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Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 444 - Volume 18, New Series, July 3, 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. 444 - Volume 18, New Series, July 3, 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. 444. NEW SERIES.   SATURDAY, JULY 3, 1852.   PRICE 1-1/2_d._



THE ART SEASON.


Returning with the circling year, and advancing _pari passu_ with the
multitude of metropolitan musical attractions, comes the more silent
reign of the picture exhibitions--those great art-gatherings from
thousands of studios, to undergo the ultimate test of public judgment
in the dozen well-filled galleries, which the dilettante, or lounging
Londoner, considers it his recurring annual duty strictly to inspect,
and regularly to gossip in. As places where everybody meets everybody,
and where lazy hours can be conveniently lounged away, the exhibitions
in some sort supply in the afternoon what the Opera and parties do in
the evenings. Nearly all through the summer-day, they are crowded with
a softly-rustling, humming, buzzing crowd, coming and going perhaps,
taking little heed of the nominal attraction, but sauntering from room
to room, or ensconcing themselves in colonies or clusters of chairs,
and lounging vacantly in cool lobbies. At energetic sight-seers, who
are labouring away, catalogue and pencil in hand, they stare
languidly. They really thought everybody had seen the pictures; they
know they have: they have stared at them until they became a bore. But
this sort of people, who only come once, why, of course, they suppose
this sort of people must be allowed to push about as they please. But
it is a confounded nuisance; it is really.

The great army of art amateurs, connoisseurs, and the body who are
regarded in the artistic world with far greater reverence--the noted
picture buyers and dealers, have come and seen, and gone away again;
after having lavishly expended their approbation or disapprobation,
and possibly in a less liberal degree, their cash. After the first
week or so, the galleries begin to clear of gentlemen of the class in
question; even artists have got tired of coming to see their own
pictures, particularly if they be not well hung; and so the exhibition
is generally handed over during the greater part of its duration to
the languid _far niente_ elegant crowd we have seen thronging its
corridors. The grand day for the moneyed amateurs, who come to
increase their collections, is, however, that of the private view.
This generally occurs on a Saturday, and the public is admitted on the
following Monday. Within an hour of the opening on the former day, the
rooms are crowded with a multitude of notabilities. You see that you
are in a special class of society, or rather, in two special
classes--literary and artistic on the one hand; wealthy and socially
elevated on the other. The fact is evident in the general mutual
acquaintanceship which prevails, principally within each respective
circle, but by no means exclusively so. First, you are sure to observe
a cluster of those peers and members of parliament who busy themselves
most in social, literary, and artistic questions. Bishops, too, are
regular private-view men; capital judges, moreover, and liberal
buyers; and we seldom miss catching a glimpse of some dozen faces,
whose proprietors are men standing at the very top of our historic,
philosophic, and critical literature, and who move smilingly about,
amid the keen but concealed inspection of the crowd, who pass their
names in whispers from group to group.

But the class of regular picture-buyers is quite _sui generis_. You
may pitch upon your man in a moment. Ten to one, he is old, and has
all the shrivelled, high-dried appearance of the most far-gone and
confirmed bachelorism. Everything about him looks old and
old-fashioned. His hair is thin and gray, and he shuffles along on a
couple of poor old shanks, which will never look any stouter unless it
be under the influence of a fit of the gout. He wears a white
neckcloth, arranged with the celebrated wisp-tie--shoes a great deal
too big for him--and to his keen, twinkling eyes he applies a pair of
heavy horn or silver-set glasses. These old gentlemen appear to know
each other as if by magic. They cluster in groups like corks in a
basin of water, and then go hobbling eagerly along, peering closely
into the more promising works, jerking their heads from side to side,
so as to get the painting in as many lights as possible; and full of
talk--good critical talk--about the productions in course of
inspection. True, there may be something in their observations
speaking too much of the technical, and too little of the more ideal
faculty. They are greater upon flesh-tints and pearly grays, middle
distances and chiaroscuro, than upon conception, expression, or
elevation or magnificence of sentiment. Nevertheless, they know
thoroughly what appertains to a good picture. They give a work its
place in a moment, and assign it to its author by internal evidence,
with an unfailing accuracy, which speaks of long training and constant
familiarity with all the main studios of London. Perhaps you observe
one of our friends apparently fascinated before a particular canvas:
he dances about, so as to get it in every angle of light. Then he
shuffles off, and brings two other skilful old foggies, holding each
by an arm; and the three go through the former ceremony as to the
lights, and then lay their heads together; and then our original
personage glides softly up to the table where the secretary's clerk
sits with pen and ink before him, and whispers. The clerk smiles
affably--turns up a register: there are two or three confidential
words interchanged; and then he rises and sticks into the frame of the
lucky picture a morsel of card, labelled 'Sold;' and leaves the
purchaser gloating over his acquisition.

And where do these pictures go? Frequently to some quiet, solemn old
house in the West End, or to some grange or manor far down in the
country. The picture-gallery is the nursery of that house--its pride
and its boast. Year after year has the silent family of canvas been
increasing and multiplying. Their proprietor is, as it were, their
father. He has most likely no living ties, and all his thoughts and
all his ambitions are clustered round that silent gallery, where the
light comes streaming down from high and half-closed windows. The
collection gradually acquires a name. Descriptions of it are found in
guide-books and works upon art. Strangers come to see it with tickets,
and a solemn housekeeper shews them up the silent stairs, and through
the lonesome mansion to its _sanctum sanctorum_. At length, perhaps,
the old man takes his last look at his pictures, and then shuts his
eyes for ever. It may be, that within six weeks the laboriously
collected paintings are in a Pall-Mall auction-room, with all the
world bidding and buzzing round the pulpit; or it may also chance that
a paragraph goes the round of the papers, intimating that his
celebrated and unrivalled collection of modern works of art has been
bequeathed by the late Mr So-and-so to the nation--always on the
condition, that it provides some fitting place for their preservation.
The government receives bequests of this kind oftener than it complies
with the stipulation.

In the beginning of March, the first of the galleries opens its
portals to the world. This is the British Institution, established at
the west end of Pall-Mall, and now in existence for the better part of
a half century. The idea of the establishment was to form a sort of
nursing institution for the Royal Academy. Here artists of standing
and reputation were to exhibit their sketches and less important
works; and here more juvenile aspirants were to try their wings before
being subjected to the more severe ordeal of Trafalgar Square. The
idea was good, and flourished apace; so much so, that you not
unfrequently find in the British Institution no small proportion of
works of a calibre hardly below the average of the Great Exhibition;
while the A. R. A.'s, and even the aristocratic R. A.'s[1] themselves,
do not by any means disdain to grace the humble walls of the three
rooms in Pall-Mall. This year, the only picture of Sir Edwin
Landseer's exhibited--a wild Highland corry, with a startled herd of
red deer--is to be found in the British Institution. But the merit of
the works is wonderfully unequal. They are of all classes and all
sizes, in water-colour and in oils. Clever sketches by clever
unknowns, rest beside sprawling frescos by youths whose ambition is
vaster than their genius; and finished and accomplished works of art
are set off by the foils of unnumbered pieces of unformed and not very
promising mediocrity. Among them are the productions of many of the
more humble painters of _genre_ subjects--the class who delight in
portraying homely cottage interiors, or troops of playing children, or
bits of minutely-finished still life--or careful academical studies of
groups with all the conventions duly observed: this class of pictures
musters strong, and connoisseurs, without so much remarking their
imperfections, carefully note their promise.

A month after the opening of the British Institution, three galleries
become patent on the same morning: the Old Water Colour, in Pall-Mall
East, the New Water Colour, in Pall-Mall West, and a still more
recently founded society, called, somewhat pompously, the National
Institution of Fine Arts. These are mainly composed of dissenters from
the other associations--gentlemen who conceive that they have been
ill-treated by Hanging Committees, and a large class of juvenile but
promising artists, who resort to the less crowded institutions in the
hope of there meeting with better places for their works than in the
older and more established bodies. The two water-colour galleries are
both highly favoured exhibitions, and present works of an importance
quite equal to those of the Academy itself. Water-colour painting is
indeed a national branch of art in England. Neither French, Germans,
nor Italians, can presume for a moment to cope with us in the matter
of _aquarelles_. They have no notion of the power of the medium, of
the strong and rich effects it is capable of producing, and the
transparency of the tints which a great water-colour artist can lay
on. Nearly twenty years ago, there was but one water-colour society;
but increasing numbers, and the usual artistic feuds, produced a
partly natural, partly hostile, separation. The ladies and gentlemen
who withdrew were mainly figure painters; those who stayed were mainly
landscape artists; and thus it happens, that while in the new society
you are principally attracted by historic and _genre_ groups and,
scenes, in the old you are fascinated by landscape and city pictures
of the very highest order of art. The painters, too, you observe, are
very industrious. The fact is, they can work more quickly in water
than in oil. Copley Fielding will perhaps exhibit a score of
landscapes, blazing with summer sunshine; David Cox, half as
many--stern and rugged in tone and style; George Tripp will have
painted his fresh river and meadow scenes by the dozen; and the two
brothers Callum will each have poured in old Gothic streets and
squares, and ships in calm and storm, which catch your eye scores of
times upon the walls. As in the other society, many of the finest
'bits' contributed by the water-colourists are not much above
miniature size. The screens on which these gems are hung attract fully
as much as the walls with their more ambitious freight; and Jenkin's
rustic lasses, and Topham's Irish groups, and Alfred Fripp's dark-eyed
Italian monks and Campagna peasants, are as much gazed at as
Richardson's sunny landscapes or Bentley's breezy seas.

Five minutes' walk takes us to the new society. No lack of landscape
here; but it is inferior to that in the rival institution, and its
attractions are eclipsed by ambitious pictures of historic or
fictitious interest; the scene almost always laid in the picturesque
streets or rooms of a mediæval city, and the groups marvels of display
in the matter of the painting of armour, arms, and the gorgeous
velvets, minivers, and brocades of feudal _grande tenue_. See Mr
Edward Corbould. He is sure to be as picturesque and chivalrous as
possible. There is the very ring of the rough old times in his
caracoling processions of ladies and knights, or his fierce scenes of
hand-to-hand fight, with battered armour, and flashing weapons, and
wounded men drooping from their steeds. Or he paints softer
scenes--passages of silken dalliance and love; ladies' bowers and
courtly revels in alcoved gardens. Mr Haghe is equally mediæval, but
more sternly and gloomily so. He delights in sombre, old Flemish
rooms, with dim lights streaming through narrow Gothic windows, upon
huge chimney-pieces and panellings, incrusted with antique figures,
carved in the black heart of oak--knights, and squires, and priests of
old. Then he peoples these shadowy chambers with crowds of stern
burghers, or grave ecclesiastics, or soldiers 'armed complete in
mail;' and so forms striking pieces of gloomy picturesqueness.
Figure-paintings of a lighter calibre also abound. There is Mr John
Absolon, who is in great request for painting figures in panoramic
pictures; Mr Lee, whose graceful rural maidens are not to be
surpassed: Mr Warren, whose heart is ever in the East; and Mr Mole,
who loves the shielings of the Highland hills. Landscape, though on
the whole subordinate to _genre_ pictures, is very respectably
represented; and the lady-artists usually make a good show on the
screens, particularly in the way of graceful single figures, and the
prettinesses of flower and fruit painting.

We can merely mention the Society of British Artists and the National
Institution of Fine Art. Both are mainly composed of the natural
overgrowth of artists who prefer a speedy and favourable opportunity
for the display of their works in minor galleries, to waiting for
years and years ere they can work themselves up to good positions on
the walls of the Academy. Many of these gentlemen, however, exhibit
both in the smaller and the greater collection; but here and there an
artist will be found obstinately confining his contributions to one
pet establishment--possibly entertaining a notion that he has been
deeply wronged by the Hanging Committee of another.

Both of the exhibitions under notice are very various in merit; but
each generally contains some able works, and the specialties of one or
two painters distinguished by notable peculiarities. Thus the
president of the British Artists, Mr Hurlstone, has for several
seasons confined himself to Spanish subjects; Mr West paints Norwegian
landscape; Mr Pyne sends to this gallery only his very splendid
lake-pictures; and Mr Woolmer's curious sketches, which seem
compounded of the styles of Turner and Watteau, blaze almost
exclusively upon the walls. The best men of the National Institution
contribute also to the Royal Academy--as, for example, Mr Glass, with
his capital groups of hunters or troopers, so full of life and
movement; and Mr Parker, with his smugglers and coast-boatmen. In this
exhibition--and, indeed, in all the London exhibitions--a family, or
rather a race or clan of artists, connected at once by blood and
style, and rejoicing in the name of Williams, abound and flourish
exceedingly. These Williamses are dreadful puzzlers to the students of
the catalogue; they positively swarm upon every page, and the
bewildered reader is speedily lost in a perfect chaos of
undistinguishable initials. Sometimes, indeed, the Williamses come
forth under other appellations--they appear as Percies and Gilberts;
but the distinguishing mark is strong, and a moment's inspection
convinces the amateur that the landscape before him, attributed to Mr
So-and-so, is the work of 'another of these everlasting Williamses.'

But the first Saturday of May arrives, and with it many a rumour, true
and false, of the state of matters within the Royal Academy--of the
academicians who exhibit, and of what are to be 'the' pictures. From
early morning, St Martin's bells have been ringing, and a festival
flag flies from the steeple; no great pomp, to be sure, but it marks
the occasion. About noon, the Queen's party arrives, and Her Majesty
is conducted about the rooms by the leading members of the Academy.
Between one and two, she departs; and immediately after, the crowd of
ticket-holders for the private view cluster before the closed
gratings. Punctually as the last stroke of the hour strikes, the
portals are flung open, and a cataract of eager amateurs rush up the
staircases, and make their way straight to the inner room, or room of
honour, all in quest of _the_ picture, to which the _pas_ has been
given, by its being hung upon the line in the centre of the eastern
wall of the apartment. The salons fill as by magic; in half an hour,
you can hardly move through a crowd of dignitaries of all
kinds--hereditary, social, literary, scientific, and artistic.
Perhaps, indeed, there is no muster in London which collects a greater
number of personages famous in every point of view. The ladies of the
aristocracy swarm as at a drawing-room. The atmosphere is all one
rustle of laces and silks; and it is anything but easy to make one's
way among the bevies of clustered beauties who flock round their
chaperone, all one flutter of ribbons, feathers, and flowers. And to
the Academy, at all events, come all manner of political notabilities:
you find a secretary of state by your elbow, and catch the muttered
criticism of a prime-minister. Ordinary peers and members of
parliament are thicker than blackberries. Bishops prevail as usual;
and apropos of ecclesiastical costumes, peculiar looped-up beavers and
single-breasted greatcoats, the odds are, that you will be attracted
by the portly figure and not very refined face of the Romish dignitary
whose pretensions, a couple of years ago, set the country in a blaze.
The muster of literary men is large and brilliant. Mr Hallam is most
likely there as Professor of Ancient History to the Academy; and Mr
Macaulay as Professor of Ancient Literature. Sir George Staunton puts
in an appearance as Secretary for Foreign Correspondence; and blooming
Sir Robert Harry Inglis, with the largest of roses at his button-hole,
looks the most genial and good-humoured of 'antiquaries.' The
Academicians--lucky Forty!--muster early. Happy fellows! they have no
qualms of doubt, or sick-agonies of expectation as they mount the
broad flight of steps. They have been giving hints to the Hanging
Committee, or they have been on the Hanging Committee themselves. Well
they know that _their_ works have been at least provided for--all on
the line, or near it; all in the best lights; and all titivated and
polished up and varnished on the walls, and adapted, as it were, to
the situation. You may know an R. A. on the private view-day by the
broad, expanding jollity of his visage, if he be a man of that stamp,
or by a certain quiet, self-satisfied smile of self-complacence, if he
be a man of another.

But he looks and bears himself as a host. He cicerones delighted
parties of lady-friends with his face all one smile of courtesy, or he
does the honours with dignity and a lofty sense of--we do not speak
disrespectfully--of being on his own dunghill, in respect to the more
important exigeant connoisseurs, whom he thinks it right to patronise.
He always praises his brethren's works, and discovers in them hidden
virtues. For the Associates, he has minor smiles and milder words. The
ordinary mob of exhibiters he looks down upon with a calm and
complacent gaze, as though from the summit of a Mont Blanc of
superiority. At any bold defier of the conventions and traditions of
the Academy drawing-school, he shakes his head. The pre-Raphaelite
heresy was a sore affliction to him. He looked upon Millais and Hunt
as a Low-church bishop would regard Newman and Pusey. He prophesied
that they would come to no good. He called them 'silly boys;' and he
looks uneasily at the crowds who throng before this year's picture of
the Huguenot Couple--not recovering his self-complacency until his eye
catches his own favourite work, when he feels himself gradually
mollified, and smiles anew upon the world.

Not so the nameless artist, whose work of many toiling days, and many
sleepless nights, has been sent in unprotected to take its chance. He
knows nothing of its fate until he can get a catalogue. It may be on
the line in the east room; it may be above the octagon-room door; it
may not be hung at all. Only the great artistic guns are invited to
the private view, the rest must wait till Monday. Possibly a stray
catalogue puts him so far out of his pain on Sunday. If not, he passes
a feverish and unhappy time till the afternoon of Monday; and then,
first among the crowd, rushes franticly up stairs. We had an
opportunity the other day of seeing the result of a case of the kind.
The picture--a work of great fancy and high feeling, but deficient in
manipulative skill--the artist, a poet in the true sense of the word,
had spent months in dreaming and in joying over. He found it in the
dingiest corner of the octagon-room. His lip quivered and his chest
heaved. He pulled his hat further down on his face, and walked quickly
and quietly out.

We would gladly, indeed, see the octagon-room abolished. A picture is
degraded, and an artist is insulted, by a painting being hung in this
darksome and 'condemned cell.' The canvas gets a 'jail-bird' stamp,
and its character is gone. In France, at the Palais-Royal, the young
artists have a far better chance. After a stated time, the pictures,
which, as the best have primarily had the best places, change stations
with their inferiors; so that everybody in turn enjoys the advantages
of the brightest lights and the most favourable points of view.

No need, of course, of attempting even the most summary sketch of the
styles and ordinary subjects of the great painters who bear aloft the
banner of the British school of art--of Landseer's glimpses of the
Highlands; or Stanfield's skyey, breezy landscapes; of the quiet
pieces of English rural scenery--meadows, and woodland glades, and
river bits, fresh and rich, and green and natural--of our Lees, our
Creswicks, our Coopers, our Witheringtons, our Redgraves, our
Ausdills; of the classic elegance and elevated sentiment of groups by
our Dyces and our Eastlakes; of the abundance of clever _genre_
subjects--scenes from history or romance--poured in by our Wards, our
Friths, our Pooles, our Elmores, our Eggs; or of--last, not least--the
strange but clever vagaries of that new school, the pre-Raphaelites,
who are startling both Academy and public by the quaintness of their
art-theories, and the vehement intensity of their style of execution.
All the summer long, the world is free to go and gaze upon them. All
the summer long, the salons are crowded from morning till night--in
the earlier hours, by artists and conscientious amateurs, the humbler
sort of folks, who have daily work to do; in the later, by our old
friends, the staring, _insouciant_, lounging, fashionable mob, whose
carriages and Broughams go creeping lazily round and round Trafalgar
Square. And at parties and balls, and all such reunions, the
exhibition forms a main topic of discourse. Bashful gentlemen know it
for a blessing. Often and often does it serve as a most creditable
lever to break the ice with. The newspapers long resound with critical
columns apropos of Trafalgar Square. You see 'sixth notice' attached
to a formidable mass of print, and read on, or pass on, as you please.
But you distinctly observe, at any rate, the social and
conversational, as well as the artistic importance of the Royal
Academy; and you confess, that a London season would be shorn of its
brightest feature if you shut the gates of the National Gallery.

                                             A. B. R.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Associates Royal Academy, and Royal Academicians.



BILL WILLIAMS:

A STORY OF CALIFORNIA.


It was in the first flush of the Californian fever, when moderate
people talked of making one's fortune in a fortnight, and the more
sanguine believed that golden pokers would soon become rather common,
that the _Betsy Jones_ from London to New Zealand, with myself on
board as a passenger, dropped anchor in the bay of San Francisco, and
master and man turned out for the diggings. It is my impression that
not a soul remained on board but the surgeon, who was sick, and the
negro cook, who wouldn't leave him; and the first man I met on the
deck of the _Go-Ahead_ steamer, which took as up to Sacramento, was
our enterprising captain, clad in a canvas jacket and trousers, with
the gold-washing apparatus, two shirts, and a tin kettle, slung at his
back. The crew followed his example, and all the passengers. The
latter were some thirty men, from every corner of Britain, and of
various birth and breeding. There were industrious farm-servants and
spendthrift sons of gentlemen among them. Some had sailed with money,
to purchase land in the southern colony, some were provided only with
their hopes and sinews; but California was an irresistible temptation
to them all, and by general desire, they had come to try their luck at
the washing. We had mere boys and men of grizzling hair in our
company. Two were married, but they wisely left their wives in San
Francisco, where, having brought with them some spare blankets and
crockery, the ladies improvised a boarding-house, and I believe
realised more than their wandering lords. Nevertheless, we, one and
all, went up the broad river with loftier expectations than the
prudent among us cared to make public.

There was one who made no secret of his hopes. The man's name was Bill
Williams. I had had a loose acquaintance with Bill from school-time,
for we had been brought up in the same good town of Manchester, where
his father was a respectable tradesman, and his three brothers were
still in business. Many a town and many a trade had Bill tried to
little purpose. Never doing what his relatives could call well, he had
gone through a series of failures, which tired out both kinsmen and
creditors, and at length shipped for New Zealand, leaving a wife and
seven children to the care of the said three brothers, till he should
see how the climate agreed with him, and find a home for them. Bill
did not belong to the extended fraternity of scapegraces. He was
neither wild nor worthless, in the ordinary sense of those terms, but
there was a faith in him, the origin of which baffled his most
penetrating friends, that he was to get money somehow without working
for it by any of the common methods. Unlike many a professor of better
principles, Bill had carried that faith into practice. Under its
influence, he had engaged in every scheme for making fortunes with
incredible rapidity which coffee-house acquaintances or advertising
sheets brought to his knowledge. There was not a banking bubble by
which he had not lost, nor a mining company of vast promise and brief
existence in which he had not held shares. Uncompromisingly averse to
the jog-trot work of ordinary mortals. Bill was neither indolent nor
timid in his own peculiar fashion of seeking riches. He would have
gone up in a balloon to any height, or down in a diving-bell to depths
yet unsounded, had the promise been large enough; and there was
something so suitable to his inclinations in the Californian reports,
that he was the prime mover of our visit to San Francisco, and the
entire desertion of the ship. Strange to say, every man on board
believed in Bill; from the captain to the cabin-boy, they had all
listened to his tales. Where he had learned such a number, fortune
knows, concerning found treasures, and wealth suddenly obtained by
unexpected and rather impracticable ways. That was the whole circle of
Bill's literature, and going over it appeared his chief joy; but the
gem of the collection was a prophecy which a gipsy woman, whom his
mother met once in a country excursion, had uttered concerning
himself--that he should find riches he never wrought for, and leave a
great fortune behind him. In the faith of that prediction Bill had
lived; and it was a curious illustration of the sympathetic force
inherent in a firm belief, that both passengers and seamen, even those
who affected to laugh at the rest of what they called his wonderful
yarns, entertained a secret conviction in favour of that tale, and
felt secure of gold-gathering in Bill's company.

I am not certain that my own mind was entirely clear of a similar
impression, but the two among us who contemned loudest and believed
most devoutly, were the captain and his mate. They were brothers, and
of Jewish parentage; the rest of the family still hang about an
old-clothes and dyeing establishment in the neighbourhood of
Houndsditch. I made that discovery by an accidental glance at a torn
and mislaid letter before we left the Thames, and thought proper to
reserve it for private meditation. The relationship of the two was
kept a profound secret, for reasons best known to themselves; but to
the eye at least it was revealed by their striking resemblance, both
being small, spare, dingy-complexioned men, with keen, cunning eyes,
and faces that looked as hard and sharp as steel. Ever since they
first heard of the prophecy, they had half ridiculed, half flattered,
and kept remarkably familiar with Bill. That familiarity rather
increased as we went up the Sacramento. A goodly number we made on the
deck of the _Go-Ahead_, our only place of accommodation; and at length
we reached the new town, the golden city, which takes its name from
the river, christened in old times of Spanish voyaging by some
discoverer for his Catholic majesty, and which was to be the
metropolis of the diggings. When I first saw it, it consisted of some
hundred huts and tents, a large frame-house, in which an advertising
board informed us there was an ordinary, a gaming-table, and all
manner of spirits; and a timber wharf, somewhat temporarily put
together, at which we landed. Yet the city was rising, as cities rise
only in the western hemisphere: broad streets and squares were marked
out; building was going forward on all sides; while bullock-wagons,
canoes, and steamers, brought materials by land and water. The
enterprise and vagrancy of all nations were there, as we had seen them
at San Francisco; and those not engaged in building the town, were
going off in caravans to the gold-gathering.

We fraternised with a company of Americans, who said they knew 'a
bluff that flogged creation for the real metal,' and sold us two spare
tents and a wagon, at a price marvellous to ask or pay. Our journey
was not far. It led along the course of the Sacramento, and towards
evening we came in sight of the diggings. A strange sight it was for
one accustomed to London streets and shops. The Sacramento runs
through a great inclined plane, sloping from the hill-country to the
sea. Here and there, it is covered with low coppice or underwood; but
the greater part is bare and sandy, or sprinkled over with thin, dry
waving grass. As far as the eye could reach upon the plain, and up the
river-banks, the smoke of fires was rising from hut, tent, and
upturned wagon, which served for temporary dwellings. Groups of men
were hard at work in small trenches, and numbers more stood with pan
and cradle, washing out the gold in the shallow creeks of the river.
'Our location,' as the Americans called it, was an earthy promontory
jutting far out into the water. Close by its landward base we pitched
our tents, turned up our wagon--the bullocks that brought it belonged
to the Americans, who promised to sell us a share when they were
killed--and commenced operations. Digging out tenacious clay, and
washing its sandy particles for minute grains of gold, sleeping under
canvas at night, and living on half-cooked and not very choice
provisions, have little in them of interest worth relating. The first
thing that struck me, was the silence that prevailed among the
workers. In a district so populous, scarcely a sound was heard from
tent, trench, or river. Caravan after caravan, as it arrived, pitched
its tents, and fell to work in the same quiet fashion. A cynical
character might have attributed this to the absence of all feminine
faces, for in my time there was not a woman at the diggings.
Incredible as it may seem to the fair ones themselves, they were not
missed; but nobody missed anything except gold. Relations parted; old
comrades left each other with scarcely a leave--taking in search of
better gatherings; our American friends began to get tired of the
bluff that flogged creation; for although we were getting gold, it was
but little, and the more impatient spirits of our company departed
with them to find another.

I wondered that Bill did not join their company. He was long ago weary
of gold-washing; the work was too regular, and the returns far too
slow for him. He used to declare that shopkeeping was better; and it
is probable that most of us had similar convictions regarding the
vocations we had left in Britain; but except occasionally cooking for
the rest, smoking the tobacco he had providently brought with him, and
suggesting wild projects of digging down the bluff, and dredging the
river for lamps of gold, which, he said, all the grains we found came
off, Bill at last did nothing at all. With hard labour and harder
fare, we had collected some of us more and some less of the precious
dust; but nobody's fortune was yet made, and the rainy season set in.

The heavy rains confined us for days to the shelter of tent and wagon;
but the days were nothing to the nights, which on the banks of the
Sacramento are almost equinoctial throughout the year; and we had
neither coal nor candle. All the fuel that could be found was rather
too little for culinary purposes. Concerning the rest of our comforts,
there is no use in being particular; but at intervals between the
drowning showers, we were willing enough to come out and work, though
the muddy soil and the swollen river made our labour still harder, and
our profits less. The best service was done us by an honest Paisley
weaver, who had left his helpmate and two children at San Francisco,
in hopes of taking back, quite full, a strong chest, of some two
hundredweight capacity, which he had brought with infinite pains to
the diggings. He enlivened our wet leisure by repeating whole volumes
of Burns and Scott. Bill also returned to his wonderful stories,
though the captain and mate sneered at them more than ever; indeed,
they were by far the most discontented of the company, and an
unaccountable sort of distrust seemed growing between them and Bill.
At length, fever and ague began to thin the ranks of the gold-seekers;
we saw the working-parties around us diminish day by day, and graves
dug in the shadows of the low coppice. Our company kept lip amazingly,
perhaps because, according to the captain's counsel, we held but
little communication with other workers; but the want of the
buffalo-meat, which the Indian traders were accustomed to bring, was
much felt among us; and one day less rainy than usual, Bill Williams,
as the idlest, was sent up the river's bank, on their wonted track, to
look out for their coming. The rest were busy, and did not miss him;
but I thought he stayed long. The sky became unusually dark; great
clouds floated over us from the west, and then broke with a sudden
thunder-crash, which was renewed every five minutes with such rain and
lightning as I had never seen. We ran to our tents, and, when fairly
sheltered, Bill also arrived, wet to the skin, out of breath, and
looking terribly frightened. He said, hastily, that he had seen
nothing, and no word of the Indians; but the poor fellow began to
shiver as he spoke, and before evening the fever was strong upon him.

To keep the rest safe, he was quartered alone in a small hut which the
Americans had left us. It was a poor shelter, being built of turf, and
roofed with boughs and grass, but as good as any we had. There was no
surgeon among us, and handing him food or drink was deemed a perilous
business; but all his comrades had a sort of a liking for Bill, and,
besides, he was regarded as the palladium of the party. The fever was
not violent, though Bill raved at times, and all his wanderings were
after gold. I have heard him talk for half-hours together in a loud
whisper, as if communicating a secret to some very dull car,
concerning a pool among rocks, with glistening sands, and something
shining far down in a crevice. He was restless, too, and kept looking
out on the track of the Indians after they had come and gone. One
evening I observed him particularly so. The night fell with heavy
rain; we all took early to shelter, and slept so soundly, that Bill
was forgotten among us; but in the morning we found him lying wrapped
in his blanket, as thoroughly wet as if he had been dipped in the
river, while the hut remained quite dry. Where he had been, or under
what illusion of the fever, we could not learn, for he never spoke a
rational word after. The wet and exposure increased his malady
tenfold. He became fiercely delirious, and struck at whoever
approached him, swearing he would let nobody kill him for his gold.
The captain warned us all, that this was the most dangerous time for
infection; but I saw that he and his brother had got wind of
something, for their eyes were never off the hut.

Towards the second evening, Bill grew worse, his ravings became faint
and low, and he lay gathered up on a corner of his mattress. I had
placed a pitcher of water as near him as possible, escaping by chance
a blow which the poor soul struck at me in his feverish fury; but I
could not help thinking of him when we had all gone to rest. The night
was so still, that I could hear the rush of the river and the cries of
the night-hawks on its opposite bank; but being unable to sleep, I
crept out of the tent, and looked to Bill's hut. A smothered sound of
scuffling came from that direction, and stepping nearer, I saw by the
rising moon, which just then shone with extraordinary brightness, two
men struggling, as it seemed for life, in the narrow space between
Bill's bed and the door.

'If you don't give me the full half, I'll tell them all,' said the
voice of the captain's brother; but almost as he spoke, his antagonist
threw him heavily back. I knew it was upon poor Williams, for a low
moan reached my ear, and I sprang forward just in time to intercept
the victor, who stumbled over me as he rushed out, and a heavy bag
rolled from him. The next moment the other was at my side, and I stood
face to face with the captain and his brother in the broad moonlight.
The bag for which they had sneaked, and sinned, and scuffled, had
burst by the fall, and its contents--stones, gravel, and sand, with
some small sparkles of gold-dust amongst them--were scattered at my
feet. Both stood stupefied, and I stepped into the hut; but Bill was
dead, and growing cold, with his stiff hands stretched out, as if
clutching at something, and a wild expression of pain and anger in the
ghastly face, which lay turned up to the moon. Her light filled the
hut, and lay upon plain, and tent, and river. It was a glorious night,
such as sometimes shines in the gold-country. I woke up my comrades,
and told them what I had seen, but they all said: 'Poor Bill! How
could they help it? and it was a good thing that the captain and his
chum had been disappointed;' upon which every man composed himself
again to sleep.

Next morning, the captain and mate were gone with all their traps,
having joined, as we afterwards heard, a company returning to San
Francisco. We laid Bill beside the gold-seekers who rested in the
coppice, and our company broke up, and scattered away: some settled at
San Francisco; some went to the United States; and I, having collected
through so many hardships almost a pound of dust, returned to the
employment I had left in London with such high contempt. From an old
comrade, however, still located at the diggings, I heard by letter
that a party of Americans had made a great discovery of gold among
some rocks in a creek of the Sacramento, and that they had found,
sticking fast in a crevice close by, a small spade marked with the
name of Bill Williams, which the poor fellow had cut on the handle, as
I well remembered, in one of his many idle hours. This explained to me
Bill's long absence when he went to look for the Indians, his
after-anxiety, and where he had been in the delirium of the fever,
filling up that canvas bag which so fatally deceived the captain and
his brother. The last I heard of these worthies was, that they had
gone to the diggings in Australia; and I never see gold in any shape
without a recollection of their disappointment, and my own experiences
in California.



HYGIENIC CHANGE OF AIR.


The age of hygiene is rapidly approaching, when the exhibition of
drugs will be the exception instead of the rule in medical treatment.
For this reason, the effect of climate on disease is rising into a
subject of first-rate importance, and, no longer a prejudice or a
tradition, submits to the investigations of science. The chief recent
writers on what we already presume to call climatology, are Sir James
Clark in England, Schouw in Sweden, and Carrière in France; and now
there comes Dr Burgess, armed with the united authority of these
physicians, and with his own experience, to indoctrinate the public as
well as the profession. His book is of moderate size and price, and we
recommend it to all invalids, whether they are able to travel abroad,
or are confined by circumstances to their own country; but in the
meantime, as the subject is both new and interesting to general
readers, we propose giving them an inkling of what it contains.[2]

We do not mean that the subject of climate is new in itself:
it is only new in its treatment. We have all, from our earliest
youth, heard of the effects of climate; we have all been brought
up to believe in certain foreign places; and we have all observed that
when--consumption, for instance--approaches its last stage (rarely
before), it is shipped off, as a matter of course, for Italy or the
south of France. And, alas! we have all heard from the wan lips of the
stricken one excluded by poverty from the privilege of foreign travel:
'If I could but get to a warm climate, I should live!' Such notions,
right or wrong, depended exclusively upon habit or prejudice. Experience
had no effect upon them, any more than it had upon the orthodox course
of medicines which entitled the death of a patient to be considered
professionally legitimate. Sometimes, indeed, the venue was changed, and
one place became more fashionable than another to die in. Here the group
of English tombs grew gray and ancient, and there a new city of the
silent sprang up with the suddenness of an American emporium. But still
the cry was: 'A warm climate! Give us Italy, or we perish!'

But we need not say the cry _was_: it continues to this moment. Such
impressions are long of being dispelled; it takes a great many years
for the voice of doubt even to reach completely the public ear; and we
think it a privilege to be able to take such advantage of our wide
circulation as will give repining invalids to understand, that the
advantages of a foreign climate are closely limited by one portion of
the profession, and considered by another portion as highly
problematical, if not entirely visionary. This applies, however,
mainly to consumption; for the advantages of the climatic change are
seldom denied in dyspepsy, rheumatism, scrofula, and the tribe of
nervous diseases. Even in these, however, the locality chosen is
rarely a proper one. There are countries which, if they could only
obtain the stamp of fashion, would be invaluable to the invalid. 'The
climate of Norway, for example,' says Dr Burgess, 'is admirably
suited, during several months of the year, between the middle of May
and the middle of September, for certain forms of dyspepsy, lesions of
the nervous system affecting the mind, or that form of general
innervation which results from an overwrought brain, and diseases of
repletion. But Norway is little frequented, because it is not
fashionable, although it would be difficult to point out a more
appropriate occasional residence for the numerous class of invalids
just mentioned, than Christiania, with its picturesque environs,
sublime scenery, and clear and rarefied atmosphere.'

The non-professional predilection in favour of a warm climate for
consumption, may be referred, we suspect, to the analogy that exists
between the earlier stages of that disease and those of a common cold.
In fact, in most cases in this country, consumption is for a long time
styled a cold; then it becomes a bad cold; then a worse; till it is
impossible to withhold from it the more formidable name. A cold,
however, it should be considered, occurs as frequently in summer as in
winter; and in neither is it owing to the temperature, whether high or
low, but to the _atmospheric changes_. The warmer the weather is, the
greater will be the morbific effect of a cold draught of air. That a
warm climate _in itself_ is neither prevention nor cure in
consumption, may be inferred from the prevalence of the complaint in
all latitudes. In India and in Africa it is as rife as in any part of
Europe. By the Army Reports from Malta, we find that upwards of 30 per
cent. of the whole number of deaths throughout the year is caused by
phthisis. In Madeira, according to Dr Heineken, Dr Gourlay, and Dr
Mason, no disease is more common among the natives than pulmonary
consumption. At Nice, it is stated by Dr Meryon, more natives die
annually of consumption than in any town in England of the same amount
of population. In Genoa, one of the most prevalent and fatal of the
indigenous diseases is pulmonary consumption. In Florence, pneumonia
is marked by a suffocating character, and rapid progress towards its
last stage. In Naples, 1 death from consumption occurs in a mortality
of 2-1/3; while in the hospitals of Paris, where phthisis is
notoriously prevalent, the proportion is only 1 in 3-1/4. In short, in
all the celebrated sanatoria to which we fly for relief, we find the
disease as firmly established as at home.

If we examine the analogies presented by the history of the inferior
animals, we find no argument in favour of a foreign climate. The
fishes, birds, and wild beasts of one region, die in another. 'Man,
although endowed in a remarkable degree, and more so than any other
animal, with the faculty of enduring such unnatural transitions,
nevertheless becomes sensible of their injurious results. For familiar
illustrations of this influence, we have only to look to the
broken-down constitutions of our Indian officers, or to the emaciated
frame of the shivering Hindoo who sweeps the crossings of the streets
of London. The child of the European, although born in India, must be
sent home in early life to the climate of his ancestors, or to one
closely resembling it, in order to escape incurable disease, if not
premature death. Again, the offspring of Asiatics born in this country
pine and dwindle into one or other of the twin cachexiæ--scrofula and
consumption; and, if the individual survives, lives in a state of
passive existence, stunted in growth, and incapable of enduring
fatigue. If such extreme changes of climate prove obnoxious to the
health of individuals having naturally a sound constitution, how are
we to expect persons in a state of organic disease to be thereby
benefited? In fact, view the subject in whatever light we may, we must
eventually arrive at the natural and rational conclusion--that nature
has adapted the constitution of man to the climate of his ancestors.
The accident of birth does not constitute the title to any given
climate. The natural climate of man is that in which not only he
himself was born, but likewise his blood-relations for several
generations. This is his natural climate, as well in health as when
his constitution is broken down by positive disease, or unhinged by
long-continued neglect of the common rules of hygiene.' It is Dr
Burgess's theory, therefore, that when change is necessary, a
modification of the patient's own climate--that is to say, change of
air in the same climate--is more in accordance with the laws of
nature, and more likely to effect good, than a violent transition to
warmer countries.

With regard to the curability of this disease, there is now, we
believe, no doubt of the fact, although, unfortunately the process has
not yet come completely into the hands of the physician. That a cure
has frequently taken place, somehow or other, even in advanced stages
of pulmonary consumption, has been demonstrated by _post-mortem_
examinations; but nature herself seems, in these cases, to have been
her own doctor, for no mode of treatment of general applicability has
been discovered. Some think that the progress of tubercles may be
arrested in the first stage--others, that nothing can be effected till
the second. Some resort to the water-cure--others, to the still more
marvellous Spanish baths of Panticosa; and others, again, swear by
cod-liver oil. As to the last remedy, our author quotes the statements
of Dr Williams, 'that the pure fresh oil from the liver of the cod is
more beneficial in the treatment of pulmonary consumption than any
agent, medicinal, dietetic, or regimenal, that has yet been employed.
Out of 234 cases carefully recorded, the oil disagreed, and was
discontinued, in only 9 instances. In 19, although taken, it appeared
to do no good; whilst in the larger proportion of 206 out of 234, its
use was followed by marked and unequivocal improvement--this
improvement varying in degree in different cases, from a temporary
retardation of the progress of the disease, and a mitigation of
distressing symptoms, up to a more or less complete restoration to
apparent health. The most numerous examples of decided and lasting
improvement, amounting to nearly 100, have occurred in patients in the
second stage of the disease, in which the tuberculous deposits begin
to undergo the process of softening. The most striking instance of the
beneficial operation of cod-liver oil in phthisis, is to be found in
cases in the _third_ stage--even those far advanced, where consumption
has not only excavated the lungs, but is rapidly wasting the whole
body with copious purulent expectoration, hectic, night-sweats,
colliquative diarrhoea, and other elements of that destructive process
by which, in a few weeks, the finest and fairest of the human family
may be sunk to the grave. The power of staying the demon of
destruction sometimes displayed by the cod-liver oil is marvellous.'
Dr Burgess, however, although witnessing the same results even in
far-gone cases, limits their duration to a year or eighteen months,
after which the medicine lost its effect. Although the oil, therefore,
is serviceable through the process of nutrition, he considers it no
specific, and concludes on the subject thus: 'All that our present
knowledge enables us to state positively on the subject is this:
cod-liver oil is the most effectual stay to the progress of
consumption, in a great majority of cases, that we possess; this
salutary action is not always lasting, and there are cases in which
its administration cannot be borne, and others in which it produces no
good effects whatever. In those cases in which the stomach rejects the
pure oil, if it be given in combination with phosphoric acid, it will
generally be borne easily, and the acid will assist the tonic action
of the oil.'

The non-professional notion respecting the curative powers of climate
is, that by breathing a mild and soothing atmosphere, the phthisical
patient withdraws irritation, and leaves nature at liberty to effect
her own cure. But this, it seems, is entirely erroneous, inasmuch as
it is through the skin, not the lungs, that a warm climate acts
beneficially. When an atmospheric change takes place so as to produce
a chill, 'whereby the cutaneous transpiration is instantly checked,
the skin then becomes dry and hard, so that the respiratory organs
suffer from the excessive action they now undergo, for the matter of
transpiration must be eliminated through the lungs if the action of
the skin be interrupted.' This is illustrated by the instantaneous
relief usually afforded by free perspiration in cases where difficult
breathing and oppression of the chest have been occasioned by
artificial heat. What really soothes, therefore, is _equability_ of
climate, not high temperature. Some authors even think that a cold
climate is more suitable for consumption than a warm one, and point to
Upper Canada, with its pure, dry, tonic atmosphere, affording hardly
any trace of the complaint at all.

Here we might stop, as the nature of our work precludes our following
Dr Burgess in his exposition of the action of climate on the lungs and
skin; but it may be useful, and at any rate amusing, to trace his
iconoclastic progress through the popular shrines of Hygiea on the
continent.

Malta is a famous resort for phthisical patients, although during the
winter and spring the weather is cold and variable, and in autumn the
sirocco is frequent. When a sirocco has blown for some days, it lulls
suddenly, and is succeeded by an equally strong breeze from the
north-west, contrasting violently with the former in temperature and
everything else. The extremes of heat and cold are as great here and
in other places in the Mediterranean as in London. In Malta, our
author saw five or six cases of bronchitis, which in a single month
terminated in incurable phthisis; and in two cases, six weeks only
elapsed between the first signs of the tuberculous deposit and the
death of the patients.

Madeira, a still more popular sanatorium for this disease, is a
complete delusion. Instead of the climate being essentially dry, it is
saturated with humidity during a great part of the year; and the
peculiar sirocco of the place is of a hot, dry, irritating nature. An
intelligent medical author, who had resorted to Madeira for change of
air, remarks, that 'very frequent and remarkable variations in a given
series of years, incontestably prove that Madeira is no more to be
relied on than any other place for certainty of fine weather, and that
it has equally its annual variations of temperature.... From what has
been stated by writers, a person might be led to believe that disease
was scarcely known there; but I am afraid, that were the subject
thoroughly investigated, as it ought to be, few places would be found
where the system is more liable to general disorder; while, at the
same time, I suspect that the average duration of life would turn out
to be inferior to that of our own country.'

Our author knows no place more unfavourable to patients suffering from
organic diseases of the lungs, than the far-famed sanatoria--Aix and
Montpellier. The atmosphere is pure, but ever and anon keen and
piercing, and the _bise_ and _marin_--one cold and cutting, and the
other damp--irritate the lungs, and excite coughing. Add to this, that
Provence is proverbially the land of dust, and, what is worse, the
land of the _mistral_--a wind from the north-west, which carries
stones, men, and carriages before it. 'For several days in spring the
climate may no doubt be delicious, although, however, always too warm
about mid-day, when suddenly the mistral, of evil celebrity, begins to
blow. It is difficult to give an adequate idea of the change, or of
the injurious effects of the climate under the influence of this
scourge. The same sun shines in the same bright blue sky, but the
temperature is glacial. The sun is there only to glare and dazzle, and
seems to have no more power in producing warmth, than a rushlight
against the boisterous winds, which chill the very marrow in one's
bones. During the prevalence of this wind, it is impossible to stir
out of doors without getting the mouth and nostrils filled with dust.
All nature seems shrivelled and dried up under its baneful influence.'

Nice, likewise, is scourged by the mistral, which there, however,
divides its empire with winds from the north and north-east. 'But one
of the greatest vices characterising the climate of Nice, if not the
greatest, is the remarkable variation of temperature noticed between
day and night--in the sun and in the shade. The land or continental
winds prevail during the night; the southerly or maritime during the
day. The former are cold and dry; the latter, soft and humid. As soon,
therefore, as the former subside, and the sun rises in the horizon,
the humidity commences to shew itself in the atmosphere; whilst, on
the contrary, when the diurnal winds cease, and the sun sets, the
above hygrometric condition of the air disappears.' M. Carrière cannot
conceive why our countrymen prefer Nice to a milder climate, and
considers that the annual mortality in the English colony ought to
discourage other hectic invalids from going thither.

Central Lombardy is, in general, characterised by marshy swamps
poisoning the whole atmosphere with their miasmatic exhalations. The
meteoric influences are decidedly cold and variable; and the 'extremes
of temperature increase in proportion as we approach the valleys at
the foot of the Central Alps, especially those most distant from the
Adriatic coast.' This climate, our author tells us, cannot afford more
benefit to the consumptive than that of the fens of Lincolnshire, or
of the marshes of Holland. Brescia, Pavia, Mantua, and other Lombard
towns, also share in this character; and at Verona, Mr B. Honan
writes, that of all humbugs, the humbug of an Italian climate is the
most intolerable.

At Genoa, although the air is pure and transparent in fine weather, it
is liable to sudden gusts of wind and violent transitions dangerous to
the invalid.

'In no part of England could a climate be found more unfavourable for
consumptive invalids than that of Florence, a town built in a deep
ravine, almost surrounded by the Apennines, and intersected by a
squalid river.... Extreme cold in winter, great heat in summer, the
prevalence of the northerly winds, the chilling effects of which are
not always neutralised by the antagonistic winds, rapid and violent
transitions, profoundly affecting the system, even in healthy persons;
and combined with these violent atmospheric and thermal variations are
also, in similar proportions, hygrometric and electric ever-changing
influences.' Leghorn, the seaport of Tuscany, is built in a sunk
locality, in the midst of a marshy country. Beggars, galley-slaves,
assassins, smugglers, these are the picturesque portions of the
inhabitants; and the promenade is an arid beach, anything but soothing
to the respiratory organs. The English cemetery is a touching
spectacle, with its numerous monuments of brilliant marble; among
which stands conspicuous the tomb of Smollett.

Of Pisa, the grand central depôt of Italy for foreign consumptive
patients, Dr Burgess says: 'The excess of humidity and warm
temperature of the Pisan climate depress the vital force, induce an
overwhelming lassitude, and are, in my opinion, most unfavourable
elements in a climate so generally recommended for pulmonary
consumption. Whatever effect the humid mildness of the air may have in
diminishing excitability, and in allaying pulmonary irritation in
patients of a nervous temperament, it is decidedly injurious in those
of a feeble and lymphatic habit.... The delusion of an Italian
climate, as regards the cure or prophylaxis of tubercular consumption,
is in no part of that country, so delightful to persons in sound
health, more clearly portrayed than at far-famed Pisa. The stagnant
life, the death-like silence, the dreary solitude of this dull town,
whatever utility these elements may have in allaying the restless
irritability of nervous and excitable patients, always produce serious
evils upon those consumptive invalids of a melancholy turn of mind, or
whose spirit is broken by hope deferred. Brooding over their
melancholy condition, in a foreign land, away from the comforts of
home, without the solace and cheering influence of friends and
relations, they soon break down and perish.' M. Carrière and Sir James
Clark consider the climate of Rome adapted only for consumptive
patients in the first stage of the complaint; but Dr Burgess, after a
train of reasoning founded on scientific facts, comes to a conclusion
consonant with his own theory, that it is not adapted for consumption
in any stage or form whatever.

It is needless to follow our author to Naples, for this place is
admitted by all writers to be injurious in cases of pulmonary
consumption; but we may conclude this fragmentary survey by stating
that, according to Dr Burgess, the least injurious portions of Italy
are the Lake of Como and the city of Venice, _the air in neither of
them being warm, but in both equable_. Here we end as we began: 'It is
a mistake to suppose that a warm, humid, relaxing atmosphere can
benefit pulmonary disease. Cold, dry, and still air, appears a more
rational indication, especially for invalids born in temperate
regions.' It will be seen that our author differs occasionally from
both his great predecessors, Sir James Clark and M. Carrière; but even
in so doing, he has at least the merit of fairly opening out a most
important subject.

Let it be understood, that we have merely mentioned the nature of the
contents of this volume, without attempting to follow Dr Burgess
either in his reasonings or in the facts on which these are founded.
We have now only to recommend the work as one that will be found
highly interesting and suggestive, both by the medical and non-medical
reader.[3]


FOOTNOTES:

[2] _Climate of Italy in Relation to Pulmonary Consumption_: with
Remarks on the Influence of Foreign Climates upon Invalids. By T. H.
Burgess, M. D., &c. London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans. 1852.

[3] We print the above as we received it from a respectable
contributor, but without giving any opinion ourselves upon a subject
of which we are not qualified to judge.--_Ed. C. J._



THE DEVICE, OR IMPRESS.


If the various works of useful and ornamental art discovered in the
sepulchres of nations long since fallen into oblivion, were of no
other value, at the present day, than merely to be applied to the
purposes which they were originally intended to subserve; if they did
not elucidate the manners, customs, and progressional refinement of
men with passions and feelings similar to our own; the labour and
expense incurred by their exhumation would be thrown away. It is not,
then, for the intrinsic value of the specimens to be produced, neither
is it for any very particular admiration of the 'good old times,' but
to exhibit and illustrate a very general and exceedingly active phase
of our ancestors' minds, that, turning over the refuse materials of
history, we proceed to disinter, from their worm-eaten pages, the dead
and almost forgotten art of Device--an art that once claimed an
extensive literature, and canons of criticism, peculiarly its own.
From about 250 to 400 years ago, were the high and palmy days of this
'dainty art.' Then, the learned and subtile schoolmen of the age did
not disdain to write upon it, with ink scarcely dry upon the pens with
which they had been discussing the most abstruse dogmas of theology;
then, not unfrequently, the cureless curate, by the concoction of a
happy device for a generous patron, found himself a beneficed bishop.
Nor is such preferment to be wondered at. The qualifications
considered necessary to constitute a device-maker, were fully equal to
those which Imlac described to Rasselas as requisite to form a poet.
'Philosophy and poetry,' wrote Père le Moyne, 'history and fable, all
that is taught in colleges, all that is learned in the world, are
condensed and epitomised in this great pursuit; in short, if there be
an art which requires an all-accomplished workman, that art is
device-making.' Ruscelli says: 'It belongs only to the most exquisite
wits and best-refined judgments to undertake the making of devices.'
Yet, though the learned doctors of Padua, Wirtemberg, and the
Sorbonne, engaged in deep disquisitions on the emblematical
properties, natural and mythical, of cranes and crescents, sunflowers
and salamanders, pelicans and porcupines--the length and language of
mottoes--how the wind should be pictorially portrayed, with many other
equally weighty considerations, still the chivalrous knights of the
tournay, and the fair ladies of their _devoirs_, attained proficiency
in the art. Wolf of Wolfrath, the lute-player, records, that at a
grand tournament held at Vienna in 1560, crowns of laurel were awarded
to the knights who wore the wittiest devices, as well as to those who
excelled in feats of arms.

'But,' the reader very probably exclaims, 'what was this art of
device?'

It consisted in translating an idea into a symbol, and illustrating
that symbol by a tersely-expressed motto. 'The object of a device,'
according to the Lord of Fossez, 'was to express covertly, by means of
a picture and words, a conception of human wit;' and it was
distinguished from an emblem, inasmuch as the emblem demonstrated
something universal, whereas the device was peculiarly appropriate to
the person who wore it. The old writers glory in its antiquity, citing
many instances of its having been known and used by both Greeks and
Romans. Even during the dark ages it was not entirely lost; it merely
slumbered until the _renaissance_, and the invasions of Italy under
Charles VIII. and Louis XII., when it awoke to a vigorous existence.
Thus, though of much greater antiquity than heraldic blazonry, which
only dates from the time of the Crusades, it was not hereditary, could
be adopted or changed at pleasure, and did not define the rank of the
wearer. Shakspeare, who well understood the nature of the device,
distinguishes between it and armorial bearings in the passage where
Bolingbroke recounts his injuries:

    'Disparked my parks, and felled my forest woods;
    From my own windows torn my household coat,[4]
    Razed out my impress'----

The old heralds, however, looked upon the device with but little
favour. Camden sneeringly says, that 'Armes were most usual among the
nobility in wars till about some hundred years since, when the French
and Italians, in the expedition of Naples, beganne to leave armes,
haply for that many of them had none, and to bear the curtaines of
their mistresses' beddes, their mistresses' colours, as impresses in
their banners, shields, and caparisons.' Daniel, one of our earliest
English writers on the subject, is worth quoting for a definition of
the impress, and to shew the exclusive spirit of the age. He says:
'_Impresa_, used of the Italians for an enterprise taken in hand, with
a firm and constant intent to bring the same to effect. As if a prince
or captaine taking in hand some enterprise of war, or any other
perticulaire affaire, desirous by some figure and motto to manifest to
the world his intent, this figure and motto together is called an
impress, made to signify an enterprise, whereat a noble mind levelling
with the aime of a deep desire, strives with a steely intent to game
the prize of his purpose. For the valiant and hautie gentlemen,
disdayning to conjoine with the vile and base plebeians in any
rustique invention, have procured to themselves this one most
singulare.'

Paul Jovius, a celebrated Italian historian and bishop, in his
treatise on devices, says, that the figure or emblem, which he terms
the _body_ of the device, must be exactly fitted to the motto, which
he terms its _soul_; and though it should not be so obscure as to
require a sibyl to explain it, yet the motto ought to be in a foreign
or dead language, so that it may not be comprehended by the
vulgar--'such dainties not being intended for vulgar appetites.' The
human figure, also, should never be introduced into the emblem, and
the motto ought not to contain more than three or four words. These
rules, however, were not strictly adhered to, even by Jovius himself.
The treatise is written in the form of a dialogue between the bishop
and his secretary; its gossipping manner, quaint style, and the great
importance attributed to the subject-matter, remind us exceedingly of
the _Complete Angler_ of our old English friend Izaak Walton. As an
example of a perfect device, Jovius mentions one worn in the Italian
wars by Antonio Colonna, the friend of Michael Angelo. It represented
a branch of palm laid across a branch of cypress, with the motto,
_Erit altera merces_ (There will be another reward.) Another, highly
praised by the old device-writers 'for being of subtle invention, and
singular in outward view,' was assumed by a Spanish knight, Don Diego
Mendoza, to signify the slight encouragement he received from the fair
lady who was mistress of his affections. It represented a well, with a
circular machine for raising water, full buckets ascending and empty
ones going down, the motto, _Los llenos de dolor, y los vazios de
esperanza_ (The full one is grief; the empty, hope.) By the way, we
find a similar figure in _Richard II._, where the unfortunate monarch
says:

    'Now is this golden crown like a deep well,
    That owns two buckets, filling one another--
    The emptier ever dancing in the air,
    The other down, unseen, and full of water:
    That bucket down and full of tears am I,
    Drinking my grief while you mount up on high.'

Jovius also warmly commends a device worn by Edward Stuart, Lord of
Albany, a famous captain of tried valour in the French army, during
their Italian campaigns. Of the blood-royal of Scotland, being cousin
to James IV., he wore, as his arms, a lion rampant in a field argent;
and as his device, a buckle, with the motto, _Distantia jungit_;
'thereby implying that he was the bond which held united the kings of
France and Scotland, to countervail the forces of their natural enemy,
the king of England.'

A quaint bit of romance, in connection with a lady's device, is
perhaps worthy of notice. Hippolita Fioramonda excelled all the ladies
of her day in beauty and courtesy, and wore, as her device, moths,
embroidered in gold, on a sky-blue robe--a warning to the amorous not
to approach too closely the light of her beauty, lest, like moths
attracted by a lamp, they should be burned. There being no motto, one
of her admirers, the Lord of Lesui, a brave knight, famous for his
horsemanship, asked her for an explanation of such a singular and
imperfect device. She replied: 'It is to use the like courtesy to
gentlemen who call to see me, as you do to those who ride in your
company; you being accustomed to put on the tail of your horse a small
rattle, to make him more fierce in kicking, so as to warn any who may
approach you of the danger of his heels, thereby causing them to keep
aloof.' Notwithstanding this repulse, the knight persevered, though
unsuccessfully, in his suit, until he fell mortally wounded at the
battle of Pavia. Then the lady Fioramonda relenting, had him sought
for on the sanguinary field, and carried to her own house, where, to
his great contentment, he died in her arms. Such imperfect devices,
however, were considered unworthy of the name, unfit for men of
gravity, and suited but to make sport with ladies. Of this description
was that of Augustine Porco, a gentleman of Verona, who, being in love
with a lady named Bianca, wore in his scarlet cap a small, real, white
wax-candle, and perseveringly followed the lady to every place of
public resort she visited. To the inquiries of his friends respecting
this extraordinary device, he merely replied, that it signified
_Candela bianca_ (A white candle), and, consequently, doubts were
entertained of the eccentric gallant's sanity. At last, though love is
proverbially blind, the lady--probably she had a prompter--discovered
that the true meaning was _Can de la Bianca_ (The dog of Bianca), and
with her hand rewarded the ingenuity and perseverance of Signor Porco.

Through devices we obtain glimpses at the morals, as well as the
manners, of a foreign people and a bygone age. The amorous devices of
many ecclesiastical dignitaries afford a capital reason for the rule,
that the motto should not be comprehensible 'by the vulgar.' That of
Cardinal Medici, who loved the lady Julian Gonzago, was a comet
surrounded by stars, the motto, _Micat inter omnes_ (It shines among
them all), from the lines of Horace:

    Micat inter omnes Julium sidus
    Velut inter ignes luna minores.

The allusion to the star of Julius in connection with the lady's name
renders this device, in our opinion, rather neat and classical.

A still more startling sign of the times is exhibited by the
device-loving bishop. He relates that one Mattei, a man of noble
courage, when waiting with dissimulation and patience an opportunity
to murder a person by whom he had been insulted, applied to him
(Jovius) for an appropriate device; and the bishop, 'wishing to shew
that a noble mind has power to _digest_, with time, every grievous
injury,' designed an ostrich devouring a nail, with the motto,
_Spiritus durissima conquit_. Mattei wore the device, and ultimately
succeeded in assassinating his victim; and 'so much was this noble
revenge commended,' that the pope promoted the ruffian to be captain
of his guard--the family of the murdered man signing an agreement to
cancel all future quarrels.

Great care was requisite, when framing a device, lest any part of it
could be turned into ridicule by a witty or spiteful enemy. Charles
the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, bore a flint and steel, with the motto,
_Ante ferit quam flamma micet_ (As he strikes, the fire flashes); and
when defeated, and slain at the battle of Nancy, the day being cold,
with snow on the ground, his triumphant enemy, the Duke of Loreno,
said: 'This poor man, though he has great need to warm himself, has
not leisure to use his tinder-box.'

However puerile the 'art' may appear to us now, there can be little
doubt, that the construction of devices, as an incentive to the
acquisition of general knowledge, and as a kind of mental training,
was not altogether useless in its day, and formed a link, were it ever
so slender, in the development of the human mind. Estienne, a noted
French device-author, observes, that 'to express the conceptions of
our own mind in the most perfect device, there is nothing so proper,
so _gentile_, so powerful, or so witty, as the similitudes we discover
when walking in the spacious fields of Nature's wonderful secrets; for
the grace of a device, as well as the skill of him who makes it,
consists in discovering the correspondence of natural qualities and
artificial uses with our own thoughts and intentions.'

The old scholastic logic was freely employed in the arguments by which
the device-authors advanced their own opinions, or attacked those of
their contemporaries. Ammirato condemns the unphilosophical definition
of Jovius--that the emblem is the body, and the motto, the soul of a
device. With long, and, we must acknowledge, to us at least, not very
intelligible argument, he maintains, that 'the motto is the _major_
part of a syllogism, and the emblem the _minor_; from the conjunction
of which the conclusion is drawn.' Unprofitable and uninteresting are
these discussions. We shall, in preference, mention the canons of
device-criticism, which were of most general prevalence.

Comparison was considered an essential property of a perfect device.
Thus the Pillars of Hercules, with the motto, _Plus ultra_ (More
beyond), adopted by Charles V., in allusion to the Spanish discoveries
and conquests in America, and still to be seen on the coin of that
nation, was, by the connoisseurs, termed a mere conceit. The scholar's
two pens, with _His ad aethera_ (By these fame), being also devoid of
comparison, was equally inferior. Not more than three figures were
permissible in the emblem, unless the greater number were of the same
species. A device portraying an elephant, with a flock of sheep
grazing quietly around, the motto, _Infestus infestis_ (Hostile only
to the wicked), was strictly correct, as the sheep, being all of one
species, were recognised merely as one figure. Metaphor was not
allowed in the motto: a device faulty in this respect, represented a
ball of crystal, the motto, from Plautus, _Intus et in cute_ (The same
within and without); crystal being devoid of skin (_cutis_), the
expression was metaphorical. The introduction of negatives into the
motto was considered good: as a sundial, with _Ne aspiciatur non
aspicitur_ (Unless looked upon--by the sun--it is not esteemed, or is
of no use), a good device for a king's favourite; a flame of fire,
with _Nunquam deorsum_ (Never downwards); a gourd floating on a
stream, with _Jactor non mergor_ (Abandoned, but not sunk.) When the
motto was taken from a well-known classic, fewer words were required:
thus in a device representing a flame blown upon by the wind, with
_Lenis alit flammas, grandior aura necat_ (A gentle wind nourishes
flame, a stronger, extinguishes), the words, _grandior necat_ (a
stronger, extinguishes) would have been sufficient. Nice
discrimination was required in selecting the most suitable language
for a motto. According to Contile, the Spanish was most suitable for
love-matters; the Italian, for pleasant conceits; the Greek, for
fiction; and the Latin, for majesty. Household furniture, and
implements of husbandry, were considered improper subjects for the
emblem of a device; consequently, that of the Academia della Crusca
was set down as decidedly vulgar, it being a sieve, with _Il piu bel
fior ne coglie_ (It collects the finest flour of it)--a play on the
word _crusca_ (bran), assumed as the title of the Academy, from its
having been instituted for the express purpose of purifying (sifting)
the Italian language.

Objects that were not recognisable unless painted in colours, were
also inadmissible; thus the otherwise clever device of the Earl of
Essex--a rough diamond, with the motto, _Dum formas minuis_ (In
fashioning, you diminish), came under the censure of the critics. In
like manner, objects not easily distinguishable from others, were
liable to the same condemnation. The celebrated device assumed by Mary
Queen of Scots on the death of her first husband, Francis II.,
representing a liquorice-plant, with _Dulce meum terra tegit_ (The
earth covers my sweet), was pronounced faulty, because the
liquorice-plant could not be readily distinguished from other shrubs,
the roots of which wanted the property of sweetness so necessary to
give point to the device. Unnatural or chimerical figures could not be
admitted, excepting those to which tradition or classical authors had
given fixed forms and attributes--as the mermaid, harpy, phoenix;
consequently, a device representing a winged tortoise, the motto,
_Amor addidit_ (Love has added them), was improper. Qualities ascribed
to animate or inanimate bodies by the ancients, were considered
legitimate, though known by the moderns to be fictitious. Thus the
dolphin, from the story of Arion, appears in devices as the friend of
the distressed; the salamander, living in fire, typifies the strong
passions, natural, yet destructive to their victim; the young stork,
carrying the old one, illustrates filial piety; the crane, which,
according to Pliny, holds a stone in its claw to avert sleep, is a fit
emblem of watchfulness; the pomegranate, king of fruits, wears a regal
crown; the crocodile, symbol of hypocrisy, sheds deceitful tears. In
short, almost everything that was in the heavens above, in the earth
beneath, and in the waters under the earth, was seized by the
device-maker, and converted into a symbol of some virtue, vice, or
other quality of the mind. Nor was there only one emblem taken from
each object; by varying the circumstances, they were multiplied to an
enormous amount. Menestrier gives no less than 514 different devices,
founded upon the properties of the sun alone.

Though devices previous to the reign of Henry VIII. were seldom worn
in England, yet the insignia of the order of the Garter, instituted in
1350, in connection with its well-known motto and assumed origin, may
be considered a genuine device. The next earliest we meet with was
worn by Henry IV., and represented a blazing beacon, the motto, _Une
sans plus_ (One alone.) This motto has been termed inappropriate; but,
considering that beacons were always placed at considerable distances
from each other--one sufficing for a considerable district--we may
conclude that the usurping Henry implied, that there was only one king
in England, and that one was himself. Richard Duke of York, when he
took up arms against Henry VI., assumed, as his device, a sun, partly
visible only through thick clouds, with the motto, _Invitis nubibus_
(Obscured by clouds.) After his death, his son Edward, in consequence
of the success of the Yorkist cause, changed this device to a full sun
unobscured. This was the sun of York so frequently alluded to by
Shakspeare, and such a stumbling-block to his commentators. Henry
VIII., on the occasion of his visiting Francis I. at the field of the
Cloth of Gold, wore an English archer, dressed in Lincoln green,
drawing his arrow to the head, the motto, _Cui adhereo præest_ (He
whom I aid, conquers); a very significant intimation to Charles V. and
Francis, both of whom were anxious for Henry's alliance against each
other. Ann Boleyn wore a white-crowned falcon standing on a golden
stem, from which sprouted red and white roses, with the motto, _Mihi
et meae_ (To me and mine.) This device of the fair and unfortunate Ann
has survived to the present day. Now, emblematical of her fall, as it
was once of her high station, it is degraded to be the sign of an
ale-house, and known to the village topers as the _Magpie and Stump_!
'The gentle Surrey of the deathless lay,' one of the last victims of
the tyrant Henry, wore a broken pillar, with the motto, _Sat super
est_ (Enough remains.) One of the charges brought against him, when
arraigned for high treason, was for wearing this very device. Mary,
when she ascended the throne, wore a representation of Time drawing
Truth out of a well, with the words, _Veritas temporis filia_ (Truth
is the daughter of Time); and Cardinal Pole wore a serpent surrounding
the terrestrial globe, with the motto, _Estote prudentes_ (Be ye
cunning.) Both of those devices were very significant of the period
and of their wearers.

The romantic amusements of Queen Elizabeth raised the device to the
highest pinnacle of importance it ever possessed in this country,
Hentzner, a German traveller, who visited the palace of Whitehall in
1598, says, that he saw in her majesty's bedroom 'a variety of devices
on paper, cut in the shape of shields, with mottoes, used by the
nobility at tilts and tournaments, hung up there for a memorial.' As
to Elizabeth herself, Camden states, that the enumeration of the
various devices worn by her would fill a large volume. The generality,
however, of the devices of that reign were fulsome flatteries,
allusive to the Maiden Queen; such as--the moon, with the words, _Quid
sine te coelum?_ (What would Heaven be without thee?) or, Venus seated
on a cloud, with, _Salva, me Domina!_ (Save me, O lady!) The best of
the time was worn by the impetuous and ill-starred Essex, to signify
his grief on one of the occasions when he had lost the queen's favour.
It represented merely a sable field, surrounded by the words. _Par
nulla figura dolori_ (Grief cannot be painted.) The 'English Bayard,'
Sir Philip Sidney, does not appear to great advantage in his devices.
One, we presume intended to shew the steadfastness of his purpose,
represented the tideless Caspian Sea, the motto, _Sine refluxa_
(Without ebb.) Another of 'that famous soldier, scholar, and poet,'
throws a curious light on the manners of the age. Camden tells us that
Sir Philip, 'who was a long time heir-apparent to the Earl of
Leicester (his uncle), after the earl had a son born to him, used at
the next tilt-day following the motto, _Speravi_ (I had hoped), with a
dash across the word, thereby signifying that his hope was dashed.'
Would any gentleman now thus publicly express his disappointment at
such an event?

The pedantry of the first James was almost as favourable to devices as
the pageantry of Elizabeth; but the days of chivalry, the glories of
the _triumph_ and the tilt-yard, were fast passing away, while the new
arts of wood and copper-plate engraving were rising into eminence; and
consequently devices, instead of being worn singly on the shields and
trappings of knights and maskers, were soon found collected, and
seasoned with poetry on the pages of printed books. These books of
emblems, as they were termed, are by no means uninteresting; haply, at
a future time, we may have an opportunity of referring to them. The
early printers, we should observe, were the first who used devices on
paper, each having a distinguishing emblem and motto, which they
displayed on the title-pages of their works. We read of only one
device worn by James; it represented the Scottish thistle united with
red and white roses, the motto, _Rosas Henricus, regna Jacobus_,
implying that as Henry united roses, James united kingdoms. Though
foreign to our subject, we may mention here, as it is not generally
known, that it was James who removed the red dragon of the Tudors from
the royal arms, placing as a supporter in its stead the unicorn of
Scotland. We meet with only one device of the unfortunate Charles. It
represented a snake that had just cast its skin, the motto, _Paratior_
(More ready.) During the civil war, many mottoes and figures were
adopted by both the royalist and parliamentary parties, but few of
them can be termed regular devices. With the Restoration, a new
description of court amusement came into fashion, and the device soon
became a prey to 'dull forgetfulness.' Many emblems, however, were
then and subsequently assumed as crests, and a great number of mottoes
were taken to point the moral, if any, of heraldic blazonry. Though
repudiated and unrecognised by the strict herald, they are now
generally considered to be the particular property and distinguishing
ensign of certain surnames and families, and as hereditary as the
quaint and fanciful charges and quarterings of coat-armour itself.


FOOTNOTES:

[4] The armorial bearings or coat-armour of his house.



A COUNTRY WEDDING IN FRANCE.


No part of France, with the exception of Brittany, has preserved its
patriarchal habits, national character, and ancient forms of language,
more than Touraine and Berry. The manners of the people there are
extremely primitive, and some of their customs curious and
interesting. The following account is from the pen of a modern French
writer of great power of observation and description.

It was in winter, near the time of the carnival, a season of the year
when it is very customary to celebrate country weddings. In the
summer, there is seldom time, and the farm-work will not allow of a
three days' holiday, to say nothing of the slackened diligence which
is the unavoidable consequence of a village festival. I was seated
under the large kitchen chimney, when the firing of pistols, the
barking of dogs, and the squeaking sounds of the bagpipe, announced
the approach of the betrothed couple. Presently after, old Maurice and
his wife, with Germain and Marie, followed by Jacques and his wife,
the chief respective kinsfolk, and the godfathers and godmothers of
the betrothed, made their entrance into the yard.

Marie, not having yet received the wedding-presents, called _livrées_,
was dressed in the best attire of her simple wardrobe: a coarse dark
gown; a white handkerchief, with large flowers of gaudy colours; a red
calico apron; a snow-white muslin head-dress, the shape of which
called to mind the _coiffure_ of Ann Boleyn and Agnes Sorel. Marie's
features were fresh-looking, and lighted up with a smile, but without
any expression of pride, albeit she had some good reason for such a
feeling at this moment. Germain was grave and tender in his attentions
to his betrothed, like the youthful Jacob saluting Rachel at the wells
of Laban. Any other girl would have assumed an air of importance and
triumph; for in all classes of society, it is something for a girl to
be married for her sparkling eyes. But Marie's eyes glistened with
tears of emotion and love; you could see at a glance that she was too
deeply affected to be heedful of the opinion of others. Père Maurice
was the spokesman on the occasion, and delivered the customary
compliments and invitations. In the first place, he fastened to the
mantelpiece a branch of laurel ornamented with ribbons: this is called
the _exploit_--that is to say, the form of invitation. He then
proceeded to distribute to each of those invited a small cross, made
of blue and rose coloured ribbon--the rose for the bride, the blue for
the bridegroom; and the guests had to keep this token--the women to
deck their head-dress, and the men their buttonhole, on the day of the
wedding. This is their ticket of admission to the ceremonies.

Père Maurice, after making his compliments, invited the master of the
house and all his 'company'--that is to say, all his children, his
kinsfolk, his friends, and servants--to the benediction, to the
entertainment, to the feast, to the dance, and 'to all the rest;'
observing with the usual form of words: 'I have _done you the honour_
of bidding you to the wedding.'

Notwithstanding the liberality of the invitation carried thus from
house to house, through the whole parish, the natural politeness of
the peasants, which is remarkably discreet, prescribes that only two
persons of each family should avail themselves of the summons--the
head of the family and one of the children.

The invitations being concluded, the betrothed couple and their
relatives repaired to dinner together at the farmhouse, after which
Marie tended her three sheep on the common, and Germain went to work
in the fields, as if nothing had happened.

The day before that appointed for the wedding, at two o'clock in the
afternoon, the band of music arrived--that is to say, the _bagpipe_,
and the man with the _triangle_,--their instruments ornamented with
long floating ribbons, and playing a march for the occasion, somewhat
slow, indeed, for feet not indigenous to the country, but in perfect
harmony with the character of the soil and the up-and-down nature of
the roads in those parts. Some pistol-shots, fired by the young folks
and children, announced the commencement of the nuptials. The company
gradually assembled, and a dance was struck up on the grass-plot
before the house. At nightfall, strange preparations were begun, the
party separating into two bands; and when darkness closed in, they
proceeded to the ceremony of the _livrées_, or present-making.

This took place at the house of the bride--Mrs Guillette's cottage.
The good woman took with her her daughter; a dozen young and pretty
_pastourelles_, Marie's friends and relatives; two or three
respectable matrons, her neighbours, loquacious, quick of reply, and
rigid guardians of ancient usages; then she selected a dozen vigorous
champions from her kinsmen and friends; and lastly, the old
_chauvreur_ or flaxdresser of the parish, a man of eloquence and
address if ever there was one.

The part that in Brittany is played by the _bazvalan_ or village
tailor, is in our part of the country acted by the flaxdresser or
woolcomber--two professions which are often united. He is present at
all solemnities, gay or grave, being essentially a man of erudition
and a good speaker; and on these occasions he has always to act as
spokesman, and to execute well and worthily certain formularies of
speech, in use from time immemorial. His wandering profession, which
introduces the man into so many family circles, without allowing him
to fix himself in his own, naturally serves to render him talkative
and amusing, a ready story-teller, and an able man of song.

The flaxdresser is particularly sceptical. He and another rustic
functionary, of whom we shall speak presently, the grave-digger, are
always the _esprits forts_ of the place. They are so much in the habit
of talking of ghosts, and are so well acquainted with all the tricks
of which these evil spirits are capable, that they scarcely fear them
at all. It is especially in the night that all these worthies,
grave-diggers, flaxdressers, and ghosts, exercise their industry. It
is in the night also the flaxdresser relates his lamentable stories.
But he is no more than the sacristan addicted exclusively to the
pleasure of inspiring his auditors with fear; he delights in raising a
laugh; and is jocose and sentimental by turns, when he comes to speak
of love and Hymen. He is the man to collect and store up in memory the
most ancient songs, and to hand them down to posterity; and, as usual,
he was in the present instance the person charged with the
presentation of the wedding-gifts at the nuptials of Marie.

As soon as all were assembled in the house, the doors and windows were
closed with the greatest care; the very leucomb shutter of the granary
was barricaded; planks, trussels, and tables were put up across all
the points of egress, as if one was preparing to sustain a siege; and
within this fortification reigned a solemn silence of expectation,
until from a distance were heard singing, laughter, and the sound of
rustic instruments. These were the bridegroom's band, Germain at its
head, accompanied by his stoutest companions, the grave-digger,
kinsfolk, friends, and servants, who formed a joyous and solid
_cortège_.

As they approached the house, however, they slackened their pace,
consulted together, and were silent. The young girls, shut up in the
house, had contrived to find little slits in the windows, through
which they watched the procession as it arrived, and formed in order
of battle. A fine chilly rain fell, which added to the excitement of
the situation, whilst a large fire crackled and blazed on the hearth
within doors. Marie would gladly have shortened the inevitable
slowness of this state of siege: she did not at all like to see her
betrothed dawdling about in the wet and cold; but she had no voice in
the affair--nay, she had even to share ostensibly in the cruelty of
her companions.

When the two camps were thus pitched in face of one another, a
discharge of firearms from the party without doors set all the dogs in
the neighbourhood in commotion: those belonging to the house flew to
the gate, barking loudly; and the little children, whom their mothers
vainly endeavoured to quiet, fell to crying and trembling with fear.
The grave-digger, the bard and orator of the bridegroom, now stationed
himself before the door, and in a pitiable voice began a dialogue with
the flaxdresser, who was at the garret-window over the same door.

_Grave-digger._ Hollo! my good folks, my dear neighbours, for mercy's
sake open the door.

_Flaxdresser._ Pray who may you be; and how come you to take the
liberty of calling us your dear neighbours? We don't know you.

_G._ We are honest folks in trouble. Don't fear us, my friends, but
bestow your hospitality on us. The sleet falls fast, our feet are all
frozen, and we have come such a distance that our shoes are worn out.

The flaxdresser inquires sharply who they are, and receives various
ridiculous answers. At length the besiegers say--

_Grave-digger._ Well, then, if you'll not listen to reason, we shall
enter by force.

_Flaxdresser._ Try, if you like. We are strong enough not to fear you;
and as you are insolent, we shall not answer you any more.

So saying, the flaxdresser slammed to the wicket with a bang, and went
down a ladder into the room below. He then took the bride elect by the
hand, and the young folks joining them, all fell to dancing and
shouting gaily, whilst the matrons of the party sang with shrill
voices, and amidst shouts of laughter, at the people outside, who were
attempting the assault. The besiegers, on their side, pretended rage;
they fired their pistols at the doors, set the dogs barking, rattled
the shutters, thumped the walls, and uttered loud cries.

The garrison at last seemed to manifest some desire to capitulate; but
required as a condition that the opposite party should sing a song. As
soon as the song was begun, however, the besieged replied with the
second line; and so long as they were able to do this, they were safe.
The two antagonists were the best hands in the country for a song, and
their stock seemed inexhaustible. Once or twice the flaxdresser made a
wry face, frowned, and turned to the women with a disappointed look.
The grave-digger sang something so old that his adversary had
forgotten it, or perhaps had never known it; but instantly the good
woman took up the burden of the song with a shrill voice, and helped
their friend through his trouble. At length the party of the bride
declared they would yield, provided the others offered her a present
worthy of her. Thereupon began the song of the _Wedding-gifts_, to an
air as solemn as a church psalm, the men outside singing bass in
unison, and the women answering from within in falsetto. In twenty
couplets at least the men enumerate all the wedding-presents, and the
matrons at length consent that the door should be opened.

On this being arranged, the flaxdresser instantly drew the wooden
spigot which fastened the door on the inside--the only fastening known
in most of the dwellings in our village--and the bridegroom's band
rushed in, but not without a combat, for the lads who garrisoned the
place, even the old flaxdresser and the ancient village dames,
considered it their duty to defend the hearth. The invaders were armed
with a goose stuck upon a large iron spit, adorned with bouquets of
straw and ribbons, and to plant this at the fire was to gain
possession of the hearth. Every effort was of course made to attain
this object. Now came a veritable battle, although the combatants did
not come to actual blows, and fought without any anger or ill-will.
But they pressed and pushed one another so closely, and there was so
much emulation in the display of muscular power, that the results
might have been more serious than they appeared amidst the singing and
laughter. The poor old flaxdresser, who fought like a lion, was pinned
to the wall, and squeezed until he could hardly get breath. More than
one hero was rolled in the dust, more than one hand was withdrawn
bleeding from an attack on the spit. These sports are dangerous, and
in consequence of the occurrence of serious accidents, our peasants
have resolved to drop them. The enormous iron spit was twisted like a
screw before it was at length flung across the fire-irons, and the
conquest achieved.

There was now no lack of talk and laughter. Each one exhibited the
wounds he had received; but as they were in many cases given by the
hand of a friend, nobody complained. The matrons cleaned the
stone-floor, and order was re-established. The table was covered with
pitchers of new wine. 'When they had all drunk together, clinking
their glasses, and had taken breath, the bridegroom was led into the
middle of the room; and, furnished with a ring, he had to undergo a
new trial.

During the contest, the bride had been concealed, with three of her
companions, by her mother, her godmother, and her aunts, who had
seated the four young girls on a bench, in a corner of the room, and
covered them with a large white cloth. The three girls had been
selected of the same height as Marie; and this cloth veiling them from
head to foot, it was impossible to distinguish one from another. The
bridegroom was only allowed to touch them with the end of his switch,
to point out which he guessed to be his bride. If wrong, he could not
dance with the latter that evening, but only with the one he had
selected in error.

The party then separated, to re-assemble at eight o'clock the next
morning. At the appointed time, after a breakfast of milk-soup, well
peppered to stimulate the appetite--for the nuptial-feast promised to
be a rich one--all assembled in the farmyard. A journey of several
miles had to be performed to obtain the nuptial benediction. Germain
mounted the gray mare, which had been new shod and decked with ribbons
for the occasion; the bride rode behind him; whilst his
brother-in-law, Jacques, was mounted on the old gray, with the
grandmother. The joyous cavalcade set out, escorted by the children on
foot, who kept firing pistols and making the horses start. Mrs
Maurice, the mother, seated with the children and the village fiddlers
in a cart, opened the procession to the sounds of the little band of
music.

A crowd was gathered at the _mairie_ and the church to see the pretty
bride. We must describe her dress, it became her so well. Her clean
muslin cap, embroidered all over, had lappets trimmed with lace; a
white kerchief, modestly crossed in front, left visible only the
delicate outline of a neck rounded like that of a dove; her dress of
fine green cloth set off her pretty figure; and she wore an apron of
violet silk, with the _bavette_ or bib, which the village lasses have
since then foolishly given up.

At the ceremony of the _offrande_, Germain, according to custom,
placed the _treizaine_--that is to say, thirteen pieces of silver--in
the hand of his bride, and slipped on her finger a silver ring of a
peculiar form, which had existed unchanged for ages, but which has now
been replaced by the _alliance d'or_.

We pass over the ceremony of the wedding. The party remounted their
steeds, and returned home at a rapid pace. The feast was splendid, and
lasted till midnight, interspersed with song and dance. The old folks
did not quit the table for fourteen hours. The grave-digger
superintended the _cuisine_, and filled his part to admiration; in
fact, he was famous in this line, and between the services, he left
his cooking and joined in the dance and song. He was strong, fresh,
and gay as a lark. On leaving a wedding-party, he would go and dig a
grave, or nail down a coffin--a task of which he acquitted himself
with pious care.

We now come to the third and most curious day of the nuptials, which
is still strictly observed. As the ceremony of the _livrées_ is the
symbol of taking possession of the heart and home of the bride, that
of the _chou_ is the type of the fecundity of marriage. After
breakfast the next morning, this performance commenced--a custom of
ancient Gallic origin, which became gradually a sort of Mystery or
Morality of the middle ages. Two lads disappear during the breakfast,
go and dress themselves up, and then return, accompanied by music,
dogs, children, and firing of pistols. They represent a couple of
beggars--husband and wife--covered with rags: they are called the
gardener and his wife (_le jardinier_ and _la jardinière_), and give
out that they have the charge and the cultivation of the sacred
cabbage. The man's face is bedaubed with soot and wine-lees, or
sometimes covered with a grotesque mask. A broken pot or an old shoe,
suspended to his belt with a bit of string, serves him to beg for and
collect the offerings of wine. No one refuses; and he pretends to
drink, and then pours the wine on the ground, in token of libation. He
now feigns to be tipsy, and rolls in the mud; whilst his poor wife
runs after him, reproaching him pathetically, and calling for help. A
handbarrow is now brought, on which is placed the gardener, with a
spade, a cord, and a large basket. Four strong men carry him on their
shoulders. His wife follows on foot, and the old folks come after with
a grave and pensive air; then the nuptial procession march two by two
to the measure of the music. The firing of pistols recommences, the
dogs bark more loudly than ever at the sight of the gardener thus
borne in triumph, and the children jeer him as he passes. The
procession arrives at the bride's dwelling, and enters the garden.
There a fine cabbage is selected--a matter which is not effected in a
hurry, for the old folks hold a council, each one pleading for some
favourite cabbage. Votes are taken; and when the choice is made, the
gardener ties his cord round the stalk, and retreats to the further
end of the garden, whilst the other actors in the comedy--the
flaxdresser, the grave-digger, the carpenter, and the shoemaker--all
stand round the cabbage. One digs a trench, advances, recedes, makes a
plan, spies at the others through a pair of spectacles; and, in short,
after various difficulties and mummeries, the gardener pulls the cord,
his wife spreads her apron, and the cabbage falls majestically amidst
the hurrahs of the spectators. The basket is then brought, the two
gardeners plant the cabbage in it with all sorts of precautions; fresh
earth is put round its root, it is propped with sticks, and carefully
tied up. Rosy apples on the end of sticks, branches of thyme, sage,
and laurel are stuck all round it, and the whole is decked with
ribbons and streamers. The trophy is then replaced on the handbarrow
with the gardener, who has to hold it upright, and prevent any
accident. Lastly, the procession leaves the garden in good order, and
to a measured march. On coming, however, to the gate, and again when
they enter the court-yard of the bridegroom's house, an imaginary
obstacle opposes their passage. The bearers of the burden stumble,
raise a great outcry, draw back, advance again, and, as if repelled by
some invincible force, pretend to give way under their load. Meantime
the bystanders keep exclaiming, to excite and encourage the bearers:
'Bravo!' 'Well done, my boys!' 'Courage!' 'Have a care!' 'Patience!'
'Stoop now; the gate is too low!' 'To the left--now to the right!'
'Look sharp now!' 'Now you're through!'

On reaching the court-yard of the bridegroom, the cabbage is lifted
off the barrow, and carried to the highest point of the house--whether
a chimney, a gable, or a pigeon-house. The gardener plants it there,
and waters it with a large pitcher of wine, whilst a salvo of
pistol-shots, and the joyous contortions of the _jardinière_, announce
its inauguration. The same ceremony is immediately recommenced:
another cabbage is removed from the bridegroom's garden, and carried
with the same formalities to the roof of the house which his wife has
just quitted. These trophies remain there, until the wind and rain
destroy the baskets, and carry away the plants; but they generally
remain long enough to verify the predictions of the village dames,
that ere their removal, the new-married couple shall be blessed with a
pretty little addition to their domestic happiness.

The day is far advanced when these ceremonies are accomplished, and
all that remains, is to escort with music the parents of the young
couple to their homes. There they have a dance, and all is over.



NOBLE INSTANCE OF TURKISH GENEROSITY AND HONESTY.


I happened, a short time ago, to be in company with a retired
shipmaster in Liverpool, who, after spending forty-five years of his
life chiefly in command of vessels from that port, had retired to
enjoy the fruits of a well-deserved competency. The conversation
turned upon the difficulty, nay, almost the impossibility, of being
able, in this highly-civilised and _moral_ country, in the ordinary
business of life, to trust only to the _word_ or _honour_ of the
contracting parties. The Ancient Mariner fully agreed with me in my
opinions, and said, that during a long intercourse with his species in
every quarter of the globe, the only men he had met with whose words
were equal to their bonds, or whose _honesty_ would stand the test of
being trusted with untold gold, were--_the Turks_. On my expressing
surprise at this unqualified encomium in favour of a set of men on
whom, as a nation, we have generally been accustomed to look with
distrust and suspicion, the old gentleman said: 'I will give you an
account of the circumstances which first led me to form this opinion,
and leave you to judge for yourself;' and added, that during an
occasional intercourse with them, extending over a period of twenty
years, he had had it only the more strengthened and confirmed. He then
said: 'It is now upwards of thirty years since I had, for the first
time, any intercourse with the Mediterranean: our vessel was chartered
to Constantinople; and one of the principal owners, a Liverpool
merchant, was aboard acting as his own supercargo. Although it was
_my_ first acquaintance with the Turks, it was not _his_, as the
sequel will shew.

'As we approached our destination, we availed ourselves of the
customary aid of one of the local pilots; but he who on this occasion
undertook the responsibility, proved but an inexperienced guide; and
from some mistake in his bearings, ran the vessel upon a sandbank,
from which every effort to dislodge her, laden as she was, proved
unavailing. We were on a bleak part of the coast, and not more than
half a mile from the shore, although a considerable distance from our
destined port. It was necessary, therefore, to take out several
boat-loads of the cargo, and send them on shore, whatever might be the
risk they ran of being left there, while we were getting the ship
afloat again. On expressing my fears as to their safety to the
merchant whose property the goods were, he at once said: "I know the
Turks, and will abide the consequences of the step;" although,
situated as we were, we could not shrink from the results, whatever
they might be, without incurring a much heavier loss, if not the
entire destruction of the vessel. Accordingly, the boats were got out,
and part of the cargo at once transferred to them, and conveyed to the
shore, I acting as cockswain on the occasion. As the foremost boat
approached, a number of turbaned figures were seen advancing, who, as
soon as it touched the beach, rushed into the surf, and, with a shout,
hauled it high and dry, and commenced at once to bear off its cargo to
a field in the immediate neighbourhood, above high-water mark.
Remonstrance or resistance would have been equally out of the
question, as neither understood a word the other said, and their
numbers were overpowering. So rapidly did the goods vanish from the
boat under their active operations, that I had not even time to take a
note of the particular packages. As soon as the boat was emptied of
its contents, they assisted in pushing it off again into deep water;
and in a very desponding state of mind regarding the ultimate fate of
the goods which I had left on shore, I returned to the ship. On
expressing my fears on that score to the merchant, who met me at the
gangway, he smiled, and said: "It's all right, I saw by the turbans
and dresses of the men who came down to you that they were Turks; and
I know, from experience, that we run no risk whatever in leaving the
goods under their self-imposed guardianship." As he was the party who
was most interested in the result, I said nothing more, but proceeded
to lighten the ship as speedily as possible, by making several
additional trips to the shore with as much of the cargo as enabled us
to get at the ballast; and on each occasion we received the same
prompt and energetic assistance from our turbaned allies, each
boat-load being carried to the corner of the field where the others
were deposited. It required two days to get the ship sufficiently
lightened of her ballast, so as to get her afloat again, and this we
were enabled to do without her sustaining any damage of a serious
nature, as the weather, fortunately for us, continued perfectly calm.

'During these two nights that the goods were left on shore, they were
watched by _two of the Turks alone_; and when we were ready for their
reshipment, they assisted us as energetically in replacing them in the
boat, as they did at first in removing them from it. On our last trip
to the shore, the merchant went with us, and I took several pieces of
gold with me, which I offered to the honest fellows who had so
generously and voluntarily rendered us such efficient service; when,
to my still greater surprise, they, to a man, making a low bow, and
muttering something, which to me was unintelligible, put their hands
on their hearts, and refused to accept it. The merchant, who
understood a word or two only of their language, said that he could
make out that what they had said was, that _we were brothers_, and _in
distress_, and _that_ was enough to induce them to do what they could
to assist us.

'Our vessel then proceeded on her voyage to Constantinople, which she
reached in a short time, and got her cargo safely disembarked. While
there, I occasionally met in the streets several of the men who had
assisted us, and received from them in passing always a pleasing smile
of recognition.'

I ask my readers whether they think that, if such a thing had occurred
on almost any part of _our own coasts_, a similar result would have
taken place? Is it not notorious, and a deep and indelible stain on
the great proportion of our population on the coast, that on a wreck
taking place, the natives not only pilfer all that they can lay their
hands upon, but sometimes do not even hesitate, it is alleged, to
extinguish any glimmering sparks of life that may be perceptible in
the bodies of the unfortunate mariners who have been washed
ashore--with a view to protect themselves in the possession of their
basely acquired spoil? And is it not equally notorious, that so far
from their doing anything to warn a ship in distress, that they see
approaching their iron-bound shores, of its danger, and doing anything
to prevent it, they very often shew false signals, so as to draw the
unfortunate vessel upon the rocks which it is so anxious to avoid?
Such practices are an everlasting disgrace to the natives of many
parts of our coasts; and how nobly, therefore, does the conduct of the
poor Turks contrast with it, and that, too, be it borne in mind, even
when rendered to those whom they are taught to regard as Infidels!

My venerable informant also told me, that during an occasional
intercourse, extending over a period of nearly twenty years, with the
natives of several parts of Turkey, he had never met with a solitary
instance even of dishonesty, or a departure from an agreement, the
conditions of which had only been settled by _a verbal_ engagement,
even when the result would evidently be unfavourable to them.



LADY BETTY, THE HANGWOMAN.


     [The following curious sketch is from Mr W. R. Wilde's _Irish
     Popular Superstitions_, printed in M'Glashan's _Readings in
     Popular Literature_. It does not refer to a superstition, but to
     one of those facts which exhibit as much of the preternatural as
     the wildest excursion of fancy. A portion of the little volume is
     reprinted from the _Dublin University Magazine_, and, for aught
     we know, Lady Betty may have made her appearance originally in
     that work.]

The old jail of Roscommon stood, and, although now converted to other
purposes, still stands in the market-place, in the centre of the town.
It is an exceedingly high, dark, gloomy-looking building, with a
castellated top, like one of the ancient fortresses that tower above
the houses in many of the continental cities. It can be discerned at a
great distance; and, taken in connection with the extensive ruins of
O'Connor's Castle, in the suburbs, and the beautiful abbey upon the
other side of the town, seems to partake of the character of the
middle-age architecture. The fatal drop was, perhaps, the highest in
Ireland. It consisted of a small doorway in the front of the third
storey, with a simple iron beam and pulley above, and the _lapboard_
merely a horizontal door hinged to the wall beneath, and raised or let
fall by means of a sliding-bolt, which shot from the wall when there
was occasion to put the apparatus of death in requisition. Fearful as
this elevated gallows appeared, and unique in its character, it was
not more so than the finisher of the law who then generally officiated
upon it. No decrepit wretch, no crime-hardened ruffian, no secret and
mysterious personage, who was produced occasionally disguised and
masked, plied his dreadful trade here. Who, think you, _gentle_
reader--who now, perhaps, recoils from these unpleasant but truthful
minutiæ--officiated upon this gallows high?--a female!--a middle-aged,
stout-made, dark-eyed, swarthy-complexioned, but by no means
forbidding-looking woman--the celebrated Lady Betty--the finisheress
of the law--the unflinching priestess of the executive for the
Connaught circuit, and Roscommon in particular, for many years. Few
children, born or reared in that county thirty, or even
five-and-twenty years ago, who were not occasionally frightened into
'being good,' and going to sleep, and not crying when left alone in
the dark, by _huggath a' Pooka_, or, 'here's Lady Betty.' The only
fragment of her history which we have been able to collect is, that
she was a person of violent temper, though in manners rather above the
common, and possessing some education. It was said that she was a
native of the County Kerry, and that by her harsh usage she drove her
only son from her at an early age. He enlisted; but, in course of
years, returned with some money in his pocket, the result of his
campaigning. He knocked at his father's door, and asked a night's
lodging, determined to see for himself whether the brutal mother he
had left had in any way repented, or was softened in her disposition,
before he would reveal himself. He was admitted, but not recognised.
The mother, discovering that he possessed some money, murdered him
during the night. The crime was discovered, and the wretched woman
sentenced to be hanged, along with the usual dockful of
sheep-stealers, Whiteboys, shop-lifters, and cattle-houghers, who, to
the amount of seven or eight at a time, were invariably 'turned off'
within four-and-twenty hours after their sentences at each assizes. No
executioner being at hand, time pressing, and the sheriff and his
deputy being men of refinement, education, humanity, and sensibility,
who could not be expected to fulfil the office which they had
undertaken--and for which one of them, at least, was paid--this
wretched woman, being the only person in the jail who could be found
to perform the office, consented; and under the name of Lady Betty,
officiated, unmasked and undisguised, as _hangwoman_ for a great
number of years after; and she used also to flog publicly in the
streets, as a part of her trade. Numerous are the tales related of her
exploits, which we have now no desire to dwell upon. We may, however,
mention one extraordinary trait of her character. She was in the habit
of drawing, with a burnt stick, upon the walls of her apartment,
portraits of all the persons she executed.



THE WILL AND THE WAY.


I learned grammar when I was a private soldier on the pay of
sixpence a day. The edge of my berth, or that of my guard-bed, was my
seat to study in; my knapsack was my bookcase, and a bit of board lying
in my lap was my writing-table. I had no money to purchase candle or
oil; in winter, it was rarely that I could get any light but that of the
fire, and only my turn even of that. To buy a pen or piece of paper, I
was compelled to forego some portion of food, though in a state of
half-starvation. I had not a moment of time that I could call my own;
and I had to read and write amid the talking, laughing, singing,
whistling, and bawling of at least half a score of the most thoughtless
of men--and that, too, in the hours of their freedom from all control.
And I say, if I, under these circumstances, could encounter and overcome
the task, is there--can there be, in the whole world, a youth who can
find an excuse for the non-performance?--_William Cobbett_.



PAPER-MILLS.


A return has been made of the number of paper-mills at present at work
in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; also of the number of
'beating-engines' in each mill. From this it appears that there are in
England 304 paper-mills at present in activity, having 1267
beating-engines at work, and 107 silent. In Scotland, there are 48
mills, having 278 beating-engines at work, and 8 silent. In Ireland,
there are 28 mills, having 71 beating-engines at work, and 15 silent.
In Wales, there are no paper-mills. The total is, 880 mills, having
1616 beating-engines at work, and 130 silent.



LINES TO ----.


    O could I love thee, love as thou art worthy to be loved,
    Thy deep, thy constant tenderness my purpose might have moved.
    I know, might I accept thy heart, a blissful lot were mine;
    Would we had earlier met--but no! I never could be thine.

    I love thee as a sister loves a brother kind and dear,
    And feel a sister's thrilling pride whene'er thy praise I hear;
    And I have breathed a sister's prayer for thee at Mercy's throne,
    And ne'er a truer, purer love might sister's bosom own.

    I knew this trial was in store; I felt it day by day;
    And oft in agony I prayed this cup might pass away;
    And yet I lacked the power to tell, what thou too late must hear,
    To tell thee that another claims this heart to thee so dear.

    Alas! that I must cause thee pain--I know that thou wilt grieve--
    For oh! thou art all truthfulness; thou never couldst deceive;
    And I have wept when anxious care sat heavy on thy brow,
    Have wept when others wounded thee, and I must wound thee now.

    It may be that in after-years we yet shall meet again,
    When time has cancelled every trace of this dark hour of pain:
    O may I see thee happy, blest, whate'er my lot may be,
    And, as a sister and a friend, I shall rejoice with thee.

                                             HARRIET.



PROCESS FOR PRODUCING TAPERED IRON.


In No. 430 of this Journal, page 207, there is some mention of the
patented rolling process for tapering bar-iron by machinery. This
important invention is not of American origin, as persons unacquainted
with the facts might imagine: it was first practised at the Mersey
Steel and Iron Company's works at Liverpool, and then patented by Mr
William Clay in the United States. The Company mentioned were awarded
for the manufacture the prize-medal of the Great Exhibition, and the
silver medals of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, and the
American Institute of New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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