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Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 429 - Volume 17, New Series, March 20, 1852
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 429 - Volume 17, New Series, March 20, 1852" ***

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                      CHAMBERS' EDINBURGH JOURNAL

  CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF 'CHAMBERS'S
  INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.


  NO. 429. NEW SERIES.   SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 1852.   PRICE 1-1/2_d._



THINGS IN EXPECTATION.


The passing age is acknowledged to be remarkable in various respects.
Great advances in matters of practical science; a vast development of
individual enterprise, and general prosperity;--at the same time,
strange retardations in things of social concern; a singular want of
earnestness in carrying out objects of undeniable utility. Much
grandeur, but also much meanness of conception; much wealth, but also
much poverty. A struggle between greatness and littleness;
intelligence and ignorance; light and darkness. Sometimes we feel as
if going forward, sometimes as if backward. One day, we seem as if
about to start a hundred years in advance; on the next, all is wrong
somewhere, and we feel as if hurriedly retreating to the eighteenth
century!

Upon the whole, however, we are ourselves inclined to look at the
bright side of affairs; and in doing so, we are not without hope of
being able to make some proselytes. Let us just see what are the
prospects of the next twenty years--a long enough space for a man to
look forward to in anything else than a dream. War, it is true, may
intervene, or some other terrible catastrophe; but we shall not admit
this into our hypothesis, which proceeds on the assumption, that
although people may wrangle here and there, and here and there fly at
each other's throats, still the bulk of civilised mankind will go on
tranquilly enough to present no direct barrier to the advancing tide.
Here is a list of a few trifles in expectation.

A line of communication by railway from England to the principal
cities in India, interrupted only by narrow sea-channels, and these
bridged by steamboats. It will then be possible to travel from London
to Calcutta in a week.

At the same time, there will be railways to other parts of
Asia--Ispahan, Bagdad, Damascus, and Jerusalem. From the
last-mentioned city, a line will probably proceed through the land of
Edom, to Suez and Cairo; thence to Alexandria. This last portion is
already in hand. Think of a railway station in the Valley of
Jehoshaphat! As the course of the Jordan presents few 'engineering
difficulties,' there might be a single line all the way from Nazareth
to the Dead Sea, on which a steamer might take passengers to the
neighbourhood of Petra. At a point near the shore of that mysterious
sheet of water, a late traveller indicates the spot where Lot's wife
was transformed into a pillar of salt. How interesting it would be to
make this a stopping-place for tourists to view the adjacent
scenery--rocky, wild, and scorched, as if fresh from the wondrous work
of devastation!

It cannot be doubted that in a period much short of twenty years,
railways will have penetrated from Berlin northwards to Russia; and
therefore a communication of this kind through the whole of Europe,
even to the shores of the Indian Ocean, will be among the ordinary
things of the day.

As for communication by electric telegraph, where will it not be?
Every town of any importance, from Moscow to Madras, will be connected
by the marvellous wires. These wires will cross seas; they will reach
from London to New York, and from New York to far-western
cities--possibly to California. The sending of messages thousands of
miles, in the twinkling of an eye, will be an everyday affair. 'Send
Dr So-and-so on by the next train,' will be the order despatched by a
family in Calcutta, when requiring medical assistance from London; and
accordingly the doctor will set off in his travels per express, from
the Thames to the banks of the Ganges. Spanning the globe by thought
will then be no longer a figure of speech--it will be a reality.
Science will do it all.

Long before twenty years--most likely in two or three--a journey round
the world by steam may be achieved with comparative ease and at no
great expense. Here is the way we shall go: London to Liverpool by
rail; Liverpool to Chagres by steamer; Chagres to Panama by rail;
Panama to Hong-Kong, touching at St Francisco; Hong-Kong to Sincapore,
whence, if you have a fancy, you can diverge to Borneo, Australia, and
New Zealand; Sincapore to Madras, Bombay, Aden, and Suez--the whole of
the run to this point from Panama being done by steamer; Suez to
Cairo, and Cairo to Alexandria (rail in preparation); lastly, by
steamer from Alexandria to England. It is deeply interesting to watch
the progress of intrusion on the Pacific. Already, within these few
years, its placid surface has been tracked with steam-navigation; of
which almost every day brings us accounts of the extension over that
beautiful ocean. Long secluded, by difficulty of access from Europe,
it is now in the course of being effectually opened up by the railway
across the Isthmus of Panama. And the grandeur of this invasion by
steam is beyond the reach of imagination. Thousands of islands,
clothed in gorgeous yet delicate vegetation, and enjoying the finest
climate, lie scattered like diamonds in a sea on which storms never
rage--each in itself an earthly paradise. When these islands can be
reached at a moderate outlay of time, money, and trouble, may we not
expect to see them visited by the curious, and flourishing as seats of
civilised existence? There is reason to believe, that the equable
climate of many of them would prove suitable for persons affected with
the complaints of northern regions; and therefore they may become the
Sanatoria of Europe. 'Gone to winter-quarters in the Pacific!'--a
pleasant notice this of a health-seeking trip twenty years hence.

It may be reasonably conjectured, that this great and varied extension
of journeying round the earth, and in all climates, will not be
unaided by new discoveries in motive power. At present, we speak of
steam; but there is every probability of new agents being brought into
operation, less bulky and less costly, before twenty years elapse.
Even while we write, men of science are painfully poring over the
subject, and giving indications that in chemistry or electricity
reside powers which may be advantageously pressed into the service of
the traveller. Admitting, however, that steam will be retained as the
prevailing agent of locomotion, we have grounds for anticipating
improvements in its application, which will materially cheapen its
use. As regards safety to life and limb, much will be done by better
arrangements. In steam-voyaging, we may expect that means will be
adopted to avert, or at least assuage, the terrible calamities of
conflagration and shipwreck--better acquaintance with the principles
of spontaneous combustion, and with the natural law of storms, being
of itself a great step towards this important result.

One of the latest wonders in practical science, is a plan for cooling
the air in dwellings in hot climates; by which persons residing in
India, and other oppressively warm countries, may live habitually in
an atmosphere cooled down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or the ordinary
heat of a pleasant day in England. The very ingenious yet simple means
by which this is to be effected, will form the subject of notice in
our next number. Meanwhile, we may observe that the discovery is due
to Mr C. Piazzi Smyth, astronomer-royal for Scotland; and if perfectly
successful in practice, of which there can be no reasonable doubt, it
will have a most important effect in extending European influence over
the globe.

The extension of the English language over the civilised world is a
curiosity of the age. French, German, Italian, and other continental
tongues, seem to have attained their limits as vernaculars. Each is
spoken in its own country, and by a few fashionables and scholars
beyond. But the language which pushes abroad is the English; and it
may be said to be rooting out colonised French and Spanish, and
becoming almost everywhere, beyond continental Europe, the spoken and
written tongue. Long the Spanish enjoyed the supremacy in Central
America; but it has followed the fate of the idle, proud, combative,
and good-for-nothing people who carried it across the Atlantic, and is
disappearing like snow before the sun of a genial spring. The sooner
it is extinct the better. Already the English is the vernacular from
the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific, wherever civilised
settlements are formed. As large a population now speaks this nervous
language in America as in Great Britain; and this is only an
indication of its progress. By means of a rapidly-increasing
population, the English language will in twenty years be spoken by
upwards of fifty million Americans; and if to these we add all within
the home and colonial dominion, the number speaking it at that period
will not be short of a hundred millions. What an amount of
letter-writing and printing will this produce! And, after all, how
small that amount in comparison with what will be seen a hundred years
hence, when many hundred millions of men are on the earth, English in
speech and feeling, whatever may be their local and political
distinctions! The gratification which one experiences in contemplating
facts of this kind, transcends the power of language. To all
appearance, our English tongue is the expression of civil and
religious freedom--in fact, of common sense; and its spread over the
globe surely indicates the progress of civilised habits and
institutions.

In referring to the qualities which are usually found in connection
with the prevalence of English as a vernacular, we are led to
anticipate prodigious strides in the popularising of literature during
the next twenty years. What, also, may we not expect to see done for
the extension of epistolary correspondence? Intercourse by letter has
advanced only one step of its progress, by the system of inland
penny-postage. Another step remains to be effected: the system of
carrying letters oversea on the same easy terms. That this Ocean
Penny-Postage, as it is termed, will be carried out, at least as
regards the larger British colonies, within a period much under twenty
years, is exceedingly probable. When this grand achievement is
accomplished, there will ensue a stream of intercommunication with
distant lands, of which we can at present form no proper conception,
and which will go far towards binding all parts of the earth in a
general bond of brotherhood.

Such are a few of the things which we may be said to be warranted in
looking for within a reasonably short period of time. Other things,
equally if not more contributive to human melioration, are less
distinctly in expectation. The political prospects of the continental
nations are for the present under a cloud. With all the glitter of
artistic and social refinement that surrounds them, the bulk of them
appear to have emerged but little beyond the middle ages; and one
really begins to inquire, with a kind of pity, whether they have
natural capacities for anything better. The near proximity to England
of populations so backward in all ideas of civil polity, and so
changeful and impulsive in their character, cannot but be detrimental
to our hopes of national advancement among ourselves; so true is it
that peace and happiness are not more matter of internal conviction
than of external circumstances.

Unfortunately, if there be something to lament in the condition of our
neighbours, there is also something to humiliate on turning our
attention homeward. In a variety of things which are required to give
symmetry and safety to the social fabric, there appears to be an
almost systematic and hopeless stoppage.

Nearly the whole of the law and equity administration of England seems
to be a contrivance to put justice beyond reach; and whether any
substantial remedy will be applied during the present generation may
be seriously doubted.

It is universally admitted that, for the sake of the public health,
interment in London and other large cities should be legally
prohibited; and that various other sanitary arrangements in relation
to these populous localities should be enforced. Yet, legislation on
this subject seems to be beyond the grasp of statesmen.

The system of poor-laws throughout the United Kingdom is, with the
best intentions, a cause of widely-spread demoralisation. These laws,
in their operation, are, in fact, a scheme for robbing the industrious
to support the idle. But where is the legislator who will attack and
remodel this preposterous system?

The prevention of crime is another of our formidable social
difficulties. Every one sees how young and petty criminals grow up to
be old and great ones. It is admitted that the punishment of crime,
after disorderly habits are confirmed, is no sufficient check; and
that, if the evil is to be cured, we must go at once to its root. But
when or how is this to be done? Again, there is a call for that
scarcest of all things--statesmanship.

The bitterness of sectarian contention is another of the things which
one feels to be derogatory to an age of general progress. No longer
are men permitted to kill each other in vindication of opinion, but
how mournful to witness persecution by inuendo, vituperation, and
even falsehood. Individuals and classes are seen bombarding each other
in vile, abusive, and certainly most unchristian language, all
ostensibly in the name of a religion which has for a fundamental
principle, an utter repudiation of strife! Whether any amendment is to
be looked for in this department of affairs within the next twenty
years is exceedingly uncertain.

In the roll of disheartening circumstances in our social condition, it
would be unpardonable to omit the enormities of intemperance, which,
though groaned over day after day, remain pretty much what they have
been for years; and it is to be feared, that so long as reformers
confine themselves to attacking mere symptoms, instead of going to the
foundation of the evil--a deficiency of self-respect, growing out of a
want of instruction in things proper to be known, and for which the
education of the country makes no provision--all will be in vain. How
far there will prevail a more enlarged view of this painful subject,
is not discoverable from the present temper of parties.

The legislative conservation of ignorance in the humbler classes of
the community, to which reference has just been made, is surely a blot
on our social economy. It is seemingly easier to girdle the globe with
a wire, than to make sure that every child in Her Majesty's dominions
shall receive the simplest elements of education. Within the sphere of
the mechanic or the chemist, flights beyond the bounds of imagination
may be pursued without restraint, and indeed with commendation; but
anything in social economics, however philanthropic in design and
beneficial in tendency, falls into the category of disputation and
obstruction; and, worst of all, education, on which so much depends,
is, through the debates of contending 'interests,' kept at a point
utterly inadequate for the general enlightenment and wellbeing.

Thus, many matters of moment are either at a stand, or advancing by
feeble and hesitating steps, and the distance to be ultimately reached
remains vague and undefinable. At the same time, it is well to be
assured that improvements, moral and social, are really in progress;
and that, on the whole, society is on the move not in a retrograde
direction. Even with a stone tied to its leg, the world, as we have
said, contrives 'to get on some way or other.'



THE WRECKER.


On a certain part of the coast of Brittany, some years back, a gang of
wreckers existed, who were the terror of all sailors. Ever on the
look-out for the unfortunate vessels, which were continually dashed
upon their inhospitable shores, their delight was in the storm and the
blast; they revelled in the howling of fierce wind, and the
lightning's glare was to them more delightful than the brightest show
of fireworks to the dweller in large towns. Then they came out in
droves, hung about the cliffs and rocks, hid in caverns and holes, and
waited with intense anxiety for the welcome sight of some gallant ship
in distress. So dreadful were the passions lit up in these men by the
love of lucre, that they even resorted to infamous stratagems to lure
vessels on shore. They would light false beacons; and strive in every
way to delude the devoted bark to its destruction.

The village of Montreaux was almost wholly inhabited by men, who made
wrecking their profession. It was a collection of miserable huts,
built principally out of the broken materials of the various vessels
driven on shore; and ostensibly inhabited by fishermen, who, however,
rarely resorted to the deep, except when a long continuance of fine
weather rendered their usual avocation less prosperous than usual.
They consisted in all of about thirty families, wreckers, for the most
part, from father to son, and even from mother to daughter--for women
joined freely in the atrocious trade. Atrocious indeed! for murder
necessarily accompanied pillage, and it rarely happened that many of
the crew and passengers of the unfortunate vessels escaped alive.
Bodies were indeed found along the shore; but even if they exhibited
the marks of blows, the sea and the rocks got the credit of the deed.

The interior of the huts of the hamlet presented a motley appearance.
Their denizens were usually clothed in all kinds of costume--from the
peculiar garments of Englishmen, to the turbans, shawls, and
petticoats of Lascars, Malays, and others. Cases of spirits, chests of
tools, barrels of flour, piles of hams, cheeses, curious arms,
spy-glasses, compasses, &c. were thrust into coffers and corners;
while all the villagers were in the habit of spending money that
certainly was not coined in France. The state of the good people of
Montreaux was one of splendid misery; for, with all their ill-gotten
wealth, their improvidence and carelessness was such, that they often
wanted necessaries--so true is it that ill-got money is never
well-spent money. A month of fine weather would almost reduce them to
starvation, forcing them to sell to disadvantage whatever they still
possessed.

This was not, however, the case with every one of them. A man dwelt
among them, and had done so for many years, who seemed a little wiser
and more careful than the rest of the community. His name was Pierre
Sandeau. He was not a native of the place; but had long been
established among them, and had at once shewn himself a worthy
brother. He was pitiless, selfish, and cold. Less fiery than his
fellows, he had an amount of caution, which made them feel his value;
and a ready wit, which often helped them out of difficulties. His
influence was soon felt, and he became a kind of chief. He was at last
recognised as the head of the village, and the leader in all marauding
expeditions. But the great source of his power was his foresight. He
had always either money or provisions at hand, and was always ready to
help one of his companions--for a consideration. In times of distress,
he bought up all the stock on hand, and even sold on credit. In course
of time, he had become rich, had a better house than the rest, and
could, if he liked, have retired from business. But he seemed chained
to his trade, and never gave any sign of abandoning his disgraceful
occupation.

One day, however, he left Montreaux, and stayed away nearly a
fortnight. When he came back, he was not alone: he was accompanied by
a young and lovely girl--one of those energetic but sweet creatures,
whose influence would be supreme with a good man. Madeleine Sandeau
was eighteen--tall, well-proportioned, and exceedingly handsome; she
was, moreover, educated. Her father had taken her from school, to
bring her to his house, which, though so different from what she was
used to, she presided over at once with ease and nature. Great was the
horror of the young girl when she found out the character of the
people around her. She remonstrated freely with her father as to the
dreadful nature of his life; but the old man was cold and inexorable.
'He had brought her there to preside over his solitary house,' he
said, 'and not to lecture him:' and Madeleine was forced to be silent.

She saw at once the utter futility of any attempt to civilise or
humanise the degraded beings she associated with; and so she took to
the children. With great difficulty, she formed a school, and made it
her daily labour to instil not only words, but ideas and principles,
into the minds of the young, unfledged wreckers. She gained the
goodwill of the elders, by nursing both young and old during their
hours of sickness, as well as by a slight knowledge of medicine, which
she had picked up in a way she never explained, but which always made
her silent and sad when she thought of it.

When a black and gloomy night came round, and the whole village was on
foot, then Madeleine locked herself in her room, knelt down, and
remained in prayer. Now and then she would creep to the window, look
out, and interrogate the gloom. She never came forth to greet her
father on his return from these expeditions. Her heart revolted even
against seeing her parent under such circumstances, and towards
morning she went to bed--rarely, however, to sleep.

On one occasion, after a cold and bitter day, the evening came on
suddenly. Black clouds covered the horizon as with a funeral pall; the
wind began to howl round the hamlet with fearful violence; and
Madeleine shuddered, for she knew what was to be expected that night.
Scarcely had the gale commenced, when Pierre rose, put on a thick
pea-jacket and a sou'-wester, armed himself, and swallowing a glass of
brandy, went out. He was the last to leave the village; all the rest
had preceded him. He found them encamped in a narrow gorge, round a
huge fire, carefully concealed behind some rocks. It was a cold,
windy, wet night; but the wreckers cared not, for the wind blew dead
on shore, and gave rich promise of reward for whatever they might
endure.

A man lay on the look-out at the mouth of the gorge under a tarpaulin.
He had a night-glass in his hand, with which he swept the dark
horizon, for some time in vain. But the wind was too good to fail
them, and the wreckers had patience.

It was really a terrible night. It was pitchy dark: not a star, nor
one glimpse of the pale moon could be distinguished. The wind howled
among the rocks, and cast the spray up with violence against the
cliffs, which, however, in front of the gorge, gave way to a low sandy
beach, forming the usual scene of the wreckers' operations. A current
rushed into this narrow bight, and brought on shore numerous spars,
boxes, and boats--all things welcome to these lawless men.

'A prize!' cried the look-out suddenly. 'A tall Indiaman is not more
than a mile off shore. She is making desperate efforts to clear the
point, but she won't do it. She is ours, lads!'

'Give me the glass!' exclaimed Pierre rising. The other gave him the
telescope. 'Faith, a splendid brig!' said the patriarch with a
sinister smile--'the finest windfall we have had for many a season.
Jean, you must out with the cow, or perhaps it may escape us.'

The cow was an abominable invention which Pierre had taught his
comrades. A cow was tied to a stake, and a huge ship's lantern
fastened to its horns. This the animal tossed about in the hope of
disengaging himself, and in so doing presented the appearance of a
ship riding at anchor--all that could be seen on such nights being the
moving light. By this means had many a ship been lured to destruction,
in the vain hope of finding a safe anchoring-ground. The cow, which
was always ready, was brought out, and the trick resorted to, after
which the wreckers waited patiently for the result.

The Indiaman was evidently coming on shore, and all the efforts of her
gallant crew seemed powerless to save her. Her almost naked masts, and
her dark hull, with a couple of lanterns, could now plainly be
distinguished as she rose and fell on the waters. Suddenly she seemed
to become motionless, though quivering in every fibre, and then a huge
wave washed clean over her decks.

'She has struck on the Mistral Rock,' said Pierre. 'Good! she will be
in pieces in an hour, and every atom will come on shore!'

'They are putting out the boats,' observed Jean.

The wreckers clutched their weapons. If the crew landed in safety,
their hopes were gone. But no crew had for many years landed in safety
on that part of the coast: by some mysterious fatality, they had
always perished.

Presently, three boats were observed pulling for the shore, and coming
towards the sandy beach at the mouth of the gorge. They were evidently
crammed full of people, and pulling all for one point. The boats
approached: they were within fifty yards of the shore, and pulling
still abreast. They had entered the narrow gut of water leading to the
gorge, and were already out of reach of the huge waves, which a minute
before threatened to submerge them. The wreckers extinguished the
lantern on the cow's horn. There was no chance of the boats being able
to put back to sea.

Suddenly a figure pushed through the crowd, and approached the fire
near which Pierre Sandeau stood. It appeared to be one of the
wreckers; but the voice, that almost whispered in the old man's ear,
made him start.

'Father!' said Madeleine, in a low solemn voice, 'what are you about
to do?'

'Fool! what want you here?' replied Pierre, amazed and angry at the
same time.

'I come to prevent murder! Father, think what you are about to do?
Here are fifty fellow-creatures coming in search of life and shelter,
and you will give them death!'

'This is no place for you, Madeleine!' cried the other in a husky
voice. 'Go home, girl, and let me never see you out again at night!'

'Away, Madeleine!--away!' said the crowd angrily.

'I will not away!--I will stay here to see you do your foul deed--to
fix it on my mind, that day and night I may shout in your ears that ye
are murderers! Father,' added she solemnly, 'imbrue your hands in the
blood of one man to-night, and I am no child of yours. I will beg, I
will crawl through the world on my hands, but never more will I eat
the bread of crime!'

'Take her away, Pierre,' said one more ruffianly than the rest, 'or
you may repent it.'

'Go, girl, go,' whispered Pierre faintly, while the wreckers moved in
a body to the shore, where the boats were about to strike.

'Never!' shrieked Madeleine, clinging franticly to her father's
clothes.

'Let me go!' cried Pierre, dragging her with him.

At that moment a terrible event interrupted their struggle. A man
stood upright in the foremost boat, guiding their progress. Just as
they were within two yards of the shore, this man saw the wreckers
coming down in a body.

'As I expected!' he cried in a loud ringing voice. 'Fire!--shoot every
one of the villains!'

A volley of small arms, within pistol-shot of the body of wreckers,
was the unexpected greeting which these men received. A loud and
terrible yell shewed the way in which the discharge had told. One-half
of the pillagers fell on the stony beach, the other half fled.

Among those who remained was Madeleine. She was kneeling by her
father, who had received several shots, and lay on the ground in
agony.

'You were right, girl,' he groaned; 'I see it now, when it is too
late, and I feel I have deserved it.'

'Better,' sobbed Madeleine, 'better be here, than have imbrued your
hands in the blood of one of those miraculously-delivered sailors.'

'Say you so, woman?' said a loud voice near her. 'Then you are not one
of the gang. I knew them of old, as well as their infernal cut-throat
gorge, and pulled straight for it, but quite prepared to give them a
warm reception.'

Madeleine looked up. She saw around her more than fifty men, three
women, and some children. She shuddered again at the thought of the
awful massacre which would have occurred but for the sailor's
prudence.

'My good girl,' continued the man, 'we are cold, wet, and hungry; can
you shew us to some shelter?'

'Yes; but do you bid some of your men carry my father, who, I fear, is
dying.'

'It is no more than he merits,' replied the man; 'but for your sake I
will have him taken care of.'

'It is what I merit,' said Pierre, in a strange and loud tone; 'but
not from your hands, Jacques.'

'Merciful God!' cried the sailor, 'whose voice is that?'

'You will soon know; but do as your sister bids you, and then we can
talk more at ease.'

Madeleine cast herself sobbing into her brother's arms, who, gently
disengaging her, had a litter prepared for his father, and then,
guided by Madeleine, the procession advanced on its way. An armed
party marched at the head, and in a quarter of an hour the village of
Montreaux was reached. It was entirely deserted. There were fires in
the houses, and lamps lit, and even suppers prepared, but not a living
thing. Even the children and old women on hearing the discharge of
musketry, had fled to a cave where they sometimes took shelter when
the coast-guard was sent in search of them.

The delighted sailors and passengers spread themselves through the
village, took possession of the houses, ate the suppers, and slept in
the beds, taking care, however, to place four sentries in
well-concealed positions, for fear of a surprise. Madeleine, her
father, her brother, the ship's surgeon, and a young lady passenger,
came to the house of old Sandeau, who was put to bed, and his wounds
dressed. He said nothing, but went to sleep, or feigned to do so.

Supper was then put upon the table, and the four persons above
mentioned sat down, for a few minutes in silence. Jacques, the captain
of the East-Indiaman, looked moody and thoughtful. He said not a word.
Suddenly, however, he was roused by hearing the young surgeon of the
_Jeune Sophie_ speak.

'Madeleine,' said he, in a gentle but still much agitated tone of
voice, 'how is it I find you here--you whom I left at St Omer?'

'Is this, then, the Madeleine you so often speak of?' cried the
astonished sailor.

'It is. But speak, my dear friend.'

'Edouard, I am here because yonder is my father, and it is my duty to
be where he is.'

'But why is your father here?' continued the other.

'I am here,' said the old man, fiercely turning round, 'because I am
at war with the world. For a trifling error, I was dismissed the
command of this very _Jeune Sophie_ twelve years ago. I vowed revenge,
and you see the kind of revenge I have selected.'

'Dear father,' said Madeleine gently, 'see what an escape you have
had!'

'Besides,' interposed Jacques, 'there was no occasion for revenge. M.
Ponceau, who had adopted me, searched for you far and wide, to give
you another ship. They dismissed you in a moment of anger. They proved
this, by giving me the command of the _Jeune Sophie_ as soon as I
could be trusted with it.'

'What is done is done,' said Pierre, 'and I am a wrecker! I have done
wrong, but I am punished. Jacques, my boy, take away Madeleine; I see
this life is not fit for her. If I recover, I shall remain, and become
the trader of the village'----

'No, father, you must come with us,' observed Jacques sadly. 'You and
I and Madeleine will find some quiet spot, where none will know of the
past, and where we ourselves may learn to forget. I have already saved
enough to support us.'

'And your wife, sir?' said the young lady, who had not hitherto
spoken.

'Leonie, you can never marry me now. You are no fit mate for the son
of a wrecker.'

'Jacques,' interposed the young surgeon, 'neither you nor Madeleine
has any right to suffer for the errors of your father. I made the
acquaintance of your sister at my aunt's school in St Omer. I loved
her; and before I started on this journey, I had from her a
half-promise, which I now call upon her to fulfil.'

'What say you, Madeleine?' said Jacques gravely.

'That I can never give my hand to a man whom I love too well to
dishonour.'

'Madeleine, you are right, and you are a noble girl!' replied her
brother.

'Children,' said the old man, with a groan, 'I see my crime now in its
full hideousness; but I can at least repair part of the evil done.
Now, listen to me. Let me see you follow the bent of your hearts, and
be happy, and I will go where you will, for you will have forgiven
your father. Refuse to do so, and I remain here--once a wrecker,
always a wrecker. Come, decide!'

Madeleine held out her hand to Edouard, and Jacques to Leonie, his
friend's sister, returning from the colony where her parents had died.
The old man shut his eyes, and remained silent the rest of the
evening.

Next day, conveyances were obtained from a neighbouring town, and the
crew and passengers departed. The reunited friends remained at
Montreaux, awaiting the recovery of Pierre, Jacques excepted, he being
forced to go to Havre, to explain events to his owners. In ten days he
returned. Old Sandeau was now able to be removed; and the whole party
left Montreaux, which was then stripped by its owners, and deserted.

The family went to Havre. The father's savings as a captain had been
considerable. United with those of Jacques, they proved sufficient to
take a house, furnish it, and start both young couples in life.
Edouard set up as a surgeon in Havre, his brother-in-law was admitted
as junior partner into the house of Ponceau, and from that day all
prospered with them. Old Sandeau did not live long. He was crushed
under the weight of his terrible past; and his deathbed was full of
horror and remorse.[1]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] This legend is still told by the peasants of Brittany, who point
out the site of Montreaux.



LOWELL MECHANICS' FAIR.


There are very few places in the world that bear the mark of progress
so strongly as this town, destined, beyond all doubt, to be the
Manchester of the United States, and to enter--indeed it is now
entering--into active rivalry with the Old Country in her staple
manufactures, cottons and woollens. In the year 1821, few visited the
small, quiet village, of about 200 inhabitants, situated in a
mountain-nook at a bend of the Merrimac, at a point where that stream
fell in a natural cascade, tumbling and gushing over its rocky,
shallow bed, quite unconscious of the part it was to play in the
world's affairs. This village was twenty-five miles north-west of
Boston, not on a high-road leading anywhere; but, nevertheless, it
began to move on, as usual, by the erection of a saw-mill, as at that
point it was found convenient to arrest the downward progress of the
timber, and convert it into plank. And so it went on, and on, step by
step, till it became the splendid town it is, so large as to have two
railway depôts: one in the suburbs, and the principal one in the
centre of the town--for the Yankees think the closer their railways
are to the town the better.

Lowell now covers five square miles, with handsome, straight streets;
the principal one, Merrimac Street, being a mile and a half in length,
and about sixty feet wide, with footways twelve feet wide, and rows of
trees between them and the road. The appearance of this street reminds
the spectator of the best in France. The loom-power of a manufacturing
place, I understand, is estimated by the number of spindles, and this
works 350,000; the mills employ 14,000 males, and 10,000 females; the
number of inhabitants reckoned stationary, 12,000. It has lately been
raised to the dignity of a city by a charter of incorporation, which,
in the state of Massachusetts, can be claimed by any town when the
number of its inhabitants amounts to 10,000: thus it appoints its
officers, and manages its own affairs, as a body corporate and
municipal.

The most striking feature of the social system here, is the condition
of the mill-workers, of which, as it is so different from ours, I
shall give you some particulars. The corporation of Lowell has built
streets of convenient houses, for the accommodation of the workmen;
and nine-tenths of these are occupied by the unmarried. These houses
are farmed by the corporation to elderly females, whose characters
must bear the strictest investigation, and at a rent just paying a low
rate of interest for the outlay. They carry on the business under
strict rules, which limit the numbers, and determine the accommodation
of the inmates, two of whom sleep in one room. Females, whose wages
are 12s. per week, pay 6s. 6d. per week for board and lodging; for
males, the wages and cost of board are about 15 per cent. higher.
These females are housed, fed, and dressed as well as the wives and
daughters of any tradesman in Edinburgh or London. The hours of work
at the mills leave them leisure; which some spend in fancy
needle-work, so as to increase their income; and all, by arrangements
among themselves, have access to good libraries. The amusements are
balls, reading-rooms, lectures, and concerts; indeed, all the means of
intellectual cultivation are placed within their reach, and full
advantage is taken of them. There is an ambition to save money, which
they nearly all do; those in superior situations, such as overlookers,
have considerable sums in the savings-banks established by the
companies owning the mills; the workers in each mill thus putting
their weekly savings into the concern, from which they receive
interest in money, and so having an interest in the well-doing of the
mill itself, and a bond of attachment to its proprietors. In this
manner, the capital of all is constantly at work, and provision is
made for a possible slackness, which, however, has not yet befallen
Lowell.

To this place, it is no longer a toilsome journey from Boston.
Three-quarters of an hour, in a very commodious railway-carriage,
brought me into the centre of the town, when a most interesting sight
presented itself. The railway had been pouring in for the occasion
upwards of 20,000 persons; and in the streets, all was bustle and
harmony; thousands of well-dressed persons--some of the females
elegantly so--moving in throngs here and there, all bearing the tokens
of comfort and respectability. The occasion of the gathering is called
the Mechanics' Fair, held for a fortnight, during some days of which
all mill-work is suspended; the attraction consisting of a
horticultural and cattle show, and an exhibition of the products of
art and manufactures of the county, which is Middlesex.

The horticultural show was in the Town-hall, a large, handsome
apartment, with long aisles of tables, covered with piles of fruits
and vegetables; and such fruits! peaches, nectarines, apricots, and
the choicest plums, all of open-air growth, and not surpassed by any I
have seen--fully equal to the best hot-house productions of England.
Vegetables also very fine, all equal to the finest, except the turnip,
which in New England is small. The flowers as beautiful as in the Old
Country, but much smaller; consequently, that part of the show was
much inferior to our shows of the kind. In the evening of each day,
the fruits are put up to auction, and a good deal of merriment is
caused by this part of the entertainment. Those who supply the show
are well paid, as each morning there is a fresh supply; thus proving
that it is not the selected few that are exhibited, but the average
produce of the county.

From thence I walked to the show of products of industry. I found a
building 600 feet in length, 40 feet wide, and two storeys high,
crammed with such a variety of articles that it is extremely difficult
to describe them, or, indeed, to reduce them to order in the mind. I
do not propose to send you a catalogue, but to convey, as far as I
can, the impression made upon me. The ground-floor is devoted to the
exhibition of agricultural implements and machinery. I have no
intention to enter into the question of our own patent laws, but I
cannot refuse to acknowledge the superiority of the arrangements here.
The greatest advantage is, that the right to an invention is so
simply, cheaply, and easily secured, that there is no filching or
ill-feeling. Talking with a very intelligent person, who was kindly
trying to give me definite ideas in this labyrinth of cranks and
wheels, by shewing and explaining to me the movements of a most
singular machine for making carding implements--I said: 'How is it,
that with these wonders, the American portion of the Crystal Palace in
London should have been so scant? Here is enough for almost an
indefinite supply: the reaping-machine is but a unit.' 'True,' he
replied, 'but we could get no guarantee for securing the patents; and
if one man was simple enough to give the English his reaping-machine,
it did not suit others to be robbed. We have little ambition about the
matter: satisfied with what we have, we cannot afford to give away
inventions for the sake of fine words.' This explained the whole to
me.

The first store I looked over in this country was one in Boston,
having an immense stock of agricultural implements, and tools for
every mechanical purpose. I should know something of such matters,
having whistled at the plough myself, and used most of the implements;
and being therefore curious on the point, I looked in for the sake of
old associations. I am positive that every article for agricultural
and mechanical use is better made than with us, and more adapted to
its purpose--tools especially. What has been said of the plough in
London, is equally true of all other implements in use in America,
from the most complicated to the most simple. The Englishman uses what
his fathers used; the American will have the tool best adapted,
whether existing before his time or not. In favour of this superiority
in tools is the fine quality of the hard-woods used here. At the Fair
I saw some coach and chaise wheels, of the most beautiful make, of
hickory, which is as durable as metal-spokes, not thicker than the
middle finger, but strong enough for any required weight, and with
great flexibility; and from its extreme toughness, calculated for the
woodwork of implements. The apartment on the ground-floor was entirely
occupied by machines in motion, and each was attended by a person who
explained, with the greatest civility and intelligence, the uses of
the various parts of the machine, setting it going, or stopping it, as
necessary: each had its crowd of listeners; and I could not but admire
the patience and politeness of the lecturer, as he endeavoured to
explain the wondrous capabilities of his own pet machine. It would
require a volume to follow the subject thoroughly; but I will mention
what appeared to be the newest inventions, or those not known in
England.

A crowd of ladies were watching with great attention the
Sewing-machine--sewing away with the greatest exactness, and much
stronger than by the ordinary mode with a needle, as each stitch is a
knot. The inventor was shewing it; and he said he had nearly completed
a machine for the button-holes. The next was a machine called 'The
Man'--and truly named, for a more marvellous production can scarcely
be conceived--for making implements for carding wool or cotton, the
article passing in as raw wire, going through before our eyes four
processes of the most delicate description, and finally coming out a
perfect card, with its wire-teeth exactly set, and ready for use. My
attention was drawn to the application of the Jacquard principle to a
loom engaged in weaving a calico fabric, of various colours woven with
a pattern, and thus producing an elegant article, thick, and well
adapted for bed-furniture. But the most curious and simple, and
withal, perhaps, the most important invention for facilitating
manufactures, is what is called the 'Turpin Wheel,' taking its name
from the inventor. How simple may be the birth of a great idea! We all
observe that a log under a waterfall, coming down perpendicularly upon
it, spins round, as on an axis, till it escapes. This led to the
invention in question. The water falls upon the spokes of a horizontal
wheel, which it sends round with great velocity; and by this
contrivance the force of the water is more than doubled. I must not
omit to mention the machine just invented for weaving the fabric we
call Brussels carpeting. This machine will weave twenty yards of
carpeting per day, with one female to attend it. The carpet is worth
3s. per yard, while the wages paid for human aid in its production is
1-1/4d. per yard: machinery can go little further. Let me add, that I
was informed that everything on this floor was the invention of
working-men.

Upon ascending to the first floor, I found the apartment arranged with
stands--each stand devoted to one sort of manufacture--and attended,
as below, by an intelligent person, to shew and explain. Here was
every description of furniture, cotton, and woollen fabric; but
neither velvets nor silks, which have not, as yet, been introduced. We
know so much of our doings in England in the woollen and cotton line,
that my attention was principally attracted to these specimens. Here
was everything except the broad-cloths--all the patterns of
plaid-shawls, so beautifully imitated and executed, that they would, I
am sure, pass in Edinburgh. I saw the kerseymere fabric that obtained
the prize in London, and nothing could be more beautiful; for the
calicoes, I believe we cannot produce them cheaper or better. A writer
in a journal here, observes: 'Why should our cotton go to England to
be spun when we can spin it in Massachusetts?' A very pertinent
question, well worth thinking of at home. We should be thankful to the
projectors of the Crystal Palace, that it has opened our eyes, for
nothing else could. There is no manner of doubt, that we can learn
something beyond yacht-sailing; but we shall not open our eyes to the
widest until the arrival in our market of the first cargo of
manufactured woollens and cottons; and as surely as we have barrels of
flour and pork, we shall soon find them with us: I saw first-rate
calico, which could be sold at 2d. per yard.

The exports of manufactured goods from this country to all parts of
the world is increasing weekly; but of all that another time, for I am
carefully collecting information. One stand I would not omit, as it
furnished evidence of the condition of the operatives. The exhibition
is managed by the mechanics themselves, and the profits are devoted to
the support of a mechanics' institute, with the usual advantages of
library, balls, and concerts, but of a very superior order; while
every female who provides any article of her own production for
exhibition and sale, has a free ticket admitting to all the advantages
of the institution. This is found a useful stimulus, as the stand for
those articles testified, consisting as they did of all descriptions
of fancy-work: rugs, chair-bottoms, table-covers, tapestry, &c.
produced in overhours, tasteful in design, and beautiful in execution.
Let me not forget an invention, which is as great a boon to sufferers
as the water-bed: it is a contrivance applied to an ordinary bedstead,
which, by turning a handle, will support any part of the body, or
place the body in any required position. It was the invention of a
mechanic, who was nine months in bed in consequence of an accident,
and felt the want of something of the kind. It is adapted to a
bedstead at a cost of L.3.

From thence I went to the cattle-show. I could see but little of that,
as most of the animals were gone; but I was assured it was very fine.
I believe it, if what I saw was a specimen--a pair of working oxen,
perfectly white, the pair weighing 7000 pounds. In our cattle-shows at
home, we find plenty of bulk, but it destroys form and symmetry: here
both were preserved. The fowls are of the long-legged Spanish breed,
coming to table like trussed ostriches; the plump English barndoor
sort are about being introduced. I had nearly forgotten a beautiful
and extraordinary invention--a rifle, not heavier than the common one,
that will discharge twenty-four balls in succession without reloading.
Where the ramrod is usually placed, is a smaller barrel, containing,
when filled, twenty-four ball-cartridges, and, after discharging, the
action of recocking introduces another cartridge, and so on, until the
whole are discharged; the whole twenty-four can be discharged in as
many seconds!

After leaving this interesting exhibition, where I could have lingered
a whole day, I was joined by a friend, an American--a gentleman of
great attainments in science--to whose remarks I am indebted for the
following scraps. The Merrimac, when low--as when I saw it--is a
trifling stream, having a bottom of laminated rock, worn in channels
by the stream. At spring and fall, there is ten or fifteen feet of
depth; and to remedy this inequality, an important work was undertaken
and executed: to this we bent our way. It is a canal in form, but
should more properly be called a reservoir. It is 1-1/4 miles long, 100
feet wide, and 15 feet deep; of solid granite, sides and bottom--equal
in durability to any work, ancient or modern. It is about half way cut
through the solid granite rock, which in that part furnishes a natural
wall. My friend had watched its progress, and gave me many interesting
details of the engineering processes employed: among others, the
tremendous application of steam and gunpowder. An engine bored holes
in the rock fifteen feet deep and twelve inches in diameter; and these
were so placed, and in such numbers, that at a single blast 170 tons
of granite were blown into the air--an operation hardly conceivable.
This canal leaves the town in a westerly direction--being, at its
outset, about a quarter of a mile from the Merrimac, but gradually
approximating for a quarter of a mile, until it touches and unites
with that river. Between the two, is one of the prettiest of public
walks, ten feet wide, having rows of trees on each side, and
terminating in a point; being the end of a splendid granite wall, at
its base thirty feet thick, and tapering to half the thickness,
dividing the natural from the artificial stream. Here we come to a
point of great interest: on the right is an artificial dam across the
river, with two sharp lines at an angle of sixty-seven degrees, the
point meeting the stream, thus stopping the waters, and insuring a
supply for the reservoir, while it forms a cascade of about twenty
feet.

My friend gave me a very graphic description of the opening of the
works. The whole was built in a cofferdam, quite dry, and the opening
was a holiday. Every spot within sight was covered with spectators,
for whom the engineer had contrived a surprise. The works used in
keeping the water out of the reservoir, and protecting the new dam,
were undermined, and charged with gunpowder. At a given signal, the
train was fired, and in an instant the whole blew up; and when the
smoke cleared away, the fragments were floating down the Merrimac, and
the canal full of water.

On the left from the point, the egress of water is regulated by
flood-gates of a superior construction. The building crosses the
canal, and contains seven huge gates, which are raised or dropped into
their places by beautiful machinery. To each gate is attached an
immense screw, which stands perpendicularly, twenty feet long and ten
inches in diameter. At its upper end, it passes through a matrix-worm
in the centre of a large cog-wheel, lying horizontally The whole is
set in motion by the slightest turning of a handle; and here I saw the
application of the Turpin Wheel I spoke of before--no engine or
complication, but a wheel fifteen feet in diameter, fixed
horizontally, submerged in the stream, receiving the falling waters,
and thus rapidly revolving, and by a gear, giving motion to the
machinery for raising or lowering the immense gates, stopped or set
going by merely turning a stop-cock, and requiring no more force than
an ordinary water-cistern.

I cannot leave this interesting spot without an attempt to describe
the beautiful scene. A little to the right, the river widens into a
sort of bay, with several fine islands covered with wood; in front,
across the stream, as far as the eye can reach, are the forests of New
Hampshire, with occasional headlands of greensward. In the autumn, it
has exactly the appearance of a gigantic flower-garden--the trees
being of every imaginable colour. 'Ah!' said my friend, 'this is an
interesting spot: it was the favourite residence and hunting-ground of
the Chippewas. The Indians, like your monks of old in Europe, always
chose the most beautiful and picturesque sites for their dwellings;
but they have retired before the advance of a civilisation they could
not share or appreciate.' Talking in this way, as we returned, he
called my attention to a singular phenomenon in the river. At some
remote period there was, and it remains to the present moment, a rock
standing in the middle of the stream, about twelve feet in diameter at
the top, of an irregular form, and of the hardest granite. By the
action of the water, a mass of granite had been thrown on the top,
where it lodged. At high-water, perhaps during three months in each
year, the stream had caused this mass to revolve on its own axis,
until it has worn itself of a round figure, and worn also the rock
into a cup, now about six feet deep. Still, it revolves when the water
reaches it--nature still plays at this cup-and-ball--the ball weighing
five tons. Talk of this sort brought us to the railway. In due time I
reached home; and I do not remember to have ever been more interested
than by the day spent at Lowell.



THE SEA AND THE POETS.


Of three poets, each the most original in his language, and each
peculiarly susceptible of impressions from external nature--Horace,
Shakspeare, and Burns--not one seems to have appreciated the beauty,
the majestic sublimity, the placid loveliness, alternating with the
terrific grandeur, of the 'many-sounding sea.' Judging from their
incidental allusions to it, and the use they make of it in metaphor
and imagery, it would seem to have presented itself to their
imaginations only as a fierce, unruly, untamable, and unsightly
monster, to be loathed and avoided--a blot on the fair face of
creation--a necessary evil, perhaps; but still an evil, and most
certainly suggestive of no ideas poetic in their character.

It is marvellous, for there is not one of these poets who does not
discover a lively sense of the varied charms of universal nature, and
has not painted them in glowing colours with the pencil of a master.
Who has not noted with what evident love, with what a
nicely-discriminative knowledge Shakspeare has pictured our English
flowers, our woodland glades, the forest scenery of Old England,
before the desolating axe had prostrated the pride of English woods?
How vividly has not Burns translated into vigorous verse each feature
of his native landscape, till

       ---- 'Auld Coila's plains and fells,
    Her muirs, red-brown wi' heather-bells,
    Her banks and braes, her dens and dells,'

live again in the magic of his song. And Horace--with what charming
playfulness, with what exquisite grace, has he not figured the
olive-groves of Tibur, the pendent vines ruddy with the luscious
grape, the silver streams, the sparkling fountains and purple skies of
fruitful Campania! Looking on nature with a poet's eye, as did these
poets, one and all of them, is it not a psychological mystery that
none of them should have detected the ineffable beauty of a
sea-prospect?

First, as to Horace. When climbing the heights of Mount Vultur, that
Lucanian hill where once, when overcome by fatigue, the youthful poet
lay sleeping, and doves covered his childish and wearied limbs with
leaves--Horace must have often viewed, with their wide expanse
glittering in the sun, the waters of the Adriatic--often must he have
hailed the grateful freshness of the sea-breeze and the invigorating
perfumes of

         ---- 'the early sea-smell blown
    Through vineyards from some inland bay.'

Yet about this sea, which should have kindled his imagination and
inspired his genius, this thankless bard poetises in a vein such as a
London citizen, some half-century back, might have indulged in after a
long, tedious, 'squally' voyage in an overladen Margate hoy.

No such spirit possessed him as that which dictated poor Campbell's
noble apostrophe to the glorious 'world of waters:'

         ---- 'Earth has not a plain
    So boundless or so beautiful as thine;
    The eagle's vision cannot take it in;
    The lightning's glance, too weak to sweep its space,
    Sinks half-way o'er it, like a wearied bird:
    It is the mirror of the stars, where all
    Their hosts within the concave firmament,
    Gay marching to the music of the spheres,
    Can see themselves at once.'

Horace, indeed, has sung the praises of Tarentum--that beautiful
maritime city of the Calabrian Gulf, whose attractions were such as to
make _the delights of Tarentum_ a common proverbial expression. But
what were these delights as celebrated by our poet?--the perfection of
its honey, the excellence of its olives, the abundance of its grapes,
its lengthened spring and temperate winter. For these, its merits, did
Horace prefer, as he tells us, Tarentum to every other spot on the
wide earth--his beloved Tibur only and ever excepted. In truth, Horace
valued and visited the sea-side only in winter, and then simply
because its climate was milder than that to be met with inland, and
therefore more agreeable to the dilapidated constitution of a
sensitive valetudinarian. His commentators suppose he produced nothing
during his marine hybernations: if the inclement season froze 'the
genial current of his soul,' the aspect of the sea did not thaw it.

His motive for his sea-side trips is amusingly set forth in one of the
most lively and characteristic of his Epistles--the fifteenth of the
first book. In this he inquires of a friend what sort of winter
weather is to be found at Velia and Salernum; two cities, one on the
Adriatic, the other on the Mediterranean seaboard of Italy--what
manner of roads they had--whether the people there drank tank-water or
spring-water--and whether hares, boars, crabs, and fish were with them
abundant. He adds, he is not apprehensive about their wines--knowing
these, as we may infer, to be good--although usually, when from home,
he is scrupulous about his liquors; whilst, when at home, he can put
up almost with anything in the way of potations. It is quite plain
Horace went down to the sea just in the spirit in which a turtle-fed
alderman would transfer himself to Cheltenham; or in which a fine
lady, whose nerves the crush, hurry, and late hours of a London season
had somewhat disturbed, would exchange the dissipations of Mayfair for
the breezy hills of Malvern, or the nauseous waters of Tunbridge
Wells.

This certainly explains, and perhaps excuses, the grossly uncivil
terms in which alone he notices the sea. One of the worst of Ulysses'
troubles was, according to him, the numerous and lengthy sea-voyages
which that Ithacan gadabout had to take. Horace wishes for Mævius, who
was his aversion, no worse luck than a rough passage and shipwreck at
the end of it. His notion of a happy man--_ille beatus_--is one who
has not to dread the sea. Augustus, whose success had blessed not only
his own country, but the whole world, had--not the least of his
blessings--given to the seamen a calmed sea--_pacatum mare_. Lamenting
at Virgil's departure for Athens, he rebukes the impiety of the first
mariner who ventured, in the audacity of his heart, to go afloat and
cross the briny barrier interposed between nations. He esteems a
merchant favoured specially by the gods, should he twice or thrice a
year return in safety from an Atlantic cruise. He tells us he himself
had known the terrors of 'the dark gulf of the Adriatic,' and had
experienced 'the treachery of the western gale;' and expresses a
charitable wish, that the enemies of the Roman state were exposed to
the delights of both. He likens human misery to a sea 'roughened by
gloomy winds;' 'to embark once more on the mighty sea,' is his
figurative expression for once more engaging in the toils and troubles
of the world; Rome, agitated by the dangers of civil conflict,
resembles an ill-formed vessel labouring tempest-tossed in the waves;
his implacable Myrtale resembles the angry Adriatic, in which also he
finds a likeness to an ill-tempered lover. All through, from first to
last, the gentle Horace pelts with most ungentle phrases one of the
noblest objects in nature, provocative alike of our admiration and our
awe, our terror and our love.

And even Shakspeare must be ranged in the same category. The most
English of poets has not one laudatory phrase for

             ---- 'The seas
    Which God hath given for fence impregnable'

to the poet's England. It is idle to say that Shakspeare was
inland-bred--that he knew nothing, and could therefore have cared
nothing about the matter--seeing that, insensible as he might have
been to its beauties, he makes constant reference to the sea, and even
in language implying that his familiarity with it was not inferior to
that of any yachtsman who has ever sailed out of Cowes Harbour. He
uses nautical terms frequently and appropriately. Romeo's rope-ladder
is 'the high top-gallant of his joy;' King John, dying of poison,
declares 'the tackle of his heart is cracked,' and 'all the shrouds
wherewith his life should sail' wasted 'to a thread.' Polonius tells
Laertes, 'the wind sits in the shoulder of your sail'--a technical
expression, the singular propriety of which a naval critic has
recently established; whilst some of the commentators on the passage
in _King Lear_, descriptive of the prospect from Dover Cliffs, affirm
that the comparison as to apparent size, of the ship to her cock-boat,
and the cock-boat to a buoy, discover a perfect knowledge of the
relative proportions of the objects named. In _Hamlet_, _Othello_,
_The Tempest_, _The Merchant of Venice_, _The Comedy of Errors_,
_Twelfth Night_, _Winter's Tale_, _Measure for Measure_, and
_Pericles_, sea-storms are made accessory to the development of the
plot, and sometimes described with a force and truthfulness which
forbid the belief that the writer had never witnessed such scenes:
however, like Horace, it is in the darkest colours that Shakspeare
uniformly paints 'the multitudinous seas.'

In the _Winter's Tale_, we read of--

             ---- 'the fearful usage
    (Albeit ungentle) of the dreadful Neptune.'

In _Henry V._, of 'the furrowed sea,' 'the lofty surge,' 'the
inconstant billows dancing;' in _Henry VI._, Queen Margaret finds in
the roughness of the English waters a presage of her approaching wo;
in _Richard III._, Clarence's dream figures to us all the horrors of
'the vasty deep;' in _Henry VIII._, Wolsey indeed speaks of 'a sea of
glory,' but also of his shipwreck thereon; in _The Tempest_ we read of
'the never surfeited sea,' and of the 'sea-marge sterile and
rocky-hard;' in the _Midsummer's Night Dream_, 'the sea' is 'rude,'
and from it the winds 'suck up contagious fogs;' _Hamlet_ is as 'mad
as the sea and wind;' the violence of Laertes and the insurgent Danes
is paralleled to an irruption of the sea, 'overpeering of his list;'
in the well-known soliloquy is the expression, 'a sea of troubles,'
which, in spite of Pope's suggested and tasteless emendation,
commentators have shewn to have been used proverbially by the Greeks,
and more than once by Æschylus and Menander. Still, Shakspeare, again
like Horace, was not insensible to the merits of sea-air in a sanitary
point of view. Dionyza, meditating Marina's murder, bids her take what
the Brighton doctor's call 'a constitutional' by the sea-side, adding
that--

           ---- 'the air is quick there,
    Piercing and sharpens well the stomach.'

As to Burns, his most fervent admirer can scarcely complain when we
involve him in the censure to which we have already subjected Horace
and Shakspeare. He, too, writes about the sea in such a fashion, that
we should hardly have suspected, what is true, that he was born almost
within hearing of its waves; that much of his life was passed on its
shores or near them, and that at a time of life when external objects
most vividly impress themselves on the senses, and exercise the
largest influence on the taste.

The genius of 'Old Coila,' in sketching the poet's early life, says--

    'I saw thee seek the sounding shore,
    Delighted with the dashing roar;'

but few tokens of this 'delight' are to be observed in his poetry. He
has, indeed, his allusions to 'tumbling billows' and 'surging foam;'
to southern climes where 'wild-meeting oceans boil;' to 'life's rough
ocean' and 'life's stormy main;' to 'hard-blowing gales;' to the
'raging sea,' 'raging billows,' 'boundless oceans roaring wide,' and
the like; but these are the stock-metaphors of every poet, and would
be familiar to him even had he never overpassed the frontiers of
Bohemia.

One sea-picture, and one alone, is to be found in Burns, and this, it
is freely admitted, is exquisite:

    'Behold the hour, the boat arrive;
      Thou goest, thou darling of my heart!
    Severed from thee, can I survive?
      But fate has willed, and we must part.
    I'll often greet this surging swell,
      Yon distant isle will often hail:
    E'en here I took the last farewell;
      There latest marked her vanished sail.

    Along the solitary shore,
      While flitting sea-fowl round me cry,
    Across the rolling, dashing roar,
      I'll westward turn my wistful eye:
    Happy thou Indian grove, I'll say,
      Where now my Nancy's path may be!
    While through thy sweets she loves to stray,
      Oh! tell me, does she muse on me?'

This charming lyric, the pathetic tenderness of which commends it to
every feeling heart, is all that Burns has left in evidence that the
sea had to him, at least, one poetic aspect.



CURIOSITIES OF CHESS.


More has perhaps been written about chess-playing than any other of
the games which human ingenuity has invented for recreative purposes,
and it is not easy to foresee the time when dissertation or discovery
on the subject shall be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. Scarcely
a year passes that does not add something to our knowledge of the
history of the royal game; and among the latest additions, the able
paper by Mr Bland, published in the _Journal of the Royal Asiatic
Society_, is not the least deserving of notice. It contains many
curious particulars and remarks, interspersed in its dry and technical
narrative, sufficient to form a page or two of pleasant reading for
those--and they are not few--to whom chess is interesting.

We must premise that Mr Bland takes three but little-known Oriental
manuscripts as the groundwork of his observations; one of them, in the
Persian character, is said to be 'probably unique,' though,
unfortunately, very imperfect. It bears no date or author's name,
these being lost with the missing portions, but the treatise itself
contains internal evidence of very high antiquity. The author, whoever
he was, tells us that he had travelled much through Persia and the
adjacent countries, from the age of fifteen until the middle period of
life, during which he gained the knowledge and experience which
enabled him to write his book. Besides which, he measured his strength
with many masters of the art of chess-playing, adding on each occasion
to his reputation as a conqueror: 'and whereas,' as he relates, 'the
greater number of professors were deficient in the art of playing
without looking at the board, I myself played so against four
adversaries at once, and at the same time against another opponent in
the usual manner, and, by divine favour, won all the games.' Here,
singularly enough, we find a Persian Staunton making himself famous
perhaps long before Norman William thought of invading Britain--so
true it is, that in mere intellectual achievements we have scarcely
surpassed bygone generations. He, the Persian, evidently entertained a
comfortable idea of his own abilities; for he boasts largely of the
improvements and new moves or positions which he has introduced into
the game. He disputes, too, the authenticity of the belief, that chess
was originally invented in India, and that it was first introduced
into Persia in the sixth century of our era by a physician, whom
Nushirwan had sent to seek for the work known as Pilpay's Fables. On
the contrary, he contends that chess, in its original and most
developed form, is purely a Persian invention, and that the modern
game is but an abridgment of the ancient one. In how far this
statement is borne out by the fact, we have at present no means of
knowing; and until some more complete manuscript or other work shall
be brought to light which may supply the want, we must rest content
with the account familiar to most readers--that chess was invented by
an Indian physician for the diversion of the monarch, his master, and
the reward claimed in grains of corn, beginning with one grain on the
first square of the board, and doubling the number in regularly
increasing progression up to the last.

We may here briefly state what the ancient, or, as it is commonly
called in the East, 'Timour's Game,' was. It required a board with 110
squares and 56 men--almost as many again as are used in modern
chess--and the moves were extremely complicated and difficult to
learn. The rectangularity of the board was interrupted by four lateral
squares, which served as a fort, or special point of defence for the
king, whose powers, as well as those of the other pieces, were in many
respects different from those at present known. 'Timour's mind,' we
are told, 'was too exalted to play at the Little Chess, and therefore
he played only at the Great Chess, on a board of ten squares by
eleven, with the addition of two camels, two zarafahs,' and other
pieces, with Persian designations.

Next we come to a complete chapter, entitled the 'Ten Advantages of
Chess,' in which the views and reasonings are eminently Oriental and
characteristic. The first explains that food and exercise are good for
the mind as well as for the body, and that chess is a most excellent
means for quickening the intellect, and enabling it to gain knowledge.
'For the glory of man is knowledge, and chess is the nourishment of
the mind, the solace of the spirit, the polisher of intelligence, the
bright sun of understanding, and has been preferred by the
philosopher, its inventor, to all other means by which we arrive at
wisdom.' The second advantage is in the promotion and cultivation of
religion; predestination and free-will are both exemplified--the
player being able to move where he will, yet always in obedience to
certain laws. 'Whereas,' says the writer, 'Nerd--that is, Eastern
backgammon--on the contrary, is mere free-will, while in dice, again,
all is compulsion.' The third and fourth advantages relate to
government and war; and the fifth to astronomy, illustrating its
several phenomena as shewn by the text, according to which 'the board
represents the heavens, in which the squares are the celestial houses,
and the pieces, stars. The superior pieces are likened to the moving
stars; and the pawns, which have only one movement, to the fixed
stars. The king is as the sun, and the wazir in place of the moon, and
the elephants and taliah in the place of Saturn, and the rukhs and
dabbabah in that of Mars, and the horses and camel in that of Jupiter,
and the ferzin and zarafah in that of Venus; and all these pieces have
their accidents, corresponding with the trines and quadrates, and
conjunction and opposition, and ascendancy and decline--such as the
heavenly bodies have; and the eclipse of the sun is figured by shah
caim or stale mate;' and much more to the same purport. We question
whether the astronomer-royal ever suspected he was illustrating his
own science when engaged in one of his quiet games of chess with the
master of trinity.

The sixth advantage is somewhat astrological in character: as there
are four principal movements of chess, these answer to the four
physical temperaments, Cold, Warm, Dry, and Wet, which are ruled by
their respective planets; and thus each piece on the board is made to
have its peculiar significance in relation with the stars. It is
further shewn, that chess-playing is remedial against many of the
lesser bodily ailments; 'and no illness is more grievous than hunger
and thirst, yet both of these, when the mind is engaged in chess, are
no longer thought of.' Next in order, the seventh advantage, is 'in
obtaining repose for the soul;' as the author observes: 'The soul hath
illnesses like as the body hath, and the cure of these last is known;
but of the soul's illness there be also many kinds, and of these I
will mention a few.' These are ignorance, disobedience, haste,
cunning, avarice, tyranny, lying, pride, deceit, and envy. Deceit is
said to be of two kinds: that which deceives others, and that which
deceives ourselves. But of all evils, ignorance is the greatest; 'for
it is the soul's death, as learning is its life; and for this disease
is chess an especial cure, since there is no way by which men arrive
more speedily at knowledge and wisdom; and in like manner, by its
practice, all the faults which form the diseases of the soul are
converted into their corresponding virtues.' It is not to be doubted
that chess-playing may keep individuals out of mischief; but, whatever
may have been the case in ancient times, we do not hear of its
transforming vicious characters into virtuous ones in our days.

The eighth advantage is social, inasmuch as it brings men of different
degrees together, and promotes their intimacy and friendship; and
'advantage the ninth, is in wisdom and knowledge, and that wise men do
play chess; and to those who object that foolish men also play chess,
and, though constantly engaged in it, become no wiser, it may be
answered, that the distinction between wise and foolish men in playing
chess, is as that of man and beast in eating of the tree--that the man
chooses its ripe and sweet fruit, while the beast eats but the leaves
and branches, and the unripe and bitter fruit; and so it is with
players at chess--the wise man plays for those virtues and advantages
which have been already mentioned, and the foolish man plays it but
for mere sport and gambling, and regards not its advantages and
virtues. This is the condition of the wise man and foolish man in
playing chess.' From this it seems a descent to the tenth advantage,
which is, that chess combines war with sport; and pleasant allegories
are made subservient to the inculcation of sound truths and important
principles.

Next comes an explanation of the mode in which Great Chess was played,
with the nature and value of the various moves. Among the hard
technicalities with which it abounds, the writer takes occasion to
condemn the practice of giving a different value to the piece which
may have reached the end of the board; 'for,' as he says, 'what is
more natural or just than that men should occupy the station of their
predecessors, and that the son of a king should become a king, and a
general's son attain the rank of a general.' An instance of rigid
caste-law carried into a harmless recreation.

In another manuscript, chess is shewn to have something to do with a
man's fortunes: he who could watch a game without speaking, was held
to be discreet, and qualified for a government office. And conquerors
are enjoined not to boast of their success; not to say, even if such
be the case, that they have won all the games, but that they have 'won
some.' Exemplary virtue is not, however, claimed for chess-players, as
in the former instance, for some are said to be continually 'swearing
false oaths, and making many vain excuses;' and again, 'You never see
a chess-player rich, who is not a sordid miser, nor hear a squabbling
that is not a question of the chess-board.' On the other hand, there
were 'rules of politeness in chess,' which it behoved all persons to
follow:--'He who is lowest in rank is to spread the board, and pour
out the men on it, and then wait patiently till his superior has made
his choice; then he who is inferior may take his own men, and place
all of them except the king, and when the senior in rank has placed
his own king, he may also place his opposite to it.' During the game,
'all foolish talk and ribaldry' is to be avoided, and onlookers are
'to keep silence, and to abstain from remarks and advice to the
players;' and an inferior, when playing with a superior, is enjoined
to exert his utmost skill, and not 'underplay himself that his senior
may win'--an observation which what is called the 'flunkey class'
might remember with advantage. And further, chess is not to be played
'when the mind is engaged with other objects, nor when the stomach is
full after a meal, neither when overcome by hunger, nor on the day of
taking a bath; nor, in general, while suffering under any pain, bodily
or mental.'

Chess-playing without looking at the board, now taught by professors,
and supposed to be a comparatively modern art, was, as we have seen
above, known and practised many centuries ago; and among the
instructions last quoted are those for playing the 'blindfold-game.'
The player is 'to picture to himself the board as divided first into
two opposite sides, and then each side into halves, those of the king
and the queen, so that when his naib, or deputy, announces that 'such
a knight has been played to the second of the queen's rook,' or 'the
queen to the king's bishop's third,' he may immediately understand its
effect on the position of the game. This mode of playing, however, is
not recommended to those who do not possess a powerful memory, with
great reflection and perseverance, 'without which no man can play
blindfold.' These, with other instructions, are followed by the
author's remark, 'that some have arrived to such a degree of
perfection as to have played blindfold at four or five boards at a
time, nor to have made a mistake in any of the games, and to have
recited poetry during the match;' and he adds: 'I have seen it written
in a book, that a certain person played in this manner at ten boards
at once, and gained all the games, and even corrected his adversaries
when a mistake was made.'

Besides their conventional value, the pieces had a money value, which
was essential to be known by all who desired to win. The rook and
knight were estimated at about sixpence each; the queen, threepence;
the pawns, three-halfpence; and the 'side-pawns,' three farthings. The
value of bishops varied, while the king was beyond all price. The
regulations respecting odds were also well defined, in degrees from a
single pawn up to a knight and rook; but any one claiming the latter
odds was held not 'to count as a chess-player.' And it was not unusual
for works on chess to contain puzzling problems, representations of
drawn games, and well-combined positions. Some authors describe five
different kinds of chess: one had 10 × 10, or 100 squares; another was
oblong, 16 × 4, which employed dice as well as the usual pieces;
another board was circular, with a central spot for the king, where he
could intrench himself in safety; another represented the zodiac, with
spaces for each planet, according to the number of houses or mansions
assigned by astrologers. The ingenuity did not end here: chess was
made to illustrate dreams, and to embellish many amusing games and
recreations. Odes and poems were written upon it, and the poets at
times exhibited their skill in a play upon words--for instance:

    'When my beloved learnt the chess-play of cruelty,
    In the very beginning of the game her sweet cheek
    (rukh) took my heart captive.'

It served also to point riddles, some of which exhibit remarkable
ingenuity, as shewn by the following example, where the name of
Mohammed is enigmatically embodied. It is thus rendered:

    'The vow of Moses twice repeat;
    The principles of life and heat;
    The squares of chess, in order due,
    Must take their place between these two;
    When thus arranged, a name appears,
    Which every Muslim heart reveres.'

The solution, as given by a reverend ulema of Constantinople to a
learned German who could not solve the mystery, is: 'Take the "vow of
Moses," which is 40; double it, and it becomes 80, equivalent to the
two Mims in the name Muhammed. Place under these the bases of the
temperaments--that is, the elements--which are four (the power of the
letter D); then take the number of the houses (or squares) of chess,
which are eight in a row, and place it (8 being equal to the letter H)
between the two Ms, and you have the name of the prophet, Muhammed
(MHMD.')

'It has been necessary,' observes Mr Bland, 'to turn the Arabic
commentary a little, in order to make the solution more intelligible
to those unacquainted with the trick of Eastern riddles. Some further
explanation is also required to illustrate the solution itself.
The vow of Moses refers to his forty days' fast; the four
temperaments--the bile, the atrabile, phlegm, and blood--are
represented in the Arabian system of physics by the four elements,
which are considered to be connected with them; the figures refer to
the numerical power of the _abjad_, or alphabet; and the enigma itself
has been attributed, though on uncertain grounds, to Ali, the
son-in-law of the prophet.'



'THE SUCCESSFUL MERCHANT.'


Under this title has lately been produced a novelty in our literature,
the memoirs of an eminent commercial man.[2] Samuel Budgett died in
May 1851, at the age of fifty-seven. Though starting in life without
capital or credit, he had, by the sheer exercise of his own innate
qualities, risen to the head of one of the most colossal _concerns_ in
England. Had he been merely a clever bargainer, and a skilful
organiser of business arrangements, there might have been some value
in his memoirs, as a guidance to young mercantile aspirants; but
Budgett was something more than all this, and his biography serves the
far higher purpose of shewing how a man may be at once a most adroit
merchandiser, and a man of liberal practice, and a true lover of his
kind. Let it not be supposed that he was a _soft_ man, who had
prospered through some lucky accident. He really was a thorough-paced
follower of the maxim which recommends buying in the cheapest and
selling in the dearest market: he was reputed as _keen_ in business.
But he was also kind-hearted and high-principled, and it is this union
of remarkable qualities which gives his memoirs their best value.

Mr Budgett was a general provision-merchant at Bristol, with also a
large warehouse at Kingswood Hill, where his private residence was.
His biographer presents him as he came daily into town to attend to
business. 'You might have often seen driving into Bristol, a man under
the middle size, verging towards sixty, wrapped up in a coat of deep
olive, with gray hair, an open countenance, a quick brown eye, and an
air less expressive of polish than of push. He drives a phaeton, with
a first-rate horse, at full speed. He looks as if he had work to do,
and had the art of doing it. On the way, he overtakes a woman carrying
a bundle. In an instant, the horse is reined up by her side, and a
voice of contagious promptitude tells her to put up her bundle and
mount. The voice communicates to the astonished pedestrian its own
energy. She is forthwith seated, and away dashes the phaeton. In a few
minutes, the stranger is deposited in Bristol, with the present of
some pretty little book, and the phaeton hastes on to Nelson Street.
There it turns into the archway of an immense warehouse. "Here, boy;
take my horse, take my horse!" It is the voice of the head of the
firm. The boy flies. The master passes through the offices as if he
had three days' work to do. Yet his eye notes everything. He reaches
his private office. He takes from his pocket a memorandum-book, on
which he has set down, in order, the duties of the day. A boy waits at
the door. He glances at his book, and orders the boy to call a clerk.
The clerk is there promptly, and receives his instructions in a
moment. "Now, what is the next thing?" asks the master, glancing at
his memorandum. Again the boy is on the wing, and another clerk
appears. He is soon dismissed. "Now, what is the next thing?" again
looking at the memorandum. At the call of the messenger, a young man
now approaches the office door. He is a "traveller;" but
notwithstanding the habitual push and self-possession of his class, he
evidently is approaching his employer with reluctance and
embarrassment. He almost pauses at the entrance. And now that he is
face to face with the strict man of business, he feels much confused.

"Well, what's the matter? I understand you can't make your cash quite
right."

"No, sir."

"How much are you short?"

"Eight pounds, sir."

"Never mind; I am quite sure you have done what is right and
honourable. It is some mistake; and you won't let it happen again.
Take this and make your account straight."

'The young man takes the proffered paper. He sees an order for ten
pounds; and retires as full of admiration as he had approached full of
anxiety.

"Now, what is the next thing?" This time a porter is summoned. He
comes forward as if he expected rebuke. "Oh! I have got such a
complaint reported against you. You know that will never do. You must
not let that occur again."

'Thus, with incredible dispatch, matter after matter is settled, and
all who leave that office go to their work as if some one had oiled
all their joints.

'At another time, you find the master passing through the warehouse.
Here, his quick glance descries a man who is moving drowsily, and he
says a sharp word that makes him, in a moment, nimble. There, he sees
another blundering at his work. He had no idea that the master's eye
was upon him, till he finds himself suddenly supplanted at the job. In
a trice, it is done; and his master leaves him to digest the
stimulant. Now, a man comes up to tell him of some plan he has in his
mind, for improving something in his own department of the business.
"Yes, thank you, that's a good idea;" and putting half-a-crown into
his hand, he passes on. In another place he finds a man idling. You
can soon see, that of all spectacles this is the one least to his
mind. "If you waste five minutes, that is not much; but probably if
you waste five minutes yourself, you lead some one else to waste five
minutes, and that makes ten. If a third follow your example, that
makes a quarter of an hour. Now, there are about a hundred and eighty
of us here; and if every one wasted five minutes in a day, what would
it come to? Let me see. Why, it would be fifteen hours; and fifteen
hours a day would be ninety hours--about eight days, working-time, in
a week; and in a year, would be four hundred days. Do you think we
could ever stand waste like that?" The poor loiterer is utterly
confounded. He had no idea of eating up fifteen hours, much less four
hundred days, of his good employer's time; and he never saw before how
fast five minutes could be multiplied.'

Mr Budgett was the son of a worthy couple, not exactly in poor, but in
rather difficult circumstances. He had little school education; but
his mother gave him a good religious training. From his earliest
intelligent years, he loved traffic. His first transaction was getting
a penny for a horse-shoe which he had found. Discovering that for a
half-penny he got six marbles, but for a penny fourteen, he bought
pennyworths and sold them in half-pennyworths to his companions, thus
realising a profit. Meeting an old woman with a basket of cucumbers,
he bought them, and by selling them again, realised ninepence. Truly
in his case the boy was father to the man. But, what was notable in
him, he would give away his accumulated profits all at once, in the
purchase of a hymn-book, or for the relief of some poor person. Even
then, it was not for sordid or selfish ends that he trafficked. In
these early years, his singular tact also came out. 'I remember,' he
said, 'about 1806 or 1807, a young man called on my mother, from Mr
D---- of Shepton, to solicit orders in the grocery trade. His
introduction and mode of treating my mother were narrowly watched by
me, particularly when she asked the price of several articles. On
going in to my father, she remarked, there would be no advantage in
dealing with Mr D----, as she could not see that his prices were any
lower than those she was in the habit of giving. I slipped aside, and
began to think: "Why, that young man might have got my mother's trade,
if he had known how; if, instead of mentioning so many articles, he
had just offered one or two at a lower price than we have been in the
habit of giving, she would have been induced to try those articles;
and thus he would have been introduced, most likely, to her whole
trade: beside, his manner was rather loose, and not of the most modest
and attractive kind." I believe the practical lesson then learned has,
since that, been worth to me thousands of pounds--namely,
Self-interest is the mainspring of human actions: you have only to lay
before persons, in a strong light, that what you propose is to their
own interest, and you will generally accomplish your purpose.' There
are certainly few boys of twelve years who would have caught up such
an idea as this from so common-place a circumstance.

By the time he was fourteen, he had realised thirty pounds by private
barter. He gave the money to help his parents. When put as apprentice
to an elder brother, a grocer in Kingswood Hill, it might have been
expected that he would speedily distinguish himself; and so he might
have done as far as intellect was concerned; but, unluckily, his
strength was at first inadequate for his duties, and his brother
actually sent him away as hopeless. With great difficulty, he made his
way into another trader's employment, and there he gave entire
satisfaction. His brother, then, reclaimed him, and though offered a
higher salary where he was, he returned to serve out his time. Long
before that period had arrived, he was beginning to soar above retail
business. 'The markets were well watched, every advantage of time or
change turned to account, and his singular power of cheap buying
exerted with all vigour. The trade steadily grew; every now and then
those in their own line were surprised at the sales they were able to
make, and the neighbourhood resounded with the news of the great
bargains to be had at Budgett's. As custom increased, so did envy and
accusation. Many scrupled not to declare, that they sold cheaper than
they bought, and therefore must soon come to an end; yet they went on,
year by year, in steady and rapid increase.... He already seemed to
descry in the distance the possibility of a great wholesale
establishment; but this must be reached by little and little. He would
not attempt what he could not accomplish. Any sudden bound, therefore,
by which he was at once to pass the gulf now separating him from his
object, was not to be thought of. A little at a time; secure what you
have, work it well, make it fruitful, and then push on a little
farther; but never stretch out to anything new till all the old is
perfectly cultivated.'

The brother, who was fifteen years his senior, and a man of ordinary
character, was borne on by the towering genius of Samuel the
apprentice. 'Among the customers of the shop were numbers of good
women, who came from villages at a few miles' distance, mounted on
donkeys. As the flow of purchasers was great, a crowd of these patient
steeds would often be for a long time about the door, while their
respective mistresses were obtaining goods. In this concourse from a
distance, the quick eye of Samuel discovered the germ of an extended
trade. Why should he not go into their neighbourhood regularly, and
obtain their orders; so securing their custom always, and affording
them accommodation, while he obtained new chances of extension? His
brother was much more inclined to pursue the regular course than to
branch into anything new; and the caution of the one probably acted as
a useful counterbalance to the energy of the other. But Samuel was not
to be held within the shop-walls: he had his plans for erecting a
great business, and no power could restrain him. He soon set forth to
the villages of Doynton and Pucklechurch, and arranged to meet the
good folks at fixed times, in one house or another convenient for
them, and there to receive their orders. He made himself their friend:
he was hearty, familiar, and in earnest; he noticed their children; he
knew their ways; and he rapidly gained their favour, and effected
considerable sales.'

'This point gained, he began to talk of supplying the smaller shops.
"Why should not we supply them as well as other people?" His brother
shrank from anything that seemed to approach the wholesale. He feared
that they would get beyond their means, and wished to pursue only the
old course. Samuel could wait, but he could not surrender. Supply the
smaller shops he would, and by degrees he managed to accomplish it.
Very gradually, the range of this quasi-wholesale trade extended.
Firmly keeping to his purpose of working all he had got, and going on
little by little, he made no abrupt enterprise--no great dash; but on,
on he plodded in the humblest way, caring nothing for show, but
careful that every foot of ground under him was solid. He gradually
began to make a modest sort of commercial journey; and among tradesmen
to whom he would not venture to offer the higher articles of grocery,
raised a considerable trade in such descriptions of goods as he might
supply without seeming to push into too important a sphere.'

Having made a lucky purchase of butter, Samuel went amongst traders of
his own kind for orders, and at first met with little but contempt. He
persevered, nevertheless, and in a little time made his way. By little
and little his house, of which he became a partner, acquired a
footing, and began to be talked of as a kind of prodigy for a village.
The leading principle followed, was to do business entirely by
ready-money, in buying as in selling. A wonder may be felt how Mr
Budgett contrived, with no advantage of capital at starting, to act
upon this rule. The plan is simple, and may be easily followed. Let
the transactions be in a proper proportion to the means. It looks a
slow plan; but, in reality, by securing an exemption from pecuniary
embarrassment, it allows a business, other circumstances being equal,
to go on faster than might otherwise be the case. Mr Budgett could
accept small profits on his ready-money transactions, and by their
frequency, outstrip heavier-pursed but also heavier-minded men.

The leading maxims of Samuel Budgett in business were--_Tact_, _Push_,
and _Principle_. In the two former, he was a great genius, and much he
no doubt was indebted to them. Yet we are inclined to think that
Principle had the chief hand in his success. He was entirely a just
man. He would rebuke a young salesman more severely for a slight
inequality in his weighing-scales against the public, than for a
neglect of his duty. It was a custom of grocers to mix up pepper with
an article called P.D. Mr Budgett long kept a cask of P.D.; but at
length, reflecting seriously on it one evening, he went to the shop,
re-opened it, took out the hypocritical cask to a neighbouring quarry,
and there staved it, scattering the P.D. amongst the clods, and slags,
and stones; after which he returned with a light heart to bed. There
was also a benevolence at the bottom of all Mr Budgett's proceedings
as a man of business. It appeared strongly in his relations to his
subalterns and working-people. Though a strict disciplinarian, and not
to be imposed upon in anything, he was so humane and liberal towards
all around him, that they served him as much from love as duty. He has
discharged men for misconduct or disloyalty, and afterwards pensioned
their families till they got other employment. His liberality in
supporting charitable institutions, and relieving private cases of
distress, knew hardly any bounds; but, at a fair computation, it has
been estimated at about L.2000 a year.

Observing one of his men looking for some time very melancholy, he
called him up, and inquired into the cause. 'The sickness of his wife
had entangled him in debt; he could not eat, he could not sleep; his
life was a misery to him, and he had exclaimed with a pathos that sunk
deep into my dear relative's tender heart: "Master, I am in debt;
every time I go near the river, something bids me fling myself into
it, telling me there's water enough to rid me of all my troubles; and
that if I don't, I shall be sent into the prison there for debt!"

'Deeply affected, he inquired of the poor man the names of his
creditors, the amount of their respective claims, and the peculiar
circumstances which had led to the contraction of each liability.
Having ascertained these particulars, and perfectly satisfied himself
that the man had not forgotten the precept of the society of which he
was a member--"Not to contract debt without at least a reasonable
prospect of discharging it"--he asked him whether freedom from these
liabilities would restore to him peace of mind. The question was
answered by a sort of sickly smile, which seemed to indicate a perfect
despair of such a consummation. "Well, come," said the master, "I
don't think things are quite so bad, ----, as they appear to be to
you. See here, my poor fellow, you owe ---- pounds: it's a very large
sum for a man like you, to be sure; and if you had run into debt to
anything like this amount through extravagance, or even
thoughtlessness, I should have regarded it as an act of dishonesty on
your part, and I _might_ have felt it right to discharge you. But you
are to be pitied, and not to be blamed. Cold pity alone goes for
nothing, so let us see how you can be helped out of your troubles.
Now, do you think your creditors, considering all the circumstances,
would take one-half, and be satisfied? Here's Dr Edwards--his bill is
the heaviest; if we can get him to take one-half"----

"One-half, master!" exclaimed the poor man, "but if they _would_ take
half, where's the money to come from? I 'arn't got a shilling in the
world but what's coming to me Friday night; and when I take my wages
now, I 'arn't any pleasure in looking at the money, because it 'arn't
my own; it should go to pay my debts, and I'm obliged to use it to buy
victuals. I think in my heart I shall ne'er be happy again."

'Still more sensibly affected by the poor man's manner the longer the
interview lasted, my kind-hearted relative begged him not to distress
himself any more; he said that a Friend of his had given him a sum
that was quite equal to one-half his debts, bade him return to his
work, order a horse to be put into harness as he passed through the
yard, and brought round in ten minutes; and told him to be sure to
make himself as happy as he could till he saw him again. He
immediately drove round to every creditor the poor man had, compounded
with them for their respective claims, and obtained their receipts in
full discharge. On his return, the poor man's stare of bewilderment
was indescribable. He watched his master unfold the receipts one by
one without uttering a syllable; and when they were put into his hand,
he clutched them with a sort of convulsive grasp, but still not a word
escaped him. At length he exclaimed: "But, master, where's the money
come from?"

"Never do you mind that, ----," was the reply; "go home, and tell your
wife you are out of debt; you are an independent man. I only hope the
creditors have felt something of the satisfaction in forgiving you
one-half your debt to them, that we know God feels in forgiving our
debts to him for Christ's sake: I have said that much to all of them."

'But the puzzling question had not yet been answered, and again it was
put: "But, master, where's the money come from?"

"Well, well, I told you a FRIEND had given it to me for you. _You_
know that Friend as well as I do. There now, you may leave your work
for to-day: go home to your wife, and thank that Friend together for
making you an independent man. But stay, ----, I had almost forgotten
one thing. I called to see Mr P---- as I drove through Stoke's Croft;
I told him the errand that had carried me away from home all day, and
he gave me a sovereign for you to begin the world with."

'The poor fellow was too much affected to say anything more. The next
morning, however, he appeared again, but after a most complete failure
in a valorous attempt he made to express his thanks, he was obliged to
leave the counting-house, stammering out that "both he and his wife
felt their hearts to be as light as a feather."'

Mr Budgett was, by family connection, a Wesleyan, and at all periods
of his life under a strong sense of religion. He had even acted as a
lay-preacher. It was his custom to have all the people of his
establishment assembled for religious exercises every morning before
proceeding to business. He was active as a Sunday-school teacher, and
assisted with his purse and his own active exertions in every effort
to Christianise the rude people of Kingswood. When he became a
highly-prosperous man, he had a good country-house and a handsome
establishment; but wealth and its refinements never withdrew him from
familiar personal intercourse with his people. Neither did it ever in
the least alienate him from his many humble relations. His conduct,
indeed, in all these respects was admirable, and well entitled him to
be, what he was, the most revered man of his neighbourhood and
kindred. At his death, the expression of mourning was widely spread,
as if the whole population had felt in his loss the loss of a friend.

The volume which supplies us with these particulars and extracts, is a
very interesting one; yet we could wish to see it abridged of some
portion of the long episodes, in the style of pulpit discourses, with
which the author has thought proper to expand it. If properly
condensed, and the details of the life presented given perhaps in
somewhat better order, so as to explain more clearly the steps of Mr
Budgett's rise as a merchant, the work might become a _vade-mecum_ for
the young man of business, exhibiting to him a model of character and
conduct such as could not but exercise a good influence over his
future career.

FOOTNOTES:

[2] _The Successful Merchant_: Sketches of the Life of Mr Samuel
Budgett, late of Kingswood Hill. By William Arthur, A.M. Hamilton,
Adams, & Co. London: 1852.



PET BIRDS OF INDIA.


It is said, that when women addict themselves to vice of any kind,
they carry it to extravagance, and become far worse than bad men. In
like manner, when the natural softness and amiability of the Hindoo
character yield to the temptations of luxury and dominion, the
individual grows into a tyrant as cruel and odious as any of those
depicted in history. This apparent discrepancy has given rise to many
speculative mistakes; but, in our opinion, it is as certain that the
mass of the Hindoos are gentle and kindly in their nature, as it is
that the mass of women are so. It is a curious thing to see the
gallant sepoy on a march, attended by his pet lambs, with necklaces of
ribbons and white shells, and ears and feet dyed of an orange colour.
But even wild creatures are at home with the kindly Hindoo. Fluttering
among the peasants threshing corn in a field, are flocks of wild
peacocks, gleaning their breakfast; and in the neighbourhood of a
village, a traveller can hardly distinguish between the tame and wild
ducks, partridges, and peacocks. 'There is a fine date-tree,' says a
recent writer, 'overhanging a kind of school, at the end of one of the
streets in the town of Jubbulpore, quite covered with the nests of the
baya bird; and they are seen every day, and all day, fluttering about
in scores, while the noisy children at their play fill the street
below, almost within arm's reach of them.'

Almost all the natives of India are fond of rearing pet birds; and
the pet is, more frequently than otherwise, a parrot, which is prized
for its conversation. The same taste prevailed, we are told, in the
fifteenth century, in the city of Paris, where talking-birds were hung
out almost at every window. The authority says, that this was attended
with rather an awkward result. 'Leading the public life they did, in
which they were exposed to every sort of society, the natural morality
of the birds was so far lost, that they had become fluent in every
term of reproach and indecency; and thunders of applause were elicited
among the crowd of passengers by the aptness of their repartees.' In
India, the taste is the same, but the habits different; a sketch of
which we furnish from our Old Indian. The carpenter, she tells us,
while planing the plank, which he holds between his toes, amuses
himself by talking to his parrot. The shoemaker, while binding his
slippers, or embroidering his rich velvet shoes, for the feet of some
sable beauty, pauses every now and then, to listen to the chattering
of his pet. The _guala_, on returning home, after disposing of his
butter or buttermilk, first takes up some bamboo twigs, one of which
is appropriated to each customer, and marking, by a notch with a
knife, the quantity disbursed to each, turns, as a matter of course,
to his favourite parrot, and either listens to the recital of his
previous lessons, or begins to teach him some fresh invocation to some
score of gods and goddesses. These men seldom condescend to teach
their favourites anything else; but should a lady be the owner, the
parrot's lessons are more varied, and more domestic in their
character. He is taught to call his mistress 'mother,' and himself
'Baba mittoo' (sweet child.) He is sometimes instructed to rail at her
neighbours, and sometimes to scold the children; and thus she lives in
sweet companionship with her bird, feeding him with steeped grain,
rice and milk, sugar-cane and Indian corn. Of the two last he is
exceedingly fond.

India abounds in a variety of parrots and perroquets, the names of
many of which I have forgotten; but the generic name is _Tota_. The
more common are the _kudjlah_, _teeah_, and _pahari_. These learn to
speak glibly, being generally taken out of the nest before they are
fully fledged. Crutches of various kinds are selected for the poor
captive, the most ingenious of which is made of a single joint of
bamboo, the two ends being formed into cups--the middle part being
cut, and then bent and arched over the fire; the perch being formed of
a straight piece of bamboo, which joins the two cups below. A hook
fastened to the top of the arch enables the owner to suspend it from
the thatched ceiling of his hut; and thus the parrot swings about,
listening to his master's pious ejaculations. At dusk, many of these
men may be seen parading through the bazaar, with their pets in their
hands, the latter loudly vociferating that Brahma is the greatest of
gods, or that Krishna and Radha were a loving couple; and so on. I
have often been amused at this mode of displaying religious zeal and
pious adoration.

Should you penetrate into the more crowded parts of the bazaar, you
might happen to see the taste of the bird-fancier displayed after a
different, but, I am happy to say, exceptional fashion. A shop may
sometimes be found having a square space enclosed with a railing, with
a divan in the middle, for the accommodation of the master and his
visitors. On this railing a number of birds are perched, many of them
little tame bulbuls; these are detained by a ligature, passing over
the shoulders of the bird, and tied under the breast, leaving his
wings and legs free. The bulbul, though not the bird known by that
name in Persia, is a pretty songster; but he is as desperate a fighter
as a gamecock. Those, therefore, who delight in cruel sports, bring
their little pets to these shops, where no doubt birds of the best
mettle are to be found; and on the result of a battle, money and
sweetmeats are lost and won, while many a poor little bird falls a
sacrifice to its master's depraved taste. The tiny _amadavad_, with
his glowing carmine neck, and distinct little pearly spots, may also
occasionally be seen doing battle; he fights desperately, though he
also warbles the sweetest of songs.

The affluent Hindoo Baboo or Mohammedan Nawab, among other luxuries,
keeps also his aviary. In these may be seen rare and expensive
parrots, brought from the Spice Islands. They delight also in _diyuls_
and _shamahs_. The latter is a smaller bird than our thrush, but
larger than a lark; his breast is orange, the rest of his plumage
black, and in song he is equal to our black-bird. The diyul also sings
sweetly; he is about the same size as the shamah, his plumage black,
with a white breast, and white tips to his wings. A well-trained bird
of either kind sells for about ten rupees, and twenty will be given
for a cuckoo from the Nepaul hills. A Baboo whom I knew had several
servants to look after his aviary, one of whom had to go daily in
search of white ants and ants' eggs for his insectivorous charge; for
the shamah and diyul are both insect-eaters.

Some of the _Minas_ (Gracula), of which there are several kinds in
India, articulate as distinctly, and are as imitative, as the parrots.
One of these birds was once brought as a present to my little girl.
The donor took his leave, assuring us that the bird was a great
speaker, and imitated a variety of sounds. This I found to be too
true, for I was awakened by him next morning at dawn of day. He had
evidently been bred in the neighbourhood of the hospital, and also
initiated into the mysteries of the parade. He coughed like a
consumptive patient, groaned like one in agony, and moaned as if in
the last extremity. Then he would call a 'halt!' and imitate the
jingling of the ramrods in the muskets so exactly, that I marvelled
how his little throat could go through so many modulations. I was soon
obliged to banish him to a distance from the sleeping-apartments, for
some of his utterances were anything but suggestive of soothing or
pleasurable sensations.

The hill mina, a mountaineer by birth, seldom lives long in
confinement in lowland districts. After having endeared himself to his
master and his family by his conversational powers and imitative
qualities, he is not unfrequently cut off suddenly by a fit, and
sometimes expires while feasting on his bread and milk or
pea-meal-paste, or perhaps when he has only a few minutes before been
calling out loudly his master's name or those of the children. The
hill mina is a handsome bird, a size larger than our black-bird; he is
of one uniform colour--a glossy black, like the smoothest Genoa
velvet, harmonising beautifully with the bright yellow circle of skin
round his eyes, his yellow beak and yellow legs.

The grackle or salik, which is a great favourite in the Isle of
France, has been correctly enough described in _Partington's
Cyclopædia_. It is a gregarious bird, greatly enlivening the aspect of
the grassy meadows at sunset, when his comrades assemble in large
flocks, and having picked up their last meal of grubs and
grasshoppers, resort for shelter to a neighbouring avenue, where they
roost for the night. The grackle is a tame and familiar bird, and will
sometimes build its nest close to the habitation of man. I have seen
one on the top of a pillar, under the shelter of a veranda; and
occasionally an earthen-pot is placed for its accommodation in the
fork of a neighbouring tree. Though their brood may be constantly
removed, they will return, year after year, to the same nest,
expressing, however, their discontent and distress when robbed, by
keeping up for some days a loud and querulous chattering.

Those who dwell on the banks of the Ganges may sometimes see, during
the rainy season, a large boat floating past, having a raised cabin,
like a Bengalee hut, constructed of mat and straw. From the
multiplicity of cages inside and outside, it may be gathered that here
are fresh supplies for the bird-fancier--captives from the hills of
Rajmahal and Moryheer. The constant fluttering among the inmates of
the crowded cages, and their mournful and discordant notes, indicate
that they are anything but a happy family--that they have been only
recently caught, and are not yet habituated to confinement. They are
soon, however, disposed of at the different stations or towns at which
the boat anchors, and become in due time the solitary and apparently
happy pets I have already described.

I need only add, that there is no lack of pretty little bird-cages in
the Far East, constructed very tastefully by the neat-handed natives,
and sold for two or three annas.



JUVENILE ENERGY.


In December 1807, W.H. Maynard, Esq., was teaching a school for a
quarter in the town of Plainfield, Massachusetts. One cold, blustering
morning, on entering his schoolroom, he observed a lad he had not seen
before, sitting on one of the benches. The lad soon made known his
errand to Mr Maynard. He was fifteen years old; his parents lived
seven miles distant; he wanted an education, and had come from home on
foot that morning, to see if Mr Maynard could help him to contrive how
to obtain it. Mr Maynard asked him if he was acquainted with any one
in the place. 'No.' 'Do your parents know any one here?' 'No.' 'Can
your parents help you towards obtaining an education?' 'No.' 'Have you
any friends that can give you assistance!' 'No.' 'Well, how do you
expect to obtain an education?' 'I don't know, but I thought I would
come and see you.' Mr Maynard told him to stay that day, and he would
see what could be done. He discovered that the boy was possessed of
good sense, but no uncommon brilliancy; and he was particularly struck
with the cool and resolute manner in which he undertook to conquer
difficulties which would have intimidated common minds. In the course
of the day, Mr Maynard made provision for having him boarded through
the winter in the family with himself, the lad paying for his board by
his services out of school. He gave himself diligently to study, in
which he made good but not rapid proficiency, improving every
opportunity of reading and conversation for acquiring knowledge: and
thus spent the winter. When Mr Maynard left the place in the spring,
he engaged a minister, who had resided about four miles from the boy's
father, to hear his recitations; and the boy accordingly boarded at
home and pursued his studies. It is unnecessary to pursue the
narrative further. Mr Maynard never saw the lad afterwards. But this
was the early history of the Rev. Jonas King, D.D., whose exertions in
the cause of Oriental learning, and in alleviating the miseries of
Greece, have endeared him alike to the scholar and the philanthropist,
and shed a bright ray of glory on his native country.



LITERARY CIRCLES OF LONDON.


The society of the literary world of London is conducted after this
wise:--There are certain persons, for the most part authors, editors,
or artists, but with the addition of a few who can only pride
themselves upon being the patrons of literature and art--who hold
periodical assemblies of the notables. Some appoint a certain evening
in every week during the season, a general invitation to which is
given to the favoured; others are monthly; and others, again, at no
regular intervals. At these gatherings, the amusements are
conversation and music only, and the entertainment is unostentatious
and inexpensive, consisting of tea and coffee, wine or negus handed
about in the course of the evening, and sandwiches, cake, and wine at
eleven o'clock. Suppers are prohibited by common consent, for
costliness would speedily put an end to society too agreeable to be
sacrificed to fashion. The company meets usually between eight and
nine, and always parts at midnight.--_The Critic_.



THE SKY-LARK'S SONG.


    It comes down from the clouds to me,
      On this sweet day of spring;
    Methinks it is a melody
      That angel-lips might sing.

    Thou soaring minstrel! wingèd bard!
      Whose path is the free air,
    Whose song makes sunshine seem more bright,
      And this fair world more fair!

    I ask not what the strain may be,
      Thus chanted at 'Heaven's gate'--
    A hymn of praise, a lay of joy,
      Or love-song to thy mate.

    Vain were such idle questioning!
      And 'tis enough for me
    To feel thou singest still the notes
      Which God gave unto thee.

    Thence comes the glory of thy song,
      And therefore doth it fall,
    As falls the radiance of a star,
      Gladdening and blessing all!

    Oh! wondrous are the living lays
      That human lips have breathed,
    And deep the music men have won
      From lyres with laurel wreathed:

    But there's a spell on lip and lyre,
      Sweet though their tones may be--
    Some jarring note, some tuneless string,
      Aye mars the melody.

    The strings sleep 'neath too weak a touch,
      Or break, 'neath one too strong;
    Or we forget the master-chord
      That should rule all our song.

    When shall our spirit learn again
      The lay once to it given?
    When shall we rise, like thee, sweet bird!
      And, singing, soar to heaven?

                                    FANNY FARMER.



DOG-SELLING EXTRAORDINARY.


Two ladies, friends of a near relative of my own, from whom I received
an account of the circumstance, were walking in Regent Street, and
were accosted by a man who requested them to buy a beautiful little
dog, covered with long, white hair, which he carried in his arms. Such
things are not uncommon in that part of London, and the ladies passed
on without heeding him. He followed, and repeated his entreaties,
stating, that as it was the last he had to sell, they should have it
at a reasonable price. They looked at the animal; it was really an
exquisite little creature, and they were at last persuaded. The man
took it home for them, received his money, and left the dog in the
arms of one of the ladies. A short time elapsed, and the dog, which
had been very quiet, in spite of a restless, bright eye, began to shew
symptoms of uneasiness, and as he ran about the room, exhibited some
unusual movements, which rather alarmed the fair purchasers. At last,
to their great dismay, the new dog ran squeaking up one of the window
curtains, so that when the gentleman returned home a few minutes
after, he found the ladies in consternation, and right glad to have
his assistance. He vigorously seized the animal, took out his
penknife, cut off its covering, and displayed _a large rat_ to their
astonished eyes, and of course to its own destruction.--_Mrs Lee's
Anecdotes of Animals_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed and Published by W. and R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh.
Also sold by W.S. ORR, Amen Corner, London; D.N. CHAMBERS, 55 West
Nile Street, Glasgow; and J. M'GLASHAN, 50 Upper Sackville Street,
Dublin.--Advertisements for Monthly Parts are requested to be sent to
MAXWELL & Co., 31 Nicholas Lane, Lombard Street, London, to whom all
applications respecting their insertion must be made.





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