The Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No.
IX.--February, 1851.--Vol. II., by Various

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. IX.--February, 1851.--Vol. II.

Author: Various

Release Date: January 3, 2013 [EBook #41768]

Language: English

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No. IX.—FEBRUARY, 1851.—Vol. II.



Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow—
Or by the lazy Scheldt or wandering Po,
Or onward where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door,
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies
A weary waste expanding to the skies—
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravel'd, fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend:
Bless'd be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Bless'd that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair;
Bless'd be those feasts, with simple plenty crown'd
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.
But me, not destin'd such delights to share,
My prime of life in wandering spent and care—
Impell'd with steps unceasing to pursue
Some fleeting good that mocks me with the view,
That like the circle bounding earth and skies
Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies—
My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
And find no spot of all the world my own.
Even now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend;
And placed on high, above the storm's career,
Look downward where an hundred realms appear—
Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide,
The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride.
When thus Creation's charms around combine,
Amid the store should thankless pride repine?
Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
That good which makes each humbler bosom vain?
Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
These little things are great to little man;
And wiser he whose sympathetic mind
Exults in all the good of all mankind.
Ye glittering towns with wealth and splendor crown'd,
[Pg 290] Ye fields where summer spreads profusion round.
Ye lakes whose vessels catch the busy gale,
Ye bending swains that dress the flowery vale—
For me your tributary stores combine;
Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine!
As some lone miser, visiting his store,
Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er—
Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still—
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,
Pleas'd with each good that Heaven to man supplies,
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amid the scene, to find
Some spot to real happiness consign'd,
Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest,
May gather bliss to see my fellows bless'd.
But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own,
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease,
The naked negro, panting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,
His first, best country ever is at home;
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind—
As different good, by art or nature given
To different nations, makes their blessings even.
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her bliss at labor's earnest call:
With food as well the peasant is supplied
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;
And, though the rocky-crested summits frown,
These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down,
From art, more various are the blessings sent—
Wealth, commerce, honor, liberty, content;
Yet these each other's power so strong contest
That either seems destructive of the rest:
Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails,
And honor sinks where commerce long prevails.
Hence every state, to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone;
Each to the favorite happiness attends,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends—
Till, carried to excess in each domain,
This favorite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us try these truths with closer eyes,
And trace them through the prospect as it lies:
Here, for a while my proper cares resigned,
Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
Like yon neglected shrub, at random cast,
That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast.
Far to the right, where Apennine ascends,
Bright as the summer, Italy extends;
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side,
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride,
While oft some temple's mouldering tops between
With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
The sons of Italy were surely bless'd.
Whatever fruits in different climes were found,
That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground—
Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
Whose bright succession decks the varied year—
Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
With vernal lives, that blossom but to die—
These, here disporting, own the kindred soil,
Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil;
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows;
In florid beauty groves and fields appear—
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here!
Contrasted faults through all his manners reign:
Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain;
Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue—
And even in penance planning sins anew.
All evils here contaminate the mind,
That opulence departed leaves behind;
For wealth was theirs—nor far remov'd the date
When commerce proudly flourish'd through the state
At her command the palace learn'd to rise,
Again the long fallen column sought the skies,
The canvas glow'd beyond even nature warm,
[Pg 291] The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form;
Till, more unsteady than the southern gale,
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail,
While naught remain'd of all that riches gave,
But towns unmann'd and lords without a slave—
And late the nation found, with fruitless skill,
Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride:
From these the feeble heart and long fallen mind
An easy compensation seem to find.
Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd,
The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade;
Processions form'd for piety and love—
A mistress or a saint in every grove:
By sports like these are all their cares beguil'd,
The sports of children satisfy the child.
Each nobler aim, repress'd by long control,
Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
While low delights, succeeding fast behind,
In happier meanness occupy the mind.
As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway
Defac'd by time and tottering in decay,
There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed;
And, wondering man could want the larger pile,
Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My soul, turn from them, turn we to survey
[Pg 292] Where rougher climes a nobler race display—
Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansions tread,
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread.
No product here the barren hills afford
But man and steel, the soldier and his sword,
No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
But winter lingering chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast,
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.
Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm,
Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though small,
He sees his little lot, the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
To shame the meanness of his humble shed—
No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,
To make him loathe his vegetable meal—
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil,
Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
Breasts the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his venturous plowshare to the steep,
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,
And drags the struggling savage into day.
At night returning, every labor sped,
He sits him down the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze—
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board:
And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus every good his native wilds impart
Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
And even those ills, that round his mansion rise
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies:
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest,
[Pg 293] Clings close and closer to the mother's breast—
So the loud torrent and the whirlwind's roar
But bind him to his native mountains more.
Such are the charms to barren states assign'd—
Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd;
Yet let them only share the praises due,
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few:
For every want that stimulates the breast
Becomes a source of pleasure when redress'd.
Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies,
That first excites desire, and then supplies.
Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy,
To fill the languid pause with finer joy;
Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame,
Catch every nerve and vibrate through the frame:
Their level life is but a smouldering fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire,
Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer
On some high festival of once a year,
In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow—
Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low;
For, as refinement stops, from sire to son
Unalter'd, unimprov'd the manners run—
And love's and friendship's finely pointed dart
Fall blunted from each indurated heart.
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast
May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;
But all the gentler morals, such as play
Through life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the way—
These, far dispers'd, on timorous pinions fly,
To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn; and France displays her bright domain.
Gay, sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleas'd with thyself, whom all the world can please;
How often have I led thy sportive choir,
With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire,
Where shading elms along the margin grew,
And, freshen'd from the wave, the zephyr flew!
And haply, though my harsh touch, faltering still,
But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill—
Yet would the village praise my wondrous power,
And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour.
Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
Has frisk'd beneath the burden of three-score.
So bless'd a life these thoughtless realms display;
Thus idly busy rolls their world away.
Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear,
For honor forms the social temper here:
Honor, that praise which real merit gains,
Or even imaginary worth obtains,
Here passes current—paid from hand to hand,
It shifts, in splendid traffic, round the land;
From courts to camps, to cottages it strays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise—
They please, are pleas'd, they give to get esteem.
Till, seeming bless'd, they grow to what they seem.
But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
It gives their follies also room to rise;
For praise, too dearly lov'd, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought—
And the weak soul, within itself unbless'd,
Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart;
Here vanity assumes her pert grimace,
And trims her robes of frieze with copper lace;
Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer,
To boast one splendid banquet once a year:
The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws,
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause.
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
[Pg 294] Where the broad ocean leans against the land;
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward, methinks, and diligently slow,
The firm, connected bulwark seems to grow,
Spreads its long arms amid the watery roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore—
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
The slow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain—
A new creation rescued from his reign.
Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings,
Are here display'd. Their much lov'd wealth imparts
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts;
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear—
Even liberty itself is barter'd here.
At gold's superior charms all freedom flies;
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys:
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Here wretches seek dishonorable graves;
And, calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old—
Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold,
War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!
Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing.
[Pg 295] And flies where Britain courts the western spring;
Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride,
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspes glide.
There, all around, the gentlest breezes stray;
There gentle music melts on every spray;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd:
Extremes are only in the master's mind.
Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state
With daring aims irregularly great.
Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of human kind pass by,
Intent on high designs—a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashion'd, fresh from Nature's hand,
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
True to imagin'd right, above control;
While even the peasant boasts these rights to scan
And learns to venerate himself as man.
Thine, freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here.
Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear;
Too bless'd indeed were such without alloy,
But, foster'd even by freedom, ills annoy.
That independence Britons prize too high
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie:
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone—
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown.
Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd,
Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,
Repress'd ambition struggles round her shore—
Till, overwrought, the general system feels
Its motions stopp'd, or frenzy fire the wheels.
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay,
As duty, love, and honor fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown;
Till time may come when, stripp'd of all her charms,
The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms—
Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame,
Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame—
One sink of level avarice shall lie,
And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonor'd die.
Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state,
I mean to flatter kings or court the great.
Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire,
Far from my bosom drive the low desire!
And thou, fair freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel—
Thou transitory flower, alike undone
By proud contempt or favor's fostering sun—
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure!
I only would repress them to secure;
For just experience tells, in every soil,
That those who think must govern those that toil—
And all that freedom's highest aims can reach
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.
Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.
Oh, then, how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires!
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms,
Except when fast approaching danger warms;
But, when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal power to stretch their own—
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free—
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law—
The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam,
Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home—
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart:
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.
Yes, brother! curse with me that baleful hour
When first ambition struck at regal power;
And thus, polluting honor in its source,
Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force.
Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore,
Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore?
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
Like flaring tapers brightening as they waste?
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
[Pg 296] Lead stern depopulation in her train—
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
In barren, solitary pomp repose?
Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call,
The smiling, long frequented village fall?
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main—
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
And Níagara stuns with thundering sound?
Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays
Through tangled forests, and through dangerous ways,
Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murderous aim—
There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
And all around distressful yells arise—
The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
To stop too fearful and too faint to go.
Casts a long look where England's glories shine
And bids his bosom sympathize with mine.
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind.
Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each government bestows?
In every government, though terrors reign,
Though tyrant-kings or tyrant-laws restrain,
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure?
Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find.
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy;
The lifted ax, the agonizing wheel,
Zeck's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of steel—
To men remote from power but rarely known—
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.
[Pg 297]

[From Mayhew's Comic Almanac.]




I have found out a gig-gig-gift for my fuf-fuf——fair,
I have found where the rattle-snakes bub-bub——breed.
Won't you c-c-c-come, and I'll show you the bub-bub——bear,
And the lions and tit-tit——tigers at fuf-fuf-fuf——feed.
I know where c-c-c-co——cockatoo's song
Makes mum-mum-mum——melody through the sweet vale;
Where the m——monkeys gig-gig——grin all the day long,
Or gracefully swing by the tit-tit-tit-tit——tail.
You shall pip-pip——play, dear, some did-did——delicate joke,
With the bub-bub——bear on the tit-tit——top of his pip-pip-pip——pole;
But observe, 'tis for-for-for——bidden to pip-pip——poke
At the bub-bub——bear with your pip-pip——pink pip-pip-pip-pip——parasol.
You shall see the huge elephant pip-pip-pip——play;
You shall gig-gig-gaze on the stit-tit——ately racoon,
And then, did-did——dear, together we'll stray,
To the cage of the bub-bub——blue fuf-fuf-fac'd bab-bab-bab——boon.
You wish'd (I r-r-r——remember it well,
And I l-l-l-lov'd you the m-m-more for the wish)
To witness the bub-bub-bub——beautiful pip-pip——pel-
ican swallow the l-l-live l-l-l-little fuf-fuf——fish.

[Pg 298]

Then c-c-ome, did-did-dearest, n-n-n-never say "nun-nun-nun-nun——nay;"
I'll tit-tit-treat you, my love, to a "bub-bub-bub——buss,"
'Tis but thrup-pip-pip-pip——pence a pip-pip——piece all the way,
To see the hip-pip-pip—(I beg your pardon)—
To see the hip-pip-pip-pip—(ahem!)
The hip-pip-pip-pip——pop-pop-pop-pop—(I mean)
The hip-po-po-po—(dear me, love, you know)
The hippo-pot-pot-pot——('pon my word I'm quite ashamed of myself).
The hip-pip-pop——the hip-po-pot.
To see the Hippop——potamus.


On the 5th of July, 1789, Howard quitted England to return no more. Arriving at Amsterdam on the 7th, he proceeded by slow stages through Germany and Prussia into the empire of the Czar, which he entered at Riga. He was destined never more to quit the soil of Russia. The tremendous destruction of human life to which the military system of that country gives rise, had not then, as it has since, become a recognized fact in Western Europe; and the unconceived and inconceivable miseries to which Howard found recruits and soldiers exposed in Moscow, induced him to devote his attention to them and to their cause. In these investigations horrors turned up of which he had never dreamed, and impressed him still more profoundly with a sense of the hollowness of the Russian pretense of civilization. In the forced marches of recruits to the armies over horrid roads, being ill-clothed and worse fed, he found that thousands fell sick by the way, dropped at the roadside, and were either left there to die of starvation, or transferred to miserable hospitals, where fever soon finished what fatigue had begun. This waste of life was quite systematic. An hospital for the reception of the poor wretches had recently been erected at Krementschuk, a town on the Dnieper, which contained at that time 400 patients in its unwholesome wards. Thither Howard repaired to prosecute his new inquiries. The rooms he found much too full; many of the soldiers were dreadfully ill of the scurvy, yet they were all dieted alike, on sour bread and still sourer quas, alternated with a sort of water-gruel, which, if not eaten one day, was served up again the next. From this place, Howard went down the Dnieper to Cherson, where he examined all the prisons and hospitals, and made various excursions in the neighborhood for the same purpose. The hospitals were worthy of the evil which they were designed to alleviate. Our countryman thus sums up his observations upon them: "The primary objects in all hospitals seem here neglected—namely, cleanliness, air, diet, separation, and attention. These are such essentials, that humanity and good policy equally demand that no expense should be spared to procure them. Care in this respect, I am persuaded, would save many more lives than the parade of medicines in the adjoining apothecary's shop."

[Pg 299]

While at Cherson, Howard had the profound gratification of reading in the public prints of the capture and fall of the Bastille; and he talked with delight of visiting its ruins and moralizing upon its site, should he be again spared to return to the West. But, however moved by that great event, so important for all Europe, he did not allow it to divert him from his own more especial work; the sufferings of poor Russian soldiers in the hospitals of Cherson, Witowka, and St. Nicholas, had higher claim upon his notice at that moment, than even the great Revolution making in the Faubourg St. Antoine at Paris.

The reader will recall to mind, that, at the time of Howard's residence at Cherson, a desperate war was raging between the Sultan and the Autocrat. The strong fortress of Bender had just fallen into the power of Russia, but as the winter was already too far advanced to allow the army to push forward until spring, the commander of the imperial forces gave permission to such of his officers as chose to go and spend the Christmas with their friends in Cherson. That city was consequently crowded with rank and fashion. All the city was in high spirits. The victories of the imperial troops produced a general state of jubilation. Rejoicing was the order of the day, and dancing and revelry the business of the night. But in the midst of these festivities, a virulent and infectious fever broke out—brought, as Howard believed, by the military from the camp. One of the sufferers from this disorder was a young lady who resided about twenty-four miles from Cherson, but who had been a constant attendant at the recent balls and routs. Her fever very soon assumed an alarming form; and as a last resource her friends waited upon Howard—whose reputation as a leech was still on the increase—and implored him to ride over and see her. At first he refused, on the ground that he was only a physician to the poor; but their importunities increasing, and reports arriving that she was getting worse and worse, he at length acceded to their wish—being also pressed thereto by his intimate friend, Admiral Mordvinoff, chief admiral of the Black Sea fleet—and went with them. He prescribed for the lady's case; and then, leaving word that if she improved they must send to him again, but if she did not, it would be useless, went to make some visits to the sick of an hospital in the neighborhood. The lady gradually improved under the change of treatment, and in a day or two a letter was written to Howard to acquaint him with the circumstance, and requesting him to come again without delay. Very unfortunately this letter miscarried, and was not delivered for eight days—when it was brought to him at Mordvinoff's house. When he noticed the date, Howard was greatly alarmed—for he had become interested in the case of his fair patient, and thought himself in a manner responsible for any mishap which might have befallen her. Although, when the note came to hand, it was a cold, wintry, tempestuous night, with the rain falling in torrents, he did not hesitate for a moment about setting off for her residence. Unfortunately, again, no post-horses could be had at the time; and he was compelled to mount a dray-horse used in the admiral's family for carrying water, whose slow pace protracted the journey until he was saturated with wet and benumbed with cold. He arrived, too, to find his patient dying; yet, not willing to see her expire without a struggle to save her, he administered some medicines to excite perspiration, and remained for some hours at her side to watch the first signs of the effect produced. After a time, he thought the dose was beginning to operate, and, wishing to avoid exposing her to the chance of a fresh cold by uncovering her arms, placed his hand under the coverlet to feel her pulse. On raising it up a little, a most offensive smell escaped from beneath the clothes, and Howard always thought the infection was then communicated to him. Next day she died.

For a day or two, Howard remained unconscious of his danger; feeling only a slight indisposition, easily accounted for by his recent exertions; which he nevertheless so far humored as to keep within doors; until, finding himself one day rather better than usual, he went out to dine with Admiral Mordvinoff. There was a large animated party present, and he staid later than was usual with him. On reaching his lodgings he felt unwell, and fancied he was about to have an attack of gout. Taking a dose of sal volatile in a little tea, he went to bed. About four in the morning he awoke, and feeling no better, took another dose. During the day he grew worse, and found himself unable to take his customary exercise; toward night a violent fever seized him, and he had recourse to a favorite medicine of that period, called "James's Powders." On the 12th of January, he fell down suddenly in a fit—his face was flushed and black, his breathing difficult, his eyes closed firmly, and he remained quite insensible for half an hour. From that day he became weaker and weaker; though few even then suspected that his end was near. Acting as his own physician, he continued at intervals to take his favorite powders; notwithstanding which his friends at Cherson—for he was universally loved and respected in that city, though his residence had been so short—soon surrounded him with the highest medical skill which the province supplied. As soon as his illness became known, Prince Potemkin, the princely and unprincipled favorite of Catherine, then resident in Cherson, sent his own physician to attend him; and no effort was spared to preserve a life so valuable to the world. Still he went worse and worse.

On the 17th, that alarming fit recurred; and although, as on the former occasion, the state of complete insensibility lasted only a short time, it evidently affected his brain—and from that moment the gravity of his peril was understood by himself, if not by those about him.[Pg 300] On the 8th, he went worse rapidly. A violent hiccuping came on, attended with considerable pain, which continued until the middle of the following day, when it was allayed by means of copious musk drafts.

Early on the morning of the 20th, came to see him his most intimate friend, Admiral Priestman—a Russianized Englishman in the service of the empress. During his sojourn at Cherson, Howard had been in the habit of almost daily intercourse with his gallant ex-countryman. When taken ill, not himself considering it at first serious, no notice of it had been sent out; but not seeing his friend for several days, Priestman began to feel uneasy, and went off to his lodgings to learn the cause. He found Howard sitting at a small stove in his bedroom—the winter was excessively severe—and very weak and low. The admiral thought him merely laboring under a temporary depression of spirits, and by lively, rattling conversation endeavored to rouse him from his torpidity. But Howard was fully conscious that death was nigh. He knew now that he was not to die in Egypt; and, in spite of his friend's cheerfulness, his mind still reverted to the solemn thought of his approaching end. Priestman told him not to give way to such gloomy fancies, and they would soon leave him. "Priestman," said Howard, in his mild and serious voice, "you style this a dull conversation, and endeavor to divert my mind from dwelling on the thought of death; but I entertain very different sentiments. Death has no terrors for me; it is an event I always look to with cheerfulness, if not with pleasure; and be assured, the subject is more grateful to me than any other." And then he went on to say—"I am well aware that I have but a short time to live; my mode of life has rendered it impossible that I should get rid of this fever. If I had lived as you do, eating heartily of animal food and drinking wine, I might, perhaps, by altering my diet, have been able to subdue it. But how can such a man as I am lower his diet, who has been accustomed for years to live upon vegetables and water, a little bread and a little tea? I have no method of lowering my nourishment—and therefore I must die;" and then turning to his friend, added, smiling—"It is only such jolly fellows as you, Priestman, who get over these fevers." This melancholy pleasantry was more than the gallant sailor could bear; he turned away to conceal his emotion; his heart was full, and he remained silent, while Howard, with no despondency in his tone, but with a calm and settled serenity of manner, as if the death-pangs were already past, went on to speak of his end, and of his wishes as to his funeral. "There is a spot," said he, "near the village of Dauphiney—this would suit me nicely; you know it well, for I have often said that I should like to be buried there; and let me beg of you, as you value your old friend, not to suffer any pomp to be used at my funeral; nor let any monument nor monumental inscription whatsoever be made to mark where I am laid; but lay me quietly in the earth, place a sun-dial over my grave, and let me be forgotten."

In this strain of true Christian philosophy did Howard speak of his exit from a world in which he felt that he had done his work. The ground in which he had selected to fix his everlasting rest, situated about two miles from Cherson, on the edge of the great highway to St. Nicholas, belonged to a French gentleman who had treated him with distinguished attention and kindness during his stay in the vicinity; and, having made his choice, he was very anxious to know whether permission could be obtained for the purpose, and begged his gallant friend to set off immediately and ascertain that for him. Priestman was not very willing to leave his friend at such a time and on such a gloomy errand; he fancied people would think him crazy in asking permission to make a grave for a man still alive, and whom few as yet knew to be ill; but the earnestness of the dying martyr at length overcame his reluctance, and he set forth.

Scarcely had he departed on his strange mission, when a letter arrived from England, written by a gentleman who had just been down to Leicester to see young Howard, giving a highly favorable account of the progress of his recovery, and expressing a belief that, when the philanthropist returned to his native land, he would find his son greatly improved. This intelligence came to the deathbed of the pious Christian like a ray of light from heaven. His eye brightened; a heavy load seemed lifted from his heart; and he spoke of his child with the tenderness and affection of a mother. He called Thomasson to his bedside, and bade him tell his son, when he went home, how long and how fervently he had prayed for his recovery, and especially during this last illness.

Toward evening, Admiral Priestman returned from a successful application; with this result Howard appeared highly gratified, and soon after his arrival retired to rest. Priestman, conscious now of the imminency of the danger, would leave him alone no more, but resolutely remained, and sat at the bedside. Although still sensible, Howard had now become too weak to converse. After a long silence, during which he seemed lost in profound meditation, he recovered for a moment his presence of mind, and taking the letter which had just before come to hand—evidently the subject of his thoughts—out of his bosom, he gave it to the admiral to read; and when the latter had glanced it through, said tenderly: "Is not this comfort for a dying father?" These were almost the last words he uttered. Soon after, he fell into a state of unconsciousness, the calm of sleep, of an unbroken rest—but even then the insensibility was more apparent than real, for on Admiral Mordvinoff, who arrived just in time to see the last of his illustrious friend, asking permission to send for a certain doctor, in whom he had great faith, the patient gave a sign which implied consent; but before this person[Pg 301] could arrive he had fallen off. Howard was dead!

This mournful event took place about eight o'clock on the morning of the 20th of January, 1790—1500 miles from his native land, with only strangers round about his bed; strangers, not to his heart, though their acquaintance with his virtues had been brief—but to his race, his language, and his creed. He, however, who was the friend of all—the citizen of the world, in its highest sense—found friends in all. Never perhaps had mortal man such funeral honors. Never before, perhaps, had a human being existed in whose demise so universal an interest could be felt. His death fell on the mind of Europe like an ominous shadow; the melancholy wail of grief which arose on the Dnieper, was echoed from the Thames, and soon re-echoed from the Tagus, and the Neva, and the Dardanelles. Every where Howard had friends—more than could be thought till death cut off restraint, and threw the flood-gates of sympathy wide open. Then the affluent tide rolled in like the dawn of a summer day. Cherson went into deep mourning for the illustrious stranger; and there was hardly a person in the province who was not greatly affected on learning that he had chosen to fix his final resting-place on the Russian soil. In defiance of his own wishes on the subject, the enthusiasm of the people improvised a public funeral. The Prince of Moldavia, Admirals Priestman and Mordvinoff, all the generals and staff officers of the garrison, the whole body of the magistrates and merchants of the province, and a large party of cavalry, accompanied by an immense cavalcade of private persons, formed the funeral procession. Nor was the grief by any means confined to the higher orders. In the wake of the more stately band of mourners, followed on foot a concourse of at least three thousand persons—slaves, prisoners, sailors, soldiers, peasants—men whose best and most devoted friend the hero of these martial honors had ever been; and from this after, humbler train of followers, arose the truest, tenderest expression of respect and sorrow for the dead. When the funeral pomp was over, the remains of their benefactor lowered into the earth, and the proud procession of the great had moved away, then would these simple children of the soil steal noiselessly to the edge of the deep grave, and, with their hearts full of grief, whisper in low voices to each other of all that they had seen and known of the good stranger's acts of charity and kindness. Good indeed he had been to them. Little used to acts or words of love from their own lords, they had felt the power of his mild manner, his tender devotion to them, only the more deeply from its novelty. To them, how irreparable the loss! The higher ranks had lost the grace of a benignant presence in their high circle; but they—the poor, the friendless—had lost in him their friend—almost their father. Nature is ever true; they felt how much that grave had robbed them of. Not a dry eye was seen among them; and looking sadly down into the hole where all that now remained of their physician lay, they marveled much why he, a stranger to them, had left his home, and his friends, and country, to become the unpaid servant of the poor in a land so far away; and not knowing how, in their simple hearts, to account for this, they silently dropped their tears into his grave, and slowly moved away—wondering at all that they had seen and known of him who was now dead, and thinking sadly of the long, long time ere they might find another friend like him.

The hole was then filled up—and what had once been Howard was seen of man no more. A small pyramid was raised above the spot, instead of the sun-dial which he had himself suggested; and the casual traveler in Prussian Tartary is still attracted to the place as to one of the holiest shrines of which this earth can boast.

Words can not depict the profound sensation which the arrival of this mournful news produced in England. The death-shaft cut the withes which had kept his reputation down. All at once the nation awoke to a full consciousness of his colossal fame and his transcendent virtues. Howard was now—history. Envy and jealousy were past: rivalry had ended on the brink of the grave. Death alone sets a man on fair terms with society. The death of a great man is always a calamity; but it is only when a country loses one of its illustrious children in a distant land, and under peculiar circumstances, that the full measure of the national calamity is felt. They who can recollect the wild and deep sensation of pity and regret which the arrival of the news of Byron's death at Missolonghi produced in England, can alone conceive of any thing like the state of the public mind on the first announcement of the close of a career still more useful and more glorious. Every possible mark of honor—public and private—was paid to the memory of Howard. All orders of men vied with each other in heaping honors upon his name. The court, the press, parliament, the bar, the pulpit, and the stage—each in its different fashion—paid the well-earned tribute of respect. The intelligence of his demise was publicly announced in the official Gazette—a distinction never before accorded to a private individual. The muses sang his virtues with innumerable voices; the churches echoed with his praise; the senate and the judgment-seat resounded with the tribute to his merits; and even at the theatres, his character was exhibited in imaginary scenes, and a monody on his death was delivered from the foot lights.

Nor was a more enduring memorial wanting. The long dormant Committee of the Howardian fund was resuscitated, and the sculptor Bacon was employed to make a full length marble statue of the Philanthropist. At that time it was in contemplation to make St. Paul's serve the double purpose of a cathedral and a Walhalla; and this design was inaugurated by placing there, as the first great worthy of England,[Pg 302] the statue of John Howard. It stands immediately on the right hand of the choir-screen; it is a handsome figure, tolerably faithful, and is illustrated by emblems of his noble deeds, and by the following inscription: "This extraordinary man had the fortune to be honored, while living, in the manner which his virtues deserved; he received the thanks of both houses of the British and Irish Parliaments, for his eminent services rendered to his country and to mankind. Our national prisons and hospitals, improved upon the suggestion of his wisdom, bear testimony to the solidity of his judgment, and to the estimation in which he was held. In every part of the civilized world, which he traversed to reduce the sum of human misery—from the throne to the dungeon—his name was mentioned with respect, gratitude, and admiration. His modesty alone defeated various efforts that were made during his life to erect this statue, which the public has now consecrated to his memory. He was born at Hackney, in the county of Middlesex, September 2, 1726. The early part of his life he spent in retirement, residing principally upon his paternal estate at Cardington, in Bedfordshire; for which county he served the office of sheriff in the year 1763. He expired at Cherson, in Russian Tartary, on the 20th of January, 1790, a victim to the perilous and benevolent attempt to ascertain the cause of, and find an efficacious remedy for the plague. He trod an open but unfrequented path to immortality in the ardent but unintermitted exercise of Christian charity: may this tribute to his fame excite an emulation of his truly glorious achievements!"



(Continued from page 165.)

Once having begun, it followed naturally that the war should deepen in bitterness. Wounds that wrote memorials in the flesh, insults that rankled in the heart—these were not features of the case likely to be forgotten by our enemies, and far less by my fiery brother. I, for my part, entered not into any of the passions that war may be supposed to kindle, except only the chronic passion of anxiety. Fear it was not; for experience had taught me that, under the random firing of our undisciplined enemies, the chances were not many of being wounded; but the uncertainties that beset every conflict, as regarded my power to maintain the requisite connection with my brother, and the absolute darkness that brooded over that last worst contingency—the case of being captured, and carried off to Gath as a trophy won from Israel—these were penalties attached to the war that ran too violently into the current of my constitutional despondency, ever to give way under any casual elation of success. Success we really had at times—often in skirmishes; and once, at least, as the reader will find to his mortification, if he is wicked enough to take the side of the Philistines, a most smashing victory in a pitched battle. But even then, and while the hurrahs were yet ascending from our jubilating lips, the freezing memento came back to my heart of that deadly depression which, duly at the coming round of the morning and evening watches, traveled with me like my shadow on our approach to the memorable bridge. A bridge of sighs[2] too surely it was for me; and even for my brother it formed an object of fierce yet anxious jealousy, that he could not always disguise, as we first came in sight of it: for, if it happened to be occupied in strength, there was an end of all hope that we could attempt the passage; and that was a fortunate solution of the affair, as it imposed no evil beyond a circuit; which, at least, enjoyed the blessing of peace, although the sarcastic public might choose to call it inglorious. Even this shade of ignominy, however, my brother contrived to color favorably, by calling us—that is, me and himself—"a corps of observation;" and he condescendingly explained to me, that although making "a lateral movement," he had his eye upon the enemy, and "might yet come round upon his left flank in a way that wouldn't perhaps prove very agreeable." This, from the nature of the ground, never happened. We crossed the river out of sight from the enemy's position; and my brother's vengeance, being reserved until he came round into the rear of Philistia, from which a good retreat was always open to Greenhay; naturally discharged itself in triple deluges of stones. On this line of policy there was, therefore, no cause for anxiety; but the common case was, that the numbers might not be such as to justify this caution, and yet quite enough for mischief. For my brother, however, stung and carried headlong into hostility by the martial instincts of his nature, the uneasiness of doubt or insecurity was swallowed up by his joy in the anticipation of victory, or even of contest; while to myself,[Pg 303] whose exultation was purely official and ceremonial, as due by loyalty and legal process from a cadet of the belligerent house, no such compensation existed. The enemy was no enemy in my eyes; his affronts were but retaliations; and his insults were so inapplicable to my unworthy self, being of a calibre exclusively meant for the use of my brother, that from me they recoiled, one and all, as cannon-shot from cotton bags.

This inordinate pugnacity of my brother, this rabid appetite for trials of prowess, had, indeed, forced itself into display on the very first interview I ever had with him. On the night of his return from Louth, an artisan, employed in the decorations of Greenhay, had entered into conversation with him upon the pre-eminence of Lancashire among the provinces of England. According to him, the county of Lancaster (to translate his meaning into Roman phrase) was the prerogative tribe of England. And really I am disposed to think that it still is such, mongrelized as it has long been by Cambrian and Hibernian immigrations. There is not on earth such another focus of burning energy. Among other things, the man had magnified the county as containing (which it then did) by very much the largest remnant of old Roman Catholic families—families that were loyal to the back-bone (in those days a crowning honor); that were of the ancient faith, and of the most ancient English blood; none of your upstart, dissenting terræ filii, but men that might have shaken hands with Cœur de Lion, or at least come of ancestors that had. "And, in short, young gentleman," he concluded, "the whole county, not this part, or that part, but take it as you find it, north and south, is a very tall county."

What it was exactly that he meant by tall, I can not say. From the intense predominance in Lancashire of old genuine mother English, it is probable that he meant stout-hearted, for that was the old acceptation of the word tall, and not (as it is now understood) high in stature. "A tall ship" meant a stout and sea-worthy ship; "a tall man," meant a man that was at once able-bodied and true-hearted. My brother, however, chose to understand it in the ordinary modern sense, and he replied, "Yes, it's tall enough, if you take it south and north: from Bullock Smithy in the south, to beyond Lancaster in the north, it measures a matter of sixty miles or more; certainly it's tall, but then it's very thin, generally speaking."

"Ay, but," said the man, "thick or thin, it's a county palatine."

"Well, I don't care much for that," rejoined my brother; "palatine or not palatine, thick or thin, I wouldn't take any jaw (which meant insolence) from Lancashire, more than from any other shire."

The man stared a little at this unlooked-for attitude of defiance to a county palatine; but, recovering himself, he said, that my brother must take it, if Lancashire chose to offer it.

"But I wouldn't," replied my brother. "Look here: Lincolnshire, the county that I've been staying in for these, I don't know how many years—and a very tall county, too, tall and fat—did I take any jaw from her? Ask the sheriff. And Leicestershire, where I've generally spent my holidays, did I take jaw from her? Tell me that. Neither, again, did Louth ever dream of giving me any of her jaw; then why should I stand it from Lancashire?"

Certainly, why should he? I, who took no part in all this but as a respectful listener, felt that there was much reason in what my brother said. It was true that, having imbibed from my nurses a profound veneration for my native county, I was rather shocked at any posture (though but in a hypothetical case) of defiance to Lancashire; and yet, if three out of four capital L's had been repulsed in some mysterious offense, I felt that it was mere equity to repulse the fourth. But I prepared anxiously to say, on the authority of my last nurse, that Lancashire (I felt sure) was not the county to offer him any "jaw," whatever that might be. Unhappily, in seeking for words, which came very slowly at all times, to express my benevolent meaning, the opportunity passed over for saying any thing at all on the subject; but, though wounded by his squaring at Lancashire, I yet felt considerable respect for a brother who could thus resolutely set his arms a-kimbo against three tall counties, two of them tolerably fat, and one decent market-town.

The ordinary course of our day's warfare was this: between nine and ten in the morning, occurred our first transit, and consequently our earliest opportunity for doing business. But at this time the great sublunary interest of breakfast, which swallowed up all nobler considerations of glory and ambition, occupied the work-people of the factory (or what in the brutal pedantry of this day are termed the "operatives"), so that very seldom any serious business was transacted. Without any formal armistice, the paramount convenience of such an arrangement silently secured its own recognition. Notice there needed none of truce, when the one side yearned for breakfast, and the other for a respite; the groups, therefore, on or about the bridge, if any at all, were loose in their array, and careless. We passed through them rapidly, and, on my part, uneasily; exchanging only a few snarls, but seldom or ever snapping at each other. The tameness was almost shocking of those who in the afternoon would inevitably resume their natural characters of tiger-cats, wolves, and hunting-leopards. Sometimes, however, my brother felt it to be a duty that we should fight in the morning, particularly when any expression of public joy for a victory—bells ringing in the distance, or when a royal birthday, or some traditional commemoration of ancient feuds (such as the 5th of November), irritated his martial propensities. These being religious festivals, seemed to require of us some extra homage, for which we knew not how to find[Pg 304] any natural or significant expression, except through sharp discharges of stones, that being a language older than Hebrew or Sanscrit, and universally intelligible. But excepting these high days of religious solemnity, when a man is called upon to show that he is not a Pagan or a miscreant in the eldest of senses, by thumping, or trying to thump, somebody who is accused or accusable of being heterodox, the great ceremony of breakfast was allowed to sanctify the hour. Some natural growls we uttered, but hushed them soon, regardless (in Mr. Gray's language) "of the sweeping whirlpool's sway, that hushed in grim repose, looked for his evening prey."

That came but too surely. Yes, evening never forgot to come—never for once forgot to call for its prey. Oh! reader, be you sure of that. Pleasures—how often do they forget themselves, forget their duty, forget their engagements, and fail to revolve! But this odious necessity of fighting never missed its road back, or fell asleep, or loitered by the way, more than a bill of exchange, or a tertian fever. Five times a week (Saturday sometimes, and Sunday always, were days of rest) the same scene rehearsed itself in pretty nearly the very same succession of circumstances. Between four and five o'clock, we had crossed the bridge to the safe, or Greenhay side; then we paused, and waited for the enemy. Sooner or later a bell rang, and from the smoky hive issued the hornets that night and day stung incurably my peace of mind. The order and procession of the incidents after this was odiously monotonous. My brother occupied the main high road, precisely at the point where a very gentle rise of the ground attained its summit; for the bridge lay in a slight valley; and the main military position was fifty or eighty yards perhaps above the bridge; then—but having first examined my pockets in order to be sure that my stock of ammunition, stones, fragments of slate, with a reasonable proportion of brickbats, was all correct and ready for action—he detached me about forty yards to the right, my orders being invariable, and liable to no doubts or "quibbling." Detestable in my ears was that word "quibbling," by which, for a thousand years, if the war had happened to last so long, he would have fastened upon me the imputation of meaning, or wishing at least, to do what he called "pettifogulizing"—that is, to plead some little technical quillet, distinction, or verbal demur, in bar of my orders, under some colorable pretense that, according to their literal construction, they really did not admit of being fulfilled, or perhaps that they admitted it too much as being capable of fulfillment in two senses, either of them a practicable sense. Unhappily for me, which told against all that I could ever have pleaded in self-justification, my Christian name was Thomas—an injury for which I never ceased to upbraid secretly my two godfathers and my one godmother; and with some reason: they ought to have seen what mischief they were brewing; since I am satisfied to this hour that, but for that wretched wo-begone name, saturated with a weight of predestined skepticism that would sink a seventy-four with the most credulous of ship's companies on board, my brother never would have called me Thomas à Didymus, which he did sometimes, or Thomas Aquinas, which he did continually. These baptismal sponsors of mine were surely answerable for all the reproaches against me, suggested by my insufferable name. All that I bore for years by reason of these reproaches, I charge against them; and perhaps an action of damages would have lain against them, as parties to a conspiracy against me. For any thing that I knew, the names might have been titles of honor; but my brother took care to explain the qualities, for better and worse, which distinguished them. Thomas à Didymus, it seemed, had exactly my infirmity of doubting and misgiving, which naturally called up further illustrations of that temper from Bunyan—a writer who occupied a place in our childish library, not very far from the "Arabian Nights." Giant Despair, the Slough of Despond, Doubting Castle, mustered strong in the array of rebukes to my weakness; and, above all, Mr. Ready-to-sink, who was my very picture (it seems) or prophetic type. As to Thomas Aquinas, I was informed that he, like myself, was much given to hair-splitting, or cutting moonbeams with razors; in which I think him very right; considering that in the town of Aquino, and about the year 1400, there were no novels worth speaking of, and not even the shadow of an opera; so that, not being employed upon moonbeams, Thomas's razors must, like Burke's, have operated upon blocks. But were these defects of doubting and desponding really mine? In a sense, they were; and being thus embodied in nicknames, they were forced prematurely upon my own knowledge. That was bad. Intellectually, if you are haunted with skepticism, or tendencies that way, morally, and for all purposes of action, if you are haunted with the kindred misery of desponding, it is not good to see too broadly emblazoned your own infirmities: they grow by consciousness too steadily directed upon them. And thus far there was great injustice in my brother's reproach; true it was that my eye was preternaturally keen for flaws of language, not from pedantic exaction of superfluous accuracy, but, on the contrary, from too conscientious a wish to escape the mistakes which language not rigorous is apt to occasion. So far from seeking to "pettifogulize," or to find evasions for any purpose in a trickster's minute tortuosities of construction, exactly in the opposite direction, from mere excess of sincerity, most unwillingly I found, in almost every body's words, an unintentional opening left for double interpretations. Undesigned equivocation prevails every where;[3] and it is not the caviling[Pg 305] hair-splitter, but, on the contrary, the single-eyed servant of truth, that is most likely to insist upon the limitation of expressions too wide or vague, and upon the decisive election between meanings potentially double. Not in order to resist or evade my brother's directions, but for the very opposite purpose—viz., that I might fulfill them to the letter; thus and no otherwise it happened that I showed so much scrupulosity about the exact value and position of his words, as finally to draw upon myself the vexatious reproach of being habitually a "pettifogulizer."

Meantime, our campaigning continued to rage. Overtures of pacification were never mentioned on either side. And I, for my part, with the passions only of peace at my heart, did the works of war faithfully, and with distinction. I presume so, at least, from the results. For, though I was continually falling into treason, without exactly knowing how I got into it, or how I got out of it, and, although my brother sometimes assured me that he could, in strict justice, have me hanged on the first tree we passed, to which my very prosaic answer had been, that of trees there were none in Oxford-street—[which, in imitation of Von Troil's famous chapter on the snakes of Lapland, the reader may accept, if he pleases, as a complete course of lectures on the natural history of Oxford-street]—nevertheless, by steady steps, I continued to ascend in the service; and, I am sure, it will gratify the reader to hear, that, very soon after my eighth birthday, I was promoted to the rank of major-general. Over this sunshine, however, soon swept a train of clouds. Three times I was taken prisoner; and with different results. The first time I was carried to the rear, and not molested in any way. Finding myself thus ignominiously neglected, I watched my opportunity; and, by making a wide circuit, without further accident, effected my escape. In the next case, a brief council was held over me: but I was not allowed to hear the deliberations; the result only being communicated to me—which result consisted in a message not very complimentary to my brother, and a small present of kicks to myself. This present was paid down without any discount, by means of a general subscription among the party surrounding me—that party, luckily, not being very numerous; besides which, I must, in honesty, acknowledge myself, generally speaking, indebted to their forbearance. They were not disposed to be too hard upon me. But, at the same time, they clearly did not think it right that I should escape altogether from tasting the calamities of war. And, as the arithmetic of the case seemed to be, how many legs, so many kicks, this translated the estimate of my guilt from the public jurisdiction, to that of the individual, sometimes capricious and harsh, and carrying out the public award by means of legs that ranged through all gradations of weight and agility. One kick differed exceedingly from another kick in dynamic value: and, in some cases, this difference was so distressingly conspicuous, and seemed so little in harmony with the prevailing hospitality of the evening, that one suspected special malice, unworthy, I conceive of all generous soldiership. Not impossibly, as it struck me on reflection, the spiteful individual might have a theory: he might conceive that, if a catholic chancery decree went forth, restoring to every man the things which truly belonged to him—your things to you, Cæsar's to Cæsar, mine to me—in that case, a particular brickbat fitting, as neatly as if it had been bespoke, to a contusion upon the calf of his own right leg, would be discovered making its way back into my great-coat pockets. Well, it might be so. Such things are possible under any system of physics. But this all rests upon a blind assumption as to the fact. Is a man to be kicked upon hypothesis? That is what Lord Bacon would have set his face against. However, some of my new acquaintances evidently cared as little for Lord Bacon as for me; and regulated their kicks upon principles incomprehensible to me. These contributors excepted, whose articles were unjustifiably heavy, the rest of the subscribers were so considerate, that I looked upon them as friends in disguise.

On returning to our own frontiers, I had an opportunity of displaying my exemplary greenness. That message to my brother, with all its virus of insolence, I repeated as faithfully for the spirit, and as literally for the expressions, as my memory allowed me to do: and in that troublesome effort, simpleton that I was, fancied myself exhibiting a soldier's loyalty to his commanding officer. My brother thought otherwise: he was more angry with me than with the enemy. I ought, he said, to have refused all participation in such sansculottes' insolence; to carry it was to acknowledge it as fit to be carried. "Speak civilly to my general," I ought to have told them; "or else get a pigeon to carry your message—if you happen to have any pigeon that knows how to conduct himself like a gentleman among gentlemen." What could they have done to me, said my brother, on account of my recusancy? What monstrous[Pg 306] punishments was I dreaming of, from the days of giants and ogres? "At the very worst, they could only have crucified me with the head downward, or impaled me, or inflicted the death by priné,[4] or anointed me with honey (a Jewish punishment), leaving me (still alive) to the tender mercies of wasps and hornets." One grows wiser every day; and on this particular day I made a resolution that, if again made prisoner, I would bring no more "jaw" from the Philistines. For it was very unlikely that he, whom I heard solemnly refusing to take "jaw" from whole provinces of England, would take it from the rabble of a cotton factory. If these people would send "jaw," and insisted upon their right to send it, I settled that, henceforward, it must go through the post-office.

But, in that case, had I not reason to apprehend being sawed in two? I saw no indispensable alternative of that see-saw nature. For there must be two parties—a party to saw, and a party to be sawed. And neither party has a chance of moving an inch in the business without a saw. Now, if neither of the parties will pay for the saw, then it is as good as any one conundrum in Euclid, that nobody can be sawed. For that man must be a top-sawyer, indeed, that can keep the business afloat without a saw. But, with or without the sanction of Euclid, I came to the resolution of never more carrying what is improperly called "chaff," but, by people of refinement, is called "jaw"—that is to say, this was my resolution, in the event of my being again made prisoner; an event which heartily I hoped might never happen. It did happen, however, and very soon. Again, that is, for the third time, I was made prisoner; and this time I managed ill indeed; I did make a mess of it; for I displeased the commander-in-chief in a way that he could not forget.

In my former captures, there had been nothing special or worthy of commemoration in the circumstances. Neither was there in this,[5] excepting that, by accident, in the second stage of the case, I was delivered over to the custody of young woman and girls; whereas the ordinary course would have thrown me upon the vigilant attentions (relieved from monotony by the experimental kicks) of boys. So far, the change was by very much for the better. I had a feeling myself—on first being presented to my new young mistresses—for to be a prisoner, I in my simplicity, believed, was to be a slave—of a distressing sort. Having always, or at least up to the completion of my sixth year, been a privileged pet, and almost, I might say, ranking among the sanctities of the household, with all its female sections, whether young or old (an advantage which I owed to a long illness, an ague, stretching over two entire years of my infancy), naturally I had learned to appreciate the indulgent tenderness of women; and my heart thrilled with love and gratitude, as often as they took me up into their arms and kissed me. Here it would have been as every where else; but, unfortunately, my introduction to these young women was in the very worst of characters. I had been taken in arms—in arms, against whom? and for what? Against their own nearest relations and connections—brothers, cousins, sweethearts; and on pretexts too frivolous to mention, if any at all. Neither was my offense of ancient date, so as to make it possible for desperate good nature to presume in me a change of heart, and a penitential horror of my past life. On the contrary, I had been taken but five minutes before, in the very act of showering brickbats on members of their own factory; and, if no great number of stones appeared to swell my pockets, it was not that I was engaged in any process of weaning myself from such fascinating missiles, but that I had liberally made over to their kinsfolk most of those which I possessed. If asked the question, it would be found that I should not myself deny the fact of being at war with their whole order. What was the meaning of that? What was it to which war, and the assumption of warlike functions, pledged a man? It pledged him, in case of an opportunity arising, to storm his enemies; that is, in my own case, to storm the houses of these young factory girls; briefly, and in plain English, to murder them all; to cut the throats of every living creature by their firesides; to float the closets in which, possibly, three generations of their family might have been huddled together for shelter, with the gore of those respectable parties. Almost every book of history in the British Museum, counting up to many myriads of volumes would tell them plainly, and in pretty nearly the very same words,[Pg 307] what they had to expect from every warrior, and therefore from me, videlicet this—that neither the guileless smiles of unoffending infancy, nor the gray hairs of the venerable patriarch sitting in the chimney corner; neither the sanctity of the matron, nor the loveliness of the youthful bride; no, nor the warlike self-devotion of the noble young man, fighting as the champion of altars and hearths; none of these searching appeals would reach my heart; neither sex nor age would confer any privilege with me; that I should put them all to the edge of the sword; that I should raze the very foundations of their old ancestral houses; having done which, I should probably plow up the ground with some bushels of Nantwich salt, mixed with bonedust from the graves of infants as a top-dressing; that, in fact, the custom of all warriors, and therefore by necessity of myself, was notoriously to make a wilderness, and to call it a pacification; with other bloody depositions in the same key, and often in the very same words.

All this was passing through my brain as the sort of explanatory introduction which, in mere honesty, I could not disown, if any body should offer it, when suddenly one young woman snatched me up in her arms, and kissed me; from her, I was passed round to others of the party, who all in turn caressed me, with scarcely an allusion to that warlike mission against them and theirs, which only had procured me the honor of an introduction to themselves in the character of captive. The too palpable fact, that I was not the person meant by nature to murder any one individual of their party, was likely enough to withdraw from their minds the counterfact—that too probably, in my military character, I might have dallied with the idea of murdering them all. Not being able to do it, as regarded any one in particular, was illogically accepted as an excuse for the military engagement that bound me to attempt it with regard to all in mass. Not only did these young people kiss me, but I (seeing no military reason against it) kissed them. Really, if young women will insist on kissing major-generals, they must expect that the generals will retaliate. One only of the crowd adverted to the character in which I came before them: to be a lawful prisoner, it struck her too logical mind that I must have been caught in some aggressive practices. "Think," she said, "of this little dog fighting, and fighting our Jack." "But," said another, in a propitiatory tone, "perhaps he'll not do so any more." I was touched by the kindness of her suggestion, and the sweet merciful sound of that same "Not do so any more," which really I fear was prompted by the charity in her that hopeth all things, and despairs of no villain, rather than by any signals of amendment that could have appeared in myself. It was well for me that they gave no time to comment on my own moral condition; for, in that case, I should have told them, that, although I had delivered, in my time, many thousands of stones for the service of their near relatives, and must, without vanity, presume that, on the ratio of one wound to a thousand shots, I had given them numerous reasons for remembering me; yet that, if so, I was sincerely sorry (which I was) for any pain I had caused—the past I regretted, and could plead only the necessities of duty. But, on the other hand, as respected the future, I could not honestly hold out any hopes of a change for the better, since my duty to my brother, in two separate characters, would oblige me to resume hostilities on the very next day. While I was preparing myself, however, for this painful exposition, my female friends saw issuing from the factory a crowd of boys not likely at all to improve my prospects. Instantly setting me down on my feet, they formed a sort of cordon sanitaire behind me, by stretching out their petticoats or aprons, as in dancing, so as to touch; and then, crying out, "Now, little dog, run for thy life," prepared themselves (I doubt not) for rescuing me, if any recapture should be effected.

But this was not effected, although attempted with an energy that alarmed me, and even perplexed me with a vague thought (far too ambitious for my years, but growing out of my chivalrous studies) that one, perhaps, if not two of the pursuing party might be possessed by some demon of jealousy, since he might have seen me reveling among the lips of that fair girlish and womanish bevy, kissed and kissing, loving and being loved; in which case from all that ever I had read about jealousy (and I had read a great deal—viz, "Othello," and Collins's "Ode to the Passions"), I was satisfied that, if again captured, I had very little chance for my life. That jealousy was a green-eyed monster, nobody could know better than I did. "Oh, my lord, beware of jealousy!" Yes; and my lord couldn't possibly beware of it more than myself; indeed, well it would have been for him had his lordship run away from all the ministers of jealousy—Iago, Cassio, Desdemona—and embroidered handkerchiefs—at the same pace of six miles an hour which kept me ahead of my infuriated pursuers. Ah, that maniac, white as a leper with flakes of cotton, can I ever forget him, that ran so far in advance of his party? What passion, but jealousy, could have sustained him in so hot a chase? There were some lovely girls in the fair company that had so condescendingly caressed me; but, doubtless, upon that sweet creature his love must have settled, who suggested, in her low, soft, relenting voice, a penitence in me that, alas! had not dawned, saying, "Yes; but perhaps he will do so no more." Thinking, as I ran, of her beauty, I felt that this jealous demoniac must fancy himself justified in committing seven times seven murders upon me, if he should have it in his power. But, thank heaven, if jealousy can run six miles an hour, there are other passions, as for instance, fear, that can run, upon occasion, six and a half; so, as I had the start[Pg 308] of him (you know, reader), and not a very short start—thanks be to the expanded petticoats of my dear female friends! naturally it happened that the green-eyed monster came in second best. Time luckily was precious with him; and therefore, when he had chased me into the by-road leading down to Greenhay, he turned back; and I, with somewhat sorrowful steps, on the consideration that this scene might need to be all acted over again, when Green-eyes might happen to have better luck, and being unhappy, besides, at having to number so many kind-hearted girls among Philistines and daughters of Gath, pensively pursued my way to the gates of Greenhay. Pensively is not the word that meets the realities of the case. I was unhappy, in the profoundest sense, and not from any momentary accident of distress that might pass away and be forgotten, but from deep glimpses which now, as heretofore, had opened themselves, as occasions arose, into the interior sadnesses, and the inevitable conflicts of life. I knew—I anticipated to a dead certainty—that my brother would not hear of any merit belonging to the factory population whom every day we had to meet in battle; on the contrary, even submission on their part, and willingness to walk penitentially through the Furcæ Caudinæ, would hardly have satisfied his sense of their criminality. Continually, indeed, as we came in view of the factory, he used to shake his fist at it, and say, in a ferocious tone of voice, "Delenda est Carthago!" And certainly, I thought to myself, it must be admitted by every body that the factory people are inexcusable in raising a rebellion against my brother. But still rebels were men, and sometimes were women; and rebels, that stretch out their petticoats like fans for the sake of screening one from the hot pursuit of enemies with fiery eyes (green or otherwise), really are not the sort of people that one wishes to hate.

Homeward, therefore, I drew in sadness, and little doubting that hereafter I might have verbal feuds with my brother on behalf of my fair friends, but not dreaming how much displeasure I had already incurred by my treasonable collusion with their caresses. That part of the affair he had seen with his own eyes from his position on the field; and then it was that he left me indignantly to my fate, which, by my first reception, it was easy to see would not prove very gloomy. When I came into our own study, I found him engaged in preparing a bulletin (which word was just then traveling into universal use), reporting briefly the events of the day. Drawing, as I shall again have occasion to mention, was among his foremost accomplishments; and round the margin of the border ran a black border, ornamented with cypress, and other funeral emblems. When finished, it was carried into the room of Mrs. Evans. This Mrs. Evans was an important person in our affairs. My mother, who never chose to have any direct communication with her servants, always had a housekeeper for the regulation of all domestic business; and the housekeeper for some years at this period was this Mrs. Evans. Into her private parlor, where she sat aloof from the under servants, my brother and I had the entrée at all times, but upon very different terms of acceptance: he, as a favorite of the first class; I, by sufferance, as a sort of gloomy shadow that ran after his person, and could not well be shut out if he were let in. Him she admired in the very highest degree; myself, on the contrary, she detested, which made me unhappy. But then, in some measure, she made amends for this, by despising me in extremity, and for that I was truly thankful—I need not say why, as the reader already knows. Why she detested me, so far as I know, arose out of my reserve and thoughtful abstraction. I had a great deal to say, but then I could say it only to a very few people, among whom Mrs. Evans was certainly not one; and when I did say any thing, I fear that my dire ignorance and savage sincerity prevented my laying the proper restraints upon my too liberal candor; and that could not prove acceptable to one who thought nothing of working for any purpose, or for no purpose, by petty tricks, or even falsehoods—all which I held in stern abhorrence, that I was at no pains to conceal. The bulletin, on this occasion, garnished with its pageantry of woe, cypress wreaths, and arms reversed, was read aloud to Mrs. Evans, indirectly therefore to me. It communicated, with Spartan brevity, the sad intelligence (but not sad to Mrs. E.), "that the major-general had forever disgraced himself, by submitting to the ... caresses of the enemy." I leave a blank for the epithet affixed to "caresses," not because there was any blank, but, on the contrary, because my brother's wrath had boiled over in such a hubble-bubble of epithets, some only half-erased, some doubtfully erased, that it was impossible, out of the various readings, to pick out the true classical text. "Infamous," "disgusting," and "odious," struggled for precedency; and infamous they might be; but on the other affixes I held my own private opinions. For some days, my brother's displeasure continued to roll in reverberating thunders; but at length it growled itself to rest; and at last he descended to mild expostulations with me, showing clearly, in a series of general orders, what frightful consequences must ensue, if major-generals (as a general principle) should allow themselves to be kissed by the enemy.

[From Bentley's Miscellany.]


Upward of two thousand years ago, perhaps three, a company of merchants, who had a cargo of nitre on board their ship, were driven by the winds on the shores of Galilee, close to a small stream that runs from the foot of Mount Carmel. Being here weather-bound till the storm abated, they made preparations for cooking their food on the strand; and not finding stones to rest their vessels upon, they used some lumps[Pg 309] of nitre for that purpose, placing their kettles and stew-pans on the top, and lighting a strong fire underneath. As the heat increased, the nitre slowly melted away, and flowing down the beach, became mixed up with the sand, forming, when the incorporated mass cooled down, a singularly beautiful, transparent substance, which excited the astonishment and wonder of the beholders.

Such is the legend of the origin of Glass.

A great many centuries afterward—that is to say, toward the close of the fifteenth century of the Christian era—when some of the secrets of the glass-house, supposed to have been known to the ancients, were lost, and the simple art of blowing glass was but scantily cultivated—an artificer, whose name has unfortunately escaped immortality, while employed over his crucible accidentally spilt some of the material he was melting. Being in a fluid state it ran over the ground till it found its way under one of the large flag-stones with which the place was paved, and the poor man was obliged to take up the stone to recover his glass. By this time it had grown cold, and to his infinite surprise he saw that, from the flatness and equality of the surface beneath the stone, it had taken the form of a slab—a form which could not be produced by any process of blowing then in use.

Such was the accident that led to the discovery of the art of casting Plate-Glass.

These are the only accidents recorded in the History of Glass. For the rest—the discovery of its endless capabilities and applications—we are indebted to accumulated observation and persevering experiment, which, prosecuting their ingenious art-labors up to the present hour, promise still farther to enlarge the domain of the Beautiful and the Useful.

The importance of glass, and the infinite variety of objects to which it is applicable, can not be exaggerated. Indeed it would be extremely difficult to enumerate its properties, or to estimate adequately its value. This thin, transparent substance, so light and fragile, is one of the most essential ministers of science and philosophy, and enters so minutely into the concerns of life, that it has become indispensable to the daily routine of our business, our wants, and our pleasures. It admits the sun and excludes the wind, answering the double purpose of transmitting light and preserving warmth; it carries the eyes of the astronomer to the remotest region of space; through the lenses of the microscope it develops new worlds of vitality which, without its help, must have been but imperfectly known; it renews the sight of the old, and assists the curiosity of the young; it empowers the mariner to descry distant ships, and to trace far-off shores, the watchman on the cliff to detect the operations of hostile fleets and midnight contrabandists, and the lounger in the opera to make the tour of the circles from his stall; it preserves the light of the beacon from the rush of the tempest, and softens the flame of the lamps upon our tables; it supplies the revel with those charming vessels in whose bright depths we enjoy the color as well as the flavor of our wine; it protects the dial whose movements it reveals; it enables the student to penetrate the wonders of nature, and the beauty to survey the marvels of her person; it reflects, magnifies, and diminishes; as a medium of light and observation its uses are without limit; and as an article of mere embellishment, there is no form into which it may not be moulded, or no object of luxury to which it may not be adapted.

Yet this agent of universal utility, so valuable and ornamental in its applications, is composed of materials which possess in themselves literally no intrinsic value whatever. Sand and salt form the main elements of glass. The real cost is in the process of manufacture.


Out of these elements, slightly varied according to circumstances, are produced the whole miracles of the glass-house. To any one, not previously acquainted with the component ingredients, the surprise which this information must naturally excite will be much increased upon being apprised of a few of the peculiarities or properties of glass. Transparent in itself, the materials of which it is composed are opaque. Brittle to a proverb when cold, its tenuity and flexibility when hot are so remarkable that it may be spun into filaments as delicate as cobwebs, drawn out like elastic threads till it becomes finer than the finest hair, or whisked, pressed, bent, folded, twisted or moulded into any desired shape. It is impermeable to water, suffers no diminution of its weight or quality by being melted down, is capable of receiving and retaining the most lustrous colors, is susceptible of the most perfect polish, can be carved and sculptured like stone or metal, never loses a fraction of its substance by constant use, and, notwithstanding its origin, is so insensible to the action of acids that it is employed by chemists for purposes to which no other known substance can be applied.

The elasticity and fragility of glass are among its most extraordinary phenomena. Its elasticity exceeds that of almost all other bodies. If two glass balls are made to strike each other at a given force, the recoil, by virtue of their elasticity, will be nearly equal to the original impetus. Connected with its brittleness are some very singular facts. Take a hollow sphere, with a hole, and stop the hole with your finger, so as to prevent the external and internal air from communicating, and the sphere will fly to pieces by the mere heat of the hand. Vessels made of glass that has been suddenly cooled possess the curious property of being able to resist hard blows given to them from without, but will be instantly shivered by a small particle of flint dropped into their cavities. This property seems to depend upon the comparative thickness of the bottom. The thicker the bottom is, the more certainty of breakage by this experiment. Some of these vessels, it is stated, have resisted the[Pg 310] strokes of a mallet, given with sufficient force to drive a nail into wood; and heavy bodies, such as musket-balls, pieces of iron, bits of wood, jasper, bone, &c., have been cast into them from a height of two or three feet without any effect; yet a fragment of flint, not larger than a pea, let fall from the fingers at a height of only three inches, has made them fly. Nor is it the least wonderful of these phenomena that the glass does not always break at the instant of collision, as might be supposed. A bit of flint, literally the size of a grain, has been dropped into several glasses successively, and none of them broke; but, being set apart and watched, it was found that they all flew in less than three-quarters of an hour. This singular agency is not confined to flint. The same effect will be produced by diamond, sapphire, porcelain, highly-tempered steel, pearls, and the marbles that boys play with.[6]

Several theories have been hazarded in explanation of the mystery; but none of them are satisfactory. Euler attempted to account for it on the principle of percussion; but if it were produced by percussion the fracture would necessarily be instantaneous. The best solution that can be offered, although it is by no means free from difficulties, refers the cause of the disruption to electricity. There is no doubt that glass, which has been suddenly cooled, is more electric than glass that has been carefully annealed—a process which we will presently explain; and such glass has been known to crack and shiver from a change of temperament, or from the slightest scratch. The reason is obvious enough. When glass is suddenly cooled from the hands of the artificer, the particles on the outer side are rapidly contracted, while those on the inner side, not being equally exposed to the influence of the atmosphere, yet remain in a state of expansion. The consequence is that the two portions are established on conflicting relations with each other, and a strain is kept up between them which would not exist if the whole mass had undergone a gradual and equal contraction, so that when a force is applied which sets in motion the electric fluid glass is known to contain, the motion goes on propagating itself till it accumulates a power which the irregular cohesion of the particles is too weak to resist. This action of the electric fluid will be better understood from an experiment which was exhibited before the Royal Society upon glass vessels with very thick bottoms, which, being slightly rubbed with the finger, broke after an interval of half an hour.[7] The action of the electric fluid in this instance is sufficiently clear; but why the contact with fragments of certain bodies should produce the same result, or why that result is not produced by contact with other bodies of even greater size and specific gravity, is by no means obvious.

Among the strangest phenomena observed in glass are those which are peculiar to tubes. A glass tube placed in a horizontal position before a fire, with its extremities supported, will acquire a rotatory motion round its axis, moving at the same time toward the fire, notwithstanding that the supports on which it rests may form an inclined plane the contrary way. If it be placed on a glass plane—such as a piece of window-glass—it will move from the fire, although the plane may incline in the opposite direction. If it be placed standing nearly upright, leaning to the right hand, it will move from east to west; if leaning to the left hand, it will move from west to east; and if it be placed perfectly upright, it will not move at all. The causes of these phenomena are unknown, although there has been no lack of hypotheses in explanation of them.[8]

It is not surprising that marvels and paradoxes should be related of glass, considering the almost incredible properties it really possesses. Seeing that it emits musical sounds when water is placed in it, and it is gently rubbed on the edges; that these sounds can be regulated according to the quantity of water, and that the water itself leaps, frisks, and dances, as if it were inspired by the music; seeing its extraordinary power of condensing vapor, which may be tested by simply breathing upon it; and knowing that, slight and frail as it is, it expands less under the influence of heat than metallic substances, while its expansions are always equable and proportioned to the heat, a quality not found in any other substance, we can not be much astonished at any wonders which are superstitiously or ignorantly attributed to it, or expected to be elicited from it. One of the most remarkable is the feat ascribed to Archimedes, who is said to have set fire to the Roman fleet at the siege of Syracuse by the help of burning-glasses. The fact is attested by most respectable authorities,[9] but it is only right to add, that it is treated as a pure fable by Kepler and Descartes, than whom no men were more competent to judge of the possibility of such an achievement. Tzetzez relates the matter very circumstantially; he says that Archimedes set fire to Marcellus's navy by means of a burning glass composed of small square mirrors, moving every way upon hinges; which, when placed in the sun's rays, directed them upon the Roman fleet, so as to reduce it to ashes at the distance of a bow-shot. Kircher made an experiment founded upon this minute description, by which he satisfied himself of the practicability of at least obtaining an extraordinary condensed power of this kind. Having collected the sun's rays into a focus, by a number of plain mirrors, he went on increasing the number of mirrors until at last he produced an intense degree of solar[Pg 311] heat; but it does not appear whether he was able to employ it effectively as a destructive agent at a long reach. Buffon gave a more satisfactory demonstration to the world of the capability of these little mirrors to do mischief on a small scale. By the aid of his famous burning-glass, which consisted of one hundred and sixty-eight little plain mirrors, he produced so great a heat as to set wood on fire at a distance of two hundred and nine feet, and to melt lead at a distance of one hundred and twenty, and silver at fifty; but there is a wide disparity between the longest of these distances and the length of a bowshot, so that the Archimedean feat still remains a matter of speculation.


In the region of glass, we have a puzzle as confounding as the philosopher's stone (which, oddly enough, is the name given to that color in glass which is known as Venetian brown sprinkled with gold spangles), the elixir vitæ, or the squaring of the circle, and which has occasioned quite as much waste of hopeless ingenuity. Aristotle, one of the wisest of men, is said, we know not on what authority, to have originated this vitreous perplexity by asking the question. "Why is not glass malleable?" The answer to the question would seem to be easy enough, since the quality of malleability is so opposed to the quality of vitrification, that, in the present state of our knowledge (to say nothing about the state of knowledge in the time of Aristotle) their co-existence would appear to be impossible. But, looking at the progress of science in these latter days, it would be presumptuous to assume that any thing is impossible. Until, however, some new law of nature, or some hitherto unknown quality shall have been discovered, by which antagonist forces can be exhibited in combination, the solution of this problem may be regarded as at least in the last degree improbable.

Yet, in spite of its apparent irreconcilability with all known laws, individuals have been known to devote themselves assiduously to its attainment, and on more than one occasion to declare that they had actually succeeded, although the world has never been made the wiser by the disclosure of the secret. A man who is possessed with one idea, and who works at it incessantly, generally ends by believing against the evidence of facts. It is in the nature of a strong faith to endure discouragement and defeat with an air of martyrdom, as if every fresh failure was a sort of suffering for truth's sake. And the faith in the malleability of glass has had its martyrology as well as faith in graver things. So far back as the time of Tiberius, a certain artificer, who is represented to have been an architect by profession, believing that he had succeeded in making vessels of glass as strong and ductile as gold or silver, presented himself with his discovery before the Emperor, naturally expecting to be rewarded for his skill. He carried a handsome vase with him, which was so much admired by Tiberius that, in a fit of enthusiasm, he dashed it upon the ground with great force to prove its solidity, and finding, upon taking it up again, that it had been indented by the blow, he immediately repaired it with a hammer. The Emperor, much struck with so curious an exhibition, inquired whether any body else was acquainted with the discovery, and being assured that the man had strictly preserved his secret, the tyrant instantly ordered him to be beheaded, from an apprehension that if this new production should go forth to the world it would lower the value of the precious metals.[10] The secret, consequently, perished. A chance, however, arose for its recovery during the reign of Louis XIII., a period that might be considered more favorable to such undertakings; but unfortunately with no better result. The inventor on this occasion submitted a bust formed of malleable glass to Cardinal Richelieu, who, instead of rewarding him for his ingenuity, sentenced him to perpetual imprisonment, on the plea that the invention interfered with the vested interests of the French glass manufacturers.[11] We should have more reliance on these anecdotes of the martyrs of glass, if they had bequeathed to mankind some clew to the secret that is supposed to have gone to the grave with them. To die for a truth, and at the same time to conceal it, is not the usual course of heroic enthusiasts.

Many attempts have been made to produce a material resembling glass that should possess the quality of malleability, and respectable evidence is not wanting of authorities who believed in its possibility, and who are said to have gone very near to its accomplishment. An Arabian writer[12] tells us that malleable glass was known to the Egyptians; but we must come closer to our own times for more explicit and satisfactory testimony. Descartes thought it was possible to impart malleability to glass, and Boyle is reported to have held the same opinion. But these are only speculative notions, of no further value than to justify the prosecution of experiments. Borrichius, a Danish physician of the seventeenth century, details an experiment by which he obtained a malleable salt, which led him to conclude that as glass is for the most part only a mixture of salt and sand, he saw no reason why it should not be rendered pliant. The defect of his logic is obvious; but, setting that aside, the fallacy is practically demonstrated by his inability to get beyond the salt. Borrichius also thought that the Roman who made the vase for Tiberius, may have successfully used antimony as his principal ingredient. Such suppositions, however, are idle in an experimental science which furnishes you at once with the means of putting their truth or falsehood to the test. There is a substance known to modern[Pg 312] chemistry, luna cornea, a solution of silver, which resembles horn or glass, is transparent, easily put into fusion, and is capable of bearing the hammer. Kunkel thought it was possible to produce a composition with a glassy exterior that should possess the ductile quality; but neither of these help us toward an answer to Aristotle's question. Upon a review of the whole problem, and of every thing that has been said and done in the way of experiment and conjecture, we are afraid we must leave it where we found it. The malleability of glass is still a secret.


Dismissing history and theory, we will now step into the glass-house itself, where the practical work of converting sand into goblets, vases, mirrors, and window-panes is going forward with a celerity and accuracy of hand and head that can not fail to excite wonder and admiration. As the whole agency employed is that of heat, the interior of the manufactory consists of furnaces specially constructed for the progressive processes to which the material is subjected before it is sent out perfected for use. Look round this extensive area, where you see numbers of men in their shirt-sleeves, with aprons before them, and various implements in their hands, which they exercise with extraordinary rapidity, and you will soon understand how the glittering wonders of glass are produced. Of these furnaces there are three kinds, the first called the calcar, the second the working furnace, and the third the annealing oven, or lier.

The calcar, built in the form of an oven, is used for the calcination of the materials, preliminary to their fusion and vitrification. This process is of the utmost importance: it expels all moisture and carbonic acid gas, the presence of which would hazard the destruction of the glass-pots in the subsequent stages of the manufacture, while it effects a chemical union between the salt, sand, and metallic oxides, which is essential to prevent the alkali from fusing and volatilizing, and to insure the vitrification of the sand in the heat of the working furnace, to which the whole of the materials are to be afterwards submitted.

The working furnace, which is round, and generally built in the proportion of three yards in diameter to two in height, is divided into three parts, each of which is vaulted. The lower part, made in the form of a crown, contains the fire, which is never put out. Ranged round the circumference inside are the glass-pots or crucibles, in which the frit, or calcined material, is placed to be melted; and from several holes in the arch of the crown below issues a constant flame which, enveloping the crucibles, accomplishes the process of melting. Round the exterior of the furnace, you perceive a series of holes or mouths; these are called boccas, from the Italian, and it is through them the frit is served into the crucibles and taken out when melted. The volume of heat is here so intense, that the boccas are provided with movable collars or covers, generally composed of lute and brick, to screen the eyes of the workmen who stand outside in recesses formed for the purpose in the projections of the masonry. The severest part of the work arises when any of the pots, or crucibles, happen to become cracked or worn out, in which case the bocca must be entirely uncovered, the defective pot taken out with iron hooks and forks, and a new one substituted in its place through the flames by the hands of the workman. In order to enable him thus literally to work in the fire, he is protected by a garment made of skins in the shape of a pantaloon, and heavily saturated with water. This strange garment completely covers him from head to foot, all except his eyes, which are defended by glasses.

The material being now melted is fashioned into the desired forms by the hands of the workmen while it is yet hot, and then placed to cool gradually in the third furnace, or annealing oven, called the lier. This oven is a long, low chamber, heated at one end, and furnished with movable iron trays or pans, called fraiches (from the French), upon which the various articles are set down, and finally removed, when they are sufficiently cold, through an opening which communicates with the sarosel, or room where the finished articles are kept.

The intensity of the fire requires that the furnaces and crucibles, should be constructed of materials the least fusible in their nature, and the best calculated to resist the violent and incessant action of heat; or the manufacturer will incur the most serious losses and delays from casualties which, even after the most careful and costly outlay, can not be always averted. The crucibles especially demand attention in this respect, in consequence of the solvent property of some of the materials which are melted in them. These crucibles are deep pots, varying in size according to the extent or objects of the manufacture; and some notion may be formed of the importance attached to them from the fact, that they are not unfrequently made large enough to contain individually not less than a ton weight of glass. Great skill and care are requisite in their structure, so as to adapt them to the temperature in which their qualities are to be tested; and even with the utmost attention that can be bestowed upon them, they are often found to break soon after they are exposed to the furnace, by which heavy losses are entailed upon the manufacturer. Nor is this the only point which must be considered. The size of the crucible should bear a proportionate relation to that of the furnace, or one of two consequences, equally to be avoided, will ensue; either that there will be a waste of fuel, if the crucibles are too small, or an inadequate heat, if they are too large.[13]

We have now before us the three principal processes—the calcination, by which the materials[Pg 313] are prepared in the first instance—the melting down of these materials into glass in the great working furnace, and the annealing of the finished article after it has been fashioned by the workmen. These processes are broad and simple; but that part of the manufacture which is, probably, most calculated to surprise the uninitiated, is the manner in which the red-hot mass of glass, as it is taken out of the crucible, is instantly, so to speak, shaped into form by the dextrous hands and practiced eyes of those men whom you see standing about at tables and stools, twisting long iron rods called pontils, blowing through pipes, and performing mysterious evolutions with scissors, pronged sticks, compasses, and other instruments, with a rapidity that baffles the most vigilant observer. From the infinite diversity of objects into which glass is thus moulded, it must be obvious that the operations of these artificers embrace a variety of curious details which it is impossible to enter upon here; but a glance at some of them will enable the reader to form a general notion of the curious manipulations upon which they are so actively employed.

The initial movement of the glass-blower is to dip a hollow iron rod or tube, about five feet long, through the bocca, into one of the crucibles containing the melted glass. Having collected at the end of the tube a sufficient quantity of material for the article he is about to fashion—a drinking-glass, finger-glass, jug, or whatever it may be (which requires, perhaps, two or three dips according to the quantity he wants), he withdraws the tube, and holds it perpendicularly for a few seconds with the heated mass downward, till the fluid drops and lengthens by its own momentum beyond the end of the tube. He then quickly raises it, and rolls it on a smooth horizontal plate till it acquires a cylindrical form. When he has got it into this shape, he applies his mouth to the opposite end of the tube, and blows into the heated mass which swiftly becomes distended into a sphere. But as the globe thus obtained is not rendered sufficiently thin for his purpose by a single blowing, he reheats it by holding it within the furnace, and then blows again, repeating the operation till he brings it to the desiderated size and consistency. Thus prepared, he swings it in the air like a pendulum, or twirls it round and round rapidly, according to the elongated or circular form he requires, the molten particles obeying the tendency of the force and motion employed.

Having advanced to this stage, and the mass being ready for fashioning, a new instrument is brought to bear upon it. This is a small, solid, round iron rod, called the pontil, upon one end of which a lesser portion of material has been collected by another workman, and this portion being applied to the extremity of the globe already formed rapidly adheres to it. The whole is now detached from the tube, or blowpipe, by simply damping the point of contact, which causes the glass to crack, so that a stroke upon the tube separates it safely, leaving a small hole in the globe where the tube had originally entered.

By this time the temperature of the mass has cooled down, and it becomes necessary to reheat it, which is done as before. The artificer next seats himself on a stool with elevated arms, upon which he rests the pontil, which he grasps and twirls with his left hand, having thus a command over the red-hot glass with his right hand, in which he holds a small iron instrument called a procello, consisting of two blades with an elastic bow, similar to a sugar-tongs. With this little instrument the whole work of fashioning is performed, and as it must be completed while the glass is yet ductile (having always, however, the power of reheating it when necessary), the process is effected with wondrous celerity. By the aid of the procello he enlarges or contracts the mass, which he adapts to its motions with his left hand, and where any shapeless excrescences appear he instantly cuts them off with a pair of scissors as easily as if they were so much lace or cotton. And thus, almost in less time than it has occupied us in the description, articles of the most exquisite form and delicacy are created by the art-magic of these Vulcans of the glass-furnace.

That which chiefly excites astonishment and admiration in the spectator is the ease and security with which a material so fragile is cut, joined, twirled, pressed out and contracted, by the hands of the workmen. Long practice alone can insure the requisite certainty and quickness of manipulation, and the eye must be highly educated to its work before it can achieve off-hand, and, by a sort of accomplished instinct, the beautiful shapes which are thus rapidly produced.

The moment the article is finished it is detached from the pontil and dropped into a bed of ashes, from whence it is removed while it is yet hot, by a pronged stick or wooden shovel, to the tray to be deposited in the annealing oven where it is gradually cooled.


In making crown-glass, which is used for windows, a slight alteration in the process is observed. When the globe is prepared as before at the end of the tube, it is flattened at its extremity by pressure against a plain surface; the new material at the end of the pontil is then attached to the flattened side, and the whole mass detached from the tube, leaving a circular hole at the point of separation. The mass is now twirled round and round, at first slowly, then more quickly, till its diameter, obeying the centrifugal force, becomes wider and wider, the hole expanding in proportion. At last, as the motion increases in velocity, the double portion suddenly bursts open, the whole forming a plain disc of uniform density throughout, except at the spot in the centre where the pontil is attached[Pg 314] to it, and where there is accumulated that small lump which is vulgarly called a bull's eye. The most surprising incident in this process is the bursting open of the flattened globe, a circumstance which would shiver the entire mass if it were not kept up at a certain heat.

The mode of casting plate-glass presents a remarkable illustration of the skillful adaptation of means to ends. When the glass is melted in the crucible, a portion of it is transferred to a smaller crucible, called a cuvette, which contains the exact quantity requisite for the size of the plate about to be formed. The cuvette is then raised by means of a crane, and lifted over the casting table. These tables have smooth metallic surfaces which are carefully ground and polished, and wiped perfectly clean, and heated before they are used. Formerly they were made of copper, but the British Plate Glass Company have found that iron slabs answer the purpose better. The table used by them is fifteen feet long, nine feet wide, and six inches thick, and weighs fourteen tons. For the convenience of moving it to the annealing ovens it is placed upon castors. The cuvette being swung over the casting table, is gradually turned over, and a flood of molten glass is poured out upon the surface, and prevented from running off by ribs of metal. As soon as it is entirely discharged, a large hollow copper cylinder is rolled over the fluid, spreading it into a sheet of equal breadth and thickness. When the glass is sufficiently cool to bear removal it is slipped into the annealing oven, where it is placed in a horizontal position,[14] great care having been taken to exclude the external air, it being indispensable to the beauty of these plates that the process of cooling should be regular and gradual.

No less than twenty workmen are engaged in these operations, and during the whole time the apartment is kept perfectly still, lest a motion of any kind should set the air in motion, the slightest disturbance of the surface of the plate being calculated to impair its value. "The spectacle of such a vast body of melted glass," observes Mr. Parks, "poured at once from an immense crucible, on a metallic table of great magnitude, is truly grand; and the variety of colors which the plate exhibits immediately after the roller has passed over it, renders this an operation more splendid and interesting that can possibly be described."[15]

To attempt the briefest outline of the vast number of objects that are composed of glass, and the variety of processes to which the material is subjected in their production, would carry us far beyond the limits within which we are unavoidably confined. Even the most trifling articles of daily use, apparently very simple in their formation, involve many elaborate details. Take a watch, for example. The history from the furnace to the workshop, of those parts of a watch which are composed of glass, is full of curious particulars. The watch-glass maker exercises a function distinct from any one of those we have hitherto been considering. He receives from the blower an accurate hollow globe of glass, measuring eight inches in diameter, and weighing exactly twelve ounces, which is the guarantee at once of the regularity and thinness of the material. Upon the surface of this globe the watch-glass maker traces with a piece of heated wire, sometimes with a tobacco pipe, as many circles of the size he requires as the globe will yield, and wetting the lines while they are yet warm, they instantly crack, and the circles are at once separated. He finds the edges rough, but that is got rid of by trimming them with a pair of scissors. The circles thus obtained are deficient, however, in the necessary convexity; he accordingly reheats them, and, with an instrument in each hand, beats or moulds them into the precise form desired, much in the same manner as a dairy-maid, with her wooden spoons beats a pat of butter into shape. The edges are now ground off, and the watch-glass is complete. The preparation of the dial, which is composed of opaque white glass, ordinarily known as enamel, is a much more complicated work, involving several minute processes and a larger expenditure of time. Upon both sides of a thin plate of slightly convex copper, bored with holes for the key, and the hour and minute hands, is spread with a spatula a coat of pounded glass which has gone through several stages of solution and purification before it is ready for application. In the management of this operation, and the absorption of any moisture that may linger in the enamel, considerable care and delicacy of hand are necessary. As soon as the dial-plate is perfectly dried it is put into the furnace to be heated gradually. These processes of firing and enameling must be repeated altogether three times before the work is finished; after which the lines and divisions for the hours and minutes are marked upon the surface by a totally different process. We have here merely touched the principal points in the formation of dial-plates; the details are too complex for enumeration.

If we find in such articles as these the employment of numerous chemical agencies, special tools, and peculiar manipulation, we may easily give credit to the greater wonders that remain to be developed in more costly processes; such as the composition of artificial gems, of the pastes that are made to resemble diamonds and pearls, amethysts, emeralds, and precious stones of all colors and degrees of brilliancy, beads, bulbs, striped tubes, and a hundred other fanciful toys and ornaments; the formation of lenses and eye-glasses; the coloring of glass for various purposes; and the arts of staining and painting, silvering, gilding, cutting, engraving, and etching, each of which has its own mysteries, and has been prosecuted in different ages[Pg 315] by different means. When it is said that some of these arts are lost, the fact must be taken in a restricted sense, as merely implying that certain chemical combinations, formerly in use, are unknown to us; but the same arts are still practiced by other means. It is a peculiarity in the manufacture of glass that almost every establishment has its own receipts, and, consequently, its own secrets. Even in the materials employed in the first process of calcination—not to speak of subsequent working processes—there is an infinite diversity of choice in the ingredients, and the proportions in which they are combined; and such is the jealousy of the great manufacturers respecting these matters, that they never admit visitors into their establishments except under the seal of the strictest confidence.[16] It is not surprising, therefore, that while the elementary principles of the art have descended to us, particular combinations and processes should have died with their discoverers, or be still kept shut up in the manufactories where they are successfully practiced.


"It is quite impossible," said I, as I walked round the garden with my old friend, the vicar; "it is quite impossible to leave home in May; the bees will be swarming, and it is the very week of the school feast."

"We will have the school feast a week earlier," answered he; "and, as to the bees, I will look after them myself, and you will have the pleasure of seeing a new colony or two safely housed, and hard at work, when you come back again."

I was silenced on these points, and began to reflect what other excuse I could find to put off a disagreeable journey. But there was something in my friend's manner that warned me it would be vain to offer any further objection. He looked upon my attendance at my niece's wedding as a matter of duty, and he would have removed every obstacle that my ingenuity could oppose to it, with as much coolness as he displayed at that moment, in sweeping a spider's web from the China rose-tree on my verandah.

I yielded, but not without a sigh. "Dear Amy," I said, "I love her very much, and would do much to serve her, but my presence at her fine wedding will be no advantage to her, and a great annoyance to me, therefore it would be better to put off my visit until the fuss and ceremony is fairly over."

My reverend friend shook his head. "We are called on to rejoice with those who do rejoice," said he; "as well as to weep with those who weep, although we may not always be in a mood to obey the summons."

This was very like a passage from one of the good man's sermons, but I knew the sentiment it contained came from his heart, and what was more, I knew it would have influenced his own actions.

"Amy was indeed a charming child," continued he, "when you brought her to be cured of the hooping-cough among our Cumberland mountains. I only hope the little world of boarding-schools, and the great one of fashion, may not have spoilt her by this time."

I hoped so, too, but I was by no means sanguine on the subject. My friend was right; Amy was a charming child when we had her among us. With far more character and greater talent than her elder sisters, she had promised to equal them in grace and beauty; and her warm heart and sunny temper captivated every body who knew her. It would be a pity to spoil such a nature as hers, and yet I could not conceal from myself, that there were points in her character which rendered her peculiarly liable to be spoilt by the favors and flatteries of the world.

"Then you will go?" were the last words the vicar said to me, as we shook hands at parting.

I answered in the affirmative, and a fortnight after, encumbered with rather more in the way of trunks and bandboxes than I usually travel with, I set off.

Mrs. R. met me this time with a load of care upon her brow. She was often anxious-looking, for even her world, light and trifling as it was, had its burdens, and at this time she seemed overwhelmed by them. Who could wonder at it? Next to the great change which removes a beloved child from the embraces of her parents to an unseen world, there is nothing in solemnity equal to that tie which transfers the guardianship of her happiness to a stranger. When a daughter marries, her parents are deprived of the first place in her love and reverence, and bereaved for ever of the daily companionship, which, in the decline of life, becomes so precious a solace and so dear a joy. What a tremendous responsibility there is in the choice of the person who is to be intrusted with so costly a deposit, and in whose favor are relinquished such valued rights? How few are the men whose characters present a combination of qualities, which under such circumstances, could satisfy the fears and misgivings of a parent's love!

Something of all this I could not help expressing. Mrs. R. replied that they had perfect confidence in Mr. Lennox; it was in every respect a most unexceptionable match; there was a splendid income to begin with, and every prospect of an immense fortune in a few years, and an excellent position in society; as to moral character, and that sort of thing, of course, all was perfectly satisfactory. "What you say[Pg 316] about parting with one's children," continued she, and here she applied her exquisite pocket-handkerchief to her eyes, "is very true—it is very hard to part with Amy; but," she philosophically added, "it must be so, so it is no use grieving about it."

And she did not grieve about it any more, but became very fluent upon other grievances, which this affair had brought upon her; and now I began to perceive that the true causes of anxiety were something widely different from those which I had anticipated.

"I am worried to death," said my poor sister-in-law; "every thing rests with me. I have all the arrangements to make, and no one to consult with, for Mr. R. takes no interest in these matters, and as to Amy, she is a perfect child. Louisa, too, has become so dull and indifferent, she is of no use at all. I miss Fanny beyond every thing; her wedding was comparatively no trouble, for she helped me to think; but now I am positively miserable lest all should not go off as it ought to do."

Here was a species of affliction, for which I had certainly no ready-made speech of condolence, and I should have been somewhat embarrassed how to reply, if the entrance of the girls had not rendered reply unnecessary. It was some years since I had seen Amy, who had always been my darling; and when I could disengage myself from her warm embrace, I looked at her earnestly, to notice all the changes which those years had made in her. Her beauty was something marvelous, and I was so much taken up with her, that I did not at first pay much attention to her sister, but when I did so, I felt both shocked and surprised. The few summers that had passed since I saw her a blooming girl, did not warrant the change which had taken place in her appearance. Her complexion had lost its color; her features looked thin and pinched; there was a querulous expression, which I had never noticed before, about the mouth; and the skin round the eyes had that livid hue, which gives to the countenance so peculiar an appearance of unhealthiness.

"My dear Louisa," I exclaimed, "you are surely not well!"

She answered she was tolerably well, and, as she did not appear to like to be questioned, I made no farther inquiries, but gave my attention to the detail of the various arrangements that had been entered into for the approaching ceremony. I was to see the wedding clothes, of course, and I exposed my ignorance, or at least forgetfulness, of modern fashion, by asking for the bonnet.

"Bonnet! aunt," cried Amy; "wreath I suppose you mean—here it is," and she placed it on her beautiful brow. Louisa threw the costly vail over her head, and there was a picture which a Reynolds or a Lawrence might have been proud to copy. I had not long to admire it. Amy laughed and blushed, and threw the things away again. What strange fashions there are with respect to wedding clothes, thought I; my mother was married in a riding-habit and hat, just as if she had been going fox-hunting; nowadays, nothing but a ball dress will do for the ceremony; albeit it be performed on the stone floor of a country church, at Christmas time. Must a wedding dress, indeed, be one as different as possible to the wearer's daily habits and every-day appearance—a kind of climax to all the little duplicities, voluntary and involuntary, which, it is said, are inseparable from courtship? Well, well, be it so! Thy outward attractions, Amy, will not have lost much, when the blonds and satins are put into the bandbox. God grant that it may be the same with the other and dearer graces of the heart and mind!

The few days which intervened between my arrival and the wedding-day were very busy ones; so busy that I could see very little of the bride elect, and still less of the bridegroom. What I did see of the latter, however, impressed me very favorably. He seemed worthy of all Amy might become, all he thought she was, for he was passionately in love, as it is not difficult to imagine a young man would be with a being so beautiful and attractive. What her feelings toward him were, I could not exactly decide. Everybody said she loved him, and so she thought herself; but I could not bring myself to believe that her heart was yet awakened to a profound and passionate sentiment of affection. She admired her future husband, and was flattered by being the choice of one who was universally allowed to be a superior man; she liked his company, and felt grateful to him for his love. If this were not love, it was at least a good foundation for it, and, perhaps, the wonder was that it had not yet ripened into a warmer sentiment. But Amy was a child—a child whose whole life had been surrounded by trifles; and there was a depth and seriousness in Edward Lennox's character to which her own was yet but imperfectly attuned. Would the future bring with it companionship and love, or estrangement and indifference? A tremendous question this appeared to me, but one which apparently entered into the head of no one in all that busy house, except into that of the elderly spinster aunt.

The wedding took place. There is no occasion to describe it; most people, at any rate the young ones, know how such things are managed nowadays. The bride and bridegroom departed, and the bridesmaids dispersed until the return of the wedded pair should re-assemble them for the important business of receiving company. As this return was not likely to be speedy, I too said farewell, for I had engaged to visit other friends, before returning to my hermitage—as Mrs. R. persisted in denominating my cottage—although it was situated close to a populous village, and not far from a flourishing market-town.

I went away very anxious about Louisa. Mrs. R. was sensible of the change in her daughter's appearance and professed herself[Pg 317] unable to understand it. No girls, as she observed, had more indulgences or greater means of amusement than hers had, but nothing pleased or amused Louisa now. I inquired if any thing had occurred to render her unhappy. Her mother said there had been a slight love affair, but that reasons sufficient to satisfy Louisa herself had set it on one side, and that she did not think the attachment still existed. My future observations inclined me to agree with Mrs. R. in this latter particular, but it seemed to me as if this fancy, slight as it might have been, had awakened the poor girl to the consciousness that she had a heart and a soul; that she possessed capacities which called for nobler objects and a wider sphere of action, than were furnished in the region of frivolity wherein she dwelt. Not that she could have put her feelings into words—they existed in her mind too vaguely for that; her longings were indefinable to herself, but they were real, and I was convinced they were sapping the very foundations of her existence. I would fain have taken her home with me. I would have brought her into contact with the genuine wants and woes of humanity, represented, it might be, in humble types, but varnished over by none of the falsehood and glitter of fashionable society. I would have done so, because I believed that here she might find something to interest and rouse her to action. This once accomplished, her energies would no longer be left to prey upon themselves, and the weariness of an aimless existence would be at an end. But had my abode been, indeed, the cell of an anchorite, and buried in the depth of the wilderness, Mrs. R. could not have shrunk with more horror from the idea of trusting her daughter to my guardianship, than she did when I made the proposal. In vain I represented how happy Amy had always been while under my care, and how infallible had been the effect of Cumberland air upon all her juvenile ailments. In as plain terms as were consistent with her accustomed good breeding, Mrs. R. intimated, that though it might do very well for a child, Louisa would be moped to death at my cottage. She needed amusement, interest, that was certain; she must go to Brighton, to Hastings, to Baden, if possible—any where, to give her a complete change of scene and ideas. I gave the matter up, but I believed that in my solitude she would have found a greater change of scene and ideas than she would be likely to meet with in any fashionable watering-place.

Months rolled on. The bride and bridegroom returned, but not before I was again settled at home. I had letters from Amy, cheerful, happy letters they were. How could they be otherwise? The whole joys of the world were before her, and with a lively fancy, and the keen sense of enjoyment of eighteen, how could she be insensible to their attractions! I had letters from Mrs. R. too, full of Amy's praises. They told me how gracefully she had played her new part—how, whether she appeared abroad or received guests at home, she was the delight of every eye, the praise of every tongue. This was not all I would have known, but I could learn no more, and it was two years before Amy and I met again. She was then the mother of a fine little boy, and as blooming and beautiful as ever. She seemed happy too, and preserved that uninterrupted flow of gayety which had always been so charming. Not so her husband. The ease and cheerfulness, which had once characterized his conversation, had vanished; he was silent and reserved; it seemed to me that some hidden sorrow, for which he had no confidant, was preying on his mind. When I hinted to Amy the change in her husband's manner, she tossed her pretty head, and poutingly remarked, that she supposed men were always more agreeable in the days of courtship than after marriage. But, in spite of her childish petulance, a tear stole to her eye, which I was not sorry to see there. True it was that Edward Lennox was completely disenchanted. He had found out that the thoughtless, inexperienced girl, who had never been led to reflect on any thing more serious than the amusement of the present hour, was not the perfect woman, the ideal of his fancy, and the echo of his every thought and feeling. He was a man of an almost jealously sensitive turn of mind, and when he found he was not comprehended, he shrank into himself, and took refuge in an impenetrable reserve. Amy, poor child, had no idea of all that was passing in her husband's mind. She was conscious of no change in herself, and she little thought how different had been his conception of her character to its reality. She believed that what her mamma had told her about the caprice of men, explained the change which she could not but be sensible had taken place in his sentiments toward her; and though this change sometimes made her sad, she did not love deeply enough to be quite heart-broken. But Amy was still loved. If Mr. Lennox did not love her as he could have loved the true wife of his bosom, he cherished her as a lovely child, whose happiness was intrusted to his keeping, and it seemed to me as if fears for her, as well as sorrow of his own, harassed and perplexed him.

Mrs. R. was right. Nothing could be more faultless than the easy grace with which Amy presided at her husband's table, or mixed in the gay circles of fashionable amusement. With perfect truth, I could congratulate her mother on this point, but I felt a kind of wonder, well as I knew Mrs. R., to observe what unmingled satisfaction it afforded her. She evidently considered that nothing was wanting to the complete success of this marriage. Poor woman! she soon changed her opinion most woefully!

Louisa was still poorly; she had rallied for a while, but now seemed to droop more than ever. I often went to spend the evening with her when Mrs. R. and Amy were from home, and very dear had these hours become to me. The prospect of eternity had opened to that young spirit,[Pg 318] and it had caused a rapid development of the noblest powers of the soul. With the waking of the spiritual nature, the intellect had been aroused also, and, animated by these powers, she was a different being. No wonder when her mother caught her cheerful smile, or her beaming eye, that she believed her convalescent, and I, for one, could not destroy the illusion.

One evening when I had left Amy in the hands of her maid, preparing to go out to dine, I went into the library to look for a book which I had promised to read to Louisa that evening, and felt a little disconcerted to find Mr. Lennox seated by the fire, with his arms folded, and apparently so completely engrossed by his reflections as scarcely to notice my entrance. As I had believed him to be preparing to accompany Amy, I had by no means expected to find him here, and I explained my errand somewhat apologetically. He started from his reverie, and rising, completed my astonishment by requesting five minutes' conversation.

"Are you not going out?" I asked.

"Out? Oh, I had forgotten. No, not tonight."

There was something in his whole manner that alarmed me. "What is the matter?" said I, and I believe I changed color, and said something about my brother.

"Don't be alarmed," said he, "no one is in trouble or danger but my unfortunate self, and, through me, poor Amy. To be plain with you, Miss R., for I believe I may speak out to you, without apprehending a fit of fainting or hysterics, I am a ruined man. Mind," he added, quickly, and a look of manly dignity replaced the troubled expression of his brow and eye, "I use the word in its ordinary, conventional signification. You and I would call no man ruined, in the literal sense of the word, who retained his honor unstained, and the vigor of his head and the strength of his hand unimpaired."

I was so completely taken by surprise, that I had no power to reply, and he went on; "If it were only for myself, I could bear it, I believe, as well as most people, but the thought of that poor girl unmans me. Amusement, society, luxury, seem to make up her very life, and to tell her she must be deprived of these things, is dreadful. Oh!" he continued, bitterly, "if I could be to Amy all that she once was to me, how light would all trials be while our love remained; but that was an idle dream!"

"It may be no dream yet," answered I. "Amy has a heart, though her life, hitherto, has offered little to prove its depth. Who knows but that, when she is called on for sympathy and action, she may prove all we could wish?"

"Do not flatter me with false hopes," he said; "I have given up such ideas as those forever."

I had some hope that matters were not so bad as in the first moment I had been given to understand they were, and I begged for further information. I found, however, the statement Mr. Lennox had made was substantially true; he had, indeed, lost a handsome property, and all that remained was an opportunity of realizing a comfortable independence by personal exertion. But the sacrifice of the luxuries, and the worldly consideration which the possession of wealth bestows, was inevitable; a sacrifice which frequently causes distress very disproportionate to the worth of the objects abandoned.

When he had in a few words put me in possession of the actual state of his affairs, he said: "Now comes the question of what is best to be done with Amy. It is possible I may find it advisable to go out to India, but, whether I go or stay, I think it would be better for her to accompany her mother and Louisa to Baden. She will feel the change less at first, I have consulted with her father, and he agrees with me in this opinion."

"Very likely," said I, dryly; "and if it is your intention that Amy should remain all her life a spoiled child of fortune, you could not take better means to attain your end. If she is ever to prove what a rational being should be, it must be by the discipline of life; do not, then, attempt to shield her from trials which may be of more benefit to her than all the favors of fortune. Do not suppose you can guarantee her from sorrow; rather call upon her to share your distresses, than leave her to be consumed by the selfish vexations which inevitably fall to the lot of the idle and indulged. But, if you would inspire her with devotion, you must give her your confidence. Tell her all—let her know your actual position—what you hope from her—what you fear. You and she may live to bless the day which brings these trials."

"Ah! if I could think," he began; "but no—you do but judge after your own earnest nature—you do not know Amy."

"Nor you—nor any one; she does not know herself. A girl's character is like a rosebud, folded up from every eye; but, unlike the flower, it expands more under clouds and tempests than under the genial sun."

There was a pause, during which he sat musing, then he said, "When I called your attention to my unhappy affairs, it was with the intention of requesting you to break the matter to Amy for me, but you have half persuaded me to do it myself."

"Yourself, by all means," said I; "and let there be no concealment between you. What am I to do about telling Louisa and Mrs. R.?"

"Oh! they must know, certainly," answered he. "Mrs. R. will be gone out when you arrive, so you will be spared that scene. Louisa—who has now more sense and courage than all of us put together—will break it to her best in the morning. Here is the carriage, let me put you into it, and then for poor Amy."

He was right. Louisa did seem to have more sense and courage now than any of us. Perhaps, she felt herself too near another world to affix an undue value on the things of this, for none of the agitation which I had feared resulted from the[Pg 319] communication, and we consulted together calmly and rationally on the best means of making present circumstances useful to Amy, and tolerable to her mother. But, calm as she was, I thought it better to spare her the first burst of Mrs. R.'s distress, and therefore I remained the night over, and returned to Amy in the morning.

I found her alone in the nursery, with her sleeping infant in her arms. Her eyes were bent pensively on its countenance, and there was an expression of serious thoughtfulness on her beautiful features, which became them as well as the gayety which was their native character.

"My dear, dear aunt," she said, as I kissed her cheek, "how much I owe you!"

"Owe me, my love! what do you mean?"

"If it had not been for you, Edward would have told me nothing. I should never have known half his causes of distress, and I should have believed him cold and indifferent, when, on the contrary, he was depressed by anxiety for me, and for our boy."

Here was a spring of action at once. The fountains of sympathy, of gratitude, of love, were opened; might not these waters prove sufficient to fertilize a life? I believed so, and I felt that Amy was saved.

I was not mistaken. From that day, she was a new creature. If the sacrifices she was called upon to make at first appeared great, they were soon rendered insignificant by the regret which she felt when she reflected how little her previous education had prepared her to make the best of a limited income, to prove the friend, companion, and confidante, which her husband would now need more than ever, or to fulfill the office of guide and instructress which her little boy would soon call upon her to perform.

"These are not subjects for regret, Amy," said I, when she poured out her heart to me, as she had been in the habit of doing in her childish days; "with youth and health, they are but stimulants to exertion."

Mr. Lennox went to India, but only for a year, and, sorely against her will, Amy was left behind. As she could not accompany him, she wished to return home with me, for a year's schooling, as she playfully expressed it, and, in spite of Mrs. R.'s remonstrances, I carried her off.

What a busy year we had of it! We cooked; we cut out linen (the village schoolmistress was for a time a cipher in that department); we tried experiments in domestic economy; we made calculations; then we read light books and heavy books, history and philosophy, poetry and romance, I being obliged to exercise great ingenuity to avoid an immoderate proportion of educational works, a department of literature to which Amy, in common with many young mothers, manifested a decided preference.

Thus occupied, the days and weeks glided swiftly away, but not without leaving traces of their passage. Amy's intellectual and moral growth in this twelvemonth was as rapid as was her boy's increase in physical proportions. She felt it herself, and, with her increased self-respect, increased her love and admiration of the husband, for whose sake she had been stimulated to self-government and self-tuition. Small had been the joy of her wedding-day, compared to the rapture with which, at the end of the year, she threw herself into his arms; and slight had been his disappointment after the honeymoon, to the delightful surprise which he felt every day on the discovery of some new improvement, or the promise of some fresh excellence in his lovely wife.

"Yes, yes," I thought, as I watched them walking in the garden, and talking over their future plans, with that look of perfect confidence which tells so much; "those hearts are united now—they will soon grow so close that nothing earthly will avail to separate them."

I wiped my spectacles—they had often been dimmed the last day or two—and taking little Herbert's hand, we, too, sallied forth for a confidential tête-à-tête among the daisies.

I went to see Amy when she was once more settled in a house of her own, and, though Mrs. R. sighed and shook her head, every time poor Amy's domestic arrangements were alluded to, I thought every thing about her charming. True, she was waited upon by a tidy housemaid, instead of a tall footman; true, if she required a special dainty to appear upon her table, she was obliged to soil the tips of her own delicate fingers, instead of commanding the service of a professional artiste; true, if she wished to go abroad, she walked, instead of using a carriage. But what then? I could not see that she was a bit the worse for any of these changes. Then, again, she did not now go one night to the opera, another to the theatre, and a third to a ball; but she was so busy in the daytime, and so happy in the evening, in the company of her husband, that she had no desire for such amusements. She no longer presided over great entertainments, but her small, cheerful, pretty house, furnished with good taste and thoroughly arranged for comfort, was always hospitably open to those true friends whom adverse fortune had not rendered shy or indifferent.

"Poor Amy does seem happy," remarked her mother, after we had spent a delightful evening with the young folks, and a party of old friends; "it is very strange, but she does seem happy in spite of her misfortunes."

"Misfortunes!" exclaimed my brother; "call them blessings! Yes, Margaret, I am a convert at last, and ready to confess that women are improvable, and that the loss of wealth may prove an inestimable blessing!"


It is not our intention to criticise the writings of the great philosophical poet of modern times, but merely to note down a few recollections of the benign old man before they pass away forever with the fleeting shades of memory.

Glorious old man of the mountain, methinks[Pg 320] we see him now: his deep-set gray eyes steeped in contemplation; his hand buried in his waistcoat—one leg crossed over the other—reciting in a deep, but somewhat tremulous voice, a passage, either from Milton or himself—the only two poets he honored by his quotations. While the vision stands before us, let us sketch the outward and visible shape, which held a great spirit within its fold.

Tall, and broadly formed, spare of flesh, with a slight stoop, carelessly dressed; a fine oval face; a nose aquiline, though somewhat heavy; bald about the brow, with a few gray hairs straggling over the forehead; fragments of gray whiskers, and a mouth, inclined to be large, but energetically compressed; his eyebrows turned upward when listening, and contracted when talking, with a deep voice, broken by its very emphasis: this is as near a picture as we can give of the "Bard of Rydal." To a certain extent, although in a different sense, what Pope wrote for Gay, applies to Wordsworth:

"In wit, a man—in simplicity, a child."

Taking wit as poetical intellect, this is Wordsworth's character in a single sentence.

There was a strange mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous in his composition. He would descant on Milton, or the principles of poetry, with a freshness and vigor of mind worthy of the author of the "Laodamia," and the next minute utter such astounding opinions about steamboats, reform, and human progress and politics, as would positively make a child of ten years old smile.

The most remarkable thing about him was his entire ignorance of modern literature: the poetry of the last thirty years was unknown to him: no solicitation would possibly induce him to read it—the only contemporaries he had read or acknowledged, were Scott, Rogers, Landor, Coleridge, and Southey.

The undue attention which he bestowed upon what other men considered trifles, was another remarkable trait in his character: he would correspond perseveringly with the secretary of a railway concerning an overcharge in the carriage of a parcel, and he would walk a dozen miles, and call at a dozen houses, to recover an old cotton umbrella, not worth a shilling. The importance of these small matters had doubtless been forced upon him by his early poverty, and by the manly independence and integrity of his character.

Exact himself, he exacted exactness from others, and if, when in company with a friend, they took a cab together, he would on no account suffer his companion to pay more than his share: when the conveyance stopped, he would inquire of the driver the fare, take out his own half, and give it to the Jehu, leaving his associate to do the same. We remember on one occasion, when we had jumped out first, and paying all the charge, and he afterward paying the sharp Jehu his half, that he, on discovering the imposition, wanted us to run half-way down Southampton-street to get the overcharge back, and regaled the company at dinner that day with an energetic denunciation of the rascality of cab-men, and the idleness and extravagance of youth.

Among his weaknesses was a reverence for rank and wealth, perfectly puzzling in so independent a man: if he had promised to dine with a baronet, and an invitation came from an earl he considered it a piece of religious duty to forfeit his prior engagement, and he would never realize the idea that the baronet could possibly feel offended.

Another curious trait in his character was his inability to understand the slightest approach to a joke: even when explained to him, he would feel uneasy, and put it on a logical rack: with him every thing was either absolutely true or absolutely false:—he made no allowance for pleasantry, badinage, persiflage, or even playfulness: he took every thing literally.

A young lady, an intimate friend of his, related to us a ludicrous instance of the embarrassments this occasionally led to: being on a visit to the Lakes for the first time, the old poet took great pride in showing her all his pet spots and finest views. They were, consequently, out very often, for hours and hours together.

At an evening party, the niece of Lady F—— (whose grounds join the bard's garden), in the gayety of girlhood, said to the poet: "I saw you this morning, Mr. Wordsworth, before any body was up, flirting with my aunt on the lawn; and then how slily you stole away by the back entrance." This alluded to a gate made to save the detour of going into the road. The words had scarcely passed the giddy girl's lips, ere she became painfully aware that she had committed some tremendous crime. Wordsworth looked distressed and solemn at his wife: his wife looked muffled thoughts at her daughter, Miss Wordsworth, and then they all three looked at each other as though, holding a silent conclave. Inspiration and speech came to the poet first. Turning solemnly round to our informant, he said, emphatically, to her: "After the remark just made, it is of course necessary that I should reply. Miss C——, you are young and lovely; you have been alone with me repeatedly in solitary spots, and I now put it to you, if I have ever acted toward you in a manner unbecoming a gentleman and a Christian?" Our friend thus appealed to, could scarcely refrain from roaring with laughter, but she thought it best to answer in accordance with the spirit of the question; and having considerable tact, she managed to patch this "awful matter" up! A damper, however, had fallen on the meeting, and it ended drearily. We might recount other evidence of the unpoetical thraldom to which constant association with a few old ladies of the Rydal neighborhood had bowed down the full, vigorous intellect of Wordsworth. Yet, even in these absurdities, he retains a simplicity and earnestness of character, which almost supply the want of that geniality and dignity we generally associate with the great poet.

[Pg 321]


The city of Bordeaux possesses much that is interesting. Many historical associations are connected with it, from the time of its occupation by the Romans, downward. It was the birthplace of the Latin poet Ausonius, and also of the English Edward, the famous Black Prince; Montesquieu was born in its neighborhood, and Montaigne was once its mayor; the district of which it is the centre gave its name to the celebrated party of the Girondins. It enjoys very considerable trade. The country round it produces some of the best wines in France. Its quays and many of its streets are handsome and lively. The public buildings are not a little remarkable. In particular, we may cite the theatre, which, though surpassed by a few others in size, is unrivaled in modern Europe for the combination it presents of elegance, symmetry, and perfect adaptation to its purpose. The noble bridge, too, by which the Garonne—here nearly the third of a mile wide—is crossed, must not be forgotten either. When we consider the difficulties attending the work, or the success which has crowned it, the bridge is perhaps the greatest boast of Bordeaux, and it is not without reason that the pride of the Bordelais pronounces it unique.

But the most curious thing, in its way, which Bordeaux possesses, is a vault under St. Michael's church. That edifice itself presents but little worth notice, except its mutilated tower, which, with its spire, was once more than three hundred feet high, and was reduced to its present state by a gale of wind, the upper part of it being literally blown over. Finding so little, therefore, here to interest us, we are about to leave the church, when our guide asks if we would like to see the charnel-house of St. Andrew. The name strikes us; we accept the invitation and follow him, wondering what is before us. We descend a staircase, and exchange the pure air and bright sky of Guienne for the close and stone-smelling atmosphere of a subterraneous passage, and the darkness made visible by the uncertain lamp of our conductor. We arrive at a low doorway, and bend to pass beyond it. This is the place. At first we see nothing; our eyes, however, soon become accustomed to the obscurity, and a strange spectacle is disclosed to them. We find we are standing in a round and vaulted chamber of rough masonry: it resembles an inverted bowl, the spring of its arch being but a little above the floor; this floor is of uneven earth, and may be some twenty feet in diameter. Round the walls, and supported in a standing position, are a great number of human bodies. There are ninety in all. We are in a large company of the dead; and the ground on which we tread is composed of hundreds more, for that whitish dust is the dust of bones, and the original bottom of the pit is many feet below.

The fact is, as the guide informs us, that a cemetery near the church having been disturbed, the vault was made the receptacle of the remains found in it. As for the bodies piled round its sides, some peculiar property of the spot in which they were originally deposited had preserved them entire; and such as they now are they will probably remain, for some of them were living six hundred years ago. Their flesh has been transformed into a substance resembling tinder; the skin has much shrunk, and has become brown, so that they resemble very thin mulattoes, but, in most other respects, they are scarcely changed. Many of them still possess all their teeth; their hair remains—one has a long beard. The expression their countenances wore in death is still perfectly distinct. They are of both sexes and of all ages, and, consequently, of every size. The histories of a few are known. In the case of most, you can read something of their past lives in their faces and forms, as you can in those of the living, so completely does their physiognomy retain the impress of the passions which once moved and agitated them. One is the body of a man who was a street porter in his time: it is fully seven feet high. He was renowned for his strength, but broke his back one day about a hundred years back, under a burden too heavy for him. Another presents the features of a singularly beautiful and graceful woman who died of cancer. On a third body, you remark the nun's dress in which the poor inmate of the cloister was interred. Her face still wears a look of sadness and melancholy resignation. You see in the breast of one man the sword-thrust wound which had caused his death. The most painful to behold is the body of a young boy, the convulsed contraction of whose features and members presents a frightful appearance of moral as well as of physical agony. Some medical men have given it as their opinion that this unhappy being had been buried alive, and that it was in his frenzied efforts to burst his cerements that his limbs stiffened into their present horrid aspect. Speaking of medical men, there is one of their fraternity in the collection, an old doctor, who thus shares the tomb, it may be, of some of those whom he, perhaps, helped to send to it.

Such are the mummies of Bordeaux. As to the cause of the phenomenon, we can offer no explanation, though more learned men than we will, doubtless, easily find many. We trust, however, that such may be more reasonable than that offered by an author before us, who ascribes the preservation of the bodies to the heat of the climate. The guide, of course, has his own theory. A baker had his oven close to the place in which they were at first interred, and the heat of the said oven petrified them. But, whatever may be the proper solution of the question, St. Michael's church at Bordeaux is not the only locality which possesses such a curiosity, though none that we are aware of can boast a museum so complete. Similar discoveries are said to have been made at Toulouse,[Pg 322] under a Franciscan, and also under a Dominican monastery, but we must say that, when in that town, we never heard of them. We have, however, ourselves seen the bodies preserved in a crypt of the cathedral church of Bremen. This crypt is called the Bleikeller, or lead-cellar, for what precise reason we do not remember. It is not entirely underground, but enjoys a certain dubious daylight. The mummies here are contained in rough wooden coffins, and are attired in the usual vestments of the dead, but with their faces exposed. Each has its history, which the respectable lady who showed them to us duly recounted, removing each coffin-lid as she did so, and replacing it as she passed to another. As at Bordeaux, one of them had been slain by the sword; he was a student who fell in a duel. Another was the body of an English lady of the name of Stanhope. If we bore that name, we should take measures to prevent her remains being thus made a show of.

Since we are speaking of Bremen, we may mention another object, of a somewhat similar kind, which that town possesses. Gesche Gottfried was a female prisoner, a modern Brinvilliers. She poisoned her husband (two husbands, unless we are mistaken), some of her children, and several of her friends and relatives. At last, in an attempt to poison a young man, to whom she was about to be married, she was detected, condemned, and decapitated. This was a few years back, and they have now got her head, preserved in spirits, in the Bremen Museum.


Of Chantrey the recorded life and character are eminently simple and compact. Easy of comprehension is the tenor of both. The one was marked by steady common-sense; the other by progressive success. Chantrey was born at Norton, in Derbyshire, in 1782. The son of one of the few remaining small proprietors cultivating their own land, he received a moderate education, and was apprenticed, at his own instance, to a working wood-carver. Every onward step was marked by native sagacity. His natural gifts led him to the more ambitious branches of art. He began with portrait-painting. But his craft of wood-carving, securing, as it did, a subsistence, he did not relinquish till his position as sculptor was assured: a wise plan, since for eight years he, according to his own account, scarce realized £5 by modeling. He began with an imaginative effort or so, but soon found his legitimate field. With the £10,000 brought him by his wife in 1811, he provided himself with house, studio, offices, marble, &c., like a prudent speculator. From the epoch of his bust of Horne Tooke—an important patron to him—dates his success. This brought him into notice. Commissions thenceforward flowed in. The remainder of his life was a course of regular labor, relieved by constant hospitality and the periodic relaxation of country visits, and his favorite amusement, angling: interspersed with such occurrences as the visit to Italy; a few other continental trips; the erection, at a cost of £20,000, of a new house and offices, adapted to the growing largeness of his dealings, and his knighthood. With characteristic shrewdness, he early avoided committing himself to any political or party opinions. This, his prosperity, and his common-sense rendered him a great favorite with the English aristocracy. But too often, indeed, is the inane world of aristocratic Dilettantism felt hovering dimly near, as we read these pages. His large income and social disposition induced him to keep a hospitable house. And it was part of his tact to secure, without much reading, varied average knowledge, by frequent intercourse with men of science and letters. During the last two years of his life, his health rapidly and wholly gave way: the ordinary fate of his class, the hard workers and social livers. He was in the maturity of middle age, on his sudden death in 1841.

This course is as much that of a man of business as of an artist. Yet Chantrey's was a truly estimable, though no exalted, or rare character. There was a native dignity, a reality, an English genuineness about the man, legible in his whole life, and very engaging; even amid the chaotic adumbrations of the present biography. He was a favorable sample of a class not uncommon among us, the prosperous men who have risen through their own efforts, and deservedly. Generous, frank, hearty he was; above all, eminently direct in his dealings and character. One of his distinguishing features as a man, and as one of the class just mentioned, was his honest pride in his origin and progress in life. Without self-complacency, a manly consciousness of his true relations to the world pervaded him. The taint of flunkeyism in his position so facile to catch, touched him not. That respect for the intrinsic and essential, in character and position, his early circumstances naturally inspired, was never forsaken for worship of the privileged caste which favored and surrounded him.

One of those receiving freely and spending freely, he showed his sense of the value of money by its liberal devotion to the enjoyment of himself and all around. Ever open to tales of distress, he was the frequent dupe of his kind impulses. To his brother artists, he was generous in more ways than that of hospitality. Few earning a large income have manifested a better title thereto, by their use of it. In a profession inevitably unequal in the attainment of the prizes of fortune, compensation for the direction of so large a share into one or two fashionable channels, is found in so genial a worldly head of it as Chantrey. His generosity bordered on lavishness; yet even here, his prudence did not wholly forsake him. He left a large property; bequeathed, after Lady Chantrey, to the Royal Academy in trust, for purposes of doubtful judiciousness, but unquestionable[Pg 323] good intention; in the way of fostering the "higher branches of art."

Rough and free in his manners, he was as full of bonhommie as good feeling. His letters are instinct with the heartiness and good fellowship of the man, and have a very agreeable freshness, and freedom from effort, if also, from any claims in the matter of thought.

In person, Chantrey did not belie his inner self. Mr. Jones, his biographer, indeed, gives us to understand, in one place, he resembled Shakspeare; in another, that it was Socrates he was like; and thereon, would have us accept a deeper similarity, of mind, to the Greek philosopher! A notion nearer the mark, is graphically supplied by his friend Thomson, when he begins his letter with a red wafer stuck on the paper; eyes, nose, mouth, &c., given in black. The symbol so pleased the sculptor, he adopted it himself as an occasional jocose signature.

Chantrey's intellect was a limited but emphatically capable, if not a very elevated one; ready at command and certain. All he said or did was, as far as it went, to the purpose. Altogether practical was the whole man. The sagacity of a sublimated common sense, was his prevailing characteristic. His mind was a perceptive one, not thoughtful or intense; making use of all that came in his way; gleaning information; receiving results, and applying them shrewdly. He attained proficiency in all he undertook, whether it were wood-carving, painting, portrait-busts, fishing, shooting. Without his range, were it but one step, he was helpless. But then, as a rule, he took care never to advance that step. And this was easy to him; for he was averse to all beyond the literal, and the every-day. The singular, the eccentric, in thought, manner of art, way of wearing one's hair, or any other department, he detested. "Let us stick to the broad, common high-way, and do our best there," was the instinctive feeling of the man. He was haunted by no unattainable, ever-retreating, fair ideals. No dreaming aspirations, or indefinite yearnings, had part in his life. His somewhat extreme, and in Mr. Jones's hands, quite over-done devotion to "simplicity," was very characteristic; in unison with that really satisfactory in him, but pointing to his wants, his restrictedness of feeling and unimaginativeness.

The same practical tendency and restriction of effort to things within reach, the sagacious, unerringly successful application of himself to the certain and definite, characterize his art: in the artist, ever the blossom and result of the whole man. Emphatic fulfillment does his success afford of the celebrated apophthegm of Mulready, "Know what you have to do, and do it." He did not spend himself on false aims, nor once lose himself in a wrong track. Having early ascertained his true field, portraiture, he consistently adhered to it, notwithstanding all "advice of friends;" though far from lacking ambition, or high ideas of the so-called higher branches. In this, his history is especially instructive, worthy of heed. He was faithful to the light that was in him. And in better times of art he might have been a still better artist.


(Continued from page 173.)

In the history of aeronautics, the name of Mr. Charles Green, who first turned his attention to the art in 1821, occupies a prominent place. To him the art is indebted for the introduction of carbureted-hydrogen, or coal gas, as the means of inflating balloons. Great as was the improvement effected by the substitution of hydrogen gas for rarefied air, there are serious disadvantages connected with the use of that gas. In the first place, it is procured at vast expense; and, in the second place, it is difficult to obtain it in sufficient quantity, several days of watchful anxiety having been often expended in the vain endeavor to generate a sufficiency of the gas, which, on account of the subtilty of its particles, and its strong affinity for those of the surrounding atmosphere, continued to escape almost as fast as it was produced. Perplexed at the outset with these difficulties and inconveniencies, which had not only rendered experiments comparatively rare, but even threatened the art with premature extinction, Mr. Green conceived that if coal gas, which is much cheaper and can be generated with much greater facility than hydrogen, could be employed for the purpose of inflation, an important object would be gained. To put the truth of his theory to the test, he prepared a balloon, which he inflated with coal gas, and made a successful ascent from the Green Park, on the day of the coronation of George IV. He has subsequently made some hundreds of ascensions from the metropolis, and various other parts of the empire, with balloons so inflated; and, from the year 1821, coal gas has been very generally used in experiments of this nature. Besides its economy and easy production, it has the advantage of being more easily retained than hydrogen, which, for the reasons already given, is much more readily dissipated.

The ingenuity of Mr. Green has been exerted with the view of discovering other improvements in the art of aerial navigation. One great obstacle to the successful practice in the art is, the difficulty of maintaining the power of the balloon for any length of time undiminished in its progress through the air. It is ascertained by the uniform experience of aeronauts, that, between the earth and two miles above the level of the sea, a variety of currents exist, some blowing in one direction and some in another; and when the aeronaut has risen to the elevation where he meets with a current that will waft him in the desired direction, it is of importance for him to be able to preserve that elevation. But the balloon, in consequence of the increase or diminution of weight to which it is liable from a variety of causes, will not keep at that[Pg 324] altitude. The great changes which are constantly taking place in the weight of the atmosphere, the deposition of humidity on the surface of the balloon, and its subsequent evaporation by the rise of temperature, the alternate heating and cooling of the gaseous contents of the balloon, according as it may be exposed to the action of the solar rays or screened from them by the interposition of clouds, not to advert to other agencies, less known though not less powerful, all combine in making the machine at one time to ascend and at another to descend. Thus it may be removed out of a favorable into an adverse current. To overcome this difficulty, and enable the aeronaut to keep the balloon at the same level without expending its power, by discharging gas from the valve to lower it, or by casting out a portion of the ballast to raise it—processes which must in time waste the whole power of the largest balloon, and bring it to the earth—Mr. Green suggested the contrivance of a rope of sufficient length and material trailing on the ground beneath, and if over the sea, the rope is to be tied to a vessel filled with liquid ballast, which floats on the surface. This rope will act as a drag on the balloon, when, from any of the causes we have referred to, it tends to rise, for, in that case, it will draw up a portion of the rope, and, by thus adding to its weight, will be impeded in its upward course; and, on the other hand, when, from opposite causes, it tends to descend, it will, during every foot of its descent, have its weight, and consequently its descending tendency, diminished, by throwing on the earth the labor of supporting an additional portion of the rope. This, however, at best, is a clumsy contrivance, and there are various objections to its practical utility. It could hardly be practicable on land, on account of the damage and danger that would be occasioned by the entanglement of the rope in trees and buildings; and at great elevations above the earth, the weight of the rope would become so considerable as to require for its support a large portion of the ascending power of any balloon.

In the United States, many aerial voyages have been performed. The first of these was made by a Frenchman, M. Blanchard, in Jan., 1793, from Philadelphia, at which General Washington was a spectator. Gillio and Robertson, both Europeans, were the next after Blanchard. No Americans were engaged in the business until Mr. Durant, an ingenious citizen of New York, took it up after Robertson. He made a number of aerial excursions, and was shortly followed by new adventurers in the art, among whom the most celebrated is Mr. Wise, a piano-forte maker in Philadelphia, who in 1835 betook himself to the trade of ascending in balloons, and who up to this date has made upward of a hundred ascents.

Mr. Wise is entitled to the merit of having carefully studied and mastered the scientific principles of aeronautics, and he is among the most enthusiastic of his profession. While admitting that the art has advanced but little since its first discovery, compared with other sciences, he anticipates from it, if perseveringly cultivated by men of genius, the most splendid results, adopting, as the motto on the title-page of his work, the couplet from Shakspeare:

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Some of his feats have been daring enough, and others still more perilous he is willing to undertake.

Not long after commencing the practice of his new profession, Mr. Wise resolved to test the practicability of descending in safety with the balloon, after it had burst, at the elevation of a mile or two. It would then, he conceived, form a parachute, and, from the resistance it would meet with from the atmosphere in its descent, would gently let him down to the earth. Having prepared a balloon of cambric muslin, which he coated with his newly-invented varnish, he ascended, as had been advertised, from Easton, in Pennsylvania, on the 11th of August, 1838, at a few minutes before two o'clock, afternoon, with the full determination of making the experiment, though he had concealed his intention both from the public and from his personal friends. He carried up with him two parachutes, the one containing a cat, and the other a dog. As the balloon approached a dense body of black thunder-clouds, some vivid flashes of lightning, accompanied by violent peals of thunder, greeted his upward course. This gave the first part of his voyage a terrific but grand and imposing appearance. It seemed to him as if heaven's artillery were celebrating these efforts of the new-born science, and, acting on his imagination, this inspired him with a fresh determination to explode the balloon. At different elevations, he detached first one and then another of the parachutes, with their occupants, which landed in safety. At the altitude of about 13,000 feet, the gas became expanded to its utmost tension, and the balloon was still rising, making it evident that, unless the safety-valve were speedily opened to allow a portion of the gas to escape, an explosion would speedily ensue. At this critical moment he became somewhat excited, and looking over the side of his car, he observed the sparkling coruscations of lightning springing from cloud to cloud, a mile beneath him, as the thunder-storm was passing, in its last remnants, below. He took out his watch, noted on his log-book the time—twenty minutes past two—and as he was about returning it to his pocket, thinking at the time whether it were not best, by opening the valve, to abandon, for the present, his favorite idea, the balloon exploded. His confidence in the success of the experiment never forsook him, and yet he admits that this was a moment of awful suspense. The gas rushed with a tempestuous noise from the rupture in the top, and in less than ten seconds, the balloon was emptied of every particle of hydrogen. The descent at first was rapid, and in a moment or two, on looking up, he discovered that the balloon was canting over, but the[Pg 325] weight of the car counteracted its tilting tendency, giving it an oscillating motion, which it retained until it reached the earth, which it struck with a violent concussion, and the car striking the earth obliquely, Mr. Wise was thrown forward from it about ten feet. The landing was made on a farm about ten miles from Easton, and many minutes had not elapsed before he had resolved in his mind to repeat the experiment in Philadelphia on the first opportunity.

Having arrived in Philadelphia in the month of September immediately following, he consulted several scientific gentlemen as to his intention. Doubtful of the safety of the experiment, though neither questioning the philosophy of atmospheric resistance, nor the theory of converting the balloon into a parachute, they earnestly endeavored to dissuade him from his purpose. But confident of the perfect safety with which, on scientific principles, he would descend, he publicly announced that he would ascend on the first of October, and explode the balloon at the height of upward of a mile. On the day advertised, at twenty minutes before five o'clock, afternoon, he left the earth in the presence of assembled thousands, and rose almost perpendicularly, in a perfectly clear sky. When the explosion took place, the lower part of the balloon did not immediately invert, as in the former experiment, for in this case the balloon burst open from top to bottom, and caved sideways. At the first discovery of this, he was somewhat alarmed, fearing that it might come down with a continuous accelerated velocity; but from this anxiety he was soon relieved, for it caught the wind like the mainsail of a ship, and slid down upon the atmosphere in a spiral course with a uniform velocity. The concussion, though from the apparent rapidity of the descent it threatened to be violent, was not harder than that which would follow the jumping from an elevation of ten feet to the ground.

From the experience of his numerous aerial excursions, Mr. Wise is of opinion, that, at a considerable elevation, there is a constant and regular current of wind blowing at all times, from west to east, with a velocity of from twenty to forty, and even sixty miles per hour, according to its height from the earth. On the strength of this conviction, he believes it to be perfectly practicable and safe, not only to cross the Atlantic, but even to circumnavigate the globe, in a balloon; and he has expressed his readiness to undertake either of these voyages. About the beginning of the year 1843, he actually proposed to some gentlemen of the city of Philadelphia, the project of making an aerial trip across the Atlantic, in undertaking which, he assured them, he would have as little hesitation as about embarking in the most approved steam-vessel that plied between the ports of New York and Liverpool. At first, supposing him to be in jest, they expressed their willingness to promote the design, but finding that he was in sober earnest, they began to evince conscientious scruples as to the responsibility they would incur, if by any chance his life should fall a sacrifice to the bold adventure. He next determined to petition the Congress of the United States, at their ensuing session, for the necessary pecuniary means; and flattering himself with the hope of the success of his application, to provide against the accidents which might arise from opposing local currents and storms, or from omissions, imperfections, and unforeseen necessities attendant upon all first trials, he issued a proclamation, addressed to all publishers of newspapers in the world, announcing it as his intention to make a trip across the Atlantic in a balloon in the summer of 1844, and calling upon the seafaring community of all climes not to be alarmed should they happen to be in the vicinity of a balloon, either on the ocean or in the atmosphere, but endeavor to give aid to the adventurers. He proposed to have for the car a sea-worthy boat, which would be of service in case the balloon should fail to accomplish the voyage; and the crew was to consist of three individuals—an aeronaut, a sea-navigator, and a scientific landsman.

By the time the Congress met, Mr. Wise had enlarged his idea of crossing the Atlantic to a purpose of sailing round the world. In a petition he presented to that assembly, dated Lancaster City, Dec. 20, 1843, he certifies, that by taking advantage of the current from west to east, which, governed by a great general law, blows at all times round the globe, it was quite practicable, from the improved state to which aeronautic machinery can now be perfected, to travel eastward in a balloon with a velocity that would circumnavigate the globe in from thirty to forty days, and that the aeronaut, by taking advantage of the local currents, could vary from a straight course thirty or forty degrees from the latitude of departure, so as to be able to leave dispatches in Europe and China, and return by way of Oregon Territory to Washington City. He therefore prays the Congress to appropriate the money necessary for constructing an aerostadt of 100 feet in diameter of substantial domestic cotton drilling, with a sea-boat capable of enduring the ocean for a car, and so constructed that the masts and rigging may be stowed, ready for erection into sea service at any time that emergency might require. And he concludes by engaging, that, should his proposal meet with the approbation of the Congress, he would readily submit a plan in detail, and would cheerfully superintend the construction of the machinery at his own expense, asking nothing more than the command or directorship of the first experimental aerial voyage round the globe.

This petition was received and read by the Congress, and referred to the committee of naval affairs. But though the committee to which it was committed might not doubt that Mr. Wise had nerve sufficient to make the attempt, they probably had some doubts as to its practicability and safety, and therefore they made no report. Most men will think that the committee of Congress acted wisely, and that it is fortunate[Pg 326] for Mr. Wise himself, that neither the Congress nor his private friends have, by supplying the necessary funds, put it in his power to risk his life in either of those foolish projects. The many accidents and hairbreadth escapes from severe bodily injury, if not from death, which he has met with, during the course of his profession, when undertaking much smaller excursions, scarcely warrant him to conclude, as he does, that such voyages would be attended with fewer risks than sailing in the most approved steam-vessels. To attempt to realize even his first idea of crossing the Atlantic in a balloon, would, in the present imperfect state of aeronautics, be nothing less than madness; to attempt to realize the second, would be "cyclopicus furor," to borrow a phrase from John Calvin—"a gigantic madness;" and we can only account for his forming or broaching such ideas, on the principle of vanity, or of that insensibility to physical danger which the adventurous gradually and unconsciously contract. We do not affirm that such schemes are absolutely impracticable, or that they will never be safely accomplished; for the astonishing discoveries already made in science render it impossible for us to say to what extent the elements may be rendered obedient to the sway of the human will. To speak of crossing the ocean, against wind and tide, in a vessel, by the simple aid of a kettle filled with boiling water, was, not many years ago, laughed at as the ravings of a crack-brained fool. A shaved head and a strait waistcoat were the promised rewards of the original projector of that most noble enterprise. And yet the foaming billows of the great deep are at this day hourly plied by the rushing steam-ship, bounding and puffing recklessly along, as though it were itself the victim of the madness ascribed to its projector, but landing, nevertheless, its precious freight unharmed upon the distant shores. Now, if such stupendous and astonishing results have been realized, what may not man, under the irresistible dominion of the great master-spirit of the age—progress—what may he not accomplish?" But it remains yet to be demonstrated that a pathway in a balloon through the atmosphere is less perilous than one in a ship on the ocean. The safety of traveling in balloons must be tested by smaller trips, before men will believe that these frail vessels of silk, or cambric muslin, may be safely trusted as a means of locomotion across the mighty Atlantic, or, what would be a still greater achievement, around the globe itself.

Having thus briefly traced the history of aeronautics, we shall now inquire into the practical value of the art.

After the discovery of the hydrogen-gas balloon, the most extravagant projects dazzled and bewildered the minds of men. To journey through the air from one part of the globe to another, or even to circumnavigate the globe itself, in balloons, was child's play, compared with the magnificent results that were anticipated. It was fondly expected that the new discovery would open up a channel of communication between the earth and its sister planets, and that the time was not far distant when men would be embarking from the Earth, in a balloon, for the Moon, or for Mercury, Venus, Mars, the Asteroids, or some of the other planets, just as they embarked in a ship for France, Italy, India, China, Africa, or America. They forgot that the laws of gravitation, which bind man as by chains of adamant to this world, would ever interpose an insurmountable obstacle to the realization of such wild imaginings; that the atmosphere has its limits as well as the ocean, extending, it is calculated, not much beyond forty miles above the earth's surface; that, at a certain height, it is as light, by reason of its rarity, as the lightest gas with which a balloon can be inflated, thereby rendering all farther ascent impossible; and that, even before the aeronaut had reached that height, very serious consequences would ensue from the intense cold, from the diminution of atmospheric pressure, and from the inadequacy of a too rarified atmosphere for supporting respiration. Such overwrought expectations, however, produced by the first excitement of a great discovery, soon subsided, when men began soberly to reflect on the immutable laws, or, which is the same thing, the powerful mandate of the Creator, which confines all things within their appointed sphere.

But though the idea of emigrating by means of balloons to foreign worlds was relinquished, there still existed a desire to render them subservient to important terrestrial purposes, and various suggestions were made as to the uses to which they might be applied. It was proposed to employ their power of ascension as a mechanical force for raising water from mines, for transporting obelisks, and placing them on greater elevations, or for raising, without any scaffolding a cross or a vane to the top of a high spire. It was proposed that they might be employed as a means of making an escape from surrounding icebergs in the ocean, or for effecting a landing to otherwise inaccessible mountains, and observing their cloud-capped peaks—for exploring the craters of volcanoes—for traversing vast swamps and morasses—and for the improvement of the infant science of meteorology. It was besides predicted that they would become a safe, easy, and expeditious mode of traveling, and of conveying the products of every land and clime from one part of the globe to another. It is long since Dr. Dick suggested, in his "Christian Philosopher," that the missionaries of the cross might yet be able to avail themselves of the aid of balloons in going forth to distant regions to proclaim to the heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ, and that then there would be a literal fulfillment of the prediction of the last of the inspired seers, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." But to only two purposes has the ascending power of[Pg 327] the balloon been as yet applied—to the reconnoitring of hostile armies, by the French, for a short time—and, in one or two instances, to the making of scientific observations. Only a single attempt, and a very absurd one, has been made to get up a traveling balloon. The gold-hunters of America, impatient of the slow process by which ships transport them to the golden regions of California, and, as if determined to press the air into the service of giving them a speedier conveyance, lately proposed to build a balloon, to carry them out at the rate of 200 miles per hour. A model of the machine was exhibited in New York and Philadelphia, and it created considerable sensation in the minds of the credulous. It was stated, in a respectable journal of New York, in 1849, that the machine was actually in course of construction, and the steam-engine finished, but nothing more has since been heard of it. "Had these projectors," says Mr. Wise, "gone on from their miniature model, to the erection of one capable of carrying one or two persons, in order to prove its practicability on a larger scale, there might have been reason to believe that they harbored an idea of its general usefulness. But when the project embraced at once so magnificent a scheme, as that contemplated in the swooping strides toward the modern Dorado, with a cargo of a hundred gold-hunters, it seemed too much for sober-minded people; and brought upon itself philosophical criticism and scientific condemnation, and, with that, a good share of opposition to the hopes and expectations of aerial navigation in any shape."

Aerostation is at present applied to no practical useful purpose; it is a mere plaything, occupying no higher a position than catchpenny mountebank exhibitions. Ascents are made in balloons from no other motive, or for no other object, than to draw money from the pockets of the multitude, by ministering to their enjoyment; and when made by persons properly acquainted with the principles and practice of the art—for by such alone can they be effected with safety—and with those precautions which experience has shown to be requisite, they might be liable to no great objection, so long as the people are willing to pay for them; but if conducted by unqualified persons, or by the most skillful, with a daring recklessness of personal danger, or in a manner involving suffering to any sentient being, they ought to be discouraged in every legitimate way by every friend of humanity, as at variance alike with the principles of morality and with the benevolent lessons of the Christian faith. No man may lawfully peril his own life, or subject the inferior animals to unnecessary pain, for the gratification of the all-devouring thirst of the public for exciting exhibitions; and in the very act of encouraging and witnessing such exhibitions, we are quenching the merciful and fostering the cruel in our natures. Of this objectionable character is the practice recently introduced into France of carrying up donkeys in balloons. The adventure is indeed no new one. It was performed by Mr. Green some twenty years ago. But the merit, or rather the demerit, of having turned it into one of the most popular shows in France, is due to M. Poitevin, who has lately been exciting the gaping admiration of thousands in Paris, by this fool-hardy, barbarous, and contemptible mode of aerostation. Early in July this year (1850), he ascended on horseback in a balloon from Champ de Mars, in the presence of upwards of 10,000 persons, who had paid for admission, and the President of the Republic was one of the spectators. The horse, a handsome dapple gray, had stout cloth placed round its body, and several straps, passed over the shoulders and loins, were united in rings, which were attached by cords to the network of the balloon. In this manner was the animal cruelly suspended in the air, having no resting-place for its feet, nor was there any thing to protect the rider, had he lost his balance or been thrown off. The feat having been more successful than could reasonably have been expected, Mr. Green proposed to amuse the inhabitants of London by a similar adventure. Some of the more humane of the English capital were shocked at the announcement; and the secretary of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals made application on the 30th of July to the magistrates to put a stop to the ascent. A case of interference not having been made out to the satisfaction of the magistrates, Mr. Green next day started on his journey to the clouds mounted on a pony. It was put in the car—a plan more humane than that of M. Poitevin, who suspended his pony in the air. But the whole affair was a miserably poor one, and well fitted to bring all such experiments into contempt. The nag was not larger than an under-sized Newfoundland dog; and what made the thing more ridiculous still, the poor creature—which, by the way, had its eyes bandaged, and was strongly tied by cords to the network of the balloon—was so feeble that, on mounting it, Mr. Green had to sustain his own weight by a pile of sand bags placed on either side. This sham equestrian excursion through the air appears to have generally disappointed onlookers, and pony ascensions have not been attempted a second time in England. In France they have met with greater favor. They have been repeated by M. Poitevin and others in the presence of immense multitudes: and it should not be passed over without remark, as one proof among others of what the animals suffer, and, consequently, of the cruelty of the practice, that, in some of these instances, blood flowed from their ears and nostrils. That the practice is dangerous to the aeronaut as well as cruel to the animal, has been the judgment of all reflecting men from the first; and the late melancholy fate of Lieutenant Gale, an English, naval officer, who ascended from the Hippodrome of Vincennes, near Bordeaux, on Sabbath—a very unsuitable day, surely, for such exhibitions—the 8th of September last, mounted on a horse,[Pg 328] which was suspended beneath the car of the balloon by girths passed under its body, reads a lesson to which it would be wise to listen. By the aid of several peasants who were in the fields, he effected his descent without any accident to himself or the horse; but, having unfastened the animal, he again rose into the air, and was afterward found dead in a field about a mile from the place where the balloon made its second descent. That this dreadful close of the aeronautic career of Mr. Gale, which he commenced only in 1848, will serve as a warning to this reckless class of adventurers, we hardly anticipate. That it will put a stop to such fool-hardy and hazardous exhibitions, by bringing them into disrepute with the idle multitude, is what we as little expect. So long as men are found sufficiently daring to run the risk, there will not be wanting crowds abundantly ready to pay down their money, and gaze upon the spectacle with a stupid admiration.

It is a wretched result of the art of ballooning, if it can be turned to no better account than this. Can, then, nothing more important be brought out of it? Can it never be rendered subservient to the ordinary purposes of human life? The opinion almost universally prevalent among men, not excluding scientific men, is that it can not. Some aeronauts, indeed, assure us that the time is fast approaching when aerial transition will inevitably be placed as far before railroad and steam-boat transition as the latter are before the old-fashioned sail and horse-power modes. But the most of men place little faith in these flattering anticipations; they listen to or read them with as dogged a skepticism as they read or hear the celebrated vaticination of Bishop Wilkins, that it would be as common for man hereafter to call for his wings when about to make a journey, as it then was to call for his boots and spurs. They doubt whether, with all the characteristic marks of progress that distinguish the present age, balloons will ever become a safe, cheap, and expeditious means of traveling. Whether the aeronauts are most to be justified in their sanguine expectations, or the rest of mankind in their cautious incredulity, time alone will determine. Our judgment, we confess, strongly inclines to the side of the skeptics.

Much is still desiderated, in order to the practicability of ballooning as a generally useful art. A new gas, at once cheap in its production, and of sufficient buoyancy, must be discovered. The gases at present employed for inflating balloons are either too expensive or too heavy. Hydrogen, which is almost fourteen times lighter than common air, is the lightest gas known, but the expense at which it is procured is an insuperable objection to its practical utility. To produce a quantity sufficient to raise the weight of a pound, four and a half pounds of iron or six of zinc, with equal quantities of sulphuric acid, would be required. Carbureted hydrogen or coal gas is much cheaper, and brings the cost of what may be necessary for experimental purposes—though this is by no means inconsiderable—within the compass of more ordinary means. But, as it is only about one half lighter than atmospheric air, it would require a machine of immense size to support any great weight; and the whole experience of ballooning proves the difficulty of managing a body of great magnitude. Another great desideratum in aerial navigation is a power of guiding the balloon according to a given direction—of propelling it through the atmosphere as steam-boats are propelled on the ocean. It has indeed been said that, as nature is very profuse in the variety of atmospherical currents within two miles above the level of the sea, we are not, in sailing through the air, driven to the necessity of attempting to go right against the wind, but have only to ascend or descend, as the case may be, to a current, which will waft the vessel to its desired destination. But were we even sure of always getting a favoring current, which, from the limited amount of observations made, is not yet established beyond a doubt, there is another desideratum—we are in want of an agent adapted for raising and lowering the balloon without any waste of its power, so as to get within the propitious current. Mr. Green's contrivance of the guide rope, is, as we have seen, not likely to answer in practice; and nothing better has yet been discovered.

[From Colburn's London Magazine.]



The political career of the late Sir Robert Peel is so well known, and has been so often brought before the public eye, that it would be almost impertinent to offer any further illustration of it.

There are many anecdotes, however, of a domestic nature which more clearly show the real character of so distinguished a person, and with which an intimacy of nearly fifty years will enable me to gratify general curiosity, at this moment of deep sympathy for his fate.

Soon after Peel was born, his father, the first baronet, finding himself rising daily in wealth and consequence, and believing that money in those peculiar days could always command a seat in parliament, determined to bring up his son expressly for the House of Commons. When that son was quite a child, Sir Robert would frequently set him on the table, and say, "Now, Robin, make a speech, and I will give you this cherry." What few words the little fellow produced were applauded, and applause stimulating exertion, produced such effects that, before Robin was ten years old, he could really address the company with some degree of eloquence.

As he grew up, his father constantly took him every Sunday into his private room, and made him repeat, as well as he could, the sermon which had been preached. Little progress[Pg 329] in effecting this was made, and little was expected, at first; but by steady perseverance the habit of attention grew powerful, and the sermon was repeated almost verbatim.

When at a very distant day the senator, remembering accurately the speech of an opponent, answered his arguments in correct succession, it was little known that the power of so doing was originally acquired in Drayton church.

I first became acquainted with Mr. Peel when he was a boy at school; but he evinced at that early age the greatest desire for distinction. He was attentive to his studies, and anxious to realize his father's expectations. The most remarkable feature, however, of his character was a certain firmness of nerves which prevented him from ever being frightened or excited by any thing.

I went with him and his father to look at an estate in Herefordshire, called Hampton Court, which Sir Robert thought of purchasing. We slept at the inn in Leominster. It was full of company, and only two bedrooms could be obtained. Young Peel was obliged to sleep on a sofa-bed, in a kind of cupboard attached to the principal room. Soon after he got to sleep, he was awakened by a light, and saw a man standing by his couch with a drawn sword. The man being questioned, bid him not to be alarmed, for that he would not hurt him, but that a freemasons' meeting was being held in the next room, and that he was placed there to prevent any intruders from breaking in upon their ceremonies. Mr. Peel turned round and went instantly to sleep again. I asked him if he had not been frightened? He said, "No—that he was surprised at first, but did not suppose the man would do him any harm."

On inquiry from the waiter in the morning, we learned that the armed man had remained three hours in the room where the fearless youth was soundly and calmly sleeping.

On another occasion, I went with him and a party of relations to visit the Lakes. We crossed from Lancaster over the dangerous sands to Ulverstone. Some accident had delayed us at starting, and when we got about half-way over, it was evident that the tide was returning. All the party were much and reasonably alarmed except young Peel, who sat upon the box with me. After looking about some time with much coolness, he remarked to the drivers, that the nearer they went to the shore the more loose and deep was the sand, and the greater the difficulty of proceeding to the horses; but that if they would go boldly a little way into the sea, where the sand was hard and firm, we should proceed with greater speed. By following this judicious advice from the youngest of the party, we escaped a considerable danger.

This self-command, or imperturbability, which showed itself in many other instances in the boy, became a peculiar characteristic of the man.

I never knew him to be in the least excited by any thing but once, and that was at the death of Mr. Perceval. He (Mr. Peel) had assisted to secure the murderer; he had supported the head of his dying friend, whom he greatly admired and loved; and when he came out of the House of Commons his face was certainly flushed, and some emotion shown; but less than would probably have been shown by any other person under such powerful excitement.

Soon after Mr. Peel was of age he came into parliament as member for an Irish borough (I think for Tralee). Mr. Quintin Dick, who had an all-powerful interest in that borough, had, by some irregularity, become incapacitated from representing an Irish constituency, but was seeking to come into parliament for some English borough. Sir Robert gave him great assistance—possibly with his purse—and in return Mr. Dick contrived so to influence the free and independent electors of Tralee, that they elected Mr. Peel to be their representative.

While sitting as member for that borough, Mr. Peel made his first much-admired speech in seconding the address, which speech his father heard from the gallery, with tears, not certainly excited by grief.

Mr. Peel went over shortly afterward as secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and while there the parliament was dissolved, and with it his connection with Tralee.

We looked for some other seat, and a gentleman, whose name I forget, offered to sell Sir Robert a number of houses in Chippenham, to the tenants of which the right of voting for members of parliament was by burgage-tenure confined.

The bargain was, that the property should be conveyed to Sir Robert for a large sum, but that if at the end of six months he should be dissatisfied with his purchase, the seller should repurchase it for a smaller sum.

All of which was luckily done, for soon afterward the Reform Bill made the old houses valueless.

In consequence of this arrangement, Mr. Peel was under no necessity of coming from Ireland; but I went as his deputy to Chippenham, heard him elected without opposition, and gave a dinner to his faithful friends, and when parliament met Mr. Peel took his seat accordingly.

Thus did he sit in parliament during two sessions for places which he never saw in his life, and the inhabitants of which never saw him.

Such things are, I suppose, impossible in the present age of purity.

Before the connection between Mr. Peel and Chippenham was at an end, a vacancy occurred in the representation of Oxford University. Mr. Canning had long fixed his eye upon that seat in parliament, and had been often flattered with the hope of being agreeable to the electors; but his noble and self-sacrificing vote in favor of the Roman Catholics had alienated from him many of his first supporters. At a fortunate moment, the members of Christ Church being assembled to determine what candidate they should espouse,[Pg 330] Mr. Lloyd, who had been Peel's private tutor, pressed upon them the dangers to the Protestant religion which would ensue, if a body of clergymen should elect a favorer of Roman Catholics. The electors of Christ Church, who are supposed almost to command the return of one member, were moved by the reasoning of Mr. Lloyd, and Mr. Peel was invited to offer himself as member for the university, being assured of the support of the influential college of Christ Church.

I well remember the glee with which Mr. Peel came to my house early one morning to show me the letter which he had received by express, announcing the welcome news and insuring to him a prize which was then the object of his highest hope.

We went together to his father, who was as much delighted as his son, and promised to supply money to any amount which might be wanted in completing the triumph. We soon found, however, that money was the last thing needed.

After his first election for Oxford, Peel went again to Ireland, and when there he had a political quarrel with the famous Mr. O'Connell, which ended in a challenge. But as Mr. O'Connell was already bound to keep the peace in Ireland, it was settled that the hostile party should meet in France. Peel got immediately into a small vessel and sailed for the Continent. He had a narrow escape of being lost in the Channel, having been exposed in a small and ill-appointed ship to a severe gale of wind. Mr. O'Connell, in the mean time, was again interrupted by the interference of the police, and prevented following to France. He was bound over to keep the peace for one year against all his Majesty's subjects every where. So that, after waiting ten or twelve days in no very pleasing suspense, Peel and his friend, Colonel Browne, came to Drayton, and the affair was forgotten.

While Peel was also in Ireland, we received many visits at Drayton from the somewhat notorious Mr. Owen, of Lanark. Sir Robert had brought a bill into parliament for shortening the hours of labor in the cotton factories. (This was the first legislative interference between masters and their workmen, which has since led to so many long debates). Mr. Owen, expressing great anxiety for the further progress of this measure, came frequently to Drayton, and remained there many days.

Peel, hearing of the circumstance, wrote to his father, saying that he had cause to believe that Mr. Owen had strange opinions concerning religion, and was not an eligible companion for Sir Robert's children. The baronet hereupon asked Owen to tell him truly if he were a Christian. The answer which he received induced him to point out to Mr. Owen that his services could be no longer useful in furthering the parliamentary object, and that he would not detain him any longer at Drayton. A second letter came from Peel, stating that he had been told that Owen's great object, like Voltaire's, was to overturn the Christian religion, to which he pretended to ascribe the unhappiness of mankind; that he (Peel) humbly, but earnestly pressed upon his father, that by giving so much countenance to such a man, he might be assisting in the unhallowed scheme, and fostering infidelity.

Owen, however, was gone, and no more thought about him for some time. But, a few days afterward, just as we were sitting down to dinner, a carriage was seen approaching, and in it the well-known face of the pseudo-philosopher.

Sir Robert, however, coinciding in opinion entirely with his son, from whom he had received a third remonstrance, rose from table, desired the servant to keep Mr. Owen's carriage at the door, met his visitor in the drawing-room, and expressing sorrow that Drayton House was full of company, declined the honor of receiving Mr. Owen. The renovator of human happiness was obliged to depart impransus and little pleased.

We saw no more of him.


"Now, Barbara, I have done my duty by you as far as lies in my power; your poor uncle's money is firmly settled on yourself as he wished, mind you never act dishonestly by him either, child."

"Dishonestly! father."

"Dishonestly, Bab; it is an ugly word, but you must look it full in the face like many other disagreeable things. Now understand me; I do not like mercenary marriages, mixing up money concerns with the most important event in a woman's life—but still she must know her own position, and then she can act for herself afterward. My maxim has been, share and share alike in matrimony; your dear mother and I did: we had one purse, one heart, and I've been a prosperous man through life; therefore I give you your share out and out. You and Chepstowe can make ducks and drakes of it if you like, or it may go into your business and help you on; he'll make a spoon or spoil a horn, will Paul."

"Oh, father."

"No chance of his making a spoon you think, or of his spoiling a horn either;" and the old man chuckled over his first pun. "Well, any how, I see that your money may be of great service to him, if he looks sharp, so there it is. I see, too, that he can not just now withdraw sufficient capital from the concern to make a settlement on you without cramping himself, and as you are both willing to chance it, I'm agreeable. But your uncle thought otherwise; his money was left to you and your heirs—your heirs, remember, Bab. If you have children you only hold it in trust for them; and, mark my words, you have no right to give up that property under any circumstances, I don't care what they are. You can have no right to rob your heirs."

"I see it, father, and I'm sure Paul will also."

[Pg 331]

"I'm not so sure of that, girl; men are apt to see things oddly when they're in a pinch, or when they're going on well, and want a little just to grease their wheels. The interest on your uncle's legacy brings you barely two hundred a year. Now, if things go on well, Chepstowe may fancy he could double it for you, or if he meets with misfortunes he'll be sure to think it would just set him all right again. Lord Eldon said every woman was kicked or kissed out of her settlement; now promise me you'll never give up yours."

"I never will."

"That's right, my girl; I think I may trust you; you've the same quiet way your mother had. But it will be a hard case for you to say no to your husband, Barbara; for, dearly as you may love him now, he will be dearer still to you by-and-by, when time has hallowed the tie between you, and you are used to each other's ways. Then, Barbara, it will go hard with you to refuse him any thing; but for your children's sake, if you are blessed with any, it will be your bounden duty not to go against your uncle's will."

Barbara renewed her promise, and a few days saw her the happy, trusting, hoping wife of Paul Chepstowe.

Months verged into years, and her hopes had become certainties; the timid girl who clung to her father's threshold, even when leaving it for her new home, and with him who was more to her than all the world beside, was now a fair matron, serene in the assured dignity of her position, calm in her husband's love.

Paul and Barbara were very happy, and the world had gone well with them. Their own wants and wishes were moderate, and far within their means; their infant family throve, and the business prospered with a steady increase which promised to be permanent. What more could they desire? Alas! old Mr. Cox's fears had been prophetic; Paul had extended his concern by the assistance of Barbara's dowry, and now thought he could speculate most advantageously on her uncle's legacy were it at his disposal.

"God knows, my love!" he said, "I only wish to make what I can for our children; I am truly happy in our present circumstances; but with an increasing family it is incumbent on us to look about us, and I see a very good opening. I could lay out that property of yours."

"Ours, dear Paul!"

"No, Barbara; if it were mine I should not have hesitated, I can assure you; the money is yours, and yours only; I have nothing to do with it: but, as I was saying, you may double that money if you like."

"Of course I should, but it gives us a very good interest now—two hundred a year."

"Pshaw! what is that? To hear you talk, it might be thousands instead of a trumpery couple of hundreds."

"Well, but Paul, as we live, that income nearly maintains us; and—"

"I shall always be able to maintain my wife and children, if any."

"I pray you may, dear; but certainly this money has so far assisted you, as you have expended comparatively little on us."

"I am quite aware of the assistance your fortune has been to me, Mrs. Chepstowe."


"But with all due deference to your father's, your uncle's, and your own united wisdom, I can not help feeling that it is a painful thing to be trammeled in my endeavors to assist my children; I am in an inferior position."

"My dear love, how can you say such cruel things?"

"Why do you bring them home to me, Barbara? Put yourself in my place. I can at this moment double your pittance; but you, my wife, are afraid to trust me with your property; you have no confidence in my judgment, and our children are the sufferers: I repeat it, this is galling."

"Indeed, Paul, you wrong me, and my father also. We freely gave up to your control my share in his property; have we ever sought to advise you even with respect to that? But my uncle wished his legacy to be settled on me with a reversion to the children, and I can not think that we have a right to risk it. The best intentions can not justify us, for the money is not entirely ours. Suppose, love, this proposed investment should not answer."

"Nonsense, Barbara, I tell you it can not fail; the concern is as good as the bank, and the returns will be enormous; if you doubt my word, see Jackson, he will satisfy your scruples; but once you placed entire faith in me."

"And do now, dear Paul; but before my marriage I promised dear father I would preserve this property for my children, according to the deed of settlement. Now do not look so angrily at me; I repeated this promise on his death-bed, for he foresaw this trial, he knew what pain I should suffer; but a promise is a sacred thing. Paul, that money can not, must not be touched."

"Very well, Mrs. Chepstowe; you are losing a noble opportunity, but of course you know best: I am only sorry I can not get rid of the cursed affair altogether. What good will it ever do the children? However, I'll never presume to advise respecting your fortune again, madam."

Paul flounced out of the room and banged the doors matrimonially, each clap having an oath in it; while Barbara, after a hearty good cry, hid, as all women learn to do, an aching heart under a smiling countenance. This was their first difference; that it should be on money matters, and her money too, made it more bitter to her; and she often felt inclined to follow her husband, cancel the deed, and allow him to act as he wished. His mortification was so great, yet so natural. Could he really think she distrusted him? Was he not her husband? was she acting rightly? Oh, no, no! But she[Pg 332] remembered her father's words, her own promises, and her doubts were removed: her duty was to retain her rights; her children's claims were no less sacred than their father's. She might not risk their property; she could not honestly frustrate her uncle's intentions.

We will now follow Chepstowe, who was for once thoroughly angry with his wife, himself, and all the world. He was unfeignedly vexed, as a man of business and a bit of a speculator, at losing so fine an opportunity of turning a penny. He grieved as a father, because he could not benefit his family to the extent of his wishes; he was in a terrible passion as a married man unused to contradiction, because his wife had dared not only to think for herself but to have a will of her own. Thus, Mr. Paul Chepstowe, though generally an amiable, clear-headed, flourishing young man, was at this moment disposed to think himself particularly ill-used by his wife and her family, and was more determined than ever to get rich in order to spite them all. Barbara had dared even to doubt the eligibility of this investment; therefore, her worthy husband decided on placing every farthing he could raise in it. "He would not be led by the nose—not he; he was his own master."

Oh, ye lords of creation, which of ye can master yourself? Which of ye is not hag-ridden by some pet passion? For one wife that leads you, you are driven by fifty hobbies—by your own weaknesses, by friends, by the world, by fear of petticoat government.

To return to our "muttons." Paul, though any thing but a black sheep, was now in a humor to stop at no folly in order to assert his independence. Besides, he had declared his intention of taking up a certain number of shares in the new speculation he had wished to patronize, and consequently chose to fancy he could not withdraw from that determination; he therefore allowed his broker to proceed, trusting that Barbara would give way so as to enable him to pay up the first call. His pride, however, was too great to allow him again to address her openly on the subject, and he contented himself with a dignified ill-humor and certain obscure allusions, to which his wife, having the option of not understanding them, chose to turn a deaf ear. She shed many bitter tears, though, over his unkindness; but painful as her position was, his was still worse. Pay-day was coming on, and he must either sell the shares, now rapidly rising, or meet the call. The former would have been the wiser plan, but pride and an over sanguine temperament led him to another course. He secretly raised money in different quarters, and retained the shares. This hampered him, for he had heavy interest to pay, and his concern, though flourishing, could not sustain this drain. Money that should have been expended in his business went to this extraneous speculation, where it lay idle. The shares fell; he had buried his talent. This would not have been so bad, as this unfortunate investment was one which must in the long run prove profitable, to those who had sufficient capital to "bide their time;" but the fact that he was so large a shareholder became known, and was injurious to him; persons chose to fancy he had "too many irons in the fire." There was a talk that he had required "accommodation," his credit began to totter. Even now he might have recovered himself had he possessed sufficient nerve to go boldly on, like a skater on breaking ice, but no—he hesitated—he tottered—he failed.

Of all those whom this failure surprised, Barbara, as often happens, was most unprepared for it. Her husband had struggled on from day to day, now wildly hoping that all would yet be right; now desponding, but determined to avert the knowledge of impending evil as long as possible from those dear ones at home. Besides, a really conscientious woman's eye, even though a wife's, is often to be feared in these cases. Paul yet thought the blow might be escaped; but he knew that with this prospect before them, Barbara would insist on instant retrenchment, and his pride could not brook such an open confession while yet a hope remained. So all was unchanged at home, all save its master; and, though the wife was doomed to seem unconscious of her husband's fitful temper, her heart bled at each harsh word to herself or the little prattlers who now fled from "papa." She had dreaded the loss of her earthly treasure, the riches of his love; to her the truth was a relief, even though embittered by fresh differences or a revival of old complaints.

Things were now desperate with Chepstowe, but when will not a drowning man cling to a straw? He persuaded himself that Barbara might, at the sacrifice of her property, retrieve all, and bent his proud spirit to speak to her. Even now he could not bring himself to own the extent of his involvements, but spoke of some mere temporary embarrassment.

"You see, Barbara, my capital is just now locked up; I can not meet these bills of Roby's, and there'll be the devil to pay; he's a crusty chap, one of the old school, and it's no good asking him for time. Now your uncle's legacy would set all straight."

"Could we offer it as security?"

"Security be hanged! no one would advance me more than three thousand on it; I want five. I wish you to sell out at once, Barbara; it will save us from beggary and disgrace."

"Disgrace, Paul! disgrace! Oh, tell me, you can not fear disgrace?"

"Is not ruin disgrace? I tell you that Hampden's failure has cramped me confoundedly; I can not honor my acceptances; I must declare myself insolvent unless you help me."

"But still, love, as your misfortunes are caused by another's failure, you can not be disgraced; besides, surely with a business like yours the banks would accommodate you."

"You know nothing about the matter; it is no good talking of business to a woman, you can not understand it. If you don't choose to[Pg 333] assist your husband in his greatest need, say so at once; but don't fancy you are to preach to me or give me your advice; I did not come to you for dictation."

"Indeed, dear, I would not presume to advise or dictate; you mistake me cruelly. I only wished for the children's sake to see what our situation really is. Paul, remember this may be all the support left to them; they are young, they must be educated, brought forward; is it right to deprive them of their property?"

"Pish! I can double it for them to-morrow. By heaven, Barbara, I will not live to see my name in the Gazette, to be disgraced. Choose between your husband and your money."

"Were that indeed the choice, you know in your own heart that I should not hesitate one moment. No, the choice is between my husband and our children. I will not believe that even insolvency can disgrace you."

"Not when my debts are unpaid, and my wife keeps her fortune?"

"A fortune you have often laughed at as a pittance. It can afford us no luxuries; your creditors have no claim on it; it had no interest with your business, it never influenced your credit; had you not married me your position would have been the same. Were I—could I be induced to break my trust and sacrifice my children's interest, this money should go among all your creditors; I never would part with it for the benefit of one alone."

"So you would deprive me of character and credit, submit me to the indignities of the insolvent court, blast my fame and future prospects, rather than part with a paltry sum? And yet you can talk of duty. You will remain quiet at home, while I am exposed to all the curses of poverty."

"Do you think that these ills can fall on you alone, Paul? Am I not your wife? If disgrace be your portion, must not I share it? Yes, and as freely as I have shared your better days' love, for the disgrace will be unmerited. Do I not know that my decision will be canvassed by all, blamed by the many?"

"Then why expose yourself to this blame?"

"For our children's sakes. You did not require this money when it was settled on me and them; they do now, and you may."

"I!—I will never degrade myself by a farthing of it; so do not make me your excuse for your selfishness. You have chosen, you say; take care how it may end."

A bankruptcy ensued, and Paul survived it. People who threaten not to live, seldom keep that promise. At the worst he could only be charged with over-speculation. His dividend was excellent, his embarrassments clearly attributable to a year of panic, and the failure of some other houses doing business with him. Barbara had truly said, there might be imprudence but there was no disgrace attached to his name, and he obtained a certificate of the first class.

What was the poor wife's suffering meanwhile? As she expected, many and harsh comments were passed on her conduct; her summer friends looked coldly on her; her servants were disposed to be insolent.

Paul too, who, in spite of all evidence, persisted in asserting and believing that Barbara's property would have saved him, was almost savage in his ill-temper. Ostentatiously economical, but requiring the same comforts and attendance he had enjoyed with more than double their present income, nothing but devoted affection and a reliance in his innate good qualities could have preserved his wife's last comfort, a reliance on him, a respect for her husband. The wife who ceases to look up is indeed alone and miserable. In the pettish recklessness of his grief, he had chosen to make a parade of giving up every thing; not an indignity was spared his family; and many comforts they might have honorably retained, were cast from them, that Barbara might more fully feel the enormity of her fault. The children could but half understand the change; and their innocent murmurs, their cowed looks, their gentle pity for "poor mamma" were so many daggers to her heart.

Paul Chepstowe's credit was so good that he might have recommenced life; he was offered a capital on the security of his wife's fortune; but he scorned a boon emanating from that source, and preferred taking a subordinate clerkship in a mercantile house. Some people have a pleasure in "cutting off the nose to spite the face," and our hero was of that class. Like Mawworm, "he liked to be despised;" for some time it literally did his heart good to come home and say he had been treated with supercilious pride and incivility, and thus maunder over his troubles. He was almost sorry to find that home still neat and comfortable, to see his children flourishing in mind and body, to feel that some of their old connections yet considered his wife their equal. Time and the hour, however, will wear through the longest day; and Paul gradually accustomed himself to his happiness, and to look upon himself once more as a respectable member of society.

The illusion, however, was dispelled, and this time it was Barbara who meditated sacrifices and talked of "disgrace." Their eldest child, a girl, was now fifteen years old, when, to the father's horror, he discovered a plan for sending her as governess pupil to a school. He disapproved, remonstrated, scolded, talked of "candle-end savings," and "ridiculous economy with their income," but to no purpose. Once he had given up the reins from pique, and now his wife chose to drive, and would not relinquish them; so Annie did as her mother had decided, and was placed in a way of earning her own livelihood. She was a clever, ardent girl, and was soon enabled to add her mite to the general hoard, as a younger sister was received in return for her services. Their only boy remained longer on their hands; he was a persevering, keen lad, with a decided turn for mechanics, and was apprenticed at his own request to an engineer.[Pg 334] His more ambitious father wished first to give him the benefit of a college education, to send him to mathematical Cambridge; but Mrs. Chepstowe strenuously opposed this plan. "We can not afford to give Harry a suitable income," she said, "and he shall never with my consent be exposed to the miseries and temptations of a dubious position. No, Harry has his way to fight in the world; he can not begin too soon; we have no right to mislead him as to his situation, or to fetter his right arm with the trammels of gentility."

"And so you have treasured up your uncle's money just to make your son a mechanic, and his sisters governesses! I expected that, at all events, our children would have benefited by that miserable bequest."

"They have been educated, Paul, until they were of an age to assist themselves; we have spared no expense on them. We have now every right to use the interest at least of their money, and there is a purpose to which we would willingly appropriate it; indolence or luxuries would now disgrace us."

Paul had a glimmering of what his wife meant; he could not blame her purpose, though he chose to fancy it overstrained and romantic. Mingled feelings kept him silent, however, and things went on as usual.

It was a sparkling winter's day in the Christmas week; the girls were home from their respective situations; Harry had come over from a neighboring railway town, where he had obtained permanent and lucrative employment; and the Chepstowes were again united. The clear windows glistened in the sun; the holly sprays poked up their pert berries and bright leaves from all parts of the room, suggestive of the misletoe's delicate beads with its cherished privileges; the mahogany shone in the firelight; the arm-chairs yawned invitingly; the very cat licked its paws with an air; every thing had a gala look, a smile of innate happiness; not a stick in that snug parlor but would have put to flight a legion of blue devils. Paul, notwithstanding his children's degradation, and his own misery, was cosily concocting a glorious bowl of punch; while Barbara, though years had left silvery traces of their passage on her silken curls, had all the matured charms of fat, fair, and forty. And well might both parents feel proud and happy as they gazed on their blooming, joyous children. The girls were not "poor governesses, interesting victims," but conscientious, well-informed women, who had entered on high duties, and were prepared to fulfill them to the best of their endeavors, and were in the meantime enjoying home with twofold pleasure; and Harry, no yellow-kid dawdle waiting for his friends' exertions, had already made a way for himself in the stirring world. But this was not all; the aim of Barbara's late years was achieved—Paul's debts were entirely paid off; by her own long-continued and little suspected savings, she had early laid by a small sum for that purpose; as each child was able to understand her, the story of her trials was related, and each was devoted to the good work. Their economy was added to hers; and gradually the whole interest of her property was reserved also. Money makes money; it accumulates like a snow-ball; interest and compound interest heaped on each other soon form a round sum.

A happier family ne'er sat down to a Christmas table than the Chepstowes. They had self-respect and contentment to bless them, what cared they for the world? but little; and therefore, as is usual in these cases, the world chose to think a great deal of them. The only piece of plate on their modest sideboard was a handsome salver, a present from their creditors to P. Chepstowe, Esq., as a mark of respect, of which his wife and daughters were duly proud, and by this salver lay certain visiting tickets, dearer still to Harry. His employer's wife, a rich and high-born woman, visited his family on equal terms; two of his friends were always hovering round Annie and her sister Barbara; he had a shrewd suspicion that it was not for his sake only, that John Gray and Tom Frankland came so frequently to the cottage, no, nor even for the walk, though both declared it was the pleasantest in England.

Paul was doomed to be a disappointed man, and to be happy withal. When his first emotions were over he hoped his daughters would now remain at home with him. But lo, Annie was to be married as soon as John was comfortably settled, and wished in the meanwhile to continue her exertions, for they now meant to lay by on Harry's account, that he might have a little capital to begin business upon without encroaching on their father's income. And thus they toiled on and each was provided for; while Paul at length, to please his admirable wife, gave up his post, and lives comfortably on the fruits of her settlement.


Burns, to be justly judged, must be estimated by a reference to the times in which he lived. If James I. and Sir Matthew Hale believed in witchcraft, and were agents in the burning of helpless, ignorant, and decrepit old women, was it not the cruel superstition and vice of their time? If Calvin condemned Servetus to the stake—aside from any personal motive, or from his own views of Christianity, "without the smile, the sweetness, or the grace"—was not the destruction of heretics equally the vice of his time? If the immortal Bacon—the "wisest, greatest, meanest (?) of mankind"—disgraced the judgment-seat, and stained his own great name—not, we believe, to pervert, but to expedite justice—was not bribery, which stained the ermine on infinitely meaner shoulders, also the vice of his time? If the great political martyrs, Lord William Russell and Algernon Sydney, accepted bribes from Louis XIV.—as shown by Mr. Macaulay, on the authority of Barillon, which authority we ourselves have consulted with astonishment and regret—was[Pg 335] such corruption not also the vice of their time, in which nearly the whole House of Commons participated? If the pious Addison was addicted to wine, and, as that vain and courtly sycophant, Horace Walpole, sneeringly asserted, "died drunk," was it not a propensity and a morbid craving, engendered by a diseased physical organization, and was not wine-bibbing pre-eminently the vice of his day? In those days, when Pope or Swift penned maudlin notes to Arbuthnot, night's candles being burnt out, and jocund day standing tiptoe on the misty mountain-top, and in drunken hilarity went reeling to bed, were not such orgies, in their day, almost without shame and without reproach? When the excellent and venerable Lord-President Forbes, as shown in Mr. Burton's valuable Memoir, was kept in a state of feverish crapulence for a whole month at a time, was not dissipation emphatically the raging and besetting sin of his day? But not to multiply more modern instances—and many such might be adduced—we would pause, to ask the charitable reader: Is Robert Burns to be held up to the never-dying desecration of posterity, as a man steeped in evil and impiety, because, with fiery ardor, he rushed into the polemic war then raging in Ayrshire, lashed with unsparing and terrible sarcasm and wit the vices and superstitions of his age, and, unfortunately, fell a victim to the social habits of the day, before his better judgment and nobler principles had gained the moral ascendency over the burning passions of his youth? Following out this view of the infirmities of men, we are prepared to look with sad complacency on the rudeness and superstition of Johnson—the madness and misery of poor Chatterton, who "perished in his pride"—the gourmandizing of Pope—the sublime wailings of disappointed ambition in Young—the baffled rage and insanity of Swift—the misery of the exquisite Elia—the hallucinations of the inspired Coleridge, whose whole life was a distempered dream—the bright morning dream of Keats—the cruel disappointment and heart-breaking of poor Haydon, when he stood in solitude among his great pictures, and saw the whole world of London flocking to gaze on General Tom Thumb!—the solitary pride of Wordsworth—the egotism of the Ettrick Shepherd—the intolerance of Scott—the mirth and melancholy of Hood, who has given to the world the most powerful and pathetic song that has sounded from the poetic lyre in our day, illustrating the sad truth, that

"Laughter to sadness is so near allied,
But thin partitions do their bounds divide"—

in short, all the long and sorrowful catalogue of "mighty poets in their misery dead"—that terrible death-roll, inscribed with "fears of the brave and follies of the wise," and written within and without with mourning, and lamentation, and woe.

And so of Robert Burns. From his earliest years, we learn, he was subject to palpitation and nervous excitement. The victim of hypochondria, with fitful glimpses or sunbursts, lighting up the waste of life with ineffable beauty and love, to escape from its terrible shadow, which haunted him through life, he, unfortunately, was driven to take refuge from himself in the excitement and vivacity of the social board, as Johnson fled from himself to the tavern dinner, to revel in his astonishing powers of conversation, while Burke and Beauclerk quailed under the eye of the critical dictator.

But Robert Burns was no drunkard, in the ordinary sense of drunkenness. From his physical organization, he paid dearly for every such, even the smallest deviation. It is the sentiment of social enjoyment, not the sensuality of the sot or drunkard, that inspires his convivial songs, however much they may be misunderstood; and it can not be denied that he purified, with exquisite genius and taste, the lyrical literature of his country, which, in Allan Ramsay's time, as shown by the "Tea-Table Miscellany," was polluted by false and filthy wit and obscenity. We may have written strongly, but we wish the reader to understand that we are writing from the best authority, and in the spirit of truth and sincerity. We wish to record our emphatic protest against the injustice hitherto done to the memory and name of Burns. Not only was he left to die in poverty and neglect, but he was singled out as a stricken deer from the herd, the galling arrows of the hunters entering into his soul, and, we fear, yet vibrating in the hearts of his near and dear friends.


It was precisely on the 5th of November, 1821, that a terrible gale from the northwest set in. It rose very early in the morning, and blew hurricanes all day. There was a hasty and precipitate running and crowding of fishing-boats, colliers, and other vessels into the friendly ports of Scarborough and Filey, for these once past, excepting Burlington, which is far less sheltered, there is no place of refuge nearer than the Humber to flee to. As the morning broke dark and scowling, the inhabitants looking from their windows saw whole fleets of vessels thronging into the port. Men were seen on the heights, where the wind scarcely allowed them either to stand or breathe, looking out to descry what vessels were in the offing, and whether any danger were threatening any of them. Every one felt a sad certainty, that on that bleak coast, where this wind, when in its strength, drives many a luckless ship with uncontrollable force against the steep and inaccessible cliffs, such a day could not go over without fearful damage. Before noon the sea was running mountains high, and the waves were dashing in snowy foam aloft against the cliffs, and with the howling winds filling the air with an awful roar. Many a vessel came laboring and straining toward the ports, yet by all the exertions of the crews, kept with difficulty from driving upon the inevitable destruction of the rocky coast.

[Pg 336]

Among the fishing-vessels which made the Bay of Filey in safety, was one belonging to a young man of the name of George Jolliffe. By his own active labors, added to a little property left him by his father, also a fisherman, George Jolliffe had made himself the master of a five-man-boat, and carried on a successful trade. But the boat was his all, and he sometimes thought, with a deep melancholy, as he sate for hours through long nights looking into the sea, where his nets were cast—what would become of him if any thing happened to the "Fair Susan?" The boat was christened after his wife; and when George Jolliffe pictured to himself his handsome and good Susan, in their neat little home, in one of the narrow yet clean little lanes of Scarborough, with his two children, he was ready to go wild with an inward terror at the idea of a mishap to his vessel. But these were but passing thoughts, and only made him the more active and vigilant.

He had been out some days at the Doggerbank, fishing for cod, and had taken little, when the sky, as he read it, boded a coming storm. He immediately hauled his nets, trimmed his sails, and made for home with all his ability. It was not long before he saw his own belief shared by the rest of the fishermen who were out in that quarter; and from whom all sail was bent landward. Before he caught sight of land, the wind had risen to a violent gale; and as he drew nearer the coast, he became quite aware that he should not be able to make his own port, and must use all energy to get into Filey. In the afternoon of this 5th of November, he found himself, after stupendous labor, and no little anxiety, under shelter of the land, and came to anchor in a crowd of other strange vessels.

Wearied, drenched with wet, and exhausted by their arduous endeavors to make this port, as he and his four comrades ascended the steps to Filey village, their attention was soon excited by the crowds of sailors and fishermen who were congregated at the foot of the signal-house, and with glasses and an eager murmur of talk were riveting their attention on something seaward. They turned, and saw at once the object of it. A fine merchant vessel, under bare poles, and apparently no longer obeying the helm, was laboring in the ocean, and driving, as it appeared, hopelessly toward that sheer stretch of sea-wall called the Spectan Cliff—against which so many noble ships had been pitched to destruction.

"Nothing can save her!" said several voices with an apparent calmness which would have struck a landsman as totally callous and cruel. Already there might, however, be seen a movement in the crowd, which George Jolliffe and his comrades knew from experience, meant that numbers were going off to assist, if possible, in saving the human life on board the vessel, which itself no power on earth could save. Little hope, indeed, was there of salvation of life, for the cliff was miles in extent, and for the whole distance presented a perpendicular wall of two hundred feet in altitude, against which the sea was hurling its tremendous billows to a terrific height. But wearied as George Jolliffe was, he instantly resolved to join in the endeavor to afford what help was possible, or at least to give to the terrified people on board the doomed ship the satisfaction of perceiving that their more fortunate fellow-creatures on land were not indifferent to their misery.

Hurrying, therefore, into the Ship public-house close at hand, he drank a pint of beer as he stood, took a couple of stout pieces of bread and cheese in his hand, and in the next moment was hauled up into a cart which was going off with a quantity of fishermen on the same errand. One only of his crew accompanied him, and that was his younger brother; the three hired men declared themselves half-dead with fatigue, and staid behind.

The cart drove along at an almost furious rate, and there were numbers of others going the same road, with the same velocity; while they could see streams of young men on foot, running along the tops of the cliffs, taking the nearest course toward the scene of the expected catastrophe. Long before George Jolliffe and those with whom he went reached the point where they left their cart, and started forward bearing coils of rope, and even warm garments with them, they heard the firing of guns of distress from the jeopardized vessel. It would seem that up to a certain moment the people on board trusted to be able to bring the ship under shelter of the land, and then get an anchorage: but the dreadful reality of their situation had now evidently burst upon them; and the crowds hastening toward the cliff, hurried forward more anxiously as the successive boomings of these melancholy guns reached their ears.

When Jolliffe and his companions reached the crest of the cliff, and looked out on the sea, it was already drawing toward evening. The wind still blew furiously. The ocean was one chaos of tossing and rolling billows, and the thunder of their discharge on the face of the cliff, was awful. The first sight of the unhappy vessel made the spectator ejaculate "Oh Lord!" That was all that was uttered, and it spoke volumes. The throng stood staring intently down on the ship, amid the deafening thunder of the ocean, and the suffocating violence of the winds. On came the devoted vessel like a lamed thing, one of its masts already gone by the board, and but few people to be seen on the deck. These, however, raised their hands in most imploring attitude toward the people on the cliff, as if relying on them for that aid which they despaired to afford. As the helpless vessel came nearer the cliff, it encountered the refluent force of the waves that were sent with a stunning recoil from their terrible shock against the precipice. It staggered, stooped, and was turned about without power of self-guidance. One mountainous sea after another washed over her,[Pg 337] and the few human beings disappeared with shrieks that pierced even through the turbulent dissonance of the tempest. The assembled crowd on the cliff shuddered with horror, and felt that all need of their presence was at an end. But they stood and stared, as with a fascinated intensity, on the vessel that now came nearer and nearer to its final catastrophe; when all at once there was discerned an old man, with bare head and white streaming hair, lashed to the main-mast. He stood with lifted hands and face gazing up to them as if clinging firmly to the hope of their saving him. A simultaneous agitation ran through the crowd. The ship was lifted high on the back of the billows, and then pitched down again within a short distance of the cliff. A few more seconds—another such a heave, and she must be dashed to pieces. At once flew out several coils of ropes, but the fury of the wind, and the depth to which they had to go defeated them. They were hurled against the crags, and came nowhere near the vessel. Again were thrown out others, and among these one was seized by the old man. There was a loud shout at the sight; but the moment was too terrible to allow of much rational hope. The vessel was close upon the cliff—one more pitch, and she would perish. All eyes were strained to see when the old man had secured the rope round him. He was evidently laboring to do this before he loosed himself from the mast, lest he should be washed away by the next sea. But he appeared feeble and benumbed, and several voices exclaimed, "He will never do it!" A sea washed over him. As it went by they saw the old man still stand by the mast. He passed his arm over his face as if to clear his eyes from the water—and looked up. He still held convulsively by the rope which they had thrown; but it was evident he was too much exhausted to secure it round him. At that moment the huge vessel struck with a terrific shock against the solid wall, and staggering backward, became half buried in the boiling waters. Again it was plunged forward with a frightful impetus, and the next instant the mast fell with a crash—and the whole great hull seemed to dissolve in the liquid chaos. In another moment the black stern of the ship was seen to heave from the waves, and then disappear, and anon spars and casks were seen churning in the snowy surf, and tossed as playthings by the riotous sea again and again to the annihilating wall.

The next morning the wind had greatly abated; and, with the first peep of day, numbers of fishing-boats put out to see whether any thing of value which had floated from the wreck could be picked up. George Jolliffe was among the earliest of these wreckers; but in his mind the face and form of that old man were vividly present. He had dreamed of them all night; and while the rest of his crew were all alert on the look-out for corks or other floating booty, he could not avoid casting a glance far and wide, to see if he could descry any thing of a floating mast. Though the wind was intensely still, the sea still rose high, and it was dangerous to approach the cliff. The vessels around them were busily engaged in securing a number of articles that were floating; but George still kept a steady look-out for the mast: and he was now sure that he saw it at a considerable distance. They made all sail for it; and, sure enough it was there. They ran their vessel close alongside of it, and soon saw, not only a sling rope encircling its lower end, but a human arm clutching fast by it. Jolliffe had the cobble soon adrift, and, with a couple of rowers, approached the floating timber. With much difficulty, from the uneasy state of the sea, he managed to secure a cord round the drowned man's wrist, and with an ax severed the rope which tied him to the mast. Presently they actually had the old man in the boat, whom they last evening saw imploring their aid from the wreck. Speedily they had him hoisted into the yawl; and when they got on board, and saw him lying at his length on deck, they were astonished at his size and the dignity of his look. He was not, as he seemed from the altitude of the cliff, a little man: he was upward of six feet in height, of a large and powerful build; and though of at least seventy years of age, there was a nobility of feature, and a mild intelligence of expression in him, which greatly struck them.

"That," said George Jolliffe, "is a gentleman every inch. There will be trouble about him somewhere."

While saying this he observed that he had several jeweled rings on his fingers, which he carefully drew off; and said to his men, "You see how many there are:" and put them into his waistcoat-pocket. He then observed that he had a bag of stout leather, bound by a strong belt to his waist. This he untied, and found in it a large packet wrapped in oil-cloth, and sealed up. There was also a piece of paper closely and tightly folded together, which being with difficulty, from its soaked state, opened and spread out, was found to contain the address of a great mercantile house in Hull.

"These," said George Jolliffe, "I shall myself deliver to the merchants."

"But we claim our shares," said the men.

"They are neither mine nor yours," said George; "but whatever benefit comes of doing a right thing, you shall partake of. Beyond that, I will defend this property with my whole life and strength, if necessary. And now let us see what else there is to be got."

The men, who looked sullen and dogged at first, on hearing this resumed their cheerfulness, and were soon in full pursuit of other floating articles. They lashed the mast to the stern of their vessel, and in the course of a few hours were in possession of considerable booty. Jolliffe told them that, to prevent any interference of the police or the harbor-master with the effects of the old gentleman, he would put out near Filey, and they must steer the yawl home. He secured the bag under his tarpaulin coat, and was soon[Pg 338] set ashore at a part of the bay where he could make his way, without much observation, to the Hull road. He met the coach most luckily, and that night was in Hull. The next morning he went to the counting-house of the merchants indicated by the paper in the drowned gentleman's bag, and informed the principals what had happened. When he described the person of the deceased, and produced the bag, with the blotted and curdled piece of paper, the partners seemed struck with a speechless terror. One looked at the other, and at length one said, "Gracious God! too sure it is Mr. Anckersvœrd!"

They unfolded the packet, conferred apart for some time with each other, and then, coming to Mr. Jolliffe, said, "You have behaved in a most honorable manner: we can assure you that you will not fail of your reward. These papers are of the utmost importance. We tell you candidly they involve the safety of a very large amount of property. But this is a very sorrowful business. One of us must accompany you, to see respect paid to the remains of our old and valued friend and partner. In the mean time here are ten pounds for yourself, and the same sum to distribute among your men."

George Jolliffe begged the merchants to favor him with a written acknowledgment of the receipt of the packet and of the rings which he now delivered to them. This he obtained; and we may shorten our recital by here simply saying, that the remains of the drowned merchant were buried, with all respectful observance, in the old church-yard at Scarborough: a great number of gentlemen from Hull attending the funeral.

That winter was a peculiarly severe and stormy one. Ere it was over George Jolliffe himself had been wrecked—his "Fair Susan" was caught in a thick fog on the Filey rocks, his brother drowned, and only himself and another man picked up and saved. His wife, from the shock of her nerves, had suffered a premature confinement, and, probably owing to the grief and anxiety attending this great misfortune, had long failed to rally again. George Jolliffe was now a pennyless man, serving on board another vessel, and enduring the rigors of the weather and the sea for a mere weekly pittance. It was in the April of the coming year that one Sunday his wife had, for the first time, taken his arm for a stroll to the Castle Hill. They were returning to their little house, Susan pale and exhausted by her exertions, with the two children trudging quietly behind, when, as they drew near their door, they saw a strange gentleman, tall, young, and good-looking, speaking with Mrs. Bright, their next neighbor.

"Here he is," said Mrs. Bright; "that is Mr. Jolliffe."

The stranger lifted his hat very politely, made a very low bow to Mrs. Jolliffe, and then, looking a good deal moved, said to George, "My name is Anckersvœrd." "Oh," said George; all that rushing into his mind which the stranger immediately proceeded to inform him.

"I am," said he, "the son of the gentleman who, in the wreck of the 'Danemand,' experienced your kind care. I would have a little conversation with you."

George stood for a moment as if confused, but Mrs. Jolliffe hastened to open the door with the key, and bade Mr. Anckersvœrd walk in. "You are an Englishman?" said George, as the stranger seated himself. "No," he replied, "I am a Dane, but I was educated to business in Hull, and I look on England as my second country. Such men as you, Mr. Jolliffe, would make one proud of such a country, if we had no other interest in it." George Jolliffe blushed, Mrs. Jolliffe's eyes sparkled with a pleasure and pride that she took no pains to conceal. A little conversation made the stranger aware that misfortune had fallen heavily on this little family since George had so nobly secured the property and remains of his father.

"Providence," said Mr. Anckersvœrd, "evidently means to give full effect to our gratitude. I was fast bound by the winter at Archangel, when the sad news reached me, or I should have been here sooner. But here I am, and in the name of my mother, my sister, my wife, my brother, and our partners, I beg, Mr. Jolliffe, to present you with the best fishing-smack that can be found for sale in the port of Hull—and if no first-rate one can be found, one shall be built. Also, I ask your acceptance of one hundred pounds, as a little fund against those disasters that so often beset your hazardous profession. Should such a day come—let not this testimony of our regard and gratitude make you think we have done all that we would. Send at once to us, and you shall not send in vain."

We need not describe the happiness which Mr. Anckersvœrd left in that little house that day, nor that which he carried away in his own heart. How rapidly Mrs. Jolliffe recovered her health and strength, and how proudly George Jolliffe saw a new "Fair Susan" spread her sails very soon for the deep-sea fishing. We had the curiosity the other day to inquire whether a "Fair Susan" was still among the fishing vessels of the port of Scarborough. We could not discover her, but learnt that a Captain Jolliffe, a fine, hearty fellow of fifty, is master of that noble merchantman, the "Holger-Danske," which makes its regular voyages between Copenhagen and Hull, and that his son, a promising young man, is an esteemed and confidential clerk in the house of Davidsen, Anckersvœrd, and Co., to whom the "Holger-Danske" belongs. That was enough; we understood it all, and felt a genuine satisfaction in the thought that the seed of a worthy action had fallen into worthy soil, to the benefit and contentment of all parties. May the "Holger-Danske" sail ever!



A rich man once hired a boy, who served him honestly and industriously; he was the first to rise in the morning, the last to go to bed[Pg 339] at night, and never hesitated to perform even the disagreeable duties which fell to the share of others, but which they refused to do. His looks were always cheerful and contented, and he never was heard to murmur. When he had served a year, his master thought to himself, "If I pay him his wages he may go away; it will therefore be most prudent not to do so; I shall thereby save something, and he will stay." And so the boy worked another year, and, though no wages came, he said nothing and looked happy. At last the end of the third year arrived; the master felt in his pockets, but took nothing out; then the boy spoke.

"Master," said he, "I have served you honorably for three years; give me, I pray you, what I have justly earned. I wish to leave you, and see more of the world."

"My dear fellow," replied the niggard, "you have indeed served me faithfully, and you shall be generously rewarded."

So saying he searched his pockets again, and this time counted out three crown pieces.

"A crown," he said, "for each year; it is liberal; few masters would pay such wages."

The boy, who knew very little about money, was quite satisfied; he received his scanty pay, and determined now that his pockets were full, he would play. He set off therefore to see the world; up-hill and down-hill, he ran and sang to his heart's content; but presently, as he leaped a bush, a little man suddenly appeared before him.

"Whither away, Brother Merry?" asked the stranger, "your cares seem but a light burden to you!"

"Why should I be sad?" answered the boy, "when I have three years' wages in my pocket."

"And how much is that?" inquired the little man.

"Three good crowns."

"Listen to me," said the dwarf; "I am a poor, needy creature, unable to work; give me the money; you are young, and can earn your bread."

The boy's heart was good; it felt pity for the miserable little man; so he handed him his hard-gotten wages.

"Take them," said he, "I can work for more."

"You have a kind heart," said the mannikin, "I will reward you by granting you three wishes—one for each crown. What will you ask?"

"Ha! ha!" laughed the boy; "you are one of those then who can whistle blue! Well, I will wish; first, for a bird-gun, which shall hit whatever I aim at; secondly, for a fiddle, to the sound of which every one who hears me play on it must dance; and, thirdly, that when I ask any one for any thing, he shall not dare to refuse me."

"You shall have all," cried the little man, as he took out of the bush, where they seemed to have been placed in readiness, a fine fiddle, and bird-gun—"no man in the world shall refuse what you ask!"

"My heart, what more can you desire!" said the boy to himself, as he joyfully went on his way. He soon overtook a wicked-looking man, who stood listening to the song of a bird, which was perched on the very summit of a high tree.

"Wonderful!" cried the man, "such a small animal with such a great voice! I wish I could get near enough to put some salt on its tail."

The boy aimed at the bird with his magic gun, and it fell into a thorn-bush.

"There, rogue," said he to the other, "you may have it if you fetch it."

"Master," replied the man, "leave out the 'rogue' when you call the dog; but I will pick up the bird."

In his effort to get it out, he had worked himself into the middle of the prickly bush, when the boy was seized with a longing to try his fiddle. But, scarcely had he begun to scrape, when the man began also to dance, and the faster the music, the faster and higher he jumped, though the thorns tore his dirty coat, combed out his dusty hair, and pricked and scratched his whole body.

"Leave off, leave off," cried he, "I do not wish to dance!"

But he cried in vain. "You have flayed many a man, I dare say," answered the boy, "now we will see what the thorn-bush can do for you!"

And louder and faster sounded the fiddle, and faster and higher danced the gipsy, all the thorns were hung with the tatters of his coat.

"Mercy, mercy," he screamed at last; "you shall have whatever I can give you, only cease to play. Here, here, take this purse of gold!"

"Since you are so ready to pay," said the boy, "I will cease my music; but I must say that you dance well to it—it is a treat to see you."

With that he took the purse and departed.

The thievish-looking man watched him until he was quite out of sight; then he bawled insultingly after him:

"You miserable scraper! you ale-house fiddler! wait till I find you alone. I will chase you until you have not a sole to your shoe; you ragamuffin! stick a farthing in your mouth, and say you are worth six dollars!"

And thus he abused him as long as he could find words. When he had sufficiently relieved himself, he ran to the judge of the next town:

"Honorable judge," cried he, "I beg your mercy; see how I have been ill-treated and robbed on the open highway; a stone might pity me; my clothes are torn, my body is pricked and scratched, and a purse of gold has been taken from me—a purse of ducats, each one brighter than the other. I entreat you, good judge, let the man be caught and sent to prison!"

"Was it a soldier," asked the judge, "who has so wounded you with his sabre?"

"No, indeed," replied the gipsy, "it was one who had no sabre, but a gun hanging at his back, and a fiddle from his neck; the rascal can easily be recognized."

[Pg 340]

The judge sent some people after the boy; they soon overtook him, for he had gone on very slowly; they searched him, and found in his pocket the purse of gold. He was brought to trial, and with a loud voice declared:

"I did not beat the fellow, nor steal his gold; he gave it to me of his own free will, that I might cease my music, which he did not like."

"He can lie as fast as I can catch flies off the wall," cried his accuser.

And the judge said, "Yours is a bad defense;" and he sentenced him to be hanged as a highway robber.

As they led him away to the gallows, the gipsy bawled after him, triumphantly, "You worthless fellow! you catgut-scraper! now you will receive your reward!"

The boy quietly ascended the ladder with the hangman, but, on the last step, he turned and begged the judge to grant him one favor before he died.

"I will grant it," replied the judge, "on condition that you do not ask for your life."

"I ask not for my life," said the boy, "but to be permitted to play once more on my beloved fiddle!"

"Do not let him, do not let him," screamed the ragged rogue.

"Why should I not allow him to enjoy this one short pleasure?" said the judge; "I have granted it already; he shall have his wish!"

"Tie me fast! bind me down!" cried the gipsy.

The fiddle-player began; at the first stroke every one became unsteady—judge, clerks, and bystanders tottered—and the rope fell from the hands of those who were tying down the tatterdemalion; at the second, they all raised one leg, and the hangman let go his prisoner, and made ready for the dance; at the third, all sprang into the air; the judge and the accuser were foremost, and leaped the highest. Every one danced, old and young, fat and lean; even the dogs got on their hind-legs, and hopped! Faster and faster went the fiddle, and higher and higher jumped the dancers, until at last, in their fury, they kicked and screamed most dismally. Then the judge gasped:

"Cease playing, and I will give you your life!"

The fiddler stopped, descended the ladder, and approached the wicked-looking gipsy, who lay panting for breath.

"Rogue," said he, "confess where you got that purse of ducats, or I will play again!"

"I stole it, I stole it!" he cried, pitifully.

The judge, hearing this, condemned him, as a thief and false accuser, to be hanged, instead of the boy, who journeyed on to see the world.


Abercarn Colliery is about ten miles from Newport, England. A very polite invitation had been sent from the proprietors or manager of this colliery to Dr. Pennington and myself to visit their pits, and instructions had been given to the agent at Newport to provide us a conveyance, and to offer us every attention. Accordingly, on Friday morning, a handsome carriage and pair were at our door, and a very gentlemanly young man presented himself as our guide. It was a lovely day, and the ride up to the mountains a most delightful one; the scenery becoming more and more wild and picturesque as we approached the coal district; and our guide gave us much curious information connected with our local Welsh legends and superstitions. We were also accompanied by a very intelligent young man, a draper at Newport, who was quite at home with the Welsh language, and gave us many particulars connected with the etymology of the names of places that we passed. Thus we sped along most agreeably until we reached the region of tall chimneys, ponderous engines, and all the apparatus for disemboweling the mountains. Dismissing our carriage at the entrance to the works, we proceeded to the counting-house, where we were most courteously received by the head clerk, who first unrolled a large map, and explained to us the geography of the diggings, the mode in which the shafts and levels were cut, and the coal worked; we then proceeded to the robing-room, and under the care of one or two grimy valets de chambre, we were soon rigged out in toggery that would render us the observed of all observers at a masquerade. Fancy the learned doctor in a coarse white flannel coat that was a sort of compromise between an Oxonian and a dustman, but with sleeves reaching only to the elbow; his trowsers turned half-way up his boots, and a coarse black felt sou-wester stuck on his head.

My costume was ditto. With a stout stick in our hand, we were conveyed to the pit's mouth, and handed over to the custody of "Thomas"—a great man, in every sense of the word. He was the overseer of the under-ground workings, and was one of the finest men I ever saw. The shaft down which we were to descend was a perpendicular well, I won't say how many hundred yards deep, up and down which traveled two platforms side by side, about the size of an ordinary breakfast table; one bringing up a full wagon of coal, while the other took down an empty wagon. The platform comes up, the full wagon is wheeled away; but instead of the empty one, Thomas takes his stand in the centre, and desires us four to stand round him, and hold on by his jacket, but not to grasp any part of the platform. We obey, with an unpleasantly vivid remembrance of the description given of the last moments of Rush and the Mannings. Thomas becomes a sort of momentary Calcraft; and when he roars out, "Go!" and we feel the platform give way beneath our feet, we cling desperately to him with a savage satisfaction that he is with us, and must share our fate. We are rattled, rumbled, jolted down a gigantic telescope, with just light enough from above to make us painfully aware that there is exactly sufficient room between the edge of our platform[Pg 341] and the sides of the shaft for us to fall through. We are conscious of clammy drops falling and clinging to us—they may be cold sweat, or perhaps dirty water from the sides of the pit—it occurs to us that five lives are at the mercy, or rather tenacity, of a rusty link, and I enter into unpleasant calculations of the time it might take to fall, say 350 feet. There is a sensation that may be vertigo, perhaps faintness—possibly an inclination to suicide, when a sudden jolt brings us to the ground, and, but for our hold on Thomas, would certainly capsize our perpendicular. We are at the bottom of the shaft, and quit the platform, very glad that the meeting is dissolved. We find ourselves in a small, dark vault, just visible by the glimmer of a single candle stuck in the wall. Thomas lights five candles, and we each take one. We then perceive that there is an iron tramway winding from under the shaft toward a couple of low doors. We are placed in single file in the centre of this tramway, and Thomas suggests a game of follow the leader. The gate-keeper (a most important person, upon whom depends very much the proper ventilation of the mine) opens the doors, and we enter a level—the doors being immediately closed behind us. We find it necessary at once to stoop, and we tramp forward through the dirtiest of all Petticoat-lanes—a thick, black mud coming half-way over our insteps, and our candles being now and then reflected in a running gutter that might be thought to discharge itself from a waste pipe from Day and Martin's. There is an incessant rumbling over our heads, as though a procession of railway trains were out for the day. Large lumps of coal, dropped from the wagons, and cross-beams connecting the tram-rails, render the footing very precarious, and produce a very oscillating wave-like line of march. I am following the sable dustman; he suddenly flounders, flourishes his stick and his candle desperately for a moment; I see the white coat dash forward; I hear a shout and a hiss; the doctor's candle is in the gutter, and he is groping his way up to his feet again. We are more cautious, and find it necessary to stoop still lower; the stratification of the rock is pointed out to us, and we are told that this is a layer of coal, that of iron-stone, which, we believe from our boundless faith in Thomas's word, not that we see any thing to remind us of the contents of our scuttle at home, or of the handle of our pump. We go on so many hundred yards, but we do not count, when we come to a side cutting, and are conscious of a ghostly apparition at the entrance. It moves on; we might mistake it for a block of coal set up endways. It is a miner, who speaks, and his language seems exactly to harmonize with the place. The deep, guttural Welsh, from its utter incomprehensibility to us, seems, like the man, a part of the mine; and our reverence for Thomas rises when we find that this gibberish is as intelligible to him as all the other dark mysteries of the pit. This is a cutting where they are mining out the coal. At a short distance huge blocks are lying scattered over the path; the place is about four feet high and six feet broad. We are invited to enter and see the process of mining out a block. We seat ourselves on lumps of coal, and at the end of the hole we see a miner crouched upon the ground, hacking out a space about eighteen inches deep, into the coal at the bottom, forming a sort of recess wide enough to slip in a six inch drawer the whole width of the place; the labor of doing this is inconceivably great in the miner's cramped position; he pants loudly at every stroke of the pick, and breathes an atmosphere of thick coal dust. When he has scooped out the bottom place, he cuts, with a very sharp pick, a slice down each side, leaving the mass supported only by its hold above; a wedge is now driven in close to the ceiling, and with about a dozen heavy blows, down tumbles the whole mass, the miner and the little candle boy who lights him keeping a sharp look out to dart back just as the mass falls. Thus are we supplied with coal; and it is impossible to see these poor fellows toiling in those dark, stifling holes, crouching in positions that threaten dislocation to every joint, and with deep, rapid inspirations drawing in dust that must convert their lungs into so many coal-beds, without feeling how much of our comfort we owe to a race of men, the real character of whose labor is so little understood and appreciated. They are paid so much per ton, and generally remain under-ground about ten hours at a stretch; but sometimes, when they wish to fetch up lost time after a holiday or a drinking bout, they will work for fourteen hours without stopping. Their wages range from twenty to thirty shillings a week. They have been much addicted to drink, but the Temperance movement has produced a beneficial change in this respect in some districts. We remained under-ground nearly an hour; now and then a rumbling noise warned us of the approach of a wagon, and, stepping aside, a spectral-looking horse flitted by, tugging its hubbly load, visible a moment in the dim light, and vanishing again instantly into utter darkness. Having completed our inspection, and returned to the entrance of the shaft, we again endured the process of suspended animation, and emerged into daylight with a higher estimate than ever of the blessed sunlight and the green fields. We were taken into a shed at the pit's mouth, where Thomas curried us down with a birch broom and a wisp of straw, after which we doffed our togs, had a good wash, and once more resumed our civilized appearance, highly gratified and instructed by our introduction to the shades below.


Years, with their summers and winters, their joys and sorrows, have passed away, since the Cleopatra, her long and wearying voyage over, cast anchor in one of the extensive bays of Southern Africa. How eagerly and anxiously[Pg 342] her many passengers looked across the belt of heaving waters toward the land, which, low at first, gradually rose into ranges of lofty hills, stretching far into the distance! For most of them had crossed the ocean, and bidden adieu to their remoter kindred, in the hope of finding, amid its secluded valleys, some "forest sanctuary," where the bonds of the world that had hitherto chafed them might be unfelt, and their efforts at earning a livelihood for themselves and little ones be better rewarded.

Foremost among them stood a man, the eagle keenness of whose eye bespoke him one fitted to cope, and successfully, with the world, in whatever phase it might present itself. But it was not so; and Robert Tryon, despite years of unwearying effort, now stood gazing on the shores of the far south, a world-worn and almost penniless man, and one whose spirit was embittered, and his heart hardened, by seeing others, whom he deemed less worthy, victors in the arena where he could achieve nothing.

While thus he stood pondering with contracted brow, on what might be the result of this last decisive step of emigration, a sweet, childish voice by his side exclaimed,

"Let me see too, father."

Immediately the stern expression passed away, and with a bright smile he raised the little girl to stand where she might easily look over the bulwark. Robert Tryon was devotedly attached to his wife and family; and the more the chilling blasts of adversity had frozen his heart toward the world, the more did it gush forth in warm affection to those surrounding his own humble and sometimes ill-supplied fireside; and he felt that to see them possessed of the comforts of life befitting their station—more he asked not, wished not—would be a happiness that would, in his estimation, render the labor of even a galley-slave light.

But dearer than all was his little fairy Kate, as fair and beautiful a child as the eye need wish to rest upon, with soft, dark, earnest eyes, looking forth from among her brown clustering curls as though the misfortunes of her parents had dispelled the joyous beams of childhood, and awakened her already to the realities of life, and a sweet smile playing upon her rosy lips, as if, in the buoyancy of her innocent spirit, hoping and trusting a brighter future.

And the child's trust seemed not misplaced, for brighter days soon began to dawn upon them. Robert Tryon obtained a small farm in one of the deep fertile hollows branching off from the great valley of the Fish River; and though it needed both time and labor to render it productive, both were ungrudgingly bestowed; and some five or six years after his arrival, Willow Dell (so named from the fringe of Babylonian willows that swept the little streamlet murmuring through it), was as fair a scene of rural promise as the wide frontier could show.

And for a while Robert Tryon was a happy and contented man; his loved ones were growing up beautiful and joyous around him, and the humble competence he once had sighed for was now theirs: few, indeed, are they whose wishes are so fully gratified! But it sufficed not long. With prosperity loftier ideas awoke in Tryon's breast; and after a time he began to pine for riches to bestow on the children whom every succeeding day rendered yet dearer, and whom he felt assured wealth would grace so well. How, as he wandered at evening beside the willows, he would dream of the proud future that—could his wishes be realized—might be in store for his promising sons and beautiful daughters, in some higher sphere; and how in years to come they might revisit their fatherland, and look scornfully down on those who in other days had despised himself!

Occupied with such visions, discontent began to take possession of his heart. It would be years—many years—ere by his farm he could hope to obtain such results; and ere that his children's youth would be passed—their lot in life decided, and riches not so precious; and again he felt that he could toil as man never yet had toiled, to bestow wealth on his children.

Of the many objects man pursues with avidity, gold is not the one that most frequently eludes him, for there are many modes by which it may be obtained, and one of these presented itself to Tryon.

He was riding with one of his nearest neighbors into Graham's Town, when on their way they passed an extensive and beautiful farm, and on a rising ground saw a large, well-built house peeping from among the trees. Tryon commented upon the beauty of the scene.

"Its owner's name is Brunt," observed his companion; "some twenty years ago he was sent out by the parish."

"How did he make his money?" demanded Tryon, almost breathlessly.

"As a Kafir trader."

A Kafir trader! It was strange that had never occurred to him, though he was aware that large fortunes had been made, were constantly being made, by taking into Kafirland various articles of British manufacture, and bartering them with the natives for ivory, skins, &c. That was a mode of acquiring wealth, that, amid all his search for a shorter road to riches, he had quite overlooked.

The farm at Willow Dell had so far improved Tryon's circumstances, that there was no difficulty in carrying out his new resolve; and a very short time saw him depart into Kafirland with two wagons heavily laden, two trusty drivers, and two boys, on the first of many journeys that brought more gold beneath his roof than had ever been there before.

Tryon was on his return from one of these expeditions. Evening was coming on; but he felt that, by riding fast, and using a nearer ford to cross the Fish River than that by which the wagons must pass, he might reach home that night, and he longed to see those for whose sake all this exertion was made. Therefore, leaving directions with his people to go round by the upper[Pg 343] and shallow ford, and setting spurs to his horse, he started for the nearer one, well known on the frontier as the Kafir drift (or ford), and as being nearly or quite the most dangerous along the border, consisting merely of a ledge of rock across the bed of the deep and turbid river, considered scarcely passable save when the tide is low, and in attempting which at undue seasons, many an unwary traveler has met his death.

The light was so dim, that when Tryon stood on the steep hill overlooking the valley, he could not discern the state of the river so far beneath him, and it was not until he emerged from the trees, and stood beside the brink, that he was aware that the tide was up, or rather just begun to ebb. But he knew that with due caution the river might be crossed in safety even then, by one accustomed to it, and he accordingly prepared to take advantage of the remaining daylight by passing without delay.

His horse's fore-feet were already in the water, when a man started up on the opposite bank, and called aloud. Tryon paused.

"Do not attempt to cross; it is dangerous!" cried the stranger.

"I am not afraid; I am used to the drift," replied Tryon.

"But it is spring-tide!"

Tryon looked again at the river; it was certainly higher than was its wont, but not sufficiently so to alarm him who had crossed it so often that he thought he knew every stone of the way; and, intimating as much to the stranger, he spurred his horse in. But his knowledge was less accurate, or the tide was stronger than he deemed; for scarce had he reached the middle of the stream, when the good steed lost his footing, and both horse and rider were borne down among the eddies of the impetuous current toward the sea, which, at a short ten miles' distance, was breaking in giant surges on its rocky bar.

His idolized children! they were provided for, but not too well! was Tryon's last thought, ere the waters overpowered him; and, with a wild rushing in his ears, both sense and sensation passed away.

But the stranger on the southern bank was not one to stand idly by and see a fellow-creature perish, without making an effort for his rescue, even though that effort might involve him in a like danger; and when Walter Hume threw himself into that dark, troubled water, he knew the chances were equal that he would never tread those banks again. But Walter's was too generous and fearless a heart to be chilled by such selfish considerations, and he exerted himself to the uttermost in his arduous task. His efforts were successful: and Tryon was drawn to the shore some distance down the river, insensible, but still living; while the steed, whose fate he had so nearly shared, was borne more and more rapidly toward the waves that seemed roaring impatiently for their victim.

After this, Walter Hume was a frequent guest at Willow Dell, and a most welcome one to all save its master, for he soon divined that but for the dark eyes and sweet tones of his beautiful and gentle Kate, Walter had been less often seen. And Tryon destined not his Kate, the fairest flower in his fair parterre, to share the humble fortunes of a frontier farmer; though in bygone days he would have rejoiced to think so comfortable a home—and shared by one so worthy—would ever be hers. But now his hopes were higher far for her, his best beloved one; and though he might not receive otherwise than cordially the man who had risked life to save him from certain death, yet he looked with a displeased eye on Walter's evident devotion to Kate, and with a secret resolution that not even the weight of that obligation should induce him to sacrifice his daughter's welfare: rather, far rather, would he have perished among the dark eddies of the river.

Absorbed in his ambitious dreams, Tryon never thought of asking himself whether the true sacrifice to Kate might not consist in giving up one to whom, in the warmth of her gratitude and the worthiness of its object, her young heart was becoming deeply attached. And when at length he suspected that it was so, his regret and mortification knew no bounds; yet he shrunk from wounding the feelings of his child by any allusion to the subject, and contented himself by resolving that, even if redoubled efforts were required, they should be made to hasten the hour when he might be able to efface from his daughter's mind the impression which Walter Hume had made, by removing her to a sphere he considered more suited to her and her improving fortunes. Again he began to repine that wealth was so slow of attainment, and again he felt that he would willingly encounter any toil, any trial, ay, even any danger, to secure to his children—especially his Kate—riches and consideration.

With these feelings acting as a fresh incentive to exertion, Tryon started on another expedition into Kafirland. He had gained the territories of the chief Kuru, and was bartering with him some snuff for ivory; when, in the midst of the discussion that attends every mercantile transaction with the avaricious Kafirs, the chief turned pettishly away, exclaiming,

"You want too much for the brown powder; I will not give it; but I will give you ten times as much for black."

He stopped abruptly, and fixed his bright dark, searching eye on Tryon, as though eager to discover if his meaning was understood, and how the proposition was received.

The trader turned aside as if he heard it not. Nevertheless, it was both heard and comprehended. So the quick-witted Kafir suspected, and he resumed:

"Yes, I would give much ivory, white as the clouds in yonder sky, many skins, many horns, to him who will bring me the black powder and the fire-sticks. His wagons will be so heavy his oxen will scarce be able to draw them away, and he will never need to cross the rivers any[Pg 344] more, but may sit in the sun before his kraal, and make his women hoe his corn."

Still Tryon answered not, but the Kafir's words struck a wild chord in his heart. Could he but bring himself to do the chief's bidding, the gold over whose tardy coming he had so lately sighed would at once be his; his children would no longer be buried on a frontier farm, and his daughter would go where Walter Hume would be forgotten. But he shrunk from the means by which all these objects, which he had so much at heart, must be obtained; for, by carrying powder and arms across the border—save for self-defense—he would infringe the laws of the land wherein he had prospered far more than he had ever hoped when he landed on its shores. Tryon had been eager in his pursuit of riches; he had bought cheap and sold dear, and he had exacted from every one to the uttermost; but he had broken no law save that of leniency, and now he shrank from doing so, and bade the temptation stand off from him: but it would not. The spirit of Gain, that he had so long cherished, entered into this new form, and haunted him day and night, filling his waking thoughts, and shedding a golden hue over his slumbering visions.

When Tryon next entered his home at Willow Dell, the first object that presented itself was the smiling, happy face of Kate, the next the almost detested one of him who had drawn him from the depths of the Fish River. It required little penetration to perceive that Walter Hume was now the declared lover of Kate; and as soon as might be Walter confirmed Tryon's suspicions by entreating his sanction to the already given consent of Kate.

The father was silent for a few moments. But it was only to consider how he might best reject the man to whom he owed so much, and what effect that rejection would have on the happiness of Kate; but on this latter point he soon satisfied himself that once removed to other scenes, this ill-placed (for so he considered it) prepossession would soon pass away, and Kate be a far happier and more prosperous woman than if he had yielded to what he knew were her present feelings. Then, rising from his seat he turned to the anxious suitor, and spoke kindly but firmly.

"I owe you much, Hume, very much, even a life, and believe me I do not underrate the service, nor the risk at which it was rendered; and had you asked me almost any other gift, it had been given with pleasure; but I can not put my own life in comparison with my daughter's welfare."

"Whatever may be your decision, Mr. Tryon," said Walter, proudly, though he turned deadly pale with apprehension, "and I much fear it is against me, I do not wish an act of common humanity due from one man to another to be remembered, far less looked on as a claim. But your daughter has given me her heart," he added, earnestly; "and if you will trust her to me, it shall be the study of my life that she never repents the gift."

"Her heart!" said Tryon, lightly. "Pooh!—she is scarce of an age to know she has one. But I have other hopes for her," he continued, seriously; "higher hopes—far higher:" and the once poverty-stricken man drew himself up proudly, as he thought on the wealth his children would possess.

Hume felt that those words and that manner sealed his lips to farther entreaty, near as was the object to his heart; and, simply expressing a hope that Kate might be happier in the future her father designed for her, than he could have made her, he bowed, and left the house with a crushed and embittered heart.

But however great might be Walter's sorrow, it did not exceed that of Kate, when she learned her father's unlooked-for decision regarding one toward whom she felt so much both of affection and gratitude. But all her tears, and the yet more touching eloquence of her pale cheeks and faded smiles were unavailing, and it seemed as if naught could shake Tryon's resolution.

And yet the father's heart was only less sad than those of the lovers. For Robert Tryon loved his daughter too fondly to look on her grief with indifference; and it was but the hopes of a proud future, when Walter Hume's name should have lost all interest for Kate, that enabled him to remain steadfast to his resolves.

Meanwhile he was occupied with preparations for another journey into Kafirland. At length the day came for his departure.

"Let me see more rosy cheeks on my return, child," he said, fondly, as he took leave of her. "Don't you know I mean to make my Kate a lady?"

"I have no wish to be a lady, father," said Kate, with a subdued smile; "if I can only do my duty in the state to which I am called, it will suffice for me."

"Tush, girl, you know not of what you talk," replied Tryon, hastily; "ere long my beautiful Kate will be rich and happy."

Kate sighed, as though she had no such gladdening dreams; but her father heard her not—he was already watching the departure of his wagons, for whose safety he had never before appeared so solicitous. Little did those around him suspect they contained a secret whose discovery would prove their owner's ruin; whose safe-keeping and success he hoped would well-nigh complete the building-up of his fortunes. It might have been that Tryon had withstood the temptation longer, nay, perhaps, even overcome it altogether, had it not been for the attachment of Hume, and his anxiety to remove Kate from Willow Dell, where of course her recollection of him would be strongest.

Thus the voice of ambition spoke loudly within Tryon's heart, overpowering all others, and he no longer hesitated to avail himself of the opportunity fortune cast in his path; but at once applied himself to making the needful preparations for complying with the wish of Kuru.

"Oh, Kate, Kate," he thought, as he rode into Kafirland after his wagons, whose chief[Pg 345] contents were contraband, "while you are weakly mourning over your girlish disappointment, you little know the risk your father is running for your advantage; but you will yet have cause to thank him for it."

The speculation turned out even better than Tryon had ventured to hope. The guns and powder arrived unsuspected at the kraal of Kuru, and in the joy of his heart at obtaining such treasures, the chief was liberal beyond what the trader had anticipated. The finest ivory and the most valuable skins were given almost without limit, and Robert Tryon departed from the kraal a far richer man than he had entered it.

"Oh, Robert Tryon, Robert Tryon!" he murmured, as he mounted his horse, "you are now a happy and an enviable man, for you have lived to gain all your ends!" and in his exultation he recked not to obtain them he had offended against the law, and placed deadly weapons in the hands of savages.

In the same spirit of self-gratulation he entered his home. There the sight of Kate's dark mournful eyes, checked his gladness for a moment; but he rallied quickly, and gayly reproached her with being so sad when there was such cause for rejoicing, and then he told them his journey had been most successful, without confiding more.

"The greatest blessing in life, father, is happiness, and that we may enjoy without riches," said Kate, sadly. Poor girl! she felt that but for this vaunted wealth, the current of her love had been allowed to flow on unchecked.

How, then, could she rejoice in the announcement that gave such pleasure to all the rest? Gold might gild their lot, but it had cast a chill upon hers, and blighted it: and while they surveyed with pleasure the transfer of the rich lading of the wagons to the house, Kate Tryon wept bitterly in her little chamber, with the sound of light laughter from without ringing in her ears. They laughed, and she wept—and both from the same cause.

And now Tryon had resolved on relinquishing the trade by which he had reaped so rich a harvest, and removing himself and family to some place where their former humble station would be unknown; but ere that could be done, he must dispose of the immense quantity of Kafir produce in his house; and with that view he again left Willow Dell for Graham's Town.

He was on his return, and again he was proud-hearted and glad, as he was wont to be of late, for again he had prospered in his dealings. How different he was from the Robert Tryon who had landed on the South African shores a few years ago, poor, sad, and desponding. Now he was joyful and elated, not only with hope, but with success; and as he rode along his thoughts wandered afar into the future, where he saw no harder toil awaiting his children than to gather flowers in the world's bright sunshine, and the fairest were gathered by his Kate, his beautiful and then his joyous one. At length he started. Absorbed in those bright visions, he had not heeded whither he went, and had strayed far from the right road. Farther on, however, was a path that led from another direction to Willow Dell.

The sun was sinking low in the heavens as he cantered over the flat beyond whose farther edge lay the Dell; and in the coolness of coming evening all the inhabitants of the wilds seemed arousing themselves to activity and joy. The birds were darting among the trees, the insects were floating in the sunshine, and the antelopes springing high into the air, and playfully chasing each other over the plain. There are few hearts that had not responded to such a scene, and Tryon's was now attuned to all that spoke of gladness; and beneath its influence the only dark spot in his sky—his Kate's sorrow—seemed to grow lighter; and he was again wandering through his dreamland, and seeing Kate the beloved and loving bride of some one he deemed well worthy, when he approached the edge of the declivity, and the Dell lay before him. He stopped abruptly, and gazed down as one lost in wonder, raised his hand, and passed it quickly across his brow, as though to clear his vision, then, uttering one loud cry of agony as the truth burst upon him, rushed rapidly down the hill.

The cottage, around whose dear inmates he had but now been raising such fairy structures, was no longer visible, and where it so late had stood a column of gray smoke was slowly curling upward, telling a dark tale of ruin, but to what extent as yet he knew not; though he was gazing on the site of his vanished home, and standing beside the spot that was once his hearth; for there was none by to tell him if the beloved ones by whom it had been shared had escaped, or if he now looked on their funeral pyre. He gazed eagerly and anxiously around. A person riding rapidly down the hill met his eye, and he sprang toward him.

It was Walter Hume. He was ashy pale—paler yet than when he last had passed from Tryon's presence; and even the latter could perceive that his hand trembled as he gave it to him in silence.

"My wife—my children?" murmured Tryon, in a broken voice.

Still Hume was silent, but he drew away his hand, and covering his face with both, sunk upon the grass in anguish he could no longer repress.

"My darlings! my precious ones! and is it come to this!" exclaimed the bereaved man, wringing his hands in agony. "And are you all taken from me—you for whom I toiled with so much pleasure—you for whom I even sinned? Tell me, Hume, tell me all my sorrow, all my misery!"

And Hume did tell him, gently and tenderly, the tale that his having lost his way alone prevented him from hearing earlier, as of the two servants who had escaped, one had gone along the Graham's Town road in quest of him, while the other had hurried off to Hume's farm, to[Pg 346] tell of how the Kafirs had burst upon them at dead of night, and how they two had fled in the darkness, and under cover of the trees had witnessed the fierce assailants deal death to all around, and even seen the noble-hearted Kate shot by a tall savage, in a vain attempt to shield her mother. And then the trader's vast stores of ivory and skins were rifled, and his cattle swept away; and, finally, firing the house of death, the murderers departed, carrying their plunder across the border.

"Who! who!" exclaimed Tryon, breathlessly, "who was the Kafir that has so bereft me?"

"I know not; I never thought of asking," replied Walter. "But here is something that perhaps may tell," and he lifted a new rifle from among the long grass where it had lain concealed.

"It is—it is my sin that has overtaken me!" cried the wretched man, throwing up his clasped hands. "It is one of the guns I sold to Kuru. Oh, I am well punished!" he continued, pacing to and fro distractedly. "I pined for wealth to aggrandize my children, and I sold arms to the Kafirs that I might do it more quickly: those arms they have turned against me, and have left me childless. My children, it is your father who is your murderer!"

Hitherto, amid all his own grief, Hume had appeared to feel deeply for the bereaved father; but now he started from his side with a look of horror and detestation; and wild were the words of reproach and indignation that burst from his lips as he realized the truth, that the being he had so deeply loved—whom still he loved, though now there was between them the barrier of a fearful death—had fallen a victim to Tryon's ambition—that it was no evil chance that had caused Willow Dell to be the scene of such a tragedy, but the deliberate resolve of the Kafir to regain possession of the valuable ivory and skins Tryon had received as his recompense—when he remembered that had not that fatal passion filled Tryon's heart, Kate and himself might have been among earth's happiest; and that now he stood well nigh broken-hearted beside the smoking ruin that was her grave. And in the anguish of those thoughts he forgot that Tryon was yet more unhappy than himself, for he had no self-reproach; and he poured forth upon him a flood of bitter accusations, which the miserable man's conscience echoed to the uttermost; nay, even more, for he mourned for all his children and the wife of his youth, for whom he had procured a violent death.

But the violence of these self-upbraidings could not last; and ere the sun again shone on the grave-ruin, Tryon, unconscious of all things, was writhing in the agony of a brain fever. Walter Hume attended him as though he were his son; for he saw in him for the time but the father of the gentle girl to whom his love had proved so terrible. But when that was once over (for Tryon did recover, as those to whom life is a burden often will), Walter shrunk from him again, as one whose hand had fired the mine that overthrew his happiness.

Nor did Tryon seek his companionship, but wandered away none knew whither, a sad and solitary man, leaving his name and his story to haunt the once fair spot which his evil passions blighted.



The pine had finished his story, uttering his last words in a low and melancholy tone. A deep silence lay over the whole forest; the babble of the Woodstream was the only sound which interrupted the solemnity, as it touched the stones and the roots with continued strokes—the eternal time-piece of the forest; and as it prattled, the pictures which its surface reflected sometimes clearly glittered in the sunshine, sometimes sadly wandered through the shadows of the trees and the clouds, while the monotonous sounds began to assume the form of rational discourse.

Though the little flowers and trees appeared to wait anxiously for the Woodstream to tell his story, the solemn stillness continued yet awhile. Ah, that silence of the forest! Who does not know it? To whom has it not appeared as a holy Sabbath for the young flowers that dwell there? Even the stag breathes more gently, and the sportsman himself, overwhelmed with a holy, loving awe, falls on the grass in the calm recesses of the wood. That is the time when the stream tells old stories; and thus he began. Do you know my origin? That of the meadow-stream is well known. He comes clearly out over some stone or little mound—a small but bright spring; and then he grows larger and larger, so that his short, grassy dress is no longer sufficient, however tall, for love of him it tries to make itself. He puts on at last a short boddice of rushes with loose, flowing feathers. The course of the mountain-stream is also known. Snow lies on the heights—that is the everlasting cap of the forests—dyed only by the rising and setting sun, and adorned by the clouds as they pass and repass with vails of unrivaled beauty. Notwithstanding its unchangeable appearance, gay life reigns within. There are little springs bubbling through the clefts, and drops of water playing eternal hide-and-seek. The all-powerful sun kisses these mountain-tops, and even this ice-cold heart is melted by his eternal love.

The fountains are the children of these kisses and there they play at hide-and-seek till their home is too narrow for them, and then they find an outlet. But when they first catch a glimpse of the far-world lying before them, they are frightened and overcome, and do not receive courage to go on till they are joined by other little curious streams; and then they proceed—first slowly and cautiously, afterward faster and faster, till at length a bright mountain stream bursts forth springing from rock to rock like the chamois-goat, whose origin is likewise hard by.

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Sometimes he foams on high, like the snow of the mountain; sometimes he flows, shining clearly, an unbroken mirror, like the ice of the glaciers; and then descending into the valley, he reposes in the midst of nature's calm beauty.

But where do I, the Woodstream, originate? You will not find the source which gave me birth—neither the snow nor the ice whose child I am. Here you think he arises, and you peep behind a stone or moss-heap; but far off, behind a knotted tree-root, he laughs at you. Now hiding himself behind a thousand herbs and blossoms, then sinking into a whirl, among stones, old time-worn stones, which put green caps on their gray heads because they are jealous of the forest's verdure.

Now look farther on still, and there you will see me flowing, peeping out here and there—but you will not find my source. That remains the riddle of the forest. But if you listen I will unravel it.

Above, on a clear cloud which lightly passed over the plain, sat a little sprite, the favorite servant of the fairy queen, arranging her lady's ornaments. She took out of the casket a long string of costly pearls, a present from the ocean queen. Titania had ordered her to take great care of them, because they were her favorite ornaments. There are other pearls, but these, although tears, she does not weep; and they are only brought to light by the fisherman who wrenches them from her at the peril of his life. The little fairy, delighted in her occupation, held the string high in the air, thinking, perhaps, they would glitter more in the sunbeams; but these pearls are not like precious stones, which borrow their brilliancy from the world around them. The tear of the ocean incloses its lustre within itself, and sends forth radiance from within.

Behind the fairy sat Puck, the wag who provokes men and sprites; and while the little creature rejoiced over her pearls, he cut the string and down they rolled, gliding over the clouds, and at length alighting on the earth. For a moment the little fairy sat paralyzed with consternation; then putting forth all her strength she flew after the falling treasure.

Flying an unmeasured space between the earth and the clouds, and seeing the little balls roll glittering past her on all sides, she would have returned hopelessly, had she not remarked under her, in a green field, on the grass and flowers, a thousand lustrous pearls. She thought they were some of those she had lost, and began diligently to collect them into the casket she held in her hand. The box was nearly filled, when Titania's lovely servant remarked that they were not pearls, the tears of the ocean, but dew, the tears of the flowers.

Still she went on seeking the lost treasure. Seeing tears hanging from a mother's eye, who bent over her dying child, she collected them—these were tears of love. Going on, she found many other weeping eyes; so many tears that I can not give names to them all. Ah, how many tears are shed on earth! Out of men's eyes spring a wondrous stream—its source is the heart. Against this, pain, melancholy, repentance, and sometimes also joy, must knock, and then the stream flows. It is a powerful talisman; it has a most potent charm. That man's heart must be hard indeed when even a stranger's tears fail to move him.

Though people contradict this, and say, I have no pity for those tears, they are deserved; but this is very false, for they are tears still; and perhaps come from the heart which has been most severely pierced. Well, our little fairy collected them, and holding the casket firm under her arm, she swept on high to the clouds. The little box became heavier and heavier—for tears do not weigh light—and lo! when she opened it, all the imaginary pearls liquified: and hopelessly she fled from cloud to cloud—for these loved her—and she poured her complaint into their ear. The clouds sent their rain down to the earth to fetch the lost. It streamed and flowed, and trees and leaves bent themselves, and the dew was wiped up, but the ocean's pearls were not found again.

Puck the wag, saw the poor little fairy's pain which he had caused, and it troubled him—for he liked to laugh at her, but not to give her pain. Down he dipped into the lap of earth, and fetched, by means of his friends the goblins and gnomes, gay, glittering ore, and shining spangles.

"There you have all your trash again," said he; "or, rather, better and more shining."

The little fairy rejoiced, and the clouds left off raining. But when she looked nearer to the gift, it was nothing better than glittering trumpery; and angrily she took the shell wherein it lay, and threw it afar off, making a wide, radiant circle over the whole horizon. That was the first rainbow.

Often since that time, when the clouds weep, Puck fetches his spangles, and the comedy is repeated.

Beautiful is the rainbow; we all rejoice to see it, and so does man. But it is a vain, deceitful object—a gift of the gnomes—a production of Puck, the wag. People know this quite well, because when they run after it, it disappears before their faces. And where does it go? It has fallen into the sea, say the children, the water-nymphs make their gay dresses of it. Well, it happened, as I say, by accident; but Puck repeated it intentionally, for he passed over with the remaining spangles, and so formed a second rainbow. This is why this brilliant appearance presents itself twice in the horizon at the same time.

The fairy continued to sit sadly on the cloud, and could not rejoice at the first rainbow. Presently Titania came by. Fortunately at that time the splenetic queen was in a good humor. Perhaps she could the more easily forget her loss because an ocean sprite, whose heart she had won, gave her the promise of another set. For the great are generous, even with tears.

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But what should she do with the heavy contents of the casket?

"Hasten down to the most secret part of the forest," said Titania, "and pour these drops in the midst of the salubrious plants; let the tears remain what they are, but united they shall remain one great tear of the forest."

The little servant obeyed the queen's order, and thus the Woodstream had its source. So you see the forest has likewise its tear—like that of man. So likewise do I spring from the heart—the hidden heart of the forest. When Sorrow, Desire, or Pain knock at it, then the tear streams forth. In the summer, when so many children of the forest are destroyed and annihilated, I flow gently, but unceasingly. In the autumn, when every thing says farewell, I weep in silent sorrow over the blossoms and leaves which fall in my way, that they also may be entombed with regret. In the wild solitude of winter I am benumbed, and the tear becomes a pearl, like the closed grief of the ocean. Thus I hang with faint lustre on stones and roots, which look like weeping eyes.

In the spring, when desire rises in every heart, then the tear of the forest flows in pensive joy. I overflow the borders of my course, greeting flowers and grass as far as I can. Often pity moves me; for when the clouds weep rain or the flowers dew, the Woodstream swells. Do you not perceive by the breath of feeling and melancholy which is exhaled from me, that I spring from the heart of the forest. The heaving rush presses itself nearer and nearer to me. Where I flow the sensitive forget-me-not more especially flourishes; it glances at me, as you have seen blue eyes at the hour of parting. The weeping willow hangs her branches down to my eternally murmuring waves. Every where, I excite feeling; even the stone which stops my course—the unchangeable stone, over which time passes unmarked—weeps over me transparent tears, and my kisses are the only things to which it does not oppose itself.

Now Puck, the wag, is envious of the Woodstream, whom he would surpass with his trash, but sees him, nevertheless, maintain continued importance; and often oddly puts a knotted root or pointed branch in my way, that my drops may spring up and be disturbed. You will then see in the sunbeams gay colors play around me, like those of the rainbow: that is Puck's trumpery, which he hangs about my lustre as if he would say, "Are not my gifts beautiful?" But soon they are gone, and I flow unchangeably: so often is the mirthful and ludicrous linked with sorrow and melancholy, as if contrived by the spirit of contradiction. Even the heart of man, when breaking beneath a load of sorrow, bursts forth into ludicrous sallies—a laugh is seen on the weeping face: in the midst of Nature's profoundest harmony a vacant distortion meets us; on the richest carpets of lawn a knotted root or faded dry branch stretches itself; between healthy, full-blown roses you will find a mis-shapen sister obtruding her weird face. Puck causes all this. It is a deep mind that can see how Nature makes all these incongruities to end in harmony.

The Woodstream ceased. Once more deep silence prevailed; leaves and blossoms dared only to whisper and murmur. Presently a dead branch cracked, and then fell from an old oak-top, disturbing the leaves and blossoms as they fell into the stream. This was Puck's work. A moment, and all was still.


It was a lovely afternoon in "the leafy month of June," and the midsummer sun shone bright on the velvet slope of a smooth lawn, and glittered on the shining leaves of a large Portugal laurel which grew upon it, under the shadow of which sat a merry party of little people, busy with their dolls and play-things. Never had children a more glorious play-room than was this, with its sapphire roof, and its emerald floor. Here were music and perfumes, exquisite as a monarch could command, for the skylark was pouring down his flood of melody, and every breath of the soft west wind came laden with sweets from the roses and mignonnette which bloomed so luxuriantly around. It was one of nature's gala days—one of those festivals which are more frequent than great men's banquets, and to which all are right welcome without cards of invitation.

The young folks seemed to be taking their part in the universal gladness, for the merry talk and the light laugh went round, and all was harmony.

"Look," cried the eldest of the party, a girl about twelve years of age, lifting up her doll, triumphantly, "I have quite finished; does it not fit well?"

"Oh, how pretty!" cried the other three children in a breath.

"I should like just such a frock as that," said a very little girl. "Do make me one, Marian; you said you would."

"Yes, to be sure I did, Lucy, and so I will. Let us begin it directly." And so they set about selecting the materials. All the stores of silk and muslin were displayed, and now this and now that pattern proposed and admired, and in its turn rejected for a newly-unfolded rival. At last, Lucy's eye fell upon one which struck her as just the thing. "This is the prettiest," cried she; "I should like this, Marian, if you please, better than any of the others."

As ill-luck would have it, Marian at that very moment drew forth another, in her opinion, much more suitable for the purpose than the one selected by her little sister. "This will do much better, Lucy," she said, decidedly; "it will look much prettier made up, and as I am going to make it, I ought to know."

"But I don't like it so well," objected Lucy.

"You will like it when it is made," replied Marian, drawing out the pattern she had chosen, and pushing away the remainder.

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"Let her have the one she likes best," said Caroline, "it is for her doll."

"Oh, very well, if she likes her doll to be a fright, she can have it," said Marian, and she snatched the objectionable piece from the pile with a jerk which threw the rest upon the lawn to gambol with the breeze, and a merry dance they had before they could be again collected into a bundle.

"See what you have done, Marian," cried Caroline; "the silks will be spoiled with rolling about the garden."

"How can I help the wind?" answered Marian, sharply, and she seated herself to her work with a scornful toss of the head.

The silks were collected, the chairs re-arranged, and the little party again settled to their occupations; but harmony and happiness were at an end. The same change had come over the moral atmosphere which sometimes takes place in that of the physical world, even in the sunny month of June. The storm, even when it only menaces from afar, chases all brightness from the landscape, and causes a chilly air, which makes one sad and shivery, to take the place of the balmy summer breeze. So cold and so cheerless were now our young friends under the laurel.

Caroline sat with averted face. Lucy looked anxious and uncomfortable—she would almost rather have been less obliged to Marian than she ought to feel just now. As to Marian, she seemed oppressed, as the clouds are when charged with electric fluid. She had not room enough. Lucy came too near her. Her scissors would not cut. The doll's figure was bad, there was no fitting it. Poor doll! well for it, it was no baby, or sharp would have been its cries under the hands of its mantua-maker? As it was, it did not escape unhurt. As Marian turned it round with a sudden movement, not the gentlest in the world, its nose, that feature so difficult to preserve entire in the doll physiognomy, came in contact with the sharp edge of the stool, which served as a table, and when it again presented itself to the alarmed gaze of Lucy, its delicate tip was gone.

"Oh, my doll!" cried the little girl, her fear of Marian's anger entirely vanishing in grief at this dire calamity; "you have quite spoiled her!"

"Where? I have not hurt her, child!"

"Yes, you have," said Caroline; "look at her nose, that is with putting yourself into a passion about nothing."

"Who said I was in a passion?" cried Marian. "I never said a word; but you are always accusing me of being in a passion."

"Because you are so angry if the least word is said," answered Caroline. "If you had not banged the doll down so, it would not have been broken."

"Oh, very well! if that is the case, the sooner I leave you the better!" said Marian, rising with an air of great dignity, but with a beating heart and flashing eye, and she went away.

She walked rapidly through the garden, very hot and very angry, and with the painful feeling in her mind that she was one of the most persecuted, ill-used people in the world. It was very odd, very unkind; every body accused her of ill-humor, nobody loved her, her mamma reproved her, her sisters quarreled with her, she had not a friend in the world; what could be the reason she was treated thus?

Yes, Marian asked herself this question; but questions are sometimes asked without much desire for information, and perhaps Marian's was, for she did not reflect in order to solve it. She strolled through the garden sadly enough when the first feeling of indignation had in some measure subsided. She went to her own garden, but she found no pleasure there, though a rosebud which she had been watching for some days had opened at last, and proved to be a perfect beauty both in form and color. At any other time, Marian would have rushed into the house to look for mamma, and no matter how busy or how much engaged mamma might have been, she would have begged her to come out and see the last new nosette. But now she passed it with a cursory glance, and continued her walk through the gardens and shrubberies, till she was tired of walking, and tired of her own company, but still without any desire to seek that of others. She stood before the bee-hives for a while, and observed the bees as they returned home, their wings glittering in the sunshine, and their thighs laden with their golden spoil. At first she felt half vexed with them for being so busy, and working so harmoniously, but by degrees their soft hum soothed her ruffled spirits, and she sat down on a bank of turf at a little distance to watch their motions. It was a pretty seat that she had chosen. Close beside her blossomed some luxuriant roses, and among them, a large white lily raised its head, its snowy petals contrasting finely with the green leaves of the rose-bushes and the deep crimson of their blossoms. Marian's eyes were riveted by the magnificent flower, and she must have gazed upon it long, for, as she gazed, its form became indistinct, its petals looked like fleecy clouds, and its orange stamens stretched into long lines of gold. She rubbed her eyes, but the flower did not again resume its original form. A pillar of mist was rising from its cup, which by degrees took a solid form, and presented to the eyes of the astonished girl a female figure, of diminutive proportions, but of such exquisite grace and beauty, that she did not believe it was possible for any thing earthly to be equal to it. Fanciful as it may seem, the little sylph bore a striking resemblance to the flower from which she sprung. Her clothing was of the purest white, her hair like shining gold, and the small zephyr-like wings which adorned her shoulders, were of that delicate green with which we see the early snowdrop and the wings of the butterfly so tenderly streaked. Although she did not in the least resemble Cinderella's godmother, or any of the dear old ladies with spindles that we read of in the nursery tales, Marian had no doubt[Pg 350] that she was a fairy. Marian was an enterprising person, and her acquaintance with literature was not confined to that which was served up to her in the schoolroom and nursery. She had peeped into a big book on papa's library table, and she had read of fairies who could hide in acorn cups, and wrap themselves in the snake's enameled skin—who waged war with the humble bee for his honey-bag, and made them tapers from his waxen thighs. Here, perhaps, stood before her one of that very company!

The fairy then, for such we may venture to call her, descended gracefully, and alighting on a vase of mignonnette which stood at the feet of Marian, she surveyed the little girl for some moments with a look of tenderness and compassion. At last she spoke, and her voice, though not loud, was clear and distinct as the sound of a silver bell. "My poor child," said she, "you are lonely and unhappy; what ails you?"

Surprised as Marian was, she felt no fear of this gentle apparition, and would have answered, but, unluckily, she scarcely knew what to say. She had little idea how vague her grievances were before she was called upon to put them into words. She hung her head, and was silent.

"I need not ask you," continued the fairy; "perhaps I know your troubles better than you do yourself."

Marian sobbed. "I am very, very unhappy," said she.

"I know it, child," answered, the fairy; "what will you say if I give you something which will cure your sorrow, something which will make you glad yourself, and cause you to bring gladness wherever you go—which will make all who know you love you, and which will prevent you from ever suffering again what you suffer to-day?"

"Ah!" sighed Marian, "if that could indeed be."

"Here is a talisman," said the fairy, "which, if worn about you constantly, will effect all I have promised."

Marian looked incredulous as she gazed on the jewel which was offered to her. It resembled a pearl, and reflected a mild and tranquil light; but beautiful as it was, it was not an ornament which Marian would have chosen. She loved brilliant colors and dazzling gems, and the sparkle of the diamond or the hue of the ruby would have possessed more attraction for her than the soft ray of the fairy talisman.

"How can a jewel like that do all you say?" she inquired.

The fairy smiled. "You shall go with me," she said, "and judge of its effects from your own observation." So saying, she waved her hand toward the lily, and behold another marvel! The flower expanded, and without losing altogether its original form, it became a chariot, drawn by milk-white doves. Tho fairy seated herself in it, and beckoned Marian to take her place by her side. The little girl obeyed. She had seen too much that was marvelous, to wonder how her mortal bulk could be supported in that aerial vehicle; but there she was, sailing through the air, above the garden and the orchard, above the house and the fields, higher and higher, till there was nothing to be seen but mist and clouds.

Yes, Marian was among the clouds at last! How often when she had watched some gorgeous sunset, had she longed to penetrate the golden valleys of that bright cloud-land! But, alas! now that it was no longer distant, its glory had disappeared! Instead of silver seas, golden lakes, purple mountains, and ruby temples, here was nothing to be seen but gray vapor, nothing to be heard but the fluttering of their winged conductors; and before they descended, Marian had begun to be heartily tired of the monotony of this aerial journey. She was glad when they once more heard "the earth's soft murmuring," when they once more beheld groves, and fields, and waters, and the habitations of men. On and on they skimmed, now near the surface of the earth, till they hovered over a city, larger than any town Marian had ever seen before, so large, that there seemed no end to the mazes of its streets and alleys. Seemingly in the very centre of this city the fairy alighted. Marian shivered as she looked round on the wretchedness of the dwellings, the impurity of the streets, and the squalid aspect of their inhabitants. She shrank from the observation of the latter, as the fairy beckoned her onward. "Do not fear," said her guide, observing her embarrassment, "we are invisible to mortal eyes, and can go where we will without being noticed. This seems to you a strange place to look for jewels?"

Marian assented, but re-assured by the fairy's words and countenance, she followed her more boldly, and they entered a dwelling, which bore evidence of a degree of wretchedness and poverty of which Marian could not previously have formed an idea.

It was very full of people. Some men sat at a table playing with dirty cards; in a corner, on the floor, was a group of children, and Marian was almost surprised to observe that even here the children were at play. They were at play, and they seemed as much interested with the rags and potsherds which formed their play-things as ever Marian and her sisters had been with the costly trifles with which lavish godfathers and wealthy friends had furnished their nursery; and their play, too, was much like the play of other children in better clothing. Marian felt a fellow-feeling with them, as she looked on; for on those young faces sorrow and sin had not yet left the dark traces of their presence. Their eyes sparkled with joy, and they laughed merrily, as she often laughed herself; and when the brow of one grew dark at some slight offense given by another, and a sharp rebuke fell from his lips, she could not conceal from herself that neither was that feeling or that tone utterly incomprehensible to her. The rebuke was retorted with increased bitterness, and by-and-by words were uttered by those childish lips which made her shudder. The words were soon accompanied by blows, and the blows succeeded by cries, until[Pg 351] the uproar grew so loud as to excite the attention of their elders. And now, oh! Marian, you listened in vain for the mild reproof, the solemn admonition, from which you have often turned aside with secret vexation and disgust. Blows and horrid curses stilled this tumult, and brought the young rioters to silence, though their lowering brows and sullen eyes showed that the storm was still raging in their bosoms.

Marian turned away her head in disgust. The fairy pointed to the other group, among whom some disagreement had risen about their game, and the little girl's disgust was turned to terror, when she saw the expression which anger gave to the strong features, and heard the fierce tones which it imparted to the deep voices of the men. "Oh! take me from these horrid people," said she to the fairy, in an imploring voice.

"Presently," returned the fairy; "but let us think a while before we turn away from this terrible lesson. These men were once children like those little ones, and their anger was no more formidable. Now their feelings are the same, but they have greater power to work evil; therefore do their passions appear to you so much more fearful."

As she spoke, the door opened, and a woman entered. She was a pale, worn-looking creature, and she carried on her head a bundle so large that Marian wondered how she had contrived to support it. She placed it down with some difficulty, and then, looking at the card-players with a scornful countenance, she addressed some words to one among the number. The noise caused by the dispute was so great that Marian could not exactly catch their import, but they seemed mixed up with taunts and reproaches, and the woman pointed, as she uttered them, to the bundle which she had just before deposited upon the floor. The man, before angry, seemed irritated to madness by her words and her manner: he started up, and struck her violently—she fell to the ground. Marian covered her face with her hands. When she removed them, she found herself once more in the street.

As the fairy prepared to lead the way into another dwelling, Marian hung back. "Let me go away," said she; "I wish to see no more of such dreadful scenes."

"Fear not," said her guide; "you have not yet seen my talisman. It is worn in this dwelling, and where it is worn scenes such as you have just witnessed never occur."

Marian felt compelled to follow, but she did so unwillingly.

The room they now entered bore as strongly the evidences of poverty as had done the one they visited before, but it did not look so utterly wretched. There was a greater air of cleanliness and decency throughout the apartment, and also in the appearance of its inmates. A woman sat sewing by the side of a table. Her emaciated form, pallid features, and deeply-lined countenance, spoke of want, and toil, and woe; but there was something that made the eye dwell with complacency on that wasted figure, clad in rags, and surrounded by all the externals of the most sordid poverty. Yes, that was it! There was the talisman! it shone serenely on this poor woman's brow, and lighted up all that wretched hovel with its heavenly radiance! It was reflected on the faces of the pallid children; the two younger of whom were playing on the floor, while the elder girl, seated on a stool at her mother's feet, was nursing a baby. The baby was poorly and fretful, and, at last, the little girl, wearied with its restlessness, looked beseechingly toward her mother. Her mother could ill spare a moment from her work, but she laid it down, and took up the suffering infant. Ill as it was, the talisman seemed to have a charm even for it—its cry became less frequent, and it soon fell into a quiet sleep. The woman laid it quietly down, and resumed her employment. She was scarcely seated, when a footstep approached the door. "Father!" cried one of the little ones, in a tone of pleasure, and toddled toward the door.

The father entered, but at the first sight of him the joy of the children was at an end. He looked as if he had been drinking—his face was flushed, and his brow dark and lowering. Marian shrunk, terrified at his appearance: he was one of the men who had been quarreling over the card-table.

The children appeared more frightened and unhappy than surprised at the mood in which he entered. They retreated hastily, seeming to anticipate his intention of pushing them out of the way, and he seated himself before the fire. His wife did not speak; as she glanced at him, she turned first red, then pale, but she bent her eyes over her work, making quiet answers to the rough words he from time to time addressed to her, and turning the wondrous talisman full upon him as she spoke. Its light soon worked a change. He looked less suspiciously around him, his brow relaxed, and the children began to steal nearer and nearer, till at last the youngest climbed to his knees, and prattled away to him in his childish way, as he had before prattled to his mother. The mother smiled, as she rose and prepared to take her finished work to her employer. She hoped to procure the evening meal with the wages of her labor. He had brought in no money to-day, she knew full well, but she did not ask; and with a kindly voice, she requested him to watch over the young ones in her absence, and glided from the door. The talisman must have dazzled his eyes as she went out, for they glistened with moisture; he muttered something, but Marian did not hear what it was, and before she had time to inquire of her conductor, she found herself once more seated in the fairy chariot, and rising rapidly above the smoke and gloom of these homes of misery and want. A little while ago, she would have hailed her escape from this sad region with delight; but now she would fain have seen more of the wearer of the talisman. Something of[Pg 352] this kind she remarked to the fairy: "Ah! Marian," answered her guide; "there are jewels which render even squalid poverty attractive, and without which wealth, decked in all its ornaments, is void of charms!"

On and on they floated, leaving far behind these scenes of destitution, and soon the city rose fair and bright below. Stately palaces bounded the spacious streets. The skill of the sculptor and of the architect had ornamented the exterior of every building, and in the balconies and gardens bloomed the choicest of flowers and shrubs, perfuming the air with their fragrance, and delighting the eye with their beauty. The fairy alighted, and, beckoning Marian to follow her, she entered one of the mansions. The little girl had been delighted by the aspect of the streets through which she had passed, but she was doubly charmed by the magnificence of the interior of the dwelling in which she now found herself. It seemed to her like one of the enchanted palaces of which she had read in the "Arabian Nights;" and, lost in admiration, she forgot all about the talisman as she passed through the gorgeous apartments, adorned with pictures, statues, and magnificent draperies. Gayly dressed people occupied some of these rooms, but the fairy and Marian did not stop until they reached one in which there were children. Some of these children were older than Marian, some younger. A party of the younger ones were busy at play, and, oh, what playthings were spread out before them! In her wildest flights of fancy, Marian had never imagined such appliances and means of amusement as were here exhibited. Such dolls! dressed in such exquisite style—such varieties of all kinds of toys; and, what Marian coveted more than all the rest, such shelves of gayly bound books, with smart pictures, and most tempting titles. What happy children must these be! But, strange to say, their play was not half so hearty as had been that of the poor children with the broken potsherds. Their laugh was less merry, and their manner more listless; but they became animated before long. They got angry, and then Marian could not but confess, that, in spite of the difference of all external things, there was indeed a resemblance between these children and those in the humble roof she had so lately visited; for the scowling brow, the loud voice, the scornful lip, were common to both parties. One of the elder boys, who was lounging over a book, interposed, in an authoritative tone, to end the quarrel. He laid his hand, as he spoke, on the arm of the little girl whose voice was loudest. Perhaps his touch was not very gentle, for she turned sharply round, and said something which brought the youth's color to his temples, and made his eyes flame with anger. He snatched the costly doll from the girl's arms, and threw it violently against the ground, kicked the little spaniel, which was crouching at her feet, till it fled howling to another asylum, and seemed about to proceed to other acts of violence, when the entrance of a servant, announcing that the horses were ready for his ride, effected a diversion. A quarrel next arose between the boy and his sister, who was prepared to accompany him, and, in angry discussion, they quitted the apartment. Marian watched them from the window with a feeling somewhat akin to envy, for a pony, like one of those now mounted by these favored children, she had long thought would make her perfectly happy. But these young people did not seem happy. There was a look of gloom and discontent on the brow of either, as they rode off with averted faces and in sullen silence, which spoke of hearts but ill at ease.

Silence prevailed for some time in the room they had so lately left. Play was at an end, and the children sat, some at a solitary occupation, some in idleness, but all with dull and fretful faces, apparently little cheered by the many means of enjoyment so lavishly scattered around them. By-and-by, a new-comer entered. He was a pale, sickly-looking boy, very lame, and possessing few of the personal attractions which distinguished the rest of the children of the family. Even his dress seemed plainer and less becoming than that of the others; but he had not been long in the room before the charm which his presence diffused made Marian suspect that he was the wearer of the talisman—and so it proved. And now the children played again, if less noisily, more cheerfully than before, and all seemed happier. Even the little dog had a different expression, as he lay with his nose resting on his paws, ready to start up at the first playful word; and Marian obeyed her conductor's summons to depart with a lighter heart. But she had no wish to linger in that magnificent abode. The manners of these children, in spite of their gay clothes and their fashionable airs, filled her with disgust, which was probably expressed in her countenance; for the fairy smiled as she looked at her, and said, in a gentle voice—"Ah! Marian, it is one thing to be a beholder of a scene of variance, and another to be one of the actors in it. Passion does not now blind your eyes, and you can see strife and anger in their true and hateful colors. But is it always so?"

Marian blushed. She felt the rebuke the fairy's words conveyed, and she hung her head in silence.

"I have not wished to pain you needlessly by these scenes," continued the fairy; "but to make you more sensible of the value of the talisman which it is in my power to bestow upon you, and to cause you to guard it well. For I must warn you, Marian, that it is easily lost, and, when lost, most difficult to be regained. Neglect, and the want of regular use, will cause it to vanish, you know not where, and a miracle would be required to put it once more in your power. Are you willing to accept it, and to do your best to guard such an invaluable treasure?"

Marian's eyes shone with thankfulness, as she intimated her delight and gratitude. The fairy[Pg 353] attached the charm to her neck, and scarcely was it fastened, when a tranquil happiness, such as she had never before experienced, was diffused through her whole being. She felt so calm, so much at ease, that she was content to sit silent until they alighted in her father's garden, and there her guide immediately vanished. And now Marian's life was indeed a happy one. She seemed to walk surrounded by an atmosphere of love and joy. All loved her, and, for her part, her heart went forth in love to every one with whom she communicated. If any childish differences arose between herself and her brothers or sisters, it was but to show the talisman, and voices became once more gentle, brows once more bright. No wonder the precious talisman was the object of sedulous attention and most constant watchfulness! Well did it deserve all the care that could be lavished on it, and for a time that of Marian was unwearied. But this watchfulness relaxed, and on one or two occasions of extreme emergency, the talisman could not be found until after some moments of anxious search. This troubled its owner, and caused her to increase her vigilance. But again her efforts slackened, and one unlucky morning, when her brothers had been more than usually tormenting, she was horrified to perceive that it was entirely gone! In the vague hope of relief from the friendly fairy, she hurried down the garden, and sought the lily. But, alas! the lily was no longer to be seen. Nothing remained but the brown stalk and withered leaves, which was more melancholy than if the place of the fairy flower had been a perfect blank. Marian stretched forth her hands in despair toward the place where the fairy had disappeared, and burst into tears.

"Oh, Marian, where have you been all this time?" cried the voice of little Lucy, close to her. "Nobody has seen you since you left us on the lawn, two hours ago, and we want you. Cousin Fanny has come to tea, and I am to have my little tea-things, and you must make tea."

Marian rubbed her eyes, and looked much amazed; then she muttered something about the fairy.

"Fairy!" cried Lucy, with a merry laugh; "what nonsense you are talking! As if there were any real fairies! But do come; we can do nothing without you; and just give me one kiss first."

Marian pressed a kiss of reconciliation (for such the child meant it to be) on the lifted face. Then she said, as she took her hand to accompany her to the house, "Oh, Lucy, Lucy, you must have the talisman!"

And now my story is told, and you, young folks, must guess my riddle—What was the talisman?


In 1847, three works, on the same important subject issued from the Parisian press. Lamartine published his "History of the Girondins," Louis Blanc and Michelet the first volumes of their respective "Histories of the French Revolution." All three were strange productions, and all of them attracted much attention. It has even been said that they so powerfully affected the public mind, as greatly to have contributed to bring about the Revolution of February, 1849. This, however, is an exaggeration and an error. It is an exaggeration, inasmuch as, in the general case—whatever may be the ultimate influence which a writer produces on his age—it will seldom begin sensibly to operate in so short a space of time as a single year; it is an error, for a little consideration will show that the works in question were not the causes, but the signs or prognostics, of the approaching movement. They did not help to kindle the flame that was so soon to break forth: they were, on the contrary, a preliminary ebullition ejected by it. Beyond this, there was no real connection between these precursors and the events they foreshadowed; foreshadowings, however, they undoubtedly were, and each of a different kind—Lamartine being the symptom of the poetical, Louis Blanc of the political and social, Michelet of the philosophical agitation that had long been smouldering in the heart of France, and was at length to force its way into open existence.

The fate of these three authors has corresponded to their characteristics. The enterprise of February once accomplished, and the excitement of it past, men soon came to reckon the cost and value of the work, and the merits and qualifications of the workmen. The poet, in this estimate, was pronounced to be a dreamer, and his splendid visions were condemned as wanting reality; he was thrown aside into the shade. The socialist-politician, at the same time, was discovered to be half-charlatan, half-Utopian; his plans and theories were found to lead to no practical result, and, indeed, to stand no practical test; he was sent into exile. The philosopher alone remained, not more, not less than what he had been. And this shows the advantage which philosophy, be it true or false, possesses—in this, that, so long as it confines itself to the closet, and abstains from pushing forward into open action, it does not attract popular attention, needs no popular support, and thus escapes popular censure. The poet lives by applause, or the hope of gaining it; the politician by success, or the struggle to succeed: the one must have sympathy, the other, tools; but the philosopher depends on himself and his system; he is sustained by his own convictions, relies on his sturdy faith, and is thus as much beyond the want of external vindication as he is beyond the reach of external justice. So it has been with Michelet. He has remained in his obscurity; he has been a spectator, and not an actor; his name will not be written in the annals of these years; but, in return, he has maintained his position; and while the brilliant star of Lamartine is eclipsed, and the portentous but vapory blaze of Louis[Pg 354] Blanc has exhaled, the farthing candle of the retired sage remains unextinguished and visible.

Of course, when we speak of obscurity and farthing candles, we allude to Michelet only in his character of a public man—a character which can scarcely be said to belong to him at all. In other respects, he is sufficiently distinguished. His learning is considerable; his reasoning is generally specious; his style is almost always singular. As a thinker, if not very profound, he is often very original; as a rhetorician, he makes up by his earnestness what he lacks in eloquence; so that, if he does not carry his readers along with him, he at all events secures their attention; and, as a professor, he bears a reputation which, though not perhaps very enviable, is very great.

Of the two families from which he springs, the one was from Picardy, the other from the Ardennes; both were of the peasant class. Be it remarked, however, that the English word peasant does not adequately render the French word paysan; yeoman, perhaps, would be nearer the mark, for a French paysan may be comparatively a rich man, and he is almost always the owner of the land he tills. His paternal family, however, left the country, and settled in Paris, where, after the Reign of Terror, his father was employed in the office which printed the "Assignats." Printing at that time was a thriving trade, and the elder Michelet having found means to establish a press of his own, seemed in a prosperous way when his son was born. The future historian first saw the light in 1798—a dim religious light, for the hot assailant of priestcraft and Jesuitism was born in the church of a deserted convent, then "occupied, not profaned, by our printing-office; for what is the press in modern times but the holy ark?"

The fortune of the family flourished but for a short time. In 1800 it received a severe blow by a measure which suppressed a great number of journals, and in 1810 it was totally ruined by a decree of Napoleon, which limited the number of printers in Paris to sixty, suppressing a great number of the smaller establishments, and, among others, that of the Michelets. It seems, however, that they found means to print (it was for behoof of their creditors) some trivial works of which they possessed the copyright. They worked themselves, unaided. "My mother, in bad health, cut, folded, and sewed the sheets; I, a mere child set the types; my grandfather, very old and feeble, undertook the severe labor of the presswork, and printed with his trembling hands."

Michelet was now twelve years old, and knew nothing but a word or two of Latin, which he had learned from an old bookseller who had been a schoolmaster, and was still an enthusiast in grammar. "He left me, when he died, all he had in the world—a manuscript; it was a very remarkable grammar, but incomplete, he not having been able to devote to it but thirty or forty years." Michelet, we may take this opportunity of remarking, has a perpetual under-current of humor. "Our place of work was in a cellar, where I had for companions my grandfather, when he came, and at all times a spider—an industrious spider, that worked beside me, and harder than I did—no doubt of it."

Michelet's religious education had been entirely neglected. However, among the few books he read, happened to be the "Imitation of Christ." "In these pages, I perceived all of a sudden, beyond this dreary world, another life and hope. The feeling of religion thus acquired was very strong in me; it nourished itself from every thing, fortifying itself in its progress by a multitude of holy and tender things in art and poetry which are erroneously believed alien to it." In the then existing museum of French monuments, he received "his first lively impressions of history." He peopled the tombs in his imagination, felt the presence of their occupants, and "never entered without a kind of terror those low vaults in which slumbered Dagobert, Chilpéric, and Frédégonde." As for any thing like a regular education, all he had of it at this time was a short daily lesson from his friend, the grammarian, to whom he went in the morning before his work began.

A friend of his father proposed to get the lad a situation in the Imperial Printing Office. It was a great temptation: things had become more and more gloomy with the family. "My mother grew worse, and France also (Moscow—1813!); we were in extreme penury." Yet his parents declined the offer; they had great faith in his future, and resolved to give him the education necessary to develop his talents. He was sent to the Collége de Charlemagne. Great indeed, must have been their faith, but it has not been unrewarded. If Michelet had entered the Imperial Printing Office, what would have become of him? He would soon have earned a livelihood, and would probably have now been a respectable master-printer, but nothing more. As many great men are spoiled for all great things, by tying them down to uncongenial professions, as there are little men spoiled for all useful things by hoisting them up to professions for which they are unqualified.

At college, the poor youth's difficulties were of course very great. He knew nothing of Greek, nor of classical versification, and he had no one to help him—"my father, however, set himself to making Latin verses—he who had never made any before." His professor, M. Andrieu d'Alba, "a man of heart, a man of God," was kind enough to him, but his comrades were very much the contrary; they ridiculed him and bemocked his dress and his poverty. "I was in the middle of them like an owl at mid-day, quite scared." He began to feel, indeed, that he was poor; he fell into a state of misanthropy rare at such an age; he thought, "that all the rich were bad—that all men were bad," for he saw few that were not richer than he was. "Nevertheless," he adds, and this is singular, if true, "in all my excessive antipathy to mankind, so[Pg 355] much good remained in me, that I had no envy."

But one day—a Thursday morning—in the midst of all his troubles and privations (there was no fire, though the snow lay all round, and there were great doubts if there would be any bread that evening), "I struck my hand, burst open by the cold, on my oaken table (I have that table still), and felt a manly joy of vigor and a future for me." Doubtless, in the lives of many men, there have been such moments—moments when all is dark, when the necessaries of life are wanting, and there is no friend to cheer or pity—moments when the tides of life and hope are equally at their ebb, and when, if ever it were allowable, a man might be permitted to despair—when, nevertheless, a confidence, an inspiration suddenly buoys up the spirit in triumph and exultation, and a determination arises, and a freshness is infused which bears them on thenceforth, conquering and to conquer. Thirty years afterward, Michelet is seated at the same oaken table, and looks at his hand, still showing the scar of 1813. But all else is changed: he is in easy circumstances; he is the popular author, the popular professor; but he remembers, and his heart says to him, "Thou art warm, and others are cold; this is not just. Oh! who will bring me comfort for this hard inequality?" And he consoles himself characteristically with the thought of working for the people by giving to his country her history; for, to Michelet, history and the people are much the same thing as grammar was to his old friend, the schoolmaster with the unfinished manuscript.

Notwithstanding all his difficulties, Michelet finished his studies at college quickly and well. He then looked out for the means of living; would not live by his pen; began giving lessons in languages, philosophy, and history, and seems to have been fortunate enough to find sufficient employment. He would not live by his pen, for he thought, he says, with Rousseau, "that literature should be the reserved treasure, the fair luxury and inner flower of the spirit," as if, when it is all these fine things, it could not be a ministering angel too. In 1821, he was made professor in a college (a college in France, be it remarked, generally corresponds to our public school). In 1827, two of his works, which appeared at the same time, his "Choice Works of J.B. Vico," and his "Summary of Modern History," procured him a professorship in the Normal School. "This I quitted with regret in 1837, when the eclectic influence was dominant in it. In 1838, the Institute and the Collége de France having both named me as their candidate, I obtained the chair I now occupy," that of professor of history in the Collége de France—a position similar to that of professor in our universities. From his teaching, Michelet says he found the happiest results. "If, as an historian, I have a special merit which maintains me beside my illustrious predecessors, I owe it to teaching, which to me was friendship. These great historians have been brilliant, judicious, profound; but I, over and above, have loved." He should have added that, besides having loved much, he had also hated much; and that if as an historian he has "a special merit" in the eyes of those whose partisan he is, he owes it to the fierce animosity he shows to their opponents.

Michelet married young. He tells us no more of his mother. His father, however, it appears, survived till 1846, and so had the satisfaction of seeing his hopes of his son realized. The death of this parent is thus alluded to in the preface to the "History of the Revolution:" "And as every thing is of a mixed nature in this life, at the moment when I was so happy in renewing the tradition of France, my own was broken up forever. I have lost him who so often told me the story of the Revolution—him who was to me at once the image and the venerable witness of the great age: I mean the eighteenth century; I have lost my father, with whom I had lived all my life, eight-and-forty years." And then immediately follows a passage, part of which we quote, as well exemplifying Michelet's style and mode of thought: "When this happened, I was looking, I was elsewhere, I was realizing hastily this work so long dreamed of, I was at the foot of the Bastile, I was taking the fortress, I was planting on its towers the immortal flag. This blow came upon me, unexpected, like a bullet from the Bastile."

In his place of professor, Michelet, as we have said, still remains. In 1846, he formally renounced all intention of ever entering on public life, and so following the example of so many other distinguished men in France, who have considered and used the professorial chair only as a stepping-stone to the parliamentary tribune. "I have judged myself," he says in his "Peuple." "I have neither the health, nor the talent, nor the art of managing men necessary for such a thing." And in 1848, when tempted and urged to come prominently forward, he kept his resolution wisely. The particular reason he assigned for continuing in his retirement, was curious: "Now, more than ever, is the time," he said to his friends, "for me to teach the people of France their history, and to that, therefore, alone I devote myself."

From the foregoing sketch of his life, and from the extracts we have given from his writings, a good deal will have been gathered of the character of Michelet. To those who read his works at length, it will be exposed in full, for never did an author throw his individual personality more prominently forward. Whatever be his subject, he never for a moment allows you to forget that it is he who is treating of it. We do not say that this is offensive—we do not say he is egotistical from vanity or self-importance—we only note what must be evident to all his readers, that, from his passionate temperament, he puts self into the midst of every thing, and that his said self being of a very odd appearance and idiosyncrasy, Michelet, more than any thing else, is prominent in Michelet's pages.

[Pg 356]

Michelet is a man of very great research, and of very general information. True learning, however, is research and information well digested. Such digestion his partial organization does not admit of. With him, every thing takes the nature of his peculiar preconceived ideas, and his materials, instead of affording him healthy nutriment, promote only a most undue secretion of bile. As to his style, it is unique. It arrests the attention, but too often it is only the singularity of the expression, and not the merit of the thought which does so; too often we find little but words, words, words; too often what at first seemed striking proves, on examination, to be poor and commonplace. His style has been compared to that of Carlyle, and, in so far as it is abrupt and out of the way, with reason; but beyond this there is no likeness. The French writer is far inferior in originality and vigor to the English. As was said of an imitator of Dr. Johnson, "He has the nodosity of the oak, without its strength; the contortions of the sibyl, without her inspiration." Add to this, that a kind of maudlin sentimentality pervades all his writings, and gives them a sickly look and an air of affectation.

As a professor, Michelet does not shine. He is a bad lecturer, not having the art of conveying his ideas orally. He wanders sadly from his subject. His elocution is painful. Nevertheless, his lecture-room is always crowded long before the appointed hour. The reason is, that he holds a kind of political club. We were present on one occasion last year. The vast hall was filled to the ceiling. Students sang revolutionary songs. One read some verses. A hiss was heard. "Who hissed?" "I did." "Sortons." They were going to fight a duel. A gentleman of some five-and-thirty years made a conciliatory speech. They resolved not to fight a duel. More verses, noise, and tumult—all this in the presence of ladies, a number of whom occupied the lower benches. The professor entered—a thin, pale man, with grayish, ill-arranged hair, through which he passed his fingers at times. Shuffling to his chair, he seated himself, and then stretched his arms across the table before him, clutching it on the other side with one hand, as if he were afraid somebody was about to take it from him. The first half of his lecture was a reply to some newspaper attack on him; he said, however, that it was contrary to his usual practice to notice such things in that place, and we hope it was. The rest of the lecture was on education. Education should not be called education, but initiation—that was all. Not a word of history. Tremendous applause as he concluded.


The celebrated Hunterian Museum in London contains, perhaps, the largest collection of natural curiosities, especially in the department of anatomy, in the world. One of the most striking specimens, described in the catalogue, is the skeleton of a boy, born in Bengal some seventy years ago, remarkable for the singular conformation of his head. The description states that the child was healthy and was more than four years old at the time of its death, which was occasioned by the bite of a poisonous snake. When born, the body of the child was naturally formed, but the head appeared double, there being, besides the proper head of the child, another of the same size, and to appearance almost equally perfect, attached to its upper part. This upper head was upside down, the two being united together by a firm adhesion between their crowns, but without any indentation at their union, there being a smooth continued surface from one to the other. The face of the upper head was not over that of the lower, but had an oblique position, the centre of it being immediately above the right eye. When the child was six months old, both of the heads were covered with black hair, in nearly the same quantity. At this period the skulls seemed to have been completely ossified, except a small space on the top. The eyelids of the superior head were never completely shut, but remained a little open, even when the child was asleep, and the eyeballs moved at random. When the child was roused, the eyes of both heads moved at the same time; but those of the superior head did not appear to be directed to the same object, but wandered in different directions. The tears flowed from the eyes of the superior head almost constantly, but never from the eyes of the other except when crying. The superior head seemed to sympathize with the child in most of its natural actions. When the child cried, the features of this head were affected in a similar manner, and the tears flowed plentifully. When it sucked the mother, from the mouth of the superior head the saliva flowed more copiously than at any other time, for it always flowed a little from it. When the child smiled, the features of the superior head sympathized in that action. When the skin of the superior head was pinched, the child seemed to feel little or no pain, at least not in the same proportion as was felt from a similar violence being committed on its own head or body. A fuller account of this remarkable case may be found in the "Philosophical Transactions," by those who like to seek it.

The crowning curiosities in this collection, however, are not named in the catalogue, though they stand in two small bottles, on a mahogany pedestal, in the centre of the smaller room. To a man with a soul for identicals, they must offer great attraction, for they are two portions of the small intestine of the Emperor Napoleon, showing the presence of the cancerous disease that killed him. These post-mortem relics were removed by a French surgeon who assisted in opening the body of the deceased conqueror, and were given by him to Barry O'Meara, who presented them to Sir Astley Cooper. They offer scientific and historical evidence of the cause of the great man's death. Some time ago a card leaned against the bottles, explaining the[Pg 357] nature of their contents, but more than once a French visitor to the place became excited, and even violent, on seeing the relics of their venerated chief. One day a perfect scene occurred: "Perfide Albion!" shrieked a wild Gaul, whose enthusiasm seemed as though it had been fed upon Cognac. "Perfide Albion!" again and more loudly rang through the usually quiet hall. "Not sufficient to have your Vaterloo Bridge, your Vaterloo Place, your Vaterloo boots, but you put violent hands on de grand Emperor himself. Perfide! perfide! perfide!" he yelled again, and had he not been restrained, would have run a Gallic muck among the bones and bottles, that would have been recollected for many a day. From that time the pathological record of Napoleon's fatal malady has been unnumbered, and—to the million—unrecognizable.


"Land, ho!" cried the look-out. Blessed sound to the weary landsman!—a sound associated with liberty and society, a walk on turf, a dinner of fresh meat and green vegetables, clear water to drink, and something to do. The dark line in the horizon was Terra Australis, the land of my dreams. As we approached more near, I was not greeted, as I had hoped, by sloping shores of yellow sands, or hills covered with green pasture, or clad with the bright-colored forests of southern climes; but far above us towered an iron-bound coast, dark, desolate, barren, precipitous, against which the long, rolling swell of the Pacific broke with a dull, disheartening sound.

No wonder that the first discoverers, who coasted along its shores in the midst of wintry tempests, abandoned it, after little investigation, as an uninhabitable land, the dwelling-place of demons, whose voices they fancied they heard in the wailing of the wind among the inaccessible cliffs.

But soon a pilot boarded from a stout whale-boat, rowed by a dozen New Zealanders. He reached the rocks, which, divided by a narrow cleft, or canal, and towering above the coast line are the sailors' landmark, known as Sydney Heads—the cleft that Captain Cook overlooked, considering it a mere boat harbor. Steering under easy sail through this narrow channel, the scene changed, "as by stroke of an enchanter's wand," and Port Jackson lay before us, stretching for miles like a broad, silent river, studded with shrub-covered islands; on either hand of the shores, the gardens and pleasure-grounds of villas and villages descended to the water's edge; pleasure-boats of every variety of build and size, wherries and canoes, cutters, schooners, and Indians, glided about, gay with flags and streamers, and laden with joyous parties, zig-zagged around like a nautical masquerade. Every moment we passed some tall merchant-ship at anchor—for in this land-locked lake all the navies of the world might anchor safely.

It was Sunday evening, and the church-bells clanged sweetly across the waters, mingling in harmonious discord with the distant sounds of profane music from the pleasure parties. On we sailed, until we reached the narrow peninsula, where, fifty years previously, trees grew and savages dwelt, and where now stands one of the most prosperous cities in the world—there, in deep water, close along shore at Cambell's wharf, we moored.

In the buildings, there was nothing to denote a foreign city, unless it were the prevalence of green jalousés, and the extraordinary irregularity in principal streets—a wooden or brick cottage next to a lofty plate-glass fronted shop in true Regent-street style. There were no beggars, and no half-starved wretches among the working-classes. In strolling early in the morning through the streets where the working-classes live, the smell and sound of meat frizzling for breakfast was almost universal.

One day, while strolling in the outskirts of the town, above a cloud of dust, I saw approaching a huge lumbering mass, like a moving hay-stack, swaying from side to side, and I heard the creaking of wheels in the distance, and a volley of strange oaths accompanied the sharp cracking of a whip; presently the horns of a pair of monstrous bullocks appeared, straining solemnly at their yokes; then another and another followed, until I counted five pair of elephantine beasts, drawing a rude cart, composed of two high wheels and a platform without sides, upon which were packed and piled bales of wool full fourteen feet in height. Close to the near wheel stalked the driver, a tall, broad-shouldered, sun-burnt, care-worn man, with long, shaggy hair falling from beneath a sugar-loaf shaped grass hat, and a month's beard on his dusty chin; dressed in half-boots, coarse, short, fustian trowsers, a red silk handkerchief round his waist, and a dark-blue cotton shirt, with the sleeves rolled right up to the shoulders of his brown-red, brawny, hairy arms. In his hands he carried a whip, at least twenty feet long, with the thong of which, with perfect ease, he every now and then laid into his leaders, accompanying each stroke with a tremendous oath.

A little mean-looking man, shabbily dressed in something of the same costume, trotted humbly along on the off-side. Three huge, ferocious dogs were chained under the axle of the dray. This was a load of the golden fleece of Australia, and its guardians the bullock-driver and bullock watchman. The dust, the creaking of the wheels, and the ejaculation of the driver, had scarcely melted away, when up dashed a party of horsemen splendidly mounted, and sun-burnt, but less coarse and worn in features than the bullock-driver, with long beards and mustaches, and flowing hair, some in old shooting-jackets, some in colored woolen shirts, almost all in patched fustian trowsers; one, the youngest, had a pair of white trowsers, very smart, tucked into a pair of long boots—he was the dandy, I presume; some smoked short pipes; all were in the highest and most uproarious spirits. Their costume would have been dear in[Pg 358] Holywell-street at twenty shillings, and their horses cheap at Tattersall's at one hundred pounds. These were a party of gentlemen squatters coming down after a year or two in the bush, to transact business and refresh in the great city of Australia.


Thunder-storms in Canada are rather frequent, and sometimes awful affairs. I remember one which occurred shortly after my coming to the country, in 1843. I was then residing on the banks of the St. Clair. The day had been beautiful, and the sun set gloriously, spreading around him a sea of gold, and tinging with his own essence the edges of some gloomy clouds which hung ominously over the place of his rest. I sat on the doorstep, watching the changing hues as the darkness crept on. Ere long it was night, but all was calm and lovely as before. Soon, flashes of lightning began to play rapidly in the west, but I could hear no thunder; and, after looking on till I was wearied, I retired to rest. How long I slept I can not tell; but I awoke with the pealing of the thunder and the roaring of the wind; nor have I been witness to such a storm either before or since. In most thunder-storms, there is the vivid flash followed by a period of darkness, and the deep roar, followed by as deep a silence; but, in this instance, flash followed flash, and peal followed peal, without a moment's intermission. The wind, too, blew a perfect hurricane. Until that moment, scenes of a kindred nature had been fraught with pleasure to me rather than otherwise, but now I felt that eternity was unwontedly near, and that in another moment, I might stand before God. All nature seemed to heave. I tried to sleep but that was for a time impossible: I confess I lay expecting every moment to be my last. After a little, the doors began to slam, and the house filled with smoke. I immediately rose, but found that nothing had happened, and that the wind coming down the chimney, had caused the alarm. After this, I tried again to sleep, and finally succeeded, having become, after a time, accustomed to the uproar. When morning broke, all was still, and, on inquiring, I found that no other damage had been done than the killing of a poor horse in a neighboring stable.

Occasionally, also, we have, what may, I suppose be called a tornado. In the summer of 1848, I had the satisfaction of tracing the progress of one which, a few days before, had swept across the Brock district, Canada West. It had been exceedingly violent in the vicinity of a village called Ingersoll, and, from the narration of a friend who saw the whole, I now attempt to describe it.

The day had been very oppressive, and, about noon, a rushing noise, accompanied with the sound of crashing timber and falling trees, was heard, which at once attracted the notice of the whole village. On looking out, they perceived, as it were, a cloudy body rolling along the ground on its lower side, while its upper rose above the trees. It was moving very rapidly from west to east, whirling like smoke as it passed, and accompanied by an intense heat. The smoky appearance, was, I suppose, attributable to the dust which it bore onward in its course. The air was filled with branches of trees; every thing gave way before it. The woods in the neighborhood were very heavy, but all standing in the direct line of the hurricane were snapped like pipe stems. A line, as even as if it had been measured, was cut through the forest; fortunately however, its width was not more than the eighth of a mile, otherwise the devastation would have been fearful. As it was, every thing was leveled which stood in its way. A house was blown down, and the logs of which it was composed scattered about like rods. A strong new barn was wrenched in pieces, and the timbers broken. Gate posts were snapt close to the ground. Heavy potash kettles, and wagons, were lifted up into the air. A wet log, which had lain in a swampy hollow till it was saturated and rotten, was carried up the acclivity some ten or twelve feet. No man could conceive such a complete devastation possible unless he had witnessed it. It ran on for some miles further, and twigs of the particular trees among which it wrought its strange work, were carried a distance of twenty miles. Providentially, there were no lives lost—a circumstance attributable to the fact that it passed over the forests and fields. Had it struck the village, not a home would have escaped. It seemed to move in a circle, since the trees were not knocked down before it, but twisted round as if with a wrench, and thrown backward with their tops toward the west, as it were behind the tempest. All the large trees were broken across, generally about three or four feet from the ground. Here and there a sapling escaped, but many of these were twisted round as a boy would twist a cane, and, with their tops hanging on the ground, they stood—most singular and decisive monuments of the great power which had assailed them. This year, something of a similar kind happened in the Home district.

The month of August ends our summer, for although we have warm weather through the most of September, still it is not the very warm weather of the preceding three months. Toward the close of the latter, the greenness of the trees begins to pass away, and the changing tints tell unmistakably of the "fall." Nor do I know any more beautiful sight than that of a Canadian forest at this time, when summer is slowly departing, and winter is yet a long way off. As the season advances, the variety and beauty of the colors increase, passing through every shade of red, orange, and yellow, and making up a gay and singular patchwork. Still, it is the beauty of decay, and I scarcely know whether more of sorrow or of joy passes through my mind as I gaze on it. A silvery-haired man is a noble sight when his life has been one of honor; but we never see him in his easy-chair, without remembering that death is crouching[Pg 359] on his footstool. And so is it with our lovely autumnal scenery: nature then wears the robe in which she means to die. We then look back on another precious period too swiftly gone, and forward to the long, unbroken one which lies before us. Moralizing in such a paper as this may be out of place, still one can scarcely help repeating some remark, as trite as true, about this "sear and yellow leaf," and our own short day. Indulgent reader, how quickly doth our summer pass! How soon, like the withered leaf, shall each man of this generation drop from his much-loved tree, and take his place, quietly and unnoticed, among the millions of his fellows who have already fallen!

By the end of September, the weather is cool, and, after that time, grows more so every day, till, after rain and wind, and not a few attempts at sunshine, toward the close of November, winter sets in, and gives a decided character to the scene. Previous to this consummation, however, we have witnessed a phenomenon peculiar to this continent, in the shape of the "Indian summer;" it generally comes in October. Many descriptions have been given of this singular appearance, still I will venture to attempt another.

It is a sort of supplementary season, though a very short one, lasting sometimes no more than two or three days, and never longer than about a week. Between summer and winter, it stands parenthetically: the former is gone, the latter is not come; and between the two, this steps in to exercise its brief and pleasant dominion. It has not the freshness of spring, nor yet the fruitfulness of summer, neither has it the deadness of winter. It is so unlike other seasons, as to admit of no comparison with them.

With the "Indian summer," there comes over all things a strange quiet. No wind disturbs the atmosphere; the sun shines, but you see little of him. His presence is indicated rather by a mellowness overspreading and enriching the picture, than by any brightness or glare. A hazy film rests on earth and sky. It is not mist, nor does it resemble the sickly dimness which sometimes accompanies the heat of summer. The air seems full of smoke, but there is no smoke—of mistiness, but there is no mist—of dampness, but there is no damp. A sense of repose creeps over every thing. You are not languid, but you would like to lie down and dream. One would not wish the season to last, yet we are glad when it comes, and sorry when it leaves. Under its influence, we can suppose that Irving wrote the legend of "Sleepy Hollow," or Thomson, the "Castle of Indolence;" and, under this influence, we would do well to read both.

To its brevity I have already alluded. I may add, that some seasons we do not perceive it at all. As to its cause, I can not even conjecture any thing. The poor Indian thinks that at this time the Great Spirit smokes his pipe, and the would-be philosophic white man, throwing poetry to the winds, talks scientific nonsense about some unknown volcano, which now gives forth a great volume of smoke. The Indian's theory is about as rational as the other, and has this advantage over it, that it is eminently poetical. Better is it at once to say that we know nothing about the matter.


I saw a mighty Spirit, traversing the world without any rest or pause. It was omnipresent, it was all-powerful, it had no compunction, no pity, no relenting sense that any appeal from any of the race of men could reach. It was invisible to every creature born upon the earth, save once to each. It turned its shaded face on whatsoever living thing, one time; and straight the end of that thing was come. It passed through the forest, and the vigorous tree it looked on shrunk away; through the garden, and the leaves perished and the flowers withered; through the air, and the eagles flagged upon the wing and dropped; through the sea, and the monsters of the deep floated, great wrecks, upon the waters. It met the eyes of lions in their lairs, and they were dust; its shadow darkened the faces of young children lying asleep, and they awoke no more.

It had its work appointed; it inexorably did what was appointed to it to do; and neither sped nor slackened. Called to, it went on unmoved, and did not come. Besought, by some who felt that it was drawing near, to change its course, it turned its shaded face upon them, even while they cried, and they were dumb. It passed into the midst of palace chambers, where there were lights and music, pictures, diamonds, gold, and silver; crossed the wrinkled and the gray, regardless of them; looked into the eyes of a bright bride; and vanished. It revealed itself to the baby on the old crone's knee, and left the old crone wailing by the fire. But, whether the beholder of its face were, now a king, or now a laborer, now a queen, or now a seamstress; let the hand it palsied, be on the sceptre, or the plow, or yet too small and nerveless to grasp any thing: the Spirit never paused in its appointed work, and, sooner or later, turned its impartial face on all.

I saw a minister of state, sitting in his closet; and, round about him, rising from the country which he governed, up to the Eternal Heavens, was a low, dull howl of Ignorance. It was a wild, inexplicable mutter, confused, but full of threatening, and it made all hearers' hearts to quake within them. But few heard. In the single city where this minister of state was seated, I saw thirty thousand children, hunted, flogged, imprisoned, but not taught—who might have been nurtured by the wolf or bear, so little of humanity had they, within them or without—all joining in this doleful cry. And, ever among them, as among all ranks and grades of mortals, in all parts of the globe, the Spirit went; and ever by thousands, in their brutish state, with all the gifts of God perverted in their breasts or trampled out, they died.

The minister of state, whose heart was pierced[Pg 360] by even the little he could hear of these terrible voices, day and night rising to Heaven, went among the priests and teachers of all denominations, and faintly said,

"Hearken to this dreadful cry! What shall we do to stay it?"

One body of respondents answered, "Teach this!"

Another said, "Teach that!"

Another said, "Teach neither this nor that, but t'other!"

Another quarreled with all the three; twenty others quarreled with all the four, and quarreled no less bitterly among themselves. The voices, not stayed by this, cried out day and night; and still, among those many thousands, as among all mankind, went the Spirit, who never rested from its labor; and still, in brutish sort, they died.

Then, a whisper murmured to the minister of state,

"Correct this for thyself. Be bold! Silence these voices, or virtuously lose thy power in the attempt to do it. Thou canst not sow a grain of good seed in vain. Thou knowest it well. Be bold, and do thy duty!"

The minister shrugged his shoulders, and replied, "It is a great wrong—BUT IT WILL LAST MY TIME." And so he put it from him.

Then, the whisper went among the priests and teachers, saying to each, "In thy soul thou knowest it is a truth, O man, that there are good things to be taught, on which all men may agree. Teach those, and stay this cry."

To which, each answered in like manner, "It is a great wrong—BUT IT WILL LAST MY TIME." And so he put it from him.

I saw a poisoned air, in which life drooped. I saw disease, arrayed in all its store of hideous aspects and appalling shapes, triumphant in every alley, by-way, court, back-street, and poor abode, in every place where human beings congregated—in the proudest and most boastful places, most of all. I saw innumerable hosts, fore-doomed to darkness, dirt, pestilence, obscenity, misery, and early death. I saw, wheresoever I looked, cunning preparations made for defacing the Creator's Image, from the moment of its appearance here on earth, and stamping over it the image of the Devil. I saw, from those reeking and pernicious stews, the avenging consequences of such sin issuing forth, and penetrating to the highest places. I saw the rich struck down in their strength, their darling children weakened and withered, their marriageable sons and daughters perish in their prime. I saw that not one miserable wretch breathed out his poisoned life in the deepest cellar of the most neglected town, but, from the surrounding atmosphere, some particles of his infection were borne away, charged with heavy retribution on the general guilt.

There were many attentive and alarmed persons looking on, who saw these things too. They were well clothed, and had purses in their pockets; they were educated, full of kindness, and loved mercy. They said to one another, "This is horrible, and shall not be!" and there was a stir among them to set it right. But, opposed to these, came a small multitude of noisy fools and greedy knaves, whose harvest was in such horrors; and they, with impudence and turmoil, and with scurrilous jests at misery and death, repelled the better lookers-on, who soon fell back, and stood aloof.

Then, the whisper went among those better lookers-on, saying, "Over the bodies of those fellows, to the remedy!"

But, each of them moodily shrugged his shoulders, and replied, "It is a great wrong—but it will last my time!" And so they put it from them.

I saw a great library of laws and law-proceedings, so complicated, costly, and unintelligible, that, although numbers of lawyers united in a public fiction that these were wonderfully just and equal, there was scarcely an honest man among them, but who said to his friend, privately consulting him, "Better put up with a fraud or other injury than grope for redress through the manifold blind turnings and strange chances of this system."

I saw a portion of this system, called (of all things) Equity, which was ruin to suitors, ruin to property, a shield for wrong-doers having money, a rack for right-doers having none: a by-word for delay, slow agony of mind, despair, impoverishment, trickery, confusion, insupportable injustice. A main part of it, I saw prisoners wasting in jail; mad people babbling in hospitals; suicides chronicled in the yearly records; orphans robbed of their inheritance; infants righted (perhaps) when they were gray.

Certain lawyers and laymen came together, and said to one another, "In only one of these our Courts of Equity, there are years of this dark perspective before us at the present moment. We must change this."

Uprose, immediately, a throng of others, Secretaries, Petty Bags, Hanapers, Chaffwaxes, and what not, singing (in answer) "Rule Britannia," and "God save the Queen;" making flourishing speeches, pronouncing hard names, demanding committees, commissions, commissioners, and other scarecrows, and terrifying the little band of innovators out of their five wits.

Then, the whisper went among the latter, as they shrunk back, saying, "If there is any wrong within the universal knowledge, this wrong is. Go on! Set it right!"

Whereon, each of them sorrowfully thrust his hands in his pockets, and replied, "It is indeed a great wrong—BUT IT WILL LAST MY TIME!" and so they put it from them.

The Spirit, with its face concealed, summoned all the people who had used this phrase about their time, into its presence. Then it said, beginning with the minister of state,

"Of what duration is your time?"

The minister of state replied, "My ancient family has always been long-lived. My father died at eighty-four; my grandfather, at ninety-two.[Pg 361] We have the gout, but bear it (like our honors) many years."

"And you," said the Spirit to the priests and teachers, "what may your time be?"

Some believed they were so strong, as that they should number many more years than three-score and ten; others, were the sons of old incumbents, who had long outlived youthful expectants. Others, for any means they had of calculating, might be long-lived or short-lived—generally (they had a strong persuasion) long. So, among the well-clothed lookers on. So, among the lawyers and laymen.

"But, every man, as I understand you, one and all," said the Spirit, "has his time?"

"Yes!" they exclaimed together.

"Yes," said the Spirit; "and it is—Eternity! Whosoever is a consenting party to a wrong, comforting himself with the base reflection that it will last his time, shall bear his portion of that wrong throughout all time. And, in the hour when he and I stand face to face, he shall surely know it, as my name is Death!"

It departed, turning its shaded face hither and thither as it passed along upon its ceaseless work, and blighting all on whom it looked.

Then went among many trembling hearers the whisper, saying, "See, each of you, before you take your ease, O wicked, selfish men, that what will 'last your time,' be just enough to last forever!"


Rosa Lindsay, when first I knew her, was a beautiful and elegant girl, the pride—and almost the support—of her mother and sisters, whom she assisted greatly by her exertions as an artist and drawing mistress, and the affianced bride of Walter Gardner, a young merchant, then abroad in one of our colonies. Their marriage had been delayed on account of the uncertainty of Walter's plans: he could not tell for some time whether he would settle in England, or be obliged to remain with the branch house abroad. Rosa was devotedly attached to him, and their separation weighed heavily on her spirits. Nor was this her only trial, poor thing! The Lindsays had first lost much property, and then their troubles were aggravated by the long and severe illness of one of the girls, who was seized with an incurable internal complaint which confined her entirely to her bed; and also by a far worse blow, the death of their fond, indulgent father, who sank beneath these varied sorrows. Man can not bear as woman does; he will fight hard with the world, and if he can not conquer it he perishes in the effort to submit. A fallen man can seldom raise himself; he dies and makes no sign; a woman strives on—endures all to the last.

This was the Lindsays' fate, left almost destitute by the father's death. Women who, till but a short time since, had never known a care—whose path through life seemed to have been on velvet—now came forward prepared for the struggle for daily bread; casting aside the silken habits of luxurious ease, relinquishing the cherished appliances of refined opulence almost without a sigh; confronting the world almost cheerfully, if, by so doing, they could shield that dear father's name from reproach; nerving themselves for all the thousand undreamed-of stings that fall to the lot of those once rich when reduced to poverty, supported only by the hope of paying off some portion of his liabilities. How often might we see this! how little do we suspect it! Should such conduct be revealed to us, as it occasionally is, "I did not think it was in them!" we exclaim. Not one in ten thousand knows the heroism which lies hidden in the heart of a true woman.

But this is a digression: to return to my story. Rosa had one solace left, the best of all: Walter remained true to her. He did not turn from her now that she was poor; he did not look less kindly on her because the elegant talents he had been so proud of were now exerted for her maintenance; nor was he less anxious to call her his wife now that her helpless family were in a degree dependent on her—far from that; he but cherished her the more fondly now that she had so little left her. He was true to her and to himself. He would have gladly taken her abroad with him; but this could not be, for she had her duties to fulfill. Her sisters were too young to support themselves; and as her exertions were so necessary to the family, she decided on not marrying till she had put them all forward. Walter could not combat so praiseworthy a resolution, he could only sigh and acquiesce in it; and indeed Rosa did not keep it without severe self-sacrifice. Say, is it nothing, when love, worth, and competence are offered to our grasp, to put them by—to toil on day by day, year after year—to feel that he we love better than life itself, better than all the world holds (save duty) is alone, uncheered in his task, far from us, from his home, perhaps ill and no one near to minister to him, while we might be his all, his wife?—to doubt even his truth, as the year drags wearily on, and friends fall off in turn, and the world turns harsh and dreary, and we feel our own once-loved charms decrease, and we compare ourselves with bitter regret to what we were when he first knew us; and yet a word would unite us never more to part—would solve each dreading doubt, would set our trembling alarms at rest: is it nothing to feel and fear all this, and yet pursue the path which still keeps us from the haven? No, no, this indeed is the Battle of Life, when hopes and affections are opposed to duty. When duties themselves jar, then comes our bitter, bitter trial.

Rosa and Walter bore their burden nobly; but her mind was torn, worn out in the strife. The excitement of her art was wearing in itself. When the fancy paints what the unpracticed hand can not yet realize; when the unerring[Pg 362] decrees of a cultivated taste condemn the sketches which poverty forces before the world; when the exhausted soul and body would gladly renovate themselves by complete inaction; but the demon of want cries work, work, and the cry must be obeyed. And then the drudgery of teaching, when the clumsy attempts of a tasteless, often unwilling pupil, seem like desecration of the art we worship—oh, this indeed is torture! It needed not the sickening misery of hope deferred, the blight of early hopes in addition, to pale the poor girl's cheek and break her spirits. Her appetite grew uncertain, her eye and step were heavy; her art became a task; her temper even was rendered variable. Mrs. Lindsay was alarmed, and called in a physician.

"Miss Lindsay is merely nervous, my dear madam" (merely nervous, indeed! people never say, "her life is merely a curse to her"); "her system is too low; we must throw in a little stimulant. She wants bracing, that is all."

So spake Dr. ——; he was right, doubtless: but those few words sealed his patient's doom. The glass of wine, warm, spicy wine, when she returned from her wearying lessons, was so invigorating! The world grew brighter as she drank; she had fresh hope, fresh strength. Again she sipped, and again she worked—little dreaming she was laying the foundation of a fearful habit. Do not blame her too severely, madam. Wait till your whole frame is over-tasked either in action or endurance, till the world seems a blank before you; or worse, a cold, dreary, stagnant pond—you need not be poor to feel all this—then, when the cup is sanctioned by a mother, nay, ordered by your physician; when you quaff it and find your chilled energies renewed, your blood dancing in your veins, happy thoughts, gleams of sunshine crowding on your mind—then, if you can refuse a second draught, you are most happy. Be blest, even in your admirable firmness; but oh, pity, be merciful even to the drunkard!

She did not become that despicable thing at once; the path is slow though sure; it was long ere she reached its inevitable termination. "Wine gladdeneth the heart of man;" far be it from us to blame the generous juice which our Lord himself sanctioned by his first miracle and last command, "this do in memory of me;" it is the abuse, not the use, we deprecate; but there are some who insensibly become its slave—Rosa was one of these. The glass of wine gave so much strength, that instead of taking it sparingly, she flew to it on every demand on her tried energies. Her mother, seeing the benefit she derived from it, feeling how much was dependent on her, had not courage to check her, and was the first to offer it to her, never thinking of the fatal craving she was encouraging. No one suspected the gifted, animated girl we all so admired, of this degrading propensity; no one thought the sparkling eloquence which charmed our tiresome lessons, the fanciful sketches, now of fairies floating among green leaves and flowers, where reality and imagination were gracefully blended, or of some cool glade and ivy capped tower which led us far from towns and man; but all beautiful, tender, and pure in their design; no one thought all these were inspired by the poison which debases us lower than the brute creation. No, Rosa Lindsay was a creature to be loved, admired, respected, emulated. What is she now? What indeed?

Her exertions redoubled at first, and money poured in; then they became fitful, she was no longer to be depended on. Pictures were ordered, sketched, and then they remained untouched for months; her outline was no longer as bold, her colors less skillfully arranged. The first was gorgeous and full of beauty, but it remained confused, as if the germ could not be developed—the tints were more glaring, the whole less well defined. Pupils too talked of unpunctual attendance, of odd, impatient, flighty manners; she was no longer the gentle, patient girl who had first directed their unformed taste, and had charmed out the lingering talent. There was nothing whispered as yet, but there was a feeling that all was not right. She was so respected by all, we dared not admit the suspicion of intoxication even silently to ourselves: still it would come, and we could not repel it; it was not mentioned, even among intimate friends, but there it lurked. Mrs. Lindsay became uneasy, but it was too late—her feeble exertions, her remonstrances could not check the habit: besides, Rosa had never openly exposed herself—been drunk in fact. Her mother only feared she sometimes took a little drop too much, and it was difficult to refuse this medicinal cheering draught to so exemplary a daughter.

They were now in easier circumstances: the sisters were educated and supporting themselves; one was well married; the only brother was now adding to the family fund, and Walter was returning: there was no longer any bar to Rosa's marriage. How anxiously we all looked forward to his return! At last she received a letter, written from Southampton: he had landed—he would be with her in a few hours. What joy, what delight for the Lindsays! Now Rosa would be rewarded for her noble sacrifices—at last she would be happy! The moments sped rapidly on in eager anticipation; the time drew nearer—he would soon be by her side. She grew restless, nervous, unable to bear the prolonged suspense: she who had endured a separation of years, sank under the delay of a few minutes. She had recourse to her accustomed solace, a little stimulant. Walter came; and she was prostrate on the sofa, in disgusting insensibility.

What a meeting for that ardent loving heart! Mrs. Lindsay in tears, the whole family evidently bent on concealment; and Rosa, who should have flown to his arms, drunk!—no, not drunk; he could not, would not believe it—his pure, noble-minded Rosa could not have sunk so far: even though a smell of ardent spirits pervaded[Pg 363] the room, it was the last vice he could suspect in her. We all had long resolutely closed our eyes against the evidence of our senses: could he who once knew her inestimable worth, who had her precious letters, breathing the highest, most delicate, most womanly feelings, could he so pollute her image?

"What is this?" he cried, "Rosa ill! Oh, what is this? Good heaven, Mrs. Lindsay!" his eye rested on the half-empty tumbler.

The mother answered that mute question. "Rosa has not been well," she said; "she has over-exerted herself lately; the excitement of expectation was too much for her. Dr. —— has prescribed a little occasional stimulant, and I am afraid I have over-dosed the poor child; she has been in violent hysterics."

Walter believed the explanation. The very shame and confusion around him, Mrs. Lindsay's candor, all re-assured him; besides, he was so willing to be convinced; and when Rosa recovered, horror-struck at her situation, and hid her tears and blushes on his shoulder, he rapturously kissed the lips yet fresh from the contaminating draught. Tears of shame and repentance poured down her cheek; and still she felt rejoiced—inexpressibly relieved—by Walter's evident belief that this was accidental. She felt that she would break this dreadful habit now he was with her; now she would be happy: she need not make any humiliating disclosure.

"Forgive me, save me!" she cried. "Dear, dear Walter, say you do not despise me?"

"Despise you, my own love, my sweet Rosa?—never! Now don't look cross; I have a hair in your neck, sweetest, and mean to pull it sometimes."

It was thus Walter laughed at what should have been a warning; but his nature was entirely unsuspicious, and he loved so tenderly. Rosa now put a strong restraint on herself, she was again what we had first known her; and all our fears were dispelled.

They were married. Not a cloud lowered to cast a shadow on their bliss but the slight disapprobation of some distant relations of Walter's, who, not knowing the Lindsays save by hearsay, thought he might have done better than wed not only a portionless bride, but one whose family he must assist. However, as these fault-finders had no right to interfere, their remonstrances remained entirely unheeded. No bride could be happier than Rosa, no husband prouder than Walter. They were not rich; but they had more than enough for elegant economy, and were not debarred any of those refined enjoyments which give value to life. Books, music—Rosa's art—a well-chosen though small circle of friends, a pretty house, with its cultivated garden, and enough of labor for each to sweeten their repose; luxuries were not required here, they had the best blessings of this world within their reach, and some months were indeed passed in supreme felicity.

Mr. Manson, an uncle of Walter's, and one of those who had objected to his marriage, had come up to town on business, and his nephew was naturally anxious to pay him some attention and introduce his darling wife to him. The uncle was of the old school, fond of the pleasures of the table, an admirer of dinner-parties, and convinced that their cold formalities are the great bond of union in business and politics. It may be so; there is a certain look of respectability in a ponderous dinner-table—in the crimson flock-paper of the dining-room—in the large sideboard and heavy curtains: but unless the entertainer be a rich man, how the words "dinner-party" torture his poor wife! It is the prelude to a week's anxiety, to a day's hard work, to the headache, to the fidgets, to worried servants, to hired cooks, to missing spoons, to broken glass and china; and, after all, to black looks and cross words from her unreasonable husband, who votes the whole thing "a confounded bore," and cuts short the supplies, leaving her to make bricks without straw, to give a dinner without a double allowance. Walter, yet new in his spousedom, was more amenable than an older hand; but Rosa had no want of anxiety in this her first dinner-party. She felt sure that something would go wrong; that Mr. Manson would see some fault. How could she steer between the rock of meanness on which so many are split, and the whirlpool of extravagance where so many are engulfed?—the Scylla and Charybdis of housekeeping! She flitted incessantly from the kitchen to the dining-room, and long before the appointed time was wearied to death. A tempting bottle of port was decanted ready on the sideboard; she ventured on a glass—it refreshed her exceedingly, she was fitted for further exertions. Had she taken no more, she would have been a happy woman; but after the first drop she could no longer withstand temptation; she drank again and again: her orders were contradictory, her servants saw her state and were impertinent; and when Walter returned to dress for dinner, accompanied by Mr. Manson, his beautiful wife lay prostrate on the floor, with unmistakable proofs of her fault.

The uncle gave a contemptuous whistle, and withdrew from the disgraceful scene; the husband carried her up-stairs and flung her on the bed, while tears such as man seldom shed showed his bitter shame, his agonized disgust, as he looked at the prospect life now presented. "She is my wife! my wife!" he cried. "Oh, God! would she were in her coffin; I could love her memory had she died; but now—oh! Rosa, Rosa!"

She roused herself at his voice, and feebly staggering toward him, offered her cheek for his accustomed kiss. He pushed her from him. She looked at her disordered dress, at his swollen eyes; a ray of reason penetrated even through the imbecility of drink.

"Walter, Walter!" she screamed; "my husband, my dear, dearest husband! tell me—am I?—am I?—"

[Pg 364]

"You are drunk, madam," he answered.

"No, no, no; I am not; I can not be, now you are here! Walter, we shall be late; we must dress to see your uncle. I am sober, indeed I am."

Fresh guests now arrived; the miserable husband locked his no less wretched wife in her room, and hastened to apologize for her unexpected illness.

Again he forgave her, and again she sinned: the greatest pang, the shame of detection, was over—the demon of drink was now ascendant. A puny wailing child was born, that child for whom the father had once so fondly hoped, but whose advent was now a fresh link in misery's chain. Even the babe paid the penalty of its mother's vice by its enfeebled frame, its neglected state; its earliest nutriment was poisoned. Rosa was soon debarred one of the holiest pleasures of maternity—her child was taken from her fever-laden breast. It became very ill; nature's voice was heard, the mother sacrificed her habits to her child. A new and celebrated physician was called in: he carefully examined the poor infant. "Strange," he said; "now, had this child been born in a less respectable sphere, I should say it was suffering from a drunken parent."

A muttered curse escaped from Walter, a cry from Rosa. The doctor looked at her more narrowly; in her watery eye and shaking hand he read the truth of his accusation. "You have killed the child, madam," he continued. "Be thankful it is your only one."

Could not that little pallid face, peeping from its shroud, the father's mighty grief, her own despair, her agony, as each toll of the funeral bell fell on her crushed brain, and seemed to repeat the physician's words—could not this check her mad career? No, all was blighted around her—she had not a hope left; she drank for oblivion.

And Walter?—alas! he now drank with her. He long struggled with his dreary discomforts at home, with the dull, companionless evenings, when his Rosa, that once highly-gifted creature, lay steeped in the coarsest Lethe, or would in wild intoxication hurl reproaches at him. He had taken the keys from her; she broke open the locks; she bribed the servants for drink; she parted from her valuables, even his books and plate, to procure the necessary stimulant; she made his disgrace and hers public. No friend could come to their house, such fearful scenes occasionally took place there: his home was blasted—drink became his solace. The wild orgies of their despair were indeed terrible: but I need not dwell on this repulsive theme; suffice it to say, Walter's affairs were now entirely neglected—he was soon irretrievably ruined.

The Lindsays made them a weekly allowance, for both were unfitted for any continuous exertion—they cumbered the earth. As soon as their pittance came in it was squandered in drink; and then they quarreled, and even fought. Rosa, the elegant, refined, graceful woman, fought with her husband for drink, and often bore evident traces of his violence. Her beauty had long since vanished; her features were red and bloated, her voice cracked, her person neglected; who would have believed that genius and high, noble, womanly feelings had once been hers! At last, in one of their furious encounters Walter struck her brutally; she fell bleeding at his feet. The sight sobered him and his cries raised their humble neighbors—(they had long since left their pleasant home, and were now in lodgings more suited to their circumstances). A crowd of screaming women filled the room, while he sat shivering in helpless imbecility.

"Ah, poor dear, her troubles are over now!" said the women. "See what you've done, you wretch! you cowardly wretch!—you've killed your poor wife; and a lady, too, as she was. But you'll hang for it, if there's justice to be had for love or money!"

The threat recalled his scattered senses: a razor lay near, its bright steel tempted him—one plunge, and all was over! A heavy fall disturbed the crowd around Rosa—her husband lay dead—a suicide.

She was slowly recovering her consciousness when the exclamations of those around told her there was still more to be dreaded; she hurriedly looked around: "Walter!" she shrieked; "my husband dead?—dead? I am unforgiven—he was angry with me—tell him to give me but one word, one look. Walter, you can not die thus!" She saw the self-inflicted wound: "Oh, God! Oh, God! I have been his bane through life: will the curse follow him to the other world?"

She is now mad, in an asylum. Thus ends the story of Rosa Lindsay. It may seem over-drawn: it is truth.

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


(Continued from page 183.)


I have spent pleasanter, but I greatly doubt if I ever knew busier days, than those I passed at the Bishop's Palace at Killala; and now, as I look back upon the event, I can not help wondering that we could seriously have played out a farce so full of absurdity and nonsense! There was a gross mockery of all the usages of war, which, had it not been for the serious interest at stake, would have been highly laughable and amusing.

Whether it was the important functions of civil government, the details of police regulations, the imposition of contributions, the appointment of officers, or the arming of the volunteers, all was done with a pretentious affectation of order that was extremely ludicrous. The very institutions which were laughingly agreed at over[Pg 365] night, as the wine went briskly round, were solemnly ratified in the morning, and, still more strange, apparently believed in by those whose ingenuity devised them; and thus the "Irish Directory," as we styled the imaginary government, the National Treasury, the Pension Fund, were talked of with all the seriousness of facts! As to the Commissariat, to which I was for the time attached, we never ceased writing receipts and acknowledgments for stores and munitions of war, all of which were to be honorably acquitted by the Treasury of the Irish Republic.

No people could have better fallen in with the humor of this delusion than the Irish. They seemed to believe every thing, and yet there was a reckless, headlong indifference about them which appeared to say, that they were equally prepared for any turn fortune might take, and if the worst should happen, they would never reproach us for having misled them. The real truth was—but we only learned it too late—all those who joined us were utterly indifferent to the great cause of Irish independence; their thoughts never rose above a row and a pillage. It was to be a season of sack, plunder, and outrage, but nothing more! That such were the general sentiments of the volunteers, I believe none will dispute. We, however, in our ignorance of the people and their language, interpreted all the harum-scarum wildness we saw as the buoyant temperament of a high-spirited nation, who, after centuries of degradation and ill-usage, saw the dawning of liberty at last.

Had we possessed any real knowledge of the country, we should at once have seen, that of those who joined us none were men of any influence or station. If, now and then, a man of any name strayed into the camp, he was sure to be one whose misconduct or bad character had driven him from associating with his equals; and, even of the peasantry, our followers were of the very lowest order. Whether General Humbert was the first to notice the fact I know not; but Charost, I am certain, remarked it, and even thus early predicted the utter failure of the expedition.

I must confess the "volunteers" were the least imposing of allies! I think I have the whole scene before my eyes this moment, as I saw it each morning in the Palace-garden.

The inclosure, which, more orchard than garden, occupied a space of a couple of acres, was the head-quarters of Colonel Charost; and here, in a pavilion formerly dedicated to hoes, rakes, rolling-stones, and garden tools, we were now established to the number of fourteen. As the space beneath the roof was barely sufficient for the Colonel's personal use, the officers of his staff occupied convenient spots in the vicinity. My station was under a large damson tree, the fruit of which afforded me, more than once, the only meal I tasted from early morning till late at night; not, I must say, from any lack of provisions, for the Palace abounded with every requisite of the table, but that, such was the pressure of business, we were not able to leave off work even for half-an-hour during the day.

A subaltern's guard of grenadiers, divided into small parties, did duty in the garden; and it was striking to mark the contrast between these bronzed and war-worn figures and the reckless, tatterdemalion host around us. Never was seen such a scare-crow set! Wild-looking, ragged wretches, their long, lank hair hanging down their necks and shoulders, usually barefooted, and with every sign of starvation in their features; they stood in groups and knots, gesticulating, screaming, hurraing, and singing, in all the exuberance of a joy that caught some, at least, of its inspiration from whisky.

It was utterly vain to attempt to keep order among them; even the effort to make them defile singly through the gate into the garden was soon found impracticable, without the employment of a degree of force that our adviser, Kerrigan, pronounced would be injudicious. Not only the men made their way in, but great numbers of women, and even children also; and there they were, seated around fires, roasting their potatoes in this bivouac fashion, as though they had deserted hearth and home to follow us.

Such was the avidity to get arms—of which the distribution was announced to take place here—that several had sealed the wall in their impatience, and as they were more or less in drink, some disastrous accidents were momentarily occurring, adding the cries and exclamations of suffering to the ruder chorus of joy and revelry that went on unceasingly.

The impression—we soon saw how absurd it was—the impression that we should do nothing that might hurt the national sensibilities, but concede all to the exuberant ardor of a bold people, eager to be led against their enemies, induced us to submit to every imaginable breach of order and discipline.

"In a day or two, they'll be like your own men; you'll not know them from a battalion of the line. Those fellows will be like a wall under fire."

Such and such like were the assurances we were listening to all day, and it would have been like treason to the cause to have refused them credence.

Perhaps, I might have been longer a believer in this theory, had I not perceived signs of a deceptive character in these, our worthy allies; many who, to our faces, wore nothing but looks of gratitude and delight, no sooner mixed with their fellows than their downcast faces and dogged expression betrayed some inward sense of disappointment.

One very general source of dissatisfaction arose from the discovery, that we were not prepared to pay our allies! We had simply come to arm and lead them, to shed our own blood, and pledge our fortunes in their cause; but we certainly had brought no military chest to bribe their patriotism, nor stimulate their nationality; and this, I soon saw, was a grievous disappointment.

[Pg 366]

In virtue of this shameful omission on our part, they deemed the only resource was to be made officers, and thus crowds of uneducated, semi-civilized vagabonds were every hour assailing us with their claims to the epaulet. Of the whole number of these, I remember but three who had ever served at all; two were notorious drunkards, and the third a confirmed madman, from a scalp wound he had received when fighting against the Turks. Many, however, boasted high-sounding names, and were, at least so Kerrigan said, men of the first families in the land.

Our general-in-chief, saw little of them while at Killala, his principal intercourse being with the Bishop and his family; but Colonel Charost soon learned to read their true character, and from that moment conceived the most disastrous issue to our plans. The most trustworthy of them was a certain O'Donnel, who, although not a soldier, was remarked to possess a greater influence over the rabble volunteers than any of the others. He was a young man of the half-squire class, an ardent and sincere patriot, after his fashion; but that fashion, it must be owned, rather partook of the character of class-hatred and religious animosity than the features of a great struggle for national independence. He took a very low estimate of the fighting qualities of his countrymen, and made no secret of declaring it.

"You would be better without them altogether," said he one day to Charost; "but if you must have allies, draw them up in line, select one third of the best, and arm them."

"And the rest?" asked Charost.

"Shoot them," was the answer.

This conversation is on record, indeed I believe there is yet one witness living to corroborate it.

I have said that we were very hard worked; but I must fain acknowledge that the real amount of business done was very insignificant, so many were the mistakes, misconceptions, and interruptions, not to speak of the time lost by that system of conciliation, of which I have already made mention. In our distribution of arms there was little selection practiced or possible. The process was a brief one, but it might have been briefer.

Thomas Colooney, of Banmayroo, was called, and not usually being present, the name would be passed on, from post to post, till it swelled into a general shout of Colooney.

"Tom Colooney, you're wanted; Tom, run for it, man, there's a price bid for you! Here's Mickey, his brother, maybe he'll do as well."

And so on; all this accompanied by shouts of laughter, and a running fire of jokes, which, being in the vernacular, was lost to us.

At last the real Colooney was found, maybe eating his dinner of potatoes, maybe discussing his poteen with a friend—sometimes engaged in the domestic duties of washing his shirt or his small-clothes, fitting a new crown to his hat, or a sole to his brogues—whatever his occupation, he was urged forward by his friends, and the public, with many a push, drive, and even a kick, into our presence, where, from the turmoil, uproar, and confusion, he appeared to have fought his way by main force, and very often, indeed, this was literally the fact, as his bleeding nose, torn coat, and bare head attested.

"Thomas Colooney—are you the man?" asked one of our Irish officers of the staff.

"Yis, yer honor, I'm that same!"

"You've come here, Colooney, to offer yourself as a volunteer in the cause of your country?"

Here a yell of "Ireland for ever!" was always raised by the bystanders, which drowned the reply in its enthusiasm, and the examination went on:

"You'll be true and faithful to that cause till you secure for your country the freedom of America and the happiness of France? Kiss the cross. Are you used to fire-arms?"

"Isn't he?—maybe not! I'll be bound he knows a musket from a mealy pratie!"

Such and such like were the comments that rang on all sides, so that the modest "Yis, sir" of the patriot was completely lost.

"Load that gun, Tom," said the officer.

Here Colooney, deeming that so simple a request must necessarily be only a cover for something underhand—a little clever surprise or so—takes up the piece in a very gingerly manner, and examines it all round, noticing that there is nothing, so far as he can discover, unusual nor uncommon about it.

"Load that gun, I say."

Sharper and more angrily is the command given this time.

"Yis, sir, immediately."

And now Tom tries the barrel with the ramrod, lest there should be already a charge there—a piece of forethought that is sure to be loudly applauded by the public, not the less so because the impatience of the French officers is making itself manifest in various ways.

At length he rams down the cartridge, and returns the ramrod; which piece of adroitness, if done with a certain air of display and flourish, is unfailingly saluted by another cheer. He now primes and cocks the piece, and assumes a look of what he believes to be most soldier-like severity.

As he stands thus for scrutiny, a rather lively debate gets up as to whether or not Tom bit off the end of the cartridge before he rammed it down. The biters and anti-biters being equally divided, the discussion waxes strong. The French officers, eagerly asking what may be the disputed point, laugh very heartily on hearing it.

"I'll lay ye a pint of sperits she won't go off," cries one.

"Done! for two noggins, if he pulls strong," rejoins another.

"Devil fear the same gun," cries a third; "she shot Mr. Sloan at fifty paces, and killed him dead."

"'Tisn't the same gun—that's a Frinch one—a bran new one!"

[Pg 367]

"She isn't."

"She is."

"No, she isn't."

"Yes, but she is."

"What is't you say?"

"Hould your prate."

"Arrah, teach your mother to feed ducks."

"Silence in the ranks. Keep silence there. Attention, Colooney!"

"Yis, sir."


"What at, sir?" asks Tom, taking an amateur glance of the company, who look not over-satisfied at his scrutiny.

"Fire in the air!"

Bang goes the piece, and a yell follows the explosion, while cries of "Well done, Tom," "Begorra, if a Protestant got that!" and so on, greet the performance.

"Stand by Colooney!" and the volunteer falls back to make way for another and similar exhibition, occasionally varied by the humor or the blunders of the new candidate.

As to the Treasury orders, as we somewhat ludicrously styled the checks upon our imaginary bank, the scenes they led to were still more absurd and complicated. We paid liberally, that is to say in promises, for every thing, and our generosity saved us a good deal of time, for it was astonishing how little the owners disputed our solvency when the price was left to themselves. But the rations were indeed the most difficult matter of all; it being impossible to convince our allies of the fact that the compact was one of trust, and the ration was not his own, to dispose of in any manner that might seem fit.

"Sure if I don't like to ate it—if I haven't an appetite for it—if I'd rather have a pint of sperits, or a flannel waistcoat, or a pair of stockings, than a piece of mate, what harm is that to any one?"

This process of reasoning was much harder of answer than is usually supposed, and even when replied to, another difficulty arose in its place. Unaccustomed to flesh diet, when they tasted they couldn't refrain from it, and the whole week's rations of beef, amounting to eight pounds, were frequently consumed in the first twenty-four hours.

Such instances of gormandizing were by no means unfrequent, and stranger still, in no one case, so far as I knew, followed by any ill consequences.

The leaders were still more difficult to manage than the people. Without military knowledge or experience of any kind, they presumed to dictate the plan of a campaign to old and distinguished officers, like Humbert and Serazin, and when overruled by argument or ridicule, invariably fell back upon their superior knowledge of Ireland and her people, a defense for which, of course, we were quite unprepared, and unable to oppose any thing. From these and similar causes, it may well be believed that our labors were not light, and yet somehow, with all the vexations and difficulties around us, there was a congenial tone of levity, an easy recklessness, and a careless freedom in the Irish character that suited us well. There was but one single point whereupon we were not thoroughly together, and this was religion. They were a nation of most zealous Catholics, and as for us, the revolution had not left the vestige of a belief among us.

A reconnaissance in Ballina, meant rather to discover the strength of the garrison than of the place itself, having shown that the royal forces were inconsiderable in number, and mostly militia, General Humbert moved forward on Sunday morning, the 26th, with nine hundred men of our own force, and about three thousand "volunteers," leaving Colonel Charost and his staff, with two companies of foot, at Killala, to protect the town, and organize the new levies, as they were formed.

We saw our companions defile from the town with heavy hearts. The small body of real soldiers seemed even smaller still from being enveloped by that mass of peasants who accompanied them, and who marched on the flanks or in the rear, promiscuously, without discipline or order. A noisy, half-drunken rabble, firing off their muskets at random, and yelling, as they went, in savage glee and exultation. Our sole comfort was in the belief, that, when the hour of combat did arrive, they would fight to the very last. Such were the assurances of their own officers, and made so seriously and confidently, that we never thought of mistrusting them.

"If they be but steady under fire," said Charost, "a month will make them good soldiers. Ours is an easy drill, and soon learned; but I own," he added, "they do not give me this impression."

Such was the reflection of one who watched them as they went past, and with sorrow we saw ourselves concurring in the sentiment.


We were all occupied with our drill at daybreak on the morning of the 27th of August, when a mounted orderly arrived at full gallop, with news that our troops were in motion for Castlebar, and orders for us immediately to march to their support, leaving only one subaltern and twenty men in "the Castle."

The worthy Bishop was thunderstruck at the tidings. It is more than probable that he never entertained any grave fears of our ultimate success; still he saw that in the struggle, brief as it might be, rapine, murder, and pillage would spread over the country, and that crime of every sort would be certain to prevail during the short interval of anarchy.

As our drums were beating the "rally," he entered the garden, and with hurried steps came forward to where Colonel Charost was standing delivering his orders.

[Pg 368]

"Good day, Mons. l'Evêque," said the Colonel, removing his hat, and bowing low. "You see us in a moment of haste. The campaign has opened, and we are about to march."

"Have you made any provision for the garrison of this town, Colonel?" said the Bishop, in terror. "Your presence alone has restrained the population hitherto. If you leave us—"

"We shall leave you a strong force of our faithful allies, sir," said Charost; "Irishmen could scarcely desire better defenders than their countrymen."

"You forget, Colonel, that some of us here are averse to this cause, but as non-combatants, lay claim to protection."

"You shall have it, too, Mons. l'Evêque; we leave an officer and twenty men."

"An officer and twenty men!" echoed the Bishop, in dismay.

"Quite sufficient, I assure you," said Charost, coldly; "and if a hair of one of their heads be injured by the populace, trust me, sir, that we shall take a terrible vengeance."

"You do not know these people, sir, as I know them," said the Bishop, eagerly. "The same hour that you march out, will the town of Killala be given up to pillage. As to your retributive justice, I may be pardoned for not feeling any consolation in the pledge, for certes neither I nor mine will live to witness it."

As the Bishop was speaking, a crowd of volunteers, some in uniform and all armed, drew nearer and nearer to the place of colloquy; and although understanding nothing of what went forward in the foreign language, seemed to watch the expressions of the speakers' faces with a most keen interest. To look at the countenances of these fellows, truly one would not have called the Bishop's fears exaggerated; their expression was that of demoniac passion and hatred.

"Look, sir," said the Bishop, turning round, and facing the mob, "look at the men to whose safeguard you propose to leave us."

Charost made no reply; but making a sign for the Bishop to remain where he was, re-entered the pavilion hastily. I could see through the window that he was reading his dispatches over again, and evidently taking counsel with himself how to act. The determination was quickly come to.

"Monsieur l'Evêque," said he, laying his hand on the Bishop's arm, "I find that my orders admit of a choice on my part. I will, therefore, remain with you myself, and keep a sufficient force of my own men. It is not impossible, however, that in taking this step I may be periling my own safety. You will, therefore, consent, that one of your sons shall accompany the force now about to march, as a hostage. This is not an unreasonable request on my part."

"Very well, sir," said the Bishop, sadly. "When do they leave?"

"Within half an hour," said Charost.

The Bishop, bowing, retraced his steps through the garden back to the house. Our preparations for the road were by this time far advanced. The command said, "Light marching order, and no rations;" so that we foresaw that there was sharp work before us. Our men—part of the 12th demi-brigade, and a half company of grenadiers—were, indeed, ready on the instant; but the Irish were not so easily equipped. Many had strayed into the town; some, early as it was, were dead drunk; and not a few had mislaid their arms or their ammunition, secretly preferring the chance of a foray of their own to the prospect of a regular engagement with the Royalist troops.

Our force was still a considerable one, numbering at least fifteen hundred volunteers, besides about eighty of our men. By seven o'clock we were under march, and, with drums beating, defiled from the narrow streets of Killala into the mountain road that leads to Cloonagh; it being our object to form a junction with the main body at the foot of the mountain.

Two roads led from Ballina to Castlebar—one to the eastward, the other to the west of Lough Con. The former was a level road, easily passable by wheel carriages, and without any obstacle or difficulty whatever; the other took a straight direction over lofty mountains, and in one spot—the Pass of Burnageeragh—traversed a narrow defile, shut in between steep cliffs, where a small force, assisted by artillery, could have arrested the advance of a great army. The road itself, too, was in disrepair, the rains of autumn had torn and fissured it, while heavy sandslips and fallen rocks in many places rendered it almost impassable.

The Royalist generals had reconnoitred it two days before, and were so convinced that all approach in this direction was out of the question, that a small picket of observation, posted near the Pass of Burnageeragh, was withdrawn as useless, and the few stockades they had fixed were still standing as we marched through.

General Humbert had acquired all the details of these separate lines of attack, and at once decided for the mountain road, which, besides the advantage of a surprise, was in reality four miles shorter.

The only difficulty was the transport of our artillery, but as we merely carried those light field-pieces called "curricle guns," and had no want of numbers to draw them, this was not an obstacle of much moment. With fifty, sometimes sixty peasants to a gun, they advanced, at a run, up places where our infantry found the ascent sufficiently toilsome. Here, indeed, our allies showed in the most favorable colors we had yet seen them. The prospect of a fight seemed to excite their spirits almost to madness; every height they surmounted they would break into a wild cheer, and the vigor with which they tugged the heavy ammunition carts through the deep and spongy soil never interfered with the joyous shouts they gave, and the merry songs they chanted in rude chorus.

[Pg 369]

"Tra, la, la! the French is comin',
What'll now the red coats do?
Maybe they won't get a drubbin?
Sure we'll lick them black and blue!
"Ye little knew the day was near ye,
Ye little thought they'd come so far;
But here's the boys that never fear ye—
Run, yer sowls, for Castlebar!"

To this measure they stepped in time, and although the poetry was lost upon our ignorance, the rattling joyousness of the air sounded pleasantly, and our men, soon catching up the tune, joined heartily in the chorus.

Another very popular melody ran somewhat thus:

"Our day is now begun,
Says the Shan van voght.
Our day is now begun,
Says the Shan van voght.
Our day is now begun,
And ours is all the fun!
Be my sowl, ye'd better run!
Says the Shan van voght!"

There was something like a hundred verses to this famous air, but it is more than likely, from the specimen given above, that my reader will forgive the want of memory that leaves me unable to quote others; nor is it necessary that I should add, that the merit of these canticles lay in the hoarse accord of a thousand rude voices, heard in the stillness of a wild mountain region, and at a time when an eventful struggle was before us; such were the circumstances which possibly made these savage rhymes assume something of terrible meaning.

We had just arrived at the entrance of Burnageeragh, when one of our mounted scouts rode up to say, that a peasant, who tended cattle on the mountains, had evidently observed our approach, and hastened into Castlebar with the tidings.

It was difficult to make General Humbert understand this fact.

"Is this the patriotism we have heard so much of? Are these the people that would welcome us as deliverers? Parbleu! I've seen nothing but lukewarmness or downright opposition since I landed! In that same town we have just quitted—a miserable hole, too, was it—what was the first sight that greeted us? a fellow in our uniform hanging from the stanchion of a window, with an inscription round his neck, to the purport that he was traitor! This is the fraternity which our Irish friends never wearied to speak of!"

Our march was now hastened, and in less than an hour we debouched from the narrow gorge into the open plain before the town of Castlebar. A few shots in our front told us that the advanced picket had fallen in with the enemy, but a French cheer also proclaimed that the Royalists had fallen back, and our march continued unmolested. The road, which was wide and level here, traversed a flat country, without hedge-row or cover, so that we were able to advance in close column, without any precaution for our flanks; but before us there was a considerable ascent, which shut out all view of the track beyond it. Up this our advanced guard was toiling, somewhat wearied with a seven hours' march and the heat of a warm morning, when scarcely had the leading files topped the ridge, than, plump went a round shot over their heads, which, after describing a fine curve, plunged into the soft surface of a newly plowed field. The troops were instantly retired behind the crest of the hill, and an orderly dispatched to inform the General that we were in face of the enemy. He had already seen the shot and marked its direction. The main body was accordingly halted, and, defiling from the centre, the troops extended on either side into the fields. While this movement was being effected Humbert rode forward, and crossing the ridge, reconnoitred the enemy.

It was, as he afterward observed, a stronger force than he had anticipated, consisting of between three and four thousand bayonets, with four squadrons of horse, and two batteries of eight guns, the whole admirably posted on a range of heights, in front of the town, and completely covering it.

The ridge was scarcely eight hundred yards' distance, and so distinctly was every object seen, that Humbert and his two aids-de-camp were at once marked and fired at, even in the few minutes during which the "reconnoissance" lasted.

As the General retired the firing ceased, and now all our arrangements were made without molestation of any kind. They were, indeed, of the simplest and speediest. Two companies of our grenadiers were marched to the front, and in advance of them about twenty paces were posted a body of Irish in French uniforms. This place being assigned them, it was said, as a mark of honor, but in reality for no other purpose than to draw on them the Royalist artillery, and thus screen the grenadiers.

Under cover of this force came two light six-pounder guns, loaded with grape, and intended to be discharged at point-blank distance. The infantry brought up the rear in three compact columns, ready to deploy into line at a moment.

In these very simple tactics no notice whatever was taken of the great rabble of Irish who hung upon our flanks and rear in disorderly masses, cursing, swearing, and vociferating in all the license of insubordination; and O'Donnel, whose showy uniform contrasted strikingly with the dark blue coat and low glazed cocked hat of Humbert, was now appealed to by his countrymen as to the reason of this palpable slight.

"What does he want? what does the fellow say?" asked Humbert, as he noticed his excited gestures and passionate manner.

"He is remonstrating, sir," replied I, "on the neglect of his countrymen; he says that they do not seem treated like soldiers; no post has been assigned nor any order given them."

"Tell him, sir," said Humbert, with a savage grin, "that the discipline we have tried in vain to teach them hitherto, we'll not venture to rehearse[Pg 370] under an enemy's fire; and tell him also that he and his ragged followers are free to leave us, or, if they like better, to turn against us, at a moment's warning."

I was saved the unpleasant task of interpreting this civil message by Conolly who, taking O'Donnel aside, appeared endeavoring to reason with him, and reduce him to something like moderation.

"There, look at them, they're running like sheep!" cried Humbert, laughing, as he pointed to an indiscriminate rabble, some hundred yards off, in a meadow, and who had taken to their heels on seeing a round shot plunge into the earth near them. "Come along, sir: come with me, and when you have seen what fire is, you may go back and tell your countrymen! Serazin, is all ready? Well then, forward. March!"

"March!" was now re-echoed along the line, and steadily, as on a parade, our hardy infantry stepped out, while the drums kept up a continued roll as we mounted the hill.

The first to cross the crest of the ascent were the "Legion," as the Irish were called, who, dressed like French soldiers, were selected for some slight superiority in discipline and bearing. They had but gained the ridge, however, when a well-directed shot from a six-pounder smashed in among them, killing two and wounding six or seven others. The whole mass immediately fell back on our grenadiers. The confusion compelled the supporting column to halt, and once more the troops were retired behind the hill.

"Forward men, forward!" cried Humbert, riding up to the front, and in evident impatience at these repeated checks; and now the grenadiers passed to the front, and, mounting the height, passed over, while a shower of balls flew over and around them. A small slated house stood half way down the hill, and for this the leading files made a dash, and gained it, just as the main body were, for the third time, driven back to re-form.

It was now evident that an attack in column could not succeed against a fire so admirably directed; and Humbert quickly deployed into line, and prepared to storm the enemy's position.

Up to this the conduct of the Royalists had been marked by the greatest steadiness and determination. Every shot from their batteries had told, and all promised an easy and complete success to their arms. No sooner, however, had our infantry extended into line, than the militia, unaccustomed to see an enemy before them, and unable to calculate distance, opened a useless, dropping fire, at a range where not a bullet could reach!

The ignorance of this movement, and the irregularity of the discharge, were not lost upon our fellows, most of whom were veterans of the army of the Rhine; and, with a loud cheer of derision, our troops advanced to meet them, while a cloud of skirmishers dashed forward, and secured themselves under cover of a hedge.

Even yet, however, no important advantage had been gained by us; and if the Royalists had kept their ground in support of their artillery, we must have been driven back with loss; but, fortunately for us, a movement we made to keep open order was mistaken by some of the militia officers for the preparation to outflank them, a panic seized the whole line, and they fell back, leaving their guns totally exposed and unprotected.

"They're running! they're running!" was the cry along our line; and now a race was seen, which should be first up with the artillery. The cheers at this moment were tremendous from our "allies," who, having kept wide aloof hitherto, were now up with us, and, more lightly equipped than we were, soon took the lead. The temerity, however, was costly, for three several times did the Royalist artillery load and fire; and each discharge, scarcely at half-musket range, was terribly effective.

We were by no means prepared for either so sudden or complete a success, and the scene was exciting in the highest degree, as the whole line mounted the hill, cheering madly. From the crest of this rising ground we could now see the town of Castlebar beneath us, into which the Royalists were scampering at full speed. A preparation for defending the bridge into the town did not escape the watchful eyes of our general, who again gave the word "Forward!" not by the road alone, but also by the fields at either side, so as to occupy the houses that should command the bridge, and which, by a palpable neglect, the others had forgotten to do.

Our small body of horse, about twenty hussars, were ordered to charge the bridge; and had they been even moderately well mounted, must have captured the one gun of the enemy at once; but the miserable cattle, unable to strike a canter, only exposed them to a sharp musketry; and when they did reach the bridge, five of their number had fallen. The six-pounder was, however, soon taken, and the gunners sabred at their posts, while our advanced guard coming up, completed the victory; and nothing now remained but a headlong flight.

Had we possessed a single squadron of dragoons, few could have escaped us, for not a vestige of discipline remained. All was wild confusion and panic. Such of the officers as had ever seen service, were already killed or badly wounded; and the younger ones were perfectly unequal to the difficult task of rallying or restoring order to a routed force.

The scene in the market-square, as we rode in, is not easily to be forgotten; about two hundred prisoners were standing in a group, disarmed, it is true, but quite unguarded, and without any preparation or precaution against escape!

Six or seven English officers, among whom were two majors, were gathered around General Humbert, who was conversing with them in tones of easy and jocular familiarity. The captured guns of the enemy (fourteen in all) were being ranged on one side of the square, while[Pg 371] behind them were drawn up a strange-looking line of men, with their coats turned. These were part of the Kilkenny militia, who had deserted to our ranks after the retreat began.

Such was the "fight" of Castlebar; it would be absurd to call it a "battle;" a day too inglorious for the Royalists to reflect any credit upon us; but, such as it was, it raised the spirits of our Irish followers to a pitch of madness; and, out of our own ranks, none now doubted in the certainty of Irish independence.

Our occupation of the town lasted only a week; but, brief as the time was, it was sufficient to widen the breach between ourselves and our allies into an open and undisguised hatred. There were, unquestionably, wrongs on both sides. As for us, we were thoroughly, bitterly disappointed in the character of those we had come to liberate; and, making the egregious mistake of confounding these semi-civilized peasants with the Irish people, we deeply regretted that ever the French army should have been sent on so worthless a mission. As for them, they felt insulted and degraded by the offensive tone we assumed toward them. Not alone they were never regarded as comrades, but a taunting insolence of manner was assumed in all our dealings with them, very strikingly in contrast to that with which we conducted ourselves toward all the other inhabitants of the island, even those who were avowedly inimical to our object and our cause.

These things, with native quickness, they soon remarked. They saw the consideration and politeness with which the Bishop and his family were treated; they saw several Protestant gentlemen suffered to return to their homes "on parole." They saw, too—worst grievance of all—how all attempts at pillage were restrained, or severely punished, and they asked themselves, "To what end a revolt, if neither massacre nor robbery were to follow? If they wanted masters and rulers, sure they had the English that they were used to, and could at least understand."

Such were the causes, and such the reasonings, which gradually ate deeper and deeper into their minds, rendering them at first sullen, gloomy, and suspicious, and at last insubordinate, and openly insulting to us.

Their leaders were the first to exhibit this state of feeling. Affecting a haughty disdain for us, they went about with disparaging stories of the French soldiery; and at last went even so far as to impugn their courage!

In one of the versions of the affair of Castlebar, it was roundly asserted, that but for the Irish threatening to fire on them, the French would have turned and fled; while in another, the tactics of that day were all ascribed to the military genius of Neal Kerrigan, who, by-the-by, was never seen from early morning until late the same afternoon, when he rode into Castlebar on a fine bay horse that belonged to Captain Shortall of the Royal Artillery!

If the feeling between us and our allies was something less than cordial, nothing could be more friendly than that which subsisted between us and such of the Royalists as we came in contact with. The officers who became our prisoners were treated with every deference and respect. Two field-officers and a captain of carbineers dined daily with the General, and Serazin entertained several others. We liked them greatly; and I believe I am not flattering if I say that they were equally satisfied with us. "Nos âmis l'ennemie," was the constant expression used in talking of them; and every day drew closer the ties of this comrade regard and esteem.

Such was the cordial tone of intimacy maintained between us, that I remember well, one evening at Humbert's table, an animated discussion being carried on between the General and an English staff-officer on the campaign itself—the Royalist averring, that, in marching southward at all, a gross and irreparable mistake had been made, and that if the French had occupied Sligo, and extended their wings toward the north, they would have secured a position of infinitely greater strength, and also become the centre for rallying round them a population of a very different order from the half-starved tribes of Mayo.

Humbert affected to say that the reason for his actual plan was, that twenty thousand French were daily expected to land in Lough Swilly, and that the western attack was merely to occupy time and attention, while the more formidable movement went on elsewhere.

I know not if the English believed this; I rather suspect not. Certes, they were too polite to express any semblance of distrust of what was told them with all the air of truth.

It was amusing, too, to see the candor with which each party discussed the other to his face; the French general criticising all the faulty tactics and defective manœuvres of the Royalists; while the English never hesitated to aver, that whatever momentary success might wait upon the French arms, they were just as certain to be obliged to capitulate in the end.

"You know it better than I do, General," said the Major of Dragoons. "It may be a day or two earlier or later, but the issue will and must be—a surrender."

"I don't agree with you," said Humbert, laughing; "I think there will be more than one 'Castlebar.' But let the worst happen, and you must own that your haughty country has received a heavy insult—your great England has got a soufflét in the face of all Europe!"

This, which our General regarded as a great compensation—the greatest, perhaps, he could receive for all defeat—did not seem to affect the English with proportionate dismay, nor even to ruffle the equanimity of their calm tempers.

Upon one subject both sides were quite agreed—that the peasantry never could aid, but very possibly would always shipwreck, every attempt to win national independence.

"I should have one army to fight the English, and two to keep down the Irish!" was Humbert's[Pg 372] expression; and very little experience served to show that there was not much exaggeration in the sentiment.

Our week at Castlebar taught us a good lesson in this respect. The troops, wearied with a march that had begun on the midnight of the day before, and with an engagement that lasted from eight till two in the afternoon, were obliged to be under arms for several hours, to repress pillage and massacre. Our allies now filled the town, to the number of five thousand, openly demanding that it should be given up to them, parading the streets in riotous bands, and displaying banners with long lists of names, doomed for immediate destruction.

The steadiness and temper of our soldiery were severely tried by these factious and insubordinate spirits; but discipline prevailed at last, and before the first evening closed in, the town was quiet, and, for the time, at least, danger over.

(To be continued.)




The afternoon was come when the Morells must go on board. They were going to Canada at last, after having talked about it for several years. There were so many children, that it was with much difficulty they had got on for some years past; and there was no prospect for the lads at home. They had, with extreme difficulty, paid their way: and they had, to a certain extent, educated the children. That, however, was Miss Smith's doing.

"We shall always feel, every one of us," said Mrs. Morell, with tears, to the elderly homely governess, "that we are under the deepest obligations to you. But for you, the children would have grown up without any education at all. And, for the greatest service you or any one could possibly render us, we have never been able to give you your due—even as regards the mere money."

"I can only say again," replied the governess, "that you do not look at the whole of the case. You have given me a home, when it is no easy matter for such as I am to earn one, with my old-womanish ways and my old-fashioned knowledge."

"I will not hear any disparagement of your ways and your knowledge," interrupted Mrs. Morell. "They have been every thing to my children: and if you could have gone with us...."

This, however, they all knew to be out of the question. It was not only that Miss Smith was between fifty and sixty, too old to go so far, with little prospect of comfort at the end of the journey; but she was at present disabled for much usefulness by the state of her right hand. It had been hurt by an accident a long time before, and it did not get well. The surgeon had always said it would be a long case; and she had no use whatever of the hand in the mean time. Yet she would not part with the baby till the last moment. She carried him on the left arm, and stood on the wharf with him—the mother at her side—till all the rest were on board, and Mr. Morell came for his wife. It was no grand steamer they were going in, but a humble vessel belonging to the port, which would carry them cheap.

"Now, my love," said the husband. "Now, Miss Smith," taking the child from her. "Words can not tell...."

And if words could have told, the tongue could not have uttered them. It was little, too, that his wife could say.

"Write to us. Be sure you write. We shall write as soon as we arrive. Write to us."

Miss Smith glanced at the hand. She said only one word, "Farewell!" but she said it cheerfully.

The steamer-tug was in a hurry, and down the river they went. She had one more appointment to keep with them. She was to wave her handkerchief from the rocks by the fort; and the children were to let her try whether she could see their little handkerchiefs. So she walked quickly over the common to the fort, and sat down on the beach at the top of the rocks.

It was very well that she had something to do. But the plan did not altogether answer. By the time the vessel crossed the bar it was nearly dark, and she was not quite sure, among three, which it was, and she did not suppose the children could see her handkerchief. She waved it, however, according to promise. How little they knew how wet it was!

Then there was the walk home. It was familiar, yet very strange. When she was a child her parents used to bring her here, in the summer time, for sea air and bathing. The haven and the old gray bathing houses, and the fort, and the lighthouse, and the old priory ruins crowning the rocks, were all familiar to her; but the port had so grown up that all else was strange. And how strange now was life to her! Her parents gone, many years back, and her two sisters since; and now, the Morells! She had never had any money to lose, and the retired way in which the Morells lived had prevented her knowing any body out of their house. She had not a relation, nor a friend, nor even an acquaintance, in England. The Morells had not been uneasy about her. They left her a little money, and had so high an opinion of her that they did not doubt her being abundantly employed, whenever her hand should get well. They had lived too much to themselves to know that her French, learned during the war, when nobody in England could pronounce French, would not do in these days, nor that her trilling, old-fashioned style of playing on the piano, which they thought so beautiful, would be laughed at now in any boarding school; and that her elegant needleworks were quite out of fashion; and that there were new ways of teaching even reading, spelling, and writing.

[Pg 373]

She knew these things, and cautioned herself against discontent with the progress of society, because she happened to be left alone behind. She suspected, too, that the hand would not get well. The thing that she was most certain of was, that she must not rack her brain with fears and speculations as to what was to become of her. Her business was to wait till she could find something to do, or learn what she was to suffer. She thought she had better wait here. There was no call to any other place. This was more familiar and more pleasant to her than any other—the Morells' cottage being far away, and out of the question—and here she could live with the utmost possible cheapness. So here she staid.

The hand got well, as far as the pain was concerned, sooner than she had expected. But it was in a different way from what she had expected. It was left wholly useless. And, though the time was not long, it had wrought as time does. It had worn out her clothes; it had emptied her little purse. It had carried away every thing she had in the world but the very few clothes she had on. She had been verging toward the resolution she now took for three or four weeks. She took it finally while sitting on the bench near the fort. It was in the dusk; for her gown, though she had done her best to mend it with her left hand, was in no condition to show by daylight. She was alone in the dusk, rather hungry and very cold. The sea was dashing surlily upon the rocks below, and there was too much mist to let any stars shine upon her. It was all dreary enough; yet she was not very miserable, for her mind was made up. She had made up her mind to go into the workhouse the next day. While she was thinking calmly about it a fife began to play a sort of jig in the yard of the fort behind her. Her heart heaved to her throat, and the tears gushed from her eyes. In this same spot, fifty years before, she had heard what seemed to her the same fife. Her father was then sitting on the grass, and she was between his knees, helping to tassel the tail of a little kite they were going to fly: and, when the merry fife had struck up, her father had snatched up her gay harlequin that lay within reach, and made him shake his legs and arms to the music. She heard her own laugh again now, through that long course of fifty years, and in the midst of these tears.

All that night she pondered her purpose: and the more she considered, the more sure she was that it was right. "I might," thought she, "get maintained by charity, no doubt: I might call on any of the clergymen of this place, and the rich people. Or I might walk into the shops and tell my story, and I dare say the people would give me food and clothes. And, if it was a temporary distress, I would do so. I should think it right to ask for help, if I had any prospect of work or independence in any way. But I have none: and this, I am convinced, points out my duty. Hopeless cases like mine are those which public charity—legal charity—is intended to meet. My father little dreamed of this, to be sure; and the Morells little dream of it at this moment. But when do our parents and friends, when do we ourselves dream of what our lot is really to turn out? Those old notions have nothing to do, if we could but think so, with the event. Nor has my disgust any thing to do with my duty. The plain fact is, that I am growing old—that I am nearly helpless—that I am cold and hungry, and nearly naked—that I have no friends within reach, and no prospect whatever. I am, therefore, an object for public charity, and I will ask for what is my due. I am afraid of what I may find in the workhouse—the vicious people, the dirty people, the diseased people—and, I suppose, not one among them who can give me any companionship whatever. It is dreadful; but it can't be helped. And the worse the case is about my companions—my fellow-paupers—(for I must learn to bear the word)—the greater are the chances of my finding something to do for them—something which may prevent my feeling myself utterly useless in the world. This is not being wholly without prospect, after all. I suppose nobody ever is. If it were not so cold now, I could sleep upon mine."

It was too cold for sleep; and when, in the morning, she offered her old shawl in payment for her bed, assuring the poor old woman who let it that she should not want the shawl, because she was going to have other clothes, the woman shook her head sorrowfully—her lodger looked so wan and chilled. She had no fear that there was any thought of suicide in the case. No one could look in Miss Smith's sensible face, and hear her steady, cheerful voice, and suppose that she would do any thing wild or impatient.

"Who is that woman with a book in her hand?" inquired the visiting commissioner, some months afterward, of the governor of the workhouse. The governor could only say she was a single woman of the name of Smith, who had no use of her right hand. As to who she was, he could tell no more than this; but his wife had sometimes mentioned her as a different sort of person from those they generally saw there. She could not only read, but she read very well; and she read a great deal aloud to the old people, and in the infirmary. She talked unlike the rest, too. She said little; but her language was good, and always correct. She could not do much on account of her infirmity: but she was always willing to do what could be done with one hand; and she must have been very handy when she had the use of both.

"I should have thought her eyes had been too weak for much reading," observed the commissioner. "Has the medical officer attended to her?"

The governor called his wife: and the wife called a pauper woman who was told the question. This woman said that it was not exactly a case for the doctor. Nobody that shed so many tears could have good eyes. Ah! the[Pg 374] governor might be surprised; because Smith seemed so brisk in the daytime, and cheered the old people so much. But she made up for it at night. Many and many a time she cried the night through.

"How do you know?" asked the commissioner.

"I sleep in the next bed, sir. I can't say she disturbs any body; for she is very quiet. But if any thing keeps me awake I hear her sobbing. And you need but feel her pillow in the morning. It is wet almost through."

"And does that happen often?"

"Yes, sir. Many a time when she has turned her back—gone into the infirmary, or been reading to the old people—I have got her pillow and dried it. And I have seen her do it herself, with a smile on her face all the time."

The commissioner walked away. Before he left the place, the woman Smith was beckoned out by the governor. She went with a beating heart, with some wild idea in her head that the Morells had sent, that some friends had turned up. While still in the passage, however, she said to herself that she might as well look to see her parents risen from the dead.

The commissioner had, indeed, nothing to tell. He wanted to ask. He did ask, as much as his delicacy would allow. But he learned nothing; except, indeed, what he ought to have considered the most important thing, the state of her mind about being there. About that she was frank enough. She said over again to him what she had said to herself, about this being the right place for one in her circumstances. She considered that it would be an abuse of private charity for her to be maintained in idleness at an expense which might set forward in life some person in a less hopeless position.

"You speak cheerfully, as if you were in earnest," said the commissioner.

"Of course, I am in earnest," she replied.

And cheerful she remained throughout the conversation. Only once the commissioner saw her eyes filled, and a quiver on her lips. He did not know it; but he had unconsciously called her "Madam."

Would she prefer the children's department of the house? There was no doubt that she could teach them much. Would she change her quarters? No. She was too old now for that. She should not be a good companion now for children; and they would be too much for her. Unless she was wanted—

By no means. She should be where she preferred to be.

She preferred to be where she was. The commissioner's lady soon after dropped in, and managed to engage Smith in conversation. But there was no result; because Smith did not choose that there should be. Perhaps she was more in the infirmary; and had oftener a warm seat by the fire, and was spoken to with more deference. But this might be solely owing to the way she made with the people by her own acts and manners. The invalids and the infirm grew so fond of her that they poured out to her all their complaints. She was favored with the knowledge of every painful sensation as it passed, and every uneasy thought as it arose.

"I never thought to die in such a place as this," groaned old Johnny Jacks.

"I wonder at that," said his old wife; "for you never took any care to provide yourself a better—to say nothing of me." And she went on to tell how Johnny had idled and drank his life away, and brought her here at last. Much of Johnny's idling and drinking having been connected with electioneering in an abominably venal city, he was a great talker on politics, and the state was made responsible for all his troubles. He said it was a shame that any body should die in a workhouse; he appealed to his neighbor Smith, who was warming his broth, whether it was not so?

"Which is best?" she answered; "being here, or on a common, or the sea-sands? Because," she added, "there was a time when old people like us were left to die wherever they fell. There are countries now where old people die so. I should not like that."

"You don't mean to say that you or any one likes being here?"

"Oh, no; I don't mean to say that. But things are better than they were once: and they may be better again."

"I shall not live to see that," groaned Johnny.

"No; nor I. But it is something to think of."

"D—— it," said Johnny, "I am not the better for any good that does not happen to me, nor to any body I know."

"Are not you?" said neighbor Smith. "Well, now, I am."

And so she was to the end. She died in that infirmary, and not very long after. When the Morells' letter came, it was plain that they had enough to do to take care of themselves. So she did not let them know—in her reply, written by the hands of the schoolmaster—where she was. The letter was so cheerful that they are probably far from suspecting, at this moment, how she died and was buried. As "from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh," there was so much in her letter as rather surprised them about her hope and expectation that the time would come, when hearty work in the vigorous season of life should secure its easy close; and when a greater variety of employment should be opened to women. There was more of this kind of speculation, and less news and detail of facts than they would have liked. But it was a household event to have a letter from Miss Smith; and the very little children, forgetting the wide sea they had passed, began shouting for Miss Smith to come to them just (as it happened) when her ear was closing to every human voice.


One day during the war, when the Orders in Council were producing more mischief in our[Pg 375] manufacturing districts than those decrees of Napoleon upon which they were meant to retaliate, the city of —— was thrown into consternation by the news that Mr. Woodcock had failed. Bad news had become so frequent of late that any ordinary mishap would have been received with a sigh and a few shakes of the head, and then have been forgotten in the next incident that occurred; but that Mr. Woodcock should fail came upon the city like a great fire, or an earthquake, or the news that Napoleon had really landed on the neighboring coast. The ladies wept, as when the news came of Lord Nelson's death; the gentlemen met at one another's houses to see if any thing could be done. The poorest people in the street spoke of it as of a personal misfortune. And so it was to them, for Mr. Woodcock had always been as kind a neighbor as he was an upright magistrate. He had been sheriff and alderman; and then his portrait, in his robes, had been hung up among those of the mayors in the city hall. In that hall his mayoralty feasts had been of the highest order ever given; and his balls in the assembly rooms were talked of years after others were forgotten. Liberal as his expenditure had been, well as his wife was always dressed, and large as were his benefactions in the city, there was no sign of extravagance in himself or his household; but, on the contrary, so much prudence and sagacity, that he was as much consulted for his wisdom as appealed to for his benevolence. Therefore, when the news spread from house to house that Mr. Woodcock had failed, the first remark made by every hearer was that there could be no fault in the case.

There was no fault. A sudden depreciation in the value of his stock—a fall which no wisdom could have foreseen or guarded against, was the cause of the misfortune. And the mischief done was small to any but the Woodcocks themselves. There were no tradesmen's bills. The deficiency was small; for Mr. Woodcock had stopped the very hour that he had reason to fear that he was insolvent, and his few creditors were those who had profited largely by their preceding engagements with him. Not an ill word was known to be spoken against him or his; but many a kind and sorrowful one when the family removed from their sunny house near the cathedral, and went, with one servant, into a small "right up," just outside the city; and when the phaeton was laid down, and young Master Edward's pony was sold, and Mrs. Woodcock was seen going to market, dressed as plainly as any Quaker.

Hitherto they had never been thought proud. Now people began to think them so—Mrs. Woodcock certainly—and perhaps her husband, too. He grew very grave, and more retired and dignified than formerly. Mrs. Woodcock had always been remarkably clever. But for the high principle and sound judgment which gave moral weight to what she said, her sayings would have been sharp and satirical. Now there was more sharpness and satire, and they showed the more, from her saying less, and carrying herself in a higher manner. Her intimate friends knew that a single mortification lay heavy at her heart, and made her more unhappy than she acknowledged to herself. She was grieving for the blight which had come upon the prospects of her only child—"my Edward," as she was wont to call him—she, from whom tender words were very rare.

Her Edward was a clever boy—a very clever boy, and such a wag that other boys did not care about his cleverness in any other direction. He made such capital fun wherever he went that it was a secondary matter that he could learn whatever he chose in no time, and do better than the best whatever he set about. He had his mother's keen, observant—one might say, experienced eye, under his curly light hair. He was not a handsome boy, but he had a bright, healthy face; brows that he knit very close when he was learning his lessons; and a mouth so incessantly working with fun that the question was how he ever kept grave while within the cathedral walls on Sundays. He had been destined, however, to spend a good many hours of gravity in a church, in the course of his life; for he was to have been a clergyman. It was the overthrow of this aim which was the heavy mortification to Mrs. Woodcock. Her husband thought they must give up the idea of a university education for Edward, and prepare him for trade. The mother tried to remember that we do not know what is good for us, and that it might possibly be better for her son to be in trade; but when some such reflection was immediately followed by a few sarcasms on human life or human beings, her husband knew that she had been thinking how her Edward would have been sure to distinguish himself at Oxford, if he could have been allowed to show what he could do.

Before many years all was bright again. A good fortune was unexpectedly left to Mr. Woodcock. First, he paid all his creditors, debts, interest, and compound interest. Then he went into his old house again; and his old servants came back to him joyfully. His fellow-citizens made him mayor again; and the guild-feast was as handsome as before. There are many now who remember Edward's curly head in the mayor's carriage, and the wonder of his school-fellows as to how the boy would behave at the great dinner, among all the grown-up people. He sat beside his mother; and she would not laugh, say what he might, more than became her position as hostess to six hundred people. He asked the young ladies to dance very properly at the ball afterward; but he amused them so excessively that they were almost glad at last to change partners and rest from laughing. What a thing this would be to remember when he became a bishop! Of course the university was again before him; and his mother was now as gracious and right-minded in her shrewdness as ever.

Before Edward went to Oxford his father died. The honest and benign face, under the[Pg 376] brown wig, was no more seen in the market-place, nor was the cheerful voice, with a reasoning tone, heard in the magistrates' hall; nor, for a while, were pleasant parties assembled in the bright and handsome drawing-room, before whose windows the cathedral tower and spire uprose in the sunset, like a sculptured mountain reflecting the western lights. In those summer evenings the mother was seen, leaning on her son's arm, taking the last walks with him before his going to Oxford.

There was less gossip about the Woodcocks than might have been expected by those who hear much of the vulgarities of provincial towns. Edward gave such fair occasion for talk, that it is surprising there was not more of it. When he came home for the first vacation it was remarked—it could not but be remarked—that he and his mother were rarely seen together. When once she had his arm, he did not at all condescend to her short stature; he twirled his cane about, fidgeted, and struck the pebbles as he walked. But he was often seen galloping out of the city on a spirited horse, or lounging near the news-room, or lolling out of the window of the billiard-room there. His mother walked alone. She was seldom visible when neighbors called; and, when found at home, she appeared to be growing caustic again. With this there was a slight affectation about her son; a little ostentation about deriving all her information from Oxford, or from Edward's lips. "My son writes"—"My son tells me"—was the preface to most things she said. One incident which occurred during this vacation could not escape remark. She was now just out of mourning, and had declared her intention of inviting her friends again, as soon as Edward should come home. She had one party the week after his arrival. He did not appear. Flushed, fidgety, and with that knit of the brow which in her countenance told so much, she exerted herself to the very utmost, talking and setting every body talking, moving about and letting nobody sit too long. Some of the party had to return home through the market-place that summer night. The windows of the billiard-room were open, and it was well lighted; and among the moving figures within they perfectly distinguished Edward Woodcock.

After that vacation, it was long—I think it must have been three years—before he appeared again at home. Little was said, but much was understood, of the weariness of those years to his mother. It was known that there had somehow been losses. Her great charities were much contracted. She went out so little that she had no occasion for any kind of carriage; but the livery-servant disappeared. If any stranger called or met her, she still said, when college or church was mentioned, "My son is intended for the Church;" but it was as if she was stung to say it. It was said so tartly that the conversation never lingered upon the Church. As for old acquaintances, they found it required some resolution now to go to the house—Mrs. Woodcock's manner had become so sharp, and her eye so suspicious. One autumn she was going to the sea. It was only twenty miles off; but it was long since she had gone from home at all. A family of neighbors were there, too, and they saw what they can never forget. Now and then she walked alone, frowning, and lost in thought, along the cliffs. Sometimes she sat on a bench below, glancing about up and down the sands, and turning restlessly when any footstep approached. Oftener she sat at an open window, in a little common, ugly cap and a cheap gown, gazing at the jetty below.

And why at the jetty? Because he was there. Hardly any one would have known it was he, but for the direction of his mother's gaze. His bright eyes were hidden under green goggles; his once curly hair was lank and thin; it is impossible to fancy the cheeks of a living person more hollow—the whole face more ghastly. He walked with two sticks; but his time was spent chiefly in sitting at the end of the jetty or the window of the billiard-room, quizzing, giggling, and striving after a mirth which brought tears from some who were within hearing. His giggle was a convulsion; his quizzing was slander; his mirth was blasphemy. He once or twice appeared in his native place, painfully making his way to the billiard-room; and once with his mother on his arm: but it is thought that they met such looks in the streets—such astonishment—such involuntary grief—that they could not bear it; at least, she could not; and he ceased to appear.

He was heard of for two years more. Not in connection with the Church. No one could, for shame, join the ideas of Edward Woodcock and the Church. In connection with Oxford he was often spoken of. Mothers of sons trembled, and even fathers doubted, when they were told that Edward Woodcock's case was by no means a remarkable one. He had lost his ability altogether under the exhaustion of disease and dissipation. He had lost his health in debauchery; he had lost his money and his mother's fortune in gaming: but so had many other young men of promise equal to his. If any asked how such things could be common in such a place, some answered that they did not know, and others had always been told they could not be helped.

At last Mrs. Woodcock's door was closed against all visitors except the physician. Edward was there; and he was dying. Great decorum and tenderness were observed about the secrets of that dreary house; but it was known to those who most cared to know that there was no solace to the mother's heart—no softening of the son's. He treated her like a servant; and in the way that good-natured people never treat servants. He repelled her affection; he mocked.... But I can not dwell on this.

One summer morning the hearse and two mourning coaches were seen moving from the door under the shady trees in the close. Old friends hardly knew whether to be glad or sorry[Pg 377] that all was over. They would have been glad if there had been any domestic resource for the mother; any other survivor to make the old home somewhat like itself. But was ever any worn-out being more lonely? One old acquaintance, by no means an intimate friend, saw that it would now be right to go. She dreaded the visit inexpressibly; but she saw that it was right to go. She went; and she shed a lapful of tears when she came home.

She found Mrs. Woodcock immeasurably more haughty than ever before. She could scarcely rise at first from the rheumatism she had caught by night-watching; and when she sat down on her faded old sofa she worked her thumbs and twitched her fingers as if impatient of her visitor, and cut short or contradicted every thing that was said. She still harped on Oxford; on which, however, it was impossible to say any thing to please her. At last—whether it was that the effort was of itself too much for her, or that old tones of voice and a kindly expression of countenance touched the spring of tears, I do not know—but she was overtaken by such a passion of weeping as it was heart-rending to witness. She well-nigh choked before she would acknowledge her own tears; but when she laid her head against the back of the sofa, her sobs shook the very room. She did not stop speaking for this. She said but one thing, but she said it incessantly. "Don't pity me, Mrs. A——. I can not bear to be pitied. I am not at all unhappy. I can not bear to be pitied. You must not pity me," and so on.

Such a life could not last long. I forget exactly how long it was. Probably, in the suspense of our compassion, it seemed longer than it would now in the retrospect. It could not, I think, have been many months before the hearse was again moving away from the door under the trees, and we felt that the household which had been once so much to the city was extinguished. Nothing was left but that which still remains—the portrait of the mayor in his robes in the great hall, and the aching remembrance in many hearts of the fate of his wife and only child.


"Where is Jemima? I want Jemima," said a feeble voice, interrupted by coughing, from a bed in a sick room.

"My dear," said an elderly woman, who entered through an open door from the west chamber, "Jemima is gone to lie down. What can I do for you?"

"I want Jemima," was the reply: and Jemima appeared. In she came, with her young, innocent, chubby face, looking as fresh as if she had been accustomed of late to sleep every night, as other people do, whereas she had been night and day for some weeks, by the bedside of her mistress, who was dying of consumption. Her master was very ill too, and the whole of the nursing rested upon his mother, and upon this, their little maid-of-all-work, who was then fifteen.

When Jemima had comforted and refreshed her poor mistress, the mother-in-law whispered to her that she must go and lie down again; but Jemima said a little fresh air would do her more good than lying down with the feeling that she was wanted. The medicines for the evening had not come, and she would go for them, and to the grocer's.

Thus it went on to the end. Jemima always found that her best refreshment was in doing something that was wanted. She was always at her mistress's call; and, when that call was unreasonable, she was the first to observe that dying persons did not always know the night from the day, or judge how time went with other people, when it was all so long to them, and they could get no rest. When the funeral was over, her elder mistress made her go to bed for nearly a week. At first she cried so much, as she lay thinking of the one who was gone, that she would rather have been up and busy; but soon a deep sleep fell upon her; and when she rose, her face was as chubby and her voice as cheerful as ever.

The same scene had to be gone over with her master. He died of consumption two months after his wife. As there were now two nurses to one patient, Jemima's work was not quite so trying; but she did more than most trained nurses could have done. When the funeral was over, she helped the bereaved mother to clear the house, and put away every thing belonging to those that lay in the church-yard. The tears were often running down her cheeks; but her voice was always cheerful, as she said things were best as they were, her friends having gone together to a better place.

One summer evening, when Mr. and Mrs. Barclay and their family returned from a walk, they found at their door a genteel-looking little girl, who had just knocked. She was in a black stuff gown, with a gray handkerchief crossed over her bosom; and a black straw hat, under which was the neatest little quaker cap. She courtesied, and said she came after the housemaid's place. Mrs. Barclay would have dismissed her at once, as too young, but for something in her face and manner which seemed to show that her mind was that of an older person. She said she was very strong, and willing to be taught and trained. Mrs. Barclay promised to inquire her character, and the inquiry settled the business.

"Ma'am," said the bereaved mother, "I would never part with Jemima, if I could by any means keep her. I never saw such a girl. It seems impossible to exhaust her, body or mind, on account, I think, of her good will." And she gave the whole story of the two illnesses. When asked what the girl's faults were, as she must have some, she said she really did not know: she supposed there must be some fault; but she had never seen any. She had known Jemima only six months, and under peculiar circumstances; she could not tell how she would get on in a regular housemaid's[Pg 378] place; but she had never had to find fault with her. Of course, Jemima went to Mrs. Barclay. Her wages were to be £5 a year at first, and to increase to £8 as she grew up, and became trained.

The training was no trouble to any body. When she had once learned where every thing was in the house, and what were the hours and ways of the family, her own sense and quickness did the rest. She was the first person awake and up. She never lost, or broke, or forgot any thing. Never, during the years of her service, was there a dusty, dark corner in her pantry, nor a lock of "slut's wool" under any bed, nor a streaky glass on the sideboard, nor a day when the cloth was not laid to a minute. She never slammed a door; and if there was a heavy foot overhead it was not hers. She and her fellow-servants had their time, after seven in the evening, for their own work; and Jemima was a capital needlewoman, and worked for somebody else besides herself. She would ask the nursemaid to read aloud, and, in return, she would make or mend a gown for her. She reduced her own gowns, when they began to wear, for her little sister Sally. The wonder was how she could afford this, out of her small wages; but she was always nicely dressed; and she soon began to spare money for other objects which her friends thought should not have been pressed upon one in her circumstances. This was after a great change had come over her mind and life.

It was true that Jemima was not without a fault, any more than other people. Her temper was not perfectly good. Her mistress soon perceived this, by certain flashes from her eyes, and flushes of her cheeks, and quick breathing, and hurry of speaking. It was not much at first; no more than just enough to show that Jemima could be in a passion, and probably would some day. The sufferings of her deceased master and mistress had kept this down while she was with them. Their deaths had made a deep impression upon her, and had disposed her naturally religious temper to be strongly wrought upon by the first religious influence which should come in her way. A new Methodist minister had been very acceptable to the people who attended the Apple-lane meeting-house; and, within a year after going to the Barclays, Jemima requested permission to attend that place of worship, instead of following the family to their own chapel on Sundays. Mrs. Barclay was sorry, because she liked to see her servants at worship near her own pew: but Jemima was always so trustworthy, and on this occasion so earnest, that it did not seem right to deny her; and she became a member of the Apple-yard Meeting Society. Very soon she asked leave to go an hour sooner on Sunday mornings to attend class; and then to go there one evening in the week, and sometimes two. As her work was never neglected, this, too, was permitted. Very soon it appeared that she was subscribing annually, quarterly, weekly, to missionary objects and sectarian funds. How she managed it nobody could understand; but she did it and honestly. Her dress reached the last point of plainness and cheapness; but it was as neat as ever; so that it was wholly her own affair. A less pleasant change was, that her temper was far from improving. She would have none but religious books read in the kitchen, and could tolerate no singing but hymns. She winced when any body laughed. A contraction came over her open brow, and a sharpness into her once cheerful voice. Not satisfied with pressing her views upon her fellow servants, she became critical upon the ways of the family. One of their customs was to receive, on Sunday evenings, two or three young men, who living alone, liked to spend their Sunday evenings in a sociable manner. There was always Scripture-reading and prayer, and often sacred music. In summer there was a country walk; in winter cheerful conversation, with an occasional laugh, which could be heard in the kitchen. This was too much for Jemima; but a worse thing was the supper. Like most old-fashioned Dissenters, the Barclays dined at one o'clock on Sundays, and, naturally, they had some supper at nine. It was simple enough; but the servant whose turn it was to stay at home had sometimes to poach eggs or dress a cutlet; and Jemima's repugnance to this was so far from being concealed that it amounted at last to extreme impertinence; and she went so far as to express her contempt and abhorrence to the child, whom it was her business to put to bed. Her mistress always hoped that the fit of fanaticism would pass off with months or years and the sooner for not being interfered with; but this behavior could not be passed over. When the rebuke was given, poor Jemima emptied her heart completely; and very curious the contents proved to be. It appeared that she despised the family she lived with, though she was fully resolved to do her duty by them. She feared they were lost people; but they might yet be saved, and it was her business to serve them, and not to judge them. She hoped she had not failed in her duty; but her feelings and her thoughts were her own. If she must not speak them, she could hold her tongue, and bear the cross of so doing; but nobody could take them from her. There was so much that was respectable and really fine in her ardor and conscientiousness, that she was gently treated, and only forbidden to make any complaints to the younger members of the family. One most important disclosure at this time was that she was engaged to be married; not yet, but some time or other.

Her lover was a class-mate, apprenticed to a shoemaker, with two years of his apprenticeship still to run. On inquiry he was found to be thoroughly respectable as to character, diligent in his business, and likely to be an able workman. So he was allowed to call for Jemima on class evenings, and to come now and then to the house. The Barclays knew when he was[Pg 379] there by hearing a man's voice reading in the kitchen, when the door was opened, or by the psalm-singing, which needed no open doors to make itself heard.

Jemima was now, however, unsettled; not at all by her engagement, for nothing could be more sober and rational than the temper and views of the young people as regarded each other and their prospects; but the poor girl felt that she was living in a sort of bondage, while yet she could blame nobody for it. She sighed for freedom to lead the sort of religious life she wished, without interruption from persons of a different way of thinking. I believe she was nineteen or twenty when she told Mrs. Barclay what she had been planning; and Mrs. Barclay was not altogether sorry to hear about it, for Jemima had lost much of her openness and cheerfulness, bounced about when doing her work, and knocked hard with her brushes when cleaning floors overhead. There was evidently an internal irritation, which might best be relieved by total change.

The plan was for Jemima and a pious friend, about her own age, to take a room and live together, maintaining themselves by working for the upholsterers. The girls thought they could make money faster this way than at service, as both were good workwomen, and could live as cheaply as any body could live. If they found themselves mistaken they could go back to service. Jemima avowed that her object was to lay by money, as Richard and she had resolved not to marry till they could furnish their future dwelling well and comfortably. This might have been a rash scheme for most girls; but these two friends were so good and so sensible, and knew their own purposes so well, that nobody opposed their experiment.

It was really a pleasure to go and see them when they were settled. They chose their room carefully, for the sake of their work, as well as their own health. Their room was very high upstairs; but it was all the more airy for that, and they wanted plenty of light. And very light it was—with its two windows on different sides of the room. The well-boarded floor looked as clean as their table. There were plants in the windows; and there was a view completely over the chimneys of the city to the country beyond. Their most delicate work could get no soil here. They were well employed, and laid by money as fast as they expected.

Still it seemed, after a time, that Jemima was not yet happy. Her face was anxious, and her color faded. She often went to work at the Barclays; as often as Mrs. B. could find any upholstery, or other needlework, for her to do. One object was to give her a good hot dinner occasionally; for it seemed possible that she might be living too low, though she declared that this was not the case. One day she happened to be at work in the dining-room with Mrs. Barclay, when one of the young ladies went in. Jemima was bending over her work; yet Miss B. saw that her face was crimson, and heard that her voice was agitated. On a sign from her mother, the young lady withdrew. One evening the next week Richard called, and saw Mrs. Barclay alone. Little was said in the family; but in many parts of the city it became presently known that the preacher who had so revived religion among the young people was on bad terms with some of them. Either he was a profligate, or some dozen young women were slanderers. Jemima was growing thin and pale under the dread of the inquiry which must, she knew, take place. Either her own character must go, or she must help to take away that of the minister. It was no great comfort to her that Richard told her that Mrs. Barclay could and would carry her through. She had many wretched thoughts that this certainty could not reach.

It was some weeks before the business was over. The Miss Barclays and Jemima were sitting at work together, with the parlor-door open, when there was a knock, and then the shuffling of the feet of four gentlemen in the hall, just as Mrs. Barclay was coming down stairs. She invited them into the drawing-room; but the spokesman (an acquaintance of the Barclays) declined, saying that a few words would suffice; that he and his friends understood that Mrs. Barclay was thoroughly well acquainted with Jemima Brooks, and they merely wished to know whether Jemima was, in that house, considered a well-conducted young woman, whose word might be trusted. All this was heard in the parlor. Jemima's tears dropped upon her needle; but she would not give up; she worked on, as if her life depended on getting done. The young ladies had never seen her cry; and the sight moved them almost as much as their mother's voice, which they clearly heard, saying,

"I am glad you have come here, Mr. Bennett; for I can speak to Jemima Brooks's merits. She lived in my family for some years; and she is in the house at this moment. There is no one in the world whom I more cordially respect; and, when I say that I regard her as a friend, I need not tell you what I think of the value of her word."

"Quite enough, Mrs. Barclay. Quite enough. We have nothing more to ask. We are greatly obliged to you, ma'am. Good morning—good morning."

When Mrs. Barclay had seen them out, and entered the parlor, the quick yet full gaze that Jemima raised to her face was a thing never to be forgotten. Mrs. Barclay turned her face away; but immediately put on her thimble, sat down among the party, and began to tell her daughters the news from London. Jemima heard no more of this business. It is probable that the gentlemen received similar testimony with regard to the other young people implicated; for the preacher was dismissed the city, without any ceremony, and with very brief notice.

From this time might clearly be dated the decline of Jemima's spiritual pride and irritability[Pg 380] of temper. She was deeply humbled; and from under the ruins of her pride sprang richly the indigenous growth of her sweet affections. She was not a whit less religious; but she had a higher view of what religion should be. Her smile, when she met any of the Barclays in the street, and the tenderness in her voice when she spoke to them, indicated a very different state of mind from that in which she had left them.

She was looking well, and her friend and she were doing well, and Richard and she were beginning to reckon how many months, at their present rate of earning, would enable them to furnish a dwelling, and justify their going home to it, when they were called upon for a new decision, and a new scene opened in Jemima's life.

The eldest of Mrs. Barclay's sons, who had been married about two years before, was so ill as to be ordered to Madeira to save his life. There was more rashness formerly than there is now about sending persons so very ill far away from their own homes; and Madeira was then a less comfortable residence for Englishmen than it has since been made. A large country-house was taken for the invalid and his family; and all that forethought could do was done for their comfort. The very best piece of forethought was that of Mrs. Barclay, when she proposed that Jemima should be asked to go as one of their servants. Jemima asked a few days to consider; and during those few days the anxiety of the family increased as they saw how all-important the presence of such a helper would be. Nothing could be more reasonable than Jemima's explanation, when she had made up her mind. She said that if she was to engage herself for two years, and defer her marriage, it must be for the sake of some advantage to Richard, and to their affairs afterward, that she would make such a sacrifice. It was Richard's object and hers to save at present; if, therefore, she went to Madeira it must be on high wages. She would devote herself to do the best she could for the family: but she must see that Richard did not suffer by it. Of course, this was agreed to at once, and she went to Madeira.

It is always a severe and wearing trial to servants to travel in foreign countries, or remain long abroad. They usually have all the discomfort without the gratifications which their employers seek and enjoy. Their employers can speak the languages of the people among whom they go; and they have intellectual interests, historical, philosophical, or artistical, which their servants know nothing about. Thus we hear of one lady's maid who cried all through Italy, and another who scolded or sulked all the way up the hill and down again; and another who declared every morning for some weeks in the Arabian deserts that she would bear it no longer, but would go straight home—that she would. Jemima and her fellow-servants had much to bear, but she and another bore it well. The voyage was trying, the sea-sickness was bad enough; but a worse thing was, that the infant, five months' old, got no proper sleep, from the noises and moving on board; and the foundation was thus laid for brain disease, of which he died in the winter. Then, when they landed, the great house was dreadfully dirty, and wanted airing; as it was not like a dirty house in England, which can always be cleaned when desired. The Portuguese at Madeira were found to have no notion of cleanliness; and as they could speak no English, and the servants no Portuguese, the business was an irritating one. There were great privileges about the abode. The view over land and sea was most magnificent; and there was in the grounds a hedge several hundred yards long of geraniums, fuchsias, and many glorious foreign blossoms, in flower and fragrance all the winter through; and the air was the most delicious that could be breathed; but Jemima would have given all these things, at any moment, for English food, and English ways, and the sound of English church bells, or the familiar voice of her own preacher. Her master visibly declined, on the whole, and the infant pined and died. She could not but know that she was the mainstay of the party, as to their external comfort. She must have had some sweet moments in the consciousness of this. When she considered, however, the great luxury of all was watching for the English packet from the top of the house. The house itself was on the mountains, and when she and a fellow-servant went up to the flat roof, and steadied the telescope on the balustrade, they could see very far indeed over the ocean, and sometimes watched the approach of the vessel, in which she knew there was a letter from Richard, for some hours before it reached the harbor. These days of the arrival of letters were the few days of animation and good cheer of that dreary and mournful season, which was more dismal among sunshine, and flowers, and sweet airs, than the gloomiest winter the party had ever known in England. If it had been for an unlimited time, even Jemima's steady spirits could hardly have borne it; but she said to herself that it was only for two years, and she should never repent it.

It did not last two years. When the heats came on, in May, the physicians said that the invalid must go home; and in June the family embarked in the only vessel in which they could have a passage—a wine-vessel going to a French port. It was dirty, and almost without comforts. Its discomforts were too great to be dwelt upon. In the Bay of Biscay there was a dead calm, in which they lay suffering for so many days that it seemed as if they were never to get on. Under this the invalid sank. He was buried at sea. The widow and her servants landed at Bordeaux, and traveled homeward through France. Never, perhaps, had Jemima felt so happy as when she saw again the cathedral spire of her native city, and was presently met by Richard, and welcomed by the[Pg 381] grateful blessings of the Barclay family. She had well discharged her trust, and now her own domestic life was to begin.

Not immediately, however. It was a season of fearful distress in England—the year 1826, the time of the dreadful commercial crash, which, having ruined thousands of capitalists—from bankers to tradesmen—was now bringing starvation upon hundreds of thousands of artisans and laborers. Richard's business, till now a rising one, had become slack. During the few months longer that the young people waited, they bought what they could get to advantage of good furniture, and despised no small earnings. A certain clock—a thoroughly good one—was to be had for £8, which a year before would have cost £10 at least. Mrs. Barclay saw the longing there was to have this clock; while nothing like £8 was left to buy it with. She offered to buy it for them, and let them work it out; and the offer was gladly accepted. When they married she wished to send it home, but they both said they could never look at the clock in their own house without reproach while it was not truly their own. They actually craved permission to have it stand in Mr. Barclay's warehouse. Once a week they brought what money they could spare, and then they always stepped into the warehouse and took a long look at their clock; and at last the day came when they paid the last shilling, and took it home, where, no doubt, they gave it a longer gaze than ever.

Poor things! they little knew what was before them. Richard had plenty of business; and his stock of leather was used up, again and again; but, as the winter wore on, he could obtain no payment. One of the Miss Barclays, in speaking of the state of the times, thoughtlessly congratulated Jemima on her husband being a shoemaker, saying that one of the last things people could do without was shoes. A sort of spasm passed over Jemima's face when she tried to smile, and she stopped a moment before she said, very quietly, yes, that that was true: people still had shoes; but they could not pay for them. In a little while longer, she was making gowns, or doing any other sewing for any body, for any thing they could pay. As she worked, Richard sat by and read to her. He had no more leather; and there was no use trying his credit when he knew he should not get paid for the shoes he might make. At Christmas, they were sitting thus without a fire. A little later still, the Barclays found Jemima rubbing up her furniture, which was as clean and polished before as it could well be. No careless observer, seeing a neat young woman, in a snow-white cap, polishing substantial furniture, of her own, with a handsome clock ticking in the corner, could have supposed that she was wanting food. But it was so, and there was something in her face—a pinched look about the nose, a quivering about the chin, which betrayed the fact to the Barclays. It was partly to warm herself in the absence of fire, that Jemima was rubbing up her furniture. As for pawning or selling it—it would have gone very hard with the young couple to do that if it had been possible. But it was not possible; and they had no conflict of mind on that point. The furniture brokers had no money—any more than other people; and the pawnbrokers' houses were so crowded, from cellar to garret, that every one of them in the city had for some time refused to take any thing more whatever. The Barclays themselves were sorely embarrassed, and eventually ruined, by the same crash. The very little they could do was needed by multitudes even more than by Richard and Jemima. They found the weaver hanging fainting over his loom, and the reduced schoolmistress sitting on the bottom stair, too dizzy with hunger to mount to her own room. They found the elderly widow too proud to own her need to the district visitors, lending her pitcher, without a handle, to the sinking family above stairs, to fetch the soup from the public kitchen; while they, sinking as they were divined her case, and left some soup at the bottom of the pitcher as if by accident. No one was more ready than Jemima to point out to the Barclays the sufferers who, while saying least about it, most wanted bread. All that her friends could do for her was to get their shoes mended by Richard, and to give her a few days' employment, now and then, by their good fire, and with three good meals in the day.

How they managed it, the young couple could themselves hardly tell; but they got through. The worst times of commercial crisis must come to an end; and the end found the young people somewhat sunk in health and spirits, but clear of debt, and with all their little property safe about them. Of course their credit was good; and when people were again able to pay for their shoes, Richard was as safe as any man can be who is bound up with a system of fluctuations.

As safe, that is, about money matters. But the next autumn showed him by how frail a tenure he held his very best earthly blessing. Jemima was confined; and almost before he had seen his little daughter, his wife was in the last extremity of danger. She well knew it; and the surgeon said afterward that in all his experience, he had never seen such an instance of calm and amiable good sense under the strongest possible circumstances of proof. She understood the case—her affections were all alive—her husband and child were in the room—a bright life was before her—and she was slipping away from all; yet there was no fear, and, amidst excessive exhaustion, no perturbation. The surgeon said she saved her own life, for he could not have saved her. In a few weeks she brought her little daughter to the Barclays' house; and, as she sat there, they could not help thinking that her face was almost as childlike as her infant's. It was at least much the same in its innocence and brightness, as it was on that summer evening, so many years ago, when they[Pg 382] found it on their steps, on returning from their walk.

The infant was extremely pretty. In connection with it happened the severest trial that Jemima had ever known; certainly, a severer one than she had looked for in her married life. She wished to have the child vaccinated. Richard objected. He had committed all he had to God, and it would be taking the child out of the hands of Providence to have it vaccinated. Jemima, whose fanaticism had gradually melted all away, saw the mistake he was in. She said, plainly and earnestly what she thought; but, when she saw that her husband's religious feelings were engaged in the matter, and that his will was roused, she let the subject drop. When the child could run about and prattle, and was so pretty that the Quaker-like young mother actually put the glossy hair in papers, and made dressy pinafores for her darling, the dreaded small-pox appeared. The child escaped death, but very narrowly; and her face was pitted and seamed so as to leave no trace of beauty. It did not lighten the affliction, that Richard still declared he was right. She bore it quietly and there was little alteration in her cheerful voice when she spoke of the ravage.

They rose steadily, on the whole, with occasional drawbacks. There were more children; there was a larger business. At last, on Saturday nights there was a respectable shop-front to close and a considerable stock to arrange for Monday morning. On Sundays a group of children came out to walk hand-in-hand to chapel, with their father in good broad cloth, and their mother in black silk behind them. The Barclays left the city long ago; but when one of them pays an occasional visit in the neighborhood, the brisk little woman in black silk, is sure to be seen presently coming up to the house; her innocent face looks in eagerly at the window, and the chirping voice is heard in the hall. There was nothing in her young days so impetuous as the grasp of the hand that the Barclays have from her when they meet at intervals of years.


(Continued from page 263.)

Book III.—Initial Chapter:—Showing how my novel came to be called "My Novel."

"I am not displeased with your novel, so far as it has gone," said my father graciously; "though as for The Sermon—"

Here I trembled; but the ladies, Heaven bless them! had taken Parson Dale under their special protection; and, observing that my father was puckering up his brows critically, they rushed boldly forward in defense of The Sermon, and Mr. Caxton was forced to beat a retreat. However, like a skillful general, he renewed the assault upon outposts less gallantly guarded. But as it is not my business to betray my weak points, I leave it to the ingenuity of cavilers to discover the places at which the Author of Human Error directed his great guns.

"But," said the Captain, "you are a lad of too much spirit, Pisistratus, to keep us always in the obscure country quarters of Hazeldean—you will march us out into open service before you have done with us?"

Pisistratus, magisterially, for he has been somewhat nettled by Mr. Caxton's remarks—and he puts on an air of dignity, in order to awe away minor assailants.—"Yes, Captain Roland—not yet awhile, but all in good time. I have not stinted myself in canvas, and behind my foreground of the Hall and the Parsonage I propose, hereafter, to open some lengthened perspective of the varieties of English life—"

Mr. Caxton.—"Hum!"

Blanche, putting her hand on my father's lip.—"We shall know better the design, perhaps, when we know the title. Pray, Mr. Author, what is the title?"

My Mother, with more animation than usual.—"Ay, Sisty—the title?"

Pisistratus, startled.—"The title! By the soul of Cervantes! I have never yet thought of a title!"

Captain Roland, solemnly.—"There is a great deal in a good title. As a novel-reader, I know that by experience."

Mr. Squills.—"Certainly; there is not a catchpenny in the world but what goes down, if the title be apt and seductive. Witness 'Old Parr's Life Pills.' Sell by the thousand, sir, when my 'Pills for Weak Stomachs,' which I believe to be just the same compound, never paid for the advertising."

Mr. Caxton.—"Parr's Life Pills! a fine stroke of genius! It is not every one who has a weak stomach, or time to attend to it, if he have. But who would not swallow a pill to live to a hundred and fifty-two?"

Pisistratus, stirring the fire in great excitement.—"My title! my title! what shall be my title!"

Mr. Caxton, thrusting his hand into his waistcoat, and in his most didactic of tones. "From a remote period, the choice of a title has perplexed the scribbling portion of mankind. We may guess how their invention has been racked by the strange contortions it has produced. To begin with the Hebrews. 'The Lips of the Sleeping,' (Labia Dormientium)—what book do you suppose that title to designate?—A Catalogue of Rabbinical writers! Again, imagine some young lady of old captivated by the sentimental title of 'The Pomegranate with its Flower,' and opening on a treatise on the Jewish Ceremonials! Let us turn to the Romans. Aulus Gellius commences his pleasant gossiping 'Noctes' with a list of the titles in fashion in his day. For instance, 'The Muses' and 'The Veil,' 'The Cornucopia', 'The Beehive', and 'The Meadow.' Some titles, indeed, were more truculent, and promised food to those who love to sup upon horrors—such[Pg 383] as 'The Torch,' 'The Poniard,' 'The Stiletto'—"

Pisistratus, impatiently.—"Yes, sir; but to come to My Novel."

Mr. Caxton, unheeding the interruption.—"You see, you have a fine choice here, and of a nature pleasing, and not unfamiliar to a classical reader; or you may borrow a hint from the early Dramatic Writers."

Pisistratus, more hopefully.—"Ay! there is something in the Drama akin to the Novel. Now, perhaps, I may catch an idea."

Mr. Caxton.—"For instance, the author of the Curiosities of Literature (from whom, by the way, I am plagiarizing much of the information I bestow upon you) tells us of a Spanish gentleman who wrote a Comedy, by which he intended to serve what he took for Moral Philosophy."

Pisistratus, eagerly.—"Well, sir?"

Mr. Caxton.—"And called it 'The Pain of the Sleep of the World.'"

Pisistratus.—"Very comic, indeed, sir."

Mr. Caxton.—"Grave things were then called Comedies, as old things are now called Novels. Then there are all the titles of early Romance itself at your disposal—'Theagenes and Chariclea,' or 'The Ass' of Longus, or 'The Golden Ass' of Apuleius, or the titles of Gothic Romance, such as 'The most elegant, delicious, mellifluous, and delightful History of Perceforest, King of Great Britain.'"—And therewith my father ran over a list of names as long as the Directory, and about as amusing.

"Well, to my taste," said my mother, "the novels I used to read when a girl (for I have not read many since I am ashamed to say)—"

Mr. Caxton.—"No, you need not be at all ashamed of it, Kitty."

My Mother, proceeding.—"Were much more inviting than any you mention, Austin."

The Captain.—"True."

Mr. Squills.—"Certainly. Nothing like them nowadays!"

My Mother.—"'Says she to her Neighbor, What?'"

The Captain.—"'The Unknown, or the Northern Gallery'—"

Mr. Squills.—"'There is a Secret; Find it Out!'"

Pisistratus, pushed to the verge of human endurance, and upsetting tongs, poker, and fire-shovel.—"What nonsense you are talking, all of you! For heaven's sake, consider what an important matter we are called upon to decide. It is not now the titles of those very respectable works which issued from the Minerva Press that I ask you to remember—it is to invent a title for mine—My Novel!"

Mr. Caxton, clapping his hands gently.—"Excellent—capital! Nothing can be better; simple, natural, pertinent, concise—"

Pisistratus.—"What is it, sir—what is it! Have you really thought of a title to My Novel?"

Mr. Caxton.—"You have hit it yourself—'My Novel.' It is your Novel—people will know it is your Novel. Turn and twist the English language as you will—be as allegorical as Hebrew, Greek, Roman—Fabulist or Puritan—still, after all, it is your Novel, and nothing more nor less than your Novel."

Pisistratus, thoughtfully, and sounding the words various ways.—"'My Novel'—um—um! 'My Novel!' rather bald—and curt, eh?"

Mr. Caxton.—"Add what you say you intend it to depict—Varieties in English Life."

My Mother.—"'My Novel; or, Varieties in English Life'—I don't think it sounds amiss. What say you, Roland? Would it attract you in a catalogue?"

My Uncle hesitates, when Mr. Caxton exclaims, imperiously,

"The thing is settled! Don't disturb Camarina."

Squills.—"If it be not too great a liberty, pray who or what is Camarina?"

Mr. Caxton.—"Camarina, Mr. Squills, was a lake apt to be low, and then liable to be muddy; and 'Don't disturb Camarina' was a Greek proverb derived from an Oracle of Apollo; and from that Greek proverb, no doubt, comes the origin of the injunction, 'Quieta non movere,' which became the favorite maxim of Sir Robert Walpole and Parson Dale. The Greek line, Mr. Squills (here my father's memory began to warm) is preserved by Stephanus Byzantinus, de Urbibus

'Μὴ κίνει Καμάριναν, ἀκίνητος γὰρ ἀμείνων.'

Zenobius explains it in his Proverbs; Suidas repeats Zenobius; Lucian alludes to it; so does Virgil in the Third Book of the Æneid; and Silius Italicus imitates Virgil—

'Et cui non licitum fatis Camarina moveri.'

Parson Dale, as a clergyman and a scholar, had, no doubt, these authorities at his fingers' end. And I wonder he did not quote them," quoth my father; "but, to be sure, he is represented as a mild man, and so might not wish to humble the Squire over-much in the presence of his family. Meanwhile, My Novel is My Novel; and now that that matter is settled, perhaps the tongs, poker, and shovel may be picked up, the children may go to bed, Blanche and Kitty may speculate apart upon the future dignities of the Neogilos, taking care, nevertheless, to finish the new pinbefores he requires for the present; Roland may cast up his account-book, Mr. Squills have his brandy and water, and all the world be comfortable, each in his own way. Blanche, come away from the screen, get me my slippers, and leave Pisistratus to himself. Μὴ κίνει Καμάριναν—don't disturb Camarina. You see, my dear," added my father, kindly, as, after settling himself into his slippers, he detained Blanche's hand in his own—"you see, my dear, every house has its Camarina. Man, who is a lazy animal, is quite content to let it alone; but woman, being the more active, bustling, curious creature, is always for giving it a sly stir."

[Pg 384]

Blanche, with female dignity.—"I assure you, that if Pisistratus had not called me, I should not have—"

Mr. Caxton, interrupting her, without lifting his eyes from the book he has already taken.—"Certainly you would not. I am now in the midst of the great Puseyite Controversy. Μὴ κίνει Καμάριναν—don't disturb Camarina."

A dead silence for half an hour, at the end of which,

Pisistratus, from behind the screen.—"Blanche, my dear, I want to consult you."

Blanche does not stir.

Pisistratus.—"Blanche, I say."

Blanche glances in triumph toward Mr. Caxton.

Mr. Caxton, laying down his theological tract, and rubbing his spectacles mournfully.—"I hear him, child; I hear him. I retract my vindication of Man. Oracles warn in vain; so long as there is a woman on the other side of the screen—it is all up with Camarina!"


It is greatly to be regretted that Mr. Stirn was not present at the Parson's Discourse—but that valuable functionary was far otherwise engaged—indeed, during the summer months he was rarely seen at the afternoon service. Not that he cared for being preached at—not he; Mr. Stirn would have snapped his finger at the thunders of the Vatican. But the fact was, that Mr. Stirn chose to do a great deal of gratuitous business upon the day of rest. The Squire allowed all persons who chose, to walk about the park on a Sunday; and many came from a distance to stroll by the lake, or recline under the elms. These visitors were objects of great suspicion, nay, of positive annoyance, to Mr. Stirn—and, indeed, not altogether without reason, for we English have a natural love of liberty, which we are even more apt to display in the grounds of other people than in those which we cultivate ourselves. Sometimes, to his inexpressible and fierce satisfaction, Mr. Stirn fell upon a knot of boys pelting the swans; sometimes he missed a young sapling, and found it in felonious hands, converted into a walking-stick; sometimes he caught a hulking fellow scrambling up the ha-ha! to gather a nosegay for his sweetheart from one of poor Mrs. Hazeldean's pet parterres; not unfrequently, indeed, when all the family were fairly at church, some curious impertinents forced or sneaked their way into the gardens, in order to peep in at the windows. For these, and various other offenses of like magnitude, Mr. Stirn had long, but vainly, sought to induce the Squire to withdraw a permission so villainously abused. But though there were times when Mr. Hazeldean grunted and growled, and swore "that he would shut up the park, and fill it (illegally) with man-traps and spring-guns," his anger always evaporated in words. The park was still open to all the world on a Sunday; and that blessed day was therefore converted into a day of travail and wrath to Mr. Stirn. But it was from the last chime of the afternoon service bell until dusk that the spirit of this vigilant functionary was most perturbed; for, amidst the flocks that gathered from the little hamlets round to the voice of the Pastor, there were always some stray sheep, or rather climbing, desultory, vagabond goats, who struck off in all perverse directions, as if for the special purpose of distracting the energetic watchfulness of Mr. Stirn. As soon as church was over, if the day were fine, the whole park became a scene animated with red cloaks, or lively shawls, Sunday waistcoats, and hats stuck full of wild flowers—which last Mr. Stirn often stoutly maintained to be Mrs. Hazeldean's newest geraniums. Now, on this Sunday especially, there was an imperative call upon an extra exertion of vigilance on the part of the superintendent—he had not only to detect ordinary depredators and trespassers; but, first, to discover the authors of the conspiracy against the Stocks; and secondly, to "make an example."

He had begun his rounds, therefore, from the early morning; and just as the afternoon bell was sounding its final peal, he emerged upon the village green from a hedgerow, behind which he had been at watch to observe who had the most suspiciously gathered round the Stocks. At that moment the place was deserted. At a distance, the superintendent saw the fast disappearing forms of some belated groups hastening toward the church; in front, the Stocks stood staring at him mournfully from its four great eyes, which had been cleansed from the mud, but still looked bleared and stained with the marks of the recent outrage. Here Mr. Stirn paused, took off his hat, and wiped his brows.

"If I had sum un, to watch here," thought he, "while I takes a turn by the water-side, praps summat might come out; praps them as did it ben't gone to church, but will come sneaking round to look on their willany! as they says murderers are always led back to the place where they ha' left the body. But in this here willage there ben't a man, woman, nor child, as has any consarn for Squire or Parish, barring myself." It was just as he arrived at that misanthropical conclusion that Mr. Stirn beheld Leonard Fairfield walking very fast from his own home. The superintendent clapped on his hat, and stuck his right arm akimbo. "Hollo, you sir," said he, as Lenny now came in hearing, "where be you going at that rate?"

"Please, sir, I be going to church."

"Stop, sir—stop, Master Lenny. Going to church!—why, the bell's done; and you knows the Parson is very angry at them as comes in late, disturbing the congregation. You can't go to church now!"

"Please, sir—"

"I says you can't go to church now. You must learn to think a little of others, lad. You sees how I sweats to serve the Squire! and you[Pg 385] must serve him too. Why, your mother's got the house and premishes almost rent free: you ought to have a grateful heart, Leonard Fairfield, and feel for his honor! Poor man! his heart is wellnigh bruk, I am sure, with the goings on."

Leonard opened his innocent blue eyes, while Mr. Stirn dolorously wiped his own.

"Look at that ere dumb cretur," said Stirn suddenly, pointing to the Stocks—"look at it. If it could speak, what would it say, Leonard Fairfield? Answer me that!—'Damn the Stocks, indeed!'"

"It was very bad in them to write such naughty words," said Lenny gravely. "Mother was quite shocked when she heard of it, this morning."

Mr. Stirn.—"I dare say she was, considering what she pays for the premishes: (insinuatingly), you does not know who did it—eh, Lenny?"

Lenny.—"No, sir; indeed I does not!"

Mr. Stirn.—"Well, you see, you can't go to church—prayers half over by this time. You recollex that I put them Stocks under your 'sponsibility,' and see the way you's done your duty by 'em. I've half a mind to—"

Mr. Stirn cast his eyes on the eyes of the Stocks.

"Please, sir," began Lenny again, rather frightened.

"No, I won't please; it ben't pleasing at all. But I forgives you this time, only keep a sharp look-out, lad, in future. Now you just stay here—no, there—under the hedge, and you watches if any persons come to loiter about or looks at the Stocks, or laughs to hisself, while I go my rounds. I shall be back either afore church is over or just arter; so you stay till I comes, and give me your report. Be sharp, boy, or it will be worse for you and your mother: I can let the premishes for four pounds a year more, to-morrow."

Concluding with that somewhat menacing and very significant remark, and not staying for an answer, Mr. Stirn waved his hand, and walked off.

Poor Lenny remained by the Stocks, very much dejected, and greatly disliking the neighborhood to which he was consigned. At length he slowly crept off to the hedge, and sate himself down in the place of espionage pointed out to him. Now, philosophers tell us that what is called the point of honor is a barbarous feudal prejudice. Among the higher classes, wherein those feudal prejudices may be supposed to prevail, Lenny Fairfield's occupation would not have been considered peculiarly honorable; neither would it have seemed so to the more turbulent spirits among the humbler orders, who have a point of honor of their own, which consists in the adherence to each other in defiance of all lawful authority. But to Lenny Fairfield, brought up much apart from other boys, and with a profound and grateful reverence for the Squire instilled into all his habits of thought, notions of honor bounded themselves to simple honesty and straightforward truth; and as he cherished an unquestioning awe of order and constitutional authority, so it did not appear to him that there was any thing derogatory and debasing in being thus set to watch for an offender. On the contrary, as he began to reconcile himself to the loss of the church service, and to enjoy the cool of the summer shade, and the occasional chirp of the birds, he got to look on the bright side of the commission to which he was deputed. In youth, at least, every thing has its bright side—even the appointment of Protector to the Parish Stocks. For the Stocks, themselves, Leonard had no affection, it is true; but he had no sympathy with their aggressors, and he could well conceive that the Squire would be very much hurt at the revolutionary event of the night. "So," thought poor Leonard in his simple heart—"so if I can serve his honor, by keeping off mischievous boys, or letting him know who did the thing, I'm sure it would be a proud day for mother." Then he began to consider that, however ungraciously Mr. Stirn had bestowed on him the appointment, still it was a compliment to him—showed trust and confidence in him, picked him out from his contemporaries as the sober moral pattern boy; and Lenny had a great deal of pride in him, especially in matters of repute and character.

All these things considered, I say, Leonard Fairfield reclined in his lurking-place, if not with positive delight and intoxicating rapture, at least with tolerable content and some complacency.

Mr. Stirn might have been gone a quarter of an hour, when a boy came through a little gate in the park, just opposite to Lenny's retreat in the hedge, and, as if fatigued with walking, or oppressed by the heat of the day, paused on the green for a moment or so, and then advanced under the shade of the great tree which overhung the Stocks.

Lenny pricked up his ears, and peeped out jealously.

He had never seen the boy before: it was a strange face to him.

Leonard Fairfield was not fond of strangers; moreover, he had a vague belief that strangers were at the bottom of that desecration of the Stocks. The boy, then, was a stranger; but what was his rank? Was he of that grade in society in which the natural offenses are or are not consonant to, or harmonious with outrages upon Stocks? On that Lenny Fairfield did not feel quite assured. According to all the experience of the villager, the boy was not dressed like a young gentleman. Leonard's notions of such aristocratic costume were naturally fashioned upon the model of Frank Hazeldean. They represented to him a dazzling vision of snow-white trowsers, and beautiful blue coats, and incomparable cravats. Now the dress of this stranger, though not that of a peasant nor[Pg 386] of a farmer, did not in any way correspond with Lenny's notions of the costume of a young gentleman: it looked to him highly disreputable; the coat was covered with mud, and the hat was all manner of shapes, with a gap between the side and crown.

Lenny was puzzled, till it suddenly occurred to him that the gate through which the boy had passed was in the direct path across the park from a small town, the inhabitants of which were in very bad odor at the Hall—they had immemorially furnished the most daring poachers to the preserves, the most troublesome trespassers on the park, the most unprincipled orchard-robbers, and the most disputatious assertors of various problematical rights of way, which, according to the Town, were public, and, according to the Hall, had been private since the Conquest. It was true that the same path led also directly from the Squire's house, but it was not probable that the wearer of attire so equivocal had been visiting there. All things considered, Lenny had no doubt in his mind but that the stranger was a shop-boy or 'prentice from the town of Thorndyke; and the notorious repute of that town, coupled with this presumption, made it probable that Lenny now saw before him one of the midnight desecrators of the Stocks. As if to confirm the suspicion, which passed through Lenny's mind with a rapidity wholly disproportionate to the number of lines it costs me to convey it, the boy, now standing right before the Stocks, bent down and read that pithy anathema with which it was defaced. And having read it, he repeated it aloud, and Lenny actually saw him smile—such a smile!—so disagreeable and sinister! Lenny had never before seen the smile Sardonic.

But what were Lenny's pious horror and dismay when this ominous stranger fairly seated himself on the Stocks, rested his heels profanely on the lids of two of the four round eyes, and, taking out a pencil and a pocket-book, began to write. Was this audacious Unknown taking an inventory of the church and the Hall for the purposes of conflagration? He looked at one, and at the other, with a strange, fixed stare as he wrote—not keeping his eyes on the paper, as Lenny had been taught to do when he sate down to his copy-book. The fact is, that Randal Leslie was tired and faint, and he felt the shock of his fall the more, after the few paces he had walked, so that he was glad to rest himself a few moments; and he took that opportunity to write a line to Frank, to excuse himself for not calling again, intending to tear the leaf on which he wrote out of his pocket-book, and leave it at the first cottage he passed, with instructions to take it to the Hall.

While Randal was thus innocently engaged, Lenny came up to him, with the firm and measured pace of one who has resolved, cost what it may, to do his duty. And as Lenny, though brave, was not ferocious, so the anger he felt, and the suspicions he entertained, only exhibited themselves in the following solemn appeal to the offender's sense of propriety:

"Ben't you ashamed of yourself? Sitting on the Squire's new Stocks! Do get up, and go along with you!"

Randal turned round sharply; and though, at any other moment, he would have had sense enough to extricate himself very easily from his false position, yet, Nemo mortalium, &c. No one is always wise. And Randal was in an exceedingly bad humor. The affability toward his inferiors, for which I lately praised him, was entirely lost in the contempt for impertinent snobs natural to an insulted Etonian.

Therefore, eying Lenny with great disdain Randal answered, briefly:

"You are an insolent young blackguard."

So curt a rejoinder made Lenny's blood fly to his face. Persuaded before that the intruder was some lawless apprentice or shop-lad, he was now more confirmed in that judgment, not only by language so uncivil, but by the truculent glance which accompanied it, and which certainly did not derive any imposing dignity from the mutilated, rakish, hang-dog, ruinous hat, under which it shot its sullen and menacing fire.

Of all the various articles of which our male attire is composed, there is perhaps not one which has so much character and expression as the top-covering. A neat, well-brushed, short-napped, gentlemanlike hat, put on with a certain air, gives a distinction and respectability to the whole exterior; whereas a broken, squashed, higgledy-piggledy sort of a hat, such as Randal Leslie had on, would go far toward transforming the stateliest gentleman that ever walked down St. James's-street into the ideal of a ruffianly scamp.

Now, it is well known that there is nothing more antipathetic to your peasant-boy than a shop-boy. Even on grand political occasions, the rural working-class can rarely be coaxed into sympathy with the trading town-class. Your true English peasant is always an aristocrat. Moreover, and irrespectively of this immemorial grudge of class, there is something peculiarly hostile in the relationship between boy and boy when their backs are once up, and they are alone on a quiet bit of green. Something of the game-cock feeling—something that tends to keep alive, in the population of this island (otherwise so lamb-like and peaceful), the martial propensity to double the thumb tightly over the four fingers, and make what is called "a fist of it." Dangerous symptoms of these mingled and aggressive sentiments were visible in Lenny Fairfield at the words and the look of the unprepossessing stranger. And the stranger seemed aware of them; for his pale face grew more pale, and his sullen eye more fixed and more vigilant.

"You get off them Stocks," said Lenny, disdaining to reply to the coarse expressions bestowed on him; and, suiting the action to the word, he gave the intruder what he meant for a shove, but which Randal took for a blow. The[Pg 387] Etonian sprang up, and the quickness of his movement, aided but by a slight touch of his hand, made Lenny lose his balance, and sent him neck-and-crop over the Stocks. Burning with rage, the young villager rose alertly, and, flying at Randal, struck out right and left.


Aid me, O ye Nine! whom the incomparable Persius satirized his contemporaries for invoking, and then, all of a sudden, invoked on his own behalf—aid me to describe that famous battle by the Stocks, and in defense of the Stocks, which was waged by the two representatives of Saxon and Norman England. Here, sober support of law and duty and delegated trust—pro aris et focis; there, haughty invasion, and bellicose spirit of knighthood, and that respect for name and person, which we call honor. Here, too, hardy physical force—there, skillful discipline. Here—the Nine are as deaf as a post, and as cold as a stone! Plague take the jades!—I can do better without them.

Randal was a year older than Lenny, but he was not so tall nor so strong, nor even so active; and after the first blind rush, when the two boys paused, and drew back to breathe, Lenny, eying the slight form and hueless cheek of his opponent, and seeing blood trickling from Randal's lip, was seized with an instantaneous and generous remorse. "It was not fair," he thought, "to fight one whom he could beat so easily." So, retreating still farther, and letting his arms fall to his side, he said, mildly, "There, let's have no more of it; but go home and be good."

Randal Leslie had no remarkable degree of that constitutional quality called physical courage; but he had all those moral qualities which supply its place. He was proud—he was vindictive—he had high self-esteem—he had the destructive organ more than the combative;—what had once provoked his wrath it became his instinct to sweep away. Therefore, though all his nerves were quivering, and hot tears were in his eyes, he approached Lenny with the sternness of a gladiator, and said between his teeth, which he set hard, choking back the sob of rage and pain:

"You have struck me—and you shall not stir from this ground—till I have made you repent it. Put up your hands—I will not strike you so—defend yourself."

Lenny mechanically obeyed; and he had good need of the admonition: for if before he had had the advantage, now that Randal had recovered the surprise to his nerves, the battle was not to the strong.

Though Leslie had not been a fighting boy at Eton, still his temper had involved him in some conflicts when he was in the lower forms, and he had learned something of the art as well as the practice of pugilism—an excellent thing, too, I am barbarous enough to believe, and which I hope will never quite die out of our public schools. Ah, many a young duke has been a better fellow for life from a fair set-to with a trader's son; and many a trader's son has learned to look a lord more manfully in the face on the hustings, from the recollection of the sound thrashing he once gave to some little Lord Leopold Dawdle.

So Randal now brought his experience and art to bear; put aside those heavy roundabout blows, and darted in his own, quick and sharp—supplying the due momentum of pugilistic mechanics to the natural feebleness of his arm. Ay, and the arm, too, was no longer so feeble; so strange is the strength that comes from passion and pluck!

Poor Lenny, who had never fought before, was bewildered; his sensations grew so entangled that he could never recall them distinctly: he had a dim reminiscence of some breathless impotent rush—of a sudden blindness followed by quick flashes of intolerable light—of a deadly faintness from which he was roused by sharp pangs—here—there—every where; and then, all he could remember was, that he was lying on the ground, huddled up and panting hard, while his adversary bent over him with a countenance as dark and livid as Lara himself might have bent over the fallen Otho. For Randal Leslie was not one who, by impulse and nature, subscribed to the noble English maxim—"Never hit a foe when he is down;" and it cost him a strong if brief self struggle, not to set his heel on that prostrate form. It was the mind, not the heart, that subdued the savage within him, as, muttering something inwardly—certainly not Christian forgiveness—the victor turned gloomily away.


Just at that precise moment, who should appear but Mr. Stirn! For, in fact, being extremely anxious to get Lenny into disgrace, he had hoped that he should have found the young villager had shirked the commission intrusted to him; and the Right-hand man had slyly come back, to see if that amiable expectation were realized. He now beheld Lenny rising with some difficulty—still panting hard—and with hysterical sounds akin to what is vulgarly called blubbering—his fine new waistcoat sprinkled with his own blood, which flowed from his nose—nose that seemed to Lenny Fairfield's feelings to be a nose no more, but a swollen, gigantic, mountainous Slawkenbergian excrescence—in fact, he felt all nose! Turning aghast from this spectacle, Mr. Stirn surveyed, with no more respect than Lenny had manifested, the stranger boy, who had again seated himself on the Stocks (whether to recover his breath, or whether to show that his victory was consummated, and that he was in his rights of possession). "Hollo," said Mr. Stirn, "what is all this?—what's the matter, Lenny, you blockhead?"

"He will sit there," answered Lenny, in broken gasps, "and he has beat me because I would not[Pg 388] let him; but I doesn't mind that," added the villager, trying hard to suppress his tears, "and I'm ready again for him—that I am."

"And what do you do, lolloping there on them blessed stocks?"

"Looking at the landscape; out of my light, man!"

This tone instantly inspired Mr. Stirn with misgivings; it was a tone so disrespectful to him that he was seized with involuntary respect; who but a gentleman could speak so to Mr. Stirn?

"And may I ask who you be?" said Stirn, falteringly, and half inclined to touch his hat. "What's your name, pray, and what's your bizness?"

"My name is Randal Leslie, and my business was to visit your master's family—that is, if you are, as I guess from your manner, Mr. Hazeldean's plowman!"

So saying, Randal rose; and, moving on a few paces, turned, and throwing half-a-crown on the road, said to Lenny, "Let that pay you for your bruises, and remember another time how you speak to a gentleman. As for you, fellow," and he pointed his scornful hand toward Mr. Stirn, who with his mouth open, and his hat now fairly off, stood bowing to the earth, "as for you, give my compliments to Mr. Hazeldean, and say that, when he does us the honor to visit us at Rood Hall, I trust that the manners of our villagers will make him ashamed of Hazeldean."

O my poor Squire! Rood Hall ashamed of Hazeldean! If that message had ever been delivered to you, you would never have looked up again!

With those bitter words, Randal swung himself over the stile that led into the parson's glebe, and left Lenny Fairfield still feeling his nose, and Mr. Stirn still bowing to the earth.


Randal Leslie had a very long walk home: he was bruised and sore from head to foot, and his mind was still more sore and more bruised than his body. But if Randal Leslie had rested himself in the Squire's gardens, without walking backward, and indulging in speculations suggested by Marat and warranted by my Lord Bacon, he would have passed a most agreeable evening, and really availed himself of the Squire's wealth by going home in the Squire's carriage. But because he chose to take so intellectual a view of property, he tumbled into a ditch; because he tumbled into a ditch, he spoiled his clothes; because he spoiled his clothes, he gave up his visit; because he gave up his visit, he got into the village green, and sat on the Stocks with a hat that gave him the air of a fugitive from the treadmill; because he sate on the Stocks—with that hat, and a cross face under it—he had been forced into the most discreditable squabble with a clodhopper, and was now limping home, at war with gods and men; ergo (this is a moral that will bear repetition), ergo, when you walk in a rich man's grounds, be contented to enjoy what is yours, namely, the prospect; I dare say you will enjoy it more than he does.


If, in the simplicity of his heart, and the crudeness of his experience, Lenny Fairfield had conceived it probable that Mr. Stirn would address to him some words in approbation of his gallantry, and in sympathy for his bruises, he soon found himself woefully mistaken. That truly great man, worthy prime-minister of Hazeldean, might, perhaps, pardon a dereliction from his orders, if such dereliction proved advantageous to the interests of the service, or redounded to the credit of the chief; but he was inexorable to that worst of diplomatic offenses—an ill-timed, stupid, over-zealous obedience to orders, which, if it established the devotion of the employé, got the employer into what is popularly called a scrape! And though, by those unversed in the intricacies of the human heart, and unacquainted with the especial hearts of prime-ministers and Right-hand men, it might have seemed natural that Mr. Stirn, as he stood still, hat in hand, in the middle of the road, stung, humbled, and exasperated by the mortification he had received from the lips of Randal Leslie, would have felt that that young gentleman was the proper object of his resentment; yet such a breach of all the etiquette of diplomatic life as resentment toward a superior power was the last idea that would have suggested itself to the profound intellect of the Premier of Hazeldean. Still, as rage like steam must escape somewhere, Mr. Stirn, on feeling—as he afterward expressed it to his wife—that his "buzzom was a-burstin," turned with the natural instinct of self preservation to the safety-valve provided for the explosion; and the vapor within him rushed into vent upon Lenny Fairfield. He clapped his hat on his head fiercely, and thus relieved his "buzzom."

"You young willain! you howdacious wiper! and so all this blessed Sabbath afternoon, when you ought to have been in church on your marrow bones, a-praying for your betters, you has been a-fitting with a young gentleman, and a wisiter to your master, on the werry place of the parridge hinstitution that you was to guard and pertect; and a-bloodying it all over, I declares, with your blaggard little nose!" Thus saying, and as if to mend the matter, Mr. Stirn aimed an additional stroke at the offending member; but Lenny mechanically putting up both his arms to defend his face, Mr. Stirn struck his knuckles against the large brass buttons that adorned the cuff of the boy's coat-sleeve—an incident which considerably aggravated his indignation. And Lenny, whose spirit was fairly roused at what the narrowness of his education conceived to be a signal injustice, placing the trunk of the tree between Mr. Stirn and himself, began that task of self-justification which it was equally impolitic to conceive and[Pg 389] imprudent to execute, since, in such a case, to justify was to recriminate.

"I wonder at you, Master Stirn—if mother could hear you! You know it was you who would not let me go to church; it was you who told me to—"

"Fit a young gentleman, and break the Sabbath," said Mr. Stirn, interrupting him with a withering sneer. "O yes! I told you to disgrace his honor the Squire, and me, and the parridge, and bring us all into trouble. But the Squire told me to make an example, and I will!" With those words, quick as lightning flashed upon Mr. Stirn's mind the luminous idea of setting Lenny in the very Stocks which he had too faithfully guarded. Eureka! the "example" was before him! Here, he could gratify his long grudge against the pattern boy; here, by such a selection of the very best lad in the parish, he could strike terror into the worst; here he could appease the offended dignity of Randal Leslie; here was a practical apology to the Squire for the affront put upon his young visitor; here, too, there was prompt obedience to the Squire's own wish that the Stocks should be provided as soon as possible with a tenant. Suiting the action to the thought, Mr. Stirn made a rapid plunge at his victim, caught him by the skirt of his jacket, and, in a few seconds more, the jaws of the Stocks had opened, and Lenny Fairfield was thrust therein—a sad spectacle of the reverses of fortune. This done, and while the boy was too astounded, too stupefied by the suddenness of the calamity for the resistance he might otherwise have made—nay, for more than a few inaudible words—Mr. Stirn hurried from the spot, but not without first picking up and pocketing the half-crown designed for Lenny, and which, so great had been his first emotions, he had hitherto even almost forgotten. He then made his way toward the church, with the intention to place himself close by the door, catch the Squire as he came out, whisper to him what had passed, and lead him, with the whole congregation at his heels, to gaze upon the sacrifice offered up to the joint Powers of Nemesis and Themis.


Unaffectedly I say it—upon the honor of a gentleman, and the reputation of an author, unaffectedly I say it—no words of mine can do justice to the sensations experienced by Lenny Fairfield, as he sat alone in that place of penance. He felt no more the physical pain of his bruises; the anguish of his mind stifled and over-bore all corporeal suffering—an anguish as great as the childish breast is capable of holding. For first and deepest of all, and earliest felt, was the burning sense of injustice. He had, it might be with erring judgment, but with all honesty, earnestness, and zeal, executed the commission intrusted to him; he had stood forth manfully in discharge of his duty; he had fought for it, suffered for it, bled for it. This was his reward! Now, in Lenny's mind there was pre-eminently that quality which distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon race—the sense of justice. It was perhaps the strongest principle in his moral constitution; and the principle had never lost its virgin bloom and freshness by any of the minor acts of oppression and iniquity which boys of higher birth often suffer from harsh parents, or in tyrannical schools. So that it was for the first time that that iron entered into his soul, and with it came its attendant feeling—the wrathful galling sense of impotence. He had been wronged, and he had no means to right himself. Then came another sensation, if not so deep, yet more smarting and envenomed for the time—shame! He, the good boy of all good boys—he, the pattern of the school, and the pride of the parson—he, whom the Squire, in sight of all his contemporaries, had often singled out to slap on the back, and the grand Squire's lady to pat on the head, with a smiling gratulation on his young and fair repute—he, who had already learned so dearly to prize the sweets of an honorable name—he, to be made, as it were, in the twinkling of an eye, a mark for opprobrium, a butt of scorn, a jeer, and a byword! The streams of his life were poisoned at the fountain. And then came a tenderer thought of his mother! of the shock this would be to her—she who had already begun to look up to him as her stay and support: he bowed his head, and the tears, long suppressed, rolled down.

Then he wrestled and struggled, and strove to wrench his limbs from that hateful bondage; for he heard steps approaching. And he began to picture to himself the arrival of all the villagers from church, the sad gaze of the Parson, the bent brow of the Squire, the idle, ill-suppressed titter of all the boys, jealous of his unblotted character—character of which the original whiteness could never, never be restored! He would always be the boy who had sat in the Stocks! And the words uttered by the Squire came back on his soul, like the voice of conscience in the ears of some doomed Macbeth. "A sad disgrace Lenny—you'll never be in such a quandary." "Quandary," the word was unfamiliar to him; it must mean something awfully discreditable. The poor boy could have prayed for the earth to swallow him.


"Kettles and frying-pans! what has us here?" cried the tinker.

This time Mr. Sprott was without his donkey; for, it being Sunday, it is to be presumed that the donkey was enjoying his Sabbath on the Common. The tinker was in his Sunday's best, clean and smart, about to take his lounge in the park.

Lenny Fairfield made no answer to the appeal.

"You in the wood, my baby! Well that's[Pg 390] the last sight I should ha' thought to see. But we all lives to larn," added the tinker, sententiously. "Who gave you them leggins? Can't you speak, lad?"

"Nick Stirn."

"Nick Stirn! Ay, I'd ha' ta'en my davy on that: and cos vy?"

"'Cause I did as he told me, and fought a boy as was trespassing on these very Stocks; and he beat me—but I don't care for that; and that boy was a young gentleman, and going to visit the Squire; and so Nick Stirn—" Lenny stopped short, choked by rage and humiliation.

"Augh," said the tinker, staring, "you fit with a young gentleman, did you? Sorry to hear you confess that, my lad! Sit there, and be thankful you ha' got off so cheap. 'Tis salt and battery to fit with your betters, and a Lunnon justice o' peace would have given you two months o' the treadmill. But vy should you fit cos he trespassed on the Stocks? It ben't your natural side for fitting, I takes it."

Lenny murmured something not very distinguishable about serving the Squire, and doing as he was bid.

"Oh, I sees, Lenny," interrupted the tinker, in a tone of great contempt, "you be one o' those who would rayther 'unt with the 'ounds than run with the 'are! You be's the good pattern boy, and would peach agin your own horder to curry favor with the grand folks. Fie, lad! you be sarved right: stick by your horder, then you'll be 'spected when you gets into trouble, and not be 'varsally 'espised—as you'll be arter church-time! Vell, I can't be seen 'sorting with you, now you are in this here drogotary fix; it might hurt my cracter, both with them as built the Stocks, and them as wants to pull 'em down. Old kettles to mend! Vy, you makes me forgit the Sabbath. Sarvent, my lad, and wish you well out of it; 'specks to your mother, and say we can deal for the pan and shovel all the same for your misfortin."

The tinker went his way. Lenny's eye followed him with the sullenness of despair. The tinker, like all the tribe of human comforters, had only watered the brambles to invigorate the prick of the thorns. Yes, if Lenny had been caught breaking the Stocks, some at least would have pitied him; but to be incarcerated for defending them, you might as well have expected that the widows and orphans of the Reign of Terror would have pitied Dr. Guillotin when he slid through the grooves of his own deadly machine. And even the tinker, itinerant, ragamuffin vagabond as he was, felt ashamed to be found with the pattern boy! Lenny's head sank again on his breast, heavily as if it had been of lead. Some few minutes thus passed, when the unhappy prisoner became aware of the presence of another spectator to his shame: he heard no step, but he saw a shadow thrown over the sward. He held his breath, and would not look up, with some vague idea that if he refused to see he might escape being seen.


"Per Bacco!" said Dr. Riccabocca, putting his hand on Lenny's shoulder, and bending down to look into his face—"Per Bacco! my young friend, do you sit here from choice or necessity?"

Lenny slightly shuddered, and winced under the touch of one whom he had hitherto regarded with a sort of superstitious abhorrence.

"I fear," resumed Riccabocca, after waiting in vain for an answer to his question, "that, though the situation is charming, you did not select it yourself. What is this?"—and the irony of the tone vanished—"what is this, my poor boy? You have been bleeding, and I see that those tears which you try to check come from a deep well. Tell me, povero fanciullo mio, (the sweet Italian vowels, though Lenny did not understand them, sounded softly and soothingly),—tell me, my child, how all this happened. Perhaps I can help you—we have all erred; we should all help each other."

Lenny's heart, that just before had seemed bound in brass, found itself a way as the Italian spoke thus kindly, and the tears rushed down; but he again stopped them, and gulped out sturdily—

"I have not done no wrong; it ben't my fault—and 'tis that which kills me!" concluded Lenny, with a burst of energy.

"You have not done wrong? Then," said the philosopher, drawing out his pocket handkerchief with great composure, and spreading it on the ground—"then I may sit beside you. I could only stoop pityingly over sin, but I can lie down on equal terms with misfortune."

Lenny Fairfield did not quite comprehend the words, but enough of their general meaning was apparent to make him cast a grateful glance on the Italian. Riccabocca resumed, as he adjusted the pocket-handkerchief, "I have a right to your confidence, my child, for I have been afflicted in my day; yet I too say with thee, 'I have not done wrong.' Cospetto!" (and here the Dr. seated himself deliberately, resting one arm on the side column of the Stocks, in familiar contact with the captive's shoulder, while his eye wandered over the lovely scene around)—"Cospetto! my prison, if they had caught me, would not have had so fair a look-out as this. But, to be sure, it is all one: there are no ugly loves, and no handsome prisons!"

With that sententious maxim, which, indeed, he uttered in his native Italian, Riccabocca turned round and renewed his soothing invitations to confidence. A friend in need is a friend indeed, even if he come in the guise of a Papist and wizard. All Lenny's ancient dislike to the foreigner had gone, and he told him his little tale.

Dr. Riccabocca was much too shrewd a man not to see exactly the motives which had induced Mr. Stirn to incarcerate his agent (barring only that of personal grudge, to which Lenny's account gave him no clew). That a man high[Pg 391] in office should make a scape-goat of his own watch-dog for an unlucky snap, or even an indiscreet bark, was nothing strange to the wisdom of the student of Machiavelli. However, he set himself to the task of consolation with equal philosophy and tenderness. He began by reminding, or rather informing, Leonard Fairfield of all the instances of illustrious men afflicted by the injustice of others that occurred to his own excellent memory. He told him how the great Epictetus, when in slavery, had a master whose favorite amusement was pinching his leg, which, as the amusement ended in breaking that limb, was worse than the Stocks. He also told him the anecdote of Lenny's own gallant countryman, Admiral Byng, whose execution gave rise to Voltaire's celebrated witticism, "En Angleterre on tue un admiral pour encourager les autres." ("In England they execute one admiral in order to encourage the others.") Many more illustrations, still more pertinent to the case in point, his erudition supplied from the stores of history. But on seeing that Lenny did not seem in the slightest degree consoled by these memorable examples, he shifted his ground, and reducing his logic to the strict argumentum ad rem, began to prove, 1st, that there was no disgrace at all in Lenny's present position, that every equitable person would recognize the tyranny of Stirn and the innocence of its victim; 2dly, that if even here he were mistaken, for public opinion was not always righteous, what was public opinion, after all? "A breath—a puff," cried Dr. Riccabocca, "a thing without matter—without length, breadth, or substance—a shadow—a goblin of our own creating. A man's own conscience is his sole tribunal, and he should care no more for that phantom 'opinion' than he should fear meeting a ghost if he cross the church-yard at dark."

Now, as Lenny did very much fear meeting a ghost if he crossed the church-yard at dark, the simile spoiled the argument, and he shook his head very mournfully. Dr. Riccabocca was about to enter into a third course of reasoning, which, had it come to an end, would doubtless have settled the matter, and reconciled Lenny to sitting in the Stocks till doomsday, when the captive, with the quick ear and eye of terror and calamity, became conscious that church was over, that the congregation in a few seconds more would be flocking thitherward. He saw visionary hats and bonnets through the trees, which Riccabocca saw not, despite all the excellence of his spectacles—heard phantasmal rustlings and murmurings which Riccabocca heard not, despite all that theoretical experience in plots, stratagems, and treasons, which should have made the Italian's ear as fine as a conspirator's or a mole's. And with another violent but vain effort at escape, the prisoner exclaimed,

"Oh, if I could but get out before they come! Let me out—let me out. O, kind sir, have pity—let me out!"

"Diavolo!" said the philosopher, startled, "I wonder that never occurred to me before. After all, I believe he has hit the right nail on the head;" and looking close, he perceived that though the partition wood had hitched firmly into a sort of spring-clasp, which defied Lenny's unaided struggles, still it was not locked (for, indeed, the padlock and key were snug in the justice-room of the Squire, who never dreamt that his orders would be executed so literally and summarily as to dispense with all formal appeal to himself). As soon as Dr. Riccabocca made that discovery, it occurred to him that all the wisdom of all the schools that ever existed can't reconcile man or boy to a bad position, the moment there is a fair opportunity of letting him out of it. Accordingly, without more ado, he lifted up the creaking board, and Lenny Fairfield darted forth like a bird from a cage—halted a moment as if for breath, or in joy; and then, taking at once to his heels, fled, fast as a hare to its form—fast to his mother's home.

Dr. Riccabocca dropped the yawning-wood into its place, picked up his handkerchief, and restored it to his pocket; and then, with some curiosity, began to examine the nature of that place of duresse, which had caused so much painful emotion to its rescued victim.

"Man is a very irrational animal at best," quoth the sage, soliloquizing, "and is frightened by strange buggabooes! 'Tis but a piece of wood!—how little it really injures; and, after all, the holes are but rests to the legs, and keep the feet out of the dirt. And this green bank to sit upon—under the shade of the elm-tree—verily the position must be more pleasant than otherwise! I've a great mind—" Here the Doctor looked around, and, seeing the coast still clear, the oddest notion imaginable took possession of him; yet not indeed a notion so odd, considered philosophically—for all philosophy is based upon practical experiment—and Dr. Riccabocca felt an irresistible desire practically to experience what manner of thing that punishment of the Stocks really was. "I can but try!—only for a moment," said he, apologetically, to his own expostulating sense of dignity. "I have time to do it before any one comes." He lifted up the partition again: but Stocks are built on the true principle of English law, and don't easily allow a man to criminate himself—it was hard to get into them without the help of a friend. However, as we before noticed, obstacles only whetted Dr. Riccabocca's invention. He looked round and saw a withered bit of stick under the tree—this he inserted in the division of the Stocks, somewhat in the manner in which boys place a stick under a sieve for the purpose of ensnaring sparrows: the fatal wood thus propped, Dr. Riccabocca sat gravely down on the bank, and thrust his feet through the apertures.

"Nothing in it!" cried he, triumphantly, after a moment's deliberation. "The evil is only in idea. Such is the boasted reason of mortals!" With that reflection, nevertheless, he[Pg 392] was about to withdraw his feet from their voluntary dilemma, when the crazy stick suddenly gave way, and the partition fell back into its clasp. Doctor Riccabocca was fairly caught—"Facilis descensus—sed revocare gradum!" True, his hands were at liberty, but his legs were so long that, being thus fixed, they kept the hands from the rescue; and as Dr. Riccabocca's form was by no means supple, and the twin parts of the wood stuck together with that firmness of adhesion which things newly painted possess, so, after some vain twists and contortions, in which he succeeded at length (not without a stretch of the sinews that made them crack again) in finding the clasp and breaking his nails thereon, the victim of his own rash experiment resigned himself to his fate. Dr. Riccabocca was one of those men who never do things by halves. When I say he resigned himself, I mean not only Christian but philosophical resignation. The position was not quite so pleasant as, theoretically, he had deemed it; but he resolved to make himself as comfortable as he could. And first, as is natural in all troubles to men who have grown familiar with that odoriferous comforter which Sir Walter Raleigh is said first to have bestowed upon the Caucasian races, the Doctor made use of his hands to extract from his pocket his pipe, match-box, and tobacco-pouch. After a few whiffs he would have been quite reconciled to his situation, but for the discovery that the sun had shifted its place in the heavens, and was no longer shaded from his face by the elm-tree. The Doctor again looked round, and perceived that his red silk umbrella, which he had laid aside when he had seated himself by Lenny, was within arm's reach. Possessing himself of this treasure, he soon expanded its friendly folds. And thus doubly fortified within and without, under the shade of the umbrella, and his pipe composedly between his lips, Dr. Riccabocca gazed on his own incarcerated legs, even with complacency.

"'He who can despise all things,'" said he, in one of his native proverbs, "'possesses all things!'—if one despises freedom, one is free! This seat is as soft as a sofa! I am not sure," he resumed, soliloquizing, after a pause, "I am not sure that there is not something more witty than manly and philosophical in that national proverb of mine which I quoted to the fanciullo, that there are no handsome prisons! Did not the son of that celebrated Frenchman, surnamed Bras de Fer, write a book not only to prove that adversities are more necessary than prosperities, but that among all adversities a prison is the most pleasant and profitable?[17] But is not this condition of mine, voluntarily and experimentally incurred, a type of my life? Is it the first time that I have thrust myself into a hobble?—and if in a hobble of mine own choosing, why should I blame the gods?"

Upon this, Dr. Riccabocca fell into a train of musing so remote from time and place, that in a few minutes he no more remembered that he was in the Parish Stocks, than a lover remembers that flesh is grass, a miser that mammon is perishable, a philosopher that wisdom is vanity. Dr. Riccabocca was in the clouds.


The dullest dog that ever wrote a novel (and, entre nous, reader—but let it go no farther—we have a good many dogs among the fraternity that are not Munitos),[18] might have seen with half an eye that the Parson's discourse had produced a very genial and humanizing effect upon his audience. When all was over, and the congregation stood up to let Mr. Hazeldean and his family walk first down the aisle, (for that was the custom at Hazeldean,) moistened eyes glanced at the Squire's sun-burned, manly face with a kindness that bespoke revived memory of many a generous benefit and ready service. The head might be wrong now and then—the heart was in the right place, after all. And the lady, leaning on his arm, came in for a large share of that gracious good feeling. True, she now and then gave a little offense when the cottages were not so clean as she fancied they ought to be—and poor folks don't like a liberty taken with their houses any more than the rich do; true, that she was not quite so popular with the women as the Squire was, for, if the husband went too often to the alehouse, she always laid the fault on the wife, and said, "No man would go out of doors for his comforts, if he had a smiling face and a clean hearth at his home;" whereas the Squire maintained the more gallant opinion, that "if Gill was a shrew, it was because Jack did not, as in duty bound, stop her mouth with a kiss!" Still, notwithstanding these more obnoxious notions on her part, and a certain awe inspired by the stiff silk gown and the handsome aquiline nose, it was impossible, especially in the softened tempers of that Sunday afternoon, not to associate the honest, comely, beaming countenance of Mrs. Hazeldean with comfortable recollections of soups, jellies, and wine in sickness, loaves and blankets in winter, cheering words and ready visits in every little distress, and pretexts afforded by improvement in the grounds and gardens (improvements which, as the Squire, who preferred productive labor, justly complained, "would never finish") for little timely jobs of work to some veteran grandsire, who still liked to earn a penny, or some ruddy urchin in a family that "came too fast." Nor was Frank, as he walked a little behind, in the whitest of trowsers and the stiffest of neckcloths—with a look of suppressed roguery in his bright hazel eye, that contrasted his assumed stateliness of mien—without his portion of the silent blessing. Not that he had done any thing yet to deserve[Pg 393] it; but we all give youth so large a credit in the future. As for Miss Jemima, her trifling foibles only rose from too soft and feminine a susceptibility, too ivy-like a yearning for some masculine oak, whereon to entwine her tendrils; and so little confined to self was the natural lovingness of her disposition, that she had helped many a village lass to find a husband, by the bribe of a marriage gift from her own privy purse; notwithstanding the assurances with which she accompanied the marriage gift,—viz., that "the bridegroom would turn out like the rest of his ungrateful sex; but that it was a comfort to think that it would be all one in the approaching crash." So that she had her warm partisans, especially among the young; while the slim Captain, on whose arm she rested her forefinger, was at least a civil-spoken gentleman, who had never done any harm, and who would doubtless do a deal of good if he belonged to the parish. Nay, even the fat footman, who came last with the family Prayer-book, had his due share in the general association of neighborly kindness between hall and hamlet. Few were there present to whom he had not extended the right-hand of fellowship, with a full horn of October in the clasp of it: and he was a Hazeldean man, too, born and bred, as two-thirds of the Squire's household (now letting themselves out from their large pew under the gallery) were.

On his part, too, you could see that the Squire was 'moved withal,' and a little humbled moreover. Instead of walking erect, and taking bow and courtesy as matter of course, and of no meaning, he hung his head somewhat, and there was a slight blush on his cheek; and as he glanced upward and round him—shyly, as it were—and his eye met those friendly looks, it returned them with an earnestness that had in it something touching as well as cordial—an eye that said, as well as eye could say, "I don't quite deserve it, I fear, neighbors; but I thank you for your good-will with my whole heart." And so readily was that glance of the eye understood that I think, if that scene had taken place out of doors instead of in the church, there would have been an hurrah as the Squire passed out of sight.

Scarcely had Mr. Hazeldean got well out of the church-yard, ere Mr. Stirn was whispering in his ear. As Stirn whispered the Squire's face grew long, and his color changed. The congregation, now flocking out of the church, exchanged looks with each other; that ominous conjunction between Squire and man chilled back all the effects of the Parson's sermon. The Squire struck his cane violently into the ground. "I would rather you had told me Black Bess had got the glanders. A young gentleman, coming to visit my son, struck and insulted in Hazeldean; a young gentleman—'sdeath, sir, a relation—his grandmother was a Hazeldean. I do believe Jemima's right, and the world's coming to an end! But Leonard Fairfield in the Stocks! What will the Parson say? and after such a sermon! 'Rich man, respect the poor!' And the good widow too; and poor Mark, who almost died in my arms. Stirn, you have a heart of stone! You confounded, lawless, merciless miscreant, who the deuce gave you the right to imprison man or boy in my parish of Hazeldean without trial, sentence, or warrant? Run and let the boy out before any one sees him: run, or I shall."—The Squire elevated the cane, and his eyes shot fire. Mr. Stirn did not run, but he walked off very fast. The Squire drew back a few paces, and again took his wife's arm. "Just wait a bit for the Parson, while I talk to the congregation. I want to stop 'em all if I can, from going into the village; but how?"

Frank heard, and replied readily—

"Give 'em some beer, sir."

"Beer! on a Sunday! For shame, Frank!" cried Mrs. Hazeldean.

"Hold your tongue, Harry. Thank you, Frank," said the Squire, and his brow grew as clear as the blue sky above him. I doubt if Riccabocca could have got him out of his dilemma with the same ease as Frank had done.

"Halt there, my men—lads and lasses too—there, halt a bit. Mrs. Fairfield, do you hear?—halt! I think his reverence has given us a capital sermon. Go up to the Great House all of you, and drink a glass to his health. Frank, go with them; and tell Spruce to tap one of the casks kept for the haymakers. Harry, [this in a whisper] catch the Parson, and tell him to come to me instantly."

"My dear Hazeldean, what has happened? you are mad."

"Don't bother—do what I tell you."

"But where is the Parson to find you?"

"Where, gad zooks, Mrs. H., at the Stocks to be sure!"


Dr. Riccabocca, awakened out of his reverie by the sound of footsteps—was still so little sensible of the indignity of his position, that he enjoyed exceedingly and with all the malice of his natural humor, the astonishment and stupor manifested by Stirn, when that functionary beheld the extraordinary substitute which fate and philosophy had found for Lenny Fairfield. Instead of the weeping, crushed, broken-hearted captive whom he had reluctantly come to deliver, he stared, speechless and aghast, upon the grotesque but tranquil figure of the Doctor, enjoying his pipe and cooling himself under his umbrella, with a sang-froid that was truly appalling and diabolical. Indeed, considering that Stirn always suspected the Papisher of having had a hand in the whole of that black and midnight business, in which the Stocks had been broken, bunged up, and consigned to perdition, and that the Papisher had the evil reputation of dabbling in the Black Art, the hocus-pocus way in which the Lenny he incarcerated was transformed into the Doctor he found, conjoined with[Pg 394] the peculiarly strange, eldritch, and Mephistophelean physiognomy and person of Riccabocca, could not but strike a thrill of superstitious dismay into the breast of the parochial tyrant. While to his first confused and stammered exclamations and interrogatories, Riccabocca replied with so tragic an air, such ominous shakes of the head, such mysterious, equivocating, long-worded sentences, that Stirn every moment felt more and more convinced that the boy had sold himself to the Powers of Darkness; and that he himself, prematurely, and in the flesh, stood face to face with the Arch-Enemy.

Mr. Stirn had not yet recovered his wonted intelligence, which, to do him justice, was usually prompt enough—when the Squire, followed hard by the Parson, arrived at the spot. Indeed, Mrs. Hazeldean's report of the Squire's urgent message, disturbed manner, and most unparalleled invitation to the parishioners, had given wings to Parson Dale's ordinarily slow and sedate movements. And while the Squire, sharing Stirn's amazement, beheld indeed a great pair of feet projecting from the stocks, and saw behind them the grave face of Doctor Riccabocca, under the majestic shade of the umbrella, but not a vestige of the only being his mind could identify with the tenancy of the Stocks, Mr. Dale, catching him by the arm, and panting hard, exclaimed with a petulance he had never before been known to display—except at the whist-table—

"Mr. Hazeldean, Mr. Hazeldean, I am scandalized—I am shocked at you. I can bear a great deal from you, sir, as I ought to do; but to ask my whole congregation, the moment after divine service, to go up and guzzle ale at the Hall, and drink my health, as if a clergyman's sermon had been a speech at a cattle-fair! I am ashamed of you, and of the parish! What on earth has come to you all?"

"That's the very question I wish to Heaven I could answer," groaned the Squire, quite mildly and pathetically—"What on earth has come to us all! Ask Stirn:" (then bursting out) "Stirn, you infernal rascal, don't you hear?—what on earth has come to us all?"

"The Papisher is at the bottom of it, sir," said Stirn, provoked out of all temper. "I does my duty, but I is but a mortal man, arter all."

"A mortal fiddlestick—where's Leonard Fairfield, I say?"

"Him knows best," answered Stirn, retreating mechanically, for safety's sake, behind the Parson, and pointing to Dr. Riccabocca. Hitherto, though both the Squire and Parson had indeed recognized the Italian, they had merely supposed him to be seated on the bank. It never entered into their heads that so respectable and dignified a man could by any possibility be an inmate, compelled or voluntary, of the Parish Stocks. No, not even though, as I before said, the Squire had seen, just under his nose, a very long pair of soles inserted in the aperture—that sight had only confused and bewildered him, unaccompanied as it ought to have been with the trunk and face of Lenny Fairfield. Those soles seemed to him optical delusions, phantoms of the overheated brain; but now, catching hold of Stirn, while the Parson in equal astonishment caught hold of him—the squire faltered out, "Well, this beats cock-fighting! The man's as mad as a March hare, and has taken Dr. Rickeybockey for little Lenny!"

"Perhaps," said the Doctor, breaking silence, with a bland smile, and attempting an inclination of the head as courteous as his position would permit—"perhaps, if it be quite the same to you, before you proceed to explanations—you will just help me out of the Stocks."

The Parson, despite his perplexity and anger, could not repress a smile, as he approached his learned friend, and bent down for the purpose of extricating him.

"Lord love your reverence, you'd better not!" cried Mr. Stirn. "Don't be tempted—he only wants to get you into his claws. I would not go a-near him for all the—"

The speech was interrupted by Dr. Riccabocca himself, who now, thanks to the Parson, had risen into his full height, and half a head taller than all present—even than the tall Squire—approached Mr. Stirn, with a gracious wave of the hand. Mr. Stirn retreated rapidly toward the hedge, amidst the brambles of which he plunged himself incontinently.

"I guess whom you take me for, Mr. Stirn," said the Italian, lifting his hat with his characteristic politeness. "It is certainly a great honor; but you will know better one of these days, when the gentleman in question admits you to a personal interview in another and—a hotter world."


"But how on earth did you get into my new Stocks?" asked the Squire, scratching his head.

"My dear sir, Pliny the elder got into the crater of Mount Etna."

"Did he, and what for?"

"To try what it was like, I suppose," answered Riccabocca.

The Squire burst out a-laughing.

"And so you got into the Stocks to try what it was like. Well, I can't wonder—it is a very handsome pair of Stocks," continued the Squire, with a loving look at the object of his praise. "Nobody need be ashamed of being seen in those Stocks—I should not mind it myself."

"We had better move on," said the Parson drily, "or we shall be having the whole village here presently, gazing on the lord of the manor in the same predicament as that from which we have just extricated the Doctor. Now pray what is the matter with Lenny Fairfield? I can't understand a word of what has passed. You don't mean to say that good Lenny Fairfield (who was absent from church by-the-by) can have done any thing to get into disgrace?"

[Pg 395]

"Yes, he has though," cried the Squire. "Stirn, I say—Stirn." But Stirn had forced his way through the hedge and vanished. Thus left to his own powers of narrative at second-hand, Mr. Hazeldean now told all he had to communicate: the assault upon Randal Leslie, and the prompt punishment inflicted by Stirn; his own indignation at the affront to his young kinsman, and his good-natured merciful desire to save the culprit from the addition of public humiliation.

The Parson, mollified toward the rude and hasty invention of the beer-drinking, took the Squire by the hand. "Ah, Mr. Hazeldean, forgive me," he said repentantly; "I ought to have known at once that it was only some ebullition of your heart that could stifle your sense of decorum. But this is a sad story about Lenny, brawling and fighting on the Sabbath-day. So unlike him, too—I don't know what to make of it."

"Like or unlike," said the Squire, "it has been a gross insult to young Leslie; and looks all the worse because I and Audley are not just the best friends in the world. I can't think what it is," continued Mr. Hazeldean, musingly, "but it seems that there must be always some association of fighting connected with that prim half-brother of mine. There was I, son of his own mother—who might have been shot through the lungs, only the ball lodged in the shoulder—and now his wife's kinsman—my kinsman, too—grandmother a Hazeldean—a hard-reading sober lad, as I am given to understand, can't set his foot into the quietest parish in the three kingdoms, but what the mildest boy that ever was seen—makes a rush at him like a mad bull. It is Fatality!" cried the Squire solemnly.

"Ancient legend records similar instances of totality in certain houses," observed Riccabocca. "There was the House of Pelops—and Polynices and Eteocles—the sons of Œdipus!"

"Pshaw," said the Parson; "but what's to be done?"

"Done?" said the Squire; "why, reparation must be made to young Leslie. And though I wished to spare Lenny, the young ruffian, a public disgrace—for your sake, Parson Dale, and Mrs. Fairfield's; yet a good caning in private—"

"Stop, sir!" said Riccabocca mildly, "and hear me." The Italian then, with much feeling and considerable tact, pleaded the cause of his poor protégé, and explained how Lenny's error arose only from mistaken zeal for the Squire's service, and in the execution of the orders received from Mr. Stirn.

"That alters the matter," said the Squire, softened: "and all that is necessary now will be for him to make a proper apology to my kinsman."

"Yes, that is just," rejoined the Parson; "but I still don't learn how he got out of the Stocks."

Riccabocca then resumed his tale; and, after confessing his own principal share in Lenny's escape, drew a moving picture of the boy's shame and honest mortification. "Let us march against Philip!" cried the Athenians when they heard Demosthenes—

"Let us go at once and comfort the child!" cried the Parson, before Riccabocca could finish.

With that benevolent intention, all three quickened their pace, and soon arrived at the widow's cottage. But Lenny had caught sight of their approach through the window; and not doubting that, in spite of Riccabocca's intercession, the Parson was come to upbraid, and the Squire to re-imprison, he darted out by the back way, got among the woods, and lay there perdu all the evening. Nay, it was not till after dark that his mother—who sate wringing her hands in the little kitchen, and trying in vain to listen to the Parson and Mrs. Dale, who (after sending in search of the fugitive) had kindly come to console the mother—heard a timid knock at the door and a nervous fumble at the latch. She started up, opened the door, and Lenny sprang to her bosom, and there buried his face, sobbing loud.

"No harm, my boy," said the Parson, tenderly; "you have nothing to fear—all is explained and forgiven."

Lenny looked up, and the veins on his forehead were much swollen. "Sir," said he, sturdily, "I don't want to be forgiven—I ain't done no wrong. And—I've been disgraced—and I won't go to school, never no more."

"Hush, Carry!" said the Parson to his wife, who, with the usual liveliness of her little temper, was about to expostulate. "Good-night, Mrs. Fairfield. I shall come and talk to you to-morrow, Lenny; by that time you will think better of it."

The Parson then conducted his wife home, and went up to the Hall to report Lenny's safe return; for the Squire was very uneasy about him, and had even in person shared the search. As soon as he heard Lenny was safe—"Well," said the Squire, "let him go the first thing in the morning to Rood Hall, to ask Master Leslie's pardon, and all will be right and smooth again."

"A young villain!" cried Frank, with his cheeks the color of scarlet; "to strike a gentleman and an Etonian, who had just been to call on me! But I wonder Randal let him off so well—any other boy in the sixth form would have killed him!"

"Frank," said the Parson, sternly, "if we all had our deserts, what should be done to him who not only lets the sun go down on his own wrath, but strives with uncharitable breath to fan the dying embers of another's?"

The clergyman here turned away from Frank, who bit his lip, and seemed abashed—while even his mother said not a word in his exculpation; for when the Parson did reprove in that stern tone, the majesty of the Hall stood awed before the rebuke of the Church. Catching[Pg 396] Riccabocca's inquisitive eye, Mr. Dale drew aside the philosopher, and whispered to him his fears that it would be a very hard matter to induce Lenny to beg Randal Leslie's pardon, and that the proud stomach of the pattern-boy would not digest the Stocks with as much ease as a long regimen of philosophy had enabled the sage to do. This conference Miss Jemima soon interrupted by a direct appeal to the Doctor respecting the number of years (even without any previous and more violent incident) that the world could possibly withstand its own wear and tear.

"Ma'am," said the Doctor, reluctantly summoned away, to look at a passage in some prophetic periodical upon that interesting subject—"ma'am, it is very hard that you should make one remember the end of the world, since, in conversing with you, one's natural temptation is to forget its existence."

Miss Jemima blushed scarlet. Certainly that deceitful, heartless compliment justified all her contempt for the male sex; and yet, such is human blindness, it went far to redeem all mankind in her credulous and too confiding soul.

"He is about to propose," sighed Miss Jemima.

"Giacomo," said Riccabocca, as he drew on his nightcap, and stepped majestically into the four-posted bed. "I think we shall get that boy for the garden now!"

Thus each spurred his hobby, or drove her car, round the Hazeldean whirligig.

(To be continued.)


The bird of Æsculapius ought, certainly, to have been a goose; for "Quack, quack, quack," should be the great motto of medicine. One professor invents an ointment for other people's bad legs, which keeps him comfortably on his own, while another makes a harvest of every body's corn, and a third publishes a pill to smooth the pillow of every invalid, or a bolus to render his bolster bearable. In another phase of quackery, we find specifics for the hair recommended to those who are ready to take any nonsense into their heads, and will boldly stand "the hazard of the dye," in the vain hope that the gray, indicating the twilight or winter time of life, may be exchanged for the dark, brown tints of summer, or autumn at the latest; and we are constantly being invited to "remove our baldness" in advertisements, which we know to be the very essence of balderdash.

Quackery, however, seems to be successful in some cases, for the public will swallow any thing from a puff to a pill, from music to medicine, from a play to a plaster, and there is no doubt that (to paraphrase Macbeth, when speaking of the possibility that Birnam Wood being come to Dunsinane:)

"If Barnum would but come to Drury Lane,"

he would, by his force of quackery, make that pay him which has paid no one else during the last quarter of a century. Such is the spirit of the age, that, reading the accounts from America relative to our own protégée, Jenny Lind, we are disposed to think that the nightingale is being made a goose of in the United States—so vast is the amount of quackery with which her name is just now identified.

As there is good to be got from every evil, we are justified in expecting that the puff and quack malady will cure itself, and if things are likely to mend when they get to the worst, we may congratulate ourselves upon humbug having reached almost the antipodes of sense and propriety. The balloon mania has already nearly exhausted the utmost resources of absurdity; for M. Poitevin on a donkey—how very like putting butter upon bacon! has failed to attract, and three or four women suspended in the air are now necessary to tempt the curiosity of the Parisian public when a balloon ascends from the Hippodrome. We expect to hear next that Poitevin intends going up attached to the balloon by the hair of his head, for he seems quite silly enough to become the victim of such a very foolish attachment.—Punch.



"Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light.
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow,
The Year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
"Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
"Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
"Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
"Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of God.
"Ring out the shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace."
[Pg 397]


Among the various articles exposed for sale to the natives, in the innumerable streets of Canton, the edible birds'-nests deserve especial notice. They owe their celebrity only to the whimsical luxury of the Chinese, and are brought principally from Java and Sumatra, though they are found on most of the rocky islets of the Indian Archipelago.

The nest is the habitation of a small swallow, named (from the circumstance of having an edible house) hirundo esculenta. They are composed of a mucilaginous substance, but as yet have never been analyzed with sufficient accuracy to show the constituents. Externally, they resemble ill-concocted, fibrous isinglass, and are of a white color, inclining to red. Their thickness is little more than that of a silver spoon, and the weight from a quarter to half an ounce.

When dry, they are brittle, and wrinkled; the size is nearly that of a goose's egg. Those that are dry, white, and clean, are the most valuable. They are packed in bundles, with split rattans run through them to preserve the shape. Those procured after the young are fledged are not salable in China.

The quality of the nests, varies according to the situation and extent of the caves, and the time at which they are taken. If procured before the young are fledged, the nests are of the best kind; if they contain eggs only, they are still valuable; but, if the young are in the nests, or have left them, the whole are then nearly worthless, being dark-colored, streaked with blood, and intermixed with feathers and dirt.

These nests are procurable twice every year; the best are found in deep, damp caves, which, if not injured, will continue to produce indefinitely. It was once thought that the caves near the sea-coast were the most productive; but some of the most profitable yet found, are situated fifty miles in the interior. This fact seems to be against the opinion, that the nests are composed of the spawn of fish, or of bêche-de-mer.

The method of procuring these nests is not unattended with danger. Some of the caves are so precipitous, that no one, but those accustomed to the employment from their youth, can obtain the nests, being only approachable by a perpendicular descent of many hundred feet, by ladders of bamboo and rattan, over a sea rolling violently against the rocks. When the mouth of the cave is attained, the perilous task of taking the nests must often be performed by torch-light, by penetrating into recesses of the rock, where the slightest slip would be instantly fatal to the adventurers, who see nothing below them but the turbulent surf, making its way into the chasms of the rock—such is the price paid to gratify luxury.

After the nests are obtained, they are separated from feathers and dirt, are carefully dried and packed, and are then fit for the market. The Chinese, who are the only people that purchase them for their own use, bring them in junks to this market, where they command extravagant prices; the best, or white kind, often being worth four thousand dollars per pecul,[19] which is nearly twice their weight in silver. The middling kind is worth from twelve to eighteen hundred, and the worst, or those procured after fledging, one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars per pecul. The majority of the best kind are sent to Pekin, for the use of the court.

It appears, therefore, that this curious dish is only an article of expensive luxury among the Chinese; the Japanese do not use it at all, and how the former people acquired the habit of indulging in it, is only less singular than their persevering in it.

They consider the edible bird's-nest as a great stimulent, tonic, and aphrodisiac, but its best quality, perhaps, is its being perfectly harmless. The labor bestowed to render it fit for the table is enormous; every feather, stick, or impurity of any kind, is carefully removed; and then, after undergoing many washings and preparations, it is made into a soft, delicious jelly. The sale of birds'-nests is a monopoly with all the governments in whose dominions they are found. About two hundred and fifty thousand peculs, at a value of one million four hundred thousand dollars, are annually brought to Canton. These come from the islands of Java, Sumatra, Macassar, and those of the Sooloo group. Java alone sends about thirty thousand pounds, mostly of the first quality, estimated at seventy thousand dollars.

I am indebted for much information on this curious article of commerce, to the captain of a Java ship, a very well informed man, trading regularly to China, who had large quantities on board, and whose wife, a native of that country, to satisfy my curiosity, prepared a dinner for me of Chinese dishes, including the bird's-nest and the sea-slug, both of which I partook of, and found them very palatable.—Berncastle's Voyage to China.


Of all the passions to which the human mind can surrender itself, there is none more absorbing than the mania of book-collecting. Let those speak honestly who have indulged in it. It is a species of bulimia—an insatiable appetite, which "grows by what it feeds on." I have purchased my experience of this matter rather dearly, having at one period occupied much time, and laid out more money than I like to think of, in forming a select and curious library. My books formed my chief solace and amusement during many years of an active and unprofitable professional life. The pressure of pecuniary difficulties forced me to part with them, and taught me practically, though not pleasantly, the vast distinction between buying and selling. It was something to see placarded in imposing type, "Catalogue of the valuable[Pg 398] and select library of a gentleman, containing many rare and curious editions." But, alas! the sum produced was scarcely a third of the intrinsic value, and less than half of the original cost. There have been instances—but they are "few and far between"—where libraries have been sold at a premium. Take for an example the collection of Dr. Farmer, of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, singularly rich in Shakspearian authorities and black-letter lore, which produced above £2200, and was supposed to have cost the owner not more than £500. Many were presents. When you get the character of a collector, a stray gift often drops in, and scarce volumes find their way to your shelves, which the quondam owners, uninitiated in bibliomania, know not the worth of. I once purchased an excellent copy of the quarto "Hamlet," of 1611, of an unsuspecting bibliopolist, for ten shillings; my conscience smote me, but the temptation was irresistible.[20] The best copy in existence of the Caxtonian edition of Gower's "De Confessione Amantis," fol., 1483, one of the rarest among printed books, when found perfect, was purchased by a Dublin bookseller, at Cork, with a lot of old rubbish (in 1832), for a mere trifle, and was sold afterward for more than £300. It is now in the celebrated Spenser Library, at Althorp. For some time after the sale of my library I was very miserable. I had parted with old companions, every-day associates, long-tried friends, who never quarreled with me, and never ruffled my temper. But I knew the sacrifice was inevitable, and I became reconciled to what I could not avoid. I thought of Roscoe, and what he must have suffered in the winter of life, when a similar calamity fell on him, and he was forced by worldly pressure to sell a library ten times more valuable. I recollected, too, the affecting lines he penned on the occasion:

(By W. Roscoe, on parting from his Library.)
"As one, who, destined from his friends to part,
Regrets his loss, but hopes again erewhile
To share their converse, and enjoy their smile,
And tempers, as he may, affliction's dart;
Thus, loved associates, chiefs of elder art,
Teachers of wisdom, who could once beguile
My tedious hours, and lighten every toil,
I now resign you; nor with fainting heart;
For pass a few short years, or days, or hours,
And happier seasons may their dawn unfold,
And all your sacred fellowship restore;
When, freed from earth, unlimited its powers,
Mind shall with mind direct communion hold,
And kindred spirits meet to part no more."

What time does book-collecting occupy! what anxiety it excites! what money it requires! The great use of books is to read them; the mere possession is a fantasy. Your genuine book-collector seldom reads any thing but catalogues, after the mania has fully possessed him, or such bibliographical works as facilitate his purchases. If you are too poor to buy, and want to read, there are public libraries abundantly accessible. There is a circulating library in every village, and there are plenty of private collections undisturbed by their owners. Subscribe or borrow; don't steal! a common practice enough, notwithstanding, and not without authority.[21] If your friends are churlish and won't lend, and your pockets are empty, and you can't even subscribe, still you can think—you must try to remember what you have read, and live on your recollections of past enjoyment, as the wife of Bath did, in old Chaucer's tale. You'll save your eyes, too; and when you get beyond forty-five that point is worth attending to. After all, what do we collect for? At most, a few years' possession of what we can very well do without. When Sir Walter Raleigh was on his way to execution, he called for a cup of ale, and observed, "That is good drink, if a man could only stay by it." So are rare and curious libraries good things, if we could stay by them; but we can't. When the time comes, we must go, and then our books, and pictures, and prints, and furniture, and China go, too; and are knocked down by the smirking, callous auctioneer, with as little remorse as a butcher knocks a bullock on the head, or a poulterer wrings round the neck of a pullet, or a surgeon slips your arm out of the socket, chuckling at his own skill, while you are writhing in unspeakable agony.

Don't collect books, and don't envy the possessors of costly libraries. Read and recollect. Of course you have a Bible and Prayer-book. Add to these the Pilgrim's Progress, Shakspeare, Milton, Pope, Byron (if you like), a History of England, Greece, and Rome, Boswell's Life of Johnson, and Napier's Peninsular War. A moderate sum will give you these; and you possess a cabinet encyclopedia of religious, moral, and entertaining knowledge, containing more than you want for practical purposes, and quite as much as your brains can easily carry. Never mind the old classics; leave them to college libraries, where they look respectable, and enjoy long slumbers. The monthly periodicals will place you much more au courant with the conversation and acquirements of the day. Add, if you can, a ledger, with a good sound balance on the right side, and you will be a happier, and perhaps, a better read man, than though you were uncontrolled master of the Bodleian, the National Library of France, and the innumerable tomes of the Vatican into the bargain.

Don't collect books, I tell you again emphatically. See what in my case it led to—"one modern instance more." Collect wisdom; collect experience; above all, collect money—not as our friend Horace recommends, "quocunque modo," but by honest industry alone. And when you have done this, remember it was my advice, and be grateful.

What I say here applies to private collecting only. Far be it from me to discourage great public libraries, which, under proper arrangements, are great public benefits; useful to society,[Pg 399] and invaluable to literature. But as they are regulated at present, fenced round with so many restrictions, and accessible chiefly to privileged dignitaries, or well-paid officials, who seldom trouble them, they are little better than close boroughs, with a very narrow constituency.


A bachelor's life is not without its attractions. Freedom of will and action are, at least, among a bachelor's joys; but experience has taught me that, after a certain time, such absence from restraint resolves itself into that species of liberty which Macaulay touchingly designates "the desolate freedom of the wild ass."

I came to London about ten years ago to study for the bar. I was entered at the Inner Temple, and, as far as the dinner-eating went, I can safely assert that I was an ornament to the Hall. I adorned the margin of my copy of "Burn's Justice" with caricatures of the benchers; and my friends appended facetious notes to my "Blackstone." I went to the masquerade in my gown; and strolled down to my law-tutor's chambers for the ostensible purpose of reading, about two p.m., daily. In short, I went through the usual routine of young gentlemen of ardent temperaments and competent means when they begin life: like most men, also, the pace of my fast days moderated in due time. About the time of my call to the bar I began to study. My old companions, finding that I was becoming, what they were pleased to designate, "slow," dropped off. I entered into the solitude of lodgings, near Brunswick-square, and read eagerly. Still I found it necessary to relieve my legal studies with copious draughts from all the great fountains of inspiration, and I fear, that even when I was endeavoring to crack the hardest passages of "Blackstone," my ideas continually reverted either to the grace of Montaigne, the wit of Congreve and Pope, the sparkle and depth of Shakspeare, or the massive grandeur of Milton. By degrees my books became my dearest, my only associates. Though as a companion and friend I had decidedly fallen off, I improved as a lodger: I kept regular hours, and paid all my bills punctually.

My landlady grew confidential, in proportion as I grew domestic. She favored me with her history from the time of her birth. I knew how she took the measles; the precise effect of her visit to a vaccine establishment; the origin of a scar over her left eyebrow; the income of her brother in Somersetshire; the number of kittens which her cat annually produced; the character she gave her last servant; and the fond affection she had lavished upon a brute of a husband. These matters, however, were intrusted to me in confidence; and, to use an original phrase, they shall be buried with me in my grave! I had no occasion to repay my landlady's confidence with my own, because she paid herself. I could keep no secrets from her. She knew the contents of my trunks, desks, and drawers, as well as I did—better, for, if I lost any little article, I never, perhaps, missed it. I was seldom allowed to wear a pair of dress gloves more than once: when a collar was not to be had, "them washerwomen was," I was told, "always a-losing of something or other." I am sure the flavor of my tea, the quality of my mutton, and the excellence of my coals, were no secrets to my landlady: but she had many good qualities, so I ate what she left me in silence and in peace.

Despite my but too prying landlady, however, I got on very well by myself; and, like men who live alone, I became egotistic and lazy. I thought of the weaver at his loom; the lawyer burning the midnight composition over his brief; the author, with his throbbing temples, hard at work; and I rejoiced quietly by my fire and in my books. There was a selfish pleasure in the conviction that my case was so much better than that of thousands of the toilers and strugglers of the earth. This I found a capital philosophy for every day in the year—except one. On that day my landlady entered my room, and, with a few words, blighted my happiness, and made me miserable as the veriest outcast.

"Beg pardon for interrupting you," the worthy soul said, "but I wish to know whether you dine at home on Christmas Day. Though, of course, you will be with your friends—but I thought I might as well make sure."

The good woman must have noticed my confusion. I stammered out something in the most awkward manner; but contrived to make her understand, in the end, that I should dine at home.

"On Christmas Day, sir?" the woman repeated, with particular emphasis. "I'm talking about Christmas Day, when every gentleman dines with his friends and relations; leastways, all the gentlemen I ever had, have done so."

"My friends live in Scotland, where Christmas is no festival," I replied, rather relieved at the opportunity of explaining my solitary condition.

"Well, dear a-me!" my landlady went on to say, "that's very awkward, very awkward, sir, indeed. Dear, dear a-me, what shall I do? My table, down stairs, won't hold any thing like fifteen!"

Fifteen persons to greet my landlady on Christmas Day, and not a soul to break bread with me! I saw, at once, the tendency of her observation as to the size of her table; and willingly offered to vacate my room for her great annual festivity. This offer was eagerly accepted, and once more I was left to my solitude. From that moment my fortitude deserted me. I knew that the weaver would enjoy his Christmas feast; that the lawyer would throw aside his brief, and, abating his professional solemnity, would, on Christmas Day, make merry; and that the author would leave the pen in the ink-stand[Pg 400] to be jolly during a great portion of those twenty-four happy hours. Let me confess that I felt sick at heart—stupidly and profoundly dejected.

On Christmas eve the maid came into my room, and, with a beaming face, begged that I would allow her to decorate it with holly: she said nothing about the misletoe which she carried under her apron, but I saw her dextrously fasten it above the door-way. I was very lonely that evening. The six square yards of space which I occupied were the only six square yards in the neighborhood not occupied by laughing human creatures. The noise of my landlady and her relatives below made me savage; and when she sent up the servant to ask whether I would like to step below, and take a stir at the pudding, my "no!" was given in such a decided tone that the poor girl vanished with miraculous celerity.

The knocks at the street-door were incessant. First it was the turkey, then the apples, oranges, and chestnuts, for dessert, then the new dinner-set, then the sirloin. Each separate item of the approaching feast was hailed with smothered welcomes by the women, who rushed into the passage to examine and greet it. Presently a knock sounded through the house, that had to me a solemn and highly unpleasant sound, though it could not have differed from the preceding knocks. I listened to the opening of the door, and heard my landlady, in a sympathetic tone of voice, declare, that "it was only the first-floor's steak; poor fellow!" My loneliness, then, was a theme of pitiful consideration with the people below! I was very angry, and paced my room with rapid strides. I thought I would wear cotton-wool for the next four-and-twenty hours, to shut out the din of general enjoyment. I tried, after a short time, to compose myself to my book; but, just as I was about to take it down from the shelf, the servant, having occasion to enter my room, informed me in a high state of chuckling excitement, that "missis's friends was a-going to light up a snap-dragon!" and the shouts that burst upon me a few minutes afterward confirmed the girl's report. I was now fairly savage, and, having called for my candle, in a loud, determined voice, went to bed, with the firm conviction that the revelers below were my sworn enemies, and with the resolution of giving warning on the following morning—yes, on Christmas Day.

Brooding over the revenge I promised myself for the following morning, I went to sleep, and dreamed of the Arctic solitudes and the Sahara Desert. I was standing at a dry well, surrounded, on all sides, by endless sand, when a loud rumbling noise broke upon my dream. I awoke, and heard a heavy footstep passing my chamber. I started from my bed, flung open my door, and shouted, "Who's there?"

"It's only me, sir, a-going for to put the puddin' in the copper," said an uncommonly cheerful voice.

Here was a delightful opening scene of my Christmas Day. I believe I muttered a wish, that my landlady's pudding had been in a locality where it might boil at any time without disturbing any lodger.

That morning I rang four times for my hot water, three times for my boots, and was asked to eat cold ham instead of my usual eggs, because no room could be spared at the fire to boil them. I occupied my landlady's back parlor, and was intruded upon, every minute, because a thousand things wanted "for up-stairs" were left in odd nooks and corners of the room. I had no easy-chair. My books were all "put away," save a copy of "Jean Racine," which I had taken down by mistake for a volume of the "Racine." My breakfast-table could not be cleared for three hours after I had finished my meal. I was asked to allow a saucepan to be placed upon my fire. It was suggested to me that I might dine at two o'clock, in order to have my repast over and cleared away before the feast up-stairs began. I assented to this proposition with ill-feigned carelessness—although my blood boiled (like the pudding) at the impertinence of the request. But I was too proud to allow my landlady the least insight into the real state of my feelings. Poor soul! it was not her fault that I had no circle within my reach; yet I remember that throughout the day I regarded her as the impersonation of fiendish malice.

After I had dined she came to ask me if there was any thing she could do for me? I regarded her intrusion only as one prompted by a vulgar wish to show me her fine ribbons and jaunty cap, and curtly told her that I did not require her services. To relieve myself of the load of vexation which oppressed me, I strolled into the streets; but I was soon driven back to my landlady's little parlor—the gayety that resounded from every house, and the deserted streets without, were even more annoying than her marked attention. I sat down once more, and doggedly read the heavy verse of Jean. I called for my tea; and, in reply, I was informed that I should have it directly the dinner was over up-stairs. My patience was giving way rapidly. My tea was produced, however, after a considerable delay; and I then thought I would make a desperate attempt to forget the jovial scenes that were going forward in every nook and corner of the country—save in my desolate, sombre, close back parlor. I swung my feet upon the fender, leisurely filled the bowl of my meerschaum, and was about to mix my first fragrant cup, when that horrible servant again made her appearance, holding a dark steaming lump of something, on a plate.

"Please, sir, missis's compliments, and p'raps you'd accept this bit of Christmas puddin'?"

I could have hurled it, plate and all, into the yard below. I saw myself at once an object of profound pity and charity to the company above. Although I am extremely fond of that marvelous compound of good things eaten with brandy-sauce on Christmas Day, I could not have[Pg 401] touched my landlady's proffered plateful for any consideration. I gave a medical reason for declining the dainty, and once more turned to my pipe and my tea. As the white smoke curled from my mouth a waking dream stole over me. I fancied that I was Robinson Crusoe: my parrot dead, and my dog run away. I cursed fate that had consigned me to a solitude. I recited a few verses from Keats aloud, and the sound of my voice seemed strange and harsh. I poked the fire, and whistled, and hummed—to restore myself to the full enjoyment, or rather to the misery, of my senses. The tea on that evening only was green tea. I felt its effects. I grew nervous and irritable.

The servant once more invaded my seclusion—what could she want now?

"Please, sir, have you done with the tea-things? I'm a-going to wash 'em for up-stairs."

"Take them;" I replied, not very gracefully. The servant thanked me, as I thought, with impertinent good-nature, and cleared the table.

About this time, sounds of merriment began to resound from the Christmas party. The shrill laughter of children was mingled with the hoarse guffaws of their parents; and the house shook at intervals with the romps of both parties. In the height of my desolate agony it gave me no little consolation to think that those children who were at their games, would probably dance to the tune of a tutor's cane at no distant interval. Such was my envy at the exuberant mirth that reached me in fitful gusts as the doors were opened or shut, that I felt all sorts of uncharitableness. Presently there was a lull in the laughter-storm. I began to hope that the party was about to break up. A gentle footstep was audible, descending the stairs. There was a smothered call for Mary. Mary obeyed the summons; and the following dialogue was whispered in the passage:

"Did he eat the pudding?"

"No, mum—he was afraid of it: and he was so cross!"

"Cross! I was going to ask him to join us: do you think he would, Mary?"

"Bless you, no, mum! He jine! I think I see him a-jining! Nothing pleases him. He's too high for any body. I never see the likes of him!"

The feet then ascended the stairs, and after another pause of a few moments, the din of merriment was resumed. I was furious at the sympathy which my loneliness created. I could bear the laughter and shouting of the Christmas party no longer, and once, more with a determination of having my revenge, I went to bed. I lay there for several hours; and did not close my eyes before I had vowed solemnly that I would not pass another Christmas Day in solitude, and in lodgings—and I didn't.

In the course of the following year, I married the lovely daughter of Mr. Sergeant Shuttleface. My angel was a most astonishing piano-forte performer, and copied high art pictures in Berlin wool with marvelous skill, but was curiously ignorant of housekeeping; so, we spent the beginning of our wedded bliss in furnished apartments in order that she might gain experience gradually.

On one point, however, I was resolute; I would not spend a second Christmas Day in lodgings. I took a house, therefore, toward the close of the year, and repeatedly urged my wife to vacate our apartments that we might set up for ourselves. This responsibility she shrunk from with unremitting reluctance. There were besides innumerable delays. Carpets wouldn't fit; painters wouldn't work above one day a week: paper-hangers hung fire; and blacksmiths, charging by the day, did no more than one day's work in six. Time wore on. December came, advanced, and it seemed to be my fate to undergo another Christmas torment. However, to my inexpressible joy, every thing was announced to be in readiness on the twenty-fourth. My sposa had by this time learned enough of housekeeping to feel strong enough for its duties, and on Christmas Eve we left our rooms in Bedford-square, and took our Christmas pudding, in a cab, to my suburban villa near Fulham. And a merry Christmas we made of it! I don't think I ever ate a better pudding, though I have eaten a good many since then.



"The Spring again hath started on the course
Wherein she seeketh Summer thro' the earth.
I will arise and go upon my way.
It may be that the leaves of Autumn hid
His footsteps from me; it may be the snows.
"He is not dead. There was no funeral;
I wore no weeds. He must be in the Earth,
Oh where is he, that I may come to him
And he may charm the fever of my brain.
"Oh, Spring, I hope that thou wilt be my friend.
Thro' the long weary summer I toiled sore;
Having much sorrow of the envious woods
And groves that burgeoned round me where I came,
And when I would have seen him, shut him in.
"Also the Honeysuckle and wild bine
Being in love did hide him from my sight;
The Ash-tree bent above him; vicious weeds
Withheld me; Willows in the River-wind
Hissed at me, by the twilight, waving wands.
"Also, for I have told thee, oh dear Spring,
Thou knowest after I had sunk outworn
In the late summer gloom till Autumn came,
I looked up in the light of burning Woods
And entered on my wayfare when I saw
Gold on the ground and glory in the trees.
"And all my further journey thou dost know
My toils and outcries as the lusty world
Grew thin to winter; and my ceaseless feet
In Vales, and on stark Hills, till the first snow
Fell, and the large rain of the latter leaves.
"I hope that thou wilt be my friend, oh Spring,
And give me service of thy winds and streams.
It needs must be that he will hear thy voice
For thou art much as I was when he woo'd
[Pg 402] And won me long ago beside the Dee.
"If he should bend above you, oh ye streams
And any where you look up into eyes
And think the star of love hath found her mate
And know, because of day, they are not stars;
Oh streams, they are the eyes of my beloved!
Oh murmur as I murmured once of old
And he will stay beside you, oh ye streams,
And I shall clasp him when my day is come.
"Likewise I charge thee, west wind, zephyr wind,
If thou shalt hear a voice more sweet than thine
About a sunset rose-tree deep in June,
Sweeter than thine, oh wind, when thou dost leap
Into the tree with passion, putting by
The maiden leaves that ruffle round their dame,
And singest and art silent—having dropt
In pleasure on the bosom of the rose—
Oh wind, it is the voice of my beloved.
Wake, wake, and bear me to the voice, oh wind!
"Moreover I do think that the spring birds
Will be my willing servants. Wheresoe'er
There mourns a hen-bird that hath lost her mate
Her will I tell my sorrow—weeping hers.
"And if it be a Lark whereto I speak
She shall be ware of how my Love went up
Sole singing to the cloud; and evermore
I hear his song, but him I can not see.
"And if it be a female Nightingale
That pineth in the depth of silent woods,
I also will complain to her that night
Is still. And of the creeping of the winds,
And of the sullen trees, and of the lone
Dumb Dark. And of the listening of the Stars.
What have we done, what have we done, oh Night!
"Therefore, oh Love, the summer trees shall be
My watch-towers. Wheresoe'er thou liest bound
I will be there. For ere the Spring be past
I will have preached my dolor through the Land,
And not a bird but shall have all my woe.
—And whatsoever hath my woe hath me.
"I charge you, oh ye flowers fresh from the dead,
Declare if ye have seen him. You pale flowers
Why do you quake and hang the head like me?
"You pallid flowers, why do ye watch the dust
And tremble? Ah, you met him in your caves
And shrank out shuddering on the wintry air.
"Snowdrops, you need not gaze upon the ground,
Fear not. He will not follow ye; for then
I should be happy who am doomed to woe.
"Only I bid ye say that he is there,
That I may know my grief is to be borne
And all my fate is but the common lot."
She sat down on a bank of Primroses
Swayed to and fro, as in a wind of Thought
That moaned about her, murmuring alow,
"The common lot, oh for the common lot."
Thus spoke she, and behold a gust of grief
Smote her. As when at night the dreaming wind
Starts up enraged, and shakes the Trees and sleeps.
"Oh, early Rain, oh passion of strong crying,
Say dost thou weep, oh Rain, for him or me?
Alas, thou also goest to the Earth
And enterest as one brought home by fear.
"Rude with much woe, with expectation wild,
So dashest thou the doors and art not seen.
Whose burial did they speak of in the skies?
"I would that there were any grass-green grave
Where I might stand and say, 'Here lies my Love.'
And sigh, and look down to him, thro' the Earth,
And look up thro' the clearing skies, and smile."
Then the day passed from bearing up the Heavens
The sky descended on the Mountain-tops
Unclouded; and the stars embower'd the Night.
Darkness did flood the Valley; flooding her.
And when the face of her great grief was hid
Her callow heart, that like a nestling bird
Clamored, sank down with plaintive pipe and slow
Her cry was like a strange fowl in the dark;
"Alas, Night," said she; then like a faint ghost,
As tho' the owl did hoot upon the hills,
"Alas, Night." On the murky silence came
Her voice like a white sea-mew on the waste
Of the dark deep a-sudden seen and lost
Upon the barren expanse of mid-seas
Black with the Thunder. "Alas, Night," said she,
"Alas, Night." Then the stagnant season lay
From hill to hill. But when the waning Moon
Rose, she began with hasty step to run
The wintry mead; a wounded bird that seeks
To hide its head when all the trees are bare.
Silent—for all her strength did bear her dread—
Silent, save when with bursting heart she cried,
Like one who wrestles in the dark with fiends.
"Alas, Night." With a dim, wild voice of fear
As tho' she saw her sorrow by the moon.
The morning dawns; and earlier than the Lark
She murmureth, sadder than the Nightingale.
"I would I could believe me in that sleep
When on our bridal morn I thought him dead,
And dreamed and shrieked and woke upon his breast.
"Oh God I can not think that I am blind.
I think I see the beauty of the world.
Perchance but I am blind, and he is near.
"Even as I felt his arm before I woke,
And clinging to his bosom called on him,
And wept, and knew, and knew not it was he.
"I do thank God I think that I am blind.
There is a darkness thick about my heart
And all I seem to see is as a dream.
My lids have closed, and have shut in the world.
"Oh Love, I pray thee take me by the hand;
I stretch my hand, oh Love, and quake with dread
I thrust it, and I know not where. Ah me,
What shall not seize the dark hand of the blind?
"How know I, being blind, I am on Earth?
I am in Hell, in Hell, oh Love! I feel
There is a burning gulf before my feet!
I dare not stir and at my back the fiends!
I wind my arms, my arms that demons scorch,
Round this poor breast and all that thou shouldst save,
From rapine. Husband, I cry out from Hell;
There is a gulf. They seize my flesh. (She shrieked.)
"I will sink down here where I stand. All round
How know I but the burning pit doth yawn?
Here will I shrink and shrink to no more space
Than my feet cover. (She wept.) So much up
My mortal touch makes honest. Oh my Life,
My Lord, my Husband! Fool, that cryest in vain!
Ah, Angel! What hast thou to do with Hell?
"And yet I do not ask thee, oh my Love,
To lead me to thee where thou art in Heaven
Only I would that thou shouldst be my star,
And whatsoever Fate thy beams dispense
I am content. It shall be good to me.
"But tho' I may not see thee, oh my Love,
Yea tho' mine eyes return and miss thee still,
And thou shouldst take another shape than thine,
[Pg 403] Have pity on my lot, and lead me hence
Where I may think of thee. To the old fields
And wonted valleys where we once were blest.
Oh Love all day I hear them, out of sight,
This far Home where the Past abideth yet
Beside the stream that prates of other days.
"My punishment is more than I can bear.
My sorrow groweth big unto my time.
Oh Love, I would that I were mad. Oh Love,
I do not ask that thou shouldst change my Fate,
I will endure; but oh my Life, my Lord,
Being as thou art a throned saint in Heaven,
If thou wouldst touch me and enchant my sense,
And daze the anguish of my heart with dreams,
And change the stop of grief; and turn my soul
A little devious from the daily march
Of Reason, and the path of conscious woe
And all the truth of Life! Better, oh Love,
In fond delusion to be twice betrayed,
Than know so well and bitterly as I.
Let me be mad. (She wept upon her knees.)
"I will arise and seek thee. This is Heaven.
I sat upon a cloud. It bore me in.
It is not so, you heavens! I am not dead.
Alas! There have been pangs as strong as Death.
It would be sweet to know that I am dead.
"Even now I feel I am not of this world
Which sayeth day and night, 'For all but thee,'
And poureth its abundance night and day,
And will not feed the hunger in my heart.
"I tread upon a dream, myself a dream,
I can not write my Being on the world,
The moss grows unrespective where I tread.
"I can not lift mine eyes to the sunshine,
Night is not for my slumber. Not for me
Sink down the dark inexorable hours.
"I would not keep or change the weary day;
I have no pleasure in the needless night
And toss and wail that other lids may sleep.
"I am a very Leper in the Earth.
Her functions cast me out; her golden wheels
That harmless roll about unconscious Babes
Do crush me. My place knoweth me no more.
"I think that I have died, oh you sweet Heavens.
I did not see the closing of the eyes.
Perchance there is one death for all of us
Whereof we can not see the eyelids close.
"Dear Love, I do beseech thee answer me.
Dear Love, I think men's eyes behold me not.
The air is heavy on these lips that strain
To cry; I do not warm the thing I touch;
The Lake gives back no image unto me.
"I see the Heavens as one who wakes at noon
From a deep sleep. Now shall we meet again!
The Country of the blest is hid from me
Like Morn behind the Hills. The Angel smiles.
I breathe thy name. He hurleth me from Heaven.
"Now of a truth I know thou art on Earth.
Break, break the chains that hold me back from thee.
I see the race of mortal men pass by;
The great wind of their going waves my hair;
I stretch my hands, I lay my cheek to them,
In love; they stir the down upon my cheek;
I can not touch them, and they know not me.
"Oh God! I ask to live the saddest life!
I care not for it if I may but live!
I would not be among the dead, oh God!
I am not dead! oh God, I will not die!"
So throbbed the trouble of this crazed heart.
So on the broken mirror of her mind
In bright disorder shone the shatter'd World.
So, out of tune, in sympathetic chords,
Her soul is musical to brooks and birds
Winds, seasons, sunshine, flowers, and maundering trees.
Hear gently all the tale of her distress.
The heart that loved her loves not now, yet lives.
What the eye sees and the ear hears—the hand
That wooing led her thro' the rosy paths
Of girlhood, and the lenten lanes of Love,
The brow whereon she trembled her first kiss,
The lips that had sole privilege of hers,
The eyes wherein she saw the Universe,
The bosom where she slept the sleep of joy,
The voice that made it sacred to her sleep
With lustral vows; that which doth walk the World
Man among Men, is near her now. But He
Who wandered with her thro' the ways of Youth,
Who won the tender freedom of the lip,
Who took her to the bosom dedicate
And chaste with vows, who in the perfect whole
Of gracious Manhood, was the god that stood
In her young Heaven, round whom the subject stars
Circled; in whose dear train, where'er he passed
Thronged charmèd powers; at whose advancing feet
Upspringing happy seasons and sweet times
Made fond court caroling; who but moved to stir
All things submissive, which did magnify
And wane as ever with his changing will
She changed the centre of her infinite; He
In whom she worshiped Truth, and did obey
Goodness; in whose sufficient love she felt,
Fond Dreamer! the eternal smile of all
Angels and men; round whom, upon his neck,
Her thoughts did hang; whom lacking they fell down
Distract to the earth; He whom she loved and who
Loved her of old—in the long days before
Chaos, the empyrean days!—(Poor heart
She phrased it so) is no more: and oh, God!
Thorough all Time and that transfigured Time
We call Eternity, will be no more.

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


In all ages successful actors have been an uncommonly well paid community. This is a substantial fact, which no one will deny, however opinions may differ as to the comparative value of the histrionic art, when ranked with poetry, painting, and sculpture. The actor complains of the peculiar condition attached to his most brilliant triumphs—that they fade with the decay of his own physical powers, and are only perpetuated for a doubtful interval through the medium of imperfect imitation—very often a bad copy of an original which no longer exists to disprove the libel. In the actor's case, then, something must certainly be deducted from posthumous renown; but this is amply balanced by living estimation and a realized fortune. There are many instances of great painters, poets, and sculptors (ay, and philosophers, too), who could scarcely gain a livelihood; but we should be puzzled to name a great actor without an enormous salary. I don't include managers in this category. They are unlucky exceptions, and very frequently lose in sovereignty what they had gained by service. An income[Pg 404] of three or four thousand per annum, argent comptant, carries along with it many solid enjoyments. The actor who can command this, by laboring in his vocation, and whose ears are continually tingling with the nightly applause of his admirers, has no reason to consider his lot a hard one, because posterity may assign to him in the Temple of Fame a less prominent niche than is occupied by Milton, who, when alive, sold "Paradise Lost" for fifteen pounds, or by Rembrandt, who was obliged to feign his own death, before his pictures would provide him a dinner. If these instances fail to content him, he should recollect what is recorded of "Blind Mæonides:

"Seven Grecian cities claim'd great Homer dead,
Through which the living Homer begg'd his bread."

No doubt it is a grand affair to figure in the page of history, and be recorded among the "shining lights" of our generation. But there is good practical philosophy in the homely proverb which says, "Solid pudding is better than empty praise:" the reputation which wins current value during life is more useful to the possessor than the honor which comes after death; and which comes, as David says, in the Rivals, "exactly where we can make a shift to do without it." To have our merits appreciated two or three centuries hence, by generations yet unborn, and to have our works, whether with the pen or pencil, admired long after what was once our mortal substance is "stopping a beer-barrel," are very pleasing, poetical hallucinations for all who like to indulge in them; but the chances are, we shall know nothing of the matter, while it is quite certain that if we do, we shall set no value on it. Posterity, then, will be the chief gainers, and of all concerned the only party to whom we owe no obligations. The posterity, too, which emanates from the nineteenth century is much more likely to partake of the commercial than the romantic character, and to hold in higher reverence the memory of an ancestor who has left behind him £30,000 in bank stock or consols, than of one who has only bequeathed a marble monument in "Westminster's Old Abbey," a flourishing memoir in the "Lives of Illustrious Englishmen," or an epic poem in twenty-four cantos. I would not have it supposed that I depreciate the love of posthumous fame, or those "longings after immortality," which are powerful incentives to much that is good and great; but I am led into this train of reasoning, by hearing it so constantly objected as a misfortune to the actor, that his best efforts are but fleeting shadows, and can not survive him. This, being interpreted fairly, means that he can not gain all that genius toils for, but he has won the lion's share, and ought to be satisfied.

Formerly the actor had to contend with prejudices which stripped him of his place in society, and degraded his profession. This was assuredly a worse evil than perishable fame; but all this has happily passed away. The taboo is removed, and he takes his legitimate place with kindred artists according to his pretension. His large salary excites much wonder and more jealousy, but he is no longer exposed to the insult which Le Kain, the Roscius of France, once received, and was obliged to swallow as he might. Dining one day at a restaurateur's, he was accosted by an old general officer near him. "Ah! Monsieur Le Kain, is that you! Where have you been for some weeks—we have lost you from Paris?" "I have been acting in the south, may it please your excellency," replied Le Kain! "Eh bien! and how much have you earned?" "In six weeks, sir, I have received 4000 crowns." "Diable!" exclaimed the general, twirling his mustache with a truculent frown, "What's this I hear? A miserable mimic, such as thou, can gain in six weeks double the sum that I, a nobleman of twenty descents, and a Knight of St. Louis, am paid in twelve months. Voila une vraie infamie!" "And at what sum, sir," replied Le Kain, placidly, "do you estimate the privilege of thus addressing me?" In those days, in France, an actor was denied Christian burial, and would have been roué vif if he had presumed to put himself on an equality with a gentleman, or dared to resent an unprovoked outrage.

The large salaries of recent days were even surpassed among the ancients. In Rome, Roscius, and Æsopus, his contemporary, amassed prodigious fortunes by their professional labors. Roscius was paid at the rate of £45 a day, amounting to more than £15,000 per annum of our currency. He became so rich that at last he declined receiving any salary, and acted gratuitously for several years. A modern manager would give something to stumble on such a Roscius. No wonder he was fond of his art, and unwilling to relinquish its exercise. Æsopus at an entertainment produced a single dish, stuffed with singing birds, which, according to Dr. Arbuthnot's computation, must have cost about £4883 sterling. He left his son a fortune amounting to £200,000 British money. It did not remain long in the family, as, by the evidence of Horace and Pliny, he was a notorious spendthrift, and rapidly dissipated the honest earnings of his father.

Decimus Laberius, a Roman knight, was induced, or, as some say, compelled, by Julius Cæsar, to appear in one of his own mimes, an inferior kind of dramatic composition, very popular among the Romans, and in which he was unrivaled, until supplanted by Publius Syrus. The said Laberius was consoled for the degradation by a good round sum, as Cæsar gave him 20,000 crowns and a gold ring, for this his first and only appearance on any stage. Neither was he "alone in his glory," being countenanced by Furius Leptinus and Quintus Calpenus, men of senatorial rank, who, on the authority of Suetonius, fought in the ring for a prize. I can't help thinking the money had its due weight with Laberius. He was evidently vain, and in his prologue, preserved by Macrobius, and translated by Goldsmith, he[Pg 405] laments his age and unfitness quite as pathetically as the disgrace he was subjected to. "Why did you not ask me to do this," says he, "when I was young and supple, and could have acquitted myself with credit?" But, according to Macrobius, the whole business was a regular contract, with the terms settled beforehand. "Laberium asperæ libertatis equitem Romanum, Cæsar quingentis millibus invitavit, ut prodiret in scenam." Good encouragement for a single amateur performance!

Garrick retired at the age of 60, having been 35 years connected with the stage. He left behind him above £100,000 in money, besides considerable property in houses, furniture, and articles of vertû. He lived in the best society, and entertained liberally. But he had no family to bring up or provide for, and was systematically prudent in expenditure, although charitable, to the extreme of liberality, when occasion required. Edmund Kean might have realized a larger fortune than Garrick, had his habits been equally regular. George Frederick Cooke, in many respects a kindred genius to Kean, threw away a golden harvest in vulgar dissipation. The sums he received in America alone would have made him independent. John Kemble and Mrs. Siddons both retired rich, though less so than might have been expected. She had through life heavy demands on her earnings, and he, in evil hour, invested much of his property in Covent-garden Theatre. Young left the stage in the full zenith of his reputation, with undiminished powers and a handsome independence. Macready is about doing the same, under similar circumstances. Liston and Munden were always accounted two of the richest actors of their day, and William Farren, almost "the last of the Romans," is generally reputed to be "a warm man." Long may he continue so! Miss Stephens, both the Keans, father and son, Macready, Braham, and others, have frequently received £50 a night for a long series of performances. Tyrone Power would probably have gone beyond them all, such was his increasing popularity and attraction, when the untimely catastrophe occurred which ended his career, and produced a vacancy we are not likely to see filled up.

John Bull has ever been remarkable for his admiration of foreign artists. The largest sums bestowed on native talent bear no comparison with the salaries given to French and Italian singers, dancers, and musicians. An importation from "beyond seas" will command its weight in gold. This love of exotic prodigies is no recent passion, but older than the days of Shakspeare. Trinculo, in the Tempest, thus apostrophizes the recumbent monster, Caliban, whom he takes for a fish: "Were I in England now (as I was once), and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver. There would this monster make a man—any strange beast there makes a man."

Catalani, Pasta, Sontag, Malibran, Grisi, Taglioni, Rubini, Mario, Tamburini, Lablache, cum multis aliis, have received their thousands, and tens of thousands; but, until the Jenny Lind mania left every thing else at an immeasurable distance, Paganini obtained larger sums than had ever before been received in modern times. He came with a prodigious flourish of trumpets, a vast continental reputation, and a few personal legends of the most exciting character. It was said that he had killed his wife in a fit of jealousy, and made fiddle-strings of her intestines; and that the devil had composed a sonata for him in a dream, as he formerly did for Tartini. When you looked at him, you thought all this, and more, very likely to be true. His talent was almost supernatural; while his "get up" and "mise en scene" were original and unearthly, such as those who saw him will never forget, and those who did not can with difficulty conceive. The individual and his performance were equally unlike any thing that had ever been exhibited before. No picture or description can convey an adequate idea of his entrance and his exit. To walk simply on and off the stage appears a commonplace operation enough, but Paganini did this in a manner peculiar to himself, which baffled all imitation. While I am writing of it, his first appearance in Dublin, at the great Musical Festival of 1830, presents itself to "my mind's eye," as an event of yesterday. When he placed himself in position to commence, the crowded audience were hushed into a death-like silence. His black habiliments, his pale, attenuated visage, powerfully expressive; his long, silky, raven tresses, and the flash of his dark eye, as he shook them back over his shoulders; his thin, transparent fingers, unusually long, the mode in which he grasped his bow, and the tremendous length to which he drew it; and, climax of all, his sudden manner of placing both bow and instrument under his arm, while he threw his hands behind him, elevated his head, his features almost distorted with a smile of ecstasy, and his very hair instinct with life, at the conclusion of an unparalleled fantasia! And there he stood immovable and triumphant, while the theatre rang again with peals on peals of applause, and shouts of the wildest enthusiasm! None who witnessed this will ever forget it, nor are they likely again to see the same effect produced by mere mortal agency.

In Dublin, in 1830, Paganini saved the Musical Festival, which would have failed but for his individual attraction, although supported by an army of talent in every department. All was done in first rate style, not to be surpassed. There were Braham, Madame Stockhausen, H. Phillips, De Begnis, &c., &c.; Sir G. Smart for conductor, Cramer, Mori, and T. Cooke for leaders, Lindley, Nicholson, Anfossi, Lidel Herrmann, Pigott, and above ninety musicians in the orchestra, and more than one hundred and twenty singers in the chorus. The festival was held in the Theatre-Royal, then, as now, the only building in Dublin capable of accommodating the vast number which alone could render such a speculation[Pg 406] remunerative. The theatre can hold two thousand six hundred persons, all of whom may see and hear, whether in the boxes, pit, or galleries. The arrangement was, to have oratorios kept distinct on certain mornings, and miscellaneous concerts on the evenings of other days. The concerts were crushers, but the first oratorio was decidedly a break down. The committee became alarmed; the expenses were enormous, and heavy liabilities stared them in the face. There was no time to be lost, and at the second oratorio, duly announced, there stood Paganini, in front of the orchestra, violin in hand, on an advanced platform, overhanging the pit, not unlike orator Henley's tub, as immortalized by the poet. Between the acts of the Messiah and the Creation, he fiddled "the Witches at the Great Walnut Tree of Benevento," with other equally appropriate interpolations, to the ecstatic delight of applauding thousands, who cared not a pin for Haydn or Handel, but came to hear Paganini alone; and to the no small scandal of the select few, who thought the episode a little on the north side of consistency. But the money was thereby forthcoming, every body was paid, the committee escaped without damage, and a hazardous speculation, undertaken by a few spirited individuals, was wound up with deserved success.

When the festival was over, the town empty, and a cannon-ball might have been fired down Sackville-street without doing much injury, Paganini was engaged by himself for a series of five performances in the theatre. For this he received £1143. His dividend on the first night's receipts amounted to £333 (horresco referens!) without a shilling of outlay incurred on his part. He had the lion's share with a vengeance, as the manager cleared with difficulty £200.


For ten days we had fine weather and light winds, but a southerly gale sprung up, and drove us to the northward, and I then found out what it was to be at sea. After the gale had lasted a week, the wind came round from the northward, and bitter cold it was. We then stood on rather further to the north than the usual track, I believe.

It was night and blowing fresh. The sky was overcast, and there was no moon, so that darkness was on the face of the deep—not total darkness, it must be understood, for that is seldom known at sea. I was in the middle watch from midnight to four o'clock, and had been on deck about half an hour when the look-out forward sung out "ship ahead—starboard—hard a starboard."

These words made the second mate, who had the watch, jump into the weather rigging. "A ship," he exclaimed. "An iceberg it is rather, and—. All hands wear ship," he shouted in a tone which showed there was not a moment to lose.

The watch sprung to the braces and bowlines while the rest of the crew tumbled up from below, and the captain and other officers rushed out of their cabins; the helm was kept up, and the yards swung round, and the ship's head turned toward the direction whence we had come. The captain glanced his eye round, and then ordered the courses to be brailed up, and the main topsail to be backed, so as to lay the ship to. I soon discovered the cause of these manœuvres; for before the ship had quite wore round, I perceived close to us a towering mass with a refulgent appearance, which the look-out man had taken for the white sails of a ship, but which proved in reality to be a vast iceberg, and attached to it, and extending a considerable distance to leeward, was a field or very extensive floe of ice, against which the ship would have run, had it not been discovered in time, and would in all probability instantly have gone down with every one on board.

In consequence of the extreme darkness, it was dangerous to sail either way; for it was impossible to say what other floes or smaller cakes of ice might be in the neighborhood, and we might probably be on them, before they could be seen. We, therefore, remained hove to. As it was, I could not see the floe till it was pointed out to me by one of the crew.

When daylight broke the next morning, the dangerous position in which the ship was placed was seen. On every side of us appeared large floes of ice, with several icebergs floating, like mountains on a plain, among them; while the only opening through which we could escape was a narrow passage to the northeast, through which we must have come. What made our position the more perilous was, that the vast masses of ice were approaching nearer and nearer to each other, so that we had not a moment to lose, if we would effect our escape.

As the light increased, we saw, at the distance of three miles to the westward, another ship in a far worse predicament than we were, inasmuch that she was completely surrounded by ice, though she still floated in a sort of basin. The wind held to the northward, so that we could stand clear out of the passage, should it remain open long enough. She by this time had discovered her own perilous condition, as we perceived that she had hoisted a signal of distress, and we heard the guns she was firing to call our attention to her; but regard to our own safety compelled us to disregard them till we had ourselves got clear of the ice.

It was very dreadful to watch the stranger, and to feel that we could render her no assistance. All hands were at the braces, ready to trim the sails should the wind head us; for, in that case, we should have to beat out of the channel, which was every instant growing narrower and narrower. The captain stood at the weather gangway, conning the ship. When he saw the ice closing in on us, he ordered every stitch of canvas the ship could carry to be set on her, in hopes of carrying her out before this should occur. It was a chance, whether or not we should be nipped. However, I was not so[Pg 407] much occupied with our own danger as not to keep an eye on the stranger, and to feel deep interest in her fate.

I was in the mizen-top, and as I possessed a spy-glass, I could see clearly all that occurred. The water on which she floated was nearly smooth, though covered with foam, caused by the masses of ice as they approached each other. I looked; she had but a few fathoms of water on either side of her. As yet she floated unharmed. The peril was great; but the direction of the ice might change, and she might yet be free. Still, on it came with terrific force; and I fancied that I could hear the edges grinding and crushing together.

The ice closed on the ill-fated ship. She was probably as totally unprepared to resist its pressure as we were. At first I thought that it lifted her bodily up, but it was not so, I suspect. She was too deep in the water for that. Her sides were crushed in—her stout timbers were rent into a thousand fragments—her tall masts tottered and fell, though still attached to the hull. For an instant I concluded that the ice must have separated, or perhaps the edges broke with the force of the concussion; for, as I gazed, the wrecked mass of hull, and spars, and canvas, seemed drawn suddenly downward with irresistible force, and a few fragments which had been hurled by the force of the concussion to a distance, were all that remained of the hapless vessel. Not a soul of her crew could have had time to escape to the ice.

I looked anxiously; not a speck could be seen stirring near the spot. Such, thought I, may be the fate of the four hundred and forty human beings on board this ship, ere many minutes are over.

I believe that I was the only person on board who witnessed the catastrophe. Most of the emigrants were below, and the few who were on deck were with the crew watching our own progress.

Still narrower grew the passage. Some of the parts we had passed through were already closed. The wind, fortunately, held fair, and though it contributed to drive the ice faster in on us, it yet favored our escape. The ship flew through the water at a great rate, heeling over to her ports, but though at times it seemed as if the masts would go over the sides, still the captain held on. A minute's delay might prove our destruction.

Every one held their breaths, as the width of the passage decreased, though we had but a short distance more to make good before we should be free.

I must confess that all the time I did not myself feel any sense of fear. I thought it was a danger more to be apprehended for others than for myself. At length a shout from the deck reached my ears, and looking round, I saw that we were on the outside of the floe. We were just in time, for, the instant after, the ice met, and the passage through which we had come, was completely closed up. The order was now given, to keep the helm up, and to square away the yards, and with a flowing sheet we ran down the edge of the ice for upward of three miles, before we were clear of it.

Only then did people begin to inquire what had become of the ship we had lately seen. I gave my account, but few expressed any great commiseration for the fate of those who were lost. Our captain had had enough of ice, so he steered a course to get as fast as possible into more southern latitudes.


Many of the citizens of Edinburgh will remember a beautiful deer which, many years ago, accompanied the Forty-second Highlanders, and how thousands in Princes-street were wont to admire the stately step, the proud and haughty toss of the antlers, and the mild, and we may almost say benignant eye of this singularly-placed animal. Few persons, however, thought of inquiring into the history of this denizen of the hills, or how it came to pass that an animal naturally shy to an extraordinary degree, should have been so tamed as to take evident delight in military array, and the martial music of a Highland regiment. Still fewer, immersed in their city life, were acquainted with the amazing swiftness, the keen scent, and the daring bravery of the stag; whose qualities, indeed, might be taken as a type of those of the distinguished regiment to which it became attached. The French could abide the charge of British cavalry; they had some sort of understanding of such a mode of warfare; indeed, to do them justice, they were both skillful and brave in the use and knowledge of arms. But the deadly charge of the Highlanders was a puzzler both to their science and courage, and they could by no effort face the forests of cold steel—the bristling bayonets of the kilted clans. Among these regiments none suffered more—excepting, perhaps, the Ninety-Second—than the regiment which afterward adopted the deer as a living memorial of their mountain fastnesses; and a dog likewise, which became attached to, and for years accompanied the same regiment, may be supposed to symbol the fidelity so strikingly characteristic of the Highlanders.

Both the animals adopted by the regiment made their appearance in the ranks about the year 1832, at St. Ema, in Malta. The deer was presented by a friend of one of the officers, and the dog belonged originally to an officer of the navy, who happened to dine at the mess. The latter animal, from that very night, formed a strong attachment for the officers and men of the Forty-second; no commands or enticements could induce him to quit the corporate object of his affection, and his master at length, yielding to a determination he could not conquer, presented the animal, which was of the noble Newfoundland breed, to the regiment. The attachment very soon became mutual, and thereafter the dog would follow no one who did not wear the uniform and belong to the corps. The men subscribed a trifle each, with which a handsome collar was provided for their friend, inscribed[Pg 408] "Regimental Dog, Forty-second Royal Highlanders." They gave him the name of "Peter," and it was a strange and notable day in the calendar of the soldiers when Peter and the deer, who were strongly attached to each other, did not appear on parade. Peter, it may be supposed, was a great frequenter of the cook-house, where a luxurious bone, together with a pat on the head, and a word or two of recognition, was his daily dole from the cooks—with one exception. When this churlish person officiated, Peter was frequently obliged to retire minus his rations, and sometimes even with blows instead—a kind of treatment which he could by no means reconcile with the respect due to him as the faithful adherent of so distinguished a corps. At any time when Peter happened to meet the delinquent, he was seen just to give a look over his head and a wag with his tail, and walk off, as much as to say, "I have a crow to pluck with you."

By-and-by the season of bathing parades came round, and he used to accompany the soldiers in the mornings in such recreations, and was generally the first to take the water, and the last to leave it; he wished to see all safe. He knew his own power in this element, as well as his enemy's power out of it; and it was with a savage joy he saw one day the churlish cook trust himself to the waves. Peter instantly swam toward him, and pulled him down under the water, and would doubtless have drowned him, had not some of the soldiers come to the rescue. A still more curious exercise of his instinct is related of his residence at Fort Neuf in Malta, which is situated to the north of Corfu, and the entrance to which is a subterranean passage of considerable length. Beyond the mouth of this cavern Peter was in the habit of ranging to the distance of thirty-two feet, and as the hour of recall approached, would there sit with eyes intent and ears erect waiting the return of the soldiers. When the trumpet sounded, he showed evidences of some excitement and anxiety; and at the last note went at once to the right-about, and, as fast as his legs could carry him, made for the entrance, and was in a few seconds in the interior of the fort. The reason he went no farther than the thirty-two feet was apparently a consciousness that he had no pass, without which the men, he observed, were not permitted to exceed the boundary! That Peter actually understood this regulation was firmly believed both by the non-commissioned officers and soldiers.

The police at Malta, especially at Corfu, are very particular with respect to dogs in warm weather. They may be seen almost daily going about with carts, on which are set up wooden screens garnished with hooks, such as butchers use for suspending meat; and it is no uncommon thing to see from nine to a dozen canine corpses suspended from these hooks. Peter, it may be imagined, had a great horror of this ghastly show; and indeed he made many narrow escapes from the dog-hangman. The regimental collar, however, was put on him, and every precaution used by the men to prevent his being destroyed. He was still allowed to go at large, but was always observed to look with a suspicious and uneasy eye at the death-cart.

Both the dog and the deer preferred to abide by the head of the regiment, in and out of quarters. They always remained with the band. The men composing the band have generally quarters apart from the other soldiers, this being more convenient for their musical studies and practice. Peter, although he would follow any of the soldiers in their Highland dress out of doors, generally preferred the quarters of the band; and should one-half or a part of the regiment be stationed at one place, and the other at another, whenever they separated on the road to their respective quarters, Peter would give a wistful look from one to the other, but invariably follow the party which was accompanied by the band. The same was the case with the stag. He likewise took up his quarters with the band, and followed closely behind them on their march. This individual was in the habit of going into the rooms of his friends for a biscuit, of which he was very fond; but if the article had received the contamination of the men's breath, he would at once reject it. Experiments were tried by concealing the biscuit that had been breathed upon, and then presenting it as a fresh one; but the instinct of the deer was not to be deceived. Latterly, this animal became extremely irritable, and if a stranger attempted to pass between the band and the main body of the regiment, he attacked the offender with his antlers. The combativeness of Peter was mingled in a remarkable manner with prudence. Being once attacked by a mastiff of greatly superior size and strength, he fled for upward of a mile before his enemy, till he came to his own ground at the entrance of the fort; he then turned to bay, and gave his adversary effectual battle.

One day in 1834, while the deer was grazing and eating herbs on the top of Fort Neuf, situated to the north of Corfu, a cat in the vicinity, startled perhaps by the appearance of the animal, bristled up as puss does to a dog. On this slight alarm the deer was seized with a sudden panic, and with one bound sprung over the precipice—a height of two hundred feet—and was killed on the spot. It was remarkable that its friend the dog, although not immediately on the spot, rushed to the battlements instantly, and barked and yelled most piteously. The death of Peter, which occurred in 1837, was also of a tragical kind. He chanced to snarl at an officer (who had ill-used him previously) on his entrance into Edinburgh Castle, of which the two-legged creature took advantage, and ordered him to be shot. This was accordingly done; and so poor Peter, in the inexorable course of military law, fell by the arms of the men who had so long been his kind comrades, and who continue to lament him to this hour.

[Pg 409]

Monthly Record of Current Events.



The Political Intelligence of the past month is of less than usual interest. In our last number we gave a very full analysis of the various documents transmitted to Congress at the opening of the session. The proceedings of that body have been comparatively unimportant. One or two motions have been made in the House of Representatives for the purpose of inducing action on the law of the last session concerning fugitives from labor, but they have been rejected by large majorities. All the indications, thus far, clearly show that Congress is disposed to leave the several measures of the last session, relating to slavery, entirely untouched. There have been discussions in both branches upon the construction of a railroad to the Pacific, upon the land titles of California, and upon other projects of more or less importance: but as no decisive action has been had upon them, it is not necessary to make further reference to them here.

While the issue of the Hungarian contest was yet doubtful, President Taylor dispatched Mr. A. Dudley Mann to Vienna as special agent, with instructions to watch the progress of the movement, and in case of its success to recognize the Hungarian Republic. Any such action was prevented by the overthrow of the Hungarian cause; but the Austrian Chargé at Washington, Chevalier Hulsemann, took occasion of the communication to the Senate of the instructions given to Mr. Mann, to enter, in the name of his government, a formal protest against the procedure of the United States, as an unwarrantable interference in the affairs of a friendly power; and as a breach of propriety in national intercourse, jeopardizing the amity between the two countries. He took special exceptions to the epithet iron rule, said to be applied to the government of Austria, to the designation of Kossuth as an illustrious man, and to "improper expressions" in regard to Russia, "the intimate and faithful ally of Austria." He said that Mr. Mann had been placed in a position which rendered him liable to the treatment of a spy; and concluded by hinting that the United States were not free from the danger of civil war, and were liable to acts of retaliation. To this protest a most masterly and conclusive reply was furnished by Mr. Webster. Seizing upon the fatal admission of Mr. Hulsemann, that his government would not have felt itself constrained to notice the matter, but for the Message of the President to the Senate, he showed that in taking exception to any communication from one department of our government to another, Austria was guilty of that very interference in the affairs of a foreign power, of which she complained. But waiving this decisive advantage, Mr. Webster went on to show that the conduct of the United States was in perfect accordance with the practice of all civilized governments, and Austria in particular; that the epithet "iron rule," applied to the Austrian government, did not occur in the instructions, that the designation of Kossuth as illustrious was precisely parallel to the favorable notice—no where more favorable than in Austria—accorded to Washington and Franklin, while they were technically rebels against Great Britain; and that as Russia had taken no exception to any mention of her, all such exception on the part of Austria was officious and uncalled for. He says that had the Austrian government subjected Mr. Mann to the treatment of a spy, it would have placed itself beyond the pale of civilized nations, and the spirit of the people of this country would have demanded immediate hostilities to be waged by the utmost exertion of the power of the Republic. In respect to the hypothetical retaliation hinted at, he says that the United States were quite willing to take their chance, and abide their destiny; but that any discussion of the matter now, would be idle; but in the meanwhile, the United States would exercise their own discretion in the expression of opinions upon political events. The reply concludes, with the most exquisite irony, by assuring Mr. Hulsemann that, believing the principles of civil liberty upon which our government is founded, to be the only ones which can meet the demands of the present age, "the President has perceived with great satisfaction that, in the Constitution recently introduced into the Austrian empire, many of these great principles are recognized and applied, and he cherishes a sincere wish that they may produce the same happy effect throughout his Austrian Majesty's extensive dominions that they have done in the United States."

The Legislature of the State of New York met at Albany on the 7th of January. Lieutenant-Governor Church presides in the Senate, which consists of seventeen Whigs and fifteen Democrats. H.J. Raymond, of New York City, was elected Speaker of the Assembly, which consists of eighty-two Whigs and forty-six Democrats, and R.U. Sherman, of Oneida County, was elected Clerk. The Message of Governor Hunt was sent in on the first day of the session. It presents an able and explicit exposition of the affairs of the State. The financial condition of the State is very satisfactory. The General Fund has met all the current expenses of the year, and has a surplus of $54,520. The aggregate debt of the State is $22,530,802, of which $16,171,109 is on account of the canals. The amount received for canal tolls during the year was $3,486,172. The Governor recommends an amendment of the Constitution, so as to allow the State to contract a debt for the more speedy enlargement of the Erie Canal, and submits considerations growing out of the increasing business and wants of the State, sustaining this suggestion. The Governor recommends a thorough revision of the Free School Law, the establishment of an Agricultural School, an amendment of the laws, so as to insure a more equal assessment of property, and an exploration of the wild lands in the northern part of the State. In regard to the difficulties that have hitherto prevailed in the Anti-Rent districts, the Message suggests that they may be obviated by the purchase of the lands in question by the State, and their sale to the tenants on equitable terms.[Pg 410] Upon national topics the Message says but little. It urges the importance of faithfully fulfilling the provisions of all existing laws, and deprecates very warmly all discussions or suggestions looking toward a dissolution of the Union. The provision of the Federal Constitution for the surrender of fugitives from labor, it says, is of paramount importance, and must be observed in good faith. But "while the claim of the Southern slaveholder to re-capture his slave is fully admitted," the Governor says, "the right of the Northern freeman to prove and defend his freedom is equally sacred." The existing law upon this subject, he says, must be obeyed, though he thinks it contains defects which men of the South and of the North will, at the proper time, unite to remedy. "In the mean time," he adds, "our people must be left free to examine its provisions and practical operation. Their vital and fundamental right to discuss the merits of this or any other law passed by their representatives, constitutes the very basis of our republican system, and can never be surrendered. Any attempt to restrain it would prove far more dangerous than its freest exercise. But in all such discussions we should divest ourselves of sectional or partisan prejudice, and exercise a spirit of comprehensive patriotism, respecting alike the rights of every portion of our common country." The Message closes by urging the necessity of amending the present Tariff, so as to make it more protective, and of making more effectual provision for improving the rivers and harbors of the country.

Gov. Wright of Indiana transmitted his Message to the Legislature of that State on the first day of its session. The expenses of the State Government, for the past year, were $83,615.10. The whole amount of revenue paid into the State Treasury was $450,481.65. The total value of taxable property, as returned for 1850, is $137,443,565, which is an increase over the previous year of $4,014,504. The entire population of the State is about 988,000, being an increase since 1840 of upward of 300,000. The total valuation of real estate and live stock, exclusive of other personal property, is about $200,000,000—being $63,000,000 over the entire assessment for taxation. If to this be added other descriptions of personal property, the entire State valuation can not be less than $250,000,000. The Governor estimates that by the year 1852 the State will be able to appropriate the sum of $100,000 to the payment of the principal of the public debt. It is believed entirely practicable to liquidate the entire debt in seventeen years from the first payment. Works of public improvement are progressing rapidly; there are 400 miles of plank road, costing from $12,000 to $25,000 per mile, and 1200 miles additional are surveyed and in progress. There are 212 miles of railroad in successful operation, of which 120 were completed the past year; and more than 1000 miles of railroad are surveyed and in a state of progress. The Message strongly recommends a scrupulous fulfillment of all the obligations of the Federal Constitution connected with slavery.

In the Florida Legislature resolutions have been passed, declaring that the perpetuity of the Union depends on the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave law—that in case of its repeal or essential modification, it will become the duty of the State authorities to assemble the people in convention, with a view to the defense of their violated rights; and that Florida, in acquiescing in the Compromise measures, has gone to a point beyond which she could not go with honor.

The Illinois Legislature met on the 7th. The Message of Governor French represents the accruing revenue as more than sufficient to meet current demands on the Treasury. The entire debt of the State is $16,627,509. Unsold canal lands are expected to realize $4,000,000. The Governor is in favor of homestead exemption—declares against all bank charters—recommends the acceptance of Holbrook & Co.'s conditional surrender of their charter to build the Central Railroad, and its disposal to the company that offers the best terms. He speaks favorably of the "Compromise Measures," and says that they will be faithfully observed and obeyed by the people of Illinois, as the only means of restoring and preserving harmony.

From California our intelligence is to the 1st of December. Nothing of interest has occurred there since our last advices. The cholera was still prevailing at San Francisco. There had been a battle between the force under the command of Gen. Morehead and the Youma Indians near Colorado City, on the Gila, in which the general, after one hour and a half fighting, was glad to retreat beneath the guns of the little fort, the Indians having lost ten men. The American force under Morehead was 104; their loss is not stated. Subsequently they had completely vanquished the Indians, none being found within fifty miles of the old planting grounds. A fight is also reported between the Indians and Americans, in the vicinity of Mokelumne Hill, in which fifteen of the latter were killed, and probably as many of the Indians. No particulars are given.

The rainy season had commenced. Many new veins of auriferous stone have been discovered, and various companies have embarked and are engaged in mining operations with good prospects of success. Among these operations, in addition to those on the Mariposa, Merced, and in the northern mines, great hopes and expectations are entertained from those further south, generally known as the Los Angelos Company mines, several companies being engaged in that section, either in mining or in exploring that great and almost unknown region for its treasures.

The result of the State election has been such that doubt prevails as to the political complexion of the next Legislature, both parties claiming it by small majorities. A United States Senator having to be chosen, makes it rather an interesting question, as the election for that office will probably turn upon party politics.

The Pennsylvania Legislature is now in session. The message of Gov. Johnston states the amount of the Public Debt at $40,775,485. The Governor recommends that all the elections be hereafter held in October. The project of erecting an Agricultural Department is commended to favorable consideration. An appropriate arrangement of the geological specimens belonging to the State is also urged. The large body of original papers in the State Department connected with the Colonial and Revolutionary History of the State are in an exposed and perishing condition, and are recommended for better preservation. In the early spring the buildings of the Insane Asylum will be ready for the reception of patients. The school system, although still imperfect, is rapidly improving in its general condition, and promises the beneficial results it was designed to accomplish. The full repair of the canals and railroads of the State is urged as an important measure. A system of banking, based upon State stocks, under proper restrictions, is recommended to the attention of the Legislature. It is thought that the present banking facilities are unequal to the wants of the business community.[Pg 411] On national questions, Gov. Johnston takes ground in favor of a revision and alteration of the revenue laws, so as to give adequate and permanent protection to the industry of the country, the reduction of postage, and the construction of railway communications to the Pacific—and in regard to the question of slavery and the Fugitive Law, counsels obedience to the laws and respect to national legislation; but excepts to that part of the law which authorizes the creation of a new and irresponsible tribunal under the name of Commissioners.


Intelligence from the city of Mexico is to the 30th of November. Congress was still engaged in discussing various propositions concerning the public debt, and a bill had passed both houses for regulating the interior debt, the original amount of which was about seventy-five millions of dollars, the new law, however, reduces it about one-third. It is believed that the new steps taken upon this subject will prove highly advantageous to the country.

The magnetic telegraph is in operation in the city of Mexico merely as an experiment, and gives general satisfaction. Efforts are being made to form a company for placing it from Mexico to Vera Cruz.

Accounts from the Mexican Boundary Commission to the 24th November have reached St. Louis. Mr. Bartlett arrived at El Paso on the 18th November, in advance of the main body, in thirty-three days from San Antonio. He was detained seven days to recruit the animals, and ten days by a severe snow storm. He had agreed to meet the Mexican Commissioner on the 1st November. He was accompanied by a party of young engineers as an escort, well mounted and armed, together with spies and hunters, and seven wagons with provisions, equipments, &c., forming a party of forty. On the way Mr. Bartlett was visited by five of the principal chiefs of the Lipan Indians, accompanied by warriors. The interview was friendly, but great care was taken to show them that the party was well armed.


We take advantage of a moment of apparent pause in the current of European affairs to present a concise view of the political, financial, and civil condition in which the close of the first half of the nineteenth century leaves the leading states of Europe. We do this in order to furnish a standpoint from which, in the future numbers of our Monthly Record, the changes which are apparently about to take place may be observed. The present population of Europe may be estimated at 262,000,000, upon an area of 3,816,936 square miles, showing an average of 70 inhabitants to a square mile. If, however, we exclude Russia, together with Sweden and Norway, which with almost two-thirds of the area have but one fourth of the population, and are therefore altogether exceptional, the remaining portion will have 138 inhabitants to a square mile; while Asia has but 32, Africa 13, North and South America 3, and Australia and Polynesia only 1. Of this population about 250,000,000, are Christians, of whom there are 133,000,000 Catholics, 58,000,000 Protestants, and 59,000,000 belonging to the Greek Church; of the remainder there are seven or eight millions of Mohammedans, and two or three millions of Jews. Europe is now politically divided into 55 independent states, of which 33 belong wholly to Germany, and are included in the Germanic Confederation; 7 to Italy; and two to the Netherlands. Of these states 47 have an essentially monarchical form of government, and 8 are republics. Of the monarchical governments 3 are technically called Empires, 15 Kingdoms, 7 Grand-duchies, 9 Duchies, 10 Principalities, 1 Electorate, 1 Landgraviate, and 1 Ecclesiastical State.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as it is officially denominated, contains an area of 117,921 square miles, with a population at the last census of 26,861,000 (1841), which is now increased to about 28,500,000. The Colonies and Possessions of the Crown contained in 1842 5,224,447 inhabitants. The possessions of the East India Company have a population of somewhat more than 100,000,000; and the countries over which that Company has assumed the right of protection, which is rapidly changing to sovereignty, about 35,000,000 more. The political authority of the Kingdom is vested in the three Estates, sovereign, lords, and commons. The House of Peers consists at present of 457 members of whom 30 are clerical; 28 Irish and 16 Scotch representative peers, elected, the former for life, the latter annually; the remainder being hereditary peers. The privileges of the peerage consist in membership of the Upper House of Parliament; freedom from arrest for debt, and from outlawry or personal attachment in civil actions; the right of trial, in criminal cases by their own body, whose verdict is rendered, not upon oath, but upon their honor; in the law of scandalum magnatum, by which any person convicted of circulating a scandalous report against a peer, though it be shown to be true, is punishable by an arbitrary fine, and by imprisonment till it be paid; and in the right of sitting covered in any court of justice, except in the presence of the sovereign. The House of Commons, which, by gradual encroachments upon the other Estates, and especially by the prerogative which it has acquired of originating all money-bills, has become the paramount power of the state, consists of 656 members, of whom 469 are for England, 29 for Wales, 53 for Scotland, and 105 for Ireland. The revenues for the current year, according to the estimate of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, amount to £52,285,000, and the expenditures to £50,763,582, leaving a surplus of £1,521,418. The national debt of Great Britain and Ireland, funded and unfunded, amounted, Jan. 5, 1850, to £798,037,277, involving an annual expenditure of more than £28,000,000, absorbing considerably more than one half of the public revenues. The military force of the Kingdom is as follows:

Household Troops6,568
Soldiers of the Line, in pay of the Crown91,956
""" East India Company31,100
Colonial Corps6,272

Making in all 129,625. The whole number of troops stationed in the United Kingdom is about 61,000, of whom 24,000 are in Ireland. The force of the British navy in Dec. 1848 is thus given in the Royal Calendar for 1849:

Ships of100 or moreguns;750 or moremen26
"24-36"250 or less"184

Making a total of 404 armed vessels, with 17,023 guns. To these, the Calendar adds the names of 74 yachts, hulks, quarter-service vessels, etc.; 125 steamers, and 21 steam-packets, making 614 vessels of every description. The British Almanac[Pg 412] for 1851, probably a more reliable authority, gives the whole number, on July 30, 1849, as 339 sailing vessels, 161 steamers of all classes, besides 47 steamers employed under contract as packets, and capable of being converted, in case of need, into vessels of war.

The Republic of France covers an area of 204,825 square miles, and its population, as given in the Moniteur, February, 1847, was 35,400,486; besides which, the French colonies have about 1,000,000 inhabitants. The Constitution of the Republic was voted by the National Assembly at its sitting, November 4, 1848. The Introduction recites that France constitutes herself a Republic, and that her object in so doing is a more free advance in progress and civilization. The Constitution consists of twelve chapters, containing 116 articles, as follows: I. The sovereignty is in the body of citizens. II. The rights of citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution. III. Of public powers. IV. Of the Legislative power. The representatives of the people to be 750 (since increased to 900), elected for three years, by direct and universal suffrage, by secret ballot. All Frenchmen of the age of 21 years to be electors, and to be eligible to office at 25 years. This article is, in effect, modified by a subsequent law, passed May 31, 1850, by which the electoral lists are to comprehend all Frenchmen who have completed their 21st year, enjoy civil and political rights, and have resided in the commune, or canton, for a period of not less than three years; the law embraces, moreover, many further restrictions, which greatly limit the right of suffrage. V. The executive power is vested in the President, elected for four years, by an absolute majority, by secret ballot; he is not eligible for re-election until after an interval of four years. VI. The Council of State consists of 40 members, elected for six years, by the National Assembly, who are to be consulted in certain prescribed cases; but government is not obliged to consult the Council respecting the budget, the state of the army, or the ratification of treaties. The Vice-President of the Republic is the President of the Council; he is chosen by the National Assembly from three candidates proposed by the President. VII. Of the domestic administration. VIII. Of judicial powers. IX. Of the public forces. X. Of the Legion of Honor, Algiers, and the colonies. XI. Of the revision of the Constitution, in case the National Assembly in the last year of its term shall vote any modification to be advisable. XII. Contains various temporary dispositions. The finances of France have long been in an extremely unsatisfactory condition. The immediate cause of the revolution of 1789 was the enormous and increasing deficiency of the revenue. Upon the accession of Louis Philippe, in 1830, the expenditures of government began again to exceed the receipts, until 1846, when the expenditures amounted to 2,793,000,000 francs, exceeding the revenues by 421,462,000f. The budget presented by the Minister of Finance for the financial year 1851, estimates the receipts at 1,292,633,639f., exceeding the expenditures by 10,370,390f., being the first year when there has been a surplus since the revolution of 1830. The consolidated public debt of France amounts to 4,509,648,000f., to which is to be added a floating debt of 515,727,294f., making in all more than 5000 millions of francs, the interest upon which amounts to above 327,000,000f., absorbing about one-fourth of the revenue. The French army now on foot amounts to 396,000 men; by the law of June 19, the number was fixed at 106,893, to which, according to the late Message of the President, it will be speedily reduced, should political affairs warrant the reduction. The navy according to an ordinance of 1846, was to consist of 226 sailing vessels, and 102 steamers, of all classes, which number, however, was never reached. The present force is 125 vessels (a reduction of 100 vessels during the year), and 22,561 men. Since the election of Louis Bonaparte as President of the Republic, his whole policy has been directed to the effort of perpetuating his authority, either as President for life, or Emperor. The Duke of Nemours and Count of Chambord, the respective representatives of the lines of Orleans and Bourbon, have each a large number of partisans; while opposed to all of these are the Democrats and Socialists, of every shade, who are utterly averse to any form of monarchical government.

We gave in our last Number a view of the general state of the German Confederation. It is needless to present the statistics of the minor German States, as they do not possess sufficient weight to act except in subservience to either Austria or Prussia.

The Kingdom of Prussia consists of two distinct territories, at a distance of about forty miles from each other, with Hesse-Cassel and Hanover intervening. It has an area of 108,214 square miles, with a population, at the end of 1849, of 16,331,187, of whom about 10,000,000 are Protestants, and 6,000,000 Catholics. The finances are in a very healthy condition. According to the budget of 1850, the amount of the revenue was 91,338,449 crowns; the ordinary expenses of government, including the sinking fund of the public debt, of two and a half millions, were 90,974,393 crowns, to which is to be added expenses extraordinary and accidental, to the amount of 4,925,213 crowns, showing a deficit of 4,561,158 crowns. The public debt, of every description, including treasury notes, not bearing interest, is 187,160,272 crowns of which the interest amounts to 4,885,815, absorbing less than one-eighteenth of the public revenues. The army, upon a peace-footing, consists of 121,100 regular troops, and 96,100 Landwehr of the first class, forming a total of 217,200. Upon the war-footing the numbers are augmented to 528,800. The Landwehr is divided into two classes, the first embracing every Prussian between the ages of twenty and thirty-two, not serving in the standing army, and constitutes an army of reserve, not called out in time of peace except for drill, in the autumn; but called into active service upon the breaking out of war. The whole country is divided into arrondissements, and no one belonging to the Landwehr can leave that to which he belongs, without permission of the sergeant-major. In every considerable town dépôts of stores are established, sufficient to provide for this force, and a staff under pay, so that they may be at once organized. When assembled for drill, the Landwehr receive the same pay as the regular army. When they are ordered beyond their own arrondissement, their families become the legal wards of the magistracy, who are bound to see that they are provided for. The Landwehr of the second class consists of all from thirty-two to forty years who have quitted the first class. To them, in case of war, garrison duty is committed. The Landsturm or levy en masse, embraces all Prussians between the ages of seventeen and fifty, not belonging to either of the above classes; this forms the final resource and reserve of the country, and is called out only in the last extremity.

[Pg 413]

The Empire of Austria, containing an area of 258,262 square miles, embraces four principal divisions, inhabited by different races, with peculiar laws, customs, and institutions. Only about one-fourth of its population is comprehended within the German Confederation, though she now seeks to include within it a great portion of her Slavic territories. The population, as laid down in the chart of the "Direction Impériale de la Statistique Administrative," is made up of the following elements:

Romano-Valaques and Moldavians2,686,492
Miscellaneous races525,873

The national debt, after deducting the effects belonging to the sinking-fund, amounts at the beginning of the present year to 997,706,654 florins, the interest upon which, 54,970,830 florins, absorbs more than one-third of the revenues. The receipts for the year 1848 were 144,003,758 and the expenditures 283,864,674 florins, showing a deficit of about 140,000,000; this, however, is exceptional; the deficit for the first quarter of 1850, reaching only to 18,000,000 florins. The regular army, prior to the revolutions of 1848, consisted of about 230,000 men, which might be increased in time of war to 750,000. But so large a portion of the forces of Austria are required to keep in subjection her discontented Italian and Hungarian territories, that she could not probably detach, if unsupported by Russia, 200,000 men for effective service. The navy consists of 31 armed vessels, carrying 544 guns; 15 steamers, of which two are of 300 horse-power, the others smaller; besides gun-boats.

The Russian Empire occupies considerably more than one-half of Europe, its area being 2,099,903 square miles. The population according to the most recent estimates is about 62,000,000. Of these about 21,000,000 are serfs of the nobles, and belong to the soil; 17,500,000 formerly serfs of the crown, who may be considered personally as freemen, having been emancipated; 4,500,000 burghers; and the remainder are nobles, either hereditary or personal; the latter dignity being conferred upon all civil and military officers, and upon the chief clergy and burghers. No satisfactory statistics exhibiting the present state of the financial and military affairs of the empire are accessible. The Almanach de Gotha of the present year omits the statistical details previously given; and is unable to furnish more recent details. It is understood, that the revenues and expenditures for some years past have been about $81,000,000. The public debt is stated at 336,219,492 silver roubles. The army is given, in round numbers, at 1,000,000. It is supposed that in case of war Russia is able to send into the field not less than 800,000 men. This immense disposable force, absolutely under the control of the Emperor, renders the power of Russia imminently dangerous to the peace of Europe. By a course of masterly policy, directed to one end, the influence of the empire has been gradually extended toward the centre of Europe; and the only conceivable means of checking it seems to be a confederation of all the German States, so close, that they shall in effect constitute but one nation. It is this consideration which, underlying the whole current of European politics, renders the present juncture of affairs so critical. The great question of the supremacy of race—the question whether the Teutonic or the Slavic race shall predominate, and direct in the affairs of Europe—rests apparently upon the events which are about to transpire.

The remaining nations of Europe are too feeble in numbers, or too enervated in character, to exercise any great influence upon the current of events. The hope once entertained, that a union of the Italian race was to take place has been frustrated, and the Peninsula, containing a population of nearly 25,000,000 inhabitants is broken up into petty governments each more despicable than the other. Turkey in Europe has about 15,500,000 inhabitants, but the Ottoman race, is hardly more than a military colony, and numbers but little above a million; while the Mohammedan religion has less than four millions of adherents; the Greek church alone numbering eleven and a half millions. Three-fourths of the population, therefore, both in race and faith have less affinity for Turkey than Russia, into whose hands they are ready to fall. Spain, to check whose power was the great object of all Europe two centuries and a half since, is now utterly bankrupt in character and means. Every year shows a large deficit in her revenues, although she pays the interest upon but a fraction of her public debt, which amounts to fifteen thousand five hundred millions of reals, the interest of which, at six per cent. would, if paid, absorb the whole of the revenue. The navy, which as late as 1802 numbered 68 ships of the line and 40 frigates had sunk in 1849 to 2 ships of the line, 5 frigates, 14 brigs and corvettes, and 15 small steamers of from 40 to 350 horse-power, and of these hardly any, it is said, were fit for service. Portugal has experienced a like decline, every year showing a deficit; the interest of her debt of about $90,000,000, absorbing fully one-third of her revenues. Greece is hardly worthy of the name of a kingdom. In a word, incurable decay seems to have fallen upon all the nations of Southern Europe. The political condition of Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden may be called prosperous, but they have little weight in the affairs of Europe. Last and least of all, the little Republic of San Marino, in reality the oldest of all the existing governments of Europe, with a population of but 8000, sits upon her rock, where for fourteen centuries she has watched the rise and fall of the mighty states around her. In all except her venerable antiquity she seems a caricature upon larger nations, with her army of 27 men, her three estates, nobles, burghers, and peasants, her two "capitani regenti," elected for six months, and her secretaries for foreign and domestic affairs. But weak as she seems, she was a state when Britain was but a hunting-field for Danish and Saxon pirates; and may still exist when Britain shall have become as Tyre and Carthage.


The opening of Parliament is fixed to take place on the third of February; in the meanwhile Government will have leisure to decide upon its course with respect to the Catholic excitement, which has continued to rage with an intensity out of all proportion to the cause which has excited it. The simple act of appointing bishops to the various dioceses, has been construed into an arrogant encroachment upon the prerogatives of the Crown, and an attack upon the liberties and independence of the people. The surprise of Hannibal, when lying before the walls of Rome in hourly expectation[Pg 414] of the surrender of the city, could not have been greater at learning that an army had just been dispatched for foreign conquest, and the very spot where he was encamped sold for a high price at public auction, than that of the English at the news that the sovereign of a petty principality, who had been driven from his dominions by his own subjects, and was brought back and sustained only by foreign arms, should coolly map out their country among his own dependents. The papers are filled with remonstrances, addresses, petitions, speeches, and protests from every body to every body. Twenty-six archbishops and bishops, comprising the whole episcopal bench, with two exceptions, united in a solemn protest to the Queen against this treatment of England as a heathen country, and the assumption of ecclesiastical dominion by the Pope. The Bishop of Exeter, having his hands rid of the Gorham difficulty, refused to sign this document, and prepared for presentation to her Majesty an address of his own, of portentous length, couched in that cumbrous phraseology affected by ecclesiastical writers. This was returned to the author by the Secretary of State, with the very curt announcement that it was not a document which he could properly lay before her Majesty. Addresses were presented on one day from the authorities of London, and from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. That from Oxford was read by the Duke of Wellington, that from Cambridge by Prince Albert, as the Chancellors of the respective universities. The addresses expressed attachment to the royal person and the principles of the Reformation; and indignation at the Papal aggressions upon the royal supremacy; with earnest petitions that prompt measures might be taken to repress all foreign encroachments upon the rights of the Crown and the independence of the people. The London address contained, moreover, significant hints at innovations, principles, and practices nearly allied to those of Rome, sanctioned by some of the clergy, and expressed a desire for the preservation and purity of the Protestant faith. The replies of the Queen, having of course been prepared beforehand by the Ministry, are of some consequence, as foreshadowing the probable course of Government. They were all to the same general purport: she thanked them for their expressions of attachment to her person and Government; and declared that it should be her constant endeavor, as supreme governor of the realm, to maintain the rights of the Crown and the independence of the people, against all encroachments of foreign powers; and to promote the purity and efficiency of the Reformed Church. It was noted as a somewhat singular circumstance that the room at Windsor where these deputations were received, contained portraits of Pope Pius VII. and Cardinal Gonsalves. Among the most singular petitions to the Queen, was one from the women of Windsor, urging her Majesty to guard them from the "intolerable abuses of the Papal hierarchy," which would "enforce upon as many of the people as possible the practice of auricular confession; and from the bare possibility of this practice being pressed upon us and our children, we shrink with instinctive horror." The Scottish Bishops have addressed a letter to their English brethren, sympathizing with them under this attack, and pledging their "influence and ability in restraining this intolerable aggression on the rights of the venerable church." An old law of Elizabeth has been hunted out, making the importation of relics, crucifixes, and the like a penal offense, and though the penalties are repealed, it is still a misdemeanor; some of the more zealous opponents of Romanism demand that this should be put in force; and also that all such articles be stopped at the custom-house. They would also have the exhibition and sale of them prohibited, as being "a means of enticing men into idolatry," and they add, as idolatry is "no less a sin than fornication, there seems no solid reason why those who obtrude idolatrous objects upon the public gaze, should not be punished as offenders against public morals, as much as the venders of obscene prints." The general excitement has manifested itself in some unlooked-for quarters. During the performance at the theatre of King John, the representative of Cardinal Pandulph was hissed continually, and could hardly go on with his part; when Mr. Macready, as King John, pronounced the passage—

"No Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions,"

the whole theatre rang with deafening applause. The immediate effect of this agitation will, undoubtedly, be most severely felt by what is known as the Tractarian party in the Church of England, one portion of whom will be forced forward to Catholicism, and the other driven back to the great body of the English Church. Mr. Bennett, whose church in London was attacked by a mob, on account of certain alleged Romish practices, has resigned his charge. This is looked upon as of some importance, from the fact of its being the church attended by Lord John Russell in London; and that the resignation was brought about by the Bishop of London, who has himself been accused of similar tendencies. The general sentiment of the Nonconformist and Dissenting Press is, that the quarrel is one between two hierarchical establishments equally hostile to them; and that, whoever gets worsted, it must result in their own advantage. The conduct of Cardinal Wiseman has throughout been marked with great skill and foresight. The ceremony of his enthronization took place as privately as possible, in order to avoid a mob; on this occasion he delivered a sermon, characterized by his usual ability and tact, which was of course published in all the papers, thus obtaining all desirable publicity. It is as yet uncertain what steps Government will take. There are rumors of dissensions on this question in the Cabinet, which must result in its dissolution; but they seem to come from quarters where the wish is father to the thought; at least they are not authenticated.

The most important economic movement is the effort which is made in every direction to increase the sources of supply of cotton, or to find some means of substituting flax for those manufactures, of which cotton is now the sole material. The importance of these measures becomes obvious when it is recollected how great a portion of British capital and industry is invested in the cotton manufacture, and to what an extent they are indebted to the United States for the supply of the indispensable material. The United States furnish about four-fifths of the cotton used in Great Britain; and the supply from other sources is diminishing; a decided failure of the cotton-crop here, or a war, which should interrupt the supply, would produce greater distress in England than did the failure of the potato-crop in Ireland. The West Indies cannot be looked to at present for any large supply. The cotton of India, though well adapted for the old method of manufacture, is too short in staple to be advantageously wrought by the machinery now in use, and it has been found that American cotton[Pg 415] transplanted there soon deteriorates, and on the whole, efforts to extend the culture there have failed. Australia seems at present the most promising quarter from which to expect a future supply.

The Highlands of Scotland are now suffering as severely from famine as did Ireland during the worst year of the potato failure. The cause of the distress is said to be the absolute entailment of the landed property, which keeps the country in the hands of those who are too poor to cultivate it; and the only remedy is to break the entails, so as to suffer capital to be laid out upon the land, and thereby furnish employment, and produce subsistence for the resident population.

The Cunard steamers, finding that the Collins and the New York and Havre lines have at last equaled them in the speed and safety of their vessels, and far exceeded them in beauty and comfort, have apparently resolved to test the question of the supremacy of the sea by the relative capacity of purses. While the Franklin was loading at Havre, the Cunarders suddenly reduced the price of freight from $40 per ton to $20, and finally to $10, from Havre to New York by way of Liverpool; which is, in fact, carrying from Liverpool to New York gratis, the cost of conveyance from Havre to Liverpool, and transhipment, being fully $10. This is understood to be the commencement of an opposition, undertaken in a like paltry spirit, against all the lines of American steamers. It remains to be seen whether those who have been defeated in a fair and honorable competition in science and skill, will succeed in so contemptible a contest as that they purpose to wage.

The present increased value of silver, in all countries, is accounted for in the commercial papers, not by the excess of gold from California, but by special and temporary circumstances in the commercial world. The enormous armaments in Germany require a large amount of silver to pay off the soldiers. The prevalent feeling of insecurity has caused the hoarding of large amounts in small sums, of course in silver, which has reduced the amount in circulation. In addition to which, Holland has made silver only, a legal tender, which has occasioned a desire on the part of bankers who have gold on deposit, to convert it into silver; these, together with an apprehension that the amount of gold from California would in time diminish its relative value, have caused a temporary demand for silver, which has, of course, raised its price.


The Legislative Assembly continues in session, but the proceedings are mostly of local interest. The committee presented a report in favor of the policy of neutrality, recommended by the President in relation to the affairs of Germany, and brought in a bill appropriating a credit of 8,640,000f. to defray the expenses of the 40,000 additional men demanded by the President's Message. After a sharp discussion, the resolutions were adopted, and the bill passed, by a majority of more than two to one. This is the only test-question, thus far, between the Government and the Opposition, and shows that the "Party of Order" are in a decided majority. A bill has been passed appropriating 600,000f. toward establishing cheap baths and wash-houses. The communes desiring aid from this fund are to furnish plans for the approval of the Minister of Commerce and Agriculture, and to provide two-thirds of the necessary funds, Government providing the other third, in no case, however, to exceed 50,000f. A report was presented by M. Montalembert, in favor of a bill for the better observance of the Sabbath in France. The prominent points were: that labor on public works should be suspended on the Sabbath and fête days, except in cases of public necessity; and that all agreements binding laborers to work on the Sabbath or on fête days, should be prohibited; this provision, however, not to apply to the venders of comestibles, or to carriers, and those engaged upon railways, the post, and similar employments. The proposition met with no favor.

Letter-writers say that the Elysée is marked by scenes of luxury and profligacy scarcely paralleled in the days of the Regent Orleans and of Louis XV. The President is known to be deeply involved in debt, and the Assembly has been called upon for a further dotation, which will of course be granted, in spite of the resistance of the Opposition. Fines and imprisonments of the conductors of the newspapers are growing more and more frequent.


The scales have turned on the side of peace. The Gordian knot is to be untied, if possible, not cut. The affairs of Germany are to be decided by articles, not by artillery. The crisis seems to have been brought about by a peremptory demand from Austria, that Prussia should evacuate the Electorate of Hesse-Cassel within forty-eight hours, under the alternative of a declaration of war. At the same time a dispatch arrived from Lord Palmerston, hinting that in the event of war, the other powers could not preserve their neutrality. Thus brought face to face with war, both Austria and Prussia were frightened. A conference was proposed between Prince Schwartzenberg and Baron Manteuffel, the Austrian and Prussian Ministers. This took place at Olmutz, where articles of agreement were speedily entered into. The essential point of the agreement is, that all measures for the pacification of Germany shall be taken jointly by Austria and Prussia. If the Elector of Hesse-Cassel can not come to terms with his subjects, a Prussian and Austrian battalion are to occupy the Electorate. Commissioners from the two powers are to demand the cessation of hostilities in the Duchies, and to propose terms to Denmark. The formation of a new German Constitution is to be undertaken by a Conference, meeting at Dresden, Dec. 23, to which invitations have been sent jointly by the two powers, who are to stand in all respects on an equality. In the mean time both are to reduce their armies, as speedily as possible, to the peace footing. This agreement of the Ministers was ratified by the two sovereigns. In Prussia the opposition in the Chambers was so vehement that the Ministry dared not meet it, and adjourned that body for a month, till Jan. 3, the longest period practicable, in the hope that by that time the issue of the Dresden Conference might be such as to produce a favorable change. In the mean time, opposition to the proposed measure has sprung up from an unexpected quarter. Austria had hitherto acted in the name of the Diet; she now coolly ignores the existence of that body, and proceeds to parcel out all the power and responsibility between herself and Prussia. The minor German States find themselves left entirely out of the account. They remember the old habit of powerful states, to indemnify themselves at the expense of the weaker ones, for any concessions they have been forced to make to each other; and[Pg 416] suspecting some secret articles; or, at least, some understanding not publicly avowed, between the two powers, they tremble for their own independence. The sense of a common danger impels them to a close union, but they are destitute of a rallying point. A portion of them, with Austria at their head, had declared themselves the Diet; but if Austria, the constitutional president, withdraws, the Diet can not have a legal existence. The Dresden Conference, therefore, meets, with three parties, having separate interests and fears: Austria, Prussia, and the minor States—the governments, that is, of all these—while behind and hostile to the whole, is the Democratic element, predominant probably among the Prussians, strong in the lesser States, and not powerless even in Austria, hostile to all existing governments, or to any confederation they may form, whether consisting of a duality of Austria and Prussia, or a triad, composed of these and a coalition of the minor States; but longing, instead, for a German unity. The cannon is still loaded; the priming has only been taken out.

The last advices from Dresden, of Dec. 28, bring us an account of the opening of the Conference by speeches from the Austrian and Prussian Ministers. That of the former was highly conservative in its tone, dwelling mainly upon the advantages secured by the old Confederation. The speech of the Prussian Minister, on the contrary, hinted strongly at the inefficiency which had marked that league. The proceedings, thus far, have been merely preliminary. The return of the Elector of Hesse-Cassel to his dominions, under the escort of Austrian and Prussian troops, was marked by sullen gloom on the part of the people. Preparations for the forcible disarmament of Schleswig-Holstein by Austrian and Prussian forces are actively going on; it is feared that the Duchies will make a bloody and desperate resistance.

The internal condition of Austria is far from settled. So arbitrary have been the proceedings of Government, that even the Times is forced to disapprove of them, and to wish that instead of Russia, the Empire had a constitutional ally. The discontents among the Croats and Servians are as predominant as were those among the Hungarians, and a coalition between the Slavic and Magyar races, whom Government has hitherto played off against each other, is by no means improbable. Government dares not assemble the Provincial Diets, being fully aware that they would set themselves in opposition to its measures. In Hungary, the few natives who have accepted office under Austria, are treated by their countrymen as the veriest Pariahs, and the officials of Government are thwarted and harassed in every way possible.


The political affairs of the different Italian States are in no wise improving. The Roman Government finds its Austrian allies somewhat burdensome guests. They demand that the Austrian corps of 20,000 men, which entails an expense upon the impoverished Ecclesiastical States of 6,000,000 francs per annum, should be reduced to 12,000. Austria declines, at present, to make the reduction. The American Protestants have been allowed to have a chapel within the city, while the English have been compelled to be satisfied with one without the walls; this privilege has been withdrawn.——The Austrian Governor of Venice has issued a proclamation directing that the subscriptions for the relief of Brescia, which was destroyed by Austrian bombardment, shall be closed; on the ground that the pretense of philanthropy was merely a cloak for political demonstrations.——At Leghorn domiciliary visits of the police have been made, the reasons for which have not transpired.——The state of affairs in Sardinia has been set forth in the following terms in a speech in its Parliament: "There is in Sardinia no safety for property; there is neither law nor justice. Not to speak of thefts, assaults, injuries to property innumerable—look at the assassinations: two hundred within a short time. Assaults and highway robberies have increased and are daily increasing. There is one assassination to every thousand inhabitants. Murders are committed by day and by night, in towns and villages, in castles and dwellings. Children of thirteen years are murderers. The judges are terrified, and dare not execute justice. In England you must pay, but you have safety for your life. But here Ministers take one half our income for the State, and then suffer scoundrels to rob us of the other half. Let Government look to it. If it says it can do nothing, it does not deserve the name of Government: it is the very opposite of what should be called Government." The correspondent of the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung declares this to be a true account of the state of things in Sardinia.


There has been a disruption in the Cabinet. The Minister of Finance, finding that there would be a deficit of some 240,000,000 of reals, nearly one-fourth of the entire revenue, proposed a reduction of expenditures in various departments. This the other Ministers would not consent to; and the Minister of Finance, finding that he would be called to solve the difficult problem of making payments without funds, or resign his post, chose the latter as the more feasible if not the more agreeable alternative. A surplus of revenue is, of course, anticipated the coming year. But the calculations of Spanish financiers never prove to be correct.



At the New England Society's Dinner, Mr. Webster made a most felicitous allusion to the Mayflower, à propos to a confectionary model of that vessel which graced the table: "There was," said he, "in ancient times a ship which carried Jason in his voyage for the acquisition of the Golden Fleece; there was a ship at the battle of Actium which made Augustus Cæsar master of the world; there have been famous ships which bore to victory a Drake, a Howe, a Nelson; there are ships which have carried our own Hull, Decatur, and Stewart in triumph. But what are they all, as to their chances of remembrance among men, to that little bark Mayflower? That Mayflower was and is a flower of perpetual blossom. It can stand the sultry blasts of Summer, resist the furious tempests of Autumn, and remain untouched by the gales and the frosts of Winter. It can defy all climates and all times; it will spread its petals over the whole world, and exhale a living odor and fragrance to the last syllable of recorded time!"

Mr. Stephenson, of Charlestown, has lately completed a statue of great merit both in conception and execution. It represents a North American Indian who has just received a mortal wound from an arrow; he has fallen forward upon his right[Pg 417] knee, the left leg being thrown out in advance. The right hand which has drawn the arrow from the wound, rests upon the ground, the arm with its little remaining strength preventing the entire fall of the body. The statue is wrought from a block of marble from a quarry just opened in Vermont, which is pronounced not inferior to the famous quarries of Carrara.

The literalism of the Panorama has lately been invaded by an effort toward the Ideal. Pilgrim's Progress has been made the subject of an extensive work of this kind by two young artists of New York, Messrs. May and Kyle. They have met with great and well deserved success. Their work embodies the spirit of Bunyan, and presents all the scenes of any interest in his famous dream. The seizing of the popular preference for panoramas for the purpose of converting it from a wondering curiosity at the reproduction of actual scenes, to the admiring interest awakened by an imaginative subject, was a happy instance of tact too rarely found in artists; and the eagerness with which the public welcomed the change is another evidence of the general advancement in taste to which we have before alluded.

W.S. Mount, the only artist among us who can delineate "God's image carved in ebony," or mahogany, has just finished a picture in his happiest style. It represents a genuine sable Long-Islander, whom a "lucky throw" of the coppers has made the owner of a fat goose. He holds his prize in his hands, his dusky face radiant with joy as he snuffs up in imagination the fragrant odors to come. The details of the picture—the rough coat, the gay worsted comforter and cap, disposed with that native tendency to dandyism, which forms so conspicuous an element of the negro character, are admirably painted. The effect, like that of every true work of art, and unlike that of the vulgar and brutal caricatures of the negro which abound, is genial and humanizing. The picture is in possession of Messrs. Goupil and Company, 239 Broadway, by whom it will soon be sent to Paris, to be lithographed in a style uniform with the "Power of Music," and "Music is Contagious," of the same artist. This house will soon publish engravings from one of Woodville's characteristic pictures, "Politics in an Oyster House," and from Sebron's two admirable views of Niagara Falls.

W.H. Powell is in Paris, at work on his large picture for the Capitol at Washington. He has recently finished "The Burial of Fernando de Soto in the Mississippi," of which a fine print, executed in Paris by Lemoine, has been published. The committing of the body of the grand old enthusiast to the turbid current of the Father of Waters, of which he was the discoverer, is a splendid subject, and is treated by Powell in a manner full of deep poetic feeling.

Prof. Hart, of Philadelphia, one of our most elegant belle-lettre scholars, is preparing a volume of "The Female Prose Writers of America." It is to form a royal octavo of five hundred pages, elegantly printed, with numerous portraits, executed in London, in the best style of line and stipple engraving. We are authorized to state that the Editor will be happy to receive from authors and their friends materials for the biographical and critical notices.

Mrs. Hale's "Female Biography," from which we furnished some extracts in our last Number, is nearly ready for publication. It will form a large octavo of about eight hundred pages, containing numerous authentic portraits.

Mr. G.P. Putnam announces as in preparation for speedy publication a series of Manuals for popular reference, designed to compress into a compact form a comprehensive and accurate view of the subjects of general history, science, literature, biography, and the useful arts. They are to be prepared by authors of undoubted qualifications, on the basis of Maunder's and other recent compilations; and to be published in a style uniform with the "World's Progress." The office of a compiler and classifier in literature assumes a new importance, and has new claims upon the gratitude of the student, in these days when the life of a man is too short for him to make himself acquainted, from the original sources, with any one branch of knowledge. The same publisher also announces a "Life of Washington," by Washington Irving; "The Monuments of Central and Western America," by Francis L. Hawks, D.D.; a "Commentary on Ecclesiastes," by Moses Stuart; and new works by Dr. Mayo, Author of "Kaloolah," by J. Fennimore Cooper, Hon. E.G. Squier, and the Author of "Rural Hours."

The Opera has not had the success of last season, in spite of the addition of Signorina Parodi to the company of last year. Parodi is admitted to have a remarkably fine voice, and to be not without dramatic talent, although prone to exaggeration, but she is not generally thought equal to the claims set up for her, and, what is of more importance, she does not fill the house so well at two dollars and a half as was expected. Toward the end of her first series of performances at New York she drew quite large audiences, and made many admirers among persons of acknowledged taste.

A project is on foot to build a very large Opera House near the site of the old one. The proprietors are in Paris, we believe, and they hope to join Marti, the great Havana manager, with them. The undertaking is based on the supposition that in this country it is better to appeal to the many than the few. The basis is good, where the many have the taste to which to appeal; but an opera audience must be a steady one, and it remains to be seen whether a taste for the opera is yet sufficiently diffused here to insure large audiences always, at remunerating prices. The Havana company do not make their expenses on their summer visits, even at Castle Garden, but in the summer all that they receive is gain.

Mr. Paine's "water-gas," after serving for months as the butt for ridicule, appears about to take its place among the ascertained facts of science. Whatever may be true respecting his theory that water is wholly converted into hydrogen or oxygen, which we certainly believe to be erroneous, there is little room to doubt that he possesses the means of producing hydrogen from water, with great facility, and in any quantity; and that the hydrogen acquires a high illuminating power by passing through spirits of turpentine. If one-half that well-informed men believe in respect to this discovery is true, it is the most important one made in the department of physical science within the century.

Count Dembinski, who bore so prominent a part in the Hungarian struggle, and who is represented as a very accomplished engineer, is now engaged as a dealer in cigars in New York. The condition of the political refugees from Germany in other parts of the world is less desirable than even this. In London many of them hawk Lucifer matches about the streets. In Australia doctors and professors break stone on the highways. Two barons and an artist, from Berlin, are thus employed; a[Pg 418] Hamburgh physician deals in milk; and the son of a Berlin manufacturer is a cattle-driver.

Missionaries in Western Africa report the existence of a regularly written language among a people there discovered. The alphabet is said to be syllabic like the Ethiopic and Cherokee; each character, of which there are about a hundred, representing a syllable. This fact, if authenticated, taken in connection with the existence of a very highly developed language in some of the rude African tribes, suggests many interesting problems in ethnographical science.


The Earl of Carlisle, formerly Lord Morpeth, delivered recently two lectures before the Mechanics' Institute at Leeds. One of these, upon the Poetry of Pope, was a pleasant criticism and eulogy upon the poet. The second lecture was devoted to an account of his own travels in America, some eight years since; being the first account he has publicly given of his observations and impressions. In speaking of persons he confined himself to those whose historical celebrity has made them in a manner public property; and his observations upon individuals and institutions were characterized throughout by a tone of moderation and good-feeling. The phenomenon of a live lord lecturing before an association of mechanics seems to have startled the good people of Leeds no little; and to have caused an excitement that reminds one of an American Jenny Lind ovation viewed through a telescope reversed. A due sense was manifested of the noble lord's condescension in appearing in a character so novel as that of a public lecturer, and afterward revising the lectures for publication. Copies of the lectures are to be sent to similar associations in the neighborhood that they may be read to the members. The lectures, though very creditable to his lordship, would certainly not have received such an enthusiastic reception had the author been Mr. Brown or Smith.

Walter Savage Landor writes through the Examiner, to and at Lord Brougham, respecting the claims upon the nation of literary men in general, and of Southey in particular. He says that since Southey commenced writing in behalf of the Church, more than twenty millions have been paid to the English bishops, of which the Bishop of London—(the Master C.J. London of the exquisite satire in the last Number of the New Monthly, entitled "A Crisis in the Affairs of Mr. John Bull," than which nothing keener has been written since the days of Swift, and which is worthy of forming a supplementary chapter to the "Tale of a Tub")—has received well-nigh a million; all of whom have not done for the Church a tithe of what Southey accomplished. He thinks that if money enough to reward amply a half-score of the men whose genius has adorned and exalted their age, can be expended in building stables for a prince hardly tall enough to mount a donkey, the nation would not be ruined by appropriating five hundred a year to six, and three hundred a year to as many more of the chief living geniuses.

Sir Charles Napier—(there are three Napiers, all equally ready with the sword and pen, and with the Bishop of Exeter probably the four most impracticable and crotchety men now alive: William, major-general, author of the "Peninsular War," "Conquest of Scinde," and other works; Charles J., major-general, commander-in-chief in India, author of the oddest dispatches and general-orders on record; and Charles, rear-admiral, and author of the pamphlet of which we are about to speak)—has issued a publication in which all the horrors which Sir Francis Head foresees in a French invasion and conquest of England are abundantly magnified. The admiral proves, to his own satisfaction at least, that England is at any moment liable to fall a prey to French, Russian, or American rapacity.

A life of Edward Williams, a Welsh poet of the last century, has just been published in London, which is said to contain a good deal of pleasant literary gossip. We find mentioned in it a rencontre with the great Dr. Johnson, which is characteristic, and interesting enough to be repeated. Mr. Williams seems to have been fond of lounging in book stores, and on one such occasion was thus occupying a leisure hour, and quiet corner, in this banqueting-room, "when a large, ungraceful man entered the shop, and seating himself abruptly by the counter, began to inspect some books and pamphlets lying there. This austere-looking personage held the books almost close to his face, as he turned over the leaves rapidly, and the Bard thought petulantly; then replaced them on the counter, and finally gave the whole a stern kind of shove out of the way, muttering as he rose, 'The trash of the day, I see!' then, without word or sign of recognition to the bookseller, rolled himself out of the shop. When he was gone, the Bard inquired of his friend who that bluff gentleman might be. The reply was, 'That bluff gentleman is the celebrated Dr. Johnson.'" This excited the desire of Mr. Williams to see him again, and he accordingly took another opportunity to meet him; and in order to have an excuse for speaking to him, presented three Grammars to him, and "solicited the favor of Dr. Johnson's advice which of them to choose, observing that the judgment of such a masterly writer must be the most valuable he could possibly obtain. Johnson either disregarded this really graceful compliment to him as a model author, or he was in an ungracious temper—no uncommon condition with him—for taking the volumes into his hands, he cast an equivocal look, between a glance and a scowl, at the humble stranger before him, hastily turned over the several title-pages, then surveyed him from head to foot, with an expression rather contemptuous than inquisitive; and, thrusting back the Grammars in his huge fist, rather at the inquirer than toward him, delivered this oracular reply 'Either of them will do for you, young man.'"

The portrait of Sir Robert Peel, painted by Lawrence some years ago, is said to be the only one by which the statesman wished his person to be handed down to posterity. The judgment of a person of his exquisite taste, as well as the reputation of the painter, stamps this as the only truly historical portrait. An engraving from this picture, which is pronounced to do full justice to the painter, has been executed, and can not fail of a wide circulation. Copies will soon, without doubt, be brought to this country.

The question of copyright in England, to authors not subjects, is not yet decided. Mr. Ollendorf, author of the "New Method" of learning languages, who though not a British subject, resides a part of the time in England, authorized a publishing house to issue an edition of one of his works. Another publisher imported an edition of this work, published at Frankfort, without the author's consent, and sold it at half the price of the former. Mr. Ollendorf and his publishers applied for an injunction to restrain the sale of the pirated edition, and to compel an account of the money already received.[Pg 419] This was granted provisionally, the court deciding that the decision which has been supposed to deny the privilege of copyright to foreigners, did not apply to cases where the author was a resident in England, and had assigned his rights to British subjects.

A copying telegraph has been invented by Mr. F.C. Bakewell. The message to be transmitted is written with varnish upon a strip of tin-foil, which is rolled around a cylinder which is made to revolve by clockwork. A point of steel presses upon this cylinder, which is so arranged as to form part of the electric circuit, which is of course interrupted when the point is in contact with the non-conducting varnish-letters. Upon the receiving cylinder at the other end of the line, is placed a slip of paper, saturated with muriatic acid and prussiate of potash; upon this paper a steel point presses, connected with the conducting wire, the electric current passing along which changes the color of the paper to blue; but when the current is broken by the varnish-letters at the other end, the color is not affected. Both cylinders are then made to revolve at precisely the same rate, in such a manner that the points of steel describe a series of lines upon their surface. These lines become blue on the paper, except at the point where the current is broken, so that the letters appear white on a ground composed of blue lines. By varying the relative size of the cylinders, the copy may be made either larger or smaller than the original. By this telegraph, therefore, communications in cipher may be dispatched. The chief difficulty thus far experienced, is in producing a perfectly corresponding rate of revolution of the two cylinders; but this is certainly not insurmountable.

It has been determined to devote the money raised for a memorial to the late Duke of Cambridge, to the foundation of a charitable institution. Two plans have been proposed, between which the choice will probably be made. One is to build a set of almshouses for the widows of non-commissioned officers. The projector supposes that if the building can be erected, the institution may be maintained by contributions from the army. The other plan is to establish a sanitary institution, open to the poor of every class. The merits of the "good duke," as far as they have been made apparent, appear to be comprised in the fact of his having been the least disreputable of all the sons of George III.; in having eaten more charitable dinners than any man upon record; in having spent the £17,000 a year, given him by the nation, to the last penny; and having left behind him two children to be supported by public bounty. Punch thinks that the £12,000 a year given to his son, the present Duke of Cambridge, is quite sufficient to prevent the English nation from forgetting the father.

There are in London 491 charitable institutions, exclusive of local and parochial trusts, many of them having branches and auxiliaries. Of these 97 are medical and surgical charities; 103 institutions for the aged; 31 asylums for orphans and destitute children; 40 school, book, and visitation societies; 35 Bible and missionary societies. These associations disburse annually about £1,765,000, of which £1,000,000 is raised by voluntary contributions; and the remainder arises from funded property and the sale of publications.

A society has recently been formed at Windsor, under the patronage of the Queen, Prince Albert, and the Duchess of Kent, for improving the condition of the laborers in several adjacent parishes. At a recent meeting 21 persons were selected, on account of superior neatness, industry, and general good character, who received a reward of from 15 to 30 shillings, together with a framed certificate signed by Prince Albert.

Great attention on the part of philanthropists continues to be paid, in several of the large cities of England, to the subject of Ragged Schools, though the most formidable obstacles are encountered to their success. Mere teaching is found to be of little avail, unless means of industry can also be provided. A curious anecdote, illustrating this point, is told of one of these schools in London. A clergyman went to the school on Sunday evening to address the larger class of boys. There was a good attendance; and he addressed the children on the sanctities of the Sabbath and the penalties of a life of crime. He thought he had made a powerful impression on his hearers; and was about to conclude with a suitable peroration, when as the minute finger of the clock touched the five minutes to eight mark on the dial, the whole audience rose, and without a word left the room. The teachers followed in surprise; and overtaking one of the urchins in the street, asked where he was going. "To work," was the brief reply. "To work! Why, don't you know this is Sunday?" asked the religious instructor. "Of course," said the lad, "and ain't the folks just a goin' to come out of chapel?" The clergyman was enlightened: after his persuasive discourse, as he thought, the audience had risen to pick pockets! Incidents like this have led nearly all the schools to combine labor with their instruction.

The projected "excursion trips" to the Great Exhibition, which have been started by some enterprising Americans, have attracted the attention of intelligent persons in England, who predict that this will be found to be the commencement of a very important movement for cheapening intercommunication between the two countries. Hitherto the improvements in ocean navigation, have only been attained by keeping the rates of passage at a high mark: but with the experience of railways as a starting point, it can not be doubted that a voyage to Europe will soon be brought within the means of all.

Mr. Stephenson, the engineer of the Britannia Bridge, has gone to Egypt to examine the route proposed for a ship canal between the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The survey is undertaken jointly by England, France, and Austria, each sending an engineer for the purpose. When the route is fixed upon, it is hoped that funds for the work will be furnished by the three powers; if not, the Pacha will concede the privilege of constructing it to a joint stock company.

The whole of the household goods left by Daniel O'Connell, at Derrynane Abbey, have been sold by sheriff's sale at public auction. A short time since they would have produced an immense sum as relics of the Liberator; they now brought no more than £364 3s. 6d.


Some months since a committee at the head of which was Leverrier, the astronomer, reported to the French Chambers in favor of a telegraphic apparatus submitted by Mr. Bain. Messages were transmitted between Paris and Lille, at the rate of 1500 letters per minute. In accordance with the report an apparatus was placed upon the line between Paris and Calais. The dispatch of the Paris correspondent of the Times of Dec. 5, was transmitted by this apparatus at the rate of 1200 letters[Pg 420] a minute, in a character perfectly legible. On the first of March the French telegraphs are to be opened to the public. By the proposed tariff a message of 300 words from Paris to Calais, 235 miles, will cost about nine dollars.

Guizot, has prefixed to the republications of his treatises on Monk and Washington two characteristic prefaces, in which the opinion is more than hinted that what France wants at present is Monk, the restorer of Monarchy, rather than Washington, the founder of a Republic.

A Life of Toussaint Louverture, by M. St. Remy, a native of Hayti, has been published at Paris, of which La Semaine says: "Toussaint Louverture, the heroic personification of the black race, was one of the most extraordinary men of modern times. A son of a race hitherto oppressed, filled with a noble emulation, and desirous of sculpturing the figure of some of those great men who have fixed the destiny of their country, has commenced the pious task with the history of this old slave, whose genius raised him to the rank of general of the French army in St. Domingo. The sophisms of the partisans of negro slavery have too long held up to ridicule the efforts made by a people of African origin to take rank among civilized nations; and it belonged to a man of color to prove by an illustrious example that the Deity wished but to vary his works, not to establish a hierarchy of subjection, by giving to the skin a color black or white. The great crime of Toussaint was that of having bravely resisted Leclerc, who came to reduce again to slavery a country which had been made free. On the 8th of October, 1801, Bonaparte said, in a proclamation addressed to the inhabitants of St. Domingo: 'The Government has sent to you General Leclerc. He brings with him a large force to protect you against your enemies, and the enemies of the Republic. If you are told, these forces are destined to deprive you of your liberties, do you reply, The Republic will not suffer them to be taken from us.' On the 2d of May, 1802, slavery was re-established by a decree under the same signature. When he was embarking aboard the vessel which was to convey him to Europe, Toussaint uttered these words: 'In overthrowing me, they have only overthrown the trunk of the tree of the liberty of the blacks. It will spring up again, for the roots are many and deep.' He was a true prophet; for of 50,000 soldiers successively embarked for St. Domingo, not a fourth part ever returned to France. The old troops of Moreau, who had covered themselves with glory upon the banks of the Rhine, were decimated in that fratricidal contest, in which both parties fought, singing the Marseillaise Hymn. But, says M. St. Remy, 'while the mulattoes and the blacks mingled together, fought for their freedom, the First of the Blacks died of inanition on the 27th of April, 1803. The rats, it was said, had gnawed his feet.' From the commencement of his captivity, Toussaint had repeatedly written to the First Consul that he might be brought to trial; but his letters, replete with touching simplicity, remained unanswered. The man who had once held in his hand the destinies of the American Archipelago, was but an old Negro, torn from his wife and children, buried alive, and condemned, by an implacable policy, to death. And so died Toussaint Louverture, who, born a slave, was in turn a brave soldier, a victorious commander, an intelligent administrator, and an enlightened legislator. The Constitution which he gave to Hayti, before the arrival of Leclerc, shows him to have been fully aware of the wants of his country. He proclaimed civil and political equality, and encouraged agriculture and commerce, by abolishing monopolies; and in view of what is now taking place in Hayti, we may be astonished that this old slave was more enlightened than those who have succeeded him in the government. We have not pretended to give an analysis of the work, but the facts we have recounted may serve to give an idea of the interest which attaches to this new publication of M. St. Remy, who has been heretofore known by his History of Hayti."

A Treatise on the Theory of Constitutional Law, by M. Berryat St. Prix, is spoken of as a work of great interest and ability. It is preceded by a General Introduction, setting forth the fundamental principles of Constitutional Law, and the characteristics which distinguish it from Administrative Law. The author then proceeds to treat in detail of the difficult question of sovereignty, traces the history of the numerous changes in the political relations of France, and analyzes the ten or a dozen different Constitutions which have succeeded each other. A parallel is drawn between the new Constitution and its immediate predecessor, and that of the United States. The questions of the natural right to property, and of the right to labor are also discussed.

Some curious facts have been stated illustrating the effect of the French Revolution of February upon the circulation of newspapers. It stimulated their publication and sale to an almost incredible extent. It is stated that one single printer, M. Boulé, actually sold for months together between 200,000 and 300,000 copies daily, of four or five different journals of which he was the printer. He had eleven presses at work day and night, and in the course of a short time not only managed to pay off several thousand pounds of debt, but even to make a very considerable fortune. The journals he printed were chiefly what is called Red or Ultra-Democratic; and such was the fureur of the public for them, that the hawkers used to demand "papers" without caring what they were. All the newspapers were paid for in pence, and it was literally sou by sou that Boulé enriched himself.

The four principal cemeteries of Paris contain in all 23,340 permanent tombs. Of these Père-Lachaise has 15,750, Montmartre 4260, and Mont Parnasse 3330. The total number of interments in all these cemeteries since they were opened in 1804, is 1,380,000; so that these four cemeteries contain 300,000 more inhabitants than the living city from which their population is drawn.


Carl Ferdinand Becker, the celebrated writer on the Philosophy of Grammar, whose death we noticed in a recent Number of the New Monthly, presents a somewhat singular instance of eminence being attained in a pursuit not commenced till late in life. He was born in 1775, and studied at the seminary for priests at Hildesheim, where he received an appointment, which he subsequently resigned rather than embrace an ecclesiastical life. He then studied medicine, and published several medical treatises. We afterward find him sub-director of the gunpowder and saltpetre manufactory at Göttingen, into the mechanical processes of which he introduced many improvements. In 1813, he was appointed physician to the General Army Hospital, at Frankfort; this being subsequently discontinued, he settled as a private physician at Offenbach. Here his long-suppressed fondness for philological pursuits was renewed;[Pg 421] but he had reached his fiftieth year before he published his first grammatical work. The older German grammarians founded their systems upon the bare forms of the parts of speech, while Becker assumed the signification of them, in as far as they are components of a sentence, and serve as the expression of thought, as the foundation of his system. He looked upon language as the organic expression of thought, and all special forms of speech, as the expression of particular relations of thoughts and ideas. By this mode of treatment he avoided much of the dryness and insipidity belonging to mere grammatical speculations, and brought to view the more genial elements of the philosophy of language. His mode of treating his materials was philosophical rather than historical—in which he offers a striking contrast to Jacob Grimm, whose works show an equally familiar acquaintance with the history and the philosophy of language.

Bruno Bauer, the Coryphæus of German Rationalism (unless Strauss may be thought to be a rival for that questionable eminence) whose last work is devoted to the somewhat useless task of proving, with a superabundance of logic and contemptuous irony, that the late Frankfort Parliament effected nothing, and knew nothing, has run through a singular career. He was born in 1809, and in his twentieth year commenced the study of theology at Berlin. Five years later he became private teacher in the University, at which time he belonged to Hegelian school of orthodoxy. The germ of his subsequent views, however, may be found in his "Kritik of the Old Testament Writings," in which he represents "the myths of Judaism in their successive transformations, as a development of the national sentiment of the Jews." He first fairly broke ground with orthodoxy in 1839, when he began to apply his principles of criticism to the New Testament narratives. He commenced with the Gospel of John, which he regarded as a work of the imagination, with but here and there a historical trace—a work merely "founded upon facts." He had, meanwhile, been transferred to the University of Bonn, where he proceeded with his three volumes of criticisms upon the other Evangelists, at the conclusion of which he found he had reached a point which he could hardly have anticipated at the outset. In the first volume he had begged that the judgment of his readers might be suspended, "for however bold and far-reaching the negations of this volume might appear, it would be manifest that the most searching criticism would most fully set forth the creative power of Jesus and of his principles;" and even in the second volume he seems to allow to the main facts set forth in the life of Jesus a historical verity; but at the conclusion of the work he makes it doubtful whether such a person as Jesus ever existed. Bauer now occupied the anomalous position of a theological teacher who represented the Gospels to be mere works of the imagination, possessing no higher historical value than Xenophon's Cyropædia, or Fénélon's Telemachus, characterized Matthew and Luke as stupid copyists of Mark, denounced theologians as hypocrites, and the science of theology as the dark stain upon modern history. It is no wonder that the Prussian Minister of Worship felt himself impelled to inquire of the Theological Faculty, what was the position of Bauer in relation to Christianity, and whether he should be allowed to exercise his functions. The Faculty were embarrassed: on the one hand, they feared that freedom of inquiry would be trenched upon were he silenced; and, on the other, that the cause of religion would be injured were he allowed to teach. Finally, a middle course was adopted, and he was allowed to teach in the philosophical faculty; and his former friend and admirer, Marheineke proposed that he should be appointed to a professorship, on the ground that he might thus "get his bread, and not be compelled by necessity to write." The next year (1842) the permission to teach in the University was withdrawn, and now commenced a warfare of journals, pamphlets, and books, in which Bauer's colossal irony and cold, trenchant logic shone conspicuous. He proved to his old Hegelian friends, that the true Atheist was their master himself, and strove to force from them the confession that they had either been deceived themselves, or had been willfully deceiving others. In 1843, Bauer closed his career as a writer upon theology by a work entitled "Christianity Revealed," in which he recapitulates all the views he had put forth. This was confiscated by the government of Zurich, where it was published, and his publisher, Fröbel, punished by imprisonment. He now turned his attention to criticism of social and civil affairs, through which we have not space to follow him. He opened a bookstore, in conjunction with his brother Edgar, a congenial, and still more violent spirit, who was subsequently sentenced to a four years' imprisonment, for some publication displeasing to government. Here the brothers published their own works, and became involved in a dispute with the Prussian censorship, and the elder was obliged to modify many passages in a book already printed, before he was allowed to publish it. He commenced an extensive history of the French Revolution, but we can not learn that he brought it further than to the close of the last century. He established a periodical which continued but a year, in which he entered into contest with the "masses, in that sense of the word which includes also the so-called educated classes—the masses, who will not take the trouble to find out the truth by its proofs"—a body including, apparently, in his opinion, every one except himself. The political convulsions of the last two years, have brought out the veteran Ishmaelite in two characteristic works. The first of these, The Revolution of the Burgesses in Germany, is devoted to a bitter and unsparing denunciation of every sect and party, as pusillanimous, and insignificant; and the second, recently published, is a cool and contemptuous dissection of the dead carcass of the late Frankfort Parliament.

The printing and bookselling house of Brockhaus at Leipzig, is one of the most complete and extensive in the world. It was founded by Friedrich Aug. Brockhaus, the father of the present proprietors. He was born in 1772, and was educated for the mercantile profession. He established himself at first in his native town of Dortmund, from whence in 1802 he emigrated to Holland. Here he was altogether unsuccessful, gave up his business, and set up a bookstore in Amsterdam. This was in 1805, when the state of things in Holland was extremely unpropitious for every undertaking of a literary nature. The kingdom was united to the Republic of France, and the French officials, on some pretext or other, confiscated a great part of Brockhaus's stock. Advanced into middle life, and three times unfortunate in business, the stout struggler determined upon one more throw for fortune, and won. Having, while in Holland, obtained the copyright of Lobel's Conversations-Lexicon, he settled at Altona, and devoted himself to the[Pg 422] preparation and publication of this work with a zeal and energy that commanded success. He soon felt that Leipzig was the only sphere commensurate with his talents, and removed to the intellectual centre of Germany in 1817. There he established several periodicals, which gained for him both reputation and profit. Among these were the Zeitgenossen, the Literarische Conversationsblatt, which is still published under the name of Blätter für Literarischen Unterhaltungen, and the Urania, for a long time the repository of the choicest gems of German poetry. He also undertook the publication of Ersch's Handbuch der Deutschen Literatur and Ebert's Bibliographischen Lexicon. His greatest enterprise, however, was the publication of the celebrated Conversations-Lexicon, of which he was himself the principal editor, and to which more than two hundred of the most eminent literary and scientific men of the time were contributors. He died in 1823, leaving his business to his two elder sons, by whom it has been greatly extended. The oldest of these, Friedrich, born in 1800, after having made himself practically acquainted with the art of printing, traveled abroad for the purpose of learning all improvements in the art, and upon the death of his father assumed the direction of the mechanical portion of the establishment. The second brother, Heinrich, born in 1804, took charge of the literary and commercial department. They carried on the publication of the great work of their father, of which the ninth edition, into which are incorporated two supplements, which they had previously published under the title of the Conversations-Lexicon of the Present, and the Conversations-Lexicon of the most recent Times and Literature, has just been issued. The establishment of Brockhaus at Leipzig is a fine quadrangular pile of buildings, with an open square in the centre, in which is carried on every operation connected with publication, from casting the type to issuing the completed work.

The Leipzig Book-Fair is the index by which the literary activity of Germany is measured. It is the custom in Germany for every German publisher to have his agent in Leipzig for the sale and distribution of his works. The Easter Fair is the principal one for the sale of new books. The catalogue for the present Michaelmas Fair contains the names of 5033 new works published in Germany since the Easter Fair, at which the number was 1200 or 1300 less. The present catalogue forms a volume of 384 pages, and contains more works than that of any fair since the revolution of 1848. The number of new books published in Germany averages 175 weekly, or 9100 a year. Taking the literary life of a student at 30 years, he must read nearly 300,000 volumes, in order to keep up with the current literature of Germany alone.

The Royal Foundry at Berlin, which has for a long time been occupied by artists for studios and workrooms, has during the late warlike demonstrations in Germany been devoted to its original purpose, the fabrication of the "ultima ratio regum." Among the works of art which are nearly completed is a colossal monument to Frederick the Great. The sculptor Rauch has been commissioned to execute a bas-relief for the pedestal, representing the well-known incident when the prince, a lad of some seven years, was playing at ball in the room where Frederick was writing. The king forbade the sport, and took away the ball. The prince asked that it might be given back to him, and getting no answer placed himself sturdily before the king, with the words: "The ball is mine, and I wish to know if your Majesty means to give it up peaceably?" Frederick restored the ball, saying, with a laugh, "This lad here would certainly not have suffered Silesia to be taken."

A biographical sketch of the life of Alexander von Humboldt, by Prof. Klincke, of Brunswick, which has just appeared, possesses peculiar interest to scholars from the minuteness with which Humboldt's course of study is detailed; and for the idea which it affords of the multifarious and vast attainments of this greatest of living scholars.

A publication, resembling in appearance and design "the Gallery of Illustrious Americans," has been commenced at Leipzig. The first number contains portraits from Daguerreotypes, with accompanying biographical notices, of the King of Prussia, Alexander von Humboldt, and the painter Cornelius.

The third volume of Humboldt's Cosmos has been announced by Cotta, of Stuttgart and Tübingen. It will appear almost simultaneously in a translation both in England and America. The same publisher has issued a charming volume of tales by Gottfried and Johanna Kinkel. It is rare that a true poet, like Kinkel, is blessed with a wife equal to him in poetic gifts; and the two, perhaps, have never before united in the production of a work which leaves the impression that in the authors one and the same soul is pitched upon the masculine and the feminine key. The volume contains a series of tales and sketches in which happy invention is combined with great powers of construction; deep feeling with broad and genial humor, developed now in the masculine and now in the feminine aspects. Running like an undertone through the feelings of gladness excited by these tales, is a melancholy remembrance of the gloomy fate which in these ominous times has befallen two beings who but a short time ago were contending in such pleasant rivalry in the exercise of the imaginative power.

To the voluminous correspondence of Goethe already published, another series has been added, in the letters between him and Reinhard, a German diplomatist in the French service, possessed of many high and excellent qualities. These letters add another to the many illustrations of the rare completeness and universal accomplishments of Goethe.

The Austrian military commander at Buda Pesth, in Hungary, has forbidden the transmission of all pecuniary or other contributions to be sent to the London Exhibition; and threatens the execution of martial law against all who infringe the decree.

A tunnel under the Neva, at St. Petersburg, similar to that under the Thames, has been projected by the Emperor Nicholas, who has directed plans for the work to be prepared by M. Falconnet, a distinguished French engineer. The bridges of boats which connect the portions of the city lying on the two banks of the Neva, are all withdrawn in anticipation of the freezing over of the stream, after which the only practicable communication is by the ice. Before the ice has become firm, and while it is breaking up, the communication is difficult and hazardous. If the tunnel be practicable, it will therefore be a work of the highest utility.

The Russian government has prohibited the publication of translations of the modern French novels, in consequence of which the attention of the caterers for public taste, has been turned to the less exciting comestibles of the English novels. We see announced three separate translations into Russian, of Thackeray's Vanity Fair; Jane Eyre, The[Pg 423] Caxtons, Maryatt's Valérie, Dombey and Son, are also translated.

Spindler, whose "Jew" has been pronounced the best historical romance of Germany, has published a humorous novel, under the title of "Putsch and Company," which is highly praised.

The Neapolitan government has prohibited the circulation of Humboldt's Cosmos, Shakspeare, Goldsmith, Heeren's Historical Treatises, Ovid, Lucian, Lucretius, Sophocles, Suetonius, Paul de Kock, Victor Hugo, E. Girardin, G. Sand, Lamartine, Valéry's L'Italie, Goethe, Schiller, Thiers, A. Dumas, Molière, all the German philosophers, and Henry Stephens's Greek Dictionary. We happened not long since to have occasion to examine the Prohibitory Index of Gregory XVI., issued in 1819; the names of the books prohibited in which reminded one of lists taken from the muster-rolls of Michael and Satan, only there were more from the former. Among the forbidden books were Grotius on the Law of War and Peace, Bacon's Advancement of Learning, Milton's Areopagitica, and Paradise Lost, unless corrected. The Paradise Lost or Lycidas, after having undergone the requisite inquisitorial corrections, would be a rare curiosity of literature. If Italy does not degenerate into barbarism, it will not be for the want of the most strenuous endeavors of her rulers.

One of the most beautiful alabaster vases in the Vatican, possessing a historical interest, as being the one in which were deposited the ashes of the sons of Germanicus, or as some say, those of Augustus himself, has been recently destroyed by an accident. It stood upon a pedestal near a window which was burst open by a violent wind. The heavy curtains of the window were blown against the vase, dashing it to the floor, and shattering it into so many fragments that restoration is pronounced impossible.

Oersted, the celebrated chemist, the discoverer of Electro-magnetism, has just completed the fiftieth year of his professorship in the Royal University of Copenhagen. On this anniversary the King of Denmark presented him with the grand cross of the order of Dannebrog. The University presented him with a new insignia of his Doctor's degree, including a gold ring, bearing the head of Minerva in cameo. And the citizens made him a present of the use for life of a beautiful villa in the outskirts of Copenhagen, which was still more acceptable and valuable from having been the former residence of the poet Oehlenschlager. Oersted is nearly in his eightieth year; but his recently-published work, "The Spirit in Nature," evinces that he retains the full possession of his mental powers.

The "passion-plays" or "mysteries," which were such favorites during the middle ages, have their sole remaining representative in the village of Ammergau, in Upper Bavaria, where they are celebrated, every ten years, with great pomp and solemnity. In the year 1633, a fearful pestilence fell upon that district, and the inhabitants made a solemn vow, that if it were removed, they would every ten years set forth a solemn representation of the "Passion and death of the Saviour." The pestilence ceased, and from that time the vow has been most religiously observed among that secluded and enthusiastic people. The representation consists of a series of tableaux representing the principal incidents in the closing scenes of the life of the Saviour, which are given in a sort of amphitheatre, of which the stage is roofed over, the audience being exposed to those sudden storms common in all mountainous regions. The representation lasts some eight hours, and is witnessed by many thousands of spectators. The German and French papers contain long accounts of that which took place a few months since; and speak in high terms of the artistic character, and solemn and devotional effect of the whole performance.

A life of Ugo Foscolo, an Italian refugee in England, has appeared at Florence. He is held up as a model and example to his countrymen. Foscolo was undoubtedly a man of no inconsiderable genius and of great acquirements; but to form an idea of his moral characteristics, we must imagine a man with Hobbes's theory of the identity of right with might and desire, without Hobbes's blameless life; with Byron's laxity of moral sentiment and conduct, without Byron's generosity; with Sheridan's reckless carelessness in respect to pecuniary affairs, without Sheridan's cheerful and kindly disposition; with Coleridge's want of mastery over his intellectual nature, without Coleridge's high purposes and keen sense of duty; with Johnson's rude and intolerable humor, without Johnson's royal humanity. Too proud, while in England, to repeat his lectures on Italian literature, because he thought his audience came only to gaze at him, he was not too proud to receive pecuniary aid from those to whom he was already deeply indebted; or to squander in luxury and debauchery the little fortune of his own illegitimate daughter, left her by her maternal relations: a daughter whom he abandoned until this fortune was bequeathed her. If Italy has only such saviours to look to, she will gain little by throwing off her present masters.

The Vicomte D'Arlincourt publishes, under the title of "L'Italie Rougé," a history of the revolutions in Rome, Naples, Palermo, Florence, Parma, Modena, Tuscany, Piedmont, and Lombardy, from the election of Pius IX., in June, 1846, to his return to Rome in April, 1850. The author visited Italy to gather materials, and his work, which is drawn from authentic sources, brings to light many new facts, and striking traits in the characters of the principal actors in the affairs of Italy.

A statue in honor of the celebrated astronomer Olbers has been erected in a public square at Bremen. He was by profession a physician, and enjoyed a very extensive practice. His fame as an astronomer rests upon his discovery of some of the asteroids; the suggestion and confirmation of the theory that they are fragments of a shattered planet; and especially upon his method of calculating the orbits of comets, from the few observations of which they are susceptible. In 1830 was celebrated the "jubilee" of his having reached the fiftieth year of his doctorate, upon which occasion he was honored by all those tokens of respect which the Germans are so fond of lavishing on such occasions. He died March 2, 1840, at the age of 82.

Scandinavian Literature is mainly known to the world, in general through the medium of German translators and critics. The names of Oehlenschlager and Andersen are sufficient evidence that it is not unworthy of cultivation. We find in the Grenzboten a notice of a new Danish Romance which though reminding one strongly of Fouque's Undine, has in its treatment something of the grim mirth, and gigantic humor of the old Vikings. The tale is entitled the Mermaid, and is founded upon the fancy of Paracelsus, that the mermaids though created without a soul may acquire one by a union with a human being. This idea is developed with more drollery than delicacy in the tale in question. The mermaids instead of, as in the orthodox conception, terminating in a fish's tail, waddle about[Pg 424] upon flat, clumsy feet, covered with scales. When a person is drowned, he is laid upon a table, in a condition bearing all the marks of death, except that he retains a perfect consciousness. If, however, a mermaid becomes enamored of him, he comes to life as a merman, and swims about in company with dolphins and such like sea-monsters; and if he desires to ascend to upper air, he can do so, by taking the body of some other drowned person. The hero of the romance is introduced as lying drowned upon the table, in company with two other corpses, that of a faithless woman and her betrothed. The jealousy of the dead man, and his doubts whether the other two corpses do not excite similar feelings, are set forth with broad humor. He however gains the affection of the queen of the sea, and so becomes a merman, while the other two bodies are left lying on the table, until two other mermen assume them for the purpose of paying a visit to terra-firma. The hero at last wishes to revisit upper air, and the body which he assumes happens to be that of a famous bon-vivant, by which he is brought into a number of embarrassing situations; he becomes betrothed to one who loves not his new but his old self, and thus is enamored of his one "him" while she despises his other. He meets the two persons who had been lying with him upon the table; yet it is not they, but the two mermen, who have taken possession of their bodies. This continual interpenetration of different souls and bodies, by which the personages are always forgetting their identity, has a very comic effect, which, however, is marred by the grave and sentimental tone which is given to the whole narrative. At last the hero, who is a sad scoundrel, succeeds in enticing his sea-queen ashore, where he exhibits her for money, as a sea-monster.


Among the recent deaths we notice the following: Gustav Schwab, a German poet of some note, belonging to the school of Uhland, aged fifty-eight. On the morning of the day of his death, he was entertaining a party of friends, by reading to them a translation he had just completed from the poems of Lamartine.——Count Brandenburgh, the Prussian Minister. He was an illegitimate son of the grandfather of the present King of Prussia, born in 1792. He was educated for the army, and passed through various stages of promotion, until 1848, when he was appointed general in command of the 8th corps d'armée. The same year, when the cause of his master seemed irretrievably lost in the revolutionary storm, he took the helm of government, and under his guidance the storm was weathered. His death was probably occasioned by chagrin at the result of the Warsaw Conference, where Austria gained a complete triumph over Prussia.——M. Alexandre, a famous French chess-player, and author of two volumes upon that game, at an advanced age.——M. Sauve, for more than half a century chief editor of the Moniteur. He assumed the charge of the French official paper in 1795, and left it only when compelled by the infirmities of age, after the Revolution of February. During this long period he acted as sponsor to all the governments which arose one after the other, with a dexterity and pliability which Talleyrand might have envied.——General Bonnemain, ex-peer and Marshal of France, who had served through all the campaigns of the Empire and the Republic.——Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington, author of a number of dramatic works of considerable merit.——Mr. Raphall, one of the two Catholic members of Parliament who voted against the Jewish claims. He was a man of great wealth, and is said to have given within the last few years £100,000 for the building purposes of the Church. He was of Armenian descent, a singular instance of a person of Oriental extraction rising to eminence in the Occident.——M. Charles Motteley, one of the most enthusiastic and successful book-collectors of France. His collection was especially rich in Elzevir editions, and in rare and beautiful books. A very large sum was offered for it by the British Museum, but he refused to suffer it to leave France, and gave it to the French nation. The collection is to be kept separate, and to bear an inscription commemorative of the donor.——Lord Nugent, Member of the House of Commons for Aylesbury. He had occupied a number of political stations of importance, and was throughout his life a firm advocate of liberal principles. The Greek Revolution of 1823, found in him a warm supporter; and he did much to ameliorate the condition of the refugees whom the issue of the war in Hungary threw upon the shores of England. Lord Nugent was an author of no mean reputation; his "Memorials of Hampden" is an exceedingly well-written, and in the main accurate and impartial biography of the Great Commoner, and elicited one of the most brilliant of Macauley's early reviews. He was also the author of a book of Eastern travels, entitled "Lands Sacred and Classical," and a number of political pamphlets on the liberal side.——Karl Aug. Espe, one of the most laborious of the hard-working scholars of Germany. He was the editor of Brockhaus's Conversations-Lexicon of the Present, and of the eighth and ninth editions of the Conversations-Lexicon, as well as of works of decided merit in various departments of science.——Martin d'Auche, the last survivor of the French National Assembly of 1789. Though one of the most insignificant of men, the part he acted in the "Oath of the Tennis-court," one of the most famous scenes of the early part of French Revolution, has given him a place in history. The government, alarmed at the boldness of the deputies of the Third Estate in declaring themselves the National Assembly, independent of the other Orders, and proposing to effect radical and sweeping reforms in the state, excluded them from their chamber. The deputies assembled in an empty Tennis-court, in great excitement, where an oath was solemnly proposed that they would not separate, but would meet, at all hazards, until they had formed the Constitution. The oath was taken unanimously, with but one exception, that of poor Martin d'Auche, then deputy from Castelnaudry. There was at first some danger to his person, in the excitement of the moment; but it was hinted that he was not altogether in his right mind, and he escaped, being even suffered to inscribe some sort of a protest on the records. In David's picture of the scene he is represented with folded arms, amid the groups who are taking the oath by raising the right hand. This oath of the Tennis-court, the first actual collision between Royalty and the National Assembly, may be looked upon as the starting-point of the Revolution.

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Literary Notices.

Memoirs of the Life and Times of General John Lamb, by Isaac Q. Leake (published by J. Munsell, Albany), is an interesting narrative of the political and military life of one of the revolutionary patriots of New York, who died at the commencement of the present century. His active services in the war of the Revolution, and his eminent position in the subsequent party controversies, are described with impartiality and force. His character is succinctly portrayed by his biographer in the following passage: "Few men have acted more manfully the parts which have been allotted to them. As a pioneer of the great events which wrought out the Revolution, he was second to none in perseverance and intrepidity. As a soldier in the field, he was never surpassed in valor and constancy by any the most daring. As a citizen, neighbor, and philanthropist, he was distinguished for his public spirit; respected for his suavity; and admired for his benevolence."

The Memoir and Writings of James Handasyd Perkins, edited by William Henry Channing, published in two volumes by Crosby and Nichols, Boston, is an enthusiastic tribute to the memory of a remarkable man, who, by the simplicity, earnestness, and benevolence of his character, the originality and beauty of his intellect, and the devotion of his life to practical philanthropy, had won an unusual share of admiration and reverence. Mr. Perkins was born in Boston, where his father was a merchant of distinguished eminence, but, on arriving at the age of early manhood, he removed to the city of Cincinnati, and from that time became a favorite with all classes, and soon bore a conspicuous part in the social, religious, and literary relations of that metropolis. The sketch of his juvenile life here presented by his biographer, with whom he was intimately connected, both by the ties of blood, and by strong intellectual affinities, abounds with pleasing reminiscences of a happy childhood, and is highly characteristic of the peculiar influences of a New-England home. His subsequent career at the West exhibits a noble picture of manly endeavor, stern self-reliance, rare mental activity and enterprise, and a generous devotion to the interests of the public. From the specimens of his writings contained in these volumes, most of which have been published in different periodicals, we are impressed with a profound sense of the vigor and justness of his intellect, the wealth of his imagination, the versatility of his tastes, and the extent and accuracy of his attainments.

Crosby and Nichols have issued an edition of selections from the Letters of William Von Humboldt to a Female Friend, under the title of Religious Thoughts and Opinions. They are devoted to subjects of a grave, reflective character, and present a highly favorable view of the wisdom, earnestness, and moral elevation of the distinguished author.

Protestantism and Catholicity compared in their Effects on the Civilization of Europe, by the Rev. J. Balmes, is republished from the English translation, by John Murphy and Co., Baltimore, in a large octavo volume. The work, which has signalized the name of its author as one of the ablest modern defenders of the Catholic faith, was originally written in Spanish, and was soon translated into the French, Italian, and English languages. It is devoted to an illustration of the superior influence of Catholicism in a social and political point of view, maintaining the favorable effects of that religion on social advancement, and subjecting the claims of Protestantism to a stringent examination. As a powerful statement of the arguments in behalf of the secular supremacy of Catholicism, it may be read with interest by those who wish to study both sides of the controversy, which is now raging with so much violence in England.

University Education, by Henry P. Tappan, D.D. (published by G.P. Putnam), is a discussion of the general theory and objects of the higher education, of the history of literary institutions in modern times, and of the present condition of the so-called American Universities. The author arrives at the conclusion, that the attempt to adapt our colleges to the temper of the multitude, to the supposed demands of the popular mind, does not promise any valuable results, since the political condition of the country is such that a high education, and a high order of talent do not generally form the sure guarantees of success. The tact of the demagogue triumphs over the accomplishments of the scholar and the man of genius. The education given in our colleges does not promote the acquisition of wealth and of political influence, and hence is not valued by a commercial people, with free political institutions. Dr. Tappan accordingly maintains that as our seats of learning do not answer to the commercial and political spirit of the country, they should be made to correspond to the philosophical or ideal—the architectonic conception of education. This would adapt them to every want of the human mind and of society, for if men are educated as men, they will be prepared for all the responsibilities and duties of men. We should then in due time have great examples of the true form of humanity, showing the charms, and power, and dignity of learning. Education would appear in its true light, as the highest aim of man, not a mere machine for the facile performance of the business of the world, and a powerful check would be given to the excessive commercial spirit, and the selfish manœuvres of demagogues which now prevail to such a disastrous extent. Men of true cultivation would then have their legitimate influence in all the relations of society, throwing a new aspect over the arts, commerce, and politics, and producing a high-minded patriotism and philanthropy. Great ideas of fundamental principles would be shown to be more mighty and plastic than all the arts, tact, and accomplishments of expediency. The host of penny-a-liners, stump orators, discoursers upon socialism, bigots, and partisans would give way before sound writers, true poets, lofty and truthful orators, and profound philosophers, theologians, and statesmen. We should have a pure national literature, and a proud national character. The multiplication of colleges after the same imperfect model will only serve to increase our difficulties.

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The time has arrived, then, in the opinion of the author, for an experiment of a different kind. The educational system of this country can be reformed only by the establishment of genuine Universities—institutions, where in libraries, cabinets, apparatus, and professors, provision is made for a complete and generous course of study—where the mind may be cultivated according to its wants—and where in the lofty enthusiasm of ripening scholarship, the bauble of an academical diploma is forgotten. With such institutions, those who wish to be scholars, would have some place to resort to, and those who have already the gifts of scholarship would have some place where to exercise them. The public would then begin to comprehend what scholarship means, and discern the difference between sciolists and men of learning. We should hear no more talk about discarding Greek and Latin, for there would be classical scholars to show the value of the immortal languages and the immortal writings of the most cultivated nations of antiquity. There would be mathematicians prepared for astronomers and engineers. There would be philosophers who could discourse without textbooks. No acute distinctions would be drawn between scholastic and practical education; it would be seen that all true education is practical, and that practice without education is ignoble; and scholarship and the scholar would be clothed with dignity, grace, and a resistless charm.

The work of founding Universities of this character, Dr. Tappan maintains, has been delayed too long. They are natural and necessary institutions in a great system of public education. To postpone their creation is to stop the hand upon the dial-plate which represents the progress of humanity. No part of our country, he supposes, presents equal facilities for carrying out this magnificent plan as the city of New York. The metropolitan city of America, the centre of commercial activity, the vast reservoir of wealth, it takes the lead in the elegancies and splendor of life in the arts of luxury and amusement. At the same time, it is the great emporium of books and of the fine arts, the resort of musical professors, artists, and men of letters. The high degree to which it has carried commercial enterprise, the extent of wealth and luxury in its society demand the vigorous life, and the counterbalancing power of intellectual cultivation. It should add to the natural attractions of a metropolitan city, the attractions of literature, science, and the arts, as embodied in a great University, which drawing together students from every part of the Union, would strengthen the bonds of our nationality by the loftiest form of education, the sympathy of scholars, and the noblest productions of literature.

While we can not accord with Dr. Tappan's sanguine expectations of the effect of such an institution as he has described either in checking the prevalence of worldliness, selfish ambition, and insane devotion to gain which mark the whole of modern society, European no less than American, or in giving a wise and harmonious development to the energies of youthful genius, we can not but admire the noble enthusiasm, the high sense of the scholar's vocation, and the genuine intellectual ability with which he has presented the subject to the attention of the public. He has opened an important field of discussion; but it demands the best thoughts of the most comprehensive and sagacious minds to do it justice. We hope that his treatise will not be overlooked in the swarm of current publications, and that the subject, which he has started, with so much energy, will be pursued to its legitimate conclusion.

The Bards of the Bible, by George Gilfillan, republished by Harper and Brothers, exhibits the characteristics of fervor, liveliness of fancy, and affluence of illustration, which distinguish the writings of the author, with a greater coherence and depth of thought than we find in his literary portraitures. In the first chapters of the volume, the author discusses the general character of Hebrew Poetry, making free use of the views of Herder, Eichhorn, and Ewald, though without servilely following their steps, and then considers in detail the poetry of the Pentateuch, of the Book of Job, of the Historical Books, of the Book of Psalms, of Solomon, of the Prophetic Writings, and of the New Testament. He approaches the sacred volume with freedom, and yet with reverence, blending the spirit of searching criticism, with a warm enthusiasm for its inspiration and character. Without attempting to cast doubt upon its superhuman aspects, he dwells with affectionate ardor on its traits of domestic tenderness, of natural beauty, and of poetical imagination, connecting the sublime and awful conception of the Oriental bards with whatever is richest and most impressive in the associations of modern experience. The union of devotional sentiment and poetic fancy, which forms such a prominent feature in this gorgeous volume, will recommend it to the lovers of Holy Writ as well as to readers of cultivated taste. No one will hesitate to forgive Mr. Gilfillan's exuberance of imagination and his not unfrequent indulgence in verbosity, for the sake of his earnestness of heart, and his glowing and often graceful eloquence.

Webster's Revised Dictionary. Octavo Edition. (Harper and Brothers.) It is now three years since the Revised Edition of Dr. Webster's Dictionary came from the press. The public have, therefore, had full time to decide upon its merits; and the decision has been, both in this country and Great Britain, that it is far superior to any work of the kind in our language; that it is, in the words of a distinguished English scholar, "one of the necessaries of life to a literary man." The Octavo Edition, the one now before us, is designed to present, in a convenient form and at a low price, the most important matter of the larger work. It omits the more learned etymologies and extended quotations from other works; but gives every word and every shade of meaning with exactness, though often in a more condensed form. It is thus much fuller, in proportion, than any other abridgment of a dictionary.

There are two peculiarities of the Octavo Edition which belong neither to the large work, nor to any other dictionary. The first is a Synopsis of Words differently pronounced by different orthoepists. This presents at a single view all the disputed cases of pronunciation in our language; with the decision of distinguished orthoepists, in respect to every word of doubtful pronunciation, the reader is referred to a list where he may consult all the important authorities at a single glance. The other peculiarity relates to Synonyms. Our language being derived from so many different sources, is singularly rich in synonymous words. It is therefore a matter of lively interest to every one who would write well, to have some great repository of synonyms always at hand, to which he may repair at any moment, when he wishes to convey his ideas with peculiar exactness of meaning or variety of expression. A dictionary is the natural and appropriate place for such a collection. Accordingly in the Revised Octavo Edition after the definitions of each important word, we find a list of all the[Pg 427] other words in our language which have the same general sense and application. The volume contains many thousand lists of this kind which must obviously have cost great labor in their compilation. The costly work of Perry is the only one which has ever been executed on this plan, and as this contains only the words given in Johnson, it is necessarily incomplete. We quote a single instance which may stand for hundreds and which shows the remarkable copiousness of our language.

"To support. Syn.—To bear; hold up; sustain; maintain; endure; verify; substantiate; countenance; patronize; help; back; second; uphold; succor; relieve; encourage; favor; nurture; nourish; cherish; shield; defend; protect; stay; assist; forward."

Besides the dictionary proper, the Octavo Edition contains Walker's Key to the pronunciation of Classical and Scripture Names, with some thousands of additional words from later writers; and a Vocabulary of Modern Geographical Names, with their pronunciation, compiled by the author of Baldwin's Universal Gazetteer, whose accuracy in this respect is so generally acknowledged. It is a gratifying proof of the advancement of the art of printing, in the United States, that a large Royal Octavo volume like this, of more than thirteen hundred pages, can be afforded on excellent paper, with a clear type, and in stout binding, for about three dollars. An abridgment of Dr. Webster's Dictionary has recently been issued in London, in a miserable style of execution, the definitions being not more than half as complete as those of the volume before us, without the Synopsis and Synonyms or other appendages of this work; and is sold at four dollars a copy.

Celebrated Saloons by Madame Gay and Parisian Letters by Madame Girardin, translated from the French by L. Willard (Boston, Crosby and Nichols) is an agreeable collection of gossip and anecdotes illustrative of the manners of Parisian society. The translation is executed with care, retaining to a considerable extent the graces of the original.

James Munroe and Co., Boston, have issued a volume of Home Ballads, A Book for New Englanders, by Abby Allin, exhibiting a more than ordinary degree of poetic merit, pervaded with a pleasing vein of domestic sentiment. Some of the peculiar features of New England character and scenery are hit off with excellent success.

History of My Pets, by Grace Greenwood (Boston, Ticknor and Co.) is a spirited and beautiful little volume intended for juvenile entertainment, but commending itself by the freshness of its style, and the sweet pathos of the narrative to readers of every age.

The Island World of the Pacific, by Rev. Henry T. Cheever, published by Harper and Brothers, is a work that can not fail to command an extensive circulation, with the present important relations between the Sandwich Islands and the United States. It is designed to present a correct picture of the best part of Polynesia, as it appeared to the observer in the year 1850. The most popular works on the subject refer to a much earlier date, while changes are effected with such rapidity in that part of Polynesia which is the subject of this volume, that revolutions may take place in the lapse of seven years. This book, accordingly, meets a general want of the times, by giving a true and life-like exhibition of the Island World of the Pacific at the close of the first half of the nineteenth century. The author writes from personal observation: his sketches are forcible and impressive; he has a lively sense of the picturesque in nature, and sometimes indulges his taste for the comic; though more frequently he fortifies his descriptions with moral reflections and extracts from favorite poets, until the reader is tempted to cry, "Hold! enough!" We know not, however, where to look for information on the subject in a more readable form, and have no doubt that this volume will be eagerly sought by the traveler to the Pacific, as well as by the general reader.

Memoirs of the Life and Ministry of the Rev. John Summerfield, by John Holland, has been published in an abridged form by the American Tract Society, containing the original memoir, with the omission of certain parts which seemed to be of less general interest, and the insertion of several of the most characteristic letters of Summerfield. In its present shape, it is a delightful tribute to the rare and beautiful character of its greatly beloved subject.

The Greek Exile (published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.) is an autobiographical narrative of the captivity and escape of Christophorus Pilato Castanis, during the massacre on the Island of Scio by the Turks, with an account of various adventures in Greece and America. It relates a variety of startling incidents, with which the life of the author has been strangely diversified.

The Prize Essay on the Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors, by William B. Carpenter, has been reprinted from the London edition by Crosby and Nichols, for the Massachusetts Temperance Society. It is accompanied with explanatory notes by the American Editor, and an original preface by John C. Warren, M.D., of Boston, who expresses the opinion that the "work of Dr. Carpenter is the most valuable contribution to the aid of temperance which it has received since the productions of L.M. Sargent, Esq."

The Mother's Recompense, published by Harper and Brothers, is the Sequel to the domestic story of Home Influence, by Grace Aguilar, the entire work having been written nearly fifteen years ago, when its author was little above the age of nineteen. Although the last illness of Grace Aguilar prevented this story from receiving a careful revision for the press, it will be found to do no discredit to her refined and elevated genius, and to breathe the same pure, kindly, and feminine spirit which distinguishes her former productions.

The Diosma, by Miss H.F. Gould (Boston, Philips, Samson, and Co.), is the title of a new volume, consisting in part of original poems, which are now for the first time presented to the public, and in part, of selections from the fugitive pieces of several popular English writers. The contributions from the pen of the author fully sustain her reputation for a lively fancy, and a certain graceful ease of expression, while the gatherings she has made from other sources attest the purity of her taste, and her magnetic affinities with the delicate and the lovely.

G.P. Putnam has issued an elegant illustrated edition of Poems, by S.G. Goodrich, comprising a selection from the productions of the author, which have made him favorably known to the public as an agreeable versifier. They are characterized by a lively fancy, a ready command of poetical language, and the elevation of their moral sentiments. The embellishments of the volume are executed with great artistic skill.

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Woodbury's New Method of learning the German Language (published by Mark H. Newman), is an admirable manual for German students, combining the excellencies of a simple text-book for beginners, and a copious and authentic work of reference for more advanced pupils. In its method, it is not surpassed by any Grammar now in use, blending the theoretical with the practical, with excellent judgment, and passing from the rudiments of the language to its more recondite principles, by a natural gradation, eminently adapted to secure the progress of the learner. It has already been extensively adopted by judicious teachers, and its general introduction would tend to facilitate the acquisition of the German language by American students.

Poems of Sentiment and Imagination, by Frances A. and Metta V. Fuller (published by A.S. Barnes and Co.), is a collection of the poetical contributions of those favorite Western writers to various popular journals, with several pieces that have not before appeared in print. Genial, fervent, and tender, colored with the picturesque hues of a pure enthusiasm, and breathing a warm spirit of domestic affection, these poems appeal to the noblest emotions of the heart, and command admiration by awakening the sympathies. We welcome them as the first fruits of a noble harvest at no distant day.

The Lives of the Queens of Scotland, by Agnes Strickland, Vol. I. (Harper and Brothers), contains the biographies of Margaret Tudor, the consort of James IV. of Scotland, and of Magdalene of France, the first consort of James V., prepared from the most authentic documents, and written in a style of chaste and simple elegance, appropriate to the subject. The two succeeding volumes of this series will be devoted to the life of Mary Stuart, which was commenced before the publication of the Life of Elizabeth Tudor, in the Queens of England. Each of the Lives will form a distinct narrative in itself, presenting a graphic picture of the progress of civilization and refinement, the development of the arts, and the costume of the periods which they describe. The work will embody many original royal letters, with a variety of facts, anecdotes, and local traditions, gathered in the desolate palaces and historic scenes, where every peasant preserves in his memory the chronicles of the past. The author expresses the wish that her volume will not be limited to one class of society, in spite of the subject of which it treats, but that it may impart pleasure to the simple as well as to the refined, and be read with equal zest by children and parents, by the intelligent operative and the cultivated scholar. The manner in which she has executed her task leaves no doubt of the fulfillment of her hope.

The last number of Thackeray's History of Pendennis is issued by Harper and Brothers, an announcement far from welcome to the thousands who have followed the career of the exemplary Pen and his associates through the manifold windings of fashionable life in London. Their history, however, is not of so ephemeral a character as the scenes in which they acted. Thackeray has too great skill in quietly depicting the foibles of humanity, for his descriptions to be soon forgotten. He deals out such effective touches with such grave retenue of manner, that they do not weary the reader by their repetition. Their fidelity to life is attested by their at once suggesting so many resemblances. Arthur Pendennis and the virtuous Major are not the exclusive products of English soil. You may see them in Broadway at any hour of the day. With his universality, growing from the fact that his likenesses are drawn from nature, and not arbitrarily created, the pungent satires of Thackeray will long retain their flavor. They administer a bracing medicine to the effeminacy of the age, and must exert a wholesome influence.

Harper and Brothers have issued the last number of Southey's Life and Correspondence, winding up the biography of this eminent man of letters, with the graceful modesty which has been exercised throughout the whole progress of the work by the affectionate and judicious Editor. With the ample materials at his command, he might have produced a far more ambitious and brilliant history, but we think he has shown his good sense in reserving that task for writers who sustained a less intimate and delicate relation to the subject. The personal biography of Southey is contained, to a great extent, in his frank and voluminous correspondence. No one can read this without delight, on account of the transparent sincerity of the details, the high tone of feeling with which it is pervaded, and the inimitable sweetness and almost antique simplicity of the style. It gives a more distinct idea of the essential peculiarities of Southey's character than can be obtained from any other source. A critical survey of his writings, and his social and literary position, would involve a complete history of contemporary literature, and would furnish a text for one of the most delightful volumes which have appeared for many years. Such an attractive subject will no doubt appeal to the ambition of some writer qualified to do it justice, and meantime, we are grateful for this tribute of filial veneration to the honored patriarch of English Literature.

The Decline of Popery and its Causes (published by Harper and Brothers), is the title of a Discourse delivered in the Broadway Tabernacle by Rev. N. Murray, D.D., in which the history of the Roman Catholic religion is briefly portrayed, and several arguments adduced to show its probable decadence among enlightened nations. Among the causes of the decline of Catholicism presented by Dr. Murray, are the circulation of the Bible, the increasing intelligence of the race, the frivolous legends of the priests, the despotic character of Popery, and the rapidly increasing influence of Protestantism. The Discourse evinces extensive historical research, and uncommon controversial shrewdness.

Henry Smeaton, by G.P.R. James (Harper and Brothers), is the latest production of that fertile novelist, and will be read with fresh interest by the numerous admirers of his genius, who have recently added the pleasure of his genial acquaintanceship to the charm of his graphic creations. The scene of this novel is laid in the reign of George the First, and abounds with rich historical illustrations, and glowing delineations of character. The plot, without outraging probability by its extravagance, is constructed with a good deal of ingenuity, and sustains the interest of the most hardened novel-reader through its spirited details to the final happy denouement.

[Pg 429]

A Leaf From Punch.

Sharp (but vulgar) little Boy. "Hallo, Missus, wot are those?"

Old Woman. "Twopence."

Boy. "What a lie! They're apples."

[Exit, whistling popular air.]



[Pg 430]





[Pg 431]

Fashions for Later Winter.

Fig. 1.—Carriage and Morning Costumes.

The continuance of cold weather throughout this month will permit no change in material for out-of-door costume differing in warmth from December and January. Cloaks of various elegant patterns and rich material are worn; chiefly velvet, with elegant ornaments. The most admired style for a cloak is black velvet, having three rich agraffes, or fastenings, of passementerie, drooping with long, graceful, soft-looking tassels; the first agraffe closes the cloak at the throat; the second is put on at about the middle, and the third at the lower part. Five rows of chain lace black satin, border the cloak all around, as well as the sleeves. Another elegant style is a cloak of narcarat velvet, a kind of deep red, lined with white satin, quilted in flowers and leaves, and encircled with a band of martin sable of considerable depth; a cape, or stole, of the same kind of fur descends upon the side of the front so as to join the lower band. There is also upon the sleeves, which are cut square and very wide, a deep band. Those of a more matronly description are generally trimmed with nine rows of waved galons upon the sleeves, the fronts being encircled with five rows of the same kind of trimming; a rich fringe a quarter of a yard in depth, having a netted or waved beading, is placed in addition to the rows of galon upon the lower part of the cloak.

The Manteau Andriana is an elegant garment, made of violet velvet, having a small capuchon, or hood, decorated with a rich fancy trimming in passementerie, to which are attached at regular distances long soft tassels; very wide sleeves, in the Oriental[Pg 432] form, decorated to match the capuchon. The lower part of the cloak is ornamented with a kind of shell work in passementerie; upon the front are placed Brandebourgs in Spanish points.

The figure on the left in Fig. 1, shows an elegant style of Carriage Costume. A dress of blue silk; plain high body; the waist and point of a moderate length; the skirt long and full, with two broad flounces pinked at the edge. Paletot of dark purple velvet, trimmed with black lace; the sleeves very wide at the bottom, and finished by a fall of broad black lace, set on very full. The skirt has two rows of lace at the back, terminating at the side seam, the top one headed by a trimming of narrow lace. The fronts are ornamented in their whole length by rows of trimming of black lace, placed at equal distances. Bonnet of yellow satin and black velvet; the form of the front round, the corners nearly meeting under the chin.

The figure on the right, Figure 1, shows a beautiful style of Morning Costume—a jupe of French gray watered silk, long and immensely full. Coin de feu of dark green velvet, fitting tight, and buttoning to the throat. It has a small square collar, something like that of a riding habit, and a full frill of narrow lace standing up. The sleeves are of the pagoda form; the trimming is a very rich silk guimpe, of quite a novel design. Under-sleeves of cambric or lace, with two scalloped falls, and fulled at the wrist.

Fig. 2.—Ball Costume.

Figure 2 exhibits an elegant Ball Costume. A low dress of white crape, worn over a jupe of white satin; the body plain; a deep berthe falling over the plain short sleeve, embroidered with white floss silk. The skirt is very full. It has three broad flounces, scalloped at the edge, and embroidered ceinture of very broad white satin ribbon. The head-dress is of pale blue satin, trimmed with gold.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.

The taste, this winter, among the extremely fashionable is decidedly for gorgeous Oriental patterns, both in material and style. A very pretty pattern for an Evening Dress is made of a material called Organdi. A double jupe is embroidered in straw-colored silk. The pattern of the embroidery forms upon the upper skirt sheaves of wheat, and ascends to the waist; upon the under skirt the sheaves form a wreath of much smaller pattern, allowing a space between this row of embroidery and that on the upper skirts. The body is decorated with a berthe, which forms in front a kind of heart, the lower part or point being attached with a nœud of straw-colored satin ribbon.

Bonnets.—Those which are most worn this season are extremely open in front, as seen in figure 3, but close at the ears. They are moderately trimmed, consisting of rûches of lace, leaves and flowers of velvet, nœuds of ribbon and velvet, and feathers. The interior is sometimes decorated in a fanciful manner, having garnitures composed of choux, or a bunch of ribbons of the same color as the bonnet, only in different shades: for example, a chou of green ribbon composed of the lightest shades, the bonnet of a very dark green. Most of the crowns are made of the jockey form, that is, round, but not plain, being generally covered with folds or fullings, according to the fancy and taste of the modiste. The curtain is now an important part of the bonnet, and requires great care in the placing, as it gives a very youthful appearance to the bonnet, if properly put on.

Head-dresses are now extremely rich and tasty in their appearance. Figure 4 shows a pretty style of coiffure for a miss, in a ball costume, the flowers being natural, if possible. Some of the latest novelties for head-dresses are those composed of gold ribbon, or silver and silk intermixed, the colors being of the finest character. Some are formed of long velvet leaves in shaded green, pink, and white; while others, of a grenat color, are sable and gold. Several pretty little head-dresses for home costume have appeared, composed entirely of shaded ribbon-velvets, or a square net-work of various colors, which have a novel and picturesque appearance.

Fashionable Colors are dark, rich, and full, such as grenat, narcarat, dark green, reddish brown, violet, and a reddish gray; while white, amber, purple, and pink predominate for evening dresses.


[1] From "John Howard and the Prison World of Europe."

[2] "Bridge of sighs:"—Two men of memorable genius, Hood last, and Lord Byron by many years previously, have so appropriated this phrase, and re-issued it as English currency, that many readers suppose it to be theirs. But the genealogies of fine expressions should be more carefully preserved. The expression belongs originally to Venice. This jus postliminii becomes of real importance in a case like that of Shakspeare. It is a most remarkable fact that he is made to seem a robber of the lowest order by mere dint of suffering robbery. Purely through their own jewelly splendor, have many hundreds of his phrases forced themselves into usage so general, under the vulgar infirmity of seeking to strengthen weak prose by shreds of poetic quotation, that at length the majority of careless readers came to look upon these phrases as belonging to the language, and traceable to no distinct proprietor any more than proverbs: and thus, on afterward observing them in Shakspeare, they regard him in the light of one accepting alms (like so many meaner persons) from the common treasury of the universal mind, on which treasury he had himself conferred them as original donations of his own. Many expressions in the "Paradise Lost," in "Il Penseroso," and in "L'Allegro," are in the same predicament: from glorifying their author, so long as they were consciously referred to him as their author, they have, at least, ended in tarnishing his glory. As creations, they were marks of power; as tributes levied upon a common stock, they become arguments of weakness.

[3] Since those years, it is natural that mere culture of the subject, and long, experience in the arts of composition, should have sharpened my vision, previously too morbidly acute, to defects in the construction of sentences, and generally in the management of language. The result is this: and perhaps it will shock the reader, certainly it will startle him, when I declare solemnly my conviction, that no two consecutive pages can be cited from any one of the very best English authors, which is not disfigured by some gross equivocation or imperfection of structure, such as leaves the meaning open, perhaps, to be inferred from the context, but also so little expressed with verbal rigor, or with conformity to the truth of logic, or to the real purpose, that, supposing the passage to involve a legal interest, and in consequence, to come under a judicial review, it would be set aside for want of internal coherency. Not in arrogance, but under a deep sense of the incalculable injuries done to truth, small and great, by false management of language, I declare my belief that hardly one entire paragraph exists in our language which is impregnable to criticism, even as regards the one capital interest of logical limitation to the main purpose concerned.

[4] Priné—πρινή, the Greek word for a saw. The saw was applied to the chest, and the man was sawed into two halves, leaving a sculptor's bust (man's head and shoulders) for the upper half.

[5] From the naked character of the whole area on each side of the Oxford-road, at that time, there was very little opening for ambuscades. What little there was, which greatly fascinated my brother as one of the features connecting his own strategies with those of Cæsar, lay exclusively among the brick-kilns. Of these, there were numbers on the clay-fields adjacent to the road: and sometimes having been irregularly quarried (so to speak), they opened into lanes and closets, which offered facilities for momentary concealment. But the advantages almost ceased to be such from their obviousness, and the consequent jealousy with which they were watched and approached. The particular mode of my three captures was the constant mode of my danger; two or three parallel files advanced up the rising ground from the river; one or two of these by shouts, by more conspicuous activity, and by numerical superiority, succeeded in winning too exclusive an attention, while a slender thread of stragglers, noiseless, and apparently not acting in concert, suddenly converged when approaching the summit of the ascent, and instantly swept so rapidly round the left of my position, as in one moment to take away all chance of restoring the connection between myself and my brother; while, at the same time, by exposing too decisively for doubt the preconcerted plan on which they had really been moving, when most of all simulating the disarray of stragglers, they mortified us by the conviction that students of Cæsar's Commentaries might chance, notwithstanding, to show themselves most exemplary blockheads.

[6] Ency. Brit.

[7] Lard. Cyclo.

[8] The most plausible reason assigned is that of the expansion of the tube toward the fire by the influence of the heat. The fallacy of this theory is at once shown by the fact that, although heat does expand bodies, it does not increase their weight; therefore, notwithstanding that one side of the tube may be expanded, its equilibrium will remain unimpaired.

[9] Diodorus Siculus, Tzetzez, Galen, Lucian, Anthemius, and others.

[10] This story is attested, with slight variations, by several writers, Petronius, Dion Cassius, Pliny, and Isidorus. Pliny says that the populace, imagining that their interests would be injured by the discovery, destroyed the workhouse, tools, and dwelling of the artificer.

[11] Blancourt.

[12] Ibn Abd Alhakim.

[13] For details see Loysel "Sur l'Art de la Verrerie;" and Lard. Cyclo.

[14] In this respect plate-glass is treated differently from crown and broad glass, which is always placed on its edge in the annealing furnace.

[15] Lard. Cyclo.

[16] To such an extent has this jealousy been carried, that many adroit expedients have been employed to mislead and baffle curiosity. Hence the infinite variety of receipts for the production of different sorts of glass that have been launched upon the public, a vast number of which have been got up expressly for the purpose of deceiving and misdirecting the inquirer. To this circumstance may be referred the remarkable contradictions and inconsistencies that may be detected in all treatises on the subject.

[17] "Entre tout, l'état d'une prison est le plus doux, et le plus profitable!"

[18] Munito was the name of a dog famous for his learning (a Porson of a dog) at the date of my childhood. There are no such dogs nowadays.

[19] A Chinese weight, equal to 133½ lbs. avoirdupois.

[20] This small and dingy volume, originally published at sixpence, has sold for £12!

[21] "This borrow, steal, don't buy."—Vide Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired, other punctuations have been left as printed in the paper book.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent spellings have been kept, including:
- use of hyphen (e.g. "playthings" and "play-things");
- accents (e.g. "Níagara" and "Niagara");
- any other inconsistent spellings (e.g. "burned" and "burnt").

Pg 254, word "of" added (a work of great interest).

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No.
IX.--February, 1851.--Vol. II., by Various


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