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Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 462 - Volume 18, New Series, November 6, 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. 462 - Volume 18, New Series, November 6, 1852" ***

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                     CHAMBERS' EDINBURGH JOURNAL


  No. 462. NEW SERIES.   SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1852.   PRICE 1-1/2_d._


She is neither your partner, nor ours, nor anybody else's in
particular. She is in general business, of which matrimony is only a
department. How she came to be concerned in so many concerns, is a
mystery of nature, like the origin of the Poet--or rather of black
Topsy. The latter, you know, was not born at all, she never had no
father nor mother, she was not made by nobody--she _growed_; and so it
is with the managing partner, who was a managing partner from her
infancy. It is handed down by tradition that she screamed lustily in
the nurse's arms when anything went wrong, or as she would not have
it; and this gave rise, among superficial observers, to the notion,
that Missy was naturally cross. But the fact is, her screams were
merely substitutes for words, like the inarticulate cries by which
dumb persons express their emotions. When language came, she gave up
screaming--but not managing. She did not so much play, as direct the
play--distributing the parts to her companions, and remaining herself
an abstraction. If she was ever seen cuffing a doll on the side of the
head, or shaking it viciously by the arm, this was merely a burst of
natural impatience with the stupid thing; but in general, she
contented herself with desiring the mother of the offender to bestow
the necessary chastisement. Her orders were usually obeyed; for they
were seen to proceed from no selfish motive, but from an innate sense
of right. This fact was obvious from the very words in which they were
conveyed: You _should_ be so and so; you _should_ do so and so; you
_should_ say so and so. Her orders were, in fact, a series of moral
maxims, which the other partners in the juvenile concern took upon

As she grew up into girlhood, and then into young-womanhood, business
multiplied upon her hands. She was never particular as to what
business it was. Like Wordsworth, when invited in to lunch, she was
perfectly willing to take a hand in 'anything that was going forward;'
and that hand was sure to be an important one: she never entered a
concern of which she did not at once become the managing partner. In
another of these chalk (and water) portraits, we described the
Everyday Young Lady as the go-between in numberless love affairs, but
never the principal in any. This is precisely the case with the young
lady we are now taking off--yet how different are the functions of the
two! The former listens, and sighs, and blushes, and sympathises,
pressing the secret into the depths of her bosom, turning down her
conscious eyes from the world's face, and looking night and day as if
she was haunted by a Mystery. She is, in fact, of no use, but as a
reservoir into which her friend may pour her feelings, and come for
them again when she chooses, to enjoy and gloat over them at leisure.
Her nerves are hardly equal to a message; but a note feels red-hot in
her bosom, and when she has one, she looks down every now and then
spasmodically, as if to see whether it has singed the muslin. When the
affair has been brought to a happy issue, she attends, in an official
capacity, the busking of the victim; and when she sees her at length
assume the (lace) veil, and prepare to go forth to be actually
married--a contingency she had till that moment denied in her secret
heart to be within the bounds of possibility--she falls upon her neck
as hysterically as a regard for the frocks of both will allow, and
indulges in a silent fit of tears, and terror, and triumph.

But the managing partner is altogether of a more practical character.
She no sooner gets an inkling of what is going forward, than she steps
into the concern as confidently as if any number of parchments had
been signed and scaled. She is not _assumed_ as a partner (in the
Scottish phrase), but assumes to be one, and her assumption is
unconsciously submitted to. To the other young lady the
bride-expectant goes for sympathy, to this one for advice. And what
she receives is advice, and nothing but advice. The Manager does not
put her own hand to the business: she dictates what is to be done; she
carries neither note nor message, but suggests the purport of both,
and the messenger to be employed; she repeats the moral maxims of her
childhood--You should be so and so; you should do so and so; you
should say so and so. Sometimes she makes a mistake--but what then?
she has plenty of other businesses to attend to, and the average is
sure to come up well. In philosophy, she is a decided utilitarian;
bearing with perfect never-mindingness the misfortunes of individuals,
and holding by the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

When the managing partner is herself married, the sphere of her
exertions widens, and her perfect unselfishness becomes more and more
apparent. She directs the affairs of her husband, of her friends, of
her neighbours--everybody's affairs, in short, but her own. She has
the most uncomfortable house, the most uncared-for children, the most
untidy person in the parish: but how could it be otherwise, since all
her thoughts and cares are given to her neighbours? Some people
suppose that ambition is at the bottom of all this; but we do not
share the opinion. The woman of the world is ambitious, for the
aggrandisement of herself or family is the main-spring of all her
management; but _our_ manager finds in the trouble she takes its own
reward. The other would not stir hand or tongue without some selfish
end in view; while she will work morning, noon, and night, without the
faintest dream of remuneration. Again, Bottom the weaver is an
ambitious character. Not satisfied with playing Pyramus--'An' I may
hide my face,' says he, 'let me play Thisbe too!' And so likewise,
when the lion is mentioned, he would fain play the lion in addition to
both, promising to aggravate his voice in such a way as to roar you as
gently as any sucking-dove. The managing partner would shrink from
this kind of active employment. She would compose the play, distribute
the parts, shift the scenes, and snuff the candles; but she would take
no part in the performance. This makes her character a difficult
study; but though difficult, it is not impossible for those who are
gifted in that way to get to the bottom of it. _Our_ theory is, that
the fundamental motive of the managing partner is PHILANTHROPY.

In order to understand this, we must remember that she is original and
unique only in the length to which she carries a common principle in
human nature. Society is full of advisers on a small scale. If you ask
your way to such a place in the street, the Mentor you invoke is
instantaneously seized with a strong desire to befriend you. He calls
after you a supplement to his directions; and if you chance to turn
your head, you will observe him watching to see whether you do take
the right hand. When the opinions of two advisers, no matter on what
subject, clash, mark the heat and obstinacy with which they are
defended. Each considers himself in the right; and believing your
wellbeing to depend upon the choice you make, is humanely solicitous
that you should give the preference to him. The managing partner
merely carries out this feeling to a noble, not to say sublime extent,
and becomes the philanthropist _par excellence_. Philanthropy is
virtue, and virtue, we all know, is its own reward--that is, we all
say; for in reality the idea is somewhat obscure. Perhaps we mean that
it is the feeling of being virtuous which rewards the act of virtue,
and if so, how happy must the managing partner be! Troubled by no
vulgar ambition, by no hankering after notoriety, by no yearning to
join ostensibly in the game of life, she shrouds herself in obscurity,
as the widow Bessie Maclure in _Old Mortality_ did in an old red
cloak, and directs with a whisper the way of the passer-by. There is a
certain awful pride which must swell at times in that woman's bosom,
as she thinks of the events which her counsel is now governing, and of
the wheels that are now turning and twirling in obedience to the
impulse they received from her!

The managing partner manages a great many benevolent societies, but it
is unnecessary here to mention more than one. This is the
Advice-to-the-poor-and-needy-giving Ladies' Samaritan Association. The
business of this admirable institution is carried on by the
lady-collectors, who solicit subscriptions, chiefly from the bachelors
on their beat; and the lady-missionaries, who visit the lowest dens in
the place, to distribute, with a beautiful philanthropy, moral Tracts,
and Exhortations to be good, tidy, church-going, and happy, to the
ragged and starving inmates. Although these, however, are the
functionaries ostensible to the public, it is the managing partner who
sets them in motion. She is neither president nor vice-president, nor
treasurer nor secretary, nor collector nor missionary; but she is a
power over all these, supreme, though nameless. She is likewise the
editor (with a sub-editor for work) of the tracts and exhortations;
and in the course of this duty she mingles charity with business in a
way well worthy of imitation. The productions in question are usually
received gratuitously, for advice of all kinds, as we have remarked,
is common and plenty; but sometimes the demand is so great as to
require the aid of a purchased pen. On such occasions the individual
employed by the managing partner is a broken-down clergyman, who was
deprived at once of his sight and his living by the visitation of God,
and who writes for the support of a wife and fourteen children. This
respectable character is induced, by fear of competition, and the
strong necessity of feeding sixteen mouths with something or other, to
use his pen for the Association at half-price; while he is compelled
by his circumstances to reside in the very midst of the destitution he
addresses, where he learns in suffering what he teaches in prose-ing.
But, notwithstanding all this beautiful management, her schemes, being
of human device, sometimes fail. An example of this is offered by the
one she originated on hearing the first terrible cry of Destitution in
the Highlands. Under her auspices, the Female Benevolent Trousers
Society became extremely popular. Its object, of course, was to supply
these garments gratuitously to the perishing mountaineers, in lieu of
the cold unseemly kilt. It was discovered, however, after a time, that
the Highlanders do not wear kilts at all; and the society was broken
up, and its funds handed over, at the suggestion of the institutor,
for the Encouragement of the interesting Mieau tribe of Old Christians
in Abyssinia. The tenets of this tribe, you are aware, are in several
instances wonderfully similar to our own; only, they abjure in their
totality the filthy rags of the moral law, which has drawn upon them
the bitter persecution of the heathenish Mohammedans in their

We have observed that the managing partner is impatient of another
counsellor. This is a remarkable trait in her character. Even the
woman of the world looks with approbation upon the doings of a
congener, when they do not come into collision with her own; even the
everyday married lady bends her head confidentially towards her
double, as they sit side by side, and rises from the tête-à-tête
charmed and edified: the managing partner alone is solitary and
unsocial. This is demanded by the lofty nature of her duties. Every
business, great and small, should have a single head to direct; and
she feels satisfied, after dispassionate reflection, that the best
head of all is her own. This makes her wish conscientiously that there
was only one business on the earth, that all mankind were her clients,
and that there was not another individual of her class extant.

In her last moments, and only then, this great-minded woman thinks of
herself--if that can be said to be herself which remains in the world
after she is defunct. She thinks of what is to become of her body, and
feels a melancholy pleasure in arranging the ceremonies of its
funeral. Everything must be ordered by herself; and when the last is
said, her breath departs in a sigh of satisfaction. But sometimes
death is in a hurry, or her voice low and indistinct. It happened in a
case of this kind, that a doubt arose in the minds of the bystanders
as to the shoulder she intended to be taken by one of the friends.
They looked at her; but her voice was irretrievably gone, and they
considered that, in so far as this point was concerned, the management
had devolved upon them. Not so: the dying woman could not speak; but
with a convulsive effort, she moved one of her hands, touched the left
shoulder, and expired.

_De mortuis nil nisi bonum_ is an excellent maxim; but in concluding
this sketch, there can be no harm in at least regretting the
imperfection of human nature. If its eminent subject, instead of
spending abroad upon the world her great capacity, had been able to
concentrate it in some measure upon herself and family, there can be
little doubt that she would have been regarded in society with less of
the contempt which genius, and less of the dislike which virtue
inspires in the foolish and wicked, and that fewer unreflecting
readers would at this moment be whispering to themselves the
concluding line of Pope's malignant libel--

    Alive ridiculous, and dead forgot!


The neighbourhood of Gebel Silsilis, or the Mountain of the Chain, is
very interesting in many respects. After flowing for some distance
through the usual strip of alluvial plain, bordered by not very lofty
undulating ground, the Nile suddenly sweeps into a gap between two
imposing masses of rock that overhang the stream for above a mile on
either hand. The appearance of the precipices thus hemming in and
narrowing so puissant a volume of water, covered with eddies and
whirlpools, would be picturesque enough in itself; but we have here,
in addition, an immense number of caves, grottos, quarries, and
rock-temples, dotting the surface of the rock, and suggesting at first
sight the idea of a city just half ground down and solidified into a
mountain. On the western bank, numerous handsome façades and porticos
have indeed been hewn out; and mightily interesting they were to
wander through, with their elaborate tablets and cursory inscriptions,
their hieroglyphical scrolls, their sculptured gods and symbols, and
all the luxury of their architectural ornaments. But the grandest
impressions are to be sought for on the other side, whence the
materials of whole capital cities must have been removed. There is, in
fact, a wilderness of quarries there, approached by deep perpendicular
cuts, like streets leading from the river's bank, which must have
furnished a wonderful amount of sandstone to those strange old
architects who, whilst they sometimes chose to convert a mountain into
a temple, generally preferred to build up a temple into a mountain. It
takes hours merely to have a glimpse at these mighty excavations, some
of which are cavernous, with roofs supported by huge square pillars,
but most of which form great squares worked down to an enormous depth.

The rock's on the western bank are not isolated, but seem to be the
termination of a range projecting from the interior of the desert; and
a minor range, branching off, hugs the river to the northward pretty
closely for a great distance; but those on the other side are
separated by what may almost be called a plain from the Arabian chain
of hills, and might be supposed by the fanciful to have been formerly
surrounded by the rapid waters of the Nile. They are admirably placed
for the purpose to which they were applied; and although I have not
the presumption to fix dates, and say under what dynasty the quarries
first began to be worked, there is no rashness in presuming that it
must have been at a very early period indeed. The sandstone is
excellent for building purposes--far superior to the friable limestone
found lower down--and has been removed not only from this one block,
but from both sides, here and there, for a considerable distance to
the north. Many quarries likewise no doubt remain still undiscovered
and unexplored in this neighbourhood. We found the mountains worked
more or less down as far as Ramadeh; and inscriptions and sculptures,
evidently dating from very ancient times, are met with in many.

The people who inhabit the villages and hamlets of this district are
not all fellahs; indeed, I question whether, properly speaking, any
members of that humble race are to be found here. Their place is
supplied by Bedawín Arabs of the Ababde tribe, who have, to a certain
extent, abjured their wandering habits, and settled down on the
borders of a narrow piece of land given to them by the Nile. The
villages of Rasras and Fares, above the pass on the western bank, and
of El-Hamam below, as well as the more extensive and better-favoured
establishment of Silwa, with its little plain, are all peopled by men
of the same race. With the exception of El-Hamam, which has a
territory only a few feet wide, the cultivable land belonging to each
village seems adequate to its support. They have a few small groves of
palms; had just harvested some fair-sized dhourra-fields when we were
last there; and had some fields of the castor-oil plant. Perhaps
cultivation might be extended; a good deal of ground that seemed
fitted for spade or plough was overrun with a useless but beautiful
shrub called the silk-tree. Its pod, which, when just ripe, has a
blush that might rival that on the cheek of a maiden, was beginning to
wither and shrivel in the sun, and opening to scatter flakes of a
silky substance finer than the thistle's beard, leaving bare the
myriad seeds arranged something like a pine-cone.

I have called the plant useless, because vain have been the attempts
made to apply its produce to manufacturing purposes; but Arab mothers
procure from the stem a poisonous milky substance, with which they
sometimes blind their infants, to save them in after-life from the
conscription. How strangely love is corrupted in its manifestations by
the influence of tyranny! I have seen youths who have exhibited a foot
or a hand totally disabled and shrivelled up, and who boasted that
their mothers, in passionate tenderness and solicitude for them, had
thrust their young limbs into the fire, that they might retain their
presence through war, though maimed and rendered almost incapable of

Few plants or trees of any value grow here spontaneously. The pretty
shrub called el-egl droops beneath the rocks of Silsilis over the
water, accompanied sometimes by a dwarf willow; and the sandy earth,
washed down the gullies on the western bank in winter, produces a
plentiful crop of the sakarân--a plant bearing a seed which has
intoxicating qualities, as the name imports, and which is said to be
used by robbers to poison or stupify persons whom they wish to rifle
at their leisure. Some colocynth is gathered here and there, and dried
in the hollows of the rocks.

It is not legal, or rather not allowed in Egypt, to be in possession
of arms without a permit; but throughout the whole of the upper
country, it is found difficult to enforce such a regulation. Men with
spears are often to be met. I saw some parties coming from Silwa armed
with long straight swords, with a cross hilt. Most men are provided
with a dagger fastened round their arm above the elbow with a thong;
others have clubs heavily loaded, or covered at one end with crocodile
scales; and guns are not unfrequent, though powder and shot are
exceedingly scarce. Our two guides, Ismaeen and Abd-el-Mahjid, had
each a single-barrelled fowling-piece--value from twenty-five to
thirty shillings. They were both expert shots, as we had occasion to
witness when we went hare-shooting with them. In fact, with their
assistance, we had hare every day for dinner during our stay. They
were very chary of their powder, and only fired when pretty sure of
success. For catching doves, and other small game, they had ingenious
little traps.

During my wanderings one day among the rocks with Ismaeen, who had
constituted himself my especial guide, I felt somewhat fatigued at a
distance from the boats, and sat down to rest under the shade of a
projecting rock. On all sides yawned the openings of quarries, cut
sheer down into the heart of the mountain to a depth which I could not
fathom from my vantage-ground. I seemed surrounded by abysses. In
front, I could see the Nile whirling its rapid current between the
overhanging rocks which closed up to the north; in the other
direction, spread a desert plain intersected by a ribbon of bright
water between two strips of brighter vegetation. Far away to the
north-west, a solitary heap of mountains marked the spot where the
unvisited ruins of Bergeh are said to lie.

    [Transcriber's Note: A dieresis (umlaut) diacritical mark appears
    above the letter 'g' in the word Bergeh in the above sentence in
    the original.]

Ismaeen sat before me, answering the various questions which the scene
suggested. He was a fine open-faced young man, without any of the
clownishness of the fellah, and spoke in a free and easy but gentle
manner. He told me that he and Abd-el-Mahjid had been sworn friends
from infancy; that they scarcely ever separated; that where one went,
the other went; and that what one willed, the other willed. They were
connected by blood and marriage--the sister of Ismaeen having become
the wife of Abd-el-Mahjid. Both had seen what to them was a good deal
of the world. They had driven horses, camels, sheep, goats, donkeys,
as far as Keneh, even as far as Siout, for sale; and the desert was
familiar to them. The salt sea had rolled its blue waves beneath their
eyes; and they had been as far as the Gebel-el-Elbi, that mysterious
stronghold of the Bisharee, far to the south, in the wildest region of
the desert. Ismaeen, it is true, did not seem to think much of these
wild and romantic journeyings. He laid more stress on having seen the
beautiful city of Siout, where I have no doubt he felt the mingled
contempt and admiration ascribed to the Yorkshireman when he first
visits London.

Having exhausted present topics, our conversation naturally turned to
the past; and I began to be inquisitive about the legends of the
place. I knew there was a local tradition as to the origin of the name
Gebel Silsilis--the Mountain of the Chain--passed over usually with
supercilious contempt in guide-books; and I desired much to hear the
details. Ismaeen at first did not seem to attach any importance to the
subject, gave me but a cursory answer, and proceeded to relate how he
had sold donkeys for sixty piastres at Siout which were only worth
thirty at most at Fares; but I returned to the charge, and after
looking at me somewhat slyly perhaps, to ascertain if I was not making
game of him by affecting an interest in these things, the young
Ababde, with the sublime inattention to positive geography and record
history characteristic of Eastern narrative, spoke nearly as

       *       *       *       *       *

In ancient times, there was a king named Mansoor, who reigned over
Upper Egypt and over the Arabs in both deserts. His capital city was
at this place (Silsilis), which he fortified; and his name was known
and respected as far as the North Sea (the Mediterranean), and in all
the countries of the blacks to the south. Kings, and princes, and
emperors sent messages and presents to him, so that his pride was
exalted, and his satisfaction complete. He reigned a period of fifty
years, at the end of which the vigour of his frame was impaired, and
his beard flowed white as snow upon his breast; and during all that
time, he was different from every other man, in that he had not cared
to have children, and had not repined when Heaven forbore to bestow
that blessing upon him. One day, however, when he was well-stricken in
years, he happened to feel weary in his mind; he yawned, and
complained that he knew not what to do for occupation or employment.
So his wezeer said to him: 'Let us clothe ourselves in the garments of
the common people, and go forth into the city and the country, and
hear what is said, and see what is done, and perhaps we may find
matter of diversion.' The idea was pleasing to the king; and so they
dressed in a humble fashion, and going out by the gate of the garden,
entered at once into the streets and the bazaars. On other occasions,
the bustle, and the noise, and the jokes they heard, and the accidents
that used to happen, were agreeable to King Mansoor; but now he found
all things unpleasant, and even became angry when hustled by the
porters. He thought all the people he met insolent and ill-bred, and
took note of a barber, who splashed him with the contents of his basin
as he emptied it into the street, vowing that he would certainly cause
him to be hanged next day. So the wezeer, afraid that he might be
irritated into discovering himself, advised him to go forth into the
country; and they went forth into a woody district, the king moving
moodily on, neither looking to the right hand nor to the left.
Suddenly, he heard a woman's voice speaking amidst the trees, and
thought he distinguished the sound of his own name; so he stepped
aside, and, cautiously advancing, beheld a young mother sitting by a
fountain of water, dancing an infant on her knees, and singing: 'I
have my Ali, I have my child; I am happier than King Mansoor, who has
no Ali, no child.' The king frowned as black as thunder, and he
understood wherefore he was unhappy: he had no child to play on his
knee when care oppressed his heart. As he thought of this, rage
increased within him, and drawing a concealed sword, before the wezeer
could interpose with his wisdom, he smote the infant, crying: 'Woman,
be as miserable as King Mansoor.' Then he dropped the sword, and
alarmed by the shrieks of the poor mother, thought that if he was
found in that costume, the people might do vengeance on him; so he
fled by bypaths, and returned to his palace.

Having been accustomed to deal death around, the murder of the infant
did not prey upon his mind; but the words of the mother he never
forgot. 'I am miserable, because I am childless,' he repeated every
day; and he ordered all the women of his harem to be well beaten. But
he was compelled to admit, that there was now little chance of his
wishes being fulfilled. However, as a last resort, he consulted a
magician, a man of Persian origin, who had recently arrived with
merchandise in that country. This magician, after many very intricate
calculations, told him that he was destined to have a son by the
daughter of an Abyssinian prince, now betrothed to the son of the
sultan of Damascus; but that her friends would endeavour to take her
secretly down the river in a boat before the year was out, lest he
might behold and covet her. The magician also asked him wherefore he
had thrown away the 'sword of good-luck;' and explained by saying,
that the ancestors of King Mansoor had always been in possession of a
sword which brought them prosperity, and that the dynasty was to come
to an end if it were lost.

Upon this, the king gave, in the first place, orders to his servants
and his guards to search for the sword he had lost; but the woman, who
had concealed it, thinking it might afford some clue to the assassin
of her child, instantly understood, on hearing these inquiries, that
Mansoor was the man. So she vowed vengeance; and being a daughter of
the Arabs of the desert, retired to a distant branch of her tribe with
the sword, and effectually escaped all pursuit. Her name was Lulu;
from that time forth she abjured all feminine pursuits, and became a
man in action, riding a fierce horse, and wielding sword and spear;
'For I,' said she, 'when the period is fulfilled, will smite down this
king who has slain my child.'

Meanwhile, Mansoor had also given orders to stretch an enormous chain
across the river between the two parts of his city, so as to prevent
all boats from passing until searched for the daughter of the
Abyssinian prince; and this is the origin of the name of these
mountains. For a long time, no such person could be discovered; but at
length, when the year was nearly out, a maiden of surpassing
loveliness was found concealed in a mean kanjia, and being brought
before the king, and interrogated, confessed that she was the daughter
of Sala-Solo, Prince of Gondar. Mansoor upon this explained the
decrees of Heaven; and although she wept, and said that she was
betrothed to the son of the sultan of Damascus, he paid no heed to
her, but took her to wife, and in due course of time had a son by her,
whom he named Ali; and he would thereafter smile grimly to, himself,
and say: 'I now have an Ali, I now have a child.'

The magician, who returned about this time, being consulted, said
that if the boy passed the critical period of fifteen years, he would
live, like his father, to a good old age. So Mansoor caused a
subterranean palace to be hewn out of the mountain, in the deeper
chambers of which, fitted up with all magnificence, he caused Ali to
be kept by a faithful nurse; whilst he himself dwelt in the front
chambers that overlooked the river, and gave audience to all who came
and floated in boats beneath his balconies; but no one was allowed to
ascend, except the wezeer and a few proved friends: [There, said
Ismaeen, pointing to one of the largest excavations on the opposite
side, there is the palace of King Mansoor.]

Other things happened meanwhile. The mother of Ali refusing to be
comforted, was divorced, and sent to the son of the king of Damascus,
who loved her, and who took her to wife. She hated King Mansoor, but
she yearned after her first-born, and she endeavoured to persuade her
husband to raise an army, and march to Upper Egypt, to slay the one
and seize the other. For many years he was not able to comply with her
wishes; but at length he collected a vast power, and crossing the
desert of Suwez, advanced rapidly towards the dominions of King

It came to pass, that about the same time the fame of a mighty warrior
grew among the Arabs, one who scoffed at the king's name, attacked his
troops, and plundered his cultivated provinces. All the forces that
could be collected, were despatched to reduce this rebel, but in vain.
They were easily defeated, almost by the prowess of their chief's
unassisted arm; and it became known that the capital itself was to be
attacked before long. At this juncture, the intelligence arrived that
a hostile army was approaching from the north, and had already reached
the Two Mountains (Gebelein); and then, that another army had shewn
itself to the south, about the neighbourhood of the Cataracts--the
former, under the command of the sultan of Damascus; and the latter,
under that of Sala-Solo, his father-in-law, Prince of Gondar. All
misfortunes seemed to shower at once upon the unfortunate Mansoor. He
made what military preparations he could, although his powers had
already been taxed nearly to the utmost to repress the Arabs, and sent
ambassadors to soften the wrath of his enemies. They would accept,
however, no composition; and continued to close in upon him, one from
the north, the other from the south, threatening destruction to the
whole country.

The miserable king now began to repent of having wished for a child.
But he could not help loving Ali, in spite of all things; indeed, he
perhaps loved him the more for the misfortunes he seemed to have
brought. At anyrate, he spent night and day by his side, saying to
himself, that yet a few days, and the fifteen years would be passed,
and the boy at least would be safe. He was encouraged to hope by the
slow progress of the two armies, which seemed bent more on enjoying
themselves, than on performing any feats of arms.

But there was an enemy more terrible than these two--namely, Lulu, the
mother of the murdered child Ali, who had thrown aside her woman's
garments, and become a mighty warrior, for the sake of her revenge.
She wielded the 'sword of good-luck;' and hearing of the approach of
the two armies, feared that her projects might be interfered with by
them. So she collected her forces, marched down to the city-walls,
attacked them at night, was victorious, and before morning entirely
possessed the place, with the exception of the subterranean retreat of
King Mansoor, which it seemed almost impossible to take by force. She
manned a large number of boats, came beneath the water-wall, and
summoned the garrison to surrender; but they remained silent, and
looked at the king, who stood upon the terrace, with his long white
beard reaching to his knees, offering to parley, in order to gain
time. Lulu, however, drawing the 'sword of good-luck,' ordered ladders
to be placed, and mounting to the storm, gained a complete
victory--all the garrison being slain, and Mansoor flying to his child
in the interior chambers. Here the bereaved mother, hot for vengeance,
followed, her flaming weapon in hand, and thrusting the trembling old
man aside, smote the youth to the heart, crying: 'King Mansoor, be as
miserable as Lulu, the mother of Ali.' He understood who it was, and
cried and beat his breast, incapable of other action. Then Lulu slew
him likewise, and returning to her followers, who were pillaging the
city, related what she had done. The report soon spread abroad, and
readied the two hostile armies, both of which were indignant at the
death of Ali; so they advanced rapidly, and surrounding the place,
attacked and utterly destroyed the followers of Lulu. She herself was
taken prisoner, and being led before the queen of Damascus, was
condemned by her to a cruel death, which she suffered accordingly. The
city afterwards fell gradually to ruin, and the neighbouring country
became desert.

       *       *       *       *       *

This sanguinary story, though containing some of the staple machinery
of Eastern fiction, was evidently rather of Bedawín than civilised
origin; and, as such, interested me, in spite of the inartificial
manner in which it was told, the meagre details, and the repulsive
incidents. Ismaeen's only qualities as a historian were animation and
faith. He had heard the narrative from his father, to whom, likewise,
it had been handed down hereditarily. Everybody in the country knew it
to be true. I might ask Abd-el-Mahjid. A shot close at hand announced
the presence of that worthy, who soon appeared with a fine large hare.
On being appealed to, the cunning rogue--perhaps anxious to be thought
a philosopher--said that, for his part, though most people certainly
believed the story, he really had no decided opinion about the matter.


As a quarter of a century has not elapsed since the commencement of
iron ship-building, its history is soon told. Previous to 1838, it may
be said to have had no proper existence, the builders being mere tyros
in their profession, and their efforts only experimental. The first
specimen made its appearance some twenty years ago on the Clyde--the
cradle of steam-navigation. The inconsiderable Cart, however, claims
the honour of for ever deciding the contest between iron and timber--a
contest which can never be renewed with even a remote chance of
success. In the year referred to, and subsequent years, an engineering
firm in Paisley, with the aid of scientific oversight and skilful
workmen, constructed a fleet of iron vessels upon entirely novel
principles, which maintained the sovereignty of the waters for a
lengthened period, and whose main features are retained in the most
approved models of the present day. Their characteristics were speed,
buoyancy, comfort, and elegance--a combination of every requisite for
the safe and advantageous prosecution of passenger-traffic on streams
and estuaries. About the same period, the Glasgow engineers succeeded
in applying somewhat similar principles to the construction of
sea-going vessels of large tonnage, and, in spite of deeply-rooted
prejudices, have ultimately demonstrated the immense superiority of
such constructions over the old wooden vessels. If proof of this were
wanting, the removal of the costly, cumbersome steamers formerly
engaged in the carrying-traffic between Glasgow and Liverpool, and the
substitution in their room of light, capacious iron vessels, equally
strong, and manageable with greater ease and at a considerable saving
of expense--as, likewise the successful establishment of steam
communication between the former city and New York, deemed
impracticable under the old system--might serve to remove the doubts
of the most incredulous.

Although an infant in years, this new branch of engineering skill has
already attained gigantic proportions and mature development. Its
triumphs are on every sea, and on many waters never before traversed
by the agency of steam. The vessels already afloat are numerically a
trifle compared with those in contemplation; and perhaps the most
astonishing feature of all, is the almost infinite number of new
channels of trade they have opened, and are opening up. Ten years ago,
one-half the vessels plying on the Clyde were built of timber, and all
the larger ones, with a few solitary exceptions: at the present hour,
one could not count ten in a fleet of sixty--the immense majority are
of iron. The advertising columns of _one_ newspaper gave notice
recently, in a single day, of the establishment of _three_ several
routes of communication with foreign ports hitherto denied the means
of direct intercourse with this country, all to be carried on by means
of iron vessels. A sailing-vessel, constructed of this material, was
announced at Lloyd's a few months ago, as having performed one of the
speediest homeward passages from Eastern India yet recorded.

A rough estimate of the extent to which this branch of industrial
skill is carried, may be formed from the number of separate
establishments in active operation on the Clyde. There are five of
these in the neighbourhood of Govan, about two miles below Glasgow
Bridge; two at Renfrew; three at Dumbarton, which is, more correctly
speaking, on the Leven, but generally falls to be reckoned in common
with the other places mentioned as a Clyde port; two below Port
Glasgow; and three at Greenock--in all, fifteen establishments,
employing between 4000 and 5000 hands in the construction of iron
hulls alone. This, of course, does not include the army of labourers
dependent for their very existence upon the demand thus created for
materials--such as iron-smelters, forgemen, rivet-makers, &c.; nor
those artisans employed alike on vessels of iron and timber--such as
painters, blacksmiths, blockmakers, riggers, and others. As from the
laying of a keel to the launching of a ship a longer period than six
months rarely elapses, some idea may be formed of the continued press
of work necessary to keep these thousands in full employment, as well
as the dispatch exercised in the completion of orders. From ten to a
dozen ships have been launched from the same building-yard within
twelve months; and a vessel exceeding 1000 tons burden has been
commenced, completed, and fully equipped for sea in little more than
five. On one occasion lately, a passenger-steamer, 160 feet long, 16
feet broad, and capable of accommodating 600 passengers with ease, was
made ready for receiving her machinery in twelve working-days. At this
rate, one would be inclined to fear that business must necessarily
soon come to a dead stop: but there is not the slightest appearance of
such result, nor is it even apprehended. In an age of steam and
electricity, when time and space are threatened with annihilation, it
became necessary to look abroad for some new agent by means of which
the sea, the great highway of nations, might be made still more
subservient to its legitimate purpose. The agent being found, its use
will be commensurate with the growth of commerce, until its fitness is
questioned in turn, and some improved method of conveyance drives its
services from the field. After all, it may be but a step in the proper
direction, an improvement upon the wisdom of our ancestors--another
adaptation of the limitless resources placed at our disposal for
satisfying the growing wants of a race toiling towards a development
as yet unascertained.

The benefits already experienced, and likely still to flow from this
large and growing accession to our marine strength, need scarcely be
commented on. They are self-evident, and recommend themselves alike to
the merchant, the trader, and the mere man of pastime, all of whom are
in some degree participators. Besides the regularity and security
attendant on the transmission of all sorts of merchandise, there is an
immense saving of time and cost. Travelling by sea has changed
entirely the aspect of this kind of transit. With spacious saloons,
well-aired sleeping-apartments, roomy promenades protected from the
weather, and a steady-going ship, a voyage even to distant lands is
now little more than an excursion of pleasure. Eight miles an hour was
considered fair work for the steamers of a dozen years ago; the
present average rate of steaming on the Clyde is fourteen miles an
hour. A very fine vessel, named the _Tourist_, which was exhibited on
the Thames during the holding of the 'world's show' last summer,
performed seventeen miles with perfect ease. What may be expected

How far, as a material in the construction of sailing-bottoms, the use
of iron is likely to supersede that of timber, is a question for the
speculative. At present, our commercial activity affords ample
employment for both. There can be no doubt, however, that in
connection with the steam-engine, and that admirable invention of
modern date, the screw-propeller, iron ship-building is destined to
attain and enjoy an enlarged existence; to the full maturity of which
its present condition, healthful and prosperous as it appears, is but
a promising adolescence.

We recently set out from Glasgow, to pay a visit to an iron
ship-building yard on rather an interesting occasion. On rounding the
base of Dumbarton Rock, where the waters of the Clyde and the Leven
mingle in loving sisterhood, a scene of the gayest description
presented itself. Gaudy banners floated in all directions; the vessels
in the harbour and on the stocks were festooned with flaunting
drapery, and everything wore a holiday appearance. So impressed were
we with the pervading air of joyousness, that on reaching the town,
and finding the inhabitants at their ordinary avocations, we could not
help feeling disappointed, and we confess to having vented a sigh for
grovelling humanity, which dared not venture upon one day of pure
abandonment, separate from the counter and its cares. The joyous
demonstrations, we learned, were in honour of an intended launch; but
this created no stir beyond the circle more immediately interested in
its successful accomplishment.

On entering the building-yard, we found the ceremony was not to take
place for an hour, and we had therefore time to make acquaintance with
the interior of the works. An intelligent foreman acted as cicerone,
and performed the duties with very gratifying cheerfulness.

The Model-room of the establishment is first thrown open to the
visitor. It is an oblong, well-lighted apartment, in a range of
buildings termed the offices. A large flat table, with smooth surface,
occupies the entire centre, around which are scattered a few chairs
for the accommodation of the draughtsmen when at work. Beyond this,
there is no furniture. The objects of interest are the models pegged
to the unadorned walls. These are numerous, and kept with almost
religious care; attached to each there 'hangs a tale,' which your
conductor 'speaks trippingly,' and with no effort at concealment of
satisfaction in the recital. A draughtsman's models are the trophies
of his personal prowess--his letters of introduction--his true
business-card. In the shapely blocks of wood placed for inspection,
you are invited to contemplate the man in connection with his
creations. He points to his model, dilates upon its beauties,
criticises its defects, and leaves you to judge of him from his works.

Crossing from the Model-room, you enter the Moulding-loft--a long,
spacious apartment, not lofty but drearily spacious, and amazingly
airy. Here the draughtsman's lines are extended into working
dimensions, and transferred to wooden moulds, after which they are
put into the hands of the carpenter. Proceeding down stairs, you are
shewn the joiner's shop, filled with benches, work in an unfinished
state, and busy workmen. Underneath this, again, are the saw-pits,
where logs are cut into deals of all dimensions--a laborious and
painful process when performed by manual labour, as must have been
apparent to all who have witnessed it--and who has not? The sawn
timber is stowed in 'racks' in the rear of the building.

Proceeding to the centre of the yard, your attention is directed to an
enormous furnace, near the mouth of which a score of partly undressed
workmen are grouped in attitudes of repose. Around are strewn the
implements of labour--large cast-iron blocks, wooden mallets hooped
with iron, crowbars, and pincers. But, see! the cavern yawns, and from
its glowing recesses the white plates are dragged with huge tongs.
Laid on the block, each plate is beaten with the mallets into the
requisite shape, and thrown aside to cool. In the meantime, the
furnace has been recharged, to vomit forth again when the proper heat
has been obtained.

Behind are the cutting and boring machines, to each of which is
attached a gang of five or six men. Here the plates, when cool, obtain
the desired form, and are bored from corner to corner with two
parallel rows of holes for admitting the rivets. They are now in
readiness for the rivetter at work upon the ship's side, to whom they
are borne on the shoulders of labourers employed for the purpose.

Descending to the water's edge, we were shewn an immense mass of
uprights--inverted arches of angle-iron--the framework of a hull
intended to float 1500 tons of merchandise. Being in a chrysalis
state, it afforded us little enlightenment, so we passed on to an
adjoining one of similar dimensions, proceeding rapidly towards
completion. Here the secrets of the trade--if there be any--lay
patent, as the several branches of skilled labour were seen in
thorough working order. On 'stages,' as the workmen call them, or
temporary wooden galleries passing from stem to stern, and rising tier
above tier, were the rivetters 'with busy hammers closing rivets up,'
and keeping the echoes awake with their ceaseless, and, to
unaccustomed ears, painful din. The rivet-boys, alike alarmed and
amused us, as they leaped from gallery to gallery with fearless
agility, brandishing their red-hot bolts, and replying in imp-like
screechings to the hoarse commands of their seniors. The decks were
filled with carpenters, the cabins with joiners, the rigging with
painters, and all with seeming bluster and confusion: only seeming,
however, for on attentive examination everything was found to be
working sweetly, and under a superintending vigilance not to be
trifled with or deceived with impunity.

The ground-area of these works is of great extent, running parallel
with the banks of the river, and flanked by the buildings lately
visited. Between 400 and 500 workmen are employed upon the premises;
labourers' wages rating 10s. and 12s. weekly; and those of skilled
artisans ranging from 16s. to 23s. A small steam-engine, kept in
constant motion, contributes to the lightening of toil, and the
division of labour is practised wherever it can be done with
advantage. With these facilities at command, no time is lost in the
execution of orders, nor would present circumstances permit such
extravagance, as a contract for 6000 tons of shipping must be
fulfilled before midsummer. The vessel about to be launched, 1500 tons
burden, had been on the stocks for a period of five mouths. But this
reminds us that the fixed hour has come, the notes of preparation are
already dinning in our ears.

The yard was now filled with spectators, who discussed the merits of
the vessel, while they watched with evident anxiety, and some measure
of curiosity, the train of preparations for loosening her stays, and
committing the monster fabric to her destined element. The shores
around were lined with peering faces and a well-attired throng; the
bosom of the stream was agreeably dotted with numerous row-boats,
freighted with living loads, passing and repassing in a diversity of
tracks. The sight, as a whole, was magnificent in its variety; and it
was associated with a feeling of satisfaction, which so many happy
faces wearing the bright flush of anticipation could alone produce.
But, boom! boom! the signal has been given for her release, and with a
stately smile and queenly bearing the proud beauty takes her
departure, bearing with her the best wishes of a joyous and excited
multitude. 'Hurrah! hurrah!' shout the frenzied workmen, as, in token
of success, they pelt the unconscious object of their solicitude with
missiles of every conceivable size and shape. 'Hurrah! hurrah!' repeat
the delighted multitude, as they toss their arms, and wave their hats
and handkerchiefs in the air. 'Hurrah! hurrah!' exclaims a voice at my
elbow. 'There flies the _Australian_ like a shaft from a bow, the
first steamship, destined to convey Her Britannic Majesty's mail to
the Australasian continent. May good fortune attend her!'


For ages past, the amenity of foreign manners in general, and French
manners in particular, has been the theme of every tongue; and the
bold Briton, who would fain look down upon all other nations, cannot
deny the superiority of his continental neighbours in this respect at
least. Why this should be, it is difficult to say, but there is no
doubt that it is so; and even the coarse German is less repulsive in
his manner to strangers than the true-born and true-bred English man
or woman. The French of all ranks teach their children, from their
earliest years, politeness by _rule_, as they do grammar or geography,
or any other branch of a sound education. From _La Civilité Puérile et
Honnête_, up to works which treat of the etiquettes of polite society,
there are books published for persons of every class in life; and
although of late years one sees the same sort of writings advertised
in England, they have certainly not as yet produced any apparent
effect upon us--perhaps from being written by incompetent people, or
perhaps from the author dwelling too exclusively upon usages which
change with the fashion of the day, instead of being based upon right
and kind feelings, or, at anyrate, the appearance of them. I have
lately met with a little French book, entitled _Manuel Complet de la
Bonne Compagnie, ou Guide de la Politesse, et de la Bienséance_,
which, amid much that is, according to our ideas, unnecessary and
almost ridiculous, contains a great deal we should do well to

It begins with treating of the proper behaviour to be observed in
churches of all denominations and forms of faith. Keep silence, or at
least speak rarely, and in a very low tone of voice, if you positively
_must_ make a remark: look grave, walk slowly, and with the head
uncovered. Whether it be a Catholic church, a Protestant temple, or a
Jewish synagogue, remember that it is a place where men assemble to
honour the Creator of the universe, to seek consolation in affliction,
and pardon for sin. When you visit a sacred edifice from curiosity
only, try to do so at a time when no religious service is going
forward; and beware of imitating those Vandals who sully with their
obscure and paltry names the monuments of ages. Do not wait to be
asked for money by the guides, but give them what you judge a
sufficient recompense for their civility, and this without demanding
change, with which you should on such occasions always be provided
beforehand. Whether you give or refuse your mite to a collection, do
so with a polite bow, and never upon any account push or press forward
in the house of God, or shew by your manner that you hold in contempt
any unaccustomed ceremony you may happen to witness. Never in
conversation ridicule or abuse any form of belief; it grieves the
sincerely pious, gives rise to the expression of angry feeling in
those more fanatical or prejudiced, and offends even the sceptic as a
breach of good manners in any one--but in a woman peculiarly
disgusting--even when the listeners are themselves deficient in
Christian faith.

In speaking of family duties, persons who have had educational
advantages beyond those of their parents, are particularly recommended
never to appear sensible of their superior cultivation, and to be even
more submissive and respectful. All near relatives, whether by blood
or marriage, are directed, whatever their feelings may be, 'to keep up
a kindly intercourse by letter, word of mouth, trifling presents, and
so forth, treating your husband or wife's connections in company as
you do your own, merely introducing a little more ceremony.' Those
newly-married couples who go into company to look at, dance with, and
talk to each other, are held up to ridicule, and advised to follow the
example of the English, who wisely remain secluded for a month, in
order to be surfeited with each other's society, and repeat
extravagantly fond epithets until they themselves feel the folly of
them; and their mothers or maiden aunts--who are now sometimes found
at large in France, since the practice of sending poor or plain girls
into convents has ceased to be so general--come under reproof.
'Consider, O ye affectionate-hearted women, that others feel no
interest in the children who to your eyes seem so perfect, and have no
inclination to act as inquisitors over their little talents and
accomplishments. Spare your friends the thousand-and-one anecdotes of
the extraordinary cleverness, vivacity, or piety of the little people
you love so blindly: do not excoriate their ears by making them listen
to recitations or the strumming of sonatos; or weary their eyes by
requesting them to watch the leaping and kicking of small stick-like
legs.' You only render your boys and girls conceited, and make them
appear positive pests to your visitors, whose politeness in giving the
praise you angle for is seldom sincere; and thus, by committing a
fault yourself, you force your friends to do the like in a different
way. 'But even this is better than finding fault with either children
or servants in the presence of strangers; this is such gross
ill-breeding, one feels astonished it should be necessary to take
notice of it at all, and to the little ones themselves it is
absolutely ruinous:' it makes them miserable in the meanwhile, and in
the end, careless of appearances, indifferent to shame.

I must leave out, or at least pass slightly over, a great deal which
sounds most strange to us, such as, the necessity of preventing
servants from 'sitting down in your presence, more especially when
serving at table;' permitting ladies to wear curl papers on rising,
but hinting that they should be hid under a cambric cap; and although
taking it for granted a lady would 'not put on stays' at the same
early hour, reminding her that she may still wear a bodice, and
begging her not to make hot weather an excuse for going about with
naked arms 'and _legs_ and feet thrust into slippers,' but to adopt
fine thin stockings; 'and,' says our author, 'although the _tenue du
lever_ for a gentleman is a cotton or silk night-cap, a waistcoat with
sleeves, or a dressing-gown, he is recommended to abandon _cette mise
matinale_ as early as may be, that so attired he may receive none but
intimate friends.' Unmarried women, until they pass thirty, are
debarred from wearing diamonds or expensive furs and shawls, or from
venturing across so much as a narrow street without being accompanied
by their mother or a female attendant; desired never to inquire after
the health of _gentlemen_; nor, indeed, should married women permit
themselves to do 'so, unless the person inquired after is very ill or
very old.' When you dine out, you are requested 'not to pin your
napkin to your shoulders;' not to say _bouilli_ for _boeuf_,
_volaille_ for _poularde dindon_, or whatever name the winged animal
goes by; or _champagne_ simply, instead of _vin-de-champagne_, which
is _de rigueur_; not 'to turn up the cuffs of your coat when you
carve,' eat your egg from the 'small end, or _neglect_ to break it on
your plate _when emptied, with a coup de couteau_; to cut, instead of
break your bread;' and so on.

There is a great deal of sensible advice upon dress. Ladies _sur le
retour_--that is, those who are _cinquante ans sonnés_--are
recommended never to wear gay colours, dresses of slight materials,
flowers, feathers, or much jewellery; always to cover their hair, wear
high-made gowns, and long sleeves; not to adopt a new fashion the very
moment it appears; and all women, old or young, rich or poor, are
reminded that what is new and fashionably made, and, above all, fresh
and clean, looks infinitely better and more ladylike than the richest,
most expensive dresses, caps, or bonnets that are the least tarnished,
faded, or of a peculiar cut no longer worn. Those candid ladies who
persist in wearing gray hair--a mode the author rather approves of,
except where nature, which she sometimes does, silvers the locks while
the countenance still continues youthful--are requested not to render
themselves absurd by intermingling artificial flowers; and a great
deal of ridicule is also directed against the English, who not only
caricature the French fashions they copy, but go about grinning in
incongruous colours, instead of tasteful contrasts, jumbling old
bonnets with new gowns and half-dirty shawls, and who walk the streets
in carriage costume. Brides bearing about orange-flowers longer than
the day of their marriage are unmercifully quizzed; as likewise the
habit of wearing satins in summer, or straw in winter--sins
exclusively British. Young married women are told not to go into
public without their husbands or some steady middle-aged matron; they
may take a walk with an unmarried friend, although this last must
never attempt to fly in the face of propriety by promenading with a
companion like herself; and no lady of any age can possibly enter a
library, museum, or picture-gallery alone, unless she wishes to study
as an artist.

I grieve to say, in that portion which is devoted to modesty and
propriety of behaviour, the extreme freedom of manner and conversation
in which young English females indulge, are both severely reprobated;
their imprudence in walking about and sitting apart with young men
held up as an example to be sedulously avoided by well-bred French
girls; their so frequently taking _complimens d'usage_ for real
admiration, and either fancying the poor man, innocently repeating
mere words of course, to be a lover, or else blushing and looking
offended, as if he meant to insult, is sneered at rather
ill-naturedly. You are next told how you should enter a shop, which,
however small, you must term a _magasin_, not a _boutique_; and the
_marchand_ himself also receives his lesson: he is to salute his
customer with a low bow and a respectful air, offer a seat, and
display with alacrity all that is asked for; and however imperious or
whimsical he or she may be, to continue the utmost urbanity of manner;
though, if any positive impertinence is shewn, the shopman is
permitted to be silent and grave; he must apologise if forced to give
copper money in change, and treat his humblest customer with as much
respect and attention as those who give large orders. But as
politeness ought in all cases to be reciprocal, the purchaser is
instructed to raise his hat on entering, and ask quietly and civilly
for what he wishes to see. No one should say: 'I want so and so;'
'Have you such and such a thing?' but, 'Will you be so good as shew
me?' or, 'I beg of you to let me look at,' &c. Should you not succeed
in suiting yourself, always express regret for the trouble you have
given. If the price be above what you calculated upon, ask simply if
it is the lowest; say you think you may find the article cheaper
elsewhere; but should this be a mistake, you will certainly give the
person you are speaking to the preference, &c. We ought to strive to
be agreeable to every one.

_Les gens de bureau_ come next under discussion. They are, it seems,
not renowned for politeness; and one should not, therefore, be
displeased if, instead of rising from his seat and placing a chair,
the banker merely bows and points to one. Lawyers, on the contrary,
are expected to behave like any other gentlemen; so also physicians.
The patient is directed in both cases to relate his grievances in
short, pithy sentences; answer all questions clearly; apologise for
taking up their time by asking them in turn--in consequence, he must
say, of his own ignorance; and then finish by warmly thanking them for
the attention they give to his affairs. Authors and artists must
affect great modesty if their performances are brought upon the
_tapis_ and complimented, and say nothing that can lead to the
supposition, that they are envious of any _confrère_ by criticising
him. Their entertainers ought to talk to them in praise of their
books, pictures, or performances; and if not connoisseurs, at least
declare themselves amateurs of the particular sort their guest excels
or would be thought to excel in; but not confining the conversation to
this, as if you supposed it was the only subject the person you wished
to please was capable of taking any interest in.

Politeness in the streets is a chapter in itself, and a long one. To
give the wall to females, old age, or high public dignitaries, is very
right in France, where there seems to be no rule for going right or
left. In England, however, it is surely more easy for all parties to
keep to their proper side of the way; but in both countries
burden-bearers, those of babies excepted, should give way, go into the
kennel, and never presume to incommode passengers of any rank. You are
entreated neither to elbow, push, nor jostle, but stand sideways to
let elderly people or ladies pass, who in their turn should express
their thanks by a slight inclination of the head. We are further
directed to tread on the middle of the stone, and not slip carelessly
into the mud, and run the risk of splashing our neighbour. An
Englishwoman, it is observed, either allows her petticoats to sweep
the streets, or lifts them in an awkward manner, sometimes even using
both hands; whereas a Parisian with her right hand gathers all the
folds to that side, and raises the whole dress a little above the
ankle, without fuss or parade. We would recommend our fair
countrywomen to practise this elegant mode of avoiding soiled
garments, and likewise doing what is termed _s'effarer_--that is, to
avoid as much as possible touching or being touched by those who pass;
mutually giving way, instead of charging forward _à l'Anglaise_,
careless of whom you run against, so as only you make your own way.
Here follows what sounds strange to us--namely, that if you are
overtaken by a heavy shower, and see a stranger walking in the same
direction with an umbrella, you may, without a breach of good manners,
request to share it. The umbrella-bearer should on his side, it is
remarked, cheerfully accord you shelter; and if the end of your
respective promenades are too distant from each other for him to
conduct you to your residence, he should make an apology at being
forced to deprive you of the accommodation, which, 'but for being
obliged to be at home at such an hour, or some excuse,' it would
otherwise have given him so much pleasure to afford you. 'Those little
graceful turns of language,' which we might think downright
falsehoods, are not to be more so considered than--'I am happy to see
you,' or 'I am your obedient servant' at the end of a letter. They
are, it is argued, understood forms of speech, which every well-bred
person practises--some of the 'sweet small courtesies of life, which
help to smooth its road.' When walking with a friend, should he raise
his hat to an acquaintance whom you never even saw before, you are
bound to pay the same compliment; and this idea is so much _de
rigueur_, that formerly very polite persons would rather affect not to
see their friends than force their companions to salute them also.
Now, however, the proper style is to say: 'I take the liberty to
salute Monsieur So-and-so,' to which the answer is: 'Je vous en prie
monsieur.' 'Never,' says our author, 'appear to see any one who is
looking out of his window or door, both improper practices, especially
the latter.' When a gentleman speaks to one much older than himself,
or to a lady, he not only raises his hat quite off his head--for none
'but an ignorant boor or a _fier Anglais_' ever does otherwise--but
holds it in his hand until requested to replace it. When you ask your
way, even of a street-porter or an apple-woman, it is necessary
slightly to half-raise the hat, and address them as Monsieur or
Madame, 'which is the way to,' &c.; and really these courteous habits,
which give little trouble, are, we must own, as pleasing as our own
rough ones are the reverse.

The chapter on visiting is very French. You are reminded that, when
you make your calls, you should avoid doing so upon days when a cold
or headache prevents you from looking well or conversing agreeably.
From twelve to five are the hours mentioned for morning visits,
instead of from two to six, which we think a better time. You must be
dressed with evident care, but as plainly as possible if you walk:
hold your card-case in the hand with an embroidered and lace-trimmed
pocket-handkerchief, 'pour donner un air de bon goût.' You may
inscribe your title on your card, but it is better merely to put your
name, such as 'Monsieur' or 'Madame de la Tarellerie,' with an earl or
viscount's coronet, or whatever your rank, above; and if you have no
title, your name without the 'Monsieur,' as 'Alfred Buntal;' however,
when you visit with your wife, you write 'Monsieur et Madame Buntal.'
When, instead of sending your cards by your servant, you call
yourself, you add 'E. P.' (_en personne_); but this is only allowable
in very great people. 'In visiting people of distinction, you leave
your parasol, umbrella, clogs, cloak, footman, nurse, child, and dog,
in the ante-room among the servants, who are there to announce you;'
but in ordinary life, after ascertaining from the _concierge_, or the
cook in the kitchen, that your friend is at home, you only tap at the
door, and on hearing '_Entrez_,' step in. You advance with grace, bow
with dignified respect, seat yourself (if a man who visits a lady) at
the lower end of the room, and never quit hat or cane until desired,
and not then till _la troisième sommation_. The placing this said hat
properly, seems to be an affair of the utmost moment. You may place it
on the bottom of a table, on a stand, or even upon the floor, but are
warned not to put it on the bed, for as that always belongs to the
lady of the house, it should not be approached by the visiting
gentleman. The receiver should both appear and express him or herself
enchanted and charmed to welcome their _monde_, assure them of the
great regret felt at their departure--however you may wish them
gone--say, or repeat as said by others, what will please; and never
allude, even indirectly, to anything that can possibly hurt or mortify
any one. When other visitors are announced, those who have been above
ten minutes, had better go: a man should slip away without
leave-taking. If discovered, and begged to remain by the mistress of
the house, he must be asked and refuse three times before he consents;
then sit down for two minutes only, rising then, and saying an affair
of consequence obliges him to quit _la charmante société_. No
gentleman will permit, of course, any one to _reconduire_ him when his
friends are engaged with other company, but shut the door himself,
_vivement_, after a general _salut_ and a pretty compliment. But it
will better give an idea of the minute directions considered
necessary, if I translate a sentence entire:--When, during a 'visit of
half-ceremony,' you are earnestly requested to remain a little longer,
it is better to yield; but in a few minutes rise again. Should your
hostess still further insist, taking you by the hands, and forcing you
again to seat yourself, it would be scarcely polite not to comply;
but, at the same time, after a short interval, you must make your
adieus a third time, and positively depart.

When several meet together, polite persons contrive to make those who
went last into one room enter first into the next; and as hosts
distribute attentions to all in turn--handing the lady of highest
rank, or greatest age, into a dinner or supper room--he or she
recommends a particular dish first to the second in consideration,
proposes to a third to examine a picture, or any pretty thing, before
handing it to others; and so on--making, as it were, every one of
consequence, and socially promoting _liberté_, _egalité_, and
_fraternité_. Those who are poor, and have no servant to attend at
their home during absence, should place a slate and slate-pencil at
their door, in order that those who visit them may write their names
and business.

When you receive company, your apartment should unite French elegance
with English comfort. If not rich, and able to keep many servants,
appoint one day in the week to see your friends, and keep to that day
always. Let your dress, and that of your domestic, and the arrangement
of your small domicile, be all in order: however poor and simple, be
clean and tidy; have flowers, and whatever small elegances you can
collect. 'It is better to receive in the _salon_, if you have one,
than in your bedroom; but that should be preferred before the _salle à
manger_.'--To understand this, we must remember, that in ordinary
life--especially in the provinces--the dining-room resembles in
general a servants-hall--deal-table, brick floor, or at best boarded,
with no carpet; and so forth; the lady's bedroom, on the contrary,
except the bed, might pass for a boudoir, everything unseemly being
removed during the day.--And when you give a party, you can
take coffee in your own private apartment, and receive your
morning-visitors there always. When any one enters, rise, go to meet
him, and say how glad you are to see him. A lady you take by the hand,
and seat her on the sofa, where the lady of the house may place
herself likewise; but the monsieur must not presume on such a liberty,
but draw his chair to a convenient distance from it for conversation.
You offer a young man an easy-chair, but an old gentleman you _insist_
upon occupying it. If the best place in the room be filled by a young
woman, and one to whom respect is due enters, the former cedes it to
the last arrival, and modestly places herself opposite the fire, which
in winter is considered the least honourable situation, as the side is
the most so. People of _bon ton_ present their guests with footstools,
not _chaufferettes_, as is the comfortable custom in grades less
distinguished. Those who are occupied working or drawing, must lay
both aside when but slightly acquainted with their visitor; if, on the
contrary, it is one whom you see frequently, you comply with the
request which she ought to make, that you will continue it. But should
it be a relative, or very intimate friend, you yourself beg permission
to go on with your employment, if at least it is one you can pursue
and converse easily at the same time; but it should be quite
subservient to your visitor's entertainment.

When a new guest arrives, the others rise as well as the master and
mistress of the house; it is considered very ill-bred not to do so, or
not to treat with politeness every one you meet at a house where you
visit--conversing agreeably, and not looking at a stranger with a
stony stare, like a stiff Englishman, as if you supposed they were not
as fit for society as yourself, a style of insular manners considered
insolent in that 'nation whose inhabitants give laws of politeness to
the world.' If there are many people present at a morning-call, the
earlier comers should retire. During extremely hot weather, or to an
author reading his production, you may offer a glass of sirup, or _eau
sucrée_, or if a lady becomes faint, some _fleur d'orange_ and water;
but it is provincial to propose anything else; and, indeed, the French
never eat between meals, or in any rank above the very lowest will one
be seen to partake of anything in the street, fruit or cake, or even
give them to their children, it being considered quite mob-manners to
do so.

It need hardly be said, in conclusion, that the French exercise
considerable tact in the matter of introducing one person to another.
They know who should be introduced to each other, and who should not.
In our own country, people sometimes think they are performing an act
of politeness in introducing one person to another, whereas they are
probably giving offence to one of the parties. And with this hint on
an important subject, we close our observations on the laws of


The next native fruits which demand our notice are the strawberry,
raspberry, and the varieties of the bramble tribe, all of which are to
be classed under the third section of the natural order _Rosaceæ_, and
form the ninth genus of that order. The general characteristics of
these are--the calyx flattish at the bottom, and five-cleft; five
petals; many stamens inserted into the calyx with the petals; many
fleshy carpels arranged on a somewhat elevated receptacle, with
lateral style, near the points of the carpels.

We will begin with the strawberry (_Fragaria_.) The last fruits of
which we spoke--the plum and cherry--though the produce of much larger
plants, nay, one of them of a tree which ranks among the timber-trees
of our land, are not of superior, if of equal value to those which are
about to engage our attention. An old writer quaintly remarks: 'It is
certain that there _might_ have been a better berry than the
strawberry, but it is equally certain that there is not one;' and I
suppose there are few in the present day who will be disposed to
dispute this opinion, for there are few fruits, if any, which are in
more general repute, or more highly prized, than the strawberry and
raspberry; and though the cultivated species have now nearly, if not
quite superseded the wild, yet we must not forget that there was a
time when none but the latter were to be obtained in England, and that
the native sorts of which we are now to speak are the parents of
almost all the rich varieties which at present exist in the land.
There are doubtless many among the inhabitants of our towns and cities
who have never gathered or seen the strawberry in its wild state; and
many, very many more who are wholly unacquainted with the peculiar and
interesting structure of this fruit and its allies--the raspberry,
blackberry, dewberry, and their congeners. The plant which bears the
strawberry, whether the wild or garden species, is an herb with
three-partite leaves, notched at the edge with a pair of largo
membraneous stipules at their base. When growing, this plant throws
out two kinds of shoots--one called _runners_, which lie prostrate on
the ground, and end in a tuft of leaves--these root into the soil, and
then form new plants--and another growing nearly upright, and bearing
at the end a tuft of flowers which produce the fruit. The calyx, which
is flat, green, and hairy, is divided into ten parts, called sepals,
and there are five petals; the stamens, which are very numerous, and
grow out of the calyx, are placed in a crowded ring round the pistil.
This pistil consists of a number of carpels, arranged in many rows
very regularly on a central receptacle; each carpel has a style,
ending in a slightly-lobed stigma; and an ovary, wherein lies one
single ovule, or young seed. The course of the transformation of this
apparatus into fruit is highly curious and interesting. First, the
petals fall off, and the calyx closes over the young fruit;
immediately the receptacle on which the carpels grow begins to swell,
and soon after the carpels themselves increase in size, and become
shining, whilst their styles begin to shrivel. The receptacle
increases in size so much more and faster than the carpels, which soon
cease to enlarge at all, that they speedily begin to be separated by
it, and the surface of the receptacle to become apparent. In a little
time, the carpels are completely scattered in an irregular manner over
the surface of the receptacle, which has become soft and juicy, and
has all along been pushing aside the calyx, which finally falls back
almost out of sight. The receptacle finally assumes a crimson colour,
grows faster and faster, and becomes sweet and fragrant. Those which
we commonly call the seeds of the strawberry, then lie on the surface,
and these, if carefully examined, will prove to be the carpels
containing the seeds in a little thin shell like a small nut. The
strawberry is, therefore, not, properly speaking, a fruit; it is a
fleshy receptacle, bearing the fruit on it, which fruit is, in fact,
the ripe carpels. Now this structure is, as I have said, common to all
strawberries, each variety having, however, its own peculiarities of
growth and appearance.

There are but nine distinct species of the tribe Fragaria: one native
in Germany, where it is called Erdbeere; two in North, and one in
South America; one in Surinam; and one in India; the remaining three
being indigenous in Britain, where, besides these three wild species,
there are at least sixty mongrel varieties, the results of
cultivation; some of which, recently produced from seed, are of great
excellence. The finest of these native British species is the
wood-strawberry (_Fragaria vesca_), which is common everywhere; the
second, the hautboy (_F. elatior_), is much less frequently found, and
is by Hooker supposed to be scarcely indigenous; and the third, the
one-leaved strawberry (_F. monophylla_), is unknown to me, and only
named by some writers as a species. The common wood-strawberry bears
leaves smaller, more sharply notched, and more wrinkled in appearance,
than any of the cultivated species. The earliest formed are closely
covered, as is the stem, with white silvery hairs, and the leaves turn
red early in the autumn, or in dry weather. The blossoms appear very
early in the spring, throwing up their delicate white petals on every
bank and hedgerow, among the clusters of violets and primroses, and
even not unfrequently before these sweet harbingers of spring venture
to unfold and give promise of abundant fruit. But though the blossoms
are so common, from some reason or other the fruit seldom ripens
freely, unless along some of the more remote and secluded woodpaths,
where the bright red berries lurk on every sunny bank, between the
trunks of the old beech and oak trees, and are overhung by the
beautiful bunches of polypody and foxglove, and other free-growing
wild-plants which spring in such solitudes, providing the flocks of
varied song-birds which frequent such delightful glades with many a
juicy meal.

Few things can be more agreeable than a day of strawberry-picking in
the woods and glens where they abound, when troops of happy little
children are scattered about, singly, or in groups of three or four,
each with a basket to receive the delicious spoil, and all grubbing
among the moss and herbage, and shouting with exultation as one
cluster after another reveals itself to their eager researches. Some
are too much engaged in the quest to notice the brilliant flowers
which at another time would have engrossed all their thoughts; whilst
others, wreathed round with the bright blue wood-vetch, the shining
broad-leaved bryony, and the rose and honeysuckle, will have to lay
down the large handfuls of flowers with which they have encumbered
themselves, before they can share in the enjoyment of collecting the
fragrant berries. Then comes the hour of assembling, to take their tea
and eat the sweet, fresh fruit, and talk over their adventures with
the happy parents who have awaited the gathering together of the young
ones. Perhaps this assembling takes place in the nearest farmhouse,
where fresh milk and rich cream are added to the repast; or it may be
under the boughs of one of those masters of the forest, which we may
fancy to have seen such gatherings, year by year, for centuries past,
and could tell us tales of groups of little people, arranged in the
costumes depicted by Holbein, Vandyk, or Lely, the garb of ancient
days, seated by their stately seniors, whilst the antlered deer, then
the free denizens of the forest, stood at bay, half-startled at the
merry party which had invaded their solitude; and the squirrel, little
more vivacious in its furry jacket than the stiffly-dressed little
bipeds, sprang from bough to bough overhead; and the hare and rabbit
bounded along over the distant upland. But we must return to our
description of

                    The blushing strawberry,
    Which lurks close shrouded from high-looking eyes,
    Shewing that sweetness low and hidden lies.

The whole tribe takes its generic name from its fragrance; the word
_fragrans_, sweet-smelling, being that from which Fragaria is derived.
The wood-strawberry is seldom larger than a horse-bean, of a brilliant
red, and the flesh whiter than that of any cultivated species; the
flavour is remarkably clear and full--a pleasant subacid, with more of
the peculiar strawberry perfume in the taste than any other. They are
very wholesome, indeed considered valuable medicinally. The other wild
species is the hautboy: this is larger than _F. vesca_, more hairy,
and its fruit a deeper red; the flavour, like that of the
garden-hautboy, rather musty; in its uses and qualities, it resembles
_F. vesca_. The strawberry does not seem to have been noticed by the
ancients, though it is slightly named by Virgil, Ovid, and Pliny. It
appears to have been cultivated in England early, as an old writer,
Tusser, says:

    'Wife, into the garden, and set me a plot,
    With strawberry-roots the best to be got;
    Such growing abroad among thorns in the wood,
    Well chosen and pricked, prove excellent good.'

Gerarde speaks of them as growing 'in hills and valleys, likewise in
woods, and other such places as be something shadowie; they prosper
well in gardens, the red everywhere; the other two, white and green,
more rare, and are not to be founde save only in gardens.' Shakspeare
speaks of this fruit. We find the Bishop of Ely, when conversing with
the Archbishop of Canterbury on the change of conduct manifested by
the young King Henry V., on his coming to the throne, says:

    'The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
    And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
    Neighboured by fruits of baser quality,
    And so the prince,' &c.

And the Duke of Gloster, when counselling in the Tower with his
allies, and plotting to strip his young nephew of his crown and
honours, says:

    'My Lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn,
    I saw good strawberries in your garden there:
    I do beseech you send for some of them.'

Parkinson speaks, in 1629, of their having been introduced 'but of
late days.' As an article of diet, this fruit offers but little
nourishment, but it is considered useful in some diseases, and
generally wholesome, though there are some constitutions to which it
is injurious. Linnæus states, that he was twice cured of the gout by
the free use of strawberries; and Gerarde and other old authors
enlarge much on their efficacy in consumptive cases. Phillips tells
us, that 'in the monastery of Batalha is the tomb of Don John, son of
King John I. of Portugal, which is ornamented by the representation of
strawberries, this prince having chosen them for his crest, to shew
his devotion to St John the Baptist, who lived on fruits.' This is
rather a curious notion, for though the Scripture tells us of St John
the Baptist, that when in the wilderness 'his meat was locusts and
wild honey,' we have no reason to suppose that he lived always even on
these. What these locusts were is problematical, but it is likely they
were the fruit of the locust-tree, _Hymenæa_, which bears a pod
containing a sort of bean, enclosed in a whitish substance of fine
filaments, as sweet as sugar or honey. The wild bees frequent these
trees, and it is probable that here St John found his twofold aliment;
but we have no particular reason to suppose that he wholly lived on
fruit, and certainly could have little to do with strawberries, as
there is no species indigenous in the Holy Land.

But we must now proceed to examine and record the structure of the
raspberry, raspis, or hindberry, by all which names it is called. This
is a species of the Rubus, of which Hooker records only ten species as
native in Britain, though Loudon extends the number to thirteen; of
which one, the dwarf crimson (_Rubus araticus_), is to be found only
in Scotland. We cannot, of course, notice each of these species
separately, nor will it be necessary to do so, as the varieties which
mark the different kinds of common bramble are such as would not be
observed except by an accurate botanist. This tribe, which takes its
name from the Celtic _rub_, which signifies _red_, and is supposed to
be so named from the red tint of its young shoots, as well as from the
colour of the juice of its berry, consists chiefly of shrub-like
plants, with perennial roots, most of which produce suckers or stolons
from the roots, which ripen and drop their leaves one year, and resume
their foliage, produce blossom shoots, flowers, and fruit, and die the
next year, of which the raspberry and common bramble are examples. In
some of the species the stem is upright, or only a little arched at
the top, but in the greater number it is prostrate and arched, the
ends of the shoots rooting when they reach the ground, and forming new
plants, sometimes at the distance of several yards from the parent
root. The branches and stems are all more or less prickly; those of
the common bramble being armed with strong and sharp spines, and even
the leaf-stems lined with very sharp reflected prickles, which hitch
in everything they come near, and inflict sharp wounds. The corolla is
formed of an inferior calyx of one leaf, divided into five segments,
of five petals in some species; and in others pink, but always of very
light and fragile texture, and more or less crumpled, on which the
caterpillar of the beautiful white admiral butterfly (_Limenitis
camilla_) sometimes feeds. It has many stamens, arranged like those of
the strawberry; and the pistil is composed, as that is, of a number of
carpels rising out of a central receptacle.

But now let us examine the structure of the fruit, which we shall find
differs materially from that of the strawberry in its formation. We
will take that of the raspberry as our example; for though the berries
of the whole tribe are on the same construction, we cannot have one
better known or which would better illustrate the subject. If you pull
off the little thimble-shaped fruit from its stem, you will find
beneath a dry, white cone; this is the receptacle, and the very part
which you eat in the strawberry. If you look attentively at a ripe
raspberry, you will find that it is composed of many separate little
balls of fleshy and juicy substance, each entirely covered by a thin,
membraneous skin, which separates it wholly from its neighbour, and
from the cone. Each of these contains a single seed, and from each a
little dry thread, which is the withered style, projects. You will
find none of the dry grains which lie on the surface of the
strawberry, the part which corresponds with the inner part of those,
lying in the juicy pulp below, whilst that which once corresponded
with their outer part or shell, has itself been transformed into that
juicy pulp which covers them: the fact is, that the carpels of the
raspberry, instead of remaining dry like the strawberry, swell as they
ripen, and acquire a soft, pulpy coat, which in time becomes red,
juicy, and sweet. These carpels are so crowded together, that they at
last grow into one mass, and form the little thimble-shaped fruit
which we eat, the juices of the receptacle being all absorbed by the
carpels, which eventually separate from it, and leave the dry cone
below. Lindley says: 'In the one case, the receptacle robs the carpels
of all their juice, in order to become gorged and bloated at their
expense; in the other case, the carpels act in the same selfish manner
on the receptacle.'

If you observe the berries of the common brambles, the dewberry, and
the cloudberry, you will find them to be all thus formed, though the
number of _grains_, as these swollen carpels are called, differ
materially--the dewberry often maturing only one or two, while the
raspberry, and some kinds of the brambleberry, present us with twenty
and more.

The raspberry was but little noticed by the ancients. Pliny speaks of
a sort of bramble called by the Greeks _Idæus_, from Mount Ida, but he
seems to value it but little. He says, however: 'The flowers of this
raspis being tempered with honey, are good to be laid to watery or
bloodshotten eyes, as also in erysipelas; being taken inwardly, and
drunk with water, it is a comfortable medicine to a weak stomach.'
Gerarde speaks of it under the name of hindeberry, as inferior to the
blackberry. The wild raspberry, which is the stock whence we get the
garden red raspberry, grows freely in many parts of England. It is
found in Wilts, Somerset, Devonshire, and other counties, but is most
abundant in the north. Except in size, it is little inferior to the
cultivated kinds, and possesses the same colour, scent, and flavour.
This fruit, and the strawberry, are especially suitable for invalids,
as they do not engender acetous fermentation in the stomach. In
dietetic and medicinal qualities, these fruits are also much alike.
The bramble, which grows everywhere, creeping on every hedge, and
spreading on the earth in all directions, abounds in useful
properties, most parts of the plant being good for use. The berries
make very tolerable pies, and are much in request for such purposes,
and for making jam in farmhouses and cottages, where they are often
mixed with apples to correct thereby the rather faint and vapid
flavour that they possess when used by themselves. This jam, as well
as the raw fruit, is considered good for sore throats, and for
inflammation of the gums and tonsils. We are also told, that the young
green shoots, eaten as salad, will fix teeth which are loose; probably
(if it be so) it is from the astringent qualities in the juice
strengthening and hardening the gums. The leaves pounded, are said to
be a cure for the ringworm; and they are also made into tea by some of
the cottagers, which is very useful in some ailments; and the roots
boiled in honey, are said to be serviceable in dropsy. The green twigs
are used to dye silk and woollen black; and silk-worms will feed on
them, though the silk produced by those so fed is not equal to that of
those fed on the mulberry. The long trailing shoots are important to
thatchers for binding thatch, and are also used for binding
straw-mats, beehives, &c.; and even the flowers were anciently
supposed to be remedies against the most dangerous serpents. Loudon
says: 'The berries, when eaten at the moment they are ripe, are
cooling and grateful; a little before, they are coarse and
astringent; and a little after, disagreeably flavoured or putrid.' He
adds: 'Care is requisite in gathering the fruit, for one berry of the
last sort will spoil a whole pie.' Great quantities of them are
collected by the women and children in the country, and sold in the
neighbouring towns by the quart. There is a double-flowered species of
bramble, and one which bears _white_ berries. The fruit of the dwarf
crimson (_R. araticus_), and that of the cloudberry (_R. chamæmorus_),
are highly prized in Scotland and Sweden, and in the latter country
are much used in sauces and soups, and for making vinegar; and Dr
Clarke says, that he was cured of a bilious fever by eating great
quantities. The cloudberry, which grows on the tops of the highest
mountains, is the badge of the clan Macfarlane. The bramble seems to
be of almost universal extent, at least it is found at the utmost
limits of phænogamous vegetation; and we are led to remark the
goodness of God in thus providing a plant which combines so many
valuable qualities, and so many useful parts, capable of extending
itself so freely in defiance of all impediments, and of standing so
many vicissitudes of climate, without the aid of culture or care. The
bramble is emphatically the property of the poor; its fruit may be
gathered without restriction; its shoots, both in their young
medicinal state, and in their harder and tougher growth, are theirs to
use as they will; and their children may enjoy the sport of
blackberry-picking, and the profits of blackberry-selling, none saying
them nay; and many a pleasant and wholesome pudding or pie is to be
found on tables in blackberry season, where such dainties are not
often seen at any other time, unless, indeed, we except the
whortleberry season. The poet Cowper sings of--

      Berries that emboss
    The bramble black as jet;

and truly a plant which diffuses so many benefits, even under the
least advantageous circumstances, may well deserve encomium.


Nicholas Poussin was born at Andelys, in Normandy, in June 1593. His
father, Jean Poussin, had served in the regiment of Tauannes during
the reigns of Charles IX., Henry III., and Henry IV., without having
risen to any higher rank than that of lieutenant. Happening to meet in
the town of Vernon a rich and handsome young widow, Jean Poussin
married her, left the service, and retired with his wife to the
pleasant village of Andelys, where, in a year afterwards, Nicholas was
born. His childhood resembled that of many other great painters.
Whitewashed walls scribbled over with landscapes--school-books defaced
with sketches, which _then_ drew down anger and reproof on the idle
student, but which _now_ would form precious gems in many a rich
museum--these were the early evidences of Poussin's genius. He was
treated severely by his father, who thought that every vigorous,
well-made boy ought of necessity to become a soldier--secretly
consoled and encouraged by his mother, who loved him with an almost
idolatrous affection, and who approved of his pursuits, not from any
abstract love of art, but because she thought the profession of
painting might be pursued by her darling without obliging him to leave
his home.

It happened that the painter, Quintin Varin, was an intimate
acquaintance of the elder Poussin. Somewhat reluctantly, the
ex-lieutenant gave his son permission to study the first principles of
painting under their friend. The boy's first attempts were
water-colour landscapes, his very straitened finances not allowing him
to use oils. His subjects were the beautiful scenes around Andelys;
and, despite of his inexperience, he knew so well how to transfer the
living poetry of the scenery to his canvas, that his master one day
said to him: 'Nicholas, why have you deceived me?--you must have
learned painting before.'

'I assure you I have not.'

'Then,' said Varin, 'I am not fit to be thy master. There is a
revelation of genius in thy lightest touch to which I have never
attained. I should but cloud thy destiny in seeking to instruct thee.
Go to Paris, dear boy; there thou wilt achieve both fame and fortune.'

The advice was followed, and with a light purse, and a still lighter
heart, Nicholas Poussin arrived in Paris. He bore a letter of
introduction from Varin to the Flemish painter Ferdinand Elle, who
consented to receive him as a pupil for the payment of three livres a

There were already a dozen young people in the studio. When their new
companion joined them, they amused themselves by laughing at him, and
playing off practical jokes at his expense, which at first he bore
with good-humour. It happened, however, one morning, that on examining
his slender purse, he found that its contents had fallen to zero; and
this unpleasant circumstance caused him, no doubt, to feel in an
irritable state of mind. On reaching the studio, and just as he
entered the door, he was inundated by the contents of a bucket of
water, which one of his companions had suspended over the door, and
managed to overturn on the head of Nicholas. Furious at this
unexpected _douche_, he flew at its unlucky contriver, and gave him a
hearty beating. There were three other lads in the studio; they all
attacked Nicholas, who, however, proved more than their match,
overthrowing two of his assailants, and obliging the third to fly.

After this occurrence, Poussin became free from the petty annoyances
which he had hitherto endured; but he found no friend in the studio of
Ferdinand Elle, and he felt, besides, that he was losing his time, and
learning nothing from that painter. These reasons determined him one
day to write a respectful letter to his master, declining further
attendance at the studio; and then, furnished with little of this
world's goods, besides some pencils and paper, he set out, very
literally, 'to seek his fortune.'

It was then the beginning of summer; everything in nature looked
lovely and glad, and Poussin insensibly wandered on, until he found
himself in a fresh green meadow on the banks of the Marne. He lay down
under the shade of an osier thicket, and presently became aware of the
presence of a young man about his own age, who was busily employed in
fishing. Nicholas watched him for some time, and then said: 'May I
remark, that the bait you are using does not appear suited to this

'Very likely,' replied the stranger; 'I am but an inexperienced
fisher, and will feel greatly obliged by your advice.'

Poussin then arranged the line, put on a fresh bait, and in a few
minutes a fine perch was landed on the grass.

'Many thanks for your assistance,' said the young man; 'will you do me
the favour to join in my repast?'

It was two o'clock in the afternoon, and Nicholas had had no
breakfast. He therefore gladly consented; and the angler, drawing
from his fish-basket a large slice of savoury pie, a loaf of bread,
and a flask of wine, they made a hearty meal together.

After the fashion of the days of chivalry, the two knights-errant told
each other their names and histories. The stranger, whose name was
Raoul, was a young man of considerable property. His parents, living
in Poitou, sent him to finish his education and polish his manners by
frequenting fashionable society in Paris; but his tastes were simple,
his habits retiring, and he had not met amongst the rich and noble any
who pleased him so well as the poor penniless painter. With cordial
frankness, he pressed Nicholas to take up his abode with him in Paris,
and promised to advance him in the study of his art.

The offer was accepted as freely as it was made, and Nicholas Poussin
was thus enabled to pursue with ardour the noble studies to which his
life was henceforth devoted, free from those petty cares and sordid
anxieties which so often clog the wings of genius. By the interest of
Raoul, many valuable collections of paintings, including the unique
one of Segnier, were opened to him. Becoming acquainted with a brother
student, Philippe de Champagne, he joined him for a time in receiving
instruction from Lallemand, until, perceiving that that painter was no
more capable of teaching him than Ferdinand Elle had been, he left his
studio, and gave himself up to severe and solitary study.

At twenty years of age, Nicholas Poussin steadily renounced every
species of youthful pleasure and dissipation, that he might pursue his
one noble object. He rose at daybreak, and regularly retired to rest
at nine o'clock. During the winter months, he spent the early hours of
the day in studying Greek and Latin under an old priest, who loved him
and taught him gratuitously. The remainder of the day was devoted to
painting, and the evening to short visits amongst the friends to whom
he had been introduced by the active kindness of Raoul. In the summer,
he loved to spend occasionally a long bright day in rambling through
the beautiful scenery of Auteuil, taking sketches while his friend
fished. The extent of their innocent dissipation consisted in dining
at some rural hostelry on the produce of the morning's sport, washed
down with a temperate modicum of wine. Thus pleasantly and profitably
passed two years, at the end of which Raoul was recalled to his home.

Despite of the excuses and remonstrances of Poussin, his friend
insisted on his accompanying him to Poitou, assuring him of a hearty
welcome from his own parents. From Raoul's father, indeed, the young
painter received it; but his mother was a proud, ill-tempered woman,
who affected to despise a dauber of canvas, and treated her son's
friend as a sort of valet attached to his service. In short, she
heaped insults on the young man, which even his love for Raoul could
not force him to endure; and in order to escape the affectionate
solicitations of his friend, he set out secretly one morning alone and
on foot.

Weary, penniless, and attacked with inward inflammation, he at length
reached Paris. Philippe de Champagne received him, and watched over
him like a brother until he recovered. A great degree of weakness and
languor still depressed him; the air of Paris weighed on him like
lead. He sighed for his native breeze at Andelys, and still more for
his mother's embrace--his good and tender mother, whose letters to him
were so often rendered almost illegible by her tears, and whose memory
had been his sweetest comfort during the weary nights of sickness.

He set out on his journey with six livres in his pocket, which he had
earned by painting a bunch of hats on the sign-post of a hatter, and
arrived safely at home. Soon afterwards, his father died, and Nicholas
determined never again to leave his mother. She, tender woman that she
was, grieved for a husband who had rarely shewn her any kindness, and
who, in his hard selfishness, had now left her totally destitute. All
the money she had brought him as her dowry, he, unknown to her, had
sunk in an annuity on his own life, and nothing now remained for her
but the devoted love of her only son.

This, however, was a 'goodly heritage.' Those who zealously try to
fulfil their duty, may be assured that a kind Providence will assist
their efforts; and Nicholas succeeded for some time in maintaining his
mother by the sale of water-colour paintings for the decoration of a
convent chapel. At length, this resource failed; and the ardent young
painter determined to relinquish all his bright visions, and learn
some manual trade, when his mother was seized with illness, and,
despite of his anxious care, died.

No motive now detained him at Andelys. The sale of his slender
possessions there furnished him with a little money; and, partly in
order to assuage his grief for his mother, partly to see the works of
the great masters, he determined to go to Italy.

Rome was naturally the goal of his steps, but on this occasion he was
not destined to reach it. On arriving at Florence, he met with an
accidental hurt, which confined him to a lodging for a month, and when
he was cured, left him almost penniless. Finding it impossible to
dispose of the sketches which he drew for his daily bread, he
determined to retrace his steps. Arrived at Paris, he was once more
received by his faithful friend, Philippe de Champagne, and by him
introduced to Duchesne, who was then painting the ornaments of the
Luxembourg, and who engaged both the young men as his assistants.

This promised to be a durable and profitable engagement; but Duchesne,
who had but little pretension to genius, soon grew jealous of his
young companions, and seized the first pretext for dismissing them.

Shortly afterwards, the Jesuits of Paris celebrated the canonisation
of St Ignatius and St Francis Xavier. For this occasion, Poussin
executed six water-colour pictures, representing the principal events
in the lives of these two personages. The merit of these works
attracted the attention of Signor Marini, a distinguished courtier of
the day. He was attached to the suit of Marie de Medicis, and held a
high place amongst the literary and artistic, as well as gay circles
of the court; his notice was therefore of importance to the artist,
who by it was introduced amongst the great, the learned, and the gay.

Wisely did he take advantage of mixing in this society to improve his
knowledge of men and things, and to satisfy that craving for
enlightenment which he felt equally when rambling in the fields,
standing at his easel, or sitting as a timid listener in the splendid
saloons of Signor Marini.

This pleasant life lasted for a year; Marini was his Mecænas; orders
for paintings flowed in on him; and when, in 1625, his patron went to
Rome to visit Pope Urban VIII., Poussin would have accompanied him,
but for an honourable dread of breaking some engagements which he had
made. Amongst others, he had to finish a large piece representing the
_Death of the Virgin_, undertaken for the guild of goldsmiths, who
presented every year a picture to Notre-Dame.

Marini tried in vain to shake his resolution. Nicholas Poussin had
pledged his word, and nothing could make him break it--not even the
advantage of accomplishing, in the company and at the expense of the
generous Italian, that journey to Rome which had always formed his
most cherished day-dream. The following year, Poussin went to Rome,
and, to his great sorrow, found his kind patron suffering from a
malady which speedily terminated his life. Thus was the painter once
more thrown on his own resources in a city where he was a stranger;
but his was not a nature to be discouraged by adversity. There was
something grand in the serenity with which he spent days in examining
the wondrous statues of the olden time, while a cheerless attic was
his lodging, and his dinner depended on the generosity of a
printseller for whom he worked occasionally, and who was not always in
the humour to advance money.

Many years afterwards, Poussin, in speaking of this period, said to
Chantilon: 'I have sometimes gone to bed without having tasted food
since the morning, not because I had no means of paying at a
hostel--although _that_ also has befallen me at times--but because,
after having my soul filled with the glorious beauty of ancient art, I
could not endure to mingle in the low, sordid scenes of a cheap
eating-house. Indeed, it was scarcely a sacrifice to do so, for my
heart was too full to allow me to feel hunger.'

Poussin studied nature with a minuteness that often exposed him to
raillery. Whenever he made a country excursion, he brought back a bag
filled with pebbles and mosses, whose various tints and forms he
afterwards studied with the most scrupulous care. Vigneul de Marville
asked him one day how he had reached so high a rank among the great
painters. 'I tried to neglect nothing,' replied Poussin.

True, indeed, he had neglected nothing. He gave his days and nights to
the acquirement of various sciences. He understood anatomy better than
any surgeon of his time; he knew history like a Benedictine, and the
antiquities of Rome as a botanist does his favourite flora. But
architecture was the art which he esteemed most essential to a
painter; and accordingly his landscapes abound in exquisite
delineations of buildings.

His veneration for the works of his predecessors was very great. We
find him, in a letter addressed to M. de Chantilon, requesting that a
painting which he sent might not be placed in the same room with one
of Raphael's--'lest the contrast might ruin mine, and cause whatever
little beauty it has to vanish.'

He was an ardent admirer of Domenichino, and copied many of his works.
It happened one day, that as he was in a chapel busily employed in
copying a painting by that master, he saw a feeble old man tottering
slowly towards him, leaning on a crutch. The visitor, without
ceremony, seated himself on the painter's stool, and began
deliberately to examine his work. Poussin greatly disliked inquisitive
critics, and now feeling annoyed, he began to put up his pallet, and
to prepare for leaving.

'You don't like visitors, young man?' said the old man smiling.
'Neither did I. But when I was your age, and, like you, copying the
works of the old masters, if one of them had come to look over my
shoulder, and see how I succeeded in reproducing the form which he had
created, I would not for that have put away my pallet, but I would
gladly have sought his counsel.' And while he spoke, the handle of his
crutch was rubbing against the centre of the picture.

'Signor, are you mad?' exclaimed Poussin, seizing the offending

'So they say, my child; but 'tis not true. No, no; Domenichino is not
mad, and can still give good advice.'

'Domenichino! what! the great Domenichino?' cried the young man.

'The _poor_ Domenichino. Yes, you see him such as years and grief have
made him. He has come, young man, to counsel you not to follow in his
track, if you wish to gain fortune and renown. That,' he continued,
pointing to his own painting,'is true and conscientious art. Well, it
leads to the alms-house. I see that you have the power to become a
great artist. Change your place; be extravagant, capricious,
unnatural, and then you will succeed.'

One may fancy the feelings of Poussin at hearing these words. He told
Domenichino that he was ready to sacrifice everything to the love of
true art, and respectfully accompanied him home.

From that time until Zampieri's death, Poussin was his friend and
pupil. He afterwards paid a debt of gratitude to the painter's memory,
by causing his picture of the _Communion of St Jerome_, which had been
thrown aside in a granary, to be placed opposite to the
_Transfiguration_ of Raphael.

By degrees, the marvellous talent of Poussin became known, and orders
for paintings flowed in on him. He might have become rich, but he
cared not for wealth, and was perhaps the only artist that ever
thought his works too highly paid for. On one occasion, being sent one
hundred crowns for a picture, he returned fifty.

Cardinal Mancini paid him a visit one evening, and when he was going
away, Poussin attended him with a lantern to the outer gate, and
opened it himself. 'I pity you,' said the cardinal, 'for not having
even one man-servant.' 'And I pity your eminence for having so many.'

In his days of adversity, Poussin had been kindly received and nursed
in the house of a M. Dughet, whose daughter he afterwards married. She
was a simple, kind-hearted woman, and fondly attached to her husband,
who appreciated her good qualities, and always treated her with
affection, although she probably never inspired him with ardent love.
Some years after their marriage, not having any children, Poussin
adopted his wife's younger brother, Gaspard Dughet, who, under his
instructions, became a painter of considerable merit. The remainder of
Poussin's life was singularly prosperous. He continued to reside at
Rome until summoned to return to France by Louis XIII., who, finding
that several invitations to that effect, conveyed through ambassadors,
failed to bring back Poussin, did him the honour to write him an
autograph letter, entreating his presence. The painter obeyed the
flattering summons, but unwillingly. He felt that he was sacrificing
his independence to the splendid bondage of a court, and he often
remembered with fond regret, 'the peace and the sweetness of his
little home.'

Two years he resided at court, tasting the sweets and bitters of
ambition--the caresses of a powerful king, and a still more powerful
cardinal--mingled with the envious intrigues and malicious detraction
of jealous rivals. Poussin loved not such a life; his free spirit
languished, his noble heart was pained; and in 1642, he requested and
obtained leave to visit Italy, promising, however, to return.

The deaths of Louis and Richelieu, which took place within a short
period of each other, released Poussin from his pledge. From that
time, he constantly resided at Rome, and executed his greatest works.
Amongst these may be named: _Rebecca_, _The Seven Sacraments_, _The
Judgment of Solomon_, _Moses striking the Rock_, _Jesus healing the
Blind_, and _The Four Seasons_, each being represented by a subject
from sacred history. All these, with the exception of _The Seven
Sacraments_, are to be seen in the Louvre.

Poussin died at Rome in 1665. His wife had expired a short time
before, and grief for the loss of this fond and faithful partner broke
down his energies and hastened his decease.

'Her death,' he wrote, 'has left me alone in the world, laden with
years, filled with infirmities, a stranger and without friends.' All
those whom he loved had preceded him to their tombs, and the only
relative at his death-bed was an avaricious nephew, eager to seize his

The name of Nicholas Poussin will never die. He was the first great
French painter; and in him were united what, unhappily, are often
dissevered, the highest qualities of the head and of the heart--the
lofty genius of the artist with the humble piety of the Christian.


As to the hackneyed doctrine that derives the origin of music from the
outward sounds of nature, none but poets could have conceived it, or
lovers be justified in repeating it. Granting even that the singing of
birds, the rippling of brooks, the murmuring of winds, might have
suggested some idea, in the gradual development of the art, all
history, as well as the evidence of common sense, proves that they
gave no help whatever at the commencement. The savage has never been
inspired by them; his music, when he has any, is a mere noise, not
deducible by any stretch of the imagination from such sounds of
nature. The national melodies of various countries give no evidence of
any influence from without. A collection of native airs from different
parts of the world will help us to no theory as to whether they have
been composed in valleys or on plains, by resounding sea-shores or by
roaring waterfalls. There is nothing in the music itself which tells
of the natural sounds most common in the desolate steppes of Russia,
the woody sierras of Spain, or the rocky glens of Scotland. What
analogy there exists is solely with the inward character of the people
themselves, and that too profound to be theorised upon. If we search
the works of the earliest composers, we find not the slightest
evidence of their having been inspired by any outward agencies. Not
till the art stood upon its own independent foundations does it appear
that any musicians ever thought of turning such natural sounds to
account; and--though with Beethoven's exquisite Pastoral Symphony
ringing in our ears, with its plaintive clarionet cuckoo to contradict
our words--we should say that no compositions could be of a high class
in which such sounds were conspicuous.--_Murray's Reading for the


Our attention has been invited to an invention of a very remarkable
character, which, if realising the claims asserted in its behalf, will
fully equal, if it does not far exceed in importance, any discovery of
the age. It consists in an entirely new application of the power of
the lever, an application capable of being multiplied to an almost
unlimited extent. To render our account of this new marvel quite
incredible in the outset, we will state on the inventor's authority,
that the steam of an ordinary tea-kettle may be made to produce
sufficient momentum to propel a steamship of any size across the
Atlantic! Or, again, one man may exert a power equal to that of a
thousand horses, and that, too, without the aid of steam or any
auxiliary other than his own stout arm. It overcomes or disproves the
heretofore-received principle in mechanics, of not gaining power
without a loss of speed. Archimedes, in declaring his ability to move
the world, if he had a suitable position for his fulcrum, conveyed an
apt illustration of the measureless power of the lever when exerted to
its fullest extent. This fullest extent Mr Archard claims to have
attained in the action of a succession of parallel levers--one lever
upon a second, the second upon a third, the third upon a fourth, and
so on progressively; each succeeding lever of the same length as the
first, and all operating simultaneously, the one lever upon, and with
all the others. This marvellous property of multiplying leverage, is
attained without any diminution in speed, since, to whatever extent
the additional levers may be carried, the entire succession is moved
as one compact mass, operated upon at the same instant, the last lever
moving at the same moment with the first. This simultaneous movement
of a succession of parallel levers, acting the one upon the other,
with a force successively increasing and in geometrical proportion, is
the grand desideratum, the _ne plus ultra_, in the science of
mechanics, which the inventor professes to have achieved. To place
this multiplied _ad infinitum_ power in its plainest light, we may
observe that a given power--say that of one horse--will impart to a
lever of a given dimension a sixteenfold power; that sixteenfold power
gives the succeeding lever sixty-fourfold increase; that to the third
lever, 256; that gives to the fourth lever an increase of 1024; while
this fourth lever, with its largely increased ability, gives to the
fifth lever the enormous increase of 4096. If, therefore, this
succession of leverage is rightly stated, a single horse is enabled to
exert the power of four thousand and ninety-six horses!--_American


    Where is the home my spirit seeks,
    Amid this world of sin and care,
    Where even joy of sorrow speaks,
    And Death is lurking everywhere?
    Oh! not amid its fading bowers
    My wearied soul can find repose,
    For serpents lurk beneath its flowers,
    And thorns surround its fairest rose.

    The home of earth is not for me;
    Far off my spirit's dwelling lies;
    The eye of faith alone can see
    Its pearly gates beyond the skies;
    The ear of faith alone can hear
    The music of its ceaseless song,
    As nearer with each passing year
    Its angel-chorus rolls along:

    _There_ is the home my spirit seeks,
    Above the fadeless stars on high!
    Where not a note of discord breaks
    The silver chain of harmony;
    Where light without a shadow lies,
    And joy can speak without a tear,
    And Death alone--the tyrant--dies:
    The home my spirit seeks is _there_!

                                    M. Y. G.


Imagine in a spacious room, furnished after the European fashion, some
thirty or forty little girls, all dressed in their best, many of them
laden with rich ornaments--anklets and earrings--seated in order
around the room, gazing anxiously from their large, lustrous, and
soulful eyes upon the strangers who sit at the table directing the
examination, aided by the teacher, the superintendents, the worthy
Shet and his kinsmen; see behind them a crowd of Hindoos in their
flowing robes and picturesque turbans, their faces beaming with
eagerness and delight, as they watch the answers of the pupils--many
of them relations, some even their wives; listen also to the low and
sweet voices of childhood, chanting in the melodious Gujarâti (the
Ionic of Western India) the praises of education; and you may be able
to form some idea of the scene, and of one of the most pleasurable
moments in the life of a new-comer.--_Bombay Gazette_.

       *       *       *       *       *

        _Just Published, Price 2s. 6d. Cloth lettered_,

NOTES. By ALEXANDER BAIN, A. M. Forming one of the Volumes of

       *       *       *       *       *

                  _Price 6d. Paper Cover_,


                       VOLUME XI.

           _To be continued in Monthly Volumes_.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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