consummate effrontery, I drew myself up, and stared him insolently in the face.

"Suppose, then, that I have my doubts on the matter; suppose—"

"I will suppose all you wish, Boivin," said I, interrupting, "and even something more; for I will suppose myself returning to the quarter whence I have just come, and within one hour—ay, within one hour, Boivin—bringing back with me a written order, not to pass me into the Temple, but to receive the charge of the Citizen Jean Baptiste Boivin, and be accountable for the same to the Committee of Public Safety."

He trembled from head to foot as I said these words, and in his shaking cheeks and fallen jaw I saw that my spell was working.

"And now, I ask for the last time, do you consent or not?"

"How is it to be done?" cried he, in a voice of downright wretchedness. "You are not 'inscribed' at the sécretaries' office as one of the 'rats.'"

"I should hope not," said I, cutting him short; "but I may take the place of one for an hour or so. Tristan is about my own size; his blouse and badge will just suit me."

"Ay, leave me to a fine of a thousand francs, if you should be found out," muttered Boivin, "not to speak of a worse mayhap."

"Exactly so—far worse in case of your refusing: but there sounds the bell for mustering the prisoners; it is now too late."

"Not so—not so," cried Boivin, eagerly, as he saw me prepared to leave the house. "You shall go in Tristan's place. Send him here, that he may tell you every thing about the 'service,' and give you his blouse and badge."

I was not slow in availing myself of the permission; nor was Tristan sorry to find a substitute. He was a dull, depressed-looking boy, not over communicative as to his functions, merely telling me that I was to follow the others—that I came fourth in the line—to answer when my name was called "Tristan," and to put the money I received in my leathern pocket, without uttering a word, lest the jailers should notice it.

To accoutre myself in the white cotton night-cap and the blouse of the craft, was the work of a few seconds, and then, with a great knife in my girdle, and a capacious pocket slung at my side, I looked every inch a "Marmiton."

In the kitchen, the bustle had already begun; and half a dozen cooks, with as many under-cooks, were dealing out "portions" with all the speed of a well-practiced performance. Nothing short of great habit could have prevented the confusion degenerating into downright anarchy. The "service" was, indeed, effected with a wonderful rapidity, and certain phrases, uttered with speed, showed how it progressed. "Maigre des Curés"—"finished." "Bouillon for the 'expectants'"—"ready here." "Canards aux olives des condamnés"—"all served." "Red partridges for the reprieved at the upper table"—"dispatched." Such were the quick demands, and no less quick replies, that rung out, amidst the crash of plates, knifes, and glasses, and the incessant movement of feet, until, at last, we were all marshaled in a long line, and, preceded by a drum, set out for the prison.

As we drew near, the heavy gates opened to receive, and closed behind us with a loud bang, that I could not help feeling must have smote heavily on many a heart that had passed there. We were now in a large court-yard, where several doors led off, each guarded by a sentinel, whose ragged clothes and rusty accoutrements proclaimed a true soldier of the republic. One of the large hurdles used for carrying the prisoners[Pg 225] to the "Place" stood in one corner, and two or three workmen were busied in repairing it for the coming occasion.

So much I had time to observe, as we passed along; and now we entered a dimly-lighted corridor, of great extent, passing down which, we emerged into a second "Cour," traversed by a species of canal or river, over which a bridge led. In the middle of this was a strongly-barred iron gate, guarded by two sentries. As we arrived here, our names were called aloud by a species of turnkey, and at the call "Tristan" I advanced, and, removing the covers from the different dishes, submitted them for inspection to an old, savage-looking fellow, who, with a long steel fork, prodded the pieces of meat, as though any thing could have been concealed within them. Meanwhile another fellow examined my cotton cap and pocket, and passed his hands along my arms and body. The whole did not last more than a few minutes, and the word "forward" was given to pass on. The gloom of the place—the silence, only broken by the heavy bang of an iron-barred door, or the clank of chains—the sad thoughts of the many who trod these corridors on their way to death, depressed me greatly, and equally unprepared me for what was to come; for as we drew near the great hall, the busy hum of voices, the sound of laughter, and the noises of a large assembly in full converse, suddenly burst upon the ear, and as the wide doors were thrown open, I beheld above a hundred people, who, either gathered in single groups, or walking up and down in parties, seemed all in the fullest enjoyment of social intercourse.

A great table, with here and there a large flagon of water, or a huge loaf of the coarse bread used by the peasantry, ran from end to end of the chamber. A few had already taken their places at this; but some were satisfied with laying a cap or a kerchief on the bench opposite their accustomed seat; while others again had retired into windows and corners, as if to escape the general gaze, and partake of their humble meal in solitude.

Whatever restrictions prison discipline might have exercised elsewhere, here the widest liberty seemed to prevail. The talk was loud, and even boisterous; the manner to the turnkeys exhibited nothing of fear: the whole assemblage presented rather the aspect of a gathering of riotous republicans, than of a band of prisoners under sentence. And yet such were the greater number; and the terrible slip of paper attached to the back of each, with a date, told the day on which he was to die.

As I lingered to gaze on this strange gathering, I was admonished to move on, and now perceived that my companion had advanced to the end of the hall, by which a small flight of stone steps led out upon a terrace, at the end of which we entered another, and not less spacious chamber, equally crowded and noisy. Here the company were of both sexes, and of every grade and condition of rank, from the highest noble of the once court, to the humblest peasant of La Vendée. If the sounds of mirth and levity were less frequent, the buzz of conversation was, to the full, as loud as in the lower hall, where, from difference of condition in life, the scenes passing presented stranger and more curious contrasts. In one corner a group of peasants were gathered around a white-haired priest, who, in a low but earnest voice, was uttering his last exhortation to them; in another, some young and fashionably-dressed men were exhibiting to a party of ladies the very airs and graces by which they would have adorned a saloon; here, was a party at piquet; there, a little group arranging, for the last time, their household cares, and settling, with a few small coins, the account of mutual expenditure. Of the ladies, several were engaged at needlework, some little preparation for the morrow—the last demand that ever vanity was to make of them!

Although there was matter of curiosity in all around me, my eyes sought for but one object, the curé of St. Blois. Twice or thrice, from the similarity of dress, I was deceived, and at last, when I really did behold him, as he sat alone in a window, reading, I could scarcely satisfy myself of the reality. He was lividly pale; his eyes deep sunk, and surrounded with two dark circles, while along his worn cheek the tears had marked two channels of purple color. What need of the guillotine there; the lamp of life was in its last flicker without it.

Our names were called, and the meats placed upon the table. Just as the head turnkey was about to give the order to be seated, a loud commotion, and a terrible uproar in the court beneath, drew every one to the window. It was a hurdle which, emerging from an archway, broke down from overcrowding; and now the confusion of prisoners, jailors, and sentries, with plunging horses and screaming sufferers, made a scene of the wildest uproar. Chained two by two, the prisoners were almost helpless, and in their efforts to escape injury made the most terrific struggles. Such were the instincts of life in those on the very road to death!

Resolving to profit by the moment of confusion, I hastened to the window, where alone, unmoved by the general commotion, sat the Père Michel. He lifted his glassy eyes as I came near, and, in a low, mild voice, said,

"Thanks, my good boy, but I have no money to pay thee; nor does it matter much now, it is but another day."

I could have cried as I heard these sad words, but mastering emotions which would have lost time so precious, I drew close, and whispered,

"Père Michel, it is I, your own Maurice!"

He started, and a deep flush suffused his cheek, and then stretching out his hand, he pushed back my cap, and parted the hair off my forehead, as if doubting the reality of what he saw, when, with a weak voice, he said,

"No, no, thou art not my own Maurice. His eyes shone not with that worldly lustre thine do; his brow was calm and fair as children's[Pg 226] should be—thine is marked with manhood's craft and subtlety; and yet thou art like him."

A low sob broke from me as I listened to his words, and the tears gushed forth, and rolled in torrents down my cheeks.

"Yes," cried he, clasping me in his arms, "thou art my own dear boy. I know thee now: but how art thou here, and thus?" and he touched my "blouse" as he spoke.

"I came to see and to save you, Père," said I. "Nay, do not try to discourage me, but rather give me all your aid. I saw her—I was with her in her last moments at the guillotine; she gave me a message for you, but this you shall never hear till we are without these walls."

"It can not be, it can not be," said he, sorrowfully.

"It can, and shall be," said I, resolutely. "I have merely assumed this dress for the occasion; I have friends, powerful and willing to protect me. Let us change robes; give me that 'soutane,' and put on the blouse. When you leave this, hasten to the old garden of the chapel, and wait for my coming; I will join you there before night."

"It can not be," replied he, again.

"Again I say, it shall, and must be. Nay, if you still refuse, there shall be two victims, for I will tear off the dress here where I stand, and openly declare myself the son of the royalist Tiernay."

Already the commotion in the court beneath was beginning to subside, and even now the turnkeys' voices were heard in the refectory, recalling the prisoners to table, another moment and it would have been too late; it was, then, less by persuasion than by actual force I compelled him to yield, and pulling off his black serge gown, drew over his shoulders my yellow blouse, and placed upon his head the white cap of the "Marmiton." The look of shame and sorrow of the poor curé would have betrayed him at once, if any had given themselves the trouble to look at him.

"And thou, my poor child," said he, as he saw me array myself in his priestly dress, "what is to be thy fate."

"All will depend upon you, Père Michel," said I, holding him by the arm, and trying to fix his wandering attention. "Once out of the prison, write to Boivin, the restaurateur of the 'Scélérat,' and tell him that an escaped convict has scruples for the danger into which he has brought a poor boy, one of his 'Marmitons,' and whom, by a noxious drug, he has lulled into insensibility, while having exchanged clothes, he has managed his escape. Boivin will comprehend the danger he himself runs by leaving me here. All will go well—and now there's not a moment to lose. Take up your basket, and follow the others."

"But the falsehood of all this," cried the Père.

"But, your life and mine, too, lost, if you refuse," said I, pushing him away.

"Oh, Maurice, how changed have you become!" cried he, sorrowfully.

"You will see a greater change in me yet, as I lie in the sawdust beneath the scaffold," said I, hastily. "Go, go."

There was, indeed, no more time to lose. The muster of the prisoners was forming at one end of the chamber, while the "Marmitons" were gathering up their plates and dishes, previous to departure, at the other; and it was only by the decisive step of laying myself down within the recesses of the window, in the attitude of one overcome by sleep, that I could force him to obey my direction. I could feel his presence as he bent over me, and muttered something that must have been a prayer. I could know, without seeing, that he still lingered near me, but as I never stirred, he seemed to feel that my resolve was not to be shaken, and at last he moved slowly away.

At first the noise and clamor sounded like the crash of some desperate conflict, but by degrees this subsided, and I could hear the names called aloud, and the responses of the prisoners, as they were "told off" in parties from the different parts of the prison. Tender leave-takings and affectionate farewells from many who never expected to meet again accompanied these, and the low sobs of anguish were mingled with the terrible chaos of voices; and at last I heard the name of "Michel Delannois:" I felt as if my death-summons was in the words "Michel Delannois."

"That crazy priest can neither hear nor see, I believe," said the jailor, savagely. "Will no one answer for him?"

"He is asleep yonder in the window," replied a voice from the crowd.

"Let him sleep, then," said the turnkey "when awake he gives us no peace with his prayers and exhortations."

"He has eaten nothing for three days," observed another; "he is, perhaps, overcome by weakness more than by sleep."

"Be it so! if he only lie quiet, I care not," rejoined the jailor, and proceeded to the next name on the list.

The monotonous roll-call, the heat, the attitude in which I was lying, all conspired to make me drowsy; even the very press of sensations that crowded to my brain lent their aid, and at last I slept as soundly as ever I had done in my bed at night. I was dreaming of the dark alleys in the wood of Belleville, where so often I had strolled of an evening with Père Michel; I was fancying that we were gathering the fresh violets beneath the old trees, when a rude hand shook my shoulder, and I awoke. One of the turnkeys and Boivin stood over me, and I saw at once that my plan had worked well.

"Is this the fellow?" said the turnkey, pushing me rudely with his foot.

"Yes," replied Boivin, white with fear; "this is the boy; his name is Tristan." The latter words were accompanied with a look of great significance toward me.[Pg 227]

"What care we how he is called; let us hear in what manner he came here."

"I can tell you little," said I, staring and looking wildly around; "I must have been asleep and dreaming, too."

"The letter," whispered Boivin to the turnkey—"the letter says that he was made to inhale some poisonous drug, and that while insensible—"

"Bah!" said the other, derisively, "this will not gain credit here; there has been complicity in the affair, Master Boivin. The commissaire is not the man to believe a trumped-up tale of the sort; besides, you are well aware that you are responsible for these 'rats' of yours. It is a private arrangement between you and the commissaire, and it is not very probable that he'll get himself into a scrape for you."

"Then what are we to do?" cried Boivin, passionately, as he wrung his hands in despair.

"I know what I should, in a like case," was the dry reply.

"And that is—?"

"Laisser aller!" was the curt rejoinder. "The young rogue has passed for a curé for the last afternoon; I'd even let him keep up the disguise a little longer, and it will be all the same by this time to-morrow."

"You'd send me to the guillotine for another?" said I, boldly; "thanks for the good intention my friend; but Boivin knows better than to follow your counsel. Hear me one moment," said I, addressing the latter, and drawing him to one side—"if you don't liberate me within a quarter of an hour, I'll denounce you and yours to the commissary. I know well enough what goes on at the Scélérat—you understand me well. If a priest has really made his escape from the prison, you are not clean-handed enough to meet the accusation; see to it then, Boivin, that I may be free at once."

"Imp of Satan," exclaimed Boivin, grinding his teeth, "I have never enjoyed ease or quietness since the first hour I saw you."

"It may cost a couple of thousand francs, Boivin," said I, calmly; "but what then? Better that than take your seat along with us to-morrow in the 'Charrette rouge.'"

"Maybe he's right, after all," muttered the turnkey in a half whisper; "speak to the commissary."

"Yes," said I, affecting an air of great innocence and simplicity—"tell him that a poor orphan boy, without friends or home, claims his pity."

"Scélérat infame!" cried Boivin, as he shook his fist at me, and then followed the turnkey to the commissary's apartment.

In less time than I could have believed possible, Boivin returned with one of the upper jailors, and told me in a few dry words that I was free. "But, mark me," added he, "we part here—come what may, you never shall plant foot within my doors again."

"Agreed," said I, gayly; "the world has other dupes as easy to play upon, and I was getting well nigh weary of you."

"Listen to the scoundrel!" muttered Boivin; "what will he say next?"

"Simply this," rejoined I—"that as these are not becoming garments for me to wear—for I'm neither 'Père' nor 'Frère'—I must have others ere I quit this."

If the insolence of my demand occasioned some surprise at first, a little cool persistence on my part showed that compliance would be the better policy; and, after conferring together for a few minutes, during which I heard the sound of money, the turnkey retired, and came back speedily with a jacket and cap belonging to one of the drummers of the "Republican Guard"—a gaudy, tasteless affair enough, but, as a disguise, nothing could have been more perfect.

"Have you not a drum to give him?" said Boivin, with a most malignant sneer at my equipment.

"He'll make a noise in the world without that!" muttered the jailor, half soliloquizing; and the words fell upon my heart with a strange significance.

"Your blessing, Boivin," said I, "and we part."

"Te te—"

"No, no; don't curse the boy," interposed the jailor, good humoredly.

"Then, move off, youngster; I've lost too much time with you already."

The next moment I was in the "Place"—a light, misty rain was falling, and the night was dark and starless; the "Scélérat" was brilliant with lamps and candles, and crowds were passing in and out, but it was no longer a home for me—so I passed on, and continued my way toward the Boulevard.



I had agreed with the Père Michel to rendezvous at the garden of the little chapel of St. Blois, and thitherward I now turned my steps.

The success which followed this my first enterprise in life had already worked a wondrous change in all my feelings. Instead of looking up to the poor Curé for advice and guidance, I felt as though our parts were exchanged, and that it was I who was now the protector of the other. The oft-repeated sneers at "les bons Prêtres," who were good for nothing, must have had a share in this new estimate of my friend; but a certain self-reliance just then springing up in my heart, effectually completed the change.

The period was essentially one of action and not of reflection. Events seemed to fashion themselves at the will of him who had daring and courage to confront them, and they alone appeared weak and poor-spirited who would not stem the tide of fortune. Sentiments like these[Pg 228] were not, as may be supposed, best calculated to elevate the worthy Père in my esteem, and I already began to feel how unsuited was such companionship for me, whose secret promptings whispered ever, "go forward."

The very vagueness of my hopes served but to extend the horizon of futurity before me, and I fancied a thousand situations of distinction that might yet be mine. Fame—or its poor counterfeit, notoriety—seemed the most enviable of all possessions. It mattered little by what merits it were won, for, in that fickle mood of popular opinion, great vices were as highly prized as transcendent abilities, and one might be as illustrious by crime as by genius. Such were not the teachings of the Père; but they were the lessons that Paris dinned into my ears unceasingly. Reputation, character, was of no avail, in a social condition where all was change and vacillation. What was idolized one day, was execrated the next. The hero of yesterday, was the object of popular vengeance to-day. The success of the passing hour was every thing.

The streets were crowded as I passed along; although a drizzling rain was falling, groups and knots of people were gathered together at every corner, and, by their eager looks and gestures, showed that some event of great moment had occurred. I stopped to ask what it meant, and learned that Robespierre had been denounced in the Assembly, and that his followers were hastening, in arms, to the Place de Grêve. As yet, men spoke in whispers, or broken phrases. Many were seen affectionately embracing and clasping each other's hands in passionate emotion, but few dared to trust themselves to words, for none knew if the peril were really passed, or if the power of the tyrant might not become greater than ever. While I yet listened to the tidings which, in half sentences and broken words, reached my ears, the roll of drums, beating the "générale," was heard, and suddenly the head of a column appeared, carrying torches, and seated upon ammunition-wagons and caissons, and chanting in wild chorus the words of the "Marseillaise." On they came, a terrible host of half-naked wretches, their heads bound in handkerchiefs, and their brawny arms bare to the shoulders.

The artillery of the Municipale followed, many of the magistrates riding among them dressed in the tricolored scarfs of officers. As the procession advanced, the crowds receded, and gradually the streets were left free to the armed force.

While, terror-struck, I continued to gaze at the countenances over which the lurid torchlight cast a horrid glare, a strong hand grasped my collar, and by a jerk swung me up to a seat on one of the caissons; and at the same time a deep voice said, "Come, youngster, this is more in thy way than mine," and a black-bearded "sapeur" pushed a drum before me, and ordered me to beat the générale. Such was the din and uproar that my performance did not belie my uniform, and I beat away manfully, scarcely sorry, amid all my fears, at the elevated position from which I now surveyed the exciting scene around me.

As we passed, the shops were closed on either side in haste, and across the windows of the upper stories beds and mattresses were speedily drawn, in preparation for the state of siege now so imminent. Lights flickered from room to room, and all betokened a degree of alarm and terror. Louder and louder pealed the "Marseillaise," as the columns deployed into the open Place, from which every street and lane now poured its tributaires of armed men. The line was now formed by the artillery, which, to the number of sixteen pieces, ranged from end to end of the square, the dense crowd of horse and foot forming behind, the mass dimly lighted by the waving torches that here and there marked the presence of an officer. Gradually the sounds of the "Marseillaise" grew fainter and fainter, and soon a dreary silence pervaded that varied host, more terrible now, as they stood speechless, than in all the tumultuous din of the wildest uproar. Meanwhile, from the streets which opened into the Place at the furthest end, the columns of the National Guard began to move up, the leading files carrying torches; behind them came ten pieces of artillery, which, as they issued, were speedily placed in battery, and flanked by the heavy dragoons of the Guard; and now, in breathless silence, the two forces stood regarding each other, the cannoniers with lighted matches in their hands, the dragoons firmly clasping their sabres—all but waiting for the word to plunge into the deadliest strife. It was a terrible moment—the slightest stir in the ranks—the rattling of a horse's panoply—the clank of a sabre—fell upon the heart like the toll of a death-bell. It was then that two or three horsemen were seen to advance from the troops of the Convention, and approaching the others, were speedily lost among their ranks. A low and indistinct murmur ran along the lines, which each moment grew louder, till at last it burst forth into a cry of "Vive la Convention." Quitting their ranks, the men gathered around a general of the National Guard, who addressed them in words of passionate eloquence, but of which I was too distant to hear any thing. Suddenly the ranks began to thin; some were seen to pile their arms, and move away in silence; others marched across the Place, and took up their position beside the troops of the National Guard: of the cannoniers many threw down their matches, and extinguished the flame with their feet, while others again, limbering up their guns, slowly retired to the barracks.

As for myself, too much interested in the scene to remember that I was, in some sort, an actor in it, I sat upon the caisson, watching all that went forward so eagerly, that I never noticed the departure of my companions, nor perceived that I was left by myself. I know not how much later this discovery might have been deferred to me, had not an officer of the "Guard" ridden up to where I was, and said[Pg 229] "Move up, move up, my lad; keep close to the battery." He pointed at the same time with his sabre in the direction where a number of guns and carriages were already proceeding.

Not a little flattered by the order, I gathered up reins and whip, and, thanks to the good drilling of the beasts, who readily took their proper places, soon found myself in the line, which now drew up in the rear of the artillery of the Guard, separated from the front by a great mass of horse and foot. I knew nothing of what went forward in the Place; from what I gathered, however, I could learn that the artillery was in position, the matches burning, and every thing in readiness for a cannonade. Thus we remained for above an hour, when the order was given to march. Little knew I that, in that brief interval, the whole fortunes of France—ay, of humanity itself—had undergone a mighty change—that the terrible reign of blood, the Tyranny of Robespierre had closed, and that he who had sent so many to the scaffold, now lay bleeding and mutilated upon the very table where he had signed the death-warrants.

The day was just beginning to dawn as we entered the barracks of the Conciergerie, and drew up in a double line along its spacious square. The men dismounted, and stood "at ease," awaiting the arrival of the staff of the National Guard, which, it was said, was coming; and now the thought occurred to me, of what I should best do, whether make my escape while it was yet time, or remain to see by what accident I had come there. If a sense of duty to the Père Michel urged me on one side, the glimmering hope of some opening to fortune swayed me on the other. I tried to persuade myself that my fate was bound up with his, and that he should be my guide through the wild waste before me; but these convictions could not stand against the very scene in which I stood. The glorious panoply of war—the harnessed team—the helmeted dragoon—the proud steed in all the trappings of battle! How faint were the pleadings of duty against such arguments. The Père, too, designed me for a priest. The life of a "seminarist" in a convent was to be mine! I was to wear the red gown and the white cape of an "acolyte!"—to be taught how to swing a censer, or snuff the candles of the high altar—to be a train-bearer in a procession, or carry a relic in a glass-case! The hoarse bray of a trumpet that then rung through the court routed these ignoble fancies, and as the staff rode proudly in, my resolve was taken. I was determined to be a soldier.

The day, I have said, was just breaking, and the officers wore their dark gray capotes over their uniforms. One, however, had his coat partly open, and I could see the blue and silver beneath, which, tarnished and worn as it was, had to my eyes all the brilliancy of a splendid uniform. He was an old man, and by his position in advance of the others, showed that he was the chief of the staff. This was General Lacoste, at that time "en mission" from the army of the Rhine, and now sent by the Convention to report upon the state of events among the troops. Slowly passing along the line, the old general halted before each gun, pointing, out to his staff certain minutiæ, which, from his gestures and manner, it was easy to see were not the subject of eulogy. Many of the pieces were ill slung, and badly balanced on the trucks; the wheels, in some cases, were carelessly put on, their tires worn, and the iron shoeing defective. The harnessing, too, was patched and mended in a slovenly fashion; the horses lean and out of condition; the drivers awkward and inexperienced.

"This is all bad, gentlemen," said he, addressing the officers, but in a tone to be easily heard all around him; "and reflects but little credit upon the state of your discipline in the capital. We have been now seventeen months in the field before the enemy, and not idle either; and yet I would take shame to myself if the worst battery in our artillery were not better equipped, better horsed, better driven, and better served, than any I see here."

One, who seemed a superior officer, here appeared to interpose some explanation or excuse, but the general would not listen to him, and continued his way along the line, passing around which he now entered the space between the guns and the caissons. At last he stopped directly in front of where I was, and fixed his dark and penetrating eyes steadily on me. Such was their fascination, that I could not look from him, but continued to stare as fixedly at him.

"Look here, for instance," cried he, as he pointed to me with his sword, "is that 'gamin' yonder like an artillery-driver? or is it to a drummer-boy you intrust the caisson of an eight-pounder gun? Dismount, sirrah, and come hither," cried he to me, in a voice that sounded like an order for instant execution. "This popinjay dress of yours must have been the fancy of some worthy shop-keeper of the 'Quai Lepelletier;' it never could belong to any regular corps. Who are you?"

"Maurice Tiernay, sir," said I, bringing my hand to my cap in military salute.

"Maurice Tiernay," repeated he, slowly, after me. "And have you no more to say for yourself than your name?"

"Very little, sir," said I, taking courage from the difficulty in which I found myself.

"What of your father, boy?—is he a soldier?"

"He was, sir," replied I, with firmness.

"Then he is dead? In what corps did he serve?"

"In the Garde du Corps," said I, proudly.

The old general gave a short cough, and seemed to search for his snuff-box, to cover his confusion; the next moment, however, he had regained his self-possession, and continued: "And since that event—I mean, since you lost your father—what have you been doing? How have you supported yourself?"[Pg 230]

"In various ways, sir," said I, with a shrug of the shoulders, to imply that the answer might be too tedious to listen to. "I have studied to be a priest, and I have served as a 'rat' in the Prison du Temple."

"You have certainly tried the extremes of life," said he, laughing; "and now you wish, probably, to hit the 'juste milieu,' by becoming a soldier?"

"Even so, sir," said I, easily. "It was a mere accident that mounted me upon this caisson; but I am quite ready to believe that fortune intended me kindly when she did so."

"These 'gredins' fancy that they are all born to be generals of France," said the old man, laughing; "but, after all, it is a harmless delusion, and easily curable by a campaign or two. Come, sirrah, I'll find out a place for you, where, if you can not serve the republic better, you will, at least, do her less injury, than as a driver in her artillery. Bertholet, let him be enrolled in your detachment of the gendarme, and give him my address: I wish to speak to him to-morrow."

"At what hour, general?" said I, promptly.

"At eight, or half-past—after breakfast," replied he.

"It may easily be before mine," muttered I to myself.

"What says he?" cried the general, sharply.

The aid-de-camp whispered a few words in answer, at which the other smiled, and said, "Let him come somewhat earlier—say eight o'clock."

"You hear that, boy?" said the aid-de-camp to me, while, with a slight gesture, he intimated that I might retire. Then, as if suddenly remembering that he had not given me the address of the general, he took a scrap of crumpled paper from his pocket-book, and wrote a few words hastily on it with his pencil. "There," cried he, throwing it toward me, "there is your billet for this day at least." I caught the scrap of paper, and after deciphering the words, perceived that they were written on the back of an "assignat" for forty sous.

It was a large sum to one who had not wherewithal to buy a morsel of bread; and as I looked at it over and over, I fancied there would be no end to the pleasures such wealth could purchase. I can breakfast on the Quai Voltaire, thought I, ay, and sumptuously too, with coffee, and chestnuts, and a slice of melon, and another of cheese, and a "petite goutte" to finish, for five sous. The panther, at the corner of the Pont Neuf, costs but a sou; and for three one can see the brown bear of America, the hyena, and another beast whose name I forget, but whose image, as he is represented outside, carrying off a man in his teeth, I shall retain to my last hour. Then, there is the panorama of Dunkirk, at the Rue Chopart, with the Duke of York begging his life from a terrible-looking soldier in a red cap and a tri-colored scarf. After that, there's the parade at the "Carousel," and mayhaps something more solemn still at the "Grève;" but there was no limit to the throng of enjoyments which came rushing to my imagination, and it was in a kind of ecstasy of delight I set forth on my voyage of pleasure.



In looking back, after a long lapse of years, I can not refrain from a feeling of astonishment, to think how little remembrance I possess of the occurrences of that day—one of the most memorable that ever dawned for France—the eventful 29th of July, that closed the reign of terror by the death of the tyrant! It is true that all Paris was astir at daybreak; that a sense of national vengeance seemed to pervade the vast masses that filled the streets, which now were scenes of the most exciting emotion. I can only account for the strange indifference that I felt about these stirring themes, by the frequency with which similar, or what, to me, at least, appeared similar scenes had already passed before my eyes.

One of the most remarkable phases of the revolution was, the change it produced in all the social relations, by substituting an assumed nationality for the closer and dearer ties of kindred and affection. France was every thing—the family nothing; every generous wish, every proud thought, every high ambition or noble endeavor belonged to the country. In this way, whatever patriotism may have gained, certainly all the home affections were utterly wrecked; the humble and unobtrusive virtues of domestic life seemed mean and insignificant beside the grand displays of patriotic devotion which each day exhibited.

Hence grew the taste for that "life of the streets," then so popular; every thing should be "en évidence." All the emotions which delicacy would render sacred to the seclusion of home, were now to be paraded to the noonday. Fathers were reconciled to rebellious children before the eyes of multitudes; wives received forgiveness from their husbands in the midst of approving crowds; leave-takings, the most affecting, partings, for those never to meet again, the last utterings of the death-bed, the faint whispers of expiring affection, the imprecations of undying hate, all, all were exhibited in public, and the gaze of the low, the vulgar, and the debauched, associated with the most agonizing griefs that ever the heart endured. The scenes, which now are shrouded in all the secrecy of domestic privacy, were then the daily life of Paris; and to this cause alone can I attribute the hardened indifference with which events the most terrible and heart-rending were witnessed. Bred up amidst such examples, I saw little matter for emotion in scenes of harrowing interest. An air of mockery was on every thing, and a bastard classicality destroyed every semblance of truth in whatever would have been touching and affecting.[Pg 231]

The commotion of Paris on that memorable morning was, then, to my thinking, little more than usual. If the crowds who pressed their way to "The Place de la Révolution" were greater; if the cries of vengeance were in louder utterance; if the imprecations were deeper and more terrible, the ready answer, that satisfied all curiosity, was—it was Robespierre, who was on his way to be executed. Little knew I what hung upon that life! and now the fate of millions depended upon the blood that morning was to shed. Too full of myself and my own projects, I disengaged myself from the crowds that pressed eagerly toward the Tuileries, and took my way by less frequented streets in the direction of the Boulevard Mont Parnasse.

I wished, if possible, to see the Père once more, to take a last farewell of him, and ask his blessing, too; for still a lingering faith in the lessons he had taught me, continued to haunt my mind, amidst all the evil influences with which my wayward life surrounded me. The further I went from the quarter of the Tuileries, the more deserted and solitary grew the streets. Not a carriage or horseman was to be seen; scarcely a foot-passenger. All Paris had, apparently, assembled on the "Place de la Révolution;" and the very beggars had quitted their accustomed haunts to repair thither. Even the distant hum of the vast multitude faded away, and it was only as the wind bore them, that I could catch the sounds of the hoarse cries that bespoke a people's vengeance; and now I found myself in the little silent street which once had been my home. I stood opposite the house where we used to live, afraid to enter it, lest I might compromise the safety of her I wished to save, and yet longing once more to see the little chamber where we once sat together—the chimney-corner where, in the dark nights of winter, I nestled, with my hymn-book, and tried to learn the rhymes that every plash of the falling hail against the windows routed; to lie down once more in the little bed, where so often I had passed whole nights of happy imaginings—bright thoughts of a peaceful future, that were never to be realized!

Half-choking with my emotion, I passed on, and soon saw the green fields, and the windmill-covered hill of Montmartre, rising above the embankment of the Boulevards; and now the ivy-clothed wall of the garden, within which stood the chapel of St. Blois. The gate lay ajar, as of old, and pushing it open, I entered. Every thing was exactly as I had left it—the same desolation and desertion every where—so much so, that I almost fancied no human foot had crossed its dreary precincts since last I was there. On drawing nigh to the chapel, I found the door fast barred and barricaded, as before; but a window lay open, and on examining it closer, I discovered the marks of a recent foot-track on the ground and the window-sill. Could the Père Michel have been there? was the question that at once occurred to my mind. Had the poor priest come to take a last look and a farewell of a spot so dear to him? It could scarcely have been any other. There was nothing to tempt cupidity in that humble little church; an image of the "Virgin and Child" in wax was the only ornament of the altar. No, no; pillage had never been the motive of him who entered here.

Thus reasoning, I climbed up to the window, and entered the chapel. As my footsteps echoed through the silent building, I felt that sense of awe and reverence so inseparably connected with a place of worship, and which is ever more impressive still, as we stand in it alone. The present, however, was less before me than the past, of which every thing reminded me. There was the seat the marquise used to sit in; there the footstool I had so often placed at her feet. How different was the last service I had rendered her! There the pillar, beside which I have stood spell-bound, gazing at that fair face, whose beauty arrested the thoughts that should have wended heavenward, and made my muttered prayers like offerings to herself. The very bouquet of flowers—some peri's hand had placed beneath the shrine—withered and faded, was there still. But where were they whose beating hearts had throbbed with deep devotion? How many had died upon the scaffold!—how many were still lingering in imprisonment, some in exile, some in concealment, dragging out lives of misery and anxiety. What was the sustaining spirit of such martyrdom? I asked myself again and again. Was it the zeal of true religion, or was it the energy of loyalty, that bore them up against every danger, and enabled them to brave death itself with firmness?—and if this faith of theirs was thus ennobling, why could not France be of one mind and heart? There came no answer to these doubts of mine, and I slowly advanced toward the altar, still deeply buried in thought. What was my surprise to see that two candles stood there, which bore signs of having been recently lighted. At once the whole truth flashed across me—the Père had been there; he had come to celebrate a mass—the last, perhaps, he was ever to offer up at that altar. I knew with what warm affection he loved every object and every spot endeared to him by long time, and I fancied to myself the overflowing of his heart, as he entered once more, and for the last time, the little temple, associated with all the joys and sorrows of his existence. Doubtless, too, he had waited anxiously for my coming; mayhap, in the prayers he offered, I was not forgotten. I thought of him kneeling there, in the silence of the night, alone, as he was, his gentle voice the only sound in the stillness of the hour; his pure heart throbbing with gratitude for his deliverance, and prayerful hopes for those who had been his persecutors. I thought over all this, and, in a torrent of emotions, I knelt down before the altar to pray. I know not what words I uttered, but his name must some how have escaped my lips; for suddenly a door[Pg 232] opened beside the altar, and the Père Michel, dressed in his full vestments, stood before me. His features, wan and wasted as they were, had regained their wonted expression of calm dignity; and by his look I saw that he would not suffer the sacred spot to be profaned by any outburst of feeling on either side.

"Those dreadful shouts tell of another massacre," said he, solemnly, as the wind bore toward us the deafening cries of the angry multitude. "Let us pray for the souls' rest of the departed."

"Then will your prayers be offered for Robespierre, for Couthon, and St. Just," said I, boldly.

"And who are they who need more the saints' intercession—who have ever been called to judgment with such crimes to expiate—who have ever so widowed France, and so desecrated her altars? Happily a few yet remain where piety may kneel to implore pardon for their iniquity. Let us recite the Litany for the Dead," said he, solemnly, and at once began the impressive service.

As I knelt beside the rails of the altar, and heard the prayers which, with deep devotion, he uttered. I could not help feeling the contrast between that touching evidence of Christian charity, and the tumultuous joy of the populace, whose frantic bursts of triumph were borne on the air.

"And now come with me, Maurice," said he, as the mass was concluded. "Here, in this little sacristy, we are safe from all molestation; none will think of us on such a day as this."

And as he spoke, he drew his arm around me, and led me into the little chamber where once the precious vessels and the decorations of the church were kept.

"Here we are safe," said he, as he drew me to his side on the oaken bench, which formed all the furniture of the room. "To-morrow, Maurice, we must leave this, and seek an asylum in another land; but we are not friendless, my child—the brothers of the 'Sacred Heart' will receive us. Their convent is in the wilds of the Ardennes, beyond the frontiers of France, and there, beloved by the faithful peasantry, they live in security and peace. We need not take the vows of their order, which is one of the strictest of all religious houses; but we may claim their hospitality and protection, and neither will be denied us. Think what a blessed existence will that be, Maurice, my son, to dwell under the same roof with these holy men, and to imbibe from them the peace of mind that holiness alone bestows; to awake at the solemn notes of the pealing organ, and to sink to rest with the solemn liturgies still chanting around you; to feel an atmosphere of devotion on every side, and to see the sacred relics whose miracles have attested the true faith in ages long past. Does it not stir thy heart, my child, to know that such blessed privileges may be thine?"

I hung my head in silence, for in truth, I felt nothing of the enthusiasm with which he sought to inspire me. The Père quickly saw what passed in my mind, and endeavored to depict the life of the monastery as a delicious existence, embellished by all the graces of literature, and adorned by the pleasures of intellectual converse. Poetry, romance, scenery, all were pressed into the service of his persuasions; but how weak were such arguments to one like me, the boy whose only education had been what the streets of Paris afforded—whose notions of eloquence were formed on the insane ravings of "The Mountain," and whose idea of greatness were centred in mere notoriety.

My dreamy look of inattention showed him again that he had failed; and I could see in the increased pallor of his face, the quivering motion of his lip, the agitation the defeat was costing him.

"Alas! alas!" cried he, passionately, "the work of ruin is perfect; the mind of youth is corrupted, and the fountain of virtue defiled at the very source. Oh! Maurice, I had never thought this possible of thee, the child of my heart!"

A burst of grief here overcame him; for some minutes he could not speak. At last he arose from his seat, and wiping off the tears that covered his cheeks, with his robe, spoke, but in a voice whose full round tones contrasted strongly with his former weak accents.

"The life I have pictured seems to thee ignoble and unworthy, boy. So did it not appear to Chrysostom, to Origen, and to Augustin, to the blessed saints of our church, the eldest born of Christianity. Be it so. Thine, mayhap is not the age, nor this the era in which to hope for better things. Thy heart yearns for heroic actions—thy spirit is set upon high ambitions—be it so. I say, never was the time more fitting for thee. The enemy is up; his armies are in the field; thousands and tens of thousands swell the ranks, already flushed with victory. Be a soldier, then. Ay, Maurice, buckle on the sword—the battle-field is before thee. Thou hast made choice to seek the enemy in the far-away countries of heathen darkness, or here in our own native France, where his camp is already spread. If danger be the lure that tempts thee—if to confront peril be thy wish—there is enough of it. Be a soldier, then, and gird thee for the great battle that is at hand. Ay! boy, if thou feelest within thee the proud darings that foreshadow success, speak the word, and thou shalt be a standard-bearer in the very van."

I waited not for more; but springing up, I clasped my arms around his neck, and cried, in ecstasy, "Yes! Père Michel, you have guessed aright; my heart's ambition is to be a soldier and I want but your blessing to be a brave one."

"And thou shalt have it. A thousand blessings follow those who go forth to the good fight. But thou art yet young, Maurice—too young for this. Thou needest time and much teaching, too. He who would brave the enemy before us, must be skillful as well as courageous. Thou art as yet but a child."[Pg 233]

"The general said he liked boy-soldiers," said I, promptly; "he told me so himself."

"What general—who told thee?" cried the Père in trembling eagerness.

"General Lacoste, the Chef-d'-Etat, major of the army of the Rhine; the same who gave me a rendezvous for to-morrow at his quarters."

It was not till I had repeated my explanation again and again, nor, indeed, until I had recounted all the circumstances of my last night's adventure, that the poor Père could be brought to see his way through a mystery that had almost become equally embarrassing to myself. When he did, however, detect the clew, and when he had perceived the different tracks on which our minds were traveling, his grief burst all bounds. He inveighed against the armies of the Republic as hordes of pillagers and bandits, the sworn enemies of the church, the desecrators of her altars. Their patriotism he called a mere pretense to shroud their infidelity. Their heroism was the bloodthirstiness of democratic cruelty. Seeing me still unmoved by all this passionate declamation, he adopted another tactic, and suddenly asked me if it were for such a cause as this my father had been a soldier?

"No!" replied I, firmly; "for when my father was alive, the soil of France had not been desecrated by the foot of the invader. The Austrian, the Prussian, the Englishman had not yet dared to dictate the laws under which we were to live."

He appeared thunderstruck at my reply, repealing, as it seemed to him, the extent of those teachings, whose corruptions he trembled at.

"I knew it, I knew it," cried he, bitterly, as he wrung his hands. "The seed of the iniquity is sown—the harvest-time will not be long in coming! And so, boy, thou hast spoken with one of these men—these generals, as they call themselves, of that republican horde?"

"The officer who commands the artillery of the army of the Rhine may write himself general with little presumption," said I, almost angrily.

"They who once led our armies to battle were the nobles of France—men whose proud station was the pledge for their chivalrous devotion. But why do I discuss the question with thee? He who deserts his faith may well forget that his birth was noble. Go, boy, join those with whom your heart is already linked. Your lesson will be an easy one—you have nothing to unlearn. The songs of the Girondins are already more grateful to your ear than our sacred canticles. Go, I say, since between us, henceforth, there can be no companionship.

"Will you not bless me, Père," said I, approaching him in deep humility; "will you not let me carry with me thy benediction?"

"How shall I bless the arm that is lifted to wound the Holy Church? how shall I pray for one whose place is in the ranks of the infidel? Hadst thou faith in my blessing, boy, thou hadst never implored it in such a cause. Renounce thy treason—and not alone my blessing, but thou shalt have a 'Novena' to celebrate thy fidelity. Be of us, Maurice, and thy name shall be honored, where honor is immortality."

The look of beaming affection with which he uttered this, more than the words themselves, now shook my courage, and, in a conflict of doubt and indecision, I held down my head without speaking. What might have been my ultimate resolve, if left completely to myself, I know not; but at that very moment a detachment of soldiers marched past in the street without. They were setting off to join the army of the Rhine, and were singing in joyous chorus the celebrated song of the day, "Le chant du depart." The tramp of their feet—the clank of their weapons—their mellow voices—but, more than all, the associations that thronged to my mind, routed every other thought, and I darted from the spot, and never stopped till I reached the street.

A great crowd followed the detachment, composed partly of friends of the soldiers, partly of the idle loungers of the capital. Mixing with these, I moved onward, and speedily passed the outer boulevard, and gained the open country.

(To be continued.)

[From Household Words.]


There is a morsel of Greenwich Park, which has, for now nearly two centuries, been held sacred from intrusion. It is the portion inclosed by the walls of the Observatory. Certainly a hundred thousand visitors must ramble over the surrounding lawns, and look with curious eye upon the towers and outer boundaries of that little citadel of science, for one who finds admission to the interior of the building. Its brick towers, with flanking turrets and picturesque roofs, perched on the side of the gravelly hill, and sheltered round about by groups of fine old trees, are as well known as Greenwich Hospital itself. But what work goes on inside its carefully preserved boundary, and under those movable, black-domed roofs, is a popular mystery. Many a holiday-maker's wonder has been excited by the fall, at one o'clock, of the huge, black ball, high up there, by the weather vane on the topmost point of the eastern turret. He knows, or is told if he asks a loitering pensioner, that the descent of the ball tells the time as truly as the sun; and that all the ships in the river watch it to set their chronometers by, before they sail; and, that, all the railway clocks, and all the railway trains over the kingdom are arranged punctually by its indications. But how the heavens are watched to secure this punctual definition of the flight of time, and what other curious labors are going on inside the Observatory, is a sealed book. The public have always been, of necessity, excluded from the Observatory walls, for the place is devoted to[Pg 234] the prosecution of a science whose operations are inconsistent with the bustle, the interruptions, the talk, and the anxieties of popular curiosity and examination.

But when public information and instruction are the objects, the doors are widely opened, and the press and its attachés find a way into this, as into many other sacred and forbidden spots. Only last week one of "our own contributors" was seen in a carriage on the Greenwich railway, poring over the paper in the last Edinburgh Review that describes our national astronomical establishment, and was known afterward to have climbed the Observatory hill, and to have rung and gained admission at the little, black, mysterious gate in the Observatory wall. Let us see what is told in his report of what he saw within that sacred portal.

In the park on a fine day all seems life and gayety—once within the Observatory boundary, the first feeling is that of isolation. There is a curious stillness about the place, and the foot-step of the old pensioner, who closes the gate upon a visitor, echoes again on the pavement as he goes away to wake up from his astronomical or meteorological trance one of the officers of this sanctum. Soon, under the guidance of the good genius so invoked, the secrets of the place begin to reveal themselves.

The part of the Observatory so conspicuous from without is the portion least used within. When it was designed by Christopher Wren, the general belief was that such buildings should be lofty, that the observer might be raised toward the heavenly bodies whose motions he was to watch. More modern science has taught its disciples better; and in Greenwich—which is an eminently practical Observatory—the working part of the building is found crouching behind the loftier towers. These are now occupied as subsidiary to the modern practical building. The ground floor is used as a residence by the chief astronomer; above is the large hall originally built to contain huge moveable telescopes and quadrants—such as are not now employed. Nowadays, this hall occasionally becomes a sort of scientific counting-house—irreverent but descriptive term—in which, from time to time, a band of scientific clerks are congregated to post up the books, in which the daily business of the planets has been jotted down by the astronomers who watch those marvelous bodies. Another portion is a kind of museum of astronomical curiosities. Flamstead and Halley, and their immediate successors, worked in these towers, and here still rest some of the old, rude tools with which their discoveries were completed, and their reputation, and the reputation of Greenwich, were established. As time has gone on, astronomers and opticians have invented new, and more perfect, and more luxurious instruments. Greater accuracy is thus obtainable, at a less expenditure of human patience and labor; and so the old tools are cast aside. One of them belonged to Halley, and was put up by him a hundred and thirty years ago; another is an old brazen quadrant, with which many valuable observations were made in by-gone times; and another, an old iron quadrant, still fixed in the stone pier to which it was first attached. Some of the huge telescopes that once found place in this old Observatory, have been sent away. One went to the Cape of Good Hope, and has been useful there. Another of the unsatisfactory, and now unused instruments, had a tube twenty-five feet long, whose cool and dark interior was so pleasant to the spiders that, do what they would, the astronomers could not altogether banish the persevering insects from it. Spin they would; and, spite of dusting and cleaning, and spider-killing, spin they did; and, at length, the savans got more instruments and less patience, and the spiders were left in quiet possession. This has been pleasantly spoken of as an instance of poetical justice. It is but fair that spiders should, at times, have the best of astronomers, for astronomers rob spiders for the completion of their choicest instruments. No fabric of human construction is fine enough to strain across the eyepiece of an important telescope, and opticians preserve a particular race of spiders, that their webs may be taken for that purpose. The spider lines are strained across the best instruments at Greenwich and elsewhere; and when the spinners of these beautifully fine threads disturbed the accuracy of the tube in the western wing of the old Observatory, it was said to be but fair retaliation for the robberies the industrious insects had endured.

A narrow stair leads from the unused rooms of the old Observatory to its leaded roof, whence a magnificent view is obtained; the park, the hospital, the town of Greenwich, and the windings of the Thames, and, gazing further, London itself comes grandly into the prospect. The most inveterate astronomer could scarcely fail to turn for a moment from the wonders of the heavens to admire these glories of the earth. From the leads, two turrets are reached, where the first constantly active operations in this portion of the building, are in progress.

At the present time, indeed, these turrets are the most useful portions of the old building. In one is placed the well-known contrivance for registering, hour after hour, and day after day, the force and direction of the wind. To keep such a watch by human vigilance, and to make such a register by human labor, would be a tedious, expensive, and irksome task; and human ingenuity taxed itself to make a machine for perfecting such work. The wind turns a weather-cock, and, by aid of cog-wheels the motion is transferred to a lead pencil fixed over a sheet of paper, and thus the wind is made to write down the direction which itself is blowing. Not far distant is a piece of metal, the flat side of which is ever turned by the weather-cock to meet the full force of the wind, which, blowing upon it, drives it back against a spring. To this spring is affixed a chain passing over, pullies toward another pencil, fixed above a sheet of[Pg 235] paper, and moving faithfully, more or less, as the wind blows harder or softer. And thus the "gentle zephyr" and the fresh breeze, and the heavy gale, and, when it comes, the furious hurricane, are made to note down their character and force. The sheet of paper on which the uncertain element, the wind, is bearing witness against itself, is fixed upon a frame moved by clock-work. Steady as the progress of time, this ingenious mechanism draws the paper under the suspended pencils. Thus each minute and each hour has its written record, without human help or inspection. Once a day only, an assistant comes to put a new blank sheet in the place of that which has been covered by the moving pencils, and the latter is taken away to be bound up in a volume. The book might with truth be lettered, "The History of the Wind; written by Itself"—an Æolian autobiography.

Close by is another contrivance for registering in decimals of an inch the quantity of rain that falls. The drops are caught, and passing down a tube, a permanent mark is made by which the quantity is determined.

The eastern turret is devoted to the Time Ball and its mechanism. Far out at sea—away from all sources of information but those to be asked of the planets, his compass, his quadrant, his chronometer, and his almanack, the mariner feels the value of time in a way which the landsman can scarcely conceive. If his chronometer is right, he may feel safe; let him have reason to doubt its accuracy, and he knows how the perils surrounding him are increased. An error of a few seconds in his time may place him in danger—an error of a few minutes may lead him to steer blindly to his certain wreck. Hence his desire when he is leaving port to have his time-pieces right to a second; and hence the expenditure of thought, and labor, and money, at the Greenwich Observatory, to afford the shipping of the great port of London, and the English navy, the exact time—true to the tenth of a second, or six hundredth of a minute—and to afford them also a book, the Nautical Almanack, containing a mass of astronomical facts, on which they may base their calculations, with full reliance as to their accuracy. Every day for the last seventeen years, at five minutes before one o'clock, the black ball five feet across and stuffed with cork, is raised halfway up its shaft above the eastern turret of the observatory—at two-and-a-half minutes before that hour, it rises to the top. Telescopes from many a point, both up and down the river, are now pointed to this dark spot above the Greenwich trees, and many an anxious mariner has his time-pieces beside him, that their indications may be made true. Watch the ball as you stand in the Park. It is now just raised. You must wait two minutes and a half, and as you do so, you feel what a minute may be. It seems a long, palpable, appreciable time, indeed. In the turret below, stands a clock telling the true time, gained by a laborious watching of the clock-stars; and beside the clock, is a man with a practiced hand upon a trigger, and a practiced eye upon the face of the dial. One minute—two minutes pass. Thirty seconds more, and the trigger has released the Ball. As it leaves the top of the shaft, it is one o'clock to the tenth of a second By the time it has reached the bottom it is some five seconds later.

Leaving the Ball Turret, and the old building which it surmounts, the new Observatory, where the chief work of the establishment is done, claims our notice. This attention would scarcely be given to its outward appearance for it is a long, low building, scarcely seen beyond its own boundaries. The Greenwich Observatory is not a show place, but an eminently practical establishment. St. Petersburg and other cities have much more gorgeous buildings devoted to astronomical purposes, and Russia and other countries spend much more money on astronomy than England does, yet the Greenwich Tables have a world-wide reputation, and some of them are used as the groundwork for calculations in all Observatories at home and abroad. The astronomer does not want marble halls or grand saloons for his work. Galileo used a bell-tower at Venice, and Kepler stood on the bridge at Prague to watch the stars. The men, not the buildings, do the work. No disappointment, need be felt, then, to find the modern Observatory a range of unadorned buildings running east and west, with slits in the roof and in some of the walls. Within these simple buildings are the instruments now used, displaying almost the perfection of mechanical skill in their construction and finish—beautifully adapted to the object they have to fulfill, and in perfect order. They are fixed on solid piers of masonry, deeply imbedded in the earth, to secure freedom from vibration—a quality better obtained when the foundations are on sand or gravel than when on rock.

To describe the instruments by their technical names, and to go into any particulars of the instruments they have superseded, would take space, only to do the work of a scientific treatise. Enough, therefore, to say, that there are the telescopes best adapted to the chief duty of the place, which is, watching the moon whenever she is visible; watching the clock-stars, by which the true time is calculated more exactly than it could be from observations of the sun alone; and watching other planetary bodies as they pass the meridian. Eclipses, occultations, and other phenomena, of course, have their share of attention, and add to the burden of the observer's duties.

The staff of the Observatory includes a chief astronomer, Mr. Airy, with a salary of £800 a year; and six assistants who are paid, £470, £290, £240, £150, £130, and £130, respectively. This does not include the officers of the Meteorological branch of the establishment, to be spoken of hereafter; and which consists of Mr. Glaisher, with £240 a year, one assistant at £120, and two additional computers. At times, when these scientific[Pg 236] laborers have collected more observations than they are able to work out; additional help is summoned, in shape of the body of scientific clerks before spoken of; who, seated at desks, cast up the accounts the planetary bodies, including such regular old friends as the moon and fixed stars, but not forgetting those wandering celestial existences that rush, from time to time, over the meridian, and may be fairly called the chance customers of the astronomer.

Though the interior of the Observatory seems so still, the life of those employed there has its excitements. Looking through telescopes forms a small part only of their duty—and that duty can not be done when the weather is unfavorable. On cloudy days the observer is idle; in bright weather he is busy; and a long continuance of clear days and nights gives him more employment than he can well complete. Summer, therefore, is his time of labor; winter his time of rest. It appears that in our climate the nights, on the whole, are clearer than the days, and evenings less cloudy than mornings. Every assistant takes his turn as an observer, and a chain of duty is kept up night and day; at other periods, the busiest portion of the twenty-four hours at the Observatory, is between nine in the morning and two in the afternoon. During this time they work in silence, the task being to complete the records of the observations made, by filling in the requisite columns of figures upon printed forms, and then adding and subtracting them as the case requires. While thus engaged, the assistant who has charge of an instrument looks, from time to time, at his star regulated clock, and when it warns him that his expected planet is nearly due, he leaves his companions, and quietly repairs to the room where the telescope is ready. The adjustment of this has previously been arranged with the greatest nicety. The shutter is moved from the slit in the roof, the astronomer sits upon an easy chair with a movable back. If the object he seeks is high in the heavens, this chair-back is lowered till its occupant almost lies down; if the star is lower, the chair-back is raised in proportion. He has his note-book and metallic pencil in hand. Across the eye-piece of the telescope are stretched seven lines of spider-web, dividing the field of view. If his seat requires change, the least motion arranges it to his satisfaction, for it rests upon a railway of its own. Beside him is one of the star-clocks, and as the moment approaches for the appearance of the planet, the excitement of the moment increases. "The tremble of impatience for the entrance of the star on the field of view," says an Edinburgh Reviewer, "is like that of a sportsman whose dog has just made a full point, and who awaits the rising of the game. When a star appears, the observer, in technical language, takes a second from the clock face; that is, he reads the second with his eye, and counts on by the ear the succeeding beats of the clock, naming the seconds mentally. As the star passes each wire of the transit, he marks down in his jotting-book with a metallic pencil the second, and the second only, of his observation, with such a fraction of a second as corresponds, in his judgment, to the interval of time between the passage of the star, and the beat of the clock which preceded such passage."

An experienced observer will never commit an error in this mental calculation, exceeding the tenth of a second, or six hundredth of a minute. When the star has been thus watched over the seven cobweb lines (or wires), the observer jots down the hour and minute, in addition to the second, and the task is done. Stars, not very near the sun, may be seen in broad daylight, but, at night, it is requisite to direct a ray of light from a lamp, so far to enlighten the field of the telescope, as to permit the spider lines to be seen running across the brighter ground on which the expected star is to be visible.

The adjustment of the instruments is a task of great nicety. If they are out of trim only a shadow of a shade of a hair's-breadth, the desired accuracy is interfered with, and they have to be re-adjusted. Temperature is of course an important element in their condition, and a slight sensibility may do mischief. The warmth of the observer's body, when approaching the instruments, has been known to affect their accuracy; and to avoid such sources of error, instruments have at times been cased in flannel, that the non-conducting powers of that homely fabric might screen the too-sensitive metal.

Sunday is a comparative holiday at the Observatory, for then, except when any extraordinary phenomena are expected, the only duty done is to drop the Time Ball, and observe the moon's place. The moon is never neglected, and her motions have been here watched, during the last hundred and seventy years, with the most pertinacious care—to the great service of astronomy, and the great benefit of navigation.

The library should not pass unnoticed. It is small; but being devoted to works upon astronomy, and the kindred sciences, there is ample room for all that has hitherto been written on the subject, or that can, for many generations, be produced. The observations of a lifetime spent in watching the stars may be printed in marvelously few pages. A glance through the Greenwich Astronomical Library gives a rough general idea of what the world has done and is doing for the promotion of this science. Russia contributes large, imperial-looking tomes, that tell of extended observations made under the munificent patronage of a despot; Germany sends from different points a variety of smaller, cheaper-looking, yet valuable contributions; France gives proofs of her genius and her discoveries; but her forte is not in observation. The French are bad observers. They have no such proofs of unremitting, patient toil in search of facts, as those afforded in the records of the Greenwich Tables of the Moon. Indeed, Greenwich, as we have already said, is a working[Pg 237] Observatory; and those who go into its library, and its fire-proof manuscript-room, and see how its volumes of observations have been growing from the small beginnings of the days of Flamstead and Halley, to those of our later and more, liberal times, will have good reason to acknowledge that the money devoted to this establishment has been well employed.

One other spot must be noticed as among the notable things in this astronomical sanctum. It is the Chronometer-room, to which, during the first three Mondays in the year, the chief watch-makers of London send in their choicest instruments for examination and trial. The watches remain for a good portion of a year; their rates being noted, day by day, by two persons; and then the makers of the best receive prizes, and their instruments are purchased for the navy. Other competitors obtain certificates of excellence, which bring customers from the merchant service; while others pass unrewarded. To enter the room where these admirable instruments are kept, suggests the idea of going into a Brobdingnag watch-factory. Round the place are ranged shelves, on which the large watches are placed, all ticking in the most distinct and formidable way one against another. When they first arrive, in January, they are left to the ordinary atmospheric temperature for some months. Their rates being taken under these circumstances, a large stove in the center of the apartment is lighted, and heat got up to a sort of artificial East India or Gold Coast point. Tried under these influences, they are placed in an iron tray over the stove, like so many watch-pies in a baker's dish, and the fire being encouraged, they are literally kept baking, to see how their metal will stand that style of treatment. While thus hot, their rates are once more taken; and then, after this fiery ordeal, such of them as their owners like to trust to an opposite test, are put into freezing mixtures! Yet, so beautifully made are these triumphs of human ingenuity—so well is their mechanism 'corrected' for compensating the expansion caused by the heat, and the contraction induced by the cold—that an even rate of going is established, so nearly, that its variation under opposite circumstances becomes a matter of close and certain estimate.

The rates of chronometers on trial for purchase by the Board of Admirality, at the Observatory, are posted up and printed in an official form. Upon looking to the document for last year, we find a statement of their performances during six months of 1849, with memoranda of the exact weeks during which the chronometers were exposed to the open air at a north window; the weeks the Chronometer-room was heated by a stove, the chronometers being dispersed on the surrounding shelves; and the weeks during which they were placed in the tray above the stove. The rate given during the first week of trial is in every case omitted; like newly entered schoolboys their early vagaries are not taken into account; but after that, every merit and every fault is watched with jealous care, and, when the day of judgment comes, the order of the arrangement of the chronometers in the list is determined solely by consideration of their irregularities of rate as expressed in the columns, "Difference between greatest and least," and, "Greatest difference between one week and the next."

The Royal Observatory, according to a superstition not wholly extinct, is the head-quarters, not only of Astronomy, but of Astrology. The structure is awfully regarded, by a small section of the community which ignorance has still left among us, as a manufactory of horoscopes, and a repository for magic mirrors and divining-rods. Not long ago a well-dressed woman called at the Observatory gate to request a hint as to the means of recovering a lost sum of money; and recently, somebody at Brighton dispatched the liberal sum of five shillings in a post-office order to the same place, with a request to have his nativity cast in return! Another, only last year, wrote as follows: "I have been informed that there are persons at the Observatory who will, by my inclosing a remittance and the hour of my birth, give me to understand who is to be my wife? An early answer, stating all particulars, will oblige," &c.

This sketch descriptive of its real duties and uses are not necessary to relieve the Greenwich Observatory from the charge of being an abode of sorcerers and astrologers. A few only of the most ignorant can yet entertain such notions of its character; but they are not wholly unfounded. Magicians, whose symbols are the Arabic numerals, and whose arcana are mathematical computations, daily foretell events in that building with unerring certainty. They pre-discover the future of the stars down to their minutest evolution and eccentricity. From data furnished from the Royal Observatory, is compiled an extraordinary prophetic Almanack from which all other almanacks are copied. It foretells to a second when and where each of the planets may be seen in the heavens at any minute for the next three years. The current number of the Nautical Almanack is for the Year of Grace 1853.

In this quiet sanctuary, then, the winds are made to register their own course and force, and the rain to gauge its own quantity as it falls; the planets are watched to help the mariner to steer more safely over the seas; and the heavens themselves are investigated for materials from which their future as well as their past history may be written.


Every one who visits America has something to say of the rapidity with which towns spring up in the West. Sir Charles Lyell, however, mentions some facts which remind us very forcibly how close to our own times was the settlement of the first English[Pg 238] colony upon the continent. At Plymouth he sees the tombs of the first pilgrims, who came out in the Mayflower. Some of the houses which they built of brick brought from Holland, are still remaining, with their low rooms and paneled walls. In some private houses he saw many venerated heir-looms, kept as relics of the first settlers; among others, an antique chair of carved wood, which came over in the Mayflower, and which still retains the marks of the staples which fixed it to the floor of the cabin. He also saw a chest, or cabinet, which had belonged to Peregrine White, the first child born in the colony. Part of the rock upon which the pilgrim fathers landed has been removed to the centre of the town, and, with the names of forty-two of their number inscribed upon it, inclosed within an iron railing. This is the American Roll of Battle Abbey. But to return to Peregrine White, the first child born in the colony: Colonel Perkins, the munificent founder of the asylum for the blind, where we found our friend Laura Bridgman, informed Sir Charles Lyell, in 1846, "that there was but one link wanting in the chain of personal communication between himself and Peregrine White." White was known to a man of the name of Cobb, whom Colonel Perkins visited, in 1807, with some friends, who still survive. This Cobb remembered when there were many Indians near Plymouth; the inhabitants of the town frequently firing a cannon to frighten them, to which cannon the Indians gave the name of "Old Speakum." So that, in this case, one link is sufficient to connect men now alive with the first whites born in New England, and with the time when Indians were in the neighborhood of the first town that was settled.

As a pendant to this, we may mention something connected with the originals of that other continent which our race is peopling at the antipodes. A few weeks ago, we were dining at the table of a naval officer, well known in the scientific and literary world, upon which occasion he mentioned, that being off the infant town of Sydney, in New South Wales, in the year 1806, he ate some of the first home-bred bullock which was killed in the colony. The son of the first governor having just returned from the colony, which he had now made his home, happening to be of our party, added, that "since that time their progress had been so rapid, that this year they were to melt down two million sheep for their tallow."

There are three events in the history of the world which will bear comparison with this rapid extension of the English race. The first—and this has always appeared to us to be the most striking occurrence in history—is the marvelous manner in which a handful of Greeks, under Alexander and his successors, overran and held for a long period the whole of the East. The wonder is increased when we consider the difficulty of maintaining communications in that part of the world. They, in a great measure, changed the language and ideas of the East. The Gospel was written in Greek; and the law of Moses, the writings of the Hebrew prophets, were translated into Greek on the banks of the Nile. A Greek kingdom was ever able to maintain itself for a long period of time on the very confines of Tartary; and specimens of the Græco-Bactrian coinage are even to this day abundant in that part of the world. All this, however, passed away, and has not left any very obvious traces on the present state of things. The second event was the establishment of the Roman empire. Strongly as we are disposed to maintain that, on a general view of human affairs, every thing happens for the best, yet we may say of the Roman empire that it was in many respects a giant evil. No man of great original genius ever spoke the Roman language; in the sense in which many Greeks, and among ourselves Bacon, Shakspeare, and Newton, were men of original genius. There was a time when there were men of spirit and ability in every Greek city: there was a time when the Roman empire governed the world and there was not one great man from Britain to the Euphrates. Having fulfilled its destiny—which seems to have been the introduction into the Western World of the ideas of unity, law, and order, though unintentionally on its part, for it was nothing but a military despotism—it perished as it deserved, and its language is now nowhere spoken.

The third event was the irruption of the Barbarians. That a higher civilization followed this every body knows; but how many centuries did it take to civilize the Barbarians?

Now these, the three great events of past history, are all dwarfed very much when compared with what we are now, doing. We are sending out every year, literally, hundreds of thousands of civilized men to people two continents in opposite hemispheres, and on opposite sides of the globe. In North America there are already twenty millions of our race. This population doubles every twenty-two years. Australia will inevitably become "the Queen of the South." Now that literature has given permanency to language, no other tongue than ours will ever be spoken upon these continents. We can see no limit to the spread of our laws, literature, and language. Greek and Roman greatness are really, in comparison, nothing to this. And, compared with the millions of civilized men which we have sent and are sending to occupy so large a portion of the earth's surface, how insignificant becomes the irruption of some savage, or half-savage hordes, into Italy, France, Spain, and England!

At a time when civilization is at a standstill, if not retrograding, upon the continent of Europe, it is very delightful, particularly to an Englishman, to have such a picture to contemplate.—Frazer's Magazine.

[Pg 239]

[From the London Times.]


Lord Campbell has devoted a considerable portion of his first volume of the Lives of the Chief Justices of England to the biography of Sir Edward Coke. The theme is worthy of the space afforded it. Independently of the professional renown of this great man, there are circumstances connected with his career that render it, perhaps, more deeply interesting than that of any other legal functionary. He began the world with the immortal Bacon; the two were rivals during life; they fought together for distinction, and were even competitors in love. Both were devoured by a raging desire for wealth and honors, both gained the objects of their fiery ambition, and neither found happiness when they were acquired. If Bacon was more unscrupulous than Coke in the ignoble race, his fall also was more fatal and ignominious. Both represent to our minds distinct forms of undoubted greatness. The Body of the Common Law of England is the type that speaks for Coke. The glory of human wisdom shines forever around the drooping head of Bacon. Both teach posterity how much intellectual grandeur may co-exist with the most glaring moral turpitude; both pay homage to virtue by seeking refuge in disgrace in the tranquil pursuits that have since immortalized them. Bacon, with a genius only less than angelic, condescends to paltry crime, and dies branded. Coke, with a profound contempt for the arts that Bacon loved, enraged by disappointment, takes revenge for neglect, and dies a patriot. In the days of Coke there would seem to have been a general understanding on the part of royal sycophants to mislead the monarch, and all became his sycophants who received his favors. Coke is no exception to the rule. It is true enough that to him we are mainly indebted for the movement which, beginning on the 30th of January, 1621, ended that very day eight-and-twenty years with the decapitation of the king; but it is likewise undeniable that the nation's difficulties would have waited some time longer for solution had not the defender of the people's rights been inoculated with a love of liberty by the sudden application of the royal lancet, whose sharp edge his judicious self-love would never have provoked. Coke was born in what a Royalist of the days of Charles the First might well have called "the good old times," when Queens were gentle despots and Parliaments the most devoted of self-constituted slaves; when Mr. Speaker "upon his allegiance was commanded, if a certain bill be exhibited, not to read it," and when "Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, to the great comfort of the Speaker and the House, brought answer of Her Majesty's acceptance of the submission" of legislators who had presumed to speak of matters "not proper and pertinent for the house to deal in." Elizabeth was on her splendid throne when Coke, having quitted the University of Cambridge without a degree, was working like a horse at Clifford's-inn. Stony-hearted and stony-minded, he loved neither poetry nor pleasure. From the moment he began the appointed task of his life, he dreamed of nothing but fame, and of that only for the sake of the sterling recompense it brings. Friendships not convertible to cash, Coke resolutely foreswore at the commencement of his career, and he was blessed with none at the close of it. Spenser yielded him no delight, Shakespeare no seduction. The study of law began at three in the morning, and, with short intervals of rest, ceased at nine in the evening, at which hour the indefatigable student at last took repose. Fortified by such discipline, and brim full of law, Coke was called to the bar in the year 1578, being then twenty-seven years of age, and he rose in his profession as rapidly as he had all along resolved to rise.

In pursuance of his design Coke married well in 1582; the lady was young, beautiful, and accomplished; virtues thrown, as it were, into the bargain, since the lawyer had been well satisfied with the ample fortune by which they were accompanied. Before he was thirty years old the desperate money-seeker had made himself master of manor upon manor, and laid the foundation of the enormous possessions which at length alarmed the Crown, lest they should prove too magnificent for a subject. In 1585 he was elected Recorder of Coventry, in 1586 of Norwich, and in 1592 of London itself. In the last-named year he was also appointed Reader in the Inner Temple by the Benchers, and in 1592, being in his forty-first year, by the influence of Burleigh, he was made Solicitor-General to the Queen. The solicitorship secured the Speakership of the House of Commons, according to custom. Coke in his address to the Queen upon his appointment compared himself to a star in the heavens, "which is but opacum corpus until it receiveth light from the sun." Her Majesty in answer graciously condescended to accept the metaphor, for she informed her humble Speaker that liberty of speech was granted him, "but you must know what privilege you have; not to speak every one what he listeth, or what cometh in his brain to utter, but your privilege is ay or no; wherefore, Mr. Speaker, Her Majesty's pleasure is, that if you perceive any idle heads which will meddle with reforming the church and transforming the commonwealth, and do exhibit bills to such purpose, you receive them not until they be viewed and considered by those who it is fitter should consider of such things, and can better judge of them." The times were sweetly Arcadian. Elizabeth should be painted a shepherdess, and her faithful Parliament a meek and timid flock about her.

The obsequiousness of Coke to his Royal mistress was in perfect keeping with his character. Nothing exceeds his abject servility while in the sunshine, save his fixed malignity when dismissed to the shade. In 1594 the office of Attorney-General became vacant; Coke regarded the prize as his own until he found one ready to dispute it with him. Bacon, eager[Pg 240] to outstrip his rival, had made interest at Court, and, had his age been as ripe as his genius, Coke might have been thrust aside in the encounter. Intrigues failed, because "one precedent of so raw a youth being promoted to so great a place" it was impossible to find. Coke was left master of the field, but neither combatant forgot the result of the contest. The new Attorney-General declined his marvelous opponent for Solicitor-General, and Bacon resolved to take unmeasured revenge both for the disappointment and the insult.

A fitter tool for its melancholy work prerogative never found than in Attorney-General Coke, who, for his punishment, lived to destroy the foul abuses he had been paid to nourish. The liberty of the subject is identified with the name of the individual who, as much as any of his time, sought to crush it. The perversions of criminal law to which this man condescended, as prosecutor for the Crown, are familiar to the readers of history. His cruel arrogance and atrocious bearing toward the unfortunate (we do not speak of the guilty) can never be forgotten. Lord Campbell tells us that Coke, in his age, "made noble amends" for the licentious and unscrupulous dealings of his earlier life. We can not admit the term; for repentance to be noble, the motive must be pure. The gain to society by the stand made by Coke, in the name of the people, against the encroachments of the Crown is not to be overestimated; but respect does not attach to the soiled instrument by which our blessings were secured. A singular instance of the brutality of the Attorney-General, and of his overstrained duty to the Crown, occurred at the trial of the unfortunate and gallant Essex. Well may the present biographer exclaim, "This was a humiliating day for our order!" Essex had striven hard to obtain for Bacon the office then held by his accuser. The insurrection in the city might sooner be pardoned than that offense, which, indeed, received no mercy. For once, Bacon and Coke ceased to be rivals, but only that they might be co-partners in inexpiable guilt. Divines may preach even to the infidel of the inherent rottenness of our fallen nature, when they can point to Bacon, the pride of humanity, the wonder of the civilized world, imploring to be counsel against his best friend and benefactor, and leaving no base means untried to bring that high and chivalrous spirit to the scaffold. Prerogative never boasted so rare a sacrifice; the might of kings never extorted so signal an acknowledgment.

On the 27th of June, 1598, Coke lost his wife, who had borne him ten children. His memorandum-book feelingly describes the virtues of the departed; but within four months of her burial the disconsolate widower had taken unto himself a second mate, whose beauty, though extraordinary, was still surpassed, as before, by the brilliancy of the marriage portion. Lady Hatton, daughter of Thomas Cecil, was the widow of the nephew of Lord Chancellor Hatton, and but 20 years of age when she agreed to become the wife of a man whom she disliked on her wedding-day and hated ever afterward. Bacon, her cousin, had preferred his suit to be rejected, although Lord Essex, then powerful enough, had declared to the lady that "if he had a daughter of his own he would rather match her with the accomplished lawyer than with a man of far greater titles." To spite Bacon, and to add to his heaps, Coke consented to a private marriage, to break the law, and to listen complacently to the openly declared aversion of his bride. He enjoyed all the happiness he had earned. The lady refused to adopt her husband's name, spurned his company and dry pursuits, took her pleasure abroad, and, giving birth to a daughter, flatly refused to live with him any longer; and greater punishment came hereafter.

Upon the death of Elizabeth, James I. conferred upon Coke the dignity of knighthood, and continued him in his office. The first appearance of the Attorney-General as public prosecutor in the new reign was at the trial of the adventurous Raleigh, the judge upon the occasion being the reformed highway-robber, Popham, who made amends for the delinquencies of his youth by hanging every criminal within his reach. Raleigh laid down the law as Coke himself years afterward knew how to define it; but the legal tools of the Court were neither to be shamed nor argued from their purpose. Coke disgracefully bullied the high-souled prisoner. Popham shrunk from his calm and unanswerable defense; but both contrived to prove him guilty. The instance is one of a hundred. So long as Coke could find payment for unclean work, he betrayed no uneasy desire to wash his fingers. It was not until all hope of turning sycophancy to further account was gone that he took up with patriotism.

Coke's last prosecution as Attorney-General was a famous one; for the objects of his malevolence were no other than Guy Faux and his accomplices. It would have been sufficient to dismiss in silence to the scaffold men upon whom the brand of guilt was so deeply fixed. Justice required no more than their death; much more readily satisfied the officious love of the king's devoted servant. While the Attorney-General was hurling insult at the heads of the culprits, one of them, Sir Everard Digby, interrupted him, confessing "that he deserved the vilest death, and the most severe punishment that might be," but humbly petitioned "for mercy and some moderation of justice." Coke, overflowing with mercy, promised him such moderation as he might discover in the Psalms, where it is written, "Let his wife be a widow and his children vagabonds—let his posterity be destroyed, and in the next generation let his name be quite put out." Digby's pathetic appeal upon the rising of the Court may well stand side by side with this brutality. "If I may but hear any of your lordships," exclaimed the doomed man, "say you forgive me, I shall go more cheerfully to the gallows." The lords[Pg 241] answered in Coke's presence, "The Lord forgive you, and we do."

The gunpowder plot disposed of, Coke, in the year 1606, became Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, "fatigued," as Lord Campbell has it, "if not satiated, with amassing money at the bar." The new judge was as fully alive to the rights of his office as he had been before to the prerogatives of the king. The pedantic presumption of James was safe till it rubbed against the more stubborn pride of Coke. The monarch was of opinion that the constitution and the law allowed him personally to try causes between his loyal subjects. "By my soul," he said pettishly to Coke, who begged leave to differ, "I have often heard the boast that your English law was founded upon reason. If that be so, why have not I and others reason as well as you, the judges?" Coke explained why and by the manner of his explanation compelled the king to think no more of his folly. Unfortunately for all parties His Majesty at the same time remembered the affront.

Had he been disposed to forget it there was one at his side eager enough to jog his memory. Bacon's advancement depended upon the downfall of Coke, and the sublimest yet meanest of men gave his whole heart to the accomplishment of either work. By the elevation of the Attorney-General, Bacon had become Solicitor-General, and a more servile spirit never filled the office. The first triumph of Coke over the king encouraged him to more open war against despotism and abuse. The monarchs before the Revolution loved to repair laws by royal proclamation, and none were busier at that trade than the silly James. Coke asserted his authority again, and again defeated him. To console His Majesty and to help himself, Bacon recommended the promotion of the incorrigable assailant. Coke was made, accordingly, Chief Justice of the King's Bench. The profits of the office were much less than those of the Justice of the Common Pleas, although the rank was higher. Hence Coke's disgust at the bettering of his condition, which also helped Bacon on a step, by furnishing Attorney-General Hobart with the chiefship of the Common Pleas.

Coke continued to display his independence during the three years that he presided in the Court of King's Bench, but he had stopped short of committing an act that might deprive him of the reversion of the Chancellorship, to which his great acquirements and reputation well entitled him. Bacon, always alive to his master's interests, urged upon the king the danger of elevating the Chief Justice to the woolsack, long before the vacancy occurred. "If you take my Lord Coke," said he, "this will follow: first, your Majesty shall put an overruling nature into an overruling place, which may breed an extreme; next, you shall blunt his industries in the matter of your finances, which seemeth to aim at another place (the office of Lord Treasurer); and, lastly, popular men are no sure mounters for your Majesty's saddle." His Majesty, easily frightened, cherished the warning, while Coke took no pains to disarm suspicion. His triumphs gave him courage, and he went from bad to worse. A question arose as to the power of the king to grant ecclesiastical preferments to be held along with a bishopric. A learned counsel at the bar denied the power. Bacon, the Attorney-General, not caring to defend it, mentioned another power of the king's—viz., his right to prohibit the hearing of any cause in which his prerogative is concerned until he should intimate his pleasure on the matter to his judges; and advised such a prohibition to be issued in the case in question. Coke treated the advice with disdain, proceeded as with an ordinary cause, heard it, and judicially determined it. Bacon could have wished for nothing more suicidal.

Coke was summoned before the Privy Council. It was suddenly discovered that he had been guilty of a breach of duty while Attorney-General, in concealing a bond given to the Crown by Sir Christopher Hatton. He had also misconducted himself in a dispute with the Lord Chancellor respecting injunctions; moreover, he had insulted the king when called before him in the case of commendams. In addition, many extravagant and exorbitant opinions had been set down and published in his reports for positive and good law. So heinous an offender could not go unpunished. By royal mandate the delinquent was suspended from his office of Chief Justice. Simple suspension, however, brought no consolation to Bacon, who goaded the king to downright persecution. On the 16th of November, 1616, the Chief Justice received his dismissal. Lord Campbell pleads for the fallen man, who heard his sentence with "dejection and tears." We must, nevertheless, not forget the weakness when we reflect upon his abject submission to royalty during his days of dependence, and as we approach the more stormy times when the spirit of vengeance incited him to grapple with royalty in the temper of a rebel. Magnanimity is wanting throughout.

As Coke tumbled down Bacon rose to his zenith. While the former was shedding tears for his dismissal, the latter was intoxicated with joy by his elevation to the Chancellorship. The defeated judge, however, was not the man to submit without a struggle to his fate. By his second wife he had a daughter: she had reached a marriageable age and was heiress to a princely fortune. Coke resolved that she should marry Sir John Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham's eldest brother. Sir John was very poor, and the Duke of Buckingham all powerful. The union effected, what should hinder his return to favor? Bacon, terrified at the plot, encouraged mother and daughter to resist the will of the father; but Sir John and the duke were more than a match for the counter-conspirators. After a gallant opposition the ladies yielded, and the marriage was celebrated at Hampton Court, "in the presence of the king and queen and all[Pg 242] the chief nobility of England." Sir John was old enough to be his wife's father, but that was a trifle. The results of the match were such as might be expected. Coke was restored to the Privy Council, but received no judicial promotion. Sir John Villiers and his wife never passed a happy day together, and before long the lady eloped with Sir John Howard. "After traveling abroad in man's attire she died young, leaving a son, who, on the ground of illegitimacy, was not allowed to inherit the estate and honors of her husband."

The last blow decided the ex-Chief Justice. Rejected as a friend, he gave himself up to the warfare of relentless enmity. The fame and glory acquired at this juncture by his rival in consequence of the publication of the Novum Organum gave venom to his hate. A Parliament was called in 1620. Coke then in his 70th year, was elected for the borough of Liskeard. Just after his election the office of Lord Treasurer fell vacant. Coke had looked for it, but it was given elsewhere. All things served to fan the fire of his indignation. The Puritans were returned to the House in great numbers. Coke, hitherto a high churchman, placed himself at their head, and prepared for deadly opposition. Opportunities came to him as thick as summer leaves upon a tree. The nation had rare cause for discontent, and no man knew better than he how to turn popular grievances to personal account.

He set to work at once. A motion was made by Mr. Secretary Calvert for a supply. Sir Edward Coke moved as an amendment, "That supply and grievances should be referred together to a committee of the whole House." The amendment was carried, and business forthwith commenced with an attack upon the monopolists. A report was drawn up directed against the king's prerogative, in virtue of which monopolies flourished, and Coke himself carried it to the bar of the Upper House, where Bacon, as Chancellor received him. The second effort must have been a labor of love indeed. The Lord Chancellor himself had been accused of a king bribes. A committee of the House was appointed to investigate the charges, and Coke, with a willing heart, guided its proceedings. The king sent a message to the Commons with the view of saving Bacon from the odium of an inquiry thus vindictively pursued, but Coke had fastened on his prey and was not to be cajoled or frightened off. He besought the Commons not to stand between justice and a huge delinquent, and he procured Bacon's impeachment. The impeachment being voted, Coke, to his intense delight, was ordered to conduct it. Bacon, conscious of the spirit with which his rival would settle to his task, disappointed his vengence by pleading guilty to the charge; but it was the deep humiliation of the chancellor, in the presence of his foe, to hear in one breath both judgement and destruction pronounced. The battle was over. Bacon made restitution to society by withdrawing from public life and devoting himself to the dignified occupations which have since induced his countrymen to forget the failings that compelled the fortunate seclusion. Coke having brought his victim to the dust left him there to linger. He never visited his fallen enemy. The two never met again.

Revenge called for further sacrifice. Coke's fierceness against the Court increased rather than abated with Bacon's removal. The Chancellorship which might have made him a royalist and high churchman again was bestowed upon another. The shortsightedness of monarchs is even more unpardonable than their crimes. After a struggle against adjournment, led on by Coke, Parliament was adjourned in May to meet again in November. In a letter to the Speaker the king desired it to be made known in his name unto the House, "that none therein shall presume henceforth to meddle with any thing concerning our Government or deep matters of state." Coke, leading the opposition, moved "a protestation," which was carried and entered on the journals. The king, with his own hand, tore the protestation out of the Journal Book, and declaring it "an usurpation which the majesty of a king can by no means endure" at once dissolved the Parliament.

Coke for his pains was committed to the Tower, but after a few months' imprisonment was released at the intercession of the Prince of Wales. Before the popular leader was fairly in harness again, that Prince was on the throne. Charles's first Parliament was called in 1625, and Coke was returned for Coventry. A motion for supply being submitted, Coke moved as an amendment for a committee to inquire into the expenditure of the Crown. The amendment was carried, and His Majesty, according to custom in such cases, dissolved the Parliament. Supply being, however, indispensable to monarchs as to meaner men, a new Parliament was summoned, and Coke, now 75 years old, was returned without solicitation for Norfolk. This Parliament fared no better than its predecessor, and upon another attempt being made the king suffered the extreme mortification of seeing his unappeasable pursuer returned for two counties. His Majesty opened the session with a stern rebuke. He did not call it a threatening, "for he scorned to threaten any but his equals, but an admonition from him who by nature and duty has most care of his people's preservation and prosperity." Whatever it might be, whether menace or reproof, it had no effect upon the sturdy veteran. "What a word," exclaimed Coke in his speech upon the usual motion for supply "is that franchise! The lord may tax his villein, high or low; but it is against the franchise of the land for freemen to be taxed but by their consent in Parliament;" and the speaker implored his listeners to withhold that consent while there remained one legitimate grievance for the king to remedy. Having made his speech he brought forward and carried resolutions that are memorable in the annals of our constitutional history, and which, indeed, were[Pg 243] made the foundation of the Habeas Corpus Act fifty years afterward. His next step was his greatest. He formed the famous Petition of Right, the second Magna Charta, as it has been aptly called, of the nation's liberties. The petition enumerated all the abuses of prerogative under which the country groaned, and after declaring them all to be contrary to law "assumed the form of an act of the Legislature, and in the most express and stringent terms protected the people in all time to come from similar oppressions." The king attempted to evade the obligation about to be forced upon him, but his adversary was as inflexible as iron, "not that he distrusted the king, but that he could not take his trust save in a Parliamentary way." The lords passed the bill, but loyally introduced a proviso that completely nullified its operation. "This," exclaimed Coke, "turns all about again," and at his instigation the accommodating proviso was at once rejected. The Lords agreed "not to insist upon it," and nothing was left for His Majesty but to resort, under the direction of Buckingham, to fraudulent dealing. The trick did not answer. Buckingham was denounced, the Petition of Right, in spite of the king, received the royal assent in due form, and bonfires throughout London testified to the happiness of the people at the restoration of their liberty. King Charles would never have died on the scaffold had he not violated in later years the solemn pledge he gave on this occasion to his trusting subjects.

With this achievement ended Coke's political career. The Petition of Right was carried in 1628. He was absent from Parliament during the short and violent session of 1629, and before another Parliament was called he had quitted life. He died in 1634, in the eighty-third year of his age and in the full possession of his faculties. What he performed for public liberty is seen; his claims to esteem as a lawyer were recognized in his own time, and are still acknowledged. His publications are the hand-books of our legal men. His general character may be gathered from our short record. It is further to be noted that he had a sublime contempt for science and literature of every kind. Upon the title-page of his copy of the Novum Organum, presented to him by the author, he wrote,

"It deserves not to be read in schooles,
But to be freighted in the Ship of Fools."

Shakspeare and Ben Jonson were vagrants, deserving of the stocks; poetry was foolishness; law, politics, and money-making the sole occupations worthy of a masculine and vigorous mind. "For a profound knowledge of the common law of England," says the biographer, "he stands unrivaled. As a judge he was above all suspicion of corruption; yet most men," adds Lord Campbell, "I am afraid, would rather have been Bacon than Coke." We participate in his Lordship's fear. Aware of the lax period in which both flourished, we are willing to attribute many of the faults of both to the age in which their lot was cast. Their virtues and intellectual prowess were all then own; and let us once enter upon a comparison of these, and the lofty, universal genius of Bacon will shine as the noonday sun in the firmament where the duller orb of Coke shall cease to be visible.

[From Household Words.]


One evening in the month of March, 1798—that dark time in Ireland's annals whose memory (overlooking all minor subsequent émeutes) is still preserved among us, as "the year of the rebellion"—a lady and gentleman were seated near a blazing fire in the old-fashioned dining-room of a large, lonely mansion. They had just dined; wine and fruit were on the table, both untouched, while Mr. Hewson and his wife sat silently gazing at the fire, watching its flickering light becoming gradually more vivid as the short spring twilight faded into darkness.

At length the husband poured out a glass of wine, drank it off, and then broke silence, by saying,

"Well, well, Charlotte, these are awful times; there were ten men taken up to-day for burning Cotter's house at Knockane; and Tom Dycer says that every magistrate in the country is a marked man."

Mrs. Hewson cast a frightened glance toward the windows, which opened nearly to the ground, and gave a view of a wide, tree-besprinkled lawn, through whose centre a long straight avenue led to the high-road. There was also a footpath at either side of the house, branching off through close thickets of trees, and reaching the road by a circuitous route.

"Listen, James!" she said, after a pause, "what noise is that?"

"Nothing but the sighing of the wind among the trees. Come, wife, you must not give way to imaginary fears."

"But really I heard something like footsteps on the gravel, round the gable-end—I wish—"

A knock at the parlor door interrupted her.

"Come in."

The door opened, and Tim Gahan, Mr. Hewson's confidential steward and right-hand man, entered, followed by a fair-haired, delicate-looking boy of six years' old, dressed in deep mourning.

"Well, Gahan, what do you want?"

"I ask your honor's pardon for disturbing you and the mistress; but I thought it right to come and tell you the bad news I heard."

"Something about the rebels, I suppose?"

"Yes, sir; I got a whisper just now that there's going to be a great rising entirely, to-morrow; thousands are to gather before daybreak at Kilcrean bog, where I'm told they've a power of pikes hiding; and then they're to march on and sack every house in the country. I'll engage,[Pg 244] when I heard it, I didn't let grass grow under my feet, but came off straight to your honor, thinking maybe you'd like to walk over this fine evening to Mr. Warren's, and settle with him what's best to be done."

"Oh, James! I beseech you, don't think of going."

"Make your mind easy, Charlotte; I don't intend it: not that I suppose there would be much risk; but, all things considered, I think I'm just as comfortable at home."

The steward's brow darkened, as he glanced nervously toward the end window, which jutting out in the gable, formed a deep angle in the outer wall.

"Of course, 'tis just as your honor plases, but I'll warrant you there would be no harm in going. Come, Billy," he added, addressing the child, who by this time was standing close to Mrs. Hewson, "make your bow, and bid good-night to master and mistress."

The boy did not stir, and Mrs. Hewson taking his little hand in hers, said,

"You need not go home for half-an-hour, Gahan; stay and have a chat with the servants in the kitchen, and leave little Billy with me—and with the apples and nuts," she added, smiling as she filled the child's hands with fruit.

"Thank you, ma'am," said the steward, hastily. "I can't stop—I'm in a hurry home, where I wanted to leave this brat to-night; but he would follow me. Come, Billy; come this minute, you young rogue."

Still the child looked reluctant, and Mr. Hewson said, peremptorily,

"Don't go yet, Gahan: I want to speak to you by-and-by; and you know the mistress always likes to pet little Billy."

Without replying, the steward left the room; and the next moment his hasty footsteps resounded through the long flagged passage that led to the offices.

"There's something strange about Gahan, since his wife died," remarked Mrs. Hewson. "I suppose 'tis grief for her that makes him look so darkly, and seem almost jealous when any one speaks to his child. Poor little Billy! your mother was a sore loss to you."

The child's blue eyes filled with tears, and pressing closer to the lady's side, he said,

"Old Peggy doesn't wash and dress me as nicely as mammy used."

"But your father is good to you?"

"Oh, yes, ma'am, but he's out all day busy, and I've no one to talk to me as mammy used; for Peggy is quite deaf, and besides she's always busy with the pigs and chickens."

"I wish I had you, Billy, to take care of and to teach, for your poor mother's sake."

"And so you may, Charlotte," said her husband. "I'm sure Gahan, with all his odd ways, is too sensible a fellow not to know how much it would be for his child's benefit to be brought up and educated by us, and the boy would be an amusement to us in this lonely house. I'll speak to him about it before he goes home. Billy, my fine fellow, come here," he continued, "jump up on my knee, and tell me if you'd like to live here always and learn to read and write."

"I would, sir, if I could be with father, too."

"So you shall; and what about old Peggy?"

The child paused.

"I like to give her a pen'north of snuff and a piece of tobacco every week, for she said the other day that that would make her quite happy."

Mr. Hewson laughed, and Billy prattled on, still seated on his knee; when a noise of footsteps on the ground, mingled with low suppressed talking, was heard outside.

"James, listen! there's the noise again."

It was now nearly dark, but Mr. Hewson, still holding the boy in his arms, walked toward the window and looked out.

"I can see nothing," he said; "stay, there are figures moving off among the trees, and a man running round to the back of the house—very like Gahan he is, too."

Seizing the bell-rope, he rang it loudly, and said to the servant who answered his summons,

"Fasten the shutters and put up the bars, Connell; and then tell Gahan I want to see him."

The man obeyed; candles were brought, and Gahan entered the room.

Mr. Hewson remarked that, though his cheeks were flushed, his lips were very white, and his bold dark eyes were cast on the ground.

"What took you round the house just now, Tim?" asked his master, in a careless manner.

"What took me round the house, is it? Why, then, nothing in life, sir, but that just as I went outside the kitchen door to take a smoke, I saw the pigs, that Shaneen forgot to put up in their stye, making right for the mistress's flower-garden; so I just put my dudheen, lighted as it was, into my pocket, and ran after them. I caught them on the grand walk under the end window, and, indeed, ma'am, I had my own share of work turning them back to their proper spear."

Gahan spoke with unusual volubility, but without raising his eyes from the ground.

"Who were the people," asked his master, "whom I saw moving through the western grove?"

"People! your honor—not a sign of any people moving there, I'll be bound, barring the pigs."

"Then," said Mr. Hewson, smiling, to his wife, "the miracle of Circe must have been reversed, and swine turned into men; for, undoubtedly, the dark figures I saw were human beings."

"Come, Billy," said Gahan, anxious to turn the conversation, "will you come home with me now? I am sure 'twas very good of the mistress to give you all them fine apples."

Mrs. Hewson was going to propose Billy's remaining, but her husband whispered, "Wait till to-morrow." So Gahan and his child were allowed to depart.

Next morning the magistrates of the district[Pg 245] were on the alert, and several suspicious-looking men found lurking about, were taken up. A hat which fitted one of them was picked up in Mr. Hewson's grove; the gravel under the end window bore many signs of trampling feet; and there were marks on the wall as if guns had rested against it. Gahan's information touching the intended meeting at Kilerean bog proved to be totally without foundation; and after a careful search, not a single pike or weapon of any description could be found there. All these circumstances combined certainly looked suspicious; but, after a prolonged investigation, as no guilt could be actually brought home to Gahan, he was dismissed. One of his examiners, however, said privately, "I advise you take care of that fellow, Hewson. If I were in your place, I'd just trust him as far as I could throw him, and not an inch beyond."

An indolent, hospitable Irish country gentleman, such as Mr. Hewson, is never without an always shrewd and often roguish prime minister, who saves his master the trouble of looking after his own affairs, and manages every thing that is to be done in both the home and foreign departments—from putting a new door on the pig-stye, to letting a farm of an hundred acres on lease. Now in this, or rather these capacities, Gahan had long served Mr. Hewson; and some seven years previous to the evening on which our story commences, he had strengthened the tie and increased his influence considerably by marrying Mrs. Hewson's favorite and faithful maid. One child was the result of this union; and Mrs. Hewson, who had no family of her own, took much interest in little Billy—more especially after the death of his mother, who, poor thing! the neighbors said, was not very happy, and would gladly, if she dared, have exchanged her lonely cottage for the easy service of her former mistress.

Thus, though for a time Mr. and Mrs. Hewson regarded Gahan with some doubt, the feeling gradually wore away, and the steward regained his former influence.

After the lapse of a few stormy months, the rebellion was quelled: all the prisoners taken up were severally disposed of by hanging, transportation, or acquittal, according to the nature and amount of the evidence brought against them; and the country became as peaceful as it is in the volcanic nature of our Irish soil ever to be.

The Hewsons' kindness toward Gahan's child was steady and unchanged. They took him into their house, and gave him a plain but solid education; so that William, while yet a boy, was enabled to be of some use to his patron, and daily enjoyed more and more of his confidence.

Another evening, the twentieth anniversary of that with which this narrative commenced, came round. Mr. and Mrs. Hewson were still hale and active, dwelling in their hospitable home. About eight o'clock at night, Tim Gahan, now a stooping, gray-haired man, entered Mr. Hewson's kitchen, and took his seat on the corner of the settle next the fire.

The cook, directing a silent, significant glance of compassion toward her fellow-servants, said,

"Would you like a drink of cider, Tim, or will you wait and take a cup of tay with myself and Kitty?"

The old man's eyes were fixed on the fire, and a wrinkled hand was planted firmly on each knee, as if to check their involuntary trembling. "I'll not drink any thing this night, thank you kindly, Nelly," he said, in a slow, musing manner, dwelling long on each word.

"Where's Billy?" he asked, after a pause, in a quick, hurried tone, looking up suddenly at the cook, with an expression in his eyes which, as she afterward said, took away her breath.

"Oh, never heed Billy! I suppose he's busy with the master."

"Where's the use, Nelly," said the coachman, "in hiding it from him? Sure, sooner or later, he must know it. Tim," he continued, "God knows 'tis sorrow to my heart this blessed night to make yours sore—but the truth is, that William has done what he oughtn't to do to the man that was all one as a father to him."

"What has he done? what will you dar say again my boy?"

"Taken money, then," replied the coachman, "that the master had marked and put by in his desk; for he suspected this some time past that gold was missing. This morning 'twas gone; a search was made, and the marked guineas were found with your son William."

The old man covered his face with his hands, and rocked himself to and fro.

"Where is he now?" at length he asked, in a hoarse voice.

"Locked up safe in the inner store-room; the master intends sending him to jail early to-morrow morning."

"He will not," said Gahan, slowly. "Kill the boy that saved his life!—no, no."

"Poor fellow! the grief is setting his mind astray—and sure no wonder!" said the cook, compassionately.

"I'm not astray!" cried the old man, fiercely. "Where's the master?—take me to him."

"Come with me," said the butler, "and I'll ask him will he see you."

With faltering steps the father complied: and when they reached the parlor, he trembled exceedingly, and leant against the wall for support, while the butler opened the door, and said,

"Gahan is here, sir, and wants to know will you let him speak to you for a minute."

"Tell him to come in," said Mr. Hewson, in a solemn tone of sorrow, very different from his ordinary cheerful voice.

"Sir," said the steward, advancing, "they tell me you are going to send my boy to prison—is it true?"

"Too true, indeed, Gahan. The lad who was reared in my house, whom my wife watched over in health, and nursed in sickness—whom[Pg 246] we loved almost as if he were our own, has robbed us, and that not once or twice, but many times. He is silent and sullen, too, and refuses to tell why he stole the money, which was never withheld from him when he wanted it. I can make nothing of him, and must only give him up to justice in the morning."

"No, sir, no. The boy saved your life; you can't take his."

"You're raving, Gahan."

"Listen to me, sir, and you won't say so. You remember this, night twenty years? I came here with my motherless child, and yourself and the mistress pitied us, and spoke loving words to him. Well for us all you did so! That night—little you thought it!—I was banded with them that were sworn to take your life. They were watching you outside the window, and I was sent to inveigle you out, that they might shoot you. A faint heart I had for the bloody business, for you were ever and always a good master to me; but I was under an oath to them that I darn't break, supposing they ordered me to shoot my own mother. Well! the hand of God was over you, and you wouldn't come with me. I ran out to them, and I said, 'Boys, if you want to shoot him, you must do it through the window,' thinking they'd be afeard of that; but they weren't—they were daring fellows, and one of them, sheltered by the angle of the window, took deadly aim at you. That very moment you took Billy on your knee, and I saw his fair head in a line with the musket. I don't know exactly then what I said or did, but I remember I caught the man's band, threw it up, and pointed to the child. Knowing I was a determined man. I believe they didn't wish to provoke me; so they watched you for a while, and when you didn't put him down, they got daunted, hearing the sound of soldiers riding by the road, and they stole away through the grove. Most of that gang swung on the gallows, but the last of them died this morning quietly in his bed. Up to yesterday he used to make me give him money—sums of money to buy his silence—and it was for that I made my boy a thief. It was wearing out his very life. Often he went down on his knees to me, and said, 'Father, I'd die myself sooner than rob my master, but I can't see you disgraced. Oh, let us fly the country!' Now, sir, I have told you all—do what you like with me—send me to jail, I deserve it, but spare my poor, deluded, innocent boy!"

It would be difficult to describe Mr. Hewson's feelings, but his wife's first impulse was to hasten to liberate the prisoner. With a few incoherent words of explanation, she led him into the presence of his master, who, looking at him sorrowfully but kindly, said,

"William, you have erred deeply, but not so deeply as I supposed. Your father has told me every thing. I forgive him freely, and you also."

The young man covered his face with his hands, and wept tears more bitter and abundant than he had ever shed since the day when he followed his mother to the grave. He could say little, but he knelt on the ground, and clasping the kind hand of her who had supplied to him that mother's place, he murmured,

"Will you tell him I would rather die than sin again?"

Old Gahan died two years afterward, truly penitent, invoking blessings on his son and on his benefactors; and the young man's conduct, now no longer under evil influence, was so steady and so upright, that his adopted parents felt that their pious work was rewarded, and that, in William Gahan, they had indeed a son.

[From Fraser's Magazine.]


The qualifications required for the diplomatic career, we need hardly say, are many and various. To a perfect knowledge of history and the law of nations should be united a knowledge of the privileges and duties of diplomatic agents, an acquaintance with the conduct and management of negotiations, the physical and moral statistics, the political, military, and social history of the powers with which the embasssador's nation comes into most frequent intercommunication. To this varied knowledge, it is needless to state, the negotiator should join moderation, dexterity, temper, and tact. An embassador should be a man of learning and a man of the world; a man of books and a man of men, a man of the drawing-room and a man of the counting-house; a preux chevalieur, and a man of labor and of business. He should possess quick faculties, active powers of observation, and that which military men call the coup d'œil. He should be of urbane, pleasant, and affable manners; of cheerful temper, of good humor, and of good sense. He should know when and where to yield, to retreat, or to advance; when to press his suit strongly, or when merely gently to insinuate it indirectly, and, as it were, by inuendo. He should know how to unbend and how to uphold his dignity, or rather the dignity of his sovereign; for it his business, in whatever quarter of the world he may be placed, to maintain the rights and dignities of his sovereign with vigor and effect. It is the union of these diverse, and yet not repugnant qualities, that gives to an embassador prestige, ascendency, and power over the minds of others, that acquires for him that reputation of wisdom, straightforwardness, and sagacity, which is the rarest and most valuable gift of a statesman. One part of the science of diplomacy may be, by even a dull man, mastered without any wonderful difficulties. It is that positive, fundamental, and juridical portion of the study which may be found in books, in treatises; in the history of treaties and of wars; in treatises on international law; in memoirs, letters, and negotiations of embassadors; in historical and statistical works concerning the states of Europe, the balance of power, and the science of politics generally.[Pg 247]

But the abstract, hypothetical, and variable portions of the craft—or, if you will, of the science—depending on ten thousand varying and variable circumstances—depending on persons, passions, fancies, whims; caprices royal, national, parliamentary, and personal, is above theory, and beyond the reach of books; and can only be learned by experience, by practice, and by the most perfect and intuitive tact. The traditional political maxims, the character of the loading sovereigns, statesmen, and public men in any given court, as well as the conduct of negotiations, may be acquired by study, by observation, by a residence as secretary, as attaché; but who, unless a man of real genius for his art—who, unless a man of real ability and talent, shall seize on, fix, and turn to his purpose, the ever-mobile, the ever-varying phases of courts, of camps, of councils, of senators, of parliaments, and of public bodies? No doubt there are certain great cardinal and leading principles with which the mind of every aspirant should be stored. But the mere knowledge of principles, and of the history of the science can never alone make a great embassador, any more than the reading of treatises on the art of war can make a great commander.

An embassador at a first-rate court should, indeed, be the minister of foreign affairs for his country on a small scale; and we know well enough that the duties devolving on a minister for foreign affairs are grave, are delicate, are all important.

The functions appertaining to the ministry for foreign affairs have been in England during the last two years, and certainly also were from 1793 to 1815, the most important and the most difficult connected with the public administration. A man to fill such a post properly, requires not merely elevation and uprightness of character, but experience, tried discretion, the highest capacity, the most extensive and varied knowledge and accomplishments. Yet how few embassadors (we can scarcely name one) have been in our day, or, indeed, for the last century, elevated into Principal Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs! Such promotions in France have been matters of every-day occurrence since and previous to 1792. Dumouriez, Talleyrand, Reinhard, Champagny, Maret, Bignon, Montmorency, Chauteaubriand, Polignac, Sebastiani, De Broglie, Guizot, Soult, had all been embassadors before they were elevated into the higher, the more responsible, and the more onerous office. In England, since the accession of George I., we can scarcely cite, speaking off-hand, above four instances.

In 1716 there was Paul Methuen, who had been embassador to Portugal in the reign of Queen Anne, named Secretary of State, for a short time, in the absence of Earl Stanhope; there was Philip Dormer, earl of Chesterfield, in 1746; there was John, duke of Bedford, who succeeded Lord Chesterfield in 1748, and who had previously been embassador to Paris; and there was Sir Thomas Robinson in 1754, who had been an embassador to Vienna. In our own day there is scarcely an instance. For though George Canning was embassador for a short time to Lisbon, and the Marquis of Wellesley to Spain; though the Duke of Wellington was embassador to Paris, was charged with a special mission to Russia, was plenipotentiary at Verona, yet none of these noblemen and gentlemen ever regularly belonged to the diplomatic corps. The most illustrious and striking instance of an embassador raised into a Secretary of State is the case of Philip Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield The character of no man within a century and a half has been so misrepresented and misunderstood. Lord John Russell, in the Bedford Correspondence, which he edited, charges this nobleman with conducting the French nobility to the guillotine and to emigration. But Lord Chesterfield died on the 24th March, 1773, sixteen years before 1789, and nineteen years before 1792. To any man of reading and research—to any man of a decent acquaintance with literature, it is unnecessary now to vindicate the character of the Earl of Chesterfield. He was unequaled in his time for the solidity and variety of his attainments; for the brilliancy of his wit; for the graces of his conversation, and the polish of his style. His embassy to Holland marks his skill, his dexterity, and his address, as an able negotiator; and his administration of Ireland indicates his integrity, his vigilance, and his sound policy as a statesman and as a politician. He was at once the most accomplished, the most learned, and the most far-seeing of the men of his day; and in our own, these is not one public man to compare with him. He foresaw and foretold, in 1756, that French Revolution whose outbreak he did not live to witness. In 1744 he was admitted into the cabinet, on his own terms, and was soon after intrusted with a second embassy to Holland, in which his skill and dexterity were universally admitted. He was not more remarkable for a quick insight into the temper of others, than for a command of his own. In history, in literature, in foreign languages, he was equally a proficient. With classical literature he had been from his boyhood familiar. He wrote Latin prose with correctness, ease, and purity; and spoke that tongue with a fluency and facility of the rarest among Englishmen, and not very common even among foreigners. In the House of Lords his speeches were more admired and extolled than any others of the day. Horace Walpole had heard his own father, had heard Pitt, had heard Pulteney, had heard Wyndham, had heard Carteret; yet he in 1743 declared, as is recorded by Lord Mahon, that the finest speech he had ever listened to was one from Chesterfield.

For the diplomatic career, Chesterfield prepared himself in a manner not often practiced in his own, and never practiced by Englishmen in our day. Not content, as an undergraduate of Cambridge, with assiduously attending a course of lectures on civil law at Trinity Hall, he applied—as the laws and customs of other[Pg 248] countries, and the general law of Europe, were not comprehended in that course—to Vitriarius, a celebrated professor of the University of Leyden and, at the recommendation of the professor, took into his house a gentleman qualified to instruct him. Instead of pirouetting it in the coulisses of the opera, or in the Redouten Saal of Vienna, instead of graduating at the Jardin Mabille, or the Salle Ventadour, instead of breakfasting at the Café Anglais, instead of dining at the Café de Paris, or swallowing his ices, after the Italiens or Académie Royale, at Tortoni's, instead of attending a funcion or bull-fight at Madrid, or spending his mornings and evenings at Jägers's Unter den Linden at Berlin, instead of swallowing Beaune for a bet against Russian Boyars at Petersburgh or Moscow, at Andrieux's French Restaurant, or spending his nights at the San Carlos at Naples, or the Scala at Milan, Chesterfield, eschewing prima donnas, and the delights of French cookery, and the charms of French vaudevilles, set himself down in the town, and in the university in which Joseph Scaliger was a professor, and from whence those famous Elzevir editions of classical works issued, to learn the public law of Europe. These are the arts by which to attain the eminence of a Walsingham and a Burghley, of a D'Ossat and a Jeannin, of a Temple and a De Witt.

Qui cupit optatam cursu contingere metam,
Multa tulit fecitque puer, sudavit et alsit.

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


How many associations rise to the mind at the name of Moore! The brilliant wit, the elegant scholar, the most charming poet of sentiment our literature possesses! His vivacity and versatility were quite as remarkable as his fancy and command of melody. He has been admitted, by rare judges of personal merit, to have been, with the single exception of the late Chief Justice Bushe, the most attractive of companions. An attempt has, in some quarters, we have heard, been made to represent Moore as sacrificing to society talents meant for graver pursuits than convivial enjoyments; and it has been insinuated that he wanted that manly sternness of character, without which there can be no personal dignity or political consistency. The facts of Moore's life overthrow, of themselves, such insinuations. It would be difficult, indeed, to point to any literary character who has, during the vicissitudes of an eventful age, more honorably and steadfastly adhered to the same standard of opinion—qualis ab incepto. His honorable conduct, when compelled to pay several thousand pounds, incurred by the error of his deputy at Bermuda (for whose acts he was legally responsible), exhibits the manliness of his nature. He determined, by honest labor, to pay off the vast demand upon him, even though it made him a beggar! Several of the Whig party came forward and offered in a manner most creditable to them, to effect a subscription for the purpose of paying off the poet's debt. Foremost among them was a delicate young nobleman, with sunken cheek and intellectual aspect, who, while traveling for his health on the Continent, had met Moore, with whom he journeyed for a considerable time, and from whom he parted with an intense admiration of the poet's genius and manly character. The young nobleman—then far from being a rich man—headed the list with eleven hundred pounds. The fact deserves to be recorded to the honor of that young nobleman, who, by slow and sure degrees, has risen to be prime minister of England—Lord John Russell.

Of the fact of Moore's steadfastly refusing to accept the subscription offered to be raised for him by his aristocratic Whig friends, there can be no doubt whatever; and the matter is more creditable to him when the fact is remembered that it was not he himself who committed the error by which he was rendered liable to the judgment given against him. He might also have sheltered himself under the example of Charles James Fox, who consented to accept a provision made for him by the leaders of his party. But Moore detested all eleemosynary aid. He speaks in one of his most vigorous poems with contempt of that class of "patriots" (to what vile uses can language be profaned!),

"Who hawk their country's wrongs as beggars do their sores."

While sojourning at Paris upon that occasion Moore received a very remarkable offer. Barnes, the editor of the Times, became severely ill, and was obliged to recruit his health by a year's rest, and the editorship of the Times was actually offered to Moore, who, in telling the story to a brilliant living Irishman, said, "I had great difficulty in refusing. The offer was so tempting—to be the Times for a twelvemonth!" The offering him the editorship of "the daily miracle" (as Mr. Justice Talfourd called it) might, however, have been only a ruse de guerre of his aristocratic and political friends to bring him back to London, where, for a variety of reasons social and political, his company was then very desirable.

There is a very interesting circumstance connected with the birth of Moore, which deserves record. The fact of the birth, as every one knows, took place at Aungier-street, and its occasion was at a moment singularly appropriate for the lyric poet being ushered into the world. Jerry Keller, the wit and humorist, rented apartments in the house of Moore's brother, in Aungier-street, and had a dinner-party on the very day of the poet's birth. Just as the guests were assembled, and the dinner on the table, it was announced to them that Mrs. Moore's accouchement had taken place, and that she was in a precarious state, the physicians particularly enjoining that no noise should be made in the house: a difficult matter, when Keller, Lysaght, and other convivial spirits were[Pg 249] assembled. What was to be done? One of the company, who lodged near him, solved the difficulty by proposing that the feast should be adjourned to his house close by, and that the viands and wine should be transferred thither. "Ay!" cried Jerry Keller, "be it so; let us adjourn pro re nata." Thus, in the hour of feasting, just as Keller dropped one of his best witticisms, was Moore's birth registered by a classic pun.

Moore had few friends whom he loved more than Mr. Corry, and he has left upon record an exquisite proof of his friendship in the following lines, which are very affecting to read at the present time.

On one occasion, Moore and Corry were ordered, by medical advice, to drink port wine, while they were sojourning for their health at Brighton. The idem velle atque idem nolle was perfectly applicable to their friendship, and they detested port wine with perfect antipathy. However, they were under advice which required obedience. Moore got the port-wine from his wine-merchant, Ewart; but in traveling from London it had been shaken about so much, and was so muddy, that it required a strainer. Mr. Corry bought a very handsome wine-strainer, prettily ornamented with Bacchanalian emblems, and presented it, with a friendly inscription, to Moore, who wrote in reply, the following lines, never, we believe, before printed:



This life, dear Corry, who can doubt,
Resembles much friend Ewart's wine—
When first the rosy drops come out,
How beautiful, how clear they shine!
And thus, a while they keep their tint
So free from even a shade with some,
That they would smile, did you but hint,
That darker drops would ever come.
But soon the ruby tide runs short,
Each moment makes the sad truth plainer—
Till life, like old and crusty port,
When near its close, requires a strainer.
This friendship can alone confer,
Alone can teach the drops to pass—
If not as bright as once they were,
At least unclouded through the glass.
Nor, Corry, could a boon be mine,
Of which my heart were fonder, vainer,
Than thus, if life grew like old wine,
To have thy friendship for its strainer!
Thomas Moore.
Brighton, June, 1825.

[From Household Words.]


The last great work of that great philosopher and friend of the modern housewife, Monsieur Alexis Soyer, is remarkable for a curious omission. Although the author—a foreigner—has abundantly proved his extensive knowledge of the weakness of his adopted nation; yet there is one of our peculiarities which he has not probed. Had he left out all mention of cold punch in connection with turtle; had his receipt for curry contained no cayenne; had he forgotten to send up tongues with asparagus, or to order a service of artichokes without napkins, he would have been thought forgetful; but when—with the unction of a gastronome, and the thoughtful skill of an artist—he marshals forth all the luxuries of the British breakfast-table, and forgets to mention its first necessity, he shows a sort of ignorance. We put it to his already extensive knowledge of English character, whether he thinks it possible for any English subject whose means bring him under the screw of the income-tax, to break his fast without—a newspaper.

The city clerk emerging through folding doors from bed to sitting-room, though thirsting for tea, and hungering for toast, darts upon that morning's journal with an eagerness, and unfolds it with a satisfaction, which show that all his wants are gratified at once. Exactly at the same hour, his master, the M.P., crosses the hall of his mansion. As he enters the breakfast parlor, he fixes his eye on the fender, where he knows his favorite damp sheet will be hung up to dry. When the noble lord first rings his bell, does not his valet know that, however tardy the still-room-maid may be with the early coffee, he dares not appear before his lordship without the "Morning Post?" Would the minister of state presume to commence the day in town till he has opened the "Times," or in the country till he has perused the "Globe?" Could the oppressed farmer handle the massive spoon for his first sip out of his Sèvres cup till he has read of ruin in the "Herald" or "Standard?" Might the juvenile Conservative open his lips to imbibe old English fare or to utter Young England opinions, till he has glanced over the "Chronicle?" Can the financial reformer know breakfast-table happiness till he has digested the "Daily News," or skimmed the "Express?" And how would it be possible for mine host to commence the day without keeping his customers waiting till he has perused the "Advertiser" or the "Sun?"

In like manner the provinces can not—once a week at least—satisfy their digestive organs till their local organ has satisfied their minds.

Else, what became of the 67,476,768 newspaper stamps which were issued in 1848 (the latest year of which a return has been made) to the 150 London and the 238 provincial English journals: of the 7,497,064 stamps impressed on the corners of the 97 Scottish, and of the 7,028,956 which adorned the 117 Irish newspapers? A professor of the new science of literary mensuration has applied his foot-rule to this mass of print, and publishes the result in "Bentley's Miscellany." According to him, the press sent forth, in daily papers alone, a printed surface amounting in twelve months to 349,308,000 superficial feet. If to these are added all the papers printed weekly and fortnightly in London and the provinces the[Pg 250] whole amounts to 1,446,150,000 square feet of printed surface, which was, in 1849, placed before the comprehensive vision of John Bull. The area of a single morning paper—the Times say—is more than nineteen and a half square feet, or nearly five feet by four, compared with an ordinary octavo volume, the quantity of matter daily issued is equal to three hundred pages. There are four morning papers whose superficies are nearly as great, without supplements, which they seldom publish. A fifth is only half the size. We may reckon, therefore, that the constant craving of Londoners for news is supplied every morning with as much as would fill about twelve hundred pages of an ordinary novel; or not less than five volumes.

These acres of print sown broad-cast, produce a daily crop to suit every appetite and every taste. It has winged its way from every spot on the earth's surface, and at last settled down and arranged itself into intelligible meaning, made instinct with ink. Now it tells of a next-door neighbor; then of dwellers in the utter-most corners of the earth. The black side of this black and white daily history, consists of battle, murder, and sudden death; of lightning and tempest; of plague, pestilence, and famine; of sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion; of false doctrine, heresy, and schism; of all other crimes, casualities, and falsities, which we are enjoined to pray to be defended from. The white side chronicles heroism, charitableness, high purpose, and lofty deeds; it advocates the truest doctrines, and the practice of the most exalted virtue: it records the spread of commerce, religion, and science; it expresses the wisdom of the few sages and shows the ignorance of the neglected many—in fine, good and evil, as broadly defined or as inextricably mixed in the newspapers, as they are over the great globe itself.

With this variety of temptation for all tastes, it is no wonder that those who have the power have also the will to read newspapers. The former are not very many in this country where, among the great bulk of the population, reading still remains an accomplishment. It was so in Addison's time. "There is no humor of my countrymen," says the Spectator, "which I am more inclined to wonder at, than their great thirst for news." This was written at the time of imposition of the tax on newspapers, when the indulgence in the appetite received a check from increased costliness. From that date (1712) the statistical history of the public appetite for news is written in the Stamp Office. For half a century from the days of the Spectator, the number of British and Irish newspapers was few. In 1782 there were only seventy-nine, but in the succeeding eight years they increased rapidly. There was "great news" stirring in the world in that interval—the American War, the French Revolution; beside which, the practice had sprung up of giving domestic occurrences in fuller detail than heretofore, and journals became more interesting from that cause. In 1790 they had nearly doubled in number, having reached one hundred and forty six. This augmentation took place partly in consequence of the establishment of weekly papers—which originated in that year—and of which thirty-two had been commenced before the end of it. In 1809, twenty-nine and a half millions of stamps were issued to newspapers in Great Britain. The circulation of journals naturally depends upon the materials existing to fill them. While wars and rumors of wars were rife they were extensively read, but with the peace their sale fell off. Hence we find, that in 1821 no more than twenty-four millions of newspapers were disposed of. Since then the spread of education—slow as it has been—has increased the productiveness of journalism. During the succeeding eight-and-twenty years, the increase may be judged of by reference to the figures we have already jotted down; the sum of which is, that during the year 1848 there were issued, for English, Irish, and Scotch newspapers, eighty-two millions of stamps—more than thrice as many as were paid for in 1821. The cause of this increase was chiefly the reduction of the duty from an average of three-pence to one penny per stamp.

A curious comparison of the quantity of news devoured by an Englishman and a Frenchman, was made in 1819, in the Edinburgh Review—"thirty-four thousand papers," says the writer, are "dispatched daily from Paris to the departments, among a population of about twenty-six millions, making one journal among 776 persons. By this, the number of newspaper readers in England would be to those in France as twenty to one. But the number and circulation of country papers in England are so much greater than in France, that they raise the proportion of English readers to about twenty-five to one, and our papers contain about three times as much letter-press as a French paper. The result of all this is that an Englishman reads about seventy-five times as much of the newspapers of his country in a given time, as a Frenchman does of his. But in the towns of England, most of the papers are distributed by means of porters, not by post; on the other hand, on account of the number of coffee-houses, public gardens, and other modes of communication, less usual in England, it is possible that each French paper may be read, or listened to, by a greater number of persons, and thus the English mode of distribution may be compensated. To be quite within bounds, however, the final result is, that every Englishman reads daily fifty times as much as the Frenchman does, of the newspapers of his country."

From this it might be inferred that the craving for news is peculiarly English. But the above comparison is chiefly affected by the restrictions put upon the French press, which, in 1819, were very great. In this country, the only restrictions were of a fiscal character; for opinion and news there was, as now, perfect liberty. It is proved, at the present day, that[Pg 251] Frenchmen love news as much as the English; for now that all restriction is nominally taken off, there are as many newspapers circulated in France in proportion to its population, as there are in England.

The appetite for news is, in truth, universal; but is naturally disappointed, rather than bounded, by the ability to read. Hence it is that the circulation of newspapers is proportioned in various countries to the spread of letters; and if their sale is proportionately less in this empire, than it is among better taught populations, it is because there exist among us fewer persons who are able to read them;—either at all, or so imperfectly, that attempts to spell them give the tyro more pain than pleasure. In America, where a system of national education has made a nation of readers (whose taste is perhaps susceptible of vast improvement, but who are readers still) the sale of newspapers greatly exceeds that of Great Britain. All over the continent there are also more newspaper readers, in proportion to the number of people, though perhaps, fewer buyers, from the facilities afforded by coffee-houses and reading-rooms, which all frequent. In support of this fact, we need go no farther than the three kingdoms. Scotland—where national education has largely given the ability to read—a population of three millions demands yearly from the Stamp Office seven and a half millions of stamps; while in Ireland, where national education has had no time for development, eight millions of people take half a million of stamps less than Scotland.

Although it can not be said that the appetite for mere news is one of an elevated character; yet as we have before hinted, the dissemination of news takes place side by side with some of the most sound, practical, and ennobling sentiments and precepts that issue from any other channels of the press. As an engine of public liberty, the newspaper press is more effectual than the Magna Charta, because its powers are wielded with more ease, and exercised with more promptitude and adaptiveness to each particular case.

Mr. F. K. Hunt in his "Fourth Estate" remarks, "The moral of the history of the press seems to be, that when any large proportion of a people have been taught to read, and when upon this possession of the tools of knowledge, there has grown up a habit of perusing public prints, the state is virtually powerless if it attempts to check the press. James the Second in old times, and Charles the Tenth, and Louis Philippe, more recently, tried to trample down the Newspapers, and everybody knows how the attempt resulted. The prevalence or scarcity of newspapers in a country affords a sort of index to its social state. Where journals are numerous, the people have power, intelligence, and wealth; where journals are few, the many are in reality mere slaves. In the United States every village has its newspaper, and every city a dozen of these organs of popular sentiment. In England we know how numerous and how influential for good the papers are; while in France they have perhaps still greater power. Turn to Russia, where newspapers are comparatively unknown, and we see the people sold with the earth they are compelled to till. Austria, Italy, Spain, occupy positions between the extremes—the rule holding good in all, that in proportion to the freedom of the press is the freedom and prosperity of the people."

[From Sharpe's Magazine]


It is the object of the following papers to illustrate the natural history of the ocean, and to introduce to the reader a few of the forms of life which the naturalist meets with in the deep sea. The sea that bathes the globe contains as countless multitudes of living beings as does the land we tread, and each possesses an organization as interesting and as peculiar to itself, as any of the higher forms of the animal creation. But the interest does not cease here, for these marine invertebrata play an important part in the vast economy of nature, some living but to afford food for the larger kinds, others devouring all matter devoid of vitality, and so removing all putrescent materials, with which the sea would otherwise be surcharged; while others, again, living in large communities, surely and slowly, by their gradual growth, so alter the physical construction of the globe as to render seas and harbors unnavigable, and in many eases even to give rise in course of ages to those islands, apparently of spontaneous growth, which are so common in the Southern Seas.

Corals and Madrepores first claim our attention, because they occupy the lowest place, with the exception of sponges, in the animal scale! Indeed, so low is their organization, that former naturalists denied their animal character, and from superficial examination of their external appearance, placed them among the wonders of the vegetable world. And from the arborescent and plant-like form assumed by many kinds, in the Flustra and others, in which the resemblance to sea-weeds is so strong as generally to cause them to be confounded together under the same group, and being fixed to submarine rocks, or marine shells, observers might easily have been led to the mistake, had not modern research rectified the error. Corals and Madrepores, as they are known to us, consist but of the stony skeletons of the animals themselves, for in the living state, while dwelling in the ocean, each portion of the stony framework was covered with an animal coating of gelatinous matter, which, closely investing it, was the living portion of the animal. But the structure of the animal is not simply this, for attached to different portions of it in the living state are to be found a countless number of little cells, which, armed with tentacles of great prehensile and tactile powers, are the apertures through which the particles of food are conveyed for the sustenance of the animal These bodies as they[Pg 252] may be called, are the analogues of that simple polyp, the common hydra, which, abounding in almost every pond, has been long known to naturalists. It consists of a single dilated gelatinous vesicle, which is terminated at one extremity by a sucker, and at the other by a number of contractile filaments, which serve as the tentaculæ, by which it seizes its prey. This is all that represents the animal, the dilated portion of the tube being the part in which the process of digestion is carried on, and where the food is assimilated to the wants of the little creature. These hydrae live singly, each animal being independent of another, and each possesses the power of self-reparation; so that, should it happen that a tentacle is lost, another sprouts to supply its place, or should the naturalist by way of experiment divide it in half, each portion immediately reproduces the wanting section. Such, then, is briefly the structure of the simple fresh-water hydra, a polyp of common occurrence, and from this description the reader will gain some idea of the polyps of the Coral family before us; but he must remember that in the case now under discussion, the polyps are aggregated together, a number on one common stem, each possessing independent life, but all ministering to the support of the compound animal.

The hydra, then, of the Coral and Madrepore, thus explained, would appear to be the parts through which food is absorbed for the general nourishment of the body, which, as before observed, consists simply of a gelatinous film of animal matter, possessing but little evidence of vitality. Here, then, is a community of nourishment, and with it also a community of sensation, for if one portion be irritated, contiguous portions of the animal are apt to sympathize. When the Coral polyps are not in an active state, or in other words, when they are not in want of food, these hydra-form polyps may not be visible, but being retracted into cells found as depressions in the skeletons of the Madrepores, they are lost to observation, and it is only when in quest of food and nourishment that their contractile tentacles are expanded, and distinctly prominent.

The physiology of the growth of the skeleton, both in the Madrepores and the Coral, is the same. The entire skeleton, however ramified it may be, or whatever form it may assume, is secreted by the living matter with which it is invested, the materials for its formation being derived from the element in which it lives; and as its deposition takes place at different times, the central stem of some corals is apt to assume a beautiful concentric arrangement of laminæ. But the material deposited or secreted need not necessarily be hard or calcareous, but even may partake of the character of horn or other flexible materials, as is the case with some of the coral family. In other cases there is an alternation of each material; and the necessity of this change in the character of the skeleton will now demand our attention.

The common coral of the Mediterranean, possessing a stony skeleton, is found in situations where its stunted form and its extreme hardness sufficiently preserve it from the violence of the waves; but place a coral under other circumstances, and expose it to the storms of the Indian Ocean, where the waves rage with fury, dashing on and uprooting all things within their power, and the structure of the simple coralium would fail to withstand their violence. Here, then, under such circumstances, in the case of the Gorgonia, nature has provided a horny and flexible skeleton, which, spreading majestically in the sea, shall be capable of bending beneath the weight of the superincumbent waves, and so yielding to the storms. Nature has thus adapted herself to each contingent circumstance.

The next point to which we shall advert will be coral formations, which form so interesting a study to the naturalist and geologist. When we consider that we have at hand only a soft, gelatinous covering, stretched on a hard, stony frame-work—that the material on which this animal substance exists is furnished by the sea in which it lives—we can not but be surprised at the smallness of the means which nature uses for the execution of her great designs. But time compensates for the insignificance of the means employed, and the continued activity of nature's architects, during continuous ages, accomplishes these stupendous results, which have at various times excited the wonder of the navigator, and aroused the attention of the naturalist. Many examples of these are to be found in the Pacific Archipelago. Seas and shallows, once navigable, become in the process of time so filled by these living animals, as to become impassable, their stony skeletons forming hard, massy rocks and impenetrable barriers, which, rising from the bottom of the sea and shallows, constitute solid masonry of living stones.

But besides thus aggregating in the neighborhood of land and continents, formations similarly produced are constantly met with during the circumnavigation of the globe. Not only barriers and reefs owe their origin to these humble means, but large lands, stretching for miles in the centre of the ocean, rise gradually from beneath the surface of the sea, and, becoming clothed with verdure and vegetation, at last offer a resting-place for the daring seafarer. But now occurs the interesting question, How happens it that these islands are found in situations where the sea is too deep to allow of any animal life to exist? And yet these corals must have grown upward from some resting-place. The researches of Darwin have shown that the greatest depth in which corals live, is between thirty and forty fathoms beneath the surface of the sea; hence it is absolutely certain that for every island some foundation must exist in the sea for these reef-building animals to attach themselves to. Such foundation, from the observation of Darwin, would appear to be provided by submarine mountains which have[Pg 253] gradually subsided into the sea, having originally existed above its surface. Upon these foundations the reef-building saxigenous corals have become attached, and slowly accumulating in large numbers, and gradually depositing their carbonate of lime, during the lapse of ages, by degrees construct these large piles, which, at last emerging from the ocean's bosom, appear as newly-formed continents and islands. Once above the surface, the work of the corals is at an end; no longer exposed to the salt water, the emerged portion dies, and then new agencies are called into play, before its surface can be clothed with vegetable life. The storms of the ocean and the rising waves gradually deposit on its surface the sand and mud torn up from the bottom of the sea, and the sea-weed, too, that is cast upon its tenantless shores soon crumbles into mould, and unites with the debris of the former polyps. At last, some seeds from the neighboring lands are driven to its strand, and there finding a soil united for their growth, soon sprout, under the influence of a tropical sun, into fresh life, and clothe the ocean isle with verdure and vegetation.

Then, last, man comes, and taking possession of the land, erects him a house to dwell in, and cultivating the soil he finds, soon converts the ocean-rescued land into cultivated plains. Islands thus formed are constantly increased in circumference by the same means as those that gave them birth; the same agency is ever at work, adding particle on particle to the rising land. But is it not strange that such simple means can resist the ever-flowing and roaring ocean—that such simple animals can uprear a masonry which shall resist the violence of the waves and defy the power of the breakers? Is it not strange that a single polyp can form a structure in the bosom of the ocean, which shall stand, a victorious antagonist to the storm when works of man and other "inanimate works of nature" would have crumbled into nothing before the relentless fury of a disturbed ocean? "Let the hurricane tear up its thousand huge fragments, yet what will that tell against the accumulated labor of myriads of architects at work day and night, month after month?" for here organic force is opposed to the raging elements, and opposing, is victorious.

[From the Dublin University Magazine]


Though few men are themselves on visiting terms with their ancestors, most are furnished with one or two decently-authenticated ghost stories. I myself am a firm believer in spectral phenomena, for reasons which I may, perhaps, be tempted to give to the public whenever the custom of printing in folio shall have been happily revived; meanwhile, as they will not bear compression, I keep them by me, and content myself with now and then stating a fact saving the theory to suggest itself. Now it has always appeared to me that the apostles of spectres (if the phrase will be allowed me) have, like other men with a mission, been, perhaps, a little precipitate in assuming their facts, and sometimes find "true ghosts" upon evidence much too slender to satisfy the hard-hearted and unbelieving generation we live in. They have thus brought scandal not only upon the useful class to which they belong, but upon the world of spirits itself—causing ghosts to be so generally discredited, that fifty visits made in their usual private and confidential way, will now hardly make a single convert beyond the individual favored with the interview; and, in order to reinstate themselves in their former position, they will be obliged henceforward to appear at noon-day, and in places of public resort.

The reader will perceive, then, that I am convinced of the equal impolicy and impropriety of resting the claims of my clients (ghosts in general) upon facts which will not stand the test of an impartial, and even a skeptical scrutiny. And, perhaps, I can not give a happier illustration of the temper of my philosophy, at once candid and cautious, than is afforded by the following relation, for every tittle of which I solemnly pledge my character at once as a gentleman and as a metaphysician.

There is a very agreeable book by Mrs. Crowe, entitled "The Night Side of Nature," and which among a dubia cæna of authentic tales of terror, contains several which go to show the very trivial causes which have from time to time caused the reappearance of departed spirits in this grosser world. A certain German professor, who, for instance, actually persecuted an old college friend with preternatural visitations for no other purpose, as it turned out, than to procure a settlement of some small six-and-eightpenny accounts, which he owed among his trades-people at the time of his death. I could multiply, from my own notes, cases still odder, in which sensible and rather indolent men, too, have been at the trouble to re-cross the awful interval between us and the invisible, for purposes apparently still less important—so trivial, indeed, that for the present I had rather not mention them, lest I should expose their memories to the ridicule of the unreflecting. I shall now proceed to my narrative, with the repeated assurance, that the reader will no where find in it a single syllable that is not most accurately and positively true.

About four-and-thirty years ago I was traveling through Denbighshire upon a mission which needed dispatch. I had, in fact, in my charge, some papers which were required for the legal preliminaries to a marriage, which was about to take place in a family of consideration, upon the borders of that county.

The season was winter, but the weather delightful—that is to say, clear and frosty; and, even without foliage, the country through which I posted was beautiful. The subject of my journey was a pleasant one. I anticipated an agreeable visit, and a cordial welcome; and the[Pg 254] weather and scenery were precisely of the sort to second the cheerful associations with which my excursion had been undertaken. Let no one, therefore, suggest that I was predisposed for the reception of gloomy or horrible impressions. When the sun set we had a splendid moon, at once soft and brilliant; and I pleased myself with watching the altered, and, if possible, more beautiful effects of the scenery through which we were smoothly rolling. I was to put up for the night at the little town of ----; and on reaching the hill—over which the approach to it is conducted, about a short mile from its quaint little street—I dismounted, and directing the postillion to walk his jaded horses leisurely up the winding road, I trod on before him in the pleasant moonlight, and sharp, bracing air. A little by-path led directly up the steep acclivity, while the carriage-road more gradually ascended by a wide sweep—this little path, leading through fields and hedgerows, I followed, intending to anticipate the arrival of my conveyance at the summit of the hill.

I had not proceeded very far when I found myself close to a pretty old church, whose ivied tower, and countless diamond window panes, were glittering in the moonbeams—a high, irregular hedge, overtopped by tall and ancient trees inclosed it; and rows of funereal yews showed black and mournful among the wan array of headstones that kept watch over the village dead. I was so struck with the glimpse I had caught of the old church-yard, that I could not forbear mounting the little stile that commanded it—no scene could be imagined more still and solitary. Not a human habitation was near—every sign and sound of life was reverently remote; and this old church, with its silent congregation of the dead marshaled under its walls, seemed to have spread round it a circle of stillness and desertion that pleased, while it thrilled me.

No sound was here audible but the softened rush of waters, and that sweet note of home and safety, the distant baying of the watch-dog, now and then broken by the sharper rattle of the carriage-wheels upon the dry road. But while I looked upon the sad and solemn scene before me, these sounds were interrupted by one which startled, and, indeed, for a moment, froze me with horror. The sound was a cry, or rather a howl of despairing terror, such as I have never heard before or since uttered by human voice. It broke from the stillness of the church-yard; but I saw no figure from which it proceeded—though this circumstance, indeed, was scarcely wonderful, as the broken ground, the trees, tall weeds, and tomb-stones afforded abundant cover for any person who might have sought concealment. This cry of unspeakable agony was succeeded by a silence; and, I confess, my heart throbbed strangely, when the same voice articulated, in the same tone of agony,

"Why will you trouble the dead? Who can torment us before the time? I will come to you in my flesh, though after my skin worms destroy this body—and you shall speak to me, lace to face."

This strange address was followed by another cry of despair, which died away as suddenly as it was raised.

I never could tell why it was I was not more horror-stricken than I really was by this mysterious, and, all things considered, even terrible interpellation. It was not until the silence had again returned, and the faint rustling of the frosty breeze among the crisp weeds crept toward me like the stealthy approach of some unearthly influence, that I felt a superstitious terror gradually inspire me, which hurried me at an accelerated pace from the place. A few minutes, and I heard the friendly voice of my charioteer hallooing to me from the summit of the hill.

Reassured, as I approached him, I abated my speed.

"I saw you standing on the stile, sir, by the church-yard," he said, as I drew near, "and I ask your pardon for not giving you the hint before, but they say it is not lucky; and I called to you loud and lusty to come away, sir; but I see you are nothing the worse of it."

"Why, what is there to be afraid of there, my good fellow?" I asked, affecting as much indifference as I was able.

"Why, sir," said the man, throwing an uneasy look in the direction, "they do say there's a bad spirit haunts it; and nobody in these parts would go near it after dark for love or money."

"Haunted!" I repeated; "and how does the spirit show himself?" I asked.

"Oh! lawk, sir, in all sorts of shapes—sometimes like an old woman almost doubled in two with years," he answered, "sometimes like a little child agoing along a full foot high above the grass of the graves; and sometimes like a big black ram, strutting on his hind legs, and with a pair of eyes like live coals; and some have seen him in the shape of a man, with his arm raised up toward the sky, and his head hanging down, as if his neck was broke. I can't think of half the shapes he has took at different times; but they're all bad: the very child, they say, when he comes in that shape, has the face of Satan—God bless us! and nobody's ever the same again that sees him once."

By this time I was again seated in my vehicle, and some six or eight minutes' quick driving whirled us into the old-fashioned street, and brought the chaise to a full stop before the open door and well-lighted hall of the Bell Inn. To me there has always been an air of indescribable cheer and comfort about a substantial country hostelrie, especially when one arrives, as I did, upon a keen winter's night, with an appetite as sharp, and something of that sense of adventure and excitement which, before the days of down-trains and tickets, always in a greater or less degree, gave a zest to traveling.[Pg 255] Greeted with that warmest of welcomes for which inns, alas! are celebrated, I had soon satisfied the importunities of a keen appetite; and having for some hours taken mine ease in a comfortable parlor before a blazing fire, I began to feel sleepy, and betook myself to my no less comfortable bed-chamber.

It is not to be supposed that the adventure of the church-yard had been obliterated from my recollection by the suppressed bustle and good cheer of the "Bell." On the contrary, it had occupied me almost incessantly during my solitary ruminations; and as the night advanced, and the stillness of repose and desertion stole over the old mansion, the sensations with which this train of remembrance and speculation was accompanied became any thing but purely pleasant.

I felt, I confess, fidgety and queer—I searched the corners and recesses of the oddly-shaped and roomy old apartment—I turned the face of the looking-glass to the wall—I poked the fire into a roaring blaze—I looked behind the window-curtains, with a vague anxiety, to assure myself that nothing could be lurking there. The shutter was a little open, and the ivied tower of the little church, and the tufted tops of the trees that surrounded it, were visible over the slope of the intervening hill. I hastily shut out the unwelcome object, and in a mood of mind, I must confess, favorable enough to any freak my nerves might please to play me, I hurried through my dispositions for the night, humming a gay air all the time, to re-assure myself, and plunged into bed, extinguishing the candle, and—shall I acknowledge the weakness? nearly burying my head under the blankets.

I lay awake some time, as men will do under such circumstances, but at length fatigue overcame me, and I fell into a profound sleep. From this repose I was, however, aroused in the manner I am about to describe. A very considerable interval must have intervened. There was a cold air in the room very unlike the comfortable atmosphere in which I had composed myself to sleep. The fire, though much lower than when I had gone to bed, was still emitting flame enough to throw a flickering light over the chamber. My curtains were, however, closely drawn, and I could not see beyond the narrow tent in which I lay.

There had been as I awaked a clanking among the fire-irons, as if a palsied hand was striving to arrange the fire, and this rather unaccountable noise continued for some seconds after I had become completely awake.

Under the impression that I was subjected to an accidental intrusion, I called out, first in a gentle and afterward in a sharper tone,

"Who's there?"

At the second summons the sound ceased, and I heard instead the tread of naked feet, as it seemed to me, upon the floor, pacing to and fro, between the hearth and the bed in which I lay. A superstitious terror, which I could not combat, stole over me; with an effort I repeated my question, and drawing myself upright in the bed, expected the answer with a strange sort of trepidation. It came in terms and accompanied with accessories which I shall not soon forget.

The very same tones which had so startled me in the church-yard the evening before, the very sounds which I had heard then and there, were now filling my ears, and spoken in the chamber where I lay.

"Why will you trouble the dead? Who can torment us before the time? I will come to you in my flesh, 'though after my skin worms destroy this body,' and you shall speak with me face to face."

As I live. I can swear the words and the voice were the very same I had heard on the occasion I have mentioned, but (and mark this) repeated to no one. With feelings which I shall not attempt to describe, I heard the speaker approach the bed—a hand parted the bed-curtains and drew them open, revealing a form more horrible than my fancy had ever seen—an almost gigantic figure—naked, except for what might well have been the rotten remnant of a shroud—stood close beside my bed—livid and cadaverous—grimed as it seemed with the dust of the grave, and staring on me with a gaze of despair, malignity, and fury, too intense almost for human endurance.

I can not say whether I spoke or not, but this infernal spectre answered me as if I had.

"I am dead and yet alive," it said, "the child of perdition—in the grave I am a murderer, but here I am Apollyon. Fall down and worship me."

Having thus spoken, it stood for a moment at the bedside, and then turned away with a shuddering moan, and I lost sight of it, but after a few seconds it came again to the bedside as before.

"When I died they put me under Mervyn's tombstone, and they did not bury me. My feet lie toward the west—turn them to the east and I will rest—maybe I will rest—I will rest—rest—rest."

Again the figure was gone, and once again it returned, and said,

"I am your master—I am your resurrection and your life, and therefore, fall down and worship me."

It made a motion to mount upon the bed, but what further passed I know not, for I fainted.

I must have lain in this state for a long time, for when I became conscious the fire was almost extinct. For hours that seemed interminable I lay, scarcely daring to breathe, and afraid to get up lest I should encounter the hideous apparition, for aught I knew, lurking close beside me. I lay, therefore, in an agony of expectation such as I will not attempt to describe, awaiting the appearance of the daylight.

Gradually it came, and with it the cheerful and reassuring sounds of life and occupation. At length I mustered courage to reach the bell-rope,[Pg 256] and having rung lustily, I plunged again into bed.

"Draw the window-curtains—open the shutters," I exclaimed as the man entered, and, these orders executed, "look about the room," I added, "and see whether a cat or any other animal has got in."

There was nothing of the sort; and satisfied that my visitant was no longer in the chamber, I dismissed the man, and hurried through my toilet with breathless precipitation.

Hastening from the hated scene of my terrors, I escaped to the parlor, whither I instantly summoned the proprietor of "the Bell" in propria persona. I suppose I looked scared and haggard enough, for mine host looked upon me with an expression of surprise and inquiry.

"Shut the door," said I.

It was done.

"I have had an uneasy night in the room you assigned me, sir; I may say indeed, a miserable night," I said.

"Pray," resumed I, interrupting his apologetic expressions of surprise, "has any person but myself ever complained of—of being disturbed in that room?"

"Never," he assured me.

I had suspected the ghastly old practical joke, so often played off by landlords in story-books, and fancied I might have been deliberately exposed to the chances of a "haunted chamber." But there was no acting in the frank look and honest denial of mine host.

"It is a very strange thing," said I hesitating; and "I do not see why I should not tell you what has occurred. And as I could swear, if necessary, to the perfect reality of the entire scene, it behoves you, I think, to sift the matter carefully. For myself, I can not entertain a doubt as to the nature of the truly terrible visitation to which I have been subjected; and, were I in your position, I should transfer my establishment at once to some other house as well suited to the purpose, and free from the dreadful liabilities of this."

I proceeded to detail the particulars of the occurence of the past night, to which he listened with nearly as much horror as I recited them with.

"Mervyn's tomb!" he repeated after me; "why that's down there in L——r: the churchyard you can see from the window of the room you slept in."

"Let us go there instantly," I exclaimed, with an almost feverish anxiety to ascertain whether we should discover in the place indicated any thing corroborative of the authenticity of my vision.

"Well, I shan't say no," said he, obviously bracing himself for an effort of courage; "but we'll take Faukes, and James the helper, with us; and please, sir, you'll not mention the circumstance as has occurred to either on 'em."

I gave him the assurance he asked for, and in a few minutes our little party were in full march upon the point of interest.

There had been an intense black frost, and the ground, reverberating to our tread with the hollow sound of a vault, emitted the only noise that accompanied our rapid advance. I and my host were too much preoccupied for conversation, and our attendants maintained a respectful silence. A few minutes brought us to the low, gray walls and bleak hedgerows that surrounded the pretty old church, and all its melancholy and picturesque memorials.

"Mervyn's tomb lies there, I think, sir," he said, pointing to a corner of the church-yard, in which piles of rubbish, withered weeds, and brambles were thickly accumulated under the solemn, though imperfect shelter of the wintry trees.

He exchanged some sentences with our attendants in Welsh.

"Yes, sir, that's the place," he added, turning to me.

And as we all approached it, I bethought me that the direction in which, as I stood upon the stile, I had heard the voice on the night preceding, corresponded accurately with that indicated by my guides. The tomb in question was a huge slab of black marble, supported, as was made apparent when the surrounding brambles were removed, upon six pillars, little more than two feet high each. There was ample room for a human body to lie inside this funeral penthouse; and, on stooping to look beneath, I was unspeakably shocked to see that something like a human figure was actually extended there.

It was, indeed, a corpse, and, what is more, corresponded in every trait with the infernal phantom which, on the preceding night, had visited and appalled me.

The body, though miserably emaciated, was that of a large-boned, athletic man, of fully six feet four in height; and it was, therefore, no easy task to withdraw it from the receptacle where it had been deposited, and lay it, as our assistants did, upon the tombstone which had covered it. Strange to say, moreover, the feet of the body, as we found it, had been placed toward the west.

As I looked upon this corpse, and recognized, but too surely, in its proportions and lineaments, every trait of the apparition that had stood at my bed-side, with a countenance animated by the despair and malignity of the damned, my heart fluttered and sank within me, and I recoiled from the effigy of the demon with terror; second only to that which had thrilled me on the night preceding.

Now, reader—honest reader—I appeal to your own appreciation of testimony, and ask you, having these facts in evidence, and upon the deposition of an eye and ear witness, whose veracity, through a long life, has never once been compromised or questioned, have you, or have you not, in the foregoing story, a well-authenticated ghost story?

Before you answer the above question, however, it may be convenient to let you know certain[Pg 257] other facts which were clearly established upon the inquest that was very properly held upon the body which in so strange a manner we had discovered.

I purposely avoid details, and without assigning the depositions respectively to the witnesses who made them, shall restrict myself to a naked outline of the evidence as it appeared.

The body I have described was identified as that of Abraham Smith, an unfortunate lunatic, who had, upon the day but one preceding, made his escape from the neighboring parish workhouse, where he had been for many years confined. His hallucination was a strange, but not by any means an unprecedented one. He fancied that he had died, and was condemned; and, as these ideas alternately predominated, sometimes spoke of himself as an "evil spirit," and sometimes importuned his keepers to "bury him;" using habitually certain phrases, which I had no difficulty in recognizing as among those which he had addressed to me. He had been traced to the neighborhood where his body was found, and had been seen and relieved scarcely half a mile from it, about two hours before my visit to the church-yard! There were, further, unmistakable evidences of some person's having climbed up the trellis-work to my window on the previous night, the shutter of which had been left unbarred, and, as the window might have been easily opened with a push, the cold which I experienced, as an accompaniment of the nocturnal visit, was easily accounted for. There was a mark of blood upon the window-stool, and a scrape upon the knee of the body corresponded with it. A multiplicity of other slight circumstances, and the positive assertion of the chamber-maid that the window had been opened, and was but imperfectly closed again, came in support of the conclusion, which was to my mind satisfactorily settled by the concurrent evidence of the medical men, to the effect that the unhappy man could not have been many hours dead when the body was found.

Taken in the mass, the evidence convinced me; and though I might still have clung to the preternatural theory, which, in the opinion of some persons, the facts of the case might still have sustained, I candidly decided with the weight of evidence, "gave up the ghost," and accepted the natural, but still somewhat horrible explanation of the occurrence. For this candor I take credit to myself. I might have stopped short at the discovery of the corpse, but I am no friend to "spurious gospels;" let our faith, whatever it is, be founded in honest fact. For my part, I steadfastly believe in ghosts, and have dozens of stories to support that belief; but this is not among them. Should I ever come, therefore, to tell you one, pray remember that you have to deal with a candid narrator.


The flowers of autumn, withering fast.
Before the bitter Northern blast;
The earth with hoary frost o'erspread,
And Nature's leafy mantle shed,
Proclaimed abroad through earth and sky
That winter's gloomy reign drew nigh.
And he, whose hand, with mighty stroke,
Oppression's chains had often broke,
Whose patriot heart and fearless voice
Had made oppression's slaves rejoice,
Like autumn's beauty, day by day,
Was passing rapidly away.
Life's spring had brought him hopes and fears,
Its summer many toils and cares;
Autumn had brought him power and fame,
But autumn passed—life's winter came;
And then, like nature, seeking rest,
His head a dying pillow pressed.
A furious storm, with dreadful roar,
Shook Britain's isle from shore to shore,
The raging sea, with thundering sound,
Spread ruin, fear, and death around;
And seem'd to tell throughout the land
Some dire event was near at hand.
Surrounded by the howling blast,
His tide of life was ebbing fast;
But he was calm as evening air,
And raised on high a voice of prayer,
For neither storm nor death's fierce dart
Could shake the faith that nerv'd his heart.
He knew the hand that kept his life
Throughout a long, protracted strife,
Could never fail or know decay,
Though earth itself should pass away;
And as the stormy night rolled on,
His spirit hasted to be gone.
But morning dawn'd at length, and brought
That day's[C] return on which he fought
So often—till the evening sun
Set o'er the mighty victories won:
And darkness, like the warrior's shield,
Spread o'er the bloody battle-field.
That day brought victory no more;
His earthly triumphs then were o'er:
The battle of his life had pass'd,
And Death claim'd Victory at last;
For when the evening shades came down
His wearied spirit thence had flown.
William Ilott.


[C] 3d September, the anniversary of his greatest victories.

[Pg 258]

[From Household Words.]




I am fond of gardening. I like to dig. If among the operations of the garden any need for such a work can be at any time discovered or invented, I like to dig a hole. On the third of March, 1848, I began a hole behind the kitchen wall, whereinto it was originally intended to transplant a plum-tree. The exercise was so much to my taste, that a strange humor impelled me to dig on. A fascination held me to the task. I neglected my business. I disappeared from the earth's surface. A boy who worked a basket by means of a rope and pulley, aided me; so aided, I confined my whole attention to spade labor. The centripetal force seemed to have made me its especial victim. I dug on until autumn. In the beginning of November I observed that, upon percussion, the sound given by the floor of my pit was resonant. I did not intermit my labor, urged as I was by a mysterious instinct downward. On applying my ear, I occasionally heard a subdued sort of rattle, which caused me to form a theory that the centre of the earth might be composed of mucus. In November, the ground broke beneath me into a hollow and I fell a considerable distance. I alighted on the box-seat of a four-horse coach, which happened to be running at that time immediately underneath. The coachman took no notice whatever of my sudden arrival by his side. He was so completely muffled up, that I could observe only the skillful way in which he manipulated reins and whip. The horses were yellow. I had seen no more than this, when the guard's horn blew, and presently we pulled up at an inn. A waiter came out, and appeared to collect four bags from the passengers inside the coach. He then came round to me.

"Dine here, sir?"

"Yes, certainly," said I. I like to dine—not the sole point of resemblance between myself and the great Johnson.

"Trouble you for your stomach, sir."

While the waiter was looking up with a polite stare into my puzzled face, my neighbor, the coachman, put one hand within his outer coat, as if to feel for money in his waistcoat-pocket. Directly afterward his fingers come again to light, and pulled forth an enormous sack. Notwithstanding that is was abnormally enlarged, I knew by observation of its form and texture that this was a stomach, with the œsophagus attached. This, then, the waiter caught as it was thrown down to him, and hung it carelessly over his arm, together with the four smaller bags (which I now knew to be also stomachs) collected from the passengers within the coach. I started up, and as I happened to look round, observed a skeleton face upon the shoulders of a gentleman who sat immediately behind my back. My own features were noticed at the same time by the guard, who now came forward, touching his hat.

"Beg your pardon, sir, but you've been and done it."

"Done what?"

"Why, sir, you should have booked your place, and not come up in this clandestine way. However, you've been and done it!"

"My good man, what have I done?"

"Why, sir, the Baron Terroro's eyes had the box-seat, and I strongly suspect you've been and sat upon them."

I looked involuntarily to see whether I had been sitting upon any thing except the simple cushion. Truly enough, there was an eye, which I had crushed and flattened.

"Only one," I said.

"Worse for you, and better for him. The other eye had time to escape, and it will know you again, that's certain. Well, it's no business of mine. Of course you've no appetite now for dinner? Better pay your fare, sir. To the Green Hippopotamus and Spectacles, where we put up, it's ten-and-six."

"Is there room inside?" I inquired. It was advisable to shrink from observation.

"Yes, sir. The inside passengers are mostly skeleton. There's room for three, sir. Inside, one-pound-one."

I paid the money, and became an inside passenger.



Professor Essig's Lectures on Anatomy had so fortified me, that I did not shrink from entering the Skitzton coach. It contained living limbs, loose or attached to skeletons in other respects bare, except that they were clothed with broadcloth garments, cut after the English fashion. One passenger only had a complete face of flesh, he had also one living hand; the other hand I guessed was bony, because it was concealed in a glove obviously padded. By observing the fit of his clothes, I came to a conclusion that this gentleman was stuffed throughout; that all his limbs, except the head and hand, were artificial. Two pairs of Legs, in woolen stockings, and a pair of Ears, were in a corner of the coach, and in another corner there were nineteen or twenty Scalps.

I thought it well to look astonished at nothing, and, having pointed in a careless manner to the scalps, asked what might be their destination? The person with the Face and Hand replied to me; and although evidently himself a gentleman, he addressed me with a tone of unconcealed respect.

"They are going to Skitzton, sir, to the hair dresser's."

"Yes, to be sure," I said. "They are to make Natural Skin Wigs. I might have known."

"I beg your pardon, sir. There is a ball to-morrow[Pg 259] night at Culmsey. But the gentry do not like to employ village barbers, and therefore many of the better class of people send their hair to Skitzton, and receive it back by the return coach, properly cut and curled."

"Oh," said I. "Ah! Oh, indeed!"

"Dinners, gentlemen!" said a voice at the window, and the waiter handed in four stomachs, now tolerably well filled. Each passenger received his property, and pulling open his chest with as much composure as if he were unbuttoning his waistcoat, restored his stomach, with a dinner in it, to the right position. Then the reckonings were paid, and the coach started.

I thought of my garden, and much wished that somebody could throw Professor Essig down the hole that I had dug. A few things were to be met with in Skitzland which would rather puzzle him. They puzzled me; but I took refuge in silence, and so fortified, protected my ignorance from an exposure.

"You are going to Court, sir, I presume?" said my Face and Hand friend, after a short pause. His was the only mouth in the coach, excepting mine, so that he was the only passenger able to enter into conversation.

"My dear sir," I replied, "let me be frank with you. I have arrived here unexpectedly out of another world. Of the manners and customs, nay, of the very nature of the people who inhabit this country, I know nothing. For any information you can give me, I shall be very grateful."

My friend smiled incredulity, and said,

"Whatever you are pleased to profess, I will believe. What you are pleased to feign a wish for, I am proud to furnish. In Skitzland, the inhabitants, until they come of age, retain that illustrious appearance which you have been so fortunate as never to have lost. During the night of his twenty-first birthday, each Skitzlander loses the limbs which up to that period have received from him no care, no education. Of those neglected parts the skeletons alone remain, but all those organs which he has employed sufficiently continue unimpaired. I, for example, devoted to the study of the law, forgot all occupation but to think, to use my senses, and to write. I rarely used my legs, and therefore Nature has deprived me of them."

"But," I observed, "it seems that in Skitzland you are able to take yourselves to pieces."

"No one has that power, sir, more largely than yourself. What organs we have we can detach on any service. When dispersed, a simple force of Nature directs all corresponding members whither to fly that they may re-assemble."

"If they can fly," I asked, "why are they sent in coaches? There were a pair of eyes on the box seat."

"Simply for safety against accidents. Eyes flying alone are likely to be seized by birds, and incur many dangers. They are sent, therefore, usually under protection, like any other valuable parcel."

"Do many accidents occur?"

"Very few. For mutual protection, and also because a single member is often all that has been left existing of a fellow Skitzlander, our laws, as you, sir, know much better than myself, estimate the destruction of any part absent on duty from its skeleton as a crime equivalent to murder—"

After this I held my tongue. Presently my friend again inquired whether I was going up to Court?

"Why should I go to Court?"

"Oh, sir, it pleases you to be facetious. You must be aware that any Skitzlander who has been left by nature in possession of every limb, sits in the Assembly of the Perfect, or the Upper House, and receives many state emoluments and dignities."

"Are there many members of that Upper Assembly?"

"Sir, there were forty-two. But if you are now traveling to claim your seat, the number will be raised to forty-three."

"The Baron Terroro—" I hinted.

"My brother, sir. His eyes are on the box-seat under my care. Undoubtedly he is a member of the Upper House."

I was now anxious to get out of the coach as soon as possible. My wish was fulfilled after the next pause. One eye, followed by six pairs of arms, with strong hard hands belonging to them, flew in at the window. I was collared; the door was opened, and all hands were at work to drag me out and away. The twelve hands wisked me through the air, while the one eye sailed before us, like an old bird, leader of the flight.



What sort of sky have they in Skitzland? Our earth overarches them, and, as the sunlight filters through, it causes a subdued illumination with very pure rays. Skitzland is situated nearly in the centre of our globe, it hangs there like a shrunken kernel in the middle of a nutshell. The height from Skitzland to the over-arching canopy is great; so great, that if I had not fallen personally from above the firmament, I should have considered it to be a blue sky similar to ours. At night it is quite dark; but during the day there is an appearance in the heaven of white spots; their glistening reminded me of stars. I noticed them as I was being conveyed to prison by the strong arms of justice, for it was by a detachment of members from the Skitzton police that I was now hurried along. The air was very warm, and corroborated the common observation of an increase of heat as you get into the pith of our planet. The theory of central fire, however, is, you perceive, quite overturned by my experience.

We alighted near the outskirts of a large and busy town. Through its streets I was dragged publicly, much stared at and much staring.[Pg 260] The street life was one busy nightmare of disjointed limbs. Professor Essig, could he have been dragged through Skitzton, would have delivered his farewell lecture upon his return. "Gentlemen—Fuit Ilium, Fuit Ischium, Fuit Sacrum, anatomy has lost her seat among the sciences. My occupation's gone." Professor Owen's book "On the Nature of Limbs," must contain, in the next edition, an Appendix "Upon Limbs in Skitzland." I was dragged through the streets, and all that I saw there, in the present age of little faith, I dare not tell you. I was dragged through the streets to prison, and there duly chained, after having been subjected to the scrutiny of about fifty couples of eyes drawn up in a line within the prison door. I was chained in a dark cell, a cell so dark that I could very faintly perceive the figure of some being who was my companion. Whether this individual had ears wherewith to hear, and mouth wherewith to answer me, I could not see, but at a venture I addressed him. My thirst for information was unconquerable; I began, therefore, immediately with a question:

"Friend, what are those stars which we see shining in the sky at mid-day?"

An awful groan being an unsatisfactory reply, I asked again.

"Man, do not mock at misery. You will yourself be one of them."

"The teachers shall shine like stars in the firmament." I had a propensity for teaching, but was puzzled to discover how I could give so practical an illustration of the text of Fichte.

"Believe me," I said, "I am strangely ignorant. Explain yourself."

He answered with a hollow voice:

"Murderers are shot up out of mortars into the sky, and stick there. Those white, glistening specks, they are their skeletons."

Justice is prompt in Skitland. I was tried incredibly fast by a jury of twelve men, who had absolutely heads. The judges had nothing but brain, mouth, and ear. Three powerful tongues defended me, but as they were not suffered to talk nonsense, they had little to say. The whole case was too clear to be talked into cloudiness. Baron Terroro, in person, deposed that he had sent his eyes to see a friend at Culmsey, and that they were returning on the Skitzton coach, when I, illegally, came with my whole bulk upon the box-seat, which he occupied. That one of his eyes was, in that manner, totally destroyed, but that the other eye, having escaped, identified me, and brought to his brain intelligence of the calamity which had befallen. He deposed further, that having received this information, he dispatched his uncrushed eye with arms from the police-office, and accompanied with several members of the detective force to capture the offender, and to procure the full proofs of my crime. A sub-inspector of Skitzton police then deposed that he sent three of his faculties, with his mouth, eye, and ear, to meet the coach. That the driver, consisting only of a stomach and hands, had been unable to observe what passed. That the guard, on the contrary, had taxed me with my deed, that he had seen me rise from my seat upon the murdered eye, and that he had heard me make confession of my guilt. The guard was brought next into court, and told his tale. Then I was called upon for my defense. If a man wearing a cloth coat and trowsers, and talking excellent English, were to plead at the Old Bailey that he had broken into some citizen's premises accidentally by falling from the moon, his tale would be received in London as mine was in Skitzton. I was severely reprimanded for my levity, and ordered to be silent. The judge summed up, and the jury found me guilty. The judge, who had put on the black cap before the verdict was pronounced, held out no hope of mercy, and straightway sentenced me to death, according to the laws and usage of the realm.



The period which intervenes between the sentence and execution of a criminal in Skitzland, is not longer than three hours. In order to increase the terror of death by contrast, the condemned man is suffered to taste at the table of life from which he is banished, the most luscious viands. All the attainable enjoyment that his wit can ask for, he is allowed to have, during the three hours before he is shot like rubbish off the fields of Skitzland.

Under guard, of course, I was now to be led whithersoever I desired.

Several churches were open. They never are all shut in Skitzton. I was taken into one. A man with heart and life was preaching. People with hearts were in some pews; people with brains, in others; people with ears only, in some. In a neighboring church, there was a popular preacher, a skeleton with life. His congregation was a crowd of ears, and nothing more.

There was a day-performance at the Opera I went to that. Fine lungs and mouths possessed the stage, and afterward there was a great bewilderment with legs. I was surprised to notice that many of the most beautiful ladies were carried in and out, and lifted about like dolls. My guides sneered at my pretense of ignorance, when I asked why this was. But they were bound to please me in all practicable ways, so they informed me, although somewhat pettishly. It seems that in Skitzland, ladies who possess and have cultivated only their good looks, lose at the age of twenty-one all other endowments. So they become literally dolls, but dolls of a superior kind; for they can not only open and shut their eyes, but also sigh; wag slowly with their heads, and sometimes take a pocket handkerchief out of a bag, and drop it. But as their limbs are powerless, they have to be lifted and dragged about after the fashion that excited my astonishment.[Pg 261]

I said then, "Let me see the poor." They took me to a Workhouse. The men, there, were all yellow; and they wore a dress which looked as though it were composed of asphalte; it also had a smell like that of pitch. I asked for explanation of these things.

A Superintendent of Police remarked that I was losing opportunities of real enjoyment for the idle purpose of persisting in my fable of having dropped down from the sky. However, I compelled him to explain to me what was the reason of these things. The information I obtained was briefly this: that Nature, in Skitzland, never removes the stomach. Every man has to feed himself; and the necessity for finding food, joined to the necessity for buying clothes, is a mainspring whereby the whole clockwork of civilized life is kept in motion. Now, if a man positively can not feed and clothe himself, he becomes a pauper. He then goes to the Workhouse, where he has his stomach filled with a cement. That stopping lasts a life-time, and he thereafter needs no food. His body, however, becomes yellow by the superfluity of bile. The yellow-boy, which is the Skitzland epithet for pauper, is at the same time provided with a suit of clothes. The clothes are of a material so tough that they can be worn unrepaired for more than eighty years. The pauper is now freed from care, but were he in this state cast loose upon society, since he has not that stimulus to labor which excites industry in other men, he would become an element of danger in the state. Nature no longer compelling him to work, the law compels him. The remainder of his life is forfeit to the uses of his country. He labors at the workhouse, costing nothing more than the expense of lodging, after the first inconsiderable outlay for cement wherewith to plug his stomach, and for the one suit of apparel.

When we came out of the workhouse, all the bells in the town were tolling. The superintendent told me that I had sadly frittered away time, for I had now no more than half an hour to live. Upon that I leaned my back against a post, and asked him to prepare me for my part in the impending ceremony by giving me a little information on the subject of executions.

I found that it was usual for a man to be executed with great ceremony upon the spot whereon his crime had been committed. That in case of rebellions or tumults in the provinces, when large numbers were not unfrequently condemned to death, the sentence of the law was carried out in the chief towns of the disturbed districts. That large numbers of people were thus sometimes discharged from a single market-place, and that the repeated strokes appeared to shake, or crack, or pierce in some degree that portion of the sky toward which the artillery had been directed. I here at once saw that I had discovered the true cause of earthquakes and volcanoes; and this shows how great light may be thrown upon theories concerning the hidden constitution of this earth, by going more deeply into the matter of it than had been done by any one before I dug my hole. Our volcanoes, it is now proved, are situated over the market-places of various provincial towns in Skitzland. When a revolution happens, the rebels are shot up—discharged from mortars by means of an explosive material evidently far more powerful than our gun-powder or gun-cotton; and they are pulverized by the friction in grinding their way through the earth. How simple and easy truth appears, when we have once arrived at it.

The sound of muffled drums approached us, and a long procession turned the corner of a street. I was placed in the middle of it—Baron Terroro by my side. All then began to float so rapidly away, that I was nearly left alone, when forty arms came back and collared me. It was considered to be a proof of my refractory disposition, that I would make no use of my innate power, of flight. I was therefore dragged in this procession swiftly through the air, drums playing, fifes lamenting.

We alighted on the spot where I had fallen, and the hole through which I had come I saw above me. It was very small, but the light from above shining more vividly through it made it look, with its rough edges, like a crumpled moon. A quantity of some explosive liquid was poured into a large mortar, which had been erected (under the eye of Baron Terroro) exactly where my misfortune happened. I was then thrust in, the baron ramming me down, and pounding with a long stock or pestle upon my head in a noticeably vicious manner. The baron then cried "Fire!" and as I shot out, in the midst of a blaze, I saw him looking upward.



By great good fortune, they had planted their artillery so well, that I was fired up through my hole again, and alighted in my own garden, just a little singed. My first thought was to run to an adjoining bed of vegetable marrows. Thirty vegetable marrows and two pumpkins I rained down to astonish the Skitzlanders, and I fervently hope that one of them may have knocked out the remaining eye of my vindictive enemy, the baron. I then went into the pantry, and obtained a basket full of eggs, and having rained these down upon the Skitzlanders, I left them.

It was after breakfast when I went down to Skitzland, and I came back while the dinner bell was ringing.

[Pg 262]

[From the People's Journal.]


Perhaps the event that lingers longest in the memory, among all the appalling episodes and startling passages of the French Revolution, is the assassination of the tyrant Marat, by Charlotte Corday. With the blood of old Corneille running in her veins, and possessing something of his stern and masculine love of liberty, this simple child of nature hears in her distant home that her friends, the Girondists, are proscribed, and that a hated triumvirate in Paris, tramples on the feelings and liberties of the people. Full of one idea, she purchases a knife, and, without a single confidant, sets out for the metropolis, where, procuring an interview with Marat, she stabs him to the heart, and with one blow accomplishes her revenge, and what she vainly supposed to be the people's redemption.

In Miss Julia Kavanagh's charming volumes she gives us a pretty faithful memoir of this extraordinary woman. Among the women of the French Revolution, there is one, says the gifted authoress, who stands essentially apart: a solitary episode of the eventful story. She appears for a moment, performs a deed—heroic as to the intention, criminal as to the means—and disappears forever; lost in the shadow of time—an unfathomed mystery.

The greatest portion of the youth of Charlotte Corday—to give her the name by which she is generally known—was spent in the calm obscurity of her convent solitude. Many high visions, many burning dreams and lofty aspirations, already haunted her imaginative and enthusiastic mind, as she slowly paced the silent cloisters, or rested, lost in thought, beneath the shadow of the ancient elms. It is said that, like Madame Roland, she contemplated secluding herself for ever from the world in her monastic retreat; but, affected by the skepticism of the age, which penetrated even beyond convent walls, she gave up the project....

All the austerity and republican enthusiasm of her illustrious ancestor, Pierre Corneille, seemed to have come down to his young descendant. Even Rousseau and Raynal, the apostles of democracy, had no pages that could absorb her so deeply as those of ancient history, with its stirring deeds and immortal recollections. Often, like Manon Philipon in the recess of her father's workshop, might Charlotte Corday be seen in her convent cell, thoughtfully bending over an open volume of Plutarch, that powerful and eloquent historian of all heroic sacrifices.

When the Abbaye aux Dames was closed, in consequence of the Revolution, Charlotte was in her twentieth year, in the prime of life, and of wonderful beauty; and never, perhaps, did a vision of more dazzling loveliness step forth from beneath the dark convent portal into the light of the free and open world. She was rather tall, but admirably proportioned, with a figure full of native grace and dignity: her hands, arms, and shoulders were models of pure sculptural beauty. An expression of singular gentleness and serenity characterized her fair, oval countenance and regular features. Her open forehead, dark and well-arched eyebrows, and eyes of a gray so deep that it was often mistaken for blue, added to her natural grave and meditative appearance; her nose was straight and well formed, her mouth serious but exquisitely beautiful.

On leaving the convent in which she had been educated, Charlotte Corday went to reside with her aunt, Madame Coutellier de Bretteville Gouville, an old royalist lady, who inhabited an ancient-looking house in one of the principal streets of Caën. There the young girl, who had inherited a little property, spent several years, chiefly engaged in watching the progress of the Revolution.

A silent reserve characterized this epoch of Charlotte Corday's life; her enthusiasm was not external but inward; she listened to the discussions which were carried on around her without taking a part in them herself. She seemed to feel instinctively that great thoughts are always better nursed in the heart's solitude: that they can only lose their native depth and intensity by being revealed too freely before the indifferent gaze of the world. Those with whom she then occasionally conversed took little heed of the substance of her discourse, and could remember nothing of it when she afterward became celebrated; but all recollected well her voice, and spoke with strange enthusiasm of its pure, silvery sound.

The fall of the Girondists, on the 31st of May, first suggested to Charlotte Corday the possibility of giving an active shape to her hitherto passive feelings. She watched with intense, though still silent interest, the progress of events, concealing her secret indignation and thoughts of vengeance under her habitually calm aspect. Those feelings were heightened in her soul by the presence of the fugitive Girondists, who had found a refuge in Caën, and were urging the Normans to raise an army to march on Paris. She found a pretense to call upon Barbaroux, then with his friends at the Intendance. She came twice, accompanied by an old servant, and protected by her own modest dignity. Péthion saw her in the hall, where she was waiting for the handsome Girondist, and observed with a smile, "So the beautiful aristocrat is come to see republicans." "Citizen Péthion," she replied, "you now judge me without knowing me, but a time will come when you shall learn who I am." With Barbaroux, Charlotte chiefly conversed of the imprisoned Girondists; of Madame Roland and Marat. The name of this man had long haunted her with a mingled feeling of dread and horror. To Marat she ascribed the proscription of the Girondists, the woes of the Republic, and on him she resolved to avenge her ill-fated country. Charlotte was not aware that Marat was but the tool of Danton and Robespierre. "If such[Pg 263] actions could be counseled," afterward said Barbaroux, "it is not Marat whom we would have advised her to strike."

While this deadly thought was daily strengthening itself in Charlotte's mind, she received several offers of marriage. She declined them, on the plea of wishing to remain free: but strange indeed must have seemed to her, at that moment, those proposals of earthly love. One of those whom her beauty had enamored, M. de Franquelin, a young volunteer in the cause of the Girondists, died of grief on learning her fate; his last request was, that her portrait, and a few letters he had formerly received from her, might be buried with him in his grave.

For several days after her last interview with Barbaroux, Charlotte brooded silently over her great thought; often meditating on the history of Judith. Her aunt subsequently remembered that, on entering her room one morning, she found an old Bible open on her bed: the verse in which it is recorded that "the Lord had gifted Judith with a special beauty and fairness," for the deliverance of Israel, was underlined with a pencil.

On another occasion Madame de Bretteville found her niece weeping alone; she inquired into the cause of her tears. "They flow," replied Charlotte, "for the misfortunes of my country." Heroic and devoted as she was, she then also wept, perchance, over her own youth and beauty, so soon to be sacrificed forever. No personal considerations altered her resolve: she procured a passport, provided herself with money, and paid a farewell visit to her father, to inform him that, considering the unsettled condition of France, she thought it best to retire to England. He approved of her intention, and bade her adieu. On returning to Caën, Charlotte told the same tale to Madame de Bretteville, left a secret provision for an old nurse, and distributed the little property she possessed among her friends.

It was on the morning of the 9th of July, 1793, that she left the house of her aunt, without trusting herself with a last farewell. Her most earnest wish was, when her deed should have been accomplished, to perish, wholly unknown, by the hands of an infuriated multitude. The woman who could contemplate such a fate, and calmly devote herself to it, without one selfish thought of future renown, had indeed the heroic soul of a martyr.

Her journey to Paris was marked by no other event than the unwelcome attentions of some Jacobins with whom she traveled. One of them, struck by her modest and gentle beauty, made her a very serious proposal of marriage: she playfully evaded his request, but promised that he should learn who and what she was at some future period. On entering Paris, she proceeded immediately to the Hotel de la Providence, Rue ties Vieux Augustins, not far from Marat's dwelling. Here she rested for two days before calling on her intended victim. Nothing can mark more forcibly the singular calmness of her mind: she felt no hurry to accomplish the deed for which she had journeyed so far, and over which she had meditated so deeply: her soul remained serene and undaunted to the last. The room which she occupied, and which has often been pointed out to inquiring strangers, was a dark and wretched attic, into which light scarcely ever penetrated. There she read again the volume of Plutarch she had brought with her—unwilling to part from her favorite author, even in her last hours—and probably composed that energetic address to the people which was found upon her after her apprehension.

Charlotte perceived that to call on Marat was the only means by which she might accomplish her purpose. She did so on the morning of the 13th of July, having first purchased a knife in the Palais Royal, and written him a note, in which she requested an interview. She was refused admittance. She then wrote him a second note, more pressing than the first, and in which she represented herself as persecuted for the cause of freedom. Without waiting to see what effect this note might produce, she called again at half-past seven the same evening.

Marat then resided in the Rue des Cordeliers, in a gloomy-looking house, which has since been demolished. His constant fears of assassination were shared by those around him; the porter seeing a strange woman pass by his lodge, without pausing to make any inquiry, ran out and called her back. She did not heed his remonstrance, but swiftly ascended the old stone staircase, until she had reached the door of Marat's apartment. It was cautiously opened by Albertine, a woman with whom Marat cohabited, and who passed for his wife. Recognizing the same young and handsome girl who had already called on her husband, and animated, perhaps by a feeling of jealous mistrust, Albertine refused to admit her; Charlotte insisted with great earnestness. The sound of their altercation reached Marat: he immediately ordered his wife to admit the stranger, whom he recognized as the author of the two letters he had received in the course of the day. Albertine obeyed reluctantly; she allowed Charlotte to enter; and after crossing with her an ante chamber, where she had been occupied with a man named Laurent Basse in folding some numbers of the "Ami du Peuple," she ushered her through two other rooms, until they came to a narrow closet where Marat was then in a bath. He gave a look at Charlotte, and ordered his wife to leave them alone: she complied, but allowed the door of the closet to remain half open, and kept within call.

According to his usual custom, Marat wore a soiled handkerchief bound round his head, increasing his natural hideousness. A coarse covering was thrown across the bath; a board, likewise, placed transversely, supported his papers. Laying down his pen, he asked Charlotte the purport of her visit. The closet was so narrow that she touched the bath near which she stood. She gazed on him with ill-disguised[Pg 264] horror and disgust, but answered as composedly as she could, that she had come from Caën, in order to give him correct intelligence concerning the proceedings of the Girondists there. He listened, questioned her eagerly, wrote down the names of the Girondists, then added, with a smile of triumph: "Before a week they shall have perished on the guillotine." "These words," afterward said Charlotte, "sealed his fate." Drawing from beneath the handkerchief which covered her bosom the knife she had kept there all along, she plunged it to the hilt in Marat's heart. He gave one loud, expiring cry for help, and sank back dead, in the bath. By an instinctive impulse, Charlotte had instantly drawn out the knife from the breast of her victim, but she did not strike again; casting it down at his feet, she left the closet, and sat down in the neighboring room, thoughtfully passing her hand across her brow: her task was done.

The wife of Marat had rushed to his aid on hearing his cry for help. Laurent Basse, seeing that all was over, turned round toward Charlotte, and, with a blow of a chair, felled her to the floor; while the infuriated Albertine trampled her under her feet. The tumult aroused the other tenants of the house; the alarm spread, and a crowd gathered in the apartment, who learned with stupor that Marat, the Friend of the People, had been murdered. Deeper still was their wonder when they gazed on the murderess. She stood there before them with still disordered garments, and her disheveled hair, loosely bound by a broad green ribbon falling around her; but so calm, so serenely lovely, that those who most abhorred her crime gazed on her with involuntary admiration. "Was she then so beautiful?" was the question addressed, many years afterward, to an old man, one of the few remaining witnesses of this scene. "Beautiful!" he echoed, enthusiastically; adding, with the eternal regrets of old age: "Ay, there are none such now!"

On the morning of the 17th, she was led before her judges. She was dressed with care, and had never looked more lovely. Her bearing was so imposing and dignified, that the spectators and the judges seemed to stand arraigned before her. She interrupted the first witness, by declaring that it was she who had killed Marat. "Who inspired you with so much hatred against him?" asked the President.

"I needed not the hatred of others, I had enough of my own," she energetically replied; "besides, we do not execute well that which we have not ourselves conceived."

"What, then, did you hate in Marat?"

"His crimes."

"Do you think that you have assassinated all the Marats?"

"No; but now that he is dead, the rest may fear."

She answered other questions with equal firmness and laconism. Her project, she declared, had been formed since the 31st of May. "She had killed one man to save a hundred thousand She was a republican long before the Revolution, and had never failed in energy."

"What do you understand by energy?" asked the President.

"That feeling," she replied, "which induces us to east aside selfish considerations, and sacrifice ourselves for our country."

Fouquier Tinville here observed, alluding to the sure blow she had given, that she must be well practiced in crime. "The monster takes me for an assassin!" she exclaimed, in a tone thrilling with indignation. This closed the debates, and her defender rose. It was not Doulcet de Pontécoulant—who had not received her letter—but Chauveau de la Garde, chosen by the President. Charlotte gave him an anxious look, as though she feared he might seek to save her at the expense of honor. He spoke, and she perceived that her apprehensions were unfounded. Without excusing her crime, or attributing it to insanity, he pleaded for the fervor of her conviction; which he had the courage to call sublime. The appeal proved unavailing. Charlotte Corday was condemned. Without deigning to answer the President, who asked her if she had aught to object to the penalty of death being carried out against her, she rose, and walking up to her defender, thanked him gracefully. "These gentlemen," said she, pointing to the judges, "have just informed me that the whole of my property is confiscated. I owe something in the prison: as a proof of my friendship and esteem, I request you to pay this little debt."

On returning to the conciergerie, she found an artist, named Hauër, waiting for her, to finish her portrait, which he had begun at the tribunal. They conversed freely together, until the executioner, carrying the red chemise destined for assassins, and the scissors with which he was to cut her hair off, made his appearance. "What, so soon!" exclaimed Charlotte Corday, slightly turning pale; but rallying her courage, she resumed her composure, and presented a look of her hair to M. Hauër, as the only reward in her power to offer. A priest came to offer her his ministry. She thanked him and the persons by whom he had been sent, but declined his spiritual aid. The executioner cut her hair, bound her hands, and threw the red chemise over her. M. Hauër was struck with the almost unearthly loveliness which the crimson hue of this garment imparted to the ill-fated maiden. "This toilet of death, though performed by rude hands, leads to immortality," said Charlotte, with a smile.

A heavy storm broke forth as the car of the condemned left the conciergerie for the Place de la Revolution. An immense crowd lined every street through which Charlotte Corday passed. Hootings and execrations at first rose on her path; but as her pure and serene beauty dawned on the multitude, as the exquisite loveliness of her countenance and the sculptural beauty of her figure became more fully revealed,[Pg 265] pity and admiration superseded every other feeling. Her bearing was so admirably calm and dignified, as to rouse sympathy in the breasts of those who detested not only her crime, but the cause for which it had been committed. Many men of every party took off their hats and bowed as the cart passed before them. Among those who waited its approach, was a young German, normed Adam Luz, who stood at the entrance of the Rue Saint Honoré, and followed Charlotte to the scaffold. He gazed on the lovely and heroic maiden with all the enthusiasm of his imaginative race. A love, unexampled perhaps in the history of the human heart, took possession of his soul.

Unconscious of the passionate love she had awakened, Charlotte now stood near the guillotine. She turned pale on first beholding it, but soon resumed her serenity. A deep blush suffused her face when the executioner removed the handkerchief that covered her neck and shoulders, but she calmly laid her head upon the block. The executioner touched a spring and the ax came down. One of Samson's assistants immediately stepped forward, and holding up the lifeless head to the gaze of the crowd, struck it on either cheek. The brutal act only excited a feeling of horror; and it is said that—as though even in death her indignant spirit protested against this outrage—an angry and crimson flush passed over the features of Charlotte Corday.

[From Household Words.]


In England every body notices the weather, and talks about the weather, and suffers by the weather, yet very few of us know any thing about it. The changes of our climate have given us a constant and an insatiable national disease—consumption; the density of our winter fog has gained an European celebrity; while the general haziness of our atmosphere induces an Italian or an American to doubt whether we are ever indulged with a real blue sky. "Good day" has become the national salutation; umbrellas, water-proof clothes, and cough mixtures are almost necessities of English life; yet, despite these daily and hourly proofs of the importance of the weather to each and all of us, it is only within the last ten years that any effectual steps have been taken in England to watch the weather and the proximate elements which regulate its course and variations.

Yet, in those ten years positive wonders have been done, and good hope established that a continuance of patient inquiry will be rewarded by still further discoveries. To take a single result, it may be mentioned, that a careful study of the thermometer has shown that a descent of the temperature of London from forty-five to thirty-two degrees, generally kills about 300 persons. They may not all die in the very week when the loss of warmth takes place, but the number of deaths is found to increase to that extent over the previous average within a short period after the change. The fall of temperature, in truth, kills them as certainly as a well-aimed cannon-shot. Our changing climate, or deficient food and shelter, has prepared them for the final stroke, but they actually die at last of the weather.

Before 1838, several European states, less apt than ourselves to talk about the weather, had taken it up as a study, and had made various contributions to the general knowledge of the subject; but in that year England began to act. The officials who now and then emerge from the Admiralty under the title of the "Board of Visitors," to see what is in progress at the Greenwich Observatory, were reminded by Mr. Airy, the astronomer royal, that much good might be done by pursuing a course of magnetic and meteorological observations. The officials "listened and believed."

The following year saw a wooden fence pushed out behind the Observatory walls, in the direction of Blackheath, and soon afterward a few low-roofed, unpainted, wooden buildings were dotted over the inclosure. These structures are small enough and humble enough to outward view, yet they contain some most beautifully-constructed instruments, and have been the scene of a series of observations and discoveries of the greatest interest and value. The stray holiday visitor to Greenwich Park, who feels tempted to look over the wooden paling, sees only a series of deal sheds, upon a rough grass-plat; a mast some eighty feet high, steadied by ropes, and having a lantern at the top, and a windlass below; and if he looks closer, he perceives a small inner inclosure, surrounded by a dwarf fence; an upright stand, with a movable top, sheltering a collection of thermometers; and here and there a pile of planks and unused partitioning, that helps to give the place an appearance of temporary expediency, an aspect something between a collection of emigrants' cottages and the yard of a dealer in second-hand building materials. But—as was said when speaking of the Astronomical Observatory—Greenwich is a practical place, and not one prepared for show. Science, like virtue, does not require a palace for a dwelling-place. In this collection of deal houses, during the last ten years, Nature has been constantly watched, and interrogated with the zeal and patience which alone can glean a knowledge of her secrets. And the results of those watches, kept at all hours, and in all weathers, are curious in the extreme; but before we ask what they are, let us cross the barrier, and see with what tools the weather-students work.

The main building is built in the form of a cross, with its chief front to the magnetic north. It is formed of wood, all iron and other metals being carefully excluded; for its purpose is to contain three large magnets, which have to be isolated from all influence likely to interfere with their truthful action. In three arms of the cross these magnets are suspended by bands of[Pg 266] unwrought, untwisted silk. In the fourth arm is a sort of double window, filled with apparatus for receiving the electricity collected at the top of the mast which stands close by. Thus, in this wooden shed, we find one portion devoted to; electricity—to the detection and registry of the stray lightning of the atmosphere—and the other three to a set of instruments that feel the influence and register the variations of the magnetic changes in the conditions of the air. "True as the needle to the pole," is the burden of an old song, which now shows how little our forefathers knew about this same needle, which, in truth, has a much steadier character than it deserves. Let all who still have faith in the legend go to the magnet-house, and when they have seen the vagaries there displayed, they will have but a poor idea of Mr. Charles Dibdin's sea-heroes, whose constancy is declared to have been as true as their compasses were to the north.

Upon entering the magnet-house, the first object that attracts attention are the jars to which the electricity is brought down. The fluid is collected, as just stated, by a conductor running from the top of the mast outside. In order that not the slightest portion may be lost in its progress down, a lamp is kept constantly burning near the top of the pole, the light of which keeps warm and dry a body of glass that cuts off all communication between the conductor and the machinery which supports it. Another light, for the purpose of collecting the electricity by its flame, is placed above the top of the pole. This light, burning at night, has given rise to many a strange supposition in the neighborhood. It is too high up to be serviceable as a lantern to those below. Besides, who walks in Greenwich Park after the gates are closed? It can light only the birds or the deer. "Then, surely," says another popular legend, "it is to guide the ships on the river, when on their way up at night; a sort of landmark to tell where-abouts the Observatory is when the moon and stars are clouded, and refuse to show where their watchers are."

All these speculations are idle, for the lights burn when the sun is shining, as well as at night; and the object of the lower one is that no trace of moisture, and no approach of cold, shall give the electricity a chance of slipping down the mast, or the ropes, to the earth, but shall leave it no way of escape from the wise men below, who want it, and will have it, whether it likes or no, in their jars, that they may measure its quantity and its quality, and write both down in their journals. It is thus that electricity comes down the wires into those jars on our right as we enter. If very slight, its presence there is indicated by tiny morsels of pendent gold-leaf; if stronger, the divergence of two straws show it; if stronger still, the third jar holds its greater force, while neighboring instruments measure the length of the electric sparks, or mark the amount of the electric force. At the desk, close by, sits the observer, who jots down the successive indications. In his book he registers from day to day, throughout the year, how much electricity has been in the air, and what was its character, even to such particulars as to whether its sparks were blue, violet, or purple in color. At times, however, he has to exercise great care, and it is not always that he even then escapes receiving severe shocks.

Passing on, we approach the magnets. They are three in number; of large size, and differently suspended, to show the various ways in which such bodies are acted upon. All hang by bands of unwrought silk. If the silk were twisted, it would twist the magnets, and the accuracy of their position would be disturbed. Magnets, like telescopes, must be true in their adjustment to the hundredth part of a hair's breadth. One magnet hangs north and south; another east and west; and a third, like a scale-beam, is balanced on knife-edges and agate planes, so beautifully, that when once adjusted and inclosed in its case, it is opened only once a year, lest one grain of dust, or one small spider, should destroy its truth; for spiders are as troublesome to the weather-student as to the astronomer. These insects like the perfect quiet that reigns about the instruments of the philosopher, and with heroic perseverance persist in spinning their fine threads among his machines. Indeed, spiders occasionally betray the magnetic observer into very odd behavior At times he may be seen bowing in the sunshine, like a Persian fire-worshiper; now stooping in this direction, now dodging in that, but always gazing through the sun's rays up toward that luminary. He seems demented, staring at nothing. At last he lifts his hand; he snatches apparently at vacancy to pull nothing down In truth his eye had at last caught the gleam of light reflected from an almost invisible spider line running from the electrical wire to the neighboring planks. The spider who had ventured on the charged wire paid the penalty of such daring with his life long ago, but he had left his web behind him, and that beautifully minute thread has been carrying off to the earth a portion of the electric fluid, before it had been received, and tested, and registered by the mechanism below. Such facts show the exceeding delicacy of the observations.

For seven years, the magnets suspended in this building were constantly watched every two hours—every even hour—day and night, except on Sundays, the object being that some light might be thrown upon the laws regulating the movements of the mariner's compass; hence, that while men became wiser, navigation might be rendered safer. The chief observer—the genius loci—is Mr. Glaisher, whose name figures in the reports of the Register-General. He, with two assistants, from year to year, went on making these tedious examinations of the variations of the magnets, by means of small telescopes, fixed with great precision upon pedestals of masonry or wood fixed on the earth, and[Pg 267] unconnected with the floor of the building, occupying a position exactly between the three magnets. This mode of proceeding had continued for some years with almost unerring regularity, and certain large quarto volumes full of figures were the results, when an ingenious medical man, Mr. Brooke, hit upon a photographic plan for removing the necessity for this perpetual watchfulness. Now, in the magnet-house, we see light and chemistry doing the tasks before performed by human labor; and doing them more faithfully than even the most vigilant of human eyes and hands. Around the magnets are cases of zinc, so perfect that they exclude all light from without. Inside those cases, in one place, is a lamp giving a single ray of prepared light, which, falling upon a mirror soldered to the magnet, moves with its motions. This wandering ray, directed toward a sheet of sensitive photographic paper, records the magnet's slightest motion! The paper moves on by clock-work, and once in four-and-twenty hours an assistant, having closed the shutters of the building, lights a lantern of yellow glass, opens the magnet-boxes, removes the paper on which the magnets have been enabled to record their own motions, and then, having put in a fresh sheet of sensitive paper, he shuts it securely in, winds up the clock-work, puts out his yellow light, and lets in the sunshine. His lantern glass is yellow, because the yellow rays are the only ones which can be safely allowed to fall upon the photographic paper during its removal from the instrument, to the dish in which its magnetic picture is to be fixed by a further chemical process. It is the blue ray of the light that gives the daguerrotypic likeness—as most persons who have had their heads off, under the hands of M. Claudet, or Mr. Beard, or any of their numerous competitors in the art of preparing sun-pictures, well know.

Since the apparatus of Mr. Brooke for the self-registration of the magnetic changes has been in operation at Greenwich, the time of Mr. Glaisher and his assistants has been more at liberty for other branches of their duties. These are numerous enough. Thermometers and barometers have to be watched as well as magnets. To these instruments the same ingenious photographic contrivance is applied.

The wooden building next to the magnet-house on the southwest contains a modification of Mr. Brooke's ingenious plan, by which the rise and fall of the temperature of the air is self-registered. Outside the building are the bulbs of thermometers freely exposed to the weather. Their shafts run through a zinc case, and as the mercury rises or falls, it moves a float having a projecting arm. Across this arm is thrown the ray of prepared light which falls then upon the sensitive paper. Thus we see the variations of the needle and the variations in heat and cold both recording their own story, within these humble-looking wooden sheds, as completely as the wind and the rain are made to do the same thing, on the top of the towers of the Observatory. The reward given to the inventor of this ingenious mode of self-registration has been recently revealed in a parliamentary paper, thus: "To Mr. Charles Brooke for his invention and establishment at the Royal Observatory, of the apparatus for the self-registration of magnetical and meteorological phenomena, £500." Every year the invention will save fully £500 worth of human toil; and the reward seems small when we see every year millions voted for warlike, sinecure, and other worse than useless purposes.

Photography, however, can not do all the work. Its records have to be cheeked by independent observations every day, and then both have to be brought to their practical value by comparison with certain tables which test their accuracy, and make them available for disclosing certain scientific results. The preparation of such tables is one of the practical triumphs of Greenwich. Many a quiet country gentleman amuses his leisure by noting day by day the variations of his thermometer and barometer. Heretofore such observations were isolated and of no general value, but now, by the tables completed by Mr. Glaisher, and published by the Royal Society, they may all be converted into scientific values, and be made available for the increase of our weather-wisdom. For nearly seventy years the Royal Society had observations made at Somerset House, but they were a dead letter—mere long columns of figures—till these tables gave them significance. And the same tables now knit into one scientific whole, the observations taken by forty scientific volunteers, who, from day to day, record for the Registrar-General of births and deaths, the temperature, moisture, &c., of their different localities, which vary from Glasgow to Guernsey, and from Cornwall to Norwich.

What the Rosetta stone is to the history of the Pharaohs, these Greenwich tables have been to the weather-hieroglyphics. They have afforded something like a key to the language in which the secrets are written; and it remains for industrious observation and scientific zeal to complete the modern victory over ancient ignorance. Already the results of the Greenwich studies of the weather have given us a number of curious morsels of knowledge. The wholesale destruction of human life induced by a fall in the temperature of London has just been noticed. Besides the manifestation of that fact, we are shown, that instead of a warm summer being followed by a cold winter, the tendency of the law of the weather is to group warm seasons together, and cold seasons together. Mr. Glaisher has made out, that the character of the weather seems to follow certain curves, so to speak, each extending over periods of fifteen years. During the first half of each of these periods, the seasons become warmer and warmer, till they reach their warmest point, and then they sink again, becoming colder and colder, till they reach the lowest point, whence[Pg 268] they rise again. His tables range over the last seventy-nine years—from 1771 to 1849. Periods shown to be the coldest, were years memorable for high-priced food, increased mortality, popular discontent, and political changes. In his diagrams, the warm years are tinted brown, and the cold years gray, and as the sheets are turned over and the dates scanned, the fact suggest itself that a gray period saw Lord George Gordon's riots; a gray period was marked by the Reform Bill excitement; and a gray period saw the Corn Laws repealed.

A few more morsels culled from the experience of these weather-seers, and we have done.

Those seasons have been best which have enjoyed an average temperature—not too hot nor too cold.

The indications are that the climate of England is becoming warmer, and, consequently, healthier; a fact to be partly accounted for by the improved drainage and the removal of an excess of timber from the land.

The intensity of cholera was found greatest in those places where the air was stagnant; and, therefore, any means for causing its motion, as lighting fires and improving ventilation, are thus proved to be of the utmost consequence.

Some day near the 20th of January—the lucky guess, in 1838, of Murphy's Weather Almanac—will, upon the average of years, be found to be the coldest of the whole year.

In the middle of May there are generally some days of cold, so severe as to be unexplainable. Humboldt mentions this fact in his Cosmos; and various authors have tried to account for it—at present in vain. The favorite notion, perhaps, is that which attributes this period of cold to the loosening of the icebergs of the north. Another weather eccentricity is the usual advent of some warm days at the beginning of November.

Certain experiments in progress to test the difference between the temperature of the Thames, and of the surrounding atmosphere, are expected to show the cause of the famous London fog. During the night the Thames is often from ten to seventeen degrees warmer, and in the day time from eight to ten degrees colder than the air above it.

If the theory of weather-cycles holds good, we are to have seasons colder than the average from this time till 1853, when warmth will begin again to predominate over cold. A chilly prophecy this to close with, and therefore, rather let an anecdote complete this chapter on the Weather-Watchers of Greenwich.

Among other experiments going on some time ago in the observatory inclosure, were some by which Mr. Glaisher sought to discover how much warmth the earth lost during the hours of night, and how much moisture the air would take up in a day from a given surface. Upon the long grass, within the dwarf fence already mentioned were placed all sorts of odd substances, in little distinct qualities. Ashes wood, leather, linen, cotton, glass, lead, copper and stone, among other things, were there to show how each affected the question of radiation. Close by upon a post was a dish six inches across, in which every day there was punctually poured one ounce of water, and at the same hour next day, as punctually was this fluid remeasured to see what had been lost by evaporation. For three years this latter experiment had been going on, and the results were posted up in a book; but the figures gave most contradictory results. There was either something very irregular in the air, or something very wrong in the apparatus. It was watched for leakage, but none was found, when one day Mr. Glaisher stepped out of the magnet-house, and looking toward the stand, the mystery was revealed. The evaporating dish of the philosopher was being used as a bath by an irreverent bird! a sparrow was scattering from his wings the water left to be drunk by the winds of Heaven. Only one thing remained to be done; and the next minute saw a pen run through the tables that had taken three years to compile. The labor was lost—the work had to be begun again.


Oh, friend, whoe'er thou art, who dost rejoice
In the sweet tones of thy melodious voice;
Which to thy fancy are so rich and clear,
Falling like music, on the list'ning ear,
Of thee I ask,
What hast thou done of that thou hast to do?
Art silent? Then I say,
Until thy deeds are many let thy words be few.
Oh, man, whoe'er thou art, within whose breast
The glowing thoughts disdain ignoble rest;
Whose soul is laboring with a monstrous birth
Of winged words, to scatter through the earth
Of thee I ask,
What hast thou done of that thou hast to do?
Art silent? Then I say,
Until thy deeds are many let thy words be few.
Oh, brother mine, who would'st reform mankind
Purging the dross, and leaving all refined;
Preaching of sinless love, sobriety,
Of goodness, endless peace, and charity,
Of thee I ask,
What hast thou done of that thou hast to do?
Art silent? Then I say,
Until thy deeds are many let thy words be few.
Speech without action is a moral dearth,
And to advance the world is little worth:
Let us think much, say little, and much do,
If to ourselves and God we will be true;
And ask within,
What have I done of that I have to do?
Is conscience silent—say,
Oh! let my deeds be many and my words be few.
J. G. L. Bulleid.

[Pg 269]

[From Household Words.]


Certain social theorists have, of late years, proclaimed themselves to the puzzled public under the name and signification of "Young." Young France, Young Germany, and Young England have had their day, and having now grown older, and by consequence wiser, are comparatively mute. In accordance with what seems a natural law, it is only when a fashion is being forgotten where it originated—in the west—that is reaches Russia, which rigidly keeps a century or so behind the rest of the Continent. It is only recently, therefore, that we hear of "Young Russia."

The main principles of all these national youths are alike. They are pleasingly picturesque—simperingly amiable; with a pretty and piquant dash of paradox. What they propose is not new birth, or dashing out into new systems, and taking advantage of new ideas; but reverting to old systems, and furbishing them up so as to look as good as new. Re-juvenescence is their aim; the middle ages their motto. Young England, to wit, desires to replace things as they were in the days of the pack-horse, the thumb-screw, the monastery, the ducking-stool, the knight errant, trial by battle, and the donjon-keep. To these he wishes to apply all possible modern improvements, to adapt them to present ideas, and to present events. Though he would have no objection to his mailed knight traveling per first-class railway, he would abolish luggage-trains to encourage intestine trade and the breed of that noble animal the pack-horse. He has, indeed, done something in this monastic line; but his efforts for the dissemination of superstition, and his denunciations of a certain sort of witchcraft, have signally failed. In truth, the task he has set himself—that of re-constructing society anew out of old materials—though highly archæological, historical, and poetic, has the fatal disadvantage of being simply impossible. It is telling the people of the nineteenth century to carry their minds, habits, and sentiments back, so as to become people of the thirteenth century; it is trying to make new muslin out of mummy cloth, or razors out of rusty nails.

"Young Russia" is an equal absurdity, but from a precisely opposite cause; for, indeed, this sort of youth out of age is a series of paradoxes. The Russian of the present day is the Russian of past ages. He exists by rule—the rule of despotism—which is as old as the Medes and Persians; and which forces him into an iron mould that shapes his appearance, his mind, and his actions to one pattern, from one generation to another Hence every thing that lives and breathes in Russia being antique, there is no appreciable antiquity. The new school, therefore—even if amateur politics were allowable in Russia, which they are not, as a large population of exiles in Siberia can testify—has no materials to work upon. Stagnation is the political law, and "Young Russia" dies in its babyhood for want of sustenance. What goes by the name of civilization, is no advance in wealth, morals, or social happiness. It is merely a tinsel coating over the rottenness and rust with which Russian life is "sicklied o'er." It has nothing to do with a single soul below the rank of a noble; and with him it means Champagne, bad pictures, Parisian tailors, operas, gaming, and other expenses and elegancies imported from the West. Hundreds of provincial noblemen are ruined every year in St. Petersburg, in undergoing this process of civilization. The fortunes thus wasted are enormous; yet there is only one railroad now in operation throughout the whole empire, and that belongs to the Emperor, and leads to one of his palaces a few miles from the capital. Such is Russian civilization. What then is "Young Russia" to do? Ask one of its youngest apostles, Ivan Vassilievitsch.

This young gentleman—for an introduction to whom we are indebted to Count Sollogub—was, not long ago, parading the Iverskoy boulevard—one of the thirteen which half encircle Moscow—when he met a neighbor from the province of Kazan. Ivan had lately returned from abroad. He was a perfect specimen of the new school, inside and out. Within, he had imbibed all the ideas of the juvenile or verdant schools of Germany, France, and England. Without, he displayed a London macintosh; his coat and trowsers had been designed and executed by Parisian artists; his hair was cut in the style of the middle ages; and his chin showed the remnants of a Vandyke beard. He also resembled the new school in another respect: he had spent all his money, yet he was separated from home by the distance of a long—a Russian—journey.

To meet with a neighbor—which he did—who traveled in his own carriage, in which he offered a seat, was the height of good fortune. The more so, as Ivan wished to see as much of Russian life on the road as possible, and to note down his impressions in a journal, whose white leaves were as yet unsullied with ink. From the information he intended to collect, he intended to commence helping to re-construct Russian society after the order of the new Russiaites.

The vehicle in which this great mission was to be performed, was a humble family affair called a Tarantas. After a series of adventures—but which did not furnish Ivan a single impression for his note-book—they arrive at Vladimir, the capital of a province or "government." Here the younger traveler meets with a friend, to whom he confides his intention of visiting all the other Government towns for "Young Russia" purposes. His friend's reply is dispiriting to the last degree.

"There is no difference between our government towns. See one, and you'll know them all!"

"Is it possible?"

"It is so, I assure you. Every one has a High-street one principal shop, where the[Pg 270] country gentlemen buy silks for their wives, and Champagne for themselves; then there are the Courts of Justice, the assembly-rooms, an apothecary's shop, a river, a square, a bazaar, two or three street-lamps, sentry-boxes for the watchmen, and the governor's house."

"The society, however, in the government towns must be different?"

"On the contrary. The society is still more uniform than the buildings."

"You astonish me: how is that?"

"Listen. There is, of course, in every government town a governor. These do not always resemble each other; but as soon as any one of them appears, police and secretaries immediately become active, merchants and tradesmen bow, and the gentry draw themselves up, with, however, some little awe. Wherever the governor goes, he is sure to find Champagne, the wine so much patronized in the province, and every body drinks a bumper to the health of the 'father of the province.' Governors generally are well-bred, and sometimes very proud. They like to give dinner-parties, and benevolently condescend to play a game of whist with rich brandy-contractors and landowners."

"That's a common thing," remarked Ivan Vassilievitsch.

"Do not interrupt me. Besides the governor, there is in nearly every government town the governor's lady. She is rather a peculiar personage; generally brought up in one of the two capitals, and spoiled with the cringing attentions of her company. On her husband's first entry into office, she is polite and affable; later, she begins to feel weary of the ordinary provincial intrigues and gossips; she gets accustomed to the slavish attentions she receives, and lays claim to them. At this period she surrounds herself with a parasitical suite; she quarrels with the lady of the vice-governor; she brags of St. Petersburg; speaks with disdain of her provincial circle, and finally draws upon herself the utmost universal ill-feeling, which is kept up till the day of her departure, when all goes into oblivion, every thing is pardoned, and every body bids her farewell with tears."

"Two persons do not form the whole society of a town," interrupted again Ivan Vassilievitsch.

"Patience, brother, patience! Certainly there are other persons besides the two I have just spoken of: there is the vice-governor and his lady; several presidents, with their respective ladies, and an innumerable crowd of functionaries serving under their leadership. The ladies are ever quarreling in words, while their husbands do the same thing upon foolscap. The presidents, for the most part, are men of advanced age and business-like habits, with great crosses hanging from their necks, and are, during the day time, to be seen out of their courts only on holidays. The government attorney is generally a single man, and an enviable match. The superior officer of the gens-d'armes is a 'good fellow.' The nobility-marshal a great sportsman. Besides the government and the local officers, there live in a government town stingy landowners, or those who have squandered away their property; they gamble from evening to morning, nay, from morning to evening too, without getting the least bit tired of their exercise."

"Now, about their mode of living?" asked Ivan Vassilievitsch.

"The mode of living is a very dull one. At exchange of ceremonious visits. Intrigues, cards—cards, intrigues. Now and then, perchance, you may meet with a kind, hospitable family, but such a case is very rare; you much oftener find a ludicrous affectation to imitate the manners of an imaginary high life. There are no public amusements in a government town. During winter a series of balls are announced to take place at the Assembly-rooms; however from an absurd primness, these balls are little frequented, because no one wants to be the first in the room. The 'bon genre' remains at home and plays whist. In general, I have remarked, that on arriving in a government town, it seems as if you were too early or too late for some extraordinary event. You are ever welcomed: 'What a pity you were not here yesterday!' or, 'You should stay here till to-morrow.'"

In process of time Ivan Vassilievitsch and his good-natured fat companion, Vassily Ivanovitsch, reach a borough town, where the Tarantas breaks down. There is a tavern, and here is a description of it.

"The tavern was like any other tavern—a large wooden hut, with the usual out-buildings. At the entrance stood an empty cart. The staircase was crooked and shaky, and at the top of it, like a moving candelabrum, stood a waiter with a tallow candle in his hand. To the right was the tap-room, painted from time immemorial to imitate a grove. Tumblers, tea-pots, decanters, three silver and a great number of pewter spoons, adorned the shelves of a cup-board; a couple of lads in chintz shirts, with dirty napkins over their shoulders, busied themselves at the bar. Through an open door you saw in the next room a billiard-table, and a hen gravely promenading upon it.

"Our travelers were conducted into the principal room of this elegant establishment, where they found, seated round a boiling tea-urn, three merchants—one gray-haired, one red-haired, and one dark-haired. Each of these was armed with a steaming tumbler; each of them sipped, smacked his lips, stroked his beard, and sipped again the fragrant beverage.

"The red-haired man was saying,

"'I made, last summer, a splendid bargain. I had bought from a company of Samara-Tartars, some five hundred bags of prime quality, which I purchased from a nobleman who was in want of money, but such dreadful stuff it was, that if it had not been for the very low price, I would never have thought of looking at it. What did I do? I mixed these two cargoes and sold the whole lot to a brandy-contractor at Ribna, for prime quality.'[Pg 271]

"'It was a clever speculation,' remarked the dark-haired.

"'A commercial trick!' added the gray-haired.

"While this conversation was proceeding, Vassily Ivanovitsch and Ivan Vassilievitsch had taken seats at a separate little table; they had ordered their tea, and were listening to what the three merchants were saying.

"A poor-looking fellow came in, and took from his breast-pocket an incredibly dirty sheet of paper, in which were wrapped up bank-notes and some gold, and handed it over to the gray-haired merchant, who, having counted them over, said,

"'Five thousand two hundred and seventeen roubles. Is it right?'

"'Quite right, sir.'

"'It shall be delivered according to your wish.'

"'Ivan asked why the sender had not taken a receipt?'

"The red and dark-haired merchants burst out laughing; the gray-haired got into a passion.

"'A receipt!' he cried out, furiously, 'a receipt! I would have broken his jaw with his own money, had he dared to ask me for a receipt. I have been a merchant now more than fifty years, and I have never yet been insulted by being asked to give a receipt.'

"'You see, sir,' said the red-haired merchant, it is only with noblemen that such things as receipts and bills of exchange exist. We commercial people do not make use of them. Our simple word suffices. We have no time to spare for writing. For instance, sir: here is Sidor Avdeivitsch, who has millions of roubles in his trade, and his whole writing consists of a few scraps of paper, for memory's sake, sir.'

"'I don't understand that,' interrupted Ivan Vassilievitsch.

"'How could you, sir? It is mere commercial business, without plan or façade. We ourselves learn it from our childhood: first as errand boys, then as clerks, till we become partners in the business. I confess it is hard work.'"

Upon this text Ivan preaches a "Young Russia discourse."

"'Allow me a few words,' he said with fervor. 'It appears to me that we have in Russia a great number of persons buying and selling, but yet, I must say, we have no systematic commerce. For commerce, science, and learning, are indispensable; a conflux of civilized men, clever mathematical calculations—but not, as seems to be the case with you, dependence upon mere chance. You earn millions, because you convert the consumer into a victim, against whom every kind of cheat is pardonable, and then you lay by farthing by farthing, refusing yourselves not only all the enjoyments of life, but even the most necessary comforts.... You brag of your threadbare clothes; but surely this extreme parsimony is a thousand times more blamable than the opposite prodigality of those of your comrades who spend their time among gipsies, and their money in feasting. You boast of your ignorance, because you do not know what civilization is. Civilization, according to your notions, consists in shorter laps of a coat, foreign furniture, bronzes, and champagne—in a word, in outward trifles and silly customs. Trust me, not such is civilization.... Unite yourselves! Be it your vocation to lay open all the hidden riches of our great country; to diffuse life and vigor into all its veins; to take the whole management of its material interests into your hands. Unite your endeavors in this beautiful deed, and you may be certain of success! Why should Russia be worse than England? Comprehend only your calling; let the beam of civilization fall upon you, and your love for your fatherland will strengthen such a union; and you will see that not only the whole of Russia, but even the whole world will be in your hands.'

"At this eloquent conclusion, the red and the dark-haired merchants opened wide their eyes. They, of course, did not understand a single word of Ivan Vassilievitsch's speech.

"'Alas, for Young Russia!' Ivan dolefully remarks in another place:

"I thought to study life in the provinces: there is no life in the provinces; every one there is said to be of the same cut. Life in the capitals is not a Russian life, but a weak imitation of the petty perfections and gross vices of modern civilization. Where am I then to find Russia? In the lower classes, perhaps, in the every-day life of the Russian peasant? But have I not been now for five days chiefly among this class? I prick up my ears and listen; I open wide my eyes and look, and do what I may, I find not the least trifle worth noting in my 'Impressions.' The country is dead; there is nothing but land, land, land; so much land, indeed, that my eyes get tired of looking at it: a dreadful road, wagons of goods, swearing carriers, drunken stage inspectors; beetles creeping on every wall; soups with the smell of tallow candles! How is it possible for any respectable person to occupy himself with such nasty stuff? And what is yet more provoking, is the doleful uniformity which tires you so much, and affords you no rest whatever. Nothing new, nothing unexpected! To-morrow what has been to-day; to-day what has been yesterday. Here, a post-stage, there a post-stage, and further the same post-stage again; here, a village elder asking for drink-money, and again to infinity village elders all asking for drink-money. What can I write? I begin to agree with Vassily Ivanovitsch; he is right in saying that we do not travel, and that there is no traveling in Russia. We simply are going to Mordassy. Alas! for my 'Impressions.'"

Whoever wants to know more of this amusing Young Russian, must consult "The Tarantas." We can assure the reader that the book is fraught with a store of amusement—chiefly descriptions of town and country life in Russia—not often compressed into the modest and inexpensive compass of a thin duodecimo.

[Pg 272]

[From Household Words.]


The men could hardly keep the deck,
So bitter was the night;
Keen northeast winds sang through the shrouds,
The deck was frosty white;
While overhead the glistening stars
Put forth their points of light.
On deck, behind a bale of goods,
Two orphans crouch'd, to sleep;
But 'twas so cold, the youngest boy
In vain tried not to weep:
They were so poor, they had no right
Near cabin doors to creep.
The elder round the younger wrapt
His little ragged cloak,
To shield him from the freezing sleet,
And surf that o'er them broke;
Then drew him closer to his side,
And softly to him spoke:
"The night will not be long"—he said,
"And if the cold winds blow,
We shall the sooner reach our home,
And see the peat-fire glow;
But now the stars are beautiful—
Oh, do not tremble so!
"Come closer!—sleep—forget the frost—
Think of the morning red—
Our father and our mother soon
Will take us to their bed;
And in their warm arms we shall sleep."
He knew not they were dead.
For them no father to the ship
Shall with the morning come;
For them no mother's loving arms
Are spread to take them home:
Meanwhile the cabin passengers
In dreams of pleasure roam.
At length the orphans sank to sleep
All on the freezing deck;
Close huddled side to side—each arm
Clasp'd round the other's neck.
With heads bent down, they dream'd the earth
Was fading to a speck.
The steerage passengers have all
Been taken down below,
And round the stove they warm their limbs
Into a drowsy glow;
And soon within their berths forget
The icy wind and snow.
Now morning dawns: the land in sight
Smiles beam on every face!
The pale and qualmy passengers
Begin the deck to pace,
Seeking along the sun-lit cliffs
Some well known spot to trace.
Only the orphans do not stir,
Of all this bustling train:
They reached their home this starry night!
They will not stir again!
The winter's breath proved kind to them,
And ended all their pain.
But in their deep and freezing sleep,
Clasp'd rigid to each other,
In dreams they cried, "The bright morn breaks,
Home! home! is here, my brother!
The Angel Death has been our friend—
We come! dear Father! Mother!"

[From the Autobiography of Leigh Hunt.]


In this house, Lord Byron continued the visits which he made me in prison. Unfortunately, I was too ill to return them. He pressed me very much to go to the theatre with him; but illness, and the dread of committing my critical independence, alike prevented me. His lordship was one of a management that governed Drury-lane Theatre at that time, and that were not successful. He got nothing by it, but petty vexations and a good deal of scandal.

Lord Byron's appearance at that time was the finest I ever saw it. He was fatter than before his marriage, but only just enough so to complete the elegance of his person; and the turn of his head and countenance had a spirit and elevation in it, which, though not unmixed with disquiet, gave him altogether a very noble look. His dress, which was black, with white trowsers, and which he wore buttoned close over the body, completed the succinctness and gentlemanliness of his appearance. I remember one day, as he stood looking out of the window, he resembled in a lively manner the portrait of him by Phillips, by far the best that has appeared; I mean the best of him at his best time of life, and the most like him in features as well as expression. He sat one morning so long, that Lady Byron sent up twice to let him know she was waiting. Her ladyship used to go on in the carriage to Henderson's nursery ground, to get flowers. I had not the honor of knowing her, nor ever saw her but once, when I caught a glimpse of her at the door. I thought she had a pretty, earnest look, with her "pippin" face; an epithet by which she playfully designated herself.

It was here also I had the honor of a visit from Mr. Wordsworth. He came to thank me for the zeal I had shown in advocating the cause of his genius. I had the pleasure of showing him his book on my shelves by the side of Milton; a sight which must have been the more agreeable, inasmuch as the visit was unexpected. He favored me, in return, with giving his opinion of some of the poets his contemporaries, who would assuredly not have paid him a visit on the same grounds on which he was pleased[Pg 273] to honor myself. Nor do I believe, that from that day to this, he thought it becoming in him to reciprocate the least part of any benefit which a word in good season may have done for him. Lord Byron, in resentment for my having called him the "prince of the bards of his time," would not allow him to be even the "one-eyed monarch of the blind." He said he was the "blind monarch of the one-eyed." I must still differ with his lordship on that point; but I must own, that, after all which I have seen and read, posterity, in my opinion, will differ not a little with one person respecting the amount of merit to be ascribed to Mr. Wordsworth; though who that one person is, I shall leave the reader to discover.

Mr. Wordsworth, whom Mr. Hazlitt designated as one who would have had the wide circle of his humanities made still wider, and a good deal more pleasant, by dividing a little more of his time between his lakes in Westmoreland and the hotels of the metropolis, had a dignified manner, with a deep and roughish, but not unpleasing voice, and an exalted mode of speaking. He had a habit of keeping his left hand in the bosom of his waistcoat; and in this attitude, except when he turned round to take one of the subjects of his criticism from the shelves (for his contemporaries were there also), he sat dealing forth his eloquent but hardly catholic judgments. In his "fathers house," there were not "many mansions." He was as skeptical on the merits of all kinds of poetry but one, as Richardson was on those of the novels of Fielding.

Under the study in which my visitor and I were sitting was an archway, leading to a nursery-ground; a cart happened to go through it while I was inquiring whether he would take any refreshment; and he uttered, in so lofty a voice, the words, "Any thing which is going forward," that I felt inclined to ask him whether he would take a piece of the cart. Lamb would certainly have done it. But this was a levity which would neither have been so proper on my part, after so short an acquaintance, nor very intelligible perhaps, in any sense of the word, to the serious poet. There are good-humored warrants for smiling, which lie deeper even than Mr. Wordsworth's thoughts for tears.

I did not see this distinguished person again till thirty years afterward; when, I should venture to say, his manner was greatly superior to what it was in the former instance; indeed, quite natural and noble, with a cheerful air of animal as well as spiritual confidence; a gallant bearing, curiously reminding one of a certain illustrious duke, as I have seen him walking some dozen years ago by a lady's side, with no unbecoming oblivion of his time of life. I observed, also, that he no longer committed himself in scornful criticisms, or, indeed, in any criticisms whatever, at least as far as I knew. He had found out that he could, at least, afford to be silent. Indeed, he spoke very little of any thing.

Walter Scott said, that the eyes of Burns were the finest he ever saw. I can not say the same of Mr. Wordsworth; that is, not in the sense of the beautiful, or even of the profound. But certainly I never beheld eyes that looked so inspired or supernatural. They were like fires half burning, half smouldering, with a sort of acrid fixture of regard, and seated at the further end of two caverns. One might imagine Ezekiel or Isaiah to have had such eyes.

Charles Lamb had a head worthy of Aristotle, with as fine a heart as ever beat in human bosom, and limbs very fragile to sustain it. There was a caricature of him sold in the shops, which pretended to be a likeness. Procter went into the shop in a passion, and asked the man what he meant by putting forth such a libel. The man apologized, and said that the artist meant no offense. There never was a true portrait of Lamb. His features were strongly yet delicately cut: he had a fine eye as well as forehead; and no face carried in it greater marks of thought and feeling. It resembled that of Bacon, with less worldly vigor and more sensibility.

As his frame, so was his genius. It was as fit for thought as could be, and equally as unfit for action; and this rendered him melancholy, apprehensive, humorous, and willing to make the best of every thing as it was, both from tenderness of heart and abhorrence of alteration. His understanding was too great to admit an absurdity; his frame was not strong enough to deliver it from a fear. His sensibility to strong contrasts was the foundation of his humor, which was that of a wit at once melancholy and willing to be pleased. He would beard a superstition, and shudder at the old phantasm while he did it. One could have imagined him cracking a jest in the teeth of a ghost, and then melting into thin air himself, out of a sympathy with the awful. His humor and his knowledge both, were those of Hamlet, of Molière, of Carlin, who shook a city with laughter, and, in order to divert his melancholy, was recommended to go and hear himself. Yet he extracted a real pleasure out of his jokes, because good-heartedness retains that privilege when it fails in every thing else. I should say he condescended to be a punster, if condescension had been a word befitting wisdom like his. Being told that somebody had lampooned him, he said, "Very well, I'll Lamb-pun him." His puns were admirable, and often contained as deep things as the wisdom of some who have greater names; such a man, for instance, as Nicole the Frenchman, who was a baby to him. He would have cracked a score of jokes at him, worth his whole book of sentences; pelted his head with pearls. Nicole would not have understood him, but Rochefoucault would, and Pascal, too; and some of our old Englishmen would have understood him still better. He would have been worthy of hearing Shakspeare read one of his scenes to him, hot from the brain. Commonplace found a great comforter in him[Pg 274] as long as it was good-natured; it was to the ill-natured or the dictatorial only that he was startling. Willing to see society go on as it did, because he despaired of seeing it otherwise, but not at all agreeing in his interior with the common notions of crime and punishment, he "dumb-founded" a long tirade one evening, by taking the pipe out of his mouth, and asking the speaker, "Whether he meant to say that a thief was not a good man?" To a person abusing Voltaire, and indiscreetly opposing his character to that of Jesus Christ, he said admirably well (though he by no means overrated Voltaire, nor wanted reverence in the other quarter), that "Voltaire was a very good Jesus Christ for the French." He liked to see the church-goers continue to go to church, and wrote a tale in his sister's admirable little book (Mrs. Leicester's School) to encourage the rising generation to do so; but to a conscientious deist he had nothing to object; and if an atheist had found every other door shut against him, he would assuredly not have found his. I believe he would have had the world remain precisely as it was, provided it innovated no farther; but this spirit in him was any thing but a worldly one, or for his own interest. He hardly contemplated with patience the new buildings in the Regent's Park: and, privately speaking, he had a grudge against official heaven-expounders, or clergymen. He would rather, however, have been with a crowd that he disliked, than felt himself alone. He said to me one day, with a face of great solemnity, "What must have been that man's feelings, who thought himself the first deist?" Finding no footing in certainty, he delighted to confound the borders of theoretical truth and falsehood. He was fond of telling wild stories to children, engrafted on things about them; wrote letters to people abroad, telling them that a friend of theirs had come out in genteel comedy; and persuaded George Dyer that Lord Castlereagh was the author of Waverley! The same excellent person walking one evening out of his friend's house into the New River, Lamb (who was from home at the time) wrote a paper under his signature of Elia, stating, that common friends would have stood dallying on the bank, have sent for neighbors, &c., but that he, in his magnanimity, jumped in, and rescued his friend after the old noble fashion. He wrote in the same magazine two lives of Liston and Munden, which the public took for serious, and which exhibit an extraordinary jumble of imaginary facts and truth of by-painting. Munden he made born at "Stoke Pogeis:" the very sound of which was like the actor speaking and digging his words. He knew how many false conclusions and pretensions are made by men who profess to be guided by facts only, as if facts could not be misconceived, or figments taken for them; and, therefore, one day, when somebody was speaking of a person who valued himself on being a matter-of-fact man, "Now," said he, "I value myself on being a matter-of-lie man." This did not hinder his being a man of the greatest veracity, in the ordinary sense of the word; but "Truth," he said, "was precious, and not to be wasted on every body."

Lamb had seen strange faces of calamity; but they did not make him love those of his fellow-creatures the less. Few persons guessed what he had suffered in the course of his life, till his friend Talfourd wrote an account of it, and showed the hapless warping that disease had given to the fine brain of his sister.


We are not at all surprised at what in this country is most foolishly called the conceit and vanity of the Americans. What people in the world have so fine, so magnificent a country? Besides that, they have some reason to be proud of themselves. We have given the chief features of their eastern and inland territory; if the reader has any imagination for ideas of this kind, let him picture to himself what will be the aspect of things when the tide of population has crossed the long range of the Rocky Mountains, and, occupying the valleys of the western coast, has built other Bostons and New Yorks in the harbors of Oregon and California. This tide of population is now advancing along a line of more than a thousand miles, at the rate of eighteen miles a year; and each year, as the population behind becomes larger, the number of new settlers is increased, and the rate of advance is accelerated. This vast crowd of ever-onward-pressing settlers is not formed of the same materials as the inhabitants of an European province: that is, there are not at its head a few intelligent, but delicately-brought-up men of capital, while all the rest are ignorant laborers; but every one of these pioneers of civilization can handle the ax and the rifle, and can "calculate." If ever these magnificent dreams of the American people are realized—and all that is wanted for their realization is that things should only go on as they have been going on for the last two centuries—there will be seated upon that vast continent a population greater than that of all Europe, all speaking the same language, all active-minded, intelligent, and well off. They will stand, as it were, the centre of the world, between the two great oceans, with Europe on one hand and Asia on the other. With such a future before him, we must pardon the Yankee if we find a little dash of self-complacency in his composition; and bear with the surprise and annoyance which he expresses at finding that we know so little of himself or of his country. Our humble opinion is that we ought to know better.

Great as is the influence which America has already had upon Europe, we conceive that this is a mere intimation of the influence which it is destined to have upon the world.—Frazer's Mag.

[Pg 275]


The domestic events of the month (which, in accordance with requests from many quarters, this Magazine will hereafter regularly record) have not been numerous or very important. The Invasion of Cuba, by a force collected, organized, armed, officered, and disciplined within the United States, and the successful repulse of that invasion, have been the leading topic of comment. The expedition, 300 in number, left New Orleans, under command of General Lopez, on the 25th of April and the 2d of May, and landed at Cardenas on the morning of the 19th of May. A brief struggle ensued between the invaders and the troops, in which the latter were repulsed, the governor captured, his palace plundered, and a large quantity of public money seized. The invaders had counted upon accessions to their ranks from the Spanish army, and from the disaffected inhabitants. In this, however, they were entirely disappointed, and Lopez accordingly re-embarked on the steamer which had taken him thither, and with a few of his followers, made his escape to the United States, leaving the great body of his adherents to the tender mercies of the authorities of Cuba. Lopez has been arrested at New Orleans, and awaits trial on charge of having violated the United States neutrality act of 1818: and a good deal of interest is felt in the disposition which the Cuban authorities will make of the prisoners who have fallen into their hands. It seems that a Spanish steamer captured two vessels in the Mexican waters, laden with men whom they suspected of having intended to join the invading expedition, and took them into Havana. The President of the United States has made a peremptory demand for the release of these prisoners, and declares that a clear distinction must be made between those proved guilty of actual participation, and those suspected of an intention to join, in the invasion. The result of this demand is not yet known. It is not believed, however, that the Cuban authorities will pursue a course of unnecessary or unjust rigor, as it could scarcely fail to involve them in serious difficulties with the United States.

Both Houses of Congress are still engaged in debating the various questions growing out of slavery. In the House a bill for the immediate admission of California is pending, and debate upon it has been closed; but a decisive vote is evaded from day to day. Whenever that can be reached, there will probably be found to be a majority in favor of the bill. In the Senate a bill is pending which provides: 1. For the admission of California; 2. For organizing territorial governments for New Mexico and Utah, without any provision on the subject of slavery; and 3. For paying Texas a sum not specified, for relinquishing her claim to a part of New Mexico. The bill has been very fully and very ably discussed, and votes have been taken upon a great number of amendments to it, the most important of which was one prohibiting slavery forever from these territories. This was offered by Senator Seward of New York, and rejected, 33 to 23. It is believed that the final vote will be taken upon the hill before many days: the chances are in favor of its passage.

The attention of Congress has been so thoroughly occupied with these bills, that no other business of any importance has been transacted or even entertained. The general subject of slavery, which gives to them all their interest, has entered largely into the public discussions of the month. Mr. Webster has written a letter to the citizens of Newburyport, Mass., upon the wrong done to the South by refusing to surrender their fugitive slaves, urging the necessity for a more stringent law, and expressing the opinion, that there is nothing, either in the spirit or the letter of the Constitution, requiring a jury trial to determine the question of slavery, when an alleged fugitive is seized. This letter has elicited a reply from Hon. Horace Mann, of the House, also from Massachusetts, which enforces the contrary opinion, with abundant and vehement rhetoric and cogent argument. Prof. Stuart, of Andover, has also published a pamphlet in support of Mr. Webster's views on the general subject.—The convention of delegates intended to represent the slave-holding states, called some months since, met at Nashville, Tenn., on the 3d of June, and adjourned after a session of ten days. Judge Sharkey, of Mississippi, presided. The attendance was thin, delegates being present from less than half the districts interested, and they having been elected by less than a tenth of the popular vote. Resolutions were adopted, affirming the claims of the slave-holding states, and the convention adjourned to meet again six weeks after the adjournment of Congress, then to take such action as the legislation of the present session may render necessary.—A new paper called "The Southern Press" has been established at Washington, for the express purpose of advocating the interests of slavery. It is under the patronage of 57 southern members of Congress, and is intended to abstain from partisan discussions.—The subject of slavery also influences the action of the State Legislatures, which are in session, to a great extent. In the Connecticut Senate, resolutions approving of the bill pending in the U.S. Senate were rejected, 16 to 6. The Legislature has made two unsuccessful efforts to elect a U. S. Senator, in place of Mr. Baldwin, whose term expires with this session.—Senator Dickinson, of New York, received from his political[Pg 276] friends the compliment of a public dinner in the city of New York, on the 17th ult.—Hon. Edward Gilbert, Member of Congress elect from California, attended a public dinner at Albany, the place of his early residence, on the 4th. In an eloquent speech which he made upon that occasion, he expressed the ardent attachment of California to the Union, and the determination of her people not to permit slavery to be introduced within her limits.—A convention in Ohio, to revise the Constitution of that state, is now in session. The tendency of its action, so far as it is developed, has been toward greater equality and democratic freedom.—A similar convention is also in session in Michigan.—Gov. Crittenden of Kentucky, recently visited Indiana by special invitation of Gov. Wright, of that state. The two being political opponents, and the visit being in some sense of an official character, the circumstance has attracted a good deal of attention. The reception of Gov. Crittenden was public, and very happy greetings were exchanged on both sides. Gov. C. made a very eloquent speech, expressing the value of the American Union and the devotion of the American people to its preservation.—The anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill was celebrated with great éclat at Boston, on the 17th. The Oration was delivered by the Hon. Edward Everett, and was one of his most finished and eloquent efforts.—The treaty between Great Britain and the United States, negotiated at Washington, has been ratified by the Senate. It is highly honorable to both countries, and advantageous to the interests of commerce throughout the world. The neutrality of the Isthmus, in case of war, is mutually guaranteed.—The war between Faustin and the Dominicans is still continued: a vessel fitted out at New York, and laden with cannon and munitions of war, for the emperor, has been seized by the U. S. authorities, and detained for violation of the neutrality act of 1818.

Our intelligence from California is to the 1st of May. Trade was dull but was receiving an impulse from the reopening of the season for mining. The Legislature had adjourned after passing a large number of bills. One of its most important acts was one imposing a tax of $25 per month upon every foreigner who should dig for gold in the mines. The measure was vindicated on grounds of justice as well as from the necessities of the state treasury: difficulty was apprehended in some quarters in attempting to carry it out.—Public meetings had been held in regard to the unjust delay to which the application of the state for admission into the Union, is subjected by Congress. Intimations were thrown out that the state would withdraw her application and maintain her independence, unless action should be had: but they do not express any thing like the general sentiment of the people.—New veins of gold had been discovered—new towns commenced, and emigrants continued to arrive. Several heavy failures had occurred, but business generally was good.

From the Isthmus of Panama we have news to the 1st of June. A serious riot had occurred there between the emigrants and the natives in which two or three were killed on each side. It grew out of the arrest of a negro boy on charge of theft, and a supposition on the part of the natives that the Americans intended to hang him. Such an incident, however, indicates an unpleasant state of feeling between the parties. Quiet, however, had been restored.

Of Literary and Scientific Intelligence there is not much. Notices of the most important books published during the month will be found in another department of this Magazine. The question of the Unity of the Human Race has been recently revived by some incidental remarks made at Charleston, S. C., by Prof. Agassiz of Harvard, which were opposed to that theory. Dr. Smyth, a learned divine of that city, wrote a book in refutation of the Professor; and we observe that the latter has pursued the matter still farther in a lecture subsequently delivered at Boston. He does not enter, however, into any full discussion of the subject, but takes occasion to disavow the intention imputed to him, of designing to question the authenticity or authority of the Mosaic Record.

Prof. Lewis, of Union College, has published an Address delivered there some months since, in which he reviews with great ability the theories and schemes so abundant at the present day, of which Nature, Progress, and Ideas are the common watchwords. He treats them all as branches of Naturalism and as in direct hostility to the Scriptural doctrine of the Divine government. The discourse is marked by the scholarship, vigor, and clear analysis which characterize all the productions of this distinguished writer.—Bishop Hughes has also entered the lists against the prevalent Socialism of the day; not, however, in an original work but by causing to be reprinted the French work of the Abbé Martinet, entitled "Religion in Society," and by writing an introduction to it.—A new book on California, by Rev. Walter Colton, is soon to be issued. Even in the multiplicity of books upon this subject that have recently been given to the public, one from Mr. Colton's pen can hardly fail to attract and reward attention.—A work on the Logic and Utility of Mathematics, by Prof. Davies, is announced by Barnes & Co. Prof. D. is singularly happy in presenting mathematical truth clearly and attractively to the mind, and we anticipate, in this new work upon the characteristic advantages of his favorite studies, a production that will be widely useful, in promoting juster views of Education and better modes for its successful prosecution.—Prof. Bartlett of the West Point Academy, announces a new work on Natural Philosophy, for the use of Colleges, which[Pg 277] will be of value.—Mr. E. D. Mansfield of Cincinnati, a clear, strong and judicious writer, has also in press, a Treatise on American Education, which will be pretty certain to contain a good many practical suggestions worthy of attention.—The Reader of the opening article in this number of the New Monthly Magazine, will be glad to learn that an edition of the writings of De Quincey is soon to be issued from the Boston press of Ticknor, Reed and Fields. No living English writer equals De Quincey in his peculiar department; in acute analytical power, and in the precision with which he uses language. He does not write for the masses—but to literary men, persons of cultivated taste and a critical habit, an edition of his Essays and multifarious sketches will be exceedingly acceptable. We presume, however, that nothing like a complete collection of his writings can be made.—An illustrated Edition of Longfellow's Evangeline is also announced, and a new volume of Poems by John G. Whittier, one of the most vigorous and masculine of living poets. Like other poets of the day, Mr. Whittier addicts himself somewhat overmuch to hobbies, and his present volume is to be mainly made up of Poems upon Labor.—Lowell, also, has a new Poem in press, called The Nooning.—A new volume by Rev. Henry Giles, entitled Christian Thoughts on Life, is announced. Mr. Giles is an exceedingly fluent, vigorous and brilliant writer.—A spicy controversy has grown out of a needless fling at the memory of John Jacob Astor, in a lecture delivered some months since by the Hon. Horace Mann. Mr. C. A. Bristed, grandson of the deceased Mr. Astor, has replied to it in a pungent letter, vindicating his kinsman's character and assailing with a good degree of vigor and success some of the radical theories propounded by Mr. Mann.—A new play, entitled The Very Age, by E. S. Gould, is in press, and will soon be issued by the Appletons. It is said to be a sharp and successful hit at sundry follies which have too mush currency in society.—A good deal of public interest has been excited by the announcement of an alleged scientific discovery made by Mr. Henry M. Paine, of Massachusetts. He claims to have established the positions that Water is a simple substance: that hydrogen gas is produced by the combination of positive electricity, and oxygen by the combination of negative electricity, with water; and that by passing the hydrogen thus obtained through spirits of turpentine in its natural state, it becomes carbonized and will support combustion. The practical result claimed from the discovery is the ability to furnish light and heat indefinitely at a merely nominal expense. The importance of it, if it prove to be real, can not well be overrated. The possibility of the thing, however, is peremptorily denied by scientific men, and it must be evident to all that it directly contradicts scientific principles that have been regarded as fundamental. Practical experiment alone, made under proper restrictions and scientific supervision, can determine its reality. If established the revolution it would produce in the economy of life would not be greater than that which would result from it in the received theories of science.

The Foreign events of the past month have not been of striking interest or importance. A diplomatic quarrel between England and France is the only incident which has attracted any general attention. This misunderstanding has grown out of the demands of British subjects, supported by their government, against the government of Greece, for losses sustained through its agency; but it is so entirely a matter of form that no serious result can well be apprehended. For some years past the English government has been pressing King Otho to an adjustment of these claims. One of the most important of them is that of Mr. George Finlay, who, when the Turks were leaving Greece on the formation of the Hellenic Kingdom, purchased certain portions of land from some of these emigrants. This was as long ago as in 1830, and his right to the property thus purchased and paid for was never disputed. But six years afterward King Otho seized upon these lands in order to inclose them in the royal gardens, and he has never paid for the property to this day. Another claim is that of Mr. Pacifico, a British subject, born at Gibraltar, and occupying at Athens the office of Portuguese Consul. It has been the custom for some years at Athens, on Easter-day, to burn an effigy of Judas Iscariot; but, in 1847, in consequence of the presence of Baron Rothschild, the government prevented the ceremony. The idle and reckless portion of the people, to whom such public spectacles are always matters of most interest, spread the report that Mr. Pacifico, being a Jew, had occasioned the discontinuance of this custom. A mob was soon raised by this report, which went to the house of the obnoxious consul, beat in the door, plundered the house of money to the amount of 9800 drachmas, and destroyed papers proving claims upon the Portuguese government to the amount of £21,295. For these losses Mr. Pacifico claimed restitution, and invoked the protection and aid of the British government in securing it.

These are the leading claims which have given occasion to the pending difficulties. The British government took up the subject and pressed the Greek authorities for payment of the claims. This was refused, and force was resorted to. The ports of Greece were blockaded and a bombardment threatened. This led France to offer her mediation, and Baron Gros was dispatched by the French government to Athens to arrange the dispute with Mr. Wyse, the British agent. The British government, for a long time, refused to allow the intervention of France, as the question in controversy was one which did not require or allow such interference But M. Drouyn de Lhuys being sent to London, a negotiation was prosecuted for three or four months, which resulted in an agreement between[Pg 278] the two governments. Meantime Baron Gros at Athens, having interrupted proceedings there, Mr. Wyse resumes his demands upon the government of Greece, and, by strenuous coercion, secures all he had demanded. And Lord Palmerston decided that his proceedings must hold good. The French government was, of course, indignant at this disregard of the London convention, and withdrew her Minister from London. The dispute, at the latest dates, had not been settled, but it is not likely to lead to any thing more serious than a temporary estrangement between the two nations. It is generally believed that the quarrel is kept open by the French government, because it serves to divert public attention somewhat from the unpopular and unconstitutional abridgment of the suffrage, and because it has created an excitement favorable to the views and purposes of Louis Napoleon.

Not the least important result of this controversy has been the new position which it has induced Russia and Austria to take, in regard to the rights of British subjects residing within their dominions. The sympathies of these two nations, as well as of France, are, of course, with Greece: and the attempt of England to extend full protection to its subjects residing at Athens, has led the Emperor of Russia to address a note to Lord Palmerston, stating that he utterly rejects the principle on which British subjects or any other foreign residents in his own states, or those of any other government, had a right to be treated more favorably than the native subjects of such state; and he added, that for his part, he should expect such strangers, the moment they came to reside in his dominions, to conform themselves to the laws and usages practiced by Russians. An old law or custom had existed in Russia to this effect; it had long fallen into desuetude; but on the present occasion it has been revived by the emperor, and is now in force. The note of the Emperor of Austria is to the same effect; and though separate from that of Russia, runs concurrently with it. Lord Palmerston replied to this note, and received an answer couched in still stronger language and concluding in the following emphatic clause: "As the manner in which Lord Palmerston understands the protection due to English subjects in foreign countries carries with it such serious inconvenience, Russia and Austria will not henceforth grant the liberty of residence to English subjects, except on condition of their renouncing the protection of their Government." These documents have not been published, but their substance is given, on the authority of the London Times.

The doings of the British Parliament have not been of special importance, though they have involved the discussion of important measures. The misunderstanding with France gave rise to repeated demands on the part of Lord Brougham and others, and explanations by the ministers, in which the latter have been vehemently, and with apparent justice, charged with prevarication and concealment.—The Subject of University Reform has been incidentally discussed in the House of Lords but without decisive results.

In the House of Commons attention was called to the case of the black steward of a British vessel who had been taken out of the ship at Charleston, S. C. and imprisoned for two months simply because he was a Man of Color.—LORD Palmerston said that the case was not new; that such a law as that mentioned existed in the State of Carolina; and that the British government had remonstrated against it as a violation of the principles of international law, as well as of the treaty of 1815: but the reply had been that the Federal government was unable to revoke the law, and that, if England insisted, the American government would be compelled to terminate the treaty of 1815. The English government, therefore, had not thought it expedient to press the matter further; but it should be remembered that the law is known, and that those who go there expose themselves to it voluntarily. This acquiescence of the British government in a law and practice of one of the United States, directly in violation of the rights of British subjects, has not escaped severe animadversion.

The subject of a sinecure office in the Archdiocese of Canterbury has attracted some attention. It seems that the emoluments of the office of Register of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, have been from £9000 to £12,000 per annum, and that the office itself is a sinecure. The usage has been, that the archbishop for the time being should nominate the incumbent of the office and two successors. Archbishop Moore appointed his two sons, and they in succession held the office. Dr. Manners Sutton appointed his grandson, the present Lord Canterbury, to the reversion of the office—that grandson being then ten or twelve years old. The late Dr. Howley made a communication to the government, that, in the conscientious fulfillment of his duty he could not fill up the reversion of this sinecure when it became vacant in 1845; and it remained vacant at his death. When Dr. Sumner, the present archbishop, succeeded, he found the reversion of the office vacant, and immediately filled it up, by appointing his son, a young gentleman studying in the Temple. Lord John Russell stated that the matter was under inquiry and that the office would either be abolished or greatly altered.—The general subject of reducing the salaries and wages paid in every department of the public service, has also been discussed. The general sentiment seemed to be that the servants of government were not overpaid, and the motion for an address upon the subject was negatived.

While the bill for the government of the Australian Colonies was up, an amendment was submitted to deprive the Colonial office of all interference with the local administration of the colonies, and to give them the uncontrolled[Pg 279] management of their own affairs. Sir W. Molesworth, who moved the amendment, closed a speech in support of it by saying that there was a striking analogy between the government of the United States and that which ought to be the system of government in their colonial empire. "For," he said, "the United States form a system of states clustered round a central republic; our colonial empire ought to be a system of colonies clustered round the hereditary monarchy of England. The hereditary monarchy should possess the powers of government, with the exception of that of taxation, which the central republic possesses. If it possessed less, the empire would cease to be one body politic; if it continue to possess more, the colonies will be discontented at the want of self-government, and on the first occasion will imitate their brethren in America." The motion was negatived by 165 to 42. This vote is important as an indication of the sentiment of Parliament in regard to Colonial government.—A motion to form an ecclesiastical Constitution for the Australian Colonies was defeated.

The bill reducing the franchise required to constitute a Parliamentary voter in Ireland to £8, has been passed. The discussion of this bill, and the action upon it, is important as showing the tendency of public sentiment in England toward a greater infusion of the democratic element into the government. The bill was opposed expressly upon the ground of its democratic tendencies by Lord Bernard, Mr. Napier, Lord Jocelyn, Mr. Disraeli, and others, and its principal supporters were Mr. Shell, Sir James Graham, and Lord John Russell. Sir James Graham's speech was remarkable for the broad ground on which he supported the measure; alluding to the objection that the bill would unduly enlarge the constituent body, he said, "I do not object to it on that ground. I must say, considering the increase of the democratic element in our institutions, that I see the greatest danger in erecting an immense superstructure upon a narrow electoral basis. Sir, if that superstructure can not stand upon an extended electoral basis, I am sure that a narrow basis can not long sustain it. On principle, therefore, I can not object to this bill as it extends that basis. Allusion has been made to what has lately been witnessed elsewhere, and I think it is not good policy to neglect examples which are patent and before our eyes. If I were to mention what in my humble judgment was the immediate cause of the fall of the kingly power of Louis Philippe, it would be, that he attempted to maintain the semblance of representative government with a constituent body, which, as compared with the great bulk of the population, was dangerously narrow, and utterly inadequate. What was the consequence? A tumult arose in the metropolis, and the government was overthrown without a struggle. His power was buried in this ruin; and the consequence has been, that for the last two years the nation has been plunged into anarchy, and property and life have been rendered insecure. But what is the return of the wave, and the reaction from that state of things following the universal extension of the suffrage in France? The return is a desire to base the suffrage, restricted as compared with universal suffrage, on household suffrage, on permanent residence, and the payment of local taxation. And, I am sure that that is a safe basis on which to rest the franchise." These remarks were loudly cheered throughout. The result of the division was that the third reading was carried by 254 to 186, and the bill passed.

Other questions not directly political, but involving interests of importance, have been brought in various ways into discussion, of which we find a summary notice in the "Household Narrative." The Metropolitan Interments bill has made no further progress in the House of Commons. Lord Ashley has withdrawn his opposition to the government proposal for giving practical efficacy to the Ten Hours Act; and all the more rational of the Ten Hours champions have signified acquiescence in the compromise. When the bill shall have passed, factories will be worked from six to six on five days in the week, and between six and two on Saturdays, with perfect leisure after two on the latter day, and with an hour and a half for meals and leisure on each of the former. A measure not less interesting to masses of the most industrious part of the population, is the scheme for securing more direct responsibility in the management of Savings Banks, and for extending the power of government to grant annuities and life assurances of small amounts through the medium of those institutions, which is now before the House of Commons for discussion. Various projects of law reform have been started. A commission has been issued, preparatory to a reform of the system of special pleading. Lord Campbell has introduced a bill to simplify criminal pleadings, and prevent the lamentable and too notorious defects of justice on small technical points; the same dignitary has declared, in judgment on a case in the Queen's Bench, that the intervention of an attorney is not essential in the employment of a barrister, but that the latter may receive his instructions directly from the party to the suit. A spirited attempt is in progress, by Mr. Keogh, to reform the Ecclesiastical Courts in Ireland; and the Lord High Chancellor Cottenham has issued a series of orders which will have the effect of dispensing, in a large class of suits, with the formality of bill and answer, and of providing for the reference to the master, on a mere observance of certain very simple forms. A motion to repeal the advertisement duty was lost, 208 to 39. A motion to inquire into the sanitary condition of the journeymen bakers was negatived, 90 to 44. A bill, the principal object of which was to place in the hands of the Board of Commissioners the regulation of all the Irish fisheries, was lost by a majority of 197 to 37. A bill proposing to allow railway companies to buy[Pg 280] waste lands on the margins of their railways and establish cemeteries on them, was thrown out by 123 to 4. Lord John Russell has introduced a bill to abolish the Viceregal Office in Ireland. The bill gives power to the Queen to abolish the office by order in Council; to appoint a fourth Secretary of State, chargeable, like the others, with any of the functions of a Secretary of State, but in practice with Irish affairs: some of the functions of the Lord Lieutenant will be transferred to the Secretary for the Home Department, others be given to Her Majesty in Council. The Lord Chancellor of Ireland will be President of the Privy Council in Ireland. The bill was opposed by several Irish members, but leave was given to bring it in by 107 to 13.

An official correspondence on the intention of Ministers to issue a Royal Commission of inquiry into the state and revenues of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge has appeared in the newspapers. Lord John Russell, after announcing the Ministerial intention in his place in Parliament, wrote to the Chancellor of the two Universities "to explain the views of her Majesty's confidential servants in recommending this measure to her Majesty's approbation." His letter is now published; and the other portion of the correspondence given to the public, is the letter of the Duke of Wellington to the authorities of the University of Oxford, requesting them to take the Premier's letter into consideration, and give him the assistance of their opinions in a report; and the report of the University authorities rendered in compliance with that request. Lord John Russell, in his letter, after alluding briefly to the legality of the Commission, puts forward the following general considerations: "No one will now deny, that in the course of three centuries the increase of general knowledge, the growth of modern literature, the discoveries of physical and chemical science, have rendered changes in the course of study at our national Universities highly expedient. The Universities themselves have acknowledged this expediency, and very large reforms of this nature have been adopted both at Oxford and at Cambridge. These improvements, so wisely conceived, reflect the highest credit on those learned bodies." He then proceeds to state the general line of the limitations of the proposed action of the government, saying that it is not to obstruct, but only to facilitate the changes and improvements already in progress. Both the Universities have warmly protested against the Commission.

Preparations for the Industrial Exhibition of 1851 continue to be made. It is stated that about £50,000 has been subscribed toward the grand Industrial Exhibition, and nearly 200 local committees formed to promote. A project has been started to connect with it a religious congress of the Christians of all nations. To questioning in Parliament, it has been answered by the Minister that no government supply was contemplated beyond the expenses of the Royal Commission. The various German Powers have united, and the Commission in London has apportioned 100,000 square feet of space to the service of the German exhibitors generally, 60,000 square feet being reserved for the States of the Zoll-Verein 30,000 for Austria, and 10,000 for the North German States and the Hanse Towns.

The transactions of the London Scientific Societies for the month present nothing worthy of record. The Zoological Society has received a new and valuable collection of animals, and among them the first live hippopotamus ever brought to Europe.—Letters from Mr. Layard, who is prosecuting his researches in the East, have been received to the 18th of March, in which he mentions the Arab reports of remarkable antiquities in the desert of Khabour, which have never been visited by European footsteps, and toward the exploration of which he was just setting out, with an escort of Arab Sheiks and their followers, in all, to the number of seventy or eighty in company. During his absence on this new track, the excavations at Nimrood are to be continued by the parties employed on that work, which has recently furnished interesting acquisitions to Mr. Layard's collection. One important inscription is mentioned, and more winged-lions and bulls.

The Times has an account of a new invention for extinguishing fires, the work of Mr. Phillips—the agent used being a mixture of gas and vapor. A public experiment was made with it, at which a compartment of a large open building, quite twenty feet high inside, was fitted up with partitions and temporary joisting of light wood, well soaked with pitch and turpentine, and overhung besides with rags and shavings soaked in the like manner. The torch was applied to this erection, and the flames, which ascended immediately, at length roared with a vehemence which drove the spectators back to a distance of forty feet, and were already beyond the power of water. The inventor then brought forward one of his hand machines, and threw out a volume of gaseous vapor, which in half a minute entirely suppressed all flame and combustion; and to show that the vapor which now filled the space was quite innoxious, Mr. Phillips mounted into the loft, and passed and repassed through the midst of it with a lighted candle in his hand. The machine with which this effect was accomplished, was rather larger than a good sized coffee-pot, and consisted of three tin cases, one within another, and mutually communicating. There was a small quantity of water in the bottom of the machine, and in the centre case was a composite cake, of the size and color of peat, containing in the middle of it a phial of sulphuric acid and chlorate of potash. In order to put the machine into action this phial is broken, and a gaseous vapor is generated so rapidly and in such quantity that it immediately rushes out from a lateral spout with great impetuosity[Pg 281] Mr. Phillips explained that a machine of any size could be made according to the purpose for which it was intended.

Some recent experiments on light, in Paris, have attracted a good deal of attention in the scientific circles. M. Foucault is said to have practically demonstrated that light travels less rapidly through water than through air, though he made his experiments with instruments devised by M. Arago, and mainly under his direction. The importance of the discovery may be judged of from the fact that for the last twelve years M. Arago has been pondering over it, and on the means of effecting it.

Experiments have been made on the means of protecting the hands against molten metal. M. Corne, in a paper submitted to the Academy of Sciences, thus details them:

"Having determined on investigating the question, whether the employment of liquid sulphurous acid for moistening the hands would produce a sensation of coldness, when they are immersed in the melted metal, I immersed my hands, previously moistened with sulphurous acid, in the melted lead, and experienced a sensation of decided cold. I repeated the experiment of immersing the hand in melted lead and in fused cast-iron. Before experimenting with the melted iron, I placed a stick, previously moistened with water, in the stream of liquid metal, and on withdrawing it found it to be almost as wet as it was before, scarcely any of the moisture was evaporated. The moment a dry piece of wood was placed in contact with the heated metal, combustion took place. M. Covlet and I then dipped our hands into vessels of the liquid metal, and passed our fingers several times backward and forward through a stream of metal flowing from the furnace, the heat from the radiation of the fused metal being at the same time almost unbearable. We varied these experiments for upward of two hours; and Madame Covlet, who assisted at these experiments, permitted her child, a girl of nine years of age, to dip her hand in a crucible of red hot metal with impunity. We experimented on the melted iron, both with our hands quite dry, and also when moistened with water, alcohol, and ether. The same results were obtained as with melted lead, and each of us experienced a sensation of cold when employing sulphurous acid."

A circular from Prof. Schumacher has brought an announcement of the discovery of a new telescopic comet, by Dr. Peterson, at the Royal Observatory of Altona, on the 1st of May. "Unfavorable weather," says Mr. Hind, writing to the Times, "prevented any accurate observation that evening, but on the following morning at 11 o'clock, mean time, the position was in right ascension 19h 24m 8s, and north declination 71° 19' 34". The comet is therefore situate in the constellation Draco. The right ascension diminishes about 48" and the declination increases about 8' in the space of one day.

The Literary Intelligence of the month comprises the issue of no books of very great pretensions. The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt was just ready for publication, and from the extracts given in the preceding pages of this Magazine, our readers will readily judge it to be a book of more than ordinary interest. It is full of anecdote and incident, often trivial in themselves, but sketched with that naiveté and warmth of manner which constitute the charm of whatever Hunt writes. It will be a favorite with summer readers. Two octavo volumes of Selections from Modern State Trials, by Mr. Townsend, have been published: they comprise only five state trials properly so called, the rest being trials for murder, forgery, dueling, &c. The book is interesting and eminently readable. General Klapka's Memoirs of the War in Hungary have been published, and attract the attention of the critical pen. The author was one of the leading generals in that gallant but unsuccessful struggle; and his opinions of the men engaged in it, and the causes of its failure, are therefore entitled to notice and respect. He regards the raising of the siege of Komorn as the turning point in the campaign. He speaks of Kossuth and Görgey as the two great spirits of the war—the one a civilian, the other a soldier. The Athenæum condenses his views concerning them very successfully. Kossuth, according to him was a great and generous man, of noble heart and fervid patriotism, at once an enthusiast and a statesman, gifted with "a mysterious power" over "the hearts of his countrymen;" possibly, however, of too melancholic and spiritual a temperament for the crisis, and unfortunately a civilian, so that notwithstanding his "marvelous influence to rouse and bring into action the hidden energies of the masses," he could not "give them a military organization;" Görgey, on the other hand, an able, hard-headed soldier, believing only in battalions, and capable of using them well, but wanting enthusiasm, without great principle, without even patriotism, taciturn and suspicious, chafing against authority, and aiming throughout chiefly at his own ends in the struggle, wanting that breadth of intellect or strength of courage that might have made his selfishness splendid in its achievement. Had Kossuth had the military training of Görgey, or had Görgey had the heart of Kossuth; or, finally, had there been a perfect co-operation between the two men and the parties which they represented, Hungary might have been saved. Nor, so far as Kossuth was concerned, was there any obstacle to such co-operation. His disinterestedness, as it led him at last to resign all into the hands of Görgey, would have led him to do so, had it been necessary, at first. But Perezel and the other generals, who were friends of Kossuth, disliked Görgey; never had full trust in him, and even accused him from the first of treachery. Görgey is alive and rich; the earth covers the dead bodies of many of his former comrades, pierced by the bullet or strangled by the ignominious[Pg 282] rope, others live exiles in various lands. Of these last is Kossuth. There is something striking in the unanimity with which all testimonies combine as to the nobility of this man. Even Görgey, his foe, once wrote to General Klapka—"Kossuth alone is a classical and generous character. It is a pity he is not a soldier." General Klapka's own book is an involuntary commentary on this one text—"O that Kossuth had been a soldier!"

A volume of selections from papers contributed to the Edinburgh Review, by Mr. Henry Rogers, has been published. They relate chiefly to questions of religious interest, or have an indirect bearing upon religious philosophy. Comparing them with the similar papers of Sir James Stephen, a critical journal says, the author is less wide and comprehensive in his range, in expression less eloquent and original, but more practical in his views. He attacks the two extremes of Tractarianism and Skepticism; gives large and sound expositions of Dr. Whately's views of criminal jurisprudence; and attempts special biographical sketches, such as Fuller's, Luther's, Pascal's, and Plato's.

The fourth volume of Southey's Life and Correspondence has been issued, and sustains the interest of this very attractive work. Southey's Letters are among the best in the language, easy, unaffected, full of genial, intelligent criticisms upon men, books, and things; and abounding in attractive glimpses of the lives and characters of the eminent literary men who were his contemporaries. The new volume mentions that after Southey's acrimonious letters to Mr. William Smith, M.P. for Norwich, appeared, he was offered the editorship of the London Times, with a salary of £2000, and a share of the paper, but declined it.

The readers of the Excursion will remember that it was announced as the second part of a poem in three parts, called the Recluse. The first part was biographical, "conducting the history of the author's mind to the point when he was emboldened to hope that his faculties were sufficiently matured for entering upon the arduous labor which he had proposed to himself;" and the third part consisted mainly of meditations in the author's own person. It is now stated that the poem has been left in the hands of the author's nephew, Rev. Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, with directions that it should be published after his decease, together with such biographical notices as may be requisite to illustrate his writings. It is in fourteen cantos. A meeting of the personal friends and admirers of Wordsworth has been held, to take steps to erect a monument to his memory.

There have been published a large number of books of travel, among which the following are mentioned:—Lord Chesney has issued the first portion of his narrative of the Government Expedition to the Euphrates; and a certain Count Sollogub has recorded his traveling impressions of Young Russia, in a lively little book called The Tarantas. An English artist, lately resident in America, has described his Adventures in California; and Mr. Robert Baird, a Scotch invalid traveling for health, with strong party prepossessions, but shrewd observant habits, has published two volumes on the West Indies and North America in 1849. Also, pictures of travel in the Canadas, in a book called the Shoe and Canoe, by the Secretary to the Boundary Commissioners, Dr. Bagley; a very curious and complete revelation of Eastern life, in a Two Years' Residence in a Levantine Family, described by Mr. Bayle St. John; a peep into Nuremberg and Franconia, by Mr. Whiting; a summer ramble through Auvergne and Piedmont, by the intelligent Secretary of the Royal Society, Mr. Weld; the record of a brief holiday in Spain, Gazpacho, by a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; Notes from Nineveh, by a clergyman who has lately had religious duties in the East; and a satisfactory and compendious compilation called Nineveh, and Persepolis, by one of the officials of the British Museum.

An article in the Quarterly Review, on the Flight of Louis Philippe and his Family, in the Revolution, has attracted a good deal of attention in Paris. It was written by Mr. Croker, from materials supplied by the ex-king himself, and denounces Lamartine and the leading actors of the revolution, with the utmost bitterness. Lamartine has written a reply to it, the chief object of which is to refute one of the principal assertions of Mr. Croker, by proving that he, Lamartine, not only did not take measures to prevent the flight of Louis Philippe and the members of his family, but that he actually exerted himself actively to have them placed out of the reach of danger. Ledru Rollin has occupied his leisure, during his exile in London, by writing a book on the Decadence of England, which abounds in the most extravagant statements and predictions. It is denounced, in the strongest terms, as a worthless compound of malice and credulity.

The Obituary for the month embraces the name of M. Gay-Lussac, one of the great scientific men of Paris. The Presse says that few men have led a life so useful, and marked by so many labors. There is no branch of the physical and chemical sciences which is not indebted to him for some important discovery. Alone, or in conjunction with other eminent men, particularly with M. Thénard and M. de Humboldt, he carried his spirit of investigation into them all. At a very early age he was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences. In 1810, says M. Pouillet, speaking in the name of that academy, when the university opened, at length, its public courses of high teaching, it sought to associate in that object the most eminent scientific men of France, and M. Gay-Lussac, though very young, recommended himself to it by the double title of chemist and natural philosopher. "M. Gay-Lussac was already famous by his discovery of the fundamental laws of the expansion of gas and vapors; by a balloon ascent the most important[Pg 283] and almost the only one of which the history of science has any record to keep; and for many works on chemistry which tended to lay the bases on which that science was soon afterward to be established." M. Gay-Lussac was a peer of France.

The Brussels papers mention the premature death of M. P. Souyet, the eminent chemist, at the early age of thirty-two. M. Souyet was professor of chemistry at the Musée de l'Industrie, and at the Royal Veterinary School at Brussels. His funeral, on the 6th inst., was attended by the most eminent scientific men in Brussels; and M. Quetelet delivered an address, in which he briefly enumerated the important discoveries and chemical investigations that have rendered the name of M. Souyet so well known. M. Souyet had written several valuable chemical works.

The Emperor of China, Tau-Kwang (the Lustre of Reason), "departed upon the great journey, and mounted upward on the dragon, to be a guest on high"—in other words died, on the 25th of February, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, and thirtieth of his reign. His death is said to have been caused by the fatigue he underwent at the funeral ceremonies of the late Empress-Dowager, his mother-in-law. The nomination of a successor in China rests always with the Emperor, and before his death Tau-Kwang decreed that his fourth and only surviving son should succeed him. He ascended the throne the day of the Emperor's death, and is to reign under the title of Sze-hing. He is only nineteen years of age. Keying, the former Viceroy at Canton, is appointed his principal guardian, and will no doubt hold a high and an influential position in the Cabinet. It is not likely that any material change in the policy of the Government will take place, but from the enlightened character of Keying and his knowledge of foreigners, the tendency of any new measures will probably be toward a more liberal course.

The Earl of Roscommon died on the 15th inst. at Blackrock, near Dublin, in the fifty-second year of his age.

Major-General Sir James Sutherland, of the East India Company's Service, died suddenly on the 15th, at his house. He had enjoyed perfect health up to the day of his death, when he invited a large number of friends to dinner. He was giving instructions to his butler with respect to the wines in his drawing-room, and Lady Sutherland was standing near him. He suddenly grasped her shoulder, fell to the ground, and died in a few minutes. He was in the sixty-sixth year of his age, and had seen a great deal of service in India.

The "Scottish Press" records the demise of Mrs. Jeffrey, the widow of one whose death was so recently the cause of an almost universal sorrow. Shortly after Lord Jeffrey's decease, his widow, affected in a more than ordinary degree by the sad event, broke up her establishment, and took up her abode with Mr. and Mrs. Empson, her son-in-law and daughter. Though naturally cheerful, her spirits never recovered the shock she sustained by the death of her distinguished partner, whom she has not survived four months. Mrs. Jeffrey was born in America, and was the grandniece of the celebrated John Wilkes, and second wife of the late Lord Jeffrey, to whom she was married in 1813.

Affairs in France are without change. The Assembly was proceeding with the bill for restricting the suffrage, and some of its sections had been adopted. No doubt was entertained of its final passage. It meets, however, with stern opposition, and will lay the foundation for a settled popular discontent, highly unfavorable to the permanence of the government or the tranquillity of the Republic. No immediate outbreak is apprehended, as the preparations of the government are too formidable to allow it the least chance of success. The government has adopted very stringent measures against the opposition press. On the 14th, M. Boulé, the great printer of the Rue de Coq-Heron, was deprived of his license as a printer. He was the printer of the "Voix du Peuple," the "République," the "Estafette," and several other papers. The authorities seized all the presses, and placed seals on them. In consequence of this step, the Editors issued a joint letter explaining how their papers were prevented from appearing. The editor of the "Voix du Peuple" was brought again before the tribunals on the same day for attacks on the government. In the one case the sentence previously pronounced against him of a year's imprisonment and a fine of 4000f. for an attack on M. Fould's budget was confirmed, and for the other he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and a fine of 5000f. Courtois and the Abbé Chatel have been convicted by juries, of inflammatory speeches at electoral meetings. The former was condemned to a year's imprisonment and 1000f. fine, and two years' more imprisonment if the fine be not paid. The Abbé Chatel has a year's imprisonment and 500f. fine. It seems rather surprising that the government should obtain verdicts against the Socialists, considering how Socialism has spread in Paris.

The French Embassador having been recalled from St. James's, General la Hitte, the Minister of War, read to the National Assembly on the 16th, a letter he had written to the French Embassador at London, in consequence of infraction, by England, of the conditions on which France had agreed to act as mediator in the affairs of Greece. The letter, after a summary of the circumstances of the misunderstanding, and the demand that it should be set to rights, proceeded to say: "This demand not having been listened to, it has appeared to us that the prolongation of your sojourn at London is not compatible with the dignity of the Republic. The President has ordered me to invite you to return to France, after having accredited M.[Pg 284] Marescalchi in quality of Chargé d'Affaires," and concludes, "You will have the goodness to read this present dispatch to Lord Palmerston." This announcement was received by the Right with loud acclamations, the Left, or Mountain party remaining silent.

In Germany the Erfurt Parliament, having finished the revisal of its proposed Constitution for the German Union, dissolved itself, and has been succeeded by two separate Convocations. The one is held in Frankfort, and consists of the representatives of the old Germanic confederation, convoked by the Emperor of Austria, with the object of re-organizing that confederation. This conference includes all the secondary States of the old confederation except Oldenburg and Frankfort itself, though the assembly is held within its own walls. The other, held at Berlin, was assembled by the king of Prussia, and consisted of twenty-one heads of sovereign houses, with representatives of the three Hanse towns, Hamburg, Bremen, and Lubeck. This last convention has finished its sittings, and the members, previous to separating, were entertained by the king at a banquet on the 16th, when his majesty addressed them in a speech expressive of his satisfaction with their proceedings.

On the 22d An Attempt was Made on the Life of the King of Prussia, by a Serjeant of artillery named Sesseloge, who fired a pistol at him as he was setting out for Potsdam, and wounded him slightly in the arm. The assassin was immediately apprehended.

The only political news from Spain during the month, related to some palace intrigues, in which the Queen, King-Consort, and General Narvaez were concerned. One evening in the last week of April the King suddenly notified to General Narvaez and the rest of the cabinet his intention of quitting Madrid in order not to be present at the accouchement of the Queen. After exhausting all means of persuasion to induce him to change his purpose, but which were of no avail, a council of ministers was held, in which it was decided to oppose by force the King's departure. His Majesty was placed under arrest. Sentries were stationed at the door of his apartment, and the King remained a prisoner during four hours, at the end of which time his Majesty capitulated, and even consented to accompany the Queen in an open carriage in her usual evening drive on the Prado.

After a Drought of Five Years, the province of Murcia has been visited by a copious rain. It was curious to observe the young children who had never seen rain in their lives, evince as much alarm as if some frightful accident had happened. Rain also has fallen in the vast "Huerta," or garden-land of Valencia: the simple inhabitants of the villages, in the height of their joy, have carried their tutelary saints about the streets with bands of rustic music.

At about a league from Saragossa a Powder-mill exploded and many lives were lost. Parts of human bodies, remnants of clothing, and the remains of beasts of burden, were found scattered in every direction. The edifice was shattered to pieces.

Since the Pope has established himself in Rome, that capital has been very quiet. The French commandant, General Baraguay d'Hilliers, has returned to Paris, but the French troops remain. The Pope adheres to his high-handed measures of reaction. Rome is full of mysterious rumors, not entitled, however, to much credit. The Pope is accused of an attempt to escape from that city, and his continuance there is only attributed to the vigilance with which his movements are watched by the French. Tuscany is about to be occupied by 14,000 Austrian troops, the time of occupation to be determined by the will and convenience of the Cabinet of Vienna. There is a rumor that, as a counterbalance. Savoy is to be occupied by a French army. It is feared that plans are in agitation for the political enthrallment of all Italy.


The Unity of the Human Races proved to be the Doctrine of Scripture, Reason, and Science. By the Rev. Thomas Smyth, D.D. New York: George P. Putnam. 12mo, pp. 404.

The question discussed in the present volume, is one that has excited great attention among modern savans, and more recently, has obtained a fresh interest from the speculations concerning it by the popular scientific lecturer Professor Agassiz of Harvard University. In many respects, Dr. Smyth has shown himself admirably qualified for the task he has undertaken. He brings to the discussion of the subject, the resources of great and various learning, the mature results of elaborate investigation, a familiarity with the labors of previous writers, and a lively and attractive style of composition. The argument from Scripture is dwelt upon at considerable length, and though presented in a forcible manner, betrays the presence of a certain tincture of professional zeal, which will tend to vitiate the effect on the mind of the scientific reader. Under the head of the Former Civilization of Black Races of Men, a great variety of curious facts are adduced, showing the original sagacity and advancement in all worldly knowledge and science, by which the family of Ham was distinguished. The testimony of a[Pg 285] southern divine of such high eminence as Dr. Smyth, to the primitive equality in the intellectual faculties of the negro and European races, is not a little remarkable, and speaks well for his candor and breadth of comprehension. The discussion of the origin of the varieties in the human race is conducted with great ingenuity and copious erudition, but it must be admitted, hardly succeeds in making out a case to the satisfaction of the inquirer, who regards the subject only in the light of history and philosophy.

The influence of the theory which he opposes, on the relations of the Southern States, is considered by Dr. Smyth to be of a different character from that set forth by many writers. He believes that it would be suicidal to the South in the maintenance of her true position toward her colored population. The diversity of the Black and White races was never admitted by the fathers of the country. They always recognized the colored race which had been providentially among them for two centuries and a half as fellow-beings with the same original attributes, the same essential character, and the same immortal destiny. The introduction of a novel theory on the subject, Dr. Smyth maintains, would be in the highest degree impolitic and dangerous, removing from both master and servant the strongest bonds which now unite them, and by which they are restrained from licentious, immoral, and cruel purposes.

Without reference to many statements, which will produce the widest latitude of opinion in regard both to their soundness and their accuracy, the work of Dr. Smyth may be commended as a treatise of the highest importance in the scientific discussion to which it is devoted, abounding in materials of inestimable value to the student, filled with the proofs of rare cultivation and scholar-like refinement, and every way creditable to the attainments and the ability of the author and to the literature of the South.

Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations; with a Sketch of their Popular Poetry. By Talvi. With a preface by Edward Robinson, D.D., LL.D. New York: George P. Putnam. 12mo., pp. 412.

It is rarely that a subject is treated with the profound investigation, vigorous analysis, and intelligent comprehensiveness which are exhibited in the discussion of the interesting literary topics to which the present work is devoted. The authoress, whose name is concealed in the mystic word Talvi, is understood to be the lady of Rev. Professor Robinson, and her rare accomplishments in various departments of learning have long since established her intellectual reputation in the most cultivated European circles. Usually written in her native German language, her productions are perhaps not so extensively known in this country, although few of our educated scholars are ignorant of her researches in a province of literature with which her name has become, to a great degree, identified.

The volume now published is characterized by the extent and thoroughness of its investigations, its acute and judicious criticisms, its warm-hearted recognition of true poetry, even in an humble garb, and the force and facility of its style. The last trait is quite remarkable, considering the writer is using a foreign language. There is little, either in the translations or the original portion of the work, to remind us that it is the production of one to whom the language is not native.

After describing the old, ecclesiastical Slavic Literature, the authoress proceeds to the literary monuments of the Eastern and Western Slavi, giving an elaborate account of the Russian, Servian, Bohemian, and Polish literatures, with glances at the achievements of several less important branches of the great Slavic race. In the course of this discussion, a great variety of rare and curious information is presented, of high importance to the student of ethnography and history, and accompanied with complete and lucid references to the original sources. The most attractive feature of the work to the general reader will doubtless be the sketch of the popular poetry of the Slavic nations, illustrated with abundant specimens of songs and ballads, many of which are marked with a strong natural pathos and tenderness, and all of them possessing a certain rustic simplicity, which is usually of a very pleasing character, and seldom offensive.

Hints toward Reforms, in Lectures, Addresses, and other Writings. By Horace Greeley. New York: Harper and Brothers. 12mo pp. 400.

A handsome volume, consisting principally of Lectures delivered before popular Lyceums and Young Men's Associations, with several brief Essays on subjects of popular interest. The distinguished author presents his views on the various topics which come under discussion with inimitable frankness and good humor, and in the fresh, flowing, unaffected style, which gives such a charm to the productions of his pen, even with readers who most strongly dissent from his conclusions. Among the questions considered in this volume are The Emancipation of Labor, The Ideal and the Actual of Life, The Formation of Character, The Social Architects, Alcoholic Liquors, Tobacco, The Trade Reform, The Church and the Age, Humanity, and several others of perhaps still more general interest. The admirers of the author, as well as all who are interested in the question of Social Reform, whether ranking themselves among the Conservatives or Progressives, will welcome this work as the only compact and systematic expression of his peculiar theories, now before the public, and as a valuable manual for reference on many points which engage a large share of attention at the present day.[Pg 286]

Antonina; or, the Fall of Rome. A Romance of the Fifth Century. By W. Wilkie Collins. New York: Harper and Brothers. 8vo, pp. 160.

It is long since the English press has sent forth a more truly classical and magnificent romance, than the present narrative of some of the thrilling scenes which attended the downfall of the Roman Empire. The author has been known heretofore by the biography of his father, the celebrated historical and landscape painter, the friend of Coleridge and Allston; but that work gives no promise of the splendor of imagination, and the rare constructive power which are shown in the composition of Antonina. It is one of those rich and gorgeous portraitures, glowing with life and radiant with beauty, which make a profound impression on their first exhibition, and long continue to haunt the memory with their images of mingled loveliness and terror.

D. and J. Sadlier have issued a translation of the Abbé Martinet's celebrated Solution of Great Problems placed within the Reach of every Mind, with a preface by the Rt. Rev. Bishop of New York, Dr. Hughes. This work holds a high rank in modern Catholic literature, and is brought before the American public by Bishop Hughes in a warm introductory encomium. It discusses many of the leading religious questions of the day in a racy and pointed style, and while opposing what the author deems the errors of Protestantism in general, reserves its hottest fire for modern Pantheism, Socialism, Rationalism, and other kindred innovations, which he regards as gaseous exhalations from the bottomless pit, taking a visible form in these latter days. From the well-known ability of the author, and the spicy relish of his pen, the work is adapted to make a sensation beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, without taking in account the high-toned sarcasm of the preface, in which department of composition the talents of Bishop Hughes are unquestionable.

Harper and Brothers have issued the second number of Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, a work, which from the novelty of its plan and the ability of its execution, has already proved a general favorite with the reading public. It combines the authenticity of history with the freshness of personal narrative, and in the richness and beauty of its embellishments is hardly surpassed by any of the serials of the day.

The same house have published an original translation of Lamartine's Past, Present, and Future of the French Republic, which will be read with interest on account of the character of the author, and the light it throws on the practical workings of Democracy in France, though it has little of the fiery rhetoric of most of his former writings.

Harper and Brothers have issued a reprint of Dr. Lardner's Railway Economy in Europe and America, a work overflowing with scientific, statistical, and practical details, and which will be considered as essential to all who wish to comprehend the subject, in its various bearings whether engineers, stockholders, or travelers, as fire and water to the locomotive. Dr. Lardner has brought together the results of long and laborious research, and many portions of his descriptive narrative are as entertaining as a novel, and more so.

D. Appleton & Co. have published The Lone Dove, an Indian story of the revolutionary period, redolent of sentimentality and romance run wild, betraying a great waste of power on the part of the anonymous writer, who has evidently more talent than is made use of to advantage in the present work.

Mezzofanti's Method applied to the Study of the French Language, by J. Romer, published by the same house, is a work of great philological interest, on account of the curious analogies which it describes, and contains an excellent collection of specimens from French poets and prose writers, but its value as a practical manual for the teacher can be determined only by use.

The Ojibway Conquest, by Kah-ge-gah-gah-bowh, or George Copway, issued by G. Putnam, will find a place among the curiosities of literature as the production of a native Indian Chief, whose muse has been inspired by the forest and stream of his original haunts, without having incurred a large debt to the influence of civilization. Copway is an exemplary Christian and an intelligent man, but he will get less fame from his poetry than from his descent.

Six Months in the Gold Mines, by E. Gould Buffum, from the press of Lea and Blanchard, is one of the most readable books which have sprung up under the California excitement, the author having been familiar with the country before the gold fever had broken out. His style is straight-forward and pleasant, showing more of the soldier and adventurer than the scholar, but none the worse for that. His information appears to have been collected with great care, when it was not gained by personal observation, and has the outward and inward signs of authenticity, to a very satisfactory degree. The book can not fail to be acceptable to all who have one foot in California, as well as to the few readers who are not in that condition.

Crocker and Brewster, Boston, have published an admirable treatise, entitled Astronomy, or the World as It Is and as It Appears, understood to be from the pen of a highly intelligent lady of that city. It is equally excellent for the chaste beauty of its style, the clearness of its scientific expositions, and the completeness and accuracy of the information which it presents.

W. B. Smith and Co., Cincinnati, have published a large Treatise on the Principal Diseases of the Interior Valley of North America, by Daniel Drake, M.D., which discusses the subject with great learning, and in a popular style. It can hardly fail to take the rank of a standard authority in the important department which it treats.

[Pg 287]

Summer Fashions.

FIG. 1 FIG. 1

Fig. 1. Carriage Costume.—Dress of bright apple-green silk; the skirt with three deep flounces pinked at the edges. The corsage high and plain. Mantelet of very pale lilac silk, trimmed with two rows of lace de laine of the same color, and each row of lace surmounted by passementerie. The lace extends merely round the back part of the mantelet, and the fronts are trimmed with passementerie only. Bonnet of white crinoline, with rows of lilac ribbon set on in bouillonnées. The bonnet is lined with white crape, and the under-trimming consists of bouquets of lilac and white flowers. Straw-colored kid gloves. White silk parasol.

Fig. 2. Bridal Dress for the Marriage Ceremony.—Robe of white poult de soie. The skirt very full, and ornamented in front with five rows of lace, finished at each end with bows of white satin. The rows of lace are of graduated lengths, the lower row being about a quarter and a half long, and the upper one not more than five or six inches. The corsage is high at the back, but open in front nearly as low as the waist, and edged round with a fall of lace, narrowing to a point in front. Within the corsage is worn a chemisette, composed of rows of lace falling downward, and finished at the throat by a band of insertion and an edging standing up. The sleeves are demi-long and loose at the lower part, and the under-sleeves are composed of three broad rows of lace. The hair in waved bandeaux on the forehead, and the back hair partly plaited and partly curled, two long ringlets dropping on each side of the neck. Wreath of orange blossom, jasmine, and white roses. Long bridal vail of Brussels net.[Pg 288]

Fig. 3.—The revival of an old fashion has recently excited the attention of the haut ton abroad. A specimen of the style is given in the Engraving, fig. 3. It is designed chiefly for a rich riding-dress, it being too long in the skirt for the promenade, and not convenient for the drawing-room. It is called the Moldavian Style; a petite veste of dark green cloth entirely covered with an embroidery of lace imitating guipure royal, and displaying the shape to the greatest perfection. The skirt is very ample and cut in a novel manner so as to fall in long folds like an antique drapery. The front is ornamented with an apron-trimming of deep lace. The sleeves are demi-long; the hands and wrists covered by long white gloves. When in full dress for the saddle, a gray beaver hat is worn, the brim low in front, and turned up at the sides, and ornamented with a long, twisted ostrich feather; cambric collar and manchettes (ruffles) each closed by a double button of rubies or other precious stones.

FIG. 2. FIG. 2.
FIG. 3. FIG. 3.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume
1, No. 2, July, 1850., by Various


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