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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. V, October, 1850, Volume I.
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. V, October, 1850, Volume I." ***


                           New Monthly Magazine

                      No. V.—October, 1850.—Vol. I.


Wordsworth—His Character And Genius.
Sidney Smith. By George Gilfillan.
Thomas Carlyle. By George Gilfillan.
The Gentleman Beggar. An Attorney’s Story. (From Dickens’s Household
Singular Proceedings Of The Sand Wasp. (From Howitt’s Country Year-Book.)
What Horses Think Of Men. From The Raven In The Happy Family. (From
Dickens’s Household Words.)
The Quakers During The American War. (From Howitt’s Country Year-Book.)
A Shilling’s Worth Of Science. (From Dickens’s Household Words.)
A Tuscan Vintage.
How To Make Home Unhealthy. By Harriet Martineau.
Sorrows And Joys. (From Dickens’s Household Words.)
Maurice Tiernay, The Soldier Of Fortune. (From the Dublin University
The Enchanted Rock. (From Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.)
The Force Of Fear. (From Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.)
Lady Alice Daventry; Or, The Night Of Crime. (From the Dublin University
Mirabeau. An Anecdote Of His Private Life. (From Chambers’s Edinburgh
Terrestrial Magnetism. (From Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.)
Early History Of The Use Of Coal. (From Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.)
Jenny Lind. By Fredrika Bremer.
My Novel; Or, Varieties In English Life. By Pisistratus Caxton. (From
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.)
The Two Guides Of The Child. (From Dickens’s Household Words.)
The Laboratory In The Chest. (From Dickens’s Household Words.)
The Steel Pen. An Illustration Of Cheapness. (From Dickens’s Household
Snakes And Serpent Charmers. (From Bentley’s Miscellany.)
The Magic Maze. (From Colburn’s Monthly Magazine.)
The Sun. (From Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal.)
The Household Jewels. (From Dickens’s Household Words.)
The Tea-Plant. (From Hogg’s Instructor.)
Anecdotes Of Dr. Chalmers.
The Pleasures Of Illness. (From the People’s Journal.)
Obstructions To The Use Of The Telescope.
Monthly Record Of Current Events.
Literary Notices.
Autumn Fashions.


                       [Illustration: Wordsworth.]

In a late article on Southey, we alluded to the solitary position of
Wordsworth in that lake country where he once shone the brightest star in
a large galaxy. Since then, the star of Jove, so beautiful and large, has
gone out in darkness—the greatest laureate of England has expired—the
intensest, most unique, and most pure-minded of our poets, with the single
exceptions of Milton and Cowper, is departed. And it were lesemajesty
against his mighty shade not to pay it our tribute while yet his memory,
and the grass of his grave, are green.

It is singular, that only a few months have elapsed since the great
antagonist of his literary fame—Lord Jeffrey (who, we understand,
persisted to the last in his ungenerous and unjust estimate), left the
bench of human, to appear at the bar of Divine justice. Seldom has the
death of a celebrated man produced a more powerful impression in his own
city and circle, and a less powerful impression on the wide horizon of the
world. In truth, he had outlived himself. It had been very different had
he passed away thirty years ago, when the “Edinburgh Review” was in the
plenitude of its influence. As it was, he disappeared like a star at
midnight, whose descent is almost unnoticed while the whole heavens are
white with glory, not like a sun going down, that night may come over the
earth. One of the acutest, most accomplished, most warm-hearted, and
generous of men, Jeffrey wanted that stamp of universality, that highest
order of genius, that depth of insight, and that simple directness of
purpose, not to speak of that moral and religious consecration, which
“give the world assurance of a man.” He was the idol of Edinburgh, and the
pride of Scotland, because he condensed in himself those qualities which
the modern Athens has long been accustomed to covet and admire—taste and
talent rather than genius—subtlety of appreciation rather than power of
origination—the logical understanding rather than the inventive
insight—and because his name _had_ sounded out to the ends of the earth.
But nature and man, not Edinburgh Castle, or the Grampian Hills merely,
might be summoned to mourn in Wordsworth’s departure the loss of one of
their truest high-priests, who had gazed into some of the deepest secrets
of the one, and echoed some of the loftiest aspirations of the other.

To soften such grief, however, there comes in the reflection, that the
task of this great poet had been nobly discharged. He _had_ given the
world assurance, full, and heaped, and running over, of what he meant, and
of what was meant by him. While the premature departure of a Schiller, a
Byron, or a Keats, gives us emotions similar to those wherewith we would
behold the crescent moon, snatched away as by some “insatiate archer,” up
into the Infinite, ere it grew into its full glory—Wordsworth, like Scott,
Goethe, and Southey, was permitted to fill his full and broad sphere.

What Wordsworth’s mission was, may be, perhaps, understood through some
previous remarks upon his great mistress—Nature, as a poetical personage.

There are three methods of contemplating nature. These are the material,
the shadowy, and the mediatorial. The materialist looks upon it as the
great and only reality. It is a vast solid fact, for ever burning and
rolling around, below and above him. The idealist, on the contrary,
regards it as a shadow—a mode of mind—the infinite projection of his own
thought. The man who stands _between_ the two extremes, looks on nature as
a great, but not ultimate or everlasting scheme of mediation, or
compromise, between pure and absolute spirit and humanity—adumbrating God
to man, and bringing man near to God. To the materialist, there is an
altar, star-lighted heaven-high, but no God. To the idealist, there is a
God, but no altar. He who holds the theory of mediation, has the Great
Spirit as his God, and the universe as the altar on which he presents the
gift of his poetical (we do not speak at present so much of his
theological) adoration.

It must be obvious, at once, which of those three views of nature is the
most poetical. It is surely that which keeps the two principles of spirit
and matter distinct and unconfounded—preserves in their proper
relations—the soul and the body of things—God within, and without the
garment by which, in Goethe’s grand thought, “we see him by.” While one
party deify, and another destroy matter, the third impregnate, without
identifying it with the Divine presence.

The notions suggested by this view, which is that of Scripture, are
exceedingly comprehensive and magnificent. Nature becomes to the poet’s
eye “_a great sheet let down from God out of heaven_,” and in which there
is no object “common or unclean.” The purpose and the Being above cast
such a grandeur over the pettiest or barest objects, as did the fiery
pillar upon the sand, or the shrubs of the howling desert of its march.
Every thing becomes valuable when looked upon as a communication from God,
imperfect only from the nature of the material used. What otherwise might
have been concluded discords, now appear only stammerings or whisperings
in the Divine voice; thorns and thistles spring above the primeval curse,
the “meanest flower that blows” gives

    “Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”

The creation is neither unduly exalted nor contemptuously trampled
under-foot, but maintains its dignified position, as an embassador from
the Divine King. The glory of something far beyond association—that of a
divine and perpetual presence—is shed over the landscape, and its
golden-drops are spilled upon the stars. Objects the most diverse—the
cradle of the child, the wet hole of the centipede, the bed of the corpse,
and the lair of the earthquake, the nest of the lark, and the crag on
which sits, half asleep, the dark vulture, digesting blood—are all clothed
in a light the same in kind, though varying in degree—

    “A light which never was on sea or shore.”

In the poetry of the Hebrews, accordingly, the locusts are God’s “great
army;”—the winds are his messengers, the thunder his voice, the lightning
a “fiery stream going before him,” the moon his witness in the heavens,
the sun a strong man rejoicing to run his race—all creation is roused and
startled into life through him—its every beautiful, or dire, or strange
shape in the earth or the sky, is God’s movable tent; the place where, for
a season, his honor, his beauty, his strength, and his justice dwell—the
tenant not degraded, and inconceivable dignity being added to the abode.

His mere “tent,” however—for while the great and the infinite are thus
connected with the little and the finite, the subordination of the latter
to the former is always maintained. The most magnificent objects in nature
are but the mirrors to God’s face—the scaffolding to his future purposes;
and, like mirrors, are to wax dim; and, like scaffolding, to be removed.
The great sheet is to be _received up_ again into heaven. The heavens and
the earth are to pass away, and to be succeeded, if not by a purely mental
economy, yet by one of a more spiritual materialism, compared to which the
former shall no more be remembered, neither come into mind. Those
frightful and fantastic forms of animated life, through which God’s glory
seems to shine with a struggle, and but faintly, shall disappear—nay, the
worlds which bore, and sheltered them in their rugged dens and eaves,
shall flee from the face of the regenerator. “A milder day” is to dawn on
the universe—the refinement of matter is to keep pace with the elevation
of mind. Evil and sin are to be eternally banished to some Siberia of
space. The word of the poet is to be fulfilled,

    “And one eternal spring encircles all!”

The mediatorial purpose of creation, fully subserved, is to be abandoned,
that we may see “eye to eye,” and that God may be “all in all.”

That such views of matter—its present ministry—the source of its beauty
and glory—and its future destiny, transferred from the pages of both
Testaments to those of our great moral and religious poets, have deepened
some of their profoundest, and swelled some of their highest strains, is
unquestionable. Such prospects as were in Milton’s eye, when he sung,

            “Thy Saviour and thy Lord
    Last in the clouds from heaven to be revealed,
    In glory of the Father to dissolve
    Satan with his perverted world; then raise
    From the conflagrant mass, purged and refined,
    New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date,”

may be found in Thomson, in his closing Hymn to the Seasons, in
Coleridge’s “Religious Musings,” (in Shelley’s “Prometheus” even, but
perverted and disguised), in Bailey’s “Festus” (cumbered and entangled
with his religious theory); and more rootedly, although less
theologically, than in all the rest, in the poetry of Wordsworth.

The secret of Wordsworth’s profound and peculiar love for Nature, even in
her meaner and minuter forms, may lie, perhaps, here. De Quincey seeks for
it in a peculiar conformation of the eye, as if he actually did see more
in the object than other men—in the rose a richer red, in the sky a deeper
azure, in the broom a yellower gold, in the sun a more dazzling ray, in
the sea a finer foam, and in the star a more sparkling splendor, than even
Nature’s own “sweet and cunning” hand put on; but the critic has not
sought to explain the rationale of this peculiarity. Mere acuteness of
vision it can not have been, else the eagle might have _felt_, though not
written, “The Excursion”—else the fact is not accountable why many of weak
sight, such as Burke, have been rapturous admirers of Nature; and so, till
we learn that Mr. De Quincey has looked through Wordsworth’s eyes, we must
call this a mere fancy. Hazlitt again, and others since, have accounted
for the phenomenon by association—but this fails, we suspect, fully to
explain the deep, native, and brooding passion in question—a passion
which, instead of being swelled by the associations of after life, rose to
lull stature in youth, as “Tintern Abbey” testifies. One word of his own,
perhaps, better solves the mystery—it is the one word “consecration”—

    “The _consecration_ and the poet’s dream.”

His eye had been anointed with eye-salve, and he saw, as his
poet-predecessors had done, the temple in which he was standing, heard in
every breeze and ocean billow the sound of a temple-service, and felt that
the grandeur of the ritual, and of its recipient, threw the shadow of
their greatness upon every stone in the corners of the edifice, and upon
every eft crawling along its floors. Reversing the miracle, he saw “trees
as men walking”—heard the speechless sins, and, in the beautiful thought
of “the Roman,” caught on his ear the fragments of a “divine soliloquy,”
filling up the pauses in a universal anthem. Hence the tumultuous, yet
awful joy of his youthful feelings to Nature. Hence his estimation of its
lowliest features; for does not every bush and tree appear to him a
“pillar in the temple of his God?” The leaping fish pleases him, because
its “cheer” in the lonely tarn is of praise. The dropping of the earth on
the coffin lid, is a slow and solemn psalm, mingling in austere sympathy
with the raven’s croak, and in his “Power of sound” he proceeds
elaborately to condense all those varied voices, high or low, soft or
harsh, united or discordant, into one crushing chorus, like the choruses
of Haydn, or of heaven. Nature undergoes no outward change to his _eye_,
but undergoes a far deeper transfiguration to his spirit—as she stands up
in the white robes, and with the sounding psalmodies of her mediatorial
office, between him and the Infinite I AM.

Never must this feeling be confounded with Pantheism. All does not seem to
him to be God, nor even (strictly speaking) divine; but all seems to be
immediately _from_ God—rushing out from him in being, to rush instantly
back to him in service and praise. Again the natal dew of the first
morning is seen lying on bud and blade, and the low voice of the first
evening’s song becomes audible again. Although Coleridge in his youth was
a Spinozist, Wordsworth seems at once, and forever, to have recoiled from
even his friend’s eloquent version of that creedless creed, that baseless
foundation, that system, through the _phenomenon_ of which look not the
bright eyes of Supreme Intelligence, but the blind face of irresponsible
and infinite necessity. Shelley himself—with all the power his critics
attribute to him of painting night, animating Atheism, and giving strange
loveliness to annihilation—has failed in redeeming Spinoza’s theory from
the reproach of being as hateful as it is false; and there is no axiom we
hold more strongly than this—that the theory which can not be rendered
poetical, can not be true. “Beauty is truth, and truth is beauty,” said
poor Keats, to whom time, however, was not granted to come down from the
first glowing generalization of his heart, to the particular creeds which
his ripened intellect would have, according to _it_, rejected or received.

Nor, although Wordsworth is a devoted lover of Nature, down to what many
consider the very blots—or, at least, dashes and commas in her page, is he
blind to the fact of her transient character. The power he worships has
his “dwelling in the light of setting suns,” but that dwelling is not his
everlasting abode. For earth, and the universe, a “_milder day_” (words
certifying their truth by their simple beauty) is in store when “the
monuments” of human weakness, folly, and evil, shall “all be over-grown.”
He sees afar off the great spectacle of Nature retiring before God; the
embassador giving place to the King; the bright toys of this nursery—sun,
moon, earth, and stars—put away, like childish things; the symbols of the
Infinite lost in the Infinite itself; and though he could, on the Saturday
evening, bow before the midnight mountains, and midnight heavens, he could
also, on the Sabbath morn, in Rydal church, bow as profoundly before the
apostolic word, “All these things shall be dissolved.”

With Wordsworth, as with all great poets, his poetical creed passes into
his religious. It is the same tune with variations. But we confess that,
in his case, we do not think the variations equal. The mediation of Nature
he understands, and has beautifully represented in his poetry; but that
higher mediation of the Divine Man between man and the Father, does not
lie fully or conspicuously on his page. A believer in the mystery of
godliness he unquestionably was; but he seldom preached it. Christopher
North, many years ago, in “Blackwood,” doubted if there were so much as a
Bible in poor Margaret’s cottage (Excursion). We doubt so, too, and have
not found much of the “true cross” among all his trees. The theologians
divide prayer into four parts—adoration, thanksgiving, confession, and
petition. Wordsworth stops at the second. No where do we find more solemn,
sustained, habitual, and worthy adoration, than in his writings. The tone,
too, of all his poems, is a calm thanksgiving, like that of a long blue,
cloudless sky, coloring, at evening, into the hues of more fiery praise.
But he does not weep like a penitent, nor supplicate like a child. Such
feelings seem suppressed and folded up as far-off storms, and the traces
of past tempests are succinctly inclosed in the algebra of the silent
evening air. And hence, like Milton’s, his poetry has rather tended to
foster the glow of devotion in the loftier spirits of the race—previously
taught to adore—than like that of Cowper and Montgomery, to send prodigals
back to their forsaken homes; Davids, to cry, “Against thee only have I
sinned;” and Peters, to shriek in agony, “Lord, save us, we perish.”

To pass from the essential poetic element in a writer of genius, to his
artistic skill, is a felt, yet necessary descent—like the painter
compelled, after sketching the man’s countenance, to draw his dress. And
yet, as of some men and women, the very dress, by its simplicity,
elegance, and unity, seems fitted rather to garb the soul than the
body—seems the soul made visible—so is it with the style and manner of
many great poets. Their speech and music without are as inevitable as
their genius, or as the song forever sounding within their souls. And why?
The whole ever tends to beget a whole—the large substance to cast its
deep, yet delicate shadow—the divine to be like itself in the human, on
which its seal is set. So it is with Wordsworth. That profound
simplicity—that clear obscurity—that night-like noon—that noon-like
night—that one atmosphere of overhanging Deity, seen weighing upon ocean
and pool, mountain and mole-hill, forest and flower—that pellucid
depth—that entireness of purpose and fullness of power, connected with
fragmentary, willful, or even weak execution—that humble, yet proud,
precipitation of himself, Antæus-like, upon the bosom of simple scenes and
simple sentiments, to regain primeval vigor—that obscure, yet lofty
isolation, like a tarn, little in size, but elevated in site, with few
visitors, but with many stars—that Tory-Radicalism, Popish-Protestantism,
philosophical Christianity, which have rendered him a glorious riddle, and
made Shelley, in despair of finding it out, exclaim,

    “No Deist, and no Christian he,
    No Whig, no Tory.
    He got so subtle, that to be
    _Nothing_ was all his glory,”—

all such apparent contradictions, but real unities, in his poetical and
moral creed and character, are fully expressed in his lowly but aspiring
language, and the simple, elaborate architecture of his verse—every stone
of which is lifted up by the strain of strong logic, and yet laid to
music; and, above all, in the choice of his subjects, which range, with a
free and easy motion, up from a garden spade and a village drum, to the
“celestial visages” which darkened at the tidings of man’s fall, and to
the “organ of eternity,” which sung pæans over his recovery.

We sum up what we have further to say of Wordsworth, under the items of
his works, his life and character, his death; and shall close by
inquiring, Who is worthy to be his successor?

His works, covering a large space, and abounding in every variety of
excellence and style, assume, after all, a fragmentary aspect. They are
true, simple, scattered, and strong, as blocks torn from the crags of
Helvellyn, and lying there “low, but mighty still.” Few even of his
ballads are wholes. They leave too much untold. They are far too
suggestive to satisfy. From each poem, however rounded, there streams off
a long train of thought: like the tail of a comet, which, while testifying
its power, mars its aspect of oneness. The “Excursion,” avowedly a
fragment, seems the splinter of a larger splinter; like a piece of Pallas,
itself a piece of some split planet. Of all his poems, perhaps, his
sonnets, his “Laodamia,” his “Intimations of Immortality,” and his verses
on the “Eclipse in Italy,” are the most complete in execution, as
certainly they are the most classical in design. Dramatic power he has
none, nor does he regret the want. “I hate,” he was wont to say to
Hazlitt, “those interlocutions between Caius and Lucius.” He sees, as
“from a tower, the end of all.” The waving lights and shadows, the varied
loopholes of view, the shiftings and fluctuations of feeling, the growing,
broadening interest of the drama, have no charm for him. His mind, from
its gigantic size, contracts a gigantic stiffness. It “moveth altogether,
if it move at all.” Hence, some of his smaller poems remind you of the
dancing of an elephant, or of the “hills leaping like lambs.” Many of the
little poems which he wrote upon a system, are exceedingly tame and
feeble. Yet often, even in his narrow bleak vales, we find one “meek
streamlet—only one”—beautifying the desolation; and feel how painful it is
for him to become poor, and that, when he sinks, it is with “compulsion
and laborious flight.” But, having subtracted such faults, how much
remains—of truth—of tenderness—of sober, eve-like grandeur—of purged
beauties, white and clean as the lilies of Eden—of calm, deep reflection,
contained in lines and sentences which have become proverbs—of mild
enthusiasm—of minute knowledge of nature—of strong, yet unostentatious
sympathy with man—and of devout and breathless communion with the Great
Author of all! Apart altogether from their intellectual pretensions
Wordsworth’s poems possess a moral clearness, beauty, transparency, and
harmony, which connect them immediately with those of Milton: and beside
the more popular poetry of the past age—such as Byron’s, and Moore’s—they
remind us of that unplanted garden, where the shadow of God united all
trees of fruitfulness, and all flowers of beauty, into one; where the
“large river,” which watered the whole, “ran south,” toward the sun of
heaven—when compared with the gardens of the Hesperides, where a dragon
was the presiding deity, or with those of Vauxhall or White Conduit-house,
where Comus and his rabble rout celebrate their undisguised orgies of
miscalled and miserable pleasure.


                    Wordsworth’s Home at Rydal Mount.

To write a great poem demands years—to write a great undying example,
demands a lifetime. Such a life, too, becomes a poem—higher far than pen
can inscribe, or metre make musical. Such a life it was granted to
Wordsworth to live in severe harmony with his verse—as it lowly, and as it
aspiring, to live, too, amid opposition, obloquy, and abuse—to live, too,
amid the glare of that watchful observation, which has become to public
men far more keen and far more capacious in its powers and opportunities,
than in Milton’s days. It was not, unquestionably, a perfect life, even as
a man’s, far less as a poet’s. He did feel and resent, more than beseemed
a great man, the pursuit and persecution of the hounds, whether “gray” and
swift-footed, or whether curs of low degree, who dogged his steps. His
voice from his woods sounded at times rather like the moan of wounded
weakness, than the bellow of masculine wrath. He should, simply, in reply
to his opponents, have written on at his poems, and let his prefaces
alone. “If they receive your first book ill,” wrote Thomas Carlyle to a
new author, “write the second better—so much better as to shame them.”
When will authors learn that to answer an unjust attack, is, merely to
give it a keener edge, and that all injustice carries the seed of oblivion
and exposure in itself? To use the language of the masculine spirit just
quoted, “it is really a truth, one never knows whether praise be really
good for one—or whether it be not, in very fact, the worst poison that
could be administered. Blame, or even vituperation, I have always found a
safer article. In the long run, a man _has_, and _is_, just what he _is_
and _has_—the world’s notion of him has not altered him at all, except,
indeed, if it have poisoned him with self-conceit, and made a _caput
mortuum_ of him.”

The sensitiveness of authors—were it not such a _sore_ subject—might admit
of some curious reflections. One would sometimes fancy that Apollo, in an
angry hour, had done to his sons, what fable records him to have done to
Marsyas—_flayed_ them alive. Nothing has brought more contempt upon
authors than this—implying, as it does, a lack of common courage and
manhood. The true son of genius ought to rush before the public as the
warrior into battle, resolved to hack and hew his way to eminence and
power, not to whimper like a schoolboy at every scratch—to acknowledge
only home thrusts—large, life-letting-out blows—determined either to
conquer or to die, and, feeling that battles should be lost in the same
spirit in which they are won. If Wordsworth did not fully answer this
ideal, others have sunk far more disgracefully and habitually below it.

In private, Wordsworth, we understand, was pure, mild, simple, and
majestic—perhaps somewhat austere in his judgments of the erring, and,
perhaps, somewhat narrow in his own economics. In accordance, we suppose,
with that part of his poetic system, which magnified mole-heaps to
mountains, _pennies_ assumed the importance of _pounds_. It is ludicrous,
yet characteristic, to think of the great author of the “Recluse,”
squabbling with a porter about the price of a parcel, or bidding down an
old book at a stall. He was one of the few poets who were ever guilty of
the crime of worldly prudence—that ever could have fulfilled the old
parodox, “A poet has built a house.” In his young days, according to
Hazlitt, he said little in society—sat generally lost in thought—threw out
a bold or an indifferent remark occasionally—and relapsed into reverie
again. In latter years, he became more talkative and oracular. His health
and habits were always regular, his temperament happy, and his heart sound
and pure.

We have said that his life, _as a poet_, was far from perfect. Our meaning
is, that he did not sufficiently, owing to temperament, or position, or
habits, sympathize with the on-goings of society, the fullness of modern
life, and the varied passions, unbeliefs, sins, and miseries of modern
human nature. His soul dwelt apart. He came, like the Baptist, “neither
eating nor drinking,” and men said, “he hath a demon.” He saw at morning,
from London bridge, “all its mighty heart” lying still; but he did not at
noon plunge artistically into the thick of its throbbing life; far less
sound the depths of its wild midnight heavings of revel and wretchedness,
of hopes and fears, of stifled fury and eloquent despair. Nor, although he
sung the “mighty stream of tendency” of this wondrous age, did he ever
launch his poetic craft upon it, nor seem to see the _witherward_ of its
swift and awful stress. He has, on the whole, stood aside from his
time—not on a peak of the past—not on an anticipated Alp of the future,
but on his own Cumberland highlands—hearing the tumult and remaining
still, lifting up his life as a far-seen beacon-fire, studying the manners
of the humble dwellers in the vales below—“piping a simple song to
thinking hearts,” and striving to waft to brother spirits, the fine
infection of his own enthusiasm, faith, hope, and devotion. Perhaps, had
he been less strict and consistent in creed and in character, he might
have attained greater breadth, blood-warmth, and wide-spread power, have
presented on his page a fuller reflection of our present state, and drawn
from his poetry a yet stronger moral, and become the Shakspeare, instead
of the Milton, of the age. For himself, he did undoubtedly choose the
“better part;” nor do we mean to insinuate that any man ought to
contaminate himself for the sake of his art, but that the poet of a period
will necessarily come so near to its peculiar sins, sufferings, follies,
and mistakes, as to understand them, and even to feel the force of their
temptations, and though he should never yield to, yet must have a
“fellow-feeling” of its prevailing infirmities.

The death of this eminent man took few by surprise. Many anxious eyes have
for a while been turned toward Rydal mount, where this hermit stream was
nearly sinking into the ocean of the Infinite. And now, to use his own
grand word, used at the death of Scott, a “trouble” hangs upon Helvellyn’s
brow, and over the waters of Windermere. The last of the Lakers has
departed. That glorious country has become a tomb for its more glorious
children. No more is Southey’s tall form seen at his library window,
confronting Skiddaw—with a port as stately as its own. No more does
Coleridge’s dim eye look down into the dim tarn, heavy laden, too, under
the advancing thunder-storm. And no more is Wordsworth’s pale and lofty
front shaded into divine twilight, as he plunges at noon-day amidst the
quiet woods. A stiller, sterner power than poetry has folded into its
strict, yet tender and yearning embrace, those

    “Serene creators of immortal things.”

Alas! for the pride and the glory even of the purest products of this
strange world! Sin and science, pleasure and poetry, the lowest vices, and
the highest aspirations, are equally unable to rescue their votaries from
the swift ruin which is in chase of us all.

    “Golden lads and girls all must
    Like chimney-sweepers come to dust.”

But Wordsworth has left for himself an epitaph almost superfluously
rich—in the memory of his private virtues—of the impulse he gave to our
declining poetry—of the sympathies he discovered in all his strains with
the poor, the neglected, and the despised—of the version he furnished of
Nature, true and beautiful as if it were Nature _describing herself_—of
his lofty and enacted ideal of his art and the artist—of the “thoughts,
too deep for tears,” he has given to meditative and lonely hearts—and,
above all, of the support he has lent to the cause of the “primal duties”
and eldest instincts of man—to his hope of immortality, and his fear of
God. And now we bid him farewell, in his own words—

    “Blessings be with him, and eternal praise,
    The _poet_, who on earth has made us heirs
    Of truth and pure delight, by heavenly lays.”

Although, as already remarked, not the poet of the age—it has, in our
view, been, on the whole, fortunate for poetry and society, that for seven
years William Wordsworth has been poet-laureate. We live in a transition
state in respect to both. The march and the music are both changing—nor
are they yet fully attuned to each other—and, meanwhile, it was desirable
that a poet should preside, whose strains formed a fine “musical
confusion,” like that of old in the “wood of Crete”—of the old and the
new—of the Conservative and the Democratic—of the golden age, supposed by
many to have existed in the past, and of the millennium, expected by more
in the future—a compromise of the two poetical styles besides—the one,
which clung to the hoary tradition of the elders, and the other, which
accepted innovation because it was new, and boldness because it was
daring, and mysticism because it was dark—not truth, _though_ new; beauty,
_though_ bold; and insight, _though_ shadowy and shy. Nay, we heartily
wish, had it been for nothing else than this, that his reign had lasted
for many years longer, till, perchance, the discordant elements in our
creeds and literature, had been somewhat harmonized. As it is, there must
now be great difficulty in choosing his successor to the laureateship; nor
is there, we think, a single name in our poetry whose elevation to the
office would give universal, or even general, satisfaction.

Milman is a fine poet, but not a great one. Croly is, or ought to have
been, a great poet; but is not sufficiently known, nor _en rapport_ with
the spirit of the time. Bowles is dead—Moore dying. Lockhart and Macaulay
have written clever ballads; but no shapely, continuous, and masterly
poem. John Wilson, _alias_ Christopher North, has more poetry in his eye,
brow, head, hair, figure, voice, talk, and the prose of his “Noetes,” than
any man living; but his verse, on the whole, is mawkish—and his being a
Scotchman will be a stumbling-block to many, though not to us; for, had
Campbell been alive, we should have said at once, let him be laureate—if
manly grace, classic power, and genuine popularity, form qualifications
for the office. Tennyson, considering all he has done, has received his
full meed already. Let him and Leigh Hunt repose under the shadow of their
pensions. Our gifted friends, Bailey, of “Festus,” and Yendys, of the
“Roman,” are yet in blossom—though it is a glorious blossom. Henry Taylor
is rather in the sere and yellow leaf—nor was his leaf ever, in our
judgment, very fresh or ample: a masterly builder he is, certainly, but
the materials he brings are not highly poetical. When Dickens is promoted
to Scott’s wizard throne, let Browning succeed Wordsworth on the forked
Helvellyn! Landor is a vast monumental name; but, while he has overawed
the higher intellects of the time, he has never touched the general heart,
nor _told_ the world much, except his great opinion of himself, the low
opinion he has of almost every body else, and the very learned reasons and
sufficient grounds he has for supporting those twin opinions. Never was
such power so wasted and thrown away. The proposition of a lady laureate
is simply absurd, without being witty. Why not as soon have proposed the
Infant Sappho? In short, if we ask again, _Where_ is the poet worthy to
wear the crown which has dropped from the solemn brow of “old Pan,” “sole
king of rocky Cumberland?”—Echo, from Glaramara, or the Langdale Pikes,
might well answer, “Where?”

We have, however, a notion of our own, which we mean, as a close to the
article, to indicate. The laureateship was too long a sop for parasites,
whose politics and poetry were equally tame. It seems now to have become
the late reward of veteran merit—the Popedom of poetry. Why not, rather,
hang it up as a crown, to be won by our rising bards—either as the reward
of some special poem on an appointed subject, or of general merit? Why not
delay for a season the bestowal of the laurel, and give thus a national
importance to its decision?



                              Sidney Smith.

It is melancholy to observe how speedily, successively, nay, almost
simultaneously, our literary luminaries are disappearing from the sky.
Every year another and another member of the bright clusters which arose
about the close of the last, or at the beginning of this century, is
fading from our view. Within nineteen years, what havoc, by the “insatiate
archer,” among the ruling spirits of the time! Since 1831, Robert Hall,
Andrew Thomson, Goethe, Cuvier, Mackintosh, Crabbe, Foster, Coleridge,
Edward Irving, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Lamb, Southey, Thomas Campbell,
&c., have entered on the “silent land;” and latterly has dropped down one
of the wittiest and shrewdest of them all—the projector of the “Edinburgh
Review”—the author of “Peter Plymley’s Letters”—the preacher—the
politician—the brilliant converser—the “mad-wag”—Sidney Smith.

It was the praise of Dryden that he was the best reasoner in verse who
ever wrote; let it be the encomium of our departed Sidney that, he was one
of the best reasoners in wit of whom our country can boast. His
intellect—strong, sharp, clear, and decided—wrought and moved in a rich
medium of humor. Each thought, as it came forth from his brain, issued as
“in dance,” and amid a flood of inextinguishable laughter. The march of
his mind through his subject resembled the procession of Bacchus from the
conquest of India—joyous, splendid, straggling—to the sound of flutes and
hautboys—rather a victory than a march—rather a revel than a contest. His
logic seemed always hurrying into the arms of his wit. Some men argue in
mathematical formulæ; others, like Burke, in the figures and flights of
poetry; others in the fire and fury of passion; Sidney Smith in exuberant
and riotous fun. And yet the matter of his reasoning was solid, and its
inner spirit earnest and true. But though his steel was strong and sharp,
his hand steady, and his aim clear, the management of the motions of his
weapon was always fantastic. He piled, indeed, like a Titan, his Pelion on
Ossa, but at the oddest of angles; he lifted and carried his load bravely,
and like a man, but laughed as he did so; and so carried it that beholders
forgot the strength of the arm in the strangeness of the attitude. He thus
sometimes disarmed anger; for his adversaries could scarcely believe that
they had received a deadly wound while their foe was roaring in their
face. He thus did far greater execution; for the flourishes of his weapon
might distract his opponents, but never himself, from the direct and
terrible line of the blow. His laughter sometimes stunned, like the
cachination of the Cyclops, shaking the sides of his cave. In this
mood—and it was his common one—what scorn was he wont to pour upon the
opponents of Catholic emancipation—upon the enemies of all change in
legislation—upon any individual or party who sought to obstruct measures
which, in his judgment, were likely to benefit the country. Under such, he
could at any moment spring a mine of laughter; and what neither the fierce
invective of Brougham, nor the light and subtle raillery of Jeffrey could
do, his contemptuous explosion effected, and, himself crying with mirth,
saw them hoisted toward heaven in ten thousand comical splinters.
Comparing him with other humorists of a similar class, we might say, that
while Swift’s ridicule resembles something between a sneer and a spasm
(half a sneer of mirth, half a spasm of misery)—while Cobbett’s is a
grin—Fonblanque’s a light but deep and most significant smile—Jeffrey’s a
sneer, just perceptible on his fastidious lip—Wilson’s a strong, healthy,
hearty laugh—Carlyle’s a wild unearthly sound, like the neighing of a
homeless steed—Sidney Smith’s is a genuine guffaw, given forth with his
whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. Apart from his matchless
humor, strong, rough, instinctive, and knotty sense was the leading
feature of his mind. Every thing like mystification, sophistry, and
humbug, fled before the first glance of his piercing eye; every thing in
the shape of affectation excited in him a disgust “as implacable” as even
a Cowper could feel. If possible, with still deeper aversion did his manly
nature regard cant in its various forms and disguises; and his motto in
reference to it was, “spare no arrows.” But the mean, the low, the paltry,
the dishonorable, in nations or in individuals, moved all the fountains of
his bile, and awakened all the energy of his invective. Always lively,
generally witty, he is never eloquent, except when emptying out his vials
of indignation upon baseness in all its shapes. His is the ire of a
genuine “English gentleman, all of the olden time.” It was in this spirit
that he recently explained, in his own way, the old distinctions of Meum
and Tuum to Brother Jonathan, when the latter was lamentably inclined to
forget them. It was the same sting of generous indignation which, in the
midst of his character of Mackintosh, prompted the memorable picture of
that extraordinary being who, by his transcendent talents and his tortuous
movements—his head of gold, and his feet of miry clay—has become the
glory, the riddle, and the regret of his country, his age, and his

As a writer, Smith is little more than a very clever, witty, and ingenious
pamphleteer. He has effected no permanent _chef d’oeuvre_; he has founded
no school; he has left little behind him that the “world will not
willingly let die;” he has never drawn a tear from a human eye, nor
excited a thrill of grandeur in a human bosom. His reviews are not
preserved by the salt of original genius, nor are they pregnant with
profound and comprehensive principle; they have no resemblance to the
sibylline leaves which Burke tore out from the vast volume of his mind,
and scattered with imperial indifference among the nations; they are not
the illuminated indices of universal history, like the papers of Macaulay;
they are not specimens of pure and perfect English, set with modest but
magnificent ornaments, like the criticism of Jeffrey or of Hall; nor are
they the excerpts, rugged and rent away by violence, from the dark and
iron tablet of an obscure and original mind, like the reviews of Foster;
but they are exquisite _jeux d’esprit_, admirable occasional pamphlets,
which, though now they look to us like spent arrows, yet assuredly have
done execution, and have not been spent in vain. And as, after the lapse
of a century and more, we can still read with pleasure Addison’s “Old Whig
and Freeholder,” for the sake of the exquisite humor and inimitable style
in which forgotten feuds and dead logomachies are embalmed, so may it be,
a century still, with the articles on Bentham’s Fallacies and on the Game
Laws, and with the letters of the witty and ingenious Peter Plymley. There
is much at least in those singular productions—in their clear and manly
sense—in their broad native fun—in their rapid, careless, energetic
style—and in their bold, honest, liberal, and thoroughly English spirit—to
interest several succeeding generations, if not to secure the “rare and
regal” palm of immortality.

Sidney Smith was a writer of sermons as well as of political squibs. Is
not their memory eternized in one of John Foster’s most ponderous pieces
of sarcasm? In an evil hour the dexterous and witty critic came forth from
behind the fastnesses of the Edinburgh Review, whence, in perfect security
he had shot his quick glancing shafts at Methodists and Missions, at
Christian Observers and Eclectic Reviews, at Owens and Styles, and (what
the more wary Jeffrey, in the day of his power, always avoided) became
himself an author, and, _mirabile dictu_, an author of sermons. It was as
if he wished to give his opponents their revenge, and no sooner did his
head peep forth from beneath the protection of its shell than the
elephantine foot of Foster was prepared to crush it in the dust. It was
the precise position of Saladin with the Knight of the Leopard, in their
memorable contest near the Diamond of the Desert. In the skirmish Smith
had it all his own way; but when it came to close quarters, and when the
heavy and mailed hand of the sturdy Baptist had confirmed its grasp on his
opponent, the disparity was prodigious, and the discomfiture of the light
horseman complete. But why recall the memory of an obsolete quarrel and a
forgotten field? The sermons—the _causa belli_—clever but dry, destitute
of earnestness and unction—are long since dead and buried; and their
review remains their only monument.

Even when, within his own stronghold, our author intermeddled with
theological topics, it was seldom with felicity or credit to himself. His
onset on missions was a sad mistake; and in attacking the Methodists, and
poor, pompous John Styles, he becomes as filthy and foul-mouthed as Swift
himself. His wit forsakes him, and a rabid invective ill supplies its
place; instead of laughing, he raves and foams at the mouth. Indeed,
although an eloquent and popular preacher, and in many respects an
ornament to his cloth, there was one radical evil about Smith; _he had
mistaken his profession_. He was intended for a barrister, or a literary
man, or a member of parliament, or some occupation into which he could
have flung his whole soul and strength. As it was, but half his heart was
in a profession which, of all others, would require the whole. He became
consequently a rather awkward medley of buffoon, politician, preacher,
literateur, divine, and diner-out. Let us grant, however, that the ordeal
was severe, and that, if a very few have weathered it better, many more
have ignominiously broken down. No one coincides more fully than we do
with Coleridge in thinking that every literary man should have a
profession; but in the name of common sense let it be one fitted for him,
and for which he is fitted—one suited to his tastes as well as to his
talents—to his habits as well as to his powers—to his heart as well as to
his head.

As a conversationist, Sidney Smith stood high among the highest—a Saul
among a tribe of Titans. His jokes were not rare and refined, like those
of Rogers and Jekyll; they wanted the slyness of Theodore Hook’s
inimitable equivoque; they were not poured forth with the prodigal
profusion of Hood’s breathless and bickering puns; they were rich, fat,
unctuous, always bordering on farce, but always avoiding it by a
hair’s-breadth. No finer cream, certes, ever mantled at the feasts of
Holland House than his fertile brain supplied; and, to quote himself, it
would require a “forty-parson power” of lungs and language to do justice
to his convivial merits. An acquaintance of ours sometimes met him in the
company of Jeffrey and Macaulay—a fine concord of first-rate performers,
content, generally, to keep each within his own part, except when, now and
then, the author of the “Lays” burst out irresistibly, and changed the
concert into a fine solo.

Altogether “we could have better spared a better man.” Did not his death
“eclipse the gayety of nations?” Did not a Fourth Estate of Fun expire
from the midst of us? Did not even Brother Jonathan drop a tear when he
thought that the scourge that so mercilessly lashed him was broken? And
shall not now all his admirers unite with us in inscribing upon his
grave—“Alas! poor Yorick!”



                             Thomas Carlyle.

Thomas Carlyle was born at Ecclefechan, Annandale. His parents were “good
farmer people,” his father an elder in the Secession church there, and a
man of strong native sense, whose words were said to “nail a subject to
the wall.” His excellent mother still lives, and we had the pleasure of
meeting her lately in the company of her illustrious son; and beautiful it
was to see his profound and tender regard, and her motherly and yearning
reverence—to hear her fine old covenanting accents, concerting with his
transcendental tones. He studied in Edinburgh. Previous to this, he had
become intimate with Edward Irving, an intimacy which continued unimpaired
to the close of the latter’s eccentric career. Like most Scottish
students, he had many struggles to encounter in the course of his
education; and had, we believe, to support himself by private tuition,
translations for the booksellers, &c. The day star of German literature
arose early in his soul, and has been his guide and genius ever since. He
entered into a correspondence with Goethe, which lasted, at intervals,
till the latter’s death. Yet he has never, we understand, visited Germany.
He was, originally, destined for the church. At one period he taught an
academy in Dysart, at the same time that Irving was teaching in Kirkaldy.
After his marriage, he resided partly at Comely Bank, Edinburgh; and, for
a year or two in Craigenputtock, a wild and solitary farm-house in the
upper part of Dumfriesshire. Here, however, far from society, save that,
of the “great dumb monsters of mountains,” he wearied out his very heart.
A ludicrous story is told of Lord Jeffrey visiting him in this
out-of-the-way region, when they were unapprized of his coming—had nothing
in the house fit for the palate of the critic, and had, in dire haste and
pother, to send off for the wherewithal to a market town about fifteen
miles off. Here, too, as we may see hereafter, Emerson, on his way home
from Italy, dropped in like a spirit, spent precisely twenty-four hours,
and then “forth uprose that lone, wayfaring man,” to return to his native
woods. He has, for several years of late, resided in Chelsea, London,
where he lives in a plain, simple fashion; occasionally, but seldom,
appearing at the splendid soirées of Lady Blessington, but listened to,
when he goes, as an oracle; receiving, at his tea-table, visitors from
every part of the world; forming an amicable centre for men of the most
opposite opinions and professions, Poets and Preachers, Pantheists and
Puritans, Tennysons and Scotts, Cavanaighs and Erskines, Sterlings and
Robertsons, smoking his perpetual pipe, and pouring out, in copious
stream, his rich and quaint philosophy. His appearance is fine, without
being ostentatiously singular—his hair dark—his brow marked, though
neither very broad nor very lofty—his cheek tinged with a healthy red—his
eye, the truest index of his genius, flashing out, at times, a wild and
mystic fire from its dark and quiet surface. He is above the middle size,
stoops slightly, dresses carefully, but without any approach to foppery.
His address, somewhat high and distant at first, softens into simplicity
and cordial kindness. His conversation is abundant, inartificial, flowing
on, and warbling as it flows, more practical than you would expect from
the cast of his writings—picturesque and graphic in a high measure—full of
the results of extensive and minute observation—often terribly direct and
strong, garnished with French and German phrase, rendered racy by the
accompaniment of the purest Annandale accent, and coming to its climaxes,
ever and anon, in long, deep, chest-shaking bursts of laughter.

Altogether, in an age of singularities, Thomas Carlyle stands peculiarly
alone. Generally known, and warmly appreciated, he has of late
become—popular, in the strict sense, he is not, and may never be. His
works may never climb the family library, nor his name become a household
word; but while the Thomsons and the Campbells shed their gentle genius,
like light, into the hall and the hovel—the shop of the artisan and the
sheiling of the shepherd, Carlyle, like the Landors and Lambs of this age,
and the Brownes and Burtons of a past, will exert a more limited but
profounder power—cast a dimmer but more gorgeous radiance—attract fewer
but more devoted admirers, and obtain an equal, and perhaps more enviable

To the foregoing sketch of CARLYLE, which is from the eloquent critical
description of Gilfillan, we append the following, which is from a letter
recently published in the Dumfries and Galloway Courier. The writer, after
remarking at some length upon the “Latter Day Pamphlets,” which are
Carlyle’s latest productions, proceeds to give this graphic and
interesting sketch of his personal appearance and conversation:

“Passing from the political phase of these productions (the ‘Latter Day
Pamphlets’), which is not my vocation to discuss, I found for myself one
very peculiar charm in the perusal of them—they seemed such perfect
transcripts of the conversation of Thomas Carlyle. With something more of
set continuity—of composition—but essentially the same thing, the Latter
Day Pamphlets’ are in their own way a ‘Boswell’s Life’ of Carlyle. As I
read and read, I was gradually transported from my club-room, with its
newspaper-clad tables, and my dozing fellow-loungers, only kept half awake
by periodical titillations of snuff, and carried in spirit to the grave
and quiet sanctum in Chelsea, where Carlyle dispenses wisdom and
hospitality with equally unstinted hand. The long, tall, spare figure is
before me—wiry, though, and elastic, and quite capable of taking a long,
tough spell through the moors of Ecclefechan, or elsewhere—stretched at
careless, homely ease in his elbow-chair, yet ever with strong natural
motions and starts, as the inward spirit stirs. The face, too, is before
me—long and thin, with a certain tinge of paleness, but no sickness or
attenuation, form muscular and vigorously marked, and not wanting some
glow of former rustic color—pensive, almost solemn, yet open, and cordial,
and tender, very tender. The eye, as generally happens, is the chief
outward index of the soul—an eye is not easy to describe, but _felt_ ever
after one has looked thereon and therein. It is dark and full, shadowed
over by a compact, prominent forehead. But the depth, the expression, the
far inner play of it—who could transfer that even to the eloquent canvas,
far less to this very _in_-eloquent paper? It is not brightness, it is not
flash, it is not power even—something beyond all these. The expression is,
so to speak, heavy laden—as if be-tokening untold burdens of thought, and
long, long fiery struggles, resolutely endured—endured until they had been
in some practical manner overcome; to adopt his own fond epithet, and it
comes nearest to the thing, his is the heroic eye, but of a hero who has
done hard battle against Paynim hosts. This is no dream of mine—I have
often heard this peculiarity remarked. The whole form and expression of
the face remind me of Dante—it wants the classic element, and the mature
and matchless harmony which distinguish the countenance of the great
Florentine; but something in the cast and in the look, especially the
heavy laden, but dauntless eye, is very much alike. But he speaks to me.
The tongue has the _sough_ of Annandale—an echo of the Solway, with its
compliments to old Father Thames. A keen, sharp, ringing voice, in the
genuine Border key, but tranquil and sedate withal—neighborly and frank,
and always in unison with what is uttered. Thus does the presence of
Thomas Carlyle rise before me—a ‘true man’ in all his bearings and in all
his sayings. And in this same guise do I seem to hear from him all those
‘Latter Day Pamphlets.’ Even such in his conversation—he sees the very
thing he speaks of; it breathes and moves palpable to him, and hence his
words form a picture. When you come from him, the impression is like
having seen a great brilliant panorama; every thing had been made visible
and naked to your sight. But more and better far than that; you bear home
with you an indelible feeling of love for the man—deep at the heart, long
as life. No man has ever inspired more of this personal affection. Not to
love Carlyle when you know him is something unnatural, as if one should
say they did not love the breeze that fans their cheek, or the vine-tree
which has refreshed them both with its leafy shade and its exuberant
juices. He abounds, himself, in love and in good works. His life, not only
as a ‘writer of books,’ but as a man among his fellows, has been a
continued shower of benefits. The young men, more especially, to whom he
has been the good Samaritan, pouring oil upon their wounds, and binding up
their bruised limbs, and putting them on the way of recovery of health and
useful energy—the number of such can scarcely be told, and will never be
known till the great day of accounts. One of these, who in his orisons
will ever remember him, has just read to me, with tears of grateful
attachment in his eyes, portions of a letter of counsel and encouragement
which he received from him in the hour of darkness, and which was but the
prelude to a thousand acts of substantial kindness and of graceful
attention. As the letter contains no secret, and may fall as a fructifying
seed into some youthful bosom that may be entering upon its trials and
struggles, a quotation from it will form an appropriate _finale_ at this
time. He thus writes: ‘It will be good news, in all times coming, to learn
that such a life as yours unfolds itself according to its promise, and
_becomes_ in some tolerable degree what it is capable of being. The
problem is your own, to make or to mar—a great problem for you, as the
like is for every man born into this world. You have my entire sympathy in
your denunciation of the “explosive” character. It is frequent in these
times, and deplorable wherever met with. Explosions are ever wasteful,
woeful; central fire should not explode itself, but lie silent, far down
at the centre; and make all good fruits _grow_! We can not too often
repeat to ourselves, “Strength is seen, not in spasms, but in stout
bearing of burdens.” You can take comfort in the meanwhile, if you need
it, by the experience of all wise men, that a right heavy burden is
precisely the thing wanted for a young strong man. Grievous to be borne;
but bear it well, you will find it one day to have been verily blessed. “I
would not, for any money,” says the brave Jean Paul, in his quaint way. “I
would not, for any money, have had money in my youth!” He speaks a truth
there, singular as it may seem to many. These young obscure years ought to
be incessantly employed in gaining knowledge of things worth knowing,
especially of heroic human souls worth knowing. And you may believe me,
the obscurer such years are, it is apt to be the better. Books are
needful; but yet not many books; a few well read. An open, true, patient,
and valiant soul is needed; that is the one thing needful.’ ”


One morning, about five years ago, I called by appointment on Mr. John
Balance, the fashionable pawnbroker, to accompany him to Liverpool, in
pursuit for a Levanting customer—for Balance, in addition to pawning, does
a little business in the sixty per cent. line. It rained in torrents when
the cab stopped at the passage which leads past the pawning boxes to his
private door. The cabman rang twice, and at length Balance appeared,
looming through the mist and rain in the entry, illuminated by his
perpetual cigar. As I eyed him rather impatiently, remembering that trains
wait for no man, something like a hairy dog, or a bundle of rags, rose up
at his feet, and barred his passage for a moment. Then Balance cried out
with an exclamation, in answer apparently to a something I could not hear,
“What, man alive!—slept in the passage!—there, take that, and get some
breakfast, for Heaven’s sake!” So saying, he jumped into the “Hansom,” and
we bowled away at ten miles an hour, just catching the Express as the
doors of the station were closing. My curiosity was full set—for although
Balance can be free with his money, it is not exactly to beggars that his
generosity is usually displayed; so when comfortably ensconced in a
_coupé_, I finished with—

“You are liberal with your money this morning: pray, how often do you give
silver to street cadgers?—because I shall know now what walk to take when
flats and sharps leave off buying law.”

Balance, who would have made an excellent parson if he had not been bred
to a case-hardening trade, and has still a soft bit left in his heart that
is always fighting with his hard head, did not smile at all, but looked as
grim as if squeezing a lemon into his Saturday night’s punch. He answered
slowly, “A cadger—yes; a beggar—a miserable wretch, he is now; but let me
tell you, Master David, that that miserable bundle of rags was born and
bred a gentleman; the son of a nobleman, the husband of an heiress, and
has sat and dined at tables where you and I, Master David, are only
allowed to view the plate by favor of the butler. I have lent him
thousands, and been well paid. The last thing I had from him was his court
suit; and I hold now his bill for one hundred pounds that will be paid, I
expect, when he dies.”

“Why, what nonsense you are talking! you must be dreaming this morning.
However, we are alone, I’ll light a weed, in defiance of Railway law, you
shall spin that yarn; for, true or untrue, it will fill up the time to

“As for yarn,” replied Balance, “the whole story is short enough; and as
for truth, that you may easily find out if you like to take the trouble. I
thought the poor wretch was dead, and I own it put me out meeting him this
morning, for I had a curious dream last night.”

“Oh, hang your dreams! Tell us about this gentleman beggar that bleeds you
of half-crowns—that melts the heart even of a pawnbroker!”

“Well, then, that beggar is the illegitimate son of the late Marquis of
Hoopborough by a Spanish lady of rank. He received a first-rate education,
and was brought up in his father’s house. At a very early age he obtained
an appointment in a public office, was presented by the marquis at court,
and received into the first society, where his handsome person and
agreeable manners made him a great favorite. Soon after coming of age, he
married the daughter of Sir E. Bumper, who brought him a very handsome
fortune, which was strictly settled on herself. They lived in splendid
style, kept several carriages, a house in town, and a place in the
country. For some reason or other, idleness, or to please his lady’s
pride, he resigned his appointment. His father died and left him nothing;
indeed, he seemed at that time very handsomely provided for.

“Very soon Mr. and Mrs. Molinos Fitz-Roy began to disagree. She was cold,
correct—he was hot and random. He was quite dependent on her, and she made
him feel it. When he began to get into debt, he came to me. At length some
shocking quarrel occurred; some case of jealousy on the wife’s side, not
without reason, I believe; and the end of it was, Mr. Fitz-Roy was turned
out of doors. The house was his wife’s, the furniture was his wife’s, and
the fortune was his wife’s—he was, in fact, her pensioner. He left with a
few hundred pounds ready money, and some personal jewelry, and went to an
hotel. On these and credit he lived. Being illegitimate, he had no
relations; being a fool, when he spent his money he lost his friends. The
world took his wife’s part, when they found she had the fortune, and the
only parties who interfered were her relatives, who did their best to make
the quarrel incurable. To crown all, one night he was run over by a cab,
was carried to a hospital, and lay there for months, and was during
several weeks of the time unconscious. A message to the wife, by the hands
of one of his debauched companions, sent by a humane surgeon, obtained an
intimation that ‘if he died, Mr. Croak, the undertaker to the family, had
orders to see to the funeral,’ and that Mrs. Molinos was on the point of
starting for the Continent, not to return for some years. When Fitz-Roy
was discharged, he came to me limping on two sticks, to pawn his court
suit, and told me his story. I was really sorry for the fellow, such a
handsome, thoroughbred-looking man. He was going then into the west
somewhere, to try to hunt out a friend. ‘What to do, Balance,’ he said, ‘I
don’t know. I can’t dig, and unless somebody will make me their
gamekeeper, I must starve, or beg, as my Jezebel bade me when we parted!’

“I lost sight of Molinos for a long time, and when I next came upon him it
was in the Rookery of Westminster, in a low lodging-house, where I was
searching with an officer for stolen goods. He was pointed out to me as
the ‘gentleman cadger,’ because he was so free with his money when ‘in
luck.’ He recognized me, but turned away then. I have since seen him, and
relieved him more than once, although he never asks for any thing. How he
lives, Heaven knows. Without money, without friends, without useful
education of any kind, he tramps the country, as you saw him, perhaps
doing a little hop-picking or hay-making, in season, only happy when he
obtains the means to get drunk. I have heard through the kitchen whispers,
that you know come to me, that he is entitled to some property; and I
expect if he were to die his wife would pay the hundred pound bill I hold;
at any rate, what I have told you I know to be true, and the bundle of
rags I relieved just now is known in every thieves’ lodging in England as
the ‘gentleman cadger.’ ”

This story produced an impression on me—I am fond of speculation, and like
the excitement of a legal hunt as much as some do a fox-chase: A gentleman
a beggar, a wife rolling in wealth, rumors of unknown property due to the
husband: it seemed as if there were pickings for me amidst this carrion of

Before returning from Liverpool, I had purchased the gentleman beggar’s
acceptance from Balance. I then inserted in the “Times” the following
advertisement: “_Horatio Molinos Fitz-Roy_.—If this gentleman will apply
to David Discount, Esq., Solicitor, St. James’s, he will hear of something
to his advantage. Any person furnishing Mr. F.’s correct address, shall
receive 1£. 1_s._ reward. He was last seen,” &c. Within twenty-four hours
I had ample proof of the wide circulation of the “Times.” My office was
besieged with beggars of every degree, men and women, lame and blind,
Irish, Scotch, and English, some on crutches, some in bowls, some in
go-carts. They all knew him as the “gentleman,” and I must do the regular
fraternity of tramps the justice to say, that not one would answer a
question until he made certain that I meant the “gentleman” no harm.

One evening, about three weeks after the appearance of the advertisement,
my clerk announced “another beggar.” There came in an old man leaning upon
a staff, clad in a soldier’s great coat all patched and torn, with a
battered hat, from under which a mass of tangled hair fell over his
shoulders and half concealed his face. The beggar, in a weak, wheezy,
hesitating tone, said, “You have advertised for Molinos Fitz-Roy. I hope
you don’t mean him any harm; he is sunk, I think, too low for enmity now;
and surely no one would sport with such misery as his.” These last words
were uttered in a sort of piteous whisper.

I answered quickly, “Heaven forbid I should sport with misery: I mean and
hope to do him good, as well as myself.”

“Then, sir, I am Molinos Fitz-Roy!”

While we were conversing candles had been brought in. I have not very
tender nerves—my head would not agree with them—but I own I started and
shuddered when I saw and knew that the wretched creature before me was
under thirty years of age and once a gentleman. Sharp, aquiline features,
reduced to literal skin and bone, were begrimed and covered with dry fair
hair; the white teeth of the half-open mouth shattered with eagerness, and
made more hideous the foul pallor of the rest of the countenance. As he
stood leaning on a staff half bent, his long, yellow bony fingers clasped
over the crutch-head of his stick, he was indeed a picture of misery,
famine, squalor, and premature age, too horrible to dwell upon. I made him
sit down, and sent for some refreshment which he devoured like a ghoul,
and set to work to unravel his story. It was difficult to keep him to the
point; but with pains I learned what convinced me that he was entitled to
some property, whether great or small there was no evidence. On parting, I
said, “Now, Mr. F., you must stay in town while I make proper inquiries.
What allowance will be enough to keep you comfortably?”

He answered humbly, after much pressing, “Would you think ten shillings
too much?”

I don’t like, if I do those things at all, to do them shabbily, so I said,
“Come every Saturday and you shall have a pound.” He was profuse in
thanks, of course, as all such men are as long as distress lasts.

I had previously learned that my ragged client’s wife was in England,
living in a splendid house in Hyde Park Gardens, under her maiden name. On
the following day the Earl of Owing called upon me, wanting five thousand
pounds by five o’clock the same evening. It was a case of life or death
with him, so I made my terms, and took advantage of his pressure to
execute a _coup de main_. I proposed that he should drive me home to
receive the money, calling at Mrs. Molinos in Hyde Park Gardens, on our
way. I knew that the coronet and liveries of his father, the marquis,
would insure me an audience with Mrs. Molinos Fitz-Roy.

My scheme answered. I was introduced into the lady’s presence. She was,
and probably is, a very stately, handsome woman, with a pale complexion,
high solid forehead, regular features, thin, pinched, self-satisfied
mouth. My interview was very short, I plunged into the middle of the
affair, but had scarcely mentioned the word husband, when she interrupted
me with, “I presume you have lent this profligate person money, and want
me to pay you.” She paused, and then said, “He shall not have a farthing.”
As she spoke, her white face became scarlet.

“But, madam, the man is starving. I have strong reasons for believing he
is entitled to property, and if you refuse any assistance, I must take
other measures.” She rang the bell, wrote something rapidly on a card;
and, as the footman appeared, pushed it toward me across the table, with
the air of touching a toad, saying, “There, sir, is the address of my
solicitors; apply to them if you think you have any claim. Robert, show
the person out, and take care he is not admitted again.”

So far I had effected nothing; and, to tell the truth, felt rather
crest-fallen under the influence of that grand manner peculiar to certain
great ladies and to all great actresses.

My next visit was to the attorneys, Messrs. Leasem and Fashun, of
Lincoln’s Inn Square, and there I was at home. I had had dealings with the
firm before. They are agents for half the aristocracy, who always run in
crowds like sheep after the same wine-merchants, the same architects, the
same horse-dealers, and the same law-agents. It may be doubted whether the
quality of law and land management they get on this principle is quite
equal to their wine and horses. At any rate, my friends of Lincoln’s Inn,
like others of the same class, are distinguished by their courteous
manners, deliberate proceedings, innocence of legal technicalities, long
credit, and heavy charges. Leasem, the elder partner, wears powder and a
huge bunch of seals, lives in Queen-square, drives a brougham, gives the
dinners and does the cordial department. He is so strict in performing the
latter duty, that he once addressed a poacher who had shot a duke’s
keeper, as “my dear creature,” although he afterward hung him.

Fashun has chambers in St. James-street, drives a cab, wears a tip, and
does the grand haha style.

My business lay with Leasem. The interviews and letters passing were
numerous. However, it came at last to the following dialogue:

“Well, my dear Mr. Discount,” began Mr. Leasem, who hates me like poison.
“I’m really very sorry for that poor dear Molinos—knew his father well; a
great man, a perfect gentleman; but you know what women are, eh, Mr.
Discount? My client won’t advance a shilling; she knows it would only be
wasted in low dissipation. Now, don’t you think (this was said very
insinuatingly)—don’t you think he had better be sent to the workhouse;
very comfortable accommodations there, I can assure you—meat twice a week,
and excellent soup; and then, Mr. D., we might consider about allowing you
something for that bill.”

“Mr. Leasem, can you reconcile it to your conscience to make such an
arrangement? Here’s a wife rolling in luxury, and a husband starving!”

“No, Mr. Discount, not starving; there is the workhouse, as I observed
before; besides, allow me to suggest that these appeals to feeling are
quite unprofessional—quite unprofessional.”

“But, Mr. Leasem, touching this property which the poor man is entitled

“Why, there again, Mr. D., you must excuse me; you really must. I don’t
say he is; I don’t say he is not. If you know he is entitled to property,
I am sure you know how to proceed; the law is open to you, Mr.
Discount—the law is open; and a man of your talent will know how to use

“Then, Mr. Leasem, you mean that I must, in order to right this starving
man, file a bill of discovery, to extract from you the particulars of his
rights. You have the marriage settlement, and all the information, and you
decline to allow a pension, or afford any information; the man is to
starve, or go to the workhouse.”

“Why, Mr. D., you are so quick and violent, it really is not professional;
but you see (here a subdued smile of triumph), it has been decided that a
solicitor is not bound to afford such information as you ask, to the
injury of his client.”

“Then you mean that this poor Molinos may rot and starve, while you keep
secret from him, at his wife’s request, his title to an income, and that
the Court of Chancery will back you in this iniquity?”

I kept repeating the word “starve,” because I saw it made my respectable
opponent wince.

“Well, then, just listen to me. I know that in the happy state of your
equity law, chancery can’t help my client; but I have another plan: I
shall go hence to my office, issue a writ, and take your client’s husband
in execution—as soon as he is lodged in jail, I shall file his schedule in
the Insolvent Court, and when he comes up for his discharge, I shall put
you in the witness-box, and examine you on oath, ‘touching any property of
which you know the insolvent to be possessed,’ and where will be your
privileged communications then?”

The respectable Leasem’s face lengthened in a twinkling, his comfortable
confident air vanished, he ceased twiddling his gold chain, and, at
length, he muttered,

“Suppose we pay the debt?”

“Why, then, I’ll arrest him the day after for another.”

“But, my dear Mr. Discount, surely such conduct would not be quite

“That’s my business; my client has been wronged, I am determined to right
him, and when the aristocratic firm, of Leasem and Fashun takes refuge
according to the custom of respectable repudiators, in the cool arbors of
the Court of Chancery, why, a mere bill-discounting attorney like David
Discount need not hesitate about cutting a bludgeon out of the Insolvent

“Well, well, Mr. D., you are so warm—so fiery; we must deliberate—we must
consult. You will give me until the day after to-morrow, and then we’ll
write you our final determination; in the meantime, send us a copy of your
authority to act for Mr. Molinos Fitz-Roy.”

Of course, I lost no time in getting the gentleman beggar to sign a proper

On the appointed day came a communication with the L. and F. seal, which I
opened, not without unprofessional eagerness. It was as follows:

“_In re Molinos Fitz-Roy and Another._

“Sir—In answer to your application on behalf of Mr. Molinos Fitz-Roy, we
beg to inform you that under the administration of a paternal aunt who
died intestate, your client is entitled to two thousand five hundred
pounds eight shillings and sixpence, Three per Cents.; one thousand five
hundred pounds nineteen shillings and fourpence, Three per Cents. Reduced;
one thousand pounds, Long Annuities; five hundred pounds, Bank Stock;
three thousand five hundred pounds, India Stock; besides other securities,
making up about ten thousand pounds, which we are prepared to transfer
over to Mr. Molinos Fitz-Roy’s direction forthwith.”

Here was a windfall! It quite took away my breath.

At dusk came my gentleman beggar, and what puzzled me was, how to break
the news to him. Being very much overwhelmed with business that day, I had
not much time for consideration. He came in rather better dressed than
when I first saw him, with only a week’s beard on his chin; but, as usual,
not quite sober. Six weeks had elapsed since our first interview. He was
still the humble, trembling, low-voiced creature, I first knew him.

After a prelude, I said, “I find, Mr. F., you are entitled to something;
pray, what do you mean to give me in addition to my bill, for obtaining
it?” He answered rapidly, “Oh, take half; if there is one hundred pounds,
take half; if there is five hundred pounds, take half.”

“No, no; Mr. F., I don’t do business in that way, I shall be satisfied
with ten per cent.”

It was so settled. I then led him out into the street, impelled to tell
him the news, yet dreading the effect; not daring to make the revelation
in my office, for fear of a scene.

I began hesitatingly, “Mr. Fitz-Roy, I am happy to say, that I find you
are entitled to .....ten thousand pounds!”

“Ten thousand pounds!” he echoed. “Ten thousand pounds!” he shrieked. “Ten
thousand pounds!” he yelled, seizing my arm violently. “You are a brick.
Here, cab! cab!” Several drove up—the shout might have been heard a mile
off. He jumped in the first.

“Where to?” said the driver.

“To a tailor’s, you rascal!”

“Ten thousand pounds! ha, ha, ha!” he repeated hysterically, when in the
cab; and every moment grasping my arm. Presently he subsided, looked me
straight in the face, and muttered with agonizing fervor,

“What a jolly brick you are!”

The tailor, the hosier, the bootmaker, the hair-dresser, were in turn
visited by this poor pagan of externals. As, by degrees, under their
hands, he emerged from the beggar to the gentleman, his spirits rose; his
eyes brightened; he walked erect, but always nervously grasping my arm;
fearing, apparently, to lose sight of me for a moment, lest his fortune
should vanish with me. The impatient pride with which he gave his orders
to the astonished tradesmen for the finest and best of every thing, and
the amazed air of the fashionable hairdresser when he presented his matted
locks and stubble chin, to be “cut and shaved,” may be _acted_—it can not
be described.

By the time the external transformation was complete, and I sat down in a
_Café_ in the Haymarket, opposite a haggard but handsome,
thoroughbred-looking man, whose air, with the exception of the wild eyes
and deeply browned face, did not differ from the stereotyped men about
town sitting around us, Mr. Molinos Fitz-Roy had already almost forgotten
the past; he bullied the waiter, and criticised the wine, as if he had
done nothing else but dine and drink and scold there all the days of his

Once he wished to drink my health, and would have proclaimed his whole
story to the coffee-room assembly, in a raving style. When I left he
almost wept in terror at the idea of losing sight of me. But, allowing for
these ebullitions—the natural result of such a whirl of events—he was
wonderfully calm and self-possessed.

The next day, his first care was to distribute fifty pounds among his
friends the cadgers, at a house of call in Westminster, and formally to
dissolve his connection with them; those present undertaking for the
“fraternity,” that, for the future, he should never be noticed by them in
public or private.

I can not follow his career much further. Adversity had taught him
nothing. He was soon again surrounded by the well-bred vampires who had
forgotten him when penniless; but they amused him, and that was enough.
The ten thousand pounds were rapidly melting when he invited me to a grand
dinner at Richmond, which included a dozen of the most agreeable,
good-looking, well-dressed dandies of London, interspersed with a display
of pretty butterfly bonnets. We dined deliciously, and drank as men do of
iced wines in the dog-days—looking down from Richmond Hill.

One of the pink bonnets crowned Fitz-Roy with a wreath of flowers; he
looked—less the intellect—as handsome as Alcibiades. Intensely excited and
flushed, he rose with a champagne glass in his hand to propose my health.

The oratorical powers of his father had not descended on him. Jerking out
sentences by spasms, at length he said, “I was a beggar—I am a
gentleman—thanks to this—”

Here he leaned on my shoulder heavily a moment, and then fell back. We
raised him, loosened his neckcloth—

“Fainted!” said the ladies.

“Drunk!” said the gentlemen.

He was _dead!_


In all my observations of the habits of living things, I have never seen
any thing more curious than the doings of one species of these
ammophilæ—lovers of sand. I have watched them day after day, and hour
after hour, in my garden, and also on the sandy banks on the wastes about
Esher, in Surrey, and always with unabated wonder. They are about an inch
long, with orange-colored bodies, and black heads and wings. They are
slender and most active. You see them on the warm borders of your garden,
or on warm, dry banks, in summer, when the sun shines hotly. They are
incessantly and most actively hunting about. They are in pursuit of a
particular gray spider with a large abdomen. For these they pursue their
chase with a fiery quickness and avidity. The spiders are on the watch to
seize flies; but here we have the tables turned, and these are flies on
the watch to discover and kill the spiders. These singular insects seem
all velocity and fire. They come flying at a most rapid rate, light down
on the dry soil, and commence an active search. The spiders lie under the
leaves of plants, and in little dens under the dry little clods. Into all
these places the sand-wasp pops his head. He bustles along here and there,
flirting his wings, and his whole body all life and fire. And now he moves
off to a distance, hunts about there, then back to his first place, beats
the old ground carefully over, as a pointer beats a field. He searches
carefully round every little knob of earth, and pops his head into every
crevice. Ever and anon, he crouches close among the little clods as a
tiger would crouch for his prey. He seems to be listening, or smelling
down into the earth, as if to discover his prey by every sense which he
possesses, He goes round every stalk, and descends into every hollow about
them. When he finds the spider, he dispatches him in a moment, and seizing
him by the centre of his chest, commences dragging him off backward.

He conveys his prey to a place of safety. Frequently he carries it up some
inches into a plant, and lodges it among the green leaves. Seeing him do
this, I poked his spider down with a stick after he had left it; but he
speedily returned, and finding it fallen down, he immediately carried it
up again to the same place.

Having thus secured his spider, he selects a particular spot of earth, the
most sunny and warm, and begins to dig a pit. He works with all his might,
digging up the earth with his formidable mandibles, and throwing it out
with his feet, as a dog throws out the earth when scratching after a
rabbit. Every few seconds he ascends, tail first, out of his hole, clears
away the earth about its mouth with his legs, and spreads it to a distance
on the surface. When he has dug the hole, perhaps two inches deep, he
comes forth eagerly, goes off for his spider, drags it down from its
lodgment, and brings it to the mouth of his hole. He now lets himself down
the hole, tail first, and then, putting forth his head, takes the spider,
and turns it into the most suitable position for dragging it in.

It must be observed that this hole is made carefully of only about the
width of his body, and therefore the spider can not be got into it except
lengthwise, and then by stout pulling. Well, he turns it lengthwise, and
seizing it, commences dragging it in. At first, you would imagine this
impossible; but the sand-wasp is strong, and the body of the spider is
pliable. You soon see it disappear. Down into the cylindrical hole it
goes, and anon you perceive the sand-wasp pushing up its black head beside
it; and having made his way out he again sets to work, and pushes the
spider with all his force to the bottom of the den.

And what is all this for? Is the spider laid up in his larder for himself?
No; it is food for his children? It is their birth-place, and their supply
of provision while they are in the larva state.

We have been all along calling this creature he, for it has a most
masculine look; but it is in reality a she; it is the female sand-wasp,
and all this preparation is for the purpose of laying her eggs. For this
she has sought and killed the spider, and buried it here. She has done it
all wittingly. She has chosen one particular spider, and that only, for
that is the one peculiarly adapted to nourish her young.

So here it is safely stored away in her den; and she now descends, tail
first, and piercing the pulpy abdomen of the spider, she deposits her egg
or eggs. That being done, she carefully begins filling in the hole with
earth. She rakes it up with her legs and mandibles, and fills in the hole,
every now and then turning round and going backward into the hole to stamp
down the earth with her feet, and to ram it down with her body as a
rammer. When the hole is filled, it is curious to observe with what care
she levels the surface, and removes the surrounding lumps of earth, laying
some first over the tomb of the spider, and others about, so as to make
that place look as much as possible like the surface all round. And before
she has done with it—and she works often for ten minutes at this leveling
and disguising before she is perfectly satisfied—she makes the place so
exactly like all the rest of the surface, that it will require good eyes
and close observation to recognize it.

She has now done her part, and Nature must do the rest. She has deposited
her eggs in the body of the spider, and laid that body in the earth in the
most sunny spot she can find. She has laid it so near the surface that the
sun will act on it powerfully, yet deep enough to conceal it from view.
She has, with great art and anxiety, destroyed all traces of the hole, and
the effect will soon commence. The heat of the sun will hatch the egg. The
larva, or young grub of the sand-wasp, will become alive, and begin to
feed on the pulpy body of the spider in which it is enveloped. This food
will suffice it till it is ready to emerge to daylight, and pass through
the different stages of its existence. Like the ostrich, the sand-wasp
thus leaves her egg in the sand till the sun hatches it, and having once
buried it, most probably never knows herself where it is deposited. It is
left to Nature and Providence


I suppose you thought I was dead? No such thing. Don’t flatter yourselves
that I haven’t got my eye upon you. I am wide awake, and you give me
plenty to look at.

I have begun my great work about you, I have been collecting materials
from the Horse, to begin with. You are glad to hear it, ain’t you? Very
likely. Oh, he gives you a nice character! He makes you out a charming set
of fellows.

He informs me by-the-by, that he is a distant relation of the pony that
was taken up in a balloon a few weeks ago; and that the pony’s account of
your going to see him at Vauxhall Gardens, is an amazing thing. The pony
says that when he looked round on the assembled crowd, come to see the
realization of the wood-cut in the bill, he found it impossible to
discover which was the real Mister Green—there were so many Mister
Greens—and they were all so very green!

But that’s the way with you. You know it is. Don’t tell me! You’d go to
see any thing that other people went to see. And don’t flatter yourselves
that I am referring to “the vulgar curiosity,” as you choose to call it,
when you mean some curiosity in which you don’t participate yourselves.
The polite curiosity in this country is as vulgar as any curiosity in the

Of course you’ll tell me, no it isn’t; but I say, yes it is. What have you
got to say for yourselves about the Nepaulese princes, I should like to
know? Why, there has been more crowding, and pressing, and pushing, and
jostling, and struggling, and striving, in genteel houses this last
season, on account of those Nepaulese princes, than would have taken place
in vulgar Cremorne Gardens and Greenwich Park, at Easter time and
Whitsuntide! And what for? Do you know any thing about ’em? Have you any
idea why they came here? Can you put your finger on their country in the
map? Have you ever asked yourselves a dozen common questions about its
climate, natural history, government, productions, customs, religion,
manners? Not you! Here are a couple of swarthy princes very much out of
their element, walking about in wide muslin trowsers, and sprinkled all
over with gems (like the clockwork figure on the old round platform in the
street, grown-up), and they’re fashionable outlandish monsters, and it’s a
new excitement for you to get a stare at ’em. As to asking ’em to dinner,
and seeing ’em sit at table without eating in your company (unclean
animals as you are!), you fall into raptures at that. Quite delicious,
isn’t it? Ugh, you dunder-headed boobies!

I wonder what there is, new and strange, that you _wouldn’t_ lionize, as
you call it. Can you suggest any thing! It’s not a hippopotamus, I
suppose. I hear from my brother-in-law in the Zoological Gardens, that you
are always pelting away into the Regent’s Park, by thousands, to see the
hippopotamus. Oh, you’re very fond of hippopotami, ain’t you? You study
one attentively, when you _do_ see one, don’t you? You come away so much
wiser than when you went, reflecting so profoundly on the wonders of the

Bah! You follow one another like wild geese; but you are not so good to

These, however, are not the observations of my friend the Horse. _He_
takes you, in another point of view. Would you like to read his
contribution to my Natural History of you? No? You shall then.

He is a cab-horse now. He wasn’t always, but he is now, and his usual
stand is close to our proprietor’s usual stand. That’s the way we have
come into communication, we “dumb animals.” Ha, ha! Dumb, too! Oh, the
conceit of you men, because you can bother the community out of their five
wits, by making speeches!

Well. I mentioned to this Horse that I should be glad to have his opinions
and experiences of you. Here they are:

“At the request of my honorable friend the Raven, I proceed to offer a few
remarks in reference to the animal called Man. I have had varied
experience of this strange creature for fifteen years, and am now driven
by a Man, in the hackney cabriolet, number twelve thousand four hundred
and fifty-two.

“The sense Man entertains of his own inferiority to the nobler animals—and
I am now more particularly referring to the Horse—has impressed me
forcibly, in the course of my career. If a man knows a horse well, he is
prouder of it than of any knowledge of himself, within the range of his
limited capacity. He regards it as the sum of all human acquisition. If he
is learned in a horse, he has nothing else to learn. And the same remark
applies, with some little abatement, to his acquaintance with dogs. I have
seen a good deal of man in my time, but I think I have never met a man who
didn’t feel it necessary to his reputation to pretend, on occasion, that
he knew something of horses and dogs, though he really knew nothing. As to
making us a subject of conversation, my opinion is that we are more talked
about than history, philosophy, literature, art, and science, all put
together. I have encountered innumerable gentlemen in the country, who
were totally incapable of interest in any thing but horses and dogs—except
cattle. And I have always been given to understand that they were the
flower of the civilized world.

“It is very doubtful to me, whether there is, upon the whole, any thing
man is so ambitious to imitate as an ostler, jockey, a stage coachman, a
horse-dealer, or dog-fancier. There may be some other character which I do
not immediately remember, that fires him with emulation; but if there be,
I am sure it is connected with horses or dogs, or both. This is an
unconscious compliment, on the part of the tyrant, to the nobler animals,
which I consider to be very remarkable. I have known lords and baronets,
and members of parliament, out of number, who have deserted every other
calling to become but indifferent stablemen or kennelmen, and be cheated
on all hands, by the real aristocracy of those pursuits who were regularly
born to the business.

“All this, I say, is a tribute to our superiority, which I consider to be
very remarkable. Yet, still I can’t quite understand it. Man can hardly
devote himself to us, in admiration of our virtues, because he never
imitates them. We horses are as honest, though I say it, as animals can
be. If, under the pressure of circumstances, we submit to act at a circus,
for instance, we always show that we are acting. We never deceive any
body. We would scorn to do it. If we are called upon to do any thing in
earnest, we do our best. If we are required to run a race falsely, and to
lose when we could win, we are not to be relied upon to commit a fraud;
man must come in at that point, and force us to it. And the extraordinary
circumstance to me is, that man (whom I take to be a powerful species of
monkey) is always making us nobler animals the instruments of his meanness
and cupidity. The very name of our kind has become a byword for all sorts
of trickery and cheating. We are as innocent as counters at a game—and yet
this creature WILL play falsely with us!

“Man’s opinion, good or bad, is not worth much, as any rational horse
knows. But justice is justice; and what I complain of is, that mankind
talks of us as if we had something to do with all this. They say that such
a man was ‘ruined by horses.’ Ruined by horses! They can’t be open, even
in that, and say he was ruined by men; but they lay it at _our_
stable-door! As if we ever ruined any body, or were ever doing any thing
but being ruined ourselves, in our generous desire to fulfill the useful
purposes of our existence!

“In the same way, we get a bad name, as if we were profligate company. ‘So
and so got among horses, and it was all up with him.’ Why, _we_ would have
reclaimed him—_we_ would have made him temperate, industrious, punctual,
steady, sensible—what harm would he ever have got from _us_, I should wish
to ask?

“Upon the whole, speaking of him as I have found him, I should describe
man as an unmeaning and conceited creature, very seldom to be trusted, and
not likely to make advances toward the honesty of the nobler animals. I
should say that his power of warping the nobler animals to bad purposes,
and damaging their reputation by his companionship, is, next to the art of
growing oats, hay, carrots, and clover, one of his principal attributes.
He is very unintelligible in his caprices; seldom expressing with
distinctness what he wants of us; and relying greatly on our better
judgment to find out. He is cruel, and fond of blood—particularly at a
steeple-chase—and is very ungrateful.

“And yet, so far as I can understand, he worships us, too. He sets up
images of us (not particularly like, but meant to be) in the streets and
calls upon his fellows to admire them, and believe in them. As well as I
can make out, it is not of the least importance what images of men are put
astride upon these images of horses, for I don’t find any famous personage
among them—except one, and _his_ image seems to have been contracted for
by the gross. The jockeys who ride our statues are very queer jockeys, it
appears to me, but it is something to find man even posthumously sensible
of what he owes to us. I believe that when he has done any great wrong to
any very distinguished horse, deceased, he gets up a subscription to have
an awkward likeness of him made, and erects it in a public place, to be
generally venerated. I can find no other reason for the statues of us that

“It must be regarded as a part of the inconsistency of man, that he erects
no statues to the donkeys—who, though far inferior animals to ourselves,
have great claims upon him. I should think a donkey opposite the horse at
Hyde Park, another in Trafalgar-square, and a group of donkeys, in brass,
outside the Guild-hall of the city of London (for I believe the
common-council chamber is inside that building) would be pleasant and
appropriate memorials.

“I am not aware that I can suggest any thing more to my honorable friend
the Raven, which will not already have occurred to his fine intellect.
Like myself, he is the victim of brute force, and must bear it until the
present state of things is changed—as it possibly may be in the good time
which I understand is coming, if I wait a little longer.”


There! How do you like that? That’s the Horse! You shall have another
animal’s sentiments, soon. I have communicated with plenty of ’em, and
they are all down upon you. It’s not I alone who have found you out. You
are generally detected, I am happy to say, and shall be covered with

Talking about the horse, are you going to set up any more horses? Eh?
Think a bit. Come! You haven’t got horses enough yet, surely? Couldn’t you
put somebody else on horseback, and stick him up, at the cost of a few
thousands? You have already statues to most of the “benefactors of
mankind” (SEE ADVERTISEMENT) in your principal cities. You walk through
groves of great inventors, instructors, discoverers, assuagers of pain,
preventers of disease, suggesters of purifying thoughts, doers of noble
deeds. Finish the list. Come!

Whom will you hoist into the saddle? Let’s have a cardinal virtue! Shall
it be Faith? Hope? Charity? Ay, Charity’s the virtue to ride on horseback!
Let’s have Charity!

How shall we represent it? Eh? What do you think? Royal? Certainly. Duke?
Of course. Charity always was typified in that way, from the time of a
certain widow downward. And there’s nothing less left to put up; all the
commoners who were “benefactors of mankind” having had their statues in
the public places, long ago.

How shall we dress it? Rags? Low. Drapery? Commonplace. Field-Marshal’s
uniform? The very thing! Charity in a Field-Marshal’s uniform (none the
worse for wear) with thirty thousand pounds a year, public money, in its
pocket, and fifteen thousand more, public money, up behind, will be a
piece of plain, uncompromising truth in the highways, and an honor to the
country and the time.

Ha, ha, ha! You can’t leave the memory of an unassuming, honest,
good-natured, amiable old duke alone, without bespattering it with your
flunkeyism, can’t you? That’s right—and like you! Here are three brass
buttons in my crop. I’ll subscribe ’em all. One, to the statue of Charity;
one, to a statue of Hope; one, to a statue of Faith. For Faith, we’ll have
the Nepaulese Embassador on horseback—being a prince. And for Hope, we’ll
put the Hippopotamus on horseback, and so make a group.

Let’s have a meeting about it!


George Dilwyn was an American, a remarkable preacher among the Quakers.
About fifty years ago he came over to this country, on what we have
already said is termed a “Religious Visit,” and being in Cornwall, when I
was there, and at George Fox’s, in Falmouth—our aged relative still
narrates—soon became an object of great attraction, not only from his
powerful preaching, but from his extraordinary gift in conversation, which
he made singularly interesting from the introduction of curious passages
in his own life and experience.

His company was so much sought after, that a general invitation was given,
by his hospitable and wealthy entertainer, to all the Friends of the town
and neighborhood to come, and hear, and see him; and evening by evening,
their rooms were crowded by visitors, who sat on seats, side by side, as
in a public lecture-room.

Among other things, he related, that during the time of the revolutionary
war, one of the armies passing through a district in which a great number
of Friends resided, food was demanded from the inhabitants, which was
given to them. The following day the adverse army came up in pursuit, and
stripped them of every kind of provision that remained; and so great was
the strait to which they were reduced, that absolute famine was before
them. Their sufferings were extreme, as day after day went on, and no
prospect of relief was afforded them. Death seemed to stare them in the
face, and many a one was ready to despair. The forests around them were in
possession of the soldiers, and the game, which otherwise might have
yielded them subsistence, was killed or driven away.

After several days of great distress, they retired at night, still without
hope or prospect of succor. How great, then, was their surprise and cause
of thankfulness when, on the following morning, immense herds of wild deer
were seen standing around their inclosures, as if driven there for their
benefit! From whence they came none could tell, nor the cause of their
coming, but they suffered themselves to be taken without resistance; and
thus the whole people were saved, and had great store of provisions laid
up for many weeks.

Again, a similar circumstance occurred near the sea-shore, when the flying
and pursuing armies had stripped the inhabitants, and when, apparently to
add to their distress, the wind set in with such unusual violence, and the
sea drove the tide so far inland, that the people near the shore were
obliged to abandon their houses, and those in the town retreat to their
upper rooms. This also being during the night, greatly added to their
distress; and, like the others, they were ready to despair. Next morning,
however, they found that God had not been unmindful of them; for the tide
had brought up with it a most extraordinary shoal of mackerel, so that
every place was filled with them, where they remained ready taken, without
net or skill of man—a bountiful provision for the wants of the people,
till other relief could be obtained.

Another incident he related, which occurred in one of the back
settlements, when the Indians had been employed to burn the dwellings of
the settlers, and cruelly to murder the people. One of these solitary
habitations was in the possession of a Friend’s family. They lived in such
secure simplicity, that they had hitherto had no apprehension of danger,
and used neither bar nor bolt to their door, having no other means of
securing their dwelling from intrusion than by drawing in the leathern
thong by which the wooden latch inside was lifted from without.

The Indians had committed frightful ravages all around, burning and
murdering without mercy. Every evening brought forth tidings of horror,
and every night the unhappy settlers surrounded themselves with such
defenses as they could muster—even then, for dread, scarcely being able to
sleep. The Friend and his family, who had hitherto put no trust in the arm
of flesh, but had left all in the keeping of God, believing that man often
ran in his own strength to his own injury, had used so little precaution,
that they slept without even withdrawing the string, and were as yet
uninjured. Alarmed, however, at length, by the fears of others, and by the
dreadful rumors that surrounded them, they yielded to their fears on one
particular night, and, before retiring to rest, drew in the string, and
thus secured themselves as well as they were able.

In the dead of the night, the Friend, who had not been able to sleep,
asked his wife if she slept; and she replied that she could not, for her
mind was uneasy. Upon this, he confessed that the same was his case, and
that he believed it would be the safest for him to rise and put out the
string of the latch as usual. On her approving of this, it was done, and
the two lay down again, commending themselves to the keeping of God.

This had not occurred above ten minutes, when the dismal sound of the
war-whoop echoed through the forest, filling every heart with dread, and
almost immediately afterward, they counted the footsteps of seven men pass
the window of their chamber, which was on the ground-floor, and the next
moment the door-string was pulled, the latch lifted, and the door opened.
A debate of a few minutes took place, the purport of which, as it was
spoken in the Indian language, was unintelligible to the inhabitants; but
that it was favorable to them was proved by the door being again closed,
and the Indians retiring without having crossed the threshold.

The next morning they saw the smoke rising from burning habitations all
around them; parents were weeping for their children who were carried off,
and children lamenting over their parents who had been cruelly slain.

Some years afterward, when peace was restored, and the colonists had
occasion to hold conferences with the Indians, this Friend was appointed
as one for that purpose, and speaking in favor of the Indians, he related
the above incident; in reply to which, an Indian observed, that, by the
simple circumstance of putting out the latch-string, which proved
confidence rather than fear, their lives and their property had been
saved; for that he himself was one of that marauding party, and that, on
finding the door open, it was said—“These people shall live; they will do
us no harm, for they put their trust in the GREAT SPIRIT.”

During the whole American revolution, indeed, the Indians, though incited
by the whites to kill and scalp the enemy, never molested the Friends, as
the people of Father Onas, or William Penn, and as the avowed opponents of
all violence. Through the whole war, there were but two instances to the
contrary, and they were occasioned by the two Friends themselves. The one
was a young man, a tanner, who went to his tan-yard and back daily
unmolested, while devastation spread on all sides; but at length,
thoughtlessly carrying a gun to shoot some birds, the Indians, in ambush,
believed that he had deserted his principles, and shot him. The other was
a woman, who, when the dwellings of her neighbors were nightly fired, and
the people themselves murdered, was importuned by the officers of a
neighboring fort to take refuge there till the danger was over. For some
time she refused, and remained unharmed amid general destruction; but, at
length, letting in fear, she went for one night to the fort, but was so
uneasy, that the next morning she quitted it to return to her home. The
Indians, however, believed that she too had abandoned her principles, and
joined the fighting part of the community, and before she reached home she
was shot by them.


Dr. Paris has already shown, in a charming little book treating
scientifically of children’s toys, how easy even “philosophy in sport can
be made science in earnest.” An earlier genius cut out the whole alphabet
into the figures of uncouth animals, and inclosed them in a toy-box
representing Noah’s Ark, for the purpose of teaching children their
letters. Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, have been decimated; “yea, the
great globe itself,” has been parceled into little wooden sections, that
their readjustment into a continuous map might teach the infant conqueror
of the world the relative positions of distant countries. Archimedes might
have discovered the principle of the lever and the fundamental principles
of gravity upon a rocking-horse. In like manner he might have ascertained
the laws of hydrostatics, by observing the impetus of many natural and
artificial fountains, which must occasionally have come beneath his eye.
So also the principles of acoustics might even now be taught by the aid of
a penny whistle, and there is no knowing how much children’s nursery games
may yet be rendered subservient to the advancement of science. The famous
Dr. Cornelius Scriblerus had excellent notions on these subjects. He
determined that his son Martinus should be the most learned and
universally well-informed man of his age, and had recourse to all sorts of
devices in order to inspire him even unthinkingly with knowledge. He
determined that every thing should contribute to the improvement of his
mind—even his very dress. He therefore, his biographer informs us,
invented for him a geographical suit of clothes, which might give him some
hints of that science, and also of the commerce of different nations. His
son’s disposition to mathematics—for he was a remarkable child—was
discovered very early by his drawing parallel lines on his bread and
butter, and intersecting them at equal angles, so as to form the whole
superficies into squares. His father also wisely resolved that he should
acquire the learned languages, especially Greek—and remarking, curiously
enough, that young Martinus Scriblerus was remarkably fond of gingerbread,
the happy idea came into his parental head that his pieces of gingerbread
should be stamped with the letters of the Greek alphabet; and such was the
child’s avidity for knowledge, that the very first day he eat down to

When Sir Isaac Newton changed his residence and went to live in
Leicester-place, his next door neighbor was a widow lady, who was much
puzzled by the little she observed of the habits of the philosopher. One
of the Fellows of the Royal Society called upon her one day, when, among
other domestic news, she mentioned that some one had come to reside in the
adjoining house, who she felt certain was a poor mad gentleman. “And why
so?” asked her friend. “Because,” said she, “he diverts himself in the
oddest way imaginable. Every morning when the sun shines so brightly that
we are obliged to draw down the window-blinds, he takes his seat on a
little stool before a tub of soap-suds, and occupies himself for hours
blowing soap-bubbles through a common clay-pipe, which he intently watches
floating about until they burst. He is doubtless,” she added, “now at his
favorite diversion, for it is a fine day; do come and look at him.” The
gentleman smiled; and they went up-stairs, when after looking through the
stair-case window into the adjoining court-yard, he turned round and said,
“My dear lady, the person whom you suppose to be a poor lunatic, is no
other than the great Sir Isaac Newton studying the refraction of light
upon thin plates, a phenomenon which is beautifully exhibited upon the
surface of a common soap-bubble.”

The principle, illustrated by the examples we have given, has been
efficiently followed by the Directors of the Royal Polytechnic Institution
in Regent-street, London. Even the simplest models and objects they
exhibit in their extensive halls and galleries, expound—like Sir Isaac
Newton’s soap-bubble—some important principle of Science or Art.

On entering the Hall of Manufactures (as we did the other day) it was
impossible not to be impressed with the conviction that we are in an
utilitarian age in which the science of Mechanics advances with marvelous
rapidity. Here we observed steam-engines, hand-looms, and machines in
active operation, surrounding us with that peculiar din which makes the

    “Murmur, as with the sound of summer-flies.”

Passing into the “Gallery in the Great Hall,” we did not fail to derive a
momentary amusement, from observing the very different objects which
seemed most to excite the attention, and interest of the different
sight-seers. Here, stood obviously a country farmer examining the model of
a steam-plow; there, a Manchester or Birmingham manufacturer looking into
a curious and complicated weaving machine; here, we noticed a group of
ladies admiring specimens of elaborate carving in ivory, and personal
ornaments esteemed highly fashionable at the antipodes; and there, the
smiling faces of youth watching with eager eyes the little boats and
steamers paddling along the Water Reservoir in the central counter. But we
had scarcely looked around us, when a bell rang to announce a lecture on
Voltaic Electricity by Dr. Bachhoffner; and moving with a stream of people
up a short stair-case, we soon found ourselves in a very commodious and
well-arranged theatre. There are many universities and public institutions
that have not better lecture rooms than this theatre in the Royal
Polytechnic Institution. The lecture was elementary and exceedingly
instructive, pointing out and showing by experiments, the identity between
Magnetism and Electricity—light and heat; but notwithstanding the extreme
perspicuity of the Professor, it was our fate to sit next two old ladies
who seemed to be very incredulous about the whole business.

“If heat and light are the same thing,” asked one, “why don’t a flame come
out at the spout of a boiling tea-kettle?”

“The steam,” answered the other, “may account for that.”

“Hush!” cried somebody behind them; and the ladies were silent: but it was
plain they thought Voltaic Electricity had something to do with conjuring,
and that the lecturer might be a professor of Magic. The lecture over, we
returned to the Gallery, where we found the Diving Bell just about to be
put in operation. It is made of cast iron, and weighs three tons; the
interior being provided with seats, and lighted by openings in the crown,
upon which a plate of thick glass is secured. The weighty instrument
suspended by a massive chain to a large swing crane, was soon in motion,
when we observed our skeptical lady-friends join a party and enter, in
order, we presume, to make themselves more sure of the truth of the
diving-bell than they could do of the identity between light and heat. The
bell was soon swung round and lowered into a tank, which holds nearly ten
thousand gallons of water; but we confess our fears for the safety of its
inmates were greatly appeased, when we learned that the whole of this
reservoir of water could be emptied in less than one minute. Slowly and
steadily was the bell drawn up again, and we had the satisfaction of
seeing the enterprising ladies and their companions alight on _terra
firma_, nothing injured excepting that they were greatly flushed in the
face. A man, clad in a water-tight dress and surmounted with a
diving-helmet, next performed a variety of sub-aqueous feats, much to the
amusement and astonishment of the younger part of the audience, one of
whom shouted as he came up above the surface of the water, “Oh! ma’a!
Don’t he look like an Ogre!” and certainly the shining brass helmet and
staring large plate-glass eyes fairly warranted such a suggestion. The
principles of the diving-bell and of the diving-helmet are too well known
to require explanation: but the practical utility of these machines is
daily proved. Even while we now write, it has been ascertained that the
foundations of Blackfriars Bridge are giving way. The bed of the river,
owing to the constant ebb and flow of its waters, has sunk some six or
seven feet below its level since the bridge was built, thus undermining
its foundation; and this effect, it is presumed, has been greatly
augmented by the removal of the old London Bridge, the works surrounding
which operated as a dam in checking the force of the current. These
machines, also, are constantly used in repairing the bottom of docks,
landing-piers, and in the construction of breakwater works, such as those
which are at present being raised at Dover Harbor.

Among other remarkable objects in the museum of natural history we
recognized, swimming upon his shingly bed under a glass case, our old
friend the Gymnotus Electricus, or Electrical Eel. Truly, he is a
marvelous fish. The power which animals of every description possess in
adapting themselves to external and adventitious circumstances, is here
marvelously illustrated, for, notwithstanding this creature is surrounded
by the greatest possible amount of artificial circumstances, inasmuch as
instead of sporting in his own pellucid and sparkling waters of the river
Amazon, he is here confined in a glass prison, in water artificially
heated; instead of his natural food, he is here supplied with fish not
indigenous to his native country, and denied access to fresh air, with
sunlight sparkling upon the surface of the waves—he is here surrounded by
an impure and obscure atmosphere, with crowds of people constantly moving
to and fro and gazing upon him; yet, notwithstanding all these
disadvantageous circumstances, he has continued to thrive; nay, since we
saw him ten years ago, he has increased in size and is apparently very
healthy, notwithstanding that he is obviously quite blind.

This specimen of the Gymnotus Electricus was caught in the river Amazon,
and was brought over to this country by Mr. Potter, where it arrived on
the 12th of August, 1838, when he displayed it to the proprietors of the
Adelaide Gallery. In the first instance, there was some difficulty in
keeping him alive, for, whether from sickness, or sulkiness, he refused
food of every description, and is said to have eaten nothing from the day
he was taken, in March, 1838, to the 19th of the following October. He was
confided upon his arrival to the care of Mr. Bradley, who placed him in an
apartment the temperature of which could be maintained at about
seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit, and acting upon the suggestions of Baron
Humboldt, he endeavored to feed him with bits of boiled meat, worms,
frogs, fish, and bread, which were all tried in succession. But the animal
would not touch these. The plan adopted by the London fishmongers for
fattening the common eel was then had recourse to; a quantity of bullock’s
blood was put into the water, care being taken that it should be changed
daily, and this was attended with some beneficial effects, as the animal
gradually improved in health. In the month of October it occurred to Mr.
Bradley to tempt him with some small fish, and the first gudgeon thrown
into the water he darted at and swallowed with avidity. From that period
the same diet has been continued, and he is now fed three times a day, and
upon each occasion is given two or three carp, or perch, or gudgeon, each
weighing from two to three ounces. In watching his movements we observed,
that in swimming about he seems to delight in rubbing himself against the
gravel which forms the bed above which he floats, and the water
immediately becomes clouded with the mucus from which he thus relieves the
surface of his body.

When this species of fish was first discovered, marvelous accounts
respecting them were transmitted to the Royal Society: it was even said
that in the river Surinam, in the western province of Guiana, some existed
twenty feet long. The present specimen is forty inches in length; and
measures eighteen inches round the body; and his physiognomy justifies the
description given by one of the early narrators, who remarked, that the
Gymnotus “resembles one of our common eels, except that its head is flat,
and its mouth wide, like that of a cat-fish, without teeth.” It is
certainly ugly enough. On its first arrival in England, the proprietors
offered Professor Faraday (to whom this country may possibly discover,
within the next five hundred years, that it owes something) the privilege
of experimenting upon him for scientific purposes, and the result of a
great number of experiments, ingeniously devised, and executed with great
nicety, clearly proved the identity between the electricity of the fish
and the common electricity. The shock, the circuit, the spark, were
distinctly obtained: the galvanometer was sensibly affected; chemical
decompositions were obtained; an annealed steel needle became magnetic,
and the direction of its polarity indicated a current from the anterior to
the posterior parts of the fish, through the conductors used. The force
with which the electric discharge is made is also very considerable, for
this philosopher tells us we may conclude that a single medium discharge
of the fish is at least equal to the electricity of a Leyden Battery of
fifteen jars, containing three thousand five hundred square inches of
glass, coated upon both sides, charged to its highest degree. But great as
is the force of a single discharge, the Gymnotus will sometimes give a
double, and even a triple shock, with scarcely any interval. Nor is this
all. The instinctive action it has recourse to in order to augment the
force of the shock, is very remarkable.

The professor one day dropped a live fish, five inches long, into the tub;
upon which the Gymnotus turned round in such a manner as to form a coil
inclosing the fish, the latter representing a diameter across it, and the
fish was struck motionless, as if lightning had passed through the water.
The Gymnotus then made a turn to look for his prey, which having found, he
bolted it, and then went about seeking for more. A second smaller fish was
then given him, which being hurt, showed little signs of life; and this he
swallowed apparently without “shocking it.” We are informed by Dr.
Williamson, in a paper he communicated some years ago to the Royal
Society, that a fish already struck motionless gave signs of returning
animation, which the Gymnotus observing, he instantly discharged another
shock, which killed it. Another curious circumstance was observed by
Professor Faraday—the Gymnotus appeared conscious of the difference of
giving a shock to an animate and an inanimate body, and would not be
provoked to discharge its powers upon the latter. When tormented by a
glass rod, the creature in the first instance threw out a shock, but as if
he perceived his mistake, he could not be stimulated afterward to repeat
it, although the moment the professor touched him with his hands, he
discharged shock after shock. He refused, in like manner, to gratify the
curiosity of the philosophers, when they touched him with metallic
conductors, which he permitted them to do with indifference. It is worthy
of observation, that this is the only specimen of the Gymnotus Electricus
ever brought over alive into this country. The great secret of preserving
his life would appear to consist in keeping the water at an even
temperature—summer and winter—of seventy-five degrees of Fahrenheit. After
having been subjected to a great variety of experiments, the creature is
now permitted to enjoy the remainder of its days in honorable peace, and
the only occasion upon which he is now disturbed, is when it is found
necessary to take him out of his shallow reservoir to have it cleaned,
when he discharges angrily enough shock after shock, which the attendants
describe to be very smart, even though he be held in several thick and
well wetted cloths, for they do not at all relish the job.

The Gymnotus Electricus is not the only animal endowed with this very
singular power; there are other fish, especially the Torpedo and Silurus,
which are equally remarkable, and equally well known. The peculiar
structure which enters into the formation of their electrical organs, was
first examined by the eminent anatomist John Hunter, in the Torpedo; and,
very recently, Rudolphi has described their structure with great exactness
in the Gymnotus Electricus.

Without entering into minute details, the peculiarity of the organic
apparatus of the Electrical Eel seems to consist in this, that it is
composed of numerous _laminæ_ or thin tendinous partitions, between which
exists an infinite number of small cells filled with a thickish gelatinous
fluid. These strata and cells are supplied with nerves of unusual size,
and the intensity of the electrical power is presumed to depend on the
amount of nervous energy accumulated in these cells, whence it can be
voluntarily discharged, just as a muscle may be voluntarily contracted.
Furthermore, there are, it would appear, good reasons to believe that
nervous power (in whatever it may consist) and electricity are identical.
The progress of science has already shown the identity between heat,
electricity, and magnetism; that heat may be concentrated into
electricity, and this electricity reconverted into heat; that electric
force may be converted into magnetic force, and Professor Faraday himself
discovered how, by reacting back again, the magnetic force can be
reconverted into the electric force, and _vice versâ_; and should the
identity between electricity and nervous power be as clearly established,
one of the most important and interesting problems in physiology will be

Every new discovery in science, and all improvements in industrial art,
the principles of which are capable of being rendered in the least degree
interesting, are in this Exhibition forthwith popularized, and become, as
it were, public property. Every individual of the great public can at the
very small cost of one shilling, claim his or her share in the property
thus attractively collected, and a small amount of previous knowledge or
natural intelligence will put the visitor in actual possession of
treasures which previously “he wot not of,” in so amusing a manner that
they will be beguiled rather than bored into his mind.


All Tuscany had been busy with the vintage. The vintage! Is there a word
more rich to the untraveled Englishman in picturesque significance and
poetical associations? All that the bright south has of glowing coloring,
harmonious forms, teeming abundance, and Saturnian facility, mixed up in
the imagination with certain vague visions of bright black eyes and
bewitching ankles—all this, and more, goes to the making up of the
Englishman’s notion of the vintage. Alas! that it should be needful to
dissipate such charming illusions. And yet it is well to warn those who
cherish these _couleur-de-rose_ imaginings, and who would fain shun a
disagreeable _désenchantement_, that they will do wisely in continuing to
receive their impressions of Italian ruralities from the presentations of
our theatres, and the description of Mrs. Radcliffe. To those inquirers,
however, of sterner mould, who would find truth, be it ever so
disagreeable when found, it must be told that a Devonshire harvesting is
twice as pretty, and a Kentish hop-picking thrice as pretty a scene as any
“vindemia” that the vineyards of Italy can show. The vine, indeed, as
grown in Italy—especially when the fruit is ripe, and the leaves begin to
be tinted with crimson and yellow—is an exceedingly pretty object, rich in
coloring, and elegant in its forms. Nothing but the most obsolete and
backward agriculture, however, preserves these beauties. If good wine and
not pretty crops be the object in view, the vine should be grown as in
France—a low dwarf plant closely pruned, and raised only two or three feet
from the ground; and than such a vineyard nothing can be more ugly.
Classic Italy, however, still cultivates her vines as she did when the
Georgics were written; “marries” them most becomingly and picturesquely to
elms or mulberries, &c, and makes of them lovely festoons and very acrid
wine. Again, it must be admitted that a yoke of huge dove-colored oxen,
with their heavy unwieldy tumbril, is a more picturesque object than an
English wagon and a team of horses. Occasionally, too, may be seen bearing
not ungracefully a blushing burden of huge bunches, a figure, male or
female, who might have sat for a model to Leopold Robert. But despite all
this, the process of gathering the vintage is any thing but a pleasing
sight. In one of the heavy tumbrils I have mentioned, are placed some
twelve or fifteen large pails, some three feet deep, and a foot or so in
diameter. Into these are thrown pell-mell the bunches of fruit, ripe and
unripe, clean and dirty, stalks and all, white and red indiscriminately.
The cart thus laden, the fifteen pails of unsightly, dirty-looking slush,
are driven to the “fattoria,” there to be emptied into vats, which appear,
both to nose and eye, never to have been cleansed since they were made. In
performing this operation much is of course spilt over the men employed,
over the cart, over the ground; and nothing can look less agreeable than
the effect thus produced. Sometimes one large tub occupies the whole
tumbril, the contents of which, on reaching the “fattoria,” have to be
ladled out with buckets. Often the contents of the vat, trodden in one
place—a most unsightly process—have to be transported in huge barrels,
like water-carts, to another place to undergo fermentation. And then the
thick muddy stream, laden with filth and impurities of all sorts, which is
seen when these barrels discharge their cargo, is as little calculated to
give one a pleasing idea of the “ruby wine” which is to be the result of
all this filthy squash, as can well be imagined. Add to this an
exceedingly unpleasant smell in and about all the buildings in which any
part of the wine-making process takes place, and the constant recurrence
of rotting heaps of the refuse matter of the pressed grape under every
wall and hedge in the neighborhood of each “fattoria”—and the notions
connected with the so be-poetized vintage, will be easily understood to be
none of the pleasantest in the minds of those acquainted with its sights
and smells.—_Trollope’s Impressions of a Wanderer._


Emperor Yao (very many years B.C.) established a certain custom, which was
followed, we are told, by his successors on the throne of China. The
custom was this. Outside the hall-door of his palace, he suspended a
tablet and a gong; and if one among his subjects felt himself able to
suggest a good idea to his ruler, or wished to admonish him of any error
in his ways, the critic paid a visit to the palace, wrote what he had to
say upon the tablet, battered at the gong, and ran away. The Emperor came
out; and then, unless it happened that some scapegrace of a schoolboy had
annoyed him by superadding a fly-away knock to a contemptuous
hieroglyphic, he gravely profited by any hint the tablets might convey.
Not unlike honest, patriarchal Yao is our British Public. It is summoned
out to read inscriptions at its door, left there by all who have advice to
give or faults to deprecate. The successors of Yao, finding upon their
score so many conflicting tales, soon substituted for the gong five
instruments of music. It was required, then, that the monitor should
distinguish, by the instrument upon which he performed his summons, what
particular department of imperial duties it might be to which he desired
to call attention. Now not five but fifty voices summon _our_ royal
public. One man courts attention with a dulcet strain, one brays, one
harps upon a string, another drums. And among those who have of late been
busiest in pointing errors out, and drumming at the public’s door to have
them rectified, are they who profess concern about the Public Health.

For the writer who now proposes to address to you, O excellent Public,
through these pages, a Series of Practical Hints as to How to make Home
Unhealthy, we would not have you think that he means to be in any respect
so troublesome as those Sanitary Instructors. The lion on your knocker
gives him confidence; he will leave no disconcerting messages; he will
seek to come into your parlor as a friend. A friend he is; for, with a
polite sincerity, he will maintain in all his arguments that what you do
is what ought always to be done. He knows well that you are not foolish,
and perceives, therefore, what end you have in view. He sees that you are
impressed deeply with a conviction of the vanity of life; that you desire,
accordingly, to prove your wisdom by exhibiting contempt for that which
philosopher after philosopher forbids a thoughtful man to cherish. You
would be proud to have Unhealthy Homes. Lusty carcases, they are for
coarse folk and for the heathen; civilization forbids us to promote animal
development. How can a man look spiritual, if he be not sickly? How can a
woman—Is not Paris the mode? Go, weigh an elegant Parisienne against a
peasant girl from Normandy. It is here proposed, therefore, to honor your
discretion by demonstrating publicly how right you are. Some of the many
methods by which one may succeed in making Home Unhealthy will be here
detailed to you, in order that, as we go on, you may congratulate yourself
on feeling how extremely clever you already are in your arrangements. Here
is a plain purpose. If any citizen, listening to such lessons, think
himself wise, and yet is one who, like good M. Jourdain in the comedy,
_n’applaudit qu’à contresens_—to such a citizen it is enough to say. May
much good come of his perversity!

I. Hints To Hang Up In The Nursery.

In laying a foundation of ill health, it is a great point to be able to
begin at the beginning. You have the future man at excellent advantage
when he is between your fingers as a baby. One of Hoffman’s heroines, a
clever housewife, discarded and abhorred her lover from the moment of his
cutting a yeast dumpling. There are some little enormities of that kind
which really can not be forgiven, and one such is, to miss the opportunity
of physicking a baby. Now I will tell you how to treat the future
pale-face at his first entrance into life.

A little while before the birth of any child, have a little something
ready in a spoon; and, after birth, be ready at the first opportunity, to
thrust this down his throat. Let his first gift from his fellow-creatures
be a dose of physic—honey and calomel, or something of that kind: but you
had better ask the nurse for a prescription. Have ready also, before
birth, an abundant stock of pins; for it is a great point, in putting the
first dress upon the little naked body, to contrive that it shall contain
as many pins as possible. The prick of a sly pin is excellent for making
children cry; and since it may lead nurses, mothers, now and then even
doctors, to administer physic for the cure of imaginary gripings in the
bowels, it may be twice blessed. Sanitary enthusiasts are apt to say that
strings, not pins, are the right fastening for infants’ clothes. Be not
misled. Is not the pincushion an ancient institution? What is to say,
“Welcome, little stranger,” if pins cease to do so? Resist this
innovation. It is the small end of the wedge. The next thing that a child
would do, if let alone, would be to sleep. I would not suffer that. The
poor thing must want feeding; therefore waken it and make it eat a sop,
for that will be a pleasant joke at the expense of nature. It will be like
wakening a gentleman after midnight to put into his mouth some pickled
herring; only the baby can not thank you for your kindness as the
gentleman might do.

This is a golden rule concerning babies: to procure sickly growth, let the
child always suckle. Attempt no regularity in nursing. It is true that if
an infant be fed at the breast every four hours, it will fall into the
habit of desiring food only so often, and will sleep very tranquilly
during the interval. This may save trouble, but it is a device for rearing
healthy children: we discard it. Our infants shall be nursed in no
new-fangled way. As for the child’s crying, quiet costs eighteen-pence a
bottle; so that argument is very soon disposed of.

Never be without a flask of Godfrey’s Cordial, or Daffy, in the nursery;
but the fact is, that you ought to keep a medicine-chest. A good deal of
curious information may be obtained by watching the effects of various
medicines upon your children.

Never be guided by the child’s teeth in weaning it. Wean it before the
first teeth are cut, or after they have learned to bite. Wean all at once,
with bitter aloes or some similar devices; and change the diet suddenly.
It is a foolish thing to ask a medical attendant how to regulate the food
of children; he is sure to be over-run with bookish prejudices; but nurses
are practical women, who understand thoroughly matters of this kind.

Do not use a cot for infants, or presume beyond the time-honored
institution of the cradle. Active rocking sends a child to sleep by
causing giddiness. Giddiness is a disturbance of the blood’s usual way of
circulation; obviously, therefore, it is a thing to aim at in our
nurseries. For elder children, swinging is an excellent amusement, if they
become giddy on the swing.

In your nursery, a maid and two or three children may conveniently be
quartered for the night, by all means carefully secured from draughts.
Never omit to use at night a chimney board. The nursery window ought not
to be much opened; and the door should be kept always shut, in order that
the clamor of the children may not annoy others in your house.

When the children walk out for an airing, of course they are to be little
ladies and gentlemen. They are not to scamper to and fro; a little gentle
amble with a hoop ought to be their severest exercise. In sending them to
walk abroad, it is a good thing to let their legs be bare. The gentleman
papa, probably, would find bare legs rather cold walking in the streets of
London; but the gentleman son, of course, has quite another constitution.
Besides, how can a boy, not predisposed that way, hope to grow up
consumptive, if some pains are not taken with him in his childhood?

It is said that of old time children in the Balearic Islands were not
allowed to eat their dinner, until, by adroitness in the shooting of
stones out of a sling, they had dislodged it from a rafter in the house.
Children in the British Islands should be better treated. Let them not
only have their meals unfailingly, but let them be at all other times
tempted and bribed to eat. Cakes and sweetmeats of alluring shape and
color, fruits, and palatable messes, should, without any regularity, be
added to the diet of a child. The stomach, we know, requires three or four
hours to digest a meal, expects a moderate routine of tasks, and between
each task looks for a little period of rest. Now, as we hope to create a
weak digestion, what is more obvious than that we must use artifice to
circumvent the stomach? In one hour we must come upon it unexpectedly with
a dose of fruit and sugar; then, if the regular dinner have been taken,
astonish the digestion, while at work upon it, with the appearance of an
extra lump of cake, and presently some gooseberries. In this way we soon
triumph over Nature, who, to speak truth, does not permit to us an easy
victory, and does try to accommodate her working to our whims. We triumph,
and obtain our reward in children pale and polite, children with appetites
already formed, that will become our good allies against their health in
after life.

_Principiis obsta._ Let us subdue mere nature at her first start, and make
her civilized in her beginnings. Let us wipe the rose-tint out of the
child’s cheek, in good hope that the man will not be able to recover it.
White, yellow, and purple—let us make them to be his future tricolor.

II. The Londoner’s Garden.

Brick walls do not secrete air. It comes in through your doors and
windows, from the streets and alleys in your neighborhood; it comes in
without scraping its feet, and goes down your throat, unwashed, with small
respect for your gentility. You must look abroad, therefore, for some
elements of an unwholesome home: and when, sitting at home, you do so, it
is a good thing if you can see a burial-ground—one of “God’s gardens,”
which our city cherishes.

Now, do not look up with a dolorous face, saying, “Alas! these gardens are
to be taken from us!” Let agitators write and let Commissioners report,
let Government nod its good-will, and although all the world may think
that our London burial-grounds are about to be incontinently jacketed in
asphalte, and that we ourselves, when dead, are to be steamed off to
Erith—we are content: at present this is only gossip.(1) On one of the
lowest terraces of hell, says Dante, he found a Cordelier, who had been
dragged thither by a logical demon, in defiance of the expostulations of
St. Francis. The sin of that monk was a sentence of advice for which
absolution had been received before he gave it: “Promise much, and perform
little.” In the hair of any Minister’s head, and of every Commissioner’s
head, we know not what “black cherubim” may have entwined their claws.
There is hope, while there is life, for the old cause. But if those who
have authority to do so really have determined to abolish intramural
burial, let us call upon them solemnly to reconsider their verdict. Let
them ponder what follows.

Two or three years ago, a book, promulgating notions upon spiritual life,
was published in London by the Chancellor of a certain place across the
Channel. It was a clever book; and, among other matter, broached a theory.
“_Our souls,_” the Rev. Chancellor informed us, “_consist of the essence,
extract, or gas contained in the human body_;” and, that he might not be
vague, he made special application to a chemist, who “added some important
observations of his own respecting the corpse after death.” But we must
decorate a great speculation with the ornamental words of its propounder.

“The gases into which the animal body is resolved by putrefaction are
ammonia, carbonic acid, carbonic oxide, cyanogen, and sulphureted,
phosphureted, and carbureted hydrogen. The first, and the two last-named
gases, are most abundant.” We omit here some details as to the time a body
takes in rotting. “From which it appears, that these noble elements and
rich essences of humanity are too subtle and volatile to continue long
with the corpse; but soon disengage themselves, and escape from it. After
which nothing remains but the foul refuse in the vat; the mere _caput
mortuum_ in the crucible; the vile dust and ashes of the tomb. Nor does
inhumation, however deep in the ground, nor drowning in the lowest depths
and darkest caverns of the fathomless abyss, prevent those subtle
essences, rare attenuate spirits, or gases, from escaping; or chain down
to dust those better, nobler elements of the human body. No bars can
imprison them; no vessels detain them from their kindred element, confine
them from their native home.”

We are all of us familiar with the more noticeable of these “essences,” by
smell, if not by name. Metaphysicians tell us that perceptions and ideas
_will_ follow in a train: perhaps that may account for the sudden
recollection of an old-fashioned story—may the moderns pardon it. A young
Cambridge student, airing his wisdom at a dinner-party, was ingenious upon
the Theory of Winds. He was most eloquent concerning heat and cold;
radiation, rarefaction; polar and equatorial currents; he had brought his
peroration to a close, when he turned round upon a grave Professor of his
College, saying, “And what, sir, do you believe to be the cause of wind?”
The learned man replied, “Pea-soup—pea-soup!” In the group of friends
around a social soup-tureen, must we in future recognize

    “The feast of reason, and—the flow of soul!”

How gladly shall we fight the fight of life, hoping that, after death, we
shall meet in a world of sulphureted hydrogen and other gases! And where
do the Sanitary Reformers suppose that, after death, _their_ gases will
go—they who, in life, with asphalte and paving-stones, would have
restrained the souls of their own fathers from ascending into upper air?

Against us let there be no such reproach. Freely let us breathe into our
bosoms some portion of the spirit of the dead. If we live near no
church-yard, let us visit one—Mesmerically, if you please. Now we are on
the way. We see narrow streets and many people; most of the faces that we
meet are pale. Here is a walking funeral; we follow with it to the
church-yard. A corner is turned, and there is another funeral to be
perceived at no great distance in advance. Our walkers trot. The other
party, finding itself almost overtaken, sets off with a decent run. Our
party runs. There is a race for prior attention when they reach the
ground. We become interested. We perceive that one undertaker wears
gaiters, and the other straps. We trot behind them, betting with each
other, you on Gaiters, I on Straps. I win; a _Deus ex machinâ_ saves me,
or I should have lost. An over-goaded ox rushes bewildered round a corner,
charges and overthrows the foremost coffin; it is broken, and the body is
exposed—its white shroud flaps upon the mud. This has occurred once, I
know; and how much oftener, I know not. So Gaiters pioneers his party to
the nearest undertaker for repairs, and we follow the triumphant
procession to the church-yard. The minister there meets it, holding his
white handkerchief most closely to his nose: the mourners imitate him,
sick and sorrowful. Your toe sticks in a bit of carrion, as we pass near
the grave and seek the sexton. He is a pimpled man, who moralizes much;
but his morality is maudlin. He is drunk. He is accustomed to antagonize
the “spirits” of the dead with spirits from the “Pig and Whistle.” Here
let the _séance_ end.

At home again, let us remark upon a striking fact. Those poor creatures
whom we saw in sorrow by the grave, believed that they were sowing flesh
to immortality—and so they were. They did not know that they were also
sowing coffee. By a trustworthy informant, I am taught that of the old
coffin-wood dug up out of the crowded church-yards, a large quantity that
is not burned, is dried and ground; and that ground coffee is therewith
adulterated in a wholesale manner. It communicates to cheap coffee a good
color; and puts Body into it, there can be no doubt of that. It will be a
severe blow to the trade in British coffees if intramural interment be
forbidden. We shall be driven to depend upon distant planters for what now
can be produced in any quantity at home.

Remember the largeness of the interests involved. Within the last thirty
years, a million and a half of corpses have been hidden under ground, in
patches, here and there, among the streets of London. This pasturage we
have enjoyed from our youth up, and it is threatened now to put us off our

I say no more, for better arguments than these can not be urged on behalf
of the maintenance of City grave-yards. Possibly these may not prevail.
Yet never droop. Nevertheless, without despairing, take a house in the
vicinity of such a garden of the dead. If our lawgivers should fear the
becoming neighborly with Dante’s Cordelier, and therefore absolutely
interdict more burials in London, still you are safe. They shall not
trample on the graves that are. We can agitate, and we will agitate
successfully against their asphalte. Let the City be mindful of its old
renown; let Vestries rally round Sir Peter Laurie, and there may be yet
secured to you, for seven years to come, an atmosphere which shall assist
in making Home Unhealthy.

III. Spending A Very Pleasant Evening.

By the consent of antiquity, it is determined that Pain shall be
doorkeeper to the house of Pleasure. In Europe Purgatory led to Paradise;
and, had St. Symeon lived among us now, he would have earned heaven, if
the police permitted, by praying for it, during thirty years, upon the
summit of a lamp-post. In India the Fakir was beatified by standing on his
head, under a hot sun, beset with roasting bonfires. In Greenland the soul
expected to reach bliss by sliding for five days down a rugged rock,
wounding itself, and shivering with cold. The American Indians sought
happiness through castigation, and considered vomits the most expeditious
mode of enforcing self-denial on the stomach. Some tribes of Africans
believe, that on the way to heaven every man’s head is knocked against a
wall. By consent of mankind, therefore, it is granted that we must pass
Pain on the way to Pleasure.

What Pleasure is, when reached, none but the dogmatical can venture to
determine. To Greenlanders, a spacious fish-kettle, forever simmering, in
which boiled seals forever swim, is the delight of heaven. And remember
that, in the opinion of M. Bailly, Adam and Eve gardened in Nova Zembla.

You will not be surprised, therefore, if I call upon you to prepare for
your domestic pleasures with a little suffering; nor, when I tell you what
such pleasures are, must you exclaim against them as absurd. Having the
sanction of our forefathers, they are what is fashionable now, and
consequently they are what is fit.

I propose, then, that you should give, for the entertainment of your
friends, an Evening Party; and as this is a scene in which young ladies
prominently figure, I will, if you please, on this occasion, pay
particular attention to your daughter.

O mystery of preparation!—Pardon, sir. You err if you suppose me to
insinuate that ladies are more careful over personal adornment than the
gentlemen. When men made a display of manhood, wearing beards, it is
recorded that they packed them, when they went to bed, in pasteboard
cases, lest they might be tumbled in the night. Man at his grimmest is as
vain as woman, even when he stalks about bearded and battle-axed. This is
the mystery of preparation in your daughter’s case: How does she breathe?
You have prepared her from childhood for the part she is to play to-night,
by training her form into the only shape which can be looked at with
complacency in any ball-room. A machine, called stays, introduced long
since into England by the Normans, has had her in its grip from early
girlhood. She has become pale, and—only the least bit—liable to be blue
about the nose and fingers.

Stays are an excellent contrivance; they give a material support to the
old cause, Unhealthiness at Home. This is the secret of their excellence.
A woman’s ribs are narrow at the top, and as they approach the waist they
widen, to allow room for the lungs to play within them. If you can prevent
the ribs from widening, you can prevent the lungs from playing, which they
have no right to do, and make them work. This you accomplish by the agency
of stays. It fortunately happens that these lungs have work to do—the
putting of the breath of life into the blood—which they are unable to do
properly when cramped for space; it becomes about as difficult to them as
it would be to you to play the trombone in a china closet. By this
compression of the chest, ladies are made nervous, and become unfit for
much exertion; they do not, however, allow us to suppose that they have
lost flesh. There is a fiction of attire which would induce, in a
speculative critic, the belief that some internal flame had caused their
waists to gutter, and that the ribs had all run down into a lump which
protrudes behind under the waistband. This appearance is, I think, a
fiction; and for my opinion I have newspaper authority. In the papers it
was written, one day last year, that the hump alluded to was tested with a
pin, upon the person of a lady, coming from the Isle of Man, and it was
found not to be sensitive. Brandy exuded from the wound; for in that case
the projection was a bladder, in which the prudent housewife was smuggling
comfort in a quiet way. The touch of a pin changed all into discomfort,
when she found that she was converted into a peripatetic
watering-can—brandying-can, I should have said.

Your daughter comes down stairs dressed, with a bouquet, at a time when
the dull seeker of Health and Strength would have her to go up stairs with
a bed-candlestick. Your guests arrive. Young ladies, thinly clad and
packed in carriages, emerge, half-stifled; put a cold foot, protected by a
filmy shoe, upon the pavement, and run, shivering, into your house. Well,
sir, we’ll warm them presently. But suffer me to leave you now, while you
receive your guests.

I know a Phyllis, fresh from the country, who gets up at six and goes to
bed at ten; who knows no perfume but a flower-garden, and has worn no
bandage to her waist except a sash. She is now in London, and desires to
do as others do. She is invited to your party, but is not yet come; it may
be well for me to call upon her. Why, in the name of Newgate, what is
going on? She is shrieking “Murder!” on the second floor. Up to the
rescue! A judicious maid directs me to the drawing-room: “It’s only miss
a-trying on her stays.”

Here we are, sir; Phyllis and I. You find the room oppressive—’tis with
perfume, Phyllis. With foul air? ah, your nice country nose detects it;
yes, there is foul air: not nasty, of course, my dear, mixed, as it here
is, with eau-de-Cologne and patchouli. Pills are not nasty, sugared. A
grain or two of arsenic in each might be not quite exactly neutralized by
sugar, but there is nothing like faith in a good digestion. Why do the
gentlemen cuddle the ladies, and spin about the room with them, like
tee-totums? Oh, Phyllis! Phyllis! let me waltz with you. There, do you not
see how it is? Faint, are you—giddy—will you fall? An ice will refresh
you. Spasms next! Phyllis, let me take you home.

Now then, sir, Phyllis has been put to bed; allow me to dance a polka with
your daughter. Frail, elegant creature that she is! A glass of wine—a
macaroon: good. Sontag, yes; and that dear novel. That was a delightful
dance; now let us promenade. The room is close; a glass of wine, an ice,
and let us get to the delicious draught in the conservatory, or by that
door. Is it not beautiful? The next quadrille—I look slily at my watch,
and Auber’s grim chorus rumbles within me, “_Voici minuit! voici minuit_!”
Another dance. How fond she seems to be of macaroons! Supper. My dear sir,
I will take good care of your daughter. One sandwich. Champagne.
Blanc-mange. Tipsey-cake. Brandy cherries. Glass of wine. A macaroon.
Trifle. Jelly. Champagne. Custard. Macaroon. The ladies are being taken
care of—Yes, now in their absence we will drink their health, and wink at
each other: their and our Bad Healths. This is the happiest moment of our
lives; at two in the morning, with a dose of indigestion in the stomach,
and three hours more to come before we get to bed. You, my dear sir, hope
that on many occasions like the present you may see your friends around
you, looking as glassy-eyed as you have made them to look now. We will
rejoin the ladies.

Nothing but Champagne could have enabled us to keep up the evening so
well. We were getting weary before supper—but we have had some wine, have
dug the spur into our sides, and on we go again. At length, even the
bottle stimulates our worn-out company no more; and then we separate.
Good-night, dear sir; we have spent a Very Pleasant Evening under your

To-morrow, when you depart from a late breakfast, having seen your
daughter’s face, and her boiled-mackerel eye, knowing that your wife is
bilious, and that your son has just gone out for soda-water, you will feel
yourself to be a Briton who has done his duty, a man who has paid
something on account of his great debt to civilized society.

IV. The Light Nuisance.

Tieck tells us, in his “History of the Schildbürger,” that the town
council of that spirited community was very wise. It had been noticed that
many worthy aldermen and common-councilors were in the habit of looking
out of window when they ought to be attending to their duties. A vote was
therefore, on one occasion, passed by a large majority, to this effect,
namely—Whereas the windows of the Town-hall are a great impediment to the
dispatch of public business, it is ordered that before the next day of
meeting they be all bricked up. When the next day of meeting came, the
worthy representatives of Schildbürg were surprised to find themselves
assembling in the dark. Presently, accepting the unlooked-for fact, they
settled down into an edifying discussion of the question, whether darkness
was not more convenient for their purposes than daylight. Had you and I
been there, my friend, our votes in the division would have been, like the
vote in our own House of Commons a few days ago, for keeping out the Light
Nuisance as much as possible. Darkness is better than daylight, certainly.

Now this admits of proof. For, let me ask, where do you find the best part
of a lettuce?—not in the outside leaves. Which are the choice parts of
celery?—of course, the white shoots in the middle. Why, sir? Because light
has never come to them. They become white and luxurious by tying up, by
earthing up, by any contrivance which has kept the sun at bay. It is the
same with man: while we obstruct the light by putting brick and board
where glass suggests itself, and mock the light by picturing impracticable
windows on our outside walls—so that our houses stare about like blind men
with glass eyes—while this is done, we sit at home and blanch, we become
in our dim apartments pale and delicate, we grow to look refined, as
gentlemen and ladies ought to look. Let the sanitary doctor, at whose head
we have thrown lettuces, go to the botanist and ask him, How, is this? Let
him come back and tell us, Oh, gentlemen, in these vegetables the natural
juices are not formed when you exclude the light. The natural juices in
the lettuce or in celery are flavored much more strongly than our tastes
would relish, and therefore we induce in these plants an imperfect
development, in order to make them eatable. Very well. The natural juices
in a man are stronger than good taste can tolerate. Man requires
horticulture to be fit to come to table. To rear the finer sorts of human
kind, one great operation necessary is to banish light as much as

Ladies know that. To keep their faces pale, they pull the blinds down in
their drawing-rooms, they put a vail between their countenances and the
sun when they go out, and carry, like good soldiers, a great shield on
high, by name a Parasol, to ward his darts off. They know better than to
let the old god kiss them into color, as he does the peaches. They choose
to remain green fruit: and we all know that to be a delicacy.

Yet there are men among us daring to propose that there shall no longer be
protection against light; men who would tax a house by its capaciousness,
and let the sun shine into it unhindered. The so-called sanitary people
really seem to look upon their fellow-creatures as so many cucumbers. But
we have not yet fallen so far back in our development. Disease is a
privilege. Those only who know the tender touch of a wife’s hand, the
quiet kiss, the soothing whisper, can appreciate its worth. All who are
not dead to the tenderest emotions will lament the day when light is
turned on without limit in our houses. We have no wish to be blazed upon.
Frequently pestilence itself avoids the sunny side of any street, and
prefers walking in the shade. Nay, even in one building, as in the case of
a great barrack at St. Petersburg, there will be three calls made by
disease upon the shady side of the establishment for every one visit that
it pays to the side brightened by the sun; and this is known to happen
uniformly, for a series of years. Let us be warned, then. There must be no
increase of windows in our houses; let us curtain those we have, and keep
our blinds well down. Let morning sun or afternoon sun fire no volleys in
upon us. Faded curtains, faded carpets, all ye blinds forbid! But faded
faces are desirable. It is a cheering spectacle on summer afternoons to
see the bright rays beating on a row of windows, all the way down a
street, and failing to find entrance any where. Who wants more windows? Is
it not obvious that, when daylight really comes, every window we possess
is counted one too many? If we could send up a large balloon into the sky,
with Mr. Braidwood and a fire-engine, to get the flames of the sun under,
just a little bit, that would be something rational. More light, indeed!
More water next, no doubt! As if it were not perfectly notorious that in
the articles of light, water, and air, Nature outran the constable. We
have to keep out light with blinds and vails, and various machinery, as we
would keep out cockroaches with wafers; we keep out air with pads and
curtains; and still there are impertinent reformers clamoring to increase
our difficulty, by giving us more windows to protect against the inroads
of those household nuisances.

I call upon consistent Englishmen to make a stand against these
innovators. There is need of all our vigor. In 1848, the repeal of the
window-tax was scouted from the Commons by a sensible majority of
ninety-four. In 1850, the good cause has triumphed only by a precarious
majority of three. The exertions of right-thinking men will not be
wanting, when the value and importance of a little energetic labor is once
clearly perceived.

What is it that the sanitary agitators want? To tan and freckle all their
countrywomen, and to make Britons apple-faced? The Persian hero, Rustum,
when a baby, exhausted seven nurses, and was weaned upon seven sheep a
day, when he was of age for spoon-meat. Are English babies to be Rustums?
When Rustum’s mother, Roubadah, from a high tower first saw and admired
her future husband Zal, she let her ringlets fall, and they were long, and
reached unto the ground; and Zal climbed up by them, and knelt down at her
feet, and asked to marry her. Are British ladies to be strengthened into
Roubadahs, with hair like a ship’s cable, up which husbands may clamber?
In the present state of the mania for public health, it is quite time that
every patriotic man should put these questions seriously to his

One topic more. Let it clearly be understood, that against artificial
light we can make no objection. Between sun and candle there are more
contrasts than the mere difference in brilliancy. The light which comes
down from the sky not only eats no air out of our mouths, but it comes
charged with mysterious and subtle principles which have a purifying,
vivifying power. It is a powerful ally of health, and we make war against
it. But artificial light contains no sanitary marvels. When the gas
streams through half a dozen jets into your room, and burns there and
gives light; when candles become shorter and shorter, until they are
“burnt out” and seen no more; you know what happens. Nothing in Nature
ceases to exist. Your camphine has left the lamp, but it has not vanished
out of being. Nor has it been converted into light. Light is a visible
action; and candles are no more converted into light when they are
burning, than breath is converted into speech when you are talking. The
breath, having produced speech, mixes with the atmosphere; gas, camphine,
candles, having produced light, do the same. If you saw fifty wax-lights
shrink to their sockets last week in an unventilated ball-room, yet,
though invisible, they had not left you; for their elements were in the
room, and you were breathing them. Their light had been a sign that they
were combining chemically with the air; in so combining they were changed,
but they became a poison. Every artificial light is, of necessity, a
little workshop for the conversion of gas, oil, spirit, or candle into
respirable poison. Let no sanitary tongue persuade you that the more we
have of such a process, the more need we have of ventilation. Ventilation
is a catchword for the use of agitators, in which it does not become any
person of refinement to exhibit interest.

The following hint will be received thankfully by gentlemen who would be
glad to merit spectacles. To make your eyes weak, use a fluctuating light;
nothing can be better adapted for your purpose than what are called
“mould” candles. The joke of them consists in this, they begin with giving
you sufficient light; but, as the wick grows, the radiance lessens, and
your eye gradually accommodates itself to the decrease: suddenly they are
snuffed, and your eye leaps back to its original adjustment, there begins
another slide, and then leaps back again. Much practice of this kind
serves very well as a familiar introduction to the use of glasses.

V. Passing The Bottle.

A brass button from the coat of Saint Peter, was at one time shown to
visitors among the treasures of a certain church in Nassau; possibly some
traveler of more experience may have met with a false collar from the
wardrobe of Saint Paul. The intellect displayed of old by holy saints and
martyrs, we may reasonably believe to have surpassed the measure of a
bishop’s understanding in the present day; for we have the authority of
eyesight and tradition in asserting that the meanest of those ancient
worthies possessed not less than three skulls, and that a great saint must
have had so very many heads, that it would have built the fortune of a man
to be his hatter. Perhaps some of these relics are fictitious;
nevertheless, they are the boast of their possessors; they are exhibited
as genuine, and thoroughly believed to be so. Sir, did your stomach never
suggest to you that doctored elder-berry of a recent brew had been
uncorked with veneration at some dinner-table as a bottle of old port?
Have you experience of any festive friend, who can commit himself to doubt
about the age and genuineness of his wine? The cellar is the social
relic-chamber; every bin rejoices in a most veracious legend; and, whether
it be over wine or over relics that we wonder, equal difficulties start up
to obstruct our faith.

Our prejudices, for example, run so much in favor of one-headed men, that
we can scarcely entertain the notion of a saint who had six night-caps to
put on when he went to bed, and when he got up in the morning had six
beards to shave. Knowing that the Russians, by themselves, drink more
Champagne than France exports, and that it must rain grapes at Hockheim
before that place can yield all the wine we English label Hock, and
haunted as we are by the same difficulty when we look to other kinds of
foreign wine, we feel a justified suspicion that the same glass of
“genuine old port” can not be indulged in simultaneously by ten people. If
only one man of the number drinks it, what is that eidolon which delights
the other nine?

When George the Fourth was Regent, he possessed a small store of the
choicest wine, and never called for it. There were some gentlemen in his
establishment acquainted with its merits; these took upon themselves to
rescue it from undeserved neglect. Then the prince talked about his
treasure—when little remained thereof except the bottles; and it was to be
produced at a forthcoming dinner-party. The gentlemen, who knew its
flavor, visited the vaults of an extensive wine-merchant, and there they
vainly sought to look upon its like again. “In those dim solitudes and
awful cells” they, groaning in spirit, made a confessor of the merchant,
who, for a fee, engaged to save them from the wrath to come. As an artist
in wine, having obtained a sample of the stuff required, this dealer
undertook to furnish a successful imitation. So he did; for, having filled
those bottles with a wondrous compound, he sent them to the palace just
before the fateful dinner-hour, exhorting the conspirators to take heed
how they suffered any to be left. The compound would become a tell-tale
after twelve hours’ keeping. The prince that evening enjoyed his wine.

The ordinary manufacture of choice wine for people who are not princes,
requires the following ingredients: for the original fluid, cider, or
Common cape, raisin, grape, parsnip, or elder wine; a wine made of rhubarb
(for Champagne); to these may be added water. A fit stock having been
chosen, strength, color, and flavor may be grafted on it. Use is made of
these materials: for color-burnt sugar, logwood, cochineal, red sanders
wood, or elder-berries. Plain spirit or brandy for strength. For nutty
flavor, bitter almonds. For fruitiness, Dantzic spruce. For fullness or
smoothness, honey. For port-wine flavor, tincture of the seeds of raisins.
For bouquet, orris root or ambergris. For roughness or dryness, alum, oak
sawdust, rhatany or kino. It is not necessary that an imitation should
contain one drop of the wine whose name it bears; but a skillful
combination of the true and false is desirable, if price permit. Every
pint of the pure wine thus added to a mixture is, of course, so much
abstracted from the stock of unadulterated juice.

You will perceive, therefore, that a free use of wine, not highly priced,
is likely to assist us very much in our endeavors to establish an
unhealthy home. Fill your cellar with bargains; be a genuine John Bull;
invite your friends, and pass the bottle.

There is hope for us also in the recollection, that if chance force upon
us a small stock of wine that has not been, in England, under the doctor’s
hands, we know not what may have been done to it abroad. The botanist,
Robert Fortune, was in China when the Americans deluged the Chinese market
with their orders for Young Hyson tea. The Chinese very promptly met the
whole demand; and Fortune in his “Wanderings” has told us how. He found
his way to a Young Hyson manufactory, where coarse old Congou leaves were
being chopped, and carefully manipulated by those ingenious merchants the
Chinese. But it is in human nature for other folks than the Chinese to be
ingenious in such matters. We may, therefore, make up our minds that,
since the demand for wine from certain celebrated vineyards, largely
exceeds all possibility of genuine supply, since, also, every man who asks
is satisfied, it is inevitable that the great majority of wine-drinkers
are satisfied with a factitious article. The chances are against our very
often meeting with a glass of port that has not taken physic. So, let us
never drink dear wine, nor ask a chemist what is in our bottles. Enough
that they contain for us delightful poison.

That name for wine, “delightful poison,” is not new. It is as old as the
foundation of Persepolis. Jemsheed was fond of grapes, Ferdusi tells, and
once, when grapes went out of season, stored up for himself some jars of
grape-juice. After a while he went to seek for a refreshing draught; then
fermentation was in progress; and he found his juice abominably nasty. A
severe stomach-ache induced him to believe that the liquor had acquired,
in some way, dangerous qualities, and, therefore, to avoid accidents, he
labeled each jar, “Poison.” More time elapsed, and then one of his wives,
in trouble of soul, weary of life, resolved to put an end to her
existence. Poison was handy: but a draught transformed her trouble into
joy; more of it stupefied, but did not kill her. That woman kept a secret:
she alone exhausted all the jars. Jemsheed then found them to be empty.
Explanations followed. The experiment was tried once more, and wine, being
so discovered, was thereafter entitled “the delightful poison.” What
Jemsheed would have said to a bottle of port out of our friend Hoggin’s
cellar—but I tread on sacred ground.

Of good wine health requires none, though it will tolerate a little. Our
prospect, therefore, when the bottle passes briskly, is encouraging. Is
the wine good, we may expect some indigestion; is it bad, who can tell
what disorders we may not expect? Hoggins, I know, drinks more than a
quart without disordering his stomach. He has long been a supporter of the
cause we are now advocating, and therein finds one of his rewards. It is
not safe to pinch a tiger’s tail; yet, when the animal is sick, perhaps he
will not bite although you tread upon it heavily. Healthy men and healthy
stomachs tolerate no oppression.

London is full now; elsewhere country folks come out of doors, invited by
fine weather. Walk where you will, in country or in town, and look at all
the faces that you meet. Traverse the Strand, and Regent-street, and
Holborn, and Cheapside; get into a boat at London bridge, steam to
Gravesend, and look at your fellow-passengers: examine where you will, the
stamp of our civilization, sickliness, is upon nine people in any ten.
There are good reasons why this should be so, and so let it continue. We
have excluded sanitary calculations from our social life; we have had
hitherto unhealthy homes, and we will keep them. Bede tells of a Mercian
noble on his death-bed, to whom a ghost exhibited a scrap of paper, upon
which were written his good deeds; then the door opened, and an
interminable file of ghosts brought in a mile or two of scroll, whereon
his misdeeds were all registered, and made him read them. Our wars against
brute health are glorious, and we rejoice to feel that of such sins we
have no scanty catalogue; we are content with our few items of mere
sanitary virtue. As for sanitary reformers, they are a company of Danaids;
they may get some of us into their sieve, but we shall soon slip out
again. When a traveler proposed, at Ghadames in the Sahara, to put up a
lantern here and there of nights among the pitch-dark streets, the people
said his notion might be good, but that, as such things never had been
tried before, it would be presumptuous to make the trial of them now. The
traveler, a Briton, must have felt quite at home when he heard that
objection. Amen, then; with the Ghadamese, we say, Let us have no New

VI. Art Against Appetite.

The object of food is, to support the body in its natural development that
it may reach a reasonable age without becoming too robust. Civilization
can instruct us so to manage, that a gentle dissolution tread upon the
heels of growth, that, as Metastasio hath it,

                    —“dalle fasce,
    Si comincia a morir quando si nasce.”(2)

An infant’s appetite is all for milk; but art suggests a few additions to
that lamentably simple diet. A lady not long since complacently informed
her medical attendant that, for the use of a baby, then about eight months
old she had spent nine pounds in “Infant’s Preservative.” Of this, or of
some like preparation, the advertisements tells us that it compels Nature
to be orderly, and that all infants take it with greediness. So we have
even justice to the child. Pet drinks Preservative; papa drinks Port.

Then there is “farinaceous food.” Here, for a purpose, we must interpolate
a bit of science. There is a division of food into two great classes,
nourishment and fuel. Nourishment is said to exist chiefly in animal flesh
and blood, and in vegetable compounds which exactly correspond thereto,
called vegetable fibrine, albumen, and caseine. Fuel exists in whatever
contains much carbon: fat and starchy vegetables, potatoes, gum, sugar,
alcoholic liquors. If a person take more nourishment than he wants, it is
said to be wasted; if he take more fuel than he wants, part of it is
wasted, and part of it the body stacks away as fat. These men of science
furthermore assert, that the correct diet of a healthy man must contain
eight parts of fuel food to one of nourishment. This preserves
equilibrium, they say—suits, therefore, an adult; the child which has to
become bigger as it lives has use for an excess of nourishment. And so one
of the doctors, Dr. R.D. Thomson, gives this table; it has been often
copied. The proportion of nourishment to fuel is in

Milk (food for a       1 to 2.
growing animal)
Beans                  1 to
Oatmeal                1 to 5.
Barley                 1 to 7.
Wheat flour (food      1 to 8.
for an animal at
Potatoes               1 to 9.
Rice                   1 to 10.
Turnips                1 to 11.
Arrow-root, tapioca,   1 to 26.
Starch                 1 to 40.

Very well, gentlemen, we take your facts. As ægritudinary men, we know
what use to make of them. We will give infants farinaceous food;
arrow-root, tapioca, and the like; quite ready to be taught by you that so
we give one particle of nourishment in twenty-six. Tell us, this diet is
like putting leeches on a child. We are content. Leeches give a delicate
whiteness that we are thankful to be able to obtain with out the biting or
the bloodshed.

Sanitary people will allow a child, up to its seventh year, nothing beyond
bread, milk, water, sugar, light meat broth, without fat, and fresh meat
for its dinner—when it is old enough to bite it—with a little well-cooked
vegetable. They confine a child, poor creature, to this miserable fare;
permitting, in due season, only a pittance of the ripest fruit.

They would give children, while they are growing, oatmeal and milk for
breakfast, made into a porridge. They would deny them beer. You know how
strengthening that is, and yet these people say that there is not an ounce
of meat in a whole bucketful. They would deny them comfits, cakes, wine,
pastry, and grudge them nuts; but our boys shall rebel against all this.
We will teach them to regard cake as bliss, and wine as glory; we will
educate them to a love of tarts. Once let our art secure over the stomach
its ascendency, and the civilized organ acquires new desires. Vitiated
cravings, let the sanitary doctors call them; let them say that children
will eat garbage, as young women will eat chalk and coals, not because it
is their nature so to do, but because it is a symptom of disordered
function. We know nothing about function. Art against Appetite has won the
day, and the pale face of civilization is established.

Plain sugar, it is a good thing to forbid our children; there is something
healthy in their love of it. Suppose we tell them that it spoils the
teeth. They know no better; we do. We know that the negroes, who in a
great measure live upon sugar, are quite famous for their sound white
teeth; and Mr. Richardson tells us of tribes among the Arabs of Sahara,
whose beautiful teeth he lauds, that they are in the habit of keeping
about them a stick of sugar in a leathern case, which they bring out from
time to time for a suck, as we bring out the snuff-box for a pinch. But we
will tell our children that plain sugar spoils the teeth; sugar mixed with
chalk or verdigris, or any other mess—that is to say, civilized sugar—they
are welcome to.

And for ourselves, we will eat any thing. The more our cooks, with spice,
with druggery and pastry, raise our wonder up, the more we will approve
their handicraft. We will excite the stomach with a peppered soup; we will
make fish indigestible with melted butter, and correct the butter with
cayenne. We will take sauces, we will drink wine, we will drink beer, we
will eat pie-crust, we will eat indescribable productions—we will take
celery, and cheese, and ale—we will take liqueur—we will take wine and
olives and more wine, and oranges and almonds, and any thing else that may
present itself, and we will call all that our dinner, and for such the
stomach shall accept it. We will eat more than we need, but will compel an
appetite. Art against Appetite forever.

Sanitary people bear ill-will to pie-crust; they teach that butter, after
being baked therein, becomes a compound hateful to the stomach. We will
eat pies, we will eat pastry, we will eat—we would eat M. Soyer himself in
a tart, if it were possible.

We will uphold London milk. Mr. Rugg says that it is apt to contain chalk,
the brains of sheep, oxen, and cows, flour, starch, treacle, whiting,
sugar of lead, arnotto, size, etc. Who cares for Mr. Rugg? London milk is
better than country milk, for London cows are town cows. They live in a
city, in close sheds, in our own dear alleys—are consumptive—they are
delightful cows; only their milk is too strong, it requires watering and
doctoring, and then it is delicious milk.

Tea we are not quite sure about. Some people say that because tea took so
sudden a hold upon the human appetite, because it spread so widely in so
short a time, that therefore it supplies a want: its use is natural.
Liebig suggests that it supplies a constituent of bile. I think rather
that its use has become general because it causes innocent intoxication.
Few men are not glad to be made cheerful harmlessly. For this reason I
think it is that the use of tea and coffee has become popular; and since
whatever sustains cheerfulness advances health—the body working with good
will under a pleasant master—tea does our service little good. In excess,
no doubt, it can be rendered hurtful (so can bread and butter); but the
best way of pressing it into employment, as an ægritudinary aid, is by the
practice of taking it extremely hot. A few observations upon the
temperature at which food is refused by all the lower animals, will soon
convince you that in man—not as regards tea only, but in a great many
respects—Art has established her own rule, and that the Appetite of Nature
has been conquered.

We have a great respect for alcoholic liquors. It has been seen that the
excess of these makes fat; they, therefore, who have least need of fat,
according to our rules, are those who have most need of wine and beer.

Of ordinary meats there is not much to say, We have read of Dr. Beaumont’s
servant, who had an open musket-hole leading into his stomach, through
which the doctor made experiments. Many experiments were made, and tables
drawn of no great value on the digestibility of divers kinds of meat.
Climate and habit are, on such points, paramount. Pig is pollution to the
children of the Sun, the Jew, and Mussulman; but children of winter, the
Scandinavians, could not imagine Paradise complete without it. Schrimner,
the sacred hog, cut up daily and eaten by the tenants of Walhalla,
collected his fragments in the night, and was in his sty again ready for
slaughter the next morning. These things concern us little, for it is not
with plain meat that we have here to do, but with the noble art of
Cookery. That art, which once obeyed and now commands our appetite, which
is become the teacher where it was the taught, we duly reverence. When
ægritudinary science shall obtain its college, and when each Unhealthy
Course shall have its eminent professor to teach Theory and Practice—then
we shall have a Court of Aldermen for Patrons, a Gravedigger for
Principal, and a Cook shall be Dean of Faculty.

VII. The Water Party.

Water rains from heaven, and leaps out of the earth; it rolls about the
land in rivers, it accumulates in lakes; three-fourths of the whole
surface of the globe is water; yet there are men unable to be clean. “God
loveth the clean,” said Mahomet. He was a sanitary reformer; he was a
notorious impostor; and it is our duty to resist any insidious attempt to
introduce his doctrines.

There are in London districts of filth which speak to us—through the
nose—in an emphatic manner. Their foul air is an atmosphere of charity;
for we pass through it pitying the poor. Burke said of a certain miser to
whom an estate was left, “that now, it was to be hoped, he would set up a
pocket-handkerchief.” We hope, of the miserable, that when they come into
their property they may be able to afford themselves a little lavender and
musk. We might be willing to subscribe for the correction now and then,
with aromatic cachou, of the town’s bad breath; but water is a vulgar sort
of thing, and of vulgarity the less we have the better.

In truth, we have not much of it. We are told that in a great city Water
is maid of all work; has to assist our manufactures, to supply daily our
saucepans and our tea-kettles; has to cleanse our clothes, our persons,
and our houses; to provide baths, to wash our streets, and to flood away
the daily refuse of the people, with their slaughter-houses, markets,
hospitals, &c. Our dozen reservoirs in London yield a supply daily
averaging thirty gallons to each head—which goes partly to make swamps,
partly to waste, partly to rot, as it is used in tubs or cisterns. Rome in
her pride used once to supply water at the rate of more than three hundred
gallons daily to each citizen. That was excess. In London half a million
of people get no water at all into their houses; but as those people live
in the back settlements, and keep out of our sight, their dirt is no great
matter of concern. We, for our own parts, have enough to cook with, have
whereof to drink, wherewith to wash our feet sometimes, to wet our fingers
and the corner of a towel—we inquire no further. Drainage and all such
topics involve details positively nasty, and we blush for any of our
fellow-citizens who take delight in chattering about them.

We are told to regard the habits of an infant world. London, the brain of
a vast empire, is advised now to forget her civilization, and to go back
some thousand years. We are to look at Persian aqueducts, attributed to
Noah’s great-grandson—at Carthaginians, Etruscans, Mexicans—at what Rome
did. It frets us when we are thus driven to an obvious reply. Man in an
unripe and half-civilized condition, has not found out the vulgarity of
water; for his brutish instinct is not overcome. All savages believe that
water is essential to their life and desire it in unlimited abundance.
Cultivation teaches us another life, in which our animal existence neither
gets nor merits much attention. As for the Romans, so perpetually quoted,
it was a freak of theirs to do things massively. While they were yet
almost barbarians, they built that Cloaca through which afterward Agrippa
sailed down to the Tiber in a boat. Who wishes to see His Worship the Lord
Mayor of London emerging in his state barge from a London sewer?

Now here is inconsistency. Thirty million gallons of corruption are added
daily by our London sewers to the Thames: that is one object of complaint,
good in itself, because we drink Thames water. But in the next breath it
is complained that a good many million gallons more should be poured out;
that there are three hundred thousand cesspools more to be washed up; that
as much filth as would make a lake six feet in depth, a mile long, and a
thousand feet across, lies under London stagnant; and they would wish this
also to be swept into the river. I heard lately of a gentleman who is
tormented with the constant fancy that he has a scorpion down his back. He
asks every neighbor to put in his hand and fetch it out, but no amount of
fetching out ever relieves him. That is a national delusion. Our
enlightened public is much troubled with such scorpions. Sanitary writers
are infested with them.

They also say, That in one-half of London people drink Thames water; and
in the other half, get water from the Chadwell spring and River Lea. That
the River Lea, for twenty miles, flows through a densely-peopled district.
and is, in its passage, drenched with refuse matter from the population on
its banks. That there is added to Thames water the waste of two hundred
and twenty cities, towns, and villages; and that between Richmond and
Waterloo-bridge more than two hundred sewers discharge into it their fetid
matter. That the washing to and fro of tide secures the arrival of a large
portion of filth from below Westminster, at Hammersmith; effects a perfect
mixture, which is still farther facilitated by the splashing of the
steamboats. Mr. Hassal has published engravings of the microscopic aspect
of water taken from companies which suck the river up at widely-separated
stages of its course through town—so tested, one drop differs little from
another in the degree of its impurity. They tell us that two companies—the
Lambeth and West Middlesex—supply Thames Mixture to subscribers as it
comes to them; but that others filter more or less. They say that
filtering can expurge nothing but mechanical impurities, while the
dissolved pollution which no filter can extract is that part which
communicates disease. We know this; well, and what then? There are
absurdities so lifted above ridicule, that Momus himself would spoil part
of the fun if he attempted to trangress beyond a naked statement of them.
What do the members of this Water Party want? I’ll tell you what I verily
believe they are insane enough to look for.

They would, if possible, forsake Thames water, calling it dirty, saying it
is hard. So hard they say it is, that it requires three spoonfuls of tea
instead of two in every man’s pot, two pounds of soap for one in every
man’s kitchen. So they would fetch soft water from a Gathering Ground in
Surrey, adopting an example set in Lancashire; from rain-fall on the
heaths between Bagshot and Farnham, and from tributaries of the River Wey,
they would collect water in covered reservoirs, and bring it by A COVERED
AQUEDUCT to London. In London, they would totally abolish cisterns, and
all intermittence of supply. Water in London they would have to be, as at
Nottingham, accessible in all rooms at all times. They would have water,
at high pressure, climbing about every house in every court and alley.
They would place water, so to speak, at the finger’s end, limiting no
household as to quantity. They would enable every man to bathe. They would
revolutionize the sewer-system, and have the town washed daily, like a
good Mahometan, clean to the finger-nails. They hint that all this might
not even be expensive; that the cost of disease and degradation is so much
greater than the cost of health and self-respect, as to pay back,
possibly, our outlay, and then yield a profit to the nation. They say
that, even if it were a money loss, it would be moral gain; and they ask
whether we have not spent millions, ere now, upon less harmless
commodities than water?

An ingenious fellow had a fiddle—all, he said, made out of his own head;
and wood enough was left to make another. He must have been a sanitary
man; his fiddle was a crotchet. Still farther to illustrate their own
capacity of fiddle-making, these good but misguided people have been
rooting up some horrible statistics of the filth and wretchedness which
our back-windows overlook, with strange facts anent fever, pestilence, and
the communication of disease. All this I purposely suppress; it is
peculiarly disagreeable. Delicate health we like, and will learn gladly
how to obtain it; but results we are content with, and can spare the
details, when those details bring us into contact, even upon paper, with
the squalid classes.

If these outcries of the Water Party move the public to a thirst for
change, it would be prudent for us ægritudinary men not rashly to swim
against the current. Let us adopt a middle course, a patronizing tone. It
is in our favor that a large number of the facts which these our foes have
to produce, are, by a great deal too startling to get easy credit. A
single Pooh! has in it more semblance of reason than a page of facts, when
revelations of neglected hygiene are on the carpet. If the case of the
Sanitary Reformers had been only half as well made out, it would be twice
as well supported.

VIII. Filling The Grave.

M. Boutigny has published an account of some experiments which go to prove
that we may dip our fingers into liquid metal with impunity. Professor
Plücker, of Bonn, has amply confirmed Boutigny’s results, and in his
report hints a conclusion that henceforth “certain minor operations in
surgery may be performed with least pain by placing the foot in a bath of
red-hot iron.” Would you not like to see Professor Plücker, with his
trowsers duly tucked up, washing his feet in a pailful of this very
soothing fluid? And would it not be a fit martyrdom for sanitary doctors,
if we could compel them also to sacrifice their legs in a cause, kin to
their own, of theory and innovation? As Alderman Lawrence shrewdly
remarked the other day, from his place in the Guildhall, the sanitary
reform cry is “got up.” That is the reason why, in his case, it does not
go down. He, for his own part, did not disapprove the flavor of a
church-yard, and appeared to see no reason why it should be cheated of its
due. The sanitary partisans, he said, were paid for making certain
statements. It would be well if we could cut off their supply of
halfpence, and so silence them. Liwang, an ancient Emperor of China,
fearing insurrection, forbade all conversation, even whispering, in his
dominions. It would be well for us if Liwang lived now as our Secretary
for the Home Department. There is too much talking—is there not, Mr.
Carlyle? We want Liwang among us. However, as matters stand, it is bad
enough for the sanitary reformers. “They drop their arms and tremble when
they hear,” they are despised by Alderman Lawrence.(3)

Let us uphold our city grave-yards; on that point we have already spoken
out. Let us not cheat them of their pasturage; if any man fall sick, when,
so to speak, his grave is dug, let us not lift him out of it by
misdirected care. That topic now engages our attention.

There is a report among the hear-say stories of Herodotus, touching some
tribe of Scythians, that when one of them gets out of health, or passes
forty years of age, his friends proceed to slaughter him, lest he become
diseased, tough, or unfit for table. These people took their ancestors
into their stomachs, we take ours into our lungs—and herein we adopt the
better plan, because it is the more unwholesome. We are content, also, now
and then to let our friends grow old, although we may repress the tendency
to age as much as possible. We do not absolutely kill our neighbors when
they sicken; yet by judicious nursing we may frequently keep down a too
great buoyancy of health, and check recovery. How to produce this last
effect I will now tell you. Gentle mourners, do not chide me as

    “Auch ich war in Arkadien geboren,”

bear with me, then, and let me give my hints concerning ægritudinary
sick-room discipline.

Of the professional nurse I will say nothing. You, of course, have put
down Mrs. Gamp’s address.

A sick-room should, in the first place, be made dark. Light, I have said
before, is, in most cases, curative. It is a direct swindling of the
doctor when we allow blinds to be pulled up, and so admit into the
patient’s room medicine for which nobody (except the tax-gatherer) is

A sick-room should, in the next place, be made sad, obtrusively sad. A
smile upon the landing must become a sigh when it has passed the patient’s
door. Our hope is to depress, to dispirit invalids. Cheerful words and
gentle laughter, more especially where there is admitted sunshine also,
are a moral food much too nutritious for the sick.

The sick-room, in its furniture as well, must have an ominous appearance.
The drawers, or a table should be decked with physic bottles. Some have a
way of thrusting all the medicine into a cupboard, out of sight, leaving a
glass of gayly-colored flowers for the wearied eyes to rest upon: this has
arisen obviously from a sanitary crotchet, and is, on no account, to be

Then we must have the sick-room to be hot, and keep it close. A scentless
air, at summer temperature, sanitary people want; a hot, close atmosphere
is better suited to our view. Slops and all messes are to be left standing
in the room—only put out of sight—and cleared away occasionally; they are
not to be removed at once. The chamber also is to be made tidy once a day,
and once a week well cleaned: it is not to be kept in order by incessant
care, by hourly tidiness, permitting no dirt to collect.

There is an absurd sanitary dictum, which I will but name. It is, that a
patient ought to have, if possible, two beds, one for the day, and one for
night use; or else two sets of sheets, that, each set being used one day
and aired the next, the bed may be kept fresh and wholesome. Suppose our
friend were to catch cold in consequence of all this freshness!

No, we do better to avoid fresh air; nor should we vex our patient with
much washing. We will not learn to feed the sick, but send their food away
when they are unable to understand our clumsiness.

Yet, while we follow our own humor in this code of chamber practice, we
will pay tithes of mint and cummin to the men of science. We will ask
Monsieur Purgon how many grains of salt go to an egg; and if our patient
require twelve turns up and down the room, we will inquire with Argan,
whether they are to be measured by its length or breadth.

When we have added to our course some doses of religious horror, we shall
have done as much as conscience can demand of us toward filling the grave.

I may append here the remark, that if ever we do resolve to eat our
ancestors, there is the plan of a distinguished horticulturist apt for our
purpose. Mr. Loudon, I believe it was, who proposed, some years ago, the
conversion of the dead into rotation crops—that our grandfathers and
grandmothers should be converted into corn and mangel-wurzel. His
suggestion was to combine burial with farming operations. A field was to
be, during forty years, a place of interment: then the field adjacent was
to be taken for that purpose; and so on with others in rotation. A due
time having been allowed for the manure in each field to rot, the dead
were to be well worked up and gradually disinterred in the form of wheat,
or carrots, or potatoes.

Nothing appears odd to which we are accustomed. We look abroad and wonder,
but we look at home and are content. The Esquimaux believe that men dying
in windy weather are unfortunate, because their souls, as they escape,
risk being blown away. Some Negroes do not bury in the rainy season, for
they believe that then the gods, being all busy up above, can not attend
to any ceremonies. Dr. Hooker writes home from the Himalaya mountains,
that about Lake Yarou the Lamas’ bodies are exposed, and kites are
summoned to devour them by the sound of a gong and of a trumpet made out
of a human thigh-bone. Such notions from abroad arrest our notice, but we
see nothing when we look at home. We might see how we fill our sick-rooms
with a fatal gloom, and keep our dead five or six days within our houses,
to bury them, side by side and one over another, thousands together, in
the middle of our cities. However, when we do succeed in getting at a view
of our own life _ab extra_, it is a pleasant thing to find that sanitary
heresies at any rate have not struck deep root in the British soil. In an
old book of emblems there is a picture of Cupid whipping a tortoise, to
the motto that Love hates delay. If lovers of reform in sanitary matters
hate delay, it is a pity; for our good old tortoise has a famous shell,
and is not stimulated easily.

IX. The Fire And The Dressing-Room.

Against the weather all men are Protectionists—all men account it matter
of offense. What say the people of the north? A Highland preacher, one
December Sunday, in the fourth hour of his sermon—For be it known to
Englishmen who nod at church, that in the Highlands, after four good hours
of prayer and psalm, there follow four good hours of sermon. And, _nota
bene_, may it not be that the shade of our King Henry I. does penance
among Highland chapels now, for having, in his lifetime, made one Roger a
bishop because he was expert in scrambling through the services?—A
Highland pastor saw his congregation shivering. “Ah!” he shouted, “maybe
ye think this a cauld place; but, let me tell ye, hell’s far caulder!” An
English hearer afterward reproached this minister for his perversion of
the current faith. “Hout, man,” said he, “ye dinna ken the Hielanders. If
I were to tell them hell was a hot place, they’d all be laboring to go
there.” And that was true philosophy. Mythologies invented in the north,
imagined their own climate into future torture. Above, in the northern
lights, they saw a chase of miserable souls, half starved, and hunted to
and fro by ravens; below, they imagined Nastrond with its frosts and
serpents. Warmth is delightful, certainly. No doubt but sunburnt nations
picture future punishment as fire. Yes, naturally, for it is in the middle
region only that we are not wearied with extremes. What region shall we
take? Our own? When is it not too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, or too
uncertain? Italy? There the sun breeds idle maggots. As for the poet’s
paradise, Cashmere, botanists tell us that, although, no doubt, fruits
grow luxuriantly there, they are extremely flavourless. Then it is obvious
that to abuse, antagonise, defy the weather, is one of the established
rights of man. Upon our method of defying it, our health, in some measure,
depends. How is our right to be maintained unhealthily?

Not by blind obedience to nature. We are correcting her, and must not let
her guide us. Nature considers all men savages—and savages they would be,
if they followed her. What is barbarism? Man in a state of nature. Nature,
I say, treats us almost as if we were unable to light fires, or stich for
ourselves breeches. Nature places near the hand of man in each climate a
certain food, and tyrannizes over his stomach with a certain craving.
Whales and seals delight the Esquimaux; he eats his blubber and defies the
frost. So fed, the Esquimaux woman can stand out of doors, suckling her
infant at an open breast, with the thermometer 40° below zero. As we go
south, we pass the lands of bread and beef, to reach the sultry region
wherein nature provides dates, and so forth. Even in our own range of the
seasons, nature seeks to bind us to her own routine; in winter gives an
appetite for flesh and fat, in summer takes a part of it away. We are not
puppets, and we will not be dictated to; so we stimulate the stomach, and
allow no brute instinct to tamper with our social dietary. We do here, on
a small scale, what is done, on a large scale, by our friends in India,
who pepper themselves into appetite, that they may eat, and drink, and
die. We drink exciting beverage in summer, because we are hot; we drink it
in winter, because we are cold. The fact is, we are driven to such
practices; for if we did not interfere to take the guidance of our diet
out of nature’s hands, she would make food do a large portion of the
service which civilization asks of fire and clothing. We should walk about
warm in the winter, cool in the summer, having the warmth and coolness in
ourselves. Now, it is obvious that this would never do. We must be
civilized, or we must not. Is Mr. Sangster to sell tomahawks instead of
canes? Clearly, he is not. We must so manage our homes as to create
unhealthy bodies. If we do not, society is ruined; if we do—and in
proportion as we do so—we become more and more unfit to meet vicissitudes
of weather. Then we acquire a social craving after fires, and coats, and
cloaks, and wrappers, and umbrellas, and cork soles, and muffetees, and
patent hareskins, and all the blessings of this life, upon which our
preservation must depend. These prove that we have stepped beyond the
brute. You never saw a lion with cork soles and muffetees. The tiger never
comes out, of nights, in a great coat. The eagle never soars up from his
nest with an umbrella. Man alone comprehends these luxuries; and it is
when he is least healthy that he loves them best.

In winter, then, it is not diet, and it is not exercise, that shall excite
in us a vital warmth. We will depend on artificial means; we will be
warmed, not from within, but from without. We will set ourselves about a
fire, like pies, and bake; heating the outside first. Where the fire
fails, we will depend upon the dressing-room.

If we have healthy chests, we will encase ourselves in flannel; but if we
happen to have chest complaint, we will use nothing of the sort. When we
go out, we will empanoply our persons, so that we may warm ourselves by
shutting in all exhalation from our bodies, and by husbanding what little
heat we permit nature to provide for us.

In summer we will eat rich dinners and drink wine, will cast off
three-fourths of the thickness of our winter clothing, and still be
oppressed by heat. Iced drinks shall take the place of fire.

Civilized people can not endure being much wetted. Contact of water,
during exercise, will do no harm to healthy bodies, but will spoil good
clothes. We will get damp only when we walk out in bad weather; then, when
we come home, we need no change. Evaporation from damp clothes—the act of
drying—while the body cools down, resting, and perhaps fatigued, that is
what damages the health; against that we have no objection.

Hem! No doubt it is taking a great liberty with a Briton to look over his
wardrobe. I will not trespass so far, but, my dear sir, your Hat! If we
are to have a column on our heads, let it be one in which we can feel
pride; a miniature monument; and we might put a statue on the top. Hats,
as they are now worn, would not fitly support more than a bust. Is not
this mean? On ægritudinary grounds we will uphold a hat. To keep the
edifice from taking flight before a puff of wind, it must be fitted pretty
tightly round the head, must press over the forehead and the occiput. How
much it presses, a red ring upon our flesh will often testify. Heads are
not made of putty; pressure implies impediment to certain processes
within; one of these processes is called the circulation of the blood. The
brain lies underneath our hats. Well, that is as it should be. Ladies do
not wear hats, and never will, the bonnet is so artful a contrivance for
encompassing the face with ornament; roses and lilies and
daffidowndillies, which would have sent Flora into fits, and killed her
long ago, had such a goddess ever been.

I said that there was brain under the hat; this is not always obvious, but
there is generally hair. Once upon a time, not very long ago, hair was
constructed with great labor into a huge tower upon every lady’s head,
pomatum being used by way of mortar, and this tower was repaired every
three weeks. The British matron then looked like a “mop-headed Papuan.”
The two were much alike, except in this, that while our countrywoman
triumphed in her art, the Papuan was discontented with his nature. The
ladies here, whose hair was naturally made to fall around the shoulders,
reared it up on end; but in New Guinea, fashionables born with hair that
grew of its own will into an upright bush, preferred to cut it off, and
re-arrange it in a wig directed downwards. Sometimes they do no more than
crop it close; and then, since it is characteristic of the hair in this
race to grow, not in an expanse, but in tufts, the head is said by sailors
to remind them of a worn-out shoe-brush. So, at the Antipodes as well as
here, Art is an enemy to Nature. Hair upon the head was meant originally
to preserve in all seasons an equable temperature above the brain.
Emptying grease-pots into it, and matting it together, we convert it into
an unwholesome skull-cap.

The neck? Here sanitary people say, How satisfactory it is that Englishmen
keep their necks covered with a close cravat, and do not Byronize in
opposition to the climate. That is very good; but English women, who
account themselves more delicate, don’t cover their necks, indeed they do
not at all times cover their shoulders. So traveling from top to toe, if
Englishmen wear thick shoes to protect the feet, our English women scorn
the weakness, and go, except a little fancy covering, bare-footed.

From this point I digress, to note of other garments that the English
dress, as now established, does on the whole fair credit to society. To
the good gentlemen who poetize concerning grace and the antique, who sigh
for togas, stolas, and paludaments, I say, Go to. The drapery you sigh for
was the baby-linen of the human race. Now we are out of long-clothes. The
present European dress is that which offers least impediment to action. It
shows what a Man is like, and that is more than any stranger from another
world could have detected under the upholstery to which our sculptors
cling. The merest hint of a man—shaped as God shaped him—is better than
ten miles of folded blanket. Artists cry down our costume; forgetting that
if they have not folds of drapery to paint, that is because they have in
each man every limb to which they may assign its posture. If they can put
no mind into a statue by the mastery of attitude, all the sheets in Guy’s
Hospital will not twist into a fold that shall be worth their chiseling.

With women it is different. They have both moral and æsthetic right to
drapery; and for the fashion of it, we must leave that to themselves. They
are all licensed to deal in stuffs, colors, frippery, and flounce. And to
wear rings in their ears. If ladies have good taste they can not vex us;
and that any of them can have bad taste, who shall hint? Their stays they
will abide by, as they love hysterics; them I have mentioned. I have
before also gone out of my way to speak of certain humps carried by women
on their backs, which are not healthy or unhealthy—who shall say what they
are? Are these humps allegorical? Our wives and daughters perhaps wish to
hint that they resemble camels in their patience; camels who bear their
burden through a desert world, which we, poor folk, should find it quite
impossible to travel through without them.

X. Fresh Air.

Philosophers tell us that the breath of man is poisonous; that when
collected in a jar it will kill mice, but when accumulated in a room it
will kill men. Of this there are a thousand and one tales. I decline
alluding to the Black Hole of Calcutta, but will take a specimen dug up by
some sanitary gardener from Horace Walpole’s letters. In 1742 a set of
jolly Dogberries, virtuous in their cups, resolved that every woman out
after dark ought to be locked up in the round-house. They captured
twenty-six unfortunates, and shut them in with doors and windows fastened.
The prisoners exhausted breath in screaming. One poor girl said she was
worth eighteenpence, and cried that she would give it gladly for a cup of
water. Dogberry was deaf. In the morning four were brought out dead, two
dying, and twelve in a dangerous condition. This is an argument in favor
of the new police. I don’t believe in ventilation; and will undertake
here, in a few paragraphs, to prove it nonsense.

At the very outset, let us take the ventilation-mongers on their own
ground. People of this class are always referring us to nature. Very well,
we will be natural. Do you believe, sir, that the words of that dear lady,
when she said she loved you everlastingly, were poisonous air rendered
sonorous by the action of a larynx, tongue, teeth, palate, and lips? No,
indeed; ladies, at any rate, although they claim a double share of what
the cherubs want—and, possibly, these humps, now three times spoken of,
are the concealed and missing portions of the cherubim torn from them by
the fair sex in some ancient struggle. There, now, I am again shipwrecked
on the wondrous mountains. I was about to say, that ladies, who, in some
things, surpass the cherubs, equal them in others; like them, are vocal
with ethereal tones; their breath is “the sweet south, stealing across a
bed of violets,” and that’s not poisonous, I fancy. Well, I believe the
chemists have, as yet, not detected any difference between a man’s breath,
and a woman’s; therefore, neither of them can be hurtful. But let us grant
the whole position. Breath is poisonous, but nature made it so; nature
intended it to be so. Nature made man a social animal, and, therefore,
designed that many breaths should be commingled. Why do you, lovers of the
natural, object to that arrangement?

Now let us glance at the means adopted to get rid of this our breath, this
breath of which our words are made, libeled as poisonous. Ventilation is
of two kinds, mechanical and physical. I will say something about each.

Mechanical ventilation is that which machinery produces. One of the first
recorded ventilators of this kind, was not much more extravagant in its
charges upon house-room, than some of which we hear in 1850. In 1663, H.
Schmitz published the scheme of a great fanner, which, descending through
the ceiling, moved to and fro pendulum-wise, within a mighty slit. The
movement of the fanner was established by a piece of clockwork more simple
than compact: it occupied a complete chamber overhead, and was set in
noisy motion by a heavy weight. The weight ran slowly down, pulling its
rope until it reached the parlor floor; so that a gentleman incautiously
falling asleep under it after his dinner, might awake to find himself a
pancake. Since that time we have had no lack of ingenuity at work on
forcing pumps, and sucking-pumps, and screws. The screws are admirable, on
account of the unusually startling nature, now and then, of their results.
Not long ago, a couple of fine screws were adapted to a public building;
one was to take air out, the other was to turn air in. The first screw,
unexpectedly perverse, wheeled its air inward; so did the second, but
instead of directing its draught upward, it blew down with a great gust of
contempt upon the horrified experimentalist. There is something of a screw
principle in those queer little wheels fastened occasionally in our
windows, and on footmen’s hats—query, are those the ventilating hats?—the
rooms are as much ventilated by these little tins as they would be by an
air from “Don Giovanni.” I will say nothing about pumps; nor, indeed, need
we devote more space to mechanical contrivances, since it is from other
modes of ventilation that our cause has most to fear. Only one quaint
speculation may be mentioned. It is quite certain that in the heats of
India, air is not cooled by fanning, nor is it cooled judiciously by
damping it. Professor Piazzi Smyth last year suggested this idea: Compress
air by a forcing-pump into a close vessel, by so doing you increase its
heat, then suddenly allow it to escape into a room, it will expand so much
as to be cold, and, mixing with the other air in the apartment, cool the
whole mass. This is the last new theory, which has not yet, I think, been
tried in practice.

Now, physical ventilation—that which affects to imitate the processes of
nature—is a more dangerously specious business. Its chief agent is heat.
In nature, it is said, the sun is Lord High Ventilator. He rarefies the
air in one place by his heat, elsewhere permits cold, and lets the air be
dense; the thin air rises, and the dense air rushes to supply its place;
so we have endless winds and currents—nature’s ventilating works. It is
incredible that sane men should have thought this system fit for
imitation. It is a failure. Look at the hot department, where a traveler
sometimes has to record that he lay gasping for two hours upon his back,
until some one could find some water for him somewhere. Let us call that
Africa, and who can say that he enjoys the squalls of wind rushing toward
the desert? Let us think of the Persian and the Punic wars, when fleets
which had not learned to play bo-peep with ventilating processes, strewed
Mediterranean sands with wrecks and corpses. Some day we shall have these
mimics of Dame Nature content with nothing smaller than a drawing-room
typhoon to carry off the foul air of an evening party; dowagers’ caps,
young ladies’ scarfs, cards, pocket-handkerchiefs, will whirl upon their
blast, and then they will be happy. Now their demands are modest, but they
mean hurricanes rely upon it; we must not let ourselves be lulled into a
false security.

A fire, they say, is in English houses necessary during a large part of
the year, is constant during that season when we are most closely shut up
in our rooms. The fire, they say, is our most handy and most efficacious
ventilator. Oh, yes, we know something about that: we know too well that
the fire makes an ascending current, and that the cold air rushes from our
doors and windows to the chimney, as from surrounding countries to the
burning desert. We know that very well, because every such current is a
draught; one cuts into our legs, one gnaws about our necks, and all our
backs are cold. We are in the condition of a pious man in Fox’s “Martyrs,”
about whom I used to read with childish reverence: that after a great deal
of frying, during which he had not been turned by the Inquisition-Soyer,
he lifted up his voice in verse:

    “This side enough is toasted;
      Then turn me, tyrant, and eat,
    And see whether raw or roasted
      I make the better meat.”

We, all of us, over our Christmas fires, present this choice of raw or
roast, and we don’t thank your principles of ventilation for it. Then say
these pertinacious people, that they also disapprove of draughts; but they
don’t seem to mind boring holes in a gentleman’s floor, or knocking
through the sacred walls of home. This is their plan. They say, that you
should have, if possible, a pipe connected with the air without, passing
behind the cheeks of your stove, and opening under your fire, about, on,
or close before your hearth. They say, that from this source the fire will
be supplied so well, that it will no longer suck in draughts over your
shoulders, and between your legs, from remote corners of the room. They
say, moreover, that if this aperture be large enough, it will supply all
the fresh air needed in your room, to replace that which has ascended and
passed out, through a hole which you are to make in your chimney near the
ceiling. They say, that an up-draught will clear this air away so quietly
that you will not need even a valve; though you may have one fitted and
made ornamental at a trifling cost. They would recommend you to make
another hole in the wall opposite your chimney, near the ceiling also, to
establish a more effectual current in the upper air. Then, they say, you
will have a fresh air, and no draughts. Fresh air, yes, at the expense of
a hole in the floor, and two holes in the wall. We might get fresh air,
gentlemen, on a much larger scale by pulling the house down. They say, you
should not mind the holes. Windows are not architectural beauties, yet we
like them for admitting light; and some day it may strike us that the want
of ventilators is a neighbor folly to the want of windows.

This they suggest as the best method of adapting our old houses to their
new ideas. New houses they would have so built as to include this system
of ventilation in their first construction, and so include it as to make
it more effectual. But really, if people want to know how to build what
are called well-ventilated houses, they must not expect me to tell them;
let them buy Mr. Hosking’s book on “The proper Regulation of Buildings in

Up to this date, as I am glad to know, few architects have heard of
ventilation. Under church galleries we doze through the most lively
sermons, in public meetings we pant after air, but we have architecture;
perhaps an airy style sometimes attempts to comfort us. These
circumstances are, possibly, unpleasant at the time, but they assist the
cause of general unhealthiness. Long may our architects believe that human
lungs are instruments of brass; and let us hope that, when they get a
ventilating fit, they will prefer strange machines, pumping, screwing,
steaming apparatus. May they dispense then, doctored air, in draughts and

Fresh air in certain favored places—as in Smithfield, for example—is
undoubtedly an object of desire. It is exceedingly to be regretted, if the
rumors be correct, that the result of a Commission of Inquiry threatens,
by removing Smithfield, to destroy the only sound lung this metropolis
possesses. The wholesome nature of the smell of cows is quite notorious.
Humboldt tells of a sailor who was dying of fever in the close hold of a
ship. His end being in sight, some comrades brought him out to die. What
Humboldt calls “the fresh air” fell upon him, and, instead of dying, he
revived, eventually getting well. I have no doubt that there was a cow on
board, and the man smelt her. Now, if so great an effect was produced by
the proximity of one cow, how great must be the advantage to the sick in
London of a central crowded cattle-market!

XI. Exercise.

There is a little tell-tale muscle in the inner corner of the eye, which,
if you question it, will deliver a report into your looking-glass touching
the state of the whole muscular system which lies elsewhere hidden in your
body. When it is pale, it praises you. Muscular development is, by all
means, to be kept down. Some means of holding it in check we have already
dwelt upon. Muscular power, like all other power, will increase with
exercise. We desire to hold the flesh in strict subjection to the spirit.
Bodily exercise, therefore, must be added to the number of those forces
which, by strengthening the animal, do damage to the spiritual man.

We must take great pains to choke the energy of children. Their active
little limbs must be tied down by a well-woven system of politeness. They
run, they jump, turn heels over head, they climb up trees, if they attempt
stillness they are ever on the move, because nature demands that while the
body grows, it shall be freely worked in all its parts, in order that it
may develop into a frame-work vigorous and well proportioned. Nature
really is more obstinate than usual on this point. So restless a delight
in bodily exertion is implanted in the child, that our patience is
considerably tried when we attempt to keep it still. Children, however,
can be tamed and civilized. By sending them unhealthy from the nursery, we
can deliver many of them spiritless at school, there to be properly
subdued. The most unwholesome plan is to send boys to one school, girls to
another; both physically and morally, this method gives good hope of
sickliness. Nature, who never is on our side, will allow children of each
sex to be born into one family, to play together, and be educated at one
mother’s knee. There ought to be—if nature had the slightest sense of
decency—girls only born in one house, boys only in another. However, we
can sort the children at an early age, and send them off to school—girls
east, boys west.

A girl should be allowed, on no account, to climb a tree, or be
unladylike. She shall regard a boy as a strange, curious monster; be
forced into flirtation; and prefer the solace of a darling friend to any
thing that verges on a scamper. She shall learn English grammar: that is
to mean, Lindley Murray’s notion of it; geography, or the names of capital
towns, rivers, and mountain ranges; French enough for a lady; music,
ornamental needlework, and the “use of the globes.” By-the-by, what a
marvel it is that every lady has learned in her girlhood the use of the
globes, and yet you never see a lady using them. All these subjects she
shall study from a female point of view. Her greatest bodily fatigue shall
be the learning of a polka, or the Indian sceptre exercise. Now and then,
she shall have an iron down her back, and put her feet in stocks. The
young lady shall return from school, able to cover ottomans with worsted
birds; and to stitch a purse for the expected lover about whom she has
been thinking for the last five years. She is quite aware that St.
Petersburg is the capital of Ireland, and that a noun is a
verb-substantive, which signifies to be, to do, to suffer.

The boy children shall be sent to school, where they may sit during three
hours consecutively, and during eight or nine hours in the day, forcing
their bodies to be tranquil. They shall entertain their minds by
stuttering the eloquence of Cicero, which would be dull work to them in
English, and is not enlivened by the Latin. They shall get much into their
mouths of what they can not comprehend, and little or nothing into their
hearts, out of the wide stores of information for which children really
thirst. They shall be taught little or nothing of the world they live in,
and shall know its Maker only as an answer to some question in a
catechism. They shall talk of girls as beings of another nature; and shall
come home from their school-life, pale, subdued, having unwholesome
thoughts, awkward in using limbs, which they have not been suffered freely
to develop; and shamefaced in the society from which, during their
schoolboy life, they have been banished.

The older girl shall ape the lady, and the older boy shall ape the
gentleman; so we may speak next of adults.

No lady ought to walk when she can ride. The carriages of many kinds which
throng our streets, all prove us civilized; prove us, and make us weak.
The lady should be tired after a four-mile walk; her walk ought to be, in
the utmost possible degree, weeded of energy. It should be slow; and when
her legs are moved, her arms must be restrained from that synchronous
movement which perverse Nature calls upon them to perform. Ladies do well
to walk out with their arms quite still, and with their hands folded
before them. Thus they prevent their delicacy from being preyed upon by a
too wholesome exercise, and, what is to us more pleasant, they betray
their great humility. They dare only to walk among us lords of the
creation with their arms folded before them, that by such humble guise
they may acknowledge the inferiority of their position. An Australian
native, visiting London, might almost be tempted, in sheer pride of heart,
to knock some of our ladies two or three times about the head with that
small instrument which he employs for such correction of his women, that
so he might derive the more enjoyment from their manifest submissiveness.

The well-bred gentleman ought to be weary after six miles of walking, and
haughtily stare down the man who talks about sixteen. The saddle, the gig,
the carriage, or the cab, and omnibus, must protect at once his delicacy
and his shoes. The student should confine himself to study, grudging time;
believing nobody who tells him that the time he gives to wholesome
exercise, he may receive back in the shape of increased value for his
hours of thought—that even his life of study may be lengthened by it. Let
the tradesman be well-rooted in his shop if he desire to flourish. Let the
mechanic sit at labor on the week-days, and on Sundays let him sit at
church, or else stop decently at home. Let us have no Sunday recreations.
It is quite shocking to hear sanitary people lecture on this topic.
Profanely they profess to wonder why the weary, toiling family of
Christians should not be carried from the town, and from that hum of
society which is not to them very refreshing on the day of rest. Why they
should not go out and wander in the woods, and ask their hearts who taught
the dragon-fly his dancing; who made the blue-bells cluster lovingly
together, looking so modest; and ask from whose Opera the birds are
singing their delicious music? Why should not the rugged man’s face
soften, and the care-worn woman’s face be melted into tenderness, and man
and wife and children cluster as closely as the blue-bells in the peaceful
wood? What if they there become so very conscious of their mutual love,
and of the love of God, as to feel glad that they are not in any other
“place of worship,” where they may hear Roman Catholics denounced, or
Churchmen scorned, or the Dissenters pounded? What if they then come home
refreshed in mind and body, and begin the week with larger, gentler
thoughts of God and man? By such means may they not easily be led, if they
were at any unwilling, to give praise to God, and learn to join—not as a
superstitious rite, but as a humble duty—in His public worship? So talk
the sanitary men—here, as in all their doctrines, showing themselves
little better than materialists. The negro notion of a Sabbath is, that
nobody may fish: our notion is, that nobody may stay away from church.

In these remarks on exercise among adults, I have confined myself to the
plain exercise of walking. It may be taken for granted that no grown-up
person will be so childish as to leap, to row, to swim. A few Young
Englanders may put on, now and then, their white kid gloves to patronize a
cricket-match; but we can laugh at them. In a gentleman it is undignified
to run; and even walking, at the best, is vulgar.

Indeed there is an obvious vulgarity in the whole doctrine which would
call upon us to assist our brute development by the mere exercising of
ourselves as animals. Such counsel offers to degrade us to the low
position of the race-horse who is trotted to and fro, the poodle who is
sent out for an airing. As spiritual people, we look down with much
contempt upon the man who would in any thing compare us with the lower
animals. His mind is mean, and must be quite beneath our indignation. I
will say no more. Why thrash a pickpocket with thunder?

XII. A Bedroom Paper.

If you wish to have a thoroughly unhealthy bedroom, these are the
precautions you should take.

Fasten a chimney-board against the fireplace, so as to prevent foul air
from escaping in the night. You will, of course, have no hole through the
wall into the chimney; and no sane man, in the night season, would have a
door or window open. Use no perforated zinc in paneling; especially avoid
it in small bedrooms. So you will get a room full of bad air. But in the
same room there is bad, worse, and worst: your object is to have the worst
air possible. Suffocating machines are made by every upholsterer; attach
one to your bed; it is an apparatus of poles, rings, and curtains. By
drawing your curtains around you before you sleep, you insure to yourself
a condensed body of foul air over your person. This poison vapor-bath you
will find to be most efficient when it is made of any thick material.

There being transpiration through the skin, it would not be a bad idea to
see whether this can not be in some way hindered. The popular method will
do very well: smother the flesh as much as possible in feathers. A
wandering princess, in some fairy tale, came to a king’s house. The king’s
wife, with the curiosity and acuteness proper to her sex, desired to know
whether their guest was truly born a princess, and discovered how to solve
the question. She put three peas on the young lady’s paillasse, and over
them a large feather-bed, and then another, then another—in fact, fifteen
feather-beds. Next morning the princess looked pale, and, in answer to
inquiries how she had passed the night, said that she had been unable to
sleep at all, because the bed had lumps in it. The king’s wife knew then
that their guest showed her good breeding. Take this high-born lady for a
model. The feathers retain all heat about your body, and stifle the skin
so far effectually, that you awake in the morning pervaded by a sense of
languor, which must be very agreeable to a person who has it in his mind
to be unhealthy. In order to keep a check upon exhalation about your head
(which otherwise might have too much the way of Nature), put on a stout,
closely-woven night-cap. People who are at the height of cleverness in
this respect sleep with their heads under the bed-clothes. Take no rest on
a hair-mattress; it is elastic and pleasant, certainly, but it does not
encase the body; and therefore you run a risk of not awaking languid.

Never wash when you go to bed; you are not going to see any body, and
therefore there can be no use in washing. In the morning, wet no more skin
than you absolutely must—that is to say, no more than your neighbors will
see during the day—the face and hands. So much you may do with a tolerably
good will, since it is the other part of the surface of the body, more
covered and more impeded in the full discharge of its functions, which has
rather the more need of ablution; it is therefore fortunate that you can
leave that other part unwashed. Five minutes of sponging and rubbing over
the whole body in the morning would tend to invigorate the system, and
would send you with a cheerful glow to the day’s business or pleasure.
Avoid it by all means, if you desire to be unhealthy. Let me note here,
that in speaking of the poor, we should abstain from ceding to them an
exclusive title, as “the Great Unwashed.” Will you, Mr. N. or M., retire
into your room and strip? Examine your body; is it clean—was it sponged
this morning—is there no dirt upon it any where? If it be not clean, if it
was not sponged, if water would look rather black after you had enjoyed a
thorough scrub in it, then is it not obvious that you yourself take rank
among the Great Unwashed? By way of preserving a distinction between them
and us, I even think it would be no bad thing were we to advocate the
washing of the poor.

Do not forget that, although you must unfortunately apply water to your
face you can find warrant in custom to excuse you from annoying it with
soap; and for the water again, you are at liberty to take vengeance by
obtaining compensation damages out of that part of your head which the
hair covers. Never wash it; soil it; clog it with oil or lard—either of
which will answer your purpose, as either will keep out air as well as
water, and promote the growth of a thick morion of scurf. Lard in the
bedroom is called bear’s grease. In connection with its virtues in
promoting growth of hair, there is a tale which I believe to be no
fiction; not the old and profane jest of the man who rubbed a deal box
with it over-night, and found a hair-trunk in the morning. It is said that
the first adventurer who advertised bear’s grease for sale, appended to
the laudation of its efficacy a Nota Bene, that gentlemen, after applying
it, should wash the palms of their hands, otherwise the hair would sprout
thence also. I admire that speculator, grimly satiric at the expense both
of himself and of his customers. He jested at his own pretensions; and
declared, by an oblique hint, that he did not look for friends among the
scrupulously clean.

Tooth-powder is necessary in the bedroom. Healthy stomachs will make
healthy teeth, and then a tooth-brush and a little water may suffice to
keep them clean. But healthy stomachs also make coarse constitutions. It
is vexatious that our teeth rot when we vitiate the fluid that surrounds
them. As gentlemen and ladies we desire good teeth; they must be scoured
and hearth-stoned.

Of course, as you do not cleanse your body daily, so you will not show
favor to your feet. Keep up a due distinction between the upper and lower
members. When a German prince was told confidentially that he had dirty
hands, he replied, with the liveliness of conscious triumph,

“Ach, do you call dat dirty? You should see my toes!”

Some people wash them once in every month; that will do very well; or once
a year, it matters little which. In what washing you find yourself unable
to omit, use only the finest towels, those which inflict least friction on
the skin.

Having made these arrangements for yourself, take care that they are
adhered to, as far is may be convenient, throughout your household.

Here and there, put numerous sleepers into a single room; this is a good
thing for children, if you require to blanch them. By a little
perseverance, also, in this way, when you have too large a family, you can
reduce it easily. By all means, let a baby have foul air, not only by the
use of suffocative apparatus, but by causing it to sleep where there are
four or five others in a well-closed room. So much is due to the
maintenance of our orthodox rate of infant mortality.

Let us admire, lastly, the economy of time in great men who have allowed
themselves only four, five, or six hours, for sleep. It may be true that
they would have lived longer had they always paid themselves a fair
night’s quiet for a fair day’s work; they would have lived longer, but
they would not have lived so fast. It is essential to live fast in this
busy world. Moreover, there is a superstitious reverence for early rising,
as a virtue by itself, which we shall do well to acquire. Let sanitary men
say, “Roost with the lark, if you propose to rise with her.” Nonsense. No
civilized man can go to bed much earlier than midnight; but every man of
business must be up betimes. Idle, happy people, on the other hand, they
to whom life is useless, prudently remain for nine, ten, or a dozen hours
in bed. Snug in their corner, they are in the way of nobody, except the


    “Now wotte we nat, ne can na see
    What manir ende that there shall be.”

Birth, sickness, burial. Eating, drinking, clothing, sleeping. Exercise,
and social pleasure. Air, water, and light. These are the topics upon
which we have already touched. A finished painting of good ægritudinary
discipline was not designed upon the present canvas: no man who knows the
great extent and varied surface of the scene which such a picture should
embrace, will think that there is here even an outline finished.

We might have recommended early marriages; and marriage with first
cousins. We might have urged all men with heritable maladies to shun
celibacy. We might have praised tobacco, which, by acting on the mucous
membrane of the mouth, acts on the same membrane in the stomach also
(precisely as disorder of the stomach will communicate disorder to the
mouth), and so helps in establishing a civilized digestion and a pallid

    “But we woll stint of this matere
    For it is wondir long to here.”

It is inherent in man to be perverse. A drawing-room critic, in one of
Gait’s novels, takes up a picture of a cow, holds it inverted, and enjoys
it as a castellated mansion with four corner towers. And so, since “all
that moveth doth mutation love,” after a like fashion, many people, it
appears, have looked upon these papers. There is a story to the point in
Lucian. Passus received commission from a connoisseur to draw a horse with
his legs upward. He drew it in the usual way. His customer came
unannounced, saw what had been done, and grumbled fearfully. Passus,
however, turned his picture up-side down, and then the connoisseur was
satisfied. These papers have been treated like the horse of Passus.

“Stimatissimo Signor Boswell” says, in his book on Corsica, that he rode
out one day on Paoli’s charger, gay with gold and scarlet, and surrounded
by the chieftain’s officers. For a while, he says, he thought he was a
hero. Thus, like a goose on horseback, has our present writer visited some
few of the chief ægritudinary outposts. Why not so? They say there is no
way impossible. Wherefore an old emblem-book has represented Cupid
crossing a stream which parts him from an altar, seated at ease upon his
quiver, for a boat, and rowing with a pair of arrows. So has the writer
floated over on a barrel of his folly, and possibly may touch, O reader,
at the Altar of your Household Gods.


    Bury thy sorrows, and they shall rise
    As souls to the immortal skies,
    And then look down like mothers’ eyes.
    But let thy joys be fresh as flowers,
    That suck the honey of the showers,
    And bloom alike on huts and towers.
    So shall thy days be sweet and bright—
    Solemn and sweet thy starry night—
    Conscious of love each change of light.
    The stars will watch the flowers asleep,
    The flowers will feel the soft stars weep,
    And both will mix sensations deep.
    With these below, with those above,
    Sits evermore the brooding Dove,
    Uniting both in bonds of love.
    Children of Earth are these; and those
    The spirits of intense repose—
    Death radiant o’er all human woes.
    For both by nature are akin;
    Sorrow, the ashen fruit of sin,
    And joy, the juice of life within.
    O, make thy sorrows holy—wise—
    So shall their buried memories rise,
    Celestial, e’en in mortal skies.
    O, think what then had been their doom,
    If all unshriven—without a tomb—
    They had been left to haunt the gloom!
    O, think again what they will be
    Beneath God’s bright serenity,
    When thou art in eternity!
    For they, in their salvation, know
    No vestige of their former woe,
    While thro’ them all the Heavens do flow.
    Thus art thou wedded to the skies,
    And watched by ever-loving eyes,
    And warned by yearning sympathies.


(_Continued from Page_ 499.)

Chapter XII. “A Glance At Staff-Duty.”

Although the passage of the Rhine was but the prelude to the attack on the
fortress, that exploit being accomplished, Kehl was carried at the point
of the bayonet, the French troops entering the outworks pell-mell with the
retreating enemy, and in less than two hours after the landing of our
first detachments, the “tri-color” waved over the walls of the fortress.

Lost amid the greater and more important successes which since that time
have immortalized the glory of the French arms, it is almost impossible to
credit the celebrity attached at that time to this brilliant achievement,
whose highest merits probably were rapidity and resolution. Moreau had
long been jealous of the fame of his great rival, Bonaparte, whose
tactics, rejecting the colder dictates of prudent strategy, and the slow
progress of scientific manoeuvres, seemed to place all his confidence in
the sudden inspirations of his genius, and the indomitable bravery of his
troops. It was necessary, then, to raise the _morale_ of the army of the
Rhine, to accomplish some great feat similar in boldness and heroism to
the wonderful achievements of the Italian army. Such was the passage of
the Rhine at Strasbourg, effected in the face of a great enemy,
advantageously posted, and supported by one of the strongest of all the
frontier fortresses.

The morning broke upon us in all the exultation of our triumph, and as our
cheers rose high over the field of the late struggle, each heart beat
proudly with the thought of how that news would be received in Paris.

“You’ll see how the bulletin will spoil all,” said a young officer of the
army of Italy, as he was getting his wound dressed on the field. “There
will be such a long narrative of irrelevant matter—such details of this,
that, and t’other—that the public will scarce know whether the placard
announces a defeat or a victory.”

“Parbleu!” replied an old veteran of the Rhine army, “what would you have?
You’d not desire to omit the military facts of such an exploit?”

“To be sure I would,” rejoined the other. “Give me one of our young
general’s bulletins, short, stirring, and effective—‘Soldiers! you have
crossed the Rhine against an army double your own in numbers and munitions
of war. You have carried a fortress, believed impregnable, at the bayonet.
Already the great flag of our nation waves over the citadel you have won.
Forward, then, and cease not till it float over the cities of conquered
Germany, and let the name of France be that of Empire over the continent
of Europe.’ ”

“Ha! I like that,” cried I, enthusiastically; “that’s the bulletin to my
fancy. Repeat it once more, mon lieutenant, that I may write it in my

“What! hast thou a note-book?” cried an old staff-officer, who was
preparing to mount his horse; “let’s see it, lad.”

With a burning cheek and trembling hand, I drew my little journal from the
breast of my jacket, and gave it to him.

“Sacre bleu!” exclaimed he, in a burst of laughter, “what have we here?
Why, this is a portrait of old General Morieier, and, although a
caricature, a perfect likeness. And here comes a plan for ‘manoeuvring a
squadron by threes from the left.’ This is better—it is a receipt for an
‘Omelette à la Hussard;’ and here we have a love-song, and a
mustache-paste, with some hints about devotion, and diseased frog in
horses. Most versatile genius, certainly!” And so he went on, occasionally
laughing at my rude sketches, and ruder remarks, till he came to a page
headed “Equitation, as practiced by Officers of the Staff,” and followed
by a series of caricatures of bad riding, in all its moods and tenses. The
flush of anger which instantly colored his face, soon attracted the notice
of those about him, and one of the bystanders quickly snatched the book
from his fingers, and, in the midst of a group all convulsed with
laughter, proceeded to expatiate upon my illustrations. To be sure, they
were absurd enough. Some were represented sketching on horseback, under
shelter of an umbrella; others were “taking the depth of a stream” by a
“header” from their own saddles; some, again, were “exploring ground for
an attack in line,” by a measurement of the rider’s own length over the
head of his horse. Then there were ridiculous situations, such as “sitting
down before a fortress,” “taking an angle of incidence,” and so on. Sorry
jests, all of them, but sufficient to amuse those with whose daily
associations they chimed in, and to whom certain traits of portraiture
gave all the zest of a personality.

My shame at the exposure, and my terror for its consequences, gradually
yielded to a feeling of flattered vanity at the success of my
lucubrations; and I never remarked that the staff-officer had ridden away
from the group, till I saw him galloping back at the top of his speed.

“Is your name Tiernay, my good fellow?” cried he, riding close up to my
side, and with an expression on his features I did not half like.

“Yes, sir,” replied I.

“Hussar of the Ninth, I believe?” repeated he, reading from a paper in his

“The same, sir.”

“Well, your talents as a draughtsman have procured you promotion, my
friend; I have obtained your discharge from your regiment, and you are now
my orderly—orderly on the staff, do you mind? so mount, sir, and follow

I saluted him respectfully, and prepared to obey his orders. Already I
foresaw the downfall of all the hopes I had been cherishing, and
anticipated the life of tyranny and oppression that lay before me. It was
clear to me, that my discharge had been obtained solely as a means of
punishing me, and that Captain Discau, as the officer was called, had
destined me to a pleasant expiation of my note-book. The savage exultation
with which he watched me, as I made up my kit and saddled my horse—the
cool malice with which he handed me back the accursed journal, the cause
of all my disasters—gave me a dark foreboding of what was to follow; and
as I mounted my saddle, my woeful face, and miserable look, brought forth
a perfect shout of laughter from the bystanders.

Captain Discau’s duty was to visit the banks of the Rhine, and the Eslar
island, to take certain measurements of distances, and obtain accurate
information on various minute points respecting the late engagement, for,
while a brief announcement of the victory would suffice for the bulletin,
a detailed narrative of the event, in all its bearings, must be drawn up
for the minister of war, and for this latter purpose various
staff-officers were then employed in different parts of the field.

As we issued from the fortress, and took our way over the plain, we struck
out into a sharp gallop; but, as we drew near the river, our passage
became so obstructed by lines of baggage-wagons, tumbrils, and
ammunition-carts, that we were obliged to dismount and proceed on foot;
and now I was to see, for the first time, that dreadful picture, which, on
the day after a battle, forms the reverse of the great medal of glory.
Huge litters of wounded men on their way back to Strasbourg, were drawn by
six or eight horses, their jolting motion increasing the agony of
sufferings that found their vent in terrific cries and screams; oaths,
yells, and blasphemies, the ravings of madness, and the wild shouts of
infuriated suffering, filled the air on every side. As if to give the
force of contrast to this uproar of misery, two regiments of Swabian
infantry marched past as prisoners. Silent, crest-fallen, and
wretched-looking, they never raised their eyes from the ground, but moved,
or halted, wheeled, or stood at ease, as though by some impulse of
mechanism; a cord coupled the wrists of the outer files, one with another,
which struck me less as a measure of security against escape, than as a
mark of indignity.

Carts and charettes with wounded officers, in which often-times the
uniform of the enemy appeared side by side with our own, followed in long
procession; and thus were these two great currents—the one hurrying
forward, ardent, high-hearted, and enthusiastic; the other returning
maimed, shattered, and dying!

It was an affecting scene to see the hurried gestures, and hear the few
words of adieu, as they passed each other. Old comrades who were never to
meet again, parted with a little motion of the hand; sometimes a mere look
was all their leave-taking: save when, now and then, a halt would for a
few seconds bring the two lines together, and then many a bronzed and
rugged cheek was pressed upon the faces of the dying, and many a tear fell
from eyes bloodshot with the fury of the battle! Wending our way on foot
slowly along, we at last reached the river side, and having secured a
small skiff, made for the Eslar island; our first business being to
ascertain some details respecting the intrenchments there, and the depth
and strength of the stream between it and the left bank. Discau, who was a
distinguished officer, rapidly possessed himself of the principal facts he
wanted, and then, having given me his portfolio, he seated himself under
the shelter of a broken wagon, and opening a napkin, began his breakfast
off a portion of a chicken and some bread—viands which, I own, more than
once made my lips water as I watched him.

“You’ve eaten nothing to-day, Tiernay?” asked he, as he wiped his lips,
with the air of a man that feels satisfied.

“Nothing, mon capitaine,” replied I.

“That’s bad,” said he, shaking his head; “a soldier can not do his duty,
if his rations be neglected. I have always maintained the principle: Look
to the men’s necessaries—take care of their food and clothing. Is there
any thing on that bone there?”

“Nothing, mon capitaine.”

“I’m sorry for it; I meant it for you; put up that bread, and the
remainder of that flask of wine. Bourdeaux is not to be had every day. We
shall want it for supper, Tiernay.”

I did as I was bid, wondering not a little why he said “_we_,” seeing how
little a share I occupied in the co-partnery.

“Always be careful of the morrow on a campaign, Tiernay—no squandering, no
waste; that’s one of my principles,” said he, gravely, as he watched me
while I tied up the bread and wine in the napkin. “You’ll soon see the
advantage of serving under an old soldier.”

I confess the great benefit had not already struck me, but I held my peace
and waited; meanwhile he continued—

“I have studied my profession from my boyhood, and one thing I have
acquired, that all experience has confirmed, the knowledge, that men must
neither be taxed beyond their ability nor their endurance; a French
soldier, after all, is human; eh, is’t not so?”

“I feel it most profoundly, mon capitaine,” replied I, with my hand on my
empty stomach.

“Just so,” rejoined he; “every man of sense and discretion must confess
it. Happily for you, too, I know it; ay, Tiernay, I know it, and practice
it. When a young fellow has acquitted himself to my satisfaction during
the day—not that I mean to say that the performance has not its fair share
of activity and zeal—when evening comes and stable duty finished, arms
burnished, and accoutrements cleaned, what do you think I say to him?—eh,
Tiernay, just guess now?”

“Probably, sir, you tell him he is free to spend an hour at the canteen,
or take his sweetheart to the theatre.”

“What! more fatigue! more exhaustion to an already tired and worn-out

“I ask pardon, sir, I see I was wrong; but I had forgotten how thoroughly
the poor fellow was done up. I now see that you told him to go to bed.”

“To bed! to bed! Is it that he might writhe in the nightmare, or suffer
agony from cramps? To bed after fatigue like this! No, no, Tiernay, that
was not the school in which _I_ was brought up; _we_ were taught to think
of the men under our command; to remember that they had wants, sympathies,
hopes, fears, and emotions like our own. I tell him to seat himself at the
table, and with pen, ink, and paper before him, to write up the blanks. I
see you don’t quite understand me, Tiernay, as to the meaning of the
phrase, but I’ll let you into the secret. You have been kind enough to
give me a peep at your note-book, and you shall in return have a look at
mine. Open that volume, and tell me what you find in it.”

I obeyed the direction, and read at the top of a page, the words
“Skeleton, 5th Prairial,” in large characters, followed by several
isolated words, denoting the strength of a brigade, the number of guns in
a battery, the depth of a fosse, the height of a parapet, and such like.
These were usually followed by a flourish of the pen, or sometimes by the
word “Bom.” which singular monosyllable always occurred at the foot of the

“Well, have you caught the key to the cipher?” said he, after a pause.

“Not quite, sir,” said I, pondering; “I can perceive that the chief facts
stand prominently forward, in a fair, round hand; I can also guess that
the flourishes may be spaces left for detail; but this word ‘Bom.’ puzzles
me completely.”

“Quite correct, as to the first part,” said he, approvingly; “and as to
the mysterious monosyllable, it is nothing more than an abbreviation for
‘Bombaste,’ which is always to be done to the taste of each particular
commanding officer.”

“I perceive, sir,” said I, quickly; “like the wadding of a gun, which may
increase the loudness, but never affect the strength of the shot.”

“Precisely, Tiernay; you have hit it exactly. Now I hope that, with a
little practice, you may be able to acquit yourself respectably in this
walk; and now to begin our skeleton. Turn over to a fresh page, and write
as I dictate to you.”

So saying, he filled his pipe and lighted it, and disposing his limbs in
an attitude of perfect ease, he began:

“8th Thermidor, midnight—twelve battalions, and two batteries of
field—boats and rafts—Eslar island—stockades—eight guns—Swabian
infantry—sharp firing, and a flourish—strong current—flourish—detachment
of the 28th carried down—‘Bom.’ Let me see it now—all right—nothing could
be better—proceed. The 10th, 45th, and 48th landing together—more
firing—flourish—first gun captured—Bom.—bayonet charges—Bom. Bom.—three
guns taken—Bom. Bom. Bom.—Swabs in retreat—flourish. The bridge eighty
toises in length—flanking fire—heavy loss—flourish.”

“You go a little too fast, mon capitaine,” said I, for a sudden bright
thought just flashed across me.

“Very well,” said he, shaking the ashes of his pipe out upon the rock,
“I’ll take my doze, and you may awaken me when you’ve filled in those
details—it will be a very fair exercise for you;” and with this he threw
his handkerchief over his face, and without any other preparation was soon
fast asleep.

I own that, if I had not been a spectator of the action, it would have
been very difficult, if not impossible, for me to draw up any thing like a
narrative of it, from the meagre details of the captain’s note-book. My
personal observations, however, assisted by an easy imagination, suggested
quite enough to make at least a plausible story, and I wrote away without
impediment and halt till I came to that part of the action in which the
retreat over the bridge commenced. There I stopped. Was I to remain
satisfied with such a crude and one-sided explanation as the note-book
afforded, and merely say that the retreating forces were harassed by a
strong flank fire from our batteries? Was I to omit the whole of the great
incident, the occupation of the “Fels Insel,” and the damaging discharges
of grape and round shot which plunged through the crowded ranks, and
ultimately destroyed the bridge? Could I—to use the phrase so
popular—could I, in the “interests of truth,” forget the brilliant
achievement of a gallant band of heroes who, led on by a young hussar of
the 9th, threw themselves into the “Fels Insel,” routed the garrison,
captured the artillery, and directing its fire upon the retiring enemy,
contributed most essentially to the victory. Ought I, in a word, to suffer
a name so associated with a glorious action to sink into oblivion? Should
Maurice Tiernay be lost to fame out of any neglect or false shame on my
part? Forbid it all truth and justice, cried I, as I set myself down to
relate the whole adventure most circumstantially. Looking up from time to
time at my officer, who slept soundly, I suffered myself to dilate upon a
theme in which somehow, I felt a more than ordinary degree of interest.
The more I dwelt upon the incident, the more brilliant and striking did it
seem. Like the appetite, which the proverb tells us comes by eating, my
enthusiasm grew under indulgence, so that, had a little more time been
granted me, I verily believe I should have forgotten Moreau altogether,
and coupled only Maurice Tiernay with the passage of the Rhine, and the
capture of the fortress of Kehl. Fortunately Captain Discau awoke, and cut
short my historic recollections, by asking me how much I had done, and
telling me to read it aloud to him.

I accordingly began to read my narrative slowly and deliberately, thereby
giving myself time to think what I should best do when I came to that part
which became purely personal. To omit it altogether would have been
dangerous, as the slightest glance at the mass of writing would have shown
the deception. There was, then, nothing left, but to invent at the moment
another version, in which Maurice Tiernay never occurred, and the incident
of the Fels Insel should figure as unobtrusively as possible. I was always
a better improvisatore than amanuensis; so that without a moment’s loss of
time I fashioned a new and very different narrative, and detailing the
battle tolerably accurately, _minus_ the share my own heroism had taken in
it. The captain made a few, a very few corrections of my style, in which
the “flourish” and “bom,” figured, perhaps, too conspicuously; and then
told me frankly, that once upon a time he had been fool enough to give
himself great trouble in framing these kind of reports, but that having
served for a short period in the “bureau” of the minister of war, he had
learned better. “In fact,” said he, “a district report is never read! Some
hundreds of them reach the office of the minister every day, and are
safely deposited in the ‘archives’ of the department. They have all,
besides, such a family resemblance, that with a few changes in the name of
the commanding officer, any battle in the Netherlands would do equally
well for one fought beyond the Alps! Since I became acquainted with this
fact, Tiernay, I have bestowed less pains upon the matter, and usually
deputed the task to some smart orderly of the staff.”

So thought I, I have been writing history for nothing; and Maurice
Tiernay, the real hero of the passage of the Rhine, will be unrecorded and
unremembered, just for want of one honest and impartial scribe to transmit
his name to posterity. The reflection was not a very encouraging one; nor
did it serve to lighten the toil in which I passed many weary hours,
copying out my own precious manuscript. Again and again during that night
did I wonder at my own diffuseness—again and again did I curse the prolix
accuracy of a description that cost such labor to reiterate. It was like a
species of poetical justice on me for my own amplifications; and when the
day broke, and I still sat at my table writing on, at the third copy of
this precious document, I vowed a vow of brevity, should I ever survive to
indite similar compositions.

Chapter XIII. A Farewell Letter.

It was in something less than a week after, that I entered upon my new
career as orderly in the staff, when I began to believe myself the most
miserable of all human beings. On the saddle at sunrise, I never
dismounted, except to carry a measuring-chain, “to step distances,” mark
out intrenchments, and then write away, for hours, long enormous reports,
that were to be models of calligraphy, neatness, and elegance—and never to
be read. Nothing could be less like soldiering than the life I led; and
were it not for the clanking sabre I wore at my side, and the jingling
spurs that decorated my heels, I might have fancied myself a notary’s
clerk. It was part of General Moreau’s plan to strengthen the defenses of
Kehl before he advanced further into Germany; and to this end repairs were
begun upon a line of earth-works, about two leagues to the northward of
the fortress, at a small village called “Ekheim.” In this miserable little
hole, one of the dreariest spots imaginable, we were quartered, with two
companies of “sapeurs” and some of the wagon-train, trenching, digging,
carting earth, sinking wells, and in fact engaged in every kind of labor
save that which seemed to be characteristic of a soldier.

I used to think that Nancy and the riding-school were the most dreary and
tiresome of all destinies, but they were enjoyments and delight compared
with this. Now it very often happens in life, that when a man grows
discontented and dissatisfied with mere monotony, when he chafes at the
sameness of a tiresome and unexciting existence, he is rapidly approaching
to some critical or eventful point, where actual peril and real danger
assail him, and from which he would willingly buy his escape by falling
back upon that wearisome and plodding life he had so often deplored
before. This case was my own. Just as I had convinced myself that I was
exceedingly wretched and miserable, I was to know there are worse things
in this world than a life of mere uniform stupidity. I was waiting outside
my captain’s door for orders one morning, when at the tinkle of his little
hand-bell I entered the room where he sat at breakfast, with an open
dispatch before him.

“Tiernay,” said he, in his usual quiet tone, “here is an order from the
adjutant-general to send you back under an escort to head-quarters. Are
you aware of any reason for it, or is there any charge against you which
warrants this?”

“Not to my knowledge, mon capitaine,” said I, trembling with fright, for I
well knew with what severity discipline was exercised in that army, and
how any, even the slightest, infractions met the heaviest penalties.

“I have never known you to pillage,” continued he; “have never seen you
drink, nor have you been disobedient while under my command; yet this
order could not be issued on light grounds; there must be some grave
accusation against you, and in any case you must go; therefore arrange all
my papers, put every thing in due order, and be ready to return with the

“You’ll give me a good character, mon capitaine,” said I, trembling more
than ever—“you’ll say what you can for me, I’m sure.”

“Willingly, if the general or chief were here,” replied he; “but that’s
not so. General Moreau is at Strasbourg. It is General Regnier is in
command of the army; and unless specially applied to, I could not venture
upon the liberty of obtruding my opinion upon him.”

“Is he so severe, sir?” asked I, timidly.

“The general is a good disciplinarian,” said he, cautiously, while he
motioned with his hand toward the door, and accepting the hint, I retired.

It was evening when I re-entered Kehl, under an escort of two of my own
regiment, and was conducted to the “Salle de Police.” At the door stood my
old corporal, whose malicious grin as I alighted revealed the whole story
of my arrest; and I now knew the charge that would be preferred against
me—a heavier there could not be made—was, “disobedience in the field.” I
slept very little that night, and when I did close my eyes, it was to
awake with a sudden start, and believe myself in presence of the
court-martial, or listening to my sentence, as read out by the president.
Toward day, however, I sunk into a heavy, deep slumber, from which I was
aroused by the reveillée of the barracks.

I had barely time to dress when I was summoned before the “Tribunale
Militaire”—a sort of permanent court-martial, whose sittings were held in
one of the churches of the town. Not even all the terror of my own
precarious position could overcome the effect of old prejudices in my
mind, as I saw myself led up the dim aisle of the church toward the altar
rails, within which, around a large table, were seated a number of
officers, whose manner and bearing evinced but little reverence for the
sacred character of the spot.

Stationed in a group of poor wretches whose wan looks and anxious glances
told that they were prisoners like myself, I had time to see what was
going forward around me. The president, who alone wore his hat, read from
a sort of list before him the name of a prisoner and that of the witnesses
in the cause. In an instant they were all drawn up and sworn. A few
questions followed, rapidly put, and almost as rapidly replied to. The
prisoner was called on then for his defense: if this occupied many
minutes, he was sure to be interrupted by an order to be brief. Then came
the command to “stand by;” and after a few seconds consultation together,
in which many times a burst of laughter might be heard, the court agreed
upon the sentence, recorded and signed it, and then proceeded with the
next case.

If nothing in the procedure imposed reverence or respect, there was that
in the dispatch which suggested terror, for it was plain to see that the
court thought more of the cost of their own precious minutes than of the
years of those on whose fate they were deciding. I was sufficiently near
to hear the charges of those who were arraigned, and, for the greater
number, they were all alike. Pillage, in one form or another, was the
universal offending; and from the burning of a peasant’s cottage, to the
theft of his dog or his “poulet,” all came under this head. At last came
number 82—“Maurice Tiernay, hussar of the Ninth.” I stepped forward to the

“Maurice Tiernay,” read the president, hurriedly, “accused by Louis
Gaussin, corporal of the same regiment, ‘of willfully deserting his post
while on duty in the field, and in the face of direct orders to the
contrary; inducing others to a similar breach of discipline.’ Make the
change, Gaussin.”

The corporal stepped forward, and began,

“We were stationed in detachment on the bank of the Rhine, on the evening
of the 23d—”

“The court has too many duties to lose its time for nothing,” interrupted
I. “It is all true. I did desert my post; I did disobey orders; and,
seeing a weak point in the enemy’s line, attacked and carried it with
success. The charge is, therefore, admitted by me, and it only remains for
the court to decide how far a soldier’s zeal for his country may be
deserving of punishment. Whatever the result, one thing is perfectly
clear, Corporal Gaussin will never be indicted for a similar misdemeanor.”

A murmur of voices and suppressed laughter followed this impertinent and
not over discreet sally of mine; and the president calling out, “Proven by
acknowledgment,” told me to “stand by.” I now fell back to my former
place, to be interrogated by my comrades on the result of my examination,
and hear their exclamations of surprise and terror at the rashness of my
conduct. A little reflection over the circumstances would probably have
brought me over to their opinion, and shown me that I had gratuitously
thrown away an opportunity of self-defense; but my temper could not brook
the indignity of listening to the tiresome accusation and the stupid
malevolence of the corporal, whose hatred was excited by the influence I
wielded over my comrades.

It was long past noon ere the proceedings terminated, for the list was a
full one, and at length the court rose, apparently not sorry to exchange
their tiresome duties for the pleasant offices of the dinner-table. No
sentences had been pronounced, but one very striking incident seemed to
shadow forth a gloomy future. Three, of whom I was one, were marched off,
doubly guarded, before the rest, and confined in separate cells of the
“Salle,” where every precaution against escape too plainly showed the
importance attached to our safe keeping.

At about eight o’clock, as I was sitting on my bed—if that inclined plane
of wood, worn by the form of many a former prisoner, could deserve the
name—a sergeant entered with the prison allowance of bread and water. He
placed it beside me without speaking, and stood for a few seconds gazing
at me.

“What age art thou, lad?” said he, in a voice of compassionate interest.

“Something over fifteen, I believe,” replied I.

“Hast father and mother?”

“Both are dead!”

“Uncles or aunts living?”


“Hast any friends who could help thee?”

“That might depend upon what the occasion for help should prove, for I
have one friend in the world.”

“Who is he?”

“Colonel Mahon, of the Curaissiers.”

“I never heard of him—is he here?”

“No; I left him at Nancy; but I could write to him.”

“It would be too late, much too late.”

“How do you mean—too late?” asked I, tremblingly.

“Because it is fixed for to-morrow evening,” replied he, in a low,
hesitating voice.

“What? the—the—” I could not say the word, but merely imitated the motion
of presenting and firing. He nodded gravely in acquiescence.

“What hour is it to take place?” asked I.

“After evening parade. The sentence must be signed by General Berthier,
and he will not be here before that time.”

“It would be too late, then, sergeant,” said I, musing, “far too late.
Still I should like to write the letter; I would like to thank him for his
kindness in the past, and show him, too, that I have not been either
unworthy or ungrateful. Could you let me have paper and pen, sergeant?”

“I can venture so far, lad; but I can not let thee have a light; it is
against orders; and during the day thou’lt be too strictly watched.”

“No matter let me have the paper and I’ll try to scratch a few lines in
the dark; and thou’lt post it for me, sergeant? I ask thee as a last favor
to do this.”

“I promise it,” said he, laying his hand on my shoulder. After standing
for a few minutes thus in silence, he started suddenly and left the cell.

I now tried to eat my supper; but although resolved on behaving with a
stout and unflinching courage throughout the whole sad event, I could not
swallow a mouthful. A sense of choking stopped me at every attempt, and
even the water I could only get down by gulps. The efforts I made to bear
up seemed to have caused a species of hysterical excitement that actually
rose to the height of intoxication, for I talked away loudly to myself,
laughed, and sung. I even jested and mocked myself on this sudden
termination of a career that I used to anticipate as stored with future
fame and rewards. At intervals, I have no doubt that my mind wandered far
beyond the control of reason, but as constantly came back again to a full
consciousness of my melancholy position, and the fate that awaited me. The
noise of the key in the door silenced my ravings, and I sat still and
motionless as the sergeant entered with the pen, ink, and paper, which he
laid down upon the bed, and then as silently withdrew.

A long interval of stupor, a state of dreary half consciousness, now came
over me, from which I aroused myself with great difficulty to write the
few lines I destined for Colonel Mahon. I remember even now, long as has
been the space of years since that event, full as it has been of stirring
and strange incidents, I remember perfectly the thought which flashed
across me as I sat, pen in hand, before the paper. It was the notion of a
certain resemblance between our actions in this world with the characters
I was about to inscribe upon that paper. Written in darkness and in doubt,
thought I, how shall they appear when brought to the light! Perhaps those
I have deemed the best and fairest shall seem but to be the weakest or the
worst! What need of kindness to forgive the errors, and of patience to
endure the ignorance! At last I began: “Mon Colonel—Forgive, I pray you,
the errors of these lines, penned in the darkness of my cell, and the
night before my death. They are written to thank you ere I go hence, and
to tell you that the poor heart whose beating will soon be still throbbed
gratefully toward you to the last! I have been sentenced to death for a
breach of discipline of which I was guilty. Had I failed in the
achievement of my enterprise by the bullet of an enemy, they would have
named me with honor; but I have had the misfortune of success, and
tomorrow am I to pay its penalty. I have the satisfaction, however, of
knowing that my share in that great day can neither be denied nor evaded;
it is already on record, and the time may yet come when my memory will be
vindicated. I know not if these lines be legible, nor if I have crossed or
recrossed them. If they are blotted they are not my tears have done it,
for I have a firm heart and a good courage; and when the moment comes—”;
here my hand trembled so much, and my brain grew so dizzy, that I lost the
thread of my meaning, and merely jotted down at random a few words, vague,
unconnected, and unintelligible, after which, and by an effort that cost
all my strength, I wrote “MAURICE TIERNEY, late Hussar of the 9th

A hearty burst of tears followed the conclusion of this letter; all the
pent-up emotion with which my heart was charged broke out at last, and I
cried bitterly. Intense passions are, happily, never of long duration, and
better still, they are always the precursors of calm. Thus, tranquil, the
dawn of morn broke upon me, when the sergeant came to take my letter, and
apprize me that the adjutant would appear in a few moments to read my
sentence, and inform me when it was to be executed.

“Thou’lt bear up well, lad; I know thou wilt,” said the poor fellow, with
tears in his eyes. “Thou hast no mother, and thou’lt not have to grieve
for _her_.”

“Don’t be afraid, sergeant; I’ll not disgrace the old 9th. Tell my
comrades I said so.”

“I will. I will tell them all! Is this thy jacket, lad?”

“Yes; what do you want it for?”

“I must take it away with me. Thou art not to wear it more!”

“Not wear it, nor die in it; and why not?”

“That is the sentence, lad; I can not help it. It’s very hard, very cruel;
but so it is.”

“Then I am to die dishonored, sergeant; is that the sentence?”

He dropped his head, and I could see that he moved his sleeve across his
eyes; and then, taking up my jacket, he came toward me.

“Remember, lad, a stout heart; no flinching. Adieu—God bless thee.” He
kissed me on either cheek, and went out.

He had not been gone many minutes, when the tramp of marching outside
apprized me of the coming of the adjutant, and the door of my cell being
thrown open, I was ordered to walk forth into the court of the prison. Two
squadrons of my own regiment, all who were not on duty, were drawn up,
dismounted, and without arms; beside them stood a company of grenadiers,
and a half battalion of the line, the corps to which the other two
prisoners belonged, and who now came forward, in shirt-sleeves like
myself, into the middle of the court.

One of my fellow-sufferers was a very old soldier, whose hair and beard
were white as snow; the other was a middle-aged man, of a dark and
forbidding aspect, who scowled at me angrily as I came up to his side, and
seemed as if he scorned the companionship. I returned a glance, haughty
and as full of defiance as his own, and never noticed him after.

The drum beat a roll, and the word was given for silence in the ranks—an
order so strictly obeyed, that even the clash of a weapon was unheard, and
stepping in front of the line, the Auditeur Militaire read out the
sentences. As for me, I heard but the words “Peine afflictive et
infamante;” all the rest became confusion, shame, and terror co-mingled;
nor did I know that the ceremonial was over, when the troops began to
defile, and we were marched back again to our prison quarters.

Chapter XIV. A Surprise And An Escape.

It is a very common subject of remark in newspapers, and as invariably
repeated with astonishment by the readers, how well and soundly such a
criminal slept on the night before his execution. It reads like a
wonderful evidence of composure, or some not less surprising proof of
apathy or indifference. I really believe it has as little relation to one
feeling as to the other, and is simply the natural consequence of
faculties over-strained, and a brain surcharged with blood; sleep being
induced by causes purely physical in their nature. For myself, I can say
that I was by no means indifferent to life, nor had I any contempt for the
form of death that awaited me. As localities, which have failed to inspire
a strong attachment, become endowed with a certain degree of interest when
we are about to part from them forever, I never held life so desirable as
now that I was going to leave it; and yet, with all this, I fell into a
sleep so heavy and profound, that I never awoke till late in the evening.
Twice was I shaken by the shoulder ere I could throw off the heavy weight
of slumber; and even when I looked up, and saw the armed figures around
me, I could have laid down once more, and composed myself to another

The first thing which thoroughly aroused me, and at once brightened up my
slumbering senses, was missing my jacket, for which I searched every
corner of my cell, forgetting that it had been taken away, as the nature
of my sentence was declared “infamante.” The next shock was still greater,
when two sapeurs came forward to tie my wrists together behind my back; I
neither spoke nor resisted, but in silent submission complied with each
order given me.

All preliminaries being completed, I was led forward, preceded by a
pioneer, and guarded on either side by two sapeurs of “the guard;” a
muffled drum, ten paces in advance, keeping up a low monotonous rumble as
we went.

Our way led along the ramparts, beside which ran a row of little gardens,
in which the children of the officers were at play. They ceased their
childish gambols as we drew near, and came closer up to watch us. I could
mark the terror and pity in their little faces as they gazed at me; I
could see the traits of compassion with which they pointed me out to each
other, and my heart swelled with gratitude for even so slight a sympathy.
It was with difficulty I could restrain the emotion of that moment, but
with a great effort I did subdue it, and marched on, to all seeming,
unmoved. A little further on, as we turned the angle of the wall, I looked
back to catch one last look at them. Would that I had never done so! They
had quitted the railings, and were now standing in a group, in the act of
performing a mimic execution. One, without his jacket, was kneeling on the
grass. But I could not bear the sight, and in scornful anger I closed my
eyes, and saw no more.

A low whispering conversation was kept up by the soldiers around me. They
were grumbling at the long distance they had to march, as the “affair”
might just as well have taken place on the glacis as two miles away. How
different were _my_ feelings—how dear to me was now every minute, every
second of existence; how my heart leaped at each turn of the way, as I
still saw a space to traverse, and some little interval longer to live.

“And, mayhap, after all,” muttered one dark-faced fellow, “we shall have
come all this way for nothing. There can be no ‘fusillade’ without the
general’s signature, so I heard the adjutant say; and who’s to promise
that he’ll be at his quarters?”

“Very true,” said another; “he may be absent, or at table.”

“At table!” cried two or three together; “and what if he were?”

“If he be,” rejoined the former speaker, “we may go back again for our
pains! I ought to know him well; I was his orderly for eight months, when
I served in the ‘Legers,’ and can tell you, my lads, I wouldn’t be the
officer who would bring him a report, or a return to sign, once he had
opened out his napkin on his knee; and it’s not very far from his
dinner-hour now.”

What a sudden thrill of hope ran through me! Perhaps I should be spared
for another day.

“No, no, we’re all in time,” exclaimed the sergeant; “I can see the
general’s tent from this; and there he stands, with all his staff around

“Yes; and there go the other escorts—they will be up before us if we don’t
make haste; quick-time, lads. Come along, mon cher,” said he, addressing
me; “thou’rt not tired, I hope.”

“Not tired!” replied I; “but remember, sergeant, what a long journey I
have before me.”

“_Pardieu!_ I don’t believe all that rhodomontade about another world,”
said he gruffly; “the republic settled that question.”

I made no reply. For such words, at such a moment, were the most terrible
of tortures to me. And now we moved on at a brisker pace, and crossing a
little wooden bridge, entered a kind of esplanade of closely-shaven turf,
at one corner of which stood the capacious tent of the commander-in-chief,
for such, in Moreau’s absence, was General Berthier. Numbers of
staff-officers were riding about on duty, and a large traveling-carriage,
from which the horses seemed recently detached, stood before the tent.

We halted as we crossed the bridge, while the adjutant advanced to obtain
the signature to the sentence. My eyes followed him till they swam with
rising tears, and I could not wipe them away, as my hands were fettered.
How rapidly did my thoughts travel during those few moments. The good old
Père Michel came back to me in memory, and I tried to think of the
consolation his presence would have afforded me; but I could do no more
than think of them.

“Which is the prisoner Tiernay?” cried a young aid-de-camp, cantering up
to where I was standing.

“Here, sir,” replied the sergeant, pushing me forward.

“So,” rejoined the officer, angrily, “this fellow has been writing
letters, it would seem, reflecting upon the justice of his sentence, and
arraigning the conduct of his judges. Your epistolary tastes are like to
cost you dearly, my lad; it had been better for you if writing had been
omitted in your education. Reconduct the others, sergeant, they are
respited; this fellow alone is to undergo his sentence.”

The other two prisoners gave a short and simultaneous cry of joy as they
fell back, and I stood alone in front of the escort.

“Parbleu! he has forgotten the signature,” said the adjutant, casting his
eye over the paper: “he was chattering and laughing all the time, with the
pen in his hand, and I suppose fancied that he had signed it.”

“Nathalie was there, perhaps,” said the aid-de-camp, significantly.

“She was, and I never saw her looking better. It’s something like eight
years since I saw her last; and I vow she seems not only handsomer, but
fresher and more youthful to-day than then.”

“Where is she going; have you heard?”

“Who can tell? Her passport is like a firman; she may travel where she
pleases. The rumor of the day says Italy.”

“I thought she looked provoked at Moreau’s absence; it seemed like want of
attention on his part, a lack of courtesy she’s not used to.”

“Very true; and her reception of Berthier was any thing but gracious,
although he certainly displayed all his civilities in her behalf.”

“Strange days we live in!” sighed the other, “when a man’s promotion hangs
upon the favorable word of a—”

“Hush! take care! be cautious!” whispered the other. “Let us not forget
this poor fellow’s business. How are you to settle it? Is the signature of
any consequence? The whole sentence all is right and regular.”

“I shouldn’t like to omit the signature,” said the other, cautiously; “it
looks like carelessness, and might involve us in trouble hereafter.”

“Then we must wait some time, for I see they are gone to dinner.”

“So I perceive,” replied the former, as he lighted his cigar, and seated
himself on a bank. “You may let the prisoner sit down, sergeant, and leave
his hands free; he looks wearied and exhausted.”

I was too weak to speak, but I looked my gratitude; and sitting down upon
the grass, covered my face, and wept heartily.

Although quite close to where the officers sat together chatting and
jesting, I heard little or nothing of what they said. Already the things
of life had ceased to have any hold upon me; and I could have heard of the
greatest victory, or listened to a story of the most fatal defeat, without
the slightest interest or emotion. An occasional word or a name would
strike upon my ear, but leave no impression nor any memory behind it.

The military band was performing various marches and opera airs before the
tent where the general dined, and in the melody, softened by distance, I
felt a kind of calm and sleepy repose that lulled me into a species of

At last the music ceased to play, and the adjutant, starting hurriedly up,
called on the sergeant to move forward.

“By Jove!” cried he, “they seem preparing for a promenade, and we shall
get into a scrape if Berthier sees us here. Keep your party yonder,
sergeant, out of sight, till I obtain the signature.”

And so saying, away he went toward the tent at a sharp gallop.

A few seconds, and I watched him crossing the esplanade; he dismounted and
disappeared. A terrible choking sensation was over me, and I scarcely was
conscious that they were again tying my hands. The adjutant came out
again, and made a sign with his sword.

“We are to move on!” said the sergeant, half in doubt.

“Not at all,” broke in the aid-de-camp; “he is making a sign for you to
bring up the prisoner! There, he is repeating the signal; lead him

I knew very little of how—less still of why—but we moved on in the
direction of the tent, and in a few minutes stood before it. The sounds of
revelry and laughter, the crash of voices, and the clink of glasses,
together with the hoarse bray of the brass band, which again struck up,
all were co-mingled in my brain, as, taking me by the arm, I was led
forward within the tent, and found myself at the foot of a table covered
with all the gorgeousness of silver plate, and glowing with bouquets of
flowers and fruits. In the one hasty glance I gave, before my lids fell
over my swimming eyes, I could see the splendid uniforms of the guests as
they sat around the board, and the magnificent costume of a lady in the
place of honor next the head.

Several of those who sat at the lower end of the table drew back their
seats as I came forward, and seemed as if desirous to give the general a
better view of me.

Overwhelmed by the misery of my fate, as I stood awaiting my death, I felt
as though a mere word, a look, would have crushed me but one moment back;
but now, as I stood there, before that group of gazers, whose eyes scanned
me with looks of insolent disdain, or still more insulting curiosity, a
sense of proud defiance seized me, to confront and dare them with glances
haughty and scornful as their own. It seemed to me so base and unworthy a
part to summon a poor wretch before them, as if to whet their new appetite
for enjoyment by the aspect of his misery, that an indignant anger took
possession of me, and I drew myself up to my full height, and stared at
them calm and steadily.

“So, then!” cried a deep soldier-like voice from the far-end of the table,
which I at once recognized as the general-in-chief’s; “so, then,
gentlemen, we have now the honor of seeing among us the hero of the Rhine!
This is the distinguished individual by whose prowess the passage of the
river was effected, and the Swabian infantry cut off in their retreat! Is
it not true, sir?” said he, addressing me with a savage scowl.

“I have had my share in the achievement!” said I, with a cool air of

“Parbleu! you are modest, sir. So had every drummer-boy that beat his
tattoo! But yours was the part of a great leader, if I err not?”

I made no answer, but stood firm and unmoved.

“How do you call the island which you have immortalized by your valor?”

“The Fels Insel, sir.”

“Gentlemen, let us drink to the hero of the Fels Insel,” said he, holding
up his glass for the servant to fill it. “A bumper—a full, a flowing
bumper! And let him also pledge a toast, in which his interest must be so
brief. Give him a glass, Contard.”

“His hands are tied, mon general.”

“Then free them at once.”

The order was obeyed in a second; and I, summoning up all my courage to
seem as easy and indifferent as they were, lifted the glass to my lips,
and drained it off.

“Another glass, now, to the health of this fair lady, through whose
intercession we owe the pleasure of your company,” said the general.

“Willingly,” said I; “and may one so beautiful seldom find herself in a
society so unworthy of her!”

A perfect roar of laughter succeeded the insolence of this speech; amid
which I was half pushed, half dragged, up to the end of the table, where
the general sat.

“How so, Coquin, do you dare to insult a French general, at the head of
his own staff!”

“If I did, sir, it were quite as brave as to mock a poor criminal on the
way to his execution!”

“That is the boy! I know him now! the very same lad!” cried the lady, as,
stooping behind Berthier’s chair, she stretched out her hand toward me.
“Come here; are you not Colonel Mahon’s godson?”

I looked her full in the face; and whether her own thoughts gave the
impulse, or that something in my stare suggested it, she blushed till her
cheek grew crimson.

“Poor Charles was so fond of him!” whispered she in Berthier’s ear; and,
as she spoke, the expression of her face at once recalled where I had seen
her, and I now perceived that she was the same person I had seen at table
with Colonel Mahon, and whom I believed to be his wife.

A low whispering conversation now ensued between the general and her, at
the close of which, he turned to me and said,

“Madame Merlancourt has deigned to take an interest in you—you are
pardoned. Remember, sir, to whom you owe your life, and be grateful to her
for it.”

I took the hand she extended toward me, and pressed it to my lips.

“Madame,” said I, “there is but one favor more I would ask in this world,
and with it I could think myself happy.”

“But can I grant it, mon cher,” said she, smiling.

“If I am to judge from the influence I have seen you wield, madame, here
and elsewhere, this petition will easily be accorded.”

A slight flush colored the lady’s cheek, while that of the general became
dyed red with anger. I saw that I had committed some terrible blunder, but
how, or in what, I knew not.

“Well, sir,” said Madame Merlancourt, addressing me with a stately
coldness of manner very different from her former tone, “Let us hear what
you ask, for we are already taking up a vast deal of time that our host
would prefer devoting to his friends, what is it you wish?”

“My discharge from a service, madame, where zeal and enthusiasm are
rewarded with infamy and disgrace; my freedom to be any thing but a French

“You are resolved, sir, that I am not to be proud of my protégé,” said
she, haughtily; “what words are these to speak in presence of a general
and his officers?”

“I am bold, madame, as you say, but I am wronged.”

“How so, sir—in what have you been injured?” cried the general, hastily,
“except in the excessive condescension which has stimulated your
presumption. But we are really too indulgent in this long parley. Madame,
permit me to offer you some coffee under the trees. Contardo, tell the
band to follow us. Gentlemen, we expect the pleasure of your society.”

And so saying, Berthier presented his arm to the lady, who swept proudly
past without deigning to notice me. In a few minutes the tent was cleared
of all, except the servants occupied in removing the remains of the
dessert, and I fell back unremarked and unobserved, to take my way
homeward to the barracks, more indifferent to life than ever I had been
afraid of death.

As I am not likely to recur at any length to the somewhat famous person to
whom I owed my life, I may as well state that her name has since occupied
no inconsiderable share of attention in France, and her history, under the
title of “Mémoires d’une Contemporaine,” excited a degree of interest and
anxiety in quarters which one might have fancied far above the reach of
her revelations. At the time I speak of, I little knew the character of
the age in which such influences were all powerful, nor how destinies very
different from mine hung upon the favoritism of “La belle Nathalie.” Had I
known these things, and still more, had I known the sad fate to which she
brought my poor friend, Colonel Mahon, I might have scrupled to accept my
life at such hands, or involved myself in a debt of gratitude to one for
whom I was subsequently to feel nothing but hatred and aversion. It was
indeed a terrible period, and in nothing more so than the fact, that acts
of benevolence and charity were blended up with features of falsehood,
treachery, and baseness, which made one despair of humanity, and think the
very worst of their species.

Chapter XV. Scraps Of History.

Nothing displays more powerfully the force of egotism than the simple
truth that, when any man sets himself down to write the events of his
life, the really momentous occurrences in which he may have borne a part
occupy a conspicuously small place, when each petty incident of a merely
personal nature, is dilated and extended beyond all bounds. In one sense,
the reader benefits by this, since there are few impertinences less
forgivable than the obtrusion of some insignificant name into the
narrative of facts that are meet for history. I have made these remarks in
a spirit of apology to my reader; not alone for the accuracy of my late
detail, but also, if I should seem in future to dwell but passingly on the
truly important facts of a great campaign, in which my own part was so

I was a soldier in that glorious army which Moreau led into the heart of
Germany, and whose victorious career would only have ceased when they
entered the capital of the Empire, had it not been for the unhappy
mistakes of Jourdan, who commanded the auxiliary forces in the north. For
nigh three months we advanced steadily and successfully, superior in every
engagement; we only waited for the moment of junction with Jourdan’s army,
to declare the empire our own; when at last came the terrible tidings that
he had been beaten, and that Latour was advancing from Ulm to turn our
left flank, and cut off our communications with France.

Two hundred miles from our own frontiers—separated from the Rhine by that
terrible Black Forest whose defiles are mere gorges between vast
mountains—with an army fifty thousand strong on one flank, and the
Archduke Charles commanding a force of nigh thirty thousand on the
other—such were the dreadful combinations which now threatened us with a
defeat not less signal than Jourdan’s own. Our strength, however, lay in a
superb army of seventy thousand unbeaten men, led on by one whose name
alone was victory.

On the 24th of September, the order for retreat was given; the army began
to retire by slow marches, prepared to contest every inch of ground, and
make every available spot a battle-field. The baggage and ammunition were
sent on in front, and two days’ march in advance. Behind, a formidable
rear-guard was ready to repulse every attack of the enemy. Before,
however, entering those close defiles by which his retreat lay, Moreau
determined to give one terrible lesson to his enemy. Like the hunted tiger
turning upon his pursuers, he suddenly halted at Biberach, and ere Latour,
who commanded the Austrians, was aware of his purpose, assailed the
imperial forces with an attack on right, centre, and left together. Four
thousand prisoners and eighteen pieces of cannon were trophies of the

The day after this decisive battle our march was resumed, and the
advanced-guard entered that narrow and dismal defile which goes by the
name of the “Valley of Hell,” when our left and right flanks, stationed at
the entrance of the pass, effectually secured the retreat against
molestation. The voltigeurs of St. Cyr crowning the heights as we went,
swept away the light troops which were scattered along the rocky
eminences, and in less than a fortnight our army debouched by Fribourg and
Oppenheim into the valley of the Rhine, not a gun having been lost, not a
caisson deserted, during that perilous movement.

The Archduke, however, having ascertained the direction of Moreau’s
retreat, advanced by a parallel pass through the Kinzigthal, and attacked
St. Cyr at Nauendorf, and defeated him. Our right flank, severely handled
at Emmendingen, the whole force was obliged to retreat on Huningen, and
once more we found ourselves upon the banks of the Rhine, no longer an
advancing army, high in hope, and flushed with victory, but beaten,
harassed, and retreating!

The last few days of that retreat presented a scene of disaster such as I
can never forget. To avoid the furious charges of the Austrian cavalry,
against which our own could no longer make resistance, we had fallen back
upon a line of country cut up into rocky cliffs and precipices, and
covered by a dense pine forest. Here, necessarily broken up into small
parties, we were assailed by the light troops of the enemy, led on through
the various passes by the peasantry, whose animosity our own severity had
excited. It was, therefore, a continual hand-to-hand struggle, in which,
opposed as we were to over numbers, well acquainted with every advantage
of the ground, our loss was terrific. It is said that nigh seven thousand
men fell—an immense number, when no general action had occurred. Whatever
the actual loss, such were the circumstances of our army, that Moreau
hastened to propose an armistice, on the condition of the Rhine being the
boundary between the two armies, while Kehl was still to be held by the

The proposal was rejected by the Austrians, who at once commenced
preparations for a siege of the fortress with forty thousand troops, under
Latour’s command. The earlier months of winter now passed in the labors of
the siege, and on the morning of New Year’s Day the first attack was made;
the second line was carried a few days after, and, after a glorious
defense by Desaix, the garrison capitulated, and evacuated the fortress on
the 9th of the month. Thus, in the space of six short months, had we
advanced with a conquering army into the very heart of the Empire, and now
we were back again within our own frontier; not one single trophy of all
our victories remaining, two-thirds of our army dead or wounded, more than
all, the prestige of our superiority fatally injured, and that of the
enemy’s valor and prowess as signally elevated.

The short annals of a successful soldier are often comprised in the few
words which state how he was made lieutenant at such a date, promoted to
his company here, obtained his majority there, succeeded to the command of
his regiment at such a place, and so on. Now my exploits may even be more
briefly written as regards this campaign, for whether at Kehl at
Nauendorf, on the Etz, or at Huningen, I ended as I begun—a simple soldier
of the ranks. A few slight wounds, a few still more insignificant words of
praise, were all that I brought back with me; but if my trophies were
small, I had gained considerably both in habits of discipline and
obedience. I had learned to endure, ably and without complaining, the
inevitable hardships of a campaign, and better still, to see, that the
irrepressible impulses of the soldier, however prompted by zeal or
heroism, may oftener mar than promote the more mature plans of his
general. Scarcely had my feet once more touched French ground, than I was
seized with the ague, then raging as an epidemic among the troops, and
sent forward with a large detachment of sick to the Military Hospital of

Here I bethought me of my patron, Colonel Mahon, and determined to write
to him. For this purpose I addressed a question to the Adjutant-general’s
office to ascertain the colonel’s address. The reply was a brief and
stunning one—he had been dismissed the service. No personal calamity could
have thrown me into deeper affliction; nor had I even the sad consolation
of learning any of the circumstances of this misfortune. His death, even
though thereby I should have lost my only friend, would have been a
lighter evil than this disgrace; and coming as did the tidings when I was
already broken by sickness and defeat, more than ever disgusted me with a
soldier’s life. It was then with a feeling of total indifference that I
heard a rumor which at another moment would have filled me with
enthusiasm—the order for all invalids sufficiently well to be removed, to
be drafted into regiments serving in Italy. The fame of Bonaparte, who
commanded that army, had now surpassed that of all the other generals; his
victories paled the glory of their successes, and it was already a mark of
distinction to have served under his command.

The walls of the hospital were scrawled over with the names of his
victories; rude sketches of Alpine passes, terrible ravines, or snow-clad
peaks met the eye every where; and the one magical name, “Bonaparte,”
written beneath, seemed the key to all their meaning. With him war seemed
to assume all the charms of romance. Each action was illustrated by feats
of valor or heroism, and a halo of glory seemed to shine over all the
achievements of his genius.

It was a clear, bright morning of March, when a light frost sharpened the
air, and a fair, blue sky overhead showed a cloudless elastic atmosphere,
that the “Invalides,” as we were all called, were drawn up in the great
square of the hospital for inspection. Two superior officers of the staff,
attended by several surgeons and an adjutant, sat at a table in front of
us, on which lay the regimental books and conduct-rolls of the different
corps. Such of the sick as had received severe wounds, incapacitating them
for further service, were presented with some slight reward—a few francs
in money, a greatcoat, or a pair of shoes, and obtained their freedom.
Others, whose injuries were less important, received their promotion, or
some slight increase of pay, these favors being all measured by the
character the individual bore in his regiment, and the opinion certified
of him by his commanding officer. When my turn came and I stood forward, I
felt a kind of shame to think how little claim I could prefer either to
honor or advancement.

“Maurice Tiernay, slightly wounded by a sabre at Nauendorf—flesh-wound at
Biberach—enterprising and active, but presumptuous and overbearing with
his comrades,” read out the adjutant, while he added a few words I could
not hear, but at which the superior laughed heartily.

“What says the doctor?” asked he, after a pause.

“This has been a bad case of ague, and I doubt if the young fellow will
ever be fit for active service—certainly not at present.”

“Is there a vacancy at Saumur?” asked the general. “I see he has been
employed in the school at Nancy.”

“Yes, sir; for the third class there is one.”

“Let him have it, then. Tiernay, you are appointed as aspirant of the
third class at the College of Saumur. Take care that the report of your
conduct be more creditable than what is written here. Your opportunities
will now be considerable, and if well employed, may lead to further honor
and distinction; if neglected or abused, your chances are forfeited

I bowed and retired, as little satisfied with the admonition as elated
with the prospect which converted me from a soldier into a scholar, and,
in the first verge of manhood, threw me back once more into the condition
of a mere boy.

Eighteen months of my life—not the least happy, perhaps, since in the
peaceful portion I can trace so little to be sorry for—glided over beside
the banks of the beautiful Loire, the intervals in the hours of study
being spent either in the riding-school, or the river, where, in addition
to swimming and diving, we were instructed in pontooning and rafting, the
modes of transporting ammunition and artillery, and the attacks of
infantry by cavalry pickets.

I also learned to speak and write English and German with great ease and
fluency, besides acquiring some skill in military drawing and engineering.

It is true that the imprisonment chafed sorely against us, as we read of
the great achievements of our armies in various parts of the world; of the
great battles of Cairo and the Pyramids, of Acre and Mount Thabor; and of
which a holiday and a fête were to be our only share.

The terrible storms which shook Europe from end to end, only reached us in
the bulletins of new victories; and we panted for the time when we, too,
should be actors in the glorious exploits of France.

It is already known to the reader that of the country from which my family
came I myself knew nothing. The very little I had ever learned of it from
my father was also a mere tradition; still was I known among my comrades
only as “the Irishman,” and by that name was I recognized, even in the
record of the school, where I was inscribed thus: “Maurice Tiernay, dit
l’Irlandais.” It was on this very simple and seemingly-unimportant fact my
whole fate in life was to turn; and in this wise—But the explanation
deserves a chapter of its own, and shall have it.

_(To be continued.)_


About four miles west-northwest of Cape Clear Island and lighthouse, on
the south-west coast of Ireland, a singularly-shaped rock, called the
Fastnett, rises abruptly and perpendicularly a height of ninety feet above
the sea level in the Atlantic Ocean. It is about nine miles from the
mainland, and the country-people say it is _nine miles_ from _every part_
of the coast.

The Fastnett for ages has been in the undisturbed possession of the
cormorant, sea-gull, and various other tribes of sea-fowl, and was also a
noted place for large conger eels, bream, and pollock; but from a
superstitious dread of the place, the fishermen seldom fished near it.
During foggy weather, and when the rock is partially enveloped in mist, it
has very much the appearance of a large vessel under sail—hence no doubt
the origin of all the wonderful tales and traditions respecting the
Fastnett being enchanted, and its celebrated feats. The old people all
along the sea-coast are under the impression that the Fastnett hoists
sails before sunrise on the 1st of May in every year, and takes a cruise
toward the Dursey Islands, at the north entrance of Bantry Bay, a distance
of some forty miles; and that, after dancing several times round the rocks
known to mariners as the Bull, Cow, and Calf, it then shapes its homeward
course, drops anchor at the spot from whence it sailed, and remains
stationary during the remainder of the year.

The Fastnett, however, it appears, is not the only enchanted spot in that
locality; for at the head of Schull Harbor, about nine miles north of the
rock, on the top of Mount Gabriel—about 1400 feet above the sea-level—is a
celebrated lake, which the people say is so deep, that the longest line
ever made would not reach its bottom. It is also stoutly asserted that a
gentleman once dropped his walking-stick into the lake, and that it was
afterward found by a fisherman near the Fastnett. On another occasion, a
female wishing to get some water from the lake to perform a miraculous
cure on one of her friends, accidentally let fall the jug into the water,
and after several months, the identical jug—it could not be mistaken, part
of the lip being broken off—was also picked up near the Fastnett. For such
reasons the people imagine that there is some mysterious connection
between the rock and the lake, and that they have a subterranean passage
or means of communication. Captain Wolfe, indeed, during his survey of the
coast in 1848, sounded the mysterious pool, and found the bottom with a
line _seven feet long_; but the people shake their heads at the idea, and
say it was all _freemasonry_ on the part of the captain, and ask how he
accounts for the affair of the stick and jug? It will be some time, I
presume, before this puzzling question can be solved to the satisfaction
of all parties; and the traditions of the stick and jug, and many other
extraordinary occurrences, are likely to be handed down to succeeding
generations. The lake, or bog-hole, must therefore be left alone in its
glory; but, alas! not so with the Fastnett.

No more will it hoist sail for its Walpurgie trip, and cruise to the
Durseys, for it is now _firmly moored_; and in the hands of man the
wonderful Fastnett is reduced to a simple isolated rock in the Atlantic
Ocean. During the awful shipwrecks in the winters of 1846 and 1847, but
little assistance was derived from the Cape Clear light, which is too
elevated, and is often totally obscured by fog, and this drew attention to
the Fastnett Rock as a more eligible site for a pharos, being in the
immediate route of all outward and homeward-bound vessels: but the great
difficulty was to effect a landing, and make the necessary surveys; its
sides being almost perpendicular, and continually lashed by a heavy surge
or surf. After many attempts. Captain Wolfe did effect a landing; and
having made the necessary survey, and reported favorably as to its
advantages, it was determined by the Ballast Board to erect on it a
lighthouse forthwith. Operations were commenced in the summer of 1847, by
sinking or excavating a circular shaft about twelve feet deep in the solid
rock; holes were then drilled, in which were fixed strong iron shafts for
the framework of the house; and then the masons began to rear the edifice.
The workmen found it pleasant enough during the summer and autumn of 1847,
and lived in tents on the summit of the rock, and looked over the mainland
with the aid of a glass, like so many of their predecessors—the

In the spring of 1848, however, when operations were resumed, after a
cessation of the works for the winter, the scene changed. It began to blow
very hard from the northwest; and the men secured their building, which
was now several feet above the rocks, as well as they could, and covered
it over with strong and heavy beams of timber, leaving a small aperture
for ingress and egress, and then awaited in silence the result. During the
night the wind increased, and the sea broke with such fury over the whole
rock, that the men imagined every succeeding wave to be commissioned to
sweep them into the abyss. It only extinguished their fire, however, and
carried off most of their provisions, together with sundry heavy pieces of
cast-iron, a large blacksmith’s anvil, and the crane with which the
building materials were lifted on the rock. The storm lasted upward of a
week, during which time no vessel or boat could approach; and the crew of
this island-ship remained drenched with water, and nearly perished with
cold in a dark hole, with nothing to relieve their hunger but water-soaked
biscuit. But the wind at length suddenly shifted, the sea moderated, and
they were enabled eventually to crawl out of their hole more dead than
alive. In a few days a boat approached as near as possible, and by the aid
of ropes fastened round their waists, they were drawn one by one from the
rock through the boiling surf. The men speedily recovered, and have since
raised the building some twenty feet above the ground: the extreme height
is to be sixty feet. This is the last adventure of the Enchanted Rock; but
we trust a brilliant history is before it, in which, instead of expending
its energies in idle cruises, it will act the part of the beneficent
preserver of life and property.


At the close of the winter of 1825-6, about dusk in the afternoon, just as
the wealthy dealers in the Palais Royal at Paris were about lighting their
lamps and putting up their shutters (the practice of the major part of
them at nightfall), a well-known money-changer sat behind his counter
alone, surrounded by massive heaps of silver and gold, the glittering and
sterling currency of all the kingdoms of Europe. He had well-nigh closed
his operations for the day, and was enjoying in anticipation the prospect
of a good dinner. Between the easy-chair upon which he reclined in perfect
satisfaction, and the door which opened into the north side of the immense
quadrangle of which the splendid edifice above-mentioned is composed,
arose a stout wire partition, reaching nearly to the ceiling, and resting
upon the counter, which traversed the whole length of the room. Thus he
was effectually cut off from all possibility of unfriendly contact from
any of his occasional visitors; while a small sliding-board that ran in
and out under the wire partition served as the medium of his peculiar
commerce. Upon this he received every coin, note, or draft presented for
change; and having first carefully examined it, returned its value by the
same conveyance, in the coin of France, or indeed of any country required.
Behind him was a door communicating with his domestic chambers, and in the
middle of the counter was another, the upper part of which formed a
portion of the wire partition above described.

The denizen of this little chamber had already closed his outer shutters,
and was just on the point of locking up his doors, and retiring to his
repast, when two young men entered. They were evidently Italians, from
their costume and peculiar dialect. Had it been earlier in the day, when
there would have been sufficient light to have discerned their features
and expression, it is probable that our merchant would have defeated their
plans, for he was well skilled in detecting the tokens of fraud or design
in the human countenance. But they had chosen their time too
appropriately. One of them, advancing toward the counter, demanded change
in French coin for an English sovereign, which he laid upon the sliding
board, and passed through the wire partition. The moneychanger rose
immediately, and having ascertained that the coin was genuine, returned
its proper equivalent by the customary mode of transfer. The Italians
turned as if to leave the apartment, when he who had received the money
suddenly dropped the silver, as though accidentally, upon the floor. As it
was now nearly dark, it was scarcely to be expected that they could find
the whole of the pieces without the assistance of a light. This the
unconscious merchant hastened to supply; and unlocking, without suspicion,
the door of the partition between them, stooped with a candle over the
floor in search of the lost coin. In this position the unfortunate man was
immediately assailed with repeated stabs from a poniard, and he at length
fell, after a few feeble and ineffectual struggles, senseless, and
apparently lifeless, at the feet of his assassins.

A considerable time elapsed ere, by the fortuitous entrance of a stranger,
he was discovered in this dreadful situation; when it was found that the
assassins, having first helped themselves to an almost incredible amount
of money, had fled, without any thing being left by which a clew might
have been obtained to their retreat.

The unfortunate victim of their rapacity and cruelty was, however, not
dead. Strange as it may appear, although he had received upward of twenty
wounds, several of which plainly showed that the dagger had been driven to
the very hilt, he survived; and in a few months after the event, was again
to be seen in his long-accustomed place at the changer’s board. In vain
had the most diligent search been made by the military police of Paris for
the perpetrators of this detestable deed. The villains had eluded all
inquiry and investigation, and would in all probability have escaped
undiscovered with their booty but for a mutually-cherished distrust of
each other. Upon the first and complete success of their plan, the
question arose, how to dispose of their enormous plunder, amounting to
more than a hundred thousand pounds. Fearful of the researches of the
police, they dared not retain it at their lodgings. To trust a third party
with their secret was not to be thought of. At length, after long and
anxious deliberation, they agreed to conceal the money outside the
barriers of Paris until they should have concocted some safe plan for
transporting it to their own country. This they accordingly did, burying
the treasure under a tree about a mile from the Barrière d’Enfer. But they
were still as far as ever from a mutual understanding. When they
separated, on any pretense, each returned to the spot which contained the
stolen treasure, where of course he was sure to find the other. Suspicion
thus formed and fed soon grew into dislike and hatred, until at length,
each loathing the sight of the other, they agreed finally to divide the
booty, and then eternally to separate, each to the pursuit of his own
gratification. It then became necessary to carry the whole of the money
home to their lodgings in Paris, in order that it might, according to
their notions, be equitably divided.

The reader must here be reminded that there exists in Paris a law relative
to wines and spirituous liquors which allows them to be retailed at a much
lower price without the barriers than that at which they are sold within
the walls of the city. This law has given rise, among the lower orders of
people, to frequent attempts at smuggling liquors in bladders concealed
about their persons, often in their hats. The penalty for the offense was
so high, that it was very rarely enforced, and practically it was very
seldom, indeed, that the actual loss incurred by the offending party was
any thing more than the paltry venture, which he was generally permitted
to abandon, making the best use of his heels to escape any further
punishment. The gensdarmes planted at the different barriers generally
made a prey of the potables which they captured, and were consequently
interested in keeping a good look-out for offenders. It was this vigilance
that led to the discovery of the robbers; for, not being able to devise
any better plan for the removal of the money than that of secreting it
about their persons, they attempted thus to carry out their object. But as
one of them, heavily encumbered with the golden spoils, was passing
through the Barrière d’Enfer, one of the soldier-police who was on duty as
sentinel, suspecting, from his appearance and hesitating gait, that he
carried smuggled liquors in his hat, suddenly stepped behind him and
struck it from his head with his halberd. What was his astonishment to
behold, instead of the expected bladder of wine or spirits, several small
bags of gold and rolls of English bank-notes! The confusion and
prevarication of the wretch, who made vain and frantic attempts to recover
the property, betrayed his guilt, and he was immediately taken into
custody, together with his companion, who, following at a very short
distance, was unhesitatingly pointed out by his cowardly and bewildered
confederate as the owner of the money. No time was lost in conveying
intelligence of their capture to their unfortunate victim, who immediately
identified the notes as his own property, and at the first view of the
assassins swore distinctly to the persons of both—to the elder, as having
repeatedly stabbed him; and to the younger, as his companion and

The criminals were in due course of time tried, fully convicted, and, as
was to be expected, sentenced to death by the guillotine; but, owing to
some technical informality in the proceedings, the doom of the law could
not be carried into execution until the sentence of the court had been
confirmed upon appeal. This delay afforded time and opportunity for some
meddling or interested individual—either moved by the desire of making a
cruel experiment, or else by the hope of obtaining a reversal of the
capital sentence against the prisoners—to work upon the feelings of the
unfortunate money-changer. A few days after the sentence of death had been
pronounced, the unhappy victim received a letter from an unknown hand,
mysteriously worded, and setting forth, in expressions that seemed to him
fearfully prophetic, that the thread of his own destiny was indissolubly
united with that of his condemned assassins. It was evidently out of their
power to take away _his_ life; and it was equally out of his power to
survive _them_, die by the sentence of the law, or how or when they might;
it became clear—so argued this intermeddler—that the same moment which saw
the termination of their lives, would inevitably be the last of his own.
To fortify his arguments, the letter-writer referred to certain mystic
symbols in the heavens. Now though the poor man could understand nothing
of the trumpery diagrams which were set forth as illustrating the truth of
the fatal warning thus conveyed to him, and though his friends universally
laughed at the trick as a barefaced attempt of some anonymous impostor to
rob justice of her due, it nevertheless made a deep impression upon his
mind. Ignorant of every thing but what related immediately to his own
money-getting profession, he had a blind and undefined awe of what he
termed the supernatural sciences, and he inwardly thanked the kind monitor
who had given him at least a chance of redeeming his days.

He immediately set about making application to the judges, in order to get
the decree of death changed into a sentence to the galleys for life. He
was equally surprised and distressed to find that they treated his
petition with contempt, and ridiculed his fears. So far from granting his
request, after repeated solicitations, they commanded him in a peremptory
manner to appear no more before them. Driven almost to despair, he
resolved upon petitioning the king; and after much expense and toil, he at
length succeeded in obtaining an audience of Charles X. All was in vain. A
crime so enormous, committed with such cool deliberation, left no opening
for the plea of mercy: every effort he made only served to strengthen the
resolution of the authorities to execute judgment. Finding all his efforts
in vain, he appeared to resign himself despairingly to his fate. Deprived
of all relish even for gain, he took to his bed, and languished in
hopeless misery, and as the time for the execution of the criminals
approached, lapsed more and more into terror and dismay.

It was on a sultry afternoon, in the beginning of June, 1826, that the
writer of this brief narrative—then a not too thoughtful lad, in search of
employment in Paris—hurried, together with a party of sight-seeing English
workmen, to the Place de Grève to witness the execution of the two
assassins of the money-changer. Under the rays of an almost insupportable
sun, an immense crowd had congregated around the guillotine; and it was
not without considerable exertion, and a bribe of some small amount, that
standing-places were at length obtained within a few paces of the deathful
instrument, upon the flat top of the low wall which divides the ample area
of the Place de Grève from the river Seine.

Precisely at four o’clock the sombre cavalcade approached. Seated upon a
bench in a long cart, between two priests, sat the wretched victims of
retributive justice. The crucifix was incessantly exhibited to their view,
and presented to their lips to be kissed, by their ghostly attendants.
After a few minutes of silent and horrible preparation, the elder advanced
upon the platform of the guillotine. With livid aspect and quivering lips,
he gazed around in unutterable agony upon the sea of human faces; then
lifting his haggard eyes to heaven, he demanded pardon of God and the
people for the violation of the great prerogative of the former and the
social rights of the latter, and besought most earnestly the mercy of the
Judge into whose presence he was about to enter. In less than two minutes
both he and his companion were headless corpses, and in a quarter of an
hour no vestige, save a few remains of sawdust, was left of the terrible
drama that had been enacted. Soon, however, a confused murmur pervaded the
crowd—a report that the victim of cruelty and avarice had realized the
dread presentiment of his own mind, and justified the prediction contained
in the anonymous letter he had received. On inquiry, this was found to be
true. As the signal rung out for execution, the unhappy man, whom
twenty-two stabs of the dagger had failed to kill, expired in a paroxysm
of terror—adding one more to the many examples already upon record of the
fatal force of fear upon an excited imagination.


Daventry Hall, near the little village of the same name in Cumberland, is
the almost regal residence of the Cliffords; yet it does not bear their
name, nor, till within the last quarter of a century, had it come into
their possession. The tragical event which consigned it to the hands of a
distant branch of the Daventry family is now almost forgotten by its
occupants, but still lingers in the memory of some of humbler rank, who,
in days gone by, were tenants under Sir John Daventry, the last of a long
line of baronets of that name. Few men have entered life under happier
auspices: one of the oldest baronets in the kingdom, in one sense, but
just of age, in the other, possessed of an unencumbered rent roll of
£20,000 per annum, he might probably have selected his bride from the
fairest of the English aristocracy; but when he was twenty-three he
married the beautiful and poor daughter of an officer residing in his
vicinity. It was a love-match on his side—one partly of love, parly of
ambition, on hers; their union was not very long, neither was it very
happy, and when Lady Daventry died, leaving an infant daughter to his
care, at the expiration of his year of mourning he chose as his second
wife the wealthy and high-born widow of the county member. This was a
_marriage de convenance_, and might have perhaps proved a fortunate one,
as it secured to Sir John a wife suited to uphold his dignity and the
style of his establishment, at the same time conferring on the little
Clara the care of a mother, and the society of a playmate in the person of
Charles Mardyn, Lady Daventry’s son by her first marriage. But the
marriage of convenience did not end more felicitously than the marriage of
love—at the end of six months Sir John found himself a second time a
widower. His position was now a somewhat unusual one—at twenty-seven he
had lost two wives, and was left the sole guardian of two children,
neither past the age of infancy; Clara Daventry was but two years old,
Charles Mardyn three years her senior. Of these circumstances Sir John
made what he conceived the best, provided attendants and governesses for
the children, consigned them to the seclusion of the Hall, while he
repaired to London, procured a superb establishment, was famed for the
skill of his cooks, and the goodness of his wines, and for the following
eighteen years was an _habitué_ of the clubs, and courted by the élite of
London society; and this, perhaps, being a perfectly blameless course, and
inflicting as little of any sort of trouble or annoyance as possible, it
must needs excite our surprise if we do not find it producing
corresponding fruits. Eighteen years make some changes every where. During
these, Clara Daventry had become a woman, and Charles Mardyn, having
passed through Eton and Cambridge, had for the last two years emulated his
stepfather’s style of London life. Mr. Mardyn had left his fortune at the
disposal of his widow, whom he had foolishly loved, and Lady Daventry, at
her death, divided the Mardyn estates between her husband and son—an
unfair distribution, and one Charles was not disposed to pardon. He was
that combination so often seen—the union of talent to depravity; of such
talent as the union admits—talent which is never first-rate, though to the
many it appears so; it is only unscrupulous, and consequently, has at its
command, engines which virtue dares not use. Selfish and profligate, he
was that mixture of strong passions and indomitable will, with a certain
strength of intellect, a winning manner, and noble appearance. Clara
possessed none of these external gifts. Low and insignificant looking, her
small, pale features, narrow forehead, and cunning gray eyes, harmonized
with a disposition singularly weak, paltry, and manoeuvring. Eighteen
years had altered Sir John Daventry’s appearance less than his mind; he
had grown more corpulent, and his features wore a look of sensual
indulgence, mingled with the air of authority of one whose will, even in
trifles, has never been disputed. But in the indolent voluptuary of
forty-five little remained of the good-humored, careless man of
twenty-seven. Selfishness is an ill-weed, that grows apace; Sir John
Daventry, handsome, gifted with _l’air distingué_ and thoroughly _répandu_
in society, was a singularly heartless and selfish sensualist. Such
changes eighteen years had wrought, when Clara was surprised by a visit
from her father. It was more than two years since he had been at the Hall,
and the news he brought was little welcome to her. He was about to marry a
third time—his destined bride was Lady Alice Mortimer, the daughter of a
poor though noble house, and of whose beauty, though now past the first
bloom of youth, report had reached even Clara’s ears. From Mardyn, too,
she had heard of Lady Alice, and had fancied that he was one of her many
suitors. Her congratulations on the event were coldly uttered; in truth,
Clara had long been accustomed to regard herself as the heiress, and
eventually, the mistress of that princely estate where she had passed her
childhood; this was the one imaginative dream in a cold, worldly mind. She
did not desire riches to gratify her vanity, or to indulge in pleasures.
Clara Daventry’s temperament was too passionless to covet it for these
purposes; but she had accustomed herself to look on these possessions as
her right, and to picture the day when, through their far extent, its
tenants should own her rule. Besides, Mardyn had awoke, if not a feeling
of affection, in Clara Daventry’s breast, at least a wish to possess him—a
wish in which all the sensuous part of her nature (and in that cold
character there was a good deal that was sensuous) joined. She had
perception to know her own want of attractions, and to see that her only
hope of winning this gay and brilliant man of fashion was the value her
wealth might be of in repairing a fortune his present mode of living was
likely to scatter—a hope which, should her father marry, and have a male
heir, would fall to the ground. In due time the papers announced the
marriage of Sir John Daventry to the Lady Alice Mortimer. They were to
spend their honeymoon at Daventry. The evening before the marriage,
Charles Mardyn arrived at the Hall; it was some time since he had last
been there; it was a singular day to select for leaving London, and Clara
noticed a strange alteration in his appearance, a negligence of dress, and
perturbation of manner unlike his ordinary self-possession, that made her
think that, perhaps, he had really loved her destined step-mother. Still,
if so, it was strange his coming to the Hall. The following evening
brought Sir John and Lady Alice Daventry to their bridal home. The Hall
had been newly decorated for the occasion, and, in the general confusion
and interest, Clara found herself degraded from the consideration she had
before received. Now the Hall was to receive a new mistress, one graced
with title, and the stamp of fashion. These are offenses little minds can
hardly be thought to overlook; and as Clara Daventry stood in the spacious
hall to welcome her stepmother to her home, and she who was hence-forward
to take the first place there, the Lady Alice, in her rich traveling
costume, stood before her, the contrast was striking—the unattractive,
ugly girl, beside the brilliant London beauty—the bitter feelings of envy
and resentment, that then passed through Clara’s mind cast their shade on
her after destiny. During the progress of dinner, Clara noticed the
extreme singularity of Mardyn’s manner; noticed also the sudden flush of
crimson that dyed Lady Alice’s cheek on first beholding him, which was
followed by an increased and continued paleness. There was at their
meeting, however, no embarrassment on his part—nothing but the well-bred
ease of the man of the world was observable in his congratulations; but
during dinner Charles Mardyn’s eyes were fixed on Lady Alice with the
quiet stealthiness of one calmly seeking to penetrate through a mystery;
and, despite her efforts to appear unconcerned, it was evident she felt
distressed by his scrutiny. The dinner was soon dispatched; Lady Alice
complained of fatigue, and Clara conducted her to the boudoir designed for
her private apartment. As she was returning she met Mardyn.

“Is Lady Alice in the boudoir?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied, “you do not want her?”

Without answering, he passed on, and, opening the door, Charles Mardyn
stood before the Lady Alice Daventry, his stepfather’s wife.

She was sitting on a low stool, and in a deep reverie, her cheek resting
on one of her fairy-like hands. She was indeed a beautiful woman. No
longer very young—she was about thirty, but still very lovely, and
something almost infantine in the arch innocence of expression that
lighted a countenance cast in the most delicate mould—she looked, in every
feature, the child of rank and fashion; so delicate, so fragile, with
those _petites_ features, and that soft pink flesh, and pouting coral
lips; and, in her very essence, she had all those qualities that belong to
a spoiled child of fashion—wayward, violent in temper, capricious, and
volatile. She started from her reverie: she had not expected to see
Mardyn, and betrayed much emotion at his abrupt entrance; for, as though
in an agony of shame, she buried her face in her hands, and turned away
her head, yet her attitude was very feminine and attractive, with the
glossy ringlets of rich brown hair falling in a shower over the fair soft
arms, and the whole so graceful in its defenselessness, and the
forbearance it seemed to ask. Yet, whatever Mardyn’s purpose might be, it
did not seem to turn him from it; the sternness on his countenance
increased as he drew a chair, and, sitting down close beside her, waited
in silence, gazing at his companion till she should uncover her face. At
length the hands were dropped, and, with an effort at calmness, Lady Alice
looked up, but again averted her gaze as she met his.

“When we last met, Lady Alice, it was under different circumstances,” he
said, sarcastically. She bowed her head, but made no answer.

“I fear,” he continued, in the same tone, “my congratulations may not have
seemed warm enough on the happy change in your prospects; they were
unfeigned, I assure you.” Lady Alice colored.

“These taunts are uncalled for, Mardyn,” she replied, faintly.

“No; that would be unfair, indeed,” he continued, in the same bitter tone,
“to Lady Alice Daventry, who has always displayed such consideration for
all my feelings.”

“You never seemed to care,” she rejoined, and the woman’s pique betrayed
itself in the tone—“You never tried to prevent it.”

“Prevent what?”

She hesitated, and did not reply.

“Fool!” he exclaimed, violently, “did you think that if one word of mine
could have stopped your marriage, that word would have been said? Listen,
Lady Alice: I loved you once, and the proof that I did is the hate I now
bear you. If I had not loved you, I should now feel only contempt. For a
time I believed that you had for me the love you professed. You chose
differently; but though that is over, do not think that all is. I have
sworn to make you feel some of the misery you caused me. Lady Alice
Daventry, do you doubt that that oath shall be kept?”

His violence had terrified her—she was deadly pale, and seemed ready to
faint; but a burst of tears relieved her.

“I do not deserve this,” she said; “I did love you—I swore it to you, and
you doubted me.”

“Had I no reason?” he asked.

“None that you did not cause yourself; your unfounded jealousy, your
determination to humble me, drove me to the step I took.”

The expression of his countenance somewhat changed; he had averted his
face so that she could not read its meaning, and over it passed no sign of
relenting, but a look more wholly triumphant than it had yet worn. When he
turned to Lady Alice it was changed to one of mildness and sorrow.

“You will drive me mad, Alice,” he uttered, in a low, deep voice. “May
heaven forgive me if I have mistaken you; you told me you loved me.”

“I told you the truth,” she rejoined, quickly.

“But how soon that love changed,” he said, in a half-doubting tone, as if
willing to be convinced.

“It never changed!” she replied, vehemently. “You doubted—you were
jealous, and left me. I never ceased to love you.”

“You do not love me now?” he asked.

She was silent; but a low sob sounded through the room, and Charles Mardyn
was again at her feet; and, while the marriage-vows had scarce died from
her lips, Lady Alice Daventry was exchanging forgiveness with, and
listening to protestations of love from the son of the man to whom, a few
hours before, she had sworn a wife’s fidelity.

It is a scene which needs some explanation; best heard, however, from
Mardyn’s lips. A step was heard along the passage, and Mardyn, passing
through a side-door, repaired to Clara’s apartment. He found her engaged
on a book. Laying it down, she bestowed on him a look of inquiry as he

“I want to speak to you, Clara,” he said.

Fixing her cold gray eyes on his face, she awaited his questions.

“Has not this sudden step of Sir John’s surprised you?”

“It has,” she said, quietly.

“Your prospects are not so sure as they were?”

“No, they are changed,” she said, in the same quiet tone, and impassive

“And you feel no great love to your new stepmother?”

“I have only seen Lady Alice once,” she replied, fidgeting on her seat.

“Well, you will see her oftener now,” he observed. “I hope she will make
the Hall pleasant to you.”

“You have some motive in this conversation,” said Clara, calmly. “You may
trust me, I do not love Lady Alice sufficiently to betray you.”

And now her voice had a tone of bitterness surpassing Mardyn’s; he looked
steadily at her; she met and returned his gaze, and that interchange of
looks seemed to satisfy both, Mardyn at once began:

“Neither of us have much cause to like Sir John’s new bride; she may strip
you of a splendid inheritance, and I have still more reason to detest her.
Shortly after my arrival in London, I met Lady Alice Mortimer. I had heard
much of her beauty—it seemed to me to surpass all I had heard. I loved
her; she seemed all playful simplicity and innocence; but I discovered she
had come to the age of calculation, and that though many followed, and
praised her wit and beauty, I was almost the only one who was serious in
wishing to marry Lord Mortimer’s poor and somewhat _passée_ daughter. She
loved me, I believe, as well as she could love any one. That was not the
love I gave, or asked in return. In brief, I saw through her sheer
heartlessness, the first moment I saw her waver between the wealth of an
old sensualist, and my love. I left her, but with an oath of vengeance; in
the pursuit of that revenge it will be your interest to assist. Will you
aid me?”

“How can I?” she asked.

“It is not difficult,” he replied. “Lady Alice and I have met to-night;
she prefers me still. Let her gallant bridegroom only know this, and we
have not much to fear.”

Clara Daventry paused, and, with clenched hands, and knit brow, ruminated
on his words—familiar with the labyrinthine paths of the plotter, she was
not long silent.

“I think I see what you mean,” she said. “And I suppose you have provided
means to accomplish your scheme?”

“They are provided for us. Where could we find materials more made to our
hands?—a few insinuations, a conversation overheard, a note conveyed
opportunely—these are trifles, but trifles are the levers of human

There was no more said then; each saw partly through the insincerity and
falsehood of the other, yet each knew they agreed in a common object.
These were strange scenes to await a bride, on the first eve in her new

Two or three months have passed since these conversations. Sir John
Daventry’s manner has changed to his bride: he is no longer the lover, but
the severe, exacting husband. It may be that he is annoyed at all his
long-confirmed bachelor habits being broken in upon, and that, in time, he
will become used to the change, and settle down contentedly in his new
capacity; but yet something more than this seems to be at the bottom of
his discontent. Since a confidential conversation, held over their wine
between him and Charles Mardyn, his manner had been unusually captious.
Mardyn had, after submitting some time, taken umbrage at a marked insult,
and set off for London. On Lady Alice, in especial, her husband spent his
fits of ill-humor. With Clara he was more than ever friendly; her position
was now the most enviable in that house. But she strove to alleviate her
stepmother’s discomforts by every attention a daughter could be supposed
to show, and these proofs of amiable feeling seemed to touch Sir John, and
as the alienation between him and his wife increased, to cement an
attachment between Clara and her father.

Lady Alice had lately imparted to her husband a secret that might be
supposed calculated to fill him with joyous expectations, and raise hopes
of an heir to his vast possessions; but the communication had been
received in sullen silence, and seemed almost to increase his savage
sternness—treatment which stung Lady Alice to the quick; and when she
retired to her room, and wept long and bitterly over this unkind reception
of news she had hoped would have restored his fondness, in those tears
mingled a feeling of hate and loathing to the author of her grief. Long
and dreary did the next four months appear to the beautiful Lady of
Daventry, who, accustomed to the flattery and adulation of the London
world, could ill-endure the seclusion and harsh treatment of the Hall.

At the end of that time, Charles Mardyn again made his appearance; the
welcome he received from Sir John was hardly courteous. Clara’s manner,
too, seemed constrained; but his presence appeared to remove a weight from
Lady Alice’s mind, and restore her a portion of her former spirits. From
the moment of Mardyn’s arrival, Sir John Daventry’s manner changed to his
wife: he abandoned the use of sarcastic language, and avoided all occasion
of dispute with her, but assumed an icy calmness of demeanor, the more
dangerous, because the more clear-sighted. He now confided his doubts to
Clara; he had heard from Mardyn that his wife had, before her marriage,
professed an attachment to him. In this, though jestingly alluded to,
there was much to work on a jealous and exacting husband. The contrast in
age, in manner, and appearance, was too marked, not to allow of the
suspicion that his superiority in wealth and position had turned the scale
in his favor—a suspicion which, cherished, had grown to be the demon that
allowed him no peace of mind, and built up a fabric fraught with
wretchedness on this slight foundation. All this period Lady Alice’s
demeanor to Mardyn was but too well calculated to deepen these suspicions.
Now, too, had come the time to strike a decisive blow. In this Clara was
thought a fitting instrument.

“You are indeed unjust,” she said, with a skillful assumption of
earnestness; “Lady Alice considers she should be a mother to Charles—they
meet often; it is that she may advise him, She thinks he is
extravagant—that he spends too much time in London, and wishes to make the
country more agreeable to him.”

“Yes, Clary, I know she does; she would be glad to keep the fellow always
near her.”

“You mistake, sir, I assure you; I have been with them when they were
together; their language has been affectionate, but as far as the
relationship authorizes.”

“Our opinions on that head differ, Clary; she deceived me, and by —— she
shall suffer for it. She never told me she had known him; the fellow
insulted me by informing me when it was too late. He did not wish to
interfere—it was over now—he told me with a sneer.”

“He was wounded by her treatment; so wounded, that, except as your wife,
and to show you respect, I know he would never have spoken to her. But if
your doubts can not be hushed, they may be satisfactorily dispelled.”

“How—tell me?”

“Lady Alice and Charles sit every morning in the library; there are
curtained recesses there, in any of which you may conceal yourself, and
hear what passes.”

“Good—good; but if you hint or breathe to them—”

“I merely point it out,” she interrupted, “as a proof of my perfect belief
in Charles’s principle and Lady Alice’s affection for you. If a word
passes that militates against that belief, I will renounce it.”

A sneer distorted Sir John’s features. When not blinded by passion, he saw
clearly through character and motives. He had by this discerned Clara’s
dislike to Lady Alice, and now felt convinced she suggested the scheme as
she guessed he would have his suspicions confirmed. He saw thus far, but
he did not see through a far darker plot—he did not see that, in the deep
game they played against him, Charles and Clara were confederates.


That was a pleasant room; without, through bayed windows, lay a wide and
fertile prospect of sunny landscape; within, it was handsomely and
luxuriously furnished. There were books in gorgeous bindings; a range of
marble pillars swept its length; stands of flowers, vases of agate and
alabaster, were scattered on every side; and after breakfast Mardyn and
Lady Alice made it their sitting-room. The morning after the scheme
suggested by Clara, they were sitting in earnest converse, Lady Alice,
looking pale and care-worn, was weeping convulsively.

“You tell me you must go,” she said; “and were it a few months later, I
would forsake all and accompany you. But for the sake of my unborn infant,
you must leave me. At another time return, and you may claim me.”

“Dear Alice,” he whispered softly, “dear, dear Alice, why did you not know
me sooner? Why did you not love me more, and you would now have been my
own, my wife?”

“I was mad,” she replied, sadly; “but I have paid the penalty of my sin
against you. The last year has been one of utter misery to me. If there is
a being on earth I loathe, it is the man I must call my husband; my hatred
to him is alone inferior to my love for you. When I think what I
sacrificed for him,” she continued, passionately, “the bliss of being your
wife, resigned to unite myself to a vapid sensualist, a man who was a
spendthrift of his passions in youth, and yet asks to be loved, as if the
woman most lost to herself could feel love for him.”

It was what he wished. Lady Alice had spoken with all the extravagance of
woman’s exaggeration; her companion smiled; she understood its meaning.

“You despise, me,” she said, “that I could marry the man of whom I speak

“No,” he replied; “but perhaps you judge Sir John harshly. We must own he
has some cause for jealousy.”

Despite his guarded accent, something smote on Lady Alice’s ear in that
last sentence. She turned deadly pale—was she deceived? But in a moment
the sense of her utter helplessness rushed upon her. If he were false,
nothing but destruction lay before her—she desperately closed her eyes on
her danger.

“You are too generous,” she replied. “If I had known what I sacrificed—”

Poor, wretched woman, what fear was in her heart as she strove to utter
words of confidence. He saw her apprehensions, and drawing her toward him,
whispered loving words, and showered burning kisses on her brow. She leant
her head on his breast, and her long hair fell over his arm as she lay
like a child in his embrace.

A few minutes later the library was empty, when the curtains that shrouded
a recess near where the lovers had sat were drawn back, and Sir John
Daventry emerged from his concealment. His countenance betrayed little of
what passed within; every other feeling was swallowed up in a thirst for
revenge—a thirst that would have risked life itself to accomplish its
object—for his suspicions had gone beyond the truth, black, dreadful as
was that truth to a husband’s ears, and he fancied that his unborn infant
owed its origin to Charles Mardyn; when, for that infant’s sake, where no
other consideration could have restrained her, Lady Alice had endured her
woman’s wrong, and while confessing her love for Mardyn, refused to listen
to his solicitations, or to fly with him; and the reference she had made
to this, and which he had overheard, appeared to him but a base design to
palm the offspring of her love to Mardyn as the heir to the wealth and
name of Daventry.

It wanted now but a month of Lady Alice’s confinement, and even Mardyn and
Clara were perplexed and indecisive as to the effect their stratagem had
upon Sir John. No word or sign escaped him to betray what passed within—he
seemed stricken with sudden age, so stern and hard had his countenance
become, so fixed his icy calmness. They knew not the volcanoes that burned
beneath their undisturbed surface. A sudden fear fell upon them; they were
but wicked—they were not great in wickedness. Much of what they had done
appeared to them clumsy and ill-contrived; yet their very fears lest they
might be seen through urged on another attempt, contrived to give
confirmation to Sir John’s suspicions, should his mind waver. So great at
this time was Mardyn’s dread of detection that he suddenly left the Hall.
He know Sir John’s vengeance, if once roused, would be desperate, and
feared some attempts on his life. In truth his position was a perilous
one, and this lull of fierce elements seemed to forerun some terrible
explosion—where the storm might spend its fury was as yet hid in darkness.
Happy was it for the Lady Alice Daventry that she knew none of these
things, or hers would have been a position of unparalleled wretchedness,
as over the plotters, the deceived, and the foredoomed ones, glided on the
rapid moments that brought them nearer and nearer, till they stood on the
threshold of crime and death.

And now, through the dark channels of fraud and jealousy, we have come to
the eve of that strange and wild page in our story, which long attached a
tragic interest to the hails of Daventry, and swept all but the name of
that ancient race into obscurity.

On the fifteenth of December, Lady Alice Daventry was confined of a son.
All the usual demonstrations of joy were forbidden by Sir John, on the
plea of Lady Alice’s precarious situation. Her health, weakened by the
events of the past year, had nearly proved unequal to this trial of her
married life, and the fifth morning after her illness was the first on
which the physician held out confident hopes of her having strength to
carry her through. Up to that time the survival of the infant had been a
matter of doubt; but on that morning, as though the one slender thread had
bound both to existence, fear was laid aside, and calmness reigned through
the mansion of Daventry. On that morning, too, arrived a letter directed
to “The Lady Alice Daventry.” A dark shade flitted over Sir John’s face as
he read the direction; then placing it among his other letters reserved
for private perusal, he left the room.

The day wore on, each hour giving increasing strength to the Lady Alice
and her boy-heir. During its progress, it was noticed, even by the
servants, that their master seemed unusually discomposed, and that his
countenance wore an expression of ghastly paleness. As he sat alone, after
dinner, he drank glass after glass of wine, but they brought no flush to
his cheek—wrought no change in his appearance; some mightier spirit seemed
to bid defiance to the effects of drink. At a late hour he retired to his
room. The physician had previously paid his last visit to the chamber of
his patient; she was in a calm sleep, and the last doubt as to her
condition faded from his mind, as, in a confident tone, he reiterated his
assurance to the nurse-tender “that she might lie down and take some
rest—that nothing more was to be feared.”


The gloom of a December’s night had closed, dark and dreary, around the
Hall, while, through the darkness, the wind drove the heavy rain against
the easements; but, undisturbed by the rain and winds, the Lady Alice and
her infant lay in a tranquil sleep; doubt and danger had passed from them;
the grave had seemed to yawn toward the mother and child, but the clear
color on the transparent cheek, the soft and regular breathing caught
through the stillness of the chamber, when the wind had died in the
distance, gave assurance to the nurse that all danger was past; and,
wearied with the watching of the last four nights, she retired to a closet
opening from Lady Alice’s apartment, and was soon buried in the heavy
slumber of exhaustion.

That profound sleep was rudely broken through by wild, loud cries,
reaching over the rage of the elements, which had now risen to a storm.
The terrified woman staggered to the bedroom, to witness there a fearful
change—sudden, not to be accounted for. A night-lamp shed its dim light
through the apartment on a scene of horror and mystery. All was silence
now—and the Lady Alice stood erect on the floor, half shrouded in the
heavy curtains of the bed, and clasping her infant in her arms. By this
time the attendants, roused from sleep, had reached the apartment, and
assisted in taking the child from its mother’s stiff embrace; it had
uttered no cry, and when they brought it to the light, the blaze fell on
features swollen and lifeless—it was dead in its helplessness—dead by
violence, for on its throat were the marks of strong and sudden pressure;
but how, by whom, was a horrid mystery. They laid the mother on the bed,
and as they did so, a letter fell from her grasp—a wild fit of delirium
succeeded, followed by a heavy swoon, from which the physician failed in
awaking her—before the night had passed, Lady Alice Daventry had been
summoned to her rest. The sole clew to the events of that night was the
letter which had fallen from Lady Alice; it the physician had picked up
and read, but positively refused to reveal its contents, more than to hint
that they betrayed guilt that rendered his wife and child’s removal more a
blessing than a misfortune to Sir John Daventry. Yet somehow rumors were
heard that the letter was in Charles Mardyn’s hand; that it had fallen in
Sir John’s way, and revealed to him a guilty attachment between Mardyn and
his wife; but how it came into her hands, or how productive of such a
catastrophe as the destruction of her infant, her frenzy, and death,
remained unknown: but one further gleam of light was ever thrown on that
dark tragedy. The nurse-tender, who had first come to her mistress’s
assistance, declared that, as she entered the room, she had heard steps in
quick retreat along the gallery leading from Lady Alice’s room, and a few
surmised that, in the dead of night, her husband had placed that letter in
her hand, and told her he knew her guilt. This was but conjecture—a wild
and improbable one, perhaps.

Charles Mardyn came not again to the Hall. What he and Clara Daventry
thought of what had passed, was known only to themselves. A year went on,
and Clara and her father lived alone—a year of terror to the former, for
from that terrible night her father had become subject to bursts of savage
passion that filled her with alarm for her own safety: these, followed by
long fits of moody silence, rendered her life, for a year, harassed and
wretched; but then settling into confirmed insanity, released her from his
violence. Sir John Daventry was removed to an asylum, and Clara was
mistress of the Hall. Another year passed, and she became the wife of
Charles Mardyn. It was now the harvest of their labors, and reaped as such
harvests must be. The pleasures and amusements of a London life had grown
distasteful to Mardyn—they palled on his senses, and he sought change in a
residence at the Hall; but here greater discontent awaited him. The force
of conscience allowed them not happiness in a place peopled with such
associations: they were childless, they lived in solitary state, unvisited
by those of their own rank, who were deterred from making overtures of
intimacy by the stories that were whispered affixing discredit to his
name; his pride and violent temper were ill fitted to brook this neglect;
in disgust, they left Daventry, and went to Mardyn Park, an old seat left
him by his mother, on the coast of Dorsetshire. It was wildly situated,
and had been long uninhabited; and in this lonely residence the cup of
Clara’s wretchedness was filled to overflowing. In Mardyn there was now no
trace left of the man who had once captivated her fancy; prematurely old,
soured in temper, he had become brutal and overbearing; for Clara he had
cast off every semblance of decency, and indifference was now usurped by
hate and violence; their childless condition was made a constant, source
of bitter reproach from her husband. Time brought no alleviation to this
state of wretchedness, but rather increased their evil passions and mutual
abhorrence. They had long and bitterly disputed one day, after dinner, and
each reminded the other of their sins with a vehemence of reproach that,
from the lips of any other, must have, overwhelmed the guilty pair with
shame and terror. Driven from the room by Mardyn’s unmanly violence and
coarse epithets, Clara reached the drawing-room, and spent some hours
struggling with the stings of conscience aroused by Mardyn’s taunts. They
had heard that morning of Sir John Daventry’s death, and the removal of
the only being who lived to suffer for their sin had seemed but to add a
deeper gloom to their miserable existence—the time was past when any thing
could bid them hope. Her past career passed through the guilty woman’s
mind, and filled her with dread, and a fearful looking out for judgment.
She had not noticed how time had fled, till she saw it was long past
Mardyn’s hour for retiring, and that he had not come up stairs yet.
Another hour passed, and then a vague fear seized upon her mind—she felt
frightened at being alone, and descended to the parlor. She had brought no
light with her, and when she reached the door she paused; all in the house
seemed so still she trembled, and turning the lock, entered the room. The
candles had burnt out, and the faint red glare of the fire alone shone
through the darkness; by the dim light she saw that Mardyn was sitting,
his arms folded on the table, and his head reclined as if in sleep. She
touched him, he stirred not, and her hand, slipping from his shoulder,
fell upon the table and was wet; she saw that a decanter had been
overturned, and fancied Mardyn had been drinking, and fallen asleep; she
hastened from the room for a candle. As she seized a light burning in the
passage, she saw that the hand she had extended was crimsoned with blood.
Almost delirious with terror, she regained the room. The light from her
hand fell on the table—it was covered with a pool of blood, that was
falling slowly to the floor. With a wild effort she raised her husband—his
head fell on her arm—the throat was severed from ear to ear—the
countenance set, and distorted in death.

In that moment the curse of an offended God worked its final vengeance on
guilt—Clara Mardyn was a lunatic.


The public life as well as the private character of Mirabeau are
universally known, but the following anecdote has not, we believe, been
recorded in any of the biographies. The particulars were included in the
brief furnished to M. de Galitzane, advocate-general in the parliament of
Provence, when he was retained for the defense of Madame Mirabeau in her
husband’s process against her. M. de Galitzane afterward followed the
Bourbons into exile, and returned with them in 1814; and it is on his
authority that the story is given as fact.

Mirabeau had just been released from the dungeon of the castle of
Vincennes near Paris. He had been confined there for three years and a
half, by virtue of that most odious mandate, a _lettre-de-cachet_. His
imprisonment had been of a most painful nature; and it was prolonged at
the instance of his father, the Marquis de Mirabeau. On his being
reconciled to his father, the confinement terminated, in the year 1780,
when Mirabeau was thirty-one years of age.

One of his father’s conditions was, that Mirabeau should reside for some
time at a distance from Paris; and it was settled that he should go on a
visit to his brother-in-law, Count du Saillant, whose estate was situated
a few leagues from the city of Limoges, the capital of the Limousin.
Accordingly, the count went to Vincennes to receive Mirabeau on the day of
his liberation, and they pursued their journey at once with all speed.

The arrival of Mirabeau at the ancient manorial château created a great
sensation in that remote part of France. The country gentlemen residing in
the neighborhood had often heard him spoken of as a remarkable man, not
only on account of his brilliant talents, but also for his violent
passions; and they hastened to the château to contemplate a being who had
excited their curiosity to an extraordinary pitch. The greater portion of
these country squires were mere sportsmen, whose knowledge did not extend
much beyond the names and qualities of their dogs and horses, and in whose
houses it would have been almost in vain to seek for any other book than
the local almanac, containing the list of the fairs and markets, to which
they repaired with the utmost punctuality, to loiter away their time, talk
about their rural affairs, dine abundantly, and wash down their food with
strong Auvergne wine.

Count du Saillant was quite of a different stamp from his neighbors. He
had seen the world, he commanded a regiment, and at that period his
château was perhaps the most civilized country residence in the Limousin.
People came from a considerable distance to visit its hospitable owner;
and among the guests there was a curious mixture of provincial oddities,
clad in their quaint costumes. At that epoch, indeed, the young Lismousin
noblemen, when they joined their regiments, to don their sword and
epaulets for the first time, were very slightly to be distinguished,
either by their manners or appearance, from their rustic retainers.

It will easily be imagined, then, that Mirabeau, who was gifted with
brilliant natural qualities, cultivated and polished by education—a man,
moreover, who had seen much of the world, and had been engaged in several
strange and perilous adventures—occupied the most conspicuous post in this
society, many of the component members whereof seemed to have barely
reached the first degrees in the scale of civilization. His vigorous
frame; his enormous head, augmented in bulk by a lofty frizzled
_coiffure_; his huge face, indented with scars, and furrowed with seams,
from the effect of small-pox injudiciously treated in his childhood; his
piercing eyes, the reflection of the tumultuous passions at war within
him; his mouth, whose expression indicated in turn irony, disdain,
indignation, and benevolence; his dress, always carefully attended to, but
in an exaggerated style, giving him somewhat the air of a traveling
charlatan decked out with embroidery, large frill, and ruffles; in short,
this extraordinary-looking individual astonished the country-folks even
before he opened his mouth. But when his sonorous voice was heard, and his
imagination, heated by some interesting subject of conversation, imparted
a high degree of energy to his eloquence, some of the worthy rustic
hearers felt as though they were in the presence of a saint, others in
that of a devil; and according to their several impressions, they were
tempted either to fall down at his feet, or to exorcise him by making the
sign of the cross, and uttering a prayer.

Seated in a large antique arm-chair, with his feet stretched out on the
floor, Mirabeau often contemplated, with a smile playing on his lips,
those men who seemed to belong to the primitive ages; so simple, frank,
and at the same time clownish, were they in their manners. He listened to
their conversations, which generally turned upon the chase, the exploits
of their dogs, or the excellence of their horses, of whose breed and
qualifications they were very proud. Mirabeau entered freely into their
notions; took an interest in the success of their sporting projects;
talked, too, about crops; chestnuts, of which large quantities are
produced in the Limousin; live and dead stock; ameliorations in husbandry;
and so forth; and he quite won the hearts of the company by his
familiarity with the topics in which they felt the most interest, and by
his good nature.

This monotonous life was, however, frequently wearisome to Mirabeau; and
in order to vary it, and for the sake of exercise, after being occupied
for several hours in writing, he was in the habit of taking a
fowling-piece, according to the custom of the country, and putting a book
into his game-bag, he would frequently make long excursions on foot in
every direction. He admired the noble forests of chestnut-trees which
abound in the Limousin; the vast meadows, where numerous herds of cattle
of a superior breed are reared; and the running streams by which that
picturesque country is intersected. He generally returned to the château
long after sunset, saying that night scenery was peculiarly attractive to

It was during and after supper that those conversations took place for
which Mirabeau supplied the principal and the most interesting materials.
He possessed the knack of provoking objections to what he might advance,
in order to combat them, as he did with great force of logic and in
energetic language; and thus he gave himself lessons in argument, caring
little about his auditory, his sole aim being to exercise his mental
ingenuity and to cultivate eloquence. Above all, he was fond of discussing
religious matters with the curé of the parish. Without displaying much
latitudinarianism, he disputed several points of doctrine and certain
pretensions of the church so acutely, that the pastor could say but little
in reply. This astonished the Limousin gentry, who, up to that time, had
listened to nothing but the drowsy discourses of their curés, or the
sermons of some obscure mendicant friars, and who placed implicit faith in
the dogmas of the church. The faith of a few was shaken, but the greater
number of his hearers were very much tempted to look upon the visitor as
an emissary of Satan sent to the château to destroy them. The curé,
however, did not despair of eventually converting Mirabeau.

At this period several robberies had taken place at no great distance from
the château: four or five farmers had been stopped shortly after nightfall
on their return from the market-towns, and robbed of their purses. Not one
of these persons had offered any resistance, for each preferred to make a
sacrifice rather than run the risk of a struggle in a country full of
ravines, and covered with a rank vegetation very favorable to the exploits
of brigands, who might be lying in wait to massacre any individual who
might resist the one detached from the band to demand the traveler’s money
or his life. These outrages ceased for a short time, but they soon
recommenced, and the robbers remained undiscovered.

One evening, about an hour after sunset, a guest arrived at the château.
He was one of Count du Saillant’s most intimate friends, and was on his
way home from a neighboring fair. This gentleman appeared to be very
thoughtful, and spoke but little, which surprised every body, inasmuch as
he was usually a merry companion. His gasconades had frequently roused
Mirabeau from his reveries, and of this he was not a little proud. He had
not the reputation of being particularly courageous, however, though he
often told glowing tales about his own exploits; and it must be admitted
that he took the roars of laughter with which they were usually received
very good-humoredly.

Count du Saillant being much surprised at this sudden change in his
friend’s manner, took him aside after supper, and begged that he would
accompany him to another room. When they were there alone, he tried in
vain for a long time to obtain a satisfactory answer to his anxious
inquiries as to the cause of his friend’s unwonted melancholy and
taciturnity. At length the visitor said—“Nay, nay; you would never believe
it. You would declare that I was telling you one of my fables, as you are
pleased to call them; and perhaps _this_ time we might fall out.”

“What do you mean?” cried Count de Saillant; “this seems to be a serious
affair. Am _I_, then, connected with your presentiments?”

“Not exactly _you_; but—”

“What does this _but_ mean? Has it any thing to do with my wife? Explain

“Not the least in the world. Madame du Saillant is in nowise concerned in
the matter: but—”

“_But!_—_but!_ you tire me out with your _buts_. Are you resolved still to
worry me with your mysteries? Tell me at once what has occurred—what has
happened to you?”

“Oh, nothing—nothing at all. No doubt I was frightened.”

“Frightened!—and at what? By whom? For God’s sake, my dear friend, do not
prolong this painful state of uncertainty.”

“Do you really wish me to speak out?”

“Not only so, but I demand this of you as an act of friendship.”

“Well, I was stopped to-night at about the distance of half a league from
your château.”

“Stopped! In what way? By whom?”

“Why, stopped as people are stopped by footpads. A gun was leveled at me;
I was peremptorily ordered to deliver up my purse; I threw it down on the
ground, and galloped off. Do not ask me any more questions.”

“Why not? I wish to know all. Should you know the robber again? Did you
notice his figure and general appearance?”

“It being dark, I could not exactly discover: I can not positively say.
However, it seems to me—”

“_What_ seems to you? What or whom do you think you saw?”

“I never can tell _you_.”

“Speak—speak; you can not surely wish to screen a malefactor from

“No; but if the said malefactor should be—”

“If he were my own son, I should insist upon your telling me.”

“Well, then, it appeared to me that the robber was your brother-in-law,
MIRABEAU! But I might be mistaken; and, as I said before, fear—”

“Impossible: no, it can not be. Mirabeau a footpad! No, no. You _are_
mistaken, my good friend.”


“Let us not speak any more of this,” said Count du Saillant. “We will
return to the drawing-room, and I hope you will be as gay as usual; if
not, I shall set you down as a mad-man. I will so manage that our absence
shall not be thought any thing of.” And the gentlemen re-entered the
drawing room, one a short time before the other.

The visitor succeeded in resuming his accustomed manner; but the count
fell into a gloomy reverie, in spite of all his efforts. He could not
banish from his mind the extraordinary story he had heard: it haunted him;
and at last, worn out with the most painful conjectures, he again took his
friend aside, questioned him afresh, and the result was, that a plan was
agreed upon for solving the mystery. It was arranged that M. De —— should
in the course of the evening mention casually, as it were, that he was
engaged on a certain day to meet a party at a friend’s house to dinner,
and that he purposed coming afterward to take a bed at the château, where
he hoped to arrive at about nine in the evening. The announcement was
accordingly made in the course of conversation, when all the guests were
present—good care being taken that it should be heard by Mirabeau, who at
the time was playing a game of chess with the curé.

A week passed away, in the course of which a farmer was stopped and robbed
of his purse; and at length the critical night arrived.

Count du Saillant was upon the rack the whole evening; and his anxiety
became almost unbearable when the hour for his friend’s promised arrival
had passed without his having made his appearance. Neither had Mirabeau
returned from his nocturnal promenade. Presently a storm of lightning,
thunder, and heavy rain came on; in the midst of it the bell at the gate
of the court-yard rang loudly. The count rushed out of the room into the
court-yard, heedless of the contending elements; and before the groom
could arrive to take his friend’s horse, the anxious host was at his side.
His guest was in the act of dismounting.

“Well,” said M. De ——, “I have been stopped. It is really he. I recognized
him perfectly.”

Not a word more was spoken then; but as soon as the groom had led the
horse to the stables, M. De —— rapidly told the count that, during the
storm, and as he was riding along, a man, who was half-concealed behind a
very large tree, ordered him to throw down his purse. At that moment a
flash of lightning enabled him to discover a portion of the robber’s
person, and M. De —— rode at him; but the robber retreated a few paces,
and then leveling his gun at the horseman, cried with a powerful voice,
which it was impossible to mistake, “Pass on, or you are a dead man!”
Another flash of lightning showed the whole of the robber’s figure: it was
Mirabeau, whose voice had already betrayed him! The wayfarer, having no
inclination to be shot, put spurs to his horse, and soon reached the

The count enjoined strict silence, and begged of his friend to avoid
displaying any change in his usual demeanor when in company with the other
guests; he then ordered his valet to come again to him as soon as Mirabeau
should return. Half an hour afterward Mirabeau arrived. He was wet to the
skin, and hastened to his own room; he told the servant to inform the
count that he could not join the company at the evening meal, and begged
that his supper might be brought to his room; and he went to bed as soon
as he had supped.

All went on as usual with the party assembled below, excepting that the
gentleman who had had so unpleasant an adventure on the road appeared more
gay than usual.

When his guests had all departed, the master of the house repaired alone
to his brother-in-law’s apartment. He found him fast asleep, and was
obliged to shake him rather violently before he could rouse him.

“What’s the matter? Who’s there? What do you want with me?” cried
Mirabeau, staring at his brother-in-law, whose eyes were flashing with
rage and disgust.

“What do I want? I want, to tell you that you are a wretch!”

“A fine compliment, truly!” replied Mirabeau, with the greatest coolness.
“It was scarcely worth while to awaken me only to abuse me: go away, and
let me sleep.”

“_Can_ you sleep after having committed so bad an action? Tell me—where
did you pass the evening? Why did you not join us at the supper-table?”

“I was wet through—tired—harassed: I had been overtaken by the storm. Are
you satisfied now? Go, and let me get some sleep: do you want to keep me
chattering all night?”

“I insist upon an explanation of your strange conduct. You stopped
Monsieur De —— on his way hither this evening: this is the second time you
have attacked that gentleman, for he recognized you as the same man who
robbed him a week ago. You have turned highwayman, then!”

“Would it not have been all in good time to tell me this to-morrow
morning?” said Mirabeau, with inimitable _sang-froid_. “Supposing that I
_did_ stop your friend, what of that?”

“That you are a wretch!”

“And that you are a fool, my dear Du Saillant. Do you imagine that it was
for the sake of his money that I stopped this poor country squire? I
wished to put him to the proof, and to put myself to the proof. I wished
to ascertain what degree of resolution was necessary in order to place
one’s self in formal opposition to the most sacred laws of society: the
trial was a dangerous one; but I have made it several times. I am
satisfied with myself—but your friend is a coward.” He then felt in the
pocket of his waistcoat, which lay on a chair by his bedside, and drawing
a key from it, said, “Take this key, open my _scrutoire_, and bring me the
second drawer on the left hand.”

The count, astounded at so much coolness, and carried away by an
irresistible impulse—for Mirabeau spoke with the greatest
firmness—unlocked the cabinet, and brought the drawer to Mirabeau. It
contained nine purses; some made of leather, others of silk; each purse
was encircled by a label on which was written a date—it was that of the
day on which the owner had been stopped and robbed; the sum contained in
the purse was also written down.

“You see,” said Mirabeau, “that I did not wish to reap any pecuniary
benefit from my proceedings. A timid person, my dear friend, could never
become a highwayman; a soldier who fights in the ranks does not require
half so much courage as a footpad. _You_ are not the kind of man to
understand me, therefore I will not attempt to make myself more
intelligible. You would talk to me about honor—about religion; but these
have never stood in the way of a well-considered and a firm resolve. Tell
me, Du Saillant, when you lead your regiment into the heat of battle, to
conquer a province to which he whom you call your master has no right
whatever, do you consider that you are performing a better action than
mine, in stopping your friend on the king’s highway, and demanding his

“I obey without reasoning,” replied the count.

“And I reason without obeying, when obedience appears to me to be contrary
to reason,” rejoined Mirabeau. “I study all kinds of social positions, in
order to appreciate them justly. I do not neglect even those positions or
cases which are in decided opposition to the established order of things;
for established order is merely conventional, and may be changed when it
is generally admitted to be faulty. Such a study is a dangerous, but it is
a necessary one for him who wishes to gain a perfect knowledge of men and
things. You are living within the boundary of the law, whether it be for
good or evil. I study the law, and I endeavor to acquire strength enough
to combat it if it be bad when the proper time shall arrive.”

“You wish for a convulsion then?” cried the count.

“I neither wish to bring it about nor do I desire to witness it; but
should it come to pass through the force of public opinion, I would second
it to the full extent of my power. In such a case you will hear me spoken
of. Adieu. I shall depart to-morrow; but pray leave me now, and let me
have a little sleep.”

Count du Saillant left the room without saying another word. Very early on
the following morning Mirabeau was on his way to Paris.


It is proposed in the following article to give the reader some idea of
one of the greatest and most extensive scientific works going on at the
present time in this country—namely, the examination of the phenomenon of
the earth’s magnetism; but before doing so, it will be necessary to make a
few prefatory observations respecting magnetism generally.

The attractive power of the natural magnet or loadstone over fragments of
iron seems to have been known from the remotest antiquity. It is
distinctly referred to by ancient writers, and Pliny mentions a chain of
iron rings suspended from one another, the first being upheld by a
loadstone. It is singular that although the common properties of the
loadstone were known, and even studied, during the dark ages, its
directive power, or that of a needle touched or rubbed by it, seems to be
the discovery of modern times, notwithstanding the claims of the Chinese
and Arabians to an early acquaintance with this peculiarity.

There is no doubt that the mariner’s compass was known in the twelfth
century, for several authors of that period make special allusion to it;
but centuries elapsed before its variation from pointing precisely to the
poles became noticed. If a magnet be suspended by a thread, in such a
manner as to enable it to move freely, it will, when all other magnetic
bodies are entirely removed from it, settle in a fixed position, which, in
this country, is about 25° to the west of north; this deviation of the
needle from the north is called its variation. Again, if, in place of
suspending a magnetized needle, making it move horizontally on a pivot, we
balance it upon a horizontal axis, as the beam of a pair of scales, we
shall find that it no longer remains horizontal, but that one end will
incline downward, or, as it is called, _dip_, and this dip or inclination
from a horizontal line is about 70° in this country.

Thus we are presented with two distinct magnetical phenomena: 1. The
variation or declination of the needle; 2. Its dip or inclination; and to
these we may add the intensity or force which draws the needle from
pointing to the north, and which varies in different latitudes. These
phenomena constitute what has been called terrestrial magnetism.

Recent writers, and among them the great philosopher Humboldt, have shown
that in all probability the declination or variation of the magnet was
known as early as the twelfth century; but this important discovery has
been generally ascribed to Columbus. His son Ferdinand states that on the
14th September 1492, his father, when about 200 leagues from the island of
Ferro, noticed for the first time the variation of the needle. “A
phenomenon,” says Washington Irving, “that had never before been
remarked.” “He perceived,” adds this author, “about nightfall that the
needle, instead of pointing to the north star, varied half a point, or
between five and six degrees, to the northwest, and still more on the
following morning. Struck with this circumstance, he observed it
attentively for three days, and found that the variation increased as he
advanced. He at first made no mention of this phenomenon, knowing how
ready his people were to take alarm; but it soon attracted the attention
of the pilots, and filled them with consternation. It seemed as if the
laws of nature were changing as they advanced, and that they were entering
another world, subject to unknown influences. They apprehended that the
compass was about to lose its mysterious virtues; and without this guide,
what was to become of them in a vast and trackless ocean? Columbus tasked
his science and ingenuity for reasons with which to allay their terrors.
He told them that the direction of the needle was not the polar star, but
to some fixed and invisible point: the variation was not caused by any
failing in the compass, but because this point, like the heavenly bodies,
had its changes and revolutions, and every day described a circle round
the pole. The high opinion that the pilots entertained of Columbus as a
profound astronomer gave weight to his theory, and their alarm subsided.”

Thus, although it is possible that the variation of the needle had been
noticed before the time of Columbus, it is evident that he had discovered
the amount of the variation, and that it varied in different latitudes.
The great philosopher Humboldt observes on this point, that “Columbus has
not only the incontestible merit of having first discovered a line without
magnetic variation, but also of having, by his considerations on the
progressive increase of westerly declination in receding from that line,
given the first impulse to the study of terrestrial magnetism in Europe.”

With respect to the dip or inclination of the magnetic needle, which must
be regarded as the other element of magnetic direction, there is little
doubt that it was known long before the period usually assigned as the
date of its discovery—namely, in 1576; for it is difficult to conceive how
the variation of the needle should be observed and noted, and not its
deviation from a horizontal line. In the above year a person of the name
of Robert Norman, who styled himself “hydrographer,” published a book
containing an account of this phenomenon. The title of this work is
sufficiently curious to be quoted. It runs: “The New Attractive;
containing a short Discourse of the Magnes or Loadstone, and amongst
others his Virtues, of a neue discovered Secret and Subtill Propertie,
concerning the Declination of the Needle touched therewith under the
Plaine of the Horizon, now first found out by Robert Norman,
Hydrographer.” In the third chapter we are told “by what meanes the rare
and straunge declyning of the needle from the plaine of the horison was
first found.”

“Having made many and diuers compasses, and using always to finish and end
them before I touched the needle, I found continually that after I had
touched the yrons with the stone, that presently the north point thereof
would bend or declyne downwards under the horison in some quantity,
insomuch that I was constrained to putt some small piece of waxe in the
south parts thereof, to counterpoise this declyning, and to make it equal
againe. Which effecte hauing many times passed my hands without any greate
regarde thereunto, as ignorant of any such properties in the stone, and
not before hauing heard or read of any such matter, it chanced at length
that there came to my handes an instrument to be made with a needle of
sixe inches long, which needle, after I had polished, cutt off at full
length, and made it to stand leuel upon the pinn, so that nothing rested
but only the touching of it with the stone. When I hadde touched the same,
presently the north part thereof declyned down in such sort, that being
constrained to cut away some of that part to make it equall againe in the
end, I cut it too short, and so spoiled the needle wherein I had taken so
much paines.

“Hereby being straken into some cholar, I applyed myself to seek farther
into this effecte; and making certain learned and expert men, my friends,
acquainted in this matter, they advised me to frame some instrument to
make some exact triall how much the needle touched with the stone would
declyne, or what greatest angle it would make with the plaine of the

The author then proceeds to give a number of experiments which he made
with his instrument, and which may be regarded as the dipping-needle in
its first and rudest form. By it he found the inclination or dip to be 71°

It is remarkable, that until within the last seventy years, it appears to
have been the received opinion that the intensity of terrestrial magnetism
was the same at all parts of the earth’s surface; or, in other words, that
in all countries the needle was similarly affected. And yet few things are
more inconstant; for, not only is the magnetic force widely different in
various parts of our globe, but the magnetic condition itself is one of
swift and ceaseless change.

The first person who attempted to collect and generalize observations on
the variation of the needle, was Robert Halley, who constructed a chart,
showing a series of lines drawn through the points or places where the
needle exhibited the same variation. This chart was published in 1700, and
was preceded by some exceedingly curious papers, communicated to the Royal
Society, in which he expresses his belief that he has put it past doubt
that the globe of the earth is one great magnet, having four magnetic
poles or points of attraction, two near each pole of the equator; and that
in those parts of the world which lie adjacent to any one of those
magnetical poles, the needle is chiefly governed thereby, the nearest pole
being always predominant over the more remote.

The great importance of collecting as much information as possible
respecting the laws of magnetism, with a view to the proper understanding
of its effects, was fully understood by Halley, as the following passage,
taken from one of his papers, read before the Royal Society in 1692,
singularly attests: “The nice determination of the variation, and several
other particulars in the magnetic system, is reserved for a remote
posterity. All that we can hope to do is, to leave behind us observations
that may be confided in, and to propose hypotheses which after-ages may
examine, amend, or refute; only here I must take leave to recommend to all
masters of ships, and all others, lovers of natural truths, that they use
their utmost diligence to make, or procure to be made, observations of
these variations in all parts of the world, as well in the north as south
latitude, after the laudable custom of our East India commanders; and that
they please to communicate them to the Royal Society, in order to leave as
complete a history as may be to those that are hereafter to compare all
together, and to complete and perfect this abstruse theory.”

Halley’s theory, or rather hypothesis, which regarded our globe as a great
piece of clockwork, by which the poles of an internal magnet were carried
round in a cycle of determinate but unknown period, was so far confirmed,
that his variation chart had been hardly forty years completed, when, by
the effect of these changes, it had already become obsolete; and to
satisfy the requirements of navigation, it became necessary to reconstruct
it. This was performed by the aid of various observations furnished by the
Commissioners of the Navy, and the East India, Africa, and Hudson’s Bay
Companies. But the chart was far from satisfactory, and, in consequence of
the discordant nature of the observations, no dependence could be placed
on it.

No further steps were taken to ascertain the magnetism of the earth until
the close of the last century, when the French government undertook the
first comprehensive experimental inquiry on the subject. When the
exploring expedition of La Pérouse was organized, the French Academy of
Sciences prepared instructions for the expedition, containing a
recommendation that observations with the dipping-needle should be made at
stations widely remote, as a test of the equality or difference of the
magnetic intensity; suggesting also, with a sagacity anticipating the
result, that such observations should particularly be made at those parts
of the earth where the dip was greatest, and where it was least. The
experiments, whatever their results may have been, which, in compliance
with this recommendation, were made in the expedition of La Pérouse,
perished in its general catastrophe, neither ships nor navigators having
ever been heard of; but the instructions survived.

Our knowledge of the laws of magnetism was not increased until 1811, when,
on the occasion of a prize proposed by the Royal Danish Academy, M.
Hansteen, whose attention had for many years been turned to magnetic
phenomena, undertook its re-examination. With indefatigable labor M.
Hansteen traced back the history of the subject, and filled up the
interval from Halley’s time, and even from an earlier epoch (1600). The
results appeared in his very remarkable and celebrated work, published in
1819, entitled, “Upon the Magnetism of the Earth;” in which he clearly
demonstrates, by a great number of facts, the fluctuation which the
magnetical element has undergone during the last two centuries, confirming
in great detail the position of Halley—that the whole magnetical system is
in motion; that the moving force is very great, extending its effects from
pole to pole; and its that motion is not sudden, but gradual and regular.

In the magnetic atlas which accompanies M. Hansteen’s work there is a
variation chart for 1787, showing the magnetic force at that period. In
this chart the western line of no variation, or that which passes through
all places on the globe when the needle points to the true north, begins
in latitude 60° to the west of Hudson’s Bay; proceeds in a southeast
direction through the North American Lakes, passes the Antilles and Cape
St. Roque, till it reaches the South Atlantic Ocean, when it cuts the
meridian of Greenwich in about 65° of south latitude. This line of no
variation is extremely regular, being almost straight, till it bends round
the eastern part of South America, a little south of the equator. The
eastern line of no variation is exceedingly irregular, being full of
curves and contortions of the most extraordinary kind, indicating plainly
the action of local magnetic forces. It begins in latitude 60° south,
below New Holland; crosses that island through its centre; extends through
the Indian Archipelago with a double sinuosity, so as to cross the equator
three times—first passing north of it to the east of Borneo, then
returning to it, and passing south between Sumatra and Borneo, and then
crossing it again south of Ceylon, from which it passes to the east
through the Yellow Sea. It then stretches along the coast of China, making
a semicircular sweep to the west, till it reaches the latitude of 71°,
when it descends again to the south, and returns northwards with a great
semicircular bend, which terminates in the White Sea. Thus it is
demonstrated that in the northern hemisphere the general motion of the
variation lines is from west to east, in the southern hemisphere from east
to west.

A great impetus was given to the study of terrestrial magnetism by the
publication of M. Hansteen’s labors; and the various arctic expeditions
sent out by the country did much toward making us acquainted with the laws
of magnetism in the northern regions. One of these expeditions led to the
discovery of the north magnetic pole, or that point where the
dipping-needle assumes a vertical position. The discovery was made by
Captain Sir James Ross, who sailed with his uncle Sir John Ross, in a
voyage undertaken in search of a northwest passage. He left his uncle’s
ship with a party for the sole purpose of reaching this interesting
magnetical point, which a series of observations assured him could not be
very far distant. The following extract from his journal communicating his
discovery will be read with interest. Under the date of the 31st of May
1831, he writes: “We were now within fourteen miles of the calculated
position of the magnetic pole, and my anxiety, therefore, did not permit
me to do or endure any thing which might delay my arrival at the long
wished-for spot. I resolved, therefore, to leave behind the greater part
of our baggage and provisions, and to take onward nothing more than was
strictly necessary, lest bad weather or other accidents should be added to
delay, or lest unforeseen circumstances, still more untoward, should
deprive me entirely of the high gratification which I could not but look
to in accomplishing this most-desired object. We commenced, therefore, a
most rapid march, comparatively disencumbered as we now were; and
persevering with all our might, we reached the calculated place at eight
in the morning of the 1st of June. The amount of the dip, as indicated by
my dipping-needle, was 89° 59’, being thus within one minute of the
vertical; while the proximity at least of this magnetic pole, if not its
actual existence where we stood, was further confirmed by the total
inaction of the several horizontal needles then in my possession. These
were suspended in the most delicate manner possible, but there was not one
which showed the slightest effort to move from the position in which it
was placed—a fact which even the most moderately-informed of readers must
know to be one which proves that the centre of attraction lies at a very
small horizontal distance, if at any. The land at this place is very low
near the coast, but it rises into ridges of fifty or sixty feet high about
a mile inland. We could have wished that a place so important had
possessed more of mark or note. But nature had here erected no monument to
denote the spot that she had chosen as the centre of one of her great and
dark powers. We had abundance of materials for building in the fragments
of limestone that covered the beach, and we therefore erected a cairn of
some magnitude, under which we buried a canister containing a record of
the interesting fact, only regretting that we had not the means of
constructing a pyramid of more importance, and of strength sufficient to
stand the assaults of time and of the Esquimaux.” The latitude of this
spot is 70° 5’ 17", and its longitude 96° 46’ 45" west. The reader may
remember that during his late arctic voyage in search of Sir John
Franklin, Sir James Ross was extremely anxious to revisit this interesting
locality, which he was at one time not very distant from; but which, as
the places of magnetic intensity are continually changing, he would no
longer have found representing the north magnetic pole. It is not a little
remarkable that during Sir John Ross’s voyage, Mr. Barlow, who had been
long engaged investigating the laws of magnetism, had constructed a
magnetical map, in which he laid down a point which he described as that
where, in all probability, the dipping-needle would be perpendicular, and
which is the very spot where Sir James Ross ascertained the north magnetic
pole to exist.

But valuable and interesting as were the observations made by navigators
in different parts if the globe, yet philosophers began to perceive that,
without some definite plan of proceeding, the mere multiplication of
random observations made here and there at irregular periods was not the
course most likely to lead to desired results, and to make us acquainted
with the mysterious laws of magnetism. The establishment of national
observatories for the registration of magnetical observations became
absolutely necessary; and the illustrious Humboldt, to whom every branch
of science owes so much, gave the first impulse to this great undertaking.
During the course of his memorable voyages and travels in various parts of
the globe, the observation of the magnetic phenomena in all their
particulars occupied a large portion of his attention; and as the
commencement of any great work is always an epoch of rare and lasting
interest, we shall give the philosopher’s own words on the subject: “When
the first proposal to establish a system of observatories forming a
network of stations, all provided with similar instruments, was made by
myself, I could hardly entertain the hope that I should actually live to
see the time when, thanks to the united activity of excellent physicists
and astronomers, and especially to the munificent and persevering support
of two governments—the Russian and the British, both hemispheres should be
covered with magnetic observatories. In 1806 and 1807 my friend M.
Altmanns and myself frequently observed the march of the declination
needle at Berlin for five or six days and nights consecutively, from hour
to hour, and often from half hour to half hour, particularly at the
equinoxes and solstices. I was persuaded that continuous uninterrupted
observations during several days and nights were preferable to detached
observations continued during an interval of many months.”

Political disturbances, always ruinous to the calm researches of the man
of science, for many years prevented Humboldt carrying his wishes into
effect; and it was not until 1828 that he was enabled to erect a small
observatory at Berlin, whose more immediate object was to institute a
series of simultaneous observations at concerted hours at Berlin, Paris,
and Freiburg. In 1829 magnetic stations were established throughout
Northern Asia, in connection with an expedition to that country which
emanated from the Russian government; and in 1832 M. Gauss, the
illustrious founder of a general theory of terrestrial magnetism,
established a magnetic observatory at Göttingen, which was completed in
1834, and furnished with his ingenious instruments.

In 1836 Baron Humboldt addressed a long and highly-interesting letter to
the Duke of Sussex, then president of the Royal Society, urging the
establishment of regular magnetical stations in the British possessions in
North America, Australia, the Cape of Good Hope, and between the tropics,
not only for the observation of the momentary perturbations of the needle,
but also for that of its periodical and secular movements. This appeal was
nobly responded to.

The Royal Society, in conjunction with the British Association, called on
government to advance the necessary funds to establish magnetical
observatories at Greenwich, and in various parts of the British
possessions; and in 1839-40 magnetical establishments were in activity at
St. Helena, the Cape of Good Hope, Canada, and Van Diemen’s Land. The
munificence of the directors of the East India Company founded and
furnished, at the request of the Royal Society, magnetic observatories at
Simla, Madras, Bombay, and Singapore, and the observations will be
published in a similar form to those of the British observatories. We will
now briefly describe the scheme of observations, and the manner of making
them in the different observatories.

Each observatory is supplied with three magnetometers, or bars of
magnetized steel, delicately suspended by threads of raw silk, which
measure the magnetical declination, horizontal intensity, and vertical
force—and such astronomical apparatus as is required for ascertaining the
time and the true meridian. To these have also been added in each case a
most complete and perfect set of meteorological instruments, carefully
compared with the standards in possession of the Royal Society, not only
for the purpose of affording the necessary corrections of the magnetic
observations, but also with a view to obtaining at each station, at very
little additional cost and trouble, a complete series of meteorological
observations. In order that the observations may be made at the same
periods of time, it was resolved that the mean time at Göttingen should be
employed at all the stations, without any regard to the apparent times of
day at the stations themselves. Each day is supposed to be divided into
twelve equal portions of two hours each, commencing at all the stations at
the same instants of absolute time, which are called the magnetic hours.
At the commencement of each period of two hours throughout the day and
night, with the exception of Sundays, the magnetometers are observed, and
the meteorological instruments read off. Independently of these
observations, others are made at stated periodical intervals every two
minutes and a half during twenty-four hours. These are known by the name
of “turn-day observations.” Printed forms for registering the observations
have been prepared with great care, in order that a complete form of
registry may be preserved—a point of great importance, when it is
remembered that all the observations made at the different stations must
eventually be reduced and analyzed. A singularly felicitous adaptation of
photography has been carried into effect with the magnetometers. By means
of mirrors attached to their arms, reflected light is cast on
highly-sensitive photographic paper wound round a cylinder moved by
clockwork, and the slightest variation of the magnets is registered with
the greatest accuracy.

The period has not yet arrived for reaping the fruits of all the labor
carried on in the magnetic observatories at home and abroad, but already
certain results have been deduced from the observations which are highly
interesting. It appears that if the globe be divided into an eastern and a
western hemisphere by a plane coinciding with the meridians of 100° and
280°, the western hemisphere, or that comprising the Americas and the
Pacific Ocean, has a much higher magnetic intensity distributed generally
over its surface than the eastern hemisphere, containing Europe and
Africa, and the adjacent part of the Atlantic Ocean. The distribution of
the magnetic intensity in the intertropical regions of the globe affords
evidence of two governing magnetic centres in each hemisphere. The highest
magnetic intensity which has been observed is more than twice as great as
the lowest. It had long been known that in Europe the north end of a
magnet suspended horizontally (meaning by the north end that which is
directed toward the north) moves to the east from the night until between
seven and eight o’clock in the morning, when an opposite movement
commences, and the north end of the magnet moves to the west. Recent
observations have shown that a similar movement takes place at the same
hours of local time in North America, and that it is general in the middle
latitudes of the northern hemisphere; but to show the capricious nature of
magnetism, it may be mentioned, that although in the southern portion of
the globe the movement of the magnet in the contrary direction is constant
throughout the year, yet at St. Helena the peculiar feature of the diurnal
is, that during one half of the year the movement of the north end of the
magnet corresponds in direction with the movement which is taking place in
the northern hemisphere, while in the other half of the year the direction
corresponds with that which is taking place in the southern hemisphere.

Another striking result of these investigations is the estimate of the
total magnetic power of the earth as compared with a steel bar magnetized
one pound in weight. This proportion is calculated as
8,464,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1, which, supposing the magnetic force
uniformly distributed, will be found to amount to about six such bars to
every cubic yard of the earth’s surface.

Thus measured, it will be seen how tremendously mysterious is the power of
magnetism, and how potent an influence it must possess over animate and
inanimate nature! And not one of its least wonderful mysteries is its
singular exception to the character of stability and permanence. The
configuration of our globe, the distribution of temperature in its
interior, the tides and currents of the ocean, the general course of
winds, and the affections of climate—all these are appreciably constant.
But magnetism, that subtle, undefinable fluid, is perpetually undergoing a
change, and of so rapid a nature, that it becomes necessary to assume
epochs, which ought not to be more than ten years apart, to which every
observation should be reduced. The extreme importance of knowing the exact
amount of magnetic variation can scarcely be overrated for maritime
purposes; and the establishment of a complete magnetical theory, based on
an extensive series of observations, must be regarded as a desideratum by
the first nautical country.

The numerous magnetical surveys that have been made by our government,
taken in conjunction with those in progress on the continent of Europe,
and particularly in the Austrian dominions, give a full promise of the
speedy realization of M. Humboldt’s wish, so earnestly expressed, that the
materials of the first general magnetic map of the globe should be
assembled; and even permit the anticipation, that the first normal epoch
of such a map will be but little removed from the present year.


Bituminous matter, if not the carboniferous system itself, exists
abundantly on the banks of the Euphrates. In the basin of the Nile coal
has been recently detected. It occurs sparingly in some of the states of
Greece; and Theophrastus, in his “History of Stones,” refers to mineral
coal (_lithanthrax_) being found in Liguria and in Elis, and used by the
smiths; the stones are earthy, he adds, but kindle and burn like wood
coals (the _anthrax_). But by none of the Oriental nations does it appear
that the vast latent powers and virtues of the mineral were thus early
discovered, so as to render it an object of commerce or of geological
research. What the Romans termed _lapis ampelites_, is generally
understood to mean our cannel coal, which they used not as fuel, but in
making toys, bracelets, and other ornaments; while their _carbo_, which
Pliny describes as _vehementer perlucet_, was simply the petroleum or
naphtha, which issues so abundantly from all the tertiary deposits. Coal
is found in Syria, and the term frequently occurs in the Sacred Writings.
But there is no reference any where in the inspired record as to digging
or boring for the mineral—no directions for its use—no instructions as to
its constituting a portion of the promised treasures of the land. In their
burnt-offerings, wood appears uniformly to have been employed; in
Leviticus, the term is used as synonymous with fire, where it is said that
“the priests shall lay the parts in order upon the wood”—that is, on the
fire which is upon the altar. And in the same manner for all domestic
purposes, wood and charcoal were invariably made use of. Doubtless the
ancient Hebrews would be acquainted with _natural_ coal, as in the
mountains of Lebanon, whither they continually resorted for their timber,
seams of coal near Beirout were seen to protrude through the
superincumbent strata in various directions. Still there are no traces of
pits or excavations into the rock to show that they duly appreciated the
extent and uses of the article.... For many reasons it would seem that,
among modern nations, the primitive Britons were the first to avail
themselves of the valuable combustible. The word by which it is designated
is not of Saxon, but of British extraction, and is still employed to this
day by the Irish, in their form of _o-gual_, and in that of _kolan_ by the
Cornish. In Yorkshire, stone hammers and hatchets have been found in old
mines, showing that the early Britons worked coals before the invasion of
the Romans. Manchester, which has risen upon the very ashes of the
mineral, and grown to all its wealth and greatness under the influence of
its heat and light, next claims the merit of the discovery. Portions of
coal have been found under, or imbedded in the sand of a Roman way,
excavated some years ago for the construction of a house, and which at the
time were ingeniously conjectured by the local antiquaries to have been
collected for the use of the garrison stationed on the route of these
warlike invaders at Mancenion, or the Place of Tents. Certain it is that
fragments of coal are being constantly, in the district, washed out and
brought down by the Medlock and other streams, which break from the
mountains through the coal strata. The attention of the inhabitants would
in this way be the more early and readily attracted by the glistening
substance. Nevertheless, for long after, coal was but little valued or
appreciated, turf and wood being the common articles of consumption
throughout the country. About the middle of the ninth century, a grant of
land was made by the Abbey of Peterborough, under the restriction of
certain payments in kind to the monastery, among which are specified sixty
carts of wood, and as showing their comparative worth, only twelve carts
of pit coal. Toward the end of the thirteenth century, Newcastle is said
to have traded in the article, and by a charter of Henry III., of date
1284, a license is granted to the burgesses to dig for the mineral. About
this period, coals for the first time began to be imported into London,
but were made use of only by smiths, brewers, dyers, and other artisans,
when, in consequence of the smoke being regarded as very injurious to the
public health, parliament petitioned the king, Edward I., to prohibit the
burning of coal, on the ground of being an intolerable nuisance. A
proclamation was granted, conformable to the prayer of the petition; and
the most severe inquisitorial measures were adopted to restrict or
altogether abolish the use of the combustible, by fine, imprisonment, and
destruction of the furnaces and workshops! They were again brought into
common use in the time of Charles I., and have continued to increase
steadily with the extension of the arts and manufactures, and the
advancing tide of population, till now, in the metropolis and suburbs,
coals are annually consumed to the amount of about three million of tons.
The use of coal in Scotland seems to be connected with the rise of the
monasteries.... Under the regime of domestic rule at Dunfermline, coals
were worked in the year 1291—at Dysart and other places along the Fife
coast, about half a century later—and generally in the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries the inhabitants were assessed in coals to the churches
and chapels, which, after the Reformation, have still continued to be paid
in many parishes. Boethius records that in his time the inhabitants of
Fife and the Lothians dug “a black stone,” which, when kindled, gave out a
heat sufficient to melt iron.—_Rev. Dr. Anderson’s Course of Creation._


There was once a poor and plain little girl dwelling in a little room in
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. She was a poor little girl indeed, then;
she was lonely and neglected, and would have been very unhappy, deprived
of the kindness and care so necessary to a child, if it had not been for a
peculiar gift. The little girl had a fine voice, and in her loneliness, in
trouble or in sorrow, she consoled herself by singing. In fact she sang to
all she did; at her work, at her play, running or resting, she always

The woman who had her in care went out to work during the day, and used to
lock in the little girl, who had nothing to enliven her solitude but the
company of a cat. The little girl played with her cat and sang. Once she
sat by the open window and stroked her cat and sang, when a lady passed
by. She heard the voice and looked up and saw the little singer. She asked
the child several questions, went away, and came back several days later,
followed by an old music master, whose name was Crelius. He tried the
little girl’s musical ear and voice, and was astonished. He took her to
the director of the Royal Opera of Stockholm, then a Count Puhe, whose
truly generous and kind heart was concealed by rough speech and a morbid
temper. Crelius introduced his little pupil to the count, and asked him to
engage her as “_élève_ for the opera.” “You ask a foolish thing!” said the
count, gruffly, looking disdainfully down on the poor little girl. “What
shall we do with that ugly thing? see what feet she has? And then her
face? She will never be presentable. No, we can not take her. Away with

The music master insisted, almost indignantly. “Well,” exclaimed he at
last, “if you will not take her, poor as I am, I will take her myself, and
have her educated for the scene; such another ear as she has for music is
not to be found in the world!”

The count relented. The little girl was at last admitted into the school
for _élèves_, at the Opera, and with some difficulty a simple gown of
black bombazine was procured for her. The care of her musical education
was left to an able master, Mr. Albert Breg, director of the song school
of the Opera.

Some years later, at a comedy given by the _élèves_ of the theatre,
several persons were struck by the spirit and life with which a very young
_élève_ acted the part of a beggar-girl in the play. Lovers of genial
nature were charmed, pedants almost frightened. It was our poor little
girl, who had made her first appearance, now about fourteen years of age,
frolicksome and full of fun as a child.

A few years still later, a young debutante was to sing for the first time
before the public in Weber’s Freischutz. At the rehearsal preceding the
representation of the evening, she sang in a manner which made the members
of the orchestra at once lay down their instruments to clap their hands in
rapturous applause. It was our poor, plain little girl here again, who now
had grown up and was to appear before the public in the role of Agatha. I
saw her at the evening representation. She was then in the prime of youth,
fresh, bright, and serene as a morning in May—perfect in form—her hands
and her arms peculiarly graceful—and lovely in her whole appearance,
through the expression of her countenance, and the noble simplicity and
calmness of her manners. In fact she was charming. We saw not an actress,
but a young girl full of natural geniality and grace. She seemed to move,
speak, and sing without effort or art. All was nature and harmony. Her
song was distinguished especially by its purity, and the power of soul
which seemed to swell in her tones. Her “mezzo voice” was delightful. In
the night scene where Agatha, seeing her lover come, breathes out her joy
in rapturous song, our young singer on turning from the window, at the
back of the theatre, to the spectators again, was pale for joy. And in
that pale joyousness she sang with a burst of outflowing love and life
that called forth, not the mirth, but the tears of the auditors.

From this time she was the declared favorite of the Swedish public, whose
musical tastes and knowledge are said not to be surpassed. And, year after
year, she continued so, though, after a time, her voice, being
overstrained, lost somewhat of its freshness, and the public being
satiated, no more crowded the house when she was singing. Still, at that
time, she could be heard singing and playing more delightfully than ever
in Pamina (in Zauberflote) or in Anna Bolena, though the opera was almost
deserted. She evidently sang for the pleasure of the song.

By that time she went to take lessons of Garcia, in Paris, and so give the
finishing touch to her musical education. There she acquired that warble
in which she is said to have been equalled by no singer, and which could
be compared only to that of the soaring and warbling lark, if the lark had
a soul.

And then the young girl went abroad and sang on foreign shores and to
foreign people. She charmed Denmark, she charmed Germany, she charmed
England. She was caressed and courted every where, even to adulation. At
the courts of kings, the houses of the great and noble, she was feasted as
one of the grandees of nature and art. She was covered with laurels and
jewels. But friends wrote of her, “In the midst of these splendors she
only thinks of her Sweden, and yearns for her friends and her people.”

One dusky October night, crowds of people (the most part, by their dress,
seemed to belong to the upper classes of society) thronged on the shore of
the Baltic harbor at Stockholm. All looked toward the sea. There was a
rumor of expectance and pleasure. Hours passed away, and the crowds still
gathered, and waited and looked out eagerly toward the sea. At length a
brilliant rocket rose joyfully, far out at the entrance of the harbor, and
was greeted with a general buzz on the shore.

“There she comes! there she is!” A large steamer now came whelming on its
triumphant way through the flocks of ships and boats lying in the harbor,
toward the shore of the “Skeppsbero.” Flashing rockets marked its way in
the dark as it advanced. The crowds on the shore pressed forward as if to
meet it. Now the leviathan of the waters was heard thundering nearer and
nearer; now it relented, now again pushed on, foaming and splashing; now
it lay still. And, there on the front of the deck, was seen by the light
of lamps and rockets, a pale, graceful young woman, her eyes brilliant
with tears, and lips radiant with smiles, waving her handkerchief to her
friends and countrymen on shore.

It was she again—our poor, plain, neglected little girl of former days—who
now came back in triumph to her fatherland. But no more poor, no more
plain, no more neglected. She had become rich; she had in her slender
person the power to charm and inspire multitudes.

Some days later, we read in the papers of Stockholm, an address to the
public written by the beloved singer, stating, with noble simplicity, that
“as she once more had the happiness to be in her native land, she would be
glad to sing again to her countrymen, and that the income of the operas in
which she was this season to appear, would be devoted to raise a fund for
a school where _élèves_ for the theatre would be educated to virtue and
knowledge.” The intelligence was received as it deserved, and of course
the Opera was crowded every night the beloved singer sang there. The first
time she again appeared in Somnambula (one of her favorite roles), the
public, after the curtain was dropped, called her back with great
enthusiasm, and received her, when she appeared, with a roar of hurrahs.
In the midst of the burst of applause a clear and melodious warbling was
heard. The hurrahs were hushed instantly. And we saw the lovely singer
standing with her arms slightly extended, somewhat bowing forward,
graceful as a bird on its branch warbling, warbling as no bird ever did,
from note to note—and on every one a clear, strong, soaring warble—until
she fell into the retournelle of her last song, and again sang that joyful
and touching strain,

    “No thought can conceive how I feel at my heart.”


Book I.—Initial Chapter: Showing How My Novel Came To Be Written.

SCENE, _the Hall in Uncle Roland’s Tower_; TIME, _night_; SEASON,

Mr. Caxton is seated before a great geographical globe, which he is
turning round leisurely, and “for his own recreation,” as, according to
Sir Thomas Browne, a philosopher should turn round the orb, of which that
globe professes to be the representation and effigies. My mother having
just adorned a very small frock with a very smart braid, is holding it out
at arm’s length, the more to admire the effect. Blanche, though leaning
both hands on my mother’s shoulder, is not regarding the frock, but
glances toward PISISTRATUS, who, seated near the fire leaning back in his
chair, and his head bent over his breast, seems in a very bad humor. Uncle
Roland, who has become a great novel reader, is deep in the mysteries of
some fascinating Third Volume. Mr. Squills has brought _The Times_ in his
pocket for his own special profit and delectation, and is now bending his
brows over “the state of the money market” in great doubt whether railway
shares can possibly fall lower. For Mr. Squills, happy man! has large
savings, and does not know what to do with his money; or, to use his own
phrase, “how to buy in at the cheapest, in order to sell out at the

Mr. Caxton, musingly.—“It must have been a monstrous long journey. It
would be somewhere hereabouts, I take it, that they would split off.”

My Mother, mechanically, and in order to show Austin that she paid him the
compliment of attending to his remarks.—“Who split off, my dear?”

“Bless me, Kitty,” said my father, in great admiration, “you ask just the
question which it is most difficult to answer. An ingenious speculator on
races contends that the Danes, whose descendants make the chief part of
our northern population (and, indeed, if his hypothesis could be correct,
we must suppose all the ancient worshipers of Odin), are of the same
origin as the Etrurians. And why, Kitty? I just ask you, why?”

My mother shook her head thoughtfully, and turned the frock to the other
side of the light.

“Because, forsooth,” cried my father, exploding—“because the Etrurians
called their gods ‘the Æsar,’ and the Scandinavians called theirs the
Æsir, or Aser! And where do you think he puts their cradle?”

“Cradle!” said my mother, dreamily; “it must be in the nursery.”

MR. CAXTON.—“Exactly—in the nursery of the human race—just here,” and my
father pointed to the globe; “bounded, you see, by the River Helys, and in
that region which, taking its name from Ees, or As (a word designating
light or fire), has been immemorially called _Asia_. Now, Kitty, from Ees
or As, our ethnological speculator would derive not only Asia, the land,
but Æser or Aser, its primitive inhabitants. Hence, he supposes the origin
of the Etrurians, and the Scandinavians. But, if we give him so much, we
must give him more, and deduce from the same origin the Es of the Celt,
and the Ized of the Persian, and—what will be of more use to him, I dare
say, poor man, than all the rest put together—the Æs of the Romans, that
is, the God of Copper-Money—a very powerful household god he is to this

My mother looked musingly at her frock, as if she were taking my father’s
proposition into serious consideration.

“So, perhaps,” resumed my father, “and not unconformably with sacred
records, from one great parent horde came all these various tribes,
carrying with them the name of their beloved Asia; and whether they
wandered north, south, or west, exalting their own emphatic designation of
‘Children of the Land of Light’ into the title of gods. And to think
(added Mr. Caxton pathetically, gazing upon that speck in the globe on
which his forefinger rested), to think how little they changed for the
better when they got to the Don, or entangled their rafts amidst the
icebergs of the Baltic—so comfortably off as they were here, if they could
but have staid quiet!”

“And why the deuce could not they?” asked Mr. Squills.

“Pressure of population, and not enough to live upon, I suppose,” said my

PISISTRATUS, sulkily.—“More probably they did away with the Corn Laws,

“Papæ!” quoth my father, “that throws a new light on the subject.”

PISISTRATUS, full of his grievances, and not caring three straws about the
origin of the Scandinavians—“I know that if we are to lose £500 every year
on a farm which we hold rent-free, and which the best judges allow to be a
perfect model for the whole country, we had better make haste, and turn
Æsar, or Aser, or whatever you call them, and fix a settlement on the
property of other nations, otherwise, I suspect, our probable settlement
will be on the parish.”

MR. SQUILLS, who, it must be remembered, is an enthusiastic
free-trader—“You have only got to put more capital on the land.”

PISISTRATUS.—“Well, Mr. Squills, as you think so well of that investment,
put _your_ capital on it. I promise that you shall have every shilling of

MR. SQUILLS, hastily retreating behind _The Times_—“I don’t think the
Great Western can fall any lower: though it _is_ hazardous—I can but
venture a few hundreds—”

PISISTRATUS.—“On our land, Squills? Thank you.”

MR. SQUILLS.—“No, no—any thing but that—on the Great Western.”

Pisistratus relapses into gloom. Blanche steals up coaxingly, and gets
snubbed for her pains.

A pause.

MR. CAXTON.—“There are two golden rules of life: one relates to the mind,
and the other to the pockets. The first is—If our thoughts get into a low,
nervous, aguish condition, we should make them change the air; the second
is comprised in the proverb, ‘it is good to have two strings to one’s
bow.’ Therefore, Pisistratus, I tell you what you must do—write a book!”

PISISTRATUS.—“Write a book!—Against the abolition of the Corn Laws? Faith,
sir, the mischief’s done. It takes a much better pen than mine to write
down an act of Parliament.”

MR. CAXTON.—“I only said, ‘Write a book.’ All the rest is the addition of
your own headlong imagination.”

PISISTRATUS, with the recollection of the great book rising before
him—“Indeed, sir, I should think that that would just finish us!”

MR. CAXTON, not seeming to heed the interruption—“A book that will sell! A
book that will prop up the fall of prices! A book that will distract your
mind from its dismal apprehensions, and restore your affection to your
species, and your hopes in the ultimate triumph of sound principles—by the
sight of a favorable balance at the end of the yearly accounts. It is
astonishing what a difference that little circumstance makes in our views
of things in general. I remember when the bank, in which Squills had
incautiously left £1000, broke; one remarkably healthy year, that he
became a great alarmist, and said that the country was on the verge of
ruin; whereas, you see now, when, thanks to a long succession of sickly
seasons, he has a surplus capital to risk in the Great Western—he is
firmly persuaded that England was never in so prosperous a condition.”

MR. SQUILLS, rather sullenly.—“Pooh, pooh.”

MR. CAXTON.—“Write a book, my son—write a book. Need I tell you that Money
or Moneta, according to Hyginus, was the mother of the Muses? Write a

BLANCHE and my MOTHER, in full chorus.—“yes, Sisty—a book—a book! you must
write a book!”

“I am sure,” quoth my Uncle Roland, slamming down the volume he had just
concluded, “he could write a devilish deal better book than this; and how
I come to read such trash, night after night, is more than I could
possibly explain to the satisfaction of any intelligent jury, if I were
put into a witness-box, and examined in the mildest manner by my own

MR. CAXTON.—“You see that Roland tells us exactly what sort of a book it
shall be.”

PISISTRATUS.—“Trash, sir?”

MR. CAXTON.—“No—that is not necessarily trash—but a book of that class
which, whether trash or not, people can’t help reading. Novels have become
a necessity of the age. You must write a novel.”

PISISTRATUS, flattered, but dubious.—“A novel! But every subject on which
novels can be written is preoccupied. There are novels on low life, novels
of high life, military novels, naval novels, novels philosophical, novels
religious, novels historical, novels descriptive of India, the Colonies,
Ancient Rome, and the Egyptian Pyramids. From what bird, wild eagle, or
barn-door fowl, can I

    ‘Pluck one unwearied plume from Fancy’s wing?’ ”

MR. CAXTON, after a little thought.—“You remember the story which
Trevanion (I beg his pardon, Lord Ulswater) told us the other night. That
gives you something of the romance of real life for your plot—puts you
chiefly among scenes with which you are familiar, and furnishes you with
characters which have been very sparingly dealt with since the time of
Fielding. You can give us the country squire, as you remember him in your
youth: it is a specimen of a race worth preserving—the old idiosyncrasies
of which are rapidly dying off, as the railways bring Norfolk and
Yorkshire within easy reach of the manners of London. You can give us the
old-fashioned parson, as in all essentials he may yet be found—but before
you had to drag him out of the great Puseyite sectarian bog; and, for the
rest, I really think that while, as I am told, many popular writers are
doing their best, especially in France, and perhaps a little in England,
to set class against class, and pick up every stone in the kennel to shy
at a gentleman with a good coat on his back, something useful might be
done by a few good humored sketches of those innocent criminals a little
better off than their neighbors, whom, however we dislike them, I take it
for granted we shall have to endure, in one shape or another, as long as
civilization exists; and they seem, on the whole, as good in their present
shape, as we are likely to get, shake the dice-box of society how we

PISISTRATUS.—“Very well said, sir; but this rural country gentleman life
is not so new as you think. There’s Washington Irving—”

MR. CAXTON.—“Charming—but rather the manners of the last century than
this. You may as well cite Addison and Sir Roger de Coverley.”

PISISTRATUS.—“_Tremaine_ and _De Vere_.”

MR. CAXTON.—“Nothing can be more graceful, nor more unlike what I mean.
The Pales and Terminus I wish you to put up in the fields are familiar
images, that you may cut out of in oak tree—not beautiful marble statues,
on porphyry pedestals twenty feet high.”

PISISTRATUS.—“Miss Austin; Mrs. Gore in her masterpiece of _Mrs.
Armytage;_ Mrs. Marsh, too; and then (for Scottish manners) Miss Ferrier!”

MR. CAXTON, growing cross.—“Oh, if you can not treat on bucolics but what
you must hear some Virgil or other cry ‘Stop thief!’ you deserve to be
tossed by one of your own ‘short-horns.’ (Still more contemptuously)—I am
sure I don’t know why we spend so much money on sending our sons to school
to learn Latin, when that Anachronism of yours, Mrs. Caxton, can’t even
construe a line and a half of Phædrus. Phædrus, Mrs. Caxton—a book which
is in Latin what Goody Two Shoes is in the vernacular!”

MRS. CAXTON, alarmed and indignant.—“Fie, Austin! I am sure you can
construe Phædras, dear!”

Pisistratus prudently preserves silence.

MR. CAXTON.—“I’ll try him—

    “Sua cuique quum sit animi cogitatio
    Colorque proprius.”

What does that mean?”

PISISTRATUS, smiling.—“That every man has some coloring matter within him,
to give his own tinge to—”

“His own novel,” interrupted my father! “_Contentus peragis_.”

During the latter part of this dialogue, Blanche had sewn together three
quires of the best Bath paper, and she now placed them on a little table
before me, with her own inkstand and steel pen.

My mother put her finger to her lip, and said, “Hush!” my father returned
to the cradle of the Æsar; Captain Roland leant his cheek on his hand, and
gazed abstractedly on the fire; Mr. Squills fell into a placid doze; and,
after three sighs that would have melted a heart of stone, I rushed
into—MY NOVEL.

Chapter II.

“There has never been occasion to use them since I’ve been in the parish,”
said Parson Dale.

“What does that prove?” quoth the Squire, sharply, and looking the Parson
full in the face.

“Prove!” repeated Mr. Dale—with a smile of benign, yet too conscious
superiority—“What does experience prove?”

“That your forefathers were great blockheads, and that their descendant is
not a whit the wiser.”

“Squire,” replied the Parson, “although that is a melancholy conclusion,
yet if you mean it to apply universally, and not to the family of the
Dales in particular, it is not one which my candor as a reasoner, and my
humility as a mortal, will permit me to challenge.”

“I defy you.” said Mr. Hazeldean, triumphantly. “But to stick to the
subject, which it is monstrous hard to do when one talks with a parson, I
only just ask you to look yonder, and tell me on your conscience—I don’t
even say as a parson, but as a parishioner—whether you ever saw a more
disreputable spectacle?”

While he spoke, the Squire, leaning heavily on the Parson’s left shoulder,
extended his cane in a line parallel with the right eye of that
disputatious ecclesiastic, so that he might guide the organ of sight to
the object he had thus unflatteringly described.

“I confess,” said the Parson, “that, regarded by the eye of the senses, it
is a thing that in its best day had small pretensions to beauty, and is
not elevated into the picturesque even by neglect and decay. But, my
friend, regarded by the eye of the inner man—of the rural philosopher and
parochial legislator—I say it is by neglect and decay that it is rendered
a very pleasing feature in what I may call ‘the moral topography of a
parish.’ ”

The Squire looked at the Parson as if he could have beaten him; and
indeed, regarding the object in dispute not only with the eye of the outer
man, but the eye of law and order, the eye of a country gentleman and a
justice of the peace, the spectacle _was_ scandalously disreputable. It
was moss-grown; it was worm-eaten; it was broken right in the middle;
through its four socketless eyes, neighbored by the nettle, peered the
thistle:—the thistle!—a forest of thistles!—and, to complete the
degradation of the whole, those thistles had attracted the donkey of an
itinerant tinker; and the irreverent animal was in the very act of taking
his luncheon out of the eyes and jaws of—THE PARISH STOCKS.

The Squire looked as if he could have beaten the Parson; but as he was not
without some slight command of temper, and a substitute was luckily at
hand, he gulped down his resentment and made a rush—at the donkey!

Now the donkey was hampered by a rope to its forefeet, to the which was
attached a billet of wood called technically “a clog,” so that it had no
fair chance of escape from the assault its sacrilegious luncheon had
justly provoked. But, the ass turning round with unusual nimbleness at the
first stroke of the cane, the Squire caught his foot in the rope, and went
head over heels among the thistles. The donkey gravely bent down, and
thrice smelt or sniffed its prostrate foe; then, having convinced itself
that it had nothing farther to apprehend for the present, and very willing
to make the best of the reprieve, according to the poetical admonition,
“Gather your rosebuds while you may,” it cropped a thistle in full bloom,
close to the ear of the Squire; so close indeed, that the Parson thought
the ear was gone; and with the more probability, inasmuch as the Squire,
feeling the warm breath of the creature, bellowed out with all the force
of lungs accustomed to give a View-hallo!

“Bless me, is it gone?” said the Parson, thrusting his person between the
ass and the squire.

“Zounds and the devil!” cried the Squire, rubbing himself as he rose to
his feet.

“Hush,” said the parson gently “What a horrible oath!”

“Horrible oath! If you had my nankeens on,” said the Squire, still rubbing
himself, “and had fallen into a thicket of thistles with a donkey’s teeth
within an inch of your ear!”

“It is not gone—then?” interrupted the Parson.

“No—that is, I think not,” said the Squire dubiously; and he clapped his
hand to the organ in question. “No! it is not gone!”

“Thank Heaven!” said the good Clergyman kindly.

“Hum,” growled the Squire, who was now once more engaged in rubbing
himself. “Thank Heaven indeed, when I am as full of thorns as a porcupine!
I should just like to know what use thistles are in the world.”

“For donkeys to eat, if you will let them, Squire,” answered the Parson.

“Ugh, you beast!” cried Mr. Hazeldean, all his wrath reawakened, whether
by the reference to the donkey species, or his inability to reply to the
Parson, or perhaps by some sudden prick too sharp for humanity—especially
humanity in nankeens—to endure without kicking; “Ugh, you beast!” he
exclaimed, shaking his cane at the donkey, who, at the interposition of
the Parson, had respectfully recoiled a few paces, and now stood switching
its thin tail, and trying vainly to lift one of its fore legs—for the
flies teased it.

“Poor thing!” said the Parson pityingly. “See, it has a raw place on the
shoulder, and the flies have found out the sore.”

“I am devilish glad to hear it,” said the Squire vindictively.

“Fie, fie!”

“It is very well to say ‘Fie, fie.’ It was not you who fell among the
thistles. What’s the man about now, I wonder?”

The Parson had walked toward a chestnut tree that stood on the village
green—he broke off a bough—returned to the donkey—whisked away the flies,
and then tenderly placed the broad leaves over the sore, as a protection
from the swarms. The donkey turned round its head, and looked at him with
mild wonder.

“I would bet a shilling,” said the Parson, softly, “that this is the first
act of kindness thou hast met with this many a day. And slight enough it
is, Heaven knows.”

With that the Parson put his hand into his pocket, and drew out an apple.
It was a fine large rose-cheeked apple: one of the last winter’s store,
from the celebrated tree in the parsonage garden, and he was taking it as
a present to a little boy in the village who had notably distinguished
himself in the Sunday school. “Nay, in common justice, Lenny Fairfield
should have the preference,” muttered the Parson. The ass pricked up one
of its ears, and advanced its head timidly. “But Lenny Fairfield would be
as much pleased with twopence: and what could twopence do to thee?” The
ass’s nose now touched the apple. “Take it in the name of Charity,” quoth
the Parson, “Justice is accustomed to be served last.” And the ass took
the apple. “How had you the heart?” said the Parson, pointing to the
Squire’s cane.

The ass stopped munching, and looked askant at the Squire.

“Pooh! eat on; he’ll not beat thee now!”

“No,” said the Squire apologetically. “But, after all, he is not an Ass of
the Parish; he is a vagrant, and he ought to be pounded. But the pound is
in as bad a state as the stocks, thanks to your new-fashioned doctrines.”

“New-fashioned!” cried the Parson almost indignantly, for he had a great
disdain of new fashions. “They are as old as Christianity; nay, as old as
Paradise, which you will observe is derived from a Greek, or rather a
Persian word, and means something more than ‘garden,’ corresponding
(pursued the Parson rather pedantically) with the Latin _vivarium_—viz.
grove or park full of innocent dumb creatures. Depend on it, donkeys were
allowed to eat thistles there.”

“Very possibly,” said the Squire drily. “But Hazeldean, though a very
pretty village, is not Paradise. The stocks shall be mended to-morrow—ay,
and the pound too—and the next donkey found trespassing shall go into it,
as sure as my name’s Hazeldean.”

“Then,” said the Parson gravely, “I can only hope that the next parish may
not follow your example; or that you and I may never be caught straying!”

Chapter III.

Parson Dale and Squire Hazeldean parted company; the latter to inspect his
sheep, the former to visit some of his parishioners, including Lenny
Fairfield, whom the donkey had defrauded of his apple.

Lenny Fairfield was sure to be in the way, for his mother rented a few
acres of grass land from the Squire, and it was now hay-time. And Leonard,
commonly called Lenny, was an only son, and his mother a widow. The
cottage stood apart, and somewhat remote, in one of the many nooks of the
long green village lane. And a thoroughly English cottage it was—three
centuries old at least; with walls of rubble let into oak frames, and duly
whitewashed every summer, a thatched roof, small panes of glass, and an
old doorway raised from the ground by two steps. There was about this
little dwelling all the homely rustic elegance which peasant life admits
of: a honeysuckle was trained over the door; a few flower-pots were placed
on the window-sills; the small plot of ground in front of the house was
kept with great neatness, and even taste; some large rough stones on
either side the little path having been formed into a sort of rockwork,
with creepers that were now in flower; and the potato-ground was screened
from the eye by sweet peas and lupine. Simple elegance all this, it is
true; but how well it speaks for peasant and landlord, when you see that
the peasant is fond of his home, and has some spare time and heart to
bestow upon mere embellishment. Such a peasant is sure to be a bad
customer to the ale-house, and a safe neighbor to the Squire’s preserves.
All honor and praise to him, except a small tax upon both, which is due to
the landlord!

Such sights were as pleasant to the Parson as the most beautiful
landscapes of Italy can be to the dilettante. He paused a moment at the
wicket to look around him, and distended his nostrils voluptuously to
inhale the smell of the sweet peas, mixed with that of the new-mown hay in
the fields behind, which a slight breeze bore to him. He then moved on,
carefully scraped his shoes, clean and well polished as they were—for Mr.
Dale was rather a beau in his own clerical way—on the scraper without the
door, and lifted the latch.

Your virtuoso looks with artistical delight on the figure of some nymph
painted on an Etruscan vase, engaged in pouring out the juice of the grape
from her classic urn. And the Parson felt as harmless, if not as elegant a
pleasure, in contemplating Widow Fairfield brimming high a glittering can,
which she designed for the refreshment of the thirsty hay-makers.

Mrs. Fairfield was a middle-aged, tidy woman, with that alert precision of
movement which seems to come from an active orderly mind; and as she now
turned her head briskly at the sound of the Parson’s footsteps, she showed
a countenance prepossessing, though not handsome—a countenance from which
a pleasant hearty smile, breaking forth at that moment effaced some lines
that, in repose, spoke “of sorrows, but of sorrows past;” and her cheek,
paler than is common to the complexions even of the fair sex, when born
and bred amidst a rural population, might have favored the guess that the
earlier part of her life had been spent in the languid air and
“within-doors” occupation of a town.

“Never mind me,” said the Parson, as Mrs. Fairfield dropped her quick
courtesy, and smoothed her apron; “if you are going into the hayfield, I
will go with you; I have something to say to Lenny—an excellent boy.”

WIDOW.—“Well, sir, and you are kind to say to it—but he is.”

PARSON.—“He reads uncommonly well, he writes tolerably; he is the best lad
in the whole school at his catechism and in the Bible lessons; and I
assure you, when I see his face at church, looking up so attentively, I
fancy that I shall read my sermon all the better for such a listener!”

WIDOW, wiping her eyes with the corner of her apron.—“’Deed, sir, when my
poor Mark died, I never thought I could have lived on as I have done. But
that boy is so kind and good, that when I look at him sitting there in
dear Mark’s chair, and remember how Mark loved him, and all he used to say
to me about him, I feel somehow or other as if my goodman smiled on me,
and would rather I was not with him yet, till the lad had grown up, and
did not want me any more.”

PARSON, looking away, and after a pause.—“You never hear any thing of the
old folks at Lansmere?”

“’Deed, sir, sin’ poor Mark died, they han’t noticed me, nor the boy;
but,” added the widow, with all a peasant’s pride, “it isn’t that I wants
their money; only it’s hard to feel strange like to one’s own father and

PARSON.—“You must excuse them. Your father, Mr. Avenel, was never quite
the same man after that sad event—but you are weeping, my friend, pardon
me:—your mother is a little proud; but so are you, though in another way.”

WIDOW.—“I proud! Lord love ye, sir, I have not a bit of pride in me! and
that’s the reason they always looked down on me.”

PARSON.—“Your parents must be well off, and I shall apply to them in a
year or two on behalf of Lenny, for they promised me to provide for him
when he grew up, as they ought.”

WIDOW, with flashing eyes.—“I am sure, sir, I hope you will do no such
thing; for I would not have Lenny beholden to them as has never given him
a kind word sin’ he was born!”

The Parson smiled gravely and shook his head at poor Mrs. Fairfield’s
hasty confutation of her own self-acquittal from the charge of pride, but
he saw that it was not the time or moment for effectual peace-making in
the most irritable of all rancors, viz., that nourished against one’s
nearest relations. He therefore dropped that subject, and said, “Well,
time enough to think of Lenny’s future prospects: meanwhile we are
forgetting the hay-makers. Come.”

The widow opened the back door, which led across a little apple orchard
into the fields.

PARSON.—“You have a pleasant place here, and I see that my friend Lenny
should be in no want of apples. I had brought him one, but I have given it
away on the road.”

WIDOW.—“Oh, sir, it is not the deed—it is the will; as I felt when the
Squire, God bless him! took two pounds off the rent the year he—that is,

PARSON.—“If Lenny continues to be such a help to you, it will not be long
before the Squire may put the two pounds on again.”

“Yes, sir,” said the widow simply; “I hope he will.”

“Silly woman!” muttered the Parson. “That’s not exactly what the
schoolmistress would have said. You don’t read nor write, Mrs. Fairfield;
yet you express yourself with great propriety.”

“You know Mark was a schollard, sir, like my poor, poor, sister; and
though I was a sad stupid girl afore I married, I tried to take after him
when we came together.”

Chapter IV.

They were now in the hayfield, and a boy of about sixteen, but like most
country lads, to appearance much younger than he was, looked up from his
rake, with lively blue eyes, beaming forth under a profusion of brown
curly hair.

Leonard Fairfield was indeed a very handsome boy—not so stout nor so ruddy
as one would choose for the ideal of rustic beauty; nor yet so delicate in
limb and keen in expression as are those children of cities, in whom the
mind is cultivated at the expense of the body; but still he had the health
of the country in his cheeks, and was not without the grace of the city in
his compact figure and easy movements. There was in his physiognomy
something interesting from its peculiar character of innocence and
simplicity. You could see that he had been brought up by a woman, and much
apart from familiar contact with other children; and such intelligence as
was yet developed in him, was not ripened by the jokes and cuffs of his
coevals, but fostered by decorous lecturings from his elders, and good
little boy maxims in good little boy books.

PARSON.—“Come hither, Lenny. You know the benefit of school, I see: it can
teach you nothing better than to be a support to your mother.”

LENNY, looking down sheepishly, and with a heightened glow over his
face.—“Please, sir, that may come one of these days.”

PARSON—“That’s right Lenny. Let me see! why, you must be nearly a man. How
old are you?”

Lenny looks up inquiringly at his mother.

PARSON.—“You ought to know, Lenny; speak for yourself. Hold your tongue,
Mrs. Fairfield.”

LENNY, twirling his hat, and in great perplexity.—“Well, and there is
Flop, neighbor Dutton’s old sheep-dog. He be very old now.”

PARSON.—“I am not asking Flop’s age, but your own.”

“’Deed, sir, I have heard say as how Flop and I were pups together. That
is, I—I—”

For the Parson is laughing, and so is Mrs. Fairfield; and the haymakers,
who have stood still to listen, are laughing too. And poor Lenny has quite
lost his head, and looks as if he would like to cry.

PARSON, patting the curly locks, encouragingly.—“Never mind; it is not so
badly answered after all. And how old is Flop?”

LENNY.—“Why, he must be fifteen year and more.”

PARSON.—“How old, then, are you?”

LENNY, looking up with a beam of intelligence.—“Fifteen year and more!”

Widow sighs and nods her head.

“That’s what we call putting two and two together,” said the Parson. “Or,
in other words,” and here he raised his eyes majestically toward the
haymakers—“in other words—thanks to his love for his book—simple as he
stands here, Lenny Fairfield has shown himself capable of INDUCTIVE

At those words, delivered _ore rotundo_, the haymakers ceased laughing.
For even in lay matters they held the Parson to be an oracle, and words so
long must have a great deal in them.

Lenny drew up his head proudly.

“You are very fond of Flop, I suppose?”

“’Deed he is,” said the widow, “and of all poor dumb creatures.”

“Very good. Suppose, my lad, that you had a fine apple, and that you met a
friend who wanted it more than you; what would you do with it?”

“Please you, sir, I would give him half of it.”

The Parson’s face fell. “Not the whole, Lenny?”

Lenny considered. “If he was a friend, sir, he would not like me to give
him all!”

“Upon my word, Master Leonard, you speak so well, that I must e’en tell
the truth. I brought you an apple, as a prize for good conduct in school.
But I met by the way a poor donkey, and some one beat him for eating a
thistle; so I thought I would make it up by giving him the apple. Ought I
only to have given him the half?”

Lenny’s innocent face became all smile; his interest was aroused. “And did
the donkey like the apple?”

“Very much,” said the Parson, fumbling in his pocket, but thinking of
Leonard Fairfield’s years and understanding; and moreover, observing, in
the pride of his heart, that there were many spectators to his deed, he
thought the meditated twopence not sufficient, and he generously produced
a silver sixpence.

“There, my man, that will pay for the half apple which you would have kept
for yourself.” The Parson again patted the curly locks, and, after a
hearty word or two with the other haymakers, and a friendly “Good-day” to
Mrs. Fairfield, struck into a path that led toward his own glebe.

He had just crossed the stile, when he heard hasty but timorous feet
behind him. He turned, and saw his friend Lenny.

LENNY, half crying, and holding out the sixpence.—“Indeed, sir, I would
rather not. I would have given all to the Neddy.”

PARSON.—“Why, then, my man, you have a still greater right to the

LENNY.—“No, sir; ’cause you only gave it to make up for the half apple.
And if I had given the whole, as I ought to have done, why, I should have
had no right to the sixpence. Please, sir, don’t be offended; do take it
back, will you?”

The Parson hesitated. And the boy thrust the sixpence into his hand, as
the ass had poked his nose there before in quest of the apple.

“I see,” said Parson Dale, soliloquizing, “that if one don’t give Justice
the first place at the table, all the other Virtues eat up her share.”

Indeed, the case was perplexing. Charity, like a forward impudent baggage
as she is, always thrusting herself in the way, and taking other people’s
apples to make her own little pie, had defrauded Lenny of his due; and now
Susceptibility, who looks like a shy, blush-faced, awkward Virtue in her
teens—but who, nevertheless, is always engaged in picking the pockets of
her sisters, tried to filch from him his lawful recompense. The case was
perplexing; for the Parson held Susceptibility in great honor, despite her
hypocritical tricks, and did not like to give her a slap in the face,
which might frighten her away forever. So Mr. Dale stood irresolute,
glancing from the sixpence to Lenny, and from Lenny to the sixpence.

“_Buon giorno_—good-day to you,” said a voice behind, in an accent
slightly but unmistakably foreign, and a strange-looking figure presented
itself at the stile.

Imagine a tall and exceedingly meagre man, dressed in a rusty suit of
black—the pantaloons tight at the calf and ankle, and there forming a
loose gaiter over thick shoes buckled high at the instep; an old cloak,
lined with red, was thrown over one shoulder, though the day was sultry; a
quaint, red, outlandish umbrella, with a carved brass handle, was thrust
under one arm, though the sky was cloudless; a profusion of raven hair, in
waving curls that seemed as fine as silk, escaped from the sides of a
straw-hat of prodigious brim; a complexion sallow and swarthy, and
features which, though not without considerable beauty to the eye of the
artist, were not only unlike what we fair, well-fed, neat-faced Englishmen
are wont to consider comely, but exceedingly like what we are disposed to
regard as awful and Satanic—to wit, a long hooked nose, sunken cheeks,
black eyes, whose piercing brilliancy took something wizard-like and
mystical from the large spectacles through which they shone; a mouth round
which played an ironical smile, and in which a physiognomist would have
remarked singular shrewdness and some closeness, complete the picture:
imagine this figure, grotesque, peregrinate, and to the eye of a peasant
certainly diabolical, then perch it on the stile in the midst of those
green English fields, and in sight of that primitive English village;
there let it sit straddling, its long legs dangling down, a short German
pipe emitting clouds from one corner of those sardonic lips, its dark eyes
glaring through the spectacles full upon the Parson, yet askant upon Lenny
Fairfield. Lenny Fairfield looked exceedingly frightened.

“Upon my word, Dr. Riccabocca,” said Mr. Dale, smiling, “you come in good
time to solve a very nice question in casuistry;” and herewith the Parson
explained the case, and put the question—“Ought Lenny Fairfield to have
the sixpence, or ought he not?”

“_Cospetto_!” said the doctor. “If the hen would but hold her tongue,
nobody would know that she had laid an egg.”

Chapter V.

“Granted,” said the Parson; “but what follows? The saying is good, but I
don’t see the application.”

“A thousand pardons!” replied Dr. Riccabocca, with all the urbanity of an
Italian; “but it seems to me, that if you had given the sixpence to the
_fanciullo_—that is, to this good little boy—without telling him the story
about the donkey, you would never have put him and yourself into this
awkward dilemma.”

“But, my dear sir,” whispered the Parson, mildly, as he inclined his lips
to the Doctor’s ear, “I should then have lost the opportunity of
inculcating a moral lesson—you understand.”

Dr. Riccabocca shrugged his shoulders, restored his pipe to his mouth, and
took a long whiff. It was a whiff eloquent, though cynical—a whiff
peculiar to your philosophical smoker—a whiff that implied the most
absolute but the most placid incredulity as to the effect of the Parson’s
moral lesson.

“Still you have not given us your decision,” said the Parson, after a

The doctor withdrew the pipe. “_Cospetto!_” said he. “He who scrubs the
head of an ass wastes his soap.”

“If you scrubbed mine fifty times over with those enigmatical proverbs of
yours,” said the Parson, testily, “you would not make it any the wiser.”

“My good sir,” said the Doctor, bowing low from his perch on the stile, “I
never presumed to say that there were more asses than one in the story;
but I thought that I could not better explain my meaning, which is simply
this—you scrubbed the ass’s head, and therefore you must lose the soap.
Let the _fanciullo_ have the sixpence; and a great sum it is, too, for a
little boy, who may spend it all upon pocket-money!”

“There, Lenny—you hear?” said the Parson, stretching out the sixpence. But
Lenny retreated, and cast on the umpire a look of great aversion and

“Please, Master Dale,” said he, obstinately, “I’d rather not.”

“It is a matter of feeling, you see,” said the Parson, turning to the
umpire; “and I believe the boy is right.”

“If it is a matter of feeling,” replied Dr. Riccabocca, “there is no more
to be said on it. When Feeling comes in at the door, Reason has nothing to
do but to jump out of the window.”

“Go, my good boy,” said the Parson, pocketing the coin; “but stop! give me
your hand first. _There_—I understand you—good-by!”

Lenny’s eyes glistened as the Parson shook him by the hand, and, not
trusting himself to speak, he walked off sturdily. The Parson wiped his
forehead, and sat himself down on the stile beside the Italian. The view
before them was lovely, and both enjoyed it (though not equally) enough to
be silent for some moments. On the other side the lane, seen between gaps
in the old oaks and chestnuts that hung over the moss-grown pales of
Hazeldean Park, rose gentle verdant slopes, dotted with sheep and herds of
deer; a stately avenue stretched far away to the left, and ended at the
right hand, within a few yards of a ha-ha that divided the park from a
level sward of table-land gay with shrubs and flower-plots, relieved by
the shade of two mighty cedars. And on this platform, only seen in part,
stood the squire’s old-fashioned house, red brick, with stone mullions,
gable-ends, and quaint chimney-pots. On this side the road, immediately
facing the two gentlemen, cottage after cottage whitely emerged from the
curves in the lane, while, beyond, the ground declining gave an extensive
prospect of woods and cornfields, spires and farms. Behind, from a belt of
lilacs and evergreens, you caught a peep of the parsonage-house, backed by
woodlands, and a little noisy rill running in front. The birds were still
in the hedgerows, only as if from the very heart of the most distant
woods, there came now and then the mellow note of the cuckoo.

“Verily,” said Mr. Dale softly, “my lot has fallen on a goodly heritage.”

The Italian twitched his cloak over him, and sighed almost inaudibly.
Perhaps he thought of his own Summer Land, and felt that amidst all that
fresh verdure of the North, there was no heritage for the stranger.

However, before the Parson could notice the sigh or conjecture the cause,
Dr. Riccabocca’s thin lips took an expression almost malignant.

“_Per Bacco!_” said he; “in every country I find that the rooks settle
where the trees are the finest. I am sure that, when Noah first landed on
Ararat, he must have found some gentleman in black already settled in the
pleasantest part of the mountain, and waiting for his tenth of the cattle
as they came out of the ark.”

The Parson turned his meek eyes to the philosopher, and there was in them
something so deprecating rather than reproachful, that Dr. Riccabocca
turned away his face, and refilled his pipe. Dr. Riccabocca abhorred
priests; but though Parson Dale was emphatically a parson, he seemed at
that moment so little of what Dr. Riccabocca understood by a priest, that
the Italian’s heart smote him for his irreverent jest on the cloth.
Luckily at this moment there was a diversion to that untoward commencement
of conversation, in the appearance of no less a personage than the donkey
himself—I mean the donkey who ate the apple.

Chapter VI.

The Tinker was a stout swarthy fellow, jovial and musical withal, for he
was singing a stave as he flourished his staff, and at the end of each
_refrain_ down came the staff on the quarters of the donkey. The tinker
went behind and sung, the donkey went before and was thwacked.

“Yours is a droll country,” quoth Dr. Riccabocca; “in mine it is not the
ass that walks first in the procession, who gets the blows.”

The Parson jumped from the stile, and, looking over the hedge that divided
the field from the road—“Gently, gently,” said he; “the sound of the stick
spoils the singing! O Mr. Sprott, Mr. Sprott! a good man is merciful to
his beast.”

The donkey seemed to recognize the voice of its friend, for it stopped
short, pricked one ear wistfully, and looked up.

The Tinker touched his hat, and looked up too. “Lord bless your reverence!
he does not mind it, he likes it. I vould not hurt thee; vould I, Neddy?”

The donkey shook his head and shivered; perhaps a fly had settled on the
sore, which the chestnut leaves no longer protected.

“I am sure you did not mean to hurt him, Sprott,” said the Parson, more
politely, I fear, than honesty—for he had seen enough of that
cross-grained thing called the human heart, even in the little world of a
country parish, to know that it requires management, and coaxing, and
flattering, to interfere successfully between a man and his own donkey—“I
am sure you did not mean to hurt him; but he has already got a sore on his
shoulder as big as my hand, poor thing!”

“Lord love ’un! yes; that vas done a playing with the manger, the day I
gave ’un oats!” said the Tinker.

Dr. Riccabocca adjusted his spectacles, and surveyed the ass. The ass
pricked up his other ear, and surveyed Dr. Riccabocca. In that mutual
survey of physical qualifications, each being regarded according to the
average symmetry of its species, it may be doubted whether the advantage
was on the side of the philosopher.

The Parson had a great notion of the wisdom of his friend, in all matters
not immediately ecclesiastical.

“Say a good word for the donkey!” whispered he.

“Sir,” said the Doctor, addressing Mr. Sprott, with a respectful
salutation, “there’s a great kettle at my house—the Casino—which wants
soldering: can you recommend me a Tinker?”

“Why, that’s all in my line,” said Sprott, “and there ben’t a Tinker in
the country that I vould recommend like myself, thof I say it.”

“You jest, good sir,” said the Doctor, smiling pleasantly. “A man who
can’t mend a hole in his own donkey, can never demean himself by patching
up my great kettle.”

“Lord, sir!” said the Tinker, archly, “if I had known that poor Neddy had
had two sitch friends in court, I’d have seen he was a gintleman, and
treated him as sitch.”

“_Corpo di Bacco_.” quoth the Doctor, “though that jest’s not new, I think
the Tinker comes very well out of it.”

“True; but the donkey!” said the Parson, “I’ve a great mind to buy it.”

“Permit me to tell you an anecdote in point,” said Dr. Riccabocca.

“Well?” said the Parson, interrogatively.

“Once in a time,” pursued Riccabocca, “the Emperor Adrian, going to the
public baths, saw an old soldier, who had served under him, rubbing his
back against the marble wall. The emperor, who was a wise, and therefore a
curious, inquisitive man, sent for the soldier, and asked him why he
resorted to that sort of friction. ‘Because,’ answered the veteran, ‘I am
too poor to have slaves to rub me down.’ The emperor was touched, and gave
him slaves and money. The next day, when Adrian went to the baths, all the
old men in the city were to be seen rubbing themselves against the marble
as hard as they could. The emperor sent for them, and asked them the same
question which he had put to the soldier; the cunning old rogues, of
course, made the same answer. ‘Friends,’ said Adrian, ‘since there are so
many of you, you will just rub one another!’ Mr. Dale, if you don’t want
to have all the donkeys in the county with holes in their shoulders, you
had better not buy the Tinker’s!”

“It is the hardest thing in the world to do the least bit of good,”
groaned the Parson, as he broke a twig off the hedge nervously, snapped it
in two, and flung the fragments on the road—one of them hit the donkey on
the nose. If the ass could have spoken Latin, he would have said, “_Et tu,
Brute!_” As it was, he hung down his ears, and walked on.

“Gee hup,” said the Tinker, and he followed the ass. Then stopping, he
looked over his shoulder, and seeing that the Parson’s eyes were gazing
mournfully on his _protégé_, “Never fear, your reverence,” cried the
Tinker kindly; “I’ll not spite ’un.”

Chapter VII.

“Four o’clock,” cried the Parson, looking at his watch; “half-an-hour
after dinner-time, and Mrs. Dale particularly begged me to be punctual,
because of the fine trout the Squire sent us. Will you venture on what our
homely language calls ‘pot luck,’ Doctor?”

Now Riccabocca, like most wise men, especially if Italians, was by no
means inclined to the credulous view of human nature. Indeed, he was in
the habit of detecting self-interest in the simplest actions of his
fellow-creatures. And when the Parson thus invited him to pot luck, he
smiled with a kind of lofty complacency; for Mrs. Dale enjoyed the
reputation of having what her friends styled “her little tempers.” And, as
well-bred ladies rarely indulge “little tempers” in the presence of a
third person, not of the family, so Dr. Riccabocca instantly concluded
that he was invited to stand between the pot and the luck! Nevertheless—as
he was fond of trout, and a much more good-natured man than he ought to
have been according to his principles—he accepted the hospitality; but he
did so with a sly look from over his spectacles, which brought a blush
into the guilty cheeks of the Parson. Certainly Riccabocca had for once
guessed right in his estimate of human motives.

The two walked on, crossed a little bridge that spanned the rill, and
entered the parsonage lawn. Two dogs, that seemed to have sate on watch
for their master, sprung toward him barking; and the sound drew the notice
of Mrs. Dale, who, with parasol in hand, sallied out from the sash window
which opened on the lawn. Now, O reader! I know that in thy secret heart,
thou art chuckling over the want of knowledge in the sacred arcana of the
domestic hearth, betrayed by the author; thou art saying to thyself, “A
pretty way to conciliate little tempers indeed, to add to the offense of
spoiling the fish the crime of bringing an unexpected friend to eat it.
Pot luck, quotha, when the pot’s boiled over this half hour!”

But, to thy utter shame and confusion, O reader, learn that both the
author and Parson Dale knew very well what they were about.

Dr. Riccabocca was the special favorite of Mrs. Dale, and the only person
in the whole country who never put her out, by dropping in. In fact,
strange though it may seem at first glance, Dr. Riccabocca had that
mysterious something about him which we of his own sex can so little
comprehend, but which always propitiates the other. He owed this, in part,
to his own profound but hypocritical policy; for he looked upon woman as
the natural enemy to man—against whom it was necessary to be always on the
guard; whom it was prudent to disarm by every species of fawning servility
and abject complaisance. He owed it also, in part, to the compassionate
and heavenly nature of the angels whom his thoughts thus villainously
traduced—for women like one whom they can pity without despising; and
there was something in Signor Riccabocca’s poverty, in his loneliness, in
his exile, whether voluntary or compelled, that excited pity; while,
despite the threadbare coat, the red umbrella, and the wild hair, he had,
especially when addressing ladies, that air of gentleman and cavalier
which is or was more innate in an educated Italian, of whatever rank, than
perhaps in the highest aristocracy of another country in Europe. For,
though I grant that nothing is more exquisite than the politeness of your
French marquis of the old _régime_—nothing more frankly gracious than the
cordial address of a highbred English gentleman—nothing more kindly
prepossessing than the genial good-nature of some patriarchal German, who
will condescend to forget his sixteen quarterings in the pleasure of doing
you a favor—yet these specimens of the suavity of their several nations
are rare; whereas blandness and polish are common attributes with your
Italian. They seem to have been immemorially handed down to him, from
ancestors emulating the urbanity of Cæsar, and refined by the grace of

“Dr. Riccabocca consents to dine with us,” cried the Parson, hastily.

“If madame permit?” said the Italian, bowing over the hand extended to
him, which, however, he forebore to take, seeing it was already full of
the watch.

“I am only sorry that the trout must be quite spoiled,” began Mrs. Dale,

“It is not the trout one thinks of when one dines with Mrs. Dale,” said
the infamous dissimulator.

“But I see James coming to say that dinner is ready?” observed the Parson.

“He said _that_ three quarters of an hour ago, Charles dear,” retorted
Mrs. Dale, taking the arm of Dr. Riccabocca.

Chapter VIII.

While the Parson and his wife are entertaining their guest, I propose to
regale the reader with a small treatise apropos of that “Charles dear,”
murmured by Mrs. Dale;—a treatise expressly written for the benefit of THE

It is an old jest that there is not a word in the language that conveys so
little endearment as the word “dear.” But though the saying itself, like
most truths, be trite and hackneyed, no little novelty remains to the
search of the inquirer into the varieties of inimical import comprehended
in that malign monosyllable. For instance, I submit to the experienced
that the degree of hostility it betrays is in much proportioned to its
collocation in the sentence. When, gliding indirectly through the rest of
the period, it takes its stand at the close, as in that “Charles dear” of
Mrs. Dale—it has spilt so much of its natural bitterness by the way that
it assumes even a smile, “amara lento temperet risu.” Sometimes the smile
is plaintive, sometimes arch. _Ex. gr._


“I know very well that whatever I do is wrong, Charles dear.”

“Nay, I am only glad you amused yourself so much without me, Charles

“Not quite so loud! If you had, but my poor head, Charles dear,” &c.


“If you _could_ spill the ink any where but on the best table-cloth,
Charles dear!”

“But though you must always have your own way, you are not _quite
faultless_, own, Charles dear,” &c.

In this collocation occur many dears, parental as well as conjugal;
as—“Hold up your head and don’t look quite so cross, dear.”

“Be a good boy for once in your life—that’s a dear,” &c.

When the enemy stops in the middle of the sentence, its venom is naturally
less exhausted. _Ex. gr._

“Really, I must say, Charles dear, that you are the most fidgety person,”

“And if the house bills were so high last week, Charles dear, I should
just like to know whose fault it was—that’s all.”

“Do you think, Charles dear, that you could put your feet any where except
upon the chintz sofa?”

“But you know, Charles dear, that you care no more for me and the children
than,” &c.

But if the fatal word spring up, in its primitive freshness, at the head
of the sentence, bow your head to the storm. It then assumes the majesty
of “my” before it; is generally more than simple objurgation—it prefaces a
sermon. My candor obliges me to confess that this is the mode in which the
hateful monosyllable is more usually employed by the marital part of the
one flesh; and has something about it of the odious assumption of the
Petruchian _pater-familias_—the head of the family—boding, not perhaps
“peace, and love, and quiet life,” but certainly “awful rule and right
supremacy.” _Ex. gr._

“My dear Jane—I wish you would just put by that everlasting tent-stitch,
and listen to me for a few moments,” &c.

“My dear Jane—I wish you would understand me for once—don’t think I am
angry—no, but I am hurt. You must consider,” &c.

“My dear Jane—I don’t know if it is your intention to ruin me; but I only
wish you would do as all other women do who care three straws for their
husbands’ property,” &c.

“My dear Jane—I wish you to understand that I am the last person in the
world to be jealous; but I’ll be d—d if that puppy, Captain Prettyman,”

Now, if that same “dear” could be thoroughly raked and hoed out of the
connubial garden, I don’t think that the remaining nettles would signify a
button. But even as it was, Parson Dale, good man, would have prized his
garden beyond all the bowers which Spenser and Tasso have sung so
musically, though there had not been a single specimen of “dear,” whether
the dear _humilis_, or the dear _superba_, the dear _pallida_, _rubra_, or
_nigra_; the dear _umbrosa_, _florens_, _spicata_; the dear _savis_, or
the dear _horrida_; no, not a single dear in the whole horticulture of
matrimony which Mrs. Dale had not brought to perfection; but this,
fortunately, was far from being the case. The _dears_ of Mrs. Dale were
only wild flowers, after all.

Chapter IX.

In the cool of the evening, Dr. Riccabocca walked home across the fields.
Mr. and Mrs. Dale had accompanied him half way; and as they now turned
back to the Parsonage, they looked behind, to catch a glimpse of the tall,
outlandish figure, winding slowly through the path amidst the waves of the
green corn.

“Poor man!” said Mrs. Dale, feelingly; “and the button was off his
wristband! What a pity he has nobody to take care of him! He seems very
domestic. Don’t you think, Charles, it would be a great blessing if we
could get him a good wife?”

“Um,” said the Parson; “I doubt if he values the married state as he

“What do you mean, Charles? I never saw a man more polite to ladies in my

“Yes, but—”

“But what? You are always so mysterious, Charles dear.”

“Mysterious! No, Carry; but if you could hear what the Doctor says of the
ladies sometimes.”

“Ay, when you men get together, my dear. I know what that means—pretty
things you say of us. But you are all alike; you know you are, love!”

“I am sure,” said the Parson, simply, “that I have good cause to speak
well of the sex—when I think of you, and my poor mother.”

Mrs. Dale, who, with all her “tempers,” was an excellent woman, and loved
her husband with the whole of her quick little heart, was touched. She
pressed his hand, and did not call him _dear_ all the way home.

Meanwhile the Italian passed the fields, and came upon the high-road about
two miles from Hazeldean. On one side stood an old-fashioned solitary inn,
such as English inns used to be before they became railway hotels—square,
solid, old-fashioned, looking so hospitable and comfortable, with their
great signs swinging from some elm tree in front, and the long row of
stables standing a little back, with a chaise or two in the yard, and the
jolly landlord talking of the crops to some stout farmer, who has stopped
his rough pony at the well-known door. Opposite this inn, on the other
side the road, stood the habitation of Dr. Riccabocca.

A few years before the date of these annals, the stage-coach, on its way
to London, from a seaport town, stopped at the inn, as was its wont, for a
good hour, that its passengers might dine like Christian Englishmen—not
gulp down a basin of scalding soup, like everlasting heathen Yankees, with
that cursed railway whistle shrieking like a fiend in their ears! It was
the best dining-place on the whole road, for the trout in the neighboring
rill were famous, and so was the mutton which came from Hazeldean Park.

From the outside of the coach had descended two passengers who, alone,
insensible to the attractions of mutton and trout, refused to dine—two
melancholy-looking foreigners, of whom one was Signor Riccabocca, much the
same as we see him now, only that the black suit, was less threadbare, the
tall form less meagre, and he did not then wear spectacles; and the other
was his servant. They would walk about while the coach stopped. Now the
Italian’s eye had been caught by a mouldering dismantled house on the
other side the road, which nevertheless was well situated; half-way up a
green hill, with its aspect due south, a little cascade falling down
artificial rock-work, and a terrace with a balustrade, and a few broken
urns and statues before its Ionic portico; while on the roadside stood a
board, with characters already half effaced, implying that the house was
to be “Let unfurnished, with or without land.”

The abode that looked so cheerless, and which had so evidently hung long
on hand, was the property of Squire Hazeldean. It had been built by his
grandfather on the female side—a country gentleman who had actually been
in Italy (a journey rare enough to boast of in those days), and who, on
his return home, had attempted a miniature imitation of an Italian villa.
He left an only daughter and sole heiress, who married Squire Hazeldean’s
father; and since that time, the house, abandoned by its proprietors for
the larger residence of the Hazeldeans, had been uninhabited and
neglected. Several tenants, indeed, had offered themselves: but your
Squire is slow in admitting upon his own property a rival neighbor. Some
wanted shooting. “That,” said the Hazeldeans, who were great sportsmen and
strict preservers, “was quite out of the question.” Others were fine folks
from London. “London servants,” said the Hazeldeans, who were moral and
prudent people, “would corrupt their own, and bring London prices.”
Others, again, were retired manufacturers, at whom the Hazeldeans turned
up their agricultural noses. In short, some were too grand, and others too
vulgar. Some were refused because they were known so well: “Friends are
best at a distance,” said the Hazeldeans. Others because they were not
known at all: “No good comes of strangers,” said the Hazeldeans. And
finally, as the house fell more and more into decay, no one would take it
unless it was put into thorough repair: “As if one was made of money!”
said the Hazeldeans. In short, there stood the house unoccupied and
ruinous; and there, on its terrace, stood the two forlorn Italians,
surveying it with a smile at each other, as, for the first time since they
set foot in England, they recognized, in dilapidated pilasters and broken
statues, in a weed-grown terrace and the remains of an orangery, something
that reminded them of the land they had left behind.

On returning to the inn, Dr. Riccabocca took the occasion of learning from
the innkeeper (who was indeed a tenant of the Squire’s) such particulars
as he could collect; and a few days afterward Mr. Hazeldean received a
letter from a solicitor of repute in London, stating that a very
respectable foreign gentleman had commissioned him to treat for Clump
Lodge, otherwise called the “Casino;” that the said gentleman did not
shoot—lived in great seclusion—and, having no family, did not care about
the repairs of the place, provided only it were made weather-proof—if the
omission of more expensive reparations could render the rent suitable to
his finances, which were very limited. The offer came at a fortunate
moment—when the steward had just been representing to the Squire the
necessity of doing something to keep the Casino from falling into positive
ruin, and the Squire was cursing the fates which had put the Casino into
an entail—so that he could not pull it down for the building materials.
Mr. Hazeldean therefore caught at the proposal even as a fair lady, who
has refused the best offers in the kingdom, catches at last at some
battered old captain on half-pay, and replied that, as for rent, if the
solicitor’s client was a quiet respectable man, he did not care for that.
But that the gentleman might have it for the first year rent free, on
condition of paying the taxes and putting the place a little in order. If
they suited each other, they could then come to terms. Ten days
subsequently to this gracious reply, Signor Riccabocca and his servant
arrived; and, before the year’s end, the Squire was so contented with his
tenant that he gave him a running lease of seven, fourteen, or twenty-one
years, at a rent nearly nominal, on condition that Signor Riccabocca would
put and maintain the place in repair, barring the roof and fences, which
the Squire generously renewed at his own expense. It was astonishing, by
little and little, what a pretty place the Italian had made of it, and
what is more astonishing, how little it had cost him. He had indeed
painted the walls of the hall, staircase, and the rooms appropriated to
himself, with his own hands. His servant had done the greater part of the
upholstery. The two between them had got the garden into order. The
Italians seemed to have taken a joint love to the place, and to deck it as
they would have done some favorite chapel to their Madonna.

It was long before the natives reconciled themselves to the odd ways of
the foreign settlers—the first thing that offended them was the exceeding
smallness of the household bills. Three days out of the seven, indeed,
both man and master dined on nothing else but the vegetables in the
garden, and the fishes in the neighboring rill; when no trout could be
caught they fried the minnows (and certainly, even in the best streams,
minnows are more frequently caught than trouts). The next thing which
angered the natives quite as much, especially the female part of the
neighborhood, was the very sparing employment the two he creatures gave to
the sex usually deemed so indispensable in household matters. At first
indeed, they had no woman servant at all. But this created such horror
that Parson Dale ventured a hint upon the matter, which Riccabocca took in
very good part, and an old woman was forthwith engaged, after some
bargaining—at three shillings a week—to wash and scrub as much as she
liked during the daytime. She always returned to her own cottage to sleep.
The man-servant, who was styled in the neighborhood “Jackeymo,” did all
else for his master—smoothed his room, dusted his papers, prepared his
coffee, cooked his dinner, brushed his clothes, and cleaned his pipes, of
which Riccabocca had a large collection. But, however close a man’s
character, it generally creeps out in driblets; and on many little
occasions the Italian had shown acts of kindness, and, on some more rare
occasions, even of generosity, which had served to silence his
calumniators, and by degrees he had established a very fair
reputation—suspected, it is true, of being a little inclined to the Black
Art, and of a strange inclination to starve Jackeymo and himself—in other
respects harmless enough.

Signor Riccabocca had become very intimate, as we have seen, at the
Parsonage. But not so at the Hall. For though the Squire was inclined to
be very friendly to all his neighbors—he was, like most country gentlemen,
rather easily _huffed_. Riccabocca had, if with great politeness, still
with great obstinacy, refused Mr. Hazeldean’s earlier invitations to
dinner, and when the Squire found, that the Italian rarely declined to
dine at the Parsonage, he was offended in one of his weak points, viz.,
his regard for the honor of the hospitality of Hazeldean Hall—and he
ceased altogether invitations so churlishly rejected. Nevertheless, as it
was impossible for the Squire, however huffed, to bear malice, he now and
then reminded Riccabocca of his existence by presents of game, and would
have called on him more often than he did, but that Riccabocca received
him with such excessive politeness that the blunt country gentleman felt
shy and put out, and used to say that “to call on Riccabocca was as bad as
going to court.”

But I left Dr. Riccabocca on the high-road. By this time he has ascended a
narrow path that winds by the side of the cascade, he has passed a
trellis-work covered with vines, from the which Jackeymo has positively
succeeded in making what he calls _wine_—a liquid, indeed, that, if the
cholera had been popularly known in those days, would have soured the
mildest member of the Board of Health; for Squire Hazeldean, though a
robust man who daily carried off his bottle of port with impunity, having
once rashly tasted it, did not recover the effect till he had had a bill
from the apothecary as long as his own arm. Passing this trellis, Dr.
Riccabocca entered upon the terrace, with its stone pavement smoothed and
trim as hands could make it. Here, on neat stands, all his favorite
flowers were arranged. Here four orange trees were in full blossom; here a
kind of summer-house or Belvidere, built by Jackeymo and himself, made his
chosen morning room from May till October; and from this Belvidere there
was as beautiful an expanse of prospect as if our English Nature had
hospitably spread on her green board all that she had to offer as a
banquet to the exile.

A man without his coat, which was thrown over the balustrade, was employed
in watering the flowers; a man with movements so mechanical—with a face so
rigidly grave in its tawny hues—that he seemed like an automaton made out
of mahogany.

“Giacomo,” said Dr. Riccabocca, softly.

The automaton stopped its hand, and turned its head.

“Put by the watering-pot, and come here,” continued Riccabocca in Italian;
and, moving toward the balustrade, he leaned over it. Mr. Mitford, the
historian, calls Jean Jacques “_John James_.” Following that illustrious
example, Giacomo shall be Anglified into Jackeymo. Jackeymo came to the
balustrade also, and stood a little behind his master.

“Friend,” said Riccabocca, “enterprises have not always succeeded with us.
Don’t you think, after all, it is tempting our evil star to rent those
fields from the landlord?” Jackeymo crossed himself, and made some strange
movement with a little coral charm which he wore set in a ring on his

“If the Madonna send us luck, and we could hire a lad cheap?” said
Jackeymo, doubtfully.

“_Piu vale un presente che due futuri_,” said Riccabocca. “A bird in the
hand is worth two in the bush.”

“_Chi non fa quondo può, non può fare quondo vuole_”—(“He who will not
when he may, when he will it shall have nay”)—answered Jackeymo, as
sententiously as his master. “And the Padrone should think in time that he
must lay by for the dower of the poor signorina”—(young lady).

Riccabocca sighed, and made no reply.

“She must be _that_ high now!” said Jackeymo, putting his hand on some
imaginary line a little above the balustrade. Riccabocca’s eyes, raised
over the spectacles, followed the hand.

“If the Padrone could but see her here—”

“I thought I did!” muttered the Italian.

“He would never let her go from his side till she went to a husband’s,”
continued Jackeymo.

“But this climate—she could never stand it,” said Riccabocca, drawing his
cloak round him, as a north wind took him in the rear.

“The orange trees blossom even here with care,” said Jackeymo, turning
back to draw down an awning where the orange trees faced the north. “See!”
he added, as he returned with a sprig in full bud.

Dr. Riccabocca bent over the blossom, and then placed it in his bosom.

“The _other_ one should be there, too,” said Jackeymo.

“To die—as this does already!” answered Riccabocca. “Say no more.”

Jackeymo shrugged his shoulders; and then, glancing at his master, drew
his hand over his eyes.

There was a pause. Jackeymo was the first to break it.

“But, whether here or there, beauty without money is the orange tree
without shelter. If a lad could be got cheap, I would hire the land, and
trust for the crop to the Madonna.”

“I think I know of such a lad,” said Riccabocca, recovering himself, and
with his sardonic smile once more lurking about the corner of his mouth—“a
lad made for us!”


“No, not the Diavolo! Friend, I have this day seen a boy who—refused

“_Cosa stupenda!_”—(Stupendous thing!) exclaimed Jackeymo, opening his
eyes, and letting fall the water-pot.

“It is true, my friend.”

“Take him, Padrone, in Heaven’s name, and the fields will grow gold.”

“I will think of it, for it must require management to catch such a boy,”
said Riccabocca. “Meanwhile, light a candle in the parlor, and bring from
my bedroom—that great folio of Machiavelli.”


A spirit near me said, “Look forth upon the Land of Life. What do you

“Steep mountains, covered by a mighty plain, a table-land of many-colored
beauty. Beauty, nay, it seems all beautiful at first, but now I see that
there are some parts barren.”

“Are they quite barren?—look more closely still!”

“No, in the wildest deserts, now, I see some gum-dropping acacias, and the
crimson blossom of the cactus. But there are regions that rejoice
abundantly in flower and fruit; and now, O Spirit, I see men and women
moving to and fro.”

“Observe them, mortal.”

“I behold a world of love; the men have women’s arms entwined about them;
some upon the verge of precipices—friends are running to the rescue. There
are many wandering like strangers, who know not their road, and they look
upward. Spirit, how many, many eyes are looking up as if to God! Ah, now I
see some strike their neighbors down into the dust; I see some wallowing
like swine; I see that there are men and women brutal.”

“Are they quite brutal—look more closely still.”

“No, I see prickly sorrow growing out of crime, and penitence awakened by
a look of love. I see good gifts bestowed out of the hand of murder, and
see truth issue out of lying lips. But in this plain, O Spirit, I see
regions—wide, bright regions—yielding fruit and flower, while others seem
perpetually vailed with fogs, and in them no fruit ripens. I see pleasant
regions where the rock is full of clefts, and people fall into them. The
men who dwell beneath the fog deal lovingly, and yet they have small
enjoyment in the world around them, which they scarcely see. But whither
are these women going?”

“Follow them.”

“I have followed down the mountains to a haven in the vale below. All that
is lovely in the world of flowers makes a fragrant bed for the dear
children; birds singing, they breathe upon the pleasant air; the
butterflies play with them. Their limbs shine white among the blossoms,
and their mothers come down full of joy to share their innocent delight.
They pelt each other with the lilies of the valley. They call up at will
fantastic masks, grim giants play to make them merry, a thousand grotesque
loving phantoms kiss them; to each the mother is the one thing real, the
highest bliss—the next bliss is the dream of all the world beside. Some
that are motherless, all mother’s love. Every gesture, every look, every
odor, every song, adds to the charm of love which fills the valley. Some
little figures fall and die, and on the valley’s soil they crumble into
violets and lilies, with love-tears to hang in them like dew.

“Who dares to come down with a frown into this happy valley? A severe man
seizes an unhappy, shrieking child, and leads it to the roughest ascent of
the mountain. He will lead it over steep rocks to the plain of the mature.
On ugly needle-points he makes the child sit down, and teaches it its duty
in the world above.”

“Its duty, mortal! Do you listen to the teacher?”

“Spirit, I hear now. The child is informed about two languages spoken by
nations extinct centuries ago, and something also, O Spirit, about the
base of an hypothenuse.”

“Does the child attend?”

“Not much; but it is beaten silly, and its knees are bruised against the
rocks, till it is hauled up, woe-begone and weary, to the upper plain. It
looks about bewildered; all is strange—it knows not how to act. Fogs crown
the barren mountain paths. Spirit, I am unhappy; there are many children
thus hauled up, and as young men upon the plain; they walk in fog, or
among brambles; some fall into pits; and many, getting into flower-paths,
lie down and learn. Some become active, seeking right, but ignorant of
what right is; they wander among men out of their fog-land, preaching
folly. Let me go back among the children.”

“Have they no better guide?”

“Yes, now there comes one with a smiling face, and rolls upon the flowers
with the little ones, and they are drawn to him. And he has magic spells
to conjure up glorious spectacles of fairy land. He frolics with them, and
might be first cousin to the butterflies. He wreathes their little heads
with flower garlands, and with his fairy land upon his lips he walks
toward the mountains; eagerly they follow. He seeks the smoothest upward
path, and that is but a rough one, yet they run up merrily, guide and
children, butterflies pursuing still the flowers as they nod over a host
of laughing faces. They talk of the delightful fairy world, and resting in
the shady places learn of the yet more delightful world of God. They learn
to love the Maker of the Flowers, to know how great the Father of the
Stars must be, how good must be the Father of the Beetle. They listen to
the story of the race they go to labor with upon the plain, and love it
for the labor it has done. They learn old languages of men, to understand
the past—more eagerly they learn the voices of the men of their own day,
that they may take part with the present. And in their study when they
flag, they fall back upon thoughts of the Child Valley they are leaving.
Sports and fancies are the rod and spur that bring them with new vigor to
the lessons. When they reach the plain they cry, ‘We know you, men and
women; we know to what you have aspired for centuries; we know the love
there is in you; we know the love there is in God; we come prepared to
labor with you, dear, good friends. We will not call you clumsy when we
see you tumble, we will try to pick you up; when we fall, you shall pick
us up. We have been trained to love, and therefore we can aid you
heartily, for love is labor!’ ”

The Spirit whispered, “You have seen and you have heard. Go now, and speak
unto your fellow-men: ask justice for the child.”

To-day should love To-morrow, for it is a thing of hope; let the young
Future not be nursed by Care. God gave not fancy to the child that men
should stamp its blossoms down into the loose soil of intellect. The
child’s heart was not made full to the brim of love, that men should pour
its love away, and bruise instead of kiss the trusting innocent. Love and
fancy are the stems on which we may graft knowledge readily. What is
called by some dry folks a solid foundation may be a thing not desirable.
To cut down all the trees, and root up all the flowers in a garden, to
cover walks and flower-beds alike with a hard crust of well-rolled gravel,
that would be to lay down your solid foundation after a plan which some
think good in a child’s mind, though not quite worth adopting in a garden.
O, teacher, love the child and learn of it; so let it love and learn of


The mind of Mr. Bagges was decidedly affected—beneficially—by the lecture
on the Chemistry of a Candle, which, as set forth in a previous number of
this journal, had been delivered to him by his youthful nephew. That
learned discourse inspired him with a new feeling; an interest in matters
of science. He began to frequent the Polytechnic Institution, nearly as
much as his club. He also took to lounging at the British Museum; where he
was often to be seen, with his left arm under his coat-tails, examining
the wonderful works of nature and antiquity, through his eye-glass.
Moreover, he procured himself to be elected a member of the Royal
Institution, which became a regular house of call to him, so that in a
short time he grew to be one of the ordinary phenomena of the place.

Mr. Bagges likewise adopted a custom of giving _conversaziones,_ which,
however, were always very private and select—generally confined to his
sister’s family. Three courses were first discussed; then dessert; after
which, surrounded by an apparatus of glasses and decanters, Master Harry
Wilkinson was called upon, as a sort of juvenile Davy, to amuse his uncle
by the elucidation of some chemical or other physical mystery. Master
Wilkinson had now attained to the ability of making experiments; most of
which, involving combustion, were strongly deprecated by the young
gentleman’s mamma; but her opposition was overruled by Mr. Bagges, who
argued that it was much better that a young dog should burn phosphorus
before your face than let off gunpowder behind your back, to say nothing
of occasionally pinning a cracker to your skirts. He maintained that
playing with fire and water, throwing stones, and such like boys’ tricks,
as they are commonly called, are the first expressions of a scientific
tendency—endeavors and efforts of the infant mind to acquaint itself with
the powers of Nature.

His own favorite toys, he remembered, were squibs, suckers, squirts, and
slings; and he was persuaded that, by his having been denied them at
school, a natural philosopher had been nipped in the bud.

Blowing bubbles was an example—by-the-by, a rather notable one—by which
Mr. Bagges, on one of his scientific evenings, was instancing the affinity
of child’s play to philosophical experiments, when he bethought him Harry
had said on a former occasion that the human breath consists chiefly of
carbonic acid, which is heavier than common air. How then, it occurred to
his inquiring, though elderly mind, was it that soap-bladders, blown from
a tobacco-pipe, rose instead of sinking? He asked his nephew this.

“Oh, uncle!” answered Harry, “in the first place, the air you blow bubbles
with mostly comes in at the nose and goes out at the mouth, without having
been breathed at all. Then it is warmed by the mouth, and warmth, you
know, makes a measure of air get larger, and so lighter in proportion. A
soap-bubble rises for the same reason that a fire-balloon rises—that is,
because the air inside of it has been heated, and weighs less than the
same sized bubbleful of cold air.”

“What, hot breath does!” said Mr. Bagges. “Well, now, it’s a curious
thing, when you come to think of it, that the breath should be hot—indeed,
the warmth of the body generally seems a puzzle. It is wonderful, too, how
the bodily heat can be kept up so long as it is. Here, now, is this
tumbler of hot grog—a mixture of boiling water, and what d’ye call it, you
scientific geniuses?”

“Alcohol, uncle.”

“Alcohol—well—or, as we used to say, brandy. Now, if I leave this tumbler
of brandy-and-water alone—”

“_If_ you do, uncle,” interposed his nephew, archly.

“Get along, you idle rogue! If I let that tumbler stand there, in a few
minutes the brandy-and-water—eh?—I beg pardon—the alcohol-and-water—gets
cold. Now, why—why the deuce—if the brand—the alcohol-and-water cools;
why—how—how is it we don’t cool in the same way, I want to know? eh?”
demanded Mr. Bagges, with the air of a man who feels satisfied that he has
propounded a “regular poser.”

“Why,” replied Harry, “for the same reason that the room keeps warm so
long as there is a fire in the grate.”

“You don’t mean to say that I have a fire in my body?”

“I do, though.”

“Eh, now? That’s good,” said Mr. Bagges. “That reminds me of the man in
love crying, ‘Fire! fire!’ and the lady said, ‘Where, where?’ And he
called out, ‘Here! here!’ with his hand upon his heart. Eh?—but now I
think of it—you said, the other day, that breathing was a sort of burning.
Do you mean to tell me that I—eh?—have fire, fire, as the lover said,
here, here—in short, that my chest is a grate or an Arnott’s stove?”

“Not exactly so, uncle. But I do mean to tell you that you have a sort of
fire burning partly in your chest; but also, more or less, throughout your
whole body.”

“Oh, Henry!” exclaimed Mrs. Wilkinson, “How can you say such horrid

“Because they’re quite true, mamma—but you needn’t be frightened. The fire
of one’s body is not hotter than from ninety degrees to one hundred and
four degrees or so. Still it is fire, and will burn some things, as you
would find, uncle, if, in using phosphorus, you were to let a little bit
of it get under your nail.”

“I’ll take your word for the fact, my boy,” said Mr. Bagges. “But, if I
have a fire burning throughout my person—which I was not aware of, the
only inflammation I am ever troubled with being in the great toe—I say, if
my body is burning continually—how is it I don’t smoke—eh? Come, now?”

“Perhaps you consume your own smoke,” suggested Mr. Wilkinson, senior,
“like every well-regulated furnace.”

“You smoke nothing but your pipe, uncle, because you burn all your
carbon,” said Harry. “But, if your body doesn’t smoke, it steams. Breathe
against a looking-glass, or look at your breath on a cold morning. Observe
how a horse reeks when it perspires. Besides—as you just now said you
recollected my telling you the other day—you breathe out carbonic acid,
and that, and the steam of the breath together, are exactly the same
things, you know, that a candle turns into in burning.”

“But if I burn like a candle—why don’t I burn _out_ like a candle?”
demanded Mr. Bagges. “How do you get over that?”

“Because,” replied Harry, “your fuel is renewed as fast as burnt. So
perhaps you resemble a lamp rather than a candle. A lamp requires to be
fed; so does the body—as, possibly, uncle, you may be aware.”

“Eh?—well—I have always entertained an idea of that sort,” answered Mr.
Bagges, helping himself to some biscuits. “But the lamp feeds on

“So does the Laplander. And you couldn’t feed the lamp on turtle or
mulligatawny, of course, uncle. But mulligatawny or turtle can be changed
into fat—they are so, sometimes, I think—when they are eaten in large
quantities, and fat will burn fast enough. And most of what you eat turns
into something which burns at last, and is consumed in the fire that warms
you all over.”

“Wonderful, to be sure,” exclaimed Mr. Bagges. “Well, now, and how does
this extraordinary process take place?”

“First, you know, uncle, your food is digested—”

“Not always, I am sorry to say, my boy,” Mr. Bagges observed, “but go on.”

“Well; when it _is_ digested, it becomes a sort of fluid, and mixes
gradually with the blood, and turns into blood, and so goes over the whole
body, to nourish it. Now, if the body is always being nourished, why
doesn’t it keep getting bigger and bigger, like the ghost in the Castle of

“Eh? Why, because it loses as well as gains, I suppose. By
perspiration—eh—for instance?”

“Yes, and by breathing; in short, by the burning I mentioned just now.
Respiration, or breathing, uncle, is a perpetual combustion.”

“But if my system,” said Mr. Bagges, “is burning throughout, what keeps up
the fire in my little finger—putting gout out of the question?”

“You burn all over, because you breathe all over, to the very tips of your
fingers’ ends,” replied Harry.

“Oh, don’t talk nonsense to your uncle!” exclaimed Mrs. Wilkinson.

“It isn’t nonsense,” said Harry. “The air that you draw into the lungs
goes more or less over all the body, and penetrates into every fibre of
it, which is breathing. Perhaps you would like to hear a little more about
the chemistry of breathing, or respiration, uncle?”

“I should, certainly.”

“Well, then; first you ought to have some idea of the breathing apparatus.
The laboratory that contains this is the chest, you know. The chest, you
also know, has in it the heart and lungs, which, with other things in it,
fill it quite out, so as to leave no hollow space between themselves and
it. The lungs are a sort of air-sponges, and when you enlarge your chest
to draw breath, they swell out with it, and suck the air in. On the other
hand, you narrow your chest, and squeeze the lungs, and press the air from
them;—that is breathing out. The lungs are made up of a lot of little
cells. A small pipe—a little branch of the windpipe—opens into each cell.
Two blood-vessels, a little tiny artery, and a vein to match, run into it
also. The arteries bring into the little cells dark-colored blood, which
_has been_ all over the body. The veins carry out of the little cells
bright scarlet-colored blood, which _is to go_ all over the body. So all
the blood passes through the lungs, and in so doing, is changed from dark
to bright scarlet.”

“Black blood, didn’t you say, in the arteries, and scarlet in the veins? I
thought it was just the reverse,” interrupted Mr. Bagges.

“So it is,” replied Harry, “with all the other arteries and veins, except
those that circulate the blood through the lung-cells. The heart has two
sides, with a partition between them that keeps the blood on the right
side separate from the blood on the left; both sides being hollow, mind.
The blood on the right side of the heart comes there from all over the
body, by a couple of large veins, dark, before it goes to the lungs. From
the right side of the heart, it goes on to the lungs, dark still, through
an artery. It comes back to the left side of the heart from the lungs,
bright scarlet, through four veins. Then it goes all over the rest of the
body from the left side of the heart, through an artery that branches into
smaller arteries, all carrying bright scarlet blood. So the arteries and
veins of the lungs on one hand, and of the rest of the body on the other,
do exactly opposite work, you understand.”

“I hope so.”

“Now,” continued Harry, “it requires a strong magnifying glass to see the
lung-cells plainly, they are so small. But you can fancy them as big as
you please. Picture any one of them to yourself of the size of an orange,
say, for convenience in thinking about it; that one cell, with whatever
takes place in it, will be a specimen of the rest. Then you have to
imagine an artery carrying blood of one color into it, and a vein taking
away blood of another color from it, and the blood changing its color in
the cell.”

“Ay, but what makes the blood change its color?”

“Recollect, uncle, you have a little branch from the windpipe opening into
the cell which lets in the air. Then the blood and the air are brought
together, and the blood alters in color. The reason, I suppose you would
guess, is that it is somehow altered by the air.”

“No very unreasonable conjecture, I should think,” said Mr. Bagges.

“Well; if the air alters the blood, most likely, we should think, it gives
something to the blood. So first let us see what is the difference between
the air we breathe _in_, and the air we breathe _out_. You know that
neither we nor animals can keep breathing the same air over and over
again. You don’t want me to remind you of the Black Hole of Calcutta, to
convince you of that; and I dare say you will believe what I tell you,
without waiting till I can catch a mouse and shut it up in an air-tight
jar, and show you how soon the unlucky creature will get uncomfortable,
and began to gasp, and that it will by-and-by die. But if we were to try
this experiment—not having the fear of the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, nor the fear of doing wrong, before our eyes—we should
find that the poor mouse, before he died, had changed the air of his
prison considerably. But it would be just as satisfactory, and much more
humane, if you or I were to breathe in and out of a silk bag or a bladder
till we could stand it no longer, and then collect the air which we had
been breathing in and out. We should find that a jar of such air would put
out a candle. If we shook some lime-water up with it, the lime-water would
turn milky. In short, uncle, we should find that a great part of the air
was carbonic acid, and the rest mostly nitrogen. The air we inhale is
nitrogen and oxygen; the air we exhale has lost most of its oxygen, and
consists of little more than nitrogen and carbonic acid. Together with
this, we breathe out the vapor of water, as I said before. Therefore in
breathing, we give off exactly what a candle does in burning, only not so
fast, after the rate. The carbonic acid we breathe out, shows that carbon
is consumed within our bodies. The watery vapor of the breath is a proof
that hydrogen is so, too. We take in oxygen with the air, and the oxygen
unites with carbon, and makes carbonic acid, and with hydrogen, forms

“Then don’t the hydrogen and carbon combine with the oxygen—that is,
burn—in the lungs, and isn’t the chest the fire-place, after all?” asked
Mr. Bagges.

“Not altogether, according to those who are supposed to know better. They
are of opinion, that some of the oxygen unites with the carbon and
hydrogen of the blood in the lungs: but that most of it is merely absorbed
by the blood, and dissolved in it in the first instance.”

“Oxygen, absorbed by the blood? That seems odd,” remarked Mr. Bagges. “How
can that be?”

“We only know the fact that there are some things that will absorb
gases—suck them in—make them disappear. Charcoal will, for instance. It is
thought that the iron which the blood contains gives it the curious
property of absorbing oxygen. Well; the oxygen going into the blood makes
it change from dark to bright scarlet; and then this blood containing
oxygen is conveyed all over the system by the arteries, and yields up the
oxygen to combine with hydrogen and carbon as it goes along. The carbon
and hydrogen are part of the substance of the body. The bright scarlet
blood mixes oxygen with them, which burns them, in fact; that is, makes
them into carbonic acid and water. Of course, the body would soon be
consumed if this were all that the blood does. But while it mixes oxygen
with the old substance of the body, to burn it up, it lays down fresh
material to replace the loss. So our bodies are continually changing
throughout, though they seem to us always the same; but then, you know, a
river appears the same from year’s end to year’s end, although the water
in it is different every day.”

“Eh, then,” said Mr. Bagges, “if the body is always on the change in this
way, we must have had several bodies in the course of our lives, by the
time we are old.”

“Yes, uncle; therefore, how foolish it is to spend money upon funerals.
What becomes of all the bodies we use up during our life-times? If we are
none the worse for their flying away in carbonic acid and other things
without ceremony, what good can we expect from having a fuss made about
the body we leave behind us, which is put into the earth? However, you are
wanting to know what becomes of the water and carbonic acid which have
been made by the oxygen of the blood burning up the old materials of our
frame. The dark blood of the veins absorbs this carbonic acid and water,
as the blood of the arteries does oxygen—only, they say, it does so by
means of a salt in it, called phosphate of soda. Then the dark blood goes
back to the lungs, and in them it parts with its carbonic acid and water,
which escapes as breath. As fast as we breathe out, carbonic acid and
water leave the blood; as fast as we breathe in, oxygen enters it. The
oxygen is sent out in the arteries to make the rubbish of the body into
gas and vapor, so that the veins may bring it back and get rid of it. The
burning of rubbish by oxygen throughout our frames is the fire by which
our animal heat, is kept up. At least this is what most philosophers
think; though doctors differ a little on this point, as on most others, I
hear. Professor Liebig says, that our carbon is mostly prepared for
burning by being first extracted from the blood sent to it—(which contains
much of the rubbish of the system dissolved)—in the form of bile, and is
then re-absorbed into the blood, and burnt. He reckons that a grown-up man
consumes about fourteen ounces of carbon a day. Fourteen ounces of
charcoal a day, or eight pounds two ounces a week, would keep up a
tolerable fire.”

“I had no idea we were such extensive charcoal-burners,” said Mr. Bagges.
“They say we each eat our peck of dirt before we die—but we must burn
bushels of charcoal.”

“And so,” continued Harry, “the professor calculates that we burn quite
enough fuel to account for our heat. I should rather think, myself, it had
something to do with it—shouldn’t you?”

“Eh?” said Mr. Bagges; “it makes one rather nervous to think that one is
burning all over—throughout one’s very blood—in this kind of way.”

“It is very awful!” said Mrs. Wilkinson.

“If true. But in that case, shouldn’t we be liable to inflame
occasionally?” objected her husband.

“It is said,” answered Harry, “that spontaneous combustion does happen
sometimes; particularly in great spirit drinkers. I don’t see why it
should not, if the system were to become too inflammable. Drinking alcohol
would be likely to load the constitution with carbon, which would be fuel
for the fire, at any rate.”

“The deuce!” exclaimed Mr. Bagges, pushing his brandy-and-water from him.
“We had better take care how we indulge in combustibles.”

“At all events,” said Harry, “it must be bad to have too much fuel in us.
It must choke the fire, I should think, if it did not cause inflammation;
which Dr. Truepenny says it does, meaning, by inflammation, gout, and so
on, you know, uncle.”

“Ahem!” coughed Mr. Bagges.

“Taking in too much fuel, I dare say, you know, uncle, means eating and
drinking to excess,” continued Harry. “The best remedy, the doctor says,
for overstuffing is exercise. A person who uses great bodily exertion, can
eat and drink more without suffering from it than one who leads an
inactive life; a fox-hunter, for instance, in comparison with an alderman.
Want of exercise and too much nourishment must make a man either fat or
ill. If the extra hydrogen and carbon are not burnt out, or otherwise got
rid of, they turn to blubber, or cause some disturbance in the system,
intended by Nature to throw them off, which is called a disease. Walking,
riding, running, increase the breathing—as well as the perspiration—and
make us burn away our carbon and hydrogen in proportion. Dr. Truepenny
declares that if people would only take in as much fuel as is requisite to
keep up a good fire, his profession would be ruined.”

“The good old advice—Baillie’s, eh?—or Abernethy’s—live upon sixpence a
day, and earn it,” Mr. Bagges observed.

“Well, and then, uncle, in hot weather the appetite is naturally weaker
than it is in cold—less heat is required, and therefore less food. So in
hot climates; and the chief reason, says the doctor, why people ruin their
health in India is their spurring and goading their stomachs to crave what
is not good for them, by spices and the like. Fruits and vegetables are
the proper things to eat in such countries, because they contain little
carbon compared to flesh, and they are the diet of the natives of those
parts of the world. Whereas food with much carbon in it, meat, or even
mere fat or oil, which is hardly any thing else than carbon and hydrogen,
are proper in very cold regions, where heat from within is required to
supply the want of it without. That is why the Laplander is able, as I
said he does, to devour train-oil. And Dr. Truepenny says that it may be
all very well for Mr. M’Gregor to drink raw whisky at deer-stalking in the
Highlands, but if Major Campbell combines that beverage with the diversion
of tiger-hunting in the East Indies, habitually, the chances are that the
major will come home with a diseased liver.”

“Upon my word, sir, the whole art of preserving health appears to consist
in keeping up a moderate fire within us,” observed Mr. Bagges.

“Just so, uncle, according to my friend the doctor. ‘Adjust the fuel,’ he
says, ‘to the draught’—he means the oxygen; ‘keep the bellows properly at
work, by exercise, and your fire will seldom want poking.’ The doctor’s
pokers, you know, are pills, mixtures, leeches, blisters, lancets, and
things of that sort.”

“Indeed? Well, then, my heart-burn, I suppose, depends upon bad management
of my fire?” surmised Mr. Bagges.

“I should say that was more than probable, uncle. Well, now, I think you
see that animal heat can be accounted for, in very great part at least, by
the combustion of the body. And then there are several facts that—as I
remember Shakspeare says—

      “ ‘Help to thicken other proofs,
    That do demonstrate thinly.”

“Birds that breathe a great deal are very hot creatures; snakes and
lizards, and frogs and fishes, that breathe but little, are so cold that
they are called cold-blooded animals. Bears and dormice, that sleep all
the winter, are cold during their sleep, while their breathing and
circulation almost entirely stop. We increase our heat by walking fast,
running, jumping, or working hard; which sets us breathing faster, and
then we get warmer. By these means, we blow up our own fire, if we have no
other, to warm ourselves on a cold day. And how is it that we don’t go on
continually getting hotter and hotter?”

“Ah!” exclaimed Mr. Bagges, “I suppose that is one of Nature’s mysteries.”

“Why, what happens, uncle, when we take violent exercise? We break out
into a perspiration; as you complain you always do, if you only run a few
yards. Perspiration is mostly water, and the extra heat of the body goes
into the water, and flies away with it in steam. Just for the same reason,
you can’t boil water so as to make it hotter than two hundred and twelve
degrees; because all the heat that passes into it beyond that, unites with
some of it and becomes steam, and so escapes. Hot weather causes you to
perspire even when you sit still; and so your heat is cooled in summer. If
you were to heat a man in an oven, the heat of his body generally wouldn’t
increase very much till he became exhausted and died. Stories are told of
mountebanks sitting in ovens, and meat being cooked by the side of them.
Philosophers have done much the same thing—Dr. Fordyce and others, who
found they could bear a heat of two hundred and sixty degrees.
Perspiration is our animal fire-escape. Heat goes out from the lungs, as
well as the skin, in water; so the lungs are concerned in cooling us as
well as heating us, like a sort of regulating furnace. Ah, uncle, the body
is a wonderful factory, and I wish I were man enough to take you over it.
I have only tried to show you something of the contrivances for warming
it, and I hope you understand a little about that!”

“Well,” said Mr. Bagges, “breathing, I understand you to say, is the chief
source of animal heat, by occasioning the combination of carbon and
hydrogen with oxygen, in a sort of gentle combustion, throughout our
frame. The lungs and heart are an apparatus for generating heat, and
distributing it over the body by means of a kind of warming pipes, called
blood-vessels. Eh?—and the carbon and hydrogen we have in our systems we
get from our food. Now, you see, here is a slice of cake, and there is a
glass of wine—Eh?—now see whether you can get any carbon and oxygen out of

The young philosopher, having finished his lecture, applied himself
immediately to the performance of the proposed experiment, which he
performed with cleverness and dispatch.


We remember (early remembrances are more durable than recent) an epithet
employed by Mary Wolstonecroft, which then seemed as happy as it was
original—“The _iron_ pen of Time.” Had the vindicatress of the “Rights of
Women” lived in these days (fifty years later), when the iron pen is the
almost universal instrument of writing, she would have bestowed upon Time
a less common material for recording his doings.

While we are remembering, let us look back for a moment upon our earliest
school-days—the days of large text and round hand. Twenty urchins sit at a
long desk, each intent upon making his _copy_. A nicely mended pen has
been given to each. Our own labor goes on successfully, till, in
school-boy phrase, the pen begins to splutter. A bold effort must be made.
We leave the form, and timidly address the writing-master with—“Please,
sir, mend my pen.” A slight frown subsides as he sees that the quill is
very bad—too soft or too hard—used to the stump. He dashes it away, and
snatching a feather from a bundle—a poor thin feather, such as green geese
drop on a common—shapes it into a pen. This mending and making process
occupies all his leisure—occupies, indeed, many of the minutes that ought
to be devoted to instruction. He has a perpetual battle to wage with his
bad quills. They are the meanest produce of the plucked goose.

And is this process still going on in the many thousand schools of our
land, where with all drawbacks of imperfect education, both as to numbers
educated and gifts imparted, there are about two millions and a half of
children under daily instruction? In remote rural districts probably; in
the towns certainly not. The steam-engine is now the pen-maker. Hecatombs
of geese are consumed at Michaelmas and Christmas; but not all the geese
in the world would meet the demand of England for pens. The supply of
_patés de foie gras_ will be kept up—that of quills, whether known as
_primes_, _seconds_, or _pinions,_ must be wholly inadequate to the wants
of a _writing_ people. Wherever geese are bred in these islands, so
assuredly, in each succeeding March, will every full-fledged victim be
robbed of his quills; and then turned forth on the common, a very waddling
and impotent goose, quite unworthy of the name of bird. The country
schoolmaster, at the same spring-time, will continue to buy the smallest
quills, at a low price, clarify them after his own rude fashion, make them
into pens, and sorely spite the boy who splits them up too rapidly. The
better quills will still be collected, and find their way to the quill
dealer, who will exercise his empirical arts before they pass to the
stationer. He will plunge them into heated sand, to make the external skin
peel off, and the external membrane shrivel up; or he will saturate them
with water, and alternately contract and swell them before a charcoal
fire; or he will dip them in nitric acid, and make them of a gaudy
brilliancy but a treacherous endurance. They will be sorted according to
the quality of the barrels, with the utmost nicety. The experienced buyer
will know their value by looking at their feathery ends, tapering to a
point; the uninitiated will regard only the quill portion. There is no
article of commerce in which the market value is so difficult to be
determined with exactness. For the finest and largest quills no price
seems unreasonable; for those of the second quality too exorbitant a
charge is often made. The foreign supply is large, and probably exceeds
the home supply of the superior article. What the exact amount is we know
not. There is no duty now on quills. The tariff of 1845—one of the most
lasting monuments of the wisdom of our great commercial minister—abolished
the duty of half-a-crown a thousand. In 1832 the duty amounted to four
thousand two hundred pounds, which would show an annual importation of
thirty-three millions one hundred thousand quills; enough, perhaps, for
the commercial clerks of England, together with the quills of home
growth—but how to serve a letter-writing population?

The ancient reign of the quill-pen was first seriously disturbed about
twenty-five years ago. An abortive imitation of the _form_ of a pen was
produced before that time; a clumsy, inelastic, metal tube fastened in a
bone or ivory handle, and sold for half-a-crown. A man might make his mark
with one—but as to writing, it was a mere delusion. In due course came
more carefully finished inventions for the luxurious, under the tempting
names of ruby pen, or diamond pen—with the plain gold pen, and the rhodium
pen, for those who were skeptical as to the jewelry of the inkstand. The
economical use of the quill received also the attention of science. A
machine was invented to divide the barrel lengthwise into two halves; and,
by the same mechanical means, these halves were subdivided into small
pieces, cut pen-shape, slit, and nibbed. But the pressure upon the quill
supply grew more and more intense. A new power had risen up in our world—a
new seed sown—the source of all good, or the dragon’s teeth of Cadmus. In
1818 there were only one hundred and sixty-five thousand scholars in the
monitorial schools—the new schools, which were being established under the
auspices of the National Society, and the British and Foreign School
Society. Fifteen years afterward, in 1833, there were three hundred and
ninety thousand. Ten years later, the numbers exceeded a million. Even a
quarter of a century ago two-thirds of the male population of England, and
one-half of the female, were learning to write; for in the Report of the
Registrar-General for 1846, we find this passage—“Persons when they are
married are required to sign the marriage register; if they can not write
their names, they sign with a mark: the result has hitherto been, that
nearly one man in three, and one woman in two, married, sign with marks.”
This remark applies to the period between 1839 and 1845. Taking the
average age of men at marriage as twenty-seven years, and the average age
of boys during their education as ten years, the marriage-register is an
educational test of male instruction for the years 1824-28. But the gross
number of the population of England and Wales was rapidly advancing. In
1821 it was twelve millions; in 1831, fourteen millions; in 1841, sixteen
millions; in 1851, taking the rate of increase at fourteen per cent., it
will be eighteen millions and a half. The extension of education was
proceeding in a much quicker ratio; and we may therefore fairly assume
that the proportion of those who make their marks in the marriage-register
has greatly diminished since 1844.

But, during the last ten years, the natural desire to learn to write, of
that part of the youthful population which education can reach, has
received a great moral impulse by a wondrous development of the most
useful and pleasurable exercise of that power. The uniform penny postage
has been established. In the year 1838, the whole number of letters
delivered in the United Kingdom was seventy-six millions; in this year
that annual delivery has reached the prodigious number of three hundred
and thirty-seven millions. In 1838, a Committee of the House of Commons
thus denounced, among the great commercial evils of the high rates of
postage, their injurious effects upon the great bulk of the people. They
either act as a grievous tax on the poor, causing them to sacrifice their
little earnings to the pleasure and advantage of corresponding with their
distant friends, or compel them to forego such intercourse altogether;
thus subtracting from the small amount of their enjoyments, and
obstructing the growth and maintenance of their best affections. Honored
be the man who broke down these barriers! Praised be the Government that,
_for once_, stepping out of its fiscal tram-way, dared boldly to legislate
for the domestic happiness, the educational progress, and the moral
elevation of the masses! The steel pen, sold at the rate of a penny a
dozen, is the creation, in a considerable degree, of the Penny Postage
stamp; as the Penny Postage stamp was a representative, if not a creation,
of the new educational power. Without the steel pen, it may reasonably be
doubted whether there were mechanical means within the reach of the great
bulk of the population for writing the three hundred and thirty-seven
millions of letters that now annually pass through the Post Office.

Othello’s sword had “the ice-brook’s temper;” but not all the real or
imaginary virtues of the stream that gave its value to the true Spanish
blade could create the elasticity of a steel pen. Flexible, indeed, is the
Toledo. If thrust against a wall, it will bend into an arc that describes
three-fourths of a circle. The problem to be solved in the steel-pen, is
to convert the iron of Dannemora into a substance as thin as the quill of
a dove’s pinion, but as strong as the proudest feather of an eagle’s wing.
The furnaces and hammers of the old armorers could never have solved this
problem. The steel pen belongs to our age of mighty machinery. It could
not have existed in any other age. The demand for the instrument, and the
means of supplying it, came together.

The commercial importance of the steel pen was first manifested to our
senses a year or two ago at Sheffield. We had witnessed all the curious
processes of _converting_ iron into steel, by saturating it with carbon in
the converting furnace; of _tilting_ the bars so converted into a harder
substance, under the thousand hammers that shake the waters of the Sheaf
and the Don: of _casting_ the steel thus converted and tilted into ingots
of higher purity; and, finally, of _milling_, by which the most perfect
development of the material is acquired, under enormous rollers. About two
miles from the metropolis of steel, over whose head hangs a canopy of
smoke through which the broad moors of the distance sometimes reveal
themselves, there is a solitary mill where the tilting and rolling
processes are carried to great perfection. The din of the large tilts is
heard half a mile off. Our ears tingle, our legs tremble, when we stand
close to their operation of beating bars of steel into the greatest
possible density; for the whole building vibrates as the workmen swing
before them in suspended baskets, and shift the bar at every movement of
these hammers of the Titans. We pass onward to the more quiet _rolling_
department. The bar that has been tilted into the most perfect
compactness, has now to acquire the utmost possible tenuity. A large area
is occupied by furnaces and rollers. The bar of steel is dragged out of
the furnace at almost a white heat. There are two men at each roller. It
is passed through the first pair, and its squareness is instantly
elongated and widened into flatness; rapidly through a second pair, and a
third, and a fourth, and a fifth. The bar is becoming a sheet of steel.
Thinner and thinner it becomes, until it would seem that the workmen can
scarcely manage the fragile substance. It has spread out like a morsel of
gold under the beater’s hammer, into an enormous leaf. The least
attenuated sheet is only the hundredth part of an inch in thickness; some
sheets are made as thin as the two-hundredth part of an inch. And for what
purpose is this result of the labors of so many workmen, of such vast and
complicated machinery, destined?—what the final application of a material
employing so much capital in every step, from the Swedish mine to its
transport by railroad to some other seat of British industry? _The whole
is prepared for one steel-pen manufactory at Birmingham._

There is nothing very remarkable in a steel-pen manufactory, as regards
ingenuity of contrivance or factory organization. Upon a large scale of
production, the extent of labor engaged in producing so minute an article,
is necessarily striking. But the process is just as curious and
interesting, if conducted in a small shop as in a large. The pure steel,
as it comes from the rolling-mill, is cut up into strips about two inches
and a half in width. These are further cut into the proper size for the
pen. The pieces are then annealed and cleansed. The maker’s name is neatly
impressed on the metal; and a cutting-tool forms the slit, although
imperfectly in this stage. The pen shape is given by a convex punch
pressing the plate into a concave die. The pen is formed when the slit is
perfected. It has now to be hardened, and, finally, cleansed and polished,
by the simple agency of friction in a cylinder. All the varieties of form
of the steel pen are produced by the punch; all the contrivances of slits
and apertures above the nib, by the cutting-tool. Every improvement has
had for its object to overcome the rigidity of the steel—to imitate the
elasticity of the quill, while bestowing upon the pen a superior

The perfection that may reasonably be demanded in a steel pen has yet to
be reached. But the improvement in the manufacture is most decided. Twenty
years ago, to one who might choose, regardless of expense, between the
quill pen and the steel, the best Birmingham and London production was an
abomination. But we can trace the gradual acquiescence of most men in the
writing implement of the multitude. Few of us, in an age when the small
economies are carefully observed, and even paraded, desire to use quill
pens at ten or twelve shillings a hundred, as Treasury Clerks once
luxuriated in their use—an hour’s work, and then a new one. To mend a pen,
is troublesome to the old, and even the middle-aged man who once acquired
the art; the young, for the most part, have not learned it. The most
painstaking and penurious author would never dream of imitating the
wondrous man who translated Pliny with “one gray goose quill.” Steel pens
are so cheap, that if one scratches or splutters, it may be thrown away,
and another may be tried. But when a really good one is found, we cling to
it, as worldly men cling to their friends: we use it till it breaks down,
or grows rusty. We can do no more; we handle it as Izaak Walton handled
the frog upon his hook, “as if we loved him.” We could almost fancy some
analogy between the gradual and decided improvement of the steel pen—one
of the new instruments of education—and the effects of education itself
upon the mass of the people. An instructed nation ought to present the
same gradually perfecting combination of strength with elasticity. The
favorites of fortune are like the quill, ready made for social purposes,
with a little scraping and polishing. The bulk of the community have to be
formed out of ruder and tougher materials—to be converted, welded, and
tempered into pliancy. The _manners_ of the great British family have
decidedly improved under culture—“_emollit mores_:” may the sturdy
self-respect of the race never be impaired!


At the present time there are at the London Zoological Gardens two Arabs,
who are eminently skilled in what is termed “Snake-Charming.” In this
country, happily for ourselves, we have but little practical acquaintance
with venomous serpents, and there is no scope for the development of
native skill in the art referred to; the visit, therefore, of these
strangers is interesting, as affording an opportunity of beholding feats
which have hitherto been known to us only by description. We propose,
therefore, to give some account of their proceedings.

Visitors to the Zoological Gardens will remark, on the right hand side,
after they have passed through the tunnel, and ascended the slope beyond,
a neat wooden building in the Swiss style. This is the reptile-house, and
while our readers are bending their steps toward it, we will describe the
performance of the Serpent Charmers.

The names of these are Jubar-Abou-Haijab, and Mohammed-Abou-Merwan. The
former is an old man, much distinguished in his native country for his
skill. When the French occupied Egypt, he collected serpents for their
naturalists, and was sent for to Cairo to perform before General
Bonaparte. He described to us the general, as a middle-sized man, very
pale, with handsome features, and a most keen eye. Napoleon watched his
proceedings with great interest, made many inquiries, and dismissed him
with a handsome “backsheesh.” Jubar is usually dressed in a coarse loose
bernoose of brown serge, with a red cap on his head.

The gift, or craft, of serpent-charming, descends in certain families from
generation to generation; and Mohammed, a smart active lad, is the old
man’s son-in-law, although not numbering sixteen years. He is quite an
Adonis as to dress, wearing a smart, richly embroidered dark-green jacket,
carried—hussar fashion—over his right shoulder, a white loose vest, full
white trowsers, tied at the knee, scarlet stockings and slippers, and a
fez or red cap, with a blue tassel of extra proportions on his head. In
his right ear is a ring, so large that it might pass for a curtain ring.

Precisely as the clock strikes four, one of the keepers places on a
platform a wooden box containing the serpents, and the lad Mohammed
proceeds to tuck his ample sleeves as far up as possible, to leave the
arms bare. He then takes off his cloth jacket, and, opening the box, draws
out a large Cobra de Capello, of a dark copper color: this he holds at
arm’s length by the tail, and after allowing it to writhe about in the air
for some time, he places the serpent on the floor, still holding it as
described. By this time the cobra had raised his hood, very indignant at
the treatment he is receiving. Mohammed then pinches and teases him in
every way; at each pinch the cobra strikes at him, but, with great
activity, the blow is avoided. Having thus teased the snake for some time,
Mohammed rises, and placing his foot upon the tail, irritates him with a
stick. The cobra writhes, and strikes sometimes at the stick, sometimes at
his tormentor’s legs, and again at his hands, all which is avoided with
the utmost nonchalance. After the lapse of about ten minutes, Mohammed
coils the cobra on the floor, and leaves him while he goes to the box, and
draws out another far fiercer cobra. While holding this by the tail,
Mohammed buffets him on the head with his open hand, and the serpent,
quite furious, frequently seizes him by the forearm. The lad merely wipes
the spot, and proceeds to tie the serpent like a necklace around his neck.
Then the tail is tied into a knot around the reptile’s head, and again
head and tail into a double knot. After amusing himself in this way for
some time, the serpent is told to lie quiet, and stretched on his back,
the neck and chin being gently stroked. Whether any sort of mesmeric
influence is produced we know not, but the snake remains on its back,
perfectly still, as if dead. During this time the first cobra has remained
coiled up, with head erect, apparently watching the proceedings of the
Arab. After a pause, the lad takes up the second cobra, and carrying it to
the first, pinches and irritates both, to make them fight; the fiercer
snake seizes the other by the throat, and coiling round him, they roll
struggling across the stage. Mohammed then leaves these serpents in charge
of Jubar and draws a third snake out of the box. This he first ties in a
variety of apparently impossible knots, and then holding him at a little
distance from his face, allows the snake to strike at it, just dodging
back each time sufficiently far to avoid the blow. The serpent is then
placed in his bosom next his skin, and left there, but it is not so easy
after a time to draw it out of its warm resting-place. The tail is pulled;
but, no! the serpent is round the lad’s body, and will not come. After
several unsuccessful efforts, Mohammed rubs the tail briskly between his
two hands, a process which—judging from the writhings of the serpent,
which are plainly visible—is the reverse of agreeable. At last Mohammed
pulls him hand-over-hand—as the sailors say—and, just, as the head flies
out, the cobra makes a parting snap at his tormentor’s face, for which he
receives a smart cuff on the head, and is then with the others replaced in
the box.

Dr. John Davy, in his valuable work on Ceylon, denies that the fangs are
extracted from the serpents which are thus exhibited; and says that the
only charm employed is that of courage and confidence—the natives avoiding
the stroke of the serpent with wonderful agility; adding, that they will
play their tricks with any hooded snake, but with no other poisonous

In order that we might get at the truth, we sought it from the
fountain-head, and our questions were thus most freely answered by
Jubar-Abou-Haijab, Hamet acting as interpreter:

_Q._ How are the serpents caught in the first instance?

_A._ I take this adze (holding up a sort of geological hammer mounted on a
long handle) and as soon as I have found a hole containing a cobra, I
knock away the earth till he comes out or can be got at; I then take a
stick in my right hand, and seizing the snake by the tail with the left,
hold it at arm’s length. He keeps trying to bite, but I push his head away
with the stick. After doing this some time I throw him straight on the
ground, still holding him by the tail; I allow him to raise his head and
try to bite, for some time, in order that he may learn how to attack,
still keeping him off with the stick. When this has been done long enough,
I slide the stick up to his head and fix it firmly on the ground; then
taking the adze, and forcing open the mouth, I break off the fangs with
it, carefully removing every portion, and especially squeezing out all the
poison and blood, which I wipe away as long as it continues to flow; when
this is done the snake is harmless and ready for use.

_Q._ Do the ordinary jugglers, or only the hereditary snake charmers catch
the cobras?

_A._ We are the only persons who dare to catch them, and when the jugglers
want snakes they come to us for them; with that adze (pointing to the
hammer) I have caught and taken out the fangs of many thousands.

_Q._ Do you use any other snakes besides the cobras for your exhibitions?

_A._ No; because the cobra is the only one that will fight well. The cobra
is always ready to give battle, but the other snakes are sluggish, only
bite, and can’t be taught for our exhibitions.

_Q._ What do the Arabs do if they happen to be bitten by a poisonous

_A._ They immediately tie a cord tight round the arm above the wound, and
cut out the bitten part as soon as possible—some burn it; they then
squeeze the arm downward, so as to press out the poison, but they don’t
suck it, because it is bad for the mouth; however, in spite of all this,
they sometimes die.

_Q._ Do you think it possible that cobras could be exhibited without the
fangs being removed?

_A._ Certainly not, for the least scratch of their deadly teeth would
cause death, and there is not a day that we exhibit that we are not bitten
and no skill in the world would prevent it.

Such were the particulars given us by a most distinguished professor in
the art of snake-charming, and, therefore, they may be relied on as
correct; the matter-of-fact way in which he _acted_, as well as related
the snake-catching, bore the impress of truth, and there certainly would
appear to be far less mystery about the craft than has generally been
supposed. The way in which vipers are caught in this country is much less
artistic than the Arab mode. The viper-catcher provides himself with a
cleftstick, and stealing up to the reptile when basking, pins his head to
the ground with the cleft, and seizing the tail, throws the reptile into a
bag. As they do not destroy the fangs, these men are frequently bitten in
the pursuit of their business, but their remedy is either the fat of
vipers, or salad oil, which they take inwardly, and apply externally,
after squeezing the wound. We are not aware of any well-authenticated
fatal case in man from a viper bite, but it fell to our lot some years ago
to see a valuable pointer killed by one. We were beating for game in a
dry, stony district, when suddenly the dog, who was running beneath a
hedgerow, gave a yelp and bound, and immediately came limping up to us
with a countenance most expressive of pain; a large adder was seen to
glide into the hedgerow. Two small spots of blood on the inner side of the
left foreleg, close to the body of the dog marked the seat of the wound;
and we did our best to squeeze out the poison. The limb speedily began to
swell, and the dog laid down, moaning and unable to walk. With some
difficulty we managed to carry the poor animal to the nearest cottage, but
it was too late. In spite of oil and other remedies the body swelled more
and more, and he died in convulsions some two hours after the receipt of
the injury.

The Reptile-house is fitted up with much attention to security and
elegance of design; arranged along the left side are roomy cages painted
to imitate mahogany and fronted with plate-glass. They are ventilated by
perforated plates of zinc above, and warmed by hot water pipes below. The
bottoms of the cages are strewed with sand and gravel, and in those which
contain the larger serpents strong branches of trees are fixed. The
advantage of the plate-glass fronts is obvious, for every movement of the
reptiles is distinctly seen, while its great strength confines them in
perfect safety. Each cage is, moreover, provided with a pan of water.

Except when roused by hunger, the Serpents are generally in a state of
torpor during the day, but as night draws on, they, in common with other
wild denizens of the forest, are roused into activity. In their native
state the Boas then lie in wait, coiled round the branches of trees, ready
to spring upon the antelopes and other prey as they pass through the leafy
glades; and the smaller serpents silently glide from branch to branch in
quest of birds on which to feed. As we have had the opportunity of seeing
the Reptile-house by night, we will describe the strange scene.

About ten o’clock one evening during the last spring, in company with two
naturalists of eminence, we entered that apartment. A small lantern was
our only light, and the faint illumination of this, imparted a ghastly
character to the scene before us. The clear plate-glass which faces the
cages was invisible, and it was difficult to believe that the monsters
were in confinement and the spectators secure. Those who have only seen
the Boas and Pythons, the Rattlesnakes and Cobras, lazily hanging in
festoons from the forks of the trees in the dens, or sluggishly coiled up,
can form no conception of the appearance and actions of the same creatures
at night. The huge Boas and Pythons were chasing each other in every
direction, whisking about the dens with the rapidity of lightning,
sometimes clinging in huge coils round the branches, anon entwining each
other in massive folds, then separating they would rush over and under the
branches, hissing and lashing their tails in hideous sport. Ever and anon,
thirsty with their exertions, they would approach the pans containing
water and drink eagerly, lapping it with their forked tongues. As our eyes
became accustomed to the darkness, we perceived objects better, and on the
uppermost branch of the tree in the den of the biggest serpent, we
perceived a pigeon quietly roosting, apparently indifferent alike to the
turmoil which was going on around, and the vicinity of the monster whose
meal it was soon to form. In the den of one of the smaller serpents was a
little mouse, whose panting sides and fast-beating heart showed that it,
at least, disliked its company. Misery is said to make us acquainted with
strange bed-fellows, but evil must be the star of that mouse or pigeon
whose lot it is to be the comrade and prey of a serpent!

A singular circumstance occurred not long since at the Gardens, showing
that the mouse at times has the best of it. A litter of rattlesnakes was
born in the Gardens—curious little active things without rattles—hiding
under stones, or coiling together in complicated knots, with their
clustering heads resembling Medusa’s locks. It came to pass that a mouse
was put into the cage for the breakfast of the mamma, but she not being
hungry, took no notice. The poor mouse gradually became accustomed to its
strange companions, and would appear to have been pressed by hunger, for
it actually nibbled away great part of the jaw of one of the little
rattlesnakes, so that it died! perhaps the first instance of such a
turning of the tables. An interesting fact was proved by this, namely,
that these reptiles when young are quite defenseless, and do not acquire
either the power of injuring others, or of using their rattles until their

During the time we were looking at these creatures, all sorts of odd
noises were heard; a strange scratching against the glass would be
audible; ’twas the Carnivorous Lizard endeavoring to inform us that it was
a fast-day with him, entirely contrary to his inclination. A sharp hiss
would startle us from another quarter, and we stepped back involuntarily
as the lantern revealed the inflated hood and threatening action of an
angry cobra. Then a rattlesnake would take umbrage, and, sounding an
alarm, would make a stroke against the glass, intended for our person. The
fixed gaze, too, from the brilliant eyes of the huge Pythons, was more
fascinating than pleasant, and the scene, taking it all together, more
exciting than agreeable. Each of the spectators involuntarily stooped to
make sure that his trowsers were well strapped down; and, as if our nerves
were jesting, a strange sensation would every now and then be felt,
resembling the twining of a small snake about the legs. Just before
leaving the house, a great dor beetle which had flown in, attracted by the
light, struck with some force against our right ear; startled indeed we
were, for at the moment our impression was that it was some member of the
Happy Family around us who had favored us with a mark of his attention.

In feeding the larger serpents, the Boas and Pythons, some care is
necessary lest such an accident should occur as that which befell Mr.
Cops, of the Lion Office in the Tower, some years ago. Mr. Cops was
holding a fowl to the head of the largest of the five snakes which were
then there kept; the snake was changing its skin, consequently, being
nearly blind (for the skin of the eye is changed with the rest), it darted
at the fowl but missed it, and seized the keeper by the left thumb,
coiling round his arm and neck in a moment, and fixing itself by its tail
to one of the posts of its cage, thus giving itself greater power. Mr.
Cops, who was alone, did not lose his presence of mind, and immediately
attempted to relieve himself from the powerful constriction by getting at
the serpent’s head; but the serpent had so knotted itself upon its own
head, that Mr. Cops could not reach it, and had thrown himself upon the
floor in order to grapple, with greater success, with his formidable
opponent, when fortunately, two other keepers came in and rushed to the
rescue. The struggle even then was severe, but at length they succeeded in
breaking the teeth of the serpent, and relieving Mr. Cops from his
perilous situation; two broken teeth were extracted from the thumb; the
wounds soon healed, and no further inconvenience followed. Still more
severe was the contest which took place between a negro herdsman,
belonging to Mr. Abson, for many years Governor at Fort William, on the
coast of Africa. This man was seized by a huge Python while passing
through a wood. The serpent fixed his fangs in his thigh, but in
attempting to throw himself round his body, fortunately became entangled
with a tree, and the man being thus preserved from a state of compression
which would have instantly rendered him powerless, had presence of mind
enough to cut with a large knife which he carried about with him, deep
gashes in the neck and throat of his antagonist, thereby killing him, and
disengaging himself from his frightful situation. He never afterward,
however, recovered the use of the limb, which had sustained considerable
injury from the fangs and mere force of the jaws, and for many years
limped about the fort, a living example of the prowess of these fearful

The true _Boas_, it is to be observed, are restricted to America, the name
_Python_ being given to the large serpents of Africa and India. It is
related by Pliny that the army of Regulus was alarmed by a huge serpent
one hundred and twenty-three feet in length. This account is doubtful; but
there is a well-authenticated instance of the destruction of a snake above
sixty-two feet long, while in the act of coiling itself round the body of
a man. The snakes at the gardens will generally be found coiled and twined
together in large clusters, probably for the sake of warmth. Dr. Carpenter
knew an instance in which no less than _thirteen hundred_ of our English
harmless snakes were found in an old lime kiln! The _battûe_ which ensued
can better be imagined than described.

The cobras, the puff-adders, and some of the other highly-venomous
serpents are principally found in rocky and sandy places, and very
dangerous they are. Mr. Gould, the eminent ornithologist, had a most
narrow escape of his life when in the interior of Australia: there is a
serpent found in those arid wastes, whose bite is fatal in an incredibly
short time, and it springs at an object with great force. Mr. Gould was a
little in advance of his party, when suddenly a native who was with him
screamed out, “Oh, massa! dere big snake!” Mr. Gould started, and putting
his foot in a hole, nearly fell to the ground. At that instant the snake
made its spring, and had it not been for his stumble, would have struck
him in the face; as it was, it passed over his head, and was shot before
it could do any further mischief. It was a large snake, of the most
venomous sort, and the natives gathered round the sportsman anxiously
inquiring if it had bitten him? Finding it had not, all said they thought
he was “good for dead,” when they saw the reptile spring.

The expression “sting,” used repeatedly by Shakspeare, as applied to
snakes, is altogether incorrect; the tongue has nothing to do with the
infliction of injury. Serpents bite, and the difference between the
harmless and venomous serpents generally is simply this: the mouths of the
harmless snakes and the whole tribe of boas are provided with sharp teeth,
but no fangs; their bite, therefore, is innocuous; the poisonous serpents
on the other hand, have two poison-fangs attached to the upper jaw which
lie flat upon the roof of the mouth when not in use, and are concealed by
a fold of the skin. In each fang is a tube which opens near the point of
the tooth by a fissure; when the creature is irritated the fangs are at
once erected. The poison bag is placed beneath the muscles which act on
the lower jaw, so that when the fangs are struck into the victim the
poison is injected with much force to the very bottom of the wound.

But how do Boa Constrictors swallow goats and antelopes, and other large
animals whole? The process is very simple; the lower jaw is not united to
the upper, but is hung to a long stalk-shaped bone, on which it is
movable, and this bone is only attached to the skull by ligaments,
susceptible of extraordinary extension. The process by which these
serpents take and swallow their prey has been so graphically described in
the second volume of the “Zoological Journal,” by that very able
naturalist and graceful writer, W. J. Broderip, Esq., F.R.S., that we
shall transcribe it, being able, from frequent ocular demonstrations, to
vouch for its correctness. A large buck rabbit was introduced into the
cage of a Boa Constrictor of great size: “The snake was down and
motionless in a moment. There he lay like a log without one symptom of
life, save that which glared in the small bright eye twinkling in his
depressed head. The rabbit appeared to take no notice of him, but
presently began to walk about the cage. The snake suddenly, but almost
imperceptibly, turned his head according to the rabbit’s movements, as if
to keep the object within the range of his eye. At length the rabbit,
totally unconscious of his situation, approached the ambushed head. The
snake dashed at him like lightning. There was a blow—a scream—and
instantly the victim was locked in the coils of the serpent. This was done
almost too rapidly for the eye to follow; at one instant the snake was
motionless—the next he was one congeries of coils round his prey. He had
seized the rabbit by the neck just under the ear, and was evidently
exerting the strongest pressure round the thorax of the quadruped; thereby
preventing the expansion of the chest, and at the same time depriving the
anterior extremities of motion. The rabbit never cried after the first
seizure; he lay with his hind legs stretched out, still breathing with
difficulty, as could be seen by the motion of his flanks. Presently he
made one desperate struggle with his hind legs; but the snake cautiously
applied another coil with such dexterity as completely to manacle the
lower extremities, and in about eight minutes the rabbit was quite dead.
The snake then gradually and carefully uncoiled himself, and finding that
his victim moved not, opened his mouth, let go his hold, and placed his
head opposite the fore-part of the rabbit. The boa, generally, I have
observed, begins with the head; but in this instance, the serpent having
begun with the fore-legs was longer in gorging his prey than usual, and in
consequence of the difficulty presented by the awkward position of the
rabbit, the dilatation and secretion of lubricating mucus were excessive.
The serpent first got the fore-legs into his mouth; he then coiled himself
round the rabbit, and appeared to draw out the dead body through his
folds; he then began to dilate his jaws, and holding the rabbit firmly in
a coil, as a point of resistance, appeared to exercise at intervals the
whole of his anterior muscles in protruding his stretched jaws and
lubricated mouth and throat, at first against, and soon after gradually
upon and over his prey. When the prey was completely engulfed the serpent
lay for a few moments with his dislocated jaws still dropping with the
mucus which had lubricated the parts, and at this time he looked quite
sufficiently disgusting. He then stretched out his neck, and at the same
moment the muscles seemed to push the prey further downward. After a few
efforts to replace the parts, the jaws appeared much the same as they did
previous to the monstrous repast.”


The Germans are said to be a philosophical and sagacious people, with a
strong _penchant_ for metaphysics and mysticism. They are certainly a
_leichtgläubiges Volk_, but, notwithstanding, painstaking and persevering
in their search after truth. I know not whence it arises—whether from
temperament, climate, or association—but it is very evident that a large
portion of their studies is recondite and unsatisfactory, and incapable of
being turned to any practical or beneficial account. They meditate on
things which do not concern them; they attempt to penetrate into mysteries
which lie without the pale of human knowledge. It has been ordained, by an
inscrutable decree of Providence, that there are things which man shall
not know; but they have endeavored to draw aside the vail which He has
interposed as a safeguard to those secrets, and have perplexed mankind
with a relation of their discoveries and speculations. They have pretended
to a knowledge of the invisible world, and have assumed a position
scarcely tenable by the weight of argument adduced in its defense. What
has puzzled the minds of the most erudite and persevering men, I do not
presume to decide. Instances of the re-appearance of persons after their
decease, may or may not have occurred; there may, for aught I know, be
good grounds for the belief in omens, warnings, wraiths, second-sight,
with many other descriptions of supernatural phenomena. I attempt not to
dispute the point. The human mind is strongly tinctured with superstition;
it is a feeling common to all nations and ages. We find it existing among
savages, as well as among people of refinement; we read of it in times of
antiquity, as well as in modern and more enlightened periods. This
universality betokens the feeling to be instinctive, and is an argument in
favor of the phenomena which many accredit, and vouch to have witnessed.

I inherit many of the peculiarities of my countrymen. I, too, have felt
that deep and absorbing interest in every thing appertaining to the
supernatural. This passion was implanted in my breast at a very early age,
by an old woman, who lived with us as nurse. I shall remember her as long
as I live, for to her may be attributed a very great portion of my
sufferings. She was an excellent story-teller. I do not know whether she
invented them herself, but she had always a plentiful supply. My family
resided at that time in Berlin, where, indeed, I was born. This old woman,
when she took me and my sister to bed of an evening, kept us awake for
hours and hours, by relating to us tales which were always interesting,
and sometimes very frightful. Our parents were not aware of this, or they
never would have suffered her to relate them to us. In the long winter
nights, when it grew quite dark at four o’clock, she would draw her chair
to the stove, and we would cluster round her, and listen to her marvelous
stories. Many a time did my limbs shake, many a time did I turn as pale as
death, and cling closely to her from fear, as I sat listening with greedy
ear to her narratives. So powerful an effect did they produce, that I
dared not remain alone. Even in the broad day-light, and when the sun was
brightly shining into every chamber, I was afraid to go upstairs by
myself; and so timid did I become, that the least noise instantly alarmed
me. That old woman brought misery and desolation into our house; she
blasted the fondest hopes, and threw a dark and dismal shadow over the
brightest and most cheerful places. Often and often have I wished that she
had been sooner removed; but, alas! it was ordered otherwise. She
pretended to be very fond of us, and our parents never dreamed of any
danger in permitting her to remain under their roof. We were so delighted
and captivated with her narratives, that we implicitly obeyed her in every
respect; but she laid strong injunctions upon us, that we were not to
inform either our father or mother of the nature of them. If we were
alarmed at any time, we always attributed it to some other than the true
cause; hence the injury she was inflicting upon the family was
unperceived. I have sometimes thought that she was actuated by a spirit of
revenge, for some supposed injury inflicted upon her, and that she had
long contemplated the misfortune into which she eventually plunged my
unhappy parents, and which hurried them both to a premature grave.

I will briefly state the cause of the grievous change in our domestic
happiness. My sister was a year or two younger than myself, and, at the
time of which I speak, about seven years of age. She had always been a
gay, romping child, till this old woman was introduced into the family,
and then she became grave, timid, and reserved; she lost all that buoyancy
of disposition, that joyousness of heart, which were common to her before.
Methinks I now see her as she was then—a rosy-cheeked, fair-haired little
creature, with soft, blue eyes, that sparkled with animation, a mouth
pursed into the pleasantest smile, and a nose and chin exquisitely formed.
My sister, as I have already stated, altered much after the old woman had
become an inmate of the family. She lost the freshness of her complexion,
the bright lustre of her eye, and was often dejected and thoughtful. One
night (I shudder even now when I think of it), the wicked old beldame told
us, as usual, one of her frightful stories, which had alarmed us
exceedingly. It related to our own house, which she declared had at one
time been haunted, and that the apparition had been seen by several
persons still living. It appeared as a lady, habited in a green silk
dress, black velvet bonnet, with black feathers. After she had concluded
her narrative, under some pretense or other, she left the room, though we
both strenuously implored her to remain; for we were greatly afraid, and
trembling in every limb. She, however, did not heed our solicitation, but
said she would return in a few minutes. There was a candle upon the table,
but it was already in the socket, and fast expiring. Some ten or fifteen
minutes elapsed, and the chamber-door was quietly thrown open. My hand
shakes, and my flesh seems to creep upon my bones, as I recall that horrid
moment of my past existence. The door was opened, and a figure glided into
the room. It seemed to move upon the air, for we heard not its footsteps.
By the feeble and sickly light of the expiring taper, we closely examined
the appearance of our extraordinary visitor. She had on a green dress,
black bonnet and feathers, and, in a word, precisely corresponded with the
appearance of the apparition described by the wicked old nurse. My sister
screamed hysterically, and I fell into a swoon. The household was
disturbed, and in a few minutes the servants and our parents were by the
bed-side. The old woman was among them. I described, as well as I was
able, what had occurred; and my parents, without a moment’s hesitation,
laid the mysterious visitation to the charge of the old woman; but she
stoutly denied it. My belief, however, to this day, is, that she was
concerned in it. My beloved sister became a confirmed idiot, and died
about two years after that dreadful night.

My subsequent wretchedness may be traced to this female, for she had
already instilled into my mind a love for the marvelous and supernatural.
I was not satisfied unless I was reading books that treated of these
subjects; and I desired, like the astrologers of old, to read the stars,
and to be endowed with the power of casting the horoscopes of my

When directed by my guardians to select a profession, I chose that of
medicine, as being most congenial to my taste. I was accordingly placed
with a respectable practitioner, and in due time sent to college, to
perfect myself in my profession. I found my studies dry and wearisome, and
was glad to relieve myself with books more capable of interesting me than
those relating to medical subjects.

I had always attached great importance to dreams, and to the various
coincidences which so frequently occur to us in life. I shall mention a
circumstance or two which occurred about this time, and which made a very
forcible impression upon me. I dreamed one night that an intimate friend
of mine, then residing in India, had been killed by being thrown from his
horse. Not many weeks elapsed, before I received intelligence of his
death, which occurred in the very way I have described. I was so struck
with the coincidence, that I instituted further inquiry, and ascertained
that he had died on the same night, and about the same hour on which I had
dreamed that the unfortunate event took place. I reflected a good deal
upon this occurrence. Was it possible, I asked myself, that his
disinthralled spirit had the power of communicating with other spirits,
though thousands of miles intervened? An event so strange I could not
attribute to mere chance. I felt convinced that the information had been
conveyed by design, although the manner of its accomplishment I could not

A circumstance scarcely less remarkable happened to me only a few days
subsequently. I had wandered a few miles into the country, and at length
found myself upon a rising eminence, commanding a view of a picturesque
little village in the distance. Although I had at no period of my life
been in this part of the country, the scene was not novel to me. I had
seen it before. Every object was perfectly familiar. The mill, with its
revolving wheel—the neat cottages, with small gardens in front—and the
little stream of water that gently trickled past.

These matters gave a stronger impulse to my reading, and I devoured, with
the greatest voracity, all books appertaining to my favorite subjects.
Indeed, I became so engrossed in my employment, that I neglected my proper
studies, avoided all society, all exercise, and out-door occupation. For
weeks and weeks I shut my self up in my chamber, and refused to see
anybody. I would sit for hours of a night, gazing upon the stars, and
wondering if they exercised any control over the destinies of mankind. So
nervous did this constant study and seclusion render me, that if a door
were blown open by a sudden blast of wind, I trembled, and became as pale
as death; if a withered bough fell from a neighboring tree, I was
agitated, and unable for some seconds to speak; if a sudden footstep was
heard on the stairs, I anticipated that my chamber-door would be
immediately thrown open, and ere many seconds elapsed to be in the
presence of a visitor from the dark and invisible world of shadows. I
became pale and feverish, my appetite failed me, and I felt a strong
disinclination to perform the ordinary duties of life.

My friends observed, with anxiety and disquietude, my altered appearance;
and I was recommended to change my residence, and to withdraw myself
entirely from books. A favorable locality, combining the advantages of
pure air, magnificent scenery, and retirement, was accordingly chosen for
me, in which it was determined I should remain during the winter months.
It was now the latter end of September.

My future residence lay at the distance of about ten German miles from
Berlin. It was a fine autumnal day, that I proceeded, in the company of a
friend, to take possession of my new abode. Toward the close of the day we
found ourselves upon an elevated ground, commanding an extensive and
beautiful view of the country for miles around. From this spot we beheld
the house, or rather castle (for it had once assumed this character,
although it was now dismantled, and a portion only of the eastern wing was
inhabitable), that I was to occupy. It stood in an extensive valley,
through which a broad and deep stream held its devious course—now flowing
smoothly and placidly along, amid dark, overhanging trees—now dashing
rapidly and furiously over the rocks, foaming and roaring as it fell in
the most beautiful cascades. The building stood on the margin of the
stream, and in the midst of thick and almost impenetrable woods, that
rendered the situation in the highest degree romantic and captivating. The
scene presented itself to us under the most favorable aspect. The sun was
just setting behind the distant hills, and his rays were tinging with a
soft, mellow light, the foliage of the trees, of a thousand variegated
colors. Here and there, through the interstices of the trees, they fell
upon the surface of the water, thus relieving the dark and sombre
appearance of the stream. The road we now traversed led, by a circuitous
route, into the valley. As we journeyed on, I was more than ever struck
with the beauty of the scene. Dried leaves in many places lay scattered
upon the ground; but the trees were still well laden with foliage,
although I foresaw they would be entirely stripped in a short time. The
evening was soft and mild; but occasionally a gentle breeze would spring
up, and cause, for a moment, a slight rustling among the trees, and then
gradually die away. The sky above our heads was serene and placid,
presenting one vast expanse of blue, relieved, here and there, by a few
light fleecy clouds. As we got deeper into the valley, the road became bad
and uneven, and it was with much difficulty we prevented our horses from
stumbling. In one or two instances we had to dismount and lead them, the
road in many places being dangerous and precipitous. At length we gained
the bottom of the valley. A rude stone bridge was thrown over the stream
above described, over which we led our steeds. Arrived at the other side,
we entered a long avenue of trees, sufficient to admit of two horsemen
riding abreast. When we had gained the extremity of the avenue, the road
diverged to the left, and became tortuous and intricate in its windings.
It was in a bad state of repair, for the building had not been inhabited
by any body but an old woman for a great number of years. We at length
arrived in front of the entrance. As I gazed upon the dilapidated
structure, I did not for a moment dream of the suffering and misery I was
to undergo beneath its roof. We dismounted and gave our horses into the
charge of a man who worked about the grounds during the day-time. We were
no sooner admitted into this peculiar-looking place, than a circumstance
occurred which plunged me into the greatest distress of mind, and aroused
a host of the most painful and agonizing reminiscences. I conceived the
event to be ominous of disaster; and so it proved. I recognized, in the
woman who admitted us, that execrable being who had already so deeply
injured my family, and to whose infernal machinations I unhesitatingly
ascribed the idiocy and death of my dearly beloved sister. She gazed
earnestly upon me, and seemed to recognize me. This discovery caused me
the greatest uneasiness. I hated the sight of the woman; I loathed her; I
shuddered when I was in her presence; and a vague, undefinable feeling
took possession of me, which seemed to suggest that she was something more
than mortal. I know not what evils I anticipated from this discovery. I
predicted, however, nothing so awful, nothing so horrible, as what
actually befell me.

I took the earliest opportunity of speaking alone with this woman.

“My good woman,” I said to her, “I shall not suffer you to remain here at

“Why not, sir?” she asked.

“There are certain insuperable objections, the nature of which you may
probably surmise.”

“Indeed, I do not.”

“Then your memory is short.”

“I do not understand you, sir.”

“It is not of any consequence.”

After some further altercation, she consented to submit to the terms
dictated to her.

On the following day, my friend Hoffmeister returned to Berlin, where he
had some business to transact, on which depended much of his future
happiness. He promised to pay me another visit in the course of a week or
ten days.

I spent the first three or four days very comfortably, though I was still
very nervous, and in a weak state of health. On the morning of the fifth
day, the old woman (who had by some means discovered my profession) asked
me if I required a subject for the purpose of dissection. This was what I
had long been seeking for, but my efforts to obtain one had hitherto been
fruitless. I asked the sex, and she informed me it was a male. I was
delighted with the offer, and at once acquiesced in the terms. Toward
nightfall it was arranged that the corpse should be conveyed to the

I know not from what cause, but, during the whole of the day, I was in a
very abstracted and desponding state of mind, and began to regret that I
had agreed to take the body through the mediation of the old woman, whom I
almost conceived to be in league with Beelzebub himself.

The day had been exceedingly sultry, and toward evening the sky became
overcast with huge masses of dark clouds. The wind, at intervals, moaned
fitfully, and as it swept through the long corridors of the building,
strongly resembled the mournful and pitiful tones of a human being in
distress. The trees that stood in front of the house ever and anon yielded
to the intermitting gusts of wind, and bowed their heads as though in
submission to a superior power. There was no human being to be seen out of
doors, and the cattle, shortly before grazing upon some distant hills, had
already been removed. The river flowed sluggishly past, its brawling
breaking occasionally upon the ear when the wind was inaudible. Suddenly
the wind ceased, and large drops of rain began to fall; presently
afterward, it came down in torrents. It was a fearful night. Frequent
peals of thunder smote upon the ear; now it seemed to be at a distance,
now immediately overhead. Vivid flashes of lightning were at intervals
seen in the distant horizon, illumining for a moment, with supernatural
brilliancy, the most minute and insignificant objects. In the midst of the
tempest, I fancied I heard a rumbling noise at a distance. It grew more
distinct; the cause of it was rapidly approaching. I looked earnestly out
of the window, and I thought I could discern a moving object between the
interstices of the trees. I was not mistaken. It was the vehicle conveying
the dead body. It came along at a rapid pace. It was just in the act of
turning an angle of the road, when a tree, of gigantic proportions, was
struck by the electric fluid to the ground. The horse shied, and the car
narrowly escaped being crushed beneath its ponderous weight. The men drove
up to the entrance, and speedily took the box containing the body from the
car, and placed it in a room which I showed them into. I directed them to
take the body out of the box, and place it upon a deal board, which I had
laid horizontally upon a couple of trestles. The corpse was accordingly
taken out. It was that of a finely-grown young man. I laid my hand upon
it; it was still warm, and I fancied I felt a slight pulsation about the
region of the heart. Anxious to dismiss the men as soon as possible, and
fearing that the old woman might be imposing upon me, I asked the price.

“_Siebzig Thaler, mein Herr_,” said the man.

“_Danke, danke—tausendmal_,” said he, as I counted the money into his

At this instant a vivid flash of lightning illumined, for a second or two,
the livid and ghastly corpse of the man, rendering the object horrible to
gaze upon.

“_Gott im Himmel! was für ein schrecklicker Stürm!_” exclaimed the man to
whom I had paid the money.

In a few minutes the men departed, and I stood at the window watching
them, as they drove furiously away. At length they disappeared altogether
from my view.

I was now alone in the house. The storm was as furious as ever. I had
never before felt so wretched. I was restless and uneasy, and a thousand
dark thoughts flitted across my distracted brain as I wandered from room
to room. It was already quite dark, and I was at least a couple of miles
distant from any living soul. The frequent flashes of lightning, the loud
peals of thunder, the dead body of the man, and my own nervous and
superstitious temperament, constituted a multitude of anxieties, fears,
and apprehensions, that might have caused the stoutest heart to quail
beneath their influence. I seated myself in the sitting-room that had been
provided for me, and took up my _meerschaum_, and endeavored to compose
myself. It was, however, in vain. I was exceedingly restless, and I know
not what vague and indefinable apprehensions entered my imagination.
Whenever I have felt a presentiment of evil, it has invariably been
followed by some danger or difficulty. It was so in the present instance.
I drew the curtains in front of the windows, for I could not bear to look
upon the storm that was raging with unabated vehemence out of doors, and I
drew my chair closer to the fire, and sat for a considerable time. At
length, between ten and eleven o’clock, I took from a small cabinet a
bottle containing some excellent French brandy. I poured a portion of it
into a tumbler, and diluted it with warm water. I took two or three
copious draughts, which I thought imparted new life to my frame.

I was in this way occupied, when a sudden noise in a corner of the room
caused a feeling of horror to thrill through my whole system. I sprang
upon my legs in a moment; my eyes stared wildly, and every limb in my body
shook as though with convulsions. For a moment, I stood still, steadfastly
fixing my eyes upon the place from whence the noise proceeded. All was
quiet. I heard nothing save the beating of the rain against the windows,
and low peals of distant thunder. I walked across the room, and I
discovered that a riding-whip had fallen from the nail from which it had
been suspended. Satisfied that there was no occasion for alarm, I resumed
my seat, and indulged in fresh draughts of brandy-and-water. A few minutes
elapsed, and a noise similar to the last filled me with new apprehensions.
I sprang again from my seat. The pulses of my heart beat quickly. I gazed
wildly about me. I could see nothing—hear nothing. I walked a few paces,
and found an empty powder-flask upon the floor; it had fallen from a shelf
upon which I had placed it in the morning. I was much alarmed; I reeled
like a drunken man, and my mind was filled with the most horrible
forebodings. I drank the diluted spirit more freely than usual, and stood
awaiting the issue. Another article in a few minutes fell from the wall. I
now knew what to expect. I had frequently read of this species of
disturbance before. It was what, is called in Germany the _Poltergeist_.
In a few minutes, the greatest uproar manifested itself. The pictures fell
from the walls, the ornaments from the shelves; the jugs, glasses, and
bottles leaped from the table; the chairs, &c., by some unseen and
infernal agency, were overturned. I ran about like one beside himself; I
tore my hair with agony; I groaned with mental affliction; and my heart
cursed the devil incarnate that had brought all this misery to pass. It
was the woman; I was convinced of it. She, she alone, could conceive and
hatch such monstrous and nefarious stratagems. I knew not what to
do—whither to fly. The uproar continued. In my distraction, I ran from
place to place. I entered the room where the corpse lay. Merciful God! I
discovered, by the glimmering light from the other chamber, that it had
changed its position. I had laid it upon its back. Its face was now turned
downward! My cup was full—my misery complete. I returned to the room I had
just quitted. The disturbance had in some measure abated. I was thankful
that it was so, and I proceeded to place the tables, chairs, &c., in their
usual position. While I was thus engaged, the tumult commenced afresh. No
sooner had I placed a chair in an upright direction, than it was
immediately overturned; no sooner had I suspended a picture from the wall,
than it was again upon the floor. What was I to do? How was I to escape
the horrible spells with which the archfiend had encompassed me? I could
not leave the place on account of the storm; and even if I had done so, it
was not possible that I could gain admittance into any habitation at that
late hour of the night. Wretch that I was! What crime had I committed,
wherein had I erred, that I should be visited with so unaccountable and
terrible a calamity? My presence seemed to arouse the malignity of the
_Poltergeist_, and I deemed it expedient to leave the room. I was afraid
to enter that in which the dead (?) man lay, lest I should be exposed to
further causes for alarm. There was certainly a room in the higher part of
the building in which I had been accustomed to sleep; but I dared not
venture there in my present state of mind. I entered an adjourning
corridor, and paced up and down for a few minutes, but the air was chilly,
and I was in total darkness. The disturbance ceased as soon as I had
quitted the room. I could not remain where I was, so I re-entered it, but
my return was only the signal for fresh disasters. The uproar was resumed
with tenfold energy. However much my heart might revolt from it, there was
no other course open than to go into the room where the dead body lay. In
the condition of one who is driven to the last stage of desperation, I
walked, with as much fortitude as I could command, into that chamber. God
of Heaven! I had no sooner reached the threshold than I started back with
affright. I will not dwell upon that horrible scene; I will not minutely
detail the agony I endured. The corpse sat upright! I drew the
chamber-door quickly after me and staggered into the next apartment.
Powerless and overcome, I fell to the ground.

When I recovered, it was day. The light was streaming into the chamber,
and the storm had subsided. Fresh marvels were to be revealed. I was no
longer in the room in which I had been on the preceding night. I was in
bed, in the chamber where I had hitherto slept! How came I hither? I knew
not. I pressed my hand to my brow, and strove to collect my scattered
senses. I was bewildered and confused, and could only account for the
marvelous transition to which I had been exposed, by some remarkable
agency, altogether intangible to my senses, and utterly beyond the power
of my understanding to comprehend.

I descended, as soon as I was dressed, to breakfast, of which I sparingly
partook. I was pale and agitated. My sitting-room was in its usual state
of order. I did not venture into the other apartment, neither did I speak
to the woman touching the spectacles I had witnessed.

Hoffmeister returned in the evening, some days sooner than he expected. He
observed my altered appearance, and said—

“_Was fehlt dir? Du bist krank, nicht wahr?_”

“_Nein; ich bin recht wohl, Gott sei dank_.”

I could not, however, convince Hoffmeister that nothing had happened. I
was not disposed to reveal to him what I had witnessed, for I knew he
would treat the matter with unbecoming levity. His opinions were very
different from mine upon these subjects.

Hoffmeister appeared much depressed in spirits himself. I inquired the
cause, but he evaded the question. I concluded that his journey to Berlin
had not been attended with satisfactory results, for I could conjecture no
other cause for his unhappiness. We retired to rest early, for Hoffmeister
appeared fatigued. I proposed that we should sleep together, which my
friend gladly assented to.

I was much surprised, when I awoke on the following morning, to find
myself alone. What had become of Hoffmeister? Had he, too, been under the
domination of some evil power? I knew he was not an early riser, and his
absence, therefore, astonished and agitated me. I dressed myself hastily,
and immediately went in search of him. I wandered about the adjacent
grounds, but he was not there. I could not rest till I had found him. I
had known him for many years, and had always loved and esteemed him. He
was, till lately, my constant companion—my bosom-friend—in a word, my
_alter ego_.

I resolved to extend my search. I swiftly passed through the avenue of
trees, crossed the bridge, and it was not long before I had gained the
summit of the road that led into the valley. I stood for a while gazing
around me. I gazed earnestly at the dilapidated and time-worn walls of the
old castle, in which I had witnessed so many marvelous and horrible
sights. I shuddered when I reflected upon them. I resumed my journey, and
at length reached a village a few miles distant from my former abode. I
walked quickly forward, and on my way met several persons who saluted me,
whom I did not remember to have seen before. What could they mean by
taking such unwarrantable liberties with me? They did not appear to be
drunk, nor to have any intention of insulting me. It was
odd—unaccountable. I hurried on. My head began to swim; my eyes were
burning hot, and ready to start from their sockets. I was wild—frantic.

I reached the shop of an apothecary, and stepped in to ask for water, to
quench my thirst. The man smirked, and asked me how I was. I told him, I
did not know him; but he persisted in saying he had been in my company
only a night or two before. I was confounded. I seized the glass of water
he held in his hand, and took a hearty draught, and precipitately
departed. I traveled on. I was bewildered—in a maze, from which I found it
impossible to extricate myself. I made inquiries about my friend, but the
people stared and laughed, as though there was something extraordinary
about me. I wandered about till nightfall, and at last found shelter in a
cottage by the road-side, which was inhabited by an infirm old woman.

The next day I returned to the village. I called upon a gentleman with
whom I was intimately acquainted. I thought he might be able to give me
some tidings of my friend. When I was ushered into his presence he did not
know me. I was incredulous. Was I no longer myself? Had I changed my
identity? Whence this mystery? I was unable to fathom it. I handed my card
to him; he looked at it, and returned it, saying he did not know Mr.
Hoffmeister. The card was that of my friend. How it had come into my
possession I knew not. I apologized for the error, and informed him that
my name was not Hoffmeister, but Heinrich Gottlieb Langström. My surprise
may be conceived, when he informed me Langström—in fact, that I myself was
dead, and that my body had been found in the stream that flowed past the
village the day previously! I was ready to sink through the floor, and
could not find language to reply to the monstrous falsehood. I rushed from
his presence, feeling assured that some conspiracy was afoot to drive me
mad. I must have become so, or I never would have been exposed to the
extraordinary delusion to which I afterward became a victim.

I entered a house of public entertainment, and determined to solve this
dreadful enigma. I was, unfortunately, acquainted with the doctrines of
Pythagoras, and, at the time to which I refer, no doubt insane.

I requested to be shown into a room, where I could arrange my dress. I was
conducted into a chamber, in which all things necessary for that purpose
were provided. My object, however, was of greater consequence than this. I
wished to unravel the strange mystery that surrounded me—to discover, in a
word, whether I were really myself, or some other person. There was no way
of freeing myself from this horrible suspense and uncertainty than by
examining my features in the looking-glass. There was one placed upon a
dressing-table, but I shrank from it as though it had been a demon. I
dreaded to approach it; I feared to look into it, lest it should confirm
all the vague and monstrous misgivings that agitated my mind. I regarded
it as the arbiter of my destiny. It possessed the power either to
transport me with happiness, or to plunge me into utter, irretrievable
misery. In that brief moment I endured an age of agony and suspense. With
a faltering step, with a whirling brain, I advanced toward the glass. I
stood opposite to it; I looked into it. Distraction! horror of horrors! It
was not my own face I beheld! I swooned—fell backward.

When I recovered, I found myself in the arms of a man, who bathed my
temples with water. I quickly made my escape from the house. I was pale
and haggard, like one stricken with some sudden and grievous calamity. I
fancied, as I passed along, that the passengers whom I met stared at me,
laughed in my face, and seemed to consider my misfortune a fit subject for
their mirth and ridicule. Every hubbub in the street, every screeching
voice that assailed my ear, I conceived to be attributable to my horrible
transformation. I was afraid to look around; I dared not arrest my
progress for a moment, lest any of the mocking fiends should make sport of
my unhappy situation, and drive me to some act of desperation. On, on, I
hurried. I gained the fields. Thank Heaven! the village lay at a distance
behind me. The haunts of men were no place for me. I was something more
than mortal. I had undergone a change, of which I had never conceived
myself susceptible. I sped forward; naught could impede my course. My only
relief was in action. Any thing to dissipate the thoughts that flitted
across my distracted brain. Bodily pain might be endured—fatigue, hunger,
any corporeal suffering; but to think, was death—destruction. Oh! could I
have evaded thought for one moment, what joy, what transport! I fled
onward; there was no time to pause—to consider. The sun had already sunk
behind the hills, and night was about to spread her mantle o’er the earth,
when I threw myself down, exhausted and overpowered. Slumber sealed my
eyes, and I lay upon the ground, an outcast of men, an isolated and
wretched being, to whom the common lot of humanity had been denied.

I will hurry this painful narrative to a close. I have but a vague idea of
the events that occurred during the next few weeks. I remember being told,
as I lay in bed, by a young woman who attended me, that I had been found
by some workpeople, on the night above referred to, in the vicinity of my
former residence, and conveyed thither, and that I had been attacked by
the brain fever, and that my life had been despaired of by my medical

The body which had been found in the stream, and which was supposed to be
mine, was that of my dear friend, Hoffmeister. In his agitation,
previously to his committing the dreadful act of suicide, he had
inadvertently mistaken my garments for his own.

When I became convalescent, I determined upon leaving, as soon as
possible, the scene of my recent suffering. Before doing so, I proceeded
to the village which I had previously visited. I called upon the gentleman
who had not recognized me on a former occasion; but, strange to say, he
now remembered me perfectly, and received me very kindly indeed. I
referred to the circumstance of our late interview, but he had no
recollection of it. While we were thus conversing, a third person entered
the room, the very image of my friend, and who, it appeared was his
brother. An explanation at once ensued.

These matters I have thought it necessary to explain. There are, however,
occurrences in the narrative, of which I can give no solution, though I
may premise, that my conviction is, that those which took place in the
village, arose from natural causes, with which I am nevertheless
unacquainted. The body of the man, who, I have reason to believe, was not
quite dead when he was brought to me, I conveyed with me to Berlin. The
old woman I never again beheld.


Of all the links in the stupendous chain of the cosmos, the sun, next to
our own planet, is that which we are most concerned in knowing well, while
it is precisely that which we know the least. This glorious orb has always
been involved in the deepest mystery. All that had been revealed to us
concerning it, till very recently, was derived from the observations and
deductions of the elder Herschel. His discovery of a double luminous
envelopment, at times partially withdrawn from various portions of the
sun’s surface, afforded, on the whole, a satisfactory explanation of the
numerous spots that are always seen on his disk. This glimpse merely of
the external changes which happen on his surface made up the sum of our
knowledge of that great luminary on which the animation of our planetary
system depends! One main cause of this utter ignorance on the subject,
besides its own intrinsic difficulty, lay in the comparatively slight
attention it had always received from astronomers generally. No individual
observer ever thought of devoting himself to the solar phenomena alone,
while the public observatories confined themselves to merely observing the
sun’s culmination at noon, or to ascertaining the exact duration of its

We knew, from the observations of Cassini and Herschel, that the spots on
the sun’s disk are not alike numerous every year; and Kunowsky
particularly drew the attention of astronomers to the fact, that while in
the years 1818 and 1819 very large and numerous ones appeared, some
visible even to the naked eye, very few, on the contrary, and those of but
trifling size, were seen in the years 1822-1824. But it was reserved for
the indefatigable Schwabe of Dessau, who has devoted himself for a long
series of years to this one single object, to establish the fact of these
spots observing a certain periodicity. Among the results of his labors—for
as yet we have only his brief announcements to the scientific world in the
“Astronomical Notices”—are the following: 1. That the recurrence of the
solar spots has a period of about ten years; 2. That the number of the
single groups of one year varies at the minimum time from twenty-five to
thirty, while in the maximum years they sometimes rise to above three
hundred; 3. That with their greater abundance is combined also a greater
local extension and blackness of the spots; 4. That at the maximum time,
the sun, for some years together, is never seen without very considerable
spots. The last maximum appears to have been of a peculiarly rich
character, as, from February, 1837, till December, 1840, solar spots were
visible on every day of observation; while the number of groups in the
former of those years amounted to 333.

But if a single individual, by observations continued unbroken for entire
decenniums, has thus revealed to us the most important fact hitherto known
relating to the sun, there are other questions not less important which
can only find their solution in the careful observation of a
rarely-occurring interval of perhaps one or two minutes. The splendor of
the sun is so amazingly great, as to preclude us entirely from perceiving
any object in his immediate proximity unless projected before his disk as
a darkening object. At ten, or fifteen degrees even from the sun, when
this luminary is above the horizon, all the fixed stars vanish from the
most powerful telescopes. We are therefore in utter ignorance whether the
space between him and Mercury is occupied or not by some other denizen of
the planetary system. To enable us to explore the sun’s immediate
proximity, we require a body that shall exclude his rays from our
atmosphere, and yet leave the space round the sun open to our view. Such
an object can of course be neither a cloud nor any terrestrial object,
natural or artificial, since parts of the atmosphere will exist behind it
which will be impinged on by the sun’s rays. Only during a total eclipse
can these conditions be fulfilled, and even then but for a very brief
interval, which may still be lost to the observer through unfavorable
weather or from too low a position of the sun.

Notwithstanding that this rare and precarious opportunity is the only
possible one we possess of becoming better acquainted with the physical
nature of the great luminary of day, astronomers never availed themselves
of it for any other purpose than the admeasurement of the earth, which
might have been done as well, if not better, during any planetary eclipse.
This error or indifference, whichever it may have been, can not, however,
be laid to the charge of our living astronomers. The 8th of July, 1842—the
day on which the last total eclipse of the sun took place—witnessed the
most distinguished of these assembled for the purpose of making, for the
first time, observations calculated to afford us some insight into this
greatest mystery of the celestial world. This eclipse was total on a zone
which traversed the north of Spain, the south of France, the region of the
Alps and Styria, and a portion of Austria, Central Russia and Siberia,
terminating in China; so that the observatories of Marseilles, Milan,
Venice, Padua, Vienna, and Ofen, all supplied with excellent telescopes,
and in full activity, came within its range; while many astronomers, at
whose observatories the eclipse was not visible, set out for places
situated within the zone just described. Thus Arago and two of his
colleagues repaired to Perpignan, Airy to Turin, Schumacker to Vienna,
Struve and Sehidloffsky to Lipezk, and Stubendorff to Koerakow. Most of
them were favored by the weather. Let us now see what the combined
endeavors of these practiced and well-furnished observers have made us
acquainted with.

First, as regards the obscurity, it was so great, that five, seven, and in
some cases as many as ten stars were visible to the naked eye. A reddish
light was seen to proceed from the horizon—that is, from those regions
where the darkness was not total—and by this light print of a moderate
size could, with a little difficulty, be read. Such plants as usually
close their petals at night were seen in most places to close them also
during the eclipse. The thermometer fell from 2 to 3 degrees of Reaumur,
and in the fields about Perpignan a heavy dew fell. A change in the color
of the light, and consequently of the enlightened objects, was noticed by
many, although they were not agreed in their description of it. But this
diversity may have been caused by the nature of the air at different
places being probably different, and the degree of obscurity very unequal.
At Lipezk, where the eclipse lasted the longest, being 3 minutes and 3
seconds, a darkness similar to that of night set in, and there the eclipse
began exactly at noon.

The effect of the eclipse on the animal creation was similar to what had
been observed before in the like circumstances: they ceased eating;
draught animals suddenly stood still; domestic birds fled to the stables,
or sought other places of shelter; owls and bats flew abroad, as if night
had come on. Of three lively linnets, kept in a cage, one dropped down
dead. The insect world too was greatly affected; ants stopped in the midst
of their labors, and only resumed their course after the reappearance of
the sun; and bees retreated suddenly to their hives. A general
restlessness pervaded the animal world; and only those places which were
situated more on the boundary of the zone, and where the obscurity was
consequently less complete, formed an exception.

During the total eclipse, the dark moon which covered the sun’s disk
appeared surrounded with a brilliant crown of light or halo. This halo
consisted of two concentric belts, of which the inner one was the
lightest, and the external less brilliant, and gradually fading. In the
direction of the line which connected the point of the commencement of the
total eclipse with that of its termination, two parabolic pencils of
light—some observers say several—appeared on the halo. Within it also
light intervolved veins were observable. The breadth of the inner halo was
from 2 to 3 minutes; that of the external one from 10 to 15 minutes; the
pencils of light, on the other hand, extended as far as from 1 to 1½
degree; by some they were traced even to 3 degrees. The color of the halo
was of a silvery white, and exhibited a violent undulating or trembling
motion, its general appearance varying in the briefest space. The light of
the halo was intensest near the covered solar rim. Its brilliance at
Lipezk was so great, that the naked eye could hardly look on it, and some
of the observers almost doubted whether the sun had really altogether
disappeared. At Vienna, Milan, and Perpignan, on the contrary, the
observers found the light of the halo resembling that of the moon toward
its full. Bell, at Verona, who found time to estimate its intensity,
ascertained it to be one-seventh of that of the full moon. Its first
traces were noticed from 3 to 5 seconds before the entrance of the entire
eclipse; in like manner, its last vestiges disappeared only some seconds
after the eclipse was over. Vivid, however, as its light was, the halo
cast but an extremely faint shadow. Some, indeed, who particularly
directed their attention to it, could not detect any. But this might have
been owing to those places on which the shadows would have fallen being
faintly illumined by the reddish light of the horizon before mentioned. In
other respects, during the progress of the eclipse, before and after its
maximum, not the least change was observable in the uncovered part of the
sun’s disk. The cusps were as sharp and distinctly-marked as possible, the
lunar mountains were projected on the sun’s surface with the most
beautiful distinctness and precision, and the color and brilliance of his
disk, in the proximity of the moon’s rim, were in no way diminished or
altered. In short, nothing was seen which could be referred in the
smallest degree to a lunar atmosphere.

All these phenomena, striking as they were, were such as the assembled
observers were prepared for; for they were such as had already been
noticed during previous eclipses of the sun. But there was one of quite a
different character, as mysterious as it was novel to them. This was the
appearance of large reddish projections within the halo on the dark rim.
The different observers characterized it by the expressions—“red clouds,
volcanoes, flames, fire-sheaves,” &c.; terms intended of course merely to
indicate the phenomenon, and not in any way to explain it. The observers
differed in their reports both with respect to the number of these “red
clouds,” as well as to their apparent heights. Arago stated that he
observed two rose-colored projections which seemed to be unchangeable, and
a minute high. His two colleagues also saw them, but to them they seemed
somewhat larger. A fourth observer saw one of the projections some minutes
even after the eclipse was over, while others perceived it with the naked
eye. Petit, at Montpellier remarked _three_ protections, and even found
time to measure one of them. It was 1-3/4 minute high. Littrow, at Vienna,
considered them to be as high again as this; and stated “that the streaks
were visible before they became colored, and remained visible also after
their color had vanished.” The light of these projections was soft and
quiet, the projections themselves sharp, and their form unchanging till
the moment of their extinction. Schidloffsky, at Lipezk, thought he
perceived a rose-colored border on the moon in places where these red
clouds did not reach; but could not be certain of the fact, on account of
the shortness of the time.

These projections or red clouds, mysterious and unexpected as they were to
men who directed their attention for the first time to the purely physical
phenomena concerned, were in fact, after all, nothing altogether new. The
descriptions given by astronomers of earlier eclipses of the sun had been
forgotten or overlooked. Stannyan, for instance, in his relation of that
of the 20th May, 1706, says, “The egress of the sun from the moon’s disk
was preceded on its left rim, during an interval of six or seven seconds,
by the appearance of a bloodred streak;” and Nassenius, during a total
eclipse of the sun observed on the 13th of May, 1733, mentions having seen
“several red spots, three or four in number, without the periphery of the
moon’s disk, one of them being larger than the others, and consisting, as
it were, of three parallel parts inclining toward the moon’s disk.” It is
clear, therefore, that earlier observers had witnessed the same
phenomenon, although they were unable to offer any explanation of it. It
seems, however, no unreasonable conclusion to come to, that these
projections or red clouds, as well as the halo with its pencils of light
before spoken of, are something without the proper solar photosphere, but
not forming, as this does, one connected mass of light. What further can
be known concerning this _something_ must be left to future ages to


    A traveler, from journeying
        In countries far away,
    Repassed his threshold at the close
        Of one calm Sabbath day;
    A voice of love, a comely face,
        A kiss of chaste delight,
    Were the first things to welcome him
        On that blessed Sabbath night.

    He stretched his limbs upon the hearth,
        Before its friendly blaze,
    And conjured up mixed memories
        Of gay and gloomy days;
    And felt that none of gentle soul,
        However far he roam,
    Can e’er forego, can e’er forget,
        The quiet joys of home.

    “Bring me my children!” cried the sire,
        With eager, earnest tone;
    “I long to press them, and to mark
        How lovely they have grown;
    Twelve weary months have passed away
        Since I went o’er the sea,
    To feel how sad and lone I was
        Without my babes and thee.”

    “Refresh thee, as ’tis needful,” said
        The fair and faithful wife,
    The while her pensive features paled,
        And stirred with inward strife;
    “Refresh thee, husband of my heart,
        I ask it as a boon;
    Our children are reposing, love;
        Thou shalt behold them soon.”

    She spread the meal, she filled the cup,
        She pressed him to partake;
    He sat down blithely at the board,
        And all for her sweet sake;
    But when the frugal feast was done,
        The thankful prayer preferred,
    Again affection’s fountain flowed;
        Again its voice was heard.

    “Bring me my children, darling wife
        I’m in an ardent mood;
    My soul lacks purer aliment,
        I long for other food;
    Bring forth my children to my gaze,
        Or ere I rage or weep,
    I yearn to kiss their happy eyes
        Before the hour of sleep.”

    “I have a question yet to ask;
        Be patient, husband dear.
    A stranger, one auspicious morn,
        Did send some jewels here;
    Until to take them from my care,
        But yesterday he came,
    And I restored them with a sigh:
        —Dost thou approve or blame?”

    “I marvel much, sweet wife, that thou
        Shouldst breathe such words to me;
    Restore to man, resign to God,
        Whate’er is lent to thee;
    Restore it with a willing heart,
        Be grateful for the trust;
    Whate’er may tempt or try us, wife,
        Let us be ever just.”

    She took him by the passive hand.
        And up the moonlit stair,
    She led him to their bridal bed,
        With mute and mournful air;
    She turned the cover down, and there,
        In grave-like garments dressed,
    Lay the twin children of their love,
        In death’s serenest rest.

    “These were the jewels lent to me,
        Which God has deigned to own;
    The precious caskets still remain,
        But, ah, the _gems_ are flown;
    But thou didst teach me to resign
        What God alone can claim;
    He giveth and he takes away,
        Blest be His holy name!”

    The father gazed upon his babes,
        The mother drooped apart,
    While all the woman’s sorrow gushed
        From her o’erburdened heart;
    And with the striving of her grief,
        Which wrung the tears she shed.
    Were mingled low and loving words
        To the unconscious dead.

    When the sad sire had looked his fill,
        He vailed each breathless face,
    And down in self-abasement bowed,
        For comfort and for grace;
    With the deep eloquence of woe,
        Poured forth his secret soul,
    Rose up, and stood erect and calm,
        In spirit healed and whole.

    “Restrain thy tears, poor wife,” he said,
        “I learn this lesson still,
    God gives, and God can take away,
        Blest be His holy will!
    Blest are my children, for they _live_
        From sin and sorrow free,
    And I am not all joyless, wife,
        With faith, hope, love, and thee.”


Hid behind the monster wall that screens in the land of the Celestials
from the prying eye of the “barbarian,” the Tea-plant, in common with many
things peculiar to those regions, remained long unknown to Europeans, and
the snatches of information brought home by early travelers concerning it,
were, in too many cases, of that questionable and contradictory kind, so
characteristic, even in the present day, of the writings of those who
travel in Eastern lands. Tea has now become a general article of domestic
consumption in every household of our country having any pretension to
social comfort, as well as in that of every other civilized nation, and,
indeed, the _tea-table_ has no mean influence in refining the manners and
promoting the social intercourse of a people. Important, however, as this
universal beverage has become as an essential requisite to the social and
physical comfort of all classes and conditions of civilized society, yet
our knowledge of the plant from which it is produced is still very
imperfect; and this, notwithstanding the fact that we have had tea-plants
growing in our hothouses since the year 1768. Speaking of the introduction
of the plant to this country, Hooker says—“It was not till after tea had
been used as a beverage for upwards of a century in England, that the
shrub which produces it was brought alive to this country. More than one
botanist had embarked for the voyage to China—till lately a protracted and
formidable undertaking—mainly in the hope of introducing a growing
tea-tree to our greenhouses. No passage across the desert, no
Waghorn-facilities, no steam-ship assisted the traveler in those days. The
distance to and from China, with the necessary time spent in that country,
generally consumed nearly three years! Once had the tea-tree been procured
by Osbeck, a pupil of Linnæus, in spite of the jealous care with which the
Chinese forbade its exportation; and when near the coast of England, a
storm ensued, which destroyed the precious shrubs. Then the plan of
obtaining berries was adopted, and frustrated by the heat of the tropics,
which spoiled the oily seeds, and prevented their germination. The captain
of a Swedish vessel hit upon a good scheme: having secured fresh berries,
he sowed these on board ship, and often stinted himself of his daily
allowance of water for the sake of the young plants; but, just as the ship
entered the English Channel, an unlucky rat attacked his cherished charge
and devoured them all!” So much, then, for the early attempts to introduce
the tea-shrub to Europe: often, indeed, is the truth exemplified that

    “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
          Gang aft a-gee.”

The Chinese tea-plants are neat-growing shrubs, with bright glossy green
leaves, not unlike those of the bay; or a more exact similitude will be
found in the garden camellia, with the _leaves_ of which, however, many of
our readers may not have acquaintance, although the _flowers_ are well
known, being extensively used in decorating the female dress for the
ball-room in the winter season. The tea-plants are nearly allied to the
camellia, and belong to the same natural order: indeed, one species of the
latter—the _Camellia sasanqua_ of botanists—is cultivated in the
tea-grounds of China, on account of its beautiful flowers, which are said
to impart fragrance and flavor to other teas.

Comparatively few scientific naturalists have had sufficient opportunities
of studying the tea-producing plants in their native _habitats_, or even
in the cultivated grounds of China, and consequently a great difference of
opinion has all along existed, as to whether tea is obtained from one,
two, or more distinct species of _Thea_. This question is getting day by
day more involved as new facts come to light; and, indeed, cultivation
seems to have altered the original character of some forms of the plant so
much, that the subject bids fair to remain an open question among European
botanists for ages to come. The two tea-plants which have been long grown
in British gardens, and universally supposed, until within the last few
years, to be the only kinds in existence, are the _Thea bohea_ and the
_Thea viridis_. The former was, until recently, very generally believed to
produce the black tea of commerce, and the latter the green tea; but
recent travelers have clearly shown that both _black_ and _green_ tea may
be, and are, obtained from the same plant. The difference is caused by the
mode of preparation; but it will be afterward seen that very important
discrepancies occur between the accounts of this operation given by
different observers. Certain it is, that the extreme caution with which
the Chinese attempt to conceal a knowledge of their peculiar arts and
manufactures from European visitors—and in none is their anxiety to do so
more strikingly evinced than in the case of the culture and preparation of
tea—tends greatly to frustrate the endeavors of the scientific traveler to
acquire accurate information on this point.

In the present state of our knowledge, it is quite impossible to say how
many species or varieties of the tea-plant are grown in China. They are
now believed to be numerous, although the two kinds to which we have
referred are those most extensively cultivated. They have long been
allowed to rank as distinct species in botanical books, and grown as such
in our greenhouses; but some acute botanists have, at various times,
suggested that they might be merely varieties of one plant. Such was the
opinion of the editor of the “Botanical Magazine,” when he figured and
described the Bohea variety (t. 998). Professor Balfour (“Manual of
Botany,” § 793) enumerates three species—the two already mentioned, and
one called _Thea Assamica_, being the one chiefly cultivated at the
tea-grounds of Assam. Most of our readers may be aware that the
cultivation and manufacture of tea has been successfully introduced to
Northern India. A “Report on the Government Tea Plantations in Kumaon and
Gurwahl, by W. Jameson, Esq., the superintendent of the Botanical Gardens
in the North-Western Provinces,”(5) has just reached us. In that report—to
which we will have occasion afterward to refer—there are “two species, and
two well marked varieties” described. Some of these do not appear to have
been at all noticed by other writers, although, from specimens of the
plants, which we have examined, from the tea-grounds, they appear
sufficiently distinct to warrant their being ranked as separate species;
and there are, indeed, some botanists who would at once set them down as

Having disposed of the question of _species_ in such manner as the
unsatisfactory state of botanical knowledge on this point will admit, we
shall now proceed to communicate some information respecting the culture
of the tea-plant, and the manner in which its leaves are made available
for the production of the beverage of which the female portion of the
community, and more particularly _old wives_ (of both sexes), are believed
to be so remarkably fond.

The tea-plants are grown in beds conveniently formed for the purpose of
irrigating in dry weather, and for plucking the leaves when required. The
Chinese sow the seed thus: “Several seeds are dropped into holes four or
five inches deep, and three or four feet apart, shortly after they ripen,
or in November and December; the plants rise up in a cluster when the
rains come on. They are seldom transplanted, but, sometimes, four to six
are put quite close, to form a fine bush.” In the government plantations
of Kumaon and Gurwahl, more care seems to be bestowed in the raising of
the plants, whereby the needless expenditure of seeds in the above method
is saved. The seeds ripen in September or October, and in elevated
districts, sometimes so late as November. In his report, Mr. Jameson
mentions that, when ripe, the seeds are sown in drills, eight to ten
inches apart from each other, the ground having been previously prepared
by trenching and manuring. If the plants germinate in November, they are
protected from the cold by a “_chupper_,” made of bamboo and grass—a small
kind of bamboo, called the ringal, being found in great abundance on the
hills, at an elevation of 6000 to 7000 feet, and well adapted for the
purpose; these _chuppers_ are removed throughout the day, and replaced at
night. In April and May, they are used for protecting the young plants
from the heat of the sun, until the rains commence. When the plants have
attained a sufficient size they are transplanted with great care, a ball
of earth being attached to their roots. They require frequent waterings,
if the weather be dry. During the rains grass springs up around them with
great rapidity, so as to render it impossible, with the usual number of
hands, to keep the grounds clean. The practice, therefore, is merely to
make a “_golah_” or clear space round each plant, these being connected
with small water channels, in order to render irrigation easy in times of
drought. The plants do not require to be pruned until the fifth year, the
plucking of leaves generally tending to make them assume the basket shape,
the form most to be desired to procure the greatest quantity of leaves.
Irrigation seems absolutely essential for the profitable cultivation of
the tea-plant, although, on the other hand, land liable to be flooded
during the rains, and upon which water lies for any length of time, is
quite unsuitable for its growth. The plant seems to thrive in a great
variety of soils, but requires the situation to be at a considerable
altitude above the sea level.

According to Mr. Jameson, the season for picking the leaves commences in
April and continues until October, the number of gatherings varying,
according to the nature of the season, from four to seven. So soon as the
new and young leaves have appeared in April, the first plucking takes
place. “A certain division of the plantation is marked off, and to each
man a small basket is given, with instructions to proceed to a certain
point, so that no plant may be passed over. On the small basket being
filled, the leaves are emptied into another large one, which is put in
some shady place, and in which, when filled, they are conveyed to the
manufactory. The leaves are generally plucked with the thumb and
forefinger. Sometimes the terminal part, of a branch having four or five
young leaves attached, is plucked off.” The old leaves, being too hard to
curl, are rejected as of no use; but all new and fresh leaves are
indiscriminately collected.

The _manufacture_ of the different varieties of tea has been the subject
of much difference of opinion. It has been supposed by some writers, as we
have already mentioned, that _green_ tea was solely obtained from the Thea
viridis, and _black_ tea from the Thea bohea, while others have asserted,
that the different kinds of the manufactured article are equally produced
by both plants. Facts seem now to be quite in favor of the latter opinion,
and, indeed, Mr. Fortune, while on his first botanical mission on account
of the Horticultural Society of London, ascertained, by visiting the
different parts of the coast of China, that the _Bohea_ plant was
converted into both black and green tea in the south of China, but that in
all the northern provinces he found only _Thea viridis_ grown, and equally
converted into both kinds of tea. Mr. Ball (the late inspector of teas to
the East India Company in China), in a work entitled “An Account of the
Cultivation and Manufacture of Tea in China,” fully confirms the fact that
both the green and black teas are prepared from the same plant, and that
the differences depend entirely on the processes of manufacture. It is, of
course, possible that particular varieties of the same plant, grown in
certain soils and situations, may be preferred by the Chinese
manufacturers for the preparation of the black and green teas, and the
various kinds of both known in commerce. It has been stated by some that
the _young leaves_ are taken for green tea, and the older ones for the
black varieties; this is the popular notion on the subject, but probably
it has no foundation.

Although it _now_ seems somewhat generally agreed that both green and
black teas are made from the leaves of the same plant, yet the various
writers on the subject are at considerable variance as to the mode in
which the difference of appearance is brought about. Some assert that the
_black_ being the natural colored tea, the beautiful green tinge is given
to the _green_ tea by means of substances used for the purpose of dyeing
it; while others hold that the green hue depends entirely on the method of

Among the formers Mr. Fortune, whose account of the “Chinese Method of
Coloring Green Tea,” as observed by him, is published in a former number
of the INSTRUCTOR (NO. 240, page 91). From that account, it would appear
that the coloring substances used are gypsum, indigo, and Prussian blue,
and “for every hundred pounds of green tea which are consumed in England
or America, the consumer really eats more than half a pound” of these
substances. We hope now to present our tea-drinking readers with a more
pleasing picture than this; to show that indeed there is not “death in the
cup,” nor aught else to be feared. We therefore proceed to explain the
modes of manufacture, as detailed by Mr. Ball. And, firstly, the
_manufacture_ of _black_ tea. The leaves, on being gathered, are exposed
to the air, until they wither and “become soft and flaccid.” In this state
they soon begin to emit a slight degree of fragrance, when they are
sifted, and then tossed about with the hands in large trays. They are then
collected into a heap, and covered with a cloth, being now “watched with
the utmost care, until they become spotted and tinged with red, when they
also increase in fragrance, and must be instantly roasted, or the tea
would be injured.” In the first roasting, the fire, which is prepared with
dry wood, is kept exceedingly brisk; but “any heat may suffice which
produces the crackling of the leaves described by Kæmpfer.” The roasting
is continued till the leaves give out a fragrant smell, and become quite
flaccid, when they are in a fit state to be rolled. The roasting and
rolling are often a third, and sometimes even a fourth time repeated, and,
indeed, the process of rolling is continued until the juices can no longer
be freely expressed. The leaves are then finally dried in sieves placed in
drying-tubs, over a charcoal fire in a common chafing-dish. The heat
dissipates much of the moisture, and the leaves begin to assume their
black appearance. Smoke is prevented, and the heat moderated, by the ash
of charcoal or burnt “paddy-husk” being thrown on the fire. “The leaves
are then twisted, and again undergo the process of drying, twisting, and
turning as before; which is repeated once or twice more, until they become
quite black, well-twisted, and perfectly dry and crisp.”

According to Dr. Royle, there are only two gatherings of the leaves of
_green_ tea in the year; the first beginning about the 20th of April, and
the second at the summer solstice. “The green tea factors universally
agree that the sooner the leaves of green tea are roasted after gathering
the better; and that exposure to the air is unnecessary, and to the sun
injurious.” The iron vessel in which the green tea is roasted is called a
_kuo_. It is thin, about sixteen inches in diameter, and set horizontally
(that for Twankey obliquely) in a stove of brickwork, so as to have a
depth of about fifteen inches. The fire is prepared with dry wood, and
kept very brisk; the heat becomes intolerable, and the bottom of the kuo
even red-hot, though this is not essential. About half a pound of leaves
are put in at one time, a crackling noise is produced, much steam is
evolved from the leaves, which are quickly stirred about; at the end of
every turn they are raised about six inches above the surface of the
stove, and shaken on the palm of the hand, so as to separate them, or to
disperse the steam. They are then suddenly collected into a heap, and
passed to another man, who stands in readiness with a basket to receive
them. The process of rolling is much the same as that employed in the
rolling of black tea, the leaves taking the form of a ball. After the
balls are shaken to pieces, the leaves are also rolled between the palms
of the hands, so that they may be twisted regularly, and in the same
direction. They are then spread out in sieves, and placed on stands in a
cool room.

For the second roasting the fire is considerably diminished, and charcoal
used instead of wood, and the leaves constantly fanned by a boy who stands
near. When the leaves have lost so much of their aqueous and viscous
qualities as to produce no sensible steam, they no longer adhere together,
but, by the simple action of the fire, separate and curl of themselves.
When taken from the kuo, they appear of a dark olive color, almost black;
and after being sifted, they are placed on stands as before.

For the third roasting, which is in fact the final drying, the heat is not
greater than what the hand can bear for some seconds without much
inconvenience. “The fanning and the mode of roasting were the same as in
the final part of the second roasting. It was now curious to observe the
change of color which gradually took place in the leaves, for it was in
this roasting that they began to assume that bluish tint, resembling the
bloom on fruit, which distinguishes this tea, and renders its appearance
so agreeable.”

The foregoing being the general mode of manufacturing green or Hyson tea,
it is then separated into different varieties, as Hyson, Hyson-skin, young
Hyson, and gunpowder, by sifting, winnowing, and fanning, and some
varieties by further roasting.

This account of the preparation of green tea is directly opposed to that
given by Mr. Fortune, before referred to, wherein it is mentioned that the
coloring of green tea is effected by the admixture of indigo, gypsum, &c.
It would appear that both modes are practiced in China; and, with the
editor of the “Botanical Gazette,” we may ask, Is it not possible that
_genuine_ green tea is free from artificial coloring matter, and that the
Chinese, with their usual _imitative_ propensity (exercised, as travelers
tell us, in the manufacture of wooden hams, &c, for exportation), may
prepare an artificial green tea, since this fetches a higher price than
the black? If this be not the case, then we have a difficulty in
accounting for the _origin_ of the green teas; “there must have been green
teas for the foreigners to become acquainted with and acquire a preference
for, or there could not have been a demand for it.” We think Mr. Jameson
throws some additional light on the subject when he remarks, in the course
of his observations on the manufacture of green tea, “To make the bad or
light-colored leaves marketable, they undergo an artificial process of
coloring; but this I have prohibited, in compliance with the orders of the
Court of Directors, and therefore do not consider this tea at present fit
for the market.” In a foot-note he adds, “In China, this process,
according to the statement of the tea-manufacturers, is carried on to a
great extent.” Whether the process of coloring is confined solely to the
light-colored leaves of green tea, or extended to other inferior sorts, we
have no means of judging, amid such a variety of discordant statements.

After the tea is thoroughly dried, in the manner above detailed, it is
carefully hand-picked, all the old or badly curled, and also light-colored
leaves being removed, as well as any leaves of different varieties that
may have got intermixed with it. Being now quite dry, it is ready to be
packed, which is done in a very careful manner. The woods used for making
the boxes in Northern India (according to Mr. Jameson) are toon, walnut,
and saul (_Shorea robusta_), all coniferous (pine) woods being unfit for
the purpose, on account of their pitchy odor. The tea is firmly packed in
a leaden box, and soldered down, being covered with paper, to prevent the
action of air through any unobserved holes that might exist in the lead;
this leaden box is contained in the wooden one, which it is made exactly
to fit. The tea being now ready to go into the hands of the merchant, we
need carry our observations no farther, as every housewife will know
better than we can tell her how to manage her own tea-pot. We will,
therefore, conclude our remarks by submitting the following statistical
note of the imports of tea into the United Kingdom in the year 1846, with
the view of showing its commercial importance—

Black tea, about            43,000,000 lbs.
Green tea, about            13,000,000 lbs.
Total                       56,000,000 lbs.


Some curious Anecdotes of Dr. Chalmers are given in the new volume of his
life, now on the point of publication. Immediately upon his translation to
Glasgow a most enthusiastic attachment sprung up between Chalmers, who was
then some thirty-five years of age, and Thomas Smith, the son of his
publisher, a young man still in his minority. It was more like a first
love than friendship. The friends met regularly by appointment, or in case
of absence, daily letters were interchanged. The young man died in the
course of a few months. A ring containing his hair was given to Chalmers;
and it is noted as a singular fact, showing the intense and lasting nature
of his attachment, that the ring, after having been long laid aside, was
resumed and worn by him a few months before his death, a period of more
than thirty years....

His keen practical talents did not altogether shield him from attempts at
imposition. “On one occasion,” he writes, “a porter half-drunk came up to
me, and stated that two men were wanting to see me. He carried me to a
tavern, where it turned out that there was a wager between these two men
whether this said porter was correct in his knowledge of me. I was so
revolted at his impertinency, that I made the ears of all who were in the
house ring with a reproof well said and strong; and so left them a little
astounded, I have no doubt.”.... On another occasion, while busily engaged
one forenoon in his study, he was interrupted by the entrance of a
visitor. The doctor began to look grave at the interruption; but was
propitiated by his visitor telling him that he called under great distress
of mind. “Sit down, sir; be good enough to be seated,” said the doctor,
looking up eagerly, and turning full of interest from his writing table.
The visitor explained to him that he was troubled with doubts about the
Divine origin of the Christian religion; and being kindly questioned as to
what these were, he gave among others what is said in the Bible about
Melchisedec being without father and without mother, &c. Patiently and
anxiously Dr. Chalmers sought to clear away each successive difficulty as
it was stated. Expressing himself as if greatly relieved in mind, and
imagining that he had gained his end—“Doctor,” said the visitor, “I am in
great want of a little money at present, and perhaps you could help me in
that way” At once the object of his visit was seen. A perfect tornado of
indignation burst upon the deceiver, driving him in very quick retreat
from the study to the street door, these words escaping among others—“Not
a penny, sir! not a penny! It’s too bad! it’s too bad! and to haul in your
hypocrisy upon the shoulders of Melchisedek!....” A discussion arose among
the superintendents of his Sabbath-schools whether punishment should ever
be resorted to. One of them related an instance of a boy whom he had found
so restless, idle, and mischievous, that he was on the point of expelling
him, when the thought occurred to him to give the boy an office. The
candles used in the school-room were accordingly put under care of the
boy; and from that hour he became a diligent scholar. Another
superintendent then related his experience. He had been requested to take
charge of a school that had become so unruly and unmanageable that it had
beaten off every teacher that had gone to it. “I went,” said the teacher,
“and told the boys, whom I found all assembled, that I had heard a very
bad account of them, that I had come out for the purpose of doing them
good, that I must have peace and attention, that I would submit to no
disturbance, and that, in the first place, we must begin with prayer. They
all stood up, and I commenced, and certainly did not forget the
injunction—Watch and pray. I had not proceeded two sentences, when one
little fellow gave his neighbor a tremendous _dig_ in the side; I
instantly stepped forward and gave _him_ a sound cuff on the side of his
head. I never spoke a word, but stepped back, concluded the prayer, taught
for a month, and never had a more orderly school.” Dr. Chalmers enjoyed
the discussion exceedingly; and decided that the question as to punishment
and non-punishment stood just where it was before, “inasmuch as it had
been found that the judicious appointment of candle-snuffer-general and a
good cuff on the _lug_ had been about equally efficacious.”.... Among the
most ardent admirers of the doctor’s eloquence, was Mr. Young, professor
of Greek. Upon one occasion, he was so electrified that he leaped up from
his seat upon the bench near the pulpit, and stood, breathless and
motionless, gazing at the preacher till the burst was over, the tears all
the while came rolling down his cheeks. Upon another occasion, forgetful
of time and place—fancying himself perhaps in the theatre—he rose and made
a loud clapping of his hands in an ecstasy of admiration and delight....
He was no exception to the saying that a prophet is not without honor save
among his own countrymen. When he preached in London his own brother James
never went to hear him. One day, at the coffee-house which he frequented,
the brother was asked by some one who was ignorant of the relationship, if
he had heard this wonderful countryman and namesake of his, “Yes,” said
James, somewhat drily, “I have heard him.” “And what did you think of
him?” “Very little indeed,” was the reply. “Dear me,” exclaimed the
inquirer, “When did you hear him?” “About half an hour after he was born,”
was the cool answer of the brother.... When he preached at his native
place, so strong was the feeling of his father against attending any but
his own parish church, or so feeble was his desire to hear his son, that,
although the churches of the two parishes of Eastern and Western
Anstruther stood but a few hundred yards apart, the old man would not
cross the separating _burn_ in order to hear him.


Every body knows the pleasures of health; but there are very few, if any,
who can appreciate those of illness. Doubtless many people will feel
inclined to laugh at the suggestion, but we beg that we may not be
prejudged. There is positive pleasure to be derived even from every
variety—and there is a choice—of sickness, if we would only put faith in
the idea, and then strive to realize it. You may smile, but we are very
serious, recollecting especially that the subject is rather a painful one,
for which reason it behoves us to begin by treating it philosophically.

The best thing that people can do when they are suffering pain, either
acute or otherwise, is—if they can not readily overcome it—to endeavor to
forget it; simply because the mere effort, earnestly made and persevered
in, will materially assist whatever more direct and efficient means may be
adopted to get rid of it. Brooding over any bodily suffering only gives it
encouragement, inasmuch as the mind is then actively assisting the ailment
of the body; but let us make the most of a temporary cessation from the
infliction, and there is a probability of its being dispelled altogether.
Now the pleasure of getting rid of pain is undeniable, and, having
achieved that, the best thing we can do to render the cessation permanent
is to enjoy a sound sleep, which, though a very simple and ordinary
gratification at other times, then becomes an extreme luxury, such,
indeed, as we never should have known except through the instrumentality
of the suffering that preceded it. The same may be said of many of the
remedies that are used for the alleviation of pain: a hot bath, local
applications of an exceedingly cold nature, or a delicious draught for
cooling fever and quenching thirst—a draught like that of hock and
soda-water—a draught “worthy of Xerxes, the great king,” and not to be
equaled by sherbet “sublimed with snow;” but then you must (oh, what a
pleasure for a king!) “get very drunk,” says Byron, in order thoroughly to
enjoy it. You see our author so highly appreciated the pleasures of
illness that he actually advises us to make ourselves ill; and that, too,
in a most vulgar and degrading manner, in order that we may unreservedly
revel in them. But, perhaps, the poet only meant to satirize the excessive
proneness of all human beings—and kings have been noted for this quite as
much as any—to bring pain upon themselves by some wanton or provoked

No pleasure can compensate for acute and long-endured suffering; but in
all eases of illness unattended by pain, the pleasure to be derived is
considerably greater than might be imagined. In fact, no one ever thinks
of being able to enjoy an illness, for which reason we shall endeavor to
show our readers not only the practicability of the idea, but how they are
to set about realizing it. Let us take the most common kind of malady
there is unattended by actual pain, a cold; a cold all over you, as
violent as you please—such, in fact, as is “not to be sneezed at,” one
that will confine you to your bed, compel you to take medicine, and
restrict you to broth and barley-water. There you are, then, ill; happy
fellow! very ill! you have not the least conception how much you are to be
envied. The mere fact of being in such a condition, renders you an object
of anxiety and interest. Every body in the house is ready to wait upon
you, and all you have to do is to lie still and enjoy your bed, while
other people are bustling about the house, or out of doors all day,
undergoing the fatigue and irksomeness of their ordinary avocations. You
are ill—you are to do nothing—not even to get up to breakfast, but to have
it brought to you in bed; a luxury which it is probable you may have often
been tempted to enjoy in the winter, though your philosophy enabled you to
overcome it. Now you are not only compelled to indulge in it, but are made
an object of sympathy on that account; it is so very lamentable to see you
propped up with pillows, and cosily encased in flannel around the throat
and shoulders. You are not to be hurried over your breakfast, there is no
office to go to; nothing to be thought of but the enjoyment of your tea
and toast, which you may sip and munch as leisurely as you please, while
reading a magazine or newspaper. At length breakfast is over, and you have
become tired of reading; down go the pillows to their usual position, and
after some gentle hand has smoothed and placed them comfortably, you sink
back upon them, overwhelmed by a most delightful sense of mental and
bodily indolence. What a blessing it is to have escaped the ordeal of
shaving, even for one morning! only think of that; and remember also how
the warmth of the bed will encourage the growth of your beard, compelling
you of course to send for the barber when you have got well enough to
leave your room again. Hark! there’s a knock at the door—somebody you
don’t want to see, probably; “Master’s very poorly, and obliged to keep
his bed.” Ha! ha! Keep his bed, eh?—no such thing; it’s the bed that keeps
him—snug and warm, and in a blessed state of exemption from all
annoyances, and you must not be subjected to any such infliction; no, you
are very ill. You abandon yourself to the idea, nestle your head
luxuriously in the pillow, pull the bed clothes over your chin, and fall
into a delightful dose. You awake feverish, perhaps, and thirsty. Well,
there is some barley-water at your bedside, delicately flavored with a
little lemon juice and sugar; a sort of primitive punch, pleasant to the
palate, and not at all likely to prove provocative of headache. You raise
a tumblerful to your lips, and drink with intense _gusto_. What a pleasure
it is! well worth coming into the world to enjoy, if one was to die the
next minute; but you are not going to die yet, don’t suppose it—you are
only being favored with an opportunity of enjoying the pleasures of
illness. But you are so feverish, you say; so much the better. Now, just
endeavor to recall to mind the wildest fiction, either in prose or poetry
that you have ever read, something very pleasing and highly imaginative—a
fairy tale will be as good as any. Go to sleep thinking of it, and you
will dream—dream, said we? we were wrong, for the fiction will become a
glorious reality; and so it does! but, alas! you awake, once more return
to the vulgar commonplaces of mundane existence. A sharp rap at the
bedroom door makes you farther conscious that you have only been reveling
in what is termed a delusion; but never mind, here comes some one to
console you—another corporeality like yourself, intent on feeding you with
chicken-broth, and batter-pudding; much more substantial fare than the
fairies would have given you, and extremely enjoyable now that you are
ill, though at any other time you would have turned up your nose at it.
Oh, it’s a fine thing is illness for teaching people not to let the palate
become irritated by luxurious living! “Very nice,” eh, “but you would have
liked a basin of mulligatawny better, and some wine-sauce with the
pudding?” Shocking depravity! the pleasures of illness are simple, and you
must learn to enjoy _them_ as well as those of health; it’s all habit.
Many medicines would be found extremely palatable if we were not
prejudiced against them. Now, black draughts, you “can’t bear them;” and
yet they are much nicer than castor-oil. Why, what’s the matter? you’ve
upset all the broth over that beautifully white counterpane! Delicate
stomach, yours, very. Come, try the pudding; and don’t let your
imagination combine any medicinal sauce with it. You have eaten it all;
that’s right. Now, allow us to suggest that a little very ripe fruit will
not hurt you—an orange, or some strawberries if in season. But you must
not lie there and allow your mind to get either into a wearisome state of
vacuity or unpleasant reflection. Send for a book from the library—some
novel that you have never read; and if it is too much trouble to read it
yourself, get some one to read it to you. It is a capital plan always to
endeavor to forget an illness by means of some quiet and absorbing
enjoyment. You are fond of music, for instance; and if you hear any good
band strike up in the street we recommend you by all means to detain them.
You will get up, perhaps, in the evening, and prepare yourself for a
refreshing night’s rest by having your bed made; should a friend drop in
who can give you a game of chess or cribbage be sure to avail yourself of
the opportunity, if you feel inclined for such recreation. Do not sit up
late, or get into any exciting conversation; but go calmly and quietly to
bed, take your basin of gruel, swallow your pills, lay your head on the
pillow, and go to sleep. To-morrow it is most probable that you will be
well, or only sufficiently indisposed to render it prudent that you should
stop at home, when you will indulge in a stronger and more relishing diet;
pass the day in a dreamy state of inactivity, or enjoy yourself
vivaciously in any reasonable manner you may think proper.

Perhaps, gentle reader, you may have endured prolonged and severe attacks
of bodily suffering—perhaps you will tell us that we have not been
depicting illness at all, but merely indisposition. You would have had us
pick out from the pages of the “Lancet” a thrilling account of torture
under the knife, and then made us rack our ingenuity to discover, if
possible, some pleasure contingent upon that. You might as well expect us
to write an article on the pleasure of being hanged. We will, however, say
this much as regards every degree of illness: that there is scarcely any
that does not admit of some mitigating gratification. The mere
circumstance of being watched and most carefully tended by those we love,
the kindness with which they bear our peevishness, and the desire they
display to do every thing they can either to alleviate our pain or to
conduce to our convalescence, are pleasures such as illness alone can
afford, and must ever merit the highest appreciation, not only because we
either are or ought to be duly impressed with them at the time, but for
the farther and more substantial reason that they become delightful
reminiscences and bonds of affection forever after. It is an excellent
thing, morally and socially, is illness, and only requires that we
endeavor to make the best instead of the worst of it; and therein lies the
whole serious purport of this paper, which we have thought fit to write in
as light a style as possible, knowing that the subject, though interesting
to all, is very far from being generally palatable.


It has been long known, both from theory and in practice, that the
imperfect transparency of the earth’s atmosphere, and the unequal
refraction which arises from differences of temperature, combine to set a
limit to the use of high magnifying powers in our telescopes. Hitherto,
however, the application of such high powers was checked by the
imperfections of the instruments themselves; and it is only since the
construction of Lord Rosse’s telescope that astronomers have found that,
in our damp and variable climate, it is only during a few days of the year
that telescopes of such magnitude can use successfully the high magnifying
powers which they are capable of bearing. Even in a cloudless sky, when
the stars are sparkling in the firmament, the astronomer is baffled by
influences which are invisible, and while new planets and new satellites
are being discovered by instruments comparatively small, the gigantic
Polyphemus lies slumbering in his cave, blinded by thermal currents, more
irresistible than the firebrand of Ulysses. As the astronomer, however,
can not command a tempest to clear his atmosphere, nor a thunder storm to
purify it, his only alternative is to remove his telescope to some
southern climate, where no clouds disturb the serenity of the firmament,
and no changes of temperature distract the emanations of the stars. A fact
has been recently mentioned, which entitles us to anticipate great results
from such a measure. The Marquis of Ormonde is said to have seen from
Mount Etna, with his naked eye, the satellites of Jupiter. If this be
true, what discoveries may we not expect, even in Europe, from a large
reflector working above the grosser strata of our atmosphere. This noble
experiment of sending a large reflector to a southern climate has been but
once made in the history of science. Sir John Herschel transported his
telescopes and his family to the south of Africa, and during a voluntary
exile of four years’ duration he enriched astronomy with many splendid
discoveries.—_Sir David Brewster_.


The Political Incidents of the past month have been interesting and
important. Congress, after spending eight or nine months in most animated
discussion of the principles, results, and relations of various subjects
growing out of Slavery in the Southern States, has enacted several
provisions of very great importance to the whole country. The debates upon
these topics, especially in the Senate, have been exceedingly able, and
have engrossed public attention to an unusual degree. The excitement which
animated the members of Congress gradually extended to those whom they
represented, and a state of feeling had arisen which was regarded, by many
judicious and experienced men, as full of danger to the harmony and
well-being, if not to the permanent existence, of the American Union. The
action of Congress during the month just closed, concludes the controversy
upon these questions, and for the time, at least, prevents vigorous and
effective agitation of the principles which they involved. What that
action has been we shall state with as much detail and precision as our
readers will desire.

In the last number of the NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE, we chronicled the action
of the Senate upon several of the bills now referred to. They were sent of
course to the House of Representatives, and that body first took up the
bill establishing the boundary of Texas, and giving her ten millions of
dollars in payment of her claim to the portion of New Mexico which the
bill requires her to relinquish. Mr. BOYD, of Kentucky, moved as an
amendment, to attach to it the bills for the government of Utah and New
Mexico, substantially as they had passed the Senate, both being without
any anti-slavery proviso. He subsequently withdrew that portion of the
amendment relating to Utah; and an effort was made by Mr. ASHMUN to cut
off the remainder of the amendment by the previous question, but the House
refused by a vote of 74 ayes to 107 nays. The subject was discussed with a
good deal of animation for several days. On the 4th of September, a motion
to lay the bill on the table was defeated—ayes 30, nays 169. A motion to
refer the bill to the Committee of the Whole, which was considered
equivalent to its rejection, was then carried—ayes 109, nays 99;—but a
motion to reconsider that vote was immediately passed—ayes 104, nays
98;—and the House then refused to refer the bill to the Committee of the
Whole by a vote of 101 ayes and 103 nays. Mr. CLINGMAN, of North Carolina,
moved an amendment to divide California, and erect the southern part of it
into the territory of Colorado;—but this was rejected—ayes 69, nays 130.
The question was then taken on the amendment, organizing a territorial
government for New Mexico, and was lost—ayes 98, nays 106. The question
then came up on ordering the Texas Boundary bill to a third reading, and
the House refused to do so by a vote of 80 ayes and 126 nays. Mr. BOYD
immediately moved to reconsider that vote, and on the 5th that motion
passed—ayes 131, nays 75. Mr. GRINELL, of Massachusetts then moved to
reconsider the vote by which Mr. BOYD’S amendment had been rejected, and
this was carried by a vote of 106 to 99. An amendment, offered by Mr.
FEATHERSTON, of Virginia, to strike out all after the enacting clause, and
to make the Rio Grande, from its mouth to its source, the boundary of
Texas, was rejected by a vote of 71 in favor to 128 against it. The
amendment of Mr. BOYD was then passed by a vote of 106 ayes and 99 noes;
and the question was then taken on ordering the bill, as amended, to a
third reading. It was lost by a vote of 99 ayes to 107 noes. Mr. HOWARD,
of Texas, who had voted against the bill, immediately moved a
reconsideration of the vote. The Speaker decided that the motion was not
in order, inasmuch as a reconsideration had once been had. Mr. HOWARD
appealed from the decision, and contended that the former vote was simply
to reconsider the vote on the original bill, whereas this was to
reconsider the vote on the bill as amended by Mr. BOYD.—On the fifth, the
House reversed the Speaker’s decision, 123 to 83,—thus bringing up again
the proposition to order the bill to a third reading. Mr. HOWARD moved the
previous question, and his motion was sustained, 103 to 91;—and the bill
was then ordered to a third reading by a vote of 108 to 98. The bill was
then read a third time, and finally passed by a vote of 108 ayes to 98
nays.—As this bill is one of marked importance, we add, as a matter of
record, the following analysis of the vote upon it:—the names of Democrats
are in Roman letter, Whigs in italics, and members of the Free Soil party
in small capitals:—

AYES.—INDIANA, Albertson, W.J. Brown, Dunham, Fitch, Gorman, McDonald,
Robinson.—ALABAMA, _Alston_, W.R.W. Cobb, _Hilliard_.—TENNESSEE,
_Anderson_, Ewing, _Gentry_, I.G. Harris, A. Johnson, Jones, Savage, F.P.
Stanton, Thomas, _Watkins, Williams_.—NEW YORK, _Anrews, Bokee, Briggs,
Brooks, Duer, McKissock, Nelson, Phænix, Rose, Schermerhorn, Thurman,
Underhill, White_—IOWA, Leffler.—RHODE-ISLAND, _Geo. G. King_.—MISSOURI,
Bay, Bowlin, Green, Hall.—VIRGINIA, Bayly, Beale, Edmunson, _Haymond_,
McDowell, McMullen, _Martin_, Parker.—KENTUCKY, Boyd, _Breck_, G.A.
Caldwell, _J.L. Johnson, Marshall_, Mason, _McLean, Morehead_, R.H.
Stanton, _John B. Thompson_.—MARYLAND, _Bowie_, Hammond, _Kerr_,
McLane.—MICHIGAN, Buel.—FLORIDA, _E.C. Cabell_.—DELAWARE, _J.W.
Houston_.—PENNSYLVANIA, _Chester Butler, Casey, Chandler_, Dimmick,
Gilmore, _Levin_, Job Mann, McLanahan, _Pitman_, Robbins, Ross, Strong,
James Thompson.—NORTH CAROLINA, _R.C. Caldwell_, _Deherry_, _Outlaw_,
_Shepperd_, _Stanly_.—Ohio, Disney, Hoagland, Potter, _Taylor_,
Whittlesey.—MASSACHUSETTS, _Duncan_, _Eliot_, _Grinnell_.—MAINE, Fuller,
Gerry, Littlefield.—ILLINOIS, Thomas L. Harris, McClernand, Richardson,
Young.—NEW-HAMPSHIRE, Hibbard, Peaslee, _Wilson_.—TEXAS, Howard,
Kaufman.—GEORGIA, _Owen_, _Toombs_, Welborn.—NEW JERSEY, Wildrick.

NAYS.—NEW YORK, _Alexander_, _Bennett_, _Burrows_, _Clark_, _Conger_,
_Gott_, _Holloway_, _W.T. Jackson_, _John A. King_, PRESTON KING,
_Matteson_, _Putnam_, _Reynolds_, _Ramsey_, _Sackett_, _Schoolcraft_,
_Silvester_.—MASSACHUSETTS, ALLEN, _Fowler_, _Horace Mann_,
_Rockwell_.—NORTH CAROLINA, _Clingman_, Daniel, Venable.—VIRGINIA,
Averett, Holiday, Mead, Millson, Powell, Seddon.—ILLINOIS, _Baker_,
Wentworth.—MICHIGAN, Bingham, SPRAGUE.—ALABAMA, Bowdon, S.W. Harris,
Hubbard, Inge.—MISSISSIPPI, A.G. Brown, Featherston, McWillie, Jacob
Thompson.—SOUTH CAROLINA, Burt, Colcock, Holmes, Orr, Wallace, Woodward,
McQueen.—CONNECTICUT, _Thomas B. Butler_, Waldo, BOOTH.—OHIO, Cable,
_Campbell_, Cartter, _Corwin_, _Crowell_, _Nathan Evans_, GIDDINGS,
_Hunter_, Morris, Olds, ROOT, _Schenck_, Sweetzer, _Vinton_.—PENNSYLVANIA,
_Calvin_, _Dickey_, HOWE, _Moore_, _Ogle_, _Reed_, _Thaddeus
Stevens_.—WISCONSIN, _Cole_, Doty, DURKEE.—RHODE ISLAND, _Dìxon_.—GEORGIA,
Haralson, Jos. W. Jackson.—INDIANA, Harlan, JULIAN, _McGaughey_.—VERMONT,
_Hebard_, _Henry_, _Meacham_, Peck.—ARKANSAS, Robert W. Johnson.—NEW
JERSEY, _James G. King_, _Newell_, _Van Dyke_.—LOUISIANA, La Sere,
Morse.—MAINE, _Otis_, Sawtelle, Stetson.—MISSOURI, Phelps.—NEW HAMPSHIRE,

This analysis shows that there voted

For The Bill:
Northern Whigs: 24
Southern Whigs: 25-49
Northern Democrats: 32
Southern Democrats: 27-59
Total: 108.

Against The Bill:
Northern Whigs: 44
Southern Whigs: 1-45
Northern Democrats: 13
Southern Democrats: 30-43
Total: 98.

The bill thus passed in the House was sent to the Senate; and on the 9th
that body, by a vote of 31 to 10, concurred in the amendment which the
House had made to it; and it became, by the signature of the President,
the law of the land.

On Saturday the 7th, the House took up the bill from the Senate admitting
California into the Union. Mr. THOMPSON, of Mississippi, moved an
amendment, making the parallel of 36° 30’ the southern boundary of
California, which was rejected—yeas 71, nays 134. The main question was
then taken, and the bill, admitting California, passed—yeas 150, nays
56.—On the same day the bill from the Senate organizing a territorial
government for Utah was taken up, and Mr. WENTWORTH, of Illinois, moved to
amend it by inserting a clause prohibiting the existence of slavery within
the territory. This was lost—ayes 69, nays 78. Mr. FITCH, of Indiana,
moved an amendment, declaring that the Mexican law prohibiting slavery,
should remain in full force in the territory: after some discussion this
was rejected—ayes 51, nays 85. Several other amendments were introduced
and lost, and the bill finally passed by a vote of 97 ayes and 85 nays.

The bill to facilitate the recovery of Fugitive slaves was taken up in the
Senate on the 20th of August. Mr. DAYTON submitted an amendment providing
for a trial by jury of the question, whether the person who may be
claimed, is or is not a fugitive slave. After some debate, the amendment
was rejected by a vote of ayes 11, nays 27, as follows:

AYES—Messrs. Chase, Davis of Massachusetts, Dayton, Dodge of Wisconsin,
Greene, Hamlin, Phelps, Smith, Upham, Walker, Winthrop—11.

NAYS.—Messrs. Atchison, Badger, Barnwell, Benton, Berrien, Butler, Cass,
Davis of Mississippi, Dawson, Dodge of Iowa, Downs, Houston, Jones, King,
Mangum, Mason, Morton, Pratt, Rusk, Sebastian, Soulé, Sturgeon, Turney,
Underwood, Wales, and Yulee—27.

On the 22d, Mr. PRATT, of Maryland, submitted an amendment, the effect of
which would have been to make the United States responsible in damages for
fugitive slaves that might not be recovered. This was rejected by a vote
of 10 to 27. Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, offered an amendment extending
the right of _habeas corpus_ to free colored citizens arriving in vessels
at Southern ports, who may be imprisoned there without any alleged offense
against the law. This amendment, after debate, was rejected—ayes 13, nays
25. The original bill was then ordered to a third reading by a vote of 27
ayes to 12 nays, as follows:

AYES.—Messrs. Atchison, Badger, Barnwell, Bell, Berrien, Butler, Davis of
Mississippi, Dawson, Dodge of Iowa, Downs, Foote, Houston, Hunter, Jones,
King, Mangum, Mason, Pearce, Rusk, Sebastian, Soulé, Spruance, Sturgeon,
Turney, Underwood, Wales, and Yulee—27.

NAYS.—Messrs. Baldwin, Bradbury, Chase, Cooper, Davis of Massachusetts,
Dayton, Dodge of Wisconsin, Greene, Smith, Upham, Walker, and Winthrop—12.

On the 26th the bill had its third reading and was finally passed. On the
12th of September the House of Representatives took up the bill, and after
some slight debate, passed it, under the operation of the previous
question, by a vote of 109 ayes to 75 nays.

On the 3d of September the Senate proceeded to the consideration of the
bill abolishing the Slave-trade in the District of Columbia. Mr FOOTE of
Mississippi offered a substitute placing the control of the whole matter
in the hands of the Corporate Authorities of Washington and Georgetown. To
this Mr. PEARCE of Maryland, in committee of the whole, moved an amendment
punishing by fine and imprisonment any person who shall induce or attempt
to induce slaves to run away, and giving the corporate authorities power
to remove free negroes from the District. The first portion of the
amendment was passed, ayes 26, nays 15, and the second ayes 24, nays 18.
Mr. FOOTE then withdrew his substitute.—On the 10th the consideration of
the bill was resumed. Mr. SEWARD moved to substitute a bill abolishing
Slavery in the District of Columbia and appropriating $200,000 to
indemnify the owners of slaves who might thus be enfranchised—the claims
to be audited and adjusted by the Secretary of the Interior: and
submitting the law to the people of the District. The amendment gave rise
to a warm debate and on the 12th was rejected, ayes 5, nays 46. The
amendments offered by Mr. PEARCE, and passed in committee of the whole,
were non-concurred in by the Senate on the 14th, and the bill on the same
day was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, by a vote of 32 to
19. On the 16th it was read a third time and finally passed, ayes 33, nays
19, as follows:

AYES.—Messrs. Baldwin, Benton, Bright, Cass, Chase, Clarke, Clay, Cooper,
Davis of Mass., Dayton, Dickinson, Dodge of Wisconsin, Dodge of Iowa,
Douglas, Ewing, Felch, Frémont, Greene, Gwin, Hale, Hamlin, Houston,
Jones, Norris, Seward, Shields, Spruance, Sturgeon, Underwood, Wales,
Walker, Whitcomb, and Winthrop—33.

NAYS.—Messrs. Atchison, Badger, Barnwell, Bell, Berrien, Butler, Davis of
Mississippi, Dawson, Downs, Hunter, King, Mangum, Mason, Morton, Pratt,
Sebastian, Soulé, Turney, and Yulee—19.

It was taken up in the House of Representatives on the 15th and passed by
a vote of 124 to 47.

By the action of Congress during the past month, therefore, bills have
been passed upon all the topics which have agitated the country during the
year. The bill in regard to the Texas boundary provides that the northern
line shall run on the line of 36° 30’ from the meridian of 100° to 103° of
west longitude—thence it shall run south to the 32d parallel of latitude,
and on that parallel to the Rio del Norte, and in the channel of that
river thence to its mouth. The State of Texas is to cede to the United
States all claims to the territory north of that line, and to relinquish
all claim for liability for her debts, &c., and is to receive from the
United States as a consideration the sum of ten millions of dollars. The
law will, of course, have no validity unless assented to by the State of
Texas. No action upon this subject has been taken by her authorities.
Previous to the passage of the bill, the Legislature of the State met in
special session called by Governor BELL, and received from him a long and
elaborate message in regard to the attempt made, under his direction, to
extend the laws and jurisdiction of Texas over the Santa Fé district of
New Mexico, and to the resistance which he had met from the authorities of
the Federal Government. After narrating the circumstances of the case, he
urges the necessity of asserting, promptly and by force, the claim of
Texas to the territory in question. He recommends the enactment of laws
authorizing the Executive to raise and maintain two regiments of mounted
volunteers for the Expedition. A bill was introduced in conformity with
this recommendation; but of its fate no reliable intelligence has yet been
received.—A resolution was introduced into the Texas Legislature calling
upon the governor for copies of any correspondence he might have had with
other states of the Confederacy, but it was not passed. A letter has been
published from General QUITMAN, Governor of Mississippi, stating that in
case of a collision between the authorities of Texas and those of the
United States, he should deem it his duty to aid the former.—Hon. THOS. J.
RUSK, whose term as U.S. Senator expires with the present session, has
been re-elected by the Legislature of Texas receiving 56 out of 64 votes.
He voted in favor of the bill of adjustment, and his re-election by so
large a majority is looked upon as indicating a disposition on the part of
the authorities to accept the terms proposed.—Both Houses of Congress have
agreed to adjourn on the 30th of September.

Intelligence from the Mexican Boundary Commission has been received to the
31st of August, on which day they were at Indianola, Texas. There was some
sickness among the members of the corps, but every thing looked
promising.—Hon. WILLIAM DUER, member of Congress from the Oswego District,
New York, has declined a re-election, in a letter in which he vindicates
the bills passed by Congress, and earnestly urges his constituents not to
encourage or permit any further agitation among them of questions
connected with slavery. Hon. E.G. SPAULDING, from the Erie District, and
Hon. GEORGE ASHMUN, of Massachusetts, also decline a re-election.—Captain
AMMIN BEY, of the Turkish Navy, arrived at New York on the 13th, in the
United States ship Erie, being sent out by his Government as special
Commissioner to collect information and make personal observations of the
character, resources, and condition of the United States. He is a
gentleman of ability, education, and experience and has been employed by
his Government on various confidential missions. He was the secret agent
of Turkey on the frontiers of Hungary during the recent struggle of that
gallant people with Austria and Russia. He has been warmly received here,
and enjoys every facility for prosecuting the objects of his mission.
Congress has appropriated $10,000 toward defraying the expenses of his
mission.—Hon. A.H.H. STUART, of Virginia, has been appointed Secretary of
the Interior, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr.
M’KENNAN. He has accepted the appointment and entered upon the duties of
the office. Mr. M’KENNAN resigned on finding, from an experience of a day,
that his health was not adequate to the performance of the duties of the
place. Mr. STUART has been a member of Congress, where he was universally
recognized as a man of ability, assiduity, and character.—Mr. CONRAD, of
Louisiana, on accepting the office of Secretary of War, addressed a letter
to his constituents, explaining and justifying the course he had taken in
Congress. He said that opinions on the subject of the extension of slavery
might be classified as follows: 1. There are those who seek, through the
direct agency of the Federal Government, to introduce slavery into this
territory. 2. Those who wish, by the same means, to prevent this
introduction. 3. Those who resist any interference with the question by
the Federal Government, and would leave to the inhabitants of the country
the exclusive right to decide it. He claims to belong to the latter class.
The Union, he says, is too great a blessing to be staked upon any game of
hazard, and the prolongation of the controversy upon the subject of
slavery, he deems in itself a calamity “It alarms the South and agitates
the North; it alienates each from the other, and augments the number and
influence of those who wage an endless war against slavery, and whom this
discussion has raised to a political importance which, without it, they
never could have attained.”—Dr. HENRY NES, member of Congress from the
Fifteenth District of Pennsylvania, died at his residence in York on the
10th.—Several American citizens residing in Paris, having observed in the
London papers an account of a gross insult said to have been offered to
Hon. Mr. BARRINGER, United States Minister at Madrid, by General NARVAEZ
at Naples, wrote to him, assuring him of the cordial response upon which
he might count to such measures of redress as he should choose to adopt.
Mr. BARRINGER replied by declaring the whole story to be false in every
particular. In all his personal and official intercourse with him, he
says, General NARVAEZ had been most courteous and respectful.—An election
for state officers was held in Vermont on the first Tuesday of September,
which resulted in the choice of CHARLES R. WILLIAMS (Whig) for Governor,
and the re-election of Hon. Messrs. HEBARD and MEACHAM to Congress, from
the Second and Third Districts. THOMAS BARTLETT, jun., Democrat, was
elected in the Fourth District, and no choice was effected in the
First.—Professor J.W. WEBSTER was executed at Boston on the 30th of
August, pursuant to his sentence, for the murder of Dr. PARKMAN. He died
with great firmness and composure, professing and evincing the most
heartfelt penitence for his crime.—Intelligence has been received of the
death of the Reverend ADONIRAM JUDSON, D.D., who is known to all the world
as the oldest and one of the most laborious missionaries in foreign lands.
He left the United States for Calcutta in 1812, and has devoted the whole
of his life since that time to making Christianity known in Burmah. He
translated the Bible into the language of the country, besides compiling a
Dictionary of it, and performing an immense amount of other literary labor
in addition to the regular preaching of the gospel and the discharge of
other pastoral duties. He returned to this country in 1847, and married
Miss Emily Chubbuck, with whom he soon returned to his field of labor. His
health for the past few months has been gradually declining, and during
the last spring it had become so seriously impaired that a sea voyage was
deemed essential to its restoration. He accordingly embarked on board the
French bark, Aristide Marie, for the Isle of Bourbon, on the 3d of April;
but his disease made rapid advances, and after several days of intense
agony, he died on the 12th, and his body was committed to the deep on the
next day. Dr. JUDSON was attached to the Baptist Church, but his memory
will be held in the profoundest veneration, as his labors have been
cheered and sustained, by Christians of all denominations. He was a man of
ability, of learning, and of intense devotion to the welfare of his
fellow-men.—Bishop H.B. BASCOM, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South,
died at Louisville, Ky., on the 8th of September, after an illness of some
months’ continuance. He was in many respects one of the most influential
and distinguished members of the large denomination to which he belonged.
He enjoyed a very wide reputation for eloquence and was universally
regarded, by all who ever heard him, as one of the most brilliant and
effective of American orators. His person was large and commanding, his
voice sonorous and musical, and his manner exceedingly impressive. His
style was exceedingly florid, and elaborate, and his discourses abounded
in the most adventurous flights of fancy and imagination. He shared the
merits and the faults of what is generally and pretty correctly known as
the Southern and Western style of eloquence, and always spoke with great
effect. His labors in the service of the church have been long, arduous,
and successful. He has exerted a wide influence and has exerted it in
behalf of the noblest and most important of all interests. His death
occasions profound and universal regret.—JOHN INMAN, Esq., favorably known
to the country as a literary man, and as editor of the New York
_Commercial Advertiser_, died at his residence in New York, on the 30th of
August, after a lingering illness of several months. Mr. Inman was
educated for the bar, and practiced law for some years in New York; but
left the profession for the more congenial labors of literature. He was
engaged for some years upon the New York Mirror, and soon after became
associated with Colonel STONE, in the editorial conduct of the Commercial.
Upon the death of that gentleman in 1847, Mr. Inman became the principal
editor, and held that post, discharging its duties with ability, skill,
and unwearied assiduity, until failing health compelled him to relinquish
it during the last spring. He wrote frequently for the reviews and
magazines, and sustained confidential relations, as critic and literary
adviser, to the house of Harper and Brothers. He was a man of decided
talent, of extensive information, great industry and of unblemished
character. He died at the age of 47.

The most exciting event of the month has been the arrival of the
celebrated Swedish vocalist, JENNY LIND. She reached New York in the
Steamer _Atlantic_ on the 1st of September, and was received by a
demonstration of popular enthusiasm which has seldom been equaled in this
country. More than twenty thousand people gathered upon the wharf where
she landed, and crowded the streets through which she passed. She gave her
first concert at Castle Garden, in New York, on the evening of the 12th,
and this was rapidly followed by five others at the same place. The number
of persons present on each occasion could not have been less then seven
thousand. The receipts on the first night were about thirty thousand
dollars, and JENNY LIND immediately bestowed ten thousand upon several of
the worthiest charities of New York City. The enthusiasm which she excites
seems fully justified not more by her superiority as an artist than by her
personal qualities and character. Of her life a brief but spirited sketch,
from the graceful pen of her distinguished countrywoman, Miss BREMER, will
be found in another part of this Magazine. Her charities are already well
known and honored wherever there are hearts to glow at deeds of
enlightened benevolence. A young woman, who has not yet seen thirty years,
she has already bestowed upon benevolent objects half a million of
dollars, not inherited or won at a throw, but the fruit of a life of
severe and disheartening toil, and has appropriated to the benefit of her
native country the profits which she will reap from the willing soil of
America. As an artist she has powers which are met with but once or twice
in a generation. Her voice is in itself a wonder, and unlike most wonders
is beautiful to a degree which causes those who come under its influence
to forget surprise in pleasure. It is compared to all things beautiful
under the sun by those whose grateful task it is to set its attractions
forth in detail: to the flood of melody from the nightingale’s throat, to
light, to water which flows from a pure and inexhaustible spring. We shall
be content to say that it appears to us almost the ideal of a beautiful
sound. It would puzzle the nicest epicure of the ear, we think, to say in
what respect he would have its glorious quality modified. He might object
possibly at first to the slightest shade of huskiness which appears
sometimes in its lower tones, or to an equally slight sharpness in the
very highest, but if he listened long he would surely forget to object.
The purely musical quality of JENNY LIND’S voice is its crowning charm and
excellence, in comparison with which its great extent, brilliance, and
acquired flexibility are of but secondary worth. Its lowest tone can be
felt at a distance and above, or rather through, all noisy obstacles and
surroundings, whether they be vocal or instrumental. Another of its chief
charms is its seeming inexhaustibility. It pours forth in a pellucid flood
of sound, and always produces the impression that there is more yet, amply
more, to meet all the demands of the singer.

M’lle LIND’S vocalization is to the ordinary ear beyond criticism. Her
intended effects are so completely attained, and attained with such
apparent ease and consciousness of power, that the hearer does not think
of questioning whether they could be better in themselves or better
performed, but gives himself up to this unalloyed enjoyment. Her intervals
are taken with a certainty and firmness which can not be attained by an
instrument, so nicely, so rigidly accurate is her ear, and so absolute is
her power over her organ. Her abilities have been best displayed in the
first _aria_ sung by the Queen of Night in MOZART’S _Zauberflöte_, and by
a taking Swedish Herdsman’s Song. In the former she vocalizes freely above
the lines for many bars, and in one passage takes the astonishing note F
_in alt_. with perfect intonation. In the latter, which contains some very
difficult and unmelodic intervals, her performance is marked with the same
ease and accuracy which appear in her simplest ballad, and the effect of
echo which she produces is to be equaled only by Nature herself. M’lle
LIND’S shake is probably the most equal and brilliant ever heard. There
are some critics and amateurs who object to her manner of delivering her
voice and to her unimpassioned style; but although these objections seem
to have no little weight, their consideration would involve a deeper
investigation of questions of pure Art than we are at present prepared
for, and are content to offer our homage, with that of the rest of the
world, to the Genius and Benevolence which are united in her fascinating,
though, we must say, not beautiful person.

The Gallery of the AMERICAN ART-UNION was re-opened for the season in New
York on the 4th of September, JENNY LIND honoring the occasion by her
presence. The collection is unusually large and excellent. It already
numbers over 300 pictures, several of which are among the best productions
of their authors. The number and variety of works of art to be distributed
among the members at the coming anniversary will be greater than ever
before. The rapid and wonderful growth of this institution is in the
highest degree honorable to the country, and affords marked evidence of
the energy and spirit with which its affairs have been conducted. We
understand that the subscription list is already larger by some thousands
than ever before at the same time.

The LITERARY INTELLIGENCE of the month is devoid of any features of
startling interest. G.P.R. JAMES, ESQ. has commenced in Boston a series of
six Lectures upon the History of Civilization, and will probably repeat
them in New York and other American cities. The subject is one with which
Mr. JAMES has made himself familiar in the ordinary course of his studies
for his historical novels; and he will undoubtedly bring to its methodical
discussion a clear and sound judgment, liberal views, and his
characteristic felicity and picturesqueness of description and narrative.
The lectures are new, and are delivered for the first time in this
country.—All who are interested in Classical Education will welcome the
appearance of the edition of FREUND’S Lexicon of the Latin Language, upon
which Professor ANDREWS has been engaged for several years. The original
work consists of four octavo volumes, averaging about 1100 pages each,
which were eleven years in passing through the press, viz., from 1834 to
1845. By the adoption of various typographical expedients, such as adding
another column to the page, and using smaller type, the whole will be
comprised in a single volume, an improvement which, while it diminishes
the cost, adds greatly to the convenience with which it may be used. This
Lexicon is intended to give an account of all the Latin words found in the
writings of the Romans from the earliest times to the fall of the Western
Empire, as well as those from the Greek and other languages. The
grammatical inflexions, both regular and irregular, of each word, are
accurately pointed out; and the etymologies are made to embrace the
results of modern scholarship in that department as specifically
applicable to the Latin language, without invading the proper province of
comparative philology. To the definitions, as the most important
department of lexicography, particular attention has been given; and the
primary, the transferred, the tropical, and the proverbial uses of words
are carefully arranged in the order of their development; the shades of
difference in the meanings and uses of synonymous terms are pointed out.
Special attention has been given to the chronology of words, _i.e._, to
the time when they were in use, and they are designated accordingly as
belonging to all periods of the language, or as “ante-classic,” “quite
classic,” “Ciceronian,” “Augustan,” “post-Augustan,” “post-classic,” or
“late Latin,” as the case may be. The student is also informed whether a
word is used in prose or poetry, or in both, whether it is of common or
rare occurrence, &c, &c.; and each of its uses is illustrated by a copious
selection of examples, with a reference in every instance to the chapter,
section, and verse where found. To those familiar with the subject, this
brief description of the work will suffice to show its vast superiority
over every dictionary of the Latin language at present in use among us,
and how much may be expected in aid of the cause of sound learning from
its introduction into our seminaries and colleges. It will appear from the
press of the Harpers very soon.—“The History of the United States of
America, from the adoption of the Federal Constitution to the end of the
Sixteenth Congress, in three volumes,” is the title of a new work by Mr.
HILDRETH, whose three volumes, bringing down the history of the United
States to the adoption of the Federal Constitution are already favorably
known to the public. The present volumes, the first of which is already in
press, are intended to embrace a fully authentic and impartial history of
the two great parties of Federalists and Republicans, or Democrats, as
they were sometimes called, by which the country was divided and agitated
for the first thirty years and upward subsequent to the adoption of the
Federal Constitution. The volume now in press is devoted to the
administration of Washington, a subject of great interest and importance,
since, during that period, not only were all the germs of the subsequent
party distinctions fully developed, but because the real character and
operation of the Federal Government, from that day to this, was mainly
determined by the impress given to it while Washington remained at the
head of affairs. This subject, treated with the candor, discrimination,
industry, and ability which Mr. Hildreth’s volumes already published give
us a right to expect, can hardly fail to attract and reward a large share
of public attention.—An Astronomical Expedition has been sent out by the
United States Government to Santiago, Chili, for the purpose of making
astronomical observations. It is under the charge of Lieut. J.M. GILLIS,
of the Navy, one of the ablest astronomers of his age now living. The
Chilian Government has received the expedition with great cordiality, and
has availed itself of the liberal offer of the United States Government to
admit several young men to instruction in the Observatory, by designating
three persons for that object. Letters from Lieut. G. show that he is
prosecuting his labors with unwearied zeal and assiduity—having, up to the
1st of June, catalogued nearly five thousand stars. HUMBOLDT, in a letter
to a friend, which has been published, expresses a high opinion of Lieut.
GILLIS, and of the expedition in which he is engaged. In the same letter
he speaks in warm terms of the great ability and merit, in their several
departments, of TICKNOR, PRESCOTT, FREMONT, EMORY, GOULD, and other
literary and scientific Americans.

From CALIFORNIA our intelligence is to the 15th of August, brought by the
steamer _Ohio_, which reached New York on the 22d ult. The most important
item relates to a deplorable collision which has occurred between persons
claiming lands under titles derived from Capt. SUTTER, and others who had
taken possession of them and refused to leave. Capt. Sutter held them
under his Spanish grant, the validity of which, so far as the territory in
question is concerned, is disputed. Attempts to eject the squatters, in
accordance with the decision of the courts, were forcibly resisted at
Sacramento City on the 14th of August, and a riot was the result, in which
several persons on both sides were killed, and others severely wounded.
Several hundred were engaged in the fight. As this occurred just upon the
eve of the steamer’s departure, the issue of the contest is unknown. There
is reason to fear that the difficulties to which it gives rise may not be
very soon or very easily settled. Among those killed were Mr. Bigelow,
Mayor of Sacramento City, Mr. Woodland, an auctioneer, and Dr. Robinson,
the President of the Squatter Association.—The news from the mines
continues to be encouraging. In the southern mines the dry season had so
far advanced that the Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers were in good working
condition, and yielded good returns. Details are given from the various
localities showing that the gold has been by no means exhausted. From the
northern mines similar accounts are received.—The total amount received
for duties by the Collector at San Francisco from November 12, 1849, to
June 30, 1850, was $889,542.—During the passage of the steamer Panama from
San Francisco to Panama the cholera broke out, and seventeen of the
passengers died. It was induced by excessive indulgence in fruit at
Acupulco.—Rev. HORATIO SOUTHGATE D.D., formerly Missionary Bishop at
Constantinople, has been chosen Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church
for the Diocese of California.—In Sonora the difficulties which had broken
out in consequence of the tax on foreign miners had been obviated, and
order was restored.—Mining operations are prosecuted with the greatest
vigor and energy, and were yielding a good return. Companies were formed
for carrying on operations more thoroughly than has been usual, and new
locations have been discovered which promise to be very fertile.

From OREGON there is no news of interest, though our intelligence comes
down to the 25th of July. Business was prosperous. Gold is said to have
been discovered on Rogue’s river, and companies had been formed to profit
by the discovery. A treaty of peace has been negotiated with the Indians
by Gov. LANE.

From JAMAICA we hear of the death of Gen. Herard, ex-President of Hayti,
who has been residing in Jamaica for several years. The season has been
favorable for the crops, and the harvests of fruit were very abundant.
There had been several very severe thunderstorms, and several lives had
been lost from lightning. Efforts are made to promote the culture of
cotton upon the island.

From NEW MEXICO Major R.H. WEIGHTMAN arrived at St. Louis, Aug. 22d,
having been elected U.S. Senator by the state Legislature. He was on his
way to Washington where he has since arrived. His colleague was Hon. F.A.
CUNNINGHAM. In the popular canvass the friends of a state government
carried every county except one, over those who desired a territorial
organization. A conflict of authority had occurred between the newly
elected state officers and the Civil and Military Governor, the latter
refusing to transfer the authority to the former until New Mexico should
be admitted as a state. A voluminous correspondence upon the subject
between the two governors has been published.—The Indians at the latest
dates were still committing the grossest outrages in all parts of the
country. The crops were fine and promising.

In ENGLAND the month has been signalized by no event of special interest
or importance. The incident which has attracted most attention grew out of
the visit to England of General HAYNAU, the commander of the Austrian
armies during the war with Hungary, who acquired for himself a lasting and
infamous notoriety by the horrible cruelty which characterized his
campaigns and his treatment of prisoners who fell into his hands. His
proclamations, threatening butchery and extermination to every village any
of whose inhabitants should furnish aid or countenance to the Hungarians,
and the inhuman barbarity with which they were put in execution, must be
fresh in the public memory, as it certainly was in that of the people of
London. It seems that, during his stay in London, General HAYNAU visited
the great brewery establishment of Messrs. Barclay & Co. On presenting
himself, accompanied by two friends, at the door, they were required, as
was customary, to register their names. On looking at the books, the
clerks discovered the name and rank of their visitor, and his presence and
identity were soon known throughout the establishment. The workmen began
to shout after him, and finally to follow and assail him with
denunciations and dirt; and before he had crossed the yard he found
himself completely beset by a mob of coal-heavers, draymen, brewers’ men,
and others, who shouted “Down with the Austrian butcher!” and hustled him
about with a good deal of violence and considerable injury to his person.
Fully realizing the peril of his position, he ran from the mob, and took
refuge in a hotel, concealing himself in a secluded room from his
pursuers, who ransacked the whole house, until the arrival of a strong
police force put an end to the mob and the General’s peril. The leading
papers, especially those in the Tory interest, speak of this event in the
most emphatic terms of denunciation. The Liberal journals exult in the
popular spirit which it evinced, while they regret the disregard of law
and order which attended it.

Parliament was prorogued on the 15th of August by the Queen in person, to
the 25th of October. The ceremonial was unusually splendid. The Queen
tendered her thanks for the assiduity and care which had marked the
business of the session, and expressed her satisfaction with the various
measures which had been consummated. In approving of the Colonial
Government Act, she said it would always be gratifying to her to extend
the advantages of republican institutions to colonies inhabited by men who
are capable of exercising, with benefit to themselves, the privileges of
freedom: she looks for the most beneficial consequences, also, from the
act extending the elective franchise in Ireland.—Previous to the
prorogation, Parliament transacted very little business of much interest
to our readers. Marlborough House was set apart for the residence of the
Prince of Wales when he shall need it, and meantime it is to be used for
the exhibition of the Vernon pictures. Lord BROUGHAM created something of
a sensation in the House of Lords on the 2d, by complaining that all
savings in the Civil List should accrue to the nation, and not to the
royal privy purse,—as the spirit of the constitution required the
Sovereign to have no private means, but to be dependent wholly on the
nation. His movement excited a good deal of feeling, and was very warmly
censured by all the Lords who spoke upon it, as betraying an eagerness to
pry into the petty details of private expenditures unworthy of the House,
and indelicate toward the Sovereign. Lord BROUGHAM resented these censures
with bitterness, and reproached the Whigs with having changed their
sentiments and their conduct since they had tasted the sweets of office.
This course, he said, showed most painfully that absolute prostration of
the understanding which takes place, even in the minds of the bravest,
when the word “prince” is mentioned in England.—We mentioned in our last
number the presentation of a petition concerning the Liverpool waterworks,
many of the signatures to which were found to be forgeries. The case was
investigated by the Lords, and the presenters of the petition, Mr. C.
Cream and Mr. M.A. Gage, were declared to have been guilty of a breach of
privilege, and sent to Newgate for a fort-night.—Lord CAMPBELL, on the
14th, expressed the opinion, “as one of the judges of the land,” that the
new regulations forbidding the delivery or transit of letters on Sunday,
had a tendency, so far as the administration of justice was concerned, to
obstruct works of necessity and mercy. The regulations have been
essentially modified.—The bill concerning parliamentary voters in Ireland,
after passing the House of Lords with the rate requisite for franchise at
£15, was amended in the Commons by substituting £12;—the amendment was
concurred in by the Lords, and in that form the bill became a law. The
effect of it will be to add some two hundred thousand to the number of
voters in the kingdom.—Lord JOHN RUSSELL, in reply to a question from Mr.
HUME, explained the nature of the British claims on Tuscany for injuries
sustained by British subjects after the revolt of Leghorn, and the
occupation of that city by an Austrian corps acting as auxiliaries to the
Grand Duke. After all resistance was over, it seems, that corps plundered
a number of houses, and among them houses belonging to British residents,
and conspicuously marked as such by the British consul. The amount claimed
was £1530.—Complaint was made in the Commons by Mr. BERNAL, of the
defective state of the regulations for the immigration of Africans into
the West Indies. He said that contracts were now limited to one year,
which often caused serious loss to the employer. He thought the evil might
be remedied by making the contract for three years. He was told in reply
that Lord Grey had already sanctioned contracts for three years in British
Guiana and Trinidad, and would, of course, be quite prepared to do so in
Jamaica. The immigration of free labor from Africa had proved a failure;
but this was not the case with the immigration of Coolies. Many requests
had been made to renew it, and arrangements had been made to comply with
those requests. Arrangements had also been made, in consequence of
communications with Dr. Gutzlaff, for introducing free Chinese immigrants
into Trinidad. The Tenant-right conference of Ireland held its session on
the 6th in Dublin. The attendance of delegates was large. Resolutions were
adopted declaring that a fair valuation of rent between landlord and
tenant was indispensable, that the tenant should not be disturbed so long
as he pays the rent fixed; that no further rent shall be recoverable by
process of law; and that an equitable valuation for rent should divide
between landlord and tenant the net profits of cultivation. A tenant
league is to be formed.—A dinner was given by the Fishmongers’ Company of
London to the Ministers on the 1st. Lord BROUGHAM was present, and excited
attention and mirth by his way of testing the sentiments of the Company on
matters of public reform. If they applauded what he was about to say, they
were reformers, as of old: if not, it would show that they had been
corrupted. He was made a Fishmonger in 1820, and he hoped the Company were
not ashamed of what they did in favor of an oppressed queen against an
aggressive king and his minions of ministers. The remark was not
applauded, whereupon Lord B. drew his fore gone conclusion:—“Ah, I
see;—you are far from having the same feeling you had in 1820. Honors
corrupt manners—being in power is a dangerous thing to public virtue.”—The
report of the Railway Commissioners for 1849 states that in course of the
year the Board had sanctioned the opening of 869 miles of new railway—630
in England, 108 in Scotland, and 131 in Ireland—making the total extent of
railway communication at the end of the year, 5996 miles, of which 4656
are in England, 846 in Scotland, and 494 in Ireland.—The Queen left on the
22d for a short visit to the King of the Belgians at Ostend. She was
received with great enthusiasm, and returned the next day—Prince Albert
completed his thirty-first year on the 26th of August. The Queen left town
on the 27th for Scotland.—Sir George Anderson has been appointed Governor
of Ceylon, in place of Lord Torrington, who has been recalled.—The
American steamer _Pacific_ arrived at New York at half-past six P.M., on
Saturday, the 21st ult., having left Liverpool at two P.M. on the 11th.
She thus made the passage in _ten days, four and a half hours:_ this is by
several hours the quickest voyage ever made between the two ports.


From FRANCE the only news of general interest relates to the tour of the
President through the provinces. The Assembly had previously broken up,
there not being a quorum present on the 9th. It was to re-assemble on the
11th of November. A Committee of _Surveillance_ was to sit during the
recess. On the 12th, the President started on his tour. He had given
several military banquets, which, from their imperial aspect, and the
political spirit manifested by the guests, created a great sensation. On
one of these occasions, a dinner was given to the officers of a portion of
the garrison of Paris; it is told, that after the company left the table,
they adjourned into the garden to smoke their cigars; and there Louis
Napoleon seeing a musket, took it up, and went through the manual exercise
with great dexterity, to the great delight of the sergeants and corporals,
who shouted “Vive le petit Corporal!” (the Emperor’s pet-name among the
soldiers) with great enthusiasm. During his tour, which was unattended by
any very noticeable incident, he made very liberal distribution of crosses
of honor, sometimes accompanied by gratuities to old officers and soldiers
of the imperial army. He had a most brilliant reception at Lyons, where he
spent a day, and was entertained at a grand dinner by the Chamber of
Commerce. At Besançon he had a less gracious reception: at a ball given to
him in the evening a mob broke into the room, shouting “Vive la
Republique,” and creating great confusion. The President left the room,
which was cleared by General Castellane at the point of the bayonet. At
several other places demonstrations were made of a similar character, but
much less violent.

LOUIS PHILLIPE, late King of France, died on the 26th of August, at
Claremont, England, where he has resided since he became an exile. His
health had gradually failed since he first left France, but it was not
until the 24th, that he became fully sensible of the gravity of his
disease. On that day he was carried out into the open air, and was present
at dinner with his family, although he ate nothing. During the night he
was restless, and was informed by the queen that his medical attendants
despaired of his recovery. The next morning, the doctor, on being asked
his opinion, hesitated. “I understand,” says the king, “you bring me
notice to quit.” To Col. Dumas he dictated a last page of his memoirs,
which terminated a recital in which he had been engaged for the last four
months. The king then sent for his chaplain, with whom he had a long
interview. He repeatedly expressed his readiness for death, which came
upon him at eight o’clock on the morning of Monday, the 26th. Louis
PHILLIPE was born in Paris, Oct. 6, 1773, and was the eldest son of
Phillipe Joseph, Duke of Orleans, known to the world by the _sobriquet_ of
Phillipe Egalité. His education was intrusted to Madame de Genlis, under
whose direction he made himself familiar with the English, German, and
Italian languages, and with the ordinary branches of scientific knowledge.
In 1792, being then Duke de Chartres, he made his first campaign against
the Austrians, fighting at Valmy and Jemappes. His father was executed
January 21, 1793, and he was summoned with Gen. Dumouriez, before the
Committee of Public Safety, seven months after. Both, however, fled, and
escaped to Austria. Retiring to private life, and refusing the offer of
Austria, he was joined by his sister Adelaide and their former
preceptress, and repaired to Zurich, whence, however, he was soon
compelled to make his escape. He became greatly straitened for means, and,
finally, found protection in the house of M. de Montesquion, at
Baumgarten, where he remained until the end of 1794, when he quitted the
place, and resolved to go to the United States. He was compelled to
abandon this project from lack of funds, and traveled on foot through
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Negotiations were now opened on the part of
the Directory, who had in vain attempted to discover the place of his
exile, to induce him to go to the United States, promising, in the event
of his compliance, that the condition of the Duchess D’Orleans should be
ameliorated, and that his younger brothers should be permitted to join
him. Through the agency of M. Westford, of Hamburg, this letter was
conveyed to the duke, who at once accepted the terms offered, and sailed
from the mouth of the Elbe in the American, taking with him his servant
Baudoin. He departed on the 24th of September, 1796, and arrived in
Philadelphia after a passage of twenty-seven days. In the November
following, the young prince was joined by his two brothers, after a stormy
passage from Marseilles; and the three brothers remained at Philadelphia
during the winter. They afterward visited Mount Vernon, where they became
intimate with General Washington; and they soon afterward traveled through
the western country, and after a long and fatiguing journey they returned
to Philadelphia; proceeding afterward to New Orleans, and, subsequently,
by an English ship, to Havanna. The disrespect of the Spanish authorities
at the Havanna, soon compelled them to depart, and they proceeded to the
Bahama Islands, where they were treated with much kindness by the Duke of
Kent, who, however, did not feel authorized to give them a passage to
England in a British frigate. They, accordingly, embarked for New York,
and thence sailed to England in a private vessel, arriving at Falmouth in
February, 1800. After proceeding to London they took up their residence at
Twickenham, where for some time they enjoyed comparative quiet, being
treated with distinction by all classes of society. Their time was now
principally spent in study, and no event of any importance disturbed their
retreat, until the death of the Duke de Montpensier, on the 18th of May,
1807. The Count Beaujolais soon afterward proceeded to Malta, where he
died in 1808. The Duke of Orleans now quitted Malta, and went to Messina,
in Sicily, accepting an invitation from King Ferdinand. During his
residence at Palermo he gained the affections of the Princess Amelia, and
was married to her in 1809. No event of any material importance marked the
life of the young couple until the year 1814, when it was announced in
Palermo that Napoleon had abdicated the throne, and that the restoration
of the Bourbon family was about to take place. The duke sailed
immediately, and arrived in Paris on the 18th of May, where, in a short
time, he was in the enjoyment of the honors to which he was so well
entitled. The return of Napoleon in 1815, soon disturbed his tranquillity;
and, having sent his family to England, he proceeded, in obedience to the
command of Louis XVIII., to take the command of the army of the north. He
remained in this situation until the 24th of March, 1815, when he resigned
his command to the Duke de Treviso and retired to Twickenham. On the
return of Louis, after the hundred days—in obedience to the ordinance
issued, requiring all the princes of the blood to take their seats in the
Chamber of Peers—the duke returned to France in 1815; and, by his liberal
sentiments, rendered himself so little agreeable to the administration,
that he returned to England, where he remained until 1817. In that year he
returned to France, continuing now in a private capacity, as he was not a
second time summoned to sit in the Chamber of Peers. For some years after
this period the education of his family deeply engaged his attention; and
while the Duke of Orleans was thus pursuing a career apart from the court,
a new and unexpected scene was opened in the drama of his singularly
eventful and changeful life. In 1830 that revolution occurred in France
which eventuated in the elevation of the Duke of Orleans to the throne.
The cause of the elder branch of the Bourbons having been pronounced
hopeless, the king in effect being discrowned, and the throne rendered
vacant, the Provisional Government which had risen out of the struggle,
and in which Laffitte, Lafayette, Thiers, and other politicians, had taken
the lead, turned toward the Duke of Orleans, whom it was proposed, in the
first instance, to invite to Paris, to become Lieutenant-general of the
kingdom, and afterward, in a more regular manner, to become King. The Duke
of Orleans, during the insurrection, had been residing in seclusion at his
country seat, and, if watching the course of events, apparently taking no
active part in dethroning his kinsman. M. Thiers and M. Scheffer were
appointed to conduct the negotiation with the duke, and visited Neuilly
for the purpose. The duke, however, was absent, and the interview took
place with the duchess and Princess Adelaide, to whom they represented the
danger with which the nation was menaced, and that anarchy could only be
averted by the prompt decision of the duke to place himself at the head of
the new constitutional monarchy. M. Thiers expressed his conviction “that
nothing was left the Duke of Orleans but a choice of dangers; and that, in
the existing state of things, to recoil from the possible perils of
royalty was to run full upon the republic and its inevitable violences.”
The substance of the communication having been made known to the duke, on
a day’s consideration he acceded to the request, and at noon on the 31st
came to Paris to accept the office which had been assigned to him. On the
2d of August the abdication of Charles X. and his son was placed in the
hands of the Lieutenant-general, the abdication, however, being in favor
of the Duke of Bordeaux. On the 7th the Chamber of Deputies declared the
throne vacant; and on the 8th the Chamber went in a body to the Duke of
Orleans, and offered him the Crown on the terms of a revised charter. His
formal acceptance of the offer took place on the 9th. From the accession
of Louis Philippe as King of the French, in 1830, his life is universally
known. His reign was marked by sagacity and upright intentions. He
committed the unpardonable error, however, of leaving the people entirely
out of his account, and endeavored to fortify himself by allying his
children to the reigning families of Europe. He married his eldest son
Ferdinand, Duke of Orleans (born 1810) to the Princess Helen of
Mecklenburg-Schwerin; his daughter Louisa (born 1812) to Leopold, King of
the Belgians; his son Louis, Duke of Nemours (born 1814) to the Princess
Victoria of Saxe Coburg Gotha; his daughter Clementina (born 1817) to
Prince Augustus of Saxe Coburg Gotha; his son Francis, Prince of Joinville
(born 1818) to the Princess Frances Caroline, of Brazil; his son the Duke
of Aumale (born 1822) to the Princess Caroline, of Salerno, and his son
Antony, Duke of Montpensier (born 1824) to Louisa, sister and heir
presumptive of the reigning Queen of Spain. But these royal alliances
served him not in the day of his distress. The fatal 24th of February
came, and swept away the throne he had taken so much pains to consolidate,
and he signed his act of abdication, accepting the regency of the Duchess
of Orleans. His subsequent fate is familiar to all. His flight from Paris
to the sea-shore; his escape in disguise to England; his kind reception in
that country, are well known. Claremont was given him as an abode, and
there, with the exception of occasional visits to Richmond and St.
Leonard’s, Louis Philippe continued to reside. There, too, he breathed his
last on Monday morning, the 26th of August, in the 77th year of his age.
His death excited general comment, but was universally regarded as an
event of no political importance.—A very imposing review of the French
fleet at the harbor of Cherbourg, took place on the 7th inst. A great
number of the English nobility and gentlemen were present by special
invitation, and a magnificent display was made of British yachts. An
immense concourse of people was in attendance, and the President, Prince
LOUIS NAPOLEON, was received with distinguished honors. The parting salute
at sunset, when over two thousand pieces of ordnance crashed forth with a
simultaneous roar, was highly effective.—The trade of Paris is said to be
unusually brisk this season. Wheat is abundant and all the harvests yield
good returns, though fears are entertained that the quality of the vintage
may be inferior.—The proceedings of the General Councils of sixty-four of
the eighty-five departments of France are now known.—Forty-seven have
pronounced in favor of the revision of the actual constitution. Seven have
rejected resolutions recommending the revision, and ten have declined the
expression of an opinion upon the subject. Only three have declared
themselves in favor of an extension and continuance of the power now
confided to LOUIS NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. Nearly all have expressly desired
that the revision should be effected in the mode and time prescribed by
the constitution itself.


The LITERARY INTELLIGENCE from abroad lacks special interest. The
Magazines for September contain nothing worthy of mention, which will not
be found in the foregoing pages of this number. BULWER commences a new
novel in Blackwood, the opening chapters of which are here reprinted. It
is in continuation of “The Caxtons,” and promises to be exceedingly
interesting. It will, of course, be given to our readers as rapidly as it
appears. Our opening paper this month is a spirited and eloquent notice of
WORDSWORTH, evidently from the popular and effective pen of GILFILLAN, who
is a constant contributor to the London Eclectic Review from which it is
taken. “David Copperfield” by DICKENS, and “Pendennis” by THACKERAY, draw
toward their end, and our readers may therefore anticipate new productions
from their pens ere long.—The question whether an American can hold a
copyright in England comes up before the English Courts in a suit brought
by Murray for interference with his rights by a publisher who has issued
an edition of Washington Irving. It is stated that Irving has received
from the Murrays the sum of £9767 for the English copyrights of his
various works.—The Gallery of Paintings of the King of Holland has been
sold at auction and the returns are stated at $450,000. The Emperor of
Russia, and the Marquis of Hertford in England, were extensive purchasers.
Two portraits of Vandyke were bought by the latter at 63,000
florins.—LAMARTINE writes to the _Debats_ from Marseilles, denying, so far
as he is concerned, the truth of statements contained in Mr. CROKER’S
article in the London Quarterly upon the flight of Louis Phillipe. He has
commenced the publication of a new volume of “Confidences” in the
_feuilleton_ of the _Presse_.—The Household Narrative in its summary of
English Literary Intelligence, notices the appearance of an elaborate work
on _Tubular Bridges_ by Mr. Edwin Clark, with a striking folio of
illustrative drawings and lithographs. Also of an Essay in two goodly
octavos on _Ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs_, by Mr. Kenrick, full of
learning, yet full of interest, because grafting on the ascertained old
history all the modern elucidations of travelers and artists, critics and
interpreters. It appears to be but a portion of a contemplated work
comprehending a complete history of those countries of the East whose
civilization preceded and influenced that of Greece; and to our proper
understanding of which, the discovery of the hieroglyphic character, and
such researches as those of Mr. Layard, have lately contributed an entire
new world of information. Another book remarkable for the precision and
completeness of its knowledge, is Doctor Latham’s _Natural History of the
Varieties of Man_, a very important contribution to the literature of
ethnology; and with this is connected in subject, though not in any other
kind of merit, an eccentric fragment on the _Races of Man_, by Dr. Robert
Knox.—Mrs. Jameson has published a second series of her _Poetry of Sacred
and Legendary Art_, in a volume of _Legends of the Monastic Orders_,
similarly illustrated; and nothing can be more graceful than this lady’s
treatment of a subject which has not much that is graceful in itself.—To
biography, a new volume of the _Life of Chalmers_ has been the most
interesting addition. A _Life of Ebenezer Elliott_, by his son-in-law,
possesses also some interest; and, with a little less of the biographer
and more of the biography, would have been yet more successful. In English
fiction, a semi-chartist novel called _Alton Locke_, full of error and
earnestness, and evidently by a University man of the so-called Christian
Socialist school, is the most noticeable work of the kind that has lately
appeared. The other romances of the month have been translations from the
German and French. The _Two Brothers_ is somewhat in the school of Miss
Bremer; and _Stella and Vanessa_ is a novel by a graceful French writer,
very agreeably translated by Lady Duff Gordon, of which the drift is to
excuse Swift for his conduct to Mrs. Johnson and Miss Vanhomrigh. The
subject is curious, and the treatment (for a Frenchman) not less so.
Nothing painful or revolting is dwelt upon, and if it does not satisfy it
fails to offend.—The London _Morning Chronicle_ has an extended and
elaborate review of Mr. TICKNOR’S great “History of Spanish Literature,”
in which it pays the highest possible compliments to the accomplished
author. “The masterly sweep of his general grasp,” it says, “and the
elaborated finish of his constituent sketches, silence the caviller at the
very outset, and enforce him to respectful study, while the unaffected
ease of the style, lively but not flippant, charms the attention, and not
seldom disguises the amount of research and indigation which has been
bestowed upon each stage of the history.” It closes its review with this
emphatic praise: “this History will at once take its position as the
standard book of reference upon Spanish literature, but it will not take
the cold honors of the shelf usually accorded to such volumes, for it will
not only be consulted but read. We cordially congratulate our American
friends upon possessing a compatriot who is able to make such a
contribution to English literature—we are not aware that we are equally
fortunate.”—The third series of SOUTHEY’S Common-Place Book has just
appeared. Unlike the former series, which consisted of selections of rare
and striking passages, and so possessed a general and independent value,
the present volume consists mainly of brief notes or references to
important passages in a great variety of works, bearing upon the subjects
of Civil and Ecclesiastical History, Biography, and Literature in general.
The references are so brief, and the works referred to so rare, that the
book will prove of little service except to those who have access to large
public libraries. Probably not one book in ten of those referred to is to
be found in any library in this country. The volume, however, furnishes
evidence still stronger than the others, of the wonderful extent, variety,
and accuracy of Southey’s reading; it shows that he was a sort of living
library, a walking study; he read almost every thing that appeared, and
methodized, and laid up in his mind all that was worth preserving, of what
he read, and thus gained a super-eminence of information which has rarely
been surpassed. The third volume of his Common-Place Book is not
altogether destitute of those quaint and singular selections which gave so
rare a charm to those that preceded.—The North British Review for the
current quarter, from which we gave some extracts in our September number,
has an article upon the disputed claims of Messrs. Stephenson & Fairbairn
to the credit of having invented the Tubular bridge. If the facts upon
which the reasonings of the reviewer are based, are correctly stated,
there can be no doubt that a large, perhaps the larger share of the credit
due to this greatest triumph of modern engineering, belongs to WILLIAM
FAIRBAIRN, of Manchester, by whom all the experiments were undertaken that
demonstrated the practicability of the undertaking, and proved that a
square form was much stronger than the elliptical one, which was
originally proposed. Mr. Fairbairn, it is stated, showed conclusively by
actual experiment, in opposition to the opinion of Mr. Stephenson, that
suspension chains, as an additional means of support, were not needed,
thus avoiding an outlay of some £200,000. Successful as the experiment has
been in a scientific point of view, the railroad of which this bridge
forms a link, has been most unfortunate in a pecuniary aspect. The stock
consists of two kinds, the original, and preferential. In July, 1850, the
former was selling at a loss of £72 10s., and the latter at a loss of £33
6s. 8d. on every £100, involving a total loss to the stockholders of
£1,764,000.—The _Barbarigo Gallery_ at Venice, celebrated for ages for its
rich collection, especially of the works of Titian, has been purchased by
the court of Russia for 560,000 francs, or £22,400 sterling. A new singer,
Madame Fiorentini, has appeared at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, who
attracts considerable attention. She is a native of Seville, and married
to Mr. Jennings, an English officer. She received her musical education in
London, and made her first public appearance at Berlin only twelve months
since.—The telegraphic wires between Dover and Calais, or rather Cape
Grinez, have been laid and got into operation. Dispatches have been
received in this country which were sent from Paris to London by this
means. Thirty miles of wire, incased in a strong coating of gutta percha,
have been imbedded, as far as this could possibly be done, in the bottom
of the channel, by means of leaden weights. It remains now to be seen
whether the precautions taken are sufficient to protect the wire from the
ravages of the ocean’s denizens, the assaults of ships’ anchors, and the
shifting sands which are known to underlie the Straits of Dover.—A duel
took place at Perigueux between MM. CHAVOIX and DUPONT, in which the
latter was killed. The latter was editor of a paper called _Echo de
Vesone_, and had offended M. Chavoix, a wealthy proprietor, by severe
strictures on his conduct. Both were members of the Assembly. They fought
with pistols at twenty-five paces. M. Chavoix won the throw for the choice
of position, and M. Dupont for first fire. Dupont fired and missed.
Chavoix, declaring that he could not see clearly, waited till the smoke of
his adversary’s discharge passed, and fired at an interval of some
seconds. His ball struck the forehead of Dupont, who fell stark dead upon
the plain without uttering a cry or a groan.—The distinguished French
Novelist M. BALZAC died at Paris on the 18th of August, aged 51. He was in
many important respects, the foremost of French writers. He was originally
a journeyman printer at Tours, his native place. His earlier works
obtained a fair measure of success, but it was not until after many years’
apprenticeship, either anonymously or under assumed cognomens, that he
ventured to communicate his name to the public. And no sooner was the name
given than it became popular—and in a little while famous—famous not in
France alone, but all over Europe. His success was almost as brilliant as
that of Walter Scott himself. In addition to his romances, Balzac wrote
some theatrical pieces, and for a while edited and contributed a good deal
to the _Revue Parisienne_. Since the revolution Balzac published nothing,
but was engaged in visiting the battle-fields of Germany and Russia, and
in piling up materials for a series of volumes, to be entitled _Scenes de
la Vie Militaire._ He leaves behind several MS. works, partially or wholly
completed. His design was to make all his romances form one great work,
under the title of the _Comedíe Humaine_,—the whole being a minute
dissection of the different classes of French society. Only a little while
before his death, he stated that, in what he had done, he had but half
accomplished his task. Next to his great celebrity, the most remarkable
feature in his career is a strong passion which he formed for a Russian
countess, and which, after years of patient suffering, he had the
satisfaction of having rewarded by the gift of the lady’s hand. Shortly
after his marriage—which took place some two years ago—he was attacked
with a disease of the heart, and that carried him off. He and his wife had
only been a few months in Paris when this sad event took place. His
funeral was celebrated with a good deal of ceremony, and an eloquent
funeral oration was pronounced by M. VICTOR HUGO.—Sir MARTIN ARCHER SHEE,
President of the Royal Academy, died at Brighton on the 19th, in his 80th
year. He was elected to the above office in 1830, on the death of Sir
Thomas Lawrence, when he received the honor of knighthood. He retired in
1845 from the active duties of the office, which have been since performed
by Mr. Turner.—The late Sir ROBERT PEEL has left directions in his will
for the early publication of his political memoirs, and has ordered that
the profits arising from the publication shall be given to some public
institution for the education of the working classes. He has confided the
task of preparing these memoirs to Lord Mahon and Mr. Cardwell.


In the settlement of GERMAN affairs little progress has yet been made by
the Congress at Frankfort. At a meeting on the 8th of August, at which
Count Thun, the Austrian plenipotentiary, presided, it was decided that
Austria should formally invite all the members of the Bund to assemble at
Frankfort on the 1st of September next. A circular note of the 18th of
August, in which the Minister-President reiterates the assurances so
solemnly given in the circular of the 19th July, that it is the earnest
wish of Austria to make such reforms in the Act of Confederation as may be
required by the recent change of circumstances in Germany, and may conduce
to the unity of the common fatherland, was accordingly dispatched with the
Frankfort summons to the different courts on the 15th. It remains to be
seen whether Prussia and the League will accept this proposal.—The third
meeting of the General Peace Congress commenced at Frankfort on the 22d of
August. There were some two thousand delegates in attendance, mostly from
England, France, the United States, and Germany. Gen. Haynau was present
for a time. Resolutions were submitted, discussed, and adopted,
deprecating a resort to arms, and urging the propriety and expediency of
settling all international differences by arbitration. Dr. JAUP presided,
and speeches were made by delegates from every nation. Among the most
prominent representatives from the United States were Elihu Burritt,
Professor Cleaveland, Dr. Hitchcock, and George Copway, an Indian chief;
Mr. Cobden, of England, and Cormenin and Girardin, of France were also in
attendance. The session lasted three days.


In PIEDMONT a great sensation has been produced by a collision with the
papal power. The Sardinian Minister of Finance, the Cavalière Santa Rosa,
who had supported the ministry in passing the law which rendered the
clergy amenable to the civil courts, being on his death-bed, was refused
the sacrament by the monks, under the direction of Franzoni the Archbishop
of Turin. At his funeral such excitement was manifested by the people,
that to avoid an actual outbreak, the monks were ordered to leave the
city, and the possessions of their order were sequestered. In the search
through their house, documents were found which inculpated the Archbishop
Franzoni himself, and he was consequently arrested and imprisoned in the
fortress of Fenestrelles. Both Austria and France, however, have
interfered; and, in consequence, the editor of _L’Opinione_, a liberal
journal, has been banished from the Sardinian States. It is stated that
Lord Palmerston has addressed to the Court of the Vatican a most energetic
note, in which he cautions it against adopting violent measures toward
Sardinia, and persevering in the system hitherto pursued by the Pope with
regard to that Government.


A letter from Rome, of the 20th, in the _Constitutionnel_, states that
several persons have been arrested there for a supposed conspiracy to
assassinate the Pope, on Assumption day, by throwing crystal balls filled
with explosive substances into his carriage when on his way to church to
pronounce the benediction. The discovery of the plot prevented all danger.
There was some agitation on the following Sunday, as it was supposed that
there had been a plot against the Austrian Ambassador, on the anniversary
of the birth of the Emperor. A strong armed force was placed near his
palace to protect it, and in the evening some arrests were made.


A continuance of heavy rain in BELGIUM on the 15th, 16th, and 17th has
produced disastrous inundations in various parts of that country. At
Antwerp there was a tremendous storm of rain, wind, and thunder. The
lightning struck several buildings; many of the streets were under water,
and large trees were uprooted in the neighboring country. At Ghent a large
sugar manufactory was destroyed by lightning, and people were killed by it
in different places. A great part of the city of Brussels and the
neighboring villages were under water for nearly two days; and many houses
were so much damaged that they fell, and a number of persons perished.
Near Charleroi all the fields were submerged, and the injury done to the
crops was immense. At Valenciennes the Scheldt overflowed, inundating the
neighboring country, and causing vast devastation. The damage done to the
crops has produced a rise in the price of flour. Many bridges have been
swept away, and the injury done to the railways has been immense.


From SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN, we learn that the continued rains have prevented
all renewal of operations in the field. The Danes have established a
permanent camp near Ramstedt, and the marshes in that vicinity have been
completely flooded. The Emperor of Russia has created General KROGH, the
Danish Commander-in-Chief, Knight of the Order of St. Anne of the first
class, for the distinguished bravery and prudence which he displayed in
the engagements of the 24th and 25th of July, at Idstedt.


_Rural Hours,_ by A LADY, published by G.P. Putnam, is an admirable
volume, the effect of which is like a personal visit to the charming
scenes which the writer portrays with such a genuine passion for nature,
and so much vivacity and truthfulness of description. Without the faintest
trace of affectation, or even the desire to present the favorite
surroundings of her daily life in overdone pictures, she quietly jots down
the sights and sounds, and odorous blossomings of the seasons as they
pass, and by this intellectual honesty and simplicity, has given a
peculiar charm to her work, which a more ambitious style of composition
would never have been able to command. Her eye for nature is as accurate
as her enthusiasm is sincere. She dwells on the minute phenomena of daily
occurrence in their season with a just discrimination, content with
clothing them in their own beauty, and never seeking to increase their
brilliancy by any artificial gloss. Whoever has a love for communing with
nature in the “sweet hour of prime,” or in the “still twilight,” for
watching the varied glories of the revolving year, will be grateful to the
writer of this picturesque volume for such a fragrant record of rural
experience. The author is stated to be a daughter of Cooper, the
distinguished American novelist, and she certainly exhibits an acuteness
of observation, and a vigor of description, not unworthy of her eminent

A new edition of the _Greek and English Lexicon_, by Professor EDWARD
ROBINSON (Harper and Brothers) will be received with lively satisfaction
by the large number of Biblical students in this country and in England
who are under such deep obligations to the previous labors of Dr. ROBINSON
in this department of philology. The work exhibits abundant evidence of
the profound and discriminating research, the even more than German
patience of labor, the rigid impartiality, and the rare critical acumen
for which the name of the author is proverbial wherever the New-Testament
Lexicography is made the object of earnest study. Since the publication of
the first edition, fourteen years since, which was speedily followed by
three rival editions in Great Britain, and two abridgments, the science of
Biblical philology has made great progress; new views have been developed
by the learned labors of Wahl, Bretschneider, Winer, and others; the
experience of the author in his official duties for the space of ten
years, had corrected and enlarged his own knowledge; he had made a
personal exploration of many portions of the Holy Land; and under these
circumstances, when he came to the revision of the work, he found that a
large part of it must be re-written, and the remainder submitted to such
alterations, corrections, and improvements, as were almost as laborious as
the composition of a new Lexicon. The plan of the work in its present
enlarged form, embraces the etymology of each word given—the logical
deduction of all its significations, which occur in the New Testament—the
various combinations of verbs and adjectives—the different forms and
inflections of words—the interpretation of difficult passages—and a
reference to every passage of the New Testament in which the word is
found. No scholar can examine the volume, without a full conviction of the
eminent success with which this comprehensive plan has been executed, and
of the value of the memorial here presented to the accuracy and
thoroughness of American scholarship. The practical use of the work will
be greatly facilitated by the clearness and beauty of the Greek type on
which it is printed, being an admirable specimen of the Porson style.

_The Berber, or Mountaineer of the Atlas,_ by WILLIAM S. MAYO, M.D.,
published by G.P. Putnam, is toned down to a very considerable degree from
the high-colored pictures which produced such a dazzling effect in
_Kaloolah_, the work by which the author first became known to the public.
The scene is laid in Morocco, affording the writer an occasion for the use
of a great deal of geographical and historical lore, which is introduced
to decided advantage as a substantial back-ground to the story, which, in
itself, possesses a sustained and powerful interest. Dr. Mayo displays a
rare talent in individualizing character: his groups consist of distinct
persons, without any confused blundering or repetition; he is not only a
painter of manners, but an amateur of passion; and hence his admirable
descriptions are combined with rapid and effective touches, which betray
no ordinary insight into the subtle philosophy of the heart. The illusion
of the story is sometimes impaired by the introduction of the novelist in
the first person, a blemish which we should hardly have looked for in a
writer who is so obviously well acquainted with the resources of artistic
composition as the author of this volume.

Harper and Brothers have issued the Fifth Part of _The Life and
Correspondence of_ ROBERT SOUTHEY, which brings the biography down to the
fifty-fifth year of his age, and to the close of the year 1828. The next
number will complete the work, which has sustained a uniform interest from
the commencement, presenting a charming picture of the domestic habits,
literary enterprises, and characteristic moral features of its eminent
subject. Mr. Southey’s connection with the progress of English literature
during the early part of the present century, his strong political
predilections, the extent and variety of his productions, and his singular
devotion to a purely intellectual life, make his biography one of the most
entertaining and instructive records that have recently been published in
this department of letters. His son, Rev. Charles Cuthbert Southey, by
whom the work is edited, has acquitted himself of his task with admirable
judgment and modesty, never obtruding himself on the notice of the reader,
and leaving the correspondence, which, in fact, forms a continuous
narrative, to make its natural impression, without weakening its force by
superfluous comment. The present number contains several letters to our
distinguished countryman, GEORGE TICKNOR, Esq., of Boston, which will be
read with peculiar interest on account of their free remarks on certain
American celebrities, and their criticisms on some of the popular
productions of American literature.

Among the late valuable theological publications, is _The Works of Joseph
Bellamy, D.D., with a Memoir of his Life and Character_, by TRYON EDWARDS,
issued by the Doctrinal Tract and Book Society, Boston, in two volumes. As
models of forcible reasoning, and of ingenious and subtle analysis, the
theological disquisitions of Dr. Bellamy have seldom been surpassed, and
their reproduction in the present form will be grateful to many readers
who have not been seduced by the excitements of the age from their love of
profound and acute speculation. The memoir prefixed to these volumes gives
an interesting view of the life of a New England clergyman of the olden

_Adelaide Lindsay_, from the prolific and vigorous pen of Mrs. MARSH, the
author of “Two Old Men’s Tales,” “The Wilmingtons,” &c, forms the one
hundred and forty—seventh number of Harper and Brothers’ “Library of
Select Novels.”

_Popular Education; for the Use of Parents and Teachers_ (Harper and
Brothers), is the title of a volume by IRA MAYHEW, prepared in accordance
with a resolution of the Legislature of Michigan, and discussing the
subject, in its multifarious aspects and relations, with a thoroughness,
discrimination, and ability, which can not fail to make it a work of
standard authority in the department to which it is devoted. The author
has been Superintendent of Public Instruction in the State of Michigan;
his official position has put him in possession of a great amount of facts
and statistics in relation to the subject; he is inspired with a noble
zeal in the cause of education; and in the production of this volume, has
given a commendable proof of his industry, good sense, and thorough
acquaintance with an interest on which he rightly judges that the future
prosperity of the American Republic essentially depends.

C.S. Francis and Co. have published _The Poems of Elizabeth Barrett
Browning_ in a beautiful edition of two volumes, including “The Seraphim,
with other Poems,” as first published in England in 1838, and the contents
of the previous American edition. This edition is introduced with a
Critical Essay, by H.T. TUCKERMAN, taken from his “Thoughts on the Poets,”
presenting in refined and tasteful language, a discriminating view of Mrs.
BROWNING’S position among the living poets of England. Mr. Tuckerman makes
use of no extravagant encomium in his estimate of her powers; his remarks
are less enthusiastic than critical; and, indeed, the more ardent admirers
of Mrs. Browning would deem them of too subdued a tone, and deficient in
an adequate appreciation of her peculiar boldness, originality, and
beauty. The edition now presented to the public will be thankfully
accepted by the wide circle which has learned to venerate Mrs. Browning’s
genius, and will serve to extend the healthful interest cherished by
American readers in the most remarkable poetess of modern times.

_The Companion; After Dinner Table Talk_, by CHETWOOD EVELYN, Esq. (New
York: G.P. Putnam), is the title of a popular compilation from favorite
English authors, prepared with a good deal of tact and discrimination, and
forming an appropriate counterpart to _The Lift for the Lazy_, published
some time since by the same house.

George P. Putnam has just issued _The Deer Slayer_, by J. FENIMORE COOPER,
being the first volume of the author’s revised edition of _The Leather
Stocking Tales_.

Among the swarm of Discourses and Funeral Orations, occasioned by the
death of the late President Taylor, we have seen none of a more striking
character than _The Sermon delivered at the Masonic Hall_, Cincinnati, by
T.H. STOCKTON. It presents a series of glowing and impressive pictures of
public life in Washington, of the tombs of the departed Presidents, of
eminent American statesmen now no more, of the progress of discovery in
this country, and of the march of improvement in modern times. The too
florid character of some portions of the Discourse is amply redeemed by
the spirit of wise patriotism and elevated religion with which it is
imbued, while it has the rare merit of being entirely free from the
commonplaces of the pulpit. In a note to this discourse, it is stated that
the author is desirous of forming a collection of Sermons, Orations,
Addresses, &c., on the death of General Taylor, and that editors and
speakers will confer a favor on him by forwarding him a copy of their
several publications.

_The Relations of the American Scholar to his Country and his Times_
(Baker and Scribner), is the title of an Address delivered by HENRY J.
RAYMOND, before the Associate Alumni of the University of Vermont,
maintaining the doctrine that educated men, instead of retiring from the
active interests and contending passions of the world, to some fancied
region of serene contemplation, are bound to share in the struggle, the
competition, the warfare of society. This is argued, with a variety of
illustrations, from the character of the education of the scholar, as
combining theory and practice, and from the peculiar tendencies of
American society, now in a state of rapid fermentation and development.
Mr. Raymond endeavors to do justice both to the Conservative and Radical
elements, which are found in our institutions and national character, and
to discuss those difficult problems in a spirit of moderation, and without
passion. Of the literary character of this production, the writer of the
present notice can speak with more propriety in another place.

_The Recent Progress of Astronomy_, by ELIAS LOOMIS (Harper and Brothers),
exhibits the most important astronomical discoveries made within the last
ten years, with special reference to the condition of the science in the
United States. Among the topics treated in detail, are the discovery of
the planet Neptune, the addition to our knowledge of comets, with a full
account of Miss Mitchell’s comet, the new stars and nebulae, the
determination of longitude by the electric telegraph, the manufacture of
telescopes in the United States, and others of equal interest both to men
of science and the intelligent reader in general. Professor LOOMIS
displays a singularly happy talent in bringing the results of scientific
investigation to the level of the common mind, and we predict a hearty
welcome to his little volume, as a lucid and delightful compendium of
valuable knowledge. The author states in the Preface, that “he has
endeavored to award equal and exact justice to all American astronomers;
and if any individual should feel that his labors in this department have
not been fairly represented, he is requested to furnish in writing a
minute account of the same,” and he shall receive amends in a second
edition of the work.

Professor LOOMIS’S _Mathematical Course_ has met with signal favor at the
hands of the best instructors in our higher institutions of learning. New
editions of his _Algebra_ and the _Geometry_ have recently been issued;
and a new volume on _Analytical Geometry_, and the _Calculus_, completing
the course, will soon appear.

_Truth and Poetry, from my own Life, or the Autobiography of Goethe_,
edited by PARKE GODWIN, is issued in a second edition by George P. Putnam,
with a preface, showing the plagiarisms which have been committed on it in
a pretended English translation from the original, by one John Oxenford.
This enterprising person has made a bold appropriation of the American
version, with only such changes as might serve the purpose of concealing
the fraud. In addition to this felonious proceeding, he charges the
translation to which he has helped himself so freely, with various
inaccuracies, not only stealing the property, but giving it a bad name.
The work of the American editor has thus found a singular, but effectual
guarantee for its value, and is virtually pronounced to be a translation
incapable of essential improvement. With the resources possessed by Mr.
GODWIN, in his own admirable command both of the German and of the English
language, and the aid of the rare scholarship in this department of
letters of Mr. CHARLES A. DANA and Mr. JOHN S. DWIGHT, to whom a portion
of the work was intrusted, he could not fail to produce a version which
would leave little to be desired by the most fastidious critic. It is
unnecessary to speak of the merits of the original, which is familiar to
all who have the slightest tincture of German literature. As a history of
the progress of literary culture in Germany, as well as of the rich
development of Goethe’s own mind, it is one of the most instructive, and
at the same time, the most entertaining biographies in any language.

Daniel Adee has republished, in a cheap form, the twenty-first part of
_Braithwaite’s Retrospect of Practical Medicine and Surgery_, a work
richly entitled to a place in every physician’s library.

_Domestic History of the Revolution_, by Mrs. ELLET (Baker and Scribner),
follows the thread of the Revolutionary drama, unfolding many agreeable
and often touching incidents, which have not been brought to light before,
and illustrating the manners and society of that day, in connection with
the great struggle for national life. The researches of the author in
collecting materials for “The Women of the Revolution,” have put her in
possession of a variety of domestic details and anecdotes, illustrative of
the state of the country at different intervals, which she has used with
excellent effect in the composition of this volume. Without indulging in
fanciful embellishment, she has confined herself to the simple facts of
history, rejecting all traditional matter, which is not sustained by
undoubted authority. The events of the war in the upper districts of South
Carolina, are described at length, as, in the opinion of Mrs. Ellet, no
history has ever yet done justice to that portion of the country, nor to
the chivalrous actors who there signalized themselves in the Revolutionary

D. Appleton and Company have published an interesting volume of American
biography, entitled _Lives of Eminent Literary and Scientific Men_, by
JAMES WYNNE, M.D., comprising memoirs of Franklin, President Edwards,
Fulton, Chief Justice Marshall, Rittenhouse, and Eli Whitney. They are
composed in a tone of great discrimination and reserve, and scarcely in a
single estimate come up to the popular estimation of the character
described. Doctor Franklin and President Edwards, especially, are handled
in a manner adapted to chill all enthusiasm which may have been connected
with their names. Nor does the scientific fame of Robert Fulton gather any
new brightness under the author’s hands. This cool dissection of the dead
may not be in accordance with the public taste, but in justice to the
author, it should be borne in mind that he is a surgeon by profession.

The same house has issued an edition of _Cicero’s Select Orations_, with
Notes, by Professor E.A. JOHNSON, in which liberal use has been made of
the most recent views of eminent German philologists. The volume is highly
creditable to the industry and critical acumen of the Editor, and will
prove a valuable aid to the student of the classics.

_Lady Willoughby’s Diary_ is reprinted by A.S. Barnes and Co., New
York—the first American edition of a volume unrivaled for its sweetness
and genuine pathos.

_The Young Woman’s Book of Health_, by Dr. WILLIAM A. ALCOTT, published by
Tappan, Whittemore, and Co., Boston, is an original summary of excellent
physiological precepts, expressed with the simplicity and distinctness for
which the author is celebrated.

_Songs of Labor and Other Poems_ is the title of a new volume by JOHN G.
WHITTIER, published by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston, containing the
spirited lyrics which have already gained a large share of favor in the
public journals.

_Poems of the Heart_, by GEORGE W. NICHOLSON, (G. S. Appleton,
Philadelphia), is the “last production of the author’s boyhood,” and
exhibits the most decided marks of its origin.

_The Mariner’s Vision_ is the title of a Poem by T.L. DONNELLY,
Philadelphia, evidently written with little preparation, but showing some
traces of poetic talent, which may ripen into excellence at a future day.

A beautiful reprint of _Æsop’s Fables_, edited by Rev. THOMAS GARNES, with
more than Fifty Illustrations from TENNIAL’S designs has been issued by
Robert B. Collins, New York, in a style of superb typography, which can
not fail to command the admiration of the amateur.

The volume before us awakens recollections of “by-gone days,” in the
Publishers of this Magazine, upon which we love to dwell. Æsop’s Fables
was among the first books which passed through our press. Some thirty
years since, we printed an edition of it for the late EVERT DUYCKINCK,
Esq. (father of the present accomplished editors of the _Literary World_),
one of the leading booksellers and publishers of his day, and, in every
sense, “a good man and true,” as well as one of our earliest and best
friends. His memory to us is precious—his early kindness will ever live in
our recollection.

The name of COLLINS (publisher of the present edition), has been so long
and closely associated with the book trade in this country, that we
apprehend the public may feel some interest in a short sketch of the rise
and progress of this most respectable publishing firm. ISAAC COLLINS, a
member of the Society of Friends, was the founder of the house. He
originally came from Virginia, and commenced the printing and bookselling
business in the city of Trenton, New Jersey, about the close of the
Revolutionary War, where he printed the first quarto Bible published in
America. This Bible was so highly esteemed for its correctness, that the
American Bible Society was at some pains to obtain a copy, from which to
print their excellent editions of the Scriptures. It would take too much
space to follow the various changes in the firm, under the names of Isaac
Collins, Isaac Collins & Son, Collins, Perkins & Co., Collins & Co., down
to the establishment of the house of Collins & Hannay, about the close of
the last war. This concern was composed of BENJAMIN S. COLLINS (the son of
Isaac), and SAMUEL HANNAY, who had been educated for the business by the
old house of Collins & Co. The enterprise, liberality, and industry of
this firm soon placed them at the head of the book trade in the city of
New York, where they are still remembered with respect and esteem by the
thousands of customers scattered all over our immense country, and with
affection and gratitude by many whose fortunes were aided, and whose
credit was established, by their generous confidence and timely aid. Mr.
BENJAMIN S. COLLINS is now living in dignified retirement, on his farm in
Westchester County. Several other members of the family, formerly
connected with the bookselling business, have also retired with a
competency, and are now usefully devoting their time and attention to the
promotion of the various charitable institutions of the country. Mr.
HANNAY died about a year since—and here we may be permitted to record our
grateful memory of one of the best men, and one of the most enterprising
booksellers ever known in our country. His exceeding modesty prevented his
marked and excellent qualities from being much known out of the small
circle of his immediate friends—but by them he is remembered with feelings
of love and veneration. The house of Collins & Hannay became subsequently
B. & S. Collins; Collins, Keese, & Co.; Collins, Brother, & Co.; and
Collins & Brother; now at last ROBERT B. COLLINS, the publisher of the
work under notice. We trust he may pursue the path to fortune with the
same honorable purposes, by the same honorable means, and with the same
gratifying result, which signalized the efforts of his worthy
predecessors. Nor are the names of the printer and stereotyper of the
present volume without a fraternal interest. The printer, Mr. VAN NORDEN,
one of our early and highly esteemed associates, may now be termed a
typographer of the old school. The quality of his work is good evidence
that he is entitled to the reputation, which has been long accorded to
him, of being one of the best printers in the country. The stereotyper of
this work, our old friend SMITH, is by no means a novice in his
department. We are glad to see that he, too, so ably maintains his
long-established reputation. May the publisher, the printer, and the
stereotyper of this edition of Æsop, ever rejoice in the sunshine of
prosperity, and may their shadows never be less!

Geo. P. Putnam has published a work entitled _New Elements of Geometry_,
by SEBA SMITH, which can not fail to attract the notice of the curious
reader, on account of the good faith and evident ability with which it
sustains what must be regarded by all orthodox science as a system of
enormous mathematical paradoxes. The treatise is divided into three parts,
namely, The Philosophy of Geometry, Demonstrations in Geometry, and
Harmonies of Geometry. In opposition to the ancient geometers, by whom the
definitions and axioms of the science were fixed, Mr. SMITH contends that
the usual division of magnitudes into lines, surfaces, and solids is
without foundation, that every mathematical line has a breadth, as
definite, as measurable, and as clearly demonstrable as its length, and
that every mathematical surface has a thickness, as definite, as
measurable, and as clearly demonstrable as its length or breadth. The
neglect of this fact has hitherto prevented a perfect understanding of the
true relation between numbers, magnitudes, and forms. Hence, the
barrenness of modern analytical speculation, which has been complained of
by high authorities, the mathematical sciences having run into a luxuriant
growth of foliage, with comparatively small quantities of fruit. This evil
Mr. SMITH supposes will be avoided by adopting the principle, that as the
measurement of extension is the object of geometry, lines without breadth,
and surfaces without thickness, are imaginary things, of which this rigid
and exact science can take no cognizance. Every thing which comes within
the reach of geometry must have extension, must have magnitude, must
occupy a portion of space, and accordingly must have extension in every
direction from its centre. Hence, as there is but one kind of quantity in
geometry, lines, surfaces, and solids must have identically the same unit
of comparison, and must be always perfect measures of each other. The unit
may be infinitely varied in size—it being the name or representative of
any assumed magnitude to which it is applied—but it always represents a
magnitude of a definite form, and hence a magnitude which has an extension
in every direction from its centre, and consequently represents not only
one in length, but also one in breadth, and one in thickness. One inch,
for example, in pure geometry, is always one cubic inch, but when used to
measure a line, or extension in one direction, we take only one dimension
of the unit, namely, the linear edge of the cube, and thus the operation
not demanding either the breadth or the thickness of the unit, geometers
have fallen into the error of supposing that a line is length without any
breadth. These are the leading principles on which Mr. SMITH attempts the
audacious task of rearing a new fabric of geometrical science, without
regard to the wisdom of antiquity or the universal traditions of the
schools. To us outside barbarians in the mysteries of mathematics, we
confess that the work has the air of an ingenious paradox; but we must
leave it to the professors to decide upon its claims to be a substitute
for Euclid, Playfair, and Legendre. Every one who has a fondness for
dipping into these recondite subjects will perceive in Mr. SMITH’S volume
the marks of profound research, of acute and subtle powers of reasoning,
and of genuine scientific enthusiasm, combined with a noble freedom of
thought, and a rare intellectual honesty. For these qualities, it is
certainly entitled to a respectful mention among the curiosities of
literature, whatever verdict may be pronounced on the scientific claims of
the author by a jury of his peers.

Little and Brown, Boston, have issued an interesting work by the Nestor of
the New England press, JOSEPH T. BUCKINGHAM, entitled _Specimens of
Newspaper Literature, with Personal Memoirs, Anecdotes and Reminiscences_,
which comes with a peculiar propriety from his veteran pen. The personal
experience of the author, in connection with the press, extends over a
period of more than fifty years, during a very considerable portion of
which time he has been at the head of a leading journal in Boston, and in
the enjoyment of a wide reputation, both as a bold and vigorous thinker,
and a pointed, epigrammatic, and highly effective writer. In this last
respect, indeed, few men in any department of literature can boast of a
more familiar acquaintance with the idiomatic niceties of our language, or
a more skillful mastery of its various resources, than the author of the
present volumes. His influence has been sensibly felt, even among the
purists of the American Athens, and under the very droppings of the Muses’
sanctuary at Cambridge, in preserving the “wells of English undefiled”
from the corruptions of rash innovators on the wholesome, recognized
canons of language. His sarcastic pen has always been a terror to evil
doers in this region of crime. In the work before us, we should have been
glad of a larger proportion from the author himself, instead of the
copious extracts from the newspapers of old times, which, to be sure, have
a curious antiquarian interest, but which are of too remote a date to
command the attention of this “fast” generation. The sketches which are
given of several New England celebrities of a past age are so natural and
spicy, as to make us wish that we had more of them. Materials for a third
volume, embracing matters of a more recent date, we are told by the
author, are not wanting; we sincerely hope that he will permit them to see
the light; and especially that the call for this publication may not be
defeated by an event, as he intimates, “to which all are subject—an event
which may happen to-morrow, and must happen soon.”

A new edition of EDWARD EVERETT’S _Orations and Speeches_, in two large
and elegant octavos, has been published by Little and Brown, including in
the first volume the contents of the former edition, and in the second
volume, the addresses delivered on various occasions, since the year 1836.
In an admirably-written Preface to the present edition, Mr. Everett gives
a slight, autobiographical description of the circumstances in which his
earlier compositions had their origin, and in almost too deprecatory a
tone, apologizes for the exuberance of style and excess of national
feeling with which they have sometimes been charged. In our opinion, this
appeal is uncalled for, as we can nowhere find productions of this class
more distinguished for a virginal purity of expression, and grave dignity
of thought. As a graceful, polished, and impressive rhetorician, it would
be difficult to name the superior of Mr. Everett, and had he not been too
much trammeled by the scruples of a fastidious taste, with his singular
powers of fascination, he would have filled a still broader sphere than
that which he has nobly won in the literature of his country. We
gratefully welcome the announcement with which the preface concludes, and
trust that it will be carried into effect at an early date. “It is still
my purpose, should my health permit, to offer to the public indulgence a
selection from a large number of articles contributed by me to the North
American Review, and from the speeches, reports, and official
correspondence, prepared in the discharge of the several official stations
which I have had the honor to fill at home and abroad. Nor am I wholly
without hope that I shall be able to execute the more arduous project to
which I have devoted a good deal of time for many years, and toward which
I have collected ample materials—that of a systematic treatise on the
modern law of nations, more especially in reference to those questions
which have been discussed between the governments of the United States and
Europe since the peace of 1783.”

_Echoes of the Universe_ is the title of a work by HENRY CHRISTMAS,
reprinted by A. Hart, Philadelphia, containing a curious store of
speculation and research in regard to the more mystical aspects of
religion, with a strong tendency to pass the line which divides the sphere
of legends and fictions from the field of well-established truth. The
author is a man of learning and various accomplishments; he writes in a
style of unusual sweetness and simplicity; his pages are pervaded with
reverence for the wonders of creation; and with a singular freedom from
the skeptical, destructive spirit of the day, he is startled by no mystery
of revelation, however difficult of comprehension by the understanding.
The substance of this volume was originally delivered in the form of
letters to an Episcopal Missionary Society in England. It is now published
in a greatly enlarged shape, with the intention of presenting the truths
of religion in an interesting aspect to minds that are imbued with the
spirit of modern cultivation. Among the Echoes that proceed from the world
of matter, the author includes those that are uttered by the solar system,
the starry heavens, the laws of imponderable fluids, the discoveries of
geology, and the natural history of Scripture. To these, he supposes, that
parallel Echoes may be found from the world of Spirit, such as the
appearance of a Divine Person, recorded in Sacred History, the visitations
of angels and spirits of an order now higher than man, the apparitions of
the departed spirits of saints, the cases recorded of demoniacal
possession, and the manner in which these narratives are supported and
explained by reason and experience. The seen and the unseen, the physical
and the immaterial, according to the author, will thus be shown to
coincide, and the Unity of the Voice proved by the Unity of the Echo. This
is the lofty problem of the volume, and if it is not solved to the
satisfaction of every reader, it will not be for the want of a genial
enthusiasm and an adamantine faith on the part of the author.

The same house has published a neat edition of Miss BENGER’S popular
_Memoir of Anne Boleyn_.

A new work by W. GILMORE SIMMS, entitled _The Lily and Totem_, (Baker and
Scribner, New York) consists of the romantic legends connected with the
establishment of the Huguenots in Florida, embroidered upon a substantial
fabric of historical truth, with great ingenuity and artistic effect. The
basis of the work is laid in authentic history; facts are not superseded
by the romance; all the vital details of the events in question are
embodied in the narrative but when the original record is found to be
deficient in interest, the author has introduced such creations of his own
as he judged in keeping with the subject, and adapted to picturesque
impression. It was his first intention to have made the experiment of
Coligny in the colonization of Florida, the subject of a poem; but
dreading the want of sympathy in the mass of readers, he decided on the
present form, as more adapted to the popular taste, though perhaps less in
accordance with the character of the theme. With his power of graphic
description, and the mild poetical coloring which he has thrown around the
whole narrative, Mr. SIMMS will delight the imaginative reader, while his
faithful adherence to the spirit of the history renders him an instructive
guide through the dusky and faded memorials of the past. One of the
longest stories in the volume is the “Legend of Guernache,” a record of
love and sorrow, scarcely surpassed in sweetness and beauty by any thing
in the romance of Indian history.

_Reminiscences of Congress_, by CHARLES W. MARCH, (Baker and Scribner, New
York), is principally devoted to the personal and political history of
DANIEL WEBSTER, of whom it relates a variety of piquant anecdotes, and at
the same time giving an analysis of his most important speeches on the
floor of Congress. The leading statesmen of the United States, without
reference to party, are made to sit for their portraits, and are certainly
sketched with great boldness of delineation, though, in some cases, the
free touches of the artist might be accused of caricature. Among the
distinguished public men who are introduced into this gallery are John Q.
Adams, Clay, Calhoun, Benton, Jackson, and Van Buren, whose features can
not fail to be recognized at sight, however twisted, in some respects,
they may be supposed to be by their respective admirers. Mr. MARCH has had
ample opportunities for gaining a familiar acquaintance with the subjects
he treats; his observing powers are nimble and acute; without any
remarkable habits of reflection, he usually rises to the level of his
theme; and with a command of fluent and often graceful language, his
style, for the most part, is not only readable but eminently attractive.

A new and greatly enlarged edition of _Mental Hygeine_, by WILLIAM
SWEETSER, has been published by Geo. P. Putnam—a volume which discusses
the reciprocal influence of the mental and physical conditions, with
clearness, animation, and good sense. It is well adapted for popular
reading, no less than for professional use.



                         Fig. 1. Evening Costume.

Evening Dresses. White is generally adopted for the evening toilet.
Muslin, _tulle_, and _barege_ form elegant and very beautiful textures for
this description of dress. They are decorated with festooned flounces, cut
in deep square vandykes; the muslins are richly embroidered. A _barege_,
trimmed with narrow _ruches_ of white silk ribbon, placed upon the edge,
has the appearance of being pinked at the edge. Those of white _barege_
covered with bouquets of flowers, are extremely elegant, trimmed with
three deep flounces, finished at the edge with a _chicoree_ of green
ribbon forming a wave; the same description of _chicoree_ may be placed
upon the top of the flounces. Corsage _a la_ Louis XV., trimmed with
_ruches_ to match. For dresses of _tulle_, those with double skirts are
most in vogue. Those composed of Brussels _tulle_ with five skirts, each
skirt being finished with a broad hem, through which passes a pink ribbon,
are extremely pretty. The skirts are all raised at the sides with a large
moss rose encircled with its buds, the roses diminishing in size toward
the upper part. These skirts are worn over a petticoat of a lively pink
silk, so that the color shows through the upper fifth skirt. As to the
corsage, they all resemble each other; the Louis XV. and Pompadour being
those only at present in fashion.


                         Fig. 2. Morning Costume.

A very beautiful evening dress is represented by fig. 1, which shows a
front and back view. It is a pale lavender dress of striped satin; the
body plaited diagonally, both back and front, the plaits meeting in the
centre. It has a small _jacquette_, pointed at the back as well as the
front; plain sleeve reaching nearly to the elbow, finished by a lace
ruffle, or frill of the same. The skirt is long and full, and has a rich
lace flounce at the bottom. The breadths of satin are put together so that
the stripes meet in points at the seams. Head dress, with lace lappets.

Fig. 2 represents an elegant style of body, worn over a skirt of light
lavender silk, with three flounces, each edged with a double _rûche_,
trimmed with narrow ribbon. The body is of embroidered muslin, the small
skirt of which is trimmed with two rows of lace; the sleeves are wide;
they are three-quarter length and are trimmed with three rows of lace and
rosettes of pink satin ribbon. This is for a morning costume.

Another elegant style of morning home dress, is composed of Valenciennes
cambric; the corsage plaited or fulled, so as to form a series of crossway
fullings, which entirely cover the back and front of the bust, the centre
of which is ornamented with a _petit décolletté_ in the shape of a
lengthened heart; the same description of centre-piece is placed at the
back, where it is closed by means of buttons and strings, ingeniously
hidden by the fullings. The lower part of the body forms but a slight
point, and is round and stiffened, from which descends a _châtelaine_,
formed by a wreath of _plumetis_, descending to the edge of the dress, and
bordered on each side with a large inlet, gradually widening toward the
lower part of the skirt.

Fashionable Colors. It is almost impossible to state which colors most
prevail, all are so beautifully blended and intermixed; those, however,
which seem most in demand are maroon, sea-green, blue, _pensée,_ &c.


    1 Now it is fate. _July_, 1850.

    2 ——From swaddling-clothes,
      Dying begins at birth.

    3 The honest and uncompromising spirit in which these papers oppose
      the sanitary movement, has led some people to imagine that there is
      satire meant in them. The best way to answer this suspicion, is to
      print here so much as we can find space for of the speech of
      Alderman Lawrence, reported in the “Times” one Saturday. It will be
      seen that the tone of his eloquence, and that of ours, differ but
      little; and that the present writer resembles the learned Alderman
      (who has succeeded, however, on a far larger scale) in his attempt
      _miscere stultitiam consiliis brevem_. The noble city lord remarked:
      “The fact was, that the sanitary schemes were got up; talk was made
      about cholera, and people became alarmed. Now, it was said that
      burial-grounds were highly injurious to health, and a great cry had
      been raised against them. He did not know such to be the fact, that
      they were injurious to health. He did not believe one word about it.
      There were many persons who lived by raising up bugbears of this
      description in the present day, and those persons were always
      raising up some new crotchet or another.” After giving his view of
      the new interments bill, he asked, “Was it likely that the public
      would put up with the idea even of thus having the remains of their
      friends carried about the country? Was it likely that the Government
      would be permitted thus to spread perhaps pestilence and fever?”
      There! If you want satire, could you have a finer touch than that
      last sentence? There is a bone to pick, and marrow in it too.

    4 In the ventilation of large buildings destined to admit a throng, it
      may be also advantageous to the ægritudinary cause if heat be at all
      times considered a sufficient agent.

    5 Calcutta, 1848. This report is also published in the “Journal of the
      Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India,” vol. vi. part 2.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. V, October, 1850, Volume I." ***

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