Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850.
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



HARPER'S

NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

No. III.--AUGUST, 1850.--VOL. I.



[Illustration: SIR THOMAS MORE.]

[From the Art-Journal.]

PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOME OF SIR THOMAS MORE.

BY MRS. S. C. HALL.


While living in the neighborhood of Chelsea, we determined to look upon
the few broken walls that once inclosed the residence of Sir Thomas
More, a man who, despite the bitterness inseparable from a persecuting
age, was of most wonderful goodness as well as intellectual power. We
first read over the memories of him preserved by Erasmus, Hoddesdon,
Roper, Aubrey, his own namesake, and others. It is pleasant to muse over
the past; pleasant to know that much of malice and bigotry has departed,
to return no more, that the prevalence of a spirit which could render
even Sir Thomas More unjust and, to seeming, cruel, is passing away.
Though we do implicitly believe there would be no lack of great hearts,
and brave hearts, at the present day, if it were necessary to bring them
to the test, still there have been few men like unto him. It is a
pleasant and a profitable task, so to sift through past ages, so to
separate the wheat from the chaff, to see, when the feelings of party
and prejudice sink to their proper insignificance, how the morally great
stands forth in its own dignity, bright, glorious, and everlasting. St.
Evremond sets forth the firmness and constancy of Petronius Arbiter in
his last moments, and imagines he discovers in them a softer nobility
of mind and resolution, than in the deaths of Seneca, Cato, or Socrates
himself; but Addison says, and we can not but think truly, "that if he
was so well pleased with gayety of humor in a dying man, he might have
found a much more noble instance of it in Sir Thomas More, who died upon
a point of religion, and is respected as a martyr by that side for which
he suffered." What was pious philosophy in this extraordinary man, might
seem frenzy in any one who does not resemble him as well in the
cheerfulness of his temper as in the sanctity of his life and manners.

Oh, that some such man as he were to sit upon our woolsack now; what
would the world think, if when the mighty oracle commanded the next
cause to come on, the reply should be, "_Please your good lordship,
there is no other!_" Well might the smart epigrammatist write:

    When MORE some time had chancellor been,
      No MORE suits did remain;
    The same shall never MORE be seen,
      Till MORE be there again!

We mused over the history of his time until we slept, and dreamed: and
first in our dream we saw a fair meadow, and it was sprinkled over with
white daisies, and a bull was feeding therein; and as we looked upon him
he grew fatter and fatter, and roared in the wantonness of power and
strength, so that the earth trembled; and he plucked the branches off
the trees, and trampled on the ancient inclosures of the meadow, and as
he stormed, and bellowed, and destroyed, the daisies became human heads,
and the creature flung them about, and warmed his hoofs in the hot blood
that flowed from them and we grew sick and sorry at heart, and thought,
is there no one to slay the destroyer? And when we looked again, the
Eighth Harry was alone in the meadow; and, while many heads were lying
upon the grass, some kept perpetually bowing before him, while others
sung his praises as wise, just, and merciful. Then we heard a trumpet
ringing its scarlet music through the air, and we stood in the old
tilt-yard at Whitehall, and the pompous Wolsey, the bloated king, the
still living Holbein, the picturesque Surrey, the Aragonian Catharine,
the gentle Jane, the butterfly Anne Bullen, the coarse-seeming but
wise-thinking Ann of Cleves the precise Catherine Howard, and the stout
hearted Catherine Parr, passed us so closely by, that we could have
touched their garments; then a bowing troop of court gallants came on;
others whose names and actions you may read of in history; and then the
hero of our thoughts, Sir Thomas More--well dressed, for it was a time
of pageants--was talking somewhat apart to his pale-faced friend
Erasmus, while "Son Roper," as the chancellor loved to call his
son-in-law, stood watchfully and respectfully a little on one side. Even
if we had never seen the pictures Holbein painted of his first patron,
we should have known him by the bright benevolence of his aspect, the
singular purity of his complexion, his penetrating yet gentle eyes, and
the incomparable grandeur with which virtue and independence dignified
even an indifferent figure. His smile was so catching that the most
broken-hearted were won by it to forget their sorrows; and his voice,
low and sweet though it was, was so distinct, that we heard it above all
the coarse jests, loud music, and trumpet calls of the vain and idle
crowd. And while we listened, we awoke; resolved next day to make our
pilgrimage, perfectly satisfied at the outset, that though no fewer than
four houses in Chelsea contend for the honor of his residence, Doctor
King's arguments in favor of the site being the same as that of Beaufort
House--upon the greater part of which now stands Beaufort-row--are the
most conclusive; those who are curious in the matter can go and see his
manuscripts in the British Museum. Passing Beaufort-row, we proceeded
straight on to the turn leading to the Chelsea _Clock-house_.

[Illustration: CLOCK HOUSE.]

It is an old, patched-up, rickety dwelling, containing, perhaps, but few
of the original stones, yet interesting as being the lodge-entrance to
the offices of Beaufort-House; remarkable, also, as the dwelling of a
family of the name of Howard, who have occupied it for more than a
hundred years, the first possessor being gardener to Sir Hans Sloane,
into whose possession, after a lapse of years, and many changes, a
portion of Sir Thomas More's property had passed. This Howard had skill
in the distilling of herbs and perfumes, which his descendant carries on
to this day. We lifted the heavy brass knocker, and were admitted into
the "old clock-house." The interior shows evident marks of extreme age,
the flooring being ridgy and seamed, bearing their marks with a
discontented creaking, like the secret murmurs of a faded beauty against
her wrinkles! On the counter stood a few frost-bitten geraniums, and
drawers, containing various roots and seeds, were ranged round the
walls, while above them were placed good stout quart and pint bottles of
distilled waters. The man would have it that the "clock-house" was the
"real original" lodge-entrance to "Beaufort House;" and so we agreed it
might have been, but not, "_perhaps_" built during Sir Thomas More's
lifetime. To this insinuation he turned a deaf ear, assuring us that his
family, having lived there so long, must know all about it, and that the
brother of Sir Hans Sloane's gardener had made the great clock in old
Chelsea Church, as the church books could prove. "You can, if you
please," he said, "go under the archway at the side of this house,
leading into the Moravian chapel and burying-ground, where the notice,
that 'within are the Park-chapel Schools,' is put up." And that is quite
true; the Moravians now only use the chapel which was erected in their
burying-ground to perform an occasional funeral service in, and so they
"let it" to the infant school. The burying-ground is very pretty in the
summer time. Its space occupies only a small portion of the chancellor's
garden; part of its walls are very old, and the south one certainly
belonged to Beaufort House. There have been some who trace out a Tudor
arch and one or two Gothic windows as having been filled up with more
modern mason-work: but that may be fancy. There seems no doubt that the
Moravian chapel stands on the site of the old stables.

"Then," we said, "the clock-house could only have been at the entrance
to the offices." The man looked for a moment a little hurt at this
observation, as derogatory to the dignity of his dwelling, but he
smiled, and said. "Perhaps so;" and very good-naturedly showed us the
cemetery of this interesting people. Indeed, their original settlement
in Chelsea is quite a romance. The chapel stands to the left of the
burying-ground, which is entered by a primitive wicket-gate; it forms a
square of thick grass, crossed by broad gravel walks, kept with the
greatest neatness The tombstones are all that, and the graves not
raised above the level of the sward. They are of two sizes only: the
larger for grown persons, the smaller for children. The inscriptions on
the grave-stones, in general, seldom record more than the names and ages
of the persons interred. The men are buried in one division, the women
in another. We read one or two of the names, and they were quaint and
strange: "Anne Rypheria Hurloch;" "Anna Benigna La Trobe;" and one was
especially interesting, James Gillray, forty years sexton to this simple
cemetery, and father of Gillray, the H. B. of the past century. One
thing pleased us mightily, the extreme old age to which the dwellers in
this house seemed to have attained.

A line of ancient trees runs along the back of the narrow gardens of
Milman's-row, which is parallel with, but further from town than
Beaufort-row, and affords a grateful shade in the summer time. We
resolved to walk quietly round, and then enter the chapel. How strange
the changes of the world! The graves of a simple, peace-loving,
unambitious people were lying around us, and yet it was the place which
Erasmus describes as "Sir Thomas More's estate, purchased at Chelsey,"
and where "he built him a house, neither mean nor subject to envy, yet
magnificent and commodious enough." How dearly he loved this place, and
how much care he bestowed upon it, can be gathered from the various
documents still extant.[1] The bravery with which, soon after he was
elected a burgess to parliament, he opposed a subsidy demanded by Henry
the Seventh, with so much power that he won the parliament to his
opinion, and incensed the king so greatly, that, out of revenge, he
committed the young barrister's father to the Tower, and fined him in
the fine of a hundred pounds! That bravery remained with him to the
last, and with it was mingled the simplicity which so frequently and so
beautifully blends with the intellectuality that seems to belong to a
higher world than this. When he "took to marrying," he fancied the
second daughter of a Mr. Colt, a gentleman of Essex; yet when he
considered the pain it must give the eldest to see her sister preferred
before her, he gave up his first love, and framed his fancy to the
elder. This lady died, after having brought him four children; but his
second choice, Dame Alice, has always seemed to us a punishment and a
sore trial. And yet how beautifully does Erasmus describe his mode of
living in this very place: "He converseth with his wife, his son, his
daughter-in-law, his three daughters and their husbands, with eleven
grandchildren. There is not a man living so affectionate to his children
as he. He loveth his old wife as if she were a young maid; he persuadeth
her to play on the lute, and so with the like gentleness he ordereth his
family. Such is the excellence of his temper, that whatsoever happeneth
that could not be helped, he loveth, as if nothing could have happened
more happily. You would say there was in that place Plato's academy; but
I do his house an injury in comparing it to Plato's academy, where there
were only disputations of numbers and geometrical figures, and sometimes
of moral virtues. I should rather call his house a school or university
of Christian religion; for, though there is none therein but readeth and
studyeth the liberal sciences, their special care is piety and
virtue."[2]

[Illustration: MORE'S HOUSE.]

The king was used to visit his "beloved chancellor" here for days
together to admire his terrace overhanging the Thames, to row in his
state barge, to ask opinions upon divers matters, and it is said that
the royal answer to Luther was composed under the chancellor's revising
eye. Still, the penetrating vision of Sir Thomas was in no decree
obscured by this glitter. One day the king came unexpectedly to Chelsea,
and having dined, walked with Sir Thomas for the space of an hour, in
the garden, having his arm about his neck. We pleased ourselves with the
notion that they walked where then we stood! Well might such
condescension cause his son Roper--for whom he entertained so warm an
affection--to congratulate his father upon such condescension, and to
remind him that he had never seen his majesty approach such familiarity
with any one, save once, when he was seen to walk arm in arm with
Cardinal Wolsey. "I thank our Lord," answered Sir Thomas, "I find his
grace my very good lord, indeed; and I do believe, he doth as
singularly love me as any subject within the realm; however, son Roper,
I may tell thee I have no cause to be proud thereof, for if my head
should win him a castle in France, it should not fail to go off."

With the exception of his own family (and his wife formed an exception
here), there are few indeed of his contemporaries, notwithstanding the
eulogiums they are prone to heap upon him, who understood the elevated
and unworldly character of this extraordinary man.

The Duke of Norfolk, coming one day to dine with him, found him in
Chelsea Church, singing in the choir, with his surplice on. "What!
what!" exclaimed the duke, "what, what, my Lord Chancellor a parish
clerk! a parish clerk! you dishonor the king and his office." And how
exquisite his reply, "Nay, you may not think your master and mine will
be offended with me for serving God his master, or thereby count his
office dishonored." Another reply to the same abject noble, is well
graven on our memory. He expostulated with him, like many of his other
friends, for braving the king's displeasure. "By the mass, Master More,"
he said, "it is perilous striving with princes; therefore, I wish you
somewhat to incline to the king's pleasure, for '_indignatio Principis
mors est._'" "And is that all, my lord?" replied this man, so much above
all paltry considerations; "then in good faith the difference between
your grace and me is but this--that I may die to-day, and you
to-morrow."

[Illustration: CHELSEA CHURCH.]

He took great delight in beautifying Chelsea Church, although he had a
private chapel of his own; and when last there they told us the painted
window had been his gift. It must have been a rare sight to see the
chancellor of England sitting with the choir; and yet there was a fair
share of pomp in the manner of his servitor bowing at his lady's pew,
when the service of the mass was ended, and saying, "My lord is gone
_before_." But the day after he resigned the great seal of England (of
which his wife knew nothing), Sir Thomas presented himself at the
pew-door, and, after the fashion of his servitor, quaintly said, "Madam,
my lord is _gone."_ The vain woman could not comprehend his meaning,
which, when, during their short walk home, he fully explained, she was
greatly pained thereby, lamenting it with exceeding bitterness of
spirit.

We fancied we could trace a gothic door or window in the wall; but our
great desire would have been to discover the water-gate from which he
took his departure the morning he was summoned to Lambeth to take the
oath of supremacy. True to what he believed right, he offered up his
prayers and confessions in Chelsea Church, and then, returning to his
own house, took an affectionate farewell of his wife and children,
forbidding them to accompany hum to the water-gate, as was their custom,
fearing, doubtless, that his mighty heart could not sustain a prolonged
interview. Who could paint the silent parting between him and all he
loved so well--the boat waiting at the foot of the stairs--the rowers in
their rich liveries, while their hearts, heavy with apprehension for the
fate of him they served, still trusted that nothing could be found to
harm so good a master--the pale and earnest countenance of "son Roper,"
wondering at the calmness, at such a time, which more than all other
things, bespeaks the master mind. For a moment his hand lingered on the
gate, and in fastening the simple latch his fingers trembled, and then
he took his seat by his son's side; and in another moment the boat was
flying through the waters. For some time he spoke no word, but communed
with and strengthened his great heart by holy thoughts; then looking
straight into his son Roper's eyes, while his own brightened with a
glorious triumph, he exclaimed in the fullness of his rich-toned voice,
"I thank our Lord the field is won." It was no wonder that, overwhelmed
with apprehension, his son-in-law could not apprehend his meaning then,
but afterward bethought him that he signified how he had conquered the
world.

The abbot of Westminster took him that same day into custody, on his
refusal to "take the king as head of his Church;" and upon his repeating
this refusal four days afterward, he was committed to the Tower. Then,
indeed, these heretofore bowers of bliss echoed to the weak and wavering
complaints of his proud wife, who disturbed him also in his prison by
her desires, so vain and so worldly, when compared with the elevated
feelings of his dear daughter Margaret.

How did the fond, foolish woman seek to shake his purpose! "Seeing," she
said, "you have a house at Chelsea, a right fair house, your library,
your gallery, your garden, your orchard, and all other necessaries so
handsome about you, where you might in company with me, your wife, your
children, and household, be merry, I marvel that you who have been
always taken for so wise a man, can be content thus to be shut up among
mice and rats, and, too, when you might be abroad at your liberty, and
with the favor and good-will both of the king and his council, if you
would but do as all the bishops and best learned men of the realm have
done."

And then not even angered by her folly, seeing how little was given her
to understand, he asked her if the house in Chelsea was any nearer
Heaven than the gloomy one he then occupied? ending his pleasant yet
wise parleying with a simple question:

"Tell me," he said, "good Mistress Alice, how long do you think might we
live and enjoy that same house?"

She answered, "Some twenty years."

"Truly," he replied, "if you had said some thousand years, it might have
been somewhat; and yet he were a very bad merchant who would put himself
in danger to lose eternity for a thousand years. How much the rather if
we are not sure to enjoy it one day to an end?"

It is for the glory of women that his daughter Margaret, while she loved
and honored him past all telling, strengthened his noble nature; for,
writing him during his fifteen months' imprisonment in the Tower, she
asks, in words not to be forgotten, "What do you think, most dear
father, doth comfort us at Chelsey, in this your absence? Surely, the
remembrance of your manner of life passed among us--your holy
conversation--your wholesome counsels--your examples of virtue, of which
there is hope that they do not only persevere with you, but that they
are, by God's grace, much more increased."

After the endurance of fifteen months' imprisonment, he was arraigned,
tried, and found guilty of denying the king's supremacy.

Alack! is there no painter of English history bold enough to immortalize
himself by painting this trial? Sir Thomas More was beheaded on Tower
Hill, in the bright sunshine of the month of July, on its fifth day,
1535, the king remitting the disgusting quartering of the quivering
flesh, because of his "high office." When told of the king's "mercy,"
"Now, God forbid," he said, "the king should use anymore such to any of
my friends; and God bless all my posterity from such pardons."

One man of all the crowd who wept at his death, reproached him with a
decision he had given in Chancery. More, nothing discomposed, replied,
that if it were still to do, he would give the same decision. This
happened twelve months before. And, while the last scene was enacting on
Tower-Hill, the king, who had walked in this very garden with his arm
round the neck, which, by his command, the ax had severed, was playing
at Tables in Whitehall, Queen Anne Bullen looking on; and when told that
Sir Thomas More was dead, casting his eyes upon the pretty fool that had
glittered in his pageants, he said, "Thou art the cause of this man's
death." The COWARD! to seek to turn upon a thing so weak as that, the
heavy sin which clung to his own soul!

[Illustration: TOMB.]

Some say the body lies in Chelsea Church, beneath the tomb we have
sketched--the epitaph having been written by himself before he
anticipated the manner of his death.[3] It is too long to insert; but
the lines at the conclusion are very like the man. The epitaph and
poetry are in Latin: we give the translation:

    "For Alice and for Thomas More's remains
    Prepared, this tomb Johanna's form contains
    One, married young; with mutual ardor blest,
    A boy and three fair girls our joy confest.
    The other (no small praise) of these appear'd
    As fond as if by her own pangs endeared.
    One lived with me, one lives in such sweet strife,
    Slight preference could I give to either wife.
    Oh! had it met Heaven's sanction and decree,
    One hallowed bond might have united three;
    Yet still be ours one grave, one lot on high!
    Thus death, what life denied us, shall supply."

[Illustration: ROPER's HOUSE.]

Others tell that his remains were interred in the Tower,[4] and some
record that the head was sought and preserved by that same daughter
Margaret, who caused it to be buried in the family vault of the Ropers
in St. Dunstan's Church, Canterbury;[5] and they add a pretty legend how
that, when his head was upon London Bridge, Margaret would be rowed
beneath it, and, nothing horrified at the sight, say aloud, "That head
has layde many a time in my lappe; would to God, would to God, it would
fall into my lappe as I pass under now," and the head did so fall, and
she carried it in her "lappe" until she placed it in her husband's, "son
Roper's" vault, at Canterbury.

The king took possession of these fair grounds at Chelsea, and all the
chancellor's other property, namely, Dunkington, Trenkford, and Benley
Park, in Oxfordshire, allowing the widow he had made, twenty pounds per
year for her life, and indulging his petty tyranny still more, by
imprisoning Sir Thomas's daughter, Margaret, "both because she kept her
father's head for a relic, and that she meant to set her father's works
in print."

We were calling to mind more minute particulars of the charities and
good deeds of this great man, when, standing at the moment opposite a
grave where some loving hand had planted two standard rose-trees, we
suddenly heard a chant of children's voices, the infant scholars singing
their little hymn; the tune, too, was a well-known and popular melody,
and very sweet, yet sad of sound; it was just such music, as for its
simplicity, would have been welcome to the mighty dead; and, as we
entered among the little songsters, the past faded away, and we found
ourselves speculating on the hopeful present.

       *       *       *       *       *

We close Mrs. Hall's pleasant sketches of Sir Thomas More and his
localities, with a brief description of a scene in his prison, which the
pencil of Mr. Herbert, of the Royal Academy, has beautifully depicted.
It must be remembered that More was a zealous Roman Catholic. He was
committed to the Tower in 1534, by the licentious Henry VIII., partly to
punish him for refusing to assist that monarch in his marriage with
Anne Boleyn, "the pretty fool," as Mrs. Hall calls her; but particularly
because he declined to acknowledge the king's ecclesiastical supremacy
as head of the Reformed Church. There he remained until his execution
the following year. "During his imprisonment," says his son-in-law and
biographer, Roper, who married his favorite daughter Margaret, "one day,
looking from his window, he saw four monks (who also had refused the
oath of supremacy) going to their execution, and regretting that he
could not bear them company, said: 'Look, Megge, dost thou not see that
these blessed fathers be now going as cheerful to their death, as
bridegrooms to their marriage? By which thou may'st see, myne own good
daughter, what a great difference there is between such as have spent
all their days in a religious, hard, and penitential life, and such as
have (as thy poore father hath done) consumed all their time in pleasure
and ease;'" and so he proceeded to enlarge on their merits and
martyrdom. His grandson, Cresacre More, referring to this scene, says,
"By which most humble and heavenly meditation, we may easily guess what
a spirit of charity he had gotten by often meditation, that every sight
brought him new matter to practice most heroical resolutions."

[Illustration: SIR THOMAS MORE AND HIS DAUGHTER.]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] After the death of More, this favorite home of his, where he had so
frequently gathered "a choice company of men distinguished by their
genius and learning," passed into the rapacious hands of his bad
sovereign, and by him was presented to Sir William Pawlet, ultimately
Lord High Treasurer and Marquis of Winchester; from his hands it passed
into Lord Dacre's, to whom succeeded Lord Burghley; then followed his
son, the Earl of Salisbury, as its master; from him it passed
successively to the Earl of Lincoln, Sir Arthur Gorges, the Earl of
Middlesex, Villiers duke of Buckingham, Sir Bulstrode Whitelock, the
second Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Bristol, the Duke of Beaufort,
and ultimately to Sir Hans Slonne, who obtained it in 1738, and after
keeping it for two years razed it to the ground; an unhappy want of
reverence on the part of the great naturalist for the home of so many
great men. There is a print of it by J. Knyff, in 1699, which is copied
(p. 292); it shows some old features, but it had then been enlarged and
altered. Erasmus has well described it as it was in More's lifetime. It
had "a chapel, a library, and a gallery, called the New Buildings, a
good distance from his main house, wherein his custom was to busy
himself in prayer and meditation, whensoever he was at leisure."
Heywood, in his _II Moro_ (Florence, 1556), describes "the garden as
wonderfully charming, both from the advantages of its site, for from one
part almost the whole of the noble city of London was visible, and from
the other the beautiful Thames, with green meadows by woody eminences
all around, and also for its own beauty, for it was crowned with an
almost perpetual verdure." At one side was a small green eminence to
command the prospect.

[2] The conduct of this great man's house was a model to all, and as
near an approach to his own Utopia as might well be. Erasmus says, "I
should rather call his house a school or university of Christian
religion, for though there is none therein but readeth and studyeth the
liberal sciences, their special care is piety and virtue; there is no
quarreling or intemperate words heard; none seen idle; which household
discipline that worthy gentleman doth not govern, but with all kind and
courteous benevolence." The servant-men abode on one side of the house,
the women on another, and met at prayer-time, or on church festivals,
when More would read and expound to them. He suffered no cards or dice,
but gave each one his garden-plot for relaxation, or set them to sing or
play music. He had an affection for all who truly served him, and his
daughters' nurse is as affectionately remembered in his letters when
from home as are they themselves. "Thomas More sendeth greeting to his
most dear daughters Margaret, Elizabeth, and Cecily; and to Margaret
Giggs, as dear to him as if she were his own," are his words in one
letter; and his valued and trustworthy domestics appear in the family
pictures of the family by Holbein. They requited his attachment by
truest fidelity and love; and his daughter Margaret, in her last
passionate interview with her father on his way to the Tower, was
succeeded by Margaret Giggs and a maid-servant, who embraced and kissed
their condemned master, "of whom, he said after, it was homely but very
lovingly done." Of these and other of his servants, Erasmus remarks,
"after Sir Thomas More's death, none ever was touched with the least
suspicion of any evil fame."

[3] Wood and Weaver both affirm that the body of More was first
deposited in the Tower Chapel, but was subsequently obtained by his
devoted and accomplished daughter, Margaret Roper, and re-interred in
Chelsea Church, in the tomb he had finished in 1532, the year in which
he had surrendered the chancellorship, and resolved to abide the issue
of his conscientious opposition to the king's wishes, as if he felt that
the tomb should then be prepared.

[4] Faulkner, in his history of Chelsea, adheres to this opinion, and
says that the tomb in that church is but "an empty cenotaph." His
grandson, in his Life, says, "his body was buried in the Chapel of St.
Peter, in the Tower, in the belfry, or, as some say, as one entereth
into the vestry;" and he does not notice the story of his daughter's
re-interment of it elsewhere.

[5] The Ropers lived at Canterbury, in St Dunstan's-street. The house is
destroyed, and a brewery occupies its site; but the picturesque old
gateway, of red brick, still remains, and is engraved above. Margaret
Roper, the noble-hearted, learned, and favorite daughter of More resided
here with her husband, until her death, in 1544, nine years after the
execution of her father, when she was buried in the family vault at St.
Dunstan's, where she had reverently placed the head of her father. The
story of her piety is thus told by Cresacre More, in his life of his
grandfather, Sir Thomas: "His head having remained about a month upon
London Bridge, and being to be cast into the Thames, because room should
be made for divers others, who, in plentiful sort, suffered martyrdom
for the same supremacy, shortly after, it was bought by his daughter
Margaret, lest, as she stoutly affirmed before the council, being called
before them after for the matter, it should be food for fishes; which
she buried, where she thought fittest." Anthony-a-Wood says, that she
preserved it in a leaden box, and placed it in her tomb "with great
devotion;" and in 1715, Dr. Rawlinson told Hearne the antiquary, that he
had seen it there "inclosed in an iron grate." This was fully confirmed
in 1835, when the chancel of the church being repaired, the Roper vault
was opened, and several persons descended into it, and saw the skull in
a leaden box, something like a bee-hive, open in the front, and which
was placed in a square recess, in the wall, with an iron-grating before
it. A drawing was made, which was engraved in the _Gentleman's Magazine_
of May, 1837, which we have copied in our initial letter; Summerly, in
his Handbook to Canterbury, says: "In the print there, however, the
opening in the leaden box, inclosing the head, is made oval, whereas it
should be in the form of a triangle." We have therefore so corrected our
copy.



[From Hunting Adventures in South Africa.]

A BUFFALO CHASE.


Early on the 4th we inspanned and continued our march for Booby, a large
party of savages still following the wagons. Before proceeding far I was
tempted by the beautiful appearance of the country to saddle horses, to
hunt in the mountains westward of my course. I directed the wagons to
proceed a few miles under guidance of the natives, and there await my
arrival. I was accompanied by Isaac, who was mounted on the Old Gray,
and carried my clumsy Dutch rifle of six to the pound. Two Bechuanas
followed us, leading four of my dogs. Having crossed a well wooded
strath, we reached a little crystal river, whose margin was trampled
down with the spoor of a great variety of heavy game, but especially of
buffalo and rhinoceros. We took up the spoor of a troop of buffaloes,
which we followed along a path made by the heavy beasts of the forest
through a neck in the hills; and emerging from the thicket, we beheld,
on the other side of a valley, which had opened upon us, a herd of about
ten huge bull buffaloes. These I attempted to stalk, but was defeated by
a large herd of zebras, which, getting our wind, charged past and
started the buffaloes. I ordered the Bechuanas to release the dogs; and
spurring Colesberg, which I rode for the first time since the affair
with the lioness, I gave chase. The buffaloes crossed the valley in
front of me, and made for a succession of dense thickets in the hills to
the northward. As they crossed the valley by riding hard I obtained a
broadside shot at the last bull, and fired both barrels into him. He,
however, continued his course, but I presently separated him, along with
two other bulls, from the troop. My rifle being a two-grooved, which is
hard to load, I was unable to do so on horseback, and followed with it
empty, in the hope of bringing them to bay. In passing through a grove
of thorny trees I lost sight of the wounded buffalo; he had turned short
and doubled back, a common practice with them when wounded. After
following the other two at a hard gallop for about two miles, I was
riding within five yards of their huge broad sterns. They exhaled a
strong bovine smell, which came hot in my face. I expected every minute
that they would come to bay, and give me time to load; but this they did
not seem disposed to do. At length, finding I had the speed of them, I
increased my pace; and going ahead, I placed myself right before the
finest bull, thus expecting to force him to stand at bay; upon which he
instantly charged me with a low roar, very similar to the voice of a
lion. Colesberg neatly avoided the charge, and the bull resumed his
northward course. We now entered on rocky ground, and the forest became
more dense as we proceeded. The buffaloes were evidently making for some
strong retreat. I, however, managed with much difficulty to hold them in
view, following as best I could through thorny thickets. Isaac rode
some hundred yards behind, and kept shouting to me to drop the pursuit,
or I should be killed. At last the buffaloes suddenly pulled up, and
stood at bay in a thicket, within twenty yards of me. Springing from my
horse, I hastily loaded my two-grooved rifle, which I had scarcely
completed when Isaac rode up and inquired what had become of the
buffaloes, little dreaming that they were standing within twenty yards
of him. I answered by pointing my rifle across his horse's nose, and
letting fly sharp right and left at the two buffaloes. A headlong
charge, accompanied by a muffled roar, was the result. In an instant I
was round a clump of tangled thorn-trees; but Isaac, by the violence of
his efforts to get his horse in motion, lost his balance, and at the
same instant, his girths giving way, himself, his saddle, and big Dutch
rifle, all came to the ground together, with a heavy crash right in the
path of the infuriated buffaloes. Two of the dogs, which had fortunately
that moment joined us, met them in their charge, and, by diverting their
attention, probably saved Isaac from instant destruction. The buffaloes
now took up another position in an adjoining thicket. They were both
badly wounded, blotches and pools of blood marking the ground where they
had stood. The dogs rendered me assistance by taking up their attention,
and in a few minutes these two noble bulls breathed their last beneath
the shade of a mimosa grove. Each of them in dying repeatedly uttered a
very striking, low, deep moan. This I subsequently ascertained the
buffalo invariably utters when in the act of expiring.

On going up to them I was astonished to behold their size and powerful
appearance. Their horns reminded me of the rugged trunk of an oak-tree.
Each horn was upward of a foot in breadth at the base, and together they
effectually protected the skull with a massive and impenetrable shield.
The horns, descending and spreading out horizontally, completely
over-shadowed the animal's eyes, imparting to him a look the most
ferocious and sinister that can be imagined. On my way to the wagons I
shot a stag sassayby, and while I was engaged in removing his head a
troop of about thirty doe pallahs cantered past me, followed by one
princely old buck. Snatching up my rifle, I made a fine shot, and rolled
him over in the grass.

Early in the afternoon I dispatched men with a pack-horse to bring the
finer of the two buffalo-heads. It was so ponderous that two powerful
men could with difficulty raise it from the ground. The Bechuanas who
had accompanied me, on hearing of my success, snatched up their shields
and assagais, and hastened to secure the flesh, nor did I see any more
of them, with the exception of the two Baquaines, who remained with me,
being engaged in a plot with my interpreter to prevent my penetrating to
Bamangwato. Isaac did not soon forget his adventure with the buffaloes;
and at night over the fire he informed my men that I was mad, and that
any man who followed me was going headlong to his own destruction. At an
early hour on the 5th, I continued my march through a glorious country
of hill and dale, throughout which water was abundant.



[From Household Words.]

EARTH'S HARVESTS.

    "Peace hath her victories, no less renowned than War."

                            MILTON'S _Sonnet to Cromwell._


    Two hundred years ago,[6] the moon
      Shone on a battle plain;
    Cold through that glowing night of June
      Lay steeds and riders slain;
    And daisies, bending 'neath strange dew,
      Wept in the silver light;
    The very turf a regal hue
      Assumed that fatal night.

    Time past--but long, to tell the tale,
      Some battle-ax or shield,
    Or cloven skull, or shattered mail,
      Were found upon the field;
    The grass grew thickest on the spot
      Where high were heaped the dead,
    And well it marked had men forgot,
      Where the great charge was made.

    To-day--the sun looks laughing down
      Upon the harvest plain,
    The little gleaners, rosy-brown,
      The merry reapers' train;
    The rich sheaves heaped together stand,
      And resting in their shade,
    A mother, working close at hand,
      Her sleeping babe hath laid.

    A battle-field it was, and is,
      For serried spears are there,
    And against mighty foes upreared--
      Gaunt hunger, pale despair.
    We'll thank God for the hearts of old,
      Their strife our freedom sealed;
    We'll praise Him for the sheaves of gold
      Now on the battle-field.


FOOTNOTES:

[6] Naseby, June 14, 1646.



[Illustration: Z. Taylor [From a Daguerreotype by BRADY.]]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LATE PRESIDENT.


Who has not heard of the opening words with which the court preacher
Massilon startled the titled throng who had gathered in Notre Dame to do
the last honors to that monarch whose reign was the longest and most
splendid in French annals, "_God only is great!_" How often does the
knell of vanished power repeat the lesson! How constantly does the
fleeting away of our own men of might teach us that

    The paths of glory lead but to the grave!

Death has again asserted his supremacy by striking down the most exalted
ruler of the land. The last sad cadence, dust to dust, his just been
faltered aver one who was our country's pride, and joy, and strength.
The love, the gratitude, and the veneration of a nation could not save
him. The crying need of an imperiled republic could not reprieve him.
His mortal strife over, his appointed task finished, he went down into
the cold embrace of the grave, and there, like a warrior taking his
rest, he lies and will lie forever. But he has left behind him what can
not die, the memory of noble aims and heroic deeds. The plain story of
his life is his best eulogy.

ZACHARY TAYLOR was born in Orange County Virginia, in November, 1784. He
was the second son of Col. Richard Taylor, whose ancestors emigrated
from England about two centuries ago, and settled in Eastern Virginia.
The father, distinguished alike for patriotism and valor, served as
colonel in the revolutionary war, and took part in many important
engagements. About 1790 he left his Virginian farm and emigrated with
his family to Kentucky. He settled in the "dark and bloody ground," and
for years encountered all the trials then incident to border life. The
earliest impressions of young Zachary were the sudden foray of the
savage foe, the piercing warwhoop, the answering cry of defiance, the
gleam of the tomahawk, the crack of the rifle, the homestead saved by
his father's daring, the neighboring cottage wrapped in flames, or its
hearth-stone red with blood. Such scenes bound his young nerves with
iron, and fired his fresh soul with martial ardor; working upon his
superior nature they made arms his delight, and heroism his destiny.
Zachary was placed in school at an early age, and his teacher, who now
resides in Preston, Connecticut, still loves to dwell on the
studiousness of his habits, the quickness of his apprehension, the
modesty of his demeanor, the firmness and decision of his character, and
a general thoughtfulness, sagacity, and stability, that made him a
leader to his mates and a pride to his master.

After leaving school, the military spirit of young Taylor was constantly
fanned by the popular excitement against the continual encroachments of
England; and soon after the murderous attack of the British ship Leopard
upon the Chesapeake, in 1808, he entered the army as first lieutenant in
the 7th regiment of infantry. He soon gained distinction in border
skirmishes with the Indians, and the declaration of war with England
found him promoted to the rank of captain. Within sixty days after the
commencement of hostilities in 1812, the imbecility of Hull lost to the
country its Michigan territory, and fearfully jeoparded the whole
northwestern region. It was of the utmost importance to intrust the few
and feeble forts of that great dominion to men of established valor and
discretion. Captain Taylor was at once invested with the command of FORT
HARRISON, situated on the Wabash, in the very heart of the Indian
country. The defenses of this post were in a miserable condition, and
its garrison consisted of only fifty men, of whom thirty were disabled
by sickness. With this little handful of soldiers, the young commander
immediately set about repairing the fortifications. He had hardly
completed his work, when, on the night of the 4th of September, an alarm
shot from one of his sentinels aroused him from a bed of fever, to meet
the attack of a large force of Miami Indians. Every man was at once
ordered to his post. A contiguous blockhouse was fired by the enemy, and
a thick discharge of bullets and arrows was opened upon the fort. The
darkness of the night, the howlings of the savages, the shrieks of the
women and children, the fast approaching flames, and the panic of the
debilitated soldiers, made up a scene of terror, but could not shake the
determination nor the judgment of the young chieftain. He inspired his
men with his own courage and energy. The flames were extinguished, the
consumed breast-works were renewed, and volley answered volley for six
long hours till day break enabled the Americans to aim with a deadly
precision that soon dispersed their foes. This gallant repulse, at odds
so unfavorable, prompted a report from Major General Hopkins to Governor
Shelby that "the firm and almost unparalleled defense of Fort Harrison
had raised for Captain Zachary Taylor a fabric of character not to be
affected by eulogy;" and forthwith procured from President Madison a
preferment to the rank of brevet major, the first brevet, it is said,
ever conferred in the American army.

Major Taylor continued actively engaged throughout the war; but, being
without a separate command, he had no opportunity to again signalize
himself by any remarkable achievement. After the treaty of peace, he
remained at the West, faithfully performing his duties at different
military posts, and preparing himself for any future call to more active
service. In 1832, he was promoted to the rank of colonel; and soon after
the opening of the Florida war, he was ordered to that territory. Here
he was in constant service, and distinguished himself for his discretion
and gallantry in circumstances of the most trying difficulty and peril.
His entire career won for him universal esteem and confidence.

The greatest achievement of Colonel Taylor in Florida was his victory of
OKEE-CHOBEE, which was gained on the 25th of December, 1837. The action
was very severe, and continued nearly four hours. The Indians, under the
command of Alligator and Sam Jones, numbered about 700 warriors, and
were posted in a dense hammock, with their front covered by a small
stream, almost impassable on account of quicksands, and with their
flanks secured by swamps that prevented all access. Colonel Taylor's
force amounted to about 500 men, a portion of whom were inexperienced
volunteers. By an extraordinary effort, the stream in front was crossed,
under a most galling fire of the enemy, by our soldiers, who sunk to the
middle in the mire. A close and desperate fight ensued, during which the
five companies of the sixth infantry, who bore the brunt of the fray,
lost every officer but one, and one of these companies saved only four
privates unharmed. The enemy's line was at last broken, and their right
flank turned. They were soon scattered in all directions, and were
pursued till near night. The American loss was 26 killed and 112
wounded; that of the Indians was very large, but never definitely
ascertained. Throughout the whole engagement, Colonel Taylor was passing
on his horse from point to point within the sweep of the Indian rifles,
emboldening and directing his men, without the least apparent regard for
his own personal safety. This victory had a decisive influence upon the
turn of the war; and the government immediately testified their sense of
its importance by conferring upon its gallant winner the rank of
brigadier-general by brevet.

In the following May, General Taylor succeeded General Jesup in the
command of the Florida army, and in this capacity, during two years, he
rendered vast services to the country by quelling the atrocities of
Indian warfare, and restoring peace and security to the southern
frontier. In 1840, at his own request, he was relieved by
Brigadier-general Armistead, and was ordered to the southwestern
department. Here he remained at various head-quarters until government
had occasion for his services in Texas.

The project for the annexation of Texas, which was first officially
broached in the last year of President Tyler's administration, acquired
more and more weight and influence, until finally, in March, 1845, an
act to that effect was passed by both Houses of Congress, and was soon
after ratified by the Texian government. Mexico, although the
independence of Texas had been long before _de facto_ secured, stoutly
protested against the annexation. The special American envoy sent to the
Mexican capital to attempt an adjustment of this and other difficulties,
was refused a hearing, and great preparations were carried on by the
Mexican government for another invasion of Texas. In June, General
Taylor received orders to advance with his troops over the Sabine, and
protect all of the territory east of the Rio Grande, over which Texas
exercised jurisdiction. He accordingly marched into Texas, and in August
concentrated his forces, amounting to about 3000 men, at Corpus Christi.
Receiving orders from Washington to proceed to the Rio Grande, the
general, with his little army, moved westward in March, 1846: and after
considerable suffering from the heal and the want of food and water,
reached the banks of the river opposite Matamoras on the 28th of the
month. Colonel Twiggs, with a detachment of dragoons, in the mean time
took possession of Point Isabel, situated on an arm of the Gulf, about
25 miles east. General Taylor took every means to assure the Mexicans
that his purpose was not war, nor violence in any shape, but solely the
occupation of the Texian territory to the Rio Grande, until the boundary
should be definitively settled by the two republics.

After encamping opposite Matamoras, the American general prepared with
great activity for Mexican aggression, by erecting fortifications, and
planting batteries. The Mexicans speedily evinced hostile intentions.
General Ampudia arrived at Matamoras with 1000 cavalry and 1500
infantry, and made overtures to our foreign soldiers to "separate from
the Yankee bandits, and array themselves under the tricolored flag!"
Such solicitations were of course spurned with contempt. The American
general was summoned to withdraw his forces at the penalty of being
treated as an enemy; he replied that, while avoiding all occasion for
hostilities, he should faithfully execute the will of his government.
General Arista soon arrived at Matamoras, and, superseding Ampudia,
issued a proclamation to the American soldiers, begging them not to be
the "blind instruments of unholy and mad ambition, and rush on to
certain death." He immediately threw a large body of troops over the
river, in order to cut off all communication between General Taylor and
his dépôt at Point Isabel. A detachment of 61 soldiers, under Captain
Thornton, was waylaid by a Mexican force of ten times their number, and
after a bloody conflict and the loss of many lives, was obliged to
surrender. With but eight days' rations, and the country to the east
fast filling up with the Mexican troops, the position of General Taylor
became very critical. He at once resolved, at every hazard, to procure
additional supplies; and, leaving the fort under the command of Major
Brown, he set out with a large portion of his army, on the 1st of May,
for Point Isabel. He reached that place the next day without
molestation. Soon after his departure, the Mexicans opened their
batteries upon Fort Brown. The fire was steadily returned with two long
eighteen and sixteen brass six pounders by the garrison, which numbered
about 900 men. The bombardment of the fort was kept up at intervals from
batteries in its rear, as well as from the town, for six days. The
Americans, though possessed of little ammunition, and having to mourn
the fall of their gallant commander, sustained the cannonade with
unyielding firmness until the afternoon of the 8th, when their hearts
were thrilled with exultation by the answering peals of General Taylor
at PALO ALTO.

On the evening of the 7th, the American general, with about 2000 men and
250 wagons left Point Isabel for the relief of Fort Brown, and after
advancing seven miles encamped. The next morning he resumed his march,
and at noon met 6000 Mexican troops under Arista, with 800 cavalry, and
seven field-pieces, in line of battle, on a plain flanked at both sides
by small pools, and partly covered in front by thickets of chaparral and
Palo Alto. General Taylor at once halted, refreshed his men, advanced to
within a quarter of a mile of the Mexican line, and gave battle. The
conflict first commenced between the artillery, and for two hours
Ringgold's, and Duncan's, and Churchill's batteries mowed down rank
after rank of the enemy. The infantry remained idle spectators until
General Torrejon, with a body of lancers, made a sally upon our train.
The advancing columns were received with a tremendous fire, and
faltered, broke, and fled. The battle now became general, and for a time
raged with terrific grandeur, amid a lurid cloud of smoke from the
artillery, and the burning grass of the prairie. It rested for an hour,
and then again moved on. The American batteries opened with more
tremendous effect than ever; yet the ranks of the enemy were broken only
to be refilled by fresh men courting destruction. Captain May charged
upon the left, but with too few men to be successful. The chivalrous
Ringgold fell. The cavalry of the enemy advanced upon our artillery of
the right to within close range, when a storm of cannister swept them
back like a tornado. Their infantry made a desperate onset upon our
infantry, but recoiled before their terrible reception. Again they
rallied, and again were they repulsed. Panic seized the baffled foe, and
soon squadron and column were in fall retreat. The conflict had lasted
five hours, with a loss to the Americans of 7 killed and 37 wounded, and
to the Mexicans of at least 250 killed and wounded.

In the evening, a council of war was held upon the propriety of
persisting to advance upon Fort Brown in spite of the vastly superior
force of the enemy. Of the thirteen officers present some were for
retreating to Point Isabel, others for intrenching upon the spot, and
only four for pushing ahead. The general, after hearing all opinions,
settled the question by the laconic declaration, "I will be at Fort
Brown before to-morrow night if I live." In the morning the army again
marched.

The enemy were again met most advantageously posted in the ravine of
RESACA DE LA PALMA within three miles of Fort Brown. About 4 P.M. the
battle commenced with great fury. The artillery on both sides did
terrible execution. By order of General Taylor, May, with his dragoons,
charged the enemy's batteries. The Mexicans reserved their fire until
the horses were near the cannons' mouth, and then poured out a broadside
which laid many a proud fellow low. Those of the dragoons not disabled
rushed on, overleaped the batteries, and seized the guns. The enemy
recoiled, again rallied, and with fixed bayonets returned to the onset.
Again they were repulsed. The "Tampico veterans" came to the rescue,
were met by the dragoons now reinforced with infantry, and all but
seventeen fell sword in hand after fighting with the most desperate
bravery. This decided the battle. The flanks of the enemy were turned,
and soon the rout became general. The Mexicans fled to the flat boats of
the river, and the shouts of the pursuers and the shrieks of the
drowning closed the scene. A great number of prisoners including 14
officers, eight-pieces of artillery, and a large quantity of camp
equipage fell into the hands of the victors. The American loss was 39
killed and 71 wounded; that of the enemy in the two actions was at least
1000 killed and wounded. Fort Brown was relieved, and the next day
Barita on the Mexican bank was taken by Colonel Wilson without
resistance.

The victories of the 8th and 9th filled our country with exultation.
Government acknowledged the distinguished services of General Taylor by
making him Major-general by brevet; Congress passed resolutions of high
approval; Louisiana presented him with a sword, and the press every
where teemed with his praise.

As soon as means could be procured, General Taylor crossed the Rio
Grande, took Matamoras without opposition, and made Colonel Twiggs its
governor. The army soon received large volunteer reinforcements, and on
the 5th of August the American general left Matamoras for Camargo, and
thence proceeded through Seralos to MONTEREY, where he arrived the 19th
of September. The Mexicans, under General Ampudia had placed this
strongly fortified town in a complete state of defense. Not only were
the walls and parapets lined with cannons, but the streets and houses
were barricaded and planted with artillery. The bishop's palace on a
hill at a short distance west of the city was converted into a perfect
fortress. The town was well supplied with ammunition, and manned with
7000 troops of the line, and from 2000 to 3000 irregulars. The attack
commenced on the 21st, and two important redoubts without the city, and
an important work within, were carried with a loss to the Americans in
killed and wounded of not less than 394. At three the next morning, a
considerable force under General Worth dragged their howitzers by main
strength up the hill, and assaulted the palace. The enemy made a
desperate sortie, but were driven back in confusion, and the
fortification was soon taken by the Americans with a loss of only 7
killed and 12 wounded. The next night, the Mexicans evacuated nearly all
their defenses in the lower part of the city. The Americans entered the
succeeding day, and by the severest fighting slowly worked their way
from street to street and square to square, until they reached the heart
of the town. General Ampudia saw that further resistance was useless,
and, on the morning of the 24th, proposed to evacuate the city on
condition that he might take with him the personel and materiel of his
army. This condition was refused by the American general. A personal
interview between the two commanders ensued, which resulted in a
capitulation of the city, allowing the Mexicans to retire with their
forces and a certain portion of their materiel beyond the line formed by
the pass of the Rinconada and San Fernando de Presas and engaging the
Americans not to pass beyond that line for eight weeks. Our entire loss
during the operations was 12 officers and 108 men killed, 31 officers
and 337 men wounded; that of the enemy is not known, but was much
larger. The terms accorded by the conqueror were liberal, and dictated
by a regard to the interests of peace; they crowned a gallant conquest
of arms with a more sublime victory of magnanimity.

General Taylor could not long remain inactive, and with a bold design to
seek out the enemy and fight him on his own ground, he marched as far as
Victoria. But by the transfer of the seat of the war to Vera Cruz, he
was deprived of the greater portion of his army, and was obliged to fall
back on Monterey. Here he remained until February, when, having received
large reinforcements of volunteers, he marched at the head of 4,500 men,
to meet Santa Anna; and on the 20th, took up a position at BUENA VISTA,
the great advantages of which had previously struck his notice. On the
22d, a Mexican army of 20,000 made its appearance, and Santa Anna
summoned the American commander to surrender. General Taylor, with
Spartan brevity, "declined acceding to the request." The next morning
the ten-hour's conflict began. We shall not attempt to rehearse the
history of that fearful battle: it is written forever on the memory of
the nation. The advance of the hostile host with muskets and swords, and
bayonets gleaming in the morning sun; the shouts of the marshaled
foemen; the opening roar of the artillery; the sheeted fire of the
musketry; the unchecked approach of the enemy; the outflanking by their
cavalry and its concentration in our rear; the immovable fortitude of
the Illinoians; the flight of the panic-stricken Indianians; the fall of
Lincoln; the wild shouts of Mexican triumph; the deadly and successful
charge upon the battery of O'Brien; the timely arrival of General Taylor
from Saltillo, and his composed survey, amid the iron hail, of the scene
of battle; the terrible onset of the Kentuckians and Illinoians; the
simultaneous opening of the batteries upon the Mexican masses in the
front and the rear; the impetuous but ill-fated charge of their cavalry
upon the rifles of Mississippi; the hemming-in of that cavalry, and the
errand of Lieutenant Crittenden to demand of Santa Anna its surrender;
the response of the confident chieftain by a similar demand; the
immortal rejoinder, "General Taylor never surrenders!" the escape of the
cavalry to a less exposed position; its baffled charge upon the Saltillo
train; its attack upon the hacienda, and its repulse by the horse of
Kentucky and Arkansas; the fall of Yell and Vaughan, the insolent
mission, under a white flag, to inquire what General Taylor was waiting
for; the curt reply "for General Santa Anna to surrender;" the junction,
by this ruse, of the Mexican cavalry in our rear with their main army;
the concentrated charge upon the American line; the overpowering of the
battery of O'Brien; the fearful crisis; the reinforcement of Captain
Bragg "by Major Bliss and I;" the "little more grape, Captain Bragg;"
the terrific carnage; the pause, the advance, the disorder, and the
retreat; the too eager pursuit of the Kentuckians and Illinoians down
the ravines; the sudden wheeling around of the retiring mass; the
desperate struggle, and the fall of Harden, McKee, and Clay; the
imminent destruction, and the rescuing artillery; the last breaking and
scattering of the Mexican squadrons and battalions; the joyous embrace
of Taylor and Wool; and Old Rough and Ready's "'Tis impossible to whip
us when we all pull together;" the arrival of cold nightfall; the
fireless, anxious, weary bivouac; the general's calm repose for another
day's work; the retreat of the enemy under the cover of darkness--are
not all these things familiar to every American schoolboy? The American
loss was 267 killed, 456 wounded, and 23 missing. The Mexicans left 500
dead on the field, and the whole number of their killed and wounded was
probably near 2000. History tells not of a battle more bravely contested
and more nobly won: and well did the greatest warrior of the age, in
learning it exclaim, "General Taylor's a general indeed!"

The victory of Buena Vista was the last and crowning achievement of
General Taylor's military life. His department in Mexico was entirely
reduced by it to subjection, and the subsequent operations of his army
were few and unimportant. At the close of the war he retired from
Mexico, carrying with him not only the adoration of his soldiers, but
even the respect and attachment of the very people he had vanquished.
Louisiana welcomed him with an ovation of the most fervent enthusiasm.
Thrilling eloquence from her most gifted sons, blessings, and smiles,
and wreaths from her fairest daughters, overwhelming huzzas from her
warm-hearted multitudes, triumphal arches, splendid processions, costly
banners, sumptuous festivals, and, in short, every mode of testifying
love and homage was employed; but modesty kept her wonted place in his
heart, and counsels of peace were, as ever, on his tongue. His prowess
in conflict was no more admirable than his self-forgetfulness in
triumph.

His last great deed had hardly ceased to echo over the land, before the
people began to mark him out for their highest gift. He coveted no such
distinction, and constantly expressed a wish that Henry Clay might be
the chosen one. But the popular purpose grew stronger and stronger; and
General Taylor was named for the Presidency by one of the great
political parties of the country. During the political contest he
remained steadfastly true to himself. He neither stooped nor swerved,
neither sought nor shunned. He was borne by a triumphant majority to the
Presidential chair, and in a way that has impelled the most majestic
intellect of the nation to declare, that "no case ever happened in the
very best days of the Roman Republic, where any man found himself
clothed with the highest authority of the State, under circumstances
more repelling all suspicion of personal application, all suspicion of
pursuing any crooked path in politics, or all suspicion of having been
actuated by sinister views and purposes."

The Inaugural Address of President Taylor was redolent with
old-fashioned patriotism, and breathed the very spirit of Washington.
And his subsequent administration, though beset by sectional strifes of
fearful violence, was conducted with wisdom, firmness, equanimity, and
moderation, on great national principles, and for great national ends.
Owing to his profound deference to the co-ordinate branches of
government, and his inability to either dictate or assume, his policy in
reference to some of the exciting questions of the day was not, during
the short period of his administration, fully proclaimed to Congress,
and pressed upon its adoption; but, though a southern man and a
slaveholder, he had deliberately and explicitly declared himself in
favor of the prompt and untrammeled admission of California into the
Union. He was taken away in the midst of the controversy, just as he was
about to submit his views upon the subject to the representatives of the
people. His last public appearance was in doing homage to Washington,
on the birthday of our liberties, and his last official act was adding a
new guaranty to the peace of the world, by signing the convention
recently concluded between our country and Great Britain respecting
Central America. Disease soon did its work. Confronting Death with the
fearless declaration, "I AM PREPARED--I HAVE ENDEAVORED TO DO MY DUTY,"
the old hero succumbed--his first and last surrender.

General Taylor married in early life a lady of Virginia, and was
connected either by affinity or blood with many of the most noted
families of the Old Dominion. His excellent consort, a son, and a
daughter, survive him. In person, General Taylor was about five feet
eight inches in height, and like most of our revolutionary generals, was
inclined to corpulency. His hair was gray, his brow ample, his eye
vivid, and his features plain, but full of firmness, intelligence, and
benevolence. His manners were easy and cordial, his dress, habits, and
tastes simple, and his style of living temperate in the extreme. His
speeches and his official papers, both military and civil, are alike
famed for their propriety of feeling and their chastity of diction. His
private life was unblemished, and the loveliness of his disposition made
him the idol of his own household and the favorite of all who knew him.
His martial courage was only equaled by his Spartan simplicity, his
unaffected modesty, his ever wakeful humanity, his inflexible integrity,
his uncompromising truthfulness, his lofty magnanimity, his unbounded
patriotism, and his unfaltering loyalty to duty. His mind was of an
original and solid cast, admirably balanced, and combining the
comprehensiveness of reason with the penetration of instinct. Its
controlling element was a strong, sterling sense, that of itself
rendered him a wise counselor and a safe leader. All of his personal
attributes and antecedents made him pre-eminently a man of the people,
and remarkably qualified him to be the stay and surety of his country in
this its day of danger.

    A braver soldier never wielded sword--
    A gentler heart did never sway in council.
    But he is dead--and millions weep his loss.



[From "Hunting Adventures in South Africa."]

ENCOUNTER WITH A LIONESS.


Suddenly I observed a number of vultures seated on the plain about a
quarter of a mile ahead of us, and close beside them stood a huge
lioness, consuming a blesblok which she had killed. She was assisted in
her repast by about a dozen jackals, which were feasting along with her
in the most friendly and confidential manner. Directing my followers'
attention to the spot, I remarked, "I see the lion;" to which they
replied, "Whar? whar? Yah! Almagtig! dat is he;" and instantly reining
in their steeds and wheeling about, they pressed their heels to their
horses' sides, and were preparing to betake themselves to flight. I
asked them what they were going to do. To which they answered, "We have
not yet placed caps on our rifles." This was true; but while this short
conversation was passing the lioness had observed us. Raising her full,
round face, she overhauled us for a few seconds, and then set off at a
smart canter toward a range of mountains some miles to the northward;
the whole troop of jackals also started off in another direction; there
was, therefore, no time to think of caps. The first move was to bring
her to bay, and not a second was to be lost. Spurring my good and lively
steed, and shouting to my men to follow, I flew across the plain, and,
being fortunately mounted on Colesberg, the flower of my stud, I gained
upon her at every stride. This was to me a joyful moment, and I at once
made up my mind that she or I must die.

The lioness having had a long start of me, we went over a considerable
extent of ground before I came up with her. She was a large, full-grown
beast, and the bare and level nature of the plain added to her imposing
appearance. Finding that I gained upon her, she reduced her pace from a
canter to a trot, carrying her tail stuck out behind her, and slewed a
little to one side. I shouted loudly to her to halt, as I wished to
speak with her, upon which she suddenly pulled up, and sat on her
haunches like a dog, with her back toward me, not even deigning to look
round. She then appeared to say to herself, "Does this fellow know who
he is after?" Having thus sat for half a minute, as if involved in
thought, she sprang to her feet, and, fating about, stood looking at me
for a few seconds, moving her tail slowly from side to side, showing her
teeth, and growling fiercely. She next made a short run forward, making
a loud, rumbling noise like thunder. This she did to intimidate me; but,
finding that I did not flinch an inch, nor seem to heed her hostile
demonstrations, she quietly stretched out her massive arms, and lay down
on the grass. My Hottentots now coming up, we all three dismounted, and,
drawing our rifles from their holsters, we looked to see if the powder
was up in the nipples, and put on our caps. While this was doing the
lioness sat up, and showed evident symptoms of uneasiness. She looked
first at us, and then behind her, as if to see if the coast were clear;
after which she made a short run toward us, uttering her deep-drawn
murderous growls. Having secured the three horses to one another by
their rheims, we led them on as if we intended to pass her, in the hope
of obtaining a broadside. But this she carefully avoided to expose,
presenting only her full front. I had given Stofulus my Moore rifle,
with orders to shoot her if she should spring upon me, but on no account
to fire before me. Kleinboy was to stand ready to hand me my Purdey
rifle, in case the two-grooved Dixon should not prove sufficient. My men
as yet had been steady, but they were in a precious stew, their faces
having assumed a ghastly paleness, and I had a painful feeling that I
could place no reliance on them.

Now, then, for it, neck or nothing! She is within sixty yards of us, and
she keeps advancing. We turned the horses' tails to her. I knelt on one
side, and, taking a steady aim at her breast, let fly. The ball cracked
loudly on her tawny hide, and crippled her in the shoulder, upon which
she charged with an appalling roar, and in the twinkling of an eye she
was in the midst of us. At this moment Stofolus's rifle exploded in his
hand, and Kleinboy, whom I had ordered to stand ready by me, danced
about like a duck in a gale of wind. The lioness sprang upon Colesberg,
and fearfully lacerated his ribs and haunches with her horrid teeth and
claws; the worst wound was on his haunch, which exhibited a sickening,
yawning gash, more than twelve inches long, almost laying bare the very
bone. I was very cool and steady, and did not feel in the least degree
nervous, having fortunately great confidence in my own shooting; but I
must confess, when the whole affair was over, I felt that it was a very
awful situation, and attended with extreme peril, as I had no friend
with me on whom I could rely.

When the lioness sprang on Colesberg, I stood out from the horses, ready
with my second barrel for the first chance she should give me of a clear
shot. This she quickly did; for, seemingly satisfied with the revenge
she had now taken, she quitted Colesberg, and, slewing her tail to one
side, trotted sulkily past within a few paces of me, taking one step to
the left. I pitched my rifle to my shoulder, and in another second the
lioness was stretched on the plain a lifeless corpse. In the struggles
of death she half turned on her back, and stretched her neck and fore
arms convulsively, when she fell back to her former position; her mighty
arms hung powerless by her side, her lower jaw fell, blood streamed from
her mouth, and she expired. At the moment I fired my second shot,
Stofolus, who hardly knew whether he was alive or dead, allowed the
three horses to escape. These galloped frantically across the plain, on
which he and Kleinboy instantly started after them, leaving me standing
alone and unarmed within a few paces of the lioness, which they, from
their anxiety to be out of the way, evidently considered quite capable
of doing further mischief.

Such is ever the case with these worthies, and with nearly all the
natives of South Africa. No reliance can be placed on them. They will to
a certainty forsake their master in the most dastardly manner in the
hour of peril, and leave him in the lurch. A stranger, however, hearing
these fellows recounting their own gallant adventures, when sitting in
the evening along with their comrades round a blazing fire, or under the
influence of their adored "Cape smoke" or native brandy, might fancy
them to be the bravest of the brave. Having skinned the lioness and cut
off her head, we placed her trophies upon Beauty and held for camp.
Before we had proceeded a hundred yards from the carcass, upward of
sixty vultures, whom the lioness had often fed were feasting on her
remains.



[From Dickens's "Household Words."]

THE YOUNG ADVOCATE.


Antoine de Chaulieu was the son of a poor gentleman of Normandy, with a
long genealogy, a short rent-roll, and a large family. Jacques Rollet
was the son of a brewer, who did not know who his grandfather was; but
he had a long purse and only two children. As these youths flourished in
the early days of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and were near
neighbors, they naturally hated each other. Their enmity commenced at
school, where the delicate and refined De Chaulieu being the only
gentilhomme among the scholars, was the favorite of the master (who was
a bit of an aristocrat in his heart) although he was about the worst
dressed boy in the establishment, and never had a son to spend; while
Jacques Rollet, sturdy and rough, with smart clothes and plenty of
money, got flogged six days in the week, ostensibly for being stupid and
not learning his lessons--which, indeed, he did not--but, in reality,
for constantly quarreling with and insulting De Chaulieu, who had not
strength to cope with him. When they left the academy, the feud
continued in all its vigor, and was fostered by a thousand little
circumstances arising out of the state of the times, till a separation
ensued in consequence of an aunt of Antoine de Chaulieu's undertaking
the expense of sending him to Paris to study the law, and of maintaining
him there during the necessary period.

With the progress of events came some degree of reaction in favor of
birth and nobility, and then Antoine, who had passed for the bar, began
to hold up his head and endeavored to push his fortunes; but fate seemed
against him. He felt certain that if he possessed any gift in the world
it was that of eloquence, but he could get no cause to plead; and his
aunt dying inopportunely, first his resources failed, and then his
health. He had no sooner returned to his home, than, to complicate his
difficulties completely, he fell in love with Mademoiselle Natalie de
Bellefonds, who had just returned from Paris, where she had been
completing her education. To expatiate on the perfections of
Mademoiselle Natalie, would be a waste of ink and paper; it is
sufficient to say that she really was a very charming girl, with a
fortune which, though not large, would have been a most desirable
acquisition to De Chaulieu, who had nothing. Neither was the fair
Natalie indisposed to listen to his addresses; but her father could not
be expected to countenance the suit of a gentleman, however well-born,
who had not a ten-sous piece in the world, and whose prospects were a
blank.

While the ambitions and love-sick young barrister was thus pining in
unwelcome obscurity, his old acquaintance; Jacques Rollet, had been
acquiring an undesirable notoriety. There was nothing really bad in
Jacques' disposition, but having been bred up a democrat, with a hatred
of the nobility, he could not easily accommodate his rough humor to
treat them with civility when it was no longer safe to insult them. The
liberties he allowed himself whenever circumstances brought him into
contact with the higher classes of society, had led him into many
scrapes, out of which his father's money had one way or another released
him; but that source of safety had now failed. Old Rollet having been
too busy with the affairs of the nation to attend to his business, had
died insolvent, leaving his son with nothing but his own wits to help
him out of future difficulties, and it was not long before their
exercise was called for. Claudine Rollet, his sister, who was a very
pretty girl, had attracted the attention of Mademoiselle de Bellefonds'
brother, Alphonso; and as he paid her more attention than from such a
quarter was agreeable to Jacques, the young men had had more than one
quarrel on the subject, on which occasions they had each,
characteristically, given vent to their enmity, the one in contemptuous
monosyllables, and the other in a volley of insulting words. But
Claudine had another lover more nearly of her own condition of life;
this was Claperon, the deputy governor of the Rouen jail, with whom she
had made acquaintance during one or two compulsory visits paid by her
brother to that functionary; but Claudine, who was a bit of a coquette,
though she did not altogether reject his suit, gave him little
encouragement, so that betwixt hopes, and fears, and doubts, and
jealousies, poor Claperon led a very uneasy kind of life.

Affairs had been for some time in this position, when, one fine morning,
Alphonse de Bellefonds was not to be found in his chamber when his
servant went to call him; neither had his bed been slept in. He had been
observed to go out rather late on the preceding evening, but whether or
not he had returned, nobody could tell. He had not appeared at supper,
but that was too ordinary an event to awaken suspicion; and little alarm
was excited till several hours had elapsed, when inquiries were
instituted and a search commenced, which terminated in the discovery of
his body, a good deal mangled, lying at the bottom of a pond which had
belonged to the old brewery. Before any investigations had been made,
every person had jumped to the conclusion that the young man had been
murdered, and that Jacques Rollet was the assassin. There was a strong
presumption in favor of that opinion, which further perquisitions tended
to confirm. Only the day before, Jacques had been heard to threaten
Mons. de Bellefonds with speedy vengeance. On the fatal evening,
Alphonse and Claudine had been seen together in the neighborhood of the
now dismantled brewery; and as Jacques, betwixt poverty and democracy,
was in bad odor with the prudent and respectable part of society, it was
not easy for him to bring witnesses to character, or prove an
unexceptionable alibi. As for the Bellefonds and De Chaulieus, and the
aristocracy in general, they entertained no doubt of his guilt, and,
finally, the magistrate; coming to the same opinion, Jacques Rollet was
committed for trial, and as a testimony of good will. Antoine de
Chaulieu was selected by the injured family to conduct the prosecution.

Here, at last, was the opportunity he had sighed for! So interesting a
case, too, furnishing such ample occasion for passion, pathos,
indignation! And how eminently fortunate that the speech which he set
himself with ardor to prepare, would be delivered in the presence of the
father and brother of his mistress, and, perhaps, of the lady herself!
The evidence against Jacques, it is true, was altogether presumptive;
there was no proof whatever that he had committed the crime; and for his
own part, he stoutly denied it. But Antoine de Chaulieu entertained no
doubt of his guilt, and his speech was certainly well calculated to
carry that conviction into the bosom of others. It was of the highest
importance to his own reputation that he should procure a verdict, and
he confidently assured the afflicted and enraged family of the victim
that their vengeance should be satisfied. Under these circumstances
could any thing be more unwelcome than a piece of intelligence that was
privately conveyed to him late on the evening before the trial was to
come on, which tended strongly to exculpate the prisoner, without
indicating any other person as the criminal. Here was an opportunity
lost. The first step of the ladder on which he was to rise to fame,
fortune, and a wife, was slipping from under his feet.

Of course, so interesting a trial was anticipated with great eagerness
by the public, and the court was crowded with all the beauty and fashion
of Rouen. Though Jacques Rollet persisted in asserting his innocence,
founding his defense chiefly on circumstances which were strongly
corroborated by the information that had reached De Chaulieu the
preceding evening--he was convicted.

In spite of the very strong doubts he privately entertained respecting
the justice of the verdict, even De Chaulieu himself, in the first flush
of success, amid a crowd of congratulating friends, and the approving
smiles of his mistress, felt gratified and happy: his speech had, for
the time being, not only convinced others, but himself; warmed with his
own eloquence, he believed what he said. But when the glow was over, and
he found himself alone, he did not feel so comfortable. A latent doubt
of Rollet's guilt now burst strongly on his mind, and he felt that the
blood of the innocent would be on his head. It is true there was yet
time to save the life of the prisoner, but to admit Jacques innocent,
was to take the glory out of his own speech, and turn the sting of his
argument against himself. Besides, if he produced the witness who had
secretly given him the information, he should be self-condemned, for he
could not conceal that he had been aware of the circumstance before the
trial.

Matters having gone so far, therefore, it was necessary that Jacques
Rollet should die; so the affair took its course; and early one morning
the guillotine was erected in the court-yard of the jail, three
criminals ascended the scaffold, and three heads fell into the basket,
which were presently afterward, with the trunks that had been attached
to them, buried in a corner of the cemetery.

Antoine de Chaulieu was now fairly started in his career, and his
success was as rapid as the first step toward it had been tardy. He took
a pretty apartment in the Hôtel Marboeuf, Rue Grange-Batelière, and in
a short time was looked upon as one of the most rising young advocates
in Paris. His success in one line brought him success in another; he was
soon a favorite in society, and an object of interest to speculating
mothers; but his affections still adhered to his old love Natalie de
Bellefonds, whose family now gave their assent to the match--at least,
prospectively--a circumstance which furnished such an additional
incentive to his exertions, that in about two years from the date of his
first brilliant speech, he was in a sufficiently flourishing condition
to offer the young lady a suitable home. In anticipation of the happy
event, he engaged and furnished a suite of apartments in the Rue du
Helder; and as it was necessary that the bride should come to Paris to
provide her trousseau, it was agreed that the wedding should take place
there, instead of at Bellefonds, as had been first projected; an
arrangement the more desirable, that a press of business rendered Mons.
de Chaulieu's absence from Paris inconvenient.

Brides and bridegrooms in France, except of the very high classes, are
not much in the habit of making those honeymoon excursions so universal
in this country. A day spent in visiting Versailles, or St. Cloud, or
even the public places of the city, is generally all that precedes the
settling down into the habits of daily life. In the present instance St.
Denis was selected, from the circumstance of Natalie's having a younger
sister at school there; and also because she had a particular desire to
see the Abbey.

The wedding was to take place on a Thursday; and on the Wednesday
evening, having spent some hours most agreeably with Natalie, Antoine de
Chaulieu returned to spend his last night in his bachelor apartments.
His wardrobe and other small possessions, had already been packed up and
sent to his future home; and there was nothing left in his room now, but
his new wedding suit, which he inspected with considerable satisfaction
before he undressed and lay down to sleep. Sleep, however, was somewhat
slow to visit him; and the clock had struck _one_, before he closed his
eyes. When he opened them again it was broad daylight; and his first
thought was, had he overslept himself? He sat up in bed to look at the
clock which was exactly opposite, and as he did so, in the large mirror
over the fire-place, he perceived a figure standing behind him. As the
dilated eyes met his own, he saw it was the face of Jacques Rollet.
Overcome with horror he sunk back on his pillow, and it was some
minutes before he ventured to look again in that direction; when he did
so, the figure had disappeared.

The sudden revulsion of feeling such a vision was calculated to occasion
in a man elate with joy, may be conceived! For some time after the death
of his former foe, he had been visited by not unfrequent twinges of
conscience; but of late, borne along by success, and the hurry of
Parisian life, these unpleasant remembrancers had grown rarer, till at
length they had faded away altogether. Nothing had been further from his
thoughts than Jacques Rollet, when he closed his eyes on the preceding
night, nor when he opened them to that sun which was to shine on what he
expected to be the happiest day of his life! Where were the high-strung
nerves now? The elastic frame? The bounding heart?

Heavily and slowly he arose from his bed, for it was time to do so; and
with a trembling hand and quivering knees, he went through the processes
of the toilet, gashing his cheek with the razor, and spilling the water
over his well-polished boots. When he was dressed, scarcely venturing to
cast a glance in the mirror as he passed it, he quitted the room and
descended the stairs, taking the key of the door with him for the
purpose of leaving it with the porter; the man, however, being absent,
he laid it on the table in his lodge, and with a relaxed and languid
step proceeded on his way to the church, where presently arrived the
fair Natalie and her friends. How difficult it was now to look happy,
with that pallid face and extinguished eye!

"How pale you are! Has any thing happened? You are surely ill?" were the
exclamations that met him on all sides. He tried to carry it off as well
as he could, but felt that the movements he would have wished to appear
alert, were only convulsive; and that the smiles with which he attempted
to relax his features, were but distorted grimaces. However, the church
was not the place for further inquiries; and while Natalie gently
pressed his hand in token of sympathy, they advanced to the altar, and
the ceremony was performed; after which they stepped into the carriage
waiting at the door, and drove to the apartments of Madme. de
Bellefonds, where an elegant _déjeuner_ was prepared.

"What ails you, my dear husband?" inquired Natalie, as soon as they were
alone.

"Nothing, love," he replied; "nothing, I assure you, but a restless
night and a little over-work, in order that I might have to-day free to
enjoy my happiness!"

"Are you quite Sure? Is there nothing else?"

"Nothing, indeed; and pray don't take notice of it, it only makes me
worse!"

Natalie was not deceived, but she saw that what he said was true; notice
made him worse; so she contented herself with observing him quietly, and
saying nothing; but as he _felt_ she was observing him, she might almost
better have spoken; words are often less embarrassing things than too
curious eyes.

When they reached Madame de Bellefonds' he had the same sort of
questioning and scrutiny to undergo, till he grew quite impatient under
it, and betrayed a degree of temper altogether unusual with him. Then
every body looked astonished; some whispered their remarks, and others
expressed them by their wondering eyes, till his brow knit, and his
pallid cheeks became flushed with anger. Neither could he divert
attention by eating; his parched mouth would not allow him to swallow
any thing but liquids, of which, however, he indulged in copious
libations; and it was an exceeding relief to him when the carriage,
which was to convey them to St. Denis, being announced, furnished an
excuse for hastily leaving the table. Looking at his watch, he declared
it was late; and Natalie, who saw how eager he was to be gone, threw her
shawl over her shoulders, and bidding her friends _good morning_, they
hurried away.

It was a fine sunny day in June; and as they drove along the crowded
boulevards, and through the Porte St. Denis, the young bride and
bridegroom, to avoid each other's eyes, affected to be gazing out of the
windows; but when they reached that part of the road where there was
nothing but trees on each side, they felt it necessary to draw in their
heads, and make an attempt at conversation. De Chaulieu put his arm
round his wife's waist, and tried to rouse himself from his depression;
but it had by this time so reacted upon her, that she could not respond
to his efforts, and thus the conversation languished, till both felt
glad when they reached their destination, which would at all events
furnish them something to talk about.

Having quitted the carriage, and ordered a dinner at the Hôtel de
l'Abbaye, the young couple proceeded to visit Mademoiselle Hortense de
Bellefonds, who was overjoyed to see her sister and new brother-in-law,
and doubly so when she found that they had obtained permission to take
her out to spend the afternoon with them. As there is little to be seen
at St. Denis but the Abbey, on quitting that part of it devoted to
education, they proceeded to visit the church, with its various objects
of interest; and as De Chaulieu's thoughts were now forced into another
direction, his cheerfulness began insensibly to return. Natalie looked
so beautiful, too, and the affection betwixt the two young sisters was
so pleasant to behold! And they spent a couple of hours wandering about
with Hortense, who was almost as well informed as the Suisse, till the
brazen doors were open which admitted them to the royal vault.
Satisfied, at length, with what they had seen, they began to think of
returning to the inn, the more especially as De Chaulieu, who had not
eaten a morsel of food since the previous evening, owned to being
hungry; so they directed their steps to the door, lingering here and
there as they went, to inspect a monument or a painting, when, happening
to turn his head aside to see if his wife, who had stopped to take a
last look at the tomb of King Dagobert, was following, he beheld with
horror the face of Jacques Rollett appearing from behind a column! At
the same instant, his wife joined him, and took his arm, inquiring if he
was not very much delighted with what he had seen He attempted to say
yes, but the word would not be forced out; and staggering out of the
door, he alleged that a sudden faintness had overcome him.

They conducted him to the Hôtel, but Natalie now became seriously
alarmed; and well she might. His complexion looked ghastly, his limbs
shook, and his features bore an expression of indiscribable horror and
anguish. What could be the meaning of so extraordinary a change in the
gay, witly, prosperous De Chaulieu, who, till that morning, seemed not
to have a care in the world? For, plead illness as he might, she felt
certain, from the expression of his features, that his sufferings were
not of the body but of the mind; and, unable to imagine any reason for
such extraordinary manifestations, of which she had never before seen a
symptom, but a sudden aversion to herself, and regret for the step he
had taken, her pride took the alarm, and, concealing the distress, she
really felt, she began to assume a haughty and reserved manner toward
him, which he naturally interpreted into an evidence of anger and
contempt. The dinner was placed upon the table, but De Chaulieu's
appetite, of which he had lately boasted, was quite gone, nor was his
wife better able to eat. The young sister alone did justice to the
repast; but although the bridegroom could not eat, he could swallow
Champagne in such copious draughts, that ere long the terror and remorse
that the apparition of Jacques Rollet had awakened in his breast were
drowned in intoxication. Amazed and indignant, poor Natalie sat silently
observing this elect of her heart, till overcome with disappointment and
grief, she quitted the room with her sister, and retired to another
apartment, where she gave free vent to her feelings in tears.

After passing a couple of hours in confidences and lamentations, they
recollected that the hours of liberty granted, as an especial favor, to
Mademoiselle Hortense, had expired: but ashamed to exhibit her husband
in his present condition to the eyes of strangers, Natalie prepared to
re-conduct her to the _Maison Royale_ herself. Looking into the
dining-room as they passed, they saw De Chaulieu lying on a sofa fast
asleep, in which state he continued when his wife returned. At length,
however, the driver of their carriage begged to know if Monsieur and
Madame were ready to return to Paris, and it became necessary to arouse
him. The transitory effects of the Champagne had now subsided; but when
De Chaulieu recollected what had happened, nothing could exceed his
shame and mortification. So engrossing indeed were these sensations that
they quite overpowered his previous ones, and, in his present vexation,
he, for the moment, forgot his fears. He knelt at his wife's feet,
begged her pardon a thousand times, swore that he adored her, and
declared that the illness and the effect of the wine had been purely the
consequences of fasting and over-work. It was not the easiest thing in
the world to reassure a woman whose pride, affection, and taste, had
been so severely wounded; but Natalie tried to believe, or to appear to
do so, and a sort of reconciliation ensued, not quite sincere on the
part of the wife, and very humbling on the part of the husband. Under
these circumstances it was impossible that he should recover his spirits
or facility of manner; his gayety was forced, his tenderness
constrained; his heart was heavy within him; and ever and anon the
source whence all this disappointment and woe had sprung would recur to
his perplexed and tortured mind.

Thus mutually pained and distrustful, they returned to Paris, which they
reached about nine o'clock. In spite of her depression, Natalie, who had
not seen her new apartments, felt some curiosity about them, while De
Chaulieu anticipated a triumph in exhibiting the elegant home he had
prepared for her. With some alacrity, therefore, they stepped out of the
carriage, the gates of the Hôtel were thrown open, the _concierge_ rang
the bell which announced to the servants that their master and mistress
had arrived, and while these domestics appeared above, holding lights
over the balusters, Natalie, followed by her husband, ascended the
stairs. But when they reached the landing-place of the first flight,
they saw the figure of a man standing in a corner as if to make way for
them; the flash from above fell upon his face, and again Antoine de
Chaulieu recognized the feature of Jacques Rollet!

From the circumstance of his wife's preceding him, the figure was not
observed by De Chaulieu till he was lifting his foot to place it on the
top stair: the sudden shock caused him to miss the step, and, without
uttering a sound, he fell back, and never stopped till he reached the
stones at the bottom. The screams of Natalie brought the concierge from
below and the maids from above, and an attempt was made to raise the
unfortunate man from the ground; but with cries of anguish he besought
them to desist.

"Let me," he said, "die here! What a fearful vengeance is thine! Oh,
Natalie, Natalie!" he exclaimed to his wife, who was kneeling beside
him, "to win fame, and fortune, and yourself, I committed a dreadful
crime! With lying words I argued away the life of a fellow-creature,
whom, while I uttered them, I half believed to be innocent; and now,
when I have attained all I desired, and reached the summit of my hopes,
the Almighty has sent him back upon the earth to blast me with the
sight. Three times this day--three times this day! Again! again!"--and,
as he spoke, his wild and dilated eyes fixed themselves on one of the
individuals that surrounded him.

"He is delirious," said they.

"No," said the stranger! "What he says is true enough--at least in
part;" and bending over the expiring man, he added, "May Heaven forgive
you, Antoine de Chaulieu! I was not executed; one who well knew my
innocence saved my life. I may name him, for he is beyond the reach of
the law now--it was Claperon, the jailor, who loved Claudine, and had
himself killed Alphonse de Bellefonds from jealousy. An unfortunate
wretch had been several years in the jail for a murder committed during
the frenzy of a fit of insanity. Long confinement had reduced him to
idiocy. To save my life Claperon substituted the senseless being for me,
on the scaffold, and he was executed in my stead. He has quitted the
country, and I have been a vagabond on the face of the earth ever since
that time. At length I obtained, through the assistance of my sister,
the situation of concierge in the Hôtel Marboeuf, in the Rue
Grange-Batelière. I entered on my new place yesterday evening, and was
desired to awaken the gentleman on the third floor at seven o'clock.
When I entered the room to do so, you were asleep, but before I had time
to speak you awoke, and I recognized your features in the glass. Knowing
that I could not vindicate my innocence if you chose to seize me, I
fled, and seeing an omnibus starting for St. Denis, I got on it with a
vague idea of getting on to Calais, and crossing the Channel to England.
But having only a franc or two in my pocket, or indeed in the world, I
did not know how to procure the means of going forward; and while I was
lounging about the place, forming first one plan and then another, I saw
you in the church, and concluding you were in pursuit of me, I thought
the best way of eluding your vigilance was to make my way back to Paris
as fast as I could; so I set off instantly, and walked all the way; but
having no money to pay my night's lodging, I came here to borrow a
couple of livres of my sister Claudine, who lives in the fifth story."

"Thank Heaven!" exclaimed the dying man; "that sin is off my soul!
Natalie, dear wife, farewell! Forgive! forgive all!"

These were the last words he uttered; the priest, who had been summoned
in haste, held up the cross before his failing sight; a few strong
convulsions shook the poor bruised and mangled frame; and then all was
still.

And thus ended the Young Advocate's Wedding Day.



[From the Dublin University Magazine.]

THE REVOLUTIONISM OF MIRABEAU.


The moral is evolved out of the physical, and the extraordinary in
animal structure has a kinship to the portentous in human action.

MIRABEAU, the infamous, born in an age, of a family, in a rank the most
vicious in the annals of vice, of parents whose depravity had
contaminated even their blood, was ushered with infinite difficulty into
the breathing scene he was so much to trouble, and offered, at the
outset of his disorderly career, misfortune and singularity in a
twisted fool, a tied tongue, and two molar teeth.

Maltreated by fortune, which, at the age of three, turned him by
disease into the ugliest of children--"a tiger marked by the
small-pox"--caressed and neglected by his dissolute mother, disowned and
persecuted as a spurious graft in his house and home by the celebrated
"Economist," his father--his very childhood presaged the disorders of
his youth and manhood; and his father, mysteriously reverting to early
crimes and calamities as the blight of his life, made it matter of
complaint that Honoré Gabriel, as a boy, had more cleverness "than all
the devils in h--l," and seemed destined from his childhood "to disturb
the monarchy, as a second Cardinal de Retz."

He was indeed _born_ a Revolutionist; and if he had not found the
elements of a _bouleversement_, was competent to have created them. But
just as nature gave the instinct, fortune supplied the breeding and the
occasion. The heir, pupil, find victim of a second family of Atreus and
Thyestes, the child was _trained_ into demoralization, vicissitude, and
daring. Believed himself to have been the favorite lover of the most
lovely of his sisters, he describes her as the "Atrocious
memoir-writer," a "Messalina, boasting of the purity of her morals, and
an absconding wife, bragging of her love for her husband." The Vicomte,
his brother, "would have been a _roué_ and a wit," he tells us, "in any
family but his own," and _was_, of a dissolute noblesse, its most
dissolute member. His mother, driven with contumely from her home and
the bosom of her family, under accusations the most revolting a wife may
hear from one who is her husband and a father, addressed the world in
public recriminations for her persecutor, not less disgusting or
condemnatory. The son himself, the most infamous man of his time,
completes the picture in the boast he made to the National Assembly,
that among the tragic woes of his family he had been the witness of
fifty-four lettres-de-cachet, seventeen of them on his own account!

As in Eastern climates the abundance of degenerate man will, at some
spot and moment, reach a point where it breeds the plague which
diminishes by depopulation the evil it can not remove by more merciful
agencies, so would it seem that in France the demoralization which
necessitated a revolution, concentrating itself in one family, produced
the man who was to begin the catastrophe.

At seventeen, leaving a military academy, he entered the army as a
sub-lieutenant, knowing, as he tells us, a little Latin, and no Greek,
but possessing, with very tolerable acquirements in the mathematics, a
fair share of the scattered erudition won by readings more desultory
than diligent.

Presented at court, admitted to the rare aristocratic privilege of
riding in the king's carriages at Versailles, laughed at as the Princess
Elizabeth's living specimen of inoculation, the incipient courtier and
embryo revolutionist was awakened from his delightful vision to find
himself suddenly transferred from his regal residence and gayeties, to
the sombre solitude of a country jail. He had been guilty of a
passionate attachment to a young lady of disproportionate expectations.

The young victim of parental wrong, thus severely taught that the
splendors of a court were but a veneer under which lay the terrible
springs of a wayward tyranny, killed time in brooding over the ideas and
studies which subsequently formed his "_Essai_" no less than his
character--"_sur le despotisme_." But before completing the work, the
father's monomania had been temporarily mitigated by the vengeance of a
year's imprisonment; and the son, instead of being sent to Surinam, the
Dutch Sierra Leone of that day, was graciously permitted, under the
_bourgeois_ name of "Buffiere," to enter as a gentleman volunteer the
French army that was about to crush the Corsicans in their noble
struggle against Genoese oppression.

In this liberticidal war, the liberty-loving Mirabeau performed his
first manly act, won his first public distinction, and initiated that
series of paradox, and moral revolutionism, that was hence to follow him
as lover, _litterateur_, and politician, to the grave. As his sword was
against Corsica and freedom, his pen was for them. He wrote over the
ruins of both a boyish philippic, admired by his victims, and burnt by
his father!

And while the brain that was to rule France as a tribune-king, was thus
evolving its idle progeny, the womb of a Corsican woman near him was
travailing with him who was to be Napoleon! At the instant France, by
the sword of her future liberator, was mowing down the new-born
liberties of Corsica--Corsica was breathing the breath of life into a
child, whose sword was to cleave down the fresh-won freedom of France!
As a Cæsar and a Marius sprung from the blood of the Gracchi, there
would have been no Corsican exterminator for France, had there been no
French exterminators for Corsica.[7] There are surely times when fate
plays with mortals, making of the murder of a generation or the
revolution of an empire a nursery game of coincidences!

Of the twenty years that followed, bringing Mirabeau to the footsteps of
the revolution, and within two years of his death, it was the odd fate
of this gay and gifted noble, guilty of no offense against the state,
nor in a legal sense against society, to pass more than the moiety of
his time in the sad rôle of a state prisoner; and the main incidents in
the unhappy sequence of wrong and suffering, the inevitable but
unrecognized logic of Providence, were briefly, and in succession, a
profitless marriage with the most distinguished heiress of his province,
carried off from twenty more eligible rivals by the superior strategy
of seduction and defamation, pecuniary extravagance, dissipation, debts,
sequestration of property, marital separation, successive imprisonments
by paternal intervention, deadly hate with the father, permanent
alienation from his adulterous wife and only child, licentious
connection with a friend's wife, with whom he abandoned his country,
exile in Switzerland, Holland, and England, successive litigations
self-conducted, a ministerial spyship in Prussia, and a career more or
less stormy, as a _litterateur_, in France.

Entombed in one of the horrid dungeons of Vincennes, solitary, hopeless,
almost without a sympathy, though in the very spring-tide of his rich
youth and activity, the angel of consolation, never far from us in our
darkest hour, came down, and in the genial guise of literature, visited
in his dungeon this man of infamies and suffering. It must, however, be
confessed against him that, maddened by the severity of a despotism
without appeal, in the wrong--and from that hand, too, whence he might
fairly have hoped a kinder gift, even the wholesomeness of books became
poisoned under his diseased digestion, and it became his wretched
pleasure through months to avenge himself on the virtue in whose injured
name he suffered, by licentious compilations, in which the man
degenerates into the satyr, and the distinctions of right and decency
are lost in the beastly excesses of a maniac imagination.

But so morbid a vice in a mind like his can be protected by no madness
of the passions or vindictiveness of misanthropy from the healing
influence of time; and if the leisure of his tedious incarcerations gave
us four or five books in the worst of services, they gave us also those
extensive studies of history and its philosophy to which we owe, among
much else that is great in literature or in event, the three works on
"Despotism," "State Prisons," and "Lettres-de-Cachet."

To our present purpose it would be of little use to indulge in any
lengthened analysis or literary estimate of these performances.
Gratifying his need of money, his love of fame, and, above all, a
vengeance warmly nursed, which even virtue can not censure, their
publication formed, probably, the happiest incidents of his life. The
first published in his twenty-fifth year, bears all the characteristics
of the young man of genius, roughened, no less than strengthened by the
asperities of the experience out of whose ireful plenitude he writes.
Rough and disorderly in arrangement, it is lofty, striking, eloquent in
style--cogent, daring, powerful in matter.

The last, the result of his long, final imprisonment, and published in
his thirty-first year, possesses similar attributes, aggrandized, or
improved. A great work, involving an inquiry into the first principles
of government, and, therefore, of infinite practical utility in the
career reserved for him, it wants too obviously the elevation of a
Montesquieu, the philosophy of a Bolingbroke, or the comprehensive
profundity of a Burke. It is a work of genius, but by a partisan, an
advocate, a man of powerful emotion and vivid conception, having a
strong will, a high purpose, and an enduring conviction. With a great,
sometimes an inapt parade of erudition, and an occasional loss of time
in inflated and declamatory commonplaces, there is yet, as a general
rule, work, rather than literature, in his sentences, and the just, the
practical, the statesman-like are the dominating qualities. We must not
look for the artist in Mirabeau as a writer: he is above that: nor,
whatever the range of thought we may justly concede him, may we,
therefore, expect the sublime; he is below that. With the eloquence of
an impassioned imagination, united to the unornamented vigor of a ready,
versatile, and comprehensive reason, he reminds one of some colossal
engine in forceful, though not always in graceful action.

In Holland, occupied in literature and the society of literary men, and
subsequently in England, in commerce with Franklin, Dr. Price, Samuel
Romilly, and Wilkes--among whom be it said, _en passant_, he acquired
the reputation of an habitual liar--a thousand circumstances must have
presented themselves, not more in his own studies than in the freedom,
seriousness, and activity he saw around him, to prepare and stimulate
his ambition for the lofty career of political action that awaited him
at home. In truth, if we may judge from the letters written during his
English residence, or the biographical fragments that occur in his other
correspondence, he seems, beyond his personal indigence, to have had no
other enduring interest but that of public affairs. His mind broods over
the tragic epochs of English history with a fascinating and curious
sympathy: there is an evident faith in a coming drama of popular action
for France, in which he is to play a leading part--a faith so early
ripened that, in 1782, meeting at Neufchatel certain State Deputies of
Geneva, he based on the inevitable meeting of the States General the
prediction, or rather the promise, that he would become a deputy, and in
that character restore their country to freedom.

Returning to Paris at a moment when the increasing and unmanageable
_deficit_ brought national bankruptcy and confusion to the very door of
the state, a course of angry and mercenary pamphleteering on Finance,
while connecting him with discontented men of wealth and influence,
willing, jointly with the police, to hire or use his ready pen, forced
on him education in another important, if unattractive, department of
the great question of the times.

His ministerial spyship in Prussia, which, subsequently divulged by his
own audacious publication of his secret correspondence, won from M. de
Montesquieu the remark, that "the infamy of the person might be
estimated by the infamy of the thing," was not without its compensations
in the political experience he extracted from it. It brought before him
the main interests of European diplomacy: won him access to the
principal intrigues and intriguers of a Court in transitionship, by the
death of Frederick, from eccentric greatness to orderly mediocrity;
habituated him to ministerial correspondence and reports, which, if
disgustingly mean, were, at all events, systematic and prescient, and
secured him--I could wish to say honestly--those historic and
statistical _data_ which, published in his elaborate work on the
Prussian monarchy, countenanced some serious claims to statesmanship.

Misfortune, passion, solitude, suffering, travel, extraordinary
adventures, extensive readings, varied studies, innumerable writings
thus admirably endowing his mind, so disposed, too, by nature, for the
daring and stormy struggles of the revolution, the only resource that
could surely be wanting to so enormous a compound of intellectual
strength, I mean the power of oratory, he was fated to acquire in his
lengthened trials for the recovery of his wife and legal rights.

Opposed by Alps of difficulties, the moral greater than the legal, for
the suits ploughed deeply into all the crimes or errors that had
dishonored his career, and would necessarily turn up masses of
documentary evidence, which on no less authority than that of his
father, must carry the tale of his infamy to every eye; yet his audacity
dared, as his genius surmounted, every disadvantage, and after fixing
the admiration of a province--to him a sufficient compensation--by the
ingenuity, the power, and the extraordinary resources of his eloquence
in a path so new to him, he succeeded in re-establishing his civil
rights, and but failed in the second, and, perhaps, less important suit,
by the accident of a technicality.

Passing by his double election as Deputy, at Aix and Marseilles, marked
by excitement, insurrection and all the stirring incidents that, in a
moment of great public agitation, might be expected to accompany the
_début_ of a daring and accomplished demagogue, we are now brought to
the greatest epoch of France, and, therefore, of Mirabeau--the meeting
of the States General; and the observation is naturally suggested that,
if this extraordinary succession of circumstances, marvelous as
_incidents_, but still more marvelous as _coincidents_, had not
specially moulded the man for his work, it might well be doubted that
the French revolution could have happened, or at all events, in such
gigantic proportions. Mirabeau's life was, as we have seen, a pupilage,
as it is now to become a mastership, in revolution. His Saturn of a
father had trained him, from his youth upward, into the executionership
of his order; and Heaven itself, as if seconding some such inscrutable
design, seems to have stooped to lead by the hand this servant of
Nemesis, through paths the most devious and unfrequented, but, of all
others, the most fitted to form and conduct him to the emergency.

A change, it is true of some kind in French Government, accompanied by
more or less confusion and bloodshed, had been long inevitable. Genius,
good sense, suffering, luxury, oppression, contumely, unprincipledness,
and folly, each boon of nature, each wrong of man, had concurred, after
more than a century of struggle, in necessitating a consummation.

In my opinion, the popular horrors that darkened the end of the
eighteenth century, though pointed in their way by the finger of
Mirabeau, legitimately trace their pedigree to the royal grandeurs that
closed the preceding one. The French Revolution was born of Louis the
Fourteenth. His policy--his achievements--his failures, and, still more,
his personal character and court deportment, killed monarchy in the
hearts of the French people. The prominent ruling characteristic of
himself and reign was an all-absorbing egotism. A maelstrom of
selfishness, and unconscious of any law of reciprocity to arise from his
relations to a common humanity, this chief and example of a numerous
aristocracy was the grand centre to which was to be directed every
affection and service, from which was to be circulated every volition
and ordinance. And need I say that no eminence of intellectual power--no
prudence of personal deportment--no brilliancy of external achievement,
can or ought to have any effect on spectators so keen-witted and
impressionable as the French, save to make additionally insupportable a
character which, even on the smallest scale, is, of all others, the most
odious and repulsive. The stern unity and perfection of order in which
he was enabled to present political power--that necessary evil of human
existence--but added intensity to the hate, as it added grandeur to the
idea of his despotism. In the eyes of his suffering subjects it brought
him face to face with the catastrophes no less than with the glories of
his reign, and without the merit of the avowal--_adsum qui feci!_ gave
him all its dread responsibilities. An old despot surviving his
greatness while retaining the stinging irony of its title--a saint amid
the standing reminiscences of his adulteries, expiating his pleasures by
annihilating those of others, and tormenting consciences to save his
own--his suffering and downcast people became at length disabused but
too utterly of the base apotheosis of his person and character, so long
maintained by him in the name of a false glory and debased religion.
They even publicly rejoiced at a death-bed made pitiable by the absence
of his mistress, confessor, and family; and meeting in mobs that,
encountering his corpse on its way through by-lanes to hugger-mugger
interment at St. Denis, they might tear it into shreds, gave early and
portentous evidence that the germ of an envenomed and bloody democracy
had been elicited in the very perfection of his stern and heartless
tyranny. The unblushing excesses of the Regent and of Louis the
Fifteenth, who gratuitously withdrew the last vail that concealed the
utter rottenness of all that claimed popular obedience, under the names
of religion, and authority, sufficed, though scarcely needed, to
_complete_ the discredit of the French monarchy; and, ascending his
throne, surrounded by a dissolute clergy, an overbearing aristocracy,
and a discontented and impoverished people, the robed Louis the
Sixteenth seemed but the calf of atonement of the Scriptures decked for
sacrifice, and doomed to expiate a century of court gayeties and crimes
in which he had had no part!

Mirabeau began the revolution with a thousand vague hopes and
expectations, and the conviction, communicated to his friend Mauvillon,
that "it was not given to human sagacity to devise where _all this_
would end." A living conflict of passions and principles, of low needs
and high ambitions, of lofty genius and infamous repute, a demagogue by
policy, an aristocrat by vanity, a constitutionalist by conviction, his
public conduct anxiously and perpetually brought in evidence one or
other of these conflicting agencies; but beyond the personal aim of
recovering his rank, and winning some sort of greatness at any price, he
was without one pervading or dominant public purpose, save that of
extinguishing the despotism that had injured him. Above all policies,
_abstractedly_ considered, this was the one dear to his heart. "I come
here to grant, not to ask pardon," was his reply, in a voice of angry
defiance, to some oratorical assurance that a life of usefulness might
secure the pardon of his earlier delinquencies. A horrid, but too
natural vindictiveness had interwoven the hate of arbitrary power into
every fibre of his brain. It was a passion or sentiment that he never
abandoned: it may be even doubted if he could have been purchased out of
it. Despite all the evils and mischances of life, there stood erect in
his soul this one small altar to virtue, or something that resembled it,
which he would have thrown down but under the direst necessity.

But of all the circumstances glanced at as furnishing the key to many of
the paradoxes of his public conduct, one of the most important, though
perhaps the least appreciated, is the dishonor of his repute. It is
difficult, with his present position in history, especially when taken
in relation to the now well-certified worthlessness of his
contemporaries, to realize to the imagination the full extent of his
infamy. "You dare," said his former friend Rulhiere, in a pamphlet that
had a wide circulation, "_You_ dare to speak of a country, Count
Mirabeau! If your brow were not trebly bronzed, how must you have
blushed at its very name! Have you one quality of father, friend,
brother, husband, or relative? An honorable vocation? Any one attribute
that constitutes the citizen? Not one! You are without a refuge, without
a relative. I seek your most ordinary domiciles, and I find them but in
the prison of Vincennes, the Chateau d'If, the fortress of Ioux, the
jail of Pontarlier!"[8]

Dumont, coming over to Paris, was so moved by the discredit attached,
in respectable circles, to his acquaintance, that he visited him with
repugnance and as a duty, but records the characteristic incident, that
on his first call he was so won by the magic of his host's conversation,
as to depart resolved on retaining, at all hazards, so agreeable a
friendship. The mention of his name, with the sight of his person, at
the opening of the States General, elicited groans and hisses on all
sides. The _Tiers-Etat_--whom he had honored by his aristocratic
adoption--were unanimous in refusing him a hearing the two or three
occasions on which he first sought to address them. The queen, whose
life, family, and regal heritage were at stake, received the assurance,
that such a person was willing to assist the views of the court, with
"the contempt due to vice;"[9] and "assassin!" "robber!" "slanderer!"
were the epithets almost daily applied to him in the senate of the
nation! Society, expiring under the weight of its own vices, saw in him
that well-defined excess that entitled it to the merits of purgation in
his extruism, of atonement in his martyrdom, and to place the hand of
menace and malediction on his head, as the scape-goat of its redemption!

Thus detested by all parties, his low character keeping him low,
Mirabeau, with all his marvelous power, found himself placed, by public
contempt, more even than by private need, at the mercy of circumstances.
Befoulment had so far eaten into his name, that, with occasionally the
best of desires, and always the greatest of energies, there stood a
blight over both. He felt that a moral leprosy incrusted him, which
repelled the good, and kept aloof the prudent. The contemned inferior,
in moral standing, of those that surrounded him, it was difficult to be
honest, and impossible to be independent. By a sort of law of nature,
too, his tarred repute attracted to it every floating feather of
suspicion, no less than of guilt, as to its natural seat; and thus it
happened that the lofty genius of Mirabeau, under the "grand hests" of a
hateful necessity, like the "too delicate spirit," Ariel, tasked to the
"strong biddings" of the "foul witch Sycorax," was condemned for a while
to pander rather than teach, to follow rather than lead, to please
rather than patronize, and to halloo others' opinions rather than
vindicate his own!

No man could appreciate the misfortune more fully or sensitively than
himself. Dumont tells us that, taught by events that a good character
would have placed France at his feet, "he would have passed seven times
through the fiery furnace to purify his name;" and that, "weeping and
sobbing, he was accustomed to exclaim, 'Cruelly do I expiate the errors
of my youth!'" And, indeed, the more sensible his heart, the more rich
and elevated his soul, the more must his torments have been bitter and
redoubled; for the very preciousness of the gifts of nature, the charms
of society, even the friendship of those that surrounded him, must have
turned but to the increase of his wretchedness!

It is easy to understand, then, that the tactics of Mirabeau, in the
first days of the revolution, were those of a man outside "a swelling
scene,"

    "A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
    And monarchs to behold,"

which he could only occupy by rudely breaking through a thousand
circumvallations of usage, propriety, and public opinion. As it was the
boast of Luther, that he, an obscure monk, stood alone for some time
against respectable Europe, so Mirabeau, on the eve of his public
greatness, was the most isolated politician of his age. "Mean men, in
their rising," says Lord Bacon, "most adhere; but great men, that have
strength in themselves, were better to maintain themselves indifferent
and neutral." Instinctively feeling that this was the policy of his
position, when repelled by both sides, he haughtily repelled them in
return, and the more he was despised the more inevitable did he make the
establishment of his importance. As, without a party, he became one
himself, so without a plan he took that of events, and without a policy
was content with that of display. In these early days, indeed, his whole
plan, system, and policy was to make his individualism tell, to
demonstrate, to all parties, what he was worth in journalism as a
writer, in the Assembly as an orator, in every thing as a statesman. As
he had nothing but himself, it became his business to make the most of
the commodity, which, so valueless in the beginning, ended in
outworthing all that was opposed to it.

But if this policy of display, no less than his education, sympathies,
and hates, bore him to the opposition, there were in his pecuniary
wants, and his ambitious dreams of a statesmanship, _à la Richelieu_,
circumstances that at times resistlessly brought him within the
influence of court power. Uncertain how far he could overpower the
disadvantages of his personal position, wounded that the movement party
were little inclined to value his co-operation, and still less to accept
his leadership, he early felt, or feigned alarm at the fermentation in
the public mind, and its possible evolution in great national
calamities; and before one act of legislation was accomplished, or he
had had a month's experience of the fanatical impracticability of one
side, I use his own words, and the intolerant spirit of resistance on
the other, he personally proposed to his enemy, Necker, and through him
to the queen, "the only _man_," he said, "connected with the court," to
concur, at the price of an embassadorship to Constantinople, in
supporting the court system of policy.

He appears to have fancied for some days that his proposals were
accepted; but before he could enter on any of the Eastern arrangements
his active mind had already suggested, he learned that the overture was
rejected "with a contempt which," as Madame Campan sagaciously admits,
"the court would doubtless have concealed, if they could have foreseen
the future." Contenting himself with the angry menace, "They shall soon
hear some of my news," within a month he became the author of successive
defeats, the most insulting a monarch could receive from his parliament,
and which were fated to exercise an active influence in the overturn of
that royalty he was afterward to defend.

The king, anxious to arrange the differences which kept the three orders
aloof from each other, and from legislation, had sent to the
_Tiers-Etat_ a message, wise in its suggestions, and conciliatory in its
tone. Under the eloquence of Mirabeau, the house passed to the order of
the day.

Irritated by insult, and complaining that the antagonism of the three
orders prevented any progress in the public business for which they were
convened, the king summoned a general meeting of all the deputies, and
after an address, in which he expressed his royal pleasure that the
three orders should form separate chambers, he commanded the assembly to
disperse, that they might meet under the ordinances his prerogative had
prescribed. The clergy, the nobles obey; the commons remain uncertain,
hesitating, and almost in consternation. The royal command is again
communicated to them, with the intimation, that having heard the king's
intentions they had now only to obey. The crisis of the royal
prerogative, obedience, hung but on the turn of a feather: the repulsed
Mirabeau arose, and turned it against the king. "We _have_," said he, in
a voice of thunder, "we _have_ heard the intentions _attributed_ to the
king; and you, sir, who have no place, nor voice, nor right of speech
here, are not competent to remind us of them. Go tell your master that
we are here by the will of the people, and that we are not to be
expelled but by the power of bayonets!"

Cheered and supported by the now reassured _Tiers-Etat_, he next, in
imitation of the English parliament, carried, that the persons of the
deputies were inviolate, that any one infringing that right should be
pursued as an enemy of the country, and that the payment of taxes, till
further legislation, should be obligatory only during the existence of
the legislative corps.

Added to the bold title of "National Assembly," newly adopted, these
votes were the assumption of a kingship by the _Tiers-Etat_; and as
public opinion enthusiastically backed the innovation, the divided peers
and ecclesiastics were compelled at length to join, and be submerged in
the mass of popular deputies.

A civil war could alone stand between royal power and its destruction.
For some weeks the court prepared for even such an eventuality.
"Ministers play high stakes," writes Mirabeau, on the 5th of July; "they
are compromising the king, for in menacing Paris and the Assembly they
are menacing France. All reaction is equal to action: the more the
pressure now, the more terrible do I foresee will be the reaction. Paris
will not suffer itself to be muzzled by a bevy of nobles thrown into
despair by their own stupidity; but they shall pay the penalty of the
attempt.... The storm must soon break out. It is arranged that I ask the
withdrawal of the troops; but be you ready (at Paris) to help the step!"

The demand was evaded by the king; the soldiery were largely increased
and concentrated; the arrests of the more revolutionary deputies,
including, of course, Mirabeau, were decided on; Necker was summarily
dismissed: but on the other side able and active emissaries roused Paris
by statements the most exciting, and taking all characters, with the
costumes of either sex, caressed, fêted, and partially won over the
soldiery, and before the court could take one step toward its purposes,
Paris was in full insurrection, the troops corrupted or overpowered, the
Bastile taken, and under the plea of anarchical excuse, the whole
_bourgeoisie_ of Paris placed in a few hours under arms as National
Guards.

The king, taught that it was not revolt but revolution, preferred, as
every body foresaw, submission to civil war, recalled Necker, and
visited triumphant Paris, at once the hostage and conquest of a popular
triumph.

Mirabeau, more or less connected with the Orleanists, had speculated
with them on the chances of confusion; for to him it was a small thing,
provided he had bread, that it was baked in an oven warmed with the
conflagration of an empire. Looking forward with complacency to every
contingency of revolutionary crises, assured that a common danger,
flinging aside, as unimportant, questions of personal character, would
make power the prey of genius and audacity, he was correspondingly
annoyed by a re-arrangement that promised for a time a well-grounded
tranquillity.

The destruction of the Bastile securing that of "The Syllas of thought,"
he now transformed into a full political newspaper, his weekly "Letter
to his Constituents," under which title he had evaded, from the first
assembly of the States-General, the censorship on the press. Aware, from
a knowledge of Wilkes and his history, of the power of journalism to a
politician, and above all, to a demagogue in a free country, he was, in
the full sense of the term, the first newspaper editor of France, and
owed to the vigorous use of this novel agency, not only useful additions
to his pecuniary resources, but a great portion of that popular idolatry
that followed him to the grave.

The court which, in calling together the States, had no higher aim than
to regenerate the finances of the country, and, as one step, to obtain
the help of the people in stripping a numerous aristocracy of their
baneful exemption from state-burdens, had already found out its own
share in the peril of the experiment, and now sought, by a close
alliance with the _noblesse_, to avert the ruin that too evidently
menaced both. But the torrent had but accumulated at each irresistible
concession, and every day's work added to the democratic elements of a
constitution that had already made royalty a cipher, and annihilated,
as political institutions, the church and aristocracy.

Of course new schemes of regal antagonism again raised their heads, and
again a popular manifestation, bringing Paris into the very boudoir of
the queen, at Versailles, demonstrated the impuissance of all that took
the name of French royalism. The October insurrection was fomented by
Mirabeau and his Orleanist friends, for the same purpose as that of
July, to secure personal safety, and obtain a new scene of action, by
terrifying the court into exile, or the acceptance of Orleans'
protection. Had the duke been raised to the "lieutenant-generalship of
the kingdom," Mirabeau counted on a premiership, in which he purposed to
become the Chatham or Pitt of France. Had Louis the Sixteenth fled the
kingdom after the example of the Comte D'Artois, he purposed to proclaim
a republic, and become its "first consul;" and should the doom be that
France should be divided by civil war, and cut up into its old kingdoms,
he speculated on a sovereignty in his ancestral country, Provence, which
had already greeted him with so encouraging an enthusiasm.

Strangeness of event! While the monarchy, so short-lived, still survived
the insatiate Mirabeau, two of the extraordinary contingencies he
speculated on have already happened, to the profit of other actors, and
the existing republic, in its mutinous armies, intolerant factions, and
insane dynasties, offers no very improbable portent that, even after
half a century of a centralized and well-fixed nationality, the old
repartition of kingdoms may again present itself!

The great consummation of the confusion, however, failed for the
overmuch of means. "A bottle of brandy was given," said the orator,
"instead of a glass!" and the mob's capricious _impromptu_ of carrying
the king back with them to Paris, still more than the cowardice of the
Duke of Orleans, defeated this deep-laid Machiavelian combination.

Whatever the character, however, of the people's success, it could not
but be an additional success for their leader. The revolution, of which
he stood recognized the unquestioned head, was now beyond all danger of
royal aggression, except by his own treacherous agency. In a campaign of
unimaginable brevity, he had not only vindicated the first place as an
orator in a senate now omnipotent, and become out of it the most potent
demagogue of his time, but as _un homme d'état_, surrounded by a
brilliant staff of the most active spirits and practical thinkers of the
day, Camille Desmoulins, Danton, Volney, Champfort, Lamourette, Cabanis,
Reybaz, Dumont, Duroverai, Claviere, Servan, De Caseaux, Panchaud,
Pellenc, Brissot, and others, was understood by every party to hold the
future destinies of France in his hand Emerging from two insurrections,
possessing, by his power, all their profits, and by his adroitness, none
of their responsibility, he found it now worth his while to break terms
with the Duke of Orleans, by a public expression of his contempt for
him as a scoundrel not worth the trouble that might be taken for him;
and excluded from the ministry, that lay open to him, by a self-denying
ordonnance of the Assembly, directly leveled at his pretensions, he
accepted a large subsidy from the king's brother--the Comte de
Provence--and formed with him, for the restoration or upholding a
monarchical authority, a mysterious and ineffective conspiracy, the
character and extent of which may be conjectured from its involving the
assassination of the Marquess de Lafayette.

The hate of Mirabeau for this worthy but feeble nobleman--his diligent
colleague in the struggle for liberty--was as intense as, at first
sight, it seems incredible. He was his Mordecai at the king's gate, for
whom he could neither sleep nor eat. Remembering that Mirabeau's passion
for complicated intrigue and daring adventure, even in politics, was
extravagant to disease, it seems possible that, as he advanced in his
rapid greatness, he secretly nursed projects or hopes as incompatible
with a constitutional monarchy, and an organized public force, in
respectable hands, as with the despotism with which he had originally
battled; and that, in his successive conspiracies, now with the
Republicans and Orleanists, now with the Count de Provence and the
queen, he had no fixed intention of ultimately benefiting those he
professed to serve, but proposed to use them as ladders to that exalted
position of a Sylla or a Cæsar, which, as Bonaparte subsequently proved,
was no more, perhaps, beyond his grasp than his ambition; influenced by
the insidious suggestions and doubts he carefully spread abroad, the
queen, as he saw with pleasure, looked on the new commander of the
National Guards as a "Grandison-Cromwell" (Mirabeau's damaging epithet),
whose concealed ambition aimed at the constableship of France, as a step
to that dread of French sovereigns, the "Mayorship of the Palace;" and
hence the court systematically declined the aids it might so often have
derived from the honesty, the popularity, and sometimes the good sense
of the American volunteer. At all events, we know that the assassination
of Lafayette--twice it seems plotted--would have left the National
Guards in the hands of some less popular and more pliant chief; and
that, when the general specifically accused his rival of the horrid
project, naming time, place, and means, he won no better defense than
the reply, "You were sure of it, and I am alive! How good of you! And
you aspire to play a leading part in a revolution!" The compact with the
Comte de Provence was of short duration: the queen began to distrust the
personal views of her brother-in-law, who threatened to become the Duke
D'Orleans of a philosophical party, and Mirabeau, to whom popularity was
the only capital, probably found that he could not afford the sacrifices
his employers demanded.

To preserve the _status quo_, and wait events, became now, for some
weeks or months, as much his policy as his accessibility to passion and
sudden influences would permit. He seemed to feel that he should give
time to the molten lava of his volcanic greatness to settle, harden, and
assume its individualism among things received. Holding aloof,
therefore, from indentification with either party--leaning now on one
side, now on the other; his speeches more with the movement, his policy
more with the court; forcing both parties into explanations, while
keeping himself, however, disengaged--he constituted himself their
arbitrator and moderator, overawing both extremes; and while maintaining
his pre-eminence of political influence, held himself ready to take
advantage, at the least cost of consistency, of any fundamental change
in the position of affairs.

In the month of May or June, however, a private interview with the
queen, in the Royal Garden of St. Cloud, followed by others, to the
renewed scandal of her fame, laid the foundation of a new compact with
the court, and a more decided policy. The chivalry of Mirabeau revived
under the enthusiasm won by "Earth's loveliest vision"--a queen in
distress and a suppliant--and he pledged himself, as the Hungarians to
her royal mother, to die in the service of saving her throne. But the
highest endeavors of Mirabeau have always at their base, like the
monuments of his country, the filthy and the repulsive; and the chivalry
of this new saviour of the monarchy received sustentation in a
bribe--higgled for through months--of twenty thousand pounds, and a
pension of more than that per annum.

About the end of the year, three or four months before his death, he
opened systematically his great campaign for what professedly was the
restoration of regal authority. He was to out-Herod in patriotism the
Herods of the Jacobin club: the court was to dare every thing short of
civil war--perhaps even that; and the existing confusion, whatever it
might be, was to be cured by another of greater extent, artificially
induced by the charlatanism of art political. His scheme, in some
points, it must be allowed, successfully imitated in our own days in
Prussia, was:

First--To reorganize the party of Order in the Assembly; and while, as
far as possible, winning for it the sympathy of the country, to excite,
by all available agencies, distrust and discontent with the opposing
majority.

Secondly--To inundate the provinces with publications against the
Assembly; and by commissioners, sent nominally for other purposes, to
obtain remonstrances from the departments against its further
continuance.

Thirdly--At a proper opportunity, to dissolve the Assembly, and order
fresh elections; at the same time canceling the constitution as illegal,
and granting another by royal charter, formed on a popular basis, and on
the written instructions which (on a system unknown to England) had
originally been drawn up for each deputy by his electors.

I shall not descend to discuss the oft-mooted point, how far the
wholesale venality that based the project is justified or palliated by
the object it is supposed to have had in view, because I know that with
Mirabeau money was not _a means_ to his defense of constitutional
monarchy, but his defense of constitutional monarchy a means to money.
If we except his relentless hate to French despotism in any hands not
his own, the principles, moral or political, of this leader of a nation
had no other tenure but the interest of his personal aggrandizement.

On another debate, whether with a longer life he could have carried his
counter-revolution to success, I will only remark, that, conceding that
in robust health he would have had it at heart as sincerely as in the
recorded hours of his sickness and despondency, it may be admitted, that
a struggle which, under every imprudence, seemed long to hang in doubt,
with the aid of his energetic and masterly polity might, perhaps, have
poised for royalty. But it is not to be concealed that the difficulty of
arresting and unmaking were even greater than those of creating and
consolidating the revolution. The king's aversion to decisive measures,
and well-known horror of civil war, made him the worst of colleagues for
the only policy his tool could wield with effect; and the great
demagogue himself, when obliged to discard the mask of democratic
hypocrisy that still partly hid the subtle and venal traitor of his
party, would have lost, like Strafford, many of the elements of his
potency; and despoiled, especially, of the miraculous resources of his
eloquence, must have contented himself with that lucid, common-sense,
consecutive daring, and power of strategic combination, which his new
friends were so ill-fitted to support.

Fortunately, perhaps, for his future fame, he died ere the structure his
arts had undermined tested his powers of reparation, and before that
wonderful magic of popularity which had so long survived, as it had,
indeed, so long anticipated, his deserts, had time to vanish under the
cock-crow of truth. His death was as well-timed as his political advent,
and has been praised by French wit as the best evidence of his tact; for
the expectations which the unparalleled rapidity, no less than the
innate marvelousness of his achievements had raised, no future activity
and fortune, scarcely those of a Napoleon, could have realized.

But if the retrospect of his career must convince us that one man in so
short a period never accomplished so much before, against such
disadvantages, so also must we admit that probably never before did any
one rest so wholly for his amazing achievements on the sole power of
intrinsic genius. It was intellect that did all with Mirabeau; and made
his head, according to his own boast, a power among European states. It
united almost every possible capacity and attainment. His rare and
penetrating powers of observation were sustained by the equal depth and
justness of his discrimination, and the rapidity and accuracy of his
judgment. Uniting, to his admirable natural capacity, an activity and
habitual power of application, more marvelous almost in their extent
than even in their rare combination, he possessed an understanding full,
beyond precedent, both of the recorded knowledge of books, and of that
priceless experience of men and things, without which all else is
naught; and as the complement of these amazing and unparalleled
advantages, he had the still rarer advantage of a felicity and power of
diction every way worthy of so incomparable a genius.

Looking with contempt at the stiff, ornamental, and childishly
antithetical style of his day and nation, he welded the flimsy elements
of the French language into instruments of strength akin to his own
conceptions, and wrought out of them a style for himself in which a
Demosthenic simplicity and severity of language is sustained by an
earnest and straightforward power which vivifies and amplifies all that
it touches. Startled by an innovation far beyond the conceptions of the
French academy, the writer was smiled at and neglected by the critics;
and it was not till they heard him launching from the tribune the
thunders of justice, disposing at pleasure of the inclinations of the
multitude, and subjugating even the captious by the imperious power of
his eloquence, that they began to discover that there was a "power of
life"[10] in his rude and singular language; that "things, commonplace,
in his hand became of electric power;"[11] and that, standing "like a
giant among pigmies,"[12] his style, albeit "savage,"[13] dominated the
assembly, stupefying, and thundering down all opposition.

It is the affliction of history, that, while raising her monuments to
gigantic genius, she is compelled so often to record an immorality of
parallel proportions. It is right that the infamy of Mirabeau should be
as eternal as his greatness. He was a man who, in his political, as in
his private life, had no sense of right for its own sake, and from whom
conscience never won a sacrifice. With great and glorious aims at times,
he never had a disinterested one. His ambition, vanity, or passions,
were his only standard of conduct--a standard, be it added, which,
despite the wonderful justness of his judgments, the depravity of a
sunken nature kept always below even his needs. Policy with him was
often but a campaign of vengeance or market of venality, and the
glorious exercises of literature but a relaxation of indecency or
business of wrong. In the study, in the tribune, or in the
council-chamber, glory was the only element that remained to
counterpoise, often with a feather's weight, the smallest influence of
gold or spleen; and in the most critical epoch of an empire, the poising
of his tremendous influence--the influence of so much earnestness and
magical power--was the accident of an accident. We admit for him, in
palliation, the demoralizing influence of terrific example, and of
maddening oppression; but where is the worth of a morality that, in a
man of heroic mould, will not stand assay? and what is virtue but a
name, if she may be betrayed whenever she demands an effort?

But however much a moral wreck was the heart of Mirabeau, nature, true
to the harmony, no less than the magnificence, of her great creations,
had essentially formed it of noble and gentle elements. Touched to the
core by the contaminating influence of "time and tide," its instincts
were yet to the kindly, the generous, and elevated; and those about him
who knew him best--attached to him more by his affections than his
glory--eagerly attested that in the bosom of this depraved citizen
resided most of the qualities which, under happier agencies, would have
made him a dutiful son, a devoted husband, an attached friend, and truly
noble character!

In fine, with an eye to see at a glance, a mind to devise, a tongue to
persuade, a hand to execute, this great man was circumspect in
recklessness, poised and vigorous in violence, cool and calculating to a
minutia in audacity and passion. As a friend, affectionate and
volatile--as an enemy, fierce and placable--as a politician, patriotic
and venal. Proud of his patricianship, whose _status_ and manners he has
lost, he is humble about a statesmanship that makes the first of his
glories. The best of writers, his works are written for him; the
greatest of orators, his speeches are made for him! Has he the most
unerring of judgments? He prefers another's! Is he a popular tribune? He
is also a royalist parasite! Is he earnest? He is then insincere! Does
he evidence great principles? He seeks bribes! Does he enforce
moderation? He awaits vengeance! Does he cause confusion? He is seeking
order! Would he save the nation? He is selling its liberties! Wonderful
man! great with enormous weaknesses, bad with many excellencies,
immortal by the expedients of an hour, his genius is a combination of
almost impossible perfections, as his political life the colossal result
of a thousand contradictions. United, they yield a deathless character,
whose Titanic proportions shall, age after age, be huger, as the mighty
shadows that cover it shall grow darker!

FOOTNOTES:

[7] It was this invasion that made Corsica a French island, and
consequently Napoleon Bonaparte a French citizen

[8] He had also been confined in two prisons, in the Ile de Rue, and the
Castle of Dijon.

[9] Madame Campan's Memoirs.

[10] Madame de Staël.

[11] Bertrand de Moleville.

[12] De Levis.

[13] De Ferrieres.



[From Hogg's Instructor.]

THE "COMMUNIST" SPARROW--AN ANECDOTE OF CUVIER.


We have been struck with the following anecdote of the great Cuvier,
which is recorded in the "Courrier de l'Europe" for February, 1850, and
trust the following translation will prove as interesting to our readers
as it has been to us. It forms an amusing chapter in natural history,
and forcibly illustrates that close observation which so frequently
characterizes eminent men.

Poverty in youth has a purifying tendency, like the "live coal" of old
which the angel passed over the lips of Isaiah. It inures the soul to
struggling, and the mind to persevering labor and self-confidence: it
keeps the imagination away from the temptations of luxury, and the still
more fatal one of idleness, that parent of vice. It, moreover, becomes
one of the most fruitful sources of happiness to the man whom God
permits to come out of the crowd and take his place at the head of
science and art. It is with ineffable delight that he looks behind, and
says, in thinking of his cold and comfortless garret, "I came out of
that place, single and unknown." George Cuvier, that pupil of poverty,
loved to relate one of his first observations of natural history, which
he had made while tutor to the children of Count d'Henry.

Cuvier and his scholars inhabited an old mansion in the county of Caux à
Fiquanville; the teacher's room overlooked the garden, and every
morning, at break of day, he opened the window to inhale the refreshing
air, before commencing his arduous duties to his indifferently trained
pupils. One morning he observed, not without pleasure, that two swallows
had begun to build their nest in the very corner of his little chamber
window. The birds labored with the ardor of two young lovers who are in
haste to start in housekeeping. The male bird brought the moistened clay
in his beak, which the female kneaded, and with the addition of some
chips of straw and hay, she built her little lodging with wonderful
skill. As soon as the outside was finished, the betrothed gathered
feathers, hair, and soft dry leaves for the inside, and then departed to
hide themselves in a neighboring wood, there to enjoy the sweets of
repose after their labor, and amid the thick foliage of the trees the
mysterious joys of the honeymoon. However that may be, they did not
think of returning to take possession of their nest till the end of
twelve or fifteen days.

Alas! changes had taken place during their absence. While the swallows
were laboring with such assiduity in building a house, Cuvier had
observed two sparrows, that perched at a short distance, watching the
industry of the two birds, not without interchanging between themselves
some cries that appeared to Cuvier rather ironical. When the swallows
departed for their country excursion, the sparrows took no pains to
conceal their odious schemes; they impudently took possession of the
nest, which was empty and without an owner to defend it, and established
themselves there as though they had been its veritable builders. Cuvier
observed that the cunning sparrows were never both out of the nest at
the same time. One of the usurpers always remained as sentinel, with his
head placed at the opening, which served for a door, and with his large
beak interdicted the entrance of any other bird, except his companion,
or rather, to call things by their right names, his brother robber. The
swallows returned in due time to their nest, the male full of joy, which
showed itself in the brightness of his eye, and in the nervous kind of
motion in his flight; the female rather languid, and heavy with the
approach of laying. You can imagine their surprise at finding the nest,
on which they had bestowed so much care, occupied. The male, moved with
indignation and anger, rushed upon the nest to chase away the usurpers,
but he found himself face to face with the formidable beak of the
sparrow who, at that moment, guarded the stolen property. What could the
slim beak of the swallow do against the redoubtable pincers of the
sparrow, armed with a double and sharpened point? Very soon, the poor
proprietor, dispossessed and beaten back, retreated with his head
covered with blood, and his neck nearly stripped of its feathers. He
returned with flashing eye, and trembling with rage, to the side of his
wife, with whom he appeared for some minutes to hold counsel, after
which they flew away into the air, and quickly disappeared. The female
sparrow came back soon after; the male recounted all that had
passed--the arrival, the attack, and flight of the swallows--not without
accompanying the recital with what seemed to Cuvier to be roars of
laughter. Be this as it may, the housekeeper did not rest satisfied with
making only a hullah-balloo, for the female went forth again, and
collected in haste a much larger quantity of provisions than usual. As
soon as she returned, after having completed the supplies for a siege,
two pointed beaks, instead of one, defended the entrance to the nest.
Cries, however, began to fill the air, and an assemblage of swallows
gathered together on a neighboring roof. Cuvier recognized distinctly
the dispossessed couple, who related to each newcomer the impudent
robbery of the sparrow. The male, with blood-stained head and bared
neck, distinguished himself by the earnestness of his protestations and
appeals of vengeance. In a little while two hundred swallows had arrived
at the scene of conflict. While the little army was forming and
deliberating, all at once a cry of distress came from an adjacent
window. A young swallow, doubtless inexperienced, instead of taking part
in the counsels of his brethren, was chasing some flies which were
buzzing about a bunch of neglected or castaway flowers before the
window. The pupils of Cuvier had stretched a net there to catch
sparrows; one of the claws of the swallow was caught by the perfidious
net. At the cry which this hair-brained swallow made, a score of his
brethren flew to the rescue: but all their efforts were in vain; the
desperate struggles which the prisoner made to free himself from the
fatal trap only drew the ends tighter, and confined his foot more
firmly. Suddenly a detachment took wing, and, retiring about a hundred
paces, returned rapidly, and, one by one, gave a peck at the snare,
which each time, owing to the determined manner of the attack, received
a sharp twitch. Not one of the swallows missed its aim, so that, after
half an hour of this persevering and ingenious labor, the chafed string
broke, and the captive; rescued from the snare, went joyously to mingle
with his companions. Throughout this scene, which took place twenty feet
from Cuvier, and at almost as many from the usurped nest, the observer
kept perfectly still, and the sparrows made not the slightest movement
with their two large beaks, which, formidable and threatening, kept its
narrow entrance. The council of swallows, while a certain number of them
were succoring their companion, had continued to deliberate gravely. As
soon as all were united, the liberated prisoner included, they took
flight, and Cuvier felt convinced they had given up the field, or rather
the nest, to the robbers, who had so fraudulently possessed themselves
of it. Judge of his surprise when, in the course of a few seconds, he
beheld a cloud of two or three hundred swallows arrive, with the
rapidity of thought throw themselves before the nest, discharge at it
some mud which they had brought in their bills, and retire to give place
to another battalion, which repeated the same manoeuvre. They fired at
two or three inches from the nest, thus preventing the sparrows from
giving them any blows with their beaks. Besides, the mud, shot with such
perfidious precision, had so blinded the sparrows, after the first
discharge, that they very soon knew not in what manner to defend
themselves. Still the mud continued to thicken more and more on the
nest, whose original shape was soon obliterated: the opening would have
almost entirely disappeared, had not the sparrows, by their desperate
efforts at defense, broken away some portions of it. But the implacable
swallows, by a strategic movement, as rapidly as it was cleverly
executed, rushed upon the nest, beat down with their beaks and claws the
clay over the opening already half stopped up, and finished the attack
by hermetically closing it. Then there arose a thousand cries of
vengeance and victory. Nevertheless, the swallows ceased not the work of
destruction. They continued to carry up moistened clay till they had
built a second nest over the very opening of the besieged one. It was
raised by a hundred beaks at once, and, an hour after the execution of
the sparrows, the nest was occupied by the dispossessed swallows. The
drama was complete and terrible; the vengeance inexorable and fatal. The
unfortunate sparrows not only expiated their theft in the nest they had
taken possession of, whence they could not escape, and where suffocation
and hunger were gradually killing them, but they heard the songs of love
from the two swallows, who thus so cruelly made them wipe out the crime
of their theft. During the fight the female remained alone, languishing
and motionless, on an angle of the roof. It was with difficulty, and
with a heavy flight, that she left this spot to take up her abode in her
new house; and, doubtless, while the agony of the sparrows was being
filled up, she laid her eggs, for she did not stir out for two days; the
male, during that time, taking upon himself to search for insects and
hunt for flies. He brought them alive in his beak, and gave them to his
companion. Entirely devoted to the duties of incubation and maternity,
she was only seen now and then to put out her head to breathe the pure
air. Fifteen days after, the male flew away at day-break. He appeared
more gay and joyful than usual; during the whole day he ceased not to
bring to the nest a countless number of insects, and Cuvier, by standing
on tiptoe at his window, could distinctly see six little yellow and
hungry beaks, crying out, and swallowing with avidity all the food
brought by their father. The female did not leave her family till the
morrow; confinement and fatigue had made her very thin. Her plumage had
lost its lustre; but in seeing her contemplate her little ones, you
might conceive the maternal joy which filled her, and by what ineffable
compensations she felt herself indemnified for all her privations and
sufferings. After a short time the little creatures had advanced in
figure; their large yellow bills were transformed into little black and
charming ones; their naked bodies, covered here and there with ugly
tufts, were now clothed with elegant feathers, on which the light played
in brilliant flashes. They began to fly about the nest, and even to
accompany their mother when she hunted for flies in the neighborhood.

Cuvier could not refrain from feelings of admiration, and was somewhat
affected when he saw the mother, with indefatigable patience and grace,
show her children how they should set about catching flies, which darted
about in the air--to suck in an incautious one, or carry away a spider
which had imprudently made his net between the branches of two trees.
Often she would hold out to them at a distance in her beak a booty which
excited their appetite; then she would go away by degrees, and gradually
draw them unconsciously off to a shorter or a longer distance from the
nest. The swallow taught her children to fly high when the air was calm,
for then the insects kept in a more elevated part of the air; or to skim
along the ground at the approach of a storm, as then the same insects
would direct their course toward the earth, where they might find
shelter under the stones at the fall of the first drop of rain. Then the
little ones, more experienced, began, under the guidance of their
father, to undertake longer flights. The mother, standing at the
entrance of the nest, seemed to give her instructions before they
departed: she awaited their return with anxiety, and when that was
delayed, took a flight high, very high in the air, and there flew to and
fro till she saw them. Then, full of a mother's joy, she would utter
cries of emotion, scud before them, bring them back to the nest, happy
and palpitating, and seemed to demand an account of the causes of their
delay.

The autumn arrived. Some groups of swallows collected together on the
very roof of the mansion of Fiquanville. After grave deliberation, and a
vote being taken (whether by ballot or otherwise, Cuvier does not
mention), the young ones of the nest, along with the other young
swallows of the same age, were all placed in the middle of the troop;
and one morning a living cloud rose above the chateau, and flew away
swiftly due east.

The following spring two swallows, worn down by fatigue, came to take
possession of the nest. Cuvier recognized them immediately; they were
the very same--those whose manners and habits he had studied the
preceding year. They proceeded to restore the nest, cracked and injured
in some places by the frost: they garnished anew the inside with fresh
feathers and choice moss, then, as last year, made an excursion of some
days. On the very morrow after their return, while they were darting to
and fro close to Cuvier's window, to whose presence they had become
accustomed, and which did not in the least incommode them, a
screech-owl, that seemed to fall from above, pounced upon the male,
seized him in his talons, and was already bearing him away, when Cuvier
took down his gun, which was within reach, primed and cocked it, and
fired at the owl; the fellow, mortally wounded, fell head over heels
into the garden, and Cuvier hastened to deliver the swallow from the
claws of the dead owl, who still held him with his formidable nails. The
poor swallow had received some deep wounds; the nails of the owl had
penetrated deeply into his side, and one of the drops of shot had broken
his leg. Cuvier dressed the wounds as well as he could, and, by the aid
of a ladder, replaced the invalid in his nest, while the female flew
sadly around it, uttering cries of despair. For three or four days she
never left the nest but to go in search of food, which she offered the
male. Cuvier saw his sickly head come out with difficulty, and try in
vain to take the food offered by his companion; every day he appeared to
get weaker. At length, one morning, Cuvier was awakened by the cries of
the female, who with her wings beat against the panes of his window. He
ran to the nest--alas! it contained only a dead body. From that fatal
moment the female never left her nest. Overwhelmed with grief, she, five
days after, died of despair, on the dead body of her companion.

Some months after this, the Abbé Tessier, whom the revolutionary
persecution had compelled to flee to Normandy, where he disguised
himself under the dress of a military physician of the hospital of
Fécamp, fell in with the obscure tutor, who recounted to him the history
of the swallows. The abbé engaged him to deliver a course of lectures on
natural history to the pupils of that hospital, of which he was the
head, and wrote to Jussieu and Geoffrey Saint Hilaire, to inform them of
the individual he had become acquainted with. Cuvier entered into a
correspondence with these two learned men, and a short time after he was
elected to the chair of comparative anatomy at Paris His subsequent
career is well known.



[From Hunting Adventures in South Africa.]

A GIRAFFE CHASE.


This day was to me rather a memorable one, as the first on which I saw
and slew the lofty, graceful-looking giraffe or camelopard, with which,
during many years of my life, I had longed to form an acquaintance.
These gigantic and exquisitely beautiful animals, which are admirably
formed by nature to adorn the fair forests that clothe the boundless
plains of the interior, are widely distributed throughout the interior
of Southern Africa, but are nowhere to be met with in great numbers. In
countries unmolested by the intrusive foot of man, the giraffe is found
generally in herds varying from twelve to sixteen; but I have not
unfrequently met with herds containing thirty individuals, and on one
occasion I counted forty together; this, however, was owing to chance,
and about sixteen maybe reckoned as the average number of a herd. These
herds are composed of giraffes of various sizes, from the young giraffe
of nine or ten feet in height, to the dark, chestnut-colored old bull of
the herd, whose exalted head towers above his companions, generally
attaining to a height of upward of eighteen feet. The females are of
lower stature and more delicately formed than the males, their height
averaging from sixteen to seventeen feet. Some writers have discovered
ugliness and a want of grace in the giraffe, but I consider that he is
one of the most strikingly beautiful animals in the creation; and when a
herd of them is seen scattered through a grove of the picturesque
parasol-topped acacias which adorn their native plains, and on whose
uppermost shoots they are enabled to browse by the colossal height with
which nature has so admirably endowed them, he must, indeed, be slow of
conception who fails to discover both grace and dignity in all their
movements. There can be no doubt, that every animal is seen to the
greatest advantage in the haunts which nature destined him to adorn; and
among the various living creatures which beautify this fair creation I
have often traced a remarkable resemblance between the animal and the
general appearance of the locality in which it is found. This I first
remarked at an early period of my life, when entomology occupied a part
of my attention No person following this interesting pursuit can fail to
observe the extraordinary likeness which insects bear to the various
abodes in which they are met with. Thus, among the long green grass we
find a variety of long green insects, whose legs and antennæ so resemble
the shoots emanating from the stalks of the grass that it requires a
practiced eye to distinguish them. Throughout sandy districts varieties
of insects are met with of a color similar to the sand which they
inhabit. Among the green leaves of the various trees of the forest
innumerable leaf-colored insects are to be found; while, closely
adhering to the rough gray bark of these forest-trees, we observe
beautifully-colored, gray-looking; moths of various patterns, yet
altogether so resembling the bark as to be invisible to the passing
observer. In like manner among quadrupeds I have traced a corresponding
analogy, for, even in the case of the stupendous elephant, the ashy
color of his hide so corresponds with the general appearance of the gray
thorny jungles which he frequents throughout the day, that a person
unaccustomed to hunting elephants, standing on a commanding situation,
might look down upon a herd and fail to detect their presence. And
further, in the case of the giraffe, which is invariably met with among
venerable forests, where innumerable blasted and weather-beaten trunks
and stems occur, I have repeatedly been in doubt as to the presence of a
troop of them until I had recourse to my spy-glass; and on referring the
case to my savage attendants, I have known even their optics to fail, at
one time mistaking these dilapidated trunks for camelopards, and again
confounding real camelopards with these aged veterans of the forest.

Although we had now been traveling many days through the country of the
giraffe, and had marched through forests in which their spoor was
abundant, our eyes had not yet been gifted with a sight of "Tootla"
himself; it was therefore with indescribable pleasure that, on the
evening of the 11th, I beheld a troop of these interesting animals.

Our breakfast being finished, I resumed my journey through an endless
gray forest of cameel-dorn and other trees, the country slightly
undulating and grass abundant. A little before the sun went down my
driver remarked to me, "I was just going to say, sir, that that old tree
was a camelopard." On looking where he pointed, I saw that the old tree
was indeed a camelopard, and, on casting my eyes a little to the right,
I beheld a troop of them standing looking at us, their heads actually
towering above the trees of the forest. It was imprudent to commence a
chase at such a late hour, especially in a country of so level a
character, where the chances were against my being able to regain my
wagons that night. I, however, resolved to chance every thing; and
directing my men to catch and saddle Colesberg, I proceeded in haste to
buckle on my shooting-belt and spurs, and in two minutes I was in the
saddle. The giraffes stood looking at the wagons until I was within
sixty yards of them, when, galloping round a thick bushy tree, under
cover of which I had ridden, I suddenly beheld a sight the most
astounding that a sportsman's eye can encounter. Before me stood a troop
of ten colossal giraffes, the majority of which were from seventeen to
eighteen feet high. On beholding me they at at once made off, twisting
their long tails over their backs, making a loud switching noise with
them, and cantered along at an easy pace, which, however, obliged
Colesberg to put his best foot foremost to keep up with them.

The sensations which I felt on this occasion were different from any
thing that I had before experienced during a long sporting career. My
senses were so absorbed by the wondrous and beautiful sight before me
that I rode along like one entranced, and felt inclined to disbelieve
that I was hunting living things of this world. The ground was firm and
favorable for riding. At every stride I gained upon the giraffes, and
after a short burst at a swinging gallop I was in the middle of them,
and turned the finest cow out of the herd. On finding herself driven
from her comrades and hotly pursued, she increased her pace, and
cantered along with tremendous strides, clearing an amazing extent of
ground at every bound; while her neck and breast, coming in contact with
the dead old branches of the trees, were continually strewing them in my
path. In a few minutes I was riding within five yards of her stern, and,
firing at the gallop, I sent a bullet into her back. Increasing my pace,
I next rode alongside, and, placing the muzzle of my rifle within a few
feet of her, I fired my second shot behind the shoulder; the ball,
however, seemed to have little effect. I then placed myself directly in
front, when she came to a walk. Dismounting, I hastily loaded both
barrels, putting in double charges of powder. Before this was
accomplished she was off at a canter. In a short time I brought her to a
stand in the dry bed of a water-course, where I fired at fifteen yards,
aiming where I thought the heart lay, upon which she again made off.
Having loaded, I followed, and had very nearly lost her; she had turned
abruptly to the left, and was far out of sight among the trees. Once
more I brought her to a stand, and dismounted from my horse. There we
stood together alone in the wild wood. I gazed in wonder at her extreme
beauty, while her soft dark eye, with its silky fringe, looked down
imploringly at me, and I really felt a pang of sorrow in this moment of
triumph for the blood I was shedding. Pointing my rifle toward the
skies, I sent a bullet through her neck. On receiving it, she reared
high on her hind legs, and fell backward with a heavy crash, making the
earth shake around her. A thick stream of dark blood spouted out from
the wound, her colossal limbs quivered for a moment, and she expired.



[From Picturesque Sketches of Greece and Turkey.]

ADVENTURE IN A TURKISH HAREM.

BY AUBREY DE VERE.


A short time before leaving Constantinople I enjoyed a piece of good
fortune which I believe has fallen to the lot of few men. Often as I
passed by the garden walls of some rich Pacha, I felt, as every one who
visits Constantinople feels, no small desire to penetrate, into that
mysterious region--his harem--and see something more than the mere
exterior of Turkish life. "The traveler landing at Stamboul complains,"
I used to say to myself, "of the contrast between its external aspect
and the interior of the city; but the real interior, that is the inside
of the houses, the guarded retreats of those vailed forms which one
passes in gilded caiques--of these he sees nothing." Fortune favored my
aspirations. I happened to make acquaintance with a young Frenchman,
lively, spirited, and confident, who had sojourned at Constantinople for
a considerable time, and who bore there the character of prophet,
magician, and I know not what beside. The fact is, that he was a very
clever fellow, living on his wits, ever ready to turn his hand to any
thing, and numbering among his other accomplishments, a skill in
conjuring feats extraordinary even in the East. He used to exhibit
frequently before the Sultan, who always sent him away laden with
presents, and who would, probably, had he professed the Mohammedan
Faith, have made him his Prime Minister or his Lord High Admiral.

There was nothing which this conjuror could not do. He told me that on
one occasion, dining in a numerous company, he had contrived to pick the
pocket of every one present, depriving one of his watch, another of his
purse, and a third of his pocket-handkerchief. As soon as the guests
discovered their losses, to which he managed to direct their attention,
a scene of violent excitement ensued, every one accusing his neighbor of
theft; and at last it was agreed that the police should be sent, for to
search the pockets of all present. The police arrived, and the search
was duly made, but without any effect. "I think," said the young
magician, "it would be but fair that the police should themselves
undergo the same scrutiny to which we have all submitted." The
suggestion was immediately acted on; and to the amazement of all
present, and especially of the supposed culprits, in the pockets of the
police all the missing articles were found.

The life of this man had been strange and eventful. Having quarreled
with his family in early youth he had assumed an incognito, and enlisted
as a private soldier, I forget in what service. On one occasion, in his
first campaign, he was left for dead on the field of battle. In the
evening some peasants visited the field for the sake of plunder. He was
badly wounded, but had his wits sufficiently about him to know that, if
he wished not to have his throat cut, he had better lie still and feign
to be dead. In his turn he was visited by the marauders; but, as fame
goes, it turned out that while they were hunting after the few pence he
possessed, he contrived to lighten their pockets of their accumulated
spoil. He had grown tired of war, however, and had settled in
Constantinople, where he embarked in all manner of speculations, being
bent, among other things, upon establishing a theatre at Pera. In all
reverses he came down, like a cat, on his feet: he was sanguine and
good-humored, always disposed to shuffle the cards till the right one
came up; and, trusting a good deal to Fortune, while he improved what
she gave, he was of course rich in her good graces.

One day this youth called on me, and mentioned that a chance had
befallen him which he should be glad to turn to account--particularly
if sure of not making too intimate an acquaintance with the Bosphorus in
the attempt. A certain wealthy Turk had applied to him for assistance
under very trying domestic circumstances. His favorite wife had lost a
precious ring, which had doubtless been stolen either by one of his
other wives, under the influence of jealousy, or by a female slave.
Would the magician pay a visit to his house, recover the ring, and
expose the delinquent? "Now," said he, "if I once get within the walls,
I shall be sure to force my way into the female apartments on some
pretense. If I find the ring, all is well: but if not, this Turk will
discover that I have been making a fool of him. However, as he is a
favorite at court, and can not but know in what flattering estimation I
am held there, he will probably treat me with the distinction I deserve.
In fine, I will try it. Will you come, too? you can help me in my
incantations, which will serve as an excuse." The proposal was too
tempting to be rejected, and at the hour agreed on we set off in such
state as we could command (in the East, state is essential to respect),
jogging over the rough streets, in one of those hearse-like carriages
without springs, which bring one's bones upon terms of far too intimate
a mutual acquaintance.

We reached at last a gate, which promised little; but ere long we found
ourselves in one of those "high-walled gardens, green and old," which
are among the glories of the East. Passing between rows of orange and
lemon-trees, we reached the house, where we were received by a goodly
retinue of slaves, and conducted, accompanied by our dragoman, through a
long suite of apartments. In the last of them stood a tall, handsome,
and rather youthful man, in splendid attire, who welcomed us with a
grave courtesy. We took our seats, and were presented in due form with
long pipes, and with coffee, to me far more acceptable. After a
sufficient interval of time had passed for the most meditative and
abstracted of men to remember his purpose, our host, reminded of what he
had apparently forgotten by my companion's conjuring robes, an
electrical machine, and other instruments of incantation, which the
slaves carried from our carriage, civilly inquired when we intended to
commence operations. "What operations?" demanded my companion, with much
apparent unconcern. "The discovery of the ring." "Whenever his highness
pleased, and it suited the female part of his household to make their
appearance," was the answer.

At this startling proposition even the Oriental sedateness of our
majestic host gave way, and he allowed his astonishment and displeasure
to become visible. "Who ever heard," he demanded, "of the wives of a
true believer being shown to a stranger, and that stranger an Infidel
and a Frank?" As much astonished in our turn, we demanded, "When a
magician had ever been heard of, who could discover a stolen treasure
without being confronted either with the person who had lost or the
person who had appropriated it?" For at least two hours, though
relieved by intervals of silence, the battle was carried on with much
occasional vehemence on his part, and on ours with an assumption of
perfect indifference. Our host at last, perceiving that our obstinacy
was equal to the decrees of Fate, retired, as we were informed, to
consult his mother on the subject. In a few minutes he returned, and
assured us that our proposition was ridiculous; upon which we rose with
much dignified displeasure, and moved toward the door, stating that our
beards had been made little of. A grave-looking man who belonged to the
household of our host, and occupied apparently a sort of
semi-ecclesiastical position, now interposed, and after some
consultation it was agreed that as we were not mere men, but prophets,
and infidel saints, an exception might be made in our favor without
violation of the Mussulman law; not, indeed, to the extent of allowing
us to profane the inner sanctuary of the harem with our presence, but so
far as to admit us into in apartment adjoining it, where the women would
be summoned to attend us.

Accordingly, we passed through a long suite of rooms, and at last found
ourselves in a chamber lofty and large, fanned by a breeze from the
Bosphorus, over which its lattices were suspended, skirted by a low
divan, covered with carpets and cushions, and "invested with purpureal
gleams" by the splendid hangings through which the light feebly strove.
Among a confused heap of crimson pillows and orange drapery, at the
remote end of the apartment, sat, or rather reclined, the mother of our
reluctant host. I could observe only that she was aged, and lay there as
still as if she had belonged to the vegetable, not the human world.
Usually she was half-vailed by the smoke of her long pipe; but when its
wreaths chanced to float aside or grow thin, her dark eyes were fixed
upon us with an expression half indifferent and half averse.

Presently a murmur of light feet was heard in an adjoining chamber: on
it moved along the floor of the gallery; and in trooped the company of
wives and female slaves. They laughed softly and musically as they
entered, but seemed frightened also; and at once raising their shawls
and drawing down their vails, they glided simultaneously into a
semicircle, and stood there with hands folded on their breasts. I sat
opposite to them, drinking coffee and smoking, or pretending to smoke a
pipe eight feet long: at one side stood the Mollah and some male members
of the household: at the other stood the handsome husband, apparently
but little contented with the course matters had taken; and my friend,
the magician, moved about among the implements of his art clad in a
black gown spangled with flame-colored devices, strange enough to strike
a bold heart with awe. Beyond the semicircle stood two children, a boy
and a girl, holding in their hands twisted rods of barley-sugar about a
yard long each, which they sucked assiduously the whole time of our
visit. There they stood, mute and still as statues, with dark eyes
fixed, now on us, and now on the extremity of their sugar wands.

My companion commenced operations by displaying a number of conjuring
tricks intended to impress all present with the loftiest opinion of his
powers, and stopped every now and then to make his dragoman explain that
it would prove in vain to endeavor to deceive a being endowed with such
gifts. To these expositions the women apparently paid but little
attention; but the conjuring feats delighted them; and again and again
they laughed until, literally, the head of each dropped on her
neighbor's shoulder. After a time the husband, who alone had never
appeared the least entertained, interposed, and asked the conjuror
whether he had yet discovered the guilty party. With the utmost
coolness, my friend replied, "Certainly not: how could he while His
Highness's wives continued vailed?" This new demand created new
confusion and a long debate: I thought, however, that the women seemed
rather to advocate our cause. The husband, the Mollah, and the mother
again consulted; and in another moment the vails had dropped, and the
beauty of many an Eastern nation stood before us revealed.

Four of those unvailed Orientals were, as we were informed, wives, and
six were slaves. The former were beautiful indeed, though beautiful in
different degrees and in various styles of beauty: of the latter two
only. They were, all of them, tall, slender, and dark-eyed, "shadowing
high beauty in their airy brows," and uniting a mystical with a
luxurious expression, like that of Sibyls who had been feasting with
Cleopatra. There was something to me strange as well as lovely in their
aspect--as strange as their condition, which seems a state half-way
between marriage and widowhood. They see no man except their husband;
and a visit from him (except in the case of the favorite) is a rare and
marvelous occurrence, like an eclipse of the sun. Their bearing toward
each other was that of sisters: in their movements I remarked an
extraordinary sympathy, which was the more striking on account of their
rapid transitions from the extreme of alarm to child-like wonder, and
again to boundless mirth.

The favorite wife was a Circassian, and a fairer vision it would not be
easy to see. Intellectual in expression she could hardly be called; yet
she was full of dignity, as well as of pliant grace and of sweetness.
Her large black eyes, beaming with a soft and stealthy radiance, seemed
as if they would have yielded light in the darkness; and the heavy waves
of her hair, which, in the excitement of the tumultuous scene, she
carelessly flung over her shoulders, gleamed like a mirror. Her
complexion was the most exquisite I have ever seen, its smooth and
pearly purity being tinged with a color, unlike that of flower or of
fruit, of bud or of berry, but which reminded me of the vivid and
delicate tints which sometimes streak the inside of a shell. Though tall
she seemed as light as if she had been an embodied cloud, hovering over
the rich carpets like a child that does not feel the weight of its body;
and though stately in the intervals of rest, her mirth was a sort of
rapture. She, too, had that peculiar luxuriousness of aspect, in no
degree opposed to modesty, which belongs to the East: around her lips
was wreathed, in their stillness, an expression at once pleasurable and
pathetic, which seemed ever ready to break forth into a smile: her hands
seemed to leave with regret whatever they had rested on, and in parting
to leave something behind; and in all her soft and witching beauty she
reminded me of Browning's lines--

    "No swan-soft woman, rubbed in lucid oils.
    The gift of an enamored god, more fair."

As feat succeeded to feat, and enchantment to enchantment, all remnant
of reserve was discarded, and no trace remained of that commingled alarm
and pleased expectation which had characterized those beaming
countenances when first they emerged from their vails. Those fair women
floated around us, and tossed their hands in the air, wholly forgetting
that their husband was by. Still, however, we had made but little
progress in our inquiry; and when the magician informed them that they
had better not try to conceal any thing from him, their only answer was
a look that said, "You came here to give us pleasure, not to
cross-question us." Resolved to use more formidable weapons, he began to
arrange an electrical machine, when the Mollah, after glancing at it two
or three times, approached and asked him whether that instrument also
was supernatural. The quick-witted Frenchman replied at once, "By no
means; it is a mere scientific toy." Then, turning to me, he added, in a
low voice, "He has seen it before--probably, he has traveled." In a few
minutes, the women were ranged in a ring, and linked hand-in-hand. He
then informed them, through our interpreter, that if a discovery was not
immediately made, each person should receive, at the same moment, a blow
from an invisible hand; that, the second time, the admonition would be
yet severer; and that, the third time, if his warning was still
despised, the culprit would drop down dead. This announcement was heard
with much gravity, but no confession followed it: the shock was given,
and the lovely circle was speedily dislinked, "with shrieks and
laughter." Again the shock was given, and with the same effect; but this
time the laughter was more subdued. Before making his last essay, the
magician addressed them in a long speech, telling them that he had
already discovered the secret, that if the culprit confessed, he would
make intercession for her, but that, if she did not, she must take the
consequences. Still no confession was made. For the first time, my
confident friend looked downcast. "It will not do," he said to me; "the
ring can not be recovered: they know nothing about it: probably it was
lost. We can not fulfill our engagement; and, indeed, I wish," he added,
"that we were well out of all this."

I confess I wished the same, especially when I glanced at the master of
the household, who stood apart, gloomy as a thunder-cloud, and with the
look of a man who thinks himself in a decidedly false position. The
Easterns do not understand a jest, especially in a harem; and not being
addicted to irony (that great safety-valve for enthusiasm), they pass
rapidly from immovability to very significant and sometimes disagreeable
action. Speaking little, they deliver their souls by acting. I should
have been glad to hear our host talk, even though in a stormy voice: on
the whole, however, I trusted much to the self-possession and address of
my associate. Nor was I deceived. "Do as you see me do," he said to me
and the dragoman; and then, immediately after giving the third shock,
which was as ineffectual as those that preceded it, he advanced to our
grim host with a face radiant with satisfaction, and congratulated him
vehemently. "You are a happy man," he said. "Your household has not a
flaw in it. Fortunate it was that you sent for the wise man: I have
discovered the matter." "What have you discovered?" "The fate of the
ring. It has never been stolen: if it had, I would have restored it to
you. Fear nothing; your household is trustworthy and virtuous. I know
where the ring is; but I should deceive you if I bade you hope ever to
find it again. This is a great mystery, and the happy consummation
surpasses even my hopes. Adieu. The matter has turned out just as you
see. You were born under a lucky star. Happy is the man whose household
is trustworthy, and who, when his faith is tried, finds a faithful
counselor. I forbid you, henceforth and forever, to distrust any one of
your wives."

It would be impossible to describe the countenance of our Mussulman
friend during this harangue. There he stood, like a tree half in
sunshine and half in shade; gratification struggling with displeasure in
his countenance, and wonder eclipsing both. It was not by any means our
policy to wait until he had adjusted the balance, and made up his mind
as to the exact degree of gratitude he owed his guests. On, accordingly,
we passed to the door. In a moment the instinct of courtesy prevailed,
and our host made a sign to one of his retinue. His slaves preceded us
with torches (it had grown late); and, accompanied by half the
household, as a guard of honor, we again traversed the large and
straggling house, passed through the garden, and entered the carriage
which waited for us beyond the wall. Our evening passed rapidly away as
we discussed our adventure; and I have more than once thought, with
pleasure, how amusing an incident the visit of the strangers must have
been to the secluded beauties. No doubt the baths of Constantinople have
rung with many a merry laugh occasioned by this invasion of the Franks.
Never, perhaps, have the inmates of a harem seen so much of the infidel
before, and conversed with him so familiarly, in the presence of their
husband.



[From Sharpe's Magazine.]

THE WIFE OF KONG TOLV.[14]

A FAIRY TALE OF SCANDINAVIA.

BY THE AUTHOR "COLA MONTI."


Hyldreda Kalm stood at the door of her cottage, and looked abroad into
the quietness of the Sabbath morn. The village of Skjelskör lay at a
little distance down the vale, lighted by the sunshine of a Zealand
summer, which, though brief, is glowing and lovely even as that of the
south. Hyldreda had looked for seventeen years upon this beautiful
scene, the place where she was born. Sunday after Sunday she had stood
thus and listened for the distant tinkle of the church bell. A stranger,
passing by, might have said, how lovely were her face and form; but the
widowed mother, whose sole stay she was, and the little delicate sister,
who had been her darling from the cradle, would have answered, that if
none were so fair, none were likewise so good as Hyldreda; and that all
the village knew. If she did love to bestow greater taste and care on
her Sunday garments than most young damsels of her class, she had a
right--for was she not beautiful as any lady? And did not the eyes of
Esbern Lynge say so, when, week after week, he came up the hilly road,
and descended again to the little chapel, supporting the feeble mother's
slow steps, and watching his betrothed as she bounded on before, with
little Resa in her hand?

"Is Esbern coming?" said the mother's voice within.

"I know not--I did not look," answered Hyldreda, with a girlish
willfulness. "I saw only the sun shining on the river, and the oak-wood
waving in the breeze."

"Look down the road, child; the time passes. Go quickly."

"She is gone already," said Resa, laughing merrily. "She is standing
under the great elder-tree to wait for Esbern Lynge."

"Call her back--call her back!" cried the mother, anxiously. "To stand
beneath an elder-tree, and this night will be St. John's Eve! On Sunday,
too, and she a Sunday child! Call her quickly, Resa."

The little child lifted up her voice, "Hyld--"

"Not her name--utter not her name!" And the widow Kalm went on muttering
to herself, "Perhaps the Hyldemoer[15] will not have heard. Alas the
day! when my child was born under an elder-tree, and I, poor desolate
mother! was terrified into giving my babe that name. Great Hyldemoer, be
propitiated! Holy Virgin!" and the widow's prayer became a curious
mingling of superstition and piety, "Blessed Mary! let not the elves
have power over my child! Have I not kept her heart from evil? does not
the holy cross lie on her pure breast day and night? Do I not lead her
every Sunday, winter and summer, in storm, sunshine, or snow, to the
chapel in the valley? And this day I will say for her a double prayer."

The mother's counted beads had scarce come to an end when Hyldreda stood
by her side, and, following the light-footed damsel, came Esbern Lynge.

"Child, why didst thou linger under the tree?" said the widow. "It does
not become a young maiden to stand flaunting outside her door. Who wert
thou watching so eagerly?"

"Not thee, Esbern," laughed the girl, shaking her head at her betrothed,
who interposed with a happy conscious face; "I was looking at a grand
train that wound along the road, and thinking how pleasant it would be
to dress on a Sunday like the lady of the castle, and recline idly
behind four prancing horses instead of trudging on in these clumsy
shoes."

The mother frowned, and Esbern Lynge looked sorrowful.

"I wish I could give her all she longs for," sighed the young man, as
they proceeded on their way, his duteous arm supporting the widow, while
Hyldreda and Resa went bounding onward before them; "She is as beautiful
as a queen--I would that I could make her one."

"Wish rather, Esbern, that Heaven may make her a pious, lowly-hearted
maid, and, in good time, a wife; that she may live in humility and
content, and die in peace among her own people."

Esbern said nothing--he could not think of death and _her_ together. So
he and the widow Kalm walked on silently--and so slowly that they soon
lost sight of the two blithe sisters.

Hyldreda was talking merrily of the grand sight she had just seen, and
describing to little Resa the gilded coach, the prancing horses, with
glittering harness. "Oh! but it was a goodly train, as it swept down
toward the river. Who knows? Perhaps it may have been the king and queen
themselves."

"No," said little Resa, rather fearfully, "you know Kong Tolv[16] never
lets any mortal king pass the bridge of Skjelskör."

"_Kong Tolv!_ what, more stories about Kong Tolv!" laughed the merry
maiden; "I never saw him; I wish I could see him, for then I might
believe in thy tales, little one."

"Hush, hush!--But mother told me never to speak of these things to
thee," answered Resa; "unsay the wish, or some harm may come."

"I care not! who would heed these elfin tales on such a lovely day?
Look, Resa, down that sunny meadow, where there is a cloud shadow
dancing on the grass; a strange cloud it is too, for it almost resembles
a human form."

"It is Kong Tolv rolling himself in the sunshine," cried the trembling
child; "Look away, my sister, lest he should hear us."

Again Hyldreda's fearless laugh made music through the still air, and
she kept looking back until they passed from the open road into the
gloom of the oak wood.

"It is strange that thou shouldst be so brave," said Resa once more. "I
tremble at the very thought of the Elle-people of whom our villagers
tell, while thou hast not a single fear. Why is it, sister?"

"I know not, save that I never yet feared any thing," answered Hyldreda,
carelessly. "As for Kong Tolv, let him come, I care not."

While she spoke, a breeze swept through the oak wood, the trees began to
bend their tops, and the under branches were stirred with leafy
murmurings, as the young girl passed beneath. She lifted her fair face
to meet them. "Ah 'tis delicious, this soft scented wind; it touches my
face like airy kisses; it makes the leaves seem to talk to me in musical
whispers. Dost thou not hear them too, little Resa? and dost thou
not--?"

Hyldreda suddenly stopped, and gazed eagerly down the road.

"Well, sister," said Resa, "what art dreaming of now? Come, we shall be
late at church, and mother will scold." But the elder sister stood
motionless. "How strange thine eyes look; what dost thou see, Hyldreda."

"Look--what is there!"

"Nothing, but a cloud of dust that the wind sweeps forward. Stand back,
sister, or it will blind thee."

Still Hyldreda bent forward with admiring eyes, muttering, "Oh! the
grand golden chariot, with its four beautiful white horses! And therein
sits a man--surely it is the king! and the lady beside him is the queen.
See, she turns--"

Hyldreda paused, dumb with wonder, for despite the gorgeous show of
jeweled attire, she recognized that face. It was the same she had looked
at an hour before in the little cracked mirror. The lady in the carriage
was the exact counterpart of herself!

The pageant came and vanished. Little Resa turned round and wiped her
eyes--she, innocent child, had seen nothing but a cloud of dust. Her
elder sister answered not her questionings, but remained silent,
oppressed by a nameless awe. It passed not, even when the chapel was
reached, and Hyldreda knelt to pray. Above the sound of the hymn she
heard the ravishing music of the leaves in the oak wood, and instead of
the priest she seemed to behold the two dazzling forms which had sat
side by side in the golden chariot.

When service was ended, and all went homewards, she lingered under the
trees where the vision, or reality, whichever it was, had met her sight,
half longing for its reappearance. But her mother whispered something to
Esbern, and they hurried Hyldreda away.

She laid aside her Sunday mantle, the scarlet woof which to spin, weave,
and fashion, had cost her a world of pains. How coarse and ugly it
seemed! She threw it contemptuously aside, and thought how beautiful
looked the purple-robed lady, who was so like herself.

"And why should I not be as fair as she? I should, if I were only
dressed as fine. Heaven might as well have made me a lady, instead of a
poor peasant girl."

These repinings entered the young heart hitherto so pure and happy. They
haunted her even when she rejoined her mother, Resa, and Esbern Lynge.
She prepared the noonday meal, but her step was heavy and her hand
unwilling. The fare seemed coarse, the cottage looked dark and poor. She
wondered what sort of a palace home was that owned by the beautiful
lady; and whether the king, if king the stranger were, presided at his
banquet table as awkwardly as did Esbern Lynge at the mean board here.

At the twilight, Hyldreda did not steal out as usual to talk with her
lover beneath the rose-porch. She went and hid herself out of his sight,
under the branches of the great elder-tree, which to her had always a
strange charm, perhaps because it was the spot of all others where she
was forbidden to stay. However, this day Hyldreda began to feel herself
to be no longer a child, but a woman whose will was free.

She sat under the dreamy darkness of the heavy foliage. Its faint sickly
odor overpowered her like a spell. Even the white bunches of elder
flowers seemed to grow alive in the twilight, and to change into faces,
looking at her whithersoever she turned. She shut her eyes, and tried to
summon back the phantom of the golden chariot, and especially of the
king-like man who sat inside. Scarce had she seen him clearly, but she
felt he looked a king. If wishing could bring to her so glorious a
fortune, she would almost like to have, in addition to the splendors of
rich dress and grand palaces, such a noble-looking man for her lord and
husband.

And the poor maiden was rudely awakened from her dream, by feeling on
her delicate shoulders the two heavy hands of Esbern Lynge.

Haughtily she took them off. Alas! he, loving her so much, had ever been
lightly loved in return! to-day he was not loved at all. He came at an
ill time, for the moment his hand put aside the elder branches, all the
dazzling fancies of his betrothed vanished in air. He came, too, with an
ill-wooing, for he implored her to trifle no more, but to fulfill her
mother's hope and his, and enter as mistress at the little blacksmith's
forge. She, who had just been dreaming of a palace home! Not a word she
answered at first, and then cold, cruel words, worse than silence. So
Esbern, who, though a lover, was a manly-hearted youth, and thought it
shame to be mocked by a girl's light tongue, left her there and went
away, not angry, but very sorrowful.

Little Resa came to summon her sister. But Hyldreda trembled before the
gathering storm, for widow Kalm, though a tender mother, was one who
well knew how to rule. Her loud, severe voice already warned the girl of
the reproof that was coming. To avoid it only for a little, until her
own proud spirit was calmed. Hyldreda told Resa she would not come in
until after she had taken a little walk down the moonlight road. As she
passed from under the elder-tree, she heard a voice, like her mother's,
and yet not her mother's--no, it could never be, for it shouted after
her,

"Come now, or come no more!"

Some evil impulse goaded the haughty girl to assert her womanly right of
free action, and she passed from her home, flying with swift steps. A
little, only a little absence, to show her indignant pride, and she
would be back again, to heal all strife. Nevertheless, ere she was
aware, Hyldreda had reached the oak-wood, beneath which she had seen the
morning's bewildering sight.

And there again, brighter in the moonlight than it had ever seemed in
the day, came sweeping by the stately pageant. Its torches flung red
shadows on the trees, its wheels resounded through the night's quiet
with a music as of silver bells. And sitting in his state alone, grand
but smiling, was the lord of all this splendor.

The chariot stopped, and he dismounted. Then the whole train vanished,
and, shorn of all his glories, except a certain brightness which his
very presence seemed to shed, the king, if he were indeed such, stood
beside the trembling peasant maid.

He did not address her, but looked in her face inquiringly, until
Hyldreda felt herself forced to be the first to speak.

"My lord, who art thou, and what is thy will with me?"

He smiled. "Thanks, gentle maiden, for thy question has taken off the
spell. Otherwise it could not be broken, even by Kong Tolv."

Hyldreda shuddered with fear. Her fingers tried to seize the cross which
always lay on her breast, but no! she had thrown aside the coarse black
wooden crucifix, while dreaming of ornaments of gold. And it was St.
John's Eve, and she stood beneath the haunted oak-wood. No power had she
to fly, and her prayers died on her lips, for she knew herself in the
Hill-king's power.

Kong Tolv began to woo, after the elfin fashion, brief and bold. "Fair
maiden, the Dronningstolen[17] is empty, and 'tis thou must fill it.
Come and enter my palace under the hill."

But the maiden sobbed out that she was too lowly to sit on a queen's
chair, and that none of mortals, save the dead, made their home
underground. And she prayed the Elle-king to let her go back to her
mother and little Resa.

He only laughed. "Wouldst be content, then, with the poor cottage, and
the black bread, and the labor from morn till eve. Didst thou not of
thyself wish for a palace and a lord like me? And did not the Hyldemoer
waft me the wish, so that I came to meet and welcome thee under the
hill?"

Hyldreda made one despairing effort to escape, but she heard again Kong
Tolv's proud laugh, and looking up, she saw that the thick oak-wood had
changed to an army. In place of every tree stood a fierce warrior, ready
to guard every step. She thought it must be all a delirious dream that
would vanish with the morning. Suddenly she heard the far village clock
strike the hour. Mechanically she counted--one--two--three--four--up to
_twelve_.

As she pronounced the last word, Kong Tolv caught her in his arms,
saying, "Thou hast named me and art mine."

Instantly all the scene vanished, and Hyldreda found herself standing on
the bleak side of a little hill, alone in the moonlight. But very soon
the clear night darkened, and a heavy storm arose. Trembling, she looked
around for shelter, and saw in the hill-side a tiny door, which seemed
to invite her to enter. She did so! In a moment she stood dazzled by a
blaze of light--a mortal amidst the festival of the elves. She heard the
voice of Kong Tolv, half-speaking, half-singing,

    "Welcome, maiden, fair and free,
    Thou hast come of thyself in the hill to me;
    Stay thou here, nor thy fate deplore;
    Thou hast come of thyself in at my door."

And bewildered by the music, the dance, and the splendor, Hyldreda
remembered no more the cottage, with its one empty chair, nor the
miserable mother, nor the little sister straining her weeping eyes along
the lonely road.

       *       *       *       *       *

The mortal maiden became the Elle-king's bride, and lived in the hill
for seven long years; at least, so they seemed in Elfinland, where time
passes like the passing of a strain of music, that dies but to be again
renewed. Little thought had she of the world above ground, for in the
hill-palace was continual pleasure, and magnificence without end. No
remembrance of lost kindred troubled her, for she sat in the
Dronningstolen, and all the elfin people bowed down before the wife of
the mighty Kong Tolv.

She might have lived so always, with no desire ever to go back to earth,
save that one day she saw trickling down through the palace roof a
pearly stream. The elves fled away, for they said it was some mortal
weeping on the grassy hill overhead. But Hyldreda staid and looked on
until the stream settled into a clear, pellucid pool. A sweet mirror it
made, and the Hill-king's bride ever loved to see her own beauty. So she
went and gazed down into the shining water.

There she beheld--not the image of the elfin-queen, but of the peasant
maid, with her mantle of crimson wool, her coarse dress, and her black
crucifix. She turned away in disgust, but soon her people brought her
elfin mirrors, wherein she could see her present self, gorgeously clad,
and a thousand times more fair. It kindled in her heart a proud desire.

She said to her lord, "Let me go back for a little while to my native
village, and my ancient home, that I may show them all my splendor, and
my greatness. Let me enter, sitting in my gilded chariot, with the four
white horses, and feel myself as queen-like as the lady I once saw
beneath the oak-wood."

Kong Tolv laughed, and assented. "But," he said, "keep thy own proud
self the while. The first sigh, the first tear, and I carry thee back
into the hill with shame."

So Hyldreda left the fairy-palace, sweeping through the village, with a
pageant worthy a queen. Thus in her haughtiness, after seven years had
gone by, she came to her mother's door.

Seven years, none of which had cast one shadow on the daughter's beauty.
But time and grief together had bowed the mother almost to the verge of
the grave. The one knew not the other, until little Resa came between;
little Resa, who looked her sister's olden self, blooming in the
sweetness of seventeen. Nothing to her was the magnificence of the
beautiful guest; she only saw Hyldreda, the lost and found.

"Where hast thou been?" said the mother, doubtfully, when in answer to
all their caresses, the stately lady only looked on them with a proud
smile; "Who gave thee those grand dresses, and put the matron's vail
upon thy hair?"

"I am the Hill-king's wife," said Hyldreda. "I dwell in a gorgeous
palace, and sit on a queen's throne."

"God preserve thee!" answered the mother. But Hyldreda turned away, for
Kong Tolv had commanded her never to hear or utter the holy Name. She
began to inquire about her long-forgotten home, but half-carelessly, as
if she had no interest in it now.

"And who was it," she asked, "that wept on the hill-side until the tears
dropped through, staining my palace walls?"

"I," answered Resa, blushing; and then Hyldreda perceived that, young as
she was, the girl wore the matron's head-tire. "I, sitting there with my
babe, wept to think of my poor sister who died long ago, and never knew
the sweetness of wifehood and motherhood. And almost it grieved me, to
think that my love had blotted out the bitterness of her memory even
from the heart of Esbern Lynge."

At the name, proudly laughed the elder sister, "Take thy husband, and be
happy, girl; I envy thee not; I am the wife of the great Hill-king."

"And does thy lord love thee? Does he sit beside thee at eve, and let
thee lean thy tired head on his breast, as Esbern does with me? And hast
thou young children dancing about thy feet, and a little blue-eyed one
to creep dove-like to thy heart at nights, as mine does? Say, dear
sister, art thou as happy as I?"

Hyldreda paused. Earth's sweet ties arose before her, and the grandeur
of her lot seemed only loneliness. Forgetting her lord's command, she
sighed, she even wept one regretful tear; and that moment in her
presence stood Kong Tolv.

"Kill me, but save my mother, my sister," cried the wife, with a broken
heart. The prayer was needless; _they_ saw not the Elle-king, and he
marked not them--he only bore away Hyldreda, singing mockingly in her
ear something of the same rhyme which had bound her his:

    "Complainest thou here all drearily--
    Camest thou not of thyself in the hill to me?
    And stayest thou here thy lot to deplore?
    Camest thou not of thyself in at my door?"

When the mother and sister of Hyldreda lifted up their eyes, they saw
nothing but a cloud of dust sweeping past the cottage-door, they heard
nothing but the ancient elder-tree howling aloud as its branches were
tossed about in a gust of wintry wind.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kong Tolv took back to the hill his mortal bride. There he set her in a
golden chair, and brought to her to drink a silver horn of elfin-wine,
in the which he had dropped an ear of wheat. At the first draught, she
forgot the village where she had dwelt--at the second, she forgot the
sister who had been her darling--at the third, she forgot the mother who
bore her. Again she rejoiced in the glories of the fairy-palace, and in
the life of never-ceasing pleasure.

Month after month rolled by--by her scarce counted, or counted only in
jest, as she would number a handful of roses, all held so fast and sure,
that none could fall or fade; or as she would mark one by one the little
waves of a rivulet whose source was eternally flowing.

Hyldreda thought no more of any earthly thing, until there came, added
to her own, a young, new life. When her beautiful babe, half-elf,
half-mortal, nestled in her woman's breast, it wakened there the
fountain of human love, and of long-forgotten memories.

"Oh! let me go home once--once more," she implored of her lord. "Let me
go to ask my mother's forgiveness, and above all, to crave the church's
blessing on this my innocent babe."

Kong Tolv frowned, and then looked sad. For it is the one great sorrow
of the Elle-people, that they, with all others of the elfin race, are
shut out from Heaven's mercy. Therefore do they often steal mortal
wives, and strive to have their children christened according to holy
rite, in order to participate in the blessings granted to the offspring
of Adam.

"Do as thou wilt," the Hill-king answered; "but know, there awaits a
penalty. In exchange for a soul, must be given a life."

His dark saying fell coldly on the heart of the young mother. It
terrified her for a time, but soon the sweet strange wiles of her
elfin-babe beguiled her into renewed happiness; so that her longing
faded away.

The child grew not like a mortal child. An unearthly beauty was in its
face; wondrous precocious signs marked it from its birth. Its
baby-speech was very wisdom. Its baby-smile was full of thought. The
mother read her olden soul--the pure soul that was hers of yore--in her
infant's eyes.

One day when Hyldreda was following the child in its play, she noticed
it disappear through what seemed the outlet of the fairy-palace, which
outlet she herself had never been able to find. She forgot that her boy
was of elfin as well as of mortal race. Out it passed, the mother
eagerly pursuing, until she found herself with the child in a meadow
near the village of Skjelskör, where years ago she had often played. It
was on a Sunday morning, and cheerfully yet solemnly rang out the
chapel-bells. All the sounds and sights of earth came back upon her,
with a longing that would not be restrained.

In the white frozen grass, for it was wintertime, knelt the wife of Kong
Tolv, holding fast to her bosom the elfin babe, who shivered at every
blast of wind, yet, shivering, seemed to smile. Hyldreda knelt, until
the chapel-bells ceased at service-time. And then there came bursting
from her lips the long-sealed prayers, the prayers of her childhood.
While she breathed them, the rich fairy garments crumbled from her, and
she remained clad in the coarse dress she wore when Kong Tolv carried
her away; save that it hung in miserable tatters, as if worn for years,
and through its rents the icy wind pierced her bosom, so that the heart
within might have sunk and died, but for the ever-abiding warmth of
maternal love.

_That_ told her how in one other mother's heart there must be warmth
still.

"I will go home," she murmured, "I will say, 'Mother, take me in and
save me, or else I die!'" And so, when the night closed, and all the
villagers were safe at home, and none could mock at her and her misery,
the poor desolate one crept to her mother's door.

It had been open to her even when she came in her pride; how would it be
closed against her sorrow and humility? And was there ever a true
mother's breast, that while life yet throbbed there, was not a refuge
for a repentant child?

Hyldreda found shelter and rest. But the little elfin babe, unused to
the air of earth, uttered continual moanings. At night, the strange eyes
never closed, but looked at her with a dumb entreaty. And tenfold
returned the mother's first desire, that her darling should become a
"christened child."

Much the old grandame gloried in this, looking with distrust on the
pining, withered babe. But keenly upon Hyldreda's memory came back the
saying of Kong Tolv, that for a soul would be exchanged a life. It must
be _hers_. That, doubtless, was the purchase; and thus had Heaven
ordained the expiation of her sin. If so, meekly she would offer it, so
that Heaven would admit into its mercy her beloved child. It was in the
night--in the cold white night, that the widow Kalm, with her daughter
and the mysterious babe, came to the chapel of Skjelskör. All the way
thither they had been followed by strange, unearthly noises; and as they
passed beneath the oak-wood, it seemed as if the overhanging branches
were transformed into giant hands, that evermore snatched at the child.
But in vain; for the mother held it fast, and on its little breast she
had laid the wooden cross which she herself used to wear when a girl.
Bitterly the infant had wailed, but when they crossed the threshold of
the chapel, it ceased, and a smile broke over its face--a smile pure and
saintly, such as little children wear, lying in a sleep so beautiful
that the bier seems like the cradle.

The mother beheld it, and thought, What if her foreboding should be
true; that the moment which opened the gate of Heaven's mercy unto her
babe, should close upon herself life and life's sweetnesses? But she
felt no fear.

"Let me kiss thee once again, my babe, my darling!" she murmured;
"perhaps I may never kiss thee more. Even now, I feel as if my eyes were
growing dark, and thy little face were gliding from my sight. But I can
let thee go, my sweet! God will take care of thee, and keep thee safe,
even amidst this bitter world."

She clasped and kissed the child once more, and, kneeling, calm, but
very pale, she awaited whatever might be her doom.

The priest, performing by stealth what he almost deemed a desecration of
the hallowed rite, began to read the ceremony over the fairy babe. All
the while, it looked at him with those mysterious eyes, so lately opened
to the world, yet which seemed to express the emotions of a whole
existence. But when the sprinkled water touched them, they closed,
softly, slowly, like a blue flower at night.

The mother, still living, and full of thankful wonder that she did live,
took from the priest's arms her recovered treasure, her Christian child.
It lay all smiling, but it lifted not its eyes: the color was fading on
its lips, and its little hands were growing cold. For it--not for her,
had been the warning. It had rendered up its little life, and received
an immortal soul.

       *       *       *       *       *

For years after this, there abode in the village of Skjelskör a woman
whom some people thought was an utter stranger, for none so grave, and
at the same time so good, was ever known among the light-hearted people
of Zealand. Others said that if any one could come back alive from fairy
land, the woman must be Hyldreda Kalm. But as later generations arose,
they mocked at the story of Kong Tolv and the palace under the hill, and
considered the whole legend but an allegory, the moral of which they did
not fail to preach to their fair young daughters continually.

Nevertheless, this woman had surely once lived, for her memory, embalmed
by its own rich virtues, long lingered in the place where she had dwelt.
She must have died there, too, for they pointed out her grave, and a
smaller one beside it, though whose that was, none knew. There was a
tradition that when she died--it was on a winter night, and the clock
was just striking _twelve_--there arose a stormy wind which swept
through the neighboring oak-wood, laying every tree prostrate on the
ground. And from that hour there was no record of the Elle-people or the
mighty Kong Tolv having been ever again seen in Zealand.

FOOTNOTES:

[14] The idea of this story is partly taken from a Danish _Visa_, or
legendary ballad, entitled "Proud Margaret."

[15] _Hyldemoer_, elder-mother, is the name of a Danish elf inhabiting
the elder-tree. _Eda_ signifies a grandmother or female ancestor.
Children born on Sundays were especially under the power of the elves.

[16] Kong Tolv, or _King Twelve_, is one of the Elle-kings who divide
the fairy sovereignty of Zealand.

[17] Dronningstolen, or Queen's Chair.



[From the Dublin University Magazine.]

MAURICE TIERNAY, THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.

[_Continued from Page 233._]


CHAPTER VI.

"THE ARMY SIXTY YEARS SINCE."

I followed the soldiers as they marched beyond the outer boulevard, and
gained the open country. Many of the idlers dropped off here; others
accompanied us a little further; but at length, when the drums ceased to
beat, and were slung in marching order on the backs of the drummers,
when the men broke into the open order that French soldiers
instinctively assume on a march, the curiosity of the gazers appeared to
have nothing more to feed upon, and one by one they returned to the
capital, leaving me the only lingerer.

To any one accustomed to military display, there was little to attract
notice in the column, which consisted of detachments from various corps,
horse, foot, and artillery; some were returning to their regiments after
a furlough; some had just issued from the hospitals, and were seated in
charettes, or country-cars; and, others, again, were peasant boys only a
few days before drawn in the conscription. There was every variety of
uniform, and, I may add, of raggedness, too--a coarse blouse and a pair
of worn shoes, with a red or blue handkerchief on the head, being the
dress of many among them. The republic was not rich in those days, and
cared little for the costume in which her victories were won. The
artillery alone seemed to preserve any thing like uniformity in dress.
They wore a plain uniform of blue, with long white gaiters coming half
way up the thigh; a low cocked hat, without feather, but with the
tricolored cockade in front. They were mostly men middle-aged, or past
the prime of life, bronzed, weather-beaten, hardy-looking fellows, whose
white mustaches contrasted well with their sunburned faces. All their
weapons and equipments were of a superior kind, and showed the care
bestowed upon an arm whose efficiency was the first discovery of the
republican generals. The greater number of these were Bretons, and
several of them had served in the fleet, still bearing in their looks
and carriage something of that air which seems inherent in the seaman.
They were grave, serious, and almost stern in manner, and very unlike
the young cavalry soldiers, who, mostly recruited from the south of
France, many of them Gascons, had all the high-hearted gayety and
reckless levity of their own peculiar land. A campaign to these fellows
seemed a pleasant excursion; they made a jest of every thing, from the
wan faces of the invalids, to the black bread of the "Commissary;" they
quizzed the new "Tourleroux," as the recruits were styled, and the old
"Grumblers," as it was the fashion to call the veterans of the army;
they passed their jokes on the republic, and even their own officers
came in for a share of their ridicule. The grenadiers, however, were
those who especially were made the subject of their sarcasm. They were
generally from the north of France, and the frontier country toward
Flanders, whence they probably imbibed a portion of that phlegm and
moroseness so very unlike the general gayety of French nature; and when
assailed by such adversaries, were perfectly incapable of reply or
retaliation.

They all belonged to the army of the "Sambre et Meuse," which, although
at the beginning of the campaign highly distinguished for its successes,
had been latterly eclipsed by the extraordinary victories on the Upper
Rhine and in Western Germany; and it was curious to hear with what
intelligence and interest the greatest questions of strategy were
discussed by those who carried their packs as common soldiers in the
ranks. Movements and manoeuvres were criticised, attacked, defended,
ridiculed, and condemned, with a degree of acuteness and knowledge that
showed the enormous progress the nation had made in military science,
and with what ease the republic could recruit her officers from the
ranks of her armies.

At noon the column halted in the wood of Belleville; and while the men
were resting, an express arrived announcing that a fresh body of troops
would soon arrive, and ordering the others to delay their march till
they came up. The orderly who brought the tidings could only say that he
believed some hurried news had come from Germany, for before he left
Paris the rappel was beating in different quarters, and the rumor ran
that reinforcements were to set out for Strasbourg with the utmost
dispatch.

"And what troops are coming to join us?" said an old artillery sergeant,
in evident disbelief of the tidings.

"Two batteries of artillery and the voltigeurs of the 4th, I know for
certain are coming," said the orderly, "and they spoke of a battalion of
grenadiers."

"What! do these Germans need another lesson," said the cannonier, "I
thought Fleurus had taught them what our troops were made of?"

"How you talk of Fleurus," interrupted a young hussar from the south; "I
have just come from the army of Italy, and, ma foi! we should never have
mentioned such a battle as Fleurus in a dispatch. Campaigning among
dykes and hedges--fighting with a river on one flank and a fortress on
the t'other--parade manoeuvres--where, at the first check, the enemy
retreats, and leaves you free, for the whole afternoon, to write off
your successes to the Directory. Had you seen our fellows scaling the
Alps, with avalanches of snow descending at every fire of the great
guns--forcing pass after pass against an enemy, posted on every cliff
and crag above us--cutting our way to victory by roads the hardiest
hunter had seldom trod; I call that war."

"And I call it the skirmish of an outpost!" said the gruff veteran, as
he smoked away, in thorough contempt for the enthusiasm of the other. "I
have served under Kleber, Hoche, and Moreau, and I believe they are the
first generals of France."

"There is a name greater than them all," cried the hussar with
eagerness.

"Let us hear it, then--you mean Pichegru, perhaps, or Massena?"

"No, I mean Bonaparte!" said the hussar, triumphantly.

"A good officer, and one of us," said the artilleryman, touching his
belt to intimate the arm of the service the general belonged to "He
commanded the seige-train at Toulon."

"He belongs to all," said the other. "He is a dragoon, a voltigeur, an
artillerist, a pontonièr--what you will--he knows every thing, as I know
my horse's saddle, and cloak-bag."

Both parties now grew warm; and as each was not only an eager partisan,
but well acquainted with the leading events of the two campaigns they
undertook to defend, the dispute attracted a large circle of listeners,
who, either seated on the green-sward, or lying at full length, formed a
picturesque group under the shadow of the spreading oak trees. Mean
while the cooking went speedily forward, and the camp-kettles smoked
with a steam whose savory odor was not a little tantalizing to one who,
like myself, felt that he did not belong to the company.

"What's thy mess, boy?" said an old grenadier to me, as I sat at a
little distance off, and affecting--but I fear very ill--a total
indifference to what went forward.

"He is asking to what corps thou belong'st?" said another, seeing that
the question puzzled me.

"Unfortunately I have none," said I. "I merely followed the march for
curiosity."

"And thy father and mother, child--what will they say to thee on thy
return home?"

"I have neither father, nor mother, nor home," said I, promptly.

"Just like myself," said an old red-whiskered sapeur; "or if I ever had
parents, they never had the grace to own me. Come over here child, and
take share of my dinner."

"No, parbleu! I'll have him for _my_ comrade," cried the young hussar.
"I was made a corporal yesterday, and have a large ration. Sit here, my
boy, and tell us how art called."

"Maurice Tierney."

"Maurice will do; few of us care for more than one name, except in the
dead muster they like to have it in full. Help thyself, my lad, and
here's the wine-flask beside thee."

"How comes it thou hast this old uniform, boy," said he, pointing to my
sleeve.

"It was one they gave me in the Temple," said I. "I was a 'rat du
prison' for some time."

"Thunder of war!" exclaimed the cannonier, "I had rather stand a whole
platoon fire than see what thou must have seen, child."

"And hast heart to go back there, boy," said the corporal, "and live the
same life again?"

"No, I'll never go back," said I. "I'll be a soldier."

"Well said, mon brave--thou'lt be a hussar, I know."

"If nature has given thee a good head, and a quick eye, my boy, thou
might even do better; and in time, perhaps, wear a coat like mine," said
the cannonier.

"Sacre bleu!" cried a little fellow, whose age might have been any thing
from boyhood to manhood--for while small of stature, he was shriveled
and wrinkled like a mummy--"why not be satisfied with the coat he
wears?"

"And be a drummer, like thee," said the cannonier.

"Just so, like me, and like Massena--he was a drummer, too."

"No, no!" cried a dozen voices together, "that's not true."

"He's right; Massena _was_ a drummer in the Eighth," said the cannonier;
"I remember him when he was like that boy yonder."

"To be sure," said the little fellow, who, I now perceived, wore the
dress of a "tambour;" "and is it a disgrace to be the first to face the
enemy?"

"And the first to turn his back to him, comrade," cried another.

"Not always--not always"--said the little fellow, regardless of the
laugh against him. "Had it been so, I had not gained the battle of
Grandrengs on the Sambre."

"Thou gain a battle!" shouted half-a-dozen, in derisive laughter.

"What, Petit Pièrre gained the day at Grandrengs!" said the cannonier;
"why, I was there myself, and never heard of that till now."

"I can believe it well," replied Pièrre; "many a man's merits go
unacknowledged: and Kleber got all the credit that belonged to Pièrre
Canot."

"Let us hear about it, Pièrre, for even thy victory is unknown by name
to us, poor devils of the army of Italy. How call'st thou the place?"

"Grandrengs," said Pièrre, proudly. "It's a name will live as long,
perhaps, as many of those high-sounding ones you have favored us with.
Mayhap, thou hast heard of Cambray?"

"Never!" said the hussar, shaking his head.

"Nor of 'Mons,' either, I'll be sworn?" continued Pièrre.

"Quite true, I never heard of it before."

"Voila!" exclaimed Pièrre, in contemptuous triumph. "And these are the
fellows who pretend to feel their country's glory, and take pride in her
conquests. Where hast thou been, lad, not to hear of places that every
child syllables nowadays?"

"I will tell you where I've been," said the hussar, haughtily, and
dropping at the same time the familiar "thee" and "thou" of soldier
intercourse--"I've been at Montenotte, at Millesimo, at Mondove--"

"Allons, done! with your disputes," broke in an old grenadier; "as if
France was not victorious whether the enemies were English or German.
Let us hear how Pièrre won his battle--at--at--"

"At Grandrengs," said Pièrre. "They call it in the dispatch the 'action
of the Sambre,' because Kleber came up there--and Kleber being a great
man, and Pièrre Canot a little one, you understand, the glory attaches
to the place where the bullion epaulets are found--just as the old King
of Prussia used to say, 'Dieu est toujours a coté de gros bataillons.'"

"I see we'll never come to this same victory of Grandrengs, with all
these turnings and twistings," muttered the artillery sergeant.

"Thou art very near it now, comrade, if thou'lt listen," said Pièrre, as
he wiped his mouth after a long draught of the vine-flask. "I'll not
weary the honorable company with any description of the battle
generally, but just confine myself to that part of it, in which I was
myself in action. It is well known, that though we claimed the victory
of the 10th May, we did little more than keep our own, and were obliged
to cross the Sambre, and be satisfied with such a position as enabled us
to hold the two bridges over the river--and there we remained for four
days: some said preparing for a fresh attack upon Kaunitz, who commanded
the allies; some, and I believe they were right, alleging that our
generals were squabbling all day, and all night, too, with two
commissaries that the government had sent down to teach us how to win
battles. Ma foi! we had had some experience in that way ourselves,
without learning the art from two citizens with tricolored scarfs round
their waists, and yellow tops to their boots! However that might be,
early on the morning of the 20th we received orders to cross the river
in two strong columns and form on the opposite side; at the same time
that a division was to pass the stream by boat two miles higher up, and,
concealing themselves in a pine wood, be ready to take the enemy in
flank, when they believed that all the force was in the front.

"Sacre tonnerre! I believe that our armies of the Sambre and the Rhine
never have any other notion of battles than that eternal flank
movement!" cried a young sergeant of the voltigeurs, who had just come
up from the army of Italy. "Our general used to split the enemy by the
centre, out him piecemeal by attack in columns, and then head him down
with artillery at short range--not leaving him time for a retreat in
heavy masses--"

"Silence, silence, and let us hear Petit Pièrre," shouted a dozen
voices, who cared far more for an incident, than a scientific discussion
about manoeuvres.

"The plan I speak of was General Moreau's," continued Pièrre; "and I
fancy that your Bonaparte has something to learn ere he be _his_ equal!"

This rebuke seeming to have engaged the suffrages of the company, he
went on: "The boat division consisted of four battalions of infantry,
two batteries of light-artillery, and a voltigeur company of the
"Regiment de Marboeuf"--to which I was then, for the time, attached as
"Tambour en chef." What fellows they were--the greatest devils in the
whole army! They came from the Faubourg St. Antoine, and were as
reckless and undisciplined as when they strutted the streets of Paris.
When they were thrown out to skirmish, they used to play as many tricks
as school-boys: sometimes they'd run up to the roof of a cabin or a
hut--and they could climb like cats--and, sitting down on the chimney,
begin firing away at the enemy, as coolly as from a battery; sometimes
they'd capture half-a-dozen asses, and ride forward as if to charge, and
then, affecting to tumble off, the fellows would pick down any of the
enemy's officers that were fools enough to come near--scampering back to
the cover of the line, laughing and joking as if the whole were sport. I
saw one--when his wrist was shattered by a shot, and he couldn't
fire--take a comrade on his back and caper away like a horse, just to
tempt the Germans to come out of their lines. It was with these blessed
youths I was now to serve, for the Tambour of the Marboeuf was drowned
in crossing the Sambre a few days before. Well, we passed the river
safely, and, unperceived by the enemy, gained the pine wood, where we
formed in two columns, one of attack, and the other of support, the
voltigeurs about five hundred paces in advance of the leading files. The
morning was dull and hazy, for a heavy rain had fallen during the night,
and the country is flat, and so much intersected with drains, and dykes,
and ditches, that, after rain, the vapor is too thick to see twenty
yards on any side. Our business was to make a counter-march to the
right, and, guided by the noise of the cannonade, to come down upon the
enemy's flank in the thickest of the engagement. As we advanced, we
found ourselves in a kind of marshy plain, planted with willows, and so
thick, that it was often difficult for three men to march abreast. This
extended for a considerable distance, and, on escaping from it, we saw
that we were not above a mile from the enemy's left, which rested on a
little village."

"I know it well," broke in the cannonier; "it's called Huyningen."

"Just so. There was a formidable battery in position there; and part of
the place was stockaded, as if they expected an attack. Still there were
no videttes, nor any look-out party, so far as we could see; and our
commanding officer didn't well know what to make of it, whether it was a
point of concealed strength, or a position they were about to withdraw
from. At all events, it required caution; and, although the battle had
already begun on the right--as a loud cannonade and a heavy smoke told
us--he halted the brigade in the wood, and held a council of his
officers to see what was to be done. The resolution come to was, that
the voltigeurs should advance alone to explore the way, the rest of the
force remaining in ambush. We were to go out in sections of companies,
and, spreading over a wide surface, see what we could of the place.

"Scarcely was the order given, when away we went; and it was now a race
who should be earliest up, and exchange first shot with the enemy. Some
dashed forward over the open field in front; others skulked along by
dykes and ditches; some, again, dodged here and there, as cover offered
its shelter; but about a dozen, of whom I was one, kept the track of
little cart-road, which, half-concealed by high banks and furze, ran in
a zig-zag line toward the village. I was always smart of foot; and now,
having newly joined the 'voltigeurs,' was naturally eager to show myself
not unworthy of my new associates. I went on at my best pace, and being
lightly equipped--neither musket nor ball-cartridge to carry--I soon out
stripped them all; and, after about twenty minutes' brisk running, saw
in front of me a long, low farm-house, the walls all pierced for
musketry, and two small eight-pounders in battery at the gate. I looked
back for my companions, but they were not up, not a man of them to be
seen. 'No matter,' thought I 'they'll be here soon; meanwhile, I'll make
for that little copse of brushwood;' for a small clump of low furze and
broom was standing at a little distance in front of the farm. All this
time, I ought to say, not a man of the enemy was to be seen, although I,
from where I stood, could see the crenelated walls, and the guns, as
they were pointed: at a distance all would seem like an ordinary
peasant-house.

"As I crossed the open space to gain the copse, piff! came a bullet,
whizzing past me; and just as I reached the cover, piff! came another. I
ducked my head, and made for the thicket, but just as I did so, my foot
caught in a branch. I stumbled, and pitched forward; and, trying to save
myself, I grasped a bough above me. It smashed suddenly, and down I
went. Ay! down sure enough, for I went right through the furze, and into
a well--one of those old, walled wells they have in these countries,
with a huge bucket that fills up the whole space, and is worked by a
chain. Luckily the bucket was linked up near the top, and caught me, or
I should have gone where there would have been no more heard of Pièrre
Canot; as it was, I was sorely bruised by the fall, and didn't recover
myself for full ten minutes after. Then I discovered that I was sitting
in a large wooden trough, hooped with iron, and supported by two heavy
chains that passed over a windlass, about ten feet above my head.

"I was safe enough, for the matter of that; at least none were likely to
discover me, as I could easily see, by the rust of the chain and he
grass-grown edges, that the well had been long disused. Now the position
was far from being pleasant. There stood the farm-house, full of
soldiers, the muskets ranging over every approach to where I lay. Of my
comrades, there was nothing to be seen, they had either missed the way
or retreated: and so time crept on, and I pondered on what might be
going forward elsewhere, and whether it would ever be my own fortune to
see my comrades again.

"It might be an hour--it seemed three or four to me--after this, as I
looked over the plain, I saw the caps of our infantry just issuing over
the brushwood, and a glancing lustre of their bayonets, as the sun
tipped them. They were advancing, but, as it seemed, slowly--halting at
times, and then moving forward again, just like a force waiting for
others to come up. At last they debouched into the plain; but, to my
surprise, they wheeled about to the right, leaving the farm-house on
their flank, as if to march beyond it. This was to lose their way
totally: nothing would be easier than to carry the position of the farm,
for the Germans were evidently few, had no videttes, and thought
themselves in perfect security. I crept out from my ambush, and holding
my cap on a stick, tried to attract notice from our fellows, but none
saw me. I ventured at last to shout aloud, but with no better success;
so that, driven to the end of my resources, I set to and beat a
'roulade' on the drum, thundering away with all my might, and not caring
what might come of it, for I was half mad with vexation as well as
despair. They heard me now; I saw a staff officer gallop up to the head
of the leading division, and halt them: a volley came peppering from
behind me, but without doing me any injury, for I was safe once more in
my bucket. Then came another pause, and again I repeated my manoeuvre,
and to my delight perceived that our fellows were advancing at quick
march. I beat harder, and the drums of the grenadiers answered me. All
right now, thought I, as, springing forward, I called out, 'This way,
boys; the wall of the orchard has scarcely a man to defend it;' and I
rattled out the 'pas-de-charge' with all my force. One crashing fire of
guns and small arms answered me from the farm-house; and then away went
the Germans as hard as they could; such running never was seen! One of
the guns they carried off with them; the tackle of the other broke, and
the drivers, jumping off their saddles, took to their legs at once. Our
lads were over the walls, through the windows, between the stockades,
every where, in fact, in a minute, and once inside, they carried all
before them. The village was taken at the point of the bayonet, and in
less than an hour the whole force of the brigade was advancing in full
march on the enemy's flank. There was little resistance made after that,
and Kaunitz only saved his artillery by leaving his rear guard to be cut
to pieces."

The cannonier nodded, as if in full assent, and Pièrre looked around him
with the air of a man who has vindicated his claim to greatness.

"Of course," said he, "the dispatch said little about Pièrre Canot, but
a great deal about Moreau, and Kleber, and the rest of them."

While some were well satisfied that Pièrre had well established his
merits as the conqueror of "Grandrengs," others quizzed him about the
heroism of lying hid in a well, and owing all his glory to a skin of
parchment.

"An' thou went with the army of Italy, Pièrre," said the hussar, "thou'd
have seen men march boldly to victory, and not skulk under ground like a
mole."

"I am tired of your song about this army of Italy," broke in the
cannonier; "we who have served in La Vendée and the North know what
fighting means, as well, mayhap, as men whose boldest feats are scaling
rocks and clambering up precipices. Your Bonaparte, is more like one of
these guerilla chiefs they have in the 'Basque,' than the general of a
French army."

"The man who insults the army of Italy, or its chief, insults _me_!"
said the corporal, springing up, and casting a sort of haughty defiance
around him.

"And then?" asked the other.

"And then--if he be a French soldier--he knows what should follow."

"Parbleu!" said the cannonier, coolly, "there would be little glory in
cutting you down, and even less in being wounded by you; but if you will
have it so, it's not an old soldier of the artillery will balk your
humor."

As he spoke, he slowly arose from the ground, and tightening his
waist-belt, seemed prepared to follow the other. The rest sprung to
their feet at the same time, but not, as I anticipated, to offer a
friendly mediation between the angry parties, but in full approval of
their readiness to decide by the sword a matter too trivial to be called
a quarrel.

In the midst of the whispering conferences as to place and weapons--for
the short, straight sword of the artillery was very unlike the curved
sabre of the hussar--the quick tramp of horses was heard, and suddenly
the head of a squadron was seen, as, with glancing helmets and
glittering equipments, they turned off the high-road, and entered the
wood.

"Here they come; here come the troops!" was now heard on every side, and
all question of the duel was forgotten in the greater interest inspired
by the arrival of the others. The sight was strikingly picturesque, for,
as they rode up, the order to dismount was given, and in an instant the
whole squadron was at work, picketing and unsaddling their horses;
forage was shaken out before the weary and hungry beasts; kits were
unpacked, cooking utensils produced, and every one busy in preparing
for the bivouac. An infantry column followed close upon the others,
which was again succeeded by two batteries of field-artillery, and some
squadrons of heavy dragoons; and now the whole wood, far and near, was
crammed with soldiers, wagons, caissons, and camp-equipage. To me the
interest of the scene was never-ending; life, bustle, and gayety on
every side. The reckless pleasantry of the camp, too, seemed elevated by
the warlike accompaniments of the picture; the caparisoned horses, the
brass guns blackened on many a battle-field, the weather-seamed faces of
the hardy soldiers themselves, all conspiring to excite a high
enthusiasm for the career.

Most of the equipments were new and strange to my eyes. I had never
before seen the grenadiers of the Republican Guard, with their enormous
shakos, and their long-flapped vests descending to the middle of the
thigh; neither had I seen the "Hussars de la mort," in their richly
braided uniform of black, and their long hair curled in ringlets at
either side of the face. The cuirassiers, too, with their low cocked
hats, and straight, black feathers, as well as the "Portes Drapeaux,"
whose brilliant uniforms, all slashed with gold, seemed scarcely in
keeping with yellow-topped boots: all were now seen by me for the first
time. But of all the figures which amused me most by its singularity,
was that of a woman, who, in a short frock-coat and a low-crowned hat,
carried a little barrel at her side, and led an ass loaded with two
similar, but rather larger casks. Her air and gait were perfectly
soldier-like; and as she passed the different posts and sentries, she
saluted them in true military fashion. I was not long to remain in
ignorance of her vocation nor her name; for scarcely did she pass a
group without stopping to dispense a wonderful cordial that she carried;
and then I heard the familiar title of "La Mère Madou," uttered in every
form of panegyric.

She was a short, stoutly-built figure, somewhat past the middle of life,
but without any impairment of activity in her movements. A pleasing
countenance, with good teeth and black eyes, a merry voice, and a ready
tongue, were qualities more than sufficient to make her a favorite with
the soldiers, whom I found she had followed to more than one battle
field.

"Peste!" cried an old grenadier, as he spat out the liquor on the
ground. "This is one of those sweet things they make in Holland; it
smacks of treacle and bad lemons."

"Ah, Grognard!" said she, laughing, "thou art more vised to corn-brandy,
with a clove of garlic in't, than to good curaçoa."

"What, curaçoa! Mère Madou, hast got curaçoa there?" cried a
gray-whiskered captain, as he turned on his saddle at the word.

"Yes, mon capitaine, and such as no burgomaster ever drank better;" and
she filled out a little glass, and presented it gracefully to him.

"Encore, ma bonne Mère," said he, as he wiped his thick mustache; "that
liquor is another reason for extending the blessings of liberty to the
brave Dutch."

"Didn't I tell you so?" said she, refilling the glass: "but, holloa,
there goes Gregoire at full speed. Ah, scoundrels that ye are, I see
what ye've done." And so was it: some of the wild, young voltigeur
fellows had fastened a lighted furze-bush to the beast's tail, and had
set him, at a gallop, through the very middle of the encampment,
upsetting tents, scattering cooking-pans, and tumbling the groups, as
they sat, in every direction.

The confusion was tremendous; for the picketed horses jumped about, and
some, breaking loose, galloped here and there, while others set off with
half-unpacked wagons, scattering their loading as they went.

It was only when the blazing furze had dropped off, that the cause of
the whole mischance would suffer himself to be captured, and led quietly
back to his mistress. Half crying with joy, and still wild with anger,
she kissed the beast, and abused her tormentors by turns.

"Cannoniers that ye are," she cried, "ma foi! you'll have little face
for the fire when the day comes that ye should face it! Pauvre Gregoire,
they've left thee a tail like a tirailleur's feather! Plagues light on
the thieves that did it! Come here, boy," said she, addressing me, "hold
the bridle: what's thy corps, lad?"

"I have none now; I only followed the soldiers from Paris."

"Away with thee, street-runner; away with thee, then!" said she,
contemptuously; "there are no pockets to pick here, and if there were,
thou'd lose thy ears for the doing it. Be off, then; back with thee to
Paris and all its villainies. There are twenty thousand of thy trade
there, but there's work for ye all!"

"Nay, Mère, don't be harsh with the boy," said a soldier; "you can see
by his coat that his heart is with us."

"And he stole that, I'll be sworn," said she, pulling me round by the
arm, full in front of her. "Answer me, 'Gamin,' where didst find that
old tawdry jacket?"

"I got it in a place where, if they had hold of thee and thy bad tongue,
it would fare worse with thee than thou thinkest!" said I, maddened by
the imputed theft and insolence together.

"And where may that be, young slip of the galleys?" cried she, angrily.

"In the 'Prison du Temple.'"

"Is that their livery, then?" said she laughing, and pointing at me with
ridicule, "or is it a family dress made after thy father's?"

"My father wore a soldier's coat, and bravely, too," said I, with
difficulty restraining the tears that rose to my eyes.

"In what regiment, boy?" asked the soldier who spoke before.

"In one that exists no longer," said I, sadly, and not wishing to allude
to a service that would find but slight favor in republican ears.

"That must be the 24th of the Line; they were cut to pieces at
'Tongres.'"

"No--no, he's thinking of the 9th, that got so roughly handled at
Fontenoy," said another.

"Of neither," said I; "I am speaking of those who have left nothing but
a name behind them, the 'Garde du Corps' of the king."

"Voila!" cried Madou, clapping her hands in astonishment at my
impertinence; "there's an aristocrat for you! Look at him, mes braves!
It's not every day we have the grand seigneurs condescending to come
among us! You can learn something of courtly manners from the polished
descendant of our nobility. Say, boy, art a count, or a baron, or
perhaps a duke."

"Make way there--out of the road, Mère Madou," cried a dragoon,
curveting his horse in such a fashion as almost to upset ass and
"cantiniére" together, "the staff is coming."

The mere mention of the word sent numbers off in full speed to their
quarters; and now, all was haste and bustle to prepare for the coming
inspection. The Mère's endeavors to drag her beast along were not very
successful; for, with the peculiar instinct of his species, the more
necessity there was of speed, the lazier he became; and as every one had
his own concerns to look after, she was left to her own unaided efforts
to drive him forward.

"Thou'lt have a day in prison if thou'rt found here, Mère Madou," said a
dragoon, as he struck the ass with the flat of his sabre.

"I know it well," cried she, passionately; "but I have none to help me.
Come here, lad; be good-natured, and forget what passed. Take his bridle
while I whip him on."

I was at first disposed to refuse, but her pitiful face and sad plight
made me think better of it; and I seized the bridle at once; but just as
I had done so, the escort galloped forward, and the dragoons coming on
the flank of the miserable beast, over he went, barrels and all,
crushing me beneath him as he fell.

"Is the boy hurt?" were the last words I heard, for I fainted; but a few
minutes after I found myself seated on the grass, while a soldier was
stanching the blood that ran freely from a cut in my forehead.

"It is a trifle, general--a mere scratch," said a young officer to an
old man on horseback beside him, "and the leg is not broken."

"Glad of it," said the old officer; "casualties are insufferable, except
before an enemy. Send the lad to his regiment."

"He's only a camp-follower, general. He does not belong to us."

"There, my lad, take this, then, and make thy way back to Paris," said
the old general, as he threw me a small piece of money.

I looked up, and there, straight before me, saw the same officer who had
given me the assignat the night before.

"General La Coste!" cried I, in delight, for I thought him already a
friend.

"How is this--have I an acquaintance here?" said he, smiling: "on my
life! it's the young rogue I met this morning. Eh! art not thou the
artillery-driver I spoke to at the barrack?"

"Yes, general, the same."

"Diantre! It seems fated, then, that we are not to part company so
easily; for hadst thou remained in Paris, lad, we had most probably
never met again."

"Ainsi je suis bien tombé, general," said I, punning upon my accident.

He laughed heartily, less I suppose at the jest, which was a poor one,
than at the cool impudence with which I uttered it; and then turning to
one of the staff, said--

"I spoke to Berthollet about this boy already--see that they take him in
the 9th. I say, my lad, what's thy name?"

"Tiernay, sir."

"Ay, to be sure, Tiernay. Well, Tiernay, thou shalt be a hussar, my man.
See that I get no disgrace by the appointment."

I kissed his hand fervently, and the staff rode forward, leaving me the
happiest heart that beat in all that crowded host.


CHAPTER VII.

A PASSING ACQUAINTANCE.

If the guide who is to lead us on a long and devious track, stops at
every by-way, following out each path that seems to invite a ramble or
suggest a halt, we naturally might feel distrustful of his safe conduct,
and uneasy at the prospect of the road before us. In the same way may
the reader be disposed to fear that he who descends to slight and
trivial circumstances, will scarcely have time for events which ought to
occupy a wider space in his reminiscences; and for this reason I am
bound to apologize for the seeming transgression of my last chapter.
Most true it is, that were I to relate the entire of my life with a
similar diffuseness, my memoir would extend to a length far beyond what
I intend it to occupy. Such, however, is very remote from my thoughts. I
have dwelt with, perhaps, something of prolixity upon the soldier-life
and characteristics of a past day, because I shall yet have to speak of
changes, without which the contrast would be inappreciable; but I have
also laid stress upon an incident trivial in itself, because it formed
an event in my own fortunes. It was thus, in fact, that I became a
soldier.

Now, the man who carries a musket in the ranks, may very reasonably be
deemed but a small ingredient of the mass that forms an army: and in our
day his thoughts, hopes, fears, and ambitions are probably as unknown
and uncared for, as the precise spot of earth that yielded the ore from
which his own weapon was smelted. This is not only reasonable, but it is
right. In the time of which I am now speaking it was far otherwise. The
Republic, in extinguishing a class had elevated the individual; and now
each, in whatever station he occupied, felt himself qualified to
entertain opinions and express sentiments, which, because they were his
own, he presumed them to be national. The idlers of the streets
discussed the deepest questions of politics; the soldiers talked of war
with all the presumption of consummate generalship. The great operations
of a campaign, and the various qualities of different commanders, were
the daily subjects of dispute in the camp. Upon one topic only were all
agreed; and there, indeed, our unanimity repaid all previous
discordance. We deemed France the only civilized nation of the globe,
and reckoned that people thrice happy who, by any contingency of
fortune, engaged our sympathy, or procured the distinction of our
presence in arms. We were the heaven-born disseminators of freedom
throughout Europe; the sworn enemies of kingly domination; and the
missionaries of a political creed, which was not alone to ennoble
mankind, but to render its condition eminently happy and prosperous.

There could not be an easier lesson to learn than this, and particularly
when dinned into your ears all day, and from every rank and grade around
you. It was the programme of every message from the Directory; it was
the opening of every general order from the general; it was the
table-talk at your mess. The burden of every song, the title of every
military march performed by the regimental band, recalled it, even the
riding-master, as he followed the recruit around the weary circle, whip
in hand, mingled the orders he uttered with apposite axioms upon
republican grandeur. How I think I hear it still, as the grim old
quartermaster-sergeant, with his Alsatian accent and deep-toned voice,
would call out.

"Elbows back! wrist lower and free from the side; free, I say, as every
citizen of a great Republic! head erect, as a Frenchman has a right to
carry it! chest full out, like one who can breathe the air of Heaven,
and ask no leave from king or despot! down with your heel, sir; think
that you crush a tyrant beneath it!"

Such and such like were the running commentaries on equitation, till
often I forgot whether the lesson had more concern with a seat on
horseback or the great cause of monarchy throughout Europe. I suppose,
to use a popular phrase of our own day, "the system worked well;"
certainly the spirit of the army was unquestionable. From the grim old
veteran, with snow-white mustache, to the beardless boy, there was but
one hope and wish--the glory of France. How they understood that glory,
or in what it essentially consisted, is another and a very different
question.

Enrolled as a soldier in the ninth regiment of Hussars, I accompanied
that corps to Nancy, where, at that time, a large cavalry school was
formed, and where the recruits from the different regiments were trained
and managed before being sent forward to their destination.

A taste for equitation, and a certain aptitude for catching up the
peculiar character of the different horses, at once distinguished me in
the riding school, and I was at last adopted by the riding-master of the
regiment as a kind of _aide_ to him in his walk. When I thus became a
bold and skillful horseman, my proficiency interfered with my promotion,
for instead of accompanying my regiment, I was detained at Nancy, and
attached to the permanent staff of the cavalry school there.

At first I asked for nothing better. It was a life of continued pleasure
and excitement, and while I daily acquired knowledge of a subject which
interested me deeply, I grew tall and strong of limb, and with that
readiness in danger, and that cool collectedness in moments of
difficulty, that are so admirably taught by the accidents and mischances
of a cavalry riding-school.

The most vicious and unmanageable beasts from the Limousin were often
sent to us; and when any one of these was deemed peculiarly untractable,
"Give him to Tiernay," was the last appeal, before abandoning him as
hopeless. I'm certain I owe much of the formation of my character to my
life at this period, and that my love of adventure, my taste for
excitement, my obstinate resolution to conquer a difficulty, my
inflexible perseverance when thwarted, and my eager anxiety for praise,
were all picked up amid the sawdust and tan of the riding-school. How
long I might have continued satisfied with such triumphs, and content to
be the wonder of the freshly-joined conscripts, I know not, when
accident, or something very like it, decided the question.

It was a calm, delicious evening in April, in the year after I had
entered the school, that I was strolling alone on the old fortified
wall, which, once a strong redoubt, was the favorite walk of the good
citizens of Nancy. I was somewhat tired with the fatigues of the day,
and sat down to rest under one of the acacia trees, whose delicious
blossom was already scenting the air. The night was still and noiseless;
not a man moved along the wall; the hum of the city was gradually
subsiding, and the lights in the cottages over the plain told that the
laborer was turning homeward from his toil. It was an hour to invite
calm thoughts, and so I fell a-dreaming over the tranquil pleasures of a
peasant's life, and the unruffled peace of an existence passed amid
scenes that were endeared by years of intimacy. "How happily," thought
I, "time must steal on in these quiet spots, where the strife and
struggle of war are unknown, and even the sounds of conflict, never
reach." Suddenly my musings were broken in upon by hearing the measured
tramp of cavalry, as at a walk, a long column wound their way along the
zig-zag approaches, which by many a redoubt and fosse, over many a draw
bridge, and beneath many a strong arch, led to the gates of Nancy. The
loud, sharp call of a trumpet was soon heard, and, after a brief parley,
the massive gates of the fortress were opened for the troops to enter.
From the position I occupied exactly over the gate, I could not only see
the long, dark line of armed men as they passed, but also hear the
colloquy which took place as they entered.

"What regiment?"

"Detachments of the 12th Dragoons and the 22d Chasseurs-à-Cheval."

"Where from?"

"Valence."

"Where to?"

"The army of the Rhine."

"Pass on!"

And with the words the ringing sound of the iron-shod horses was heard
beneath the vaulted entrance. As they issued from beneath the long, deep
arch, the men were formed in line along two sides of a wide "Place"
inside the walls, where, with that dispatch that habit teaches, the
billets were speedily distributed, and the parties "told off" in squads
for different parts of the city. The force seemed a considerable one,
and with all the celerity they could employ, the billeting occupied a
long time. As I watched the groups moving off, I heard the direction
given to one party, "Cavalry School--Rue de Lorraine." The young officer
who commanded the group took a direction exactly the reverse of the
right one; and hastening down from the rampart, I at once overtook them,
and explained the mistake. I offered them my guidance to the place,
which being willingly accepted, I walked along at their side.

Chatting as we went, I heard that the dragoons were hastily withdrawn
from the La Vendée to form part of the force under General Hoche. The
young sous-lieutenant, a mere boy of my own age, had already served in
two campaigns in Holland and the south of France; had been wounded in
the Loire, and received his grade of officer at the hands of Hoche
himself on the field of battle.

He could speak of no other name--Hoche was the hero of all his
thoughts--his gallantry, his daring, his military knowledge, his
coolness in danger, his impetuosity in attack, his personal amiability,
the mild gentleness of his manner, were themes the young soldier loved
to dwell on; and however pressed by me to talk of war and its chances,
he inevitably came back to the one loved theme--his general.

When the men were safely housed for the night, I invited my new friend
to my own quarters, where, having provided the best entertainment I
could afford, we passed more than half the night in chatting. There was
nothing above mediocrity in the look or manner of the youth; his
descriptions of what he had seen were unmarked by any thing glowing or
picturesque; his observations did not evince either a quick or a
reflective mind, and yet, over this mass of commonplace, enthusiasm for
his leader had shed a rich glow, like a gorgeous sunlight on a
landscape, that made all beneath it seem brilliant and splendid.

"And now," said he, after an account of the last action he had seen,
"and now, enough of myself; let's talk of thee. Where hast thou been?"

"Here!" said I, with a sigh, and in a voice that shame had almost made
inaudible; "Here, here, at Nancy."

"Not always here?"

"Just so. Always here."

"And what doing, mon cher. Thou art not one of the Municipal Guard,
surely?"

"No," said I, smiling sadly; "I belong to the 'Ecole d'Equitation.'"

"Ah, that's it," said he, in somewhat of confusion; "I always thought
they selected old sergeants en retraite, worn out veterans, and wounded
fellows, for riding-school duty."

"Most of ours are such," said I, my shame increasing at every word--"but
somehow they chose me also, and I had no will in the matter--"

"No will in the matter, parbleu! and why not? Every man in France has a
right to meet the enemy in the field. Thou art a soldier, a hussar of
the 9th, a brave and gallant corps, and art to be told, that thy
comrades have the road to fame and honor open to them; while thou art to
mope away life like an invalided drummer? It is too gross an indignity,
my boy, and must not be borne. Away with you to-morrow at day-break to
the 'Etat Major,' ask to see the commandant. You're in luck, too, for
our colonel is with him now, and he is sure to back your request. Say
that you served in the school to oblige your superiors; but that you can
not see all chances of distinction lost to you forever, by remaining
there. They've given you no grade yet, I see," continued he, looking at
my arm.

"None: I am still a private."

"And _I_ a sous-lieutenant, just because I have been where powder was
flashing! You can ride well, of course?"

"I defy the wildest Limousin to shake me in my saddle."

"And as a swordsman, what are you?"

"Gros Jean calls me his best pupil."

"Ah, true! you have Gros Jean here; the best 'sabreur' in France! And
here you are--a horseman, and one of Gros Jean's 'eléves'--rotting away
life in Nancy! Have you any friends in the service?"

"Not one."

"Not one! Nor relations, nor connections?"

"None. I am Irish by descent. My family are only French by one
generation."

"Irish? Ah! that's lucky too," said he. "Our colonel is an Irishman. His
name is Mahon. You're certain of getting your leave now. I'll present
you to him to-morrow. We are to halt two days here, and before that is
over, I hope you'll have made your last caracole in the riding-school of
Nancy."

"But remember," cried I, "that although Irish by family, I have never
been there. I know nothing of either the people or the language; and do
not present me to the general as his countryman."

"I'll call you by your name, as a soldier of the 9th Hussars; and leave
you to make out your claim as countrymen, if you please, together."

This course was now agreed upon, and after some further talking, my
friend, refusing all my offers of a bed, coolly wrapped his cloak about
him, and, with his head on the table, fell fast asleep, long before I
had ceased thinking over his stories and his adventures in camp and
battle-field.


CHAPTER VIII.

"TRONCHON."

My duties in the riding-school were always over before mid-day, and as
noon was the hour appointed by the young lieutenant to present me to his
colonel, I was ready by that time, and anxiously awaiting his arrival. I
had done my best to smarten up my uniform, and make all my accoutrements
bright and glistening. My scabbard was polished like silver, the steel
front on my shako shone like a mirror, and the tinsel lace of my jacket
had undergone a process of scrubbing and cleaning that threatened its
very existence. My smooth chin and beardless upper lip, however, gave me
a degree of distress, that all other deficiencies failed to inflict: I
can dare to say, that no mediæval gentleman's bald spot ever cost _him_
one half the misery, as did my lack of mustache occasion _me_. "A hussar
without beard, as well without spurs or sabretasche;" a tambour major
without his staff, a cavalry charger without a tail, couldn't be more
ridiculous: and there was that old sergeant of the riding-school,
"Tronchon," with a beard that might have made a mattress! How the goods
of this world are unequally distributed! thought I; still why might he
not spare me a little--a very little would suffice--just enough to give
the "air hussar" to my countenance. He's an excellent creature; the
kindest old fellow in the world. I'm certain he'd not refuse me; to be
sure the beard is a red one, and pretty much like bell-wire in
consistence; no matter, better that than this girlish smooth chin I now
wear.

Tronchon was spelling out the _Moniteur's_ account of the Italian
campaign as I entered his room, and found it excessively difficult to
get back from the Alps and Apennines to the humble request I preferred.

"Poor fellows," muttered he, "four battles in seven days, without stores
of any kind, or rations--almost without bread; and here comest thou,
whining because thou hasn't a beard."

"If I were not a hussar--"

"Bah!" said he, interrupting, "what of that? Where should'st thou have
had thy baptism of blood, boy? Art a child, nothing more."

"I shared my quarters last night with one, not older, Tronchon, and _he_
was an officer, and had seen many a battle-field."

"I know that, too," said the veteran, with an expression of impatience,
"that General Bonaparte will give every boy his epaulets, before an old
and tried soldier."

"It was not Bonaparte. It was--"

"I care not who promoted the lad; the system is just the same with them
all. It is no longer, 'Where have you served? what have you seen?' but,
'Can you read glibly? can you write faster than speak? have you learned
to take towns upon paper, and attack a breast-work with a rule and a
pair of compasses!' This is what they called 'la génie,' 'la génie!' ha!
ha! ha!" cried he, laughing heartily; "that's the name old women used to
give the devil when I was a boy."

It was with the greatest difficulty I could get him back from these
disagreeable reminiscences to the object of my visit, and, even then, I
could hardly persuade him that I was serious in asking the loan of a
beard. The prayer of my petition being once understood, he discussed the
project gravely enough; but to my surprise he was far more struck by the
absurd figure he should cut with his diminished mane, than I with my
mock mustache.

"There's not a child in Nancy won't laugh at me--they'll cry, 'There
goes old Tronchon--he's like Klaber's charger, which the German cut the
tail off to make a shako plume!'"

I assured him that he might as well pretend to miss one tree in the
forest of "Fontainebleu"--that after furnishing a squadron like myself,
his would be still the first beard in the Republic; and at last he
yielded, and gave in.

Never did a little damsel of the nursery array her doll with
more delighted looks, and gaze upon her handiwork with more
self-satisfaction, than did old Tronchon survey me, as, with the aid of
a little gum, he decorated my lip with a stiff line of his iron red
beard.

"Diantre!" cried he, in ecstasy, "if thou ben't something like a man,
after all. Who would have thought it would have made such a change? Thou
might pass for one that saw real smoke and real fire, any day, lad. Ay!
thou hast another look in thine eye, and another way to carry thy head,
now! Trust me, thou'lt look a different fellow on the left of the
squadron."

I began to think so, too, as I looked at myself in the small triangle of
a looking-glass, which decorated Tronchon's wall, under a picture of
Kellerman, his first captain. I fancied that the improvement was most
decided. I thought that, bating a little over-ferocity, a something
verging upon the cruel, I was about as perfect a type of the hussar as
need be. My jacket seemed to fit tighter--my pelisse hung more
jauntily--my shako sat more saucily on one side of my head--my sabre
banged more proudly against my boot--my very spurs jangled with a
pleasanter music--and all because a little hair bristled over my lip,
and curled in two spiral flourishes across my cheek! I longed to see the
effect of my changed appearance, as I walked down the "Place Carrière,"
or sauntered into the café where my comrades used to assemble. What will
Mademoiselle Josephine say, thought I, as I ask for my "petit vèrre,"
caressing my mustache thus! Not a doubt of it, what a fan is to a woman,
a beard is to a soldier! a something to fill up the pauses in
conversation, by blandly smoothing with the finger, or fiercely curling
at the point!

"And so thou art going to ask for thy grade, Maurice?" broke in
Tronchon, after a long silence.

"Not at all. I am about to petition for employment upon active service.
I don't seek promotion till I have deserved it."

"Better still, lad. I was eight years myself in the ranks before they
gave me the stripe on my arm. Parbleu! the Germans had given me some
three or four with the sabre before that time."

"Do you think they'll refuse me, Tronchon?"

"Not if thou go the right way about it, lad. Thou mustn't fancy it's
like asking leave from the captain to spend the evening in a guinguette,
or to go to the play with thy sweetheart. No, no, boy. It must be done
'en regle.' Thou'lt have to wait on the general at his quarters at four
o'clock, when he 'receives,' as they call it. Thou'lt be there, mayhap,
an hour, ay, two, or three belike, and after all, perhaps, won't see him
that day at all! I was a week trying to catch Kellerman, and, at last,
he only spoke to me going down stairs with his staff.

"'Eh, Tronchon, another bullet in thy old carcass; want a furlough to
get strong again, eh?'

"'No, colonel; all sound this time. I want to be a sergeant--I'm twelve
years and four months corporal.'

"'Slow work, too,' said he, laughing, 'ain't it, Charles?' and he
pinched one of his young officers by the cheek. 'Let old Tronehon have
his grade; and I say, my good fellow,' said he to me, 'don't come
plaguing me any more about promotion, till I'm General of Division. You
hear that?'

"Well, he's got his step since; but I never teased him after."

"And why so, Tronchon?" said I.

"I'll tell thee, lad," whispered he, in a low, confidential tone, as if
imparting a secret well worth the hearing. "They can find fellows every
day fit for lieutenants and chefs d'escadron. Parbleu! they meet with
them in every café, in every 'billiard' you enter; but a sergeant,
Maurice, one that drills his men on parade--can dress them like a
wall--see that every kit is well packed, and every cartouch well
filled--who knows every soul in his company as he knows the buckles of
his own sword-belt--that's what one should not chance upon, in haste.
It's easy enough to manoeuvre the men, Maurice; but to make them, boy,
to fashion the fellows so that they be like the pieces of a great
machine, that's the real labor--that's soldiering, indeed."

"And you say I must write a petition, Tronchon?" said I, more anxious to
bring him back to my own affairs, than listen to these speculations of
his. "How shall I do it?"

"Sit down there, lad, and I'll tell thee. I've done the thing some
scores of times, and know the words as well as I once knew my 'Pater.'
Parbleu, I often wish I could remember that now, just to keep me from
gloomy thoughts when I sit alone of an evening."

It was not a little to his astonishment, but still more to his delight,
that I told the poor fellow I could help to refresh his memory, knowing,
as I did, every word of the litanies by heart; and, accordingly, it was
agreed on that I should impart religious instruction, in exchange for
the secular knowledge he was conferring upon me.

"As for the petition," said Tronchon, seating himself opposite to me at
the table, "it is soon done; for, mark me, lad, these things must always
be short; if thou be long-winded, they put thee away, and tell some of
the clerks to look after thee--and there's an end of it. Be brief,
therefore, and next--be legible--write in a good, large round hand; just
as, if thou wert speaking, thou wouldst talk with a fine, clear,
distinct voice. Well, then, begin thus, 'Republic of France, one and
indivisible!' Make a flourish round that, lad, as if it came freely from
the pen. When a man writes 'FRANCE!' he should do it as he whirls his
sabre round his head in a charge! Ay, just so."

"I'm ready, Tronchon, go on."

"'Mon General!' Nay, nay--General mustn't be as large as France--yes,
that's better. 'The undersigned, whose certificates of service and
conduct are herewith inclosed.'" "Stay, stop a moment, Tronchon; don't
forget that I have got neither one or t'other." "No matter; I'll make
thee out both. Where was I? Ay, 'herewith inclosed; and whose wounds, as
the accompanying report will show--'"

"Wounds! I never received one."

"No matter, I'll--eh--what? Feu d'enfer! how stupid I am! What have I
been thinking of? Why, boy, it was a sick-furlough I was about to ask
for; the only kind of petition I have ever had to write in a life long."

"And _I_ am asking for active service."

"Ha! That came without asking for in my case."

"Then, what's to be done, Tronchon? clearly, this won't do!"

He nodded sententiously an assent, and, after a moment's rumination,
said,

"It strikes me, lad, there can be no need of begging for that which
usually comes unlooked for; but if thou don't choose to wait for thy
billet for t'other world, but must go and seek it, the best way will be
to up and tell the general as much."

"That was exactly my intention."

"If he asks thee 'Canst ride?' just say, 'Old Tronchon taught me;' he'll
be one of the young hands, indeed, if he don't know that name! And mind,
lad, have no whims or caprices about whatever service he names thee for,
even were't the infantry itself! It's a hard word, that! I know it well!
but a man must make up his mind for any thing and every thing. Wear any
coat, go any where, face any enemy thou'rt ordered, and have none of
those new-fangled notions about this general, or that army. Be a good
soldier, and a good comrade. Share thy kit and thy purse to the last
sous, for it will not only be generous in thee, but that so long as thou
hoardest not, thou'lt never be over eager for pillage. Mind these
things, and with a stout heart and a sharp sabre, Maurice, 'tu ira
loin.' Yes, I tell thee again, lad, 'tu ira loin'."

I give these three words as he said them, for they have rung in my ears
throughout all my life long. In moments of gratified ambition, in the
glorious triumph of success, they have sounded to me like the confirmed
predictions of one who foresaw my elevation, in less prosperous hours.
When fortune has looked dark and louring, they have been my comforter
and support, telling me not to be downcast or depressed, that the season
of sadness would soon pass away, and the road to fame and honor again
open before me.

"You really think so, Tronchon? You think that I shall be something
yet?'

"'Tu ira loin,' I say," repeated he emphatically, and with the air of an
oracle who would not suffer further interrogation. I therefore shook his
hand cordially, and set out to pay my visit to the general.

(_To be continued.)_



[From the London Eclectic Review.]

HAVE GREAT POETS BECOME IMPOSSIBLE?[18]


"Poetry is declining--poetry is being extinguished--poetry is extinct.
To talk of poetry now is eccentricity--to write it is absurdity--to
publish it is moonstruck madness." So the changes are rung. Now, it is
impossible to deny that what is called poetry has become a drug, a bore,
and nuisance, and that the name "Poet," as commonly applied, is at
present about the shabbiest in the literary calendar. But we are far
from believing that poetry is extinct. We entertain, on the contrary,
sanguine hopes of its near and glorious resurrection. Soon do we hope to
hear those tones of high melody, which are now like the echoes of
forgotten thunder:

    "From land to land re-echoed solemnly,
    Till silence become music."

We expect, about the very time, when the presumption against the
revivication of poetry shall have attained the appearance of absolute
certainty, to witness a Tenth Avatar of Genius--and to witness its
effect, too, upon the sapient personages who had been predicting that it
was forever departed.

But this, it seems, is "not a poetical age." For our parts, we know not
what age has not been poetical--in what age have not existed all the
elements of poetry, been developed all its passions, and been heard many
of its tones. "Were the dark ages poetical?" it will be asked. Yes, for
then, as now, there was pathos--there was passion--there were hatred,
revenge, love, grief, despair, religion. Wherever there is the fear of
death and of judgment, there is, and must be poetry--and when was that
feeling more intensely developed than during that dim period? The
victims of a spell are objects of poetical interest. Here was a strong
spell, embracing a world. Was no arm during the dark ages bared aloft in
defense of outraged innocence? Or was no head then covered with the
snows of a hundred winters, through one midnight despair? Was the voice
of prayer then stifled throughout Europe's hundred lands? Was the mighty
heart of man--the throbbing of which is just poetry, then utterly
silent? But it was not expressed! We maintain, on the contrary, that it
was--expressed at the time, in part by monks, and scalds, and orators,
and expressed afterward in the glad energy of the spring which human
nature made from its trance, into new life and motion. The elements of
poetry had been accumulating in secret. The renovation of letters merely
opened a passage for what had been struggling for vent. What is Dante's
work but a beautiful incarnation of the spirit of the Middle Ages? His
passion is that of a sublimated Inquisitor. His "Inferno" is such a
dream as might have been dreamed by a poet monk, whose body had been
macerated by austerities, and whose spirit had been darkened by long
broodings on the fate of the victims of perdition. It is the poetical
part of the passion of those ages of darkness finding a full voice--an
eternal echo. And it was not in vain that so deep had been the slumber,
when such had been its visions. There is a grandeur about any passion
when carried to excess. Superstition, therefore, became the inspiration
of one of the greatest productions of the universe. Dante was needed
precisely when he appeared. The precise quantity of poetical material to
answer the ends of a great original poet was accumulated; and the mighty
Florentine, when he rose, became the mouth-piece and oracle of his age
and of its cognate ages past--the exact index of all that redeemed,
animated, excited, or adorned them.

The crusades, too, were another proof that the slumber in which Europe
had been buried was not absolutely and altogether that of stupor or
death. They occurred after the noon of that period we usually denominate
dark. But they were the realization of a dream which had often passed
through the monkish heart--the embodiment, of a wish which had often
brought tears into the eyes of genuine enthusiasts. There was, surely,
as much sublimity in the first conception as in the execution. What
indeed were the crusades, but the means of bringing to light, feelings,
desires, passions, a lofty disinterested heroism, which the very depth
of the former darkness had tended to foster and fire?

If the dark ages had thus their poetical tendencies, climbing toward a
full poetic expression, surely no age need or can be destitute of
theirs--need or can be called unpoetical. But the misfortune is, that
men will not look at the essential poetry which is lying around them,
and under their feet. They suppose their age to be unpoetical, merely
because they grapple not with its great excitements, nor will venture to
sail upon its "mighty stream of tendency." They overlook the volcano in
the next mountain--while admiring or deploring those which have been
extinct for centuries, or which are a thousand miles away. They are
afraid that if they catch the spirit of their age in verse, they will
give it a temporary stamp; and therefore they either abstain from
writing, and take to abusing the age on which they have unluckily
fallen, or else come to the same resolution after an unsuccessful
attempt to revive faded stimulants. Dante embodied, for instance, his
countrymen's rude conception of future punishment--and he did well. But
our modern religious poets have never ventured to meddle with those
moral aspects of the subject which have now so generally supplanted the
material. They talk instead, with Pollok, of the "rocks of dark
damnation," or outrage common sense by such barbarous mis-creations as
he has sculptured on the gate of hell, and think they have written an
"Inferno," or that, if they have failed, it is because their age is not
poetical.

Indeed, the least poetry is sometimes written in the most poetical ages.
Men, when acting poetry, have little time either to write or to read it.
There was less poetry written in the age of Charles I., than in that
which preceded it, and more poetry enacted. But the majority of men only
listen to the reverberations of emotion in song. They sympathize not
with poetry, but with poets. And, therefore, when a cluster of poets
die, or are buried before they be dead, they chant dirges over the death
of poetry--as if it ever did or ever could die! as if its roots, which
are just the roots of the human soul, were perishable--as if, especially
when a strong current of excitement was flowing, it were not plain, that
there was a poetry which should, in due time, develop its own masters to
record and prolong it forever. Surely, as long as the grass is green and
the sky is blue, as long as man's heart is warm and woman's face is
fair, poetry, like seed-time and harvest, like summer and winter shall
not cease.

There was little poetry, some people think, about England's civil war,
because the leader of one party was a red-nosed fanatic. They, for their
part, cannot extract poetry from a red nose; but they are in raptures
with Milton. Fools! but for that civil war, its high and solemn
excitement, the deeds and daring of that red-nosed fanatic, would the
"Paradise Lost" ever have been written, or written as it has been? That
stupendous edifice of genius seems cemented by the blood of Naseby and
of Marston Moor.

Such persons, too, see little that is poetical in the American
struggle--no mighty romance in tumbling a few chests of tea into the
Atlantic. Washington they think insipid; and because America has
produced hitherto no great poet, its whole history they regard as a
gigantic commonplace--thus ignoring the innumerable deeds of derring-do
which distinguished that immortal contest--blinding their eyes to the
"lines of empire" in the "infant face of that cradled Hercules," and the
tremendous sprawlings of his nascent strength--and seeking to degrade
those forests into whose depths a path for the sunbeams must be hewn,
and where, lightning appears to enter trembling, and to withdraw in
haste; forests which must one day drop down a poet, whose genius shall
be worthy of their age, their vastitude, the beauty which they inclose,
and the load of grandeur below which they bend.

Nor, to the vulgar eye, does there seem much poetry in the French
Revolution, though it was the mightiest tide of human passion which ever
boiled and raved: a great deal, doubtless, in Burke's "Reflections"--but
none in the cry of a liberated people, which was heard in heaven--none
in the fall of the Bastile--none in Danton's giant figure, nor in
Charlotte Corday's homicide--nor in Madame Roland's scaffold speeches,
immortal though they be as the stars of heaven--nor in the wild song of
the six hundred Marseillese, marching northward "to die." The age of the
French Revolution was proved to be a grand and spirit-stirring age by
its after results--by bringing forth its genuine poet-children--its
Byrons and Shelleys--but needed not this late demonstration of its power
and tendencies.

Surely our age, too, abounds in the elements of poetical excitement,
awaiting; only fit utterance. The harvest is rich and ripe--and nothing
now is wanting but laborers to put in the sickle.

_Special_ objections might indeed, and have been taken, to the poetical
character of our time, which we may briefly dispose of before
enumerating the qualities which a new and great poet, aspiring to be the
Poet of the Age, must possess, and inquiring how far Mr. S. Yendys
exhibits those qualities in this very remarkable first effort, "The
Roman."

"It is a mechanical age," say some. To use Shakspeare's words, "he is a
mechanical salt-butter rogue who says so." Men use more machines than
formerly, but are not one whit more machines themselves. Was James Watt
an automaton? Has the press become less an object of wonder or terror
since it was worked by steam? How sublime was the stoppage of a mail as
the index of rebellion. Luther's Bible was printed by a machine. The
organ is a machine--and not the roar of a lion in a midnight forest is
more sublime, or a fitter reply from earth to the thunder. The railway
carriages of this mechanical age are the conductors of the fire of
intellect and passion--and its steamboats may be loaded with
thunderbolts, as well as with bullocks or yarn. The great American ship
is but a machine; and yet how poetical it becomes, as it walks the
waters of the summer sea, or wrestles, like a demon of kindred power,
with the angry billows. Mechanism, indeed, may be called the short-hand
of poetry, concentrating its force and facilitating its operations.

But this is an "age too late." So doubted Milton, while the shadow of
Shakspeare had scarce left the earth, and while he himself was writing
the greatest epic the world ever saw. And so any one may say, provided
he does not mutilate or restrain his genius in consequence. We have
reason to bless Providence that Milton did not act upon his hasty
peradventure. But some will attempt to prove its truth, by saying that
the field of poetry is limited--that the first cultivators will probably
exhaust it, and that, in fact, a decline in poetry has been
observed--the first poets being uniformly the best. But we deny that the
field of poetry is limited. That is nature and the deep heart of man;
or, more correctly, the field of poetry is human nature, and the
external universe, multiplied indefinitely by the imagination. This,
surely, is a wide enough territory. Where shall poetry, if sent forth
like Noah's dove, fail to find a resting-place? Each new fact in the
history of man and nature is a fact for _it_--suited to its purposes,
and awaiting its consecration.

"The great writers have exhausted it." True, they have exhausted,
speaking generally, the topics they have handled. Few will think of
attempting the "Fall of Man" after Milton--and Dryden and Galt, alone,
have dared, to their own disgrace, to burst within Shakspeare's magic
circle. But the great poets have not verily occupied the entire field of
poetry--have not counted all the beatings of the human heart--have not
lighted on all those places whence poetry, like water from the smitten
rock, rushes at the touch of genius--have not exhausted all the "riches
fineless" which garnish the universe--nay, they have multiplied them
infinitely, and shed on them a deeper radiance. The more poetry there
is, the more there must be. A good criticism on a great poem becomes a
poem itself. It is the essence of poetry to increase and multiply--to
create an echo and shadow of its own power, even as the voice of the
cataract summons the spirits of the wilderness to return it in thunder.
As truly say that storms can exhaust the sky, as that poems can exhaust
the blue dome of poesy. We doubt, too, the dictum that the earliest
poets are uniformly the best. Who knows not that many prefer Eschylus to
Homer; and many, Virgil to Lucretius; and many, Milton to Shakspeare;
and that a nation sets Goethe above all men, save Shakspeare; and has
not the toast been actually given, "To the two greatest of
poets--Shakspeare and _Byron_?" To settle the endless questions
connected with such a topic by any dogmatical assertion of the
superiority of early poets, is obviously impossible.

But "the age will not now read poetry." True, it will not read whatever
bears the name it will not read nursery themes; nor tenth-rate
imitations of tenth-rate imitations of Byron, Scott, or Wordsworth; nor
the effusions either of mystical cant, or of respectable commonplace;
nor yet very willingly the study-sweepings of reputed men, who deem, in
their complacency, that the world is gaping for the rinsings of their
intellect. But it will read genuine poetry, if it be accommodated to the
wants of the age, and if it be fairly brought before it. "Vain to cast
pearls before swine!" Cast down the pearls before you call the men of
the age swine. In truth, seldom had a true and new poet a fairer field,
or the prospect of a wider favor, than at this very time. The age
remembers that many of those poets it now delights to honor, were at
first received with obloquy or neglect. It is not so likely to renew the
disgraceful sin, since it recollects the disgraceful repentance. It is
becoming wide awake, and is ready to recognize every symptom of original
power. The reviews and literary journals are still, indeed,
comparatively an unfair medium; but, by their multitude and their
contradictions, have neutralized each other's power, and rendered the
public less willing and less apt to be bullied or blackguarded out of
its senses. Were Hazlitt alive now, and called, by any miserable
scribbler in the "Athenæum" or "Spectator," a dunce, he could laugh in
his face; instead of retiring as he did, perhaps hunger-bitten, to bleed
out his heart's blood in secret. Were Shelley now called in "Blackwood"
a madman, and Keats a mannikin, they would be as much disturbed by it as
the moon at the baying of a Lapland wolf. The good old art, in short, of
writing an author up or down, is dying hard, but dying fast; and the
public is beginning to follow the strange new fashion of discarding its
timid, or truculent, or too-much-seasoned tasters, and judging for
itself. We have often imaged to ourselves the rapture with which a poet,
of proper proportions and due culture, if writing in his age's spirit,
would be received in an age when the works of Coleridge, and Wordsworth,
and Keats, are so widely read and thoroughly appreciated. He would find
it "all ear."

Great things, however, must be done by the man who cherishes this high
ambition. He must not only be at once a genius and an artist, but his
art and his genius must be proportioned, with chemical exactness, to
each other. He must not only be a poet, but have a distinct mission and
message, savoring of the prophetic--he must say as well as sing. He
must use his poetic powers as wonders attesting the purpose for which he
speaks--not as mere bravados of ostentatious power. He must, while
feeling the beauty, the charm, and the meaning of mysticism, stand above
it, on a clear and sun-lighted peak, and incline _rather_ to the
classical and masculine, than to the abstract and transcendental. His
genius should be less epic and didactic, than lyrical and popular. He
should be not so much the Homer as the Tyrtæus of this strange time. He
should have sung over to himself the deep controversies of his age, and
sought to reduce them into an unique and intelligible harmony. Into
scales of doubt, equally balanced, he should be ready to throw his lyre,
as a makeweight. Not a partisan either of the old or the new, he should
seek to set in song the numerous points in which they agree, and strive
to produce a glorious synthesis between them. He should stand (as on a
broad platform) on the identity and eternity of all that is good and
true--on the fact that "faiths never die, but are only translated"--on
the fact that beauty physical and beauty moral are in heart the same;
and that Christianity, as rightly understood, is at once the root and
the flower of all truth--and, standing on this, should sing his fearless
strains to the world. He should have a high idea of his art--counting it
a lower inspiration, a sacred trust, a minor grace--a plant from a seed
originally dropped out of the paradise of God! He should find in it a
work, and not a recreation--an affair of life, not of moments of
leisure. And while appealing, by his earnestness, his faith, his
holiness, his genius, to the imagination, the heart, and the conscience
of man, he should possess, or attain to, the mechanical ingenuity that
can satisfy man's constructive understanding, the elegance that can
please his sensuous taste, the fluency that can blend ease with
instruction, and the music that can touch through the ear the inner
springs of his being. Heart and genius, art and nature, sympathy with
man and God, love of the beautiful apparition of the universe, and of
that divine halo of Christianity which surrounds its head, must be
united in our poet. He should conjoin Byron's energy--better controlled;
Shelley's earnestness--better instructed; Keats's sensibility--guarded
and armed; Wordsworth's Christianized love of Nature; and Coleridge's
Christianized view of philosophy--to his own fancy, language, melody,
and purpose; a lofty ideal of man the spirit, to a deep sympathy with
man the worm, toiling, eating, drinking, struggling, falling, rising,
and progressing, amidst his actual environments; and become the Magnus
Apollo of our present age.

Perhaps we have fixed the standard too high, and forced a renewal of the
exclamation in Rasselas, "Thou hast convinced me that no man can ever be
a poet"--or, at least, the poet thus described. But nothing, we are
persuaded, is in the imagination which may not be in the fact. Had we
defined a Shakspeare ere he arose, "impossible" had been the cry. It
must, too, be conceded that hitherto we have no rising, or nearly-risen
poet, who answers fully to our ideal. Macaulay and Aytoun are content
with being brilliant ballad-singers--they never seek to touch the deeper
spiritual chords of our being. Tennyson's exquisite genius is
neutralized, whether by fastidiousness of taste or by morbidity of
temperament--neutralized, we mean, so far as great future achievements
are concerned. Emerson's undisguised Pantheism casts a cold shade over
his genius and his poetry. There is something odd, mystical, and shall
we say affected, about both the Brownings, which mars their general
effect--the wine is good, but the shape of the cyathus is deliberately
_queer_. Samuel Brown is devoted to other pursuits. Marston's very
elegant, refined, and accomplished mind, lacks, perhaps, enough of the
manly, the forceful, and the profound. Bailey of "Festus," and Yendys of
the poem before us, are the most likely candidates for the vacant
laurel.

That Bailey's _genius_ is all that need be desired in the "coming poet,"
will be contested by few who have read and wondered at "Festus"--at its
fire of speech, its force of sentiment, its music of sound, its
Californian wealth of golden imagery; the infinite variety of its
scenes, speeches, and songs; the spirit of reverence which underlies all
its liberties, errors, and extravagances; and the originality which,
like the air of a mountain summit, renders its perusal at first
difficult, and almost deadly, but at last excites and elevates to
absolute intoxication. It has, however, been objected to it, that it
seems an exhaustion of the author's mind--that its purposeless, planless
shape betrays a lack of constructive power--that it becomes almost
polemical in its religious aspect, and gives up to party what was meant
for mankind--that it betrays a tendency toward obscure, mystical
raptures and allegorizings, scarcely consistent with healthy manhood of
mind, and which seems _growing_, as is testified by the "Angel
World"--that there is a great gulf between the powers it indicates, and
the task of leading the age--and that, on the whole, it is rather a
prodigious comet in the poetical heavens, than either a still, calm
luminary, or even the curdling of a future fair creation.

Admitting the force of much of this criticism, and that Bailey's art and
aptitude to teach are unequal to his native power and richness of mind,
we are still willing to wait for a production more matured than
"Festus," and less fragmentary and dim than the "Angel World;" and till
then, must waive our judgment as to whether on his head the laurel crown
is transcendently to flourish.

But meanwhile a young voice has suddenly been uplifted from a provincial
town in England, crying, "Hear me--I also am a poet; I aspire, too, to
prove myself worthy of being a teacher I aim at no middle flight, but
commit myself at once to high, difficult, and daring song, and that,
too, of varied kinds." Nor has the voice been despised or disregarded.
Some of the most fastidious of critical journals have already waxed
enthusiastic in his praise. Many fine spirits, both young and old, have
welcomed him with acclamation, as his own hero was admitted, for the
sake of one song, into the society of a band of experienced bards. Even
the few who deny--unjustly and captiously, as it appears to us--the
artistic, admit the poetical merit of his work And we have now before
us, not the miserable drudgery of weighing a would-be poet, but the
nobler duty of inquiring how far a man of undoubted genius, and great
artistic skill, is likely to fulfill the high-raised expectations of the
period. The scene of the "Roman" is in Italy. The hero is a patriot,
filled and devoured by a love for the liberation of Italy, and for the
re-establishment of the ancient Roman Republic--"One, entire, and
indivisible." To promote this purpose, he assumes the disguise of a
monk; and the history of his progress--addressing now little groups, now
single individuals, and now large multitudes of men--at one time
captivating, unwittingly, a young and enthusiastic lady, by the fervor
of his eloquence, who delivers him from death by suicide--and at
another, shaking the walls of his dungeon, through the power and
grandeur of his predictions and dreams--till at last, as, after the
mockery of a trial, he is led forth to death, he hears the shout of his
country, rising _en masse_--is the whole story of the piece. But around
this slender thread, the author has strung some of the largest, richest,
and most resplendent gems of poetry we have seen for years.

Let us present our readers with a few passages, selected almost at
random. Take the "Song of the Dancers" for its music:

      "_Dancers._ Sing lowly, foot slowly, oh, why should we chase
    The hour that gives heaven to this earthly embrace?
    To-morrow, to-morrow, is dreary and lonely;
    Then love as they love who would live to love only!
    Closer yet, eyes of jet--breasts fair and sweet!
    No eyes flash like those eyes that flash as they meet!
    Weave brightly, wear lightly, the warm-woven chain,
    Love on for to-night if we ne'er love again.
    Fond youths! happy maidens! we are not alone!
    Bright steps and sweet voices keep pace with our own,
    Love-lorn Lusignuolo, the soft-sighing breeze,
    The rose with the zephyr, the wind with the trees.
    While heaven blushing pleasure, is full of love notes,
    Soft down the sweet measure the fairy world floats."

                                            P. I, 2.

Take the Monk's Appeal to his "Mother, Italy," for its eloquence:

                      "By thine eternal youth,
    And coeternal utterless dishonor--
    Past, present, future, life and death, all oaths
    Which may bind earth and heaven, mother, I swear it
    We know we have dishonored thee. We know
    All thou canst tell the angels. At thy feet,
    The feet where kings have trembled, we confess,
    And weep; and only bid thee live, my mother,
    To see how we can die. Thou shalt be free!
    By all our sins, and all thy wrongs, we swear it
    We swear it, mother, by the thousand omens
    That heave this pregnant time. Tempests for whom
    The Alps lack wombs--quick earthquakes--hurricanes
    That moan and chafe, and thunder for the light,
    And must be native here. Hark, hark, the angel!
    I see the birthday in the imminent skies!
    Clouds break in fire. Earth yawns. The exulting thunder
    Shouts havoc to the whirlwinds. And men hear
    Amid the terrors of consenting storms,
    Floods, rocking worlds, mad seas, and rending mountains,
    Above the infinite clash, one long great cry,
    THOU SHALT BE FREE!"

                                            P. 14, 15.

Take the few lines about "Truth," for their depth:

                          "Truth is the equal sun,
    Ripening no less the hemlock than the vine.
    Truth is the flash that turns aside no more
    For castle than for cot. Truth is a spear
    Thrown by the blind. Truth is a Nemesis
    Which leadeth her belovèd by the hand
    Through all things; giving him no task to break
    A bruisèd reed, but bidding him stand firm
    Though she crush worlds."

                                            P. 21, 22.

Take, for its harrowing power, blended with beauty, the description of a
"Lost Female," symbolizing the degradation of Italy, and addressed to
the heroine of the tale:

            "Or, oh, prince's daughter, if
    In some proud street, leaning 'twixt night and day
    From out thy palace balcony to meet
    The breeze--that tempted by the hush of eve,
    Steals from the fields about a city's shows,
    And like a lost child, scared with wondering, flies,
    From side to side in touching trust and terror,
    Crying sweet country names and dropping flowers--
    Leaning to meet that breeze, and looking down
    To the so silent city, if below,
    With dress disordered, and disheveled passions
    Streaming from desperate eyes that flash and flicker
    Like corpse-lights (eyes that once were known on high
    Morning and night, as welcome there as thine),
    And brow of trodden snow, and form majestic
    That might have walked unchallenged through the skies.
    And reckless feet, fitful with wine and woe,
    And songs of revel that fall dead about
    Her ruined beauty--sadder than a wail--
    (As if the sweet maternal eve for pity
    Took out the joy, and, with a blush of twilight,
    Uncrowned the Bacchanal)--some outraged sister
    Passeth, be patient, think upon yon heaven,
    Where angels hail the Magdalen, look down
    Upon that life in death, and say, 'My country!'"

                                            P. 36.

Take, for its wondrous pathos and truth, the description of "Infancy:"

                           "Thou little child,
    Thy mother's joy, thy father's hope--thou bright
    Pure dwelling where two fond hearts keep their gladness--
    Thou little potentate of love, who comest
    With solemn sweet dominion to the old,
    Who see thee in thy merry fancies charged
    With the grave embassage of that dear past,
    When they were young like thee--thou vindication
    Of God--thou living witness against all men
    Who have been babes--thou everlasting promise
    Which no man keeps--thou portrait of our nature,
    Which in despair and pride we scorn and worship."

                                            P. 71, 72.

But time would fail us to quote, or even indicate a tithe of the
beautiful, melting, and magnificent passages in this noble "Roman." We
would merely request the reader's attention to the whole of the sixth
scene; to the ballad, a most exquisite and pathetic one, entitled the
"Winter's Night;" to the "Vision of Quirinus," a piece of powerful and
condensed imagination; and, best of all, to the "Dream of the Coliseum,"
in scene viii.--a dream which will not suffer by comparison with that of
Sardanapalus.

But it is not the brilliance of occasional parts and passages alone,
which justifies us in pronouncing the "Roman" an extraordinary
production. We look at it as a whole, and thus regarding it, we
find--first, a wondrous freedom from faults, major or minor, juvenile or
non-juvenile; wondrous, inasmuch as the author is still very young, not
many years, indeed, in advance of his majority. There is exaggeration,
we grant, in passages, but it is exaggeration as essential to the
circumstances and the characters as Lear's insane language is to his
madness, or Othello's turbid tide of figures to his jealousy. The
hero--an enthusiast--speaks always in enthusiastic terms; but of
extravagance we find little, and of absurdity or affectation none.
Diffusion there is, but it is often the beautiful diffusion of one who
dallies with beloved thoughts, and will not let them go till they have
told him all that is in their heart. And ever and anon we meet with
strong single lines and separate sentences, containing truth and fancy
concentrated as "lion's marrow."

Take a few specimens. Of Italy he says:

    "She wraps the purple round her outraged breast,
    And even in fetters cannot be a slave."

Again, she

    "Stands menacled before the world, and bears
    Two hemispheres--innumerable wrongs,
    Illimitable glories."

                       "The soul never
    Can twice be virgin--the eye that strikes
    Upon the hidden path to the unseen
    Is henceforth for two worlds."

                       "To both worlds
    --The inner and the outer--we come naked,
    The very noblest heart on earth, hath oft
    No better lot than _to deserve_."

    "Before every man the world of beauty,
    Like a great artist, standeth night and day
    With patient hand retouching in the heart
    God's defaced image."

    "Rude heaps that had been cities clad the ground
    With history."

                          "Strange fragments
    Of forms once held divine, and still, _like angels_,
    _Immortal every where_."

                                "The poet,
    In some rapt moment of intense attendance,
    The skies being genial, and the earthly air
    Propitious, catches on the inward ear
    The awful and unutterable meanings
    Of a divine soliloquy."

    "The very stars themselves are nearer to us than to-morrow."

              "The great man ... is set
    Among us pigmies, with a heavenlier stature,
    And brighter face than ours, that we must _leap_
    _Even to smite it._"

                    "Great merchants, men
    Who dealt in kingdoms; ruddy aruspex,
    And pale philosopher, who bent beneath
    The keys of wisdom."

            "The Coliseum ... stood out dark
    With thoughts of ages: like some mighty captive
    Upon his death-bed in a Christian land,
    And lying, through the chant of Psalm and Creed
    Unshriven and stern, with peace upon his brow,
    And on his lips strange gods."

Our readers must perceive from such extracts, that our author belongs
more to the masculine than to the mystic school. Deep in thought, he is
clear in language and in purpose. Since Byron's dramas, we have seldom
had such fiery and vigorous verse. He blends the strong with the tender,
in natural and sweet proportions. His genius, too, vaults into the lyric
motion with very great ease and mastery. He is a minstrel as well as a
bard, and has shown power over almost every form of lyrical composition.
His sentiment is clear without being commonplace, original, yet not
extravagant, and betokens, as well as his style, a masculine health,
maturity, and completeness, rarely to be met with in a first attempt.
Above all, his tone of mind, while sympathizing to rapture with the
liberal progress of the age, is that of one who feels the eternal
divinity and paramount power of the Christian religion; that what God
has once pronounced true can never become a lie; that what was once
really alive may change, but can never die; that Christianity is a fact,
great, real, and permanent, as birth or death; and that its seeming
decay is only the symptom that it is putting off the old skin, and about
to renew its mighty youth.

We have thus found many, if not all, the qualities of our ideal poet
united in the author of the "Roman," and are not ashamed to say that we
expect more from him than from any other of our rising "Sons of the
Morning." But he must work and walk worthy of his high vocation, and of
the hopes which now lie upon him--hopes which must either be the ribbons
of his crown or the cords of his sacrifice. He must discard his tendency
to diffusion, and break in that demon-steed of eloquence, who sometimes
is apt to run away with him. He must give us next, not scattered scenes,
but a whole epic, the middle of which shall be as obvious as the
beginning or the end. He should, in his next work, seek less to please,
startle, or gain an audience, than to tell them in thunder and in music
what they ought to believe and to do. Thus acting, he may "fill his
crescent-sphere;" revive the power and glory of song; give voice to a
great dumb struggle in the mind of the age; rescue the lyre from the
camp of the Philistines, where it has been but too long detained; and
render possible the hope, that the day shall come when again, as
formerly, the names "of poet and of prophet are the same."

FOOTNOTES:

[18] The Roman: a Dramatic Poem. By Sydney Yendys. London: Rantley,
1850.



[From Sharpe's London Magazine.]

RECOLLECTIONS OF THOMAS CAMPBELL.


In his intercourse with society, Campbell was a shrewd observer of those
often contradictory elements of which it is composed. Adverting to the
absurd and ludicrous, he had the art or talent of heightening their
effect by touches peculiarly his own; while the quiet gravity with which
he related his personal anecdotes or adventures, added greatly to the
charm, and often threw his unsuspecting hearers into uncontrollable fits
of laughter. Nor was the _pathos_ with which he dilated on some tale of
human misery less captivating; it runs through all his poetry, and in
hearing or relating a story of human wrongs or suffering, we have often
seen him affected to tears, which he vainly strove to conceal by an
abrupt transition to some ludicrous incident in his own personal
history. As an example, which has not yet found its way to the public,
we may relate the following, which he told one evening in our little
domestic circle where he was a frequent visitor, and where the
conversation had taken, as he thought, a somewhat too serious turn:

"In my early life, when I resided in the island of Mull, most of those
old feudal customs which civilization had almost banished from the
Lowlands, were still religiously observed in the Hebrides--more
especially those of a social and festive character, which it was thought
had the effect of keeping up old acquaintance, and of tightening the
bonds of good fellowship. Rural weddings and "roaring wakes" were then
occasions for social rendezvous, which were not to be overlooked. Both
these ceremonies were accompanied by feasting, music, dancing, and that
liberal enjoyment of the native _browst_ which was too often carried to
excess. I was in general a willing and a welcome guest at these doings;
for, smitten as I often was with melancholy in this dreary solitude, I
was glad to avail myself of any occasion that promised even temporary
exhilaration. Well, the first of these meetings at which I was present
one evening, happened to be a _dredgee_, a term which I need only
explain, by saying that it was got up for the sake of a young widow, who
had just put on her weeds, and stood much in need of friendly sympathy,
and consolation. At first it was rather a dull affair, for the widow
looked very disconsolate, and every look of her fair face was
contagious. But as the _quaigh_ was active, and the whisky went its
frequent round, the circle became more lively; until at last, to my
utter astonishment, the bagpipes were introduced; and after a _coronach_
or so--just to quiet the spirit of their departed host--up started a
couple of dancers, and began jigging it over the floor with all the
grace and agility peculiar to my Hebridean friends. This movement was
infectious: another and another couple started up--reel followed upon
reel, until the only parties who had resisted the infection," continued
the poet, "were the widow and myself, she, oppressed with her own
private sorrow, and I, restrained by feelings of courtesy from quitting
her side. I observed, however, that she 'kept time' with her hand--all
unconsciously, no doubt--against the bench where we sat, while her
thoughts were wandering about the moorland _Cairn_, which had that very
morning received her husband's remains. I pitied her from my very heart.
But, behold, just as I was addressing to her one of my most sympathizing
looks, up came a brisk Highlander, whose step and figure in the dance
had excited both admiration and envy; and, making a low bow to the
widow, followed by a few words of condolence, he craved the honor of her
hand for the next reel. The widow, as you may well suppose, was shocked
beyond measure! while I starting to my feet, made a show as if I meant
to resent the insult. But she, pulling me gently back, rebuked the
kilted stranger with a look, at which he instantly withdrew. In a few
minutes, however, the young chieftain returned to the charge. The widow
frowned, and wept, and declared that nothing on earth should ever tempt
her to such a breach of decorum. But the more she frowned, the more he
smiled, and pressed his suit: 'Just one reel,' he repeated, 'only one!
Allan of Mull, the best piper in the Isles, was only waiting her bidding
to strike up.' The plea was irresistible. 'Weel, weel,' sighed the
widow, rising, and giving him her hand, 'what maun be, maun be! But,
hech, sirs, let it be a lightsome spring, for I hae a heavy, heavy
heart!' The next minute the widow was capering away to a most
'lightsome' air--hands across--cast off--down the middle, and up again.
And a merrier dredgee," concluded the poet, "was never seen in Mull."

On another occasion, when he presented a copy of some verses, which he
had just finished, to a lady of our family, he described their origin as
follows: "Many long years ago, while I was sealed up in the Hebrides, I
became intimate with a family who had a beautiful parrot, which a young
mariner had brought from South America, as a present to his sweetheart.
This happened long before my arrival in Mull; and Poll for many years
had been a much-prized and petted favorite in the household. He was a
captive, to be sure, but allowed at times to be outside his cage on
_parole_; and, always observing good faith and gratitude for such
indulgences, they were repeated as often as appeared consistent with
safe custody. The few words of Gaelic which he had picked up in his
voyage to the north, were just sufficient, on his arrival, to bespeak
the good-will of the family, and recommend himself to their hospitality;
but his vocabulary was soon increased--he became a great mimic--he could
imitate the cries of every domestic animal--the voices of the servants:
he could laugh, whistle, and scold, like any other biped around him. He
was, in short, a match even for Kelly's renowned parrot: for although he
could not, or would not, sing 'God save the King,' he was a proficient
in 'Charlie is my Darling,' and other Jacobite airs, with which he never
failed to regale the company, when properly introduced.

"Poll was indeed a remarkable specimen of his tribe, and the daily
wonder of the whole neighborhood. Years flew by: and although kind
treatment had quite reconciled him to his cage, it could not ward off
the usual effects of old age, particularly in a climate where the sun
rarely penetrated within the bars of his prison. When I first saw him,
his memory had greatly failed him; while his bright green plumage was
vast verging into a silvery gray He had but little left of that
triumphant chuckle which used to provoke such laughter among the
younkers; and day after day he would sit mute and moping on his perch,
seldom answering the numerous questions that were put to him regarding
the cause of his malady. Had any child of the family been sick, it could
hardly have been treated with greater tenderness than Poll.

"At last, one fine morning, just as the vernal equinox had blown a few
ships into harbor, a stranger was announced, and immediately recognized
by the master of the house as a 'Don' something--a Spanish merchant,
whose kindness to a young member of the family had been often mentioned
in his letters from Mexico. One of his own ships, a brig, in which he
had made the voyage, was then in the bay, driven in by stress of
weather, for Mull was no market for Spanish goods. But that was not my
business; he would most likely pay a visit to Greenock, where, in the
present day at least, Spanish cargoes are rife enough.

"No sooner had their visitor exchanged salutations with the master of
the house and his family, than the parrot caught his eye; and, going up
to the cage, he addressed the aged bird in familiar Spanish. The effect
was electric: the poor blind captive seemed as if suddenly awakened to a
new existence; he fluttered his wings in ecstasy--opened his eyes, fixed
them, dim and sightless as they were, intently on the stranger; then
answered him in the same speech--not an accent of which he had ever
heard for twenty years. His joy was excessive--but it was very short;
for in the midst of his screams and antics, poor Poll dropped dead from
his perch."

Such was the incident upon which Campbell composed the little ballad
entitled "The Parrot." It had taken strong hold of his memory, and,
after the lapse of forty years,[19] found its way into the pages of the
"New Monthly," and is now incorporated with his acknowledged poems.

FOOTNOTES:

[19] See "Life and Letters of Campbell." Vol. I. Residence in Mull.



[From Sharpe's London Magazine.]

GALILEO AND HIS DAUGHTER.

BY J. B.


I had been walking in a grove of lime-trees, arched above me, like the
stately roofing of a cathedral. As I entered, the daylight was yet
strong; but when I left my temporary retreat, the heavens were clustered
over with stars, and one of them, high above the old gray tower of the
ancient monastery of St. Augustine, almost cast a shadow across the
landscape--it was the planet Jupiter: and I have never observed it--at
least, thus eminent among its brethren--without being more or less
reminded of,

    "The starry Galileo, and his woes."

To this planet did the philosopher direct the then newly-invented
telescope, the result being the discovery of four attendant moons: while
the analogy derived from the motions of these little stars, performing
their revolutions round the primary planet in perfect order and concord,
afforded an argument that had a powerful influence in confirming
Galileo's own views in favor of the Copernican system of the universe,
and ultimately converting the scientific world to the same opinion.

Yet little more than two centuries since, on the 14th February, 1633,
the astronomer, cited before the Inquisition, arrived at Rome, to answer
the charge of heresy and blasphemy; while, a few months ago, in the
brief but glorious day-burst of Roman liberty, that very Inquisition was
invaded by an exultant populace, and among its archives, full memorials
of martyred worth and of heroic endurance, most eagerly, but in vain,
was sought the record of the process against the great philosopher.

Galileo, on a former occasion, in reference to some of his scientific
discoveries, had heard rumors of papal persecution, and as a cautious
friend whispered to him the unpleasing tidings, he had exclaimed, "Never
will I barter the freedom of my intellect to one as liable to err as
myself!"

The time quickly arrived to test his courage and his resolution.

For a little while, we are informed, he was allowed to remain secluded
in the palace of his friend Nicolini. In a few months, however, he was
removed to an apartment in the Exchequer of the Inquisition, still being
permitted the attendance of his own servant, and many indulgences of
which they had not decided to deprive him. On the twenty-first of June,
of the same year, he appeared before the Holy Office. Through its gloomy
halls and passages he passed to the tribunal. There was little here, as
in the other ecclesiastical buildings of Rome, to captivate the senses.
The dark walls were unadorned with the creations of art; state and
ceremony were the gloomy ushers to the chamber of intolerance. In
silence and in mystery commenced the preparations. The familiars of the
office advanced to the astronomer, and arrayed him in the penitential
garment; and as he approached, with a slow and measured step, the
tribunal, cardinals, and prelates noiselessly assembled, and a dark
circle of officers and priests closed in, while, as if conscious that
the battle had commenced in earnest between mind and power, all the pomp
and splendor of the hierarchy of Rome--that system which had hitherto
possessed a sway unlimited over the fears and opinions of mankind--was
summoned up to increase the solemnity and significance of the judgment
about to be pronounced against him.

To the tedious succession of technical proceedings, mocking justice by
their very assumption of formality, it would be needless to refer.
Solemnly, however, and by an authority which it was fatal to resist,
Galileo was called on to renounce a truth which his whole life had been
consecrated to reveal and to maintain, "The motion through space of the
Earth and Planets round the Sun."

Then, immediately, assuming he had nothing to allege, would attempt no
resistance, and offer no defense, came the sentence of the tribunal,
banning and anathematizing all who held the doctrine, that the sun is
the centre of the system, as a tenet "philosophically false, and
formally heretical."

And then they sentenced the old and infirm philosopher--this band of
infallibles!--they bade him abjure and detest the said errors and
heresies. They decreed his book to the flames, and they condemned him
for life to the dungeons of the Inquisition, bidding him recite, "once a
week, seven penitential psalms for the good of his soul!"

Did Galileo yield? Did he renounce that theory now affording such ample
proof of the beauty and order of the universe; to whose very laws
Kepler, the friend and contemporary of the philosopher, was even then,
though unconsciously, bearing evidence, by his wonderful theorem of
velocities and distances, a problem which Newton afterward confirmed and
illustrated?

Did Galileo yield? He did. Broken by age and infirmity, importuned by
friends more alarmed than himself, perhaps, at the terrors of that
merciless tribunal, he signed his abjuration; yielded all his judges
demanded; echoed their curse and ban, as their superstition or their
hate required. There is a darker tale dimly hinted by those familiar
with the technicalities of the Holy Office, that the terms, "Il rigoroso
esame," during which Galileo is reported to have answered like a good
Christian, officially announce the application of the torture.

Then occurred, perhaps scarcely an hour afterward, that remarkable
episode in this man's history. As he arose from the ground on which, all
kneeling, he had pronounced his abjuration, he gave a significant stamp,
and whispered to a friend, "_E pur si muove!_" "Yet it does move"--ay,
and in spite of Inquisitions, has gone round--nay, the whole world of
thought itself has moved, and having received an impulse from such
minds, will revolve for ages in a glorious cycle for mankind! But the
most touching incident of Galileo's story is yet to come.

After several years of confinement at Arcetri, the great astronomer was
permitted to retire to Florence, upon the conditions that he should
neither quit his house, nor receive the visits of his friends. They
removed him from a prison, to make a prison of his home. Alas! it was
even worse than this.

Much as the greatest minds love fame, and struggle to obtain it, the
proudest triumphs of genius and of science, the applause of the world
itself, ever loud and obtrusive, is not to be compared to the low and
gentle murmurs of pleasure and of pride from those we love. There was
one being from whom Galileo had been accustomed to hear those
consolations--his child his gentle Maria Galilei. He had been otherwise
a solitary indeed, and now more than ever so, when he was cut off from
the communion of the greatest minds. To his lovely girl, his daughter,
his heart clung with more than fondness. No wife of Pliny, perhaps, ever
wafted to her husband with sweeter devotion the echoes of the applauding
world without, greeting him she loved, than she did--his Maria Galilei.
As he returned from prison, the way seemed tedious, the fleetest
traveling all too slow, till he should once more fold her to his heart;
and she, too, she anticipated meeting her father with a pleasure greater
than ever before enjoyed, since he had now become a victim, sainted in
her eyes, by the persecution he had suffered.

Short, indeed, was this happiness, if enjoyed at all. Within the month,
she died, and the home of Galileo was more than a prison--it was a
desolate altar, on which the last and most precious of his household
gods was shivered. And he died too, a few years afterward, that good old
man!

But he had yielded--he was no martyr! Yes, indeed! But be it remembered,
that if he possessed not the moral courage of a Huss, a Savonarola, or a
Luther, he was not called to exercise it in so high a cause. The
assertion and support of a religious truth is impressed with far deeper
obligations than the advocacy of a scientific one, however well
maintained by analogy, and confirmed by reason.

Still there was a deep devotional sentiment that pervaded the character
of Galileo. Before he died, he became totally blind; yet he did not
despair. Like Milton, he labored on for mankind--nay, pursued his
scientific studies, inventing mechanical substitutes for his loss of
vision, to enable him still to pursue his arduous researches.

It is true he was shut out, like the elder Herschel, from the view of
that glorious company, toward which his spirit had so often soared. Well
might his friend Castelli say, in allusion to his infirmity, "that the
noblest eyes were darkened which nature had ever made--eyes so
privileged, and gifted with such rare qualities, that they might be said
to have seen more than all those who had gone before him, and to have
opened the eyes of all who were to come." Galileo himself bore noble
tribute to his friend, when he exclaimed,

"Never, never will I cease to use the senses which God has left me; and
though this heaven, this earth, this universe, be henceforth shrunk for
me into the narrow space which I myself fill, so it please God, it shall
content me."

The malice of his enemies long survived his death. The partisans of Rome
disputed his right to make a will. They denied him a monument for which
large sums had been subscribed.

A hundred years afterward, when a splendid memorial was about to be
erected to his memory, the President of the Florentine Academy descended
into his grave, and desecrated his remains, by bearing off, as _relics
for a museum_, the thumb of his right hand, and one of his vertebræ! So
the victims of the religious fury of one age become the martyrs of
science in another!

And what is the moral of what we have written concerning Galileo? Is
there no teaching that may instruct our own times, especially when we
see how, through scorn and persecution, and this world's contumely, and
through the gloom and shadows of ignorance and fear, the form and
substance of mighty Truth rises, slowly and dimly, perchance, at first,
but grandly and majestically ere long? Little more than two hundred
years have passed since the death of Galileo, but ample justice has been
done to his memory. His name will be a watchword through all time, to
urge men forward in the great cause of moral and intellectual progress;
and the Tree of Knowledge, whose fruits were once on earth, plucked,
perhaps, ere they were matured, has shot up with its golden branches
into the skies, over which has radiated the smiles of a beneficent
Providence to cheer man onward in the career of virtue and intelligence.

"There is something," as a profound writer has observed,[20] "in the
spirit of the present age, greater than the age itself. It is, the
appearance of a new power in the world, the multitude of minds now
pressing forward in the great task of the moral and intellectual
regeneration of mankind."

And this cause must ultimately triumph. The energies and discoveries of
men like Galileo, remote as their history becomes, have an undying
influence.

The power of a great mind is like the attraction of a sun. It appears in
the infinite bounds of space, far, far away, as a grain among other gold
dust at the feet of the Eternal, or, at most, but as a luminous spot;
and yet we know that its influence controls, and is necessary for, the
order and arrangement of the nearest, as well is the remotest system. So
in the moral and intellectual universe, from world to world, from star
to star, the influence of one great mind extends, and we are drawn
toward it by an unseen, but all-pervading affinity. Thus has the cause
of moral and intellectual progress a sure guarantee of success. It has
become a necessity, interwoven with the spirit of the age--a necessity
impressed by every revelation of social evil, as well as proclaimed by
every scientific discovery--gaining increased energy and power from the
manifestation of every new wonder and mystery of nature--nay, from the
building of every steam-ship, the laying down of every new line of
railway.

FOOTNOTES:

[20] Channing.



[From Dickens's "Household Words."]

EBENEZER ELLIOTT


The name of Ebenezer Elliott is associated with one of the greatest and
most important political changes of modern times, with events not yet
sufficiently removed from us, to allow of their being canvassed in this
place with that freedom which would serve the more fully to illustrate
his real merits. Elliott would have been a poet, in all that constitutes
true poetry, had the corn laws never existed.

He was born on 25th March, 1781, at the New Foundry, Masborough, in the
parish of Rotherham, where his father was a clerk in the employment of
Messrs. Walker, with a salary of £60 or £70 per annum. His father was a
man of strong political tendencies, possessed of humorous and satiric
power, that might have qualified him for a comic actor. Such was the
character he bore for political sagacity that he was popularly known as
"Devil Elliott." The mother of the poet seems to have been a woman of an
extreme nervous temperament, constantly suffering from ill health, and
constitutionally awkward and diffident.

Ebenezer commenced his early training at a dame's school; but shy,
awkward, and desultory, he made little progress; nor did he thrive much
better at the school in which he was afterward placed. Here he employed
his comrades to do his tasks for him, and of course laid no foundation
for his future education. His parents, disheartened by the lad's
apparent stolidity, sent him next to Dalton's school, two miles distant;
and here he certainly acquired something, for he retained, to old age,
the memory of some of the scenes through which he used to pass on his
way to and from this school. For want of the necessary preliminary
training, he could do little or nothing with letters: he rather
preferred playing truant and roaming the meadows in listless idleness,
wherever his fancy led him. This could not last. His father soon set him
to work in the foundry; and with this advantage, that the lad stood on
better terms with himself than he had been for a considerable period,
for he discovered that he could compete with others in work--sheer
hand-labor--if he could not in the school. One disadvantage, however,
arose, as he tells us, from his foundry life; for he acquired a relish
for vulgar pursuits, and the village alehouse divided his attentions
with the woods and fields. Still a deep impression of the charms of
nature had been made upon him by his boyish rambles, which the debasing
influences and associations into which he was thrown could not wholly
wipe out. He would still wander away in his accustomed haunts, and
purify his soul from her alehouse defilements, by copious draughts of
the fresh nectar of natural beauty imbibed from the sylvan scenery
around him.

The childhood and youth of the future poet presented a strange medley of
opposites and antitheses. Without the ordinary measure of adaptation for
scholastic pursuits, he inhaled the vivid influences of external things,
delighting intensely in natural objects, and yet feeling an infinite
chagrin and remorse at his own idleness and ignorance. We find him
highly imaginative; making miniature lakes by sinking an iron vessel
filled with water in a heap of stones, and gazing therein with wondrous
enjoyment at the reflection of the sun and skies overhead; and
exhibiting a strange passion for looking on the faces of those who had
died violent deaths, although these dead men's features would haunt his
imagination for weeks afterward.

He did not, indeed, at this period, possess the elements of an ordinary
education. A very simple circumstance sufficed to apply the spark which
fired his latent energies, and nascent poetical tendencies: and he
henceforward became a different being, elevated far above his former
self. He called one evening, after a drinking bout on the previous
night, on a maiden aunt, named Robinson, a widow possessed of about £30
a year, by whom he was shown a number of "Sowerby's English Botany,"
which her son was then purchasing in monthly parts. The plates made a
considerable impression on the awkward youth, and he assayed to copy
them by holding them to the light with a thin piece of paper before
them. When he found he could trace their forms by these means his
delight was unbounded, and every spare hour was devoted to the agreeable
task. Here commenced that intimate acquaintance with flowers, which
seems to pervade all his works. This aunt of Ebenezer's, (good soul!
would that every shy, gawky Ebenezer had such an aunt!) bent on
completing the charm she had so happily begun, displayed to him still
further her son's book of dried specimens; and this elated him beyond
measure. He forthwith commenced a similar collection for himself, for
which purpose he would roam the fields still more than ever, on Sundays
as well as week days, to the interruption of his attendances at chapel.
This book he called his "Dry Flora," (_Hortus Siccus_) and none so proud
as he when neighbors noticed his plants and pictures. He was not a
little pleased to feel himself a sort of wonder, as he passed through
the village with his plants; and, greedy of praise, he allowed his
acquaintance to believe that his drawings were at first hand, and made
by himself from nature. "Thomson's Seasons," read to him about this time
by his brother Giles, gave him a glimpse of the union of poetry with
natural beauty; and lit up in his mind an ambition which finally
transformed the illiterate, rugged, half-tutored youth into the man who
wrote "The Village Patriarch," and the "Corn Law Rhymes."

From this time he set himself resolutely to the work of self-education.
His knowledge of the English language was meagre in the extreme; and he
succeeded at last only by making for himself a kind of grammar by
reading and observation. He then tried French, but his native indolence
prevailed, and he gave it up in despair. He read with avidity whatever
books came in his way; and a small legacy of books to his father came in
just at the right time. He says he could never read through a
second-rate book, and he therefore read masterpieces only; "after
Milton, then Shakspeare; then Ossian; then Junius; Paine's 'Common
Sense;' Swift's 'Tale of a Tub;' 'Joan of Arc;' Schiller's 'Robbers;'
Burger's 'Lenora;' Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall;' and long afterward,
Tasso, Dante, De Staël, Schlegel, Hazlitt, and the '_Westminster
Review_.'" Reading of this character might have been expected to lead to
something; and was well calculated to make an extraordinary impression
on such a mind as Elliott's; and we have the fruit of this course of
study in the poetry which from this time he began to throw off.

He remained with his father from his sixteenth to his twenty-third year,
working laboriously without wages, except an occasional shilling or two
for pocket-money. He afterward tried business on his own account. He
made two efforts at Sheffield; the last commencing at the age of forty,
and with a borrowed capital of £150. He describes in his nervous
language the trials and difficulties he had to contend with; and all
these his imagination embodied for him in one grim and terrible form,
which he christened "Bread Tax." With this demon he grappled in
desperate energy, and assailed it vigorously with his caustic rhyme This
training, these mortifications, these misfortunes, and the demon "Bread
Tax" above all, made Elliott successively despised, hated, feared, and
admired, as public opinion changed toward him.

Mr. Howitt describes his warehouse as a dingy, and not very extensive
place, heaped with iron of all sorts, sizes, and forms, with barely a
passage through the chaos of rusty bars into the inner sanctum, at once,
study, counting-house, library, and general receptacle of odds and ends
connected with his calling. Here and there, to complete the jumble, were
plaster casts of Shakspeare, Achilles, Ajax, and Napoleon, suggestive of
the presidency of literature over the materialism of commerce which
marked the career of this singular being. By dint of great industry he
began to flourish in business, and, at one time, could make a profit of
£20 a-day without moving from his seat. During this prosperous period he
built a handsome villa-residence in the suburbs. He now had leisure to
brood over the full force and effect of the Corn Laws. The subject was
earnestly discussed then in all manufacturing circles of that district.
Reverses now arrived. In 1837, he lost fully one-third of all his
savings, getting out of the storm at last with about £6,000, which he
wrote to Mr. Tait of Edinburgh, he intended, if possible, to retain. The
palmy days of £20 profits had gone by for Sheffield, and instead, all
was commercial disaster and distrust. Elliott did well to retire with
what little he had remaining. In his retreat he was still vividly
haunted by the demon "Bread Tax." This, then, was the period of the
Corn-Law Rhymes, and these bitter experiences lent to them that tone of
sincerity and earnestness--that fire and frenzy which they breathed, and
which sent them, hot, burning words of denunciation and wrath, into the
bosoms of the working classes--the toiling millions from whom Elliott
sprang. "Bread Tax," indeed, to him was a thing of terrible import and
bitter experience: hence he uses no gentle terms or honeyed phrases
when dealing with the obnoxious impost. Sometimes coarse invective and
angry assertion take the place of convincing reason and calm philosophy.
At others, there is a true vein of poetry and pathos running through the
rather unpoetic theme, which touches us with its Wordsworthian feeling
and gentleness. Then he would be found calling down thunders upon the
devoted heads of the monopolists, with all a fanatic's hearty zeal, and
in his fury he would even pursue them, not merely through the world, but
beyond its dim frontiers and across the threshold of another state. Take
them, however, as they stand--and more vigorous, effective, and
startling political poetry has not graced the literature of the age.

It was not to be supposed but that this trumpet-blast of defiance, and
shrill scream of "war to the knife," should bring down upon him much
obloquy, much vituperation: but all this fell harmlessly upon him; he
rather liked it. When people began to bear with the turbid humor and
angry utterances of the "Corn Law Rhymer," and grew familiar with the
stormy march of his verse, it was discovered that he was something more
than a mere political party song-writer. He was a true poet, whose
credentials, signed and sealed in the court of nature, attested the
genuineness of his brotherhood with those children of song who make the
world holier and happier by the mellifluous strains they bring to us,
like fragments of a forgotten melody, from the far-off world of beauty
and of love.

Elliott will not soon cease to be distinctively known as the "Corn Law
Rhymer;" but it will be by his non-political poems that he will be
chiefly remembered by posterity as the Poet of the People; for his name
will still be, as it has long been, a "Household Word," in the homes of
all such as love the pure influences of simple, sensuous, and natural
poetry. As an author he did not make his way fast: he had written poetry
for twenty years ere he had attracted much notice. A genial critique by
Southey in the "Quarterly," another by Carlyle in the "Edinburgh," and
favorable notices in the "Athenæum" and "New Monthly," brought him into
notice; and he gradually made his way until a new and cheap edition of
his works, in 1840, stamped him as a popular poet. His poetry is just
such as, knowing his history, we might have expected; and such as, not
knowing it, might have bodied forth to us the identical man as we find
him.

As we have said, Nature was his school; but flowers were the especial
vocation of his muse. A small ironmonger--a keen and successful
tradesman--we should scarcely have given him credit for such an
exquisite love of the beautiful in Nature, as we find in some of those
lines written by him in the crowded counting-room of that dingy
warehouse. The incident of the floral miscellany; the subsequent study
of "The Seasons;" the long rambles in meadows and on hill-sides,
specimen-hunting for his _Hortus Siccus_, sufficiently account for the
exquisite sketches of scenery, and those vivid descriptions of natural
phenomena, which showed that the coinage of his brain had been stamped
in Nature's mint. The most casual reader would at once discover that,
with Thomson, he has ever been the devoted lover and worshiper of
Nature--at wanderer by babbling streams--a dreamer in the leafy
wilderness--a worshiper of morning upon the golden hill-tops. He gives
us pictures of rural scenery warm as the pencil of a Claude, and glowing
as the sunsets of Italy.

A few sentences will complete our sketch, and bring us to the close of
the poet's pilgrimage. He had come out of the general collapse of
commercial affairs in 1837, with a small portion of the wealth he had
realized by diligent and continuous labor. He took a walk, on one
occasion, into the country, of about eighteen miles: reached Argilt
Hill, liked the place, returned, and resolved to buy it. He laid out in
house and land about one thousand guineas. His family consisted of Mrs.
Elliott and two daughters; a servant-maid; an occasional helper; a Welch
pony and small gig; "a dog almost as big as the mare, and much wiser
than his master; a pony-cart; a wheel-barrow; and a grindstone--and,"
says he, "turn up your nose if you like!"

From his own papers we learn that he had one son a clergyman, at
Lothedale, near Skipton; another in the steel trade, on Elliott's old
premises at Sheffield; two others unmarried, living on their means;
another "druggisting at Sheffield, in a sort of chimney called a shop;"
and another, a clergyman, living in the West Indies. Of his thirteen
children, five were dead, and of whom he says. "They left behind them no
memorial--but they are safe in the bosom of Mercy, and not quite
forgotten even here!"

In this retirement he occasionally lectured and spoke at public
meetings; but he began to suffer from a spasmodic affection of the
nerves, which obliged him wholly to forego public speaking. This disease
grew worse; and in December, 1839, he was warned that he could not
continue to speak in public, except at the risk of sudden death. This
disorder lingered about him for about six years; he then fell ill of a
more serious disease, which threatened speedy termination. This was in
May, 1849. In September, he writes, "I have been _very, very_ ill." On
the first of December, 1849, the event, which had so long been
impending, occurred, and Elliott peacefully departed in the sixty-ninth
year of his age.

Thus, then, the sun set on one whose life was one continued heroic
struggle with opposing influences--with ignorance first, then trade,
then the corn laws, then literary fame, and, last of all, disease: and
thus the world saw its last of the material breathing form of the rugged
but kindly being who made himself loved, feared, hated, and famous, as
the "CORN LAW RHYMER."



[From Cumming's Hunting Adventures in South Africa.]

CONFLICT WITH AN ELEPHANT.


In a few minutes one of those who had gone off to our left came running
breathless to say that he had seen the mighty game. I, halted for a
minute, and instructed Isaac, who carried the big Dutch rifle, to act
independently of me, while Kleinboy was to assist me in the chase; but,
as usual, when the row began, my followers thought only of number one. I
bared my arms to the shoulder, and, having imbibed a draught of aqua
pura from the calabash of one of the spoorers, I grasped my trusty
two-grooved rifle, and told my guide to go ahead. We proceeded silently
as might be for a few hundred yards, following the guide, when he
suddenly pointed, exclaiming, "Klow!" and before us stood a herd of
mighty bull elephants, packed together beneath a shady grove about a
hundred and fifty yards in advance. I rode slowly toward them, and, as
soon as they observed me, they made a loud rumbling noise, and, tossing
their trunks, wheeled right about and made off in one direction,
crashing through the forest and leaving a cloud of dust behind them. I
was accompanied by a detachment of my dogs, who assisted me in the
pursuit.

The distance I had come, and the difficulties I had undergone to behold
these elephants, rose fresh before me. I determined that on this
occasion at least I would do my duty, and, dashing my spurs into
"Sunday's" ribs, I was very soon much too close in their rear for
safety. The elephants now made an inclination to my left, whereby I
obtained a good view of the ivory. The herd consisted of six bulls; four
of them were full grown, first-rate elephants; the other two were fine
fellows, but had not yet arrived at perfect stature. Of the four old
fellows, two had much finer tusks than the rest, and for a few seconds I
was undecided which of these two I would follow; when, suddenly, the one
which I fancied had the stoutest tusks broke from his comrades, and I at
once felt convinced that he was the patriarch of the herd, and followed
him accordingly. Cantering alongside, I was about to fire, when he
instantly turned, and, uttering a trumpet so strong and shrill that the
earth seemed to vibrate beneath my feet, he charged furiously after me
for several hundred yards in a direct line, not altering his course in
the slightest degree for the trees of the forest, which he snapped and
overthrew like reeds in his headlong career.

When he pulled up in his charge, I likewise halted; and as he slowly
turned to retreat, I let fly at his shoulder, "Sunday" capering and
prancing, and giving me much trouble. On receiving the ball the elephant
shrugged his shoulder, and made off at a free, majestic walk. This shot
brought several of the dogs to my assistance which had been following
the other elephants, and on their coming up and barking another headlong
charge was the result, accompanied by the never-failing trumpet as
before In his charge he passed close to me, when I saluted him with a
second bullet in the shoulder of which he did not take the slightest
notice. I now determined not to fire again until I could make a steady
shot; but, although the elephant turned repeatedly, "Sunday" invariably
disappointed me, capering so that it was impossible to fire. At length,
exasperated, I became reckless of the danger, and, springing from the
saddle, approached the elephant under cover of a tree and gave him a
bullet in the side of the head, when, trumpeting so shrilly that the
forest trembled, he charged among the dogs, from whom he seemed to fancy
that the blow had come; after which he took up a position in a grove of
thorns, with his head toward me. I walked up very near, and, as he was
in the act of charging (being in those days under wrong impressions as
to the impracticability of bringing down an elephant with a shot in the
forehead), stood coolly in his path until he was within fifteen paces of
me, and let drive at the hollow of his forehead, in the vain expectation
that by so doing I should end his career. The shot only served to
increase his fury--an effect which, I had remarked, shots in the head
invariably produced; and, continuing his charge with incredible
quickness and impetuosity, he all but terminated my elephant-hunting
forever. A large party of the Bechuanas who had come up, yelled out
simultaneously, imagining I was killed, for the elephant was at one
moment almost on the top of me: I, however, escaped by my activity, and
by dodging round the bushy trees. As the elephant was charging, an
enormous thorn ran deep into the sole of my foot the old Badenoch
brogues, which I that day sported, being worn through, and this caused
me severe pain, laming me throughout the rest of the conflict.

The elephant held on through the forest at a sweeping pace; but he was
hardly out of sight when I was loaded and in the saddle, and soon once
more alongside. About this time I heard Isaac blazing away at another
bull; but when the elephant charged, his cowardly heart failed him, and
he very soon made his appearance at a safe distance in my rear. My
elephant kept crashing along at a steady pace, with blood streaming from
his wounds; the dogs, which were knocked up with fatigue and thirst, no
longer barked around him, but had dropped astern. It was long before I
again fired, for I was afraid to dismount, and "Sunday" was extremely
troublesome. At length I fired sharp right and left from the saddle: he
got both balls behind the shoulder, and made a long charge after me,
rumbling and trumpeting as before. The whole body of the Bamangwato men
had now come up, and were following a short distance behind me. Among
these was Mollyeon, who volunteered to help; and being a very swift and
active fellow, he rendered me important service by holding my fidgety
horse's head while I fired and loaded. I then fired six broadsides from
the saddle, the elephant charging almost every time, and pursuing us
back to the main body in our rear, who fled in all directions as he
approached.

The sun had now sunk behind the tops of the trees; it would very soon be
dark, and the elephant did not seem much distressed, notwithstanding all
he had received. I recollected that my time was short, and therefore at
once resolved to fire no more from the saddle, but to go close up to him
and fire on foot. Riding up to him. I dismounted, and, approaching very
near, I gave it him right and left in the side of the head, upon which
he made a long and determined charge after me; but I was now very
reckless of his charges, for I saw that he could not overtake me, and in
a twinkling I was loaded, and, again approaching, fired sharp right and
left behind his shoulder. Again he charged with a terrific trumpet,
which sent "Sunday" flying through the forest. This was his last charge.
The wounds which he had received began to tell on his constitution, and
he now stood at bay beside a thorny tree, with the dogs barking around
him. These, refreshed by the evening breeze, and perceiving that it was
nearly over with the elephant, had once more come to my assistance.
Having loaded, I drew near and fired right and left at his forehead. On
receiving these shots, instead of charging, he tossed his trunk up and
down, and by various sounds and motions, most gratifying to the hungry
natives, evinced that his demise was near. Again I loaded, and fired my
last shot behind his shoulder: on receiving it, he turned round the
bushy tree beside which he stood, and I ran round to give him the other
barrel, but the mighty old monarch of the forest needed no more; before
I could clear the bushy tree he fell heavily on his side, and his spirit
had fled. My feelings at this moment can only be understood by a few
brother Nimrods who have had the good fortune to enjoy a similar
encounter. I never felt so gratified on any former occasion as I did
then.

By this time all the natives had come up; they were in the highest
spirits, and flocked around the elephant, laughing and talking at a
rapid pace. I climbed on to him, and sat enthroned upon his side, which
was as high as my eyes when standing on the ground. In a few minutes
night set in, when the natives, having illuminated the jungle with a
score of fires, and formed a semicircle of bushes to windward, lay down
to rest without partaking of a morsel of food. Mutchuisho would not
allow a man to put an assagai into the elephant until the morrow, and
placed two relays of sentries to keep watch on either side of him. My
dinner consisted of a piece of flesh from the temple of the elephant,
which I broiled on the hot embers. In the conflict I had lost my shirt,
which was reduced to streamers by the wait-a-bit thorns, and all the
clothing that remained was a pair of buckskin knee-breeches.



[From The Ladies' Companion.]

LETTICE ARNOLD.

By the Author of "TWO OLD MEN'S TALES," "EMILIA WYNDHAM," &C.

[_Concluded from page 178._]


CHAPTER VII.

    Bless the Lord, oh my soul! and all that is within me bless his holy name;
    Who forgiveth all thy iniquities and healeth all thy diseases,
    Who saveth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving
      kindness and tender mercies.


MRS. FISHER.

I must now introduce you to Mrs. Fisher. She is so great a favorite of
mine, that before I relate what became of Myra, I must make you
acquainted with this lady.

Mrs. Fisher was a respectable gentlewoman like personage of about
fifty-four, of a grave, authoritative and somewhat severe aspect; but
with the remains of very extraordinary personal beauty which she had
once possessed in an eminent degree. She was somewhat above the middle
size, of an erect, firm, full figure, her hair now gently turning gray,
drawn over her finely proportioned forehead; her eyes large, and of a
fine color and form--clear and steady; her mouth expressive of sense and
temper; and her dress in character with the rest. Mrs. Fisher was always
handsomely dressed in silks of the best description, but in slight
mourning, which she always wore; and on her head, also, a cap rather
plainer than the mode, but of the finest and most expensive materials:
nothing could be more dignified and complete than her appearance.

When first Myra was introduced to her she was both daunted and
disappointed; the gravity, amounting almost to sternness, with which
Mrs. Fisher received her, and explained to her the duties she was
expected to perform, awed in the first place, and mortified in the
second. The establishment of this fashionable modiste, with which Myra
had associated nothing but laces and ribbons, dresses and trimmings,
embroidery and feathers, flattery and display, struck cold and dull upon
her imagination. She was introduced into a handsomely but very plainly
furnished sitting-room, where not one trace of any of those pretty
things were to be seen, and heard of nothing but regularity of hours,
persevering industry, quaker neatness, attention to health, and the
strictest observance of the rules of what she thought quite a prudish
propriety.

Mrs. Fisher's life had been one of vicissitude, and in its vicissitudes,
she, a strong, earnest-minded woman, had learned much. She had known
sorrow, privation, cruelly hard labor, and the loneliness of utter
desolation of the heart She had, moreover, been extremely beautiful, and
she had experienced those innumerable perils to which such a gift
exposes an unprotected girl, struggling for her bread, under the
cruelest circumstances of oppressive labor. Every description of
hardship, and every description of temptation belonging to perhaps the
hardest and almost the most dangerous position of female life, Mrs.
Fisher had gone through.

She had outlived its sufferings and escaped its snares.

The suffering, thanks to one of the finest constitutions in the world;
the snares, thanks to what she always, with inexhaustible gratitude,
acknowledged as the special mercy and providence of God.

An orphan at the dangerous age of seventeen, the lovely blooming young
creature was placed by her friends in one of the most fashionable and
largest milliners' establishments at that time in London, and had found
herself at once miserable and excited, oppressed and flattered.

The mistress of this flourishing house, intent upon making a rapid
fortune before the years in which she could enjoy it should come to a
close, cared little--I might say nothing--for the welfare of the poor
creatures whose labors were to construct that edifice. She, in fact,
never thought about them. Want of thought may be pleaded as the excuse,
wretched one as it is, for the cruelties of those days. People certainly
had not the claim of common humanity sounded into their ears as it is
into all ears now. A few admirable philanthropists talked of it, and
preached it; but it was not to be heard calling in the streets, as it is
the triumph of our day to acknowledge, till the hardest heart for very
shame is forced to pay _some_ attention to the call.

It never entered into Miss Lavington's head that she had any other
business with her young women, but to get all the work she possibly
could out of their hands, and as well done, and as speedily done as
possible. If she objected to night-work in addition to day-work, it was
not in the slightest degree out of compassion for the aching limbs and
wearied eyes of the poor girls; but because wax candles were expensive,
and tallow ones were apt to drip; and there was always double the duty
required from the superintendent (her special favorite), to keep the
young women at those times to their duty, and prevent fine materials
from being injured.

Oh! those dreadful days and nights of the _season_, which the poor Lucy
Miles at that place went through.

She--accustomed to the sweet fresh air of the country, to the cheerful
variety of daily labor in her father's large farm, and under the care of
a brisk, clever, but most kind and sensible mother--to be shut up
twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, nay twenty hours before a
birth-night, in the sickening atmosphere of the close work-room. The
windows were rarely opened, if ever; for the poor young things were so
unnaturally chilly for want of exercise and due circulation of the
blood, that they said they should, and perhaps they might, have taken
cold if fresh air were admitted. There was nothing they all dreaded so
much as taking cold; those fatal coughs, which every season thinned the
ranks, to be filled with fresh victims, were invariably attributed to
some particular occasion when they had "taken cold." They did not know
that they were rejecting the very cordial of life and inhaling poison
when they kept the room so close.

Oh! for the dreadful weariness which proceeds from _in_-action of the
limbs! so different from the wholesome fatigue of action, _In_-action
where the blood is stagnating in every vein: _in_-action, after which
rest is not rest, but a painful effort of the repressed currents to
recover their circulating power--so different from the delightful
sensation of wholesome rest after physical exertion.

At first she felt it almost insupportable. I have heard her say that it
seemed at times as if she would have given years of her existence to be
allowed to get up and walk up and down the room for a few minutes. The
sensation was so insupportable. That craving desire of the body for what
it is in want of--be it water, be it bread, be it rest, be it change of
posture--is so dreadful in its urgency. The most abominable tortures men
have in their wickedness invented are founded upon this fact--tortures
that render the black history of inquisitors yet blacker: and here it
was, in one at least of its numerous forms, daily inflicted upon a set
of helpless young women, by a person who thought herself perfectly
justifiable, and whose conscience never pricked her in the least.

Such is negligent moral habit.

Oh! the delight at meal-times--to spring up, I was going to say--I meant
to _get_ up--for there was no _spring_ left in these poor stiffened
frames. Oh! the delight when the eye of that superintendent was no
longer watching the busy circle, and her voice calling to order any one
who durst just to raise a head, and pause in the unintermitting toil.
Oh! the delight to get up and come to breakfast, or dinner, or tea.

They had not much appetite when they came to their meals to be sure.
There was only one thing they were always ready to enjoy, and that was
their tea. That blessed and long abused tea; which has done more to
sweeten private life with its gentle warmth and excitement, than any
cordial that has ever been invented. It is but a cordial, however; it is
not a nourishment; though a little sugar, and wretched blue milk, such
as London milk used to be, may be added to it. Most of the young ladies,
however, preferred it without these additions; they found it more
stimulating so, I believe, poor things!

Such nourishment as they received, it is plain, would ill supply the
rapid exhaustion of their employment. One by one in the course of the
season they sickened and dropped off; some died out and out; some, alas!
tempted by suffering and insupportable fatigue, or by that vanity and
levity which seems to be too common a result with many girls living
together, did worse. There would have been a heavy record against her
every June, if Miss Lavington had taken the trouble to note down what
had become of her missing young ladies.

I said they were relieved from their irksome continuance in one posture
by going to their meals, and what a relief it was; but they did not
always get that. When there was more than usual to be done, their tea
would be brought to them where they sat, and there would be no
intermission.

So things went on at Miss Lavington's in those days. I wonder in how
many establishments of the same description, things go on so now! How
many to which that voice of humanity which "calls in the streets" has
not yet penetrated!

We shall by-and-by see what was the case in Mrs. Fisher's, but for the
present we will go on with her history.

So beautiful a young creature as she was, could not long escape trials,
yet more to be lamented than those of physical suffering.

In the first place, there was the conversation of the young ladies
themselves; a whispering manner of conversation when at work; a busy
chattering of emancipated tongues during the intervals. And what was it
all about?

Why, what was it likely to be about?--love and lovers--beauty and its
admirers--dress and its advantages--he and him--and, dear me, weren't
you in the Park last Sunday? Where could you be? and did you not see the
carriage go by? What had you on? Oh, that pink bonnet. I cribbed a bit
of Mrs. M----'s blond for a voilette. If people will send their own
materials they deserve as much. I've heard Mrs. Saunders (the
superintendent) say so scores of times. Well, well, and I saw it, I'm
certain of it. Well, did any thing come of it?

Alas! alas! and so on--and so on--and so on.

And Lucy was very soon taught to go on Sundays into the Park. At first,
poor girl, merely to breathe the fresh air and inhale the delicious west
wind, and look at trees and grass, and cows and deer once more, and
listen to the birds singing. At first she thought the crowds of gayly
dressed people quite spoiled the pleasure of the walk, and tried to coax
her companions to leave the ring, and come and walk in the wood with
her; but she soon learned better, and was rapidly becoming as bewitched
with the excitement of gazing, and the still greater excitement of being
gazed at, as any of them.

She was so uncommonly beautiful that she got her full--and more than her
full share of this latter pleasure; and it was not long before she had
those for whom she looked out amid the crowds upon the ring, and felt
her heart beat with secret delight as she saw them.

Then, as her health began to decline, as dislike insupportable for her
occupation and its confinement; as weariness not to be described, came
on; as longings for little luxuries to be seen in every shop which she
passed by, for fruit or confectionary, haunted her palled and diseased
appetite as the vision of food haunts the wretch who is starving; as the
desire of fine clothes, in which her companions managed to array
themselves; as the more insidious, and more honorable longings of the
heart, the desolate heart, beset her--cravings for affection and
sympathy; when all these temptations were embodied together in the shape
of one, but too gentle, and insinuating; oh, then it was perilous work
indeed!

Her mother had tried to give her a good, honest, homely education; had
made such a Christian of her, as going to church, reading a chapter in
the Bible on a Sunday, and the catechism makes of a young girl. There
was nothing very vital, or earnest about it; but such as it was, it was
honest, and Lucy feared her God and reverenced her Saviour. Such
sentiments were something of a defense, but it is to be feared that they
were not firmly enough rooted in the character to have long resisted the
force of overwhelming temptation.

This she was well aware of, and acknowledged to herself; and hence her
deep, pervading, ineffable gratitude, for the Providence which she
believed had saved her.

She was getting on very fast on the evil road upon which she had
entered. Every Sunday the progress she made was fearful. A few more, at
the pace at which she was advancing, and there would have been an end of
it, when a most unexpected accident arrested her in the fatal career.

One remarkably fine Sunday, when all the members of the establishment
had been enjoying their usual recreation in the Park--just as Lucy and
some of her giddy friends were coming through Grosvenor Gate, they saw
the superintendent before them.

"There's that old Saunders, I declare!" cried one. "Stand back a little,
won't ye?--she'll see our bonnets else, and I'll be bound she'll know
the rosettes, and where they come from."

There was time for no more. Mrs. Saunders, who was rather late, being in
haste to get home, attempted to cross, as a curricle at full speed came
driving down Parklane, and before the gentleman within could draw up,
the unfortunate woman was under the horses' heels. There was a terrible
bustle. The young ladies with the rosettes managed to escape; but Lucy,
who had at least preserved her integrity thus far, and had nothing about
her dress not strictly her own, rushed forward, and helped to raise the
poor woman, declaring she knew who she was, and was placed with her by
the assistants in the hackney coach in which she was carried home.

Lucy was naturally of a very kind and humane disposition; and her
care of the poor suffering woman during the transit to Miss
Lavington's--united to the kindness and assiduity with which, every one
else but the under-maid of all being absent, she tended and waited upon
her--so engaged Mrs. Saunders's affection, that afterward, during the
whole of the subsequent illness, which broken limbs and ribs occasioned
she made it her particular request to Miss Lavington that Lucy might be
spared from the work-room to nurse and keep her company; adding for that
lady's satisfaction, that though the best nurse, and nicest young girl
of the lot, she certainly, being the youngest, was the least of a
proficient in the peculiar art she followed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The poor woman lay groaning piteously upon her bed, waiting the arrival
of the surgeon. The surgeon, an elderly man, was out of town, and could
not attend; a young man, appeared in his place. He had just joined
himself to the old man in the quality of assistant and future partner;
and hearing that the case, was one of an accident, and urgent, he
hurried to the house, resolving to send for more experienced assistance,
if such should be found necessary.

He was shown up-stairs, and hastily entered the room in which the
sufferer lay. She was very much bruised about the chest, and she drew
her breath with difficulty; and though exceedingly weak and faint, was
unable to lie down. She was resting in the arms of one who appeared to
the young man like an angel.

The lovely girl, with a face of the tenderest pity, was holding the poor
groaning woman upon one arm, bending over her with an air of almost
divine kindness, and softly wiping the dew-drops which in the agony came
starting upon the patient's brow.

The young man received an impression which death alone effaced, though
the bright visionary glance was only momentary. He was instantly by the
side of his patient, and soon with much skill and courage doing what was
necessary for immediate relief, though at the very first moment when he
had discovered the serious nature of the case, he had begged the young
lady to tell Miss Lavington that it would be proper to send for some
surgeon of more experience and eminence than himself to take the
direction of it.

"Don't go away," said Mrs. Saunders feebly, as Lucy was rising to obey.
"Don't send her away, mister--I can't do without her--Miss Lavington's
not at home--one need not ask her for _me_. Who should be sent for?"

The young man named a gentleman high in his profession. Was it that able
and benevolent man whom the world has so lately lost? That kind, frank,
manly, courageous man of genius, whom no one approached but to find help
and comfort? I don't know--but be he who he might, when he did at length
arrive, he gave the most unqualified praise to the proceedings of our
young gentleman, and called the color to the pale cheek of the young and
serious-looking student by his approbation. He finished his visit by
assuring Mrs. Saunders that she could not be in safer hands than those
in which he had found her, and recommended her to put herself entirely
under the charge of the young practitioner, adding an assurance that he
would be ready at any instant to come if he should be wanted; and that
he would, at all events, and in once or twice as a friend during the
progress of the case.

Mrs. Saunders liked the looks of the young man much--and who did not?
and was quite contented with this arrangement, to which as I told you,
was added the comfort of retaining Lucy Miles as her nurse and companion
during what threatened to be a very tedious confinement. Miss Lavington
well knew the value of a Mrs. Saunders in such an establishment as hers,
and was willing to make any sacrifice to forward her recovery.

So Lucy left the wearying work-room and the dangerous recreations of the
Sunday, to sit and watch by the bed-side of a peevish, uncomfortable
sort of an old woman, who was perpetually making demands upon her
patience and good-nature, but who really suffered so greatly from her
accident, that Lucy's pity and kindness were proof against every thing.
The young surgeon went and came--went and came--and every time he came,
this angel of beauty and goodness was ministering by the old woman's
bed. And those eyes of his--eyes of such prevailing power in their
almost enthusiastic expression of serious earnestness--were bent upon
her; and sometimes her eyes, soft and melting as those of the dove, or
bright and lustrous as twin stars, met his.

He could not but linger in the sick woman's room a little longer than
was necessary, and the sick woman unwittingly favored this, for she took
a great liking to him, and nothing seemed to refresh and amuse her amid
her pains like a little chat with this nice young man. And then the
young surgeon remarked that at such times Lucy was allowed to sit
quietly down and amuse herself with a little needlework, and he thought
this an excellent reason for making his visits as as long as he decently
could.

The young nurse and the young doctor all this while had conversed very
little with each other; but she listened and she gazed, and that was
quite enough. The case proved a very serious one. Poor Mrs. Saunders,
superintendent as she was, and not workwoman-driver, not slave--yet
could no more than the rest escape the deleterious effects of the close
work room. Her constitution was much impaired. The wines and cordials
she had accustomed herself to take to support nature, as she thought,
under these fatigues, had increased the mischief the wounds would not
heal as they ought; contusions would not disperse; the internal injury
in the chest began to assume a very threatening appearance. Mr. L. came
to the assistance of the young surgeon repeatedly--all that human skill
could do was done, but Mrs. Saunders grew alarmingly worse.

For a long time she resisted the evidence which her own sensations might
have afforded her and avoided asking any questions which might enlighten
her. She was determined not to die, and, even in a case so awfully
serious and real as this, people seem to cling to the persuasion so
prevailing in lighter circumstances, that because a thing _shan't_ be,
it won't be, and because they are determined it is not, it _is_ not. So,
for many days, Mrs. Saunders went on, exceedingly angry if every body
did not say she was getting better, and half inclined to dismiss her
young surgeon, much as she liked him, because he looked grave after he
had visited her injuries.

He _did_ look grave, very grave. He was exceedingly perplexed in his
mind as to what he ought to do: young surgeon as he was, fresh from
those schools which, alas! so many who are acquainted with them
represent as the very nurseries of infidelity and license both in speech
and action, he was a deeply, seriously pious man. Such young men there
are, who, like those three, walking unscathed through the furnace of
fire in the faith of the Lord their God, walk through a more terribly
destructive furnace--the furnace of temptation--in the same faith, and
"upon their bodies the fire hath no power, neither is a hair of the head
singed."

In what tears, in what prayers, in what anguished hope, what fervent
aspiration, this sole treasure of a widowed mother, steeped in poverty
to the very lips, had been reared, it would be long to tell; but she had
committed him to one _never_ found faithless, and under that blessing
she had found in her pure and disinterested love for the being intrusted
to her charge, that which had given her an eloquence, and a power, and a
strength, which had told upon the boy.

He proved one of those rare creatures who pass through every stage of
existence, as child, as schoolboy, as youth; through nursery, school,
college, marked as some bright peculiar being--peculiar only in this one
thing, sincere unaffected goodness. His religion had been, indeed, with
him a thing little professed, and rarely talked about, but it had been a
holy panoply about his heart--a bright shield, which had quenched all
the darts of evil: it shone around him like something of the radiance
from a higher world. There was a sort of a glory round the young saint's
head.

Such being the man, you will not be surprised to hear that his practice
called forth most serious reflections--most melancholy and sad
thoughts--and in no sick room where he had ever attended more than in
the present one.

He could not frequent the house as much as his attendance rendered
necessary without being pretty well aware of the spirit of the place;
and while he grieved over the ruinous waste of health to which these
young creatures were exposed, he was struck to the heart with horror at
the idea of their moral ruin.

Mrs. Saunders talked openly and unreservedly, and betrayed the state of
mind she was in: so completely, so entirely devoted to, wrapt up in,
buried fathoms and fathoms deep in the things of this world: so totally
lost to--so entirely to seek in every thing connected with another: that
the large, mournful, serious eye, as it turned to the sweet young
creature sitting beside her, and passing her daily life in an element
such as this, gazed with an expression of sad and tender pity such as
the minister of heaven might cast upon a perishing soul.

She did not quite understand all this. Those looks of interest, so
inexpressibly sweet to her, she thought were excited by the view of her
position as affected her health and comfort. She thought it was that
consumption which, sooner or later, she believed must be her fate, which
he was anticipating with so much compassion. She was blind to the far
more dreadful dangers which surrounded her.

Poor Mrs. Saunders! At last it could no longer be concealed from her.
She must die.

He broke the intelligence to her in the gentlest terms, as she, at last,
in a paroxysm of terror, asked the question; giving her what hope he
could, but still not denying that she stood in a fearful strait. It was
a terrible scene that followed. Such a frightful agitation and hurry to
accomplish in a few counted hours what ought to have been the business
of a life. Such calling for psalms and prayers; such piteous beseechings
for help; and, last of all, such an awful awakening of a slumbering
conscience.

Like Richard's bed, on the eve of Bosworth fight, it seemed as if the
spectral shadows of all those she had injured in the body or the soul,
by her unerring demands upon one, and her negligence as to the other,
rose a host of dismal spectres round. Their pale, exhausted, pleading
looks, as she scolded and threatened, when the clock struck one, and the
task was yet undone, and the head for a moment dropped, and the
throbbing fingers were still. Those hollow coughs in which she would
_not_ believe--those hectic flushes that she would not see--and worse,
those walks, those letters, at which she had connived, because the girls
did so much better when they had some nonsense to amuse them.

What fearful revelations were made as she raved aloud, or sank into a
drowsy, dreary delirium The old clergyman, who attended her, consoled,
and reasoned, and prayed in vain. The two young people--that lovely
girl, and that feeling, interesting, young man--stood by the bed
appalled: he, ghastly pale--pale with an agony of despairing pity--she,
trembling in every limb.

The death agony, and then that poor woman went to her account. There was
no one in the room but themselves; it was late in the night, the
morning, indeed, began faintly to dawn. The maids were all gone to bed,
glad enough to escape the scene. He stood silently watching the
departing breath. It stopped. He gave a deep sigh, and, stooping down,
piously closed the eyes. She had turned away in horror and in dread, but
shedding some natural tears. He stood looking at her some time, as there
she stood, weeping by the bed; at last he spoke.

"This may seem a strange time to choose, but I have something to say to
you. Will you listen to me?"

She took her handkerchief from her eyes, and gazed at him with a
wondering, grave sort of look, as a child might do. His voice had
something so very remarkable in it.

He passed to the side where she was standing, and said, "I am a very,
very poor man, and I have a helpless mother entirely dependent upon me
for support, and, if it were my last morsel of bread, ay, and wife and
children were perishing for want of it, it is _she_ who should have it."

She only looked at him wondering like.

"This is a fearful precipice upon which you stand. That poor creature
has sunk into the gulf which yawns beneath your feet. May God, in his
mercy, look upon her! But you, beautiful as one of heaven's angels--as
yet pure and sinless as a child--must you fall, sink, perish, in this
mass of loathsome corruption? Better starve, better die--far, far
better."

"Alas, alas!" she cried, with a scared and terrified look, "Alas! alas!
ten hundred thousand times better. Oh, what must I do? what must I do?"

"Take up your cross: venture upon the hardships of a poor man's wife.
Discard all the prides, and pomps, and vanities--the vain, vain
delusions of flattery: trample upon the sin, triumph over the
temptation. Put yourself under the protection of an honest man, who
loves you from his soul. Starve, if it must be, but die the death of the
righteous and pure."

She gazed at him, amazed; she did not yet understand him.

"Marry _me_. Come to my blessed, my excellent mother's roof. It is
homely, but it is honest; and let us labor and suffer together, if need
be. It is all I can offer you, but it will save you."

The arms, the beautiful arms were expanded, as it were, in a very agony
of joy. The face! oh, was it not glorious in its beauty then! Did he
ever forget it?

And so the contract was sealed, and so she was rescued from the pit of
destruction into which she was rapidly sinking.

And this it was that had excited such impassioned, such lasting, such
devoted feelings of gratitude to Him who rules the course of this world,
in a heart which had only to be shown what was good to embrace it.

Fisher was all he had said; extremely poor. His salary, as assistant,
was handsome, nevertheless. He received one hundred a year and his board
from the gentleman with whom he was; but his dress, which was
necessarily rather expensive, and his mother, who had only an annuity of
twelve pounds a year, consumed it all. Still you see he was by no means
actually starving; and he thought the young wife he was going to bring
home would be no very great addition to his expenses, and he trusted, if
children came, that he should, by his exertions, be able to provide for
them. In two years his engagement with the present gentleman as his
assistant would be at an end; and he had received from the old man, who
was a sort of humorist in his way, several very strong hints about
partnership, if he would be satisfied with a reasonable share.
Partnership would, in the course of time, he knew, become sole
proprietorship, at the death or retirement of his aged patron--one of
which events could not be very far distant.

It was, therefore, with great satisfaction, after having summoned the
necessary attendance, and sent his young betrothed to rest, that Fisher
walked home on a fine fresh morning.

It was true he had taken a step most people would call very imprudent,
thus to encumber himself with a young wife at the very outset of his
career; certainly, he had never intended any such thing. He had always
resolved to be patient, and have a little store of money by him, before
he persuaded any one to begin the world with him. He could not bear the
idea of all being dependent upon his own life, and risking the chance of
leaving a widow and a young family destitute. But this was an
exceptional case, for he could not, without trembling, contemplate the
dangers which surrounded this young and innocent girl. His medical
knowledge taught him but too well the perils to the health of one so
fresh and blooming, from labors in close rooms to which she was so
little accustomed--death stared her in the face, unless she escaped it
by means at which he shuddered to think.

The only way in which he, young as he was, could possibly help her, was
to withdraw her from the dangerous scene and make her his wife; and on
that step he had been for some days resolving. The emotion she had
shown, the timorous joy, the sweet confidence in his love and honor, had
given a rapturous feeling of happiness to him quite new. He had intended
benevolently and kindly; he had met with all the blessings of sincere
attachment.

Instead of walking to Mrs. Stedman's to take some rest, which he very
much needed, he went to his mother's house, or rather the house where he
had taken a snug little apartment for his mother.

It lay somewhere out Brompton way; in which district neat rows of small
houses are to be found looking backward upon pleasant greens and
gardens. There he had found a modest little suite of apartments; one
sitting-room and two bedrooms--a room for his mother and another
sometimes occupied by himself.

The little hut, a tiny place it was, was clean to the greatest nicety,
and though fitted up in the very simplest and cheapest manner, had an
air of perfect comfort. The walls were stained green, the drugget upon
the floor was pink and fawn; the chairs were covered with what used to
be called Manchester stripe--very clean and pleasant-looking, and
excellent for wash and wear. There was a pretty little table for tea and
dinner, and a nice, round three-clawed one close by the mother's
side--who was established in the only article of luxury in the room, a
very comfortable arm-chair. There the old lady passed her life.

She had lost the use of her lower limbs for some years; but her health
of body and mind in other respects was sound. The only thing for which
the son had as yet _coveted_ a little more money, had been that he might
possess the means to give his mother the enjoyment of exercise and air;
and when he passed young men, the very pictures of health and strength,
lounging idly in their carriages, as one sometimes does in the Park,
though not given to such nonsense, he could not help uttering a secret
exclamation against the inequalities of fortune, and thinking the
blindness of the goddess of the wheel no fable.

They were but passing thoughts these, such as the best have when they
languish for the means of bestowing good.

Such indulgences, however, were rarely to be thought of, though now and
then he managed to obtain them; but as the best compensation he could
make, he paid a few guineas a year more for this pretty apartment, of
which the back room, elongated into a little bow-window, formed the
sitting-room--what would have been the front sitting-room being divided
into the two bedrooms. This pleasant bow-window looked over a row of
gardens belonging to the neighboring houses, and these to a considerable
tract of nursery-ground filled with rows of fruit trees, and all the
cheerful pleasant objects to be seen in such places. In summer the
arm-chair was wheeled to the window, and the whole of the view was
disclosed to the old lady; in winter it returned to the fire; but even
there she did not lose her pretty view altogether, the room was so
little that from her place she might easily command it. Miss Martineau,
in a book of hers, has given us a most valuable and interesting account
of the way in which, during a tedious and most trying illness, her
active spirit confined to one place, she used to amuse herself, and
while away the time by looking out of her window through her telescope
and watching all that was going on. This old lady did much the same,
minus the good telescope, which she had not. Her son, however, had
presented her with an old-fashioned opera-glass, which he had picked up
at some second-hand retailer or other, and as it was a good one, and,
moreover, very light to the hand, it did as well for her and better.

In some things the old lady had a little resemblance to Miss Martineau.
She had the same cheerful activity of mind, the same readiness of
adapting herself to circumstances--things in a great measure
constitutional. She was, moreover, a very shrewd, sensible woman, and
deeply pious--pious in the most excellent way: really, vitally,
seriously. She came of a good old puritan stock, where piety had been
cherished from generation to generation. Some physiologists say, that
even the _acquired_ moral qualities and habits descend to the succeeding
generation. It is possible an aptness for good or evil may be, and often
is, inherited from those who have gone before. It would seem to have
been so in this case. The pious father and mother, children of as pious
parents, had left this pious daughter--and her excellencies had
descended in accumulated measure to her son. This old lay had been
sorely tried--death and poverty had done their worst--except in as far
as the cruel ravager had spared her this one boy, one of many children,
all followed the delicate, consumptive man who had been their father.
She had borne it all. Strong in faith, she had surrendered her treasures
to the Lord of Life, in trust that they should be found again when he
maketh up his jewels. Cheerful as was her temper, life's course had been
too rough with her, for her to value it very much, when those lovely,
promising buds, but half disclosed, were one after the other gathered.
But she had escaped that racking agony of the loving, but too faithless
mother--when all the sweets of nature in its abundance flow around her,
and _they_ are not there to enjoy.

    "When suns shine bright o'er heaven's blue vault serene,
      Birds sing in trees, and sweet flowers deck the plain,
    Weep I for thee, who in the cold, cold grave
      Sleep, and all nature's harmony is vain.
    But when dark clouds and threat'ning storms arise,
      And doubt and fear my trembling soul invade;
    My heart one comfort owns, _thou_ art not here,
      Safe slumbering, in the earth's kind bosom laid."

She was happier far than the author of these lines.

She looked upward; she almost saw those she had lost, the objects of a
glorious resurrection--already living in the ineffable presence of the
God whom they had so faithfully endeavored to serve.

I need not tell you, after this, that her spirits were subdued to a holy
calmness and composure.

Her life had been one of the most active endeavors after usefulness. The
good she had managed to do can scarcely be calculated. Grains of sand
they might be, these hoarded minutes, but it was golden sand; the heap
accumulated was large and precious, at the end of sixty-five years.

What money she had possessed she had expended courageously in giving a
professional education to her son. Her little annuity of twelve pounds a
year was all she had saved for herself. Upon that she believed with her
own exertions, she could manage to exist till her son was able to
support both; but she had been struck down earlier than she calculated
upon. She had at this time lost the use of her lower limbs altogether,
and was visited with such trembling in her hands, that she was obliged
to close the task abruptly, and to sit down dependent upon her son
before she had expected it.

It had been very trying work till he obtained his present situation, and
he still felt very poor, because he was resolved every year to lay
twenty pounds or so by, that, in case any thing should happen to him,
his mother might have some little addition to her means provided. He was
rather strangely provident for the case of his own death; so young man
as he was; perhaps he felt the faltering spring of life within, which
he had inherited from his father.

Three years the mother and son had thus lived together, and Fisher was
master of sixty pounds.

He had never allowed himself to cast a thought upon marriage, though of
a temper ardently to desire, and rapturously to enjoy, domestic
felicity. He said to himself he must first provide for his mother's
independence, and then think about his own happiness. But the accident
which had brought him and Lucy together had produced other
thoughts--thoughts which he had, but the very day before the nursing so
suddenly closed, communicated to his mother, and she had said,

"I think you are quite right, John. Imprudent marriages are, in most
cases, very wrong things--a mere tempting of Providence: and, that no
blessing follows such tempting, we know from the best authority: but
this is a most pious, benevolent, and very rational attempt to save a
fellow-creature upon the brink of destruction, and I think it would be a
want of faith, as well as a want of common humanity, in either of us to
hesitate; I am very glad she seems such a sweet, innocent, pretty
creature, for your sake, my darling John; I hope she will bring a
blessing into your dwelling and repay you for your goodness to me; I am
sorry she must come and live with your old mother, for young wives don't
like that--but I promise you I will do my very best to be as amiable as
an old woman can; and, moreover, I will neither be cross nor
disappointed if she is not always as amiable as a young woman ought to
be. Will that do? Yes, yes; fetch her away from that sink of iniquity,
and we'll all get along somehow or other, never fear."

And so Lucy Miles, blushing like a rose, and, as her young and delighted
husband thought, more beauteous than an angel of light, was in a few
weeks married to John Fisher, and she went home to the old lady.

    "Amid the smoke of cities did you pass
    The time of early youth, and there you learnt
    From years of quiet industry to love
    The living beings of your own fire-side."

The eloquent tongue of Fisher had over and over again related with deep
feeling the history of all he owed to his mother, and Lucy, far from
feeling inclined to be jealous of the devoted affection he felt for her,
like a good loving girl as she was, extended the ardent attachment she
felt toward her husband to every thing that belonged to him.

She had lost her own parents, whom she had loved exceedingly, though
they were quite ordinary people. She soon almost worshiped old Mrs.
Fisher.

Lucy had been little improved by those who had the rearing of her; she
was a girl of excellent dispositions, but her education had been
commonplace. In the society of the old lady her good gifts, both of head
and heart, expanded rapidly. The passionate desire she felt to render
herself worthy of her husband, whom she adored almost as some superior
being, made her an apt and docile pupil.

A few years thus spent, and you would scarcely have known her again. Her
piety was deep, and had become a habit--a part of her very soul; her
understanding naturally excellent, had been developed and strengthened;
the most earnest desire to perform her part well--to do good and extend
virtue and happiness, and to sweeten the lives of all with whom she had
to do, had succeeded to thoughtless good nature, and a sort of
instinctive kindness. Anxiety for her husband's health, which constantly
oppressed her, a sort of trembling fear that she should be bereaved
early of this transcendent, being; this it was, perhaps, which enhanced
the earnest, serious tone of one so young.

She was extremely industrious, in the hope of adding to her husband's
means of rest and recreation, and the accidental acquaintance with a
French _modiste_, who had fallen ill in London, was in great distress,
and whom Fisher attended through charity, had put her into the way of
improving herself in this art more than she could have done even in that
eminent school, the work-room of Miss Lavington. The French-woman was a
very amiable, and pious person, too. She was a French Protestant; the
connection ripened into friendship, and it ended by placing Mrs. Fisher
in the state of life in which we find her. Fisher fell desperately ill
in consequence of a fever brought on at a dissection, from which he
narrowly escaped with life; the fever left him helpless and incapable of
exertion. The poor mother was by this time dead; he succeeded to the
vacant arm-chair. Then his wife resolved upon doing that openly which
she had till now done covertly, merely working for the bazaars. She
persuaded her husband, when a return to his profession appeared
hopeless, to let her employ his savings in setting up business with
Madame Noel, and from small beginnings had reached that high place in
her profession which she now occupied.

       *       *       *       *       *

No sooner had Mrs. Fisher established a working-room of her own, and
engaged several young women to labor under her superintendence, than the
attention of her husband was seriously turned to the subject of those
evils from which he had rescued his wife.

She had suffered much, and experienced several of the evils consequent
upon the manner such places were managed; but she would probably not
have reflected upon the causes of these evils, nor interested herself so
deeply as she afterward did in applying the remedies, if it had not been
for the promptings of this excellent man.

His medical skill made him thoroughly aware of the injurious effect
produced upon the health by the ill-regulated system of such
establishments; and his thoughts, as he sat resigned to helplessness in
his arm-chair, were seriously directed to that subject.

In consequence of his suggestions it was that Mrs. Fisher began her life
of business upon a plan of her own, to which she steadily adhered. At
first she found considerable difficulty in carrying it out--there are
always numerous obstructions to be met with in establishing any
improvements; but where the object is rational and benevolent,
perseverance and a determined will triumph over every difficulty.

The first thing Fisher insisted upon was ventilation; the second,
warmth; the third, plenty of good, wholesome, and palatable food; the
fourth, exercise. He determined upon a house being selected which was
not closely built up behind, and that the room in which the young ladies
worked should be large and commodious in proportion to the inmates. A
portion of the little money he had saved was sacrificed to the
additional expense thus incurred. He looked upon it, he told his wife,
as given to charity, for which she must expect no return, and for which
he should look for no interest. A good wide grate, which should be well
supplied with a cheerful fire in winter, was to assist the ventilation
proceeding from a scientific plan of his own, which kept the room
constantly supplied with a change of air; and under the table at which
the girls sat at work, there was in winter a sort of long, square,
wooden pipe filled with hot water and covered with carpeting, upon which
they could put their feet: the extreme coldness of the feet arising from
want of circulation, being one of the causes to which Fisher attributed
many of the maladies incident to this mode of life.

The next object of attention was the table. Fisher had been at school,
at one or two different schools, resembling each other in one thing
only--the scandalous--I must use the strong and offensive word--the
scandalous neglect or worse than neglect--the infamous and base
calculations upon the subject of food which pervaded the system of those
schools, and which pervaded, I am sorry to say, so many of the schools
with which he had chanced to be acquainted. In the course of his
practice as a medical man, his opportunities for observation had been
above the common.

In fine ladies' schools, I can not assert that the shameful economy of
buying inferior provisions, and the shameful indifference as to how they
were cooked, which prevail in so many boys' schools, were to be
found--but a fault almost equally great prevailed too generally. There
was not _enough_. These growing girls, stimulated to most unnatural
exertions both of body and mind, peculiarly unnatural to growing girls
who require so much care, fresh air, exercise, and rest, for their due
development--these young things had very rarely nearly so much to eat as
they could have eaten.

Sometimes enough was literally not set before them; at others, a sort of
fashion in the school to consider a good appetite as a proof of
coarseness, greediness, and vulgarity, worked but too effectually upon
these sensitive creatures. A girl at that age would rather be starved
than ridiculed or sneered at for eating.

But in boys' schools--expensive boys' schools too--where six times as
much was paid for a boy's board as would have boarded him--either
through scandalous parsimony, or the most inexcusable negligence, he had
seen meat brought into the house not fit to eat; cheap and bad in
itself, but rendered doubly unwholesome in summer by the most utter
carelessness as to whether it was fresh. Boys are hardy things, and it
is right they should not be accustomed to be too nice; but wholesome,
plain roast and boiled is what they pay for and ought to have; and the
defrauding them of what is so necessary to health, vigor, and even
intellect, in this unprincipled manner, is almost the very worst form of
robbery any man can be guilty of.

Fisher was resolved it should not be so in his wife's house. He and his
wife had agreed that the young ladies she employed should be lodged and
boarded under her roof, unless they had respectable parents who could
and would be fully answerable for them; and they should have a plentiful
and a pleasant table--that he was resolved upon. As he was competent to
little else, he took this matter upon himself. He calculated what ought
fairly to be laid out, and he laid it all out. He would not economize a
penny. If he was able to make a good bargain with his butcher, the young
ladies, not he, should have the benefit of it all. They should have a
bit of fish, or a little poultry, or a little good fruit, poor girls, to
vary a meal, to which they could not bring the sturdy appetite of much
out-of-door exercise.

Then came the great chapter of that exercise. There was the
difficulty--how much time could Mrs. Fisher possibly afford to lose?--to
abandon to this object?--for the work must _pay_--or it could not
continue to be done. But the difficulty diminished upon examination.
Time may be counted by strength as well as by minutes. The same thing
may, by two different hands, be accomplished in most unequal portions of
time.

The dreadful feeling of weariness, which, as Lucy, she so well
remembered--one consequence of sitting so long in an unchanged position,
and at the same employment--that dreadful feeling could not be forgotten
by her. Her horror at the recollection was so strong, that of this
matter she thought more than even her benevolent husband.

He recollected to have heard that the Jesuits, those masters of human
development, physical as well as intellectual, never suffered a pupil to
be employed more than two hours upon the same thing without a change--to
get up and turn round the chair--to pace five minutes up and down the
room would in many cases suffice. Mr. Fisher laid down his plan.

Two hours the young ladies worked, and then for ten minutes they were
allowed to lay down their needles; they might walk about the room, into
the passage, up and down stairs, or sit still and lounge. That
precious, useful _lounge_, so fatally denied to the wearied spine of
many a growing girl, was here permitted. They might look about them, or
close their eyes and be stupefied; in short, do just what they liked.

It was soon found by experience that the work done after this refreshing
pause more than made up for the time thus expended.

Such were some of the plans of this kind-hearted and highly-principled
man--and the blooming looks, the gay spirits, the bright eyes, of the
happy little community did credit to the scheme.

Fisher lived but a few years to carry out the rule he had instituted;
but to his wife it was as a sacred legacy from his hand, and during the
whole course of her subsequent life she faithfully adhered to it.

Her house was like a convent in some things, but it was a very happy
convent. Every thing proceeded with a clock-work order, and yet there
was a liberty such as few girls thus employed, in spite of their
intervals of license, could enjoy.

It was a happy party, over which this remarkably handsome, and now
distinguishedly fashionable milliner, and dignified-looking lady
presided. Nothing indiscreet or unseemly was ever permitted. The rule,
perhaps, might be a little too grave, and the manner of the young ladies
too sedate; but they were innocent and good; and they had their
recreations, for Mrs. Fisher look them out, turn and turn about, upon a
Sunday, in her carriage, and the others walked with the two
superintendents--persons carefully selected for their good principles
and good conduct.

Mrs. Fisher, too, was a little bit of a match-maker; and if she had a
weakness, it was her fondness for settling her young ladies. Nothing
pleased her better than when they were sought--and they were such nice,
well-behaved girls, this often happened--by worthy young men in their
own rank of life. Mrs. Fisher always gave the wedding-gown and bonnet,
and the wedding dinner, and a white satin reticule or bag, drawn with
rose-colored ribbons, with a pretty pink and white purse in it, with
silver tassels and rings, and containing a nice little sum for the
bride's pocket-money. You will easily understand how Mrs. Danvers had
struck up quite a friendship with Mrs. Fisher. Once, indeed, in her days
of youth and gayety, she had been one of her most valuable customers.
She had long done with fine things, but the interest she took in the
affairs of Mrs. Fisher's establishment had endeared her very much to
that good lady, and hence she had, at her earnest request, consented to
take Myra, though her own instinct, the moment she cast her eyes upon
this beautiful, dawdling-looking being, had assured her that she was, to
use her own phrase, not one of _her_ sort.

Myra was grievously disappointed, upon her side. She was quite one to be
blind to the solid advantages of her position, and to look with
querulous regret upon all the flashy and brilliant part of such a
business, in which she was not allowed to take the least share.

Precisely because she was so beautiful did Mrs. Fisher exclude her from
the show-room--that theatre which was to have been the scene of her
triumphs.

The beautiful things she was employed in manufacturing left her hands to
be seen no more--and, alas! never by her to be tried on. It was
tantalizing work to part with them, and forever, as soon as they left
her hand.

Then she was obliged to be punctual to a moment in her hours; a grievous
yoke to her who had never been educated to submit to any. To dress with
the most careful attention to neatness, though there was "nothing but a
pack of women to look at her"--to listen to "a prosy book"--a book, I
forgot to say, was read aloud in the work-room--instead of gossiping and
having a little fun; and to walk out on Sundays under the wing of that
old, hideous harridan, Mrs. Sterling, instead of going with her
companions where she pleased. In short, it was worse "than negro
slavery," but there was no help for it--there she was, and there she was
obliged to stay.

Well, and did she improve under this good discipline? Was she any the
better for it? I am sorry to say very little.

There are subjects that are almost unimprovable. She was, by nature, a
poor, shallow, weedy thing; her education had been the worst possible
for her. Evil habits, false views, low aims, had been imbibed, and not
one fault corrected while young; and self-experience, which rectifies in
most so much that is wrong, seemed to do nothing for her. There was no
substance to work upon. Mrs. Fisher was soon heartily tired of her, and
could have regretted her complaisance to Mrs. Danvers' wishes in
receiving her against her judgment; but she was too good to send her
away. She laughed, and accepted her as a penance for her sins, she
said--as a thorn in the flesh--and she let the thorn rankle there. She
remembered her honored Fisher, and the scene by the bed-side of poor
Saunders. She looked upon the endurance of this plague as a fresh
offering to the adored memory.

She bore this infliction like a martyr for a long time; at last a smart
young tailor fell in love with Myra at church--a place where he had been
better employed thinking of other things. And so I believe he thought
after he had married her, in spite of the white dress and silk bonnet,
and the reticule with pink ribbons, and the bride's pocket-money, which
Mrs. Fisher bestowed with more pleasure and alacrity than even she had
been known to do upon many a worthier subject.


CHAPTER VIII.

    "Yet once more, oh, ye laurels, and once more,
    Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,
    I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
    And with forced fingers rude,
    Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
    Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
    Compels me--"

                              MILTON'S _Lycidas_.

I must beg of you to slip over a portion of time, and to suppose about
two years passed over our heads, and we return to Lettice, who has
passed that period at General Melwyn's.

So useful, so cheerful, so thoroughly good, so sincerely pious, so
generously disinterested she was; and the transformation she had
accomplished was astonishing.

And was she as happy herself as she made others? Nobody at the Hazels
thought of exactly asking that question. And yet they might have
reflected a little, and inquired, whether to one, the source of so much
comfort to others, the natural felicity of her age was not denied?

Could a young being like _her_ be _very_ happy, living with two old
people, and without one single companion of her own age? Without
prospect, without interest in that coming life, which the young
imagination paints in such lovely colors?

One may boldly affirm she was _not_ so happy as she deserved to be, and
that it was quite impossible, with a heart formed for every tender
affection as was hers, that she _should_.

She began to be visited by a troublesome guest, which in the days of
hardship she had never known. The very ease which surrounded her, the
exemption from all necessity for laborious industry actually increasing
the evil, gradually seemed to grow upon her. There was a secret distaste
for life--a void in the heart, not filled by natural affections--a
something which asked for tenderer relations, more earnest duties--a
home--a household--a family of her own!

She blamed herself very much when first this little secret feeling of
dissatisfaction and discontent began to steal over her. How could she be
so ungrateful? She had every comfort in the world--more, much more, than
she had any title to expect; infinitely more than many far more
deserving than herself were allowed to enjoy. Why could she not have the
same light contented spirit within her breast, that had carried her
triumphantly through so many hardships, and enlivened so many clouded
days?

Poor Lettice! It was vain to find fault with herself. Life would seem
flat. The mere routine of duties, unsweetened by natural affection,
would weary the spirit at times. There was a sweetness wanting to
existence--and existence, without that invigorating sweetness, is to the
best of us a tedious and an exhausting thing.

So thought Catherine, when, about eighteen months or two years after her
marriage, she came for the first time with Edgar to visit her father
and mother.

The regimental duties of the young officer had carried him to the Ionian
Islands very shortly after his marriage; promotion had brought him home,
and he and his young and happy wife, with a sweet infant of about twelve
months old, hastened down to the Hazels to visit Catherine's parents.

I pass over the joy of the meeting--I pass over the satisfaction felt by
Catherine at the happy revolution which had taken place--at her father's
improved temper, her mother's more tranquil spirits, the absence of
Randall, and the general good behavior which pervaded the household.

She looked upon every member of it with satisfaction except one; and
that was the very one who ought to have been the happiest; for she was
the cause and the origin of all this happiness. But Lettice did not, she
thought, look as she used to do; her eyes had lost something of their
vivacity; and the good heart of Catherine was grieved.

"It pains me so, Edgar--you can not think," she said to her husband, as
she walked, leaning upon his arm, through the pleasant groves and
gardens of the Hazels. "I can scarcely enjoy my own happiness for
thinking of her. Poor, dear, she blames herself so for not being
perfectly happy--as if one could have effects without causes--as if the
life she leads here could make any one perfectly happy. Not one thing to
enjoy--for as to her comfortable room, and the good house, and the
pretty place, and all that sort of thing, a person soon gets used to it,
and it shuts out uneasiness, but it does not bring delight, at least to
a young thing of that age. Child of the house as I was, and early days
as they were with me when you were among us, Edgar--I never knew what
true happiness was till then--that is, I should very soon have felt a
want of some object of interest; though it _was_ my own father and
mother--"

"So I took the liberty to lay before you, my fair haranguer, if you
recollect, when you made so many difficulties about carrying my
knapsack."

"Ah! that was because it seemed so heartless, so cruel, to abandon my
parents just when they wanted me so exceedingly. But what a debt of
gratitude I owe to this dear Lettice for settling all these matters so
admirably for me."

"I am glad you confess to a little of that debt, which I, on my part,
feel to be enormous."

"I heartily wish there were any means of paying it. I wish I could make
Lettice as happy as she has made all of us."

The young officer shook his handsome head.

"Mammas in our rank of life make such a point of endeavoring to settle
their daughters--to start them in households of their own--where, if
they are exposed to many troubles which they escape under their father's
roof, they have many more interests and sources of happiness. But there
is nobody to think of such matters as connegated with this poor
fatherless and motherless girl."

"Mothers, even in your rank, my love, don't always succeed in
accomplishing this momentous object. I don't see what possible chance
there is for one in Lettice's condition--except the grand one, the
effective one--in my opinion almost the only one, namely, the chapter of
accidents."

"Ah! that chapter of accidents! It is a poor dependence."

"Nay, Catherine, that is not said with your usual piety."

"True--I am sorry--and yet, where another's happiness is concerned, one
feels as if it were wrong to trust too much--even to Providence; with
great reverence be it said--I mean, that in no given event can we
exactly tell how much we are expected to use our own exertions, how much
diligence on our part is required of us, in order to produce a happy
result."

"I agree with you quite and entirely; and if there is a thing that
angers me beyond measure, it is to see a pious person fold his
hands--sit down and trust the happiness of another to, as he says,
Providence. If I have any just idea of Providence, an ample retribution
will be in store for these sort of religionists."

"Well, that is just as I feel--but in a sort of confused way. You say
those things so much better than I do, Edgar."

"Do I? Well, that is news to me."

"But to return. Can not we do something for this good creature?"

"I don't exactly see that we can do. Besides, there is your poor mother.
Would you pull down all her little edifice of happiness, by taking
Lettice away from her?"

"That is a terrible consideration; and yet what was true of me is doubly
and trebly true of Lettice. My darling mother would not hear of me
relinquishing my happiness upon her account--and ought Lettice to be
allowed to make such a sacrifice?"

"Well, well, my dear, it is time enough to begin to deprecate such a
sacrifice when the opportunity for it occurs, but I own I see little
hope of a romance for your poor, dear Lettice, seeing that an important
personage in such matters, namely, a hero, seems to me to be utterly out
of the question. There is not a young gentleman within twenty miles, so
far as I can see, that is in the least likely to think of the good
girl."

"Alas, no! that is the worst of it."

But the romance of Lettice's life was nearer than they imagined.

       *       *       *       *       *

The visit of Catherine at the Hazels cheered up Lettice very much; and
in the delights of a little society with those of her own age, she soon
forgot all her quarrels with herself; and brushed away the cobwebs which
were gathering over her brain. She was enchanted, too, with the baby,
and as she felt that, while Catherine was with her mother, she rather
interfered with, than increased Mrs. Melwyn's enjoyment, she used to
indulge herself with long walks through the beautiful surrounding
country, accompanying the nurse and helping to carry the babe.

She visited several lonely places and remote cottages, where she had
never been before; and began to feel a new interest given to existence
when she was privileged to assist others under the pressure of that want
and misery which she understood but too well. One evening she and the
nurse had strayed in a new direction, and did not exactly know where
they were. Very far from the house she was aware it could not be, by the
time she had been absent, but they had got into one of those deep,
hollow lanes, from which it is impossible to catch a glimpse of the
surrounding country: those lanes so still, and so beautiful, with their
broken sandy banks, covered with tufts of feathering grass, with peeping
primroses and violets, and barren strawberries between; the beech and
ash of the copses casting their slender branches across, and checkering
the way with innumerable broken lights! While, may be, as was here the
case, a long pebbly stream runs sparkling and shining upon one side of
the way, forming ten thousand little pools and waterfalls as it courses
along.

Charmed with the scene, Lettice could not prevail upon herself to turn
back till she had pursued her way a little farther. At last a turn in
the lane brought her to a lowly and lonely cottage, which stood in a
place where the bank had a little receded, and the ground formed a small
grassy semicircle, with the steep banks rising all around it--here stood
the cottage.

It was an ancient, picturesque looking thing, built one knows not when.
I have seen one such near Stony Cross in Hampshire, which the tradition
of the county affirms to be the very identical cottage into which the
dying William Rufus was carried, and I am half inclined to believe it.

Their deep heavy roofs, huge roof-trees, little low walls and small
windows, speak of habits of life very remote from our own--and look to
me as if like a heap of earth--a tumulus--such edifices might stand
unchanged for tens of ages.

The cottage before us was of this description, and had probably been a
woodman's hut when the surrounding country was all one huge forest. The
walls were not more than five feet high, over which hung the deep and
heavy roof, covered with moss, and the thatch was overlaid with a heap
of black mould, which afforded plentiful nourishment to stonecrops, and
various tufts of beautifully feathered grass, which waved in fantastic
plumes over it. The door, the frame of which was all aslant, seemed
almost buried in, and pressed down by this roof, placed in which were
two of those old windows which show that the roof itself formed the
upper chamber of the dwelling. A white rose bush was banded up on one
side of this door; a rosemary tree upon the other; a little border with
marigolds, lemon thyme and such like pot-herbs, ran round the house,
which lay in a tiny plot of ground carefully cultivated as a garden.
Here a very aged man, bent almost double as it would seem with the
weight of years, was very languidly digging or attempting it.

The nurse was tired, so was the babe, so was Lettice. They agreed to ask
the old man's leave to enter the cottage, and sit down a little, before
attempting to return home.

"May we go in, good man, and rest ourselves a little while?" asked
Lettice.

"Anan--"

"Will you give us leave to go in and rest ourselves a little? We are
both tired with carrying the baby."

"I don't know well what it is you're saying. How many miles to
Brainford? Maybe two; but it's a weary while sin' I've been there."

"He can't understand us, nurse, at all. He seems almost stone deaf. Let
us knock at the door, and see who's within, for you look ready to drop;
and I am so excessively tired I can hardly help you. However, give me
your sleeping babe at all events, for you really seem as if you could
stand no longer."

She took the child, which had long been fast asleep, went to the cottage
door, and knocked.

"Come in," said a voice.

Not such a voice as she expected to hear, but a sweet, well-modulated
voice, that of a person of education. A man's voice, however, it was.
She hesitated a little, upon which some one rose and opened the door,
but started back upon seeing a young lady with a child in her arms,
looking excessively tired, and as if she could hold up no longer.

"Pray, come in," he said, observing she hesitated, and, retreating back
a little as he spoke, showed a small bed not far from the fire, standing
in the chimney place, as it is called. In this bed lay a very aged
woman. A large, but very, very ancient Bible lay open upon the bed, and
a chair a little pushed back was standing near it. It would seem that
the young gentleman had risen from the chair where he to all appearance
had been reading the Bible to the bed-ridden old woman. "Pray, come in,
and sit down," he repeated, holding the door to let Lettice enter. "You
look exceedingly tired. The place is very humble but perfectly clean,
and poor old Betty Rigby will be very happy to give you leave to enter."

The young man who spoke was dressed in deep black; but as there was a
crape band round his hat which lay upon the table, it would seem that he
was in mourning, and possibly, therefore, not a clergyman. He was
something above the middle height; but his figure was spoiled by its
extreme thinness, and a stoop in the shoulder which seemed to be the
effect of weakness. His face was very thin, and his cheek perfectly
pale; but his features were beautifully proportioned, and his large gray
eyes beamed with a subdued and melancholy splendor. There was the fire
of fever, and there was that of genius.

The expression of this face was soft and sweet in the extreme, but it
was rendered almost painful by its cast of deep sadness. Lettice looked
at him, and was struck by his appearance in a way she had never in her
life been before. He was, I believe, as much struck with hers. These
unexpected meetings, in totally unexpected places, often produce such
sudden and deep impressions. The happier being was moved and interested
by the delicacy the attenuation, the profound sadness of the beautiful
countenance before her; the other with the bloom of health, the
cheerful, wholesome expression, the character and meaning of the face
presented to him, as the young girl stood there holding the sleeping
infant in her arms. Certainly though not regularly pretty, she was a
very picturesque and pleasing looking object at that moment.

The old woman from her bed added her invitation to that of the young
man.

"Please to walk in, miss. It's a poor place. Please take a chair. Oh, my
poor limbs! I've been bed-ridden these half-score years; but pray, sit
down and rest yourselves, and welcome. Law! but that's a pretty bairn,
ben't it."

Lettice took the offered chair and sat down, still holding the baby; the
nurse occupied the other; the young man continued standing.

"I am afraid we have interrupted you," said Lettice, glancing at the
book.

"Oh, pray don't think of it! I am in no hurry to be gone. My time," with
a suppressed sigh, "is all my own. I will finish my lecture by-and-by."

"Ay, do--do--that's a good gentleman. Do you know, ma'am, he's been the
kindest friend, young as he looks, that ever I or my good man met with.
You see we lie here out of the way like--it's a big monstrous parish
this, and our parson has a world of work to do. So we gets rather
overlooked, though, poor man, I believe, he does what he can. I've lived
here these ten years, crippled and bed-ridden as you see, but I got
along pretty well for some time, for I was a bit of a schollard in my
youth; but last winter my eyes took to being bad, and since then I've
not been able to read a line. All gets dizzy like. And I was very dull
and sore beset that I couldn't even see to read the word of God, and my
poor husband, that's the old man as is delving in the garden there, why
he has hardly any eyes left in his head. Enough just to potter about
like, an' see his way, but he couldn't read a line, and it was never so;
and so that blessed young gentleman--law! where is he? Why, I declare
he's gone!"

The young gentleman had, indeed, quietly glided out of the cottage as
soon as his _éloge_ began.

"That young gentleman--I can say what I like now he is gone--has been
_so_ good to us. Many's the half-crown he's given me, and a warm winter
coat of his own to my poor rheumatized old man. Oh! he's a blessed
one--and then he comes and sits and reads to me of an afternoon for an
hour together, because as how one day he called he found me a-cryin,
for why, I could no longer read the Holy Word--and he says 'Cheer up,
Betty, be of good comfort, I'll read it to you daily'--and when I said
'daily, sir--that'll take up too much of your time, I fear'--he sighed a
little, and said he'd nothing particular to do with his time."

"Who is he? Does he belong to this neighborhood?"

"No, miss, he's only been here maybe a half-year or so. He came down on
a visit to Mr. Hickman the doctor out there, Brainwood way, and
presently he went and lodged at a cottage hard by, to be near Hickman,
who's a great name for such complaints as his'n--A-A--I don't know
what's the name--but he's very bad, they say, and not able to do any
thing in the world. Well, he's the best, kindest, Christian young man,
you ever see or I ever see. The power of good he does among the
poor--poor young fellow--is not to be told or counted--but he's so
melancholy like, and so gentle, and so kind, it makes one a'most cry to
look at him; that's the worst of it."

"He looks like a clergyman; I could fancy he was in holy orders. Do you
know whether he is so or not?"

"Yes, ma'am, I have heard say that he is a parson, but nobody in these
parts has ever seen him in a pulpit; but now it strikes me I've heard
that he was to be curate to Mr. Thomas, of Briarwood parish, but he was
ta'en bad of his chest or his throat, and never able to speak up like,
so it would not do; he can not at present speak in a church, for his
voice sounds so low, so low."

"I wonder we have never met with him, or heard of him before."

"Oh, miss! he's not been in this country very long, and he goes out
nowhere but to visit the poor; and tired and weak as he looks, he seems
never tired of doing good."

"He looks very pale and thin."

"Ay, doesn't he? I'm afraid he's but badly; I've heard some say he was
in a galloping consumption, others a decline; I don't know, but he seems
mighty weak like."

A little more talk went on in the same way, and then Lettice asked the
nurse whether she felt rested, as it was time to be returning home, and,
giving the poor bed-ridden patient a little money, which was received
with abundance of thanks, Lettice left the house.

When she entered the little garden, she saw the young man was not gone;
he was leaning pensively against the gate, watching the swinging
branches of a magnificent ash tree, which grew upon a green plot by the
side of the lane. Beautiful it was as it spread its mighty magnificent
head against the deep blue summer sky, and a soft wind gently whispered
among its forest of leaves.

Lettice could not help, as she observed the countenance of the young
man, who seemed lost in thought, admiring the extraordinary beauty of
its expression. Something of the sublime, something of the angelic,
which we see in a few remarkable countenances, but usually in those
which are spiritualized by mental sufferings, and great physical
delicacy.

He started from his reverie as she and the nurse approached, and lifted
the latchet of the little wicket to lot them pass. And, as he did so,
the large, melancholy eye was lighted up with something of a pleasurable
expression, as he looked at Lettice, and said,

"A beautiful afternoon. May I venture to ask were you intending to visit
that poor bed-ridden creature? I thought by the expression she used that
you were not acquainted with her case, and probably had never been in
the cottage before. Will you excuse me for saying she is in great
necessity?"

"It is the first time I have ever been down this lane, sir, but I assure
you it shall not be the last; I will come and see the poor woman again.
There are few things I pity so much as the being bed-ridden."

She had walked into the lane. He had quitted the garden too, and
continued to walk by her side talking as he went.

"I hope there is not so much suffering in that state as we are apt to
imagine," he said; "at least, I have observed that very poor people are
enabled to bear it with wonderful cheerfulness and patience. I believe,
to those who have lived a life of hard labor, rest has something
acceptable in it, which compensates for many privations--but these old
creatures are also miserably poor. The parish can not allow much, and
they are so anxious not to be forced into the house, that they contrive
to make a very little do. The poor woman has been for years receiving
relief as member of a sick-club; but lately the managers have come to a
resolution, that she has been upon the list for such an unexampled
length of time, that they can not afford to go on with the allowance any
longer."

"How cruel and unjust!"

"Very sad, as it affects her comforts, poor creature, and certainly not
just; yet, as she paid only about three years, and has been receiving an
allowance for fifteen, it would be difficult, I fancy, to make the sort
of people who manage such clubs see it quite in that light. At all
events, we can get her no redress, for she does not belong to this
parish, though her husband does; and the club of which she is a member
is in a place at some distance, of which the living is sequestrated, and
there is no one of authority there to whom we can apply. I only take the
liberty of entering into these details, madam, in order to convince you
that any charity you may extend in this quarter, will be particularly
well applied."

"I shall be very happy, if I can be of any use," said Lettice, "but I am
sorry to say, but little of my time is at my own disposal--it belongs to
another--I can not call it my own--and my purse is not very ample. But I
have more money than time," she added, cheerfully, "at all events. And,
if you will be pleased to point out in what way I can best help this
poor creature, I shall be very much obliged to you, for I am quite
longing for the pleasure of doing a little among the poor. I have been
very poor myself; and, besides, I used to visit them so much in my poor
father's day."

"I have more time than money," he said, with a gentle but very
melancholy smile; "and, therefore, if you will give me leave, I _would_
take the liberty of pointing out to you how you could help this poor
woman. If--if I knew...."

"I live with General and Mrs. Melwyn--I am Mrs. Melwyn's _dame de
compagnie_," said Lettice, with simplicity.

"And I am what ought to be Mr. Thomas's curate," answered he, "but that
I am too inefficient to merit the name. General Melwyn's family never
attends the parish church, I think."

"No; we go to the chapel of ease at Furnival's Green. It is five miles
by the road to the parish church, and that road a very bad one. The
general does not like his carriage to go there.

"So I have understood; and, therefore, Mr. Thomas is nearly a stranger,
and I perfectly one, to the family, though they are Mr. Thomas's
parishioners."

"It seems so strange to me--a clergyman's daughter belonging formerly to
a small parish--that every individual in it should not be known to the
vicar. It ought not to be so, I think."

"I entirely agree with you. But I believe Mr. Thomas and the general
never exactly understood or suited each other."

"I don't know--I never heard."

"I am myself not utterly unknown to every member of the family. I was at
school with the young gentleman who married Miss Melwyn.... Yet why do I
recall it? He has probably forgotten me altogether.... And yet, perhaps,
not altogether. Possibly he might remember James St. Leger;" and he
sighed.

It was a light, suppressed sigh. It seemed to escape him without his
observing it.

Lettice felt unusually interested in this conversation, little as there
may appear in it to interest any one; but there was something in the
look and tone of the young man that exercised a great power over her
imagination. His being of the _cloth_--a clergyman--may account for what
may seem rather strange in her entering into conversation with him. She
had been brought up to feel profound respect for every one in holy
orders; and, moreover, the habits of her life at one time, when she had
sunk to such depths of poverty, had, in a considerable degree, robbed
her of the conventional reserve of general society. She had been so used
at one time to be accosted and to accost without thinking of the
ceremony of an introduction, that she probably forgot the absence of it
in the present case, more than another equally discreet girl might have
done.

The young man, on his part, seemed under the influence of a strange
charm. He continued to walk by her side, but he had ceased to speak. He
seemed lost in thought--melancholy thought. It certainly would seem as
if the allusion to Edgar's home, and his own school life, had roused a
host of painful recollections, in which he was for the time absorbed.

So they followed the windings of the deep hollow lane together.
Necessarily it would seem, for this lane appeared to defy the proverb
and have no turning. But that it had one we know--and to it the little
party came at last. A gate led to some fields belonging to the estate of
the Hazels--Lettice and the nurse prepared to open it and enter.

"Good morning, sir," said Lettice, "this is my way; I will strive to do
something for the poor woman you recommended to me, and I will mention
your recommendation to Mrs. Melwyn."

He started as if suddenly awakened when she spoke; but he only said,
"Will you? It will be right and kind. Thank you, in her name." And, with
a grave, abstracted sort of salute, he left her, and pursued his way.

Catherine was standing rather anxiously upon the hall-steps, looking
round and wondering what had become of her nurse and her baby, when
nurse, baby, and Lettice returned.

"Dear people," she cried, "I _am_ glad you are come back."

She had been, if the truth were told, a good deal fidgeted and
frightened, as young mothers are very apt to be, when the baby does not
come home at the usual hour. She had suffered a good deal of uneasiness,
and felt half inclined to be angry. A great many people with whom I am
acquainted, would have burst out into a somewhat petulant scold, when
the cause for anxiety was at an end, and baby and her party, all safe,
appeared quietly walking up the road as if nothing in the world were
amiss. The very quiet and tranquillity which proved that they were quite
unconscious of having done any thing wrong would have irritated some
people more than all the rest. I thought it was very nice of Catherine
to be good-humored and content as soon as she saw all was safe, after
the irritating anxiety she had just been going through. She, however,
ran eagerly down the steps, and her eyes sparkling with impatience
caught her little one in her arms and kissed it very fast and hard. That
being the only sign of an impatient spirit which she showed, and, except
crying out, "Oh! I am glad to see you safe back, all of you. Do you
know, Lettice, I began to wonder what had become of you?"--not a
syllable approaching to reproof passed her lips.

"Dear Mrs. D'Arcy! Dear Catherine! I am afraid we are late. We went too
far--we partly lost ourselves. We got into a long, but oh! such a lovely
lane--where I never was before, and then, we have had a little wee bit
of an adventure."

"Adventure! Oh goodness! I _am_ glad of that. Adventures are so
excessively rare in this country. I never met with one in my life, but
happening upon Edgar, as the people say, when he was coming from
hunting; and the wind had blown off my hat. A wind that blew somebody
good, that ... dear, beloved, Lettice, I wish to goodness, that I do--an
adventure of the like of that, might have happened to you."

Lettice colored a little.

"Gracious!" cried Catherine, laughing merrily, and peeping at her under
her bonnet--"I declare--you're blushing Lettice. Your adventure is
something akin to my adventure. Have you stumbled upon an unparalleled
youth--by mere accident as I did? and did he--did he pick up your hat?"

"If he had," said Lettice, "I am afraid my face with my hair all blown
about it would not have looked quite so enchanting as yours must have
done. No, I did not lose my bonnet."

"Any thing else? Your heart, perhaps?"

"Dear Catherine! How can you be so silly."

"Oh! it was such a blessed day when I lost mine," said Mrs. D'Arcy,
gayly. "Such a gain of a loss! that I wish just the same misfortune to
befall every one I love--and I love you dearly, Lettice."

"There must be more than one heart lost I fancy, to make adventures turn
out as well as yours did, Catherine."

"Oh! that's a matter of course in such sort of things. There is always
an exchange, where there is love at first sight. But now do tell me,
that's a dear girl, what your adventure was."

"I only saw a clergyman reading to a poor woman--or rather I only saw a
clergyman, a Bible, and a poor woman, and thence concluded that he _had_
been reading to her."

"Oh! you tiresome creature. Poor, dear, old Mr. Hughes, I'll be bound.
Good old fellow--but such a hum-drum. Nay, Lettice, my dear, don't look
shocked and cross. A clergyman may be a very stupid, hum-drum, tiresome
fellow, as well as any other man. Don't pretend to deny that."

"I would as lief not hear them called so--but this was not Mr. Hughes."

"Oh, no! I remember now you were not in his parish. If you went down
Briarwood-lane far enough you would be in Briarwood parish. Mr. Thomas,
perhaps."

"No."

"Mr. Thomas's curate. Oh! of course the curate. Only I don't think Mr.
Thomas keeps one."

"No; I believe not Mr. Thomas's, or any one else's curate; but a
gentleman who says he knew Captain D'Arcy at school."

"Nay, that is too charming. That really is like an adventure."

"Here, Edgar!"

He was crossing the paddock at some little distance.

"Come here for one instant. Do you recollect what I was talking to you
about this very morning? Well, Lettice has met with an adventure, and
has stumbled upon an old acquaintance of yours--reading the Bible to an
old woman--he was at school with you.

"Well, as there were about five hundred people, more or less, who had
that honor--if you mean to know any thing about him, Miss Arnold, you
must go a little more into detail; and, first and foremost, what is the
young gentleman's name?"

"James St. Leger," said Lettice.

A start for answer, and,

"Ha! Indeed! Poor fellow! _he_ turned up again. I little thought our
paths in life would ever cross more. How strange to unearth him in such
a remote corner of the world as Briarwood. Poor fellow! Well, what is he
like? and how does he look?"

"Ill and melancholy," said Lettice. "I should say very ill and very
melancholy--and with reason I believe; for though he is in holy orders,
something is the matter with his throat or his chest; which renders him
useless in the pulpit."

"You don't say so. His chest! I hope not. And yet," continued Edgar, as
if musing aloud, "I know not. He was one when I knew him, Miss Arnold,
so marked out through the vices of others for misery in this world, that
I used to think the sooner he went out of it the better for him."

"Ah!" cried Catherine, "there is an interesting history here. Do tell it
us, Edgar. Of all your charming talks, what I like almost the best are
your reminiscences. He has such a memory, Lettice; and so much
penetration into the characters of persons: and the connection of
things; that nothing is so delightful as when he _will_ tell some old
history of his earlier years. Do, dear Edgar, tell us all about this
charming young curate of Briarwood."

"Flatterer! Coaxing flatterer! Don't believe a word she says, Miss
Arnold. I am as empty-pated a rattle-skull, as ever was turned raw into
one of her Majesty's regiments--and that's saying a good deal, I can
tell you. But this dear creature here loves a bit of romance in her
heart. What's o'clock?"

"Oh!" looking at the tiniest of watches, "a full two hours to dinner;
and such a day too for a story--and just look at that spreading oak with
the bench under it, and the deer lying crouching there so sweetly, and
the wind just lulling the boughs as it were to rest. Here, nurse, bundle
the baby away to her nursery. Now, _do_, there's a darling Edgar."

"Why, my love, you are making awful preparation. It is almost as
terrible as reading a manuscript to begin a relation, all sitting
solemnly upon a bench under a tree together. There is not much to tell,
poor fellow; only I did pity him from my heart of hearts."

Catherine had her way, and they sat down under the green leafy canopy of
this majestic oak; and she put her arm in her husband's, and her hand
into that of Lettice, and thus sitting between them, loving and beloved,
she listened, the happiest, as she was one of the honestest and best,
of heaven's creatures.

"We were both together at a large rough sort of preparatory school,"
began Edgar, "where there might be above a hundred boys or so. They were
mostly, if not entirely, intended for the military profession, and came
from parents of all sorts of positions and degrees, and of all sorts of
principles, characters, and manners. A very omnium gatherum that school
was, and the ways of it were as rough as in any school. I should think,
they could possibly be. I was a tall, healthy rebel, when I was sent
there, as strong as a little Hercules, and excessively proud of my force
and prowess. A bold, daring, cheerful, merry lad, as ever left his
mother's apron-string; very sorry to quit the dotingest of mothers, and
the happiest of homes, and the pleasantest of fathers; but mighty proud
to come out of the _Gynyseum_, and to be a man, as I thought it high
time I should, in cloth trowsers and jacket, instead of a black velvet
coatee. In I plunged, plump head-foremost amid the vortex, and was soon
in a thousand scrapes and quarrels, battling my way with my fists, and
my merry eye; for they used to tell me the merry eye did more for me
even than my impudence in fighting every thing that would condescend to
fight such a youngster. I was soon established, and then I breathed
after my victories, and began to look round.

"So long as I had considered the throng about me but in the light of so
many adversaries to be beaten by main force, and their rude and
insulting ways only as provocatives to the fray, I had cared little for
their manners or their proceedings, their coarseness and vulgarity,
their brutality and their vices. But now, seated in peace upon the
eminence to which I had fought my way, I had time to breathe and to
observe. I can not describe to you how shocked, how sickened, how
disgusted I became. _Par parenthèse_, I will say that it has always been
an astonishment to me, how parents so tender as mine could send a frank,
honest-hearted, well-meaning little fellow into such a place. But the
school had a high reputation. I was then a fourth son, and had to make
my way as best I could in the profession chosen for me. So here I came.
I was about ten or eleven years old, I must add, in excuse for my
parents, though I called myself so young, I felt younger, because this
was my first school. To resume. When I had vanquished them, it is not in
words to describe how I despised and detested the majority of my
schoolfellows--for their vulgar pleasures, their offensive habits--their
hard, rough, brutal manners--their vicious principles, and their vile,
blasphemous impiety. I was a warm lover and a still more ardent hater,
and my hatred to most of them exceeded all bounds of reason; but it was
just such as a straightforward, warm-tempered fellow, is certain to
entertain without mitigation in such a case.

"It is a bad element for a boy to be living in. However, I was saved
from becoming an utter young monster, by the presence in the school of
this very boy, James St. Leger.

"In the bustle and hurry of my early wars, I had taken little heed of,
scarcely observed this boy at all. But when the pause came, I noticed
him. I noticed him for many reasons. He was tall for his age, slender,
and of extremely delicate make, but with limbs of a symmetry and beauty
that reminded one of a fine antique statue. His face, too, was extremely
beautiful; and there was something in his large, thoughtful, melancholy
eyes, that it was impossible ever to look upon and to forget.

"I no sooner observed him at all, than my whole boyish soul seemed knit
to him.

"His manner was extremely serious; the expression of his countenance sad
to a degree--deeply, intensely sad, I might say; yet through that deep
sadness there was a tender sweetness which was to me most interesting. I
never shall forget his smile--for laugh he never was heard to do.

"I soon discovered two things, that made me feel more for him than all
the rest. One, that he was an extremely well-informed boy, and had
received a home education of a very superior order; and the other, that
he was most unfortunate, and that his misfortunes had one peculiar
ingredient of bitterness in them, namely, that they were of a nature to
excite the scorn and contempt of the vulgar herd that surrounded him,
rather than to move their rude hearts to sympathy and pity.

"The propensity to good in rough, vulgar, thoughtless human beings, is
very apt to show itself in this way--in a sort of contemptuous disgust
against vice and folly, and an alienation from those connected with it,
however innocent We must accept it, upon reflection, I suppose, as a
rude form of good inclination; but I was too young for reflection--too
young to make allowances, too young to be equitable. Such conduct
appeared to me the most glaring and barbarous injustice, and excited in
me a passion ate indignation.

"Never did I hear St. Leger taunted, as he often was, with the frailties
of his mother or the errors of his father, but my heart was all in a
flame--my fist clinched--my cheek burning. Many a fellow have I laid
prostrate upon the earth with a sudden blow who dared, in my presence,
to chase the color from St. Leger's cheek by alluding to the subject.
There was this remarkable in St. Leger, by the way, that he never
colored when his mother's shame or his father's end was alluded to, but
went deadly pale.

"The history was a melancholy one of human frailty, and is soon told.
His mother had been extremely beautiful, his father the possessor of a
small independent fortune. They had lived happily together many years,
and she had brought him five children; four girls and this boy. I have
heard that the father doted with no common passion--in a _husband_,
Catherine--upon the beautiful creature, who was moreover accomplished
and clever. She seemed devoted to her children, and had given no common
attention to her boy in his early years. Hence his mental
accomplishments. The husband was, I suspect, rather her inferior in
intellect; and scarcely her equal in refinement and manner, but it's no
matter, it would have been probably the same whatever he had been. She
who will run astray under one set of circumstances, would probably have
run astray under any. She was very vain of her beauty and talents, and
had been spoiled by the idolatry and flattery of all who surrounded her.

"I will not pain you by entering into any particulars; in brief, she
disgraced herself, and was ruined.

"The rage, the passionate despair, the blind fury of the injured
husband, it was said, exceeded all bounds. There was of course every
sort of public scandal. Legal proceedings and the necessary
consequences--a divorce. The wretched history did not even end here. She
suffered horribly from shame and despair I have been told, but the shame
and despair, had not the effect it ought to have produced. She fell from
bad to worse, and was utterly lost. The husband did the same. Wild with
the stings of wounded affection, blinded with suffering, he flew for
refuge to any excitement which would for a moment assuage his agonies;
the gaming-table, and excess in drinking, soon finished the dismal
story. He shot himself in a paroxysm of delirium tremens, after having
lost almost every penny he possessed at Faro.

"You tremble Catherine. Your hand in mine is cold. Oh the pernicious
woman! Oh the depths of the misery--if I were indeed to tell you all I
have met with and known--which are entailed upon the race by the vanity,
the folly, and the vice of women. Angels! yes, angels you are. Sweet
Saint--sweet Catherine, and men fall down and worship you--but woe for
them when she they worship, proves a fiend.

"Dear Miss Arnold, you are shedding tears--but you _would_ have this
dismal story. You had better hear no more of it, let me stop now."

"Go on--pray go on, Edgar. Tell us about the poor boy and the girls, you
said there were four of them."

"The boy and his sisters were taken by some relations. It was about a
year after these events that I met him at this school. They had sent him
here, thinking the army the best place for him. To get him shot off,
poor fellow, perhaps, if they could. His four sisters were all then
living, and how tenderly, poor lad, he used to talk to me about them.
How he would grieve over the treatment they were receiving, with the
best intentions he acknowledged, but too hardening and severe he thought
for girls so delicate. They wanted a mother's fostering, a father's
protection, poor things, but he never alluded in the remotest way to
either father or mother. Adam, when he sprung from the earth, was not
more parentless than he seemed to consider himself. But he used to talk
of future for his sisters, and sometimes in his more cheerful moods,
would picture to himself what he would do when he should be a man, and
able to shelter them in a home, however humble, of his own. His whole
soul was wrapped up in these girls."

"Did you ever hear what became of them?"

"Three died of consumption, I have been told, just as they were opening
into the bloom of early womanhood, almost the loveliest creatures that
ever were seen."

"And the fourth."

"She was the most beautiful of all--a fine, high-spirited, dashing
creature. Her brother's secret terror and darling."

"Well!"

"She followed her mother's example, and died miserably at the age of
two-and-twenty."

"What can we do for this man?" cried Catherine, when she had recovered
voice a little. "Edgar, what can we do for this man?"

"Your first question, dear girl--always your first question--what can be
done?" Ever, my love, may you preserve that precious habit. My Catherine
never sits down lamenting, and wringing her hands helplessly about other
people's sorrows. The first thing she asks, is, "what _can be done_."


CHAPTER IX.

                            Strongest minds
    Are often those of whom the noisy world
    Hears least; else surely this man had not left
    His graces unrevealed and unproclaimed.

                             Wordsworth.

The first thing to be done, it was obvious to all parties, was for Edgar
to go and call upon Mr. St. Leger, which he did.

He found him occupying one very small room, which served him for bed and
sitting room, in a small cottage upon the outskirts of the little
secluded town of Briarwood. He looked extremely ill; his beautiful
countenance was preternaturally pale; his large eyes far too bright and
large; his form attenuated; and his voice so faint, husky, and low that
it was with difficulty he could make himself heard, at least for any
length of time together.

The expression of his countenance, however, was rather grave than sad;
resigned than melancholy. He was serious but perfectly composed; nay,
there was even a chastened cheerfulness in his manner. He looked like
one who had accepted the cup presented to him; had already exhausted
most of the bitter potion, and was calmly prepared to drain it to the
dregs.

And so it had been.

No man was ever more exquisitely constituted to suffer from
circumstances so agonizing than he. But his mind was of a lofty stamp;
he had not sunk under his sufferings. He had timely considered the
_reality_ of these things. He had learned to connect--really, truly,
faithfully--the trials and sorrows of this world with the retributions
of another. He had accepted the part allotted to him in the mysterious
scheme; had played it as best he could, and was now prepared for its
impending close.

It is consoling to know one thing. In his character of minister of the
holy word of God he had been allowed the privilege of attending the last
illness of both mother and sister, both so deeply, deeply, yet silently
beloved, in spite of all; and, through those blessed means, the full
value and mercy of which, perhaps such grievous sinners are alone able
to entirely estimate, he had reconciled them, as he trusted, with that
God "who forgiveth all our iniquities and healeth all our diseases."
Having been allowed to do this, he felt as if it would be the basest
ingratitude to murmur because his services in the pulpit were suddenly
arrested by the disease in his chest, and with it a stop put to further
usefulness, and even to the supply of his daily bread.

He was calmly expecting to die in the receipt of parish relief; for he
had not a penny beyond his curate's salary; and it was impossible to
allow Mr. Thomas, who was a poor man himself, to continue that, now the
hope of restoration to usefulness seemed at an end. It was not likely,
indeed, that he should, upon the spare hermit's diet which his scanty
means allowed, recover from a complaint of which weakness was the
foundation.

He had tried to maintain himself by his pen; but the complaint which
prevented his preaching was equally against the position when writing.
He could do so little in this way that it would not furnish him with a
loaf a week. A ray of genuine pleasure, however, shot to his eye, and a
faint but beautiful flush mounted to his cheek, when Edgar entered and
cordially held out his hand.

He was such a dear warm-hearted fellow, was Edgar. St. Leger had loved
him so entirely at school; and those days were not so _very_ long since!
The impression old Time had not even yet attempted with his busy fingers
to efface.

"I am so glad to have found you out, my dear fellow," Edgar began. "Who
would have thought of meeting you, of all people in the world, here,
ensconsed in such a quiet nook of this busy island--a place where the
noise and bustle and stir of the Great Babylon can not even be heard.
But what are you doing in this place? for you look ill, I must say, and
you seem to be left to yourself without a human being to look after
you."

"Much so. You know I am quite alone in the world."

"A dismal position that, and I am come to put an end to it. My wife
insists upon making your acquaintance, and scuttled me off this morning
without giving me time to eat my breakfast, though, to own the truth, I
was ready enough of myself to set out. The general desired me to bring
his card; he is too infirm to go out himself, and he and Mrs. Melwyn
request the favor of your company to dinner to-morrow at six o'clock."

"I should be very happy--but--," and he hesitated a little.

"I'll come and fetch you in the dog-cart about five, and drive you down
again in the evening. It's a mere step by Hatherway-lane, which is quite
passable at this time of the year, whatever it may be in winter."

St. Leger looked as if he should like very much to come. His was a
heart, indeed, formed for society, friendship, and love; not the least
of the monk or the hermit was to be found in his composition. And so it
was settled.

St. Leger came to dinner, as arranged, Edgar fetching him up in the
dog-cart.

Every one was struck with his appearance. There was a gentleness and
refinement in his manner which charmed Mrs. Melwyn; united to the ease
and politeness of a man of the world, equally acceptable to the general;
Catharine was delighted; and Lettice only in a little danger of being
too well pleased.

His conversation soon showed him to be a man of a very superior turn of
thought, and was full of information. In short, it was some time, with
the exception of Edgar, since so agreeable a person had sat down at that
dinner-table; for the Hazels lay rather out of the way, and neither the
general nor Mrs. Melwyn were of a temper to cultivate society.

Edgar returned home in the evening from an agreeable drive with his
friend through the bright glittering starlight night. It was slightly
frosty, and he came into the drawing-room rubbing his hands, with his
cheeks freshened by the air, looking as if he was prepared very much to
enjoy the fire.

He found the whole party sitting up, and very amicably discussing the
new acquaintance, who had pleased them all so much. So Edgar sat down
between his wife and her mother, and readily joined in the conversation.

The general, who really was much altered for the better under the good
influences of Lettice, had been speaking in high terms of their late
guest. And when Edgar came in and sat down in the circle, spreading his
hands to the fire, and looking very comfortable, the general, in an
amicable tone, began:

"Really, Edgar, we have been saying we are quite obliged to you for
introducing to us so agreeable a man as this Mr. St. Leger, of yours. He
is quite a find in such a stupid neighborhood as ours, where, during the
ten years I have lived in it, I have never met one _resident_"--with an
emphasis upon the word, that it might not be supposed to include Edgar
himself--"one _resident_ whose company I thought worth a brass
farthing."

"I am very glad my friend gives satisfaction, sir," said Edgar
cheerfully; "for I believe, poor fellow, he has much more to seek than
even yourself, general, in the article of companionship. One can not
think that the society of the worthy Mr. Thomas can afford much of
interest to a man like St. Leger. But whatever pleasure you may mutually
afford each other will soon be at an end, I fear; and I have been
beating my brains all the way coming home, to think what must be done."

"Why must the pleasure come so soon to an end, Edgar?" asked Mrs.
Melwyn.

"Why, if something can't be done, the poor lad is in a fair way to be
starved to death," was the answer.

"Starved to death! How shockingly you do talk, Edgar," cried Mrs.
Melwyn. "I wish you would not say such things--you make one quite start.
The idea is too horrible--besides, it can not be true. People don't
starve to death nowadays--at least not in a sort of case like that."

"I don't know--such things do sound as if they couldn't be true--and
yet," said Catherine, "they do come very nearly to the truth at times."

"Indeed do they," said Lettice. "Starved to death," observed the
general, "I take to be merely a poetic exaggeration of yours, captain.
But do you mean to say that young man is literally in distressed
circumstances?"

"The most urgently distressing circumstances, sir. The fact is, that he
inherited nothing from his father but a most scandalous list of debts,
which he most honorably sold every farthing of his own little property
to pay--relying for his subsistance upon the small stipend be was to
receive from Mr. Thomas. You don't like Mr. Thomas, sir."

"Who would like such a stupid old drone?"

"He's a worthy old fellow, nevertheless. Though his living is a very
poor one, he has acted with great liberality to James St. Leger. The
poor fellow has lost his voice: you would perceive in conversation how
very feeble and uncertain it was. It is utterly powerless in the
reading-desk; and yet Mr. Thomas has insisted upon retaining him--paying
his salary, and doing all the duty himself. As long as there was any
hope of recovery, to this St. Leger most unwillingly submitted; but, now
he despairs of ever again being useful, it is plain it can no longer be
done."

"And what is to become of him?" exclaimed Lettice.

She knew what it was to be utterly without resource--she knew how
possible it was for such things to happen in this world--she knew what
it was to be hungry and to want bread, and be without the means of
assistance--to be friendless, helpless, and abandoned by all.

"What is to be done?" she cried.

"What is to be done?" said the general, rather testily. "Why, the young
fellow must turn his hand to something else. None but a fool _starves_."

"Ay, but," said Edgar, shaking his head, "but what is that something? I
see no prospect for one incapacitated by his cloth for enlisting as a
soldier or standing behind a counter, and by his illness for doing any
thing consistent with his profession."

"I should think he might write a canting book," said the general with a
sneer; "_that_ would be sure to sell."

"Whatever book St. Leger wrote," Edgar answered coldly, "would be a good
one, whether _canting_ or not. But he can not write a book. The fatigue,
the stooping, would be intolerable to his chest in its present irritable
state. Besides, if he did write a book, it's a hundred to one whether he
got any thing for it; and, moreover, the book is not written; and there
is an old proverb which says, while the grass grows the horse starves.
He literally _will_ starve, if some expedient can not be hit upon."

"And that is too, too dreadful to think of," cried Mrs. Melwyn
piteously. "Oh, general!"

"Oh, papa! oh, Edgar! Can you think of nothing?" added Catharine in the
same tone.

"It would be a pity he should starve; for he is a remarkably
gentlemanlike, agreeable fellow," observed the general. "Edgar, do you
know what was meant by the term, one meets with in old books about
manners, of 'led captain?' I wish to heaven _I_ could have a led captain
like that."

"Oh, there was the chaplain as well as the led captain in those days,
papa," said Catherine, readily. "Dearest papa, if one could but persuade
you you wanted a domestic chaplain."

"Well, and what did the chaplain do in those days. Mrs. Pert?"

"Why, he sat at the bottom of the table, and carved the sirloin."

"And he read, and played at backgammon--when he was wanted, I believe,"
put in Edgar.

"And he did a great deal more," added Catherine in a graver tone. "He
kept the accounts, and looked after important business for his patron."

"And visited the poor and was the almoner and their friend," said
Lettice in a low voice.

"And played at bowls, and drank--"

Catherine put her hand playfully over the general's mouth.

"Don't, dear papa--you must _not_--you must not, indeed. Do you know
this irreverence in speaking of the members of so sacred a profession is
not at all what ought to be done. Don't Edgar. Dear papa, I may be
foolish, but I do _so_ dislike it."

"Well, well, well--any thing for a quiet life."

"But to resume the subject," locking her arm in his, and smiling with a
sweetness which no one, far least he, could resist. "Really and
seriously I do think it would be an excellent thing if you would ask Mr.
St. Leger to be your domestic chaplain."

"Stuff and nonsense."

"Not such stuff and nonsense as you think. Here's our darling
Lettice--think what a comfort she has been to mamma, and think what a
pleasant thing it would be for you to have a confidential and an
agreeable friend at your elbow--just as mamma has in Lettice. Hide your
face, Lettice, if you can't bear to be praised a little before it; but I
will have it done, for I see you don't like it. But, papa, you see
things are getting a good deal into disorder, they say, upon your
property out of doors, just for want of some one to look after them. I
verily believe, that if we could persuade this young gentleman to come
and do this for you, he would save you a vast deal of money."

The general made no answer. He sank back in his chair, and seemed to
meditate. At last, turning to Edgar, he said,

"That little wife of yours is really not such a fool as some might
suppose her to be, captain."

"Really--'

"What say you, Mrs. Melwyn? Is there any sense in the young lady's
suggestion, or is there not? What says Miss Arnold? Come, let us put it
to the vote."

Mrs. Melwyn smiled. Catherine applauded and laughed, and kissed her
father, and declared he was the dearest piece of reasonableness in the
world. And, in short, the project was discussed, and one said this, and
the other said that, and after it had been talked over and commented
upon, with a hint from one quarter, and a suggestion from another, and
so on, it began to take a very feasible and inviting shape.

Nothing could be more true than a person of this description in the
family was terribly wanted. The general was becoming every day less able
and less inclined to look after his own affairs. Things were mismanaged,
and he was robbed in the most notorious and unblushing manner. This must
be seen to. Of this Edgar and Catherine had been upon their return
speedily aware. The difficulty was how to get it done; and whom to trust
in their absence; which would soon, owing to the calls of the service,
take place again, and for an indefinite period of time.

Mr. St. Leger seemed the very person for such an office, could he be
persuaded to undertake it; and his extremity was such, that, however
little agreeable to such a man the proposal might be, it appeared not
impossible that he might entertain it. Then he had made himself so much
favor with the general, that one difficulty, and the greatest, was
already overcome.

Mrs. Melwyn seconded their designs with her most fervent wishes. She
could not venture to do much more.

To have expressed her sentiments upon the subject--to have said how much
she felt the necessity of some such plan, and how ardently she desired
that it might be carried into execution, would have been one very likely
reason for setting her wayward old partner against it.

She had found so much happiness in the possession of Lettice as a
friend, that she anticipated every possible advantage from a similar
arrangement for the general.

You may remark as you go along, that it was because Lettice had so
admirably performed her own part, that the whole family were so desirous
of repeating it under other circumstances. Such are among the
incidental--if I may call them so--fruits of good conduct.

If the vices spread wide their devastating influences--the virtues
extend their blessings a thousand fold.

The general did not want for observation He had estimated the good which
had arisen from the admission of Lettice Arnold into his family, and he
felt well inclined to the scheme of having a companion of his own. He
could even tolerate the idea of a species of domestic chaplain; provided
the personage so designated would look to his home farm and keep his
accounts.

The proposal was made to Mr. St. Leger.

He hesitated. Edgar expected that he would.

"I do not know," he said. "I feel as if I were, in some measure, running
the risk of degrading my holy office, by accepting, merely for my
personal convenience, a dependent position, where certain compliances,
as a necessary condition, might be expected, which are contrary to my
views of things."

"Why so? I assure you, upon my honor, nothing of that sort is to be
apprehended. These are really very well meaning people, and you may
serve them more than you seem aware. The part of domestic chaplain is
not held beneath the members of your church. I own this is not a noble
family, and doubt whether you can legitimately claim the title. Yet the
office is the same."

"Yes--if I may perform the duties of that office. On that condition
alone, will I entertain the thought of it for a moment. And I must add,
that as soon as ever I am in a condition--if that time ever arrives--to
resume my public duties, I am to be allowed to do so."

"Unquestionably."

"And, that while I reside under the general's roof, I may carry out
certain reforms which I believe to be greatly wanted."

"No doubt."

"And that I shall be enabled to assist Mr. Thomas in the care of this
extremity of his large parish, which so deplorably requires looking
after."

The general grumbled a little at some of these conditions, but finally
consented to all.

He was getting an old man. Perhaps he was not sorry--though he thought
it due to those ancient prejudices of his profession, I am happy to say
now fast growing obsolete, to appear so--perhaps he was not really
sorry, now the wheel was beginning to pause at the cistern, and the
darkness of age was closing around him, to have some one in his
household to call his attention to things which he began to feel had
been neglected too long.

Perhaps he was not sorry to allow family prayer in a mansion, where the
voice of united family prayer had, till then, never been heard. To
anticipate a little--I may add, as certain, that he, who began with
never attending at all, was known to drop in once or twice; and ended by
scolding Lettice heartily in a morning if there was any danger of her
not having bound up his arm in time for him to be present.

His gray venerable head--his broken, but still manly figure--his
wrinkled face--his still keen blue eye, might be seen at last amid his
household. The eye fixed in a sort of determined attention--the lips
muttering the prayer--a sort of child in religion still--yet far to seek
in many things; but accepted, we will hope, as a child.

He could share, too, as afterward appeared, in the interest which Mrs.
Melwyn and Lettice, after Mr. St. Leger's arrival, ventured openly to
take in the concerns of the poor; and even in the establishment of a
school, against which, with an obstinate prejudice against the education
of the lower classes, the general had long so decidedly set his face.

In short, having accepted all the conditions upon which alone St. Leger,
even in the extremity of his need, could be persuaded to accept a place
in his family, the old soldier ended by taking great comfort, great
interest, great pleasure, in all the improvements that were effected.

       *       *       *       *       *

One difficulty presented itself in making the arrangement; and this came
from a quarter quite unexpected by Catherine--from poor Mrs. Melwyn.

"Ah, Catherine," said she, coming into her room, and looking most
nervous and distressed, "take care what you and Edgar are about, in
bringing this Mr. St. Leger into the family. Suppose he should fall in
love with Lettice?"

"Well, mamma, suppose he should--where would be the dreadful harm of
that?" said Catherine, laughing.

"Ah, my dear! Pray, don't laugh, Catherine. What _would_ become of us
all?"

"Why, what would become of you all?"

"I'm sure I don't wish to be selfish. I should hate myself if I were.
But what _could_ we do without Lettice? Dear Catherine! only think of
it. And that would not be the worst. They could not marry--for they
would have nothing to live upon if they left us--so they would both be
miserable. For they _could_ neither go nor stay. It would be impossible
for them to go on living together here, if they were attached to each
other and could never be married. And so miserable as they would be,
Catherine, it makes me wretched to think of it."

"Ah! dear, sweet mother, don't take up wretchedness at interest--that's
my own mother. They're not going to fall in love. Mr. St. Leger looks
not the least inclined that way."

"Ah, that's easily said, but suppose they _did_?"

"Well, suppose they did. I see no great harm in it; may I confess to
you, mother, for my part, I should be secretly quite glad of it."

"Oh, Catherine! how _can_ you talk so? What would be _done_?"

"Done! Why, let them marry to be sure, and live on here."

"Live on here! Who on earth ever heard of such a scheme! Dearest
child, you are too romantic. You are almost absurd, my sweet
Catherine--forgive your poor mother for saying so."

"No, that I won't," kissing her with that playful tenderness which so
well became her, "that I won't, naughty mamma. Because, do you know, you
say the most unjust thing in the world when you call me romantic. Why,
only ask papa, ask Edgar, ask Mrs. Danvers, ask any body, if I am not
common-sense personified."

"If I asked your papa, my dear girl, he would only say you had a way of
persuading one into any thing, even into believing you had more head
than heart, my own darling," said the fond mother, her pale cheek
glowing, and those soft eyes swimming in delight, as she looked upon her
daughter.

"That's right; and now you have acknowledged so much, my blessed mother,
I am going to sit down by you, and seriously to give you my well weighed
opinions upon this most weighty matter." So Catherine drew a low stool,
and sat too down by her mother's knee, and threw her arm over her lap,
and looked up in her face and began her discourse.

"First of all, then, dearest mamma, I think you a little take up anxiety
at interest in this case. I really never did see a man that seemed to me
less likely to fall in love imprudently than this Mr. St. Leger. He is
so extremely grave and sedate, so serious, and so melancholy, and he
seems so completely to have done with this world--it has, indeed, proved
a bitter world to him--and to have so entirely placed his thoughts upon
another, that I think the probability very remote indeed, if to the
shadow of any thing above a possibility it amounts, of his ever taking
sufficient interest in present things to turn his thoughts upon his own
happiness. He seems absorbed in the performance of the duties to which
he has devoted himself. Secondly, this being my idea of the state of the
case, I have not the slightest apprehension in the world for dear
Lettice's happiness; because I know what a sensible, kind, and what a
well regulated heart hers is, and that she is far too good and
right-minded to attach herself in any way beyond mere benevolence, and
friendship, and so forth, where there was not a prospect of an adequate
return."

"Oh, yes! my love, very true; yet, Catherine, you admit the possibility,
however remote, of what I fear. And then what _would_ become of us all?
Surely, it is not right to shut our eyes to this possibility."

"Why, mamma, I don't deny the possibility you speak of, and I quite see
how wrong it would be to shut our eyes to it; but just listen to me,
dearest mother, and don't call me wild and romantic till you have heard
me out."

"Well, my love, go on; I am all attention."

"I should think it really, the most ridiculous thing in the world," and
she laughed a little to herself, "to enter so seriously into this
matter, if Edgar and I, alas! were not ordered away in so short a time,
and I fear my dearest mamma will be anxious and uncomfortable after I
am gone--about this possibility, if we do not settle plans a little,
and agree what ought, and what could be done, supposing this horrible
contingency to arise."

"How well you understand your poor mother, love! Yes; that is just it.
Only let me have the worst placed steadily before my eyes, and the
remedies, if any, proposed, or if none, the state of the case
acknowledged, and I can bear the contemplation of almost any thing. I
think it is not patience, but courage, that your poor mother wants, my
child. Uncertainty--any thing that is vague--the evils of which are
undefined, seems to swell into such terrific magnitude. I am like a poor
frightened child, Catherine; the glimmering twilight is full of
monstrous spectres to me."

"Yes, mamma, I believe that is a good deal the case with most of us; but
more especially with those who have so much sensibility and such
delicate nerves as you have. How I adore you, dear mother, for the
patient sweetness with which you bear that trying sort of constitution."

"Dear child!"

"Well, then, mother, to look this evil steadily in the face, as you say.
Suppose Lettice and Mr. St. Leger _were_ to form an attachment for each
other, what should hinder them from marrying?"

"Ah, my dear, that was what I said before, what _would_ become of
them--they must starve."

"Why so? why not live on here?"

"Nay, Catherine, you made me promise not to call you romantic, but who
ever heard of such an out-of-the-way scheme. A young married couple,
living in the condition of domestic companions to people, and in another
man's house. Utterly impossible--what nobody ever attempted to
do--utterly out of the question."

"Well, mamma, I, for one, think that a great many rather out-of-the-way
plans, which, nevertheless, might make people very happy, are often
rejected--merely because 'nobody ever heard of such a thing,' or,
'nobody ever thought of doing so, and therefore it is utterly
impossible.'... But I think I have observed that those who, in their own
private arrangements, have had the courage, upon well considered
grounds--mind I say upon _well considered grounds_--to overlook the
consideration of nobody ever having thought of doing such a thing
before--have found their account in it, and a vast deal of happiness has
been secured which would otherwise have been quite lost."

"As how, Catherine. Give me instances. I don't quite follow you."

"Why, in marriages, for instance, then, such cases arise very often.
Late marriages for one--between people quite advanced in years--which
the world often laugh and sneer at. Most wrongly in my opinion--for
through them how often do we see what would otherwise have been a
solitary old age, rendered cheerful and comfortable; and sometimes a
weary, disappointed life, consoled by a sweet friendship and affection
at its close. Then, there are marriages founded upon reason and
arrangement; such as when an ugly man with an ungraceful manner, yet
perhaps a good heart and head, and with it plenty of money, marries one
rather his inferior in social rank, whom his circumstances enable him to
indulge with many new sources of enjoyment, and who in return is
grateful for the elevation, and proud of a husband young ladies of his
own class might have looked down upon. Then there might be another
arrangement, which is, indeed, at present, I own, almost a romance, it
is so rarely entered into. I mean, supposing single women from different
families, somewhat advanced in life, were to put their little fortunes
together, and form a household, wherein, by their united means, they
might live easily--instead of almost in penury alone. In short, the
instances are innumerable, in which, I think, the path a little out of
the ordinary course, is the wisest a person can pursue."

"Go on, my love, you talk so prettily, I like to hear you."

The daughter kissed the soft white hand she held in hers--white it was
as the fairest wax, and still most beautiful. The signs of age were only
discernible in the wasting blue veins having become a little too
obvious.

"Well, then, mamma, to draw my inference. I think, under the peculiar
circumstances of our family, you, who are so in want of children and
companions, could not do better, than if these two valuable creatures
_did_ attach themselves to one another, to let them marry and retain
them as long as they were so minded under your roof."

"My goodness, child!"

"I have planned it all. This house is so big. I should allot them an
apartment at the east end of it. Quite away from the drawing-room and
yours and my father's rooms--where they might feel as much at home as it
is possible for people to feel in another man's house. I should increase
their salary--by opening a policy upon their lives; as a provision for
their children if they had any. A large provision of this sort would not
be needed. It is not to be supposed their children would not have to
earn their own living as their parents had done before them. Why should
they not? _Nota bene_--Edgar and I hold that the rage for making
children independent, as it is called--that is, enabling them just to
exist, doing nothing, so as just to keep them from starving upon a
minimum income, is a very foolish thing among those whose habits of life
render no such independence necessary, and who have never thought of
enjoying this exemption from labor in their own case."

"But, your father! And then, suppose they got tired of the plan, and
longed for a house of their own?"

"My father is much more easily persuaded to what is good for him, than
we used to think, dear mother. See how nice he has been about Lettice
and this Mr. St. Leger. As to their wishing at last for a home of their
own, that is possible I allow: but think, sweetest mother, of the
pleasure of rewarding this dear, good girl, by making her happy. As for
the rest, fear not, mamma. God will provide."

Mrs. Melwyn made no answer. But she listened more comfortably. The
nervous, anxious, harassed expression of face, which Catherine knew but
too well, began to compose, and her countenance to resume its sweet and
tranquil smile.

"Mind, dear mamma, after all I am only speaking of the remote
possibility, and what might be done. You would have such pleasure in
carrying out the scheme. Oh! I do wish there were but a chance of
it--really I can't help it, mamma--it would be so nice;" said the
sanguine, kind-hearted Catherine.


CHAPTER X.

    Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
    And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray.

                                        Goldsmith.

Accordingly, Mr. St. Leger, his objections having been overruled by
Edgar, accepted the place offered him in General Melwyn's family.

In old times it would probably have been called, what it literally was,
that of domestic chaplain: and the dignity of the name, the defined
office, and the authority in the household which it implies, would not
have been without their use--but, in spite of the want of these
advantages, Mr. St. Leger managed to perform the duties, which, in his
opinion, attached to the office, to the satisfaction of every one.

It had not been without considerable difficulty and hesitation that he
had persuaded himself to enter into the plan. He had scruples, as we
have seen; and he had, moreover, an almost invincible dislike to any
thing approaching to family dependence.

The extremity of his circumstances, however, made him, upon a little
consideration, feel that the indulgence of these latter mentioned
feelings of pride and delicacy, was not only unreasonable but almost
positively wrong. And, as for the scruples connected with his
profession, Edgar did not find it difficult to dissipate them.

He set forth, what was in truth the present state of the family at the
Hazels, and enlarged upon the very great need there was for the
introduction of more religious views than now prevailed. According to a
fashion almost universally prevalent when General Melwyn was young,
except with those of professed religious habits, and who were
universally stigmatized as Methodists, family prayer had been utterly
neglected in his family. And, notwithstanding the better discipline
maintained since the evil star of Randall had sunk beneath the horizon,
not the slightest approach to regularity, in this respect, had been as
yet made. Mrs. Melwyn was personally pious, though in a timid and
unconfiding way, her religion doing little to support and strengthen
her mind; but the general, though he did not live, as many of his
generation were doing, in the open profession of skepticism, and that
contempt for the Bible, which people brought up when Tom Paine passed
for a great genius, used to reckon so clever, yet it was but too
probable that he never approached his Creator, in the course of the
twenty-four hours, in any way; nor had he done so, since he was a child
at his mother's knee.

The young captain and his lady were blest with loving, pious, simple
dispositions. They loved one another--they delighted in the dear, happy
world in which they lived, and in the sweet little creature, their own
darling and most precious possession, and they both loved, and most
gratefully served their God, who had given them all these good things,
and loved him with the full warmth of their feeling hearts. They showed
their reverence for divine things by every means in their power: and
though they were not of those who go about hurling the awful vengeance
of God, upon all they may think less pious than themselves, they were
naturally anxious, and as advancing years brought increase of serious
thought, they became more and more anxious that their parents should
share the consolations, and their house hold the moral guidance to be
derived from a better system.

Then, as I hinted to you before, in anticipation of this change, there
had been a very serious neglect, upon the part of this family, of all
those duties connected with the poor and ignorant. None of those efforts
were here made to assist in softening the evils of destitution, or in
forwarding the instruction of the young, which almost every body,
nowadays, considers such obvious duties.

Such were among the considerations urged by Edgar, and to such Mr. St.
Leger yielded.

The general was profuse in his offers as regarded salary, and gave Edgar
a _carte blanche_ upon the matter; but Mr. St. Leger would only accept
of one hundred a year, and this, with the stipulation that so soon as
the state of his health would enable him, he should be at liberty to
undertake the duties belonging to a curate for Mr. Thomas, without
diminishing that gentleman's slender stipend by receiving any
remuneration from his hands.

This last part of the arrangement was particularly acceptable to Mr. St.
Leger, as he thought with the highest satisfaction upon the probability
now opening of resuming his clerical duties, and of thus being able to
repay the debt of gratitude he felt to be owing to the good old vicar.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now behold Mr. St. Leger introduced as a member of the family at the
Hazels, and shedding, on his part, as Lettice had before him done, upon
hers, a new set of benign influences upon this household.

He was installed the first day by the general, with much politeness and
some little formality, in Edgar's place, at the bottom of the table;
that young gentleman having made it his particular request that he might
see his friend sitting there before his departure. With due gravity was
all this done; while Edgar, chuckling with delight, came and popped down
in his place by the side of his wife.

The young stranger, looking extremely quiet and composed, without fuss,
ceremony, or hurry, took the place appointed to him; but, before seating
himself, with a serious air, he opened his ministerial functions, by
saying grace.

Not as the general was wont to say it--for say it he did, more as if
making a grimace than even as going through a form--but so impressively
and reverently, though very briefly, that the hearts of those about to
sit down, were touched, and they were reminded in spite of themselves,
as they ought to be reminded, that there is One above all who is the
Giver of these good things.

The scene was striking. The very footmen--the officer's footmen--paused,
napkin in hand; astonished--awe-struck by the service. They stood and
stared with vacant eyes, but remained stock still.

That over, the dinner went on as usual. People ate and drank with
cheerful enjoyment. They all, indeed, felt particularly warm-hearted and
comfortable that day. A sort of genial glow seemed to pervade the little
party. The footmen rushed about more light-footed and assiduous than
ever; and, be it observed to their credit, they were all, without
exception, most particularly attentive to the new comer.

In the evening, at ten o'clock, the bell rang for prayers.

Mr. St. Leger, be it understood, had not stipulated for obligatory
attendance upon this service--only for the right to have candles in the
library, and of reading prayers to such as might chose to come; but Mrs.
Melwyn had ordered the servants to attend; and she, and Edgar, and
Catherine, were also there, leaving poor Lettice to take charge of the
general.

The service was short, but impressive, as the grace had been before. It
was necessarily very brief, for the voice of the fair and delicate young
man, looking, indeed, as we might imagine one of the angels of the
churches, figured in Scripture, was so extremely feeble that more he
could not do.

But even if he had possessed the power, I question whether much more he
would have done, he looked upon impressive brevity as the very soul of
such exercises in a family like the present.

Poor Lettice! how hard she found it that evening to remain playing
backgammon with the general, when the rest went out of the room. Going
to attend those services to which she had been accustomed in the house
of her father; and after which, during her stay here, her heart had so
often yearned; but it could not be.

She was, however, consoled by a whisper from Catherine, as she came
back, passing her upon her way to take her place by the fire.

"To-morrow you go and I stay. We will take it in turns."

The new plans were of course--as what taking place in a family is
not--discussed in full conclave that evening over the kitchen fire.

The servants all came back and assembled round it preparatory to washing
up and going to bed; for though it was summer and warm weather, what
servant in the world does not enjoy the kitchen fire in the evening, be
the weather what it may? And, to tell truth, there are not a few in the
parlor, who usually would be glad to share the privilege; but to
proceed.

"Well, Thomas, how do _you_ like these new ways of going on?" asked
Mary, the serious, stiff, time-dried, and smoke-dyed head-laundress--a
personage of unknown antiquity, and who had been in the family ever
since it was a family--addressing the fine powdered gentleman in silk
stockings, and pink, white, and silver livery, who leaned negligently
against the chimney-piece.

"For my part, I'm glad, indeed, to see serious ways taken up in this
house; but how will it suit the rest of you? And especially you, my fine
young gentleman?"

"Why," answered Thomas, assuming a grave and thoughtful aspect, "I'm
going to confess something which will, perhaps, astonish you, Mistress
Mary--and thus it is--if I'd been told twelve months ago that such new
regulations were to be introduced into this household, I have very great
doubts whether I could have made up my mind to have submitted to them;
but within these few hours, d'ye see, there's been a change."

"Bravo, Thomas!" said the butler; "a conversion like--I've heard of such
things in my time."

"Call it what you will, Mr. Buckminster, I call it a change--for a
change there has been."

"What! well! what!" from different voices round. "Do tell us all about
it."

"Why, Charles, you were there; and Mr. Buckminster, you were there too.
But Charles is young and giddy; and Mr. Buckminster being always rather
of the serious order, very probably the effect you see was not produced
so strongly upon either of them as upon me."

"What effect? Well--"

"Why of the grace, as was said before they sat down to dinner."

"The grace! Was it the first time you ever heard grace said, you booby?"

"Yes, I'd heard grace said--I should suppose as often as any as may be
here--though, perhaps, not so sensible to its importance and value as
some present, meaning you, Mistress Mary. The general, for one, never
used to omit it; but, save us! in what a scuffling careless manner it
was said. I protest to you, I thought no more of it than of Mr.
Buckminster taking off the covers and handing them to me. Just as a
necessary preliminary, as they say, to the dinner, and nothing on earth
more."

"Well, do go on, Thomas. It's very _interesting_," said Mistress Mary,
and the rest gathered closer, all attention.

"Well, I was a-going to go scuttling about just as usual, thinking only
of not making any noise lest I should see the general--heeding no more
of the grace than of what cook was doing at her fire--when that young
gentleman, as is come newly among us, bent forward and began to speak
it. The effect upon me was wonderful--it was electric--Mr. Buckminster,
you know what I mean; I stood as one arrested--I couldn't have moved or
_not_ cared if it had been never so--I really couldn't. It seemed to me
as if he truly _was_ thanking God for the good things that were set
before them. Their plenty, and their comfort, and their abundance; it
seemed to me as if things were opened to my mind--what I had never
thought of before--who it was--who _did_ give them, and us after them,
all sorts of delicacies, and food, and drink, when others might be
wanting a morsel of bread; and I seemed to be standing before Him--I
felt need to thank Him with the rest.... All this flashed through me
like lightning; but he had done in a moment, and they all sat down."

"How beautiful Thomas does talk when he has a mind," whispered the
under-housemaid to the under-laundry-maid. "What a fine tall young man
he is, and what a gift of the gab."

"Well," said the rest, "go on--is there any more?"

"Yes, there is more. Someway, I could not get it out of my head--I kept
thinking of it all dinner. It was as much as I could do to mind what I
was about; and once I made such a clatter in putting a knife and fork
upon a plate, that if it hadn't been for the greatest good luck in the
world, I should have got it. But the general was talking quite
complacent like with the two young gentlemen, and by huge good fortune
never heeded."

"Well!"

"Well, when I got into the pantry and began washing up, I had more time
for quiet reflection. And this is what I thought. What a lot of
lubberly, inanimated, ungrateful, stupid slaves we all must be. Here
serving an earthly master, to the best of our abilities, for a few
beggarly pounds, and for his meat and drink and fine clothing; and very
well contented, moreover, when there's roast beef of a Sunday, or
plum-pudding, and a glass of wine besides on a wedding-day or a
birthday; and thank him, and feel pleased with him, and anxious next day
to do better than ordinary, mayhap--And there's the Great Master--the
Lord and Giver of all, who made us by his hand, and created us by his
power, and feeds us by his bounty, and shelters us by his care; and all
for no good of his, but ours--simply ours. For what's he to get of it,
but the satisfaction of his merciful and generous spirit, when he sees
his poor creatures happy?

"And we are such dolts! such asses! such brute beasts! such stocks!
such stones! that here we go on from day to day, enjoying the life he
gives us, eating the bread and meat he gives us, drinking his good
refreshments, resting upon his warm beds, and so on.... Every day, and
every day, and every day--and who among us, I, most especially for one,
ever thinks, except may be by scuttling through a few rigmarole
words--ever thinks, I say, of thanking _Him_ for it--of lifting up a
warm, honest heart, of true real thanking, I mean? Of loving Him the
better, and trying to serve and please Him the better--when He, great
and powerful as He is--Lord of all the lords, emperors, and kings, that
ever wore crowns and coronets in this world--condescends to _let_ us
thank Him, to _like_ us to thank Him, and to take pleasure in our humble
love and service!"

Ha paused--every eye was fixed upon the speaker.

"And, therefore," continued Thomas, turning to the laundry-maid, who
stood there with a tear in her eye; "therefore, Mistress Mary, I _am_
pleased with, and I do _like_ these new ways of going on, as you say;
and I bless God, and hope to do it well in my prayers this night, for
having at last made of us what I call a regular Christian family."

       *       *       *       *       *

I have told you, a little in the way of anticipation, that the
popularity of Mr. St. Leger's new measures was not confined to the
kitchen; but that the general, by slow steps, gradually conformed to the
new usages established at the Hazels.

Lettice and Catherine had not long to take it it turns to stay out with
him, playing backgammon, at the time of evening prayers.

At first it was a polite--"Oh, pray don't think of staying in the
drawing-room upon my account; I can do very well by myself."... Next it
was, "Nay, rather than that, I will go into the library too; why should
I not?" He began to feel, at first, probably, from a vague sense of
propriety only, but before long from better reasons, that it was not
very seemly for the master of the house alone to be absent, when the
worship of God was going on in his family.

So there he might, as I told you, ere long be seen, regularly at
night--in the morning more and more regularly--muttering the responses
between his teeth at first; at length, saying them aloud, and with
greater emphasis than any of the rest of the little congregation. His
once majestic figure, now bent with age, towering above the rest; and
his eagle eye of authority, still astonishingly piercing, rolling round
from time to time, upon the watch to detect and rebuke, by a glance, the
slightest sign of inattention upon the part of any of those assembled.

It was a beautiful picture that evening meeting for prayer, for the
library was a very ancient room, it having retained the old fittings put
in at the time the Hazels was built, some three half centuries ago. The
massive and handsome book-cases of dark oak; the family pictures, grim
with age, which hung above them; the urns and heads of old philosophers
and poets adorning the cornice; the lofty chimney-piece, with the family
arms carved and emblazoned over it; the massive oaken chairs, with their
dark-green morocco cushions; the reading-desk; the large library table,
covered with portfolios of rare prints; and large books containing fine
illustrated editions of the standard authors of England; gave a somewhat
serious, almost religious aspect to the apartment.

Mrs. Melwyn, in her soft gray silks and fine laces; her fair, colorless
cheek; her tender eyes bent downward; her devout, gentle, meek, humble
attitude and expression; Catherine by her side, in all the full bloom of
health and happiness; that charming-looking, handsome Edgar; and
Lettice, with so much character in her countenance, seated upon one side
of the room, formed a charming row of listening faces, with this rugged,
magnificent-looking old general at their head.

On the opposite side were--the grave, stern, old housekeeper, so fat, so
grave, and so imposing; Mrs. Melwyn's new maid, a pretty young woman, in
the lightest possible apology for a cap, trimmed with pink ribbons; the
laundry-maid, so serious, and sitting stiff and starched as one of her
own clear muslins; the cook and housemaid looking as attentive as they
could; and the under-servants staring with vacant eyes--eyes that looked
as if they were ready to drop out of their heads; Mr. Buckminster, as
the charming Dickens has it, _so_ "respectable;" Thomas, all spirit and
enthusiasm; and Charles doing all in his power not to fall asleep.

At the table the young minister, with that interesting and most delicate
face of his; his tall, wasted figure bending forward, his fair,
emaciated hands resting upon the book, from which, in a voice low and
feeble, but most penetrating and sweet, he read.

They would come back to the drawing-room in such a composed, happy,
cheerful frame of mind. The general more remarkably so. He felt more
self-satisfaction than the others; because the course of proceeding was
so new to him that he imagined it to be very particularly meritorious. A
bit of a pharisee you will think--but not the least of that, I assure
you. Only people, at their first trying of such paths, do often find
them most peculiarly paths of pleasantness and ways of peace; and, this
sort of peace, this being at ease with the conscience, is, to be sure,
very soothing and comfortable.

In short, nothing could proceed better than things did; and every one
was quite content but the charming match-maker, Catherine.

She watched, and watched with the greatest interest; but watch as she
might, she could detect no symptoms of falling in love upon the part of
Mr. St. Leger.

He spent, indeed, the whole of his mornings either in his own room or in
the library, absorbed in the books of divinity, of which there happened
to be a very valuable collection; a collection which had slept
undisturbed upon the shelves for many and many a long year. These
afforded to him a source of interest and improvement which he had never
enjoyed since he had left the too often neglected library of the small
college where he had been educated. He was ready to devour them. Every
moment of time he considered his own--and the whole of the morning was
chiefly at his disposal--was devoted to them; with the exception, be it
mentioned, of a large portion, which, when the weather would allow, was
spent in visiting among the poor at that end of the parish.

At dinner Mr. St. Leger for the first time joined the family party. When
he did, however, it must be confessed, he made ample amends for his
absence, and was excessively agreeable. He had great powers of
conversation, and evidently considered it his duty to exert himself to
raise the tone of conversation at the general's table, so as to make the
time pass pleasantly with the old man. In this Edgar and Catherine
seconded him to the best of their power.

Lettice said little. She sat at the bottom of the table, by Mr. St.
Leger; but though he often addressed her--taking care that she should
not feel left out--as did Catherine also, she was very silent. She had
not, indeed, much that she could venture to say. When conversation took
this higher tone, she felt afraid of her own ignorance; and then she
first knew what it was to lament not having had a better education.

As they grew more intimate--for people who sit side by side at dinner
every day can not help growing intimate--Mr. St. Leger would gently
remark upon this reserve; and one day he began to speak openly upon the
subject. He had attributed her silence, I believe, to a bashful feeling
of inferiority in rank; for her face was so intelligent and full of
meaning, that he did not divine its real cause, so he said, with a
certain gentle abruptness which became him much:

"I have discovered a fault in you, Miss Arnold, at last; though every
body here seems to think it impossible you should have one. May I tell
you of it?"

"Oh! if you once begin with my faults, I am afraid you will never have
done. I know the length of the score that might be summed up against me,
though others are so good-natured as to forget it. Yes, indeed, I shall
be much obliged to you."

"Don't you think it is the duty of all to exert themselves in a family
party, to make conversation circulate in an agreeable manner?"

"To be sure, I do--and" ... how well you perform that duty, she was
prompted to say, but she did not. She hesitated a little, and then
added--"And, perhaps, you think I do not do that so much as I ought to
do."

"Precisely. You will not be angry. No, you can not be angry. You never
are. The most trying and provoking things, I observe, can not ruffle
you. So I will venture to say, that I think you don't play fair by me.
We are both here chiefly to make ourselves agreeable, I believe; and I
sometimes wish I had a little more assistance in that duty from one who,
I am sure, could perform it admirably, if she so pleased."

Lettice shook her head. Then she said, with her usual simplicity, "I
used to talk more before you came."

"Did you? But that's not quite generous, is it, to throw the whole
burden upon me now I _am_ come, instead of sharing it? Why will you not
talk now?"

"Simply, because I can't. Oh, Mr. St. Leger! the talk is so different
since you came here, and I feel my own incapacity so sadly--my own
ignorance so forcibly--I should say so painfully; but that, indeed, is
not my own fault, and that takes the worst pain, you know, out of
things."

"Ignorant!" he said: "of what?"

"Of all these things you talk about. I used to pick up a little from the
newspapers, but now I have done reading them I seem literally to know
nothing."

"Nothing! Nothing about books, I suppose you mean; for you seem to me to
understand men and things better than most people I have met with."

"I have experienced more, perhaps, than most girls of my age have done,
through my poverty and misfortunes; but what is that?"

"Ah, Miss Arnold! what is it but the best part of all knowledge; to
understand one's self and others; the best of all possessions; to
possess one's own spirit. But I beg your pardon, I will only add, that I
do not, by what I say, intend at all to undervalue the advantages of
reading, or the happiness of having a love of reading. Do you love
reading?"

"Why, I don't quite know. I find the books I read aloud to Mrs. Melwyn
often very tiresome, I must confess."

"And what sort of books do you read to Mrs. Melwyn?"

"Why, only two sorts--novels and essays."

He laughed a little, in his quiet way, and then said, "I wonder at any
young lady disliking novels; I thought it was the very reading they
liked best; but as for essays, with very few exceptions, I must own I
share in your distaste for them."

"I can't understand them very often. I am ashamed to say it; but the
writers use such fine language and such strange new words, and then they
go over and over again upon the same thought, and illustrate it twenty
different ways, when one happy illustration, I think, would be so much
better; I like a writer who marches promptly through a subject; those
essayists seem as if they never could have done."

"What you say is just, in many instances, I think. It is a pity you have
not tried other reading. History, travels, poetry; you can not think how
pleasantly such subjects seem to fill and enlarge the mind. And if you
have a little time of your own, you can not easily believe, perhaps, how
much may be done. Even with an hour each day, of steady reading, a vast
deal."

"Ah! but where shall I begin? Every body reads Hume's History of England
first, and I have never even done that; and if I were to begin I should
never get to the end of it."

"Oh, yes, but you would, and be surprised to find how soon that end had
arrived, and what a pleasant journey you had made. But if you are
frightened at Hume, and I own he _looks_ formidable, let me select you
something in the library, to commence operations with, which will not be
quite so alarming."

"Oh! if you would...."

"With the greatest pleasure in the world. If you will allow me to assist
you a little in the choice of your books, I think, with the virtue of
perseverance--and I know you have all the virtues--you would get through
a good deal in a comparatively short space of time; and when I reflect
how much it would add to your happiness, as it does to every one's
happiness, I confess I can not feel easy till I have set you going."

This conversation had been carried on in a low voice, while the rest had
been talking over some family matters together. The speakers at the head
of the table stopped, and the silence aroused the two. Catherine glanced
at them suddenly; she saw Lettice color a little, but Mr. St. Leger
preserved the most provoking composure.

The evenings Mr. St. Leger devoted exclusively to the good pleasure of
the general. He read the newspapers, making them the vehicle of the most
intelligent and agreeable comments, he looked out the places mentioned
in the maps, and had something perpetually to say that was interesting
of this or that. He answered every question the general wanted solved in
the cleverest manner; and, in short, he so won upon the old man's heart,
that he became quite attached to him. The evenings, once so heavy, and
spent in a sort of irritable fretfulness, became quite delightful to
him: nor were they less delightful to others. At last, things came to
that pass that the wearisome backgammon was given up, and reading aloud
took its place. The ladies worked and read in turns, Edgar taking double
tides, and Mr. St. Leger doing a little, which he insisted upon,
assuring them that it did not hurt his chest at all. He was, indeed,
getting stronger and better every day; he was a beautiful reader.

Lettice sat plying her busy needle, but with a countenance so filled
with intelligent pleasure, that it is not to be wondered at if Mr. St.
Leger, when his reading was over, and he had nothing else to do, and,
the books being usually such as he was well acquainted with, not much at
the moment to think of, took pleasure in observing her.

He had not forgotten his promise of selecting authors for her own
private studies; he seemed to take much benevolent pleasure in
endeavoring to compensate to this generous and excellent creature, for
the intellectual disadvantages of a life devoted to others as hers had
been. He usually, also, found or made an opportunity for talking over
with her what she had been reading; and, he believed, in all sincerity,
and so did she, that he was actuated in these proceedings merely, as I
said, by the disinterested desire of offering compensation for past
sacrifices; stimulated by the very high value he himself attached to
mental cultivation, regarding it as the best source of independent
happiness both for men and women.

But whatever were the motives with which he began this labor of
kindness, it is certain as he proceeded therein a vast deal more
interest and pleasure were mingled up with this little task than had
been the case at first.

Her simple, unaffected purity of heart; her single-mindedness, unstained
by selfish thought, pride, or vanity, or folly, in its simplicity and
singleness of purpose, were displayed before him. The generous
benevolence of purpose; the warm and grateful piety; the peculiar
right-mindedness; the unaffected love for all that was excellent, true,
good, or beautiful, and the happy facility of detecting all that was
good or beneficial wherever it was to be found, and wherever observed;
the sweet cheerfulness and repose of the character; that resemblance to
a green field, which I have heard a husband of only too sensitive a
nature gratefully attribute to his partner; all this worked strongly,
though unmarked.

Mr. St. Leger began to experience a sense of a sweetness, solace, and
enjoyment, in the presence of Lettice Arnold, that he had not found upon
this earth for years, and which he never had hoped to find again.

But all this time he never dreamed of falling in love. His imagination
never traveled so far as to think of such a thing as appropriating this
rare blessing to himself. To live with her was his destiny at present,
and that seemed happiness enough; and, indeed he scarcely had got so far
as to acknowledge to his own heart, how much happiness that privilege
conferred.

She, on her side, was equally tranquil, undisturbed by the slightest
participation in the romance Catherine would so gladly have commenced.
She went on contentedly, profiting by his instructions, delighting in
his company, and adoring his goodness; but would as soon have thought of
appropriating some "bright particular star" to herself as this gifted
man.

She deemed him too infinitely her superior.

Well, it is no use keeping the matter in suspense any longer. You all
see how it must end.

You do not fret and worry yourselves as Catherine did, and abuse Mr. St.
Leger for his indifference. You see plainly enough that two such very
nice people, and so excellently suited to each other, must, thrown
together as they were every day, end by liking each other, which, but
for the previous arrangements of the excellent Catherine, would have
been a very perplexing business to all parties.

When at last--just before Edgar and his wife were going to sail for
Canada, and he and she were making their farewell visit at the
Hazels--when at last Mr. St. Leger, after having looked for two or three
days very miserable, and having avoided every one, and particularly poor
Lettice--to whom he had not spoken a word all that time, and who was
miserable at the idea that she must have offended him--when at last he
took Edgar out walking, and then confessed that he thought it no longer
right, safe, or honorable, for him to remain at the Hazels, finding, as
he did, that one creature was becoming too dear to him; and he trembled
every moment, lest by betraying his secret he might disturb her
serenity. When at last the confession was made, and Edgar reported it to
his wife--then Catherine was ready to jump for joy. In vain Edgar strove
to look wise, and tell her to be reasonable. In vain he represented all
the objections that must be urged against her out-of-the-way scheme, as
he was ill-natured enough to call it. She would hear of none.

No, nothing. She was perfectly unreasonable--her husband told her
so--but it was all in vain. Men are more easily discouraged at the idea
of any proceeding out of the usual course than women are. They do not, I
think, set so much value upon _abstract_ happiness, if I may use the
term; they think more of the attending circumstances, and less of that
one ingredient--genuine happiness--than women do.

Catherine could and would think of nothing else, but how perfectly these
two were suited to each other, and how excessively happy they would be.

Dear, good thing! how she labored in the cause, and what a world of
contradiction and trouble she had to go through. First, there was Mr.
St. Leger himself, to be persuaded to be happy upon her plan, the only
possible plan under the circumstances; then there was Lettice to
persuade that Mr. St. Leger's happiness and dignity would not be
hazarded; then there was Edgar to reason out of calling her romantic;
and last of all there was the general, for Mrs. Melwyn, I consider, as
Catherine did, already persuaded.

This last task _did_ appear formidable. She put it off as long as she
could; she got every body else in the right frame of mind before she
ventured upon it; she had persuaded both Edgar and Mrs. Melwyn to second
her, if need were, and at length, with a dreadful feeling of
trepidation, she broached the subject to the old veteran. With all the
coolness she could muster she began her speech, and laid the whole
matter before him. He did not interrupt her while she spoke by one
single word, or remark good, bad, or indifferent. It was awful--her poor
little heart fluttered, as if it were going to stop; she expected the
storm every instant to burst forth in some terrible outbreak. She sat
there shuddering at her own rashness. If even Edgar had called her
absurd, what would her father do! If St. Leger himself had been so
difficult to manage, what would the old general say! He said nothing.
She would not be discouraged: she began to speak again, to recapitulate
every argument; she warmed with the subject; she was earnest, eloquent,
pathetic--tears were in the good creature's eyes; still he was silent.
At last, wearied out with useless exertion, she ceased to urge the
matter any further; and endeavoring to conquer her feelings of deep
disappointment, looked up in his face to see whether the slightest
relenting expression was visible in it. No; his eyes were fixed upon the
floor; he seemed lost in deep thought.

"Papa," she ventured to say, "have you heard all I have been saying?"

"Yes, child."

Silence again for a few minutes, then--"Catherine, did you ever know me
do a good action in your life?"

"Dear papa, what a question."

"Did you ever know me, I say, to do one thoroughly generous, benevolent
action, without regard to self in the slightest degree--such as I
call--such as alone merits the name of a really _good_ action? If you
ever did, I can't easily forgive you."

"Dearest papa! what have I done? Did I ever say? Did I ever hint? Dear
papa!" and she looked ready to cry.

"Did you ever?--no--I know you never did."

"Don't say so--don't think so badly of me, papa."

"I'm not thinking badly of you, child--God forbid; for well he knows if
I ever did one really generous, benevolent action--one without reference
to self.... Heaven bless thee, thou dearest thing, thy life seems only
made up of such actions; but I say again, did you ever?--No; I know you
never did--and I'll tell you why I know it."

"Ah, papa! What _can_ you mean?"

"Because," he went on without seeming to mind her emotion, "because, I
observe, that whenever you want to persuade other people--your mother,
or Edgar, or Lettice, for instance--to do something you've set your
heart upon, you hussy--you always enlarge upon the happiness it will
give to other people; but when you're trying to come round me, you only
talk of how comfortable it will make myself."

She could only utter a faint exclamation. The accusation, if accusation
it may be called, was not to be denied.

"Now, Catherine, since this young man came into the house, what with his
conversation, he's a most gentlemanlike, agreeable converser as ever I
met with ... and the prayers, and the chapters, and such like; and, in
short, a certain new tone of thought altogether; there has been
gradually something new growing up in me. I have at times begun to think
back upon my life, and to recollect what a nasty, mean, greedy,
calculating, selfish fellow I've been throughout, never troubling myself
about other people's comforts, or so on, but going on as if every body
was only created to promote mine; and I'd have been glad, Catherine,
before I went into my grave, which won't be long too--I own to you I
would have been glad, for once in my life to have done a purely good,
unselfish thing--made a sacrifice, as you pious folk call it; and,
therefore, to own the truth, I have been very sorry, and could not help
feeling disappointed, as here you've sat prosing this half hour and
more, showing me what a great deal I was to get by this notable
arrangement of yours."

"Papa!--dearest--dear papa!"

"Be quiet--I have indeed--I'd have liked to have had something to give
up, instead of its being, as I verily believe it is, the most charmingly
delightful scheme for your mother and me that ever was hit upon--for
that man is the happiness of my life--my body's comfort and my soul's
health--and Lettice is more like a dear child than any thing else to
that poor mother of yours, whom I have not, perhaps, been so considerate
of as I ought; and to have them thus fixed together in this house, is
better luck than could be conceived, such as scarcely ever happens in
this world to any body; and far better than I--almost better than your
poor mother deserves. So you're a darling little courageous creature for
planning it, when I'll be bound they all thought you a fool, so have it
all your own way, and give your old father a kiss," which she joyfully
did. "And now you go to Mr. St. Leger, and tell him from me, that if he
consents to this scheme I shall esteem it the greatest favor and
satisfaction that was ever conferred upon me in my life. I know what it
is to be thus trusted by such a man--I know the confidence on his part
which such an arrangement implies--and you may add, that if he will only
extend to me his usual indulgence for human folly and frailty, I will do
every thing that is in the power of an ill-tempered, good-for-nothing,
selfish old fellow, to prevent him repenting his bargain. And tell
Lettice she's a darling, excellent creature; and I have thought so long,
though I have said little about it, and she has been like an angel of
love and peace in our family; and if she will only go on as she has
done, she will make us all as happy as the day is long; and tell your
mother I wish I did not enjoy the thoughts of this so much myself, that
I might have the pleasure of making an offering of my satisfaction to
her."

"Dear!--dear beloved papa!"

"Stop a little, child; Edgar and you will have to pay the piper, you
know."

"Oh, gladly! thankfully!"

"Because you see, my dear, if these two people marry and live with us,
and become as children, I must treat them, in a manner, as children, and
make a little codicil to my will; and you and Edgar will be something
the worse for it. But, bless you, child, there's enough for all."

"And bless you, my honored, generous father, for thinking so; that there
is. Edgar and I only earnestly desired this; thank you, thank you, ten
thousand times."

I will only detain you for a few moments longer, to tell you that the
scheme was carried into execution, and fully answered the hopes of the
generous contriver.

Mr. St. Leger found, in the attachment of Lettice, a compensation for
the cruel sufferings of his past life; and, under her tender and
assiduous care, he speedily recovered his health and his powers of
usefulness. She, while performing a woman's best and happiest part, that
of proving the true happiness of an admirable and a superior man,
contrived likewise to fulfill all her other duties in the most complete
and exemplary manner.

It would be difficult to say, whether the happiness she felt or
conferred was the greater.

Exceptional people may venture upon exceptional measures. Those who are
a great deal more sweet tempered, and loving, and good, and reasonable
than others, may venture to seek happiness in ways that the generality
would be mad to attempt.

And sensible, well-principled, right-tempered human beings, one may take
into close family intimacy, and discard that reserve, and those
arm's-length proceedings, which people's faults, in too many cases,
render prudent and necessary.

It was because the subjects of Catherine's schemes were so excellent,
that the object of them was so wise.

I have now told you how perfectly they answered upon trial; and I am
only sorry that the world contains so very few with whom one could
venture to make the same experiment.

For a very large portion of possible happiness is thrown away, because
people are not fit to take part in plans of this nature--plans wherein
one shall give what he has, to receive back what he wants; and thus the
true social communism be established.



[From the Memoirs of Dr. Chalmers, Vol. II., unpublished.]

RECOLLECTIONS OF DR. CHALMERS.

HIS PERSONAL APPEARANCE IN THE PULPIT.


The first sermon which Mr. Chalmers preached in Glasgow was delivered
before the Society of the Sons of the Clergy, on Thursday the 30th day
of March, 1815, a few months after his appointment, and a few months
previous to his admission as minister of the Tron Church. The recent
excitement of the canvass, the rumors strange and various, which
crossing the breadth of Scotland were circulating in all quarters
through the city, the quickened curiosity of opponents, the large but
somewhat tremulous expectation of friends, drew together a vast
multitude to hear him. Among the crowd which filled the church was a
young Oxford student, himself the son of a Scottish minister, who had
been surprised by hearing Mr. Chalmers's work on the Evidences of
Christianity mentioned with high approval, within the walls of an
English University, shortly after the date of its publication. The keen
dark eye of the youthful auditor fixed itself in searching scrutiny upon
the preacher, and a few years later his graceful and graphic pen drew
the following sketch:

"I was a good deal surprised and perplexed with the first glimpse I
obtained of his countenance, for the light that streamed faintly upon it
for the moment did not reveal any thing like that general outline of
feature and visage for which my fancy had by some strange working of
presentiment, prepared me. By-and-by, however, the light became
stronger, and I was enabled to study the minutiae of his face pretty
leisurely, while he leaned forward and read aloud the words of the
Psalm, for that is always done in Scotland, not by the clerk, but the
clergyman himself. At first sight, no doubt, his face is a coarse one,
but a mysterious kind of meaning breathes from every part of it, that
such as have eyes to see cannot be long without discovering. It is very
pale, and the large, half-closed eyelids have a certain drooping
melancholy weight about them, which interested me very much. I
understood not why. The lips, too, are singularly pensive in their mode
of falling down at the sides, although there is no want of richness and
vigor in their central fullness of curve. The upper lip, from the nose
downward, is separated by a very deep line, which gives a sort of
leonine firmness of expression to all the lower part of the face. The
cheeks are square and strong, in texture like pieces of marble, with the
cheek-bones very broad and prominent. The eyes themselves are light in
color, and have a strange dreamy heaviness, that conveys any idea rather
than that of dullness, but which contrasts in a wonderful manner with
the dazzling watery glare they exhibit when expanded in their sockets,
and illuminated into all their flame and fervor in some moment of high
entranced enthusiasm. But the shape of the forehead is, perhaps, the
most singular part of the whole visage; and, indeed, it presents a
mixture so very singular, of forms commonly exhibited only in the widest
separation, that it is no wonder I should have required some little time
to comprehend the meaning of it. In the first place, it is without
exception the most marked mathematical forehead I ever met with--being
far wider across the eyebrows than either Mr. Playfair's or Mr.
Leslie's--and having the eyebrows themselves lifted up at their exterior
ends quite out of the usual line, a peculiarity which Spurzheim had
remarked in the countenances of almost all the great mathematical or
calculating geniuses--such, for example, if I rightly remember, as Sir
Isaac Newton himself, Kaestener, Euler, and many others. Immediately
above the extraordinary breadth of this region, which, in the heads of
most mathematical persons, is surmounted by no fine points of
organization whatever, immediately above this, in the forehead, there is
an arch of imagination, carrying out the summit boldly and roundly, in
a style to which the heads of very few poets present any thing
comparable, while over this again there is a grand apex of high and
solemn veneration and love, such as might have graced the bust of Plato
himself, and such as in living men I had never beheld equaled in any but
the majestic head of Canova. The whole is edged with a few crisp dark
locks, which stand forth boldly, and afford a fine relief to the
death-like paleness of those massive temples.... Of all human
compositions there is none surely which loses so much as a sermon does
when it is made to address itself to the eye of a solitary student in
his closet and not to the thrilling ears of a mighty mingled
congregation, through the very voice which nature has enriched with
notes more expressive than words can ever be of the meanings and
feelings of its author. Neither, perhaps, did the world ever possess any
orator whose minutest peculiarities of gesture and voice have more power
in increasing the effect of what he says--whose delivery, in other
words, is the first, and the second, and the third excellence of his
oratory--more truly than is that of Dr. Chalmers. And yet were the
spirit of the man less gifted than it is, there is no question these,
his lesser peculiarities, would never have been numbered among his
points of excellence. His voice is neither strong nor melodious, his
gestures are neither easy nor graceful; but, on the contrary, extremely
rude and awkward; his pronunciation is not only broadly national, but
broadly provincial, distorting almost every word he utters into some
barbarous novelty, which, had his hearer leisure to think of such
things, might be productive of an effect at once ludicrous and offensive
in a singular degree. But, of a truth, these are things which no
listener can attend to while this great preacher stands before him armed
with all the weapons of the most commanding eloquence, and swaying all
around him with its imperial rule. At first, indeed, there is nothing to
make one suspect what riches are in store. He commences in a low,
drawling key, which has not even the merit of being solemn, and advances
from sentence to sentence, and from paragraph to paragraph, while you
seek in vain to catch a single echo that gives promise of that which is
to come. There is, on the contrary, an appearance of constraint about
him that affects and distresses you. You are afraid that his breast is
weak, and that even the slight exertion he makes may be too much for it.
But then, with what tenfold richness does this dim preliminary curtain
make the glories of his eloquence to shine forth, when the heated spirit
at length shakes from it its chill confining fetters, and bursts out
elate and rejoicing in the full splendor of its disimprisoned wings....
I have heard many men deliver sermons far better arranged in regard to
argument, and have heard very many deliver sermons far more uniform in
elegance both of conception and of style; but most unquestionably, I
have never heard, either in England or Scotland, or in any other
country, any preacher whose eloquence is capable of producing an effect
so strong and irresistible as his."[21]

       *       *       *       *       *

FIRST DELIVERY OF THE ASTRONOMICAL DISCOURSES.--At the time of Dr.
Chalmers's settlement in Glasgow it was the custom that the clergymen of
the city should preach in rotation on Thursday in the Tron Church, a
duty which, as their number was then but eight, returned to each within
an interval of two months. On Thursday, the 23d of November, 1815, this
week-day service devolved on Dr. Chalmers. The entire novelty of the
discourse delivered upon this occasion, and the promise held out by the
preacher that a series of similar discourses was to follow, excited the
liveliest interest, not in his own congregation alone, but throughout
the whole community. He had presented to his hearers a sketch of the
recent discoveries of astronomy--distinct in outline, and drawn with all
the ease of one who was himself a master in the science, yet gorgeously
magnificent in many of its details, displaying, amid "the brilliant glow
of a blazing eloquence,"[22] the sublime poetry of the heavens. In his
subsequent discourses Dr. Chalmers proposed to discuss the argument or
rather prejudice against the Christian Revelation which grounds itself
on the vastness and variety of those unnumbered worlds which lie
scattered over the immeasurable fields of space. This discussion
occupied all the Thursday services allotted to him during the year 1816.
The spectacle which presented itself in the Trongate upon the day of the
delivery of each new astronomical discourse, was a most singular one.
Long ere the bell began to toll, a stream of people might be seen
pouring through the passage which led into the Tron Church. Across the
street, and immediately opposite to this passage, was the old
reading-room, where all the Glasgow merchants met. So soon, however, as
the gathering quickening stream upon the opposite side of the street
gave the accustomed warning, out flowed the occupants of the
coffee-room; the pages of the Herald or the Courier were for a while
forsaken, and during two of the best business hours of the day the old
reading-room wore a strange aspect of desolation. The busiest merchants
of the city were wont, indeed, upon those memorable days to leave their
desks, and kind masters allowed their clerks and apprentices to follow
their example. Out of the very heart of the great tumult an hour or two
stood redeemed for the highest exercises of the spirit; and the low
traffic of earth forgotten, heaven and its high economy and its human
sympathies and eternal interests, engrossed the mind at least and the
fancy of congregated thousands.

In January, 1817, this series of discourses was announced as ready for
publication. It had generally been a matter of so much commercial risk
to issue a volume of sermons from the press, that recourse had been
often had in such cases to publication by subscription. Dr. Chalmers's
publisher, Mr. Smith, had hinted that perhaps this method ought in this
instance also to be tried. "It is far more agreeable to my feelings,"
Dr. Chalmers wrote to him a few days before the day of publication,
"that the book should be introduced to the general market, and sell on
the public estimation of it, than that the neighborhood here should be
plied in all the shops with subscription papers, and as much as possible
wrung out of their partialities for the author." Neither author nor
publisher had at this time the least idea of the extraordinary success
which was awaiting their forthcoming volume. It was published on the
28th of January, 1817. In ten weeks 6000 copies had been disposed of,
the demand showing no symptom of decline. Nine editions were called for
within a year, and nearly 20,000 copies were in circulation. Never
previously, nor ever since, has any volume of sermons met with such
immediate and general acceptance. The "Tales of my Landlord" had a
month's start in the date of publication, and even with such a
competitor it ran an almost equal race. Not a few curious observers were
struck with the novel competition, and watched with lively curiosity how
the great Scottish preacher and the great Scottish novelist kept for a
whole year so nearly abreast of one another. It was, besides, the first
volume of Sermons which fairly broke the lines which had separated too
long the literary from the religious public. Its secondary merits won
audience for it in quarters where evangelical Christianity was nauseated
and despised. It disarmed even the keen hostility of Hazlitt, and kept
him for a whole forenoon spell-bound beneath its power. "These sermons,"
he says, "ran like wild-fire through the country, were the darlings of
watering-places, were laid in the windows of inns, and were to be met
with in all places of public resort.... We remember finding the volume
in the orchard of the inn at Burford Bridge, near Boxhill, and passing a
whole and very delightful morning in reading it without quitting the
shade of an apple tree." The attractive volume stole an hour or two from
the occupations of the greatest statesman and orator of the day.
"Canning," says Sir James Mackintosh, "told me that he was entirely
converted to admiration of Chalmers; so is Bobus, whose conversion is
thought the greatest proof of victory. Canning says there are most
magnificent passages in his 'Astronomical Sermons."[23] Four years
before this time, through the pages of the "Edinburgh Christian
Instructor," Dr. Chalmers had said, "Men of tasteful and cultivated
literature are repelled from theology at the very outset by the
unseemly garb in which she is presented to them. If there be room for
the display of eloquence in urgent and pathetic exhortation, in masterly
discussion, in elevating greatness of conception, does not theology
embrace all these, and will not the language that is clearly and
appropriately expressive of them possess many of the constituents and
varieties of good writing? If theology, then, can command such an
advantage, on what principle should it be kept back from her?... In the
subject itself there is a grandeur which it were vain to look for in the
ordinary themes of eloquence or poetry. Let writers arise, then, to do
it justice. Let them be all things to all men, that they may gain some;
and if a single proselyte can be thereby drawn from the ranks of
literature, let all the embellishments of genius and fancy be thrown
around the subject. One man has already done much. Others are rising
around him, and with the advantage of a higher subject, they will in
time rival the unchristian moralists of the day, and overmatch them." He
was one of the first to answer to his own call, to fulfill his own
prediction. No single writer of our age has done so much to present the
truths of Christianity in new forms, and to invest them with all the
attractions of a fascinating eloquence; nor could a single volume be
named which has done more than this very volume of "Astronomical
Discourses" to soften and subdue those prejudices which the infidelity
of natural science engenders.

       *       *       *       *       *

EFFECT OF HIS ELOQUENCE.--SERMON ON DISSIPATION IN LARGE CITIES.--Dr.
Chalmers returned to Glasgow on Saturday, the 27th December, and on the
following day found a prodigious crowd awaiting his appearance in the
Tron Church pulpit. His popularity as a preacher was now at its very
highest summit, and judging merely by the amount of physical energy
displayed by the preacher, and by the palpable and visible effects
produced upon his hearers, we conclude that it was about this period,
and within the walls of the Tron Church, that by far the most wonderful
exhibitions of his power as a pulpit orator were witnessed. "The Tron
Church contains, if I mistake not," says the Rev. Dr. Wardlaw, who, as
frequently as he could, was a hearer in it, "about 1400 hearers,
according to the ordinary allowance of seat-room; when crowded of course
proportionally more. And, though I can not attempt any pictorial sketch
of the _place_, I may, in a sentence or two, present you with a few
touches of the _scene_ which I have, more than once or twice, witnessed
within its walls; not that it was at all peculiar, for it resembled
every other scene where the doctor in those days, when his eloquence was
in the prime of its vehemence and splendor, was called to preach. There
was one particular, indeed, which rendered such a scene, in a city like
Glasgow, peculiarly striking. I refer to the _time_ of it. To see a
place of worship, of the size mentioned, crammed above and below, on a
_Thursday forenoon_, during the busiest hours of the day, with fifteen
or sixteen hundred hearers, and these of all descriptions of persons, in
all descriptions of professional occupation, the busiest as well as
those who had most leisure on their hands, those who had least to spare
taking care so to arrange their business engagements previously as to
_make time_ for the purpose, all pouring in through the wide entrance at
the side of the Tron steeple, half an hour before the time of service,
to secure a seat, or content if too late for this to occupy, as many
did, standing room--this was, indeed, a novel and strange sight. Nor was
it once merely, or twice, but month after month the day was calculated
when his turn to preach again was to come round, and anticipated, with
even impatient longing, by multitudes.

"Suppose the congregation thus assembled--pews filled with sitters, and
aisles, to a great extent, with standers. They wait in eager
expectation. The preacher appears. The devotional exercises of praise
and prayer having been gone through with unaffected simplicity and
earnestness, the entire assembly set themselves for the _treat_, with
feelings very diverse in kind, but all eager and intent. There is a hush
of dead silence. The text is announced, and he begins. Every countenance
is up--every eye bent, with fixed intentness, on the speaker. As he
kindles the interest grows. Every breath is held--every cough is
suppressed--every fidgety movement is settled--every one, riveted
himself by the spell of the impassioned and entrancing eloquence, knows
how sensitively his neighbor will resent the very slightest disturbance.
Then, by-and-by, there is a pause. The speaker stops--to gather
breath--to wipe his forehead--to adjust his gown, and purposely too, and
wisely, to give the audience, as well as himself, a moment or two of
relaxation. The moment is embraced--there is free breathing--suppressed
coughs get vent--postures are changed--there is a universal stir, as of
persons who could not have endured the constraint much longer--the
preacher bends forward--his hand is raised--all is again hushed. The
same stillness and strain of unrelaxed attention is repeated, more
intent still, it may be, than before, as the interest of the subject and
of the speaker advance. And so, for perhaps four or five times in the
course of a sermon, there is the _relaxation_ and the '_at it again_'
till the final winding up.

"And _then_, the moment the last word was uttered, and followed by
the--'_let us pray_,' there was a scene for which no excuse or
palliation can be pleaded but the fact of its having been to many a
matter of difficulty, in the morning of a week-day, to accomplish the
abstraction of even so much of their time from business--the closing
prayer completely drowned by the hurried rush of large numbers from the
aisles and pews to the door; an unseemly scene, without doubt, as if so
many had come to the house of God not to worship, but simply to enjoy
the fascination of human eloquence. Even this much it was a great thing
for eloquence to accomplish. And how diversified soever the motives
which drew so many together, and the emotions awakened and impressions
produced by what was heard--though, in the terms of the text of one of
his most overpoweringly stirring and faithful appeals, he was to not a
few 'as one that had a pleasant voice and could play well on an
instrument,' yet there is abundant proof that, in the highest sense,
'his labor was not in vain in the Lord;' that the truths which, with so
much fearless fidelity and impassioned earnestness, he delivered, went
in many instances farther than the ear, or even the intellect--that they
reached the heart, and, by the power of the Spirit, turned it to God."

"On Thursday, the 12th February, 1818," I now quote from a manuscript of
the Rev. Mr. Fraser, minister of Kilchrennan, "Dr. Chalmers preached in
the Tron Church before the Directors of the Magdalene Asylum. The sermon
delivered on this occasion was that 'On the Dissipation of Large
Cities.' Long before the service commenced every seat and passage was
crowded to excess, with the exception of the front pew of the gallery,
which was reserved for the magistrates. A vast number of students
deserted their classes at the University and were present. This was very
particularly the case in regard to the Moral Philosophy Class, which I
attended that session, as appeared on the following day when the list of
absentees was given in by the person who had called the catalogue, and
at the same time a petition from several of themselves was handed in to
the professor, praying for a remission of the fine for non-attendance,
on the ground that they had been hearing Dr. Chalmers. The doctor's
manner during the whole delivery of that magnificent discourse was
strikingly animated, while the enthusiasm and energy which he threw into
some of its bursts rendered them quite overpowering. One expression
which he used, together with his action, his look, and the very tones of
his voice when it came forth, made a most vivid and indelible impression
upon my memory: 'We, at the same time,' he said, 'have our eye perfectly
open to that great external improvement which has taken place, of late
years, in the manners of society. There is not the same grossness of
conversation. There is not the same impatience for the withdrawment of
him who, asked to grace the outset of an assembled party, is compelled,
at a certain step in the process of conviviality, by the obligations of
professional decency, to retire from it. There is not so frequent an
exaction of this as one of the established proprieties of social or of
fashionable life. And if such an exaction was ever laid by the
omnipotence of custom on a minister of Christianity, it is such an
exaction as ought never, never to be complied with. It is not for him to
lend the sanction of his presence to a meeting with which he could not
sit to its final termination. It is not for him to stand associated,
for a single hour, with an assemblage of men who begin with hypocrisy,
and end with downright blackguardism. It is not for him to watch the
progress of the coming ribaldry, and to hit the well selected moment
when talk and turbulence and boisterous merriment are on the eve of
bursting forth upon the company, and carrying them forward to the full
acme and uproar of their enjoyment. It is quite in vain to say, that he
has only sanctioned one part of such an entertainment. He has as good as
given his connivance to the whole of it, and left behind him a discharge
in full of all its abominations; and, therefore, be they who they may,
whether they rank among the proudest aristocracy of our land, or are
charioted in splendor along, as the wealthiest of our citizens, _or
flounce in the robes of magistracy_, it is his part to keep as purely
and indignantly aloof from such society as this, as he would from the
vilest and most debasing associations of profligacy.'

"The words which I have underlined do not appear in the sermon as
printed. While uttering them, which he did with peculiar emphasis,
accompanying them with a flash from his eye and a stamp of his foot, he
threw his right arm with clenched hand right across the book-board, and
brandished it full in the face of the Town Council, sitting in array and
in state before him. Many eyes were in a moment directed toward the
magistrates. The words evidently fell upon them like a thunderbolt, and
seemed to startle like an electric shock the whole audience."

Another interesting memorial of this sermon is supplied by Dr. Wardlaw,
who was present at its delivery. "The eloquence of that discourse was
absolutely overpowering. The subject was one eminently fitted to awaken
and summon to their utmost energy all his extraordinary powers;
especially when, after having cleared his ground by a luminously
scriptural exhibition of that supreme authority by which the evils he
was about to portray were interdicted, in contradistinction to the
prevailing maxims and practices of a worldly morality, he came forward
to the announcement and illustration of his main subject--'_the origin,
the progress, and the effects of a life of dissipation_.' His moral
portraitures were so graphically and vividly delineated--his warnings
and entreaties, especially to youth, so impassioned and earnest--his
admonitions so faithful, and his denunciations so fearless and so
fearful--and his exhortations to preventive and remedial appliances so
pointed and so urgent to all among his auditors who had either the
charge of youth, or the supervision of dependents! It was thrilling,
overwhelming. His whole soul seemed in every utterance. Although saying
to myself all the while, 'Oh! that this were in the hands of every
father, and master, and guardian, and young man in the land!' I yet
could not spare an eye from the preacher to mark how his appeal was
telling upon others. The breathless, the appalling silence told me of
that. Any person who reads that discourse, and who had the privilege of
listening to Dr. Chalmers during the prime and freshness of his public
eloquence, will readily imagine the effect of some passages in it, when
delivered with even more than the preacher's characteristic vehemence."

FOOTNOTES:

[21] _Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk_, 2d edit, vol. iii pp 267-273.

[22] Foster.

[23] _Memoirs of the Life of the Right Hon. Sir James Mackintosh_, vol.
ii. p. 343. The person known among his particular friends by the name of
"Bobus" was Robert Smith, who had held the office of Advocate-General in
Bengal, and who is not to be confounded with his namesake, the brother
of the Rev. Sydney Smith.



[From the Dublin University Magazine.]

THE OLD MAN'S BEQUEST; A STORY OF GOLD.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He dangled the purse, undecidedly, in his fingers.

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

"My dear Augusta, it is better."

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

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

"Indeed, Augusta--"

"Henry!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now at last she sat and saw the will being opened; she felt that it was
a mere formality, for the old man had no one but them to whom he could
leave his money; she never once doubted but all would be theirs; she had
reasoned, and fancied herself into the firm conviction. Her only fear
was, that the amount might not be so large as she calculated on.

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

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

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

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

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



[From Cumming's Hunting Adventures in South Africa.]

ELEPHANT SHOOTING.


It was a glorious day, with a cloudy sky, and the wind blew fresh off
the Southern Ocean. Having ridden some miles in a northerly direction,
we crossed the broad and gravelly bed of a periodical river, in which
were abundance of holes excavated by the elephants, containing delicious
water. Having passed the river, we entered an extensive grove of
picturesque cameel-dorn trees, clad in young foliage of the most
delicious green. On gaining a gentle eminence about a mile beyond this
grove, I looked forth upon an extensive hollow, where I beheld, for the
first time for many days, a fine old cock ostrich, which quickly
observed us, and dashed away to our left. I had ceased to devote my
attention to the ostrich, and was straining my eyes in an opposite
direction, when Kleinboy called out to me, "Dar loup de ould carle;" and
turning my eyes to the retreating ostrich, I beheld two first-rate old
bull elephants, charging along at their utmost speed within a hundred
yards of it. They seemed at first to be in great alarm, but quickly
discovering what it was that had caused their confusion, they at once
reduced their pace to a slow and stately walk. This was a fine look-out;
the country appeared to be favorable for an attack, and I was followed
by Wolf and Bonteberg, both tried and serviceable dogs with elephants.
Owing to the pace at which I had been riding, both dogs and horses were
out of breath, so I resolved not to attack the elephants immediately,
but to follow slowly, holding them in view.

The elephants were proceeding right up the wind, and the distance
between us was about five hundred yards. I advanced quietly toward them,
and had proceeded about half way, when, casting my eyes to my right, I
beheld a whole herd of tearing bull elephants standing thick together on
a wooded eminence within three hundred yards of me. These elephants were
almost to leeward. Now, the correct thing to do was to slay the best in
each troop, which I accomplished in the following manner: I gave the
large herd my wind, upon which they instantly tossed their trunks aloft,
"a moment snuffed the tainted gale," and, wheeling about, charged right
down wind, crashing through the jungle in dire alarm. My object now was
to endeavor to select the finest bull, and hunt him to a distance from
the other troop, before I should commence to play upon his hide.
Stirring my steed, I galloped forward. Right in my path stood two
rhinoceroses of the white variety, and to these the dogs instantly gave
chase. I followed in the wake of the retreating elephants, tracing their
course by the red dust which they raised, and left in clouds behind
them.

Presently emerging into an open glade, I came full in sight of the
mighty game: it was a truly glorious sight; there were nine or ten of
them, which were, with one exception, full-grown, first-rate bulls, and
all of them carried very long, heavy, and perfect tusks. Their first
panic being over, they had reduced their pace to a free, majestic walk,
and they followed one leader in a long line, exhibiting an appearance so
grand and striking, that any description, however brilliant, must fail
to convey to the mind of the reader an adequate idea of the reality.
Increasing my pace, I shot alongside, at the same time riding well out
from the elephants, the better to obtain an inspection of their tusks.
It was a difficult matter to decide which of them I should select, for
every elephant seemed better than his neighbor; but, on account of the
extraordinary size and beauty of his tusks, I eventually pitched upon a
patriarchal bull, which, as is usual with the heaviest, brought up the
rear. I presently separated him from his comrades, and endeavored to
drive him in a northerly direction. There is a peculiar art in driving
an elephant in the particular course which you may fancy, and, simple as
it may seem, it nevertheless requires the hunter to have a tolerable
idea of what he is about. It is widely different from driving in an
eland, which also requires judicious riding: if you approach too near
your elephant, or shout to him, a furious charge will certainly ensue,
while, on the other hand, if you give him too wide a berth, the chances
are that you lose him in the jungle, which, notwithstanding his size, is
a very simple matter, and, if once lost sight of, it is more than an
even bet that the hunter will never again obtain a glimpse of him. The
ground being favorable, Kleinboy called to me to commence firing,
remarking, very prudently, that he was probably making for some jungle
of wait-a-bits, where we might eventually lose him. I continued,
however, to reserve my fire until I had hunted him to what I considered
to be a safe distance from the two old fellows which we had at first
discovered.

At length closing with him, I dared him to charge, which he instantly
did in fine style, and as he pulled up in his career I yelled to him a
note of bold defiance, and cantering alongside, again defied him to the
combat. It was thus the fight began, and the ground being still
favorable, I opened a sharp fire upon him, and in about a quarter of an
hour twelve of my bullets were lodged in his fore-quarters. He now
evinced strong symptoms of approaching dissolution, and stood catching
up the dust with the point of his trunk, and throwing it in clouds above
and around him. At such a moment it is extremely dangerous to approach
an elephant on foot, for I have remarked that, although nearly dead, he
can muster strength to make a charge with great impetuosity. Being
anxious to finish him, I dismounted from my steed, and availing myself
of the cover of a gigantic nwana-tree, whose diameter was not less than
ten feet, I ran up within twenty yards, and gave it him sharp right and
left behind the shoulder. These two shots wound up the proceeding; on
receiving them, he backed stern foremost into the cover, and then walked
slowly away. I had loaded my rifle, and was putting on the caps, when I
heard him fall over heavily; but, alas! the sound was accompanied by a
sharp crack, which I too well knew denoted the destruction of one of his
lovely tusks; and, on running forward, I found him lying dead, with the
tusk, which lay under, snapped through the middle.

I did not tarry long for an inspection of the elephant, but mounting my
horse, at once set off to follow on the spoor of the two old fellows
which the ostrich had alarmed. Fortunately, I fell in with a party of
natives, who were on their way to the wagons with the impedimenta, and
assisted by these, I had sanguine hopes of shortly overtaking the noble
quarry. We had not gone far when two wild boars, with enormous tusks,
stood within thirty yards of me: but this was no time to fire: and a
little after a pair of white rhinoceroses stood directly in our path.
Casting my eyes to the right, I beheld within a quarter of a mile of me
a herd of eight or ten cow elephants, with calves, peacefully browsing
on a sparely-wooded knoll. The spoor we followed led due south, and the
wind was as fair as it could blow. We passed between the twin-looking,
abrupt, pyramidal hills, composed of huge disjointed blocks of granite,
which lay piled above each other in grand confusion. To the summit of
one of these I ascended with a native, but the forest in advance was so
impenetrable that we could see nothing of the game we sought. Descending
from the hillock, we resumed the spoor, and were enabled to follow at a
rapid pace, the native who led the spooring-party being the best tracker
in Bamangwato. I had presently very great satisfaction to perceive that
the elephants had not been alarmed, their course being strewed with
branches which they had chewed as they slowly fed along. The trackers
now became extremely excited, and I strained their eyes on every side in
the momentary expectation of beholding the elephants. At length we
emerged into an open glade, and, clearing a grove of thorny mimosas, we
came full in sight of one of them. Cautiously advancing, and looking to
my right, I next discovered his comrade, standing in a thicket of low
wait-a-bits, within a hundred and fifty yards of me; they were both
first-rate old bulls, with enormous tusks of great length. I dismounted,
and warily approached the second elephant for a closer inspection of his
tusks. As I drew near, he slightly turned his head, and I then perceived
that his farther one was damaged toward the point; while at the same
instant his comrade, raising his head clear of the bush on which he
browsed, displayed to my delighted eyes a pair of the most beautiful and
perfect tusks I had ever seen.

Regaining my horse, I advanced toward this elephant, and when within
forty yards of him, he walked slowly on before me in an open space, his
huge ears gently flapping, and entirely concealing me from his view.
Inclining to the left, I slightly increased my pace, and walked past him
within sixty yards, upon which he observed me for the first time; but
probably mistaking "Sunday" for a hartebeest, he continued his course
with his eye upon me, but showed no symptoms of alarm. The natives had
requested me to endeavor, if possible, to hunt him toward the water,
which lay in a northerly direction, and this I resolved to do. Having
advanced a little, I gave him my wind, when he was instantly alarmed,
and backed into the bushes, holding his head high and right to me. Thus
he stood motionless as a statue, under the impression, probably, that,
owing to his Lilliputian dimensions, I had failed to observe him, and
fancying that I would pass on without detecting him. I rode slowly on,
and described a semicircle to obtain a shot at his shoulder, and halting
my horse, fired from the saddle; he got it in the shoulder-blade, and,
as slowly and silently I continued my course, he still stood gazing at
me in utter astonishment. Bill and Flam were now slipped by the natives,
and in another moment they were barking around him. I shouted loudly to
encourage the dogs and perplex the elephant, who seemed puzzled to know
what to think of us, and, shrilly trumpeting, charged headlong after the
dogs. Retreating, he backed into the thicket, then charged once more,
and made clean away, holding the course I wanted. When I tried to fire,
"Sunday" was very fidgety, and destroyed the correctness of my aim.
Approaching the elephant, I presently dismounted, and, running in, gave
him two fine shots behind the shoulder; then the dogs, which were both
indifferent ones, ran barking at him. The consequence was a terrific
charge, the dogs at once making for their master, and bringing the
elephant right upon me. I had no time to gain my saddle, but ran for my
life. The dogs, fortunately, took after "Sunday," who, alarmed by the
trumpeting, dashed frantically away, though in the heat of the affray I
could not help laughing to remark horse, dogs, and elephant all charging
along in a direct line.

The dogs, having missed their master, held away for Kleinboy, who had
long disappeared, I knew not whither. "Sunday" stood still, and
commenced to graze, while the elephant, slowly passing within a few
yards of him, assumed a position under a tree beside him. Kleinboy
presently making his appearance, I called to him to ride in, and bring
me my steed; but he refused, and asked me if I wished him to go headlong
to destruction. "Sunday" having fed slowly away from the elephant. I
went up, and he allowed me to recapture him. I now plainly saw that the
elephant was dying, but I continued firing to hasten his demise. Toward
the end he took up a position in a dense thorny thicket, where for a
long time he remained. Approaching within twelve paces, I fired my two
last shots, aiming at his left side, close behind the shoulder. On
receiving these, he backed slowly through the thicket, and clearing it,
walked gently forward about twenty yards, when he suddenly came down
with tremendous violence right on his broadside. To my intense
mortification, the heavy fall was accompanied by a loud, sharp crack,
and on going up I found one of his matchless tusks broken short off by
the lip. This was a glorious day's sport: I had bagged, in one
afternoon, probably the two finest bull elephants in Bamangwato, and,
had it not been for the destruction of their noble trophies, which were
the two finest pair of tusks I had obtained that season, my triumph on
the occasion had been great and unalloyed.



[From Dickens's Household Words.]

THE POWER OF MERCY.


Quiet enough, in general, is the quaint old town of Lamborough. Why all
this bustle to-day? Along the hedge-bound roads which lead to it, carts,
chaises, vehicles of every description are jogging along filled with
countrymen; and here and there the scarlet cloak or straw bonnet of some
female occupying a chair, placed somewhat unsteadily behind them,
contrasts gayly with the dark coats, or gray smock-frocks of the front
row; from every cottage of the suburb, some individuals join the stream,
which rolls on increasing through the streets till it reaches the
castle. The ancient moat teems with idlers, and the hill opposite,
usually the quiet domain of a score or two of peaceful sheep, partakes
of the surrounding agitation.

The voice of the multitude which surrounds the court-house, sounds like
the murmur of the sea, till suddenly it is raised to a sort of shout.
John West, the terror of the surrounding country, the sheep-stealer and
burglar, had been found guilty.

"What is the sentence?" is asked by a hundred voices.

The answer is "Transportation for Life."

But there was one standing aloof on the hill, whose inquiring eye
wandered over the crowd with indescribable anguish, whose pallid cheek
grew more and more ghastly at every denunciation of the culprit, and
who, when at last the sentence was pronounced, fell insensible upon the
green-sward. It was the burglar's son.

When the boy recovered from his swoon, it was late in the afternoon; he
was alone; the faint tinkling of the sheep-bell had again replaced the
sound of the human chorus of expectation, and dread, and jesting; all
was peaceful, he could not understand why he lay there, feeling so weak
and sick. He raised himself tremulously and looked around, the turf was
cut and spoiled by the trampling of many feet. All his life of the last
few months floated before his memory, his residence in his father's
hovel with ruffianly comrades, the desperate schemes he heard as he
pretended to sleep on his lowly bed, their expeditions at night, masked
and armed, their hasty returns, the news of his father's capture, his
own removal to the house of some female in the town, the court, the
trial, the condemnation.

The father had been a harsh and brutal parent, but he had not positively
ill-used his boy. Of the great and merciful Father of the fatherless the
child knew nothing. He deemed himself alone in the world. Yet grief was
not his pervading feeling, nor the shame of being known as the son of a
transport. It was revenge which burned within him. He thought of the
crowd which had come to feast upon his father's agony; he longed to tear
them to pieces, and he plucked savagely a handful of the grass on which
he leant. Oh, that he were a man! that he could punish them
all--all--the spectators first, the constables, the judge, the jury, the
witnesses--one of them especially, a clergyman named Leyton, who had
given his evidence more positively, more clearly, than all the others.
Oh, that he could do that man some injury--but for him his father would
not have been identified and convicted.

Suddenly a thought occurred to him, his eyes sparkled with fierce
delight. "I know where he lives," he said to himself; "he has the farm
and parsonage of Millwood. I will go there at once--it is almost dark
already. I will do as I have heard father say he once did to the squire.
I will set his barns and his house on fire. Yes, yes, he shall burn for
it--he shall get no more fathers transported."

To procure a box of matches was an easy task, and that was all the
preparation the boy made.

The autumn was far advanced. A cold wind was beginning to moan among the
almost leafless trees, and George West's teeth chattered, and his
ill-clad limbs grew numb as he walked along the fields leading to
Millwood. "Lucky it's a dark night; this fine wind will fan the flame
nicely," he repeated to himself.

The clock was striking nine, but all was quiet as midnight; not a soul
stirring, not a light in the parsonage windows that he could see. He
dared not open the gate, lest the click of the latch should betray him,
so he softly climbed over; but scarcely had he dropped on the other side
of the wall before the loud barking of a dog startled him. He cowered
down behind the hay-rick, scarcely daring to breathe, expecting each
instant that the dog would spring upon him. It was some time before the
boy dared to stir, and as his courage cooled, his thirst for revenge
somewhat subsided also, till he almost determined to return to
Lamborough, but he was too tired, too cold, too hungry--besides, the
woman would beat him for staying out so late. What could he do? where
should he go? and as the sense of his lonely and forlorn position
returned, so did also the affectionate remembrance of his father, his
hatred of his accusers, his desire to satisfy his vengeance; and once
more, courageous through anger, he rose, took the box from his pocket,
and boldly drew one of them across the sand-paper. It flamed; he stuck
it hastily in the stack against which he rested--it only flickered a
little, and went out. In great trepidation, young West once more grasped
the whole of the remaining matches in his hand and ignited them, but at
the same instant the dog barked. He hears the gate open, a step is close
to him, the matches are extinguished, the lad makes a desperate effort
to escape, but a strong hand was laid on his shoulder, and a deep, calm
voice inquired, "What can have urged you to such a crime?" Then calling
loudly, the gentleman, without relinquishing his hold, soon obtained the
help of some farming men, who commenced a search with their lanterns all
about the farm. Of course they found no accomplices, nothing at all but
the handful of half-consumed matches the lad had dropped, and he all
that time stood trembling, and occasionally struggling, beneath the firm
but not rough grasp of the master who held him.

At last the men were told to return to the house, and thither, by a
different path, was George led, till they entered a small,
poorly-furnished room. The walls were covered with books, as the bright
flame of the fire revealed to the anxious gaze of the little culprit.
The clergyman lit a lamp, and surveyed his prisoner attentively. The
lad's eyes were fixed on the ground, while Mr. Leyton's wandered from
his pale, pinched features to his scanty, ragged attire, through the
tatters of which he could discern the thin limbs quivering from cold or
fear; and when at last impelled by curiosity at the long silence, George
looked up, there was something so sadly compassionate in the stranger's
gentle look, that the boy could scarcely believe that he was really the
man whose evidence had mainly contributed to transport his father. At
the trial he had been unable to see his face, and nothing so kind had
ever gazed upon him. His proud bad feelings were already melting.

"You look half-starved," said Mr. Leyton; "draw nearer to the fire, you
can sit down on that stool while I question you; and mind you answer me
the truth. I am not a magistrate, but of course can easily hand you over
to justice if you will not allow me to benefit you in my own way."

George still stood twisting his ragged cap in his trembling fingers, and
with so much emotion depicted on his face, that the good clergyman
resumed, in still more soothing accents: "I have no wish to do you any
thing but good, my poor boy; look up at me, and see if you can not trust
me: you need not be thus frightened. I; only desire to hear the tale of
misery your appearance indicates, to relieve it, if I can."

Here the young culprit's heart smote him. Was this the man whose house
he had tried to burn? On whom he had wished to bring ruin and perhaps
death? Was it a snare spread for him to lead to a confession? But when
he looked on that grave compassionate countenance, he felt that it was
_not_.

"Come, my lad, tell me all."

George had for years heard little but oaths, and curses, and ribald
jests, or the thief's jargon of his father's associates, and had been
constantly cuffed and punished; but the better part of his nature was
not extinguished; and at those words from the mouth of his _enemy_, he
dropped on his knees, and clasping his hands, tried to speak; but could
only sob. He had not wept before during that day of anguish; and now his
tears gushed forth so freely, his grief was so passionate as he half
knelt, half rested on the floor, that the good questioner saw that
sorrow must have its course ere calm could be restored. The young
penitent still wept, when a knock was heard at the door, and a lady
entered. It was the clergyman's wife, he kissed her as she asked how he
had succeeded with the wicked man in the jail?

"He told me," replied Mr. Leyton, "that he had a son whose fate
tormented him more than his punishment. Indeed, his mind was so
distracted respecting the youth, that he was scarcely able to understand
my exhortations. He entreated me with agonizing energy to save his son
from such a life as he had led, and gave me the address of a woman in
whose house he lodged. I was, however, unable to find the boy in spite
of many earnest inquiries."

"Did you hear his name?" asked the wife.

"George West," was the reply.

At the mention of his name, the boy ceased to sob. Breathlessly he heard
the account of his father's last request, of the benevolent clergyman's
wish to fulfill it. He started up, ran toward the door, and endeavored
to open it; Mr. Leyton calmly restrained him, "You must not escape," he
said.

"I can not stop here. I can not bear to look at you. Let me go!" The lad
said this wildly, and shook himself away.

"Why, I intend you nothing but kindness."

A new flood of tears gushed forth; and George West said, between his
sobs,

"While you were searching for me to help me, I was trying to burn you in
your house. I can not bear it." He sunk on his knees, and covered his
face with both hands.

There was a long silence, for Mr. and Mrs. Leyton were as much moved as
the boy, who was bowed down with shame and penitence, to which hitherto
he had been a stranger.

At last the clergyman asked, "What could have induced you to commit such
a crime?"

Rising suddenly in the excitement of remorse, gratitude, and many
feelings new to him, he hesitated for a moment, and then told his story,
he related his trials, his sins, his sorrows, his supposed wrongs, his
burning anger at the terrible fate of his only parent, and his rage at
the exultation of the crowd: his desolation on recovering from his
swoon, his thirst for vengeance, the attempt to satisfy it. He spoke
with untaught, child-like simplicity, without attempting to suppress the
emotions which successively overcame him.

When he ceased, the lady hastened to the crouching boy, and soothed him
with gentle words. The very tones of her voice were new to him. They
pierced his heart more acutely than the fiercest of the upbraidings and
denunciations of his old companions. He looked on his merciful
benefactors with bewildered tenderness. He kissed Mrs. Leyton's hand,
then gently laid on his shoulder. He gazed about like one in a dream who
dreaded to wake. He became faint and staggered. He was laid gently on a
sofa, and Mr. and Mrs. Leyton left him.

Food was shortly administered to him, and after a time, when his senses
had become sufficiently collected, Mr. Leyton returned to the study, and
explained holy and beautiful things, which were new to the neglected
boy: of the great yet loving father; of Him who loved the poor, forlorn
wretch, equally with the richest, and noblest, and happiest; of the
force and efficacy of the sweet beatitude, "Blessed are the Merciful,
for they shall obtain Mercy."

I heard this story from Mr. Leyton, during a visit to him in May. George
West was then head ploughman to a neighboring farmer, one of the
cleanest, best behaved, and most respected laborers in the parish.



[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]

BORAX LAGOONS OF TUSCANY.


In a mountainous district of Tuscany, lying about twenty miles west of
Sienna, are situated the extraordinary lagoons from which borax is
obtained. Nothing can be more desolate than the aspect of the whole
surrounding country. The mountains, bare and bleak, appear to be
perpetually immersed in clouds of sulphurous vapor, which sometimes
ascend in wreathed or twisted columns, and at other times are beaten
down by the winds, and dispersed in heavy masses through the glens and
hollows. Here and there water-springs, in a state of boiling heat, and
incessantly emitting smoke and vapor, burst with immense noise from the
earth, which burns and shakes beneath your feet. The heat of the
atmosphere in the vicinity of the lagoons is almost intolerable,
especially when the wind blows about you the fiery vapor, deeply
impregnated with sulphur. Far and near the earth is covered with
glittering crystallizations of various minerals, while the soil beneath
is composed of black marl, streaked with chalk, which, at a distance,
imparts to it the appearance of variegated marble. As you proceed, you
are stunned by the noise of constant explosions, which remind you that
you are traversing the interior of a mighty crater, which in past ages
was, perhaps, filled with a flood of liquid fire.

Borax was first brought to Europe, through India, from Thibet, where it
is found in a mountainous region, resembling in character the district
of Tuscany we have described. If we except some doubtful specimens, said
to have been discovered in coal-pits in Saxony, we may assert that the
mineral is found nowhere else in Europe, or that the territories of the
Grand Duke enjoy a natural monopoly of the article, which, with the
growth of the manufacturing system, is coming more and more into use
every day, especially in France. In former times, when the value of the
lagoons was not understood, the hollows and gorges in the mountains
where they are situated were regarded by the superstitious peasantry as
the entrance to hell. Experience taught them that it was in many
respects a region of death. Whatever living thing fell into the lagoons
inevitably perished, for the devouring acid almost in a moment separated
the flesh from the bones. Cattle were frequently thus lost, and the
peasants themselves or their children sometimes encountered a similar
fate. A celebrated chemist, engaged in making experiments on the
impregnated water, accidentally fell into a lagoon which he himself had
caused to be excavated, and perished immediately, leaving a wife and
several children in indigence.

For many ages no use was made of the boracic acid, and the whole
district containing it--altogether about thirty miles in length--was
dreaded and shunned by the inhabitants. Many inducements were vainly
held out to the peasantry to cultivate the lands in the neighborhood,
which might generally be obtained for nothing. From time to time a few
adventurous families would take up their residence near Monte Cerboli,
and bring a few fields into cultivation, leaving, however, more than
nine-tenths of the land fallow.

About the middle of the last century, Hoefer, who is described as
apothecary to the Grand Duke, first detected the presence of boracic
acid in the lagoon Orcherio, near Monte Botardo. Masgagin, a professor
of anatomy, found the mineral in a concrete state in several streams
issuing from the lagoons, and suggested the propriety of establishing
manufactories of borax. As late, however, as 1801, in consequence of the
failure of numerous experiments, Professor Gazzeri arrived at the
conclusion that the quantity of acid contained in the water of the
lagoons was too small to render the working of them profitable. But this
opinion was based on the old practice of attempting the extracting the
mineral by the use of charcoal furnaces. It was M. Larderel who
introduced the improved method of employing the hot vapors of the
lagoons themselves in the elaboration of the acid, and may be said to
have invented the present method, which will probably go on improving
for ages.

The system of the Chevalier Larderel, now Comte de Pomerasce, displays
at once great ingenuity and courage. The _soffioni_, or vapors, having
been observed to burst forth with more or less vehemence in various
parts of the mountains--which, fortunately for industry and commerce,
are copiously irrigated with streams of water--the idea was conceived of
forming an artificial lagoon on the site of the most elevated vent. A
large basin having been excavated, the nearest stream was turned into
it. The burning blasts from below forcing up their way through the
water, keep it in a state of perpetual ebullition, and by degrees
impregnate it with boracic acid. Nothing can be more striking than the
appearance of such a lagoon. Surrounded by aridity and barrenness, its
surface presents the aspect of a huge caldron, boiling and steaming
perpetually, while its margin trembles, and resounds with the furious
explosions from below. Sometimes the vapor issues like a thread from the
water, and after rising for a considerable height, spreads, and assumes
an arborescent form as it is diluted by the atmospheric air. It then
goes circling over the surface of the lagoon, till, meeting with other
bodies of vapor in a similar condition, the whole commingling,
constitute a diminutive cloud, which is wafted by the breeze up the
peaks of the mountains, or precipitated into the valleys, according to
its comparative density.

To stand on the brink of one of these deadly lakes, stunned by
subterranean thunder, shaken by incessant earthquakes, and scorched and
half suffocated by the fiery pestilential vapor, is to experience very
peculiar sensations, such as one feels within the crater of Vesuvius or
Ætna, or in the obscurity of the Grotto del Cave.

Another lagoon is scooped out lower down the mountain, the site being
determined by the occurrence of soffioni; and here the same processes
are followed, and the same phenomena observable. The water from the
lagoon above, after it has received impregnation during twenty-four
hours, is let off, and conducted by an artificial channel to the second
lagoon; and from thence, with similar precautions, to a third, a fourth,
and so on, till it at length reaches a sixth or eighth lagoon, where the
process of impregnation is supposed to be completed. By this time the
water contains half per cent, of acid, which Professor Gazzeri
considered far too little to repay the expense of extracting it. From
the last lagoon it is conveyed into reservoirs, whence again, after
having remained quiescent a few hours, for what purpose is not stated,
it passes into the evaporating pans. "Here the hot vapor concentrates
the strength of the acid by passing under shallow leaden vessels from
the boiling fountains above, which it quits at a heat of 80 degrees
Reaumur, and is discharged at a heat of 60 degrees (101 Fahrenheit)."

The evaporating pans are arranged on the same principles as the lagoons,
though in some cases almost four times as numerous, each placed on a
lower level than the other. In every successive pan the condensation
becomes greater. All the water at length descends into the
crystallizing vessels, where the process is completed. From these the
borax is conveyed to the drying-rooms, where in the course of a very few
hours, it is ready to be packed for exportation. The number of
establishments has for many years been on the increase, though about
twelve or fourteen years ago they did not exceed nine. Nothing can be
more fallacious than the opinions formed by hasty visitors on matters of
this kind, which are susceptible of perpetual improvement. When the
produce was from 7000 to 8000 Tuscan pounds per day, the manufacturers
were supposed to have reached the maximum, because all the water of the
mountains was supposed to have been called into requisition. Experience,
however, is perpetually teaching us new methods of economy; and though
it would _a priori_ be impossible to say by what means this economy is
to be effected, we can not permit ourselves to doubt that the
manufacture of borax in Tuscany will hereafter be carried to a degree of
perfection greatly transcending the expectations of those who formerly
wrote on the subject. One of these observes the atmosphere has some
influence on the results. In bright and clear weather, whether in winter
or summer, the vapors are less dense, but the depositions of boracic
acid in the lagoons are greater. Increased vapors indicate unfavorable
change of weather, and the lagoons are infallible barometers to the
neighborhood, even at a great distance, serving to regulate the
proceedings of the peasantry in their agricultural pursuits.

As the quantity of boracic acid originally contained in the water of the
lagoons is so very small as we now know it to be, we can no longer
wonder at the opinion formerly entertained, that it did not exist at
all. After five or six successive impregnations we see it does not
exceed half per cent., which, estimating the quantity of borax at 7500
pounds a day, will give 1,500,000 Tuscan pounds, or 500 tons, of water
for the same period. By the construction of immense cisterns for the
catching of rain water, by the employment of steam-engines for raising
it from below, and probably by creating artificial vents for the
soffioni, the quantity of borax produced might be almost indefinitely
increased, since the range of country through which the vapor ascends is
far too great for us to suppose it to be exhausted by the production of
7000 pounds of borax a day. Science in all likelihood will bring about a
revolution in this as in so many other manufactures, and our descendants
will look back with a smile on our hasty and unphilosophical decision.

We are without information on many points connected with the population
of those districts, to throw light on which it would be necessary to
institute fresh investigations on the spot. The lagoons are usually
excavated by laborers from Lombardy, who wander southward in search of
employment in those months of the year during which the Apennines are
covered with snow. They do not, however, remain to be employed in the
business of manufacture. This is carried on by native Tuscan laborers,
who occupy houses, often spacious and well built, in the neighborhood of
the evaporating pans. They are in nearly all cases married men, and are
enabled to maintain themselves and their families on the comparatively
humble wages of a Tuscan lira a day. It would have been satisfactory to
know the number of the Lombard navigators from time to time employed in
excavating the lagoons, as well as of the native laborers, who carry on
operations after their departure; but we may with certainty infer the
successive appearance of fresh soffioni on the sides of the mountains
from the perpetually-recurring necessity of excavating new lagoons.
Again, from the immense increase of borax produced in former times we
may safely infer its increase in future. The quantity obtained was
quadrupled in four years by superior methods of extraction, by economy
of water and vapor, and other improvements suggested by experience.
There can, therefore, be no doubt in our minds that similar improvements
will produce similar results. In 1832, about 650,000 Tuscan pounds were
obtained; in 1836, 2,500,000.

We quote the following suggestion from the observation of a traveler:
"It appears to me that the power and riches of these extraordinary
districts remain yet to be fully developed. They exhibit an immense
number of mighty steam-engines, furnished by nature at no cost, and
applicable to the production of an infinite variety of objects. In the
progress of time this vast machinery of heat and force will probably
become the moving central point of extensive manufacturing
establishments. The steam which has been so ingeniously applied to the
concentration and evaporation of the boracic acid, will probably
hereafter, instead of wasting itself in the air, be employed to move
huge engines, which will be directed to the infinite variety of
production which engages the attention of the industrious artisans; and
thus in course of time there can be little doubt that these lagoons,
which were fled from as objects of danger and terror by uninstructed
man, will gather round them a large, intelligent population, and become
sources of prosperity to innumerable individuals through countless
generations."

Whoever has traveled through Tuscany, will every where have observed
that the peasants live in better houses than they do any where else in
Europe. Some one has said that nearly all their dwellings have been
built within the last eighty years, an observation which in itself shows
the substantial nature of their tenements, for where else will a
peasant's house last so long? In the secluded mountain valleys, where
agriculture supplies the only employment of the industrious classes, you
sometimes meet with very ancient cottages, built quite in the style of
the middle ages, with an abundance of projection and recesses, all
calculated to produce picturesqueness of effect. The modern houses, more
particularly in the district of the lagoons, are constructed more with
reference to comfort than show, the object being to secure as much room
and air as possible. In most places a garden is attached to every
dwelling; and where trees will grow, a large linden or chestnut
stretches its large boughs lovingly about the corner, and sometimes over
the roof, of the dwelling. Under this the peasant and his family sit to
enjoy themselves on summer evenings. Not to be entirely idle, however,
the father is usually engaged in weaving baskets, while the children
amuse themselves with cleaning and preparing the twigs; the mother,
often with a baby in her lap, applies herself to the reparation of the
family wardrobe; and the whole group, especially when lighted up by the
slanting rays of the setting sun, presents to the eye a picture not to
be equaled by Dutch or Flemish school.

In other respects, the peasant of the lagoons aims at an inferior
standard of luxury. His house is by far the finest portion of his
possessions. The style of furniture, though comfortable, is inferior;
and in the matters of dress and food the most primitive theories
evidently prevail. Here, however, as in most other parts of Europe, we
behold the extremities, as it were, of two systems--the one which is
going out of date, and the one which is coming in. Much bigotry is no
doubt often displayed in the attachment of some persons to old habits
and customs, not otherwise valuable or respectable than from their mere
antiquity; but in several parts of Italy the advocates of novelty are
seldom in possession of so much comfort as they who abide by the habits
and customs of their forefathers. These, for the most part, are content
with the coarse manufactures of the country, which, rough and uncouth in
appearance, supply the requisite warmth, and are extremely enduring. On
the other hand, the imported goods within the reach of the poor, though
gay, and of brilliant colors, are too often of the most flimsy texture,
and melt away from about the persons of the wearers almost like vapor.
The two classes of peasants view each other with secret contempt; but
the old fashion is rapidly dying out because it is old, while the new
chiefly triumphs perhaps because it is new.

A native, when questioned on the subject of the recent innovations,
observed that the lower classes of the population would have the means
of providing for their necessities if they were not so eager after
luxuries. The females are given to expensive dress, which deprives them
of the means of supplying themselves with more necessary articles. The
gluttony of the artisans has become proverbial among us: what is not
spent in finery in dress is consumed in pampering the appetite. In
consequence of the prosperity of the straw trade, which lasted from 1818
to 1825, luxury spread throughout the country; and it would excite a
smile, were it not a subject for regret, to observe the country folks in
embroidered stockings and pumps, with large velvet bonnets trimmed with
feathers and lace; but in their homes they, as well as the artisans in
the towns, are miserably off; and they who are even genteelly dressed
when abroad, have rarely more than a miserable palliasse for a bed at
home. Deprived of the advantages of the straw trade, the situation of
the country people, especially those of the mountainous parts, is very
distressing.

But this and similar causes operate much less on the population in the
district of the lagoons than elsewhere; and, indeed, it may almost be
said that these persons, for the most part, offer a striking contrast
with their neighbors. Notwithstanding the nature of the vapors by which
the air they breathe is impregnated, they are said, upon the whole, to
be healthy and long-lived; and the regularity of employment, the
goodness of their wages, and their constant residence on the same spot,
with many other causes, combine to render them one of the most thriving
sections of the Tuscan population. It must, nevertheless, be admitted
that we want several data for correctly appreciating their condition,
and these could only be supplied by one who should remain a long time
among them. The owners and conductors of the works are too much absorbed
by the love of gain to pay much attention to the state of the laborers,
who, as in most other parts of Italy, lead a retired life, and are
reserved and shy of communicating with strangers. On ordinary topics
they will converse with you freely enough, but the moment you allude to
their domestic concerns, they shrink into themselves, and decline
entering into explanations. This, however, they usually do in the most
civil manner, affecting stupidity, and carefully avoiding the least
appearance of rudeness. Even in the neighboring towns and villages the
laborers of the lagoons are little known; and the produce of their
manufacture, though exported to France and England, attracts little
notice to the country itself, except among those who are engaged in its
production. This will account for the very little that is popularly
known of the borax lagoons of Tuscany, or of the race of peasants by
whom they are rendered profitable.



[From Colburn's "New Monthly Magazine."]

WALLACE AND FAWDON.

BY LEIGH HUNT.


This ballad was suggested by one of the notes to the _Lay of the Last
Minstrel_. Wallace, the great Scottish patriot, had been defeated in a
sharp encounter with the English. He was forced to retreat with only
sixteen followers, the English pursued him with a bloodhound and his
sole chance of escape from that tremendous investigator was either in
baffling the scent altogether (which was impossible, unless fugitives
could take to the water, and continue there for some distance), or in
confusing it by the spilling of blood. For the latter purpose, a captive
was sometimes sacrificed; in which case the hound stopped upon the
body.

The supernatural part of the story of Fawdon is treated by its first
relater, Harry the Minstrel, as a mere legend, and that not a very
credible one; but as a mere legend it is very fine, and quite sufficient
for poetical purposes; nor should the old poet's philosophy have thought
proper to gainsay it. Nevertheless, as the mysteries of the conscience
are more awful things than any merely gratuitous terror (besides leaving
optical phenomena quite as real as the latter may find them), even the
supernatural part of the story becomes probable when we consider the
agitations which the noble mind of Wallace may have undergone during
such trying physical circumstances, and such extremes of moral
responsibility. It seems clear, that however necessary the death of
Fawdon may have been to his companions, or to Scotland, his slayer
regretted it; I have suggested the kind of reason which he would most
likely have had for the regret; and, upon the whole, it is my opinion,
that Wallace actually saw the visions, and that the legend originated in
the fact. I do not mean to imply that Fawdon became present, embodied or
disembodied, whatever may have been the case with his spectre. I only
say that what the legend reports Wallace to have seen, was actually in
the hero's eyes. The remainder of the question I leave to the
psychologist.


PART THE FIRST.

    WALLACE with his sixteen men
      Is on his weary way;
    They have hasting been all night,
      And hasting been all day;
    And now, to lose their only hope,
      They hear the bloodhound bay.

    The bloodhound's bay comes down the wind,
      Right upon the road;
    Town and tower are yet to pass,
      With not a friend's abode.

    Wallace neither turn'd nor spake;
      Closer drew the men;
    Little had they said that day,
      But most went cursing then.

    Oh! to meet twice sixteen foes
      Coming from English ground,
    And leave their bodies on the track,
      To cheat King Edward's hound

    Oh! to overtake one wretch
      That left them in the fight,
    And leave him cloven to the ribs,
      To mock the bloody spite.

    Suddenly dark Fawdon stopp'd,
      As they near'd a town;
    He stumbled with a desperate oath,
      And cast him fiercely down.

    He said, "The leech took all my strength,
      My body is unblest;
    Come dog, come devil, or English rack,
      Here must Fawdon rest."

    Fawdon was an Irishman,
      Had join'd them in the war;
    Four orphan children waited him
      Down by Eden Scawr.

    But Wallace hated Fawdon's ways,
      That were both fierce and shy;
    And at his words he turn'd, and said,
      "That's a traitor's lie.

    "No thought is thine of lingering here,
      A captive for the hound;
    Thine eye is bright; thy lucky flesh
      Hath not a single wound:
    The moment we depart, the lane
      Will see thee from the ground."

    Fawdon would not speak nor stir,
      Speak as any might;
    Scorn'd or sooth'd, he sat and lour'd
      As though in angry spite.

    Wallace drew a little back,
      And waved his men apart;
    And Fawdon half leap'd up, and cried,
      "Thou wilt not have the heart!"

    Wallace with his dreadful sword,
      Without further speech,
    Clean cut off dark Fawdon's head,
      Through its stifled screech:

    Through its stifled screech, and through
      The arm that fenc'd his brow;
    And Fawdon, as he leap'd, fell dead,
      And safe is Wallace now.

    Safe is Wallace with his men,
      And silent is the hound;
    And on their way to Castle Gask
      They quit the sullen ground.


PART THE SECOND.

    WALLACE lies in Castle Gask,
      Resting with his men;
    Not a soul has come, three days,
      Within the warder's ken.

    Resting with his men is Wallace,
      Yet he fareth ill
    There are tumults in his blood,
      And pangs upon his will.

    It was night, and all were housed,
      Talking long and late;
    Who is this that blows the horn
      At the castle-gate?

    Who is this that blows a horn
      Which none but Wallace hears?
    Loud and louder grows the blast
      In his frenzied ears.

    He sends by twos, he sends by threes,
      He sends them all to learn;
    He stands upon the stairs, and calls
      But none of them return.

    Wallace flung him forth down stairs;
      And there the moonlight fell
    Across the yard upon a sight,
      That makes him seem in hell

    Fawdon's headless trunk he sees,
      With an arm in air,
    Brandishing his bloody head
      By the swinging hair.

    Wallace with a stifled screech
      Turn'd and fled amain,
    Up the stairs, and through the bowers,
      With a burning brain:

    From a window Wallace leap'd
      Fifteen feet to ground,
    And never stopp'd till fast within
      A nunnery's holy bound.

    And then he turn'd, in gasping doubt,
      To see the fiend retire,
    And saw him not at hand, but saw
      Castle Gask on fire.

    All on fire was Castle Gask;
      And on its top, endued
    With the bulk of half a tower,
      Headless Fawdon stood.

    Wide he held a burning beam,
      And blackly fill'd the light;
    His body seem'd, by some black art,
    To look at Wallace, heart to heart,
      Threatening through the night.

    Wallace that day week arose
      From a feeble bed;
    And gentle though he was before,
    Yet now to orphans evermore
      He gentlier bow'd his head.



[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]

WHAT BECOMES OF ALL THE CLEVER CHILDREN?


During a visit to a friend in the country, I was enjoying a walk in his
garden before breakfast on a delightful morning in June, when my
attention was suddenly arrested by the pensive attitude of a little boy,
the son of my host, whom I observed standing before a rose-bush, which
he appeared to contemplate with much dissatisfaction. Children have
always been to me a most interesting study; and yielding to a wish to
discover what could have clouded the usually bright countenance of my
little friend, I inquired what had attracted him to this particular
rose-bush, which presented but a forlorn appearance when compared with
its more blooming companions. He replied: "This rose-bush is my _own_;
papa gave it to me in spring, and promised that no one else should touch
it. I have taken great pains with it; and as it was covered with
beautiful roses last summer, I hoped to have had many fine bouquets from
it; but all my care and watching have been useless: I see I shall not
have one full-blown rose after all."

"And yet," said I, "it appears to be as healthy as any other bush in the
garden: tell me what you have done for it, as you say it has cost me so
much pains?"

"After watching it for some time," he replied, "I discovered a very
great number of small buds, but they were almost concealed by the leaves
which grew so thickly; I therefore cleared away the greater part of
these, and my little buds then looked very well. I now found, as I
watched them, that though they grew larger every day, the green outside
continued so hard that I thought it impossible for the delicate
rose-leaves to force their way out; I therefore picked them open; but
the pale, shriveled blossoms which I found within never improved, but
died one after another. Yesterday morning I discovered one bud which the
leaves had till then hidden from me, and which was actually streaked
with the beautiful red of the flower confined in it; I carefully opened
and loosened it, in the hope that the warm sun would help it to blow: my
first thought this morning was of the pleasure I should have in
gathering my _one_ precious bud for mamma--but look at it now!"

The withered, discolored petals to which the child thus directed my eye
did indeed present but a melancholy appearance, and I now understood the
cause of the looks of disappointment which had at first attracted my
attention. I explained to the zealous little gardener the mischief which
he had unintentionally done by removing the leaves and calyx with which
nature had covered and inclosed the flower until all its beauties should
be ready for full development; and having pointed out to him some buds
which had escaped his _care_, I left him full of hope that, by waiting
patiently for nature to accomplish her own work, he might yet have a
bouquet of his own roses to present to his mother.

As I pursued my walk, it occurred to me that this childish incident
suggested an answer to the question asked by Dr. Johnson, "What becomes
of all the clever children?" Too often, it is to be feared, are the
precious human buds sacrificed to the same mistaken zeal that led to the
destruction of the roses which had been expected with so much pleasure
by their little owner. Perhaps a few hints, suggested--not by fanciful
theory, but by practical experience in the mental training of
children--may help to rescue some little ones from the blighting
influences to which they are too often exposed.

The laws by which the physical development of every infant, during the
earliest period of its existence, is regulated, seem to afford a
striking lesson by the analogy they bear to these laws on which the
subsequent mental development depends; and by the wise arrangement of an
ever-kind Providence, this lesson is made immediately to precede the
period during which it should be carried into practice. On the babe's
first entrance into the world, it must be fed only with food suitable to
its delicate organs of digestion; on this depends its healthful growth,
and likewise the gradual strengthening of those organs. Its senses must
at first be acted upon very gently: too strong a light, or too loud a
noise, may impair its sight or hearing for life.

The little limbs of a young infant must not be allowed to support the
body before they have acquired firmness sufficient for that task,
otherwise they will become deformed, and the whole system weakened; and
last, not least, fresh and pure air must be constantly inhaled by the
lungs, in order that they may supply vigor to the whole frame. All
enlightened parents are acquainted with these laws of nature, and
generally act on them; but when, owing to judicious management, their
children emerge from babyhood in full enjoyment of all the animal
organs, and with muscles and sinews growing firmer every day in
consequence of the exercise which their little owners delight in giving
them, is the same judicious management extended to the mind, of which
the body, which has been so carefully nourished, is only the outer case?
In too many cases it is not. Too often the tender mind is loaded with
information which it has no power of assimilating, and which,
consequently, can not nourish it. The mental faculties, instead of being
gradually exercised, are overwhelmed: parents who would check with
displeasure the efforts of a nurse who should attempt to make their
infant walk at too early a period, are ready eagerly to embrace any
system of so-called education which offers to do the same violence to
the intellect; forgetting that distortion of mind is at least as much to
be dreaded as that of the body, while the motives held out to encourage
the little victims are not calculated to produce a moral atmosphere
conducive either to good or great mental attainments. Children are
sometimes met with--though few and far between--whose minds seem ready
to drink in knowledge in whatever form or quantity it may be presented
to them; and the testimony of Dr. Combe, as well as of many other
judicious writers, proves the real state of the brain in such cases, and
also the general fate of the poor little prodigies. Such children,
however, are not the subject of these observations, of which the object
is to plead for those promising buds which are closely encased in their
"hard" but protecting covering; to plead for them especially at that
period when the "beautiful red streak" appears; in other words, when,
amid the thoughtless sports and simple studies of childhood, the
intellect begins to develop itself, and to seek nourishment from all
that is presented to it. There exists at the period alluded to a
readiness in comparison, and a shrewdness of observation, which might be
profitably employed in the great work of education. And here it may be
observed, that as to "educate" signifies to _bring out_, the term
_education_ can only be applied with propriety to a system which
performs this work, and never to one which confines itself to laying on
a surface-work of superficial information, unsupported by vigorous
mental powers. Information may be acquired at any age, provided that the
intellectual machinery has been kept in activity; whereas, if the latter
has been allowed to rust and stiffen from disease, the efforts of the
man--supposing him to have energy sufficient to make an effort--to
redress the wrongs done to the boy, will in most cases be vain. That
self-educated men are generally the best educated is a trite remark; so
trite, indeed, that it frequently falls on the ear without rousing
attention to the apparent paradox which it contains; and yet there must
be some reason well worthy of attention for the fact, that so many who,
in early life, have enjoyed advantages, have, on reaching manhood, found
themselves surpassed by others who have been forced to struggle up
unassisted, and in many cases surrounded by apparent obstacles to their
rise. It is obvious that the point in which the latter have the
advantage, is the necessity which they find for exercising their _own_
intellectual powers at every step; and, moreover, for taking each step
firmly before they attempt the next; which necessity, while it may
retard the rapid skimming over various subjects which is sometimes
effected, gives new vigor continually to the mind, and also leads to the
habit of that "industry and patient thought" to which the immortal
Newton attributed all he had done; while at the same time a vivid
pleasure is taken in the acquirement of knowledge so obtained beyond any
that can be conferred by reward or encouragement from others.

From these considerations, it appears that the most judicious system of
education is that in which the teacher rather directs the working of his
pupil's mind than works for him; and it must be recollected that such a
system, compared with some others, will be slow, though sure, in
producing the desired result. Every one familiar with children must have
observed with what apparently fresh interest they will listen to the
same tale repeated again and again Now, if time and repetition are
necessary to impress on the young mind facts interesting in themselves,
they are surely more necessary when the information to be imparted is in
itself dry and uninteresting, as is the ease with much which it is
requisite for children to learn. The system here recommended is one
which requires _patience_ both on the part of parents and teachers; but
patience so exercised would undoubtedly be rewarded by the results, one
of which would be, that we should not so frequently see "clever
children" wane into very commonplace, if not stupid men.



[From Fraser's Magazine.]

LACK OF POETRY IN AMERICA.


After the Americans had established their political nationality beyond
cavil, and taken a positive rank among the powers of the civilized
world, they still remained subject to reproach, that in the worlds of
Art, Science, and Literature, they had no national existence. Admitting,
or, at any rate, feeling, the truth of this taunt, they bestirred
themselves resolutely to produce a practical refutation of it. Their
first and fullest success was, as might be expected from their
notoriously utilitarian character, in practical inventions. In oratory,
notwithstanding a tendency to more than Milesian floridness and
hyperbole, they have taken no mean stand among the free nations of
christendom. In history, despite the disadvantages arising from the
scarcity of large libraries, old records, and other appliances of the
historiographer, they have produced some books which are acknowledged
to be well worthy a place among our standard works, and which have
acquired, not merely an English, but a continental reputation. In the
fine arts, notwithstanding obviously still greater impediments--the want
at home, not only of great galleries and collections, but of the
thousand little symbols and associations that help to educate the
artist--the consequent necessity of going abroad to seek all that the
student requires--they have still made laudable progress. The paintings
of Washington Allston are the most noteworthy lions in Boston; the
statues of Powers command admiration even in London. In prose fiction,
the sweet sketches of Irving have acquired a renown second only to that
of the agreeable essayists whom he took for his models, while the Indian
and naval romances of Cooper are purchased at liberal prices by the
chary bibliopoles of England, and introduced to the Parisian public by
the same hand which translated Walter Scott. In poetry alone they are
still palpably inferior: no world-renowned minstrel has yet arisen in
the New Atlantis, and the number of those versifiers who have attained a
decided name and place among the lighter English literature of their
day, or whose claims to the title of poet are acknowledged _in all
sections_ of their own country, is but small.

If we come to inquire into the causes of this deficiency, we are apt at
first to light upon several reasons why it should _not_ exist. In the
first place, there is nothing unpoetical about the country itself, but
every thing highly the reverse. All its antecedents and traditions, its
discovery, its early inhabitants, its first settlement by civilized men,
are eminently romantic. It is not wanting in battle-grounds, or in spots
hallowed by recollections and associations of patriots and sages. The
magnificence of its scenery is well known. The rivers of America are at
the same time the most beautiful and the most majestic in the world: the
sky of America, though dissimilar in hue, may vie in loveliness with the
sky of Italy. No one who has floated down the glorious Hudson (even amid
all the un-ideal associations of a gigantic American steamer), who has
watched the snowy sails--so different from the tarry, smoky canvas of
European craft--that speck that clear water; who has noticed the
faultless azure and snow of the heaven above, suggesting the highest
idea of purity, the frowning cliffs that palisade the shore, and the
rich masses of foliage that overhang them, tinged a thousand dyes by the
early autumn frost--no one who has observed all this, can doubt the
poetic capabilities of the land.

A seeming solution, indeed, presents itself in the business, utilitarian
character of the people; and this solution would probably be immediately
accepted by very many of our readers. Brother Jonathan thinks and talks
of cotton, and flour, and dollars, and the ups and downs of stocks.
Poetry _doesn't pay_: he can not appreciate, and does not care for it.
"Let me get something for myself," he says, like the churl in
Theocritus. "Let the gods whom he invokes reward the poet. What do we
want with more verse? We have Milton and Shakspeare (whether we read
them or not). He is the poet for me who asks me for nothing;" and so the
poor Muses wither (or as Jonathan himself might say, _wilt_) away, and
perish from inanition and lack of sympathy. Very plausible; but now for
the paradox. So far from disliking, or underrating, or being indifferent
to poetry, the American public is the most eager devourer of it, in any
quantity, and of any quality; nor is there any country in which a
limited capital of inspiration will go farther. Let us suppose two
persons, both equally unknown, putting forth a volume of poems on each
side of the Atlantic; decidedly the chances are, that the American
candidate for poetic fame will find more readers, and more encouragement
in his country, than the British in his. Very copious editions of the
standard English poets are sold every year, generally in a form adapted
to the purses of the million; to further which end they are frequently
bound two or three in a volume (Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats, for
instance, is a favorite combination). Even bardlings like Pollok enjoy a
large number of readers and editions. Nor is there--notwithstanding the
much-complained-of absence of an international copyright law--any
deficiency of home supply for the market. Writing English verses,
indeed, is as much a part of an American's education, as writing Latin
verses is of an Englishman's; recited "poems" always holding a prominent
place among their public collegiate exercises; about every third man,
and every other woman of the liberally-educated classes, writes
occasional rhymes, either for the edification of their private circle,
or the poets'-corner of some of the innumerable newspapers that encumber
the land; and the number of gentlemen and ladies one meets who have
published a volume of Something and Other Poems, is perfectly
astounding.

The true secret seems to be, that the Americans, as a people, have not
received that education which enables a people to produce poets. For,
however true the _poeta nascitur_ adage may be negatively of
individuals, it is not true positively of nations. The formation of a
national poetic temperament is the work of a long education, and the
development of various influences. A peculiar classicality of taste,
involving a high critical standard, seems necessary, among the moderns,
to high poetic production; and such a taste has not yet been formed in
America. True, there are kinds of poetry--the Ballad and the Epic,
which, so far as we can trace them, are born, Pallas-like, full-grown;
which sound their fullest tone in a nation's infancy, and are but
faintly echoed in its maturity. But there are numbers in which lisps the
infancy, not of a nation merely, but of a race. And the Americans were
an old race though a young nation. They began with too much civilization
for the heroic school of poetry: they have not yet attained enough
cultivation for the philosophic.



[From the London Christian Times.]

SIR ROBERT PEEL.


All the ordinary incidents of the past week have been thrown into
temporary oblivion, by the lamentable occurrence that has deprived the
country of one of its most eminent statesmen; the House of Commons, of
one of its chiefs; the family of the right honorable baronet of its most
amiable and distinguished head; and many of the public institutions,
those of the fine arts especially, of an enlightened and generous
patron.

The late member for Tamworth was the eldest son of the first Sir R.
Peel, formerly of the house of Peel and Yates, which, in 1803, employed
about 15,000 persons at Bury, and which paid at that time £40,000 a year
duty on their printed cotton fabrics. In 1787, Mr. Peel married his
partner's daughter, Miss Yates, who bore the subject of this memoir--5th
February, 1788--in a little cottage, near Chamber Hall. The husband of
Miss Yates was very successful in his cotton speculations, and in 1798,
when the English Government appealed to the country for pecuniary aid to
carry on the French war, subscribed himself £10,000. Some notion may be
formed of the extent of the wealth of the first Sir R. Peel, from the
fact that when, in 1830, his will was proved, the _personal_ property
was sworn at £1,200,000. The much-lamented baronet received the
rudiments of his education under parental superintendence, near Bury. He
was removed to Harrow, when he became a form-fellow of the more
brilliant, but less amiable, Lord Byron, who has left several
commendatory notices of his youthful friend, and whose eminence he very
sagaciously predicted.

From Harrow, Mr. Peel became a Gentleman Commoner of Christ Church,
Oxford, where, in 1808, he was the first who took the honors of double
first-class. In the following year, having attained his majority, he
entered the House of Commons for Cashel, as the nominee of Mr. Richard
Pennefather. Mr. Peel continued to represent the twelve electors of
Cashel and their lord till 1812, when he represented the close borough
of Chippenham, with a constituency of 135. The prodigious wealth of the
first baronet of Drayton Manor gave his son great advantages in the
House of Commons, where, in 1810, he was selected to second the Address,
in reply to the Royal Speech. Shortly after, he became the
Under-Secretary of State in the Perceval Cabinet, and, upon the fall of
his chief, though only twenty-six years of age, he was made principal
Secretary for Ireland--an office, at that time, of the greatest
difficulty and importance--and held that post with as much address as
his ultra-Toryism, and his extreme unpopularity in Ireland, admitted,
under the Viceroyships of the Duke of Richmond, Earl Whitworth, and Earl
Talbot. The most permanent and beneficial measure which Ireland owes to
its former Secretary, Peel, is its constabulary force, introduced in
1817, which was the wedge to the introduction of the English body of
police.

The masterly tactics of the still youthful statesman, in part, but his
"thorough and throughout" Toryism, chiefly recommended him to the
electors of Oxford University, which he represented twelve years, till
1828; when, upon an obvious change in his opinions on the question of
Catholic emancipation, he was rejected.

In 1820, Mr. Peel, then in his thirty-third year, had married Julia, the
daughter of General Sir John Floyd, who was only twenty-five, and who
survives her illustrious husband. The issue of this marriage is five
sons and two daughters. One of his sons has already entered diplomatic
employment in Switzerland; a second has recently entered, as our readers
will remember, the House of Commons; a third is in the army, and one in
the navy. One of Sir Robert's daughters was married to Viscount Villiers
in 1840.

In 1819, the monetary affairs of the country had become so alarming,
that the House of Commons appointed a secret committee to inquire into
the state of the Bank of England, of which committee Mr. Peel was
appointed chairman. He had hitherto been one of the most strenuous
opponents of Mr. Horner's celebrated propositions of 1811, from which
period he had strongly defended the currency policy of Mr. Vansittart.
But the evidence produced to the secret committee effected a complete
change in Mr. Peel's opinions, and it was chiefly through his agency
that the currency was settled on its present metallic basis. In the
conflict, a touching incident of antagonism, between the subject of this
memoir and his father, occurred in the House of Commons. Mr. Peel was,
in 1822, promoted to the head of the Home-office, which he occupied till
the overthrow of Lord Liverpool, in 1827, when he retired, in
consequence, as it is alleged, of the elevation of Mr. Canning, whose
opinions were in favor of the abolition of the Roman Catholic
disabilities. Upon the accession of the Duke of Wellington to power, in
1828, Mr. Peel returned to the Home-office, and, in conjunction with his
noble friend, repealed the disabilities of the Roman Catholics; which
not only cost him Ireland, and brought upon him a hurricane of abuse
from his party, but shook the general confidence in either the soundness
or the integrity of his opinions.

The skirts of the Gallic storm of 1830, that crushed the Bourbonic
throne, destroyed the Wellington Administration, and made the Reform
Bill no longer deferable, which the Whigs entered office to carry.
Meantime, the deceased had succeeded to an enormous estate and the
baronetcy, by the demise of his father, Sir R. Peel. But he was, in
opposition, fiercely assailed with the maledictions of Ireland; the
censures of the High Tory party--whom he was alleged to have
betrayed--the clamors of the advocates of a paper currency; and what,
perhaps, was the most difficult to bear, his party imputed to him the
real authorship of the Reform Bill and its consequences, by his
vacillation in reference to the emancipation of the Catholics. But,
nothing dismayed by the angry elements surrounding him, and the new
political vista of England and the Continent, Sir R. Peel now displayed
all the resources of his statesmanship in concentrating the new
Conservative party. He so far succeeded--chiefly through the want of
more courage and honesty in the Whigs--that he was again called to
office in 1834, during his brief tenancy of which, no one can withhold
praise for his command of temper, his Liberal tendencies, and his spirit
of general conciliation. In 1841, Sir R. Peel again entered office;
and--though he undeniably was enabled to do so by the Protectionist
party, by the force of circumstances, the stagnation of commerce, the
failure of the crops, and the famine in Ireland--he opened the ports,
and repealed the Corn-laws forever, to the consternation of the world,
and in opposition to all the opinions of his life; this was in 1845.
Since that period Sir R. Peel has been in Opposition, indeed, but not
its leader so much as a distinguished debater, an accomplished
financier, and the expositor of opinions which neither the Whigs nor
Tories heartily espouse.

During forty years servitude in the House of Commons--though not
generally in favor of popular sentiments, and, in religious matters,
rather liberal than generous--Sir R. Peel has undoubtedly rendered, in
addition to his three great measures--the Bullion-law, Catholic
Emancipation, and the repeal of the Corn-law--many minor political
benefits to the country. Of this class of services, that which reflects
on him the most honor, is his amelioration of the Criminal Law. As to
the measures to which we have just alluded, there will still continue to
be a large diversity of opinion. Thousands of the wealthy classes will
regard them all as steps in the declination of the national power; while
the more popular mind, that rarely troubles itself with large or
profound views, has already registered its approval of them.

It is a singular fact, that he spent eleven years in Parliamentary
opposition to the Bullion doctrine that he adopted in 1822; that he
waged strenuous war against the repeal of the Roman Catholic
disabilities for eighteen years, and at last carried them in spite of
his own party; and that for thirty years in the House of Commons, he
maintained that the prosperity of Great Britain depended on the
retention of her Corn-laws, which he repealed in 1845. It is, therefore,
clear that his final measures, in reference to these three great
departments of his political life, were rather concessions to the force
of events, than the voluntary policy of his own mind. His wisdom lay in
the concession. Many of his chief colleagues, in each of these
instances, would have blindly rushed upon destruction. His greater
sagacity foresaw the gulf and turned away, choosing to win the courage
of relinquishing his life's opinions, than that of courting the dangers
of resistance. And in these three famous instances of Sir R. Peel's
life, we have the true elaboration of his own character. He was by
education and preference a Tory; by necessity he became a
Progressionist.

While we have felt it our duty to write the last paragraph, we
cheerfully record our admiration of Sir Robert Peel's great talents, of
his moral integrity, of his very exemplary private life, and, we
believe, of his firm attachment to his country and its institutions. He
is another memorable instance of what the children of democracy may
become in England, with adequate talents and exertions. Sir R. Peel owed
much to his wealth, to his associates, and to his early opinions. But
far beyond the factitious influences derivable from such sources, he had
great elements in himself. When his heart and mind received free
permission from his policy to display themselves, they were of the
highest order. Such a man is not easily made: of his loss we are only at
present very imperfectly able to appreciate the consequences, one of
which, we fear will be a mischievous re-formation of the Protectionist
party, and, if we read the auspices aright, his death will not improve
the Ministerial Whigs.

The motion on Wednesday night, in the House of Commons, not to proceed
with public business that evening, in honor of the memory of Sir R.
Peel, was as becoming to the House itself as it was to its mover, Mr.
Hume. It is a poor recompense to a bereaved family, we are aware; but it
is such a tribute as has not always been granted to even greater men,
and to some of the blood royal. In due time the public feeling will
doubtless imbody itself in more tangible and permanent forms; and when
that occurs, it will not be the least of the monumental honors of the
deceased, that the gratitude of the widow, the orphan, the neglected
genius, and suffering worth, will lead many to shed their tears on the
bronze or marble effigies of him whose like England will not easily see
again.



[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]

SPONGES.


About three centuries and a half before the Christian era, the question,
Are sponges animal or vegetable? was proposed by Aristotle, who, unable
himself to solve the difficulty, was contented, in the true spirit of a
lover of nature, with carefully recording the results of his accurate
observations, and advancing his opinion rather in the form of an inquiry
than of an allegation. Upward of two thousand years rolled away ere this
question was satisfactorily answered. Nay, we believe that the vegetable
theory has, even at the present time, its advocates; while some are
still disposed to consider that the sponge is at one period of its
existence a vegetable, and at another an animal.

To any one who hesitates to acknowledge that the sponge is endowed with
animal life--confessedly in its lowest form, yet with a most exquisite
adaptation to its destiny--we would offer the spectacle of a living
sponge in a portion of its native element. We would let him gaze on the
animated fountain, which is perpetually sucking the water into its
substance through its countless pores, and after assimilating such
particles of it as are essential to its existence, ceaselessly expelling
it, at more distant intervals, through the larger channels which may be
observed on its outer surface. We would point out innumerable gemmules
of gelatinous matter, which at certain seasons of the year may be seen
spouting "from all parts of the living film which invests the horny
skeleton;"[24] until, at length, escaping from the nursery in which they
grew, they are carried off to the wide sea by means of the force of the
currents issuing from the sponge, though not left to perish at the mercy
of the waves. For he will find that the young animal or egg is covered
with numberless minute hairs or _cilia_, each one of which is endowed
with a distinct and innate power of vibration; so that by means of
thousands of almost invisible oars, the young sponge "shoots like a
microscopic meteor through the sea," until it arrives at some rock or
other place properly adapted for its future growth; then it settles
calmly and contentedly down, and gradually losing its locomotive power,
begins to spread on its base; and builds up, within its living
substance, a horny framework, such as we have already seen in its
parent.

The above-named currents may be more distinctly seen by powdering the
surface of the water with chalk or any similar substance; and Professor
Grant mentions, that by placing pieces of cork or dry paper over the
apertures, he could see them moving "by the force of the currents at the
distance of ten feet from the table on which the specimen rested."

Dr. Peysonell, who paid great attention to the structure of the sponge,
brought proofs of its animal vitality before the Royal Society in the
years 1752--57. And Mr. Ellis, five years afterward, by his dissections,
set the question quite at rest; though he fell into the error of
believing that the frame of the sponge was the outer case of worms or
polypes. Later examination, however, has shown that the _frame_ or
_sponge_, commonly so called, is an _internal_ skeleton, while the vital
power is simply composed of a slimy film which coats over every fibre,
and which, inert as it appears, possesses the power of secreting the
particles essential to its growth.

It has been affirmed, that the sponge is observed to contract or shrink
when torn from the rooks; but there is satisfactory evidence to prove
that neither this nor any degree of laceration has a sensible effect on
this nerveless though vital mass.

All sponges, however, have not a horny framework, but some, which are
thereby rendered useless in a commercial point of view, are supported by
a skeleton composed of siliceous particles imbedded in a tough, fibrous
material. These particles, or _spicula_, as they are termed, are so
uniform in the species to which they severally belong, that, in the
words of Professor Grant, if the soft portion be destroyed, and a "few
of them brought from any pan of the world on the point of a needle, they
would enable the zoologist to identify the species to which they
originally belonged." Professor R. Jones, however, considers that this
opinion should be received with considerable limitations.

The last fact, trivial as it appears, assumes immense importance when we
learn that to these spicula we must turn for an explanation of the
isolated masses of flint which abound in various chalk formations. "The
mere assertion," says Rhymer Jones, "that flints were sponges, would no
doubt startle the reader who was unacquainted with the history of these
fossil relics of a former ocean;" and yet a little reflection "will
satisfy the most skeptical." For long ages the sponge is imbedded in the
chalk, through which water is continually percolating. A well-known law
of chemistry explains why similar matter should become aggregated; and
thus the siliceous matter of the sponge forms a nucleus for the
siliceous matter contained in the water, until at length the entire mass
is converted into a solid flint. But we are not left, he adds, to mere
conjecture or hypothesis on this point, "for nothing is more common in
chalky districts than to find flints, which, on _being broken, still
contain portions of the original sponge in an almost unaltered state_."

There is every reason to believe that the sponge-fisheries of the Ægean
are at present conducted precisely in the same manner as they were in
the time of Aristotle. The sponge-divers are mostly inhabitants of the
islands which lie off the Carian coast, and of those situated between
Rhodes and Calymnos. These men--who form a distinct society, and are
governed by peculiar laws, which prohibit their marriage until they
shall have attained a prescribed proficiency in their art--go out in
little fleets, composed of caiques, each of six or seven tons' burden,
and manned by six or eight divers: each man is simply equipped with a
netted bag in which to place the sponges, and a hoop by which to suspend
it round his neck; and thus furnished, he descends to a depth of from
five to twenty, or even occasionally thirty fathoms. The sponges which
he collects are first saturated with fresh water, which destroys the
vitality, and decomposing the gelatinous matter, turns it black; this
matter is stamped out by the feet of the divers, and the sponges are
then dried in the sun, and strung in circles, after which they are ready
for sale and exportation.

In a good locality an expert diver may bring up fifty okes in a day, and
for each oke he obtains about twenty-five drachmas. The weight is
calculated, says Forbes, when the sponges are dry, and a very large
sponge may weigh two okes. The chief sponge-markets are Smyrna. Rhodes,
and Napoli.

Blount, who wrote in 1634, affirms that these sponge-divers "are from
infancy bred up on dry biscuites and other extenuatinge dyet, to make
them extreme lean; then takinge a spunge wet in oyle, they hold it, part
in their mouths, and part without, soe they go under water, where at
first they can not stay long, but after practice, the leanest stay an
hour and a halfe, even till the oyle of the spunge be corrupted.... Thus
they gather spunges from more than an hundred fathom deep," &c. All this
is very wonderful, but the narrator stamps the value of his tale by
telling us immediately afterward that "Samos is the only place in the
world on whose rocks the spunges grow." So that, in the words which he
elsewhere makes use of, "we applaude hys belief, but keep our owne." We
do not, however, mean to assert that there are not sponges of some
species (though not the sponge of commerce) which exist at a depth as
great as that which he mentions, for Forbes dredged a living specimen of
one small kind from 185 fathoms in the Gulf of Macri.

The sponge of commerce (_Spongia officinalis_) was divided by Aristotle
into three kinds--namely, the loose and porous, the thick and close, and
the fine and compact. These last, which are rare, were called the
sponges of Achilles, and were placed by the ancients in the interior of
their helmets and boots, as protections from pressure and abrasion.

The same naturalist states that those sponges are best which are found
on coasts where the water becomes suddenly deep, and attributes this
superiority to the greater equality of temperature obtained in such
waters--observations which have been corroborated by Professor E.
Forbes.

Fifty-six species of sponges have been enumerated, ten or eleven of
which are found in the British isles. A portion of these inhabit fresh
water, among which we may mention the river sponge (_S. fluviatilis_),
which abounds in the Thames. Among the British sponges, too, is the
stinging or crumb-of-bread sponge (_S. urens_), a widely-diffused
species, which, when taken out of the sea is of a bright orange color,
and which will, if rubbed on the hand raise blisters. This stinging
quality is highly increased by drying the sponge; a process which also
gives it the color and appearance of crumbs of bread, whence its popular
name.

Sponges, as may be imagined from the mode of their growth, are most
sportive in their forms: some a tubular, others mushroom-like, a few
almost globular, and still others branched or hand-shaped; in the warmer
seas they hang in fantastic and gorgeous fans from the roofs of
submarine caverns, or decorate the sides with vases of classic elegance,
though of nature's handiwork. Nor are their colors less various: some
are of the most brilliant scarlet or the brightest yellow, others green,
brown, blackish, or shining white; while Peron mentions one procured by
him in the South Sea which was of a beautiful purple, and from which a
liquor of the same color was extracted by the slightest pressure; with
this liquor he stained several different substances, and found that the
color was not affected by the action of the air, and that it would bear
several washings.

The value of the sponge in surgery is well known; and it is also used,
medicinally, being for this purpose lightly burned to powder, and given
in small doses in scrofulous complaints. It has also been regarded as a
specific in leprosy and hydrophobia. It is, however, needless to say
that in these last it can have no influence whatever.

There are several representations of sponges given in the balneal feasts
depicted on various Etruscan vases; and the sponge has been found in a
perfect state in a Roman barrow at Bartlow Hills. It was discovered near
the sacrificing utensils. Livy says that the covering of the breast of
the Samnite gladiators was sponge.

When the animal matter remains in the sponges of various kinds, they
have always a very strong fishy smell, which may perhaps be regarded as
an additional proof of the fealty which they give to the animal kingdom.
Yet we must not omit that there are substances which, though they bear
the name of sponges, would rather appear, from their microscopic
structure, to belong to the vegetable world; we allude to those known as
_gelatinous sponges_, which are perfectly different from the sponges
properly so called.

FOOTNOTES:

[24] Professor Rymer Jones.



[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]

THE RAILWAY WORKS AT CREWE.


"What place is this?" said the worthy old gentleman, my traveling
companion on the London and North Western railway, as he woke up from a
comfortable nap when the train slackened speed, and entered a spacious
and expensively-decorated station.

"This is Crewe, sir, I believe."

And scarcely had I answered, when there was a general shout of "Crewe,
Crewe!" from an army of porters who came rushing out, and pounced upon
the train as if it were their lawful prey.

Presently a head peered in at the door, inquiring,

"All here for the Liverpool line?"

And on my elderly friend saying that he was for Manchester, he was
politely but smartly informed that he must change carriages here. So I
we both got out; and my friend, after some bother about his luggage, and
the use of some hasty language, was at last made "all right" by being
put into a carriage bearing an announcement that that was the
"Manchester train." On another carriage in front was a similar board
announcing the "Liverpool train," and behind was a third to announce
that for Chester. Passengers were running up and down the platform: some
looking after luggage, some for the right carriage, and others darting
into the handsome refreshment-room. But nobody seemed to think of going
away from the station; indeed the only mode of exit and entrance was
through a close-shut iron gate, beside which sat a policeman looking
with enviable coolness on all the bustle around him. There was a ring of
a bell; a banging of doors; a puff of the engine; and off went the train
to Liverpool. Another locomotive now appeared moving cautiously down the
line, and was speedily attached to the Manchester train, which was soon
out of sight. A third came; caught hold of the Chester train, and away
_it_ rushed. The passengers who had journeyed so amicably together from
London were now thoroughly dispersed, and ere the sun set, some would be
crossing the Scotch Border at Carlisle, some embarking at Holyhead for
Dublin, and others attending to their business on the Mersey or the Dee,
or amid the tall chimneys of Manchester. A luggage train came crawling
out from its hiding-place, and finding the coast clear, went thundering
past: the porters wiped their foreheads, and went to have a little rest;
and I, the solitary passenger for Crewe, was left cooling my heels on
the platform.

"Where is Crewe?" I said to the guardian of the iron gate.

"Cross the bridge, go straight on, and turn to the right," was the
concise reply.

So I crossed the bridge, and found myself in a pleasant country road.
The flat rich fields of Cheshire extended on the left and to the right;
at the distance of about half a mile appeared the square massive tower
of a church, surrounded by long ranges of low buildings like work-shops,
and rows of houses evidently quite new. Some neat cottages lined the
sides of the road, and there were two or three inns all bearing marks of
youth; while some zealous people had caused a few bills, bearing the
words "Prepare to meet thy God," printed in conspicuous type, to be
affixed to the walls, giving a stranger not & very high idea of the
character of the people in the habit of using that road. Turning to the
right, I passed a Methodist chapel, bearing the date of its erection,
1848; a new flour-mill driven by water; a new inn with a brave new
sign-board; and, crossing the boundary made by the Chester line, I
arrived in Crewe.

Not many years ago, there were only two or three houses here, and the
land on which the station and the town are built formed part of a good
Cheshire farm. The worthy farmer plowed his fields and reaped his
harvest, his dame made good Cheshire cheese; and both lived merrily on,
quite unconscious of the change that their farm was about to undergo.
The eyes of engineers were on it: it was placed, as an Irishman would
say, "very convanient" for railway purposes and after a few years had
rolled away, it became the great workshop of the Grand Junction Line,
and the point where the main line to Birmingham received its tributaries
from the north and west. Several thousands of people were brought here;
the company laid out streets and built houses; shops were opened;
churches and schools erected; a market-place provided; a Mechanics'
Institution established; many hotels built, one of which was destined
to lodge royalty for a night; and a town was erected with a rapidity
unexampled even in America.

The general appearance of Crewe is very pleasing. The streets are wide,
and well paved; the houses are very neat and commodious, usually of two
stories, built of bricks, but the brick concealed by rough-cast plaster,
with porches, lattice-windows, and a little piece of garden-ground
before the door. The greater part of these houses belong to the company,
and are let to the men at rents from 2s. 9d. per week upward. The
accommodation is good, and it would be difficult to find such houses at
such low rents even in the suburbs of a large town. Water is plentifully
supplied by public pumps, and the town is well lighted with gas. The
names of the streets are expressive: some are called after the towns to
which their direction points--such as Liverpool, Chester, Sandbach, &c.;
others from the works to which they lead--such as Forge-street; and
others from well-known but very modern names--such as Prince
Albert-street. The placards on the walls, however, seem somewhat out of
place in a railway town, as nearly all have relation to sales of cattle,
timber, &c, indicating clearly enough that Crewe is but a mechanical
settlement in an agricultural district. The market-place is spacious,
and roofed over; the church is a handsome edifice of stone; and the
Mechanics' Institution a fine building with a large lecture-room (used
also as a town-hall), a good library and news-room, and commodious
class-rooms. These were all built by the company; and indeed the
completeness of every thing connected with the town gives evidence of
such an amplitude of means possessed by its founders, as seldom, if
ever, fall to the lot of private individuals.

The most interesting objects, however, about Crewe are the railway
works. These are placed on a large tongue of land near the station, and
so adapted, that wagons, and carriages, and engines can easily be run
into them from the main line. In these works every thing connected with
"the rolling stock" of the company for the northern section of the line
(Walnerton being used for the southern) is made and repaired. The number
of hands employed at present is about eight hundred; but formerly, when
railways were more prosperous than now, it exceeded a thousand. The
workmen seem to belong, in tolerably equal proportions, to the four
great divisions of the United Kingdom; and the slow, deliberate speech
of the Scot, the rich brogue of the Irishman, and the sharp, quick
utterance of the Welshman, have lost very little of their purity and
richness amid the air of the county palatine of Chester. The greater
portion of the work is carried on in long, largo sheds, for the most
part of one story, and called the "fitting," "erecting," and other
shops, according to the nature of the work done in them. The artisans
may be divided into two great classes--the workers in metal, and those
in wood; the former being employed in making locomotives' wheels, axles,
springs, &c, and the latter in constructing the carriages. By far the
greatest number of hands are employed in the former.

That our hasty inspection may begin at the beginning, let us peep at the
foundry. Both brass and iron are east here, but to-day it is iron. The
sandy floor is covered with moulds of all descriptions, and swarthy
workmen are preparing them to receive the melted iron. Occasionally you
are startled by the shout of "Mind your eye!" which must be taken in its
literal signification, for it comes from a moulder blowing away with a
bellows the superfluous grains of fine sand, which, if once in the eye,
will give some trouble. The moulds are ready, the furnace is opened, and
a stream of bright white metal rolls out into the pots prepared for its
reception, and is speedily poured into the moulds. In an adjoining shed
are blacksmiths plying forehammers; but their greatest efforts are
entirely eclipsed by the mighty steam-hammer that is seen at work in
another part of the shed. This hammer is the invention of Mr. Nasmyth,
of the Bridgewater Foundry, near Manchester. It moves up and down in a
strong frame, at a speed subject to such nice regulations, that,
according to the will of its director, it can gently drive a nail, or
crush to splinters a log of wood. When Lord John Russell lately visited
Manchester, the delicate touch of this hammer was strikingly displayed
before him: an egg was procured, and placed in a wine-glass, and such
was the power possessed over this giant, that after a little adjustment,
the mighty hammer was brought repeatedly down so as just to chip the egg
as gently as by a spoon in the hands of a child, while the glass was not
in the slightest degree injured or disturbed. The labor saved by this
hammer is immense. One man sits perched up on the frame to direct it, and
another stands below to guide the iron on the anvil. The great long bar,
white with heat, is pulled out of the furnace, laid on the massive piece
of iron under the frame, and, with a dull, heavy sound, down conies the
hammer, swiftly or slowly, according to the wishes of the director. From
the forge and the foundry the "rough-hewn" iron-work passes to be
planed, and its surface to be made "true." The wheel of an engine or a
carriage, for example, after being forged by the black-smith, requires
to be most carefully cut round the rim, so that the space between the
flange--that is, the projecting inner part of the wheel, and the outer
part--may be perfectly conical, in order that the least amount of
surface may be exposed to the rail, and consequently the least amount of
friction produced. Again, when a cylinder comes from the foundry, the
interior must be cut and polished to a perfect circle, otherwise it
would be useless. In short, there is no part of a locomotive that does
not require to be prepared with the most perfect accuracy to fit some
other part; and if this accuracy is not gained, the engine will either
not work at all, or work very imperfectly. It must be remembered that it
is hard metal, like iron and brass, that has thus to be wrought on, not
comparatively soft material, like wood and stone.

But the machinery employed at Crewe seems capable of cutting any thing,
even though it were a rock of adamant. You pass into a shed full of
little machines, standing separate from each other, with all manner of
curious wheels and belts, driven by steam, of course, and each with a
man stationed by its side, gazing attentively at the little machine, as
if he were absorbed in thought; and, indeed, were it not for an
occasional quick movement of his hands, and a rapid change of position,
you might almost suppose that he was sleeping on his legs. But go close
up, and you notice that the machine is slowly moving backward and
forward, and still more slowly at the same time in a lateral direction.
Some curious piece of mechanism is placed on it, and the movements of
the machine cause a sharp steel-cutter to pass over the iron surface,
which cuts it as easily and truly as a joiner planes a piece of fir. The
side motion brings all the surface gradually under the instrument, but
the machine, clever and powerful though it is, requires to be constantly
watched and regulated, and hence the fixed attention of the man in
charge. At a large machine, you will see those long, curious rods called
"eccentrics" undergoing this operation; at another, a cylinder is being
planed; and at a third, the rims of wheels are being cut. The filings
thus made are preserved, and will be seen in large heaps in a yard,
ready to be melted down, and "used up" again. In some cases both iron
and brass filings are produced, which, of course, are mixed with each
other; but in a quiet corner of one of the sheds you will find a boy
with a heap of these filings before him, separating the brass from the
iron by means of a magnet. Only imagine a boy of fourteen or fifteen
doing nothing all day long except raking a magnet through a heap of
black and yellow dust, and brushing into a separate heap the iron
filings off his magnet! You will also see a series of three iron rollers
working on each other, by means of which plate iron can be twisted into
any given form; a mighty "punch" which will make a hole an inch in
diameter through iron an inch in thickness as easily as though it were
clay; and a sharp-cutting instrument that shears through sheets of iron
as easily as a pair of scissors through a sheet of paper.

Go into another shed, and you will see all these various parts getting
their last touches from the hand, and being fitted into each other; and
here, also you find two or three men engraving, on circular segments of
brass, the names the various engines are to be known by. In another shed
the engines are being "erected." Here you see from twenty to thirty in
all stages of progress. Perhaps the framework only has been laid; or
the boiler, with its many rows of long, circular brass tubes, has just
been fastened, and is now receiving its outer clothing of long slips of
wood; or the whole is complete, merely wanting to be tried on the many
lines of rail in and around the sheds. There are two classes of engines
here, whose difference is observable at a glance: some have six wheels,
two of which are very large, about six feet in diameter, and the other
four much smaller. The two first only are driven by the machinery, the
others being merely what are called "bearing wheels." With this
description of engine more speed than power is obtained, and hence it is
used for passenger trains, where a high velocity is required, and where
there is usually little weight, comparatively speaking, to draw. The
others have only four wheels, not so large as the two just described,
but all driven by the machinery. Such engines I are more remarkable for
power than speed, and accordingly they are used for luggage trains. In
another shed, "The Hospital," will be found a number of engines laboring
under various disorders, sent here to be repaired.

But carriages and wagons are also built here. You enter a shed (of two
stories this time), and find wood shavings instead of iron filings, and
the hissing of a circular saw instead of the quiet, steady scraping of a
"cutter." Here all the woodwork of the carriages is executed, and when
ready they are hoisted through a large trap-door in the roof to the
second story, where they are painted and varnished, and, if first-class,
"up-holstered." In a store-room above stairs, are piled heaps of
cushions ready for the most expensive carriages; at a table is a boy
stuffing with horse-hair the leathern belts that hang by the sides of
the windows; and elsewhere an artist is painting the arms of the company
on the panels of a door. Here and there are boards placed before a
carriage, with the intimation "Wet!" indicating that you must not go too
near; and some of the carriages give evidence of having seen service,
but are now renewing their youth under the skillful hands of the painter
and the upholsterer. When ready to "go on the line," they are let down
through the trap-door, fixed on their wheels and axles, and sent to
relieve others that require repair.

Six o'clock strikes, and work ceases. In walking back leisurely to the
station, I saw many of the workmen digging in their little gardens,
"bringing themselves," as Emerson phrases it, "into primitive relations
with the soil and nature;" others were reading the papers of the day at
the Mechanics' Institution; others strolling among the green fields
round the town; and others walking to a class-room, to hear a teetotal
lecture; while some were proceeding to recreations of a very different
kind. I was admitted through the iron gate by the same policeman; the
"down" express train arrived, and it conveyed me in an hour and a half
to Liverpool, a distance of about forty-five miles, stopping only once
at the well-known town of Warrington.



[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]

STEAM-BRIDGE OF THE ATLANTIC


In the summer of 1838 the Atlantic Ocean was crossed for the first time
by vessels exclusively propelled by steam-power. These pioneers were the
_Sirius_ and the _Great Western_--the former built for another class of
voyages, and afterward lost on the station between Cork and London; the
latter built expressly for Atlantic navigation, and which has ever since
been more or less employed in traversing that ocean. Other ships
followed: the _British Queen_, afterward sold to the Belgian government;
the _Great Liverpool_, subsequently altered and placed on the line
between Southampton and Alexandria; and the _President_, lost, no man
knows how or where, in the year 1841. Then came what is called "Cunard's
Line," consisting of a number of majestic steam-ships built in the
Clyde, to carry passengers and mails between Liverpool in Europe, and
Halifax, Boston, and New York in America; a service they have performed
with the most marvelous regularity. The only great misfortune that has
befallen this line has been the loss of one of the vessels, the
_Columbia_, which, in nautical phrase, "broke her back" on some rocks on
the American shore of the Atlantic. Then came the _Great Britain_, the
greatest of them all, differing from the others in two respects--first,
in being built of iron instead of wood; and second, in being propelled
by the Archimedean screw instead of by the old paddle-wheels; and, alas!
she has differed from them all in a third respect, inasmuch as neither
the same good-luck attended her as in general fell to the lot of the
ships of the Cunard Line, nor the same irretrievable bad fortune as was
met by the _President_ and the _Columbia_; for, after having made
several voyages very successfully, she, to the amazement of all mankind,
very quietly went ashore in Dundrum Bay, on the east coast of Ireland,
from whence, after spending a most uncomfortable winter, she was brought
back to Liverpool, and now lies in the Bramley-Moore Dock there, like a
huge mass of iron suffering under premature rust. But all this time
these ocean steamers that periodically brought to New York passengers
and intelligence from Europe were British built. They had been
constructed in the Avon, the Mersey, and the Clyde, the greater number
having been launched in the same waters as first received Henry Bell's
little _Comet_. Why did America not embark in such enterprise? As
regards steam navigation, Fulton was before Bell; New York before
Glasgow; the _Fulton's Folly_ before the _Cornet_; and was

    "The greatest nation
    In all creation"

to be outdone in the field of enterprise by the old Britishers? American
pride said "No;" American instinct said "No;" and, above all, American
capitalists said "No!" Keels were laid down in New York; the
shipbuilders' yards became unusually active; and the stately timbers of
majestic ships gradually rose before the admiring gaze of the citizens
of the great republic.

But the race of William the Doubter is not yet extinct, and many, as
usual, shook their wise heads at the enterprise. It was admitted that in
inland navigation the Americans had beaten the world; that except an
occasional blow-up, their river steamers were really models of
enterprise and skill; but it was gravely added, the Mississippi is not
the Atlantic; icebergs are not snags; and an Atlantic wave is somewhat
different from an Ohio ripple. These truisms were of course undeniable;
but to them was quickly added another fact, about which there could be
as little mistake--namely, the arrival at Southampton, after a voyage
which, considering it was the first, was quite successful, of the
American-built steam-ship _Washington_ from New York. There seemed to be
a touch of calm irony in thus making the _Washington_ the first of their
Atlantic-crossing steamers, as if the Americans had said, "You doubting
Britishers! when you wished to play tyrant over us, did we not raise one
Washington who chastised you? and now that you want to monopolize
Atlantic navigation, we have raised another Washington, just to let you
know that we will beat you again!"

The _Washington_, however, was only the precursor of greater vessels.
These were to sail between New York and Liverpool, carrying the mails
under a contract with the American government. In size, and speed, and
splendor of fittings, these new ships were to surpass the old; even
their names were, if possible, to be more grand and expressive. The
vessels of Cunard's Line had lately appropriated the names of the four
great continents of the globe, but the oceans remained, and their names
were adopted; the new steamers being called the _Atlantic_, _Pacific_,
_Arctic_, _Baltic_, and _Adriatic_. The first of these was dispatched
from New York on the 27th of April last, and arrived in the Mersey on
the 10th of May, thus making the passage in about thirteen days. The
voyage would have been made in a shorter time but for two accidents: the
bursting of the condenser, and the discovery, after the vessel was some
distance at sea, of the weakness of the floats or boards on the
paddle-wheels. About two days were entirely lost in making repairs; and
the speed was reduced, in order to prevent the floats from being
entirely torn away from the paddle-wheels. These things considered, the
passage was very successful. The average time occupied during 1849 by
the vessels of the old line between New York and Liverpool was 12; days;
but their voyages were longer than those of the _Atlantic_, as they
called at Halifax. The shortest passage was that made by the _Canada_
from New York to Liverpool _via_ Halifax in eleven days four hours.[25]


The _Atlantic_ remained for nineteen days at Liverpool; and during all
that time she had to lie in a part of the river called the Sloyne, in
consequence of none of the dock-entrances being wide enough to allow her
to pass in. Her breadth, measuring across the paddle-boxes, is 75 feet;
of the vessels of Cunard's Line, about 70 feet; and the widest
dock-entrance is barely sufficient to admit the latter. The _Great
Britain_, though longer than any other steam-ship that ever entered the
Mersey, is not so broad, as, being propelled by the screw, she has no
paddle-wheels. A dock at the north shore is now in course of
construction expressly for the accommodation of the _Atlantic_ and her
consorts.

For several days during her stay at Liverpool the _Atlantic_ was open to
visitors on payment of sixpence each, the money thus realized (upward of
£70) being paid over to the trustees of the Institution for the Blind,
whose church and school are now being removed to give greater space
round the station of the London and Northwestern Railway. On the day of
my visit crowds of people were waiting at the pier for the steamer that
was to convey them to the _Atlantic_. Whitsuntide visitors from the
manufacturing districts were hastening on board the numerous vessels
waiting to take them on pleasure excursions to the Isle of Man, North
Wales, or round the light-ship at the mouth of the river. There was
great risk of making mistakes in the hurry; and the remark of an old
sailor, that the vessel could "easily be known by the Yankee flag flying
at the fore," served only still further to confuse the many, who could
not tell one flag from another. However, a small tug-steamer soon
appeared with a dirty piece of bunting, just recognizable as the famous
"star-spangled banner," flying at the fore; and her deck was in a few
minutes so crowded, that orders were issued to take no more on board,
and away we steamed, leaving about a hundred people to exercise their
patience until the steamer's return. A man at my elbow, who afterward
appeared in the capacity of money-taker, whispered, "There's the
_captin_" and on looking up the gangway, I saw

    "A man of middle age,
    In aspect manly, grave, and sage,"

looking calmly in the direction of the colossal ship of which he was the
commander; his complexion browned by exposure to sun and wind, storm and
spray; and his whole demeanor indicating the calm strength acquired by
long familiarity with the elements in their roughest moods. As we
approached the ship, her appearance was not prepossessing. She is
undoubtedly clumsy; the three masts are low, the funnel is short and
dumpy, there is no bowsprit, and her sides are painted black, relieved
only by one long streak of dark red. Her length between the
perpendiculars--that is, the length of her keel--is 276 feet; breadth
(exclusive of paddle-boxes), 45; thus keeping up the proportion, as old
as Noah's ark, of six feet of length to one of breadth. The stern is
rounded, having in the centre the American eagle, clasping the starred
and striped shield, but no other device. The figure-head is of colossal
dimensions, intended, say some, for Neptune; others say that it is the
"old Triton blowing his wreathed horn," so lovingly described by
Wordsworth; and some wags assert that it is the proprietor of the ship
blowing his own trumpet. The huge bulk of the _Atlantic_ was more
perceptible by contrast with the steamer--none of the smallest--that was
now alongside; for though the latter was large enough to accommodate
about four hundred people on deck, yet its funnel scarcely reached as
high as the bulwarks of the _Atlantic_. The diameter of the
paddle-wheels is 36 feet; and the floats, many of which, split and
broken, were lying about in the water, are nearly 15 feet long. The
depth of the hold is 31 feet, and the estimated burden 2860 tons, being
about the same as the _Great Britain_, and about 500 tons more than the
ships of the old Cunard Line.

Like all the other Atlantic steamers, the run of the deck is almost a
straight line. Around the funnel, and between the paddle-boxes, is a
long wooden house, and another is placed at the stern. These contain the
state-rooms of the captain and officers; and in a cluster are to be
found the kitchen, the pastry-room, and the barber's shop. The two
former are, like similar establishments, replete with every convenience,
having even a French _maître de cuisine_; but the latter is quite
unique. It is fitted up with all necessary apparatus--with glass-cases
containing perfumery, &c.; and in the centre is "the barber's chair."
This is a comfortable, well-stuffed seat, with an inclined back. In
front is a stuffed trestle, on which to rest feet and legs; and behind
is a little stuffed apparatus like a crutch, on which to rest the head.
These are movable, so as to suit people of all sizes; and in this
comfortable horizontal position the passenger lies, and his beard is
taken off in a twinkling, let the Atlantic waves roll as they may. The
house at the stern contains a smoking-room, and a small apartment
completely sheltered from the weather for the steersman. The
smoking-room communicates with the cabin below, so that, after dinner,
those passengers so disposed may, without the least exposure to the
weather, or annoyance to their neighbors, enjoy the weed of old Virginia
in perfection. This smoking-room is the principal prospect of the man at
the helm, who, however, has to steer according to his signals. Before
him is a painted intimation that one bell means "port," and two bells
mean "starboard;" a like intimation appears on the large bell in the bow
of the ship; and according to the striking of the bell, so must he
steer.

Proceeding below, we come to the great saloon, 67 feet long, and the
dining-saloon, 60 feet long, each being 20 feet broad, and divided from
each other by the steward's pantry. This pantry is more like a
silversmith's shop, the sides being lined with glass-cases stored with
beautifully-burnished plate; crockery of every description, well
secured, is seen in great quantities, and the neatness of arrangement
shows that the gilded inscription, full in the sight of every
visitor--"A place for every thing, and every thing in its place"--has
been reduced to practice. Above the tables in the dining-saloon are
suspended racks, cut to receive decanters, passes, &c. so that they can
be immediately placed on the table without the risk attendant on
carrying them from place to place. The two saloons are fitted up
in a very superior manner: rose, satin, and olive are the
principal woods that have been used, and some of the tables are of
beautifully-variegated marble, with metal supporters. The carpets are
very rich, and the coverings of the sofas, chairs, &c. are of the
same superior quality. The panels round the saloons contain
beautifully-finished emblems of each of the states in the Union, and a
few other devices that savor very strongly of republicanism. For
example, a young and beautiful figure, all radiant with health and
energy, wearing a cap of liberty, and waving a drawn sword, is
represented trampling on a feudal prince, from whose head a crown has
rolled in the dust. The cabin windows are of beautifully-painted glass,
embellished with the arms of New York, and other cities in the States.
Large circular glass ventilators, reaching from the deck to the lower
saloon, are also richly ornamented, while handsome mirrors multiply all
this splendor. The general effect is that of chasteness and a certain
kind of solidity. There is not much gilding, the colors used are not
gaudy, and there is a degree of elegant comfort about the saloons that
is sometimes wanting amid splendid fittings. There is a ladies'
drawing-room near the chief saloon full of every luxury. The berths are
about 150 in number, leading out, as usual, from the saloons. The most
novel feature about them is the "wedding-berths," wider and more
handsomely furnished than the others, intended for such newly-married
couples as wish to spend the first fortnight of the honeymoon on the
Atlantic. Such berths are, it seems, always to be found on board the
principal river-steamers in America, but are as yet unknown on this side
of the water. Each berth has a bell-rope communicating with a patented
machine called the "Annunciator." This is a circular plate about the
size of the face of an eight-day clock, covered with numbers
corresponding with those of the state-rooms. Each number is concealed by
a semi-circular plate, which is removed or turned round as soon as the
rope is pulled in the state-room with the corresponding number. A bell
is at the same time struck to call the attention of the stewards, who
then replace the plate in its former position, and attend to the
summons.

The machinery which propels the ship consists of two engines, each of
500 horse-power, the engines of the old line being also two in number,
but only about 400 horse-power each Such cylinders, and shafts, and
pistons, and beams are, I believe unrivaled in the world. There are
four boilers, each heated by eight furnaces, in two rows of four each.
The consumption of coal is about fifty tons every twenty-four hours;
"and that," said one of the engineers, "is walking pretty fast into a
coal-mine, I guess!" According to the calculations of the very wise men
who predicted the failure of Atlantic steam navigation, such a vessel as
the _Atlantic_ ought to carry 3700 tons of coal; but it will be seen
that one-fourth of that quantity is more than enough, even making
allowance for extra stores to provide against accidents. In the
engine-room is a long box with five compartments, each communicating
with a wire fastened like a bell-pull to the side of the paddle-box.
These handles are marked respectively, "ahead," "slow," "fast," "back,"
and "hook-on;" and whenever one is pulled, a printed card with the
corresponding signal appears in the box opposite the engineer, who has
to act accordingly. There is thus no noise of human voices on board this
ship: the helmsman steers by his bells, the engineer works by the
telegraph, and the steward waits by the annunciator.

Two traces of national habits struck me very much. Even in the finest
saloon there are, in places where they would be least expected, handsome
"spittoons," the upper part fashioned like a shell, and painted a
sea-green or sky-blue color, thus giving ample facility for indulging in
that practice of spitting of which Americans are so fond. Again, much
amusement was caused by the attempt of one of the officers in charge of
the communication between the small steamer and the _Atlantic_ to
prevent the gentlemen from leaving the latter until the ladies had
seated themselves on the former. The appearance of the deck, crowded
with ladies only, and a host of gentlemen kept back, some impatient to
get down, but the greater part entering into the humor of the thing, was
quite new to English ideas. It is but fair to add that the ladies did
not seem to like it; and that, when the steamer again came alongside, it
was not repeated.

Upon the whole, this Atlantic steamer is really worthy of the great
country from which she has come. If, in shape and general appearance,
she is inferior to the old vessels, she is decidedly equal, if not
superior, to them in machinery and fittings. Her powers as regards speed
have of course yet to be tried. One voyage is no test, nor even a series
of voyages during the summer months: she must cross and recross at least
for a year before any just comparison can be instituted. The regular
postal communication between Liverpool and the United States will
speedily be twice every week--the ships of the new line sailing on
Wednesday, and the old on Saturday.

But other ports besides Liverpool are now dispatching steamers regularly
to America. Glasgow sent out a powerful screw steamer--the _City of
Glasgow_, 1087 tons--on 16th April, for New York, where she arrived on
3d May; thus making the passage in about seventeen days, in spite of
stormy weather and entanglements among ice; the average time taken by
the Liverpool steamers during 1849 being fourteen days. Her return
voyage, however, made under more favorable circumstances, was within
this average, the distance being steamed between the 18th May and the
1st June. A vessel called the _Viceroy_ is about to sail from Galway to
New York, and her voyage is looked forward to with considerable
interest. The _Washington_ and _Hermann_ sail regularly between Bremen
and Southampton and New York, and the _British Queen_ has been put on
the passage between Hamburg and New York. All these enterprises seem to
indicate that ere long the Atlantic carrying trade will be conducted in
steam-ships, and sailing vessels superseded to as great extent as has
been the case in the coasting trade.

FOOTNOTES:

[25] The _Atlantic_ has just made the passage direct in ten days and
sixteen hours.



[From Sharpe's Magazine]

THE LITTLE HERO OF HAARLEM.


At an early period in the history of Holland, a boy was born in Haarlem,
a town remarkable for its variety of fortune in war, but happily still
more so for its manufactures and inventions in peace. His father was a
_sluicer_--that is, one whose employment it was to open and shut the
sluices, or large oak-gates which, placed at certain regular distances,
close the entrance of the canals, and secure Holland from the danger to
which it seems exposed, of finding itself under water, rather than above
it. When water is wanted, the sluicer raises the sluices more or less,
as required, as a cook turns the cock of a fountain, and closes them
again carefully at night; otherwise the water would flow into the
canals, then overflow them, and inundate the whole country; so that even
the little children in Holland are fully aware of the importance of a
punctual discharge of the sluicer's duties. The boy was about eight
years old when, one day, he asked permission to take some cakes to a
poor blind man, who lived at the other side of the dyke. His father gave
him leave, but charged him not to stay too late. The child promised, and
set off on his little journey. The blind man thankfully partook of his
young friend's cakes, and the boy, mindful of his father's orders, did
not wait, as usual, to hear one of the old man's stories, but as soon as
he had seen him eat one muffin, took leave of him to return home.

As he went along by the canals, then quite full, for it was in October,
and the autumn rains had swelled the waters, the boy now stopped to pull
the little blue flowers which his mother loved so well, now, in childish
gayety, hummed some merry song. The road gradually became more solitary,
and soon neither the joyous shout of the villager, returning to his
cottage-home, nor the rough voice of the carter, grumbling at his lazy
horses, was any longer to be heard The little fellow now perceived that
the blue of the flowers in his hand was scarcely distinguishable from
the green of the surrounding herbage, and he looked up in some dismay.
The night was falling; not, however, a dark winter-night, but one of
those beautiful, clear, moonlight nights, in which every object is
perceptible, though not as distinctly as by day. The child thought of
his father, of his injunction, and was preparing to quit the ravine in
which he was almost buried, and to regain the beach, when suddenly a
slight noise, like the trickling of water upon pebbles, attracted his
attention. He was near one of the large sluices, and he now carefully
examines it, and soon discovers a hole in the wood, through which the
water was flowing. With the instant perception which every child in
Holland would have, the boy saw that the water must soon enlarge the
hole through which it was now only dropping, and that utter and general
ruin would be the consequence of the inundation of the country that must
follow. To see, to throw away the flowers, to climb from stone to stone
till he reached the hole, and to put his finger into it, was the work of
a moment, and, to his delight, he finds that he has succeeded in
stopping the flow of the water.

This was all very well for a little while, and the child thought only of
the success of his device. But the night was closing in, and with the
night came the cold. The little boy looked around in vain. No one came.
He shouted--he called loudly--no one answered. He resolved to stay there
all night, but, alas! the cold was becoming every moment more biting,
and the poor finger fixed in the hole began to feel benumbed, and the
numbness soon extended to the hand, and thence throughout the whole arm.
The pain became still greater, still harder to bear, but still the boy
moved not. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he thought of his father, of
his mother, of his little bed, where he might now be sleeping so
soundly; but still the little fellow stirred not, for he knew that did
he remove the small slender finger which he had opposed to the escape of
the water, not only would he himself be drowned, but his father, his
brothers, his neighbors--nay, the whole village. We know not what
faltering of purpose, what momentary failures of courage there might
have been during that long and terrible night; but certain it is, that
at day-break he was found in the same painful position by a clergyman
returning from attendance on a death-bed, who, as he advanced, thought
he heard groans, and bending over the dyke, discovered a child seated on
a stone, writhing from pain, and with pale face and tearful eyes.

"In the name of wonder, boy," he exclaimed, "what are you doing there?"

"I am hindering the water from running out," was the answer, in perfect
simplicity, of the child, who, during that whole night had been evincing
such heroic fortitude and undaunted courage.

The Muse of History, too often blind to (true) glory, has handed down to
posterity many a warrior, the destroyer of thousands of his
fellow-men--she has left us in ignorance of the name of this real little
hero of Haarlem.



[From Cumming's Hunting Adventures in South Africa.]

ADVENTURE WITH A SNAKE.


As I was examining the spoor of the game by the fountain, I suddenly
detected an enormous old rook-snake stealing in beneath a mass of rock
beside me. He was truly an enormous snake, and, having never before
dealt with this species of game, I did not exactly know how to set about
capturing him. Being very anxious to preserve his skin entire, and not
wishing to have recourse to my rifle, I cut a stout and tough stick
about eight feet long, and having lightened myself of my shooting-belt,
I commenced the attack. Seizing him by the tail, I tried to get him out
of his place of refuge; but I hauled in vain; he only drew his large
folds firmer together: I could not move him. At length I got a rheim
round one of his folds, about the middle of his body, and Kleinboy and I
commenced hauling away in good earnest.

The snake, finding the ground too hot for him, relaxed his coils, and
suddenly bringing round his head to the front, he sprang out at us like
an arrow, with his immense and hideous mouth opened to its largest
dimensions, and before I could get out of his way he was clean out of
his hole, and made a second spring, throwing himself forward about eight
or ten feet, and snapping his horrid fangs within a foot of my naked
legs. I sprang out of his way, and getting hold of the green bough I had
cut, returned to the charge. The snake now glided along at top speed: he
knew the ground well, and was making for a mass of broken rocks, where
he would have been beyond my reach, but before he could gain this place
of refuge, I caught him two or three tremendous whacks on the head. He,
however, held on, and gained a pool of muddy water, which he was rapidly
crossing, when I again belabored him, and at length reduced his pace to
a stand. We then hanged him by the neck to a bough of a tree, and in
about fifteen minutes he seemed dead; but he again became very
troublesome during the operation of skinning, twisting his body in all
manner of ways. This serpent measured fourteen feet.



MONTHLY RECORD OF CURRENT EVENTS


The death of President Taylor is the leading event of interest in our
domestic record for the month, as it has been the leading topic of
public attention throughout the country. He died at half-past ten
o'clock on the evening of Wednesday, July 9th, after an illness of but
five days, the last of which alone was deemed dangerous. Exposure to the
sun in attendance upon the public celebration of the Fourth, imprudent
diet on returning home, and neglect of medical remedies until too late,
aggravated rapidly and fatally the disease which he had contracted,
which few of our army officers escaped, and from which several have
already died, during his Mexican campaign. On the afternoon of Wednesday
his alarming condition was announced in the two Houses of Congress, both
of which at once adjourned: and they only met the next day to make
arrangements for his funeral, which took place on Saturday, and was
attended by a large military display, by the officers of government and
the representatives of foreign nations, and by an immense concourse of
his fellow-citizens. His death was announced on Thursday by the Vice
President, MILLARD FILLMORE, upon whom the duties of the Presidential
office at once devolved, by virtue of the provisions of the
Constitution, in a Message to both Houses of Congress, and suitable
words of eulogy were pronounced, in the Senate, by Senators DOWNS, of
Louisiana, WEBSTER, of Massachusetts, CASS, of Michigan, KING, of
Alabama, PEARCE, of Maryland, and BERRIEN, of Georgia; and in the House
by Mr. Speaker COBB, of Georgia, Messrs. CONRAD, of Louisiana, WINTHROP,
of Massachusetts, BAKER, of Illinois, BAYLY, of Virginia, HILLIARD, of
Alabama, JOHN A. KING, of New York, MCLANE, of Maryland, and MARSHALL,
of Kentucky. Mr. FILLMORE, on the same day, took the oath of the
Presidential office in presence of both Houses of Congress, and thus
quietly, quickly, and peaceably was effected a transfer of all the
Executive powers of this great nation--a transfer never effected without
difficulty, and often causing commotion, turmoil, and bloodshed in the
less free and more conservative nations of the Old World. In the
preceding pages of this Magazine will be found a condensed outline of
the life of the late President, which obviates the necessity of further
reference in this place. His decease was celebrated by public obsequies
in all the principal cities of the Union, and has awakened a universal
and intense sentiment of regretful grief.

Immediately upon the death of President TAYLOR the members of his
Cabinet tendered their resignations to President FILLMORE, but at his
request, and for the safety of the public service, they retained their
offices for a few days, to give him the desired opportunity for care and
inquiry in selecting their successors. That selection was made as soon
as practicable, and on the 15th the President made the following
nominations, which were at once confirmed by the Senate, which had
previously and by a unanimous vote, chosen SENATOR WILLIAM R. KING, of
Alabama, to preside over its deliberations:

_Secretary of State_           DANIEL WEBSTER, Mass.
_Secretary of the Treasury_    THOMAS CORWIN, Ohio.
_Secretary of the Interior_    JAMES A. PEARCE, Md.
_Secretary of War_             EDWARD BATES, Missouri.
_Secretary of the Navy_        WILLIAM A. GRAHAM, N. C.
_Attorney General_             JOHN J. CRITTENDEN, Ky.
_Postmaster General_           NATHAN K. HALL, N. York.

It is understood that Mr. PEARCE declines the secretaryship of the
Interior, but no official nomination has yet been made to fill his
place.

No business of public importance has been transacted in Congress. In the
SENATE the Compromise Bill, reported by Mr. CLAY from the Committee of
Thirteen, continues under debate. Mr. WEBSTER, on the 17th ult., made a
very eloquent speech in its support, declaring himself earnestly in
favor of admitting California, of providing a Territorial government for
New Mexico, without the anti-slavery proviso, which he deems
superfluous, and of settling the question of boundary between Texas and
New Mexico. He said he should have preferred to act upon these measures
separately, but he was willing to vote for them as conjoined in the
bill. Speeches were also made by several Senators against the bill, and
some amendments, offered to obviate objections entertained to it in
various quarters, were rejected. No decisive action has been had upon it
up to the time of putting these pages to press.

The chief action in the HOUSE, of general interest, relates to what is
known as the _Galphin Claim,_ the history of which is briefly as
follows: Prior to the year 1773 George Galphin, the original claimant,
was a licensed trader among the Creek and Cherokee Indians in the then
province of Georgia. The Indians became indebted to him in amounts so
large that they were unable to pay them; and in 1773, in order to give
him security for his claims, they ceded to the King of Great Britain, as
trustee, a tract of land containing two and a half millions of acres.
The trust was accepted, commissioners were appointed, some of the lands
were sold, and the proceeds applied to the payment of the expenses of
the commission, but none was then paid to the claimants for whose
benefit the trust had been created. The sum found due to George Galphin
was £9791, for which amount a certificate was issued to him by the
Governor and Council in May, 1775. Meantime the war of the Revolution
broke out, and its successful result destroyed the trust, and the lands
were no longer subject to the control of the king. After the war was
over the state of Georgia granted these lands to those of her soldiers
who had been engaged in the war, and who became actual settlers upon
them. The descendants of Mr. Galphin applied to the state of Georgia for
the payment of their claims, as Georgia had merely succeeded to the
trusteeship of the King of England. The claim was prosecuted and pressed
for many years without success, it being contended that, as the lands
had been used to pay for services in the Revolution, the government of
the United States was properly liable for the private injury that might
have been sustained. In 1848 the Legislature of the state of Georgia
passed resolutions directing their Senators and Representatives in
Congress to urge the payment of these claims upon the General
Government; and Hon. GEORGE W. CRAWFORD was engaged by the claimants as
their agent, and was made interested to the amount of one-third of the
claim. Congress, at the session of 1848, passed a bill directing the
Secretary of the Treasury to examine and adjust the claims, and to pay
out of the public funds whatever might prove to be due. The Hon. R. J.
WALKER, then Secretary of the Treasury, examined the question, adjudged
the claim valid, paid the principal sum which he found to be due,
amounting to $43,518, and left the question of paying interest upon it
to the next Cabinet. In that Cabinet Mr. CRAWFORD held a seat, having
first transferred his agency for the claimants to Judge BRYAN, but
retaining his interest in the claim. The matter was pressed upon the
attention of the Secretary of the Treasury, who consulted the Attorney
General as to the legality of paying interest on a claim of this kind.
Mr. JOHNSON gave a written opinion in favor of its payment. Mr. MEREDITH
paid the interest, amounting to $191,352, Mr. CRAWFORD receiving his
share. The subject has been before Congress for several weeks, and has
excited a very earnest and somewhat acrimonious debate. The House, on
the 8th, adopted a resolution affirming that "the claim of the
representatives of George Galphin was not a just demand against the
United States," by a vote of 142 yeas and 49 nays. The same day they
adopted another resolution, declaring that "the act of Congress made it
the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to pay the principal of said
claim, and it was therefore paid in conformity with law and precedent,"
by a vote of 112 yeas and 66 nays. A third resolution, declaring that
"the act aforesaid did not authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to
pay interest on said claim, and its payment was not in conformity with
law or precedent," was also passed, 118 yeas and 71 nays. Soon after the
adoption of these resolutions, Mr. CRAWFORD addressed a letter to the
House asking that a suit might be commenced against him for the
recovery of the interest which he had received, and payment of which the
House had condemned, in order to bring the question to the test of the
judicial tribunals. No further action has yet been had upon the
subject.--The House has also taken action on the application of Mr. HUGH
N. SMITH, a delegate from New Mexico, chosen by a convention of her
people, to be admitted upon the floor of Congress, not of course to take
any other part in the business of that body than to be heard upon
questions affecting the rights and interests of his constituents. In the
early part of the session the application was referred to the proper
committee, the majority of which reported against his admission. On the
19th the whole subject was laid on the table--equivalent to Mr. SMITH'S
rejection--by a vote of 105 yeas, 94 nays, and 29 absent. This disposes
of the question for the present session, although substantially the same
issue will indubitably come up in some new form.--The next day a similar
resolution was adopted rejecting the application of Mr. BABBITT to be
admitted as a delegate from the Territory of Utah, or Deseret.

The authorities of CUBA have decided to release the American prisoners
taken from the island of Contoy, beyond Spanish jurisdiction. This will
probably terminate all difficulties between the two governments growing
out of this affair.--Considerable currency has been given to a story
stated by correspondents of the London press, that the Spanish Gen.
NARVAEZ had grossly insulted the U.S. Minister at Madrid, refusing in
public to hold any intercourse with the representative of a nation which
tolerated and countenanced pirates and assassins. The story is entirely
discredited by direct advices.--The State Convention of Ohio called to
revise the Constitution has adjourned until the first Monday in
September.--A very destructive fire occurred at Philadelphia on the
night of the 9th ult. Although not in the chief business part of the
city, property to the amount of more than a million of dollars was
destroyed, and over _thirty_ lives were lost by the explosion of various
materials in the buildings burned The occurrence has elicited from Prof.
ROGERS, of the University of Pennsylvania, a letter stating that, in his
opinion, saltpetre by itself is not explosive, but that the great
quantity of oxygen which it contains greatly increases the combustion of
ignited matter with which it may be brought in contact, and that this
may evolve gases so rapidly as to cause an explosion.--The cholera is
prevailing with a good deal of fatality in some of the western cities.
In Cincinnati the number of deaths has averaged 20 to 35, and has been
as high as 65: in St. Louis it has been still higher, and in Nashville,
Tenn., it has been quite as large in proportion to the population. At
the latest advices it seemed to be diminishing. It has not made its
appearance in any of the eastern cities.--The case of Prof. WEBSTER,
convicted at Boston of the murder of Dr. PARKMAN, has been definitively
decided. Soon after the trial he sent in a petition for a full pardon,
on the ground of his entire innocence and ignorance of the whole matter,
solemnly asserting, and calling God to witness, that he knew nothing
whatever of the manner in which Dr. Parkman's remains came to be found
in his room. A few days afterward he sent in another petition, praying
for a commutation of his sentence. It was presented by the Rev. Dr.
PUTNAM, who had acted as his spiritual adviser, and who laid before the
Council a detailed confession, which he had received from Prof. Webster,
in which he confessed that he killed Dr. Parkman with a single blow from
a stick, but claimed that it was done without premeditation, in a moment
of great excitement caused by abusive language. He gave at length a
statement of the whole transaction. After considering the subject fully
and carefully, acting under the advice of the Council, Governor Briggs
decided against the application, and appointed Friday, the 30th day of
August, for the execution of the sentence of the Court. Upon that day,
therefore, Prof. Webster will undoubtedly be hung.--A good deal of
public interest has been enlisted in the performances of the new
American line of Transatlantic steamers, running between New York and
Liverpool. There are to be five steamers in the line, but only two of
them have as yet been finished. These two are the _Atlantic_ and the
_Pacific_, the former of which has made two trips, and the latter one,
each way. On the morning of Sunday, July 21st, the _Atlantic_ arrived at
New York at 3 o'clock, having left Liverpool on the 10th, at 11 o'clock
A.M.--making the passage in ten days and sixteen hours, the shortest by
several hours ever made between the two ports. Her passage out was also
very short. These trips have confirmed the opinion which has very
generally been entertained, that the Americans would speedily have a
line of steamers on the ocean superior in speed, comfort, and elegance
to those of the Cunard Company which have hitherto enjoyed so high a
reputation.--Mr. E. GEORGE SQUIER, U. S. Charge near the government of
Nicaragua, has returned to this country on a brief visit. We learn that
he has made a very full record of his observations upon the country in
which he has been residing, and that very volumnious papers from him on
the subject are in possession of the State Department. It is to be hoped
that they may be given to the public.--The initial steps have been taken
in Virginia toward an enterprise of decided importance to the southern
states if it should be carried out: it is nothing less than the
establishment of direct intercourse by a line of steamers between some
southern port and Liverpool, for the export of cotton and other articles
of southern growth, and for the transmission of southern correspondence,
&c. The meeting of delegates was held at Old Point on the 4th of July,
and committees were appointed to make proper representations on the
subject to Congress and the state Legislature, and to take such other
steps as they might deem essential.--A convention was held at Syracuse
of persons favorable to maintaining the existing Free School System of
the State of New York. The necessity for such action grows out of the
fact that the principle is to be submitted to the popular suffrage in
November. The Legislature of 1848 passed a law making education in the
common schools of the state absolutely free to all the children who
might choose to attend, making the law dependent for its validity on its
adoption by the people. Accordingly it was submitted to them in
November, 1848, and was sanctioned by a majority of over 90,000. It
accordingly went into effect. At the last session of the Legislature,
however, petitions were sent in, in great numbers, some of them praying
for the entire repeal of the law, and others for its essential
modification. The opponents of the law resisted the principle that
property should be taxed for purposes of education, inasmuch as men of
property would thus be compelled to pay for educating children not their
own. Others objected mainly to details of the law, and to the injurious
effect of the established mode of collecting the rate bills. The two
branches of the Legislature not being able to agree upon amendments of
the law, and not wishing to discard the principle on which it is
founded, agreed to submit it again to the popular suffrage. The
Convention in question assembled accordingly, to aid the law. Hon.
Christopher Morgan, Secretary of State, presided, and an address and
resolutions affirming the principles on which the law is based, and
calling on the people to give it their renewed support, were
adopted.--Col. FREMONT has received from the Royal Geographical Society
of London a medal, in token of their sense of his eminent services in
promoting the cause of geographical knowledge. It was presented through
the U.S. Minister.--MR. JOHN R. BARTLETT, who was appointed by the
President Commissioner to run the boundary line between Mexico and the
United States, in accordance with the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, has
set out upon his mission. The point of departure is to be upon the Rio
Grande, and the Commissioners of the two countries are to meet at El
Paso. This will be the most extensive line of surveys ever made in the
United States, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and mostly
through a country wholly unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

From MEXICO we have advices to the 1st of July. The Presidential
election, which was to occur soon, was becoming a topic of general
discussion. There are several candidates, among whom Gen. Almonte, Gomez
Farias, and Domingo Ibarra are the best known in this country. Congress
was to have assembled, but not a quorum of the members could be
collected. The cholera was raging with excessive and terrible fatality.
From the 17th of May to the 16th of June there had been in the city of
Mexico 7,846 cases, and on the last day named there were 230 deaths.
Among the victims was Don Mariano Otero, a distinguished statesman and
lawyer. In San Luis and other sections it was prevailing with great
severity. The financial affairs of the State of Durango were in such a
condition that an extra session of the Legislature had been called in
order to save them from total ruin.--Advices have been received of the
conclusion of a treaty with the Mexican Government by the U.S. Minister,
Mr. LETCHER, by which is ceded the right of transit by railroad across
the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This step has been taken in accordance with,
and probably in consequence of, the position taken upon the subject by
President TAYLOR in his first message to Congress. The late President
POLK, when he sent out Mr. TRIST to negotiate a treaty of peace with
Mexico, authorized him to offer five millions of dollars for the right
which has now been secured without the expense of a dollar: and Mexico,
moreover, has now stipulated to protect the parties constructing the
work, as well as the work itself after it shall have been completed. The
benefits resulting from this treaty, if the work shall be completed,
will be of the most important character. As an auxiliary measure to the
Nicaraguan Canal, it will tend very powerfully to unite the Atlantic and
the Pacific states.

       *       *       *       *       *

From CALIFORNIA we have intelligence to the 17th of June. San Francisco
has been visited by two successive fires which had destroyed property to
the amount of several millions of dollars. A large proportion of the
goods burned were consigned by New York merchants to their agents in
California, so that the loss will fall very heavily upon them. As
insurance could not readily be effected the loss will be large. Nearly
three millions of dollars in gold dust have reached the United States
during the month. The foreigners resident in California had resisted the
payment of the tax of twenty-five dollars per month levied by the state
laws, and some difficulty was anticipated in enforcing payment, but at
the latest accounts this had been obviated, and every thing was quiet.
The intelligence from the mines encourages the belief that the quantity
of gold dug this season will be greater than ever before. From the
valleys of both the Sacramento and the San Joaquin very large amounts
were constantly obtained, and new mines have been found as far north as
Oregon, and as far south as Los Angelos. From the Mariposa mines many
very beautiful specimens of the gold-bearing quartz have been procured.
Difficulties had arisen with the Indians in different sections of the
country, and several severe battles between them and detachments of U.
S. troops had been fought. They grew mainly out of the hostile
disposition of the Indians which is often excited and encouraged by the
lawless conduct of the whites. Measures were in progress which, it was
hoped, would restore quiet and security. It is stated that the property
in San Francisco as assessed for taxation amounts to three hundred
millions of dollars.

       *       *       *       *       *

From NEW MEXICO we have intelligence of some interest. It seems that the
people, becoming impatient of the delay of Congress in acting upon the
question of framing a government for them, and probably taking the hint
from the declared sentiments of President TAYLOR, resolved to form a
government for themselves. Public meetings were accordingly held, and
resolutions adopted, requesting Governor MUNROE to call a convention of
delegates from the several counties to form a State Constitution. Col.
MUNROE accordingly issued a proclamation to that effect, and a
Convention met at Santa Fé on the 15th of May. The session lasted eight
or ten days, and a Constitution was adopted, which was to go into
operation in July. The boundaries of the state were defined, and slavery
was prohibited. An election was soon to take place for members of the
Legislature. Two Senators and one Representative in Congress were to be
elected, and application was to be made for the immediate admission of
the State into the Union.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of LITERARY INTELLIGENCE there is little of general interest. The
distinguished English novelist, Mr. G. P. R. JAMES, arrived with his
family at New York on the 4th of July, and will spend several months in
visiting different sections of the United States. There are very few
Englishmen who would be more cordially welcomed to this country than Mr.
JAMES. His long and most honorable and productive career as an author
has made him universally known, and his works have been very widely read
in the United States as well as in England. The officious and
impertinent gossip of a portion of our newspaper press led Mr. JAMES to
publish a note disclaiming the intention of writing a book upon this
country. We regret that he should have found it necessary either to
announce such a purpose, or to form it. This country has nothing to lose
from the published observations of a man at once so competent and so
candid. Mr. JAMES had for fellow-passengers Count DEMBINSKI, who was a
major in the Hungarian service and nephew of General DEMBINSKI, whose
name is so well known to the whole world in connection with that gallant
but ill-fated struggle. Count D. was also aid to KOSSUTH, and fled with
him, accompanied with his wife, whom he had married at Temeswar during
the war, to Turkey, whence he came to this country. He is a young man of
great talent and accomplishments, and will probably make the United
States his home.--The anniversary of the Declaration of American
Independence was celebrated on the 4th throughout the country with the
usual demonstrations. Orations were delivered in nearly all the
principal cities of the Union, some of which have since been published.
The ablest one that has fallen under our notice was delivered by Mr. E.
P. WHIPPLE before the authorities of Boston. He spoke upon Washington
and the Principles of the Revolution, holding up the former as a model
of greatness, combating the popular notion that he was not a man of
genius, and dwelling upon the fact that our revolution was fought, not
on abstract principles, or in the assertion of abstract rights, but for
the redress of practical evils and the attainment of practical ends. It
was a timely, able, and judicious address, and was marked by the
peculiar vigor of style and of thought, injured by an occasional
straining after effect in expression and phrases, which characterize the
writings of Mr. WHIPPLE. Senator FOOTE, of Mississippi, delivered an
address before the Washington Monument Association at the National
Capital; it was a strong appeal on behalf of united and harmonious
councils, and was both timely and effective. Hon. J. W. EDMONDS, of New
York city, delivered the address at Washington's Head Quarters at
New-burgh, which the Legislature of New York, very properly and
creditably, took measures at the last session to preserve as a permanent
monument of the revolution. E. A. RAYMOND. Esq. delivered an address at
Rochester, which was a skillfully condensed summary of the growth of the
country, and especially of its political development.--A new Historical
Society of the Episcopal Church has just been formed at Trinity College,
Hartford, Conn., of which Bishop BROWNELL has been chosen
President.--The inventor of the Ramage printing press, which, until
superseded by subsequent improvements, was an important step in the
progress of printing, ADAM RAMAGE, died at Philadelphia on the 9th of
July. He was a native of Scotland, and was nearly eighty years old at
the time of his death.--MARGARET FULLER, well known in this country as a
gifted and accomplished lady, and author of several works of marked
value and interest, perished on the 19th of July, by the wreck of the
ship Elizabeth from Leghorn, in which she had taken passage with her
husband, the Marquis d'Ossoli, and her child, in returning to her native
land from Italy, where she had been spending several years. Her loss
will be deplored by a large circle of personal friends, and by the still
larger number of those who knew her only through her writings. She was
the eldest daughter of Hon. Timothy Fuller, formerly a lawyer of Boston,
but more recently a resident of Cambridge. She was remarkable for her
thorough intellectual cultivation, being familiar with both the ancient
and most of the modern languages and their literature--for the vigor and
natural strength of her mind--for her conversational powers, and for her
enthusiastic devotion to letters and art. She was at Rome during the
recent revolution, and took the deepest interest in the struggles of
that day. She had been for some time engaged upon a work on Italy, which
it is feared has perished with her. Her husband and child were lost at
the same time. Mr. Henry Sumner, of Boston, also perished.--RALPH WALDO
EMERSON is traveling in the region on the Upper Waters of the
Mississippi.--No original books of special interest have been published
during the month. In our department of Literary Notices mention is made
of those which are of most importance.--Mr. PRESCOTT, the historian, is
traveling in Europe. He is announced as having been present at a recent
meeting of the London Archaeological Society.--Mr. H. N. HUDSON, whose
lectures on SHAKSPEARE have made him widely and favorably known as a
critic, has been engaged by a Boston publishing house to edit a new
edition of the works of the great Dramatist, which will be published
during the coming year. Mr. Hudson's ability and familiarity with the
subject will enable him to make a very valuable and interesting
work.--GARIBALDI, who achieved distinction in the defense of Rome
against the French, is coming to New York, where he was to be honored
with a public reception from the authorities.--The capture of Stoney
Point was celebrated this year at that place, for the first time. HUGH
MAXWELL, Esq., of New York, delivered the address. The celebration is
hereafter to be annual.--In no department of mechanism is the progress
of the age more conspicuous than in printing presses, as is shown by the
fact that Messrs. Hoe and Co., of New York, are now constructing a press
which will work from 15,000 to 20,000 per hour. It will be thirty-three
feet long, with eight printing cylinders, and will cost about
$21,000.--A newly invented locomotive engine, intended for use in the
streets of cities, has just been put upon the Hudson River Railroad at
its termination in New York. It consumes its own smoke, and is entirely
inclosed from public view--presenting the appearance of a simple
baggage-car. The engine is of ninety horse power.

       *       *       *       *       *

News from LIBERIA has been received announcing that the government has
at last been able to effect the purchase of the Gallinas territories,
including the whole from Cape Mount to Shebar, except a small strip of
five miles of coast which will soon fall into their hands. The chief
importance of this purchase springs from the fact that Gallinas has been
for many years the head quarters of the slave-trade--an enormous number
of slaves having been shipped from there every year. The government paid
$9500 for the territory, and further agreed to appoint commissioners to
settle the wars in the country, and open trade with the interior tribes,
as well as to settle among them and instruct them in the arts of
civilized life. This may prove to be an important step not only toward
the suppression of the horrible traffic in slaves, which the united
efforts of England, France, and the United States have hither to been
unable to effect, but also toward the civilization of Africa, a result
to which no philanthropic mind can be indifferent.

       *       *       *       *       *

In ENGLAND by far the most important event of the month is the sudden
death of Sir ROBERT PEEL. On the 29th of June he had called at
Buckingham Palace to pay his respects to the Queen, and was riding away
upon horseback, when his horse swerved slightly and threw him to the
ground; he fell sideways, striking upon his left shoulder. He was at
once raised up by several gentlemen who rushed to his assistance, and
said that he was very much hurt indeed. He was taken to his residence
and received all the attention of the highest surgical skill, which,
however, was less effective than would have been anticipated on account
of the intense pain which he suffered. He lingered until near midnight
of the 2d July, when he expired. A partial examination of his body
showed that one of his ribs had been broken and was pressing upon his
lungs. His family declined a public funeral tendered by the government,
and his remains were interred at Tamworth. Both houses of Parliament
adjourned, and demonstrations of profound regret and respect for his
character were general. An outline of his life and political career will
be found in the preceding pages of this Magazine. His death is justly
considered an event of great political importance. It was generally
anticipated that he would soon be called upon to resume the office of
prime minister, and universal confidence was felt in his large
experience, his eminent ability, and his intimate acquaintance with the
condition and events of the United Kingdom.

The Greek question was still under discussion at our last advices: it
has led to events of no small importance in connection with the politics
of England and the fundamental principles of the British constitution.
On the 17th of June, in the House of Lords, Lord STANLEY moved a
resolution censuring the government for having adopted coercive measures
to enforce claims against Greece, doubtful in point of justice or
exaggerated in amount. He supported his motion at great length, entering
into a detailed history of the whole matter, and accusing the government
of having, through its foreign minister, insisted on exorbitant demands,
oppressed the weak, and endangered the peace of Europe. He was sustained
by the Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Brougham and others, and was answered by
the Marquis of LANSDOWNE who, with others, defended the government. The
resolution was _carried_ by 169 to 132, showing a majority against the
government of 37. On the 20th, Mr. ROEBUCK called the attention of the
Commons to the vote of the Lords, and desired to know whether the
government would adopt any special course of conduct in consequence of
it. Lord JOHN RUSSELL replied that they should not alter their course in
respect to foreign powers at all, and that they did not feel called upon
to resign because the House of Lords had passed a vote of censure. That
house did not represent the nation: whenever the House of Commons should
adopt such a resolution the ministry would quit office. On the 24th, for
the purpose of enabling the Commons to express their opinion upon the
subject, Mr. ROEBUCK moved a resolution declaring that the principles on
which the foreign policy of the government had been regulated were
calculated to maintain the honor and dignity of the country, and in
times of unexampled difficulty, to preserve peace between England and
foreign nations. The motion was warmly opposed by Sir James Graham and
others, and was advocated with equal zeal. Lord PALMERSTON defended the
foreign policy of the government in a speech of five hours, marked by
great ability and eloquence. After going over the whole ground fully and
in detail, he concluded by challenging the verdict of the house, whether
the principles which had guided the foreign policy of the government had
been proper and fitting, and whether, as a subject of ancient Rome could
hold himself free from indignity by saying, "Civis Romanus sum," a
British subject in a foreign country should not be protected by the
vigilant eye and the strong arm of his government against injustice and
wrong. The debate was then adjourned, and had not been resumed at our
latest advices. The ministry seems very firmly to have taken the
position that England can be governed without the House of Lords, and
that its foreign policy is not to be shaped according to their wishes,
but according to the popular will, as represented by the Commons. This
position indicates the strong tendency which prevails in England even,
toward popular and democratic government. Lord John Russell, on the
20th, also remarked, in reply to the intimation that the foreign policy
of the government was calculated to foment differences between England
and other nations, that he could answer for it that Lord Palmerston, so
long as he should continue in office, would act not as a minister of
Austria, Russia, France, or any other country, but as the minister of
England. The declaration was received with great applause, not only in
the house but throughout the country. It is understood that the
diplomatic misunderstanding between France and England, growing out of
the Greek question, has been settled. No other business of general
interest in this country has been before Parliament during the month.
Inquiries were made in both Houses as to the Cuban expedition, and the
ministers stated that it was fitted out against the most strenuous
efforts of the American government, which has, nevertheless, been very
strongly censured for its inability to prevent it.--The government has
issued orders restricting very considerably the posting and delivery of
letters on Sunday, which has elicited very clamorous complaints in every
part of the country. Lord BROUGHAM in speaking of the matter in
Parliament, doubted the power of the government to issue such orders,
and said that it was causing a vast increase of Sunday travel and work
throughout the kingdom, as messengers were now dispatched to obtain
indispensable intelligence formerly received by mail. Lord Ashley had
carried a motion in the House of Lords to suppress Sunday labor in the
post-office, by a vote of 93 to 68.--Sir Edward Buxton on the 31st of
June, moved a resolution against exposing the free-grown sugar of the
British colonies to unrestricted competition with the sugar of
slave-trading countries. It failed, however, by 275 to 234.--A bill
prohibiting intra-mural interments, has passed the Commons. The
remaining transactions of Parliament have no general interest.

The Queen while riding with the Prince in an open carriage, on the 27th
of June, was struck across the face by a respectably dressed man, armed
with a small cane. Her bonnet was cut through, and a severe wound was
inflicted upon her forehead. She attended the opera, however, in the
evening, and was received with great enthusiasm. The assailant proved to
be a discharged officer, named Robert Pate, subject to attacks of
insanity. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to transportation for
seven years.--Very shortly, fifteen screw steamers will ply between
Liverpool and various ports in the Mediterranean.--Meyerbeer, the
composer, has received the degree of Doctor from the University of
Jena.--Dr. GUTZLAFF, who is preaching at Berlin and at Potsdam, on
behalf of the Chinese mission, expresses a confident hope that the
Emperor of Japan will be converted to Christianity.--Mr. CORBOULD, the
artist, has received the commands of her Majesty to paint a large
picture of the grand coronation scene in the opera of "La Prophete," as
represented at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent-garden.--Mr. GIBSON, of
Rome, now in England, has received an order for a colossal group, in
marble, of figures of her Majesty, Queen Victoria, supported on either
side by Justice and Clemency. The figure of the queen will be ten feet
in height; the side figures, eight feet. This group will occupy a place
in the new Houses of Parliament.--The Duke of CAMBRIDGE died on the 8th
of July. He was the seventh and youngest son of George III., and was
seventy-six years old at the time of his death.

Many accidents to vessels in the Northern Atlantic have arisen during
the season from floating icebergs. The ship Oriental, of Liverpool, was
lost, with all her crew and cargo from this cause, on the 27th of April;
and on the 29th of March, the English ship Signet, with all on board,
also foundered. Eighteen or twenty other vessels are known to have been
lost in the same manner, their crews having escaped. New hopes of the
safety of Sir John Franklin have been suggested by these reports. It is
supposed that these vast fields of ice are portions of the slowly
released masses, the growth of many preceding winters, which were first
broken two winters ago by the strong southwest and southerly gales over
all the North Atlantic and North Pacific; but which, in consequence of
their bulk and extent, were again condensed before they could be fairly
swept into the Atlantic, and thus offered continued obstruction to the
release of Franklin and his ships. Nor would this appear to be
impossible, assuming detention in the ice to have been the only danger,
and that continued means of subsistence were accessible.--The Steamer
_Orion_, plying between Liverpool and Glasgow, was wrecked June 18th,
off Port Patrick, in a smooth sea, by striking upon a rock, and over two
hundred lives were lost.--The baptism of the infant prince was
celebrated June 22d, the Duke of Wellington being one of the sponsors,
and the ceremony being performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who
named the royal infant, "Arthur William Patrick Albert."

       *       *       *       *       *

The English LITERARY INTELLIGENCE of the month is summed up in the
Household Narrative, from which mainly we copy. It remarks that the
class of books which has received the largest additions, is that of
biography. Mr. Edmund Phipps has published extracts from the diaries and
literary remains of the author of _Tremaine_, with biographical and
critical comment, under the title of "_Memoirs of the Political and
Literary Life of Robert Plumer Ward_;" and the book has been made more
interesting than the subject would have seemed to promise, by the fact
of Mr. Ward's intimate connection, both in private and public life, with
the leading tory statesmen of the administrations of Addington,
Perceval, and Liverpool. The political and administrative
characteristics of the Duke of Wellington have probably never had such
vivid illustration.--Mr. Leigh Hunt has published his "_Autobiography,
with Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries_," of which very
copious extracts were given in the July number of this Magazine. It will
be issued in a few days from the press of the Harpers. Some of it is the
republication of a former work, but the greater part is original, or at
least so changed by interpolations, recantations, or additions, as to
produce the effect of novelty.--The Reverend Mr. Field, an enthusiast
for the separate and silent system of imprisonment, has published a new
_Life of Howard_, dedicated to Prince Albert, of which the design
appears to be to counteract the evil tendency of a recent memoir of the
philanthropist, remarkable for what the reverend enthusiast calls "the
advocacy of democratic principles, and the aspersion of a godly
prince."--Each in a goodly-sized volume, we have had a sort of general
biographical notice of _Celebrated Etonians_, and of _Speakers of the
House of Commons_, the first by an able man, quite competent to the
subject.--Miss Pardoe has edited the first volume of a series of
_Memoirs of the Queens of Spain_, of which the author is a Spanish lady,
resident in America. An ingenious northern antiquary has published
memorials of one of the old border mansions, called Dilston Hall, which
amounts in effect to an interesting _Memoir of the Earl of
Derwentwater_, who suffered in the Jacobite rebellion. And, finally, Mr.
Andrew Bisset has done good service to both history and biography by a
very careful publication of the _Memoirs and Papers of Sir Andrew
Mitchell,_ Lord Chatham's embassador at the court of Frederic the Great,
and one of the very ablest of English diplomatists.

To the department of philosophy a somewhat remarkable contribution is to
be noticed, under the title of _The Progress of the Intellect as
exemplified in the religious development of the Greeks and Hebrews_. The
writer is Mr. Robert William Mackay. Its design is to explain by a
rationalistic process all the religious faiths and beliefs which have
exerted the greatest influence over man, and to refer them exclusively
to moral and intellectual development. In this design the writer may, or
may not, have succeeded; but it is certain, making all draw-backs on the
score of what has probably been borrowed from German investigation, that
the book has high pretensions to eloquence and research, and reminds us
of a time when publication was less frequent than now, and a single book
might embody the labor of a life. For its antidote in respect of opinion
and purpose there has been published, not inopportunely, after a
peaceful slumber of nearly two centuries in the library at Wotton, _A
Rational Account of the True Religion_, by John Evelyn. Here the design
is, by all possible arguments and authorities, to confirm our faith in
Christianity.

We must speak very summarily and briefly of the publications in general
literature. Of books of travel and adventure, the most attractive and
interesting in point of subject is, _Five Years of a Hunter's Life in
the Far Interior of South Africa_, by Mr. Roualeyn Gordon Cumming, a
kinsman of the Chief of Argyll, in whom a love of deer-stalking seems to
have gradually expanded into dimensions too gigantic to be satisfied
with any thing less than the stalking of the lion, the elephant, the
hippopotamus, the giraffe, or the rhinoceros. The book is filled with
astonishing incidents and anecdotes, and keeps the reader very nearly as
breathless with excitement as the elephant and lion-hunter himself must
have been. Copious extracts from the work will be found in the preceding
pages of this number.--Mr. Aubrey de Vere has published some very
graceful _Picturesque Sketches of Greece and Turkey_; and the brave and
high-minded old General Pepe has given the world, _A Narrative of Scenes
and Events in Italy from 1847 to 1849_. Mr. Johnson, the distinguished
geographer of Edinburgh, has issued the most complete _General Gazetteer
of the World_ that has yet been comprised in a single volume; and as
part of the republication of the treatises of the Encyclopædia
Metropolitana, in separate and portable volumes, we have to mention an
interesting volume on Greek Literature by Mr. Justice Talfourd, the
Bishop of London, and other accomplished scholars.--In poetical
translation, a new version of _Æschylus_ by Professor Blackie, of
Aberdeen, has been issued; and in poetry, with the title of _In
Memoriam_, a noble and affecting series of elegies to the memory of a
friend (son of the historian Hallam), from the pen of Mr. Alfred
Tennyson.

Considerable interest was excited by the unswathing of an Egyptian mummy
at the residence of Lord Londesborough, at which Mr. Birch of the
British Museum, describing the embalming process, and following in this
the narrative of Herodotus, said the subject had evidently suffered from
the use of bitumen and the application of heat, as the bones were
charred and the muscles calcined. DR. CORMACK has published a letter in
the _Athenæum_ expressing and sustaining the opinion that all mummies
were prepared in this way.--A recent number of Galignani contains an
interesting item of intelligence. It may be remembered that GOETHE in
1827 delivered over to the keeping of the Government of Weimar a
quantity of his papers, contained in a sealed casket, with an injunction
not to open it until 1850. The 17th of May being fixed for breaking the
seals, the authorities gave formal notice to the family of Goethe that
they would on that day deliver up the papers as directed by the deceased
poet. The descendants of the poet Schiller also received an intimation
that, as the papers were understood to concern their ancestor likewise,
they had a right to be present. The casket was opened with all due form,
and was found to contain the whole of the correspondence between Goethe
and Schiller. It is added, that these letters are immediately to be
published, according to directions found in the casket. A new society
has recently been formed in London for the investigation of the laws and
nature of epidemic diseases, of which Dr. Babington has been chosen
President. Another has been instituted for the collection of facts,
observations, &c, in Meteorology, of which Mr. Whitbread is to be the
first President. ROGERS the poet was severely injured by being knocked
down by a cab in the streets of London. Being 87 years old his case was
considered precarious, though at the last accounts he seems to have
partially recovered.--Several meetings have been held at the house of
Mr. Justice COLERIDGE for the purpose of initiating a subscription to do
honor, in some form, to the memory of Wordsworth, and have resulted in
the formation of a powerful committee, with the Bishop of London at its
head. The objects which this committee have in view are--to place a
whole length effigy of the deceased poet in Westminster Abbey--and, if
possible, to erect some monument to his memory in the neighborhood of
Grasmere. The list of subscriptions is headed by the Queen and her Royal
Consort, with a sum of £50.--Some singular decisions have recently been
made by the Vice Chancellor. It seems that a Mr. Hartley deceased in
1843, left directions in his will that £300 should be set apart as a
prize for the best Essay on "Natural Theology," treating it as a
substantive science, and as adequate to constitute a true, perfect, and
philosophical system of universal religion. It was ruled by the Vice
Chancellor that this bequest was void, on account of the evident
tendency which the essay so described would have to demoralize society
and subvert the church. Another decision, arising out of the same
trial, is yet more curious. Mr. Hartley had left £200 for the best essay
on Emigration, and appointed the American Minister trustee of the fund.
This bequest was also declared void, on the ground that such an essay
would encourage persons to emigrate to the United States, and so throw
off their allegiance to the Queen! The race of Justice Shallows seems
not to be extinct.

       *       *       *       *       *

In FRANCE, after the passage of the electoral law, a bill was presented
for increasing the President's salary to 3,600,000 francs per annum. Its
introduction created considerable feeling. The committee to which it was
referred reported in its stead a bill granting 1,600,000 francs to
defray expenses incurred at the President's inauguration: and this was
afterward modified so as to grant 2,160,000 for the expenses of the
President, in which form it was adopted by the Assembly, by a vote of
354 to 308, a majority of 46 for the government. This is regarded as a
government triumph, but it was not won until after a sharp struggle, and
it has increased very considerably the public disaffection.--New laws
for the restriction of the press have also been brought forward. The
amount of caution money which newspapers are required to deposit is
increased, and the system of postage stamps is introduced. During the
discussion of these laws on the 8th of July, a scene of some warmth
occurred in the Assembly. M. Rouher, in the course of a speech, spoke of
the revolution of February as a great catastrophe, for which he was
immediately called to order by Girardin, recently elected a member by
the department of the Lower Rhine, as well as by others. The President
refused to call him to order, but rebuked those who had interrupted him.
The laws in regard to the press have been declared "urgent" by a vote of
370 to 251.--A man named Walker has been arrested on his own confession
of a design to assassinate Louis Napoleon, for which purpose he had
waited several hours for him to pass out of his gate. He proves to have
been insane.--M. Thiers has been on a visit to London, where he was
received with distinction. He visited Louis Philippe, whose health is
said to be failing.

       *       *       *       *       *

In GERMANY the settlement of the Constitution makes little progress. The
Saxon chambers were suddenly dissolved on the 1st, to evade a
discussion in the Second Chamber on an address to the sovereign,
expressing dissatisfaction with the conduct of the government on the
German question; and the Second Chamber broke up in solemn silence,
withholding the usual cheers for the king. The Wurtemburg Diet, for a
similar reason, was prorogued on the 4th. The German senate has given
its consent for the meeting of the Peace Congress at Frankfort, and its
sessions will commence on the 23d of August. It is to be a New World's
Convention of the Friends of Peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

The King of PRUSSIA has recovered from the wound inflicted by the
assassin Sefeloge. A royal decree has been published at Berlin,
curtailing still further the Freedom of the Press. The system of
"caution-money" is re-established, with the government powers of
canceling the license to sell newspapers, and of refusing conveyance by
post to obnoxious journals; and certain offenses against the press laws
are "withdrawn from the competency of a jury." Among the journals
affected by the decree is the London _Punch_, which has been proscribed
in the city of Konigsberg and its province, and placed on the list of
journals that are no longer permitted to pass through the post-office.

       *       *       *       *       *

From PORTUGAL we have intelligence of difficulties with this country,
growing out of claims on that government which have been in existence
for many years. The amount claimed is about $300,000. The principal one
grows out of the destruction of the American ship, the General
Armstrong, during the war of 1812, by a British fleet, while lying in
the neutral port of Fayal, and therefore entitled to the protection of
the Portuguese government. According to the law of nations, Portugal is
responsible for her failure to protect her; and although Great Britain
is the party in equity responsible, the United States have to look, in
conformity to law, only to Portugal. The claims have been unsuccessfully
pressed for a number of years; but the administration of General Taylor
demanded an immediate settlement. Our Chargé, Mr. Clay, under
instructions, had required an answer to his demands within twenty days,
and an American squadron had meantime arrived in the Tagus to enforce
them. Some uneasiness was felt as to the issue, but it was believed that
the Portuguese government would yield.



LITERARY NOTICES.


     LIFE AND LETTERS OF THOMAS CAMPBELL. Edited by William Beattie.
     In two volumes, 8vo, pp. 1077. New York: Harper and Brothers.

This charming piece of biography is already familiar to the reading
public in this country, from the copious and flattering notices it has
received from the British journals and reviews. It will be welcomed in
its present complete form by every lover of literary history, no less
than by the admirers of the favorite poet of "The Pleasures of Hope."
The author had _abundance of materials at his command_, and has executed
his task with commendable industry and good taste. In any hands, the
subject could not be without intense interest, and as it has been
treated in the volumes before us, possesses a fascination rarely found
in any recent production. Free use is made of the letters of CAMPBELL,
many of which are of the highest order of epistolary composition,
abounding in those delicate and expressive touches which reveal the
heart of the man and the genius of the poet in the purest and most
beautiful light.

The American edition is introduced by a letter of WASHINGTON IRVING to
the publishers, in which our admirable countryman relates some personal
reminiscences of CAMPBELL with so much felicity and exquisite grace,
that we can not avoid transferring them to our pages:

     "My acquaintance with Campbell commenced in, I think, 1810,
     through his brother Archibald, a most amiable, modest, and
     intelligent man, but more of a mathematician than a poet. He
     resided at that time in New York, and had received from his
     brother a manuscript copy of "O'Connor's Child; or, the Flower
     of Love lies bleeding," for which he was desirous of finding a
     purchaser among the American publishers. I negotiated the
     matter for him with a publishing house in Philadelphia, which
     offered a certain sum for the poem, provided I would write a
     biographical sketch of the author to be prefixed to a volume
     containing all his poetical works. To secure a good price for
     the poet, I wrote the sketch, being furnished with facts by his
     brother; it was done, however, in great haste, when I was 'not
     in the vein,' and, of course, was very slight and imperfect. It
     served, however, to put me at once on a friendly footing with
     Campbell, so that, when I met him for the first time a few
     years subsequently in England, he received me as an old friend.
     He was living at that time in his rural retreat at Sydenham.
     His modest mansion was fitted up in a simple style, but with a
     tact and taste characteristic of the occupants.

     "Campbell's appearance was more in unison with his writings
     than is generally the case with authors. He was about
     thirty-seven years of age; of the middle size; lightly and
     genteelly made: evidently of a delicate, sensitive
     organization, with a fine intellectual countenance and a
     beaming poetic eye.

     "He had now been about twelve years married. Mrs. Campbell
     still retained much of that personal beauty for which he
     praises her in his letters written in the early days of
     matrimony; and her mental qualities seemed equally to justify
     his eulogies: a rare circumstance, as none are more prone to
     dupe themselves in affairs of the heart than men of lively
     imaginations. She was, in fact, a more suitable wife for a poet
     than poet's wives are apt to be; and for once a son of song had
     married a reality and not a poetical fiction.

     "I had considered the early productions of Campbell as
     brilliant indications of a genius yet to be developed, and
     trusted that, during the long interval which had elapsed, he
     had been preparing something to fulfill the public expectation;
     I was greatly disappointed, therefore, to find that, as yet, he
     had contemplated no great and sustained effort. My
     disappointment in this respect was shared by others, who took
     the same interest in his fame, and entertained the same idea of
     his capacity. 'There he is, cooped up in Sydenham,' said a
     great Edinburgh critic to me, 'simmering his brains to serve up
     a little dish of poetry, instead of pouring out a whole
     caldron.'

     "Scott, too, who took a cordial delight in Campbell's poetry,
     expressed himself to the same effect. 'What a pity is it,' said
     he to me, 'that Campbell does not give full sweep to his
     genius. He has wings that would bear him up to the skies, and
     he does now and then spread them grandly, but folds them up
     again and resumes his perch, as if afraid to launch away. The
     fact is, he is a bugbear to himself. The brightness of his
     early success is a detriment to all his future efforts. _He is
     afraid of the shadow that his own fame casts before him_.

     "Little was Scott aware at the time that he, in truth, was a
     'bugbear' to Campbell. This I infer from an observation of Mrs.
     Campbell's in reply to an expression of regret on my part that
     her husband did not attempt something on a grand scale. 'It is
     unfortunate for Campbell,' said she, 'that he lives in the same
     age with Scott and Byron.' I asked why. 'Oh,' said she, 'they
     write so much and so rapidly. Now Campbell writes slowly, and
     it takes him some time to get under way; and just as he has
     fairly begun, out comes one of their poems, that sets the world
     agog and quite daunts him, so that he throws by his pen in
     despair.'

     "I pointed out the essential difference in their kinds of
     poetry, and the qualities which insured perpetuity to that of
     her husband. 'You can't persuade Campbell of that,' said she.
     'He is apt to undervalue his own works, and to consider his own
     little lights put out whenever they come blazing out with their
     great torches.'

     "I repeated the conversation to Scott some time afterward, and
     it drew forth a characteristic comment.

     "'Pooh!' said he, good humoredly, 'how can Campbell mistake the
     matter so much. Poetry goes by quality, not by bulk. My poems
     are mere cairngorms, wrought up, perhaps, with a cunning hand,
     and may pass well in the market as long as cairngorms are the
     fashion; but they are mere Scotch pebbles after all; now Tom
     Campbell's are real diamonds, and diamonds of the first water.'

     "I have not time at present to furnish personal anecdotes of my
     intercourse with Campbell, neither does it afford any of a
     striking nature. Though extending over a number of years, it
     was never very intimate. His residence in the country, and my
     long intervals of absence on the Continent, rendered our
     meetings few and far between. To tell the truth, I was not much
     drawn to Campbell, having taken up a wrong notion concerning
     him from seeing him at times when his mind was ill at ease, and
     preyed upon by secret griefs. I had thought him disposed to be
     querulous and captious, and had heard his apparent discontent
     attributed to jealous repining at the success of his poetical
     contemporaries. In a word, I knew little of him but what might
     be learned in the casual intercourse of general society,
     whereas it required the close communion of confidential
     friendship to sound the _depths of his character and know the
     treasures of excellence_ hidden beneath its surface. Besides,
     he was dogged for years by certain malignant scribblers, who
     took a pleasure in misrepresenting all his actions, and holding
     him up in an absurd and disparaging point of view. In what this
     hostility originated I do not know, but it must have given much
     annoyance to his sensitive mind, and may have affected his
     popularity. I know not to what else to attribute a circumstance
     to which I was a witness during my last visit to England. It
     was at an annual dinner of the Literary Fund, at which Prince
     Albert presided, and where was collected much of the prominent
     talent of the kingdom. In the course of the evening Campbell
     rose to make a speech. I had not seen him for years, and his
     appearance showed the effect of age and ill health; it was
     evident also, that his mind was obfuscated by the wine he had
     been drinking. He was confused and tedious in his remarks;
     still, there was nothing but what one would have thought would
     be received with indulgence, if not deference, from a veteran
     of his fame and standing, a living classic. On the contrary, to
     my surprise, I soon observed signs of impatience in the
     company; the poet was repeatedly interrupted by coughs and
     discordant sounds, and as often endeavored to proceed; the
     noise at length became intolerable, and he was absolutely
     clamored down, sinking into his chair overwhelmed and
     disconcerted. I could not have thought such treatment possible
     to such a person at such a meeting.

     "Hallam, author of the Literary History of the Middle Ages, who
     sat by me on this occasion, marked the mortification of the
     poet, and it excited his generous sympathy. Being shortly
     afterward on the floor to reply to a toast, he took occasion to
     advert to the recent remarks of Campbell, and in so doing
     called up in review all his eminent achievements in the world
     of letters, and drew such a picture of his claims upon popular
     gratitude and popular admiration as to convict the assembly of
     the glaring impropriety they had been guilty of--to soothe the
     wounded sensibility of the poet, and send him home to, I trust,
     a quiet pillow.

     "I mention these things to illustrate the merit of the piece of
     biography which you are about to lay before the American world.
     It is a great act of justice to the memory of a distinguished
     man, whose character has not been sufficiently known. It gives
     an insight into his domestic as well as his literary life, and
     lays open the springs of all his actions and the causes of all
     his contrariety of conduct. We now see the real difficulties he
     had to contend with in the earlier part of his literary career;
     the worldly cares which pulled his spirit to the earth whenever
     it would wing its way to the skies; the domestic afflictions,
     tugging at his heart-strings even in his hours of genial
     intercourse, and converting his very smiles into spasms; the
     anxious days and sleepless nights preying upon his delicate
     organization, producing that morbid sensitiveness and nervous
     irritability which at times overlaid the real sweetness and
     amenity of his nature, and obscured the unbounded generosity of
     his heart.

     "The biography does more: it reveals the affectionate
     considerateness of his conduct in all the domestic relations of
     life. The generosity with which he shared his narrow means with
     all the members of his family, and tasked his precarious
     resources to add to their relief; his deep-felt tenderness as a
     husband and a father, the source of exquisite home-happiness
     for a time, but ultimately of unmitigated wretchedness; his
     constant and devoted friendships, which in early life were
     almost romantic passions, and which remained unwithered by age:
     his sympathies with the distressed of every nation, class, and
     condition; his love of children, that infallible sign of a
     gentle and amiable nature; his sensibility to beauty of every
     kind; his cordial feeling toward his literary contemporaries,
     so opposite to the narrow and despicable jealousy imputed to
     him; above all, the crowning romance of his life, his
     enthusiasm in the cause of suffering Poland, a devotion carried
     to the height of his poetic temperament, and, in fact,
     exhausting all that poetic vein which, properly applied, might
     have produced epics; these and many more traits set forth in
     his biography bring forth his character in its true light,
     dispel those clouds which malice and detraction may at times
     have cast over it, and leave it in the full effulgence of its
     poetic glory."

     THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF ANDREW COMBE, M.D. By George
     Combe. Philadelphia: A. Hart. 12mo, pp. 424.

The remarkable popularity of the works of ANDREW COMBE on Physiology and
Hygiene, in this country, will make the present biography an object of
interest with a very large number of readers. It is written with
singular impartiality, indeed with too little of the spirit of
affectionate admiration, by the celebrated George Combe, whose own
writings on the constitution of man and the observance of physical laws,
have made him a general favorite in many intelligent circles, which have
no peculiar interest in the special department of science with which his
name has been identified. Each of the brothers has the merit of
presenting important principles in plain language. With utility for
their motto, they have written for the mass of the people, and, perhaps,
have done more for the diffusion of popular knowledge, than many authors
whose intellectual pretensions are far superior to their own. Destitute,
to a remarkable degree, of every ray of imagination, with no approach to
the creative power, which is the test of genius, their writings are
marked with a robust common sense, a patience and clearness of
statement, and a fertility of simple, homely illustration, which account
for their deep impression on the popular mind.

In early life, the subject of this memoir displayed none of the
brilliant qualities which give promise of future eminence. He was shy
and reserved in his manners, and with no facility in the use of words,
though often showing a certain droll humor in his actions. His progress
in learning was slow, though this may be ascribed in part to the
injudicious method which was pursued in his education. While engaged in
his medical studies, he first made the acquaintance of Dr. Spurzheim, an
event which decided the direction of his mind for the remainder of his
life. This soon ripened into intimate friendship, which was cherished by
frequent personal intercourse with Spurzheim during a visit at Paris. He
at once became a zealous convert to the doctrines of Phrenology, making
them the basis of his medical practice, and his anthropological system.

From an imprudent exposure to cold, Dr. COMBE'S health early received a
severe shock, from the effects of which his system never fully
recovered. His subsequent life was that of an habitual invalid. He was
forced to maintain a constant battle with disease. While spreading the
principles of health in a multitude of households, wherever the English
language is spoken, by his lucid writings on the subject, he was
scarcely permitted for a single day to enjoy the inestimable treasure.
He, consequently, spent no small portion of his time in traveling in
different countries, visiting France, Belgium, Germany, and the United
States, and his letters and observations during these various tours
constitute one of the most interesting features in the present volume.
His death took place on the 9th of August, 1847.

He left the character of a man of sterling integrity, excellent
judgment, admirable candor and fairness of mind, a single-hearted
devotion to truth, and a disposition of rare kindness and disinterested
humanity. His biography will be read with satisfaction, by those who
feel themselves indebted to his writings. It is simple, honest,
unpretending, like its subject. With the singularly prosaic mind of Mr.
George Combe, no one can expect to find it animated with any living
glow. It records the life of a public benefactor, but with as little
freshness or enthusiasm, as if the author were giving a Phrenological
lecture on a collection of skulls.


     DR. JOHNSON; HIS RELIGIOUS LIFE AND HIS DEATH. New York: Harper
     and Brothers. 12mo, pp. 405.

The author of this volume is not surpassed by Boswell in reverence for
"the Great Old Samuel," but happily is not infected with his
puerilities. His book is a favorable specimen of the right kind of "Hero
Worship," dealing tenderly with every relic of the departed, and
religiously gathering every precious tribute to his memory. It
reproduces a variety of characteristic events and scenes in the life of
DR. JOHNSON, without having the air of a compilation. No source of
information seems to have been overlooked, while the labors of previous
writers are so digested and arranged as to give the effect of an
original production. The main subject to which the volume is devoted, is
the illustration of Dr. Johnson's religious character, but numerous
attractive episodes are also introduced, which relieve it from all
tendency to monotony. The last incidents in his life are described with
peculiar interest. Several chapters are wholly occupied with his
Churchmanship, and under different heads, we have a spirited description
of his humanity, his treatment of dissenters, his views of monastic
life, his sympathy with Roman Catholics, and his superstition, all the
statements being fortified with quotations from his own language.
Various questions of collateral interest are discussed by the author, as
suggested by the topics under review, and are usually treated with equal
ability and religious feeling. The work will doubtless be received as a
valuable complement to our Johnsonian literature.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution_, published by Harper and
Brothers, has reached its fifth number, and fully sustains the wide
reputation which it has acquired, as an elegant, spirited, and
instructive work on American history. The union of narrative and
description, which forms a leading feature of the series, is managed by
Mr. Lossing with remarkable dexterity, and gives a perpetual charm to
the composition. In the five numbers already issued, we have a graphic
survey of the scenery and historical reminiscences of the portion of the
State of New York and of Canada, which is embraced within the routes of
our fashionable summer tourists. They describe the principal theatre of
the French and Indian Wars, and many of the most interesting localities
of the American Revolution, including Glenn's Falls, Lake George,
Ticonderoga and Champlain from Whitehall to St. John's, Montreal,
Quebec, the St. Lawrence to Kingston, Lake Ontario, Niagara, and a part
of the Upper Valley of the Mohawk--all truly classic ground to the lover
of American history. Whoever would obtain an accurate and indelible
impression of the great battle-grounds of the Revolution, while seeking
recreation in a summer jaunt, should not fail to make these beautiful
numbers his traveling companions.

Harper and Brothers have reprinted SYDNEY SMITH'S posthumous Lectures
entitled _Sketches of Moral Philosophy_, which is introduced with a
commendatory letter by Lord Jeffrey, written but a few days before his
death, wherein he says that these Lectures "will do their author as much
credit as any thing he ever wrote, and produce on the whole a stronger
impression by the force and vivacity of his intellect, as well as a
truer and more engaging view of his character than what the world has
yet seen of his writings. The book seems to me to be full of good sense,
acuteness, and right feeling--very clearly and pleasingly written--and
with such an admirable mixture of logical intrepidity, with the absence
of all dogmatism, as is rarely met with in the conduct of such
discussions." The versatile author discusses a great variety of topics,
slenderly connected it is true, with Metaphysics or Moral Philosophy,
and on this account has left a far more readable volume, than if it had
been rigidly devoted to the questions which it professes to treat. His
remarks are always lively, pointed, and apposite, betraying a familiar
knowledge of the world, and a quick perception of the bearing and
character of current events, while their caustic wit is usually
attempered with an inexhaustible fountain of good humor.

We have received _The Plough, the Loom, and the Anvil_, volume 2d, from
the veteran editor of whose zeal and ability in maintaining the doctrine
of "harmony" and mutual dependence between all the great branches of
domestic industry, it affords abundant evidence.

Mr. Skinner contends, with every appearance of assured conviction, that
as our country spreads over so many latitudes, and embraces climates and
resources more various and abundant than any other, our policy, too,
should be peculiar; and that instead of importing iron, cloth, and other
manufactures, for which we have materials, or capabilities
inexhaustible, we should import _men_, as the best of all importations,
whose demands, while occupied with other industries, would create a
steady and remunerating market for the products of agriculture, which,
he insists, would be, of all things, the surest guarantee for
improvements in the _art_ of terra-culture. This enterprise is one of
the ablest of the kind, to illustrate the importance of placing the
consumer by the side of the agriculturist; and whether reference be had
to the long services of the editor in the cause of cultivators of the
soil, or the earnestness and power with which he and his correspondents
enforce their doctrine, there can be no hesitation in saying, that those
who unite with them in opinion will do well to give encouragement to
_The Plough, the Loom, and the Anvil_. It is but justice to add, that it
is well printed on fine paper, giving no less than 64 pages monthly, at
the rate of $5 for two subscribers, or $3 for one. Edited and published
by that old and tried soldier in the cause--the founder of the first
agricultural journal in the United States--J. S. SKINNER, 79,
Walnut-street, Philadelphia.

Phillips, Sampson, and Co. have published a new edition of _The Rebels_,
one of the earliest and most popular novels of the admirable Mrs. Child.
Its character is too well known to authorize criticism at this time, and
its reproduction in the present edition will gratify the troops of
friends, with whom the author is a distinguished favorite.

One of the most remarkable books of the month is _The Logic and Utility
of Mathematics_, by CHARLES DAVIES, LL.D., published by Barnes and Co.
It is not intended as a treatise on any special branch of mathematical
science, and demands for its full appreciation a general acquaintance
with the leading methods and routine of mathematical investigation. To
those who have a natural fondness for this pursuit, and enjoy the
leisure for a retrospect of their favorite studies, the present volume
will possess a charm, not surpassed by the fascinations of a romance. It
is an elaborate and lucid exposition of the principles which lie at the
foundation of pure mathematics, with a highly ingenious application of
their results to the development of the essential idea of Arithmetic,
Geometry, Algebra, Analytic Geometry, and the Differential and Integral
Calculus. The work is preceded by a general view of the subject of
Logic, mainly drawn from the writings of Archbishop Whately and Mr.
Mill, and closes with an essay on the utility of mathematics. Some
occasional exaggerations, in presenting the claims of the science to
which his life has been devoted, must here be pardoned to the
professional enthusiasm of the author. In general, the work is written
with singular circumspection; the views of the best thinkers on the
subject have been thoroughly digested, and are presented in an original
form; every thing bears the impress of the intellect of the writer; his
style is for the most part chaste, simple, transparent, and in admirable
harmony with the dignity of the subject, and his condensed
generalizations are often profound and always suggestive.

_The Gallery of Illustrious Americans_, edited by C. EDWARDS LESTER,
Esq. has reached its seventh number, which contains a portrait and
biographical sketch of the distinguished ornithologist, J. J. AUDUBON.
The engraving presents a delightful view of the intellectual and
expressive features of the veteran forester, savan, and artist, while
the sketch by Mr. Lester gives a rapid and satisfactory summary of the
principal incidents in his adventurous life. The daguerreotypes by
BRADY, and the lithographs by D'AVIGNON, throughout this series, are
highly creditable specimens of their respective arts. The biographical
notices are carefully written and beautifully printed. The previous
numbers embrace Taylor, Calhoun, Webster, Wright, Clay, and Fremont--and
that our readers may form some idea of the striking fidelity of the
Portraits, we present, in a previous page, the well-known likeness of
our late President, copied on wood by Lossing, from the first number of
the work.

A. Hart, Philadelphia, has reprinted from the English edition, _The
Phantom World_, from the French of CALMET, with a Preface and Notes by
Rev. HENRY CHRISTMAS, giving a general survey of the history and
philosophy of spirits, apparitions, ghosts, elves, fairies, spooks,
bogles, bugaboos, and hobgoblins. It will probably meet with an
extensive circulation in these days when Connecticut divines are haunted
by infernal visits, and the Rochester sibyls are on exhibition in New
York.

_Dies Boreales, or Christopher Under Canvas_, is republished from
Blackwood's Magazine in a neat edition, by A. Hart, Philadelphia, and
will meet with a warm reception from the innumerable admirers of the
noble, eloquent, impassioned, kaleidoscopic, frisky, and genial old
Christopher.

Among the valuable scientific serials now issuing from the New York
press, is _The Dictionary of Mechanics, Engine Works, and Engineering_,
edited by OLIVER BYRNE, and published by D. Appleton and Co. Of this
work we have thirteen numbers, which bring the subjects, in alphabetical
order, to the article on "Etching," the last number completing the
elaborate description of the "Steam Engine," which in itself forms a
treatise on a leading branch of practical science, and may be commended
in high terms to the attention both of the general reader and the
professional engineer. It is rarely that such a mass of important
information is condensed into so lucid and pleasing a form, attractive
no less by the clearness of its scientific details, than by the bright
picture which it gives of the progress of the useful arts in modern
times.

Another work, of similar value, is _A Treatise on Marine and Naval
Architecture_, by JOHN W. GRIFFITHS, a serial which has reached its
seventh number, and has elicited the warmest encomiums from
distinguished constructors and engineers. The style is a fine model of
scientific discussion, presenting the first principles of naval
architecture with precision, compactness, and simplicity, abounding with
graphic descriptive details, and preserving a spirited freedom and
boldness in the most intricate and difficult expositions. The superior
character of its contents, with the low price at which it is afforded,
will insure it a wide circulation among American mechanics, who can not
fail to gain both a pecuniary and an intellectual advantage from its
perusal.

_Specimens of the Bridges, Viaducts, &c., on the United Slates
Railroads_, by GEORGE DUGGIN, deserves an honorable place by the side of
the two preceding serials, as an important contribution to the science
of civil engineering in this country. The sixth number has already made
its appearance, being the commencement of an elaborate treatise on
Bridge-building, illustrated with sketches of the most remarkable
specimens in this branch of architecture. The multiplicity of works like
those we have just alluded to, and the great and instant popularity
which they attain, present a cheering proof of the prevalence of
scientific curiosity, and of the mental activity which leads to thorough
investigation, among the leading artisans of the United States.

_The Second Book in Greek_, by John M'CLINTOCK, published by Harper and
Brothers, is the complement to the previous volume, entitled _First Book
in Greek_, which, as a practical manual in this branch of philology, has
elicited the warmest approbation of judicious teachers. Dr. M'Clintock
has brought the resources of a ripe and generous scholarship to the
preparation of this work, which, with the other volumes of his
Elementary Series in Greek and Latin, is a highly honorable proof of his
sound learning and correct taste. The present work gives a full view of
the Greek Syntax, with copious illustrations, and extracts from
Xenophon's Anabasis, Homer, Anacreon, and sentences from the Greek
Dramatists. Its peculiar merit consists in the progressive manner in
which the various difficulties of Greek combination are unfolded, the
pupil being thus led forward, by a natural sequence, to a mastery of the
complicated idioms of the language, and trained imperceptibly to a
perception of its rich and wonderful beauties.

Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia, have republished _Impressions and
Experiences of the West Indies and North America in 1849_, by ROBERT
BAIRD, an intelligent Scotchman, apparently of the legal profession, but
with little of the talent essential to the composition of a popular book
of travels. His remarks on the United States are in a more
discriminating tone than is often attained by English tourists, but the
whole tone of the volume is, for the most part, so prosy and commonplace
as to make its perusal an intolerable bore.

Tallis, Willoughby, and Company are publishing a beautifully embellished
edition of _The Life of Christ_, by the Rev. JOHN FLEETWOOD, with
original illustrations by Warren, who has attained a distinguished
reputation, as a delineator of Oriental scenery, characters, and
costumes. It is to be completed in twenty-five parts, of which two have
been issued, in a style of elegant typography, highly creditable to the
taste and enterprise of the publishers. The biography of the Saviour by
Dr. Fleetwood is written with decorum and gravity, reproducing the
consecutive events of the sacred narrative in symmetrical order, and
presenting with becoming reserve, such moral reflections as are
naturally suggested by the different topics of the sublime history. The
work is happily distinguished from several recent attempts on similar
themes, by its freedom from the ambitious and disgusting pretension of
dressing up the severe simplicity of the Oriental writers in the tawdry
and finical robes of modern rhetoric.

_The Shoulder-Knot_, by the Rev. B. F. TEFFT, published by Harper and
Brothers, is a work of more than common originality, intended to convey
important views of life, through the medium of fiction, and containing
many passages of remarkable vigor and beauty. The story is derived from
facts in the history of Louis XIII. of France, who, with his Queen, the
admirable Anne of Austria, the Queen Mother, the selfish and passionate
Mary, and the consummate master of intrigue, Cardinal Richelieu, is made
to act a leading part in the development of the narrative. The author
displays less skill in the artistic blending together of the principal
incidents of the plot, than in his isolated descriptions and
conversations, many of which indicate a high order of talent. The whole
story is pervaded with a wholesome and elevated religious tone, showing
the power of fictitious creation to illustrate the most vitally
important truths.

Stringer and Townsend have published a _Supplement to Frank Forrester's
Fish and Fishing in the United States_, by W. H. HERBERT, correcting
some errors which had crept into the principal work on that subject, and
completing the memoirs of the finny tribes under the democratic
institutions of America, with the jaunty airiness of description, and
genuine relish of natural scenery (as well as of fried fish), which have
given such a wide celebrity to the flowing and unctuous pen of Frank
Forrester.

The _Morning Watch_ is an anonymous poem, published by GEORGE P. PUTNAM,
breathing an atmosphere of tender, religious sentiment, and showing
considerable descriptive power. It has not, however, sufficient vigor of
imagination to atone for the intense subjectivity of thought which
throws a dim haze over the best-conceived passages.

J. ROSS BROWNE'S _Report of the Debates in the Convention of California_
on the Formation of the State Constitution, is a curious historical
document, and will possess still more interest when the antiquities of
the modern Eldorado shall become the object of learned research.

_The Mothers of the Wise and Good_, by JABEZ BURNS, D.D., reprinted by
Gould, Kendall, and Lincoln, Boston, is a collection of interesting
incidents, showing the effects of maternal influence on the formation of
character, and tracing the excellence of many eminent men in various
walks of life, to the pure and exalted virtues with which they were
familiar in early life, within the sacred retirements of the domestic
circle.

The seventh number of _Carlyle's Latter-Day Pamphlets_, issued by Harper
and Brothers, is a mere seven-fold repetition of the ancient discontent
of the author, whose mirth is changed into a permanent wail, and for
whom the "brave o'erhanging firmament has become only a foul and
pestilential congregation of vapors." The subject of this number is the
"Statue of Hudson," the great deposed Railway King. It says much more of
statues in general, than of this particular one of Hudson's. Like all
the recent productions of Carlyle, it reminds us of the strugglings of a
sick giant, whom his friends in mercy should compel to take to his bed
and turn his face to the wall.

An elegant edition of _The Illustrated Domestic Bible_, by the Rev.
INGRAM COBBIN, is publishing in numbers by Samuel Hueston. It has brief
notes and reflections by the editor, and copious pictorial
embellishments, illustrative of Oriental scenery and manners. The work
is to be completed in twenty-five numbers.

Stanford and Swords have reprinted a neat edition of _Earnestness_, or
_Incidents in the Life of an English Bishop_, by CHARLES B. TAYLOR,
whose rare talent for applying the resources of fiction to the
illustration of religious truth has given him an enviable reputation
with a large circle of readers. The present work will be found to
possess equal interest with the previous religious stories of the
author.

_Amy Harrington_, by the author of _The Curate of Linwood_, another
spirited religious novel, directing a battery of red-hot shot against
the Tractarian or Puseyite movement in England, is republished by J. C.
Riker. It is written in a tone of uncommon earnestness, and contains
some passages of genuine pathos and eloquence.

_The Vale of Cedars_, by GRACE AGUILAR, republished by D. Appleton and
Co., is a novel of more than ordinary power, indebted for its principal
interest to its vivid description of the social condition of Spain
during the reign of Isabella. The volume is introduced with an
interesting biographical sketch of the able authoress, who died in 1847.

Crosby and Nichols, Boston, have republished _Chronicles and Characters
of the Stock Exchange_, by JOHN FRANCIS, a work describing the progress
of financial speculation in England, with great liveliness of
delineation, and illustrated with a variety of personal incidents and
scenes of the richest character. The volume is intended to give a
popular narrative of the money power of England, in a manner at once
interesting and suggestive, and it accomplishes its purpose with eminent
success.

_Wah-to-yah, and the Taos Trail_, by LEWIS W. GARRARD published by H. W.
Derby and Co., Cincinnati, is a record of wild adventures among the
Indians, by a rollicking Western youth, who never misses the opportunity
for a scene, and who tells his story with a gay saucy, good-natured
audacity, which makes his book far more companionable than most volumes
of graver pretensions. Commend us to young Garrard, whoever he may be,
as a free and easy guide to the mysteries of life in the forest.

_Poems_ by H. LADD SPENCER, published by Phillips, Sampson, and Co.,
Boston, are rather remarkable specimens of juvenile precocity, most of
them having been written in the days of the author's earliest boyhood,
and some of them during his twelfth year, and at a period little less
remote. Their poetical merit must, of course, be inconsiderable, and
they are not sufficiently curious to warrant publication.

D. Appleton and Co. have issued a novel entitled _Heloise, or the
Unrevealed Secret_, by TALVI, the gifted authoress of _The Sketch of the
Slavic Language and Literature_, which is entitled to special
commendation among the recent productions of American literature.
Without the machinery of a complicated plot, and in language that is
almost sculpturesque in its chaste simplicity, it possesses an intense
and unflagging interest, by its artistic delineation of character, its
profound insight into the mysteries of passion, and the calm, delicate,
spiritual beauty of its heroine. Its subtle conception of the nicest
variations of feeling, is no less remarkable than its precision in the
use of language, the work, for the most part, not only reading like the
production of a native, but of one familiar with the most intimate
resources of idiomatic English. A very few exceptions to this remark in
some portions of the dialogue, whose naïveté atones for their
inaccuracy, only present the general purity of the composition in a more
striking light. We sincerely trust that the writer, who has been so
happily distinguished in the field of literary research, will be
induced, by the success of this volume, to continue her labors in the
province of fictitious creation. Nothing is wanting to her assurance of
an enviable fame in this department of letters.

_The Initials_ is the title of an English novel, reprinted by A. Hart,
Philadelphia, illustrative of German life and character, and in all
respects of more interest than would be predicted from its ambiguous
designation.

_The Lorgnette_, published by Stringer and Townsend, continues to make
its appearance once a fortnight, and well sustains the reputation it has
acquired, as a brilliant, searching, and good-humored satirical
commentary on the many-colored phantasmagoria of the town. The name of
the author is still a dead secret, in spite of numerous hints and winks
among the knowing ones, and he is shrewd enough to prefer the prestige
of concealment to the tickling of his vanity by publicity. The most
noticeable feature in his work is its quiet, effective style of
composition, which is utterly free from the pyrotechnic arts of so many
current pretenders.



SUMMER FASHIONS.


FIG. 1. PROMENADE DRESS.--For walking in public gardens, _barège_
dresses, plain or figured, are generally adopted; but _glacé_, or damask
bareges are the most _recherchés_. Dresses of shot silk form also
charming toilets. The skirts are less full than those of last year--but,
to compensate for it, they are trimmed with graduated flounces up to the
waist--as many as five are worn, and they are pinked and stamped at the
edges. The bodies are tight, and open in front; a cord connects the two
sides of the corsage, and buttons, either of silk, colored stones, or
steel, are placed on the centre of this cord. The sleeves are wider at
the bottom than at the top, and are trimmed with two small flounces;
from beneath them a large lace sleeve falls over the hand, leaving the
lower part of the arm uncovered. This form of sleeve is very becoming to
the hand.

Mantelets are very slightly altered; they are, however, rather more
closely fitted to the figure than last year; they are all made of
_taffetas glacé_, and trimmed with pinked _ruches_ of the same material
for young persons, and with wide black lace for married ladies.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--PROMENADE DRESS.]

FIG. 2, is a Pelerine of a pattern quite new; made of embroidered net,
trimmed with three rows of _point d'Alençon_, and ornamented with a
large knot of _ribbons Bayadère_. Another pattern is of Indian muslin
_Canezcu_, embroidered and trimmed with _malines_, open and buttoned up
in the back.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--PELERINE.]

FIG. 3 is a neat costume for a little girl.

Dress of glacé silk, shaded in light green and lilac. The skirt trimmed
with four rows of fringe of green and lilac silk intermingled. The
corsage low and plain, with a pelerine which passes along the back and
shoulders, and is brought down to the front of the waist in a point.
This pelerine is edged with two rows of fringe. The sleeves of the
dress, which are short, are edged simply with one row of fringe.
Attached to these short sleeves are long sleeves of white muslin made so
as to set nearly close to the upper part of the arms, but finished
between the elbow and the wrist with three drawings separated by bands
of needlework insertion. Above these drawings there is a frill which
falls back on the arm. The neck is covered by a chemisette of muslin,
finished at the throat with a trimming of needlework, turned over.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--LITTLE GIRL'S COSTUME.]

FIG. 4. HOME DRESS.--Morning cap trimmed with Valenciennes and gauze
ribbons, cut out in the shape of leaves, muslin _guimpe bouillonné_,
with embroidered _entre-deux_; the gown _en gros d'Ecosse_, with facing
and trimmings cut out; _pagode_ sleeves, with a white muslin puffing
ornamented with a very large _bouillonné_.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--HOME DRESS.]

In the engraving (FIG. 5) is represented a BALL COSTUME, with a graceful
head-dress, composed of a vine garland with grapes; on each side hangs a
bunch of grapes (several little hunches are preferred). The novelty of
this year is to be observed in the length of the branches, which come
down on the shoulders, mixing with long curls. This head-dress is worn
also with _bandeaux_, but then the garland must be thicker in the lower
part. The leaves are of different colors, from the various shades of
green to the autumnal red tint. This kind of garland is made also of
ivy, with small red balls. The gowns are of _taffetas d'Italie_--_white,
rose_, or _blue_ (their shades are to be _glacés de blanc_): the body is
trimmed with a _berthe_, made of two rows of _blonde_; the front
ornamented with a puffing of white net laced with satin ribbons the
color of the gown.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--BALL DRESS.]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850." ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

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



Home