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Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 448 - Volume 18, New Series, July 31, 1852
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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. 448 - Volume 18, New Series, July 31, 1852" ***

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                     CHAMBERS' EDINBURGH JOURNAL


  No. 448. NEW SERIES.   SATURDAY, JULY 31, 1852.   PRICE 1-1/2_d._


A book belongs in a peculiar manner to the age and nation that produce
it. It is an emanation of the thought of the time; and if it survive
to an after-time, it remains as a landmark of the progress of the
imagination or the intellect. Some books do even more than this: they
press forward to the future age, and make appeals to its maturer
genius; but in so doing they still belong to their own--they still
wear the garb which stamps them as appertaining to a particular epoch.
Of that epoch, it is true, they are, intellectually, the flower and
chief; they are the expression of its finer spirit, and serve as a
link between the two generations of the past and the future; but of
that future--so much changed in habits, and feelings, and
knowledge--they can never, even when acting as guides and teachers,
form an essential part: there is always some bond of sympathy wanting.

A single glance at our own great books will illustrate this--books
which are constantly reprinted, without which no library can be
tolerated--which are still, generation after generation, the objects
of the national worship, and are popularly supposed to afford a
universal and unfailing standard of excellence in the various
departments of literature. These books, although pored over as a task
and a study by the few, are rarely opened and never read by the many:
they are known the least by those who reverence them most. They are,
in short, idols, and their worship is not a faith, but a superstition.
This kind of belief is not shaken even by experience. When a devourer
of the novels of Scott, for instance, takes up _Tom Jones_, he, after
a vain attempt to read, may lay it down with a feeling of surprise and
dissatisfaction; but _Tom Jones_ remains still to his convictions 'an
epic in prose,' the fiction _par excellence_ of the language. As for
_Clarissa Harlowe_ and _Sir Charles Grandison_, we have not heard of
any common reader in our generation who has had the hardihood even to
open the volumes; but Richardson as well as Fielding retains his
original niche among the gods of romance; and we find Scott himself
one of the high-priests of the worship. When wandering once upon the
continent, we were thrown for several days into the company of an
English clergyman, who had provided himself, as the best possible
model in description, with a copy of Spenser; and it was curious to
observe the pertinacity with which, from time to time, he drew forth
his treasure, and the weariness with which in a few minutes he
returned it to his pocket. Yet our reverend friend, we have no doubt,
went home with his faith in Spenser unshaken, and recommends it to
this day as the most delightful of all companions for a journey.

In the present century, the French and German critics have begun to
place this reverential feeling for the 'classics' of a language upon a
more rational basis. In estimating an author, they throw themselves
back into the times in which he wrote; they determine his place among
the spirits of his own age; and ascertain the practical influence his
works have exercised over those of succeeding generations. In short,
they judge him relatively, not absolutely; and thus convert an
unreasoning superstition into a sober faith. We do not require to be
told that in every book destined to survive its author, there are here
and there gleams of nature that belong to all time; but the body of
the work is after the fashion of the age that produced it; and he who
is unacquainted with the thought of that age, will always judge amiss.
In England, we are still in the bonds of the last century, and it is
surprising what an amount of affectation mingles with criticism even
of the highest pretensions. It is no wonder, then, that common readers
should be mistaken in their book-worship. To such persons, for all
their blind reverence, Dante must in reality be a wild beast--a fine
animal, it is true, but still a wild beast--and our own Milton a
polemical pedant arguing by the light of poetry. To such readers, the
spectacle of Ugolino devouring the head of Ruggieri, and wiping his
jaws with the hair that he might tell his story, cannot fail to give a
feeling of horror and disgust, which even the glorious wings of
Dante's angels--the most sublime of all such creations--would fail to
chase away. The poetry of the Divine Comedy belongs to nature; its
superstition, intolerance, and fanaticism, to the thirteenth century.
These last have either passed away from the modern world or they exist
in new forms, and with the first alone can we have any real healthy

One of our literary idols is Shakspeare--perhaps the greatest of them
all; but although the most universal of poets, his works, taken in the
mass, belong to the age of Queen Elizabeth, not to ours. A critic has
well said, that if Shakspeare were now living, he would manifest the
same dramatic power, but under different forms; and his taste, his
knowledge, and his beliefs would all be different. This, however, is
not the opinion of the book-worshippers: it is not the poetry alone of
Shakspeare, but the work bodily, which is preeminent with them; not
that which is universal in his genius, but that likewise which is
restricted by the fetters of time and country. The commentators, in
the same way, find it their business to bring up his shortcomings to
his ideal character, not to account for their existence by the manners
and prejudices of his age, or the literary models on which his taste
was formed. It would be easy to run over, in this way, the list of
all our great authors, and to shew that book-worship, as
contradistinguished from a wise and discriminating respect, is nothing
more than a vulgar superstition.

We are the more inclined to put forth these ideas, at a time when
reprints are the order of the day--when speculators, with a singular
blindness, are ready to take hold of almost anything that comes in
their way without the expense of copyright. It would be far more
judicious to employ persons of a correct and elegant taste to separate
the local and temporary from the universal and immortal part of our
classics, and give us, in an independent form, what belongs to
ourselves and to all time. A movement was made some years ago in this
direction by Mr Craik, who printed in one of Charles Knight's
publications a summary of the _Faëry Queen_, converting the prosaic
portions into prose, and giving only the true poetry in the rich and
musical verses of Spenser. A travelling companion like this, we
venture to assure our clerical friend, would not be pocketed so
wearily as the original work. The harmony of the divine poet would
saturate his heart and beam from his eyes; and when wandering where we
met him, among the storied ruins of the Rhine, he would have by his
side not the man Spenser, surrounded by the prejudices and rudenesses
of his age, but the spirit Spenser, discoursing to and with the
universal heart of nature. Leigh Hunt, with more originality--more of
the quality men call genius, but a less correct perception of what is
really wanted--has done the same thing for the great Italian poets;
and in his sparkling pages Dante, Ariosto, Tasso, and the rest of the
tuneful train, appear unfettered by the more unpleasing peculiarities
of their mortal time. But the criticism by which their steps are
attended, though full of grace and acuteness, is absolute, not
relative. They are judged by a standard of taste and feeling existing
in the author's mind: the _Inferno_ is a magnificent caldron of
everything base and detestable in human nature; and the _Orlando_, a
paradise of love, beauty, and delight. Dante, the sublime poet, but
inexorable bigot, meets with little tolerance from Leigh Hunt; while
Ariosto, exhaustless in his wealth, ardent and exulting--full of the
same excess of life which in youth sends the blood dancing and boiling
through the veins--has his warmest sympathy. This kind of criticism is
but a new form of the error we have pointed out; for both poets
receive his homage--the one praised in the spontaneous outpourings of
his heart, the other served with the rites of devil-worship.

When we talk of the great authors of one generation pressing forward
to claim the sympathy of the _maturer_ genius of the next, we mean
precisely what we say. We are well aware that some of the great
writers we have casually mentioned have no equals in the present
world; yet the present world is more mature in point of taste than
their own. That is the reason why they _are_ great authors now. Some
books last for a season, some for a generation, some for an age, or
two, or more; always dropping off when the time they reach outstrips
them. One of these lost treasures is sometimes reprinted; but if this
is done in the hope of a renewed popularity, the speculation is sure
to fail. Curious and studious men, it is true, are gratified by the
reproduction; but the general reader would prefer a book of his own
generation, using the former as materials, and separating its immortal
part from its perishing body.

And the general reader, be it remembered, is virtually the age. It is
for him the studious think, the imaginative invent, the tuneful sing:
beyond him there is no appeal but to the future. He is superstitious,
as we have seen, but his gods are few and traditional. He determines
to make a stand somewhere; and it is necessary for him to do so, if he
would not encumber his literary Olympus with a Hindoo-like pantheon of
millions. But how voracious is this general reader in regard to the
effusions of his own day! What will become of the myriads of books
that have passed through our own unworthy hands? How many of them will
survive to the next generation? How many will continue to float still
further down the stream of time? How many will attain the honour of
the apotheosis? And will they coexist in this exalted state with the
old objects of worship? This last is a pregnant question; for each
generation will in all probability furnish its quota of the great
books of the language, and, if so, a reform in the superstition we
have exposed is no longer a matter of mere expedience, but of
necessity. We are aware that all this will be pronounced rank heresy
by those who assume the style of critics, who usually make a
prodigious outcry when a great author is mutilated, even by expunging
a word which modern decency excludes from the vocabulary of social and
family intercourse. This word, however--supposing it to represent the
mortal and perishing part of an author's productions--belongs not to
him, but to his age; not to the intellectual man, but to the external
and fleeting manners of his day and generation. Such critics usually
take credit to themselves for a peculiarly large and liberal spirit;
but there seems to us, on the contrary, to be something mean and
restricted in views that regard the man as an individual, not as a
portion of the genius which belongs to the world. Yet, even as an
individual, the man is safe in his entirety, for there is no project
of cancelling the printed works extant in our libraries, public and
private. The true question simply is: Are great authors to be allowed
to become practically obsolete--and many of them have become so
already--while we stand upon the delicacies and ceremonies of


London has been often compared to a wilderness--a wilderness of brick,
and so in one sense it is; because you may live in London all the days
of your life if you choose--and, indeed, if you don't choose, if you
happen to be very poor--without exciting observation, or provoking any
further questioning than is comprised in a demand for accurate
guidance from one place to another, a demand which might be made upon
you in an Arabian desert, if there you chanced to meet a stranger. But
London is something else besides a wilderness--indeed it is everything
else. It is a great world, containing a thousand little worlds in its
bosom; and pop yourself down in it in any quarter you will, you are
sure to find yourself in the centre of some peculiar microcosm
distinguished from all others by features more or less characteristic.

One such little world we have lived in for a round number of years;
and as we imagine it presents a picture by no means disagreeable to
look upon, we will introduce the reader, with his permission, into its
very limited circle, and chronicle its history for one day as
faithfully as it is possible for anything to do, short of the
Daguerreotype and the tax-gatherer. Our Terrace, then--for that is our
little world--is situated in one of the northern, southern, eastern,
or western suburbs--we have reasons for not being particular--at the
distance of two miles and three-quarters from the black dome of St
Paul's. It consists of thirty genteel-looking second-rate houses,
standing upon a veritable terrace, at least three feet above the level
of the carriage-way, and having small gardens enclosed in iron
palisades in front of them. The garden gates open upon a pavement of
nine feet in width; the carriage-road is thirty feet across; and on
the opposite side is another but lower terrace, surmounted with
handsome semi-detached villas, with ample flower-gardens both in front
and rear, those in the front being planted, but rather sparingly, with
limes, birches, and a few specimens of the white-ash, which in
summertime overshadow the pavement, and shelter a passing pedestrian
when caught in a shower. At one end of Our Terrace, there is a
respectable butcher's shop, a public-house, and a shop which is
perpetually changing owners, and making desperate attempts to
establish itself as something or other, without any particular
partiality for any particular line of business. It has been by turns a
print-shop, a stationer's, a circulating library, a toy-shop, a
Berlin-wool shop, a music and musical-instrument shop, a haberdasher's
shop, a snuff and cigar shop, and one other thing which has escaped
our memory--and all within the last seven years. Each retiring
speculator has left his stock-in-trade, along with the good-will, to
his successor; and at the present moment it is a combination of shops,
where everything you don't want is to be found in a state of
dilapidation, together with a very hungry-looking proprietor, who, for
want of customers upon whom to exercise his ingenuity, pulls away all
day long upon the accordion to the tune of _We're a' noddin'_. The
other end of Our Terrace has its butcher, its public-house, its
grocer, and a small furniture-shop, doing a small trade, under the
charge of a very small boy. Let thus much suffice for the physiology
of our subject. We proceed to record its history, as it may be read by
any one of the inhabitants who chooses to spend the waking hours of a
single day in perusing it from his parlour window.

It is a fine morning in the middle of June, and the clock of the
church at the end of the road is about striking seven, when the
parlour shutters and the street doors of the terrace begin to open one
by one. By a quarter past, the servant-girls, having lighted their
fires, and put the kettle on to boil for breakfast, are ostensibly
busy in sweeping the pathways of the small front-gardens, but are
actually enjoying a simultaneous gossip together over the garden
railings--a fleeting pleasure, which must be nipped in the bud,
because master goes to town at half-past eight, and his boots are not
yet cleaned, or his breakfast prepared. Now the bedroom-bell rings,
which means hot water; and this is no sooner up, than mistress is
down, and breakfast is laid in the parlour. At a quarter before eight,
the eggs are boiled, and the bacon toasted, and the first serious
business of the day is in course of transaction. Mr Jones of No. 9, Mr
Robinson of No. 10, and Mr Brown of No. 11, are bound to be at their
several posts in the city at nine o'clock; and having swallowed a
hasty breakfast, they may be seen, before half-past eight has chimed,
walking up and down the terrace chatting together, and wondering
whether 'that Smith,' as usual, means to keep the omnibus waiting this
morning, or whether he will come forth in time. Precisely as the half
hour strikes, the tin horn of the omnibus sounds its shrill blast, and
the vehicle is seen rattling round the corner, stopping one moment at
No. 28, to take up Mr Johnson. On it comes, with a fresh blast, to
where the commercial trio are waiting for it; out rushes Smith, wiping
his mouth, and the 'bus,' swallowing up the whole four, rumbles and
trumpets on to take up Thompson, Jackson, and Richardson, who, cigars
in mouth, are waiting at a distance of forty paces off to ascend the
roof. An hour later, a second omnibus comes by on the same benevolent
errand, for the accommodation of those gentlemen, more favoured by
fortune, who are not expected to be at the post of business until the
hour of ten. As Our Terrace does not stand in a direct omnibus route,
these are all the 'buses' that will pass in the course of the day. The
gentlemen whom they convey every morning to town are regular
customers, and the vehicles diverge from their regular course in order
to pick them up at their own doors.

About half-past nine, or from that to a quarter to ten, comes the
postman with his first delivery of letters for the day. Our Terrace is
the most toilsome part of his beat, for having to serve both sides of
the way, his progress is very like that of a ship at sea sailing
against the wind. R'tat he goes on our side, then down he jumps into
the road--B'bang on the other side--tacks about again, and serves the
terrace--off again, and serves the villas, and so on till he has
fairly epistolised both sides of the way, and vanished round the
corner. The vision of his gold band and red collar is anxiously looked
for in the morning by many a fair face, which a watchful observer may
see furtively peering through the drawing-room window-curtains. After
he has departed, and the well-to-do merchants and employers who reside
in the villas opposite have had time to look over their
correspondence, come sundry neat turn-outs from the stables and
coach-houses in the rear of the villas: a light, high gig, drawn by a
frisky grey, into which leaps young Oversea the shipbroker--a
comfortable, cushioned four-wheel drawn by a pair of bay ponies, into
which old Discount climbs heavily, followed perhaps by his two
daughters, bound on a shopping-visit to the city--and a spicy-looking,
rattling trap, with a pawing horse, which has a decided objection to
standing still, for Mr Goadall, the wealthy cattle-drover. These, with
other vehicles of less note, all roll off the ground by a quarter
after ten o'clock or so; and the ladies and their servants, with some
few exceptions, are left in undisputed possession of home, while not a
footfall of man or beast is heard in the sunshiny quiet of the street.

The quiet, however, is broken before long by a peculiar and suggestive
cry. We do not hear it yet ourselves, but Stalker, our black cat and
familiar, has caught the well-known accents, and with a characteristic
crooning noise, and a stiff, perpendicular erection of tail, he sidles
towards the door, demanding, as plainly as possible, to be let out.
Yes, it is the cats-meat man. 'Ca' me-e-et--me-yet--me-e-yet!' fills
the morning air, and arouses exactly thirty responsive feline
voices--for there is a cat to every house--and points thirty aspiring
tails to the zenith. As many hungry tabbies, sables, and
tortoise-shells as can get out of doors, are trooping together with
arched backs upon the pavement, following the little pony-cart, the
cats' commissariat equipage, and each one, anxious for his daily
allowance, contributing most musically his quota to the general
concert. We do not know how it is, but the cats-meat man is the most
unerring and punctual of all those peripatetic functionaries who
undertake to cater for the consumption of the public. The baker, the
butcher, the grocer, the butterman, the fishmonger, and the coster,
occasionally forget your necessities, or omit to call for your
orders--the cats-meat man never. Other traders, too, dispense their
stock by a sliding-scale, and are sometimes out of stock altogether:
Pussy's provider, on the contrary, sticks to one price from year's end
to year's end, and never, in the memory of the oldest Grimalkin, was
known to disappoint a customer. A half-penny for a cat's breakfast has
been the regulation-price ever since the horses of the metropolis
began to submit to the boiling process for the benefit of the feline

By the time the cats have retired to growl over their allowance in
private, the daily succession of nomadic industrials begin to lift up
their voices, and to defile slowly along Our Terrace, stopping now and
then to execute a job or effect a sale when an opportunity presents
itself. Our limits will not allow us to notice them all, but we must
devote a few paragraphs to those without whom our picture would be

First comes an ingenious lass of two or three-and-twenty, with a
flaming red shawl, pink ribbons in her bonnet, and the hue of health
on a rather saucy face. She carries a large basket on her left arm,
and in her right hand she displays to general admiration a gorgeous
group of flowers, fashioned twice the size of life, from tissue-paper
of various colours. She lifts up her voice occasionally as she marches
slowly along, singing, in a clear accent: 'Flowers--ornamental papers
for the stove--flowers! paper-flowers!' She is the accredited herald
of summer--a phenomenon, this year, of very late appearance. We should
have seen her six weeks ago, if the summer had not declined to appear
at the usual season. She is the gaudy, party-coloured ephemera of
street commerce, and will disappear from view in a fortnight's time,
to be seen no more until the opening summer of '53. Her wares, which
are manufactured with much taste, and with an eye to the harmony of
colours, are in much request among the genteel housewives of the
suburbs. They are exceedingly cheap, considering the skill which must
be applied in their construction. They are all the work of her own
hands, and have occupied her time and swallowed up her capital for
some months past. She enjoys almost a monopoly in her art, and is not
to be beaten down in the price of her goods. She knows their value,
and is more independent than an artist dares to be in the presence of
a patron. Her productions are a pleasant summer substitute for the
cheerful fire of winter; and it is perhaps well for her that, before
the close of autumn, the faded hues of the flowers, and the harbour
they afford to dust, will convert them into waste paper, in spite of
all the care that may be taken to preserve them.

Paper Poll, as the servants call her, is hardly out of sight, and not
out of hearing, when a young fellow and his wife come clattering along
the pavement, appealing to all who may require their good offices in
the matter of chair-mending. The man is built up in a sort of
cage-work of chairs stuck about his head and shoulders, and his dirty
phiz is only half visible through a kind of grill of legs and
cross-bars. These are partly commissions which, having executed at
home, he is carrying to their several owners. But as everybody does
not choose to trust him away with property, he is ready to execute
orders on the spot; and to this end his wife accompanies him on his
rounds. She is loaded with a small bag of tools suspended at her
waist, and a plentiful stock of split-cane under one arm. He will
weave a new cane-seat to an old chair for 9d., and he will set down
his load and do it before your eyes in your own garden, if you prefer
that to intrusting him with it; that is, he will make the bargain, and
his wife will weave the seat under his supervision, unless there
happen to be two to be repaired, when husband and wife will work
together. We have noticed that it is a very silent operation, that of
weaving chair-bottoms; and that though the couple may be seated for an
hour and more together rapidly plying the flexible canes, they never
exchange a word with each other till the task is accomplished.
Sometimes the wife is left at a customer's door working alone, while
the husband wanders further on in search of other employment,
returning by the time she has finished her task. But there are no
chairs to mend this morning on Our Terrace, and our bamboo friends may
jog on their way.

Now resounds from a distance the cry of 'All a-growin' an'
a-blowin'--all a-blowin', a-blowin' here!' and in a few minutes the
travelling florist makes his appearance, driving before him a
broad-surfaced handcart, loaded in profusion with exquisite flowers of
all hues, in full bloom, and, to all appearance, thriving famously. It
may happen, however, as it has happened to us, that the blossoms now
so vigorous and blooming, may all drop off on the second or third day;
and the naked plant, after making a sprawling and almost successful
attempt to reach the ceiling for a week or so, shall become suddenly
sapless and withered, the emblem of a broken-down and emaciated
sot--and, what is more, ruined from the self-same cause, an overdose
of stimulating fluid. It may happen, on the other hand, that the plant
shall have suffered no trick of the gardener's trade, and shall bloom
fairly to the end of its natural term. The commerce in blossoming
flowers is one of the most uncertain and dangerous speculations in
which the small street-traders of London can engage. When carried on
under favourable circumstances, it is one of the most profitable, the
demand for flowers being constant and increasing; but the whole
stock-in-trade of a small perambulating capitalist may be ruined by a
shower of rain, which will spoil their appearance for the market, and
prevent his selling them before they are overblown. Further, as few of
these dealers have any means of housing this kind of stock safely
during the night, they are often compelled to part with them, after an
unfavourable day, at less than prime cost, to prevent a total loss.
Still, there are never wanting men of a speculative turn of mind, and
the cry of 'All a-blowin' an' a-growin'' resounds through the streets
as long as the season supplies flowers to grow and to blow.

The flower-merchant wheels off, having left a good sprinkling of
geraniums in our neighbours' windows; and his cousin-german, 'the
graveller,' comes crawling after him, with his cart and stout horse in
the middle of the road, while he walks on one side of the pavement,
and his assistant on the other. This fellow is rather a singular
character, and one that is to be met with probably nowhere upon the
face of the earth but in the suburbs of London. He is, _par
excellence_, the exponent of a feeling which pervades the popular mind
in the metropolis on the subject of the duty which respectable people
owe to respectability. It is impossible for a housekeeper in a
neighbourhood having any claims to gentility, to escape the
recognition of this feeling in the lower class of industrials. If you
have a broken window in the front of your house, the travelling
glazier thinks, to use his own expression, that _you have a right_ to
have it repaired, and therefore that he, having discovered the
fracture, has a right to the job of mending it. If your bell-handle is
out of order or broken off, the travelling bellman thinks he has a
right to repair it, and bores you, in fact, until you commission him
to do so--and so on. In the same manner, and on the same principle, so
soon as the fine weather sets in, and the front-gardens begin to look
gay, the graveller loads his cart with gravel, and shouldering his
spade, crawls leisurely through the suburbs with his companion,
peering into every garden; and wherever he sees that the walks are
grown dingy or moss-grown, he knocks boldly at the door, and demands
to be set to work in mending your ways. The best thing you can do is
to make the bargain and employ him at once; if not, he will be round
again to-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, and bore you into
consenting at last. You live in a respectable house, and you _have a
right_ to keep your garden in a respectable condition--and the
graveller is determined that you shall do so: has he not brought
gravel to the door on purpose? it will cost you but a shilling or two.
Thus he lays down the law in his own mind; and sooner or later, as
sure as fate, he lays down the gravel in your garden.

While the graveller is patting down the pathway round Robinson's
flower-bed, we hear the well-known cry of a countryman whom we have
known any time these ten years, and who, with his wife by his side,
has perambulated the suburbs for the best part of his life. He has
taken upon himself the patronage of the laundry department, and he
shoulders a fagot of clothes-poles, ten feet long, with forked
extremities, all freshly cut from the forest. Coils of new rope for
drying are hanging upon his arm, and his wife carries a basket well
stocked with clothes-pins of a superior description, manufactured by
themselves. The cry of 'Clo'-pole-line-pins' is one long familiar to
the neighbourhood; and as this honest couple have earned a good
reputation by a long course of civility and probity, they enjoy the
advantage of a pretty extensive connection. Their perambulations are
confined to the suburbs, and it is a question if they ever enter
London proper from one year's end to another. It is of no use to carry
clothes-poles and drying-lines where there are no conveniences for
washing and drying.

Next comes a travelling umbrella-mender, fagoted on the back like the
man in the moon of the nursery rhyme-book. He is followed at a short
distance by a travelling tinker, swinging his live-coals in a sort of
tin censer, and giving utterance to a hoarse and horrible cry,
intelligible only to the cook who has a leaky sauce-pan. Then comes
the chamois-leather woman, bundled about with damaged skins, in
request for the polishing of plate and plated wares. She is one of
that persevering class who will hardly take 'No' for an answer. It
takes her a full hour to get through the terrace, for she enters every
garden, and knocks at every door from No. 1 to No. 30. In the
winter-time, she pursues an analogous trade, dealing in what may
strictly be termed the raw material, inasmuch as she then buys and
cries hare-skins and rabbit-skins. She has, unfortunately, a
notoriously bad character, and is accused of being addicted to the
practice of taking tenpence and a hare-skin in exchange for a
counterfeit shilling.

By this time it is twelve o'clock and past, and Charley Coster, who
serves the terrace with vegetables, drives up his stout cob to the
door, and is at the very moment we write bargaining with Betty for new
potatoes at threepence-half-penny a pound. Betty declares it is a
scandalous price for potatoes. 'Yes, dear,' says Charley; 'an' another
scanlous thing is, that I can't sell 'em for no less.' Charley is the
most affectionate of costers, and is a general favourite with the
abigails of the terrace. His turn-out is the very model of a
travelling green-grocer's shop, well stocked with all the fruits and
vegetables of the season; and he himself is a model of a coster, clean
shaved, clean shod, and trimly dressed, with a flower in his
button-hole, an everlasting smile upon his face, and the nattiest of
neck-ties. The cunning rogue pretends to be smitten with Betty, and
most likely does the same with all the other Bettys of the
neighbourhood, to all of whom he chatters incessantly of everything
and everybody--save and except of the wife and three children waiting
for him at home. He will leave a good portion of his stock behind him
when he quits the terrace.

After Charley has disappeared, there is a pause for an hour or two in
the flow of professionals past Our Terrace. The few pedestrians that
pass along are chiefly gentlefolks, who have come abroad this fine
morning for an airing--to take a constitutional, and to pick up an
appetite for dinner. You may chance to hear the cry of 'Oranges and
nuts,' or of 'Cod--live cod,' and you may be entertained by a band of
musicians in a gaily-coloured van patrolling for the purpose of
advertising the merits of something or other which is to be had for
nothing at all, or the next thing to it, if you can prevail upon
yourself to go and fetch it. Perhaps Punch and Judy will pitch their
little citadel in front of your dwelling; or, more likely still, a
band of mock Ethiopians, with fiddle, castanets, and banjo, may tempt
your liberality with a performance of _Uncle Ned_ or _Old Dan Tucker_;
or a corps of German musicians may trumpet you into a fit of martial
ardour; or a wandering professor of the German flute soothe you into a
state of romance.

As the afternoon wears on, the tranquillity grows more profound. The
villas opposite stand asleep in the sunshine; the sound of a single
footstep is heard on the pavement; and anon you hear the feeble,
cracked voice of old Willie, the water-cress man, distinctly
articulating the cry of 'Water-cresses; fine brown water-cresses;
royal Albert water-cresses; the best in London--everybody say so.' The
water-cresses are welcomed on the terrace as an ornament and something
more to the tea-table; and while tea is getting ready for the
inhabitants of the terrace, the dwellers in the opposite villas are
seen returning to dinner. The lame match-man now hobbles along upon
his crutches, with his little basket of lucifers suspended at his
side. He is thoroughly deaf and three parts dumb, uttering nothing
beyond an incomprehensible kind of croak by way of a demand for
custom. He is a privileged being, whom nobody thinks of interfering
with. He has the _entrée_ of all the gardens on both sides of the way,
and is the acknowledged depositary of scraps and remnants of all kinds
which have made their last appearance upon the dinner or supper table.

About five o'clock, the tinkling note of the muffin-bell strikes
agreeably upon the ear, suggestive of fragrant souchong and
bottom-crusts hot, crackling, and unctuous. Now ensues a delicate
savour in the atmosphere of the terrace kitchens, and it is just at
its height when Smith, Brown, Jones, and Robinson are seen walking
briskly up the terrace. They all go in at Smith's, where the
muffin-man went in about half an hour before, and left half his stock
behind him. By six o'clock, the lords and ladies of Our Terrace are
congregated round their tea-urns; and by seven, you may see from one
of the back-windows a tolerable number of the lords, arrayed in
dressing-gowns and slippers, and some of them with corpulent
meerschaums dangling from their mouths, strolling leisurely in the
gardens in the rear of their dwellings, and amusing themselves with
their children, whose prattling voices and innocent laughter mingle
with the twittering of those suburban songsters, the sparrows, and
with the rustling of the foliage, stirred by the evening breeze. These
pleasant sounds die away by degrees. Little boys and girls go to bed;
the gloom of twilight settles down upon the gardens; candles are
lighted in the drawing-rooms, and from a dozen houses at once
pianofortes commence their harmony. At No. 12, the drawing-room
windows are open, though the blinds are down; and the slow-pacing
policeman pauses in his round, and leans against the iron railings,
being suddenly brought up by the richly-harmonious strains of a glee
for three voices: Brown, Jones, and Robinson are doing the _Chough and
Crow_; and Smith, who prides himself on his semi-grand, which he tunes
with his own hands once a week, is doing the accompaniment in his best
style. The merry chorus swells delightfully upon the ear, and is heard
half way down the terrace: the few foot-passengers who are passing
stop under the window to listen, till one of them is imprudent enough
to cry 'Encore,' when down go the windows, and the harmonious sounds
are shut in from vulgar ears.

It is by this time nearly half-past nine o'clock, and now comes the
regular nightly 'tramp, tramp' of the police, marching in Indian file,
and heavily clad in their night-gear. They come to replace the
guardians of the day by those of the night. One of the number falls
out of the line on the terrace, where he commences his nocturnal
wanderings, and guarantees the peace and safety of the inhabitants for
the succeeding eight hours: the rest tramp onwards to their distant
stations. The echoes of their iron heels have hardly died away, when
there is a sudden and almost simultaneous eruption from every
garden-gate on the terrace of clean-faced, neat-aproned, red-elbowed
servant-girls, each and all armed with a jug or a brace of jugs, with
a sprinkling of black bottles among them, and all bound to one or
other of the public-houses which guard the terrace at either end. It
is the hour of supper; and the supper-beer, and the after-supper
nightcaps, for those who indulge in them, have to be procured from the
publican. This is an occasion upon which Betty scorns to hurry; but
she takes time by the forelock, starting for the beer as soon as the
cloth is laid, and before master has finished his pipe, or his game of
chess, or Miss Clementina her song, in order that she may have leisure
for a little gossip with No. 7 on the one hand, or No. 9 on the
other. She goes out without beat of drum, and lets herself in with the
street-door key without noise, bringing home, besides the desiderated
beverage, the news of the day, and the projects of next-door for the
morrow, with, it may be, a plan for the enjoyment of her next monthly

Supper is the last great business of the day upon Our Terrace, which,
by eleven at night, is lapped in profound repose. The moon rides high
in mid-sky, and the black shadows of the trees lie motionless on the
white pavement. Not a footfall is heard abroad; the only sound that is
audible as you put your head out of the window, to look up at the
glimmering stars and radiant moon, is the distant and monotonous
murmur of the great metropolis, varied now and then by the shrill
scream of a far-off railway-whistle, or the 'cough, cough, cough' of
the engine of some late train. We are sober folks on the terrace, and
are generally all snug abed before twelve o'clock. The last sound that
readies our ears ere we doze off into forgetfulness, is the slow,
lumbering, earthquaky advance of a huge outward-bound wagon. We hear
it at the distance of half a mile, and note distinctly the crushing
and pulverising of every small stone which the broad wheels roll over
as they sluggishly proceed on their way. It rocks us in our beds as it
passes the house; and for twenty minutes afterwards, if we are awake
so long, we are aware that it is groaning heavily onwards, and shaking
the solid earth in its progress--till it sinks away in silence, or we
into the land of dreams.


It has sometimes been predicted, not without plausibility, that if
this great empire should sink before the rising genius of some new
state, when all it has accomplished in arts and arms, and its wealth,
its literature, its machinery, are forgotten, its struggles for
humanity in the abolition of negro slavery will stand forth in
undiminished lustre. All the steps of this mighty operation are
interesting. It is a peculiarity of England and its institutions, that
many of the most momentous constitutional conflicts have taken place
in the courts of law. In despotic countries, this seldom occurs,
because the rulers can bend the courts of law to their pleasure; but
here, even under the worst governments, whatever degree of freedom was
really warranted by law, could be secured by the courts of justice.
When it was said that the air of Britain was too pure for a slave to
breathe in--that his shackles fell off whenever he reached her happy
shore--the sentiment was noble; but the question depended entirely on
the law and its technical details. The trials resulting in a decision
against slavery, have thus much interest from the influence they
exercised on human progress.

There seemed to be every probability that the interesting question,
whether ownership in slaves continued after they had reached Britain,
would have been tried in Scotland. In the middle of last century, a Mr
Sheddan had brought home from Virginia a negro slave to be taught a
trade. He was baptised, and, learning his trade, began to acquire
notions of freedom and citizenship. When the master thought he had
been long enough in Scotland to suit his purpose, the negro was put on
board a vessel for Virginia. He got a friend, however, to present for
him a petition to the Court of Session. The professional report of the
case in _Morison's Dictionary of Decisions_ says: 'The Lords appointed
counsel for the negro, and ordered memorials, and afterwards a hearing
in presence, upon the respective claims of liberty and servitude by
the master and the negro; but during the hearing in presence, the
negro died, so the point was not determined.' In the English case, to
which we shall presently advert, it was maintained, that from the
known temper and opinions of the court, the decision, would
undoubtedly have been in the negro's favour. At the time when Mr
Grenville Sharp, to his immortal honour, took up in the courts of law
the question of personal liberty as a legal right, there was a more
serious risk of Britain becoming a slave state than it is now easy to
imagine. There was no chance of negroes being employed in gangs in the
field or in manufactories, but there was imminent danger of their
being brought over and kept in multitudes as domestic servants, just
as they are still in some of the southern states of America. Mr Sharp
drew attention to the following advertisement in the _Public
Advertiser_ of 28th March 1769, as one of a kind becoming too common:

'To be sold, a Black Girl, the property of J. B----, eleven years of
age, who is extremely handy, works at her needle tolerably, and speaks
English perfectly well; is of an excellent temper and willing

'Inquire of Mr Owen, at the Angel Inn, behind St Clement's Church in
the Strand.'

Mr Sharp's early conflicts in the law-courts are more romantic than
the last and decisive one. He and his brother had found a poor
mendicant negro, called Jonathan Strong, in rags on the streets of
London. They took him into their service, and after he had become
plump, strong, and acquainted with his business, the man who had
brought him from the colonies, an attorney, seeing him behind a
carriage, set covetous eyes on him. The lad was waylaid on a false
message to a public-house, seized, and committed to the Compter,
where, however, he managed to make Mr Sharp acquainted with his
position. The indefatigable philanthropist had him brought before the
lord mayor as sitting magistrate. After hearing the case stated, his
lordship said: 'The lad had not stolen anything, and was not guilty of
any offence, and was therefore at liberty to go away.' A captain of a
vessel, saying he had been employed by a person who had just bought
the youth, to convey him to Jamaica, seized him by the arm as his
employer's property. A lawyer standing behind Mr Sharp, who seems to
have been puzzled how to proceed, whispered, 'Charge him.' Sharp
charged the captain with an assault, and as he would have been
immediately committed by the lord mayor if he persisted, he let go his
hold. The philanthropist was threatened with a prosecution for
abstraction of property, but it was abandoned.

This occurred in 1767. The next important case was that of a negro
named Lewis. He 'had formerly,' says Mr Sharp's biographer, 'been a
slave in possession of a Mr Stapylton, who now resided at Chelsea.
Stapylton, with the aid of two watermen, whom he had hired for that
purpose, in a dark night seized the person of Lewis, and, after a
struggle, dragged him on his back into the water, and thence into a
boat lying in the Thames, where, having first tied his legs, they
endeavoured to gag him by running a stick into his mouth; and then
rowing down to a ship bound for Jamaica, whose commander was
previously engaged in the wicked conspiracy, they put him on board, to
be sold as a slave on his arrival in the island.' The negro's cries,
however, were heard; the struggle was witnessed; and information given
in the quarter whence aid was most likely to come. Mr Sharp lost no
time in obtaining a writ of habeas corpus. The ship in the meantime
had sailed from Gravesend, but the officer with the writ was able to
board her in the Downs. There he saw the negro chained to the mast.
The captain was at first furious, and determined to resist; but he
knew the danger of deforcing an officer with, such a writ as a habeas
corpus, and found it necessary to yield. The writ came up before Lord
Mansfield. He did not go into the general question of slavery, for
there was an incidental point on which the case could be decided on
the side of humanity--the captain and the persons employing him could
not prove their property in the slave, supposing such property lawful.
He was not only liberated, but his captors were convicted of assault.

These cases, however, did not decide the wide question, whether it was
lawful to hold property in negroes in this country. It came at last to
be solemnly decided in 1771, on a habeas corpus in the King's Bench.
Affidavits having been made before Lord Mansfield, that a coloured
man, named Somerset, was confined in irons on board a vessel called
the _Ann and Mary_, bound for Jamaica, he granted a habeas corpus
against the captain, to compel him to give an account of his authority
for keeping the man in custody. Somerset had been a slave in Virginia,
the property of a Mr Stewart; and the captain of the vessel stated
that the owner had put him on board, to be conveyed to Jamaica, and
there sold. In what was called the return to the writ, the
justification for keeping Somerset in restraint was thus quaintly
stated:--'That at the time of bringing the said James Somerset from
Africa, and long before, there were, and from thence hitherto there
have been, and still are, great numbers of negro slaves in Africa; and
that during all the time aforesaid, there hath been, and still is a
trade, carried on by his majesty's subjects from Africa, to his
majesty's colonies or plantations of Virginia and Jamaica, in America,
and other colonies and plantations belonging to his majesty in
America, for the necessary supplying of the foresaid colonies and
plantations with negro slaves.' It proceeded to relate with the same
verbosity, that the slaves so brought from Africa 'have been and are
saleable and sold as goods and chattels; and upon the sale thereof,
have become, and been, and are, the slaves and property of the
purchasers thereof.' It was stated that Mr Stewart, who resided in
Virginia, had Somerset as a domestic slave or valet--that having
business to transact in London, he took his usual attendant there,
intending to take him back to Virginia. Somerset, however, made his
escape; and when he was apprehended, his master, probably believing
that he would thenceforth be rather a troublesome valet, changed his
intention, and put the negro into the hands of the captain of a vessel
bound for Jamaica, that he might be sold there.

The pleadings upon the legality of this proceeding were solemn and
full. The question was, Whether it was to be held a just inference,
from the fact of the slave, being undoubtedly by the law of the day
property in the colonies, that, while his colonial master made a
temporary stay in Britain, he should be property there also, without
any direct law to that effect. Had it been a question of inanimate
goods, there would be no reason why the property should not continue
in the colonial owner. It would be all one to the inanimate object
what hands it was in, and regularity and justice would decree that the
person who was owner of it in one country should be so in another. But
in these cases there was a separate adverse interest of a very strong
character. Was the uniformity of this right of possession sufficient
to overrule another right--that which every man, black or white, had
to the freedom of his own person, unless there was special law to
restrain it? The counsel for the negro not only pleaded strongly on
this his personal right, but on the consequence to the moral condition
of the British Empire, if the inhabitants of slave countries could
bring their slaves hither. From the strictness of the laws, and the
uniformity of the course of justice, if slaves were permitted in
England, it was the very place where property in them would be most
secure. Thus the country might become a resort of slaveholders, and
its boasted purity and freedom would be sadly contaminated. 'If that
right,' said Mr Hargrave, 'is here recognised, domestic slavery, with
its horrid train of evils, may be lawfully imported into this country,
at the discretion of every individual, foreign and native. It will
come not only from our own colonies, and those of other European
nations, but from Poland, Russia, Spain, and Turkey--from the coast of
Barbary, from the western and eastern coasts of Africa--from every
part of the world where it still continues to torment and dishonour
the human species.'

The counsel on the other side was the celebrated Mr Dunning,
afterwards Lord Ashburton, a friend of freedom, who seems to have
undertaken the cause on notions of professional duty, and without any
great inclination for it. His first words were: 'It is incumbent on me
to justify Captain Knowles's detainer of the negro.' He was careful to
shew, that he did not in the meantime maintain that there was an
absolute property in Somerset--it was sufficient to shew, that there
was a sufficient presumption of property to authorise the shipmaster
in detaining him until the absolute question of right was solemnly
settled. He proceeded to say: 'It is my misfortune to address an
audience, the greater part of which I fear are prejudiced the other
way. But wishes, I am well convinced, will never be allowed by your
lordships to enter into the determination of the point. This cause
must be what in fact and law it is. Its fate, I trust, therefore,
depends on fixed and variable rules, resulting by law from the nature
of the case. For myself, I would not be understood to intimate a wish
in favour of slavery by any means; nor, on the other side, to be
supposed the maintainer of an opinion contrary to my own judgment. I
am bound in duty to maintain those arguments which are most useful to
Captain Knowles, as far as is consistent with truth; and if his
conduct has been agreeable to the laws throughout, I am under a
further indispensable duty to support it.'

Much reference was made to the ancient laws of villenage, or
semi-slavery, in Britain. Mr Dunning maintained, that these were
testimony that a slave was not an utter anomaly in the country. The
class of villeins had disappeared, and the law regarding them was
abolished in the reign of Charles II. But he maintained, that there
was nothing in that circumstance to prohibit others from establishing
a claim upon separate grounds. He said: 'If the statute of Charles II.
ever be repealed, the law of villenage revives in its full force.' It
was stated that there were in Britain 15,000 negroes in the same
position with Somerset. They had come over as domestics during the
temporary sojourn of their owner-masters, intending to go back again.
Then it was observed, that many of the slaves were in ships or in
colonies which had not special laws for the support of slavery; and by
the disfranchisement of these, British subjects would lose many
millions' worth of property, which they believed themselves justly to

British justice, however, has held at all times the question of human
liberty to be superior to considerations of mere expediency. If the
question be, who gains or loses most, there never can be a doubt that
the man whose freedom has been reft from him has the greatest of all
claims for indulgence. Accordingly, Lord Mansfield, the presiding
judge, looking in the face all the threatened evils to property, held
that nothing but absolute law could trench on personal freedom. He
used on the occasion a Latin expression, to the effect that justice
must be done at whatever cost; it has found its way into use as a
classical expression, and as no one has been able to find it in any
Latin author, it is supposed to have been of Lord Mansfield's own
coining. 'Mr Stewart,' he said, 'advances no claims on contract; he
rests his whole demand on a right to the negro as slave, and mentions
the purpose of detainure of him to be the sending him over to be sold
in Jamaica. If the parties will have judgment, _fiat justitia ruat
coelum_--Let justice be done whatever be the consequence.' In finally
delivering judgment, he concluded in these simple but expressive
terms: 'The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable
of being introduced, on any reasons, moral or political, but only by
positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons,
occasion, and time itself, for which it was created, are erased from
memory. It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it
but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from
the decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law
of England; and therefore the black must be discharged.'

A few years afterwards--in 1778--a case occurred in Scotland, where
the question of a master's rights over a negro slave in Britain was at
issue. The right claimed in this case, however, was not of so
offensive a nature. The master did not claim the power of seizing the
negro as his property. He maintained, however, that their mutual
position gave him a right to claim the negro's services, as if he had
engaged himself as a servant for life. Mr Wedderburn had bought in
Jamaica a negro named Knight, about twelve years old. He came to
Scotland as Mr Wedderburn's personal servant, married in the country,
and for some years seemed contented with his position. Probably at the
suggestion of some one who wished to try the question, as it had been
tried in England, Knight went off, avowing his intention of being
free. Mr Wedderburn applied to a justice of peace, who at once issued
a warrant for the negro's apprehension. The matter, however, came
before the sheriff, a professional judge, who decided that the
colonial laws of slavery do not extend to Scotland, and that personal
service for life is just another term for slavery. After a tedious
litigation, this view was affirmed by the Court of Session, and the
negro was declared free. The case acquired notice from the interest
taken in it by Dr Johnson, and the frequent mention of it in Boswell's
well-known work.


After my good and excellent mistress, Mrs Dacre, departed this life
for a better, it seemed as if nothing ever prospered in the family,
whom I had the honour of serving in the capacity of confidential
housekeeper. Mr Dacre became morose and careless of his affairs; his
sons were a source of great misery to him, pursuing a course of
reckless extravagance and heartless dissipation; while the five young
ladies--the youngest of whom, however, had attained the age of
twenty-four--cared for little else than dress, and visiting, and empty
show. These five young ladies had not amiable dispositions or gentle
manners; but they were first-rate horsewomen, laughed and talked very
loud, and were pronounced fine dashing women. There was another member
of the family, an orphan niece of my master's, who had greatly
profited by my lamented lady's teaching and companionship. Miss Marion
had devoted herself to the sick-room with even more than a daughter's
love; and for two years she had watched beside the patient sufferer,
when her more volatile and thoughtless cousins refused to credit the
approach of death. Miss Marion had just entered her twentieth year;
life had not been all summer with her; for she remembered scenes of
privation and distress, ere the decease of her parents left her, their
only child, to the care of affluent relatives. She was a serious and
meek, but affectionate creature; of a most goodly countenance and
graceful carriage; and I used sometimes to think that the Misses Dacre
were jealous of the admiration she excited, and kept her in the
background as much as possible. It was not difficult to do this, for
Miss Marion sought and loved retirement. After Mrs Dacre's decease,
she had expressed an urgent wish to earn her bread by filling the
situation of a governess. But the pride of the Dacres revolted at
this; besides, Miss Marion was a comfort to her uncle, when his
daughters were absent or occupied. So the dear young lady gave up her
own wishes, and strove to do all she could for her generous
benefactor, as she was wont to call my master.

Circumstances, which it were needless to detail, except to say that,
although I had served _one_ mistress satisfactorily, I found it
impossible to serve _five_, determined me to resign the situation I
had creditably filled for so many years. I deeply grieved to leave my
beloved Miss Marion; and she, sweet, humble soul, on her part, yearned
towards me, and wept a farewell on my bosom. I betook myself, in the
first instance, to my brother Thomas Wesley and his wife--a worthy
couple without children, renting a small farm nearly a hundred miles
off. A very pleasant, small farm it was, situated in a picturesque
valley, through which tumbled and foamed a limpid hill-stream, washing
the roots of fine old trees, and playing all sorts of antics. This
valley was a resort of quiet anglers, and also of artists during the
summer season; and Thomas and Martha Wesley often let a neat parlour
and adjoining bedroom to such respectable, steady people as did not
object to observe the primitive hours and customs enforced at Fairdown
Farm. Here I enjoyed the privilege of writing to, and hearing from, my
dear Miss Marion; and though she never complained, or suffered a
murmur to escape her, yet from the tenor of her letters I had great
cause to fear things were all going very wrong at Mr Dacre's, and that
her own health, always delicate, was giving way beneath the pressure
of anxiety and unkindness.

In less than six months after I had quitted the family, a climax,
which I had long anticipated with dread, actually arrived. Mr Dacre,
suddenly called to his account, was found to have left his temporal
affairs involved in inextricable and hopeless ruin; and amid the
general crash and desolation, who was to shield or befriend the poor
dependent, the orphan niece, Miss Marion? She was rudely cast adrift
on the cold world; her proffered sympathy and services tauntingly
rejected by those who had now a hard battle to fight on their own
account. Broken down in health and spirits, the poor young lady flew
to me, her humble, early friend, gratefully and eagerly availing
herself of Thomas Wesley's cordial invitation, to make his house her
home for the present.

My brother was a kind-hearted, just man; he had once been to see me
when I lived at Mr Dacre's; and that gentleman, in his palmy days, was
truly hospitable and generous to all comers. Thomas never forgot his
reception, and now he was a proud and happy man to be enabled thus to
offer 'a slight return,' as he modestly said, to one of the family.
With much concern we all viewed Miss Marion's wan and careworn looks,
so touching in the young; 'But her dim blue een will get bright again,
and she'll fill out--never fear,' said Martha Wesley to me, by way of
comfort and encouragement, 'now we've got her amongst _us_, poor dear.
I doubt those proud Misses Dacre were not over-tender with such a one
as sweet Miss Marion'----

'Dame, dame, don't let that tongue of thine wag so fast,' interrupted
Thomas, for he never liked to hear people ill spoken of behind their
backs, though he would speak out plainly enough to everybody's face.

A few days after Miss Marion's arrival at Fairdown (it was just at the
hay-making season, and the earth was very beautiful--birds singing and
flowers blooming--soft breezes blowing, and musical streamlets
murmuring rejoicingly in the sunshine), a pedestrian was seen
advancing leisurely up the valley, coming in a direction from the
neighbouring town--a distance, however, of some miles, and the nearest
point where the coach stopped. The stranger, aided in his walk by a
stout stick, was a short, thickset, elderly man, clad in brown
habiliments from head to foot: a brown, broad-brimmed beaver, an
antiquated brown spencer (a brown wig must not be omitted), brown
gaiters, and brown cloth boots, completed his attire. His linen was
spotless and fine, his countenance rubicund and benevolent; and when
he took off his green spectacles, a pair of the clearest and honestest
brown eyes ever set in mortal's head looked you full in the face. He
was a nice, comfortable-looking old gentleman; and so Thomas and I
both thought at the same moment--for Martha was out of the way, and I
shewed the apartments for her; the stranger, who gave his name as Mr
Budge, having been directed to our house by the people of the inn
where the coach stopped, who were kin to Martha, and well-disposed,
obliging persons.

Mr Budge said he wanted quietness for some weeks, and the recreation
of fishing; he had come from the turmoil of the great city to relax
and enjoy himself, and if Thomas Wesley would kindly consent to
receive him as a lodger, he would feel very much obliged. Never did we
listen to so pleasant and obliging a mode of speaking; and when Mr
Budge praised the apartments, and admired the country, the conquest of
Thomas's heart was complete. 'Besides,' as Martha sagaciously
remarked, 'it was so much better to have a steady old gentleman like
this for a lodger, when pretty Miss Marion honoured them as a guest.'
I thought so too; my dear young lady being so lone and unprotected by
relatives, we all took double care of her.

So Mr Budge engaged the rooms, and speedily arrived to take
possession, bringing with him a spick-and-span new fishing-rod and
basket. He did not know much about fishing, but he enjoyed himself
just as thoroughly as if he did; and he laughed so good-humouredly at
his own Cockney blunders, as he called them, that Thomas would have
been quite angry had any one else presumed to indulge a smile at Mr
Budge's expense. A pattern lodger in all respects was Mr
Budge--deferential towards Martha and myself, and from the first
moment he beheld Miss Marion, regarding her as a superior being, yet
one to be loved by a mortal for all that. Mr Budge was not a
particularly communicative individual himself, though we opined from
various observations, that, although not rich, he was comfortably off:
but somehow or other, without appearing in the least inquisitive, he
managed to obtain the minutest information he required. In this way,
he learned all the particulars respecting Miss Marion; and gathered
also from me, my own desire of obtaining a situation, such as I had
held at Mr Dacre's, but in a small and well-regulated household. As to
Miss Marion, the kind old gentleman could never shew kindness enough
to her; and he watched the returning roses on her fair cheeks with a
solicitude scarcely exceeded by mine. I never wondered at anybody
admiring and loving the sweet, patient girl; but Mr Budge's admiration
and apparent affection so far exceeded the bounds of mere conventional
kindness in a stranger, that sometimes I even smilingly conjectured he
had the idea of asking her to become Mrs Budge, for he was a widower,
as he told us, and childless.

Such an idea, however, had never entered Miss Marion's innocent heart;
and she, always so grateful for any little attention, was not likely
to receive with coldness those so cordially lavished on her by her new
friend, whom she valued as a truly good man, and not for a polished
exterior, in which Mr Budge was deficient. Nay, so cordial was their
intimacy, and so much had Miss Marion regained health and
cheerfulness, that with unwonted sportiveness, on more than one
occasion she actually hid the ponderous brown snuff-box, usually
reposing in Mr Budge's capacious pocket, and only produced it when his
distress became real; whereupon he chuckled and laughed, as if she had
performed a mighty clever feat, indulging at the same time, however,
in a double pinch.

Some pleasant weeks to us all had thus glided away, and Miss Marion
was earnestly consulting me about her project of governessing, her
health being now so restored; and I, for my part, wanted to execute my
plans for obtaining a decent livelihood, as I could not think of
burdening Thomas and Martha any longer, loath as they were for me to
leave them. Some pleasant weeks, I say, had thus glided away, when Mr
Budge, with much ceremony and circumlocution, as if he had deeply
pondered the matter, and considered it very weighty and important,
made a communication which materially changed and brightened my
prospects. It was to the effect, that an intimate friend of his, whom
he had known, he said, all his life, required the immediate services
of a trustworthy housekeeper, to take the entire responsible charge of
his house. 'My friend,' continued Mr Budge, tapping his snuff-box
complacently, his brown eyes twinkling with the pleasure of doing a
kind act, for his green specs were in their well-worn case at his
elbow--'My friend is about my age--a sober chap, you see, Mrs Deborah;
'here a chuckle--'and he has no wife and no child to take care of
him'--here a slight sigh: 'he has lately bought a beautiful estate,
called Sorel Park, and it is there you will live, with nobody to
interfere with you, as the lady-relative who will reside with my
friend is a most amiable and admirable young lady; and I am sure, Mrs
Deborah, you will become much attached to her. 'By the by, Mrs
Deborah,' he continued, after pondering for a moment, 'will you do me
a favour to use your influence to prevent Miss Marion from accepting
any appointment for the present, as after you are established at Sorel
Park, I think I know of a home that may suit her?'

I do not know which I felt most grateful or delighted for--my own
prospects, or my dear Miss Marion's; though certainly hers were more
vague and undefined than mine, for the remuneration offered for my
services was far beyond my expectation, and from Mr Budge's
description of Sorel Park, it seemed to be altogether a place beyond
my most sanguine hopes. I said something about Miss Marion, and my
hope that she might be as fortunate as myself; and Mr Budge, I was
happy to see, was quite fervent in his response. 'My friend,' said he,
at the close of the interview, 'will not arrive to take possession of
Sorel Park until you, Mrs Deborah, have got all things in order; and
as I know that he is anxious for the time to arrive, the sooner you
can set out on your journey thither the better. I also must depart
shortly, but I hope to return hither again.' Important business
required Mr Budge's personal attention, and with hurried adieus to us
all, he departed from Fairdown; and in compliance with his request, I
set off for Sorel Park, leaving my beloved Miss Marion to the care of
Thomas and Martha for the present.

The owner of this fine place was not as yet known there; for Mr Budge,
being a managing man, had taken everything upon himself, and issued
orders with as lordly an air as if there was nobody in the kingdom
above the little brown man. The head-gardener, and some of the other
domestics, informed me they had been engaged by Mr Budge himself, who,
I apprehended, made very free and busy with the concerns of his
friend. Sorel Park was a princely domain, and there was an air of
substantial comfort about the dwelling and its appointments, which
spoke volumes of promise as to domestic arrangements in general. I
soon found time to write a description of the place to Miss Marion,
for I knew how interested she was in all that concerned her faithful
Deborah; and I anxiously awaited the tidings she had promised to
convey--of Mr Budge having provided as comfortably for her as he had
for me. I at length received formal notification of the day and hour
the owner of Sorel Park expected to arrive, accompanied by his female
relative. This was rather earlier than I had been led to expect; but
all things being in order for their reception, I felt glad at their
near approach, for I was strangely troubled and nervous to get this
introduction over. I was very anxious, too, about my dear Miss
Marion; for I knew that some weighty reason alone prevented her from
answering my letter, though what that reason could be, it was
impossible for me to conjecture.

The momentous day dawned; the hours glided on; and the twilight hour
deepened. The superior servants and myself stood ready to receive the
travellers, listening to every sound; and startled, nevertheless, when
the rapid approach of carriage-wheels betokened their close proximity.
With something very like disappointment, for which I accused myself of
ingratitude, I beheld Mr Budge, browner than ever, alight from the
chariot, carefully assisting a lady, who seemed in delicate health, as
she was muffled up like a mummy. Mr Budge returned my respectful
salutation most cordially, and said, with a smile, as he bustled
forwards to the saloon, where a cheerful fire blazed brightly on the
hearth--for it was a chill evening: 'I've brought your new mistress
home, you see, Mrs Deborah; but you want to know where your new master
is--eigh? Well, come along, and this young lady will tell you all
about the old fellow.'

I followed them into the apartment; Mr Budge shut the door; the lady
flung aside her veil, and my own dear, sweet Miss Marion clasped me
round the neck, and sobbed hysterically in my arms.

'Tell her, my darling,' said Mr Budge, himself quite husky, and
turning away to wipe off a tear from his ruddy cheek--'tell her, my
darling, you're the _mistress_ of Sorel Park; and when you've made the
good soul understand _that_, tell her we'd like a cup of tea before we
talk about the _master_.'

'O my dear Miss Marion!' was all I could utter; 'what does this mean?
Am I in a dream?' But it was not a happy dream; for when I had a
moment to reflect, my very soul was troubled as I thought of the
sacrifice of all her youthful aspirations, made by that poor, gentle
creature, for the sake of a secure and comfortable home in this stormy
world. I could not reconcile myself to the idea of Mr Budge and Marion
as man and wife; and as I learned, ere we retired to rest that night,
I had no occasion to do so. Mr Budge was Miss Marion's paternal uncle,
her mother, Miss Dacre, having married his elder brother. These
brothers were of respectable birth, but inferior to the Dacres; and
while the elder never prospered in any undertaking, and finally died
of a broken heart, the younger, toiling in foreign climes, gradually
amassed a competency. On returning to his native land, he found his
brother no more, and the orphan girl he had left behind placed with
her mother's relatives.

Mr Budge had a great dread of appearing before these proud patrician
people, who had always openly scorned his deceased brother; and once
accidentally encountering them at a public _fête_, the contumelious
bearing of the young ladies towards the little brown gentleman
deterred him from any nearer approach. No doubt, he argued, his
brother's daughter was deeply imbued with similar principles, and
would blush to own a 'Mr Budge' for her uncle! This name he had
adopted as the condition of inheriting a noble fortune unexpectedly
bequeathed by a plebeian, but worthy and industrious relative, only a
few years previous to the period when Providence guided his footsteps
to Fairdown Farm and Miss Marion.

The moderate competency Mr Budge had hitherto enjoyed, and which he
had toiled hard for, now augmented to ten times the amount, sorely
perplexed and troubled him; and after purchasing Sorel Park, he had
flown from the turmoil of affluence, to seek peace and obscurity for
awhile, under pretext of pursuing the philosophical recreation of
angling. How unlike the Misses Dacre was the fair and gracious
creature he encountered at Fairdown! And not a little the dear old
gentleman prided himself on his talents for what he called
diplomacy--arranging his plans, he said, 'just like a book-romance.'
After my departure, he returned to Fairdown, and confided the
wonderful tidings to Thomas and Martha Wesley, more cautiously
imparting them to Miss Marion, whose gentle spirits were more easily
fluttered by sudden surprise.

For several years, Mr Budge paid an annual visit to Fairdown, when the
trout-fishing season commenced; and many useful and valuable gifts
found their way into Thomas's comfortable homestead, presented by dear
Miss Marion. In the course of time, she became the wife of one worthy
of her in every respect--their lovely children often sportively
carrying off the ponderous box of brown rappee, and yet Uncle Budge
never frowning.

These darlings cluster round my knees, and one, more demure than the
rest, thoughtfully asks: 'Why is Uncle Budge's hair not snowy white,
like yours, dear Deb? For Uncle Budge says he is _very_ old, and that
God will soon call him away from us.'


For above two hundred years, the unknown millions of Japan have been
shut up in their own islands, forbidden, under the severest penalties,
either to admit foreigners on their shores, or themselves to visit any
other realm in the world. The Dutch are permitted to send two ships in
a year to the port of Nangasaki, where they are received with the
greatest precaution, and subjected to a surveillance even more
degrading than was that formerly endured by the Europeans at Canton.
Any other foreigner whom misfortune or inadvertence may land on their
shores, is doomed to perpetual imprisonment; and even if one of their
own people should pass twelve months out of the country, he is, on his
return, kept for life at the capital, and suffered no more to join his
family, or mingle at large in the business or social intercourse of
life. In pursuance of this policy, it is believed that the Japanese
government now holds in captivity several subjects of the United
States, and it is expected that an armament will be sent to rescue
them by force.

Since this announcement has been made, and the general expectation has
been raised that Japan will soon have to submit, like China, to
surrender its isolation, and enter into relations with the rest of the
civilised world, there has seasonably appeared an English reprint of a
work hitherto little known among us--a personal narrative of a
Japanese captivity of two years and a half, by an officer in the
Russian navy.[1] If we may judge from its details, our transatlantic
friends had need to keep all their eyes wide open in dealing with this

The leading circumstances connected with Captain Golownin's captivity
were the following:--In the year 1803, the Chamberlain Resanoff was
sent by the Emperor Alexander, to endeavour to open friendly relations
with Japan, and sailed from the eastern coasts in a merchant vessel
belonging to the American Company. But receiving a peremptory message
of dismissal, and refusal of all intercourse, he returned to Okhotsk,
and died on his way to St Petersburg. Lieutenant Chwostoff, however,
who had commanded the vessel, put to sea again on his own
responsibility, attacked and destroyed several Japanese villages on
the Kurile Islands, and carried off some of the inhabitants. In the
year 1811, Captain Golownin, commander of the imperial war-sloop
_Diana_, lying at Kamtschatka, received orders from head-quarters to
make a particular survey of the southern Kurile Islands, and the coast
of Tartary. In pursuance of his instructions, he was sailing without
any flag near the coast of Eetooroop (Staaten), when he was met by
some Russian Kuriles, who informed him that they had been seized, and
were still detained prisoners, on account of the Chwostoff outrage.
They persuaded the captain to take one of them on board as an
interpreter, and proceed to Kunashir, to make such explanations as
might exonerate the Russian government in this matter. The Japanese
chief of the island further assured the Russians, that they could
obtain a supply of wood, water, and fresh provisions at Kunashir; and
he furnished them with a letter to its governor. The reception of the
_Diana_ at Kunashir was, in the first instance, a vigorous but
ineffective discharge of guns from the fortress, the walls of which
were so completely hung with striped cloth, that it was impossible to
form any opinion of the size or strength of the place. After some
interchange, however, of allegorical messages, conveyed by means of
drawings floated in empty casks, Golownin was invited on shore by the
beckoning of white fans. Concealing three brace of pistols in his
bosom, and leaving a well-armed boat close to the shore, with orders
that the men should watch his movements, and act on his slightest
signal, he ventured on a landing, accompanied by the Kurile Alexei and
a common sailor. The lieutenant-governor soon appeared. He was in
complete armour, and attended by two soldiers, one of whom carried his
long spear, and the other his cap or helmet, which was adorned with a
figure of the moon. 'It is scarcely possible,' says the narrator, 'to
conceive anything more ludicrous than the manner in which the governor
walked. His eyes were cast down and fixed on the earth, and his hands
pressed closely against his sides, whilst he proceeded at so slow a
pace, that he scarcely moved one foot beyond the other, and kept his
feet wide apart. I saluted him after the European fashion, upon which
he raised his left hand to his forehead, and bowed his whole body
towards the ground.'

In the conversation that ensued, the governor expressed his regret
that the ignorance of the Japanese respecting the object of this visit
should have occasioned them to fire upon the _Diana_. He then closely
interrogated the captain as to the course and objects of his voyage,
his name, the name of his emperor, and whether he knew anything of
Resanoff. On the first of these heads, Golownin deemed it prudent to
use some deception, and he stated that he was proceeding to St
Petersburg, from the eastern extremity of the Russian Empire; that
contrary winds had considerably lengthened his voyage; and that, being
greatly in want of wood and fresh water, he had been looking on the
coasts for a safe harbour where these might be procured, and had been
directed by an officer at Eetooroop to Kunashir. To all the other
questions, he returned suitable answers, which were carefully written
down. The conference ended most amicably, and the captain was invited
to smoke tobacco, and partake of some tea, sagi,[2] and caviar.
Everything was served on a separate dish, and presented by a different
individual, armed with a poniard and sabre; and these attendants,
instead of going away after handing anything to the guests, remained
standing near, till at length they were surrounded by a formidable
circle of armed men. Golownin would not stoop to betray alarm or
distrust, but having brought some French brandy as a present to the
governor, he desired his sailors to draw a bottle, and took this
opportunity of repeating his order, that they should hold themselves
in readiness. There appeared, however, no intention of resorting to
violence. When he prepared to depart, the governor presented a flask
of sagi, and some fresh fish, pointing out to him at the same time a
net which had been cast to procure a larger supply. He also gave him a
white fan, with which he was to beckon, as a sign of amity, when he
came on shore again. The whole draught of fish was sent on board in
the evening.

On the following day, the captain, according to appointment, paid
another visit on shore, accompanied by two officers, Alexei, and four
seamen carrying the presents intended for the Japanese. On this
occasion, the former precautions were dispensed with; the boat was
hauled up to the shore, and left with one seaman, while the rest of
the party proceeded to the castle. The result was, that after a
renewal of the friendly explanations and entertainments of the
preceding day, the treacherous Japanese threw off the mask, and made
prisoners of the whole party.

'The first thing done, was to tie our hands behind our backs, and
conduct us into an extensive but low building, which resembled a
barrack, and which was situated opposite to the tent in the direction
of the shore. Here we were placed on our knees, and bound in the
cruelest manner with cords about the thickness of a finger; and as
though this were not enough, another binding of smaller cords
followed, which was still more painful. The Japanese are exceedingly
expert at this work; and it would appear that they conform to some
precise regulation in binding their prisoners, for we were all tied
exactly in the same manner. There was the same number of knots and
nooses, and all at equal distances, on the cords with which each of us
was bound. There were loops round our breasts and necks; our elbows
almost touched each other, and our hands were firmly bound together.
From these fastenings proceeded a long cord, the end of which was held
by a Japanese, and which, on the slightest attempt to escape, required
only to be drawn to make the elbows come in contact with the greatest
pain, and to tighten the noose about the neck to such a degree as
almost to produce strangulation. Besides all this, they tied our legs
in two places--above the knees and above the ankles; they then passed
ropes from our necks over the cross-beams of the building, and drew
them so tight, that we found it impossible to move. Their next
operation was searching our pockets, out of which they took
everything, and then proceeded very quietly to smoke tobacco. While
they were binding us, the lieutenant-governor shewed himself twice,
and pointed to his mouth, to intimate, perhaps, that it was intended
to feed, not to kill us.'

After some hours, the legs and ankles of the prisoners were partially
loosed, and preparations were made for removing them to Matsmai, which
seems to be the head-quarters of government for the Kurile
dependencies of Japan. The journey, which occupied above a month, was
performed partly in boats, which were dragged along the shore, and
even for miles over the land; and partly on foot, the captives being
marched in file, each led with a cord by a particular conductor, and
having an armed soldier abreast of him. It was evident, however, that
whatever was rigorous in their treatment, was not prompted by personal
feelings of barbarity, but by the stringency of the law, which would
have made the guards answerable for their prisoners with their own
lives. They were always addressed with the greatest respect; and, as
soon as it was deemed safe, their hands, which were in a dreadfully
lacerated state, were unbound, and surgically treated; but not till
their persons had been again most carefully searched, that no piece of
metal might remain about them, lest they might contrive to destroy
themselves. Suicide is, in Japan, the fashionable mode of terminating
a life which cannot be prolonged but in circumstances of dishonour: to
rip up one's own bowels in such a case, wipes away every stain on the
character. The guards of the Russian captives not only used every
precaution against this, but carefully watched over their health and
comfort, carrying them over the shallowest pools and streamlets, lest
their feet should be wet, and assiduously beating off the gnats and
flies, which would have been annoying. At every village, crowds of
both sexes, young and old, turned out to see these unfortunate men;
but there was nothing like insult or mockery in the demeanour of
any--pity appeared to be the universal feeling: many begged permission
from the guards to offer sagi, comfits, fruits, and other delicacies;
and these were presented often with tears of compassion, as well as
gestures of respect.

The prison to which Golownin and his companions were finally committed
had been constructed expressly for their habitation in the town of
Matsmai. It was a quadrangular wooden building, 25 paces long, 15
broad, and 12 feet high. Three sides of it were dead-wall, the fourth
was formed of strong spars. Within this structure were two apartments,
formed likewise of wooden spars, so as to resemble cages: one was
appropriated to the officers, the other to the sailors and Alexei. The
building was surrounded by a high wall or paling, outside of which
were the kitchen, guard-house, &c., enclosed by another paling. This
outer enclosure was patrolled by common soldiers; but no one was
allowed within, except the physician, who visited daily, and the
orderly officers, who looked through the spars every half-hour. Of
course, it was rather a cold lodging; but, as winter advanced, a hole
was dug a few feet from each cage, built round with freestone, and
filled with sand, upon which charcoal was afterwards kept burning.
Benches were provided for them to sleep on, and two of the orderlies
presented them with bear-skins; but the native fashion is to lie on a
thick, wadded quilt, folded together, and laid on the floor, which,
even in the poorest dwellings, is covered with soft straw-mats. A
large wadded dress, made of silk or cotton, according to the
circumstances of the wearer, serves for bed-clothes--which seem to be
quite unknown; and while the poorer classes have only a piece of wood
for a pillow, the richer fasten a cushion on the neat boxes which
contain their razors, scissors, pomatum, tooth-brushes, and other
toilet requisites.

But while the comfort of the captives was attended to in many minor
matters, there was no relaxation of the vigilance used to preclude the
possibility of self-destruction. They were not allowed scissors or
knife to cut their nails, but were obliged to thrust their hands
through the palisades, to get this office performed for them. When
they were indulged with smoking, it was with a very long pipe held
between the spars, and furnished with a wooden ball fixed about the
middle, to prevent its being drawn wholly within the cage.

For weeks together they were brought daily before the bunyo (governor
of the town, and probably lord-lieutenant of all the Japanese Kurile
Islands), bound and harnessed like horses as before. The ostensible
object of these examinations, which frequently lasted the whole day,
was to ascertain for what purpose they had come near Japan, and what
they knew of Resanoff and Chwostoff--for a singularly unfortunate
combination of circumstances had arisen to give colour to the
suspicion, that some of their party had been connected with that
expedition. But for one inquiry connected with the case, there were
fifty that were wholly irrelevant, and prompted by mere curiosity. The
most trivial questions were put several times and in different forms,
and every answer was carefully written down. Golownin was often
puzzled, irritated, and quite at the end of his stock of patience; but
that of the interrogators appeared interminable. They said, that by
writing down everything they were told, whether true or false, and
comparing the various statements they received, they were enabled
through time to separate truth from fiction, and the practice was very
improving. At the close of almost every examination, the bunyo
exhorted them not to despair, but to offer up prayers to Heaven, and
patiently await the emperor's decision.

Presently new work was found for them. An intelligent young man was
brought to their prison, to be taught the Russian language. To this
the captain consented, having no confidence in the Kurile Alexei as an
interpreter, and being desirous himself to gain some knowledge of
Japanese. Teske made rapid progress, and soon became a most useful and
kindly companion to the captives. Books, pens, and paper were now
allowed them in abundance; and their mode of treatment was every way
improved. But by and by, they were threatened with more pupils; a
geometrician and astronomer from the capital was introduced to them,
and would gladly have been instructed in their mode of taking
observations. Other learned men were preparing to follow, and it was
now evident that the intention of the Japanese government was to
reconcile them to their lot, and retain them for the instruction of
the nation. Indeed, this appears to be the great secret of the policy
of detaining for life instead of destroying the hapless foreigners
that light on these shores; as the avowed motive for tolerating the
commercial visits of the Dutch is, that they furnish the only news of
public events that ever reach Japan. Fearful of becoming known to
other nations for fear of invasion, they are yet greedy of information
respecting them, and many were the foolish questions they asked
Golownin about the emperor of Russia, his dress, habitation, forces,
and territories.

Golownin, on his part, endeavoured to elicit all the information he
could gain with respect to the numbers, resources, government, and
religion of this singular people. He found it impossible to ascertain
the amount of the population; indeed, it seems it would be very
difficult for the government itself to obtain a census, for millions
of the poor live abroad in the streets, fields, or woods, having no
spot which they can call a home. Teske shewed a map of the empire,
having every town and village marked on it; and though on a very large
scale, it was thickly covered. He pointed out on it a desert, which is
considered immense, because litters take a whole day to traverse it,
and meet with only one village during the journey. It is perhaps
fifteen miles across. The city of Yedo was usually set down by
Europeans as containing 1,000,000 inhabitants; but Golownin was
informed, that it had in its principal streets 280,000 houses, each
containing from 30 to 40 persons; besides all the small houses and
huts. This would give in the whole a population of above 10,000,000
souls--about a fourth part of the estimated population of this
country! The incorporated society of the blind alone is affirmed to
include 36,000.

The country, though lying under the same latitudes as Spain and Italy,
is yet very different from them in climate. At Matsmai, for instance,
which is on the same parallel as Leghorn, snow falls as abundantly as
at St Petersburg, and lies in the valleys from November till April.
Severe frost is uncommon, but cold fogs are exceedingly prevalent. The
climate, however, is uncommonly diversified, and consequently so are
the productions, exhibiting in some places the vegetation of the
frigid zone, and in others that of the tropics.

Rice is the staple production of the soil. It is nearly the only
article used instead of bread, and the only one from which strong
liquor is distilled, while its straw serves for many domestic
purposes. Besides the radishes already mentioned, there is an
extensive cultivation of various other esculent roots and vegetables.
There is no coast without fisheries, and there is no marine animal
that is not used for food, save those which are absolutely poisonous.
But an uncommonly small quantity suffices for each individual. If a
Japanese has a handful of rice and a single mouthful of fish, he makes
a savoury dish with roots, herbs, or mollusca, and it suffices for a
day's support.

Japan produces both black and green tea; the former is very inferior,
and used only for quenching thirst; whereas the latter is esteemed a
luxury, and is presented to company. The best grows in the
principality of Kioto, where it is carefully cultivated for the use
both of the temporal and spiritual courts. Tobacco, which was first
introduced by the European missionaries, has spread astonishingly,
and is so well manufactured, that our author smoked it with a relish
he had never felt for a Havana cigar. The Japanese smokes continually,
and sips tea with his pipe, even rising for it during the night.

All articles of clothing are made of silk or cotton. The former
appears to be very abundant, as rich dresses of it are worn even by
the common soldiers on festive days; and it may be seen on people of
all ranks even in poor towns. The fabrics are at least equal to those
of China. The cotton of Japan seems to be of the same kind as that of
our West Indian colonies. It furnishes the ordinary dress of the great
mass of the people, and also serves all the other purposes for which
we employ wool, flax, furs, and feathers. The culture of it is, of
course, very extensive; but the fabrics are all coarse: Golownin could
hardly make himself believe that his muslin cravat was of this
material. There is some hemp, which is manufactured into cloth for
sails, &c.; but cables and ropes, very inferior to ours, are made from
the bark of a tree called kadyz. This bark likewise supplies materials
for thread, lamp-wicks, writing-paper, and the coarse paper used for

There is no lack of fruit-trees, as the orange, lemon, peach, plum,
fig, chestnut, and apple; but the vine yields only a small, sour
grape, perhaps for want of culture. Timber-trees grow only in the
mountainous districts, which are unfit for cultivation. Camphor is
produced abundantly in the south, and large quantities of it are
exported by the Dutch and Chinese. The celebrated varnish of Japan,
drawn from a tree called silz, is so plentiful, that it is used for
lacquering the most ordinary utensils. Its natural colour is white,
but it assumes any that is given to it by mixture. The best varnished
vessels reflect the face as in a mirror, and hot water may be poured
into them without occasioning the least smell.

The chief domestic animals are horses and oxen for draught; cats and
dogs are kept for the same uses as with us; and swine furnish food to
the few sects who eat flesh. Sheep and goats seem to be quite unknown:
the Russian captives had to make drawings of the former, to convey
some idea of the origin of wool.

There are considerable mines of gold and silver in several parts of
the empire, but the government does not permit them to be all worked,
for fear of depreciating the value of these metals. They supply, with
copper, the material of the currency, and are also liberally used in
the decoration of public buildings, and in the domestic utensils of
the wealthy. There is a sufficiency of quicksilver, lead, and tin, for
the wants of the country; and one island is entirely covered with
sulphur. Copper is very abundant, and of remarkably fine quality. All
kitchen utensils, tobacco-pipes, and fire-shovels, are made of it; and
so well made, that our author mentions his tea-kettle as having stood
on the fire, like all other Japanese kettles, day and night for
months, without burning into holes. This metal is likewise employed
for sheathing ships, and covering the joists and flat roofs of houses.
Iron is less abundant, and much that is used is obtained from the
Dutch. Nails alone, of which immense numbers are used in all
carpentry-work, consume a large quantity. Diamonds, cornelians,
jaspers, some very fine agates, and other precious stones, are found;
but the natives seem not well to understand polishing them. Pearls are
abundant; but not being considered ornamental, they are reserved for
the Chinese market.

Steel and porcelain are the manufactures in which the Japanese chiefly
excel, besides those in silk-stuffs and lacquered ware already
mentioned. Their porcelain is far superior to the Chinese, but it is
scarce and dear. With respect to steel manufactures, the sabres and
daggers of Japan yield only perhaps to those of Damascus; and Golownin
says their cabinet-makers' tools might almost be compared with the
English. In painting, engraving, and printing, they are far behind;
and they seem to have no knowledge of ship-building or navigation
beyond what suffices for coasting voyages, though they have
intelligent and enterprising sailors. There is an immense internal
traffic, for facilitating which there are good roads and bridges where
water-carriage is impracticable. These distant Orientals have likewise
bills of exchange and commercial gazettes. The emperor enjoys a
monopoly of the foreign commerce.

It is popularly said, that Japan has two emperors--one spiritual, and
the other temporal. The former, however, having no share in the
administration of the empire, and seldom even hearing of state
affairs, is no sovereign according to the ideas we attach to that
term. He seems to stand much in the same relation to the emperor that
the popes once did to the sovereigns of Europe. He governs Kioto as a
small independent state; receives the emperor to an interview once in
seven years; is consulted by him on extraordinary emergencies;
receives occasional embassies and presents from him, and bestows his
blessing in return. His dignity, unlike that of the Roman pontiffs, is
hereditary, and he is allowed twelve wives, that his race may not
become extinct. According to Japanese records, the present dynasty,
including about 130 Kin-reys, has been maintained in a direct line for
above twenty-four centuries. The person of the Kin-rey is so sacred,
that no ordinary mortal may see any part of him but his feet, and that
only once a year; every vessel which he uses must be broken
immediately; for if another should even by accident eat or drink out
of it, he must be put to death. Every garment which he wears must be
manufactured by virgin hands, from the earliest process in the
preparation of the silk.

The adherents of the aboriginal Japanese religion, of which the
Kin-rey is the head, adore numerous divinities called Kami, or
immortal spirits, to whom they offer prayers, flowers, and sometimes
more substantial gifts. They also worship Kadotski, or saints--mortals
canonised by the Kin-rey--and build temples in their honour. The laws
concerning personal and ceremonial purity, which form the principal
feature of this religion, are exceedingly strict, not unlike those
imposed on the ancient Jews. There are several orders of priests,
monks, and nuns, whose austerity, like that of Europe, is maintained
in theory more than in practice.

Three other creeds, the Brahminical, the Confucian, and that which
deifies the heavenly bodies, have many adherents; but their priests
all acknowledge a certain religious supremacy to exist in the Kin-rey.
There is universal toleration in these matters; every citizen may
profess what faith he chooses, and change it as often as he chooses,
without any one inquiring into his reasons; only it must be a
spontaneous choice, for proselyting is forbidden by law. Christianity
alone is proscribed, and that on account of the political mischief
said to have been effected through its adherents in the seventeenth
century. There is a law, by which no one may hire a servant without
receiving a certificate of his not being a Christian; and on
New-Year's Day, which is a great national festival, all the
inhabitants of Nangasaki are obliged to ascend a staircase, and
trample on the crucifix, and other insignia of the Romish faith, which
are laid on the steps as a test. It is said that many perform the act
in violation of their feelings. So much of the religious state of the
empire Golownin elicited in conversation with Teske and others; but
everything on this subject was communicated with evident reluctance;
and though in the course of the walks which they were permitted to
take in harness, the Russian captives sometimes saw the interior of
the temples, they were never permitted to enter while any religious
rites were celebrated.

With respect to the civil administration of Japan, our author seems to
have gathered little that was absolutely new to us. The empire
comprises above 200 states, which are governed as independent
sovereignties by princes called Damyos, who frame and enforce their
own laws. Though most of these principalities are very small, some of
them are powerful: the damyo of Sindai, for instance, visits the
imperial court with a retinue of 60,000. Their dependence on the
emperor appears chiefly in their being obliged to maintain a certain
number of troops, which are at his disposal. Those provinces which
belong directly to the emperor, are placed under governors called
Bunyos, whose families reside at the capital as hostages. Every
province has two bunyos, each of whom spends six months in the
government and six at Yedo.

The supreme council of the emperor consists of five sovereign princes,
who decide on all ordinary measures without referring to him. An
inferior council of fifteen princes or nobles presides over important
civil and criminal cases. The general laws are few and well known.
They are very severe; but the judges generally find means of evading
them where their enforcement would involve a violation of those of
humanity. In some cases, as in conjugal infidelity or filial impiety,
individuals are permitted to avenge their own wrong, even to the
taking of life. Civil cases are generally decided by arbitrators, and
only when they fail to settle a matter is there recourse to the public
courts of justice. Taxes are generally paid to the reigning prince or
emperor, in tithes of the agricultural, manufactured, or other
productions of the country.

Such were some of the leading particulars ascertained by Golownin
concerning the social and civil condition of this singular people. He
says, they always appeared very happy, and their demeanour was
characterised by lively and polite manners, with the most
imperturbable good temper. It seems at length to have been through
fear of a Russian invasion, rather than from any sense of justice,
that his Japanese majesty, in reply to the importunities of the
officers of the _Diana_, consented to release the captives, on
condition of receiving from the Russian government a solemn disavowal
of having sanctioned the proceedings of Chwostoff. Having obtained
this, the officers repaired for the fourth time to these unfriendly
shores, and enjoyed the happiness of embracing their companions, and
taking them on board.


[1] _Japan and the Japanese._ By Captain Golownin. London: Colburn &
Co. 1852.

[2] Sagi is the strong drink of Japan, distilled from rice.


                                             _July 1852._

When we shall have a constant supply of pure water--a complete system
of efficient and innoxious sewers--a service of street hydrants--when
the Thames shall cease to be the _cloaca maxima_, are questions to
which, however seriously asked, it is not easy to get an answer. Add
to these grievances, the delay of proper regulations for abolishing
intramural interments, and the fact that Smithfield is not to be
removed further than Copenhagen Fields--a locality already surrounded
with houses--and it will occasion no surprise that the authorities are
treated with anything but compliments.

The laying down of an under-sea telegraph wire across the Irish
Channel, may be taken as a new instance of the indifference consequent
on familiarity. When the line was laid from Dover to Calais, the whole
land rang with the fact; but now the sinking of a wire three times the
length, in a channel three times the width, excites scarcely a remark,
and seems to be looked on as a matter of course. The wire, which is
eighty miles in length, is said to weigh eighty tons. It was payed out
and sunk from the deck of the _Britannia_, at the rate of from three
to five miles an hour, and was successfully laid, from Holyhead to
Howth, in from twelve to fifteen hours; and now a message may be
flashed from Trieste to Galway in a period brief enough to satisfy the
most impatient. The means of travel to the East, too, are becoming
tangible in the Egyptian railway, of which some thirty miles are in a
state of forwardness, besides which a hotel is to be built at Thebes;
so that travellers, no longer compelled to bivouac in the desert, will
find a teeming larder and well-aired beds in the land of the Sphinxes.
And, better still, among a host of beneficial reforms to take place in
our Customs' administration, there is one which provides that the
baggage of travellers arriving in the port of London shall be examined
as they come up the river, instead of being sent to the Custom-house.

By a report of the Astronomer-royal to the Board of Visitors, who have
lately made their annual inspection of the Greenwich Observatory, we
are informed, of a singular fact, that observations of the pole-star
shew that its position varies some three or four seconds on repeating
the observations at intervals of a few months, and this
notwithstanding the extreme accuracy of the transit circle. The only
explanation which can as yet be given for this phenomenon is, that the
earth, solid as it appears, is liable to slight occasional movements
or oscillations.

We shall know, in a few weeks, the result of the telegraphic
correspondence with the Observatory at Paris--one interesting point
being, as to whether the respective longitudes, as at present
determined, will be verified by the galvanic test. Besides which,
Greenwich time is to be sent every day to London, where a pole, with a
huge sliding-ball, has been fixed on the top of the Telegraph Office,
near Charing Cross. This ball is to be made to descend at one o'clock
simultaneously with the well-known ball which surmounts the
Observatory; and thus scientific inquirers--to say nothing of the
crowds who will daily throng the footways of the Strand to witness the
downcome--will be informed of the true time, while, by means of the
wires, it may be flashed to all parts of the kingdom.

The lecture with which Professor Faraday wound up the course at the
Royal Institution may be mentioned here, seeing that it adds somewhat
to our knowledge of the theory and phenomena of magnetism. As usual,
the lecture-room was crowded; and those who could not understand, had
at least the satisfaction of being able to say they were present. Mr
Faraday, who, enlarging upon his view, announced, a short time since,
that there are such things as magnetic lines of force, now contends
that these lines have a 'physical character'--a point most
satisfactorily proved by sundry experiments during the lecture. The
inquiry is one, as Mr Faraday observes, on the 'very edge of science,'
trenching on the bounds of speculation; but such as eminently to
provoke research. The phenomena, he says, 'lead on, by deduction and
correction, to the discovery of new phenomena; and so cause an
increase and advancement of real physical truth, which, unlike the
hypothesis that led to it, becomes fundamental knowledge, not subject
to change.' A chief point of discussion to which the investigations
have led is: Whether the phenomena of what we call gravity may not be
resolvable into those of magnetism--a force acting at a distance, or
by lines of power. 'There is one question,' continues Mr Faraday, 'in
relation to gravity, which, if we could ascertain or touch it, would
greatly enlighten us. It is, whether gravitation requires _time_. If
it did, it would shew undeniably that a physical agency existed in the
course of the line of force. It seems equally impossible to prove or
disprove this point; since there is no capability of suspending,
changing, or annihilating the power (gravity), or annihilating the
matter in which the power resides.' The lines of magnetic force may
have 'a separate existence,' but as yet we are unable to tell whether
these lines 'are analogous to those of gravitation, acting at a
distance; or whether, having a physical existence, they are more like
in their nature to those of electric induction or the electric
current.' Mr Faraday inclines at present to the latter view. He
'affirms' the lines of magnetic force from actual experiment, and
'advocates' their physical nature 'chiefly with a view of stating the
question of their existence; and though,' he adds, 'I should not have
raised the argument unless I had thought it both important and likely
to be answered ultimately in the affirmative, I still hold the opinion
with some hesitation, with as much, indeed, as accompanies any
conclusion I endeavour to draw respecting points in the very depths of
science--as, for instance, one, two, or no electric fluids; or the
real nature of a ray of light; or the nature of attraction, even that
of gravity itself; or the general nature of matter.' These are
profound views; but we may reasonably conclude, that, however obscure
they may at present appear, they will in time be cleared up and
further developed by the gifted philosopher from whom they emanate.

Of minor matters which have been more or less talked about, there is
the Library for the Working-Classes, just opened in the parish of St
Martin-in-the-Fields--a praiseworthy example for other parishes, but
not to be followed unless the readers actually exist, and manifest the
sort of want which books alone can satisfy. A suggestion has been
made, to use for books in hot climates, where paper is liable to rapid
decay, the sheet-iron exhibited at Breslau, which is as thin and
pliant as paper, and can be produced at the rate of more than 7000
feet to the hundredweight. This would be something new in the
application of metal. Metallurgy generally is being further
investigated by Leonhard of Heidelberg, who has just called on
manufacturers to aid him in his researches, by sending him specimens
of scoriæ, particularly of those which are crystallised. Then there is
Mr Hesketh's communication to the Institute of British Architects, 'On
the Admission of Daylight into Buildings, particularly in the Narrow
and Confined Localities of Towns;' in which, after shewing that the
proportion of light admitted to buildings is generally inadequate to
their cubical contents, and means for estimating the numerical value
of that which really does enter, he states that the defect may be
remedied by the use of reflectors, contrived so as to be 'neither
obstructive nor unsightly.' He explains, that 'a single reflector may
generally be placed on either the outside or inside of a window or
skylight, so as to throw the light from the (perhaps small) portion of
sky which remains unobscured overhead, to any part in which more light
is required.' Such difficulties of position or construction as present
themselves, 'may be overcome in almost every case, by, as it were,
cutting up the single reflector into strips, and arranging them one
above the other, either in the reveal of the window, or in some other
part where it will not interfere with ventilation, or the action of
the sashes.' This is adopting the principle on which improved
lighthouse reflectors are constructed; and we are told, that 'the
combinations may be arranged horizontally, vertically, or obliquely,
according to the positions of the centre of the unobscured portion of
sky, and of the part into which the light is to be thrown, and
according to the shape of the opening in which the combination is to
be placed.' As a case in point, it was mentioned that a reflector 'had
been fitted to a vault (at the Depôt Wharf, in the Borough) ninety-six
feet in depth from front to back. The area into which the window opens
is a semicircle, with a heavy iron-grating over it; and the result is,
that small print can be easily read at the far end of the vault.' It
is a fact worth knowing, that reflectors may be so constructed as to
throw all the available daylight into any required direction; and in
one instance the reflector may be made to serve at the same time as a
dwarf venetian window-blind. Instead of wooden splats or laths, flat
glass tubes or prisms are used, fitted into the usual framework, and
these being silvered on the inside, throw all the light that falls on
them into the room, when placed at the proper angle.

Again, the possibility of locomotion without the aid of steam is
talked about, and the New Yorkers are said to be about to send over a
large ship driven by Ericsson's caloric engine, which is to prove as
powerful as vapour at one-half of the cost--a fact of which we shall
be better able to judge when the vessel really arrives. Then, looking
across the Channel, we find the Abbé Moigno proposing to construct and
establish a relief model of Europe in the Bois de Boulogne at Paris,
of a size to cover several acres, and with the railways of iron, and
the rivers of water, by which means one of the most interesting and
instructive of sights would be produced, and the attractions of the
Trench capital greatly increased. A desirable project--but the cost!
The Montyon prize of 2000 francs has been awarded to M. Mosson, for
his method of drying and preserving vegetables for long sea voyages,
as published a few months ago. M. Naudin states, that a certain kind
of furze or thistle, of which cattle are very fond, may be made to
grow without thorns--an important consideration, seeing that at
present, before it can be used as food, it has to undergo a laborious
beating, to crush and break the prickles with which it is covered. As
the plant thrives best on poor soils, which might otherwise lie
useless, the saving of this labour will be a great benefit to the
French peasantry; and the more so, as it appears the plant will grow
in its new state from seed. M. Naudin believes, that the condition of
other vegetable productions may be varied at pleasure, and promises to
lay his views shortly before the Académie. M. Lecoq, director of the
Botanical Garden at Claremont, informs the same body of something
still more extraordinary, in a communication, entitled 'Two Hundred,
Five Hundred, or even a Thousand new Vegetables, created _ad
libitum_.' Having been struck by the fact, that the ass so often feeds
upon the thistle, he took some specimens of that plant, and, by
careful experiment, has succeeded in producing for the table 'a
savoury vegetable, with thorns of the most inoffensive and flexible
sort.' Whatever be the kind of thistle, however hard and sharp its
thorns, he has tamed and softened them all, his method of
transformation being, as he says, none other than exposing the plants
to different influences of light. Those which grew unsheltered, he
places in the dark, and _vice versâ_. Familiar examples are given in
the celery, of which the acrid qualities are removed by keeping off
the light; while the pungency of cress, parsley, &c., is increased by
exposure to the sun. M. Lecoq has not yet detailed all his
experiments; but he asserts that, before long, some of our commonest
weeds, owing to his modifications, will become as highly esteemed as
peas or asparagus. Let him shew that his process is one that admits of
being applied cheaply and on a large scale, and he will not fail of
his reward.


It will be found that the ripest knowledge is best qualified to
instruct the most complete ignorance. It is a common mistake to
suppose that those who know little suffice to inform those who know
less; that the master who is but a stage before the pupil can, as well
as another, shew him the way; nay, that there may even be an advantage
in this near approach between the minds of teacher and of taught;
since the recollection of recent difficulties, and the vividness of
fresh acquisition, give to the one a more living interest in the
progress of the other. Of all educational errors, this is one of the
gravest. The approximation required between the mind of teacher and of
taught is not that of a common ignorance, but of mutual sympathy; not
a partnership in narrowness of understanding, but that thorough
insight of the one into the other, that orderly analysis of the
tangled skein of thought; that patient and masterly skill in
developing conception after conception, with a constant view to a
remote result, which can only belong to comprehensive knowledge and
prompt affections. With whatever accuracy the recently initiated may
give out his new stores, he will rigidly follow the precise method by
which he made them his own; and will want that variety and fertility
of resource, that command of the several paths of access to a truth,
which are given by thorough survey of the whole field on which he
stands. The instructor needs to have a full perception, not merely of
the internal contents, but also of the external relations, of that
which he unfolds; as the astronomer knows but little, if, ignorant of
the place and laws of moon and sun, he has examined only their
mountains and their spots. The sense of proportion between the
different parts and stages of a subject; the appreciation of the size
and value of every step; the foresight of the direction and magnitude
of the section that remains, are qualities so essential to the
teacher, that without them all instruction is but an insult to the
learner's understanding. And in virtue of these it is that the most
cultivated minds are usually the most patient, most clear, most
rationally progressive; most studious of accuracy in details, because
not impatiently shut up within them as absolutely limiting the view,
but quietly contemplating them from without in their relation to the
whole. Neglect and depreciation of intellectual minutiæ are
characteristics of the ill-informed; and where the granular parts of
study are thrown away or loosely held, will be found no compact mass
of knowledge, solid and clear as crystal, but a sandy accumulation,
bound together by no cohesion, and transmitting no light. And above
and beyond all the advantages which a higher culture gives in the mere
system of communicating knowledge, must be placed that indefinable and
mysterious power which a superior mind always puts forth upon an
inferior; that living and life-giving action, by which the mental
forces are strengthened and developed, and a spirit of intelligence is
produced, far transcending in excellence the acquisition of any
special ideas. In the task of instruction, so lightly assumed, so
unworthily esteemed, no amount of wisdom would be superfluous and
lost; and even the child's elementary teaching would be best
conducted, were it possible, by Omniscience itself. The more
comprehensive the range of intellectual view, and the more minute the
perception of its parts, the greater will be the simplicity of
conception, the aptitude for exposition, and the directness of access
to the open and expectant mind. This adaptation to the humblest
wants is the peculiar triumph of the highest spirit of
knowledge.--_Martineau's Discourses_.


The picturesque banks of the river Connecticut are dotted with
charming little villages, that break here and there upon the sight
like feathers of light, dancing among the willow leaves; there is such
a dazzling irregularity of house and hill--so much fairy-like
confusion of vista, landscape, and settlement. Now we pass a tiny
white and vine-clad cottage, that looks as if it had been set down
yesterday; now we sweep majestically by an ambitious young town, with
its two, three, or half-a-dozen church-spires, sending back the lines
of narrow light into the water; anon we glide past a forest of
majestic old trees, that seem to press their topmost buds against the
fleecy clouds floating in the blue sky; and through these forests we
catch glimpses of the oriole, dashing through the boughs like a flake
of fire.--_Yankee Stories, by Howard Paul_.


The sunny side of the street should always be chosen as a residence,
for its superior healthfulness. In some barracks in Russia, it was
found that in a wing where no sun penetrated, there occurred three
cases of sickness for every single case which occurred on that side of
the building exposed to the sun's rays. All other circumstances were
equal--such as ventilation, size of apartments, &c., so that no other
cause for this disproportion seemed to exist. In the Italian cities,
this practical hint is well known. Malaria seldom attacks the set of
apartments or houses which are freely open to the sun; while, on the
opposite side of the street, the summer and autumn are very
unhealthful, and even dangerous.


    'Where shall we sail to-day?'
                              Thus said, methought,
    A Voice--that could be only heard in dreams:
    And on we glided without mast or oars,
    A fair strange boat upon a wondrous sea.

    Sudden the land curved inward, to a bay
    Broad, calm; with gorgeous sea-flowers waving slow
    Beneath the surface--like rich thoughts that move
    In the mysterious deep of human hearts.

    But towards the rounded shore's embracing arm,
    The little waves leaped, singing, to their death;
    And shadowy trees drooped pensive over them,
    Like long-fringed lashes over sparkling eyes.

    So still, so fair, so rosy in the dawn
    Lay that bright bay: yet something seemed to breathe,
    Or in the air, or trees, or lisping waves,
    Or from the Voice, ay near as one's own soul--

    '_There was a wreck last night!_'
                              A wreck?--and where
    The ship, the crew?--All gone. The monument
    On which is writ no name, no chronicle,
    Laid itself o'er them with smooth crystal smile.

    '_Yet was the wreck last night!_'
                              And, gazing down,
    Deep down beneath the surface, we were 'ware
    Of cold dead faces, with their stony eyes
    Uplooking to the dawn they could not see.

    One stirred with stirring sea-weeds: one lay prone,
    The tinted fishes glancing o'er his breast:
    One, caught by floating hair, rocked daintily
    On the reed-cradle woven by kind Death.

    'The wreck has been,' then said the deep low Voice,
    (Than which not Gabriel's did diviner sound,
    Or sweeter--when the stern, meek angel spake:
    'See that thou worship not! Not me, but God!')

    'The wreck has been, yet all things are at peace,
    Earth, sea, and sky. The dead, that while we slept
    Struggled for life, now sleep and fear no storm:
    O'er them let us not weep when God's heaven smiles.'

    So we sailed on above the diamond sands,
    Bright sea-flowers, and dead faces white and calm,
    Till the waves rocked us in the open sea,
    And the great sun arose upon the world.


Every day, morning and evening, says our widow, 'I see a Moor pass
along the street; all his features beam with kindness and serenity. A
sword, or rather a long yataghan, is slung in his girdle; all the
Arabs salute him with respect, and press forward to kiss his hand.
This man is a _chaouch_ or executioner--an office considered so
honourable in this country, that the person invested with it is
regarded as a special favourite of Heaven, intrusted with the care of
facilitating the path of the true believer from this lower world to
the seventh heaven of Mohammed.--_A Residence in Algeria, by Madame

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To be continued in Monthly Volumes.

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Printed and Published by W. and R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh.
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