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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol IV. No. XX. January, 1852.
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol IV. No. XX. January, 1852." ***

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                            HARPER'S

                     NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

               NO. XX--JANUARY, 1852--VOL. IV.



[Illustration]

EARLY AND PRIVATE LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

BY JACOB ABBOTT.


It is generally true in respect to great statesmen that they owe their
celebrity almost entirely to their public and official career. They
promote the welfare of mankind by directing legislation, founding
institutions, negotiating treaties of peace or of commerce between rival
states, and guiding, in various other ways, the course of public and
national affairs, while their individual and personal influence attracts
very little regard. With Benjamin Franklin, however, the reverse of this
is true. He did indeed, while he lived, take a very active part, with
other leading men of his time, in the performance of great public
functions; but his claim to the extraordinary degree of respect and
veneration which is so freely awarded to his name and memory by the
American people, rests not chiefly upon this, but upon the extended
influence which he has exerted, and which he still continues to exert
upon the national mind, through the power of his private and personal
character. The prevalence of habits of industry and economy, of
foresight and thrift, of cautious calculation in the formation of plans,
and energy and perseverance in the execution of them, and of the
disposition to invest what is earned in substantial and enduring
possessions, rather than to expend it in brief pleasures or for purposes
of idle show--the prevalence of these traits, so far as they exist as
elements of the national character in this country--is due in an
incalculable degree to the doings and sayings and history of this great
exemplar. Thus it is to his life and to his counsels that is to be
attributed, in a very high degree, the formation of that great public
sentiment prevailing so extensively among us, which makes it more
honorable to be industrious than to be idle, and to be economical and
prudent rather than extravagant and vain; which places substantial and
unpretending prosperity above empty pretension, and real comfort and
abundance before genteel and expensive display.

A very considerable portion of the effect which Franklin has produced
upon the national character is due to the picturesque and almost
romantic interest which attaches itself to the incidents of his personal
history. In his autobiography he has given us a very full and a very
graphic narrative of these incidents, and as the anniversary of his
birth-day occurs during the present month, we can not occupy the
attention of our readers at this time, in a more appropriate manner than
by a brief review of the principal events of his life--so far as such a
review can be comprised within the limits of a single article.

[Illustration]

The ancestors of Franklin lived for many generations on a small estate
in Northamptonshire, one of the central counties in England. The head of
the family during all this time followed the business of a smith, the
eldest son from generation to generation, being brought up to that
employment.

The Franklin family were Protestants, and at one time when the Catholics
were in power, during the reign of Mary, the common people were
forbidden to possess or to read the English Bible. Nevertheless the
Franklin family contrived to get possession of a copy of the
Scriptures, and in order to conceal it they kept it fastened on the
under side of the seat of a little stool. The book was open, the back of
the covers being against the seat, and the leaves being kept up by tapes
which passed across the pages, and which were fastened to the seat of
the stool at the ends. When Mr. Franklin wished to read his Bible to his
family, he was accustomed to take up this stool and place it bottom
upward upon his lap; and thus he had the book open before him. When he
wished to turn over a leaf, he had to turn it under the tape, which,
though a little inconvenient, was attended with no serious difficulty.
During the reading one of the children was stationed at the door, to
watch, and to give notice if an officer should be coming; and in case of
an alarm the stool was immediately turned over and placed in its proper
position upon the floor, the fringe which bordered the sides of it
hanging down so as to conceal the book wholly from view. This was in the
day of Franklin's _great-grandfather_.

In process of time, after the Catholic controversy was decided, new
religious dissensions sprang up between the Church of England and the
Nonconformists. The family of Franklin were of the latter party, and at
length Mr. Josiah Franklin--who was Benjamin Franklin's
father--concluded to join a party of his neighbors and friends, who had
determined, in consequence of the restrictions which they were under in
England, in respect to their religious faith and worship, to emigrate to
America. Mr. Franklin came accordingly to Boston, and there, after a
time, Benjamin Franklin was born. The place of his birth was in
Milk-street, opposite to the Old South Church. The humble dwelling,
however, in which the great philosopher was born, has long since
disappeared. The magnificent granite warehouses of the Boston merchants
now cover the spot, and on one of them is carved conspicuously the
inscription, BIRTHPLACE OF FRANKLIN.

Mr. Josiah Franklin had been a dyer in England, but finding on his
coming to Boston that there was but little to be done in that art in so
new a country, he concluded to choose some other occupation; and he
finally determined upon that of a tallow chandler. Benjamin was the
youngest son. The others, as they gradually became old enough, were put
to different trades, but as Benjamin showed a great fondness for his
books, having learned to read of his own accord at a very early age, and
as he was the youngest son, his father conceived the idea of educating
him for the church. So they sent him to the grammar school, and he
commenced his studies. He was very successful in the school, and rose
from class to class quite rapidly; but still the plan of giving him a
public education was at length, for some reason or other, abandoned, and
Mr. Franklin took Benjamin into his store, to help him in his business.
His duties here were to cut the wicks for the candles, to fill the
moulds, to attend upon the customers, or to go of errands or deliver
purchases about the town.

[Illustration]

There was a certain mill-pond in a back part of the town, where Benjamin
was accustomed to go sometimes, in his play-hours, with other boys, to
fish. This mill-pond has long since been filled up, and its place is now
occupied by the streets and warehouses of the city. In Franklin's day,
however, the place was somewhat solitary, and the shore of the pond
being marshy, the boys soon trampled up the ground where they were
accustomed to stand in fishing, so as to convert it into a perfect
quagmire. At length young Franklin proposed to the boys that they should
build a wharf, or pier, to stand upon--getting the materials for the
purpose from a heap of stones that had been brought for a house which
some workmen were building in the neighborhood. The boys at once acceded
to the proposal. They all accordingly assembled at the spot one evening
after the workmen had gone away for the night, and taking as many stones
as they needed for the purpose, they proceeded to build their wharf.

[Illustration]


The boys supposed very probably that the stones which they had taken
would not be missed. The workmen, however, did miss them, and on making
search the following morning they soon discovered what had become of
them. The boys were thus detected, and were all punished.

Franklin's father, though he was plain and unpretending in his manners,
was a very sensible and well-informed man, and he possessed a sound
judgment and an excellent understanding. He was often consulted by his
neighbors and friends, both in respect to public and private affairs. He
took great interest, when conversing with his family at table, in
introducing useful topics of discourse, and endeavored in other ways to
form in the minds of his children a taste for solid and substantial
acquisitions. He was quite a musician, and was accustomed sometimes when
the labors of the day were done, to play upon the violin and sing, for
the entertainment of his family. This music Benjamin himself used to
take great delight in listening to.

[Illustration]

Young Benjamin did not like his father's trade--that of a chandler--and
it was for a long time undecided what calling in life he should pursue.
He wished very much to go to sea, but his parents were very unwilling
that he should do so. His father, accordingly, in order to make him
contented and willing to remain at home, took great pains to find some
employment for him that he would like, and he was accustomed to walk
about the town with him to see the workmen employed about their various
trades. It was at last decided that he should learn the trade of a
printer. One reason why this trade was decided upon was that one of
Benjamin's older brothers was a printer, and had just returned from
England with a press and a font of type, and was about setting up his
business in Boston. So it was decided that Benjamin should be bound to
him, as his apprentice; and this was accordingly done. Benjamin was then
about twelve years old.

Benjamin had always from his childhood manifested a great thirst for
reading, which thirst he had now a much better opportunity to gratify
than ever before, as his connection with printers and booksellers gave
him facilities for borrowing books. Sometimes he would sit up all
night to read the book so borrowed.

[Illustration]

Benjamin's brother, the printer, did not keep house, but boarded his
apprentices at a boarding house in the town. Benjamin pretty soon
conceived the idea of boarding himself, on condition that his brother
would pay to him the sum which he had been accustomed to pay for him to
the landlady of the boarding house. By this plan he saved a large
portion of the time which was allotted to dinner, for reading; for, as
he remained alone in the printing office while the rest were gone, he
could read, with the book in his lap, while partaking of the simple
repast which he had provided.

[Illustration]


Young Benjamin was mainly employed, of course, while in his brother's
office, in very humble duties; but he did not by any means confine
himself to the menial services which were required of him, as the duty
of the youngest apprentice. In fact he actually commenced his career as
an author while in this subordinate position. It seems that several
gentlemen of Boston, friends of his brother, used to write occasional
articles for a newspaper which he printed; and they would sometimes meet
at the office to discuss the subjects of their articles, and the effects
that they produced. Benjamin determined to try his hand at this work. He
accordingly wrote an article for the paper, and after copying it
carefully in disguised writing, he put it late one night under the door.
His brother found it there in the morning, and on reading it was much
pleased with it. He read it to his friends when they came in--Benjamin
being at work all the time near by, at his printing case, and enjoying
very highly the remarks and comments which they made. He was
particularly amused at the guesses that they offered in respect to the
author, and his vanity was gratified at finding that the persons that
they named were all gentlemen of high character for ingenuity and
learning.

The young author was so much encouraged by this attempt that he
afterward sent in several other articles in the same way; they were all
approved of and duly inserted in the paper. At length he made it known
that he was the author of the articles. All were very much surprised,
and Benjamin found that in consequence of this discovery he was regarded
with much greater consideration by his brother's friends, the gentlemen
to whom his performances had been shown, but that his brother himself
did not appear to be much pleased.

Benjamin was employed at various avocations connected with the
newspaper, while in his brother's service; sometimes in setting types,
then in working off the sheets at the press, and finally in carrying the
papers around the town to deliver them to the subscribers. Thus he was,
at the same time, compositor, pressman, and carrier. This gave a very
agreeable variety to his work, and the opportunities which he enjoyed
for acquiring experience and information were far more favorable than
they had ever been before.

[Illustration]

In the efforts which young Franklin made to improve his mind, while in
his brother's office, he did not devote his time to mere reading, but
applied himself vigorously to _study_. He was deficient, he thought, in
a knowledge of figures, and so he procured an arithmetic, of his own
accord, and went through it himself, with very little or no assistance.
By proceeding very slowly and carefully in this work, leaving nothing
behind that he did not fully understand, he so smoothed his own way as
to go through the whole with very little embarrassment or difficulty. He
also studied a book of English grammar. The book contained, moreover,
brief treatises on Logic and Rhetoric, which were inserted at the end by
way of appendix. These treatises Franklin studied too with great care.
In a word, the time which he devoted to books was spent, not in seeking
amusement, but in acquiring solid and substantial knowledge.

[Illustration]

Notwithstanding these advantages, however, Benjamin did not lead a very
happy life as his brother's apprentice. He found his brother a very
passionate man and he was often used very roughly by him. Finally after
the lapse of four or five years, during which various difficulties
occurred which can not here be fully narrated, young Benjamin determined
to run away, and seek his fortune in New York. In writing the history of
his life, Franklin acknowledges that he was very censurable for taking
such a step, and that in the disputes which had occurred between him and
his brother, he himself was much in fault, having often needlessly
irritated his brother by his saucy and provoking behavior. He, however,
determined to go, and a young friend of his, named Collins, a boy of
about his own age, helped him form and execute the plan of his escape.

[Illustration]

The plan which they formed was for Benjamin to take passage secretly, in
a New York sloop, which was then in Boston and about ready to sail. The
boys made up a false story to tell the captain of the sloop in order to
induce him to take Benjamin on board. Benjamin sold his books and such
other little property as he possessed, to raise money, and at length,
when the time arrived he went on board the sloop in a very private
manner, and concealed himself there.

The captain of the sloop undoubtedly did wrong in taking such a boy away
in this manner. He knew that Franklin was running away from home, though
he was deceived by Collins's story in respect to the cause of his
flight.

The vessel soon sailed, with Franklin on board. The wind was fair and
she had a very prosperous passage. In three days which was by no means a
long time for such a voyage, she reached New York, and Benjamin landed
safely.

[Illustration]

He found himself, however, when landed, in a very forlorn and friendless
condition. He knew no one, he was provided, of course, with no letters
of introduction or recommendation, and he had very little money.

He applied at a printing office for employment. The printer, whose name
was Bradford, said that he had workmen enough, but that he had a son in
Philadelphia who was also a printer, and who had lately lost one of his
principal hands. So our young hero determined to go to Philadelphia.

On his journey to Philadelphia he met with various romantic adventures.
A part of the way he went by water, and very narrowly escaped shipwreck
in a storm which suddenly arose, and which drove the vessel to the
eastward, entirely out of her course, and came very near throwing her
upon the shores of Long Island. He, however, at length reached Amboy in
safety, and thence he undertook to travel on foot through New Jersey to
Burlington, a distance of about fifty miles, carrying his pack upon his
back.

[Illustration]

It rained violently all the day, and the unhappy adventurer became so
exhausted with his exposures and suffering that he heartily repented of
having ever left his home.

At length after two days of weary traveling, Franklin reached
Burlington, on the Delaware, the point where he had expected to embark
again on board a vessel in order to proceed down the river to
Philadelphia. The regular packet, however, had just gone, and no other
one was expected to sail for three days. It was then Saturday, and the
next boat was not to go until Tuesday. Our traveler was very much
disappointed to find that he must wait so long. In his perplexity he
went back to the house of a woman where he had stopped to buy some
gingerbread when he first came into town, and asked her what she thought
he had better do. She offered to give him lodging in her house, until
Tuesday, and inviting him in she immediately prepared some dinner for
him, which, though it was very frugal and plain, was received with great
thankfulness by the weary and wayworn traveler.

[Illustration]

Our hero was not obliged to wait so long as he expected, after all; for
that evening as he chanced to be walking along the shore of the river, a
small vessel came by on its way to Philadelphia, and on his applying to
the boatmen for a passage they agreed to take him on board. He
accordingly embarked, and the vessel proceeded down the river. There was
no wind, and the men spent the night in rowing. Franklin himself worked
with the rest. Toward morning they began to be afraid that they had
passed the city in the dark, and so they hauled their vessel up to the
shore and landed. When daylight appeared they found that they were about
five miles above the city. When they arrived at the city Franklin paid
the boatmen a shilling for his passage. They were at first unwilling to
receive it, on account of his having helped them to row, but he insisted
that they should. He then counted up the money which he had left, and
found that it amounted to just one dollar.

[Illustration]

The first thing that he did was to go to a baker's to buy something to
eat. He asked for three-pence worth of bread. The baker gave him three
good sized rolls for that money. His pockets were full of clothes and
other such things, which he had put into them, and so he walked off up
the street, holding one of his rolls under each arm and eating the
third. It is a singular circumstance that while he was walking through
the streets in this way, he passed by the house where the young woman
resided who was destined in subsequent years to become his wife, and
that she actually saw him as he passed, and took particular notice of
him on account of the ridiculous appearance which he made.

Franklin went on in this manner up Market-street to Fourth-street, then
down through Chestnut-street and apart of Walnut-street, until he came
back to the river again at the place where the vessel lay. He came thus
to the shore again in order to get a drink of water from the river, for
he was thirsty.

In fact the situation in which our young adventurer found himself at
this time must have been extremely discouraging. He was in a strange
town, hundreds of miles from home, without friends, without money,
without even a place to lay his head, and scarcely knowing what to do or
where to go. It is not strange, therefore, that, after taking his short
walk around the streets of the town, he should find himself returning
again toward the vessel that had brought him; since this vessel alone
contained objects and faces in the least degree familiar to his eye.

It happened that among the passengers that had come down the river on
board the vessel, there was a poor woman, who was traveling with her
child, a boy of six or eight years of age. When Franklin came down to
the wharf he found this woman sitting there with her child, both looking
quite weary and forlorn; and, as he had already satisfied his hunger
with eating only one of his rolls, he gave the other two to them. They
received his charity very thankfully. It seems that they were waiting
there for the vessel to sail again, as they were not intending to stop
at Philadelphia, but were going farther down the river.

The way it happened that our young hero had provided himself with so
much more bread than he needed, notwithstanding that his funds were so
low, was this. When he went into the baker's he asked first for
biscuits, meaning such as he had been accustomed to buy in Boston. The
baker told him that they did not make such biscuits in Philadelphia. He
then asked for a three-penny loaf. The baker said they had no
three-penny loaves. Franklin then asked him for three-penny worth of
bread of any sort, and the baker gave him the three penny rolls.
Franklin was surprised to find how much bread he got for his money, but
he took the rolls, though he knew it was more than he would need, and so
after eating one he had no very ready way of disposing of the other two.
His giving them therefore to the poor woman and her boy was not quite as
great a deed of benevolence as it might at first seem. It was, however,
in this respect like other charitable acts, performed in this world,
which will seldom bear any very rigid scrutiny.

It ought, however, to be added in justice to our hero, that instances
frequently occurred during this period of his life in which he made real
sacrifices for the comfort and welfare of others, and thus gave
unquestionable evidence that he possessed a truly benevolent heart. In
fact, his readiness to aid and assist others, whenever it was in his
power to do so, constituted one of the most conspicuous traits in the
philosopher's character.

[Illustration]

Having thus given his bread to the woman, and obtained a draught of
water from the river for himself, Franklin turned up the street again
and went back into the town. He observed many well dressed people in the
street, all going the same way. It was Sunday, and they were going to
meeting. Franklin followed them, and took a seat in the meeting-house.
It proved to be a meeting of the society of Friends, and as is usual in
their meetings when no one is moved to speak, the congregation sat in
silence. As there was thus no service to occupy Franklin's attention,
and as he was weary with the rowing of the previous night and with the
other hardships and fatigues which he had undergone, he fell asleep. He
did not wake until the meeting was concluded, and not then until one of
the congregation came and aroused him.

[Illustration]

Early on Monday morning Franklin went to Mr. Bradford's office to see if
he could obtain employment. To his surprise he found Bradford the father
there. He had come on from New York on horseback, and so had arrived
before Franklin. Franklin found that young Bradford had obtained a
workman in the place of the one he had lost, but old Mr. Bradford
offered to go with him and introduce him to another printer named
Keimer, who worked in the neighborhood.

[Illustration]

Mr. Keimer concluded to take the young stranger into his employ, and he
entered into a long conversation with Mr. Bradford about his plans and
prospects in business, not imagining that he was talking to the father
of his rival in trade. At length Mr. Bradford went away, and Franklin
prepared to commence his operations.

He found his new master's printing office, however, in a very crazy
condition. There was but one press, and that was broken down and
disabled. The font of type, too, the only one that the office contained,
was almost worn out with previous usage. Mr. Keimer himself, moreover,
knew very little about his trade. He was an author, it seems, as well as
compositor, and was employed, when Franklin and Mr. Bradford came to see
him, in setting up an elegy which he was composing and putting in type
at the same time, using no copy.

Franklin, however took hold of his work with alacrity and energy, and
soon made great improvements in the establishment. The press was
repaired and put in operation. A new supply of types and cases was
obtained. Mr. Keimer did not keep house, and so a place was to be looked
for in some private family where the young stranger could board. The
place finally decided upon was Mr. Read's, the house where the young
woman resided who has already been mentioned as having observed the
absurd figure which Franklin had made in walking through the streets
when he first landed. He presented a much better appearance now, for a
chest of clothing which he and Collins had sent round secretly from
Boston by water, had arrived, and this enabled him to appear now in
quite a respectable guise.

It was in the fall of the year 1723, that Franklin came thus to
Philadelphia. He remained there during the winter, but in the spring a
very singular train of circumstances occurred, which resulted in leading
him back to Boston. During the winter he worked industriously at his
trade, and spent his leisure time in reading and study. He laid up the
money that he earned, instead of squandering it, as young men in his
situation often do, in transient indulgences. He formed many useful
acquaintances among the industrious and steady young men in the town. He
thus lived a very contented life, and forgot Boston, as he said, as much
as he could. He still kept it a profound secret from his parents where
he was--no one in Boston excepting Collins having been admitted to the
secret.

It happened, however, that Captain Holmes, one of Franklin's
brothers-in-law who was a shipmaster, came about this time to Newcastle,
a town about forty miles below Philadelphia, and there, hearing that
Benjamin was at Philadelphia, he wrote to him a letter urging him to
return home. Benjamin replied by a long letter defending the step that
he had taken, and explaining his plans and intentions in full. It
happened that Captain Holmes was in company with Sir William Keith, the
governor of the colony, when he received the letter; and he showed it to
him. The governor was struck with the intelligence and manliness which
the letter manifested, and as he was very desirous of having a really
good printing office established in Philadelphia, he came to see
Franklin when he returned to the city, and proposed to him to set up an
office of his own. His father, the governor said, would probably furnish
him with the necessary capital, if he would return to Boston and ask for
it, and he himself would see that he had work enough, for he would
procure the public printing for him. So it was determined that Franklin
should take passage in the first vessel that sailed, and go to Boston
and see his father. Of course all this was kept a profound secret from
Mr. Keimer.

In due time Franklin took leave of Mr. Keimer and embarked; and after a
very rough and dangerous passage he arrived safely in Boston. His
friends were very much astonished at seeing him, for Captain Holmes had
not yet returned. They were still more surprised at hearing the young
fugitive give so good an account of himself, and of his plans and
prospects for the future. The apprentices and journeymen in the printing
office gathered around him and listened to his stories with great
interest. They were particularly impressed by his taking out a handful
of silver money from his pocket, in answer to a question which they
asked him in respect to the kind of money which was used in
Philadelphia. It seems that in Boston they were accustomed to use paper
money almost altogether in those days.

[Illustration]

Young Collins, the boy who had assisted Franklin in his escape the year
before, was so much pleased with the accounts that the young adventurer
brought back of his success in Philadelphia that he determined to go
there himself. He accordingly closed up his affairs and set off on foot
for New York, with the understanding that Franklin, who was to go on
afterward by water, should join him there, and that they should then
proceed together to Philadelphia.

After many long consultations Franklin's father concluded that it was
not best for Benjamin to attempt to commence business for himself in
Philadelphia, and so Benjamin set out on his return. On his way back he
had a narrow escape from a very imminent danger. A Quaker lady came to
him one day, on board the vessel in which he was sailing to New York,
and began to caution him against two young women who had come on board
the vessel at Newport, and who were very forward and familiar in their
manners.

[Illustration]

"Young man," said she, "I am concerned for thee, as thou hast no friend
with thee, and seems not to know much of the world, or of the snares
youth is exposed to: depend upon it, these are very bad women. I can see
it by all their actions, and if thou art not upon thy guard, they will
draw thee into some danger; they are strangers to thee, and I advise
thee, in a friendly concern for thy welfare, to have no acquaintance
with them." Franklin thanked the lady for her advice, and determined to
follow it. When they arrived at New York the young women told him where
they lived, and invited him to come and see them. But he avoided doing
so, and it was well that he did, for a few days afterward he learned
that they were both arrested as thieves. They had stolen something from
the cabin of the ship during the voyage. If Franklin had been found in
their company he might have been arrested as their accomplice.

It happened curiously enough that young Franklin attracted the notice
and attention of a governor for the second time, as he passed through
New York on this journey. It seems that the captain of the vessel in
which he had made his voyage, happened to mention to the governor when
he arrived in New York, that there was a young man among his passengers
who had a great many books with him, and who seemed to take quite an
interest in reading; and the governor very kindly sent word back to
invite the young man to call at his house, promising, if he would do so,
to show him his library. Franklin very gladly accepted this invitation,
and the governor took him into his library, and held considerable
conversation with him, on the subject of books and authors. Franklin was
of course very much pleased with this adventure.

[Illustration]

At New York Franklin found his old friend Collins, who had arrived there
some time before him. Collins had been, in former times, a very steady
and industrious boy, but his character had greatly degenerated during
Franklin's absence. He had fallen into very intemperate habits, and
Franklin found, on joining him at New York, that he had been intoxicated
almost the whole time that he had been there. He had been gaming too,
and had lost all his money, and was now in debt for his board, and
wholly destitute. Franklin paid his bills, and they set off together for
Philadelphia.

Of course Franklin had to pay all the expenses, both for himself and his
companion, on the journey, and this, together with the charges which he
had incurred for Collins in New York, soon exhausted his funds, and the
two travelers would have been wholly out of money, had it not been that
Franklin had received a demand to collect for a man in Rhode Island, who
gave it to him when he came through. This demand was due from a man in
Pennsylvania, and when the travelers reached the part of the country
where this man resided, they called upon him and he paid them the money.
This put Franklin in funds again, though as it was money which did not
belong to him, he had no right to use it. He however considered himself
compelled to use a part of it, by the necessity of the case; and
Collins, knowing that his companion had the money, was continually
asking to borrow small sums, and Franklin lent them to him from time to
time, until at length such an inroad was made upon the trust funds which
he held, that Franklin began to be extremely anxious and uneasy.

To make the matter worse Collins continued to addict himself to drinking
habits, notwithstanding all that Franklin could do to prevent it. In
fact Franklin soon found that his remonstrances and efforts only
irritated Collins and made him angry, and so he desisted. When they
reached Philadelphia the case grew worse and worse. Collins could get no
employment, and he led a very dissipated life, all at Franklin's
expense. At length, however, an incident occurred which led to an open
quarrel between them. The circumstances were these.

The two boys, with some other young men, went out one day upon the
Delaware in a boat, on an excursion of pleasure. When they were away at
some distance from the shore, Collins refused to row in his turn. He
said that Franklin and the other boys should row him home. Franklin said
that they would not. "Then," said Collins. "You will have to stay all
night upon the water. You can do just as you please."

The other two boys were disposed to give up to Collins, unreasonable as
he was. "Let us row," said they, "what signifies it?" But Franklin,
whose resentment was now aroused, opposed this, and persisted in
refusing. Collins then declared that he would make him row or throw him
overboard; and he came along, stepping on the thwarts, toward Franklin,
as if to put his threat in execution. When he came near he struck at
Franklin, but Franklin just at the instant thrust his head forward
between Collins's legs, and then rising suddenly with all his force he
threw him over headlong into the water.

[Illustration]

Franklin knew that Collins was a good swimmer, and so he felt no concern
about his safety. He walked along to the stern of the boat, and asked
Collins if he would promise to row if they would allow him to get on
board again. Collins was very angry, and declared that he would not row.
So the boys who had the oars pulled ahead a few strokes, to keep the
boat out of Collins's reach as he swam after her. This continued for
some time--Collins swimming in the wake of the boat, and the boys
pulling gently, so as just to keep the boat out of his reach--while
Franklin himself stood in the stern, interrogating him from time to
time, and vainly endeavoring to bring him to terms. At last finding him
beginning to tire without showing any signs of yielding, for he was
obstinate as well as unreasonable, the boys stopped and drew him on
board, and then took him home dripping wet. Collins never forgave
Franklin for this. A short time after this incident, however, he
obtained some engagement to go to the West Indies, and he went away
promising to send back money to Franklin, to pay him what he owed him,
out of the very first that he should receive. He was never heard of
afterward.

In the mean time Franklin returned to his work in Mr. Keimer's office.
He reported the result of his visit to Boston, to Sir William, the
governor, informing him that his father was not willing to furnish the
capital necessary for setting up a printing office. Sir William replied
that it would make no difference; he would furnish the capital himself,
he said; and he proposed that Franklin should go to England in the next
vessel, and purchase the press and type. This Franklin agreed to do.

[Illustration]

In the mean time, before the vessel sailed, Franklin had become very
much attached to Miss Read. He felt, he says, a great respect and
affection for her, and he succeeded, as he thought, in inspiring her
with the same feelings toward him. It was not, however, considered
prudent to think of marriage immediately, especially as Franklin was
contemplating so long a voyage.

Besides the company of Miss Read there were several young men in
Philadelphia whose society Franklin enjoyed very highly at this time.
His most intimate friend was a certain James Ralph. Ralph was a boy of
fine literary taste and great love of reading. He had an idea that he
possessed poetic talent, and used often to write verses, and he
maintained that though his verses might be in some respects faulty, they
were no more so than those which other poets wrote when first beginning.
He intended, he said, to make writing poetry the business of his life.
Franklin did not approve of such a plan as this; still he enjoyed young
Ralph's company, and he was accustomed sometimes on holidays to take
long rambles with him in the woods on the banks of the Schuylkill. Here
the two boys would sit together under the trees, for hours, reading, and
conversing about what they had read.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

At length the time arrived for the sailing of the ship in which Franklin
was to go to England. The governor was to have given him letters of
introduction and of credit, and Franklin called for them from time to
time, but they were not ready. Finally he was directed to go on board
the vessel, and was told that the governor would send the letters there,
and that he would find them among the other letters, and could take them
out at his leisure. Franklin supposed that all was right, and
accordingly after taking leave of Miss Read, to whom he was now formally
engaged, and who wished him heartily a good voyage and a speedy return,
he proceeded to Newcastle, where the ship was anchored, and went on
board.

On the voyage Franklin met with a variety of incidents and adventures,
which, however, can not be particularly described here. Among other
things he made the acquaintance of a certain gentleman named Denham, a
_Friend_, from Philadelphia, who afterward rendered him very essential
service in London. He did not succeed in finding the governor's letters
immediately, as the captain told him, when he inquired for them, that
the letters were all together in a bag, stowed away. He said, however,
that he would bring out the bag when they entered the channel, and that
Franklin would have ample time to look out the letters before they got
up to London.

Accordingly when the vessel entered the channel the letters were all
brought out, and Franklin looked them over. He did not find any that
seemed very certainly intended for him, though there were several marked
with his name, as if consigned to his care. He thought that these must
be the governor's letters, especially as one was addressed to a printer
and another to a bookseller and stationer. He accordingly took them out,
and on landing he proceeded to deliver them. He went first with the one
which was addressed to the bookseller. The bookseller asked him who the
letter was from. Franklin replied that it was from Sir William Keith.
The bookseller replied that he did not know any such person, and on
opening the letter and looking at the signature, he said angrily that it
was from Riddlesden, "a man," he added, "whom I have lately found to be
a complete rascal, and I will have nothing to do with him or receive any
letters from him." So saying he thrust the letter back into Franklin's
hands.

[Illustration]

Poor Franklin, mortified and confounded, went immediately to Mr. Denham
to ask him what it would be best for him to do. Mr. Denham, when he had
heard a statement of the case, said that in all probability no one of
the letters which Franklin had taken was from the governor. Sir William,
he added, was a very good-natured man, who wished to please every body,
and was always ready to make magnificent offers and promises but not the
slightest reliance could be placed upon any thing that he said.

So Franklin found himself alone and moneyless in London, and dependent
wholly upon his own resources. He immediately began to seek employment
in the printing offices. He succeeded in making an engagement with a Mr.
Palmer, and he soon found a second-hand bookstore near the printing
office, where he used to go to read and to borrow books--his love of
reading continuing unchanged.

[Illustration]

In a short time Franklin left Mr. Palmer's and went to a larger printing
office, one which was carried on by a printer named Watts. The place was
near Lincoln's Inn Fields, a well known part of London. Here he was
associated with a large number of workmen, both compositors and
pressmen. They were very much astonished at Franklin's temperance
principles, for he drank nothing but water, while they consumed immense
quantities of strong beer. There was an ale-house near by, and a boy
from it attended constantly at the printing office to supply the workmen
with beer. These men had a considerable sum to pay every Saturday night
out of their wages for the beer they had drank; and this kept them
constantly poor. They maintained, however, that they needed the beer to
give them strength to perform the heavy work required of them in the
printing office. They drank _strong_ beer, they said, in order that they
might be _strong_ to labor. Franklin's companion at the press drank a
pint before breakfast, a pint at breakfast, a pint between breakfast and
dinner, a pint at dinner, a pint in the afternoon at six o'clock, and a
pint when he had done his day's work. Some others drank nearly as much.

Franklin endeavored to convince them that it was a mistake to suppose
that the beer gave them strength, by showing that he, though he drank
nothing but water, could carry two heavy forms up-stairs to the
press-room, at a time, taking one in each hand; while they could only
carry one with both hands. They were very much surprised at the superior
strength of the "water American," as they called him, but still they
would not give up drinking beer.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

As is usually the case with young workmen entering large establishments,
where they are strangers, Franklin encountered many little difficulties
at first, but he gradually overcame them all, and soon became a favorite
both with his employer and his fellow workmen. He earned high wages, for
he was so prompt, and so steady, that he was put to the best work. He
took board at the house of an elderly woman, a widow, who lived not far
distant, and who, after inquiring in respect to Franklin's character,
took him at a cheaper rate than usual, from the protection which she
expected in having him in the house.

In a small room in the garret of the house where Franklin boarded, there
was a lodger whose case was very singular. She was a Roman Catholic, and
when young had gone abroad, to a nunnery, intending to become a nun; but
finding that the climate did not agree with her she returned to England,
where, though there was no nunnery, she determined on leading the life
of a nun by herself. She had given away all her property, reserving only
a very small sum which was barely sufficient to support life. The house
had been let from time to time to various Catholic families, who all
allowed the nun to remain in her garret rent free, considering it a
blessing upon them to have her there. A priest visited her every day to
receive her confessions; otherwise she lived in almost total seclusion.
Franklin, however, was once permitted to pay her a visit. He found her
cheerful and polite. She looked pale, but said that she was never sick.
The room had scarcely any furniture except such as related to her
religious observances.

[Illustration]

Franklin mentions among other incidents which occurred while he was in
London, that he taught two young men to swim, by only going twice with
them into the water. One of these young men was a workman in the
printing-office where Franklin was employed, named Wygate. Franklin was
always noted for his great skill and dexterity as a swimmer, and one
day, after he had taught the two young men to swim, as mentioned above,
he was coming down the river Thames in a boat with a party of friends,
and Wygate gave such an account of Franklin's swimming as to excite a
strong desire in the company to see what he could do. So Franklin
undressed himself, and leaped into the water, and he swam all the way
from Chelsea to Blackfriar's bridge in London, accompanying the boat,
and performing an infinite variety of dextrous evolutions in and under
the water, much to the astonishment and delight of all the company. In
consequence of this incident, Franklin had an application made to him
some time afterward, by a certain nobleman, to teach his two sons to
swim, with a promise of a very liberal reward. The nobleman had
accidentally heard of Franklin's swimming from Chelsea to London, and of
his teaching a person to swim in two lessons.

Franklin remained in London about eighteen months; at the end of that
time one of his fellow workmen proposed to him that they two should make
a grand tour together on the continent of Europe, stopping from time to
time in the great towns to work at their trade, in order to earn money
for their expenses. Franklin went to his friend, Mr. Denham, to consult
him in respect to this proposal. Mr. Denham advised him not to accede to
it, but proposed instead that Franklin should connect himself in
business with _him_. He was going to return to America, he said, with a
large stock of goods, there to go into business as a merchant. He made
such advantageous offers to Franklin, in respect to this enterprise,
that Franklin very readily accepted them, and in due time he settled up
his affairs in London, and sailed for America, supposing that he had
taken leave of the business of printing forever.

In the result, however, it was destined to be otherwise; for after a
short time Mr. Denham fell sick and died, and then Franklin, after
various perplexities and delays, concluded to accept of a proposal which
his old master, Mr. Keimer, made to him, to come and take charge of his
printing-office. Mr. Keimer had a number of rude and inexperienced hands
in his employ, and he wished to engage Franklin to come, as foreman and
superintendent of the office, and teach the men to do their work
skillfully.

[Illustration]

Franklin acceded to this proposal, but he did not find his situation in
all respects agreeable, and finally his engagement with Mr. Keimer was
suddenly brought to a close by an open quarrel. Mr. Keimer, it seems,
had not been accustomed to treat his foreman in a very respectful or
considerate manner, and one day when Franklin heard some unusual noise
in the street, and put his head out a moment to see what was the matter,
Mr. Keimer, who was standing below, called out to him, in a very rough
and angry manner, to go back and attend to his business, adding some
reproachful words which nettled Franklin exceedingly. He immediately
afterward came up into the office, when a sharp contention and high
words ensued. The end of the affair was that Franklin took his dismissal
and went immediately away.

[Illustration]

In a short time, however, Keimer sent for Franklin to come back, saying
that a few hasty words ought not to separate old friends, and Franklin,
after some hesitation, concluded to return. About this time Keimer had a
proposition made to him to print some bank bills, for the state of New
Jersey. A copper-plate press is required for this purpose, a press very
different in its character from an ordinary press. Franklin contrived
one of these presses for Mr. Keimer, the first which had been seen in
the country. This press performed its function very successfully. Mr.
Keimer and Franklin went together, with the press, to Burlington, where
the work was to be done: for it was necessary that the bills should be
printed under the immediate supervision of the government, in order to
make it absolutely certain that no more were struck off than the proper
number.

In printing these bills Franklin made the acquaintance of several
prominent public men in New Jersey, some of whom were always present
while the press was at work. Several of these gentlemen became very warm
friends of Franklin, and continued to be so during all his subsequent
life.

At last Franklin joined one of his comrades in the printing-office,
named Meredith, in forming a plan to leave Mr. Keimer, and commence
business themselves, independently. Meredith's father was to furnish the
necessary capital, and Franklin was to have the chief superintendence
and care of the business. This plan being arranged, an order was sent
out to England for a press and a font of type, and when the articles
arrived the two young men left Mr. Keimer's, and taking a small building
near the market, which they thought would be suitable for their purpose,
they opened their office, feeling much solicitude and many fears in
respect to their success.

To lessen their expense for rent they took a glazier and his family into
the house which they had hired, while they were themselves to board in
the glazier's family. Thus the arrangement which they made was both
convenient and economical.

[Illustration]

This glazier, Godfrey, had long been one of Franklin's friends, he was a
prominent member, in fact, of the little circle of young mechanics, who,
under the influence of Franklin's example, spent their leisure time in
scientific studies. Godfrey was quite a mathematician. He was
self-taught, it is true, but still his attainments were by no means
inconsiderable. He afterward distinguished himself as the inventor of an
instrument called Hadley's quadrant, now very generally relied upon for
taking altitudes and other observations at sea. It was called by
Hadley's name, as is said, through some artifice of Hadley, in obtaining
the credit of the invention, though Godfrey was really the author of it.

Though Godfrey was highly respected among his associates for his
mathematical knowledge, he knew little else, and he was not a very
agreeable companion. The mathematical field affords very few subjects
for entertaining conversation, and besides Godfrey had a habit, which
Franklin said he had often observed in great mathematicians, of
expecting universal precision in every thing that was said, of forever
taking exception to what was advanced by others, and of making
distinctions, on very trifling grounds, to the disturbance of all
conversation. He, however, became afterward an eminent man, and though
he died at length at a distance from Philadelphia, his remains were
eventually removed to the city and deposited at Laurel Hill, where a
monument was erected to his memory.

The young printers had scarce got their types in the cases and the press
in order, before one of Franklin's friends, a certain George House, came
in and introduced a countryman whom he had found in the street,
inquiring for a printer. They did the work which he brought, and were
paid five shillings for it.--Franklin says that this five shillings, the
first that he earned as an independent man, afforded him a very high
degree of pleasure. He was very grateful too to House, for having taken
such an interest in bringing him a customer, and recollecting his own
experience on this occasion, he always afterward felt a strong desire to
help new beginners, whenever it was in his power.

A certain other gentleman evinced his regard for the young printers in a
much more equivocal way. He was a person of some note in Philadelphia,
an elderly man, with a wise look, and a very grave and oracular manner
of speaking. This gentleman, who was a stranger to Franklin stopped one
day at the door and asked Franklin if he was the young man who had
lately opened a printing house. Being answered in the affirmative he
told Franklin that he was very sorry for him, as he certainly could not
succeed. Philadelphia, he said, was a sinking place. The people were
already half of them bankrupts, or nearly so, to his certain knowledge.
He then proceeded to present such a gloomy detail of the difficulties
and dangers which Philadelphia was laboring under, and of the evils
which were coming, that finally he brought Franklin into a very
melancholy frame of mind.

[Illustration]

The young printers went steadily on, notwithstanding these predictions,
and gradually began to find employment for their press. They obtained
considerable business through the influence of the members of a sort of
debating club which Franklin had established some time before. This club
was called the Junto, and was accustomed to meet on Friday evenings for
conversation and mutual improvement. The rules which Franklin drew up
for the government of this club required that each member should, in his
turn, propose subjects or queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or
Natural Philosophy, to be discussed by the company; and once in three
months to produce and read an essay of his own writing, on any subject
that he pleased. The members of the club were all enjoined to conduct
their discussion in a sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, and not
from love of dispute or desire of victory. Every thing like a positive
and dogmatical manner of speaking, and all direct contradiction of each
other, was strictly forbidden. Violations of these rules were punished
by fines and other similar penalties.

The members of this club having become much interested in Franklin's
character from what they had seen of him at the meetings, were strongly
disposed to aid him in obtaining business now that he had opened an
office of his own. They were mostly mechanics, being engaged in
different trades, in the city. One of them was the means of procuring
quite a large job for the young printers--the printing of a book in
folio. While they were upon this job, Franklin employed himself in
setting the type, his task being one sheet each day, while Meredith
worked the press. It required great exertion to carry the work on at the
rate of one sheet per day, especially as there were frequent
interruptions, on account of small jobs which were brought in from time
to time. Franklin was, however, very resolutely determined to print a
sheet a day, though it required him sometimes to work very late, and
always to begin very early. So determined was he to continue doing a
sheet a day of the work, that one night when he had imposed his forms
and thought his day's work was done, and by some accident one of the
forms was broken, and two pages thrown into _pi_, he immediately went to
work, distributed the letter, and set up the two pages anew before he
went to bed.

This indefatigable industry was soon observed by the neighbors, and it
began to attract considerable attention; so that at length, when certain
people were talking of the three printing-offices that there were now in
Philadelphia, and predicting that they could not all be sustained, some
one said that whatever might happen to the other two, Franklin's office
must succeed, "For the industry of that Franklin," said he, "is superior
to any thing I ever saw of the kind. I see him still at work every night
when I go home, and he is at work again in the morning before his
neighbors are out of bed." As the character of Franklin's office in this
respect became generally known, the custom that came to it rapidly
increased. There were still, however, some difficulties to be
encountered.

[Illustration]

Franklin was very unfortunate in respect to his partner, so far as the
work of the office was concerned, for Meredith was a poor printer, and
his habits were not good. In fact the sole reason why Franklin had
consented to associate himself with Meredith was that Meredith's father
was willing to furnish the necessary capital for commencing business.
His father was persuaded to do this in hopes that Franklin's influence
over his son might be the means of inducing him to leave off his habits
of drinking. Instead of this, however, he grew gradually worse. He
neglected his work, and was in fact often wholly incapacitated from
attending to it, by the effects of his drinking. Franklin's friends
regretted his connection with such a man, but there seemed to be now no
present help for it.

It happened, however, that things took such a turn, a short time after
this, as to enable Franklin to close his partnership with Meredith in a
very satisfactory manner. In the first place Meredith himself began to
be tired of an occupation which he was every day more and more convinced
that he was unfitted for. His father too found it inconvenient to meet
the obligations which he had incurred for the press and types, as they
matured; for he had bought them partly on credit. Two gentlemen,
moreover, friends of Franklin, came forward of their own accord, and
offered to advance him what money he would require to take the whole
business into his own hands. The result of all this was that the
partnership was terminated, by mutual consent, and Meredith went away.
Franklin assumed the debts, and borrowed money of his two friends to
meet the payments as they came due; and thenceforward he managed the
business in his own name.

After this change, the business of the office went on more prosperously
than ever. There was much interest felt at that time on the question of
paper money, one party in the state being in favor of it and the other
against it. Franklin wrote and printed a pamphlet on the subject. The
title of it was _The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency_. This
pamphlet was very well received, and had an important influence in
deciding the question in favor of such a currency. In consequence of
this Franklin was employed to print the bills, which was very profitable
work. He also obtained the printing of the laws, and of the proceedings
of the government, which was of great advantage to him.

About this time Franklin enlarged his business by opening a stationery
store in connection with his printing office. He employed one or two
additional workmen too. In order, however, to show that he was not above
his business, he used to bring home the paper which he purchased at the
stores, through the streets on a wheelbarrow.

[Illustration]

The engagement which Franklin had formed with Miss Read before he went
to London had been broken off. This was _his_ fault and not hers; as the
rupture was occasioned by his indifference and neglect. When her friends
found that Franklin had forsaken her, they persuaded her to marry
another man. This man, however, proved to be a dissolute and worthless
fellow, having already a wife in England, when he married Miss Read. She
accordingly refused to live with him, and he went away to the West
Indies, leaving Miss Read at home, disconsolate and wretched.

[Illustration]

Franklin pitied her very much, and attributed her misfortunes in a great
measure to his unfaithfulness to the promises which he had made her. He
renewed his acquaintance with her, and finally married her. The wedding
took place on the 1st of September, 1730; Franklin was at this time
about twenty-five years of age. It was reported that the man who had
married her was dead. At all events her marriage with him was wholly
invalid.

At the time when Franklin commenced his business in Philadelphia there
was no bookstore in any place south of Boston. The towns on the sea
coast which have since grown to be large and flourishing cities, were
then very small, and comparatively insignificant; and they afforded to
the inhabitants very few facilities of any kind. Those who wished to buy
books had no means of doing it except to send to England for them.

In order to remedy in some measure the difficulty which was experienced
on this account, Franklin proposed to the members of the debating
society which has already been named, that they should form a library,
by bringing all their books together and depositing them in the room
where the society was accustomed to hold its meetings. This was
accordingly done. The members brought their books, and a foundation was
thus laid for what afterward became a great public library. The books
were arranged on shelves which were prepared for them in the club-room,
and suitable rules and regulations were made in respect to the use of
them by the members.

[Illustration]

With the exception that he appropriated one or two hours each day to the
reading of books from the library, Franklin devoted his time wholly to
his business. He took care, he said, not only to _be_, in reality,
industrious and frugal, but to appear so. He dressed plainly; he never
went to any places of diversion; he never went out a-hunting or
shooting, and he spent no time in taverns, or in games or frolics of any
kind. The people about him observed his diligence, and the consequence
was that he soon acquired the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.
Business came in, and his affairs went on more and more smoothly every
day.

[Illustration]

It was very fortunate for him that his wife was as much disposed to
industry and frugality as himself. She assisted her husband in his work
by folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing paper,
rags, and other similar services. They kept no servants, and lived in
the plainest and most simple manner. Thus all the money which was earned
in the printing office, or made by the profits of the stationery store,
was applied to paying back the money which Franklin had borrowed of his
friends, to enable him to settle with Meredith. He was ambitious to pay
this debt as soon as possible, so that the establishment might be wholly
his own. His wife shared in this desire, and thus, while they deprived
themselves of no necessary comfort, they expended nothing for luxury or
show. Their dress, their domestic arrangements, and their whole style of
living, were perfectly plain.

[Illustration]

Franklin's breakfast, for example, for a long time, consisted only of a
bowl of bread and milk, which was eaten from a two-penny earthen
porringer and with a pewter spoon. At length, however, one morning when
called to his breakfast he found a new china bowl upon the table, with a
silver spoon in it. They had been bought for him by his wife without his
knowledge, who justified herself for the expenditure by saying that she
thought that her husband was as much entitled to a china bowl and silver
spoon as any of her neighbors.

About this time Franklin adopted a very systematic and formal plan for
the improvement of his moral character. He made out a list of the
principal moral virtues, thirteen in all, and then made a book of a
proper number of pages, and wrote the name of one virtue on each page.
He then, on each page, ruled a table which was formed of thirteen lines
and seven columns. The lines were for the names of the thirteen virtues,
and the columns for the days of the week. Each page therefore
represented one week, and Franklin was accustomed every night to examine
himself, and mark down in the proper column, and opposite to the names
of the several virtues, all violations of duty in respect to each one
respectively, which he could recollect that he had been guilty of during
that day. He paid most particular attention each week to one particular
virtue, namely, the one which was written on the top of the page for
that week, without however neglecting the others--following in this
respect, as he said, the example of the gardener who weeds one bed in
his garden at a time.

[Illustration]

He had several mottos prefixed to this little book, and also two short
prayers, imploring divine assistance to enable him to keep his
resolution. One of these prayers was from Thomson:

    "Father of light and life, thou Good Supreme!
    O teach me what is good; teach me Thyself!
    Save me from folly, vanity, and vice;
    From every low pursuit; and feed my soul
    With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure,
    Sacred, substantial, never fading bliss."

The other was composed by himself, and was as follows.

     "O Powerful Goodness! Bountiful Father! Merciful Guide! Increase in
     me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my
     resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind
     offices to thy other children as the only return in my power for
     thy continual favors to me."

Franklin persevered in his efforts to improve himself in moral
excellence, by means of this record, for a long time. He thought he made
great progress, and that his plan was of lasting benefit to him. He
found, however, that he could not, as at first he fondly hoped, make
himself perfect. He consoled himself at last, he said, by the idea that
it was not best, after all, for any one to be absolutely perfect. He
used to say that this willingness on his part to be satisfied with
retaining some of his faults, when he had become wearied and discouraged
with the toil and labor of removing them, reminded him of the case of
one of his neighbors, who went to buy an ax of a smith. The ax, as is
usual with this tool, was ground bright near the edge, while the
remainder of the surface of the iron was left black, just as it had come
from the forge. The man wished to have his ax bright all over, and the
smith said that he would grind it bright if the man would turn the
grindstone.

So the man went to the wheel by which it seems the grindstone was
turned, through the intervention of a band, and began his labor. The
smith held the ax upon the stone, broad side down, leaning hard and
heavily. The man came now and then to see how the work went on. The
brightening he found went on slowly. At last, wearied with the labor, he
said that he would take the ax as it then was, without grinding it any
more. "Oh, no," said the smith, "turn on, turn on; we shall have it
bright by-and-by. All that we have done yet has only made it speckled."
"Yes," said the man, "but I think I like a speckled ax best." So he took
it away.

[Illustration]

In the same manner Franklin said that he himself seemed to be contented
with a character somewhat speckled, when he found how discouraging was
the labor and toil required to make it perfectly bright.

During all this time Franklin went on more and more prosperously in
business, and was continually enlarging and extending his plans. He
printed a newspaper which soon acquired an extensive circulation. He
commenced the publication of an almanac, which was continued afterward
for twenty-five years, and became very celebrated under the name of Poor
Richard's Almanac. At length the spirit of enterprise which he possessed
went so far as to lead him to send one of his journeymen to establish a
branch printing-office in Charleston, South Carolina. This branch,
however, did not succeed very well at first, though, after a time, the
journeyman who had been sent out died, and then his wife, who was an
energetic and capable woman, took charge of the business, and sent
Franklin accounts of the state of it promptly and regularly. Franklin
accordingly left the business in her hands, and it went on very
prosperously for several years: until at last the woman's son grew up,
and she purchased the office for him, with what she had earned and
saved.

[Illustration]

Notwithstanding the increasing cares of business, and the many
engagements which occupied his time and attention, Franklin did not,
during all this time, in any degree remit his efforts to advance in the
acquisition of knowledge. He studied French, and soon made himself
master of that language so far as to read it with ease. Then he
undertook the Italian. A friend of his, who was also studying Italian,
was fond of playing chess, and often wished Franklin to play with him.
Franklin consented on condition that the penalty for being beaten should
be to have some extra task to perform in the Italian grammar--such as
the committing to memory of some useful portion of the grammar, or the
writing of exercises. They were accordingly accustomed to play in this
way, and the one who was beaten, had a lesson assigned him to learn, or
a task to perform, and he was bound upon his honor to fulfill this duty
before the next meeting.

After having acquired some proficiency in the Italian language Franklin
took up the Latin. He had studied Latin a little when a boy at school,
at the time when his father contemplated educating him for the church.
He had almost entirely forgotten what he had learned of the language at
school, but he found, on looking into a Latin Testament, that it would
be very easy for him to learn the language now, on account of the
knowledge which he had acquired of French and Italian. His experience in
this respect led him to think that the common mode of learning languages
was not a judicious one. "We are told," says he, "that it is proper to
begin first with the Latin, and having acquired that, it will be more
easy to attain those modern languages which are derived from it; and yet
we do not begin with the Greek in order more easily to acquire the
Latin." He then compares the series of languages to a staircase. It is
true that if we contrive some way to clamber to the upper stair, by the
railings or by some other method, without using the steps, we can then
easily reach any particular stair by coming down, but still the simplest
and the wisest course would seem to be to walk up directly from the
lower to the higher in regular gradation.

"I would therefore," he adds, "offer it to the consideration of those
who superintend the education of our youth, whether, since many of those
who begin with the Latin quit the same after spending some years,
without having made any great proficiency, and what they have learned
becomes almost useless, so that their time has been lost, it would not
have been better to have begun with the French, proceeding to the
Italian and Latin; for though after spending the same time they should
quit the study of languages, and never arrive at the Latin, they would,
however, have acquired another tongue or two that, being in modern use,
might be serviceable to them in common life."

[Illustration]

It was now ten years since Franklin had been at Boston, and as he was
getting well established in business, and easy in his circumstances, he
concluded to go there and visit his relations. His brother, Mr. James
Franklin, the printer to whom he had been apprenticed when a boy, was
not in Boston at this time. He had removed to Newport. On his return
from Boston Franklin went to Newport to see him. He was received by his
brother in a very cordial and affectionate manner, all former
differences between the two brothers being forgotten by mutual consent.
He found his brother in feeble health, and fast declining--and
apprehending that his death was near at hand. He had one son, then ten
years of age, and he requested that in case of his death Benjamin would
take this child and bring him up to the printing business. Benjamin
promised to do so. A short time after this his brother died, and
Franklin took the boy, sent him to school for a few years, and then took
him into his office, and brought him up to the business of printing. His
mother carried on the business at Newport until the boy had grown up,
and then Franklin established him there, with an assortment of new types
and other facilities. Thus he made his brother ample amends for the
injury which he had done him by running away from his service when he
was a boy.

[Illustration]

On his return from Boston, Franklin found all his affairs in
Philadelphia in a very prosperous condition. His business was constantly
increasing, his income was growing large, and he was beginning to be
very widely known and highly esteemed, throughout the community. He
began to be occasionally called upon to take some part in general
questions relating to the welfare of the community at large. He was
appointed postmaster for Philadelphia. Soon after this he was made clerk
of the General Assembly, the colonial legislature of Pennsylvania. He
began, too, to pay some attention to municipal affairs, with a view to
the better regulation of the public business of the city. He proposed a
reform in the system adopted for the city watch. The plan which had been
pursued was for a public officer to designate every night a certain
number of householders, taken from the several wards in succession, who
were to perform the duty of watchmen. This plan was, however, found to
be very inefficient, as the more respectable people, instead of serving
themselves, would pay a fine to the constable to enable him to hire
substitutes; and these substitutes were generally worthless men who
spent the night in drinking, instead of faithfully attending to their
duties.

Franklin proposed that the whole plan should be changed; he recommended
that a tax should be levied upon the people, and a regular body of
competent watchmen employed and held to a strict responsibility in the
performance of their duty. This plan was adopted, and proved to be a
very great improvement on the old system.

It was also much more just; for people were taxed to pay the watchmen in
proportion to their property, and thus they who had most to be protected
paid most.

[Illustration]

Franklin took a great interest, too, about this time, in promoting a
plan for building a large public edifice in the heart of the city, to
accommodate the immense audiences that were accustomed to assemble to
hear the discourses of the celebrated Mr. Whitefield. The house was
built by public contribution. When finished, it was vested in trustees,
expressly for the use of _any preacher of any religious persuasion_, who
might desire to address the people of Philadelphia. In fact, Franklin
was becoming more and more a public man, and soon after this time, he
withdrew almost altogether from his private pursuits, and entered fully
upon his public career. The history of his adventures in that wider
sphere must be postponed to some future Number.

[Illustration]



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.[1]

BY JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

THE EXPEDITION TO EGYPT.

    [1] Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
    Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of
    the Southern District of New York.


Napoleon's Expedition to Egypt was one of the most magnificent
enterprises which human ambition ever conceived. When Napoleon was a
schoolboy at Brienne, his vivid imagination became enamored of the
heroes of antiquity, and ever dwelt in the society of the illustrious
men of Greece and Rome. Indulging in solitary walks and pensive musings,
at that early age he formed vague and shadowy, but magnificent
conceptions of founding an Empire in the East, which should outvie in
grandeur all that had yet been told in ancient or in modern story. His
eye wandered along the shores of the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea,
as traced upon the map, and followed the path of the majestic floods of
the Euphrates, the Indus, and the Ganges, rolling through tribes and
nations, whose myriad population, dwelling in barbaric pomp and pagan
darkness, invited a conqueror. "The Persians," exclaimed this strange
boy, "have blocked up the route of Tamerlane, but I will open another."
He, in those early dreams, imagined himself a conqueror, with
Alexander's strength, but without Alexander's vice or weakness,
spreading the energies of civilization, and of a just and equitable
government, over the wild and boundless regions which were lost to
European eyes in the obscurity of distance.

When struggling against the armies of Austria, upon the plains of Italy,
visions of Egypt and of the East blended with the smoke and the din of
the conflict. In the retreat of the Austrians before his impetuous
charges, in the shout of victory which incessantly filled his ear,
swelling ever above the shrieks of the wounded and the groans of the
dying, Napoleon saw but increasing indications that destiny was pointing
out his path toward an Oriental throne.

When the Austrians were driven out of Italy, and the campaign was ended,
and Napoleon, at Montebello, was receiving the homage of Europe, his
ever-impetuous mind turned with new interest to the object of his early
ambition. He often passed hours, during the mild Italian evenings,
walking with a few confidential friends in the magnificent park of his
palace, conversing with intense enthusiasm upon the illustrious empires,
which have successively overshadowed those countries, and faded away.
"Europe," said he, "presents no field for glorious exploits; no great
empires or revolutions are to be found but in the East, where there are
six hundred millions of men."

Upon his return to Paris, he was deaf to all the acclamations with which
he was surrounded. His boundless ambition was such that his past
achievements seemed as nothing. The most brilliant visions of Eastern
glory were dazzling his mind. "They do not long preserve at Paris," said
he, "the remembrance of any thing. If I remain long unemployed, I am
undone. The renown of one, in this great Babylon, speedily supplants
that of another. If I am seen three times at the opera, I shall no
longer be an object of curiosity. I am determined not to remain in
Paris. There is nothing here to be accomplished. Every thing here passes
away. My glory is declining. This little corner of Europe is too small
to supply it. We must go to the East. All the great men of the world
have there acquired their celebrity."

When requested to take command of the army of England, and to explore
the coast, to judge of the feasibility of an attack upon the English in
their own island, he said to Bourrienne, "I am perfectly willing to
make a tour to the coast. Should the expedition to Britain prove too
hazardous, as I much fear that it will, the army of England will become
the army of the East, and we will go to Egypt."

He carefully studied the obstacles to be encountered in the invasion of
England, and the means at his command to surmount them. In his view, the
enterprise was too hazardous to be undertaken, and he urged upon the
Directory the Expedition to Egypt. "Once established in Egypt," said he,
"the Mediterranean becomes a _French Lake_; we shall found a colony
there, unenervated by the curse of slavery, and which will supply the
place of St. Domingo; we shall open a market for French manufactures
through the vast regions of Africa, Arabia, and Syria. All the caravans
of the East will meet at Cairo, and the commerce of India, must forsake
the Cape of Good Hope, and flow through the Red Sea. Marching with an
army of sixty thousand men, we can cross the Indus, rouse the oppressed
and discontented native population, against the English usurpers, and
drive the English out of India. We will establish governments which will
respect the rights and promote the interests of the people. The
multitude will hail us as their deliverers from oppression. The
Christians of Syria, the Druses, and the Armenians, will join our
standards. We may change the face of the world." Such was the
magnificent project which inflamed this ambitious mind.

England, without a shadow of right, had invaded India. Her well-armed
dragoons had ridden, with bloody hoofs, over the timid and naked
natives. Cannon, howitzers, and bayonets had been the all-availing
arguments with which England had silenced all opposition. English
soldiers, with unsheathed swords ever dripping with blood, held in
subjection provinces containing uncounted millions of inhabitants. A
circuitous route of fifteen thousand miles, around the stormy Cape of
Good Hope, conducted the merchant fleets of London and Liverpool to
Calcutta and Bombay; and through the same long channel there flooded
back upon the maritime isle the wealth of the Indies.

It was the plea of Napoleon that he was not going to make an unjust war
upon the unoffending nations of the East; but that he was the ally of
the oppressed people, drawing the sword against their common enemy, and
that he was striving to emancipate them from their powerful usurpers,
and to confer upon them the most precious privileges of freedom. He
marched to Egypt not to desolate, but to enrich; not to enslave, but to
enfranchise; not to despoil the treasures of the East, but to transfer
to those shores the opulence and the high civilization of the West.
Never was an ambitious conqueror furnished with a more plausible plea.
England, as she looks at India and China, must be silent. America, as
she listens to the dying wail of the Red Man, driven from the forests of
his childhood and the graves of his fathers, can throw no stone.
Napoleon surely was not exempt from the infirmities of humanity. But it
is not becoming in an English or an American historian to breathe the
prayer, "We thank Thee, oh God, that we are not like this Bonaparte."

Egypt, the memorials of whose former grandeur still attract the wonder
and the admiration of the civilized world, after having been buried,
during centuries, in darkness and oblivion, is again slowly emerging
into light, and is, doubtless, destined eventually to become one of the
great centres of industry and of knowledge. The Mediterranean washes its
northern shores, opening to its commerce all the opulent cities of
Europe. The Red Sea wafts to its fertile valley the wealth of India and
of China. The Nile, rolling its vast floods from the unknown interior of
Africa, opens a highway for inexhaustible internal commerce with unknown
nations and tribes.

The country consists entirely of the lower valley of the Nile, with a
front of about one hundred and twenty miles on the Mediterranean. The
valley six hundred miles in length, rapidly diminishes in breadth as it
is crowded by the sands of the desert, presenting, a few leagues from
the mouth of the river, but the average width of about six miles. The
soil fertilized by the annual inundations of the Nile, possesses most
extraordinary fertility. These floods are caused by the heavy rains
which fall in the mountains of Abyssinia. It never rains in Egypt.
Centuries may pass while a shower never falls from the sky. Under the
Ptolemies the population of the country was estimated at twenty
millions. But by the terrific energies of despotism, these numbers had
dwindled away, and at the time of the French Expedition Egypt contained
but two million five hundred thousand inhabitants. These were divided
into four classes. First came the Copts, about two hundred thousand, the
descendants of the ancient Egyptians. They were in a state of the most
abject degradation and slavery. The great body of the population, two
millions in number, were the Arabs. They were a wild and semi-barbarian
race, restrained from all enterprise and industry, by unrelenting
despotism. The Turks or Janizaries, two hundred thousand strong,
composed a standing army, of sensual, merciless, unprincipled usurpers,
which kept the trembling population by the energies of the bastinado,
the scimitar and the bowstring in most servile subjection. The Mamelukes
composed a body of twelve thousand horsemen, proud, powerful and
intolerable oppressors. Each horseman had two servants to perform his
menial service. Twenty-four beys, each of whom had five or six hundred
Mamelukes under his command, governed this singular body of cavalry. Two
principal beys, Ibrahim and Mourad divided between them the sovereignty
of Egypt. It was the old story of despotism. The millions were ground
down into hopeless degradation and poverty to pamper to the luxury and
vice of a few haughty masters. Oriental voluptuousness and luxury
reigned in the palaces of the beys; beggary and wretchedness deformed
the mud hovels of the defrauded and degraded people. It was Napoleon's
aim to present himself to the _people_ of Egypt as their friend and
liberator; to rally them around his standard, to subdue the Mamelukes,
to establish a government, which should revive all the sciences and the
arts of civilized life in Egypt; to acquire a character, by these
benefactions, which should emblazon his name throughout the East; and
then, with oppressed nations welcoming him as a deliverer, to strike
blows upon the British power in India, which should compel the mistress
of the seas to acknowledge that upon the land there was an arm which
could reach and humble her. It was a design sublime in its magnificence.
But it was not the will of God that it should be accomplished.

The Directory, at last overcome by the arguments of Napoleon, and also,
through jealousy of his unbounded popularity, being willing to remove
him from France, assented to the proposed expedition. It was however
necessary to preserve the utmost secrecy. Should England be informed of
the direction in which the blow was about to fall upon her, she might,
with her invincible fleet, intercept the French squadron--she might
rouse the Mamelukes to most formidable preparations for resistance, and
might thus vastly increase the difficulties of the enterprise. All the
deliberations were consequently conducted with closed doors, and the
whole plan was enveloped in the most profound mystery. For the first
time in the history of the world, literature and science and art, formed
a conspicuous part of the organization of an army. It was agreed that
Napoleon should take forty-six thousand men, a certain number of
officers of his own selection, men of science, engineers, geographers,
and artisans of all kinds. Napoleon now devoted himself with the most
extraordinary energy to the execution of his plans. Order succeeded
order with ceaseless rapidity. He seemed to rest not day nor night. He
superintended every thing himself, and with almost the rapidity of the
wind passed from place to place, corresponding with literary men,
conversing with generals, raising money, collecting ships, and
accumulating supplies. His comprehensive and indefatigable mind arranged
even the minutest particulars. "I worked all day," said one, in apology
for his assigned duty not having been fully performed. "But had you not
the night also?" Napoleon replied. "Now sir," said he to another, "use
dispatch. Remember that the world was created in but six days. Ask me
for whatever you please, except _time_; that is the only thing which is
beyond my power."

His own energy was thus infused into the hearts of hundreds, and with
incredible rapidity the work of preparation went on. He selected four
points for the assemblage of convoys and troops, Toulon, Genoa, Ajaccio,
and Civita Vecchia. He chartered four hundred vessels of merchantmen in
France and Italy as transports for the secret service, and assembled
them at the points of departure. He dispatched immediate orders for the
divisions of his renowned army of Italy to march to Genoa and Toulon. He
collected the best artisans Europe could furnish in all the arts of
human industry. He took printing types, of the various languages of the
East, from the College of the Propaganda at Rome, and a company of
printers. He formed a large collection of the most perfect philosophical
and mathematical instruments. The most illustrious men, though knowing
not where he was about to lead them, were eager to attach themselves to
the fortunes of the young general. Preparations for an enterprise upon
such a gigantic scale could not be made without attracting the attention
of Europe. Rumor was busy with her countless contradictions. "Where is
Napoleon bound?" was the universal inquiry. "He is going," said some "to
the Black Sea"--"to India"--"to cut a canal through the Isthmus of
Suez"--"to Ireland"--"to the Thames." Even Kleber supposed that they
were bound for England, and reposing implicit confidence in the
invincibility of Napoleon, he said, "Well! if you throw a fireship into
the Thames, put Kleber on board of her and you shall see what he will
do." The English cabinet was extremely perplexed. They clearly foresaw
that a storm was gathering, but knew not in what direction it would
break. Extraordinary efforts were made to equip a powerful fleet, which
was placed under the command of Lord Nelson, to cruise in the
Mediterranean and watch the movements of the French.

On the 9th of May, 1798, just five months after Napoleon's return to
Paris from the Italian campaign, he entered Toulon, having completed all
his preparations for the most magnificent enterprise ever contemplated
by a mortal. Josephine accompanied him, that he might enjoy as long as
possible, the charms of her society. Passionately as he loved his own
glory, his love for Josephine was _almost_ equally enthusiastic. A more
splendid armament never floated upon the bosom of the ocean than here
awaited him, its supreme lord and master. The fleet consisted of thirty
ships of the line and frigates; seventy-two brigs and cutters, and four
hundred transports. It bore forty-six thousand combatants, and a
literary corps of one hundred men, furnished in the most perfect manner,
to transport to Asia the science and the arts of Europe, and to bring
back in return the knowledge gleaned among the monuments of antiquity.
The old army of Italy was drawn up in proud array to receive its
youthful general, and they greeted him with the most enthusiastic
acclamations. But few even of the officers of the army were aware of its
destination. Napoleon inspirited his troops with the following
proclamation:

"Soldiers! you are one of the wings of the army of England. You have
made war in mountains, plains and cities. It remains to make it on the
ocean. The Roman legions, whom you have often imitated but not yet
equaled, combated Carthage, by turns, on the seas and on the plains of
Zama. Victory never deserted their standards, because they never ceased
to be brave, patient, and united. Soldiers! the eyes of Europe are upon
you. You have great destinies to accomplish, battles to fight, dangers
and fatigues to overcome. You are about to do more than you have yet
done, for the prosperity of your country, the happiness of man and for
your own glory." Thus the magnitude of the enterprise was announced,
while at the same time it was left vailed in mystery.

[Illustration: THE EMBARKATION.]

Napoleon had, on many occasions, expressed his dislike of the arbitrary
course pursued by the Directory. In private he expressed, in the
strongest terms, his horror of Jacobin cruelty and despotism. "The
Directors," said he "can not long retain their position. They know not
how to do any thing for the imagination of the nation." It is said that
the Directors, at last, were so much annoyed by his censure that they
seriously contemplated his arrest and applied to Fouché for that
purpose. The wily minister of police replied, "Napoleon Bonaparte is not
the man to be arrested; neither is Fouché the man who will undertake to
arrest him." When Bourrienne inquired if he were really determined to
risk his fate on the Expedition to Egypt, "Yes!" he replied, "if I
remain here, it will be necessary for me to overturn this miserable
government, and make myself king. But we must not think of that yet. The
pear is not yet ripe. I have sounded, but the time has not yet come. I
must first dazzle these gentlemen by my exploits." One of his last acts
before embarkation was to issue a humane proclamation to the military
commission at Toulon urging a more merciful construction of one of the
tyrannical edicts of the Directory against the emigrants. "I exhort you,
citizens," said he, "when the law presents at your tribunal old men and
females, to declare that, in the midst of war, Frenchmen respect the
aged and the women, even of their enemies. The soldier who signs a
sentence against one incapable of bearing arms is a coward." There was
perhaps not another man in France, who would have dared thus to oppose
the sanguinary measures of government. This benevolent interposition met
however with a response in the hearts of the people, and added a fresh
laurel to his brow.

On the morning of the 19th of May, 1798, just as the sun was rising over
the blue waves of the Mediterranean the fleet got under way. Napoleon,
with Eugene, embarked in the Orient, an enormous ship of one hundred and
twenty guns. It was a brilliant morning and the unclouded sun perhaps
never shone upon a more splendid scene. The magnificent armament
extended over a semi-circle of not less than eighteen miles. The parting
between Napoleon and Josephine is represented as having been tender and
affecting in the extreme. She was very anxious to accompany him, but he
deemed the perils to which they would be exposed, and the hardships they
must necessarily endure, far too formidable for a lady to encounter.
Josephine stood upon a balcony, with her eyes blinded with tears, as she
waved her adieus to Napoleon, and watched the receding fleet, till the
lessening sails disappeared beneath the distant horizon. The squadron
sailed first to Genoa, thence to Ajaccio, and thence to Civita Vecchia,
to join the convoys collected in those ports. The signal was then given
for the whole fleet to bear away, as rapidly as possible, for Malta.

In coasting along the shores of Italy, Napoleon, from the deck of the
Orient descried, far away in the distant horizon, the snow-capped
summits of the Alps. He called for a telescope, and gazed long and
earnestly upon the scene of his early achievements. "I can not," said
he, "behold without emotion, the land of Italy. These mountains command
the plains where I have so often led the French to victory. Now I am
bound to the East. With the same troops victory is still secure."

[Illustration: THE DISTANT ALPS.]

All were fascinated by the striking originality, animation, and
eloquence of his conversation. Deeply read in all that is illustrious in
the past, every island, every bay, every promontory, every headland
recalled the heroic deeds of antiquity. In pleasant weather Napoleon
passed nearly all the time upon deck, surrounded by a group never weary
of listening to the freshness and the poetic vigor of his remarks. Upon
all subjects he was alike at home, and the most distinguished
philosophers, in their several branches of science, were amazed at the
instinctive comprehensiveness with which every subject seemed to be
familiar to his mind. He was never depressed and never mirthful. A calm
and thoughtful energy inspired every moment. From all the ships the
officers and distinguished men were in turn invited to dine with him. He
displayed wonderful tact in drawing them out in conversation, forming
with unerring skill an estimate of character, and thus preparing himself
for the selection of suitable agents in all the emergencies which were
to be encountered. In nothing was the genius of Napoleon more
conspicuous, than in the lightning-like rapidity with which he detected
any vein of genius in another. Not a moment of time was lost.
Intellectual conversation, or reading or philosophical discussion caused
the hours to fly on swiftest wing. Napoleon always, even in his most
hurried campaigns, took a compact library with him. When driving in his
carriage, from post to post of the army, he improved the moments in
garnering up that knowledge, for the accumulation of which he ever
manifested such an insatiable desire. _Words_ were with him nothing,
_ideas_ every thing. He devoured biography, history, philosophy,
treatises upon political economy and upon all the sciences. His contempt
for works of fiction--the whole class of novels and romances--amounted
almost to indignation. He could never endure to see one reading such a
book or to have such a volume in his presence. Once, when Emperor, in
passing through the saloons of his palace, he found one of the maids of
honor with a novel in her hands. He took it from her, gave her a severe
lecture for wasting her time in such frivolous reading, and cast the
volume into the flames. When he had a few moments for diversion, he not
unfrequently employed them in looking over a book of logarithms, in
which he always found recreation.

At the dinner table some important subject of discussion was ever
proposed. For the small talk and indelicacies which wine engenders
Napoleon had no taste, and his presence alone was sufficient to hold all
such themes in abeyance. He was a young man of but twenty-six years of
age, but his pre-eminence over all the forty-six thousand who composed
that majestic armament was so conspicuous, that no one dreamed of
questioning it. Without annoyance, without haughtiness, he was fully
conscious of his own superiority, and received unembarrassed the marks
of homage which ever surrounded him. The questions for discussion
relating to history, mythology, and science, were always proposed by
Napoleon. "Are the planets inhabited?" "What is the age of the world?"
"Will the earth be destroyed by fire or water?" "What are the
comparative merits of Christianity and Moslemism?" such were some of the
questions which interested the mind of this young general.

From the crowded state of the vessels, and the numbers on board
unaccustomed to nautical manoeuvres, it not unfrequently happened that
some one fell overboard. Though Napoleon could look with perfect
composure upon the carnage of the field of battle, and order movements,
without the tremor of a nerve, which he knew must consign thousands to a
bloody death, when by such an accidental event life was periled, his
sympathies were aroused to the highest degree, and he could not rest
until the person was extricated. He always liberally rewarded those who
displayed unusual courage and zeal in effecting a rescue. One dark night
a noise was heard as of a man falling overboard. The whole ship's
company, consisting of two thousand men, as the cry of alarm spread from
stem to stern, was instantly in commotion. Napoleon immediately ascended
to the deck. The ship was put about; boats were lowered, and, after much
agitation and search, it was discovered that the whole stir was
occasioned by the slipping of a quarter of beef from a noose at the
bulwark. Napoleon ordered that the recompense for signal exertions
should be more liberal than usual. "It might have been a man," he said,
"and the zeal and courage now displayed have not been less than would
have been required in that event."

On the morning of the 16th of June, after a voyage of twenty days, the
white cliffs of Malta, and the magnificent fortifications of that
celebrated island, nearly a thousand miles from Toulon, emerged from the
horizon, glittering with dazzling brilliance in the rays of the rising
sun. By a secret understanding with the Knights of Malta. Napoleon had
prepared the way for the capitulation of the island before leaving
France. The Knights, conscious of their inability to maintain
independence, preferred to be the subjects of France, rather than of any
other power. "I captured Malta," said Napoleon, "while at Mantua." The
reduction, by force, of that almost impregnable fortress, would have
required a long siege, and a vast expenditure of treasure and of life. A
few cannon shot were exchanged, that there might be a slight show of
resistance, when the island was surrendered, and the tri-colored flag
waved proudly over those bastions which, in former years, had bid
defiance, to the whole power of the all-conquering Turk. The generals of
the French army were amazed as they contemplated the grandeur and the
strength of these works, upon which had been expended the science, the
toil, and the wealth of ages. "It is well," said General Caffarelli to
Napoleon, "that there was some one within to open the gates to us. We
should have had more trouble in making our way through, if the place had
been empty." The Knights of Malta, living upon the renown acquired by
their order in by-gone ages, and reveling in luxury and magnificence,
were very willing to receive the gold of Napoleon, and palaces in the
fertile plains of Italy and France, in exchange for turrets and towers,
bastions and ramparts of solid rock. The harbor is one of the most safe
and commodious in the world. It embraced, without the slightest
embarassment, the whole majestic armament, and allowed the magnificent
Orient, to float, with abundance of water, at the quay.

Napoleon immediately devoted his mind, with its accustomed activity, to
securing and organizing the new colony. The innumerable batteries, were
immediately armed, and three thousand men were left in defense of the
place. All the Turkish prisoners, found in the galleys, were set at
liberty, treated with the greatest kindness, and scattered through the
fleet, that their friendship might be won, and that they might exert a
moral influence, in favor of the French, upon the Mohammedan population
of the East. With as much facility as if he had devoted a long life to
the practical duties of a statesman, Napoleon arranged the municipal
system of the island; and having accomplished all this in less than a
week, he again weighed anchor, and directed his course toward Egypt.
Many of the Knights of Malta, followed the victorious general, and with
profound homage, accepted appointments in his army.

The whole French squadron, hourly anticipating collision with the
English fleet, were ever ready for battle. Though Napoleon did not turn
from his great object to seek the English, he felt no apprehension in
view of meeting the enemy. Upon every ship-of-the-line he had put five
hundred picked men, who were daily exercised in working the guns. He had
enjoined upon the whole fleet, that, in case of an encounter, every ship
was to have but one single aim, that of closing immediately with a ship
of the enemy, and boarding her with the utmost desperation. Nelson,
finding that the French had left their harbors, eagerly but unavailingly
searched for them. He was entirely at a loss respecting their
destination, and knew not in what direction to sail. It was not yet
known, even on board the French ships, but to a few individuals, whither
the fleet was bound. Gradually, however, as the vast squadron drew
nearer the African shore, the secret began to transpire. Mirth and
gayety prevailed. All were watching with eagerness, to catch a first
glimpse of the continent of Africa. In the evenings Napoleon assembled,
in the capacious cabins of the Orient, the men of science and general
officers, and then commenced the learned discussions of the Institute of
Egypt. One night, the two fleets were within fifteen miles of each
other; so near that the signal guns of Nelson's squadron, were heard by
the French. The night, however, was dark and foggy, and the two fleets
passed without collision.

On the morning of the 1st of July, after a passage of forty days, the
low and sandy shores of Egypt, about two thousand miles from France,
were discerned extending along the distant horizon, as far as the eye
could reach. As with a gentle breeze they drew nearer the land, the
minarets of Alexandria, the Needle of Cleopatra, and Pompey's Pillar,
rose above the sand hills, exciting, in the minds of the enthusiastic
French, the most romantic dreams of Oriental grandeur. The fleet
approached a bay, at a little distance from the harbor of Alexandria,
and dropped anchor about three miles from the shore. But two days
before, Nelson had visited that very spot, in quest of the French, and,
not finding them there, had sailed for the mouth of the Hellespont. The
evening had now arrived, and the breeze had increased to almost a gale.
Notwithstanding the peril of disembarkation in such a surf, Napoleon
decided that not a moment was to be lost. The landing immediately
commenced, and was continued, with the utmost expedition, through the
whole night. Many boats were swamped, and some lives lost, but,
unintimidated by such disasters, the landing was continued with unabated
zeal. The transfer of the horses from the ships to the shore, presented
a very curious spectacle. They were hoisted out of the ships and lowered
into the sea, with simply a halter about their necks, where they swam in
great numbers around the vessels, not knowing which way to go. Six were
caught by their halters, and towed by a boat toward the shore. The rest,
by instinct followed them. As other horses were lowered into the sea
from all the ships, they joined the column hastening toward the land,
and thus soon there was a dense and wide column of swimming horses,
extending from the ships to the beach. As fast as they reached the shore
they were caught, saddled, and delivered to their riders. Toward morning
the wind abated, and before the blazing sun rose over the sands of the
desert, a proud army of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, was marshaled
upon the dreary waste, awaiting the commands of its general.

In the midst of the disembarkation, a sail appeared in the distant
horizon. It was supposed to be an English ship. "Oh, Fortune!" exclaimed
Napoleon, "dost thou forsake me now? I ask of thee but a short respite."
The strange sail proved to be a French frigate, rejoining the fleet.
While the disembarkation was still going on, Napoleon advanced, with
three thousand men, whom he had hastily formed in battle array upon the
beach, to Alexandria, which was at but a few miles distance, that he
might surprise the place before the Turks had time to prepare for a
defense. No man ever better understood the value of time. His remarkable
saying to the pupils of a school which he once visited, "_My young
friends! every hour of time is a chance of misfortune for future life_,"
formed the rule of his own conduct.

Just before disembarking, Napoleon had issued the following proclamation
to his troops: "Soldiers! You are about to undertake a conquest fraught
with incalculable effects upon the commerce and civilization of the
world. You will inflict upon England the most grievous stroke she can
sustain before receiving her death blow. The people with whom we are
about to live are Mohammedans. Their first article of faith is, There is
but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet. Contradict them not. Treat
them as you have treated the Italians and the Jews. Show the same regard
to their muftis and imaums, as you have shown to the bishops and
rabbins. Manifest for the ceremonies of the Koran, the same respect you
have shown to the convents and the synagogues, to the religion of Moses
and that of Jesus Christ. All religions were protected by the legions of
Rome. You will find here customs greatly at variance with those of
Europe. Accustom yourselves to respect them. Women are not treated here
as with us; but in every country he who violates is a monster. Pillage
enriches only a few, while it dishonors an army, destroys its resources,
and makes enemies of those whom it is the interest of all to attach as
friends."

The first gray of the morning had not yet dawned, when Napoleon, at the
head of his enthusiastic column, marched upon the city, which bore the
name, and which had witnessed the achievements of Alexander. It was his
aim, by the fearlessness and the impetuosity of his first assaults, to
impress the Turks with an idea of the invincibility of the French. The
Mamelukes, hastily collected upon the ramparts of the city, received the
foe with discharges of musketry and artillery, and with shouts of
defiance. The French, aided by their ladders, poured over the walls like
an inundation, sweeping every thing before them. The conflict was short,
and the tricolored flag waved triumphantly over the city of Alexander.
The Turkish prisoners from Malta, who had become fascinated by the
magnificence of Napoleon, as all were fascinated who approached that
extraordinary man, dispersed themselves through the city, and exerted a
powerful influence in securing the friendship of the people for their
invaders. The army, imbibing the politic sentiments of their general,
refrained from all acts of lawless violence, and amazed the enslaved
populace by their justice, mercy, and generosity. The people were
immediately liberated from the most grinding and intolerable despotism;
just and equal laws were established; and Arab and Copt, soon began,
lost in wonder, to speak the praises of Napoleon. He was a strange
conqueror for the East; liberating and blessing, not enslaving and
robbing the vanquished. Their women were respected, their property was
uninjured, their persons protected from violence, and their interests in
every way promoted. A brighter day never dawned upon Egypt than the day
in which Napoleon placed his foot upon her soil. The accomplishment of
his plans, so far as human vision can discern, would have been one of
the greatest of possible blessings to the East. Again Napoleon issued
one of those glowing proclamations which are as characteristic of his
genius as were the battles which he fought:

[Illustration: THE DISEMBARKATION.]

     "People of Egypt! You will be told, by our enemies, that I am come
     to destroy your religion. Believe them not. Tell them that I am
     come to restore your rights, punish your usurpers, and revise the
     true worship of Mohammed. Tell them that I venerate, more than do
     the Mamelukes, God, his prophet, and the Koran. Tell them that all
     men are equal in the sight of God; that wisdom, talents, and virtue
     alone constitute the difference between them. And what are the
     virtues which distinguish the Mamelukes, that entitle them to
     appropriate all the enjoyments of life to themselves? If Egypt is
     their farm, let them show their lease, from God, by which they
     hold it. Is there a fine estate? it belongs to the Mamelukes. Is
     there a beautiful slave, a fine horse, a good house? all belong to
     the Mamelukes. But God is just and merciful, and He hath ordained
     that the empire of the Mamelukes shall come to an end. Thrice happy
     those who shall side with us; they shall prosper in their fortune
     and their rank. Happy they who shall be neutral; they will have
     time to become acquainted with us, and will range themselves upon
     our side. But woe, threefold woe to those who shall arm for the
     Mamelukes and fight against us. For them there will be no hope;
     they shall perish."

"You witlings of Paris," wrote one of the officers of the army, "will
laugh outright, at the Mohammedan proclamation of Napoleon. He, however,
is proof against all your raillery, and the proclamation itself has
produced the most surprising effect. The Arabs, natural enemies of the
Mamelukes, sent us back, as soon as they had read it, thirty of our
people, whom they had made prisoners, with an offer of their services
against the Mamelukes."

It was an interesting peculiarity in the character of Napoleon that he
respected all religions as necessities of the human mind. He never
allowed himself to speak in contemptuous terms even of the grossest
absurdities of religious fanaticism. Christianity was presented to him
only as exhibited by the papal church. He professed the most profound
admiration of the doctrines and the moral precepts of the gospel, and
often expressed the wish that he could be a devout believer. But he
could not receive, as from God, all that Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, and
Priests claimed as divine. In the spiritual power of the Pope he
recognized an agent of tremendous efficiency. As such he sincerely
respected it, treated it with deference, and sought its alliance. He
endeavored to gain control over every influence which could sway the
human heart. So of the Mohammedans; he regarded their religion as an
element of majestic power, and wished to avail himself of it. While the
philosophers and generals around him regarded all forms of religion with
contempt, he, influenced by a far higher philosophy, regarded all with
veneration.

Since the revolution there had been no sort of worship in France. The
idea even of a God had been almost entirely obliterated from the public
mind. The French soldiers were mere animals, with many noble as well as
depraved instincts. At the command of their beloved chieftain, they were
as ready to embrace a religion as to storm a battery. Napoleon was
accused of hypocrisy for pursuing this course in Egypt. "I never," said
he, subsequently, "followed any of the tenets of the Mohammedan
religion. I never prayed in the mosques. I never abstained from wine, or
was circumcised. I said merely that we were friends of the Mussulmans,
and that I respected their prophet; which was true. I respect him now."

Napoleon remained in Alexandria but six days. During this time he
devoted himself with a zeal and energy which elicited universal
admiration, to the organization of equitable laws, the regulations of
police, and the development of the resources of the country. The very
hour of their establishment in the city, artisans, and artists, and
engineers all were busy, and the life and enterprise of the West, were
infused into the sepulchral streets of Alexandria. Preparations were
immediately made for improving the harbor, repairing the fortifications,
erecting mills, establishing manufactories, founding schools, exploring
antiquities, and the government of the country was placed in the hands
of the prominent inhabitants, who were interested to promote the wise
and humane policy of Napoleon. Since that day half a century of
degradation, ignorance, poverty, oppression, and wretchedness has passed
over Egypt. Had Napoleon succeeded in his designs, it is probable that
Egypt would now have been a civilized and a prosperous land, enriched by
the commerce of the East and the West; with villas of elegance and
refinement embellishing the meadows and headlands of the Nile, and
steamers, freighted with the luxuries of all lands, plowing her majestic
waves. The shores of the Red Sea, now so silent and lonely, would have
echoed with the hum of happy industry, and fleets would have been
launched from her forests, and thriving towns and opulent cities would
have sprung up, where the roving Bedouin now meets but desolation and
gloom. It is true that in the mysterious providence of God all these
hopes might have been disappointed. But it is certain that while
Napoleon remained in Egypt the whole country received an impulse unknown
for centuries before; and human wisdom can not devise a better plan than
he proposed, for arousing the enterprise, and stimulating the industry,
and developing the resources of the land.

About thirty of the French troops fell in the attack upon Alexandria.
Napoleon, with his prompt conceptions of the sublime, caused them to be
buried at the foot of Pompey's Pillar, and had their names engraven upon
that monument, whose renown has grown venerable through countless ages.
The whole army assisted at the imposing ceremony of their interment.
Enthusiasm spread through the ranks. The French soldiers, bewildered by
the meteor glare of glory, and deeming their departed comrades now
immortalized, envied their fate. Never did conqueror better understand
than Napoleon what springs to touch, to rouse the latent energies of
human nature.

Leaving three thousand men in Alexandria, under the command of General
Kleber, who had been wounded in the assault, Napoleon set out, with the
rest of his army, to cross the desert to Cairo. The fleet was not in a
place of safety, and Napoleon gave emphatic orders to Admiral Brueys to
remove the ships, immediately after landing the army, from the bay of
Aboukir, where it was anchored, into the harbor of Alexandria; or, if
the large ships could not enter that port, to proceed, without any
delay, to the island of Corfu. The neglect, on the part of the Admiral,
promptly to execute these orders, upon which Napoleon had placed great
stress, led to a disaster which proved fatal to the expedition. Napoleon
dispatched a large flotilla, laden with provisions, artillery,
ammunition, and baggage, to sail along the shore of the Mediterranean to
the western branch of the Nile, called the Rosetta mouth, and ascend the
river to a point where the army, having marched across the desert, would
meet it. The flotilla and the army would then keep company, ascending
the Nile, some fifty miles, to Cairo. The army had a desert of sixty
miles to cross. It was dreary and inhospitable in the extreme. A blazing
sun glared fiercely down upon the glowing sands. Not a tree or a blade
of grass cheered the eye. Not a rivulet trickled across their hot and
sandy path. A few wells of brackish water were scattered along the
trackless course pursued by the caravans, but even these the Arabs had
filled up or poisoned.

[Illustration: THE MARCH THROUGH THE DESERT.]

Early on the morning of the 6th of July the army commenced its march
over the apparently boundless plain of shifting sands. No living
creature met the eye but a few Arab horsemen, who occasionally appeared
and disappeared at the horizon, and who, concealing themselves behind
the sand hills, immediately murdered any stragglers who wandered from
the ranks, or from sickness or exhaustion loitered behind. Four days of
inconceivable suffering were occupied in crossing the desert. The
soldiers, accustomed to the luxuriance, beauty, and abundance of the
valleys of Italy, were plunged into the most abject depression. Even the
officers found their firmness giving way, and Lannes and Murat, in
paroxysms of despair, dashed their hats upon the sand, and trampled them
under foot. Many fell and perished on the long and dreary route. But the
dense columns toiled on, hour after hour, weary, and hungry, and faint,
and thirsty, the hot sun blazing down upon their unsheltered heads, and
the yielding sands burning their blistered feet. At the commencement of
the enterprise Napoleon had promised, to each of his soldiers, seven
acres of land. As they looked around upon this dreary and boundless
ocean of sand, they spoke jocularly of his moderation in promising them
but _seven acres_, "The young rogue," said they, "might have safely
offered us as much as we chose to take. We certainly should not have
abused his good-nature."

Nothing can show more strikingly the singular control which Napoleon had
obtained over his army, than the fact that under these circumstances, no
one murmured against him. He toiled along on foot, at the head of the
column, sharing the fatigue of the most humble soldiers. Like them he
threw himself upon the sands at night, with the sand for his pillow,
and, secreting no luxuries for himself, he ate the coarse beans which
afforded the only food for the army. He was ever the last to fold his
cloak around him for the night, and the first to spring from the ground
in the morning. The soldiers bitterly cursed the government who had sent
them to that land of barrenness and desolation. Seeing the men of
science stopping to examine the antiquities, they accused them of being
the authors of the expedition, and revenged themselves with witticisms.
But no one uttered a word against Napoleon. His presence overawed all.
He seemed to be insensible to hunger, thirst, or fatigue. It was
observed that while all others were drenched with perspiration, not a
drop of moisture oozed from his brow. Through all the hours of this
dreary march, not a word or a gesture escaped him, which indicated the
slightest embarrassment or inquietude. One day he approached a group of
discontented officers, and said to them, in tones of firmness which at
once brought them to their senses, "You are holding mutinous language!
beware! It is not your being six feet high which will save you from
being shot in a couple of hours." In the midst of the desert, when gloom
and despondency had taken possession of all hearts, unbounded joy was
excited by the appearance of a lake of crystal water, but a few miles
before them, with villages and palm trees beautifully reflected in its
clear and glassy depths. The parched and panting troops rushed eagerly
on, to plunge into the delicious waves. Hour after hour passed, and they
approached no nearer the elysium before them. Dreadful was their
disappointment when they found that it was all an illusion, and that
they were pursuing the _mirage_ of the dry and dusty desert. At one time
Napoleon, with one or two of his officers, wandered a little distance
from the main body of his army. A troop of Arab horsemen, concealed by
some sand hills, watched his movements, but for some unknown reason,
when he was entirely in their power, did not harm him. Napoleon soon
perceived his peril, and escaped unmolested. Upon his return to the
troops, peacefully smiling, he said, "It is not written on high, that I
am to perish by the hands of the Arabs."

As the army drew near the Nile the Mameluke horsemen increased in
numbers, and in the frequency and the recklessness of their attacks.
Their appearance and the impetuosity of their onset was most imposing.
Each one was mounted on a fleet Arabian steed, and was armed with
pistol, sabre, carbine, and blunderbuss. The carbine was a short gun
which threw a small bullet with great precision. The blunderbuss was
also a short gun, with a large bore, capable of holding a number of
balls, and of doing execution without exact aim. These fierce warriors
accustomed to the saddle almost from infancy, presented an array
indescribably brilliant, as, with gay turbans, and waving plumes, and
gaudy banners, and gold-spangled robes, in meteoric splendor, with the
swiftness of the wind, they burst from behind the sand hills. Charging
like the rush of a tornado, they rent the air with their hideous yells,
and discharged their carbines, while in full career, and halted,
wheeled, and retreated with a precision and celerity which amazed even
the most accomplished horsemen of the army of Italy. The extended sandy
plains were exactly adapted to the manoeuvres of these flying herds.
The least motion, or the slightest breath of wind, raised a cloud of
dust, blinding, choking, and smothering the French, but apparently
presenting no annoyance either to the Arab rider or to his horse. If a
weary straggler loitered a few steps behind the toiling column, or if
any soldiers ventured to leave the ranks in pursuit of the Mamelukes in
their bold attacks, certain and instant death was encountered. A wild
troop, enveloped in clouds of dust, like spirits from another world,
dashed upon them, cut down the adventurers with their keen Damascus
blades, and disappeared in the desert, almost before a musket could be
leveled at them.

After five days of inconceivable suffering the long-wished-for Nile was
seen, glittering through the sand hills of the desert, and bordered by a
fringe of the richest luxuriance. The scene burst upon the view of the
panting soldiers like a vision of enchantment. Shouts of joy burst from
the ranks. All discipline and order were instantly forgotten. The whole
army of thirty thousand men, with horses and camels rushed forward, a
tumultuous throng, and plunged, in the delirium of excitement, into the
waves. They luxuriated, with indescribable delight, in the cool and
refreshing stream. They rolled over and over in the water, shouting and
frolicking in wild joy. Reckless of consequences, they drank and drank
again, as if they never could be satiated with the delicious beverage.
In the midst of this scene of turbulent and almost frenzied exultation,
a cloud of dust was seen in the distance, the trampling of hoofs was
heard, and a body of nearly a thousand Mameluke horsemen, on fleet
Arabian chargers, came sweeping down upon them, like the rush of the
wind, their sabres flashing in the sunlight, and rending the air with
their hideous yells. The drums beat the alarm; the trumpets sounded, and
the veteran soldiers, drilled to the most perfect mechanical precision,
instantly formed in squares, with the artillery at the angles, to meet
the foe. In a moment the assault, like a tornado, fell upon them. But it
was a tornado striking a rock. Not a line wavered. A palisade of
bristling bayonets met the breasts of the horses, and they recoiled from
the shock. A volcanic burst of fire, from artillery and musketry, rolled
hundreds of steeds and riders together in the dust. The survivors,
wheeling their unchecked chargers, disappeared with the same meteoric
rapidity with which they had approached. The flotilla now appeared in
sight, having arrived at the destined spot at the precise hour
designated by Napoleon. This was not accident. It was the result of that
wonderful power of mind, and extent of information, which had enabled
Napoleon perfectly to understand the difficulties of the two routes, and
to give his orders in such a way, that they could be, and would be
obeyed. It was remarked by Napoleon's generals, that during a week's
residence in Egypt, he acquired apparently as perfect an acquaintance
with the country as if it had been his native land.

The whole moral aspect of the army was now changed, with the change in
the aspect of the country. The versatile troops forgot their sufferings,
and, rejoicing in abundance, danced and sang, beneath the refreshing
shade of sycamore and palm trees. The fields were waving with luxuriant
harvests. Pigeons were abundant. The most delicious watermelons were
brought to the camp in inexhaustible profusion. But the villages were
poor and squalid, and the houses mere hovels of mud. The execrations in
which the soldiers had indulged in the desert, now gave place to jokes
and glee. For seven days they marched resolutely forward along the banks
of the Nile, admiring the fertility of the country, and despising the
poverty and degradation of the inhabitants. They declared that there was
no such place as Cairo, but that the "Little Corporal," had suffered
himself to be transported _like a good boy_, to that miserable land, in
search of a city even more unsubstantial than the mirage of the desert.

On the march Napoleon stopped at the house of an Arab sheik. The
interior presented a revolting scene of squalidness and misery. The
proprietor was however reported to be rich. Napoleon treated the old man
with great kindness and asked, through an interpreter, why he lived in
such utter destitution of all the comforts of life, assuring him that an
unreserved answer should expose him to no inconvenience. He replied,
"some years ago I repaired and furnished my dwelling. Information of
this was carried to Cairo, and having been thus proved to be wealthy, a
large sum of money was demanded from me by the Mamelukes, and the
bastinado was inflicted until I paid it. Look at my feet, which bear
witness to what I endured. From that time I have reduced myself to the
barest necessaries, and no longer seek to repair any thing." The poor
old man was lamed for life, in consequence of the mutilation which his
feet received from the terrible infliction. Such was the tyranny of the
Mamelukes. The Egyptians, in abject slavery to their proud oppressors,
were compelled to surrender their wives, their children, and even their
own persons to the absolute will of the despots who ruled them.

Numerous bands of Mameluke horsemen, the most formidable body of cavalry
in the world, were continually hovering about the army, watching for
points of exposure, and it was necessary to be continually prepared for
an attack. Nothing could have been more effective than the disposition
which Napoleon made of his troops to meet this novel mode of warfare. He
formed his army into five squares. The sides of each square were
composed of ranks six men deep. The artillery were placed at the angles.
Within the square were grenadier companies in platoons to support the
points of attack. The generals, the scientific corps, and the baggage
were in the centre. These squares were moving masses. When on the march
all faced in one direction, the two sides marching in flank. When
charged they immediately halted and fronted on every side; the outermost
rank kneeling that those behind might shoot over their heads--the whole
body thus presenting a living fortress of bristling bayonets. When they
were to carry a position the three front ranks were to detach
themselves from the square and to form a column of attack. The other
three ranks were to remain in the rear, still forming the square, ready
to rally the column. These flaming citadels of fire set at defiance all
the power of the Arab horsemen. The attacks of the enemy soon became a
subject of merriment to the soldiers. The scientific men, or _savans_,
as they were called, had been supplied with asses to transport their
persons and philosophical apparatus. As soon as a body of Mamelukes was
seen in the distance, the order was given, with military precision,
"_form square, savans and asses in the centre_." This order was
echoed, from rank to rank, with peals of laughter. The soldiers amused
themselves with calling the asses _demi-savans_. Though the soldiers
thus enjoyed their jokes, they cherished the highest respect for many of
these savans, who in scenes of battle had manifested the utmost
intrepidity. After a march of seven days, during which time they had
many bloody skirmishes with the enemy, the army approached Cairo.

Mourad Bey had there assembled the greater part of his Mamelukes, nearly
ten thousand in number, for a decisive battle. These proud and powerful
horsemen were supported by twenty-four thousand foot soldiers, strongly
intrenched. Cairo is on the eastern banks of the Nile. Napoleon was
marching along the western shore. On the morning of the 21st of July,
Napoleon, conscious that he was near the city, set his army in motion
before the break of day. Just as the sun was rising in those cloudless
skies, the soldiers beheld the lofty minarets of the city upon their
left, gilded by its rays, and upon the right, upon the borders of the
desert, the gigantic pyramids rising like mountains upon an apparently
boundless plain. The whole army instinctively halted and gazed
awe-stricken upon those monuments of antiquity. The face of Napoleon
beamed with enthusiasm. "Soldiers!" he exclaimed, as he rode along the
ranks; "from those summits forty centuries contemplate your actions."
The ardor of the soldiers was aroused to the highest pitch. Animated by
the clangor of martial bands, and the gleam of flaunting banners, they
advanced with impetuous steps to meet their foes. The whole plain before
them, at the base of the pyramids was filled with armed men. The
glittering weapons of ten thousand horsemen, in the utmost splendor of
barbaric chivalry, brilliant with plumes and arms of burnished steel and
gold, presented an array inconceivably imposing. Undismayed the French
troops, marshaled in five invincible squares, pressed on. There was
apparently no alternative. Napoleon must march upon those intrenchments,
behind which twenty-four thousand men were stationed with powerful
artillery and musketry to sweep his ranks, and a formidable body of ten
thousand horsemen, on fleet and powerful Arabian steeds, awaiting the
onset, and ready to seize upon the slightest indications of confusion to
plunge, with the fury which fatalism can inspire, upon his bleeding and
mangled squares. It must have been with Napoleon a moment of intense
anxiety. But as he sat upon his horse, in the centre of one of the
squares, and carefully examined, with his telescope, the disposition of
the enemy, no one could discern the slightest trace of uneasiness. His
gaze was long and intense. The keenness of his scrutiny detected that
the guns of the enemy were not mounted upon carriages, and that they
could not therefore be turned from the direction in which they were
placed. No other officer, though many of them had equally good glasses,
made this important discovery. He immediately, by a lateral movement,
guided his army to the right, toward the pyramids, that his squares
might be out of the range of the guns, and that he might attack the
enemy in flank. The moment Mourad Bey perceived this evolution, he
divined its object, and with great military sagacity resolved instantly
to charge.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF THE PYRAMIDS.]

"You shall now see us," said the proud Bey, "cut up those dogs, like
gourds."

It was, indeed, a fearful spectacle. Ten thousand horsemen,
magnificently dressed, with the fleetest steeds in the world, urging
their horses with bloody spurs, to the most impetuous and furious onset,
rending the heavens with their cries, and causing the very earth to
tremble beneath the thunder of iron feet, came down upon the adamantine
host. Nothing was ever seen in war more furious than this charge. Ten
thousand horsemen is an enormous mass. Those longest inured to danger
felt that it was an awful moment. It seemed impossible to resist such a
living avalanche. The most profound silence reigned through the ranks,
interrupted only by the word of command. The nerves of excitement being
roused to the utmost tension, every order was executed with most
marvelous rapidity and precision. The soldiers held their breath, and
with bristling bayonets stood, shoulder to shoulder, to receive the
shock.

The moment the Mamelukes arrived within gunshot, the artillery, at the
angles, plowed their ranks, and platoons of musketry, volley after
volley, in a perfectly uninterrupted flow, swept into their faces a
pitiless tempest of destruction. Horses and riders, struck by the balls,
rolled over each other, by hundreds, in the sand, and were trampled and
crushed by the iron hoofs of the thousands of frantic steeds, enveloped
in dust and smoke, composing the vast and impetuous column. But the
squares stood as firm as the pyramids at whose base they fought. Not one
was broken; not one wavered. The daring Mamelukes, in the frenzy of
their rage and disappointment, threw away their lives with the utmost
recklessness. They wheeled their horses round and reined them back upon
the ranks, that they might kick their way into those terrible fortresses
of living men. Rendered furious by their inability to break the ranks,
they hurled their pistols and carbines at the heads of the French. The
wounded crawled along the ground, and with their scimitars, cut at the
legs of their indomitable foes. They displayed superhuman bravery, the
only virtue which the Mamelukes possessed.

But an incessant and merciless fire from Napoleon's well-trained
battalions continually thinned their ranks, and at last the Mamelukes,
in the wildest disorder, broke, and fled. The infantry, in the
intrenched camp, witnessing the utter discomfiture of the mounted
troops, whom they had considered invincible, and seeing such incessant
and volcanic sheets of flame bursting from the impenetrable squares,
caught the panic, and joined the flight. Napoleon now, in his
turn, charged with the utmost impetuosity. A scene of indescribable
confusion and horror ensued. The extended plain was crowded with
fugitives--footmen and horsemen, bewildered with terror, seeking escape
from their terrible foes. Thousands plunged into the river, and
endeavored to escape by swimming to the opposite shore. But a shower of
bullets, like hail stones, fell upon them, and the waves of the Nile
were crimsoned with their blood. Others sought the desert, a wild and
rabble rout. The victors, with their accustomed celerity pursued,
pitilessly pouring into the dense masses of their flying foes the most
terrible discharges of artillery and musketry. The rout was
complete--the carnage awful. The sun had hardly reached the meridian,
before the whole embattled host had disappeared, and the plain as far as
the eye could extend, was strewn with the dying and the dead. The camp,
with all its Oriental wealth, fell into the hands of the victors; and
the soldiers enriched themselves with its profusion of splendid shawls,
magnificent weapons, Arabian horses, and purses filled with gold. The
Mamelukes were accustomed to lavish great wealth in the decorations of
their persons, and to carry with them large sums of money. The gold and
the trappings found upon the body of each Mameluke were worth from
twelve hundred to two thousand dollars. Besides those who were slain
upon the field, more than a thousand of these formidable horsemen were
drowned in the Nile. For many days the soldiers employed themselves in
fishing up the rich booty, and the French camp was filled with all
abundance. This most sanguinary battle cost the French scarcely one
hundred men in killed and wounded. More than ten thousand of the enemy
perished. Napoleon gazed with admiration upon the bravery which these
proud horsemen displayed. "Could I have united the Mameluke horse to the
French infantry," said he, "I should have reckoned myself master of the
world."

After the battle, Napoleon, now the undisputed conqueror of Egypt,
quartered himself for the night in the country palace of Mourad Bey. The
apartments of this voluptuous abode were embellished with all the
appurtenances of Oriental luxury. The officers were struck with surprise
in viewing the multitude of cushions and divans covered with the finest
damasks and silks, and ornamented with golden fringe. Egypt was beggared
to minister to the sensual indulgence of these haughty despots. Much of
the night was passed in exploring this singular mansion. The garden was
extensive and magnificent in the extreme. Innumerable vines were laden
with the richest grapes. The vintage was soon gathered by the thousands
of soldiers who filled the alleys and loitered in the arbors. Pots of
preserves, of confectionery, and of sweetmeats of every kind, were
quickly devoured by an army of mouths. The thousands of little
elegancies which Europe, Asia, and Africa had contributed to minister to
the voluptuous splendors of the regal mansion, were speedily transferred
to the knapsacks of the soldiers.

The "Battle of the Pyramids," as Napoleon characteristically designated
it, sent a thrill of terror, far and wide, into the interior of Asia and
Africa. These proud, merciless, licentious oppressors were execrated by
the timid Egyptians, but they were deemed invincible. In an hour they
had vanished, like the mist, before the genius of Napoleon.

The caravans which came to Cairo, circulated through the vast regions of
the interior, with all the embellishments of Oriental exaggeration, most
glowing accounts of the destruction of these terrible squadrons, which
had so long tyrannized over Egypt, and the fame of whose military
prowess had caused the most distant tribes to tremble. The name of
Napoleon became suddenly as renowned in Asia and in Africa as it had
previously become in Europe. But twenty-one days had elapsed since he
placed his foot upon the sands at Alexandria, and now he was sovereign
of Egypt. The Egyptians also welcomed him as a friend and a liberator.
The sheets of flame, which incessantly burst from the French ranks, so
deeply impressed their imaginations, that they gave to Napoleon the
Oriental appellation of Sultan Kebir, or King of Fire.

The wives of the Mamelukes had all remained in Cairo. Napoleon treated
them with the utmost consideration. He sent Eugene to the wife of
Mourad Bey, to assure her of his protection. He preserved all her
property for her, and granted her several requests which she made to
him. Thus he endeavored, as far as possible, to mitigate the inevitable
sufferings of war. The lady was so grateful for these attentions that
she entertained Eugene with all possible honors, and presented him, upon
his departure, with a valuable diamond ring.

Cairo contained three hundred thousand inhabitants. Its population was
brutal and ferocious in the extreme. The capital was in a state of
terrible agitation, for the path of Oriental conquerors is ever marked
with brutality, flames, and blood. Napoleon immediately dispatched a
detachment of his army into the city to restore tranquillity, and to
protect persons and property from the fury of the populace. The next day
but one, with great pomp and splendor, at the head of his victorious
army, he entered Cairo, and took possession of the palace of Mourad Bey.
With the most extraordinary intelligence and activity he immediately
consecrated all his energies to promote the highest interest of the
country he had conquered. Nothing escaped his observation. He directed
his attention to the mosques, the harems, the condition of the women,
the civil and religious institutions, the state of agriculture, the
arts, and sciences--to every thing which could influence the elevation
and prosperity of the country. He visited the most influential of the
Arab inhabitants, assured them of his friendship, of his respect for
their religion, of his determination to protect their rights, and of his
earnest desire to restore to Egypt its pristine glory. He disclaimed all
sovereignty over Egypt, but organized a government to be administered by
the people themselves. He succeeded perfectly in winning their
confidence and admiration. He immediately established a congress,
composed of the most distinguished citizens of Cairo, for the creation
of laws and the administration of justice, and established similar
assemblies in all the provinces, which were to send deputies to the
general congress at Cairo. He organized the celebrated Institute of
Egypt, to diffuse among the people the light and the sciences of Europe.
Some of the members were employed in making an accurate description and
a perfect map of Egypt; others were to study the productions of the
country, that its resources might be energetically and economically
developed; others were to explore the ruins, thus to shed new light upon
history; others were to study the social condition of the inhabitants,
and proper plans for the promotion of their welfare, by the means of
manufactures, canals, roads, mills, works upon the Nile, and
improvements in agriculture. Among the various questions proposed to the
Institute by Napoleon, the following may be mentioned as illustrative of
his enlarged designs: Ascertain the best construction for wind and water
mills; find a substitute for the hop, which does not grow in Egypt, for
the making of beer; select sites adapted to the cultivation of the vine;
seek the best means of procuring water for the citadel of Cairo; select
spots for wells in different parts of the desert; inquire into the means
of clarifying and cooling the waters of the Nile; devise some useful
application of the rubbish with which the city of Cairo, and all the
ancient towns of Egypt, are encumbered; find materials for the
manufacture of gunpowder. It is almost incredible that the Egyptians
were not acquainted with windmills, wheelbarrows, or even handsaws,
until they were introduced by Napoleon. Engineers, draughtsmen, and men
of science immediately dispersed themselves throughout all the provinces
of Egypt. Flour, as fine as could be obtained in Paris, was ground in
mills at Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta, and Cairo. By the erection of
public ovens, bread became abundant. Hospitals were established, with a
bed for each patient. Saltpetre and gunpowder-mills were erected. A
foundry was constructed with reverberating furnaces. Large shops were
built for locksmiths, armorers, joiners, cartwrights, carpenters, and
rope-makers. Silver goblets and services of plate were manufactured. A
French and Arabic printing-press was set at work. Inconceivable activity
was infused into every branch of industry. The genius of Napoleon, never
weary, inspired all and guided all. It was indeed a bright day which,
after centuries of inaction and gloom, had thus suddenly dawned upon
Egypt. The route was surveyed, and the expense estimated, of two
ship-canals, one connecting the waters of the Red Sea with the Nile at
Cairo; the other uniting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean across the
Isthmus of Suez. Five millions of dollars and two years of labor would
have executed both of these magnificent enterprises, and would have
caused a new era to have dawned upon three continents. It is impossible
not to deplore those events which have thus consigned anew these fertile
regions to beggary and to barbarism. The accomplishment of these
majestic plans might have transferred to the Nile and the Euphrates
those energies now so transplendent upon the banks of the Mississippi
and the Ohio. "It is incredible," says Talleyrand, "how much Napoleon
was able to achieve. He could effect more than any man, yes, more than
any four men whom I have ever known. His genius was inconceivable.
Nothing could exceed his energy, his imagination, his spirit, his
capacity for work, his ease of accomplishment. He was clearly the most
extraordinary man that I ever saw, and I believe the most extraordinary
man that has lived in our age, or for many ages." All the energies of
Napoleon's soul were engrossed by these enterprises of grandeur and
utility. Dissipation could present no aspect to allure him. "I have no
passion," said he, "for women or gaming. I am entirely a political
being."

The Arabs were lost in astonishment that a conqueror, who wielded the
thunderbolt, could be so disinterested and merciful. Such generosity and
self-denial was never before heard of in the East. They could in no way
account for it. Their females were protected from insult; their persons
and property were saved. Thirty thousand Europeans were toiling for the
comfort and improvement of the Egyptians. They called Napoleon the
worthy son of the prophet, the favorite of Allah. They even introduced
his praises into their Litany, and chanted in the mosques, "Who is he
that hath saved the favorite of Victory from the dangers of the sea, and
from the rage of his enemies? Who is he that hath led the brave men of
the West, safe and unharmed to the banks of the Nile! It is Allah! the
great Allah! The Mamelukes put their trust in horses; they draw forth
their infantry in battle array. But the favorite of Victory hath
destroyed the footmen and the horsemen of the Mamelukes. As the vapors
which rise in the morning are scattered by the rays of the sun, so hath
the army of the Mamelukes been scattered by the brave men of the West.
For the brave men of the West are as the apple of the eye to the great
Allah."

Napoleon, to ingratiate himself with the people, and to become better
acquainted with their character, attended their religious worship, and
all their national festivals. Though he left the administration of
justice in the hands of the sheiks, he enjoined and enforced scrupulous
impartiality in their decisions. The robbers of the desert, who for
centuries had devastated the frontiers with impunity, he repulsed with a
vigorous hand, and under his energetic sway life and property became as
safe in Egypt as in England or in France. The French soldiers became
very popular with the native Egyptians, and might be seen in the houses,
socially smoking their pipes with the inhabitants, assisting them in
their domestic labors, and playing with their children.

One day Napoleon, in his palace, was giving audience to a numerous
assemblage of sheiks and other distinguished men. Information was
brought to him that some robbers from the desert had slain a poor
friendless peasant, and carried off his flocks. "Take three hundred
horsemen and two hundred camels," said Napoleon, immediately, to an
officer of his staff, "and pursue these robbers until they are captured,
and the outrage is avenged." "Was the poor wretch your cousin,"
exclaimed one of the sheiks, contemptuously, "that you are in such a
rage at his death?" "He was more," Napoleon replied, sublimely, "he was
one whose safety Providence had intrusted to my care." "Wonderful!"
rejoined the sheik, "you speak like one inspired of the Almighty." More
than one assassin was dispatched by the Turkish authorities to murder
Napoleon. But the Egyptians with filial love, watched over him, gave him
timely notice of the design, and effectually aided him in defeating it.

In the midst of this extraordinary prosperity, a reverse, sudden,
terrible, and irreparable, befell the French army. Admiral Brueys,
devotedly attached to Napoleon, and anxious to ascertain that he had
obtained a foothold in the country before leaving him to his fate,
delayed withdrawing his fleet, as Napoleon had expressly enjoined, from
the Bay of Aboukir, to place it in a position of safety. The second day
after entering Cairo, Napoleon received dispatches from Admiral Brueys
by which he learned that the squadron was in the bay of Aboukir, exposed
to the attacks of the enemy. He was amazed at the intelligence, and
immediately dispatched a messenger, to proceed with the utmost haste,
and inform the admiral of his great disapprobation, and to warn him to
take the fleet, without an hour's delay, either into the harbor of
Alexandria, where it would be safe, or to make for Corfu. The messenger
was assassinated on the way by a party of Arabs. He could not, however,
have reached Aboukir before the destruction of the fleet. In the mean
time, Lord Nelson learned that the French had landed at Egypt. He
immediately turned in that direction to seek their squadron. At six
o'clock in the evening of the first of August, but ten days after the
battle of the Pyramids, the British fleet majestically entered the bay
of Aboukir, and closed upon their victims. The French squadron
consisting of thirteen ships of the line and four frigates, was anchored
in a semi-circle, in a line corresponding with the curve of the shore.
The plan of attack, adopted by Nelson, possessed the simplicity and
originality of genius, and from the first moment victory was almost
certain. As soon as Nelson perceived the situation of the French fleet,
he resolved to double with his whole force on half of that of his enemy,
pursuing the same system of tactics by sea which Napoleon had found so
successful on the land. He ordered his fleet to take its station half on
the outer, and half on the inner side of one end of the French line.
Thus each French ship was placed between the fire of two of those of the
English. The remainder of the French fleet being at anchor to the
windward could not easily advance to the relief of their doomed friends.
Admiral Brueys supposed that he was anchored so near the shore that the
English could not pass inside of his line. But Nelson promptly decided
that where there was room for the enemy to swing, there must be room for
his ships to float. "If we succeed what will the world say," exclaimed
one of Nelson's captains, with transport, as he was made acquainted with
the plan of attack. "There is no if in the case," Nelson replied, "that
we shall succeed is certain. Who may live to tell the story is a very
different question."

The French fought with the energies of despair. For fifteen hours the
unequal contest lasted. Dark night came on. The Bay of Aboukir resembled
one wide flaming volcano, enveloped in the densest folds of sulphureous
smoke. The ocean never witnessed a conflict more sanguinary and
dreadful. About eleven o'clock the Orient took fire. The smoke, from the
enormous burning mass, ascended like an immense black balloon, when
suddenly the flames, flashing through them, illumined the whole horizon
with awful brilliance. At length its magazine, containing hundreds of
barrels of gunpowder, blew up, with an explosion so tremendous as to
shake every ship to its centre. So awfully did this explosion rise
above the incessant roar of the battle, that simultaneously on both
sides, the firing ceased, and a silence, as of the grave, ensued. But
immediately the murderous conflict was resumed. Death and destruction,
in the midst of the congenial gloom of night, held high carnival in the
bay. Thousands of Arabs lined the shore, gazing with astonishment and
terror upon the awful spectacle. For fifteen hours that dreadful
conflict continued, through the night and during the morning, and until
high noon of the ensuing day, when the firing gradually ceased, for the
French fleet was destroyed. Four ships only escaped, and sailed for
Malta. The English ships were too much shattered to attempt to pursue
the fugitives.

Admiral Brueys was wounded early in the action. He would not leave the
quarter-deck. "An admiral," said he, "should die giving orders." A
cannon ball struck him, and but the fragments of his body could be
found. Nelson was also severely wounded on the head. When carried to the
cockpit, drenched in blood, he nobly refused, though in imminent danger
of bleeding to death, to have his wounds dressed, till the wounded
seamen, who were brought in before him, were attended to. "I will take
my turn with my brave fellows," said he. Fully believing that his wound
was mortal, he called for the chaplain, and requested him to deliver his
dying remembrance to Lady Nelson. When the surgeon came, in due time, to
inspect his wound, it was found that the wound was only superficial.

All of the transports and small craft which had conveyed Napoleon's army
to Egypt, were in the harbor of Alexandria, safe from attack, as Nelson
had no frigates with which to cross the bar. For leagues the shore was
strewn with fragments of the wreck, and with the mangled bodies of the
dead. The bay was also filled with floating corpses, notwithstanding the
utmost efforts to sink them. The majestic armament which but four weeks
before had sailed from Toulon, was thus utterly overthrown. The loss of
the English was but about one thousand. Of the French five thousand
perished, and three thousand were made prisoners. As soon as the
conquest was completed, Nelson made signal for the crew, in every ship,
to be assembled for prayers. The stillness of the Sabbath instantly
pervaded the whole squadron, while thanksgivings were offered to God for
the signal victory. So strange is the heart of man. England was
desolating the whole civilized world with war, to compel the French
people to renounce republicanism and establish a monarchy. And in the
bloody hour when the Bay of Aboukir was covered with the thousands of
the mutilated dead, whom her strong arm had destroyed, she, with
unquestioned sincerity, offered to God the tribute of thanksgiving and
praise. And from the churches and the firesides of England, tens of
thousands of pious hearts breathed the fervent prayer of gratitude to
God for the great victory of Aboukir.

Such was the famous _Battle of the Nile_, as it has since been called.
It was a signal conquest. It was a magnificent triumph of British arms.
But a victory apparently more fatal to the great interests of humanity
was perhaps never gained. It was the death-blow to reviving Egypt. It
extinguished in midnight gloom the light of civilization and science,
which had just been enkindled on those dreary shores. Merciless
oppression again tightened its iron grasp upon Asia and Africa, and
already, as the consequence, has another half century of crime, cruelty
and outrage, blighted that doomed land.

Napoleon at once saw that all his hopes were blasted. The blow was
utterly irreparable. He was cut off from Europe. He could receive no
supplies. He could not return. Egypt was his prison. Yet he received the
news of this terrible disaster, with the most imperturbable equanimity.
Not a word or a gesture escaped him, which indicated the slightest
discouragement. With unabated zeal he pursued his plans, and soon
succeeded in causing the soldiers to forget the disaster. He wrote to
Kleber, "We must die in this country or get out of it as great as the
ancients. This will oblige us to do greater things than we intended. We
must hold ourselves in readiness. We will at least bequeath to Egypt an
heritage of greatness." "Yes!" Kleber replied, "we must do great things.
I am preparing my faculties."

The exultation among the crowned heads in Europe in view of this great
monarchical victory was unbounded. England immediately created Nelson
Baron of the Nile, and conferred a pension of ten thousand dollars a
year, to be continued to his two immediate successors. The Grand
Signior, the Emperor of Russia, the King of Sardinia, the King of
Naples, and the East India Company made him magnificent presents.
Despotism upon the Continent, which had received such heavy blows from
Napoleon, began to rejoice and to revive. The newly emancipated people,
struggling into the life of liberty, were disheartened. Exultant England
formed new combinations of banded kings, to replace the Bourbons on
their throne, and to crush the spirit of popular liberty and equality,
which had obtained such a foothold in France. All monarchical Europe
rejoiced. All republican Europe mourned.

The day of Aboukir was indeed a disastrous day to France. Napoleon with
his intimate friends did not conceal his conviction of the magnitude of
the calamity. He appeared occasionally, for a moment, lost in painful
reverie, and was heard two or three times to exclaim, in indescribable
tones of emotion, "Unfortunate Brueys, what have you done." But hardly
an hour elapsed after he had received the dreadful tidings, ere he
entirely recovered his accustomed fortitude, and presence of mind, and
he soon succeeded in allaying the despair of the soldiers. He saw, at a
glance, all the consequences of this irreparable loss. And it speaks
well for his heart that in the midst of a disappointment so terrible,
he could have forgotten his own grief in writing a letter of condolence
to the widow of his friend. A heartless man could never have penned so
touching an epistle as the following addressed to Madame Brueys, the
widow of the man who had been unintentionally the cause of apparently
the greatest calamity which could have befallen him.

"Your husband has been killed by a cannon ball, while combating on his
quarter deck. He died without suffering--the death the most easy and the
most envied by the brave. I feel warmly for your grief. The moment which
separates us from the object which we love is terrible; we feel isolated
on the earth; we almost experience the convulsions of the last agony;
the faculties of the soul are annihilated; its connection with the earth
is preserved only through the medium of a painful dream, which disturbs
every thing. We feel, in such a situation, that there is nothing which
yet binds us to life; that it were far better to die. But when, after
such just and unavoidable throes, we press our children to our hearts,
tears and more tender sentiments arise, and life becomes bearable for
their sakes. Yes, Madame! they will open the fountains of your heart.
You will watch their childhood, educate their youth. You will speak to
them of their father, of your present grief, and of the loss which they
and the Republic have sustained in his death. After having resumed the
interests in life by the chord of maternal love, you will perhaps feel
some consolation from the friendship and warm interest which I shall
ever take in the widow of my friend."

[Illustration]

The French soldiers with the versatility of disposition which has ever
characterized the light-hearted nation, finding all possibility of a
return to France cut off, soon regained their accustomed gayety, and
with zeal engaged in all the plans of Napoleon, for the improvement of
the country, which it now appeared that, for many years, must be their
home.



THE GERMAN EMIGRANTS--A SKETCH OF LIFE.

BY JOHN DOGGETT, JUN.


A few years ago, while wandering a stranger along the quay at Albany, my
attention was attracted to a crowd composed for the most part of persons
about to depart by a canal-packet for Buffalo. The scene was to me one
of some interest, as a number of Germans of the better class were among
the passengers. One was a beautiful girl apparently of about the age of
eighteen, arrayed in the simple, unaffected garb of her country, but
whose intellectual features, black and lustrous hair, tall and elegant
figure, and somewhat melancholy cast of countenance, rendered her an
object of interest, perhaps, I may say of admiration, to the bystanders.
I noticed the sweet, sad smile which occasionally enlivened her
countenance as fondly holding the hand of her companion in her own, she
spoke to him in a tone and with a frankness of manner, that betrayed a
deep and abiding interest in his welfare. I was informed that this young
man was her only brother, who had been for some months employed in a
manufacturing establishment in Albany; that his sister, however, had but
recently arrived in the country, and, accompanied by her uncle, was now
about to depart on a pilgrimage to the distant West.

Feeling an interest--why I know not--in this brother and sister, and
perceiving they were of a better class than ordinarily emigrate to
America, I was not surprised to learn that they had been educated with
all the care and tenderness wealthy parents could bestow; that their
father, who for many years had been engaged in extensive commercial
pursuits in Bremen, died from grief and despair at the sudden
prostration of his credit and loss of fortune, his widow soon after
following him to the grave.

A few months previous to the time alluded to, the sister was the
affianced bride of an amiable, enterprising young man, the partner of
her father in business. At that period her ideal world was doubtless one
of beauty and of innocence, the acme, perhaps, of earthly peace and
happiness; for within it was a fountain of pure and mutual love, ever
full and ever flowing. No worldly care disturbed her tranquil bosom--her
every wish was gratified; no cloud obscured the brightness of her
sky--it was pure, serene, and beautiful. How uncertain are earthly
hopes! How vain are human expectations! In a moment, as it were, all
with her had changed. Grief had taken possession of her heart, bitter
tears had succeeded to innocent smiles, and her hopes of domestic bliss
were blasted, perhaps never again to bud or bloom. She was miserably
unhappy, the innocent victim of a disappointment, heart-rending indeed
and by her never to be forgotten.

On the decline of her father's fortune and that also of Edward
Nordheimer (for that was the name of her lover), the latter suddenly
became intemperate. Thinking, as many wiser and older than himself had
thought, to drown the recollection of bankruptcy and the disappointment
of worldly hope in the giddy bowl, he seized the intoxicating draught
with an infatuated zeal. He heeded not the timid admonitions of love, or
the kind entreaties of friends; but reckless alike of the consequences
of his dreadful habit to himself and others, was hurrying to inevitable
ruin, making no effort to stem the wild, the eddying stream that
controlled him, and within the vortex of which he was soon, alas! to be
forever lost.

Like many others, he had been taught by the example of his elders,
perhaps, by the daily habits of his parents, the unwise and dangerous
idea that discourtesy consisteth not in partaking but in _refusing_ the
proffered glass; hence, what was in youth a fashionable indulgence--a
mere pastime--had become in his manhood a settled, desperate vice. Every
principle, every ambition, of which apparently the exercise had gained
him the respect, confidence, best wishes of his fellow-men, no longer
controlled him. Once an industrious, careful, esteemed young merchant,
he was now a reckless, abandoned inebriate. All his energies were
apparently paralyzed. The pangs of remorse (for reflections on his
course would sometimes flit with the rapidity of shadows across his
mind) were drowned in deep and frequent potations; his features were
bloated, his eyes were bloodshot, his limbs shook. So changed was he
that few could realize in him the man who so recently in conscious
manliness of character, had held high his head on the Exchange, and
operated so extensively in the marts of Bremen.

Love was regarded by him, if regarded at all, as an idle creation of the
brain; and whether from such an opinion of the tender passion, a
consciousness of his own unworthiness of being loved, or, from a feeling
of shame to meet the pure and lovely being to whom he had paid his
addresses; yet, he had forsaken her--her, recently his polar star--the
object of his thoughts by day and of his dreams by night! Yes, he had
forsaken her, and taken a dreary, debauched abode with those who go down
to the grave, unwept, unhonored, and unlamented.

Brief, indeed, was the earthly career of Edward Nordheimer. His youthful
habit of enjoying an occasional glass, had led him gradually,
imperceptibly, perhaps, but surely to the verge of the grave!

How dreadful must thy summons be, oh! Death, to such an one! to any one,
indeed, who, regardless of the great and wise purposes for which he was
created, has passed his days and nights in drunkenness and debauchery;
who, having fallen from his high estate--disappointed his own hopes of
usefulness, respectability, and honor among men; having frustrated the
fond, ardent hopes of parents, the wishes of troops of friends, finds
himself at last on a drunkard's death-bed, with the awful consciousness
of having laughed to scorn the responsibilities resting on his immortal
soul!

I need not attempt to describe the effect (for who can portray the
extreme bitterness of the human heart?) which the melancholy,
soul-harrowing change in Edward, produced on the mind of his lady-love,
or expose to the curious gaze, the broken fountains of her soul. Aware
as she was, however, that all efforts had failed to reclaim the idol of
her bosom, it would be difficult to tell if she more mourned his exit
from the earth than his departure from that course which leads to
happiness and peace. But he was gone, and forever. The eyes, that once
looked so fondly on her, were closed in their last sleep; the tongue
that had so oft and so truly pronounced the soft, musical accents of
love, was a noiseless instrument, and that voice, the very whisperings
of which had sent such a thrill of joy to her once happy heart, was now
forever hushed. The cold embrace of death was around him, and the places
which once knew him were to know him no more.

The unfortunate, broken-hearted maiden, became regardless of every
attraction of society--every attention of friends--for hers was a
sorrow, calm, indeed, but deep and abiding withal--a disappointment as
well as a grief, of that peculiarly delicate nature, for which there is
no earthly consolation. She felt that the world had lost its interest,
its attraction, its delight: her Edward was no more. Her uncle noticed
with deep solicitude the change wrought in her by the utter wreck and
sudden dispersion of all her hopes of happiness, and with this
sympathizing relative she readily consented to seek, on the distant
shores of America, that peace of mind compared with which thrones and
empires and principalities and powers are but vanity and dust.

Her feelings, on leaving her native Germany, may be inferred from the
circumstances already related. They were those peculiar to all, who for
the first time depart from their own country, who for the first time bid
their native land good-night, who for the first time bid an adieu,
perhaps final, to the green fields, the pure skies, the sunny and
endeared spots around the home of infancy and love. Others know not how
oft, how tenderly they are remembered, or how strongly the affections
cling to them, when a wide waste of ocean rolls between our "ain dear
home" and us. If we have left it in prosperity to visit the grand and
beautiful in nature, in other lands, or, reluctantly departed from it in
adversity, with the hope of improving our fortunes, in either case, the
mind ever yearns for the spot where every object, tree, flower, rock,
and shrub is associated with our earliest, our happiest days, where
every breeze is fragrant and refreshing as the breath of Araby.

With these sympathies for a then distant home, I entered fully into the
situation, the feelings, and affections of the brother and sister before
me and watched with deep interest, their every look and movement.
Presently a boatman sounded the signal of departure, then a long and
hearty embrace, a fond and mutual kiss was exchanged, and the
interesting couple parted. The packet was soon seen moving slowly up the
basin, and on the deck, gazing at her brother, stood the beautiful
sister, playing, meanwhile, on her guitar, and singing the air "Home."
With what sweetness and feeling did she warble that music! How
expressive those silent tokens of sorrow which then bedewed her fair,
pale cheek!

The bright, beautiful sun of an autumnal day was sinking in the west,
and when its golden, lingering rays no longer tinged objects living or
inanimate, neither the guitar nor the sweet voice of the German maiden
was heard, nor were her features visible.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have often asked myself, is that sister now happy? Has she recovered
her wonted cheerfulness? Has she forgotten Edward Nordheimer? Is she
married? Is she living? Alas! perhaps, in seeking an asylum in the far
wilds of the West, she has measured out her own span upon earth, fallen,
as many before have fallen, a victim to some disease peculiar to a new,
uncultivated country.

Since the time alluded to, I have often seen in my mind's eye, the
intellectual, beautiful face, and the graceful figure of that sister. I
have seen her as she stood on the deck of the little packet gazing with
tearful eyes at her lonely brother, and as I recalled the trials and
sorrows through which she had passed, have fancied I heard her
melancholy voice again warbling the same plaintive air which caused my
heart to sink within me when I really heard it. Yes, she often rises in
memory, and ever with a strong, a sad impression of the pang which rent
her heart, as her own native Bremen faded forever from her sight!
Bremen! the scene of all her joys, of all her woes! Of her first--only
love! The burial-place of her parents! Bremen! within whose precincts
lie also entombed the cold and perishing remains of Edward Nordheimer!
of him whom she had so truly loved, and who in other, happier days, as
fondly loved her.



CONSPIRACY OF THE CLOCKS.


When Cardinal Montalto assumed the tiara under the title of Sixtus V.,
he speedily threw off the disguise which had enveloped his former life,
smoothed the wrinkles from his now proud forehead, raised his piercing
eyes--heretofore cautiously vailed by their downcast lids--and made the
astounded conclave know that in place of a docile instrument they had
elected an inflexible master. Many glaring abuses existed in Rome, and
these the new pope determined to reform. It was the custom for the
nobles, whether foreigners or natives, to be escorted whenever they went
out by a numerous body of pages, valets, soldiers, and followers of all
kinds, armed, like their masters, to the teeth. Sometimes a noble's
"following" resembled an army rather than an escort; and it frequently
happened that when two such parties met in a narrow street, a violent
struggle for precedence would take place, and blood be freely shed by
those who had had no previous cause of quarrel. Hence came the warlike
meaning--which it still retains--of the word _rencontre_. Sixtus V.
resolved to put down this practice, and seized the opportunity of an
unusually fierce combat taking place on Easter-day within the very
precincts of St. Peter's.

Next morning an official notice was posted on the city walls,
prohibiting every noble without exception from being followed by more
than twenty attendants. Every one also, of whatever degree, who should
himself carry, or cause his people to carry any sort of fire-arms
(pocket-pistols being especially mentioned), should thereby incur the
penalty of death. At this notice Pasquin jested, and the nobles laughed,
but no one dared to indulge in bravado, until the following incident
occurred.

Just after the promulgation of the pope's orders, Ranuccio Farnese, the
only son of the Duke of Parma, arrived in Rome. His first care was to
wait on the new pontiff; and being presented by his uncle, Cardinal
Farnese, the young prince met the reception due to his rank and to his
merit. Already his talents and courage gave promise of his becoming a
worthy successor to his father; and the Roman nobles vied with each
other in doing honor to the heir of one of the richest duchies in the
peninsula. On the evening after his arrival he was invited by Prince
Cesarini to a magnificent banquet. Wine flowed freely, and the night
waxed late, when the gay guests began to discuss the recent edict of his
holiness. Several wild young spirits, and among them Ranuccio, declared
themselves ready to brave it openly. Next morning, however, when sobered
by sleep, they all, with one exception, judged it expedient to forget
their bravado. Ranuccio alone felt a strong desire to try conclusions
with the pope. Although a feudatory of the Holy See, he was not a Roman,
and he was a prince. Sixtus V. would probably think twice before
touching a head that was almost crowned. Besides, youths of twenty love
adventure, and it is not every day that one can enjoy the pleasure of
putting a pope in a dilemma. Ranuccio, in short, went to the Vatican and
asked an audience of his holiness. It was immediately granted, and the
prince, after having, according to the custom, knelt three times,
managed adroitly to let fall at the very feet of Sixtus a pair of
pistols loaded to the muzzle.

Such audacity could not go unpunished. Without a moment's hesitation the
pope summoned his guards, and ordered them to arrest and convey to Fort
St. Angelo the son of the Duke of Parma, who had just condemned himself
to death. War might be declared on the morrow; an outraged father might
come, sword in hand, to demand the life and liberty of his son. What
cared Sixtus? He was resolved to restore but a corpse.

The news spread quickly: so much audacity on one side and so much
firmness on the other seemed almost incredible. Cardinal Farnese
hastened to the Vatican, and, falling at the feet of the pope, with
tears in his eyes pleaded his nephew's cause. He spoke of the youth of
the culprit and the loyalty of his father, who was then in Flanders
fighting the battles of the Holy See. Ranuccio had been but two days in
Rome--might he not fairly be supposed ignorant of the new enactment?
Then he belonged to a powerful house, which it might not be prudent for
even his holiness to offend; and, finally, he was closely related by
blood to the late pope, Paul III.

The holy father's reply was cruelly decisive. "The law," he said, "makes
no distinction: a criminal is a criminal, and nothing more. The
vicegerent of God on earth, my justice, like His, must be impartial; nor
dare I exercise clemency, which would be nothing but weakness."

The cardinal bent his head and retired.

Besieged incessantly by fresh supplications from various influential
quarters, the pope sent for Monsignor Angeli, the governor of Fort St.
Angelo. To him he gave imperative orders, that precisely at twenty-four
o'clock[2] that evening his illustrious prisoner's head should be struck
off.

    [2] In Italy the hours are reckoned from 1 to 24, commencing at
    sunset.

The governor returned to the castle, and signified to Ranuccio that he
had but two hours to live. The young man laughed in his face, and began
to eat his supper. He could not bring himself to believe that he, the
heir-apparent of the Duke of Parma, could be seriously menaced with
death by an obscure monk, whose only title to the pontificate seemed to
have been his age and decrepitude. Yet speedily the threat seemed to him
less worthy of derision, when he saw from his window a scaffold, bearing
a hatchet and a block, in process of erection. But who can describe his
dismay when his room was entered by a monk, who came to administer the
last rites of the church, followed by the executioner, asking for his
last orders!

Meantime Cardinal Farnese was not idle. He consulted with his friend,
Count Olivarès, embassador from the court of Spain, and they resolved to
attempt to obtain by stratagem what had been refused to their prayers.
Two precious hours remained.

"Our only plan," said the cardinal, "is to stop the striking of all the
public clocks in Rome! Meantime do you occupy Angeli's attention."

His eminence possessed great influence in the city, and, moreover, the
control of the public clocks belonged to his prerogative. At the
appointed hour, as if by magic, time changed his noisy course into a
silent flight. Two clocks, those of St. Peter and St. Angelo, were put
back twenty minutes. Their proximity to the prison required this change,
and the cardinal's authority secured the inviolable secrecy of every one
concerned in the plot.

The execution was to be private; but Olivarès, in his quality of
embassador, was permitted to remain with the governor. A single glance
assured him that the clock was going right--that is to say, that it was
quite wrong. Already the inner court was filled with soldiers under
arms, and monks chanting the solemn "Dies Iræ." Every thing was prepared
save the victim. Olivarès was with Angeli, and a scene commenced at once
terrible and burlesque. The embassador, in order to gain time, began to
converse on every imaginable subject, but the governor would not listen.

"My orders," he said, "are imperative. At the first stroke of the clock
all will be over."

"But the pope may change his mind." Without replying, the terrible
Angeli walked impatiently up and down the room, watching for the
striking of his clock. He called: a soldier appeared. "Is all prepared?"
All was prepared: the attendants, like their master, were only waiting
for the hour.

"'Tis strange," muttered the governor. "I should have thought--"

"At least," interposed Olivarès, "if you will not delay, do not
anticipate." And monsignor resumed his hasty walk between the door and
window, listening for the fatal sound which the faithful tongue of the
clock still refused to utter.

Despite of the delay, however, the fatal hour approached. Ten minutes
more, and Ranuccio's fate would be sealed.

Meanwhile the cardinal repaired to the pope. As he entered, Sixtus drew
out his watch, and his eyes sparkled with revengeful joy. On the
testimony of that unerring time-piece Ranuccio was already executed.

"What seek you?" asked his holiness.

"The body of my nephew, that I may convey it to Parma. At least let the
unhappy boy repose in the tomb of his ancestors."

"Did he die like a Christian?"

"Like a saint," cried the cardinal, trembling at a moment's delay.
Sixtus V. traced the following words: "We order our governor of Fort St.
Angelo to deliver up to his eminence the body of Ranuccio Farnese."
Having sealed it with the pontifical signet, he gave it to the cardinal.

Arrived at the palace gates, Farnese, agitated between fear and hope,
hastened to demand an entrance. A profound silence reigned within,
broken only by the distant note of the "De profundis." He rushed toward
the court. Was he too late?--had his stratagem succeeded? One look would
decide. He raised his eyes--his nephew still lived. His neck bare, and
his hands tied, he knelt beside the block, between a priest and the
executioner, faintly uttering the words of his last prayer. Suddenly the
chanting ceased; the cardinal flew toward the governor. Ere he could
speak, his gestures and his countenance lied for him:

"A pardon?--a pardon!" exclaimed Olivarès. The soldiers shouted. The
executioner began to unloose his victim, when a sign from Angeli made
him pause. The governor read and re-read the missive.

"The _body_ of Ranuccio Farnese!" he repeated: "the criminal's name
would suffice. Why these words, '_The body of_?'"

"What stops you?" cried the cardinal, at that perilous moment looking
paler than his nephew.

"Read!" replied Angeli, handing him the pope's letter.

"Is that all?" said his eminence, forcing a smile and pointing to the
clock. "Look at the hour: it still wants two minutes of the time, and I
received that paper from his holiness more than a quarter of an hour
since."

The governor bowed: the argument was irresistible. Ranuccio was given up
to his deliverers. A carriage, with four fleet horses, waited outside
the prison, and in a few moments the cardinal and the young prince were
galloping along the road to Parma. Just then the clocks of Rome pealed
forth in unison, as if rejoicing that by their judicious silence they
had gained their master's cause. It might be well if lawyers in our day
would sometimes follow their example.

Monsignor Angeli, as the chronicle relates, was rather astonished at the
rapid flight of time after his prisoner's departure. In fact, the next
hour seemed to him as short as its predecessor was long. This
phenomenon, due to the simple system of compensation, was ascribed by
him to the peaceful state of his conscience. Although inflexible in the
discharge of what he esteemed his duty, he was in reality a kind-hearted
man, and felt sincere pleasure at what he honestly believed to be
Ranuccio's pardon.

On the morrow the Spanish embassador was the first to congratulate
Sixtus V., with admirable _sang froid_, on his truly pious clemency.
Olivarès was only a diplomatist, but he played his part as well as if he
had been a cardinal, and made every one believe that he had been the
dupe of his accomplice. He had good reasons for so acting. His master,
Philip II., seldom jested, more especially when the subject of the joke
was the infallible head of the church; and he strongly suspected that
the clocks of Madrid might prove less complaisant than those at Rome.

Poor Angeli was the only sufferer. For no other crime than that of not
wearing a watch, the pope deprived him of his office, and imprisoned him
for some time in Fort St. Angelo. As to Cardinal Farnese, renouncing all
the praises and congratulations of his friends at Rome, he prudently
remained an absentee.



MAURICE TIERNAY, THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.[3]

    [3] Continued from the December Number

CHAPTER XLVIII.

A VILLAGE "SYNDICUS."


I sat up all night listening to the soldiers' stories of war and
campaigning. Some had served with Soult's army in the Asturias; some
made part of Davoust's corps in the north of Europe; one had just
returned from Friedland, and amused us with describing the celebrated
conference at Tilsit, where he had been a sentinel on the river side,
and presented arms to the two emperors as they passed. It will seem
strange, but it is a fact, that this slight incident attracted toward
him a greater share of his comrades' admiration than was accorded to
those who had seen half the battle-fields of modern war.

He described the dress, the air, the general bearing of the emperors;
remarking that, although Alexander was taller and handsomer, and even
more soldier-like than our own emperor, there was a something of calm
dignity and conscious majesty in Napoleon that made him appear
immeasurably the superior. Alexander wore the uniform of the Russian
guards, one of the most splendid it is possible to conceive, the only
thing simple about him was his sword, which was a plain sabre with a
tarnished gilt scabbard, and a very dirty sword-knot; and yet every
moment he used to look down at it and handle it with great apparent
admiration; and "well might he," added the soldier, "Napoleon had given
it to him but the day before."

To listen even to such meagre details as these was to light up again in
my heart the fire that was only smouldering, and that no life of peasant
labor or obscurity could ever extinguish. My companions quickly saw the
interest I took in their narratives, and certainly did their utmost to
feed the passion--now with some sketch of a Spanish marauding party, as
full of adventure as a romance; now with a description of northern
warfare, where artillery thundered on the ice, and men fought behind
entrenchments of deep snow.

From the North Sea to the Adriatic, all Europe was now in arms. Great
armies were marching in every direction; some along the deep valley of
the Danube, others from the rich plains of Poland and Silesia; some were
passing the Alps into Italy, and some again were pouring down for the
Tyrol "Jochs," to defend the rocky passes of their native land against
the invader. Patriotism and glory, the spirit of chivalry and conquest,
all were abroad, and his must indeed have been a cold heart which could
find within it no response to the stirring sounds around. To the intense
feeling of shame which I at first felt at my own life of obscure
inactivity, there now succeeded a feverish desire to be somewhere and do
something to dispel this worse than lethargy. I had not resolution to
tell my comrades that I had served; I felt reluctant to speak of a
career so abortive and unsuccessful; and yet I blushed at the half
pitying expressions they bestowed upon my life of inglorious adventure.

"You risk life and limb here in these pine forests, and hazard existence
for a bear or a chamois goat," cried one, "and half the peril in real
war would perhaps make you a Chef d'Escadron, or even a general."

"Ay," said another, "we serve in an army where crowns are military
distinctions, and the epaulet is only the first step to a kingdom."

"True," broke in a third, "Napoleon has changed the whole world, and
made soldiering the only trade worth following. Massena was a
drummer-boy within my own memory, and see him now! Ney was not born to
great wealth and honors. Junot never could learn his trade as a
cobbler, and for want of better has become a general of division."

"Yes, and," said I, following out the theme, "under that wooden roof
yonder, through that little diamond-paned window the vine is trained
across, a greater than any of the last three first saw the light. It was
there Kleber, the conqueror of Egypt was born."

"Honor to the brave dead!" said the soldiers from their places around
the fire, and carrying their hands to the salute. "We'll fire a salvo to
him to-morrow before we set out!" said the corporal. "And so Kleber was
born there!" said he, resuming his place, and staring with admiring
interest at the dark outline of the old house, as it stood out against
the starry and cloudless sky.

It was somewhat of a delicate task for me to prevent my companions
offering their tribute of respect, but which the old peasant would have
received with little gratitude, seeing that he had never yet forgiven
the country nor the service for the loss of his son. With some
management I accomplished this duty, however, promising my services at
the same time to be their guide through the Bregenzer Wald, and not to
part with them till I had seen them safely into Bavaria.

Had it not been for my thorough acquaintance with the Tyroler dialect,
and all the usages of Tyrol life, their march would have been one of
great peril, for already the old hatred against their Bavarian
oppressors was beginning to stir the land, and Austrian agents were
traversing the mountain districts in every direction, to call forth that
patriotic ardor which, ill-requited as it has been, has more than once
come to the rescue of Austria.

So sudden had been the outbreak of this war, and so little aware were
the peasantry of the frontier of either its object or aim, that we
frequently passed recruits for both armies on their way to head-quarters
on the same day; honest Bavarians, who were trudging along the road with
pack on their shoulders, and not knowing, nor indeed much caring, on
which side they were to combat. My French comrades scorned to report
themselves to any German officer, and pushed on vigorously in the hope
of meeting with a French regiment. I had now conducted my little party
to Immenstadt, at the foot of the Bavarian Alps; and, having completed
my compact, was about to bid them good-by.

We were seated around our bivouac fire for the last time, as we deemed
it, and pledging each other in a parting glass, when suddenly our
attention was attracted to a bright red tongue of flame that suddenly
darted up from one of the Alpine summits above our head. Another and
another followed, till at length every mountain peak for miles and miles
away displayed a great signal fire! Little knew we that behind that
giant range of mountains, from the icy crags of the Glockner, and from
the snowy summit of the Ortelér itself, similar fires were summoning all
Tyrol to the combat; while every valley resounded with the war cry of
"God and the Emperor!" We were still in busy conjecture what all this
might portend, when a small party of mounted men rode past us at a
trot. They carried carbines slung over their peasant frocks, and showed
unmistakably enough that they were some newly-raised and
scarcely-disciplined force. After proceeding about a hundred yards
beyond us they halted, and drew up across the road, unslinging their
pieces as if to prepare for action.

"Look at those fellows, yonder," said the old corporal, as he puffed his
pipe calmly and deliberately; "they mean mischief, or I'm much mistaken.
Speak to them, Tiernay; you know their jargon."

I accordingly arose and advanced toward them, touching my hat in salute
as I went forward. They did not give me much time, however, to open
negotiations, for scarcely had I uttered a word, when bang went a shot
close beside me; another followed; and then a whole volley was
discharged, but with such haste and ill direction that not a ball struck
me. Before I could take advantage of this piece of good fortune to renew
my advances, a bullet whizzed by my head, and down went the left hand
horse of the file, at first on his knees, and then, with a wild plunge
into the air, he threw himself stone dead on the road, the rider beneath
him. As for the rest, throwing off carbines and cartouche-boxes, they
sprung from their horses, and took to the mountains with a speed that
showed how far more they were at home amidst rock and heather than when
seated on the saddle. My comrades lost no time in coming up; but while
three of them kept the fugitives in sight, covering them all the time
with their muskets, the others secured the cattle, as in amazement and
terror they stood around the dead horse.

Although the peasant had received no other injuries than a heavy fall
and his own fears inflicted, he was overcome with terror, and so certain
of death that he would do nothing but mumble his prayers, totally deaf
to all the efforts I made to restore his courage.

"That comes of putting a man out of his natural bent," said the old
corporal. "On his native mountains, and with his rifle, that fellow
would be brave enough; but making a dragoon of him is like turning a
Cossack into a foot soldier. One thing is clear enough, we've no time to
throw away here; these peasants will soon alarm the village in our rear,
so that we had better mount and press forward."

"But in what direction," said another; "who knows if we shall not be
rushing into worse danger?"

"Tiernay must look to that," interposed a third. "It's clear he can't
leave us now; _his_ retreat is cut off, at all events."

"That's the very point I was thinking of, lads," said I. "The beacon
fires show that the 'Tyrol is up,' and safely as I have journeyed hither
I know well I dare not venture to retrace my road; I'd be shot in the
first Dorf I entered. On one condition, then, I'll join you; and short
of that, however, I'll take my own path, come what may of it."

"What's the condition, then?" cried three or four together.

"That you give me the full and absolute command of this party, and
pledge your honor, as French soldiers, to obey me in every thing, till
the day we arrive at the head-quarters of a French corps."

"What, obey a Pekin! take the _mot d'ordre_ from a civilian that never
handled a firelock!" shouted three or four, in derision.

"I have served, and with distinction too, my lads," said I calmly; "and
if I have not handled a firelock, it is because I wielded a sabre, as an
officer of hussars. It is not here, nor now, that I am going to tell why
I wear the epaulet no longer. I'll render an account of that to my
superior and yours! If you reject my offer, and I don't press you to
accept it, let us at least part good friends. As for me, I can take care
of myself." As I said this, I slung over my shoulder the cross-belt and
carbine of one of the fugitives, and selecting a strongly-built,
short-legged black horse as my mount, I adjusted the saddle, and sprung
on his back.

"That was done like an old hussar, anyhow," said a soldier, who had been
a cavalry man, "and I'll follow you, whatever the rest may do." He
mounted as he spoke, and saluted as if on duty. Slight as the incident
was, its effect was magical. Old habits of discipline revived at the
first signal of obedience, and the corporal having made his men fall in,
came up to my side for orders.

"Select the best of these horses," said I, "and let us press forward at
once. We are about eighteen miles from the village of Wangheim; by
halting a short distance outside of it, I can enter alone, and learn
something about the state of the country, and the nearest French post.
The cattle are all fresh, and we can easily reach the village before
daybreak."

Three of my little "command" were tolerable horsemen, two of them having
served in the artillery train, and the third being the dragoon I have
alluded to. I accordingly threw out a couple of these as an advanced
picket, keeping the last as my aid-de-camp at my side. The remainder
formed the rear, with orders, if attacked, to dismount at once, and fire
over the saddle, leaving myself and the others to manoeuvre as
cavalry. This was the only way to give confidence to those soldiers who
in the ranks would have marched up to a battery, but on horseback were
totally devoid of self-reliance. Meanwhile I imparted such instructions
in equitation as I could, my own old experience as a riding-master well
enabling me to select the most necessary and least difficult of a
horseman's duties. Except the old corporal, all were very creditable
pupils; but he, possibly deeming it a point of honor not to discredit
his old career, rejected every thing like teaching, and openly protested
that, save to run away from a victorious enemy, or follow a beaten one,
he saw no use in cavalry.

Nothing could be in better temper, however, nor more amicable, than our
discourses on this head; and as I let drop, from time to time, little
hints of my services on the Rhine and in Italy, I gradually perceived
that I grew higher in the esteem of my companions, so that ere we rode a
dozen miles together their confidence in me became complete.

In return for all their anecdotes of "blood and field," I told them
several stories of my own life, and, at least, convinced them that if
they had not chanced upon the very luckiest of mankind, they had, at
least, fallen upon one who had seen enough of casualties not to be
easily baffled, and who felt in every difficulty a self-confidence that
no amount of discomfiture could ever entirely obliterate. No soldier can
vie with a Frenchman in tempering respect with familiarity; so that
while preserving toward me all the freedom of the comrade, they
recognized in every detail of duty the necessity of prompt obedience,
and followed every command I gave with implicit submission.

It was thus we rode along, till in the distance I saw the spire of a
village church, and recognized what I knew must be Dorf Wangheim. It was
yet an hour before sunrise, and all was tranquil around. I gave the word
to trot, and after about forty minutes' sharp riding we gained a small
pine wood, which skirted the village. Here I dismounted my party, and
prepared to make my _entrée_ alone into the Dorf, carefully arranging my
costume for that purpose, sticking a large bouquet of wild flowers in my
hat, and assuming as much as I could of the Tyrol look and lounge in my
gait. I shortened my stirrups, also, to a most awkward and inconvenient
length, and gripped my reins into a heap in my hand.

It was thus I rode into Wangheim, saluting the people as I passed up the
street, and with the short, dry greeting of "Tag," and a nod as brief,
playing the Tyroler to the top of my bent. The "Syndicus," or the ruler
of the village, lived in a good-sized house in the "Platz," which, being
market-day, was crowded with people, although the articles for sale
appeared to include little variety, almost every one leading a calf by a
straw rope, the rest of the population contenting themselves with a wild
turkey, or sometimes two, which, held under the arms, added the most
singular element to the general concert of human voices around. Little
stalls for rustic jewelry and artificial flowers, the latter in great
request, ran along the sides of the square, with here and there a booth
where skins and furs were displayed, more, however, as it appeared to
give pleasure to a group of sturdy jägers, who stood around, recognizing
the track of their own bullets, than from any hope of sale. In fact, the
business of the day was dull, and an experienced eye would have seen at
a glance that turkeys were "heavy," and calves "looking down." No wonder
that it should be so; the interest of the scene being concentrated on a
little knot of some twenty youths, who, with tickets containing a number
in their hats, stood before the Syndic's door. They were fine-looking,
stalwart, straight fellows; and became admirably the manly costume of
their native mountains; but their countenances were not without an
expression of sadness, the reflection, as I soon saw, of the sadder
faces around them. For so they stood, mothers, sisters, and sweethearts,
their tearful eyes turned on the little band. It puzzled me not a little
at first to see these evidences of a conscription in a land where
hitherto the population had answered the call to arms by a levy "_en
masse_," while the air of depression and sadness seemed also strange in
those who gloried in the excitement of war. The first few sentences I
overheard revealed the mystery. Wangheim was Bavarian; although strictly
a Tyrol village, and Austrian Tyrol, too, it had been included within
the Bavarian frontier, and the orders had arrived from Munich at the
Syndicate to furnish a certain number of men by a certain day. This was
terrible tidings; for although they did not as yet know that the war was
against Austria, they had heard that the troops were for foreign
service, and not for the defense of home and country, the only cause
which a Tyroler deems worthy of battle. As I listened I gathered that
the most complete ignorance prevailed as to the service or the
destination to which they were intended. The Bavarians had merely issued
their mandates to the various villages of the border, and neither sent
emissaries nor officers to carry them out. Having seen how the "land
lay," I pushed my way through the crowd, into the hall of the Syndicate,
and by dint of a strong will and stout shoulder, at length gained the
audience chamber; where, seated behind an elevated bench, the great man
was dispensing justice. I advanced boldly, and demanded an immediate
audience in private, stating that my business was most pressing, and not
admitting of delay. The Syndic consulted for a second or two with his
clerk, and retired, beckoning me to follow.

"You're not a Tyroler," said he to me, the moment we were alone.

"That is easy to see, Herr Syndicus," replied I. "I'm an officer of the
staff, in disguise, sent to make a hasty inspection of the frontier
villages, and report upon the state of feeling that prevails among them,
and how they stand affected toward the cause of Bavaria."

"And what have you found, sir?" said he, with native caution; for a
Bavarian Tyroler has the quality in a perfection that neither a
Scotchman nor a Russian can pretend to.

"That you are all Austrian at heart," said I, determined to dash at him
with a frankness that I knew he could not resist. "There's not a
Bavarian among you. I have made the whole tour of the Vorarlberg;
through the Bregenzer Wald, down the valley of the Lech, by Immenstadt,
and Wangheim; and it's all the same. I have heard nothing but the old
cry of 'Gott, und der Kaiser!'"

"Indeed!" said he, with an accent beautifully balanced between sorrow
and astonishment.

"Even the men in authority, the Syndics, like yourself, have frankly
told me how difficult it is to preserve allegiance to a government by
whom they have been so harshly treated. I'm sure I have the 'grain
question,' as they call it, and the 'Freiwechsel' with South Tyrol, off
by heart," said I, laughing. "However, my business lies in another
quarter. I have seen enough to show me that, save the outcasts from home
and family, that class so rare in Tyrol, that men call adventurers, we
need look for no willing recruits here; and you'll stare when I say that
I am glad of it--heartily glad of it."

The Syndic did, indeed, stare, but he never ventured a word in reply.

"I'll tell you why, then, Herr Syndicus. With a man like yourself one
can afford to be open-hearted. Wangheim, Luttrich, Kempenfeld, and all
the other villages at the foot of these mountains, were never other than
Austrian. Diplomatists and map-makers colored them pale blue, but they
were black and yellow underneath; and what's more to the purpose,
Austrian they must become again. When the real object of this war is
known, all Tyrol will declare for the house of Hapsburg. We begin to
perceive this ourselves, and to dread the misfortunes and calamities
that must fall upon you and the other frontier towns by this divided
allegiance; for when you have sent off your available youth to the
Bavarians, down will come Austria to revenge itself upon your undefended
towns and villages."

The Syndic apparently had thought of all these things exactly with the
same conclusions, for he shook his head gravely, and uttered a low,
faint sigh.

"I'm so convinced of what I tell you," said I, "that no sooner have I
conducted to head-quarters the force I have under my command--"

"You have a force, then, actually under your orders?" cried he,
starting.

"The advanced guard is picketed in yonder pine wood, if you have any
curiosity to inspect them; you'll find them a little disorderly,
perhaps, like all newly-raised levies, but I hope not discreditable
allies for the great army."

The Syndic protested his sense of the favor, but begged to take all
their good qualities on trust.

I then went on to assure him that I should recommend the government to
permit the range of frontier towns to preserve a complete neutrality; by
scarcely any possibility could the war come to _their_ doors; and that
there was neither sound policy nor humanity in sending them to seek it
elsewhere. I will not stop to recount all the arguments I employed to
enforce my opinions, nor how learnedly I discussed every question of
European politics. The Syndic was amazed at the vast range of my
acquirements, and could not help confessing it.

My interview ended by persuading him not to send on his levies of men
till he had received further instructions from Munich; to supply my
advanced guards with rations and allowances intended for the others; and
lastly to advance me the sum of one hundred and seventy crown thalers,
on the express pledge that the main body of my "marauders," as I took
the opportunity to style them, should take the road by Kempen and
Durcheim, and not touch on the village of Wangheim at all.

When discussing this last point, I declared to the Syndic that he was
depriving himself of a very imposing sight; that the men, whatever might
be said of them in point of character, were a fine-looking, daring set
of rascals, neither respecting laws nor fearing punishment, and that our
band, for a newly formed one, was by no means contemptible. He resisted
all these seducing prospects, and counted down his dollars with the air
of a man who felt that he had made a good bargain. I gave him a receipt
in form, and signed Maurice Tiernay at the foot of it as stoutly as
though I had the _Grand Livre de France_ at my back.

Let not the reader rashly condemn me for this fault, nor still more
rashly conclude that I acted with a heartless and unprincipled spirit in
this transaction. I own that a species of Jesuitry suggested the scheme,
and that while providing for the exigencies of my own comrades, I
satisfied my conscience by rendering a good service in return. The
course of war, as I suspected it would, did sweep past this portion of
the Bavarian Tyrol without inflicting any heavy loss. Such of the
peasantry as joined the army fought under the Austrian banners, and
Wangheim and the other border villages had not to pay the bloody penalty
of a divided allegiance. I may add, too, for conscience sake, that while
traveling this way many years after, I stopped a day at Wangheim to
point out its picturesque scenery to a fair friend who accompanied me.
The village inn was kept by an old, venerable-looking man, who also
discharged the functions of "Vorsteher"--the title Syndicus was
abolished. He was, although a little cold and reserved at first, very
communicative, after a while, and full of stories of the old campaigns
of France and Austria, among which he related one of a certain set of
French freebooters that once passed through Wangheim, the captain having
actually breakfasted with himself, and persuaded him to advance a loan
of nigh two hundred thalers on the faith of the Bavarian Government.

"He was a good-looking, dashing sort of fellow," said he, "that could
sing French love songs to the piano and jodle 'Tyroler Lieder' for the
women. My daughter took a great fancy to him, and wore his sword-knot
for many a day after, till we found that he had cheated and betrayed us.
Even then, however, I don't think she gave him up, though she did not
speak of him as before. This is the fellow's writing," added he,
producing a much-worn and much-crumpled scrap of paper from his old
pocket-book, "and there's his name. I have never been able to make out
clearly whether it was Thierray or Lierray."

"I know something about him," said I, "and, with your permission, will
keep the document, and pay the bill. Your daughter is alive still?"

"Ay, and married, too, at Bruck, ten miles from this."

"Well, if she has thrown away the old sword-knot, tell her to accept
this one in memory of the French captain, who was not, at least, an
ungrateful rogue;" and I detached from my sabre the rich gold tassel and
cord which I wore as a general officer.

This little incident I may be pardoned for interpolating from a portion
of my life, of which I do not intend to speak further, as with the
career of the Soldier of Fortune I mean to close these memoirs of
Maurice Tiernay.



CHAPTER XLIX.

"A LUCKY MEETING."


The reader will probably not complain if, passing over the manifold
adventures and hair-breadth 'scapes of my little party, I come to our
arrival at Ingoldstadt, where the head-quarters of General Vandamme were
stationed. It was just as the recall was beating that we rode into the
town, where, although nearly eight thousand men were assembled, our
somewhat singular cavalcade attracted no small share of notice. Fresh
rations for "man and beast" slung around our very ragged clothing, and
four Austrian grenadiers tied by a cord, wrist to wrist, as prisoners
behind us, we presented, it must be owned, a far more picturesque than
soldierlike party.

Accepting all the attentions bestowed upon us in the most flattering
sense, and affecting not to perceive the ridicule we were exciting on
every hand, I rode up to the "Etat Major" and dismounted. I had obtained
from "my prisoners" what I deemed a very important secret, and was
resolved to make the most of it by asking for an immediate audience of
the general.

"I am the officier d'ordonnance," said a young lieutenant of dragoons,
stepping forward; "any communication you have to make must be addressed
to _me_."

"I have taken four prisoners, Monsieur le Lieutenant," said I, "and
would wish to inform General Vandamme on certain matters they have
revealed to me."

"Are you in the service?" asked he, with a glance at my incongruous
equipment.

"I have served sir," was my reply.

"In what army of brigands was it then," said he, laughing, "for,
assuredly, you do not recall to my recollection any European force that
I know of?"

"I may find leisure and inclination to give you the fullest information
on this point at another moment, sir; for the present my business is
more pressing. Can I see General Vandamme?"

"Of course, you can not, my worthy fellow! If you had served, as you say
you have, you could scarcely have made so absurd a request. A French
general of division does not give audience to every tatterdemalion who
picks up a prisoner on the high road."

"It is exactly because I _have_ served that I do make the request," said
I, stoutly.

"How so, pray?" asked he, staring at me.

"Because I know well how often young staff-officers, in their own
self-sufficiency, overlook the most important points, and, from the
humble character of their informants, frequently despise what their
superiors, had they known it, would have largely profited by. And, even
if I did not know this fact, I have the memory of another one scarcely
less striking, which was, that General Massena himself admitted me to an
audience when my appearance was not a whit more imposing than at
present."

"You knew General Massena, then. Where was it, may I ask?"

"In Genoa, during the siege."

"And what regiment have you served in?"

"The Ninth Hussars."

"Quite enough, my good fellow. The Ninth were on the Sambre while that
siege was going on," said he, laughing sarcastically.

"I never said that my regiment was at Genoa. I only asserted that I
was," was my calm reply, for I was anxious to prolong the conversation,
seeing that directly over our heads, on a balcony, a number of officers
had just come out to smoke their cigars after dinner, among whom I
recognized two or three in the uniform of general.

"And now for your name; let's have that," said he, seating himself, as
if for a lengthy cross-examination.

I stole a quick glance over head, and seeing that two of the officers
were eagerly listening to our colloquy, said aloud,

"I'll tell you no more, sir. You have already heard quite enough to know
what my business is. I didn't come here to relate my life and
adventures."

"I say, Lestocque," cried a large, burly man, from above, "have you
picked up Robinson Crusoe, there?"

"He's far more like the man, Friday, mon general," said the young
lieutenant, laughing, "although even a savage might have more deference
for his superiors."

"What does he want, then?" asked the other.

"An audience of yourself, mon general--nothing less."

"Have you told him how I am accustomed to reward people who occupy my
time on false pretences, Lestocque?" said the general, with a grin.
"Does he know that the Salle de Police first, and the Prevot afterward
comprise my gratitude?"

"He presumes to say, sir, that he knows General Massena," said the
lieutenant.

"Diable! He knows _me_, does he say--he knows _me_? Who is he--what is
he?" said a voice I well remembered, and at the same instant the brown,
dark visage of General Massena peered over the balcony.

"He's a countryman of yours, Massena," said Vandamme, laughing. "Eh, are
you not a Piedmontais?"

Up to this moment I had stood silently listening to the dialogue around
me, without the slightest apparent sign of noticing it. Now, however, as
I was directly addressed, I drew myself up to a soldier-like attitude
and replied--

"No, sir. I am more a Frenchman than General Vandamme, at least."

"Send that fellow here; send him up, Lestocque, and have a corporal's
party ready for duty," cried the general, as he threw the end of his
cigar into the street, and walked hastily away.

It was not the first time in my life that my tongue had brought peril on
my head; but I ascended the stairs with a firm step, and if not with a
light, at least with a resolute heart, seeing how wonderfully little I
had to lose, and that few men had a smaller stake in existence than
myself.

The voices were loud, and in tones of anger, as I stepped out upon the
terrace.

"So we are acquaintances, it would appear, my friend?" said Massena, as
he stared fixedly at me.

"If General Massena can not recall the occasion of our meeting," said I,
proudly, "I'll scarcely remind him of it."

"Come, come," said Vandamme, angrily, "I must deal with this 'gailliard'
myself. Are you a French soldier?"

"I was, sir; an officer of cavalry."

"And were you broke? did you desert? or what was it?" cried he,
impatiently.

"I kept better company than I believe is considered safe in these days,
and was accidentally admitted to the acquaintance of the Prince de
Condé--"

"That's it!" said Vandamme, with a long whistle; "_that's_ the mischief,
then. You are a Vendéan?"

"No, sir; I was never a Royalist, although, as I have said, exposed to
the very society whose fascinations might have made me one."

"Your name is Tiernay, monsieur, or I mistake much?" said a
smart-looking young man in civilian dress.

I bowed an assent, without expressing any sentiment of either fear or
anxiety.

"I can vouch for the perfect accuracy of that gentleman's narrative,"
said Monsieur de Bourrienne, for I now saw it was himself. "You may
possibly remember a visitor--"

"At the Temple," said I, interrupting him. "I recollect you perfectly,
sir, and thank you for this recognition."

Monsieur de Bourrienne, however, did not pay much attention to my
gratitude, but proceeded in a few hurried words to give some account of
me to the bystanders.

"Well, it must be owned that he looks devilish unlike an officer of
hussars," said Massena, as he laughed, and made others laugh, at my
strange equipment.

"And yet you saw me in a worse plight, general," said I, coolly.

"How so--where was that?" cried he.

"It will be a sore wound to my pride, general," said I slowly, "if I
must refresh your memory."

"You were not at Valenciennes," said he, musing. "No, no; _that_ was
before your day. Were you on the Meuse, then? No. Nor in Spain? I've
always had hussars in my division; but I confess I do not remember all
the officers."

"Will Genoa not give the clew, sir?" said I, glancing at him a keen
look.

"Least of all," cried he. "The cavalry were with Soult. I had nothing
beyond an escort in the town."

"So there's no help for it," said I, with a sigh. "Do you remember a
half-drowned wretch that was laid down at your feet in the Annunziata
Church one morning during the siege?"

"A fellow who had made his escape from the English fleet, and swam
ashore! What! are you--By Jove! so it is, the very same. Give me your
hand, my brave fellow. I've often thought of you, and wondered what had
befallen you. You joined that unlucky attack on Monte Faccio; and we had
warm work ourselves on hands the day after. I say, Vandamme, the first
news I had of our columns crossing the Alps were from this officer--for
officer he was, and shall be again, if I live to command a French
division."

Massena embraced me affectionately, as he said this; and then turning to
the others, said--

"Gentlemen, you see before you the man you have often heard me speak
of--a young officer of hussars, who, in the hope of rescuing a division
of the French army, at that time shut up in a besieged city, performed
one of the most gallant exploits on record. Within a week after he led a
storming party against a mountain fortress; and I don't care if he lived
in the intimacy of every Bourbon Prince, from the Count D'Artois
downward, he's a good Frenchman, and a brave soldier. Bourrienne, you're
starting for head-quarters? Well, it is not at such a moment as this,
you can bear these matters in mind; but don't forget my friend Tiernay;
depend upon it he'll do you no discredit. The Emperor knows well both
how to employ and how to reward such men as him."

I heard these flattering speeches like one in a delicious dream. To
stand in the midst of a distinguished group, while Massena thus spoke of
me, seemed too much for reality, for praise had indeed become a rare
accident to me; but from such a quarter it was less eulogy than fame.
How hard was it to persuade myself that I was awake, as I found myself
seated at the table, with a crowd of officers, pledging the toasts they
gave, and drinking bumpers in friendly recognition with all around me.

Such was the curiosity to hear my story, that numbers of others crowded
into the room, which gradually assumed the appearance of a theatre.
There was scarcely an incident to which I referred, that some one or
other of those present could not vouch for; and whether I alluded to my
earlier adventures in the Black Forest, or the expedition of Humbert, or
to the later scenes of my life, I met corroboration from one quarter or
another. Away as I was from Paris and its influences, in the midst of my
comrades, I never hesitated to relate the whole of my acquaintance with
Fouché--a part of my narrative which, I must own, amused them more than
all the rest. In the midst of all these intoxicating praises, and of a
degree of wonder that might have turned wiser heads, I never forgot that
I was in possession of what seemed to myself at least a very important
military fact, no less than the mistaken movement of an Austrian
general, who had marched his division so far to the southward as to
leave an interval of several miles between himself and the main body of
the Imperial forces. This fact I had obtained from the grenadiers I had
made prisoners, and who were stragglers from the corps I alluded to.

The movement in question was doubtless intended to menace the right
flank of our army, but every soldier of Napoleon well knew that so long
as he could pierce the enemy's centre such flank attacks were
ineffectual, the question being already decided before they could be
undertaken.

My intelligence, important as it appeared to myself, struck the two
generals as of even greater moment; and Massena, who had arrived only a
few hours before from his own division to confer with Vandamme, resolved
to take me with him at once to head-quarters.

"You are quite certain of what you assert, Tiernay?" said he; "doubtful
information, or a mere surmise, will not do with him before whom you
will be summoned. You must be clear on every point, and brief--remember
that--not a word more than is absolutely necessary."

I repeated that I had taken the utmost precautions to assure myself of
the truth of the men's statement, and had ridden several leagues between
the Austrian left and the left centre. The prisoners themselves could
prove that they had marched from early morning till late in the
afternoon without coming up with a single Austrian post.

The next question was to equip me with a uniform--but what should it be?
I was not attached to any corps, nor had I any real rank in the army.
Massena hesitated about appointing me on his own staff without
authority, nor could he advise me to assume the dress of my old
regiment. Time was pressing, and it was decided--I own to my great
discomfiture--that I should continue to wear my Tyroler costume till my
restoration to my former rank was fully established.

I was well tired, having already ridden thirteen leagues of a bad road,
when I was obliged to mount once more, and accompany General Massena in
his return to head-quarters. A good supper and some excellent Bordeaux,
and, better than either, a light heart, gave me abundant energy; and
after the first three or four miles of the way I felt as if I was equal
to any fatigue.

As we rode along the general repeated all his cautions to me in the
event of my being summoned to give information at head-quarters; the
importance of all my replies being short, accurate, and to the purpose;
and, above all, the avoidance of any thing like an opinion or expression
of my own judgment on passing events. I promised faithfully to observe
all his counsels, and not bring discredit on his patronage.



CHAPTER L.

THE MARCH ON VIENNA.


All General Massena's wise counsels, and my own steady resolves to
profit by them, were so far thrown away, that, on our arrival at
Abensberg, we found that the Emperor had left it four hours before, and
pushed on to Ebersfield, a village about five leagues to the eastward. A
dispatch, however, awaited Massena, telling him to push forward with
Oudinot's corps to Newstadt, and, with his own division, which comprised
the whole French right, to manoeuvre so as to menace the Archduke's
base upon the Iser.

Let my reader not fear that I am about to inflict on him a story of the
great campaign itself, nor compel him to seek refuge in a map from the
terrible array of hard names of towns and villages for which that
district is famous. It is enough for my purpose that I recall to his
memory the striking fact, that when the French sought victory by turning
and defeating the Austrian left, the Austrians were exactly in march to
execute a similar movement on the French left wing. Napoleon, however,
gave the first "check," and "mated" his adversary ere he could open his
game. By the almost lightning speed of his manoeuvres, he moved
forward from Ratisbon with the great bulk of his army; and at the very
time that the Archduke believed him to be awaiting battle around that
city, he was far on his march to Landshut.

General Massena was taking a hurried cup of coffee, and dictating a few
lines to his secretary, when a dragoon officer galloped into the town
with a second dispatch, which, whatever its contents, must needs have
been momentous, for in a few minutes the drums were beating and trumpets
sounding, and all the stirring signs of an immediate movement visible.
It was yet an hour before daybreak, and dark as midnight; torches,
however, blazed every where, and by their flaring light the
artillery-trains and wagons drove through the narrow street of the
village, shaking the frail old houses with their rude trot. Even in a
retreating army, I have scarcely witnessed such a spectacle of uproar,
confusion, and chaos; but still, in less than an hour the troops had all
defiled from the town, the advanced guard was already some miles on its
way; and, except a small escort of lancers before the little inn where
the general still remained, there was not a soldier to be seen. It may
seem absurd to say it, but I must confess that my eagerness to know what
was "going on" in front, was divided by a feeling of painful uneasiness
at my ridiculous dress, and the shame I experienced at the glances
bestowed on me by the soldiers of the escort. It was no time, however,
to speak of myself or attend to my own fortunes, and I loitered about
the court of the inn, wondering if, in the midst of such stirring
events, the general would chance to remember me. If I had but a frock
and a shako, thought I, I could make my way. It is this confounded
velvet jacket and this absurd and tapering hat, will be my ruin. If I
were to charge a battery, I'd only look like a merry-andrew after all;
men will not respect what is only laughable. Perhaps, after all, thought
I, it matters little; doubtless, Massena has forgotten me, and I shall
be left behind like a broken limber. At one time I blamed myself for not
pushing on with some detachment--at another I half resolved to put a
bold face on it, and present myself before the general; and between
regrets for the past and doubts for the future, I at last worked myself
up to a state of anxiety little short of fever.

While I walked to and fro in this distracted mood I perceived, by the
bustle within doors, that the general was about to depart; at the same
time several dismounted dragoons appeared, leading saddle-horses,
tightening girths, and adjusting curb-chains, all tokens of a start.
While I looked on these preparations, I heard the clatter of a horse's
hoofs close behind, and the spluttering noise of a struggle. I turned
and saw it was the general himself, who had just mounted his charger,
but before catching his right stirrup the horse had plunged, and was
dragging the "orderly" across the court by the bridle. Seeing, in an
instant, that the soldier's effort to hold on was only depriving General
Massena of all command of the horse, who must probably have fallen on
his flank, I jumped forward, caught the stirrup, and slipped it over the
general's foot, and then, with a sharp blow on the soldier's wrist,
compelled him to relax his grasp. So suddenly were the two movements
effected, that in less time than I take to relate it, all was over, and
the general, who, for a heavy man, was a good rider, was fast seated in
his saddle. I had now no time, however, to bestow on him, for the
dragoon, stung by the insult of a blow, and from a peasant, as he deemed
it, rushed at me with his sabre.

"_Halte la!_" cried Massena in a voice of thunder; "it was that country
fellow saved me from a broken bone, which your infernal awkwardness
might have given me. Throw him a couple of florins for me," cried he to
his aid-de-camp, who just rode in; "and do you, sir, join your ranks, I
must look for another orderly."

"I am right glad to have been in the way, general," said I, springing
forward, and touching my hat.

"What, Tiernay--this you?" cried he. "How is this? have I forgotten you
all this time? What's to be done now? You ought to have gone on with the
rest, monsieur. You should have volunteered with some corps, eh?"

"I hoped to have been attached to yourself, general. I thought I could,
perhaps, have made myself useful."

"Yes, yes, very true; so you might, I've no doubt; but my staff is full,
I've no vacancy. What's to be done now? Lestocque, have we any spare
cattle?"

"Yes, general; we've your own eight horses, and two of Cambronne's."

"Ah, poor fellow, he'll not want them more. I suppose Tiernay may as
well take one of them, at least."

"There's an undress uniform, too, of Cambronne's would fit Monsieur de
Tiernay," said the officer, who, I saw, had no fancy for my motley
costume alongside of him.

"Oh, Tiernay doesn't care for that; he's too old a soldier to bestow a
thought upon the color of his jacket," said Massena.

"Pardon me, general, but it is exactly one of my weaknesses; and I feel
that until I get rid of these trappings I shall never feel myself a
soldier."

"I thought you had been made of other stuff," muttered the general, "and
particularly since there's like to be little love-making in the present
campaign." And with that he rode forward, leaving me to follow when I
could.

"These are Cambronne's keys," said Lestocque, "and you'll find enough
for your present wants in the saddle-bags. Take the gray, he's the
better horse, and come up with us as fast as you can."

I saw that I had forfeited something of General Massena's good opinion
by my dandyism; but I was consoled in a measure for the loss, as I saw
the price at which I bought the forfeiture. The young officer, who had
fallen three days before, and was a nephew of the General Cambronne, was
a lieutenant in Murat's celebrated corps, the Lancers of "Berg," whose
uniform was the handsomest in the French army. Even the undress scarlet
frock and small silver helmet were more splendid than many full parade
uniforms; and as I attired myself in these brilliant trappings, I
secretly vowed that the Austrians should see them in some conspicuous
position ere a month was over. If I had but one sigh for the poor fellow
to whose "galanterie" I succeeded, I had many a smile for myself as I
passed and re-passed before the glass, adjusting a belt or training an
aigrette to fall more gracefully. While thus occupied, I felt something
heavy clink against my leg, and opening the sabertasch, discovered a
purse containing upward of forty golden Napoleons and some silver. It
was a singular way to succeed to a "heritage," I thought, but, with the
firm resolve to make honest restitution, I replaced the money where I
found it, and descended the stairs, my sabre jingling and my spurs
clanking, to the infinite admiration of the hostess and her handmaiden,
who looked on my transformation as a veritable piece of magic.

I'm sure Napoleon himself had not framed one-half as many plans for that
campaign as I did while I rode along. By a close study of the map, and
the aid of all the oral information in my power, I had at length
obtained a tolerably accurate notion of the country; and I saw, or I
thought I saw, at least, half a dozen distinct ways of annihilating the
Austrians. I have often since felt shame, even to myself, at the
effrontery with which I discussed the great manoeuvres going forward,
and the unblushing coolness with which I proffered my opinions and my
criticisms: and I really believe that General Massena tolerated my
boldness rather for the amusement it afforded him than from any other
cause.

"Well, Tiernay," said he, as a fresh order reached him, with the most
pressing injunction to hurry forward, "we are to move at once on
Moosburg--what does that portend?"

"Sharp work, general," replied I, not noticing the sly malice of the
question; "the Austrians are there in force."

"Do your grenadiers say so?"--asked he, sarcastically.

"No, general; but as the base of the operations is the Iser, they must
needs guard all the bridges over the river, as well as protect the high
road to Vienna by Landshut."

"But you forget that Landshut is a good eight leagues from that!" said
he, with a laugh.

"They'll have to fall back there, nevertheless," said I, coolly, "or
they suffer themselves to be cut off from their own centre."

"Would you believe it," whispered Massena to a colonel at his side, "the
fellow has just guessed our intended movement?"

Low as he spoke, my quick ears caught the words, and my heart thumped
with delight as I heard them. This was the Emperor's strategy--Massena
was to fall impetuously on the enemy's left at Moosburg, and drive them
to a retreat on Landshut; when, at the moment of the confusion and
disorder, they were to be attacked by Napoleon himself, with a vastly
superior force. The game opened even sooner than expected, and a few
minutes after the conversation I have reported, our "Tirailleurs" were
exchanging shots with the enemy. These sounds, however, were soon
drowned in the louder din of artillery, which thundered away at both
sides till nightfall. It was a strange species of engagement, for we
continued to march on the entire time, the enemy as steadily retiring
before us, while the incessant cannonade never ceased.

Although frequently sent to the front with orders, I saw nothing of the
Austrians; a low line of bluish smoke toward the horizon, now and then
flashing into flame, denoted their position, and as we were about as
invisible to them, a less exciting kind of warfare would be difficult to
conceive. Neither was the destruction important; many of the Austrian
shot were buried in the deep clay in our front; and considering the
time, and the number of pieces in action, our loss was insignificant.
Soldiers, if they be not the trained veterans of a hundred battles, grow
very impatient in this kind of operation; they can not conceive why they
are not led forward, and wonder at the over caution of the general. Ours
were mostly young levies, and were consequently very profuse of their
comments and complaints.

"Have patience, my brave boys," said an old sergeant to some of the
grumblers; "I've seen some service, and I never saw a battle open this
way that there wasn't plenty of fighting ere it was over."

A long, low range of hills bounds the plain to the west of Moosburg, and
on these, as night closed, our bivouac fires were lighted, some of them
extending to nearly half a mile to the left of our real position, and
giving the Austrians the impression that our force was stationed in
that direction. A thin, drizzly rain, cold enough to be sleet, was
falling; and as the ground had been greatly cut up by the passage of
artillery and cavalry, a less comfortable spot to bivouac in could not
be imagined. It was difficult, too, to obtain wood for our fires, and
our prospects for the dark hours were scarcely brilliant. The soldiers
grumbled loudly at being obliged to sit and cook their messes at the
murky flame of damp straw, while the fires at our left blazed away gayly
without one to profit by them. Frenchmen, however, are rarely
ill-humored in face of an enemy, and their complaints assumed all the
sarcastic drollery which they so well understand, and even over their
half-dressed supper they were beginning to grow merry, when
staff-officers were seen traversing the lines at full speed in all
directions.

"We are attacked--the Austrians are upon us!" cried two or three
soldiers, snatching up their muskets.

"No, no, friend," replied a veteran, "it's the other way; we are going
at _them_."

This was the true reading of the problem; orders were sent to every
brigade to form in close column of attack; artillery and cavalry to
advance under their cover, and ready to deploy at a moment's notice.

Moosburg lay something short of two miles from us, having the Iser in
front, over which was a wooden bridge, protected by a strong flanking
battery. The river was not passable, nor had we any means of
transporting artillery across it; so that to this spot our main attack
was at once directed. Had the Austrian general, Heller, who was second
in command to the Archduke Louis, either cut off the bridge, or taken
effectual measures to oppose its passage, the great events of the
campaign might have assumed a very different feature. It is said,
however, that an entire Austrian brigade was encamped near Freising, and
that the communication was left open to save them.

Still it must be owned that the Imperialists took few precautions for
their safety; for, deceived by our line of watch-fires, the pickets
extended but a short distance into the plain; and when attacked by our
light cavalry, many of them were cut off at once; and of those who fell
back, several traversed the bridge, with their pursuers at their heels.
Such was the impetuosity of the French attack, that although the most
positive orders had been given by Massena that not more than three guns
and their caissons should traverse the bridge together, and even these
at a walk, seven or eight were seen passing at the same instant, and all
at a gallop, making the old frame-work so rock and tremble, that it
seemed ready to come to pieces. As often happens, the hardihood proved
our safety. The Austrians counting upon our slow transit, only opened a
heavy fire after several of our pieces had crossed, and were already in
a position to reply to them. Their defense, if somewhat late, was a most
gallant one; and the gunners continued to fire on our advancing columns
till we captured the block-house, and sabred the men at their guns.
Meanwhile the Imperial Cuirassiers, twelve hundred strong, made a
succession of furious charges upon us, driving our light cavalry away
before them, and for a brief space making the fortune of the day almost
doubtful. It soon appeared, however, that these brave fellows were
merely covering the retreat of the main body, who in all haste were
falling back on the villages of Furth and Arth. Some squadrons of
Kellerman's heavy cavalry gave time for our light artillery to open
their fire, and the Austrian ranks were rent open with terrific loss.

Day was now dawning, and showed us the Austrian army in retreat by the
two great roads toward Landshut. Every rising spot of ground was
occupied by artillery, and in some places defended by stockades, showing
plainly enough that all hope of saving the guns was abandoned, and that
they only thought of protecting their flying columns from our attack.
These dispositions cost us heavily, for as we were obliged to carry each
of these places before we could advance, the loss in this hand-to-hand
encounter was very considerable. At length, however, the roads became so
blocked up by artillery, that the infantry were driven to defile into
the swampy fields at the road side, and here our cavalry cut them down
unmercifully, while grape tore through the dense masses at half musket
range.

Had discipline or command been possible, our condition might have been
made perilous enough, since, in the impetuosity of attack, large masses
of our cavalry got separated from their support, and were frequently
seen struggling to cut their way out of the closing columns of the
enemy. Twice or thrice it actually happened that officers surrendered
the whole squadron as prisoners, and were rescued by their own comrades
afterward. The whole was a scene of pell-mell confusion and disorder;
some abandoning positions when successful defense was possible, others
obstinately holding their ground when destruction was inevitable. Few
prisoners were taken; indeed, I believe, quarter was little thought of
by either side. The terrible excitement had raised men's passions to the
pitch of madness, and each fought with all the animosity of hate.

Massena was always in the front, and, as was his custom, comporting
himself with a calm steadiness that he rarely displayed in the common
occurrences of every-day life. Like the English Picton, the crash and
thunder of conflict seemed to soothe and assuage the asperities of an
irritable temper, and his mind appeared to find a congenial sphere in
the turmoil and din of battle. The awkward attempt of a French squadron
to gallop in a deep marsh, where men and horses were rolling
indiscriminately together, actually gave him a hearty fit of laughter,
and he issued his orders for their recall, as though the occurrence were
a good joke. It was while observing this incident, that an orderly
delivered into his hands some maps and papers that had just been
captured from the fourgon of a staff-officer. Turning them rapidly
over, Massena chanced upon the plan of a bridge, with marks indicative
of points of defense at either side of it, and the arrangements for
mining it, if necessary. It was too long to represent the bridge of
Moosburg, and must probably mean that of Landshut; and so thinking, and
deeming that its possession might be important to the Emperor, he
ordered me to take a fresh horse, and hasten with it to the
head-quarters. The orders I received were vague enough.

"You'll come up with the advance guard some eight or nine miles to the
north'ard; you'll chance upon some of the columns near Fleisheim."

Such were the hurried directions I obtained, in the midst of the smoke
and din of a battle; but it was no time to ask for more precise
instructions, and away I went.

In less than twenty minutes' sharp riding, I found myself in a little
valley, inclosed by low hills, and watered by a small tributary of the
Danube, along whose banks cottages were studded in the midst of what
seemed one great orchard, since for miles the white and pink blossoms of
fruit-trees were to be seen extending. The peasants were at work in the
fields, and the oxen were toiling along with the heavy wagons, or the
scarcely less cumbersome plow, as peacefully as though bloodshed and
carnage were not within a thousand miles of them. No high road
penetrated this secluded spot, and hence it lay secure, while ruin and
devastation raged at either side of it. As the wind was from the west,
nothing could be heard of the cannonade toward Moosburg, and the low
hills completely shut out all signs of the conflict. I halted at a
little way-side forge, to have a loose shoe fastened, and in the crowd
of gazers who stood around me, wondering at my gay trappings and gaudy
uniform, not one had the slightest suspicion that I was other than
Austrian. One old man asked me if it were not true that the "French were
coming?" and another laughed, and said, "They had better not;" and there
was all they knew of that terrible struggle--the shock that was to rend
in twain a great empire.

Full of varied thought on this theme, I mounted and rode forward. At
first, the narrow roads were so deep and heavy, that I made little
progress; occasionally, too, I came to little streams, traversed by a
bridge of a single plank, and was either compelled to swim my horse
across, or wander long distances in search of a ford. These obstructions
made me impatient, and my impatience but served to delay me more, and
all my efforts to push directly forward only tended to embarrass me. I
could not ask for guidance, since I knew not the name of a single
village or town, and to have inquired for the direction in which the
troops were stationed, might very possibly have brought me into danger.

At last, after some hours of toilsome wandering, I reached a small
way-side inn, and resolving to obtain some information of my
whereabouts, I asked whither the road led that passed through a long,
low, swampy plain, and disappeared in a pine wood.

"To Landshut," was the answer.

"And the distance?"

"Three German miles," said the host; "but they are worse than five; for
since the new line has been opened, this road has fallen into neglect.
Two of the bridges are broken, and a landslip has completely blocked up
the passage at another place."

"Then how am I to gain the new road?"

Alas! there was nothing for it but going back to the forge where I had
stopped three hours and a half before, and whence I could take a narrow
bridle-path to Fleisheim, that would bring me out on the great road. The
very thought of retracing my way was intolerable; many of the places I
had leaped my horse over would have been impossible to cross from the
opposite side; once I narrowly escaped being carried down by a
mill-race; and, in fact, no dangers nor inconveniences of the road in
front of me, could equal those of the course I had just come. Besides
all this, to return to Fleisheim would probably bring me far in the rear
of the advancing columns, while if I pushed on toward Landshut, I might
catch sight of them from some rising spot of ground.

"You will go, I see," cried the host, as he saw me set out. "Perhaps
you're right; the old adage says, 'It's often the roughest road leads to
the smoothest fortune.'"

Even that much encouragement was not without its value. I spurred into a
canter with fresh spirits. The host of the little inn had not
exaggerated; the road was execrable. Heavy rocks and mounds of earth had
slipped down with the rains of winter, and remained in the middle of the
way. The fallen masonry of the bridges had driven the streams into new
channels, with deep pools among them; broken wagons and ruined carts
marked the misfortunes of some who had ventured on the track; and except
for a well-mounted and resolute horseman, the way was impracticable. I
was well-nigh overcome by fatigue and exhaustion, as clambering up a
steep hill, with the bridle on my arm, I gained the crest of the ridge,
and suddenly saw Landshut--for it could be no other--before me. I have
looked at many new pictures and scenes, but I own I never beheld one
that gave me half the pleasure. The ancient town, with its gaunt old
belfries, and still more ancient castle, stood on a bend of the Inn,
which was here crossed by a long wooden bridge, supported on boats, a
wide track of shingle and gravel on either side showing the course into
which the melting snows often swelled the stream. From the point where I
stood, I could see into the town. The Platz, the old gardens of the
nunnery, the terrace of the castle, all were spread out before me; and
to my utter surprise, there seemed little or no movement going forward.
There were two guns in position at the bridge; some masons were at work
on the houses, beside the river, piercing the walls for the use of
musketry, and an infantry battalion was under arms in the market-place.
These were all the preparations I could discover against the advance of
a great army. But so it was; the Austrian spies had totally misled
them, and while they believed that the great bulk of the French lay
around Ratisbon, the centre of the army, sixty-five thousand strong, and
led by Napoleon himself, was in march to the southward.

That the attack on Moosburg was still unknown at Landshut seemed
certain; and I now perceived that, notwithstanding all the delays I had
met with, I had really come by the most direct line; whereas, on account
of the bend of the river no Austrian courier could have brought tidings
of the engagement up to that time. My attention was next turned toward
the direction whence our advance might be expected; but although I could
see nearly four miles of the road, not a man was to be descried along
it.

I slowly descended the ridge and, passing through a meadow, was
approaching the high road, when suddenly I heard the clattering of a
horse at full gallop coming along the causeway. I mounted at once, and
pushed forward to an angle of the road, by which I was concealed from
all view. The next instant a Hungarian hussar turned the corner at top
speed.

"What news?" cried I, in German. "Are they coming?"

"Ay, in force," shouted he without stopping.

I at once drew my pistol, and leveled at him. The man's back was toward
me, and my bullet would have pierced his skull. It was my duty, too, to
have shot him, for moments were then worth days, or even weeks. I
couldn't pull the trigger, however, and I replaced my weapon in the
holster. Another horseman now swept past without perceiving me, and
quickly behind him came a half squadron of hussars, all riding in mad
haste and confusion. The horses, though "blown," were not sweated, so
that I conjectured they had ridden fast though not far. Such was the
eagerness to press on, and so intent were they on the thought of their
own tidings, that none saw me, and the whole body swept by and
disappeared. I waited a few minutes to listen, and as the clattering
toward Landshut died away, all was silent. Trusting to my knowledge of
German to save me, even if I fell in with the enemy, I now rode forward
at speed in the direction of our advance. The road was straight as an
arrow for miles, and a single object coming toward me was all I could
detect. This proved to be a hussar of the squadron, whose horse, being
dead lame, could not keep up with the rest, and now the poor fellow was
making the best of his way back as well as he was able. Of what use,
thought I, to make him my prisoner; one more or less at such a time can
be of slight avail; so I merely halted him to ask how near the French
were. The man could only speak Hungarian, but made signs that the
lancers were close upon us, and counseled me to make my escape into the
town with all speed. I intimated by a gesture that I could trust to my
horse, and we parted. He was scarcely out of sight when the bright gleam
of brass helmets came into view toward the west, and then I could make
out the shining cuirasses of the "Corps de Guides," as, mounted on
their powerful horses, they came galloping along.

"I thought I was foremost," said a young officer to me, as he rode up.
"How came _you_ in advance?"

"Where's the 'Etat Major?'" cried I, in haste, and not heeding his
question. "I have a dispatch for the Emperor."

"Follow the road," said he, "and you'll come up with them in half an
hour."

And with these hurried words we passed each other. A sharp pistol report
a moment after told me what had befallen the poor Hungarian; but I had
little time to think of his fate. Our squadrons were coming on at a
sharp pace, while in their rear the jingling clash of horse-artillery
resounded. From a gentle rise of the road, I could see a vast distance
of country, and perceive that the French columns extended for miles
away--the great chaussée being reserved for the heavy artillery, while
every by-road and lane was filled with troops of all arms, hurrying
onward. It was one of those precipitous movements by which Napoleon so
often paralyzed an enemy at once, and finished a campaign by one daring
exploit.

At such a time it was in vain for me to ask in what direction the staff
might be found. All were eager and intent on their own projects; and as
squadron after squadron passed, I saw it was a moment for action rather
than for thought. Still I did not like to abandon all hope of succeeding
after so much of peril and fatigue, and seeing that it was impossible to
advance against the flood of horse and artillery that formed along the
road, I jumped my horse into a field at the side, and pushed forward.
Even here, however, the passage was not quite clear, since many, in
their eagerness to get forward, had taken to the same line, and with
cheering cries and wild shouts of joy, were galloping on. My showy
uniform drew many an eye toward me, and at last a staff-officer cried
out to me to stop, pointing with his sabre as he spoke to a hill a short
distance off, where a group of officers were standing.

This was General Moulon and his staff, under whose order the
advanced-guard was placed.

"A dispatch--whence from!" cried he, hastily, as I rode up.

"No, sir; a plan of the bridge of Landshut, taken from the enemy this
morning at Moosburg."

"Are they still there?" asked he.

"By this time they must be close upon Landshut; they were in full
retreat when I left them at day-break."

"We'll be able to speak of the bridge without this," said he, laughing,
and turning toward his staff, while he handed the sketch carelessly to
some one beside him; "and you'll serve the Emperor quite as well, sir,
by coming with us as hastening to the rear."

I professed myself ready and willing to follow his orders, and away I
went with the staff, well pleased to be once more on active service.

Two cannon shots, and a rattling crash of small arms, told us that the
combat had begun; and as we rose the hill, the bridge of Landshut was
seen on fire in three places. Either from some mistake of his orders, or
not daring to assume a responsibility for what was beyond the strict
line of duty, the French commander of the artillery placed his guns in
position along the river's bank, and prepared to reply to the fire now
opening from the town, instead of at once dashing onward within the
gates. Moulon hastened to repair the error; but by the delay in pushing
through the dense masses of horse, foot, and artillery that crowded the
passage, it was full twenty minutes ere he came up. With a storm of
oaths on the stupidity of the artillery colonel, he ordered the firing
to cease, commanding both the cavalry and the train wagons to move right
and left, and give place for a grenadier battalion, who were coming
briskly on with their muskets at the sling.

The scene was now a madly-exciting one. The chevaux-de-frize at one end
of the bridge was blazing; but beyond it on the bridge the Austrian
engineer and his men were scattering combustible material, and with
hempen torches touching the new-pitched timbers. An incessant roll of
musketry issued from the houses on the river side, with now and then the
deeper boom of a large gun, while the roar of voices, and the crashing
noise of artillery passing through the streets, swelled into a fearful
chorus. The French sappers quickly removed the burning chevaux-de-frize,
and hurled the flaming timbers into the stream; and scarcely was this
done, when Moulon, dismounting, advanced, cheering, at the head of his
grenadiers. Charging over the burning bridge, they rushed forward; but
their way was arrested by the strong timbers of a massive portcullis,
which closed the passage. This had been concealed from our view by the
smoke and flame; and now, as the press of men from behind grew each
instant more powerful, a scene of terrible suffering ensued. The enemy,
too, poured down a deadly discharge, and grape-shot tore through us at
pistol range. The onward rush of the columns to the rear defied retreat,
and in the mad confusion, all orders and commands were unheard or
unheeded. Not knowing what delayed our advance, I was busily engaged in
suppressing a fire at one of the middle buttresses, when, mounting the
parapet, I saw the cause of our halt. I happened to have caught up one
of the pitched torches at the instant, and the thought at once struck me
how to employ it. To reach the portcullis, no other road lay open than
the parapet itself--a wooden railing, wide enough for a footing, but
exposed to the whole fire of the houses. There was little time for the
choice of alternatives, even had our fate offered any, so I dashed on,
and, as the balls whizzed and whistled around me, reached the front.

It was a terrible thing to touch the timbers against which our men were
actually flattened, and to set fire to the bars around which their hands
were clasped; but I saw that the Austrian musketry had already done its
work on the leading files, and that not one man was living among them.
By a blunder of one of the sappers, the portcullis had been smeared with
pitch like the bridge; and as I applied the torch, the blaze sprung up,
and, encouraged by the rush of air between the beams, spread in a second
over the whole structure. Expecting my death-wound at every instant, I
never ceased my task, even when it had become no longer necessary,
impelled by a kind of insane persistence to destroy the barrier. The
wind carrying the flame inward, however, had compelled the Austrians to
fall back, and before they could again open a collected fire on us, the
way was open, and the grenadiers, like enraged tigers, rushed wildly in.

I remember that my coat was twice on fire as, carried on my comrades'
shoulders, I was borne along into the town. I recollect, too, the
fearful scene of suffering that ensued, the mad butchery at each
door-way as we passed, the piercing cries for mercy, and the groan of
dying agony.

War has no such terrible spectacle as a town taken by infuriated
soldiery, and even among the best of natures a relentless cruelty usurps
the place of every chivalrous feeling. When or how I was wounded I never
could ascertain; but a round shot had penetrated my thigh, tearing the
muscles into shreds, and giving to the surgeon who saw me the simple
task of saying, "_Enlevez le--point d'espoir_."

I heard thus much, and I have some recollection of a comrade having
kissed my forehead, and there ended my reminiscences of Landshut. Nay, I
am wrong; I cherish another and a more glorious one.

It was about four days after this occurrence that the surgeon in charge
of the military hospital was obliged to secure by ligature a branch of
the femoral artery which had been traversed by the ball through my
thigh. The operation was a tedious and difficult one, for round shot, it
would seem, have little respect for anatomy, and occasionally displace
muscles in a sad fashion. I was very weak after it was over, and orders
were left to give a spoonful of Bordeaux and water from time to time
during the evening, a direction which I listened to attentively, and
never permitted my orderly to neglect. In fact, like a genuine sick
man's fancy, it caught possession of my mind that this wine and water
was to save me; and in the momentary rally of excitement it gave, I
thought I tasted health once more. In this impression I never awoke from
a short doze without a request for my cordial, and half mechanically
would make signs to wet my lips as I slept.

It was near sunset, and I was lying with unclosed eyes, not asleep, but
in that semi-conscious state that great bodily depression and loss of
blood induce. The ward was unusually quiet, the little buzz of voices
that generally mingled through the accents of suffering was hushed, and
I could hear the surgeon's well-known voice as he spoke to some persons
at the further end of the chamber.

By their stopping from time to time, I could remark that they were
inspecting the different beds, but their voices were low and their
steps cautious and noiseless.

"Tiernay--this is Tiernay," said some one reading my name from the paper
over my head. Some low words which I could not catch followed, and then
the surgeon replied--

"There is a chance for him yet, though the debility is greatly to be
feared."

I made a sign at once to my mouth, and after a second's delay the spoon
touched my lips, but so awkwardly was it applied, that the fluid ran
down my chin; with a sickly impatience I turned away, but a mild low
voice, soft as a woman's, said--

"Allons!--Let me try once more;" and now the spoon met my lips with due
dexterity.

"Thanks," said I faintly, and I opened my eyes.

"You'll soon be about again, Tiernay," said the same voice; as for the
person, I could distinguish nothing, for there were six or seven around
me; "and if I know any thing of a soldier's heart, this will do just as
much as the doctor."

As he spoke he detached from his coat a small enamel cross, and placed
it in my hand, with a gentle squeeze of the fingers, and then saying,
"au revoir," moved on.

"Who's that?" cried I, suddenly, while a strange thrill ran through me.

"Hush!" whispered the surgeon, cautiously; "hush! it is the Emperor."

(TO BE CONTINUED.)



TALK ABOUT THE SPIDER.


The spider family is very numerous, no less than fifty different kinds
being described by naturalists. We shall, however, only mention some of
the most common. All spiders have eight legs, with three joints in each,
and terminating in three crooked claws. They have eight eyes also,
differently arranged according to the different species: some have them
in a straight line, others in the shape of a capital V; others four
above and four below; others two above, two below, and two on either
side; while others, again, have them arranged in a way too complicated
to be described without plates. In the fore part of the head, they have
a pair of sharp crooked claws, or forceps, which stand horizontally, and
which, when not in use, are hidden from view, being concealed in cases
beautifully adapted for their reception, and in which they fold up, just
like a clasp-knife, and there remain between two rows of teeth. When the
spider bites its prey, it thrusts a small white proboscis out of its
mouth, with which it instills a poisonous liquor into the wound. The
abdomen, or hinder part of the spider, is separated from the head and
breast by a small thread-like tube. Their outer skin is a hard polished
crust.

A very curious description, sometimes found in this country, but more
generally in Italy, is the hunting-spider, so called because, instead of
spinning webs to entrap their prey, they pounce on them, and devour
them. This spider is small and brown, but beautifully spotted, with its
hinder-legs longer than the rest. When one of these spiders sees a fly
three or four yards off, it does not attack it without some deliberation
as to the best means of doing so. Generally speaking, it creeps under
it, and then, stealing softly up, it seldom misses its prey. If,
however, on a nearer approach, it finds that it is not in a direct line,
it will immediately slide down again, and the next time, making its
observations more correctly, it pounces on the unsuspecting fly's back.
Meantime, if the fly moves, the hunter follows its example, always
taking care to face its prey. Should the fly, however, take wing, its
enemy will follow it, swift as the lightning's flash, and then, moving
almost imperceptibly along, she catches it by the poll, and, after
quietly satisfying the pangs of hunger, carries the remainder home, to
keep for a future day. The nest of these spiders is very curious: it is
about two inches high, and is composed of a close and soft satin-like
texture. In this are two chambers, placed perpendicularly, in which the
spider reposes during the day, generally going out to _hunt_ after
nightfall. The parent hunter regularly instructs her young ones how to
pursue their future avocation, and when, in teaching them, they
themselves happen to miss a jump, they always run away, as if quite
ashamed of themselves!

One of the largest kinds of nests to be met with in this country is that
of the labyrinthic-spider, whose web most of our readers must surely
have seen spread out like a broad sheet in hedges, generally in the
furze, or other low bushes. The middle of this net, which is of a very
close texture, is suspended like a sailor's hammock, by fine silken
threads fastened to higher branches. The whole curves upward, sloping
down to a long funnel-shaped gallery, nearly horizontal at the entrance,
but winding obliquely until it becomes almost perpendicular. This
gallery is about a quarter of an inch, is much more closely woven than
the sheet part of the web, and generally descends into a hole in the
ground, or else into a soft tuft of grass. Here is the spider's
dwelling-place, where she may often be found resting with her legs
extended, ready to catch the hapless insects which get entangled in her
sheet net.

The most extraordinary nest, however, of the whole species, is that of
the mason-spider, which is a native of the tropics, and is generally
found in the West Indies. This nest is formed of very hard clay, colored
deeply with brown oxide of iron. It is constructed in the form of a
tube, about one inch in diameter and six or seven long. Their first
labor is to line it, which they do with a uniform tapestry of
orange-colored silken web, of a texture rather thicker than fine paper.
This lining is useful for two important purposes: it prevents the walls
of the house from falling down, and also, by being connected with the
door, it enables the spider to know what is going on above, for the
entire vibrates when one part is touched. Our readers who have not been
so fortunate as to meet with this description of nest, may very
probably feel inclined to laugh at our mention of a door. It is
nevertheless perfectly true that there _is_ a door, and a most
ingeniously contrived one also, and truly it may be regarded as one of
the most curious things in the whole range of insect architecture. It is
about the size and shape of a crown-piece, slightly convex inside, and
concave on the outer side. It is composed of twelve or more layers of
web, similar to that with which the inner part is lined; these are laid
very closely one over the other, and managed so that the inner layers
are the broadest, the others gradually diminishing in size, except near
the hinge, which is about an inch long; and as all the layers are united
there, and prolonged into the tube, it is necessarily the firmest and
strongest portion of the entire structure. The materials are so elastic,
that the hinge shuts as if it had a spring, and of its own accord. The
hole in which the nest is made being on a sloping bank, one side must
always be higher than the other, and it is observed that the hinge is
invariably placed on the highest side, because the spider knows well,
that, when so situated, the door, if pushed from the outside, will fall
down by its own weight, and close; and so nicely does it fit into the
little groove prepared for it, that the most attentive observer could
scarcely discover where the joining was. In this safe retreat the wary
spider lives, nor will the loudest knocking tempt it out of its
hiding-place. Should, however, the least attempt be made to force open
the door, the spider, aware of what is going on by the motion of the
threads, runs quickly to the door, fastens its legs to the silk lining
of the walls, and, turning on its back, pulls the door with all its
might. The truth of this assertion has been tested by many
entomologists, who, by lifting the door with a pin, have felt the little
spider trying to prevent their entrance; the contest, of course, is not
a long one, and the assailants being uniformly victorious, the spider
seeks safety in flight. Should the door be entirely taken away, another
will soon be put in its place. These spiders hunt their prey at night,
and devour them in their nests, which are generally found scattered all
over with the fragments of their repasts. A pair of spiders, with thirty
or forty young ones, often live together in one nest such as we have
described.

The most famous of all spiders is the tarantula. It is an inhabitant of
Italy, Cyprus, and the East Indies. Its breast and abdomen are
ash-colored, as are also the wings, which have blackish rings on the
inner side. Its eyes are red: two of them are larger than the others,
and placed in the front of its head; four others in a transverse
direction near the mouth; and the remaining two close to the back. It
generally lives in bare fields, where the land is fallow and soft; and
it carefully shuns damp shady places, preferring a rising ground facing
the east. Its nest is four inches deep, half an inch wide, and curved at
the bottom, and here the insect retreats in unfavorable weather, weaving
a web at the door to be secure from rain and damp. In July it casts its
skin, and lays 730 eggs, but does not live to rear them, as it dies
early in the winter. Its bite is said to occasion death. First, the part
bitten becomes inflamed, then sickness and faintness come on, followed
by difficulty of breathing, and then by death. Music is the only cure
resorted to. A musician is brought to see the patient, and tries one air
after another, and at length hits upon the one which impels the sufferer
to dance. The violence of the exercise brings on perspiration, which
invariably cures the disorder.

A gentleman who was traveling in Italy some years ago, was very anxious
to see the dance, but it being too early in the year for the spider to
be found, all he could do was to prevail on a young woman who had been
bitten on a previous year to go through the dance for him just as she
did then. She agreed to the proposal, and at first lolled listlessly and
stupidly about, while slow, dull music was played. At length the right
chord was touched; she sprang up with a fearful yell, and staggered
exactly like a drunken person, holding a handkerchief in each hand, and
moving correctly to tune. As the music became more lively, she jumped
about with great velocity, shrieking very loudly. Altogether, the scene
was most painful, but was acted to perfection. The patients were always
dressed in white, and adorned with red, green, and blue ribbons; their
hair fell loosely over their shoulders, which were covered with a white
scarf. All that we have related as to the effects of the bite, was long
believed to be true; but many years ago its truth was questioned, and
the result of the investigation was, that the tarantula was a harmless
insect, and that the supposed injuries inflicted by it were made use of
as an excuse for indulging in a dance similar to that of the priestess
of Bacchus, which the introduction of Christianity had put an end to.
Those who are not impostors are merely afflicted with a nervous illness,
known by the name of St. Vitus's Dance: and to this saint many chapels
have been dedicated.

Another curious and interesting description of the spider is that called
the water-diving spider. It can easily be understood that a spider would
not find any difficulty in breathing under water, inasmuch as they are
provided with gills. But the diving-spider is not content, as frogs are,
with the air furnished by the water, but independently carries down a
supply with her to her sub-marine territories. This spider, which is
constantly found in the neighborhood of London, does not relish stagnant
water, preferring slow-running streams, where she lives in her
diving-bell, which shines like a globe of silver. This shining
appearance is supposed to proceed either from an inflated globule
surrounding the abdomen, or else from the space between the body and the
water. When the little diver wishes to inhale a fresh supply of
atmospheric air, it rises to the surface, with its body still continuing
in the water, and merely the part containing the spinneret visible, and
this it briskly opens and moves. It generally comes up every quarter of
an hour, although it _could_ remain in the water for many days
together. A thick coating of hair prevents its being wet, or otherwise
incommoded by the water.

The diving-spider spins its cell in the water; it is composed of
closely-woven, strong, white silk, and shaped like half a pigeon's egg,
looking something like a diving-bell. Occasionally this nest is allowed
to remain partly above water; generally, however, it is totally
submerged, and is attached by a great number of irregular threads to
some near objects. It is entirely closed, except at the bottom, where
there is a large opening. This, however, is sometimes shut, and then the
spider may be seen staying peaceably at home, with her head downward;
and thus they often remain during the three winter months.

No insects are more cleanly in their habits than spiders, although the
gummy substance of which their webs are composed, and the rough hairy
covering of their bodies, with but few exceptions, render this an
arduous task. Whenever they happen to break a thread of their web which
they are unable to mend, they roll it up in a little ball, and throw it
away, and they regularly comb their legs.

In concluding this brief account of the spider family, we can assure our
readers, that any time they may bestow on the subject will be amply
rewarded by the interest and pleasure they will derive. And, lest any
should imagine that the hours thus passed are wasted or misspent, we
shall close our article by giving a short history of a man whose life
was saved by his knowledge of the habits of a spider.

Very many years ago, a Frenchman called Quatreman Disjouval sided with
the Dutch in a revolt against the French. For this offense he was cast
into prison, where he remained for eight long years, without the most
remote prospect of being set at liberty. To while away the dreary hours,
he made acquaintance with some spiders who shared his solitary cell,
and, having nothing to occupy his mind, he passed the greater part of
his time in attentively watching their movements. By degrees he
discovered that they only spun their large wheel-like webs in fine
weather, or when it was about to set in; while in damp weather they
generally disappeared altogether. In the month of December, 1794, when
the republican troops were in Holland, a sudden and unexpected thaw set
in, and so materially disarranged their general's plans, that he
actually thought of withdrawing his army altogether, and accepting the
money which the Dutch would gladly have given to have got rid of them.
Meantime Disjouval, who thought that any masters would be better than
his present ones, ardently hoped that the French would be victorious.
Shut up as he was, he contrived to hear all about their intended
movements, and, knowing that the weather alone prevented it, he watched
his old friends the spiders with redoubled interest. To his infinite
delight, he found that a frost was just about to set in, and so severe a
one, too, that it would enable the rivers and canals to bear the weight
of the baggage and artillery. Somehow or other, he succeeded in having
a letter conveyed to the general, assuring him that within fourteen days
a severe frost would set in. "The wish was parent to the hope;" and the
commander-in-chief, believing that he really had some supernatural
revelation on the subject, maintained his position. At the close of the
twelfth day, the anxiously wished for frost began, and Disjouval felt
sure that now he would be set at liberty. Nor was he mistaken. The
general's first act on entering the town was to go to the prison, and,
thanking him personally for his valuable information, he set him free.
Disjouval subsequently became a celebrated entomologist, directing his
attention principally to spiders, whose first appearance in summer he
thought ought to be welcomed by sound of trumpet!



AMALIE DE BOURBLANC, THE LOST CHILD.--A TALE OF FACTS.


In the heat of the last French war, some forty years ago, we were under
the necessity of removing from the north to make our residence in
London. We took our passage in one of the old Scotch smacks from Leith,
and, wishing to settle down immediately on our arrival in the great
metropolis, we took our servants and our furniture along with us.
Contrary winds detained us long upon our passage. Although a mere child
at the time, I well remember one eventful morning, when, to our horror
and alarm, a French man-of-war was seen looming on the distant horizon,
and evidently bearing down on us. A calm had settled on the sea, and we
made but little way, and at last we saw two boats lowered from the
Frenchman's deck, and speedily nearing us. This occurred shortly after
the famous and heroic resistance made successfully by the crew of one of
the vessels in the same trade to a French privateer. With this glorious
precedent before our eyes, both passengers and crew were disposed to
make no tame resistance. Our guns were loaded to the muzzle, and every
sailor was bared for action. Old cutlasses and rusty guns were handed
round about, and piled upon the deck. Truly, we were a motley crew, more
like a savage armament of lawless buccaneers than bloodless denizens of
peace. But happily these warlike preparations were needless, for a
breeze sprung up, and, though we were pretty smartly chased, the
favoring gale soon bore us far from danger, and eventually wafted us in
safety to our destined port.

My mother was somewhat struck, during the period of our short alarm, by
the fearless and heroic bearing of our servant Jane. A deeper feeling
seemed to pervade her mind than common antipathy to the common foe. In
fact, at various times during her previous service, when any events
connected with the French war formed, as they ever did, the
all-engrossing subject of discourse, Jane evinced an interest in the
theme equaled only by the intense hatred toward that nation which she
now displayed. On the present occasion, the appearance of the foe
awakened in her bosom a thousand slumbering but bitter recollections of
a deep domestic tragedy connected with herself; and so far from showing
the natural timidity of her sex, she even endeavored to assist in the
arrangement of our murderous preparations. Even a shade of regret
appeared upon her face, as we bounded over the sparkling waves, when our
tardy foe seemed but as a speck upon the distant sea. During the
remainder of our voyage she sunk into a dreamy melancholy. With her head
almost continually resting on the bulwarks of the ship, she gazed upon
the clear, blue depths below; and, had we watched her closely, we might
perhaps have seen some of the round tear-drops which gathered on her
eyelids, and fell silently, to mingle with the waves. But we heeded not.

She was a singular girl, and seemed evidently superior to her present
station; yet she toiled on with the drudgery of the house, listless and
indifferent, but always usefully engaged. My mother was not altogether
satisfied with her work, and still found a difficulty in blaming her.
She seemed to dream through her whole duty, as if her mind was rapt in
some strange fancies, while her hands mechanically did her task. At
last, after long solicitation, she explained the mystery by telling us
her history.

We must throw our story back some twenty years. Her family at that time
occupied a respectable, if not a wealthy position in our northern
metropolis. Her father was engaged in a lucrative business, had been
married about six years, and was the father of four children. His
youngest daughter had been born about three months previous to this
period of our tale. She was a singularly lovely child. A sister of his
wife's, who had made a wealthy marriage with an officer in the French
army, was at this time on a short visit to the land of her birth. Madame
de Bourblanc was childless, and her heart was yearning for those
blessings of maternal love which Providence denied her. She was unhappy:
no wonder; for her home in sunny France was desolate.

A little while soon passed away. Mrs. Wilson and her sister were seated
at the parlor fire one cold November night--the one contemplating the
blessings she possessed, the other brooding on her far different lot.
The children prattled merrily beside them, and waited only for their
father's evening kiss, before they went to childhood's innocent sleep.
But their father came not. His usual time had long since passed, and his
wife betrayed some symptoms of uneasiness at the unwonted delay. At last
they heard a hurried knock, and Mr. Wilson entered the apartment. There
were traces of anxiety and grief upon his countenance, but, as he spoke
not of the cause, his wife forbore inquiries in the presence of her
sister. But Mr. Wilson was extremely unsocial, nay, even harsh; and,
when his wife held out her babe, and the unconscious infant seemed to
put up its little lips for its evening kiss, he pushed the child aside,
and muttered something audibly about the curses of a married life, and
the inconvenience and expense of bringing up a large, increasing
family.

The babe was sent to bed, and the mother spoke not, though a bitter tear
might be seen rolling down her cheek. She was deeply hurt, and justly
so. But Mr. Wilson had met with some heavy losses during the course of
the day. These had soured his heart and embittered his words. Perhaps he
meant not what he said; it might have been but the passing bitterness of
a disappointed man. However the case may be, the words he uttered
remained in the bosom of his wife, rooted and festering there; and many
a bitter pang had she in after-life, and the desolations and the sorrows
which dispersed her family, some to their grave, others far
asunder--that all could be ascribed to these few bitter words.

A week had scarcely elapsed since the occurrences of that unhappy
evening, when an event took place which wrought a fearful revolution in
that happy family. Surely the "evil eye" had looked upon that house.

Mrs. Wilson and her sister went to make a call upon a friend. As they
expected to return almost immediately, they left the babe slumbering in
its cradle, and sent the servant on some trifling errand. Circumstances
retarded their return. The anxious mother hastened to the nursery to
tend upon her babe. She looked into the room, but all was still. Surely
the child was slumbering. She must not rouse it from its peaceful
dreams. But all continued still. There was a death-like silence in the
room. She could not even hear her infant breathe. She sat a while by the
flickering light of the expiring fire, for the shades of evening had
gathered over the darkening horizon. At length she rose; she went to
look upon her child; she lifted up the coverlid. No child was there. An
indescribable dread took possession of her soul; she rushed like a
maniac from room to room. At last she heard a noise; she flew to the
spot. Yes, three of her children were there, but the other, her babe,
her newest born, the flower of her heart, was gone.

"My child! my child!" she screamed, and fell upon the floor. Her sister
heard the fall, and rushed up stairs. She knelt beside the stricken
woman, bathed her temples with cold water, and with a start Mrs. Wilson
awoke from her swoon.

"My child! my child!" she sobbed.

"What of the child?" her sister cried.

"Gone--lost--stolen from its mother!" screamed the wretched woman.

"Oh, impossible! Be calm; the child will soon be found," her sister
said. "Some neighbor, perhaps--"

"Perhaps--perhaps," hurriedly replied the mother, and she rushed from
house to house. The people thought her mad. No child was there. Her
sister led her home. She followed her calmly, unresistingly. Was her
spirit broken? She was placed upon a chair; she sat as one bereft of
reason; her face was pale; and perspiration, the deep dews of agony,
gathered upon her brow. Not even a feather would have stirred before her
breath. It looked like death.

At last she started from her seat. Her brows were knit, and her whole
face convulsed with the fearful workings of her soul. "John! John!" she
cried. "Where is my husband. Send him to me."

And they went to seek him, but he was not to be found. They told her so,
and she was silent. There were evidently some frightful thoughts
laboring within her breast--some terrible suspicions, which her spirit
scarce dared to entertain. For about an hour she sat, but never opened
her lips. It was a fearful silence. At last his knock was heard; the
stair creaked beneath his well known tread; he entered. The mother
sprang upon her feet.

"John!" she screamed, "give me my child! Where have you put her? Where
is my child?"

Her husband started. "Woman, are you mad?" he cried.

"Give me my child!"

"Wife, be calm."

"I will not be calm. My child! You spoke coarsely to me the other night
for nothing, John. She was a burden on you, was she? But why did you
take her from me? I would have worked for her--drudged, slaved, to win
her bread. Oh, why did you _kill_ my child?"

The man looked stupidly upon his wife, and sank into a chair. The room
was filled with neighbors; they looked at him, and then to one another,
and whispered.

"Give me my child!" the mother screamed. He sat buried in thought, and
covering his face with both his hands.

"Take him away!" she cried, and the people laid their hands upon him.

He started to his feet, and dashed the foremost to the ground. There was
a look about the man that terrified, and they quailed before him. He
strode before his wife. "Woman," said he, "your lips accused me.
Bitterly, ay, bitterly, shall you rue this night's work. Come,
neighbors, I am ready." And they took him to a magistrate.

"My child!" the wretched woman shrieked, and swooned away. Before a few
hours had passed, she was writhing in the agonies of a burning fever.

And where was her husband then? Walking to and fro upon the cold
flagstones of a felon's cell, upon a charge of murdering his child, his
own child; doomed thither by his own wife. A close investigation of
every matter connected with this mysterious affair was set on foot. No
proof of Mr. Wilson's guilt could be obtained. He was arraigned before
his country's laws, and, after a patient trial, was discharged, as his
judge emphatically pronounced, without a stain upon his character.
Discharged, forsooth, to what? To meet the frowns and suspicions of a
too credulous world; to see the people turn and stare behind him, as he
passed along the streets; to see the children shrink from him and flee,
as from some monster; and to dwell in a desolate home, his own offspring
trembling as he touched them, and his wife--that wife who had accused
him--looking with cold, suspicious, unhappy eye upon the being she had
sworn to love and cherish with her life. Such was his fate! who had
wrought it? His wife recovered from her illness; and her sister went her
way back to her home in France.

Seldom did the poor man even speak: there was gloom about that desolate
house. His trade fell off, and his credit declined; and why? because his
heart was broken. Day after day he sat in his lone counting-house; there
was no bustle there. His books were covered with a thick coat of dust;
and, as one by one his customers stepped off, so poverty stepped in,
until at last he found himself almost a beggar. He shut his
office-doors, shut them for the last time, then wiped away a tear, the
first he had shed for many a day. He went home, but not to the home he
used to have. His furniture had been sold to supply the common
necessaries of life; and poor indeed was their now humble abode. There
was silence in that little house, scarcely a whisper. In the secret
fountains of his wife's heart there was still a depth of love for him;
but, always when she would have breathed it forth, the strange horrid
suspicion would flit across her brain--her child was not. He often
looked at her, a long, earnest gaze, but he seldom spoke.

One evening, he was more than usually sad. He kissed his children
fondly. He took his wife's cold hand, and pressed it in his own.
"Jessie," said he, "as ye have sown, so shall ye reap; but I forgive
you. God bless you, wife!" He lay down upon his hard pallet, and when
they would have roused him in the morning, he was dead.

Time rolled on with rapid sweep, alas! bringing death and its attendant
evils in his train. Two of the widow's children died; and Jane was now
about eighteen years of age. Sorrow, rather than age, had already
blanched the widow's hair. They were in great poverty; eked out a scanty
livelihood with their needle. Indeed, their only certain dependence lay
in the small assistance which Madame de Bourblanc sent from France.
Perhaps, had that sister known the straits of her poor relatives, her
paltry pittance might have been increased. They were perhaps too proud
to make it known; as it was, she knew not, or, if she did, she heeded
not.

About this time a letter reached the widow from her sister. Besides
containing the usual remittance, the letter was unusually long. She
requested Jane to read it to her, while she sat and sewed. What ailed
the girl, her mother thought, as Jane gazed upon the page with some
indescribable emotions depicted on her face. "Mother," she cried, "my
sister lives! your child is found again!" The widow tore the letter from
her daughter's hand, and read it eagerly, while her face grew paler
every moment. She gasped for utterance; and the mystery was solved at
last.

Yes, reader, at last was the mystery unraveled, and the criminal was her
sister--she who had stood calmly by, and seen the agony of the bereaved
mother--she who had beheld the injured father dragged as a felon to
prison, when a word from her would have cleard it all--she was that
wretch. Madame de Bourblanc was childless and her heart yearned for
some one she could love. She saw the little cherub of her sister, and
she envied it. She knew that, if she had asked the child, the mother's
heart would have spurned the offer, so she laid her plans to steal the
infant. She employed a woman from France, who, as she prowled about the
house, had seized the favorable moment, and snatched the infant from its
cradle, and the child was safely housed in France before the tardy law
began its investigations. Madame de Bourblanc remained beside her sister
for a time; then hurried off to France, to lavish all her love upon the
stolen child. It is true, she loved the child; but was it not a selfish
love to see the bereaved mother mourn its loss, yet never soothe her
troubled heart? and was it not a cruel love, to see a household broken
up, affections desolated, and all to gratify a selfish whim of hers? It
was worse than cruel--it was deeply criminal.

She brought up the infant as her own: she named it Amalie, and a pretty
child she was. Did a pang never strike into the heart of that cruel
woman, as the child would lift its little eyes to hers, and lisp "My
mother?" She must have thought of the true mother, broken-hearted, in
another land. Yes, a pang did pierce her heart; but alas! it came too
late; the misery was already wrought. She wrote to her injured sister,
begging her forgiveness, and at the same time offering a considerable
sum, if she would permit the child to remain with her, still ignorant of
her real parentage. But she was mistaken in her hope; for not only did
the mother indignantly demand the restoration of her child, but she did
more; she published the sister's letter, and triumphantly removed the
stains that lingered on her dead husband's memory.

A few weeks after this, the widow went to pay a visit to the green grave
of her broken-hearted husband: she knelt upon the verdant mound, and
watered it with her tributary tears. All her unjust suspicions crowded
on her mind: conscience reproached her bitterly. She knelt, and
supplicated for forgiveness, seeming to commune with his spirit on the
spot where his poor frail body reposed in its narrow bed. She felt a
gentle touch upon her shoulder; it was her daughter Jane. One moment
after, and she was clasped in the embrace of a stranger. Nature
whispered to the mother's heart her child was there, her long lost
child. _She_ too had come to look upon that lowly grave--the grave of a
father.

After the first transports of meeting were over, the widow found leisure
to observe her child. But what a poor young delicate flower was she, to
brave the rude blasts of poverty. She was a lovely girl: like a lily,
fragile and pale, the storms of life would wither her. Her mother took
her home; but the contrast was too great, from affluence to
poverty--Amalie wept. Poor Jane strove to comfort her; but she might
only use the language of the eyes, for her foreign sister scarcely
understood two words of English. Amalie struggled hard to love her new
mother, and to reconcile her young heart to this sudden change, but the
effort was too great, and she gradually sank. Early and late her mother
and her sister toiled, to obtain for her, in her delicate state, some of
those luxuries to which she had been accustomed; but their efforts were
vain--she was not long for earth. The widow had indignantly refused all
offers of assistance from her cruel sister though she felt that, unless
Providence should interpose, her strength must soon fail under its
additional exactions.

A letter arrived from France; it was sealed with black. They opened it
hastily and fearfully; and they had cause. Madame de Bourblanc was dead;
she was suddenly cut off, to render an account before her Creator. The
shock was too great for poor Amalie. Day by day she languished, pining
in heart for sunny France. Three months after she had reached England,
Amalie died. Her last words were, "My mother!"

Soon after, her old mother followed her. Oh, that the purified spirits
of them all may meet in heaven! Jane is the sole survivor of this
domestic tragedy. Even she may have departed to the haven of eternal
rest, for she left my mother shortly after we were settled in London. We
have never seen her since.



THE GAME OF CHESS.--A SCENE IN THE COURT OF PHILIP THE SECOND.

THE ESCURIAL.


King Philip the Second was playing at chess in the palace of the
Escurial. Ruy Lopez, a priest of the ordinary rank, who was most expert
at this game, was his majesty's antagonist. The player was allowed to
kneel, by special privilege, while the nobles stood round as spectators.
There was something in their attitudes betokening an engagement of mind
too anxious to be called forth by the mere interest of the game. It was
a splendid morning, and the air was redolent with perfume not less sweet
than that exhaled by the orange-groves of Granada. The violet-colored
curtains of the magnificent saloon softened the powerful rays of the sun
as they darted through the casements. The bright, cheerful light seemed
at this moment but ill to accord with the mood of the king, whose gloomy
brow seemed to grow darker and darker, like the tempest brooding on the
lofty Alpuxares. He frowned as he frequently glanced toward the entrance
of the saloon. The nobles remained silent, exchanging looks of mutual
intelligence. The assembly was any thing but a cheerful one, and it was
easy to perceive that some grave affair occupied the thoughts of all
present. None appeared to pay attention to the chess save Ruy Lopez,
who, with his eyes fixed on the board, was deliberating between a
checkmate and the deference due to his most Catholic Majesty Philip the
Second, Lord of the Territories of Spain and its Dependencies. Not a
sound was heard but the slight noise made by the players as they moved
their pieces, when the door was suddenly thrown open, and a man of rude
and sinister aspect advanced toward the king, and in lowly reverence
waited permission to address him. The appearance of this man was most
forbidding; his entrance caused a general sensation. The nobles drew
haughtily back, allowing their feelings of disgust for a moment to
overpower their sense of etiquette. One would have supposed some fierce
and loathsome beast had suddenly come among them; and certainly he was
well calculated to excite such feelings. His figure was tall, bony, and
of Herculean dimensions, clad in a black leather doublet. His coarse
features, unlighted by a ray of intelligence, betrayed tastes and
passions of the most degraded character, while a large, deep scar,
reaching from the eyebrow to the chin, till lost in a thick black beard,
added to the natural ferocity of his countenance.

Philip turned to address him, but his faltering voice gave evidence of
some unusual emotion. An electric shock passed through the whole
assembly. The fact was, that this new arrival, who seemed the very
personification of physical force, was Fernando Calavarex, executioner
in Spain.

"Is he dead?" demanded Philip, at last, in an imperious tone, while a
shudder ran through the assembly.

"Not yet, sire," replied Fernando Calavarex, as he bent before the
monarch, who frowned angrily; "he claims his privilege as a grandee of
Spain, and I can not proceed to do my office upon a man in whose veins
flows the hidalgo-blood without having further orders from your
majesty."

And he again bent his head.

An answering murmur of approval broke from the assembled nobles, and the
blood of Castille boiled in their veins, and rushed to their brows. The
excitement became general. The young Alonzo d'Ossuna gave open
expression to the general feeling by putting on his hat. His bold
example was followed by the majority; and now many a white plume waved,
as if in token that their wearers claimed their every other privilege by
using that which the grandees of Spain have always had--of standing with
covered heads before their sovereign.

The king fiercely struck the table, overturning the pieces on the
chess-board with the violence of the blow.

"He has been condemned by our royal council, what more would the traitor
have?"

"Sire," replied the executioner, "he demands to die by the ax, as
becomes a noble, and not by the cord, and also to be allowed to spend
the three last hours of his life with a priest."

"Ah! let it be so," replied Philip, evidently relieved. "But is not our
confessor already with him, according to our order?"

"Yes, sire," said Fernando, "the holy man is with him; but the duke
refuses to have St. Diaz de Silva. He will not receive absolution from
any one under the rank of a bishop; such is the privilege of a noble
condemned to death for high treason."

"It is, indeed, our right," said the fiery D'Ossuna, boldly, "and we
demand from the king our cousin's privilege."

This demand seemed to be the signal for a general movement.

"Our rights and the king's justice are inseparable," said, in his turn,
Don Diego de Tarrasez, Count of Valencia, an old man of gigantic height,
encased in armor, bearing in his hand the _bâton_ of High Constable of
Spain, and leaning on his Toledo blade.

"Our rights and privileges?" cried the nobles.

These words were repeated like an echo, till the king started from his
throne of ebony, exclaiming, "By the bones of Campeador, by the soul of
St. Jago, I have sworn neither to eat nor drink till the bloody head of
that traitor Don Guzman has been brought to me; and as I have said, so
shall it be! But Don Tarrasez has well said, 'The king's justice is the
security for the rights of his subjects.' My lord constable, where is
the nearest bishop to be found?"

"Sire, I have had more to do with the camp than with the church,"
bluntly replied the constable; "your majesty's almoner, Don Silva, who
is present, can give you more information upon such points than I can."

Don Silva y Mendez answered in some trepidation, "Sire, the Bishop of
Segovia was attached to the royal household, but he died last week, and
the nomination of his successor still lies on the council-table, and has
yet to be submitted for the Pope's veto. A meeting of all the princes of
the Church is to be held at Valladolid--all the prelates have been
summoned there; so that the Bishop of Madrid has already set out from
this."

At these words a smile played about the lips of D'Ossuna. His joy was
most natural, for not only was he of the blood of the Guzmans, but the
condemned noble had been his dearest friend.

But the smile did not escape the notice of the king, and an expression
of impatience and determination passed over his face.

"Nevertheless, we are king," said he, with a calmness which seemed
assumed but to cover the storm beneath, "and we choose not that our
royal person should be a butt for ridicule. This sceptre may seem light,
gentlemen, but he who dares to mock it will be crushed by it as surely
as though it were an iron block! But this matter is easily settled. Our
holy father the Pope being in no slight degree indebted to us, we do not
fear his disapproval of the step we are about to take; since the king of
Spain can create a prince, he may surely make a bishop. Rise, then, Don
Ruy Lopez, Bishop of Segovia. Rise, priest, I command it; take
possession of your rank in the Church!"

The astonishment was general.

Don Ruy Lopez rose mechanically; he would have spoken, but his head
reeled, his brain grew dizzy, and he paused. Then, with a violent
effort, he began,

"May it please your majesty--"

"Silence, my lord bishop!" replied the king. "Obey the command of your
sovereign. The formalities of your installation may be deferred to a
future occasion. Meanwhile, our subjects will not fail to recognize our
lawful authority in this matter. You, Bishop of Segovia, go with
Calavarez to the cell of the condemned man. Absolve his sinful soul, and
deliver his body to be dealt with by our trusty minister here, according
to our pleasure. And, Calavarez, see that you bring to us the head of
this traitor to the saloon, where we shall await you--for Don Guzman,
Prince of Calatrava, Duke of Medina Sidonia, is a traitor, and shall
this day die a traitor's death!"

And turning to Ruy Lopez, "Here is my signet-ring," said he, "as a token
to the duke."

"And now, my lords, have you any thing to say why the justice of your
monarch should not have its course?"

No one answered. Ruy Lopez followed the executioner, and the king
resumed his seat, beckoning to one of his favorites to take his place at
the chessboard. Don Ramirez, Count of Biscay, immediately came forward,
and knelt on the velvet cushion before occupied by Don Lopez.

"With the help of the chess, gentlemen, and your company," said the
king, smiling, "I shall pass the time most pleasantly. Let none of you
leave till the return of Calavarez; our good cheer would be diminished
were we to lose one of you."

With these ironical words, Philip began to play with Don Ramirez, and
the tired nobles remained grouped around the august personages as at the
beginning of our recital.

Every thing was restored to its usual order and quiet, while Calavarez
conducted the impromptu bishop to the cell of the condemned nobleman.

Ruy Lopez walked along without raising his eyes. He resembled far more a
criminal dragging to execution than a newly-made bishop. Was it a dream?
but no--the dark, scowling Calavarez that preceded him was indeed a
stern reality, and reminded him at once of his new dignity and of the
fearful condition attached to it. And as the vaulted passage echoed to
their steps, he devoutly prayed the ground might open, and swallow him
up alive, rather than that he should take any part in the impending fate
of Don Guzman. What was it bound him thus closely to Don Guzman? Was it
that they had been old and intimate friends? Was it that in the veins of
both flowed noble blood? No; it was simply that both were the best
chessplayers in Spain. Fervent and sincere was his prayer; but it was
not granted.


THE PRISON.

The Prince of Calatrava was pacing his narrow cell with a step whose
inequality betokened intense agitation. The whole furniture consisted of
a massive table and two heavy wooden stools. The floor was covered with
coarse, thick matting, which suffered not the sound of their footfalls
to break the gloomy silence. In the embrasure of the one narrow and
grated window was fixed a rudely-carved crucifix. With the exception of
this emblem of mercy and self-sacrifice, the walls were bare, and as
the damp chill of the cell struck to the heart of Ruy Lopez, he felt
that it was indeed the ante-chamber of death.

The duke turned as they entered, and courteously saluted the new
dignitary of the church. Glances of intelligence passed between them,
and conveyed to each feelings, the audible expression of which the
presence of Calavarez forbade. The duke understood how painful to Ruy
Lopez was the office which the executioner on the instant announced that
he had come to perform; and Ruy Lopez felt as fully convinced of the
innocence of Don Guzman as was the duke himself, notwithstanding the
apparently strong proofs of his guilt. One of these proofs was nothing
less than a letter in his own handwriting, addressed to the court of
France, entering into full detail of a plot to assassinate King Philip.

In the proud consciousness of innocence, Don Guzman had refused to offer
any defense, and as no attempt was made to disprove the accusation, his
silence was construed into an admission of guilt, and he was condemned
to die the death of a traitor. In the same calm silence Don Guzman heard
the sentence; the color faded not from his cheek, his eye quailed not,
and with as firm a step as he entered that judgment-hall, he quitted it
for the cell of the condemned. And if now his brow was contracted--his
step unequal; if now his breath came short and thick--it was because the
thought of his betrothed, the fair, the gentle Donna Estella, lay heavy
at his heart. He pictured her, ignorant of his situation, waiting for
him in her father's stately halls on the banks of the Guadalquiver--and
awaiting him in vain. What marvel that love should make him weak whom
death could not appall!

Calavarez, imagining that he had been hitherto unheeded, again repeated
the monarch's commands, and announced that Don Ruy Lopez now held such
rank in the church as qualified him to render the last offices to a
grandee of Spain.

The young nobleman on the instant bent his knee to the new bishop, and
craved his blessing. Then, turning to Calavarez, he haughtily pointed to
the door. "We need not your presence, sir; begone. In three hours I
shall be ready."

And how were these three hours passed? First came short shrift--soon
made. With a natural levity of character, which even this solemn hour
could not subdue, Don Guzman turned from the grave exhortations of his
confessor, as he dwelt upon the last great change.

"Change, indeed!" cried the duke; "how different were the circumstances
in which we last met. Do you not remember you were playing your famous
game with Paoli Boz, the Sicilian, in the presence of Philip and the
whole court, and it was on my arm that the king leaned? Change, indeed!
Well has Cervantes said, 'Life is a game of chess.' I have forgotten the
precise words, but the passage runs to this effect--that upon the earth,
as upon the chess-board, men are playing different parts, as ordered by
fate, fortune, and birth. And when death's checkmate comes, the game is
finished, and the human pieces lie in the grave huddled together, like
the chessmen in the box."

"I remember these words of Don Quixotte," said Ruy Lopez, "and I also
remember Sancho's reply--that though the comparison was a good one, it
was not altogether so new, but that he had heard it before. But these
are not subjects for such an hour as this; may the Lord forgive this
unseemly levity!"

The duke went on, without heeding Don Lopez, "I, too, have had my
triumphs in chess; and even from you, holy father, have I sometimes
wrested a trophy. You used to be proud of me as your pupil."

"It is quite true," answered the bishop; "your play is masterly; and I
have often gloried in having been your first instructor."

"A bright idea has struck me," suddenly exclaimed Don Guzman; "let us
have one last game of chess!"

"The thought is too profane," said the startled Ruy Lopez.

"If you refuse me this last request, I will summon the executioner on
the instant; for how, think you, can I endure the two hours of suspense
that have yet to be undergone? To meet death is easy--to await it is
intolerable! Are you as changed as my fortunes? Care you neither for me
nor for chess?"

The bishop again objected, but it was now faintly and hesitatingly. To
say the truth, the ruling passion, thus proved to be indeed strong in
death, was nearly as powerful in his own mind. "You consent, I see,"
said the young nobleman; "but what shall we do for chessmen?"

"I always carry my arms about me," said Ruy Lopez, now completely won
over. Then, drawing two stools to the table, he produced a miniature set
of chessmen and a small board. "Our Lady pardon me," he said, as he
proceeded to arrange the pieces; "but I own to you that sometimes a
difficult move comes between me and my breviary."

It was a curious picture to see the priest and the condemned man seated
at a game, so strange in their position!

The light rested on the pale and noble countenance of Don Guzman, and
fell slantingly through the Gothic window on the benevolent face of Ruy
Lopez, from which he had often to brush away the tear of irrepressible
emotion. What wonder, then, that he played with a distraction which was
not usual, and with little of his wonted skill and power. Don Guzman, on
the contrary, as if stimulated by the excitement he was laboring under,
played with extraordinary address. He seemed wholly engrossed by the
game, and as much abstracted from all surrounding and impending
circumstances, as if the executioner had already done his work; and the
victory would soon have been decided in his favor, had not the old
passion suddenly revived in Ruy Lopez, on seeing the near prospect of
defeat, and roused him into putting forth all his wonted skill, and he
was soon as fully absorbed in the game as his friend. And the
chessboard was now to both the universe. Happy illusion, could it but
last!

And now the minutes become quarters, the quarters half-hours, and the
fatal moment arrives.

A distant sound is heard--it becomes louder and louder--a step
approaches--it draws nearer and nearer. The door grates on its hinges,
and the executioner, with all his grim paraphernalia, enters to arouse
them to the stern and terrible reality.

The assistants of Calavarez, armed with swords and bearing torches,
advanced, carrying a block covered with black cloth, the use of which
was evident enough from the ax which lay upon it. They placed their
torches in their sockets, and strewed sawdust upon the ground. All this
took but a few seconds, and they stood awaiting their victim. On the
appearance of Calavarez, Ruy Lopez started from his seat, but the duke
moved not; he remained with his eyes fixed on the chessboard, paying no
attention either to the men or their fatal preparations.

It was his turn to move.

Calavarez, seeing the duke thus fixed and motionless, laid his hand upon
his shoulder, and uttered one word--only one--but in that word was the
destruction of a young life, with all its memories and all its earthly
hopes. That word was "Come!"

The prisoner started, as though he had trod upon a serpent; then,
recovering himself, said imperiously, "I must finish my game."

"Impossible," replied Calavarez.

"Possible, or not possible, I must see my game out. I have all but
checkmated him. Unhand me! Come on, Ruy Lopez."

"Impossible," repeated the executioner.

"Are the three hours then out?"

"To the very second. The king must be obeyed."

The attendants, who had stood leaning on their swords, now advanced.

The duke was seated with his back to the wall, just under the narrow
window. The table was between him and Calavarez. He rose, and exclaimed
in an imperious tone, "I will have this game, and then my head is yours.
Until I have finished it I will not stir. I must have half an hour, and
wait you must."

"Duke," replied Calavarez, "I have great respect for you, and would
willingly give you all accommodation; but this is out of my power. The
delay would be as much as my life is worth."

Don Guzman started up. Then, drawing off his rings, and detaching his
diamond clasps, threw them to the executioner, saying carelessly, "To
our game, Ruy Lopez."

The jewels rolled along the floor, but none stooped to pick them up. The
executioners gazed upon each other in astonishment.

"My orders are precise," cried Calavarez, determinedly. "Your pardon,
noble duke, if we employ force; but I have no choice; the commands of
the king and the laws of Spain must be obeyed. Rise, then, and do not
waste your last moments in a useless struggle. Speak to the duke, my
lord bishop! Exhort him to submit to his fate."

The answer of Ruy Lopez was prompt and decisive; for, seizing the ax
that was lying on the block, and whirling it over his head, he
exclaimed, "Stand back! for, by heaven, the duke shall finish this
game!"

At this unexpected demonstration of the bishop, Calavarez started back,
and almost fell over his assistants, who, brandishing their swords, were
about to rush upon the prisoner, when Ruy Lopez, who appeared suddenly
metamorphosed into a Hercules, threw down his heavy oaken stool upon the
floor, exclaiming--

"The first of you that passes this boundary fixed by the church is a
dead man. Courage! noble duke. To work again. There are but three of
these miscreants. Your lordship's last wish shall be accomplished, were
my life to be the forfeit. And you, wretches--woe to him who dares to
lay his hand upon a bishop of his church! Accursed be he forever--cut
off from the flock of the faithful in this world, to be a howling demon
in the other! Down with your swords, and respect the anointed of the
Lord!"

Ruy Lopez continued, in a jargon of Spanish and Latin, to fulminate
anathemas, maledictions, and threats of excommunication, which, at that
time, had such influence upon the mass of the people.

The effect of this interposition was immediate; for the assistants stood
motionless, and Calavarez began to think that to kill a bishop without a
special order from the king might expose him to great peril in this
world, to say nothing of the next.

"I will go to his majesty," said he.

"Go to the devil!" replied the bishop, still standing on the defensive.

The executioner did not know what to do. Did he go to announce this news
to Philip, who was expecting the head of the traitor, he only exposed
himself to the consequences of his fury. The odds were not enough in his
favor to make him certain of the result of an attempt at force, for the
strength of Ruy Lopez was by no means to be despised--and as to the
duke, desperation would only add to his well-known prowess.

He ended by adopting what appeared to him the wisest decision: he would
wait.

"Will you pledge your word to close the game in half an hour?" he
demanded.

"I pledge you my honor," replied the duke.

"Agreed, then," said the executioner. "Play away."

The truce thus concluded, the players resumed their places and their
game.

Calavarez, who was also a chess-player, became, in spite of himself,
interested in the moves, and the attendants, keeping their eyes upon the
duke, seemed to say--"You and the game must end together!"

Don Guzman gave one glance around him, and then coolly said--

"Never before have I played in such noble company--but at least I shall
not be without witnesses that once in my life I have beaten Don Lopez."

And he turned to his game with a smile, but it was a smile of bitter
sadness, as though he despised the triumph he had gained. As to the
bishop, he kept firm grasp of the handle of the ax, muttering, "If I
were sure that the duke and I could get out of this den of tigers, I
would not be long breaking the heads of all three."


A DISCOVERY.

If the three hours had passed but slowly in the prisoner's cell, their
flight had not been more rapid at the court of King Philip. The monarch
had continued to play with his favorite, Don Ramirez de Biscay; and the
nobles, obliged by the rules of etiquette to remain standing, and unable
to leave under any pretext, appeared sinking under a fatigue, rendered
still greater by the weight of their armor.

Don Tarrasez, with half-closed eyes, stood motionless, resembling one of
those statues cased in iron, ornamenting Gothic halls. The young
D'Ossuna, almost worn out with weariness and sorrow, was leaning against
a marble pillar. And King Philip, pacing up and down with hasty steps,
paused occasionally to listen for some distant noise. At one time he
stopped to examine the hour-glass, at another, with that mingling of
superstitious feeling apparently as inconsistent with some points of his
character as it was with that of Louis the Eleventh, he knelt before an
image of the Virgin, placed on a pedestal of porphyry brought from the
ruins of the Alhambra--and implored her to pardon him for the bloody
deed that was now accomplishing. All was as silent as in the palace of
Azrael, the Angel of Death; for no one, however high or exalted his
rank, dared to speak without the permission of his sovereign. No sooner
had the last grain of sand announced that the fatal hour had arrived,
than the king joyfully exclaimed--

"The traitor's hour has come!"

A low murmur ran through the assembly.

"The time has expired," replied Philip; "and with it, Count de Biscay,
your enemy is no more. He has fallen like the leaves of the olive-tree
before the blast."

"My enemy, sire?" exclaimed Don Ramirez, affecting surprise.

"Yes, count," replied Philip. "Why repeat our words? Were you not the
rival of Don Guzman in the affection of Donna Estella--and can rivals be
friends? In truth, though we have not spoken of that at our council, our
royal word is pledged; Donna Estella shall be yours! Yours are her
beauty and her vast domains. Thus, count, when you hear tell of the
ingratitude of sovereigns, you can say, we at least have not forgotten
the true friend of the king and of Spain, who discovered the conspiracy
and correspondence of Don Guzman with France."

There was more of uneasiness in the countenance and manner of Don
Ramirez than such gracious words from the lips of royalty seemed
calculated to excite, and it was with downcast eyes, as if shrinking
from such public approval, he answered--

"Sire, it was with much repugnance I fulfilled a painful duty--"

He could not say more: his embarrassment seemed to increase. Tarrasez
coughed, and as D'Ossuna's gauntleted hand sought the hilt of his sword,
he mentally ejaculated--"Before this man calls Donna Estella his, I will
follow my noble cousin to the grave. Let me but see to-morrow's dawn,
and I will avenge him."

The king continued:

"Your zeal and devotedness, Don Ramirez, shall be rewarded. The saviour
of our throne, and, perhaps, of our dynasty, merits no insignificant
reward. This morning we commanded you to prepare with our high
chancellor the letters patent which will give you the rank of Duke and
Governor of Valencia. Are these papers ready to be signed?"

Was it remorse that made Don Ramirez tremble for the moment, and draw
back involuntarily? The king made a movement of impatience, and the
count drew with some precipitation a roll of parchment from his bosom,
and kneeling, presented it to the king, who received it, saying:

"To sign these letters patent shall be our first public act to-day.
Treason has been already punished by the executioner--it is time for the
monarch to reward his faithful servant."

As the king unrolled the parchment, a scroll fell from it on the ground.
With an involuntary cry, Don Ramirez sprang forward to seize it, but at
a sign from the king, a page picked it up, and it was already in the
hands of the king. Another moment, and the monarch's face gloomed
wrathfully, his eye flashed fire, and he furiously exclaimed:

"Holy Virgin, what is this!"


MORE THAN ONE CHECKMATED.

The game of chess was now over. Don Guzman had beaten Ruy Lopez--his
triumph was complete, and he rose, saying to Calavarez--

"I am ready to meet the wishes of my king, as becomes one who has never
swerved from his allegiance to him. My God, may this deed of foul
injustice fall only upon him who has been the instigator of it, but may
my blood never call down vengeance upon my king. I blame him not for my
untimely fate."

The executioner was now preparing the block, while Ruy Lopez, kneeling
in a corner, and hiding his face in his mantle, recited the Office for
the Dying.

Calavarez laid his hand on the duke's shoulder to remove his ruff. Don
Guzman drew back.

"Touch not a Guzman with aught belonging to thee, save this ax!" said
he, and tearing off the collar, he placed his head upon the block. "Now
strike," added he; "I am ready!"

The executioner raised the ax, and all would have been over, when
shouts, and the noise of hasty steps, and a confused murmur of voices,
arrested the arm of Calavarez.

The door was flung open, and D'Ossuna threw himself between the victim
and the executioner.

"We are in time!"

"Is he alive?" exclaimed Tarrasez.

"He is safe!" cried D'Ossuna. "My dearest friend and cousin, I had not
hoped ever to see you again. God would not suffer the innocent to perish
for the guilty. His holy name be praised!"

"God be praised!" exclaimed all present, and among them all, and above
them all, was heard Don Ruy Lopez.

"You have indeed arrived in time--dear friend," said Don Guzman to his
cousin, "for now, I have not strength left to die."

He fainted on the block--the revulsion was too mighty.

Ruy Lopez sprang to his side, and raising him in his arms, bore him to
the royal saloon. The nobles followed, and when Don Guzman was restored
to consciousness, he beheld all his friends thronging around him, with
congratulations, which the presence of the monarch scarcely restrained.
To Don Guzman, it all seemed a dream. One moment with his head on the
block, and the next in the royal saloon. He had yet to learn, that Don
Ramirez, agitated by secret remorse, and flurried by the impatience of
the monarch, had, with the letters patent, the royal signature to which
was to crown all his ambitious hopes, drawn from his bosom a document,
fatal alike to those hopes and to himself. That paper contained
indications not only of a plot to ruin Don Guzman, but of treasonable
designs against the sovereign, sufficient to arouse the king's
suspicions, and further inquiry soon extorted confession from the lips
of the traitor himself. He was instantly committed to the tender mercies
of Calavarez, who, this time, was given to understand, that his own head
must answer for any delay in executing the royal mandate.

Need we say that Don Guzman's deliverance was hailed with joy by the
whole court, and even the stern monarch himself condescended to express
his satisfaction that his favorite had escaped.

"It is our royal desire," he said, "that henceforth, to perpetuate the
remembrance of your almost miraculous escape, that you bear in your
escutcheon a silver ax on an azure chessboard. It is also our royal will
and pleasure that Donna Estella shall be your bride, and that your
nuptials be solemnized in this our palace of the Escurial."

Then, turning to Ruy Lopez, he added, "I am sure the church has found a
good servant in her new bishop. As a mark of our royal favor, we bestow
upon you a scarlet robe enriched with diamonds, to wear on the day of
your consecration. You well deserve this at my hands, for your game of
chess with Don Guzman."

"Sire," replied Ruy Lopez, "for the first time in my life, I need no
consolation for being checkmated."

The king smiled--so did the court.

"Now, my lords," added Philip, "we invite you to our royal banquet. Let
covers for Don Guzman and for the Bishop of Segovia be placed at the
table with ourself. Your arm, Don Guzman."



HOW MEN RISE IN THE WORLD.


Few things that happen in the world are the result of accident. Law
governs all; there is even a law of Chances and Probabilities, which has
been elaborated by Laplace, Quetelet, and others, and applied by
practical men to such purposes as life insurance, insurances against
fire, shipwreck, and so on. Many things which happen daily, and which
are usually attributed to chance, occur with such regularity that, where
the field of observation is large, they can almost be calculated upon as
certainties.

But we do not propose now to follow out this idea, interesting though it
would be; we would deal with the matter of "accident" in another
light--that of self-culture. When a man has risen from a humble to a
lofty position in life, carved his name deep into the core of the world,
or fallen upon some sudden discovery with which his name is identified
in all time coming, his rise, his work, his discovery is very often
attributed to "accident." The fall of the apple is often quoted as the
accident by which Newton discovered the law of gravitation; and the
convulsed frog's legs, first observed by Galvani, are in like manner
quoted as an instance of accidental discovery. But nothing can be more
unfounded; Newton had been studying in retirement the laws of matter and
motion, and his head was full, and his brain beating with the toil of
thinking on the subject, when the apple fell. The train was already laid
long before, and the significance of the apple's fall was suddenly
apprehended as only genius could apprehend it; and the discovery, which
had long before been elaborating, suddenly burst on the philosopher's
sight. So with Galvani, Jenner, Franklin, Watt, Davy, and all other
philosophers; their discoveries were invariably the result of patient
labor, of long study, and of earnest investigation. They worked their
way by steps, feeling for the right road like the blind man, and always
trying carefully the firmness of the new ground before venturing upon
it.

Genius of the very highest kind never trusts to accident, but is
indefatigable in labor. Buffon has said of genius, "It is patience."
Some one else has called it "intense purpose;" and another, "hard work."
Newton himself used to declare, that whatever service he had done to the
public was not owing to extraordinary sagacity, but solely to industry
and patient thought. Genius, however, turns to account all
accidents--call them rather by their right name, opportunities. The
history of successful men proves that it was the habit of cultivating
opportunities--of taking advantage of opportunities--which helped them
to success--which, indeed, secured success. Take the Crystal Palace as
an instance; was it a sudden idea--an inspiration of genius--flashing
upon one who, though no architect, must at least have been something of
a poet? Not at all; its contriver was simply a man who cultivates
opportunities--a laborious, pains-taking man, whose life has been a
career of labor, of diligent self-improvement, of assiduous cultivation
of knowledge. The idea of the Crystal Palace, as Mr. Paxton himself has
shown, in a lecture before the Society of Arts, was slowly and patiently
elaborated by experiments extending over many years; and the Exhibition
of 1851 merely afforded him the opportunity of putting forward his
idea--the right thing at the right time--and the result is what we have
seen.

If opportunities do not fortuitously occur, then the man of earnest
purpose proceeds to make them for himself. He looks for helps every
where; there are many roads into Nature; and if determined to find a
path, a man need not have to wait long. He turns all accidents to
account, and makes them promote his purpose. Dr. Lee, professor of
Hebrew at Cambridge, pursued his trade of a bricklayer up to
twenty-eight years of age, and was first led to study Hebrew by becoming
interested in a Hebrew Bible, which fell in his way when engaged in the
repairs of a synagogue; but before this time he had been engaged in the
culture of his intellect, devoting all his spare hours and much of his
nights to the study of Latin and Greek. Ferguson, the astronomer,
cultivated the opportunity afforded him by the nights occupied by him in
watching the flocks on the Highland hills, of studying astronomy in the
heavens; and the sheep-skin in which he wrapped himself, became him as
well as the gown of the Oxford Professor. Osgood, the American painter,
when a boy, was deprived by an austere relative, of the use of pencils
and paper; but he set to work and practiced drawing on the sand of the
river side. Gifford, late editor of the _Quarterly Review_, worked his
first problems in mathematics, when a cobbler's apprentice, upon small
scraps of leather, which he beat smooth for the purpose. Bloomfield, the
author of the "Farmer's Boy," wrote his first poems on the same material
with an awl. Bewick first practiced his genius on the cottage-walls of
his native village, which he covered with his sketches in chalk.
Rittenhouse, the astronomer, calculated eclipses on the plow-handle.
Benjamin West, the painter, made his first brushes out of the cat's
tail.

It is not accident, then, that helps a man on in the world, but purpose
and persistent industry. These make a man sharp to discern
opportunities, and to use them. To the sluggish and the purposeless, the
happiest opportunities avail nothing--they pass them by with
indifference, seeing no meaning in them. Successful men achieve and
perform, because they have the purpose to do so. They "scorn delights,
and live laborious days." They labor with hand and head. Difficulties
serve only to draw forth the energies of their character, and often
their highest pleasure is in grappling with and overcoming them.
Difficulties are the tutors and monitors of men, placed in their path
for their best discipline and development. Push through, then strength
will grow with repeated effort.

Doubtless Professor Faraday had difficulties to encounter, in working
his way up from the carpenter's bench to the highest rank as a
scientific chemist and philosopher. And Dr. Kitto had his difficulties
to overcome, in reaching his present lofty position as one of the best
of our Biblical critics; deaf from a very early age, he was for some
time indebted to the poor-rates for his subsistence, having composed his
first essays "in a workhouse." And Hugh Miller, the author of "The Old
Red Sandstone," had difficulties to grapple with, in the stone-quarry in
Cromarty, out of which he raised himself to a position of eminent honor
and usefulness. And George Stephenson too, who was a trapper-boy in a
coal-pit, had difficulties to encounter, perhaps greater than them all;
but, like a true and strong man, bravely surmounted and triumphed over
them. "What!" said John Hunter, the first of English surgeons,
originally a carpenter, "Is there a man whom difficulties dishearten,
who bends to the storm? He will do little. Is there one who _will_
conquer? That kind of man _never_ fails."

Man must be his own helper. He must cultivate his own nature. No man can
do this for him. No institution can do it. Possibly a man may get
another to do his _work_ for him, but not to do his _thinking_ for him.
A man's best help is in himself--in his own heart, his own soul, his own
resolute purpose. The battle can not be fought by proxy. A man's mind
may be roused by another, and his desire to improve and advance himself
excited by another; but he must mould his own stuff, quarry his own
nature, make his own character. What if a man fails in one effort? Let
him try again! Let him try hard, try often, and he can not fail
ultimately to succeed. No man can tell what he can do until he tries,
and tries with resolution. Difficulties often fall away of themselves,
before a determination to overcome them. "There is something in
resolution," says Walker, in the _Original_, "which has an influence
beyond itself, and it marches on like a mighty lord among its slaves.
All is prostration where it appears. When bent on good, it is almost the
noblest attribute of man; when on evil, the most dangerous. It is only
by _habitual_ resolution, that men succeed to any great extent--mere
impulses are not sufficient."

Some are scared from the diligent practice of self-culture and
self-help, because they find their progress to be slow. They are in
despair, because, having planted their acorn, they do not see it grow up
into an oak at once. These must cultivate the virtue of patience--one of
the quietest but most valuable of human virtues. They must be satisfied
to do their true work, and wait the issues thereof. "How much," says
Carlyle, "grows every where, if we do but wait! Through the swamps one
will shape causeways, force purifying drains; we will learn to thread
the rocky inaccessibilities, and beaten tracks, worn smooth by mere
traveling human feet, will form themselves. Not a difficulty but can
transfigure itself into a triumph; not even a deformity, but if our own
soul have imprinted worth on it, will grow dear to us."

Let us have the honesty and the wisdom to do the duty that lies nearest
us; and assuredly the first is the culture of ourselves. If we can not
accomplish much, we can at least do our best. We can cultivate such
powers as have been given to us. We may not have the ten talents, but if
we have only the one, let us bring it out and use it, not go bury it in
the earth like the unworthy man in the parable. "If there be one thing
on earth," said Dr. Arnold, "which is truly admirable, it is to see
God's wisdom blessing an inferiority of natural powers, when they have
been honestly, truly, and zealously cultivated." Let us strike into the
true path, and keep there, working on hopefully, patiently, and
resolutely--not turned aside by temptation, nor putting off the work
from day to day by vain resolutions to do things that are never done;
but DO, with all our might, what the hand findeth to do; and we may
safely leave the issues in the hands of Supreme Beneficence; for
doubtless the rewards of well-doing will come in their due season.



THE BROTHERS.


One fine spring day in 1831, I was walking, accompanied by a physician,
in the gardens belonging to the celebrated Lunatic Asylum near Paris,
conducted by Dr. B----. At the turn of an alley I suddenly found myself
close to an old man, on whose arm leaned a youth, apparently about
twenty years of age. The countenance of the first wore an expression of
profound sadness, while the young man's eye gleamed with the wild
strange fire of madness.

The aged man saluted me with silent courtesy, but the younger ran to me,
seized my hand, and exclaimed, "A glorious day, monsieur; the scaffold
is ready on the Plaza Bemposta! Do you see the crowds assembled? And
look! chained on yonder cart, that woman with the pale and savage face;
that is Queen Carlotta, the wife of Juan VI., the mother of Don Miguel.
'Tis now thy turn to die, tigress! thy turn to bow beneath the ax, and
redden the scaffold with thy blood! But adieu," he added, addressing me,
"they are waiting for me--they call me! I am the queen's executioner!"

I turned toward the old man, but he only shook his head and sighed; then
I questioned the physician who accompanied me.

"That young man," he said, "is one of the most interesting cases we
have; his history is a strange one."

My curiosity was now excited, and I begged of my companion to satisfy
it.

"May I, without indiscretion, listen also?" asked a tall man, with a sad
and gloomy countenance, who now approached us, and who, as I learned
afterward, was under Dr. B----'s care for a serious affection of the
heart.

"You may, certainly," replied my friend, bowing, and then began: "In the
year 1823, one of the first families in Portugal inhabited an old castle
not far from Coimbra. The Marquis de San Payo, the head of this house
had played an important part in the revolution which, for a short time,
removed from the throne Juan VI. and his imperious queen, Carlotta. The
attempt, however, having been finally frustrated, the men who had made
it fell victims to their temerity, and the marquis, disgraced and
distrusted by the reigning powers, was forced to live in his castle, as
it were in exile. His wife and his two sons accompanied him thither; the
eldest of these, named Manoel, was fifteen years of age, and of an
ardent, excitable temperament; his brother, Jacinto, two years younger,
was of a tender, melancholy, dreamy disposition. The minds of both were
fully nurtured in the political views which had ruined their father's
fortunes, both by his conversation and the instructions imparted to them
at the college of Coimbra. That city had become the centre of the
Cortes' revolutionary operations, and the University had not escaped the
contagious excitement of the times. The students organized the plan of a
new insurrection, and at their head was Manoel; the contest, however,
proved an unequal one--a charge of cavalry, a few volleys of shot and
shell, two hundred corpses on the field, and all was over. Manoel was
taken, and thrown into the prison of Oporto. The rebels were divided
into three classes; the first, and least guilty, were condemned to
perpetual confinement, the second to transportation, and the third to
death; among the latter was Manoel. No allowance was made for his youth
and inexperience, for among his judges was the Duca d'Arenas, a former
rival of the marquis, first in love and then in ambition, whose cowardly
malicious spirit sought to strike the father through the son."

Here the stranger, who was listening attentively, gave a visible start.

"Imagine," resumed the doctor, "what must have been the anguish of the
poor parents, and of Jacinto. The boy's energies were roused by his
mighty grief; he hastened to the palace of Bemposta, and went straight
to the hall, where the queen was giving audience to her favorite
d'Arenas. When Jacinto crossed the threshold, he paused; a woman was
before him--a cold and haughty woman. No trace of pity or of softness
lingered on her features, or beamed in her piercing eyes; no, her heart
was ice, her face iron.

"'Pardon, madam!' cried the boy, falling on his knees.

"'Child, we know of naught but justice; who art thou--what dost thou
want?'

"'I am the son of the Marquis de San Payo, and I come to ask pardon for
my brother.'

"The Duke d'Arenas looked up, and exchanged glances with the queen.
'Madam,' said he, 'the best clemency in political affairs is shown by
the sword of the executioner!'

"'Manoel is but sixteen years old!' cried Jacinto, in a voice of agony.

"'So much the better,' replied Carlotta; '_he will go the more surely
and speedily to heaven_!'[4]

    [4] These words are matter of history.

"Next morning the condemned cart left the prison of Oporto; it contained
the two brothers, for Donna Carlotta, with an incredible refinement of
cruelty, had ordered that Jacinto should be present at the execution. I
shall not try to describe the last scene of this fearful drama; when
Manoel bowed his head, Jacinto started upright; and when the fatal blow
had fallen, he crouched down on the scaffold; a smile parted his
lips--he was struck with madness! Concealed among the crowd, the marquis
had witnessed all, but no external emotion betrayed his inward agony;
his tearless eyes were fixed on the ax which had hewn down the noblest
branch of his house. As to the marchioness, her woe was also silent:
eight days afterward, she was found dead, with her eyes fixed on
Manoel's portrait. The marquis, after a time, went to England with
Jacinto, where he was during a year and a half under medical treatment,
but without benefit. Afterward, they went to Germany, and there, finding
science equally powerless, the marquis at length resolved to place his
son under the care of Dr. B----; he is now in a fair way to recover."

"Are you sure of that!" asked the stranger eagerly.

"I have every reason to believe it."

We walked toward the house, and again saw Jacinto; he was seated on a
grass-plat, leaning forward, with his face buried in his hands. His
father was near him, grave, silent, and anxious-looking as before. The
stranger followed us, and, as he came near, the eyes of Jacinto were
raised, and fixed on him with a wild bright look. Suddenly the youth
started up, and shrieked, "the Duke d'Arenas!" Then he fell senseless on
the ground.

At the unwonted sound the old man thought that intellect and memory had
returned to his child, and, forgetting that his enemy, the murderer of
his eldest son, stood before him, he exclaimed, "Oh! thank God he is
saved!"

"He is _lost_," said the doctor, sadly.

A few moments of awful silence followed; all eyes were fixed on Jacinto,
whose mouth was open, and whose eyes were fixed on vacancy. The sudden
shock had rendered him a hopeless idiot.

The Duke d'Arenas looked at the marquis with an earnest supplicating
expression; and then, falling on his knees before him, exclaimed,
"Pardon me, I have suffered!"

"I curse thee! Duke d'Arenas."

"Behold me at thy feet, Marquis de San Payo!"

"Begone!" cried the old man, sternly; "there are between us the corpses
of my wife and of my eldest son, besides this other ruin, whose
destruction you have just achieved; I am now childless!"

The Duke d'Arenas fixed on the marquis a look so filled with sorrow and
despair, that it might have sufficed to satisfy his vengeance.

"And I," he said, bending his head, "can never again know repose, except
in the grave!"



SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF M. THIERS.


M. Thiers is one of the notable celebrities of our day. Though a
Frenchman, his name is well known in England as the author of the famous
History of the French Revolution. But in his own country, he is also
known as a distinguished orator and statesman; indeed it is not too much
to say, that Thiers is the _cleverest_ man in France.

You enter the Chamber of Deputies on some day of grand debate. A speaker
has possession of the ear of the house. You see little more than his
head above the marble of the tribune, but the head is a good one--large,
well-formed, and intelligent. His eyes, the twinkle of which you can
discern behind those huge spectacles he wears, are keen and piercing.
His face is short, and rather disfigured by a grin, but when he speaks,
it is lively, volatile, and expressive in a remarkable degree. His thin
nervous lips, curled like Voltaire's, are characterized by a smile, by
turns the most winning, sarcastic, and subtle, that can possibly be
imagined.

Listen to him. He speaks with a nasal twang and a provincial accent. He
has no melody in his voice. It is loud and ear-piercing--that of a
vixen. Sometimes it rises to a screech, as that of Sheil's did. And yet
all ears hang listening to that voice, which pours forth a succession of
words embodying ideas as clear as crystal, copious almost to excess, but
never tiresome. His exuberant thoughts flow from him without effort; he
is perfectly easy, frank, familiar, and colloquial, in his style; his
illustrations are most happy, often exceedingly brilliant. Be his theme
ever so unpopular, he is invariably listened to with interest. His
diminutive figure, his grim face, his screeching voice, are all
forgotten in the brilliancy of his eloquence, and in the felicitous
dexterity of his argument. That speaker is M. Thiers.

Such as his position is, he has made it himself. He has worked his way
upward from obscure poverty. He owes nothing to birth, but every thing
to labor. His father was a poor locksmith of Marseilles, where Adolphe
was born in the year 1797. Through the interest of some of his mother's
relations, the boy obtained admission to the free school of Marseilles,
where he distinguished himself by his industry, and achieved
considerable success. From thence, at eighteen, he went to study law at
the town of Aix. Here it was that he formed his friendship with Mignet,
afterward the distinguished historian. These two young men, in the
intervals of their dry labors in the study of law, directed their
attention to literary, historical, and political subjects. Thiers even
led a political party of the students of Aix, and harangued them against
the government of the restoration. He was practicing his eloquence for
the tribune, though he then knew it not. He thus got into disgrace with
the professors and the police, but the students were ardently devoted to
him. He competed for a prize essay, and though his paper was the best,
the professors refused to adjudge the prize to "the little Jacobin."
The competition was adjourned till next year. Thiers sent in his paper
again "next year," but meanwhile, a production arrived from Paris, which
eclipsed all the others. To this the prize was speedily adjudged by the
professors. But great was their dismay, when, on opening the sealed
letter containing the name of the competitor, it was found to be no
other than that of M. Thiers himself!

The young lawyer commenced practice in the town of Aix, but finding it
up-hill work, and not at all productive, he determined to remove, in
company with his friend Mignet, to seek his fortune in Paris. Full of
talents, but light in pocket, the two friends entered the capital, and
took lodgings in one of its obscurest and dirtiest quarters--a room on
the fourth floor of a house in the dark Passage Montesquieu, of which a
deal chest of drawers, a walnut-wood bedstead, two chairs, and a small
black table somewhat rickety, constituted the furniture. There the two
students lodged, working for the future. They did not wait with their
hands folded. Thiers was only twenty-four, but he could already write
with brilliancy and power, as his prize essay had proved. He obtained an
introduction to Manuel, then a man of great influence in Paris, who
introduced Thiers to Lafitte, the banker, and Lafitte got him admitted
among the editors of the _Constitutionelle_, then the leading journal.
It was the organ of _Les Epiciers_, or "grocers," in other words, of the
rising middle classes of France. At the same time, Mignet obtained a
similar engagement on the _Courrier_.

The position of Thiers was a good one to start from, and he did not fail
to take advantage of it. He possessed a lively and brilliant style,
admirably suited for polemical controversy; and he soon attracted notice
by the boldness of his articles. He ventured to write on all subjects,
and in course of time he learned something of them. Art, politics,
literature, philosophy, religion, history, all came alike ready to his
hand. In France, the literary man is a much greater person than he is in
England. He is a veritable member of the fourth estate, which in France
overshadows all others. Thiers became known, invited, courted, and was a
frequenter of the most brilliant _salons_ of the opposition. But
newspaper writing was not enough to satisfy the indefatigable industry
of the man. He must write history too, and his theme was neither more
nor less than the great French Revolution. Our readers must know the
book well enough. It is remarkably rapid, brilliant, stylish--full of
interest in its narrative, though not very scrupulous in its
morality--decidedly fatalistic, recognizing heroism only in the
conqueror, and unworthiness only in the vanquished--in short, the
history of M. Thiers is a deification of _success_. But ordinary readers
did not look much below the surface; the brilliant narrative, which
ministered abundantly to the national appetite for "glory," fascinated
all readers; and M. Thiers at once took his place among the most
distinguished literary and political leaders of France.

He became a partner in the _Constitutionelle_; descended from his
garret, turned dandy, and frequented Tortoni's. Nothing less than a
handsome hotel could now contain him. Thiers has grown a successful man,
and to such nothing is denied. Liberalism had thriven so well with him,
that he must go a little further, he must be democratic; the drift of
opinion was then in that direction, so he set on foot the _National_,
the organ of the revolutionary party. The war which this paper waged
against the government of Charles X. and the Polignac ministry, was of
the most relentless kind. The _National_ it was, that stung the
government into the famous _Ordonnances_, which issued in the "Three
Days'" Revolution of 1830. Thiers was, throughout, the soul of this
ardent, obstinate, brilliant struggle against the old Bourbon
government.

The _National_ had only been seven months in existence, when the event
referred to occurred. The _Ordonnances_ against the Press appeared on
the morning of the 26th of July. In the course of the day, the leaders
of the Opposition Press, and several members of the Chamber of Deputies,
met at the office of the _National_. M. Thiers at once propounded the
course that was to be adopted at this juncture.

"Well," said he, "what's to be done now, as to opposition in the
journals--in our articles? Come! we must perform an act."

"And what mean you by an act?"

"A signal of disobedience to a law which is no law! A protest!"

"Well--do it then!" was the reply.

A committee was named, on the spur of the moment, composed of Thiers,
Chatelain, and Cauchois-Lemaire. Thiers drew up the protest: he inserted
the leading idea--"The writers of journals, called upon the first to
obey, ought to give the first example of resistance." This was the
signal of revolution! Some said, "Good! We shall insert the protest as a
leading article in our journals." "Not only that," said Thiers, "we must
put our names under it, and our heads under it." The protest was agreed
to, after considerable discussion; it was published; and the people of
Paris indorsed the protest in the streets of Paris the very next day.
Thus Thiers performed the initial act, which led to the expulsion from
France of the elder branch of the Bourbon family. But it ought to be
added that, after having signed the protest, which was published next
morning, Thiers returned to muse in the shades of Montmorency, and did
not return to Paris until the 29th, after the decisive battle of the
barricades had been fought.

Of course, Thiers was now a man of greater mark than ever. The new
government of the Citizen King at once secured him; and the son of the
Marseilles locksmith, the poor law student of Aix, the newspaper writer
of the garret, was now appointed Counselor of State and
Secretary-General of Finance. It is said that the Citizen King even
offered him the Portfolio of Finance, which he declined on the ground of
inexperience; but he afterward accepted the office of Under-Secretary
of State, and mainly directed that important part of the administration
through a crisis of great financial difficulty. He was sent into the
Chamber of Deputies as member for Aix, at whose college he had studied.

Thiers was no favorite when he entered the Chamber; he was very
generally disliked, and he did much to alarm the timid by his style of
dressing à-la-Danton, as well as by his high-flown phrases in favor of
democratizing Europe, saving Poland, delivering Belgium, and passing the
Rhine. His eloquence was then bluster, but as he grew older, he became
more polished, more cautious, and more politic. When the Lafitte
ministry fell, of which he had been a member, Thiers at once deserted
that party, and attached himself to the Casimir-Perier administration.
He fell foul of his old comrades, who proclaimed him a renegade. Never
mind! Thiers was a clever fellow, who knew what cards he was playing. He
who was for passing the Rhine, was now all for repose and peace; he
would have no more innovations, nor propagandism; before, the advocate
of equality and democracy, he now became the defender of conservatism,
the peerage, and the old institutions of France. He stood almost alone
in defending the peerage, but it fell nevertheless, and the revolution
went on.

On Marshal Soult assuming the direction of affairs in 1831, Thiers was
appointed Minister of the Interior. La Vendée was in flames at the time,
Belgium was menaced, and excitement generally prevailed. Thiers acted
with great energy under the circumstances; by means of gold, a traitor
was found who secured the arrest of the Duchess de Berri, and the
rebellion in Vendée was extinguished. A French army was sent against
Antwerp, the citadel was taken, and the independence of Belgium secured.
In the Chambers, Thiers obtained a credit for a hundred millions of
francs, for the completion of public works. The statue of Napoleon was
replaced on the Place Vendôme; public works were every where proceeded
with; roads were formed; canals dug; and industry began generally to
revive. The Minister of the Interior was successful.

But a storm was brewing. The republicans were yet a powerful party, and
the government brought to bear upon them the terrors of the law. Secret
associations were put down, and an explosion took place. Insurrections
broke out at Paris and Lyons; Thiers went to the latter place, where he
was less sparing of his person than he had been during the three days of
Paris; for at Lyons two officers fell at his side, killed by
musket-shots aimed at the minister himself. At length the insurrection
was got under; dissensions occurred in the ministry; Thiers retired, but
soon after took office under Marshal Mortier; the fêtes of July, 1835,
arrived; the Fieschi massacre took place, Thiers being by the king's
side at the time of the explosion. Laws against the liberty of the Press
followed this diabolic act, and now M. Thiers was found on the side of
repression of free speech. The laws against the Press were enforced by
him with rigor. He was now on the high road to power. He became
President of the Council, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. But the
Spanish intervention question occurred. Thiers was in favor of
intervention, and the majority of the ministry were opposed to it.
Thiers resigned office, and bided his time. He went to Rome and kissed
the Pope's toe, bringing home with him leather trunks of the middle
ages, Roman medals, and a store of new arguments against democracy.

A coalition ministry was formed in 1838, and Thiers, "the Mirabeau
gadfly," as a pungent lady styled him about this time, became the leader
of the party. Thiers failed in his assaults on the ministry; Molé
reigned, then Guizot; and the brilliant Thiers was reduced to the
position of a simple deputy on the seats of the opposition. But again
did M. Thiers find himself in power, after the failure of the ministry
on the Dotation Bill of the Duke of Nemours. The ministry of March 1st,
1840, was formed, and Thiers was the President of the Council. Louis
Philippe confided all to him; but, though Louis trusted Thiers, and
perhaps owed his crown to him, this statesman seemed really to be his
evil genius. The Thiers ministry brought the government of France into
imminent danger from foreign powers, and was replaced, as a matter of
urgency, by that of Guizot, in October. Thiers again relapsed into
violent opposition. Years passed, during which he proceeded with his
completion of the History of the Consulate and the Empire, which brought
him in large gains. The fatal year of 1848 arrived; and when Guizot was
driven from power, Louis Philippe again, and for the last time, charged
M. Thiers with the formation of a ministry. It did not last an hour. The
revolution of 1848 was already consummated.

The career of Thiers since then is well known. For a time he disappeared
from France; haunted Louis Philippe's foot-steps--still protesting
undying love for that branch of the Bourbon family. He returned to the
Chamber of Deputies, where he is again in opposition; though what he is,
and what the principles he holds, it is difficult to say. Principles,
indeed, seem to stick to Thiers but lightly. One day he is the bitter
enemy of socialism, the next he is its defender. He is a Free-trader
to-day, a Protectionist to-morrow. He is a liberal and a conservative by
turns. In short, he is a man "too clever by half," and seems constantly
tempted, like many skillful speakers, to show how much can be said on
both sides of a question. He is greatest in an attack; he is a capital
puller-down: when any thing is to be built up, you will not find Thiers
among the constructors. He is a thoroughly dextrous man--sagacious,
subtle, scheming, and indefatigable. Few trust him, and yet, see how he
is praised! "Have you read Thiers' speech? Ah! there is a transcendent
orator!" "Bah!" says another, "who believes in what Thiers says? The
little stinging dwarf--he is only the _roué_ of the tribune!"

Thus, though Thiers has many admirers, he has few friends. His changes
have been so sudden and unexpected on many occasions, that few care to
trust him. He is not a man to be depended upon. He has been a republican
and a monarchist by turns: who knows but to-morrow he may be a Red? It
all depends on how the wind blows! This is what they say of M. Thiers.
The nobles regard him as a _parvenu_; the republicans stigmatize him as
a renegade. The monarchists think of him as a waiter on Providence.

M. Cormenin (Timon), in his _Livre des Orateurs_, has drawn a portrait
of Thiers with a pencil of caustic. Perhaps it is too severe; but many
say it is just. In that masterly sketch, Cormenin says--"Principles make
revolutions and revolutionists. Principles found monarchies,
aristocracies, republics, parliaments. Principles are morals and
religion, peace and war. Principles govern the world. In truth, M.
Thiers affirms that there are no principles, that is to say, M. Thiers
has none. That is all."



LIFE AND DEATH.

BY REV. CHARLES KINGSLEY, AUTHOR OF "ALTON LOCKE," "YEAST," ETC.


God gives life, not only to us who have immortal souls, but to every
thing on the face of the earth; for the psalm has been talking all
through not only of men, but of beasts, fishes, trees, and rivers, and
rocks, sun, and moon. Now, all these things have a life in them. Not a
life like ours; but still you speak rightly and wisely when you say,
"That tree is alive, and that tree is dead. That running water is live
water; it is clear and fresh; but if it is kept standing it begins to
putrefy; its life is gone from it, and a sort of death comes over it,
and makes it foul, and unwholesome, and unfit to drink." This is a deep
matter, this, how there is a sort of life in every thing, even to the
stones under our feet. I do not mean, of course, that stones can think
as our life makes us do, or feel as the beasts' life makes them do; or
even grow as the trees' life makes them do; but I mean that their life
keeps them as they are, without changing. You hear miners and quarrymen
talk very truly of the live rock. That stone, they say, was cut out of
the live rock, meaning the rock as it was under ground, sound and hard;
as it would be, for aught we know, to the end of time, unless it was
taken out of the ground, out of the place where God's Spirit meant it to
be, and brought up to the open air and the rain, in which it is not its
nature to be; and then you will see that the life of the stone begins to
pass from it bit by bit, that it crumbles and peels away, and, in short,
decays, and is turned again to its dust. Its organization, as it is
called, or life, ends, and then--what? Does the stone lie forever
useless? No. And there is the great, blessed mystery of how God's Spirit
is always bringing life out of death. When the stone is decayed and
crumbled down to dust and clay, it makes _soil_. This very soil here,
which you plow, is the decayed ruins of ancient hills; the clay which
you dig up in the fields was once part of some slate or granite
mountains, which were worn away by weather and water, that they might
become fruitful earth. Wonderful! But any one who has studied these
things can tell you they are true. Any one who has ever lived in
mountainous countries ought to have seen the thing happen--ought to know
that the land in the mountain valleys is made at first, and kept rich
year by year by the washings from the hills above; and this is the
reason why land left dry by rivers and by the sea is generally so rich.
Then what becomes of the soil? It begins a new life. The roots of the
plants take it up; the salts which they find in it--the staple, as we
call them--go to make leaves and seed; the very sand has its use; it
feeds the stocks of corn and grass, and makes them stiff. The
corn-stalks would never stand upright if they could not get sand from
the soil. So what a thousand years ago made part of a mountain, now
makes part of a wheat plant; and in a year more the wheat grain will
have been eaten, and the wheat straw, perhaps, eaten too, and they will
have _died_--decayed in the bodies of the animals who have eaten them,
and then they will begin a third new life--they will be turned into
parts of the animal's body--of a man's body. So what is now your bones
and flesh may have been once a rock on some hill-side a hundred miles
away.



A BLACK EAGLE IN A BAD WAY.


Austria, in this present year of grace, 1851, looks to me very much like
a translated version of England under the Stuarts.

I am a resident at Vienna, and know Austria pretty well. I have seen
many birds before now in a sickly state--have seen some absolutely
rotting away--but I never saw one with such unpromising symptoms upon
him as the Black Eagle of Austria.

The Court of Vienna is perhaps the most brilliant in Europe; the whole
social system in Vienna is perhaps the most thoroughly unsound in
Europe. Austria is weighed down by a numerous and impoverished nobility,
by unjust taxes, and by a currency incredibly depreciated. Her commerce
is hampered by all manner of monopolies, and is involved in such a
complex network of restrictions, as only the industrious, gold-getting
fingers of a few can unravel. Nearly the whole trade of Austria is in
the hands of this busy, persevering few. Out of the immediate circle of
the government, there is scarcely a satisfied man in the Austrian
dominions. The nobles feel abridgment of their privileges, and decrease
of profit by the abolition of their feudal rights, succeeding the late
revolution. The merchants feel that in Austria they suffer more
vexatious interference than it is in the nature of man to bear quietly.
The people, a naturally good-humored race, have learned insensibly to
clench their fists whenever they think of their absolute and paternal
government.

The position of the nobles is ridiculous. They swarm over the land;
increase and multiply, and starve. Not more than a few dozen of them
can live honestly without employment; while not one of the noble
millions may exercise a trade for bread; may practice law or medicine,
or sink down into authorship. The Austrian patrician can not feed
himself by marriage with a merchant's daughter; if he do, his household
will not be acknowledged by his noble friends. The he-noble must marry
the she-noble, and they must make a miserable, mean, hungry, noble pair.

A celebrated Viennese Professor dined one day in England with a learned
lord. "Pray, how is Baron Dash?" inquired a guest--said Baron Dash being
at that time an Austrian Minister.

"He is quite well," said the Professor.

"And his wife!" pursued the other. "I remember meeting her at Rome; they
were just married, and she was a most delightful person. She created a
sensation, no doubt, when she was received at your court?"

"She was not received at all," said the Professor.

"How was that?" asked many voices.

"Because she is not born."

"Not born" is the customary mode of ignoring (if I may use a slang word
of this time) the existence of the vulgar, among the noble Viennese. At
the present moment, the family of a Minister, or of any of the generals
who have saved the throne, may be excluded from society on this
pretense. Two recent exceptions have been made in favor of the wives of
two of the most important people in the empire. They were invited to the
court-balls; but were there treated so scurvily by the "born" ladies,
that these unborn women visited them only once.

What is to be done by these poor nobles--shut out from commerce, law,
and physic? Diplomacy is voted low; unless they get the great embassies.
The church, as in all Catholic countries, is low; unless a nobleman
should enter it with certain prospect of a cardinal's hat or a
bishopric. The best bishoprics in the world (meaning, of course, the
most luxurious) are Austrian. The revenues of the Primate of Hungary are
said to be worth the comfortable trifle of sixty thousand pounds a year.

But there remains for these wretched nobles, one road to independence
and distinction; and this is the army. To the army, it may be said, the
whole body of the Austrian nobility belongs. The more fortunate, that is
to say, the highest in rank, add to their commissions places about the
court. Cherished titles are acquired in this way; and a lady may insist
on being seriously addressed in polite Austrian society as--say for
example, Frau-ober-consistorial-hof-Directorinn.

In the army, of course, under such a system, we see lieutenants with the
hair gone from their heads, and generals with no hair come yet on their
chins. A young man of family may get a captaincy in three months, which
his neighbor without patronage, might not get if he lived forever.
Commissions are not sold in Austria as they are in England, but the
Ministry of War knows how to respond to proper influence. In an army of
five hundred thousand, vacancies, it is needless to say constantly
occur. The lad who is named cornet in Hungary, is presently lieutenant
of a regiment in Italy, and by-and-by a captain in Croatia. After that,
he may awake some morning, major, with the place of aid-de-camp to the
Emperor; and to such a boy, with friends to back him, the army is
decidedly a good profession. The inferior officers are miserably paid,
an ensign having little more than thirty pounds a year. A captain,
however, is well paid in allowances, if not in money; while a colonel
has forage for twelve horses, and very good contingencies besides.
Again, there are to be considered other very important differences
between pay in the Austrian and pay in the English army. An Austrian can
live upon his pay. His simple uniform is not costly; he is free from
mess expenses, and may dine for six-pence at the tavern favored by his
comrades. Not being allowed at any time to lay aside his uniform, he can
not run up a long tailor's bill; and, being admitted to the best
society, he need not spend much money on amusement. Besides, does not
the state accord to him the privilege of going to the theatre for
twopence?

The poorer officers in the Austrian service are so unreasonable and
ill-conditioned, that they are not in general pleased by these
advantages being given to men, who may possibly be well born, but who
have certainly not been long born; and in many places combinations have
been made to resist the unfair system of promotion. A young captain sent
down to command gray-beards, with a lively sense of their own claims on
the vacancy, is now and then required to fight, one after the other, the
whole series of senior lieutenants. This causes a juvenile captain
occasionally to shirk the visit to his regiment, and effect a prompt
exchange.

Some part of the last-named difficulty is overcome by the existence of
one or two corps of officers who have no regiment at all. Where there
are no men to murmur, the business of promotion is carried on with
perfect comfort.

In spite of all this, there is much to be said to the credit and honor
of the innumerable throng of people forming the Austrian army. It is an
excellently appointed and well-disciplined multitude. The gallantry of
its soldiers, and the skill and experience of many of its highest
officers, must be freely admitted. Then, too, the great number of nobles
classed within it has at least had the good effect of creating a high
standard of artificial honor. The fellow-feeling among Austrian soldiers
is also great; those of the same rank accost each other with the "Du,"
the household word of German conversation; and the common word for an
old companion in arms is "Duty-bruder."

Duels are frequent, but not often fatal, or even dangerous. To take the
nib from an adversary's nose, or to pare a small rind from his ear, is
ample vengeance even for the blood-thirsty.

An Austrian officer who has received a blow, though only in an
accidental scuffle, is called upon to quit his regiment, unless he has
slain upon the spot the owner of the sacrilegious hand that struck him.
This he is authorized by law to do, if struck while wearing uniform. The
effect of this savage custom has been to produce in Austrian officers a
peculiar meekness and forbearance; to keep them always watchful against
quarrels with civilians; and to make them socially the quietest
gentlemen in the world.

Last winter a fast English gent left a masked ball at the Redoute,
intoxicated. Disarming a sentry, he ensconced himself until morning in
his box. The gent was then forwarded to the frontier, but the soldier
was flogged for not having shot him.

Freedom from arrest for debt is an immunity enjoyed by Austrian
officers; but those who indulge too freely in their exemption from
responsibility, may want defenders powerful enough to prevent their
summary dismissal from the service.

I have written thus much about the Austrian army, because, in fact, as
the world here now stands, every third man is or has been a soldier; and
one can not talk about society in this empire without beginning at once
to talk about its military aspect.

Gay and trifling as the metropolis is, with its abundance of out-door
amusement, Vienna must be put down in plain words as the most
inhospitable capital in Europe. The Austrians themselves admit that they
could not endure to be received abroad as they are in the habit of
receiving strangers here. The greater Austrian nobles never receive a
stranger to their intimacy.

A late French embassador, who conducted his establishment with splendor,
and was at all times profusely hospitable, used to say that he was not
once asked privately to dinner during the whole period of his residence
in Vienna. The diplomatic corps do not succeed in forcing the close
barriers of Austrian exclusiveness; and twenty years of residence will
not entitle a stranger to feel that he has made himself familiarly the
friend of a single Austrian. Any one who has lived among the higher
classes in Vienna will confirm my statement, and will recall with
astonishment the somewhat indignant testimony of the oldest and most
respected members of the _corps diplomatique_ to the inhospitable way in
which their friendly overtures have been received. Invitations to dinner
are exceedingly rare; there are brilliant balls; but these do not
satisfy an English longing for good-fellowship. Familiar visits and free
social intercourse do not exist at all. Then there are the two great
divisions of society--or the nobles and the merchant Jews; on one side
poverty and pride; on the other, wealth and intellect. The ugliest and
most illiterate of pauper-countesses would consider her glove soiled by
contact with the rosy fingers of the fairest and most accomplished among
bankers' wives. The nobles so intermarrying and so looking down
contemptuously upon the brain and sinew of the land, have, as a matter
of course, degenerated into colorless morsels of humanity. How long
they can remain uppermost is for themselves to calculate, if they can;
it is enough for us who see good wine at the bottom, and lees at the
top, to know that there must be a settlement impending.

For the inhospitality of Viennese society there is one sufficient
reason; it springs out of the dread of espionage. In this city of Vienna
alone there are said to be four hundred police spies, varying in rank
between an archduke and a waiter. Letters are not safe; writing-desks
are not sacred. An office for opening letters exists in the post-office.
Upon the slightest suspicion or curiosity, seals have impressions taken
from them, the wax is melted over a jet of flame, the letters are read,
and, if necessary, copied, re-sealed, and delivered. Wafers are of
course moistened by steam. You can not prevent this espionage, but it
can be detected (supposing that to be any consolation) if you seal with
wax over a wafer. One consequence of the melting and steaming practices
of the Austrian post-office is especially afflicting to
merchants;--bills come sometimes to be presented, while the letters
containing advice of them lie detained by the authorities; acceptance,
in the absence of advice, being refused.

From the surveillance of the police officials, perhaps not a house in
Vienna is free. The man whom you invited as a friend, and who is dancing
with your wife, may be a spy. You can not tell; and for this reason
people in Vienna--naturally warm and sociable--close their doors upon
familiarity, and are made freezingly inhospitable. Yet this grand
machine of espionage leaves crime at liberty. Although murder is rare,
or at least rare of discovery (there is a Todschauer, or inspector of
deaths, but no coroner's inquest), unpunished forgeries and robberies of
the most shameless kind outrage society continually. Many of the more
distant provinces are infested by gangs of organized banditti; who will
ride, during broad daylight, into a country gentleman's courtyard;
invite themselves to dinner, take away his property, and insist on a
ransom for himself if he has no wish to see his house in flames. When
met by troops these bands of thieves are often strong enough to offer
battle.

But, although the Austrian police can not protect Austrian subjects, it
can annoy not only them, but foreigners besides. The English are
extremely liable to suffer. One Englishman, only the other day, was
ordered to the frontier for a quarrel with his landlady; another, for
keeping bad society; another, for hissing a piece of music; three, for
being suspected of political intrigue; two for being newspaper
reporters. The French have lately come in for their share of police
attentions; and we have lost, from the same cause, the company of two
Americans. Among the Austrians themselves, the very name of the police
is a word of terror. By their hearths they dare barely whisper matter
that would be harmless enough elsewhere, but dangerous here, if falling
upon a policeman's ears.

Recently there was a poem published which professed to draw a parallel
between a monarchy and a republic. Of course it was an orthodox and an
almost rabid glorification of "sound" absolutist principles. The poet
sent a copy to an Austrian noble; who, opening it carelessly, and
immediately noticing the word "republic," handed the book back to a
servant, with a shudder, and a note to the author acknowledging its
receipt, and wondering that the poet "should have thought him (the
noble) capable of encouraging republican principles!" This note
scarified the feelings of the rhymer intensely. He hurried off to
exculpate himself and explain the real aim of his book. He did this,
and, of course, his book was bought.

This is the state of Austria in 1851. Men of all grades look anxiously
to France; well knowing that the events in Paris next year, if they lead
to outbreak, will be felt in Vienna instantly. Yet Strauss delights the
dancers, and the military bands play their "Hoch Lebe" round the throne.
The nobles scorn the merchants and the men of letters; who return the
noble scorn with a contemptuous pity. The murmur of the populace is
heard below; but still we have the gayest capital in all the world. We
throng the places of amusement. Dissipation occupies our minds and shuts
out graver thought. Verily, Charles Stuart might be reigning in this
capital.



THE POTTER OF TOURS.


Among the choicest works of art contributed to the Great Industrial
Exhibition by our French neighbors, were some enameled earthernware
vases of remarkably fine workmanship, and particularly worthy of
attention for their grotesque yet graceful decorations. These vases had,
however, a still higher claim to distinction than that arising from
their own intrinsic value, for they were the workmanship of one who may
truly be ranked among "nature's nobles," although by birth and station
owning no greater title than that of "Charles Avisseau, the potter of
Tours."

A worthy successor of Bernard Palissy, he has, like him, achieved the
highest success in his art, in spite of difficulties which would have
caused most other men to yield despairingly before what they would have
deemed their untoward fate. Charles Avisseau was born at Tours on
Christmas-day, in the year 1796. His father was a stone-cutter, but
whenever labor was slack in that department, he sought additional
occupation in a neighboring pottery. While still a child, he used
frequently to accompany his father to the factory. His eager attention
was quickly attracted by the delicate workmanship of the painters in
enamel, and before long he attempted to imitate their designs. The
master of the factory observed some flowers and butterflies which he had
sketched on a coarse earthernware vase, and at once perceiving that he
gave promise of being a good workman, he engaged him in the service of
the factory.

The boy now began to feel himself a man, and entered with his whole soul
into his work. By the dim and uncertain light of the one lamp around
which the Avisseau family gathered in the long winter evenings, Charles
would spend hour after hour in tracing out new designs for the
earthernware he was to paint on the morrow. He was at first too poor to
purchase either pencil or paper, and used to manufacture from clay the
best substitute he could for the former, while he generally employed the
walls of the apartment as a substitute for the latter. He applied
himself indefatigably to the study of every branch of his art--the
different varieties of earths, the methods of baking them, the mode of
producing various enamels, &c.--until, after some years of patient labor
in the humble situation he had first occupied, he was offered the post
of superintendent of the manufactory of fine porcelain at
Beaumont-les-Hôtels. He was still, however, but a poor man; and, having
married very young, was struggling with family cares and the trials of
penury, when one day there fell into his hands an old enameled
earthenware vase, which filled him with a transport of astonishment and
delight. This was the _chef-d'oeuvre_ he had so often dreamed of, and
longed to accomplish; the colors were fired on the ware without the aid
of the white glaze, and the effect was exquisite.

"Whose work is this masterpiece?" inquired the young man.

"That of Bernard Palissy," was the reply; "a humble potter by birth. He
lived at Saintes three centuries ago, and carried with him to the grave
the secret of the means by which his beautiful enamels were produced."

"Well, then," thought Avisseau, "I will rediscover this great secret. If
he was a potter like me, why should not I become an artist like him?"

From that hour forward he devoted himself with the most unwearying
perseverance to his great pursuit. He passed whole nights over the
furnace; and although ignorant of chemistry, and destitute of resources,
instruments, or books, he tried one experiment after another, in hopes
of at length attaining the much-desired object. His neighbors called him
a madman and a fool; his wife, too gentle to complain, often looked on
with sad and anxious eye as she saw their scanty resources diminishing
day by day--wasted, as she conceived, in vain and fruitless experiments.
All his hopes seemed doomed to disappointment, and destitution stared
him in the face; yet one more trial he determined to make, although that
one he promised should be the last. With the utmost care he blended the
materials of his recomposed enamel, and applied them to the ware,
previous to placing it in the oven. But who can describe the deep
anxiety of the ensuing hour, the hour on which the fondly-cherished
hopes of a lifetime seemed to hang? At length with beating heart and
trembling hand he opened the furnace; his ware was duly baked, and the
colors of his enamel had undergone no change! This was a sufficient
reward for all his labors; and even to this day Avisseau can never speak
of that moment without the deepest emotion.

But this was not a mind to rest contented with what he had already
achieved: he longed still further to perfect his art. He accordingly
gave up his situation in the factory, and opened a shop in Tours, where
he earned his livelihood by selling little earthernware figures,
ornaments for churches, &c., while he passed his nights in study and in
making renewed experiments. He borrowed treatises on chemistry, botany,
and mineralogy; studied plants, insects, and reptiles; and succeeded at
last in composing a series of colors which were all fusible at the same
temperature. One more step remained to be achieved: he wished to
introduce gold among his enamel; but, alas! he was a poor man, too poor
to buy even the smallest piece of that precious metal. For many a weary
day and night this thought troubled him. Let us transport ourselves for
a few moments to the interior of his lowly dwelling, and see how this
difficulty too was overcome. It is a winter's evening; two men--Charles
Avisseau and his son--are seated at a table in the centre of the room;
they have worked hard all day, but are not the less intent upon their
present occupation--that of moulding a vase of graceful and classic
form. Under their direction, two young sisters are engaged in tracing
the veins upon some vine-leaves which had recently been modeled by the
artists; while the mother of the family, seated by the chimney-corner,
is employed in grinding the colors for her husband's enamels. Her
countenance expresses a peaceful gravity, although every now and then
she might be perceived to direct an anxious and inquiring glance toward
her goodman, who seemed to be this evening even more than usually
pensive. At last he exclaimed, more as if speaking to himself than
addressing his observation to others:

"Oh, what would I not give to be able to procure the smallest piece of
gold!"

"You want gold!" quietly inquired his wife; "here is my wedding-ring: if
it can help to make you happy, what better use can I put it to? Take it,
my husband! God's blessing rests upon it." So saying, she placed the
long-treasured pledge in Avisseau's hand. He gazed upon it with deep
emotion: how many were the associations connected with that little
circlet of gold--the pledge of his union with one who had cheered him in
his sorrows, assisted him in his labors, and aided him in his struggles!
And, besides, would it not be cruel to accept from her so great a
sacrifice? On the other hand, however, the temptation was strong; he had
so longed to perform this experiment! If it succeeded, it would add so
much to the beauty of his enamel: he knew not what to do. At length,
hastily rising from his seat, he left the house. He still retained the
ring in his hand: a great struggle was going on in his mind; but each
moment the temptation to make the long-desired experiment gained
strength in his mind, until at last the desire proved irresistible. He
hurried to the furnace, dropped the precious metal into the crucible,
applied it to the ware, which he then placed in the oven, and, after a
night of anxious watching, held in his hand a cup, such as he had so
long desired to see, ornamented with gilt enamel! His wife as she gazed
upon it, although at the same time a tear glistened in her eye; and
looking proudly upon her husband, she exclaimed: "My wedding-ring has
not been thrown away!"

Still, Avisseau, notwithstanding his genius, was destined to lead for
many years a life of poverty and obscurity. It was not until the year
1845 that M. Charles Sciller, a barrister, at Tours, first drew
attention to the great merit of some of the pieces he had executed, and
persuaded him to exhibit them at Angers, Poitiers, and Paris. The
attention of the public once directed toward his works, orders began to
flow in upon him apace. The President of the Republic and the Princess
Matilda Bonaparte are among his patrons, and the most distinguished
artists and public men of the day are frequently to be met with in his
_atélier_. In the midst of all this unlooked-for success, Avisseau had
ever maintained the modest dignity of his character.

M. Brongniart, the influential director of the great porcelain
manufactory at Sèvres, begged of him to remove thither, promising him a
liberal salary if he would work for the Sèvres Company, and impart to
them his secrets. "I thank you for your kindness, sir," replied the
potter of Tours, "and I feel you are doing me a great honor; but I would
rather eat my dry crust here as an artisan than live as an artist on the
fat of the land at Sèvres. _Here_ I am free, and my own master: _there_
I should be the property of another, and that would never suit me."

When he was preparing his magnificent vase for the Exhibition, he was
advised to emboss it with the royal arms of England. "No," he replied,
"I will not do that. If her Majesty were then to purchase my work,
people might imagine I had ornamented it with these insignia in order to
obtain her favor, and I have never yet solicited the favor of any human
being!" Avisseau has no ambition to become a rich man. He shrinks from
the busy turmoil of life--loving his art for its own sake, and
delighting in a life of meditative retirement, which enables him to
mature his ideas, and to execute them with due deliberation.

In the swamps and in the meadows he studies the varied forms and habits
of reptiles, insects, and fish, until he succeeds in reproducing them so
truly to the life, that one can almost fancy he sees them winding
themselves around the rushes, or gliding beneath the shelter of the
spreading water-leaves. His humble dwelling, situated in one of the
faubourgs of Tours, is well worthy of a visit. Here he and his son--now
twenty years of age, who promises to prove in every respect a worthy
successor to his father--may be found at all hours of the day laboring
with unremitting diligence. A room on the ground-floor forms the
artist's studio and museum: its walls are hung with cages, in which are
contained a numerous family of frogs, snakes, lizards, caterpillars,
&c., which are intended to serve as models; rough sketches, broken
busts, half-finished vases, lie scattered around. The furnaces are
constructed in a little shed in the garden, and one of them has been
half-demolished, in order to render it capable of admitting the
gigantic vase which Avisseau has sent to the Great Exhibition. There we
trust the successor of Bernard Palissy will meet with the success so
justly due to his unassuming merit, and to the persevering genius which
carried him onward to his goal in the midst of so much to discourage,
and with so little help to speed him on his way.



KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS.

ST. GEORGE'S CROSS.

BY CAROLINE CHESEBRO'.


A dull November evening: ghosts of a fog aspiring to the summit of a
mountain, which formed the startling feature in the background of a
landscape: a melancholy dissonance of swelling, rolling, breaking
waves--strong, though not violent, moaning of autumnal winds through the
valley, and up the mountain side: dark, heavy masses of cloud--red, and
silvery, and leaden lines alternating on the horizon, at the point where
the sun had disappeared: a girl standing on an enormous stone that was
nearly surrounded by the water, a boy seated on the same rock near her
feet; they were Ella, the clergyman's daughter, and George, a
shoemaker's son.

An arm, white, round, and smooth as a girl's, bared to the elbow,
besmeared with blood and India ink, a hand, gliding over it rapidly,
making strange tracery as it moved; a voice, soft and melodious, but
tremulous in its tones, telling of a heart beating within the speaker's
breast that was keenly susceptible to every emotion----that voice
saying,

"Did I show you the verses that I wrote about our Cross, Ella?"

"No! no--_did_ you write _verses_ about it?"

Without replying to the words, the boy laid down the needle he was
using, drew from his pocket a little book, took from it a paper which he
gave to the girl, silently resuming his work.

And in the gloom and cold she read,

FOR ELLA.

THE SYMBOL AND MEMORIAL.

    I place the semblance of a Wayside Cross,
      Thy hands and mine have fashioned, in this place,
      Not only as an ornament, to grace
    With well-shaped form, and covering of moss,
    My shelves of books; nor yet Life's supreme loss
      To hint through it to all who will admire:
      Another impulse urged me, and a higher--
    All false ambition and "world praise," pure dross,
    Which doth but weaken thought, and lay on toil
      A heavier curse than Adam's, stands reproved
    Before this solemn figure. He who died
      Ordained a Rest from this vain world's turmoil
    In shadow of his cross. So unremoved
      Here let this stand, and shed its warnings wide.

    Here shall it stand above these graves of Thought,
      These well-remembered, and frequented graves,
      In memory of the lion-hearted braves
    Who into Life new life and strength have brought--
    In memory of the martyrs who have taught
      The sacred truths for which they dared to die--
      In memory of the poet-souls that lie
    In the poor potter's field for strangers bought;
    Here let it stand, a hallowed monument,
      Most meet, o'er the great hopes entomed beneath--
    And if it speaks to only you and I
      Of more than beauty, have we vainly blent
    The moss and lichens? Is it thy belief
      _Our_ thoughts shall ever in such shadow lie?

"A rare _library_ I have," said the boy, with bitter accent--"yet I have
made use of no poetic license in speaking of my shelves of books--I have
just two shelves, and there are at least a dozen books in each."

"I know of some men who have great libraries, and they might be glad to
know as much as you do about books," said the girl, soothingly. "Never
mind, you'll write more books than you own, one of these days."

"Oh, Ella, you speak like a child--you _are_ a child indeed," he
repeated, surveying her as if he had not thought of such a thing before.
"I shall never, _never_ write a book, I have got another life marked out
for me."

"Who says so? who put such a thing into your head?" she asked, quickly.
"Why, you write _now_--you write verses and prose--so you are an author
already."

"I wish to God I were!"

"You are, you are, I tell you."

"_I have a mother_--_I am to be a preacher!_" the words were almost
hissed forth--but having uttered them, he seemed immediately to regain
tranquillity. "Do you remember the day when we two had a pic-nic here,
and gathered moss from the rocks, and made those crosses?" he said,
tenderly.

"Why, yes," she answered, with evident surprise--"to be sure I
remember--it was only last week. What a lovely day it was--and what a
beautiful cross that was you shaped for me. I look at it every day--I
believe it will never fade."

"It can not fade.... You spoke of my writing books ... what should I
write them for?"

"Money and Fame--what all authors write for."

"Oh, what a mistake! not all! Sit down here, Ella. There's a good girl.
Don't you know there are _some_ persons who don't write for money, and
who don't care for fame? Some who write because they must, who'd go
crazy outright, if they didn't, but who would just as soon dig a hole in
the ground, and throw what they write in there, or make a burial place
of this sea, as they'd have their writings printed? They write to
satisfy their own great spirits, not to please others."

"No, I never heard of such a thing, and I don't believe it either. You
are talking in fun, to hear yourself--or to get me into a dispute with
you--nothing pleases you better."

The boy looked up, his eyes met those of the girl beside him--they
smiled on each other. What children they were. How strangely forgetful
of the gulf that lay between them!

"See, Ella, I have finished my work."

It was getting very cold and cheerless there on the sea-side, and she
shivered as she turned to look at the completed work, whose progress she
had shrunk from watching.

"What did you call it? Oh, I remember, that is the anchor. But there's
another mark below it, an old one too," she said, bending lower, that
she might see it more distinctly. "You never told me about this--what is
it?"

"Shall I make an ANCHOR on your arm?"

The girl drew back.

"You are afraid it will hurt you," he said, half in scorn.

She looked on his arm where the blood was mingling with the ink.

"No," she said, resolutely, "I'm not afraid it will hurt me, but the
mark, will it not last always?"

"To be sure it will. Oh! you will be a beauty--you will shine in
ball-rooms with those fair white arms uncovered! Such stuff as _this_
would deface them!"

"No such thing! you like to tease me, and that's the reason you talk so.
How wild you are! I'm not at all afraid of the pain--nor of marring my
beauty. You know, in the first place, I have no beauty, and I don't want
any either."

"Tut--but I'm not going to flatter you. Do you really want to know what
this other mark here is?"

"Yes."

"It's a cross, Ella."

"A cross, George? What's the reason you wear it _there_?"

"Why do you wear that gold thing attached to the gold chain hung around
your neck? _That_ is a cross too."

"This? Oh, mamma gave it to me."

"What good does it do you? Do you say your prayers over it?"

"No--I think it very pretty--I wear it for mamma's sake."

The boy folded his arms, and turning half away from her said,
scornfully, as if to himself:

   "She wears it _proudly_, for it shines
    With costly gems, a radiant thing'--
    A worthier emblem of the times
    To Fashion's court she could not bring.

   "Made fast with chain of precious gold,
    She dons it with her gala-dress:--
    It shines amid the silken fold--
    Sin clasps it with a bold caress.

   "It is no burden as she treads
    Through Pleasure's paths in open day;
    No threat'ning shadow ever spreads
    From those rich jewels round her way

   "She clasps it in her vainest mood,
    (That awful symbol lightly worn,)
    Forgetful that 'tis stained with blood,
    And has the Prince of Glory borne'

   "Oh strange forgetfulness! She sees
    No circling Crown of Thorns hung there'
    Droops ne'er beneath it to her knees'
    Is never driven by it to prayer!

   "It lies no weight upon her breast--
    It speaks no warning to her heart--
    It lends no guiding light--at best
    Is but a gaud in Folly's mart.

   "Go! hide the glittering thing from sight!
    Go! bear the cross in worthier guise'
    The soul-worn crucifix sheds light
    That in no paltry bauble lies."

As he finished the recitation, or improvisation, whichever it might be,
the youth quietly turned toward the maiden, lifted the slight chain
which secured the ornament over her head, and glancing at the "bauble"
contemptuously, flung it far into the water.

She was so astonished that, though his movement was comprehended, she
made no attempt to stay his purpose--her eyes followed his hand, and the
bright golden cross as it flashed on the waves and disappeared--then she
turned away, without speaking, as if to leave him.

"Stay!" he said, and she stopped short--"come and sit down here beside
me," but she looked at him as though she did not hear.

"It vexes me," he said, in an apologetic, conciliatory way, "it vexes me
to see every holy, sacred thing made vain, by vain unmeaning people.
What business has any one to wear a _golden_ cross? Had you worn one of
lead or iron, I would not have thrown it into the sea. I wish you
_would_ wait a few minutes--_don't_ go! I want to tell you about this
cross on my arm. You _asked_ me about it. To me it means ENDURE. Ella,
you can't guess how much it means; because it isn't possible for you
ever to look into the future as I do. You can't imagine what I see
before me. I don't know as I should have thought of engraving an anchor
here, under this cross, but when I came down to the beach to-night I was
very desperate--I saw you standing up here on this rock, the sunlight
was shining on your hair and face, the breeze making sport with your
shawl and dress, and you looked to me just like Hope, standing so firm
on the rock, looking up so calmly into heaven. Oh, Ella, you can't guess
what quiet the sight of you sent into my soul. If you had been an angel,
and had stood repeating the words of Jesus as He walked on the waters, I
could not have heard you say _Peace_ more distinctly.... One has no
right to hope, who can not endure. I don't like to see such awful
realities as the cross turned into vain symbols, that's the truth about
it. But I want you to forgive me for throwing your cross into the sea, I
only wish I could tear every cross from you as easily, as you go through
life. I couldn't bear to think that you would very soon, let me see, you
are fifteen years old! go among gay people wearing that thing, forgetful
of its meaning. Will you forgive me?"

The "Yes" she said was more than a half sob--but as if ashamed of the
emotion she could not conceal, Ella gave the boy her hand, with a
frankness that conveyed all the pardon he wanted.

"Will you let me mark the anchor on your arm then, Ella?"

"No, but you _may_ do the cross." She sat down beside him again, and he
traced on her tender arm, with the fine point of the needle, a symbol
and a badge.

"And you will not have the Hope?"

"That is in my heart."

"In truth it is the safest place for it. Your arm might have to be
amputated some day, but your heart, I know, will never die while you
live."

"Can the heart die?"

"Yes, it can be killed--it can die of disease, of cold, of fever, a
thousand things can destroy it--just as the body is destroyed."

"Don't you keep your hope in _your_ heart too?"

"Yes, when I have any. There's no moon to-night. Let's go. We shall have
a storm before morning. See the waves! they look as if they had been
saturated in the Blackness of Darkness, and were just escaped from IT.
And, do look up! what a fit pavilion are those clouds for the Angel of
Wrath! oh, how I wish he would appear!"

"George! George!"

"Yes, Ella--for he would be sure to do away these cursed distinctions we
know so much of! Then I should have no need for feeling as I do, when I
shut your gate after you, and go on to the shed where the shoemaker's
widow lives with her son, whom people are so very kind, so exceeding
kind, as to call a poet. Ella, neither you nor I will live to see
it--but the old things SHALL pass away on this earth, and new powers
reign here ere long. And then, in that blessed day when Justice shall
rule, a girl like you may walk up this village street with a boy even
like _me_, and take his arm, and speak with him as an equal, and none
shall stare and think the condescension wonderful. As it is--walk
alone--go on before me--though you are weary and cold, I am not fit to
support or to shelter you."

He opened the gate for her, for they stood now before the parsonage--as
she passed through he said, more gently, "I am sorry that I threw your
cross away; it was a violent, and passionate, and childish act. Besides,
you prized it--for your mother's sake; you _love_ your mother. And no
good will ever come of its being torn away from you. There was no cause
for treating you so."

"Yes, there was, George--don't mind--good _has_ come of it already."

"Oh, Ella--how?"

"I'm ready, this moment, to bear another cross, to take it up and bear
it, if God will."

"Woe to the human hand that lays a heavier cross on your shoulder than
that I threw away from you."

"Good-night, George."

"Good-night, Ella."

"George, you don't believe _I_ feel as you say people do about being
seen walking or talking--with--you? I am, indeed, very proud of you,
and--"

"Yes--I don't doubt it, since you say so--you're proud _of_ me, though I
can't see why. But you're not proud _for_ me, nor _with_ me."

"Yes--I am."

"No! no! you don't understand what you're talking about. I'm glad you
don't--if I called 'the whole world a cheat, and all men liars,' you
wouldn't say yea and amen to that?"

"No; for I could prove to you that you mistook all about you. Oh, if you
only knew how--"

"No more--good-night. You are not like other people, Ella, or we could
not speak as we do together."


II.

A dull November morning--rain had fallen in great quantities during the
night, as George Waldron had predicted, and clouds yet covered the
entire heaven. Amid the leafless forest trees that covered the mountain
side, stood here and there a few evergreens, like ghosts, robed in
funereal gloom--the wind was fierce and cold--the waters of the lake
rolled high and furiously, they dashed madly on the beach--they rolled
far back and up, with maniac force.

The boy was there again, standing on the seashore--the sun had not yet
risen--he stood where the sunlight had fallen the night before on Ella,
but the light that had enveloped her as a glory-robe, was not on him. He
looked pale, and very anxious, and from the rock where she had stood he
restlessly and curiously scanned every wave that broke upon the beach.

He had been roused long before daylight from his slumbers, by the
parson, Ella's father, and at his request had gone for a physician, for
Ella was very ill.

And all that night, after the leech was summoned, he walked or ran along
the beach, waiting with an impatience so fierce that one could not call
it childish, for day to come. His garments were soaked with rain, but he
knew it not, neither was he conscious of fatigue, or cold, or faintness,
but incessantly, as he went to and fro, wild prayers burst from his
lips. In the gloom, and storm, and darkness, he harbored but one
thought, one hope, the rescue of Ella's golden cross from the waters.
The moment he heard that she was ill, he said to himself, _she will
die_, and his fiery soul, recalling her mild, reproachful look as she
watched his sudden motion, and her gently-expressed regret when the
cross was lost, began to torture him. The act of passion became a
thousand times exaggerated, and the recollection maddened him.

All day he walked along that stormy beach, and when night came, it was
not till thick darkness began to gather over land and flood, that he
arose to go back to his mother's house. Mrs. Waldron had but just come
in from the parsonage--she was going back again for the night, for Ella
was very ill--and this good woman was noted as an efficient nurse.

"How is she, mother?" was his abrupt salutation, as he closed the door
behind him, and walked up to the table where she sat at work for him.

"Who?" asked the mother, forgetting her neighborly, in her maternal
anxiety, as she looked upon the pale and haggard face of her boy.

"The girl at the parsonage. I went for the doctor for her last night,
you know."

"Oh--she is very ill indeed, very ill; I'm going to watch there
to-night."

"It will tire you. You're not well yourself."

"Oh, well, son, when a _neighbor's_ sick, and wants my help, I hope I
shall always be ready to give it--even if I _don't_ feel over and above
smart myself."

"Neighbor!" he repeated, furiously. "If it was _you_ they talked of
visiting, or helping, they'd say, _it is a poor woman that lives near
us_--they wouldn't call you 'neighbor,' mother--they've a different way
of talking."

"Oh, son! son! how awful proud you are. You're hard on 'em. I'm feared
you haven't the right sort of spirit in you. It's not the mood to take
into the world--if you knock people down you'll have to pay for it; the
best way is just to ask leave to go by, and if they won't make room,
apologize for pushing on."

"Mother," he said, abruptly interrupting her, "did you see El--the sick
girl, to-day?"

"Why, yes! I staid in the room all the time. Poor child, I don't think
she quite knew what she was talking about. She was wild-like--running on
about the storm, and the night, and a cross, which was give to her by
her mother--and it's lost, they say. You never see folks so done up as
the minister and his wife. When sorrow comes to us we're all alike. But
_they are_ knocked up complete."

"Was she _grieving_ about the cross? Why don't they get another like it,
and make her think it's found!"

"Oh, they wouldn't _deceive_ her! That would be agin the parson's
principles. It wouldn't be right."

"Don't trouble yourself about getting tea, mother. I'm not at all
hungry. Lie down and take a little nap. I'll help myself, and I've got a
book I want to read now."

Though the words were kindly uttered, he spoke as one having authority;
and without attempting a remonstrance, the mother complied with his
suggestion, and was soon in a deep sleep. Early in the evening he
aroused her, hurried away to the parsonage, and there left her for the
night.

Exhausted by the excitement to which both mind and body had been subject
for the last twenty-four hours, he returned home, but not to read, nor
to study. The door to his humble home made fast, he passionately flung
himself upon the floor, and until the fire-light died away he lay there,
his eyes glaring about like a maniac's, scanning the discolored walls,
and the humble furniture, familiar to him since he first learned to take
note of things, and understand the contrasts in the world. He slept not
for one moment, nor could he think connectedly on any subject. His hopes
were all dashing to and fro, confused and stormy as he knew the waves
were, that beat along the shore on that wild night. One moment a gleam
of glory, like a lightning flash, would break upon his soul, and the
next the thunder-crash of the decision of Destiny and Doom, would peal
through his excited intellect. He never for an instant thought of her
recovery. He looked upon her death as a necessity that concerned him,
and him alone, and he looked _beyond her grave_ to his own future, as
though he could tread on to it across that mound alone.... He thought
upon his mother, and an icy chill made him nerveless--he painted his own
portrait, and stood apart from the work, and gazed upon it with a
critic's eyes. It was always in the light of a Preacher that he looked
upon himself; but while one of these pictured similitudes, that of the
Poet-Preacher, whose parish lay in Author-Land, won him again and
again, as by a siren charm, to bestow upon it one more, and _one more_
look, from the other he turned with shuddering and aversion.

And while he lay on the hard floor, and thought, and groaned, and
agonized through all that night, the wild and pitiless storm raged over
sea and land--it was a desolating storm, but not so dreadful as that
which convulsed the soul of this poor youth.

All the following day he kept up his vain search along the beach, until
night came again, when dizzy with the incessant watch he kept over the
dashing, breaking waves, and faint from his long fasting, and suddenly
mindful that there might be some new tidings of Ella waiting him, he
returned from the dreary watching place.

He did not find his mother at home, but she had been there since he left
in the morning, for the table was spread in readiness for him. She had
remembered him in the sick room, and mindful of his comfort had come,
prepared the meal for him, and gone again. The boy's heart smote him for
the many ungrateful and hard thoughts he had borne her that day.

He was removing the things from the table, for he thought that he would
write when she came in. He saw at once that she had been weeping, and
his assumed indifference vanished in an instant; he cried out,

"_Is_ she dead?"

"No; but they're in dreadful trouble over to that house. Oh, son! if you
could see that dear angel lying there so beautiful on the bed, and the
room so quiet, and the poor creature's pa and ma taking on so, and she
not knowing it! It's a dreadful sight! It's strange, it is!"

"But is she no better, mother? Won't she recover?"

"No hope of such a thing. I wanted to go back to-night to sit there in
the room with her, but they said I'd tire out, and maybe they'd _have_
to call on me again; and so I _must_ rest to-night."

"But _do_ you feel so very tired?"

"No; I could sit there just as well as sleep here. I'm so anxious. I'll
have time enough to rest when I can't do nothing for them, poor things!"

"Oh, do go then! Has she been in her right mind to-day?"

"Not a minute. But it's strange though, how her thoughts has kept on to
one thing the whole time. I wish you could see her arm! It's dreadful
inflamed; and it's stained with something like ink, and odd enough, just
in the shape of a cross. It couldn't be no supernatural work, George. I
told you her gold cross was lost."

"And does her arm pain her?"

"Not that, I guess. But it's all about having her _hope_ amputated, and
then she'll lift her arm, as if she couldn't do it hardly, and talk
about the cross being heavy to bear. And then she cries about the Angel
of Wrath, and says he's coming--and whispers, and takes on the queerest
you ever see. Oh, it would be dreadful if she wasn't so lovely, and so
angel-like, when she talks about these horrid things!"

"What horrid things?" he asked, abruptly and coldly, as though just
waking from a sleep.

"Oh, but you're heartless! I believe you don't care for the dying no
more than you do for the living. I believe you've slept all the time I
was talking!"

"If I didn't care about her being nursed every minute, would I ask you
to go back, when I know you're tired? They are nothing to me, and you
are my mother! Would I ever ask you to go, if I could sleep while you
are talking about HER? Will you go?"

"Yes, yes; I mean to go. I'm glad you _have_ some feeling in you. But
you--you look like a ghost! I declare you look frightful! Your face is
as pale! and your eyes stare out of your head so! Son! son! what's the
use of killing yourself just to get a little learning? What manner of
good can come of it? Somebody, oh, the doctor, Dr. Williams, was asking
me to-day if you was writing a book. I told him no; but I didn't tell
him what I thought about it--that you had as good as promised me that
you would be a preacher. I shall be so proud of you then. These fiddling
poets! I like a man, as long as he is in the world, to be of some use in
it."

"Don't get in a passion, mother. _I_ am no poet. No son of yours will
disgrace you by ever publishing a book." He spoke with frantic energy.

"But it's getting late. I will now go with you."

"No, no, you won't--I'll not hear of it, you look a'most as bad as Ella
does."

"Do you call her 'Ella' over there?"

"No--you know I haven't much acquaintance with 'em."

"Then I wouldn't condescend to call her so _here_," was the bitter
rebuke.

His mother did not answer him, but went out of the house lamenting her
son's pride, rather audibly.

And he kept another watch that night, and in a solemn passion vowed a
vow; and wherever his eyes turned through the darkness he beheld a cross
uplifted before him--and a voice was ringing in his ear--"THIS FOR
THEE," and the shadow of that cross he could not escape, for it lay upon
his soul.


III.

Another day-dawn, but how unlike those wild preceding days! Again the
sun arose, and was no longer hid by threatening clouds--the wind swept
steadily and keenly, but not fiercely over the waters; and the waves
beat against the shore, upon the beach, and the rock, but not with angry
violence, and the splendor of the dazzling sunlight was upon them all.

And again a boyish form, in which a man's heart and a giant's soul were
beating, paced to and fro upon that beach--and a vow made in the
solitude of night was on his lips, and he spoke it calmly in that lonely
place where there was only the mountain, and the waters, the singing
petrel, and the sandy beach, and the Maker of them all, to testify
against him if he should break the vow: "Oh ye waves, only give up that
treasure dear to her, and I will obey my mother--I will not let one
dream of Fame tempt me--I will _forget_ that I too could be a poet, and
an author. Yes, yes, I _will_ be a preacher, as she would have me. God!
hear me!"

He stepped upon the rock, the rock on which she stood, that night--for
the stormy petrel, singing as it went, was floating just then under
it--but for a moment when he stood there he made no effort to advance,
for the doom he had feared, yet invoked, met him there! Upon a shrub,
that was lodged upon the rock in a handful of earth, the glittering
cross and golden chain were hanging. He paused, as if blasted by the
recollection of his vow--a phantom, horrible as death stood between him
and the cross--then he went forward resolutely, as one who walks upon a
sacrificed hope, to work for another some good thing.... In solemn
silence he lifted the bauble, turned away from the sea-side, passed up
the village-street, through the parsonage-gate, and for the first time
in his life up to the parsonage-door.

He did not even pause to knock, but went on, as led by instinct, to the
very door of her chamber--it stood open, and Dr. Williams was there
alone with Ella. She must have been speaking of the youth even then, for
the physician did not look surprise upon George--on the contrary he
stepped aside, and while the boy remained with Ella none other of the
household were permitted to enter the room.

Ella had wakened that morning from her fever-dream, and was once more
quite conscious--of her danger--but not of the hopelessness of those
around her: what all the household now knew, that she would not recover,
had not yet been told her.

George took her hand--she recognized him with a smile, and directed his
eyes to the inflamed arm which, through all her delirium, and now in her
consciousness, she would not suffer to be covered. The red cross glared
upon his sight.

"Where is the Anchor, Ella?"

"Here," she said, laying her hand upon her breast.

"Ella, have you forgiven me for robbing you of the cross your mother
gave you?"

"Oh, yes; I had forgotten it, George."

He held it up before her--the sea-weed clinging to it still. "See," he
said, "the waves were too generous to keep it. I found it just now on
the rock--the place where you stood that night."

"Keep it, George. Though I never thought to leave _you such_ a
remembrancer. Oh, George! I should have been just as this sea-weed, and
perhaps have clung to the Cross of Christ with not a bit more energy, if
I had staid in the world."

"You are not going away! You are not going!" he cried; but his voice
faltered and fell as he said it, for he felt that she _was_ going.

"Doctor, I left a little book on my desk, will you bring it to me?"

It was laid before her.

"This," she said, again addressing the youth, "I meant for you. It
pleased _me_, and I thought perhaps you would like it--and won't you lay
it on your shelf nearest to your cross, the one we made. It has a pretty
name--THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS. See, I wrote your name in it after I came
home that night. _You_ could write a better book"--he shuddered, and
half turned away--she observed his look and motion, and said quickly,
"Yes, you will. And all the world will love you. But you will keep this,
if only for my sake. And don't ever, _ever_ think, George Waldron, that
I wouldn't have been proud to have taken your arm and walked with you in
the broad daylight through our streets. I was very tired and sick that
night, or I wouldn't have let you go home without convincing you. Do you
believe me?"

"Yes," he said, and something of the calmness passed from her face into
his, as he bent over her. "Do you know, can you guess, what my cross in
this life is? _I_ know, for it is laid on me already. Oh, Ella, if you
could live, it would not be with me as it must be now!"

Perhaps she had grown too weak to answer him, for she pressed his hands
closely between her own, and made no other reply.

       *       *       *       *       *

He saw her only once after that day. They had removed her from the bed,
and from her pleasant chamber then. She was in the little parlor of the
parsonage--and the shadow of a cross was lying on her sweet, pale face,
for her coffin was near the mantle, and on that stood the "symbol" which
_they_ had fashioned one bright October day. He only looked upon her for
a moment on that morning, but the brief glance was more than he could
bear composedly, and the widowed boy went out hastily from the little
group of mourners, to weep such tears as he could never, never in his
life weep again.

       *       *       *       *       *

He kept that vow, made in the frenzy of despair, religiously. Did he
not? Question his witness--it is not voiceless--it stands unimpeachable
at this moment; on a now populous sea-side, there, in the very place
where, one dull November night, the first act of a most sad life-drama
was read, in a wild and dreary solitude, by two young, dreaming
children. It stands a SEAMEN'S CHAPEL, whose corner-stone _he_ laid,
whose foundation is the rock whereon Ella stood that night. A cross
surmounts its spire, and if you walk along the pleasant beach its shadow
will be sure to fall upon you. Many a day and many a night George
Waldron walked there: and this is his monument on earth.

But--who can tell the heaviness of that cross he bore? The cross his
mother lifted to his shoulder, which, from the moment of Ella's death,
he bore in uncomplaining silence? There was energy in his heart, and in
his brain; he was zealous, he was loving, he had respect, and sorrow,
and compassion for the poor; and these were the characteristics he took
with him on his way of life, when the priestly office was conferred
upon him. That vow his fiery spirit made, which was induced by a
conviction of his mother's will and hope (we state it as a fact merely,
not as an extenuation), that vow was all the seal he ever recognized, to
himself, as set upon his ministry, and yet, he was an honor to his
calling; in all his human "walk and conversation" he was a holy example,
and a shining light. But heavy, heavy was the cross he bore! Through the
poet's dreaming youth, and thoughtful, striving manhood, he went, and
never a hope of Fame, nor praise of men beguiled him. Every
freshly-tinted cloud that rose and floated over the fairy land of his
imagination was suffered to dissolve, in unseen and unsuspected mist and
dew, upon the hearts and lives of other men.

He steadily trode a straight and beaten path, when the panting soul
within him urged his intellect forth on the wings of genius to discovery
and portrayal, he suffered his aspiring nature to exhaust herself in a
round of daily, common duties, than which indeed none are nobler, WHEN
INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT OF GRACE! than which none _can_ be more glorious
in result, IF GOD INCITE TO THEIR PERFORMANCE; but, which are dreadful
in enduring, and in working out, which are presumptuously and impiously
endured and wrought by the poor cross-bearer, if another human being's
will, and not his own prayerful desire be the incitement.

It was THIS heavy cross that George Waldron bore. He died young, a
maniac some said, a martyr and a saint assuredly. And in compliance with
the only request made in his will, his body was lowered on his funeral
day, a dull November day, from the Chapel Rock to the deep sea beneath.
Oh, must it not have been with joy unspeakable and full of GLORY that
his chastened, fettered spirit at last, AT LAST, burst forth in its
release, with thanksgiving and a wondrous voice of melody?



ANECDOTES OF WILD BEASTS.--LEOPARDS AND JAGUARS.


Leopards and panthers, if taken quite young, and treated with kindness,
are capable of being thoroughly tamed; the poet Cowper, describes the
great difference in the dispositions of his three celebrated hares; so
it is with other wild animals, and leopards among the rest, some
returning kindness with the utmost affection, others being rugged and
untamable from the first. Of those brought to this country, the
characters are much influenced by the treatment they have experienced on
board ship; in some cases, they have been made pets by the sailors, and
are as tractable as domestic cats; but when they have been teased and
subjected to ill-treatment during the voyage, it is found very difficult
to render them sociable; there are now (September, 1851), six young
leopards in one den at the Zoological Gardens: of these, five are about
the same age, and grew up as one family; the sixth was added some time
after, and being looked upon as an intruder, was quite sent to Coventry,
and even ill-treated by the others; this he has never forgotten. When
the keeper comes to the den, he courts his caresses, and shows the
greatest pleasure, but if any of his companions advance to share them
with him, he growls and spits, and shows the utmost jealousy and
displeasure.

In the same collection there is a remarkably fine, full-grown leopard,
presented by her Majesty, who is as tame as any creature can be; mutton
is his favorite food, but the keeper will sometimes place a piece of
beef in the den; the leopard smells it, turns it over with an air of
contempt, and coming forward, peers round behind the keeper's back to
see if he has not (as is generally the case), his favorite food
concealed. If given to him, he lays it down, and will readily leave it
at the keeper's call, to come and be patted, and while caressed he
purrs, and shows the greatest pleasure.

There were a pair of leopards in the Tower, before the collection was
broken up, which illustrated well the difference in disposition; the
male, a noble animal, continued to the last, as sullen and savage as on
the day of his arrival. Every kindness was lavished upon him by the
keepers, but he received all their overtures with such a sulky and
morose return, that nothing could be made of his unreclaimable and
unmanageable disposition. The female, which was the older of the two, on
the contrary, was as gentle and affectionate as the other was savage,
enjoying to be patted and caressed by the keeper, and fondly licking his
hands; one failing, however, she had, which brought affliction to the
soul of many a beau and lady fair; it was an extraordinary predilection
for the destruction of hats, muffs, bonnets, umbrellas, and parasols,
and indeed articles of dress generally, seizing them with the greatest
quickness, and tearing them into pieces, almost before the astonished
victim was aware of the loss; to so great an extent did she carry this
peculiar taste, that Mr. Cops, the superintendent, used to say, that she
had made prey of as many of these articles, as there were days in the
year. Animals in menageries are sometimes great enemies to the
milliner's art; giraffes have been known to filch the flowers adorning a
bonnet, and we once saw a lady miserably oppressed by monkeys. She was
very decidedly of "a certain age," but dressed in the extreme of
juvenility, with flowers and ribbons of all the colors of the rainbow.
Her complexion was delicately heightened with rouge, and the loveliest
tresses played about her cheeks. As she languidly sauntered through the
former monkey-house at the gardens, playfully poking the animals with
her parasol, one seized it so vigorously, that she was drawn close to
the den; in the twinkling of an eye, a dozen little paws were protruded,
off went bonnet, curls and all, leaving a deplorably gray head, while
others seized her reticule and her dress, pulling it in a very
unpleasant manner. The handiwork of M. Vouillon was of course a wreck,
and the contents of the reticule, her purse, gloves, and delicately
scented handkerchief, were with difficulty recovered from out of the
cheek pouch of a baboon.

On another occasion we saw the elephant, that fine old fellow who died
some years ago, administer summary punishment to a weak-minded fop, who
kept offering him cakes, and on his putting out his trunk, withdrawing
them and giving him a rap with his cane instead. One of the keepers
warned him, but he laughed, and after he had teased the animal to his
heart's content, walked away. After a time he was strolling by the spot
again, intensely satisfied with himself, his glass stuck in his eye and
smiling blandly in the face of a young lady who was evidently offended
at his impudence, when the elephant, who was rocking backward and
forward, suddenly threw out his trunk and seized our friend by the
coat-tails; the cloth gave way, and the whole back of the coat was torn
out, leaving nothing but the collar, sleeves, and front. As may be
supposed, this was a damper upon his amatory proceedings; indeed we
never saw a man look so small, as he shuffled away amidst the titters of
the company, who enjoyed his just reward.

That very agreeable writer, Mrs. Lee, formerly Mrs. Bowdich, has related
in the first volume of the "Magazine of Natural History," a most
interesting account of a tame panther which was in her possession
several months. He and another were found very young in the forest,
apparently deserted by their mother; they were taken to the King of
Ashantee, in whose palace they lived several weeks, when our hero, being
much larger than his brother, suffocated him in a fit of romping, and
was then sent to Mr. Hutchinson, the resident left by Mr. Bowdich at
Coomassie, by whom he was tamed. When eating was going on he would sit
by his master's side and receive his share with gentleness. Once or
twice he purloined a fowl, but easily gave it up on being allowed a
portion of something else; but on one occasion, when a silly servant
tried to pull his food from him, he tore a piece of flesh from the
offender's leg, but never owed him any ill-will afterward. One morning
he broke the cord by which he was confined, and the castle gates being
shut, a chase commenced, but after leading his pursuers several times
round the ramparts, and knocking over a few children by bouncing against
them, he suffered himself to be caught and led quietly back to his
quarters, under one of the guns of the fortress.

By degrees all fear of him subsided, and he was set at liberty, a boy
being appointed to prevent his intruding into the apartments of the
officers. His keeper, however, like a true negro, generally passed his
watch in sleeping, and Saï, as the panther was called, roamed at large.
On one occasion he found his servant sitting on the step of the door,
upright, but fast asleep, when he lifted his paw, gave him a pat on the
side of the head which laid him flat, and then stood wagging his tail as
if enjoying the joke. He became exceedingly attached to the governor,
and followed him every where like a dog. His favorite station was at a
window in the sitting-room, which overlooked the whole town; there,
standing on his hind legs, his fore paws resting on the ledge of the
window, and his chin laid between them, he amused himself with watching
all that was going on. The children were also fond of this scene; and
one day finding Saï's presence an incumbrance, they united their efforts
and pulled him down by the tail. He one day missed the governor, and
wandered with dejected look to various parts of the fortress in search
of him; while absent on this errand the governor returned to his private
rooms, and seated himself at a table to write; presently he heard a
heavy step coming up the stairs, and raising his eyes to the open door
beheld Saï. At that moment he gave himself up for lost, for Saï
immediately sprang from the door on to his neck; instead, however, of
devouring him, he laid his head close to the governor's, rubbed his
cheek upon his shoulder, wagged his tail, and tried to evince his
happiness. Occasionally, however, the panther caused a little alarm to
the other inmates of the castle, and on one occasion the woman, whose
duty it was to sweep the floors, was made ill by her fright; she was
sweeping the boards of the great hall with a short broom, and in an
attitude approaching all fours, when Saï, who was hidden under one of
the sofas, suddenly leaped upon her back, where he stood waving his tail
in triumph. She screamed so violently as to summon the other servants,
but they, seeing the panther in the act of devouring her, as they
thought, gallantly scampered off one and all as fast as their heels
could carry them; nor was the woman released from her load till the
governor, hearing the noise, came to her assistance.

Mrs. Bowdich determined to take this interesting animal to England, and
he was conveyed on board ship, in a large wooden cage, thickly barred in
front with iron. Even this confinement was not deemed a sufficient
protection by the canoe men, who were so alarmed that in their confusion
they managed to drop cage and all into the sea. For a few minutes the
poor fellow was given up for lost, but some sailors jumped into a boat
belonging to the vessel, and dragged him out in safety. He seemed
completely subdued by his ducking; and as no one dared to open the cage
to dry it, he rolled himself up in one corner, where he remained for
some days, till roused by the voice of his mistress. When she first
spoke he raised his head, listened attentively, and when she came fully
into his view, he jumped on his legs and appeared frantic, rolling over
and over, howling and seeming as if he would have torn his cage to
pieces; however, his violence gradually subsided, and he contented
himself with thrusting his nose and paws through the bars to receive her
caresses. The greatest treat that could be bestowed upon Saï was
lavender water. Mr. Hutchinson had told Mrs. Bowdich, that on the way
from Ashantee, happening to draw out a scented pocket-handkerchief, it
was immediately seized by the panther, who reduced it to atoms; nor
could he venture to open a bottle of perfume when the animal was near,
he was so eager to enjoy it. Twice a week his mistress indulged him by
making a cup of stiff paper, pouring a little lavender water into it,
and giving it to him through the bars of the cage; he would drag it to
him with great eagerness, roll himself over it, nor rest till the smell
had evaporated.

Quiet and gentle as Saï was, pigs never failed to excite indignation
when they hovered about his cage, and the sight of a monkey put him in a
complete fury. While at anchor in the Gaboon, an orang-outang was
brought on board and remained three days. When the two animals met, the
uncontrollable rage of the one and the agony of the other was very
remarkable. The orang was about three feet high, and very powerful: so
that when he fled, with extraordinary rapidity, from the panther to the
other side of the deck, neither men or things remained upright if they
opposed his progress. As for the panther, his back rose in an arch, his
tail was elevated and perfectly stiff, his eyes flashed, and as he
howled he showed his huge teeth; then, as if forgetting the bars before
him, he made a spring at the orang to tear him to atoms. It was long
before he recovered his tranquillity; day and night he was on the
listen, and the approach of a monkey or a negro brought back his
agitation. During the voyage to England the vessel was boarded by
pirates, and the crew and passengers nearly reduced to starvation in
consequence; Saï must have died had it not been for a collection of more
than three hundred parrots; of these his allowance was one per diem, but
he became so ravenous that he had not patience to pick off the feathers,
but bolted the birds whole; this made him very ill, but Mrs. Bowdich
administered some pills, and he recovered. On the arrival of the vessel
in the London Docks, Saï was presented to the Duchess of York, who
placed him in Exeter Change temporarily. On the morning of the duchess's
departure for Oatlands, she went to visit her new pet, played with him,
and admired his gentleness and great beauty. In the evening, when her
Royal Highness's coachman went to take him away to his new quarters at
Oatlands, Saï was dead from inflammation on the lungs.

Nature, ever provident, has scattered with a bounteous hand her gifts in
the country of the Orinoco, where the jaguar especially abounds. The
savannahs, which are covered with grasses and slender plants, present a
surprising luxuriance and diversity of vegetation; piles of granite
blocks rise here and there, and, at the margins of the plains, occur
deep valleys and ravines, the humid soil of which is covered with arums,
heliconias, and llianas. The shelves of primitive rocks, scarcely
elevated above the plain, are partially coated with lichens and mosses,
together with succulent plants and tufts of evergreen shrubs with
shining leaves. The horizon is bounded with mountains overgrown with
forests of laurels, among which clusters of palms rise to the height of
more than a hundred feet, their slender stems supporting tufts of
feathery foliage. To the east of Atures other mountains appear, the
ridge of which is composed of pointed cliffs, rising like huge pillars
above the trees. When these columnar masses are situated near the
Orinoco, flamingoes, herons, and other wading birds perch on their
summits, and look like sentinels. In the vicinity of the cataracts, the
moisture which is diffused in the air, produces a perpetual verdure, and
wherever soil has accumulated on the plains, it is adorned by the
beautiful shrubs of the mountains.

Such is one view of the picture, but it has its dark side also; those
flowing waters, which fertilize the soil, abound with crocodiles; those
charming shrubs and flourishing plants, are the hiding-places of deadly
serpents; those laurel forests, the favorite lurking spots of the fierce
jaguar; while the atmosphere, so clear and lovely, abounds with
musquitoes and zancudoes, to such a degree that, in the missions of
Orinoco, the first questions in the morning when two people meet, are
"How did you find the zancudoes during the night? How are we to-day for
the musquitoes?"

It is in the solitude of this wilderness, that the jaguar, stretched out
motionless and silent, upon one of the lower branches of the ancient
trees, watches for its passing prey; a deer, urged by thirst, is making
its way to the river, and approaches the tree where his enemy lies in
wait. The jaguar's eyes dilate, the ears are thrown down, and the whole
frame becomes flattened against the branch. The deer, all unconscious of
danger, draws near, every limb of the jaguar quivers with excitement;
every fibre is stiffened for the spring; then, with the force of a bow
unbent, he darts with a terrific yell upon his prey, seizes it by the
back of the neck, a blow is given with his powerful paw, and with broken
spine the deer falls lifeless to the earth. The blood is then sucked,
and the prey dragged to some favorite haunt, where it is devoured at
leisure.

Humboldt surprised a jaguar in his retreat. It was near the Joval, below
the mouth of the Cano de la Tigrera, that in the midst of wild and awful
scenery, he saw an enormous jaguar stretched beneath the shade of a
large mimosa. He had just killed a chiguire, an animal about the size of
a pig, which he held with one of his paws, while the vultures were
assembled in flocks around. It was curious to observe the mixture of
boldness and timidity which these birds exhibited; for although they
advanced within two feet of the jaguar, they instantly shrank back at
the least motion he made. In order to observe more nearly their
proceedings, the travelers went into their little boat, when the tyrant
of the forest withdrew behind the bushes, leaving his victim, upon which
the vultures attempted to devour it, but were soon put to flight by the
jaguar rushing into the midst of them; the following night, Humboldt and
his party were entertained by a jaguar hunter, half-naked, and as brown
as a Zambo, who prided himself on being of the European race, and called
his wife and daughter, who were as slightly clothed as himself, Donna
Isabella and Donna Manuela. As this aspiring personage had neither house
nor hut, he invited the strangers to swing their hammocks near his own
between two trees, but as ill-luck would have it, a thunderstorm came
on, which wetted them to the skin; but their troubles did not end here,
for Donna Isabella's cat had perched on one of the trees, and frightened
by the thunder-storm, jumped down upon one of the travelers in his cot;
he naturally supposed that he was attacked by a wild beast, and as smart
a battle took place between the two, as that celebrated feline
engagement of Don Quixote; the cat, who perhaps had most reason to
consider himself an ill-used personage, at length bolted, but the fears
of the gentleman had been excited to such a degree, that he could hardly
be quieted. The following night was not more propitious to slumber. The
party finding no tree convenient, had stuck their oars in the sand, and
suspended their hammocks upon them. About eleven, there arose in the
immediately adjoining wood, so terrific a noise, that it was impossible
to sleep. The Indians distinguished the cries of sapagous, alouates,
jaguars, cougars, peccaris, sloths, curassows, paraquas, and other
birds, so that there must have been as full a forest chorus as Mr.
Hullah himself could desire.

When the jaguars approached the edge of the forest, which they
frequently did, a dog belonging to the party began to howl, and seek
refuge under their cots. Sometimes, after a long silence, the cry of the
jaguars came from the tops of the trees, when it was followed by an
outcry among the monkeys. Humboldt supposes the noise thus made by the
inhabitants of the forest during the night, to be the effect of some
contest that has arisen among them.

On the pampas of Paraguay, great havoc is committed among the herds of
horses by the jaguars, whose strength is quite sufficient to enable them
to drag off one of these animals. Azara caused the body of a horse,
which had been recently killed by a jaguar, to be drawn within
musket-shot of a tree, in which he intended to pass the night,
anticipating that the jaguar would return in the course of it, to its
victim; but while he was gone to prepare for his adventure, behold the
animal swam across a large and deep river, and having seized the horse
with his teeth, dragged it full sixty paces to the river, swam across
again with his prey, and then dragged the carcass into a neighboring
wood: and all this in sight of a person, whom Azara had placed to keep
watch. But the jaguars have also an aldermanic goût for turtles, which
they gratify in a very systematic manner, as related by Humboldt, who
was shown large shells of turtles emptied by them. They follow the
turtles toward the beaches, where the laying of eggs is to take place,
surprise them on the sand, and in order to devour them at their ease,
adroitly turn them on their backs; and as they turn many more than they
can devour in one night, the Indians often profit by their cunning. The
jaguar pursues the turtle quite into the water, and when not very deep,
digs up the eggs; they, with the crocodile, the heron, and the gallinago
vulture, are the most formidable enemies the little turtles have.
Humboldt justly remarks, "When we reflect on the difficulty that the
naturalist finds in getting out the body of the turtle, without
separating the upper and under shells, we can not enough admire the
suppleness of the jaguar's paw, which empties the double armor of the
_arraus_, as if the adhering parts of the muscles had been cut by means
of a surgical instrument."

The rivers of South America swarm with crocodiles, and these wage
perpetual war with the jaguars. It is said, that when the jaguar
surprises the alligator asleep on the hot sand-bank, he attacks him in a
vulnerable part under the tail, and often kills him, but let the
crocodile only get his antagonist into the water, and the tables are
turned, for the jaguar is held under water until he is drowned.

The onset of the jaguar is always made from behind, partaking of the
stealthy treacherous character of his tribe; if a herd of animals, or a
party of men be passing, it is the last that is always the object of his
attack. When he has made choice of his victim, he springs upon the neck,
and placing one paw on the back of the head, while he seizes the muzzle
with the other, twists the head round with a sudden jerk which
dislocates the spine, and deprives it instantaneously of life;
sometimes, especially when satiated with food, he is indolent and
cowardly, skulking in the gloomiest depths of the forest, and scared by
the most trifling causes, but when urged by the cravings of hunger, the
largest quadrupeds, and man himself, are attacked with fury and success.

Mr. Darwin has given an interesting account of the habits of the jaguar:
the wooded banks of the great South American rivers appear to be their
favorite haunt, but south of the Plata they frequent the reeds bordering
lakes; wherever they are they seem to require water. They are
particularly abundant on the isles of the Parana, their common prey
being the carpincho, so that it is generally said, where carpinchos are
plentiful, there is little fear of the jaguar; possibly, however, a
jaguar which has tasted human flesh, may afterward become dainty, and
like the lions of South Africa, and the tigers of India, acquire the
dreadful character of man-eaters, from preferring that food to all
others. It is not many years ago since a very large jaguar found his way
into a church in Santa Fé; soon afterward a very corpulent padre
entering, was at once killed by him: his equally stout coadjutor,
wondering what had detained the padre, went to look after him, and also
fell a victim to the jaguar; a third priest, marveling greatly at the
unaccountable absence of the others, sought them, and the jaguar having
by this time acquired a strong clerical taste, made at him also, but he,
being fortunately of the slender order, dodged the animal from pillar to
post, and happily made his escape; the beast was destroyed by being shot
from a corner of the building, which was unroofed, and thus paid the
penalty of his sacrilegious propensities.

On the Parana they have killed many wood-cutters, and have even entered
vessels by night. One dark evening the mate of a vessel, hearing a
heavy but peculiar footstep on deck, went up to see what it was, and was
immediately met by a jaguar, who had come on board, seeking what he
could devour: a severe struggle ensued, assistance arrived, and the
brute was killed, but the man lost the use of the arm which had been
ground between his teeth.

The Gauchos say that the jaguar, when wandering about at night, is much
tormented by the foxes yelping as they follow him; this may perhaps
serve to alarm his prey, but must be as teasing to him as the attentions
of swallows are to an owl, who happens to be taking a daylight
promenade; and if owls ever swear, it is under those circumstances. Mr.
Darwin, when hunting on the banks of the Uruguay, was shown three
well-known trees to which the jaguars constantly resort, for the
purpose, it is said, of sharpening their claws. Every one must be
familiar with the manner in which cats, with outstretched legs and
extended claws, will card the legs of chairs and of men; so with the
jaguar; and of these trees the bark was worn quite smooth in front; on
each side there were deep grooves, extending in an oblique line nearly a
yard in length. The scars were of different ages, and the inhabitants
could always tell when a jaguar was in the neighborhood, by his recent
autograph on one of these trees.



A FASHIONABLE FORGER.


I am an attorney and a bill discounter. As it is my vocation to lend
money at high interest to extravagant people, my connection principally
lies among "fools," sometimes among rogues, "of quality." Mine is a
pursuit which a prejudiced world either holds in sovereign contempt, or
visits with envy, hatred, and all uncharitableness; but to my mind,
there are many callings, with finer names, that are no better. It gives
me two things which I love--money and power; but I can not deny that it
brings with it a bad name. The case lies between character and money,
and involves a matter of taste. Some people like character; I prefer
money.

If I am hated and despised, I chuckle over the "per contra." I find it
pleasant for members of a proud aristocracy to condescend from their
high estate to fawn, feign, flatter; to affect even mirthful familiarity
in order to gain my good-will. I am no Shylock. No client can accuse me
of desiring either his flesh or his blood. Sentimental vengeance is no
item in my stock in trade. Gold and bank-notes satisfy my "rage;" or, if
need be, a good mortgage. Far from seeking revenge, the worst defaulter
I ever had dealings with can not deny that I am always willing to accept
a good post-obit.

I say again, I am daily brought in contact with all ranks of society,
from the poverty-stricken patentee to the peer; and I am no more
surprised at receiving an application from a duchess than from a pet
opera-dancer. In my ante-room wait, at this moment, a crowd of
borrowers. Among the men, beardless folly and mustached craft are most
prominent: there is a handsome young fellow, with an elaborate cane and
wonderfully vacant countenance, who is anticipating, in feeble follies,
an estate that has been in the possession of his ancestors since the
reign of Henry the Eighth. There is a hairy, high-nosed, broken-down
non-descript, in appearance some thing between a horse-dealer and a
pugilist. He is an old Etonian. Five years ago he drove his
four-in-hand; he is now waiting to beg a sovereign, having been just
discharged from the Insolvent Court, for the second time. Among the
woman, a pretty actress, who, a few years since, looked forward to a
supper of steak and onions, with bottled stout, on a Saturday night, as
a great treat, now finds one hundred pounds a month insufficient to pay
her wine-merchant and her confectioner. I am obliged to deal with each
case according to its peculiarities. Genuine undeserved Ruin seldom
knocks at my door. Mine is a perpetual battle with people who imbibe
trickery at the same rate as they dissolve their fortunes. I am a hard
man, of course. I should not be fit for my pursuit if I were not; but
when, by a remote chance, honest misfortune pays me a visit, as
Rothschild amused himself at times by giving a beggar a guinea, so I
occasionally treat myself to the luxury of doing a kind action.

My favorite subjects for this unnatural generosity, are the very young,
or the poor, innocent, helpless people, who are unfit for the war of
life. Many among my clients (especially those tempered in the
"ice-brook" of fashion and high life--polished and passionless) would be
too much for me, if I had not made the face, the eye, the accent, as
much my study as the mere legal and financial points of discount. To
show what I mean, I will relate what happened to me not long since:

One day, a middle-aged man, in the usual costume of a West-end shopman,
who had sent in his name as Mr. Axminster, was shown into my private
room. After a little hesitation, he said, "Although you do not know me,
living at this end of the town, I know you very well by reputation, and
that you discount bills. I have a bill here which I want to get
discounted. I am in the employ of Messrs. Russle and Smooth. The bill is
drawn by one of our best customers, the Hon. Miss Snape, niece of Lord
Blimley, and accepted by Major Munge; whom, no doubt, you know by name.
She has dealt with us for some years, is very, very extravagant; but
always pays." He put the acceptance--which was for two hundred
pounds--into my hands.

I looked at it as scrutinizingly as I usually do at such paper. The
major's signature was familiar to me; but having succeeded to a great
estate, he has long ceased to be a customer. I instantly detected a
forgery; by whom? was the question. Could it be the man before
me?--experience told me it was not.

Perhaps there was something in the expression of my countenance which
Mr. Axminster did not like, for he said, "It is good for the amount, I
presume?"

I replied, "Pray, sir, from whom did you get this bill?"

"From Miss Snape herself."

"Have you circulated any other bills made by the same drawer?"

"O yes!" said the draper, without hesitation; "I have paid away a bill
for one hundred pounds to Mr. Sparkle, the jeweler, to whom Miss Snape
owed twenty pounds. They gave me the difference."

"And how long has that bill to run now?"

"About a fortnight."

"Did you endorse it?"

"I did," continued the shopman. "Mr. Sparkle required me to do so, to
show that the bill came properly into his possession."

"This second bill, you say, is urgently required to enable Miss Snape to
leave town?"

"Yes; she is going to Brighton for the winter."

I gave Mr. Axminster a steady, piercing look of inquiry. "Pray, sir," I
said, "could you meet that one hundred pounds bill, supposing it should
not be paid by the acceptor?"

"Meet it?" The poor fellow wiped from his forehead the perspiration
which suddenly broke out at the bare hint of a probability that the bill
would be dishonored: "Meet it? O no! I am a married man, with a family,
and have nothing but my salary to depend on."

"Then, the sooner you get it taken up, and the less you have to do with
Miss Snape's bill affairs, the better."

"She has always been punctual hitherto."

"That may be." I pointed to the cross-writing on the document, and said
deliberately, "_This_ bill is a forgery!"

At these words the poor man turned pale. He snatched up the document;
and, with many incoherent protestations, was rushing toward the door,
when I called to him, in an authoritative tone, to stop. He paused. His
manner indicating not only doubt, but fear. I said to him, "Don't flurry
yourself; I only want to serve you. You tell me that you are a married
man with children, dependent on daily labor for daily bread; and that
you have done a little discounting for Miss Snape out of your earnings.
Now, although I am a bill discounter, I don't like to see such men
victimized. Look at the body of this bill: look at the signature of your
lady customer, the drawer. Don't you detect the same fine, thin,
sharp-pointed handwriting in the words, 'Accepted, Dymmock Munge.'"

The man, convinced against his will, was at first overcome. When he
recovered, he raved: he would expose the Honorable Miss Snape, if it
cost him his bread: he would go at once to the police office.

I stopped him, by saying, roughly, "Don't be a fool. Any such steps
would seal your ruin. Take my advice; return the bill to the lady,
saying simply that you can not get it discounted. Leave the rest to me,
and I think the bill you have endorsed to Sparkle will be paid."
Comforted by this assurance, Axminster, fearfully changed from the
nervous, but smug, hopeful man of the morning, departed.

It now remained for me to exert what skill I own, to bring about the
desired result. I lost no time in writing a letter to the Honorable Miss
Snape, of which the following is a copy:

"Madam--A bill, purporting to be drawn by you, has been offered to me
for discount. There is something wrong about it; and, though a stranger
to you, I advise you to lose no time in getting it back into your own
hands.--D. D."

I intended to deal with the affair quietly, and without any view to
profit. The fact is, that I was sorry--you may laugh--but I really _was_
sorry to think that a young girl might have given way to temptation
under pressure of pecuniary difficulties. If it had been a man's case, I
doubt whether I should have interfered.

By the return of post, a lady's maid entered my room, profusely
decorated with ringlets, lace, and perfumed with _patchouli_. She
brought a letter from her mistress. It ran thus:

     "Sir--I can not sufficiently express my thanks for your kindness in
     writing to me on the subject of the bills; of which I had also
     heard a few hours previously. As a perfect _stranger_ to you, I can
     not estimate your kind consideration at too high a value. I trust
     the matter will be explained; but I should much like to see you. If
     you would be kind enough to write a note as soon as you receive
     this, I will order it to be sent to me at once to Tyburn-square. I
     will wait on you at any hour on Friday you may appoint. I believe
     that I am not mistaken in supposing that you transact business for
     my friend Sir John Markham, and you will therefore know the
     inclosed to be his handwriting. Again thanking you most gratefully,
     allow me to remain your much and deeply obliged,

     "JULIANA SNAPE."

This note was written upon delicate French paper, embossed with a coat
of arms. It was in a fancy envelope: the whole richly perfumed, and
redolent of rank and fashion. Its contents were an implied confession of
forgery.

Silence, or three lines of indignation, would have been the only
innocent answer to my letter. But Miss Snape thanked me. She let me
know, by implication, that she was on intimate terms with a name good on
a West-end bill. My answer was, that I should be alone on the following
afternoon at five.

At the hour fixed, punctual to a moment, a brougham drew up at the
corner of the street next to my chambers. The Honorable Miss Snape's
card was handed in. Presently, she entered, swimming into my room,
richly yet simply dressed in the extreme of Parisian good taste. She was
pale--or rather colorless. She had fair hair, fine teeth, and a
fashionable voice. She threw herself gracefully into the chair I handed
to her, and began by uncoiling a string of phrases, to the effect that
her visit was merely to consult me on "unavoidable pecuniary
difficulties."

According to my mode, I allowed her to talk; putting in only an
occasional word of question, that seemed rather a random observation
than a significant query. At length, after walking round and round the
subject, like a timid horse in a field, round a groom with a sieve of
oats, she came nearer and nearer the subject. When she had fairly
approached the point, she stopped, as if courage had failed her. But she
soon recovered, and observed--"I can not think why you should take the
trouble to write so to me, a perfect stranger." Another pause--"I wonder
no one ever suspected me before."

Here was a confession and a key to character. The cold gray eye, the
thin compressed lips, which I had had time to observe, were true indexes
to the "lady's" inner heart:--selfish, calculating, utterly devoid of
conscience; unable to conceive the existence of spontaneous kindness;
utterly indifferent to any thing except discovery; and almost
indifferent to that, because convinced that no serious consequences
could affect a lady of her rank and influence.

"Madam," I replied, "as long as you dealt with tradesmen accustomed to
depend on aristocratic customers, your rank and position, and their
large profits, protected you from suspicion; but you have made a mistake
in descending from your vantage ground to make a poor shopman your
innocent accomplice--a man who will be keenly alive to any thing that
may injure his wife or children. His terrors--but for my
interposition--would have ruined you. Tell me, how many of these things
have you put afloat?"

She seemed a little taken aback by this speech; but was wonderfully
firm. She passed her white, jeweled hand over her eyes, seemed
calculating, and then whispered, with a confiding look of innocent
helplessness, admirably assumed:

"About as many as amount to twelve hundred pounds."

"And what means have you for meeting them?"

At this question, so plainly put, her face flushed. She half-rose from
her chair, and exclaimed, in the true tone of aristocratic _hauteur_,
"Really, sir, I do not know what right you have to ask me that
question."

I laughed a little, though not very loud. It was rude, I own; but who
could have helped it? I replied, speaking low, but slowly and
distinctly, "You forget. I did not send for you: you came to me. You
have forged bills to the amount of twelve hundred pounds. Yours is not
the case of a ruined merchant, or an ignorant over-tempted clerk. In
your case a jury" (she shuddered at that word) "would find no
extenuating circumstances; and if you should ever fall into the hands of
justice, you will be convicted, degraded, clothed in a prison dress, and
transported for life. I do not want to speak harshly; but I insist that
you find means to take up the bill which Mr. Axminster has so
unwittingly indorsed!"

The Honorable Miss Snape's grand manner melted away. She wept. She
seized and pressed my hand. She cast up her eyes, full of tears, and
went through the part of a repentant victim with great fervor. She would
do any thing; any thing in the world to save the poor man. Indeed, she
had intended to appropriate part of the two hundred pound bill to that
purpose.

She forgot her first statement, that she wanted the money to go out of
town. Without interrupting, I let her go on and degrade herself by a
simulated passion of repentance, regret, and thankfulness to me, under
which she hid her fear and her mortification at being detected. I at
length put an end to a scene of admirable acting, by recommending her to
go abroad immediately, to place herself out of reach of any sudden
discovery; and then lay her case fully before her friends, who would, no
doubt, feel bound to come forward with the full amount of the forged
bills. "But," she exclaimed, with an entreating air, "I have no money; I
can not go without money!" To that observation I did not respond;
although I am sure she expected that I should, check-book in hand, offer
her a loan.

I do not say so without reason; for, the very next week, this honorable
young lady came again; and, with sublime assurance and a number of very
charming, winning speeches (which might have had their effect upon a
younger man), asked me to lend her one hundred pounds, in order that she
might take the advice I had so obligingly given her, and retire into
private life for a certain time in the country.

I do meet with a great many impudent people in the course of my
calling--I am not very deficient in assurance myself--but this actually
took away my breath.

"Really, madam," I answered, "you pay a very ill compliment to my gray
hairs; and would fain make me a very ill return for the service I have
done you, when you ask me to lend a hundred pounds to a young lady who
owns to having forged to the extent of one thousand two hundred pounds,
and to owing eight hundred pounds besides. I wished to save a personage
of your years and position from a disgraceful career; but I am too good
a trustee for my children to lend money to any body in such a dangerous
position as yourself."

"Oh!" she answered, quite unabashed, without a trace of the fearful,
tender pleading of the previous week's interview--quite as if I had been
an accomplice, "I can give you excellent security."

"That alters the case; I can lend any amount on good security."

"Well, sir, I can get the acceptances of three friends of ample means."

"Do you mean to tell me, Miss Snape, that you will write down the names
of three parties who will accept a bill for one hundred pounds for you?"

Yes, she could, and did actually write down the names of three
distinguished men. Now I knew for certain that not one of those noblemen
would have put his name to a bill on any account whatever for his
dearest friend; but, in her unabashed self-confidence, she thought of
passing another forgery _on me_. I closed the conference by saying, "I
can not assist you;" and she retired with the air of an injured person.
In the course of a few days I heard from Mr. Axminster, that his
liability had been duly honored.

In my active and exciting life, one day extinguishes the recollection of
the events of the preceding day; and, for a time, I thought no more
about the fashionable forger. I had taken it for granted that, heartily
frightened, although not repenting, she had paused in her felonious
pursuits.

My business, one day, led me to the establishment of one of the most
wealthy and respectable legal firms in the city, where I am well known,
and, I believe, valued; for at all times I am most politely, I may say
most cordially received. Mutual profits create a wonderful freemasonry
between those who have not any other sympathy or sentiment. Politics,
religion, morality, difference of rank, are all equalized and
republicanized by the division of an account. No sooner had I entered
the _sanctum_, than the senior partner, Mr. Preceps, began to quiz his
junior, Mr. Jones, with, "Well, Jones must never joke friend Discount
any more about usury. Just imagine," he continued, addressing me, "Jones
has himself been discounting a bill for a lady; and a deuced pretty one,
too. He sat next her at dinner in Grosvenor-square last week. Next day
she gave him a call here, and he could not refuse her extraordinary
request. Gad, it is hardly fair for Jones to be poaching on your domains
of West-end paper!"

Mr. Jones smiled quietly, as he observed, "Why, you see, she is the
niece of one of our best clients; and, really, I was so taken by
surprise, that I did not know how to refuse."

"Pray," said I, interrupting his excuses, "does your young lady's name
begin with S? Has she not a very pale face, and cold gray eye?"

The partners stared.

"Ah! I see it is so; and can at once tell you that the bill is not worth
a rush."

"Why, you don't mean--?"

"I mean simply that the acceptance is, I'll lay you a wager, a forgery."

"A forgery!"

"A forgery," I repeated, as distinctly as possible.

Mr. Jones hastily, and with broken ejaculations, called for the
cash-box. With trembling hands he took out the bill, and followed my
finger with eager, watchful eyes, as I pointed out the proofs of my
assertion.

A long pause was broken by my mocking laugh, for, at the moment, my
sense of politeness could not restrain my satisfaction at the signal
defeat which had attended the first experiment of these highly
respectable gentlemen in the science of usury.

The partners did not have recourse to the police. They did not propose a
consultation with either Mr. Forrester or Mr. Field: but they took
certain steps, under my recommendation; the result of which was that at
an early day, an aunt of the Honorable Miss Snape was driven, to save so
near a connection from transportation, to sell out some fourteen hundred
pounds of stock, and all the forgeries were taken up.

One would have thought that the lady who had thus so narrowly escaped,
had had enough; but forgery, like opium-eating, is one of those charming
vices which is never abandoned, when once adopted. The forger enjoys not
only the pleasure of obtaining money so easily, but the triumph of
be-fooling sharp men of the world. Dexterous penmanship is a source of
the same sort of pride as that which animates the skillful rifleman, the
practiced duelist, or well-trained billiard-player. With a clean Gillott
he fetches down a capitalist, at three or six months, for a cool hundred
or a round thousand; just as a Scrope drops over a stag at ten, or a
Gordon Cumming a monstrous male elephant at a hundred paces.

As I before observed, my connection especially lies among the
improvident--among those who will be ruined--who are being ruined--and
who have been ruined. To the last class belongs Francis Fisherton, once
a gentleman, now without a shilling or a principle; but rich in
mother-wit--in fact a _farceur_, after Paul de Kock's own heart. Having
in by-gone days been one of my willing victims, he occasionally finds
pleasure and profit in guiding others through the gate he frequented, as
long as able to pay the tolls. In truth he is what is called a "discount
agent."

One day I received a note from him, to say that he would call on me at
three o'clock the next day, to introduce a lady of family, who wanted a
bill "done" for one hundred pounds. So ordinary a transaction merely
needed a memorandum in my diary, "Tuesday, 3 P.M.; F. F., £100 Bill." The
hour came and passed; but no Frank, which was strange--because every one
must have observed, that, however dilatory people are in paying, they
are wonderfully punctual when they expect to receive money.

At five o'clock, in rushed my Jackal. His story, disentangled from oaths
and ejaculations, amounted to this:--In answer to one of the
advertisements he occasionally addresses "To the Embarrassed," in the
columns of the "Times," he received a note from a lady, who said she was
anxious to get a "bill done"--the acceptance of a well-known man of rank
and fashion. A correspondence was opened, and an appointment made. At
the hour fixed, neatly shaved, brushed, gloved, booted--the revival, in
short, of that high-bred Frank Fisherton, who was so famous.

"In his hot youth, when Crockford's was the thing," glowing with only
one glass of brandy "just to steady his nerves," he met the lady at a
West-end pastry-cook's.

After a few words (for all the material questions had been settled by
correspondence) she stepped into her brougham; and invited Frank to take
a seat beside her. Elated with a compliment of late years so rare, he
commenced planning the orgies which were to reward him for weeks of
enforced fasting, when the coachman, reverentially touching his hat,
looked down from his seat for orders.

"To ninety-nine, George-street, St. James," cried Fisherton, in his
loudest tones.

In an instant, the young lady's pale face changed to scarlet, and then
to ghastly green. In a whisper, rising to a scream, she exclaimed,
"Good heavens! you do not mean to _that_ man's house" (meaning me).
"Indeed, I can not go to him, on any account; he is a most horrid man, I
am told, and charges most extravagantly."

"Madam," answered Frank, in great perturbation, "I beg your pardon, but
you have been grossly misinformed. I have known that excellent man these
twenty years, and have paid him hundreds on hundreds; but never so much
by ten per cent. as you offered me for discounting your bill."

"Sir, I can not have any thing to do with your friend." Then, violently
pulling the check-string, "Stop," she gasped: "and _will you_ have the
goodness to get out?"

"And so I got out," continued Fisherton, "and lost my time; and the
heavy investment I made in getting myself up for the assignation; new
primrose gloves, and a shilling to the hair-dresser--hang her! But, did
you ever know any thing like the prejudices that must prevail against
you? I am disgusted with human nature. Could you lend me half a
sovereign till Saturday?"

I smiled; I sacrificed the half-sovereign and let him go, for he is not
exactly the person to whom it was advisable to intrust all the secrets
relating to the Honorable Miss Snape.

Since that day I look each morning in the police reports, with
considerable interest; but, up to the present hour, the Honorable Miss
Snape has lived and thrived in the best society.



TO BE READ AT DUSK.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.


One, two, three, four, five. There were five of them.

Five couriers, sitting on a bench outside the convent on the summit of
the Great St. Bernard in Switzerland, looking at the remote heights,
stained by the setting sun, as if a mighty quantity of red wine had been
broached upon the mountain top, and had not yet had time to sink into
the snow.

This is not my simile. It was made for the occasion by the stoutest
courier, who was a German. None of the others took any more notice of it
than they took of me, sitting on another bench on the other side of the
convent door, smoking my cigar, like them, and--also like them--looking
at the reddened snow, and at the lonely shed hard by, where the bodies
of belated travelers, dug out of it, slowly wither away, knowing no
corruption in that cold region.

The wine upon the mountain top soaked in as we looked; the mountain
became white; the sky, a very dark blue; the wind rose; and the air
turned piercing cold. The five couriers buttoned their rough coats.
There being no safer man to imitate in all such proceedings than a
courier, I buttoned mine.

The mountain in the sunset had stopped the five couriers in a
conversation. It is a sublime sight, likely to stop conversation. The
mountain being now out of the sunset, they resumed. Not that I had heard
any part of their previous discourse; for, indeed, I had not then
broken away from the American gentleman, in the travelers' parlor of the
convent, who, sitting with his face to the fire, had undertaken to
realize to me the whole progress of events which had led to the
accumulation by the Honorable Ananias Dodger of one of the largest
acquisitions of dollars ever made in our country.

"My God!" said the Swiss courier, speaking in French, which I do not
hold (as some authors appear to do) to be such an all-sufficient excuse
for a naughty word, that I have only to write it in that language to
make it innocent; "if you talk of ghosts--"

"But I _don't_ talk of ghosts," said the German.

"Of what then?" asked the Swiss.

"If I knew of what then," said the German, "I should probably know a
great deal more."

It was a good answer, I thought, and it made me curious. So, I moved my
position to that corner of my bench which was nearest to them and
leaning my back against the convent-wall, heard perfectly, without
appearing to attend.

"Thunder and lightning!" said the German, warming, "when a certain man
is coming to see you, unexpectedly; and, without his own knowledge,
sends some invisible messenger, to put the idea of him in your head all
day, what do you call that? When you walk along a crowded street--at
Frankfort, Milan, London, Paris--and think that a passing stranger is
like your friend Heinrich, and then that another passing stranger is
like your friend Heinrich, and so begin to have a strange foreknowledge
that presently you'll meet your friend Heinrich--which you do, though
you believed him at Trieste--what do you call _that_?"

"It's not uncommon either," murmured the Swiss and the other three.

"Uncommon!" said the German. "It's as common as cherries in the Black
Forest. It's as common as maccaroni at Naples. And Naples reminds me!
When the old Marchesa Senzanima shrieks at a card party on the
Chiaja--as I heard and saw her, for it happened in a Bavarian family of
mine, and I was overlooking the service that evening--I say, when the
old Marchesa starts up at the card-table, white through her rouge, and
cries, 'My sister in Spain is dead! I felt her cold touch on my
back!'--and when that sister _is_ dead at the moment--what do you call
that?"

"Or when the blood of San Gennaro liquefies at the request of the
clergy--as all the world knows that it does regularly once a year, in my
native city," said the Neapolitan courier, after a pause, with a comical
look, "what do you call that?"

"_That!_" cried the German. "Well! I think I know a name for that."

"Miracle?" said the Neapolitan, with the same sly face.

The German merely smoked and laughed; and they all smoked and laughed.

"Bah!" said the German, presently. "I speak of things that really do
happen. When I want to see the conjurer, I pay to see a professed one,
and have my money's worth. Very strange things do happen without ghosts.
Ghosts! Giovanni Baptista, tell your story of the English bride. There's
no ghost in that, but something full as strange. Will any man tell me
what?"

As there was a silence among them, I glanced around. He whom I took to
be Baptista was lighting a fresh cigar. He presently went on to speak.
He was a Genoese, as I judged.

"The story of the English bride?" said he. "Basta! one ought not to call
so slight a thing a story. Well, it's all one. But it's true. Observe me
well, gentlemen, it's true. That which glitters is not always gold; but
what I am going to tell is true."

He repeated this more than once.

Ten years ago, I took my credentials to an English gentleman at Long's
Hotel, in Bond-street, London, who was about to travel--it might be for
one year, it might be for two. He approved of them; likewise of me. He
was pleased to make inquiry. The testimony that he received was
favorable. He engaged me by the six months, and my entertainment was
generous.

He was young, handsome, very happy. He was enamored of a fair young
English lady, with a sufficient fortune, and they were going to be
married. It was the wedding trip, in short, that we were going to take.
For three months' rest in the hot weather (it was early summer then) he
had hired an old palace on the Riviera, at an easy distance from my
city, Genoa, on the road to Nice. Did I know that palace? Yes; I told
him I knew it well. It was an old palace, with great gardens. It was a
little bare, and it was a little dark and gloomy, being close surrounded
by trees; but it was spacious, ancient, grand, and on the sea shore. He
said it had been so described to him exactly, and he was well pleased
that I knew it. For its being a little bare of furniture, all such
places were. For its being a little gloomy, he had hired it principally
for the gardens, and he and my mistress would pass the summer weather in
their shade.

"So all goes well, Baptista?" said he.

"Indubitably, signor; very well."

We had a traveling chariot for our journey, newly built for us, and in
all respects complete. All we had was complete; we wanted for nothing.
The marriage took place. They were happy. _I_ was happy, seeing all so
bright, being so well situated, going to my own city, teaching my
language in the rumble to the maid, la bella Carolina, whose heart was
gay with laughter: who was young and rosy.

The time flew. But I observed--listen to this, I pray!--(and here the
courier dropped his voice)--I observed my mistress sometimes brooding in
a manner very strange; in a frightened manner; in an unhappy manner;
with a cloudy, uncertain alarm upon her. I think that I began to notice
this when I was walking up hills by the carriage side, and master had
gone on in front. At any rate, I remember that it impressed itself upon
my mind one evening in the south of France, when she called to me to
call master back; and when he came back, and walked for a long way,
talking encouragingly and affectionately to her, with his hand upon the
open window, and hers in it. Now and then, he laughed in a merry way, as
if he were bantering her out of something. By-and-by, she laughed, and
then all went well again.

It was curious. I asked la bella Carolina, the pretty little one, Was
mistress unwell? No. Out of spirits? No. Fearful of bad roads, or
brigands? No. And what made it more mysterious was, the pretty little
one would not look at me in giving answer, but _would_ look at the view.

But, one day she told me the secret.

"If you must know," said Carolina, "I find, from what I have overheard,
that mistress is haunted."

"How haunted?"

"By a dream."

"What dream?"

"By a dream of a face. For three nights before her marriage, she saw a
face in a dream--always the same face, and only One."

"A terrible face?"

"No. The face of a dark, remarkable-looking man, in black, with black
hair and a gray mustache--a handsome man, except for a reserved and
secret air. Not a face she ever saw, or at all like a face she ever saw.
Doing nothing in the dream but looking at her fixedly, out of darkness."

"Does the dream come back?"

"Never. The recollection of it, is all her trouble."

"And why does it trouble her?"

Carolina shook her head.

"That's master's question," said la bella. "She don't know. She wonders
why, herself. But I heard her tell him, only last night, that if she was
to find a picture of that face in our Italian house (which she is afraid
she will), she did not know how she could ever bear it."

Upon my word I was fearful after this (said the Genoese courier), of our
coming to the old palazzo, lest some such ill-starred picture should
happen to be there. I knew there were many there; and, as we got nearer
and nearer to the place, I wished the whole gallery in the crater of
Vesuvius. To mend the matter, it was a stormy dismal evening when we, at
last, approached that part of the Riviera. It thundered; and the thunder
of my city and its environs, rolling among the high hills, is very loud.
The lizards ran in and out of the chinks in the broken stone wall of the
garden, as if they were frightened; the frogs bubbled and croaked their
loudest; the sea-wind moaned, and the wet trees dripped; and the
lightning--body of San Lorenzo, how it lightened!

We all know what an old palazzo in or near Genoa is--how time and the
sea air have blotted it--how the drapery painted on the outer walls has
peeled off in great flakes of plaster--how the lower windows are
darkened with rusty bars of iron--how the courtyard is overgrown with
grass--how the outer buildings are dilapidated--how the whole pile seems
devoted to ruin. Our palazzo was one of the true kind. It had been shut
up close for months. Months?--years! It had an earthy smell, like a
tomb. The scent of the orange-trees on the broad back terrace, and of
the lemons ripening on the wall, and of some shrubs that grew around a
broken fountain, had got into the house somehow, and had never been able
to get out again. There it was, in every room, an aged smell, grown
faint with confinement. It pined in all the cupboards and drawers. In
the little rooms of communication between great rooms, it was stifling.
If you turned a picture--to come back to the pictures--there it still
was, clinging to the wall behind the frame, like a sort of bat.

The lattice-blinds were close shut, all over the house. There were two
ugly, gray old women in the house, to take care of it; one of them with
a spindle, who stood winding and mumbling in the doorway, and who would
as soon have let in the devil as the air. Master, mistress, la bella
Carolina, and I, went all through the palazzo. I went first, though I
have named myself last, opening the windows and the lattice-blinds, and
shaking down on myself splashes of rain, and scraps of mortar, and now
and then a dozing musquito, or a monstrous, fat, blotchy, Genoese
spider.

When I had let the evening light into a room, master, mistress, and la
bella Carolina entered. Then, we looked round at all the pictures, and I
went forward again into another room. Mistress secretly had great fear
of meeting with the likeness of that face--we all had; but there was no
such thing. The Madonna and Bambino, San Francisco, San Sebastiano,
Venus, Santa Caterina, Angels, Brigands, Friars, Temples at Sunset,
Battles, White Horses, Forests, Apostles, Doges, all my old acquaintance
many times repeated? yes. Dark, handsome man in black, reserved and
secret, with black hair and gray mustache, looking fixedly at mistress
out of darkness? no.

At last we got through all the rooms and all the pictures, and came out
into the gardens. They were pretty well kept, being rented by a
gardener, and were large and shady. In one place, there was a rustic
theatre, open to the sky; the stage a green slope: the coulisses, three
entrances upon a side, sweet-smelling leafy screens. Mistress moved her
bright eyes, even there, as if she looked to see the face come in upon
the scene: but all was well.

"Now, Clara," master said, in a low voice, "you see that it is nothing?
You are happy."

Mistress was much encouraged. She soon accustomed herself to that grim
palazzo, and would sing, and play the harp, and copy the old pictures,
and stroll with master under the green trees and vines, all day. She was
beautiful. He was happy. He would laugh and say to me, mounting his
horse for his morning ride before the heat:

"All goes well, Baptista!"

"Yes, signore, thank God; very well!"

We kept no company. I took la bella to the Duomo and Annunciata, to the
Café, to the Opera, to the village Festa, to the Public Garden, to the
Day Theatre, to the Marionetti. The pretty little one was charmed with
all she saw. She learnt Italian--heavens! miraculously! Was mistress
quite forgetful of that dream? I asked Carolina sometimes. Nearly, said
la bella--almost. It was wearing out.

One day master received a letter, and called me.

"Baptista!"

"Signore."

"A gentleman who is presented to me will dine here to-day. He is called
the Signor Dellombra. Let me dine like a prince."

It was an odd name. I did not know that name. But, there had been many
noblemen and gentlemen pursued by Austria on political suspicions,
lately, and some names had changed. Perhaps this was one. Altro!
Dellombra was as good a name to me as another.

When the Signor Dellombra came to dinner (said the Genoese courier in
the low voice, into which he had subsided once before), I showed him
into the reception-room, the great sala of the old palazzo. Master
received him with cordiality, and presented him to mistress. As she
rose, her face changed, she gave a cry, and fell upon the marble floor.

Then, I turned my head to the Signor Dellombra, and saw that he was
dressed in black, and had a reserved and secret air, and was a dark
remarkable-looking man, with black hair and a gray mustache.

Master raised mistress in his arms, and carried her to her own room,
where I sent la bella Carolina straight. La bella told me afterward that
mistress was nearly terrified to death, and that she wandered in her
mind about her dream, all night.

Master was vexed and anxious--almost angry, and yet full of solicitude.
The Signor Dellombra was a courtly gentleman, and spoke with great
respect and sympathy of mistress's being so ill. The African wind had
been blowing for some days (they had told him at his hotel of the
Maltese Cross), and he knew that it was often hurtful. He hoped the
beautiful lady would recover soon. He begged permission to retire, and
to renew his visit when he should have the happiness of hearing that she
was better. Master would not allow of this, and they dined alone.

He withdrew early. Next day he called at the gate, on horseback, to
inquire for mistress. He did so two or three times in that week.

What I observed myself, and what la bella Carolina told me, united to
explain to me that master had now set his mind on curing mistress of her
fanciful terror. He was all kindness, but he was sensible and firm. He
reasoned with her, that to encourage such fancies was to invite
melancholy, if not madness. That it rested with herself to be herself.
That if she once resisted her strange weakness, so successfully as to
receive the Signor Dellombra as an English lady would receive any other
guest, it was forever conquered. To make an end, the Signor came again,
and mistress received him without marked distress (though with
constraint and apprehension still), and the evening passed serenely.
Master was so delighted with this change, and so anxious to confirm it,
that the Signor Dellombra became a constant guest. He was accomplished
in pictures, books, and music; and his society, in any grim palazzo,
would have been welcome.

I used to notice, many times, that mistress was not quite recovered. She
would cast down her eyes and droop her head, before the Signor
Dellombra, or would look at him with a terrified and fascinated glance,
as if his presence had some evil influence or power upon her. Turning
from her to him, I used to see him in the shaded gardens, or the large
half-lighted sala, looking, as I might say, "fixedly upon her out of
darkness." But, truly, I had not forgotten la bella Carolina's words
describing the face in the dream.

After his second visit I heard master say:

"Now see, my dear Clara, it's over! Dellombra has come and gone, and
your apprehension is broken like glass."

"Will he--will he ever come again?" asked mistress.

"Again? Why, surely, over and over again! Are you cold?" (She shivered).

"No, dear--but--he terrifies me: are you sure that he need come again?"

"The surer for the question, Clara!" replied master, cheerfully.

But, he was very hopeful of her complete recovery now, and grew more and
more so every day. She was beautiful. He was happy.

"All goes well, Baptista?" he would say to me again.

"Yes, signore, thank God; very well."

We were all (said the Genoese courier, constraining himself to speak a
little louder), we were all at Rome for the Carnival. I had been out,
all day, with a Sicilian, a friend of mine and a courier, who was there
with an English family. As I returned at night to our hotel, I met the
little Carolina, who never stirred from home alone, running distractedly
along the Corso.

"Carolina! What's the matter?"

"O Baptista! Oh, for the Lord's sake! where is my mistress?"

"Mistress, Carolina?"

"Gone since morning--told me, when master went out on his day's journey,
not to call her, for she was tired, with not resting in the night
(having been in pain), and would lie in bed until the evening; then get
up refreshed. She is gone!--she is gone! Master has come back, broken
down the door, and she is gone! My beautiful, my good, my innocent
mistress!"

The pretty little one so cried, and raved, and tore herself, that I
could not have held her, but for her swooning on my arm as if she had
been shot. Master came up--in manner, face, or voice, no more the master
that I knew, than I was he. He took me (I laid the little one upon her
bed in the hotel, and left her with the chamber-women), in a carriage,
furiously through the darkness, across the desolate Campagna. When it
was day, and we stopped at a miserable post-house, all the horses had
been hired twelve hours ago, and sent away in different directions. Mark
me!--by the Signor Dellombra, who had passed there in a carriage, with a
frightened English lady crouching in one corner.

I never heard (said the Genoese courier, drawing a long breath) that she
was ever traced beyond that spot. All I know is, that she vanished into
infamous oblivion, with the dreaded face beside her that she had seen in
her dream.

"What do you call _that?_" said the German courier, triumphantly;
"Ghosts! There are no ghosts _there!_ What do you call this, that I am
going to tell you? Ghosts? There are no ghosts _here!_"

_I_ took an engagement once (pursued the German courier) with an English
gentleman, elderly and a bachelor, to travel through my country, my
Fatherland. He was a merchant who traded with my country and knew the
language, but who had never been there since he was a boy--as I judge,
some sixty years before.

His name was James, and he had a twin-brother John, also a bachelor.
Between these brothers there was a great affection. They were in
business together at Goodman's Fields, but they did not live together.
Mr. James dwelt in Poland-street, turning out of Oxford-street, London.
Mr. John resided by Epping Forest.

Mr. James and I were to start for Germany in about a week. The exact day
depended on business. Mr. John came to Poland-street (where I was
staying in the house), to pass that week with Mr. James. But, he said to
his brother on the second day, "I don't feel very well, James. There's
not much the matter with me; but I think I am a little gouty. I'll go
home and put myself under the care of my old housekeeper, who
understands my ways. If I get quite better, I'll come back and see you
before you go. If I don't feel well enough to resume my visit where I
leave it off, why _you_ will come and see _me_ before you go." Mr.
James, of course, said he would, and they shook hands--both hands, as
they always did--and Mr. John ordered out his old-fashioned chariot and
rumbled home.

It was on the second night after that--that is to say, the fourth in the
week--when I was awoke out of my sound sleep by Mr. James coming into my
bedroom in his flannel-gown, with a lighted candle. He sat upon the side
of my bed, and looking at me, said:

"Wilhelm, I have reason to think I have got some strange illness upon
me."

I then perceived that there was a very unusual expression in his face.

"Wilhelm," said he, "I am not afraid or ashamed to tell you, what I
might be afraid or ashamed to tell another man. You come from a sensible
country, where mysterious things are inquired into, and are not settled
to have been weighed and measured or to have been unweighable and
immeasurable--or in either case to have been completely disposed of, for
all time--ever so many years ago. I have just now seen the phantom of my
brother."

I confess (said the German courier) that it gave me a little tingling of
the blood to hear it.

"I have just now seen," Mr. James repeated, looking full at me, that I
might see how collected he was, "the phantom of my brother John. I was
sitting up in bed, unable to sleep, when it came into my room, in a
white dress, and, regarding me earnestly, passed up to the end of the
room, glanced at some papers on my writing-desk, turned, and, still
looking earnestly at me as it passed the bed, went out at the door. Now,
I am not in the least mad, and am not in the least disposed to invest
that phantom with an external existence out of myself. I think it is a
warning to me that I am ill; and I think I had better be bled."

I got out of bed directly (said the German courier) and began to get on
my clothes, begging him not to be alarmed, and telling him that I would
go myself to the doctor. I was just ready, when we heard a loud knocking
and ringing at the street door. My room being an attic at the back, and
Mr. James's being the second-floor room in the front, we went down to
his room, and put up the window, to see what was the matter.

"Is that Mr. James?" said a man below, falling back to the opposite side
of the way to look up.

"It is," said Mr. James; "and you are my brother's man, Robert."

"Yes, sir. I am sorry to say, sir, that Mr. John is ill. He is very bad,
sir. It is even feared that he may be lying at the point of death. He
wants to see you, sir. I have a chaise here. Pray come to him. Pray lose
no time."

Mr. James and I looked at one another. "Wilhelm," said he, "this is
strange. I wish you to come with me!" I helped him to dress, partly
there and partly in the chaise; and no grass grew under the horses' iron
shoes between Poland-street and the Forest.

Now, mind! (said the German courier). I went with Mr. James into his
brother's room, and I saw and heard myself what follows.

His brother lay upon his bed, at the upper end of a long bed-chamber.
His old housekeeper was there, and others were there: I think three
others were there, if not four, and they had been with him since
early in the afternoon. He was in white, like the figure--necessarily
so, because he had his night-dress on. He looked like the
figure--necessarily so, because he looked earnestly at his brother when
he saw him come into the room.

But, when his brother reached the bed-side, he slowly raised himself in
bed, and looking full upon him, said these words:

"JAMES, YOU HAVE SEEN ME BEFORE, TO-NIGHT, AND YOU KNOW IT!"

And so died!

I waited, when the German courier ceased, to hear something said of this
strange story. The silence was unbroken. I looked round, and the five
couriers were gone: so noiselessly that the ghostly mountain might have
absorbed them into its eternal snows. By this time, I was by no means in
a mood to sit alone in that awful scene, with the chill air coming
solemnly upon me--or, if I may tell the truth, to sit alone anywhere. So
I went back into the convent-parlor, and, finding the American gentleman
still disposed to relate the biography of the Honorable Ananias Dodger,
heard it all out.



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.[5]

    [5] Continued from the December Number.

CHAPTER VII.


Randal advanced--"I fear, Signior Riccabocca, that I am guilty of some
want of ceremony."

"To dispense with ceremony is the most delicate mode of conferring a
compliment," replied the urbane Italian, as he recovered from his first
surprise at Randal's sudden address, and extended his hand.

Violante bowed her graceful head to the young man's respectful
salutation. "I am on my way to Hazeldean," resumed Randal, "and, seeing
you in the garden, could not resist this intrusion."

RICCABOCCA.--"You come from London? Stirring times for you English, but
I do not ask you the news. No news can affect us."

RANDAL (softly). "Perhaps--yes."

RICCABOCCA (startled).--"How?"

VIOLANTE.--"Surely he speaks of Italy, and news from that country
affects you still, my father."

RICCABOCCA.--"Nay, nay, nothing affects me like this country; its east
wind might affect a pyramid! Draw your mantle round you, child, and go
in; the air has suddenly grown chill."

Violante smiled on her father, glanced uneasily toward Randal's grave
brow, and went slowly toward the house.

Riccabocca, after waiting some moments in silence, as if expecting
Randal to speak, said with affected carelessness. "So you think that you
have news that might affect me? _Corpo di Bacco!_ I am curious to learn
what!"

"I may be mistaken--that depends on your answer to one question. Do you
know the Count of Peschiera?"

Riccabocca winced, and turned pale. He could not baffle the watchful eye
of the questioner.

"Enough," said Randal; "I see that I am right. Believe in my sincerity.
I speak but to warn and to serve you. The Count seeks to discover the
retreat of a countryman and kinsman of his own."

"And for what end?" cried Riccabocca, thrown off his guard, and his
breast dilated, his crest rose, and his eye flashed; valor and defiance
broke from habitual caution and self-control. "But pooh," he added,
striving to regain his ordinary and half-ironical calm, "it matters
not to me. I grant, sir, that I know the Count di Peschiera; but what
has Dr. Riccabocca to do with the kinsman of so grand a personage?"

"Dr. Riccabocca--nothing. But--" here Randal put his lips close to the
Italian's ear, and whispered a brief sentence. Then retreating a step,
but laying his hand on the exile's shoulder, he added--"Need I say that
your secret is safe with me?"

Riccabocca made no answer. His eyes rested on the ground musingly.

Randal continued--"And I shall esteem it the highest honor you can
bestow on me, to be permitted to assist you in forestalling danger."

RICCABOCCA (slowly).--"Sir, I thank you; you have my secret, and I feel
assured it is safe, for I speak to an English gentleman. There may be
family reasons why I should avoid the Count di Peschiera; and, indeed,
He is safest from shoals who steers clearest of his--relations."

The poor Italian regained his caustic smile as he uttered that wise,
villainous Italian maxim.

RANDAL.--"I know little of the Count of Peschiera save from the current
talk of the world. He is said to hold the estates of a kinsman who took
part in a conspiracy against the Austrian power."

RICCABOCCA.--"It is true. Let that content him; what more does he
desire? You spoke of forestalling danger? What danger? I am on the soil
of England, and protected by its laws."

RANDAL.--"Allow me to inquire if, had the kinsman no child, the Count di
Peschiera would be legitimate and natural heir to the estates he holds?"

RICCABOCCA.--"He would. What then?"

RANDAL.--"Does that thought suggest no danger to the child of the
kinsman?"

Riccabocca recoiled, and gasped forth, "The child! You do not mean to
imply that this man, infamous though he be, can contemplate the crime of
an assassin?"

Randal paused perplexed. His ground was delicate. He knew not what
causes of resentment the exile entertained against the Count. He knew
not whether Riccabocca would not assent to an alliance that might
restore him to his country--and he resolved to feel his way with
precaution.

"I did not," said he, smiling gravely, "mean to insinuate so horrible a
charge against a man whom I have never seen. He seeks you--that is all I
know. I imagine from his general character, that in this search he
consults his interest. Perhaps all matters might be conciliated by an
interview!"

"An interview!" exclaimed Riccabocca; "there is but one way we should
meet--foot to foot, and hand to hand."

"Is it so? Then you would not listen to the Count if he proposed some
amicable compromise; if, for instance, he was a candidate for the hand
of your daughter?"

The poor Italian, so wise and so subtle in his talk, was as rash and
blind when it came to action, as if he had been born in Ireland, and
nourished on potatoes and Repeal. He bared his whole soul to the
merciless eye of Randal.

"My daughter!" he exclaimed. "Sir, your question is an insult."

Randal's way became clear at once. "Forgive me," he said, mildly; "I
will tell you frankly all that I know. I am acquainted with the Count's
sister. I have some little influence over her. It was she who informed
me that the Count had come here, bent upon discovering your refuge, and
resolved to wed your daughter. This is the danger of which I spoke. And
when I asked your permission to aid in forestalling it, I only intended
to suggest that it might be wise to find some securer home, and that I,
if permitted to know that home, and to visit you, could apprise you,
from time to time, of the Count's plans and movements."

"Sir, I thank you sincerely," said Riccabocca, with emotion; "but am I
not safe here?"

"I doubt it. Many people have visited the Squire in the shooting season,
who will have heard of you--perhaps seen you, and who are likely to meet
the Count in London. And Frank Hazeldean, too, who knows the Count's
sister--"

"True, true," interrupted Riccabocca. "I see, I see. I will consider. I
will reflect. Meanwhile you are going to Hazeldean. Do not say a word to
the Squire. He knows not the secret you have discovered."

With those words Riccabocca turned slightly away, and Randal took the
hint to depart.

"At all times command and rely on me," said the young traitor, and he
regained the pale to which he had fastened his horse.

As he remounted, he cast his eyes toward the place where he had left
Riccabocca. The Italian was still standing there. Presently the form of
Jackeymo was seen emerging from the shrubs. Riccabocca turned hastily
round, recognized his servant, uttered an exclamation loud enough to
reach Randal's ear, and then catching Jackeymo by the arm, disappeared
with him amidst the deeper recesses of the garden.

"It will be indeed in my favor," thought Randal, as he rode on, "if I
can get them into the neighborhood of London--all occasion there to woo,
and, if expedient, to win--the heiress."



CHAPTER VIII.


"By the Lord Harry!" cried the Squire, as he stood with his wife in the
park, on a visit of inspection to some first-rate South-Downs just added
to his stock; "by the Lord, if that is not Randal Leslie trying to get
into the park at the back gate! Hollo, Randal! you must come round by
the lodge, my boy," said he. "You see this gate is locked to keep out
trespassers."

"A pity," said Randal. "I like short-cuts, and you have shut up a very
short one."

"So the trespassers said," quoth the Squire "but Stirn would not hear of
it;--valuable man Stirn. But ride round to the lodge. Put up your
horse, and you'll join us before we can get to the house."

Randal nodded and smiled, and rode briskly on.

The Squire rejoined his Harry.

"Ah, William," said she anxiously, "though certainly Randal Leslie means
well, I always dread his visits."

"So do I, in one sense," quoth the Squire, "for he always carries away a
bank-note for Frank."

"I hope he is really Frank's friend," said Mrs. Hazeldean.

"Whose else can he be? Not his own, poor fellow, for he will never
accept a shilling from me, though his grandmother was as good a
Hazeldean as I am. But, zounds! I like his pride, and his economy too.
As for Frank--"

"Hush, William!" cried Mrs. Hazeldean, and put her fair hand before the
Squire's mouth. The Squire was softened, and kissed the fair hand
gallantly--perhaps he kissed the lips too; at all events, the worthy
pair were walking lovingly arm-in-arm when Randal joined them.

He did not affect to perceive a certain coldness in the manner of Mrs.
Hazeldean, but began immediately to talk to her about Frank; praise that
young gentleman's appearance; expatiate on his health, his popularity,
and his good gifts, personal and mental; and this with so much warmth,
that any dim and undeveloped suspicions Mrs. Hazeldean might have formed
soon melted away.

Randal continued to make himself thus agreeable, until the Squire,
persuaded that his young kinsman was a first-rate agriculturist,
insisted upon carrying him off to the home-farm, and Harry turned toward
the house to order Randal's room to be got ready: "For," said Randal,
"knowing that you will excuse my morning dress, I ventured to invite
myself to dine and sleep at the Hall."

On approaching the farm buildings, Randal was seized with the terror of
an impostor; for, despite all the theoretical learning on Bucolics and
Georgics with which he had dazzled the Squire, poor Frank, so despised,
would have beat him hollow when it came to judging of the points of an
ox or the show of a crop.

"Ha, ha!" cried the Squire, chuckling, "I long to see how you'll
astonish Stirn. Why, you'll guess in a moment where we put the
top-dressing; and when you come to handle my short-horns, I dare swear
you'll know to a pound how much oilcake has gone into their sides."

"Oh, you do me too much honor--indeed you do. I only know the general
principles of agriculture--the details are eminently interesting; but I
have not had the opportunity to acquire them."

"Stuff!" cried the Squire. "How can a man know general principles unless
he has first studied the details? You are too modest, my boy. Ho!
there's Stirn looking out for us!"

Randal saw the grim visage of Stirn peering out of a cattle-shed, and
felt undone. He made a desperate rush toward changing the Squire's
humor.

"Well, sir, perhaps Frank may soon gratify your wish, and turn farmer
himself."

"Eh!" quoth the Squire, stopping short. "What now?"

"Suppose he was to marry?"

"I'd give him the two best farms on the property rent free. Ha, ha! Has
he seen the girl yet? I'd leave him free to choose, sir. I chose for
myself--every man should. Not but what Miss Sticktorights is an heiress,
and, I hear, a very decent girl, and that would join the two properties,
and put an end to that lawsuit about the right of way, which began in
the reign of King Charles the Second, and is likely otherwise to last
till the day of judgment. But never mind her; let Frank choose to please
himself."

"I'll not fail to tell him so, sir. I did fear you might have some
prejudices. But here we are at the farm-yard."

"Burn the farm-yard! How can I think of farm-yards when you talk of
Frank's marriage? Come on--this way. What were you saying about
prejudices?"

"Why, you might wish him to marry an Englishwoman, for instance."

"English! Good heavens, sir, does he mean to marry a Hindoo?"

"Nay, I don't know that he means to marry at all: I am only surmising,
but if he did fall in love with a foreigner--"

"A foreigner! Ah, then Harry was--" The Squire stopped short.

"Who might, perhaps," observed Randal--not truly, if he referred to
Madame di Negra--"who might, perhaps, speak very little English?"

"Lord ha' mercy!"

"And a Roman Catholic--"

"Worshiping idols, and roasting people who don't worship them."

"Signior Riccabocca is not so bad as that."

"Rickeybockey! Well, if it was his daughter! But not speak English! and
not go to the parish church! By George! if Frank thought of such a
thing, I'd cut him off with a shilling. Don't talk to me, sir; I would.
I'm a mild man, and an easy man; but when I say a thing, I say it, Mr.
Leslie. Oh, but it is a jest--you are laughing at me. There's no such
painted good-for-nothing creature in Frank's eye, eh?"

"Indeed, sir, if ever I find there is, I will give you notice in time.
At present I was only trying to ascertain what you wished for a daughter
in-law. You said you had no prejudice."

"No more I have--not a bit of it."

"You don't like a foreigner and a Catholic?"

"Who the devil would?"

"But if she had rank and title?"

"Rank and title! Bubble and squeak! No, not half so good as bubble and
squeak. English beef and good cabbage. But foreign rank and
title!--foreign cabbage and beef!--foreign bubble and foreign squeak!"
And the Squire made a wry face, and spat forth his disgust and
indignation.

"You must have an Englishwoman?"

"Of course?"

"Money?"

"Don't care, provided she is a tidy, sensible, active lass, with a good
character for her dower."

"Character--ah, that is indispensable?"

"I should think so, indeed. A Mrs. Hazeldean of Hazeldean; you frighten
me. He's not going to run off with a divorced woman, or a--"

The Squire stopped, and looked so red in the face, that Randal feared he
might be seized with apoplexy before Frank's crimes had made him alter
his will.

Therefore he hastened to relieve Mr. Hazeldean's mind, and assured him
that he had been only talking at random; that Frank was in the habit,
indeed, of seeing foreign ladies occasionally, as all persons in the
London world were; but that he was sure Frank would never marry without
the full consent and approval of his parents. He ended by repeating his
assurance that he would warn the Squire if ever it became necessary.
Still, however, he left Mr. Hazeldean so disturbed and uneasy, that that
gentleman forgot all about the farm, and went moodily on in the opposite
direction, re-entering the park at its farther extremity. As soon as
they approached the house, the Squire hastened to shut himself with his
wife in full parental consultation; and Randal, seated upon a bench on
the terrace, revolved the mischief he had done, and its chances of
success.

While thus seated, and thus thinking, a footstep approached cautiously,
and in a low voice said, in broken English, "Sare, sare, let me speak
vid you."

Randal turned in surprise, and beheld a swarthy saturnine face, with
grizzled hair and marked features. He recognized the figure that had
joined Riccabocca in the Italian's garden.

"Speak-a you Italian?" resumed Jackeymo.

Randal, who had made himself an excellent linguist, nodded assent; and
Jackeymo, rejoiced, begged him to withdraw into a more private part of
the grounds.

Randal obeyed, and the two gained the shade of a stately chestnut
avenue.

"Sir," then said Jackeymo, speaking in his native tongue, and expressing
himself with a certain simple pathos, "I am but a poor man; my name is
Giacomo. You have heard of me;--servant to the Signior whom you saw
to-day--only a servant; but he honors me with his confidence. We have
known danger together; and of all his friends and followers, I alone
came with him to the stranger's land."

"Good, faithful fellow," said Randal, examining the man's face, "say on.
Your master confides in you? He confided that which I told him this
day?"

"He did. Ah, sir! the Padrone was too proud to ask you to explain
more--too proud to show fear of another. But he does fear--he ought to
fear--he shall fear" (continued Jackeymo, working himself up to
passion)--"for the Padrone has a daughter, and his enemy is a villain.
Oh, sir, tell me all that you did not tell to the Padrone. You hinted
that this man might wish to marry the Signora. Marry her! I could cut
his throat at the altar!"

"Indeed," said Randal, "I believe that such is his object."

"But why? He is rich--she is penniless; no not quite that, for we have
saved--but penniless, compared to him."

"My good friend, I know not yet his motives, but I can easily learn
them. If, however, this Count be your master's enemy, it is surely well
to guard against him, whatever his designs; and, to do so, you should
move into London or its neighborhood. I fear that while we speak, the
Count may get upon his track."

"He had better not come here!" cried the servant, menacingly, and
putting his hand where the knife was _not_.

"Beware of your own anger, Giacomo. One act of violence, and you would
be transported from England, and your master would lose a friend."

Jackeymo seemed struck by this caution.

"And if the Padrone were to meet him, do you think the Padrone would
meekly say, 'Come stà sa Signoria.' The Padrone would strike him dead!"

"Hush--hush! You speak of what, in England, is called murder, and is
punished by the gallows. If you really love your master, for heaven's
sake, get him from this place--get him from all chance of such passion
and peril. I go to town to-morrow; I will find him a house that shall be
safe from all spies--all discovery. And there, too, my friend, I can
do--what I can not at this distance--watch over him, and keep watch also
on his enemy."

Jackeymo seized Randal's hand, and lifted it toward his lip; then, as if
struck by a sudden suspicion, dropped the hand, and said bluntly:
"Signior, I think you have seen the Padrone twice. Why do you take this
interest in him?"

"Is it so uncommon to take interest even in a stranger who is menaced by
some peril?"

Jackeymo, who believed little in general philanthropy, shook his head
skeptically.

"Besides," continued Randal, suddenly bethinking himself of a more
plausible reason: "besides, I am a friend and connection of Mr. Egerton;
and Mr. Egerton's most intimate friend is Lord L'Estrange; and I have
heard that Lord L'Estrange--"

"The good lord! Oh, now I understand," interrupted Jackeymo, and his
brow cleared. "Ah, if _he_ were in England! But you will let us know
when he comes?"

"Certainly. Now, tell me, Giacomo, is this Count really unprincipled and
dangerous? Remember, I know him not personally."

"He has neither heart, head, nor conscience."

"That makes him dangerous to men; but to women, danger comes from other
qualities. Could it be possible, if he obtained any interview with the
Signora, that he could win her affections?"

Jackeymo crossed himself rapidly, and made no answer.

"I have heard that he is still very handsome."

Jackeymo groaned.

Randal resumed: "Enough; persuade the Padrone to come to town."

"But if the Count is in town?"

"That makes no difference; the safest place is always the largest city.
Every where else a foreigner is in himself an object of attention and
curiosity."

"True."

"Let your master, then, come to London. He can reside in one of the
suburbs most remote from the Count's haunts. In two days I will have
found him a lodging and write to him. You trust to me now?"

"I do indeed--I do, Excellency. Ah, if the Signorina were married, we
would not care!"

"Married! But she looks so high!"

"Alas! not now--not here!"

Randal sighed heavily. Jackeymo's eyes sparkled. He thought he had
detected a new motive for Randal's interest--a motive to an Italian the
most natural, the most laudable of all.

"Find the house, Signior--write to the Padrone. He shall come. I'll talk
to him. I can manage him. Holy San Giacomo, bestir thyself now--'tis
long since I troubled thee!"

Jackeymo strode off through the fading trees, smiling and muttering as
he went.

The first dinner-bell rang, and, on entering the drawing-room, Randal
found Parson Dale and his wife, who had been invited in haste to meet
the unexpected visitor.

The preliminary greetings over, Mr. Dale took the opportunity afforded
by the Squire's absence to inquire after the health of Mr. Egerton.

"He is always well," said Randal, "I believe he is made of iron."

"His heart is of gold," said the Parson.

"Ah!" said Randal, inquisitively, "you told me you had come in contact
with him once, respecting, I think, some of your old parishioners at
Lansmere?"

The Parson nodded, and there was a moment's silence.

"Do you remember your battle by the Stocks, Mr. Leslie?" said Mr. Dale,
with a good-humored laugh.

"Indeed, yes. By the way, now you speak of it, I met my old opponent in
London the first year I went up to it."

"You did! where?"

"At a literary scamp's--a cleverish man called Burley."

"Burley! I have seen some burlesque verses in Greek by a Mr. Burley."

"No doubt, the same person. He has disappeared--gone to the dogs, I dare
say. Burlesque Greek is not a knowledge very much in power at present."

"Well, but Leonard Fairfield?--you have seen him since?"

"No."

"Nor heard of him?"

"No!--have you?"

"Strange to say, not for a long time. But I have reason to believe that
he must be doing well."

"You surprise me! Why?"

"Because, two years ago, he sent for his mother. She went to him."

"Is that all?"

"It is enough; for he would not have sent for her if he could not
maintain her."

Here the Hazeldeans entered, arm-in-arm, and the fat butler announced
dinner.

The Squire was unusually taciturn--Mrs. Hazeldean thoughtful--Mrs. Dale
languid, and headachy. The Parson, who seldom enjoyed the luxury of
converse with a scholar, save when he quarreled with Dr. Riccabocca, was
animated, by Randal's repute for ability, into a great desire for
argument.

"A glass of wine, Mr. Leslie. You were saying, before dinner, that
burlesque Greek is not a knowledge very much in power at present. Pray,
sir, what knowledge is in power?"

RANDAL (laconically).--"Practical knowledge."

PARSON.--"What of?"

RANDAL.--"Men."

PARSON (candidly).--"Well, I suppose that is the most available sort of
knowledge, in a worldly point of view. How does one learn it? Do books
help?"

RANDAL.--"According as they are read, they help or injure."

PARSON.--"How should they be read in order to help?"

RANDAL.--"Read specially to apply to purposes that lead to power."

PARSON (very much struck with Randal's pithy and Spartan logic).--"Upon
my word, sir, you express yourself very well. I must own that I began
these questions in the hope of differing from you; for I like an
argument."

"That he does," growled the Squire; "the most contradictory creature!"

PARSON.--"Argument is the salt of talk. But now I am afraid I must agree
with you, which I was not at all prepared for."

Randal bowed, and answered--"No two men of our education can dispute
upon the application of knowledge."

PARSON (pricking up his ears).--"Eh! what to?"

RANDAL.--"Power, of course."

PARSON (overjoyed).--"Power!--the vulgarest application of it, or the
loftiest? But you mean the loftiest?"

RANDAL (in his turn interested and interrogative).--"What do you call
the loftiest, and what the vulgarest?"

PARSON.--"The vulgarest, self-interest; the loftiest, beneficence."

Randal suppressed the half disdainful smile that rose to his lip.

"You speak, sir, as a clergyman should do. I admire your sentiment, and
adopt it; but I fear that the knowledge which aims only at beneficence
very rarely in this world gets any power at all."

SQUIRE (seriously).--"That's true: I never get my own way when I want to
do a kindness, and Stirn always gets his when he insists on something
diabolically brutal and harsh."

PARSON.--"Pray, Mr. Leslie, what does intellectual power refined to the
utmost, but entirely stripped of beneficence, most resemble?"

RANDAL.--"Resemble?--I can hardly say, some very great man--almost any
very great man--who has baffled all his foes, and attained all his
ends."

PARSON.--"I doubt if any man has ever become very great who has not
meant to be beneficent, though he might err in the means. Cæsar was
naturally beneficent, and so was Alexander. But intellectual power
refined to the utmost, and wholly void of beneficence, resembles only
one being, and that, sir, is the Principle of Evil."

RANDAL (startled).--"Do you mean the Devil?"

PARSON.--"Yes, sir--the Devil; and even he, sir, did not succeed! Even
he, sir, is what your great men would call a most decided failure."

MRS. DALE.--"My dear--my dear."

PARSON.--"Our religion proves it, my love; he was an angel, and he
fell."

There was a solemn pause. Randal was more impressed than he liked to own
to himself. By this time the dinner was over, and the servants had
retired. Harry glanced at Carry. Carry smoothed her gown and rose.

The gentlemen remained over their wine; and the Parson, satisfied with
what he deemed a clencher upon his favorite subject of discussion,
changed the subject to lighter topics, till happening to fall upon
tithes, the Squire struck in, and by dint of loudness of voice, and
truculence of brow, fairly overwhelmed both his guests, and proved to
his own satisfaction that tithes were an unjust and unchristianlike
usurpation on the part of the Church generally, and a most especial and
iniquitous infliction upon the Hazeldean estates in particular.



CHAPTER IX.


On entering the drawing-room, Randal found the two ladies seated close
together, in a position much more appropriate to the familiarity of
their school-days than to the politeness of the friendship now existing
between them. Mrs. Hazeldean's hand hung affectionately over Carry's
shoulder, and both those fair English faces were bent over the same
book. It was pretty to see these sober matrons, so different from each
other in character and aspect, thus unconsciously restored to the
intimacy of happy maiden youth by the golden link of some Magician from
the still land of Truth or Fancy--brought together in heart, as each eye
rested on the same thought;--closer and closer, as sympathy, lost in the
actual world, grew out of that world which unites in one bond of feeling
the readers of some gentle book.

"And what work interests you so much?" said Randal, pausing by the
table.

"One you have read, of course," replied Mrs. Dale, putting a bookmark
embroidered by herself into the page, and handing the volume to Randal.
"It has made a great sensation, I believe."

Randal glanced at the title of the work "True," said he, "I have heard
much of it in London, but I have not yet had time to read it."

MRS. DALE.--"I can lend it to you, if you like to look over it to-night,
and you can leave it for me with Mrs. Hazeldean."

PARSON (approaching).--"Oh! that book!--yes, you must read it. I do not
know a work more instructive."

RANDAL.--"Instructive! Certainly I will read it then. But I thought it
was a mere work of amusement--of fancy. It seems so, as I look over it."

PARSON.--"So is the _Vicar of Wakefield_; yet what book more
instructive?"

RANDAL.--"I should not have said _that_ of the _Vicar of Wakefield_. A
pretty book enough, though the story is most improbable. But how is it
instructive?"

PARSON.--"By its results: it leaves us happier and better. What can any
instruction do more? Some works instruct through the head, some through
the heart; the last reach the widest circle, and often produce the most
genial influence on the character. This book belongs to the last. You
will grant my proposition when you have read it."

Randal smiled and took the volume.

MRS. DALE.--"Is the author known yet?"

RANDAL.--"I have heard it ascribed to many writers, but I believe no one
has claimed it."

PARSON.--"I think it must have been written by my old college friend,
Professor Moss, the naturalist; its descriptions of scenery are so
accurate."

MRS. DALE.--"La, Charles, dear! that snuffy, tiresome, prosy professor?
How can you talk such nonsense? I am sure the author must be young;
there is so much freshness of feeling."

MRS. HAZELDEAN (positively).--"Yes, certainly young."

PARSON (no less positively).--"I should say just the contrary. Its tone
is too serene, and its style too simple for a young man. Besides, I
don't know any young man who would send me his book, and this book has
been sent me--very handsomely bound too, you see. Depend upon it, Moss
is the man--quite his turn of mind."

MRS. DALE.--"You are too provoking, Charles dear! Mr. Moss is so
remarkably plain, too."

RANDAL.--"Must an author be handsome?"

PARSON.--"Ha, ha! Answer that, if you can, Carry."

Carry remained mute and disdainful.

SQUIRE (with great _naïveté_).--"Well, I don't think there's much in the
book, whoever wrote it; for I've read it myself, and understand every
word of it."

MRS. DALE.--"I don't see why you should suppose it was written by a man
at all. For my part, I think it must be a woman."

MRS. HAZELDEAN.--"Yes, there's a passage about maternal affection, which
only a woman could have written."

PARSON.--"Pooh, pooh! I should like to see a woman who could have
written that description of an August evening before a thunderstorm;
every wildflower in the hedgerow exactly the flowers of August--every
sign in the air exactly those of the month. Bless you! a woman would
have filled the hedge with violets and cowslips. Nobody else but my
friend Moss could have written that description."

SQUIRE.--"I don't know; there's a simile about the waste of corn-seed in
hand-sowing, which makes me think he must be a farmer!"

MRS. DALE (scornfully).--"A farmer! In hob-nailed shoes, I suppose! I
say it is a woman."

MRS. HAZELDEAN.--"A WOMAN, and A MOTHER!"

PARSON.--"A middle-aged man, and a naturalist."

SQUIRE.--"No, no, Parson; certainly a young man; for that love-scene
puts me in mind of my own young days, when I would have given my ears to
tell Harry how handsome I thought her; and all I could say was--'Fine
weather for the crops, Miss.' Yes, a young man, and a farmer. I should
not wonder if he had held the plow himself."

RANDAL (who had been turning over the pages).--"This sketch of night in
London comes from a man who has lived the life of cities, and looked at
wealth with the eyes of poverty. Not bad! I will read the book."

"Strange," said the Parson, smiling, "that this little work should so
have entered our minds, suggested to all of us different ideas, yet
equally charmed all--given a new and fresh current to our dull country
life--animated us as with the sight of a world in our breasts we had
never seen before, save in dreams;--a little work like this, by a man we
don't know, and never may! Well, _that_ knowledge _is_ power, and a
noble one!"

"A sort of power, certainly, sir," said Randal, candidly; and that
night, when Randal retired to his own room, he suspended his schemes
and projects, and read, as he rarely did, without an object to gain by
the reading.

The work surprised him by the pleasure it gave. Its charm lay in the
writer's calm enjoyment of the Beautiful. It seemed like some happy soul
sunning itself in the light of its own thoughts. Its power was so
tranquil and even, that it was only a critic who could perceive how much
force and vigor were necessary to sustain the wing that floated aloft
with so imperceptible an effort. There was no one faculty predominating
tyrannically over the others; all seemed proportioned in the felicitous
symmetry of a nature rounded, integral, and complete. And when the work
was closed, it left behind it a tender warmth that played round the
heart of the reader, and vivified feelings that seemed unknown before.
Randal laid down the book softly; and for five minutes the ignoble and
base purposes to which his own knowledge was applied, stood before him,
naked and unmasked.

"Tut," said he, wrenching himself violently away from the benign
influence, "it was not to sympathize with Hector, but to conquer with
Achilles, that Alexander of Macedon kept Homer under his pillow. Such
would be the true use of books to him who has the practical world to
subdue; let parsons and women construe it otherwise as they may?"

And the Principle of Evil descended again upon the intellect, from which
the guide beneficence was gone.



CHAPTER X.


Randal rose at the sound of the first breakfast bell, and on the
staircase met Mrs. Hazeldean. He gave her back the book; and as he was
about to speak, she beckoned to him to follow her into a little
morning-room appropriated to herself. No boudoir of white and gold, with
pictures by Watteau, but lined with large walnut-tree presses that held
the old heir-loom linen strewed with lavender--stores for the
housekeeper, and medicines for the poor.

Seating herself on a large chair in this sanctum, Mrs. Hazeldean looked
formidably at home.

"Pray," said the lady, coming at once to the point, with her usual
straightforward candor, "what is all this you have been saying to my
husband as to the possibility of Frank's marrying a foreigner?"

RANDAL.--"Would you be as averse to such a notion as Mr. Hazeldean is?"

MRS. HAZELDEAN.--"You ask me a question, instead of answering mine."

Randal was greatly put out in his fence by these rude thrusts. For
indeed he had a double purpose to serve--first thoroughly to know if
Frank's marriage with a woman like Madame di Negra would irritate the
Squire sufficiently to endanger the son's inheritance; and, secondly, to
prevent Mr. and Mrs. Hazeldean believing seriously that such a marriage
was to be apprehended, lest they should prematurely address Frank on
the subject, and frustrate the marriage itself. Yet, withal, he must so
express himself, that he could not be afterward accused by the parents
of disguising matters. In his talk to the Squire the preceding day, he
had gone a little too far--farther than he would have done but for his
desire of escaping the cattle-shed and short-horns. While he mused, Mrs.
Hazeldean observed him with her honest, sensible eyes and finally
exclaimed--

"Out with it, Mr. Leslie!"

"Out with what, my dear madam? The Squire has sadly exaggerated the
importance of what was said mainly in jest. But I will own to you
plainly, that Frank has appeared to me a little smitten with a certain
fair Italian."

"Italian!" cried Mrs. Hazeldean. "Well, I said so from the first.
Italian!--that's all, is it?" and she smiled.

Randal was more and more perplexed. The pupil of his eye contracted, as
it does when we retreat into ourselves, and think, watch, and keep
guard.

"And perhaps," resumed Mrs. Hazeldean, with a very sunny expression of
countenance, "you have noticed this in Frank since he was here?"

"It is true," murmured Randal; "but I think his heart or his fancy was
touched even before."

"Very natural," said Mrs. Hazeldean. "How could he help it?--such a
beautiful creature! Well, I must not ask you to tell Frank's secrets;
but I guess the object of attraction; and though she will have no
fortune to speak of--and it is not such a match as he might form--still
she is so amiable, and has been so well brought up, and is so little
like one's general notions of a Roman Catholic, that I think I could
persuade Hazeldean into giving his consent."

"Ah!" said Randal, drawing a long breath, and beginning with his
practiced acuteness to detect Mrs. Hazeldean's error, "I am very much
relieved and rejoiced to hear this: and I may venture to give Frank some
hope, if I find him disheartened and desponding, poor fellow!"

"I think you may," replied Mrs. Hazeldean, laughing pleasantly. "But you
should not have frightened poor William so, hinting that the lady knew
very little English. She has an accent, to be sure; but she speaks our
tongue very prettily. I always forget that she's not English born! Ha,
ha, poor William!"

RANDAL.--"Ha, ha!"

MRS. HAZELDEAN.--"We had once thought of another match for Frank--a girl
of good English family."

RANDAL.--"Miss Sticktorights?"

MRS. HAZELDEAN.--"No; that's an old whim of Hazeldean's. But he knows
very well that the Sticktorights would never merge their property in
ours. Bless you, it would be all off the moment they came to
settlements, and had to give up the right of way. We thought of a very
different match; but there's no dictating to young hearts, Mr. Leslie."

RANDAL.--"Indeed no, Mrs. Hazeldean. But since we now understand each
other so well, excuse me if I suggest that you had better leave things
to themselves, and not write to Frank on the subject. Young hearts, you
know, are often stimulated by apparent difficulties, and grow cool when
the obstacle vanishes."

MRS. HAZELDEAN.--"Very possibly; it was not so with Hazeldean and me.
But I shall not write to Frank on the subject, for a different
reason--though I would consent to the match, and so would William, yet
we both would rather, after all, that Frank married an Englishwoman, and
a Protestant. We will not, therefore, do any thing to encourage the
idea. But if Frank's happiness becomes really at stake, _then_ we will
step in. In short, we would neither encourage nor oppose. You
understand?"

"Perfectly."

"And, in the mean while, it is quite right that Frank should see the
world, and try to distract his mind, or at least to know it. And I dare
say it has been some thought of that kind which has prevented his coming
here."

Randal, dreading a further and plainer _éclaircissement_, now rose, and
saying, "Pardon me, but I must hurry over breakfast, and be back in time
to catch the coach"--offered his arm to his hostess, and led her into
the breakfast-parlor. Devouring his meal, as if in great haste, he then
mounted his horse, and, taking cordial leave of his entertainers,
trotted briskly away.

All things favored his project--even chance had befriended him in Mrs.
Hazeldean's mistake. She had not unnaturally supposed Violante to have
captivated Frank on his last visit to the Hall. Thus, while Randal had
certified his own mind that nothing could more exasperate the Squire
than an alliance with Madame di Negra, he could yet assure Frank that
Mrs. Hazeldean was all on his side. And when the error was discovered,
Mrs. Hazeldean would only have to blame herself for it. Still more
successful had his diplomacy proved with the Riccaboccas; he had
ascertained the secret he had come to discover; he should induce the
Italian to remove to the neighborhood of London; and if Violante were
the great heiress he suspected her to prove, whom else of her own age
would she see but him? And the old Leslie domains--to be sold in two
years--a portion of the dowry might purchase them! Flushed by the
triumph of his craft, all former vacillations of conscience ceased. In
high and fervent spirits he passed the Casino, the garden of which was
solitary and deserted, reached his home, and, telling Oliver to be
studious, and Juliet to be patient, walked thence to meet the coach and
regain the capital.



CHAPTER XI.


Violante was seated in her own little room, and looking from the window
on the terrace that stretched below. The day was warm for the time of
year. The orange-trees had been removed under shelter for the approach
of winter; but where they had stood sate Mrs. Riccabocca at work. In
the Belvidere, Riccabocca himself was conversing with his favorite
servant. But the casements and the door of the Belvidere were open; and
where they sate, both wife and daughter could see the Padrone leaning
against the wall, with his arms folded, and his eyes fixed on the floor;
while Jackeymo, with one finger on his master's arm, was talking to him
with visible earnestness. And the daughter from the window, and the wife
from her work, directed tender, anxious eyes toward the still thoughtful
form so dear to both. For the last day or two, Riccabocca had been
peculiarly abstracted, even to gloom. Each felt there was something
stirring at his heart--neither as yet knew what.

Violante's room silently revealed the nature of the education by which
her character had been formed. Save a sketch book which lay open on a
desk at hand, and which showed talent exquisitely taught (for in this
Riccabocca had been her teacher), there was nothing that spoke of the
ordinary female accomplishments. No piano stood open, no harp occupied
yon nook, which seemed made for one; no broidery frame, nor implements
of work, betrayed the usual and graceful resources of a girl; but ranged
on shelves against the wall were the best writers in English, Italian,
and French; and these betokened an extent of reading, that he who wishes
for a companion to his mind in the sweet company of woman, which softens
and refines all it gives and takes in interchange, will never condemn as
masculine. You had but to look into Violante's face to see how noble was
the intelligence that brought soul to those lovely features. Nothing
hard, nothing dry and stern was there. Even as you detected knowledge,
it was lost in the gentleness of grace. In fact, whatever she gained in
the graver kinds of information, became transmuted, through her heart
and her fancy, into spiritual golden stores. Give her some tedious and
arid history, her imagination seized upon beauties other readers had
passed by, and, like the eye of the artist, detected every where the
Picturesque. Something in her mind seemed to reject all that was mean
and common-place, and to bring out all that was rare and elevated in
whatever it received. Living so apart from all companions of her age,
she scarcely belonged to the Present time. She dwelt in the Past, as
Sabrina in her crystal well. Images of chivalry--of the Beautiful and
the Heroic--such as, in reading the silvery line of Tasso, rise before
us, softening force and valor into love and song--haunted the reveries
of the fair Italian maid.

Tell us not that the Past, examined by cold Philosophy, was no better
and no loftier than the Present; it is not thus seen by pure and
generous eyes. Let the Past perish, when it ceases to reflect on its
magic mirror the beautiful Romance which is its noblest reality, though
perchance but the shadow of Delusion.

Yet Violante was not merely the dreamer. In her, life was so
puissant and rich, that action seemed necessary to its glorious
development--action, but still in the woman's sphere--action to bless
and to refine and to exalt all around her, and to pour whatever else of
ambition was left unsatisfied into sympathy with the aspirations of man.
Despite her father's fears of the bleak air of England, in that air she
had strengthened the delicate health of her childhood. Her elastic
step--her eyes full of sweetness and light--her bloom, at once soft and
luxuriant--all spoke of the vital powers fit to sustain a mind of such
exquisite mould, and the emotions of a heart that, once aroused, could
ennoble the passions of the South with the purity and devotion of the
North.

Solitude makes some natures more timid, some more bold. Violante was
fearless. When she spoke, her eyes frankly met your own; and she was so
ignorant of evil, that as yet she seemed nearly unacquainted with shame.
From this courage, combined with affluence of idea, came a delightful
flow of happy converse. Though possessing so imperfectly the
accomplishments ordinarily taught to young women, and which may be
cultured to the utmost, and yet leave the thoughts so barren, and the
talk so vapid--she had that accomplishment which most pleases the taste,
and commands the love of the man of talent; especially if his talent be
not so actively employed as to make him desire only relaxation where he
seeks companionship--the accomplishment of facility in intellectual
interchange--the charm that clothes in musical words beautiful womanly
ideas.

"I hear him sigh at this distance," said Violante softly, as she still
watched her father; "and methinks this is a new grief, and not for his
country. He spoke twice yesterday of that dear English friend, and
wished that he were here."

As she said this, unconsciously the virgin blushed, her hands drooped on
her knee, and she fell herself into thought as profound as her father's,
but less gloomy. From her arrival in England, Violante had been taught a
grateful interest in the name of Harley L'Estrange. Her father,
preserving a silence, that seemed disdain, of all his old Italian
intimates, had been pleased to converse with open heart of the
Englishman who had saved where countrymen had betrayed. He spoke of the
soldier, then in the full bloom of youth, who, unconsoled by fame, had
nursed the memory of some hidden sorrow amidst the pine-trees that cast
their shadow over the sunny Italian lake; how Riccabocca, then honored
and happy, had courted from his seclusion the English Signor, then the
mourner and the voluntary exile; how they had grown friends amidst the
landscapes in which her eyes had opened to the day; how Harley had
vainly warned him from the rash schemes in which he had sought to
reconstruct in an hour the ruins of weary ages; how, when abandoned,
deserted, proscribed, pursued, he had fled for life--the infant Violante
clasped to his bosom--the English soldier had given him refuge, baffled
the pursuers, armed his servants, accompanied the fugitive at night
toward the defile in the Apennines, and, when the emissaries of a
perfidious enemy, hot in the chase, came near, he said, "You have your
child to save! Fly on! Another league, and you are beyond the borders.
We will delay the foes with parley; they will not harm us." And not till
escape was gained did the father know that the English friend had
delayed the foe, not by parley, but by the sword, holding the pass
against numbers, with a breast as dauntless as Bayard's in the immortal
bridge.

And since then, the same Englishman had never ceased to vindicate his
name, to urge his cause, and if hope yet remained of restoration to land
and honors, it was in that untiring zeal.

Hence, naturally and insensibly this secluded and musing girl had
associated all that she read in tales of romance and chivalry with the
image of the brave and loyal stranger. He it was who animated her dreams
of the Past, and seemed born to be, in the destined hour, the deliverer
of the Future. Around this image grouped all the charms that the fancy
of virgin woman can raise from the enchanted lore of old Heroic Fable.
Once in her early girlhood, her father (to satisfy her curiosity, eager
for general description) had drawn from memory a sketch of the features
of the Englishman--drawn Harley, as he was in that first youth,
flattered and idealized, no doubt, by art and by partial gratitude--but
still resembling him as he was then; while the deep mournfulness of
recent sorrow yet shadowed and concentrated all the varying expression
of his countenance; and to look on him was to say--"So sad, yet so
young!" Never did Violante pause to remember that the same years which
ripened herself from infancy into woman, were passing less gently over
that smooth cheek and dreamy brow--that the world might be altering the
nature, as time did the aspect. To her, the hero of the Ideal remained
immortal in bloom and youth. Bright illusion, common to us all, where
Poetry once hallows the human form! Who ever thinks of Petrarch as the
old time-worn man? Who does not see him as when he first gazed on
Laura?--

    "Ogni altra cosa ogni pensier va fore;
    E sol ivi con voi rimansi Amore!"



CHAPTER XII.


And Violante, thus absorbed in reverie, forgot to keep watch on the
Belvidere. And the Belvidere was now deserted. The wife, who had no
other ideal to distract _her_ thoughts, saw Riccabocca pass into the
house.

The exile entered his daughter's room, and she started to feel his hand
upon her locks and his kiss upon her brow.

"My child!" cried Riccabocca, seating himself, "I have resolved to leave
for a time this retreat, and to seek the neighborhood of London."

"Ah, dear father, _that_ then, was your thought? But what can be your
reason? Do not turn away; you know how carefully I have obeyed your
command and kept your secret. Ah, you will confide in me."

"I do, indeed," returned Riccabocca, with emotion. "I leave this place,
in the fear lest my enemies discover me. I shall say to others that you
are of an age to require teachers, not to be obtained here. But I should
like none to know where we go."

The Italian said these last words through his teeth, and hanging his
head. He said them in shame.

"My mother--(so Violante always called Jemima)--my mother, you have
spoken to her?"

"Not yet. _There_ is the difficulty."

"No difficulty, for she loves you so well," replied Violante, with soft
reproach. "Ah, why not also confide in her? Who so true? so good?"

"Good--I grant it!" exclaimed Riccabocca. "What then? 'Da cattiva Donna
guardati, ed alla buona non fidar niente,' (from the bad woman, guard
thyself; to the good woman, trust nothing). And if you must trust,"
added the abominable man, "trust her with any thing but a secret!"

"Fie," said Violante, with arch reproach, for she knew her father's
humors too well to interpret his horrible sentiments literally--"fie on
your consistency, _Padre carissimo_. Do you not trust your secret to
me?"

"You! A kitten is not a cat, and a girl is not a woman. Besides, the
secret was already known to you, and I had no choice. Peace, Jemima will
stay here for the present. See to what you wish to take with you; we
shall leave to-night."

Not waiting for an answer, Riccabocca hurried away, and with a firm step
strode the terrace and approached his wife.

"_Anima mia_," said the pupil of Machiavel, disguising in the tenderest
words the cruelest intentions--for one of his most cherished Italian
proverbs was to the effect, that there is no getting on with a mule or a
woman unless you coax them--"_Anima mia_--soul of my being--you have
already seen that Violante mopes herself to death here."

"She, poor child! Oh no!"

"She does, core of my heart, she does, and is as ignorant of music as I
am of tent-stitch."

"She sings beautifully."

"Just as birds do, against all the rules, and in defiance of gamut.
Therefore, to come to the point, O treasure of my soul! I am going to
take her with me for a short time, perhaps to Cheltenham, or
Brighton--we shall see."

"All places with you are the same to me, Alphonso. When shall we go?"

"_We_ shall go to-night; but, terrible as it is to part from you--you--"

"Ah!" interrupted the wife, and covered her face with her hands.

Riccabocca, the wiliest and most relentless of men in his maxims, melted
into absolute uxorial imbecility at the sight of that mute distress. He
put his arm round his wife's waist, with genuine affection, and without
a single proverb at his heart--"_Carissima_, do not grieve so; we shall
be back soon, and traveling is expensive; rolling stones gather no moss,
and there is so much to see to at home."

Mrs. Riccabocca gently escaped from her husband's arms. She withdrew her
hands from her face, and brushed away the tears that stood in her eyes.

"Alphonso," she said touchingly, "hear me! What you think good, that
shall ever be good to me. But do not think that I grieve solely because
of our parting. No; I grieve to think that, despite all these years in
which I have been the partner of your hearth and slept on your
breast--all these years in which I have had no thought but, however
humbly, to do my duty to you and yours, and could have wished that you
had read my heart, and seen there but yourself and your child--I grieve
to think that you still deem me as unworthy your trust as when you stood
by my side at the altar."

"Trust!" repeated Riccabocca, startled and conscience-stricken; "why do
you say 'trust?' In what have I distrusted you? I am sure," he
continued, with the artful volubility of guilt, "that I never doubted
your fidelity--hook-nosed, long-visaged foreigner though I be; never
pried into your letters; never inquired into your solitary walks; never
heeded your flirtations with that good-looking Parson Dale; never kept
the money; and never looked into the account-books!" Mrs. Riccabocca
refused even a smile of contempt at these revolting evasions; nay, she
seemed scarcely to hear them.

"Can you think," she resumed, pressing her hand on her heart to still
its struggles for relief in sobs--"can you think that I could have
watched, and thought, and tasked my poor mind so constantly, to
conjecture what might best soothe or please you, and not seen, long
since, that you have secrets known to your daughter--your servant--not
to me? Fear not--the secrets can not be evil, or you would not tell them
to your innocent child. Besides, do I not know your nature? and do I not
love you because I know it?--it is for something connected with these
secrets that you leave your home. You think that I should be
incautious--imprudent. You will not take me with you. Be it so. I go to
prepare for your departure. Forgive me if I have displeased you,
husband."

Mrs. Riccabocca turned away; but a soft hand touched the Italian's arm.

"O father, can you resist this? Trust her!--trust her! I am a woman like
her! I answer for her woman's faith. Be yourself--ever nobler than all
others, my own father."

"_Diavolo!_ Never one door shuts but another opens," groaned Riccabocca.
"Are you a fool, child? Don't you see that it was for your sake only I
feared--and would be cautious?"

"For mine! O then, do not make me deem myself mean, and the cause of
meanness. For mine! Am I not your daughter--the descendant of men who
never feared?"

Violante looked sublime while she spoke; and as she ended she led her
father gently on toward the door, which his wife had now gained.

"Jemima--wife--mine!--pardon, pardon," cried the Italian, whose heart
had been yearning to repay such tenderness and devotion--"come back to
my breast--it has been long closed--it shall be open to you now and
forever."

In another moment, the wife was in her right place--on her husband's
bosom; and Violante, beautiful peace-maker, stood smiling awhile at
both, and then lifted her eyes gratefully to heaven, and stole away.



CHAPTER XIII.


On Randal's return to town, he heard mixed and contradictory rumors in
the streets, and at the clubs, of the probable downfall of the
Government at the approaching session of Parliament. These rumors had
sprung up suddenly, as if in an hour. True that, for some time, the
sagacious had shaken their heads and said, "Ministers could not last."
True that certain changes in policy, a year or two before, had divided
the party on which the Government depended, and strengthened that which
opposed it. But still its tenure in office had been so long, and there
seemed so little power in the Opposition to form a cabinet of names
familiar to official ears, that the general public had anticipated, at
most, a few partial changes. Rumor now went far beyond this. Randal,
whose whole prospects at present were but reflections from the greatness
of his patron, was alarmed. He sought Egerton, but the minister was
impenetrable, and seemed calm, confident, and imperturbed. Somewhat
relieved, Randal then set himself to work to find a safe home for
Riccabocca; for the greater need to succeed in obtaining fortune there,
if he failed in getting it through Egerton. He found a quiet house,
detached and secluded, in the neighborhood of Norwood. No vicinity more
secure from espionage and remark. He wrote to Riccabocca, and
communicated the address, adding fresh assurances of his own power to be
of use. The next morning he was seated in his office, thinking very
little of the details, that he mastered, however, with mechanical
precision, when the minister who presided over that department of the
public service sent for him into his private room, and begged him to
take a letter to Egerton, with whom he wished to consult relative to a
very important point to be decided in the cabinet that day. "I want you
to take it," said the minister smiling (the minister was a frank, homely
man), "because you are in Mr. Egerton's confidence, and he may give you
some verbal message besides a written reply. Egerton is often _over_
cautious and brief in the _litera scripta_."

Randal went first to Egerton's neighboring office--he had not been
there that day. He then took a cabriolet and drove to Grosvenor Square.
A quiet-looking chariot was at the door. Mr. Egerton was at home; but
the servant said, "Dr. F. is with him, sir; and perhaps he may not like
to be disturbed."

"What, is your master ill?"

"Not that I know of, sir. He never says he is ill. But he has looked
poorly the last day or two."

Randal hesitated a moment; but his commission might be important, and
Egerton was a man who so held the maxim, that health and all else must
give way to business, that he resolved to enter; and, unannounced, and
unceremoniously, as was his wont, he opened the door of the library. He
started as he did so. Audley Egerton was leaning back on the sofa, and
the doctor, on his knees before him, was applying the stethoscope to his
breast. Egerton's eyes were partially closed as the door opened. But at
the noise he sprang up, nearly oversetting the doctor. "Who's that?--How
dare you!" he exclaimed, in a voice of great anger. Then recognizing
Randal, he changed color, bit his lip, and muttered drily, "I beg pardon
for my abruptness; what do you want, Mr. Leslie?"

"This letter from Lord ----; I was told to deliver it immediately into
your own hands; I beg pardon--"

"There is no cause," said Egerton, coldly. "I have had a slight attack
of bronchitis; and as Parliament meets so soon, I must take advice from
my doctor, if I would be heard by the reporters. Lay the letter on the
table, and be kind enough to wait for my reply."

Randal withdrew. He had never seen a physician in that house before, and
it seemed surprising that Egerton should even take a medical opinion
upon a slight attack. While waiting in the ante-room there was a knock
at the street door, and presently a gentleman, exceedingly well dressed,
was shown in, and honored Randal with an easy and half familiar bow.
Randal remembered to have met this personage at dinner, and at the house
of a young nobleman of high fashion, but had not been introduced to him,
and did not even know him by name. The visitor was better informed.

"Our friend Egerton is busy, I hear, Mr. Leslie," said he, arranging the
camelia in his button-hole.

"Our friend Egerton!" It must be a very great man to say, "Our friend
Egerton."

"He will not be engaged long, I dare say," returned Randal, glancing his
shrewd, inquiring eye over the stranger's person.

"I trust not: my time is almost as precious as his own. I was not so
fortunate as to be presented to you when we met at Lord Spendquick's.
Good fellow, Spendquick: and decidedly clever."

Lord Spendquick was usually esteemed a gentleman without three ideas.

Randal smiled.

In the meanwhile the visitor had taken out a card from an embossed
morocco case, and now presented it to Randal, who read thereon "Baron
Levy, No --, Bruton-street."

The name was not unknown to Randal. It was a name too often on the lips
of men of fashion not to have reached the ears of an _habitué_ of good
society.

Mr. Levy had been a solicitor by profession. He had of late years
relinquished his ostensible calling; and not long since, in consequence
of some services toward the negotiation of a loan, had been created a
baron by one of the German kings. The wealth of Mr. Levy was said to be
only equaled by his good nature to all who were in want of a temporary
loan, and with sound expectations of repaying it some day or other.

You seldom saw a finer-looking man than Baron Levy--about the same age
as Egerton, but looking younger: so well preserved--such magnificent
black whiskers--such superb teeth! Despite his name and his dark
complexion, he did not, however, resemble a Jew--at least externally;
and, in fact, he was not a Jew on the father's side, but the natural son
of a rich English _grand seigneur_, by a Hebrew lady of distinction--in
the opera. After his birth, this lady had married a German trader of her
own persuasion, and her husband had been prevailed upon, for the
convenience of all parties, to adopt his wife's son, and accord to him
his own Hebrew name. Mr. Levy senior was soon left a widower, and then
the real father, though never actually owning the boy, had shown him
great attention--had him frequently at his house--initiated him betimes
into his own high-born society, for which the boy showed great taste.
But when my lord died, and left but a moderate legacy to the younger
Levy, who was then about eighteen, that ambiguous person was articled to
an attorney by his putative sire, who shortly afterward returned to his
native land, and was buried at Prague, where his tombstone may yet be
seen. Young Levy, however, continued to do very well without him. His
real birth was generally known, and rather advantageous to him in a
social point of view. His legacy enabled him to become a partner where
he had been a clerk, and his practice became great among the fashionable
classes of society. Indeed he was so useful, so pleasant, so much a man
of the world, that he grew intimate with his clients--chiefly young men
of rank; was on good terms with both Jew and Christian; and being
neither one nor the other, resembled (to use Sheridan's incomparable
simile) the blank page between the Old and the New Testament.

Vulgar, some might call Mr. N. Levy, from his assurance, but it was not
the vulgarity of a man accustomed to low and coarse society--rather the
_mauvais ton_ of a person not sure of his own position, but who has
resolved to swagger into the best one he can get. When it is remembered
that he had made his way in the world, and gleaned together an immense
fortune, it is needless to add that he was as sharp as a needle, and as
hard as a flint. No man had had more friends, and no man had stuck by
them more firmly--as long as there was a pound in their pockets!

Something of this character had Randal heard of the Baron, and he now
gazed, first at his card, and then at him, with--admiration.

"I met a friend of yours at Borrowwell's the other day," resumed the
Baron--"Young Hazeldean. Careful fellow--quite a man of the world."

As this was last praise poor Frank deserved, Randal again smiled.

The Baron went on--"I hear, Mr. Leslie, that you have much influence
over this same Hazeldean. His affairs are in a sad state. I should be
very happy to be of use to him, as a relation of my friend Egerton's;
but he understands business so well that he despises my advice."

"I am sure you do him injustice."

"Injustice! I honor his caution. I say to every man, 'Don't come to
me--I can get you money on much easier terms than any one else;' and
what's the result? You come so often that you ruin yourself; whereas a
regular usurer without conscience frightens you. 'Cent. per cent.,' you
say; 'oh, I must pull in.' If you have influence over your friend, tell
him to stick to his bill-brokers, and have nothing to do with Baron
Levy."

Here the minister's bell rung, and Randal, looking through the window,
saw Dr. F. walking to his carriage, which had made way for Baron Levy's
splendid cabriolet--a cabriolet in the most perfect taste--Baron's
coronet on the dark brown panels--horse black, with such
action!--harness just relieved with plating. The servant now entered,
and requested Randal to step in; and addressing the Baron, respectfully
assured him that he would not be detained a minute.

"Leslie," said the minister, sealing a note, "take this back to
Lord ----, and say that I shall be with him in an hour."

"No other message?--he seemed to expect one."

"I dare say he did. Well, my letter is official, my message is not; beg
him to see Mr. ---- before we meet--he will understand--all rests upon
that interview."

Egerton then, extending the letter, resumed gravely, "Of course you will
not mention to any one that Dr. F. was with me: the health of public men
is not to be suspected. Hum--were you in your own room or the
ante-room?"

"The ante-room, sir."

Egerton's brow contracted slightly.

"And Mr. Levy was there, eh?"

"Yes--the Baron."

"Baron! true. Come to plague me about the Mexican loan, I suppose. I
will keep you no longer."

Randal, much meditating, left the house, and re-entered his hack cab.
The Baron was admitted to the statesman's presence.



CHAPTER XIV.


Egerton had thrown himself at full length on the sofa, a position
exceedingly rare with him; and about his whole air and manner, as Levy
entered, there was something singularly different from that stateliness
of port common to the austere legislator. The very tone of his voice was
different. It was as if the statesman--the man of business--had
vanished; it was rather the man of fashion and the idler, who, nodding
languidly to his visitor, said, "Levy, what money can I have for a
year?"

"The estate will bear very little more. My dear fellow, that last
election was the very devil. You can not go on thus much longer."

"My dear fellow!" Baron Levy hailed Audley Egerton as "my dear fellow."
And Audley Egerton, perhaps, saw nothing strange in the words, though
his lip curled.

"I shall not want to go on thus much longer," answered Egerton, as the
curl on his lip changed to a gloomy smile. "The estate must, meanwhile,
bear £5000 more."

"A hard pull on it. You had really better sell."

"I can not afford to sell at present. I can not afford men to say,
'Audley Egerton is done up--his property is for sale.'"

"It is very sad when one thinks what a rich man you have been--and may
be yet!"

"Be yet! How?"

Baron Levy glanced toward the thick mahogany doors--thick and impervious
as should be the doors of statesmen. "Why, you know that, with three
words from you, I could produce an effect upon the stocks of three
nations, that might give us each a hundred thousand pounds. We would go
shares."

"Levy," said Egerton coldly, though a deep blush overspread his face,
"you are a scoundrel; that is your look out. I interfere with no man's
tastes and consciences. I don't intend to be a scoundrel myself. I have
told you that long ago."

The Baron laughed, without evincing the least displeasure.

"Well," said he, "you are neither wise nor complimentary; but you shall
have the money. But yet, would it not be better," added Levy, with
emphasis, "to borrow it, without interest, of your friend L'Estrange?"

Egerton started as if stung.

"You mean to taunt me, sir!" he exclaimed passionately. "I accept
pecuniary favors from Lord L'Estrange! I!"

"Tut, my dear Egerton, I dare say my Lord would not think so ill now of
that little act in your life which--"

"Hold, hold!" exclaimed Egerton, writhing. "Hold!"

He stopped, and paced the room, muttering in broken sentences, "To blush
before this man! Chastisement, chastisement!"

Levy gazed on him with hard and sinister eyes. The minister turned
abruptly.

"Look you, Levy," said he, with forced composure--"you hate me--why, I
know not. I have never injured you--never avenged the inexpiable wrong
you did me."

"Wrong!--you a man of the world! Wrong! Call it so if you will then," he
added shrinkingly, for Audley's brow grew terrible. "But have I not
atoned it? Would you ever have lived in this palace, and ruled this
country as one of the most influential of its ministers, but for my
management--my whispers to the wealthy Miss Leslie? Come, but for me
what would you have been--perhaps a beggar?"

"What shall I be now if I live? _Then_ I should not have been a beggar;
poor perhaps in money, but rich--rich in all that now leaves my life
bankrupt. Gold has not thriven with me; how should it. And this
fortune--it has passed for the main part into your hands. Be patient,
you will have it all ere long. But there is one man in the world who has
loved me from a boy, and woe to you if ever he learn that he has the
right to despise me!"

"Egerton, my good fellow," said Levy, with great composure, "you need
not threaten me, for what interest can I possibly have in tale-telling
to Lord L'Estrange? As to hating you--pooh! You snub me in private, you
cut me in public, you refuse to come to my dinners, you'll not ask me to
your own; still there is no man I like better, nor would more willingly
serve. When do you want the £5000?"

"Perhaps in one month, perhaps not for three or four. Let it be ready
when required."

"Enough; depend on it. Have you any other commands?"

"None."

"I will take my leave, then. By the by, what do you suppose the
Hazeldean rental is worth--net?"

"I don't know nor care. You have no designs upon _that_, too?"

"Well, I like keeping up family connections. Mr. Frank seems a liberal
young gentleman."

Before Egerton could answer, the baron had glided to the door, and,
nodding pleasantly, vanished with that nod.

Egerton remained standing on his solitary hearth. A drear, single man's
room it was, from wall to wall, despite its fretted ceilings and
official pomp of Bramah escritoires and red boxes. Drear and
cheerless--no trace of woman's habitation--no vestige of intruding,
happy children. There stood the austere man alone. And then with a deep
sigh he muttered, "Thank heaven, not for long--it will not last long."

Repeating those words, he mechanically locked up his papers, and pressed
his hand to his heart for an instant, as if a spasm had shot through it.

"So--I must shun all emotion!" said he, shaking his head gently.

In five minutes more, Audley Egerton was in the streets, his mien erect,
and his step firm as ever.

"That man is made of bronze," said a leader of the Opposition to a
friend as they rode past the minister. "What would I give for his
nerves!"

(TO BE CONTINUED.)



THE OPERA.

BY THOMAS CARLYLE.


      [TO THE EDITOR OF THE LONDON KEEPSAKE:

     "Dear P.--Not having any thing of my own which I could contribute
     (as is my wish and duty) to this pious Adventure of yours, and not
     being able in these hot busy days to get any thing ready, I decide
     to offer you a bit of an Excerpt from that singular 'Conspectus of
     England,' lately written, not yet printed, by Professor Ezechiel
     Peasemeal, a distinguished American friend of mine. Dr. Peasemeal
     will excuse my printing it here. His 'Conspectus,' a work of some
     extent, has already been crowned by the Phi Beta Kappa Society of
     Bunkum, which includes, as you know, the chief thinkers of the New
     World and it will probably be printed entire in their
     'Transactions' one day. Meanwhile let your readers have the first
     taste of it; and much good may it do them and you!"--T. C.]


Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among
the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near
to the Infinite; we look, for moments, across the cloudy elements, into
the eternal Sea of Light, when song leads and inspires us. Serious
nations, all nations that can still listen to the mandate of nature,
have prized song and music as the highest; as a vehicle for worship, for
prophecy, and for whatsoever in them was divine. Their singer was a
_vates_, admitted to the council of the universe, friend of the gods and
choicest benefactor to man.

Reader, it was actually so in Greek, in Roman, in Moslem, Christian,
most of all in Old-Hebrew times: and if you look how it now is, you will
find a change that should astonish you. Good Heavens, from a Psalm of
Asaph to a seat at the London Opera in the Haymarket, what a road have
men traveled! The waste that is made in music is probably among the
saddest of all our squanderings of God's gifts. Music has, for a long
time past, been avowedly mad, divorced from sense and fact; and runs
about now as an open Bedlamite, for a good many generations back,
bragging that she has nothing to do with sense and fact, but with
fiction and delirium only; and stares with unaffected amazement, not
able to suppress an elegant burst of witty laughter, at my suggesting
the old fact to her.

Fact nevertheless it is, forgotten, and fallen ridiculous as it may be.
Tyrtæus, who had a little music, did not sing Barbers of Seville, but
the need of beating back one's country's enemies; a most _true_ song, to
which the hearts of men did burst responsive into fiery melody, followed
by fiery strokes before long. Sophocles also sang, and showed in grand
dramatic rhythm and melody, not a fable but a fact, the best he could
interpret it: the judgments of Eternal Deity upon the erring sons of
men. Æschylus, Sophocles, all noble poets were priests as well; and sang
the _truest_ (which was also the divinest) they had been privileged to
discover here below. To "sing the praise of God," that, you will find,
if you can interpret old words, and see what new things they mean, was
always, and will always be, the business of the singer. He who forsakes
that business, and, wasting our divinest gifts, sings the praise of
Chaos, what shall we say of him?

David, king of Judah, a soul inspired by divine music and much other
heroism, was wont to pour himself in song; he, with seer's eye and
heart, discerned the Godlike amid the Human; struck tones that were an
echo of the sphere-harmonies, and are still felt to be such. Reader, art
thou one of a thousand, able still to _read_ a Psalm of David, and catch
some echo of it through the old dim centuries; feeling far off, in thy
own heart, what it once was to other hearts made as thine? To sing it
attempt not, for it is impossible in this late time; only know that it
once was sung. Then go to the Opera, and hear, with unspeakable
reflections, what men now sing!

Of the Haymarket Opera my account, in fine, is this:--Lustres,
candelebras, painting, gilding at discretion: a hall as of the Caliph
Alraschid, or him that commanded the slaves of the Lamp; a hall as if
fitted up by the genies, regardless of expense. Upholstery, and the
outlay of human capital, could do no more. Artists, too, as they are
called, have been got together from the ends of the world, regardless
likewise of expense, to do dancing and singing, some of them even
geniuses in their craft. One singer in particular, called Coletti or
some such name, seemed to me, by the cast of his face, by the tones of
his voice, by his general bearing, so far as I could read it, to be a
man of deep and ardent sensibilities, of delicate intuitions, just
sympathies; originally an almost poetic soul, or man of _genius_ as we
term it; stamped by Nature as capable of far other work than squalling
here, like a blind Samson, to make the Philistines sport!

Nay, all of them had aptitudes, perhaps of a distinguished kind; and
must, by their own and other people's labor, have got a training equal
or superior in toilsomeness, earnest assiduity, and patient travail, to
what breeds men to the most arduous trades. I speak not of kings,
grandees, or the like show-figures; but few soldiers, judges, men of
letters, can have had such pains taken with them. The very ballet-girls,
with their muslin saucers round them, were perhaps little short of
miraculous; whirling and spinning there in strange mad vortexes, and
then suddenly fixing themselves motionless, each upon her left or right
great-toe, with the other leg stretched out at an angle of ninety
degrees; as if you had suddenly pricked into the floor, by one of their
points, a pair, or rather a multitudinous cohort, of mad restlessly
jumping and clipping scissors, and so bidden them rest, with opened
blades, and stand still, in the Devil's name! A truly notable motion;
marvelous, almost miraculous, were not the people there so used to it.
Motion peculiar to the Opera; perhaps the ugliest, and surely one of the
most difficult, ever taught a female creature in this world. Nature
abhors it; but Art does at least admit it to border on the impossible.
One little Cerito, or Taglioni the Second, that night when I was there,
went bounding from the floor as if she had been made of indian-rubber,
or filled with hydrogen gas, and inclined by positive levity to bolt
through the ceiling: perhaps neither Semiramis nor Catharine the Second
had bred herself so carefully.

Such talent, and such martyrdom of training, gathered from the four
winds, was now here, to do its feat and be paid for it. Regardless of
expense, indeed! The purse of Fortunatus seemed to have opened itself,
and the divine art of Musical Sound and Rhythmic Motion was welcomed
with an explosion of all the magnificences which the other arts, fine
and coarse, could achieve. For you are to think of some Rossini or
Bellini in the rear of it, too; to say nothing of the Stanfields, and
hosts of scene-painters, machinists, engineers, enterprisers--fit to
have taken Gibraltar, written the History of England, or reduced Ireland
into Industrial Regiments, had they so set their minds to it!...

Alas, and all of these notable or noticeable human talents, and
excellent perseverances and energies, backed by mountains of wealth, and
led by the divine art of Music and Rhythm vouchsafed by Heaven to them
and us, what was to be the issue here this evening? An hour's amusement,
not amusing either, but wearisome and dreary, to a high-dizened select
Populace of male and female persons, who seemed to me not much worth
amusing! Could any one have pealed into their hearts once, one true
thought, and glimpse of self-vision: "High-dizened, most expensive
persons, Aristocracy so-called, or _Best_ of the World, beware, beware
what proofs you give of betterness and bestness!" And then the salutary
pang of conscience in reply: "A select Populace, with money in its
purse, and drilled a little by the posture-maker: good Heavens! if that
were what, here and every where in God's Creation, I _am_? And a world
all dying because I am, and shew myself to be, and to have long been,
even that? John, the carriage, the carriage; swift! Let me go home in
silence, to reflection, perhaps to sackcloth and ashes!" This, and not
amusement, would have profited those high-dizened persons.

Amusement, at any rate, they did not get from Euterpe and Melpomene.
These two Muses, sent for, regardless of expense, I could see, were but
the vehicle of a kind of service which I judged to be Paphian rather.
Young beauties of both sexes use their opera-glasses, you could notice,
not entirely for looking at the stage. And it must be owned the light,
in this explosion of all the upholsteries and the human fine arts and
coarse, was magical; and made your fair one an Armida--if you liked her
better so. Nay, certain old Improper-Females (of quality), in their
rouge and jewels, even these looked some _reminiscence_ of enchantment;
and I saw this and the other lean domestic Dandy, with icy smile on his
old worn face; this and the other Marquis Singedelomme, Prince Mahogany,
or the like foreign Dignitary, tripping into the boxes of said females;
grinning there awhile, with dyed mustaches and macassar-oil graciosity,
and then tripping out again: and, in fact, I perceived that Coletti and
Cerito and the Rhythmic Arts were a mere accompaniment here.

Wonderful to see; and sad, if you had eyes! Do but think of it.
Cleopatra threw pearls into her drink, in mere waste; which was reckoned
foolish of her. But here had the Modern Aristocracy of men brought the
divinest of its Arts, heavenly Music itself; and piling all the
upholsteries and ingenuities that other human art could do, had lighted
them into a bonfire to illuminate an hour's flirtation of Singedelomme,
Mahogany, and these Improper-Persons! Never in Nature had I seen such
waste before. O Colletti, you whose inborn melody, once of kindred as I
judged to 'the Melodies eternal,' might have valiantly weeded out this
and the other false thing from the ways of men, and made a bit of God's
creation more melodious--they have purchased you away from that; chained
you to the wheel of Prince Mahogany's chariot, and here you make sport
for a macassar Singedelomme and his Improper-Females past the prime of
life! Wretched spiritual Nigger, oh, if you _had_ some genius, and were
not a born Nigger with mere appetite for pumpkin, should you have
endured such a lot? I lament for _you_, beyond all other expenses. Other
expenses are light; you are the Cleopatra's pearl that should not have
been flung into Mahogany's claret-cup. And Rossini, too, and Mozart, and
Bellini--Oh Heavens, when I think that Music too is condemned to be mad
and to burn herself, to this end, on such a funeral pile--your celestial
Opera-house grows dark and infernal to me! Behind its glitter stalks the
shadow of Eternal Death; through it too I look not 'up into the divine
eye,' as Richter has it, 'but down into the bottomless eyesocket--not up
toward God, Heaven, and the Throne of Truth, but too truly down toward
Falsity, Vacuity, and the dwelling-place of Everlasting Despair....

Good sirs, surely I by no means expect the Opera will abolish itself
this year or the next. But if you ask me, Why heroes are not born now,
why heroisms are not done now? I will answer you, It is a world all
calculated for strangling of heroisms. At every ingress into life, the
genius of the world lies in wait for heroisms, and by seduction or
compulsion unweariedly does its utmost to pervert them or extinguish
them. Yes; to its Hells of sweating tailors, distressed needle-women,
and the like, this Opera of yours is the appropriate Heaven! Of a truth,
if you will read a Psalm of Asaph till you understand it, and then come
hither and hear the Rossini-and-Coletti Psalm, you will find the ages
have altered a good deal....

Nor do I wish all men to become Psalmist Asaphs and fanatic Hebrews. Far
other is my wish; far other, and wider, is now my notion of this
Universe. Populations of stern faces, stern as any Hebrew, but capable
withal of bursting into inextinguishable laughter on occasion;--do you
understand that new and better form of character? Laughter also, if it
come from the heart, is a heavenly thing. But, at least and lowest, I
would have you a Population abhorring phantasms;--abhorring _unveracity_
in all things; and in your 'amusements,' which are voluntary and not
compulsory things, abhorring it most impatiently of all....



HIGH LIFE IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.


We gain the following glimpse of the manners of the upper classes in
England, four hundred years ago, from the journal of ELIZABETH
WOODVILLE, subsequently Lady Grey, and finally Queen of Edward IV.
Royalty _in petto_ seems to have taken, with a most refreshing
cordiality, to the avocations of baking and brewing, pig-tending,
poultry-feeding, and pony-catching.

"_Monday morning._--Rose at 4 o'clock, and helped Catherine to milk the
cows. Rachel, the dairy-maid, having scalded her hand in so bad a manner
the night before; made a poultice, and gave Robin a penny to get
something from the apothecary.

"6 _o'clock._--The buttock of beef too much boiled, and beer a little
stale; (mem) to talk to the cook about the first fault, and to mend the
other myself by tapping a fresh barrel immediately.

"7 _o'clock._--Went to walk with the lady my mother in the court-yard;
fed 25 men and women: chid Roger severely for expressing some ill-will
at attending us with some broken meat.

"8 _o'clock._--Went into the paddock behind the house with my maid
Dorothy; caught Thump, the little pony, myself; rode a matter of ten
miles without saddle or bridle.

"10 _o'clock._--Went to dinner. John Grey, a most comely youth; but what
is that to me? a virtuous maid should be entirely under the direction of
her parents. John ate but little, and stole a great many tender glances
at me. Said women could never be handsome in his eyes, who were not good
tempered. I hope my temper is not intolerable; nobody finds fault with
it but Roger, and he is the most disorderly youth in our house. John
Grey likes white teeth; my teeth are a pretty good color. I think my
hair is as black as jet--tho' I say it; and John Grey, if I mistake not,
is of the same opinion.

"11 _o'clock._--Rose from the table--the company all desirous of walking
in the field. John Grey lifted me over every stile, and twice squeezed
my hand with much vehemence. I can not say I should have much objection,
for he plays at prison bar as well as any of the country gentlemen; is
remarkably dutiful to his parents, my lord and lady, and never misses
church on Sunday.

"3 _o'clock._--Poor Farmer Robinson's house burnt down by accidental
fire. John Grey proposed a subscription among the company for the relief
of the farmer, and gave no less than four pounds with this benevolent
intent. (Mem) never saw him look so comely as at this moment.

"4 _o'clock._--Went to prayers.

"6 _o'clock._--Fed hogs and poultry.



MONTHLY RECORD OF CURRENT EVENTS.

UNITED STATES.


The arrival of M. KOSSUTH has been the chief event, so far as public
interest is concerned, of the past month. The manifestations of popular
regard and admiration of which he has been the object, have been most
remarkable, and are entirely without example. That a foreigner, whose
name, five years ago, was not known to a thousand people in the United
States, and whose subsequent career has been upon a field so remote from
general knowledge and interest as the plains of Hungary, should have
aroused a degree of enthusiasm never equaled hitherto, is a phenomenon
which finds its only explanation in his extraordinary ability, and the
character of the heroic struggle in which he has been engaged. M.
KOSSUTH and his suite arrived in the American steamer Humboldt, on the
morning of Friday, December 4th. At the request of the Mayor of New York
he remained for a day on Staten Island, at the residence of Dr. Doane,
until the authorities of New York could prepare for his public reception
in that city. He was immediately waited upon by numerous deputations,
presenting addresses of congratulation and respect, to all of which he
made pertinent replies. The citizens of Staten Island gave him a public
reception on Friday, at which he spoke for half an hour;--he referred to
the general objects of his visit to the United States, which were, to
advance the interests of his own country; and repelled some of the
slanders which have been put in circulation against him. On Saturday he
entered the city of New York, amidst vast numbers of its people who had
gathered to meet him, and whose enthusiasm exceeded all bounds. He made
a brief address at Castle Garden, joined a great procession around the
city, and reviewed the troops at the City Hall. His address was merely
introductory to the purposes of his visit here. He expressed the warmest
gratitude for the interference of the United States to release him from
captivity, and for the reception with which he had been honored. He
spoke of the condition of his country with the deepest feeling, and
expressed a hope that the United States would extend their aid to
prevent foreign powers from crushing Hungary. He said he desired some
little time, not only to recruit his health, which had suffered somewhat
from his voyage, but also to examine the ground upon which he must stand
in his labors for his country.--The few days succeeding were passed in
comparative retirement, though on every day numerous deputations from
various parts of the country waited upon him to tender their
congratulations, and to invite him to their respective sections.

On the evening of Thursday, the 12th ult., the Corporation of New York
City entertained M. Kossuth at a splendid banquet, at which he made a
very long and very able speech, explaining the purposes which had
brought him to the United States, and the action which he desired should
be taken by the people, and vindicating their propriety and necessity.
He began by saying that Washington's alleged policy of non-interference
in European affairs was the greatest obstacle which he encountered to
the prosecution of his plans. Supposing even that such a doctrine had
been bequeathed by Washington, he insisted that it could not possibly be
applicable to the present greatly-changed condition of the country. But
Washington, in his judgment, had never recommended such a policy. He
only recommended neutrality: and there was a great difference between
these two ideas. Neutrality relates to a state of war between
belligerent powers: and in such contentions Washington wisely advised
his countrymen to maintain a position of neutrality. But
non-interference relates to the sovereign right of nations to dispose of
themselves; this right is a public law of nations--common to all, and,
therefore, put under the common guarantee of all. This law the citizens
of the United States must recognize, because their own independence
rests upon it. And they could not, therefore, remain indifferent to its
violation. Washington never advised such indifference, as his
instructions to our Minister in France, and his correspondence, show.
But even neutrality was recommended by Washington, not as a
Constitutional principle, of permanent obligation, but only as a
_policy_--suited to temporary exigencies--which pass away. Washington
himself declared, that his motive was to enable the country to gain
_time_, to settle and mature its institutions to that degree of strength
and consistency which would give it the command of its own fortunes. And
in a letter to Lafayette, he said, that twenty years of peace would
bring the country to that degree of power and wealth which would enable
it, in a just cause, to defy whatever power on earth. M. Kossuth then
proceeded to show, that in the history of this country this policy had
been steadily developed. He referred to the declaration of the
Government that they would not permit the interference of European
powers with the revolted Spanish Colonies. True, this doctrine was
restricted to this Continent, because it was so distant from Europe, and
because the Atlantic separated us from European nations. Both these
objections have been superseded. Europe is now nearer to us than many
parts of our own country: and the Atlantic now _connects_ Europe and
America, instead of separating them. Commercial interest required the
United States to prevent the overgrowth of Absolutism in Europe, because
that growth is, and must be hostile to intercourse with a republican
country. If these absolutist powers, moreover should become victorious
in Europe, and then united, they would aim a blow at Republicanism on
this Continent. M. Kossuth proceeded to quote from Mr. Fillmore's late
Message the declaration, that the deep interest we feel in every
struggle for liberty, "forbids that we should be indifferent to a case,
in which the strong arm of a foreign power is invoked to stifle public
sentiment, and repress the spirit of freedom in any country." He quoted
also similar declarations from Washington and from Mr. Webster, and
claimed that he had thus fully established, on American authority, that
all nations are bound to interfere to prevent any one nation from
interfering in the concerns of any other. He then considered the
objections that may be urged against carrying this principle into
effect. The objection that it is not our business, was met by the denial
of any nation to live only for itself: every nation is bound to obey the
Divine injunction--"Do unto others as ye would that others should do
unto you." The objection against such a step because it might lead to
war, was answered by saying, that it would _prevent_ war--that the union
of the United States and of England, in a protest against the
intervention of Russia in the affairs of Hungary, would be sufficient to
stop it, and to prevent war. He wished, therefore, that the people of
this country should adopt resolutions, requesting their Government to
take such a step. He sketched briefly the history of the Hungarian
struggle, and concluded by proposing three distinct measures which he
desired at the hands of the American people:--1st. A declaration,
conjointly with England, against the interference of Russia in the
affairs of Hungary; 2d. A declaration that the United States will
maintain commerce with European nations, whether they are in a state of
revolution or not; and 3d. That the people would recognize Hungary as an
independent nation. These three steps, taken by the people and
Government of the United States in concert with those of England, he was
confident, would prevent Russian intervention, and enable Hungary to
assert and maintain her position as one among the independent nations of
the earth. He also appealed to the people for aid to Hungary, in gifts
and loans of money. The speech was eminently argumentative and calm in
its tone. It was heard with universal pleasure and admiration.

On the evening of Monday, Dec. 15th, the Members of the Press in the
City of New York gave M. KOSSUTH a splendid banquet at the Astor House.
The large hall was very elegantly decorated, and a company of nearly
three hundred sat down at table. Mr. W. C. BRYANT presided. KOSSUTH
commenced his speech by speaking of the power of the Press, and its
freedom in the United States--the only country, in his opinion, where
that freedom was truly practical and useful to the great mass of the
people. The devotion of this country to the cause of Education he
regarded as its greatest glory. And he desired to appeal to the people,
thus fitted by their education and their press to form an intelligent
and correct judgment, on behalf of his country's cause. He was proud to
remember that he commenced his public career as a journalist; and he
drew a graphic picture of the circumstances under which journalists in
despotic countries, with fettered hands and a censor at their side, are
compelled to perform their task. He then proceeded to correct some very
remarkable misrepresentations of the Hungarian cause to which currency
had been given. The United States had a national government, in spite of
the great variety of languages spoken within their borders. Now, if the
various races in the Union should refuse to receive the laws, the
liberties, the protection, and the freedom of the general government,
and sacrifice all these to language--each claiming to set up a
government in which its own language should alone be used--we should
have an example here of the manner in which the several races of Hungary
had been excited to rebellion by the wiles of Austria. He dwelt at some
length upon the superior numbers of those in Hungary speaking the Magyar
tongue, over those speaking all others; and upon the _Pansclavic_
league, which professed to seek to unite all speaking Sclavic in a
common cause, but which was really a trick of despots to destroy their
freedom. The Hungarian Diet had not abolished any other tongue; it had
only replaced the dead Latin by a living language. It was, therefore,
untrue that the Hungarians had struggled for the dominion of their own
race; they struggled for civil, political, social, and religious
freedom, common to all, against Austrian despotism: the ruling principle
of the nation was, to have Republican institutions, founded on universal
suffrage--so that the majority of the people shall rule in every respect
and in all departments. This was the principle for which they would
live, and for which they were willing to die. He entreated the aid of
the United States in that great struggle. The speech was heard with
interest, and was followed by speeches from a large number of gentlemen
connected with the City Press.

The Thirty-second Congress met, in its first session, on the 1st of
December. A caucus of the Democratic members met on the Saturday
evening previous:--at this meeting a resolution pledging the party to
sustain the Compromise measures was laid upon the table by a vote of 50
to 30--mainly on the ground that it was not a proper occasion for action
upon that subject. On Monday morning, a caucus of Whig members was held,
and a similar resolution was passed. In the House of Representatives,
Hon. Linn Boyd of Kentucky was elected Speaker, and John W. Forney of
Pennsylvania, Clerk.

A resolution, offered by Mr. Seward of New York, declaring that, on
behalf of the People of the United States, Congress extended to Kossuth
a welcome to the Capital and to the Country, was passed, there being six
nays in the Senate and sixteen in the House of Representatives. Some
little debate was had upon the subject in the Senate,--but none in the
House.--Senator Foote, of Mississippi, offered a series of resolutions
declaring the Compromise measures of 1850 a final settlement of the
questions to which they relate. They were under discussion in the Senate
when our Record closed.

The President's Message was sent in on Tuesday. It presents in a clear
and able manner the condition of the country, and the events of the past
year. It congratulates Congress on the preservation of peace, and on the
abatement of those sectional agitations which for a time threatened to
disturb the harmony of the Union. A detailed narrative is given of the
invasion of Cuba, and the events by which it was followed. The steamer
Pampero, with about 400 men, left New Orleans for Cuba on the 3d of
August, in spite of the precautions which had been taken to prevent it.
The expedition was set on foot in palpable violation of the laws of the
United States. The steamer landed those on board on the night of August
11th, at Playtas, twenty leagues from Havana, whence the main body of
them marched to an inland village in the interior. The remainder were
attacked on the 13th, by a body of Spanish troops, captured, taken to
Havana and shot. The main body was dispersed August 24th, and their
leader Lopez, executed on the 1st of September. Of those taken prisoners
several were pardoned, and about 160 sent to Spain. The Government will
spare no proper efforts to procure their release; but its purpose is
proclaimed to enforce rigidly the laws which prevent its citizens from
interfering with the concerns of foreign nations. No individuals, it is
declared, have a right to hazard the peace of the country or to violate
its laws, upon vague notions of altering or reforming governments in
other states; but every independent nation, it is added, must be able to
defend its possessions against unauthorized individuals banded together
to attack them. The Government of the United States will rigidly adhere
to, and enforce its policy of neutrality, which they were among the
first to proclaim and establish. Friendly relations with all, but
entangling alliances with none, is declared to be our policy. "Our true
mission is not to propagate our opinions, or impose upon other countries
our form of government, by artifice or force; but to teach by example,
and show by our success, moderation, and justice, the blessings of
self-government, and the advantages of free institutions. Let every
people choose for itself, and make and alter its political institutions
to suit its own condition and convenience. But, while we avow and
maintain this neutral policy ourselves, we are anxious to see the same
forbearance on the part of other nations whose forms of government are
different from our own. The deep interest which we feel in the spread of
liberal principles, and the establishment of free governments, and the
sympathy with which we witness every struggle against oppression, forbid
that we should be indifferent to a case in which the strong arm of a
foreign power is invoked to stifle public sentiment, and repress the
spirit of freedom in any country." The governments of France and Great
Britain have issued orders to their commanders on the West India station
to prevent, by force if necessary, the landing of invaders upon the
coast of Cuba. Our government has taken proper precautions to prevent
the execution of these orders from interfering with the maritime rights
of the United States. The principle that in every regularly documented
merchant vessel, the crew who navigate it, and those on board of it,
will find their protection in the flag that is over them, will be
rigidly enforced in all cases, and at all hazards. No American ship can
be allowed to be visited and searched for the purpose of ascertaining
the character of individuals on board, nor can there be allowed any
watch by the vessels of any foreign nation over American vessels on the
coasts of the United States or the seas adjacent thereto. The French
government has given orders to its commanders to respect the flag of the
United States wherever it might appear.--The outrages committed at New
Orleans upon the Spanish Consul are recited and deeply deplored. The
President considers the legislation of the country, for the protection
or punishment of consuls, insufficient. The attention of Congress is
asked to the question of reciprocal trade between Canada and the United
States, and to the survey of the Oregon boundary. Louis Napoleon has
accepted the post of arbiter in the dispute between Portugal and the
United States, concerning the General Armstrong. The steps taken by
Congress to procure the release of Kossuth are recited, and the
President recommends to Congress to consider in what manner Governor
Kossuth and his companions, brought hither by its authority, shall be
received and treated.--It is hoped that the differences between France
and the Sandwich Islands may be adjusted so as to secure the
independence of those islands--which has been recognized by the United
States, as well as by several European nations.--The disturbances in
Mexico are deplored:--steps have been taken to prevent American citizens
from aiding the rebellion in the northern departments. A convention has
been entered into between Mexico and the United States, intended to
impart a feeling of security to those citizens of the United States who
have undertaken to construct a railroad across the Isthmus of
Tehuantepec;--it has not yet, however, been ratified by the Congress and
Executive of that country. The only object which our government has had
in view, has been the construction of a passage from ocean to ocean, the
shortest and best for travelers and merchandise, and equally open to all
the world. It has sought neither territorial acquisition, nor any
advantages peculiar to itself. It will therefore continue to exert all
proper efforts to secure the co-operation of Mexico.--The republic of
Nicaragua has been so much disturbed by internal convulsions, that
nothing can be done as yet toward disposing of the questions pending
between the two countries.--Inter-oceanic communication from the mouth
of the St. John to the Pacific has been so far accomplished that
passengers and merchandise have been transported over it. A considerable
part of the railroad across the isthmus has been completed. Peace has
been concluded between the contending parties in the island of St.
Domingo. The office of Commissioner to China is not yet filled:--a
higher salary is asked for it.

The aggregate receipts of the last fiscal year amounted to
$52,312,979:--the total expenditures $48,005,878. The total imports of
the year were $215,725,995, of which $4,967,901 was in specie. The total
exports were $217,517,130, of which $29,231,880 was in specie. Since the
1st of December 1850, the payments on account of the principal of the
public debt have amounted to $7,501,456, which includes $3,242,400 paid
to Mexico and $2,591,253 awarded to American citizens under the Mexican
treaty. The public debt on the 20th of November, exclusive of stock
authorized to be issued to Texas, was $62,560,395. The receipts for the
next fiscal year are estimated at $51,800,000. The total expenditures
for the next year are estimated at $42,892,299, of which $33,343,198
will be needed for the ordinary expenses of the government, and
$9,549,101 for payments of the public debt and expenses consequent on
our territorial acquisitions. The value of our exports is $43,648,322
more than it was the year before last, but this is owing mainly to the
increased price of cotton. The value of our exports of bread stuffs and
provisions has fallen from $68,701,921 in 1847, to $26,051,373 in 1850,
and to $21,948,653 in 1851, with a strong probability of a still farther
reduction in the current year. In the exports of rice and tobacco there
has also been a large decrease. These facts are cited as showing the
fallacy of expecting increased exports from a reduced tariff. The
production of gold in California, it is feared, will tend to increase
our imports beyond a healthy demand. We have exported specie during the
year to the amount of $24,263,979 beyond our imports. Of the stock due
to Texas only five millions have been issued. The President recommends a
change in the Tariff so as to convert _ad valorem_ into specific duties,
wherever it is possible, and also to discriminate in favor of American
industry. The cash sales of the public lands exceed those of the
previous year. Proper steps have been taken for a survey of the mineral
lands of California. The establishment of an agricultural bureau is
recommended. The President also recommends appropriations for internal
improvements, and the more effectual protection of our frontiers from
Indian incursions. The expenditures of the War Department for the year
were $9,060,268: the estimates for the next year are $7,898,775. The
return of the Arctic Expedition is noticed: the estimates for the navy
during the ensuing year are $5,856,472. The length of mail routes at the
end of the year was 196,290 miles: the annual transportation thereon
53,273,252 miles: and the total cost $3,421,754. The length of the
foreign mail routes is estimated at 18,349 miles; and the annual
transportation thereon at 615,206 miles. The annual cost of this service
is $1,472,187, of which $448,937 is paid by the Post Office Department,
and $1,023,250 is paid through the Navy Department. The annual
transportation _within_ the United States (excluding the service in
California and Oregon), exceeds that of the preceding year 6,162,855
miles, at an increased cost of $547,110. The whole number of post
offices in the United States, on the 30th day of June last, was 19,796.
There were 1,698 post offices established, and 256 discontinued, during
the year. The gross revenues of the Department for the fiscal year,
including the appropriations for the franked matter of Congress, of the
Departments, and officers of Government, and excluding the foreign
postages, collected for and payable to the British post office, amounted
to $6,727,866.78. The expenditures for the same period amounted to
$6,024,566.79; leaving a balance of revenue over the proper
expenditures of the year of $703,299.99. The receipts for postages
during the year (excluding the foreign postages collected for and
payable to the British post office) amounted to $6,345,747.21, being an
increase of $997,610.79, or 18-65.100 percent over the like receipts for
the preceding year. No reliable estimate can as yet be formed of the
effect of the reduction of postage: it is believed, however, that the
receipts will be diminished. The postmaster general recommends adherence
to the present rates of letter postage, and advises against a further
reduction until it shall be justified by the revenues of the Department.
He recommends a revision of the rates of postage on printed matter. The
President urges the appointment of a commission to revise the public
statutes of the United States. Measures have been taken, pursuant to
law, for the extension of the Capitol. It is deeply regretted that the
execution of the fugitive slave law should have been resisted in one or
two instances: the purpose of the President is reiterated to secure its
enforcement. The Message recommends that the Compromise measures of 1850
be regarded as a final settlement of the questions to which they relate.

Reports from several of the Departments were submitted with the Message:
but as all their material statements are embodied in that document,
further reference to them is not essential. It was also accompanied by a
voluminous diplomatic correspondence with the representatives of Spain,
England and France, on topics connected with the invasion of Cuba. On
being informed that the French and English naval forces had been
directed to aid Spain in preventing by force the invasion of Cuba, the
Secretary of State wrote to the French minister pointing out the
injurious consequences that might result from such an interference in a
matter with which they had no direct concern. The government of the
United States had shown its willingness and determination to prevent
such invasions, and no hostile expedition could be fitted out against
that province formidable enough to create any alarm for the safety of
Cuba. The position of Cuba, moreover, in the line of direct commerce
with Europe, rendered such an interposition especially objectionable.
The government of France and those of other European nations, were long
since informed that the United States could not see that island
transferred by Spain to any other European state with indifference: and
such a protectorate as these orders to their squadron implied, might
lead to results equally objectionable. All experience proves, it was
added, that the rights, interest, and peace of the continents of Europe
and America will be best preserved by the forbearance of each to
interfere in the affairs of the other. The French minister in his reply
acknowledged the perfect propriety of the attitude of the American
government, and repudiated the thought that France entertained doubts of
the disposition of the United States to prevent the invasion of Cuba
from their shores. America, he says, is now closely connected with
Europe by the interest of commerce, and the nations of the two
continents are so dependent upon each other, that the effects of any
event on one side are immediately felt on the other. Full explanations
were offered to the Spanish government in regard to the insults to which
the Spanish consul was subjected in New Orleans, and the liberation of
the American prisoners in Cuba was strongly urged.

A sad accident occurred in New York city on the 27th of November. In a
large public school, in the Ninth Ward, one of the teachers was seized
with paralysis. The circumstance alarmed her pupils, and their screams
created a sudden panic throughout all the school. Immense numbers rushed
to the stairs the banisters of which gave way, and they fell one upon
another, upon the stone floor below. _Forty-three_ children were killed
by this sad catastrophe. The Coroner's Inquest discovered nothing except
that the stairs were improperly and insecurely constructed.

In Mississippi the Constitutional Convention adjourned on the 17th
November, after adopting resolutions declaring the acquiescence of the
State in the Compromise and the Union, but declaring that it would
secede in case Congress should repeal the Fugitive Slave law, or in any
way interfere with slavery in the States. The same Convention adopted by
a vote of 72 to 17, a resolution declaring that the asserted right of
secession is utterly unsanctioned by the Constitution, and that it can
not, in fact, take place without a subversion of the Union and a civil
revolution.

Mr. John S. Thrasher, the American in Havana, to whose case we alluded
in our last Monthly Record, has had his trial (if the process to which
he was subjected deserves such a name), and has been sentenced to
imprisonment for eight years on the coast of Africa. He was thrown into
prison and kept there for some weeks, until the 15th of November, when
he was tried before a court martial. He was not allowed counsel, no
witnesses were examined, and the proceeding was wholly a farce. The
charges against him were of the most puerile kind, and not the slightest
proof of their truth was offered. Yet he was convicted, sentenced, and
sent from Havana in a Spanish ship of war. He has published a brief
appeal to the government and people of the United States, in which he
sets forth the gross illegality of the whole proceeding.

The official returns of the State election in New York have just been
declared as follows:

  _Judge of Court_ }  Johnson    (Dem.)  201,144    3,321 _Maj._
  _of Appeals._    }  Foote      (Whig)  197,823

  _Sec. of State._    Randal     (Dem.)  199,426      844 _Maj._
                      Forsyth    (Whig)  198,582

  _Comptroller._      Wright     (Dem.)  200,790      258 _Maj._
                      Patterson  (Whig)  200,532

  _Treasurer._        Welch      (Dem.)  200,465
                      Cook       (Whig)  200,693      228 _Maj._

  _Canal Com._        Wheaton    (Dem.)  200,234
                      Fitzhugh   (Whig)  201,147      913 _Maj._

  _State Engineer._   McAlpine   (Dem.)  203,032    3,728 _Maj._
                      Seymour    (Whig)  199,304

  _Ins. State Pris._  Storms     (Dem.)  202,801    4,223 _Maj._
                      Wells      (Whig)  198,578

The aggregate vote in all the districts, for Senators and Members of
Assembly, was as follows:

                   _Senators._      _Assembly._
  Whig ticket        199,556          199,367
  Democratic         199,412          197,170
                     -------          -------
  Whig majority          144            2,197

From CALIFORNIA we have news to the 1st of November. Over three millions
of dollars in gold dust have been received during the month. The news is
not of special interest. The success of the miners continued
undiminished, and new deposits and veins of gold were discovered daily.
From want of rain, however, washing the auriferous earth was attended
with difficulty and delay. The capital has been removed back to San
José. A Convention was held in the southern counties, on the 20th of
October, to take steps for a division of the State. A declaration was
adopted setting forth the reasons for this measure, which is ascribed
mainly to the inequality of taxation, the distance of that section from
the seat of government, and the inadequate protection received from the
State authorities. Nothing definite was accomplished at the
Convention.--The Indians have again proved to be troublesome on the
southern frontier. Great fears were entertained for the safety of a
company of twenty-three U. S. troops on the Gila River.--An expedition
of about 125 men sailed from San Francisco for the Sandwich Islands, on
the last of October: its object is not stated, though significant hints
are thrown out that it is political. It was to be followed by another
soon.

From Santa Fé we have news of fresh excitements growing out of alleged
discoveries of gold on the Gila. Numerous parties had been formed and
were going thither for the purpose of digging. The Indians in the
neighborhood were comparatively quiet. Several battles, between the
different tribes had occurred in the southern part of the territory.

In UTAH, among the Mormons, a spirit of resistance to the Government of
the United States has been developed, and the Governor of the Territory,
Brigham Young--one of the leading Mormons--has given indications of
hostility, which will probably lead to his removal. We have not as yet
received any definite details of the proceedings there.


GREAT BRITAIN.

Public attention in England has been mainly occupied with the movements
and speeches of M. KOSSUTH. On the 10th of November he visited
Birmingham, where he was received by an immense crowd of people, who
evinced the utmost enthusiasm on his behalf. Without making any address
at that time, he left for Manchester on the 11th, where he was also
received with the greatest conceivable _eclat_. He made an address to
the people in the Town Hall mainly upon the commercial and political
aspects of the cause to which he was devoted. He felt that the great
contest of the age is between absolutism, the power of the few, and the
rights and well-being of the many. The decisive struggle is close at
hand, as the signs of the times, visible on every side, sufficiently
indicate. It was folly to say that the nations of Europe are contented,
and that it is only a few ambitious and unprincipled individuals who are
disturbing the existing tranquillity. The people of Europe would embrace
the first opportunity to strike another blow for their rights. And the
cause of Hungary, in this connection, was the cause of Europe, because
Hungary from her local position must always form the only effectual
bulwark against the despotism of Russia. England and the United States,
he urged, were both deeply interested as free nations, and as guardians
of the law of nations, to prevent Russia from again interfering to crush
Hungary. He appealed to the people of Manchester upon this subject,
mainly upon the ground, in addition to political considerations, that
their trade would be greatly extended and all their interests benefited
by the establishment of freedom in Europe. He closed by urging the aid
of the people, in urging their government to act in the matter, and in
contributions of money.

On the next day, Wednesday, M. KOSSUTH returned to Birmingham, where he
made two addresses, the first at a _dejeuner_ at the house of Mr. Henry,
in which he took occasion to disavow, in the most explicit terms, all or
any participation in the views and purposes of Socialists or Communists.
The other was at the Musical Fund Hall, where a banquet had been
prepared. He there commenced with a sketch of the Hungarian struggle,
and especially of the circumstances attending her declaration of
independence. He said he had from his earliest youth been familiar with
British history, and filled with the free spirit of her institutions,
and he had longed to secure for his own country some of the rights which
had made England so glorious and so happy a country. He spoke warmly in
praise of the industry of Birmingham, and passed to a consideration of
the character, condition, and hopes of Hungary. Henceforth, he said,
monarchical institutions were impossible there. The treacheries of the
House of Hapsburgh, had alienated the hearts of Hungarians from royalty,
and henceforth republicanism must form the basis of their political
institutions. The contest in Europe was not now for any single nation,
or for any isolated interest;--it was a contest between despotism and
freedom, for the dominion of the world. He called upon the people of
England to prevent Russia from interfering against the struggling people
of Hungary.

In London, M. KOSSUTH received addresses from numerous deputations, to
all which he replied with great felicity--aiming steadily at his great
object of receiving sympathy and aid for Hungary--denouncing alike
Radicalism, Socialism, and despotism, asserting the political rights and
advocating the civil freedom of the people, and impressing upon the
public mind the fact that the struggle is at hand, which must decide
which of the two great principles, despotism or freedom, shall dominate
in Europe for many years to come. He attended the Polish and Hungarian
ball in London on the 13th, and on the 15th went to Southampton to
embark for the United States. He was met by the Mayor and Corporation
and entertained at a farewell banquet. He there made a speech of an
hour's length, in which he expressed his belief that England was the
country which would have after all to decide the destinies of Europe.
France was republican, and Russia must know, let it please her or not,
that she must accept the necessity of fighting France on the field of
Republicanism against Absolutism; but Russia must also learn that she
would have to meet England and the force of her public opinion in
opposition to despotism. He would not say that England would do so by
going to war; but that she would exercise an influence of this kind by
declaring her opinion against any interference in the domestic affairs
of nations from foreign powers. Freedom and independence were but local
self-government as opposed to centralization. He wished them to remember
this, then they would see that the cause of Hungary was their cause too.
His last request was, do not forget poor Hungary. On whatever question
they met, let Englishmen, in their addresses to the House of Commons, in
their petitions, and in their public resolutions, remember the cause of
Hungary as involving their own interests. In the course of his speech he
begged of them not to forget to agitate against secret diplomacy. It had
been said that diplomacy should be kept secret, just as a merchant would
keep his negotiations secret, till they were finished; but what merchant
would allow business to be transacted in his counting-house the nature
of which he did not know? In this case the people were the masters, and
they should not allow any business to be conducted with the details of
which they were not fully acquainted. The entertainment being over, M.
Kossuth, Madame Kossuth, M. Pulzsky, and Madame Pulzsky, and suite,
proceeded on board the American steamer Humboldt, which quickly started
forth on her voyage across the Atlantic. Of his arrival and reception
there we have already given an account.


FRANCE.

The political intelligence from France is of decided interest and
importance. The Assembly has met--the President has demanded the
restoration of universal suffrage, and the Assembly has refused to
grant it. The appeal, of course, is to the people in the Presidential
election of next May. What will be the result is, of course, matter of
conjecture; but whatever it may be, it will exert a prodigious influence
upon the politics of Europe.

The Assembly met on the 4th of November, six hundred and thirty-three
members being present. On the next day the message of the President was
sent in and read. It opens by proclaiming the continued preservation of
peace, but utters warnings against being deceived by this apparent
tranquillity. A vast demagogical conspiracy, the President says, has
been organized in France and in Europe; secret societies have been
formed extending their ramifications to the smallest communes; and all
the most insensate and turbulent spirits, without being agreed on men or
on things, have given themselves rendezvous for 1852. He relies on the
patriotism of the Assembly to save France from these perils. The best
means of doing this is by satisfying legitimate wants, and in putting
down, on their first appearance, all attacks on religion, morality, and
society.--The Message then proceeds, under different heads, to give a
statement of the condition of the country. With the exception of the
departments of Ardice, Cher, Nievre, and Lyons, the ordinary measures
have been sufficient to preserve order. The receipts of taxes have been
quite satisfactory. The progress of exportations continues unabated.
Public roads and public buildings have received the attention of the
government. Special care has also been given to the encouragement of
agriculture. The superiority of French manufactures has been abundantly
shown at the Great Exhibition in London. The number of common schools is
34,939; of girls' schools 10,542.--The number of the land forces on the
1st of October was 387,519 men and 84,306 horses. If circumstances
permit, this will be reduced to 377,130 men and 83,435 horses. Out of
1145 tribes in Algeria, 1100 have recognized the rule of France. Various
important naval works have been constructed. The relations of France to
foreign powers are eminently satisfactory. Her situation at Rome
continues unchanged, and the Pope still shows constant solicitude for
the happiness of France and the welfare of her soldiers. Important
measures are in progress at Rome, and active exertions are making for
the formation of an army, which will render possible the withdrawal of
the troops from the States of the Church. A proof has been given of the
friendly disposition of France toward Spain, by offering her the aid of
the French naval forces to oppose the audacious attempt against the
island of Cuba.--In spite of all these satisfactory results, the
President says a general feeling of uneasiness is daily increasing.
"Every where employment is falling off, wretchedness is increasing, and
anti-social hopes gain courage in proportion as the public powers, now
weakened, are approaching their termination." The Government, in such a
state of things, ought to seek out proper means of conjuring away the
peril, and of assuring the best chances of safety. Resolutions must be
adopted, which emanate from a decisive act of sovereign authority.
"Well, then," proceeds the President, "I have asked myself whether, in
presence of the madness of passions, the confusion of doctrines, the
division of parties, when every thing is leaguing together to deprive
justice, morality, and authority of their last prestige--whether, I say,
we ought to allow the only principle to be shaken which, in the midst of
the general chaos, Providence has left upstanding as our rallying point?
When universal suffrage has again upraised the social edifice, when it
has substituted a right for a revolutionary act, ought its base to be
any longer narrowed? When new powers shall come to preside over the
destinies of the country, is it not to compromise their stability in
advance to leave a pretext for discussing their origin or doubting their
legitimacy? No doubt on the subject can be entertained; and without for
a moment departing from the policy of order which I have always pursued,
I have seen myself, to my deep regret, obliged to separate myself from a
Ministry which possessed my full confidence and esteem, to choose
another, composed also of honorable men, known for their conservative
opinions, but who are willing to admit the necessity of re-establishing
universal suffrage on the largest possible base. In consequence, there
will be presented to you a bill to restore that principle in all its
plenitude, in preserving such parts of the law of May 31 as free
universal suffrage from its impure elements, and render its application
more moral and more regular." The law of May 31, he says, was originally
passed as a measure of public safety, and of course now that the
necessity for it has passed away, the law itself should be repealed. Its
operation, moreover, has gone further than could have been foreseen. It
has disfranchised three millions of electors, two-thirds of whom are
peaceable inhabitants of the country. This immense exclusion has been
made the basis and pretext of the anarchical party, which covers its
detestable designs with the appearance of right torn from it, and
requiring to be reconquered. The law also presents grave inconveniences,
especially in its application to the election of a President. The
constitution requires that two millions of votes should be given for the
candidate before he is declared elected, and if no one receives that
number then the Assembly shall elect. The law changes the proportion of
votes from that originally established by the Constitution. The
restoration of universal suffrage is urged, finally, on the ground that
it will give an additional chance of securing the revision of the
Constitution.--The President says he is aware that this proposition is
inspired by his own personal interests, but he says his conduct for the
last three years ought to be sufficient to put aside such an allegation.
The good of his country will always be the motive of his conduct. He
concludes by saying, that, "to restore universal suffrage is to deprive
civil war of its flag, and the opposition of their last argument; it is
to afford to France an opportunity of giving herself institutions which
will insure her repose; it will be to bestow on the powers to come that
moral repose which exists only when resting on a consecrated principle
and an incontestable authority." Immediately after the reading of the
Message, the Minister read the project of a law proposing the abrogation
of the law of May 31, 1850, and re-establishing the electoral law of
March 15, 1849, by which all citizens 21 years old, and having resided
six months in the commune, are declared electors. The Minister, on
presenting this law, demanded urgency for its consideration. A warm
debate followed, and the urgency was rejected by a large majority. The
bill was then referred to a committee, which reported on Tuesday of the
succeeding week. The report was very explicit against universal
suffrage, and closed by advising that the bill be rejected at once,
without passing even to second reading. The matter was then postponed
until the following Thursday. On that day, after an animated debate, in
which, by agreement, the Republicans were represented by M. Michel de
Bourges, the motion was carried by a vote of 355 to 348--a majority of
_seven_ against the government. During the debate M. de Bourges asked,
"is it not probable that the disfranchised electors will present
themselves at the hustings in May, 1852, and with the Message of the
President in their hands, declare their determination to vote?" This has
been regarded as a hint to the electors to go forward and claim their
right to vote.--Another question of very great interest and importance,
grew out of a demand of the Quæstors that the troops of the city should
be put under their orders for the protection of the Assembly; the
question whether the project should be brought under consideration or
not, came up on the 10th of November. The project as presented by the
Quæstors, M. Baze, Gen. Leflo, and one other, defined the right in such
a manner as to make the power of the Assembly over the troops
direct--without the intervention of the War Office or of the Executive.
The question was discussed with great warmth, and for part of the time
amidst the greatest confusion and clamor. The vote was finally taken,
and the proposition of the Quæstors was rejected, 408 to 300.--A large
number of officers of the army recently presented themselves at the
Elyssée and were received by the President in a speech that created
great excitement. He said he was sure he could depend upon their
support, because he should demand nothing that did not accord with his
right, recognized by the Constitution, with military honor, and with the
interest of the country; because he had placed at their head officers
who had his confidence, and who merited theirs; and because he should
not do as other governments had done, ask them to march on and he would
follow; but he would say, "I march, follow me." The speech created great
commotion throughout all political parties.--General uneasiness is felt
as to the result of the political struggle in France. The votes upon the
propositions mentioned above were not party votes, but seemed to be the
result of ever changing alliances and combinations. The hostility which
burst out against the President upon the first publication of his
Message, had in some degree subsided, or rather it had been directed
against M. Thiers. It is universally felt that, whether peacefully
solved or not, the election in May can not fail to have a most important
influence upon European politics.

On the 25th of November, the President made a brief but significant
speech, on distributing to the manufacturers the prizes they had won by
the articles exhibited at the World's Exhibition. After expressing his
satisfaction at the proofs of French genius and skill which had been
afforded at the Exhibition, he proceeded to speak of the check upon
industry which the continued machinations of evil men in France could
not fail to create. On the one hand France was disturbed by demagogical
ideas, and on the other by monarchist hallucinations. The former
disseminate every where error and falsehood. "Disquietude goes before
them, and deception follows them, while the resources employed in
repressing them are so much loss to the most pressing ameliorations and
to the relief of misery. The schemes of monarchists impede all progress,
all serious labor, for in place of an advance the country is forced to
have recourse to a struggle. The efforts of both, however, will be in
vain." And the President exhorted the manufacturers to continue their
labors. "Undertake them without fear, for they will prevent the want of
occupation during the winter. Do not dread the future; tranquillity will
be maintained, come what may. A Government which relies for support on
the entire mass of the nation, which has no other motive of action than
the public good, and which is animated by that ardent faith which is a
sure guide even through a space in which there is no path traced, that
Government, I say, will know how to fulfill its mission, for it has in
it that right which comes from the people, and that force which comes
from God." This speech created a profound sensation, and elicited
general discussion.--The _Constitutionnel_ created a universal
excitement by an article proclaiming the existence of a Monarchical
conspiracy, and menacing that section of the Assembly with instant
seizure and imprisonment upon the first movement toward the
accomplishment of their plans. The editor, A. Granier de Cassagnac, was
denounced in very violent terms by M. Creton, an Orleanist deputy, who
was challenged therefor. He refused, however, to take any notice of it,
when he was posted as a coward by Cassagnac.

ERNEST, King of Hanover, died at his palace in Herrenhausen, on the 18th
of November, at the age of 80, and after a reign of thirteen years. He
was the fifth and last surviving son of George III., and was born at
Kew, England, on the 5th of June, 1771. In 1790 he entered the army, and
served in the European wars which followed. In 1799 he was created Duke
of Cumberland, Earl of Armagh, and Duke of Teviotdale, with a
Parliamentary grant of £12,000 per annum. He continued to live in
England until the death of William IV., when he became King of Hanover.
His reign has not been marked by any great events. He was always an
ultra champion of privileged classes, and made himself very prominent in
England as the enemy of Catholic emancipation, and reform measures of
all sorts.

In SWITZERLAND, the recent election has resulted in the return of nearly
all the members of the present Federal Assembly, especially in the
German Cantons. The radicals have a decided majority--contrary to the
expectations that had been very generally entertained. The new Assembly
was to meet on the 1st of December in order to elect the federal
government.

The character of the justice administered in Austria is strongly
illustrated by a notification in a Venice gazette. Count Agostino
Guerrieri, of Verona, lately of the Austrian Hussars, was convicted of
having received an anonymous letter from revolutionary parties, and of
not giving it up to the authorities; the verdict against him was that he
was guilty of high treason, and for this he was sentenced to ten years'
imprisonment in a fortress. Baron Lutti was convicted of having advised
him to burn the letter, and for that offense he was sentenced to
imprisonment for two years.

From SOUTHERN and EASTERN EUROPE there is no news of special interest.
In Austria financial necessities are creating general anxiety. The
credit of the country does not prove sufficient to effect needed loans.
General dissatisfaction, moreover, still prevails in Hungary, and many
of the Hungarian regiments evince a disposition to take sides with their
country rather than their employers.--In ITALY the country is apparently
quiet, but a very thorough and effective organization has been effected
for a new revolutionary movement, whenever a proper opportunity shall be
presented.--The peace of Europe is generally supposed to depend upon the
French election in May next; but it is not easy to see by what result
general peace can be preserved.



EDITOR'S TABLE.


The year comes round with such perfect uniformity that we find it hard
to realize how there could ever have been any great difficulty in
settling either its true boundaries or its internal divisions. Any body,
it seems to us, could make an almanac, as far as the calendar is
concerned. Such might be the first thought, even of persons who could
not justly be charged with a lack of general intelligence. But let them
think again, and they will rather find cause to wonder at the immense
amount of observation involved in the process of gathering, age after
age, the elements of a computation apparently so simple.

Had the seasons been so strikingly marked that the transition from one
to the other had been instantaneous, or had the lesser sections of time
been so contrived, in the Divine wisdom, as to be exact divisors of the
greater, there would have been no difficulty whatever in the problem.
But the Author of nature has not made it so easy for us. Twelve moons
fall short of the year; thirteen exceed it. Any monthly division,
therefore, founded on the revolutions of the satellite, must require,
after the lapse of a few years, an addition, or a subtraction, of a
certain period, to make the seasons come round again in harmony.

The first men, unquestionably, soon learned to note the general
revolution by the return of the same seasons. The earliest agricultural
operations would necessitate similar estimates, and thus a general
notion of the year would be arrived at without an exact knowledge of the
precise number of days contained. Hence, in all languages, some such
idea has entered into the name. The year is that which comes, and _comes
again_. In Greek (if our readers will pardon a little display of
learning which we have picked up for the occasion) it is [Greek: eti "ETOS"
heteros] _another_ and YET _another_. In the Hebrew it is _repetition_.
In our own, and the northern tongues generally, the word in all its
forms (_year_, _gear_, _jahr_, _jaar_, &c.) ever denotes a _course_
(_currus_) or _circle_.

Another mode was by rude astronomical observations, which must have been
resorted to in the very earliest periods. For a good portion of the
year, the sun was seen to come regularly north. Then he remained
apparently stationary; and then, slowly _turning_, made his retreat
again to the southern limit, there to perform the same movement--and so
on without interruption or variation. Hence the word _tropic_,
signifying the _turning_, and of which St. James makes so sublime and
beautiful a use when he tells us (James i. 17) that the Unchangeable
Spiritual Sun, or "Father of Lights," has no _parallax_[6] and no
"_shadow of turning_," or _tropical shadow_, as it should be rendered,
referring to the mode of determining the period of _turning_ by the
shortest shadow cast by a perpendicular object. Still all this was
merely an approximation to the length of the year, but with errors which
only repeated observations could correct. By taking, however, a large
number of these self-repeating repeating phenomena for a divisor, and
the whole number of carefully ascertained days for a dividend, the error
in each case would be diminished in an inverse ratio; so that we should
not wonder that the number of three hundred and sixty-five days was
fixed upon at quite an early period.

    [6] The word parallax, or "_parallage_," here must refer to the
    sun's declination north and south of the equator. We have no reason
    for supposing that the ideas connected with the term in modern
    astronomical science were at all known to the Apostle. It may,
    however, be taken generally, for any deviation from one unchangeable
    position, and, in such a sense, preserve all the beauty and
    sublimity of the metaphor.

Such estimates, too, were aided by collateral observations of the stars.
Let any one look out upon the heavens some clear night at the
commencement of the year, and he can not help being struck with the
position as well as the brilliancy of certain constellations. Over head
are the Pleiades, the lone Aldebaran, Perseus, and Capella. Coming up
the eastern sky are Orion, Gemini, Sirius, the Lesser Dog. Descending in
the western are Andromeda, Pegasus, Capricornus, the Southern Fish.
While low down toward the setting horizon are the Harp, the Eagle, and
the Swan. Two weeks later, at the same time in the evening, he will find
them all farther westward. In a month the change will be still more
marked. After three months, those that before were just rising are on
the meridian, and those that were then on the meridian are now setting.
In six months, an entirely new host of stars will adorn the firmament,
and at the end of a year, all the same phenomena will be found to have
come round again. Our minuteness of detail may seem like trifling in an
age so scientific as this; but it is astonishing how much our science is
the science of books, and how little, after all, especially in
astronomy, there is of personal acquaintance with the objects whose laws
we know so well in theory. How many understand thoroughly the doctrine
of transits and parallaxes, and even the more difficult laws of
celestial influences, as laid down in scientific treatises, and yet, to
save their lives, could not tell us what stars are now overhead, or what
planets are now visible in our nightly heavens. They have read of
Jupiter, they know the dimensions of Jupiter, and have even calculated
the movements of Jupiter, it may be, but Jupiter himself they never saw.
They would be surprised, perhaps, to discover, by actual sight, how
much, in respect to position and appearance, our wintry constellations
differ from those that are visible in summer; although night after
night, for years and years, the brilliant phenomena have been passing
over their heads, and silently, yet most eloquently, inviting their
observation. This should not be so. The names and locations of the stars
should ever be a part of astronomical instruction. We should learn them,
if only for their classical reminiscences--for the sublime pleasure of
having such a theme for contemplation in our evening walks. How easy, in
this way, to fill the heavens with life, when we are led to regard them
no longer as an unmeaning collection of glittering points, or what is
scarcely better, a mere diagram for the illustration of scientific
abstractions, but stored with remembrances of the older days of our
world--the old religion, the old mythology, the old philosophy pictured
on the sky--the old heroes, and heroines, and heroic events, transferred
to the stars, and still shining in immortal splendor above us.

But to return from our digression--any one may see how such an
observation of the stars furnished a second mode of ascertaining the
length of the year. The men of the olden time were driven to this
earnest watching of the heavens by an interest, of which, in these days
of almanacs, and clocks, and compasses we can form but an inadequate
conception. The period of the year was named after the principal star
that rose just before, or set just after the sun. For example, when
Sirius rose and set with or near the time of the sun, it was called the
"dog days"--the only one of these old sidereal measures of time that has
come down to us. Another season was under the sway of Orion. It was
called the "stormy constellation," and at its heliacal rising, or when,
as Hesiod expresses it,

    The gentle Pleiads, shunning his fierce pursuit,
    Sank late in the Ocean wave--

then was the ship to be drawn up into the well-secured harbor, and the
sailor for a season to shun the dangerous deep. In the same way the
periods of different agricultural operations were assigned to different
constellations--some to Arcturus, others to the humid Hyades, and
others, again, to the Bull, who "opened the year with his golden horns."
From the observed fact of simultaneousness arose, also, the notion of
some secret causative influence between the concurrent events. Hence
those views of astrology, so early and so widely held among mankind, and
which assigned to each event its celestial concomitants, and to each
individual man his natal star. Exploded it may have been by the modern
progress, but there was nevertheless at bottom an _idea_ of more value
than any science, however accurate, that does not give it the first and
highest place. It was the thought of the absolute unity of nature, and
of the unbroken relation of every part of the universe to every other
part--in other words, the sublime idea which the oldest philosophy
strove to express by that grand word, Kosmos.

The length of the year, as a whole number, was early known. It was some
time, however, before the disturbance created by the fraction began to
be distinctly perceived, and still longer before it was reduced to any
thing like satisfactory measurement. In the division of the 365 days
into monthly periods, lay at first the greatest difficulty. The lunar
number was in general employed, not only as the nearest marked divisor,
but because the new and full moons were so generally connected with
religious festivals whether this arose from convenience of arrangement,
or from the idea of some deep religious meaning symbolized by the ever
dying and reviving phases of this mysterious planet. We can not,
however, help being struck with the superior accuracy of the Jewish,
when compared with the confusion and change that prevailed in the Greek
and Roman calendar.

No reader of the Bible can avoid remarking its extreme particularity of
date. The oldest and, on this account, the most striking instance is in
the narration of the flood: "In the 600th year of Noah, in the second
month, and on the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were the
fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were
opened." And so also in respect to its close. There is the same
particularity, too, in the date of the Passover, of the Exodus, of the
arrival at Sinai, of various events in the wilderness, of the wars and
settlement of Canaan, of the building and dedication of the temple, and
of the messages of the later prophets. The first would seem to present
the most unanswerable proof that the Jewish computation had been derived
from an antediluvian science that must have been of a higher kind than
we are generally disposed to acknowledge. With all their mathematics,
and with some attainments in astronomy to which the Jew could make no
pretension, the calendar of the Greeks presents the appearance of far
more confusion. Herodotus, after saying that the Egyptians first _found
out_ the year, and divided it into twelve parts by _means of the stars_,
praises their arrangement (which was probably the same with, or derived
from, that of the Patriarchical times) as being much more easy and
correct than the division of the Greeks. "The Egyptians," he says,
"divide the year into twelve months of thirty days each; and then, by
adding five days to each year, they have a uniform revolution of time;
whereas the Greeks, for the sake of adjusting the seasons accurately,
add every third year an intercalary month" (Herod. ii. 4). By this,
however, they seem only to have made "confusion worse confounded." The
great difficulty of the Greeks arose from the attempt to do what the
wiser Egyptians and Hebrews seem to have abandoned--namely, to divide
the year solely by lunar months. By arbitrary intercalations, it is
true, they could bring the solar and lunar years to a tolerable
agreement, but then, their effect was continually to change the places
of the months relatively to the seasons. The periods of intercalation
were at first every two years, then three, and lastly four, and eight.
In the two latter they seem to have been governed by some respect to the
quadrennial return of the great Olympic games, and the Olympiads
corresponding thereto. The computation of the year was afterward brought
to a still greater degree of accuracy by what was called the cycle of
Melon, which, by embracing a period of nineteen years brought the times
of the new and full moon to fall again, very nearly, on the same days of
each month.

With the Romans it was still worse. Nothing shows how much better they
understood fighting than astronomy, than the way they managed their
year. Under Romulus it was said to have consisted of only ten months. It
is not easy to see how this could be adjusted on any mode of
computation, and yet the numerical names, some of which have come down
to our own calendar, would seem to present some proof of it. The last
month in the year is yet called _December_, or the _Tenth_. In the days
of Numa it consisted of twelve lunar months, with a system of
intercalation something like that of the Greeks. The two added months
were January and February, which, in numerical order would have been
Undecember, and Duodecember, or the Eleventh and Twelfth. The year,
however, by the clumsiness of these methods, and by the whole matter
being left in the hands of the Pontifices who seem to have had little
science, and still less honesty, became turned so completely
topsy-turvy, that instead of being put at the end, these two new months
were finally arranged at the beginning. The first was called January
from the great (some say the greatest) Latin deity, Janus, whose
original name was Djanus or Di-annus, _The God of the Year_ (similar to
the Greek Kronos or Time), and who was most expressively represented
with two faces, one ever looking back upon the past, and the other
forward to the coming period.

In the hands of the Pontifices the Roman year had again been getting
more and more out of order, until, in the days of Julius Cæsar, the
first of January had retrograded nearly to the autumnal equinox. This
very useful despot determined to take the matter in his own hands, and
make a thorough reform; but, as a preliminary, was obliged to have an
extraordinary year of 445 days, which was called the _year of
confusion_. Before this, there had been, too, a continual neglect of the
fraction of a day, although its existence seems to have been known at a
much earlier period. Cæsar arranged the months as they now stand, and
made provision for the fraction by ordering a day to be added to
February every fourth year. This seemed to answer every purpose, until,
after the lapse of more than fourteen centuries, it was found that the
seasons began to disagree with the almanac, and the religious festivals
to fall somewhat out of place. The error was estimated to amount to
eleven days; the correction of which was assumed by the Roman Pontifex,
but with the aid of a science far more accurate than had been possessed
by the Pontifices of the older time. The modes now adopted, for
preserving accuracy in future, are known to most well-informed readers,
so that we shall not dwell upon them farther than to say, that they
consist generally in such omissions of the leap year, from time to time,
as will correct the very small excess by which a quarter of a day
exceeds the actual fraction of the tropical year.

"And God said--Let there be lights in the firmament of Heaven, and let
them be for days, and for years, and for times, and for seasons." It
requires some thought before we can fully realize how much we are
indebted, morally and mentally, as well as physically, to these
time-measuring arrangements. We must place ourselves in the condition of
the savage before we can know how much of our civilization comes from
the almanac, or, in other words, our exact divisions of time aiding the
idea and the memory--thus shaping our knowledge, or thinking, and even
our emotions, so as to make them very different from what they might
have been, had we not possessed these regulators of our inner as well as
our outer man. How unlike, in all this, must be the life of the untaught
children of the forest! Let us endeavor to fancy men living from age to
age without any known length or divisions of the year--no lesser or
greater periods to serve as landmarks, or, rather, sky-marks, in their
history--and, therefore, without any possibility of really having any
history. Summer and winter come and go, but to the savage all the future
is a chaos, and all the past is

    With the years beyond the flood,

unmarked by any intervals which may give it a hold upon the thoughts or
the memory. The heavenly bodies make their monthly, and annual, and
cyclical revolutions, but their eternal order finds no correspondence in
his chaotic experience. The stars roll nightly over his head, but only
to direct his steps in the wilderness, without shedding a ray of light
upon the denser wilderness of his dark and sensual mind. The old man
knows not how many years he has lived. He knows not the ages of his
children. He has heard, indeed, of the acts of his fathers; but all are
equally remote. They belong to the past, and the past is all alike--a
dark back-ground of tradition, without any of that chronological
perspective through which former ages look down upon us with an aspect
as life-like and as truthful as the present. The phenomena of the
physical world have been ever flitting like shadows before his sense,
but the understanding has never _connected_ them with their causes,
never followed them to their sources, never seen in them any ground of
coherence or relation, simply because time, the great _connective_
medium of all inductive comparison, has been to him an undivided,
unarranged, and, therefore, unremembered vacancy. Hence it is, he never
truly learns to think, and, on this account, never makes progress--never
rises of himself from that low animal state to which he may once have
fallen, in his ever downward course from the primitive light and truth.
Æschylus, in the Prometheus, makes such to have been the first condition
of mankind. But, however false his theory in this respect--opposed as it
is to the sure teachings of revelation--nothing can be truer to the life
than the fancy picture he has given us--

    No sure foreknowing sign had they of winter,
    Nor of flowery spring, or summer with its fruits.
    Unmarked the years rolled ever on; and hence
    _Seeing, they saw not_; hearing, they heard in vain.
    Like one wild dream their waste unmeasured life,
    Until I taught them how to note _the year_
    By signal stars, and gave them _Memory_,
    The active mother of all human science.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PULPIT and the PRESS--the past and the present, the rising and the
waning power, would be to some minds the first idea suggested by such a
collocation of terms. But we trust the time has not yet come for the
actual verification of any such contrast. Far be it from us to underrate
the value of the very instrument through which we seek to instruct and
reform the public mind; but woe to the land and to the age in which such
an antagonism shall ever be realized. The Press is man's boasted means
for enlightening the world. The Pulpit is Heaven's ordinance; and sad
will it be for the Church, and sadder still for the State, when any
other power on earth challenges a superiority, either in rank or
influence. The clergy can safely occupy no inferior place; and such is
their position, unless they are ever in advance of the age, not in the
common cant of a superficial doctrine of progress, but as champions of
the eternal and _immovable_ truths, while they are, at the same time,
contending in all the fields, whether of theology, or science, or
literature, or philosophy, in which there may be an enemy to be subdued,
or a victory won for Christ. Such rank, we believe, may still be claimed
for the Church. In former centuries she had neither antagonist nor
rival. Now has she hosts of both. Yet are her servants still in the
"fore-front of the hottest battle." Philosophy and science are swelling
loud and long the note of triumph, and yet it is still true, even in a
period the most thoroughly secular the world has ever known since the
days of the Apostles, that the highest efforts of mind are connected, as
ever, with the domain of theology. Science, literature, and even
politics, find their most profound interest for the human soul when the
questions they raise lie nearest to her sacred confines, and connect
themselves with that "faith which is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things unseen." What true worth in any problem in
philosophy, in any discovery in science, the moment it is once
conclusively settled, beyond a peradventure, that man has no hereafter?
What becomes of art, and poetry? What meaning in "progress," and
"ideas," and the "_rights of man_?" But it is this dread though
all-conservative idea of a hereafter, which it is the office of the
Pulpit ever to keep before the human soul, not as a lifeless dogma for
the understanding, but in all those stern relations to a higher positive
law, which shall ever prevent its coalescing with a frivolous creed in
theology, or any boasting philosophy of mere secular reform. In doing
this, there is needed for the Pulpit, first of all, and above all, the
most intense seriousness of spirit, secondly the most thorough knowledge
of the Scriptures, and thirdly, learning, science, and philosophy, fully
equal to any thing that may be brought to cope with it in its unyielding
strife for the dominion of the world.

In urging this, however, we should never forget, that while the power of
the periodical Press is often unduly enhanced by a falsely coloring
medium of estimation, the glory and influence of the Pulpit are
diminished by a similar cause. Apparent variety of topic, an apparent
freshness in the mode of treatment, a skillful adaptation to the ever
varying excitements of the hour, all aided by the ceaseless craving in
the human soul for mere intellectual novelty, give to the one an
appearance of superiority it does not really possess, while, in respect
to the other, the necessary repetition of the same great truths, from
age to age, has produced just the contrary effect.

There is no way, therefore, in which we can better employ the
imagination than in helping us to get away from such a false and
blinding influence. How would the mightiest minds of the ancient world
now estimate the two prime powers of which we are speaking. Let us
imagine Cicero, or Aristotle, to be permitted to revisit the earth, and
study its new modes of thought as they would strike them from their old
and, therefore, unbiased point of observation. Lay before them all the
wonders of the modern newspaper press. They would doubtless be startled
with many things it would reveal to them in the discoveries of modern
physical science. But take them in those wide fields of thought in which
mere physical discovery avails not to give superiority, and we may well
doubt whether they would yield to us that triumph we so loudly claim.
There is nothing in any modern declamation on the rights of men, or
rights of women, that would make Aristotle ashamed of his _Politica_.
Cicero might hear discussed our closest questions of social casuistry,
yet think as proudly of his _Offices_, and his _Republic_, as he ever
did while a resident upon earth. No modern political correspondence
would make him blush for his Letters to Brutus and to Atticus. The
ablest leader in any of our daily journals, would not strike them as
very superior, either in thought or style, to what might have been
expected from a Pericles, a Cleon, an Isocrates, or a Sallust. Our
profoundest arguments for and against foreign intervention might,
perhaps, only remind him of the times when democratic Athens was so
disinterestedly striving to extend her "liberal institutions," and
aristocratic Sparta, with just about equal honesty, was gathering the
other Hellenic cities to a crusade in favor of a sound conservatism.
Modern Europe, with its politics, would be only Greece on a larger
scale; and our own boasts of universal annexation might only call up
some sad reminiscences of the olden time, when "the masses" did their
thinking through the sophist and the rhetorician, instead of the
lecturer and the press.

But now let fancy change the scene from the reading room to the
ministrations of the Christian temple. To present the contrast in its
strongest light, let it be the humblest church, with the humblest
worshipers, and the humblest preacher of our great city--some obscure
corner which the literary and editorial lights of the age might regard
as the last place in which there could be expected any thing original or
profound. Yes--the poorest sermon of the poorest preacher in New York
could hardly fail to strike the great Roman, and the greater Greek, with
an awe which nothing of any other kind in the modern world could ever
inspire. What wondrous truths are these, and whence came they! Whence
this doctrine of eternal life, so far beyond what we ever dared to
think--this preaching of "righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to
come," so far transcending all the ancient moralists had ever taught!
Whence these new and startling words, these superhuman ideas of grace,
of prayer, of redemption, of a new and heavenly birth! And then again,
the sublimity of that invocation--the heavenly thought, and heavenly
harmony, of that song of praise and love! All is redolent of a
philosophy to which our most rapt contemplations never ventured to
ascend. Even the despised hymn-book may be soberly supposed to fill
their souls with an admiration that Dryden and Shakspeare might fail to
inspire. How transcendent the conceptions on every page! How far beyond
all ancient or modern poetry that is alien to its spirit, or claims no
kindred with its celestial origin. Here, indeed is progress. But we
must close our sketch. Is the picture overdrawn? Or have we truthfully
presented the highest although, in spirit, the least acknowledged aspect
of the real superiority of the modern mind--even the humblest modern
mind--over the proudest intellects of the ancient world?



EDITOR'S EASY CHAIR.


Between CONGRESS, KOSSUTH, and CHRISTMAS--an alliterative trio of
topic--we hardly know where to find the handle of a single other moving
hammer of gossip. The hunt for chit-chat is after all a very
philosophical employ; and we do not know another _colaborateur_, in the
whole editorial fraternity, who has smacked the turbulence of
congressional debaters, the enthusiasm of the Hungarian Patrick Henry,
and the _cadeaux_ of our _Noel_, with more equanimity and composure than
ourselves.

Our chair, as we have hinted, is an easy one; and throwing ourselves
back into its luxurious embrace, we have raced through the swift
paragraphs of morning journalism, or lingered, as is our wont, upon the
piquancy of occasional romance, with all the gravity of a stoic, and all
the glow of Epicurus. We are writing now, while the street and the salon
are lighted up with the full flush of the Hungarian enthusiasm. It
amounts to a frenzy; and may well give to the quiet observer a text on
which to preach of our national characteristics.

And _firstly_, we are prone to enthusiastic outbursts, we love to admire
with an ecstasy; and when we do admire, we have a pride to eclipse all
rivals in our admiration. We doubt if ever at Pesth, in the best days
that are gone, or that are to come, of Hungarian nationality, the chief
of the nation could receive more hearty and zealous plaudits than have
welcomed him upon our sunny Bay of New York. A fine person, an honest
eye, and an eloquent tongue--pleading for liberty and against
oppression--stir our street-folk--and we hope in Heaven may always stir
them--to such enthusiasm as no Paris mob can match.

But, _secondly_--since we are speaking sermonwise--our enthusiasm is
only too apt to fall away into reaction. We do not so much grow into a
steady and healthful consciousness of what we count worthy, as we leap
to the embrace of what wears the air of worthiness; and the very excess
of our emotion is only too often followed by a lethargy, which is not so
much the result of a changed opinion, as of a fatigue of sentiment.
Whether this counter-action is to follow upon the enthusiasm that greets
the great Guest, we dare not say. We hope--for the sake of Hungary, for
the sake of Liberty, and for the sake of all that ennobles manhood--that
it may not!

_Thirdly_, and finally, as sermonizers are wont to say, we are, at
bottom, with all our exciting moments, and all our fevers of admiration,
a very matter-of-fact people. We could honor Mr. Dickens with such
adulation, and such attention as he never found at home; but when it
came to the point of any definite action for the protection of his
rights as an author, we said to Mr. Dickens, with our heart in his
books, but with our hands away from our pockets, "we are our own
law-makers, and must pay you only in--honor!"

How will our matter-of-fact tendencies answer to the calls of Kossuth?
We are not advocates or partisans--least of all--in our EASY CHAIR: we
only seek to chisel out of the rough block of every day talk, that
image of thought which gives it soul and intent.

That the enlarged ideas of Kossuth--independent of their eloquent
exposition from his lips--will meet with the largest and profoundest
sympathy from the whole American people, we can not have a doubt. Nor
can we doubt that that sympathy will lend such material aid, as was
never before lent to any cause, not our own. But the question arises,
how far such sympathy and individual aid will help forward a poor,
down-trodden, and distant nation, toward the vigor of health and power.
Sympathies and favoring opinion may do much toward alleviating the pains
of wounded hearts and pride; they may, by urgency of expression, spread,
and new leaven the whole thought of the world; but he is a fast thinker
who does not know that this must be the action of time.

We can not but believe that the strongest sympathy, and the most
generous proffers of individual aid will, after all, help very little
toward practical issues, in any new endeavor of Hungary to be itself
again. Poor Poland is a mournful monument of the truth of what we say.
How then is our great Guest to derive really tangible aid in the
furtherance of what lies so near his heart?

We pose the question, not for political discussion, but as the question
which is giving a slant to all the talk of the town. To break peace with
Austria and with Russia, and openly to take ground, as a government,
with the subdued Hungarians, is what very few presume to hint--much less
to think soberly of. The great Hungarian, himself, would hardly seem to
have entertained such a possibility. We suppose his efforts rather to be
directed toward the enkindling of such a large love of liberty, and such
international sympathy among all people who are really free, as shall
make a giant league of opinion, whose thunders shall mutter their
anathemas against oppression, in every parliament and every congress;
and by congruity of action, as well as congruity of impulse, fix the
bounds to oppression, and fright every tyrant from advance--if not from
security.

In all this we only sketch the color of the Hungarian talk.

       *       *       *       *       *

Winter gayeties, meantime, have taken up their march toward the fatigues
of spring. Furs, and velvet mantillas float along the streets, as so
many pleasant decoys to graver thought. The opera, they say, has held
its old predominance, with a stronger lift than ever, in the fashion of
the town. Poor Lola Montes, shadowed under the folds of the Hungarian
banner, has hardly pointed the talk of an hour. We can not learn that
any triumphal arch graced the entry of the Spanish Aspasia, or that her
coming is celebrated in any more signal way, than by the uncorking of a
few extra bottles of Bavarian beer. That many will see her if she
dances, there can hardly be a doubt; but that many will boast the seeing
her, is far more doubtful. We can wink at occasional lewdness at home,
but when Europe sends us the queen of its lewdness to worship, we
forswear the issue, and like Agamemnon at the sacrifice of
Iphigenia--hide our faces in our mantles.

We observe that our usually staid friend M. GAILLARDET, of the
_Courrier_, records in one of his later letters, an interview with the
witching LOLA; and it would seem that he had been wrought upon to speak
for her an apologetic word. With all respect, however, for the French
Republican, we think it will need far more than his casual
encouragement, to lift the Bavarian countess into the range of American
esteem.

Speaking of the French Republic, we can not forbear putting in record a
little episode of its nice care for itself. M. DUMAS, the favorite
dramatist, publishes a letter in one of the Paris journals, in way of
consolation for the imprisoned editor of the _Avenement_.

     "My dear Vacquerie," he says, "while I am on the lookout for sundry
     notices of what may touch the honorable institution of our Press
     censorship, I send you this fact, which is worthy to stand beside
     the official condemnation of the verses of VICTOR HUGO. M. GUIZARD,
     the director in such matters, has refused me, personally, the
     request to reproduce my _Chevalier de la Maison Rouge_; and the
     reason is, that my poor play has contributed to the accession of
     the Republic!"

     Ever yours,
     "A. DUMAS."

We are only surprised at the audacity of M. DUMAS, in giving publicity
to such a note.

       *       *       *       *       *

As a curious and not unnatural issue, growing out of the free
appropriation of Italian treasure, by the French Republicans of the last
century, we notice the fact, that a certain Signor BRASCHI, whose
father, or grandfather, was a near connection of Pope Pius VI., has
recently laid claim to some of the most valuable pictures in the Louvre.
It appears from his representations--supported by voluminous documentary
evidence--that these objects pertained to a certain villa near Rome,
occupied at the time of the French invasion by the Braschi family.

Signor BRASCHI, in quality of heir, now claims the spoils, including
some of the most brilliant works of the Paris gallery. He avows his
willingness, however, to waive his rights, in consideration of a few
millions of francs, to be paid within the year. We have a fear that the
only reparation the Republic will bestow, will be the offer of an airy
apartment in the _Maison des Fous_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Keeping to Paris gossip, for want of any thing special in that way
belonging to our own capital, we find this little half-incident
chronicled in the French papers.

Ladies, it is known (or if not known may hence forth be known) traffic
in the funds at the Paris Exchange, in a way that would utterly amaze
our princesses of the salon. You do not indeed see them upon the marble
floor of the stately _Bourse_ itself, but at the hour of "the board,"
you are very sure to see a great many luxurious-looking little carriages
drawn up in the neighborhood, and a great many ladies, at that special
hour, are particularly zealous in their admiration of the old paintings
which the dealers behind the Exchange, offer "at a bargain." Very
quick-running footmen are also stirring, and report sales and offers to
their mistresses with most commendable activity.

Among these outsiders, some Paris romancist has remarked lately a very
elegantly-dressed lady, who, three times a week, drew up her phaeton
opposite the doors of the Vaudeville Theatre (which all _habitués_ will
remember, is just opposite the Bourse). Chance passers imagined her to
be some actress of the boards, and gazed at her accordingly. But it was
observed that an "agent de change" made repeated visits to her little
phaeton, and at the closing of the board our lady disappeared down the
Rue Vivienne.

Upon a certain day--no matter when--the bystanders were startled by
piercing shrieks issuing from the phaeton of "my lady," and all ran, to
prevent as they supposed, some terrible crime. Sympathy proved vain; and
to the inquiries of the police the "man of business" only made
phlegmatic reply, that the funds had fallen some ten per cent., and "my
lady" was ruined.

Three days after, and the phaeton was a _voiture de remise_ in the Rue
Lepelletier. The coachman had negotiated the sale, but all tidings of
"my lady" were lost.

       *       *       *       *       *

Guinot, to whom we have been indebted again and again, has twisted out
of his brain (we can not doubt it) this little happening of Paris life,
which, if not true, is yet as characteristic of France as a revolution.

Two funerals, he says, on a certain day wended their course toward the
cemetery of _Père la Chaise_. One bier bore the body of a man; the
other, the body of a woman. The day was a sour November day--with the
half-mist and half-frostiness that sometimes ushers in the Paris winter.
The mourners were few--as mourners at Paris are generally few. Arrived
within the gates, one _cortège_ took the path leading to the right; the
other turned to the left. The ceremonies being over, a single mourner
only remained at each tomb.

At the grave of the lady lingered a man, apparently overcome with grief;
at the grave of the man--a lady, who seemed equally overcome. Their
adieus were lengthened at the graves until all the attendants had
disappeared. By chance, the grief of the two parties seemed to show the
same amount of persistent sorrow, and of lingering regard: thus it
happened that in retracing their slow and saddened steps toward the main
entrance, they met in the grand alley face to face. They exchanged a
look of sorrow, and an exclamation of surprise.

"You, madame?"

"_Vous, monsieur?_"

"But this is very strange," continued the gentleman, "is it not? We have
met so rarely, since we broke our marriage contract ten years ago!"

"The chance which has led me here is a very sad one, monsieur," and
madame says it in very dolorous tones.

"It is as much for me; I have followed to the grave a person very dear
to me."

"Ah," returns madame, "she is dead! I, too, have lost my dearest
friend," and she sobs.

"I beg you would accept, madame, my sincerest sympathy."

"And you too, sir; believe me, my heart bleeds for you."

Upon thus much of mournful interchange of grief, supervenes a
silence--only broken by the low steps of the parties, and by occasional
sobs of lament.

Guinot opens their conversation again thus:

_Gentleman._--"Alas, existence seems to me very worthless--all is dark!"

_Lady._--"Ah, what must it be for me, then?"

_Gentleman._--"How can I ever replace her fondness?"

_Lady._--"To whom can I confide my griefs?"

_Gentleman._--"What home will now receive me?"

_Lady._--"Upon whose arm can I lean?"

In such humor our racy _feuilletonist_ traces their walk and
conversation along the parterres of that Paris garden of death; at the
gate he dismisses one of the two carriages which attend them; he crowns
their mutual offices of consolation with a happy reunion--never to be
broken--till one shall be again a mourner, and the other a tenant of the
tomb.

Thus, says he, grief moralizes; and wise resolutions ride at an easy
gallop, into broken hearts!

And thus, we say, French ingenuity makes every hearse the carrier of a
romance; and seasons the deepest woe with the piquancy of an intrigue!

Yet another story is swimming in our ink-stand; and with a gracious lift
of the pen we shall stretch it upon our sheet.

At Viterbo, which, as every one ought to know, lies within the Italian
confines, lived once a poor peasant, with a poor, but pretty daughter,
whose name was MARIANNE. She had not the silks of our ladies, or the
refinements, so called, of fashion. She wore a rough peasant robe, and
watched her father's kids as they wandered upon the olive-shaded slopes
of Viterbo.

At Viterbo lived a youth whose name was CARLO. Carlo was prone to
ramble; and albeit of higher family than the peasant's daughter, he saw
and loved, and wooed and won the pretty Marianne. They were betrothed in
the hearing only of the drowsy tinkle of the bells that hung upon the
necks of the kids, over which Marianne was shepherdess. To marry they
were afraid. He feared the anger of his father; and she feared to desert
the cottage of her mother.

Carlo, swearing devotion, went away to Rome and became an advocate. The
revolution stirred the stolid Romans, and Carlo enlisted under
Garibaldi. After a series of fights and of escapes, Carlo found himself
in five years from his parting with the pretty peasantess of Viterbo, a
refugee, in the _Café de France_, which stands behind the Palais Royal
at Paris. Lamenting over his broken fortunes, and mourning for his poor
Italy, he sauntered, upon a certain day, into the Garden of Plants, upon
the further side of the Seine. It is a place where the neighboring world
go to breathe the air of woods, and to relieve the stifling atmosphere
of the city, with the openness and freedom of Nature. (In parenthesis,
let us ask, when shall New York civilization reach such a kind provision
for life?)

Carlo wandered, dejected, sad, musing of bitterness, when his eye fell
upon a face that seemed familiar. It was the face of a lady--in Parisian
costume, with a Parisian air--but very like to the pretty peasantess of
Viterbo. He followed her--met her--accosted her; there was no mistaking
her frighted look of recognition. She was distant and cool--for the
fates had bound her fortunes to those of a Parisian _bourgeois_, and she
was the wife of the very respectable Monsieur Bovin. Carlo was neither
cool nor distant: for grief had cast him down, and now first, hope
blessed him with a shadow of the joys that were gone. Madame Bovin's
distance wore off under the impassioned addresses of the poor refugee,
and again and again Carlo found his way to the _Jardin des Plantes_.

Finally (alas for Paris virtue!) the household of the respectable
Monsieur Bovin, was, upon a certain morning, deserted; only a little
note of poor French told the disconsolate husband, that the pretty
Marianne could no longer subdue her new kindled love for her Italian
home, and had gone back to the hills of Viterbo.

The sorrowing husband, though he could not purchase content, could yet
purchase the services of the police. Through them, he tracked the
runaway lovers to the borders of France. Thereafter the search was vain.

But, alas, for poor Carlo, he was recognized by the myrmidons of the
powers that be, thrown into a dungeon, and report tells a story of his
death.

As for the pretty peasant, Marianne, she wandered forlorn to her
father's home; but the father's home was gone; and now, for menial
hire--in her peasant dress (in place of the Paris robes) and with a
saddened heart--she watches the kids, upon the olive-shaded slopes of
Viterbo!



EDITOR'S DRAWER.


We are at the beginning of another year; a season in which all pause,
and "take note of time"--time, the vehicle that carries every thing into
nothing. "We talk," says a quaint English author, "of _spending_ our
time, as if it were so much interest of a perpetual annuity; whereas, we
are all living upon our capital; and he who wastes a single day, throws
away that which can never be recalled or recovered:

    'Our moments fly apace,
      Nor will our minutes stay;
    Just like a flood our hasty days
      Are sweeping us away!'"

It is well to think of these things, standing upon the verge of a new
year. But let us not trouble the reader with a prolonged homily.

       *       *       *       *       *

Every body will remember the missionary at one of the Cannibal Islands,
who asked one of the natives if he had ever known a certain predecessor
of his upon the island, who had labored in the moral vineyard there?
"Yes, we know him well--we _ate_ a part of him." Now, the "piece of a
cold missionary on the sideboard for a morning lunch," of which the
witty Sydney Smith made mention, is scarcely a less objectionable dish,
on the score of the material, than the chief feature of a repast, held,
according to a French journal, not a thousand miles from the Ascot
race-course, in England:

"At the recent races at Ascot the famous horse Tiberius broke his leg,
by bounding against one of the posts of the barrier, while preparing for
the race. His owner, the Lord Millbank, lost ten thousand pounds in
betting upon his noble steed, besides his value, and others also lost
very heavily: the law, of course, being that all bets should be paid
whether the failure to win came from the less speed or from accident.

"Three days afterward, Lord Millbank gave a very sumptuous dinner. The
most distinguished of the English peerage were present, and the
conviviality ran exceedingly high. Toward the close, the noble host rose
in his place, and proposed an oblation to the health of the departed
Tiberius.

"The toast was clamorously received, but the speaker remained standing
with his glass in his hand.

"'We drink to Tiberius,' said Milord Millbank, when the shouts had
subsided; 'to Tiberius the most beautiful, the most admirable, the most
spirited courser whose hoofs ever trod upon our glorious British turf!'

"Shouts again resounded to the roof in vehement peals.

"'You know,' continued his lordship, 'the achievements of this horse.
His deeds belong to history. Fame has taken charge of his glory. But it
belongs to me, and to you, my lords and gentlemen, to do honor to his
mortal remains! I wished that this lofty courser should have a burial
worthy of his great, his immortal deservings. He has _had_ it, my lords
and gentlemen, he has HAD it! My cook has fitly prepared him, and you
have feasted upon him to-day! Yes, my lords and gentlemen, this repast
which you have relished so keenly--these dishes which awakened the so
frequent inquiry, 'What animal could be so delicious?'--that animal, my
lords and gentlemen, was Tiberius! It is that noble courser whose mortal
remains now repose in your stomachs! May your digestions be light!'

"At these words the enthusiasm concentrated for a moment--possibly with
some vague thought of an immediate resurrection--but with a sudden
outburst of 'Hurrahs!' the sentiment took the turn of sublimity, and
another glowing bumper was sent to join the departed courser in his
metempsychosis."

The English papers sometimes get off telling jokes against their
neighbors across the Channel, but seldom any thing better than this.
Besides, how thoroughly _French_ it is, both in the conception and
execution! Its origin could never be mistaken.

       *       *       *       *       *

We put on record, in these holiday-times of _imbibition_, these warning
stanzas, to guard the reader alike against _cause_ and _effect_:

   "My head with ceaseless pain is torn,
      Fast flow the tear-drops from my eye
    I curse the day I e'er was born,
      And wish to lay me down and die;
    Bursts from my heart the frequent sigh,
      It checks the utterance of my tongue;
    But why complain of silence?--why,
      When all I speak is rash and wrong?

   "The untasted cup before me lies--
      What care I for its sparkle now?
    Before me other objects rise,
      I know not why--I know not how.
    My weary limbs beneath me bow.
      All useless is my unstrung hand:
    Why does this weight o'ershade my brow?
      Why doth my every vein expand?

   "What rends my head with racking pain?
      Why through my heart do sorrows pass?
    Why flow my tears like scalding rain?
      Why look my eyes like molten brass?
    And why from yonder brimming glass
      Of wine untasted have I shrunk?
    'Cause I can't lift it--for, alas!
      I'm so pre-pos-ter-ous-ly drunk!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The vagaries of the insane are sometimes amusing to witness; and not
unfrequently there is a "method in their madness" that would not be
amiss in those who are on the _outside_ of lunatic asylums. Many years
ago in Philadelphia, a patient in the insane asylum of that city fancied
himself to be the REDEEMER of the world; and his talk and actions were
always in keeping with the character, save that he exacted a rigid
deference to his person and his divinely-derived power. But one day
another patient arrived, whose idiosyncrasy it was, that he was the
SUPREME BEING. A little while after his entrance into the institution,
he met in one of the halls, as he was passing, the imagined
representative of the SON; who, not liking his bearing, reminded him who
he was: "Yes, you are the SON, but know from this time henceforth, that
you have seen the FATHER, and must obey him!" "And strange enough," said
the keeper of the institution to the friend who gives us the
particulars, "from that day forward, all power was given unto the
latter; and at length the fancied SON'S 'air-drawn' vision melted away,
and he left the establishment a perfectly sane man."

Some twelve or fifteen years ago there was in the lunatic asylum at
Worcester, Massachusetts, a kind of crazy DAVID CROCKETT, who fancied
that he could do any thing that _could_ be done, and a little more. One
day a good many visitors were walking slowly through the halls,
examining them, and occasionally saying a word or two to the patients.
After a very courteous reception of a gentleman, who mentioned that he
had come from South Carolina, the crazy man interrupted him abruptly
with:

"Have you felt any of my earthquakes down there lately?"

One of the visitors replied: "No, we've had nothing of the kind, where
_I_ live."

"I thought so! I knew it!" returned the patient, frowning. "I have an
enemy. Ice! ICE! Why, I ordered one of my very best earthquakes for your
part of the country! It was to have ripped up the earth, and sent the
Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico. Look here!" he continued, pointing
to a crack in the plastering, "_that's_ one of my earthquakes! What do
you think of _that_? I've got more orders for earthquakes than I can
attend to in a year. I've got four coming off, up north this
afternoon--two in Vermont!"

       *       *       *       *       *

That was a good story that was told of an occurrence which took place in
a stage-coach one morning many years ago in the western part of this
State. A young, conceited fellow, who had been monopolizing almost all
the conversation of the company, consisting of some sixteen passengers,
had been narrating the wonderful exploits he had performed, the
prodigies of valor of which he had been the hero, and the wonderful
escapes of which he had been the subject. At least he related _one_
adventure in which he was the principal actor, which was so perfectly
astounding, that a low whistle of incredulity was a simultaneous
demonstration on the part of the passengers. An old gentleman, with a
solemn visage, and an ivory-headed cane, sitting in the back corner of
the stage, here observed:

"That last adventure of yours, my young friend, is a very extraordinary
one--_very_ extraordinary. One could hardly believe it without having
_seen_ it. I didn't see it; but I can relate a circumstance which
happened in my family, and in which I was for a time deeply interested,
which is almost as remarkable, and I believe quite as true. Will you
hear it?"

"Certainly," said our braggadocio; "I should be very _glad_ to hear it."

"Give it to us! give it to us!" echoed the whole company, getting an
inkling, from the solemn phiz of the old gentleman, that something rich
was in the wind.

"Well, sir," continued the narrator, "the circumstance to which I
alluded is this: My father had three children. He had an only brother,
who had also three children. My grandfather had left to my father and my
uncle a large estate, in the executorship of which a quarrel broke out,
which grew more and more bitter, until at length the aid of the law was
invoked, and many years of violent litigation ensued, during all which
time the costs of the proceedings were gradually eating up the estate.
My father and uncle saw this, and though bitter enemies, they had too
much sense to bite each his own nose off. They were chivalrous and brave
men, almost as much, probably, as yourself, sir (addressing the daring
young gentleman aforesaid), and they determined to 'fight it out among
themselves,' as the saying is, and thus keep the money in the family.
Well, sir, my father made this proposition to my uncle; to wit: that the
three sons of each, in the order of their age, should settle the
disputed question on the field of honor; the majority of the survivors
to decide the affirmative. It was readily acceded to. My eldest brother
went out, on the appointed day, and at the first fire he fell dead upon
the turf. My next eldest brother took his station at once, and at the
second fire, shot my next eldest cousin through the lungs, and he never
drew a whole breath afterward."

Here the old gentleman's emotion was so great that he paused a moment,
as if to collect himself. Presently he proceeded:

"It now became _my_ turn to take the stand; and upon _me_ rested the
hopes of my family. I can truly say, that it was not so much fear that
made my hand tremble and my pistol to waver: it was the deep sense of
_responsibility_ that rested upon me. We took our places--a simultaneous
discharge was a moment after heard--and, and----"

Here the narrator put his handkerchief to his face, and seemed to shake
with irrepressible agitation.

"Well, sir," exclaimed our young Munchausen who had listened to the
narrative with almost breathless attention, "well, sir--well?--what was
the result? How did it end?"

"_I was shot dead the first fire!_" replied the old gentleman; "the
property passed into the hands of my uncle and his family; and my
surviving brother has been poor as a rat ever since!"

An uproarious laugh, that fairly shook the coach, told "Braggadocio"
that he had been slightly "taken in and done for" after a manner
entirely his own.

This anecdote will not be lost upon bored listeners to those who shoot
with the long bow, or in other words, stretch a fact until they have
made it as long as they want it. We have somewhere heard of a man at a
dinner-party who was determined not to be outdone in this but too common
species of archery. Some one present had been engaged in attracting the
attention of the company to an account of a pike that he had caught the
day before that weighed nineteen pounds! "Pooh!" exclaimed a gentleman
sitting near him, "that is nothing to the one _I_ caught last week,
which weighed twenty-six pounds." "Confound it!" whispered the first
fisherman to his neighbor, "I wish I could catch my pike again; I'd add
ten pounds to him directly!"

       *       *       *       *       *

There is something more than mere good measures in the following lines.
There is a satire upon Love and Mammon, when the deep affections of the
heart reach a greater depth in the pocket:

   "Dear friend, I'm glad to meet you here,
      But scarce know what to say,
    For such an angel I have seen
      At your mamma's to-day!
    Of fairer form than Venus, when
      She trod the Grecian shore;
    And then such splendid hair and eyes
      I never saw before.

   "Her air and manners were divine,
      Above all petty arts;
    Oh, surely she was formed to reign
      The peerless Queen of Hearts.
    Dear Bob, we have been college friends,
      And friendship's still the same;
    Now only tell me who she is--
      Oblige me with her name.

   "'Fine hair and eyes!'--'the Queen of Hearts!'
      Who can she be?--oh, yes!
    I know her now--why, Frederick, that's
      My sister's governess!'
    Your sister's governess!!--Indeed
      I _thought_ it might be so;
    She looks genteel--but still there is
      About her something low!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not a little amusing, or it _would_ be if it were not rather a
serious matter oftentimes, to hear a surgeon who loves his profession
talk with another of the "splendid fungus" which he had recently
removed, or the "beautiful case of amputation of both arms at the
shoulder," which he had just witnessed. A fair travesty of this is
afforded in the letter purporting to come from an apothecary in the
country to a friend in London, wherein, among other things, he wrote:
"My patients are rather select than numerous, but I think the red lamp
and brass plate may attract a few. I had a glorious case of dislocation
of the shoulder last week, and nearly pulled the fellow in half with the
assistance of two or three bricklayers who were building next door. The
other doctor tried first, and couldn't reduce it, because he had no
bricklayers at hand. This has got my name up, rather. They are terrible
Goths down here though. You can scarcely conceive the extent of their
ignorance. Not one in twenty can read or write; and so all my
dispensing-labels which I tie on the bottles are quite thrown away. A
small female toddled into the surgery the other day, and horrified me by
drawling out:

"'If you please, sir, mother's took the lotion, and rubbed her leg with
the mixture!'

"This might have been serious, for the lotion contained a trifle of
poison; but Jack and I started off directly; and as it happened very
luckily to be washing-day, we drenched the stupefied woman with
soap-suds and pearl-ash, until every thing was thrown off from the
stomach, including, I suspect, a quantity of the lining membrane. This
taught me the lesson, that a medical man should always have his
instruments in order; for if Jack had not borrowed my stomach-pump to
squirt at the cats with, a good deal of bother might have been avoided.
But he is a clever fellow at heart, and would do any thing for me. He
quite lived on the ice during the frost, tripping every body up he came
near; and whether he injured them seriously or not, I know the will was
good, and was therefore much obliged to him!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It would be a curious thing, if they could be traced out, to ascertain
the origin of half the quaint old sayings and maxims that have come down
to the present time from unknown generations. Who, for example, was
"DICK," who had the odd-looking "hat-band," and who has so long been the
synonym or representative of oddly-acting people? Who knows any thing
authentic of the leanness of "Job's turkey," who has so many followers
in the ranks of humanity? Scores of other sayings there are, concerning
which the same, or similar questions might be asked. Who ever knew,
until comparatively late years, what was the origin of the cautionary
saying, "Mind your P's and Q's?" A modern antiquarian, however, has put
the world right in relation to _that_ saying: In ale-houses, in the
olden time, when chalk "scores" were marked upon the wall, or behind the
door of the tap-room, it was customary to put the initials "P" and "Q"
at the head of every man's account, to show the number of "pints" and
"quarts" for which he was in arrears; and we may presume many a friendly
rustic to have tapped his neighbor on the shoulder, when he was
indulging too freely in his potations, and to have exclaimed, as he
pointed to the chalk-score, "Mind your P's and Q's, man! mind your P's
and Q's!" The same writer, from whom we glean this information, mentions
an amusing anecdote in connection with it, which had its origin in
London, at the time a "Learned Pig" was attracting the attention of half
the town. A theatrical wag, who attended the porcine performances,
maliciously set before the four-legged actor some _peas_--a temptation
which the animal could not resist, and which immediately occasioned him
to lose the "cue" given him by the showman. The pig-exhibitor
remonstrated with the author of the mischief, on the unfairness of what
he had done; to which he replied: "I only wanted to ascertain whether
the pig knew his 'peas' from his 'cues!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

Sympathy, we find described on a slip in our "Drawer" to be "A
_sensibility_ of which its _objects_ are oftentimes _in_sensible." It
may be considered wrong to discourage a feeling of which there is no
great superabundance is this selfish and hard-hearted world; but even of
the little that _exists_, a portion is frequently thrown away; a fact
sufficiently illustrated by two amusing instances, cited by the writer
in question:

"A city damsel, whose ideas had been _Arcadianized_ by the perusal of
pastorals, having once made an excursion to a distance of twenty miles
from London, wandered into the fields, in the hope of discovering a
_bonâ-fide_ live 'shepherd.' To her great delight, she at length
encountered one, under a green hedge, with his dog by his side, his
'crook' in his hand, and his sheep round about him, just as if he were
sitting to be modeled in China for a chimney-ornament. To be sure, he
did not exhibit the blue jacket, jessamine vest, pink inexpressibles,
and peach-colored stockings of those faithful portraitures. This was
mortifying: still more so was it, that he was neither particularly young
nor cleanly; but most of all, that he wanted the indispensable
accompaniment of a pastoral reed, in order that he might beguile his
solitude with the charms of music. Touched with pity at this privation,
and lapsing unconsciously into poetical language, the damsel exclaimed:

"'Ah, gentle shepherd! tell me, where's your pipe?'

"'I left it at home, miss,' replied the clown, scratching his head,
'cause I haint got no 'baccy!'"

The "sentiment" was satisfied at once in this case, as it was in the
other, which is thus presented:

"A benevolent committee-man of the Society for superseding the necessity
of climbing chimney-sweep boys, seeing a sooty urchin weeping bitterly
at the corner of a street, asked him the cause of his distress; to which
the boy replied:

"'Master has been using me shamefully: he has been letting Jim Hudson go
up the chimney at Number Nine, when it was _my_ turn. He said it was too
high and too dangerous for me; but I'll go up a chimney with Jim Hudson
any day in the year; that's what I will; and he knows it, and master
knows it too!'"

Sympathy _was_ rather thrown away in _this_ case, that's quite certain.

       *       *       *       *       *

Winter is upon us; the biting winds rattle our window-shutters and howl
down our chimneys. "Poor naked wretches" tremble in the fierce cold; and
homeless, houseless women and children huddle in the alleys and
hiding-places of the city. GOD help the poor! Now is the time to
remember them. Let the rich recall "poor old Lear," when deprived of his
kingdom, and reduced to want, the cold rains beat pitilessly upon his
white head, he was forced to exclaim, remembering what he _might_ have
done when he had the power, "We have ta'en too little care of this!" Let
no disappointment, such as is most forcibly expressed in these lines,
add an additional drop to the cup of bitterness which is commended to
the lips of the poor of our city:

    REJOICE! hope dawns upon the poor;
      The rich man's heard our prayer;
    He'll open wide the garner door,
      And bid us come and share.
    He feels the bread-seed was not given
      Alone to swell his pride;
    But that GOD sent it down from heaven,
      For all the world beside.
    Wail! wail! the rich man's word has proved
      A syren sound alone!
    He looked upon the wealth he loved;
      And then his heart was stone!

    Oh, would the dull, insensate clod
      Give forth its yearly store,
    If our great FATHER and our GOD
      Had thought not of the poor?

       *       *       *       *       *

A story has been for many years current, that an eccentric gentleman, of
some scientific aspirations, residing on Long Island, not a thousand
miles from New York, once induced a thick-set and very green Hibernian
to ascend a very remarkably high and spreading tree, near his residence,
accompanied by a curious nondescript flying-machine, by the aid of which
he was to soar off, and float very softly down upon the bosom of mother
Earth! All being ready, the aeronaut started from a platform which had
been built in the topmost branches. He "_slode_" over the branches, and
then "toppled down headlong" to the ground, covered with the wrecks of
his scientific master's flying-machine, and making another wreck of
himself. He "heard something drop," and it was a foolish Irishman! When
taken up, it was found that he had broken both his arms, a leg,
dislocated a shoulder, and otherwise seriously injured himself. Being
long ill, at his employer's cost and charges, the "flying-machine," so
signally destroyed, was considered a "_permanent_ investment." This
incident, which is really true, reminds us of the story of "_The Flying
Cobbler_," an old Irish story, of which we find a record preserved in
"The Drawer:"

"When Felix showed himself on the top battlement of the tower from which
he was to jump, opening and shutting a great pair of black wings that
were fastened to his shoulders, every face in the great crowd was turned
up to gaze at him. I thought myself that the tower never looked such a
murdering height from the ground as when I looked at the poor devil
standing on the tip-top stone, as unconcerned as an old cormorant on a
rock, flapping his wings for a flight. At length, by his motions we saw
that he was preparing to be off in earnest. The men held their breath
hard, and the women began to tremble and cry; and then, all of a sudden,
he made a jump off the battlement, and sailed away 'most illigant.' A
wild shout of delight arose from the people, but before it had ceased
the glory of poor Felix was 'done up.' After two or three flutters, his
wings fell flat to his sides, his heels went up, and down he came
tumbling like a wild-goose with a shot through his gizzard, plump to the
ground! Every body thought that it was all over with him; but when we
ran to pick him up, we found him lying on his back, not dead, but
groaning most pitifully. We took him up as tenderly as we could, and
carried him home, and laid him on his bed. When the doctor came he found
that both his legs were smashed. Not a word nor a groan escaped him.
After he came to his senses, he lay with his eyes open near an hour; and
then, when the doctor was setting one of the broken bones, he tried to
raise himself up in the bed, and with the fire dancing in his eyes, he
said:

"'Doctor, dear, how long will it be before I'm cured again?'

"'Really,' says the doctor, 'I can't possibly take upon me to say,
precisely. 'Tis a bad case, and I don't apprehend that you can be
perfectly recovered under three months.'

"'Three months! Oh the devil! what am I to do? Three months!--when I had
just found it out!'

"'Found _what_ out, jewel?' said his mother, who was sitting by his
bedside.

"'The cause of my failing to-day, mother. The wings were right, but I
forgot _one_ thing.'

"'And what was that, Felix?'"

"'The _tail_, mother! If I'd not forgot me _tail_, I could have flew to
Ameriky and back again!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

Now that what is called, or miscalled the "Code of Honor," is falling
into desuetude in regions of the country where it was once considered
binding, the following laughable burlesque upon the manner in which
modern duels are sometimes brought about, and conducted, will doubtless,
as the newspapers say, be "read with interest:"

"William Singsmall, Esquire, thought proper to say something very severe
about somebody abroad, when the expression was taken up by Mr. Flea, a
friend of the insulted party, who happened to be within reach of William
Singsmall, Esquire. Mr. Flea waited on Mr. Singsmall, who refused to
retract. Ulterior measures were hinted at, and the following series of
hostile notes and messages ensued:

     I.

     "Sir: Understanding you have imputed cowardice to my friend William
     Singsmall, Esquire, I call on you either to retract, or refer me to
     a friend. As the matter presses, I beg, on the part of William
     Singsmall, Esquire, that you will answer this when I return from
     Paris, where I am going for three weeks.

     "Yours obediently, PETER SKULLTHICK."

     "_To James Flea, Esquire._"


     II.

     "SIR: I received your note, and went immediately into the country;
     but on my return to town you shall hear from me with the least
     possible delay.

     "Yours obediently, JAMES FLEA."


     III.

     "SIR: I have got your note, and will see about it.

     "Yours obediently, PETER SKULLTHICK."


     IV.

     "SIR: I have waited every day at the club, from ten in the morning
     until twelve at night, for the last month, hoping to hear from you.

     "Yours obediently, JAMES FLEA."


     V.

     "SIR: My object in writing to you was not on my own account, but on
     behalf of William Singsmall, Esquire, to whom you have most
     offensively imputed cowardice, and alleged that you threatened to
     cane him, while he was hidden in the larder of the club-house."

     "You will see that as a man of honor he must take some notice of
     this. I am going out of town for a few weeks, and as soon as
     convenient after my return shall be glad to hear from you."

     "Yours obediently, PETER SKULLTHICK."


     VI.

     "SIR: I _did_ go to the club-house with a cane under my coat, for
     the purpose of pitching into Singsmall. I had the solemn assurance
     of the porter that Singsmall had entered the club and had not left
     it; but on searching the house he was not to be found. I can only
     presume that your friend was under the sink or in the larder, and I
     therefore can not consider him entitled to any thing better than
     the severe drubbing I mean to inflict upon him whenever I shall be
     so fortunate as meet him."

     "Yours obediently, JAMES FLEA."


     VII.

     "SIR: I expected you would have referred me to a friend, and shall
     wait at the club until I hear from you again--unless I am called
     away by other engagements."

     "Yours obediently, PETER SKULLTHICK."

After this correspondence, Flea sent a friend to Skullthick, who
declared he had no quarrel with any one, but only wished his friend
Singsmall to have the opportunity of being shot through the body by
Flea, whose friend insisted that he (Flea) should fight no one but him
(Skullthick). Skullthick, on the contrary, had no quarrel with Flea; but
although a married man, was ready to fight Flea's friend, who threw
himself into the hands of somebody else, who would have nothing to do
with _any_ of them. And there the matter ended!



LITERARY NOTICES.


_Wesley and Methodism_, by ISAAC TAYLOR (published by Harper and
Brothers), is one of the most characteristic productions of the author,
and on account of its deep reflective spirit, its comprehensive breadth
of view, its subtle analysis of psychological manifestations, its acute
and independent criticisms of great popular movements, its unmistakable
earnestness of tone, and its catholic freedom from sectarian
limitations, may be regarded as possessing a greater significance than
most of the theological publications of the day. Mr. Taylor's favorite
theme of discussion is the philosophical import of the historical
developments of religion. Deeply imbued with the spirit of
contemplation, he is not a dogmatist, nor a partisan. His own religious
convictions are too prominent to allow any hesitation as to their
character; but he has divested his mind, to a singular degree, of the
influence of personal tendencies, in pronouncing judgment on the object
of his investigations. He evidently intends to be impartial--and this is
no slight praise--to obtain an uncolored view of the facts which he is
considering, to do justice to every trait of excellence, wherever
discovered, and to abstain from all indulgence of needless censure, even
when compelled to express an unfavorable opinion.

In the present work Mr. Taylor discusses the origin, the progress, the
actual condition, and the future application of Wesleyan Methodism, as
an instrument, under Providence, for the spiritual elevation of mankind.
Regarding Methodism as a divinely-appointed development of the Gospel,
acknowledging the hand of God in its rise and progress, holding the
character and labors of its early founders in affectionate veneration,
and deeming it fraught with momentous ulterior consequences, although
temporary in its import, he presents a series of consecutive sketches of
its history, depicting the wonderful events which attended its energetic
progress, analyzing the causes which impeded its universal triumph, and
tracing the conditions of its wide success to the elementary principles
in the religious nature of man.

The first, and by far the most interesting portion of the volume, is
occupied with a description of the founders of Methodism, including the
two Wesleys, John and Charles, Whitefield, Fletcher, Coke, and Lady
Huntingdon. Without entering into the minute details of biography, which
have been anticipated by Watson, Southey, and other writers, Mr. Taylor
gives a discriminating critical estimate of the devoted apostles, to
whose zeal and intrepidity England was indebted for the revival of the
religious life, at a time when she had far lapsed from the warmth and
vitality of spiritual Christianity. John Wesley, in the opinion of the
author, has never been surpassed by any general, statesman, or
churchman, in administrative skill--in the faculty of adapting himself
to the circumstances of the moment, without compromise of his authority
or personal dignity. For more than half a century he passed through the
most difficult conjunctures with admirable success. His simplicity and
integrity of purpose were in perfect harmony with the simplicity of his
institution, enabling him to manage with ability what had been devised
by skill.

Nor was his personal character less worthy of affection and homage. If
he had moved in a private sphere, that of a parish priest for example,
his flock would not have been able to find a single fault in their
minister. The love and admiration of his intimate friends would only
have been a more emphatic expression of the feeling of the little world
whose happiness it was to live within sight and hearing of him. His
personal virtue was not merely unblemished; it was luminously bright.
His countenance shone with goodness, truth, purity, benevolence; a
sanctity belonged to him, which was felt by every one in his presence,
as if it were a power with which the atmosphere was fraught. It was
Wesley's virtue and piety that gave form and tone to his teaching, and
his teaching has embodied itself in the Christian-like behavior of tens
of thousands of his people on both sides the Atlantic.

Of Whitefield, Mr. Taylor remarks, that the secret of his power over the
vast multitudes that he moulded like wax, was a vivid perception of the
reality of spiritual things, and the concentrated force with which he
brought them to bear on the conscience and imagination of his hearers.
His singular gifts as a speaker rested on the conceptive faculty as
related to those objects that are purely spiritual, both abstract and
concrete; and with him this faculty had a compass, a depth, and an
intensity of sensitiveness, never, perhaps, equaled. While he spoke the
visible world seemed to melt away into thin mist, and the real, the
eternal world to come out from among shadows, and stand forth in awful
demonstration. This faculty was by no means that of the poet or the
painter, which is sensuous in its material. If it had been of this sort,
he would have left us monuments of his genius, like a Divina Commedia,
or a Paradise Lost, or a series of Michael Angelo cartoons. The history
of Whitefield's ministry is simply this: The Gospel he proclaimed drew
around him dense masses of men as soon as he commenced his course; it
was the power of religious truth, not the preacher's harmonious voice,
not his graceful action, not his fire as an orator, that gained him
power over congregations to the last.

In the remainder of the volume, Mr. Taylor considers the primary
elements of Methodism, its relations to society, and its position in the
future. These topics are discussed with sagacity, and with perfect
candor, although not in a manner to command universal assent. Whatever
opinion may be formed as to his conclusions, no one can doubt the
suggestiveness of his comments, nor the earnestness of his inquiries.
The style of this work, which we do not admire, betrays the same
intellectual habits as the former treatises of the author. He writes
like a man more addicted to reflection than to utterance. He simply
records his own musings as they succeed each other in the solitude of
the closet, without aiming, at the force, point, and effective brevity
of expression, which is necessary to obtain a mastery over the minds of
others. He seems to regard language as an aid to his own meditations,
rather than a medium of intercourse with his fellow-men. His writings
are far more like a monologue than an address. He aims to clear up his
own convictions, to reduce them to order, and to give them an outward
embodiment, by their visible expression, rather than to enforce them on
the attention of his readers. Hence, he is often diffuse, even to
languor; and nothing but the vigor of his thought could prevent a
wearisome monotony. No one, however, can call in question the
originality and genuine earnestness of his speculations; and
accordingly, it is impossible to follow their track, without a profound
interest, in spite of the defects of his style.

Charles Scribner has published a new edition of _Young's Night
Thoughts_, edited by JAMES ROBERT BOYD, with critical and explanatory
notes, a memoir of the author, and an estimate of his writings. The
editor has performed his task with evident industry and love of his
author. His notes are generally brief, and well-adapted to their
purpose. In some instances, they dwell on minute and comparatively
unimportant points, which might safely be left to the sagacity of the
reader. The edition, however, is designed as a text-book in schools, for
the study of grammatical analysis and rhetorical criticism, and, in this
respect, justifies an attention to trifling verbal difficulties, which
would be out of place in a work prepared merely for the library of the
adult. As a poet, Young can never become a general favorite. His day, we
believe, is past. The prevailing taste demands a more genial, human,
healthy expression of feeling--certainly, not of less religious
fervor--but one breathing the spirit of serene trust, rather than of
morbid gloom. Still, the lovers of his sombre meditations will find this
edition convenient and ample.

_Florence_, by ELIZA BUCKMINSTER LEE, is a story of singular sweetness
and grace, recounting the history of a Parish Orphan, and filled with
charming pictures of domestic life in the interior of New England. "A
sketch of the Village in the last Century," is added to the volume,
presenting a succession of rural descriptions in a series of familiar
letters. Mrs. Lee is distinguished as a writer, for her exquisite taste,
her power of graphic portraiture, her love of home-scenes and incidents,
and her deep vein of cordial, kindly feeling. These qualities run
through the present little work with a mild, silvery brightness, which
gives it an irresistible charm. (Published by Ticknor, Reed, and
Fields.)

Under the title of _Words in Earnest_, a collection of valuable essays
from the pens of several eminent clergymen, has been issued by E. H.
Fletcher. The work includes two able discourses on "The Moral Influence
of Cities," and an essay on "The Theatre," by Rev. W. W. EVERTS; an
admirable appeal to the young men of cities on the importance of "Mental
Improvement," by Rev. J. W. ALEXANDER; a sound and instructive article
on "The Duties of Employers to the Employed," by Rev. WILLIAM HAGUE; an
argumentative essay, maintaining the retributive character of
"Punishment," by Prof. ANDERSON; and an eloquent plea for "Children,"
and for "The Sabbath," by Rev. GEO. B. CHEEVER. The work abounds in
salutary counsels, expressed with pungency and force.

_The Captains of the Old World_, by HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT (published by
Charles Scribner), is an original and erudite description of several of
the chief battles recorded in ancient history, with an estimate of the
character and position of the most celebrated commanders. Mr. Herbert is
a decided adherent of the modern critical school of history, the
principles of which have been applied to Roman antiquities with such
admirable effect by the German Niebuhr and the English Arnold. He is no
slavish copyist, however, of those authorities, nor of any others,
however eminent. His work is the fruit of independent personal research
and reflection. A classical scholar of rare attainments, familiar with
the language and style of the ancient masters, fortified with learning
which embraces a much wider sphere than the subject of the present
inquiries, and endowed with an instinctive sagacity of no common order,
Mr. Herbert is singularly qualified for the task he has attempted, and
has performed it in a manner highly creditable to the soundness of his
judgment and the depth of his researches. His comparison of the ancient
strategy with the modern science of warfare is so clearly illustrated,
and so forcibly reasoned, as to possess a profound interest not only for
professional military men, but for all readers who delight in the
removal of learned dust from the records of antiquity. He describes the
battles which come under his consideration, not rhetorically, but with
the paramount desire of accurate statement, though without the sacrifice
of picturesque effect. In many cases, where the facts are covered with
obscurity, and none but the most cautious inquirer can hope for the
attainment of truth, Mr. Herbert displays a nice critical judgment in
the sifting of evidence, never seduced into the love of paradox, and if
compelled to have recourse to theories, always sustaining them by
arguments that are no less powerful than ingenious.

His conclusions in regard to the character of several ancient heroes,
differ from the prevailing opinions. His discussions on this point are
among the most interesting portions of his volume. He thus summarily
disposes of the hero of Marathon: "Much obloquy has been heaped on
Athens on his account; much ink has been spilt, and much fine writing
wasted thereanent, concerning the ingratitude of that state in
particular, and of democracies in general.... But all the outcry in this
cause is futile, unjust, and absurd. Miltiades was a successful and
victorious soldier: he was rewarded according to the laws of his state
to the utmost--he was the first man in Athens. He was a bad citizen,
almost a traitor, and all the severity and disgrace of his punishment
was remitted in memory of his great deeds past.... As a man, it must be
said, he was flawed. Wholly unfitted to be a citizen of a free state, he
might command others. But he could not command himself."

Nor does the Great Alexander fare better at the hands of our merciless
iconoclast: "If we consider calmly the atrocities committed by his
orders and under his authority at Thebes, at Tyre, at Gaza, and the
barbarous torments inflicted in cold-blooded policy, alike on the good
and gallant Britis and on the brutal and blood-thirsty Bressos--if we
remember the unrelenting, if not undeserved slaughter of the
high-spirited and brave Parmenion, the ruthless slaughter of the hardy
Klutos, who had saved his own life in the desperate melée of Issos--if
we recount the woes inflicted on the brave population of a loyal
country, fighting in defense of their own liberties, the fearful waste
of blood in his reckless and fruitless battles, we shall have no reason
to doubt the correctness of the verdict which condemns him as the
rashest of conquerors, and the cruelest of all who have laid claim to
the much-misapplied title of hero."

We recommend this volume as an admirable specimen of the method of
investigating history with the lights of modern criticism. If we can not
accept all the author's conclusions, we never cease to admire his
frankness, candor, and manliness as a writer. His style is in perfect
keeping with his subject, though occasionally careless, and now and then
sliding into unauthorized expressions, which can not be excused on the
ground of defective culture or taste.

Harper and Brothers have issued an edition of _A Lady's Voyage round the
World_, by the renowned female traveler, IDA PFEIFFER. The translation
from the German by Mrs. PERCY SINNETT is executed with spirit and with
apparent fidelity. Ida Pfeiffer was born with an innate passion for
travel. From earliest childhood, her great longing was to see the world.
The sight of a traveling carriage brought tears to her eyes. When a mere
girl of ten or twelve, she devoured every book of travels on which she
could lay her hands. Subsequently, she made numerous tours with her
parents, and at a later period with her husband. Nothing could detain
her at home, but the care of her children. When their education was
completed, her youthful dreams and visions began to haunt her
imagination. Distant lands and strange customs seemed to open upon her a
new heaven and a new earth. Her age made it not inconvenient to travel
alone. Defying danger and privation, she resumed her travels, and has
since left scarce a spot of peculiar interest on the globe unvisited. In
the volume now published, she describes a voyage to Brazil, with
excursions into the interior, a voyage to Canton by way of Tahiti, a
residence in China, Hindostan, Persia, Turkey, and other countries of
most importance to the intelligent traveler. She possesses a happy
talent of portraying incidents and facts in an agreeable manner. Her
work is replete with valuable information, while its perpetual good
humor, sagacious observation, and sound common sense, sustain an
unflagging interest in its perusal.

Charles Scribner has published a beautiful edition of IK. MARVEL'S
_Reveries of a Bachelor_, with several admirable illustrations by
Darley. Welcome to our quaint, genial, "bachelor," in his holiday
costume, destined to shed a new gladness over the new year by his
delicious whimsicalities, and his quaint, sparkling, mosaic of fun,
frolic, and melting pathos! Welcome with his most fantastic dreams, so
cheery and bright, in the midst of the bustling, heartless utilities of
the day! We can recommend Ik. Marvel's lifesome, soul-ful pages to all
whose spirits are chafed with the wear and tear of this working-day
world.

_Aims and Obstacles_, by G. P. R. JAMES. Another production of the most
indefatigable of English novelists, whose powers seem to have received a
new impulse from his recent change of residence. The scene of this work
is laid in England, and like all its predecessors, abounds in lively
sketches of character, and charming descriptions of nature. For boldness
of invention, variety of incident, and freshness of feeling, it is not
surpassed by any recent production of its eminent author.

_Norman Maurice_, by W. GILMORE SIMMS, is the title of a new drama,
which can not fail to add to the high literary reputation of its
distinguished author. The materials are derived from American
professional and political life; not a very promising source, one would
suppose, for a work of art; but in the plastic hands of the present
writer, they are wrought into a dramatic composition of admirable skill
and thrilling interest. The plot is one of great simplicity. A
noble-minded and brilliantly-gifted person becomes the object of
jealousy and hatred to a crafty, unscrupulous villain. The drama
consists in the development of his infernal machinations for the ruin of
his enemy, and the ultimate triumph of the latter over his foul and
cunning conspiracies. The denouement is effected by an heroic instance
of self-devotion on the part of a woman, whose character exhibits a rare
combination of feminine loveliness and strength. Mr. Simms has succeeded
in portraying some of the darker passions of humanity with uncommon
power. His language is terse and vigorous--intense, but not extravagant,
and often marked by an idiomatic simplicity that reminds one of the
golden age of dramatic writing. We rejoice to notice such an instance of
decided success in a branch of literary creation where triumphs are so
much less frequent than defeats. (Richmond. Published by John R.
Thompson.)

_The Claims of Science_, by WILLIAM C. RICHARDS, is an Anniversary
Discourse before the Literary Societies of Erskine College, South
Carolina. It sets forth the value and importance of the physical
sciences, both as the means of a generous intellectual culture, and the
condition of great practical discoveries. The argument of the speaker is
sustained with great vigor of statement, and a rich profusion of
illustration. Familiar with the varied field of nature, he expatiates on
her majesty and loveliness with the enthusiasm of a favored votary. The
style of the discourse is chaste and polished throughout, and often
rises into earnest and impressive eloquence.

A second series of _Greenwood Leaves_, being a collection of letters and
sketches by GRACE GREENWOOD, has just been published by Ticknor, Reed,
and Fields. A sincere, genial, thoroughly individualistic
production--overflowing with exuberant gayety--though dashed with
frequent touches of bitter sadness--often wildly impulsive, but always
kindly, human, and hopeful--with occasional specimens of sharp-shooting,
though the polished, nimble arrows are never dipped in poison. It will
be widely read for its spicy humor, its fine, frolicsome naïveté, its
gushing good-nature, and its genuine nobleness of tone, even by those
who may now and then wish that she would leave political and social
questions to the sterner sex. The same publishers have issued another
work by GRACE GREENWOOD, entitled _Recollections of my Childhood_,
intended for juvenile readers, and abounding in beautiful appeals to the
best feelings of the young heart, illustrated by the reminiscences of
personal experience.

M. W. Dodd has published a translation from the German of HILDEBRANDT,
of _Winter in Spitzbergen_, by E. GOODRICH SMITH, depicting the frozen
horrors of that savage clime. It is a narrative of great interest, and
will be read eagerly by young people, for whom it is intended. It is
equally rich in attractiveness and in information.

A collection of stories by CAROLINE CHESEBRO', entitled _Dream-Land by
Daylight_, has been issued by Redfield in a style of uncommon
typographical neatness. The writings of this lady are not unknown to the
public, in the isolated form in which many of them have already made
their appearance. We are glad that she has been induced to embody them
in this pleasant volume, which, we think, will occupy no inferior place
in American fictitious literature. We find in it the unmistakable
evidences of originality of mind, an almost superfluous depth of
reflection for the department of composition to which it is devoted, a
rare facility in seizing the multiform aspects of nature, and a still
rarer power of giving them the form and hue of imagination, without
destroying their identity. The writer has not yet attained the mastery
of expression, corresponding to the liveliness of her fancy and the
intensity of her thought. Her style suffers from the want of proportion,
of harmony, of artistic modulation, and though frequently showing an
almost masculine energy, is destitute of the sweet and graceful fluency
which would finely attemper her bold and striking conceptions. We do not
allude to this in any spirit of carping censure; but to account for the
want of popular effect which, we apprehend, will not be so decided in
this volume as in future productions of the author. She has not yet
exhausted the golden placers of her genius; but the products will obtain
a more active currency when they come refined and brilliant from the
mint, with a familiar legible stamp, which can be read by all without an
effort.--The fantastic, alliterative title of this volume does no
justice to the genuine value of its contents, and we hope Miss Chesebro'
will hereafter avoid such poverty-struck devices of ambitious
second-rate writers.

_Memoir of Mary Lyon_, compiled by EDWARD HITCHCOCK, President of
Amherst College, has passed to a third edition from the press of
Hopkins, Bridgman, and Co., Northampton. It is a record of a life
devoted to a great work of Christian benevolence. Inspired by a lofty
sense of duty, possessing an energy of purpose and a power of execution
seldom equaled in any walk of life, and endowed with intellectual gifts
of a robust, practical character, Miss Lyon was a highly successful
agent in the cause of popular and religious education. The narrative of
her labors is no less interesting than it is useful and instructive. Her
name is held in grateful remembrance in New England by numerous pupils
to whose character she gave a powerful impulse for good. The present
volume is prepared with the ability of which the name attached to it is
a promise. It is an excellent piece of biography, in all respects, and
will long hold an honored place in New England households.

_Sixteen Months at the Gold Diggings_, by DANIEL B. WOODS. (Published by
Harper and Brothers.) The peculiar value of this work consists in its
being an authentic record of the experience of an intelligent and
trustworthy writer. In this respect, we have seen no publication on
California that is its equal. Mr. Woods is a man of high character and
learned education, who was led by ill health to exchange the duties of
professional life for the rude toils of the gold-digger. He engaged in
his new business with unflinching energy. Becoming a miner among the
miners, he had the most ample opportunities to learn their condition,
their prospects, their sufferings, and their rewards. He describes
plainly what he saw. He borrows no colors from the fancy. His book is a
record of hard facts. It introduces us behind the scenes. Eminently free
from exaggeration, it shows the hardships by which the gold of
California was procured on the first discovery of the placers. Its
tendency is to discourage emigration. He would advise those who are
tolerably well off at home to be content. At the same time, the
California adventurer, who is tempted by the hope of a golden harvest to
leave the blessings of Atlantic civilization, will find a guide and
counselor in this volume, which can hardly fail to be of essential
service. We recommend all prospective gold-diggers to take it with them
across the Isthmus or around the Cape.

D. Appleton and Co. have issued an elegant volume of Oriental travels,
entitled _The Land of Bondage_, by the Rev. J. M. WAINWRIGHT. It
contains the journal of a tour in Egypt, with a description of its
ancient monuments and present condition, illustrated by a variety of
well-executed appropriate engravings. The work is intended to present an
accurate record of the observations made by the intelligent author,
without aiming at the brilliant vivacity which has been so much affected
by recent travelers in the East. It is a simple, faithful narrative, and
makes no pretensions to being a romance or prose-poem. The scenes
visited by Dr. Wainwright, comprising the valley of the Nile from Cairo
to Thebes, are full of interest. He describes them minutely, and with
excellent taste. Uniting a fresh susceptibility to the romantic
impressions of the "morning land," with a style of polished classic
elegance, Dr. Wainwright has produced a standard book of travels, which
merits a cordial reception by the public, both for the extent and
accuracy of its information, and the beauty and good taste of its
execution.

_The Evening Book_, by Mrs. KIRKLAND (published by Charles Scribner), is
a collection of popular essays on morals and manners, with sketches of
Western Life, including many of the most agreeable productions of the
favorite authoress. Several of them have a sober, didactic aim, but all
are marked with Mrs. Kirkland's habitual brilliancy and point. Her
discussions of various topics of social ethics are admirable. She
exhibits the acute tact of a woman in her perceptions of character,
while she presents the fruits of tranquil reflection in a tone of
masculine vigor. The spirit of these essays is one of mild,
contemplative wisdom, gracefully blended with a love of the humorous,
and a spice of perfectly good-natured satire.--A number of beautiful
illustrations greatly enhances the interest of the volume.

_The Tutor's Ward_, (published by Harper and Brothers), is the title of
one of the most powerful English novels of the season. It is intended to
illustrate the great moral truth that the soul's repose is not found in
human love; that the immortal spirit can live in love alone; but that
human love is only the type of that which can never die. The story turns
on two female characters--one a brilliant, gifted, fascinating,
bewildering creature, whose heart has been wholly steeped in
selfishness, but whose artful nature has called forth the most
impassioned love--the other, a being of rare and beautiful endowments,
with an intense, loving, devoted soul, in whom passion takes the form of
a sublime, almost inconceivable disinterestedness, presenting the most
striking contrast to her rival and evil genius. The plot is a
heart-rending tragedy; the scenes are skillfully shaded off till they
present the sullen blackness of midnight; the whole winding up with
terrible retributions and despair. While we do not think the
developments of this story are true to nature, we can not deny its
strange, irresistible fascinations. It paints an ideal of heartless
egotism on the one side, and of generous self-sacrifice on the other,
which is psychologically impossible; but this ideal is set forth with so
much subtlety of invention, such tragic pathos, and such artistic
word-painting, that we forgive the defects of the plot, in our
admiration of the skill with which it is conducted.

M. W. Dodd has issued a little volume by Rev. JOSEPH P. THOMPSON,
entitled _Hints to Employers_. The substance of it was originally
delivered in lectures at the Broadway Tabernacle, but the importance of
its suggestions eminently deserves a more permanent form. Mr. Thompson
handles the subject without gloves, and shows himself as well acquainted
with the customs of trade as with the usages of the Church. His
strictures on the prevailing methods of business are forcibly put, and
have the merit of being directed against systems rather than against
individuals. It is far better, for instance, to point out the evils of
employing "drummers" to gain custom, than to inveigh against those who
can not deviate from established habits without great sacrifice. Abolish
an evil system, and the whole community is benefited; while abstaining
from it in single cases is only an individual advantage. Mr. Thompson
discusses the whole subject with decision and earnestness, but does not
deal in wholesale denunciation.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Collected Edition of_ DOUGLAS JERROLD'S _Writings_, is carrying on
in weekly numbers and monthly parts. Jerrold's writing is very unequal,
the story and the style sometimes limping tiresomely; but even then
detached thoughts and expressions keep up interest, and few pages pass
without presenting a good idea or a good joke.

       *       *       *       *       *

In announcing a new novel by BULWER, the _London Critic_ remarks:
"Certainly, whatever the faults of 'our own wayward BULWER' (as Miss
MARTINEAU fondly calls him), a want of industry can not be laid to his
charge. What with novels, dramas, epics, Byronics, editorships,
pamphlets, parliamenteering, electioneering, and even agitating, when
the interests of the drama and literature seem to require it, BULWER is
as hard-working a man as any pale or ruddy-bustling compiler in the
reading-room of the British Museum. Close beside him in the
advertisement columns (though not in life) is Lady BULWER, who also
announces a new novel, "Molière's Tragedy: his Life and Times," another
of those "literary novels" which Mr. GRAVE lately predicted would soon
be rife. Lady BULWER has taken the idea directly from GEORGE SAND, who
recently produced, with considerable success on the Paris stage, a drama
of "Molière," in which the poet was made the dupe of a heartless
coquette. Our English authoress's title is rather lachrymose for the
subject; since MOLIERE'S life was by no means a tragic, but, on the
whole, a pleasant and successful one."

       *       *       *       *       *

We find a curious anecdote of Chevalier BUNSEN in connection with the
recently-published Life of NIEBUHR, issued in London, under the
superintendence of the Chevalier: The portly and hearty representative
of Prussia at the Court of St. James, NIEBUHR, the Roman
historian--every body has heard and knows something of him. But every
body does _not_ know the special claim that his memory has on BUNSEN;
for the latter, though he has risen to be the Minister of Public
Instruction and Foreign Representative of a great kingdom, was once (how
strangely it sounds in English ears)--not even a calico-printer or a
cotton-spinner--but a poor student, NIEBUHR'S humble amanuensis! A
prodigy of learning, as unknown then as Mr. THOMAS WATTS of the British
Museum Library, in comparison with his deserts, is unknown now. BUNSEN,
the story runs, was in attendance on his employer, at that time Prussian
Minister at Rome, when the King of Prussia, then Crown Prince, paid
NIEBUHR a visit. The conversation turned upon literary matters, and the
Crown Prince made a statement which the humble amanuensis, bursting into
the talk, took upon him flatly to contradict. Most Crown Princes (and
some British commoners) would have flown into a passion. Not so our
FREDERICK WILLIAM the Fourth of Prussia. He inquired into the character
and history of the plain-spoken youth; found that he knew every language
and literature under heaven, from Chinese and Coptic to Welsh and
Icelandic; kept his eye on him, and gradually promoted him to be what he
is. NIEBUHR'S letters have been published, and some years ago a
biography of him, founded on them, was attempted in _Tait's Magazine_,
and broke down; but BUNSEN'S will be _the_ life. NIEBUHR was foolish
enough to die of the Three Days of July, 1830, being a staunch
conservative. As the French would say: _Tant pis pour lui!_

       *       *       *       *       *

The Winter Session of the New College, Edinburgh, has been opened, with
an introductory address, by the Rev. Dr. CUNNINGHAM, successor of Dr.
CHALMERS, as Principal of the College. The institution is chiefly
intended as a Theological School, connected with the Free Church of
Scotland, but has other Chairs attached, one of which, on Natural
History, is held by Dr. FLEMING, the zoologist. On November 11th the
Philosophical Institution of the same city was opened for the session by
Sir DAVID BREWSTER, who gave an able address. Among the lecturers
announced for the season are some distinguished names, and the
institution seems to be conducted in a higher tone than is usual in
similar places of popular instruction and amusement. HUGH MILLER, the
geologist, and ISAAC TAYLOR, author of the "Natural History of
Enthusiasm," are to deliver courses of lectures. In the University of
Edinburgh, Principal LEE is reading a course of Moral Philosophy
Lectures, in room of Professor WILSON, whose illness precludes him from
any public duty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Madame PFEIFFER'S account of her voyage round the world, says a London
journal, a translation of which has just been published by Messrs
Longman, is exceedingly interesting, and as full of adventure as the
production of the awful Cumming Gordon, of rhinoceros-riding notoriety.
When in Brazil, she undertook a long and hazardous journey into the
interior, to visit the Puri Indians. She states that many of these
singular people have been baptized, and, indeed, "they are at all times
willing, for the consideration of a little brandy, to go through the
ceremony again, and only regret that they have not more frequent
opportunities, especially as it does not last long." Their language is
extremely poor, and they have no method of expressing number but by
repeating one, two--one, two, as many times as may be required. For
yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow, they have only one word, and they
express the variety of meaning by "pointing backward for yesterday,
forward for to-morrow, and over the head for the passing day." We have
noticed Harper's edition of this work in another place.

       *       *       *       *       *

The late work of Sir JOHN RICHARDSON on _The Arctic Searching
Expedition_, now in press by Harper and Brothers, is spoken of with
unqualified praise by the London press. We quote a notice from _The
Literary Gazette_: "This work affords a glorious instance of genuine,
hearty philanthropy. With a self-devotion seldom equaled, and certainly
never surpassed, the author of these volumes, at a time of life when
most men think seriously of exchanging the cares and anxieties of an
arduous profession, or of an official occupation, for repose, adventured
forth to the terrible regions of Arctic America, to seek, and, if
possible, to rescue a cherished friend. And this was done with no other
incentive than friendship, hallowed by former companionship in the same
regions, and the social intercourse of many years. With becoming
modesty, Sir John Richardson is entirely silent respecting his official
and domestic position at the time of his departure on his humane
mission; but it is due to him to say, that he left a valuable government
appointment, and sacrificed pecuniary advantages, when, taking leave of
an affectionate wife and family, he left England in search of his old
traveling companion; and though he has been happily restored to his
country in unimpaired health and vigor, it must not be forgotten that
the journey which he proposed taking, was not only arduous but
hazardous, and might have been accompanied by a repetition of the
frightful sufferings which befell him during his adventurous and
memorable expedition with Franklin in the same country he was about to
visit."

       *       *       *       *       *

A new play by Mr. JERROLD, and one by Mr. MARSTON, are in the hands of
Mr. KEAN, for early representation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir James Stephen's _Lectures on the History of France_, republished by
Harper and Brothers, are thus characterized by a recent journal: "The
distinguishing characteristics of these lectures are an independent
criticism, uninfluenced by previous authority, a religious philosophy
which traces the effect of moral causes, the knowledge of a man of
affairs rather than of a statesman, and a pellucid pleasantry of
manner."

       *       *       *       *       *

Hildreth's _History of the United States_ is now attracting the
attention of London readers, and has given occasion to some able
criticisms. His imperturbable coolness in the narration of events,
excites no little surprise, and most of his judges would prefer a more
impassioned tone. Nor, in the opinion of the _London Athenæum_, has he
done justice to the character of Jefferson. The merits of the work as an
authentic collection of facts, appear to be highly appreciated. The
journal just alluded to, says: "On this point, we have to object that
JEFFERSON--a man of remarkable powers, and whose spirit has more
intimately transferred itself into the heart and hereditary sentiment of
the American people than that of perhaps any other American, not perhaps
excepting even Washington--does not seem to have received a full enough
measure of that appreciation which even Mr. Hildreth might have been
able to give him. Jefferson we regard as the type and father of much
that is now most characteristic in the American mind; and in any history
of the United States he ought to figure largely. We have to repeat that
Mr. Hildreth's work is, in its kind, a most conscientious and laborious
undertaking--as an accumulation of particulars and a register of debates
unrivaled--and therefore extremely valuable to all who wish to prosecute
minute researches into the history of the Union, or of the several
States composing it."

       *       *       *       *       *

Herman Melville's last work, _Moby Dick_, or _The Whale_, has excited a
general interest among the critical journals of London. The bold and
impulsive style of some portions of the book, seems to shock John Bull's
fastidious sense of propriety. One of the most discriminating reviewals
we have seen is from the _London Atlas_: "In some respects we hold it to
be his (Mr. Melville's) greatest effort. In none of his previous works
are finer or more highly-soaring imaginative powers put forth. In none
of them are so many profound and fertile and thoroughly original veins
of philosophic speculation, or rather, perhaps, philosophic fancy
struck.... Upon the whale, its mysteries, and its terrors, he revels as
if the subject had enchantment for him. He pours into multitudinous
chapters a mass of knowledge touching the whale--its habits and its
history--the minutest details of its feeding or sporting, or swimming,
strangely mixed with ingenious and daring speculations on the mysterious
habits and peculiarities of the great brute--the whole written in a tone
of exaltation and poetic sentiment, which has a strange effect upon the
reader's mind, in refining and elevating the subject of discourse, and,
at last, making him look upon the whale as a sort of awful and unsoluble
mystery--the most strange and the most terrible of the wonders of the
deep. That Herman Melville knows more about whales than any man from
Jonah down, we do really believe."

       *       *       *       *       *

Douglas Jerrold has written a letter, containing the suggestion, that a
penny subscription shall be commenced to present KOSSUTH with a copy of
SHAKSPEARE'S Works, in a suitable casket. Mr. Jerrold remarks: "It is
written in the brief history made known to us of Kossuth, that in an
Austrian prison he was taught English by the words of the teacher
Shakspeare. An Englishman's blood glows with the thought that, from the
quiver of the immortal Saxon, Kossuth has furnished himself with those
arrowy words that kindle as they fly--words that are weapons, as Austria
will know. There are hundreds of thousands of Englishmen who would
rejoice thus to endeavor to manifest their gratitude to Kossuth for the
glorious words he has uttered among us, words that have been as pulses
to the nation." To this excellent proposal a response has already been
made in many quarters. An incident, not mentioned in the daily papers,
is worth recording: that among other deputations to the Hungarian
President in London, one was to present him with a copy of the Sacred
Scriptures, for which many had subscribed. In his reply, Kossuth said
how much he had owed, both of counsel and comfort, to the Bible, and
that this present he would treasure as the choicest memorial of England.
He took occasion at the same time to thank an honorable working-man,
unknown to him, who, on his entering Winchester, had come up to his
carriage and presented a Bible to Madame Kossuth.

       *       *       *       *       *

An address to the Hungarian ex-president, from the citizens of Bath, was
headed by the signature of WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. His letter, in reply to
KOSSUTH'S acknowledgment, is worth recording, as a memorial of one so
well known in the world of letters: "Sir--The chief glory of my life is,
that I was the first in subscribing for the assistance of the Hungarians
at the commencement of their struggle; the next is, that I have received
the approbation of their illustrious chief. I, who have held the hand of
KOSCIUSKO, now kiss with veneration the signature of KOSSUTH. No other
man alive could confer an honor I would accept."

       *       *       *       *       *

In a notice of SPRINGER'S _Forest Life and Forest Trees_ (published by
Harper and Brothers), the _London Spectator_ suggests a singular
comparison between the population of England and the United States, as
afforded by the social position of the respective countries: "The volume
will be found interesting from its pictures of hardship, exertion,
skill, and adventure, in a country little known to the English reader
even from books. It has also an interest of a deeper kind. It is
impossible to look at the willing labors of these men, and to consider
them as only a portion of the rural population of the United States,
without seeing what a raw material they possess for war or enterprise.
It is the tendency of a dense population and a high civilization to
dwarf the physical powers and energies of men in two ways--by
congregating large numbers of men in cities, and engaging them in
pursuits which if not absolutely injurious to health, are destructive to
hardihood; and by removing from the face of a country those natural
obstacles which call forth energy and readiness of resource. In England,
the working agriculturist is the most helpless of men out of his
routine, from his having nothing to contend with: the 'navvies,' miners,
and mariners, are almost the only classes trained to endurance and great
physical exertion in their regular business, except the navy and perhaps
the army, as special vocations."

       *       *       *       *       *

_The London Examiner_ pronounces LAYARD'S abridged edition of _Nineveh_
(just re-published by Harper and Brothers), "A charming volume, to
which we may safely promise a circulation without limit, and as
unbounded popularity. The great feature of the Abridgement is, the
introduction of the principal biblical and historical illustrations
(forming a separate section of the original work) into the narrative,
which, without sacrificing any matter of importance, _makes the story
more compact, useful, and, indeed, complete in its abridged, than it was
in its original form_."

       *       *       *       *       *

Sheriff Alison, the historian, has been re-elected Lord Rector of
Glasgow University.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a recent synodical letter of the Bishop of Luçon, among the books
denounced as immoral and dangerous, are Anquetil's "History of France,"
Thiers's "History of the French Revolution," Lemaistre de Sacy's
"Translation of the New Testament," "Le Bonhomme Richard," and, lastly,
"Robinson Crusoe!" Facts like these require no comment.

       *       *       *       *       *

The French papers state that Lord BROUGHAM, in his retreat at Cannes, is
preparing for publication a work entitled, "France and England before
Europe in 1851."

       *       *       *       *       *

The extraordinary popularity of WALTER SCOTT in France, is illustrated
by the announcement of the publication of another volume of the
_twentieth_ edition of DEFAUCONPRET'S translation of his novels, and the
announcement of the publication of an entirely new translation of the
said novels. If Defauconpret had been the only translator, _twenty_
editions would have been an immense success; but there are besides, at
the very least, twenty different translations of the complete works
(many of which have had two, three, or four editions) and innumerable
translations of particular novels, especially of "Quentin Durward." In
fact, in France as in England, Scott dazzles every imagination and
touches every heart--whatever be his reader's degree of education, or
whatever his social position. His popularity amongst the lower orders,
in particular, is so extraordinarily great, that it forms one of the
most striking literary events of the present century.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Leader_ announces a new work from GUIZOT, with the promising title
of _Méditations et Etudes morales_; a novel by the Countess D'ORSAY,
called _L'Ombre du Bonheur_; and an important work by GIOBERTI, _Di
rinovamento civile d'Italia_, the first part being devoted to the Errors
and Schemes of the day: the second to Remedies and Hopes. To those who
love pure literature, we know not what more agreeable volume to
recommend than the one just issued of SAINT BEUVE'S _Causeries du
Lundi_. It contains some of the best portraits he has ever drawn; and a
charming gallery they make. We pass from RABELAIS to VAUVENARGUES, from
the Duc de SAINT SIMON to FREDERICK THE GREAT, from DIDEROT to the
Duchesse de MAINE, from CAMILLE DESMOULINS to Madame EMILIE DE GIRARDIN.
The necessity of limiting his articles to the exigencies of a newspaper,
has forced SAINT-BEUVE into a concision both of style and exposition,
which greatly improves his sketches; and we know not which to admire
most, the variety of his attainments or the skill of his pencil.

       *       *       *       *       *

In History and Biography, European Continental literature has not been
doing very much lately. There is a new or newer volume, the eleventh,
of THIERS'S _Consulate and Empire_, and a Paris journalist of high
repute, M. DE LA GUERRONNIERE commences a promised series of _Portraits
Politiques Contemporains_ ("Portraits of Political Contemporaries"),
with a monograph of that "nephew of his uncle," the Prince-President of
the French Republic. A. M. LEONARD GALLOIS publishes in four volumes,
with illustrations, a _Histoire de la Révolution de 1848_ ("History of
the Revolution of 1848"), written from a republican-of-the-morrow point
of view. SAINT-BEUVE contributes to _The Constitutionnel_ graceful
sketches of the lately-deceased Duchess of ANGOULEME, and of RIVAROL,
the Royalist pamphleteer and man-of-all-work in the first revolution,
famed for the plaintive epigram, "MIRABEAU is paid, not sold; I am sold
but not paid," one of the saddest predicaments that poor humanity can
find itself in. A. M. COINDET has compressed WARBURTON'S _Prince Rupert
and the Cavaliers_ into a handy _Histoire de Prince Rupert_ ("History of
Prince Rupert"). The Germans send us the _Leben and Reden Sir Robert
Peel's_ ("Life and Speeches of Sir Robert Peel"), tolerably compiled by
one KUNZEL, and Italy has produced a new _Life of Paganini_. Worthy of
more extensive notice is EDOUARD FLEURY'S _Saint-Just et la Terreur_
("Saint Just and the Reign of Terror"), a biography of the "great Saint
of the Mountain," the fellow-triumvir of ROBESPIERRE, and partaker of
his fate, though not five-and-twenty; the fanatic young man who,
scarcely beginning life, declared, "for revolutionists there is no rest
but in the tomb!" FLEURY is a clever and active young journalist in the
department of the Aisne, SAINT-JUST'S birth-country--the same who lately
brought out the very interesting "Memoir of Camille Desmoulins," and an
equally interesting historical study, "Babæuf and Socialism in 1796."
FLEURY has gone about his biographical task in the proper way; roamed up
and down the country side, sketching the scenery in which his subject
spent "a sulky adolescence," and collecting anecdotes and reminiscences.
One of these is worth retailing. An old woman who knew SAINT-JUST well
when a boy, pointed out "an alley of old trees" where he used to stalk
and spout: when he came into the house, after one of these soliloquies,
quoth the old woman, "he would say terrible things to us!"

       *       *       *       *       *

First in the list of recent French novels is the far-famed JULES JANIN'S
_Gaieties Champêtres_ ("Rural Gaieties"), which all Paris is eagerly
devouring. The scene is laid in the era of LOUIS XV., and the story
(alas!) is worthy of the period, and must not be recited here. More
innocent are _Les Derniers Paysans_ ("The Last Peasants"), by EMILE
SOUVESTRE, a cycle of graphic, and, for the most part, gloomy stories,
meant to embalm the superstitions, which still linger among the
peasantry of Brittany, soon to be dispelled by the march of
civilization. ARMAND BARTHET'S _Henriette_, though a touching tale, is
not to be recommended. ALPHONSE KARR, a writer scarcely so well known
out of France as he deserves to be, promises _Recits sur la Plage_
("Stories from the Sea Shore"). KARR is the only living French novelist
who reminds one at all of THACKERAY, of whom he has some of the caustic
bitterness, but none of the light playfulness. He first became known by
his _Guêpes_ ("Wasps"), a periodical consisting of little, sharp,
sarcastic, and isolated sentences, aimed at the quacks and quackeries of
the day. With all this, he has a true feeling for nature, which is
sometimes, however, carried to an absurd length.

A recent number of the official _Moniteur_ contains a long report to the
Minister of Public Instruction, by M. VATTEMARE, on the "literary
exchanges" which have recently been effected between France and the
United States. It is not, perhaps, generally known that the governments,
universities, colleges, scientific societies, literary establishments,
medical and legal bodies, borough municipalities, and commercial
associations of the two countries, have for years past been in the habit
of making exchanges of books. They have thus got rid of duplicate copies
which were rotting on their shelves, and have received in return works
which it would have cost vast sums to purchase. A more useful
arrangement could not possibly be conceived; and at the same time it has
the advantage of spreading knowledge, and of increasing the friendly
relations between the two peoples.

       *       *       *       *       *

M. Ch. Pieters has published the "_Annales de l'Imprimerie
Elzevirienne_," giving copious details on the life and exertions of the
famous printers, the ELZEVIRS. This book is the result of very extensive
researches on this subject, as there were fourteen members of that
family who were printers and publishers during a period of 120 years. M.
Pieters's book contains quite new data obtained from authentic sources;
to which he has added a list of all the works issued from the Elzevir
presses, followed by one of those which have been erroneously attributed
to them, and another of such as are the continuation of works published
at that celebrated establishment.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Paris papers state that the Free Society of Fine Arts in that
capital are subscribing for a monument to the Late M. DAGUERRE--who was
a member of their body--to be erected at Petit-Brie, where the
distinguished artist lies buried.

       *       *       *       *       *

Henry Heine, the German poet, whom his countrymen insist on comparing
with Lord Byron, has published a collection of the poems of his later
years, under the title of "Romances." The book, which all the German
papers concur in eulogizing, and a large edition of which was sold
within a few days after its publication, is divided into three parts,
Histories, Lamentations, and Hebrew Melodies. A brief prose notice
prefixed announces that the skeptic has become a believer, and hurls
defiance at the Hegelians refusing (to use his own words) "to herd swine
with them any longer." This celebrated poet, and perhaps the only man
who has succeeded in uniting German solidity and grandeur to French
elegance and wit, is now languishing on his death-bed. Recovery is
impossible, and his state is such that death would be almost a blessing,
though in him the world would lose one of the most remarkable geniuses
of modern times. In the intervals between the paroxysms of his malady he
composes verses, and (being deprived of the use of his limbs and of his
eyesight) dictates them to his friends. He also occupies himself at
times in inditing memoirs of his life, and as he has seen a good deal of
French society, and was a shrewd and intelligent observer, he has much
to say. One consequence of his long and lamentable sickness has been to
effect a complete change in his religious views--the mocking Voltairian
skeptic has become a devout believer.

       *       *       *       *       *

We see it stated that in the short space of time between the Easter fair
and the 30th of September there were published in Germany no less than
3860 new works, and there were on the latter date 1130 new works in the
press. Nearly five thousand new works in one country of Europe in one
half year! Of the 3860 works already published, more than half treat of
various matters connected with science and its concerns. That is to
say--descending to particulars--106 works treat of Protestant theology;
62 of Catholic theology; 36 of philosophy; 205 of history and biography;
102 of languages; 194 of natural sciences; 168 of military tactics; 108
of medicine; 169 of jurisprudence; 101 of politics; 184 of political
economy; 83 of industry and commerce; 87 of agriculture and forest
administration; 69 of public instruction; 92 of classical philology; 80
of living languages; 64 of the theory of music and the arts of design;
168 of the fine arts in general; 48 of popular writings; 28 of mixed
sciences; and 18 of bibliography. It is satisfactory to see, after their
recent comparative neglect, that science and the arts begin to resume
their old sway over the German mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Frankfort journals state that, in consequence of the rigor displayed
by the Saxon Government with respect to the press, the booksellers of
Leipzig seriously intend to remove the general book fair to Berlin or
Brunswick.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Germany, Austria excluded, appear 746 newspapers; of which 646 are
printed in German, 5 in French, 1 in English, 15 in Polish, 3 in Wendish
(the Wenden are a Slavonic people in the midst of Germany), 7 in the
Lutheran language. In all Europe, according to official statements, 1356
news papers are published, of which 169 are issued at Paris, 97 at
London, 79 at Berlin, 68 at Leipzig, 36 at St. Petersburg, 24 at Vienna.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Augustus Pfizmaier, of Vienna, has published the first part, in
ninety-two pages folio, of a Dictionary of the Japanese language.

       *       *       *       *       *

Baron Alexander Von Humboldt has announced the discovery at Athens of
the edifice in which the Council of Four Hundred was in the habit of
assembling in ancient times. Few particulars of the alleged discovery
are given; but it is added, that more than a hundred inscriptions have
been found by the excavators--and that a number of columns, statues, and
other relics have been already dug up.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Hefele's German work on _Cardinal Ximenes_ and the _Ecclesiastical
Affairs of Spain_ in the 15th and 16th century, has just reached a
second edition.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the principal literary men of Spain, Don Juan Hartzenbusch,
assisted by the publisher, Senor Rivadencyra, has commenced a reprint of
the works of her most distinguished authors, from the earliest ages to
the present time. This reprint is entitled "Biblioteca de Autores
Espanoles," and it is a more difficult undertaking than things of the
kind in western and northern Europe. For as very many of the works of
the principal authors never having been printed at all, the compiler has
to hunt after them in libraries, in convents, and in out-of-the-way
places; while others, having been negligently printed, or "improved" by
friends, or disfigured by enemies, have to be revised line by line. Some
idea of the importance of this gentleman's labors maybe formed from the
fact, that he has brought to light not fewer than _fourteen_ comedies of
Calderon de la Barca, which previous editors were unable to discover.
The total number of Calderon's pieces the world now possesses is
therefore 122; and there is every reason to believe that they are all he
wrote, with the exception of two or three, which there is not the
slightest hope of recovering. In addition to this, M. Hartzenbusch has
carefully corrected the text from the original manuscripts in the
Theatre del Principe, or authentic copies deposited elsewhere; and he
has added notes, which throw great light on the most obscure passages.
Moreover, he has given a chronological table of the order in which
Calderon produced his plays. But what, perhaps, is the most curious
thing of all is, that he demonstrates that "le grand Corneille" of
France actually borrowed, not plots alone, but whole passages from
Calderon. His play of _Heraclius_, for instance, has evidently been
taken from Calderon's comedy called _En esta vida todo es verdad y todo
mentira_. Some of the passages are literal translations.

       *       *       *       *       *

Daily, about noon, writes the _Weser Zeitung_, the loungers "Under the
Linden" at Berlin, are startled by the extraordinary appearance of a
tall, lanky woman, whose thin limbs are wrapped up in a long black robe
or coarse cloth. An old crumpled bonnet covers her head, which,
continually moving, turns restlessly in all directions. Her hollow
cheeks are flushed with a morbid coppery glow; one of her eyes is
immovable, for it is of glass, but her other eye shines with a feverish
brilliancy, and a strange and almost awful smile hovers constantly about
her thin lips. This woman moves with an unsteady, quick step, and
whenever her black mantilla is flung back by the violence of her
movements, a small rope of hair, with a crucifix at the end, is plainly
seen to bind her waist. This black, ungainly woman is the quondam
authoress, Countess IDA HAHN-HAHN, who has turned a Catholic, and is now
preparing for a pilgrimage to Rome, to crave the Pope's absolution for
her literary trespasses.

       *       *       *       *       *

Professor Nuylz, whose work on canon law has but recently been condemned
by the Holy See, resumed his lectures at Turin, on the 6th. The
lecture-room was crowded, and the learned professor was received with
loud applause. In the course of his lecture he adverted to the hostility
of the clergy, and to the Papal censures of his work, which censures he
declared to be in direct opposition to the rights of the civil power. He
expressed his thanks to the ministry for having refused to deprive him
of his chair.

       *       *       *       *       *

We hear from Rome that the library of the Vatican is to receive the
valuable collection of Oriental manuscripts made by the late Monsignor
Molsa--Laureani's successor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two curious instances of the favor that Literature and Art are to
receive from the Ultra-montane party on the continent of Europe, have
recently occurred. From Paris we learn that a relative of Mr. Gladstone
has been excluded from a _cercle_, or club, in that city by the priestly
party, because his uncle, the member for Oxford, had the courage to
denounce the senseless tyranny of the Neapolitan government! The other
instance amounts to the grotesque. It is the case of a young Roman
artist, who is banished from Rome for the crime of being called Giovanni
Mazzini! The very name of the late Triumvir--it would seem--is about to
be proscribed in the Roman States, as that of Macgregor was, in time
gone by, in Scotland. To the question "What's in a name?" the Roman
government gives a very significant and practical reply.

       *       *       *       *       *

We learn from Münster, Westphalia, that some fresco paintings of the
13th century have been lately discovered in the church at Seremhorst,
near that town, and that a curious specimen of painted glass has been
found at Legenwinden. In the chief aisle of Patroklus Church, at Soest,
Romanic frescos and statuettes of the 12th century have been discovered,
and measures taken to remove from them the coatings of lime and plaster
which the fanaticism or the ignorance of former years has heaped on
them. It has also been discovered that the Nicolai Chapel, in Soest
Cathedral, is entirely covered with very curious paintings of the 12th
century.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 29th October, died at Brighton, Mr. WILLIAM WYON, a medal
engraver of admirable skill, and probably more widely known by his works
than any other living artist. Mr. Wyon was the engraver of the later
coins of King George the Fourth, and of all the coins of William the
Fourth and of her present Majesty. Mr. Wyon's medals include the recent
war medals of the Peninsula, Trafalgar, Jellalabad, and Cabul--the civic
medals of the Royal Academy, the Royal Society, the Royal Institution,
the Geological Society, the Geographical Society, the Bengal Asiatic
Society, and indeed of almost every learned society, home and colonial.
Mr. Wyon was in his 57th year. Much of his genius is inherited by his
son Leonard--known by his medals of Wordsworth and others, and honorably
distinguished in the recent awards at the Great Exhibition.

       *       *       *       *       *

The London journals announce the decease of the Rev. J. Hobart Caunter.
Eighteen years ago this gentleman's appearances in the world of
ephemeral literature were frequent--and fairly successful. He was the
author of "The Island Bride," a poem of some length, and editor of "The
Oriental Annual." Besides these, Mr. Caunter produced translations, and
one or two graver works on historical and Biblical subjects.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foreign papers report the death of the Chevalier Lavy, Member of the
Council of Mines in Sardinia, and of the Academy of Sciences in
Turin--and described as being one of the most learned of Italian
numismatists. He had created at great cost a Museum of Medals, which he
presented to his country, and which bears his name.

       *       *       *       *       *

The French papers report the death, at Moscow, of M. de Saint Priest--a
member of the French Academy, formerly a Peer of France--and the author
of several historical works.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Paul Erman, the Nestor of Prussian _savans_, died recently at
Berlin, at the advanced age of eighty-seven. In addition to innumerable
articles on different subjects in scientific periodicals, he published
important works on electricity, galvanism, magnetism, physiology, and
optics.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Continental papers report the death, at Jena, of Professor
WOLFF.--Professor HUMBERT, of the Academy of Geneva, a distinguished
Orientalist, and author of many learned works, is also reported to have
died, on the 19th of last month.



MR. POTTS'S NEW YEAR'S.


Mr. T. Pemberton Potts--thus he always wrote his name, though the
"Family Record," which sets forth the genesis of the house of Potts,
does not contain the sonorous trisyllable which follows the modest
initial T., which is all that he ever acknowledges of his baptismal
appellation of TIMOTHY--Mr. Potts had been in great tribulation all day,
in the apprehension that hatter, or tailor, or bootmaker would fail to
send home the articles of their craft in which he proposed to make a
sensation in his to-morrow's "New-Year's Calls." But his apprehensions
were groundless. For a wonder, all these artists kept their word; and
the last installment arrived fully two hours before the Old Year had
taken its place in the silent and irrevocable Past. As one by one came
in the brilliant beaver, the exquisite paletot, the unimpeachable
swallow-tail, the snowy vest, the delicate, pearl-gray "continuations,"
and the resplendent boots, which Cinderella might have assumed, had she
lived in the days of "Bloomerism," Mr. Potts displayed them
scientifically over a chair, and gazed upon the picture they presented,
as fondly as painter ever gazed upon the canvas upon which he had flung
his whole burning soul.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS MAKES HIS TOILET.]

When Mr. Potts awoke on the following morning, he was half afraid to
open his eyes, for fear that the whole should prove a dream, too
blissful to be true. After he had mustered courage to look, and found it
to be all real, he lay for a while in lazy rapture, feeding his eyes
upon the picture, which seemed more beautiful by daylight than it had
appeared by the midnight camphene, of the preceding night.

Having performed the initial rites of the toilet, Mr. Potts attempted to
assume the admired boots; but found to his cost that the disciple of St.
Crispin had too literally obeyed his injunctions to give him a "snug
fit." In vain he tugged and pulled, excoriating his fingers against the
unyielding straps--his dressing apparatus did not comprise a pair of
boot-hooks--his foot would no more _in_ than Lady Macbeth's blood-fleck
would _out_. At last, by dispensing with his "lambs-wools," diligently
lubricating the leather, and introducing a handkerchief into one strap,
and a towel into the other, so as to gain a firmer hold, he succeeded in
insinuating his naked feet into their places. "It is the first step that
costs," says the French proverb, and Mr. Potts's first step in his new
boots cost him an agonizing thrill in his toes, which threatened to put
a veto upon his hopes of wearing them that day. Having fully arrayed
himself, Mr. Potts mounted a chair, so as to bring the lower part of his
figure within the range of his somewhat diminutive dressing-glass, and
finding that the image which met his view fully equaled his
anticipations, he bestowed upon it a farewell smile of approbation and
set off upon his rounds.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS SUFFERS--INEXPRESSIBLY.]

He was soon at the door of the up-town mansion whither Mr. Briggs had
retired from the "dry-salted," "roans," and "skivers" of the "Swamp,"
with a plum in his pocket, and one fair daughter whom Mr. Potts loved
well if not wisely. Just as he was about to ascend the marble steps, an
omnibus dashed by, and to the infinite horror of the wearer, deposited
several large mud-blotches upon the delicate pearl-gray inexpressibles,
in which were encased the nether limbs of the unfortunate Mr. Potts.
With a muttered malediction between his teeth, he rang the bell, and was
ushered into the hall. As he had come somewhat early, with the hope of
finding the fair Mary Briggs alone, in which case he determined to make
more than a passing call, he was in the act of laying aside his paletot,
when a shrill cry and a simultaneous pang, made him aware that the tail
of a monstrous cat was crushed under his boot, while the claws of the
agonized animal were firmly fixed in his leg. Mr. Potts could not at
once free himself from the hold of the enraged beast, for his arms were
pinioned behind him by his upper garment, of which he was disencumbering
himself. This circumstance nowise tended to restore his mental
equilibrium, which had been disturbed by the previous occurrences.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS IS DISCOMPOSED.]

Bewildered and confused, instead of passing through the door of the
drawing-room, which was held open for him by the sable attendant, Mr.
Potts rushed up the broad staircase, and burst into the first door he
saw. Here he encountered a spectacle which sent the perspiration to his
forehead faster than the most vigorous application of his handkerchief
could remove it. He found himself in the presence of a matronly dame,
robed in the loosest possible of dressing-gowns, her hair hanging down
her neck, while a heap of articles which had fallen from her lap as she
hastily rose, and lay at her feet, showed that, mindful of the economics
of her "below Bleecker-street" days, the stately Mrs. Briggs had been
engaged in repairing certain portions of her husband's wardrobe. A
rustling sound, which met his ears, though at first he could not tell
whence it came, was explained, when the eyes of Mr. Potts fell upon a
glass so placed as to reflect objects behind a screen. There he saw the
rubicund visage of the worthy ex-leather-dealer peeping out from the
folds of a cloak, which hung against the wall, while the portion of his
figure appearing below its bottom, showed that he was in a state as
remote as could well be conceived from full dress.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS FINDS HIMSELF IN THE WRONG APARTMENT.]

Had Mr. Potts been writing his own biography, the next few minutes must
have been a blank, so far as any definite reminiscences on his own part
were concerned. He has a dim recollection of stammering out something
about "mistaking the room," the "industry of Penelope," and "begging
pardon;" then he remembers somebody, he hardly knows whether himself or
not, rushing down-stairs, and passing through a door held open before
him. Then he said, or heard somebody say something about "compliments of
the season," "many returns," "fine day," "the gentlemen are favored,"
"make many calls?" At last, when he fully came to himself, he found that
he was sitting in a drawing-room, his hat between his knees, and a cup
of coffee in his hand. Near him was a table upon which, instead of a
vulgar eating-house display of all the "delicacies of the season," was
simply a massive coffee-urn, and two or three articles of plate. Before
the table stood a lovely figure dressed in the purest white, her
countenance lit up with the most enchanting smile in the world.

Mr. Potts found himself in the very situation in which he had hoped to
be. He had been the first to make his appearance that morning, and he
thought himself sure of a long _tête-à-tête_ with the fair Mary Briggs.
In anticipation of this he had conned over in his own mind a variety of
brilliant remarks, with which he purposed to enliven the conversation,
and which he fully intended should impress upon her mind the conviction
that he was an extremely agreeable young man. But things never turn out
in such cases precisely as one has arranged them. The gentleman himself
was not over-gifted with extempore conversational powers, and the
adventures of the morning had not tended to remedy the deficiency. He
quite forgot the criticisms which--_à propos_ of the Opera--he had
intended to make upon Truffi and Parodi, Benedetti and Beneventano, for
the getting-up of which he had almost learned by heart the cant of the
musical critics. Even his raptures about Jenny Lind came coldly off. But
the liveliness of the lady made amends for his deficiencies: the more
silent and embarrassed he became, the more brilliant and charming she
grew, and the more earnestly were his eyes fixed upon the charming
countenance that beamed down upon him.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS ENCHANTED.]

"How she did talk!" said Mr. Potts to us, one day, not long after the
occurrence. He had invited us to dine with him at Delmonico's, when he
would tell us how we could "do him a great favor--that's a good fellow."
As we were sure of a good dinner and a capital Regalia afterward; and
knew, moreover, that Mr. Potts never wanted to borrow money, we of
course accepted the invitation. He wanted us to go and "put things right
with old Briggs about that confounded New Year's scrape," and so
unburdened his whole soul to us.--"How she did talk!" said Mr. Potts;
"she knows every thing! Had I heard this Opera, and that? and didn't I
admire this passage and that? and then she would go off into her Italian
lingo, which I couldn't understand a word of. I didn't know she
understood Italian. However, I'm glad I found it out--I know what to
make of that handsome, dark-complexioned fellow, with black eyes and
hair, and such a mustache, that I used to see coming out of old Briggs's
every day or two--he was her Italian teacher. And then about Jenny Lind,
and there was more Italian, and I don't know what. And then had I
visited the Düsseldorff Gallery? and wasn't I in love with those little
Fairies? and didn't the tears start to my eyes when I saw the Silesian
Weavers? and what did I think of the Nativity? and did I ever see any
thing so comical as the Student? and wasn't the Wine-Tasters admirable?
and wasn't it wonderful that a man could put so much soul upon a bit of
canvas, not larger than one's nail, with no materials except a few red,
and yellow, and blue, and brown colors, and a few bristles fastened into
the end of a stick? and--" But we forbear: Mr. Potts's confidences are
sacred. We inferred, from his embarrassment and her volubility, that he
was in love, and she wasn't--with him.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS ASSUMES A STRIKING ATTITUDE.]

Mr. Potts gazed up into her face with his heart in his mouth:--it had
been better for him, just then to have had his coffee there. A scalding
sensation made him look down, when to his horror he found that he had
been quietly emptying his cup into his hat, and had finished by
depositing the last of its scalding contents upon his knees. He gave a
start of agony and horror, when the treacherous chair, upon the edge of
which he had been perched, slid out from under him, and he found himself
seated upon the floor. The fragile china, which he held in his hand, was
shattered into a score of fragments, while his hat, in falling, came in
contact with the lady, who was standing before him, and bestowed its
contents in the most liberal manner upon her snowy dress.

Mary Briggs was as sweet a girl as the city held on that New Year's Day,
but even she could not prevent a look, half of vexation, and half of
amusement, from passing over her countenance. The frown was but
transient, and soon passed off into an expression of sympathy for the
condition of the luckless gentleman at her feet. Mr. Potts, however, did
not perceive the change. With a sudden spring he made for the door of
the room. Two strides more brought him to the street door, which the
servant was just then closing behind a new visitor. He rushed through
like a whirlwind, without noticing their astonished looks, and shut the
door after him with a report like a thunder-clap.

[Illustration: A SENSATION.]

He had taken only a single step from the threshold when he found himself
suddenly detained by an irresistible power, while at the same instant a
sudden darkness came over his vision, as though a black curtain had been
drawn between his eyes and the world without. He leaned against the door
for support, with a terrible apprehension that his overwrought nervous
system had yielded to the shock, and that he had been struck with sudden
paralysis and blindness. But finding, in the course of a few moments,
that the weakness did not increase, he proceeded to investigate his
situation. Seeing a faint glimmer of light, like the narrow line shining
under the door of an illuminated apartment, he put his hand to his eyes,
and found that the obscuration was caused by the hat, which had slipped
down from his forehead, and was now resting on the tip of his nose. He
took it off, and beheld the well-known broad-brim which was wont to
cover the capacious head of Mr. Briggs, instead of his own resplendent
beaver. Mr. Potts then proceeded to examine into the cause of his
detention, and found that the skirt of his coat had caught in the door.
The whole matter was now plain. In his exodus through the hall, he had
snatched up the only hat he saw, forgetting that his own was lying in
the drawing-room beside the broken china; his hasty flight had projected
his skirts horizontally as he passed through the door, which had closed
upon them. The shock occasioned by the sudden check upon his progress,
had brought the hat, too large for his head, over his eyes. The whole
extent of his misfortune dawned gradually upon him. The keen January air
reminded him that he had left his upper garment in the hall, while his
benumbed fingers admonished him that the primrose kids, which he had so
carefully selected, were ornamental rather than useful. He hesitated
whether he should ring to be released from his durance, and to recover
the missing articles of his apparel; but a sound within warned him that
the visitor whom he had met was just taking his departure; and he felt
that he could not encounter him. With a desperate tug at his coat, he
tore himself away, leaving a fragment of the skirt behind him, and
rushed down the steps.

[Illustration: MR POTTS TEARS HIMSELF AWAY.]

Mr. Potts was in no mood or condition to pursue his intended rounds. His
only thought was how to bestow himself for the remainder of the day,
till he could creep home unobserved, under cover of night. He made his
way to one of the obscure streets running parallel with Broadway, down
which he went till he reached Florence's. He rushed through the whole
length of the long saloon, and took possession of the box most remote
from the door. The waiter was astonished by the multiplicity and
singular character of the orders which kept coming all that afternoon
from No. 19, in which cigars and potables largely figured.

[Illustration: MR. POTTS RECEIVES A LECTURE ON TEMPERANCE.]

Toward ten o'clock, Mr. Potts might have been seen making his way down
Broadway, with a peculiarly oscillating motion. He had just reached the
corner of Murray-street, and was felicitating himself that the troubles
of the day were over, when he found his progress checked by a strong
hand fastened upon his collar. He looked up with a stupid stare, and was
half sobered by the sight of Mr. Briggs, in his well-known fur-trimmed
wrapper. That worthy gentleman's special hobby was Temperance, and he
never failed to trot it out on all available occasions. Mr. Potts
clearly furnished such an occasion. In vain he protested that he had
drunk only a single glass "o' bran'y-'n-wa-r-r." Mr. Briggs had an
infallible test of a man's sobriety; If he could say "_National
Intelligencer_," he was sober: if not, not. Mr. Potts's nearest approach
to these sounds was, "_Na-s-nl'ntl-n'sr_." From the fact of his present
condition, Mr. Briggs leaped to the conclusion that his conduct in the
morning was owing to the same cause, and proceeded to set forth the
enormity and danger of such a course, to the great edification of a
group who soon gathered around. After being kept for half an hour
shivering in the cold, Mr. Potts was suffered to escape. He saw that he
was under a cloud, and was at a loss what to do, till the lucky thought
struck him, of securing our intervention to "set the matter straight
with old Briggs:" whence our acquaintance with all the facts of the
case, of which so many contradictory accounts have been circulated about
town.



A LEAF FROM PUNCH.


[Illustration: "Now, then, Granny, I've eaten the Plums, and if you
don't give me Sixpence, I'll swallow the Stones!"]

[Illustration: Mr. BOOBY delivering his Lecture in and upon the New
Costume for Males.]

[Illustration: A "BLOOMER" (in _Leap Year_).--"Say! oh, say, Dearest,
will you be mine?"]

[Illustration: STRONG-MINDED "BLOOMER."--"Now, do, Alfred, put down that
foolish Novel, and do something rational. Go and play something. You
never practice, now you're married."]



WINTER FASHIONS.


[Illustration: FIGS. 1 AND 2.--HOME AND WALKING DRESSES.]

Short cloaks and mantillas, with dark figured dresses, compose the most
fashionable walking costume for this season. They are recommended for
their elegance, comfort, and convenience.

Figure 1 represents a HOME or DINNER DRESS.--No cap, and hair arranged
in puffed bands, ornamented with two tufts of taffeta ribbons,
intermixed with a few small loops of No. 2 velvet; then, quite behind,
these loops become longer; lastly, on each side hang long loose ends of
taffeta ribbon, and others of velvet not so long. The dress is quite a
new model; it is _à disposition_; that is to say, the designs are so
arranged as to fall in certain parts of the dress. The material is very
thick, dark silk, a sort of _lampas_. The top of the skirt is worked
with very light, black designs, which do not reach quite up to the
waist. The stripes are obtained in the stuff by imitations of velvet,
which simulate the appearance of velvet ribbons of graduated widths. The
black lace is also woven in the stuff, and imitates real lace very
naturally. The body and sleeves are plain, except at the edge of the
lapel and the sleeves, where some light designs are combined in the
fabric in the same style as the lace in the skirt; the lapel and sleeves
are trimmed with real black lace. Two large velvet rosettes ornament the
body; and a similar one holds up each sleeve, just above the bend of the
arm. These special patterns woven in the fabric may be replaced by the
application of ornaments of velvet ribbon and real lace on the
skirt.--Mittens of black silk embroidered: these mittens are
indispensable with the sleeves now worn. They come up the arm and
accompany the trimming of the pagodas; the flounces on the arm have an
excellent effect. Between the black lace of the sleeve and the trimmings
of the mitten, there is some white lace trimming, which gives an air of
lightness to the whole.--There is another very pretty style of Dinner
Costume. It consists of a jupe of pale buff satin, with deep volant,
headed by a narrow rûche of the same; _loin de feu_ of crimson velvet,
low in the neck; the jacket being _à la Hongroie_; wide pagoda sleeves,
finished by a very broad silk trimming, the jacket edged to correspond.
A scarf of black lace is tied negligently round the neck, falling over
the top of the corsage.

Figure 2 represents a WALKING COSTUME. Bonnet of satin velvet; the front
satin, the crown velvet. The edge of the front, is trimmed with two
small satin _bouillonnés_; the _bouillonnés_ of the band and crown are
velvet.--Dress of black lampas, figured: the patterns form wreaths one
over the other, with a large flower and pointed leaves detaching
themselves through difference of shade in the worked figures on the
plain ground.--Cloak, of black velvet. This cloak, very full, has a
large flat collar, pointed in front, rounded behind. From the points
hang very long black silk tassels, with broad ornaments over them.
Behind, the cloak is continued in a round shape, but longer than in
front. The fore parts lap over and drape one on the other; the right
side clasps almost behind, on the left shoulder, under the collar; from
this place hangs a long tassel, as well as at the bottom of the side
that laps over. All around the edge of the cloak and collar is silk
galloon, from three to four inches wide, sewed on flat; each side of
this galloon is satined for about half an inch in width, and the middle
is worked dead. The edge is finished off with a narrow fringe, little
more than half an inch wide. In the draped part, when the arm is raised,
the lining is seen; its color contrasts with the stuff.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--WALKING COSTUME.]

Figure 3 represents a full winter costume, for a pleasant day, when furs
are not indispensable. Bonnet, satin and blond. The brim is transparent,
of white blond, gathered; it comes forward on the forehead, and opens
off at the sides; the crown is rather square; it is made of white satin,
gathered so as to form a shell without stiffness. The sides of the crown
are composed of two small puffed rolls and a large _bouillonné_, all of
white satin. The top of the crown is covered with a piece of blond which
comes down and forms the curtain. Three white feathers at the side; the
bottom one comes forward against the cheek, and covers the edge of the
brim with its curls. The cheeks are trimmed with tufts of blue
primroses. The strings are No. 22; they are edged with dead stripes
crossed with small bars. Dress of black velvet. Winter mantelet of black
velvet and blue satin, lined with blue satin, and trimmed with blue
loose fringe, mixed with ends of black twisted _chenille_. This
mantelet, round behind, has the stole shape in front; it is composed of
bands of black velvet, from three to four inches wide, and bands of blue
satin. Both velvet and satin are drawn in the middle and gathered like a
bonnet; nothing can be rounder, softer, more luxuriously warm than this
garment. The fringes at the edge are about seven inches deep where the
arm comes, and deepen gradually toward the back, where they are ten
inches deep.

[Illustration: FIGS. 4 AND 5.--HOOD AND HEAD-DRESS.]

Figure 4 represents the hood of a new and graceful mantle for
promenading in the open air, for a short distance. The appearance of the
hood is very graceful. When the mantle is worn in walking in private
grounds, or going to a place of amusement, the hair can be arranged in
any style, without danger of being disturbed, or with a bonnet. A mantle
of blue silk, the hood and body trimmed with deep black lace, headed
with a _ruché_ of silk, is a pretty style. The bottom edge of the hood,
and the part which draws over the head, should be thus trimmed, the
latter having a fulling of lace.

Figure 5 shows a portion of a very chaste costume for a young married
lady. Hair ornamented with broad velvet ribbons rolled in the torsade
and with ends floating at each side. Plain silk dress with the body very
open in front, and the trimming composed of a worked band, four inches
wide, sewed flat on another of eight or ten inches broad; this trimming,
which is not gathered, forms a kind of double _berthe_, and gets less
toward the bottom so as to round off gracefully, and not mark the waist
too decidedly. Three bows of black velvet decorate the front of the
body. The sleeves are short, and have two rows of gathered trimming; the
skirt which is very ample, is smooth at top, and trimmed below with six
figured flounces, a small one over a larger one, three times its width.
When this figured stuff is not at hand, it may be replaced by embroidery
or a simple festoon. The figures are worked in white. The habit shirt is
made of silk-net, is high and square in front, where it is finished off
with two rows of lace standing up. The body is rich open-work insertions
and small plaits. The under-sleeves have a silk-net _bouillon_, with
handsome lace raised in front, by a black velvet bow.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

1.  Numerous missing periods have been inserted, and a few obvious
printer's errors corrected. Inconsistent hyphenation has not been
corrected.

2.  At bottom of page 27, a confused series of five double quotes
have been corrected to two double quotes and two pairs of (internal)
single quotes.

3.  The spelling "vailed" has been retained as acceptable in 19th
Century writing.

4.  Headers in Gothic script, even when printed in title case, have
been rendered in all caps.





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