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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851" ***

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Transcriber's note


Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. Printer
errors have been changed and are listed at the end. All other
inconsistencies are as in the original.



HARPER'S NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

No. VIII.--JANUARY, 1851.--VOL. II.



[Illustration: Robert Southey]

PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND HABITS OF ROBERT SOUTHEY.

BY HIS SON.[1]


Being the youngest of all his children, I had not the privilege of
knowing my father in his best and most joyous years, nor of remembering
Greta Hall when the happiness of its circle was unbroken. Much labor and
anxiety, and many sorrows, had passed over him; and although his natural
buoyancy of spirit had not departed, it was greatly subdued, and I
chiefly remember its gradual diminution from year to year.

In appearance he was certainly a very striking looking person, and in
early days he had by many been considered almost the _beau idéal_ of a
poet. Mr. Cottle describes him at the age of twenty-two as "tall,
dignified, possessing great suavity of manners, an eye piercing, a
countenance full of genius, kindliness, and intelligence;" and he
continues, "I had read so much of poetry, and sympathized so much with
poets in all their eccentricities and vicissitudes, that to see before
me the realization of a character which in the abstract so much absorbed
my regards, gave me a degree of satisfaction which it would be difficult
to express." Eighteen years later Lord Byron calls him a prepossessing
looking person, and, with his usual admixture of satire, says, "To have
his head and shoulders I would almost have written his Sapphics;" and
elsewhere he speaks of his appearance as "Epic," an expression which may
be either a sneer or a compliment.

His forehead was very broad; his height was five feet eleven inches; his
complexion rather dark, the eyebrows large and arched, the eye well
shaped and dark brown, the mouth somewhat prominent, muscular, and very
variously expressive, the chin small in proportion to the upper features
of his face. He always, while in Keswick, wore a cap in his walks, and
partly from habit, partly from the make of his head and shoulders, we
never thought he looked well or like himself in a hat. He was of a very
spare frame, but of great activity, and not showing any appearance of a
weak constitution.

My father's countenance, like his character, seems to have softened down
from a certain wildness of expression to a more sober and thoughtful
cast; and many thought him a handsomer man in age than in youth; his eye
retaining always its brilliancy, and his countenance its play of
expression.

The reader will remember his Republican independency when an
under-graduate at Oxford, in rebelling against the supremacy of the
college barber. Though he did not continue to let his hair hang down on
his shoulders according to the whim of his youthful days, yet he always
wore a greater quantity than is usual; and once, on his arrival in town,
Chantrey's first greetings to him were accompanied with an injunction to
go and get his hair cut. When I first remember it, it was turning from a
rich brown to the steel shade, whence it rapidly became almost snowy
white, losing none of its remarkable thickness, and clustering in
abundant curls over his massive brow.

For the following remarks on his general bearing and habits of
conversation I am indebted to a friend:

"The characteristics of his manner, as of his appearance, were lightness
and strength, an easy and happy composure as the accustomed mood, with
much mobility at the same time, so that he could be readily excited into
any degree of animation in discourse, speaking, if the subject moved him
much, with extraordinary fire and force, though always in light, laconic
sentences. When so moved, the fingers of his right hand often rested
against his mouth, and quivered through nervous susceptibility. But,
excitable as he was in conversation, he was never angry or irritable;
nor can there be any greater mistake concerning him than that into which
some persons have fallen, when they have inferred, from the fiery
vehemence with which he could give utterance to moral anger in verse or
prose, that he was personally ill-tempered or irascible. He was, in
truth, a man whom it was hardly possible to quarrel with or offend
personally and face to face; and in his writings, even on public
subjects in which his feelings were strongly engaged, he will be
observed to have always dealt tenderly with those whom he had once seen
and spoken to, unless, indeed, personally and grossly assailed by them.
He said of himself that he was tolerant of persons, though intolerant of
opinions. But in oral intercourse the toleration of persons was so much
the stronger, that the intolerance of opinions was not to be perceived;
and, indeed, it was only in regard to opinions of a pernicious moral
tendency that it was ever felt.

"He was averse from argumentation, and would commonly quit a subject
when it was passing into that shape, with a quiet and good-humored
indication of the view in which he rested. He talked most and with most
interest about books and about public affairs; less, indeed hardly at
all, about the characters and qualities of men in private life. In the
society of strangers or of acquaintances, he seemed to take more
interest in the subjects spoken of than in the persons present, his
manner being that of natural courtesy and general benevolence without
distinction of individuals. Had there been some tincture of social
vanity in him, perhaps he would have been brought into closer relations
with those whom he met in society; but, though invariably kind and
careful of their feelings, he was indifferent to the manner in which
they regarded him, or (as the phrase is) to his _effect_ in society; and
they might, perhaps, be conscious that the kindness they received was
what flowed naturally and inevitably to all, that they had nothing to
give in return which was of value to him, and that no individual
relations were established.

"In conversation with intimate friends he would sometimes express, half
humorously, a cordial commendation of some production of his own,
knowing that with them he could afford it, and that to those who knew
him well it was well known that there was no vanity in him. But such
commendations, though light and humorous, were perfectly sincere; for he
both possessed and cherished the power of finding enjoyment and
satisfaction wherever it was to be found--in his own books, in the books
of his friends, and in all books whatsoever that were not morally
tainted or absolutely barren."

His course of life was the most regular and simple possible. When it is
said that breakfast was at nine, after a little reading,[2] dinner at
four, tea at six, supper at half-past nine, and the intervals filled up
with reading or writing, except that he regularly walked between two and
four, and took a short sleep before tea, the outline of his day during
those long seasons when he was in full work will have been given. After
supper, when the business of the day seemed to be over, though he
generally took a book, he remained with his family, and was open to
enter into conversation, to amuse and to be amused. It was on such times
that the most pleasant fireside chattings, and the most interesting
stories came forth; and, indeed, it was at such a time (though long
before my day) that The Doctor was originated, as may be seen by the
beginning of that work and the Preface to the new edition.
Notwithstanding that the very mention of "my glass of punch," the one,
temperate, never exceeded glass of punch, may be a stumbling-block to
some of my readers, I am constrained, by the very love of the perfect
picture which the first lines of The Doctor convey of the conclusion of
his evening, to transcribe them in this place. It was written but for a
few, otherwise The Doctor would have been no secret at all; but those
few who knew him in his home will see his very look while they re-peruse
it, and will recall the well-known sound:

"I was in the fourth night of the story of the Doctor and his horse, and
had broken it off, not, like Scheherazade, because it was time to get
up, but because it was time to go to bed. It was at thirty-five minutes
after ten o'clock on the 20th of July, in the year of our Lord 1813. I
finished my glass of punch, tinkled the spoon against its side, as if
making music to my own meditations, and having fixed my eyes upon the
Bhow Begum, who was sitting opposite to me at the head of her own table,
I said, 'It ought to be written in a book.'"

This scene took place at the table of the Bhow Begum,[3] but it may
easily be transferred to his ordinary room, where he sat after supper in
one corner, with the fire on his left hand and a small table on his
right, looking on at his family circle in front of him.

I have said before, as indeed his own letters have abundantly shown,
that he was a most thoroughly domestic man, in that his whole pleasure
and happiness was centred in his home; but yet, from the course of his
pursuits, his family necessarily saw but little of him. He could not,
however he might wish it, join the summer evening walk, or make one of
the circle round the winter hearth, or even spare time for conversation
after the family meals (except during the brief space I have just been
speaking of). Every day, every hour had its allotted employment; always
were there engagements to publishers imperatively requiring punctual
fulfillment; always the current expenses of a large household to take
anxious thoughts for: he had no crops growing while he was idle. "My
ways," he used to say, "are as broad as the king's high road, and my
means lie in an ink-stand."

Yet, notwithstanding the value which every moment of his time thus
necessarily bore, unlike most literary men, he was never ruffled in the
slightest degree by the interruptions of his family, even on the most
trivial occasions; the book or the pen was ever laid down with a smile,
and he was ready to answer any question, or to enter with youthful
readiness into any temporary topic of amusement or interest.

In earlier years he spoke of himself as ill calculated for general
society, from a habit of uttering single significant sentences, which,
from being delivered without any qualifying clauses, bore more meaning
upon their surface than he intended, and through which his real opinions
and feelings were often misunderstood. This habit, as far as my own
observation went, though it was sometimes apparent, he had materially
checked in later life, and in large parties he was usually inclined to
be silent, rarely joining in general conversation. But he was very
different when with only one or two companions; and to those strangers,
who came to him with letters of introduction, he was both extremely
courteous in manner, and frank and pleasant in conversation, and to his
intimates no one could have been more wholly unreserved, more disposed
to give and receive pleasure, or more ready to pour forth his vast
stores of information upon almost every subject.

I might go on here, and enter more at length into details of his
personal character, but the task is too difficult a one, and is perhaps,
after all, better left unattempted. A most intimate and highly-valued
friend of my father's, whom I wished to have supplied me with some
passages on these points, remarks very justly, that "any portraiture of
him, by the pen as by the pencil, will fall so far short both of the
truth and the ideal which the readers of his poetry and his letters will
have formed for themselves, that they would be worse than superfluous."
And, indeed, perhaps I have already said too much. I can not, however,
resist quoting here some lines by the friend above alluded to, which
describe admirably in brief my father's whole character:

                                "Two friends
   Lent me a further light, whose equal hate
   On all unwholesome sentiment attends,
   Nor whom may genius charm where heart infirm attends.

   "In all things else contrarious were these two:
   The one a man upon whose laureled brow
   Gray hairs were growing! glory ever new
   Shall circle him in after years as now;
   For spent detraction may not disavow
   The world of knowledge with the wit combined,
   The elastic force no burden e'er could bow,
   The various talents and the single mind,
   Which give him moral power and mastery o'er mankind.

   "His sixty summers--what are they in truth?
   By Providence peculiarly blest,
   With him the strong hilarity of youth
   Abides, despite gray hairs, a constant guest,
   His sun has veered a point toward the west,
   But light as dawn his heart is glowing yet--
   That heart the simplest, gentlest, kindliest, best,
   Where truth and manly tenderness are met
   With faith and heavenward hope, the suns that never set."[4]

What further I will venture to say relates chiefly to the external
circumstances of his life at Keswick.

His greatest relaxation was in a mountain excursion or a pic-nic by the
side of one of the lakes, tarns, or streams; and these parties, of which
he was the life and soul, will long live in the recollections of those
who shared them. An excellent pedestrian (thinking little of a walk of
twenty-five miles when upward of sixty), he usually headed the
"infantry" on these occasions, looking on those gentlemen as idle
mortals who indulged in the luxury of a mountain pony; feeling very
differently in the bracing air of Cumberland to what he did in Spain in
1800, when he delighted in being "gloriously lazy," in "sitting sideways
upon an ass," and having even a boy to "propel" the burro.

Upon first coming down to the Lakes he rather undervalued the pleasures
of an al-fresco repast, preferring chairs and tables to the greensward
of the mountains, or the moss-grown masses of rock by the lake shore;
but these were probably the impressions of a cold, wet summer, and
having soon learned thoroughly to appreciate these pleasures, he had his
various chosen places which he thought it a sort of duty annually to
revisit. Of these I will name a few, as giving them, perhaps, an added
interest to some future tourists. The summit of Skiddaw he regularly
visited, often three or four times in a summer, but the view thence was
not one he greatly admired. Sea-Fell and Helvellyn he ranked much
higher, but on account of their distance did not often reach. Saddleback
and Causey Pike, two mountains rarely ascended by tourists, were great
favorites with him, and were the summits most frequently chosen for a
grand expedition; and the two tarns upon Saddleback, Threlkeld and
Bowscale tarns, were among the spots he thought most remarkable for
grand and lonely beauty. This, too, was ground rendered more than
commonly interesting, by having been the scenes of the childhood and
early life of Clifford the Shepherd Lord. The rocky streams of
Borrowdale, high up beyond Stonethwaite and Seathwaite, were also places
often visited, especially one beautiful spot, where the river makes a
sharp bend at the foot of Eagle Crag. The pass of Honistar Crag, leading
from Buttermere to Borrowdale, furnished a longer excursion, which was
occasionally taken with a sort of rustic pomp in the rough market carts
of the country, before the cars which are now so generally used had
become common, or been permitted by their owners to travel that worst of
all roads. Occasionally there were grand meetings with Mr. Wordsworth,
and his family and friends, at Leatheswater (or Thirlmere), a point
about half way between Keswick and Rydal; and here as many as fifty
persons have sometimes met together from both sides of the country.
These were days of great enjoyment, not to be forgotten.

[Illustration: VALE OF WATENLATH.]

There was also an infinite variety of long walks, of which he could take
advantage when opportunity served, without the preparation and trouble
of a preconcerted expedition: several of these are alluded to in his
Colloquies. The circuit formed by passing behind Barrow and Lodore to
the vale of Watenlath, placed up high among the hills, with its own
little lake and village, and the rugged path leading thence down to
Borrowdale, was one of the walks he most admired. The beautiful vale of
St. Johns, with its "Castle Rock" and picturesquely placed little
church, was another favorite walk; and there were a number of springs of
unusual copiousness situated near what had been apparently a deserted,
and now ruined village, where he used to take luncheon. The rocky bed of
the little stream at the foot of Causey Pike was a spot he loved to rest
at; and the deep pools of the stream that flows down the adjoining
valley of New Lands--

   "Whose pure and chrysolite waters
   Flow o'er a schistose bed,"

formed one of his favorite resorts for bathing.

Yet these excursions, although for a few years he still continued to
enjoy them, began in later life to wear to him something of a melancholy
aspect. So many friends were dead who had formerly shared them, and his
own domestic losses were but too vividly called to mind with the
remembrance of former days of enjoyment, the very grandeur of the
scenery around many of the chosen places, and the unchanging features of
the "everlasting hills," brought back forcibly sad memories, and these
parties became in time so painful that it was with difficulty he could
be prevailed upon to join in them.

He concealed, indeed, as the reader has seen, beneath a reserved manner,
a most acutely sensitive mind, and a warmth and kindliness of feeling
which was only understood by few, indeed, perhaps, not thoroughly by
any. He said, speaking of the death of his uncle, Mr. Hill, that one of
the sources of consolation to him was the thought that perhaps the
departed might then be conscious how truly he had loved and honored him;
and I believe the depth of his affection and the warmth of his
friendship was known to none but himself. On one particular point I
remember his often regretting his constitutional bashfulness and
reserve; and that was, because, added to his retired life and the nature
of his pursuits, it prevented him from knowing any thing of the persons
among whom he lived. Long as he had resided at Keswick, I do not think
there were twenty persons in the lower class whom he knew by sight; and
though this was in some measure owing to a slight degree of
short-sightedness, which, contrary to what is usual, came on in later
life, yet I have heard him often lament it as not being what he thought
right; and after slightly returning the salutation of some passer by, he
would again mechanically lift his cap as he heard some well-known name
in reply to his inquiries, and look back with regret that the greeting
had not been more cordial. With those persons who were occasionally
employed about the house he was most familiarly friendly, and these
regarded him with a degree of affectionate reverence that could not be
surpassed.

It may perhaps be expected by some readers that a more accurate account
of my father's income should be given than has yet appeared; but this is
not an easy matter, from its extreme variableness, and this it was that
constituted a continual source of uneasiness both to others and to
himself, rarely as he acknowledged it. A common error has been to speak
of him as one to whom literature has been a mine of wealth. That his
political opponents should do this is not so strange; but even Charles
Lamb, who, if he had thought a little, would hardly have written so
rashly, says, in a letter to Bernard Barton, recently published, that
"Southey has made a fortune by book drudgery." What sort of a "fortune"
that was which never once permitted him to have one year's income
beforehand, and compelled him almost always to forestall the profit of
his new works, the reader may imagine.

His only certain source of income[5] was his pension, from which he
received £145, and the Laureateship, which was £90: the larger portion
of these two sums, however, went to the payment of his life-insurance,
so that not more than £100 could be calculated upon as available, and
the Quarterly Review was therefore for many years his chief means of
support. He received latterly £100 for an article, and commonly
furnished one for each number. What more was needful had to be made up
by his other works, which as they were always published upon the terms
of the publisher taking the risk and sharing the profits, produced him
but little, considering the length of time they were often in
preparation, and as he was constantly adding new purchases to his
library, but little was to be reckoned upon this account. For the
Peninsular War he received £1000, but the copyright remained the
property of the publisher.

With regard to his mode of life, although it was as simple and
inexpensive as possible, his expenditure was with difficulty kept within
his income, though he had indeed a most faithful helpmate, who combined
with a wise and careful economy a liberality equal to his own in any
case of distress. One reason for this difficulty was, that considerable
sums were, not now and then, but regularly, drawn from him by his less
successful relatives.

The house which for so many years was his residence at Keswick, though
well situated both for convenience and for beauty of prospect, was
unattractive in external appearance, and to most families would have
been an undesirable residence. Having originally been two houses,
afterward thrown together, it consisted of a good many small rooms,
connected by long passages, all of which with great ingenuity he made
available for holding books, with which indeed the house was lined from
top to bottom. His own sitting-room, which was the largest in the house,
was filled with the handsomest of them, arranged with much taste,
according to his own fashion, with due regard to size, color, and
condition; and he used to contemplate these, his carefully accumulated
and much prized treasures, with even more pleasure and pride than the
greatest connoisseur his finest specimens of the old masters: and
justly, for they were both the necessaries and the luxuries of life to
him; both the very instruments whereby he won, hardly enough, his daily
bread, and the source of all his pleasures and recreations--the pride of
his eyes and the joy of his heart.

His Spanish and Portuguese collection, which at one time was one of the
best, if not itself the best to be found in the possession of any
private individual, was the most highly-prized portion of his library.
It had been commenced by his uncle, Mr. Hill, long prior to my father's
first visit to Lisbon; and having originated in the love Mr. Hill
himself had for the literature of those countries, it was carried
forward with more ardor when he found that his nephew's taste and
abilities were likely to turn it to good account. It comprised a
considerable number of manuscripts, some of them copied by Mr. Hill from
rare MSS. in private and convent libraries.

Many of these old books being in vellum or parchment bindings, he had
taken much pains to render them ornamental portions of the furniture of
his shelves. His brother Thomas was skillful in calligraphy; and by his
assistance their backs were painted with some bright color, and upon it
the title placed lengthwise in large gold letters of the old English
type. Any one who had visited his library will remember the
tastefully-arranged pyramids of these curious-looking books.

Another fancy of his was to have all those books of lesser value, which
had become ragged and dirty, covered, or rather bound, in colored cotton
prints, for the sake of making them clean and respectable in their
appearance, it being impossible to afford the cost of having so many put
into better bindings.

Of this task his daughters, aided by any female friends who might be
staying with them, were the performers; and not fewer than from 1200 to
1400 volumes were so bound by them at different times, filling
completely one room, which he designated as the Cottonian library. With
this work he was much interested and amused, as the ladies would often
suit the pattern to the contents, clothing a Quaker work or a book of
sermons in sober drab, poetry in some flowery design, and sometimes
contriving a sly piece of satire at the contents of some well-known
author by their choice of its covering. One considerable convenience
attended this eccentric mode of binding--the book became as well known
by its dress as by its contents, and much more easily found.

With respect to his mode of acquiring and arranging the contents of a
book, it was somewhat peculiar. He was as rapid a reader as could be
conceived, having the power of perceiving by a glance down the page
whether it contained any thing which he was likely to make use of--a
slip of paper lay on his desk, and was used as a marker, and with a
slight penciled S he would note the passage, put a reference on the
paper, with some brief note of the subject, which he could transfer to
his note-book, and in the course of a few hours he had classified and
arranged every thing in the work which it was likely he would ever want.
It was thus, with a remarkable memory (not so much for the facts or
passages themselves, but for their existence and the authors that
contained them), and with this kind of index, both to it and them, that
he had at hand a command of materials for whatever subject he was
employed upon, which has been truly said to be "unequaled."

Many of the choicest passages he would transcribe himself at odds and
ends of times, or employ one of his family to transcribe for him; and
these are the extracts which form his "Commonplace Book," recently
published; but those of less importance he had thus within reach in case
he wished to avail himself of them. The quickness with which this was
done was very remarkable. I have often known him receive a parcel of
books one afternoon, and the next have found his mark throughout perhaps
two or three different volumes; yet, if a work took his attention
particularly, he was not rapid in its perusal; and on some authors, such
as the Old Divines, he "fed," as he expressed it, slowly and carefully,
dwelling on the page and taking in its contents deeply and
deliberately--like an epicure with his "wine searching the subtle
flavor."

His library at his death consisted of about 14,000 volumes; probably the
largest number of books ever collected by a person of such limited
means. Among these he found most of the materials for all he did, and
almost all he wished to do; and though sometimes he lamented that his
collection was not a larger one, it is probable that it was more to his
advantage that it was in some degree limited. As it was, he collected an
infinitely greater quantity of materials for every subject he was
employed upon than ever he made use of, and his published Notes give
some idea, though an inadequate one, of the vast stores he thus
accumulated.

On this subject he writes to his cousin, Herbert Hill, at that time one
of the librarians of the "Bodleian:"--"When I was at the British Museum
the other day, walking through the rooms with Carey, I felt that to have
lived in that library, or in such a one, would have rendered me
perfectly useless, even if it had not made me mad. The sight of such
countless volumes made me feel how impossible it would be to pursue any
subject through all the investigations into which it would lead me, and
that therefore I should either lose myself in the vain pursuit, or give
up in despair, and read for the future with no other object than that of
immediate gratification. This was an additional reason for being
thankful for my own lot, aware as I am that I am always tempted to
pursue a train of inquiry too far."

The reader need not be told that the sorrows and anxieties of the last
few years of my father's life had produced, as might be expected, a very
injurious effect upon his constitution, both as to body and mind.
Acutely sensitive by nature, deep and strong in his affections, and
highly predisposed to nervous disease, he had felt the sad affliction
which had darkened his latter years far more keenly than any ordinary
observer would have supposed, or than even appears in his letters. He
had, indeed, then, as he expressed himself in his letter declining the
Baronetcy, been "shaken at the root;" and while we must not forget the
more than forty years of incessant mental application which he had
passed through, it was this stroke of calamity which most probably
greatly hastened the coming of the evil day, if it was not altogether
the cause of it, and which rapidly brought on that overclouding of the
intellect which soon unequivocally manifested itself.

This, indeed, in its first approaches, had been so gradual as to have
almost escaped notice; and it was not until after the sad truth was
fully ascertained, that indications of failure (some of which I have
already alluded to) which had appeared some time previously, were called
to mind. A loss of memory on certain points, a lessening acuteness of
the perceptive faculties, an occasional irritability (wholly unknown in
him before); a confusion of time, place, and person; the losing his way
in well-known places--all were remembered as having taken place, when
the melancholy fact had become too evident that the powers of his mind
were irreparably weakened.

On his way home in the year 1839, he passed a few days in London, and
then his friends plainly saw, what, from the altered manner of the very
few and brief letters he had latterly written, they had already feared,
that he had so failed as to have lost much of the vigor and activity of
his faculties. The impressions of one of his most intimate friends, as
conveyed at the time by letter, may fitly be quoted here. "I have just
come home from a visit which affected me deeply.... It was to Southey,
who arrived in town to-day from Hampshire with his wife.... He is (I
fear) much altered. The animation and peculiar clearness of his mind
quite gone, except a gleam or two now and then. What he said was much in
the spirit of his former mind as far as the matter and meaning went, but
the tone of strength and elasticity was wanting. The appearance was that
of a placid languor, sometimes approaching to torpor, but not otherwise
than cheerful. He is thin and shrunk in person, and that extraordinary
face of his has no longer the fire and strength it used to have, though
the singular cast of the features, and the habitual expressions, make it
still a most remarkable phenomenon. Upon the whole, I came away with a
troubled heart." ... After a brief account of the great trials of my
father's late years, the writer continues: "He has been living since his
marriage in Hampshire, where he has not had the aid of his old habits
and accustomed books to methodize his mind. All this considered, I think
we may hope that a year or two of quiet living at his own home may
restore him. His easy, cheerful temperament will be greatly in his
favor. You must help me to hope this, for I could not bear to think of
the decay of that great mind and noble nature--at least not of its
premature decay. Pray that this may be averted, as I have this
night."[6]

On the following day the same friend writes: "I think I am a little
relieved about Southey to-day. I have seen him three times in the course
of the day, and on each occasion he was so easy and cheerful that I
should have said his manner and conversation did not differ, in the most
part, from what it would have been in former days, if he had happened to
be very tired. I say for the most part only, though, for there was once
an obvious confusion of ideas. He lost himself for a moment; he was
conscious of it, and an expression passed over his countenance which was
exceedingly touching--an expression of pain and also of resignation. I
am glad to learn from his brother that he is aware of his altered
condition, and speaks of it openly. This gives a better aspect to the
case than if he could believe that nothing was the matter with him.
Another favorable circumstance is, that he will deal with himself wisely
and patiently. The charm of his manner is perhaps even enhanced at
present (at least when one knows the circumstances), by the gentleness
and patience which pervade it. His mind is beautiful even in its
debility."

Much of my father's failure in its early stages was at first ascribed by
those anxiously watching him, to repeated attacks of the influenza--at
that time a prevailing epidemic--from which he had suffered greatly, and
to which he attributed his own feelings of weakness; but alas! the
weakness he felt was as much mental as bodily (though he had certainly
declined much in bodily strength), and after his return home it
gradually increased upon him. The uncertain step--the confused
manner--the eye once so keen and so intelligent, now either wandering
restlessly or fixed as it were in blank contemplation--all showed that
the over-wrought mind was worn out.

One of the plainest signs of this was the cessation of his accustomed
labors; but while doing nothing (with him how plain a proof that nothing
could be done), he would frequently anticipate a coming period of his
usual industry. His mind, while any spark of its reasoning powers
remained, was busy with its old day-dreams--the History of Portugal--the
History of the Monastic Orders--the Doctor--all were soon to be taken in
hand in earnest--all completed, and new works added to these.

For a considerable time after he had ceased to compose, he took pleasure
in reading, and the habit continued after the power of comprehension was
gone. His dearly-prized books, indeed, were a pleasure to him almost to
the end, and he would walk slowly round his library looking at them, and
taking them down mechanically.

In the earlier stages of his disorder (if the term may be fitly applied
to a case which was not a perversion of the faculties, but their decay)
he could still converse at times with much of his old liveliness and
energy. When the mind was, as it were, set going upon some familiar
subject, for a little time you could not perceive much failure; but if
the thread was broken, if it was a conversation in which new topics were
started, or if any argument was commenced, his powers failed him at
once, and a painful sense of this seemed to come over him for the
moment. His recollection first failed as to recent events, and his
thoughts appeared chiefly to dwell upon those long past, and as his mind
grew weaker, these recollections seemed to recede still farther back.
Names he could rarely remember, and more than once, when trying to
recall one which he felt he ought to know, I have seen him press his
hand upon his brow and sadly exclaim, "Memory! memory! where art thou
gone?"

But this failure altogether was so gradual, and at the same time so
complete, that I am inclined to hope and believe there was not on the
whole much painful consciousness of it; and certainly for more than a
year preceding his death, he passed his time as in a dream, with little,
if any knowledge of what went on around him.

One circumstance connected with the latter years of his life deserves to
be noticed as very singular. His hair, which previously was almost snowy
white, grew perceptibly darker, and I think, if any thing, increased in
thickness and a disposition to curl.

But it is time I drew a vail over these latter scenes. They are too
painful to dwell on.

   "A noble mind in sad decay,
   When baffled hope has died away,
   And life becomes one long distress
   In pitiable helplessness.
   Methinks 'tis like a ship on shore,
   That once defied the Atlantic's roar,
   And gallantly through gale and storm
   Hath ventured her majestic form;
   But now in stranded ruin laid,
   By winds and dashing seas decayed,
   Forgetful of her ocean reign,
   Must crumble into earth again."[7]

In some cases of this kind, toward the end, some glimmering of reason
re-appears, but this must be when the mind is obscured or upset, not, as
in this case, apparently worn out. The body gradually grew weaker, and
disorders appeared which the state of the patient rendered it almost
impossible to treat properly; and, after a short attack of fever, the
scene closed on the 21st of March, 1843, and a second time had we cause
to feel deeply thankful, when the change from life to death, or more
truly from death to life, took place.

It was a dark and stormy morning when he was borne to his last
resting-place, at the western end of the beautiful church-yard of
Crosthwaite. There lies his dear son Herbert--there his daughters Emma
and Isabel--there Edith, his faithful helpmate of forty years. But few
besides his own family and immediate neighbors followed his remains. His
only intimate friend within reach, Mr. Wordsworth, crossed the hills
that wild morning to be present.

Soon after my father's death, various steps were taken with a view to
erecting monuments to his memory; and considerable sums were quickly
subscribed for that purpose, the list including the names of many
persons, not only strangers to him personally, but also strongly opposed
to him in political opinion. The result was that three memorials were
erected. The first and principal one, a full length recumbent figure,
was executed by Lough, and placed in Crosthwaite church, and is
certainly an excellent likeness, as well as a most beautiful work of
art. The original intention and agreement was, that it should be in Caen
stone, but the sculptor, with characteristic liberality, executed it in
white marble, at a considerable sacrifice.

[Illustration: SOUTHEY'S TOMB.]

The following lines, by Mr. Wordsworth, are inscribed upon the base:

   "Ye vales and hills, whose beauty hither drew
   The poet's steps, and fixed him here; on you
   His eyes have closed; and ye loved books, no more
   Shall Southey feed upon your precious lore,
   To works that ne'er shall forfeit their renown
   Adding immortal labors of his own--
   Whether he traced historic truth with zeal
   For the state's guidance or the church's weal,
   Or fancy disciplined by curious art
   Informed his pen, or wisdom of the heart,
   Or judgments sanctioned in the patriot's mind
   By reverence for the rights of all mankind.
   Wide were his aims, yet in no human breast
   Could private feelings meet in holier rest.
   His joys--his griefs--have vanished like a cloud
   From Skiddaw's top; but he to Heaven was vowed
   Through a life long and pure, and steadfast faith
   Calmed in his soul the fear of change and death."

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: From an unpublished chapter of the Life and Correspondence
of Robert Southey, now in press by Harper and Brothers.]

[Footnote 2: During the several years that he was partially employed
upon the Life of Dr. Bell, he devoted two hours before breakfast to it
in the summer, and as much time as there was daylight for, during the
winter months, that it might not interfere with the usual occupations of
the day. In all this time, however, he made but little progress in it;
partly from the nature of the materials, partly from the want of
sufficient interest in the subject.]

[Footnote 3: Miss Barker, the Senhora of earlier days, who was living at
that time in a house close to Greta Hall.]

[Footnote 4: Notes to Philip Van Artevelde, by Henry Taylor.]

[Footnote 5: I speak of a period prior to his receiving his last
pension, which was granted in 1835.]

[Footnote 6: August 24, 1839.]

[Footnote 7: Robert Montgomery. The fourth line is altered from the
original.]



[Illustration: MADAME CAMPAN.]

MADAME CAMPAN.[8]

Jane Louisa Henrietta Campan was born at Paris, 1752. She was the
daughter of M. Genet, first clerk in the office of the Minister of
Foreign Affairs. He was fond of literature, and communicated a taste for
it to his daughter, who early displayed considerable talents. She
acquired a knowledge of foreign languages, particularly the Italian and
English, and was distinguished for her skill in reading and recitation.
These acquisitions procured for her the place of reader to the French
princesses, daughters of Louis XV. On the marriage of Marie-Antoinette
to the Dauphin, afterward Louis XVI., Mademoiselle Genet was attached to
her suite, and continued, for twenty years, to occupy a situation about
her person.

Her general intelligence and talent for observation, enabled Madame
Campan, in the course of her service, to collect the materials for her
"Memoirs of the Private Life of the Queen of France," first published in
Paris, and translated and printed in London, 1823, in two volumes. This
work is not only interesting for the information it affords, but is also
very creditable to the literary talents of the authoress. Soon after the
appointment at court, Mademoiselle Genet was married to M. Campan, son
of the Secretary of the queen's closet. When Marie-Antoinette was made a
prisoner, Madame Campan begged to be permitted to accompany her royal
mistress, and share her imprisonment, which was refused. Madame Campan
was with the queen at the storming of the Tuilleries, on the 10th of
August, when she narrowly escaped with her life: and, under the rule of
Robespierre, she came near being sent to the guillotine. After the fall
of that tyrant, she retired to the country, and opened a private
seminary for young ladies, which she conducted with great success.
Josephine Beauharnais sent her daughter, Hortense, to the seminary of
Madame Campan. She had also the sisters of the emperor under her care.
In 1806, Napoleon founded the school of Ecouen, for the daughters and
sisters of the officers of the Legion of Honor, and appointed Madame
Campan to superintend it. This institution was suppressed at the
restoration of the Bourbons, and Madame Campan retired to Nantes, where
she partly prepared her "Memoirs," and other works. She died in 1822,
aged seventy. After her decease, her "Private Journal" was published;
also, "Familiar Letters to her Friends," and a work, which she
considered her most important one, entitled "Thoughts on Education." We
will give extracts from these works.


From the "Private Journal."

MESMER AND HIS MAGNETISM.

At the time when Mesmer made so much noise in Paris with his magnetism,
M. Campan, my husband, was his partisan, like almost every person who
moved in high life. To be magnetized was then a fashion; nay, it was
more, it was absolutely a rage. In the drawing-rooms, nothing was talked
of but the brilliant discovery. There was to be no more dying; people's
heads were turned, and their imaginations heated in the highest degree.
To accomplish this object, it was necessary to bewilder the
understanding; and Mesmer, with his singular language, produced that
effect. To put a stop to the fit of public insanity was the grand
difficulty; and it was proposed to have the secret purchased by the
court. Mesmer fixed his claims at a very extravagant rate. However, he
was offered fifty thousand crowns. By a singular chance, I was one day
led into the midst of the somnambulists. Such was the enthusiasm of the
spectators, that, in most of them, I could observe a wild rolling of the
eye, and a convulsed movement of the countenance. A stranger might have
fancied himself amidst the unfortunate patients of Charenton. Surprised
and shocked at seeing so many people almost in a state of delirium, I
withdrew, full of reflections on the scene which I had just witnessed.

It happened that about this time my husband was attacked with a
pulmonary disorder, and he desired that he might be conveyed to Mesmer's
house. Being introduced into the apartment occupied by M. Campan, I
asked the worker of miracles what treatment he proposed to adopt; he
very coolly replied, that to ensure a speedy and perfect cure, it would
be necessary to lay in the bed of the invalid, at his left side, one of
three things, namely, a young woman of brown complexion; a black hen; or
an empty bottle.

"Sir," said I, "if the choice be a matter of indifference, pray try the
empty bottle."

M. Campan's side grew worse; he experienced a difficulty of breathing
and a pain in his chest. All magnetic remedies that were employed
produced no effect. Perceiving his failure, Mesmer took advantage of the
periods of my absence to bleed and blister the patient. I was not
informed of what had been done until after M. Campan's recovery. Mesmer
was asked for a certificate, to prove that the patient had been cured by
means of magnetism only; and he gave it. Here was a trait of enthusiasm!
Truth was no longer respected. When I next presented myself to the queen
(Marie-Antoinette), their majesties asked what I thought of Mesmer's
discovery. I informed them of what had taken place, earnestly expressing
my indignation at the conduct of the barefaced quack. It was immediately
determined to have nothing more to do with him.


THE EMPEROR ALEXANDER'S VISIT TO MADAME CAMPAN'S SCHOOL.

The emperor inquired into the most minute particulars respecting the
establishment at Ecouen; and I felt great pleasure in answering his
questions. I recollect having dwelt on several points which appeared to
me very important, and which were in their spirit hostile to
aristocratical principles. For example, I informed his majesty that the
daughters of distinguished and wealthy individuals, and those of the
humble and obscure, were indiscriminately mingled together in the
establishment. If, said I, I were to observe the least pretension on
account of the rank or fortune of parents, I should immediately put an
end to it. The most perfect equality is preserved; distinction is
awarded only to merit and industry. The pupils are obliged to cut and
make all their own clothes. They are taught to clean and mend lace; and
two at a time, they by turns, three times a week, cook and distribute
victuals to the poor of the village. The young ladies who have been
brought up in my boarding-school are thoroughly acquainted with every
thing relating to household business; and they are grateful to me for
having made it a part of their education. In my conversations with them,
I have always taught them that _on domestic management depends the
preservation or dissipation of their fortunes_. I impress on their minds
the necessity of regulating with attention the most trifling daily
expenses; but at the same time I recommend them to avoid making domestic
details the subject of conversation in the drawing-room, for that is a
most decided mark of ill-breeding. It is proper that all should know how
to do and to direct; but it is only for ill-educated women to talk about
their carriages, servants, washing, and cooking.

These are the reasons, sire, why my pupils are generally superior to
those brought up in other establishments. All is conducted on the most
simple plan; the young ladies are taught every thing of which they can
possibly stand in need; and they are consequently as much at their ease
in the brilliant circles of fashion, as in the most humble condition of
life. Fortune confers rank, but education teaches how to support it
properly.


From the "Letters," &c.

TO HER ONLY SON.

You are now, my dear Henry, removed from my fond care and instruction;
and young as you are, you have entered upon the vast theatre of the
world. Some years hence, when time shall have matured your ideas, and
enabled you to take a clear, retrospective view of your steps in life,
you will be able to enter into my feelings, and to judge of the anxiety
which at this moment agitates my heart.

When first a beloved child, releasing itself from its nurse's arms,
ventures its little tottering steps on the soft carpet, or the smoothest
grass-plot, the poor mother scarcely breathes; she imagines that these
first efforts of nature are attended with every danger to the object
most dear to her. Fond mother, calm your anxious fears! Your infant son
can, at the worst, only receive a slight hurt, which, under your tender
care, will speedily be healed. Reserve your alarms, your heart-beatings,
your prayers to Providence, for the moment when your son enters upon the
scene of the world to select a character, which, if sustained with
dignity, judgment, and feeling, will render him universally esteemed and
approved; or to degrade himself by filling one of those low,
contemptible parts, fit only for the vilest actors in the drama of life.
Tremble at the moment when your child has to choose between the rugged
road of industry and integrity, leading straight to honor and happiness;
and the smooth and flowery path which descends, through indolence and
pleasure, to the gulf of vice and misery. It is then that the voice of a
parent, or of some faithful friend, must direct the right course....

Surrounded as you doubtless are, by thoughtless and trifling companions,
let your mother be the rallying point of your mind and heart; the
confidant of all your plans....

Learn to know the value of money. This is a most essential point. The
want of economy leads to the decay of powerful empires, as well as
private families. Louis XVI. perished on the scaffold for a deficit of
fifty millions. There would have been no debt, no assemblies of the
people, no revolution, no loss of the sovereign authority, no tragical
death, but for this fatal deficit. States are ruined through the
mismanagement of millions, and private persons become bankrupts and end
their lives in misery through the mismanagement of crowns worth six
livres. It is very important, my dear son, that I lay down to you these
first principles of right conduct, and impress upon your mind the
necessity of adhering to them. Render me an account of the expenditure
of your money, not viewing me in the light of a rigid preceptress, but
as a friend who wishes to accustom you to the habit of accounting to
yourself....

Let me impress upon you the importance of attentive application to
business; for that affords certain consolation, and is a security
against lassitude, and the vices which idleness creates....

Be cautious how you form connections; and hesitate not to break them off
on the first proposition to adopt any course which your affectionate
mother warns you to avoid, as fatal to your real happiness, and to the
attainment of that respect and esteem which it should be your ambition
to enjoy....

Never neglect to appropriate a certain portion of your time to useful
reading; and do not imagine that even half an hour a day, devoted to
that object, will be unprofitable. The best way of arranging and
employing one's time is by calculation; and I have often reflected that
half an hour's reading every day, will be one hundred and eighty hours'
reading in the course of the year. Great fortunes are amassed by little
savings; and poverty as well as ignorance are occasioned by the
extravagant waste of money and time....

My affection for you, my dear Henry, is still as actively alive as when,
in your infancy, I removed, patiently, every little stone from a certain
space in my garden, lest, when you first ran alone, you might fall and
hurt your face on the pebbles. But the snares now spread beneath your
steps are far more dangerous. They are strengthened by seductive
appearances, and the ardor of youth would hurry you forward to the
allurement; but that my watchful care, and the confidence you repose in
me, serve to counteract the influence of this twofold power. Your bark
is gliding near a rapid current; but your mother stands on the shore,
and with her eyes fixed on her dear navigator, anxiously exclaims, in
the moment of danger, "Reef your sails; mind your helm." Oh! may you
never forget, or cease to be guided by these warnings, which come from
my inmost heart.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 8: From Mrs. Hale's Female Biography, now in the press of
Harper & Brothers.]



PROCRASTINATION.

BY CHARLES MACKAY.


   If fortune with a smiling face
   Strew roses on our way,
   When shall we stoop to pick them up?
       _To-day, my love, to-day._
   But should she frown with face of care,
   And talk of coming sorrow,
   When shall we grieve, if grieve we must?
       _To-morrow, love, to-morrow._

   If those who've wrong'd us own their fault,
   And kindly pity pray,
   When shall we listen, and forgive?
       _To-day, my love, to-day._
   But if stern Justice urge rebuke,
   And warmth from Memory borrow,
   When shall we chide, if chide we dare?
       _To-morrow, love, to-morrow._

   If those to whom we owe a debt
   Are harmed unless we pay,
   When shall we struggle to be just?
       _To-day, my love, to-day._
   But if our debtor fail our hope,
   And plead his ruin thorough,
   When shall we weigh his breach of faith?
       _To-morrow, love, to-morrow._

   If love estranged should once again
   Her genial smile display,
   When shall we kiss her proffered lips?
       _To-day, my love, to-day._
   But if she would indulge regret,
   Or dwell with bygone sorrow,
   When shall we weep, if weep we must?
       _To-morrow, love, to-morrow._

   For virtuous acts and harmless joys
   The minutes will not stay;
   We've always time to welcome them,
       _To-day, my love, to-day._
   But care, resentment, angry words,
   And unavailing sorrow,
   Come far too soon, if they appear
       _To-morrow, love, to-morrow._



[Illustration: BONA LOMBARDI.]

BRUNORO.[9]


Bona Lombardi, was born in 1417, in Sacco, a little village in
Vattellina. Her parents were obscure peasants, of whom we have but
little information. The father, Gabriel Lombardi, a private soldier,
died while she was an infant; and her mother not surviving him long, the
little girl was left to the charge of an aunt, a hard-working
countrywoman, and an uncle, an humble curate.

Bona, in her simple peasant station, exhibited intelligence, decision of
character, and personal beauty, which raised her to a certain
consideration in the estimation of her companions; and the neighborhood
boasted of the beauty of Bona when an incident occurred which was to
raise her to a most unexpected rank. In the war between the Duke of
Milan and the Venetians, the latter had been routed and driven from
Vattellina. Piccinino, the Milanese general, upon departing to follow up
his advantages, left Captain Brunoro, a Parmesan gentleman, to maintain
a camp in Morbegno, as a central position, to maintain the conquered
country. One day, after a hunting party, he stopped to repose himself,
in a grove where many of the peasants were assembled for some rustic
festival; he was greatly struck with the loveliness of a girl of about
fifteen. Upon entering into conversation with her, he was surprised at
the ingenuity and spirited tone of her replies. Speaking of the
adventure on his return home, every body told him that Bona Lombardi had
acknowledged claims to admiration.

Brunoro, remaining through the summer in that district, found many
opportunities of seeing the fair peasant; becoming acquainted with her
worth and character, he at last determined to make her the companion of
his life; their marriage was not declared at first, but, to prevent a
separation, however temporary, Bona was induced to put on the dress of
an officer. Her husband delighted in teaching her horsemanship, together
with all military exercises. She accompanied him in battle, fought by
his side, and, regardless of her own safety, seemed to be merely an
added arm to shield and assist Brunoro. As was usual in those times,
among the condottieri, Brunoro adopted different lords, and fought
sometimes in parties to which, at others, he was opposed. In these
vicissitudes, he incurred the anger of the King of Naples, who, seizing
him by means of an ambuscade, plunged him into a dungeon, where he would
probably have finished his days, but for the untiring and well-planned
efforts of his wife. To effect his release, she spared no means;
supplications, threats, money, all were employed, and, at last, with
good success. She had the happiness of recovering her husband.

Bona was not only gifted with the feminine qualities of domestic
affection and a well-balanced intellect; in the hottest battles, her
bravery and power of managing her troops were quite remarkable; of these
feats there are many instances recorded. We will mention but one. In the
course of the Milanese war, the Venetians had been, on one occasion,
signally discomfited in an attack upon the Castle of Povoze, in Brescia.
Brunoro himself was taken prisoner, and carried into the castle. Bona
arrived with a little band of fresh soldiers; she rallied the routed
forces, inspired them with new courage, led them on herself, took the
castle, and liberated her husband, with the other prisoners. She was,
however, destined to lose her husband without possibility of recovering
him; he died in 1468. When this intrepid heroine, victor in battles,
and, rising above all adversity, was bowed by a sorrow resulting from
affection, she declared she could not survive Brunoro. She caused a tomb
to be made, in which their remains could be united; and, after seeing
the work completed, she gradually sank into a languid state, which
terminated in her death.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 9: From Mrs. Hale's Female Biography.]



[Illustration: Thomas De Quincey]

A SKETCH OF MY CHILDHOOD.

BY THE "ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER."

SEPTEMBER 21, 1850.


To the Editor of Hogg's "Instructor."

My Dear Sir--I am much obliged to you for communicating to us (that is,
to my daughters and myself) the engraved portrait, enlarged from the
daguerreotype original. The engraver, at least, seems to have done his
part ably. As to one of the earlier artists concerned, viz., the sun of
July, I suppose it is not allowable to complain of _him_, else my
daughters are inclined to upbraid him with having made the mouth too
long. But, of old, it was held audacity to suspect the sun's veracity:
"Solem quis dicere falsum audeat!" And I remember that, half a century
ago, the "Sun" newspaper in London, used to fight under sanction of that
motto. But it was at length discovered by the learned, that Sun
_junior_, viz., the newspaper, _did_ sometimes indulge in fibbing. The
ancient prejudice about the solar truth broke down, therefore, in that
instance; and who knows but Sun _senior_ may be detected, now that our
optical glasses are so much improved, in similar practices? in which
case he may have only been "keeping his hand in" when operating upon
that one feature of the mouth. The rest of the portrait, we all agree,
does credit to his talents, showing that he is still wide-awake, and not
at all the superannuated old artist that some speculators in philosophy
had dreamed of his becoming.

As an accompaniment to this portrait, your wish is that I should furnish
a few brief chronological memoranda of my own life. _That_ would be hard
for me to do, and, _when_ done, might not be very interesting for others
to read. Nothing makes such dreary and monotonous reading as the old
hackneyed roll-call, chronologically arrayed, of inevitable facts in a
man's life. One is so certain of the man's having been born, and also of
his having died, that it is dismal to lie under the necessity of reading
it. That the man began by being a boy--that he went to school--and that,
by intense application to his studies, "which he took to be _his_
portion in this life," he rose to distinction as a robber of orchards,
seems so probable, upon the whole, that I am willing to accept it as a
postulate. That he married--that, in fullness of time, he was hanged, or
(being a humble, unambitious man) that he was content with deserving
it--these little circumstances are so naturally to be looked for, as
sown broadcast up and down the great fields of biography, that any one
life becomes, in this respect, but the echo of thousands. Chronologic
successions of events and dates, such as these, which, belonging to the
race, illustrate nothing in the individual, are as wearisome as they are
useless.

A better plan will be--to detach some single chapter from the
experiences of childhood, which is likely to offer, at least, this kind
of value--either that it will record some of the deep impressions under
which my childish sensibilities expanded, and the ideas which at that
time brooded continually over my mind, or else will expose the traits of
character that slumbered in those around me. This plan will have the
advantage of not being liable to the suspicion of vanity or egotism; for
I beg the reader to understand distinctly, that I do not offer this
sketch as deriving any part of what interest it may have from myself, as
the person concerned in it. If the particular experience selected is
really interesting, in virtue of its own circumstances, then it matters
not to _whom_ it happened. Suppose that a man should record a perilous
journey, it will be no fair inference that he records it as a journey
performed by himself. Most sincerely he may be able to say, that he
records it not _for_ that relation to himself, but _in spite of_ that
relation. The incidents, being absolutely independent, in their power to
amuse, of all personal reference, must be equally interesting [he will
say] whether they occurred to A or to B. That is _my_ case. Let the
reader abstract from _me_ as a person that by accident, or in some
partial sense, may have been previously known to himself. Let him read
the sketch as belonging to one who wishes to be profoundly anonymous. I
offer it not as owing any thing to its connection with a particular
individual, but as likely to be amusing separately for itself; and if I
make any mistake in _that_, it is not a mistake of vanity exaggerating
the consequence of what relates to my own childhood, but a simple
mistake of the judgment as to the power of amusement that may attach to
a particular succession of reminiscences.

Excuse the imperfect development which in some places of the sketch may
have been given to my meaning. I suffer from a most afflicting
derangement of the nervous system, which at times makes it difficult for
me to write at all, and always makes me impatient, in a degree not
easily understood, of recasting what may seem insufficiently, or even
incoherently, expressed.--Believe me, ever yours,

THOMAS DE QUINCEY.


A SKETCH FROM CHILDHOOD.

About the close of my sixth year, suddenly the first chapter of my life
came to a violent termination; that chapter which, and which only, in
the hour of death, or even within the gates of recovered Paradise, could
merit a remembrance. "It is finished," was the secret misgiving of my
heart, for the heart even of infancy is as apprehensive as that of
maturest wisdom, in relation to any capital wound inflicted on the
happiness; "it is finished, and life is exhausted." How? Could it be
exhausted so soon? Had I read Milton, had I seen Rome, had I heard
Mozart? No. The "Paradise Lost" was yet unread, the Coliseum and St.
Peter's were unseen, the melodies of Don Giovanni were yet silent for
me. Raptures there might be in arrear. But raptures are modes of
_troubled_ pleasure; the peace, the rest, the lulls, the central
security, which belong to love, that is past all understanding, _those_
could return no more. Such a love, so unfathomable, subsisting between
myself and my eldest sister, under the circumstances of our difference
in age (she being above eight years of age, I under six), and of our
affinities in nature, together with the sudden foundering of all this
blind happiness, I have described elsewhere.[10] I shall not here repeat
any part of the narrative. But one extract from the closing sections of
the paper I shall make; in order to describe the depth to which a
child's heart may be plowed up by one over-mastering storm of grief, and
as a proof that grief, in some of its fluctuations, is not uniformly a
depressing passion--but also by possibility has its own separate
aspirations, and at times is full of cloudy grandeur. The point of time
is during the months that immediately succeeded to my sister's funeral.

"The awful stillness of summer noons, when no winds were abroad--the
appealing silence of gray or misty afternoons--these were to me, in that
state of mind, fascinations, as of witchcraft. Into the woods, or the
desert air, I gazed as if some comfort lay in _them_. I wearied the
heavens with my inquest of beseeching looks. I tormented the blue depths
with obstinate scrutiny, sweeping them with my eyes, and searching them
forever, after one angelic face, that might perhaps have permission to
reveal itself for a moment. The faculty of shaping images in the
distance, out of slight elements, and grouping them after the yearnings
of the heart, grew upon me at this time. And I recall at the present
moment one instance of that sort, which may show how merely shadows, or
a gleam of brightness, or nothing at all, could furnish a sufficient
basis for this creative faculty. On Sunday mornings I was always taken
to church. It was a church on the old and natural model of England,
having aisles, galleries, organ, all things ancient and venerable, and
the proportions majestic. Here, while the congregation knelt through the
long Litany, as often as we came to that passage, so beautiful among the
many that are so, where God is supplicated on behalf of 'all sick
persons and young children,' and that He 'would show His pity upon all
prisoners and captives', I wept in secret; and, raising my streaming
eyes to the windows of the galleries, saw, on days when the sun was
shining, a spectacle as affecting as ever prophet can have beheld. The
margins of the windows were rich in storied glass; through the deep
purples and crimsons streamed the golden light; emblazonries of heavenly
illumination mingling with the earthly emblazonries of what is grandest
in man. _There_ were the apostles that had trampled upon earth, and the
glories of earth, out of celestial love to man. _There_ were the martyrs
that had borne witness to the truth through flames, through torments,
and through armies of fierce, insulting faces. _There_ were the saints
that, under intolerable pangs, had glorified God by meek submission to
his will. And all the time, while this tumult of sublime memorials held
on as the deep chords of some accompaniment in the bass, I saw through
the wide central field of the window, where the glass was _un_colored,
white fleecy clouds sailing over the azure depths of the sky; were it
but a fragment or a hint of such a cloud, immediately, under the flash
of my sorrow-haunted eye, it grew and shaped itself into a vision of
beds with white lawny curtains; and in the beds lay sick children, dying
children, that were tossing in anguish, and weeping clamorously for
death. God, for some mysterious reason, could not suddenly release them
from their pain; but He suffered the beds, as it seemed, to rise slowly
through the clouds; slowly the beds ascended into the chambers of the
air; slowly, also, his arms descended from the heavens, in order that He
and His young children whom in Judea, once and forever, He had blessed,
though they _must_ pass slowly through the dreadful chasm of separation,
might yet meet the sooner. These visions were self-sustained. These
visions needed not that any sound should speak to me, or music mould my
feelings. The hint from the Litany, the fragment from the clouds, the
pictures on the storied windows were sufficient. But not the less the
blare of the tumultuous organ wrought its own separate creations. And
often-times in anthems, when the mighty instrument threw its vast
columns of sound, fierce, yet melodious, over the voices of the
choir--high in arches when it rose, seeming to surmount and over-ride
the strife of the vocal parts, and gathering by strong coercion the
total storm of music into unity--sometimes I also seemed to rise and to
walk triumphantly upon those clouds, which so recently I had looked up
to as mementoes of prostrate sorrow. Yes; sometimes, under the
transfigurations of music, I felt of grief itself, as a fiery chariot
for mounting victoriously above the causes of grief."

The next (which was the _second_) chapter of my childish experience,
formed that sort of fierce and fantastic contradiction to the first,
which might seem to move in obedience to some incarnate principle of
malicious pantomime. A spirit of love, and a spirit of rest, as if
breathing from St. John the Evangelist, had seemed to mould the
harmonies of that earliest stage in my childhood which had just
vanished; but now, on the other hand, some wicked Harlequin
Mephistopheles was apparently commissioned to vex my eyes and plague my
heart, through the next succession of two or three years: a worm was at
the roots of life. Yet, in this, perhaps, there lurked a harsh
beneficence. If, because the great vision of love had vanished, idiocy
and the torpor of despondency were really creeping stealthily over my
faculties, and strangling their energies, what better change for me than
the necessity (else how miserable!) of fighting, wrangling, struggling,
without pause, or promise of pause, from day to day, or even from year
to year? "If," as my good angel might have said to me, "thou art moving
on a line of utter ruin, from mere palsy of one great vital force, and
if that loss is past all restoration, then kindle a new supplementary
life by such means as are now possible--by the agitations, for instance,
of strife and conflict"--yes, possible, on the wide stage of the world,
and for people who should be free agents enough to _make_ enemies, in
case they failed to find them; but for a child, not seven years old, to
whom his medical advisers should prescribe a course of hatred, or
continued hostilities, by way of tonics, in what quarter was _he_ to
look out for such luxuries? Who would condescend to officiate as _enemy_
to a child! And yet, as regarded my own particular case, had I breathed
out any such querulous demand, that same Harlequin Mephistopheles might
have whispered in reply, "Never you trouble yourself about _that_. Do
_you_ furnish the patience that can swallow cheerfully a long course of
kicking, and _I_'ll find those that shall furnish the kicks." In fact,
at this very moment, when all chance of quarrel, or opening for
prolonged enmity, seemed the remotest of chimeras, mischief was already
in the wind; and suddenly there was let loose upon me such a storm of
belligerent fury as might, under good management, have yielded a
life-annuity of feuds.

I had at that time an elder brother, in fact, the eldest of us all, and
at least five years senior to myself. He, by original temperament, was a
boy of fiery nature, ten times more active than I was inert, loving the
element of feuds and stormy conflict more (if that were possible) than I
detested it; and these constitutional tendencies had in him been nursed
by the training of a public school. This accident in his life was indeed
the cause of our now meeting as strangers. Singular, indeed, it seems,
but, in fact, had arisen naturally enough, that both this eldest of my
brothers, and my father, should be absolute strangers to me in my
seventh year; so that, in the case of meeting either, I should not have
known him, nor he me. In my father's case, this arose from the accident
of his having lived abroad for a space that, measured against _my_ life,
was a very long one. First, he lived in Portugal, at Lisbon; and at
Cintra; next in Madeira; then in the West Indies; sometimes in Jamaica,
sometimes in St. Kitts, courting the supposed benefit of hot climates in
his complaint of pulmonary consumption; and at last, when all had proved
unavailing, he was coming home to die among his family, in his
thirty-ninth year. My mother had gone to wait his arrival at the port
(Southampton, probably), to which the West India packet should bring
him; and among the deepest recollections which I connect with that
period, is one derived from the night of his arrival at Greenhay. It was
a summer evening of unusual solemnity. The servants, and four of us
children--six then survived--were gathered for hours, on the lawn before
the house, listening for the sound of wheels. Sunset came--nine, ten,
eleven o'clock, and nearly another hour had passed--without a warning
sound; for Greenhay, being so solitary a house, formed a _terminus ad
quem_, beyond which was nothing but a cluster of cottages, composing the
little hamlet of Greenhill; so that any sound of wheels, heard in the
winding lane which then connected us with the Rusholme road, carried
with it, of necessity, a warning summons to prepare for visitors at
Greenhay. No such summons had yet reached us; it was nearly midnight;
and, for the last time, it was determined that we should move in a body
out of the grounds, on the chance of meeting the traveling party, if, at
so late an hour, it could yet be expected to arrive. In fact, to our
general surprise, we met it almost immediately, but coming at so slow a
pace, that the fall of the horses' feet was not audible until we were
close upon them. I mention the case for the sake of the undying
impressions which connected themselves with the circumstances. The first
notice of the approach was the sudden emerging of horses' heads from the
deep gloom of the shady lane; the next was the mass of white pillows
against which the dying patient was reclining. The hearse-like pace at
which the carriage moved recalled the overwhelming spectacle of the
funeral which had so lately formed part in the most memorable event of
my life. But these elements of awe, that might at any rate have struck
forcibly upon the mind of a child, were for me, in my condition of
morbid nervousness, raised into abiding grandeur by the antecedent
experiences of that particular summer night. The listening for hours to
the sounds from horses' hoofs upon distant roads, rising and falling,
caught and lost, upon the gentle undulation of such light, fitful airs
as might be stirring--the peculiar solemnity of the hours succeeding to
sunset--the gorgeousness of the dying day--the gorgeousness which, by
description, so well I knew of those West Indian islands from which my
father was returning--the knowledge that he returned only to die--the
almighty pomp in which this great idea of Death appareled itself to my
young suffering heart--the corresponding pomp in which the antagonistic
idea, not less mysterious, of life, rose, as if on wings, to the
heavens, amidst tropic glories and floral pageantries, that seemed even
_more_ solemn and more pathetic than, the vapory plumes and trophies of
mortality--all this chorus of restless images, or of suggestive
thoughts, gave to my father's return, which else had been fitted only to
interpose a transitory illumination or red-letter day in the calendar of
a child, the shadowy power of an ineffaceable agency among my dreams.
This, indeed, was the one sole memorial which restores my father's image
to me as a personal reality. Otherwise, he would have been for me a bare
_nominis umbra_. He languished, indeed, for weeks upon a sofa; and,
during that interval, it happened naturally, from my meditative habits
and corresponding repose of manners, that I was a privileged visitor to
him during his waking hours. I was also present at his bed-side in the
closing hour of his life, which exhaled quietly, amidst snatches of
delirious conversation with some imaginary visitors. From this brief
childish experience of his nature and disposition, the chief conclusion
which I drew tended to this--that he was the most _benignant_ person
whom I had met, or was likely to meet, in life. What I have since heard
from others, who knew him well, tallied with my own childish impression.
His life had been too busy to allow him much time for regular study; but
he loved literature with a passionate love; had formed a large and
well-selected library; had himself published a book, which I have read,
and which really is not a bad one; and carried his reverence for
distinguished authors to such a height, that (according to the report,
of several among his friends) had either Dr. Johnson, or Cowper, the
poet--the two contemporary authors whom most he reverenced--happened to
visit Greenhay, he might have been tempted to express his homage through
the Pagan fashion of raising altars and burning incense, or of
sacrificing, if not an ox, yet, at least, a baron of beef. The latter
mode of idolatry Dr. Sam, would have approved, provided always that the
_nidor_ were irreproachable, and that the condiments of mustard,
horse-radish, &c., _more Anglico_, were placed on the altar; but as to
Cowper, who was in the habit of tracing Captain Cooke's death at Owyhee
to the fact that the misjudging captain had once suffered himself to be
worshiped at one of the Society Islands, in all consistency, he must
have fled from such a house with sacred horror. Why I have at all gone
back to this little parenthesis in my childhood is, from the singularity
that I should remember my father at all, only because I had received all
my impressions about him into the very centre of my preconceptions about
certain grand objects--about the Tropics, about summer evenings, and
about some mysterious glory of the grave. It seems metaphysical to say
so, but yet it is true that I knew him, speaking scholastically, through
_à priori_ ideas--I remember him _transcendenter_--and, were it not for
the midsummer night's dream which glorified his return, to me he would
have remained forever that absolute stranger, which, according to the
prosaic interpretation of the case, he really was.

My brother was a stranger from causes quite as little to be foreseen,
but seeming quite as natural after they had really occurred. In an early
stage of his career, he had been found wholly unmanageable. His genius
for mischief amounted to inspiration; it was a divine _afflatus_ which
drove him in that direction; and such was his capacity for riding in
whirlwinds and directing storms, that he made it his trade to create
them, as [Greek: nephelêgerheta Zehys] a cloud-compelling Jove, in order
that he _might_ direct them. For this, and other reasons, he had been
sent to the grammar school of Louth, in Lincolnshire--one of those many
old classic institutions which form the peculiar[11] glory of England.
To box, and to box under the severest restraint of honorable laws, was
in those days a mere necessity of school-boy life at _public_ schools;
and hence the superior manliness, generosity, and self-control, of those
generally who benefited by such discipline--so systematically hostile to
all meanness, pusillanimity, or indirectness. Cowper, in his poem on
that subject, is far from doing justice to our great public schools.
Himself disqualified, by delicacy of temperament, for reaping the
benefits from such a warfare, and having suffered too much in his own
Westminster experience, he could not judge them from an impartial
station; but I, though ill enough adapted to an atmosphere so stormy,
yet, having tried both classes of schools, public and private, am
compelled in mere conscience to give my vote (and, if I had a thousand
votes, to give _all_ my votes) for the former.

Fresh from such a training as this, and at a time when his additional
five or six years availed nearly to make _his_ age the double of mine,
my brother very naturally despised me; and, from his exceeding
frankness, he took no pains to conceal that he did. Why should he? Who
was it that could have a right to feel aggrieved by his contempt? Who,
if not myself? But it happened, on the contrary, that I had a perfect
craze for being despised. I doated on being despised; and considered
contempt the sincerest a sort of luxury, that I was in continual fear of
losing. I lived in a panic, lest I should be suspected of shamming
contemptibility. But I did _not_ sham it. I trusted that I was really
entitled to contempt; and, for this, I had some metaphysical-looking
reasons, which there may be occasion to explain further on. At present,
it is sufficient to give a colorable rationality to my craze, if I say,
that the slightest approach to any favorable construction of my
intellectual pretensions, any, the least, shadow of esteem expressed for
some thought or some logical distinction that I might incautiously have
dropped, alarmed me beyond measure, because it pledged me in a manner
with the hearer to support this first attempt by a second, by a third,
by a fourth--Oh, heavens! there is no saying how far the horrid man
might go in his unreasonable demands upon me. I groaned under the weight
of his expectations; and, if I laid but the first round of such a
staircase, why, then, I saw in vision a vast Jacob's ladder towering
upward to the clouds, mile after mile, league after league; the
consequence of which would be, that I should be expected to run up and
down this ladder, like any fatigue party of Irish hodmen, carrying hods
of mortar and bricks to the top of any Babel which my wretched admirer
might choose to build. But I put a stop to this villainy. I nipped the
abominable system of extortion in the very bud, by refusing to take the
first step. The man could have no pretense, you know, for expecting me
to climb the third or fourth round, when I had seemed quite unequal to
the first. Professing the most absolute bankruptcy from the very
beginning, giving the man no sort of hope that I would pay even one
farthing in the pound, I never could be made miserable, or kept in hot
water, by unknown responsibilities, or by endless anxieties about some
bill being presented, which the monster might pretend for one moment
that I had indorsed, or in some way had sanctioned his expecting that I
would pay.

Still, with all this passion for being despised, which was so essential
to my peace of mind, I found at times an altitude--a starry altitude--in
the station of contempt for me assumed by my brother that nettled me.
Sometimes, indeed, the mere necessities of dispute carried me, before I
was aware of my own imprudence, so far up the stair-case of Babel, that
my brother was shaken for a moment in the infinity of his contempt: and,
before long, when my superiority in some bookish accomplishments
displayed itself, by results that could not be entirely dissembled,
mere foolish human nature forced me on rare occasions into some trifle
of exultation at these retributory triumphs. But more often I was
disposed to grieve over them. They tended to shake that solid foundation
of utter despicableness upon which I relied so much for my freedom from
anxiety; and, therefore, upon the whole, it was satisfactory to my mind
that my brother's opinion of me, after any little transient oscillation,
gravitated determinately back toward that settled contempt which had
been the result of his original inquest. The pillars of Hercules, upon
which rested the vast edifice of his scorn, were these two--1st, my
physics; he denounced me for effeminacy: 2d, he assumed, and even
postulated as a _datum_, which I myself could never have the face to
refuse, my general idiocy. Physically, therefore, and intellectually, he
looked upon me as below notice; but, _morally_, he assured me that he
would give me a written character of the very best description, whenever
I chose to apply for it. "You're honest," he said; "you're willing,
though lazy; you _would_ pull, if you had the strength of a flea; and,
though a monstrous coward, you don't run away." My own demurs to these
harsh judgments were not many. The idiocy I confessed; because, though
positive that I was not uniformly an idiot, I felt inclined to think
that, in a majority of cases, I really _was_; and there were more
reasons for thinking so than the reader is yet aware of. But, as to the
effeminacy, I denied it _in toto_, and with good reason, as will be
seen. Neither did my brother pretend to have any experimental proofs of
it. The ground he went upon was a mere _à priori_ one, viz., that I had
always been tied to the apron-string of women or girls; which amounted
at most to this: that, by training and the natural tendency of
circumstances, I _ought_ to be effeminate--that is, there was reason to
expect beforehand that I _should_ be so; but, then, the more merit in
me, if, in spite of such general presumptions, I really were _not_. In
fact, my brother soon learned better than any body, and by a daily
experience, how entirely he might depend upon me for carrying out the
most audacious of his own warlike plans; such plans, it is true, that I
abominated; but _that_ made no difference in the fidelity with which I
tried to fulfill them.

This eldest brother of mine, to pass from my own character to his, was
in all respects a remarkable boy. Haughty he was, aspiring, immeasurably
active; fertile in resources as Robinson Crusoe; but also full of
quarrel as it is possible to imagine; and, in default of any other
opponent, he would have fastened a quarrel upon his own shadow for
presuming to run before him when going westward in the morning, whereas,
in all reason, a shadow, like a dutiful child, ought to keep
deferentially in the rear of that majestic substance which is the author
of its existence. Books he detested, one and all, excepting only those
which he happened to write himself. And they were not a few. On all
subjects known to man, from the Thirty-nine Articles of our English
Church, down to pyrotechnics, legerdemain, magic, both black and white,
thaumaturgy, and necromancy, he favored the world (which world was the
nursery where I, on his first coming home, lived among my sisters) with
his select opinions. On this last subject especially--of necromancy--he
was very great; witness his profound work, though but a fragment, and,
unfortunately, long since departed to the bosom of Cinderella, entitled,
"How to raise a ghost; and when you've got him down, how to keep him
down." To which work he assured us, that some most learned and enormous
man, whose name was six feet long, had promised him an appendix; which
appendix treated of the Red Sea and Solomon's signet-ring; with forms of
_mittimus_ for ghosts that might be mutinous; and probably a riot act,
for any _émeute_ among ghosts inclined to raise barricades; since he
often thrilled our young hearts by supposing the case (not at all
unlikely, he affirmed), that a federation, a solemn league and
conspiracy, might take place among the infinite generations of ghosts
against the single generation of men at any one time composing the
garrison of earth. The Roman phrase for expressing that a man had died,
viz., "_Abiit ad plures_" (He has gone over to the majority), my brother
explained to us; and we easily comprehended that any one generation of
the living human race, even if combined, and acting in concert, must be
in a frightful minority, by comparison with all the incalculable
generations that had trod this earth before us. The Parliament of living
men, Lords and Commons united, what a miserable array against the Upper
and Lower House composing the Parliament of ghosts. Perhaps the
Pre-Adamites would constitute one wing in such a ghostly army. My
brother, dying in his sixteenth year, was far enough from seeing or
foreseeing Waterloo; else he might have illustrated this dreadful duel
of the living human race with its ghostly predecessors, by the awful
apparition which, at three o'clock in the afternoon, on the 18th of
June, 1815, the mighty contest at Waterloo must have assumed to eyes
that watched over the trembling interests of man. The English army,
about that time in the great agony of its strife, was thrown into
squares; and under that arrangement, which condensed and contracted its
apparent numbers within a few black geometrical diagrams, how
frightfully narrow--how spectral did its slender lines appear at a
distance, to any philosophic spectators that knew the amount of human
interests confided to that army, and the hopes for Christendom that even
then were trembling in the balance! Such a disproportion, it seems,
might exist, in the case of a ghostly war between the harvest of
possible results and the slender band of reapers that were to gather it
in. And there was even a worse peril than any analogous one that has
been _proved_ to exist at Waterloo. A British surgeon, indeed, in a work
of two octavo volumes, has endeavored to show that a conspiracy was
traced at Waterloo, between two or three foreign regiments, for kindling
a panic in the heat of the battle, by flight, and by a sustained
blowing-up of tumbrils, with the miserable purpose of shaking the
British firmness. But the evidences are not clear; whereas my brother
insisted that the presence of sham men, distributed extensively among
the human race, and meditating treason against us all, had been
demonstrated to the satisfaction of all true philosophers. Who were
these shams and make-believe men? They were, in fact, people that had
been dead for centuries, but that, for reasons best known to themselves,
had returned to this upper earth, walked about among us, and were
undistinguishable, except by the most learned of necromancers, from
authentic men of flesh and blood. I mention this for the sake of
illustrating the fact, that the same crazes are everlastingly revolving
upon men. Two years ago, during the carnival of universal anarchy
equally among doers and thinkers, a closely-printed pamphlet was
published with this title: "A New Revelation, or the Communion of the
Incarnate Dead with the Unconscious Living. Important Fact, without
trifling Fiction, by HIM." I have not the pleasure of knowing HIM; but
certainly I must concede to HIM, that he writes like a man of education,
and also like a man of extreme sobriety, upon his extravagant theme. He
is angry with Swedenborg, as might be expected, for his "absurdities;"
but, as to _him_, there is no chance that he should commit any
absurdity, because (p. 6) "he has met with some who have acknowledged
the fact of their having come from the dead"--_habes confitentem reum_.
Few, however, are endowed with so much candor; and, in particular, for
the honor of literature, it grieves me to find, by p. 10, that the
largest number of these shams, and perhaps the most uncandid, are to be
looked for among "publishers and printers," of whom, it seems, "the
great majority" are mere forgeries; a very few speak frankly about the
matter, and say they don't care who knows it, which, to my thinking, is
impudence; but by far the larger section doggedly deny it, and call a
policeman, if you persist in charging them with being shams. Some
differences there are between my brother and HIM, but in the great
outline of their views, they coincide.

This hypothesis, however, like a thousand others, when it happened that
they engaged no durable sympathy from his nursery audience, he did not
pursue. For some time, he turned his thoughts to philosophy, and read
lectures to us every night upon some branch or other of physics. This
undertaking arose upon some one of us envying or admiring flies for
their power of walking upon the ceiling. "Pooh!" he said, "they are
impostors; they pretend to do it, but they can't do it as it ought to be
done. Ah! you should see _me_ standing upright on the ceiling, with my
head downward, for half-an-hour together, and meditating profoundly." My
second sister remarked, that we should all be very glad to see him in
that position. "If that's the case," he replied, "it's very well that
all is ready, except as to one single strap." Being an excellent skater,
he had first imagined that, if held up until he had started, by taking a
bold sweep ahead, he might then keep himself in position through the
continued impetus of skating. But this he found not to answer, because,
as he observed, "the friction was too retarding from the plaster of
Paris, but the ease would be very different if the ceiling were coated
with ice." As it was _not_, he changed his plan. The true secret, he
said, was this: he would consider himself in the light of a humming-top:
he would make an apparatus (and he made it) for having himself launched,
like a top, upon the ceiling, and regularly spun. Then the vertiginous
motion of the human top would overpower the force of gravitation. He
should, of course, spin upon his own axis, and sleep upon his
axis--perhaps he might even dream upon it; and he laughed at "those
scoundrels, the flies," that never improved in their pretended art, nor
made any thing of it. The principle was now discovered; "and, of
course," he said, "if a man can keep it up for five minutes, what's to
hinder him from going on for five months?" "Certainly," my sister
replied, whose skepticism, in fact, had not settled upon the five
months, but altogether upon the five minutes. The apparatus for spinning
him, however, would not work: a fact which was evidently owing to the
stupidity of the gardener. On reconsidering the subject, he announced,
to the disappointment of some among us, that, although the physical
discovery was now complete, he saw a moral difficulty. It was not a
_humming_-top that was required, but a _peg_-top; and this, in order to
keep up the _vertigo_ at full stretch, without which to a certainty,
gravitation would prove too much for him, needed to be whipped
incessantly. Now, that was what a gentleman ought not to tolerate: to be
scourged unintermittingly on the legs by any grub of a gardener, unless
it were Father Adam himself, was a thing that he could not bring his
mind to endure. However, as some compensation, he proposed to improve
the art of flying, which was, as every body must acknowledge, in a
condition quite disgraceful to civilized society. As he had made many a
fire balloon, and had succeeded in some attempts at bringing down cats
by _parachutes_, it was not very difficult to fly downward from moderate
elevations. But, as he was reproached by my sister for never flying back
again, which, how ever, was a far different thing, and not even
attempted by the philosopher in "Rasselas" (for

   Revocare gradum et _superas_ evadere ad auras,
   Hic labor, hoc opus est),

he refused, under such poor encouragement, to try his winged
_parachutes_ any more, either "aloft or alow," till he had thoroughly
studied Bishop Wilkins[12] on the art of translating right reverend
gentlemen to the moon; and, in the mean time, he resumed his general
lectures on physics. From these, however, he was speedily driven, or one
might say shelled out, by a concerted assault of my sister's. He had
been in the habit of lowering the pitch of his lectures with
ostentatious condescension to the presumed level of our poor
understandings. This superciliousness annoyed my sister; and,
accordingly, with the help of two young female visitors, and my next
younger brother--in subsequent times a little middy on board many a ship
of H.M., and the most predestined rebel upon earth against all
assumptions, small or great, of superiority--she arranged a mutiny, that
had the unexpected effect of suddenly extinguishing the lectures
forever. He had happened to say, what was no unusual thing with him,
that he flattered himself he had made the point under discussion
tolerably clear; "clear," he added, bowing round the half-circle of us,
the audience, "to the meanest of capacities;" and then he repeated,
sonorously, "clear to the most excruciatingly mean of capacities." Upon
which a voice, a female one, but whose I had not time to distinguish,
retorted: "No, you haven't; it's as dark as sin;" and then, without a
moment's interval, a second voice exclaimed, "Dark as night;" then came
my young brother's insurrectionary yell, "Dark as midnight;" then
another female voice chimed in melodiously, "Dark as pitch;" and so the
peal continued to come round like a catch, the whole being so well
concerted, and the rolling fire so well sustained, that it was
impossible to make head against it; while the abruptness of the
interruption gave to it the protecting character of an oral "round
robin," it being impossible to challenge any one in particular as the
ring-leader. Burke's phrase of "the swinish multitude," applied to mobs,
was then in every body's mouth; and, accordingly, after my brother had
recovered from his first astonishment at this insurrection, he made us
several sweeping bows that looked very much like tentative rehearsals of
a sweeping _fusillade_, and then addressed us in a very brief speech, of
which we could distinguish the words _pearls_ and _swinish multitude_,
but uttered in a very low key, perhaps out of regard to the two young
strangers. We all laughed in chorus at this parting salute: my brother
himself condescended at last to join us; but there ended the course of
lectures on natural philosophy.

As it was impossible, however, that he should remain quiet, he announced
to us, that for the rest of his life he meant to dedicate himself to the
intense cultivation of the tragic drama. He got to work instantly; and
very soon he had composed the first act of his "Sultan Selim;" but, in
defiance of the metre, he soon changed the title to "Sultan Amurath,"
considering _that_ a much fiercer name, more bewhiskered and beturbaned.
It was no part of his intention that we should sit lolling on chairs
like ladies and gentlemen that had paid opera prices for private boxes.
He expected every one of us, he said, to pull an oar. We were to _act_
the tragedy. But, in fact, we had many oars to pull. There were so many
characters, that each of us took four, at the least, and the future
middy had six. He, this wicked little middy,[13] caused the greatest
affliction to Sultan Amurath, forcing him to order the amputation of his
head six several times (that is, once in every one of his six parts),
during the first act. In reality, the sultan, though a decent man, was
too bloody. What by the bowstring, and what by the scimetar, he had so
thinned the population with which he commenced business, that scarcely
any of the characters remained alive at the end of act the first. Sultan
Amurath found himself in an awkward situation. Large arrears of work
remained, and hardly any body to do it but the sultan himself. In
composing act the second, the author had to proceed like Deucalion and
Pyrrha, and to create an entirely new generation. Apparently, this young
generation, that ought to have been so good, took no warning by what had
happened to their ancestors in act the first; one must conclude that
they were quite as wicked, since the poor sultan had found himself
reduced to order them all for execution in the course of this act the
second. To the brazen age had succeeded an iron age; and the prospects
were becoming sadder and sadder, as the tragedy advanced. But here the
author began to hesitate. He felt it hard to resist the instinct of
carnage. And was it right to do so? Which of the felons, whom he had cut
off prematurely, could pretend that a court of appeal would have
reversed his sentence? But the consequences were dreadful. A new set of
characters in every act, brought with it the necessity of a new plot:
for people could not succeed to the arrears of old actions, or inherit
ancient motives, like a landed estate. Five crops, in fact, must be
taken off the ground in each separate tragedy, amounting, in short, to
five tragedies involved in one.

Such, according to the rapid sketch which at this moment my memory
furnishes, was the brother, who now first laid open to me the gates of
war. The occasion was this, he had resented, with a shower of stones, an
affront offered to us by an individual boy, belonging to a
cotton-factory; for more than two years afterward, this became the
_teterrima causa_ of a skirmish, or a battle, as often as we passed the
factory; and, unfortunately, _that_ was twice a day on every day except
Sunday. Our situation in respect to the enemy was as follows: Greenhay,
a country-house newly built by my father, at that time was a clear mile
from the outskirts of Manchester; but, in after years, Manchester,
throwing out the _tentacula_ of its vast expansions, absolutely
enveloped Greenhay; and, for any thing I know, the grounds and gardens
which then insulated the house, may have long disappeared. Being a
modest mansion, which (including hot walls, offices, and gardener's
house) had cost only six thousand pounds, I do not know how it should
have risen to the distinction of giving name to a region of that great
town; however, it _has_ done so;[14] and, at this time, therefore, after
changes so great, it will be difficult for the _habitué_ of that region
to understand how my brother and myself could have a solitary road to
traverse between Greenhay and Princess-street, then the termination, on
that side of Manchester. But so it was. Oxford-_street_, like its
namesake in London, was then called the Oxford-_road_; and, during the
currency of our acquaintance with it, arose the first three houses in
its neighborhood; of which the third was built for the Rev. S. H., one
of our guardians, for whom his friends had also built the church of St.
Peters's--not a bowshot from the house. At present, however, he resided
in Salford, nearly two miles from Greenhay; and to him we went over
daily, for the benefit of his classical instructions. One sole
cotton-factory had then risen along the line of Oxford-street; and this
was close to a bridge, which also was a new creation; for, previously,
all passengers to Manchester went round by Garrat. This factory became
the _officina gentium_ to us, from which swarmed forth those Goths and
Vandals, that continually threatened our steps; and this bridge became
the eternal arena of combat, we taking good care to be on the right side
of the bridge for retreat, _i.e._, on the town side, or the country
side, according as we were going out in the morning, or returning in the
afternoon. Stones were the implements of warfare; and by continual
practice we became expert in throwing them.

The origin of the feud it is scarcely requisite to rehearse, since the
particular accident which began it was not the true efficient cause of
our long warfare, but (as logicians express it) simply the occasion. The
cause lay in our aristocratic dress: as children of an opulent family,
where all provisions were liberal, and all appointments elegant, we were
uniformly well-dressed, and, in particular, we wore trowsers (at that
time unheard of, except in maritime places) and Hessian boots--a crime
that could not be forgiven in the Lancashire of that day, because it
expressed the double offense of being aristocratic, and being
outlandish. We were aristocrats, and it was in vain to deny it; could we
deny our boots? while our antagonists, if not absolutely _sans
culottes_, were slovenly and forlorn in their dress, often unwashed,
with hair totally neglected, and always covered with flakes of cotton.
Jacobins they were, not by any sympathy with the French Jacobinism, that
then desolated western Europe; for, on the contrary, they detested every
thing French, and answered with brotherly signals to the cry of "Church
and king," or, "King and constitution." But, for all that, as they were
perfectly independent, getting very high wages, and in a mode of
industry that was then taking vast strides ahead, they contrived to
reconcile this patriotic anti-Jacobinism with a personal Jacobinism of
that sort which is native to the heart of man, who is by natural impulse
(and not without a root of nobility) impatient of inequality, and
submits to it only through a sense of its necessity, or a long
experience of its benefits.

It was on an early day of our new _tyrocinium_, or, perhaps, on the very
first, that, as we passed the bridge, a boy happening to issue from the
factory,[15] sang out to us, derisively--"Holloa, bucks!" In this the
reader may fail to perceive any atrocious insult commensurate to the
long war which followed. But the reader is wrong. The word "_dandies_,"
which was what the villain meant, had not then been born, so that he
could not have called us by that name, unless through the spirit of
prophecy. _Buck_ was the nearest word at hand in his Manchester
vocabulary; he gave all he could, and let us dream the rest. But, in the
next moment, he discovered our boots, and he completed his crime by
saluting us as "Boots! boots!" My brother made a dead stop, surveyed him
with intense disdain, and bade him draw near, that he might "give his
flesh to the fowls of the air." The boy declined to accept this liberal
invitation, and conveyed his answer by a most contemptuous and plebeian
gesture, upon which my brother drove him in with a shower of stones.

During this inaugural flourish of hostilities, I, for my part, remained
inactive, and, therefore, apparently neutral. But this was the last time
that I did so: for the moment, I was taken by surprise. To be called a
_buck_ by one that had it in his choice to have called me a coward, a
thief, or a murderer, struck me as a most pardonable offense; and, as to
_boots_, that rested upon a flagrant fact that could not be denied, so
that at first I was green enough to regard the boy as very considerate
and indulgent. But my brother soon rectified my views or, if any doubts
remained, he impressed me, at least, with a sense of my paramount duty
to himself, which was threefold. First, it seems, I owed military
allegiance to _him_, as my commander-in-chief, whenever we "took the
field;" secondly, by the law of nations, I being a cadet of my house,
owed suit and service to him who was its head; and he assured me, that
twice in a year, on _my_ birthday, and on _his_, he had a right,
strictly speaking, to make me lie down, and to set his foot upon my
neck; lastly, by a law not so rigorous, but valid among gentlemen--viz.,
"by the _comity_ of nations," it seems I owed eternal deference to one
so much older than myself, so much wiser, stronger, braver, more
beautiful, and more swift of foot. Something like all this in tendency I
had already believed, though I had not so minutely investigated the
modes and grounds of my duty. As a Pariah, which, by natural temperament
I was, and by awful dedication to despondency, I felt resting upon me
always too deep and gloomy a sense of obscure duties, that I never
_should_ be able to fulfill--a burden which I could not carry, and which
yet I did not know how to throw off. Glad, therefore, I was to find the
whole tremendous weight of obligations--the law and the prophets--all
crowded into this one brief command--"Thou shalt obey thy brother as
God's vicar upon earth." For now, if, by any future stone leveled at him
who had called me "a buck," I should chance to draw blood--perhaps I
might not have committed so serious a trespass on any rights which he
could plead: but, if I _had_ (for, on this subject my convictions were
still cloudy), at any rate, the duty I might have violated in regard to
this general brother, in right of Adam, was canceled when it came into
collision with my paramount duty to this liege brother of my own
individual house.

From this day, therefore, I obeyed all my brother's military commands
with the utmost docility; and happy it made me that every sort of
distraction, or question, or opening for demur, was swallowed up in the
unity of this one papal principle, discovered by my brother, viz., that
all rights of casuistry were transferred from me to himself. _His_ was
the judgment--_his_ was the responsibility; and to me belonged only the
sublime duty of unconditional faith in _him_. That faith I realized. It
is true, that he taxed me at times, in his reports of particular fights,
with "horrible cowardice," and even with "a cowardice that seemed
inexplicable, except on the supposition of treachery." But this was only
a _façon de parler_ with him: the idea of secret perfidy, that was
constantly moving under-ground, gave an interest to the progress of the
war, which else tended to the monotonous. It was a dramatic artifice for
sustaining the interest, where the incidents might be too slightly
diversified. But that he did not believe his own charges was clear,
because he never repeated them in his "General History of the
Campaigns," which was a _resumé_, or digest, of his daily reports.

We fought every day; and, generally speaking, _twice_ every day; and the
result was pretty uniform, viz., that my brother and I terminated the
battle by insisting upon our undoubted right to run away. _Magna
Charta_, I should fancy, secures that great right to every man; else
surely it is sadly defective. But out of this catastrophe to most of our
skirmishes, and to all our pitched battles except one, grew a standing
schism between my brother and me. My unlimited obedience had respect to
action, but not to opinion. Loyalty to my brother did not rest upon
hypocrisy: because I was faithful, it did not follow that I must be
false in relation to his capricious opinions. And these opinions
sometimes took the shape of acts. Twice, at the least, in every week,
but sometimes every night, my brother insisted on singing "Te Deum" for
supposed victories which he had won; and he insisted also on my bearing
a part in these "Te Deums." Now, as I knew of no such victories, but
resolutely asserted the truth--viz., that we ran away--a slight jar was
thus given to the else triumphal effect of these musical ovations. Once
having uttered my protest, however, willingly I gave my aid to the
chanting; for I loved unspeakably the grand and varied system of
chanting in the Romish and English churches. And, looking back at this
day to the ineffable benefits which I derived from the church of my
childhood, I account among the very greatest those which reached me
through the various chants connected with the "O, Jubilate," the
"Magnificat," the "Te Deum," the "Benedicite," &c. Through these chants
it was that the sorrow which laid waste my infancy, and the devotion
which nature had made a necessity of my being, were profoundly
interfused: the sorrow gave reality and depth to the devotion; the
devotion gave grandeur and idealization to the sorrow. Neither was my
love for chanting altogether without knowledge. A son of my reverend
guardian, much older than myself, who possessed a singular faculty of
producing a sort of organ accompaniment with one half of his mouth,
while he sang with the other half, had given me some instructions in the
art of chanting: and, as to my brother, he, the hundred-handed Briareus,
could do all things; of course, therefore, he could chant. He _could_
chant: he had a _right_ to chant: he had a right, perhaps, to chant "Te
Deum." For if he ran away every day of his life, what then? Sometimes
the enemy mustered in over-powering numbers--seventy, or even ninety
strong. Now, if there is a time for every thing in this world, surely
that was the time for running away. But in the mean time I must pause,
reserving what has to follow for another occasion.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 10: Elsewhere, viz., in the introductory part of the
"_Suspiria de Profundis_," published in "Blackwood," during the early
part of the year 1845. The work is yet unfinished as regards the
publication.]

[Footnote 11: "_Peculiar."_ viz., as _endowed_ foundations, to which
those resort who are rich and pay, and those also who, being poor, can
not pay, or can not pay so much. This most honorable distinction among
the services of England from ancient times to the interests of
education--a service absolutely unapproached by any one nation of
Christendom--is among the foremost cases of that remarkable class which
make England, while often the most aristocratic, yet also, for many
noble purposes, the most democratic of lands.]

[Footnote 12: "Bishop Wilkins:" Dr. W., Bishop of Chester, in the reign
of Charles II., notoriously wrote a book on the possibility of a voyage
to the moon, which, in a bishop, would be called a translation to the
moon; and, perhaps, it was _his_ name that suggested the "Adventures of
Peter Wilkins." It is unfair, however, to mention him in connection with
that only one of his works which announces an extravagant purpose. He
was really a scientific man, and already in the time of Cromwell (about
1657), had projected that Royal Society of London, which was afterward
realized and presided over by Isaac Barrow and Isaac Newton. He was also
a learned man, but still with a vein of romance about him, as may be
seen in his most elaborate work--"The Essay toward a Philosophic or
Universal Language."]

[Footnote 13: "Middy:" I call him so, simply to avoid confusion, and by
way of anticipation; else he was too young at this time to serve in the
navy. Afterward, he did so for many years, and saw every variety of
service in every class of ships belonging to our navy. At one time, when
yet a boy, he was captured by pirates, and compelled to sail with them;
and the end of his adventurous career was, that for many a year he has
been lying at the bottom of the Atlantic.]

[Footnote 14: "Green_heys_" with a slight variation in the spelling, is
the name given to that district, of which Greenhay formed the original
nucleus. Probably, it was the solitary situation of the house which
(failing any other grounds of denomination) raised it to this
privilege.]

[Footnote 15: "Factory:" such was the designation technically at that
time. At present, I believe that a building of that class would be
called a "mill."]



[From Dickens's Household Words.]

VISIT TO AN ENGLISH DAIRY.


Let the reader accompany us half-a-dozen miles out of town. We pass
through Camberwell, through Peckham, and Peckham Rye, and we presently
find ourselves in a district that looks uncommonly like "the country,"
considering how short a time it is since we left the "old smoke" behind
us. We alight and walk onward, and certainly, if the sight of green
fields, and cows, and hedges, and farm-yards, denote the country, we are
undoubtedly in some region of the kind.

We pass down a winding road, between high hedges of bush and trees, then
climb over a gate into a field; cross it, and then over another gate
into a field, from which we commence a gradual ascent, field after
field, till finally the green slope leads us to a considerable height.
We are on the top of Friern Hill.

It is a bright sunny morning in September, and we behold to perfection
the most complete panorama that can be found in the suburban vicinities
of London. Step down with us to yonder hedge, a little below the spot
where we have been standing. We approach the hedge--we get over a gate,
and we suddenly find ourselves on the upper part of an enormous green
sloping pasturage, covered all over with cows. The red cow, the white
cow, the brown cow, the brindled cow, the colley cow, the dappled cow,
the streaked cow, the spotted cow, the liver-and-white cow, the
strawberry cow, the mulberry cow, the chestnut cow, the gray speckled
cow, the clouded cow, the black cow,--the short-horned cow, the
long-horned cow, the up-curling horn, the down-curling horn, the
straight-horned cow, and the cow with the crumpled horn--all are
here--between two and three hundred--spread all over the broad, downward
sloping pasture, feeding, ruminating, standing, lying, gazing with mild
earnestness, reclining in characteristic thoughtfulness, sleeping, or
wandering hither and thither. A soft gleam of golden sunshine spreads
over the pasture, and falls upon many of the cows with a lovely,
picturesque effect.

And what cows they are, as we approach and pass among them! Studies for
a Morland, a Gainsborough, a Constable. We had never before thought
there were any such cows out of their pictures. That they were highly
useful, amiable, estimable creatures, who continually, at the best,
appeared to be mumbling grass in a recumbent position, and composing a
sonnet, we never doubted; but that they were ever likely to be admired
for their beauty, especially when beheld, as many as these were, from a
disadvantageous point of view, as to their position, we never for a
moment suspected. Such, however, is the case. We have lived to see
beauty in the form of a cow--a natural, modern, milch cow, and no
descendant from any Ovidian metamorphosis.

We will now descend this broad and populous slope, and pay a visit to
Friern Manor Dairy Farm, to which all these acres--some two hundred and
fifty--belong, together with all these "horned beauties." We find them
all very docile, and undisturbed by our presence, though their looks
evidently denote that they recognize a stranger. But those who are
reclining do not rise, and none of them decline to be caressed by the
hand, or seem indifferent to the compliments addressed to them. In
passing through the cows we were specially presented to the cow queen,
or "master cow," as she is called. This lady has been recognized during
twelve years as the sovereign ruler over all the rest. No one, however
large, disputes her supremacy. She is a short-horned, short-legged cow,
looking at first sight rather small, but on closer examination you will
find that she is sturdily and solidly built, though graceful withal.
"She is very sweet-tempered," observed the head keeper, "but when a
new-comer doubts about who is the master, her eye becomes dreadful.
Don't signify how big the other cow is--she must give in to the master
cow. It's not her size, nor strength, bless you, it's her spirit. As
soon as the question is once settled, she's as mild as a lamb again.
Gives us eighteen quarts of milk a day."

We were surprised to hear of so great a quantity, but this was something
abated by a consideration of the rich, varied, and abundant supply of
food afforded to these cows, besides the air, attendance, and other
favorable circumstances. For their food they have mangold-wurtzel, both
the long red and the orange globe sorts, parsnips, turnips, and
kohl-rabi (Jewish cabbage), a curious kind of green turnip, with cabbage
leaves sprouting out of the top all round, like the feathery arms of the
Prince of Wales. Of this last mentioned vegetable the cows often eat
greedily; and sometimes endeavoring to bolt too large a piece, it sticks
in their throats and threatens strangulation. On these occasions, one of
the watchful keepers rushes to the rescue with a thing called a _pro
bang_ (in fact a cow's throat ramrod), with which he rams down the
obstructive morsel. But, besides these articles of food, there is the
unlimited eating of grass in the pastures, so that the yield of a large
quantity of milk seems only a matter of course, though we were not
prepared to hear of its averaging from twelve to eighteen and twenty
quarts of milk a day, from each of these two or three hundred cows.
Four-and-twenty quarts a day is not an unusual occurrence from some of
the cows; and one of them, we were assured by several of the keepers,
once yielded the enormous quantity of twenty-eight quarts a day during
six or seven weeks. The poor cow, however, suffered for this
munificence, for she was taken very ill with a fever, and her life was
given over by the doctor. Mr. Wright, the proprietor, told us that he
sat up two nights with her himself, he had such a respect for the cow;
and in the morning of the second night after she was given over, when
the butcher came for her, he couldn't find it in his heart to let him
have her. "No, butcher," said he, "she's been a good friend to me, and
I'll let her die a quiet, natural death." She hung her head, and her
horns felt very cold, and so she lay for some time longer; but he nursed
her, and was rewarded, for she recovered; and there she stands--the
strawberry Durham short-horn--and yields him again from sixteen to
eighteen quarts of milk a day.

Reverting to the "master cow," we inquired whether her supremacy in the
case of newcomers was established "mesmerically" by a glance--or how?
The eye, we were assured, had a great deal to do with it. The stranger
cow _read_ it, and trembled. But, sometimes, there was a contest; and a
cow-fight, with such fresh strong creatures as these--all used to their
full liberty, and able to run or leap well, was a serious affair. If no
keeper was at hand to separate them, and the fight got serious, so that
one of them fell wounded, it was a chance but the whole herd would
surround the fallen cow, and kill her. This was not out of wickedness,
but something in the whole affair that put them beside themselves, and
they couldn't bear the horrid sight, and so tried to get rid of their
feelings, as well as the unfortunate object, by this wild violence. The
effect was the same if the herd did not witness the fight, but came
suddenly to the discovery of blood that had been spilled. They would
stare at it, and glare at it, and snuff down at it, and sniff up at it,
and prowl round it--and get more and more excited, till, at last, the
whole herd would begin to rush about the field bellowing and mad, and
make nothing at last of leaping clean over hedges, fences, and
five-barred gates. But, strange to say--if the blood they found had not
been spilt by violence, but only from some cause which the "horned
beauties" understood, such as a sister or aunt having been bled by the
doctor--then no effect of the sort occurred. They took no notice of it.

We found that besides beauty, cows possessed some imagination, and were,
moreover, very susceptible. The above excitement and mad panic sometimes
occurs as the effect of other causes.

Once some boys brought a great kite into the field, with a pantomime
face painted upon it; and directly this began to rise over the field,
and the cows looked up at it, and saw the great glass eyes of the face
looking down at them--then, oh! oh! what a bellowing! and away they
rushed over each other, quite frantic. On another occasion, some
experimental gentlemen of science, brought a fire-balloon near the
pasturage one night after dark. It rose. Up started all the cows in a
panic, and round and round they rushed, till, finally, the whole herd
made a charge at one of the high fences--tore down and overleaped every
thing--burst into the lanes--and made their way into the high-road, and
seemed to intend to leave their owners for some state of existence where
fire-balloons and horrid men of science were alike unknown.

Instead of proceeding directly down the sloping fields toward the Dairy
Farm, we made a detour of about half a mile, and passed through a field
well inclosed, in which were about a dozen cows, attended by one man,
who sat beneath a tree. This was the Quarantine ground. All
newly-purchased cows, however healthy they may appear, are first placed
in this field during four or five weeks, and the man who milks or
attends upon them is not permitted to touch, nor, indeed, to come near,
any of the cows in the great pasture. Such is the susceptibility of a
cow to the least contamination, that if one who had any slight disease
were admitted among the herd, in a very short time the whole of them
would be affected. When the proprietor has been to purchase fresh stock,
and been much among strange cows, especially at Smithfield, he
invariably changes all his clothes, and, generally takes a bath, before
he ventures among his own herd.

From what has already been seen, the reader will not be astonished on
his arrival with us at the Dairy Farm, to find every arrangement in
accordance with the fine condition of the cows, and the enviable (to all
other cows) circumstances in which they live. The cow-sheds are divided
into fifty stalls, each; and the appearance presented reminded one of
the neatness and order of cavalry stables. Each stall is marked with a
number; a corresponding number is marked on one horn of the cow to whom
it belongs; and, in winter time, or any inclement season (for they all
sleep out in fine weather) each cow deliberately finds out, and walks
into her own stall. No. 173 once got into the stall of No. 15; but, in a
few minutes, No. 15 arrived, and "showed her the difference." In winter,
when the cows are kept very much in-doors, they are all regularly
groomed with currycombs. By the side of one of these sheds there is a
cottage where the keepers live--milkers and attendants--each with little
iron bedsteads, all in orderly soldier fashion, the foreman's wife
acting as the housekeeper.

These men lead a comfortable life, but they work hard. The first
"milking" begins at eleven o'clock at night; and the second, at half
past one in the morning. It takes a long time, for each cow insists upon
being milked in her own pail--_i.e._, a pail to herself, containing no
milk of any other cow--or, if she sees it, she is very likely to kick it
over. She will not allow of any mixture. In this there would seem a
strange instinct, accordant with her extreme susceptibility to
contamination.

The milk is all passed through several strainers, and then placed in
great tin cans, barred across the top, and sealed. They are deposited in
a van, which starts from the Farm about three in the morning, and
arrives at the dairy, in Farringdon-street, between three and four. The
seals are then carefully examined, and taken off by a clerk. In come the
carriers, commonly called "milkmen," all wearing the badge of Friern
Farm Dairy; their tin pails are filled, fastened at top, and sealed as
before, and away they go on their early rounds, to be in time for the
early-breakfast people. The late-breakfasts are provided by a second set
of men.

Such are the facts we have ascertained with regard to one of the largest
of the great dairy farms near London.



SAILING IN THE AIR.--HISTORY OF AERONAUTICS.


Aeronautics, or the art of sailing in the air, is of very modern date;
if, indeed, we are warranted to say that the art has yet been acquired,
for we have only got a machine or apparatus capable of sustaining some
hundreds of pounds in the air, the means of guiding and propelling it
having yet to be discovered. The attention and admiration of men would
doubtless be attracted from the beginning to the ease, grace, and
velocity with which the feathered race soar aloft, and wing their way in
the upper regions; but there is no reason to believe that any of the
nations of antiquity--not even Greece and Rome, with all their progress
in science and art--ever made the smallest advances toward a discovery
of a method of flying, or of aerial navigation.

Archytas of Tarentum, a celebrated Pythagorean philosopher, who
flourished about four hundred years before the Christian era, is indeed
said to have constructed a wooden flying pigeon; but, from the imperfect
accounts transmitted to us of its machinery, there is every probability
that its flight was one of the many deceptions of the magic art which
the ancients so well understood and so expertly practiced. The attention
of man was much earlier, as well as more earnestly and successfully
turned to the art of navigating lakes, rivers, and seas. To gratify his
curiosity, or to better his condition, he was prompted to emigrate, or
to pass from one place to another, and thus he would tax his ingenuity
to discover the means by which he might be enabled to accomplish his
journey. To make the atmosphere the medium of transit, would, in the
early stages of society, hardly strike the mind at all, or, if it did,
it would only strike it as a physical impossibility. Nature has not
supplied man with wings, as it has done the fowls of heaven, and to find
a locomotive means of transportation through the air was in the infancy
of all science absolutely hopeless. But advantage would be early taken
of the buoyant property of water, particularly of the sea, which must
have been known to mankind from the creation. The canoe and the raft
would be first constructed, and, in the course of time, experience would
teach men to build vessels of a larger size, to fix the rudder to the
stern, to erect the mast, and unfurl the sails. Thus would the art of
navigating the ocean advance from step to step, while the art navigating
the air remained a mystery, practiced, it may be, by flying demons, and
flying witches, and the like ethereal beings of a dark mythology, but an
achievement to which ordinary mortals could make no pretensions.

Our object in this paper is to give a concise history of aeronautics,
commencing at that period when something like an approach was made to
the principles upon which the art could be reduced to practice.

The person who is entitled to the honor of the discovery of the main
principle of aeronautics--atmospheric buoyancy--is Roger Bacon, an
English monk of the thirteenth century. This eminent man, whose uncommon
genius was, in that superstitious and ignorant age, ascribed to his
intercourse with the devil, was aware that the air is a material of some
consistency, capable, like the ocean, of bearing vessels on its surface;
and, in one of his works, he particularly describes the construction of
a machine by which he believed it was possible to navigate the air. It
is a large, thin, hollow globe of copper, or other suitable metal, which
he proposes to fill with "ethereal air or liquid fire," and then to
launch from some elevated point into the atmosphere, when he supposes it
will float on its surface, like a vessel on the water. He afterward
says, "There may be made some flying instrument, so that a man, sitting
in the middle of the instrument, and turning some mechanism, may put in
motion some artificial wings, which may beat the air like a flying
bird." But, though Bacon knew the buoyancy of the atmosphere, he was
very imperfectly acquainted with its properties. His idea seems to have
been, that the boundaries of the atmosphere are at no great height, and
that the aerial vessel, in order to its being borne up, must be placed
on the surface of the air, just as a ship, in order to its being
supported, must be placed on the surface of the water. And, whatever may
be meant by his "ethereal air and liquid fire," there is no evidence
that he, or any one living in that age, had any knowledge of the various
and distinct gases. Bacon merely reasoned and theorized on the subject;
he never attempted to realize these flying projects by actual
experiment.

It was not till the year 1782 that the art of aerial navigation was
discovered, and the merit of the discovery is due to two brothers,
wealthy paper manufacturers, at Annonay, not far from Lyons--Stephen and
Joseph Montgolfier. This discovery they did not arrive at from any
scientific reasoning founded on the elasticity and weight of the
atmosphere, for, though attached to the study of mathematics and
chemistry, they do not appear to have particularly turned their
attention to aerostatics; but, from observing how clouds and smoke rise
and float in the atmosphere, it occurred to Stephen, the younger of the
two, that a light paper bag, filled with cloud or smoke, would, from the
natural tendency of these substances to ascend, be carried by their
force in an upward direction.

About the middle of November, 1782, they made their first experiment in
their own chamber at Avignon, with a light paper bag of an oblong shape,
which they inflated, by applying burning paper to an orifice in the
lower part of the bag, and in a few minutes they had the satisfaction of
seeing it ascend to the ceiling of the chamber. Constructing a paper bag
of larger dimensions, they made a similar experiment in the open air,
with equal success, and, the bag being of a spherical shape, they gave
it the name of balloon, from its resemblance to a large, round,
short-necked, chemical vessel so called. Finding, from repeated trials,
that the larger the balloon the more successful was the experiment, they
proceeded to construct one of linen lined with paper, 35 feet in
diameter; and, on the 25th of April, 1783, after being filled with
rarified air, it rapidly rose to the height of 1000 feet, and fell to
the ground at the distance of three-quarters of a mile from the spot
where it ascended. Encouraged by this success, the Montgolfiers came to
the resolution of making a public experiment with this last constructed
balloon at Annonay, on the 5th of June following. It was inflated with
heated air, by the lower orifice being placed over a pit or well, in
which were burned chopped straw and wool. Two men were sufficient to
fill it; but, when fully inflated, eight men were required to prevent it
from ascending. On being released from its fastenings, it rose
majestically to the height of six or seven thousand feet, and made its
descent at the distance of a mile and a half from the point of its
departure.

This novel experiment, which forms an important epoch in the history of
the art of aeronautics, attracted universal attention, and Stephen
Montgolfier, having soon after arrived in Paris, was requested by the
Royal Academy of Sciences, whose sittings, immediately on his arrival,
he had been invited to attend, to repeat the experiment at their
expense. He gladly availed himself of their proposal, and speedily got
prepared a large balloon of an elliptical shape, 72 feet high, and 41
feet in diameter. It was finished in a style of great magnificence, and
elegantly decorated on the outer surface with beautiful and appropriate
designs. When completed, it weighed 1000 pounds. As a preliminary
experiment, it raised eight men from the ground, and, on the 12th of
September, 1783, it ascended, in the presence of the Royal Academy, with
a load of from 400 to 500 pounds; but, in consequence of an injury it
received in rising from a violent gust of wind, it did not present the
same interesting spectacle as the public experiment previously made,
and, upon its descent, it was found to be so seriously damaged, as to be
unfit for future experiments. A new one of nearly the same dimensions
was, therefore, ordered to be made, to which was added a basket of
wicker-work, for the accommodation of a sheep, a cock, and a duck, which
were intended as passengers. It was inflated, in the presence of the
king and royal family, at Versailles, and, when loosened from its
moorings, it rose, with the three animals we have named--the first
living creatures who ever ascended in an aerial machine--to the height
of about 1500 feet, an accident similar to what befell the other
preventing it from attaining a higher elevation. It, however, descended
safely with the animals, at the distance of 10,000 feet from the place
of its ascent.

Hazardous as it might be, it was now fully demonstrated, that it was
quite practicable for man to ascend in the atmosphere, and individuals
were soon found sufficiently daring to make the experiment. Another
balloon was constructed, 74 feet high, and 48 feet in diameter, and M.
Pilatre de Rozier, superintendent of the royal museum, and the Marquis
de Arlandes, volunteered to make an aerial voyage. At the bottom, it had
an opening of about 15 feet in diameter, around which was a gallery of
wicker-work, three feet broad, with a balustrade all around the outer
edge, of the same material, three feet high; and, to enable the
aeronauts to increase or diminish at pleasure the rarified state of the
air within, it was provided with an iron brazier, intended for a fire,
which could easily be regulated as necessity required. On the 21st of
November, in the same year, the adventurers having taken their places on
opposite sides of the gallery, the balloon rose majestically in the
sight of an immense multitude of spectators, who witnessed its upward
course with mingled sentiments of fear and admiration. The whole
machine, with fuel and passengers, weighed 1600 pounds. It rose to the
height of at least 3000 feet, and remained in the air from 20 to 25
minutes, visible all the time to the inhabitants of Paris and its
environs. At several times it was in imminent danger of taking fire, and
the marquis, in terror for his life, would have made a precipitate
descent, which, in all probability, would have ended fatally, but M.
Pilatre de Rozier, who displayed great coolness and intrepidity,
deliberately extinguished the fire with a sponge of water he had
provided for the emergency, by which they were enabled to remain in the
atmosphere some time longer. They raised and lowered themselves
frequently during their excursion, by regulating the fire in the
brazier, and finally landed in safety five miles distant from the place
where they started, after having sailed over a great portion of Paris.
This is the first authentic instance in which man succeeded in putting
into practical operation the art of traveling in the air, which had
hitherto baffled his ingenuity, though turned to the subject for two
thousand years. The news of the novel and adventurous feat rapidly
spread over the whole civilized world, and aerial ascents in balloons
constructed on the same principle were made in other cities of France,
in Italy, and in the United States of America.

The two Montgolfiers soon obtained a high and wide-spread reputation;
and the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Paris voted a gold medal
to Stephen, the younger brother. It was to heated or rarified air that
these balloons owed their ascending power; but the Montgolfiers, in the
paper in which they communicated their discovery to the Royal Academy,
erroneously attributed the ascending power, not to the rarified air in
the balloon, but to a peculiar gas they supposed to be evolved by the
combustion of chopped straw and wool mixed together, to which the name
of Montgolfiers' gas was given, it being believed for a time, even by
the members of the Academy, that a new kind of gas, different from
hydrogen, and lighter than common air, had been discovered.

Hydrogen gas, or, as it was also called, inflammable air, whose specific
gravity was first discovered in 1766, by Henry Cavendish, though the gas
itself had been known long before to coal-miners, from its fatal
effects, was, from its being the lightest gas known, early taken
advantage of for inflating balloons. It indeed occurred to the ingenious
Dr. Black of Edinburgh, as soon as he read Mr. Cavendish's paper, which
appeared in the Philosophical Transactions for 1766, that if a
sufficiently thin and light bladder were filled with this gas, the
bladder would necessarily ascend in the atmosphere, as it would form a
mass lighter than the same bulk of atmospheric air. Not long after, it
suggested itself to Tiberius Cavallo, an Italian philosopher, when he
first began to study the subject of air, that it was possible to
construct a vessel which, when filled with hydrogen gas, would ascend in
the atmosphere. In 1782, he actually attempted to perform the
experiment, though the only success he had was to let soap balls, filled
with that gas, ascend by themselves rapidly in the air, which, says he,
were perhaps the first sort of inflammable air balloons ever made; and
he read an account of his experiments to the Royal Society at their
public meeting on June 20, 1782. But, during the later part of the year
1783, two gentlemen in the city of Philadelphia actually tested the
value of hydrogen gas as a means of inflating balloons. The French
Academy, guided by the suggestion of Dr. Black, and the experiments of
Cavallo, also concluded to make the experiment of raising a balloon
inflated with the same gas. To defray the expense of the undertaking, a
subscription was opened, and so great was the enthusiasm excited by the
design among people of all ranks and classes, that the requisite sum was
speedily subscribed for. A silken bag from lute-string silk, about
thirteen feet in diameter, and of a globular shape, was constructed by
the Messrs. Roberts, under the superintendence of M. Charles, professor
of experimental philosophy; and, to render the bag impervious to the
gas--a very essential object in balloon manufacture--it was covered with
a varnish composed of gum elastic dissolved in spirits of turpentine. It
had but one aperture, like the neck of a bottle, into which was fastened
the stop-cock for the convenience of introducing and stopping-off the
gas. It was constructed and inflated near the Place of Victories, in
August, 1783, and after being inflated, which was then no easy task,
occupying several days, it was removed on the morning of the 27th of
that month, before daylight, to the Camp of Mars (two miles distant),
the place appointed for its ascent. About five o'clock in the afternoon,
it was released from its fastenings, and rose, in the presence of some
hundred thousands of applauding spectators, to a height upward of 3000
feet; and, after remaining in the atmosphere for three-quarters of an
hour, descended in a field near Gonesse, a village about fifteen miles
distant from the Camp of Mars. This marks another important era in the
history of aeronautics. The hydrogen-gas balloon, in the first place, is
attended with less risk than the Montgolfiers' balloon, which requires
the dangerous presence of a fire to preserve the air in a sufficiently
rarified state; and, in the second place, it has a much greater
ascending power than rarified air balloons of the same size, in
consequence of its superior lightness.

M. Charles and the two Messrs. Roberts now resolved to undertake an
aerial excursion in a balloon of this description. With this view, the
Messrs. Roberts formed one of silk, varnished with gum elastic, of a
spherical shape, 27 feet in diameter, with a car suspended from it by
several cords, which were fastened to a net drawn over the upper part of
the balloon. To prevent the danger which might arise from the expansion
of the gas under a diminished pressure of the atmosphere in the higher
regions, the balloon was furnished with a valve, to permit the free
discharge of gas, as occasion might require. The hydrogen gas with which
it was filled was 5-1/4 lighter than common air, and the filling lasted
several days. On December 17, 1783, M. Charles and one of the Roberts
made their ascent from the garden of the Tuilleries, and rose to the
height of 6000 feet. After a voyage of an hour and three-quarters, they
descended at Nesle, a distance of 27 miles from the place of their
departure. On their descent, M. Roberts having left the car, which
lightened the vessel about 130 pounds, M. Charles reascended, and in
twenty minutes mounted with great rapidity to the height of 9000 feet.
When he left the earth, the thermometer stood at 47 degrees, but, in the
space of ten minutes, it fell 21 degrees. On making this great and
sudden transition into an atmosphere so intensely cold, he felt as if
his blood had been freezing, and experienced a severe pain in the right
ear and jaw. He passed through different currents of air, and, in the
higher regions, the expansion of the gas was so great, that the balloon
must have burst, had he not speedily opened the valve, and allowed part
of the gas to escape. After having risen to the height of 10,500 feet,
he descended, about three miles from the place where M. Roberts stepped
out of the car.

Jean Pierre Blanchard, a Frenchman, who had long exerted his ingenuity,
but with little success, in attempting to perfect a mechanical
contrivance by which he might be enabled to fly, was the next to prepare
a balloon upon the hydrogen-gas principle. It was 27 feet in diameter.
He ascended from Paris, March 2d, 1784, accompanied by a Benedictine
friar. After rising to the height of 15 feet, the balloon was
precipitated to the ground with a violent shock, which so frightened the
friar, that he would not again leave _terra firma_. M. Blanchard
re-ascended alone, and, in his ascent, he passed through various
currents of air, as aeronauts generally do. He rose to the height of
9600 feet, where he suffered from extreme cold, and was oppressed with
drowsiness. As a means of directing his course, he had attached to the
car an apparatus consisting of a rudder and two wings, but found that
they had little or no controlling power over the balloon. He continued
his voyage for an hour and a quarter, when he descended in safety.

During the course of the year subsequent to the Montgolfiers' discovery,
several experiments on the ascending power of balloons had been made in
England; but the first person who there ventured on an aerial voyage was
Vincent Lunardi, an Italian, who ascended from London, September 21,
1784. In the succeeding year, he gratified the inhabitants of Glasgow
and Edinburgh with the spectacle of an aerial excursion, which they had
never witnessed before.

The first aerial voyage across the sea was made by M. Blanchard, in
company with Dr. Jeffries, an American physician, who was then residing
in England. On the 7th January, 1785, a beautiful frosty winter day,
they ascended about one o'clock from the cliff of Dover, with the design
of crossing the Channel between England and France, a distance of about
twenty-three miles, and, at great personal risk, accomplished their
purpose in two hours and a half. The balloon at first rose slowly and
majestically in the air, but it soon began to descend, and, before they
had crossed the Channel, they were obliged to reduce the weight, by
throwing out all their ballast, several books, their apparatus, cords,
grapples, bottles, and were even proceeding to cast their clothes into
the sea, when the balloon, which had then nearly reached the French
coast, began to ascend, and rose to a considerable height, relieving
them from the necessity of dispensing with much of their apparel. They
landed in safety at the edge of the forest of Guiennes, not far beyond
Calais, and were treated by the magistrates of that town with the utmost
kindness and hospitality. M. Blanchard had the honor of being presented
with 12,000 livres by the King of France. Emboldened by this daring
feat, Pilatre de Rozier, already mentioned, and M. Romain, prepared to
pay back the compliment of M. Blanchard and Dr. Jeffries, by crossing
the Channel from France to England. To avoid the difficulty of keeping
up the balloon, which had perplexed and endangered Blanchard and his
companion during nearly their whole course, Rozier had recourse to the
expedient of placing underneath the hydrogen balloon a fire balloon of
smaller dimensions, which was intended to regulate the rising and
falling of the whole machine. This promised to unite the advantages of
both kinds of balloons, but it unhappily terminated in the melancholy
death of the two adventurers. They ascended from Boulogne, on the 15th
of June, 1785, but scarcely had a quarter of an hour elapsed from the
time of their ascent, when, at the height of 3000 feet, the whole
machine was discovered to be in flames. Its scattered fragments, with
the mangled bodies of the unfortunate aeronauts, who were probably
killed by the explosion of the hydrogen gas, were found near the
sea-shore, about four miles from Boulogne. This was the first fatal
accident which took place in balloon navigation, though several hundred
ascensions had by this time been made.

In the early practice of aerial voyages, the chief danger apprehended
was from accidental and rapid descents. To countervail this danger, and
enable the adventurer, in cases of alarm, to desert his balloon, and
descend to the ground uninjured, Blanchard invented the parachute, or
_guard for falling_, as the word signifies in French, an apparatus very
much resembling an umbrella, but of much larger dimensions. The design
is to break the fall; and, to effect this, it is necessary that the
parachute present a surface sufficiently large to experience from the
air such resistance as will cause it to descend with a velocity not
exceeding that with which a person can fall to the ground unhurt. During
an aerial excursion which Blanchard took from Lisle in August, 1785,
when he traversed a distance of not less than 300 miles, he dropped a
parachute with a basket fastened to it, containing a dog, from a great
elevation, and it fell gently through the air, letting down the animal
to the ground in safety. The practice and management of the parachute
were subsequently carried much farther by other aeronauts, and
particularly by M. Garnerin, an ingenious and spirited Frenchman, who,
during the course of his numerous ascents, repeatedly descended from the
region of the clouds with that very slender machine. On one occasion,
however, he suffered considerable injury in his descent. The stays of
the parachute having unfortunately given way, its proper balance was
disturbed, and, on reaching the ground, it struck against it with such
violence, as to throw him on his face, by which he received some severe
cuts. To let down a man of ordinary size from any height, a parachute of
a hemispherical form, twenty-five feet in diameter, is required. But
although the construction of a parachute is very simple, and the
resistance it will meet with from the air in its descent, its size and
load being given, can be exactly determined on scientific principles,
few have ventured to try it; which may be owing partly to ignorance, or
inattention to the scientific principles by which it is governed, and
partly to a growing opinion among aeronauts, that it is unnecessary, the
balloon itself, in case of its bursting, forming a parachute; as Mr.
Wise, the celebrated American aeronaut, experienced on two different
occasions, as he narrates in his interesting work on Aeronautics, lately
published at Philadelphia--a work to which we have been mainly indebted
in drawing up this article.

In the early part of the French revolutionary war, the _savants_ of
France, ambitious of bringing to the aid of the Republic all the
resources of science, strongly recommended the introduction of balloons,
as an effectual means of reconnoitring the armies of their enemies. From
the advantages it seemed to promise, the recommendation was instantly
acted on by the government, which established an aeronautic school at
Meudon, near Paris. The management of the institution, which was
conducted with systematic precision, and concealed with the utmost care
from the allied powers, was committed to the most eminent philosophers
of Paris. Gyton Morveau, a celebrated French chemist, and M. Contel,
superintended the operations. Fifty military students were admitted for
training. A practicing balloon of thirty-two feet in diameter was
constructed, of the most durable materials, and inflated with hydrogen
gas. It was kept constantly full, so as to be at all times ready for
exercise; and, to make it stationary at any given altitude, it was
attached to windlass machinery. Balloons were speedily prepared by M.
Contel for the different branches of the French army; the _Entreprenant_
for the army of the north, the _Celeste_ for that of the Sambre and
Meuse, the _Hercule_ for that of Rhine and Moselle, and the _Intrepide_
for the memorable army of Egypt. The victory which the French achieved
over the Austrians, on the plains of Fleurus, in June, 1794, is ascribed
to the observations made by two of their aeronauts. Immediately before
the battle, M. Contel and an adjutant-general ascended twice in the
war-balloon _Entreprenant_, to reconnoitre the Austrian army, and
though, during their second aerial _reconnaissance_ they were discovered
by the enemy, who sent up after them a brisk cannonade, they quickly
rose above the reach of danger, and, on descending, communicated such
information to their general, as enabled him to gain a speedy and
decisive victory over the Austrians.

The balloon was also at an early period taken advantage of for making
scientific experiments in the elevated regions of the atmosphere. With
the view of ascertaining the force of magnetic attraction, and of
examining the electrical properties and constitution of the atmosphere
at great elevations, two young, enthusiastic French philosophers, MM.
Biot and Gay Lussac, proposed to make an ascent. These gentlemen, who
had studied together at the Polytechnic School of Paris, and the latter
of whom had especially devoted himself to the study of chemistry, and
its application to the arts, while both were deeply versed in
mathematical science, were well qualified for the undertaking; and they
were warmly patronized by the government, which immediately placed at
their command the _Intrepide_, that had returned with the French army
from Egypt to Paris, after the capitulation of Cairo. M. Contel, who had
constructed the balloon, was ordered to refit it, under their direction,
at the public expense. Having furnished themselves with the
philosophical instruments necessary for their experiments--with
barometers, thermometers, hygrometers, compasses, dipping needles,
metallic wires, an electrophorus, a voltaic pile, and with some frogs,
insects, and birds--they ascended, at ten o'clock, on the morning of
August 23, 1804, from the garden of the Repository of Models. On rising
6500 English feet, they commenced their observations. The magnetic
needle was attracted as usual by iron, but it was impossible for them at
this time to determine with accuracy its rate of oscillation, owing to a
slow rotary motion with which the balloon was affected. The voltaic pile
exhibited all its ordinary effects, giving its peculiar copperas taste,
exciting the nervous system, and causing the decomposition of water. At
the elevation of 8600 feet, the animals which they carried with them
appeared to suffer from the rarity of the air. The philosophers had
their pulses much accelerated, but they experienced no difficulty in
breathing, nor any inconvenience whatever. Their highest elevation was
13,000 feet; and the result of their experiments at this distance from
the earth was, that the force of magnetic attraction had not sensibly
diminished, and that there is an increase of electricity in the higher
regions of the atmosphere.

In compliance with the request of several philosophers of Paris, who
were anxious that the same observations should be repeated at the
greatest height that could be reached, Gay Lussac alone made a second
ascent, on the morning of September 15, 1804, from the garden of the
Repository of Models, and rose, by a gradual ascent, to a great
elevation. He continued to take observations at short intervals of the
state of the barometer, the thermometer, and the hygrometer, of which he
has given a tabular view, but he unfortunately neglected to mark the
time at which they were made--a point of material importance, for the
results would of course be modified by the progress of the day; and it
would have added to their value, had these observations been compared
with similar ones made at the same time at the observatory. During the
ascent of the balloon, the hygrometer was variable, but obviously marked
an increase of dryness; the thermometer indicated a decrease in the heat
of the atmosphere, but the decrease is not uniform, the ratio being
higher in the elevated regions than in the lower, which are heated from
the earth; and it was found, by not fewer than fifteen trials at
different altitudes, that the oscillations of a finely-suspended needle
varied very little from its oscillations on the surface of the earth. At
the height of 21,460 feet. Lussac admitted the air into one of his
exhausted flasks, and at the height of 21,790 feet, he filled the other.
He continued to rise, till he was 22,912 feet above Paris, or 23,040
feet--that is upward of four miles and a quarter--above the level of the
sea, the utmost limit of his ascent, an elevation not much below the
summit of Nevado de Sorato, the highest mountain of America, and the
loftiest peak of the Himalaya in Asia, the highest mountains in the
world, and far above that to which any mortal had ever soared before.
One can not but admire the intrepid coolness with which Lussac performed
his experiments at this enormous elevation, conducting his operations
with the same composure and precision as if he had been seated in his
own parlor in Paris. Though warmly clad, he now began to suffer from the
excessive cold, his pulse was quickened, he was oppressed by difficulty
in breathing, and his throat became parched, from inhaling the dry,
attenuated air--for the air was now more than twice as thin as ordinary,
the barometer having sunk to 12.95 inches--so that he could hardly
swallow a morsel of bread. He alighted safely, at a quarter before four
o'clock afternoon, near the hamlet of St. Gourgan, about sixteen miles
from Rouen. On reaching Paris, he hastened to the laboratory of the
Polytechnic School, to analyze the air he had brought down in his flasks
from the higher regions; and, by a very delicate analysis, it was found
to contain exactly the same proportions as the air on the surface of the
earth, every 1000 parts holding 215 of oxygen, confirming the identity
of the atmosphere in all situations. The ascents of these two
philosophers are memorable, as the first which were made for purely
scientific purposes.



[From the Dublin University Magazine.]

MAURICE TIERNAY, THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE

_(Continued from Vol. I. Page 797.)_


CHAPTER XVIII.

"THE BAY OF RATHFRAN."

Our voyage was very uneventful, but not without anxiety, since, to avoid
the English cruisers and the Channel-fleet, we were obliged to hold a
southerly course for several days, making a great circuit before we
could venture to bear up for the place of our destination. The weather
alternated between light winds and a dead calm, which usually came on
every day at noon, and lasted till about sunset. As to me, there was an
unceasing novelty in every thing about a ship; her mechanism, her
discipline, her progress, furnished abundant occupation for all my
thoughts, and I never wearied of acquiring knowledge of a theme so
deeply interesting. My intercourse with the naval officers, too,
impressed me strongly in their favor, in comparison with their comrades
of the land service. In the former case, all was zeal, activity, and
watchfulness. The look-out never slumbered at his post; and an unceasing
anxiety to promote the success of the expedition, manifested itself in
all their words and actions. This, of course, was all to be expected in
the discharge of the duties peculiarly their own; but I also looked for
something which should denote preparation and forethought in the others;
yet nothing of the kind was to be seen. The expedition was never
discussed even as table-talk; and for any thing that fell from the party
in conversation, it would have been impossible to say if our destination
were China or Ireland. Not a book nor a map, not a pamphlet nor a paper
that bore upon the country whose destinies were about to be committed to
us, ever appeared on the tables. A vague and listless doubt how long the
voyage might last, was the extent of interest any one condescended to
exhibit; but as to what was to follow after--what new chapter of events
should open when this first had closed, none vouchsafed to inquire.

Even to this hour I am puzzled whether to attribute this strange conduct
to the careless levity of national character, or to a studied and well
"got up" affectation. In all probability both influences were at work;
while a third, not less powerful, assisted them--this was the gross
ignorance and shameless falsehood of many of the Irish leaders of the
expedition, whose boastful and absurd histories ended by disgusting
every one. To listen to them, Ireland was not only unanimous in her
desire for separation, but England was perfectly powerless to prevent
it, and the only difficulty was, to determine the future fortune of the
liberated land, when once her freedom had been proclaimed. Among the
projects discussed at the time, I well remember one, which was often
gravely talked over, and the utter absurdity of which certainly struck
none among us. This was no less than the intention of demanding the West
India Islands from England, as an indemnity for the past woes and bygone
misgovernment of Ireland. If this seem barely credible now, I can only
repeat my faithful assurance of the fact, and I believe that some of the
memoirs of the time will confirm my assertion.

The French officers listened to these and similar speculations with
utter indifference; probably to many of them the geographical question
was a difficulty that stopped any further inquiry, while others felt no
further interest than what a campaign promised. All the enthusiastic
narratives, then, of high rewards and splendid trophies that awaited us,
fell upon inattentive ears, and at last the word Ireland ceased to be
heard among us. Play of various kinds occupied us when not engaged on
duty. There was little discipline maintained on board, and none of that
strictness which is the habitual rule of a ship-of-war. The lights were
suffered to burn during the greater part of the night in the cabins;
gambling went on usually till daybreak; and the quarter-deck, that most
reverential of spots to every sailor-mind, was often covered by lounging
groups, who smoked, chatted, or played at chess, in all the cool apathy
of men indifferent to its claim for respect.

Now and then, the appearance of a strange sail afar off, or some dim
object in the horizon, would create a momentary degree of excitement and
anxiety; but when the "look-out" from the mast-head had proclaimed her a
"schooner from Brest," or a "Spanish fruit-vessel," the sense of danger
passed away at once, and none ever reverted to the subject of a peril
then suggested.

With General Humbert I usually passed the greater part of each forenoon,
a distinction, I must confess, I owed to my skill as a chess-player, a
game of which he was particularly fond, and in which I had attained no
small proficiency. I was too young and too unpracticed in the world to
make my skill subordinate to my chief's, and beat him at every game with
as little compunction as though he were only my equal, till, at last,
vexed at his want of success, and tired of a contest that offered no
vicissitude of fortune, he would frequently cease playing, to chat over
the events of the time, and the chances of the expedition.

It was with no slight mixture of surprise and dismay, that I now
detected his utter despair of all success, and that he regarded the
whole as a complete forlorn-hope. He had merely taken the command to
involve the French Government in the cause, and so to compromise the
national character that all retreat would be impossible. "We shall be
all cut to pieces, or taken prisoners the day after we land," was his
constant exclamation, "and then, but not till then, will they think
seriously in France of a suitable expedition." There was no heroism,
still less was there any affectation of recklessness, in this avowal. By
nature, he was a rough, easy, good-tempered fellow, who liked his
profession less for its rewards, than for its changeful scenes and
moving incidents--his one predominating feeling being that France should
give rule to the whole world, and the principles of her Revolution be
every where pre-eminent. To promote this consummation, the loss of an
army was of little moment. Let the cause but triumph in the end, and the
cost was not worth fretting about.

Next to this sentiment was his hatred of England, and all that was
English. Treachery, falsehood, pride, avarice, grasping covetousness,
and unscrupulous aggression, were the characteristics by which he
described the nation; and he made the little knowledge he had gleaned
from newspapers and intercourse, so subservient to this theory, that I
was an easy convert to his opinion; so that, ere long, my compassion for
the wrongs of Ireland was associated with the most profound hatred of
her oppressors.

To be sure, I should have liked the notion, that we ourselves were to
have some more active share in the liberation of Irishmen than the mere
act of heralding another and more successful expedition; but even in
this thought there was romantic self-devotion, not unpleasing to the
mind of a boy; but, after all, I was the only one who felt it.

The first sight of land to one on sea is always an event of uncommon
interest; but how greatly increased is the feeling, when that land is to
be the scene of a perilous exploit--the cradle of his ambition, or
perhaps his grave! All my speculations about the expedition--all my
day-dreams of success, or my anxious hours of dark forebodings--never
brought the matter so palpably before me, as the dim outline of a
distant headland, which, I was told, was part of the Irish coast.

This was on the 8th of August, but on the following day we stood farther
out to sea again and saw no more of it. The three succeeding ones we
continued to beat up slowly to the north'ard, against a head wind and a
heavy sea; but on the evening of the 21st the sun went down in mellow
splendor, and a light air from the south springing up, the sailors
pronounced a most favorable change of weather, a prophecy that a starry
night and a calm sea soon confirmed.

The morning of the 22d broke splendidly--a gentle breeze from the
sou'west slightly curled the blue waves, and filled the canvas of the
three frigates, as in close order they sailed along under the tall
cliffs of Ireland. We were about three miles from the shore, on which
now every telescope and glass was eagerly directed. As the light and
fleeting clouds of early morning passed away, we could descry the
outlines of the bold coast, indented with many a bay and creek, while
rocky promontories and grassy slopes succeeded each other in endless
variety of contrast. Towns, or even villages, we could see none--a few
small wretched-looking hovels were dotted over the hills, and here and
there a thin wreath of blue smoke bespoke habitation, but, save these
signs, there was an air of loneliness and solitude which increased the
solemn feelings of the scene.

All these objects of interest, however, soon gave way before another, to
the contemplation of which every eye was turned. This was a small
fishing-boat, which, with a low mast and ragged piece of canvas was seen
standing boldly out for us; a red handkerchief was fastened to a stick
in the stern, as if for a signal, and on our shortening sail, to admit
of her overtaking us, the ensign was lowered, as though in
acknowledgment of our meaning.

The boat was soon alongside, and we now perceived that her crew
consisted of a man and a boy, the former of whom, a powerfully-built,
loose fellow, of about five-and-forty, dressed in a light-blue frieze
jacket and trowsers, adroitly caught at the cast of rope thrown out to
him, and having made fast his skiff, clambered up the ship's side at
once, gayly, as though he were an old friend coming to welcome us.

"Is he a pilot?" asked the officer of the watch, addressing one of the
Irish officers.

"No; he's only a fisherman, but he knows the coast perfectly, and says
there is deep water within twenty fathoms of the shore."

An animated conversation in Irish now ensued between the peasant and
Captain Madgett, during which a wondering and somewhat impatient group
stood around, speedily increased by the presence of General Humbert
himself and his staff.

"He tells me, general," said Madgett, "that we are in the Bay of
Killala, a good and safe anchorage, and, during the southerly winds, the
best on all the coast."

"What news has he from the shore?" asked Humbert, sharply, as if the
care of the ship was a very secondary consideration.

"They have been expecting us with the greatest impatience, general; he
says the most intense anxiety for our coming is abroad."

"What of the people themselves? Where are the national forces? Have they
any head quarters near this? Eh, what says he? What is that? Why does he
laugh?" asked Humbert, in impatient rapidity, as he watched the changes
in the peasant's face.

"He was laughing at the strange sound of a foreign language, so odd and
singular to his ears," said Madgett; but for all his readiness, a slight
flushing of the cheek showed that he was ill at ease.

"Well, but what of the Irish forces? Where are they?"

For some minutes the dialogue continued in an animated strain between
the two; the vehement tone and gestures of each bespeaking what sounded
at least like altercation; and Madgett at last turned half angrily away,
saying, "The fellow is too ignorant; he actually knows nothing of what
is passing before his eyes."

"Is there no one else on board can speak this 'baragouinage,'" cried
Humbert in anger.

"Yes, general, I can interrogate him," cried a young lad named Conolly,
who had only joined us the day before we sailed.

And now as the youth addressed the fisherman in a few rapid sentences,
the other answered as quickly, making a gesture with his hands that
implied grief, or even despair.

"We can interpret that for ourselves," broke in Humbert; "he is telling
you that the game is up."

"Exactly so, general; he says that the insurrection has been completely
put down, that the Irish forces are scattered or disbanded, and all the
leaders taken."

"The fellow is just as likely to be an English spy," said Madgett, in a
whisper; but Humbert's gesture of impatience showed how little trust he
reposed in the allegation.

"Ask him what English troops are quartered in this part of the country,"
said the general.

"A few militia, and two squadrons of dragoons," was the prompt reply.

"No artillery?"

"None."

"Is there any rumor of our coming abroad, or have the frigates been
seen?" asked Humbert.

"They were seen last night from the church steeple of Killala, general,"
said Conolly, translating, "but believed to be English."

"Come; that is the best news he has brought us yet," said Humbert,
laughing; "we shall at least surprise them a little. Ask him what men of
rank or consequence live in the neighborhood, and how are they affected
toward the expedition?"

A few words, and a low, dry laugh, made all the peasant's reply.

"Eh, what says he?" asked Humbert.

"He says, sir, that, except a Protestant bishop, there's nothing of the
rank of gentry here."

"I suppose we need scarcely expect _his_ blessing on our efforts," said
Humbert, with a hearty laugh. "What is he saying now?--what is he
looking at?"

"He says we are now in the very best anchorage of the bay," said
Conolly, "and that on the whole coast there's not a safer spot."

A brief consultation now took place between the general and the naval
officers, and in a few seconds the word was given to take in all sail,
and anchor.

"I wish I could speak to that honest fellow myself," said Humbert, as he
stood watching the fisherman, who with a peasant's curiosity had now
approached the mast, and was passing his fingers across the blades of
the cutlasses, as they stood in the sword rack.

"Sharp enough for the English, eh?" cried Humbert, in French, but with a
gesture that seemed at once intelligible. A dry nod of the head gave
assent to the remark.

"If I understand him aright," said Humbert, in a half whisper to
Conolly, "we are as little expected by our friends as by our enemies;
and that there is little or no force in arms among the Irish."

"There are plenty ready to fight, he says, sir, but none accustomed to
discipline."

A gesture, half contemptuous, was all Humbert's reply, and he now turned
away and walked the deck alone and in silence. Meanwhile the bustle and
movements of the crew continued, and soon the great ships, stripped of
their white sails, lay tranquilly at anchor in a sea without a ripple.

"A boat is coming out from the shore, general," whispered the lieutenant
on duty.

"Ask the fisherman if he knows it."

Conolly drew the peasant's attention to the object, and the man, after
looking steadily for a few seconds, became terribly agitated.

"What is it, man--can't you tell who it is?" asked Conolly.

But although so composed before, so ready with all his replies, he
seemed now totally unmanned--his frank and easy features being struck
with the signs of palpable terror. At last, and with an effort that
bespoke all his fears, he muttered--"'Tis the king's boat is coming, and
'tis the collector's on board of her!"

"Is that all?" cried Conolly, laughing, as he translated the reply to
the general.

"Won't you say that I'm a prisoner, sir; won't you tell them that you
took me?" said the fisherman, in an accent of fervent entreaty, for
already his mind anticipated the casualty of a failure, and what might
betide him afterward; but no one now had any care for him or his
fortunes--all was in preparation to conceal the national character of
the ships. The marines were ordered below, and all others whose uniforms
might betray their country, while the English colors floated from every
mast-head.

General Humbert, with Serazin and two others, remained on the poop-deck,
where they continued to walk, apparently devoid of any peculiar interest
or anxiety in the scene. Madgett alone betrayed agitation at this
moment: his pale face was paler than ever, and there seemed to me a kind
of studious care in the way he covered himself up with his cloak, so
that not a vestige of his uniform could be seen.

The boat now came close under our lee, and Conolly being ordered to
challenge her in English, the collector, standing up in the stern,
touched his hat, and announced his rank. The gangway-ladder was
immediately lowered, and three gentlemen ascended the ship's side and
walked aft to the poop. I was standing near the bulwark at the time,
watching the scene with intense interest. As General Humbert stood a
little in advance of the rest, the collector, probably taking him for
the captain, addressed him with some courteous expression of welcome,
and was proceeding to speak of the weather, when the general gently
stopped him by asking if he spoke French.

I shall never forget the terror of face that question evoked. At first,
looking at his two companions, the collector turned his eyes to the
gaff, where the English flag was flying; but still unable to utter a
word, he stood like one entranced.

"You have been asked if you can speak French, sir?" said Conolly, at a
sign from the general.

"No--very little--very badly--not at all; but isn't this--am I not on
board of--"

"Can none of them speak French?" said Humbert, shortly.

"Yes, sir," said a young man on the collector's right; "I can make
myself intelligible in that language, although no great proficient."

"Who are you, monsieur?--are you a civilian?" asked Humbert.

"Yes, sir. I am the son of the Bishop of Killala, and this young
gentleman is my brother."

"What is the amount of the force in this neighborhood?"

"You will pardon me, sir," said the youth, "if I ask, first, who it is
puts this question, and under what circumstances I am expected to answer
it?"

"All frank and open, sir," said Humbert, good-humoredly. "I'm the
General Humbert, commanding the advanced guard for the liberation of
Ireland--so much for your first question. As to your second one, I
believe that if you have any concern for yourself, or those belonging to
you, you will find that nothing will serve your interest so much as
truth and plain dealing."

"Fortunately, then, for me," said the youth, laughing, "I can not betray
my king's cause, for I know nothing, nothing whatever, about the
movement of troops. I seldom go ten miles from home, and have not been
even at Ballina since last winter."

"Why so cautious about your information, then, sir," broke in Serazin,
roughly, "since you have none to give?"

"Because I had some to receive, sir; and was curious to know where I was
standing," said the young man, boldly.

While these few sentences were being interchanged, Madgett had learned
from the collector, that, except a few companies of militia and
fencibles, the country was totally unprovided with troops, but he also
picked up, that the people were so crest-fallen and subdued in courage
from the late failure of the rebellion, that it was very doubtful
whether our coming would arouse them to another effort. This
information, particularly the latter part of it, Madgett imparted to
Humbert at once, and I thought by his manner, and the eagerness with
which he spoke, that he seemed to use all his powers to dissuade the
general from a landing; at least I overheard him more than once say,
"Had we been further north, sir--"

Humbert quickly stopped him by the words:

"And what prevents us, when we have landed, sir, in extending our line
north'ard? the winds can not surely master us, when we have our feet on
the sward. Enough of all this; let these gentlemen be placed in
security, and none have access to them without my orders. Make signal
for the commanding officers to come on board here. We've had too much of
speculation; a little action now will be more profitable."

"So, we are prisoners, it seems!" said the young man who spoke French,
as he moved away with the others, who, far more depressed in spirit,
hung their heads in silence, as they descended between-decks.

Scarcely was the signal for a council of war seen from the mast-head,
when the different boats might be descried stretching across the bay
with speed. And now all were assembled in General Humbert's cabin, whose
rank and station in the service, entitled them to the honor of being
consulted.

To such of us as held inferior grade, the time passed tediously enough
as we paced the deck, now turning from the aspect of the silent, and,
seemingly, uninhabited cliffs along shore, to listen if no sign
betokened the breaking up of the council; nor were we without serious
fears that the expedition would be abandoned altogether. This suspicion
originated with the Irish themselves, who, however confident of success,
and boastful of their country's resources before we sailed, now made no
scruple of averring that every thing was the exact reverse of what they
had stated: for, that the people were dispirited, the national forces
disbanded, neither arms, money, nor organization any where--in fact,
that a more hopeless scheme could not be thought of than the attempt,
and that its result could not fail to be defeat and ruin to all
concerned.

Shall I own that the bleak and lonely aspect of the hills along shore,
the dreary character of the landscape, the almost death-like stillness
of the scene, aided these gloomy impressions, and made it seem as if we
were about to try our fortune on some desolate spot, without one look of
encouragement, or one word of welcome to greet us. The sight of even an
enemy's force would have been a relief to this solitude--the stir and
movement of a rival army would have given spirit to our daring, and
nerved our courage, but there was something inexpressibly sad in this
unbroken monotony.

A few tried to jest upon the idea of liberating a land that had no
inhabitants--the emancipation of a country without people; but even
French flippancy failed to be witty on a theme so linked with all our
hopes and fears, and, at last, a dreary silence fell upon all, and we
walked the deck without speaking, waiting and watching for the result of
that deliberation, which already had lasted above four mortal hours.

Twice was the young man who spoke French summoned to the cabin, but,
from the briefness of his stay, apparently with little profit; and now
the day began to wane, and the tall cliffs threw their lengthened
shadows over the still waters of the bay, and yet nothing was resolved
on. To the quiet and respectful silence of expectation, now succeeded a
low and half subdued muttering of discontent; groups of five or six
together were seen along the deck, talking with eagerness and animation,
and it was easy to see that whatever prudential or cautious reasons
dictated to the leaders, their arguments found little sympathy with the
soldiers of the expedition. I almost began to fear that if a
determination to abandon the exploit were come to, a mutiny might break
out, when my attention was drawn off by an order to accompany Colonel
Charost on shore to "reconnoitre." This, at least, looked like business,
and I jumped into the small boat with alacrity.

With the speed of four oars stoutly plied, we skimmed along the calm
surface, and soon saw ourselves close in to the shore. Some little time
was spent in looking for a good place to land; for, although not the
slightest air of wind was blowing, the long swell of the Atlantic broke
upon the rocks with a noise like thunder. At last, we shot into a little
creek with a shelving gravelly beach, and completely concealed by the
tall rocks on every side; and now we sprang out, and stood upon Irish
ground!


CHAPTER XIX.

A "RECONNAISSANCE."

From the little creek where we landed, a small zig-zag path led up the
sides of the cliff, the track by which the peasants carried the
sea-weed, which they gathered for manure, and up this we now slowly
wended our way. Stopping for some time to gaze at the ample bay beneath
us, the tall-masted frigates floating so majestically on its glassy
surface--it was a scene of tranquil and picturesque beauty, with which
it would have been almost impossible to associate the idea of war and
invasion. In the lazy bunting that hung listlessly from peak and
mast-head--in the cheerful voices of the sailors, heard afar off in the
stillness--in the measured plash of the sea itself, and the fearless
daring of the sea-gulls, as they soared slowly above our heads--there
seemed something so suggestive of peace and tranquillity, it struck us
as profanation to disturb it.

As we gained the top and looked around us, our astonishment became even
greater. A long succession of low hills, covered with tall ferns or
heath, stretched away on every side; not a house, nor a hovel, nor a
living thing to be seen. Had the country been one uninhabited since the
creation, it could not have presented an aspect of more thorough
desolation! No road-track, nor even a foot-path, led through the dreary
waste before us, on which, to all seeming, the foot of man had never
fallen. And, as we stood for some moments, uncertain which way to turn,
a sense of the ridiculous suddenly burst upon the party, and we all
broke into a hearty roar of laughter.

"I little thought," cried Charost, "that I should ever emulate 'La
Perouse,' but it strikes me that I am destined to become a great
discoverer."

"How so, colonel?" asked his aid-de-camp.

"Why, it is quite clear, that this same island is uninhabited; and, if
it be all like this, I own I'm scarcely surprised at it."

"Still, there must be a town not far off, and the residence of that
bishop we heard of this morning."

A half incredulous shrug of the shoulders was all his reply, as he
sauntered along with his hands behind his back, apparently lost in
thought; while we, as if instinctively partaking of his gloom, followed
him in total silence.

"Do you know, gentlemen, what I'm thinking of?" said he, stopping
suddenly, and facing about. "My notion is, that the best thing to do
here, would be to plant our tri-color, proclaim the land a colony of
France, and take to our boats again."

This speech delivered with an air of great gravity, imposed upon us for
an instant; but the moment after, the speaker breaking into a hearty
laugh, we all joined him, as much amused by the strangeness of our
situation, as by any thing in his remark.

"We never could bring our guns through a soil like this, colonel," said
the aid-de-camp, as he struck his heel into the soft and clayey surface.

"If we could ever land them at all!" muttered he, half aloud; then
added, "But for what object should we? Believe me, gentlemen, if we are
to have a campaign here, bows and arrows are the true weapons."

"Ah! what do I see yonder?" cried the aid-de-camp; "are not those sheep
feeding in that little glen?"

"Yes," cried I, "and a man herding them, too. See, the fellow has caught
sight of us, and he's off as fast as his legs can carry him." And so was
it, the man had no sooner seen us than he sprung to his feet, and
hurried down the mountain at full speed.

Our first impulse was to follow and give him chase, and even without a
word, we all started off in pursuit; but we soon saw how fruitless would
be the attempt, for, even independent of the start he had got of us, the
peasant's speed was more than the double of our own.

"No matter," said the colonel, "if we have lost the shepherd, we have,
at least, gained the sheep, and so I recommend you to secure a mutton
for dinner to-morrow."

With this piece of advice, down the hill he darted, as hard as he could.
Briolle, the aid-de-camp, and myself following at our best pace. We were
reckoning without our host, however, for the animals, after one stupid
stare at us, set off in a scamper that soon showed their mountain
breeding, keeping all together like a pack of hounds, and, really, not
very inferior in the speed they displayed.

A little gorge led between the hills, and through this they rushed
madly, and with a clatter like a charge of cavalry. Excited by the
chase, and emulous each to outrun the other, the colonel threw off his
chako, and Briolle his sword, in the ardor of pursuit. We now gained on
them rapidly, and though, from a winding in the glen, they had
momentarily got out of sight, we knew that we were close upon them. I
was about thirty paces in advance of my comrades, when, on turning an
angle of the gorge, I found myself directly in front of a group of mud
hovels, in front of which were standing about a dozen ragged, miserable
looking men, armed with pitchforks and scythes, while in the rear stood
the sheep, blown and panting from the chase.

I came to a dead stop; and although I would have given worlds to have
had my comrades at my side, I never once looked back to see if they were
coming; but, putting a bold face on the matter, called out the only few
words I knew of Irish, "Go de ma ha tu."

The peasants looked at each other; and whether it was my accent, my
impudence, or my strange dress and appearance, or all together, I can
not say, but, after a few seconds' pause, they burst out into a roar of
laughter, in the midst of which my two comrades came up.

"We saw the sheep feeding on the hills, yonder," said I, recovering
self-possession, "and guessed that by giving them chase, they'd lead us
to some inhabited spot. What is this place called?"

"Shindrennin," said a man who seemed to be the chief of the party; "and,
if I might make so bould, who are you, yourselves?"

"French officers; this is my colonel," said I, pointing to Charost, who
was wiping his forehead and face after his late exertion.

The information, far from producing the electric effect of pleasure I
had anticipated, was received with a coldness, almost amounting to fear,
and they spoke eagerly together for some minutes in Irish.

"Our allies evidently don't like the look of us," said Charost,
laughing; "and if the truth must be told, I own the disappointment is
mutual."

"'Tis too late you come sir," said the peasant, addressing the colonel,
while he removed his hat, and assumed an air of respectful deference.
"'Tis all over with poor Ireland, this time."

"Tell him," said Charost, to whom I translated the speech, "that it's
never too late to assert a good cause: that we have got arms for twenty
thousand, if they have but hands and hearts to use them. Tell him that a
French army is now lying in that bay yonder, ready and able to
accomplish the independence of Ireland."

I delivered my speech as pompously as it was briefed to me; and,
although I was listened to in silence, and respectfully, it was plain my
words carried little or no conviction with them. Not caring to waste
more of our time in such discourse, I now inquired about the country--in
what directions lay the high roads, and the relative situations of the
towns of Killala, Castlebar, and Ballina, the only places of comparative
importance in the neighborhood. I next asked about the landing-places,
and learned that a small fishing-harbor existed, not more than half a
mile from the spot where we had landed, from which a little country road
lay to the village of Palmerstown. As to the means of transporting
baggage, guns, and ammunition, there were few horses to be had, but with
money we might get all we wanted; indeed, the peasants constantly
referred to this means of success, even to asking "what the French would
give a man that was to join them?" If I did not translate the demand
with fidelity to my colonel, it was really that a sense of shame
prevented me. My whole heart was in the cause; and I could not endure
the thought of its being degraded in this way. It was growing duskish,
and the colonel proposed that the peasant should show us the way to the
fishing-harbor he spoke of, while some other of the party might go round
to our boat, and direct them to follow us thither. The arrangement was
soon made, and we all sauntered down toward the shore, chatting over the
state of the country, and the chances of a successful rising. From the
specimen before me, I was not disposed to be over sanguine about the
peasantry. The man was evidently disaffected toward England. He bore her
neither good-will nor love; but his fears were greater than all else. He
had never heard of any thing but failure in all attempts against her;
and he could not believe in any other result. Even the aid and alliance
of France inspired no other feeling than distrust; for he said more than
once, "Sure, what can harm _yez_? Haven't ye yer ships, beyant, to take
yez away, if things goes bad?"

I was heartily glad that Colonel Charost knew so little English, that
the greater part of the peasant's conversation was unintelligible to
him, since, from the first, he had always spoken of the expedition in
terms of disparagement; and certainly what we were now to hear was not
of a nature to controvert the prediction.

In our ignorance as to the habits and modes of thought of the people, we
were much surprised at the greater interest the peasant betrayed when
asking us about France and her prospects, than when the conversation
concerned his own country. It appeared as though, in the one case,
distance gave grandeur and dimensions to all his conceptions, while
familiarity with home scenes and native politics had robbed them of all
their illusions. He knew well that there were plenty of hardships,
abundance of evils, to deplore in Ireland; rents were high, taxes and
tithes oppressive, agents were severe, bailiffs were cruel; social
wrongs he could discuss for hours, but of political woes, the only one
we could be expected to relieve or care for, he really knew nothing.
"'Tis true," he repeated, "that what my honor said was all right,
Ireland was badly treated," and so on; "liberty was an elegant thing if
a body had it," and such like; but there ended his patriotism.

Accustomed for many a day to the habits of a people where all were
politicians, where the rights of man, and the grand principles of
equality and self-government were everlastingly under discussion, I was,
I confess it, sorely disappointed at this worse than apathy.

"Will they fight?--ask him that," said Charost, to whom I had been
conveying a rather rose-colored version of my friend's talk.

"Oh, be gorra! we'll fight sure enough!" said he, with a half-dogged
scowl beneath his brows.

"What number of them may we reckon on in the neighborhood?" repeated the
colonel.

"'Tis mighty hard to say; many of the boys was gone over to England for
the harvest; some were away to the counties inland, others were working
on the roads; but if they knew, sure they'd be soon back again."

"Might they calculate on a thousand stout, effective men?" asked
Charost.

"Ay, twenty, if they were at home," said the peasant, less a liar by
intention than from the vague and careless disregard of truth, so common
in all their own intercourse with each other.

I must own that the degree of credit we reposed in the worthy man's
information was considerably influenced by the state of facts before us,
inasmuch as that the "elegant, fine harbor" he had so gloriously
described--"the beautiful road"--"the neat little quay" to land upon,
and the other advantages of the spot, all turned out to be most grievous
disappointments. That the people were not of our own mind on these
matters, was plain enough from the looks of astonishment our discontent
provoked; and now a lively discussion ensued on the relative merits of
various bays, creeks, and inlets along the coast, each of which, with
some unpronounceable name or other, was seen to have a special advocate
in its favor, till at last the colonel lost all patience, and jumping
into the boat, ordered the men to push off for the frigate.

Evidently out of temper at the non-success of his "reconnaissance," and
as little pleased with the country as the people, Charost did not speak
a word as we rowed back to the ship. Our failure, as it happened, was of
little moment, for another party, under the guidance of Madgett, had
already discovered a good landing-place at the bottom of the Bay of
Rathfran, and arrangements were already in progress to disembark the
troops at day-break. We also found that, during our absence, some of the
"chiefs" had come off from shore, one of whom, named Neal Kerrigan, was
destined to attain considerable celebrity in the rebel army. He was a
talkative, vulgar, presumptuous fellow, who, without any knowledge or
experience whatever, took upon him to discuss military measures and
strategy with all the assurance of an old commander.

Singularly enough, Humbert suffered this man to influence him in a great
degree, and yielded opinion to him on points even where his own judgment
was directly opposed to the advice he gave.

If Kerrigan's language and bearing were directly the reverse of
soldierlike, his tawdry uniform of green and gold, with massive epaulets
and a profusion of lace, were no less absurd in our eyes, accustomed as
we were to the almost puritan plainness of military costume. His rank,
too, seemed as undefined as his information; for while he called himself
"General," his companions as often addressed him by the title of
"Captain." Upon some points his counsels, indeed, alarmed and astonished
us.

"It was of no use whatever," he said, "to attempt to discipline the
peasantry, or reduce them to any thing like habits of military
obedience. Were the effort to be made, it would prove a total failure;
for they would either grow disgusted with the restraint, and desert
altogether, or so infect the other troops with their own habits of
disorder, that the whole force would become a mere rabble. Arm them
well, let them have plenty of ammunition, and free liberty to use it in
their own way and their own time, and we should soon see that they would
prove a greater terror to the English than double the number of trained
and disciplined troops."

In some respects this view was a correct one; but whether it was a wise
counsel to have followed, subsequent events gave us ample cause to
doubt.

Kerrigan, however, had a specious, reckless, go-ahead way with him that
suited well the tone and temper of Humbert's mind. He never looked too
far into consequences, but trusted that the eventualities of the morrow
would always suggest the best course for the day after; and this alone
was so akin to our own general's mode of proceeding, that he speedily
won his confidence.

The last evening on board was spent merrily on all sides. In the general
cabin, where the staff and all the "Chefs de brigade" were assembled,
gay songs, and toasts, and speeches succeeded each other till nigh
morning. The printed proclamations, meant for circulation among the
people, were read out, with droll commentaries; and all imaginable
quizzing and jesting went on about the new government to be established
in Ireland, and the various offices to be bestowed upon each. Had the
whole expedition been a joke, the tone of levity could not have been
greater. Not a thought was bestowed, not a word wasted upon any of the
graver incidents that might ensue. All were, if not hopeful and
sanguine, utterly reckless, and thoroughly indifferent to the future.


CHAPTER XX.

KILLALA.

I will not weary my reader with an account of our debarkation, less
remarkable as it was for the "pomp and circumstance of war" than for
incidents and accidents the most absurd and ridiculous--the miserable
boats of the peasantry, the still more wretched cattle employed to drag
our artillery and train wagons, involving us in innumerable misfortunes
and mischances. Never were the heroic illusions of war more thoroughly
dissipated than by the scenes which accompanied our landing! Boats and
baggage-wagons upset; here, a wild, half savage-looking fellow swimming
after a cocked hat--there, a group of ragged wretches scraping sea-weed
from a dripping officer of the staff; noise, uproar, and confusion every
where; smart aid-de-camps mounted on donkeys; trim field-pieces "horsed"
by a promiscuous assemblage of men, women, cows, ponies, and asses.
Crowds of idle country-people thronging the little quay and obstructing
the passages, gazed upon the whole with eyes of wonderment and surprise,
but evidently enjoying all the drollery of the scene with higher relish
than they felt interested in its object or success. This trait in them
soon attracted all our notice, for they laughed at every thing; not a
caisson tumbled into the sea, not a donkey brought his rider to the
ground, but one general shout shook the entire assemblage.

If want and privation had impressed themselves by every external sign on
this singular people, they seemed to possess inexhaustible resources of
good humor and good spirits within. No impatience or rudeness on our
part could irritate them; and even to the wildest and least civilized
looking fellow around, there was a kind of native courtesy and
kindliness that could not fail to strike us.

A vague notion prevailed that we were their "friends;" and although many
of them did not clearly comprehend why we had come, or what was the
origin of the warm attachment between us, they were too lazy and too
indifferent to trouble their heads about the matter. They were satisfied
that there would be a "shindy" somewhere, and somebody's bones would get
broken, and even that much was a pleasant and reassuring consideration;
while others of keener mould reveled in plans of private vengeance
against this landlord or that agent--small debts of hatred to be paid
off in the day of general reckoning!

From the first moment nothing could exceed the tone of fraternal feeling
between our soldiers and the people. Without any means of communicating
their thoughts by speech, they seemed to acquire an instinctive
knowledge of each other in an instant. If the peasant was poor, there
was no limit to his liberality in the little he had. He dug up his
half-ripe potatoes, he unroofed his cabin to furnish straw for litter,
he gave up his only beast, and was ready to kill his cow, if asked, to
welcome us. Much of this was from the native, warm, and impulsive
generosity of their nature, and much, doubtless, had its origin in the
bright hopes of future recompense inspired by the eloquent appeals of
Neal Kerrigan, who, mounted on an old white mare, rode about on every
side, addressing the people in Irish, and calling upon them to give all
aid and assistance to "the expedition."

The difficulty of the landing was much increased by the small space of
level ground which intervened between the cliffs and the sea, and of
which now the thickening crowd filled every spot. This and the miserable
means of conveyance for our baggage, delayed us greatly, so that, with a
comparatively small force, it was late in the afternoon before we had
all reached the shore.

We had none of us eaten since morning, and were not sorry, as we crowned
the heights, to hear the drums beat for "cooking." In an inconceivably
short time fires blazed along the hills, around which, in motley groups,
stood soldiers and peasantry mingled together, while the work of cooking
and eating went briskly on, amid hearty laughter and all the merriment
that mutual mistakes and misconceptions occasioned. It was a new thing
for French soldiers to bivouac in a friendly country, and find
themselves the welcome guests of a foreign people; and certainly the
honors of hospitality, however limited the means, could not have been
performed with more of courtesy or good-will. Paddy gave his "all," with
a generosity that might have shamed many a richer donor.

While the events I have mentioned were going forward, and a considerable
crowd of fishermen and peasants had gathered about us, still it was
remarkable that, except immediately on the coast itself, no suspicion of
our arrival had joined currency, and even the country people who lived a
mile from the shore were ignorant of who we were. The few who, from
distant heights and headlands, had seen the ships, mistook them for
English, and as all those who were out with fish or vegetables to sell
were detained by the frigates, any direct information about us was
impossible. So far, therefore, all might be said to have gone most
favorably with us. We had safely escaped the often-menaced dangers of
the channel fleet; we had gained a secure and well-sheltered harbor; and
we had landed our force not only without opposition, but in perfect
secrecy. There were, I will not deny, certain little counterbalancing
circumstances on the other side of the account, not exactly so
satisfactory. The patriot forces upon which we had calculated had no
existence. There were neither money, nor stores, nor means of conveyance
to be had; even accurate information as to the strength and position of
the English was unattainable; and as to generals and leaders, the
effective staff had but a most sorry representative in the person of
Neal Kerrigan. This man's influence over our general increased with
every hour, and one of the first orders issued after our landing
contained his appointment as an extra aid-de-camp on General Humbert's
staff.

In one capacity Neal was most useful. All the available sources of
pillage for a wide circuit of country he knew by heart, and it was
plain, from the accurate character of his information, varying, as it
did, from the chattels of the rich landed proprietor to the cocks and
hens of the cottier, that he had taken great pains to master his
subject. At his suggestion it was decided that we should march that
evening on Killala, where little, or, more likely, no resistance would
be met with, and General Humbert should take up his quarters in the
"Castle," as the palace of the bishop was styled. There, he said, we
should not only find ample accommodation for the staff, but good
stabling, well filled, and plenty of forage, while the bishop himself
might be a most useful hostage to have in our keeping. From thence, too,
as a place of some note, general orders and proclamations would issue,
with a kind of notoriety and importance necessary at the outset of an
undertaking like ours; and truly never was an expedition more loaded
with this species of missive than ours--whole cart-loads of printed
papers, decrees, placards, and such like, followed us. If our object had
been to drive out the English by big type and a flaming letter-press, we
could not have gone more vigorously to work. Fifty thousand broad-sheet
announcements of Irish independence were backed by as many proud
declarations of victory, some dated from Limerick, Cashel, or Dublin
itself.

Here, a great placard gave the details of the new Provincial Government
of Western Ireland, with the name of the "Prefect" a blank. There was
another, containing the police regulations for the "arrondissements" of
Connaught, "et ses dependances." Every imaginable step of conquest and
occupation was anticipated and provided for in these wise and
considerate protocols, from the "enthusiastic welcome of the French on
the western coast," to the hour of "General Humbert's triumphal entry
into Dublin." Nor was it prose alone, but even poetry, did service in
our cause. Songs, not, I own, conspicuous for great metrical beauty,
commemorated our battles and our bravery; so that we entered upon the
campaign as deeply pledged to victory as any force I ever heard or read
of in history.

Neal, who was, I believe, originally a schoolmaster, had great
confidence in this arsenal of "black and white;" and soon persuaded
General Humbert that a bold face and a loud tongue would do more in
Ireland than in any country under heaven; and indeed, if his own career
might be called a success, the theory deserved some consideration. A
great part of our afternoon was then spent in distributing these
documents to the people, not one in a hundred of whom could read, but
who treasured the placards with a reverence nothing diminished by their
ignorance. Emissaries, too, were appointed to post them up in
conspicuous places through the country, on the doors of the chapels, at
the smiths' forges, at cross-roads, every where, in short, where they
might attract notice. The most important and business-like of all these,
however, was one headed "ARMS!--ARMS!" and which went on to say that no
man who wished to lift his hand for old Ireland need do so without a
weapon; and that a general distribution of guns, swords, and bayonets
would take place at noon the following day at the palace of Killala.

Serazin, and, I believe, Madgett, were strongly opposed to this
indiscriminate arming of the people; but Neal's counsels were now in the
ascendant, and Humbert gave an implicit confidence to all he suggested.

It was four o'clock in the evening when the word to march was given, and
our gallant little force began its advance movement. Still attached to
Colonel Charost's staff, and being, as chasseurs, in the advance, I had
a good opportunity of seeing the line of march from an eminence about
half a mile in front. Grander and more imposing displays I have indeed
often witnessed. As a great military "spectacle" it could not, of
course, be compared with those mighty armies I had seen deploying
through the defiles of the Black Forest, or spreading like a sea over
the wide plain of Germany, but in purely picturesque effect, this scene
surpassed all I had ever beheld at the time, nor do I think, that, in
after life, I can recall one more striking.

The winding road, which led over hill and valley, now disappearing, now
emerging, with the undulations of the soil, was covered by troops
marching in a firm compact order; the grenadiers in front, after which
came the artillery, and then the regiments of the line. Watching the
dark column, occasionally saluting it as it went with a cheer, stood
thousands of country people on every hill-top and eminence, while far
away, in the distance, the frigates lay at anchor in the bay, the guns
at intervals thundering out a solemn "boom" of welcome and encouragement
to their comrades.

There was something so heroic in the notion of that little band of
warriors throwing themselves fearlessly into a strange land, to contest
its claim for liberty with one of the most powerful nations of the
world; there was a character of daring intrepidity in this bold advance,
they knew not whither, nor against what force, that gave the whole an
air of glorious chivalry.

I must own that distance lent its wonted illusion to the scene, and
proximity, like its twin-brother, familiarity, destroyed much of the
"prestige" my fancy had conjured up. The line of march, so imposing when
seen from afar, was neither regular nor well kept. The peasantry were
permitted to mingle with the troops; ponies, mules, and asses, loaded
with camp-kettles and cooking vessels, were to be met with every where.
The baggage-wagons were crowded with officers, and "sous-officiers,"
who, disappointed in obtaining horses, were too indolent to walk. Even
the gun-carriages, and the guns themselves, were similarly loaded, while
at the head of the infantry column, in an old rickety gig, the ancient
mail conveyance between Ballina and the coast, came General Humbert,
Neal Kerrigan capering at his side on the old gray, whose flanks were
now tastefully covered by the tri-colored ensign of one of the boats as
a saddle-cloth.

This nearer and less enchanting prospect of my gallant comrades I was
enabled to obtain, on being dispatched to the rear by Colonel Charost,
to say that we were now within less than a mile of the town of Killala,
its venerable steeple, and the tall chimneys of the palace, being easily
seen above the low hills in front. Neal Kerrigan passed me, as I rode
back with my message, galloping to the front with all the speed he could
muster; but while I was talking to the general he came back to say that
the beating of drums could be heard from the town, and that by the rapid
movements here and there of people, it was evident the defense was being
prepared. There was a look-out, too, from the steeple, that showed our
approach was already known. The general was not slow in adopting his
measures, and the word was given for quick march, the artillery to
deploy right and left of the road, two companies of grenadiers forming
on the flanks. "As for you, sir," said Humbert to me, "take that horse,"
pointing to a mountain pony, fastened behind the gig, "ride forward to
the town and make a reconnaissance. You are to report to me," cried he,
as I rode away, and was soon out of hearing.

Quitting the road, I took a foot-track across the fields, and which the
pony seemed to know well, and after a sharp canter reached a small, poor
suburb of the town, if a few straggling wretched cabins can deserve the
name; a group of countrymen stood in the middle of the road, about fifty
yards in front of me; and while I was deliberating whether to advance or
retire, a joyous cry of "Hurra for the French!" decided me, and I
touched my cap in salute, and rode forward.

Other groups saluted me with a similar cheer as I went on; and now
windows were flung open, and glad cries and shouts of welcome rang out
from every side. These signs were too encouraging to turn my back upon,
so I dashed forward through a narrow street in front, and soon found
myself in a kind of square or "Place," the doors and windows of which
were all closed, and not a human being to be seen any where. As I
hesitated what next to do, I saw a soldier in a red coat rapidly turn
the corner. "What do you want here, you spy?" he cried out in a loud
voice, and at the same instant his bullet rang past my ear with a
whistle. I drove in the spurs at once, and just as he had gained a
doorway I clove his head open with my sabre--he fell dead on the spot
before me. Wheeling my horse round, I now rode back as I had come, at
full speed, the same welcome cries accompanying me as before.

Short as had been my absence, it was sufficient to have brought the
advanced guard close up with the town, and just as I emerged from the
little suburb, a quick, sharp firing, drew my attention toward the left
of the wall, and there I saw our fellows advancing at a trot, while
about twenty red-coats were in full flight before them, the wild cries
of the country people following them as they went.

I had but time to see thus much, and to remark that two or three English
prisoners were taken, when the general came up. He had now abandoned the
gig, and was mounted on a large, powerful, black horse, which I
afterward learned was one of the bishop's. My tidings were soon told,
and, indeed, but indifferently attended to, for it was evident enough
that the place was our own.

"This way, general--follow me," cried Kerrigan. "If the light-companies
will take the road down to the 'Acres,' they'll catch the yeomen as they
retreat by that way, and we have the town our own."

The counsel was speedily adopted; and although the dropping fire, here
and there, showed that some slight resistance was still being made, it
was plain enough that all real opposition was impossible.

"Forward!" was now the word; and the "chasseurs," with their muskets "in
sling," advanced at a trot up the main street. At a little distance the
grenadiers followed, and, debouching into the square, were received by
an ill-directed volley from a few of the militia, who took to their
heels after they fired. Three or four red-coats were killed, but the
remainder made their escape through the church-yard, and gaining the
open country, scattered and fled as best they could.

Humbert, who had seen war on a very different scale, could not help
laughing at the absurdity of the skirmish, and was greatly amused with
the want of all discipline and "accord" exhibited by the English troops.

"I foresee, gentlemen," said he, jocularly, "that we may have abundance
of success, but gain very little glory, in the same campaign. Now for a
blessing upon our labors--where shall we find our friend, the bishop?"

"This way, general," cried Neal, leading down a narrow street, at the
end of which stood a high wall, with an iron gate. This was locked, and
some efforts at barricading it showed the intention of a defense; but a
few strokes of a pioneer's hammer smashed the lock, and we entered a
kind of pleasure-ground, neatly and trimly kept. We had not advanced
many paces when the bishop, followed by a great number of his
clergy--for it happened to be the period of his annual visitation--came
forward to meet us.

Humbert dismounted, and removing his chapeau, saluted the dignitary with
a most finished courtesy. I could see, too, by his gesture, that he
presented General Serazin, the second in command; and, in fact, all his
motions were those of a well-bred guest at the moment of being received
by his host. Nor was the bishop, on his side, wanting either in ease or
dignity; his manner, not without the appearance of deep sorrow, was yet
that of a polished gentleman doing the honors of his house to a number
of strangers.

As I drew nearer I could hear that the bishop spoke French fluently, but
with a strong foreign accent. This facility, however, enabled him to
converse with ease on every subject, and to hold intercourse directly
with our general, a matter of no small moment to either party. It is
probable that the other clergy did not possess this gift, for assuredly
their manner toward us, inferiors of the staff, was neither gracious nor
conciliating, and as for myself, the few efforts I made to express, in
English, my admiration for the coast scenery, or the picturesque beauty
of the neighborhood, were met in any rather than a spirit of politeness.

The generals accompanied the bishop into the castle, leaving myself and
three or four others on the outside. Colonel Charost soon made his
appearance, and a guard was stationed at the entrance gate, with a
strong picket in the garden. Two sentries were placed at the hall-door,
and the words "Quartier Général" written up over the portico. A small
garden pavilion was appropriated to the colonel's use, and made the
office of the adjutant-general, and in less than half an hour after our
arrival eight sous-officiers were hard at work, under the trees, writing
away at billets, contribution orders, and forage rations; while I, from
my supposed fluency in English, was engaged in carrying messages to and
from the staff to the various shopkeepers and tradesmen of the town,
numbers of whom now flocked around us with expressions of welcome and
rejoicing. (_To be continued_.)



[From Dickens's Household Words.]

A LUNATIC ASYLUM IN PALERMO.


Several years ago Count Pisani, a Sicilian nobleman, while on a tour
through Europe, directed his attention to the condition of the
receptacles for lunatics in some of the principal continental cities.
Deeply impressed by the injudicious and often cruel treatment to which
the unhappy inmates of those establishments were subject, he determined
on returning, to convert his beautiful villa near Palermo into a Lunatic
Asylum, which received the name of the _Casa dei Matti_; and withdrawing
to a more humble place of abode, he devoted his fortune and energies to
the purpose of carrying out his philanthropic scheme.

Count Pisani himself offered to conduct me over the establishment. After
a short walk we arrived in front of a spacious mansion, the exterior
aspect of which presented nothing differing from that of a handsome
private residence. The windows, it is true, were grated; but the
gratings were so ingeniously contrived that had not my attention been
particularly directed to them, I should not have discovered their
existence. Some represented vine leaves, tendrils, or bunches of grapes;
others were fashioned like the long leaves and blue flowers of the
convolvulus. Foliage, fruit, and flowers were all painted in natural
colors, and it was only from a very near point of view that the artifice
could be detected.

The gate was opened by a man, who, instead of carrying a huge stick or a
bunch of keys (the usual insignia of the porter of a mad house), had a
fine nosegay stuck in the breast of his coat, and in one hand he held a
flute, on which he had apparently been playing when interrupted by our
summons at the gate.

We entered the building, and were proceeding along the corridor on the
ground-floor, when we met a man whom I took to be a servant or messenger
of the establishment, as he was carrying some bundles of fire-wood. On
perceiving us, he laid down his burden, and advancing to Count Pisani,
respectfully kissed his hand. The count inquired why he was not in the
garden enjoying the fresh air and amusing himself with his companions.
"Because," replied the man, "winter is fast coming, and I have no time
to lose. I shall have enough to do to bring down all the wood from the
loft, and stow it away in the cellar." The count commended his
forethought, and the man, taking up his fagots, bowed, and went his way.

This man, the count informed me, was the owner of large estates in
Castelveleruno; but owing to a natural inactivity of mind, and the
absence of any exciting or useful occupation, he sank into a state of
mental torpor, which terminated in insanity. When he was brought to the
_Casa dei Matti_, Count Pisani drew him aside, under the pretense of
having a most important communication to make to him. The count informed
him that he had been changed at nurse, that he was not the rightful
owner of the wealth he had heretofore enjoyed; and that the fact having
become known, he was dispossessed of his wealth, and must therefore work
for his maintenance. The madman believed the tale, but showed no
disposition to rouse himself from the state of indolence which had been
the primary cause of his mental aberration. He folded his arms, and sat
down, doubtless expecting that in due time a servant would enter as
usual to inform him that dinner was ready. But in this he was deceived.

Dinner hour arrived, and no servant appeared. He waited patiently for
some time; but at length the pangs of hunger roused him from his
listlessness, and he began to call out loudly for something to eat. No
one answered him; and he passed the whole night in knocking on the walls
of his apartment, and ordering his servants to bring him his dinner.

About nine o'clock next morning, one of the keepers entered the
apartment of the new patient, who, starting up with more energy than he
usually manifested, imperiously ordered his breakfast to be prepared.
The keeper offered to go into the town to purchase something for his
breakfast, if he would give him the money to pay for it. The hungry man
eagerly thrust his hands into his pocket, and to his dismay, having
discovered that he had no money, he implored the keeper to go and
procure him some breakfast on credit.

"Credit!" exclaimed the keeper, who had received the requisite
instructions from Count Pisani. "Credit, indeed! No doubt you might
easily have obtained credit to any amount, when you were living at
Castelveleruno, and every one believed you to be the rightful lord of
those fine domains. But now that the truth has come out, who do you
think will give credit to a pauper?"

The lunatic immediately recollected what Count Pisani had told him
respecting his altered position in life, and the necessity of working
for his daily bread. He remained for a few moments as if absorbed in
profound reflection; then, turning to the keeper, he asked whether he
would point out to him some mode by which he could earn a little money
to save himself from starvation.

The keeper replied that if he would help him to carry up to the loft the
fagots of firewood which were in the cellar, he would willingly pay him
for his work. The proposal was readily accepted; and after carrying up
twelve loads of wood, the laborer received his hire, consisting of a
little money just sufficient to purchase a loaf of bread, which he
devoured with a keener appetite than he ever remembered to have felt
throughout the whole previous course of his life.

He then set to work to earn his dinner as he had earned his breakfast;
but instead of twelve, he carried up thirty-six loads of wood. For this
he was paid three times as much as he had received in the morning, and
his dinner was proportionably better and more abundant than his
breakfast.

Thenceforward the business proceeded with the most undeviating
regularity; and the patient at last conceived such a liking for his
occupation, that when all the wood had been carried from the cellar to
the loft, he began of his own voluntary accord to carry it down from the
loft to the cellar, and _vice versâ_.

When I saw this lunatic, he had been employed in this manner for about a
year. The morbid character of his madness had completely disappeared,
and his bodily health, previously bad, was now re-established. Count
Pisani informed me that he intended soon to try the experiment of
telling him that there was some reason to doubt the accuracy of the
statements which had caused him to lose the property he once enjoyed;
and that he (the count) was in quest of certain papers which might,
perhaps, prove after all, that he was no changeling, but the rightful
heir to the estates of which he had been deprived. "But," added the
count, when he told me this, "however complete this man's recovery may
at any time seem to be, I will not allow him to quit this place unless
he gives me a solemn promise that he will every day, wheresoever he may
be, carry twelve loads of wood from the cellar to the garret, and twelve
loads down from the garret to the cellar. On that condition alone, shall
I feel any security against the risk of his relapse. Want of occupation
is well known to be one of the most frequent causes of insanity."

Each patient had a separate apartment, and several of these little rooms
were furnished and decorated in the most capricious style, according to
the claims of their occupants. One, who believed himself to be the son
of the Emperor of China, had his walls hung with silk banners, on which
were painted dragons and serpents, while all sorts of ornaments cut out
in gold paper, lay scattered about the room. This lunatic was
good-tempered and cheerful, and Count Pisani had devised a scheme which
he hoped might have some effect in mitigating the delusions under which
he labored. He proposed to print a copy of a newspaper, and to insert in
it a paragraph announcing that the Emperor of China had been dethroned,
and had renounced the sovereignty on the part of his son and his
descendants. Another patient, whose hallucination consisted in believing
himself to be dead, had his room hung with black crape, and his bed
constructed in the form of a bier. Whenever he arose from his bed, he
was either wrapped in a winding sheet, or in some sort of drapery which
he conceived to be the proper costume for a ghost. This appeared to me
to be a very desperate case, and I asked Count Pisani whether he thought
there was any chance of curing the victim of so extraordinary a
delusion. The count shook his head doubtfully, and observed that his
only hope rested on a scheme he meant shortly to try; which was to
endeavor to persuade the lunatic that the day of judgment had arrived.

As we were quitting this chamber, we heard a loud roaring in another
patient's apartment near at hand. The count asked me whether I had any
wish to see how he managed raving madmen? "None whatever," I replied,
"unless you guarantee my personal safety!" He assured me there was
nothing to fear, and, taking a key from the hand of one of the keepers,
he led the way into a padded chamber. In one corner of the room was a
bed, and stretched upon it lay a man, wearing a strait-waistcoat, which
confined his arms to his sides, and fastened him by the middle of his
body to the bed. I was informed that a quarter of an hour previously,
this man had been seized with such a frightful fit of raving mania that
the keepers were obliged to have recourse to restraint, very rarely
resorted to in that establishment. He appeared to be about thirty years
of age, was exceedingly handsome; he had fine dark eyes, and features of
the antique mould, with the figure of a Hercules. On hearing the door
open, he roared out in a voice of thunder, uttering threats and
imprecations; but, on looking round, his eyes met those of the count,
and his anger softened down into expressions of grief and lamentation.
Count Pisani approached the bed, and, in a mild tone of voice, asked the
patient what he had been doing to render it necessary to place him under
such restraint. "They have taken away my Angelica," replied the maniac;
"they have torn her from me, and I am resolved to be avenged on Medora!"
The unfortunate man imagined himself to be Orlando Furioso, and, as may
readily be supposed, his madness was of the wildest and most extravagant
character.

Count Pisani endeavored to soothe his violence by assuring him that
Angelica had been carried off by force, and that she would doubtless
seize the first opportunity of escaping from the hands of her captors
and rejoining her lover. This assurance, repeated earnestly but gently,
speedily had the effect of calming the fury of the maniac, who, after a
little time, requested that the count would unfasten his
strait-waistcoat. This Count Pisani agreed to do, on condition of the
patient pledging his word of honor that he would not profit by his
liberty to make any attempt to pursue Angelica. This sympathy for
imaginary misfortune had a good effect. The patient did not attempt to
quit his bed, but merely raised himself up. He had been a year in the
establishment, and, notwithstanding the deep grief into which his
fancied misfortunes plunged him, he had never been known to shed tears.
Count Pisani had several times endeavored to make him weep, but without
success. He proposed soon to try the experiment of announcing to him the
death of Angelica. He intended to dress up a figure in funeral garments,
and to prevail on the heart-broken Orlando to be present at the
interment. This scene, it was expected, would have the effect of drawing
tears from the eyes of the sufferer; and if so, Count Pisani declared he
should not despair of his recovery.

In an apartment facing that of Orlando Furioso, there was another man
raving mad. When we entered his room he was swinging in a hammock, in
which he was fastened down, for biting his keeper. Through the gratings
of his window he could perceive his comrades strolling about and amusing
themselves in the garden. He wished to be among them, but was not
allowed to go, because, on a recent occasion, he had made a very violent
attack on a poor harmless creature, suffering from melancholy madness.
The offender was in consequence condemned to be tied down in his
hammock, which is the secondary punishment resorted to in the
establishment. The first and most severe penalty being imprisonment; and
the third the strait-waistcoat. "What is the matter?" said Count Pisani.
"What have you been doing to-day?" The lunatic looked at the count, and
then began whining, like a peevish child. "They will not let me go out
to play," said he, looking out of the window, where several of his
companions were enjoying the air in the garden. "I am tired of lying
here;" and he began rocking himself impatiently in his hammock. "Well, I
doubt not it is wearisome," said the count; "suppose I release you;"
and, with those words, he unfastened the ligatures.

The lunatic joyfully leapt out of his hammock, exclaiming, "Now I may go
into the garden!" "Stay," said the count; "suppose before you go you
dance the Tarantella." "Oh, yes!" exclaimed the lunatic, in a tone which
showed that he received the proposal as the greatest possible
indulgence; "I shall be delighted to dance the Tarantella." "Go and
fetch Teresa and Gaetano," said the count to one of the keepers; then
turning to me, he said, "Teresa is also one of our violent patients, and
she sometimes gives us a great deal of trouble. Gaetano was a teacher of
the guitar, and some time ago he became deranged. He is the minstrel of
our establishment." In a few minutes, Teresa, a pretty looking young
woman about twenty years of age, was conducted into the room by two men,
who held her by the arms, while she struggled to escape, and endeavored
to strike them. Gaetano, with his guitar slung round his neck, followed
gravely, but without being held, for his madness was of a perfectly
harmless kind.

No sooner did Teresa perceive Count Pisani, than, by a violent effort
disengaging herself from the keepers, she flew to him, and, drawing him
aside into a corner of the room, she began to tell him a long story
about some ill-treatment to which she alleged she had been subjected. "I
know it; I have heard of it," said the count; "and, therefore, I think
it just to make you some amends. For this reason I have sent for you
that you may dance the Tarantella." Teresa was delighted at hearing
this, and immediately took her place in front of her intended partner.
"Now, Gaetano, _presto! presto!_" said the count, and the musician
struck up the air of the Tarantella in very spirited style.

I have frequently witnessed the magical effect which this air never
fails to produce on the Sicilians; but I never could conceive any thing
like the change it wrought upon these two lunatics. The musician began
to play the air in the time in which it is usually performed; but the
dancers urged him to play it more and more quickly, till at length the
measure became indescribably rapid. The dancers marked the tune with the
most perfect precision by snapping their fingers. After keeping up this
rapid movement with surprising energy for a quarter of an hour, they
began to show some symptoms of fatigue. The man was the first to give
in, and, overcome by the exertion, he threw himself on a bench which
stood on one side of the room. Teresa, however, kept up a very animated
_pas seul_ for several minutes after the loss of her partner; but at
length she also found herself compelled to stop. The man was placed on
his bed, and the woman was conducted to her apartment. Both were so
completely overcome by the violence of their exertions, that Count
Pisani observed he would answer for their remaining quiet for
twenty-four hours to come. As to the guitarist, he was allowed to go
into the garden to play to his companions.

I was next conducted into a large hall, in which the patients walk and
amuse themselves, when wet weather prevents them from going out. This
place was adorned with a profusion of flowers, growing in pots and
vases, and the walls were covered with fresco paintings, representing
humorous subjects. The hall contained embroidery frames,
spinning-wheels, and even weavers' looms; all presented traces of the
work on which the lunatics had been engaged. Having passed through the
great hall, I was conducted to the garden, which was tastefully laid
out, shaded by large spreading trees and watered by fresh fountains. I
was informed that, during the hours allotted to recreation, most of the
patients may be seen wandering about the garden separately, and without
holding any communication one with another, each following the bent of
his or her own particular humor, some noisy and others silent. One of
the most decided characteristics of madness is the desire of solitude.
It seldom happens that two lunatics enter into conversation with each
other; or, if they do so, each merely gives utterance to his own train
of thought, without any regard to what is said by his interlocutor. It
is different when they converse with the strangers who occasionally
visit them. They then attend to any observations addressed to them, and
not unfrequently make very rational and shrewd replies.

The first patient we met on entering the garden, was a young man
apparently about six or eight-and-twenty years of age. Before he lost
his senses, he was one of the most distinguished advocates in Catania.
One evening, at the theatre, he got involved in some dispute with a
Neapolitan, who, instead of quietly putting into his pocket the card
which Lucca (as I shall call him) slipped into his hand, went out and
made a complaint to the guard. This guard was composed of Neapolitan
soldiers, one of whom gladly availing himself of the opportunity of
exercising authority over a Sicilian, seized him by the collar,
whereupon Lucca struck his assailant. The other soldiers came to the aid
of their comrade, and a violent struggle ensued, in the course of which
Lucca received a blow on the head which felled him on the ground. He was
conveyed to prison in a state of insensibility and placed in a cell,
where he was left for the night. Next morning, when it was intended to
conduct him before the judge for examination, he was found to be
perfectly insane.

This young man's madness had taken a very poetic turn. Sometimes he
fancied himself to be Tasso; at another time Shakspeare or
Chateaubriand. At the time of my visit to the asylum, he was deeply
impressed with the delusion of imagining himself to be Dante. When we
approached him, he was pacing up and down an alley in the garden,
pleasantly shaded by trees. He held in one hand a pencil, and in the
other some slips of paper, and he was busily engaged in composing the
thirty-third Canto of his Inferno. At intervals he rubbed his forehead,
as if to collect his scattered thoughts, and then he would note down
some lines of the poem.

Profiting by a pause, during which he seemed to emerge from his profound
abstraction, I stepped up to him, saying, "I understand, sir, that I
have the honor of addressing myself to Dante."

"That is my name," replied Lucca. "What have you to say to me?"

"To assure you how much pleasure I shall feel in making your
acquaintance. I proceeded to Florence, in the hope of finding you there,
but you had left that city."

"Then," said Lucca, with that sharp, quick sort of utterance often
observable in insane persons, "then, it seems, you were not aware of my
having been driven from Florence, and that they charged me with having
stolen the money of the Republic? Dante accused of robbery, forsooth! I
slung my sword at my side, and having collected the first seven Cantos
of my poem, I departed."

This strange hallucination excited my interest, and, pursuing the
conversation, I said, "I hoped to have overtaken you between Fettre and
Montefeltro."

"Oh! I staid only a very short time there," said he. "Why did you not go
to Ravenna?"

"I did go there, and found only your tomb!"

"But I was not in it," observed he. "Do you know how I escaped?"

I replied in the negative.

"I have discovered a mode of restoring one's life."

"Is it a secret?"

"No; I will tell it you. When I feel that I am dying, I order a grave to
be dug--a very deep grave. You are aware that in the centre of the earth
there is an immense lake full of red water--and--and--"

Count Pisani, who had overheard the latter part of this conversation,
here suddenly interrupted Lucca, saying, "Signor Dante, these people are
very anxious to have a dance. Will you indulge them by playing a
quadrille?"

He then hurriedly dispatched one of the attendants for a violin, on
which instrument he informed me, Lucca was a masterly performer.

The violin being brought, the count handed it to Lucca who began to tune
it. Meanwhile, the count, drawing me aside, said, "I interrupted your
conversation, just now, somewhat abruptly; because I observed that Lucca
was beginning to wander into some of his metaphysical delusions, and I
never allow him to talk on such subjects. These metaphysical lunatics
are always very difficult to cure.

"But yonder comes one who will never be cured!" pursued the count,
shaking his head, sorrowfully, while he directed my notice to a young
female who was advancing from another part of the garden, attended by a
female servant or nurse. By this time the dancers had begun to range
themselves in their places, and the young lady's attendant was drawing
her forward, with the view of inducing her to take part in the
quadrille.

The young lady, whose dress and general elegance of appearance seemed to
denote that she was a person of superior rank, was disinclined to dance;
and as the attendant persisted in urging her forward, she struggled to
escape, and at length fell into a paroxysm of grief.

"Let her alone! Let her alone!" said Count Pisani to the attendant. "It
is useless to contend with her. Poor girl! I fear she will never endure,
to see dancing, or to hear music, without this violent agitation. Come
hither, Costanza," said he, beckoning kindly to her. "Tell me what is
the matter?"

"Oh, Albano! Albano!" shrieked the poor maniac. "They are going to kill
Albano!"

And then, overcome by her emotion, she sank, exhausted, into the arms of
her attendant, who carried her away.

Meanwhile, the sound of the violin had drawn together, from various
parts of the garden, a number of patients, male and female, and the
quadrille was formed. Among the most conspicuous figures in the group
were the son of the Emperor of China, and the man who believed himself
to be dead. The former wore on his head a splendid crown, made of gilt
paper; and the latter, who was enveloped in a white sheet, stalked about
with the grave and solemn air which he conceived to be common to a
ghost. A melancholy madman, who evidently shared in the festivity with
reluctance and regret, and who was, from time to time, urged on by his
keepers, and a woman, who fancied herself to be Saint Catharine, and was
subject to strange fits of ecstasy and improvisation, were also
conspicuous among the dancers. Lucca, who played the violin with
extraordinary spirit, every now and then marked the time by stamping his
foot on the ground, while, in a stentorian voice, he called out the
figures, to which, however, the dancers paid not the slightest
attention. The scene was indescribable, it was like one of those
fantastic visions which are sometimes conjured up in a dream.

As we were passing through the court-yard, on our way out, I espied
Costanza, the young lady who had so determinedly refused to join in the
dance. She was now kneeling down on the edge of a fountain, and intently
gazing on her own countenance, which was reflected from the limpid water
as from a mirror.

I asked the count what had caused the insanity of this interesting
patient. "Alas!" replied he, "it is a melancholy story of romantic
_vendetta_, which might almost figure in a work of fiction." Costanza's
husband had been murdered on her bridal day by a rival.

When Costanza was first brought to the establishment, her madness was of
a very violent character; but, by degrees it had softened down into a
placid melancholy. Nevertheless, her case was one which admitted of no
hope.

Some time after my visit to Palermo, I met Lucca in Paris. He was then,
to all appearance, perfectly himself. He conversed very rationally, and
even appeared to recollect having seen and conversed with me before. I
inquired after poor Costanza; but he shook his head sorrowfully. The
count's prediction was fully verified. Lucca had recovered his senses:
but Costanza was still an inmate of the _Casa dei Matti_.



SLOPED FOR TEXAS.--A TALE OF THE WEST.


This is an answer given in some of the States of America when a
gentleman has decamped from his wife, from his creditors, or from any
other responsibility which he finds it troublesome to meet or to
support. Among the curious instances of the application of this phrase
is an adventure which happened to myself.

It is the boast of the bloods of the town of Rackinsack, in Arkansas,
that they are born with skins like alligators, and with strength like
bears. They work hard, and they _play_ hard. Gaming is the recreation
most indulged in, and the gaming-houses of the western part of Arkansas
have branded it with an unenviable notoriety.

One dark summer night, I lounged, as a mere spectator, the different
rooms, watching the various games of hazard that were being played. Some
of the players seemed to have set their very souls upon the stakes;
their eyes were bloodshot, and fixed, from beneath their wrinkled brows,
on the table, as if their everlasting weal or woe depended there upon
the turning of the dice; while others--the finished blacklegs--assumed
an indifferent and careless look, though a kind of sardonic smile
playing round their lips, but too plainly revealed a sort of habitual
desperation. Three of the players looked the very counterparts of each
other, not only in face, but expression; both the physical and moral
likeness was indeed striking. The other player was a young man, a
stranger, whom they call a "green one," in this and many other parts of
the world. His eyes, his nose, his whole physiognomy, seemed to project,
and to be capable of growing even still longer.

"Fifty dollars more," he exclaimed, with a deep-drawn breath, as he
threw down the stake.

Each of his opponents turned up his cards coolly and confidently; but
the long-visaged hero laid his stake before them, and, to the
astonishment of the three professionals, won.

"Hurrah! the luck has turned, and I crow!" he cried out in an ecstasy,
and pocketed the cash.

The worthy trio smiled at this, and recommenced play. The _green_ young
man displayed a broad but silent grin at his good fortune, and often
took out his money to count it over, and see if each piece was good.

"Here are a hundred dollars more," cried the sylvan youth, "and I crow."

"I take them," said one of the trio. The youth won again, and "crowed"
louder this time than he did the first.

On went the game; stakes were lost and won. Gradually the rouleaus of
the "crower" dwindled down to a three or four of dollars, or so. It was
clear that the gentlemen in black had been luring him on by that best of
decoys, success at first.

"Let me see something for my money. Here's a stake of two dollars, and I
crow!" But he spoke now in a very faint treble indeed, and looked
penitently at the cards.

Again the cards were shuffled, cut, and dealt, and the "plucked pigeon"
staked his last dollar upon them.

"The last button on Gabe's coat, and I cr--cr--; no, I'll be hamstrung
if I do!"

He lost this too, and, with as deep a curse as I ever heard, he rose
from the green board.

The apartment was very spacious, and on the ground floor. There was only
this one gaming table in it, and not many lookers-on besides myself.
Thinking the gaming was over, I turned to go out, but found the door
locked, and the key gone. There was evidently something in the wind. At
all events, I reflected, in ease of need, the windows are not very far
to the ground. I returned, and saw the winners dividing the spoil, and
the poor shorn "greenhorn," leaning over the back of their chairs,
staring intently at the money.

The notes were deliberately spread out one after another. Those which
the loser had staked were new, fresh from the press, he said, and they
were sorted into a heap distinct from the rest. They were two-dollar,
three-dollar, and five-dollar notes, from the Indiana Bank, and the Bank
of Columbus, in Ohio.

"I say, Ned, I don't think these notes are good," said one of the
winners, and examined them.

"I wish they were'nt, and I'd crow," cried out the loser, very
chop-fallen, at his elbow.

This simple speech lulled the suspicions of the counter, and he resumed
his counting. At last, as he took up the last note, and eying it keenly,
he exclaimed, in a most emphatic manner, "I'll be hanged if they _are_
genuine! They are forged!"

"No, they ain't!" replied the loser, quite as emphatically.

A very opprobrious epithet was now hurled at the latter. He, without
more ado, knocked down the speaker at a blow, capsized the table, which
put out the lights, and, in the next instant, darted out of the window,
while a bullet, fired from a pistol, cracked the pane of glass over his
head. He had leaped into the small court-yard, with a wooden paling
round it. The winners dashed toward the door, but found that the "green
one" had secured it.

When the three worthies were convinced that the door would not yield to
their efforts, and when they heard their "_victim_" galloping away, they
gave a laugh at the trick played them, and returned to the table.

"Strike a light, Bill, and let's pick up what notes have fallen. I have
nearly the whole lot in my pocket."

The light soon made its appearance.

"What! None on the floor? Capital; I think I must have them all in my
pocket, then:" saying which, he drew out the notes, and laid them on the
table.

"Fire and Furies! These are the forged notes! The rascal has whipped up
the other heap!"

While all this was going on, I stepped toward the window, but had not
stood there long, before I heard the clanking hoofs of a horse beyond
the paling, and a shout wafted into the room--"Sloped for Texas!"

The worst part of the story remains to be told: it was _my_ horse on
which the rogue was now galloping off.



[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]

THE VOLCANO-GIRL.


It is an axiom among travelers, that the Bay of Naples is the most
beautiful place in the whole world. Every one who beholds it repeats the
same statement with unvarying uniformity; and if any quaint person were
to make a contrary assertion, he would not be argued with, but laughed
down. I dislike paradoxes, and therefore shall subscribe to the general
opinion, although I never saw a scene so dismal as when I first entered
the bay. Dismal, but grand! We had left Civita Vecchia the day before,
steaming through a restless, nasty sea, in the midst of as filthy a fog
as ever defiled the surface of the Mediterranean during the merry month
of May. Sometimes we could see nothing but the dirty-looking short
waves; but now and then a dim streak of Roman territory, or two or three
ghost-like islands, rewarded the efforts of our winking eyes. The night
was boisterous, if not tempestuous; but when morning came the wind had
abated, though without driving away the mist, and the sea rolled still
in a turbulent and uncivil way.

The _Maria Christina_ was undoubtedly the worst steamer it has ever been
my lot to voyage in. There seemed to be not a well hung piece in her
whole composition; so that, in addition to the usual sea-sounds, there
was a perpetual slamming of doors and creaking of timbers. The
villainous little craft appeared to be in constant hesitation whether it
would go to pieces or not; and I believe has since taken that freak into
its head. The captain, as seamanlike a fellow as ever crossed my eyes,
kept up our confidence, however, even in the most ugly moments; although
it could not be denied that our expedition was something like a visit to
the northern seas in a Margate boat.

We crawled on at the rate of some three or four knots an hour, until,
after passing San Stefano, we began to distinguish dimly the base of
Ischia; for the summit was plunged in a mass of black clouds. Then a
doubtful outline of rocks struggled through the vapor to the left; and
at length we got into the pass, guessed at the form of the promontory,
obtained a vague glimpse of Procida, and fairly entered the famous bay.
All the elements of its beauty showed faintly through a moving vapor
that thickened aloft into driving clouds. Capri looked like a cone of
dark mist lingering to the south: the island we had passed dimmed away
in our rear. Bays and creeks innumerable ran in, to the left, between a
strange mixture of rocks and vegetation. This was all we could see at
first; but the lower half of Vesuvius soon showed itself; and presently
the curtain of mist was drawn hastily aside, just to give us a glimpse,
as it were, of the giant peak, faintly penciled against the leaden sky,
into which its wreath of smoke faded away, and of the reaper of Castel à
Mare, and the craggy promontory of Sorrento. Then all was covered again;
and a thin driving shower filled the air. Not a single gleam of sunshine
gilded the scene; but I once distinguished the orb, "shorn of its
beams," poised over the depths of the bay.

First impressions are every thing. Whenever I try to recall the
all-famous site, it always begins by presenting itself under this
aspect--not without its grandeur, it is true--but far inferior to the
bright and sunny scenes I witnessed, when, proceeding farther under more
favorable auspices, I made acquaintance with the coasts of Calabria, and
the immortal Straits of Messina. With a little patience, however, I can
figure to myself the Bay of Naples in all the loveliness which it
afterward displayed; and when the operation is complete, the contrast
becomes interesting.

I shall say nothing about the castles of St. Elmo and Del Ovo; nor of
the useless fuss about granting _pratique_; nor of an attempt made to
entrap us into smuggling by a worthy who had some silks to land; nor of
the annoyances of the custom-house. It is not my intention to take the
bread out of the mouths of the tourists. These are their legitimate
topics. I have to relate a little incident which does not happen to
every one who visits Naples; and I can not therefore be accused of
trespassing upon any body's ground. What I say about scenery and manners
must merely be considered as a setting to the diamond. I am willing to
concede superiority in this respect to any one who may claim it.

We lodged in the Hôtel de la Belle Venise, situated half-way up a steep
street--name not mentioned in my journal--leading from the lower end of
the Strada Toledo. We were bent on traveling cheaply, and did not think
four _carlines_ a day too dear for a room. This hint is not intended as
information to any who may follow in our footsteps; but it illustrates
our character and position, and explains why in the course of our
wanderings we were always meeting with strange adventures. A man may
travel from Dan to Beersheba in first-class carriages of railways,
coupés of diligences, saloons of steamers; he may put up at the best
hotels, and hire the cleverest guides, and he will see nothing, learn
nothing, feel nothing, but what has been seen, learned, and felt by his
predecessors. But we defy even the shyest Englishman to undertake the
tour of Europe on economical principles, unless he be positively
determined to keep his eyes and heart as close shut as his pocket,
without bringing back something to remember to the end of his
days--something to make his eyes grow dim when he meditates on it, his
lips tremble when he speaks of it, his hand falter when he writes of it.
For in this system of traveling he is forced, while in a mood of mind
highly susceptible of impressions, into contact with all sorts of
characters and incidents; and if he has a spark of nature in him, it
must be struck out.

We dined the first evening at the Trattoria dell' Errole, and took an
ice at the Caffé di Europa. But our heads were in a disagreeable whirl,
and we enjoyed nothing. We missed the creaking and the groaning of the
Maria Christina; for which the rumbling of a few carriages, and the buzz
of voices on the promenade, seemed--such is the force of habit--an
insignificant compensation. Lines of well-lit shops, crowds of
well-dressed people, balconies filled with ladies, colonnades of
churches, and facades of palaces, danced dimly before our eyes, instead
of the accustomed cordages, the naked masts, the smutty sail, the
breast-high bulwarks, and that horrid squat funnel, with its cascade of
black smoke tinged, as it rolled forth, with a dull red glow. When I
retired to rest, I caught myself holding on to the bed as I prepared to
get into it; and I dreamed of nothing all night but of trampling of feet
overhead, whistling of wind through rigging, shifting of the
anchor-chain, and all sorts of abominable noises. These physical
reminiscences, however, disappeared next day, and I was prepared to
enjoy Naples.

I did enjoy it; and I hope all my readers may live to enjoy it too. I
know this is wishing a tremendously long life to some of them; but such
a wish will offend nobody. During one of my strolls--this time I was
alone--I came to the foot of that vast flight of steps shaded by trees
which leads up toward the castle of St. Elmo. It was just past mid-day;
and I suppose every body was beginning the siesta; for not a single
living soul could I see in any direction. I sat down on one of the
steps, under the shadow of a huge elm, and looked upward toward the sky
along the broken avenue of trees that led aloft. There was something
singularly beautiful to me in the scene. The trees here and there met,
and huddled their heads together, and threw down a thick black shadow:
beyond was a bright patch of sunshine; and then some thinly-sprinkled
branches bent across, and fluttered their green and gold leaves between
me and the patch of blue sky that glanced at the top, seeming to be the
only destination of this lofty staircase.

I was gazing upward, as if in expectation, but in reality admiring this
curious effect, when a small dark form intercepted my view of the sky. I
had almost imagined myself at the foot of Jacob's ladder; but the spell
was at once broken, and I was about to rise and go away, when the
singular motions of the person who had disturbed me drew my attention.
It was evidently a girl with naked feet, but neat garments; her head was
laden with flowers; and she skipped down with all the lightness of the
gazelle for some space; then came to a halt, possibly on seeing a
stranger; then continued her progress--now showing brightly in the sun,
now dimly in the shade, until she came, and, after a sidelong glance at
me, sat down on the opposite end of the same step, where there was no
protection from the heat. I now noticed that she carried a basket in her
hand, from which she produced a variety of objects, evidently
manufactured from lava. These she arranged by her side, and examined
with care, every now and then casting an impatient look toward me. There
was a wildness in her eye, and a quaintness in her whole demeanor that
pleased me, especially as her features were almost without a fault. So I
remained where I was, studying her movements; and the idea suddenly
struck me that I was occupying her usual place, and that shyness
prevented her from coming nearer. So I arose and went a little higher
up, when she at once crossed over, I thought, with a grateful smile. A
little while afterward she called to me, and asked if I would buy some
of her curiosities.

There was evidently no sordid motive in this; for when I came near, she
made no allusion to a bargain, but said I had chosen a place where there
was not sufficient shade. I asked her a few questions about the lava,
but got only vague answers. What conversation passed was a random kind
of talk about the difference of Italy and foreign countries. It was
evident that in the girl's eyes "Napoli"--which she pronounced with
magnificent emphasis--was the only place in the world worth admiring.
She had seen no other. The people, however, were bad--very bad. I
thought, upon this observation, that something like a story was coming;
but the throat and face of the girl only darkened with a rush of blood,
and she grew utterly silent. Suddenly she arranged her lava hastily in
her basket, started up, leaving a piece which I had been holding in my
hand, and had not paid for, and ran away down the street. I naturally
ran after her to pay for what I had bought; but she turned round with
flushed cheek and flashing eyes; and while I was indulging in the hope
of being able to explain my intentions, I felt a blow on my breast from
a stone lanched with no weak hand; and before I had time to recover from
my surprise, the girl had disappeared.

A curious termination to an interview which I had begun to persuade
myself had something of a romantic character! I rubbed my thorax, tried
to laugh at the little slut's vivacity, but could not get rid of the
uneasy annoyance peculiar to misunderstood people. Perhaps I had been
taken for a robber--perhaps something I had said in my broken Italian
had been thought insulting. I grew quite morose; thought of nothing else
all the afternoon; was set down as an ill-tempered fellow at dinner; and
on retiring to bed, could not help perpetually stating this
question--"Why should that pretty girl, toward whom my heart had
expanded, have left me in so abrupt a manner; and on my endeavoring to
restore her property, have made a target of me?" All night, as I slept,
I felt as if a hot coal were lying on my breast; and the place, indeed,
_was_ black and blue in the morning.

An excursion had been proposed to Vesuvius, and we started at three in
the afternoon--myself, four Americans, with Mr. Jenkins and his
wife--all crowded into what, I believe, is called a _corricolo_. The
sea, along the brink of which we went, was still stormy, and the waves
washed with a slushing noise up into the very street. The drive was
beautiful to Portici, the white houses and vine-wreathed porticoes of
which I noticed with pleasure. At Portici, after some wrangling in the
house of the guide, we were transferred to horses and donkeys; and off
we went, first up a hot lane between stone walls, and then along a fine
paved road. The party was merry, and not unpicturesque, but out of
character with the scene. Not one of us was subdued by the tranquil
beauty of the little landscapes, the bright green nooks that opened here
and there. Our temperaments were still too northern. We were not yet
soothed down by the sunny sky and balmy air of Italy; and got stared at
in consequence with contemptuous curiosity by the languid peasants in
the fields.

At length a zig-zag road commenced, and up we went, turning round ever
and anon to view the expanding bay, softened down into apparent calm by
distance. Green gullies and ravines of lava began to be intermingled;
but tranquil observation was soon interrupted by tremendous gusts of
wind that came roaring down the sides of the mountain, and enveloped us
in whirlwinds of dust, sometimes mingled with pebbles, at every turn of
the road. It was hard work to get on; and we were glad enough to reach
the Hermitage and Observatory, where we tossed off a glass of _Lachryma
Christi_ to restore us.

The rest of the road was along a narrow ridge leading to the foot of the
great black cone. On either side were gullies of green, and beyond great
red fields of lava. It was not remarkably safe riding, and by no means
commodious. Sometimes one's nose touched the horse's or ass's neck;
sometimes the back of one's head was whisked by the tail. It was a sort
of rocking-horse motion. But we arrived safe at the dismounting-place;
and, I must confess, looked rather dismayed at the desperately steep
cone up which we were bound to scramble. But in traveling, "on, on," is
the word; so on we went, stumbling up through the triturated and block
lava, as if Fame, or something else equally valuable, had been at the
summit. Mrs. Jenkins was in an open palanquin, borne by eight men, who
grunted, staggered, crawled up or slid back, shouted, laughed, and
belabored one another with their climbing-poles, while the undaunted
lady sat as coolly as in her drawing-room at home, making observations
on the scenery, which we could scarcely hear, and were too breathless to
answer.

In about an hour we neared the summit, and got under a vast canopy of
sulphurous smoke, which, blown by the furious wind, rolled grim and
black over the serrated edge, stretched its impenetrable mass between us
and the sky, and then swooped down toward the bay, and dispersed in a
vast mist. Most parts of the plain, too, were covered with a low
ground-fog. It was a grand sight as we paused and looked back before the
last effort. The whole sweep of the bay was visible from Sorrento to
Baia, together with the islands, scattered like giant sentinels at the
mouth; but all looked strange and fantastic through the sulphurous
vapor. The sun was setting in a bath of blood and gold, just behind a
straight line of ebony clouds with a sharp rim, like a wall of black
marble. The white houses on the slopes of Castel à Mare were already
looking ghastly in the twilight.

Our temples throbbed with fatigue; but the guide cried "Forward," and we
soon came to the most disagreeable part of the business. The smoke was
forced by the wind in a kind of cascade some fifty yards down the
declivity, and as soon as we got into it an awful sense of suffocation
came on. The guide swore, and some of us talked of retreating. But the
majority were for persevering; and, panting and coughing, we dashed
upward, reached the summit, got into the midst of a fearful torrent of
black smoke, like that which is vomited by a steamer's funnel, and
staggered giddily about seeking which way to go. At this moment a slight
form glanced toward us, said a few words to the guide, and presently we
were running to the left along black and dizzy precipices, until
suddenly we emerged from the volcanic vapor, and were in full view at
the same time of the plain and the sea, and of all the wonders of
Vesuvius.

The girl whose acquaintance I had made in so strange a manner had come
to the assistance of the guide, and told him what direction to take in
order soonest to escape from the smoke. I spoke to her; but although she
recognized me, I think, she did not, or would not remember our former
interview. The idea suggested itself that she was touched in her
intellect, so I made no farther allusion to the subject. It was evident
the guide knew her, and had confidence in her. He asked her advice about
the path which it would be advisable to follow; and obeyed her
directions implicitly. "Who is that?" I whispered. "It is Ghita, the
Volcano-girl," he replied in English, before repeating the Italian name,
which might be translated, the "Daughter of the Volcano." I had no time
for further inquiries. We were once more in motion, and had enough to do
to keep our footing on the rough lava in the teeth of as furious a blast
as ever I remember encountering. It would have been dangerous to stand
even near a precipice.

It was a marvelous scene that vast black valley with its lake of fire at
the bottom--its cone of fire on one hand. The discharges were constant,
and had something appalling in their sound. We were almost too much
excited for observation. Now we looked at the cone of green and gold
that sank and rose, faded and brightened, smoked or flamed; then at the
seething lake; then at the strong mountains of lava; then at the burning
fissures that yawned around. There were yet some remnants of day--a
gloomy twilight at least revealed the jagged rim of the valley. Down we
went--down, down to the very edge of the boiling caldron of melted lava,
that rolled its huge waves toward the black shore, waves whose foam and
spray were fire and flame! An eruption evidently was preparing; and soon
indeed took place. We missed the sight; but what we now saw was grand
enough. A troop of heavy black clouds was hurrying athwart the sky,
showing the stars ever and anon between "like a swarm of golden bees."
The wind roared and bellowed among the lava-gullies, while the cone
discharged its blocks of burning lava, or its showers of red sparks,
with a boom like that of a park of artillery.

A thousand travelers may witness and describe the scene, but it can
never be hackneyed or vulgar. The volcano-girl, evidently familiar with
every changing aspect, crept to my side, as I stood apart wrapt in
silent admiration and wonder, and I caught her examining the expression
of my face as it was revealed by the dismal glare of the burning lake.
"E bellissima!" she whispered in a husky voice, pressing close to my
side, and trembling like a leaf, not with present fear, but manifestly
in memory of some dreadful event. We were friends from that moment, and
she constituted herself my especial guide, running before me to choose
the surest paths, giving me her delicate little hand, and showing, in
fact, all possible willingness to make up our little quarrel, if she
retained any remembrance of it.

We returned toward the cone, and approached within dangerous proximity
to it. The volcano-girl often pulled my arm to induce me to keep back;
but when she saw I was determined to look down into the horrid flaming
gulf of fire that yawned near the cone, she followed me, murmuring a low
pensive song. On reaching the edge, which was uncertain and trembling, I
halted and gazed; and while the guide and my companions shouted to me to
come back, enjoyed a moment of fearful joy. I was standing on the brink
of a vast chasm of fire, in which no flame was, but only a dreadful
glow, that thickened by distance into substance. The wind shrieked
around, the volcano roared above, the tremendous cloud of black smoke
swayed and wavered as it rolled, beaten down by the wind to the outer
edge of the crater, like a vast snake, or, when the blast for a moment
ceased, towered aloft like an evil genius, and dispersed amid the
clouds.

"Come back! come back!" cried Ghita, as the smoky pile of cinders
trembled beneath us, and we both, panic-stricken, rushed to a surer
footing, while the point we had occupied slided into the gulf of fire! I
never shall forget that moment. The very memory of it makes my hair
stand on end, and a cold perspiration burst out over my whole body. The
girl clasped my hand convulsively as we ran, and when we stood again on
the hot solid lava, uttered a low, "Dio grazia!" All this was unlike
folly, and, together with our companionship in danger, heightened the
interest I felt in my wild-looking, beautiful guide.

We all returned toward the edge of the crater, and collected in a
lava-cave to light torches for our journey back. Here we met two or
three men armed with guns, who professed to be guards, and might have
been brigands. One of them spoke rather roughly to the volcano-girl, who
took refuge by my side, and would not quit it. We started again by the
light of great flaring torches, and soon began the descent down a dusty
decline. It was a strange, rapid piece of work. The whole party ran,
rushed, tumbled, slid, rolled down in one confused crowd, the torches
glaring, flakes of burning pitch scattering here and there, the
palanquin bobbing up and down, the mountain sloping up to the clouds
behind, and down into darkness before. We descended this time into the
old crater--a great plain of dust and pumice-stone. All was gloomy
around; but the lights of Naples and Portici could be distinguished in
the distance.

Our horses and donkeys were waiting for us where we had left them; and
we rode rapidly back _via_ the Hermitage, but over the plain of lava,
instead of by the zig-zag road, toward Portici. Ghita ran all the way by
my side, but rarely spoke, except to tell me when we approached a steep
declivity. I should have felt jealous had she attended to any one else;
but was quite angry at hearing her jestingly spoken of as "my conquest."
A single vulgar remark sometimes throws cold water on the most delicate
sentiment.

At Portici she left us. The guides were paid, and every body forgot the
volcano-girl who had been of such signal service to us. I looked for
her, and saw her standing in the court-yard with the back of her little
hand to her mouth in a pensive attitude. "Ghita," said I, approaching,
"I must give you something"--she started slightly--"that you may buy a
remembrance with it of our visit to the volcano." In such a form, the
present--I did not write the amount down among my disbursements--was
accepted frankly and freely. The poor girl was evidently in a state of
great emotion: a few kind words from me had struck upon a chord ever
ready to vibrate; the truth is, she sobbed, and could not answer. But
when the tongue falters, and the lip trembles in the South, there is an
eloquent substitute for language. She took my hand, and kissed it
fervently, and a shower of warm tear-drops fell upon it. "Ghita," I
murmured, trying to be firm, but bending over her with the tenderest
affection--I can not help it; I have an instinctive love for the
sorrowful--"Ghita, you are unhappy? Can I do any thing for you?" "No,"
was her answer, as she again pressed my hand, and, gliding away,
disappeared like a shadow in the street.

We were at Naples an hour after midnight; but I found it impossible to
sleep. I could think of nothing save the story of the volcano-girl; for
the substance of her story was evident--the material details alone were
wanting. I afterward learned the whole truth. A volume might be filled
with them: a line will be sufficient. She had been betrothed to a young
man, a guide, who had perished during a visit to the volcano: she had
gone mad in consequence--of a gentle, harmless madness in general; but
as a few brutal people insulted her, she was sometimes suspicious of
strangers. She gained her living by selling ornaments of polished lava,
or by guiding travelers. This was all; but it was enough. I have kept a
place in my memory for Ghita, whose acquaintance I cultivated on other
occasions. I saw her once among the ruins of Pompeii, where she greeted
me with a friendly nod, but without referring at all to our previous
meetings--I mean in words; for at parting she gave me a handful of
wild-flowers, and then ran away without waiting for a recompense.



PUBLIC OPINION AND THE PUBLIC PRESS.


Perhaps there is no better guarantee of peace and progress to this
country than the freedom of the Press. Opinion is King of England and
Victoria is Queen. Every phase of opinion speaks through some book or
journal and is repeated widely in proportion to the hold it takes upon
the public. Government is the representative of whatever opinions
prevail; if it prove too perverse it falls--ministers change, without a
revolution. Then too, when every man's tongue is free, we are accustomed
to hear all manner of wild suggestions. Fresh paint does not soon dazzle
us; we are like children lavishly supplied with toys, who receive new
gifts tranquilly enough.

Is King Opinion an honest ruler? Yes. For the English people speak
unreservedly their thoughts on public matters, and are open, though it
be with honorable slowness, to all new convictions. We must add,
however, as a drawback, that the uneducated class amounts to a
distressing number in this country in proportion to the whole. It forms,
as long as it is ignorant, a source of profit to designing speculators.
Nonsense is put into the mouths of men who mean no evil, but who
sincerely desire their own improvement. Truth is murdered, and her dress
is worn by knaves who burlesque sympathy with working-men for selfish
purposes. The poor man's sincere advocate, at last, can not speak truth
without incurring the suspicion of some treasonable purpose against
honesty or common sense. The very language necessary to be used in
advocating just rights sometimes becomes as a pure stream befouled by
those who have misused it.

Therefore, in England, the uneducated classes arrive slowly at the
privileges which they must acquire. They are impeded by false friends;
but, even false friends are not able to delude them beyond a certain
point. Among us, for example, even the most ignorant well know that
there is no field for a vulgar revolution against such a monarch as
Opinion makes. Arguments must be used for barricades, and we must knock
our neighbors on the head with facts; we must fire newspaper articles
instead of cannon-balls, and use colloquial banter for our small shot.
In all disputes an English citizen has, for his last and sole appeal,
Opinion; as a citizen of Rome had Cæsar.

The Government which puts its hand upon a nation's mouth and thinks to
stifle what it has to say, will be inevitably kicked and bitten. The
nation will, some day, get liberty and make amends for every minute of
restraint with lusty shouting. Among the continental states which
suffered from the Revolutions of 1848, were some in which the people had
less of social evil to complain of than we have in England; but they
were fretted by political restrictions, by a system of espial which
tabooed all conversation upon public matters before any stranger, and
they were glad enough to get their tongues at liberty. Adam, the old
traditions say, was made of eight pounds: a pound of earth, his flesh; a
pound of fire, his blood; a pound of cloud, his instability; a pound of
grace (how that was weighed the legend saith not); his stature; a pound
of blossom, his eyes; a pound of dew, his sweat; a pound of salt, his
tears; and, finally, a pound of wind, his breath. Now Governments which
don't allow each man his pound of wind, get themselves, sooner or later,
into certain trouble; for, when the wind does come at last (which it is
sure to do), it comes in a storm.

The freedom and the power of Opinion in England, have given an
importance to the press which is attached to it, as a direct agent in
producing social reforms, in no other European country. The journalist
lays every day a mass of facts before all people capable of thought; the
adult, who has learnt only to write and read, acquires his remaining
education--often not despicable in amount--from his weekly paper. Jeremy
Bentham, speaking of those old superstitious rites by which it was
intended to exorcise evil spirits, says very truly, "In our days, and in
our country, the same object is obtained, and beyond comparison more
effectually, by so cheap an instrument as a common newspaper. Before
this talisman, not only devils but ghosts, vampires, witches, and all
their kindred tribes, are driven out of the land, never to return again!
The touch of Holy Water is not so intolerable to them as the bare smell
of Printer's Ink."

What can a man learn by skimming the newspapers and journals of the day?
Why, in the northern seas there floats a very little film of oil, where
whales or seals have been. So thin a film, no bird could separate from
any wave, yet there are birds who become grossly fat on no other
nourishment. The storm petrel, or, in the Faroese phrase, Mother Carey's
chicken, skims the surface of the troubled water, till the feathers of
its breast are charged with oil; and then feeds heartily on the
provision so collected. A vast number of her Majesty's subjects dart
over the debater and the discussor of the newspaper, like storm petrels,
and thrive upon what skimmings they retain.

Since the press in England has been actually free (and many of us can
remember when it was not so), one fact has become every year more
prominent amidst the din of parties. We have begun to see that, however
much we are convinced of any one thing, those are not all and always
fools who think the opposite. We get a strong suspicion of our
individual fallibility, new facts come out, and display old opinions in
an unexpected light. We respect our opponents, when they deserve
respect, and on the whole are teachable.

Of course, our views in politics are often guided by our sense of
private interest, but there is nothing very wonderful in that; nature
intends man to cry out, when a shoe pinches him. But, there is now
abroad, concerning social questions, a desire to hear all that can be
said about them; to tolerate, if not to respect, conclusions that oppose
our own; a readiness to seek for the right course and a desire to follow
it.--_Household Words_.



THE DUMB CHILD.


          She is my only girl:
   I ask'd for her as some most precious thing,
   For all unfinish'd was Love's jewel'd ring,
          Till set with this soft pearl;
   The shade that Time brought forth I could not see;
   How pure, how perfect seem'd the gift to me!

          Oh, many a soft old tune
   I used to sing unto that deaden'd ear,
   And suffer'd not the lightest footstep near,
          Lest she might wake too soon;
   And hush'd her brothers' laughter while she lay--
   Ah, needless care! I might have let them play!

          'Twas long ere I believ'd
   That this one daughter might not speak to me;
   Waited and watched God knows how patiently!
          How willingly deceived:
   Vain Love was long the untiring nurse of Faith,
   And tended Hope until it starved to death.

          Oh! if she could but hear
   For one short hour, till I her tongue might teach
   To call me _mother_, in the broken speech
          That thrills the mother's ear!
   Alas! those seal'd lips never may be stirr'd
   To the deep music of that lovely word.

          My heart it sorely tries
   To see her kneel, with such a reverent air,
   Beside her brothers at their evening prayer:
          Or lift those earnest eyes
   To watch our lips, as though our words she knew--
   Then moves her own, as she were speaking too.

          I've watch'd her looking up
   To the bright wonder of a sunset sky,
   With such a depth of meaning in her eye,
          That I could almost hope
   The struggling soul _would_ burst its binding cords,
   And the long pent-up thoughts flow forth in words.

          The song of bird and bee,
   The chorus of the breezes, streams, and groves,
   All the grand music to which Nature moves,
          Are wasted melody
   To her; the world of sound a tuneless void;
   While even _Silence_ hath its charm destroyed.

          Her face is very fair;
   Her blue eye beautiful; of finest mould
   The soft white brow, o'er which, in waves of gold,
          Ripples her shining hair.
   Alas! this lovely temple closed must be,
   For He who made it keeps the master-key.

          Wills He the mind within
   Should from earth's Babel-clamor be kept free,
   E'en that _His_ still small voice and step might be
          Heard at its inner shrine,
   Through that deep hush of soul, with clearer thrill?
   Then should I grieve?--O murmuring heart be still!

          She seems to have a sense
   Of quiet gladness in her noiseless play.
   She hath a pleasant smile, a gentle way,
          Whose voiceless eloquence
   Touches all hearts, though I had once the fear
   That even _her father_ would not care for her.

          Thank God it is not so!
   And when his sons are playing merrily,
   She comes and leans her head upon his knee.
          Oh! at such times I know--
   By his full eye and tones subdued and mild--
   How his heart yearns over his silent child.

          Not of _all_ gifts bereft,
   Even now. How could I say she did not speak?
   What real language lights her eye and cheek,
          And renders thanks to Him who left
   Unto her soul yet open avenues
   For joy to enter, and for love to use.

          And God in love doth give
   To her defect a beauty of its own.
   And we a deeper tenderness have known
          Through that for which we grieve.
   Yet shall the seal be melted from her ear,
   Yea, and _my_ voice shall fill it--but _not here_.

          When that new sense is given,
   What rapture will its first experience be,
   That never woke to meaner melody,
          Than the rich songs of heaven--
   To _hear_ the full-toned anthem swelling round,
   While angels teach the ecstasies of sound!



CURIOSITIES OF RAILWAY TRAVELING.


There are some peculiarities about railway traveling which we do not
remember to have seen noticed, however commonplace the mode of transit
itself may have become. There is a singular optical illusion, for
instance, in going through a tunnel, which nearly every one must have
observed, and yet which nobody, so far as we can learn, has thought it
worth while to explain: no sooner have you plunged into complete
darkness, and the great brassy monster at the head of the train is
tearing and wheezing, and panting away with you through the gloom, at
the rate possibly of twenty miles to the hour, than, if you happen to
fix your eye on the faintly illuminated brickwork which you are so
rapidly dashing past, the apparent movement of the engine will be in a
reverse direction to the real; and the general effect will be that of
retrogression at a furious pace, instead of the progression which is
taking place in reality. This is altogether different from the trite
illustration of the astronomical lecturer, who reminds us of the
apparent movement of the shore when observed from the deck of a
steamboat; for in this case it is the damp side of the tunnel that
appears to be stationary, and the framework of the window through which
the prospect is presented that seems to be receding; of course, the
uniformity of the objects visible, and the faint light in which they are
beheld, materially assist this ocular deception; but the hint thus
thrown out may serve as a convenient peg on which passengers may hang a
theory of their own, and thus beguile the tedium of their journey in
default of more exciting topics of discussion.

Not but that the observant eye may find ample scope for employment in
the ever-changing variety of landscape, which even on the least
picturesque lines will be found constantly coming into view. The most
ordinary objects have then a fresh interest imparted to them. You catch
a distant glimpse perhaps of a haystack on the brow of an eminence miles
away before you. As you proceed, a farm-house, with its out-buildings
and granaries to follow, marches right out of the haystack, and takes up
its position at the side. Then the angles all change as the line of
vision is altered. The farm-house expands, shuts up again, turns itself
completely round, a window winks at you for an instant under one of the
gables, and then disappears; presently the farm-house itself vanishes,
and a rough, half-shaved corn-field, with sturdy sheaves of wheat
staggering about its back, comes running up out of a coppice to overtake
the farm. Then, as we hear the pulse of the engine throbbing quicker and
quicker, and the telegraph posts seem to have started off into a frantic
gallopade along the line, we plunge into a plantation. Long vistas of
straggling trees--and leaf-strewn pathways winding in among them--give
way to scattered clumps of firs and tangled masses of fern and
brushwood, while broken fences come dancing up between, and then shrink
down again behind rising knolls covered with a sudden growth of gorse
and heather. A pit yawns into a pond; the pond squeezes itself longways
into a thin ditch, which turns off sharply at a corner, and leaves a
dreamy-looking cow occupying its place. Then a gate flies out of a
thicket; a man leaning over with folded arms grows out of the gate,
which spins round into a lodge, and then strides off altogether; while
the trees slink away after it, and a momentary glimpse is caught of a
fine mansion perched upon rising ground at the back, and which has
become suddenly disentangled from the woods surrounding it. You have
hardly time to hazard a guess concerning the architecture, before a
sloping bank comes sliding in between, and you find yourself in a deep
cutting, with the soft snowy steam curling up the sides in ample folds,
and rolling its billows of white vapor over the bright green grass, that
seems all the fresher for the welcome moisture. Then comes the open
country again--a purple outline of distant hills, with a cloud or two
resting lazily upon them; a long-drawn shriek from the valve-whistle, a
few moments of slackened speed, and a gradual panoramic movement of
sheds, hoardings, cattle-trucks, and piled-up packages, and we emerge
upon a station, with a bustling company of anxious passengers ranged
along the platform eager for our arrival.

To us, at least, familiarity with the many phases of railroad traveling
has not engendered the proverbial consequence. The refreshment station
at Wolverton is always impressed upon our mind as a perpetual marvel. To
witness those well-stocked tables, one moment displaying the prodigal
richness of a lord mayor's feast, and the next to behold this scene of
gastronomical fertility laid bare, as the simoom of a hundred voracious
appetites sweeps across the tempting viands, and leaves all blank behind
it, is a theme of exhaustless wonderment. We involuntarily think of the
182,500 Banbury cakes that are here annually consumed by pastry-loving
passengers, and of the 70,080 bottles of stout that are uncorked every
year to quench the thirst of these fleeting customers. We look with a
proper veneration upon every one of the eighty-five pigs here
maintained, and who, after being from their birth most kindly treated
and most luxuriously fed, are annually promoted by seniority, one after
another, into an indefinite number of pork pies, the vacancies caused by
the retirement of these veterans being constantly supplied by the
acquisition of fresh recruits. The returns of the railway company show
that upward of seven millions of passengers are annually draughted
through Wolverton on their way northward. Making a fair deduction for
those who, from lack of means or inclination, do not avail themselves of
the good things here provided, there is yet a startling number of
customers to be supplied. Fancy the three million mouths that, on the
lowest average, annually demand at these tables the satisfaction of
their appetite, craving at one time their accustomed sustenance in one
vast aggregate of hunger. It is like having to undertake the feeding of
the entire population of London. The mouth of Gargantua is but a faint
type of even one day's voracity; and all this is devoured in a spot
which hardly twenty years ago was unmarked upon the map, a mere streak
of pasture-land on the banks of the Grand Junction canal. Surely this is
not one of the least astonishing feats wrought by railway magic.



THE ROBBERS' REVENGE.--FROM THE RECOLLECTIONS OF A POLICE-OFFICER.


Levasseur and his confederates[16] sailed for the penal settlements in
the ill-fated convict-ship, the _Amphytrion_, the total wreck of which
on the coast of France, and consequent drowning of the crew and
prisoners, excited so painful a sensation in England. A feeling of
regret for the untimely fate of Le Breton, whom I regarded rather as a
weak dupe than a purposed rascal, passed over my mind as I read the
announcement in the newspapers; but newer events had almost jostled the
incidents connected with his name from my remembrance, when a terrible
adventure vividly recalled them, and taught me how fierce and untamable
are the instincts of hate and revenge in a certain class of minds.

A robbery of plate had been committed in Portman-square, with an
ingenuity and boldness which left no doubt that it had been effected by
clever and practiced hands. The detective officers first employed having
failed to discover the offenders, the threads of the imperfect and
broken clew were placed in my hands, to see if my somewhat renowned
dexterity, or luck, as many of my brother officers preferred calling it,
would enable me to piece them out to a satisfactory conclusion. By the
description obtained of a man who had been seen lurking about the house
a few days previous to the burglary, it had been concluded by my
predecessors in the investigation that one Martin, a fellow with
half-a-dozen _aliases_, and a well-known traveler on the road to the
hulks, was concerned in the affair; and by their advice a reward of
fifty pounds had been offered for his apprehension and conviction. I
prosecuted the inquiry with my usual energy and watchfulness, without
alighting upon any new fact or intimation of importance. I could not
discover that a single article of the missing property had been either
pawned or offered for sale, and little doubt remained that the crucible
had fatally diminished the chances of detection. The only hope was, that
an increased reward might induce one of the gang to betray his
confederates; and as the property was of large value, this was done, and
one hundred guineas was promised for the required information. I had
been to the printer's to order the placards announcing the increased
recompense; and after indulging in a long gossip with the foreman of the
establishment, whom I knew well, was passing at about a quarter past ten
o'clock through Ryder's-court, Newport-market, where a tall man met and
passed me swiftly, holding a handkerchief to his face. There was nothing
remarkable in that, as the weather was bitterly cold and sleety; and I
walked unheedingly on. I was just in the act of passing out of the court
toward Leicester-square, when swift steps sounded suddenly behind me. I
instinctively turned; and as I did so, received a violent blow on the
left shoulder--intended, I doubted not, for the nape of my neck--from
the tall individual who had passed me a minute previously. As he still
held the handkerchief to his face, I did not catch even a momentary
glance at his features, and he ran off with surprising speed. The blow,
sudden, jarring, and inflicted with a sharp instrument--by a strong
knife or a dagger--caused a sensation of faintness; and before I
recovered from it all chance of successful pursuit was at an end. The
wound, which was not at all serious, I had dressed at a chemist's shop
in the Haymarket; and as proclaiming the attack would do nothing toward
detecting the perpetrator of it, I said little about it to any one, and
managed to conceal it entirely from my wife, to whom it would have
suggested a thousand painful apprehensions whenever I happened to be
unexpectedly detained from home. The brief glimpse I had of the balked
assassin afforded no reasonable indication of his identity. To be sure
he ran at an amazing and unusual pace, but this was a qualification
possessed by so many of the light-legged as well as lightfingered gentry
of my professional acquaintance, that it could not justify even a random
suspicion; and I determined to forget the unpleasant incident as soon as
possible.

The third evening after this occurrence I was again passing along
Leicester-square at a somewhat late hour, but this time with all my eyes
about me. Snow, which the wind blew sharply in one's face, was falling
fast, and the cold was intense. Except myself, and a tallish,
snow-wreathed figure--a woman apparently--not a living being was to be
seen. This figure, which was standing still at the further side of the
square, appeared to be awaiting me, and as I drew near it, threw back
the hood of a cloak, and to my great surprise disclosed the features of
a Madame Jaubert. This lady, some years before, had carried on, not very
far from the spot where she now stood, a respectable millinery business.
She was a widow with one child, a daughter of about seven years of age.
Marie-Louise, as she was named, was one unfortunate day sent to
Coventry-street on an errand with some money in her hand, and never
returned. The inquiries set on foot proved utterly without effect: not
the slightest intelligence of the fate of the child was obtained--and
the grief and distraction of the bereaved mother resulted in temporary
insanity. She was confined in a lunatic asylum for seven or eight
months, and when pronounced convalescent, found herself homeless, and
almost penniless, in the world. This sad story I had heard from one of
the keepers of the asylum during her sojourn there. It was a subject she
herself never, I was aware, touched upon; and she had no reason to
suspect that I was in the slightest degree informed of this melancholy
passage in her life. She, why, I know not, changed her name from that of
Duquesne to the one she now bore--Jaubert; and for the last two or three
years had supported a precarious existence by plausible begging-letters
addressed to persons of credulous benevolence; for which offense she had
frequently visited the police courts at the instance of the secretary of
the Mendicity Society, and it was there I had consequently made her
acquaintance.

"Madame Jaubert!" I exclaimed, with unfeigned surprise, "why, what on
earth can you be waiting here for on such a night as this?"

"To see you!" was her curt reply.

"To see me! Depend upon it, then, you are knocking at the wrong door for
not the first time in your life. The very little faith I ever had in
professional widows, with twelve small children, all down in the
measles, has long since vanished, and--"

"Nay," she interrupted--she spoke English, by the way, like a
native--"I'm not such a fool as to be trying the whimpering dodge upon
you. It is a matter of business. You want to find Jem Martin?"

"Ay, truly; but what can _you_ know of him? Surely you are not _yet_
fallen so low as to be the associate or accomplice of burglars?"

"Neither yet, nor likely to be so," replied the woman; "still I could
tell you where to place your hands on James Martin, if I were but sure
of the reward."

"There can be no doubt about that," I answered.

"Then follow me, and before ten minutes are past, you will have secured
your man."

I did so--cautiously, suspiciously; for my adventure three evenings
before, had rendered me unusually circumspect and watchful. She led the
way to the most crowded quarter of St. Giles's, and when she had reached
the entrance of a dark blind alley, called Hine's-court, turned into it,
and beckoned me to follow.

"Nay, nay, Madame Jaubert," I exclaimed, "that won't do. You mean
fairly, I dare say; but I don't enter that respectable alley alone at
this time of night."

She stopped, silent and embarrassed. Presently she said, with a sneer,
"You are afraid, I suppose?"

"Yes, I am."

"What is to be done, then?" she added, after a few moments'
consideration. "He is alone, I assure you."

"That is possible; still I do not enter that _cul-de-sac_ to-night
unaccompanied save by you."

"You suspect me of some evil design, Mr. Waters?" said the woman, with
an accent of reproach. "I thought you might, and yet nothing can be
further from the truth. My sole object is to obtain the reward, and
escape from this life of misery and degradation to my own country, and,
if possible, begin the world respectably again. Why should you doubt
me?"

"How came you acquainted with this robber's haunts?"

"The explanation is easy, but this is not the time for it. Stay--can't
you get assistance?"

"Easily--in less than ten minutes; and, if you are here when I return,
and your information proves correct, I will ask pardon for my
suspicions."

"Be it so," she said, joyfully; "and be quick, for this weather is
terrible."

Ten minutes had not passed when I returned with half-a-dozen officers,
and found Madame Jaubert still at her post. We followed her up the
court, caught Martin sure enough asleep upon a wretched pallet of straw
in one of the alley hovels, and walked him off, terribly scared and
surprised, to the nearest station-house, where he passed the remainder
of the night. The next day Martin proved an _alibi_ of the distinctest,
most undeniable kind. He had been an inmate of Clerkenwell prison for
the last three months, with the exception of just six days previous to
our capture of him; and he was, of course, at once discharged. The
reward was payable only upon conviction of the offender, and the
disappointment of poor Madame Jaubert was extreme. She wept bitterly at
the thought of being compelled to continue her present disreputable mode
of life, when a thousand francs--a sum she believed Martin's capture
would have assured her--besides sufficient for her traveling expenses
and decent outfit, would, she said, purchase a partnership in a small
but respectable millinery shop in Paris. "Well," I remarked to her,
"there is no reason for despair. You have not only proved your sincerity
and good faith, but that you possess a knowledge--how acquired you best
know--of the haunts and hiding-places of burglars. The reward, as you
may have seen by the new placards, has been doubled; and I have a strong
opinion, from something that has reached me this morning, that if you
could light upon one Armstrong, _alias_ Rowden, it would be as certainly
yours as if already in your pocket."

"Armstrong--Rowden!" repeated the woman, with anxious simplicity; "I
never heard either of these names. What sort of a person is he?"

I described him minutely; but Madame Jaubert appeared to entertain
little or no hope of discovering his whereabout; and, ultimately, went
away in a very disconsolate mood, after, however, arranging to meet me
the next evening.

I met her as agreed. She could obtain, she said, no intelligence of any
reliable worth; and she pressed me for further particulars. Was
Armstrong a drinking, a gaming, or a play-going man? I told her all I
knew of his habits, and a gleam of hope glanced across her face as one
or two indications were mentioned. I was to see her again on the morrow.
It came; she was as far off as ever; and I advised her to waste no
further time in the pursuit, but to at once endeavor to regain a
position of respectability by the exercise of industry in the trade or
business in which she was reputedly well skilled. Madame Jaubert laughed
scornfully; and a gleam, it seemed to me, of her never entirely subdued
insanity shot out from her deep-set, flashing eyes. It was finally
settled, that I should meet her once more, at the same place, at about
eight o'clock the next evening.

I arrived somewhat late at the appointed rendezvous, and found Madame
Jaubert in a state of manifest excitement and impatience. She had, she
was pretty sure, discovered Armstrong, and knew that he was at that
moment in a house in Greek-street, Soho.

"Greek-street, Soho! Is he alone?"

"Yes; with the exception of a woman who is minding the premises, and of
whom he is an acquaintance under another name. You will be able to
secure him without the least risk or difficulty, but not an instant must
be lost."

Madame Jaubert perceived my half-hesitation. "Surely," she exclaimed,
"you are not afraid of one man! It's useless affecting to suspect _me_
after what has occurred."

"True," I replied. "Lead on."

The house at which we stopped in Greek-street, appeared to be an empty
one, from the printed bills in the windows announcing it to be let or
sold. Madame Jaubert knocked in a peculiar manner at the door, which was
presently opened by a woman. "Is Mr. Brown still within?" Madame Jaubert
asked, in a low voice.

"Yes: what do you want with him?"

"I have brought a gentleman who will most likely be a purchaser of some
of the goods he has to dispose of."

"Walk in, then, if you please," was the answer. We did so; and found
ourselves, as the door closed, in pitch darkness. "This way," said the
woman; "you shall have a light in half a minute."

"Let me guide you," said Madame Jaubert, as I groped onward by the wall,
and at the same time seizing my right hand. Instantly as she did so, I
heard a rustle just behind me--two quick and violent blows descended on
the back of my head, there was a flash before my eyes, a suppressed
shout of exultation rang in my ears, and I fell insensible to the
ground.

It was some time, on partially recovering my senses, before I could
realize either what had occurred or the situation in which I found
myself. Gradually, however, the incidents attending the
artfully-prepared treachery of Madame Jaubert grew into distinctness,
and I pretty well comprehended my present position. I was lying at the
bottom of a cart, blindfolded, gagged, handcuffed, and covered over by
what, from their smell, seemed to be empty corn sacks. The vehicle, was
moving at a pretty rapid rate, and judging from the roar and tumult
without, through one of the busiest thoroughfares of London. It was
Saturday evening; and I thought, from the character of the noises,
and the tone of a clock just chiming ten, that we were in
Tottenham-court-road. I endeavored to rise, but found, as I might have
expected, that it was impossible to do so; my captors having secured me
to the floor of the cart by strong cords. There was nothing for it,
therefore, but patience and resignation; words easily pronounced, but
difficult, under such circumstances, to realize in practice. My
thoughts, doubtless in consequence of the blows I had received, soon
became hurried and incoherent. A tumultuous throng of images swept
confusedly past, of which the most constant and frequent were the faces
of my wife and youngest child, whom I had kissed in his sleep just
previous to leaving home. Madame Jaubert and James Martin were also
there; and ever and anon the menacing countenance of Levasseur stooped
over me with a hideous expression, and I felt as if clutched in the
fiery grasp of a demon. I have no doubt that the voice which sounded in
my ear at the moment I was felled to the ground must have suggested the
idea of the Swiss--faintly and imperfectly as I caught it. This tumult
of brain only gradually subsided as the discordant uproar of the
streets--which no doubt added to the excitement I was suffering under by
suggesting the exasperating nearness of abundant help which could not be
appealed to--died gradually away into a silence only broken by the
rumble of the cart-wheels, and the subdued talk of the driver and his
companions, of whom there appeared to be two or three. At length the
cart stopped, I heard a door unlocked and thrown open, and a few moments
afterward I was dragged from under the corn-sacks, carried up three
flights of stairs, and dropped brutally upon the floor till a light
could be procured. Directly one was brought, I was raised to my feet,
placed upright against a wooden partition, and staples having been
driven into the paneling, securely fastened in that position, with cords
passed through them, and round my armpits. This effected, an
authoritative voice--the now distinct recognition of which thrilled me
with dismay--ordered that I should be unblinded. It was done; and when
my eyes became somewhat accustomed to the suddenly dazzling light and
glare, I saw Levasseur and the clerk Dubarle standing directly in front
of me, their faces kindled into flame by fiendish triumph and delight.
The report that they had been drowned was then a mistake, and they had
incurred the peril of returning to this country for the purpose of
avenging themselves upon me; and how could it be doubted that an
opportunity, achieved at such fearful risk, would be effectually,
remorselessly used? A pang of mortal terror shot through me, and then I
strove to awaken in my heart a stern endurance, and resolute contempt of
death, with, I may now confess, very indifferent success. The woman
Jaubert was, I also saw, present; and a man, whom I afterward
ascertained to be Martin, was standing near the doorway, with his back
toward me. These two, at a brief intimation from Levasseur, went down
stairs; and then the fierce exultation of the two escaped convicts--of
Levasseur especially--broke forth with wolfish rage and ferocity.
"Ha--ha--ha!" shouted the Swiss, at the same time striking me over the
face with his open hand, "you find, then, that others can plot as well
as you can--dog, traitor, scoundrel that you are! 'Au revoir--alors!'
was it, eh? Well, here we are, and I wish you joy of the meeting.
Ha--ha! How dismal the rascal looks, Dubarle!"--(Again the coward struck
me)--"He is hardly grateful to me, it seems, for having kept my word. I
always do, my fine fellow," he added with a savage chuckle; "and never
neglect to pay my debts of honor. Yours especially," he continued,
drawing a pistol from his pocket, "shall be prompt payment, and with
interest too, scélérat!" He held the muzzle of the pistol to within a
yard of my forehead, and placed his finger on the trigger. I
instinctively closed my eyes, and tasted in that fearful moment the full
bitterness of death; but my hour was not yet come. Instead of the flash
and report which I expected would herald me into eternity, a taunting
laugh from Levasseur at the terror he excited rang through the room.

"Come--come," said Dubarle, over whose face a gleam of commiseration,
almost of repentance, had once or twice passed; "you will alarm that
fellow down stairs with your noise. We must, you know, wait till he is
gone, and he appears to be in no hurry. In the meantime let us have a
game of piquet for the first shot at the traitor's carcase."

"Excellent--capital!" shouted Levasseur with savage glee. "A game of
piquet; the stake your life, Waters! A glorious game! and mind you see
fair-play. In the mean time here's your health, and better luck next
time, if you should chance to live to see it." He swallowed a draught of
wine which Dubarle, after helping himself, had poured out for him; and
then approaching me, with the silver cup he had drained in his hand,
said, "Look at the crest! Do you recognize it--fool, idiot that you
are!"

I did so readily enough: it was a portion of the plunder carried off
from Portman-square.

"Come," again interposed Dubarle, "let us have our game."

The play began, and--But I will dwell no longer upon this terrible
passage in my police experience. Frequently even now the incidents of
that night revisit me in dreams, and I awake with a start and cry of
terror. In addition to the mental torture I endured, I was suffering
under an agonizing thirst, caused by the fever of my blood, and the
pressure of the absorbing gag, which still remained in my mouth. It was
wonderful I did not lose my senses. At last the game was over; the Swiss
won, and sprang to his feet with the roar of a wild beast.

At this moment Madame Jaubert entered the apartment somewhat hastily.
"This man below," she said, "is getting insolent. He has taken it into
his tipsy head that you mean to kill your prisoner, and he won't, he
says, be involved in a murder, which would be sure to be found out. I
told him he was talking absurdly; but he is still not satisfied, so you
had better go down and speak to him yourself."

I afterward found, it may be as well to mention here, that Madame
Jaubert and Martin had been induced to assist in entrapping me, in order
that I might be out of the way when a friend of Levasseur's, who had
been committed to Newgate on a serious charge, came to be tried, I being
the chief witness against him; and they were both assured that I had
nothing more serious to apprehend than a few days' detention. In
addition to a considerable money-present, Levasseur had, moreover,
promised Madame Jaubert to pay her expenses to Paris, and assist in
placing her in business there.

Levasseur muttered a savage imprecation on hearing the woman's message,
and then said, "Come with me, Dubarle; if we can not convince the
fellow, we can at least silence him! Marie Duquesne, you will remain
here."

As soon as they were gone, the woman eyed me with a compassionate
expression, and approaching close to me, said in a low voice, "Do not be
alarmed at their tricks and menaces. After Thursday you will be sure to
be released."

I shook my head, and as distinctly as I could made a gesture with my
fettered arms toward the table on which the wine was standing. She
understood me. "If," said she, "you will promise not to call out, I will
relieve you of the gag."

I eagerly nodded compliance. The gag was removed, and she held a cup of
wine to my fevered lips. It was a draught from the waters of paradise,
and hope, energy, life, were renewed within me as I drank.

"You are deceived," I said, in a guarded voice, the instant my burning
thirst was satisfied. "They intend to murder me, and you will be
involved as an accomplice."

"Nonsense," she replied. "They have been frightening you, that's all."

"I again repeat you are deceived. Release me from these fetters and
cords, give me but a chance of at least selling my life as dearly as I
can, and the money you told me you stood in need of shall be yours."

"Hark!" she exclaimed. "They are coming!"

"Bring down a couple of bottles of wine," said Levasseur, from the
bottom of the stairs. Madame Jaubert obeyed the order and in a few
minutes returned.

I renewed my supplications to be released, and was of course extremely
liberal of promises.

"It is vain talking," said the woman. "I do not believe they will harm
you; but even if it were as you say, it is too late now to retrace my
steps. You can not escape. That fool below is already three parts
intoxicated: they are both armed, and would hesitate at nothing if they
but suspected treachery."

It was vain to urge her. She grew sullen and menacing; and was insisting
that the gag should be replaced in my mouth, when a thought struck me.

"Levasseur called you Marie Duquesne just now; but surely your name is
Jaubert--is it not?"

"Do not trouble yourself about my name," she replied; "that is my
affair, not yours."

"Because if you _are_ the Marie Duquesne who once kept a shop in
Cranbourne-alley, and lost a child called Marie-Louise, I could tell you
something."

A wild light broke from her dark eyes, and a suppressed scream from her
lips. "I am that Marie Duquesne!" she said, in a voice tremulous with
emotion.

"Then I have to inform you that the child so long supposed to be lost I
discovered nearly three weeks ago."

The woman fairly leapt toward me, clasped me fiercely by the arms, and
peering in my face with eyes on fire with insane excitement, hissed out,
"You lie--you lie, you dog! You are striving to deceive me! She is in
heaven: the angels told me so long since."

I do not know, by the way, whether the falsehood I was endeavoring to
palm off upon the woman was strictly justifiable or not; but I am fain
to believe that there are few moralists that would not, under the
circumstances, have acted pretty much as I did.

"If your child was lost when going on an errand to Coventry-street, and
her name is Marie-Louise Duquesne, I tell you she is found. How should I
otherwise have become acquainted with these particulars?"

"True--true," she muttered: "how else should he know? Where is she?"
added the woman, in tones of agonized entreaty, as she sank down and
clasped my knees. "Tell me --tell me, as you hope for life or mercy,
where I may find my child?"

"Release me, give me a chance of escape, and to-morrow your child shall
be in your arms. Refuse, and the secret dies with me."

She sprang quickly to her feet, unclasped the handcuffs, snatched a
knife from the table, and cut the cords which bound me with eager haste.
"Another draught of wine," she said, still in the same hurried, almost
insane manner. "You have work to do! Now, while I secure the door, do
you rub and chafe your stiffened joints." The door was soon fastened,
and then she assisted in restoring the circulation to my partially
benumbed limbs. This was at last accomplished, and Marie Duquesne drew
me toward a window, which she softly opened. "It is useless," she
whispered, "to attempt a struggle with the men below. You must descend
by this," and she placed her hand upon a lead water-pipe, which reached
from the roof to within a few feet of the ground.

"And you," I said; "how are you to escape?"

"I will tell you. Do you hasten on toward Hampstead, from which we are
distant in a northerly direction about a mile. There is a house at about
half the distance. Procure help, and return as quickly as possible. The
doorfastenings will resist some time, even should your flight be
discovered. You will not fail me?"

"Be assured I will not." The descent was a difficult and somewhat
perilous one, but it was safely accomplished, and I set off at the top
of my speed toward Hampstead.

I had gone perhaps a quarter of a mile, when the distant sound of a
horse's feet, coming at a slow trot toward me, caught my ear. I paused,
to make sure I was not deceived, and as I did so, a wild scream from the
direction I had left, followed by another and another, broke upon the
stillness of the night. The scoundrels had no doubt discovered my
escape, and were about to wreak their vengeance upon the unfortunate
creature in their power. The trot of the horse which I had heard was,
simultaneously with the breaking out of those wild outcries, increased
to a rapid gallop. "Hallo!" exclaimed the horseman, as he came swiftly
up. "Do you know where these screams come from?" It was the horse-patrol
who thus providentially came up! I briefly stated that the life of a
woman was at the mercy of two escaped convicts. "Then for God's sake
jump up behind me!" exclaimed the patrol. "We shall be there in a couple
of minutes." I did so: the horse--a powerful animal, and not entirely
unused to carry double--started off, as if it comprehended the necessity
for speed, and in a very brief space of time we were at the door of the
house from which I had so lately escaped. Marie Duquesne, with her body
half out of the window, was still wildly screaming as we rushed into the
room below. There was no one there, and we swiftly ascended the stairs,
at the top of which we could hear Levasseur and Dubarle thundering at
the door, which they had unexpectedly found fastened, and hurling a
storm of imprecations at the woman within, the noise of which enabled us
to approach them pretty nearly before we were heard or perceived. Martin
saw us first, and his sudden exclamation alarmed the others. Dubarle and
Martin made a desperate rush to pass us, by which I was momently thrown
on one side against the wall; and very fortunately, as the bullet
leveled at me from a pistol Levasseur held in his hand would probably
have finished me. Martin escaped, which I was not very sorry for; but
the patrol pinned Dubarle safely, and I griped Levasseur with a strength
and ferocity against which he was powerless as an infant. Our victory
was complete; and two hours afterward, the recaptured convicts were
safely lodged in a station-house.

I caused Madame Duquesne to be as gently undeceived the next morning as
possible with respect to her child; but the reaction and disappointment
proved too much for her wavering intellect. She relapsed into positive
insanity, and was placed in Bedlam, where she remained two years. At the
end of that period she was pronounced convalescent. A sufficient sum of
money was raised by myself and others, not only to send her to Paris,
but to enable her to set up as a milliner in a small but respectable
way. As lately as last May, when I saw her there, she was in health both
of mind and body, and doing comfortably.

With the concurrence of the police authorities, very little was said
publicly respecting my entrapment. It might perhaps have excited a
monomania among liberated convicts--colored and exaggerated as every
incident would have been for the amusement of the public--to attempt
similar exploits. I was also anxious to conceal the peril I had
encountered from my wife; and it was not till I had left the police
force that she was informed of it. Levasseur and Dubarle were convicted
of returning from transportation before the term for which they had been
sentenced had expired, and were this time sent across the seas for life.
The reporters of the morning papers, or rather the reporter for the
"Times," "Herald," "Chronicle," "Post," and "Advertiser," gave precisely
the same account, even to the misspelling of Levasseur's name,
dismissing the brief trial in the following paragraph, under the head of
"Old Bailey Sessions:"--"Alphonse Dubarle (24), and Sebastian Levasson
(49), were identified as unlawfully-returned convicts, and sentenced to
transportation for life. The prisoners, it was understood, were
connected with the late plate-robbery in Portman-square; but as a
conviction could not have increased their punishment, the indictment was
not pressed."

Levasseur, I had almost forgotten to state, admitted that it was he who
wounded me in Ryder's-court, Leicester-square.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 16: See New Monthly Magazine for November.]



WORDSWORTH AND CARLYLE.


For well nigh thirty-four years the public curiosity has been excited by
the knowledge that there existed in MS. an unfinished poem of very high
pretensions, and extraordinary magnitude, from the pen of the late--is
he to be the last?--poet-laureate of Britain. At the tidings, Lord
Jeffrey made himself very merry, and sought for a powerful calculus to
compute the supposed magnitude of the poem. De Quincey, on the other
hand, had read it, and both in his writings and conversation, was in the
habit of alluding to, quoting, and panegyrizing it as more than equal to
Wordsworth's other achievements. All of it that is publishable, or shall
ever be published, now lies before us; and we approach it with
curiously-mingled emotions--mingled, because although a fragment, it is
so vast, and in parts so finished, and because it may be regarded as at
once an early production of his genius, and its latest legacy to the
world. It seems a large fossil relic--imperfect and magnificent--newly
dug up, and with the fresh earth and the old dim subsoil meeting and
mingling around it.

The "Prelude" is the first _regular versified_ autobiography we remember
in our language. Passages, indeed, and parts of the lives of celebrated
men, have been at times represented in verse, but in general a vail of
fiction has been dropped over the real facts, as in the case of Don
Juan; and in all the revelation made has resembled rather an escapade or
a partial confession than a systematic and slowly-consolidated life. The
mere circumstances, too, of life have been more regarded than the inner
current of life itself. We class the 'Prelude' at once with Sartor
Resartus--although the latter wants the poetic _form_--as the two most
interesting and faithful records of the individual experience of men of
genius which exist.

And yet, how different the two men, and the two sets of experience.
Sartor resembles the unfilled and yawning crescent moon, Wordsworth the
rounded harvest orb: Sartor's cry is, "Give, give!" Wordsworth's "I have
found it, I have found it!" Sartor can not, amid a universe of work,
find a task fit for him to do, and yet can much less be utterly idle;
while to Wordsworth, basking in the sun, or loitering near an evening
stream, is sufficient and satisfactory work. To Sartor, Nature is a
divine tormentor--her works at once inspire and agonize him; Wordsworth
loves her with the passion of a perpetual honeymoon. Both are intensely
self-conscious; but Sartor's is the consciousness of disease,
Wordsworth's of high health standing before a mirror. Both have a
"demon," but Sartor's is exceedingly fierce, dwelling among the
tombs--Wordsworth's a mild eremite, loving the rocks and the woods.
Sartor's experience has been frightfully peculiar, and Wordsworth's
peculiarly felicitous. Both have passed through the valley of the shadow
of death; but the one has found it as Christian found it, dark and
noisy--the other has passed it with Faithful, by daylight. Sartor is
more of a representative man than Wordsworth, for many have had part at
least of his sad experiences, whereas Wordsworth's soul dwells apart:
his joys and sorrows, his virtues and his sins, are alike his own, and
he can circulate his being as soon as them. Sartor is a brother man in
fury and fever--Wordsworth seems a cherub, almost chillingly pure, and
whose very warmth is borrowed from another sun than ours. We love and
fear Sartor with almost equal intensity--Wordsworth we respect and
wonder at with a great admiration.

Compare their different biographies. Sartor's is brief and abrupt as a
confession; the author seems hurrying away from the memory of his
woe--Wordsworth lingers over his past self, like a lover over the
history of his courtship. Sartor is a reminiscence of Prometheus--the
"Prelude" an account of the education of Pan. The agonies of Sartor are
connected chiefly with his own individual history, shadowing that of
innumerable individuals besides--those of Wordsworth with the fate of
nations, and the world at large. Sartor craves, but can not find a
creed--belief seems to flow in Wordsworth's blood; to see is to believe
with him. The lives of both are fragments, but Sartor seems to shut his
so abruptly, because he dare not disclose all his struggles; and
Wordsworth, because he dares not reveal all his peculiar and
incommunicable joys. To use Sartor's own words, applied to the poet
before as, we may inscribe upon Wordsworth's grave, "Here lies a man who
did what he intended;" while over Sartor's, disappointed ages may say,
"Here lies a man whose intentions were noble, and his powers gigantic,
but who from lack of proper correspondence between them did little or
nothing, said much, but only told the world his own sad story."



MILTON AND WORDSWORTH.


The points of resemblance between Milton and Wordsworth are
numerous--both were proud in spirit, and pure in life--both were
intensely self-conscious--both essayed the loftiest things in
poetry--both looked with considerable contempt on their contemporaries,
and appealed to the coming age--both preferred fame to reputation--both
during their life-time met with obloquy, which crushed them not--both
combined intellect with imagination, in equal proportions--both were
persevering and elaborate artists, as well as inspired men--both were
unwieldy in their treatment of commonplace subjects. Neither possessed a
particle of humor; nor much, if any, genuine wit. Both were friends of
liberty and of religion--their genius was "baptized with the Holy Ghost
and with fire."

But there were differences and disparities as manifold. Milton was a
scholar of the first magnitude; Wordsworth no more than respectable in
point of learning; Milton may be called a glorious book-worm; Wordsworth
an insect feeding on trees; Milton was London born and London bred;
Wordsworth from the provinces; Milton had a world more sympathy with
chivalry and arms--with the power and the glory of this earth--with
human and female beauty--with man and with woman, than Wordsworth.
Wordsworth loved inanimate nature better than Milton, or at least, he
was more intimately conversant with her features; and has depicted them
with more minute accuracy, and careful finish. Milton's love for liberty
was a wiser and firmer passion, and underwent little change;
Wordsworth's veered and fluctuated; Milton's creed was more definite and
fixed than Wordsworth's, and, perhaps, lay nearer to his heart;
Wordsworth shaded away into a vague mistiness, in which the Cross at
times was lost; Milton had more devotion in his absence from church than
Wordsworth in his presence there; Wordsworth was an "idler in the land;"
Milton an incessant and heroic struggler.

As writers, while Wordsworth attains to lofty heights, with an
appearance of effort; Milton is great inevitably, and inhales with
pleasure the proud and rare atmosphere of the sublime; Wordsworth _comes
up_ to the great--Milton _descends_ on it; Wordsworth has little
ratiocinative, or rhetorical power; Milton discovers much of
both--besides being able to grind his adversaries to powder by the hoof
of invective, or to toss them into the air on the tusks of a terrible
scorn; Wordsworth has produced many sublime lines, but no character
approaching the sublime; Milton has reared up Satan to the sky--the most
magnificent structure in the intellectual world; Wordsworth's
philosophic vein is more subtle, and Milton's more masculine and strong;
Wordsworth has written much in the shape of poetry that is despicably
mean; mistaking it all the while for the excellent; Milton trifles
seldom, and knows full well when he is trifling; Wordsworth has
sometimes entangled himself with a poetic system; Milton no more than
Samson will permit withes, however green, or a cart-rope, however new,
to imprison his giant arms; Wordsworth has borrowed nothing, but timidly
and jealously saved himself from theft by flight; Milton has maintained
his originality, even while he borrows--he has dared to snatch the Urim
and Thummim from the high-priest's breast, and inserted them among his
own native ornaments, where they shine in keeping--unbedimming and
unbedimmed; Wordsworth's prose is but a feeble counterpoise to his
poetry; whereas Milton's were itself sufficient to perpetuate his name;
Wordsworth's sonnets are, perhaps, equal to Milton's, some of his "Minor
Poems" may approach "Lycidas," and "Il Penseroso," but where a whole like
"Paradise Lost?"

Thus while Wordsworth has left a name, the memory of a character and
many works, which shall illustrate the age when he lived, and exalt him,
on the whole, above all Britain's bards of that period, Milton is
identified with the glory, not of an age, but of all ages; with the
progress of liberty in the world--with the truth and grandeur of the
Christian faith and with the honor and dignity of the human species
itself. Wordsworth burns like the bright star Arcturus, outshining the
fainter orbs of the constellation to which it belongs. Milton is one of
those solitary oceans of flame, which seem to own but a dim and far-off
relationship to aught else but the Great Being, who called them into
existence. So truly did the one appreciate the other when he sung

   "Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart."



RATS AND RAT-KILLERS IN ENGLAND

     A rat! a rat! dead for a ducat.--_Hamlet_.


There is nothing like being in earnest when one begins a good work. So,
evidently, thinks the author of a blue-covered pamphlet just issued,
with a title page headed by three words and nine notes of
exclamation--Rat!!! Rat!!! Rat!!! The object of the writer is no less
than to alarm the whole nation by showing what we lose every year by the
animals against whom he has made such a dead set. Not content with
dilating on this fact in the body of his work, he puts what he calls "a
startling fact," upon the blue wrapper. "One pair of rats," he says,
"with their progeny, will produce in three years no less a number than
six hundred and forty-six thousand eight hundred and eight rats! which
will consume, day by day, as much food as sixty-four thousand six
hundred and eighty men; leaving eight rats to starve." This, it must be
admitted, is startling enough, but any one who has a cellar, or a
corn-bin, will be inclined to believe almost any tale, however strong,
or to applaud any abuse, however severe, which may be heaped upon that
convicted thief, Rat. Midnight burglaries, undetected by the new police,
sink into insignificance compared with the ravages of rats of the London
sewers, which steal and destroy more in one week, than the value of all
the robberies of plate that blaze away in the newspapers from year's end
to year's end. And yet the plunderers go on almost unmolested. They are
too knowing for traps, and arsenic seems to be more fatal to human, than
to quadrupedal victims. The French journals, the other day, described a
grand battue in the sewers of Paris, when thousands of rats were
captured and killed, and we heard of large sums cleared by the sale of
their skins--for these thieves go about like swell mobsmen--very well
clad. But the example of our French brethren was not imitated in the
modern Babylon. We neither spill blood on barricades above ground, nor
in sewers beneath it. So Mr. Rat still carries on his plunder with
impunity, to the great horror and indignation of good housewives in
general, and of the writer we have just referred to in particular.
Protection is with him no explanation of national distress. _He_ says it
is all owing to rats: "The farmers have been eaten out of house and
home; bread kept up to a starvation price, to the misery, poverty, and
crime of our manufacturing and agricultural population. Men seldom think
of rats, because they seldom see them; but are they less destructive
because they carry on their ravages in the dark? Certainly not."

In another place he declares "there is not a farmer in the British
dominions but would, if he at present had all the rats have deprived him
of within the last ten years, this moment declare himself a wealthy
man." If the real truth could be found out, it would be a safe
speculation to back the statements of the rat-hater against the
statistics of the Protectionists.

The question then suggests itself, what should be done to save this
waste--to stop the plunder--to banish the thieves? and we turn to the
little blue book for information. The naturalists are said to give a
very clear notion of what the rat _is_, but what he _does_ they describe
very imperfectly. Rats are modest creatures; they live and labor in the
dark; they shun the approach of man. Go into a barn or granary, where
hundreds are living, and you shall not see one; go to a rick that may be
one living mass within (a thing very common, adds our writer), and there
shall not be one visible; or dive into a cellar, that may be perfectly
infested with them, rats you shall not see, so much as a tip of a tail,
unless it be that of a stray one "popping across for a more safe
retreat." As men seldom see them, they seldom think of them. "But this I
say," goes on our author, "that if rats could by any means be made to
live on the surface of the earth, instead of holes and corners, and feed
and run about the streets and fields in the open day, like dogs and
sheep, the whole nation would be horror-stricken, and, ultimately, there
would not be a man, woman, or child able to brandish a stick, but would
have a dog, stick, or gun for their destruction wherever they met with
them. And are we to suppose, because they carry on their ravages in the
dark, that they are less destructive? Certainly not; and my object in
making this appeal to the nation, and supplying it with calculations
from the most experienced individuals and naturalists, is for the
purpose of rousing it up to one universal warfare against these midnight
marauders and common enemies of mankind, insomuch as they devour the
food, to the starvation of our fellow-creatures." He does not altogether
ignore the argument of the friends of the rat--for even the rat has
found friends among naturalists, ready to argue in his favor, and in
print, too--that these vermin destroy, in the sewers, much matter that
would otherwise give out poisonous gases. Sewer rats, he admits, are not
the very worst of the race, but even they should be slain wherever they
may be caught. But the rats of the cellar, the warehouse, the barn, the
rick-yard, the granary, and the corn-field, are the grand destroyers
against whom war to the terrier, the trap, and the ferret is proclaimed.

Do not let any reader suppose that the Ratsbane, put forth in the guise
of a blue pamphlet, is a mere tasteless dose of useful knowledge on the
rat genus. It is no such thing. The author gives a passage or two of
politics, and then a page or so of rats. He is an honest hater, such as
Dr. Johnson would have admired; nor is his hatred confined to
four-legged adversaries. He evidently dislikes Communists and
Socialists, as sincerely as he does rats. "Communism, Socialism, and
Ratism," he says, "are terms synonymous;" but this is not the part of
his book we have to deal with, so let us pass on from what he hates to
what he admires. "Now," he says, "for the prolific disposition of rats;"
and here takes an opportunity of saying the best word he can for his
friends, the rat-catchers--the rat-killers--the Napoleons of the vermin
war--the exterminators of the catchable rats--the Nimrods of the
hunting-grounds to be found in sewers and cellars, and under barn
floors. The passage looks very like an advertisement; but since it is
characteristic, and as the statements are curious, and really not
without importance, they shall be here quoted:

"Now for their prolific disposition! In this respect I have been most
ably assisted by the renowned James Shaw, of rat-killing celebrity,
landlord of the Blue Anchor Tavern, Bunhill-row, St. Luke's, and of whom
I can not speak too highly, for the civil, straightforward, and animated
way in which he communicated every information I desired. Curiosity
prompted me to make inquiries respecting him, and I find him to be a man
universally respected for his manly bearing and refined sentiments of
honor, consequently, a man whose testimony can be relied upon. I have
also been supplied with similar information from Mr. Sabin, of
rat-killing renown, residing in Broad-street, St. Giles's. These men
destroy between eight and nine thousand each annually, averaging
seventeen thousand between them. We will now proceed with the
calculations. In the first place, my informants tell me that rats will
have six, seven, and eight nests of young in the year, and that for
three and four years together; secondly, that they will have from twelve
to twenty-three at a litter, and that the young ones will breed at three
months old; thirdly, that there are more females than males, at an
average of about ten to six. Now, I propose to lay down my calculations
at something less than one half. In the first place, I say four litters
in the year, beginning and ending with a litter, so making thirteen
litters in three years; secondly, to have eight young ones at a birth,
half male, and half female; thirdly, the young ones to have a litter at
six months old. At this calculation, I will take one pair of rats; and,
at the expiration of three years, what do you suppose will be the amount
of living rats? Why, no less a number than SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX
THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND EIGHT! Mr. Shaw's little dog 'Tiny,' under
six pounds weight, has destroyed TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND
TWENTY-FIVE pairs of rats, which, had they been permitted to live,
would, at the same calculation, and in the same time, have produced ONE
THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE MILLIONS, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY
THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED, living rats! And the rats destroyed by Messrs.
Shaw and Sabin in two years, amounting to SEVENTEEN THOUSAND pairs,
would, had they been permitted to live, have produced, at the above
calculation, and in the same time, no less a number than TEN THOUSAND
NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE MILLIONS, SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX
THOUSAND, living rats! Now, let us calculate the amount of human food
that they would destroy. In the first place, my informants tell me, that
six rats will consume day by day, as much food as a man; secondly, that
the thing has been tested, and that the estimate given was, that eight
rats would consume more than an ordinary man. Now, I--to place the thing
beyond the smallest shadow of a doubt--will set down ten rats to eat as
much as a man, not a child; nor will I say any thing about what rats
waste. And what shall we find to be the alarming result? Why, that, the
first pair of rats, with their three years' progeny, would consume in
the night more food than SIXTY-FOUR THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND EIGHTY men
the year round, and leaving eight rats to spare! And the rats destroyed
by the little wonder 'Tiny,' had they been permitted to live, would, at
the same calculation, with their three years' progeny, have consumed as
much food as ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE MILLIONS, THREE HUNDRED AND
NINETEEN THOUSAND AND TWENTY men: above two-thirds of the population of
Europe!!"

Here we come to the great glory of our author's thoughts. After its
master, the rat-catcher of "manly bearing and refined sentiments of
honor," "Tiny" is his true hero. Eclipse might lord it at Epsom or
Newmarket; Tom Thumb might trot to renown at sixteen miles an hour, but
what was that compared with the triumphs of Tiny? the killer of rats who
might have had a family capable of eating (if they had found it) as much
victuals or more than one hundred and sixty millions of men? Our writer
proposes a solid gold collar testimonial for the "good" dog Tiny, to be
raised by public subscription. But that would be a paltry return for
such great services. Tiny's renown lifts him above such mercenary
rewards.

More wonders are in store:

"Now for the vermin destroyed by Messrs. Shaw and Sabin. Taken at the
same calculation, with their three years' progeny--can you believe
it?--they would consume more food than the whole population of the
earth. Yes, if Omnipotence would raise up ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE
MILLIONS FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED more
people, these rats would consume as much food as they all!! You may
wonder, but I will prove it to you."

A calculation--like that which has made Tiny immortal--is given, and
then the reflection, succeeds, "Is it not a most appalling thing to
think that there are at the present time in the British empire,
thousands, nay millions, in a state of starvation, while rats are
consuming that which would place them and their families in a state of
affluence and comfort? I ask this simple question" (emphatically
continues our Rat Hater), "Has not Parliament, ere now, been summoned
upon matters of far less importance to the Empire? _I think it has_."

A fine opening this for an oratorical patriot, whose themes are worn
out. An agitation for protection against rats would inevitably secure
the hearty support of the agricultural interest.

Enough has surely been said to show the great importance of rats, but it
would be wrong to leave the little book which has suggested this
article, without gleaning from it a few rat-catching statistics, and
without pointing out the moral of the whole, by giving the writer's
proposition for relieving us from the scourge he describes. It seems
that one rat-catcher has frequently from one thousand five hundred to
two thousand rats in his cages at one time--it is not stated, but we
suppose--ready to be killed by "Tiny." It is averred that these are all
brought up from the country--all "fair barn rats"--and that "it would
not pay to breed them"--a question probably open to doubt. The natural
enemies of the rat are thus mustered, the ferret, polecat, stoat,
weasel, cat, dog, and man. The ferret's powers of destruction are
estimated very lightly; the polecats are very rare, prefer game when it
can be had, and do little against the rat; the weasel also prefers a
chicken or a duckling "to fighting with a rat for a meal." Hence the
farmers destroy them, and they do little against the rats. Cats, as a
rule, prefer hearth-rugs; and traps, _unless quite new_, and
consequently sweet and free from the smell of rats, are useless. No!
There is nothing in Nature capable of saving the nation from rats, but
"Tinies."

"I do not know of any quadruped equal to a well-bred London terrier for
sagacity, courage fidelity, color, symmetry, general beauty, and
economy: in a word, he seems in every respect formed by nature for man's
companion and protector."

With a fine burst of eloquence, the author asks,

"Are rats a calamity to be deplored, or are they not? The voices of
religion and patriotism cry, with stentorian lungs, 'Yes!' the voice of
philanthropy cries, 'Down with them! down with every barrier, and
annihilate them!' the fainting stomachs of thousands of our starving
fellow-creatures at home and in the sister country, with the agonized
bowels of their withered offspring writhing beneath the ruthless fangs
of hunger, shriek forth, with horrid yells, for their extermination!!"

Our friend then takes a higher flight, and discusses, with equal fervor
and more notes of admiration, the question whether--on theological
grounds--man has a right to kill these creatures, even though they be
rats. But he soars into such altitudes of rhetorical theology, that we
dare not follow him. He dismisses, in the same paragraph, several
remedies for rats, with a brevity almost savoring of contempt; gliding
gracefully from theology to arsenic and other poisons, he returns, with
a gush of enthusiasm, to his old refrain, "Tiny."

The breed of small terriers of the Tiny breed must be increased. "I do
not mean," he says, "the little pigmy dwarf terrier; they are tantamount
to useless, even where they are well-bred, not having strength enough
for hunting. A dog, to be of sound service, ought to be from six to
sixteen pounds weight; I would not recommend them over that, as they
become too large and unwieldy for the purpose, and too expensive
keeping: besides, little dogs will kill mice as well as rats, and that
is a great recommendation. I would also recommend, above all others, the
London rat-killing terrier; he is as hard as steel, courageous as a
lion, and as handsome as a racehorse: the village dogs, on the other
hand, are, generally speaking, too large, too coarse, and too soft. You
ought to be as particular about breeding terriers as they are with
racehorses."

The writer suggests the abolition of the duty upon rat-catching terriers
of the "Tiny" family; that associations should be encouraged in the
rural parts of England for the promotion of rat-catching in all its
branches; that the bodies of the vermin be sold for manure; and lastly,
that rewards be given to the greatest killers.

Literature has, from first to last, been strengthened by recruits from
nearly every class; but till now we know of no volunteer who has
enlisted under her banner from the ranks of rat-catching. We know not if
the publication that has afforded a text for this article will
effectually augment the exterminators of the rat-tribe; but this is
certain, that, rat-killer though its writer be, he has produced between
forty and fifty pages, in which, though there may be much comical
exaggeration, there are, nevertheless, many curious facts and
suggestions for abating one of the greatest animal nuisances that have
infested our homes and fields, since the days when an English king
levied tribute of wolves' heads upon our brethren of Wales.



THE BROKEN HEART; OR, THE WELL OF PEN-MORFA.

A WELSH TALE.

IN TWO CHAPTERS.--CHAPTER I.


Of a hundred travelers who spend a night at Trê-Madoc, in North Wales,
there is not one, perhaps, who goes to the neighboring village of
Pen-Morfa. The new town, built by Mr. Maddocks, Shelley's friend, has
taken away all the importance of the ancient village--formerly, as its
name imports, "the head of the marsh;" that marsh which Mr. Maddocks
drained and dyked, and reclaimed from the Traeth Mawr, till Pen-Morfa,
against the walls of whose cottages the winter tides lashed in former
days, has come to stand high and dry, three miles from the sea, on a
disused road to Caernarvon. I do not think there has been a new cottage
built in Pen-Morfa this hundred years; and many an old one has dates in
some obscure corner which tell of the fifteenth century. The joists of
timber, where they meet overhead, are blackened with the smoke of
centuries. There is one large room, round which the beds are built like
cupboards, with wooden doors to open and shut; somewhat in the old
Scotch fashion, I imagine: and below the bed (at least, in one instance
I can testify that this was the case, and I was told it was not
uncommon), is a great wide wooden drawer, which contained the oat-cake
baked for some months' consumption by the family. They call the
promontory of Llyn (the point at the end of Caernarvonshire), _Welsh_
Wales; I think they might call Pen-Morfa a Welsh Welsh village; it is so
national in its ways, and buildings, and inhabitants, and so different
from the towns and hamlets into which the English throng in summer. How
these said inhabitants of Pen-Morfa ever are distinguished by their
names, I, uninitiated, can not tell. I only know for a fact, that in a
family there with which I am acquainted, the eldest son's name is John
Jones, because his father's was John Thomas; that the second son is
called David Williams, because his grandfather was William Wynn, and
that the girls are called indiscriminately by the names of Thomas and
Jones. I have heard some of the Welsh chuckle over the way in which they
have baffled the barristers at Caernarvon Assizes, denying the name
under which they had been subpoenaed to give evidence, if they were
unwilling witnesses. I could tell you of a great deal which is peculiar
and wild in these true Welsh people, who are what I suppose we English
were a century ago; but I must hasten on to my tale.

I have received great, true, beautiful kindness from one of the members
of the family of whom I just now spoke as living at Pen-Morfa; and when
I found that they wished me to drink tea with them, I gladly did so,
though my friend was the only one in the house, who could speak English
at all fluently. After tea, I went with them to see some of their
friends; and it was then I saw the interiors of the houses of which I
have spoken. It was an autumn evening; we left mellow sunset-light in
the open air when we entered the houses, in which all seemed dark save
in the ruddy sphere of the firelight, for the windows were very small,
and deep set in the thick walls. Here were an old couple, who welcomed
me in Welsh, and brought forth milk and oat-cake with patriarchal
hospitality. Sons and daughters had married away from them; they lived
alone; he was blind, or nearly so; and they sat one on each side of the
fire, so old and so still (till we went in and broke the silence), that
they seemed to be listening for Death. At another house, lived a woman
stern and severe-looking. She was busy hiving a swarm of bees, alone and
unassisted. I do not think my companion would have chosen to speak to
her, but seeing her out in her hill-side garden, she made some inquiry
in Welsh, which was answered in the most mournful tone I ever heard in
my life; a voice of which the freshness and "timbre" had been choked up
by tears long years ago. I asked who she was. I dare say the story is
common enough, but the sight of the woman, and her few words had
impressed me. She had been the beauty of Pen-Morfa; had been in service;
had been taken to London by the family whom she served; had come down in
a year or so, back to Pen-Morfa; her beauty gone into that sad, wild,
despairing look which I saw; and she about to become a mother. Her
father had died during her absence, and left her a very little money;
and after her child was born she took the little cottage where I saw
her, and made a scanty living by the produce of her bees. She associated
with no one. One event had made her savage and distrustful to her kind.
She kept so much aloof that it was some time before it became known that
her child was deformed, and had lost the use of its lower limbs. Poor
thing! when I saw the mother, it had been for fifteen years bedridden;
but go past when you would, in the night, you saw a light burning; it
was often that of the watching mother, solitary and friendless, soothing
the moaning child; or you might hear her crooning some old Welsh air, in
hopes to still the pain with the loud, monotonous music. Her sorrow was
so dignified, and her mute endurance and her patient love won her such
respect, that the neighbors would fain have been friends; but she kept
alone and solitary. This is a most true story. I hope that woman and her
child are dead now, and their souls above.

Another story which I heard of these old primitive dwellings I mean to
tell at somewhat greater length:

There are rocks high above Pen-Morfa; they are the same that hang over
Trê-Madoc, but near Pen-Morfa they sweep away, and are lost in the
plain. Every where they are beautiful. The great sharp ledges which
would otherwise look hard and cold, are adorned with the
brightest-colored moss, and the golden lichen. Close to, you see the
scarlet leaves of the crane's-bill, and the tufts of purple heather,
which fill up every cleft and cranny; but in the distance you see only
the general effect of infinite richness of color, broken here and there
by great masses of ivy. At the foot of these rocks come a rich verdant
meadow or two; and then you are at Pen-Morfa. The village well is sharp
down under the rocks. There are one or two large, sloping pieces of
stone in that last field, on the road leading to the well, which are
always slippery; slippery in the summer's heat, almost as much as in the
frost of winter, when some little glassy stream that runs over them is
turned into a thin sheet of ice. Many, many years back--a lifetime
ago--there lived in Pen-Morfa a widow and her daughter. Very little is
required in those out-of-the-way Welsh villages. The wants of the people
are very simple. Shelter, fire, a little oat-cake and buttermilk, and
garden produce; perhaps some pork and bacon from the pig in winter;
clothing, which is principally of home manufacture, and of the most
enduring kind: these take very little money to purchase, especially in a
district into which the large capitalists have not yet come, to buy up
two or three acres of the peasants; and nearly every man about Pen-Morfa
owned, at the time of which I speak, his dwelling and some land besides.

Eleanor Gwynn inherited the cottage (by the road-side, on the left hand
as you go from Trê-Madoc to Pen-Morfa), in which she and her husband had
lived all their married life, and a small garden sloping southward, in
which her bees lingered before winging their way to the more distant
heather. She took rank among her neighbors as the possessor of a
moderate independence--not rich, and not poor. But the young men of
Pen-Morfa thought her very rich in the possession of a most lovely
daughter. Most of us know how very pretty Welsh women are; but from all
accounts, Nest Gwynn (Nest, or Nesta, is the Welsh for Agnes) was more
regularly beautiful than any one for miles around. The Welsh are still
fond of triads, and "as beautiful as a summer's morning at sun-rise, as
a white sea-gull on the green sea-wave, and as Nest Gwynn," is yet a
saying in that district. Nest knew she was beautiful, and delighted in
it. Her mother sometimes checked her in her happy pride, and sometimes
reminded her that beauty was a great gift of God (for the Welsh are a
very pious people), but when she began her little homily, Nest came
dancing to her, and knelt down before her and put her face up to be
kissed, and so with a sweet interruption she stopped her mother's lips.
Her high spirits made some few shake their heads, and some called her a
flirt and a coquette; for she could not help trying to please all, both
old and young, both men and women. A very little from Nest sufficed for
this; a sweet glittering smile, a word of kindness, a merry glance, or a
little sympathy, all these pleased and attracted; she was like the
fairy-gifted child, and dropped inestimable gifts. But some, who had
interpreted her smiles and kind words rather as their wishes led them
than as they were really warranted, found that the beautiful, beaming
Nest could be decided and saucy enough, and so they revenged themselves
by calling her a flirt. Her mother heard it and sighed; but Nest only
laughed.

It was her work to fetch water for the day's use from the well I told
you about. Old people say it was the prettiest sight in the world to see
her come stepping lightly and gingerly over the stones, with the pail of
water balanced on her head; she was too adroit to need to steady it with
her hand. They say, now that they can afford to be charitable and speak
the truth, that in all her changes to other people, there never was a
better daughter to a widowed mother than Nest. There is a picturesque
old farm-house under Moel Gwynn, on the road from Trê-Madoc to
Criccaeth, called by some Welsh name which I now forget; but its meaning
in English is "The End of Time;" a strange, boding, ominous name.
Perhaps the builder meant his work to endure till the end of time. I do
not know; but there the old house stands, and will stand for many a
year. When Nest was young, it belonged to one Edward Williams; his
mother was dead, and people said he was on the look-out for a wife. They
told Nest so, but she tossed her head and reddened, and said she thought
he might look long before he got one; so it was not strange that one
morning when she went to the well, one autumn morning when the dew lay
heavy upon the grass, and the thrushes were busy among the mountain-ash
berries, Edward Williams happened to be there on his way to the coursing
match near, and somehow his grayhounds threw her pail of water over in
their romping play, and she was very long in filling it again; and when
she came home she threw her arms round her mother's neck, and in a
passion of joyous tears told her that Edward Williams of The End of
Time, had asked her to marry him, and that she had said "Yes."

Eleanor Gwynn shed her tears too; but they fell quietly when she was
alone. She was thankful Nest had found a protector--one suitable in age
and apparent character, and above her in fortune; but she knew she
should miss her sweet daughter in a thousand household ways; miss her in
the evenings by the fire-side; miss her when at night she wakened up
with a start from a dream of her youth, and saw her fair face lying calm
in the moonlight, pillowed by her side. Then she forgot her dream, and
blessed her child, and slept again. But who could be so selfish as to be
sad when Nest was so supremely happy? She danced and sang more than
ever; and then sat silent, and smiled to herself: if spoken to, she
started and came back to the present with a scarlet blush, which told
what she had been thinking of.

That was a sunny, happy, enchanted autumn. But the winter was nigh at
hand; and with it came sorrow. One fine frosty morning, Nest went out
with her lover--she to the well, he to some farming business, which was
to be transacted at the little inn of Pen-Morfa. He was late for his
appointment; so he left her at the entrance of the village, and hastened
to the inn; and she, in her best cloak and new hat (put on against her
mother's advice; but they were a recent purchase, and very becoming),
went through the Dol Mawr, radiant with love and happiness. One who
lived until lately, met her going down toward the well, that morning;
and said he turned round to look after her, she seemed unusually lovely.
He wondered at the time at her wearing her Sunday clothes; for the
pretty, hooded blue-cloth cloak is kept among the Welsh women as a
church and market garment, and not commonly used even on the coldest
days of winter for such household errands as fetching water from the
well. However, as he said, "It was not possible to look in her face, and
'fault' any thing she wore." Down the sloping-stones the girl went
blithely with her pail. She filled it at the well; and then she took off
her hat, tied the strings together, and slung it over her arm; she
lifted the heavy pail and balanced it on her head. But alas! in going up
the smooth, slippery, treacherous rock, the encumbrance of her cloak--it
might be such a trifle as her slung hat--something at any rate, took
away her evenness of poise; the freshet had frozen on the slanting
stone, and was one coat of ice; poor Nest fell, and put out her hip. No
more flushing rosy color on that sweet face--no more look of beaming
innocent happiness;--instead, there was deadly pallor, and filmy eyes,
over which dark shades seemed to chase each other as the shoots of agony
grew more and more intense. She screamed once or twice; but the exertion
(involuntary, and forced out of her by excessive pain) overcame her, and
she fainted. A child coming an hour or so afterward on the same errand,
saw her lying there, ice-glued to the stone, and thought she was dead.
It flew crying back.

"Nest Gwynn is dead! Nest Gwynn is dead!" and, crazy with fear, it did
not stop until it had hid its head in its mother's lap. The village was
alarmed, and all who were able went in haste toward the well. Poor Nest
had often thought she was dying in that dreary hour; had taken fainting
for death, and struggled against it; and prayed that God would keep her
alive till she could see her lover's face once more; and when she did
see it, white with terror, bending over her, she gave a feeble smile and
let herself faint away into unconsciousness.

Many a month she lay on her bed unable to move. Sometimes she was
delirious, sometimes worn-out into the deepest depression. Through all,
her mother watched her with tenderest care. The neighbors would come and
offer help. They would bring presents of country dainties; and I do not
suppose that there was a better dinner than ordinary cooked in any
household in Pen-Morfa parish, but a portion of it was sent to Eleanor
Gwynn, if not for her sick daughter, to try and tempt her herself to eat
and be strengthened; for to no one would she delegate the duty of
watching over her child. Edward Williams was for a long time most
assiduous in his inquiries and attentions; but by-and-by (ah! you see
the dark fate of poor Nest now), he slackened, so little at first that
Eleanor blamed herself for her jealousy on her daughter's behalf, and
chid her suspicious heart. But as spring ripened into summer, and Nest
was still bedridden, Edward's coolness was visible to more than the poor
mother. The neighbors would have spoken to her about it, but she shrunk
from the subject as if they were probing a wound. "At any rate," thought
she, "Nest shall be strong before she is told about it. I will tell
lies--I shall be forgiven--but I must save my child; and when she is
stronger perhaps I may be able to comfort her. Oh! I wish she would not
speak to him so tenderly and trustfully, when she is delirious. I could
curse him when she does." And then Nest would call for her mother, and
Eleanor would go, and invent some strange story about the summonses
Edward had had to Caernarvon assizes, or to Harlech cattle market. But
at last she was driven to her wits' end; it was three weeks since he had
even stopped at the door to inquire, and Eleanor, mad with anxiety about
her child, who was silently pining off to death for want of tidings of
her lover, put on her cloak, when she had lulled her daughter to sleep
one fine June evening, and set off to "The End of Time." The great plain
which stretches out like an amphitheatre, in the half-circle of hills
formed by the ranges of Moel Gwynn and the Trê-Madoc Rocks were all
golden-green in the mellow light of sunset. To Eleanor it might have
been black with winter frost, she never noticed outward thing till she
reached The End of Time; and there, in the little farm-yard, she was
brought to a sense of her present hour and errand by seeing Edward. He
was examining some hay, newly stacked; the air was scented by its
fragrance, and by the lingering sweetness of the breath of the cows.
When Edward turned round at the footstep and saw Eleanor, he colored and
looked confused; however, he came forward to meet her in a cordial
manner enough.

"It's a fine evening," said he. "How is Nest? But, indeed, you're being
here is a sign she is better. Won't you come in and sit down?" He spoke
hurriedly, as if affecting a welcome which he did not feel.

"Thank you. I'll just take this milking-stool and sit down here. The
open air is like balm after being shut up so long."

"It is a long time," he replied, "more than five months."

Mrs. Gwynn was trembling at heart. She felt an anger which she did not
wish to show; for, if by any manifestations of temper or resentment she
lessened or broke the waning thread of attachment which bound him to her
daughter, she felt she should never forgive herself. She kept inwardly
saying, "Patience, patience! he may be true and love her yet;" but her
indignant convictions gave her words the lie.

"It's a long time, Edward Williams, since you've been near us to ask
after Nest;" said she. "She may be better, or she may be worse, for
aught you know." She looked up at him, reproachfully, but spoke in a
gentle quiet tone.

"I--you see the hay has been a long piece of work. The weather has been
fractious--and a master's eye is needed. Besides," said he, as if he had
found the reason for which he sought to account for his absence, "I have
heard of her from Rowland Jones. I was at the surgery for some
horse-medicine--he told me about her:" and a shade came over his face,
as he remembered what the doctor had said. Did he think that shade would
escape the mother's eye?

"You saw Rowland Jones! Oh, man-alive, tell me what he said of my girl!
He'll say nothing to me, but just hems and haws the more I pray him. But
you will tell me. You _must_ tell me." She stood up and spoke in a tone
of command, which his feeling of independence, weakened just then by an
accusing conscience, did not enable him to resist. He strove to evade
the question, however.

"It was an unlucky day that ever she went to the well!"

"Tell me what the doctor said of my child," repeated Mrs. Gwynn. "Will
she live, or will she die?" He did not dare to disobey the imperious
tone in which this question was put.

"Oh, she will live, don't be afraid. The doctor said she would live." He
did not mean to lay any particular emphasis on the word "live," but
somehow he did, and she, whose every nerve vibrated with anxiety, caught
the word.

"She will live!" repeated she. "But there is something behind. Tell me,
for I will know. If you won't say, I'll go to Rowland Jones to-night and
make him tell me what he has said to you."

There had passed something in this conversation between himself and the
doctor, which Edward did not wish to have known; and Mrs. Gwynn's threat
had the desired effect. But he looked vexed and irritated.

"You have such impatient ways with you, Mrs. Gwynn," he remonstrated.

"I am a mother asking news of my sick child," said she. "Go on. What did
he say? She'll live--" as if giving the clew.

"She'll live, he has no doubt of that. But he thinks--now don't clench
your hands so--I can't tell you if you look in that way; you are enough
to frighten a man."

"I'm not speaking," said she in a low husky tone. "Never mind my looks:
she'll live--"

"But she'll be a cripple for life. There! you would have it out," said
he, sulkily.

"A cripple for life," repeated she, slowly. "And I'm one-and-twenty
years older than she is!" She sighed heavily.

"And, as we're about it, I'll just tell you what is in my mind," said
he, hurried and confused. "I've a deal of cattle; and the farm makes
heavy work, as much as an able, healthy woman can do. So you see--" He
stopped, wishing her to understand his meaning without words. But she
would not. She fixed her dark eyes on him, as if reading his soul, till
he flinched under her gaze.

"Well," said she, at length, "say on. Remember I've a deal of work in me
yet, and what strength is mine is my daughter's."

"You're very good. But, altogether, you must be aware, Nest will never
be the same as she was."

"And you've not yet sworn in the face of God to take her for better, for
worse; and, as she is worse"--she looked in his face, caught her breath,
and went on--"as she is worse, why, you cast her off, not being
church-tied to her. Though her body may be crippled, her poor heart is
the same--alas!--and full of love for you. Edward, you don't mean to
break it off because of our sorrows. You're only trying me, I know,"
said she, as if begging him to assure her that her fears were false.
"But, you see, I'm a foolish woman--a poor foolish woman--and ready to
take fright at a few words." She smiled up in his face; but it was a
forced, doubting smile, and his face still retained its sullen, dogged
aspect.

"Nay, Mrs. Gwynn," said he, "you spoke truth at first. Your own good
sense told you Nest would never be fit to be any man's wife--unless,
indeed, she could catch Mr. Griffiths of Tynwntyrybwlch; he might keep
her a carriage, may be." Edward really did not mean to be unfeeling; but
he was obtuse, and wished to carry off his embarrassment by a kind of
friendly joke, which he had no idea would sting the poor mother as it
did. He was startled at her manner.

"Put it in words like a man. Whatever you mean by my child, say it for
yourself, and don't speak as if my good sense had told me any thing. I
stand here, doubting my own thoughts, cursing my own fears. Don't be a
coward. I ask you whether you and Nest are troth-plight?"

"I am not a coward. Since you ask me, I answer, Nest and I _were_
troth-plight; but we _are_ not. I can not--no one would expect me to wed
a cripple. It's your own doing I've told you now; I had made up my mind,
but I should have waited a bit before telling you."

"Very well," said she, and she turned to go away; but her wrath bust the
flood-gates, and swept away discretion and forethought. She moved and
stood in the gateway. Her lips parted, but no sound came; with an
hysterical motion she threw her arms suddenly up to heaven, as if
bringing down lightning toward the gray old house to which she pointed
as they fell, and then she spoke:

"The widow's child is unfriended. As surely as the Saviour brought the
son of a widow from death to life, for her tears and cries, so surely
will God and His angels watch over my Nest, and avenge her cruel
wrongs." She turned away, weeping, and wringing her hands.

Edward went in-doors; he had no more desire to reckon his stores; he sat
by the fire, looking gloomily at the red ashes. He might have been there
half an hour or more, when some one knocked at the door. He would not
speak. He wanted no one's company. Another knock, sharp and loud. He did
not speak. Then the visitor opened the door; and, to his
surprise--almost to his affright--Eleanor Gwynn came in.

"I knew you were here. I knew you could not go out into the clear, holy
night, as if nothing had happened. Oh! did I curse you? If I did, I beg
you to forgive me; and I will try and ask the Almighty to bless you, if
you will but have a little mercy--a very little. It will kill my Nest if
she knows the truth now--she is so very weak. Why, she can not feed
herself, she is so low and feeble. You would not wish to kill her, I
think, Edward!" She looked at him as if expecting an answer; but he did
not speak. She went down on her knees on the flags by him.

"You will give me a little time, Edward, to get her strong, won't you,
now? I ask it on my bended knees! Perhaps, if I promise never to curse
you again, you will come sometimes to see her, till she is well enough
to know how all is over, and her heart's hopes crushed. Only say you'll
come for a month, or so, as if you still loved her--the poor
cripple--forlorn of the world. I'll get her strong, and not tax you
long." Her tears fell too fast for her to go on.

"Get up, Mrs. Gwynn," Edward said. "Don't kneel to me. I have no
objection to come and see Nest, now and then, so that all is clear
between you and me. Poor thing! I'm sorry, as it happens, she's so taken
up with the thought of me."

"It was likely, was not it? and you to have been her husband before this
time, if--Oh, miserable me! to let my child go and dim her bright life!
But you'll forgive me, and come sometimes, just for a little quarter of
an hour, once or twice a week. Perhaps she'll be asleep sometimes when
you call, and then, you know, you need not come in. If she were not so
ill, I'd never ask you."

So low and humble was the poor widow brought, through her exceeding love
for her daughter.


CHAPTER II.

Nest revived during the warm summer weather. Edward came to see her, and
staid the allotted quarter of an hour; but he dared not look her in the
face. She was indeed a cripple: one leg was much shorter than the other,
and she halted on a crutch. Her face, formerly so brilliant in color,
was wan and pale with suffering: the bright roses were gone, never to
return. Her large eyes were sunk deep down in their hollow, cavernous
sockets: but the light was in them still, when Edward came. Her mother
dreaded her returning strength--dreaded, yet desired it; for the heavy
burden of her secret was most oppressive at times, and she thought
Edward was beginning to weary of his enforced attentions. One October
evening she told her the truth. She even compelled her rebellious heart
to take the cold, reasoning side of the question; and she told her child
that her disabled frame was a disqualification for ever becoming a
farmer's wife. She spoke hardly, because her inner agony and sympathy
was such, she dared not trust herself to express the feelings that were
rending her. But Nest turned away from cold reason; she revolted from
her mother; she revolted from the world. She bound her sorrow tight up
in her breast, to corrode and fester there.

Night after night, her mother heard her cries and moans--more pitiful,
by far, than those wrung from her by bodily pain a year before; and,
night after night, if her mother spoke to soothe, she proudly denied the
existence of any pain but what was physical, and consequent upon her
accident.

"If she would but open her sore heart to me--to me, her mother," Eleanor
wailed forth in prayer to God, "I would be content. Once it was enough
to have my Nest all my own. Then came love, and I knew it would never be
as before; and then I thought the grief I felt, when Edward spoke to me,
was as sharp a sorrow as could be; but this present grief, Oh Lord, my
God, is worst of all; and Thou only, Thou canst help!"

When Nest grew as strong as she was ever likely to be on earth, she was
anxious to have as much labor as she could bear. She would not allow her
mother to spare her any thing. Hard work--bodily fatigue--she seemed to
crave. She was glad when she was stunned by exhaustion into a dull
insensibility of feeling. She was almost fierce when her mother, in
those first months of convalescence, performed the household tasks which
had formerly been hers; but she shrank from going out of doors. Her
mother thought that she was unwilling to expose her changed appearance
to the neighbors' remarks; but Nest was not afraid of that: she was
afraid of their pity, as being one deserted and cast off. If Eleanor
gave way before her daughter's imperiousness, and sat by while Nest
"tore" about her work with the vehemence of a bitter heart, Eleanor
could have cried, but she durst not; tears, or any mark of
commiseration, irritated the crippled girl so much, she even drew away
from caresses. Every thing was to go on as it had been before she had
known Edward; and so it did, outwardly; but they trod carefully, as if
the ground on which they moved was hollow--deceptive. There was no more
careless ease; every word was guarded, and every action planned. It was
a dreary life to both. Once, Eleanor brought in a little baby, a
neighbor's child, to try and tempt Nest out of herself, by her old love
of children. Nest's pale face flushed as she saw the innocent child in
her mother's arms; and, for a moment, she made as if she would have
taken it; but then, she turned away, and hid her face behind her apron,
and murmured, "I shall never have a child to lie in my breast, and call
me mother!" In a minute she arose, with compressed and tightened lips,
and went about her household works, without her noticing the cooing baby
again, till Mrs. Gwynn, heart-sick at the failure of her little plan,
took it back to its parents.

One day the news ran through Pen-Morfa that Edward Williams was about to
be married. Eleanor had long expected this intelligence. It came upon
her like no new thing; but it was the filling-up of her cup of woe. She
could not tell Nest. She sat listlessly in the house, and dreaded that
each neighbor who came in would speak about the village news. At last,
some one did. Nest looked round from her employment, and talked of the
event with a kind of cheerful curiosity as to the particulars, which
made her informant go away, and tell others that Nest had quite left off
caring for Edward Williams. But when the door was shut, and Eleanor and
she were left alone, Nest came and stood before her weeping mother like
a stern accuser.

"Mother, why did not you let me die? Why did you keep me alive for
this?" Eleanor could not speak, but she put her arms out toward her
girl. Nest turned away, and Eleanor cried aloud in her soreness of
spirit. Nest came again.

"Mother, I was wrong. You did your best. I don't know how it is I am so
hard and cold. I wish I had died when I was a girl, and had a feeling
heart."

"Don't speak so, my child. God has afflicted you sore, and your hardness
of heart is but for a time. Wait a little. Don't reproach yourself, my
poor Nest. I understand your ways. I don't mind them, love. The feeling
heart will come back to you in time. Any ways, don't think you're
grieving me, because, love, that may sting you when I'm gone; and I'm
not grieved, my darling. Most times we're very cheerful, I think."

After this, mother and child were drawn more together. But Eleanor had
received her death from these sorrowful, hurrying events. She did not
conceal the truth from herself; nor did she pray to live, as some months
ago she had done, for her child's sake; she had found out that she had
no power to console the poor wounded heart. It seemed to her as if her
prayers had been of no avail; and then she blamed herself for this
thought.

There are many Methodist preachers in this part of Wales. There was a
certain old man, named David Hughes, who was held in peculiar reverence
because he had known the great John Wesley. He had been captain of a
Caernarvon slate-vessel; he had traded in the Mediterranean, and had
seen strange sights. In those early days (to use his own expression) he
had lived without God in the world; but he went to mock John Wesley, and
was converted to the white-haired patriarch, and remained to pray.
Afterward he became one of the earnest, self-denying, much-abused band
of itinerant preachers, who went forth under Wesley's direction to
spread abroad a more earnest and practical spirit of religion. His
rambles and travels were of use to him. They extended his knowledge of
the circumstances in which men are sometimes placed, and enlarged his
sympathy with the tried and tempted. His sympathy, combined with the
thoughtful experience of four-score years, made him cognizant of many of
the strange secrets of humanity; and when younger preachers upbraided
the hard hearts they met with, and despaired of the sinners, he
"suffered long and was kind."

When Eleanor Gwynn lay low on her death-bed, David Hughes came to
Pen-Morfa. He knew her history, and sought her out. To him she imparted
the feelings I have described.

"I have lost my faith, David. The tempter has come, and I have yielded.
I doubt if my prayers have been heard. Day and night have I prayed that
I might comfort my child in her great sorrow; but God has not heard me.
She has turned away from me, and refused my poor love. I wish to die
now; but I have lost my faith, and have no more pleasure in the thought
of going to God. What must I do, David?"

She hung upon his answer; and it was long in coming.

"I am weary of earth," said she, mournfully, "and can I find rest in
death even, leaving my child desolate and broken-hearted?"

"Eleanor," said David, "where you go, all things will be made clear; and
you will learn to thank God for the end of what now seems grievous and
heavy to be borne. Do you think your agony has been greater than the
awful agony in the Garden--or your prayers more earnest than that which
He prayed in that hour when the great drops of blood ran down his face
like sweat? We know that God heard Him, although no answer came to Him
through the dread silence of that night. God's times are not our times.
I have lived eighty-and-one years, and never yet have I known an earnest
prayer fall to the ground unheeded. In an unknown way, and when no one
looked for it, may be, the answer came; a fuller, more satisfying answer
than heart could conceive of, although it might be different to what was
expected. Sister, you are going where in His light you will see light;
you will learn there that in very faithfulness He has afflicted you!"

"Go on--you strengthen me," said she.

After David Hughes left that day, Eleanor was calm as one already dead,
and past mortal strife. Nest was awed by the change. No more passionate
weeping--no more sorrow in the voice; though it was low and weak, it
sounded with a sweet composure. Her last look was a smile; her last word
a blessing.

Nest, tearless, streeked the poor worn body. She laid a plate with salt
upon it on the breast, and lighted candles for the head and feet. It was
an old Welsh custom; but when David Hughes came in, the sight carried
him back to the time when he had seen the chapels in some old Catholic
cathedral. Nest sat gazing on the dead with dry, hot eyes.

"She is dead," said David, solemnly, "she died in Christ. Let us bless
God, my child. He giveth and He taketh away!"

"She is dead," said Nest, "my mother is dead. No one loves me now."

She spoke as if she were thinking aloud, for she did not look at David,
or ask him to be seated.

"No one loves you now? No human creature, you mean. You are not yet fit
to be spoken to concerning God's infinite love. I, like you, will speak
of love for human creatures. I tell you, if no one loves you, it is time
for you to begin to love." He spoke almost severely (if David Hughes
ever did); for, to tell the truth, he was repelled by her hard rejection
of her mother's tenderness, about which the neighbors had told him.

"Begin to love!" said she, her eyes flashing. "Have I not loved? Old
man, you are dim and worn-out. You do not remember what love is." She
spoke with a scornful kind of pitying endurance. "I will tell you how I
have loved, by telling you the change it has wrought in me. I was once
the beautiful Nest Gwynn; I am now a cripple, a poor, wan-faced cripple,
old before my time. That is a change; at least people think so." She
paused, and then spoke lower. "I tell you, David Hughes, that outward
change is as nothing compared to the change in my nature caused by the
love I have felt--and have had rejected. I was gentle once, and if you
spoke a tender word, my heart came toward you as natural as a little
child goes to its mammy. I never spoke roughly, even to the dumb
creatures, for I had a kind feeling for all. Of late (since I loved, old
man), I have been cruel in my thoughts to every one. I have turned away
from tenderness with bitter indifference. Listen!" she spoke in a hoarse
whisper. "I will own it. I have spoken hardly to her," pointing toward
the corpse. "Her who was ever patient, and full of love for me. She did
not know," she muttered, "she is gone to the grave without knowing how I
loved her--I had such strange, mad, stubborn pride in me."

"Come back, mother! Come back," said she, crying wildly to the still,
solemn corpse; "come back as a spirit or a ghost--only come back, that I
may tell you how I have loved you."

But the dead never come back.

The passionate adjuration ended in tears--the first she had shed. When
they ceased, or were absorbed into long quivering sobs, David knelt
down. Nest did not kneel, but bowed her head. He prayed, while his own
tears fell fast. He rose up. They were both calm.

"Nest," said he, "your love has been the love of youth; passionate,
wild, natural to youth. Henceforward you must love like Christ; without
thought of self, or wish for return. You must take the sick and the
weary to your heart and love them. That love will lift you up above the
storms of the world into God's own peace. The very vehemence of your
nature proves that you are capable of this. I do not pity you. You do
not require pity. You are powerful enough to trample down your own
sorrows into a blessing for others; and to others you will be a
blessing; I see it before you; I see in it the answer to your mother's
prayer."

The old man's dim eyes glittered as if they saw a vision; the fire-light
sprang up and glinted on his long white hair. Nest was awed as if she
saw a prophet, and a prophet he was to her.

When next David Hughes came to Pen-Morfa, he asked about Nest Gwynn,
with a hovering doubt as to the answer. The inn-folk told him she was
living still in the cottage, which was now her own.

"But would you believe it, David," said Mrs. Thomas, "she has gone and
taken Mary Williams to live with her? You remember Mary Williams, I'm
sure."

No! David Hughes remembered no Mary Williams at Pen-Morfa.

"You must have seen her, for I know you've called at Thomas Griffiths's
where the parish boarded her?"

"You don't mean the half-witted woman--the poor crazy creature!"

"But I do!" said Mrs. Thomas.

"I have seen her sure enough, but I never thought of learning her name.
And Nest Gwynn has taken her to live with her."

"Yes! I thought I should surprise you. She might have had many a decent
girl for companion. My own niece, her that is an orphan, would have gone
and been thankful. Besides, Mary Williams is a regular savage at times;
John Griffiths says there were days when he used to beat her till she
howled again, and yet she would not do as he told her. Nay, once, he
says, if he had not seen her eyes glare like a wild beast, from under
the shadow of the table where she had taken shelter, and got pretty
quickly out of her way, she would have flown upon him and throttled him.
He gave Nest fair warning of what she must expect, and he thinks some
day she will be found murdered."

David Hughes thought awhile. "How came Nest to take her to live with
her?" asked he.

"Well! Folk say John Griffiths did not give her enough to eat.
Half-wits, they tell me, take more to feed them than others, and Eleanor
Gwynn had given her oat-cake and porridge a time or two, and most likely
spoken kindly to her (you know Eleanor spoke kind to all), so some
months ago, when John Griffiths had been beating her, and keeping her
without food to try and tame her, she ran away and came to Nest's
cottage in the dead of night, all shivering and starved, for she did not
know Eleanor was dead, and thought to meet with kindness from her. I've
no doubt and Nest remembered how her mother used to feed and comfort the
poor idiot, and made her some gruel, and wrapped her up by the fire. And
in the morning when John Griffiths came in search of Mary, he found her
with Nest, and Mary wailed so piteously at the sight of him, that Nest
went to the parish officers and offered to take her to board with her
for the same money they gave to him. John says he was right glad to be
off his bargain."

David Hughes knew there was a kind of remorse which sought relief in the
performance of the most difficult and repugnant tasks. He thought he
could understand how, in her bitter repentance for her conduct toward
her mother, Nest had taken in the first helpless creature that came
seeking shelter in her name. It was not what he would have chosen, but
he knew it was God that had sent the poor wandering idiot there.

He went to see Nest the next morning. As he drew near the cottage--it
was summer time, and the doors and windows were all open--he heard an
angry, passionate kind of sound that was scarcely human. That sound
prevented his approach from being heard; and standing at the threshold,
he saw poor Mary Williams pacing backward and forward in some wild mood.
Nest, cripple as she was, was walking with her, speaking low, soothing
words, till the pace was slackened, and time and breathing was given to
put her arm around the crazy woman's neck, and soothe her by this tender
caress into the quiet luxury of tears; tears which give the hot brain
relief. Then David Hughes came in. His first words, as he took off his
hat, standing on the lintel, were--"The peace of God be upon this
house." Neither he nor Nest recurred to the past; though solemn
recollections filled their minds. Before he went, all three knelt and
prayed; for, as Nest told him, some mysterious influence of peace came
over the poor half-wit's mind when she heard the holy words of prayer;
and often when she felt a paroxysm coming on, she would kneel and repeat
a homily rapidly over, as if it were a charm to scare away the Demon in
possession; sometimes, indeed, the control over herself requisite for
this effort was enough to dispel the fluttering burst. When David rose
up to go, he drew Nest to the door.

"You are not afraid, my child?" asked he.

"No," she replied. "She is often very good and quiet. When she is not, I
can bear it."

"I shall see your face on earth no more;" said he. "God bless you!" He
went on his way. Not many weeks after, David Hughes was borne to his
grave.

The doors of Nest's heart were opened--opened wide by the love she grew
to feel for crazy Mary, so helpless, so friendless, so dependent upon
her. Mary loved her back again, as a dumb animal loves its blind master.
It was happiness enough to be near her. In general she was only too glad
to do what she was bidden by Nest. But there were times when Mary was
overpowered by the glooms and fancies of her poor disordered brain.
Fearful times! No one knew how fearful. On those days, Nest warned the
little children who loved to come and play around her, that they must
not visit the house. The signal was a piece of white linen hung out of a
side window. On those days the sorrowful and sick waited in vain for the
sound of Nest's lame approach. But what she had to endure was only known
to God, for she never complained. If she had given up the charge of
Mary, or if the neighbors had risen, out of love and care for her life,
to compel such a step, she knew not what hard curses and blows--what
starvation and misery, would await the poor creature.

She told of Mary's docility, and her affection, and her innocent little
sayings; but she never told the details of the occasional days of wild
disorder, and driving insanity.

Nest grew old before her time, in consequence of her accident. She knew
that she was as old at fifty as many are at seventy. She knew it partly
by the vividness with which the remembrance of the days of her youth
came back to her mind, while the events of yesterday were dim and
forgotten. She dreamt of her girlhood and youth. In sleep she was once
more the beautiful Nest Gwynn, the admired of all beholders, the
light-hearted girl, beloved by her mother. Little circumstances
connected with those early days, forgotten since the very time when they
occurred, came back to her mind in her waking hours. She had a sear on
the palm of her left hand, occasioned by the fall of a branch of a tree,
when she was a child; it had not pained her since the first two days
after the accident; but now it began to hurt her slightly; and clear in
her ears was the crackling sound of the treacherous, rending wood;
distinct before her rose the presence of her mother tenderly binding up
the wound. With these remembrances came a longing desire to see the
beautiful fatal well, once more before her death. She had never gone so
far since the day when, by her fall there, she lost love, and hope, and
her bright, glad youth. She yearned to look upon its waters once again.
This desire waxed as her life waned. She told it to poor crazy Mary.

"Mary!" said she, "I want to go to the Rock Well. If you will help me, I
can manage it. There used to be many a stone in the Dol Mawr on which I
could sit and rest. We will go to-morrow morning before folks are
astir."

Mary answered briskly, "Up, up! To the Rock Well! Mary will go. Mary
will go." All day long she kept muttering to herself, "Mary will go."

Nest had the happiest dream that night. Her mother stood beside her--not
in the flesh, but in the bright glory of a blessed spirit. And Nest was
no longer young--neither was she old--"they reckon not by days, nor
years where she was gone to dwell;" and her mother stretched out her
arms to her with a calm, glad look of welcome. She awoke; the woodlark
was singing in the near copse--the little birds were astir, and rustling
in their leafy nests. Nest arose, and called Mary. The two set out
through the quiet lane. They went along slowly and silently. With many a
pause they crossed the broad Dol Mawr; and carefully descended the
sloping stones, on which no trace remained of the hundreds of feet that
had passed over them since Nest was last there. The clear water sparkled
and quivered in the early sun-light, the shadows of the birch-leaves
were stirred on the ground; the ferns--Nest could have believed that
they were the very same ferns which she had seen thirty years before,
hung wet and dripping where the water overflowed--a thrush chanted
matins from a holly bush near--and the running stream made a low, soft,
sweet accompaniment. All was the same; Nature was as fresh and young as
ever. It might have been yesterday that Edward Williams had overtaken
her, and told her his love--the thought of his words--his handsome
looks--(he was a gray, hard-featured man by this time), and then she
recalled the fatal wintry morning when joy and youth had fled; and as
she remembered that faintness of pain, a new, a real faintness--no echo
of the memory--came over her. She leant her back against a rock, without
a moan or sigh, and died! She found immortality by the well side,
instead of her fragile, perishing youth. She was so calm and placid that
Mary (who had been dipping her fingers in the well, to see the waters
drop off in the gleaming sun-light), thought she was asleep, and for
some time continued her amusement in silence. At last she turned, and
said,

"Mary is tired. Mary wants to go home." Nest did not speak, though the
idiot repeated her plaintive words. She stood and looked till a strange
terror came over her--a terror too mysterious to be borne.

"Mistress, wake! Mistress, wake!" she said, wildly, shaking the form.

But Nest did not awake. And the first person who came to the well that
morning found crazy Mary sitting, awe-struck, by the poor dead Nest.
They had to get the poor creature away by force, before they could
remove the body.

Mary is in Trê-Madoc workhouse; they treat her pretty kindly, and in
general she is good and tractable. Occasionally the old paroxysms come
on; and for a time she is unmanageable. But some one thought of speaking
to her about Nest. She stood arrested at the name; and since then, it is
astonishing to see what efforts she makes to curb her insanity; and when
the dread time is past, she creeps up to the matron, and says, "Mary has
tried to be good. Will God let her go to Nest now?"



THE YOUNG MAN'S COUNSELOR.

GENERAL CONDUCT.


Move with the multitude in the common walks of life, and you will be
unnoticed in the throng; but break from them, pursue a different path,
and every eye, perhaps with reproach, will be turned toward you. What is
the rule to be observed in general conduct? Conform to every innocent
custom as our social nature requires, but refuse compliance with
whatever is inconsistent with propriety, decency, and the moral duties;
and dare to be singular in honor and virtue.

In conversation, truth does not require you to utter all your thoughts,
yet it forbids you to speak in opposition to them. To open the mind to
unreserved communication, is imbecility; to cover it with a vail, to
dissever its internal workings from its external manifestations, is
dissimulation and falsehood. The concordance of the thoughts, words, and
deeds, is the essence of truth, and the ornament of character.

A man who has an opportunity to ruin a rival, with whom he is at enmity,
without public dishonor, and yet generously forbears, nay, converts the
opportunity into a disinterested benefit, evinces a noble instance of
virtuous magnanimity. He conquers his own enmity, the most glorious of
all conquests, and overcomes the enmity of a rival by the most heroic
and praiseworthy mode of retaliation.

As to an evil report of a neighbor, the opinion of the frivolous is
lightly regarded, the calumny of the known slanderer is discredited by
all who venerate truth, and the character of the known liar is a
sufficient antidote to falsehood. A respectable man, in his good name,
offers a guarantee for his veracity; and, impressed with the benevolent
affections and the love of justice, he is scrupulous to believe an evil
report, and still more so to repeat it.

As a rill from a fountain increases as it flows, rises into a stream,
swells into a river, so symbolically are the origin and course of a good
name. At first, its beginning is small: it takes its rise from home, its
natural source, extends to the neighborhood, stretches through the
community, and finally takes a range proportioned to the qualities by
which it is supported--its talents, virtue, and usefulness, the surest
basis of an honorable reputation.

The relatives and kindred of a young man, by a natural process,
communicate his amiable and opening character to a wider circle than
that of home. His associates and friends extend the circle, and thus it
widens till its circumference embraces a portion more or less of
society, and his character places him in the class of respectable men.
With good principles and conduct, neither envy nor malice can intercept
the result of this progressive series; without good principles and
conduct, no art or dissimulation can realize the noblest aim of a social
being--a well-founded reputation.

A person commits an error, and he has sufficient address to conceal it,
or sufficient ingenuity to palliate it, but he does neither; instead of
availing himself of concealment and palliation, with the candor of a
great mind, he confesses his error, and makes all the apology or
atonement which the occasion requires. None has a title to true honor
but he who can say with moral elevation, when truth demands the
acknowledgment, I have done wrong.

The events of life are not fortunate or calamitous so much in
themselves, as they are in their effect on our feelings. An event which
is met by one with equanimity or indifference, will fret another with
vexation, or overwhelm him with sorrow. Misfortunes encountered with a
composed and firm resolution, almost cease to be evils; it is,
therefore, less our wisdom to endeavor to control external events, than
to regulate the habitual temper of our minds to endurance and
resignation.

The emotions of the mind are displayed in the movements of the body, the
expression of the features and the tones of the voice. It is more
difficult to disguise the tones of the voice, than any other external
manifestation of internal feeling. The changing accents of the voice of
those with whom we have long lived in intimate intercourse, in the
communication of sentiment, are less equivocal and more impressive than
even language itself.

The vocal sounds of speech, expressive of thought and feeling, are too
much neglected by us in our individual and personal education. Could we
analyze the opinion which we form of people on a first acquaintance, we
should certainly find that it is greatly influenced by the tones of the
voice. Study, then, agreeable sounds of speech, but seek not rules to
guide you from etiquette--from artificial politeness; descend into the
heart, there cherish the kind and moral sympathies, and speech will be
modulated by the sincere and endearing tone of benevolence.

With your commiseration for distress, join firmness of mind. Interest
yourself in general happiness, feel for all that is human, but suffer
not your peace to be disturbed by what is beyond the sphere of your
influence, and beyond your power to remedy.

A medical man has all the humane feelings, but they are merged into the
art of healing. When he sees a patient suffering, he feels no
perturbation; he feels only the desire, by means of his art, to relieve
the sufferer: thus should all our humane and social sympathies be
regulated, divested of their morbid sensibility, and reduced to active
and practical principles.

Some, when they move from the common routine of life, and especially on
any emergency, are embarrassed, perplexed, and know not how to resolve
with decision, and act with promptitude. Presence of mind is a valuable
quality, and essential to active life; it is the effect of habit, and
the formation of habit is facilitated by rule.

Command your feelings, for strong feelings disconcert the mind, and
produce confusion of ideas. On every occasion that requires attention,
learn to concentrate your thoughts with quickness and comprehension.
These two rules reduced into habits, if steadily practiced, will induce
decision of resolve and promptitude of action.

Precipitation spoils the best concerted plan; perseverance brings the
most difficult, when it is practicable, to a successful result. The
flutter of haste is characteristic of a weak mind that has not the
command of its thoughts; a strong mind, master of itself, possesses the
clearness and prescience of reflection.

In learning, concentrate the energy of the mind principally on one
study. The attention divided among many studies, is weakened by the
division; besides, it is not granted to an individual to excel in many
things. But, while one study claims your main attention, make occasional
excursions into the fields of literature and science, and collect
materials for the improvement of your mind, and the advancement of your
favorite pursuit.

Excellence in a profession, and success in business, can be attained
only by persevering industry. None who thinks himself above his vocation
can succeed in it, for we can not give our attention to what our
self-importance despises. None can be eminent in his vocation who
devotes his mental energy to a pursuit foreign to it, for, in such a
case, success in what we love is failure in what we neglect.

Among men, you must either speak what is agreeable to their humor, or
what is consistent with truth and good morals. Make it a general rule of
conduct neither to flatter virtue nor exasperate folly: by flattering
virtue, you can not confirm it; by exasperating folly, you can not
reform it. Submit, however, to no compromise with truth, but, when it
allows, accommodate yourself with honest courtesy to the prepossessions
of others.

In your whole behavior to mankind, conduct yourself with fairness and
integrity. If an action is well received, you will have the credit it
deserves; if it is not well received, you will have the approval of your
own mind. The approval of a good conscience is preferable to the
applause of the world.

Form no resolution, and engage in no undertaking, which you can not
invoke Heaven to sanction. A good man prays the Almighty to be
propitious to his virtuous plans: if his petition is denied, he knows it
is denied in mercy, and he is resigned; if it is granted, he is
grateful, and enjoys the blessings with moderation. A wicked man, in his
iniquitous plans, either fails or succeeds: if he fails, disappointment
is embittered by self-reproach; if he succeeds, success is without
pleasure, for, when he looks around, he sees no smile of congratulation.



[From Fraser's Magazine.]

TALLEYRAND.[17]


"Celebrated people," said Napoleon, when speaking of Necker, "lose on a
close view:" a remark not substantially different from that of the Duke
of Marlborough, that "no man was a hero to his _valet de chambre_."
Proximity, like familiarity, "breeds contempt;" and the proper cure for
the illusions of distance is nearness. Few objects in nature, whether
living or dead, can stand the application of that test, which is as
fatal to the pretensions of men as of mountains: while it is notorious
that the judgments of history are seldom in accordance with the
decisions of contemporaries or friends. Human greatness resembles
physical magnitude in this, that its proportions are more or less
affected by surrounding influences, which must be removed before its
real dimensions can be ascertained. It is, in fact, one of the
fluctuating quantities of social arithmetic, and to fix its precise
amount is now, and ever has been, one of the most difficult enterprises
in which a public writer can engage. It is apt, also, to be confounded
with mere celebrity. Obscurity is not one of its accidents, but fame is;
and there is something like an irresistible tendency on the part of
mankind at large, to believe in the claims to distinction of the man who
has been _vulgatus per orbem_. Humility does very well for poets--your
Horaces and Grays, for instance--who can find Agamemnons and Hampdens on
every village green, to whom the opportunity only of acquiring renown
has been denied by envious fate; but the prose of life discards it as an
unsuitable and troublesome adjunct, and refuses to extend its reverence
to what is not appreciable. A famous man is, therefore, always presumed
to be a great man, and he may be so in so far as popular reputation is
concerned, though he need not be so otherwise. To which of these classes
did Talleyrand belong? That he was celebrated is beyond doubt. Was he
great? That is a different question, and could be answered
satisfactorily only by a much more elaborate inquiry into his history
than it is possible for us to institute. Forty years must elapse from
his death, which took place in 1838, before those memoirs, which he is
known to have compiled, shall be given to the world; and whoever tries
will find it to be no easy task to anticipate those revelations which
are reserved for the eyes and ears of the generation of 1878. Let us,
then, be contented with a humbler effort, and endeavor to make the most
of the materials which are accessible to us, scanty though they be.
There are spurious lives of Talleyrand by the dozen. He repudiated these
scandalous and gossiping chronicles in his life-time, and it is no part
of our business to resuscitate them. M. Colmache's volume is of another
stamp, however, and bears unexceptionable internal evidence of the
honesty of the writer, whether we agree in his conclusions or not. As
secretary to the prince he had superior facilities for acquiring a
knowledge of, at least, the domestic habits of the _man_, but beyond
this he has accomplished little; for though his work be well, and even
powerfully written, and though it contain numerous fragments of strong
dramatic interest which illustrate in a very remarkable manner
Talleyrand's moral idiosyncracy, as well as the usages of the age and
country in which he lived--it would be absurd to suppose that the most
reserved man in Europe, who had drilled his passions into a state of
repose, and disciplined his tongue into the obedient slave of his own
secret purposes, had given his confidence to a servant, in the full
knowledge that every word which he uttered, and every opinion which he
expressed, would be noted down, and published to the world when the
grave had closed upon his remains. A less astute person, occupying the
same conspicuous position in life, would have been guilty of no such
folly as this: and though M. Colmache may have thought otherwise, he was
obviously trusted with no more than it was perfectly safe for his
master's posthumous reputation that he should be allowed to know.
Moreover, we must remember, that though the French pride themselves on
their skill in conversation--_l'art de causer_, as they term it--it is a
wholly different thing from what would pass by that name in Britain. Men
do not meet together in France (or, rather, they _did_ not, for it is
impossible to tell what they do now, and it would be unprofitable to
inquire), freely to exchange their thoughts upon questions of
importance, to discuss philosophy, religion, literature, or even
politics; but to chat, to trifle with time, and to dispel weariness.
Every thing that is serious is interdicted as an offense against good
taste; and a French talker would rather run the risk of being considered
a fool than a bore. The tyranny of fashion has been always cheerfully
submitted to on this point; and to be brilliant, startling, and
epigrammatic, are the passports to conversational reputation: not to be
weighty, solid, or wise. To judge by M. Colmache's book, Talleyrand did
not converse. It was no part of his social economy to intercommune with
any one. His thoughts were his own, and he kept them to himself: hence,
after we have perused this book, abounding as it does in curious
sketches and narratives, we know nothing more of Talleyrand's sentiments
on men and things than we did before. There was, no doubt, the usual
lingual intercourse among his guests at the Château Vallençay, but the
great man took no part in it. His _rôle_ was lofty, mysterious, and
grand. When he spoke all were silent, all attentive, all obsequious: but
there was no conversation, in our sense of the word, and no dialogue,
for there were no interlocutors. It was a monologue, in fact, and an
interesting one--for his memory was deeply impressed with the
recollections of the past, and he delighted to call them up, and to
astonish his auditors by the freshness and vigor of his coloring: but,
so far as we can discover, he never allowed himself to indulge in
unnecessary commentaries or disclosures, and, with all his diligence, M.
Colmache was unable to extract out of the wily diplomatist a single idea
which it was his desire to conceal. Let there be no mistake, then, about
the character of these _Revelations_. They are always amusing, sometimes
highly interesting, and at others instructive: but they furnish
exceedingly little toward a life of Talleyrand; and what his own
countrymen are unable to give, foreigners can not supply. In what
follows, therefore, we must be both abrupt and irregular.

Charles Maurice Talleyrand-Périgord, eldest son of the Comte de
Talleyrand-Périgord, was born at Paris in the year 1754; and died in
that city in the year 1838, at the advanced age of eighty-four. His
father was by position a member of the ancient _noblesse_, and by
profession, a soldier: his mother a woman of fashion, and attached to
the court. According to M. Colmache, he came into the world "without
spot or blemish," and we are led to infer that his lameness--the cause
of so much suffering and injustice to him in after-life--was not
congenital, as has been generally believed, but the result of want of
care in his childhood; for, as it was not the custom in those days for
women of rank to nurse their own offspring, or even to rear them in
their own houses, the future diplomatist was removed to a distant part
of the country a few days after his birth, and consigned to the care of
a hired nurse, Mère Rigaut, in whose cottage, wild, neglected, and
forgotten, he dwelt, for twelve years. He was at length recalled from
his involuntary exile by the Bailli Talleyrand, his uncle--the youngest
brother of his father, a naval officer, and a knight of Malta; who, with
the warmth of feeling proper to men of his profession, was enraged, upon
his return home, to find the poor boy condemned to banishment and
obscurity, and determined to free him from both. He accordingly brought
him to Paris, but was sadly mortified to find that his intention of
making him a sailor was marred by his infirmity; and leaving him at the
hôtel Talleyrand in charge of the parties whom his mother had instructed
to receive him--for she was not there to perform that maternal duty
herself--the honest Bailli set out for Toulon, where he rejoined his
ship, and was drowned at sea a few months afterward. Young Talleyrand
was now placed at the College of Louis le Grand, and under the immediate
direction of the Père Langlois, Professor of Rhetoric in that
institution; a kind and benevolent-minded man, as it would seem, to whom
his pupil remained attached throughout his whole life, and who,
unchanged and unchangeable, wore, in 1828, the academic costume which
had prevailed before the Revolution--a long-skirted, collarless black
coat, buttoned to the chin; black knee breeches and silk stockings;
large shoes with silver-plated buckles; well powdered hair, with _ailes
de pigeon_ and a queue of portentous dimensions; and that indispensable
companion of a _savant crasseux_ of the middle of the eighteenth
century, a huge flat snuff-box, which lay concealed in the deep recesses
in his ample pockets. Talleyrand remained at this school for three
years, and would appear to have made a respectable figure as a student,
considering the disadvantages under which he labored from the want of
preliminary training. It is probable that a sense of this deficiency on
the part of a lively lad, joined to the stimulus of competition,
quickened his diligence, and he was rewarded with praise and prizes. He
was also addicted to active sports, for "he was strong and hardy in
spite of his lameness;" and we are told that his temper was mild and
tractable at this period, and that, when attacked, his defensive weapon
was his tongue, not his hands--so true is it, that "the boy is father to
the man." His sharp, quick speech, we are assured, was the terror of his
comrades--_i.e._ when a bolder youth would have boxed his antagonist's
ears, Talleyrand scolded, and doubtlessly provoked him; but as there
must be a philosophical reason for whatever concerns the nonage of a
celebrated person, it is added, that "even then (between twelve and
fifteen, observe) he had learned that the art of governing others
consisted merely in self-command." During his residence at college he
saw nothing of his father, and little of his mother; and when the latter
did visit him, she was always attended by an eminent surgeon, whose duty
it was to torture the unfortunate boy's leg, and to try, by bandages,
cauteries, and other appliances, to make that long and straight which
neglect had made short and crooked. These visits of _madame mère_ were
anticipated with horror, and ever afterward spoken of with disgust; nor
could they have increased that love for the author of his being which is
so natural to youth, and which an incident that occurred about this time
would seem to have utterly extinguished.

At the close of his third year at college, his father died from the
effects of an old wound received in battle. This event must have
happened when his son had attained to the fifteenth year of his age,
and, consequently, in the year 1769. By the laws of nature and of feudal
succession, that son was now the head of his house, a peer of France,
the inheritor of those peculiar privileges which then belonged to his
order, the owner of large territorial possessions, and the Comte
Talleyrand-Périgord: of all which rights, immunities, titles, and
dignities, he was arbitrarily deprived by the cruel decision of a family
council, of which his mother was the author and promoter, and his
birthrights handed over to his younger brother, who, in his infancy, had
been companion of his exile. Why this act of iniquity was committed, and
how, we shall allow M. Colmache to tell:

"It was at this time that his father died, and Charles Maurice was now
the Comte de Talleyrand, and head of that branch of the family to which
he belonged. Meanwhile the younger son, Archambaut, had likewise
returned from his nursing; but he had the better chance--his limbs were
sound and well developed, as God had made them. No dire accident, the
consequence of foul neglect, had marred his shape, or tarnished his
comeliness. So, one fine day, and as a natural consequence, mark you, of
this fortunate circumstance, when Charles Maurice, the eldest son, had
finished his course of study at Louis le Grand, having passed through
his classes with great _éclat_, there came a tall, sallow, black-robed
priest, and took him away from the midst of his friends to the grim old
_séminaire_ of St. Sulpice, and it was there that he received the
astounding intimation, from the lips of the superior himself, that, by
the decision of a _conseil de famille_, from which there was no appeal,
his birthright had been taken from him, and transferred to his younger
brother.

"'Why so?' faltered the boy, unable to conceal his emotion.

"'He is not cripple,' was the stern and cruel answer.

"It must have been that hour--nay, that very instant--the echo of those
heartless words, which made the Prince de Talleyrand what he is even to
this very day. Who shall tell the bitter throes of that bold,
strong-hearted youth, as he heard the unjust sentence? Was it defiance
and despair, the gift of hell, or resignation, the blessed boon of
heaven, which caused him to suffer the coarse black robe to be thrown at
once above his college uniform, without a cry, without a murmur? None
will ever be able to divine what his feelings were, for this one
incident is always passed over by the prince. He never refers to it,
even when in familiar conversation with his most loved intimates. It is
certain, therefore, that the single hour of which I speak bore with it a
whole life of bitterness and agony. (P. 106, 107.)"

Let us pause for a moment to consider the probable effects of such
nurture and treatment on a nature like Talleyrand's. He was fifteen
years of age; imperfectly educated for his station in life; lame, from
the neglect of the guardians of his infancy; disinherited by those who
should have watched with the most jealous care over his interests;
cruelly punished for a physical defect chargeable to the carelessness of
others; a stranger to hope, love, and fear; the victim of a domestic
conspiracy; and the novitiate of a profession which he loathed, and to
which, in his subsequent years, he did dishonor. His father he had never
known, his mother he knew only as his tormentor and oppressor: no tie
seems to have bound him to his brother, and up to this hour he had never
yet slept one night under the paternal roof. These were no ordinary
trials; and if the youth who was subjected to them became in after-life
a cynic, is it to be wondered at? Indeed, a hasty view of this
remarkable man's character might lead to the conclusion of M. Colmache,
that the untoward accidents of his infancy and boyhood afforded an
explanation of all his adult peculiarities; but we can not allow
ourselves to accept this inference, natural as it would seem to be, for
it appears to us, upon a closer inspection, that though these incidents
might deepen the force of his mental inequalities, they could not have
created them, and that the difference between the Bishop of Autun and
the ancient noble, had he succeeded to his inheritance, would have
amounted to little more than the difference between a proscribed
ecclesiastic and a proscribed aristocrat. No doubt, if the generous
affections expand and blossom under genial culture, they as certainly
contract and wither under neglect and harshness; nor should we, in
ordinary cases, have any hesitation in giving the benefit of this
elementary rule to the subject of an ordinary biography: but
Talleyrand's is not such. There is no evidence in this book or
elsewhere, for instance, that the sensitive part of his nature was
acute, or that he was easily moved by strong emotions of any kind; and
it is exceedingly difficult for us to comprehend how so singular a moral
and intellectual organization as he unquestionably possessed could have
been the result of any imaginable series of occurrences in early life,
of whatever description they might happen to be. The power of intense
concentration by which he was so remarkably distinguished was,
assuredly, a gift from Nature (whether good or bad we say not), and not
a circumstantial accident; and it is all but incredible that a man of
vivid sensibilities could have succeeded by a mere effort of the will in
suppressing every manifestation of their existence during a life
prolonged far beyond the ordinary term, and in the midst of the most
terrible convulsions that had agitated the world since the establishment
of society in Western Europe. The cause appears to us to be unequal to
the effect; and we are obliged to conclude that the cold, sarcastic, and
selfish man, who believed in nothing and nobody, and who rejected even
the common impulses of humanity, was no casual product of events, but
precisely what he had been designed to be from the cradle, and what he
would have shown himself to have been--though, perhaps, in a different
way--had he never known what paternal neglect and maternal cruelty were.

We have no account in this volume of the progressive steps of his
clerical education, beyond the intimation that it was wearisome and
distasteful. Talleyrand disliked references to his ecclesiastical
career. It had not been a respectable one; and if M. Colmache really got
from him the stories which he tells in his book, we need not be
surprised that there is nothing in them about either the Abbé or the
Bishop. We know from other sources that, notwithstanding his
constitutional timidity, he accepted the Revolution eagerly; and that he
did his best, by precept and example, to consummate the destruction of
the old order of things. He was the bosom friend of Mirabeau, so far as
his suspicious nature would allow him to be the bosom-friend of any one;
and his account (or what M. Colmache says was his) of the last days of
that able, but profligate person's troubled life is one of the most
striking things in this volume. Another extraordinary being likewise
appears here, of whom less is generally known than of the other two,
viz., the Abbé Cerutti, an Italian Jesuit, who had been in the service
of the Dauphin, the father of Louis XVI., and who, like so many others,
threw his religion and his allegiance behind his back when they could no
longer subserve his personal ends, and who was, moreover, with Mirabeau
and Talleyrand, one of the most active promoters of the popular cause.
This trio, in conjunction with Condorcet, started, in 1789, the first
democratical journal known in Paris. It was called the _Feuille
Villageoise_, and was designed for circulation among the rural
populations of the provinces. It has been accused of having provoked
many of the atrocities of the Revolution; but this, it would seem, was a
mistake. It only fanned the flames after they had broken out, but did
not excite them: and it was remarkable for "burning columns" from
Mirabeau, the ex-noble; for "cold, bitter irony," from Cerutti, the
ex-Jesuit; and for recommendations of the "divisions of church property,
&c." from Talleyrand, the ex-bishop. Such pastimes could have done no
harm, according to M. Colmache; and were obviously inadequate to the
production of a revolution--and such a revolution! Let us acquit these
patriots, then, of treason against society, and let us believe that they
were actuated by the purest motives, when they used every effort within
their reach to rouse to madness an ignorant and excitable multitude, and
stimulated by every possible means, the cupidity of the poor by
suggestions to plunder the rich and to despoil the Church. It may be
difficult to do this, but there is no help for it; and with such
undeniable proofs of the wisdom, virtue, and moderation of this
celebrated junta, as M. Colmache has been pleased to furnish, we may let
the matter drop.

Talleyrand was consumed by a burning hatred of England, even before the
Revolution broke out, and, in conjunction with a friend, gave a
practical illustration of his hostility by fitting out a privateer at
Brest, which was designed to intercept British ships trading to the West
Indies; and as we do not remember to have seen this strange incident in
his life mentioned elsewhere, we shall give the short account of it
which M. Colmache has furnished:

"The sudden change from the frivolous _papillotage_ of the _ancien
régime_ to the sombre enthusiasm which broke out at the epoch of the
American war, made but little impression on M. Talleyrand. He was
evidently prepared; and at once declared his opinion, not by pamphlets
or inflammatory speeches, but by an argument far more forcible than
either. Conjointly with his friend, the Count Choiseul Gouffier, he
equipped a privateer, which he called the Holy Cause, and which left the
harbor of Brest in the month of May, 1779. The Duc de Castries, then
Minister of Marine, furnished the guns. This single fact would almost
serve to paint the time. A vessel of war armed and equipped by the
_agent général du clergé de France_, aided by a _savant_ of the _haute
noblesse_, and countenanced by one of the ministers, exhibits at once
the utter confusion of ideas which must have existed just then. I have
heard that the privateer, which, placed under command of a runaway scion
of nobility, was to have carried death and destruction among the English
merchant-ships trading from the West Indies, never more made its
appearance on the French coast. Be this as it may, I know that the
prince does not like to talk of this little episode in his life; and the
other day, when questioned rather closely on the subject, he answered,
'_Laissons cela, c'est un de mes péchés de jeunesse._'" (P. 232.)

The temper of mind indicated by this passage was itself one of the
forerunners of the Revolution, for at that time France had become
delirious on the subject of the American struggle; and her soldiers and
nobles who were aiding the revolted provincialists, were busily employed
in gathering the fruits of that harvest of republicanism which they were
so soon to transport to their own country, where they were destined to
produce extraordinary results. At the time this event happened,
Talleyrand was twenty-five years of age, and in holy orders; and we are
to presume that the Anglo-mania, which overtook his countrymen ten years
later, and was the rage in '89, had not yet set in. The anecdote is
curious, but it strikes us as being illustrative rather of the character
of the age and people than of the individual man, for whom in his
natural mood, it was _trop prononcé_.

As the Revolution advanced Talleyrand's safety was endangered, and like
most French patriots, ancient and modern, that was a thing which he
looked carefully to. Some papers were found, after the sack of the
Tuilleries, which compromised him; and in '92 he fled to the United
States of America, taking up his abode in the city of New York. He was
accompanied in his flight by a friend of the name of Beaumetz, and in
concert with whom he resolved to enter into trade. A small ship was
freighted with goods for Calcutta, whither the two exiles had resolved
to proceed in search of fortune; and all that was wanted to enable them
to put their scheme in execution was a fair wind, which, however, the
elements refused. In the interval caused by this detention Talleyrand
had one of what he called his "presentiments;" and to its occult
warnings, as he afterward declared, he owed the immediate preservation
of his life, salvation from shipwreck, and that change in his "destiny"
which led to all the future incidents of his eventful career.
Disappointment and vexation preying upon an irritable temper drove his
partner mad. He saw insanity in his look and gestures, and suffering
himself to be led by the lunatic to the heights of Brooklyn, which
overlook the harbor, he fixed his eyes sternly upon him, exclaiming, at
the same time, "Beaumetz, you mean to murder me; you intend to throw me
from the height into the sea below. Deny it, monster, if you can!" Thus
apostrophized, the unhappy and conscience-stricken maniac quailed
beneath the intensity and sternness of his gaze; confessed that such was
his design, the thought, "like a flash from the lurid fire of hell,"
having haunted him day and night; implored forgiveness, flung himself
upon the neck of his meditated victim, and burst into tears. The
paroxysm had passed off, and tottering reason had resumed her sway.
Beaumetz was conveyed home and placed under medical treatment, speedily
recovered, proceeded on his voyage alone, and was never more heard of.
"My Fate," said Talleyrand, when speaking of this incident in after
life, "was at work."

From the way in which this anecdote is introduced we learn that
Talleyrand had some strong leaning to the Celtic superstition known as
the second sight, which, in the adust imagination of a Frenchman, is
closely allied to fatalism, and which, we fear, loses its interest, as
it certainly does its virtue, when transported into sunnier regions from
"the land of the mountain and the flood." In ancient times Augustus
Cæsar,[18] and in modern Samuel Johnson, Napoleon, and Walter Scott,
were all, more or less, and after the manner of their several
idiosyncracies, the victims of this imaginary belief; and if we knew the
apocalyptic tendencies of obscure, as well as we do those of celebrated
individuals, we should probably, discover that this weakness was much
more prevalent than is generally supposed. We have no great difficulty
in understanding how a fanciful notion of this kind should attach itself
to minds of a certain conformation, or be even generated by them, and
that it should exercise a considerable, though unseen influence over the
secret convictions of men of ability, and of women of vivid religious
emotions; but we do not so readily comprehend how such persons as
Napoleon and Talleyrand should have embraced a delusion which was
utterly irreconcilable with their skeptical natures, and which
necessarily presupposed an immaterial state of existence, and the
providential superintendence of human affairs by a benevolent order of
beings, whose powers must have been deputed to them by a superior and
over-ruling Intelligence. It was the part of an ancient Roman, like
Augustus, to believe in portents and omens, however insignificant; it
might even require some philosophy to despise them; and among ourselves
in modern times it will be found, if we mistake not, that strong
poetical sensibilities, or a peculiarly impressible temperament, is the
foundation of what can be regarded in no other light than an
hallucination. The world of spirits, with all its shadowy tenants and
imaginary impulses, might be a reality to Scott, whose demonology never
for one moment obscured the lucid perceptions of a singularly clear and
masculine intellect; while the Rosicrucianism of so vigorously-minded a
man as Samuel Johnson was the plain result of that constitutional
melancholy under which he labored--fortified, it may be, by theological
tenets which bordered on the mystical: but what could Napoleon mean by
Fate, or Talleyrand by Destiny? They were both of them unbelievers in
spiritualism of any kind; and whence could those intimations come of
which Talleyrand, at least, conceived himself to be the recipient? He
was obviously possessed by the idea that numerous premonitions had been
vouchsafed to him; and what chiefly moved in him a desire to visit
Scotland was, not its scenery, its lakes, its mountains, or its people,
but a wish to inquire into the (as he supposed) natural faculty of
divination. The dream may be of Jove[19]--Homer is a sound heathen
authority upon this point; but Talleyrand was no dreamer. His
"presentiments" (for so he loved to call them), were, apparently, sudden
intuitions, which he was wholly unable to explain, but in which he
placed so much confidence that he acted upon them to the letter--so says
M. Colmache--and never, it would seem, in vain. They directed him
rightly; and when, in old age, he had gathered around him at Vallençay
all that remained of the wit, genius, and talent of French society in
its better forms, he delighted to recount the instances in which this
supernatural influence, like Socrates' dæmon, had befriended him. He
believed in the reality of this power when he believed in nothing else,
and that is the puzzle.

Having once returned to France, Talleyrand never again quitted it--at
least, as an exile; but continued for the next forty years of his
eventful life to cultivate the art of advancement, and to study
carefully the means of acquiring a fortune: and he succeeded in both.
The First Consul found in his extraordinary abilities precisely what he
wanted and he in the First Consul that social support which he required,
and upon which he found he could rely. There was no mutual esteem,
however, between these remarkable men, whom interest alone bound
together; and Bonaparte has left upon record his opinion of his Minister
for Foreign Affairs, delivered at a time when he had nothing to expect
from the favors of men or the caprices of Fortune. "Talleyrand," said
Napoleon, at St. Helena, "is a corrupt man, who has betrayed all parties
and persons. Wary and circumspect, always a traitor, but always in
conspiracy with Fortune, Talleyrand treats his enemies as if they were
one day to become his friends, and his friends as if they were to become
his enemies. He is a man of unquestionable talent, but venial in every
thing. Nothing could be done with him but by means of bribery."[20] This
is not complimentary; and it would be curious to compare such a sentence
of condemnation with the judgment of Talleyrand on Napoleon which is
contained in his memoirs, for that there is one we need not doubt.

Talleyrand's department as a minister of state was that of Foreign
Affairs, and the future historian of his diplomatic career will have to
review his connection with all the great incidents which occurred in
Europe from the year 1797 to his death, in 1838. That he was supple,
unscrupulous, and able, is the conclusion of mankind at large; and, we
presume, the correct one.

Passion never disturbed him, and feeling (except for himself) seldom. A
revolutionary education superinduced upon a cold nature a distrust of
all men--ay, and of women, too; and he seems to have entertained just so
much respect for political stability of any kind as circumstances
warranted, and no more. He was no believer in the reality of
virtue--itself a quality of which he had but an inadequate conception,
and to the active operation of which he would have held it to be mere
simplicity and folly to trust. We may infer, therefore, that what he did
not look for he did not find; and that, as generally happens to those
who are wise beyond what is written, he denied the existence of a
property, with the use of which, could it have been discovered, he was
wholly unacquainted. He served the emperor so long as it was consistent
with his interests to do so, and he deserted him when he saw that there
was more peril in fidelity than in apostasy. The Restoration was, in a
great measure, the work of his hands, though he hated Louis XVIII.
mortally; and the grounds of that hatred were, apparently, personal,
resting partly on those antipathies which dissimilarity in habits and
taste is apt to generate in all ranks of life, and partly on
disappointed ambition. Louis was fat; Talleyrand was thin. Louis liked
good eating (most men do, by the way, be they kings or not); Talleyrand
cared little for it, and ate but once a day. Louis had, rightly or
wrongly, an idea that he was an independent monarch, to whose volitions
some regard was due, and the legitimate sovereign of one of the greatest
kingdoms in Europe; Talleyrand saw in him only a political stop-gap and
glutton, to whose wishes little deference was owing, and whose intellect
he despised: but he took care not to refuse the bounties or the honors
bestowed upon him by his royal master--nor can we repress a smile when
we find such a man gravely rebuking that prince for utter heartlessness
and selfishness. It might be, and probably was so, but assuredly
Talleyrand was not the person to make the charge.

The erection of the throne of the Barricades was also Talleyrand's work,
if we may believe M. Colmache; and many of the incidents connected with
the expulsion of Charles X., and the elevation of the Duke of Orleans,
which are given in this volume, possess at this moment an instructive
and melancholy interest, when we consider where the aspirant for that
perilous honor is now, and what a dark cloud has settled down upon the
stormy evening of his ambitious life.[21] Had we space, we would give
some of these details; but we have not, and must be contented to refer
to the book for them. The object of the writer, however, is, to
construct an exculpation, and to vindicate (vain task!) the memory of
Talleyrand from the reproach of ingratitude; but it is abundantly
evident, even from the narrative itself, that if not one of the most
_active_, he was, at least, one of the most _zealous_, promoters of the
Revolution of 1830. There was little sympathy between Charles and
Talleyrand, though he preferred him much to his brother Louis. He even
admitted--which, for him, was going far--that Charles was distinguished
in private life by many excellent qualities; that he had "a feeling and
a generous nature, and was a faithful and grateful friend;" but for
many, and some of them obvious enough reasons, he disliked "the devout
monarch," and we are told that Charles "returned tenfold in hatred and
suspicion all the pity and contempt which the wily diplomatist sought to
cast upon his government." The conclusion is, of course, plain.
Talleyrand saw that every thing was going wrong, as did every body else
after the event. He, therefore, withdrew from Paris in the winter of
1829--30; and, under the pretense of consulting his health, retired to
Rochecotte, in Touraine, the seat of his niece, the Duchess de Dino. He
had no political object in view, and was only driven "by the force of
circumstances," into that vortex which was whirling _tout le monde_ in
the capital round about; but, somehow or other, the leaders of the
movement gathered around him in his retreat, and, unfortunately for the
theory of neutrality, it is stated that "it was at Rochecotte, during
the month of May, which Thiers spent there with M. de Talleyrand, that
he (_i.e_., Thiers) conceived the plan of those terrific articles in the
_National_, which, every morning, like the battering-rams of ancient
warfare, laid in ruins the wretched bulwarks, behind which the tottering
monarchy thought itself secure." (P. 32.)

All this was, no doubt, purely accidental; and, as the editor of the
_National_ was a person of no social consideration whatever, it would be
absurd to suppose that the Prince of Benevento had any secondary purpose
to achieve by patronizing so obscure an adventurer. It turns out,
indeed, that "M. Thiers was, in the eyes of M. Talleyrand, nothing more
than a young writer, full of vigor and talent, whom the old seigneur
loved to protect, and to initiate into the manners and customs of good
society, without a knowledge of which (he would often say) there can be
no good taste in literature. But he was the last person in the world
who, at that time, would have looked upon Thiers as a conspirator, of
whom he was making himself, by such protection, the vile associate." (P.
33.)

This should settle the point, and yet it does nothing of the kind; for,
as if it were necessary that a mystery should involve all the actions of
this man's life, and even comprehend his friends, we find in this very
volume, and in immediate succession to the energetic disclaimer we have
just quoted, the most elaborate proofs of his "complicity" in that
"conspiracy," which ended by dethroning one monarch and elevating
another. A single passage will set this matter at rest forever, and here
it is:

"It has been to this day a matter of speculation whether the Duke of
Orleans had anticipated being called to the throne, or whether it was
the force of circumstances which had brought him to it. These are the
facts: Although the Duke of Orleans had for a long time looked upon the
event of a change in the dynasty as _possible_, and was most certainly
_prepared_[22] to place the crown upon his own head in case of such an
event, yet even so late as the 30th of July he hesitated to grasp it,
and resisted the arguments and persuasions of Thiers. It is a known fact
that the duke was concealed in the environs of Neuilly in fear of a
popular outbreak, when a secret message from M. de Talleyrand, which he
received on the evening of that day, caused him to decide at length upon
re-entering Paris, and proclaiming himself Lieutenant-General of the
Kingdom--the head of the new power. The new king soon forgot, however,
this proof of attachment (attachment!!) on the part of his old friend;
and M. de Talleyrand, who knew that kings, even when chosen by the will
of the people, are, for the most part, compelled to be _illustres
ingrats_, never, during the years which followed these events, alluded
to the circumstances which brought about the _avénement_ of Louis
Philippe." (P. 35.)

And again:

"Now came the time when the high intelligence and marvelous sagacity of
the prince were brought into action, and I hesitate not to repeat, saved
the country. M. de Talleyrand dispatched to Neuilly, with all possible
speed, a little billet written with his own hand. The bearer was a
person of high courage and great integrity, and was charged, should he
fall into danger, to destroy the billet. He could not in honor read its
contents, but saw that there were but few words traced upon the paper.
They were addressed to the king's sister, Madame Adelaide. This
messenger was commissioned to place the billet himself in the hands of
the princess, and to tell her that the Prince de Talleyrand conjured her
to warn the Duke of Orleans that not a moment was to be lost; that the
duke might reckon upon his aid, and that he must appear immediately;
that he must come at once to Paris, to place himself at the head of the
movement, or all would be lost without recall. Above all, he was only to
take the title of Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom, which Charles had
conferred upon him before leaving St. Cloud. He implored him not to
manifest any other intention. In this advice the old diplomatist was
reserving for himself a back door to creep out at in case Charles should
march on Paris." (P. 39.)

There follows this conclusive revelation an account of Madame Adelaide's
astuteness (_astuce_)--her anxiety not to commit herself in writing; her
transmission to Prince Talleyrand of a verbal message; and of the climax
of the whole intrigue in the arrival in Paris that same night of Louis
Philippe, and of his proclamation in his capacity of Lieutenant-General
of the Kingdom. The transition from this to royalty was easy, for it had
been pre-arranged. It was M. de Talleyrand, we are assured, who overcame
the "faint scruples" of the Duke of Orleans, and it was his advice that
"decided the king to go at once to the Hôtel de Ville, there to receive
publicly the sceptre of France, and to swear allegiance to the charter."

After such statements as these, what useful purpose can it serve to
declaim about conspiracies, reservations, and the like, when they so
conspicuously testify to the fact, that one of the most energetic
agents--after his own peculiar way--in bringing about a change of
dynasty in France, was the very man whose memory his secretary is so
anxious to relieve from this reproach? It is mere folly and blundering
to do so, the more especially when we are told that the Orleans party
comprehended all the leading members of the "Opposition" in both
Chambers; that M. de Talleyrand was its head; and that, without
declaring himself in favor of the new _régime_, he regulated all its
movements, and was in constant and direct communication with the
individual in whose behalf the Revolution of 1830 was got up. It is idle
to quarrel about words; but if this was not "conspiracy," it was
something so exceedingly like it, that it would require a very nice eye,
indeed, to detect wherein the difference lay. The simple truth is
this--that Talleyrand and his associates did in 1829-30, what Odillon
Barrot and his accomplices (including the ubiquitous Thiers) did in
1847-48, but more successfully; for there can be no comparison between
the government established under Louis Philippe and that inaugurated in
the person of Louis Napoleon, and still less between the prospect of
happiness which France enjoyed in 1830, and that which lies before her
in 1850. The experiment has been closely copied by M. de Talleyrand's
pupils, though the result has not been analogous; but this does not
depend so much upon the men as upon the circumstances. Such a substitute
for legitimate authority as the Duke of Orleans was can not be found
twice in the same age and country; and one of the most mournful
spectacles of our time is, the fate of the man and his family, for whom
all these violent, and we must add, tortuous exertions, were made twenty
years ago. Talleyrand's share in these transactions can not be gainsaid.
Though a revolutionist, in so far as the elder branch of the Bourbons
was concerned, he was not, however, a Republican in 1830; and had,
probably, never been honestly so at any period of his life. The feeling
of the ancient seigneur was strong in him to the last; and his
constitutional timidity made him shrink with instinctive aversion from
all contact with the mob: hence his terror during the "three glorious
days of July" was agonizing: and when he discovered that, in the bloody
triumph of the populace, no superiority of rank, talent, or fortune, was
regarded, he trembled for his own safety--"for he knew that the people
loved him not."

Talleyrand survived this, his last great political exploit, nearly eight
years, having expired tranquilly at his hôtel in Paris, in May, 1838.
His ex-secretary has a copious and rambling commentary upon his death,
in which there is the usual amount of complaint and vindication. His
patron had become reconciled to the church, and had submitted to its
formalities immediately before his decease; and, considering his past
hostility to it as a social institution, his renunciation of his sacred
vows, and his ostentatious rejection of the Christian religion, such a
step naturally caused some talk, and requires explanation--though none
is given by M. Colmache, beyond the barren and somewhat commonplace
intimation, that "he was influenced in this, as in many other instances,
wherein he has drawn down the blame of the sticklers for consistency, by
the desire to spare pain and trouble to his family; for he knew that his
relatives would suffer much inconvenience by his resistance on his
death-bed to the execution of certain religious formalities to which, in
his own mind, he attached not the slightest importance."

It is rather a delicate matter to scrutinize motives, however great the
temptation to do so, may be: fortunately, however, all call for the
performance of so ungracious a duty on the present occasion is removed
by M. Colmache, who tells us frankly what the reason was which induced
M. de Talleyrand to enact something like a solemn farce in his dying
moments. It was not religious compunction, nor any affectation of it,
but a regard for the convenience and the material interests of his
successors; "for it can not be denied," said he, "that he had ever held
in view the elevation and aggrandizement of his family."

Certainly not. Nobody will be bold enough to do so. What prompted
Voltaire to attend his parish church regularly to the last hour of his
life, and even to take the communion; what led Franklin to mingle in the
throngs which crowded around Whitefield in America; and what induced
Gibbon to visit temples of religion when he had nothing else to do, and
to record his impressions of the sermons he was condemned to listen to,
must forever remain among the minor mysteries of humanity; but about M.
de Talleyrand's "retraction," as it has been called, strange to say,
there is no mystery at all. It was a mere exemplification of "the ruling
passion strong in death." He could no longer care for himself, which had
been the chief business of his life; but he could do what was next thing
to it--he could care for his relations whom he was leaving behind him,
and he did so.

The querulous part of this statement relates to Louis Philippe. The
monarch, as is well known, visited his aged servant on his death-bed,
and, we have not a doubt, behaved both gracefully and kindly. M.
Colmache, however, does not think so, and all but abuses the king for an
act which, being spontaneous, has the look, if it had not the reality,
of benevolence. His manner was, it seems, constrained, the task itself
was irksome, and his "bearing," as compared with that of the dying
statesman, _tant son peu bourgeois_. "Despite the old faded
dressing-gown of the one, and the snuff-colored coat, stiff neckcloth,
and polished boots of the other, the veriest barbarian could have told
at a glance which was the 'last of the nobles,' and which the 'First
Citizen' of the Empire." (P. 343.)

This would be severe were it not sheer gossip, and gossip dictated by a
feeling of intense hostility to Louis Philippe, who committed the
unpardonable blunder of not bestowing any particular regard upon the
prince's secretary, though, with others, he had been specially
introduced to him. In that case, and if M. Colmache really was, as he
says, present in the chamber when this interview took place, we can only
express our surprise that his account of it is so meagre; for it is
impossible to believe that the last conversation between two men so
distinguished, and so closely united by the ties of mutual obligation,
should have been confined to a formal inquiry and a formal reply, which
is all we find in this volume. We are at a loss to know, also, why the
king should have been less of a gentleman and more of a tradesman in his
manners and appearance than M. de Talleyrand; for, if that has any thing
to do with the matter, he was as certainly _one_ of the "last of the
nobles," as his minister; and as we find nothing in M. Colmache's book
respecting this valedictory visit, which the journals had not
promulgated at the time of its occurrence, we are not only led to doubt
the fact of his having been present, but likewise to withhold all
confidence from his relation of its details. One reflection, however, he
does make, which, as read in 1850, is curious: "I had looked," he says,
"upon this visit as the farewell of the safely-landed voyager (landed,
too, amid storm and tempest), to the wise and careful pilot who had
steered him skillfully through rock and breaker, and now pushed off
alone amid the darkness, to be seen no more!" (P. 344.)

Alas for human wisdom in its most imposing forms! where is now the
"skillful pilot?" Dead, and his skill buried with him. And the "voyager"
whom he "steered" into a secure haven amid "storm and tempest?" A
fugitive and an exile, driven from the rickety throne which Talleyrand's
necromancy had conjured up by a wave of his wand, and which his
sagacious biographer obviously considered to be as stable as the globe
itself:

   Fato profugus ...
   Multum ille et terris jactatus, et alto.

The share which Talleyrand is alleged to have had in the murder of the
Duc d'Enghein, and which the Duke of Rovigo positively declared to have
been, from first to last, a contrivance of his,[23] we must pass over in
comparative silence; as the subject is one which it is impossible to
elucidate, and which we could not hope to discuss with any profit in the
short space which remains to us. If noticed at all in this volume, we
have unfortunately mislaid the reference to it; and in a work which is
without an index, and which has been compiled with a total disregard to
chronological arrangement, we have not been able to recover it. All the
parties to that infamous transaction were anxious in after times to
shift the culpability from off their own shoulders; and amidst the
criminations and recriminations of the future dukes and princes of the
Empire, there is little positive knowledge of any kind to be gained. It
might be, as Fouché said, "worse than a crime--a blunder;" but there was
certainly nothing about the act itself from which a man of Talleyrand's
lax morality would have shrunk; and our present impression is, that he
was privy to this odious and useless tragedy, if the whole scheme of the
violation of a neutral territory, the arrest, the mock trial, and the
execution, did not originate with him. Even Napoleon regretted the
occurrence, though he was too inflexible in his character to throw the
blame on others when the deed was done, and at St. Helena he took the
whole responsibility of it upon himself. "The Duc d'Enghein," said he,
"died, because I willed it." This is the style imperial, but it is not
the expression of a fact; and the Duke of Rovigo, with great
probability, attributes this language to the desire which he latterly
manifested to impress upon others a lofty idea of his absolute power as
a sovereign. He was at the time only First Consul, and he has himself
stated that, to use a familiar phrase, he was _worried_ into it by those
about him. "I did not rightly know," says he, "who the Duc d'Enghein
was. The Revolution had come upon me when I was very young, and I had
never been at court. _All these points_ were explained to me. If it be
so, I said, he must be seized, and the necessary orders were given in
consequence. Every thing had been provided beforehand. The papers were
prepared, and there was nothing to do but to sign them, and the fate of
the prince was already decided."[24] This, if accepted as true--and we
see no reason why it should not be--is conclusive; and if Bonaparte may
be believed, a letter addressed to him from Strasburgh by the duke was
kept by Talleyrand, and not delivered up till after the execution. He
likewise committed the gross outrage upon public decency of giving a
masked ball to the diplomatic body on the night of the unfortunate
prince's death; and, all the circumstances taken into account, we fear
there can be no doubt of his active participation (to say no more) in
one of the foulest political enormities of modern times. His motive for
allowing himself to be involved in so perilous an enterprise was, as
usual, altogether personal. He dreaded lest a successful conspiracy
formed beyond the Rhine might lead (a vain apprehension) to the
restoration of the Bourbons; and he would seem to have taken this dark
mode of preventing it, for he had offended too deeply to expect
forgiveness. But let us proceed to another theme--his marriage.

It is well known that Napoleon obtained from the fears of the Pope, Pius
VII., a brief of secularization for his Minister for Foreign Affairs,
and that Talleyrand subsequently married Madame Grand, or, as she is
called in this book, Grandt, a lady who had lived with him as his
mistress, and who, in consequence of this transformation, became no less
a personage than the Princesse de Benevento of the Imperial Court. Much
has been written about this woman, whose history was long a mystery; and
of whose ignorance, _étourderies_, and arrogance, every body has heard
something. In this volume her introduction to Talleyrand is related in
the usual melo-dramatic style of French writers, and her beauty
described with that fullness of detail which approaches to
voluptuousness. The meeting was accidental, at least on Talleyrand's
part. Returning at an early hour of the morning from a gambling visit to
the Chevalier Fénélon, the particulars of which are hideous, he found
his study occupied by a female, who had waited for _five_ hours alone in
the chamber; and who was now fast asleep in an arm-chair by the fire,
the upper part of her body enveloped in a fashionable mantle, and the
lower part displaying the gilded finery of a ball-dress. The diplomatist
was stupefied by the fair vision, which he gazed upon with admiration,
and having tried in vain to awaken her by coughing, and other innocent
devices, he took up a letter addressed to himself which lay upon the
table, and which he found to be from a friend, requesting him to give
madame the benefit of his advice in a difficulty in which no one else
could assist her. The servant slams the door--the lady awakes--a scene
of mutual confusion ensues, which tries to the utmost M. Colmache's
powers of description, but which ends in M. de Talleyrand giving to the
lovely applicant the document she required, and in the commencement of a
_liaison_ which ultimately terminated in matrimony. It was, of course, a
trick or practical joke, which had been played off by certain wags, male
and female, at Madame Hamelin's assembly on the unsuspecting and
guileless Madame Grand, according to M. Colmache; but to any one else it
will seem plain enough that it was no more than the step of a daring and
clever _intriguante_, who knew perfectly well what she was about, and
who had resolved to conquer where Madame Tallien and Madame Beauharnais
had failed--and she did conquer.

Who, then, was this bold lady who contrived so cunningly to ensnare in
her toils the wariest man in France? "I have heard," says M. Colmache,
"that she was of English origin. This is not true. Her maiden name was
Dayot, and she was born at L'Orient; but her connection with India,
where a great part of her family resided, and the peculiar character of
her beauty, would seem to have been the ground-work of the supposition."
(P. 298). We can not clear up this riddle altogether, but we can do
something toward its partial solution.

Her family name we are unacquainted with, but she was a native of
Scotland, and her _first_ husband was a British officer, though we are
likewise ignorant of his name. Her marriage most likely took place in
India, and at an early age: for after her husband's death she became the
wife of a M. Grand, a French gentleman, who obtained a divorce from her
in India in consequence of an improper intimacy with Mr., afterward the
celebrated Sir Philip Francis. How long she lived with Mr. Francis we
know not, but she subsequently passed under the protection of a Mr.
William Macintosh, a British merchant, with whom she returned to Europe
in 1781. Mr. Macintosh's private affairs calling him to France, Madame
Grand accompanied him; but her protector was an unfortunate man, whose
claims upon the French Government were dissipated by the Revolution, and
we lose sight of his friend altogether till her reappearance on the
theatre of the great world, after that event, as the companion of Madame
Beauharnais, and other celebrated women of that day. There is thus a
blank in her personal history of twenty-one years which we are quite
unable to fill up, and which we must leave to be supplied by others.
Mr. Macintosh died at Eisenach, in Saxony, in 1809, at an advanced age;
but his name is no longer associated with that of Madame Grand. He left
a daughter, who became afterward the Countess de Colville; but whether
Madame Grand was her mother, or whether he had married after his
separation from that lady, are points on which we can throw no
light.[25]

Such, then, was the much-talked-of Madame de Talleyrand, Princesse de
Benevento. The date of her death is not given, but she certainly
predeceased her _last_ husband by several years. This marriage was not
productive of happiness. There was not only much difference of habits,
temper, and bearing, between the parties, to say nothing of the
antecedents of both, but it appears that madame was jealous "of every
member of her husband's family," to whom he showed affection. A
separation was the consequence, and this loving couple dwelt in distinct
establishments till the end of their lives.

It is a remarkable, and not uninstructive fact, that the revolution
could not extinguish the cultivated instincts of this extraordinary man;
and one of the most interesting things in this volume, is the glimpses
which we occasionally get of his impressions of the new order of things.
Harsh, and even cruel, as the old society had been to him, it had a
profound hold upon his affections; and when the solitude and satiety of
age invited reflection, he was compelled "to doubt whether the good
which had been gained could ever compensate for that which had been
forfeited". He lived on the memory of the past, and drew his best
inspirations from it. "Where," said he, "is the wit of your _salons_,
the independence of your writers, the charm and influence of your women?
What have you received in exchange for all these, which have fled
forever? I would not give the remembrance of these times for all the
novelty, and what you call _improvements_ of the social system of
to-day, even with the youth and spirit necessary to enjoyment. 'Tis
true, there were abuse and exaggeration in many of our institutions, but
where is the system in which these do not exist? If our people were
devoured with misery and taxes, yours is wasting to the core with _envy_
and discontent. Our _noblesse_ was corrupt and prodigal; yours is
_bourgeoise_ and miserly--greater evils still for the prosperity of the
nation. If our king had many mistresses, yours has many masters. Has
_he_ gained by the exchange? Thus you see it clearly demonstrated, that
not one of the three orders has advanced in happiness by these wonderful
_improvements_ which you so much admire."[26] This is a strange
testimony to the blessings of revolution on a grand scale, and from one,
too, who had been in the midst of it as a prominent actor; but we
suspect it is what most others, in like circumstances, would give were
they candid, and what, after all, is simply true. Let any man of sound
understanding look at France now, and say what she has gained, or the
world through her, from the last outburst of popular fury; which has not
only left her the prey of charlatanism, but made her the victim of the
grossest passions. Talleyrand was, undoubtedly, right in his retrospect,
but his healthy convictions came too late to be of any use.

Of Talleyrand's literary habits little is known that can be relied upon,
but M. Colmache tells as, that "he could neither write nor dictate with
ease"; and that the most trifling productions of his pen caused him as
much trouble as the most elaborate dispatch. This may have proceeded
from fastidiousness in the choice of language, but was, most probably,
attributable to the defects of his education, and to the want of early
practice in composition. We are not told what kind of reading pleased
him, nor whether he was addicted to books; but he was a great admirer of
Voltaire, with whom he had conversed in early life, and whose style, of
its class, is perfect. He always deplored the scantiness of his
classical attainments, and, particularly, his ignorance of the Greek
tongue; and, so far as this volume teaches us, he would not appear to
have been what it is customary to call a learned man. M. Colmache gives
us certain "maxims for seasoning conversation," which, he says, were
Talleyrand's, but which convey to the mind the idea of a lively and
acute, rather than that of a profound thinker. If they want the
bitterness of Rochefoucauld, they have not the point and pith of Bacon,
nor the gravity of Locke. Three of these may suffice as specimens, and
as favorable ones:

"Both erudition and agriculture ought to be encouraged by government;
wit and manufactures will come of themselves.

"Metaphysics always remind me of the caravanseras in the desert. They
stand solitary and unsupported, and are always ready to crumble into
ruin.

"A great capitalist is like a vast lake, upon whose bosom ships can
navigate; but which is useless to the country, because no stream issues
therefrom to fertilize the land."

M. Colmache professes to give two fragments of the _Memoirs_, but he
does not state how he came by them, and we doubt the fact of their being
genuine. They are gracefully written, however, and that on the death of
Mr. Fox particularly so. In his "Maxims" he speaks of women
disrespectfully--a consequence, no doubt, of his disregard for the
domestic virtues, and of the dissolute manners which prevailed in the
higher ranks of French society in his time--and of the priesthood
contemptuously. No hatred is so intense, or so durable, as that which is
begotten of apostasy; and a renegade clerk, or a renegade politician,
may be always expected to rail fiercely against his original creed. In
his personal habits, the Prince of the Empire would seem to have adhered
closely to the manners of the _ancien régime_, in the bosom of which he
had been nurtured. He was courtly, formal, and somewhat exclusive; but
his rigid temperance, and his regularity were proper to the man, and
neither to the past nor present age. Of his _bons mots_ we have a
sprinkling, and but a sprinkling, in this volume; but the celebrated one
about language is not there, though others of less piquancy are. Did M.
Colmache consider it of apocryphal authenticity? We suspect so.

To sum up, then, What was the character of M. de Talleyrand? Of his
extraordinary abilities there is no question, since men of every variety
of feeling and position have borne testimony to them; but, was he great,
great as we esteem any of the models of our own, or other countries? We
think not. Celebrated he might be, but great he was not. No intensely
selfish man like Talleyrand can ever become so. Where there is so much
individual concentration, there is no room left for that expansion of
the faculties of the soul upon which true renown rests, and out of which
it springs. The region in which the mind acts is, necessarily,
circumscribed by the constant pressure of a never-absent egotism; and
when this mental constitution happens to be united to timidity,
distrust, and temperamental coldness, greatness ceases to be a possible
achievement. Moreover, he wanted principle, which is the natural
foundation of public virtue; and he had no higher an idea of morality
than its conveniency. His sense of propriety, which, in some cases was
high, was merely a conventional instinct but it was derived from no
anterior obligation, and recognized no source more elevated than the
canons of society. Of _duty_ (that sacred word!) in its English sense,
he had not the faintest conception; and provided that his person was
protected, and his fortunes advanced, it was a matter of absolute
indifference to him what master he served, or in what cause he enlisted.
The first revolution, the empire, the restoration, and the throne of the
barricades, all found in him a willing and an able instrument, and yet
he proved faithless to all; for, though we have not circumstantial proof
of this as to the last, his growing discontent with Louis Philippe shows
clearly, that the political weathercock was again veering. Even when we
make allowance for the very peculiar circumstances by which he was
surrounded from his entry into life until his exit from it, it is
impossible to doubt that this versatility was a consequence of a
particular mental organization, and that, if rigorously analyzed, its
causes would be found to resolve themselves into habits of reasoning
upon men and things from which courage, generosity, and masculine
disinterestedness, were carefully excluded. Patriotism may be pleaded in
justification--it is a ready argument, and a common defense; but, ample
as its proportions are, it will not cover every thing: besides that, in
Talleyrand's case it was a non-existence, for of that holy love of
country which the word is designed to convey, and which is the fruitful
mother of moral heroism, he had not one particle. He might be, and no
doubt was, the clever minister of a system, whatever that system chanced
to be, and we know that he carried out the views of his immediate
employers _à toute outrance_, and without the slightest regard to their
future social or political consequences; but of any grand conceptions
resting upon the rights, or contemplating the happiness of mankind, and
discriminated from the claims of an existing dynasty, be it democratical
or monarchical, he was utterly incapable. _Carpe diem_ was his motto,
and he was faithful to it; but however proper that Epicurean maxim might
have been in the mouth of a Roman poet, or however truly it might depict
the philosophy of a Roman courtesan, it is the deadly antagonist of
greatness, which it blights in the bud. Out of such a nature as this--a
nature unequal to the slightest sacrifice for the benefit of others,
conservative of itself, and indifferent to all the world besides, it is
impossible to make a great, though it may be easy enough to make a
celebrated man--and such we take M. de Talleyrand, Prince de Benevento,
to have been.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 17: _Revelations of the Life of Prince Talleyrand_. Edited
from the Papers of the late M. Colmache, Private Secretary to the
Prince. Second Edition. One Volume. London, 1850. H. Colburn.]

[Footnote 18: Suetonius, in Vita, cap. 92.]

[Footnote 19: [Greek: Onar ek Dios estin].]

[Footnote 20: _Voice from St. Helena_.]

[Footnote 21: The reader will perceive that this was written before the
death of Louis Philippe, which took place at Claremont on the 26th day
of August last.]

[Footnote 22: The italics are not ours.]

[Footnote 23: See Caulincourt's _Recollections_, &c. vol. ii. Appendix.]

[Footnote 24: Caulincourt, vol. ii. p. 274, 5.]

[Footnote 25: The particulars have been gleaned from a few scanty
notices contained in an unpublished volume by the late George Macintosh,
Esq., the nephew of the Mr. Wm. Macintosh spoken of above, entitled,
_Biographical Memoir of the late Charles Macintosh, Esq., F.R.S. &c.
&c._ Glasgow, 1847.]

[Footnote 26: P. 210. The italics are in the original.]



THE DANGERS OF DOING WRONG. A TALE OF THE SEA-SIDE.

BY AGNES STRICKLAND.


"And so you will not join our party to Dunwich fair to-morrow,
Elizabeth?" said Margaret Blackbourne to the pretty daughter of the
Vicar of Southwold, with whom she was returning from a long ramble along
the broken cliffs toward Eastern Bavent, one lovely July evening in the
year 1616.

Southwold, be it known to such of my readers as may happen to be
unacquainted with its _locale_, is a pretty retired bathing town on the
coast of Suffolk, remarkable for its picturesque scenery and salubrious
air. At the time when the events on which my tale is founded took place,
Southwold, though it boasted none of the pretty marine villas which now
grace the Gunhill and centre cliffs, was a place of greater wealth and
importance than with all its modern improvements it is at present. It
was then one of the most flourishing sea-ports in Suffolk, and
occasionally sheltered in its ample bay the stateliest ships in the
British navy. And, in addition to the little corn-brigs and colliers,
whose light sails alone vary the blue expanse of waters, a mighty fleet
of vessels of war might not unfrequently be seen stretching in majestic
order along the undulating coast between Eastenness and Dunwich, and the
more remote promontory of Orford-Ness. Dunwich, too, that Tyre of the
East Angles, sat not then so wholly desolate on her crumbling cliff as
now overlooking, in dust and ashes, the devouring waves of the German
ocean in which her former glory lies buried two centuries ago. Dunwich,
however changed and fallen from what she was in olden time, still
retained the rank of a city; and, instead of the miserable horde of
smugglers' and fishermen's huts we now behold, with the roofless remains
of one lonely church, there were busy and populous streets, with shops,
and some appearances of maritime enterprise and mercantile prosperity.
The annual fair, which still takes place there on St. James's-day, was
at that time considered as a most attractive holiday by the denizens of
all the scattered towns and villages along that picturesque coast. Many
a well-manned yawl and light sailing-vessel would, in those days, put
off from Southwold, Lowestofft, or Aldborough, freighted with a
pleasure-loving crew, eager to enjoy a summer voyage and a merry day at
old Dunwich.

A great revolution has taken place in public opinion since then, with
respect to fairs, which, so far from being exclusively the saturnalia of
the vulgar and dissolute, were then used as marts for the sale of
various articles of domestic produce; and regarded by all classes of
society as seasons of social glee, where all met together, from the
highest to the lowest, in gala array, with smiles on their faces, and
good-will in their hearts, to participate in cheerful sports and
harmless mirth, in which good order and decency were observed out of
respect for the presence of ladies and gentlemen.

Christopher Younges, Elizabeth's father, was, however, a man of stern
notions; and looking on the dark side of the picture, the abuse of such
assemblages, he absolutely condemned them as affording fatal
opportunities for the idle, the extravagant, and the dissipated to
indulge in sinful excesses, and to seduce the weak and unstable to
follow bad example. He had never, on any occasion, permitted his pretty
daughter Elizabeth, then in the opening bloom of eighteen, to display
her youthful charms and gay attire even at the annual fair held in their
own town, and she knew, as she told her gay companion, Margaret, "that
it would be in vain to ask his permission to join the festive party on
the morrow."

"For my part," rejoined Margaret, "I would as lief be a nun, and live
shut up between four stone walls, as be subjected to such restraints! My
father is the worshipful bailiff of this town, but he never stands in
the way of a little harmless pleasure."

"Very true, Margaret; but my father, being a minister of the Gospel,
understands these things better, you know."

"What! better than a magistrate? the chief magistrate of the borough and
corporation of Southwold, Bessy Younges? No, no, my dear; you won't
persuade me to that. Your father is a very good kind of man, and has a
deal of book knowledge; but my father says, 'he knows very little of the
world, and is far too stiff in his notions for his congregation,'"
exclaimed Margaret.

"It may be so," observed Elizabeth, "but as I am bound to pay double
attention to my father's advice, both as my parent and my pastor, I beg
to hear no more on the subject."

"As you please, Elizabeth;--but have you seen Arthur yet?"

"Arthur! I thought he was at sea."

"He landed this morning at seven."

"And you not to tell me of it before!"

"I thought you had seen him; but I dare say he has called at the
Vicarage while we have been out walking."

"How very provoking!"

"Never mind; you will have enough of his company to-morrow, if you go to
Dunwich fair with us."

"But I am _not_ going to Dunwich fair!" cried Elizabeth, pettishly; "and
if Arthur Blackbourne goes without me I will never speak to him again."

"And if _you_ do not there are plenty in this town who will be ready to
pull caps for him, I can tell you. There is Joan Bates will be only too
happy to sit by him in the boat, and she says--"

"Something vastly impertinent, I dare say; but I don't want to hear any
of her cross speeches second-hand: I beg you will save yourself the
trouble of repeating them, Margaret. It is getting late, and I must
hasten home."

Time had, indeed, stolen a march on the vicar's fair daughter, while she
had been discussing this interesting subject with her youthful friend
and gossip, the sister of her sailor lover; for the full-orbed moon had
already reared her bright face over the swelling waves, and was pouring
a flood of radiance through the bay, and illuminating the high-arched
windows of All-Saints' church on the distant dark promontory of Dunwich
cat-cliff.

Elizabeth turned resolutely about to pursue a homeward path; but, at the
little turnstile leading to the vicarage, which then with its neat
garden and paddock adjoined the western boundary of the church-yard, she
encountered Arthur Blackbourne and her brother Edward.

"Where have you been cruising out of your course, girls, for the last
age?" cried Arthur: "here have I been giving chase to you both in all
directions, till I have hardly a leg to stand on!"

"We have only been for a walk to Easton Broad," said Elizabeth.

"A walk to Easton Broad, the very evening of my return, and without me!"

"How should I know you were home?"

"There were other girls in the town who contrived to find it out;--ay,
and pretty girls too--but they took the trouble of keeping a look-out
for the Jolly Nicholas," rejoined Arthur, reproachfully.

"So did Bessy, I am sure!" exclaimed the boy Edward, with great
vivacity; "why, she wholly crazed us about the Jolly Nicholas, and sent
me a dozen times a day to ask our old pilots at the station, whether she
were in sight, till they were so sick of the Jolly Nicholas and me, that
they got as savage as so many sea-bears, and gave me the name of 'Old
Nick' for my pains."

"Joan Bates was on the beach to welcome me on shore when I landed,"
pursued Arthur.

"Just like her; she is always so forward," retorted Elizabeth.

"It would be well if some people thought as much of me as Joan Bates,"
continued Arthur.

"And if you have nothing more agreeable to say to me, Arthur
Blackbourne, I will wish you good night," said Elizabeth. "Come,
Edward."

"You are in a mighty hurry, I think; when you have not seen me for six
months, and I have thought of you, sleeping and waking, all that time,
and now you won't speak one kind word to a poor fellow!" said the young
sailor.

"I have spoken quite as many as you deserve," retorted Elizabeth; "if
you want flattery, you may go to Joan Bates."

"And so I will, if you are not more lovingly disposed the next time we
meet," said Arthur; "but you will be better tempered, I hope, at Dunwich
fair to-morrow."

"I am not going to Dunwich fair."

"Not going to Dunwich fair, Bessy! a pretty joke, i'faith, when the
Royal Anne is new painted and rigged with her best flags and canvas all
ready to take us; and we have the prospect of a glorious day to-morrow."

"No matter; I shall not go."

"How very perverse;--just to vex me, I suppose!"

"You know my father does not approve of fairs."

"Fiddle-de-dee! there will be plenty of people as good as Parson Younges
at Dunwich fair, and some a little wiser, mayhap."

"I am sure there is no harm in going to a fair," said the boy Edward;
"and, oh, dear! how I should like to go to-morrow."

"So you shall, my hearty, if you can persuade Bessy to go with us."

"Pray, sister, let us go! there will be such fine doings;--a pair of
dancing bears, and three jack-an-apes dressed like soldiers, a
mountebank with an Andrew and a Master Merriman, and such lots of booths
with toys, and beads, and ribbons; more cakes and sweetmeats than I
could eat in a year; besides a merry-go-round and two flying ships.
Then, there will be wrestling and cudgel-playing, foot-ball, jumping in
sacks, and dancing on the church-green to the pipe and tabor, and you
dance so well."

"And we should dance together," whispered the handsome mate of the Jolly
Nicholas.

"It is all very fine talking; but my father will never consent."

"Tut, tut; you have not asked him yet."

"It would be useless if I did."

"That is more than I know; for no ship is always in the same tack. Men
change their minds as often as girls; and if you coax the old boy
handsomely, when you bid him good-night, my compass to your distaff,
he'll let you both go."

"Oh, do try, dear sister Bessy!" cried Edward, hanging on her arm.

"Well, I suppose I must; and if my father consents I will join you on
the beach with Edward at six to-morrow morning."

"We shall wait for you, remember," said the sailor, "so come and let us
know, at all events; for time and tide tarry for no one," and so they
parted.

Elizabeth, when she preferred her suit to her father that evening, met
with a positive denial, accompanied with a stern rebuke for her late
return from her evening ramble. She retired to her own chamber in tears,
and cried herself to sleep. She dreamed of the forbidden pleasure; and
that she was seated in the gayly painted Queen Anne, at the helm by the
side of her long-absent sailor love, listening to his whispered
endearments, as the boat glided rapidly toward the scene of festive
enjoyment, to which the merry pealing of bells seemed to invite her. At
five she was awakened by a light tap at her chamber door, from her
little brother, who whispered, "Oh, sister Bessy, it is such a lovely
morning, let us go and see the boats push off for Dunwich fair!"

"To what purpose?" cried the mortified girl, "the sight of them will
only increase my vexation."

"Oh, but you promised to let Arthur and Margaret know; and they will
take it unkindly if you do not keep your word," said Edward.

Far wiser would it have been for the brother and sister if they had kept
out of the way of temptation; but mutually compounding with their
consciences, that there could be no harm in going to see the boat off,
since they did not mean to sail with her crew, they left the paternal
roof together, and tripped hand-in-hand toward the spot where the Queen
Anne, with her new crimson pennon, lay in readiness for the launch,
surrounded by a gayly-dressed group of females, young and old, in their
holiday attire, jovial seamen, and blithe young bachelors of the town,
among whom, but superior to them all, stood Arthur Blackbourne, in his
sable fur cap with a bullion cordon and tassels. His nautical dress
differed little in fashion from that of the rowers of the yawl, only
that his doublet was of a smarter cut and finer material, and surmounted
with a full ruff of Flanders lace, a piece of foppery in which the
handsome mate of the Jolly Nicholas imitated the fashion of the court of
James I., and was enabled, by his trading voyages to Antwerp and
Hamburgh, to indulge without any great extravagance. He had brought home
half-a-dozen yards of this costly adornment and a damasked gown for the
vicar's fair daughter, and he communicated the fact to her in a loving
whisper, when, after springing half-way up the cliff at three bounds to
meet her, he had fondly encircled her waist with his arm, to aid her in
the descent to the beach. "And the damask is white damask," pursued he,
"on purpose for your wedding gown; and I have a pocket full of silver
and gold besides, to treat you with any thing you may fancy at Dunwich
fair, my sweeting."

"Dear Arthur, it is of no use talking of it; father was very angry with
me for asking his leave to go, and so I can not go. I told you how it
would be!" said Elizabeth, with mingled wrath and sorrow in her tones.

The mate of the Jolly Nicholas looked troubled for a moment, and then
said, "Never mind, my darling girl, you shall go to Dunwich fair for all
that, and so shall little Teddy."

"Oh, dear Arthur, I am so glad! Hurrah for Dunwich fair!" shouted the
boy.

"Be quiet, foolish child, we can not go without my father's leave," said
Elizabeth.

"Yes, yes, you can; it is but for once, and I will take all the blame
upon myself," cried Arthur Blackbourne.

"Goodness, Arthur! I never disobeyed my father in my life."

"Then you have been a very good girl, Bessy, and he can not reasonably
rate you for a first fault; and if he does--there is the white damask
ready bought for the wedding gown, and I am ready to take you for better
or worse to-morrow," continued Arthur, drawing the half-resisting, but
more than half-willing girl, nearer and nearer to the boat at every
word; while Teddy, hanging on her arm, continued to wheedle and implore
her to go.

"It is only for once, sister Bessy; only for once: father can't kill us
if we do take this one day's pastime. Oh, dear, oh, dear; I shall die if
I don't go to Dunwich fair!"

"Arthur Blackbourne, we shall lose the tide if you stand palavering
there," shouted half-a-dozen of the crew of the Queen Anne.

"Arthur Blackbourne, you are to take charge of my niece, Joan Bates, if
Bessy Younges doesn't go with us," screamed the shrill voice of the
widow Robson, one of the busiest bodies in the busy borough corporate of
Southwold two centuries ago.

"Oh gracious, aunt! you must not interfere between sweethearts;"
expostulated Joan, with a giggle of affected simplicity. "I am sure I
don't wish to take Arthur Blackbourne from Mistress Elizabeth Younges,
if he prefers her company to mine, and it is her intention to go to
Dunwich fair with us; but I think she does not go to fairs. Parson
Younges always preaches against them, does not he, aunt?" said Joan.

"Why, to be sure he does," cried the widow Robson; "so of course his
daughter can not be seen at such a place."

Elizabeth turned pale with vexation at these observations, the drift of
which she perfectly understood. Margaret Blackbourne stepped back, and
whispered in her ear, "All that is said to keep you from going to
Dunwich fair with Arthur."

"I shall not ask their leave if I choose to go," returned Elizabeth.

"Then pray make up your mind at once," said the widow Robson, "or we
shall none go, I fancy, as Arthur Blackbourne is the steersman of the
Queen Anne."

"I am coming," cried Arthur, drawing Elizabeth toward the boat. All the
female voyagers had now scrambled in, save Joan Bates, who was
exercising her coquettish skill in parrying the advances of Bennet
Allen, the town-clerk's brother, with the evident design of securing the
attentions of the handsome Arthur Blackbourne for the voyage.

Four stout seamen, aided by a bare-foot, ragged rout of auxiliaries,
such as are always loitering on Southwold beach in readiness to
volunteer their services on such occasions, now began to impel the boat
through the breakers with the usual chorus of, "Yeo ho--steady--yeo ho!"
and Edward, following the example of some of the juvenile passengers,
sprang into the boat with the agility of a squirrel, and a wild cry of
delight.

"Edward, Edward, you must not go," exclaimed his sister.

"Hurrah for Dunwich fair!" shouted the willful urchin, tossing up his
cap.

"Arthur, help me!" cried Elizabeth.

"Ay, ay, by all means," rejoined the mate of the Jolly Nicholas, taking
her about the waist, and swinging her into the boat. The next moment he
was seated by her side, and the Queen Anne was gayly dashing through the
waves. Her canvas was hoisted amidst bursts of mirth, and snatches of
nautical songs, and it was said that so gallant and fair a company and
crew never before left Southwold beach. Elizabeth Younges was perhaps
the only one who looked back with boding glances toward the town, and in
so doing recognized her father's tall, bending figure on the centre
cliff, holding up his hand in an authoritative manner, as if to
interdict her voyage. It was her first act of willful disobedience, and
her heart sank within her; and though she had triumphed over her bold
rival, by securing the company and attentions of Arthur Blackbourne for
the day, she felt more dejected than if she had been left alone on the
beach. One black cloud, the only one in the silver and azure sky, now
floated across the horizon, and appeared to hover darkly and ominously
over her forsaken home, as the shores of Southwold receded in the
distance.

"Arthur," whispered she to her lover, "I do not like to go to Dunwich
fair so entirely against my father's prohibition. Do make the boat tack,
and set the boy Edward and me ashore."

"Dear heart! it is folly to think of such a thing; we are opposite
Dingle now."

"It will be only a pleasant walk back to Southwold for us."

"Very pleasant for you, perhaps; but recollect, there are twenty people
besides yourself in the boat, and I really do not see why they should be
put to inconvenience for your whims."

"But, Arthur, you know you put me into the boat against my will."

"The more fool I," retorted the offended lover. Elizabeth made an angry
rejoinder, but instead of persisting in her purpose, she sat silent and
sullen during the rest of the voyage. The merry pealing of bells from
the three churches then remaining in Dunwich, sounded a jocund welcome
over the waves--the old city was adorned with flags and green boughs in
honor of her chartered fair, and the tall cliffs were lined with
gayly-dressed groups, rejoicing in their holiday; but these things gave
no pleasure to Elizabeth. The uproarious glee of her brother Edward
annoyed her, and finding Arthur appeared in no haste to offer her his
arm, to assist her in ascending the lofty cliffs of Dunwich, after they
had landed, she took that of the reluctant boy and walked proudly on,
without deigning to direct a glance toward her lover.

"I wish you would walk with your own man, sister Bess," said Edward. "I
want to have some fun with the other boys."

"You are very unkind, Edward, to wish to desert me, when Arthur has
treated me so ill. If it had not been for your perversity in jumping
into the boat, and refusing to leave it, I should not have disobeyed my
father by coming here," said Elizabeth.

"It is of no use thinking of that now," rejoined Edward; "as we are
here, we had better enjoy ourselves."

Elizabeth never felt so little in the humor for any thing of the kind
called pleasure. The want of sympathy, too, in her little brother, added
to the bitterness of her feelings. She directed a furtive glance toward
the party behind, and perceived Arthur engaged in what in these days
would be called an active flirtation with her rival, Joan Bates: under
these circumstances she determined not to relinquish her brother's arm;
but that perverse urchin, whom she had so entirely loved and petted from
his cradle, with the usual ingratitude of a spoiled child, took the
earliest opportunity of breaking from her, and joining a boisterous
company of boys of his own age. Bennet Allen then approached, and
offered his arm to Elizabeth, with the mortifying observation, "that as
they both appeared to be forsaken and forlorn, the best thing they could
do would be to walk together."

The proud heart of Elizabeth was ready to burst at this remark, and had
it been any where else, she would have rejected the proffered attentions
of young Allen with scorn; but she felt the impropriety of walking alone
in a fair, and silently accepted the arm of her rival's discarded lover,
and at the same time affected a gayety of manner she was far from
feeling, in the hope of piquing Arthur Blackbourne. Nothing is, however,
so wearisome to both mind and body as an outward show of mirth when the
heart is sorrowful. Elizabeth Younges relapsed into long fits of gloom
and silence, and when addressed by her companion, made short and
ungracious answers.

"What a disagreeable thing a fair is," said she, at last; "I no longer
wonder at my father saying it was not a suitable place for me--how I
wish I were at home!"

But many weary hours of noise and pleasureless excitement had to be worn
away, ere the party with whom Elizabeth came to Dunwich would agree to
return. Elizabeth's remonstrances, entreaties, and anger were alike
unheeded by the companions of her voyage. She had haughtily rejected
every overture on the part of Arthur toward a reconciliation, and
declined to receive fairings or attentions of any kind from him, to
manifest her indignant sense of the slight she had experienced from him
in the early part of the day; and Arthur had retorted by paying his
court very ostentatiously to Joan Bates. Elizabeth, neglected and alone,
strayed from her party, and sought a solitary nook among the ivied ruins
of a monastic pile, whose rifted arches overhung the verge of the lofty
cliff, where she indulged in floods of tears, casting from time to time
her wistful glances toward Southwold, whose verdant cliffs looked so
calm and peaceful in the mellow lights of a glowing sunset; but it was
not till those cliffs were silvered by the rising moon that the tide
served for the return of the boats. At length, Elizabeth heard her name
vociferated by many individuals of her party, and felt sorely mortified
at the publicity thus given to the fact of her being at a forbidden
place. Ashamed to raise her voice in reply, yet painfully anxious to
return to her deserted home, she hastened from her retreat among the
ruins, and ran eagerly toward the steep narrow path that led to the
beach. On the way she encountered Arthur Blackbourne, evidently the
worse for his revels.

"Where have you been wandering about by yourself?" cried he, seizing her
roughly by the arm.

"You have used me very ill to-day, Arthur," said she, bursting into
tears.

"You are jealous and out of temper," was the reply.

"Where is my brother Edward?" sobbed Elizabeth, for she could not trust
her voice with a rejoinder to this taunt.

"In the boat, and if you do not make haste, we shall lose the tide."

"I have suffered enough for my disobedience to my father as it is," said
Elizabeth; "and oh, what will he say to me on my return from this
disgraceful expedition!"

"There is no time to think of that now," rejoined Arthur, as they
proceeded to the boat in mutual displeasure with each other. Elizabeth
perceived with alarm, that boatmen and passengers alike were in the same
state of inebriation which was only too evident in Arthur.

The beach was now a scene of tumultuous bustle; a crowd of boats were
putting off for Southwold, Walberswick, and all the other places along
the coast for which the wind and tide served.

"Young woman," said an experienced Dunwich mariner who had been
regarding Elizabeth with much interest, "which boat are you going in."

"The Queen Anne of Southwold," was the reply.

"Take an old man's counsel and go not in her to-night. She is too full
of riotous head strong people, and those who ought to be the most cool
and considerate there are the worst."

"Oh, but I must go; I dare not remain longer, for I came without my
father's leave."

"So much the worse, young girl, for you; no good can come of such
doings," said the ancient mariner.

"Oh, if I but reach my home in safety, I will never, never so transgress
again!" sobbed Elizabeth as she took her seat among the reckless crew of
the Queen Anne, and rested her aching head against the dewy canvas which
was now unfurled to the gay breeze that came dancing over the summer
waves.

It was a night of intense beauty, and the contemplation of the starry
heavens above, with that glorious moon shining in such cloudless
splendor over the mighty expanse of heaving blue waters, might have
drawn the minds of the midnight voyagers to far different themes than
those which were so clamorously discussed by them as they glided through
the murmuring waves. The Queen Anne had shot ahead of the swarm of
sailing boats with which she left Dunwich strand, and her thoughtless
crew, with wild excitement, continued to accelerate her perilous speed
by hoisting a press of canvas as they neared the shores of Southwold.

A dispute now occurred among them, whether they should land at the haven
or opposite the town. None of the parties were in a state to form a very
correct judgment as to which would be the best and safest point to bring
the boat to shore. The importunities of Joan Bates and others of the
female passengers, who had suffered severely from sea-sickness during
the homeward voyage, prevailed on Arthur Blackbourne and a majority of
the party to attempt a landing at the haven, and four of the boatmen
scrambling through the surf proceeded to fix their rope and grapples, to
bring the boat to shore. They were resisted by such of the men as were
for landing opposite the town, and with reason, for the tide was rushing
with great force into the river Blythe. Arthur Blackbourne had seized
one of the oars to assist in effecting a landing on that perilous spot.
Elizabeth Younges, who perceived a cable lying athwart the haven,
started up in an agony of terror, caught him by the arm, and entreated
him to desist. Arthur, attributing her opposition to angry excitement of
temper, rudely shook off her hold and exerted a double portion of energy
to accomplish his object, and just at the fatal moment when the men
carelessly let go the rope, impelled the boat into immediate contact
with the obstacle of which Elizabeth was about to warn him. The next
instant all were struggling with the roaring tide. The slumbering
village of Walberswick was startled with the death-shrieks of that
devoted company. The anxious watchers on Southwold cliff, the parents,
relatives, and friends of the hapless voyagers, echoed back their cries
in hopeless despair. Then there was the impulsive rush of men, women,
and children toward the spot where they had seen the boat capsized. In
less than ten minutes the swift-footed neared it, but ere then, the
dread gulf which divides time from eternity had already been passed by
each and all, save one, of those who sailed so gayly from the town that
morn. Lovers and rivals, passengers and crew, were united in a watery
grave. The solitary survivor was Arthur Blackbourne.

The register of Southwold for the year 1616 contains the record of this
tragedy of domestic life, penned with mournful minuteness by the
faithful hand of the bereaved parent of two of the victims,
Christopherus Younges, the Vicar of Southwold: we copy it verbatim from
the tear-stained page.

"The names of those who were drowned and found again. They were drowned
in the haven coming from _Donwich fayer_, on St. James's day in a
_bote_, by reason of one cable lying _overwharf_ the haven, for by
reason the men that brought them down was so negligent, that when they
were _redie_ to come ashore the _bote_ broke _lose_, and so the force of
the tide carried the _bote_ against the cable and so overwhelmed. The
number of them were xxii, but they were not all found. The widow Robson,
Johne Bates, Mary Yewell, Susan Frost, Margaret Blackbourne and the
widow Taylor, were all buried on the 26th day of July, being all cast
away, coming from _Donwick fayer_, on St. James's daye.

"Widow Poster was buried the 27th day of Julye. Bennett Allen was buried
the 30th daie, Goodie Kerrison same daie. Edward and Elizabeth Younges,
daughter and son to me, C. Younges, vicar and minister, was buried the
31st _Dae of Julie_.

"All these were found again in this towne and buried."--_Southwold
Register_ A. D. 1616.



ANECDOTES OF NAPOLEON.

BY THE LATE LORD HOLLAND.[27]


HIS EARLY PURSUITS.

Napoleon was born at Ajaccio in 1769. It was affirmed by many that he
was at least a year older, and concealed his real age from an
unwillingness to acknowledge his birth in Corsica, at a period when that
island formed no part of the French dominions. The story is an idle one.
A yet more idle one was circulated that he had been baptized by the name
of Nicholas, but from apprehension of ridicule converted it, when he
rose to celebrity, into Napoleon. The printed exercises of the military
school of Brienne, of the years 1780, 1781, 1783, preserved in the
Bibliothèque at Paris, represent him as proficient in history, algebra,
geography, and dancing, under the name of Buona-Parte de l'Isle de
Corse; sometimes d'Ajaccio en Corse. Many traits of his aspiring and
ambitious character, even in early youth, have been related, and Pozzo
di Borgo quoted (1826) a conversation with him when 18 years of age, in
which, after inquiring and learning the state of Italy, he exclaimed,
"Then I have not been deceived, and with two thousand soldiers a man
might make himself king (Principe) of that country." The ascendency he
acquired over his family and companions, long before his great talents
had emerged from obscurity, were formerly described to me by Cardinal
Fesch and Louis Bonaparte, and have been confirmed since by the uniform
testimony of such as knew him during his residence in Corsica, or before
his acquaintance with Barras, the Director. When at home he was
extremely studious, ardent in some pursuit, either literary or
scientific, which he communicated to no one. At his meals, which he
devoured rapidly, he was silent, and apparently absorbed in his own
thoughts. Yet he was generally consulted on all questions affecting the
interests of any branch of his family, and on all such occasions was
attentive, friendly, decisive, and judicious. He wrote at a very early
period of his life, a History of Corsica, and sent the manuscript to the
Abbé Raynal, with a flourishing letter, soliciting the honor of his
acquaintance, and requesting his opinion of the work. The abbé
acknowledged the letter, and praised the performance, but Napoleon never
printed it. Persons who have dined with him at taverns and coffee-houses
when it was convenient to him not to pay his reckoning, have assured me,
that though the youngest and poorest, he always obtained, without
exacting it, a sort of deference or even submission from the rest of the
company. Though never parsimonious, he was at that period of his life
extremely attentive to the details of expense, the price of provisions,
and of other necessary articles, and, in short, to every branch of
domestic economy. The knowledge thus early acquired in such matters, was
useful to him in a more exalted station. He cultivated and even made a
parade of his information in subsequent periods of his career, and thus
sometimes detected and frequently prevented embezzlement in the
administration of public accounts.


HIS ATTENTION TO DETAILS.

Nothing could exceed the order and regularity with which his household
both as consul and emperor was conducted. The great things he
accomplished, and the savings he made, without even the imputation of
avarice or meanness, with the sum comparatively inconsiderable of
fifteen millions of francs a year, are marvelous, and expose his
successors, and indeed all European princes to the reproach of
negligence or incapacity. In this branch of his government, he owed much
to Duroc. It is said, that they often visited the markets of Paris (les
halles) dressed in plain clothes and early in the morning. When any
great accounts were to be submitted to the emperor, Duroc would apprise
him in secret of some of the minutest details. By an adroit allusion to
them or a careless remark on the points upon which he had received such
recent and accurate information, Napoleon contrived to impress his
audience with a notion that the master's eye was every where. For
instance, when the Tuilleries were furnished, the upholsterer's charges,
though not very exorbitant, were suspected by the emperor to be higher
than the usual profit of that trade would have warranted. He suddenly
asked some minister, who was with him, how much the egg at the end of
the bell-rope should cost? "J'ignore," was the answer. "Eh bien! nous
verrons," said he, and then cut off the ivory handle, called for a
valet, and bidding him dress himself in plain and ordinary clothes, and
neither divulge his immediate commission or general employment to any
living soul, directed him to inquire the price of such articles at
several shops in Paris, and to order a dozen as for himself. They were
one-third less dear than those furnished to the palace. The emperor,
inferring that the same advantage had been taken in the other articles,
struck a third off the whole charge, and directed the tradesman to be
informed that it was done at his express command, because on
_inspection_, he had himself discovered the charges to be by one-third
too exorbitant. When afterward, in the height of his glory, he visited
Caen, with the Empress Maria Louisa, and a train of crowned heads and
princes, his old friend, M. Mechin, the Prefect, aware of his taste for
detail, waited upon him with five statistical tables of the expenditure,
revenue, prices, produce, and commerce of the department. "C'est bon,"
said he, when he received them the evening of his arrival, "vous et moi
nous ferons bien de l'esprit sur tout cela demain au Conseil."
Accordingly, he astonished all the leading proprietors of the department
at the meeting next day, by his minute knowledge of the prices of good
and bad cider, and of the produce and other circumstances of the various
districts of the department. Even the royalist gentry were impressed
with a respect for his person, which gratitude for the restitution of
their lands had failed to inspire, and which, it must be acknowledged,
the first, faint hope of vengeance against their enemies entirely
obliterated in almost every member of that intolerant faction.

Other princes have shown an equal fondness for minute details with
Napoleon, but here is the difference. The use they made of their
knowledge was to torment their inferiors and weary their company: the
purpose to which Napoleon applied it was to confine the expenses of the
state to the objects and interests of the community.


NAPOLEON'S POWERS OF MEMORY.

His powers of application and memory seemed almost preternatural. There
was scarcely a man in France, and none in employment, with whose private
history, characters, and qualifications, he was not acquainted. He had,
when emperor, notes and tables, which he called the moral statistics of
his empire. He revised and corrected them by ministerial reports,
private conversation, and correspondence. He received all letters
himself, and what seems incredible, he read and recollected all that he
received. He slept little, and was never idle one instant when awake.
When he had an hour for diversion, he not unfrequently employed it in
looking over a book of logarithms, which he acknowledged, with some
surprise, was at all seasons of his life a recreation to him. So
retentive was his memory of numbers, that sums over which he had once
glanced his eye were in his mind ever after. He recollected the
respective produce of all taxes through every year of his
administration, and could, at any time, repeat any one of them, even to
the centimes. Thus his detection of errors in accounts appeared
marvelous, and he often indulged in the pardonable artifice of
displaying these faculties in a way to create a persuasion that his
vigilance was almost supernatural. In running over an account of
expenditure, he perceived the rations of a battalion charged on a
certain day at Besançon. "Mais le bataillon n'était pas là," said he,
"il y a erreur." The minister, recollecting that the emperor had been at
the time out of France, and confiding in the regularity of his
subordinate agents, persisted that the battalion must have been at
Besançon. Napoleon insisted on further inquiry. It turned out to be a
fraud and not a mistake. The peculating accountant was dismissed, and
the scrutinizing spirit of the emperor circulated with the anecdote
through every branch of the public service, in a way to deter every
clerk from committing the slightest error, from fear of immediate
detection. His knowledge, in other matters, was often as accurate and
nearly as surprising. Not only were the Swiss deputies in 1801
astonished at his familiar acquaintance with the history, laws, and
usages of their country, which seemed the result of a life of research,
but even the envoys from the insignificant Republic of San Marino, were
astonished at finding that he knew the families and feuds of that small
community, and discoursed on the respective views, conditions, and
interests of parties and individuals, as if he had been educated in the
petty squabbles and local politics of that diminutive society. I
remember a simple native of that place told me in 1814 that the
phenomenon was accounted for by the Saint of the town appearing to him
over-night, in order to assist his deliberations.


HIS KNOWLEDGE OF NAVAL AFFAIRS.

Some anecdotes related to me by the distinguished officer who conveyed
him in the Undaunted to Elba, in 1814, prove the extent, variety, and
accuracy of knowledge of Napoleon. On his first arrival on the coast, in
company with Sir Neil Campbell, an Austrian and a Russian commissioner,
Captain Usher waited upon him, and was invited to dinner. He conversed
much on naval affairs, and explained the plan he had once conceived of
forming a vast fleet of 160 ships-of-the-line. He asked Captain Usher if
he did not think it would have been practicable; and Usher answered,
that with the immense means he then commanded, he saw no impossibility
in building and manning any number of ships, but his difficulty would
have consisted in forming thorough seamen as distinguished from what we
call smooth-water sailors. Napoleon replied that he had provided for
that also; he had organized exercises for them afloat, not only in
harbor, but in smaller vessels near the coast, by which they might have
been trained to go through, even in rough weather, the most arduous
manoeuvres of seamanship, which he enumerated; and he mentioned among
them the keeping a ship clear of her anchors in a heavy sea. The
Austrian, who suspected Napoleon of talking in general upon subjects he
imperfectly understood, acknowledging his own ignorance, asked him the
meaning of the term, the nature of the difficulty, and the method of
surmounting it. On this the emperor took up two forks, and explained the
problem in seamanship, which is not an easy one, in so short,
scientific, and practical a way, that Captain Usher assured me he knew
none but professional men, and very few of them, who could off-hand have
given so perspicuous, seamanlike, and satisfactory solution of the
question. Any board of officers would have inferred, from such an
exposition, that the person making it had received a naval education,
and was a practical seaman. Yet how different were the objects on which
the mind of Napoleon must have been long, as well as recently, employed!

On the same voyage, when the propriety of putting into a harbor of
Corsica was under discussion, and the want of a pilot urged as an
objection, Napoleon described the depth of water, shoals, currents,
bearings, and anchorage, with a minuteness which seemed as if he had
himself acted in that capacity; and which, on reference to the charts,
was found scrupulously accurate. When his cavalry and baggage arrived at
Porto Ferrajo, the commander of the transports said that he had been on
the point of putting into a creek near Genoa (which he named, but I have
forgotten); upon hearing which Napoleon exclaimed, "It is well you did
not; it is the worst place in the Mediterranean; you would not have got
to sea again for a month or six weeks." He then proceeded to allege
reasons for the difficulty, which were quite sufficient if the
peculiarities of the little bay were really such as he described; but
Captain Usher, having never heard of them during his service in the
Mediterranean, suspected that the emperor was mistaken, or had
confounded some report he had heard from mariners in his youth. When,
however, he mentioned the circumstance many years afterward to Captain
Dundas, who had recently cruised in the Gulf of Genoa, that officer
confirmed the report of Napoleon in all its particulars, and expressed
astonishment at its correctness. "For" (said he), "I thought it a
discovery of my own, having ascertained all you have just told me about
that creek, by observation and experience."


HIS INDUSTRY AND CURIOSITY.

Great as was his appetite for knowledge, his memory in retaining, and
his quickness in applying it; his labor both in acquiring and using it
was equal to them. In application to business he could wear out the men
most inured to study. In the deliberations on the Code Civil, many of
which lasted ten, twelve, or fifteen hours without intermission, he was
always the last whose attention flagged; and he was so little disposed
to spare himself trouble, that even in the Moscow campaign he sent
regularly to every branch of administration in Paris directions in
detail, which in every government but his would, both from usage and
convenience, have been left to the discretion of the superintending
minister, or to the common routine of business. This and other instances
of his diligence are more wonderful than praiseworthy. He had
established an office with twelve clerks, and Mounier at their head,
whose sole duty it was to extract, translate, abridge, and arrange under
heads the contents of our English newspapers. He charged Mounier to omit
no abuse of him, however coarse or virulent; no charge, however
injurious or malignant. As, however, he did not specify the empress,
Mounier, who reluctantly complied with his orders, ventured to suppress,
or, at least, to soften any phrases about her; but Napoleon questioned
others on the contents of the English papers; detected Mounier and his
committee in their mutilations of the articles, and forbade them to
withhold any intelligence or any censure they met with in the
publications which they were appointed to examine. Yet with all this
industry, and with the multiplicity of topics which engaged his
attention, he found time for private and various reading. His librarian
was employed for some time every morning in replacing maps and books
which his unwearied and insatiable curiosity had consulted before
breakfast. He read all letters whatever addressed to himself, whether in
his private or public capacity; and it must, I believe, be acknowledged,
that he often took the same liberty with those directed to other people.
He had indulged in that unjustifiable practice[28] before his elevation,
and such was his impatience to open both parcels and letters, that,
however employed, he could seldom defer the gratification of his
curiosity an instant after either came under his notice or his reach.
Josephine, and others, well acquainted with his habits, very pardonably
took some advantage of this propensity. Matters which she feared to
mention to him were written and directed to her, and the letters
unopened left in his way. He often complied with wishes which he thought
he had detected by an artifice, more readily than had they been
presented in the form of claim, petition, or request. He liked to know
every thing; but he liked all he did to have the appearance of springing
entirely from himself, feeling, like many others in power, an
unwillingness to encourage even those they love in an opinion that they
have an influence over them, or that there is any certain channel to
their favor. His childish eagerness about cases led, in one instance, to
a gracious act of playful munificence. He received notice of the arrival
of a present from Constantinople, in society with the empress and other
ladies. He ordered the parcel[29] to be brought up, and instantly tore
it open with his own hand. It contained a large aigrette of diamonds
which he broke into various pieces, and he then threw the largest into
her imperial majesty's lap, and some into that of every lady in the
circle.


HIS LITERARY TASTE AND ACQUIREMENTS.

Among his projects were many connected with the arts and with
literature. They were all, perhaps, subservient to political purposes,
generally gigantic, abruptly prepared, and, in all likelihood, as
suddenly conceived. Many were topics of conversation and subjects for
speculation, not serious, practical, or digested designs. Though not
insensible to the arts or to literature, he was suspected latterly of
considering them rather as political engines or embellishments, than as
sources of enjoyment. M. de Talleyrand, and several artists concurred in
saying, that "il avait le sentiment du grand, mais non pas celui du
beau." He had written "bon sujet d'un tableau," opposite to some passage
in Letourneur's translation of Ossian, and he had certainly a passion
for that poem.

His censure on David, for choosing the battle at the straits of
Thermopylæ as a subject for a picture, was that of a general rather than
connoisseur: it smelt, if I may say so, of his shop; though, perhaps,
the real motive for it was dislike to the republican artist, and
distaste to an act of national resistance against a great military
invader. "A bad subject," said he "after all, Leonidas was turned." He
had the littleness to expect to be prominent in every picture of
national victories of his time, and was displeased at a painting of an
action in Egypt for Madame Murat, in which her wounded husband was the
principal figure. Power made him impatient of contradiction,[30] even in
trifles; and, latterly, he did not like his taste in music, for which he
had no turn, to be disputed. His proficiency in literature has been
variously stated. He had read much, but had written little. In the
mechanical part he was certainly no adept; his handwriting was nearly
illegible. Some would fain persuade me that that fault was intentional,
and merely an artifice to conceal his bad spelling; that he could form
his letters well if he chose, but was unwilling to let his readers know
too exactly the use he made of them. His orthography was certainly not
correct; that of few Frenchmen, not professed authors, was so thirty
years ago: but his brothers Lucien and Louis, both literary men, and
both correct in their orthography, write a similar hand, and nearly as
bad a one as he did, probably for the same reason; viz., that they can
not write a better one without great pains and loss of time.

Napoleon, when consul and emperor, seldom wrote, but he dictated much.
It was difficult to follow him, and he often objected to any revision of
what he had dictated.


HIS RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS.

Whatever were the religious sentiments of this extraordinary man, such
companions were likely neither to fix nor to shake, to sway nor to alter
them. I have been at some pains to ascertain the little that can be
known of his thoughts on such subjects; and though it is not very
satisfactory, it appears to me worth recording.

In the early periods of the revolution, he, in common with many of his
countrymen, conformed to the fashion of treating all such matters, both
in conversation and action, with levity and even derision. In his
subsequent career, like most men exposed to wonderful vicissitudes, he
professed half in jest and half in earnest a sort of confidence in
fatalism and predestination. But on some solemn public occasions, and
yet more in private and sober discussion, he not only gravely disclaimed
and reproved infidelity, but both by actions and words implied his
conviction that a conversion to religious enthusiasm might befall
himself or any other man. He had more than tolerance--he had indulgence
and respect for extravagant and ascetic notions of religious duty. He
grounded that feeling, not on their soundness or their truth, but on the
uncertainty of what our minds may be reserved for, on the possibility of
our being prevailed upon to admit and even to devote ourselves to tenets
which at first excite our derision. It has been observed that there was
a tincture of Italian superstition in his character, a sort of
conviction from reason that the doctrines of revelation were not true,
and yet a persuasion, or at least an apprehension that he might live to
think them so. He was satisfied that the seeds of belief were deeply
sown in the human heart. It was on that principle that he permitted and
justified, though he did not dare to authorize the revival of La Trappe
and other austere orders. He contended that they might operate as a
safety-valve for the fanatical and visionary ferment which would
otherwise burst forth and disturb society. In his remarks on the death
of Duroc and in the reasons he alleged against suicide, both in calm and
speculative discussion and in moments of strong emotion (such as
occurred at Fontainbleau in 1814), he implied a belief both in fatality
and providence.

In the programme of his coronation, a part of the ceremony was to
consist in his taking the communion. But when the plan was submitted to
him, he, to the surprise of those who had drawn it, was absolutely
indignant at the suggestion. "No man," he said, "had the means of
knowing, or had the right to say, when or where he would take the
Sacrament, or whether he would or not." On this occasion, he added that
he would not,[31] nor did he!

There is some mystery about his conduct in similar respects at St.
Helena, and during the last days of his life. He certainly had mass
celebrated in his chapel while he was well, and in his bedroom when ill.
But though I have reason to believe that the last Sacraments were
actually administered to him privately, a few days before his death, and
probably after confession, yet Count Montholon, from whom I derive
indirectly my information, also stated that he received Napoleon's
earliest and distinct directions to conceal all the preliminary
preparations for that melancholy ceremony from all his other companions,
and even to enjoin the priest, if questioned, to say he acted by Count
Montholon's orders, but had no knowledge of the Emperor's wishes.

It seems as if he had some desire for such assurance as the church could
give, but yet was ashamed to own it. He knew that some at St. Helena,
and more in France, would deem his recourse to such consolation,
infirmity; perhaps he deemed it so himself. Religion may sing her
triumph, Philosophy exclaim, "pauvre humanité," more impartial
skepticism despair of discovering the motive, but truth and history
must, I believe, acknowledge the fact. M. de Talleyrand, who, on hearing
of his death, spoke of his mental endowments, added the following
remarks:

"His career is the most extraordinary that has occurred for one thousand
years. He committed three capital faults, and to them his fall, scarce
less extraordinary than his elevation, is to be ascribed--Spain, Russia,
and the Pope. I say the Pope; for his coronation, the acknowledgment by
the spiritual head of Christendom that he, a little lieutenant of
Corsica, was the chief sovereign of Europe, from whatever motive it
proceeded, was the most striking consummation of glory that could happen
to an individual. After adopting that mode of displaying his greatness
and crowning his achievements, he should never, for objects
comparatively insignificant, have stooped to vex and persecute the same
Pontiff. He thereby outraged the feelings of the very persons whose
enmity had been softened, and whose imagination had been dazzled by that
brilliant event. Such were his capital errors. Those three apart, he
committed few others in policy, wonderfully few, considering the
multiplicity of interests he had to manage, and the extent, importance,
and rapidity of the events in which he was engaged. He was certainly a
great, an extraordinary man, nearly as extraordinary in his qualities as
in his career; at least, so upon reflection I, who have seen him near
and much, am disposed to consider him. He was clearly the most
extraordinary man I ever saw, and I believe the most extraordinary man
that has lived in our age, or for many ages."

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 27: From a volume of Foreign Reminiscences, by Henry Richard
Lord Holland, edited by his son, Henry Edward Lord Holland,--in the
press of Messrs. Harper and Brothers, and soon to be published.]

[Footnote 28: Denon, Mechin, and others.]

[Footnote 29: Mechin.]

[Footnote 30: He was not so, however, either in deliberation or
discussion, at least when the matter was invited by himself. He allowed
his ministers to comment upon, and even to object to measures in
contemplation (provided they acquiesced in them when adopted) in free
and even strong terms, and he liked those he questioned on facts or
opinions to answer without compliment or reserve.]

[Footnote 31: Some attributed this repugnance to conform, to his fear of
the army, others to a secret and conscientious aversion to what he
deemed in his heart a profanation.]



A CRISIS IN THE AFFAIRS OF MR. JOHN BULL.

AS RELATED BY MRS. BULL TO THE CHILDREN


Mrs. Bull and her rising family were seated round the fire, one November
evening at dusk, when all was mud, mist, and darkness, out of doors, and
a good deal of fog had even got into the family parlor. To say the
truth, the parlor was on no occasion fog-proof, and had, at divers
notable times, been so misty as to cause the whole Bull family to grope
about, in a most confused manner, and make the strangest mistakes. But,
there was an excellent ventilator over the family fire-place (not one of
Dr. Arnott's, though it was of the same class, being an excellent
invention, called Common Sense), and hence, though the fog was apt to
get into the parlor through a variety of chinks, it soon got out again,
and left the Bulls at liberty to see what o'clock it was, by the solid,
steady-going, family time-piece: which went remarkably well in the long
run, though it was apt, at times, to be a trifle too slow.

Mr. Bull was dozing in his easy chair, with his pocket-handkerchief
drawn over his head. Mrs. Bull, always industrious, was hard at work,
knitting. The children were grouped in various attitudes around the
blazing fire. Master C. J. London (called after his God-father), who had
been rather late at his exercise, sat with his chin resting, in
something of a thoughtful and penitential manner, on his slate resting
on his knees. Young Jonathan--a cousin of the little Bulls, and a noisy,
overgrown lad--was making a tremendous uproar across the yard, with a
new plaything. Occasionally, when his noise reached the ears of Mr.
Bull, the good gentleman moved impatiently in his chair, and muttered
"Con--found that boy in the stripes, I wish he wouldn't make such a fool
of himself!"

"He'll quarrel with his new toy soon, I know," observed the discreet
Mrs. Bull, "and then he'll begin to knock it about. But we mustn't
expect to find old heads on young shoulders."

"That can't be, ma," said Master C. J. London, who was a sleek,
shining-faced boy.

"And why, then, did you expect to find an old head on Young England's
shoulders?" retorted Mrs. Bull, turning quickly on him.

"I didn't expect to find an old head on Young England's shoulders!"
cried Master C. J. London, putting his left-hand knuckles to his right
eye.

"You didn't expect it, you naughty boy?" said Mrs. Bull.

"No!" whimpered Master C. J. London, "I am sure I never did. Oh, oh,
oh!"

"Don't go on in that way, don't!" said Mrs. Bull, "but behave better in
future. What did you mean by playing with Young England at all?"

"I didn't mean any harm!" cried Master C. J. London, applying, in his
increased distress, the knuckles of his right hand to his right eye, and
the knuckles of his left hand to his left eye.

"I dare say you didn't!" returned Mrs. Bull. "Hadn't you had warning
enough, about playing with candles and candlesticks? How often had you
been told that your poor father's house, long before you were born, was
in danger of being reduced to ashes by candles and candlesticks? And
when Young England and his companions began to put their shirts on, over
their clothes, and to play all sorts of fantastic tricks in them, why
didn't you come and tell your poor father and me, like a dutiful C. J.
London?"

"Because the Rubric--" Master C. J. London was beginning, when Mrs. Bull
took him up short.

"Don't talk to me about the Rubric, or you'll make it worse!" said Mrs.
Bull, shaking her head at him. "Just exactly what the Rubric meant then,
it means now; and just exactly what it didn't mean then, it don't mean
now. You are taught to act, according to the spirit, not the letter; and
you know what its spirit must be, or _you_ wouldn't be. No, C. J.
London!" said Mrs. Bull, emphatically. "If there were any candles or
candlesticks in the spirit of your lesson-book, Master Wiseman would
have been my boy, and not you!"

Here, Master C. J. London fell a-crying more grievously than before,
sobbing, "Oh, ma! Master Wiseman with his red legs, your boy! Oh, oh,
oh!"

"Will you be quiet," returned Mrs. Bull, "and let your poor father rest?
I am ashamed of you. _You_ to go and play with a parcel of sentimental
girls, and dandy boys! Is _that_ your bringing up?"

"I didn't know they were fond of Master Wiseman," protested Master C. J.
London, still crying.

"You didn't know, sir!" retorted Mrs. Bull "Don't tell me! Then you
ought to have known. Other people knew. You were told often enough, at
the time, what it would come to. You didn't want a ghost, I suppose, to
warn you that when they got to candlesticks, they'd get to candles; and
that when they got to candles, they'd get to lighting 'em; and that when
they began to put their shirts on outside, and to play at monks and
friars, it was as natural that Master Wiseman should be encouraged to
put on a pair of red-stockings, and a red hat, and to commit I don't
know what other Tom-fooleries and make a perfect Guy Fawkes of himself
in more ways than one. Is it because you are a Bull, that you are not to
be roused till they shake scarlet close to your very eyes?" said Mrs.
Bull indignantly.

Master C. J. London still repeating "Oh, oh, oh!" in a very plaintive
manner, screwed his knuckles into his eyes until there appeared
considerable danger of his screwing his eyes out of his head. But,
little John (who though of a spare figure was a very spirited boy),
started up from the little bench on which he sat; gave Master C. J.
London a hearty pat on the back (accompanied, however, with a slight
poke in the ribs); and told him that if Master Wiseman, or Young
England, or any of those fellows, wanted any thing for himself, he
(little John) was the boy to give it him. Hereupon, Mrs. Bull, who was
always proud of the child, and always had been, since his measure was
first taken for an entirely new suit of clothes to wear in Commons,
could not refrain from catching him up on her knee and kissing him with
great affection, while the whole family expressed their delight in
various significant ways.

"You are a noble boy, little John," said Mrs. Bull, with a mother's
pride, "and that's the fact, after every thing is said and done!"

"I don't know about that, ma;" quoth little John, whose blood was
evidently up; "but if these chaps and their backers, the Bulls of
Rome--"

Here Mr. Bull, who was only half asleep, kicked out in such an alarming
manner, that for some seconds, his boots gyrated fitfully all over the
family hearth, filling the whole circle with consternation. For, when Mr
Bull _did_ kick, his kick was tremendous. And he always kicked, when the
Bulls of Rome were mentioned.

Mrs. Bull holding up her finger as an injunction to the children to keep
quiet, sagely observed Mr. Bull from the opposite side of the
fire-place, until he calmly dozed again, when she recalled the scattered
family to their former positions, and spoke in a low tone.

"You must be very careful," said the worthy lady, "how you mention that
name; for, your poor father has so many unpleasant experiences of those
Bulls of Rome--Bless the man! he'll do somebody a mischief."

Mr. Bull, lashing out again more violently than before, upset the
fender, knocked down the fire-irons, kicked over the brass footman, and,
whisking his silk handkerchief off his head, chased the Pussy on the rug
clean out of the room into the passage, and so out of the street-door
into the night; the Pussy having (as was well known to the children in
general), originally strayed from the Bulls of Rome into Mr. Bull's
assembled family. After the achievement of this crowning feat, Mr. Bull
came back, and in a highly excited state performed a sort of war-dance
in his top-boots, all over the parlor. Finally, he sank into his
arm-chair, and covered himself up again.

Master C. J. London, who was by no means sure that Mr. Bull in his heat
would not come down upon him for the lateness of his exercise, took
refuge behind his slate and behind little John, who was a perfect
game-cock. But, Mr. Bull having concluded his war-dance without injury
to any one, the boy crept out, with the rest of the family, to the knees
of Mrs. Bull, who thus addressed them, taking little John into her lap
before she began:

"The B.'s of R.," said Mrs. Bull, getting, by this prudent device, over
the obnoxious words, "caused your poor father a world of trouble, before
any one of you were born. They pretended to be related to us, and to
have some influence in our family; but it can't be allowed for a single
moment--nothing will ever induce your poor father to hear of it; let
them disguise or constrain themselves now and then, as they will, they
are, by nature, an insolent, audacious, oppressive, intolerable race."

Here little John doubled his fists, and began squaring at the Bulls of
Rome, as he saw those pretenders with his mind's eye. Master C. J.
London, after some considerable reflection, made a show of squaring,
likewise.

"In the days of your great, great, great, great, grandfather," said Mrs.
Bull, dropping her voice still lower, as she glanced at Mr. Bull in his
repose, "the Bulls of Rome were not so utterly hateful to our family as
they are at present. We didn't know them so well, and our family were
very ignorant and low in the world. But, we have gone on advancing in
every generation since then; and now we are taught, by all our family
history and experience, and by the most limited exercise of our rational
faculties, that our knowledge, liberty, progress, social welfare and
happiness are wholly irreconcilable and inconsistent with them. That the
Bulls of Rome are not only the enemies of our family, but of the whole
human race. That wherever they go, they perpetuate misery, oppression,
darkness, and ignorance. That they are easily made the tools of the
worst of men for the worst of purposes; and that they _can not_ be
endured by your poor father, or by any man, woman, or child, of common
sense, who has the least connection with us."

Little John, who had gradually left off squaring, looked hard at his
aunt, Miss Eringobragh, Mr. Bull's sister, who was groveling on the
ground, with her head in the ashes. This unfortunate lady had been, for
a length of time, in a horrible condition of mind and body, and
presented a most lamentable spectacle of disease, dirt, rags,
superstition, and degradation.

Mrs. Bull, observing the direction of the child's glance, smoothed
little John's hair, and directed her next observations to him.

"Ah! You may well look at the poor thing, John!" said Mrs. Bull; "for
the Bulls of Rome have had far too much to do with her present state.
There have been many other causes at work to destroy the strength of her
constitution, but the Bulls of Rome have been at the bottom of it; and,
depend upon it, wherever you see a condition at all resembling hers, you
will find, on inquiry, that the sufferer has allowed herself to be dealt
with by the Bulls of Rome. The cases of squalor and ignorance, in all
the world most like your aunt's, are to be found in their own household;
on the steps of their doors; in the heart of their homes. In
Switzerland, you may cross a line no broader than a bridge or a hedge,
and know, in an instant, where the Bulls of Rome have been received, by
the condition of the family. Wherever the Bulls of Rome have the most
influence, the family is sure to be the most abject. Put your trust in
those Bulls, John, and it's the inevitable order and sequence of
things, that you must come to be something like your aunt, sooner or
later."

"I thought the Bulls of Rome had got into difficulties and run away,
ma?" said little John, looking up into his mother's face inquiringly.

"Why, so they did get into difficulties, to be sure, John," returned
Mrs. Bull, "and so they did run away, but, even the Italians, who had
got thoroughly used to them, found them out, and they were obliged to go
and hide in a cupboard, where they still talked big through the
key-hole, and presented one of the most contemptible and ridiculous
exhibitions that ever were seen on earth. However, they were taken out
of the cupboard by some friends of theirs--friends, indeed! who care as
much about them as I do for the sea-serpent; but who happened, at the
moment, to find it necessary to play at soldiers, to amuse their fretful
children, who didn't know what they wanted, and, what was worse, would
have it--and so the Bulls got back to Rome. And at Rome they are any
thing but safe to stay, as you'll find, my dear, one of these odd
mornings."

"Then, if they are so unsafe, and so found out, ma," said Master C. J.
London, "how come they to interfere with us, now?"

"Oh, C. J. London!" returned Mrs. Bull, "what a sleepy child you must
be to put such a question! Don't you know that the more they are found
out, and the weaker they are, the more important it must be to them to
impose upon the ignorant people near them, by pretending to be closely
connected with a person so much looked up to as your poor father?"

"Why, of course!" cried little John to his brother. "Oh, you stupid!"

"And I am ashamed to have to repeat, C. J. London," said Mrs. Bull,
"that, but for your friend, Young England, and the encouragement you
gave to that mewling little Pussy, when it strayed here--don't say you
didn't, you naughty boy, for you did!"

"You know you did!" said little John.

Master C. J. London began to cry again.

"Don't do that," said Mrs. Bull, sharply, "but be a better boy in
future! I say, I am ashamed to have to repeat, that, but for that, the
Bulls of Rome would never have had the audacity to call their
connection, Master Wiseman, your poor father's child, and to appoint
him, with his red hat and stockings, and his mummery and flummery, to a
portion of your father's estates--though, for the matter of that, there
is nothing to prevent their appointing him to the Moon, except the
difficulty of getting him there! And so, your poor father's affairs have
been brought to this crisis: that he has to deal with an insult which is
perfectly absurd, and yet which he must, for the sake of his family in
all time to come, decisively and seriously deal with, in order to detach
himself, once and forever, from those Bulls of Rome; and show how
impotent they are. There's difficulty and vexation, you have helped to
bring upon your father, you bad child!"

"Oh, oh, oh!" cried Master C. J. London. "Oh, I never went to do it. Oh,
oh, oh!"

"Hold your tongue!" said Mrs. Bull, "and do a good exercise! Now that
your father has turned that Pussy out of doors, go on with your
exercise, like a man; and let us have no more playing with any one
connected with those Bulls of Rome; between whom and you there is a
great gulf fixed, as you ought to have known in the beginning. Take your
fingers out of your eyes, sir, and do your exercise!"

"Or I'll come and pinch you!" said little John.

"John," said Mrs. Bull, "you leave him alone. Keep your eye upon him,
and, if you find him relapsing, tell your father."

"Oh, won't I neither!" cried little John.

"Don't be vulgar," said Mrs. Bull. "Now, John, I can trust _you_.
Whatever you do, I know you won't wake your father unnecessarily. You
are a bold, brave child, and I highly approve of your erecting yourself
against Master Wiseman and all that bad set. But, be wary, John; and, as
you have, and deserve to have, great influence with your father, I am
sure you will be careful how you wake him. If he was to make a wild
rush, and begin to dance about, on the Platform in the Hall, I don't
know where he'd stop."

Little John, getting on his legs, began buttoning his jacket with great
firmness and vigor, preparatory to action. Master C. J. London, with a
dejected aspect and an occasional sob, went on with his exercise.



WAITING FOR THE POST.--INTERESTING ANECDOTES.


In the village in which we were at one time residing, there dwelt, in a
small cottage commanded by our windows, a lieutenant in the navy on
half-pay. We were a child at the time, and one of our amusements was to
watch from our play-room the bees that worked in that cottage-garden,
and the "old gentleman"--as we styled him, because his hair was
gray--pace, with his quick, quarter-deck step the little path that
divided the flower-beds. It was a neat though very small dwelling,
almost shut from view by lilacs and evergreens; the garden was gay with
sweet flowers, which might almost be called _domestic_ in this age of
new buds and blossoms; and it was carefully tended by a young girl--his
only daughter--and an old female servant. We noticed every morning that
the lieutenant, who was a tall figure, and would have been a handsome
and commanding-looking man but for his very great paleness and his
stooping, walked briskly to the gate, and holding himself a little more
erect than usual, glanced first at the vane, noticing with a sailor's
instinct the quarter in which the wind sat; and then turning, gazed
anxiously up the village in the direction of the postman's approach,
till that functionary appeared in sight. Then he would lay his hand
nervously on the top of the little garden-gate, half open it, close it
again, and finally, as the letter-carrier advanced, hail him with the
inquiry, "Any letter for me to-day, Roger?" If the answer were a "No,"
and such was the ordinary reply, he would turn away with a sigh, and
walk slowly back to the house, bending more than ever, and coughing
painfully--he had a distressing cough at times; but his daughter would
meet him at the door, and pass her arm through his, and lead him in,
with a gentle affection in the action that was quite intelligible; and
though we could not hear her words, we knew she was consoling him. _We_
also were sorry for his disappointment. Sometimes a letter came, and he
would take it eagerly, but look at it with a changed countenance, for
most frequently it was only one of those large wafered epistles we have
since learned to recognize as bills--even then we could be sure it was
not the letter which he looked for.

And thus he watched daily for something that never came, all through the
bright summer and autumn, and even when the snow lay thick upon the
ground, and the cold morning and evening breeze must have been injurious
to one in feeble health. At last we missed him from his usual post, and
the arrival of the village doctor at the cottage confirmed our fears
that he was ill. We never saw him again. A fire glimmered from an upper
room, the chamber in which he slept; and at times his daughter's figure
passed the window as she moved across it, in her gentle and noiseless
task of nursing the dying officer. One morning we did not see the usual
blaze from the casement: but the old woman came out and shut the
shutters close, and drew down the blinds, and we saw as she re-entered
the house that she was weeping. That very morning the postman, Roger,
stopped at the little wicket, and rang the bell. He held in his hand a
very large, long letter, with words printed outside. The woman-servant
answered him, and took the letter, putting her apron to her eyes as he
spoke. It was the long-hoped-for, long-expected letter from the
Admiralty appointing the old officer to a ship. Alas, it came too late!
He who had so long waited in restless anxiety--who had so sickened with
disappointed hope--was gone to a world where the weary rest, and man's
toil and worth are neither neglected nor forgotten. We heard afterward
all his sad history, of which there are so many lamentable counterparts.
He had gone to sea while yet a child, had toiled, suffered, and fought
at the period when the very existence of his country depended on the
valor of the navy; but then came the peace, and with many another brave
man he had found himself on half-pay, alike unrewarded and forgotten.
Mr. St. Quentin--our gentleman who waited for the post--was a widower
with one only child, who was his idol. To educate and provide for her
had been his great anxiety. How could this be done on his half-pay? It
was impossible. True he read hard to become himself her teacher, but
there was much he could not impart to her; and with heroic self-denial
he placed her at an expensive school, and went himself almost without
the common necessaries of life to keep her there. Still the heavy burden
thus laid on his slender means obliged him to contract debts, and it was
agony to his just and upright spirit when he found it impossible to
defray them.

He had used great energy in his endeavors to get employed again, and
just before we made his acquaintance, "waiting for the post," had
received a promise that his services should be remembered. Both promise
and fulfillment came too late! The one awoke hopes which, daily
deferred, had preyed on the very springs of life, and taxed too sorely a
constitution much tried by toil and suffering in youth; the other came
when the heart it would have cheered had eased to feel the joy or sorrow
of mortality. His orphan daughter, a pretty gentle creature of
seventeen, was left totally destitute--almost friendless. If they had
relatives, all communion with them had long ceased; and the utterly
desolate and isolated situation of Mary St. Quentin was nearly
unparalleled. My family, who were of her father's profession, were much
affected by it, and took a warm interest in her fortunes. They procured
for her the small pension accorded to the orphans of naval or military
men, with contributions from several similar funds; and finally received
her into our house, until she could hear of a situation as governess,
for which her dearly-purchased education admirably fitted her.

I remember well the evening she first came among us. How sad and pale
she looked in her solemn black dress, and how low and mournful her voice
sounded! Poor girl! a rough world was before her; a fiercer and more
terrible conflict for her timid nature than contending with the storms
and battles in which her father had borne a part. We pitied her greatly,
and strove to soothe and cheer her with all our little skill; though we
certainly did not adopt the most likely means to achieve our object,
when some days afterward we told her how we had watched her poor father
as he waited for the post. Then for the first time since her coming
among us we saw her weep; and she murmured, "If he could have seen the
letter!"

After a time the exertions of her friends procured her a situation, and
she left us. How anxiously _we_ then watched for the letter that was to
tell us that our dear new friend was safe, and well, and comfortable;
and it did not tarry! Mary wrote gratefully, and even cheerfully. She
had been kindly received; the home in which her lot was cast was a
splendid chateau, in which all the comforts and luxuries of life
abounded. Moreover, the family treated her as a gentlewoman, and her
pupils were clever and well-trained. She was very thankful for the
career of toil and seclusion to which circumstances condemned her--very
willing to do her duty gladly in that state of life in which it had
pleased God to place her. She remained with this family four or five
years, passing her occasional holidays with us; and we learned to love
her as a sister, and to look up to her for advice, which was ever as
wise as it was gentle and affectionate. She was a very sweet
creature--so quietly gay, so unselfish, so contented, and so modestly
intelligent, that I can not remember that I have ever met with so
perfect a woman. The last holiday she spent with us we saw a change in
her, however; and it must have been a _great_ mental change to be
perceptible in one so self-possessed and patient. She had grown less
attentive to our often exacting wishes; she had become absent and
thoughtful--nay, at times a slight irritation was observable in her
manner; but that which struck us most was the habit she really appeared
to have inherited from her father--of watching for the postman. We
remarked how eagerly she listened for his knock--how tremulously she
asked for whom the letters were directed--and the painfully-repressed
sigh and darkened countenance with which she turned away when there was
none for her! As she had finally quitted the family with whom she had so
long resided, and was waiting for a new engagement, we thought at first
that it was an epistle from some of the quarters in which she had
applied for one she was expecting; but that could not be the case, for
when she had made a re-engagement, and it was fixed that she was to
proceed to the south of France with her future pupils' family, her
watching for the post became more evident and more anxious: nay, to us
who observed it, absolutely painful. What letter could she expect so
nervously? Why was she daily so sadly disappointed? The solution came at
last. It was the very morning fixed for her departure for London, where
she was to meet her future charge. Her boxes, corded and directed, were
in the hall; she stood at the window, dressed for her journey, weeping
bitterly--for she loved us all, and still timidly shrank from
strangers--and we were holding each a cold, trembling hand, when the
servant entered with the letters--"One for Miss St. Quentin."

She glanced at it, suppressed a faint exclamation, and taking it, her
hand trembled so violently that she could scarcely break the seal. But
when it _was_ open, and her eye had glanced over the contents, what a
sudden change took place in her countenance! She blushed deeply, her lip
trembled, and then smiled, and breaking from among us, she sought our
mother, and asked to speak to her alone. That letter had changed her
destiny. It was a proposal of marriage from a man of good position and
fortune, who had won her affections by a thousand acts of attention and
tenderness, but had left her uncertain whether he intended to fulfill an
only implied promise or not. True he had said something of writing to
her, and therefore she had waited for the post with such anxiety, and
for so long a time in vain: but there had been good and sufficient
reasons for his prolonged silence, and the lady was only too ready to
forgive it.

She went to town, accompanied by my father, arranged to remain in
England (finding a substitute as governess for her disappointed
employers), and two months afterward was married in our little village
church to one who has made her as happy as it is possible to be in a
world of trial and sorrow.

A very singular and painful _waiting for the post_ occurred at Malta,
some years since: it was related to us by a person concerned in the
affair, and we offer the reader the tale as it was told to us:

It was St. John's day, a festival highly venerated by the Maltese, who
claim the beloved disciple as their patron saint. The English troops
quartered in the island were to be reviewed on it, and as is usual, in
compliment to the faith of the islanders, the artillery was ordered to
fire a salute in honor of the day. It was a yearly custom; but the two
officers whose duty it was at this time to see it fulfilled thought it
savored of idolatry, and in the presence of the general and his staff
refused to order their men to fire. They were of course put under an
arrest for disobedience; but, the circumstances of the case considered,
the general in command hesitated how to proceed with them, and at his
request the governor of the island wrote to the commander-in-chief at
home for instructions in the matter, as it was a case of "tender
conscience." Some delay of course necessarily occurred in getting a
reply, and the anxiety with which the puzzled general and rebellious
officers awaited it may be imagined. Day after day did the eyes of the
former traverse the bright blue sea, across which must come the decision
of England, and day after day he waited for the post in vain. Foul
winds, bad weather, all sorts of causes, stayed the course of the
packet--there was no steam conveyance in those days--and before she
actually entered Valetta harbor he to whom the letter had been written,
the noble governor, was dead. It was judged expedient that the general
should, however, open the commander-in-chief's answer, to prevent
further unpleasant delay. Alas, it had been intended for the eye of Lord
H----only! The commander-in-chief blamed the general, "who ought," he
said, "to have tried and broke the officers on the spot--_nothing_ in a
military man could excuse disobedience to orders;" adding with reference
to the general (of course without intending that any one but Lord H----
should learn his private sentiments), "_but I never had much opinion of
that officer!_"

Poor General P---- loved and reverenced his military chief, as all
soldiers must. Those words so singularly presented to his eyes, wounded
him deeply. He was at the time suffering from low fever; they completed
its work, making an impression on his mind no arguments could remove. He
obeyed the orders given; held a court-martial; tried the offenders;
dismissed them from the service; and then, taking to his bed, sank
rapidly, and died before the next post from England could reach the
island. He never waited for another!

And now I approach another reminiscence of this common human anxiety, of
which I can not think without deep emotion. We had a young cousin, a
fine lad full of spirit and ardor, a midshipman in the royal navy, who
was our especial pride and delight. We had no brother, but he supplied
the want to us, being, as a child, our constant playmate--as a youth,
our merriest and best-loved correspondent. How full of fun, quaint
humor, and droll adventures were his letters, and how we used to long
for them, especially for that which proclaimed his arrival in the
English seas! The period for receiving such an announcement had arrived,
for his ship had entered Plymouth harbor; and I can never forget how
eagerly I used to wait for the postman, how restlessly I watched him at
an opposite door, and how I hated the servant for delaying him by a
tardy attention to his knock! No letter came, however; day after day,
hour after hour passed, and disappointment became uneasiness, and alarm
so terrible, that even the sad certainty was at last a relief.

He never wrote again. He had perished in Tampier Bay, and his death had
been one of many instances of unrecorded but undoubted heroism. The
weather was stormy, but it was necessary to send a boat on shore, and
Charles had good-naturedly offered to take the duty of being its officer
in the stead of a young and delicate messmate who had been ordered on
the service. It upset in the surf: two men and our poor cousin clung to
its keel for some minutes; at length it became apparent that one must
let go his hold, or all would perish. Both the seamen were married men,
and uttered their natural regret at leaving their children fatherless.
The gallant youth (as they afterward reported when picked up) observed,
"Then my life is less precious than yours. My poor mother, God bless
you!" and, quitting his hold, perished in the ocean, which by a strange
fatality has been the grave of nearly all his family.

Waiting for the post upon the mountains of Western India is recalled by
this anecdote to my recollection. I well remember the last time I stood
on the heights of Bella Vista, as our ghaut was called, watching the
fleet approach of the _tapaul_, or postman. It was near sunset--a
glorious hour in all lands, but especially so in the East. A gorgeous
canopy of colored light was above us; beneath the "everlasting hills;"
Their tops--for we looked down on the first ranges of ghauts--tipped
with gold and crimson, and regal purple, or with blended colors, as if
they had caught and detained a portion of the rainbow itself. Here and
there, bits of jungle were perceptible, from one of which issued the
running courier, whose speed was no bad commentary or explanation of
Job's comparison--"My days are swift as a post." He was a tall, light
figure, gayly dressed, and holding a lance with a little glittering flag
at the top. He brought letters from the presidency; and some native
correspondence was also transmitted through his means. These running
posts are occasionally picked off by a tiger in their passage through
the jungle; but the journey to our (then) abode was so frequently made,
that the wild animals seldom appeared in the route, ceding it tacitly to
the lords of creation, and permitting us to receive our letters safely.
What joy it was to open one from England! it is really worth a journey
to the East to feel this pleasure. The native letters destined for the
official personages of the family are singular-looking affairs. They
have for envelope a bag of king-cob cloth--a costly fabric of blended
silk and gold thread; this is tied carefully with a gold cord, to which
is appended a huge seal, as large and thick as a five-shilling piece.
Once during our residence in India the homeward post was delayed by the
loss of the steamer which bore our dispatches to England; they must have
been vainly expected for two months, doubtless to the great alarm and
anxiety of the public. Some of the mail boxes were, however, recovered
from the sunken wreck by means of divers; and our epistles, after
visiting the depths of the Red Sea, were safely conveyed to England.
Once before, we were told, a similar catastrophe had occurred, but the
boxes became so saturated with sea-water, that the addresses of the
letters were illegible. It was judged expedient, therefore, to publish
as much of their contents as was decipherable, in the Indian
papers--under the idea that those to whom they were addressed would
recognize their own missives from the context; and a most
absurdly-mischievous experiment it proved. Never was such a breach of
confidence. All sorts of disagreeable secrets were made out by the
gentle public of the presidency. Intimate friends learned how they
laughed at, or hated one another; matrimonial schemes were betrayed; the
scandal, gossip, and confidential disclosures of the Indian letter-bag
making as strange and unpleasant a confusion as if the peninsula had
suddenly been converted into Madame de Genlis's "Palace of Truth." There
was no little alarm when our steamer was lost, lest a similar disclosure
should be made; but the world had grown wiser; and those epistles which
were illegibly addressed were, we believe, destroyed, unless when
relating to commercial interests, and other business.

We hope we have not wearied our gentle reader with this subject, for we
have yet another little incident for his ear relative to it, which was
told us as a fact by a French lady who knew the person concerned. Some
friends of hers residing in the provinces had an only daughter, an
heiress, and consequently a desirable match. Her hand was eagerly sought
by many suitors, and was at last yielded by her parents to a gentleman
of some property who had recently purchased a chateau in the
neighborhood. His apparent wealth, his high connections, and very
elegant manners, had won their favor; and in great delight at the
excellent match her daughter was about to make, Madame L---- wrote to her
friends and relatives to inform them of the approaching happy event.
Among these was a lady residing at Marseilles, to whom she described,
with all a Frenchwoman's vivacity, the person, manners, &c., of the
bridegroom elect. Answers of congratulation and good wishes poured in of
course; and Madame L----, who had a secret persuasion that she was an
unknown and unhonored Madame de Sevigné, became so pleased with her
increased correspondence, that she made a point of never leaving the
house till after the delivery of the post. The Marseilles correspondent
was the only one of the number with whom she had communicated who had
not replied to her letter. This answer was therefore desired with great
eagerness; and Madame L---- remembered afterward, though at the time it
awoke no suspicion in her mind, that the lover always appeared uneasy
when she expressed her anxiety on the subject, or her desire to hear
from her friend.

The wedding-day arrived; and the bride groom, manifesting a most
flattering impatience for the performance of the ceremony, came early to
the house of his affianced, to accompany the family party to the
magistrates, where the contract was to be drawn up. But even on that
momentous day Madame L---- adhered to her custom of waiting for the
post, to the evident rage and even agonized impatience of her destined
son-in-law, who urged her with passionate eagerness to proceed at once
to the magistrates. The delay proved most serviceable. The post came in
due time, and brought a letter from Marseilles. The writer, struck by
some slight personal peculiarities which her friend had described, had
fancied it possible that the _promesso sposo_ was no other than _an
escaped galley-slave_, with whom, before his condemnation for a heinous
crime, her family had been intimate. She had therefore, in some alarm,
caused her husband to make inquiries into the matter, and a sufficient
mass of evidence had been collected to justify her suspicion, and cause
her to urge inquiry and delay on the part of M. and Madame L----. She
suggested, moreover, that the truth might be easily discovered by a
personal examination of the gentleman, who, if the same individual, had
been branded on the right shoulder. The surprise, horror, and alarm of
Madame L---- may be imagined. The contents of the letter were of course
instantly communicated by her to her husband, and by him privately to
the bridegroom, whom he requested to satisfy his wife's fears by showing
him his right shoulder. The request was indignantly refused as an insult
to his honor; and convinced of the fact by the agitation and dismay of
the culprit, as well as by this refusal, the gentleman gave him at once
into the hands of the police, who had no difficulty in finding the fatal
mark of infamy. He was, indeed, an escaped convict, and the wealth with
which he had dazzled the good provincials was the spoil of a recent
robbery, undertaken by himself and some Parisian accomplices, and so
cleverly managed as to have set at naught hitherto the best efforts of
the police for its discovery.

We may be sure Madame L---- congratulated herself highly on having, as
if by a providential instinct, "waited for the post."



CHEERFUL VIEWS OF HUMAN NATURE.

BY THE KING OF THE HEARTH.


"Do thee go on, Phil," said a miner, one of sixteen who sat about a
tap-room fire, "Do thee go on, Phil Spruce; and, Mrs. Pittis, fetch us
in some beer."

"And pipes," added a boy.

Mr. Spruce contemplated his young friend with a grim smile. "Well," said
he, "it's a story profitable to be heard, and so--"

"Ay, so it be," said a lame man, who made himself a little more than
quits with Nature, by working with his sound leg on the floor
incessantly. "So it be," said Timothy Drum, "Phil's a philosopher."

"It always strucked me," said a dirty little man, "that Phil has had a
sort of nater in him ever since that night we lost old Tony Barker."

"What happened then?" inquired the squire's new gamekeeper.

"Did ever you see down the shaft of a pit?" asked Phil.

"No; and I'd rather not."

"A deep, deep well. Whatever they may do in other parts, we sing hymns,
when we are pulled up, and if so be any of our butties at such times
says a wicked word, he gets cursed finely when we be safe up at the top.
We gon up and down different ways. In some old pits they have ladders,
one under another, which reminds me--"

"Always the way with Phil."

Mr. Spruce gazed sternly in the direction of the whisperer, and drank
some beer. "Which reminds me that once--"

We must here announce the fact concerning Mr. Philip Spruce, that his
method of telling a story ("Which reminds me," always meant a story with
him) is very discursive. He may be said to resemble Jeremy Bentham, who,
according to Hazlitt's criticism, fills his sentence with a row of pegs,
and hangs a garment upon each of them. Let us omit some portion of his
tediousness, and allow him to go on with his tale.

"It was in the year one thousand, eight, four, four; by token it was the
same month, November, in which the block fell upon Tim Drum's leg, I was
invited to a Christmas dinner by old Jabez Wilson. You are aware,
gentlemen, that hereabouts there are a great number of deserted pits.
The entrances to these are mostly covered with a board or two. There
aren't many stiles in our pit-country, so we are drove to using these
for firewood. The old pit mouths being left uncovered, and sometimes
hidden in brushwood, it is a very common thing for sheep to tumble in,
and if gentlemen go shooting thereabouts, they may chance to return home
without a dog--your good health, Timothy. As I was saying, I love to
ponder upon causes and compare effects. I pondered as I walked--"

"And the effect was, that you tumbled into a pit, Phil Spruce."

"The truth has been told, gentlemen, but it has been told too soon. And
now I've forgotten where I was. Ay, pondering," here Phil hung up a long
shred of philosophy on one of his pegs; and after the first ten minutes
of his harangue, which was chiefly occupied in abusing human nature, a
fierce-looking individual said,

"Go on, sir; you've brought things to that pass where they won't bear
aggravation. The company expects you to fall down the pit directly."

"In the middle of my reflections--my natural Christmas thoughts,"
continued Phil, "I felt a severe bump on the back and a singular freedom
about my legs, followed by a crash against the hinder part of my head--"

"To the bottom at once," said the fierce-looking man.

"I was at the bottom of a pit in two seconds. By what means my life was
preserved I can not tell; certain it is that I sustained at that time no
serious injury. Of course I was much stunned, and lay for a long time, I
suppose, insensible. When I opened my eyes there was nothing to be seen
more than a faint glimmer from the daylight far above, and a great many
dancing stars which seemed like a swarm of gnats, ready to settle on my
body. I now pondered how I should obtain rescue from my dangerous
position, when an odd circumstance arrested my attention. I was
evidently, unless my ears deceived me, not alone in my misfortune; for I
heard, as distinctly as I now hear Mr. Drum's leg upon the fender, I
heard a loud voice. It proceeded from a distant gallery. 'Who did you
say?' inquired the voice in a hoarse tone; a softer voice replied, 'Phil
Spruce, I think.' 'Very well,' answered the big sound; 'I'll come to him
directly.'

"Here was a state of things. A gentleman resided here and was aware of
my intrusion. Moreover, I was known. Was the acquaintance mutual? Well,
gentlemen, that question was soon to be decided, for presently I heard a
rustling and a crackling noise, like the approaching of a lady in a very
stiff silk dress. But that gruff voice! I trembled. As the sound
approached, a light gleamed over the dark, dirty walls, and glittered in
the puddle upon which I was reposing. 'He or she has brought a candle,
that is wise.' So I looked round. Mother of Miracles! He, she, or IT.
What do you think approached? A mass of cinder, glowing hot, shaped into
head, body, arms, and legs; black coal on the crown of its head, red
glow on the cheeks, and all the rest white hot, with here and there a
little eruption of black bubbles, spirting out lighted gas. It was the
shape of a huge man, who walked up with a most friendly expression in
his face, evidently intending to give me a warm reception.

"And so he did, as I will tell you presently. It needed not the aid of
his natural qualities to throw me into a great and sudden heat; his
supernatural appearance was enough for that. Then I was seized with a
great fear lest, in his friendliness, he should expect me to shake
hands. That was as if I should have thrust my fingers into this tap-room
grate. Well, ma'am (your good health, Mrs. Pittis), the strange thing
came up to me quite pleasant, with a beaming face, and said, in
something of a voice like a hoarse blast pipe, 'Glad to see you, Mr.
Spruce. How did you come here?' 'O,' said I, 'Sir,' not liking to be
behind-hand in civility, 'I only just dropped in.' 'Cold, up above, Mr.
Spruce? Will you walk in and take a little something warm?' A little
something warm! What's that? thought I. 'O yes,' I said, 'with all my
heart, sir.' 'Come along, then; you seem stiff in the bones, Mr. Spruce,
allow me to help you up.' 'O Lord!' I cried, forgetting my manners. 'No,
thank you, sir. Spruce is my name, and spruce my nature. I can get up
quite nimble.' And so I did, with a leap; although it made my joints
ache, I can tell you. The thing bowed and seemed to be quite glowing
double with delight to see me. Take a little something warm, I thought
again. O, but I won't though! However, I must not seem eager to get away
just yet; the beast seems to think I came down on purpose to see him.
'After you, sir!' said I, bowing and pulling my forelock. 'If you will
be so good as to lead, I'll follow.' 'This way, then, Philip.'

"So we went, along a gallery, and came to a vault which was lighted by
the bodies of a great number of imps, all made of brisk live coal, like
my conductor. 'I dare say you find the room close,' said the king--for I
found afterward he was a real king, though he was so familiar. 'What
will you take to drink?' I calculated there was nothing weaker than
vitriol in his cellar, so I begged to be excused. 'It is not my habit,
sir, to drink early mornings; and indeed I must not let my wife wait
dinner. We will have a little gossip, if you please, and then you will
let one of your servants light me out, perhaps. I merely dropped in, as
you are aware, my dear sir.' 'Quite aware of that, my dear Phil. And
very glad I am to get your company. Of course you are anxious to be up
above in good time; and if you can stop here an hour, I shall be happy
to accompany you.' Indeed, thought I to myself, Polly will stare. 'Most
happy,' I replied. 'I fear you will take harm from that nasty puddle at
my door,' observed the king. 'Wouldn't you wish to lie down and rest a
bit, before we start out together.' I thought that a safe way of getting
through the time. 'You are very good,' said I. 'Get a bed ready, Coffin
and Purse!' Two bright little imps darted away, and the Thing turning
round to me with a sulphurous yawn, said, 'I don't mind, Phil, if I lie
down with you.' Surely he's roasting me, I thought.

"True as sorrow, Mr. Timothy, Coffin and Purse came back in no time to
say the bed was ready; and I followed the king with as good courage as a
Smithfield martyr. But I did not, I did _not_ expect what followed. We
went into a small vault, of which half the floor was covered by a
blazing fire: all the coals had been raked level, and that was Coffin
and Purse's bed-making. 'Well, I'll get in at once,' said the king; 'you
see we've a nice light mattress.' 'Light, sir! why it's in vivid blazes.
You don't suppose I can lie down on that.' 'Why not, Phil? You see I do.
Here I am, snug and comfortable.' 'Yes, my dear sir, but you forget the
difference there is between us?' 'And yes again, Mr. Spruce; but please
to remember this is Christmas Day, a day on which all differences should
be ended.'

"'And now,' said the monster, sitting up suddenly upon a corner of the
bed, 'and now, Phil, I will urge you to nothing. You are a reasoning
man, and count for a philosopher. Let's argue a bit, Mr. Spruce.' 'I'm
favorable to free discussion.' I replied; 'but I decide on principles of
common sense.' 'Let common sense decide,' replied the king, crossing his
knees and looking conversational. 'The point at issue is, whether with
your views it would be better for you to remain a man or to become a
cinder. What were your thoughts this morning, Philip Spruce?' 'This
morning I was thinking about human nature, sir.' 'And how did you decide
upon it, Philip?' 'Humbly asking pardon, sir, and meaning no offense,
may I inquire whether in present company it is permitted to speak
disrespectfully of the Devil?'

"I wouldn't have said that, Phil, to a man of his appearance."

"Lord bless you, Tim Drum, he looked so mild disposed, and 'No offense,'
he says; 'speak out without reserve.' 'Then, sir,' said I, 'this is what
I think of human nature. I believe that it was full of every sort of
goodness, and that men were naturally well disposed to one another, till
the Devil got that great idea of his. Men are born to worship their
Creator, and to supply the wants of their neighbors, but then comes in
the deceiving fiery monster, with a pocketful of money, and says, quite
disinterested, 'Gentlemen and Ladies, it's of no use asking you to
venerate me; you don't do it, and you oughtn't to; but the most
convenient and proper thing is for every individual to worship only just
his self. You see the result of this,' says the old sinner; 'by paying
sacrifice to your own images, you just change things from the right-hand
pocket to the left, or if you go abroad, as you must do, in search of
offerings, all the fish comes to your own net, and all the fat into your
own belly. You smoke your own incense, and if you chance to be remiss in
your devotions, you may make peace and atonement any way you please.
Then,' says the great brimstone beast--I beg your pardon, sir, excuse my
liberty of speech--'if any body remark you are my servants, you can
laugh, and tell them you are no such fools. As for any formulary of
religion, follow in that the fashion of your country--'

"The cinder gentleman, Mrs. Pittis, my dear, rolled about in the fire,
quite at his ease, and said, 'Very good, Phil. And what else have you to
say of human nature?' by which you will see that he had discrimination
enough to perceive the value of my observations. 'The result is, sir,' I
says to him then, 'that the whole human race is a-dancing and
a-trumpeting in corners, every man singing hymns in honor of his self.
And the old enemy capers up and down the country and the town, rejoicing
at the outcry which he hears from every lip in his honor. A friend is
rarer than a phoenix; for no man can serve two images, and each sticks
firmly by his own.'

"'Have you no charity yourself this Christmas, Mr. Spruce?' inquired the
king, after he had called to his two imps that they should put fresh
coals upon the bed, and rake it up. 'When I was a young man, sir,' said
I, 'no one could have started in the world with a stronger faith in
human goodness. But I've seen my error. All the ways of human nature are
humbug, sir; as for my fellow-creatures, I've been very much deceived in
'em. That's all I know in answer to your question.'

"'I understand you, Phil,' the king said, lounging back upon the bed,
and kindling the new coals into a blaze around him by the mere contact
of his body. 'You are a philosopher out at elbows, and therefore a
little out of temper with the world. You would like best to make your
observations upon human nature without being jostled. You'd rather see
the play from a snug little box, than be an actor in it, kicked about
and worried.' 'Ah, sir,' said I, 'and where is such a seat provided?'
'Philip, I can answer that question,' said the king; 'and what is more,
I can give you free admission to a snug private box.' 'How so, sir?'
said I, quite eagerly. 'The coal-box, Phil,' replied the king. 'I'm
puzzled, sir,' said I. 'In what way is my condition to be improved by
the act of sitting in a coal-box?' 'That, my dear Phil, I will make as
clear to you as a fire on a frosty night. Know, then, that I am King
among the Coals.' I bowed, and was upon the point of kissing his
extended hand, but drew back my nose suddenly. 'The cinder which I now
have on I wear--because it is large and easy--in the manner of a
dressing-gown, when here at home. I am, however, a spirit, and ruler
over many other spirits similarly formed. Now, Phil, the business and
amusement of myself and subjects is to transfer ourselves at will into
the tenancy of any coal we please. The scuttles of the whole kingdom are
our meeting-houses. Every coal cast upon the fire, Phil, is, by our
means, animated with a living spirit. It is our amusement, then, to have
a merry sport among ourselves; and it is our privilege to watch the
scenes enacted round the hearths which we enliven. When the cinder
becomes cold, the spirit is again set free, and flies, whither it
pleases, to a new abode.'"

"Isn't that the doctrine of metamicosis?" asked the boy (a national
scholar) tapping the ashes from his pipe-bowl.

"It's a thing I never heard on," said the gamekeeper. Mr. Spruce went
on:

"'Did you never,' continued his majesty, 'when gazing into the fire, see
a grotesque face glow before you? That face, Phil, has been mine. You
have, then, seen the King among the Coals. If you become a cinder, Mr.
Spruce, you may consider yourself made a judge.'

"'Well, sir,' says I, 'your reverence, it's firstly requisite to judge
whether I will or won't sit down upon the fire. It's my opinion I
won't. I'd like a little more discussion.' 'Talk away, Phil,' said the
king. 'Well, sir,' says I, 'since you're always a-looking--leastways in
winter--through the bars of grates, it's possible you've seen a bit
yourself of human nature. Don't it fidget you?' 'Why,' says he, 'Phil,'
a-stretching out his arms for a great yawn so suddenly as very nigh to
set my coat on fire with his red fingers, 'I have been tolerably
patient, haven't I?' 'If it's sarcasm you mean,' says I, a little
nettled, 'I must say, it's a figure of speech I don't approve of.'

"'I beg your pardon, sir,' he says, 'and here's an answer to your
question. It's my opinion, Mr. Spruce, that as a cinder you will be
agreeably surprised. I do see people sitting around me, now and then,
whom I can't altogether get my coals to blaze for cheerfully. They sit
and talk disparagement about all manner of folks their neighbors; they
have a cupboard in their hearts for hoarding up the grievances they
spend their lives in searching for; they hate the world, and could make
scandal out of millstones, but if one hints that they are erring, they
are up in arms, and don't approve of sarcasm.' 'Sir,' says I, 'you are
personal.' 'By no means, Mr. Spruce; you, and a number like you, are
good people in the main, and deeply to be pitied for your foolish
blunder. You're a philosopher, Phil,' he says, 'and did you never hear
that your "I" is the only thing certainly existent, and that the world
without may be a shadow or mere part of you, or, if external, of no
certain form or tint, having the color of the medium through which you
view it--your own nature.' Here I saw occasion for a joke. 'Sir,' I
says, 'if my own "I" is the only thing certainly existing, then the
external world is all my eye, which proves what I propounded.' His
flames went dead all of a sudden, and he looked black from top to toe.
'I am sure I beg your pardon, sir,' says I, 'excuse my liberty.'

"'He took no verbal notice of what I had said, but gave a tremendous
shiver, and his flames began to play again. 'I'm of a warm and cheerful
turn of mind,' says he, 'and I must say, that whenever I look out upon
the men and women in the world, I see them warm and cheerful.' 'That's
nothing wonderful,' said I; 'it's just because you see them sitting
round your blaze.' 'Well,' says he, 'Mr. Spruce, I'm very glad you own
so much; for my opinion is, that if you had shone out cheerfully when
you were in the world, and warmed the folks that came within your
influence--if you had put a little kindly glow into your countenance,
you would have been surrounded always as I generally am.' 'You're young,
says I, 'and you have had no experience; leastways, your experience has
not been human. You get stirred when you're low, and people tend you for
their own sakes--you ain't preyed upon by disappointments.'

"'Young!' said he; 'disappointments!' And, to my horror, he stood bolt
upright, to be impressive. 'Look you, Mr. Spruce, the youngest is the
wisest; the child remembers throughout years a happy day, and can forget
his tears as fast as they evaporate. He grows up, and his budding youth
imagines love. Two or three fancies commonly precede his love. As each
of these decays, he, in his inexperience, is eloquent about his blighted
hopes, his dead first love, and so on. In the first blossom of his
manhood, winds are keen to him--at his first plunge into the stream of
active life, he finds the water cold. Who shall condemn his shiver? But
if he is to be a healthy man, he will strike out right soon, and glow
with cheerful exercise in buffeting the stream. Youth, Mr. Spruce, may
be allowed to call the water of the world too cold, but so long only as
its plunge is recent. It is a libel on maturity and age to say that we
live longer to love less. Preyed upon by disappointments--'

"'Yes,' says I, 'preyed upon.'

"'Say, rather, blessed with trial. Who'd care to swim in a cork jacket!
Trouble is a privilege, believe me, friend, to those who know from whose
hand, for what purpose, it is sent. I do not mean the trouble people cut
out for themselves by curdling all the milk of kindness in their
neighbors. But when a man will be a man, will labor with Truth, Charity,
and Self-Reliance--always frank and open in his dealings--always giving
credit to his neighbors for their good deeds, and humbly abstaining from
a judgment of what looks like evil in their conduct--when he knows,
under God, no helper but his own brave heart, and his own untiring
hand--there is no disappointment in repulse. He learns the lesson Heaven
teaches him, his Faith, and Hope, and Charity, by constant active effort
became strong--gloriously strong--just as the blacksmith's right
arm becomes mighty by the constant wielding of his hammer.
Disappointment--let the coward pluck up courage--disappointment is a
sheet-and-pumpkin phantom to the bold. Let him who has battled side by
side with Trouble, say whether it was not an angel sent to be his help.
Find a true-hearted man whose energies have brought him safe through
years of difficulty; ask him whether he found the crowd to be
base-natured through which he was called upon to force his way? Believe
me, he will tell you "No." Having said this, his majesty broke out into
a blaze, and lay down in his bed again. 'Well,' he said, 'Philip, will
you come to bed with me?'

"'Why, sir,' said I, 'to say the best of it, you're under a
misconception; but if it's in the nature of a coal to take such cheerful
views of things as you appear to do, I'd rather be a coal than what I
am. It's cold work living in the flesh, such as I find it--you seem
jolly as a hot cinder, and for the matter of that, what am I now but
dust and ashes? Coke is preferable.'

"'Coffin and Purse, you're wanted,' cried the king. And, indeed, Mrs.
Pittis, and, indeed, gentlemen, I must turn aside one minute to remark
the singularity of this king's body-guard, Coffin and Purse. 'Cash and
Mortality,' said the king to me, 'make up, according to your theory, the
aim and end of man. So with a couple of cinders you can twit him with
his degradation. Sometimes Coffin, sometimes Purse, leaps out into his
lap when he is cogitating.' 'Yes,' said I 'that will be extremely
humorous. But, so please your majesty, I still have one objection to
joining your honorable body.' 'What is that, Phil?' 'I suppose, if I
sits down in them there flames, they'll burn me.' 'To be sure,' said the
king, kicking up his heels, and scraping a furnace load of live coal
over his body, just as you might pull up the blanket when you're in bed
to-night, Mrs. Pittis. 'Well, your highness,' said I, 'how about the
pain?' 'Pah!' says the king, 'where's your philosophy? Did you never see
a fly jump into a lamp-flame?' 'Yes, sure,' I answered. 'And what
happened then? A moment's crackle, and an end of it. You've no time to
feel pain.' 'Well, then,' said I, 'if your majesty will make a hole for
me as near the middle as is convenient to yourself, I will jump into the
bed straightway.' The king made a great spatter among the coals, and in
I jumped. You know, ma'am, that a great part of our bodies is composed
of water.'

"'I don't know that of any gentleman in this room,' replied the
landlady. 'But I do believe that you are two parts built out of strong
beer.'

"There was a burst--a flash, gentlemen; the liquid part of me went off
in instantaneous steam. I cried out with a sharp burn in my foot. The
pot was boiling over furiously that contained our bit of dinner; and as
I sat close in to the fire, I got considerably scalded. How I got back
in the steam to my own fireside, I never rightly comprehended. Fill the
can now, Mrs. Pittis."

"'Yes,' said the landlady, 'but let me tell you, Mr. Spruce, that king
of the hearth is a gentleman, and if you really had gone with the coals
and got acquainted with fire-sides, it would have done you a great deal
of good. You'd have owned then that there is a mighty deal more love
than hatred in the world. You'd have heard round almost any hearth you
chose to play eavesdropper to, household words, any thing but hard or
bitter. Some people do not pay their scores with me, but, on the whole,
I live. Some of our human natures may run termagant; but, on the whole,
we men and women love. Among the worst are those who won't bear quietly
their share of work, who can't learn self-reliance, but run to and fro,
squealing for help, and talking sentiment against their neighbors, who
won't carry their burdens for them. It's all very well for a musty,
discontented old bachelor to say there's no love in the world, but it's
a falsehood. I know better.'

"'My pipe's out,' said the boy. 'Be smart there with the 'baccy.'"



[From Dickens's Household Words.]

THE MYSTERIES OF A TEA-KETTLE.


At one of Mr. Bagges's small scientific tea-parties, Mr. Harry Wilkinson
delivered to the worthy gentleman a lecture, based principally on
reminiscences of the Royal Institution, and of a series of lectures
delivered there by Professor Faraday, addressed to children and young
people. For it is not the least of the merits of that famous chemist and
great man, Professor Faraday, that he delights to make the mightiest
subject clear to the simplest capacity, and that he shows his mastery of
Nature in nothing more than in being thoroughly imbued with the spirit
of her goodness and simplicity.

This particular lecture was on Natural Philosophy in its bearings on a
kettle. The entertainment of a "Night with Mr. Bagges" was usually
extemporaneous. It was so on this occasion. The footman brought in the
tea-kettle. "Does it boil?" demanded Mr. Bagges.

"It have biled, sir," answered the domestic.

"Have biled, sir!" repeated Mr. Bagges. "_Have_ biled! And what if it
has 'biled,' or _boiled_, as I desire you will say in future? What is
that to the purpose? Water may be frozen, you simpleton, notwithstanding
it _has_ boiled. Was it boiling, sir, eh? when you took it off the fire?
That is the question, sir."

"Yes, sir, that was what I mean to say, sir," replied Thomas.

"Mean to say, sir! Then why didn't you say it, sir? Eh? There--no, don't
put it on, sir; hold it still. Harry, reach me the thermometer," said
Mr. Bagges, putting on his spectacles. "Let me see. The boiling point of
water is two hundred and--what?"

"Two hundred and twelve, Fahrenheit," answered Master Wilkinson, "if
commonly pure, and boiled in a metallic vessel, and under a pressure of
the atmosphere amounting to fifteen pounds on every square inch of
surface, or when the barometer stands at thirty inches."

"Gracious, what a memory that boy has!" exclaimed his uncle. "Well; now
this water in the kettle--eh?--why, this is not above one hundred and
fifty degrees. There, sir, now set it on the fire, and don't bring me up
cold water to make tea with again; or else," added Mr. Bagges, making a
vague attempt at a joke, "or else--eh?--you will get yourself into hot
water."

Mr. Thomas was seized with a convulsion in the chest, which he checked
by suddenly applying his open hand to his mouth, the effort distending
his cheeks, and causing his eyes to protrude in a very ridiculous
manner, while Mr. Bagges disguised his enjoyment of the effects of his
wit in a cough.

"Now let me see," said the old gentleman, musingly contemplating the
vessel simmering on the fire; "how is it, eh, Harry, you said the other
day that a kettle boils?"

"La!" interrupted Mrs. Wilkinson, who was of the party, "why, of course,
by the heat of the coals, and by blowing the fire, if it is not hot
enough."

"Aha!" cried her brother, "that's not the way _we_ account for things,
Harry, my boy, eh? Now, convince your mother; explain the boiling of a
kettle to her: come."

"A kettle boils," said Harry, "by means of the action of currents."

"What are you talking about? Boiling a plum-pudding in a tea-kettle!"
exclaimed the mystified mamma.

"Currents of heated particles--of particles of hot water," Harry
explained. "Suppose you put your fire on your kettle--on the lid of
it--instead of your kettle on your fire--- what then?"

"You would be a goose," said his mother.

"Exactly so--or a gosling"--rejoined her son; "the kettle would not
boil. Water is a bad conductor of heat. Heat passes through the
substance of water with very great difficulty. Therefore, it would have
a hard matter to get from the top of a kettle of water to the bottom.
Then how does it so easily get from the bottom to the top?"

"Ah!" sighed Mr. Bagges. "In my young days we should have said, because
the heat rises, but that won't do now. What is all that about
the--eh--what--law of ex--what?--pansion --eh?"

"The law of expansion of fluids and gases by heat. This makes the
currents that I spoke of just now, mamma; and I should have spelt the
word to explain to you that I didn't mean plums. You know what a draught
is?"

"I am sorry to say I do," Mr. Bagges declared with much seriousness,
instinctively carrying his hand to the region of the human body from the
Latin for which is derived the term, Lumbago.

"Well," pursued Harry, "a draught is a current of air. Such currents are
now passing up the chimney, and simply owing to that trifling
circumstance, we are able to sit here now without being stifled and
poisoned."

"Goodness!" ejaculated Mrs. Wilkinson.

"To be sure. The fire, in burning, turns into gases, which are rank
poison--carbonic acid, for one; sulphurous acid, for another. Hold your
nose over a shovelful of hot cinders if you doubt the fact. The gases
produced by the fire expand; they increase in bulk without getting
heavier, so much so that they become lighter in proportion than the air,
and then they rise, and this rising of hot air is what is meant by heat
going upward. The currents of hot air that go up the chimney in this way
have currents of cold air rushing after them, to supply their place.
When you heat water, currents are formed just as when you heat gas or
air. The heated portion of water rises, and some colder water comes down
in its place; and these movements of the water keep going on till the
whole bulk of it is equally hot throughout."

"Well, now," interrupted Mr. Bagges, "I dare say this is all very true,
but how do you prove it?"

"Prove that water is heated by the rising and falling of hot currents?
Get a long, slender glass jar. Put a little water, colored with indigo,
or any thing you like, into the bottom of it. Pour clear water upon the
colored, gently, so as not to mix the two, and yet nearly to fill the
jar. Float a little spirit of wine on the top of the water, and set fire
to it. Let it blaze away as long as you like; the colored water will
remain steady at the bottom of the jar. But hold the flame of a
spirit-lamp under the jar, and the colored water will rise and mix with
the clear, in very little time longer than it would take you to say
Harry Wilkinson."

"Ah! So the water gets colored throughout for the same reason that it
gets heated throughout," Mr. Bagges observed, "and when it gets
thoroughly hot--what then?"

"Then it boils. And what is boiling?"

"Bubbling," suggested the young philosopher's mamma.

"Yes; but ginger-beer bubbles," said Harry, "but you wouldn't exactly
call that boiling. Boiling is the escaping of steam. That causes the
bubbling; so the bubbling of water over the fire is only the sign that
the water boils. But what occasions the escape of the steam?"

"The heat, of course--the--what is the right word?--the caloric,"
answered Mr. Bagges.

"True; but what heat? Why, the excess of heat over two hundred and
twelve degrees--taking that as the average boiling point of water. You
can heat water up to that point, and it remains water; but every degree
of heat you cause to pass into it above that, turns a quantity of the
water into steam; and flies off in the steam, unless the steam is
hindered from escaping by extraordinary pressure. Blow the fire under
that kettle as much as you will, and you will make the water boil
faster, but you won't make it a bit hotter than two hundred and twelve
degrees."

"Well, to be sure!" Mrs. Wilkinson exclaimed.

"If water," continued Harry, "could keep on getting hotter and hotter
above the boiling point, why, we might have our potatoes charred in the
pot, or our mutton boiled to a cinder. When water is confined in a
strong vessel--and strong it must be to prevent a tremendous
blow-up--confined, I say, so that no steam can escape, it may be heated
almost red-hot; and there is a vessel made for heating water under
pressure, called Papin's Digestor, which will digest almost any thing."

"What an enviable apparatus!" exclaimed Mr. Bagges.

"Well," resumed Harry; "so the boiling point of water depends on the
degree of force which the air, or what-not, is pressing on its surface
with. The higher the spot on which you boil your water, the lower the
point it boils at. Therefore, water boiling at the top of a mountain is
not so hot as water boiling at the mountain's base. The boiling point of
water on the summit of Mont Blanc, is as low as one hundred and
eighty-four degrees. So, if water must be at two hundred and twelve
degrees, to make good tea, don't choose too high a hill to build a
temperance hall on. The heavier, also, the air is, from the quantity of
moisture in it, the hotter water becomes before it boils. If the
atmosphere were carbonic acid gas, water would get much hotter without
boiling than it can under--"

"Present arrangements," interposed Mr. Badges.

"Consisting of a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen," continued Harry.
"Water requires only a very low heat to make it boil in an exhausted
receiver, out of which the air has been pumped, so as to leave none to
press upon its surface. Owing to boiling depending upon pressure, you
can actually make water boil by means of cold."

"What next?" sighed Mrs. Wilkinson.

"You can, indeed. Put a little boiling water in a salad-oil flask; so
that the flask may be a quarter full, say. Cork the flask tightly. The
boiling stops; and the upper three-fourths of the flask are full of
vapor. Squirt a jet of ice-cold water upon the flask, above where the
water is, and the water below will instantly begin to boil. The reason
why, is this. The vapor in the flask presses on the surface of the hot
water. The cold condenses the vapor--turns it back to water. That takes
off the pressure for the time; and then the hot water directly flies
into vapor, and boils, and so on, till it cools down too low to boil any
longer. What reduces the boiling point of water on a hill or a mountain
is, that the pressure of the atmosphere decreases as you ascend. A rise
of five hundred and thirty feet in height above the level of the sea,
makes a difference of one degree; so, give me a kettle of water and a
thermometer, and I'll tell you exactly how near the moon we are."

"I shouldn't think one could make good hot mixed punch up in a balloon,
now," observed Mr. Bagges, reflectively.

"Then," Harry proceeded, "it requires more heat to make water boil in a
glass vessel than it does in a metal one. A metal vessel's inner surface
is made up of very small points and dents. Scratching the inside of the
glass so as to give it a roughness something like what the metal has,
makes the boiling point lower; and a few iron filings thrown into water
boiling in glass at two hundred and fourteen degrees, will bring it down
to two hundred and twelve. The filings, and the roughness of the glass,
are so many more points for the heat to pass into the water from, and
form steam, and the water does not cling to them so hard as it clings to
a smooth surface. Throw a lot of hay into a pan of hot water, and it
makes a quantity of steam rise directly; and I have heard a doctor say
that some poor people are in the habit of giving themselves cheap
steam-baths by this means."

"A very good thing for rheumatic pains, I should think; certainly a much
more rational remedy than patent medicines or Government poison," Mr.
Bagges remarked.

"There are some salts," continued Harry, "which, if dissolved in water,
will prevent it from boiling till it is heated to two hundred and
sixty-four degrees, as if they held the water back from flying into
steam. So, then, the boiling of water may be hindered, more or less, by
pressure from without, and attraction from within. The boiling point of
water depends on another important fact which the kettle always mentions
before it boils, although we don't all of us understand the kettle's
language. The singing of the kettle tells us--"

"That the water is going to boil," interrupted mamma.

"Yes, and that water contains air. The singing of the kettle is the
noise made by the escape of the air, which is driven off by the heat.
The air sticks and hangs in the water, till the heat expands it and
makes it rise. Put a glass of water under the receiver of an air-pump,
and exhaust the receiver. As you pump, the water begins to bubble, as if
it were boiling; but the bubbles are the air contained in the water,
being pumped out. The air-bubbles act like wedges between the little
invisible drops that make up the whole water. If it were not for them,
the water would be a mass which would hold together so hard that it
would not go into steam, or boil, till it was heated to two hundred and
seventy degrees, as may be proved by boiling some water quite deprived
of air. And not only that, but when it did boil, it would boil all at
once, and blow up with a tremendous explosion; which would be a still
greater inconvenience in boiling a kettle."

"A pretty kettle of fish, indeed!" Mr. Bagges observed.

"So," said Harry, "strictly pure water would not be quite so great a
blessing to us as you might think. Of course, you know, uncle, I don't
mean to say that there is any advantage in the impurity of such water as
the Thames, except when used for the purpose of fertilizing the earth. I
am speaking of water so pure as to contain no air. Water of such severe
purity would be very unmanageable stuff. No fishes could live in it, for
one thing. I have already given you one good reason why it would be
unsuitable to our kettle; and another is, that it would not be good to
drink. Then water, as we find it in the world, has a very useful and
accommodating disposition to find its own level. Pump all the air out of
water, however, and it loses this obliging character in a great measure.
Suppose I take a bent glass-tube, and fill one arm of it with airless
water. Then I turn the tube mouth upward, and if the water were common
water, it would instantly run from one arm into the other, and stand at
the same level in both. But if the water has been exhausted of its air,
it remains, most of it, in the one arm, and won't run till I give the
table a smart rap, and shake it. So, but for the air contained in water,
we could not make the water run up and down hill as we do. If water were
deprived of air, London would be almost deprived of water."

"And water," observed Mr. Bagges, "would be robbed of a very valuable
property."

"Good again, uncle. Now, if we could see through the kettle, we should
be able to observe the water boiling in it which is a curious sight when
looked into. To examine water boiling, we must boil the water in a glass
vessel--a long tube is the best--heated with a spirit lamp. Then first
you see the water in motion, and the air-bubbles being driven off by the
heat. As the water gets hotter, other bubbles appear, rising from the
bottom of the tube. They go up for a little way, and then they shrink,
and by the time they get to the top of the water, you can hardly
distinguish them. These are bubbles of steam, and they get smaller as
they rise, because at first the water is colder above than below, in
proportion to the distance from the flame, and the cold gradually
condenses the bubbles. But when the water gets thoroughly hot, the
bubbles grow larger and rise quicker, and go of the same size right up
to the top of the water, and there escape--if you choose to let them.
And steam was allowed to escape so for many, many ages, wasn't it,
uncle, before it was set to work to spin cotton for the world, and take
us to America within a fortnight, and whirl us over the ground as the
crow flies, and almost at a crow's pace?"

"For all which," remarked Mr. Bagges, "we have principally to thank
what's his name."

"Watt _was_ his name, I believe, uncle. Well; heat turns water into
steam, and I dare say I need not tell you that a quantity of water
becoming steam, fills an immense deal more space than it did as mere
water. Cold turns the steam back into water, and the water fills the
same space as it did before. Water, in swelling into steam and shrinking
back into water again, moves, of course, twice, and mighty motions these
are, and mighty uses are made of them, I should rather think."

"I believe you, my boy," said Mr. Bagges.

"And now," asked Harry, "have you any idea of what a deal of heat there
is in steam?"

"It is hot enough to scald you," answered his mamma; "I know that."

"Yes; and hot enough, too, to cook potatoes. But there is much more heat
in it than that comes to. Take a kettle of cold water. See at what
degree the thermometer stands in the water. Put the kettle on the fire,
and observe how long it takes to boil. It will boil at two hundred and
twelve degrees; and therefore, during the time it has taken to boil,
there has gone into it the difference of heat between two hundred and
twelve degrees and the degree it stood at when first put on the fire.
Keep up the same strength of fire, so that the heat may continue to go
into the water at the same rate. Let the water boil quite away, and note
how long it is in doing so. You can then calculate how much heat has
gone into the water while the water has been boiling away. You will find
that quantity of heat great enough to have made the water red-hot, if
all the water, and all the heat, had remained in the kettle. But the
water in your kettle will have continued at two hundred and twelve
degrees to the last drop, and all the steam that it has turned into will
not have been hotter--according to the thermometer--than two hundred and
twelve degrees; whereas a red heat is one thousand degrees. The
difference between two hundred and twelve degrees and one thousand
degrees, is seven hundred and eighty-eight degrees; and what has become
of all this heat? Why, it is entirely contained in the steam, though it
does not make the steam hotter. It lies hid in the steam, and therefore
it is called latent heat. When the steam is condensed, all that latent
heat comes out of it, and can be felt, and the quantity of it can be
measured by a thermometer. The warmth that issues from steam-pipes used
to warm a house, is the latent heat of the steam that escapes as the
steam turns back to water."

"Latent, heat! latent heat!" repeated Mr Bagges, scratching his head.
"Eh? Now, that latent heat always puzzles me. Latent, lying hid. But how
can you hide heat? When the zany in the pantomime hides the red-hot
poker in his pocket, he cauterizes his person. How--eh?--how can heat be
latent?"

"Why, the word heat has two meanings, uncle. In the first place, it
means hotness. Hotness can not be latent, as the clown finds when he
pockets the poker. In the second place, heat means a something the
nature of which we don't know, which is the cause of hotness, and also
the cause of another effect. While it is causing that other effect, it
does not cause hotness. That other effect which heat causes in the
instance of steam, is keeping water in the form of steam. The heat that
there is in steam, over and above two hundred and twelve degrees, is
employed in this way. It is wholly occupied in preserving the water in
an expanded state, and can't cause the mercury in the thermometer to
expand and rise as well. For the same reason, it could give you no
feeling of hotness above what boiling water would--if you had the nerve
to test it. While it is making steam continue to be steam, it is latent.
When the steam becomes water again, it has no longer that work to do,
and is set free. Free heat is what is commonly understood by heat. This
is the heat which cooks our victuals, the heat we feel, the heat that
singes Mr. Merriman. Latent heat is heat that doesn't warm, singe, or
cook, because it is otherwise engaged. If you press gas suddenly into a
fluid, the latent heat of the gas is set free. You seem to squeeze it
out. Indeed, the same thing happens, if you violently force any
substance into a closer form all at once. Every thing appears to have
more or less latent heat in it, between its little particles, keeping
them at certain distances from each other. Compress the particles within
a smaller compass, and a part of the latent heat escapes, as if it were
no longer wanted. When a substance in a compressed state expands on a
sudden, it draws in heat, on the other hand. When a lady bathes her
forehead with eau-de-Cologne to cure a headache, the heat of the head
enters the eau-de-Cologne, and becomes latent in it while it evaporates.
If you make steam under high pressure, you can heat it much above two
hundred and twelve degrees. Suppose you let off steam, so compressed and
heated, by a wide hole, from the boiler, and put your hand into it as it
rushes out--"

"What? Why, you'd scald your hand off!" cried Mr. Bagges.

"No, you wouldn't. The steam rushes out tremendously hot, but it expands
instantly so very much, that the heat in it directly becomes latent in a
great measure; which cools it down sufficiently to allow you to hold
your hand in it without its hurting you. But then you would have to mind
where you held your hand; because where the steam began to condense
again, it would be boiling hot."

"I had rather take your word for the experiment than try it, young
gentleman," Mr. Bagges observed.

"Another very curious thing," proceeded Harry, "in regard to boiling,
has been discovered lately. A kettle might be too hot to boil water in.
Take a little bar of silver, heated very highly; dip it into water. At
first, you have no boiling, and you don't have any at all till the
silver has cooled some degrees. Put a drop of water into a platinum
dish, heated in the same way, and it will run about without boiling till
the heat diminishes; and then it bursts into steam. M. Boutigny, the
French chemist, made this discovery. Vapor forms between the drop of
water and the red-hot metal, and, being a bad conductor of heat, keeps
the heat of the metal for some time from flowing into the water. Owing
to this, water, and mercury even, may be frozen in a red-hot vessel if
the experiment is managed cleverly. A little more than a couple of
centuries ago, this would have been thought witchcraft."

"And the philosopher," added Mr. Bagges, "would have been fried instead
of his water-drop. Let me see--eh? what do they call this singular state
of water?"

"The spheroidal state," answered Harry. "However, that is a state that
water does not get into in a kettle, because kettles are not allowed to
become red hot, except when they are put carelessly on the fire with no
water in them, or suffered to remain there after the water has boiled
quite away!"

"Which is ruination to kettles," Mrs. Wilkinson observed.

"Of course it is, mamma, because at a red heat iron begins to unite with
oxygen, or to rust. Another thing that injures kettles is the fur that
collects in them. All water in common use contains more or less of
earthy and other salts. In boiling, these things separate from the
water, and gradually form a fur or crust inside the kettle or boiler."

"And a nice job it is to get rid of it," said his mamma.

"Well, chemistry has lessened that difficulty," replied Harry. "The fur
is mostly carbonate of lime. In that case, all you have to do is to boil
some sal-ammoniac--otherwise muriate, or more properly hydrochlorate of
ammonia--in the furred vessel. The hydrochloric acid unites with the
lime, and the carbonic acid goes to the ammonia. Both the compounds
formed in this way dissolve and wash away; and so you may clean the
foulest boiler or kettle. This is a rather important discovery; for the
effect of fur in a kettle is to oppose the passage of heat, and
therefore to occasion the more fuel to be required to boil water in it,
which is a serious waste and expense when you have a large steam-boiler
to deal with. Dr. Faraday mentions the case of a Government steamer that
went to Trieste, and during the voyage had so much fur formed in her
boiler as to oblige all her coal to be consumed, and then the engineers
were forced to burn spars, rigging, bulkheads, and even chopped cables,
and to use up every shaving of spare timber in the ship. Soot underneath
the kettle, as well as fur inside it, is a hindrance to boiling, as it
is a bad conductor; and that is the reason why one can bear to hold a
kettle of hot water, which is very sooty on its under surface, on the
flat of the hand. So a black kettle doesn't give out its heat readily to
what touches it, and so far it is good to keep water hot; but it gets
rid of heat in another way; as I dare say you know, uncle."

"Eh?" said Mr. Bagges, "why, what?--no--I did know something about it
the other day--but I've such a memory!--and--eh?--no--I've quite
forgotten it."

"By radiation, you know. All warm bodies are constantly giving off rays
of heat, as shining ones are giving off rays of light, although the
heat-rays are invisible."

"How do we know that?" asked Mr. Bagges.

"Get a couple of concave mirrors--a sort of copper basins, polished
inside. Stand them face to face, some yards apart. Put a hot iron
ball--not red hot--in the focus of one mirror. Put a bit of phosphorus
in the focus of the other. The phosphorus will take fire; though without
the mirrors you might place it much nearer the hot iron, and yet it
would not burn. So we know that there are rays of heat, because we can
reflect them as we can rays of light. Some things radiate better than
others. Those that have bright metal surfaces radiate worst, though such
are what are used for reflectors. If their surfaces are blackened or
roughened, they radiate better. A bright kettle gives off fewer rays of
heat than a black one, and so far, is better to keep water hot in. But
then, on the other hand, it yields more heat to the air, or the hob or
hearth that it stands upon--if colder than itself. The bright kettle
gives off heat in one way and the black in another. I don't know at what
comparative rate exactly."

"Six of one, and half-a-dozen of the other," Mr. Bagges suggested.

"Now look at the wonderful relations of the kettle, uncle!"

"Relations?--Eh?--what the pot and the saucepan?" said Mr. Bagges.

"Oh, oh, uncle! No; its relations to the pressure of the atmosphere and
every cause that affects it--to the conveyance, and conduction, and
radiation of heat--to latent heat or caloric, to the properties of
water, to chemical decomposition--and to steam and its astonishing
marvels, present and to come!"

"Well," said Mr. Bagges, "it is wonderful; and the kettle certainly is
very respectably connected. Eh? And I hope to profit by the subject of
our conversation; and so, I say, pour me out a cup of tea."



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.

_(Continued from page_ 97.)


BOOK II.--CHAPTER VII.

In spite of all his Machiavellian wisdom, Dr. Riccabocca had been foiled
in his attempt to seduce Leonard Fairfield into his service, even though
he succeeded in partially winning over the widow to his views. For to
her he represented the worldly advantages of the thing. Lenny would
learn to be fit for more than a day-laborer: he would learn gardening
in all its branches--rise some day to be a head-gardener. "And," said
Riccabocca, "I will take care of his book-learning, and teach him
whatever he has a head for."

"He has a head for every thing," said the widow.

"Then," said the wise man, "every thing shall go into it."

The widow was certainly dazzled; for, as we have seen, she highly prized
scholarly distinction, and she knew that the parson looked upon
Riccabocca as a wondrous learned man. But still, Riccabocca was said to
be a Papist, and suspected to be a conjurer. Her scruples on both these
points, the Italian, who was an adept in the art of talking over the
fair sex, would no doubt have dissipated, if there had been any use in
it; but Lenny put a dead stop to all negotiations. He had taken a mortal
dislike to Riccabocca; he was very much frightened by him--and the
spectacles, the pipe, the cloak, the long hair, and the red umbrella;
and said so sturdily, in reply to every overture, "Please, sir, I'd
rather not; I'd rather stay along with mother," that Riccabocca was
forced to suspend all further experiments in his Machiavellian
diplomacy. He was not at all cast down, however, by his first failure;
on the contrary, he was one of those men whom opposition stimulates. And
what before had been but a suggestion of prudence, became an object of
desire. Plenty of other lads might no doubt be had on as reasonable
terms as Lenny Fairfield; but the moment Lenny presumed to baffle the
Italian's designs upon him, the special acquisition of Lenny became of
paramount importance in the eyes of Signor Riccabocca.

Jackeymo, however, lost all his interest in the traps, snares, and gins,
which his master proposed to lay for Leonard Fairfield, in the more
immediate surprise that awaited him on learning that Dr. Riccabocca had
accepted an invitation to pass a few days at the Hall.

"There will be no one there but the family," said Riccabocca. "Poor
Giacomo, a little chat in the servants' hall will do you good: and the
squire's beef is more nourishing, after all, than the sticklebacks and
minnows. It will lengthen your life."

"The Padrone jests," said Jackeymo statelily, "as if any one could
starve in his service."

"Um," said Riccabocca. "At least, faithful friend, you have tried that
experiment as far as human nature will permit;" and he extended his hand
to his fellow-exile with that familiarity which exists between servant
and master in the usages of the Continent. Jackeymo bent low, and a tear
fell upon the hand he kissed.

"_Cospetto_." said Dr. Riccabocca, "a thousand mock pearls do not make
up the cost of a single true one. The tears of women, we know their
worth; but the tear of an honest man--Fie, Giacomo! at least I can never
repay you this! Go and see to our wardrobe."

So far as his master's wardrobe was concerned, that order was pleasing
to Jackeymo; for the doctor had in his drawers suits which Jackeymo
pronounced to be as good as new, though many a long year had passed
since they left the tailor's hands. But when Jackeymo came to examine
the state of his own clothing department, his face grew considerably
longer. It was not that he was without other clothes than those on his
back--quantity was there, but, the quality! Mournfully he gazed on two
suits, complete in the three separate members of which man's raiments
are composed: the one suit extended at length upon his bed, like a
veteran stretched by pious hands after death; the other brought
piecemeal to the invidious light--the _torso_ placed upon a chair, the
limbs dangling down from Jackeymo's melancholy arm. No bodies long
exposed at the Morgue could evince less sign of resuscitation than those
respectable defuncts! For, indeed, Jackeymo had been less thrifty of his
apparel--more _profusus sui_--than his master. In the earliest days of
their exile, he preserved the decorous habit of dressing for dinner--it
was a respect due to the Padrone--and that habit had lasted till the two
habits on which it necessarily depended had evinced the first symptoms
of decay; then the evening clothes had been taken into morning wear, in
which hard service they had breathed their last.

The doctor, notwithstanding his general philosophical abstraction from
such household details, had more than once said, rather in pity to
Jackeymo, than with an eye to that respectability which the costume of
the servant reflects on the dignity of the master--"Giacomo, thou
wantest clothes, fit thyself out of mine!"

And Jackeymo had bowed his gratitude, as if the donation had been
accepted; but the fact was that that same fitting-out was easier said
than done. For though, thanks to an existence mainly upon sticklebacks
and minnows--both Jackeymo and Riccabocca had arrived at that state
which the longevity of misers proves to be most healthful to the human
frame, viz., skin and bone--yet, the bones contained in the skin of
Riccabocca all took longitudinal directions; while those in the skin of
Jackeymo spread out latitudinally. And you might as well have made the
bark of a Lombardy poplar serve for the trunk of some dwarfed and
pollarded oak--in whose hollow the Babes of the Wood could have slept at
their ease--as have fitted out Jackeymo from the garb of Riccabocca.
Moreover, if the skill of the tailor could have accomplished that
undertaking, the faithful Jackeymo would never have had the heart to
avail himself of the generosity of his master. He had a sort of
religious sentiment too, about those vestments of the Padrone. The
ancients, we know, when escaping from shipwreck, suspended in the votive
temple the garments in which they had struggled through the wave.
Jackeymo looked on those relics of the past with a kindred superstition.
"This coat the Padrone wore on such an occasion. I remember the very
evening the Padrone last put on those pantaloons!" And coat and
pantaloons were tenderly dusted, and carefully restored to their sacred
rest.

But now, after all, what was to be done? Jackeymo was much too proud to
exhibit his person, to the eyes of the Squire's butler, in habiliments
discreditable to himself and the Padrone. In the midst of his
perplexity, the bell rang, and he went down into the parlor.

Riccabocca was standing on the hearth under his symbolical
representation of the "Patriæ Exul."

"Giacomo," quoth he, "I have been thinking that thou hast never done
what I told thee, and fitted thyself out from my superfluities. But we
are going now into the great world: visiting once begun, Heaven knows
where it may stop! Go to the nearest town and get thyself clothes.
Things are dear in England. Will this suffice?" And Riccabocca extended
a £5 note.

Jackeymo, we have seen, was more familiar with his master than we formal
English permit our domestics to be with us. But in his familiarity he
was usually respectful. This time, however, respect deserted him.

"The Padrone is mad!" he exclaimed; "he would fling away his whole
fortune if I would let him. Five pounds English, or a hundred and
twenty-six pounds Milanese![32] Santa Maria! Unnatural Father! And what
is to become of the poor Signorina? Is this the way you are to marry her
in the foreign land?"

"Giacomo," said Riccabocca, bowing his head to the storm; "the Signorina
to-morrow; to-day, the honor of the house. Thy small clothes, Giacomo.
Miserable man, thy small-clothes!"

"It is just," said Jackeymo, recovering himself, and with humility; "and
the Padrone does right to blame me, but not in so cruel a way. It is
just--the Padrone lodges and boards me, and gives me handsome wages, and
he has a right to expect that I should not go in this figure."

"For the board and the lodgment, good," said Riccabocca. "For the
handsome wages, they are the visions of thy fancy!"

"They are no such thing," said Jackeymo, "they are only in arrear. As if
the Padrone could not pay them some day or other--as if I was demeaning
myself by serving a master who did not intend to pay his servants! And
can't I wait? Have I not my savings too? But be cheered, be cheered; you
shall be contented with me. I have two beautiful suits still. I was
arranging them when you rang for me. You shall see, you shall see."

And Jackeymo hurried from the room, hurried back into his own chamber,
unlocked a little trunk which he kept at his bed head, tossed out a
variety of small articles, and from the deepest depth extracted a
leathern purse. He emptied the contents on the bed. They were chiefly
Italian coins, some five-franc pieces, a silver medallion inclosing a
little image of his patron saint--San Giacomo--one solid English guinea,
and two or three pounds' worth in English silver. Jackeymo put back the
foreign coins, saying prudently, "One will lose on them here;" he seized
the English coins and counted them out. "But are you enough, you
rascals?" quoth he angrily, giving them a good shake. His eye caught
sight of the medallion--he paused; and after eying the tiny
representation of the saint with great deliberation, he added, in a
sentence which he must have picked up from the proverbial aphorisms of
his master--"What's the difference between the enemy who does not hurt
me, and the friend who does not serve me? _Monsignore San Giacomo_, my
patron saint, you are of very little use to me in the leathern bag. But
if you help me to get into a new pair of small-clothes on this important
occasion, you will be a friend indeed. _Alla bisogna, Monsignore_." Then
gravely kissing the medallion, he thrust it into one pocket, the coins
into the other, made up a bundle of the two defunct suits, and,
muttering to himself, "Beast, miser that I am to disgrace the Padrone,
with all these savings in his service!" ran down stairs into his pantry,
caught up his hat and stick, and in a few moments more was seen trudging
off to the neighboring town of L----.

Apparently the poor Italian succeeded, for he came back that evening in
time to prepare the thin gruel which made his master's supper, with a
suit of black--a little threadbare, but still highly respectable--two
shirt fronts, and two white cravats. But, out of all this finery,
Jackeymo held the small-clothes in especial veneration; for as they had
cost exactly what the medallion had sold for, so it seemed to him that
San Giacomo had heard his prayer in that quarter to which he had more
exclusively directed the saint's attention. The other habiliments came
to him in the merely human process of sale and barter; the small-clothes
were the personal gratuity of San Giacomo!


CHAPTER VIII.

Life has been subjected to many ingenious comparisons; and if we do not
understand it any better, it is not for want of what is called reasoning
by illustration. Among other resemblances, there are moments when, to a
quiet contemplator, it suggests the image of one of those rotatory
entertainments commonly seen in fairs, and known by the name of
"whirligigs or roundabouts," in which each participator of the pastime,
seated on his hobby, is always apparently in the act of pursuing some
one before him, while he is pursued by some one behind. Man, and woman
too, are naturally animals of chase; the greatest still finds something
to follow, and there is no one too humble not to be an object of prey to
another. Thus, confining our view to the village of Hazeldean, we behold
in this whirligig Dr. Riccabocca spurring his hobby after Lenny
Fairfield; and Miss Jemima, on her decorous side-saddle, whipping after
Dr. Riccabocca. Why, with so long and intimate a conviction of the
villainy of our sex, Miss Jemima should resolve upon giving the male
animal one more chance of redeeming itself in her eyes, I leave to the
explanation of those gentlemen who profess to find "their only books in
woman's looks." Perhaps it might be from the over-tenderness and
clemency of Miss Jemima's nature; perhaps it might be that, as yet, she
had only experienced the villainy of man born and reared in these cold
northern climates; and in the land of Petrarch and Romeo, of the citron
and myrtle, there was reason to expect that the native monster would be
more amenable to gentle influences, less obstinately hardened in his
iniquities. Without entering farther into these hypotheses, it is
sufficient to say, that on Signor Riccabocca's appearance in the
drawing-room, at Hazeldean, Miss Jemima felt more than ever rejoiced
that she had relaxed in his favor her general hostility to man. In
truth, though Frank saw something quizzical in the old-fashioned and
outlandish cut of the Italian's sober dress; in his long hair, and the
_chapeau bras_, over which he bowed so gracefully, and then pressed it,
as if to his heart, before tucking it under his arm, after the fashion
in which the gizzard reposes under the wing of a roasted pullet; yet it
was impossible that even Frank could deny to Riccabocca that praise
which is due to the air and manner of an unmistakable gentleman. And
certainly as, after dinner, conversation grew more familiar, and the
Parson and Mrs. Dale, who had been invited to meet their friend, did
their best to draw him out, his talk, though sometimes a little too wise
for his listeners, became eminently animated and agreeable. It was the
conversation of a man who, besides the knowledge which is acquired from
books and life, had studied the art which becomes a gentleman--that of
pleasing in polite society. Riccabocca, however, had more than this
art--he had one which is often less innocent--the art of penetrating
into the weak side of his associates, and of saying the exact thing
which hits it plump in the middle, with the careless air of a random
shot.

The result was, that all were charmed with him; and that even Captain
Barnabas postponed the whist-table for a full hour after the usual time.
The Doctor did not play--he thus became the property of the two ladies,
Miss Jemima and Mrs. Dale.

Seated between the two, in the place rightfully appertaining to Flimsey,
who this time was fairly dislodged, to her great wonder and discontent,
the Doctor was the emblem of true Domestic Felicity, placed between
Friendship and Love.

Friendship, as became her, worked quietly at the embroidered
pocket-handkerchief, and left Love to its more animated operations. "You
must be very lonely at the Casino," said Love, in a sympathizing tone.

"Madam," replied Riccabocca, gallantly, "I shall think so when I leave
you."

Friendship cast a sly glance at Love--Love blushed or looked down on the
carpet, which comes to the same thing. "Yet," began Love again--"yet
solitude, to a feeling heart--"

Riccabocca thought of the note of invitation, and involuntarily buttoned
his coat, as if to protect the individual organ thus alarmingly referred
to.

"Solitude, to a feeling heart, has its charms. It is so hard even for
us, poor ignorant women, to find a congenial companion--but for _you!_"
Love stopped short, as if it had said too much, and smelt confusedly at
its bouquet.

Dr. Riccabocca cautiously lowered his spectacles, and darted one glance,
which with the rapidity and comprehensiveness of lightning, seemed to
envelop and take in it, as it were, the whole inventory of Miss Jemima's
personal attractions. Now, Miss Jemima, as I have before observed, had a
mild and pensive expression of countenance, and she would have been
positively pretty had the mildness looked a little more alert, and the
pensiveness somewhat less lackadaisical. In fact, though Miss Jemima was
constitutionally mild, she was not _de natura_ pensive; she had too much
of the Hazeldean blood in her veins for that sullen and viscid humor
called melancholy, and therefore this assumption of pensiveness really
spoiled her character of features, which only wanted to be lighted up by
a cheerful smile to be extremely prepossessing. The same remark might
apply to the figure, which--thanks to the same pensiveness--lost all the
undulating grace which movement and animation bestow on the fluent
curves of the feminine form. The figure was a good figure, examined in
detail--a little thin, perhaps, but by no means emaciated--with just and
elegant proportions, and naturally light and flexible. But that same
unfortunate pensiveness gave the whole a character of inertness and
languor; and when Miss Jemima reclined on the sofa, so complete seemed
the relaxation of nerve and muscle, that you would have thought she had
lost the use of her limbs. Over her face and form, thus defrauded of the
charms Providence had bestowed on them, Dr. Riccabocca's eye glanced
rapidly; and then moving nearer to Mrs. Dale--"Defend me" (he stopped a
moment, and added), "from the charge of not being able to appreciate
congenial companionship."

"Oh, I did not say that!" cried Miss Jemima.

"Pardon me," said the Italian, "if I am so dull as to misunderstand you.
One may well lose one's head, at least, in such a neighborhood as this."
He rose as he spoke, and bent over Frank's shoulder to examine some
views of Italy, which Miss Jemima (with what, if wholly unselfish, would
have been an attention truly delicate) had extracted from the library in
order to gratify the guest.

"Most interesting creature, indeed," sighed Miss Jemima, "but too--too
flattering!"

"Tell me," said Mrs. Dale gravely. "do you think, love, that you could
put off the end of the world a little longer, or must we make haste in
order to be in time?"

"How wicked you are!" said Miss Jemima, turning aside.

Some few minutes afterward, Mrs. Dale contrived it so that Dr.
Riccabocca and herself were in a farther corner of the room, looking at
a picture said to be by Wouvermans.

MRS. DALE.--"She is very amiable, Jemima, is she not?"

RICCABOCCA.--"Exceedingly so. Very fine battle-piece!"

MRS. DALE.--"So kind-hearted."

RICCABOCCA.--"All ladies are. How naturally that warrior makes his
desperate cut at the runaway!"

MRS. DALE.--"She is not what is called regularly handsome, but she has
something very winning."

RICCABOCCA, with a smile.--"So winning, that it is strange she is not
won. That gray mare in the fore-ground stands out very boldly!"

MRS. DALE, distrusting the smile of Riccabocca, and throwing in a more
affective grape charge.--"Not won yet; and it _is_ strange!--she will
have a very pretty fortune."

RICCABOCCA.--"Ah!"

MRS. DALE.--"Six thousand pounds. I dare-say--certainly four."

RICCABOCCA, suppressing a sigh, and with his wonted address.--"If Mrs.
Dale were still single, she would never need a friend to say what her
portion might be; but Miss Jemima is so good that I am quite sure it is
not Miss Jemima's fault that she is still--Miss Jemima!"

The foreigner slipped away as he spoke, and sate himself down beside the
whist-players.

Mrs. Dale was disappointed, but certainly not offended.--"It would be
such a good thing for both," muttered she, almost inaudibly.

"Giacomo," said Riccabocca, as he was undressing, that night, in the
large, comfortable, well-carpeted English bedroom, with that great
English four-posted bed in the recess, which seems made to shame folks
out of single-blessedness--"Giacomo, I have had this evening the offer
of probably six thousand pounds--certainly of four thousand."

"_Cosa meravigliosa!_" exclaimed Jackeymo--"miraculous thing!" and he
crossed himself with great fervor. "Six thousand pounds English! why,
that must be a hundred thousand--blockhead that I am!--more than a
hundred and fifty thousand pounds Milanese!" And Jackeymo, who was
considerably enlivened by the Squire's ale, commenced a series of
gesticulations and capers, in the midst of which he stopped and cried,
"but not for nothing?"

"Nothing! no!"

"These mercenary English!--the Government wants to bribe you."

"That's not it."

"The priests want you to turn heretic."

"Worse than that," said the philosopher.

"Worse than that! O Padrone! for shame!"

"Don't be a fool, but pull off my pantaloons--they want me never to wear
_these_ again!"

"Never to wear what?" exclaimed Jackeymo, staring outright at his
master's long legs in their linen drawers--"never to wear--"

"The breeches," said Riccabocca laconically.

"The barbarians!" faltered Jackeymo.

"My nightcap!--and never to have any comfort in this," said Riccabocca,
drawing on the cotton head-gear; "and never to have any sound sleep in
that," pointing to the four-posted bed. "And to be a bondsman and a
slave," continued Riccabocca, waxing wroth; "and to be wheedled and
purred at, and pawed, and clawed, and scolded, and fondled, and blinded,
and deafened, and bridled, and saddled--bedeviled and--married."

"Married!" said Jackeymo, more dispassionately--"that's very bad,
certainly: but more than a hundred and fifty thousand _lire_, and
perhaps a pretty young lady, and--"

"Pretty young lady!" growled Riccabocca, jumping into bed and drawing
the clothes fiercely over him. "Put out the candle, and get along with
you--do, you villainous old incendiary!"


CHAPTER IX.

It was not many days since the resurrection of those ill-omened stocks,
and it was evident already to an ordinary observer, that something wrong
had got into the village. The peasant wore a sullen expression of
countenance; when the Squire passed, they took off their hats with more
than ordinary formality, but they did not return the same broad smile to
his quick, hearty "Good-day, my man." The women peered at him from the
threshold or the casement, but did not, as was their wont (at least the
wont of the prettiest), take occasion to come out to catch his passing
compliment on their own good looks, or their tidy cottages. And the
children, who used to play after work on the site of the old stocks, now
shunned the place, and, indeed, seemed to cease play altogether.

On the other hand, no man likes to build, or rebuild, a great public
work for nothing. Now that the Squire had resuscitated the stocks, and
made them so exceedingly handsome, it was natural that he should wish to
put somebody into them. Moreover, his pride and self-esteem had been
wounded by the Parson's opposition; and it would be a justification to
his own forethought, and a triumph over the Parson's understanding, if
he could satisfactorily and practically establish a proof that the
stocks had not been repaired before they were wanted.

Therefore, unconsciously to himself, there was something about the
Squire more burly, and authoritative, and menacing than heretofore. Old
Gaffer Solomons observed, "that they had better moind well what they
were about, for that the Squire had a wicked look in the tail of his
eye--just as the dun bull had afore it tossed neighbor Barnes's little
boy."

For two or three days these mute signs of something brewing in the
atmosphere had been rather noticeable than noticed, without any positive
overt act of tyranny on the one hand, or rebellion on the other. But on
the very Saturday night in which Dr. Riccabocca was installed in the
four-posted bed in the chintz chamber, the threatened revolution
commenced. In the dead of that night, personal outrage was committed on
the stocks. And on the Sunday morning, Mr. Stirn, who was the earliest
riser in the parish, perceived, in going to the farm-yard, that the knob
of the column that flanked the board had been feloniously broken off;
that the four holes were bunged up with mud; and that some jacobinical
villain had carved, on the very centre of the flourished or scroll work,
"Dam the stoks!" Mr. Stirn was much too vigilant a right-hand man, much
too zealous a friend of law and order, not to regard such proceedings
with horror and alarm. And when the Squire came into his dressing-room
at half-past seven, his butler (who fulfilled also the duties of valet)
informed him with a mysterious air, that Mr. Stirn had something "very
particular to communicate, about a most howdacious midnight 'spiracy and
'sault."

The Squire stared, and bade Mr. Stirn be admitted.

"Well?" cried the Squire, suspending the operation of stropping his
razor.

Mr. Stirn groaned.

"Well, man, what now!"

"I never knowed such a thing in this here parish afore," began Mr.
Stirn, "and I can only 'count for it by s'posing that them foreign
Papishers have been semminating"--

"Been what?"

"Semminating--"

"Disseminating, you blockhead--disseminating what?"

"Damn the stocks," began Mr. Stirn, plunging right _in medias res_, and
by a fine use of one of the noblest figures in rhetoric.

"Mr. Stirn!" cried the Squire, reddening, "did you say 'Damn the
stocks?"--damn my new handsome pair of stocks!"

"Lord forbid, sir; that's what _they_ say: that's what they have digged
on it with knives and daggers, and they have stuffed mud in its four
holes, and broken the capital of the elewation."

The Squire took the napkin off his shoulder, laid down strop and razor;
he seated himself in his arm-chair majestically, crossed his legs, and
in a voice that affected tranquillity, said:

"Compose yourself, Stirn; you have a deposition to make, touching an
assault upon--can I trust my senses?--upon my new stocks. Compose
yourself--be calm. NOW! What the devil is come to the parish?"

"Ah, sir, what indeed?" replied Mr. Stirn: and then, laying the
fore-finger of the right hand on the palm of the left, he narrated the
case.

"And, whom do you suspect? Be calm now, don't speak in a passion. You
are a witness, sir--a dispassionate, unprejudiced witness. Zounds and
fury! this is the most insolent, unprovoked, diabolical--but whom do you
suspect, I say?"

Stirn twirled his hat, elevated his eyebrows, jerked his thumb over his
shoulder, and whispered, "I hear as how the two Papishers slept at your
honor's last night."

"What, dolt! do you suppose Dr. Rickeybockey got out of his warm bed to
bung up the holes in my new stocks?"

"Noa; he's too cunning to do it himself, but he may have been
semminating. He's mighty thick with Parson Dale, and your honor knows as
how the Parson set his face agin the stocks. Wait a bit, sir--don't fly
at me yet. There be a boy in this here parish--"

"A boy!--ah, fool, now you are nearer the mark. The Parson write 'Damn
the stocks,' indeed! What boy do you mean?"

"And that boy be cockered up much by Mister Dale; and the Papisher went
and sat with him and his mother a whole hour t'other day; and that boy
is as deep as a well; and I seed him lurking about the place, and hiding
hisself under the tree the day the stocks was put up--and that ere boy
is Lenny Fairfield."

"Whew," said the Squire, whistling, "you have not your usual senses
about you to-day, man. Lenny Fairfield--pattern boy of the village. Hold
your tongue. I dare say it is not done by any one in the parish, after
all; some good-for-nothing vagrant--that cursed tinker, who goes about
with a very vicious donkey--whom, by the way, I caught picking thistles
out of the very eyes of the old stocks! Shows how the tinker brings up
his donkeys! Well, keep a sharp look-out. To-day is Sunday: worst day of
the week, I am sorry and ashamed to say, for rows and depredations.
Between the services, and after evening church, there are always idle
fellows from all the neighboring country about, as you know too well.
Depend on it, the real culprits will be found gathering round the
stocks, and will betray themselves: have your eyes, ears, and wits about
you, and I've no doubt we shall come to the rights of the matter before
the day's out. And if we do," added the Squire, "we'll make an example
of the ruffian!"

"In course," said Stirn; "and if we don't find him, we must make an
example all the same. That's where it is, sir. That's why the stock's
ben't respected; they has not had an example yet--we wants an example."

"On my word, I believe that's very true; and the first idle fellow you
catch in any thing wrong we'll clap in, and keep him there for two hours
at least."

"With the biggest pleasure, your honor--that's what it is."

And Mr. Stirn, having now got what he considered a complete and
unconditional authority over all the legs and wrists of Hazeldean
parish, _quoad_ the stocks, took his departure.


CHAPTER X.

"Randal," said Mrs. Leslie, on this memorable Sunday--"Randal, do you
think of going to Mr. Hazeldean's?"

"Yes, ma'am," answered Randal. "Mr. Egerton does not object to it; and
as I do not return to Eaton, I may have no other opportunity of seeing
Frank for some time. I ought not to fail in respect to Mr. Egerton's
natural heir!"

"Gracious me!" cried Mrs. Leslie, who, like many women of her cast and
kind, had a sort of worldliness in her notions, which she never evinced
in her conduct--"gracious me!--natural heir to the old Leslie property!"

"He is Mr. Egerton's nephew, and," added Randal, ingenuously letting out
his thoughts, "I am no relation to Mr. Egerton at all."

"But," said poor Mrs. Leslie, with tears in her eyes, "it would be a
shame in the man, after paying your schooling and sending you to Oxford,
and having you to stay with him in the holidays, if he did not mean any
thing by it."

"Any thing, mother--yes--but not the thing you suppose. No matter. It is
enough that he has armed me for life, and I shall use the weapons as
seems to me best."

Here the dialogue was suspended, by the entrance of the other members of
the family, dressed for church.

"It can't be time for church! No! it can't!" exclaimed Mrs. Leslie. She
was never in time for any thing.

"Last bell ringing," said Mr. Leslie, who, though a slow man, was
methodical and punctual. Mrs. Leslie made a frantic rush at the door,
the Montfydget blood being now in a blaze--whirled up the stairs--gained
her room, tore her best bonnet from the peg, snatched her newest shawl
from the drawers, crushed the bonnet on her head, flung the shawl on her
shoulders, thrust a desperate pin into its folds, in order to conceal a
buttonless yawn in the body of her gown, and then flew back like a
whirlwind. Meanwhile the family were already out of doors, in waiting;
and just as the bell ceased, the procession moved from the shabby house
to the dilapidated church.

The church was a large one, but the congregation was small, and so was
the income of the Parson. It was a lay rectory, and the great tithes had
belonged to the Leslies, but they had been long since sold. The
vicarage, still in their gift, might be worth a little more than £100 a
year. The present incumbent had nothing else to live upon. He was a good
man, and not originally a stupid one; but penury and the anxious cares
for wife and family, combined with what may be called _solitary
confinement_ for the cultivated mind, when, amidst the two legged
creatures round, it sees no other cultivated mind with which it can
exchange an extra-parochial thought--had lulled him into a lazy
mournfulness, which at times was very like imbecility. His income
allowed him to do no good to the parish, whether in work, trade, or
charity; and thus he had no moral weight with the parishioners beyond
the example of his sinless life, and such negative effect as might be
produced by his slumberous exhortations.

Therefore his parishioners troubled him very little; and but for the
influence which in hours of Montfydget activity, Mrs. Leslie exercised
over the most tractable--that is, the children and the aged--not
half-a-dozen persons would have known or cared whether he shut up his
church or not.

But our family were seated in state in their old seignorial pew, and Mr.
Dumdrum, with a nasal twang, went lugubriously through the prayers; and
the old people who could sin no more, and the children who had not yet
learned to sin, croaked forth responses that might have come from the
choral frogs in Aristophanes. And there was a long sermon _apropos_ to
nothing which could possibly interest the congregation, being, in fact,
some controversial homily, which Mr. Dumdrum had composed and preached
years before. And when this discourse was over, there was a loud
universal grunt, as if of release and thanksgiving, and a great clatter
of shoes--and the old hobbled, and the young scrambled to the church
door.

Immediately after church, the Leslie family dined; and, as soon as
dinner was over, Randal set out on his foot journey to Hazeldean Hall.

Delicate and even feeble though his frame, he had the energy and
quickness of movement which belongs to nervous temperaments; and he
tasked the slow stride of a peasant, whom he took to serve him as a
guide for the first two or three miles. Though Randal had not the
gracious, open manner with the poor which Frank inherited from his
father, he was still (despite many a secret, hypocritical vice, at war
with the character of a gentleman) gentleman enough to have no churlish
pride to his inferiors. He talked little, but he suffered his guide to
talk; and the boor, who was the same whom Frank had accosted, indulged
in eulogistic comments on that young gentleman's pony, from which he
diverged into some compliments on the young gentleman himself. Randal
drew his hat over his brows. There is a wonderful tact and fine breeding
in your agricultural peasant; and though Tom Stowell was but a brutish
specimen of the class, he suddenly perceived that he was giving pain. He
paused, scratched his head, and glancing affectionately toward his
companion, exclaimed,

"But I shall live to see you on a handsomer beastis than that little
pony, Master Randal; and sure I ought, for you be as good a gentleman as
any in the land."

"Thank you," said Randal. "But I like walking better than riding--I am
more used to it."

"Well, and you walk bra'ly--there ben't a better walker in the county.
And very pleasant it is walking; and 'tis a pretty country afore you,
all the way to the Hall."

Randal strode on, as if impatient of these attempts to flatter or to
soothe; and, coming at length into a broader lane, said, "I think I can
find my way now. Many thanks to you, Tom;" and he forced a shilling into
Tom's horny palm. The man took it reluctantly, and a tear started to his
eye. He felt more grateful for that shilling than he had for Frank's
liberal half-crown; and he thought of the poor fallen family, and forgot
his own dire wrestle with the wolf at his door.

He staid lingering in the lane till the figure of Randal was out of
sight, and then returned slowly. Young Leslie continued to walk on at a
quick pace. With all his intellectual culture, and his restless
aspirations, his breast afforded him no thought so generous, no
sentiment so poetic, as those with which the unlettered clown crept
slouchingly homeward.

As Randal gained a point where several lanes met on a broad piece of
waste land, he began to feel tired, and his step slackened. Just then a
gig emerged from one of these by-roads, and took the same direction as
the pedestrian. The road was rough and hilly, and the driver proceeded
at a foot's-pace; so that the gig and the pedestrian went pretty well
abreast.

"You seem tired, sir," said the driver, a stout young farmer of the
higher class of tenants, and he looked down compassionately on the boy's
pale countenance and weary stride. "Perhaps we are going the same way,
and I can give you a lift?"

It was Randal's habitual policy to make use of every advantage proffered
to him, and he accepted the proposal frankly enough to please the honest
farmer.

"A nice day, sir," said the latter, as Randal sat by his side. "Have you
come far?"

"From Rood Hall."

"Oh, you be young Squire Leslie," said the farmer, more respectfully,
and lifting his hat.

"Yes, my name is Leslie. You know Rood, then?"

"I was brought up on your father's land, sir. You may have heard of
Farmer Bruce?"

RANDAL.--"I remember, when I was a little boy, a Mr. Bruce, who rented,
I believe, the best part of our land, and who used to bring us cakes
when he called to see my father. He is a relation of yours?"

FARMER BRUCE.--"He was my uncle. He is dead now, poor man."

RANDAL.--"Dead! I am grieved to hear it. He was very kind to us
children. But it is long since he left my father's farm."

FARMER BRUCE, apologetically.--"I am sure he was very sorry to go. But,
you see, he had an unexpected legacy--"

RANDAL.--"And retired from business?"

FARMER BRUCE.--"No. But having capital, he could afford to pay a good
rent for a real good farm."

RANDAL, bitterly.--"All capital seems to fly from the lands of Rood. And
whose farm did he take?"

FARMER BRUCE.--"He took Hawleigh, under Squire Hazeldean. I rent it now.
We've laid out a power o' money on it. But I don't complain. It pays
well."

RANDAL.--"Would the money have paid as well, sunk on my father's land?"

FARMER BRUCE.--"Perhaps it might, in the long run. But then, sir, we
wanted new premises--barns, and cattle-sheds, and a deal more--which the
landlord should do; but it is not every landlord as can afford that.
Squire Hazeldean's a rich man."

RANDAL.--"Ay!"

The road now became pretty good, and the farmer put his horse into a
brisk trot.

"But which way be you going, sir? I don't care for a few miles more or
less, if I can be of service."

"I am going to Hazeldean," said Randal, rousing himself from a reverie.
"Don't let me take you out of your way."

"Oh, Hawleigh Farm is on the other side of the village, so it be quite
my way, sir."

The farmer then, who was really a smart young fellow--one of that race
which the application of capital to land has produced, and which in
point of education and refinement, are at least on a par with the
squires of a former generation--began to talk about his handsome horse,
about horses in general, about hunting and coursing: he handled all
these subjects with spirit, yet with modesty. Randal pulled his hat
still lower down over his brows, and did not interrupt him till past the
Casino, when, struck by the classic air of the place, and catching a
scent from the orange-trees, the boy asked, abruptly, "Whose house is
that?"

"Oh, it belongs to Squire Hazeldean, but it is let or lent to a foreign
Mounseer. They say he is quite the gentleman, but uncommonly poor."

"Poor," said Randal, turning back to gaze on the trim garden, the neat
terrace, the pretty belvidere, and (the door of the house being open)
catching a glimpse of the painted hall within--"poor, the place seems
well kept. What do you call poor, Mr. Bruce?"

The farmer laughed. "Well, that's a home question, sir. But I believe
the Mounseer is as poor as a man can be who makes no debts and does not
actually starve."

"As poor as my father?" asked Randal openly and abruptly.

"Lord, sir! your father be a very rich man compared to him."

Randal continued to gaze, and his mind's eye conjured up the contrast of
his slovenly, shabby home, with all its neglected appurtenances! No trim
garden at Rood Hall, no scent from odorous orange blossoms. Here
poverty, at least, was elegant--there, how squalid! He did not
comprehend at how cheap a rate the luxury of the Beautiful can be
effected. They now approached the extremity of the Squire's park pales;
and, Randal, seeing a little gate, bade the farmer stop his gig, and
descended. The boy plunged amidst the thick oak groves; the farmer went
his way blithely, and his mellow, merry whistle came to Randal's moody
ear, as he glided quick under the shadow of the trees.

He arrived at the Hall, to find that all the family were at church; and,
according to the patriarchal custom, the church-going family embraced
nearly all the servants. It was therefore an old invalid housemaid who
opened the door to him. She was rather deaf, and seemed so stupid, that
Randal did not ask leave to enter and wait for Frank's return. He
therefore said briefly that he would just stroll on the lawn, and call
again when church was over.

The old woman stared, and strove to hear him; meanwhile Randal turned
round abruptly, and sauntered toward the garden side of the handsome old
house.

There was enough to attract any eye in the smooth greensward of the
spacious lawn--in the numerous parterres of varying flowers--in the
venerable grandeur of the two mighty cedars, which threw their still
shadows over the grass--and in the picturesque building, with its
projecting mullions and heavy gables; yet I fear that it was with no
poet's nor painter's eye that this young old man gazed on the scene
before him.

He beheld the evidence of wealth--and the envy of wealth jaundiced his
soul.

Folding his arms on his breast, he stood awhile, looking all around him
with closed lips and lowering brow; then he walked slowly on, his eyes
fixed on the ground, and muttered to himself--"The heir to this property
is little better than a dunce; and they tell me I have talents and
learning, and I have taken to my heart the maxim, 'Knowledge is power.'
And yet, with all my struggles, will knowledge ever place me on the same
level as that on which this dunce is born? I don't wonder that the poor
should hate the rich. But of all the poor, who should hate the rich like
the pauper gentleman? I suppose Audley Egerton means me to come into
Parliament, and be a Tory like himself. What! keep things as they are!
No; for me not even Democracy, unless there first come Revolution. I
understand the cry of a Marat--'More blood!' Marat had lived as a poor
man, and cultivated science--in the sight of a prince's palace."

He turned sharply round, and glared vindictively on the poor old Hall,
which, though a very comfortable habitation, was certainly no palace;
and, with his arms still folded on his breast, he walked backward, as if
not to lose the view, nor the chain of ideas it conjured up.

"But," he continued to soliloquize--"but of revolution there is no
chance. Yet the same wit and will that would thrive in revolutions
should thrive in this commonplace life. Knowledge is power. Well, then
shall I have no power to oust this blockhead? Oust him--what from? His
father's halls? Well--but if he were dead, who would be the heir of
Hazeldean? Have I not heard my mother say that I am as near in blood to
this Squire as any one, if he had no children? Oh, but the boy's life is
worth ten of mine! Oust him from what? At least from the thoughts of his
uncle Egerton--an uncle who has never even seen him! That, at least, is
more feasible. 'Make my way in life,' sayest thou, Audley Egerton.
Ay, and to the fortune thou hast robbed from my ancestors.
Simulation--simulation. Lord Bacon allows simulation. Lord Bacon
practiced it--and--"

Here the soliloquy came to a sudden end; for as, rapt in his thoughts,
the boy had continued to walk backward; he had come to the verge where
the lawn slided off into the ditch of the ha-ha--and, just as he was
fortifying himself by the precept and practice of my Lord Bacon, the
ground went from under him, and slap into the ditch went Randal Leslie!

It so happened that the Squire, whose active genius was always at some
repair or improvement, had been but a few days before widening and
sloping off the ditch just in that part, so that the earth was fresh and
damp, and not yet either turfed or flattened down. Thus when Randal,
recovering his first surprise and shock, rose to his feet, he found his
clothes covered with mud; while the rudeness of the fall was evinced by
the fantastic and extraordinary appearance of his hat, which, hollowed
here, bulging there, and crushed out of all recognition generally, was
as little like the hat of a decorous, hard-reading young
gentleman--_protégé_ of the dignified Mr. Audley Egerton--as any hat
picked out of a kennel after some drunken brawl possibly could be.

Randal was dizzy, and stunned, and bruised, and it was some moments
before he took heed of his raiment. When he did so, his spleen was
greatly aggravated. He was still boy enough not to like the idea of
presenting himself to the unknown Squire, and the dandy Frank, in such a
trim: he resolved at once to regain the lane and return home, without
accomplishing the object of his journey; and seeing the footpath right
before him, which led to a gate that he conceived would admit him into
the highway sooner than the path by which he had come, he took it at
once.

It is surprising how little we human creatures heed the warnings of our
good genius. I have no doubt that some benignant Power had precipitated
Randal Leslie into the ditch, as a significant hint of the fate of all
who choose what is, nowadays, by no means an uncommon step in the march
of intellect--viz., the walking backward, in order to gratify a
vindictive view of one's neighbor's property! I suspect that, before
this century is out, many a fine fellow will thus have found his ha-ha,
and scrambled out of the ditch with a much shabbier coat than he had on
when he fell into it. But Randal did not thank his good genius for
giving him a premonitory tumble; and I never yet knew a man who did!


CHAPTER XI.

The Squire was greatly ruffled at breakfast that morning. He was too
much of an Englishman to bear insult patiently, and he considered that
he had been personally insulted in the outrage offered to his recent
donation to the parish. His feelings, too, were hurt as well as his
pride. There was something so ungrateful in the whole thing, just after
he had taken so much pains, not only in the resuscitation, but the
embellishment of the stocks. It was not, however, so rare an occurrence
for the Squire to be ruffled, as to create any remark. Riccabocca,
indeed, as a stranger, and Mrs. Hazeldean, as a wife, had the quick tact
to perceive that the host was glum and the husband snappish; but the one
was too discreet and the other too sensible, to chafe the new sore,
whatever it might be; and shortly after breakfast the Squire retired
into his study, and absented himself from morning service.

In his delightful _Life of Oliver Goldsmith_, Mr. Forster takes care to
touch our hearts by introducing his hero's excuse for not entering the
priesthood. He did not feel himself good enough. Thy Vicar of Wakefield,
poor Goldsmith, was an excellent substitute for thee; and Dr. Primrose,
at least, will be good enough for the world until Miss Jemima's fears
are realized. Now, Squire Hazeldean had a tenderness of conscience much
less reasonable than Goldsmith's. There were occasionally days in which
he did not feel good enough--I don't say for a priest, but even for one
of the congregation--"days in which (said the Squire in his own blunt
way), as I have never in my life met a worse devil than a devil of a
temper, I'll not carry mine into the family pew. He shan't be growling
out hypocritical responses from my poor grandmother's prayer-book." So
the Squire and his demon staid at home. But the demon was generally cast
out before the day was over; and, on this occasion, when the bell rang
for afternoon service, it may be presumed that the Squire had reasoned
or fretted himself into a proper state of mind; for he was then seen
sallying forth from the porch of his Hall, arm-in-arm with his wife, and
at the head of his household. The second service was (as is commonly the
case, in rural districts) more numerously attended than the first one;
and it was our Parson's wont to devote to this service his most
effective discourse.

Parson Dale, though a very fair scholar, had neither the deep theology
nor the archæological learning that distinguish the rising generation of
the clergy. I much doubt if he could have passed what would now be
called a creditable examination in the Fathers; and, as for all the nice
formalities in the rubric, he would never have been the man to divide a
congregation, or puzzle a bishop. Neither was Parson Dale very erudite
in ecclesiastical architecture. He did not much care whether all the
details in the church were purely gothic or not: crockets and finials,
round arch and pointed arch were matters, I fear, on which he had never
troubled his head. But one secret Parson Dale did possess, which is,
perhaps, of equal importance with those subtler mysteries--he knew how
to fill his church! Even at morning service no pews were empty, and at
evening service the church overflowed.

Parson Dale, too, may be considered, nowadays, to hold but a mean idea
of the spiritual authority of the Church. He had never been known to
dispute on its exact bearing with the State--whether it was incorporated
with the State, or above the State--whether it was antecedent to the
Papacy, or formed from the Papacy, &c., &c. According to his favorite
maxim, _Quieta non movere_ (not to disturb things that are quiet), I
have no doubt that he would have thought that the less discussion is
provoked upon such matters, the better for both church and laity. Nor
had he ever been known to regret the disuse of the ancient custom of
excommunication, nor any other diminution of the powers of the
priesthood, whether minatory or militant; yet for all this, Parson Dale
had a great notion of the sacred privilege of a minister of the
gospel--to advise--to deter--to persuade--to reprove. And it was for the
evening service that he prepared those sermons, which may be called
"sermons that preach _at_ you." He preferred the evening for that
salutary discipline, not only because the congregation was more
numerous, but also because, being a shrewd man in his own innocent way,
he knew that people bear better to be preached at after dinner than
before; that you arrive more insinuatingly at the heart when the stomach
is at peace. There was a genial kindness in Parson Dale's way of
preaching at you. It was done in so imperceptible, fatherly a manner,
that you never felt offended. He did it, too, with so much art that
nobody but your own guilty self knew that you were the sinner he was
exhorting. Yet he did not spare rich nor poor: he preached at the
Squire, and that great fat farmer, Mr. Bullock the churchwarden, as
boldly as at Hodge the plowman, and Scrub the hedger. As for Mr. Stirn,
he had preached at _him_ more often than at any one in the parish; but
Stirn, though he had the sense to know it, never had the grace to
reform. There was, too, in Parson Dale's sermons, something of that
boldness of illustration which would have been scholarly if he had not
made it familiar, and which is found in the discourses of our elder
divines. Like them, he did not scruple, now and then, to introduce an
anecdote from history, or borrow an allusion from some non-scriptural
author, in order to enliven the attention of his audience, or render an
argument more plain. And the good man had an object in this, a little
distinct from, though wholly subordinate to the main purpose of his
discourse. He was a friend to knowledge--but to knowledge accompanied by
religion; and, sometimes, his references to sources not within the
ordinary reading of his congregation, would spirit up some farmer's son,
with an evening's leisure on his hands, to ask the Parson for farther
explanation, and so be lured on to a little solid or graceful
instruction under a safe guide.

Now, on the present occasion, the Parson, who had always his eye and
heart on his flock, and who had seen with great grief the realization of
his fears at the revival of the stocks; seen that a spirit of discontent
was already at work among the peasants, and that magisterial and
inquisitorial designs were darkening the natural benevolence of the
Squire; seen, in short, the signs of a breach between classes, and the
precursors of the ever inflammable feud between the rich and the poor,
meditated nothing less than a great Political Sermon--a sermon that
should extract from the roots of social truths a healing virtue for the
wound that lay sore, but latent, in the breast of his parish of
Hazeldean:

And thus ran--_The Political Sermon of Parson Dale_.


CHAPTER XII.

   "For every man shall bear his own burden."
   _Galatians_ vi. 5.

"Brethren, every man has his burden. If God designed our lives to end at
the grave, may we not believe that he would have freed an existence so
brief, from the cares and sorrows to which, since the beginning of the
world, mankind have been subjected? Suppose that I am a kind father, and
have a child whom I dearly love, but I know by a Divine revelation that
he will die at the age of eight years, surely I should not vex his
infancy by needless preparations for the duties of life. If I am a rich
man, I should not send him from the caresses of his mother to the stern
discipline of school. If I am a poor man, I should not take him with me
to hedge and dig, to scorch in the sun, to freeze in the winter's cold:
why inflict hardships on his childhood, for the purpose of fitting him
for manhood, when I know that he is doomed not to grow into man? But if,
on the other hand, I believe my child is reserved for a more durable
existence, then should I not, out of the very love I bear to him,
prepare his childhood for the struggle of life, according to that
station in which he is born, giving many a toil, many a pain to the
infant, in order to rear and strengthen him for his duties as a man? So
is it with our Father that is in Heaven. Viewing this life as our
infancy, and the next as our spiritual maturity, where 'in the ages to
come, he may show the exceeding riches of his grace,' it is in his
tenderness, as in his wisdom, to permit the toil and the pain which, in
tasking the powers and developing the virtues of the soul, prepare it
for the earnest of our inheritance, the 'redemption of the purchased
possession.' Hence it is that every man has his burden. Brethren, if you
believe that God is good, yea, but as tender as a human father, you will
know that your troubles in life are a proof that you are reared for an
eternity. But each man thinks his own burden the hardest to bear: the
poor man groans under his poverty, the rich man under the cares that
multiply with wealth. For, so far from wealth freeing us from trouble,
all the wise men who have written in all ages, have repeated with one
voice the words of the wisest, 'When goods increase, they are increased
that eat them; and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the
beholding of them with their eyes?' And this is literally true, my
brethren; for, let a man be as rich as was the great King Solomon
himself, unless he lock up all his gold in a chest, it must go abroad to
be divided among others; yea, though, like Solomon, he make him great
works--though he build houses and plant vineyards, and make him gardens
and orchards--still the gold that he spends feeds but the mouths he
employs; and Solomon himself could not eat with a better relish than the
poorest mason who builded the house, or the humblest laborer who planted
the vineyard. Therefore, 'when goods increase, they are increased that
eat them.' And this, my brethren, may teach us toleration and compassion
for the rich. We share their riches whether they will or not; we do not
share their cares. The profane history of our own country tells us that
a princess, destined to be the greatest queen that ever sat on this
throne, envied the milk-maid singing; and a profane poet, whose wisdom
was only less than that of the inspired writers, represents the man who
by force and wit had risen to be a king, sighing for the sleep
vouchsafed to the meanest of his subjects--all bearing out the words of
the son of David--'The sleep of the laboring man is sweet, whether he
eat little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to
sleep.'

"Among my brethren now present, there is, doubtless, some one who has
been poor, and by honest industry has made himself comparatively rich.
Let his heart answer me while I speak: are not the chief cares that now
disturb him to be found in the goods he hath acquired?--has he not both
vexations to his spirit and trials to his virtue, which he knew not when
he went forth to his labor, and took no heed of the morrow? But it is
right, my brethren, that to every station there should be its care--to
every man his burden; for if the poor did not sometimes so far feel
poverty to be a burden as to desire to better their condition, and (to
use the language of the world) 'seek to rise in life,' their most
valuable energies would never be aroused; and we should not witness that
spectacle, which is so common in the land we live in--namely, the
successful struggle of manly labor against adverse fortune--a struggle
in which the triumph of one gives hope to thousands. It is said that
necessity is the mother of invention; and the social blessings which are
now as common to us as air and sunshine, have come from that law of our
nature which makes us aspire toward indefinite improvement, enriches
each successive generation by the labors of the last, and, in free
countries, often lifts the child of the laborer to a place among the
rulers of the land. Nay, if necessity is the mother of invention,
poverty is the creator of the arts. If there had been no poverty, and no
sense of poverty, where would have been that which we call the wealth of
a country? Subtract from civilization all that has been produced by the
poor, and what remains?--the state of the savage. Where you now see
laborer and prince, you would see equality indeed--the equality of wild
men. No; not even equality there! for there, brute force becomes
lordship, and woe to the weak! Where you now see some in frieze, some in
purple, you would see nakedness in all. Where stand the palace and the
cot, you would behold but mud huts and caves. As far as the peasant
excels the king among savages, so far does the society exalted and
enriched by the struggles of labor excel the state in which Poverty
feels no disparity, and Toil sighs for no ease. On the other hand, if
the rich were perfectly contented with their wealth, their hearts would
become hardened in the sensual enjoyments it procures. It is that
feeling, by Divine Wisdom implanted in the soul, that there is vanity
and vexation of spirit in the things of Mammon, which still leaves the
rich man sensitive to the instincts of heaven, and teaches him to seek
for happiness in those elevated virtues to which wealth invites
him--namely, protection to the lowly, and beneficence to the distressed.

"And this, my brethren, leads me to another view of the vast subject
opened to us by the words of the apostle--'Every man shall bear his own
burden.' The worldly conditions of life are unequal. Why are they
unequal? O my brethren, do you not perceive? Think you that, if it had
been better for our spiritual probation that there should be neither
great nor lowly, rich nor poor, Providence would not so have ordered the
dispensations of the world, and so, by its mysterious but merciful
agencies, have influenced the framework and foundations of society? But
if, from the remotest period of human annals, and in all the numberless
experiments of government which the wit of man has devised, still this
inequality is ever found to exist, may we not suspect that there is
something in the very principles of our nature to which that inequality
is necessary and essential? Ask why this inequality! Why? as well ask
why life is the sphere of duty and the nursery of virtues. For if all
men were equal, if there were no suffering and no ease, no poverty and
no wealth, would you not sweep with one blow the half at least of human
virtues from the world? If there were no penury and no pain, what would
become of fortitude? what of patience? what of resignation? If there
were no greatness and no wealth, what would become of benevolence, of
charity, of the blessed human pity, of temperance in the midst of
luxury, of justice in the exercise of power? Carry the question further;
grant all conditions the same--no reverse, no rise and no fall--nothing
to hope for, nothing to fear--what a moral death you would at once
inflict upon all the energies of the soul, and what a link between the
heart of man and the Providence of God would be snapped asunder! If we
could annihilate evil, we should annihilate hope; and hope, my brethren,
is the avenue to faith. If there be 'a time to weep, and a time to
laugh,' it is that he who mourns may turn to eternity for comfort, and
he who rejoices may bless God for the happy hour. Ah! my brethren, were
it possible to annihilate the inequalities of human life, it would be
the banishment of our worthiest virtues, the torpor of our spiritual
nature, the palsy of our mental faculties. The moral world, like the
world without us, derives its health and its beauty from diversity and
contrast.

"'Every man shall bear his own burden.' True: but now turn to an earlier
verse in the same chapter--

"'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.' Yes;
while Heaven ordains to each his peculiar suffering, it connects the
family of man into one household, by that feeling which, more perhaps
than any other, distinguishes us from the brute creation--I mean the
feeling to which we give the name of _sympathy_--the feeling for each
other! The herd of deer shuns the stag that is marked by the gunner; the
flock heedeth not the sheep that creeps into the shade to die; but man
has sorrow and joy not in himself alone, but in the joy and sorrow of
those around him. He who feels only for himself abjures his very nature
as man; for do we not say of one who has no tenderness for mankind that
he is _inhuman_? and do we not call him who sorrows with the sorrowful,
_humane_?

"Now, brethren, that which especially marked the divine mission of our
Lord, is the direct appeal to this sympathy which distinguishes us from
the brute. He seizes not upon some faculty of genius given but to few,
but upon that ready impulse of heart which is given to us all; and in
saying, 'Love one another,' 'Bear ye one another's burdens,' he elevates
the most delightful of our emotions into the most sacred of his laws.
The lawyer asks our Lord, 'who is my neighbor?' Our Lord replies by the
parable of the good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite saw the wounded
man that fell among the thieves, and passed by on the other side. That
priest might have been austere in his doctrine, that Levite might have
been learned in the law; but neither to the learning of the Levite, nor
to the doctrine of the priest, does our Saviour even deign to allude.
He cites but the action of the Samaritan, and saith to the lawyer,
'Which now of these three, thinkest thou was neighbor unto him that fell
among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy unto him. Then said
Jesus unto him, 'Go, and do thou likewise.'

"O shallowness of human judgments! It was enough to be born a Samaritan
in order to be rejected by the priest, and despised by the Levite. Yet
now, what to us the priest and the Levite, of God's chosen race though
they were? They passed from the hearts of men when they passed the
sufferer by the wayside; while this loathed Samaritan, half thrust from
the pale of the Hebrew, becomes of our family, of our kindred; a brother
among the brotherhood of Love, so long as Mercy and Affliction shall
meet in the common thoroughfare of Life!

"'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ!'
Think not, O my brethren, that this applies only to almsgiving--to that
relief of distress which is commonly called charity--to the obvious duty
of devoting, from our superfluities, something that we scarcely miss, to
the wants of a starving brother. No. I appeal to the poorest among ye,
if the worst burdens are those of the body--if the kind word and the
tender thought have not often lightened your hearts more than bread
bestowed with a grudge, and charity that humbles you by a frown.
Sympathy is a beneficence at the command of us all--yea, of the pauper
as of the king; and sympathy is Christ's wealth. Sympathy is
brotherhood. The rich are told to have charity for the poor, and the
poor are enjoined to respect their superiors. Good: I say not to the
contrary. But I say also to the poor, '_In your turn have charity for
the rich_;' and I say to the rich, '_In your turn respect the poor_.'

"'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.'
Thou, O poor man, envy not nor grudge thy brother his larger portion of
worldly goods. Believe that he hath his sorrows and crosses like
thyself, and perhaps, as more delicately nurtured, he feels them more;
nay, hath he not temptations so great that our Lord hath exclaimed, 'How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven?'
And what are temptations but trials? what are trials but perils and
sorrows? Think not that you can not bestow your charity on the rich man,
even while you take your sustenance from his hands. A heathen writer,
often cited by the earliest preachers of the gospel, hath truly said,
'Where-ever there is room for a man, there is place for a benefit.'

"And I ask any rich brother among you, when he hath gone forth to survey
his barns and his granaries, his gardens and orchards, if suddenly, in
the vain pride of his heart, he sees the scowl on the brow of the
laborer--if he deems himself hated in the midst of his wealth--if he
feels that his least faults are treasured up against him with the
hardness of malice, and his plainest benefits received with the
ingratitude of envy--ask, I say, any rich man, whether straightway all
pleasure in his worldly possessions does not fade from his heart, and
whether he does not feel what a wealth of gladness it is in the power of
the poor man to bestow! For all these things of Mammon pass away; but
there is in the smile of him whom we have served, a something that we
may take with us into heaven. If, then, ye bear one another's burdens,
they who are poor will have mercy on the errors, and compassion for the
griefs, of the rich. To all men it was said--yes, to the Lazarus as to
the Dives--'Judge not that ye be not judged.' But think not, O rich man,
that we preach only to the poor. If it be their duty not to grudge thee
thy substance, it is thine to do all that may sweeten their labor.
Remember, that when our Lord said, 'How hardly shall they that have
riches enter into the kingdom of heaven,' he replied also to them who
asked, 'Who then shall be saved?' 'The things which are impossible with
men are possible with God:' that is, man left to his own temptations
would fail; but strengthened by God, he shall be saved. If thy riches
are the tests of thy trial, so may they also be the instruments of thy
virtues. Prove by thy riches that thou art compassionate and tender
temperate and benign; and thy riches themselves may become the evidence
at once of thy faith and of thy works.

"We have constantly on our lips the simple precept, 'Do unto others as
ye would be done by.' Why do we fail so often in the practice? Because
we neglect to cultivate that SYMPATHY which nature implants as an
instinct, and the Saviour exalts as a command. If thou wouldst do unto
thy neighbor as thou wouldst be done by, ponder well how thy neighbor
will regard the action thou art about to do to him. Put thyself into his
place. If thou art strong, and he is weak, descend from thy strength,
and enter into his weakness; lay aside thy burden for the while, and
buckle on his own; let thy sight see as through his eyes--thy heart beat
as in his bosom. Do this, and thou wilt often confess that what had
seemed just to thy power will seem harsh to his weakness. For 'as a
zealous man hath not done his duty, when he calls his brother drunkard
and beast,'[33] even so an administrator of the law mistakes his object
if he writes on the grand column of society, only warnings that irritate
the bold, and terrify the timid; and a man will be no more in love with
law than with virtue, 'if he be forced to it with rudeness and
incivilities.'[34] If, then, ye would bear the burden of the lowly, O ye
great--feel not only _for_ them, but _with!_ Watch that your pride does
not chafe them--your power does not wantonly gall. Your worldly inferior
is of the class from which the apostles were chosen--amidst which the
Lord of Creation descended from a throne above the seraphs."

The Parson here paused a moment, and his eye glanced toward the pew near
the pulpit, where sat the magnate of Hazeldean. The Squire was leaning
his chin thoughtfully on his hand, his brow inclined downward, and the
natural glow of his complexion much heightened.

"But," resumed the Parson softly, without turning to his book, and
rather as if prompted by the suggestion of the moment--"But he who has
cultivated sympathy commits not these errors, or, if committing them,
hastens to retract. So natural is sympathy to the good man, that he
obeys it mechanically when he suffers his heart to be the monitor of his
conscience. In this sympathy behold the bond between rich and poor! By
this sympathy, whatever our varying worldly lots, they become what they
were meant to be--exercises for the virtues more peculiar to each; and
thus, if in the body each man bear his own burden, yet in the fellowship
of the soul all have common relief in bearing the burdens of each other.

"This is the law of Christ--fulfill it, O my flock!"

Here the Parson closed his sermon, and the congregation bowed their
heads.

(_To be continued_.)

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 32: By the pounds Milanese, Giacomo means the Milanese lira.]

[Footnote 33: JEREMY TAYLOR--_Of Christian Prudence_. Part II.]

[Footnote 34: Ibid.]



Monthly Record of Current Events

POLITICAL AND GENERAL NEWS.

THE UNITED STATES.


The principal event of the month has been the opening of the second
session of the Thirty-first Congress, which occurred on the second of
December. Each House was called to order by its presiding officer. Hon.
WILLIAM R. KING of Alabama in the Senate, and Hon. HOWELL COBB of
Georgia in the House. The Message of President FILLMORE was transmitted
to Congress on the same day. The state of public feeling upon topics
connected with slavery, and the fact that President FILLMORE'S views
upon the subject had never before been officially communicated to the
country, gave to the Message even more than an ordinary degree of
interest.

After alluding to the death of General TAYLOR, the Message briefly sets
forth the President's political principles and his views as to the
proper policy of the government. In its foreign relations he would have
the country regard the independent rights of all nations without
interference, take no part in their internal strifes, and sympathize
with, though it can not aid, the oppressed who are struggling for
freedom. To maintain strict neutrality, reciprocate every generous act,
and observe treaties, is the extent of our obligations and powers. In
regard to our domestic policy, the President says he has no guide but
the Constitution as interpreted by the courts, and by usage and general
acquiescence. All its parts are equally binding, and no necessity can
justify the assumption of powers not granted. The powers granted are as
clearly expressed as the imperfections of human language will allow, and
he deems it his duty not to question its wisdom, add to its provisions,
evade its requirements, or multiply its commands. He promises to express
his views frankly upon the leading subjects of legislation, and if any
act should pass Congress, which shall appear to him "unconstitutional,
or an encroachment on the just powers of other departments, or with
provisions hastily adopted, and likely to produce consequences injurious
and unforeseen," he would not hesitate to send it back for further
consideration. Beyond this he will not attempt to control or influence
the proceedings of Congress. The government of the United States is
limited, and every citizen who truly loves the Constitution, will resist
its interference in those domestic affairs which the Constitution has
clearly and unequivocally left to the exclusive authority of the States:
and every such citizen will also deprecate useless irritation among the
several members of the Union, and all reproach and crimination tending
to alienate one portion of the country from another. The Constitution
has made it the duty of the President to take care that the laws be
faithfully executed. Mr. FILLMORE says that Congress and the country may
rest assured that, to the utmost of his ability, and to the extent of
the powers vested in him, he will, at all times and in all places, take
care that the laws be faithfully executed.

The President says he shall endeavor to exercise the appointing power so
as to elevate the standard of official employment and advance the
prosperity and happiness of the people.

No unfavorable change has taken place in our foreign relations. A
convention has recently been negotiated with Great Britain to facilitate
and protect the construction of a ship canal between the Atlantic and
Pacific oceans: further provisions are required which shall designate
and establish a free port at each end of the canal, and fix the distance
from the shore within which belligerent maritime operations shall not
be carried on. Upon these points there is said to be little doubt that
the two nations will come to an understanding. The company of American
citizens who have acquired from the state of Nicaragua the right of
constructing a ship canal between the two oceans, through the territory
of that state, have made progress in their preliminary arrangements. It
is hoped that the guarantees of the treaty between the United States and
Great Britain will be sufficient to secure the early completion of the
work. Citizens of the United States have undertaken the construction of
a railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, under grants of the
Mexican government to a citizen of that republic. Some further
stipulations from Mexico are still needed, however, to impart a feeling
of security to those who may embark in the enterprise. Negotiations to
secure them are now in progress. A proposition made by the government of
Portugal to adjust and settle the claims of the United States against
that government, has been accepted by the United States; and it is
expected that a regular convention will be immediately negotiated for
carrying the agreement into effect. The commissioner appointed under an
act of Congress to carry into effect the Convention with Brazil, of
January 27, 1849, has entered upon the performance of his duties: an
extension of time, however, will be required, in consequence of the
failure to receive documents which the government of Brazil is to
furnish. The collection in ports of the United States, of discriminating
duties on the vessels of Chili has been suspended.

The total receipts into the Treasury for the year ending June 30, 1850,
were $47,421,748: expenditures during the same period $43,002,168. The
public debt has been reduced $495,276. Part of the public debt amounting
to $8,075,986 must be provided for within the next two years. A
modification of the tariff is strongly recommended; so as to impose
specific duties sufficient to raise the requisite revenue, and making
such discrimination in favor of the industrial pursuits of our own
country as to encourage home production without excluding foreign
competition. Under the present _ad valorem_ system extensive frauds have
been practiced which show that it is impossible, under any system of _ad
valorem_ duties levied upon the foreign cost or value of the article, to
secure an honest observance and an effectual administration of the law.
The establishment of a mint in California is recommended, and also of an
agricultural bureau at Washington. The attention of Congress is called
to the importance of opening a line of communication between the Valley
of the Mississippi and the Pacific. The necessity of a Commissioner to
examine the validity of land titles in California is also urged, as well
as the propriety of extending, at an early day, our system of land laws,
with such modifications as maybe necessary, over California, New Mexico,
and Utah. Further provision is required to protect our frontiers from
hostile Indians. The navy continues in a high state of efficiency. The
report of the Postmaster General is referred to for the condition of
that department. The President says he has no doubt of the power of
Congress to make appropriations for works of internal improvement, and
he therefore recommends that appropriations be made for completing such
works as have been already begun, and for commencing such others as may
seem to the wisdom of Congress to be of public and general importance.
The President also recommends that provision be made by law for the
appointment of a commission to settle all private claims against the
United States; and the appointment of a solicitor whose duty it shall be
to represent the Government before such commission, and protect it
against all illegal, fraudulent, or unjust claims, which may be
presented for their adjudication.

The Message closes by expressing the President's views in regard to the
Compromise measures of the last session. He believes those measures to
have been required by the circumstances and condition of the country. He
regards them as a settlement, in principle and substance a final
settlement, of the dangerous and exciting subjects which they embrace.
Most of these subjects, indeed, are placed by them beyond the reach of
legislation. The President recommends an adherence to the adjustment
established by those measures, until time and experience shall
demonstrate the necessity of further legislation to guard against
evasion or abuse. By that adjustment, he adds, "we have been rescued
from the wide and boundless agitation that surrounded us, and have a
firm, distinct, and legal ground to rest upon. And the occasion, I
trust, will justify me in exhorting my countrymen to rally upon and
maintain that ground as the best if not the only means, of restoring
peace and quiet to the country, and maintain inviolate the integrity of
the Union."

The annual Reports from the several departments were transmitted to
Congress with the Message. They state in detail, as usual, the condition
of the public service in each department of the government. We can only
make room, of course, for a condensed summary of their contents.

The Report of Mr. CONRAD, Secretary of war, is brief and clearly
written. The whole number of men at present enrolled in the U. S. Army
is 12,326, including officers. Of these, 7796 are under orders for
Texas, New Mexico, California, and Oregon, thus leaving but 4530 in all
the rest of the States and Territories. The Secretary, in view of the
recent alarming incursions of the Indians, on the borders of Texas and
New Mexico, urges an addition to the military establishment of the
country. A history is given of the operations of infantry in New Mexico
since last August. Mr. Conrad expresses the opinion, that the only
description of troops to put an end to these savage forays, is cavalry.
He says the Indians in that part of the country are excellent horsemen,
and well skilled in the art of war. To extirpate them, he calls upon
Congress to raise one or more regiments of mounted men. In this
connection, moreover, he thinks that if the inhabitants of New Mexico
were organized into a kind of protective militia of their own, much
would be done to preserve the lives and property of those Territories,
independently of Government relief. At all events the experiment, he
says, is worth trying. The operations of that portion of the army
employed in Oregon are next recapitulated, as are also those engaged in
the recent troubles with the Indians in Florida. The Secretary
entertains no apprehension of any farther disturbance there. A large
portion of the troops are withdrawn from the State, but sufficient are
left to meet any emergency which may possibly arise. The number of the
Indians there, we are told, is very small, probably not more than one
hundred, who, however, occasion annoyance to the whites; and these the
most efficient measures will be taken to remove. It is recommended that
a small force be sent against the Sioux tribe of Indians, in order to
compel obedience to the Chippewa treaty, which they have broken, and
which the United States is bound to see respected. He also refers to the
reports of the officers appointed to examine the Pacific Coasts of the
United States, in order to select suitable sites for fortifications and
naval depots there. Captain Stansbury's Expedition to the Great Salt
Lake, the Secretary says, is understood to be completed, and a report of
his operations is supposed to be now on its way home. Other Expeditions,
similar to this, are also referred to. The Secretary renews the
recommendation of his predecessor for the formation of a retired list of
officers of the Army. An asylum for disabled and destitute soldiers is
also urged upon the attention of Congress. The financial estimates for
this Department, for the ensuing year, do not appear quite so favorable
as could be wished. The sum required for the next fiscal year will
considerably exceed the aggregate for the current year--an increase
caused, among other things, by the act of last Congress increasing the
rank and file of all the companies serving on the Western
frontier--paying nearly double all the officers and men in California
and Oregon--and by increased expenditures in the Quartermaster's
department. The Secretary points out several departments of the service
where principles of economy may be introduced to advantage, and to them
he calls the earnest and immediate attention of Congress.

The Report of Mr. GRAHAM, Secretary of the Navy, is also brief, and
gives an account of the six different squadrons into which the naval
force in commission is divided. The Secretary remarks that occasional
instances of British interference with vessels bearing our flag on the
African coast have occurred, but that in each case explanations and
apologies have been made to our officers on that station, and the
reports thereof transmitted to the Government. The existing _personnel_
of the Navy embraces 68 captains, 97 commanders, 327 lieutenants, 111
surgeons, 43 assistant surgeons, 64 pursers, 24 chaplains, 12 professors
of mathematics, 11 masters in the line of promotion, 464 passed and
other midshipmen, and 7500 petty officers, seamen, landsmen, boys, etc.
The Secretary says that this system of officers is unshapely and
disproportioned, there being great disparity between the head and the
subordinate parts, and he recommends a great reduction in the three
highest grades. The report discusses other questions respecting the
organization and distribution of the service. The Secretary notices the
improvements going on in the Navy Yards in New York and other places;
states that he has invited proposals for the construction of a Dry Dock
in the Pacific; says that the stores on hand in the various yards amount
to $6,500,000. A reduction of the number of yards is discussed. The
Secretary says that our flag has been respected on every sea, and that
the interests of commerce have been secure under its protection. The
Navy consists of 7 ships of the line, 1 razee, 12 frigates, 21 sloops of
war, 4 brigs, 2 schooners, 6 steam frigates, 3 steamers of the first
class, 6 steamers of less than first class, and 5 store ships. The ships
in commission are one razee, 6 frigates, 15 sloops of war, 4 brigs, 2
schooners (coast survey), 2 steam frigates, 1 steamer of the first
class, 3 less than first class, 3 ships of the line as receiving ships,
1 steamer do., and one sloop do. Four ships of the line and two frigates
are on the stocks in process of construction, but the work suspended.
Besides these, there are the mail steamships on the New York and
Liverpool and New York and Chagres lines, liable to naval duty in case
of necessity.

The Report of Mr. HALL, the Postmaster General, gives a gratifying
picture of the operations of the Post Office Department. The number of
mail routes within the United States at the close of the fiscal year in
June last, not including California and Oregon, was 5590: the aggregate
length of such routes was 178,672 miles, and the number of contractors
employed thereon, 4,760. The annual transportation of the mails on these
routes was 46,541,423 miles, at an annual cost of $2,724,436, making the
average cost about five cents and eight and a half mills per mile. The
increase in the number of inland mail routes during the year was 649;
the increase in the length of mail routes was 10,969 miles; and the
annual transportation of the year exceeded that of the previous year by
3,997,354 miles, at an increased cost of $342,440. There were, on the
30th of June last, five foreign mail routes, of the aggregate length of
15,079 miles, and the annual price of the transportation thereon,
payable by this Department, was $264,506; being an increase of $8814 on
the cost of the preceding year. The increase of our mail service for the
last fiscal year, over the year preceding, was about 9.4 per cent., and
the increase in the total cost was about 12.7 per cent. The number of
Postmasters appointed during the year ending June 30, 1850, was 6518. Of
that number 2600 were appointed to fill vacancies occasioned by
resignations; 233 to fill vacancies occasioned by the decease of the
previous incumbents; 562 on a change of the sites of the offices for
which they were appointed; 1444 on the removal of their predecessors,
and 1979 were appointed on the establishment of new offices. The whole
number of post offices in the United States at the end of that year was
18,417. There were 1679 post offices established, and 309 discontinued
during the year.

The gross revenue of the Department for the year was as follows:

   From letter postage, including foreign postage,
       and stamps sold                             $4,575,663 86
   From newspapers and pamphlets                      919,485 94
   From fines                                              38 00
   From miscellaneous items                             3,048 66
   From receipts on acc't of dead letters               1,748 40
                                                  --------------
                                                   $5,499,984 86
   Appropriation for franked matter                   200,000 00
                                                  --------------
       Total                                       $5,699,984 86

   From this sum should be deducted the
     amount received during the year for
     British postages, which are payable to
     that Government, under the postal convention
     of December, 1848                                147,013 38
                                                  --------------
   Leaving for the gross revenue of the year       $5,552,971 48
   Total expenditures                               5,212,953 43
                                                  --------------
   Excess of receipts                                $340,018 05

The expenditures of the current year are estimated at $6,019,809, the
increase consisting in the additional service provided for, and in the
increased rates sometimes paid on the new contracts. No reliable
estimate of receipts from postage for the year can be made. The increase
for the year ending June 30, 1847, was 11.27 per cent.; that for the
year ending June 30, 1848, only 7.43 per cent.; and that for the year
ending June 30, 1849, 14.20 per cent.; being an average, for the three
years, of 10.96 per cent.; and the increase for the year ending June 30,
1850, excluding the balance in favor of Great Britain was 14.62 per
cent. It is believed that the increase for the current year will be at
least 11 per cent. over the receipts of last year: and this will give an
aggregate revenue of $6,166,616, an excess of $146,807 over the
estimated expenditures. The conveyance of foreign correspondence has
become an important branch of the service. The means provided are 16
large steamships in actual service, with four more to be added under
existing contracts. Efforts are in progress to arrange with foreign
countries for the interchange of mails and for the uninterrupted transit
of our correspondence in the mails of those countries to the countries
beyond. The mail service in California and Oregon is still in an
unsettled state: some suggestions are made for improving its details.
The Postmaster General recommends a considerable reduction in the rates
of postage: he advises that the inland letter postage be reduced to
three cents, the single letter, when pre-paid, and be fixed at the
uniform rate of five cents when not pre-paid; and also, that the
Postmaster General be required to reduce this pre-paid rate to two cents
the single letter, whenever it shall be ascertained that the revenues of
the Department, after the reductions now recommended, shall have
exceeded its expenditures by more than five per cent. for two
consecutive fiscal years. He also recommends that twenty cents the
single letter, be charged on all correspondence to and from the Pacific
coast, South America, the Eastern Continent and its islands, and points
beyond either, and ten cents the single letter on all other sea-going
letters, without the superaddition of inland postage; and that the
provision which imposes an additional half cent postage upon newspapers,
sent more than one hundred miles, and out of the State where they are
mailed, be repealed, so as to leave the uniform inland postage on
newspapers, sent to subscribers, from the office of publication, at one
cent each. The postage upon pamphlets, periodicals, and other printed
matter (except newspapers), Mr. HALL thinks, may be simplified and
somewhat reduced, with advantage to the Department. Two cents for the
pamphlet or periodical of the weight of two ounces or less, and one cent
for every additional ounce or fraction of an ounce, is recommended as
the inland rate upon all pamphlets, periodicals, and other printed
matter; instead of the present rate of two and a half cents for the
first ounce, and one cent for every additional ounce, or fraction of an
ounce. For the sea-going charge on such matters, and on newspapers,
twice the inland rate to and from the points to which it is proposed
that the letter postage shall be ten cents, and four times the inland
rate where the letter rate is twenty cents, is deemed a just and proper
rate. The reductions recommended on printed matter are considerably less
than those upon letters: and the reason of this is found in the fact
that the rates of postage upon printed matter are now exceedingly low,
when compared with the letter rates. The average postage on letters is
estimated at about three dollars and sixteen cents per pound, and on
newspapers or pamphlets at about sixteen cents per pound. After the
reductions proposed, the average inland postage on letters will be about
$2 50 per pound when not prepaid, and $1 50 per pound when pre-paid.

The reduction recommended will probably reduce the revenue of the
Department for the first three or four years; but at the end of that
period its revenues under the reduced rates will probably again equal
its expenditures. To meet the temporary deficiency, additional
appropriations from the Treasury will probably be required unless
Congress should abolish the franking privilege, which is held to be the
privilege of the constituent rather than of the representative. It is
recommended, however, that if the franking privilege, and the privilege
now accorded to newspaper proprietors of receiving exchange newspapers
free of postage, be continued, the expense be paid out of the public
Treasury. The present laws provide for a semi-monthly mail from New York
and New Orleans to Chagres, and for only a monthly mail from that point
to San Francisco. The defect has been partially supplied by an
arrangement with the mail contractors, but the action of Congress on the
subject is still required.

The report of Mr. STUART, Secretary of the Department of the Interior,
presents a variety of interesting information concerning the various
subjects which come under his supervision. The expenses of the
department for the year have been $5,403,372; those for the next year
are estimated at $7,132,043. The report enters at some length into an
explanation of the various items of this increase. The whole number of
persons on the pension rolls of the United States is 19,758; the whole
number who have drawn pensions during the first two quarters of the
present year is 13,079. The whole amount expended for pensions during
the year is estimated at $1,400,000. The number of land warrants issued
for Revolutionary service is 12,588; and for the war of 1812, 28,978.
The number of claims presented for service in the Mexican war is 81,373,
and for scrip in lieu of land, 3332, making a total of 84,705. The
number of claimants under the general Bounty Land Law of the last
session of Congress is estimated at 250,000. The sales of Public Lands
during the first three quarters of 1850 have amounted to 869,082 acres;
the amount sold in 1849 was 1,329,902. The amount located by Mexican
bounty land warrants during three quarters of the present year was
1,520,120, against 3,405,520, during the whole of last year. The
aggregate amount disposed of in three quarters of 1850 was 2,815,366--in
1849 it was 5,184,410. The revenue derived from the sale of public lands
has averaged about a million and a quarter of dollars per annum, for the
last fifty years, above all expenses. The extension of our Land System
over our possessions on the Pacific is strongly urged; and a commission
is suggested to adjudicate on all questions of disputed titles to land
in California. Mr. STUART recommends the sale of the mineral lands, in
fee simple to the highest bidder at public auction--in lots small enough
to afford persons in moderate circumstances the opportunity of being
bidders. The annexation of Texas and our treaty with Mexico, have added
about 124,000 Indians to our population; many of them are fierce in
their disposition and predatory in their habits. Further legislation for
the protection of our people from them has become necessary. The
Secretary urges the necessity of a highway to the Pacific; whether a
railway, a plank road, or a turnpike would be most expedient, he says,
can only be determined after a careful survey of the country and its
resources shall have been made. He suggests the propriety of authorizing
an immediate survey. The establishment of an Agricultural Bureau is
urged, and statements are made of the steps taken in securing the census
returns.

Several of the State Legislatures are now in session, or have been
during the past month. In several of them action has been taken upon the
general question of Slavery. In VERMONT a bill was passed for the
protection of persons who may be claimed within that state as fugitive
slaves. This bill provides (1.) That it shall be the duty of the State's
attorneys within the several counties "to use all lawful means to
protect, defend, and cause to be discharged" every person arrested or
claimed as a fugitive slave; (2.) The application of any State's
attorney in due form shall be sufficient authority for any one of the
Judges of the Supreme Court, or any Circuit Judge, to authorize the
issuing a writ of _habeas corpus_, which shall be made returnable to the
supreme or county court when in session, and in vacation before any of
the judges aforesaid; (3.) That it shall be the duty of all judicial and
executive officers in the State, whenever they shall have reason to
believe that any inhabitant of the State is about to be arrested as a
fugitive slave, to give notice thereof to the State's attorneys in their
respective counties; (4.) That whenever the writ of _habeas corpus_ is
granted in vacation, if upon the hearing of the same before any of the
judges, the person arrested and claimed as a fugitive slave shall not be
discharged, he shall be entitled to an appeal to the next stated term of
the county court, on furnishing such bail and within such time as the
judge granting the writ shall deem reasonable and proper; (5.) That the
court to which such appeal is taken, or any other court to which a writ
of _habeas corpus_ in behalf of any such alleged fugitive slave is made
returnable, shall, on application, allow and direct a trial by jury on
all questions of fact in issue between the parties, and the costs
thereof shall be chargeable to the State. The bill passed both branches
of the Legislature with very little discussion, and was approved by the
Governor, Nov. 13, 1850.

The VIRGINIA Legislature assembled on the 2d of December. The Message of
Governor FLOYD closes with some emphatic comments on the Compromise
measures of Congress. The action of the last session on the subject, the
Governor says, has placed the Union in the most momentous and difficult
crisis through which it has ever passed. Some of its enactments have
produced a feeling of deep and bitter dissatisfaction at the South;
while the law for the recovery of fugitive slaves has been met with a
reception at the North little, if at all, short of open rebellion and
utter defiance. This state of things, the Governor says, has grown out
of an "unwarrantable interference on the part of Congress with the
subject of slavery, and is another proof of the great danger which must
ever follow any attempt on the part of that body to transcend the clear,
well-defined limits set by the Constitution to govern and control their
action." The action of Congress, it is held, has been grossly injurious
to the South, for of the whole domain acquired from Mexico, not a foot
is left, worth having, for the occupation of the slaveholder. Nothing
ought to reconcile the South to this action, but the hope that it may
settle forever all agitation of the question of slavery. But if peace
and quiet can be thereby restored, if the Constitution can be respected
and the Union maintained, these sacrifices, great as they are, may well
be regarded as light in comparison with the objects attained. But should
this expectation prove fallacious, and the slavery agitation be renewed,
it will furnish, the Governor says, "proof, convincing and conclusive,
of that fixed and settled hostility to slavery on the part of the North
which should and will satisfy every reasonable man that peace between us
is impossible; and then a necessity stronger than all law, the necessity
of self-preservation, will demand at our hands a separation from those
who use the relationship of brotherhood only for the purpose of
inflicting upon us the worst acts of malignant hostility." The
supineness of the South upon this subject is very warmly censured, and
the hostility evinced in the Northern States toward the fugitive slave
law is referred to as among the indications that peace and harmony have
not been restored. Virginia, and all the slaveholding states, he thinks,
"can and ought, calmly and explicitly to declare that the repeal of the
fugitive slave law, or any essential modification of it, is a virtual
repeal of the Union. The faithful execution of the law is the only means
now left by which the Union can be preserved with honor to ourselves and
peace to the country. Such a declaration on the part of the South will
give strength and great moral weight to the conservative patriots at the
North, now struggling for the Constitution and the supremacy of the
laws, who are, in truth, fighting the battle of the Union, in the bosom
of the non-slaveholding States. If, however, no consideration of
prudence or patriotism can restrain the majority from the
non-slaveholding States in their headlong career of usurpation and
wrong, and should they repeal or essentially modify the fugitive slave
law, the most prompt and decisive action 'will be required at your
hands'. In either event, I would earnestly recommend that a Convention of
the people be called at once to take into consideration the mode and
measure of redress, as well as the means of providing for our future
security and peace."

The Governor of ARKANSAS, in his Message to the Legislature of that
State, objects to the admission of California, but contends that the
evil can not be cured, and must be endured. He asks, "what could the
South gain by resistance?" He also objects to President Fillmore's
Message concerning Texas. But, with regard to the fugitive slave law, he
contends, if the North touch it, the "South can no longer, with honor to
herself, maintain her present relations with the North."

In MISSISSIPPI the Legislature convened in extra session on the 18th
November, under a proclamation issued by Governor QUITMAN, to take into
consideration the course to be pursued by the State in view of the
recent measures of Congress. On the first day of the session the
Governor sent in a Message giving a history of the aggressions of the
North, and recommending secession from the Union. He says, "let the
propositions be distinctly put to the non-slaveholding States that the
wrongs of the South must be redressed, so far as it is in the power of
Congress to do so, by obtaining from California a concession of
territory south of 36° 30'; otherwise that they (the non-slaveholding
States) must consent to such amendments of the Constitution as shall
hereafter secure the rights of the slaveholding States from further
aggression. But, in the event of continued refusal to do so, I hesitate
not to express my decided opinion that the only effectual remedy for the
evil, which must continue to grow from year to year, is to be found in
prompt and peaceable secession from the aggressive States."

In GEORGIA, the State Convention, summoned to consider the best means of
securing Southern rights and interests, assembled at Milledgeville, on
the 11th of December. At the election of delegates to this Convention,
the issue made was between those in favor of disunion, and those opposed
to it. The result showed a popular majority of about 30,000 in favor of
the Union; in seven counties only of the whole State, had the
disunionists popular majorities.

The Legislature of TEXAS met at Austin, November 18th, and Governor BELL
immediately sent in his Message. He states that he anticipated the
passage of the boundary bill by Congress, but regrets that Congress was
no more specific in defining the mode of ascertaining and making known
at the Federal treasury the amount of debt for which the five millions
of stock are to be retained. He considers that the creditors of Texas
must look to her alone, and not to the United States, for the settlement
of her claims. In regard to the bonds issued by the late republic for
double the amount of the original contracts, he thinks that between
private individuals such would be void on account of usury. He, however,
recommends that government should certainly pay to its creditors the
full amount of benefits received, and interest on the amount from the
time when it should have been paid. He also recommends that a law be
passed, requiring all creditors holding claims against the late Republic
of Texas, and for which revenues arising from import duties were
specially pledged, to file releases in favor of the United States in
respect to said claims, with the Comptroller of the State within a
specified time; and in default thereof, their claims against the United
States for the liability of the said debts, growing out of transfer of
revenue, under the articles of annexation, shall be considered as waived
from Mexico. On the 22d, a bill to accept the propositions of the
boundary bill, was passed in both Houses, there being in the Senate but
one, and in the House but five votes against it.--The party engaged in
the survey of the Upper Rio Grande have reported that forty miles above
Laredo is, and will continue to be, the head of steamboat navigation.

The Legislature of SOUTH CAROLINA met in special session on the 3d of
December, and the Message of Governor SEABROOK was received on the same
day. The Governor says that during the year he has purchased largely of
muskets and rifles, and caused several thousand musket accoutrements to
be manufactured at Columbia. He wishes the Legislature to authorize him
to purchase eighteen brass field-pieces, to establish foundries for
cannon and small-arms. He complains of the North on account of the
incendiary resolutions of State Legislatures; the sweeping denunciations
emanating from abolition associations; the bitter and vindictive
feelings of the press, the bar, and the pulpit: the inflammatory
harangues to popular meetings; the encouragement and aid given to
runaway slaves, &c., which unwarrantable proceedings have caused South
Carolina, for about one-third of her political existence, to present an
almost uninterrupted scene of disquietude and excitement. He says that
"the time has arrived to resume the exercise of the powers of
self-protection, which, in the hour of unsuspecting confidence, we
surrendered to foreign hands. We must reorganize our political system on
some surer and safer basis. There is no power, moral or physical, that
can prevent it. The event is indissolubly linked with its cause, and
fixed as destiny." Resolutions had been introduced into the Legislature
upon these subjects, but no action has been had upon them.

The Legislature of FLORIDA met on the 25th of November, and the
Governor's Message was at once delivered. Gov. BROWN, though a strong
friend of the Union, expresses serious concern for the perpetuity of the
Union, in consequence of the manifestations of Northern sentiment on
their obligations under the Federal compact. He asks from the
Legislature authority to call a convention of the people of the State,
in the event of the repeal of the fugitive slave bill, or the
consummation of any other aggressive measure.

The Nashville Convention adjourned on the 18th of November. Resolutions
were passed expressing attachment to a constitutional Union, but
declaring the right of any State to secede; expressing also the
conviction that "the evils anticipated by the South, in forming this
Convention had been realized, in the passage of the recent compromise
acts of Congress. They further recommended to the South, not to go into
any National Convention for the nomination of President and
Vice-President of the United States, until the constitutional rights of
the South were secured. They also recommended to the slaveholding States
to go into convention, with a view to the restraint of further
aggression, and if possible, to the restoration of the rights of the
South. The Tennessee delegation protested against the adoption of the
resolutions, declaring the proceeding to be "unhallowed and unworthy of
Southern men."

Large public meetings have been held in various sections of the country
in favor of the Union and of the Compromise measures of the last session
of Congress. One was held at Philadelphia on the 21st of November,
attended by six or seven thousand people, and numbering among its
officers some of the most respectable citizens of Philadelphia. Hon.
John Sargeant presided, and speeches were made by Messrs. Dallas, J. R.
Ingersoll, Rush, Randall, and others. Letters were received from the
Hon. Messrs. Clay, Webster, Cass, and other gentlemen of distinction,
who were unable to be present. Mr. Randall, in his remarks, said, that
the general impression, that the clause in the Constitution requiring
the return of fugitive slaves was the result of a compromise, was
erroneous: the records of the Convention would show that it was adopted
unanimously, and without amendment. Resolutions expressive of strong
attachment to the Constitution, of obligation to abide by its
provisions, of determination to maintain the supremacy of the laws, of
disapprobation of anti-slavery agitation, and of approval of the
Compromise measures, were adopted with much applause.

A very large meeting of a similar character was held at Boston, on the
26th, in Faneuil Hall. Dr. J. C. Warren, a descendant of General Warren,
who fell at Bunker's Hill, presided, and on taking the chair made an
eloquent and patriotic speech. Resolutions were adopted, asserting that
the preservation of the Constitution and Union is the paramount duty of
all classes; that the blessings flowing from the Constitution vastly
transcend in importance all other political considerations; that the
laws of the land are equally binding on every State, and upon all
citizens, and no one can refuse, or seem to refuse to obey them; that
the measures of compromise passed by the last Congress ought to be
carried out by the people; that resistance to law is mischievous, and
that all who advise those who may be the subject of any law, to resist,
deserve the opprobrium of the community, and the severe penalty of the
law; that at all times, and in all places, the citizens of Boston will
sustain the Union, uphold the Constitution, and enforce obedience to the
law. Speeches were made by B. R. Curtis, Esq., Hon. B. F. Hallett, and
Hon. Rufus Choate, which were received with enthusiastic applause.

A Union meeting was held at Nashville, Tennessee, on the 23d, which was
characterized by unanimity and great enthusiasm. The speakers were, Hon.
Andrew Ewing, and Hon. A. J. Donaldson. Resolutions were passed
declaring that no State has the constitutional right to secede, and that
any such attempt would be revolutionary, and its consequences entail
civil strife and bloodshed; that the continual agitation of the slavery
issue, will, if persisted in, lead to the total alienation of one
section of the Union from the other; that the people of the States have
the right, whenever palpably, intolerably, and unconstitutionally
oppressed, to throw off the chains that oppress them, but there is no
present necessity for the exercise of this right that an attempt to
repeal, or failure to enforce the fugitive slave law, will unite all the
South, and most probably end in a total separation of the States; and
that the Compromise measures of Congress meet their approbation, as the
best that, under the circumstances, could be adopted, and they pledge
themselves to give them hearty support.

A Union meeting was held at Staunton, Virginia, on the 25th of November,
over which Col. JAMES CRAWFORD presided. Resolutions were adopted
declaring the readiness of those assembled to meet all good citizens of
every section, and of every party, on the platform of the Constitution,
the Compromise, and the Union; and also expressing the belief that the
maintenance of the Compromise in all its parts, without modification or
amendment, is essential to the preservation of the Union. Letters were
read from a number of distinguished gentlemen who had been invited, but
were unable to be present.

A large meeting was held at Manchester, N. H., on the 20th of November,
at which resolutions were passed expressing devotion to the Union, and a
determination to stand by the Compromise measures, and to resist all
further agitation of the subject.

A large Union meeting was held in Cincinnati, on the 14th of November,
at which resolutions were adopted declaring their approval of, and
determination to support, the measures of peace and compromise relative
to the admission of California as a State; the establishment of the
Territorial Governments of New Mexico and Utah; the settlement of the
boundary question of Texas; the abolition of the slave trade in the
district of Columbia; and the provision the more effectually to secure
the observance of the constitutional duty to deliver up fugitives owing
service or labor. They also declared that they condemned, and would
oppose all forcible resistance to the execution of the law of the
General Government for the re-capture of fugitives owing service or
labor; that they regard such law as constitutional--in accordance with
the compromise which formed the Union, and that they would sustain and
enforce it by all proper and legal means, as a matter of constitutional
compromise and obligation. And furthermore they declared that any effort
to re-open the delicate and distracting questions settled and
compromised by the Compromise and Peace measures passed during the late
session of Congress are factious, and should be disapproved and opposed.

During the past month letters and speeches, upon the engrossing topic of
the day, from some of the most eminent men in the country, have been
given to the public, and have attracted a good deal of attention. They
have been mainly on the side of the Compromise measures of the last
session of Congress; as the agitation upon the other side, in the
Northern States at least, has for the present almost wholly ceased. A
speech of very marked and characteristic ability was made by the Hon.
RUFUS CHOATE, at the Faneuil Hall Union meeting in Boston. Mr. C.
thought that the union of these States was in manifest peril, mainly
from a public opinion created by restless and unprincipled men. He
traced, with great skill and in very graphic and eloquent language, the
manner in which public opinion is moulded by the unceasing efforts of
the press and the orator, and that it is only by a prolonged and
voluntary educational process that the fine and strong spirit of
nationality is made to penetrate the great mass of the people, and the
full tide of American feeling to fill the mighty heart. He then depicted
the manner in which hostility of sentiment and sympathy between
different sections of the country has been created and is kept alive.
Coming, then, to the means by which danger to the Union can be best
averted, he said the first and foremost thing to be done was to accept
that whole body of measures of Compromise, by which the Government has
sought to compose the country, and then for every man to set himself to
suppress the further political agitation of this whole subject. These
measures were then referred to, one after the other, and the essential
justice and expediency of each were declared. The two great political
parties of the North, he said, ought at once to strike this whole
subject from their respective issues. He was not for any amalgamation of
parties, or for the formation of any new one: the two great parties had
united for the settlement of this great question, and they could now
revive the old creeds, return to their old positions, and so spare
America that last calamity, the formation of parties according to
geographical lines. The conscience of the community, moreover, is bound
to discourage and modify the further agitation of the subject of
slavery, in the spirit in which, thus far, that agitation has been
carried on. It is a great error to suppose that conscience or
philanthropy requires the constant agitation of this topic. We of the
North have nothing whatever to do with slavery in the Southern States,
for we have solemnly covenanted with them that we will not interfere
with it, and that we will perform certain duties growing out of it.
Those duties are obligatory upon us, and no pretense of a higher law can
absolve us from them. These positions were presented by Mr. Choate with
all his accustomed strength, and with even more than the warmth of
feeling and profusion of illustration which distinguish all his efforts.

Mr. WEBSTER wrote a letter in reply to an invitation to attend the great
Union meeting at Staunton, Va., approving most heartily of the objects
of the proposed meeting, and assuring them, of his hearty sympathy and
his unchangeable purpose to co-operate with them and other good men in
upholding the honor of the States, and the Constitution of the
Government. Political martyrdom, he declares, would be preferable to
beholding the voluntary dismemberment of this glorious Republic. "It is
better to die while the honor of the country is untarnished, and the
flag of the Union still flying over our heads, than to live to behold
that honor gone forever, and that flag prostrate in the dust." He
assures them, from personal observation at the North, that through the
masses of the Northern people the general feeling and the great cry is,
for the Union, and for its preservation: and, "while there prevails a
general purpose to maintain the Union as it is, that purpose embraces,
as its just and necessary means, a firm resolution of supporting the
rights of all the States, precisely as they stand guaranteed and secured
by the Constitution. And you may depend upon it," he adds, "that every
provision in that instrument in favor of the rights of Virginia and the
other Southern States, and every constitutional act of Congress, passed
to uphold and enforce those rights, will be upheld and maintained not
only by the power of the law, but also by the prevailing influence of
public opinion. Accidents may occur to defeat the execution of a law in
a particular instance; misguided men may, it is possible, sometimes
enable others to elude the claims of justice and the rights founded in
solemn constitutional compact, but, on the whole, and in the end, the
law will be executed and obeyed; the South will see that there is
principle and patriotism, good sense and honesty, in the general minds
of the North; and that among the great mass of intelligent citizens in
that quarter, the general disposition to ask for justice is not stronger
than the disposition to grant it to others." Mr. WEBSTER closes his
letter by urging the people of Virginia to teach their young men to
study the early history of the country, the feebleness of the
Confederation--and to trace the steps, the votes, the efforts, and the
labor by which the present Constitution was formed. He exhorts them to
stand by their country, to stand by the work of their fathers, to stand
by the Union of the States, "and may Almighty God prosper all our
efforts in the cause of liberty, and in the cause of that United
Government which renders this people the happiest people upon which the
sun ever shone!"

Hon. A. H. H. STUART, Secretary of the Interior, wrote a letter also on
the same occasion in reply to a similar invitation. He expresses great
satisfaction that meetings in behalf of the Union are held throughout
the country. He says he believes that the integrity of the Union, and
the peace of the country, will mainly depend on the course which the
people of Virginia may adopt in the present crisis. There has been a
melancholy change in the feelings of the people toward the Union, he
thinks, within a few years past. Then, nothing but his advanced age, the
respect felt for his character, and the strongest professions of
attachment to the Union, prevented John Quincy Adams from public censure
or expulsion for simply presenting a petition to Congress for a
dissolution of the Union. Now, dissolution is openly advocated in
speeches, pamphlets, and the newspaper press. Let the idea go abroad
that Virginia sanctions such sentiments as these, and our Union is but a
rope of sand. The only safe reliance, Mr. Stuart thinks, is for Virginia
to assume her old position of mediator and pacificator. "Let her speak
in language that can not be misunderstood. Let her blend kindness with
firmness. _But let no lingering doubt remain as to her loyalty to the
Union._" Twenty years ago, when the Union was in danger, General Jackson
declared that it must be preserved. General Jackson slumbers in his
grave, and there are men plotting disunion over his very ashes. But Mr.
Stuart assures those to whom he writes, that we have a man at the head
of the Government "not less devoted to the Union than Jackson, and not
less determined to use all the powers vested in him by the Constitution
to maintain it. He justly appreciates his obligations to maintain the
integrity of the Constitution, and to see that the laws are faithfully
executed. He will know no distinction between the North and the South,
but will enforce obedience to the laws every where."

Hon. H. W. HILLIARD, Member of Congress from Alabama, has written a
letter declining a re-nomination, and discussing at some length the
present condition of public affairs. The events of the past year,
instead of impairing the strength of our political system, have, in his
judgment, really served to demonstrate it. There is a growing conviction
in the mind of the whole nation that the Constitution must be adhered to
in its pristine spirit, and that, while it is adhered to, the republic
will endure. He had no fear that the extension of our limits would
enfeeble us. Our progress is the spread of a great family, all bearing
with them the law, the traditions, the sympathies, and the religion of
those from whom they sprung. The true way of perpetuating our Union is
by multiplying the means of intercommunication, by making taxes as light
as possible, by reducing postage, multiplying railroads, and bringing
the Pacific coast nearer to us by the early construction of one of those
great highways. The scheme of retaliation, lately projected, of
discriminating against the products of other States must be abandoned,
and our whole legislation, State and National, must be guided by a
comprehensive, national, and patriotic spirit. "These States must regard
each other as kindred States; the Constitution must be recognized in all
of them as the supreme law; and the acts of Congress, passed in
accordance with its provisions, must be obeyed, and we must fix in our
minds and in our hearts the idea that, as we have had a common origin,
we must have a common destiny." The measures of the last session must be
regarded as a final adjustment of the disturbing questions growing out
of slavery. Mr. H. exhorts to a conciliatory and a patriotic spirit.
"Let us forbear," he says, "any hostile acts on our own part. I
certainly desire to see in the midst of the great agricultural regions
of the South a varied industry, which shall rival that of the North, and
which shall spread over our fertile plains all the embellishments which
wealth and a high civilization can bestow. I desire, too, to see a
direct trade with foreign countries carried on through Southern ports.
But I desire to see all this brought about by the enterprise and the
energy of our people, entering into a bold and generous competition with
those of the other States. We should seek to make Alabama a great and
wealthy State; and we can do this by the vigorous development of our
resources. Our fertile soil, our noble streams, our great cotton crop,
our exhaustless mineral wealth, our population intelligent, industrious,
enterprising, and religious--these will enable us to advance with a
steady and rapid march in civilization, without resorting to legislative
expedients to tax the products of other States associated with us in a
common Government, one of the great objects of which is, to keep open
the channels of intercommunication."

Hon. LEVI WOODBURY wrote a letter expressing regret that he could not
attend the Union Meeting held at Manchester, N. H., on the 20th of
November. He says that without more forbearance as to agitation of the
subject of slavery, it is his solemn conviction, the Union will be
placed in fearful jeopardy. He mentions as an alarming sign of the times
the fact that any portion of our law-abiding community should either
recommend forcible resistance to the laws, or actually participate in
measures designed to overawe the constituted authorities, and defeat the
execution of legal precepts issued by those authorities. This, he says,
is in direct hostility to the injunctions of Washington in his Farewell
Address to his grateful countrymen; and seems no less hostile and
derogatory to every sound principle for sustaining public order and
obedience to what the legislative agents of the people and the States
have enacted.

A letter from Mr. WEBSTER, written on the same occasion, also alludes to
the disposition which is abroad to evade the laws, and to resist them so
far as it can be done consistently with personal safety. A "still more
extravagant notion," he says, "is sometimes entertained, which is, that
individuals may judge of their rights and duties, under the Constitution
and the laws, by some rule which, according to their idea, is above both
the Constitution and the laws." Both these positions are denounced as at
war with all government and with all morality. "It is time," Mr. Webster
adds, "that discord and animosity should cease. It is time that a better
understanding and more friendly sentiments were revived between the
North and the South. And I am sure that all wise and good men will see
the propriety of forbearing from renewing agitation by attempts to
repeal the late measures, or any of them. I do not see that they contain
unconstitutional or alarming principles, or that they forebode the
infliction of wrong or injury. When real and actual evil arises, if it
shall arise, the laws ought to be amended or repealed; but in the
absence of imminent danger I see no reason at present for renewed
controversy or contention."

Mr. CLAY, upon formal invitation of that body, visited the Legislature
of Kentucky on the 15th of November. He was welcomed by the Speaker of
the House in some brief and appropriate remarks to which he responded at
considerable length. He spoke mainly of the measures of the session in
which he had borne so conspicuous a part. The session, he said, opened
under peculiarly unfavorable auspices. The sentiment of disunion was
openly avowed, and a sectional convention of delegates had been
assembled, the tendency of which was to break up the confederacy. In
common with others, Mr. Clay said he had foreseen the coming storm, and
it was the hope that he might assist in allaying it that led him to
return to the Senate. The subject had long engaged his most anxious
thoughts, and the result of his reflections was the series of
propositions which he presented to Congress soon after the opening of
the session. A committee of thirteen was afterward appointed to which
the whole matter was referred and they reported substantially the same
measures which he had proposed. At that time he was decidedly in favor
of the immediate admission of California into the Union as a separate
and distinct measure; but subsequent observation of the hostility which
it encountered led him to modify his opinions, and unite it with kindred
measures in one common bill. In excluding the Wilmot Proviso, which had
previously been the great aim and object of the South, they obtained a
complete triumph--and obtained it, too, by the liberal, magnanimous and
patriotic aid of the northern members. It is true they may never be able
to establish slavery in any of this newly acquired territory; but that
is not the fault of Congress, which has adhered strictly to the policy
of non-intervention, but of the people of the territory themselves to
whom the whole subject has been committed. The boundary of Texas gave
rise to by far the most intricate and perplexing question of the
Session. Various opinions were held in regard to it by various
interests, and the matter seemed to him eminently one for compromise and
amicable adjustment. We gave what seems a large sum (ten millions of
dollars), to Texas for relinquishing her claim, but half this amount we
owed her creditors for having taken the revenues to which they looked
for payment of their debts. Mr. Clay said he voted the money very
cheerfully, because he believed it would be applied to the payment of
her public debt; and he wished that we had some legitimate ground for
giving to every debtor State in the Union money enough to pay all its
debts, and restore its credit wherever it has been tarnished. Of the
fugitive slave bill Mr. Clay said simply that its object was simply to
give fair, full, and efficacious effect to the constitutional provision
for the surrender of fugitives. The act abolishing the slave trade in
the District of Columbia, was of little practical importance to southern
interests, while it was demanded by every consideration of humanity and
of national self-respect. In looking at the result of the whole, Mr.
Clay thought that neither party, so far as California is concerned,
could be said to have lost or gained any thing, while in regard to the
territorial bills and the fugitive slave law the South had gained all it
could reasonably claim. The effect of these measures, Mr. Clay thought,
would be to allay agitation and pacify and harmonize the country. At all
events it will greatly circumscribe the field of agitation: for none of
these measures can be opened for renewed action except the fugitive
slave bill; and when the dispute is narrowed down to that single ground
the slaveholding States have decidedly the advantage. The Constitution
is with them, the right is with them, and the State which shall oppose
the execution of the law will place itself manifestly in the wrong. It
was not to be expected that these measures would lead to immediate and
general acquiescence on the part of the ultras of either section; but
Mr. Clay did confidently anticipate that all their mad efforts would be
put down by the intelligence, the patriotism, and the love of union of
the people of the various States. Mr. Clay went on to draw a picture of
the condition of the country, and especially of the slaveholding States,
in the event of a dissolution of the Union. Under the present law the
South will not probably recover all their fugitive slaves; but they will
recover some of them. But in the event of disunion not one could be
demanded. Mr. Clay said he had often been asked when he would consent to
a dissolution of the Union. He answered _Never_, because he could
conceive of no possible contingency that would make it for the interest
and happiness of the people to break up this glorious confederacy. He
would yield to it, if Congress were to usurp a power, which he was sure,
it never would, of abolishing slavery within the States, for in the
contingency of such a usurpation we should be in a better condition as
to slavery out of the Union than in it. He believed that the time would
come, at some very distant day, when the density of the population of
the United States would be so great that free labor would be cheaper
than slave labor, and that then the slaves would be set free; and that
Africa would be competent to receive, by colonization from America, all
the descendants of its own race. If the agitation of this subject should
be continued, it must lead to the formation of two parties--one for the
Union and the other against it. If such a division should become
necessary, he announced himself a member of the Union party what ever
might be its elements. He would go further. "I have had," said he,
"great hopes and confidence in the principles of the Whig party, as
being most likely to conduce to the honor, to the prosperity, and the
glory of my country. But if it is to be merged into a contemptible
abolition party, and if abolitionism is to be engrafted on the Whig
creed, from that moment I renounce the party, and cease to be a Whig. I
go yet a step further: if I am alive, I will give my humble support for
the Presidency to that man, to whatever party he may belong, who is
uncontaminated by fanaticism, rather than to one who, crying out all the
time and aloud that he is a Whig, maintains doctrines utterly subversive
of the Constitution and the Union." Mr. Clay said that the events of the
last few months had thrown together men of opposite parties, and he
could say with truth and pleasure that during the late session he was in
conference quite as often, if not oftener, with Democrats than Whigs;
and he "found in the Democratic party quite as much patriotism, devotion
to the Union, honor, and probity as in the other party."

Gen. JAMES HAMILTON has recently addressed a somewhat remarkable letter
to the people of South Carolina upon the state of public affairs and the
course which he desires his own State to pursue. Gen. H. was the
Governor of South Carolina during the nullification crisis, and is fully
imbued with the spirit of resistance to the Union. But he is also a man
of great practical sagacity, and after carefully surveying the whole
field, he is convinced that action now on the part of South Carolina
would be ruinous to her cause. He has been all through the Southern
States, and says he is satisfied that, in the event of such action,
there is not another Southern State that would join her in it. He
sketches the state of feeling in each of the States he has visited, and
represents the Union party as decidedly in the ascendant in every one of
them. He proceeds to say that although some of the recent measures of
Congress, and particularly the admission of California, were exceedingly
unjust to the South, yet they afford no justification for a disruption
of the confederacy. Many, he says, believe that in the event of
secession a collision will arise with the Federal Government, and South
Carolina would have the sympathy and the aid of the other Southern
States. But he does not believe the Federal Government would bring on
any such collision; he thinks they would only prevent goods from
entering their ports, carry the mail directly past them, and transfer
all the commerce which they now enjoy to Savannah. He thinks South
Carolina should await the result of the great battle in the North,
between those who stand up for the rights of the South and their
opponents. If the latter prevail and elect their President two years
hence, the fugitive slave law will be repealed, slavery will be
abolished in the District of Columbia, and a crisis will then occur
which will inevitably unite the South. He urges them to await this
event. The letter is written with great energy and eloquence, and will
have a wide and marked influence upon public sentiment.

A complimentary public dinner was given to Hon. JOHN M. CLAYTON at
Wilmington, on the 16th of November, by his political friends. Mr.
CLAYTON, in reply to a complimentary toast, made an extended and
eloquent speech, mainly in vindication of the administration of Gen.
TAYLOR from the reproach which political opponents had thrown upon it.
He showed that in proposing to admit California as a State, and to
organize the territories of New Mexico and Utah as States, with such
constitutions as their inhabitants might see fit to frame, Gen. TAYLOR
only followed the recommendations which had been made by President POLK
in 1848, which had been approved by Mr. CALHOUN in 1847, and which had
then received the support of the great body of the political friends of
both those statesmen. And yet his course was most bitterly opposed by
the very persons who had previously approved the same principles. Mr.
CLAYTON said he did not believe, and he never had believed, that there
was any danger of disunion from the adoption of General Taylor's
recommendations, and he ridiculed the clamor and the apprehension, that
had been aroused upon the subject. The greatest obstruction both to the
President and the country, arose out of the attempt to embody all the
measures on the subject in a single bill; and yet the effort had been
made to throw the blame of its failure upon the President and his
Cabinet. His death showed the groundlessness of the charge, for the
omnibus immediately failed. Mr. CLAYTON went on at considerable length
to review the policy, both foreign and domestic, of the late
administration, and to vindicate it from all the slanders and obloquy
heaped upon it. He afterward, in response to a remark nominating General
SCOTT as the next candidate for the Presidency, gave a glowing and
eloquent sketch of the life and military career of that eminent soldier.

Hon. JOEL R. POINSETT has written a letter to his fellow-citizens of
South Carolina, remonstrating earnestly against the scheme of secession
which they seem inclined to adopt. He vindicates each of the Compromise
measures from the objections urged against it, and insists that there is
no such thing under the Constitution as a right of secession. Such a
step could only result in the injury and ruin of South Carolina, and he
therefore earnestly exhorts them not to venture upon it.

A letter from Hon. RICHARD RUSH, formerly U. S. Minister in France, has
also been published, condemning very severely the anti-slavery agitation
of the day, and urging the necessity of concession and harmony in order
to the preservation of the Union.

Hon. GEORGE THOMPSON, a member of the British Parliament somewhat
celebrated for his oratorical efforts in England and the United States
in behalf of Abolition, is now in this country. Arrangements had been
made by the Anti-Slavery men in Boston to give him a public reception at
Faneuil Hall on his arrival. The meeting on the occasion was very large.
Edmund Quincy presided. W. L. Garrison read an address detailing Mr.
Thompson's exertions on behalf of abolition, and mentioning the facts
attending his expulsion from this country fifteen years ago. The latter
part of the address was interrupted by considerable noise, and several
speakers who afterward attempted to address the meeting were not
permitted to do so. No violence was attempted, but the meeting was
compelled to disperse. Mr. Thompson has since been lecturing in Boston
and other towns of Massachusetts on various topics not connected with
slavery. His audiences have been good and he has been undisturbed.

We have received intelligence from CALIFORNIA, by the arrival of the
regular mail steamers, to the 1st of November. The cholera had made its
appearance at Sacramento City, but had not been very virulent or
destructive. The steamer Sagamore burst her boilers on the 29th of
October, while lying at her wharf at San Francisco, killing ten or
fifteen persons and seriously injuring a number of others.

The admission of California into the Union was celebrated on the 29th of
October with great _éclat_ at San Francisco. An address was delivered by
Hon. Nathaniel Bennett, and a splendid ball was given in the evening.

An official statement shows that from Nov. 12, 1849, to Sept. 30, 1850,
the total amount of bullion cleared from San Francisco was $17,822,877,
and the amount received was $2,134,000. Business in California was very
good.

The mines continued to yield satisfactory returns. The gold deposits on
the Upper Sacramento are worked with increased industry and success.
Those on the Klamath and its tributaries, which have been discovered
during the past year, prove to be exceedingly productive. Not less than
a thousand persons have been engaged in working them within twenty miles
of the mouth of the river, and their returns are said to average fully
an ounce per day. The Klamath river is about a mile wide at its mouth,
which is easy of access, and for forty miles up the stream there is no
interruption to steamboat navigation. The junction of the Salmon river
is ninety miles above. Midway between these points the river travel is
impeded by rocks, so that boats can not pass; but, after leaving these,
there is no obstacle up to the Falls at the mouth of Salmon river. Both
here and at the rocks, town sites have been selected. Twenty miles above
the Salmon, the Trinity river comes into the Klamath. The land around
these rivers is, with little exception, favorable to agricultural
purposes.

From OREGON we have intelligence to the 25th of October. The rainy
season had set in, but not with much severity. The Oregon Spectator
states that emigrants from the Cascade Mountains were arriving every
day, though quite a number were still on the way. It is feared that they
will suffer severely, especially from falling snow, though the
government was doing all in its power for their relief. Quite a number
of them intend to winter on the Columbia, between the Cascades and
Dalles, as they find excellent food for their cattle in that section.
The amount of wheat grown in the territory during the past season is
estimated at 800,000 bushels.


MEXICO.

We have intelligence from the City of Mexico to November 13th. The
question of the Presidency, it is conceded, is definitely settled in
favor of Arista. The financial condition of the Republic still engages
the attention of Congress, which body is yet occupied in arranging the
interior and foreign debt. General Thomas Reguena died on the 13th
ultimo, at Guadalajara, and General Manuel Romero on the 31st, at San
Louis Potosi. General Joaquin Rea, living at a village called Minerva,
was, about the same time, murdered by one Felipe Delgado, and a band of
scoundrels under his command. The _Siglo_ announces positively that the
Mexican Government has concluded two contracts with Colonel Ramsey, for
the transportation of foreign mails through the Republic. The Mexican
Government will receive $20 for every 100 pounds of correspondence and
20 cents for every 100 pounds of newspapers. By another contract there
is to be communication between New Orleans and Vera Cruz twice a month,
between New York and Vera Cruz, by the way of Havana, twice a month, and
between a Mexican port and San Francisco, once a month. It appears that
at its session of the 18th of July last, the Mexican Geographical and
Statistical Society elected Daniel Webster a corresponding member. The
_Monitor Republicane_ learns by letters from New Grenada, that the
Jesuits have been expelled from that country. The Congress of that
Republic confirmed the decree of the Government with great unanimity.


GREAT BRITAIN.

Public attention in England continues to be absorbed by the bitter
controversies excited by the Pope's bull extending his jurisdiction over
that kingdom. Immense public meetings have been held in several of the
principal cities of the kingdom, at which the Roman Catholic system has
been unsparingly denounced. The newspaper press, daily and weekly, teems
with articles upon the subject, and pamphlets have been issued by
several of the most eminent dignitaries of both the Catholic and the
Established Churches. The Government has been driven to take part in the
war of words, and a letter from the Premier, Lord JOHN RUSSELL, to the
Bishop of Durham, has been published, in which the proceedings of the
Pope are severely censured, and contemptuous expressions are used
concerning the ceremonials of the Roman Catholic worship. The newly
appointed Cardinal WISEMAN, has issued an able, elaborate, and temperate
"Appeal to the Reason and Good Feeling of the English People," against
the violent clamor by which he and his church have been assailed. This
paper seeks to vindicate the proceeding of the Pope from censure, by
showing that there is nothing in it inconsistent, in any way, with
loyalty to the English government, as the only authority sought to be
exercised is spiritual and voluntary. The letter of the Premier is very
closely analyzed, and sharp reference is made to the complaints made by
the Chapter of Westminster, of his assuming the Archiepiscopal title. He
proposes a "fair division" of the two different parts embraced in
Westminster proper. One comprises the stately Abbey, with its adjacent
palaces and royal parks: this he does not covet: to it "the duties of
the Dean and Chapter are mainly confined, and they shall range there
undisturbed." He looks for his field of labor to another quarter. "Close
under the Abbey of Westminster," he says, "there lie concealed
labyrinths of lanes and courts, and alleys and slums, nests of
ignorance, vice, depravity, and crime, as well as of squalor,
wretchedness, and disease; whose atmosphere is typhus, whose ventilation
is cholera; in which swarms a huge and almost countless population, in
great measure, nominally at least, Catholic; haunts of filth, which no
sewerage committee can reach--dark corners, which no lighting board can
brighten. This is the part of Westminster which alone I covet, and which
I shall be glad to claim and visit, as a blessed pasture in which sheep
of holy Church are to be tended, in which a bishop's godly work has to
be done, of consoling, converting, and preserving;" and if the wealth of
the Abbey is to remain stagnant and not diffusive, he trusts there will
be no jealousy of one who, by whatever name, is willing to make the
latter his care without interfering with the former. The letter is
written with great ability, and is well calculated to make a deep
impression. The dignitaries of the English church have also written
various letters upon the subject, all in the same tone, modified only by
the individual temper of the several writers. Large and influential
public meetings have been held at Liverpool, Bristol, and other cities.

The friends of Law Reform in England took advantage of the recent visit
of D.D. FIELD, Esq., of New York, one of the Commissioners for revising
the Code of that State, to revive the general interest felt in the same
subject in England. Mr. FIELD addressed the Law Amendment Society upon
the subject, at its request: his statements were heard with marked
attention, and excited a good deal of interest.

The Chamber of Commerce at Manchester has taken up the promotion of the
growth of cotton in India with much earnestness. The British Government
could not be induced, last session of Parliament, to respond to the
wishes of the Chamber, and appoint a commissioner to proceed to India to
inquire into the obstacles which prevented an increased growth of cotton
in that country. The Chamber now entertains the idea of sending a
private commission to India. The gentleman to whom this important and
responsible service will be entrusted is Mr. Alexander Mackay, the
author of "The Western World," who is well known in the United States,
and whose eminent fitness for so responsible a mission is universally
conceded.

The preparations for the great Exhibition of 1851 are advancing very
rapidly. The building is rapidly going up, some twelve hundred workmen
being constantly engaged upon it, and it every day exhibits some new
features. As the commissioners anticipated, the demand for space from
the various English local committees far exceeds all possible
accommodation that can be provided in the building for the English
exhibitors. The commissioners have not yet been able to digest the
returns, so as to decide upon the necessary reduction of space to be
made in each case, or to determine upon any principle by which that
reduction is to be regulated. All parties will be accommodated so far as
possible. Messrs. Clowes and Spicer, the celebrated printers, have
obtained the contract for printing the Catalogue of the Exhibition. They
give a premium of three thousand pounds for the privilege, and are to
pay twopence for every catalogue sold, for the benefit of the
Exhibition. The catalogue will be sold for one shilling. Another
catalogue will be printed in several languages, and sold at an increased
price.

A terrible storm swept the coast of Ireland during the month of
November. Great damage was done to shipping, and an emigrant ship, named
the Edmond, from Limerick to New York, was lost, with about a hundred of
her passengers.


GERMANY.

The chief centre of political interest at the present moment is
GERMANY;--and as the points out of which the controversy between Prussia
and Austria has grown, are somewhat complicated, a general view of the
political character and relations of the German States may be of
interest. After the fall of Napoleon, the States formerly composing the
German empire, entered into a confederation. The parties were Austria
and Prussia for their German territories, Denmark for Holstein, the
Netherlands for Luxembourg, and 33 independent States and Free Cities,
comprising a territory of 244,375 square miles, and containing at
present 42,000,000 inhabitants. The principal points agreed to in this
Confederation were as follows: That all the members possess equal
rights; they bind themselves for the security of each and all from all
foreign attacks; they guarantee to each the possession of its German
territories; any member to be at liberty to enter into any league or
treaty, not endangering the security of the Confederation, or any of its
members, except in case of war declared by the Confederation, when no
member can enter into any separate negotiation or treaty; the members
not to make war upon each other, but to submit all differences to the
decision of the Diet, whose final action shall be conclusive. The
affairs of the Confederation to be managed by a Diet, meeting at
Frankfort on the Maine, at which Austria presides, and in which the
larger States have respectively two, three, and four votes, and the
smaller one each, the whole number of votes being 70; in ordinary
matters the Diet to be represented by a committee of 17
plenipotentiaries, each of the larger States having one, and several of
the smaller being united in the choice of one. The army of the
Confederation was fixed, in 1830, at 303,484 men, to be furnished by the
States in a fixed proportion. The inconveniences of this cumbrous
organization are apparent. One member might be at war with any power,
while the others were at peace: thus the Confederation took no part in
the Italian and Hungarian warfare against Austria, for it guaranteed to
her only the possession of her German possessions, and in
Schleswig-Holstein, Bavarian troops were in the service of Denmark, and
Prussian soldiers in that of the Duchies. Then, each State being
absolutely independent, could and did establish custom-houses, and levy
tolls and duties upon its own frontier, to the great disadvantage of
commerce. This at last became so intolerable, that a general
Customs-union (Zollverein) was formed, under the auspices of Prussia, by
which duties are levied only upon the common frontier, and the proceeds
distributed among the States, in the ratio of their population. The
Customs-union embraces more than four-fifths of Germany, with the
exception of Austria. A strong desire has always prevailed throughout
Germany for the construction of a united government, which should take
the place of the petty principalities into which the country is divided.
Thus alone can the German people, having a common origin, speaking a
common language, and possessing common interests, assume that rank in
the political world to which their numbers, position, and civilization
entitle them. But this desire on the part of the people, has of course,
been strenuously opposed by the princes, although circumstances have at
times induced the Prussian government to favor the movement, in the
expectation of becoming the leading power in the new State, or rather of
Prussianizing all Germany. This question is the true origin of the
difficulties in Schleswig-Holstein, and the present threatening aspect
of affairs, growing out of the disputes in Hesse-Cassel. The Duchy of
Holstein is the northernmost State of Germany, lying upon the Baltic, on
which it possesses one or two good seaports. The sovereign is the King
of Denmark--not, however, as such, but as Duke of Holstein. The present
King of Denmark is without male heirs, and upon his demise the crown
will pass to the female line. But it is contended that the principle of
the Salic law, excluding females from the right of succession applies to
Holstein, in which case the heir of the Duchy is the Grand-duke of
Oldenburg, a German prince. In order to avoid the separation of Holstein
from Denmark, the king issued a patent conforming the succession in
Holstein to that of Denmark. The inhabitants of the Duchy, whose
sympathies are with Germany rather than Denmark, resisted; appointed a
provisional Government, and appealed for protection to Germany. At that
time it seemed that one of the many endeavors to establish a strict
German Confederation had succeeded; and it became an object to attach
Holstein to this Confederation, in order to gain the command of the
Baltic. Prussia supported the Duchy; Austria and Bavaria opposed it, as
favoring the designs of Prussia. The other states of Europe were opposed
to the separation of Holstein from Denmark, upon the general
conservative principle of maintaining things upon their old footing, as
well as from an unwillingness to allow the commerce of the Baltic to
fall wholly under the control of the Zollverein. Meanwhile "the year of
revolutions," 1848, had passed, and, by common consent of all parties,
the old Frankfort Diet was held to be virtually abolished, and delegates
were called together to endeavor to construct a new Constitution. The
Hungarian revolt was shaking Austria to its centre, and Prussia, true to
her ancient instinct of aggrandizement, which has raised her from a
petty principality to the rank of one of the Great Powers, took
advantage of the compulsory concessions of Austria to her non-German
subjects, to arouse the jealousy of the German states, and almost
succeeded in forming a confederation, with herself at the head. But
Russia having thrown her sword into the scale, and decided the balance
against Hungary, Austria had leisure to attend to her German affairs.
She soon succeeded in detaching state after state from the Prussian
alliance, and began to insist upon the recognition of the old Frankfort
Diet, which, was supposed to be dead and buried under the ruins of the
two last eventful years. At this juncture, occurred the difficulties in
the Electorate of Hesse-Cassel. The Elector, resisted in his attempt to
levy taxes contrary to the constitution he had himself sanctioned, fled,
and demanded the protection of the Diet, which was granted, for that
body was composed of the representatives of the sovereigns, and knew
nothing of constitutions. The Diet ordered the Austrian and Bavarian
contingents of the Federal troops to march into the Electorate and
reinstate the Elector. But Prussia, being nearer to the scene of action
threw her own troops into the Electorate; not, however, avowing an
intention of supporting the inhabitants in their opposition, but under
the mere pretense of making use of the right of way from one portion of
her territory to the other, between which Hesse-Cassel intervenes.
Austria, in the name of the Diet, demanded that these Prussian troops
should be withdrawn from the Electorate, upon which Prussia at once
placed her whole army upon the war-footing. Thus, at the latest advices,
the bodies of troops ready for hostilities, occupy the Electorate, and
it is a matter of absolute uncertainty whether peace or war will ensue.
In the mean while a conference had been held at Warsaw, between Austria,
Prussia, and Russia, in which an attempt was made to settle the affairs
of Germany. The decision made by this conference was so decidedly
adverse to Prussia, that Count Brandenburg, the Prussian minister, was
so chagrined at the disgrace of his country, that he fell into a
delirious fever, from which he died. Austria alone is at the present
time altogether unequal to a war with Prussia; but it is supposed that
Russia will support Austria in the event of a war. Her reasons for so
doing are obvious: if Prussia succeeds in forming a strong German
Confederation, a power will be constituted capable of interposing an
effectual barrier to her designs; whereas Austria is so far subservient
to Russia, that her supremacy in Germany is almost equivalent to Russian
control over the west of Europe.

The attitude of Austria and Prussia during the past month has been
exceedingly belligerent and fears have been very generally entertained
that war would be the result of the existing contentions. It seems,
however, to be conceded that Austria is desirous of peace and that the
King of Prussia really shares these pacific inclinations; but fears are
entertained that the spirit of the people may have been so thoroughly
aroused as to render nugatory any negotiations for peace which their
rulers may conclude. Austria demands the right of passage through
Brunswick of her army, ordered to interfere in the affairs of the
Duchies; this Prussia has positively refused except with guarantees
which will not be granted.

The Prussian Chamber met at Berlin on the 21st of November. The speech
from the throne was pronounced by the king in person. He alluded to the
commencement and vigorous prosecution of a railway system, to the
extension of postal accommodations, and to the flourishing condition of
commerce and navigation. In reference to his relations with Germany, the
king declared his firm purpose to maintain the position he had taken,
and said that he should soon stand more strongly armed, in its support,
than he had been in ancient or modern times. The tone of the speech was
considered warlike, and it had a corresponding effect upon the money
market. But the public mind recovered from this feeling in the course of
a day or two.

The public feeling throughout Prussia is described by correspondents as
being highly excited. All classes are said to be desirous of war, and it
is even feared that, if the king should consent to peace, he will not be
sustained by his people, but will be driven to abdication and exile.

It is understood, meantime, that the Russian, English, and French
Cabinets are using all their legitimate influence to prevent an appeal
to arms. Some of the minor powers that sought the protection of Prussia
in the Union are by no means satisfied with the turn affairs have taken.
Baden has separated itself entirely from the connection, and declares
"that, since Prussia has abandoned the Union, a mere alliance for
protection and mutual representation in the Free Conference does not
answer its expectations. It returns to the full possession of its
independence." The Prussian troops are also entirely recalled from the
principality. The Prussian armament is pressed forward vigorously. The
fortresses are being placed in a state of defense; the works begun at
Erfurth last summer are continued, and the inhabitants have begun to lay
in stocks of provisions as if a siege were to be immediately expected.
The town contains a strong garrison; the citadel is stored with
provisions for two months, besides a number of live cattle.


FRANCE.

The opening of the Assembly and the Message of the President, have been
the principal events of political interest in France during the past
month.

The Message was an able and elaborate presentation of the affairs of
France; the President pledges himself in it, to abide by the
requirements of the Constitution, and says that the great necessity for
France is repose and order. The message was received with general favor
by the Assembly and people. Its frankness and its firmness restored
confidence and strengthened the government.

A decree has been issued for increasing the troops on the Rhine frontier
by calling into activity 40,000 men of the 78,500 still to be disposed
of out of the contingent of 1849. The Minister of War declares the
political movements in Germany to be the cause of this increase.

The _Moniteur du Soir_ having stated that General Cavaignac had declared
that, in the event of Louis Napoleon being re-elected as President of
the Republic, he (General Cavaignac), "would submit with respect to the
will of the nation, and place his affections and his sword at the
disposal of the country and its executive representative," General
Cavaignac has published a letter in the journals, in which he denies
having ever used language from which it could be inferred "that he had
said, either directly or indirectly, that he was ever disposed to place
his affections and his sword at the service of the person who, after
having sworn the observation of the Constitution of the country, would
accept a candidature and an election which are forbidden by that
Constitution."

A letter written by the Duke de Nemours to M. Guizot has excited a good
deal of remark, though it has not been made public. It is said to be a
most luminous _exposé_ of the present state of affairs in France, and
that it is calculated to do away in some measure with the favorable
effect produced by the Message. M. Guizot has read it to several of his
friends.


TURKEY.

We have intelligence of serious collisions between the Turks and
Christians in both Asiatic and European Turkey. In the former, the
religious zeal of the Turks prompts them to fanatical excesses against
the Christian population; in the latter, an obstinate struggle for
political supremacy has already commenced between the respective
followers of Christ and Mohammed. The sultan seems fated soon to be no
more than the protector of European Turkey, for Bulgaria has been
already made a principality as little dependent on the Porte as Servia
and Bosnia; the Herzegovina and Albania are evidently aiming at the same
privilege. Indeed the present position of Turkey appears any thing but
satisfactory.

The persecution of the Christians in Asiatic Turkey is terrible. On the
18th of October an attack was to have been made on the Christians at
Liwno, and one actually did take place on the 16th at Aleppo. A body of
Turks and Arabs fell upon the Christians during the night, and a fearful
massacre took place. The Greek bishop was among those murdered. The
pacha locked himself up in the fortress, and the troops did not attempt
to interfere. At Monasta, a fanatical dervish, who professed to be
inspired, killed a Christian boy of fourteen years of age, and a certain
Guiseppe Thomaso, an Italian emigrant, in the open street.

Accounts from Beyrout of the 4th of November state that for some years
past the Turkish government has been desirous of subjecting the Syrian
population to the recruitment system, but so great was the
dissatisfaction the idea caused among the people that it refrained from
doing so. At last, in September, it determined to execute the design,
and it began operations. The people murmured; and bands of armed men,
commanded by the Emirs Mohamet and Hassan, of the family of Harfourch,
commonly known as the Emirs of Baalbeck, advanced toward Damascus, but
were dispersed by the Turkish troops. It was believed that, after this,
the recruiting would take place quietly, but the two Emirs reappeared at
the beginning of October in the environs of Damascus at the head of
between 3000 and 4000 men. A corps of the regular army, consisting of
two battalions of regular infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, four guns,
and 400 irregulars, under Mustapha Pacha, marched to meet them, and
succeeded on the 16th of October in surrounding them in the defiles near
Maloulah, six hours' distance from Damascus. The insurgents were obliged
to give battle, and were completely defeated, with a loss of 1000 men;
the two Emirs were captured. The loss of the troops was only thirty men.
The village of Maloulah is inhabited principally by Christians, and the
Turkish soldiers, exasperated at the resistance they made, pillaged some
houses, carried off women, killed a Catholic monk, wounded another, and
so seriously wounded a schismatic Greek bishop that he died afterward.
They also completely sacked two convents, pretending that they contained
gunpowder, and that insurgents had taken refuge in them. M. de
Valbezene, the French consul at Damascus, exerted himself on behalf of
the Christians, and, through his intervention, the seraskier of the army
of Arabia promised assistance to the villages, and ordered the troops
forthwith to give up all the articles taken from the churches and
convents. The day after the battle, the Emirs were made to walk through
the streets of Damascus in their shirts, with irons on their feet, and
street-brooms on their shoulders. They were to have been subjected to
the same punishment during five days, but suddenly they were sent off to
Beyrout, from whence they were forwarded to Constantinople. This measure
was taken in consequence of the breaking out of the revolt at Aleppo.



LITERATURE, SCIENCE, ART, PERSONAL MOVEMENTS, ETC.


UNITED STATES.

The past month has been more fruitful of events of interest in the world
of Art than its predecessor. This was to be expected; for the opening of
what is called "The season," and the approach of the Christmas holidays
rarely pass without the production of novelties in most of the various
walks of Art. Booksellers, Print-publishers, Jewelers, and Managers of
places of Public Amusement, all, in fact, who minister to taste and
luxury, reserve for December their finest and most elaborate
productions; and an examination of their advertisements, even, will
afford the means of judging the point of refinement attained by the
public mind, whose demands they at once create and supply.

A decided improvement, year by year, is to be noticed in the style of
books and other articles intended for Christmas and New-year gifts. The
Annuals which, some five or six years ago, began to droop, are now dead,
utterly extinct. Their exaggerated romantic Prose, their diluted Della
Cruscan Poetry, their great-eyed, smooth-cheeked, straight-nosed,
little-mouthed, small-waisted beauties, have passed from their former
world into the happy and congenial state of the Ladies' Magazines, where
they will again have their day, and again disappear before advancing
taste and superior education. The place of the Annuals is occupied, we
will not say supplied, by editions of the great poets and writers of
prose fiction, illustrated in the highest style of the steel and wood
engraver. Some of the first artists of the day are now employed by
publishers to furnish designs for such publications, and the eagerness
with which they are bought, and the discriminating admiration which
they, on the whole, receive, when regarded in connection with the
generous support given to Art Journals, Art Unions, and Public
Galleries, show in the public mind an increasing healthiness and
soundness of taste, as well as a greater interest in matters of Art.

Prominent among events of moment in this department, is the opening to
the public, at the Düsseldorf Gallery, of LESSING'S Great Picture, _The
Martyrdom of Huss_. The Düsseldorf Gallery had contained some of the
finest modern paintings in the country, and had done much to keep alive
the aroused interest of the public in the Arts of Design before the
arrival of this, the greatest work of the acknowledged head of the
Düsseldorf School; but now it is without doubt the centre of attraction
to all lovers of Art on this side the water, for the great picture,
whether regarded as to its intrinsic interest or its academic merits,
has no rival here, and some enlightened enthusiasts say, none among
modern paintings in the world. The picture appeals at once to popular
sympathy, by the interest of its subject, the simplicity of its
treatment, and by the striking reality and strong individual character
of its figures. We gave, in the December number of this Magazine, a
notice of this great picture, from a German paper, which renders any
further description of it here unnecessary.

A very interesting series of etchings from the pencil of Mr. J. W.
EHNINGER, a young New York artist, has just appeared. They illustrate
IRVING'S _Dolph Heyliger_, and are full of the humor of that charming
Dutch story. Mr. EHNINGER is a pupil of the Düsseldorf school, and has
but just left its severe training. His style shows the conscientious
faithfulness which is inculcated there, as one of the first requisites
of a true artist; he has very happy conceptions of character, and seems
to be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the Knickerbocker times. In
illustrating them he can not but achieve desirable reputation.

An informal meeting of a large number of the members and associates of
the Academy of Design took place early in the last month. Its object was
to devise measures to make the Academy a more efficient means of
advancing the Art. It was determined, among other things, that lectures
should be delivered upon Painting, and the various subjects connected
with it. We have heard the Rev. Dr. BETHUNE named as likely to be the
first lecturer. He could hardly fail to interest and instruct both the
Members of the Academy, and the public generally, upon the subjects
naturally falling within the scope of the first of such a series of
lectures. It is gratifying to see that the members of the Academy are at
last beginning to awake to the consciousness of its inefficiency, and we
trust that some benefit may accrue to Art from their action.

LEUTZE'S great picture of _Washington Crossing the Delaware_, a grand
subject on which he had been engaged nearly three years, has been
destroyed by fire, or rather in consequence of fire, as we learn by a
letter from the artist himself, dated Düsseldorf, Nov. 10th. It is
gratifying, for the artist's sake, to know that the picture was fully
insured; but Insurance Companies, although very good protectors against
pecuniary loss, can not reproduce works of genius or make up for their
loss.

Mr. HAWTHORNE, whose _Scarlet Letter_ showed such rare ability in the
portrayal of the hidden workings of the heart, has a new work nearly
finished, called _The House of Seven Gables_; it will be eagerly sought
for, and we trust may prove as admirable a performance as the
first-named book.

The purchase of the _Greek Slave_ for distribution has brought the
Western Art Union three thousand subscribers this year. It is an
increase of nearly one hundred per cent upon the subscriptions of last
year, but is hardly enough to warrant the addition of many other prizes
to the great one.

JENNY LIND continues her triumphant progress through the country,
delighting the world and doing good. Each place which she visits gets up
an excitement, which if it be not equal to that at New York, is at least
the result of a conscientious endeavor to accomplish the most which can
be achieved with the means at command. Her four concerts in Baltimore
are said to have produced forty thousand dollars, which is even more in
proportion to the wealth and size of the place than the average receipts
at her concerts in New York.

It is stated that the existence of a third ring around the planet Saturn
was discovered on the night of Nov. 15th, by the astronomers at the
Cambridge Observatory. It is within the two others, and therefore its
distance from the body of Saturn must be small. It will be remembered
that the eighth satellite of this planet was also discovered at
Cambridge, by Mr. Bond, about two years since.

Mr. JUNIUS SMITH, who has been for some years very zealously engaged in
introducing the culture of the tea plant into the United States, gives
it as the result of his experiments that the heat of summer is far more
to be feared for the tea plant, than the cold of winter, and requires
more watchful care. In his field at Greenville, S. C., he has shaded
every young plant put out the first week in June, and so long as he
continued to do so, did not lose a single plant by the heat of the sun.
The young tea-plants from nuts planted on the 5th of June last, and
those from China set out about the same time, and most of them still
very small, do not appear to have sustained the slightest injury, but
are as fresh and green without any covering or protection, as they were
in September. He thinks it not at all unlikely that the cultivation of
the plant will become general in New England before it does in the
Southern States.

Mr. DARLEY, whose outlines of _Rip Van Winkle_, and _Sleepy Hollow_,
published by the Art Union, won him so much reputation in Europe as well
as here, is about to publish a series of outline illustrations of
_Margaret_, an American novel, said to be of great interest. We had some
time since the pleasure of seeing the drawings for these illustrations,
and will venture to say that in truthfulness of expression and accuracy
of outline they are beyond any American works of their kind, and
surpassed by none we know of which have appeared in Europe, we will not
even except those of RETZSCH.

The Art-Union Bulletin is our authority for stating that Mr. Darley has
also engaged to furnish, to a print publisher in this city, twelve
designs of large size, representing prominent scenes in American
history. They are to be sketches in chiaroscuro, which will afterward be
engraved in mezzotint. The first of these designs represents _The
Massacre of Wyoming_. The point of time chosen by the artist, is the
first demonstration made by the savages against the settlement, on the
day preceding the general slaughter. A letter to the _Tribune_ states
that Mr. Healy, one of our best portrait painters, is hard at work on
the figures of the former two great rivals, Mr. Webster and Mr. Calhoun.
That of Mr. Calhoun is simply a full-length portrait, representing him
as taking his leave of the Senate; it is for the Charleston authorities.
The accessories of the painting are unimportant. That of Mr. Webster,
however, gives us a large section of the Senate chamber, galleries
included, and about one hundred and fifty figures or portraits, all
after life. It is yet in outline. Boston will possess this valuable work
of art, and almost living history of the celebrated speech on the
Constitution.


GREAT BRITAIN.

Mr. J. PAYNE COLLIER, the annotator upon Shakspeare, has received a
pension of £100 a year from the Royal Literary Pension Fund. Another
pension, of the same amount, has been granted to Mr. JAMES BAILEY, the
translator of Facciolati's Latin Lexicon, and one of the most
accomplished scholars of the day. So, entirely, however, had Mr. Bailey
abstracted himself from the great literary world, that when the
announcement was made of the pension conferred upon him "in
consideration of his literary merits," not one of the literary journals,
not even the _Athenæum_, was able to tell who the recipient was; but all
declared that they knew of no man of letters bearing that name. This
fund amounts to £1200, and the lion's share of it, the remaining £1000,
is appropriated in a singular manner. It has been bestowed upon the wife
of the new Lord Chancellor, Lord Truro, lately Mr. Solicitor Wilde. This
lady is the daughter of the late Duke of Sussex, one of the sons of
George III. The duke contracted a marriage with her mother, which was
illegal by the terms of the Royal Marriage Act, and which he afterward
repudiated by forming a similar connection with another woman, for whom
he succeeded in procuring the title of Duchess of Inverness, and an
allowance from the public treasury, to enable her to support her
dignity. On the death of the duke an attempt was made to procure the
recognition of his children by the former connection, as members of the
royal family, with a pension. This being unsuccessful, the sum of £500 a
year was first given to the daughter, who bore the name of D'Este, from
the literary fund; which sum was afterward increased by an additional
£500, from the same fund. The chief counsel in prosecuting these claims
was Mr. Wilde, who, immediately on his elevation to the bench, as Chief
Justice of the Common Pleas, marries this _soi-disant_ Princess D'Este.
Though the present chancellor is very wealthy, and receives a large
income from his office, his wife still continues to absorb five-sixths
of the sum at the disposal of the crown as a reward to "eminent literary
merit:" her merit, like that celebrated in Figaro, being that she
"condescended to be born;" from all of which it appears, that the merit
of being a spurious off-shoot of the royal family, is just ten times as
great as that of the most earnest and successful prosecution of literary
and scientific pursuits.

The English papers, and especially the Literary Journals, express
considerable apprehension that the English people are likely to be
outdone in the coming Exhibition. The _Athenæum_ complains of the
comparative indifference which pervades the English manufacturers, while
every mail from the Continent and from America, brings intelligence of
an increased activity in their workshops. The prize of victory, in this
case, it says, must rest with the strong. A new era in industry and
commerce opens with 1851: and for a producer to be out of the Catalogue
of the Exhibition will be equivalent to abandoning the field.

The gardens of the Zoological Society of London are constantly receiving
new accessions from the liberal efforts of the English colonial
Governors, and others in foreign parts. Fine presents of rare animals
have also been received from several of the royal families of Europe.

A scheme has been proposed to convert the now abandoned grave-yards of
London, into ornamental gardens, by throwing down useless walls,
planting elms, mulberries, fig-trees and other plants which flourish in
crowded thoroughfares, and laying out the surface with walks and
flower-beds. Not to interfere with the sanctities of the graves, or
permanently to remove any historic marks from their present localities,
it is also proposed to collect the grave-stones and form with them the
base of a pyramidal or other kind of monument to be erected in each
church-yard.

The rumor that government intends to impose a mileage tax upon the
electric telegraph has elicited very warm and emphatic remonstrances
from the English press. The fact is very prominently brought forward
that in England the telegraph is used much less than in the United
States, because its employment is very greatly restricted by high
charges, while in America it is thrown open to the great body of the
public and is accordingly used by them. The _Athenæum_, speaking of the
matter, says that, instead of adding to the expense of working the iron
messengers, every effort should be made to reduce it so as to bring its
benefits and consolations within the reach of smaller means. In this, as
in some other respects, America sets the old continent a good example.

A new public park is soon to be opened, on the south side of London. The
shooting grounds and premises so well known as the Red House, nearly
opposite to Chelsea Hospital, have been purchased by Government for, it
is said, £11,000. Of the new bridge to be erected across the Thames, in
connection with this park, the works are soon to be begun.

Mr. CHARLES LOCKE EASTLAKE, has been elected President of the Royal
Academy; he has also had the honor of knighthood conferred upon him.

Mr. MACREADY has been giving readings from Shakspeare the proceeds of
which he appropriates to the purchase of Shakspeare's house for the
country. He was one of the most liberal of the original subscribers to
this fund, and has by this renewed donation aided still more effectually
the accomplishment of the object.

Professor FARADAY, at a late meeting of the Royal Institution, announced
his discovery that oxygen is magnetic, that this property of the gas is
affected by heat, and that he believes the diurnal variation of the
magnetic needle to be due to the action of solar heat on this newly
discovered characteristic of oxygen--the important constituent of the
atmosphere. It is said that Bequerel also has recently directed
attention to a somewhat similar conclusion; he communicated to the
Academy of Sciences at Paris, that oxygen is magnetic in relation to the
other gases, as iron is to the rest of the metals, and inferred that it
is probable or possible that diurnal variation may be connected with
this property of oxygen.

HENRY FITZMAURICE HALLAM, M.A., the only surviving son of the eminent
English historian, died at Sienna, after a short illness, on the 26th of
October, and at the early age of twenty-seven years. He had visited Rome
with his father and others of the family, and they were on their return
homeward, when this affliction fell upon them. It will be remembered,
that a few years ago his elder brother, full of college honors and of
the highest promise, died under equally afflictive circumstances.

A pamphlet by Sir Francis Bond Head, on the defenseless state of Great
Britain, has excited a good deal of attention, and elicited some pretty
sharp criticism from the London journals. Still, it is very generally
conceded that there is a great deal of truth in his representations.

A correspondent of the London _Athenæum_, writing from Naples, gives an
account of a visit paid to the studio of the American sculptor, POWERS.
The figure of "America," upon which he is now engaged, is that of a
robust young female, with a noble and dignified expression of
countenance, and the head surrounded by a diadem of thirteen stars. The
left arm and hand are elevated, as if exhorting the people to trust in
heaven; while the right rests on the fasces, which are crowned with bay
leaves, enforcing the precept that Union is Strength and will be crowned
with Victory. The statue, which is half covered with drapery, will be 14
feet high; and for power, beauty, and dignity combined, the writer says,
it is one of the finest that he has ever seen in Italy. Powers is about
to commence working it out in marble, and calculates that in fifteen
months it will be ready for sending off. By the side of it stands a
half-developed statue of "California."


FRANCE.

A new method of voting, which offers incontestable advantages on the
score of accuracy and rapidity, has received an appropriation from the
French Chambers. Each member is provided with a box containing ten
ballots; five white (_ayes_), and five blue (_nays_). These consist of
oblong squares of steel, having the name of the representative engraved
upon each side. The urns are so arranged that the white and blue ballots
fall into different compartments, not at random, but arrange themselves
against a graduated copper rod, which shows at a glance the number of
ballots for or against. These rods are taken from the urns, and placed
upon a piece of mechanism upon the tribune, so arranged that one side
shows all the ayes, the other all the nays, and the secretaries have
only to add up the sums of the rods. Then, by touching a lever, the
sides are reversed, so that the secretaries who have added the ayes have
the nays presented to them; thus mutually checking each other. The
result is thus ascertained in a few minutes, with scarcely a possibility
of error. Lists are prepared beforehand bearing numbers corresponding to
those engraved on a corner of the ballots, by which means the copy for
the _Moniteur_ is speedily furnished, with the utmost accuracy. This
which used to take a considerable time, and swarmed with errors, can now
be done in ten minutes. This ingenious and beautiful apparatus costs
27,000 francs.

A new aeronautic machine has been exhibited at Paris, which it is
claimed solves the long sought problem, at least on a small scale, of
directing the course of a balloon through the air. The leading ideas of
the machine are drawn from the structure of birds and fishes, the
animals that possess the power of traversing a liquid element. The model
with which the successful experiments were performed, consists of a
balloon of gold-beaters' skin, inflated with hydrogen, some three or
four yards long, nearly round in front, and terminating in a horizontal
rudder like the tail of a bird; a little before and above which is
another rudder placed vertically, like the tail of a fish. The former is
to change the course of the vessel up and down, the latter to turn it to
the right or left. Toward the head of the balloon, in a position
corresponding to that of the fins of a fish, are placed light wings,
capable of a rapid motion, which constitute the motive power. In the
model these are set in motion by machinery; but in the working machine
human power is proposed. A framework of hollow iron is placed
horizontally around the balloon to which it is attached by cords; this
furnishes the fixed point to which are attached the cords which move the
rudders; and from it is suspended the car in which the passengers are to
be placed. The inventor promises to construct a machine capable of
carrying up fifty persons. He acknowledges that the apparatus will be
bulky, but consoles himself by the reflection that there is no present
danger of the air being crowded. The whole weight of the machine and its
burden is to be so proportioned to the amount of hydrogen in the
balloon, that it will remain in equilibrium; an anchor is then to be
thrown overboard, when the machine will of course rise; when a
sufficient height is gained the anchor is to be weighed, and the
equilibrium being again restored, the machine will be stationary; and it
may then be propelled and guided by the wings and the rudders. Such, at
least, is the belief of one of the editors of _La Siècle_, who was
present at the trial of the model, and who indulges in the most glowing
anticipations of the future success of the invention.

Rossini is said to be secretly superintending, at Boulogne, the
production of a musical work to which he attaches great importance. He
passes every evening and a part of each day with the famous tenor
Donzelli, in revising this work, which has not yet been made known to
the public, and which, it is said, will soon be performed at Boulogne.

Armand Marrast is engaged in writing some very curious memoirs
respecting the events of the years 1848 and 1849. It is said that they
will contain verbatim extracts from a report made to him and to General
Cavaignac, by M. Carlier, on occasion of the election of Louis Napoleon
to the Constituant Assembly. M. Carlier goes into many details of the
habits and customs of Louis Napoleon, and of other members of his
family.

It is stated in the French journals that in consequence of the confusion
existing between the maritime calculations of different powers, and the
unfortunate occurrences to which it sometimes leads, the naval powers of
the north--Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland--have entered into an
agreement to open conferences on the old question of a common meridian
for all nations. France, Spain, and Portugal, it is said, have given in
their adhesion to the scheme; and a hope is held out that England will
come into the arrangement. The most advanced opinion on the Continent
seems to be in favor of the selection of an entirely neutral point of
intersection--say Cape Horn--which it is said would have the immense
advantage of being agreeable to the Americans.

M. Polain, keeper of the Archives at Liege, has recently discovered that
the famous French historian, Froissart, whose Chronicles are universally
known, copied the first fifty chapters of his work from Jehan le Bel, an
author of his own time, whose manuscripts have been recently discovered
in the Belgian libraries. This is a discovery of considerable interest
to antiquarians. An edition of one hundred and twenty-five copies of
Jehan le Bel's book has been printed for the use of a select number of
historical _savans_.

A whimsical discovery is announced by M. Jules Allix, in the
_feuilleton_ of the Paris _Presse_. It seems too absurd to merit
repetition, but it is reproduced in some of the London literary papers,
and is there treated as if there might be something real in it. It is
stated that a method has been discovered of communicating instantly
between any two places on the earth, without regard to distance or
continuous lines, and through the agency of magnetized _snails_! The
inventors of this novel telegraph are said to be M. Benoit, of France,
and M. Biat, of America; and they are further said to have been engaged
for several successive years in experimenting upon the subject. They
claim to have ascertained that certain descriptions of snails possess
peculiar properties or sympathies, which cause them to feel the same
sensation, no matter at what distance they may be, when acted on in a
particular way by galvanic and magnetic influences. A snail placed in a
box, suitably provided with the requisite apparatus, in France, thus
responds to the motions of a snail, placed in a similar box, in America;
and by providing a snail for each letter, a conversation may thus be
carried on. The correspondent of the London Literary Gazette, says that
he saw experiments on the subject in Paris, which were attended with
complete success. The whole thing is probably an ingenious hoax. A
skeptical correspondent of the Literary Gazette proposes an easy method
of testing the new telegraph. He says, "If the _Presse_ newspaper will
every day for a few weeks give a short abstract of contemporary American
news, or indeed mention any points of prominent interest which occur on
the other side of the Atlantic; thus anticipating by some weeks the
ordinary mails; and if, when these arrive, the news given by the snail
telegraph is confirmed, doubts will vanish, and snails will be at a
premium."

Louis Napoleon, in his Message announced that the French government has
proposed to the different Cabinets international relations for putting
an end to the long tolerated abuse of literary and artistic piracy--that
these propositions have been favorably received, in principle, by most
of the Cabinets--and that between France and Sardinia a treaty has
already been signed for the mutual protection of both these species of
property. The announcement has been hailed with great satisfaction by
the literary public.

A correspondent of the Literary Gazette says, that the distinguished
French poet, BERANGER, occupies himself a good deal in writing
biographies, anecdotes, criticisms, &c., of the public men with whom, in
the course of his long career, he came in contact. It is now two years
since he announced his intention of giving such a work to the public,
and he seems to think that it will possess great historical value.

A clever hoax was played off by _La Presse_ against the President. The
day previous to the one when the President's Message was to have
appeared, that journal published a document entitled, "Message of the
President of the Republic to the General Assembly," bearing the
signature L. N. Bonaparte. Under the various heads which such a document
would naturally contain, the most radical and sweeping propositions were
laid down; propositions which nobody suspected the President of
entertaining in the Elysée, whatever his opinions might have been when
meditating in the Castle of Ham. Official communications were at once
dispatched to the evening papers, declaring the publication a forgery;
and stating that the _Procureur_ of the Republic had caused the paper in
question to be seized at the post and in the office of publication. The
next day _La Presse_ opened with an article stating that the paper of
the day before had been seized for publishing such and such an article,
copying its message of the previous day, and declaring it to be genuine,
for that every word of it was the acknowledged publication of the
President. The fact was that it was made up of extracts from various
publications which Bonaparte had put forth at different epochs; and
could hardly be branded as a forgery. Thus far the paper seemed to have
the advantage. But the court soon turned the scale by sentencing the
_gérant_ of the paper, M. Nefftzer, to an imprisonment of a year, and a
fine of 2000 francs.


GERMANY, ETC.

A correspondent of the London Literary Gazette gives an account of an
interesting quarrel between the directors of the Theatre Royal at
Brussels and the Press. Disliking some of the criticisms of the latter,
the directors posted placards announcing that they had withdrawn from
sundry papers a specified number of free admissions worth a specified
sum per annum. The proprietors of the paper had sued them for libels,
and the case was before the courts.

Few of living literary men have enjoyed a wider reputation in the same
department than the celebrated German critic HEINRICH HEINE. The
literary world will, therefore, learn with regret that he is dying. An
article in a late number of the London _Leader_ says, that "paralysis
has killed every part of him but the head and heart; and yet this
diseased body--like that of the noble Augustia Thierry--still owns a
lordly intellect. In the brief intervals of suffering Heine prepares the
second volume of his 'Buch der Lieder;' and dictates the memoirs of his
life--which he will make a picture gallery, where the portraits of all
the remarkable persons he has seen and known will be hung up for our
inspection. Those who know Heine's wicked wit and playful sarcasm will
feel, perhaps, somewhat uncomfortable at the idea of sitting for their
portraits; but the public will be eager 'for the fun.' There is little
of stirring interest in the events of his life; but he has known so many
remarkable people, and his powers of vivid painting are of an excellence
so rare in German authors, that the announcement of his memoirs will
create a great sensation."

The King of Bavaria has formed the gigantic design of causing to be
executed a series of pictures on subjects derived from the annals of all
times and all nations; the whole being destined to form a sort of
pictorial universal chronology. But the expense and vastness of such a
project warrant the fear that it will never be realized.

The Emperor of Russia has resolved to have copies, in default of the
originals, of all the great paintings of the old masters of all schools;
and he is at present causing to be copied in Venice two great works of
Titian. It is to be done by M. Schiavone who is quite celebrated for the
skill with which he copies. The Ex-Emperor of Austria, it is said,
surprised to find, in one of his visits to Venice, that no monument had
been erected to the memory of Titian, ordered, at his own expense, the
construction of one worthy of the immortal painter. He left to the
Academy of Venice the choice of the form of the monument, and of the
site on which it should be erected. The Academy, after a discussion _pro
forma_, confided the monument to one of its members, M. Zandomeni,
professor of sculpture. The monument is to be placed in the church of
St. Mary of Frari, near that of Canova. It will be inaugurated in about
a year's time with great pomp. Shortly after the monument was commenced,
Zandomeni died, but his son has carried out his design.



LITERARY NOTICES.


_The Reveries of a Bachelor_, by IK. MARVEL (published by Baker and
Scribner), some portions of which have already been presented to the
public in the October number of our Magazine, and in the _Southern
Literary Messenger_, where they originally appeared, is one of the most
remarkable and delightful books of the present season. Under the
artistic disguise of the reveries of a solitary bachelor, yielding to
the sweet and pensive fancies that cluster around his contemplative
moments, inspired to strange, aerial, and solemn musings by the quiet
murmur of his old-fashioned wood-fire, or gathering a swarm of quaint
moralities from the fragrant embers of his cigar, the author stamps his
heart on these living pages, and informs them with the most beautiful
revelations that can be drawn from the depths of a rich experience and a
singularly delicate and vivid imagination. Perhaps the most striking
feature of this volume, is its truthfulness and freshness of feeling.
The author has ventured to appropriate the most sacred emotions as the
materials for his composition. Scenes, over which the vail is reverently
drawn in real life, and which are touched lightly by the great masters
of passion, are here depicted with the most faithful minuteness of
coloring, and fondly dwelt on, as if the artist could not leave the
tearful creations of his fancy. Nothing but an almost Shakspearian
fidelity to nature could give success to such an experiment. The
slightest tincture of affectation, or false sentiment, would ruin the
whole. We always distrust the man who would play upon our emotions, and
are glad to take refuge in the ludicrous, to save ourselves from the
pathetic. If a single weak spot can be detected in the magic chain which
he would throw around our feelings, if every link does not ring with the
sound of genuine metal, the charm is at once broken, and we laugh to
scorn the writer who would fain have opened the fountain of tears. It is
no mean proof of the skill of the "Bachelor," that his pathetic scenes
are always true to their aim. He has risked more than authors can
usually afford, by dealing with the most exquisite elements of feeling,
but he always forces you to acknowledge his empire, and yield your
sympathies to his bidding.

It must not be inferred from these comments that our "Bachelor" is
always in the lachrymose vein. Far from it. We have alluded to his
mastery in the pathetic, because this is one of the most unerring tests
of the sanity and truth of genius. But his "Reveries" also abound in
touches of light and graceful humor; they show a quick perception and
keen enjoyment of the comic; his sketches of character are pointed with
a fine and delicate raillery; and his descriptions of natural beauty
breathe the gushing cordiality of one who is equally at home in field
and forest. With a rare facility of expression, obtained by dallying
with every form of phrase that can be constructed out of the English
vocabulary, and a beautiful freedom of spirit that makes him not ashamed
to unfold the depths of his better nature, Mr. Ik. Marvel has opened a
new vein of gold in the literature of his country. We rejoice that its
early working gives such noble promise that its purity and refinement
will not be surpassed by its richness.

_Richard Edney and the Governor's Family_ (published by Phillips,
Sampson, and Co., Boston), is a new novel by the author of _Margaret_,
the original and erratic New England story, which established the
reputation of the writer as a shrewd delineator of manners, a watchful
observer of nature, a satirist of considerable pungency, and a profound
thinker on social and religious topics. _Richard Edney_ is of the same
stamp with that unique production. It has all its willful perversity,
but with less ability. It is not so fresh and lifesome, but has more
method, more natural sequence in the details of the story, and will
probably please a more numerous class of readers. We do not think this
author has come into the full possession of his powers. He is too
conscious to permit their spontaneous and facile use. While he thinks so
much of the motion of his wings, he can never soar into the empyrean. He
often talks as if the burden of a prophet were on his heart, but he is
too introspective for the fullness of inspiration. Even his strange and
grotesque ways are not redeemed by showing the fatal inevitableness of a
natural product. They do not appear to grow out of a tough, knotted,
impracticable intellect; in that case we should not hesitate to forgive
them; but they seem to be adopted with malice aforethought; and used
with the keenness of a native Yankee, as the most available capital for
the accomplishment of his purposes. With this writer, the story is
subordinate to another object. He makes it the vehicle for sundry
reflections and speculations, that are often ingenious, and always
interesting. In this point of view, his book has considerable value. It
is suggestive of more problems than it resolves. It points out many
tempting paths of inquiry, which it does not enter. No one can read it
without receiving a new impulse to his thoughts, and one usually in the
right direction. The author is evidently a man of heart as well as of
intellect, and inclines to a generous view of most subjects. His book
should be looked at rather in the light of an ethical treatise than of a
novel. The plot is less in his mind than the moral. But such hybrid
productions are apt to fail of their end. If we desire to study
philosophy, commend us to the regular documents. We do not wish for
truth, as she emerges dripping from the well, to be clothed in the
garments of fiction. Such incongruous unions can hardly fail to shock a
correct taste, even if the story is managed with tolerable skill. In
this instance, we can not highly praise the conduct of the narrative. It
is full of improbable combinations. Persons and scenes are brought into
juxtaposition, in a manner to violate every principle of
_vraisemblance_. The effect is so to blunt the interest of the story,
that we can hardly plod on to the winding-up.

Still we find talent enough in _Richard Edney_ to furnish materials for
a dozen better books. It has a number of individual sketches that are
admirably drawn. We might quote a variety of isolated passages that
impress us deeply with the vigor of the writer, and which, if wrought up
with as much plastic skill as is usually connected with such inventive
talents, would secure his rank among the _élite_ of American authors. He
has not yet done justice to his remarkable gifts, not even in the
inimitable _Margaret_--the poem _Philo_ we regard as a dead failure--and
if our frank, though friendly criticism, shall act as a provocative to
his better genius, he is welcome to the benefit of it.

_The Issue of Modern Philosophic Thought_ is the title of an Oration by
Rev. E. A. WASHBURN, delivered on the 6th of August, before the Literary
Societies of the University of Vermont, and published by Phillips,
Sampson, and Co., Boston. It is an earnest, eloquent, and discriminating
defense of the spiritual views of philosophy, set forth by Coleridge in
England and by the late President Marsh in this country, with a vigorous
protest against the abuses and errors which the author conceives have
sprung up in the train of a false and counterfeit idealism. The Oration
exhibits an intimate acquaintance with the development of philosophic
inquiry, since the reaction against the French Sensualism of the last
century, and the application of more profound and religious theories to
Literature, Society, and Art in recent times. With no effeminate
yearnings for the return of the "inexorable Past," and with a masculine
faith in the designs of Providence for the destiny of Humanity, Mr.
Washburn is alive to the dangers incident to a condition of progress,
and describes them with honest boldness and fidelity. Without pretending
to accord with all his ideas, we must yield the merit to his Discourse
of affluent thought, rich learning, and a style of remarkable grace and
elegance.

_The Memorial_, edited by MARY E. HEWITT, and published by G. P. Putnam,
is one of the most beautiful gift-books for the present season, and in
its peculiar character and design possesses an interest surpassed by
none. It is written by friends of the late Mrs. Osgood, and is an
appropriate and tasteful tribute to her memory. The profits are to be
devoted for the erection of a monument to her in Mount Auburn. Its
literary excellence may be inferred from the fact, that Nathaniel
Hawthorne, the author of "St. Leger," John Neal, W. G. Simms, N. P.
Willis, Bayard Taylor, R. H. Stoddard, Bishop Doane, Bishop Spencer,
George H. Boker, General Morris, George Lunt, A. B. Street, Mrs.
Sigourney, Mrs. Oakes Smith, Mrs. Whitman, and, indeed, most of the
celebrities of the time, in this country, are contributors. The volume
will be welcome, as a choice specimen of American literary talent, and a
graceful souvenir of the distinguished poetess in whose honor it has
been prepared.

_The Evening of Life_, by JEREMIAH CHAPLIN (published by Lewis Colby),
is a collection of devotional pieces, original and selected, intended to
impart "light and comfort amid the shadows of declining years." The
selections are made with excellent taste, being for the most part
extracted from the best authors in the religious literature of England
and America. Among them we observe the names of Fenelon, Thomas à
Kempis, Jeremy Taylor, Bunyan, Madame Guyon, Bishop Hall, Milton,
Southey, and Wordsworth; and of American writers, Bryant, Longfellow,
Whittier, Willis, and W. R. Williams.

_A New Memoir of Hannah More_, by Mrs. HELEN C. KNIGHT, has been
published by M. W. Dodd, giving a condensed and interesting view of the
history of the celebrated religious authoress. Her connection with the
development of practical religious literature, as well as her rare
qualities of character, will always give an attraction to every
authentic record of the incidents of her life. The present volume is
evidently written by one of her warm admirers. It relates the principal
facts in her brilliant career with remarkable vivacity. Indeed, a more
chastened style would have been better suited to the subject of the
memoir, whose own manner of writing, though florid and ambitious, in her
more elaborate efforts, always displayed an imagination under the
control of an active and discriminating judgment. As an instance of the
excessive liveliness of description in which Mrs. Knight not
unfrequently indulges, we may allude to her portrait of Hannah More's
father, the parish schoolmaster, "besides leading a flock of village
urchins to nibble in the green pastures of knowledge, his five little
girls follow the same friendly crook, and in their training he beholds
the buds and blossoms, as he hopes to realize the fruit of his
professional skill and parental fidelity."

Harper and Brothers have now ready two important standard works on
philology, _A Latin-English Lexicon_, founded on the larger
_Latin-German Lexicon_ of FREUND, edited by E. A. ANDREWS, LL.D., and _A
New Classical Dictionary_ of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology, and
Geography, by WILLIAM SMITH, edited by Professor CHARLES ANTHON. These
works have been subjected to a strict, laborious, and thorough revision
by the American editors; large and valuable additions have been made to
their contents; the very latest improvements in the science of philology
have been incorporated with the researches of their original authors;
and in point of exactness of investigation, clearness of method, and
precision and completeness of detail, may be warmly recommended to the
classical students of this country, as without a rival in their
respective departments.

The great work of Dr. FREUND is so well known to the best educated
scholars, as one of the most consummate specimens of German intellectual
enterprise and persistency, that it is hardly necessary to make more
than this passing allusion to its signal merits. Its indefatigable
author, pursuing the path marked out by Gesenius and Passow in Hebrew
and Greek lexicography, has opened a new era in the study of the Latin
Language, reduced it to a far more compact and orderly system, and
greatly facilitated the labors of those who wish to master the noble
treasures of its literature. His Lexicon, published at Leipsic in four
volumes, from 1834 to 1845, comprising nearly 4500 pages, has been made
the basis of the present work, the Editor, meantime, making use of the
best sources of information to be obtained in other quarters, including
the smaller School-Lexicon of Dr. Freund himself, and the dictionaries
of Gesner, Facciolati, Scheller, and Georges. He has aimed to condense
these abundant materials within the limits of a single volume, retaining
every thing of practical importance in the works from which they are
derived.

In pursuance of this method, Professor ANDREWS has given all the
definitions and philological remarks in Freund's larger Lexicon, with
his references in full to the original Latin authors, the grammarians,
editors, and commentators, retrenching from the citations whatever parts
seemed to be superfluous, and entirely omitting such as were redundant
or of comparatively trifling consequence. At the same time, he has
preserved the reference to the original Latin authorities, thus enabling
the student to examine the quotations at pleasure.

This Lexicon, like the Dictionary of Freund, on which it is founded,
accordingly, contains in its definitions, in its comparison of synonyms,
in its general philological apparatus, and in the number and variety of
its references to the original classic authors, an amount of information
not surpassed by any similar work extant, while in the luminous and
philosophical arrangement of its materials, it is without an equal among
the most complete productions in this department of study.

The learned Editor of this work, who has attained such a distinguished
reputation, as one of the soundest and most thorough Latin philologists
in the United States, has been assisted in its preparation by several
friends and associates of great literary eminence, among whom are
President WOOLSEY, of Yale College, Professor ROBBINS, of Middlebury
College, and Prof. WM. W. TURNER, of the Union Theological Seminary, New
York. The result of their united labors, as exhibited in the substantial
volume before us, is a worthy monument of their high cultivation, their
patience of intellectual toil, and their habits of profound, vigilant,
and accurate research, and will reflect great credit on the progress of
sound learning in this country.

_The Classical Dictionary_, by Dr. WM. SMITH, is one of the excellent
series of Dictionaries prepared under the direction of that eminent
scholar, aided by a number of learned philologists, for the purpose of
presenting the results of German historical and archæological research
in an English dress. This series has been received with the warmest
expressions of approbation by the scholars and teachers of Great
Britain. In preparing the present work, Dr. Smith has had peculiar
reference to the wants of the younger class of students. He has wished
to furnish them with a Dictionary, on the same plan with that of
Lempriere, containing in a single volume the most important names,
biographical, mythological, and geographical, occurring in the Greek and
Roman writers usually read in the course of a classical education.

His work is, accordingly, divided into three distinct parts, Biography,
Mythology, and Geography. The biographical portion is divided again into
the departments of History, Literature, and Art--including all the
important names which are mentioned in the classical writers, from the
earliest times to the extinction of the Western Empire--a brief account
of the works which are extant by the Greek and Roman writers, with
notices of their lives--and a sketch of the principal artists, whose
names are of importance in the history of Art. The mythological articles
have been prepared with great care, and are free from the indelicate
allusions which have rendered some former works of this kind unfit to
place in the hands of young persons. The geographical portion of this
work is entirely new, and exceedingly valuable. The Editor has drawn
upon the most authentic sources of information, comprising, besides the
original authorities, the best modern treatises on the subject, and the
copious works of travels in Greece, Italy, and the East, which have
appeared, within the last few years, both in England and Germany.

The present American edition, which has been superintended by Professor
ANTHON, appears nearly simultaneously with the English edition, having
been printed from sheets received in advance, and thoroughly revised for
circulation in this country. The experienced Editor has performed his
task with the ability which might be anticipated from his critical
learning and accuracy. He has made important additions from the most
recent authorities, with a view of adapting the work still more
completely to junior students. Many errors which had escaped the
vigilance of the original editor have been corrected; several valuable
tables have been added; and the whole work greatly improved both in
substance and form.

It is not intended, however, to supersede the _Classical Dictionary_ of
the American Editor, as the articles are brief, and without the
completeness of detail required by the more advanced class of students;
but for those who desire a smaller and less costly work, this volume
will no doubt take the place of the obsolete Lempriere, whose
Dictionary, on account of its cheapness, still disgraces some of our
seminaries of learning.

_American Education_, by EDWARD D. MANSFIELD (published by A. S. Barnes
and Co.), is an elaborate discussion of the theory of education, with
special reference to its bearing on the wants and character of the
American people. The author gives a forcible exposition of his views,
with a variety of practical illustrations, of remarkable interest.
Avoiding a too minute consideration of details, he endeavors to ascend
to the region of eternal principles, to elucidate the harmony between
the nature of man and the influences of the universe, and thus to shed a
clear light on the momentous problem of the destiny of the soul. The
tone of his volume is earnest, elevated, and often approaching a
thoughtful solemnity, showing the deep religious convictions with which
the subject is identified in the mind of the author. No one can peruse
his impressive statements without a deeper sense of the importance of
"the ideas connected with a republican and Christian education in this
period of rapid development."

A. Hart, Philadelphia, has republished _The Ministry of the Beautiful_,
by HENRY JAMES SLACK, of the Middle Temple, London, consisting of a
series of conversations on the principles of aesthetic culture. A vein
of refined and pure sentiment pervades the volume; the style is often of
exquisite beauty; but the discussion usually terminates in a dim, purple
haze, lulling the mind to repose in a soft, twilight enchantment,
without imparting any clear conceptions, or enlarging the boundaries of
either knowledge or taste.

D. Appleton and Co. have published a valuable educational work by GEO.
W. GREENE of Brown University, entitled _History and Geography of the
Middle Ages_, intended as the first of a series of historical studies
for the American Colleges and High Schools. It is founded on a work in
the French language, which describes, with clearness and brevity, the
condition of politics, literature, and society during the Middle Ages.
The high reputation of the author in every thing relating to Italian
literature, will secure attention to his work.

A. S. Barnes and Co. have issued a selection of Hymns and Tunes,
entitled _Christian Melodies_, by GEORGE B. CHEEVER, and G. E. SWEETSER.
It has been prepared with great care, and will no doubt be found a
highly valuable aid in the performance of choral service.

Crosby and Nichols, Boston, have reprinted from the English Edition, _A
Sketch of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton_, by Rev. THOMAS BINNEY, being a
popular lecture on the character of the great English philanthropist,
originally delivered in Exeter Hall, London, before the "Young Men's
Christian Association." It relates the most salient incidents in the
life of Fowell Buxton, with a running commentary remarkable for its
quaintness and vivacity. For young men in particular, to whom it is
expressly dedicated, it must prove an instructive and pleasing volume.

J. S. Redfield has published _The Manhattaner in New Orleans_, by A.
OAKLEY HALL, a collection of agreeably written papers, contributed, in
the first place, to a literary journal of this city, and containing a
variety of sketches of life in the Crescent City. Without any high
pretensions to force of thought or brilliancy of composition, this
little volume shows a lively power of observation, an active curiosity,
and an unaffected ease of description, which can not fail to win for it
golden opinions, among all classes of readers.

The same publisher has issued the second part of an ingenious treatise
on Physiognomy, entitled _The Twelve Qualities of Mind_, by J. W.
REDFIELD, M.D., setting forth a view of the subject which claims to be a
complete refutation of the principles of Materialism. The author writes
with earnestness and ability, and presents many fruitful suggestions,
though he does not succeed in elevating his favorite study to the
dignity of a science.

An interesting volume of travels has been published by William
Holdredge, entitled _A Winter in Madeira, and a Summer in Spain and
Florence._ The author is understood to be the Hon. JOHN A. DIX, although
his name is not appended to the volume. His description of Madeira will
be read with interest, as an authentic account of a state of society,
concerning which we have little information from modern travelers. His
remarks on Spain and Florence are of a less novel character, but are
every where distinguished for good sense, clearness of expression, and
correctness of taste.

A neat volume adapted to the holiday season, is _Gems by the Way Side_,
by Mrs. L. G. Abel (published by Wm. Holdredge), consisting of choice
selections from favorite authors, with several tasteful embellishments.

An excellent service has been done to the cause of good learning by
GEORGE P. PUTNAM, in the publication of a handsome volume, entitled _The
World's Progress, A Dictionary of Dates_, edited by himself. The
preparation of a work of this character demands such rare patience of
labor, such habits of accurate research, such soundness and delicacy of
judgment, and such devotion to the interests of knowledge, without the
hope of great fame or profit by the enterprise, that the pioneers of
literature who undertake it, are entitled at least to the cordial
gratitude of every student and lover of letters. In the present volume,
Mr. Putnam has collected a large amount of information, from distant and
various sources, and arranged it in a lucid order, adapted to aid the
investigations of the student, and to promote the facility of general
reference. It consists of a series of tabular views of ancient and
modern history, compiled from a previous manual by the Editor, and the
full and accurate tables of Talboys--an Alphabetical Dictionary of
Dates, founded on the well-known work of Joseph Haydn--a Chronological
List of Authors, from the Companion to the British Almanac, with
additions--a Table of the Heathen Deities--and a general Biographical
Index. The task of the Editor has been performed, with diligence and
fidelity, although, as he intimates in the preface, it can not be
presumed that such a volume can be free from imperfections. We might
direct his attention to several obvious errors for correction in a
future edition; but we presume they have already been discovered by his
vigilant eye.

_Montaigne: The Endless Study and Other Miscellanies_, is a translation
from the French of ALEXANDER VINET, with an Introduction and Notes, by
ROBERT TURNBULL (published by M. W. Dodd). The principal part of these
Essays are addressed to the numerous class of cultivated minds, that
with a profound sense of the beauty and grandeur of the Christian
religion, have failed to receive it as a divine revelation, or as the
authoritative guide of character and life. With regard to the author, we
are informed by Dr. Turnbull, that "he was distinguished as much for
simplicity as dignity of character, for profound humility as for exalted
worth. Apparently as unconscious of his greatness as a star is of its
light, he shed upon all around him a benignant radiance. In a word, he
walked with God. This controlled his character, this shaped his manners.
Steeped in holy love, he could not be otherwise than serene and gentle.
He published a volume of philosophical criticisms, in which he discusses
with uncommon depth and subtlety, but in language of exquisite clearness
and force, some of the highest problems in philosophy and morals, and
dissects the maxims and theories of such men as Montaigne, Voltaire,
Rochefoucauld, Jouffroy, Cousin, Quinet, and Lamartine. His fine genius
for philosophical speculation, in connection with his strong, common
sense, and his unwavering faith in the Gospel are here strikingly
developed." Among the subjects treated of in this volume, are the
Character of Montaigne, The Idea of the Infinite, the Moral System of
Jouffroy, The Claims of Heaven and Earth adjusted, and others of a
similar bearing. They are discussed in the light of philosophical
principles, and with a certain breadth of view, not always found in
theological essays. The translator has not confined himself with rigid
fidelity to the phraseology of the author, although for the sake of the
vivacity and interest which it imparts, he occasionally retains the
French idiom--a dangerous precedent to be adopted by unskillful hands.

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston, have published a collection of
_Orations and Speeches_, by CHARLES SUMNER, comprising his Anniversary
Discourses on The True Grandeur of Nations; The Scholar, The Jurist, The
Artist, The Philanthropist; Fame and Glory; The Law of Human Progress;
The War System of the Commonwealth of Nations; a Lecture on White
Slavery in the Barbary States; Three Tributes of Friendship to Joseph
Story, John Pickering, and Henry Wheaton; and several political
Speeches, delivered within the last few years, on various occasions, in
Massachusetts. They are adapted to sustain the high reputation of the
author for extensive classical learning, an uncommon power of graceful
and fertile illustration, and a glowing, and often gorgeous eloquence.

_The Broken Bud_ (published by R. Carter and Brothers), is the title of
a small volume of prose and poetry, intended as a tribute to the memory
of a beloved child, by a bereaved mother, and containing many passages
of touching pathos and genuine beauty.

_Bardouac, or, The Goatherd of Mount Taurus_, is a charming Persian
Tale, translated from the French, in a style of great neatness and
vivacity published by Crosby and Nichols, Boston.

G. P. Putnam has published _Fadette_, a new story by GEORGE SAND,
illustrative of domestic life in France, translated by MATILDA M. HAYS.
It is a tale of quiet, exquisite beauty, free from the morbid sentiment
which abounds in the fictitious works of the modern French school, and
rendered into graceful, idiomatic English by the accomplished
translator.

R. Carter and Brothers have brought out a new edition of _The Memoir of
Rev. Alexander Waugh_, the celebrated Scottish pastor in London, an
admirable piece of religious biography, describing the life of a
vigorous and noble-minded man.

J. S. Redfield has issued a little volume, with an uncommonly attractive
exterior, entitled _Chanticleer, a Thanksgiving Story_, consisting of
quiet descriptions of American country life and manners, set forth in
the framework of a superficial and not very skillfully managed
narrative. It contains some passages of considerable beauty, but as a
whole, it has hardly sufficient freshness and fervor to produce a wide
sensation.



A Leaf from Punch.


PREPARATORY SCHOOLS FOR YOUNG LADIES.

The Female Mind has hitherto been considered as a sort of fancy bazaar,
in which all kinds of light articles are to be stowed away without
regard to order or utility. If we could unlock the stores of female
knowledge, such, at least, as the modern boarding-school supplies--we
should find an extraordinary conglomeration of miscellaneous goods,
bads, and indifferents, which though somehow or other reduced under one
head, and that not always a strong one, are brought into a state of
"disorder" which is, by us, at least, any thing but "admired." If we
might be permitted the privilege of examining phrenologically the
interior of a young lady's head, we should find not only what--but how
completely--modern education has done for it. We will take any average
boarding-school Miss, and instead of turning her organs into
finger-organs, by merely passing our hands over the exterior bumps, we
take the liberty of breaking her head at once, and looking directly into
it.

We find _Constructiveness_ in a state of entanglement with the quantity
of crotchet and other fancy work in which it is completely bound up, for
want of some more useful matter for the employment of this valuable
quality; and on looking to the organ of _Imitation_, we see it exercised
on a parcel of the most ridiculous airs and affectations, to say nothing
of more dangerous qualities, set before it for the purpose of calling
into practice its powers of copying. As to _Number_, its whole capacity
seems to be concentrated on number one: and _Comparison_ is clogged up
with entire wardrobes, as if the only use of comparison to the female
mind was to be its application to the respective bonnets, dresses, and
articles of millinery worn by friends, enemies, or acquaintances.
_Causality_ shows us an instance of something like an appropriate
application of the organ; for it is intended to be one of inquiry, and
it is exercised certainly in a questionable manner, for it is constantly
directed, by the modern system of female education, to the asking, How
it is an "establishment" is to be gained? or, Why it is that one person
has succeeded in getting a husband before another? _Eventuality_ is
devoted to the cognizance of no more important events than Births,
Deaths, and Marriages; while _Form_, _Size_, and _Color_ are exercised
respectively on the noses, mustaches, and eyes of the other sex, the
organ of _Weight_ being brought to bear on the estimating of bankers'
balances. _Order_ goes wholesale to the dressmaker's; _Ideality_ knows
nothing of any ideal but a _beau_; and _Time_ and _Tune_ are clogged
with all sorts of airs, calling into operation _Destructiveness_, as far
as the keys of an instrument are concerned, and _Secretiveness_ as far
as any meaning is conveyed by the means of so much labor.

Having brought ourselves to the sad conclusion that the examination of a
fashionably-educated female head reveals nothing but faculties
mis-employed, and valuable material wasted on what is not material at
all, we can not but express a wish that Ladies' Preparatory Schools
could be established, in which the pupils might be fitted for the
useful, as well as the ornamental parts of life, and where the fact of
there being a kitchen as well as a drawing-room to every house would not
be altogether lost sight of. If the world could be got through in a
Polka, to the accompaniment of a _cornet-à-piston_, the boarding-schools
of the present day would be well enough; but as there is a sort of
every-day walk to be gone through, we should greatly appreciate any
system of female education that should fit women to get through the
world with us, instead of merely getting through our money.

[Illustration:]

In the first place, we would put into execution the great design of our
artist, who has shown us a Preparatory School in which cookery should be
studied as an art, and in which the dressing of a dinner would be
learned as a matter of course--or of one, two, or three courses of
lectures. There should be a regular series of instruction, from the
shelling of a pea by the smallest class, to the achievement of the most
exquisite Mayonnaise by the more advanced scholars. The young ladies
would be taught not only how to make their _entreé_ into a drawing-room,
but how to prepare an _entreé_ worthy of the dinner-table. We would have
cookery inculcated in its most elementary form, and although we should
shrink from any thing like harshness, we should not hesitate to put the
beginners through a vigorous course of basting for the first year or so.

The rules of arithmetic could easily be adapted to the culinary art, and
such propositions as

   3 Eggs make one Omelette.
   2 Omelettes make one Breakfast.
   3 Breakfasts _à la fourchette_ make one Dinner,

and other calculations of a similar kind, would make the young female
student familiar with her tables not only in their ordinary sense, but
with what her tables ought to furnish samples of. We would suggest,
also, periodical examinations in the higher branches of cookery, and
translations of English food into French dishes. The rendering of a
small slice of beef into a _filet piqué aux légumes printaniers_, would
form an exercise quite as difficult, and certainly as useful, as any
other conversion of English into French; and the proper _garniture_ of a
leg of mutton would be as great a trial to the taste as if it were
employed on merely millinery trimmings.

We should be glad to see the establishment of a culinary college for
young ladies, and though we would not exactly recommend the cramming
system to the fairer sex, we think that beef and mutton would furnish
quite as valuable food for their minds, as a great deal of that that is
now put into them.


LADIES' ARITHMETIC

BY A CONFIRMED BACHELOR.

Ladies have quite a different system of calculation to what men have.
Look at the peculiar way in which they calculate ages. Why! they are
quite an age behind the present generation--at least, the generation of
men--for a man is, figuratively, said, as he grows older, to approach
into his second childhood, but a woman does so literally, inasmuch as
she becomes every year one year younger--a rejuvenating process, by
which, if she lived long enough, she would ultimately reach the happy
period when she was carried about in long clothes, and took a tenacious
delight, peculiar to babies, in pulling gentlemen's whiskers. In fact, I
wonder that, carrying out this retrograde movement, a married lady, as
she advances in years, does not re-appear on the stage of life as the
ball-room girl, and throw off the matronly title of MRS., to put on the
more flowery salutation of MISS. It would be more consistent with the
representation of figures--we mean, arithmetical figures--though it
might be a little at variance with the appearance of personal ones.

My belief is that the female mind has no correct sense of numbers. It
belabors and rolls out figures as cooks do paste, making them as thick
or as thin as it pleases to fit the object required. I have noticed a
largeness or liberality of measurement in most of their calculations,
which redounds greatly, in this calculating age, to the generosity of
the sex. It is quite opposite to the self-measurement which they apply
to themselves. Whereas the latter is distinguished by a narrowness of
result which almost makes us suspect that Subtraction has been largely
at work; the former is crowned with a roundness of figure which leads us
strongly to accuse the sum total of having been gained by the corrupt
agency of Addition. In fact my suspicions are so violent on this head,
that I always adopt the following plan when I am at a loss to know:

HOW TO CORRECTLY ASCERTAIN THE AGE OF A LADY. I first ask the Lady
accused her own age. I then inquire of her "dearest friends." I next
ascertain the difference between the two accounts (which frequently
varies from five years to forty), and, dividing that difference by 2, I
add that quotient to the lady's own representation, and the result is
the lady's age, as near as a lady's age can be ascertained.

EXAMPLE: MRS. WELLINGTON SEYMOUR gives herself out to be 28. Her
friends, MRS. M'CABE, MRS. ALFRED STEVENS, MADAME CORNICHON, and MISS
JERKINS, indignantly declare that they will eat their respective heads
off if she is a day younger than 46. Now the disputed account stands
thus:

                                                        Years
   MRS. SEYMOUR'S age, as represented by her friends,    46
   MRS. SEYMOUR'S age, as represented by herself         28
                                                        -----
      Difference between the two Accounts                18

That difference has to be divided by 2, which, I believe, will give 9.
If that is added to MRS. SEYMOUR'S own statement, the result obtained
will be the answer required. Accordingly MRS. WELLINGTON SEYMOUR'S age
is 37--a fact, which, upon consulting the family Bible, I find to be
perfectly correct--and I only hope MRS. S. will, some day, forgive me
for publishing it. There are many other eccentricities in female
arithmetic, such as increasing twofold the amount of a gentleman's
fortune, and diminishing fiftyfold the amount of a lady's--and a general
proneness, besides, to magnify figures, leading them, at times, into
strange errors of exaggeration, which would debar them from following
the profession of a penny-a-liner, or writing works of numerical
fidelity, like "M'Culloch's Commercial Dictionary." But as I do not love
the female mind particularly for its eccentricities, but rather for its
beauties, I shall close the door upon this ungallant subject; for, if a
woman is good and beautiful, it matters but little how old she is.


NETTING FOR LADIES.

Netting is now followed with so much ardor, as a female accomplishment,
that one would think there is a great deal of net profit to be derived
from it. The ladies' periodicals are full of instructions in this new
popular art; and we have seen a couple of closely-printed columns
devoted to directions for netting a mitten.

We had some thoughts of endeavoring to furnish the necessary
instructions for netting a gentleman's nightcap, but we found that we
should not have room for more than half of it, and that the tassel, at
all events, would have to stand over till our next, and perhaps be
continued in a still remoter Pocket-Book.

Being desirous of furnishing some instruction in Netting, to our female
readers, we have thought of something within our compass, and beg leave
to lay before them, our

DIRECTIONS FOR NETTING A HUSBAND.

Take as many meshes as are within your reach, and get the softest
material you can to work upon. Go on with your netting as fast as ever
you can work the material about with your meshes until you find you can
turn it round your finger and thumb with the utmost facility. Let your
netting-needles be very sharp; thread them double to prevent them from
breaking; and we may observe, that silken ringlets serve exceedingly
well as thread, when the work in hand is the netting of a husband.
Always employ the brightest colors you can, and the final operation will
be the joining together, which should be neatly finished off with a
marriage knot, and the husband will be completely netted.



Winter Fashions.

[Illustration: FIGURE 1.--PROMENADE AND MORNING COSTUME]


Heavy, rich textures of silk have taken the place of the lighter stuffs
used at the beginning of December. _Brocards, satin princesse, antique
moires, Irish poplins_, and heavy _chiné_ silks, such as were worn by
the belles who saw Washington inaugurated, are now in vogue. The latter
material is called by the French _camayeux_. It is made of all colors,
such as light violet upon dark violet; or, what is more beautiful, large
white roses, hardly visible, and partly concealed by light green leaves
upon a ground of dark green, forming an _ensemble_ at once coquettish,
brilliant, and extremely elegant. Plain _poplins_ are much worn; also
_royal Pekin_ or black damask, trimmed with two broad flounces of
Cambray lace. Instead of a corsage, a _petite_ corsage of the same
material is worn, wide open in front, and closed at the waist with two
double buttons, or a large bow of ribbon.

FIGURE 2 represents this style of corsage. The edge is trimmed with lace
or fullings of ribbon, the sleeves three-quarters long and in pagoda
form. The same figure represents a very pretty style of head-dress. The
cap is composed of plain _tulle_ of the lightest description; upon one
side of the head, partially covering the ear, is a bunch of roses, or
other flowers, pendant.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--HEAD-DRESS AND CORSAGE]

FIGURE 1 represents a promenade and a morning costume. The PROMENADE
COSTUME is a high silk dress; the waist and point long; the sleeves
three-quarter length and wide at the bottom; the skirt long and
exceedingly full; five volants are set on full, each being trimmed at a
little distance from the edge by a narrow _guimpe_. _Manteau_ of light
brown cashmere, trimmed with velvet of the same color; closed up in
front by four large _brandebourgs_. Bonnet of a very open form, trimmed
entirely with plaid ribbon.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--BONNET.]

The MORNING COSTUME is a _jupe_ of blue silk, very long and full,
trimmed down the front with rows of velvet and small silk tassels, the
form of an acorn. A _cain de feu_, a sort of jacket, of blue satin, of a
darker shade than the _jupe_, the small skirt of which is of the
Hungarian form. It is trimmed round with velvet and has tassels up the
front to correspond with the skirt; the sleeves come but little below
the elbow, wide at the bottom, and cut like the skirt. These are
likewise trimmed with velvet. Cap of black lace, trimmed with a broad
white ribbon, edged with pink.

FIGURE 3 shows a new style of plain velvet bonnet, of rich green. It is
made very deep; trimmed with velvet. Satins are made in the same form,
of a dark color, the interior of the fronts lined with white, rose, or
any other fresh color. These are ornamented with branches of flowers of
velvet, or _noeuds_ of plaid ribbon, half velvet and half satin, the
colors harmonizing with the bonnet.

There are small bonnets of white or pink plush, having for their sole
ornament a single bow of satin ribbon, or a ribbon _velonté_ at the
sides. This style is very elegant, and particularly adapted for very
young ladies, especially when trimmed with a deep fall of rich lace.
Those made of pink satin, and trimmed with blonde, forming a bunch upon
the side of the exterior, the interior being filled entirely with rows
of narrow blonde, are exceedingly graceful.

A new style of fringe for ball dresses has lately been introduced. It is
extremely light, and composed of a mixture of white and gold, which
forms a splendid trimming when placed upon a triple skirt of white
_tulle_. It is also made of pink and silver, which has a beautiful
effect upon a dress of pink crape; splendid bouquets of beautiful
flowers being arranged so as to loop up the skirts on either side.

A new and greatly admired style for EVENING DRESSES, called
_d'Adrienne_, has lately been brought out in Paris. It is made of the
richest materials. The corsage is extremely low, and forms a very deep
point, its ornaments being placed _en coeur_ upon the centre of the
front. The skirt is open, and is ornamented upon the two sides with
streamers of ribbon and _noeuds_ of pearls. The under-skirt of satin
is enriched with an _echelle_ of lace or a triple _falbalas_, the two
extremities of which are disposed so as to join the _noeuds_ upon the
upper dress.

An elegant addition to a lady's toilet has been recently brought out,
which recalls the _mantillas_ worn by the Maltese ladies. It consists of
a kind of pelisse, fulled into the narrow band around the throat, which
is concealed by a small collar, having for ornament a volant or frill of
Chantilly lace. The lower part of the pelisse, as well as the sleeves,
is encircled with four rows of Chantilly lace, surmounted with rows of
narrow velvet or watered ribbons, forming a pretty heading. This little
garment is extremely elegant for places of amusement, made in pink,
blue, or white satin, and trimmed with Brussels or English point lace.

Fringes and Cambray lace will be much used this season in the decoration
of dresses. Feathers will be much worn, some in _touffes_, and others
simply the long single feather, passing over the entire front of the
bonnet.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note


The following changes have been made to the text:


p. 161: "Abiit aa plures" changed to "Abitt ad plures".

p. 163: "female visiters" changed to "female visitors".

p. 163: Sultan Amu rath, forcing" changed to "Sultan Amurath, forcing".

p. 168: "some conistency" changed to "some consistency".

p. 181: "triumphal entry I to" changed to "triumphal entry into".

p. 184-185: "un less" changed to "unless".

p. 188: "gabe's coat" changed to "Gabe's coat".

p. 188: "excleimed" changed to "exclaimed".

p. 192: "slided" changed to "slid".

p. 193: "converstaion" to "conversation".

p. 202: "Worsworth's sonnets" changed to "Wordsworth's sonnets".

p. 202: "Peneroso" changed to "Penseroso".

p. 209: "misserable" changed to "miserable".

p. 213: "desire waxed as her life waxed" changed to "desire waxed as her
life waned".

p. 215: "to to the world" changed to "to the world".

p. 219: "conscience-striken" changed to "conscience-stricken".

p. 226: "lovelv July" changed to "lovely July".

p. 226-227: in dulge" changed to "indulge".

p. 234: "a better without" changed to "a better one without".

p. 255: "Rickey bockey" changed to "Rickeybockey".

p. 266: "held to be the privvilege" changed to "held to be the
privilege".

p. 274: "plenipotentaries" changed to "plenipotentiaries".

p. 276: "Damuscus in their shirts" changed to "Damascus in their
shirts".

p. 288: "cachmere" changed to "cashmere".





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