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Title: International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art, and Science — Volume 1, No. 4, July 22, 1850
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art, and Science — Volume 1, No. 4, July 22, 1850" ***

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Of Literature, Art, and Science.

       *       *       *       *       *

Vol. I. NEW YORK, JULY 22, 1850. No. 4.

       *       *       *       *       *


The revolutions of society are almost as sure if not as regular as
those of the planets. The inventions of a generation weary after
a while, but they are very likely to be revived if they have once
ministered successfully to pleasure or ambition. The famous coteries
in which learning was inter-blended with fashion in the golden age
of French intelligence, are being revived under the new Republic,
and women are again quietly playing with institutions and liberties,
perhaps as dangerously as when Mesdames de Tencin, Pompadour,
Geoffrin, Deffant, Poplinière and L'Espinasse assembled the destinies
nightly in their drawing rooms.

The tendency to such associations is displayed also in most of our
own cities. The Town and Country Club of Boston, the Wistar Parties
in Philadelphia, the Literary Club in Charleston, the recent
_converzaziones_ at the houses of President Charles King of Columbia
College, and others, and the well-known Saturday Evenings at Miss
Lynch's, where literature and art and general speculation have for
some seasons had a common center, all illustrate the disposition of an
active and cultivated society, not engrossed by special or spasmodic
excitements, to cluster by rules of feeling and capacity: and clusters
of passion and mind are rarely for a long period inert. When they
become common they are apt to assume the direction of private custom
and public opinion and affairs.

In view of these things, we are sure that the readers of the
_International_ will be interested in the following translation of
Professor Schlosser's brilliant survey of those _bureaux d'esprit_
which so much distinguished society and influenced its history
in Europe, from the beginning to the middle of the last century.
Schlosser is a Privy Councillor and Professor of History in the
University of Heidelberg. He is chiefly known in continental Europe
by his great work, the History of the Eighteenth Century, and of
the Nineteenth till the overthrow of the French Empire, a work which
derives its value not merely from the profound and minute acquaintance
of the author with the subject, from the new views which are presented
and the hitherto unexamined sources from which much has been derived,
but from his well-known independence of character--from the general
conclusions which he draws from the comparative views of the
resources, conduct, manners, institutions and literature of the great
European nations, during a period unparalleled in the history of
the world for the development of the physical and mental powers of
mankind, for the greatness of the events which occurred, for the
progress of knowledge, for the cultivation of the arts and sciences,
for all that contributes to the greatness and prosperity of nations.

       *       *       *       *       *

If we venture to bring the Parisian evening, dinner and supper parties
into connection with the general history of Europe, and the ladies
also at whose houses these parties took place, we can neither be
blamed for scrupulous severity, nor for paradoxical frivolity. It
belongs to the character of the eighteenth century, that the historian
who wishes to bring the true springs of conduct and sources of action
to light, must condescend even so far. It must also be borne in mind,
when the clever women and societies of Paris are spoken of, that
the demands of the age and progressive improvement and culture were
altogether unattended to at the court of Louis XV., as well before as
after the death of Cardinal Fleury, and that all which was neglected
at Versailles was cultivated in Paris. The court and the city had been
hitherto united in their wants and in their judgment; the court ruled
education, fashion and the general tone, as it ruled the state; now,
however, they completely separated. Afterward the voice of the city
was raised in opposition, and the voice of this opposition became the
organ of the age and of the country; but it was felt and recognized
in Versailles only when it was too late. How easy it would have
been then, as Marmontel had shown very clearly in his memoirs, to
fetter Voltaire, who was offensive to the people, and how important
this would have been for the state, will appear in the following
paragraphs, in which we shall show that even the Parisian theatre,
whose boards were regarded as a model by all Europe, freed itself
from the influence of the court, became dependent on the tone-giving
circles of Paris, and assumed a decidedly democratic direction.

As early as the time of Louis XIV., the court had separated itself
from the learned men of the age; and at the end of the seventeenth
century the houses and societies could be historically pointed out,
in which judgments were pronounced upon questions of literature in
the same manner as the pit became the tribunal to which plays and
play-actors must appeal; we shall not, however, go back so far, but
keep the later times always in our view. In those associations in
which the Abbé de Chaulieu and other friends of Vendome and Conti led
the conversation, literature was brought wholly under the dominion of
audacious pretension and immorality, in the time of the Regency and
during the minority of Louis XV. In reference to the leaders there
needs no proof. What could a Philip of Orleans or his Dubois take
under his protection, except what corresponded with his ideas and mode
of life?

The time of the minority of Louis XV. and that of the administration
of Cardinal Fleury was for several reasons highly favorable to the
formation of private societies, which entertained themselves with
wit and satire, and carried on a quiet but continual contest with the
persons and systems which were protected by the government and the
clergy. Fleury regarded everything as sinful which had the appearance
of worldly knowledge, or partook of the character of jests, novels,
or plays; Louis, as he grew up, showed himself quite indifferent to
everything which had no connection with religious ceremonies, hunting,
or handsome women. Fleury spoke and wrote in that ecclesiastical
phraseology which was laughed at in the world: he favored the clergy,
school learning, the tone of the times of Louis XIV.; but the spirit
of the age demanded something different from this. All that was
regarded with disfavor by Fleury assembled around those celebrated
men, who held their reunions in Paris, and this court soon became more
important to the vain than the royal one itself, and it was proved by
experience that reputation and glory might be gained without the
aid or protection of the court at Versailles. This no one could have
previously believed, but the public soon learnt to do homage to the
tone-giving scholars, to the ladies and gentlemen who fostered them,
as it had formerly paid its homage to the ministers of the court.
This gave to the ladies, who collected around them the celebrated men
of the time (for reputation was much more the question than merit,)
and who protected and entertained them, a degree of weight in the
political and literary world, which made them as important in
the eighteenth century as Richelieu and Colbert had been in the

The queen, on her part, might have been able to exercise a beneficial
influence, however little power she had in other respects, when
compared with the mistresses of the king; but the daughter of
Stanislaus Leckzinski was a gentle, admirable woman, although somewhat
narrow-minded, and wholly given up to irrational devotional exercises
and bigotry. Like her father, she was altogether in the hands of the
Jesuits, blindly and unconditionally their servant; such an attachment
to a religious order, and such blind devotedness as hers would be
quite incredible, if we did not possess her own and her father's
autograph letters, as proofs of the fact. We shall present our readers
with some extracts from these letters, which are preserved in the
archives of the French empire, when we come to speak of the abolition
of the order of Jesuits.

As to the enlightened mistresses who had much more power and influence
than the queen, Pompadour seemed, as we learn from Marmontel, desirous
of participating in the literature of the age and of doing something
for its promotion, when she saw how important writers and the
influence of the press had become; but partly because both she and
the king were altogether destitute of any sense for the beautiful
in literature or art, and partly because the better portion of the
learned men at the time neither could nor would be pleased with what
a Bernis, Düclos and Marmontel were disposed to be, who undoubtedly
received some marks of favor from her. Voltaire is therefore quite
right when he lays upon the court the blame of allowing the influence
which literature then exercised upon the people, to be withdrawn
altogether from king and his ministers, and to be transferred to the
hands of the Parisian ladies and farmers-general, &c. Voltaire, in his
well-known verses,[1] admits, with great openness and simplicity, that
he attached much importance to the applause of a court, although it
neither possessed judgment nor feeling for the merits of a writer,
nor for poetical beauties; and he complains at the same time that this
court had neither duly estimated his tragedies nor his epic poems. It
is characteristic both of the court and of Voltaire that he eagerly
pressed himself forward for admission to its favor, and sought to
attract attention by a work which be himself called a piece of trash,
and that the court extended its approbation and applause to this
miserable and altogether inappropriate piece, ('La Princesse de
Navarre,') which he composed on the occasion of the Dauphin's
marriage with the Infanta of Spain, whilst it entirely neglected his

The Paris societies had got full possession of the field of
literature, and erected their tribunals before the middle of the
century, whilst at Versailles nothing was spoken or thought of except
amusements and hunting, Jesuits and processions, and the grossest
sensuality prevailed. The members of the Parisian societies were not a
whit more moral or decent in their behavior than those about the court
at Versailles, but they carried on open war against hypocrisy, and all
that was praised and approved of by the court.

We shall now proceed to mention three or four of the most
distinguished of those societies, which have obtained an historical
importance, not merely for the French literature and mental and moral
culture of the eighteenth century, but for Europe in general, without
however restraining ourselves precisely within the limits of the half
century. The minute accounts which Grimm has given, for the most part
affect only the later periods; we turn our attention therefore the
rather to what the weak, vain, talkative Marmontel has related to us
on the subject in his 'Autobiography,' because Rousseau was by far
too one-sided in his notices, and drew public attention to the most
demoralized and degraded members of the circle only.

The first lady who must be mentioned, is Madame de Tencin. She
belonged to the period within which we must confine ourselves, and she
gained for herself such a name, not only in Paris, but in all Europe,
that she was almost regarded as the creator of that new literature
which stood in direct and bold opposition to the prevailing taste,
inasmuch as she received at her house, entertained and cherished,
those who were really its originators and supporters. This lady could
not boast of the morality of her early years, nor of her respect even
for common propriety. She is not only notorious for having exposed,
when a child, the celebrated D'Alembert, who was her natural son, and
for regarding with indifference his being brought up by the wife of a
common glazier as her own son; but stories still worse than even these
are told of her. She enriched herself, as many others did, in the time
of Law's scheme, by no very creditable means; and fell under such a
serious suspicion of having been privy to the death of one of those
who had carried on an intrigue with her, that she was imprisoned
and involved in a criminal prosecution, from which she escaped, not
through her own innocence, but by means of the powerful influence of
her distinguished relations and friends.

All this did not prevent Pope Benedict XIV., who, as Cardinal
Lambertini, had been often at her house, as a member of the society of
men of talents who met there, from carrying on a continual intercourse
with her by letter; he also sent her his picture as a testimony of
kind remembrance. This lady succeeded in procuring for her brother the
dignity of a cardinal, and through him had great weight with Fleury,
with the court, and with the city in general; she is also known as
an authoress. As we are not writing a history of literature properly
speaking, we pass by her novels in silence, with this remark only,
that people are accustomed to place the 'Comte de Comminges,' written
by Madame de Tencin, on the same footing with the 'Princess de Clêve,'
by Madame de Lafayette.

The society in the house of Madame de Tencin consisted of well-known
men of learning, and some younger men of distinguished name and
family; she united, in later years, a certain amiability with her
care for the entertainment and recreation of those whom she had once
received into her house. This society, after the death of De Tencin,
assembled in the house of Geoffrin. It appears, however, that Madame
de Tencin, as well as the whole fashionable world to which she
belonged, could never altogether disavow their contempt for science,
if indeed it be true, that she was accustomed to call her society
by the indecent by-name of her ménagerie. Fontenelle, Montesquieu,
Mairan, Helvetius who was then quite young and present rather as a
hearer than a speaker, Marivaux and Astruc, formed the nucleus of this
clever society and led the conversation. Marmontel, who was not well
suited to this society, in which more real knowledge and a deeper
train of thought was called for than he possessed, informs us what
the tone of this society was, and speaks of their hunting after lively
conceits and brilliant flashes of wit, in a somewhat contemptuous
manner. Marmontel, however, himself admits, that he was only once in
the society, and that in order to read his 'Aristomenes,' and that
greater simplicity and good humor prevailed there than in the house of
Madame Geoffrin, in which he was properly at home.

Madame de Tencin's influence upon the new literature of the opposition
party, or rather upon the spirit of the age, may be best judged of
from the fact, that she largely contributed to the first preparation
and favorable reception of Montesquieu's "Spirit of Laws." It is
certain, at least, that she bought a large number of copies and
distributed them amongst her friends. Madame Geoffrin went further;
the society which had previously met at Madame de Tencin's, no sooner
held their reunions in her house, than she drew together the whole
literary and the fashionable world, foreign ministers, noblemen and
princes who were on their travels, etc. Marmontel also says, that the
aged Madame de Tencin had guessed quite correctly the intentions of
Madame Geoffrin, when she said, that she merely came to her house so
often in order to see what part of her inventory she could afterward
make useful.

Madame Geoffrin became celebrated all over Europe, merely by devoting
a portion of her income and of her time to the reception of clever
society. She had neither the knowledge, the mind, nor the humility of
Madame de Tencin, which the latter at least affected toward the close
of her life; she was cold, egotistical, calculating, and brought
into her circle nothing more than order, tact and female delicacy.
Geoffrin also assumed the tone of high life, which always treats men
of learning, poets and artists, as if they were mantua-makers or
hair-dressers; and which must ever value social tact and the tone
which is only to be acquired in good society, higher than all studies
and arts upon which any one possessed of these properties is in a
condition to pass judgment without having spent any time in their
investigation. Marmontel is therefore honest enough to admit that he
and his friends, as well as Madame Geoffrin herself, were accustomed
to make a full parade when foreign princes, ministers, and celebrated
men or women dined at the house. On such occasions especially, Madame
Geoffrin displayed all the charms of her mind, and called to us, "now
let us be agreeable."

Geoffrin's house was the first school of _bon ton_ in Europe:
Stanislaus Poniatowsky, even after he became King of Poland, addressed
her by the tender name of mother, invited her to Warsaw, and received
her as a personage of high distinction. All the German courts
which followed the fashion, paid correspondents in order to be made
acquainted with the trifles which occupied that circle. Catherine II.
had no sooner mounted the throne than she began to pay a commissioner
at this literary court, and even Maria Theresa distinguished Madame
Geoffrin in a remarkable manner, on her return from Poland. Besides,
we are made acquainted by Marmontel, who ranked his hostess among the
gods of this earth, with the anxiety and cautiousness of this lady of
the world, who afterward broke altogether with the chiefs of the new
literature, and most humbly did homage to the old faith, because she
had never wholly forsaken her old prejudices.

The able writers of the time were used by Geoffrin only as means to
promote her objects, to gain a reputation for splendor, and to glorify
France. The King of Prussia sought her society, in order to refresh
and cheer his mind when he was worn out with the cares and toils of

Madame Geoffrin opened her house regularly on Mondays for artists,
and on Wednesdays for men of learning; but as she neither understood
the arts nor sciences, she took part in the conversation only so far
as she could do so without exposing her weak side. She understood
admirably how to attract the great men to her house, to whose houses
she herself very seldom went; and as long as the appearance of
fashionable infidelity and of scoffing, which was then the mode in the
higher circles, was necessary to this object, she carefully concealed
her real religious opinions.

The weak Marmontel, who, according to his own description, was
only fitted for superficial conversation and writing, boasts of the
prudence, foresight and skill of his protectress, and shows how she
understood the way to gain the confidence of others without ever
yielding her own. This distinguished art made the house of Madame
Geoffrin invaluable to the great world, and to those learned men
who wished to shine in this kind of society, and to cultivate and
avail themselves of it, for such people must learn above all things
neither to say too much nor too little. This society, indeed, was not
calculated for any length of time for a Rousseau or a Diderot. Even
the great admirers of Geoffrin admit that _savoir vivre_ was her
highest knowledge, she had very few ideas with respect to anything
besides; but in the knowledge of all that pertained to the manners and
usage of good society, in the knowledge of men, and particularly of
women, she was deeply learned, and was able to give some very useful

It would lead us too far into the history of the following period, to
enumerate and characterize the members of these regular societies.
It may suffice to mention, that in addition to all the guests who
frequented Madame de Tencin's, all the friends of Voltaire's school,
and at first also Rousseau, made a part of the society at the house of
Madame Geoffrin. We have already remarked that no prince, minister, or
distinguished man of all Europe came to Paris who did not visit Madame
Geoffrin, and think it an honor to be invited to her house, because he
there found united all that was exclusively called talent in Europe.

Kaunitz also, who was then only a courtier in Versailles, came
to Madame Geoffrin's parties. He was a man who combined in a most
surprising manner true philosophy and a deep knowledge of political
economy, with the outward appearance of a fop and a trifler. Among the
other distinguished men who lived in Paris, Marmontel names with high
praise the Abbé Galliani, Caraccioli, who was afterward Neapolitan
ambassador, and the Swedish ambassador, Count Creutz.

Marmontel was so much delighted with this society, even at a very
advanced age, that he gives us also accounts of their evening parties:
"As I was in the habit of dining with the learned and with the artists
at Madame Geoffrin's, so was I also of supping with her in her more
limited and select circle. At these _petits soupers_ there was no
carousing or luxuries,--a fowl, spinach and pancakes constituted the
usual fare. The society was not numerous: there met together only five
or six of her particular friends, or even persons of the highest rank,
who were suited to each other, and therefore enjoyed themselves." It
appears distinctly from the passage already quoted from Marmontel,
how the high nobility on these occasions treated the learned, and
how the learned demeaned themselves toward the nobility. It appears,
therefore, that Rousseau was not in error when he alleged that
emptiness and wantonness only were cherished in these societies, and
that the literature which was then current was only a slow poison.

Madame du Deffant appeared on the stage of the great world
contemporaneously with Geoffrin, and attained so high a degree of
celebrity, that the Emperor Joseph paid her a visit in her advanced
period of life, and thus afforded her the opportunity of paying him
that celebrated compliment which is found related in every history
of France. With respect to Deffant, however, we must not listen to
Marmontel; she stood above his rhymes, his love tales, his sentimental
wanton stories, and besides, he knew her only when she had become
old. What we Germans name feminine and good morals formed no part of
the distinction of Deffant, but talents only. Like Tencin, she was
ill-reputed in her youth on account of her amours, and reckoned the
Regent among her fortunate wooers; at a later period she turned her
attention to literature.

Deffant brought together at her house all those persons whom Voltaire
visited when he was in Paris; among these the President Hénault,
and, at a later period of which we now speak, D'Alembert attracted
to this circle distinguished foreigners and Frenchmen, who made
any pretensions to culture and education. Deffant assumed quite a
different tone among the learned from that of Geoffrin. She set up
for a judge in questions of philosophy and taste, and carried on a
constant correspondence with Voltaire. Among celebrated foreigners,
the Englishman Horace Walpole played the same character in this house
which the Swede Creutz had assumed in that of Geoffrin. Deffant and
her Walpole became celebrated throughout Europe by their printed
correspondence, which, on account of its smoothness and emptiness,
like all books written for the great world, found very numerous

Deffant, moreover, like Geoffrin. was faithless to her friends; she
wished indeed to enjoy the most perfect freedom in their society, but
she was unwilling that they should publish abroad this freedom. And
she strongly disapproved of the vehemence with which her friends
assailed the existing order of things.

When she afterward lost a considerable part of her property, and
became blind, she occupied a small dwelling in an ecclesiastical
foundation in Paris, but continued to receive philosophers, poets
and artists in her house; and in order to give a little more life to
the conversation, she invited a young lady whose circumstances were
straitened to be her companion. This was Mademoiselle l'Espinasse.
L'Espinasse was not beautiful, but she was young, amiable, lively, and
more susceptible than we in Germany are accustomed either to allow or
to pardon. Deffant, on the other hand, was witty and intelligent, but
old, bitter, and withal egotistically insensible. The boldest scoffers
assembled around L'Espinasse, and there was afterward formed around
her a circle of her own. Deffant turned day into night, and night into
day. She and the Duchess of Luxembourg, who was inseparable from her,
received learned distinguished personages and foreigners, from six
o'clock in the evening during the greater part of the night.

The importance in which such ladies and such societies were held, not
merely in France but in all Europe, may be judged of from the fact,
that the breach between Deffant and her young companion was treated
in some measure as a public European event. The French minister and
foreign ambassadors took part in it, and the whole literary world felt
its effect. After this breach there were two tone-giving tribunals for
the guidance of public opinion in matters of literature and taste,
and their decisions were circulated by letter over all Europe. Horace
Walpole, Hénault, Montesquieu. Voltaire, whose correspondence with
Deffant has been published in the present century, remained true to
her cause. D'Alembert, whose correspondence with Deffant, as well as
that of the Duchess of Maine, have also been published in our century,
went over to L'Espinasse. This academician, whose name and influence
was next in importance to that of Voltaire, formed the nucleus of a
new society in the house of L'Espinasse, and was grievously tormented
by his _inamorata_, who pursued one plan of conquest after another
when she saw one scheme of marriage after another fail of success. It
appears from the whole of the transactions and consequences connected
with this breach, however surprising it may be, that this formation
of a new circle in Paris for evening entertainment may be with truth
compared to the institution of a new academy for the promotion of
European culture and refinement. The Duchess of Luxembourg, who
continued to be a firm friend of Deffant, took upon herself to provide
suitable apartments for the society, whilst the minister of the day
(the Duc de Choiseul) prevailed upon the king to grant a pension of no
inconsiderable amount to L'Espinasse.

This new circle was the point of union for all the philosophical
reformers. Here D'Alembert and Diderot led the conversation; and the
renowned head of the political economists, Türgot, who was afterward
minister of state, was a member of this bolder circle of men who
became celebrated and ill-renowned under the name of Encyclopædists.
We shall enter upon a fuller consideration of the tone and taste which
reigned in this assembly, as well as in the society which met in
the house of Holbach, and of the history of the Encyclopædia, in the
following period, and shall only now mention at the conclusion of the
present, and that very slightly, some of the other clever societies
of Parisians who were all in their day celebrated in Europe. It is
scarcely possible for us to judge of the charm which these societies
possessed in the great world. This may be best learned from their
own writings and conversation, a specimen of which may be found
in Marmontel's 'Memoirs,' and formed the subject of a conversation
between him and the Duke of Brunswick (who fell at Jena in 1806) and
his duchess.

The society of _beaux esprits_ which met at the house of Madame de
Poplinière, in the time of Madame de Tencin, was only short-lived,
like the good fortune of the lady herself. In her house there
assembled members of the great world who were addicted to carousing
and debauchery, and learned men who sought to obtain their favor
and approbation. The same sort of society was afterward kept up in
the house of Holbach. A smaller society, which frequented the house
of the farmer-general Pelletier, consisted of unmarried people,
who were known as persons who indulged in malicious and licentious
conversation. Collé, the younger Crébillon and Bernard, who,
notwithstanding his helplessness, was called _le gentil_, played the
chief characters in this reunion, and the Gascon nature of Marmontel,
which was always forward and intrusive, helped him into this society
also. Baron Holbach, who was a native of the Palatinate, and the
able Helvetius who was wanton merely from vanity, brought together
expressly and intentionally at a later period, around their
well-spread table, all those who declared open war against religion
and morality. We must, however, return to these men in the following

Holbach for a whole quarter of a century had regular dinner-parties
on Sundays, which are celebrated in the history of atheism. All those
were invited, who were too bold and too out-spoken for Geoffrin; and
even D'Alembert also at a later period withdrew from their society.

Grimm, whose copious correspondence has also been published in the
nineteenth century, gives minutes and notices of all the memorable
sayings and doings that served to entertain and occupy the
polite world in Europe. Grimm also entertained and feasted these
distinguished gentlemen. He was not at that time consul for Gotha, or
employed and paid by that court or the Empress Catherine to collect
Parisian anecdotes, neither had he then been made a baron, but was
merely civil secretary of Count von Friese. Both J.J. Rousseau and
Buffon belonged at first to these societies; but the former, in great
alarm, broke off all intercourse with the people who then played the
first parts in Paris, and the other quietly retired.

  [Footnote 1:
  Mon Henri quatre et ma Zaïre,
  Et mon Americaine Alzire,
  Ne m'ont valu jamais un seul regard du roi;
  J'eus beaucoup d'ennemis avec très-peu de gloire.
  Les honneurs et les biens pleuvent enfin sur moi
  Pour une farce de la foire.--_La Princesse de Navarro_.]

       *       *       *       *       *


The London _Athenæum_, of the 15th June, has the following remarks
upon the last work of NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE:

"This is a most powerful and painful story. Mr. Hawthorne must be well
known to our readers as a favorite of the _Athenæum_. We rate him
as among the most original and peculiar writers of American fiction.
There in his works a mixture of Puritan reserve and wild imagination,
of passion and description, of the allegorical and the real, which
some will fail to understand, and which others will positively
reject,--but which, to ourselves, is fascinating, and which entitles
him to be placed on a level with Brockden Brown and the author of 'Rip
Van Winkle.' 'The Scarlet Letter' will increase his reputation with
all who do not shrink from the invention of the tale; but this, as
we have said, is more than ordinarily painful. When we have announced
that the three characters are a guilty wife, openly punished for her
guilt,--her tempter, whom she refuses to unmask, and who during the
entire story carries a fair front and an unblemished name among his
congregation,--and her husband, who, returning from a long absence at
the moment of her sentence, sits himself down betwixt the two in the
midst of a small and severe community to work out his slow vengeance
on both under the pretext of magnanimous forgiveness,--when we have
explained that 'The Scarlet Letter' is the badge of Hester Prynne's
shame, we ought to add that we recollect no tale dealing with crime
so sad and revenge so subtly diabolical, that is at the same time so
clear of fever and of prurient excitement. The misery of the woman
is as present in every page as the heading which in the title of
the romance symbolizes her punishment. Her terrors concerning her
strange elvish child present retribution in a form which is new and
natural:--her slow and painful purification through repentance is
crowned by no perfect happiness, such as awaits the decline of those
who have no dark and bitter past to remember. Then, the gradual
corrosion of heart of Dimmesdale, the faithless priest, under the
insidious care of the husband, (whose relationship to Hester is
a secret known only to themselves,) is appalling; and his final
confession and expiation are merely a relief, not a reconciliation.
We are by no means satisfied that passions and tragedies like these
are the legitimate subjects for fiction: we are satisfied that
novels such as 'Adam Blair,' and plays such as 'The Stranger,' maybe
justly charged with attracting more persons than they warn by their
excitement. But if Sin and Sorrow in their most fearful forms are to
be presented in any work of art, they have rarely been treated with
a loftier severity, purity, and sympathy than in Mr. Hawthorne's
'Scarlet Letter.' The touch of the fantastic befitting a period of
society in which ignorant and excitable human creatures conceived each
other and themselves to be under the direct 'rule and governance' of
the Wicked One, is most skillfully administered. The supernatural here
never becomes grossly palpable:--the thrill is all the deeper for its
action being indefinite, and its source vague and distant."

[Footnote 2: The Scarlet Letter: a Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Boston: Ticknor & Co.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Emperor Nicholas has just published an ordonnance, which regulates
the pensions to which Russian and foreign actors at the imperial
theaters at St. Petersburgh shall be entitled. This ordonnance divides
the actors (national as well as foreign) into four classes. The first
class obtains, after twenty years' service, pensions averaging from
300 to 1140 silver rubles. The others, after fifteen years' service,
will receive pensions from 285 to 750 silver rubles.

       *       *       *       *       *


containing an oil, of a color similar to its own. Hair contains
at least ten distinct substances: sulphate of lime and magnesia,
chlorides of sodium and potassium, phosphate of lime, peroxide of
iron, silica, lactate of ammonia, oxide of manganese and margaim.
Of these, _sulphur_ is the most prominent, and it is upon this that
certain metallic salts operate in changing the color of hair. Thus
when the salts of lead or of mercury are applied, they enter into
combination with the sulphur, and a black sulphuret of the metal is
formed. A common formula for a paste to dye the hair, is a mixture of
litharge, slacked lime, and bicarbonate of potash. Different shades
may be given by altering the proportions of these articles. Black
hair contains iron and manganese and no magnesia; while fair hair is
destitute of the two first substances, but possesses magnesia.

No one ever possessed all the requisites of masculine or feminine
beauty without a profusion of hair. This is one of the crowning
perfections of the human form, upon which poets of all ages have dwelt
with the most untiring satisfaction. However perfect a woman may be
in other respects; however beautiful her eyes, her mouth, teeth, lips,
nose or cheeks; however brilliant her expression, in conversation or
excitement, she is positively disagreeable without this ornament of
nature. The question is sometimes asked, "What will cure love?" We
answer, scissors. Let the object be shorn of hair, and you may take
the word of a physiologist, that the tender passion will lose its
distinctiveness; it may subside into respect: it is more likely to
change into a less agreeable emotion.

In man, the hair is an excellent index of character. As the beard
distinguishes man from woman, so its full and luxuriant growth often
indicates strength and nobleness, intellectual and physical; while
a meager beard suggests an uncertain character--part masculine, part
feminine. Was there ever a truly great man, or one with a generous
disposition, with a thin beard and a weazen face? On the other
hand, show me a man with "royal locks," and I will trust his natural
impulses in almost every vicissitude. When we see a genuine man, upon
whom Nature has declined to set this seal of her approval, we cannot
help an involuntary emotion of admiration for the virtuous and
persevering energy with which he must have overcome his destiny.

Pertinent hereto: we have read with unusual satisfaction the arguments
for Beards in Dr. Marcy's _Theory and Practice of Medicine_ and the
pleasant essays in the same behalf which John Waters has printed in
the _Knickerbocker_. Our conservatism yields before these reformers,
who would bring custom to the proprieties of nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

WHAT'S IN A NAME?--A good deal, sometimes. Thus, the truth of the
adage of "give a dog a bad name," &c., has lately been exemplified in
a singular manner. Eugene Sue, you may remember, causes some of the
most terrible events in the _Mysteres de Paris_ to occur in the Allée
des Venves, a fine avenue in the Champs Elysees. This has had the
effect of giving the unfortunate Allée--though as quiet, modest,
well-behaved, moral street as need be--a detestable reputation; people
have shunned it as if it were a cavern of cutthroats--those condemned
to live in it have felt themselves _quasi_-infamous--its rents have
fallen, its shops stood empty, its business has dwindled away.
The owners of its houses, and its few remaining inhabitants and
shopkeepers, have for months past been pestering the municipality of
Paris to devise means of restoring its fallen prosperity, and removing
the monstrous stigma attached to it. At last, moved by compassion, the
municipality has given permission to have the name changed to "Avenue
de Montaigne." The ex-Allée, says the writer who informs us of the
circumstance, is in great jubilation, and is crying with enthusiasm
"_Je suis sauvee!_"

       *       *       *       *       *

"NAMES HIGH INSCRIBED."--It is stated that the names of nearly every
distinguished man in every department of literature and science, from
the remotest antiquity down to the present time, are inscribed in
letters of gold on the outside of the new _Bibliotheque de Sainte
Geneviève_, which is now rapidly approaching completion. The list is
naturally one of tremendous length, and covers not less than three
whole sides of the vast building. It is impossible not to admire the
spirit in which it has been devised, and the impartiality with which
it has been executed. Altogether, it does the highest credit to the
Parisians, and especially to their municipal authorities. The names
are arranged in chronological order, but without date, and without
regard to the nationality of, or to the peculiar distinction achieved
by the individual; thus the two last names are those of Berzelius, the
Swedish _savant_, and Chateaubriand; and a little above them figures
Walter Scott, Byron, and other English immortals. Living celebrities
are of course excluded.

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. HARTLEY, a benevolent English gentleman, directed in his will that
£200 should be set apart as a prize for the best essay on Emigration,
and appointed the American Minister trustee of the fund. The Vice
Chancellor has decided that the bequest is void, for the reason that
such an essay would encourage people to emigrate to the United States,
and so to throw off their allegiance to the Queen! Another decision
equally wise was made at the same time in regard to a prize for a
treatise on Natural Theology. The learned Vice Chancellor regarded it
as calculated to "subvert the Church."

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT EGLESFELD GRIFFITH, M.D., died in Philadelphia, on the 27th
ult., in the fifty-third year of his age. Dr. Griffith possessed fine
talents; in addition to a thorough knowledge of his profession, he was
familiar with most of the branches of natural science, while in botany
and conchology he stood second to few in this country; and his social
and moral qualities were of the highest order. He filled in succession
the chairs of Materia Medica and Pharmacy in the Philadelphia College
of Pharmacy; of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, Hygiene, and Medical
Jurisprudence in the University of Virginia. Whilst laboring in the
latter station his health failed him, and he was induced to seek a
winters residence in the West Indies in hopes of its restoration. It
became evident, however, that his health was permanently broken, and
for the last four years he has resided in his native city, Though
suffering much, his energy and industry never flagged: and he
has given the results of his labors in his Medical Botany and his
Universal Formulary, two works which will secure him a permanent
reputation. He also enriched by his annotations a number of works
republished in this country, among which we may mention Christison's
Dispensatory, Taylor's Medical Jurisprudence, Ryan's Medical
Jurisprudence, Ballard and Garrod's Materia Medica.

       *       *       *       *       *

F. MANSELL REYNOLDS, the eldest son of the late F. Reynolds, the
dramatic author, died recently at Fontainebleau. He was long intimate
with and favorably known to literary circles in England, counting such
men as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Bernal, Lockhart, Hook, and many others,
among his personal friends. As the editor of "Heath's Keepsake,"
when it started, he proved himself a person of taste and ability. He
was also the author of "Miserrimus," which excited a considerable
sensation when published, and of one or two other works of fiction,
which, together with his contributions to several serials, displayed
much variety of talent.

       *       *       *       *       *

JOHN ROBY, author of "Traditions of Lancashire," and other works,
which have been as popular as any of their class, is mentioned as one
of the persons lost in the "Orion" steamer. Mr. Roby was long a banker
in Rochdale, and partner of Mr. Fielden, and though an excellent man
of business, his mind was deeply interested in literary pursuits and
in cultivating the friendly intercourse of literary men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Prof. CANSTATT, of the University of Erlangen, died on the 10th of
March, after a long and painful illness. Dr. C. was one of the most
distinguished physicians of our times, and had won for himself a
lasting reputation by his work on the diseases of old age.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

The following graphic picture of domestic happiness in humble
life, was written by Townsend Haines, Esq., late Secretary of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and now Register of the Treasury, at
Washington. Mr. Haines is an eloquent and accomplished lawyer, with
fine capacities for literature, to which it may be regretted that he
has recently given so little attention.


  I once knew a plowman, Bob Fletcher his name,
  Who was old and was ugly, and so was his dame;
  Yet they lived quite contented, and free from all strife,
  Bob Fletcher the plowman, and Judy his wife.

  As the morn streaked the east, and the night fled away
  They would rise up for labor, refreshed for the day,
  And the song of the lark, as it rose on the gale,
  Found Bob at the plow, and his wife at the pail.

  A neat little cottage in front of a grove,
  Where in youth they first gave their young hearts up to love,
  Was the solace of age, and to them doubly dear,
  As it called up the past, with a smile or a tear.

  Each tree had its thought, and the vow could impart,
  That mingled in youth, the warm wish of the heart:
  The thorn was still there, and the blossoms it bore,
  And the song from its top seemed the same as before.

  When the curtain of night over nature was spread,
  And Bob had returned from the plow to his shed,
  Like the dove on her nest, he reposed from all care,
  If his wife and his youngsters contented were there.

  I have passed by his door when the evening was gray,
  And the hill and the landscape were fading away,
  And have heard from the cottage, with grateful surprise,
  The voice of thanksgiving, like incense arise.

  And I thought on the proud, who look down with scorn,
  On the neat little cottage, the grove and the thorn,
  And felt that the riches and tinsels of life,
  Were dross, to contentment, with Bob and his wife.

       *       *       *       *       *




A lamb strayed for the first time into the woods, and excited much
discussion among the other animals. In a mixed company, one day, when
he became the subject of a friendly gossip, the goat praised him.

"Pooh!" said the lion, "this is too absurd. The beast is a pretty
beast enough, but did you hear him roar? I heard him roar, and, by the
manes of my fathers, when he roars he does nothing but cry ba-a-a!"
And the lion bleated his best in mockery, but bleated far from well.

"Nay," said the deer, "I do not think so badly of his voice. I liked
him well enough until I saw him leap. He kicks with his hind legs in
running and, with all his skipping, gets over very little ground."

"It is a bad beast altogether," said the tiger. "He cannot roar,
he cannot run, he can do nothing--and what wonder? I killed a man
yesterday, and, in politeness to the new comer, offered him a bit;
upon which he had the impudence to look disgusted, and say, 'No, sir,
I eat nothing but grass.'"

So the beasts criticized the lamb, each in his own way; and yet it was
a good lamb, nevertheless.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

E.P. WHIPPLE was the Fourth of July orator of the city of Boston. The
_Morning Post_ says, "his ability is so agile, elegant, and hilarious,
that his readers generally do not discern the profundity and
comprehensiveness of his nature or the progressive power of thought
manifested in his writings. We await impatiently the publication
of his late oration. It will be an apt opportunity, by the way, to
compare Mr. E. Everett with him, each having just spoken on a similar
national occasion. His level, 'fairspoken, immaculate regularity' will
contrast widely with the bold, vital vigor and originality of Mr. W.
No man of constitutional timidity, feeble will, and shallow thought
can ever have a real right to the title of orator. Men of minds
cultivated overmuch, and elaborately trained, are apt to lack central
spiritual vitality, as some fruits grown to great size by art of
the gardener fail of their native flavor, become insipid, and even
_hollow_ at the center."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE "HISTORY OF RELIGION," by the celebrated John Evelyn, author of
"Sylva," &c., now first published from the original MS. in the Library
at Wotton, with notes by the Rev. R.M. Evanson, is among the books
announced by Colburn, for the first of July. The journals, in
anticipation, express some curiosity upon the subject, whether it
be pedantic, orthodox, and trimming, like the author, or whether it
contain any of the Chubb and Toland spirit. Two new and important
works, ethically related to this, have just been issued; the one
in France, called _Qu'est-ce que la Religion, d'après la Nouvelle
Philosophie Allemande_, wherein Feuerbach's daring evolutions of
Hegel's principles are translated for the benefit of those who cannot
read German; the other, called _The Progress of Intellect_, showing
the various developments of religious ideas through history.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEIGH HUNT, it is apprehended, will be appointed laureate. The
_Athenæum_ objects, and we think very properly urges, that if the
office is to be continued, it should be given to the finest living
poet of her Majesty's own sex, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This
appropriation of the laurel would in a manner recompense two poets
by a single act.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. ROBERT LEMON, of the State Paper Office, to whom we are indebted
for the discovery of the MS. of Milton's Treatise on Christian
Doctrine, is to be editor of an extensive publication of Calendars of
the Domestic Papers in possession of the Government, from the reign
of Edward the Sixth to the close of the reign of Elizabeth. The
_Athenæum_ suggests that it will be of great advantage to the literary
world for its important documents illustrative of facts and manners.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. GUTZLAFF, who is preaching at Berlin and Potsdam on behalf of
the Chinese mission, lately introduced into the closing prayer of the
service, at the garrison church at the latter place, besides the name
of the King and the royal family, a supplication for _his_ Emperor
of China, and the ministers and people of that nation. Dr. Gutzlaff
expresses a confident hope that the Emperor of Japan will become
converted to Christianity.

       *       *       *       *       *

MEETINGS have been held at the house of Mr. Justice Coleridge, in
London, at which a committee has been formed, with the Bishop of
London at its head, to initiate a subscription to do honor to the
memory of the poet Wordsworth, by placing a whole length effigy of
him in Westminster Abbey, and, if the funds suffice, by erecting a
monument to his memory near Grassmere.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. E.G. SQUIER, our _Charge d'Affaires_ to Central America, is now in
New York, and will soon publish an essay upon the antiquities of that
country, similar in design, probably, to his important volume on the
remains of ancient works in the valley of the Mississippi, printed for
the Smithsonian Institute.

       *       *       *       *       *

FRANCIS BOWEN, the editor of the _North American Review_, has been
appointed Professor of History and Political Economy in Harvard
College, and it is understood that the Latin Professorship, made
vacant by the resignation of Dr. Beck, will be tendered to Mr. George
M. Lane, now in Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FRENCH ACADEMY has decreed to M. Emile Augier, the author of
_Gabrielle_, the prize of seven thousand francs, for the best dramatic
work inculcating principles of rectitude and morality.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARLES LUCIEN BONAPARTE (Prince of Canino) is now at Berlin, where he
occupies himself exclusively with scientific pursuits, and the society
of learned men.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM has conferred the honorary degree of M.A. on
Robert Stephenson, and on Mr. Henry Taylor, the author of "Philip Van

       *       *       *       *       *

JOHN G. SAXE has been elected by the Mercantile Library Association of
Montreal, to deliver the poem at the opening of their winter course of

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SULTAN of Turkey has granted to the Princess Belgioiso, for
herself and the Italian emigrants, some extensive tracts of land on
the gulf of Nicomedia.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEW OPERA, on which M. Strakosch is now engaged, is to be called
_La Regina di Napoli_. The plot is taken from the history of the
unfortunate Queen Joana of Sicily, and abounds in scenes of dramatic

       *       *       *       *       *




Through the ornamented grounds of a handsome country residence, at
a little distance from a large town in Ireland, a man of about fifty
years of age was walking with a bent head, and the impress of sorrow
on his face.

"Och, yer honor, give me one sixpence, or one penny, for God's sake,"
cried a voice from the other side of a fancy paling which separated
the grounds in that quarter from a thoroughfare. "For heaven's sake,
Mr. Lawson, help me as ye helped me before. I know you've the heart
and the hand to do it."

The person addressed as Mr. Lawson looked up and saw a woman whom he
knew to be in most destitute circumstances, burdened with a large and
sickly family, whom she had struggled to support until her own health
was ruined.

"I have no money--not one farthing," answered John Lawson.

"No money!" reiterated the woman, in surprise: "isn't it all yours,
then?--isn't this garden yours, and that house, and all the grand
things that are in it yours?--ay, and grand things they are--them
pictures, and them bright shinin' things in that drawing-room of
yours; and sure you deserve them well, and may God preserve them long
to you, for riches hasn't hardened your heart, though there's many a
one, and heaven knows the gold turns their feelin's to iron."

"It all belongs to my son, Henry Lawson, and Mrs. Lawson, and their
children--it is all theirs," he sighed heavily, and deep emotion was
visible in every lineament of his thin and wrinkled face.

The poor woman raised her blood-shot eyes to his face, as if she
was puzzled by his words. She saw that he was suffering, and with
intuitive delicacy she desisted from pressing her wants, though her
need was great.

"Well, well, yer honor, many's the good penny ye have given me and the
childer, and maybe the next time I see you you'll have more change."

She was turning sadly away, when John Lawson requested her to remain,
and he made inquiries into the state of her family; the report
he heard seemed to touch him even to the forgetfulness of his own
sorrows; he bade her stop for a few moments and he would give her some

He walked rapidly toward the house and proceeded to the drawing-room.
It was a large and airy apartment, and furnished with evident
profusion; the sunlight of the bright summer-day, admitted partially
through the amply-draperied windows, lit up a variety of sparkling
gilding in picture-frames, and vases, and mirrors, and cornices; but
John Lawson looked round on the gay scene with a kind of shudder; he
had neither gold, silver, nor even copper in his pocket, or in his

He advanced to a lady who reclined on a rose-colored sofa, with a
fashionable novel in her hand, and after some slight hesitation he
addressed her, and stating the name and wants of the poor woman who
had begged for aid, he requested some money.

As he said the words "some money," his lips quivered, and a tremor
ran through his whole frame, for his thoughts were vividly picturing
a recently departed period, when he was under no necessity of asking
money from any individual.

"Bless me, my dear Mr. Lawson!" cried the lady, starting up from her
recumbent position, "did I not give you a whole handful of shillings
only the day before yesterday; and if you wasted it all on poor
people since, what am I to do? Why, indeed, we contribute so much to
charitable subscriptions, both Mr. Lawson and I, you might be content
to give a little less to common beggars."

Mrs. Lawson spoke with a smile on her lips, and with a soft caressing
voice, but a hard and selfish nature shone palpably from her blue
eyes. She was a young woman, and had the repute of beauty, which
a clear pink-and-white complexion, and tolerable features, with
luxuriant light hair, generally gains from a portion of the world. She
was dressed for the reception of morning visitors whom she expected,
and she was enveloped in expensive satin and blond, and jewelry in
large proportions.

John Lawson seemed to feel every word she had uttered in the depths
of his soul, but he made a strong effort to restrain the passion which
was rising to his lips.

"Augusta, my daughter, you are the wife of my only and most beloved
child--I wish to love you--I wish to live in peace with you, and
all--give me some money to relieve the wants of the unfortunate woman
to whom I have promised relief, and who is waiting without. I ask not
for myself, but for the poor and suffering--give me a trifle of money,
I say."

"Indeed, Mr. Lawson, a bank would not support your demands for the
poor people; that woman for whom you are begging has been relieved
twenty times by us. I have no money just now."

She threw herself back on the sofa, and resumed her novel; but anger,
darting from her eyes, contrasted with the trained smile which still
remained on her lips.

A dark shade of passion and scorn came over John Lawson's face, but
he strove to suppress it, and his voice was calm when he spoke.

"Some time before my son married you, I gave up all my business to
him--I came to live here amongst trees and flowers--I gave up all
the lucrative business I had carried on to my son, partly because my
health was failing, and I longed to live with nature, away from the
scenes of traffic; but more especially because I loved my son with
no common love, and I trusted to him as to a second self. I was not
disappointed--we had one purse and one heart before he married you;
he never questioned me concerning what I spent in charity--he never
asked to limit in any way my expenditure--he loved you, and I made
no conditions concerning what amount of income I was to receive, but
still I left him in entire possession of my business when he married
you. I trusted to your fair, young face, that you would not controvert
my wishes--that you would join me in my schemes of charity."

"And have I not?" interrupted Mrs. Lawson, in a sharp voice, though
the habitual smile still graced her lips; "do I not subscribe to, I
don't know how many, charitable institutions? Charity, indeed--there's
enough spent in charity by myself and my husband. But I wish to stop
extravagance--it is only extravagance to spend so much on charity as
you would do if you could; therefore, you shall not have any money
just now."

Mrs. Lawson was one of those women who can cheerfully expend a most
lavish sum on a ball, a dress, or any other method by which rank and
luxury dissipate their abundance, but who are very economical, and
talk much of extravagance when money is demanded for purposes not
connected with display or style.

"Augusta Lawson, listen to me"--his voice quivering with passion--"my
own wants are very few; in food, in clothes, in all points my
expenditure is trifling. I am not extravagant in my demands for the
poor, either. All I have expended in charity during the few years
since you came here, is but an insignificant amount as contrasted with
the income which I freely gave up to my son and you; therefore, some
money for the poor woman who is waiting, I shall now have; give me
some shillings, for God's sake, and let me go." He advanced closer to
her, and held out his hand.

"Nonsense!" cried Mrs. Lawson; "I am mistress, here--I am determined
to stop extravagance. You give too much to common beggars; I am
determined to stop it--do not ask me any further."

A kind of convulsion passed over John Lawson's thin face; but he
pressed his hand closely on his breast, and was silent for some

"I was once rich, I believe. Yes--it is not a dream," he said, in a
slow, self-communing voice. "Gold and silver, once ye were plenty with
me; my hands--my pockets were filled--guineas, crowns, shillings--now
I have not one penny to give to that starving, dying woman, whose face
of misery might soften the very stones she looks on--not one penny."

"Augusta," he said, turning suddenly toward her, after a second pause
of silence, "give me only one shilling, and I shall not think of the
bitter words you have just said."

"No; not one shilling," answered Mrs. Lawson, turning over a leaf of
her novel.

"One sixpence, then--one small, poor sixpence. You do not know how
even a sixpence can gladden the black heart of poverty when starvation
is come. One sixpence, I say--let me have it quickly."

"Not one farthing I shall give you. I do beg you will trouble me no

Mrs. Lawson turned her back partially to him, and fixed all her
attention on the novel.

"Woman! I have cringed and begged; I would not so beg for myself,
from you--no: I would lie down and die of want before I would, on my
own account, request of you--of your hard heart--one bit of bread.
All the finery that surrounds you is mine--it was purchased with my
money, though now you call it yours; and, usurping the authority of
both master and mistress here, you--in what you please to call your
economical management--dole out shillings to me when the humor seizes
you, or refuse me, as now, when it pleases you. But, woman, listen
to me. I shall never request you for one farthing of money again. No
necessity of others shall make me do it. You shall never again refuse
me, for I shall never give you the opportunity."

He turned hastily from the room, with a face on which the deep emotion
of an aroused spirit was depicted strongly.

In the lobby he met his son, Henry Lawson. The young man paused,
something struck by the excited appearance of his father.

"Henry," said the father, abruptly, "I want some money; there is a
poor woman whom I wish to relieve--will you give me some money for

"Willingly, my dear father; but have you asked Augusta? You know
I have given her the management of the money-matters of the
establishment, she is so very clever and economical."

"She has neither charity, nor pity, nor kindness; she saves from
me--she saves from the starving poor--she saves, that she may waste
large sums on parties and dresses. I shall never more ask her for
money--give me a few shillings. My God! the father begs of the son for
what was his own--for what he toiled all his youth--for what he gave
up out of trusting love to that son. Henry, my son, I am sick of
asking and begging--ay, sick--sick; but give me some shillings now."

"You asked Augusta, then," said Henry, drawing out his purse, and
glancing with some apprehension to the drawing-room door.

"Henry," cried Mrs. Lawson, appearing at that instant with a face
inflamed with anger--"Henry, _I_ would not give your father any money
to-day, because he is so very extravagant in giving it all away."

Henry was in the act of opening his purse; he glanced apprehensively
to Mrs. Lawson; his face had a mild and passive expression, which was
a true index of his yielding and easily-governed nature. His features
were small, delicate, and almost effeminately handsome; and in every
lineament a want of decision and force of character was visible.

"Henry, give me some shillings, I say--I am your father--I have a just

"Yes, yes, surely" said Henry, making a movement to open his purse.

"Henry, I do not wish you to give him money to waste in charity, as he
calls it."

Mrs. Lawson gave her husband an emphatic, but, at the same time,
cunningly caressing and smiling look.

"Henry, I am your father--give me the money I want."

"Augusta, my love, you know it was all his," said Henry, going close
to her, and speaking in a kind of whisper.

"My dearest Henry, were it for any other purpose but for throwing
away, I would not refuse. I am your father's best friend, and your
best friend, in wishing to restrain all extravagance."

"My dear father, she wishes to be economical, you know."

He dangled the purse, undecidedly, in his fingers.

"Will you give me the money at once, and let me go?" cried John
Lawson, elevating his voice.

"My dear Augusta, it is better--"

"Henry, do not, I beg of you."

"Henry, my son, will you let me have the money?"

"Indeed, Augusta--"


Mrs. Lawson articulated but the one word; there was enough of energy
and determination in it to make her husband close the purse he had
almost opened.

"I ask you only this once more--give me the few shillings?"

John Lawson bent forward in an eager manner; a feverish red kindled
on his sallow cheeks; his eyes were wildly dilated, and his lips
compressed. There was a pause of some moments.

"You will not give it me?" he said, in a voice deep-toned and
singularly calm, as contrasted with his convulsed face.

Henry dangled the purse again in his hand, and looked uneasily and
irresolutely toward his wife.

"No, he will not give it--you will get no money to squander on poor
people this day," Mrs. Lawson said, in a very sharp and decided voice.

John Lawson did not say another word; he turned away and slowly
descended the stairs, and walked out of the house.

He did not return that evening. He had been seen on the road leading
to the house of a relative who was in rather poor circumstances. Henry
felt rather annoyed at his fathers absence; he had no depth in his
affection, but he had been accustomed to see him and hear his voice
every day, and therefore he missed him, but consoled himself with
the thought that they would soon meet again, as it never entered his
imagination that his father had quitted the house for a lengthened
period. Mrs. Lawson felicitated herself on the event, and hoped that
the old man would remain for some time with his relative.

The following day a letter was handed to Henry; it was from his
father, and was as follows:

"TO MY SON HENRY--I have at last come to the resolution of quitting
your house, which I can no longer call mine, in even the least degree.
For weeks--for months--ever since you married--ever since your wife
took upon herself what she calls the management of your house and
purse, I have felt bound down under the weight of an oppressive
bondage. I could not go and take a pound or a shilling from our common
stock, as I used to do before you married, when you and I lived in one
mind, and when I believed that the very spirit of your departed, your
angel mother, dwelt in you, as you had, and have still, her very face
and form. No, no, we had no common stock when you married. She put me
on an allowance--ay, an allowance. You lived, and saw me receiving
an allowance; you whom I loved with an idolatry which God has now
punished; you to whom I freely gave up my business--my money-making
business. I gave it you--I gave all to you--I would have given my
very life and soul to you, because I thought that with your mother's
own face you had her noble and generous nature. You were kind before
you married; but that marriage has proved your weakness and want of
natural affection. Yes, you stood at my side yesterday; you looked
on my face--I, the father who loved you beyond all bounds of fatherly
love--you stood and heard me beg for a few shillings; you heard me
supplicate earnestly and humbly, and you would not give because your
wife was not willing. Henry, I could force you to give me a share of
the profits of your business; but keep it--keep it all. You would not
voluntarily give me some shillings, and I shall not demand what right
and justice would give me. Keep all, every farthing.

"It was for charity I asked the few shillings; you know it. You
know from whom I imbibed whatever I possess of the blessed spirit of
charity. I was as hard and unpitying as even your wife before your
mother taught me to feel and relieve the demands of poverty. Yes, and
she taught you; you cannot forget it. She taught you to give food to
the starving, in your earliest days. She strove to impress your infant
mind with the very soul of charity; and yesterday she looked down from
the heaven of the holy departed, and saw you refusing me, your father,
a few shillings to bestow on charity.

"Henry, I can live with you and your wife no more. I should grow
avaricious in my old age, were I to remain with you. I should long
for money to call my own. Those doled out shillings which I received
wakened within me feelings of a dark nature--covetousness, and envy,
and discontent--which must have shadowed the happiness of your mother
in heaven to look down upon. I must go and seek out an independent
living for myself, even yet, though I am fifty-two. Though my energies
for struggling with the world died, I thought, when your mother died,
and, leaving my active business to you, I retired to live in the
country, I must go forth again, as if I were young, to seek for
the means of existence, for I feel I was not made to be a beggar--a
creature hanging on the bounty of others; no, no, the merciful God
will give me strength yet to provide for myself, though I am old, and
broken down in mind and body. Farewell; you who were once my beloved
son, may God soften and amend your heart."

When Henry perused this letter, he would immediately have gone in
search of his father, in order to induce him to return home; but Mrs.
Lawson was at his side, and succeeded in persuading him to allow his
father to act as he pleased, and remain away as long as he wished.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ten years rolled over our world, sinking millions beneath the black
waves of adverse fortune and fate, and raising the small number who,
of the innumerable aspirants for earthly good, usually succeed. Henry
Lawson was one of those whom time had lowered in fortune. His business
speculations had, for a lengthened period, been rather unsuccessful,
while Mrs. Lawson's expensive habits increased every day. At length
affairs came to such a crisis, that retrenchment or failure was
inevitable. Henry had enough of wisdom and spirit to insist on the
first alternative, and Mrs. Lawson was compelled by the pressure
of circumstances to yield in a certain degree; the country-house,
therefore, was let, Mrs. Lawson assigning as a reason, that she had
lost all relish for the country after the death of her dear children,
both of whom had died, leaving the parents childless.

It was the morning of a close sultry day in July, and Mrs. Lawson was
seated in her drawing-room. She was dressed carefully and expensively
as of old, but she had been dunned and threatened at least
half-a-dozen times for the price of the satin dress she wore. Her
face was thin and pale, and there was a look of much care on her
countenance; her eyes were restless and sunken, and discontent
spoke in their glances as she looked on the chairs, sofas, and
window-draperies, which had once been bright-colored, but were now
much faded. She had just come to the resolution of having new covers
and hangings, though their mercer's and upholsterer's bills were
long unsettled, when a visitor was shown into the room. It was Mrs.
Thompson, the wife of a very prosperous and wealthy shopkeeper.

Mrs. Lawson's thin lips wreathed themselves into bright smiles of
welcome, whilst the foul demon took possession of her soul. Mrs.
Thompson's dress was of the most costly French satin, whilst hers was
merely British manufacture. They had been old school companions and
rivals in their girlish days. During the first years of the married
life of each, Mrs. Lawson had outshone Mrs. Thompson in every respect;
but now the eclipsed star beamed brightly and scornfully beside the
clouds which had rolled over her rival. Mrs. Thompson was, in face
and figure, in dress and speech, the very impersonation of vulgar and
ostentatious wealth.

"My goodness, it's so hot!" she said, loosening the fastening of
her bonnet, the delicate French blond and white satin and plume,
of which that fabric was composed, contrasting rather painfully at
the same time with her flushed mahogany-colored complexion, and
ungracefully-formed features. "Bless me, I'm so glad we'll get off to
our country-house to-morrow. It's so very delightful, Mrs. Lawson, to
have a country residence to go to. Goodness me, what a close room,
and such a hot, dusty street. It does just look so queer to me after

To this Mrs. Lawson made a response as composed as she could; she
would have retorted bitterly and violently, but her husband had a
connection with the Thompson establishment, and for strong reasons she
considered it prudent to refrain from quarreling with Mrs. Thompson.
She therefore spoke but very little, and Mrs. Thompson was left at
full liberty to give a lengthened detail of Mr. Thompson's great
wealth and her own great profusion. She began first with herself, and
furnished an exact detail of all the fine things she had purchased
in the last month, down to the latest box of pins. Next, her babies
occupied her for half an hour--the quantity of chicken they
consumed, and the number of frocks they soiled per diem were minutely
chronicled. Then her house came under consideration: she depicted
the bright glory of the new _ponceau_ furniture, as contrasted with
shocking old faded things--and she glanced significantly toward Mrs.
Lawson's sofas and chairs. Next she made a discursive detour to the
culinary department, and gave a statement of the number of stones of
lump sugar she was getting boiled in preserves, and of the days of the
week in which they had puddings, and the days they had pies at dinner.

"But, Mrs. Lawson dear, have you seen old Mr. Lawson since he came
home?" she said, when she was rising to depart: "but I suppose you
haven't, for they say he won't have anything to do with his relations
now--he won't come near you I have heard. They say he has brought such
a lot of money with him from South America."

At this intelligence every feature of Mrs. Lawson's face brightened
with powerful interest. She inquired where Mr. Lawson stopped, and
was informed that he had arrived at the best hotel in town about three
days previously, and that every one talked of the large fortune he had
made abroad, as he seemed to make no secret of the fact.

A burning eagerness to obtain possession of that money entered Mrs.
Lawson's soul, and she thought every second of time drawn out to the
painful duration of a long hour, while Mrs. Thompson slowly moved her
ample skirts of satin across the drawing-room, and took her departure.
Mrs. Lawson dispatched a messenger immediately for her husband.

Henry Lawson came in, and listened with surprise to the intelligence
of his father's return. He was taking up his hat to proceed to
the hotel in quest of him, when a carriage drove to the door.
Mrs. Lawson's heart palpitated with eagerness--if it should be her
husband's father in his own carriage--how delightful!--that horrible
Mrs. Thompson had not a carriage of her own yet, though she was always
talking of it. They, Mrs. Lawson and her husband, had just been about
setting up a carriage when business failed with them. She ran
briskly down the stairs--for long years she had not flown with such
alertness--rapid visions of gold, of splendor, and triumph seemed to
bear her along, as if she had not been a being of earth.

She was not disappointed, for there, at the open door, stood John
Lawson. He was enveloped in a cloak of fur, the costliness of which
told Mrs. Lawson that it was the purchase of wealth; a servant in
plain livery supported him, for he seemed a complete invalid.

Mrs. Lawson threw her arms around his neck, and embraced him with a
warmth and eagerness which brought a cold and bitter smile over the
white, thin lips of John Lawson. He replied briefly to the welcomings
he had received. He threw aside his cloak, and exhibited the figure
of an exceedingly emaciated and feeble old man, who had all the
appearance of ninety years, though he was little more than sixty; his
face was worn and fleshless to a painful degree; his hair was of the
whitest shade of great age, but his eyes had grown much more serene in
their expression than in his earlier days, notwithstanding a cast of
suffering which his whole countenance exhibited. He was plainly, but
most carefully and respectably dressed; a diamond ring of great value
was on one of his fingers; the luster of the diamonds caught Mrs.
Lawson's glance on her first inspection of his person, and her heart
danced with rapture--Mrs. Thompson had no such ring, with all her
boasting of all her finery.

"I have come to see my child before I die," said the old man, gazing
on his son with earnest eyes; "you broke the ties of nature between
us on your part, when, ten years ago, you refused your father a few
shillings from your abundance, but--"

He was interrupted by Mrs. Lawson, who uttered many voluble
protestations of her deep grief at her having, even though for the
sake of economy, refused the money her dear father had solicited
before he left them. She vowed that she had neither ate, nor slept,
nor even dressed herself for weeks after his departure; and that,
sleeping or waking, she was perpetually wishing she had given him the
money, even though she had known that he was going to throw it into
the fire, or lose it in any way. Her poor, dear father--oh, she wept
so after she heard that he had left the country. To be sure, Henry
could tell how, for two or three nights, her pillow was soaked with

A cold, bitter smile again flitted across the old man's lips; he made
no response to her words, but in the one look which his hollow eyes
cast on her, he seemed to read the falsehood of her assertions.

"I was going to add," he said, "that though you forgot you were my
son, and refused to act as my son, when you withheld the paltry sum
for which I begged, yet I could not refrain from coming once more to
look on my child's face--to look on the face of my departed wife in
yours--for I know that a very brief period must finish my life now.
I should not have come here, I feel--I know it is the weakness of my
nature--I should have died amongst strangers, for the strangers
of other countries, the people of a different hue and a different
language, I have found kind and pitiful, compared with those of my
own house."

"Oh, don't say so--don't say so--you are our own beloved father; ah,
my heart clings to every feature of your poor, dear old face: there
are the eyes and all that I used to talk to Henry so much about. Don't
talk of strangers--I shall nurse you and attend to you night and day."

She made a movement, as if she would throw her arms around his neck
again, but the old man drew back.

"Woman! your hypocritical words show me that your pitiless heart is
still unchanged--that it has grown even worse. You forced me out to
the world in my old age, when I should have had no thoughts except
of God and the world to come; you forced me to think of money-making,
when my hair was gray and my blood cold with years. Yes, I had to
draw my thoughts from the future existence, and to waste them on the
miserable toils of traffic, in order to make money: for it was better
to do this than to drag out my life a pensioner on your bounty,
receiving shillings and pence, which you gave me as if it had been
your own heart's blood, though I only asked my own. Woman! the black
slavery of my dependence on you was frightful; but now I can look
you thanklessly in the face, for I have the means of living without
you. I spent sick and sleepless days and nights, but I gained an
independence; the merciful God blessed the efforts of the old man, who
strove to gain his livelihood--yes, I am independent of you both. I
came to see my son before I die--that is all I want."

Mrs. Lawson attempted a further justification of herself, but the
words died on her lips. The stern looks of the old man silenced her.

After remaining for a short time, he rose to take his departure; but,
at the earnest solicitations of his son, he consented to remain for
a few days, only on condition that he should pay for his board and
lodging. To this Mrs. Lawson made a feint of resistance, but agreed in
the end, as the terms offered by the old man were very advantageous.

"I shall soon have a lodging for which no mortal is called on to
pay--the great mother-earth," said the old man, "and I am glad, glad
to escape from this money-governed world. Do not smile so blandly on
me, both of you, and attend me with such false tenderness. There, take
it away," he said, as Mrs. Lawson was placing her most comfortable
footstool under his feet; "there was no attendance, no care, not a
civil action or kind look for me when I was poor John Lawson, the
silly, most silly old man, who had given up all to his son and his
son's wife, for the love of them, and expected, like a fool as he was,
to live with them on terms of perfect equality, and to have the family
purse open to him for any trifling sums he wished to take. Go, go
for God's sake; try and look bitterly on me now, as you did when you
forced me out of your house. I detest your obsequious attentions--I
was as worthy of them ten years ago, before I dragged down my old age
to the debasing efforts of money-making. You know I am rich; you would
worship my money in me now. Not a smiling look, not a soft word you
bestow on me, but is for my riches, not for me. Ay, you think you have
my wealth in your grasp already; you know I cannot live long. Thank
God that my life is almost ended, and I hope my death will be a
benefit to you, in softening your hard hearts."

Mrs. Lawson drew some hope from his last words, and she turned away
her head to hide the joy which shone on her face.

In a few days the old man became seriously ill, and was altogether
confined to his room. As death evidently approached, his mind became
serene and calm, and he received the attentions which Mrs. Lawson and
his son lavished on him with a silent composure, which led them to
hope that he had completely forgotten their previous conduct to him.

The night on which he died, he turned to his son, and said a few
words, a very few words, regarding worldly matters. He exhorted
Henry to live in a somewhat less expensive style, and to cultivate a
spirit of contentment without riches; then he blessed God that he was
entering on a world in which he could hear no more of money or earthly
possession. He remained in a calm sleep during the greater part of the
night, they thought, but in the morning they found him dead.

The funeral was over, and the time was come in which the old man's
will was to be opened. Mrs. Lawson had waited for that moment--she
would have forcibly dragged time onward to that moment--she had
execrated the long hours of night since the old man's death--she had
still more anathemized the slowly passing days, when gazing furtively
through a corner of the blinded window, she saw fine equipages and
finely-dressed ladies passing, and she planned how she would shine
when the old man's wealth would be her own. She drew glorious mental
pictures of how she would burst from behind the shadowing cloud of
poverty, and dazzle all her acquaintances. Her dress, her carriage,
her style of living would be unique in her rank of life for taste and
costliness. She would show them she had got money--money at last--more
money than they all.

Now at last she sat and saw the will being opened; she felt that it
was a mere formality, for the old man had none but them to whom he
could leave his money; she never once doubted but all would be theirs;
she had reasoned and fancied herself into the firm conviction. Her
only fear was, that the amount might not be so large as she calculated

She saw the packet opened. Her eyes dilated, her lips became parched,
her heart and brain burned with a fierce eagerness--money! money at
last! uttered the griping spirit within her.

The will, after beginning in the usual formal style, was as follows:

"I bequeath to my son Henry's wife, Augusta Lawson, a high and noble
gift"--Mrs. Lawson almost sprung from her seat with eagerness--"the
greatest of all legacies, I bequeath to Augusta Lawson--Charity!
Augusta Lawson refused me a few shillings which I wished to bestow
on a starving woman; but now I leave her joint executrix, with my son
Henry, in the distribution of all my money and all my effects, without
any reservation, in charity, to be applied to such charitable purposes
as in this, my last will and testament, I have directed."

Then followed a statement of his effects and money, down to the most
minute particular. The money amounted to a very considerable sum; his
personal effects he directed to be sold, with the exception of his
very valuable diamond ring, which he bequeathed to the orphan daughter
of the poor relation in whose house he had taken refuge, and remained
for a short time, previous to his going abroad. All the proceeds \
of his other effects, together with the whole amount of his money,
he bequeathed for different charitable purposes, and gave minute
directions as to the manner in which various sums were to be expended.
The largest amount he directed to be distributed in yearly donations
amongst the most indigent old men and women within a circuit of ten
miles of his native place. Those who were residing with their sons
and their sons' wives, were to receive by far the largest relief. He
appointed as trustees two of the most respectable merchants of the
town, to whom he gave authority to see the provisions of his will
carried out, in case his son and Mrs. Lawson should decline the duties
of executorship which he had bequeathed to them. The trustees were to
exercise a surveillance over Mr. and Mrs. Lawson, to see that the will
should in every particular be strictly carried into effect. The will
was dated and duly signed in the town in South America where the old
man had for some years resided. A codicil, containing the bequest of
the ring, with some further particulars regarding the charities, had
been added a few days previous to the old man's death.

Mrs. Lawson was carried fainting from the room before the reading of
the will was concluded. She was seized with violent fever, and her
life was despaired of. She recovered, however, and from the verge of
the eternal existence on which she had been, she returned to life with
a less worldly and ostentatious nature, and a soul more alive to the
impulses of kindness and charity.

       *       *       *       *       *

HORACE VERNET, the painter, is in St. Petersburgh, and is soon
expected in Vienna, where he will study the uniform, scenery, &c.,
in order to paint various scenes in the Hungarian war.

       *       *       *       *       *

HARRO HARRING has escaped from Norway into England, whence he has
issued a document, describing the circumstances of his departure, and
protesting against the arbitrary and unjust conduct of the Norwegian
Government. In this paper, which is drawn up with indignant eloquence,
Harring appeals to the Norwegian Storthing of 1851, confident that
he shall receive ample justice at the hands of the Representatives of

       *       *       *       *       *

Miss H.M. WEBBER, an American, has issued a pamphlet in Brussels
advocating the assumption of the male attire by her sex till they are

       *       *       *       *       *

GARRIBALDI, the Italian general, is on his way to New York. He has
written his "experiences," which will soon make their appearance in
America, where, as in Europe, they will be eagerly read, as few men
can throw so much light upon the recent important events in Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. CHILD is passing the summer near Boston, and is still occupied
with a book upon the History of the Religious Element in Society,
which has several years engaged her attention. A new edition of her
novel of _The Rebels_ has just been published, and the degree to which
it has been known is illustrated in the critical announcements of it.
The Albany _State Register_, like other journals, seems to think it a
fresh book, and observes of the writer:--"The author of Hobornok has
always been a favorite with the public, though it is a long while
since we have had the pleasure of welcoming anything from his pen.
The present work, however, bears the impress of the talents which have
always marked his writings!"

       *       *       *       *       *



  Once in my childish days I heard
  A woman's voice that slowly read,
  How 'twixt two shadowy mountains sped
  Four colored steeds, four chariots whirr'd.

  I watched until she laid the book
  On the white casement-ledge again;
  My heart beat high with joyful pain
  On that strange oracle to look.

  Day after day I would ascend
  The staircase in that large old house,
  And still and timorous as a mouse
  I sat and made the book my friend.

  I saw the birth of seas and skies,
  The first sweet woman, first brave man;
  I saw how morning light began,
  How faded--over Paradise.

  I stood with the first Arab boy;
  I saw the mother and the child,
  Of Oriental vision wild,
  Laugh by the well for utter joy.

  I saw the youth go forth at morn,
  A traveler to the Syrian land,
  And in the lonely evening stand
  An exile weary and forlorn.

  I saw him by the roadside lay
  His sunken head upon a stone,
  And while he slumbered, still and lone,
  A dream fell on him, fair as day.

  I saw a golden ladder reach
  From earth to heaven among the stars,
  And up and down its gleaming bars
  Trod stately angels, without speech.

  What wonders did I not behold!
  Dark gorgeous women, turbaned men,
  White tents, like ships, in plain and glen,
  Slaves, palm trees, camels, pearls, and gold.

  Ah! many an hour I sat and read,
  And God seemed with me all day long;
  Joy murmured a sweet undersong,
  I talkt with angels, with them fed.

  It was an old deserted room;
  There was a skylight strait above,
  And the blue sky lookt thro' like love,
  Softening and coloring mortal gloom.

  No playmate had I, knew no game,
  Yet sometimes left my book to run
  And blow bright bubbles in the sun--
  In after life we do the same.

  That time is gone; you think me weak
  That I regret that perisht time,
  That I recall my golden prime
  With beating heart and blushing cheek.

  That Book so prized, you tell me, friend,
  Is full of false and deadly tales:
  You say, "a palsied world bewails
  Its influence; but it soon shall end."

  Thank God for that: I live for truth,
  Glad to resign each rainbow sham;
  But, still remembering what I am,
  I praise my sweet and saintly youth

  It was so genial and sincere,
  My joy and wonder were so strong,
  So rare and delicate a song
  Young Life was singing in mine ear.

  I therefore still in fancy climb
  Up to that old and faded room,
  Where feelings like fresh roses bloom
  Over the grave of that fair time.


       *       *       *       *       *

LORD BROUGHAM has recently been engaged in the investigation of a
peculiar phenomenon which he calls the "diflection of light." The
experiment itself consists in causing a ray of light to fall upon
the sharp edge of a knife or on the point of a needle; the ray is
thus "diflected" by the edge or point, and becomes prismatic. Lord
Brougham, in addition to other curious phenomena, has discovered that
the ray, when once diflected, cannot be again diflected in the same
direction, but may be diflected in an opposite direction.

       *       *       *       *       *



The literary success of the author of _Tremaine_ was owing to the
worldly experience and means of observation which his official
position gave him; but the sole interest which he possesses in
the eyes of the world arises from his success as an author. As an
office-holder, he was not a mere red-tapist, but one of those able,
hard-working, experienced administrative men, who really carry on
the business of government, and, except in the case of rare ability
and courage in a "chief," are masters of the Ministers, though want
of interest, ambition, or "gift of the gab," retains them in a
subordinate post. As an author, Mr. Ward's temporary success was
greater than his permanent prospects. His subjects were generally
large enough, he was a man of extensive reading, and his tastes took
in a wide range; but he was essentially bounded by the present. His
earlier works, which procured him the patronage of Pitt, and with it a
seat in Parliament and office, were on the Law of Nations: and though
their most attractive part related to a temporary subject, the rights
of belligerents and neutrals, there was enough in that branch of the
subject to secure duration; but who reads them now? how few, indeed,
know of their existence? He cannot be said to have originated the
serio-didactic novel, for Hannah More and others had long cultivated
that field; but he brought to it, what they could not bring, a
well-bred scholarship, a wide knowledge of public and private life,
seen in affairs as well as society, with less of a narrow sectarian
spirit: yet it may be doubted whether _Tremaine_ some thirty years
hence will be more read than _Coelebs in Search of a Wife_. If
Mr. Ward did not found the school of fashionable novelists, he was
certainly among the founders; and he infused into the best of his
works, _De Vere_, a real knowledge of Parliamentary life, a newer and
truer view of statesmen and nobles, though a little _en beau_, and a
great variety of actual characters. The circumstance of Wentworth's
supposed resemblance to Canning, and the accident of publication at
a time when the official conspiracy of the novel seemed acting in
Parliament, gave _De Vere_ a success with the world at large, which
its length and longwindedness might have marred. Mr. Ward's essays
(generally in the form of stories) were not so successful with the
public as his fictions. We think he was by nature designed for an
essayist--naturally given to discuss and expound; but nature had
denied him that penetrating originality of perception, that vigor of
thought, and (as a consequence) that terseness of style, which are
necessary to render the essay attractive and to preserve it. As
Robert Plumer Ward was essentially confined to the present, so he was
dependent on it; he was nothing if not in the mode, and in his later
works he rather fell behind the fashion.

His life as presented in these volumes was not very remarkable or
eventful. His father was a merchant at Gibraltar, and also held the
post of chief clerk of the civil department of the Ordnance in that
garrison: his mother was a Spanish Jewess. Robert Ward was born in
London, in 1765, on a visit of the family to England; and, after an
education at private schools, was sent to Oxford, in 1783. He left the
University in 1787, in debt; and soon after became a student of the
Inner Temple. An affection of the knee-joint sent him to Bareges: he
was speedily cured; but was so attracted by the pleasures of French
society, that he remained in France till the Revolution; from which he
had a narrow escape.

    "It happened, unfortunately for him, that another 'Ward,' of
    about the same age and personal appearance, had incurred the
    suspicion of the Republican party, at a moment when suspicion
    lost all its doubts, and death followed close upon the heels
    of certainty. To use his own words, 'I was arrested for having
    the same name and the same colored coat and waistcoat as
    another Ward, guilty of treason; was ordered without trial to
    Paris, to be guillotined; and only escaped by their catching
    the real traitor: I was, however, banished the republic,
    merely for my name's sake.'"

On his return to England he was called to the bar, in June 1790; and
but for a singular circumstance might have passed through life as a
literary barrister, with middling success in law and letters.

    "He was, early in 1794, leaving his chambers in the Temple
    for the purpose of paying a visit in the Northern outskirts
    of London. Upon crossing Fleet Street he had to traverse Bell
    Yard; and as he passed a watchmaker's shop his attention was
    attracted by a placard in the window, of a very revolutionary
    character, convening a meeting of a certain society, that
    evening, at the watchmaker's. Many a man would have passed it
    unnoticed, or contented himself with a feeling of regret or
    indignation at the prevalence during that period of similar
    views: not so was it with young Ward; he was fresh from
    all the horrors which the success of such principles in a
    neighboring country had entailed; he at once determined to
    enter the watchmaker's shop and provoke a discussion with
    him. For two hours did the young student contest with the
    Republican the justice of his sentiments; for two hours did he
    labor to impress upon him, not only by argument but by his own
    experience, the horrors to which success must lead; but at
    the end of that time he was obliged to leave him, apparently
    unmoved, or at all events unconvinced. He paid his distant
    visit, and late in the evening returned homeward through the
    same alley. Desparing of success, he paid no second visit
    to the disputant of the morning, though he did remark with
    pleasure that the revolutionary placard had been withdrawn.
    Hardly, however, had he passed the shop twenty yards, when
    he heard some one running after and calling to him. He looked
    back and beheld the Republican watchmaker. The manner of the
    man was changed from the dogged imperturbability with which he
    had listened to Mr. Ward's arguments in the morning to a frank
    and eager confidence. 'I have called you in,' said he, 'to say
    I have done nothing but think over your words: I feel their
    truth; I shudder at the precipice on which I stood, at the
    evil I was about to do; and am now as anxious to communicate
    and prevent as I was before to conceal all our schemes.' He
    then communicated to him the existence of a most fearful
    plot against the Government, which, with his newly-awakened
    feelings, he longed to frustrate by immediately informing the
    authorities, if he who had convinced would also accompany and
    support him.

    "They went to the Chief Magistrate, Sir Richard Ford; who
    attached so much importance to the communication, that the
    three were at once ushered into the presence of Pitt and his
    colleagues, assembled with Macdonald and Scott, the Attorney
    and Solicitor-General. The singular history was duly narrated
    in detail; the arguments carried on by the young Mentor, the
    misgivings of the Republican, and then the details of the
    impending danger. The countenance of Pitt was turned with
    interest on the young lawyer, who seemed not only to share
    that horror of revolutionary movements with which he was
    himself so strongly imbued, but who had so gallantly acted
    upon it. 'What was your motive, young gentleman,' he inquired,
    'for thus entering the shop?' 'I, Sir,' answered young Ward,
    'am not long returned from France, and have there seen in
    practice what sounds so fine in theory.'"

Though, according to report, Pitt was not the man to overlook rising
talent or lose sight of a useful adherent, eight years elapsed before
much came of this singular introduction; during which the young
barrister published two books or pamphlets on the Laws of Nations,
married a sister of Lady Mulgrave, and was slowly working his way
at the bar. In 1802, Pitt, in a stiff enough letter, offered Mr.
Ward a seat for Cockermouth, one of the Lowther boroughs; and when
he returned to power, his protégé became Under-Secretary of State
for the Foreign Department, (his brother-in-law, Lord Mulgrave,
being Principal Secretary,) _after_ he had published a pamphlet
in justification of Pitt's highhanded seizure of the Spanish
treasure-ships. Of course he went out on the accession of All the
Talents after Pitt's death; and came in again on their expulsion,
as a Lord of the Admiralty, still under Lord Mulgrave. In 1812, he
was moved to the Ordnance, as "Clerk." In 1823, he quitted office,
withdrew from Parliament, and began novel-writing as an amusement, at
fifty-eight. He died in 1846, in his eighty-second year; having lived
long enough to see his son, the present Lord High Commissioner of the
Ionian Islands, Secretary to the Admiralty under a Whig Ministry. He
was thrice married, and each time advantageously. His first wife, as
we have seen, was a sister-in-law of Lord Mulgrave; the second, whom
he wedded at the age of sixty-three, was the widow of Mr. Plumer
of Gilston Park, which became his through the marriage; his third
alliance, when he was nearly seventy, gave him the advantage of a
jointure of 1,000l. per annum allowance as guardian, and a couple of
mansions. His writings would lead to the notion that Robert Ward was
everything tender and amiable; and so he might be as long as he was
pleased; but he would seem to have had a quiet implacability, that was
offended on slight grounds, and obdurate in displeasure. He quarreled
with his son on account of his politics: he received some slight from
an official friend and repulsed all attempts at explanation, till a
letter written when Ward was seventy-two and his correspondent turned
of seventy produced a reconciliation rather dry on his part. It would
have been satisfactory to know that some relenting, some interest
beyond a "suspicion" of the writer, had been shown on the receipt
of the following manly letter, written after the publication of
_De Vere_. After alluding to the internal traits by which he had
identified the author, the anonymous correspondent continues:

    "It surprises me, I confess, that the feeling, judgment, and
    sagacity, which sufficed to produce the work that I have been
    commending, should have suffered the golden opinions of me,
    which you entertained, to be filched and adulterated by mere
    traducers, whose reports the hearer's own experience could
    have almost refuted, and whose testimony was so obviously
    liable to be warped by prejudice.

    "We live in a strange world. Before my feelings and
    dispositions had changed from wavering and transient to
    permanent and fixed,--before the desultory ramblings, which
    almost became our age, had terminated in a path, and that,
    I trust, a right and honorable one, and from which, with
    moderate allowance for human inferiority, I have not deviated
    since,--before my principles had attained their vigor, and
    generated those correct habits which it was their province
    to produce,--in short, while, like most young men, I might
    be said to have as yet 'no character at all,' I obtained your
    friendship. How I lost it, I have already told you. When,
    remains to tell you. I lost it when any fruits which my youth
    may have promised had appeared; lost it all at once, under
    circumstances scarcely more annoying to my feelings than
    revolting to my sense of what was right and just.

    "I am not seeking to penetrate what is to me, indeed, no
    secret; neither do I form the unavailing wish that our expired
    intercourse should revive. C'en est fait. A knot which has
    been loosened or untied may be formed again, but this knot has
    been cut. Accordingly, I neither address you by your name nor
    subscribe my own. My hand-writing, though not disguised, is,
    like yourself, much changed; and, though this were not the
    case, you could not, after the lapse of so much time, have
    recognized it.

    "My regard you continue to possess, though I am not certain
    of your title to retain it. But you have, by means of your
    estrangement, sustained a loss. In ceasing to entertain a
    feeling of esteem and cordiality toward me, you have lost that
    which is a source of soothing gratification to the mind in
    which it is cherished, and which, I flatter myself, I as well
    deserved to have retained with regard to me as any other of
    your early friends, be that other who he may. Again: though
    you have not lost a friend, (for my sentiments toward you
    continue friendly,) you have elected to lose the usual and
    not unpalatable fruits of friendship in my case: and this at
    a time of life (for we are much of the same age) when old
    friends can the less be spared, because new friendships are
    rarely formed.

    "When our earliest meetings and the commencements of a
    bygone friendship are called up before me by the letter which,
    I scarcely know why, I am writing, I feel myself softened
    as well as depressed by the recollection; and, as I write
    farewell, it gives me pain to think that I might add to it
    the words--probably forever. God bless you."

There is nothing in Robert Ward's life or literary eminence to require
or even justify so large a space as his nephew has bestowed upon it.
Strictly speaking, indeed, the biography occupies but a small portion
of these bulky volumes, which are chiefly filled with remains or
correspondence; and much of that little is not distinguished for
matter or character. The correspondence is indifferent. The latter
portion of it is mainly devoted to literary criticism, or compliments,
having for subject the author's works or those of his praisers; and is
weak and flimsy to a degree. The earlier portion principally relates
to politics, especially to the intrigues carried on by Canning and
Malmesbury during the Addington Ministry to procure Pitt's premature
return to office. To this Lord Mulgrave was judiciously opposed; and
although there is nothing very new or particular in the account, and
the letters are rather flat, it gives the Mulgrave version of the
business. The most valuable part of the book, and which was, indeed,
well worthy of separate publication, is a diary that Mr. Ward kept
through a considerable portion of his official life, beginning in
June 1809, and continuing with a short interruption till the death
of Perceval, when it ceased till 1819; after which it was maintained
to a later period than Mr. Phipps thinks it proper to publish it.
This diary consists of gossip, anecdote, on dits, and confidential
communications made to Mr. Ward on various occasions and at critical
times, together with his own observations and reflections on affairs,
or remarks on characters. As he was much in the confidence of
Perceval, saw a good deal of the Duke of Wellington, (Master-General
of the Ordnance during the era of the Manchester massacre and
Sidmouth's spy doings,) and was continually behind the scenes, the
diary is both curious and amusing. Allowance must of course be made
for the writer's position as a partisan, and some of his later
notions are those of the "laudator temporis acti," speaking without
responsibility; but it is sufficiently interesting to raise a desire
for the whole, published as a diary, and not mixed up with other
matters to which it has small relation.

The diary begins with Canning's intrigue against Castlereagh; and
Canning is occasionally brought forward in the earlier period,
and painted with a good deal of shadow, (he was then in a sort of
opposition to Perceval,) and altogether a very different personage
from the Wentworth of _De Vere_. Lord Palmerston, then a "very fine
young man," and a promising candidate for place, with no other faults,
in Mr. Ward's estimation, than what he has certainly got rid of long
since--nervousness and modesty!--also figures in the pages, and at a
critical conjuncture of his fortunes.

    "Lord Palmerston came to town, sent for by Perceval. He was
    so good as to confide to me that three things were offered to
    him,--the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, Secretaryship at
    War, or a seat at the Treasury, by way of introduction to the
    seals, if he was afraid of entering upon them at once. These
    offers were, however, in the alternative of there being any
    of them declined by Milnes (Member for Pomfret), to whom they
    were made in the first instance. Lord P. consulted me very
    frankly upon them, and asked if I thought he would be equal
    to the seals either in Cabinet or Parliament, particularly the
    latter, where he had barely made his début. I told him, and
    was most sincere, that in common with all his friends whom I
    had ever heard speak on the subject, I thought him quite equal
    to them in point of capacity, but as to nerves in Parliament,
    (of which he seemed most to doubt,) nobody could judge but
    himself. He said, Petty (whom I had mentioned) had come
    forward after having felt his way and got possession of
    himself in the House, and that if he had done the same, he
    perhaps would not hesitate. As it was, he inclined to the
    second place, but had written to Lord Malmesbury. We walked up
    to Hyde Park discussing the subject. Among other topics which
    I urged, one seemed to impress him much; which was, the great
    difference there would be in his situation and pretensions
    upon a return to office, in the event of our going out, if
    he retired as a Cabinet Minister instead of a subordinate
    capacity. He allowed it much flattered his ambition, but
    feared the prejudice it would occasion to his own reputation
    and the interest of his friends if he failed. I left him
    inclining to the Secretary at War; and admired his prudence,
    as I have long done the talents and excellent understanding,
    as well as the many other good qualities as well as
    accomplishments, of this very fine young man."

One portion of the diary relates to the Regency. New facts are
scarcely advanced, but we think some freshness is given from the
light and coloring of the author. Unless Sheridan really persuaded
the Prince to throw over the Whigs, out of revenge for Whig hauteur,
his Royal Highness would seem to have acted entirely from himself.
The arrogance of Grey and Grenville comes out very strongly in the
painting of his opponent. After all, however, it is doubtful whether
they _could_ have come in. The Tories would have been strong in
Opposition; the Whigs could scarcely form a Government without the
Canning votes, and the hatred with which the old Whigs regarded their
leader rendered that junction impossible: what was more than all,
their cowardly anti-national policy would have rendered their position
one of great difficulty with the country. The fact is, that poor in
point of talent as the Perceval Ministry was, it best represented the
opinion of the country; as the Whigs now are in a similar position.
Some of these points are well put in this report of a conversation in
the House of Commons; which will also give an idea of the manner of
the diary.

    "J.W. Ward told me what he called a bon mot, and seemed much
    to enjoy, of Lady ----'s. He had said there was a difficulty
    in getting people to accept of offices just now; she answered,
    she thought Lord Grenville would be not unwilling to accept
    them _all_ in his own person. Oh strange union, where this,
    by one of their party, is thought characteristic and told
    with glee! I understand, however, that Tierney has confessed
    a difficulty. The Prince, it seems, wants them to accept, and
    they are afraid to accept. They are therefore reduced to tell
    the Prince, We would accept if it were to do ourselves good;
    but not when it is inconvenient, though to do you good.
    The remarkable part of the evening was a conversation with
    Brand, who came over to sit by me. Though he had spoken, and
    strongly, against us in the debate, he opened immediately upon
    the merits of Perceval; he admired his conduct and ability
    so much, that if he had ever given him a vote in his life, he
    said, he would have supported him on these questions; that
    his character had enabled him to commence the stand he had
    made, and character had attached his party so much to him as
    to continue the majority all through; that this sentiment
    was not peculiar to him in the Opposition, but partaken
    by many--indeed, all without exception admired him; that
    this would give him extraordinary influence as the head of
    an Opposition, which must give great trouble, to the new
    Government when it was formed: nevertheless, he thought we
    were not going out, it was too dangerous to come in; probably,
    he added, laughing, the Regent will keep Perceval three months
    as his father's Minister, and then 'fall so much in love with
    him' (that was the expression) that he will continue him
    as his own. He then entered much on the comparison between
    him and Canning; the latter of whom, he said, spite of his
    abilities, was discarded by all parties; that he could tell
    me it was finally resolved not to admit him in the new
    Government, into which some on account of those abilities
    had wished to introduce him. I may say, he observed, that I
    had some share in the rejection: I protested against such a
    junction whenever it was talked of; I told my friends it would
    ruin that without which they never could make a Government,
    character; that the eyes of a great number whom they could by
    no means command were upon them: I bade them look at the back
    rows on the side of Opposition, and asked them if they could
    count such men as Nicholson, Calvert, Halsey, Coke of Norfolk,
    &c., &c., as their regular supporters, unless it was from
    an esteem for their character--and if that character would
    not sustain a deep wound in the outset--if, for the sake of
    power, they allied themselves with a man who had deserted all
    alliances he had ever made; that he had deserted them before,
    after a treaty made, and had then deserted Perceval, after
    endeavoring to undermine Castlereagh; his conduct to whom had
    injured himself with the public in the most serious manner,
    in having allowed him to retain his office and undertake that
    melancholy expedition, five months after he had declared
    him so incapable that he put his own resignation upon his
    dismissal, that to ally with such a man could be only lowering
    themselves in public esteem without gaining anything but a
    hollow support. I would inform Canning myself, he added, that
    this was my protest, if he asked me."

The heads of the "great Whig families," however, were more sanguine,
and hoped, or at least were occupied, to the last. Their treatment
by the Prince was characteristic; and one can fancy the magnates at
Adam's announcement in the following extract:

    "What most offended them was the manner in which the Prince
    announced his resolution. They were in the very act of forming
    the Administration, filling offices, &c., &c., when Adam came
    in from the Prince. They said they could not be disturbed;
    he said he must disturb them, for he had a message from the
    Prince: they replied that it was for the Prince they were at
    work, for they were making the Government; Adam told them to
    spare all trouble, for no Government was to be made. This was
    on Friday the 1st, in the evening; and what affronted them
    was, that after having had such a task committed to them, the
    Prince should have presumed to take a counter resolution by
    himself without first consulting them."

This is a characteristic trait of the Duke of Wellington's way of
getting through, business.

    "He was fond of relating, that soon after the Duke's
    appointment, he was leaving his office at the usual hour,
    when, on coming out at the Park entrance, he perceived his new
    chief just in the act of getting on horseback. He went up to
    the Duke, and mentioned that there were some matters connected
    with the department on which he would like to communicate
    with him when he had time. 'No time like the present,' said
    the Duke, and, at once dismissing his horse, returned with
    Mr. Ward into the Ordnance Office. There, then, he remained
    closeted with the Duke till past eight, listening to and
    answering his pertinent queries upon manifold points connected
    with the department. From that moment the Duke appeared to be
    au fait of the business in hand, and ready to cope with the
    details as they from time to time presented themselves."

The Duke seems to have been more alarmed at the state of the nation
about 1819 than the nature of the case justified; deceived, probably,
by the official "reports" of Messrs. Castles and Co. The following
remark, however, exhibits his penetration:

    "He said, if the rising broke out anywhere, it would be
    at Glasgow and Paisley; where many rich merchants and all
    they supported would be sure to suffer, while no one could
    certainly foretell how soon it might be put down. This led
    him to his favorite notion, that the loyal should be taught
    to rely more upon themselves, and less upon the Government,
    in their own defense against the disloyal. It was this, he
    thought, that formed and kept up a national character: while
    every one was accustomed to rely upon the Government, upon a
    sort of commutation for what they paid to it, personal energy
    went to sleep, and the end was lost: that in England, he
    observed, every man who had the commonest independence, one,
    two, five or six hundred, or a thousand a year, had his own
    little plan of comfort--his favorite personal pursuit, whether
    his library, his garden, his hunting, or his farm, which he
    was unwilling to allow anything (even his own defense) to
    disturb; he therefore deceived himself into a notion that if
    there was a storm it would not reach him, and went on his own
    train till it was actually broke in upon by force. This led
    to supineness and apathy as to public exertion; which would in
    the end ruin us: the disposition therefore must be changed,
    by forcing them to exert themselves; which would not be if
    Government did everything in civil war, they nothing: hence
    his wish for a volunteer force. All this was exceedingly
    sound, and showed the reach of his reflecting mind as an
    observer of human nature, as well as a statesman and soldier,
    more than anything I have yet seen."

There is a curious passage touching Pitt's dying moments.

    "At the time Mr. Ward accepted the post of Under-Secretary of
    State, (resigning that of Welsh Judge,) it had been promised
    him that the apparent risk of such a step to the future
    prospects of his family should be guarded against by the grant
    of a pension, to commence when he should cease to hold office.
    He had been but a year in the post thus accepted, and amid
    the pressure of other matters the contemplated arrangement
    had never been completed. More than once in his last illness
    did Pitt allude to his unfulfilled promise, and speak with
    kindness of him to whom it had been made. Later on, when he
    could no longer continuously articulate, he made the name
    'Robert Ward' audible, and added signs for paper and ink.
    His trembling hand having feebly traced a number of wandering
    characters, and added what could be easily recognized as
    his well-known signature, he sank back. The precious paper
    (precious, whatever may have been its unknown import, as a
    proof of remembrance at so solemn a moment) was afterward
    handed over by the physician in attendance, Sir Walter
    Farquhar, to Mr. Ward; and many a time did he declare, as he
    displayed it to me, that he would give anything he valued most
    in the world to be able to decipher its unformed characters."

Some posthumous compositions of Mr. Ward are appended to the Memoirs.
They consist of "characters," similar to those of Chesterfield and
other writers, and of "sketches" and essays; these last being set in
a species of framework, intended to connect them into a series. They
are not the best specimens of the author's composition; and perhaps
were hardly worth publication. Allowance is to be made, as Mr. Phipps
remarks, for their unrevised state; and revision might have removed
crudities and imparted more closeness and strength. It would not,
however, have altered their main defects; which may be summed up
by saying that they belonged to another age, without reaching the
peculiar force and finish which alone can give interest to an obsolete

[Footnote 3: Memoirs of the Political and Literary Life of Robert
Plumer Ward, Esq., Author of "The Law of Nations," "Tremaine," "De
Vere," &c. With Selections from his Correspondence, Diaries, and
unpublished Literary Remains. By the Honorable Edmund Phipps. In two
volumes. Published by Murray.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BAGPIPE.--In Gothic sculpture and tracery angels are sometimes
portrayed practising on the bagpipe. It was occasionally used in
churches before the introduction of the organ, which occurred early
in the fifteenth century. Written music came into use about the same
time, and both were loudly denounced by many of the old school-men as
unnecessary and vain innovations.

       *       *       *       *       *




Yakoutsk is one of the principal cities of Siberia, a country the
name of which excites exaggerated ideas of sterility and desolation.
Watered by rivers, which in every direction do the work of railways,
with richly-wooded mountains and valleys, with green slopes,
cultivated fields, soft meadows, gardens, and grassy islands in
the great streams, with all the common vegetables in pretty fair
abundance, with an endless source of commerce in furs and ivory,
Siberia, except in its extreme northern provinces, presents, like
most other lands, a very considerable amount of compensation for
considerable rigor of climate. Yakoutsk is a completely northern town
on the great river Lena, with wide streets and miserable huts, all of
wood, in many of which ice is still used in winter for panes of glass.
A very eminent traveler tells us that on his visit there were 4000
people living in 500 houses; with three stone churches, two wooden
ones, and a convent. It had once an antiquity to show--the ancient
Ostrog or fortress built in 1647 by the Cossacks; but which menaced
ruin more and more every day, being not of stone, but of wood, and
at last disappeared. Even here progress is observable, and wretched
cabins give way gradually to houses, some of which are even elegantly
arranged in the interior. It is a great commercial center: from the
Anubra to Behring's Straits, from the banks of the Frozen Sea to Mount
Aldana, from Okhotsk and even Kamschatka, goods are brought hither,
consisting chiefly of furs, seals' teeth and mammoths' tusks, which
afford excellent ivory, all of which are sold in the summer to
itinerant traders, who give in return powerfully-flavored tobacco,
corn and flour, tea, sugar, strong drinks, Chinese silks and cottons,
cloth, iron and copper utensils, and glass.

The inhabitants of the town are chiefly traders, who buy of the
Yakouta hunters their furs at a cheap rate, and then sell them in
a mysterious kind of fashion to the agents who come from Russia in
search of them. During the annual fair they stow up their goods in
private rooms; and here the Irkoutsk men must come and find them.
These traders are the Russian inhabitants, the native Yakoutas being
the only artisans. In this distant colony of the human race, the
new-born child of a Russian is given to a Yakouta woman to nurse, and
when old enough, learns to read and write, after which he is brought
up to the fur trade, and his education is finished.

Ivan Ivanovitch was a young man born and bred at Yakoutsk. His parents
had given him the usual amount of tuition, and then allowed him for
a time to follow the bent of his inclination. Ivan took to the chase.
Passionately fond of this amusement, he had at an early age started
with the Yakouta trappers, and become learned in the search for
sables, ermines, and lynxes; could pursue the reindeer and elk on
skates; and had even gone to the north in quest of seals. He thus at
the age of twenty, knew the whole active part of his trade, and was
aware of all the good hunting-grounds on which the Siberians founded
their prosperity. But when he was called on to follow the more quiet
and sedentary part of his occupation, he was not one-half so quick.
His rough and rude life made town existence distasteful to him, and he
evinced all that superb contempt for shop-keeping which characterizes
the nomadic man, whether Red Indian, Arab, Tartar, or Siberian.

But Ivan was told he must make his way in the world. His parents who
died before he attained to manhood, left him a small fortune in rubles
and furs, which, if he chose to be industrious and persevering, might
pave the way to the highest position in his native town. Acting on the
pressing advice of his friends, he gave up his wanderings, and went
to reside in the house of his fathers, piled up his skins and ivory,
bought new ones, and prepared for the annual fair. The merchants from
Irkoutsk, the capital, came, and Ivan, who was sharp and clever,
did a good trade. But when his furs and teeth were changed into
tea, tobacco, brandy, cloth, &c., he did not feel a whit happier.
Ivan longed for the arid hills, and lofty mountains, and pellucid
lakes--for the exciting hunt and the night bivouac, when gray-headed
Yakoutas would, with their _ganzis_--the Irish duddeen--in their
mouths, tell terrible and wonderful stories of ancient days. When
eating town fare, his stomach yearned after frozen Yakouta butter,
cut up with axes, and for _strouganina_ or frozen fish, with reindeer
brains, and other northern delicacies. And then his kind friends told
him that he wanted a wife--a possession without which, they assured
him, life was dull, adding that in her society he would cease to long
for communion with bears and savages.

Ivan believed them, and, following their advice, launched into
society--that is, he went more than usual to the noisy festivities
of the town, which form the occupation of the dull season. The good
people of Yakoutsk--like all people approaching to a savage state,
especially in northern climes--consider eating the great business of
life. Fabulous legends are told of the enormous capacity for food,
approaching that of the Esquimaux; but however this may be, certain it
is that a Yakoutsk festival was always commenced by several hours of
laborious eating and drinking of fat and oily food and strong brandy.
When the utmost limits of repletion were reached, the patriarchs
usually took to pipes, cards, and punch, while the ladies prepared
tea, and ate roasted nuts, probably to facilitate digestion. The young
men conversed with them, or roasted their nuts for them, while perhaps
a dandy would perform a Siberian dance to the music of the violin
or _gousli_, a kind of guitar. Ivan joined heartily in all this
dissipation: he smoked with the old men; he drank their punch; he
roasted nuts for the ladies, and told them wonderful stories which
were always readily listened to, except when some new fashion, which
for several years before had been forgotten in Paris--found its way
via St. Petersburgh, Moscow, and Irkoutsk, to the deserts of Siberia.
Then he was silent; for the ladies had ample subject of discourse, not
forgetting the great tea-table topic--scandal; causing the old men
to shake their heads, and declare such things were not when they were
young. Ivan, however, had one unfailing subject of popularity with
the ladies. Like most Russians who have had occasion to travel much in
cold places, he relished a cup of tea even better than the punch, as
he had learned by experience that there was more genuine warmth in the
pot than in the bowl. Most Russian officers are known to share this

Ivan had several times had his attention directed to Maria Vorotinska,
a young and rich widow, who was the admiration of all Yakoutsk. Her
husband had left her a fortune in knowledge of the fur trade and in
rubles, with a comfortable house nicely furnished, in Siberia the very
height of human felicity. It was commonly reported that Maria, young
as she was, was the best bargainer in the land. She got her skins for
less than anybody else, and sold them for a higher price. With these
qualifications, she must, it was said, prove a jewel to Ivan, who was
not a close buyer nor a hard seller. But Ivan for some time remained
perfectly insensible both to these social advantages and the great
beauty of the lady. He met her often, and even roasted her more nuts
than any one else, which was a strong case of preference; but he did
not seem caught in the fair one's toils. He neither ate, nor slept,
nor amused himself one whit the less than when he first knew her. One
evening, however, as Maria handed him his tea, with a hot cake, Ivan,
whether owing to some peculiar smile on her face, or to the domestic
idea which the act suggested, seemed certainly very much struck, and
next day formally proposed. Maria laughed, and tossed her head, and
spoke a few good-natured words; and then, without either accepting
or rejecting him, hinted something about his youth, his want of
devotion to business, and his want of fortune. Ivan, a little warmly,
declared himself to be the best hunter in Yakoutsk, and hence the
most practically-experienced of any in the trade, and then gave the
sum-total of his possessions.

"Just one quarter of what good old Vorotinska left me!" replied the
prudent Maria.

"But if I liked," replied Ivan, "I could be the richest merchant in

"How?" asked Maria a little curiously, for the mere mention of wealth
was to her like powder to the war-horse.

"Being almost the only Russian who has lived among the Yakoutas, I
know the secret of getting furs cheaper and easier than any one else.
Beside, if I chose to take a long journey, I could find ivory in vast
heaps. A tradition is current of an ivory mine in the north, which an
old Yakouta told me to be truth."

"Very likely," said Maria, to whom the existence of the fossil ivory
of the mammoth in large masses was well known; "but the _promich
lenicks_--trading companies--have long since stripped them."

"Not this," cried Ivan; "it is a virgin mine. It is away, away in
the Frozen Sea, and requires courage and enduring energy to find. Two
Yakoutas once discovered it. One was killed by the natives; the other
escaped, and is now an old man."

"If you could find that," said Maria, "you would be the first man in
Siberia, and the Czar himself would honor you."

"And you?" asked Ivan humbly.

"Ivan Ivanovitch," replied Maria calmly, "I like you better than any
man in Yakoutsk, but I should adore the great ivory merchant."

Ivan was delighted. He was a little puzzled by the character of the
lady, who, after marrying an old man for his fortune, seemed equally
desirous of reconciling her interest and her affections in a second
marriage. But very nice ideas are not those of the half-civilized, for
we owe every refinement both of mind and body to civilization, which
makes of the raw material man--full of undeveloped elements--what
cooking makes of the potato root. Civilization is the hot water
and fire which carry off the crudities, and bring forth the good

However this maybe, Ivan nursed his idea. Apart from the sudden
passion which had invaded him, he had long allowed this fancy to
ferment in his brain. During his wandering evenings, a noted hunter
named Sakalar, claiming descent from the supposed Tartar founder
of the Yakoutas, had often narrated his perilous journey on sledges
across the Frozen Sea, his discovery of an ivory mine--that is, a vast
deposit of mammoths' tusks, generally found at considerable depth in
the earth, but here open to the grasp of all. He spoke of the thing
as a folly of his youth, which had cost the life of his dearest
friend, and never hinted at a renewed visit. But Ivan was resolved to
undertake the perilous adventure, and even to have Sakalar for his


Ivan slumbered not over his project. But a few days passed before
he was ready to start. He purchased the horses required, and packed
up all the varied articles necessary for his journey, and likely to
please his Yakouta friend, consisting of tea, rum, brandy, tobacco,
gunpowder, and other things of less moment. For himself he took a
couple of guns, a pair of pistols, some strong and warm clothes, an
iron pot for cooking, a kettle for his tea, with many minor articles
absolutely indispensable in the cold region he was about to visit. All
travelers in the north have found that ample food, and such drinks as
tea, are the most effectual protection against the climate; while oily
and fat meat is also an excellent preservative against cold. But Ivan
had no need to provide against this contingency. His Yakouta friend
knew the value of train-oil and grease, which are the staple luxuries
of Siberians, Kamschatkans, and Esquimaux alike.

The first part of Ivan's journey was necessarily to the _yourte_, or
wigwam of Sakalar, without whom all hopes of reaching the goal of his
wishes were vain. He had sufficient confidence in himself to venture
without a guide toward the plain of Miouré, where his Yakouta friend
dwelt. He started at early dawn, without warning of his departure any
one save Maria, and ventured courageously on the frozen plain which
reaches from Yakoutsk to the Polar Sea. The country is here composed
of marshes, vast downs, huge forests, and hills covered with snow in
the month of September, the time when he began his journey. He had
five horses, each tied to the tail of the one before him, while Ivan
himself was mounted on the first. He was compelled to ride slowly,
casting his eyes every now and then behind to see that all was right.
At night he stretched a bearskin under a bush, lit a huge fire, cooked
a savory mess, and piling clothes over himself, slept. At dawn he
rose, crammed his kettle full of clean snow, put it over the embers,
and made himself tea. With this warm beverage to rouse him, he again
arranged his little caravan, and proceeded on his way. Nothing more
painful than this journey can be conceived. There are scarcely any
marks to denote the road, while lakes, formed by recent inundations,
arrest the traveler every half hour, compelling him to take prodigious
rounds, equally annoying and perplexing.

On the morning of the third day Ivan felt a little puzzled about the
road. He knew the general direction from the distant mountains, and he
wished to avoid a vast morass. Before him was a frozen stream, and on
the other side a hillock. Leaving the others to feed as well as they
could, he mounted his best horse, and rode across. The ice bent under
him as he went, and he accordingly rode gently; but just as he reached
the middle, it cracked violently right across, and sank visibly under
him. Ivan looked hurriedly round him. The ice was everywhere split,
and the next minute his horse, plunging violently, fell through.
Instead, however, of falling into a stream of cold water, Ivan found
himself in a vast and chilly vault, with a small trickling stream in
the middle, and at once recollected a not unfrequent phenomenon. The
river had been frozen over when high with floods, but presently the
water sinking to its ordinary level, the upper crust of ice alone
remained. But Ivan had no desire to admire the gloomy, half-lit vault,
extending up and down out of sight; but standing on his horse's
back, clambered up as best he might upon the surface, leaving the
poor animal below. This done, he ran to the shore, and used the
well-remembered Yakouta device for extracting his steed: he broke a
hole in the ice near the bank, toward which the sagacious brute at
once hurried, and was drawn forth. Having thus fortunately escaped a
serious peril, he resumed his search on foot, and about midday pursued
his journey.

A few hours brought him to the curious plain of the Miouré, where he
expected to find the camp of his friend Sakalar. Leaving an almost
desert plain, he suddenly stood on the edge of a hollow, circular in
form and six miles across, fertile in the extreme, and dotted with
numerous well-stocked fish-ponds. The whole, as may plainly be seen,
was once a lake. Scattered over the soil were the yourtes of the
Yakoutas, while cattle and horses crowded together in vast flocks.
Ivan, who knew the place well, rode straight to a yourte or cabin
apart from the rest, where usually dwelt Sakalar. It was larger and
cleaner than most of them, thanks to the tuition of Ivan and the
subsequent care of a daughter, who, brought up by Ivan's mother while
the young man wandered, had acquired manners a little superior to
those of her tribe.

This was really needful, for the Yakoutas, a pastoral people of
Tartar origin, are singularly dirty, and even somewhat coarse and
unintellectual--like all savage nations, in fact, when judged by any
one but the poet or the poetic philosopher, who, on examination,
will find that ignorance, poverty, misery, and want of civilization,
produce similar results in the prairies of America and the wilds
of Siberia, in an Irish cabin, and in the wynds and closes of
our populous cities. But the chief defect of the Yakouta is dirt.
Otherwise he is rather a favorable specimen of a savage. Since his
assiduous connection with the Russians he has become even rich, having
flocks and herds, and at home plenty of koumise to drink and horse's
flesh to eat. He has great endurance, and can bear tremendous cold. He
travels in the snow, with his saddle for a pillow, his horse-cloth for
a bed, his cloak for a covering, and so sleeps. His power of fasting
is prodigious, and his eyesight is so keen that a Yakouta one day told
an eminent Russian traveler that he had seen a great blue star eat a
number of little stars, and then cast them up. The man had seen the
eclipses of Jupiter's satellites. Like the red Indian, he recollects
every bush, every stone, every hillock, every pond necessary to find
his way, and never loses himself, however great the distance he may
have to travel.

His food is boiled beef and horse's flesh, cow's and mare's milk. But
his chief delicacy is raw and melted fat, while quantity is always
the chief merit of a repast. He mixes likewise a mess of fish, flour,
milk, fat, and a kind of bark, the latter to augment the volume. Both
men and women smoke inordinately, swallowing the vapor, as do many
dwellers in civilized lands--a most pernicious and terrible habit.
Brandy is their most precious drink, their own koumise having not
sufficient strength to satisfy them. In summer they wander about in
tents collecting hay, in winter they dwell in the yourte or hut, which
is a wooden frame, of beehive shape, covered with grass, turf, and
clay, with windows of clear ice. The very poor dig three feet below
the soil; the rich have a wooden floor level with the adjacent ground,
while rude benches all round serve as beds, divided one from the other
by partitions. The fireplace is in the middle, inclining toward the
door. A pipe carries away the smoke.

It was almost dark when Ivan halted before the yourte of Sakalar. It
was at once larger and cleaner to the eye than any of those around. It
had also numerous outhouses full of cows, and one or two men to tend
these animals were smoking their pipes at the door. Ivan gave his
horses to one of them, who knew him, and entered the hut. Sakalar, a
tall, thin, hardy man of about fifty, was just about to commence his
evening meal. A huge mass of boiled meat, stewed fish, and a sort of
soup, were ready; and a young girl about eighteen, neatly dressed,
clean, and pretty--all owing to her Yakoutsk education--was serving
the hunter.

"Spirit of the woods protect me!" shrieked the girl, spilling half of
the soup upon the floor.

"What wild horses have you seen, Kolina?" cried the hunter, who had
been a little scalded; and then seeing Ivan, added, "A Yakouta welcome
to you, my son! My old heart is glad, and I am warm enough to melt an
iceberg at the sight of you, Ivan. Kolina, quick! another platter, a
fresh mug, the best bottle of brandy, and my red pipe from Moscow!"

No need was there for the hunter to speak. Kolina, alert as a
reindeer, had sprung up from the low bench, and quickly brought forth
all their holiday ware, and even began to prepare a cake, such as Ivan
himself had taught her to make, knowing that be liked some sort of
bread with his meals.

"And where are you going?" cried Sakalar when the young man had
somewhat appeased his hunger.

"To the North Sea, in search of the great ivory mine!" said Ivan,

Kolina started back in terror and surprise, while Sakalar fixed
his keen eye on the youth with sorrow and curiosity, and almost
unequivocally, testified his belief that his favorite pupil in the
chase was mad. But Ivan rose and bade the serving-man of the rich
Yacouta bring in his boxes, and opened up his store of treasures.
There was tea for Kolina; and for Sakalar, rum, brandy, powder,
guns, tobacco, knives--all that could tempt a Yakouta. The father
and daughter examined them with pleasure for some time, but presently
Kolina shook her head.

"Ivan," said Sakalar, "all this is to tempt the poor Yakouta to cross
the wilderness of ice. It is much riches, but not enough to make
Sakalar mad. The mine is guarded by evil beings. But speak, lad, why
would you go there?"

"Let Kolina give me a pipe and I will tell my story," said Ivan; and
filling his glass, the young fur-trader told the story of his love,
and his bargain with the prudent widow.

"And this cold-hearted woman," exclaimed Kolina with emotion, "has
sent you to risk life on the horrible Frozen Sea. A Yakouta girl would
have been less selfish. She would have said, 'Stay at home--let me
have Ivan: the mammoth teeth may lie forever on the Frozen Sea!'"

"But the lad will go, and he will be drowned like a dog," said
Sakalar, more slowly, after this ebullition of feminine indignation.

"You must go with him, father," continued Kolina, with a compassionate
look at Ivan; "and as your child cannot remain alone, Kolina will go

"We will start when the horses have had five days' hay," said Sakalar
gravely--the animals alluded to being only fed when about to go a
journey--"and Kolina shall go too, for Ivan will be two years on his

Ivan listened in amazement: in the first place, at the sudden decision
and warmth of his attached friends, with whom he had dwelt twelve
years; then at the time required. He felt considerable doubts as to
the widow remaining unmarried such a time; but the explanation of
Sakalar satisfied him that it was impossible to perform the journey
even in two years. The hunter told him that they must first join the
tribes dwelling round Nijnei-Kolimsk (New-Kolimsk), where alone he
could get dogs and sledges for his journey across the Frozen Sea.
This, with the arrangements, would consume the winter. In the summer
nothing could be done. When the winter returned he must start toward
the north pole--a month's journey at least--and if he hit on the
place, must encamp there for the rest of the winter. That summer would
be spent in getting out the ivory, fattening up the dogs, and packing.
The third winter would be occupied by the journey home. On hearing
this, Ivan hesitated; but in describing the journey the spirit of the
old hunter got roused, and before night he was warm in his desire
to see over again the scenes of his youthful perils. Kolina solemnly
declared she must be of the party; and thus these experienced savages,
used to sudden and daring resolves, decided in one night on a journey
which would perhaps have been talked of half a century elsewhere
before it was undertaken.

Kolina slept little that night. In a compartment near her was one who
had since childhood been the ideal of her future. She had loved Ivan
as a playmate--she loved him as a man; and here, he whom she had
longed for all the winter, and he whom she had hoped to see once more
the next summer, had suddenly come, starting on a perilous journey
of years, to win the hand of an avaricious, but young and beautiful
widow. Kolina saw all her fairest dreams vanish, and the idol of her
heart crumble into dust. And yet she felt no ill-will to Ivan, and
never changed her resolve to be the faithful companion and attendant
of her father and his friend in their wild journey to the supposed
islands in the Frozen Sea.


The five days fixed by Sakalar for preparing for the journey were
wholly devoted to the necessary arrangements. There was much to be
done, and much to be talked of. They had to travel a long way before
they reached even the real starting-point of their adventurous voyage.
Sakalar, duly to impress Ivan with the dangers and perils of the
search, narrated once more in minute detail all his former sufferings.
But nothing daunted the young trader. He was one of those men, who,
under more favorable circumstances, would have been a Cook, a Parry,
or a Franklin, periling everything to make farther discovery in the
science of geography.

The five horses of Ivan were exchanged for others more inured to the
kind of journey they were about to undertake. There was one for each
of the adventurers and four to carry the luggage, consisting chiefly
of articles with which to pay for the hire of dogs and sledges. All
were well armed, while the dress of all was the same--Kolina adopting
for the time the habits and appearance of the man. Over their usual
clothes they put a jacket of foxes' skins and a fur-breast cover; the
legs being covered by hare-skin wrappers. Over these were stockings of
soft reindeer leather, and high strong boots of the same material. The
knees were protected by knee-caps of fur, and then, above all, was a
coat with loose sleeves and hood of double deerskin. This was not all.
After the chin, nose, ears, and mouth had been guarded by appropriate
pieces, forming together a mask, they had received the additional
weight of a pointed fur cap. Our three travelers when they took their
departure looked precisely like three animated bundles of old clothes.

All were well armed with gun, pistol, hatchet, and hunting-knife,
while the girdle further supported a pipe and tobacco-pouch. They had
not explained whither they were going, but the whole village knew that
they must be about to undertake some perilous journey, and accordingly
turned out to cheer them as they went, while several ardent admirers
of Kolina were loud in their murmurs at her accompanying the
expedition. But the wanderers soon left the plain of Miouré behind
them, and entered on the delectable roads leading to the Frozen Sea.
Half-frozen marshes and quagmires met them at every step; but Sakalar
rode first, and the others followed one by one, and the experienced
old hunter, by advancing steadily without hurry, avoided these
dangers. They soon reached a vast plain three hundred miles across,
utterly deserted by the human race; a desert composed half of barren
rock and half of swampy quagmire, soft above, but at a foot deep
solid and perpetual ice. Fortunately, it was now frozen hard, and the
surface was fit to bear the horses. But for this the party must have
halted and waited for a severe frost. The rivers were not frozen
when large in volume, and the Aldana had to be crossed in the usual
flat-bottomed boat kept for travelers. At night they halted, and with
a bush and some deer-skins made a tent. Kolina cooked the supper, and
the men searched for some fields of stunted half-frozen grass to let
the horses graze. This was the last place where even this kind of food
would be found, and for some days their steeds would have to live on a
stinted portion of hay.

On they went over the arid plain, which, however, affords nourishment
for some trees, fording rivers, floundering through marshes, and still
meeting some wretched apology for grass, when, on the third day, down
came the snow in a pelting cloud, and the whole desert changed in an
instant from somber gray to white. The real winter was come. Now all
Sakalar's intelligence was required. Almost every obvious sign by
which to find his way had disappeared, and he traversed the plain
wholly guided by distant hills, and by observing the stars at night.
This Sakalar did assiduously, and when he had once started under the
guidance of the twinkling lights of the heavens, rarely was he many
yards out at the next halt. He always chose the side of a hillock
to camp, where there was a tree or two, and half-rotten trunks with
bushes to make a huge fire.

It was nearly dawn on the fifth morning after entering the plain,
and Ivan and Kolina yet slept. But Sakalar slept not. They had
nearly reached the extremity of the horrible desert, but a new danger
occupied the thoughts of the hunter. They were now in the track of
the wild and savage Tchouktchas, and their fire might have betrayed
them. Had Sakalar been alone, he would have slept in the snow without
fire; for he knew the peril of an encounter with the independent
Tchouktchas, who have only recently been nominally brought into
subjection to Russia.

The heavy fall of snow of the two previous days rendered the danger
greater. Sakalar sat gravely upon a fallen tree--a pipe in his mouth,
and his eye fixed on the distant horizon. For some time nothing
remarkable caught his gaze; but at last he saw a number of dark
objects on the snow, galloping directly toward the camp. Sakalar at
once recognized a number of reindeer. It was the Tchouktchas on their
sledges, bounding with lightning speed along the frozen surface!

"Up!" cried the hunter. And when his companions were on their feet,
"Quick with your guns! The enemy are on us! But show a bold front, and
let them feel the weight of lead!"

Ivan and Kolina quietly took up their post, and awaited the orders
of Sakalar. No time was lost, and fortunately, for the savages were
already near, and were the next minute alighting from their sledges:
hand in hand they advanced along the snow, with their long ice
shoes, to the number of a dozen. A simultaneous discharge of the
heavy-metalled guns of the camp--one of which, that of Sakalar,
wounded the foremost man--checked their career, and they fell back
to hold a conference. It became evident at once that they had no
firearms, which removed almost all idea of danger. Ivan and Kolina
now proceeded to load the horses, and when all was ready, the whole
party mounted, and rode off, followed at a respectful distance by the
Siberian Arabs.

The travelers, however, received no further annoyance from them, and
camped the next night on the borders of the Toukyulane, at the foot of
the mountains of Verkho-Yansk. After the usual repose, they began the
severest part of the journey. Rugged rocks, deep ravines, avalanches,
snow, and ice, all were in their way. Now they rode along the edge
of frightful precipices, on a path so narrow, that one false step was
death; now they forced their way through gulleys full of snow, where
their horses were buried to their girths, and they had to drag them
out by main force. Fortunately the Siberian horse, though small, is
sturdy and indefatigable, living during a three months' journey on
faded grass and half-rotten herbage. That evening they camped on
the loftiest part of the road, where it winds through still elevated

The middle of the next day brought them to another plain not much
superior to that they had passed through, but yet less miserable
looking, and with the additional advantage of having yourtes here
and there to shelter the traveler. The cold was now intense; and glad
indeed was Ivan of the comforts of his Siberian dress, which had at
first appeared so heavy. The odd figures which Kolina and Sakalar
presented under it made him smile at the notion which Maria Vorotinska
would have formed of her lover under a garb that doubled his natural
volume. Several halts took place, and caused great delay, from the
slippery state of the ice on the rivers. The unshod horses could not
stand. A fire had to be lit; and when sufficient ashes were procured,
it had to be spread across in a narrow pathway, and the nags led
carefully along on this track--one of the many artifices required to
combat the rigorous character of the climate. And thus, suffering
cold and short commons, and making their way for days through frosty
plains over ice and snow, amid deep ravines and over lofty hills, they
at length reached Nijnei-Kolimsk, though not without being almost
wholly knocked up, especially Kolina, who was totally unused to such

They had now almost reached the borders of the great Frozen Sea. The
village is situated about eighteen degrees farther north than London,
and is nearly as far north as Boothia Felix, the scene of Captain
Ross's four years' sojourn in the ice. It was founded two hundred
years ago by a wandering Cossack; though what could have induced
people to settle in a place which the sun lights, but never warms, is
a mystery; where there is a day that lasts fifty-two English days,
and a night that lasts thirty-eight; where there is no spring and no
autumn, but a faint semblance of summer for three months, and then
winter; where a few dwarf willows and stunted grass form all the
vegetation; and where, at a certain distance below the surface, there
is frost as old as the "current epoch" of the geologist. But by way
of compensation, reindeer and elks, brown and black bears, foxes and
squirrels, abound; there are also wolves, and the isatis or polar fox;
there are swans, and geese, and ducks, partridges and snipes, and in
the rivers abundance of fish. And yet, though the population be now
so scanty, and the date of the peopling of Kolimsk is known, there was
once a numerous race in these regions, the ruins of whose forts and
villages are yet found. The population is about 5000, including the
whole district, of whom about 300 are Russians, the descendants of
Siberian exiles. They dwell in houses made of wood thrown up on the
shore, and collected by years of patience, and of moss and clay.
The panes of the windows in winter are of ice, six inches thick; in
summer, of skins. The better class are neatly and even tastefully
dressed, and are clean, which is the very highest praise that can be
given to half-civilized as well as to civilized people.

They are a bold, energetic, and industrious race. Every hour of
weather fit for out-door work is spent in fishing and hunting, and
preparing food for the winter. In the light sledge, or on skates,
with nets and spears, they labored at each of these employments in
its season. Toward the end of the long winter, just as famine and
starvation threaten the whole population, a perfect cloud of swans,
and geese, and ducks, and snipes, pour in; and man and woman, boy and
girl, all rush forth to the hunt. The fish come in next, as the ice
breaks; and presently the time for the reindeer hunt comes round.
Every minute of the summer season is consumed in laying in a stock of
all these aliments for a long and dreary season, when nothing can be
caught. The women collect herbs and roots. As the summer is just about
to end, the herrings appear in shoals, and a new source of subsistence
is opened up, Later still, they fish by opening holes in the
newly-formed ice. Nor is Kolimsk without its trade. The chief traffic
of the region is at the fair of Ostrovnoye, but Nijnei-Kolimsk has
its share. The merchants who come to collect the furs which the
adventurous Tchouktchas have acquired, even on the opposite side of
Behring's Straits, from the North American Indians, halt here, and
sell tea, tobacco, brandy, and other articles.

The long night had set in when Ivan and his companions entered
Kolimsk. Well it was they had come, for the cold was becoming
frightful in its intensity, and the people of the village were
much surprised at the arrival of travelers. But they found ready
accommodation, a Cossack widower giving them half his house.

       *       *       *       *       *



The indefatigable, patient, invincible, inquisitive, sometimes
tedious, but almost always amusing German traveler, Herr Kohl, has
recently been pursuing his earnest investigations in Belgium. His book
on the Netherlands has just been issued, and we shall translate, with
abridgments, one of its most instructive and agreeable chapters;--that
relating to Lace-making.

The practical acquaintance of our female readers with that elegant
ornament, lace, is chiefly confined to wearing it, and their
researches into its quality and price. A few minutes' attention to
Mr. Kohl will enlighten them on other subjects connected with what
is to them a most interesting topic, for lace is associated with
recollections of mediæval history, and with the palmy days of the
Flemish school of painting. More than one of the celebrated masters of
that school have selected, from among his laborious countrywomen, the
lace-makers (or, as they are called in Flanders, _Speldewerksters_),
pleasing subjects for the exercise of his pencil. The plump,
fair-haired Flemish girl, bending earnestly over her lace-work, whilst
her fingers nimbly ply the intricately winding bobbins, figure in many
of those highly esteemed representations of homely life and manners
which have found their way from the Netherlands into all the principal
picture-galleries of Europe.

Our German friend makes it his practice, whether he is treating of
the geology of the earth, or of the manufacture of Swedish bodkins,
to begin at the very beginning. He therefore commences the history
of lace-making, which, he says, is, like embroidery, an art of very
ancient origin, lost, like a multitude of other origins, "in the
darkness of by-gone ages." It may, with truth, be said that it is
the national occupation of the women of the Low Countries, and one to
which they have steadily adhered from very remote times. During the
long civil and foreign wars waged by the people of the Netherlands,
while subject to Spanish dominion, other branches of Belgic industry
either dwindled to decay, or were transplanted to foreign countries;
but lace-making remained faithful to the land which had fostered and
brought it to perfection, though it received tempting offers from
abroad, and had to struggle with many difficulties at home. This Mr.
Kohl explains by the fact that lace-making is a branch of industry
chiefly confined to female hands, and, as women are less disposed
to travel than men, all arts and handicrafts exclusively pursued by
women, have a local and enduring character.

Notwithstanding the overwhelming supply of imitations which modern
ingenuity has created, _real Brussels lace_ has maintained its value,
like the precious metals and the precious stones. In the patterns of
the best bone lace, the changeful influence of fashion is less marked
than in most other branches of industry; indeed, she has adhered with
wonderful pertinacity to the quaint old patterns of former times.
These are copied and reproduced with that scrupulous uniformity which
characterizes the figures in the Persian and Indian shawls. Frequent
experiments have been tried to improve these old patterns, by
the introduction of slight and tasteful modifications, but these
innovations have not succeeded, and a very skillful and experienced
lace-worker assured Mr. Kohl, that the antiquated designs, with all
their formality, are preferred to those in which the most elegant
changes have been effected.

Each of the lace-making towns of Belgium excels in the production of
one particular description of lace: in other words, each has what
is technically called its own _point_. The French word _point_, in
the ordinary language of needlework, signifies _stitch_; but in the
terminology of lace-making, the word is sometimes used to designate
the pattern of the lace, and sometimes the ground of the lace itself.
Hence the terms _point de Bruxelles, point de Malines, point de
Valenciennes_, &c. In England we distinguish by the name Point, a
peculiarly rich and curiously wrought lace formerly very fashionable,
but now scarcely ever worn except in Court costume. In this sort of
lace the pattern is, we believe, worked with the needle, after the
ground has been made with the bobbins. In each town there prevail
certain modes of working, and certain patterns which have been
transmitted from mother to daughter successively, for several
generations. Many of the lace-workers live and die in the same houses
in which they were born, and most of them understand and practice only
the stitches which their mothers and grandmothers worked before them.
The consequence has been, that certain points have become unchangeably
fixed in particular towns or districts. Fashion has assigned to
each its particular place and purpose; for example:--the _point de
Malines_ (Mechlin lace) is used chiefly for trimming night-dresses,
pillow-cases, coverlets, &c.; the _point de Valenciennes_
(Valenciennes lace) is employed for ordinary wear or neglige; but the
more rich and costly _point de Bruxelles_ (Brussels lace) is reserved
for bridal and ball dresses, and for the robes of queens and courtly

As the different sorts of lace, from the narrowest and plainest to the
broadest and richest, are innumerable; so the division of labor among
the lace-workers is infinite. In the towns of Belgium there are as
many different kinds of lace-workers as there are varieties of spiders
in Nature. It is not, therefore, surprising that in the several
departments of this branch of industry there are as many technical
terms and phrases as would make up a small dictionary. In their
origin, these expressions were all Flemish; but French being the
language now spoken in Belgium, they have been translated into French,
and the designations applied to some of the principal classifications
of the work-women. Those who make only the ground, are called
_Drocheleuses_. The design or pattern, which adorns this ground, is
distinguished by the general term "the Flowers;" though it would
be difficult to guess what flowers are intended to be portrayed by
the fantastic arabesque of these lace-patterns. In Brussels the
ornaments or flowers are made separately, and afterward worked into
the lace-ground; in other places the ground and the patterns are
worked conjointly. The _Platteuses_ are those who work the flowers
separately; and the _Faiseuses de point à l'aiguille_ work the figures
and the ground together. The _Striquese_ is the worker who attaches
the flowers to the ground. The _Faneuse_ works her figures by piercing
holes or cutting out pieces of the ground.

The spinning of the fine thread used for lace-making in the
Netherlands, is an operation demanding so high a degree of minute care
and vigilant attention, that it is impossible it can ever be taken
from human hands by machinery. None but Belgian fingers are skilled
in this art. The very finest sort of this thread is made in Brussels,
in damp underground cellars; for it is so extremely delicate, that
it is liable to break by contact with the dry air above ground;
and it is obtained in good condition only, when made and kept in a
humid subterraneous atmosphere. There are numbers of old Belgian
thread-makers who, like spiders, have passed the best part of their
lives spinning in cellars. This sort of occupation naturally has an
injurious effect on the health, and, therefore, to induce people to
follow it, they are highly paid.

To form an accurate idea of this operation, it is necessary to see
a Brabant Thread-spinner at her work. She carefully examines every
thread, watching it closely as she draws it off the distaff; and that
she may see it the more distinctly, a piece of dark blue paper is used
as a background for the flax. Whenever the spinner notices the least
unevenness, she stops the evolution of her wheel, breaks off the
faulty piece of flax, and then resumes her spinning. This fine flax
being as costly as gold, the pieces thus broken off are carefully
laid aside to be used in other ways. All this could never be done by
machinery. It is different in the spinning of cotton, silk, or wool,
in which the original threads are almost all of uniform thickness. The
invention of the English flax-spinning machine, therefore, can never
supersede the work of the Belgian fine thread spinners, any more
than the bobbinnet machine can rival the fingers of the Brussels
lace-makers, or render their delicate work superfluous.

The prices current of the Brabant spinners usually include a list of
various sorts of thread suited to lace-making, varying from 60 francs
to 1800 francs per pound. Instances have occurred, in which as much as
10,000 francs have been paid for a pound of this fine yarn. So high a
price has never been attained by the best spun silk; though a pound of
silk, in its raw condition, is incomparably more valuable than a pound
of flax. In like manner, a pound of iron may, by dint of human labor
and ingenuity, be rendered more valuable than a pound of gold.

Lace-making, in regard to the health of the operatives, has one great
advantage. It is a business which is carried on without the necessity
of assembling great numbers of workpeople in one place, or taking
women from their homes, and thereby breaking the bonds of family
union. It is, moreover, an occupation which affords those employed
in it a great degree of freedom. The spinning-wheel and lace-pillows
are easily carried from place to place, and the work may be done with
equal convenience in the house, in the garden, or at the street-door.
In every Belgian town in which lace-making is the staple business,
the eye of the traveler is continually greeted with pictures of
happy industry attended by all its train of concomitant virtues. The
costliness of the material employed in the work, viz., the fine flax
thread, fosters the observance of order and economy, which, as well
as habits of cleanliness, are firmly engrafted among the people. Much
manual dexterity, quickness of eye, and judgment, are demanded in
lace-making; and the work is a stimulator of ingenuity and taste;
so that, unlike other occupations merely manual, it tends to rouse
rather than to dull the mind. It is, moreover, unaccompanied by any
unpleasant and harassing noise; for the humming of the spinning-wheel,
and the regular tapping of the little bobbins, are sounds not in
themselves disagreeable, or sufficiently loud to disturb conversation,
or to interrupt the social song.

In Belgium, female industry presents itself under aspects alike
interesting to the painter, the poet, and the philanthropist. Here
and there may be seen a happy-looking girl, seated at an open window,
turning her spinning-wheel or working at her lace-pillow, whilst at
intervals she indulges in the relaxation of a curious gaze at the
passers-by in the street. Another young _Speldewerkster_, more
sentimentally disposed, will retire into the garden, seating herself
in an umbrageous arbor, or under a spreading tree, her eyes intent
on her work, but her thoughts apparently divided between it and
some object nearer to her heart. At a doorway sits a young mother,
surrounded by two or three children playing round the little table or
wooden settle on which her lace-pillow rests. Whilst the mother's busy
fingers are thus profitably employed, her eyes keep watch over the
movements of her little ones, and she can at the same time spare an
attentive thought for some one of her humble household duties.

Dressmakers, milliners, and other females employed in the various
occupations which minister to the exigencies of fashion, are confined
to close rooms, surrounded by masses of silk, muslin, &c. They are
debarred the healthful practice of working in the open air, and can
scarcely venture even to sit at an open window, because a drop of
rain or a puff of wind may be fatal to their work and its materials.
The lace-maker, on the contrary, whose work requires only her thread
and her fingers, is not disturbed by a refreshing breeze or a light
shower; and even when the weather is not particularly fine, she
prefers sitting at her street-door or in her garden, where she enjoys
a brighter light than within doors.

In most of the principal towns of the Netherlands there is one
particular locality which is the focus of lace-making industry; and
there, in fine weather, the streets are animated by the presence of
the busy work-women. In each of these districts there is usually one
wide open street which the _Speldewerkers_ prefer to all others, and
in which they assemble and form themselves into the most picturesque
groups imaginable. It is curious to observe them, pouring out
of narrow lanes and alleys, carrying with them their chairs and
lace-pillows, to take their places in the wide open street, where they
can enjoy more of bright light and fresh air than in their own places
of abode.

"I could not help contrasting," says Kohl, "the pleasing aspect of
these streets with the close and noisy workrooms in woolen and cotton
manufactories. There the workpeople are all separated and classified
according to age and sex, and marshaled like soldiers. Their domestic
and family ties are rudely broken. There chance or exigency separates
the young factory girl from her favorite companions, and dooms her to
association with strangers. There social conversation and the merry
song are drowned in that stunning din of machinery, which in the end
paralyzes even the power of thought."

Our German friend is a little hard upon factory life. Though not
so picturesque, it does not, if candidly viewed, offer so very
unfavorable a contrast to that passed by the Belgian Lace Workers.

       *       *       *       *       *




  "[Greek: Eudeis all ou seio lelasmenoi esmen]!"
  "Thou sleepest, but we do not forget thee!"

It is too much the way of the world in this our civilized Europe
to neglect the receptacles of the dead. Those loved ones even,
whose dwellings, while living, were thronged by admiring friends,
are deserted when laid in their last narrow home. The breath once
gone,--the last sad offices performed,--the funeral pomp over,--and
the sepulchre closed,--all the requisites of affection and respect
appear to have been fulfilled, and the spot that holds the dust once
so doted upon, is forever abandoned! Witness the damp graves overgrown
with rank nettles and thorns, the degraded tombstones, the illegible
moss-covered epitaphs of our church-yards! Witness the dreary oblivion
of our over-crowded vaults, where the eye of affection has never
shed a tear, the hand of friendship never scattered a flower over
the mouldering relics they inclose! It is not that the dead are
forgotten--it is not that their memory has ceased to be dear and
sacred to their friends--but it is that the gay and the worldly-minded
shrink from the dark images called forth by the aspect of the grave;
they recoil from the idea of familiarizing themselves with the
inevitable spot where they must one day lie in "cold obstruction's
apathy;" they deem it fond folly to nourish grief by keeping before
their eyes that which perpetually reminds them of the loss they have
sustained, and thus they fly from the dwellings of the dead, and
abandon what was once dearest to them to darkness and the worm.

A tenderer and more reverent spirit prevails in the East. There the
Cities of the Dead are the constant resort of the living. The tombs of
friends and kindred are as carefully tended, as regularly visited as
their habitations were while yet they were dwellers upon earth. The
grave of a departed relative is a spot consecrated to sweet and solemn
recollections, where the followers of Mohammed love to meditate and to
pray. In the mausoleum of the Viceroys of Egypt carpets and cushions
are spread around the various tombs it contains, and once in every
week the wives and daughters of the dead repair thither and pass the
greater part of the day in contemplation and self-communion. In the
public cemeteries alms are distributed at the graves of the pious:
even the winged wanderers of the air find refreshment there, for on
each sepulchral stone a small receptacle is hollowed out to collect
the dews of heaven, where the birds, as they flutter past, may slake
their thirst. On each succeeding Sabbath fresh green branches adorn
the headstones, and vailed mourners, seated by them, keep silent
watch, in the fond belief that the lifeless occupant of the tomb is
conscious of their presence there.[4]

The loftier, purer character of our faith leads us to reject such
fancies as gross superstitions; and yet there is something touching
in them! We treasure a lock of hair--a glove--a ribbon--a flower, once
worn by an absent loved one; why should we not more tenderly treasure
the dust that has once been ennobled by enshrining the immortal
spirit of a departed friend, or deem it weakness to watch over these
mouldering relics as fondly as though they were still conscious of
our care? And surely if the enfranchised spirit is permitted to be
cognisant of that which passes upon earth--if, from those blessed
abodes whither it has winged its course, a care can be bestowed upon
the earthly coil it has thrown off, or upon the creatures of clay
who still toil and grovel here below, may we not suppose that it
contemplates with pitying complacency the clinging tenderness which
binds the hearts of the living to the ashes of the dead, the desperate
affection with which we look our last upon the lifeless form which
never more can respond to all our love and all our sorrow, and the
fond fidelity which leads us to hover round the tomb that has forever
shut it from our view?

I love to think that such may be the case; nor can I separate the
idea, weak and idle though it may be, that the souls of the departed
mourn over the neglect and abandonment of their earthly remains, _as
the first step toward forgetfulness of their memory._ To me, the
grave of a friend possesses an attraction, which, although tinged with
deepest sadness, is wholly distinct from the horror with which the
imagination so often invests it. My heart yearns to look upon the last
resting-place of those I have loved.

I would shelter those sacred spots from the beating rain, screen them
from the wintry winds, plant around them the flowers that were once
preferred by their unconscious tenants, and inscribe over the entrance
of every cemetery the beautiful line of Körner's

  "Vergiss die treuen Todten nicht!"
  "Forget not the faithful dead!"

It was in this spirit that, one day during my recent visit to Paris,
I escaped from the busy idleness of that gay and ever-bustling city,
to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of one whose surpassing qualities
of mind, and heart, and person, had endeared her to all who knew
her--whose brilliant career had been closed with awful suddenness--and
whose lamented death has left a void in the circle over which she
presided with such graceful urbanity, which no other can hope to
fill. By a strange coincidence, it was precisely on that day, the year
before, that she had paid me her farewell visit in London; little did
either of us then foresee how and where that visit would be returned
by me! The regret of parting was then softened by our mutual
conviction that many meetings were in store for us in the new home she
had chosen for herself in a foreign land. Alas! before many weeks had
elapsed she was suddenly summoned to her eternal home! In the midst of
health, and hope, and enjoyment, Death insidiously laid his icy grasp
upon her; but so gently was the blow dealt, that neither sigh nor
struggle marked her passage from life to immortality; and before her
stunned friends could bring themselves to believe that her warm heart
had indeed grown cold, the vaults of the Madeleine had received all
that was left on earth of the once beautiful and gifted Marguerite

But not to remain there. A tomb was constructed for her, far from
the crowded cemeteries of the capital, in a spot which she herself
would have selected, could her wishes have been consulted. On
the confines of the quiet village of Chambourey, a league beyond
St. Germain-en-Laye, a green eminence, crowned with luxuriant
chestnut-trees, divides the village church-yard from the grounds
of the Duke de Gramont. On that breezy height, overlooking the
magnificent plain that stretches between St. Germain and Paris, a
mausoleum has been erected worthy of containing the mortal remains of
her whom genius and talent had delighted to honor--

  "Whom Lawrence painted and whom Byron sung!"

A pyramid composed of large blocks of white stone, and similar in
form to the ancient monuments of Egypt, rises from a platform of solid
black granite, which has been completely isolated from the surrounding
surface by a deep dry moat, whose precipitous slopes are clothed with
softest greenest turf. A bronze railing incloses the whole, within
which has been planted a broad belt of beautiful evergreens and
flowering shrubs; and beyond these the lofty chestnut trees "wave in
tender gloom," and form a leafy canopy to shelter that lonely tomb
from the winds of heaven. Solid, simple, and severe, it combines every
requisite in harmony with its solemn destination; no meretricious
ornaments, no false sentiment, mar the purity of its design. The
genius which devised it has succeeded in cheating the tomb of its
horrors, without depriving it of its imposing gravity. The simple
portal is surmounted by a plain massive cross of stone, and a door,
secured by an open work of bronze, leads into a sepulchral chamber,
the key of which had been confided to me.

All within breathes the holy calm of eternal repose; no gloom, no
mouldering damp, nothing to recall the dreadful images of decay. An
atmosphere of peace appears to pervade the place, and I could almost
fancy that a voice from the tomb whispered, in the words of Dante's

  "Io sono in pace!"

The light of the sun, streaming through a glazed aperture above
the door, fell like a ray of heavenly hope upon the symbol of man's
redemption--a beautiful copy, in bronze, of Michael Angelo's crucified
Savior--which is affixed to the wall facing the entrance. A simple
stone sarcophagus is placed on either side of the chamber, each one
surmounted by two white marble tablets, incrusted in the sloping
walls. That to the left incloses the coffin of Lady Blessington--that
to the right is still untenanted; long may it remain so!

The affection she most valued, the genius and talent she most admired,
have contributed to do honor to the memory of that gifted woman. Her
sepulchre is the creation of Alfred d'Orsay, her epitaphs are the
composition of Barry Cornwall and Walter Savage Landor. Upon the two
tablets placed over her tomb, are inscribed the following tributary

    "In Memory of Marguerite Countess of Blessington, who died
    on the 4th of June, 1849. In her lifetime she was loved and
    admired for her many graceful writings, her gentle manners,
    her kind and generous heart. Men famous for art and science,
    in distant lands, sought her friendship; and the historians
    and scholars, the poets, and wits, and painters of her own
    country, found an unfailing welcome in her ever hospitable
    home. She gave cheerfully, to all who were in need, help and
    sympathy, and useful counsel; and she died lamented by many
    friends. They who loved her best in life, and now lament her
    most, have reared this tributary marble over her place of
    rest. BARRY CORNWALL."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Infra sepultum est
  Id omne quod sepeliri potest,
  Mulieris quondam pulcherrimæ.
  Ingenium suum summo studio coluit,
  Aliorum pari adjuvit.
  Benefacta sua celare novit, ingenium non ita.
  Erga omnes erat largâ bonitate,
  Peregrinis eleganter hospitalis.
  Venit Lutetiam Parisiorum Aprili mense,
  Quarto Junii die supremum suum obiit."


       *       *       *       *       *

_Her_ last resting-place will not be neglected. The eye of faithful
affection watches over it as vigilantly as though the dust that sleeps
within were conscious of his care. But lately a sentiment of exquisite
tenderness suggested the addition of its most touching and appropriate
embellishment. A gentleman in the County Tipperary[5] had been
commissioned to send over to Chambourcy a root of ivy from Lady
Blessington's birthplace to plant near her grave. He succeeded in
obtaining an off-shoot from the parent stem that grows over the house
in which she was born. It has been transplanted to the foot of the
railing that surrounds her monument--it has taken root and spread--and
thus the same ivy that sheltered her cradle will overshadow her tomb!

[Footnote 4: The Egyptian Mahommedans believe that for some time
after death the body is conscious of its actual state, and of what is
passing immediately around it. In this persuasion, mothers will remain
days and nights near the graves of their recently buried children, _in
order that they may not feel terrified at being left alone._]

[Footnote 5: R. Bernal Osborne, Esq., M.P.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A British Meteorological Society is projected, with Mr. Whitbread as
President. Its objects will be the observation and collection of all
meteorological phenomena, and the encouragement of the science in
every branch. This sort of subdivision of literary and philosophical
pursuits is very injurious, for it tends to starve a number instead of
supporting one with sufficient resources.

       *       *       *       *       *

GOLDEN RULES OF LIFE.--All the air and the exercise in the universe,
and the most generous and liberal table, but poorly suffice to
maintain human stamina if we neglect other co-operatives--namely
the obedience to the laws of abstinence, and those of ordinary
gratification. We rise with a headache, and we set about puzzling
ourselves to know the cause. We then recollect that we had a hard
day's fag, or that we feasted over-bounteously, or that we stayed up
very late: at all events we incline to find out the fault, and then we
call ourselves fools for falling into it. Now, this is an occurrence
happening almost every day; and these are the points that run away
with the best portion of our life, before we find out what is for
good or evil. Let any single individual review his past life: how
instantaneously the blush will cover his cheek, when he thinks of
the egregious errors he has unknowingly committed--say unknowingly,
because it never occurred to him that they were errors until the
effects followed that betrayed the cause. All our sickness and
ailments, and a brief life, mainly depend upon ourselves. There are
thousands who practice errors day after day, and whose pervading
thought is, that everything which is agreeable and pleasing cannot be
hurtful. The slothful man loves his bed; the toper his drink, because
it throws him into an exhilarative and exquisite mood; the gourmand
makes his stomach his god; and the sensualist thinks his delights
imperishable. So we go on, and at last we stumble and break down. We
then begin to reflect, and the truth stares us in the face how much
we are to blame.

       *       *       *       *       *

PROGRESS OF MILTON'S BLINDNESS.--It is now, I think, about ten years
(1654) since I perceived my vision to grow weak and dull; and, at
the same time I was troubled with pain in my kidneys and bowels,
accompanied with flatulency. In the morning, as I began to read, as
was my custom, my eyes instantly ached intensely, but were refreshed
after a little corporeal exercise. The candle which I looked at seemed
as if it were encircled by a rainbow. Not long after the sight of the
left part of the left eye (which I lost some years before the other)
became quite obscured, and prevented me from discerning any object
on that side. The sight in my other eye has now been gradually and
sensibly vanishing away for about three years; some months before it
had entirely perished, though I stood motionless, every thing which
I looked at seemed in motion to and fro. A stiff cloudy vapor seemed
to have settled on my forehead and temples, which usually occasions a
sort of somnolent pressure upon my eyes, and particularly from dinner
till evening. So that I often recollect what is said of the poet
Phineas in the Argonautics:

  "A stupor deep his cloudy temples bound,
  And when he waked he seemed as whirling round,
  Or in a feeble trance he speechless lay."

I ought not to omit that, while I had any sight left, as soon as I
lay down on my bed, and turned on either side, a flood of light used
to gush from my closed eyelids. Then, as my sight became daily more
impaired, the colors became more faint, and were emitted with a
certain crackling sound; but at present every species of illumination
being, as it were, extinguished, there is diffused around me nothing
but darkness, or darkness mingled and streaked with an ashy brown. Yet
the darkness in which I am perpetually immersed seems always, both by
night and day, to approach nearer to a white than black; and when the
eye is rolling in its socket, it admits a little particle of light
as through a chink. And though your physician may kindle a small ray
of hope, yet I make up my mind to the malady as quite incurable; and
I often reflect, that as the wise man admonishes, days of darkness
are destined to each of us. The darkness which I experience, less
oppressive than that of the tomb, is owing to the singular goodness
of the Deity, passed amid the pursuits of literature and the cheering
salutations of friendship. But if, as it is written, man shall not
live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth
of God, why may not any one acquiesce in the privation of his sight,
when God has so amply furnished his mind and his conscience with
eyes?--_Milton's Prose Works_.

       *       *       *       *       *

"ONCE CAUGHT, TWICE SHY."--"Many years ago," says Mr. A. Smee, "I
caught a common mouse in a trap, and instead of consigning it to the
usual watery grave or to the unmerciful claws of the cat, I determined
to keep it a prisoner. After a short time, the little mouse made its
escape in a room attached to my father's residence in the Bank of
England. I did not desire the presence of a wild mouse in this room,
and therefore adopted means to secure him. The room was paved with
stone, and inclosed with solid walls. There was no hope for him that
he would ultimately escape, although there were abundant opportunities
for hiding. I set the trap, and baited it with a savory morsel, but
day after day no mouse entered. The poor little thing gave unequivocal
signs of extreme hunger by gnawing the bladder from one of my chemical
bottles. I gradually removed everything from the room that he could
possibly eat, but still the old proverb of "Once caught, twice shy,"
so far applied that he would not enter my trap. After many days,
visiting the apartment one morning, the trap was down, the mouse was
caught; the pangs of hunger were more intolerable than the terrors of
imprisonment. He did not, however, will the unpleasant alternative of
entering the trap until he was so nearly starved that his bones almost
protruded through his skin; and he freely took bits of food from my
fingers through the wires of the cage."--_Instinct and Reason_, just

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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.