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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. II, No. X., March 1851
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. II, No. X., March 1851" ***

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  HARPER'S

  NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

  NO. X.--MARCH, 1851.--VOL. II.



SPRING.

BY JAMES THOMSON.


[Illustration: Come gentle Spring]

      Come, gentle SPRING, ethereal mildness, come;
    And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
    While music wakes around, vail'd in a shower
    Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
      O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
    With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
    With innocence and meditation join'd
    In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
    Which thy own season paints; when Nature all
    Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
      And see where surly winter passes off
    Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts:
    His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill,
    The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale;
    While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
    Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
    The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
      As yet the trembling year is unconfirm'd,
    And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze,
    Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving sleets
    Deform the day delightless; so that scarce
    The bittern knows his time with bill engulf'd
    To shake the sounding marsh; or, from the shore
    The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath,
    And sing their wild notes to the listening waste.
      At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun,
    And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more
    The expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold;
    But, full of life and vivifying soul,
    Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
    Fleecy, and white, o'er all surrounding heaven.
      Forth fly the tepid airs; and unconfin'd,
    Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
    Joyous, the impatient husbandman perceives
    Relenting nature, and his lusty steers
    Drives from their stalls to where the well-us'd plow
    Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the frost.
    There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke
    They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
    Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark.
    Meanwhile, incumbent o'er the shining share
    The master leans, removes the obstructing clay,
    Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
      While, through the neighboring fields the sower stalks
    With measur'd step; and, liberal, throws the grain
    Into the faithful bosom of the ground:
    The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.

[Illustration: Lend their shoulder, and begin their toil]

      Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious man
    Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow!
    Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend!
    And temper all, thou world-reviving sun,
    Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live
    In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride,
    Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear:
    Such themes as these the rural Maro sung
    To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height
    Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin'd.
    In ancient times, the sacred plow employ'd
    The kings and awful fathers of mankind;
    And some, with whom compar'd your insect tribes
    Are but the beings of a summer's day,
    Have held the scale of empire, rul'd the storm
    Of mighty war, then with victorious hand,
    Disdaining little delicacies, seiz'd
    The plow, and greatly independent scorn'd
    All the vile stores corruption can bestow.
      Ye generous Britons, venerate the plow!
    And o'er your hills and long withdrawing vales
    Let Autumn spread his treasures to the sun,
    Luxuriant and unbounded! As the sea,
    Far through his azure turbulent domain,
    Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores
    Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports,
    So with superior boon may your rich soil,
    Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour
    O'er every land, the naked nations clothe,
    And be the exhaustless granary of a world!

[Illustration: Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports]

      Nor only through the lenient air this change,
    Delicious, breathes: the penetrative sun,
    His force deep-darting to the dark retreat
    Of vegetation, sets the steaming power
    At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth,
    In various hues; but chiefly thee, gay green!
    Thou smiling Nature's universal robe!
    United light and shade! where the sight dwells
    With growing strength, and ever-new delight.
      From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill,
    Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs;
    And swells, and deepens, to the cherish'd eye.
    The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy groves
    Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
    Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd,
    In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales;
    Where the deer rustle through the twining brake,
    And the birds sing conceal'd. At once, array'd
    In all the colors of the flushing year
    By Nature's swift and secret-working hand,
    The garden glows, and fills the liberal air
    With lavish fragrance; while the promis'd fruit
    Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd,
    Within its crimson folds. Now from the town,
    Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
    Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields,
    Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops
    From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze
    Of sweetbrier hedges I pursue my walk;
    Or taste the smell of dairy; or ascend
    Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,
    And see the country, far diffus'd around,
    One boundless blush, one white-empurpled shower
    Of mingled blossoms: where the raptur'd eye
    Hurries from joy to joy; and, hid beneath
    The fair profusion, yellow Autumn spies.

[Illustration: The deer rustle through the brake]

      If, brush'd from Russian wilds, a cutting gale
    Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings
    The clammy mildew; or, dry-blowing, breathe
    Untimely frost--before whose baleful blast
    The full-blown Spring through all her foliage shrinks,
    Joyless and dead, a wide-dejected waste.
    For oft, engender'd by the hazy north,
    Myriads on myriads, insect armies waft
    Keen in the poison'd breeze; and wasteful eat,
    Through buds and bark, into the blacken'd core
    Their eager way. A feeble race! yet oft
    The sacred sons of vengeance! on whose course
    Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year.
    To check this plague, the skillful farmer chaff
    And blazing straw before his orchard burns--
    Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe
    From every cranny suffocated falls;
    Or scatters o'er the blooms the pungent dust
    Of pepper, fatal to the frosty tribe;
    Or, when the envenom'd leaf begins to curl,
    With sprinkled water drowns them in their nest:
    Nor, while they pick them up with busy bill,
    The little trooping birds unwisely scares.

[Illustration: Blazing straw before his orchard burns]

      Be patient, swains; these cruel-seeming winds
    Blow not in vain. Far hence they keep, repress'd,
    Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharg'd with rain,
    That o'er the vast Atlantic hither borne,
    In endless train, would quench the summer blaze,
    And, cheerless, drown the crude unripen'd year.
      The northeast spends his rage, and now shut up
    Within his iron caves--the effusive south
    Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
    Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
    At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
    Scarce staining ether; but by fast degrees,
    In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapor sails
    Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep,
    Sits on the horizon round a settled gloom:
    Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
    Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind,
    And full of every hope and every joy,
    The wish of Nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
    Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
    Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
    Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves
    Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods, diffus'd
    In glassy breadth, seem through delusive lapse
    Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
    And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
    Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye
    The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense,
    The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
    To throw the lucid moisture trickling off;
    And wait the approaching sign to strike, at once,
    Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
    And forests seem, impatient, to demand
    The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
    Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
    And looking lively gratitude. At last,
    The clouds consign their treasures to the fields,
    And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool
    Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
    In large effusion, o'er the freshen'd world.
    The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard
    By such as wander through the forest walks,
    Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.
    But who can hold the shade, while Heaven descends
    In universal bounty, shedding herbs,
    And fruits, and flowers, on Nature's ample lap?
    Swift fancy fir'd anticipates their growth;
    And, while the milky nutriment distills,
    Beholds the kindling country color round.

[Illustration: The shower is scarce to patter heard]

      Thus all day long the full-distended clouds
    Indulge their genial stores, and well-shower'd earth
    Is deep-enrich'd with vegetable life;
    Till, in the western sky, the downward sun
    Looks out, effulgent, from amid the flush
    Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his beam.
    The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes
    The illumin'd mountain; through the forest streams;
    Shakes on the floods; and in a yellow mist,
    Far smoking o'er the interminable plain,
    In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
    Moist, bright, and green, the landscape laughs around
    Full swell the woods; their every music wakes,
    Mix'd in wild concert, with the warbling brooks
    Increas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills,
    The hollow lows responsive from the vales,
    Whence blending all the sweeten'd zephyr springs
    Meantime, refracted from yon eastern cloud,
    Bestriding earth, the grand ethereal bow
    Shoots up immense; and every hue unfolds,
    In fair proportion running from the red
    To where the violet fades into the sky.
    Here, awful Newton, the dissolving clouds
    Form, fronting on the sun, thy showery prism;
    And to the sage-instructed eye unfold
    The various twine of light, by thee disclos'd
    From the white mingling maze. Not so the swain:
    He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
    Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs
    To catch the falling glory; but amaz'd
    Beholds the amusive arch before him fly,
    Then vanish quite away. Still night succeeds,
    A soften'd shade; and saturated earth
    Awaits the morning beam, to give to light,
    Rais'd through ten thousand different plastic tubes,
    The balmy treasures of the former day.
      Then spring the living herbs, profusely wild,
    O'er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power
    Of botanist to number up their tribes:
    Whether he steals along the lonely dale,
    In silent search; or through the forest, rank
    With what the dull incurious weeds account,
    Bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain rock,
    Fir'd by the nodding verdure of its brow.
    With such a liberal hand has Nature flung
    Their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds,
    Innumerous mix'd them with the nursing mould
    The moistening current, and prolific rain.
      But who their virtues can declare? who pierce,
    With vision pure, into these secret stores
    Of health, and life, and joy? the food of man,
    While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
    A length of golden years, unflesh'd in blood;
    A stranger to the savage arts of life,
    Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease--
    The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world.

[Illustration: While yet man lived in innocence]

      The first fresh dawn then wak'd the gladdened race
    Of uncorrupted man, nor blushed to see
    The sluggard sleep beneath its sacred beam;
    For their light slumbers gently fum'd away,
    And up they rose as vigorous as the sun.
    Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
    Or to the cheerful tendance of the flock.
    Meantime the song went round; and dance and sport,
    Wisdom and friendly talk successive stole
    Their hours away; while in the rosy vale
    Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free,
    And full replete with bliss; save the sweet pain
    That, inly thrilling, but exalts it more
    Nor yet injurious act, nor surly deed,
    Was known among these happy sons of heaven;
    For reason and benevolence were law.
    Harmonious Nature, too, look'd smiling on.
    Clear shone the skies, cool'd with eternal gales,
    And balmy spirit all. The youthful sun
    Shot his best rays, and still the gracious clouds
    Dropp'd fatness down; as, o'er the swelling mead,
    The herds and flocks, commixing, play'd secure.
    This when, emergent from the gloomy wood,
    The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart
    Was meeken'd, and he join'd his sullen joy;
    For music held the whole in perfect peace:
    Soft sigh'd the flute; the tender voice was heard,
    Warbling the varied heart; the woodlands round
    Applied their choir; and winds and waters flow'd
    In consonance. Such were those prime of days.

[Illustration: The song went round, and dance]

      But now those white unblemish'd minutes, whence
    The fabling poets took their golden age,
    Are found no more amid these iron times,
    These dregs of life! Now the distemper'd mind
    Has lost that concord of harmonious powers,
    Which forms the soul of happiness; and all
    Is off the poise within: the passions all
    Have burst their bounds; and reason half-extinct,
    Or impotent, or else approving, sees
    The foul disorder. Senseless and deform'd,
    Convulsive anger storms at large; or, pale
    And silent, settles into fell revenge.
    Base envy withers at another's joy,
    And hates that excellence it can not reach.
    Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full,
    Weak and unmanly, loosens every power.
    Even love itself is bitterness of soul,
    A pensive anguish pining at the heart;
    Or, sunk to sordid interest, feels no more
    That noble wish, that never-cloy'd desire,
    Which, selfish joy disdaining, seeks alone
    To bless the dearer object of its flame.
    Hope sickens with extravagance; and grief,
    Of life impatient, into madness swells,
    Or in dead silence wastes the weeping hours.
    These, and a thousand mix'd emotions more,
    From ever changing views of good and ill,
    Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind
    With endless storm; whence, deeply rankling, grows
    The partial thought, a listless unconcern,
    Cold, and averting from our neighbor's good;
    Then dark disgust, and hatred, winding wiles
    Coward deceit, and ruffian violence.
    At last, extinct each social feeling, fell
    And joyless inhumanity pervades
    And petrifies the heart. Nature disturb'd
    Is deem'd, vindictive, to have chang'd her course.
      Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came:
    When the deep-cleft disparting orb, that arch'd
    The central waters round, impetuous rush'd,
    With universal burst, into the gulf,
    And o'er the high-pil'd hills of fractur'd earth
    Wide-dash'd the waves, in undulation vast;
    Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds,
    A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe.
      The Seasons since have, with severer sway,
    Oppress'd a broken world: the Winter keen
    Shook forth his waste of snows; and Summer shot
    His pestilential heats. Great Spring, before,
    Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms blush'd,
    In social sweetness, on the self-same bough.
    Pure was the temperate air; an even calm
    Perpetual reign'd, save what the zephyrs bland
    Breath'd o'er the blue expanse: for then nor storms
    Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage;
    Sound slept the waters; no sulphureous glooms
    Swell'd in the sky, and sent the lightning forth;
    While sickly damps, and cold autumnal fogs,
    Hung not, relaxing, on the springs of life.
    But now, of turbid elements the sport,
    From clear to cloudy toss'd, from hot to cold,
    And dry to moist, with inward-eating change,
    Our drooping days are dwindled down to naught,
    Their period finish'd ere 'tis well begun.
      And yet the wholesome herb neglected dies,
    Though with the pure exhilarating soul
    Of nutriment, and health, and vital powers,
    Beyond the search of art, 'tis copious blest.
    For, with hot ravin fir'd, ensanguin'd man
    Is now become the lion of the plain,
    And worse. The wolf, who from the nightly fold
    Fierce drags the bleating prey, ne'er drank her milk,
    Nor wore her warming fleece; nor has the steer,
    At whose strong chest the deadly tiger hangs,
    E'er plow'd for him. They too are temper'd high,
    With hunger stung and wild necessity;
    Nor lodges pity in their shaggy breast.
    But man, whom Nature form'd of milder clay,
    With every kind emotion in his heart,
    And taught alone to weep--while from her lap
    She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs,
    And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain
    Or beams that gave them birth--shall he, fair form!
    Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on heaven,
    E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd,
    And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey,
    Blood-stain'd deserves to bleed; but you, ye flocks,
    What have you done? ye peaceful people, what,
    To merit death? you, who have given us milk
    In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat
    Against the Winter's cold? And the plain ox,
    That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
    In what has he offended? he, whose toil,
    Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
    With all the pomp of harvest?--shall he bleed,
    And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands
    Even of the clowns he feeds? and that, perhaps,
    To swell the riot of the autumnal feast,
    Won by his labor? This the feeling heart
    Would tenderly suggest; but 'tis enough,
    In this late age, adventurous, to have touch'd
    Light on the numbers of the Samian sage.
    High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain,
    Whose wisest will has fixed us in a state
    That must not yet to pure perfection rise:
    Beside, who knows, how rais'd to higher life,
    From stage to stage, the vital scale ascends?
      Now, when the first foul torrent of the brooks,
    Swell'd with the vernal rains, is ebb'd away--
    And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctur'd stream
    Descends the billowy foam--now is the time,
    While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile,
    To tempt the trout. The well dissembled fly,
    The rod fine-tapering with elastic spring,
    Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line,
    And all thy slender watery stores, prepare.
    But let not on thy hook the tortur'd worm,
    Convulsive, twist in agonizing folds;
    Which, by rapacious hunger swallow'd deep,
    Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast
    Of the weak, helpless, uncomplaining wretch,
    Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand.
      When, with his lively ray, the potent sun
    Has pierc'd the streams, and rous'd the finny race
    Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair;
    Chief should the western breezes curling play,
    And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds,
    High to their fount, this day, amid the hills,
    And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks,
    The next, pursue their rocky-channel'd maze,
    Down to the river, in whose ample wave
    Their little naiads love to sport at large.
    Just in the dubious point where with the pool,
    Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils
    Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank
    Reverted plays in undulating flow,
    There throw nice-judging, the delusive fly;
    And, as you lead it round in artful curve,
    With eye attentive mark the springing game.
    Straight as above the surface of the flood
    They wanton rise, or urg'd by hunger leap,
    Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook;
    Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
    And to the shelving shore slow-dragging some,
    With various hand proportion'd to their force.
    If yet too young, and easily deceived,
    A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod,
    Him, piteous of his youth, and the short space
    He has enjoy'd the vital light of heaven,
    Soft disengage, and back into the stream
    The speckled infant throw. But should you lure
    From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
    Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook,
    Behooves you then to ply your finest art.
    Long time he, followed cautious, scans the fly,
    And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
    The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
    At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun
    Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
    With sullen plunge. At once he darts along,
    Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd line
    Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
    The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode;
    And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
    Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
    That feels him still, yet to his furious course
    Gives way, you, now retiring, following now
    Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage;
    Till floating broad upon his breathless side,
    And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore
    You gayly drag your unresisting prize.

[Illustration: Throw nice judging the delusive fly]

[Illustration: You gayly drag your unresisting prize]

      Thus pass the temperate hours: but when the sun
    Shakes from his noonday throne the scattering clouds,
    Even shooting listless languor through the deeps,
    Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd,
    Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale
    Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang
    The dewy head, where purple violets lurk,
    With all the lowly children of the shade;
    Or lie reclin'd beneath yon spreading ash
    Hung o'er the steep, whence borne on liquid wing
    The sounding culver shoots; or where the hawk
    High in the beetling cliff his eyry builds.
    There let the classic page thy fancy lead
    Through rural scenes, such as the Mantuan swain
    Paints in the matchless harmony of song;
    Or catch thyself the landscape, gliding swift
    Athwart imagination's vivid eye;
    Or, by the vocal woods and waters lull'd,
    And lost in lonely musing, in a dream,
    Confus'd, of careless solitude, where mix
    Ten thousand wandering images of things,
    Soothe every gust of passion into peace--
    All but the swellings of the soften'd heart,
    That waken, not disturb, the tranquil mind.
      Behold, yon breathing prospect bids the muse
    Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint
    Like Nature? Can imagination boast,
    Amid its gay creation, hues like hers?
    Or can it mix them with that matchless skill,
    And lose them in each other, as appears
    In every bud that blows? If fancy, then,
    Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task,
    Ah, what shall language do? ah, where find words
    Ting'd with so many colors; and whose power,
    To life approaching, may perfume my lays
    With that fine oil, those aromatic gales,
    That inexhaustive flow continual round?
      Yet, though successless, will the toil delight.
    Come then, ye virgins and ye youths whose hearts
    Have felt the raptures of refining love;
    And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song!
    Form'd by the Graces, loveliness itself!
    Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet,
    Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul--
    Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix'd.
    Shines lively fancy, and the feeling heart:
    Oh come! and while the rosy-footed May
    Steals blushing on, together let us tread
    The morning dews, and gather in their prime
    Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair
    And thy lov'd bosom that improves their sweets.

[Illustration: Together let us tread the morning dews]

[Illustration: Gather fresh flowers to grace thy hair]

      See, where the winding vale its lavish stores,
    Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks
    The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass,
    Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank,
    In fair profusion, decks. Long let us walk,
    Where the breeze blows from yon extended field,
    Of blossom'd beans. Arabia can not boast
    A fuller gale of joy than, liberal, thence
    Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravish'd soul.
    Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot,
    Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber'd flowers,
    The negligence of Nature, wide and wild;
    Where, undisguis'd by mimic art, she spreads
    Unbounded beauty to the roving eye.
    Here their delicious task the fervent bees,
    In swarming millions, tend: around, athwart,
    Through the soft air the busy nations fly,
    Cling to the bud, and with inserted tube
    Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul;
    And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare
    The purple heath, or where the wild-thyme grows,
    And yellow load them with the luscious spoil.
      At length the finish'd garden to the view
    Its vistas opens, and its alleys green.
    Snatch'd through the verdant maze, the hurried eye
    Distracted wanders: now the bowery walk
    Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day
    Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps;
    Now meets the bending sky; the river now
    Dimpling along, the breezy-ruffled lake,
    The forest darkening round, the glittering spire,
    The ethereal mountain, and the distant main.
    But why so far excursive? when at hand,
    Along these blushing borders, bright with dew,
    And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
    Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace:
    Throws out the snow-drop and the crocus first;
    The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
    And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes;
    The yellow wallflower, stain'd with iron-brown;
    And lavish stock, that scents the garden round;
    From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
    Anemonies; auriculas, enrich'd
    With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves:
    And full ranunculus, of glowing red.
    Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays
    Her idle freaks: from family diffus'd
    To family, as flies the father-dust,
    The varied colors run; and, while they _break_
    On the charm'd eye, the exulting florist marks,
    With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
    No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
    First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes:
    Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin-white,
    Low-bent, and blushing inward; nor jonquils,
    Of potent fragrance; nor narcissus fair,
    As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
    Nor broad carnations; nor gay-spotted pinks;
    Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask-rose.
    Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
    With hues on hues expression can not paint,
    The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom.

[Illustration: The garden to the view its vistas open]

      Hail, Source of Beings! Universal Soul
    Of heaven and earth! Essential Presence, hail!
    To thee I bend the knee; to thee my thoughts,
    Continual, climb; who, with a master-hand,
    Hast the great whole into perfection touch'd.
    By thee the various vegetative tribes,
    Wrapp'd in a filmy net, and clad with leaves,
    Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew.
    By thee dispos'd into congenial soils,
    Stands each attractive plant, and sucks, and swells
    The juicy tide; a twining mass of tubes.
    At thy command the vernal sun awakes
    The torpid sap, detruded to the root
    By wintry winds, that now in fluent dance,
    And lively fermentation, mounting, spreads.
    All this innumerous-color'd scene of things.
      As rising from the vegetable world
    My theme ascends, with equal wing ascend,
    My panting muse; and hark, how loud the woods
    Invite you forth in all your gayest trim.
    Lend me your song, ye nightingales! oh, pour
    The mazy-running soul of melody
    Into my varied verse! while I deduce,
    From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
    The symphony of Spring, and touch a theme
    Unknown to fame--the passion of the groves.
      When first the soul of love is sent abroad,
    Warm through the vital air, and on the heart
    Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin,
    In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing;
    And try again the long forgotten strain,
    At first faint-warbled. But no sooner grows
    The soft infusion prevalent, and wide,
    Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows
    In music unconfin'd. Up springs the lark,
    Shrill-voic'd and loud, the messenger of morn:
    Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings
    Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
    Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse
    Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush
    Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads
    Of the coy quiristers that lodge within,
    Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush
    And woodlark, o'er the kind contending throng
    Superior heard, run through the sweetest length
    Of notes; when listening Philomela deigns
    To let them joy, and purposes, in thought
    Elate, to make her night excel their day.
    The blackbird whistles from the thorny brake;
    The mellow bullfinch answers from the grove;
    Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze
    Pour'd out profusely, silent: join'd to these
    Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade
    Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix
    Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw,
    And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone,
    Aid the full concert; while the stockdove breathes
    A melancholy murmur through the whole.
      'Tis love creates their melody, and all
    This waste of music is the voice of love;
    That even to birds and beasts the tender arts
    Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind
    Try every winning way inventive love
    Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates
    Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around,
    With distant awe, in airy rings they rove,
    Endeavoring by a thousand tricks to catch
    The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance
    Of their regardless charmer. Should she seem,
    Softening, the least approvance to bestow,
    Their colors burnish, and, by hope inspir'd,
    They brisk advance; then, on a sudden struck,
    Retire disorder'd; then again approach;
    In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
    And shiver every feather with desire.
      Connubial leagues agreed, to the deep woods
    They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
    Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
    That Nature's great command may be obey'd:
    Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
    Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
    Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
    Some to the rude protection of the thorn
    Commit their feeble offspring. The cleft tree
    Offers its kind concealment to a few,
    Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
    Others, apart, far in the grassy dale,
    Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave
    But most in woodland solitudes delight,
    In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,
    Steep, and divided by a babbling brook.
    Whose murmurs soothe them all the livelong day,
    When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots
    Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
    They frame the first foundation of their domes;
    Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
    And bound with clay together. Now 'tis naught
    But restless hurry through the busy air,
    Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps
    The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
    Intent. And often, from the careless back
    Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills
    Pluck hair and wool; and oft, when unobserv'd,
    Steal from the barn a straw: till soft and warm,
    Clean and complete, their habitation grows.

[Illustration: Hazel pendent o'er the plaintive stream]

      As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
    Not to be tempted from her tender task,
    Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight,
    Though the whole loosen'd Spring around her blows
    Her sympathizing lover takes his stand
    High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
    The tedious time away; or else supplies
    Her place a moment, while she sudden flits
    To pick the scanty meal. The appointed time
    With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young,
    Warm'd and expanded into perfect life,
    Their brittle bondage break, and come to light
    A helpless family, demanding food
    With constant clamor. Oh, what passions then,
    What melting sentiments of kindly care,
    On the new parents seize! Away they fly.
    Affectionate, and undesiring bear
    The most delicious morsel to their young
    Which equally distributed, again
    The search begins. Even so a gentle pair,
    By fortune sunk, but form'd of generous mould,
    And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
    In some lone cot amid the distant woods,
    Sustained alone by providential Heaven,
    Oft, as they weeping eye their infant train,
    Check their own appetites and give them all.

[Illustration: A gentle pair, by fortune sunk]

[Illustration: They weeping eye their infant train]

      Nor toil alone they scorn: exalting love,
    By the great Father of the Spring inspir'd
    Gives instant courage to the fearful race,
    And to the simple, art. With stealthy wing,
    Should some rude foot their woody haunts molest,
    Amid a neighboring bush they silent drop,
    And whirring thence, as if alarm'd, deceive
    The unfeeling schoolboy. Hence, around the head
    Of wandering swain, the white-winged plover wheels
    Her sounding flight, and then directly on
    In long excursion skims the level lawn,
    To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck, hence,
    O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste
    The heath-hen flutters, pious fraud! to lead
    The hot-pursuing spaniel far astray.
      Be not the muse asham'd here to bemoan
    Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant man
    Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage
    From liberty confin'd, and boundless air.
    Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull,
    Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost;
    Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes,
    Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech.
    Oh, then, ye friends of love and love-taught song,
    Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear!
    If on your bosom innocence can win,
    Music engage, or piety persuade.
      But let not chief the nightingale lament
    Her ruin'd care, too delicately fram'd
    To brook the harsh confinement of the cage.
    Oft when, returning with her loaded bill,
    The astonish'd mother finds a vacant nest,
    By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns
    Robb'd, to the ground the vain provision falls
    Her pinions ruffle, and, low-drooping, scarce
    Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade.
    Where all abandon'd to despair she sings
    Her sorrows through the night; and, on the bough
    Sole-sitting, still at every dying fall
    Takes up again her lamentable strain
    Of winding woe, till wide around the woods
    Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.
      But now the feather'd youth their former bounds,
    Ardent, disdain; and, weighing oft their wings,
    Demand the free possession of the sky.
    This one glad office more, and then dissolves
    Parental love at once, now needless grown:
    Unlavish Wisdom never works in vain.
    'Tis on some evening, sunny, grateful, mild,
    When naught but balm is breathing through the woods.
    With yellow lustre bright, that the new tribes
    Visit the spacious heavens, and look abroad
    On Nature's common, far as they can see,
    Or wing their range and pasture. O'er the boughs
    Dancing about, still at the giddy verge
    Their resolution fails--their pinions still,
    In loose liberation stretch'd, to trust the void
    Trembling refuse--till down before them fly
    The parent guides, and chide, exhort, command,
    Or push them off. The surging air receives
    The plumy burden; and their self-taught wings
    Winnow the waving element. On ground
    Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
    Farther and farther on, the lengthening flight,
    Till, vanish'd every fear, and every power
    Rous'd into life and action, light in air
    The acquitted parents see their soaring race,
    And, once rejoicing, never know them more.
      High from the summit of a craggy cliff,
    Hung o'er the deep, such as amazing frowns
    On utmost Kilda's shore, whose lonely race
    Resign the setting sun to Indian worlds,
    The royal eagle draws his vigorous young;
    Strong-pounc'd, and ardent with paternal fire.
    Now fit to raise a kingdom of their own,
    He drives them from his fort, the towering seat,
    For ages, of his empire; which, in peace,
    Unstain'd he holds, while many a league to sea
    He wings his course, and preys in distant isles.
      Should I my steps turn to the rural seat,
    Whose lofty elms and venerable oaks
    Invite the rook, who high amid the boughs,
    In early Spring, his airy city builds,
    And ceaseless caws amusive--there, well pleas'd,
    I might the various polity survey
    Of the mix'd household-kind. The careful hen
    Calls all her chirping family around,
    Fed and defended by the fearless cock;
    Whose breast with ardor flames, as on he walks
    Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond,
    The finely checker'd duck before her train
    Rows garrulous. The stately-sailing swan
    Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale;
    And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet
    Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier-isle,
    Protective of his young. The turkey nigh,
    Loud-threatening, reddens; while the peacock spreads
    His every-color'd glory to the sun,
    And swims in radiant majesty along.
    O'er the whole homely scene, the cooing dove
    Flies thick in amorous chase, and wanton rolls
    The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck.
      While thus the gentle tenants of the shade
    Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world
    Of brutes, below, rush furious into flame
    And fierce desire. Through all his lusty veins
    The bull, deep-scorch'd, the raging passion feels.
    Of pasture sick, and negligent of food,
    Scarce seen, he wades among the yellow broom,
    While o'er his ample sides the rambling sprays
    Luxuriant shoot; or through the mazy wood
    Dejected wanders, nor the enticing bud
    Crops, though it presses on his careless sense.
    And oft, in jealous maddening fancy wrapt,
    He seeks the fight; and, idly butting, feigns
    His rival gor'd in every knotty trunk.
    Him should he meet, the bellowing war begins:
    Their eyes flash fury; to the hollow'd earth,
    Whence the sand flies, they mutter bloody deeds,
    And groaning deep the impetuous battle mix;
    While the fair heifer, balmy-breathing, near,
    Stands kindling up their rage. The trembling steed,
    With this hot impulse seiz'd in every nerve,
    Nor heeds the rein, nor hears the sounding thong;
    Blows are not felt; but, tossing high his head,
    And by the well-known joy to distant plains
    Attracted strong, all wild he bursts away;
    O'er rocks, and woods, and craggy mountains flies;
    And, neighing, on the aerial summit takes
    The exciting gale; then, steep-descending, cleaves
    The headlong torrents foaming down the hills,
    Even where the madness of the straiten'd stream
    Turns in black eddies round--such is the force
    With which his frantic heart and sinews swell.

[Illustration: On the aerial summit takes the gale]

      Nor undelighted by the boundless Spring
    Are the broad monsters of the foaming deep:
    From the deep ooze and gelid caverns rous'd,
    They flounce and tumble in unwieldy joy.
    Dire were the strain, and dissonant, to sing
    The cruel raptures of the savage kind;
    How, by this flame their native wrath sublim'd,
    They roam, amid the fury of their heart,
    The far-resounding waste in fiercer bands,
    And growl their horrid loves. But this, the theme
    I sing, enraptur'd, to the British fair,
    Forbids; and leads me to the mountain brow,
    Where sits the shepherd on the grassy turf,
    Inhaling, healthful, the descending sun.
    Around him feeds his many-bleating flock,
    Of various cadence; and his sportive lambs,
    This way and that convolv'd, in friskful glee,
    Their frolics play. And now the sprightly race
    Invites them forth; when swift, the signal given,
    They start away, and sweep the massy mound
    That runs around the hill; the rampart once
    Of iron war, in ancient barbarous times,
    When disunited Britain ever bled,
    Lost in eternal broil: ere yet she grew
    To this deep-laid indissoluble state,
    Where wealth and commerce lift the golden head;
    And, o'er our labors, liberty and law
    Impartial watch--the wonder of a world!
      What is this mighty breath, ye curious, say,
    That, in a powerful language, felt not heard,
    Instructs the fowls of heaven; and through their breast
    These arts of love diffuses? What, but God?
    Inspiring God! who, boundless spirit all,
    And unremitting energy, pervades,
    Adjusts, sustains, and agitates the whole.
    He ceaseless works alone, and yet alone
    Seems not to work; with such perfection fram'd
    Is this complex stupendous scheme of things.
    But, though conceal'd, to every purer eye
    The informing Author in his works appears:
    Chief, lovely Spring, in thee, and thy soft scenes,
    The smiling God is seen; while water, earth,
    And air attest his bounty--which exalts
    The brute creation to this finer thought,
    And annual melts their undesigning hearts
    Profusely thus in tenderness and joy.
      Still let my song a nobler note assume,
    And sing the infusive force of Spring on man,
    When heaven and earth, as if contending, vie
    To raise his being, and serene his soul,
    Can he forbear to join the general smile
    Of Nature? can fierce passions vex his breast,
    While every gale is peace, and every grove
    Is melody? Hence! from the bounteous walks
    Of flowing Spring, ye sordid sons of earth,
    Hard, and unfeeling of another's woe,
    Or only lavish to yourselves; away!
    But come, ye generous minds, in whose wide thought;
    Of all his works, creative bounty burns
    With warmest beam; and on your open front
    And liberal eye sits, from his dark retreat
    Inviting modest want. Nor till invok'd
    Can restless goodness wait: your active search
    Leaves no cold wintry corner unexplor'd;
    Like silent-working Heaven, surprising oft
    The lonely heart with unexpected good.
    For you the roving spirit of the wind
    Blows Spring abroad; for you the teeming clouds
    Descend in gladsome plenty o'er the world;
    And the sun sheds his kindest rays for you.
    Ye flower of human race! In these green days,
    Reviving sickness lifts her languid head;
    Life flows afresh; and young-ey'd health exalts
    The whole creation round. Contentment walks
    The sunny glade, and feels an inward bliss
    Spring o'er his mind, beyond the power of kings
    To purchase. Pure serenity apace
    Induces thought, and contemplation still.
    By swift degrees the love of Nature works,
    And warms the bosom; till at last, sublim'd
    To rapture and enthusiastic heat,
    We feel the present Deity, and taste
    The joy of God to see a happy world!
      These are the sacred feelings of thy heart,
    Thy heart inform'd by reason's purer ray,
    O Lyttelton, the friend! thy passions thus
    And meditations vary, as at large,
    Courting the muse, through Hagley Park you stray;
    Thy British Tempè! There along the dale,
    With woods o'erhung, and shagg'd with mossy rocks,
    Whence on each hand the gushing waters play.
    And down the rough cascade white-dashing fall,
    Or gleam in lengthen'd vista through the trees,
    You silent steal; or sit beneath the shade
    Of solemn oaks, that tuft the swelling mounts
    Thrown graceful round by Nature's careless hand,
    And pensive listen to the various voice
    Of rural peace: the herds, the flocks, the birds,
    The hollow-whispering breeze, the plaint of rills,
    That, purling down amid the twisted roots
    Which creep around, their dewy murmurs shake
    On the sooth'd ear. From these abstracted oft,
    You wander through the philosophic world;
    Where in bright train continual wonders rise,
    Or to the curious or the pious eye.
    And oft, conducted by historic truth,
    You tread the long extent of backward time:
    Planning, with warm benevolence of mind,
    And honest zeal unwarp'd by party rage,
    Britannia's weal; how from the venal gulf
    To raise her virtue, and her arts revive.
    Or, turning thence thy view, these graver thoughts
    The muses charm; while, with sure taste refin'd,
    You draw the inspiring breath of ancient song,
    Till nobly rises, emulous, thy own.
    Perhaps thy lov'd Lucinda shares thy walk,
    With soul to thine attun'd. Then Nature all
    Wears to the lover's eye a look of love;
    And all the tumult of a guilty world,
    Toss'd by ungenerous passions, sinks away.
    The tender heart is animated peace;
    And as it pours its copious treasures forth,
    In varied converse, softening every theme,
    You, frequent-pausing, turn, and from her eyes,
    Where meeken'd sense, and amiable grace,
    And lively sweetness dwell, enraptur'd drink
    That nameless spirit of ethereal joy,
    Inimitable happiness! which love
    Alone bestows, and on a _favor'd few_.
    Meantime you gain the height, from whose fair brow
    The bursting prospect spreads immense around;
    And snatch'd o'er hill and dale, and wood and lawn,
    And verdant field, and darkening heath between,
    And villages embosom'd soft in trees,
    And spiry towns by surging columns mark'd
    Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams;
    Wide-stretching from the hall, in whose kind haunt
    The hospitable genius lingers still,
    To where the broken landscape, by degrees
    Ascending, roughens into rigid hills--
    O'er which the Cambrian mountains, like far clouds
    That skirt the blue horizon, dusky rise.

[Illustration: Through Hagley Park, thy British Tempè]

      Flush'd by the spirit of the genial year,
    Now from the virgin's cheek a fresher bloom
    Shoots, less and less, the live carnation round;
    Her lips blush deeper sweets; she breathes of youth:
    The shining moisture swells into her eyes
    In brighter flow; her wishing bosom heaves
    With palpitations wild; kind tumults seize
    Her veins, and all her yielding soul is love.
    From the keen gaze her lover turns away,
    Full of the dear ecstatic power, and sick
    With sighing languishment. Ah, then, ye fair!
    Be greatly cautious of your sliding hearts:
    Dare not the infectious sigh; the pleading look,
    Downcast and low, in meek submission dress'd,
    But full of guile. Let not the fervent tongue,
    Prompt to deceive, with adulation smooth,
    Gain on your purpos'd will. Nor in the bower,
    Where woodbines flaunt and roses shed a couch,
    While evening draws her crimson curtains round,
    Trust your soft minutes with betraying man.
      And let the aspiring youth beware of love,
    Of the smooth glance beware; for 'tis too late,
    When on his heart the torrent-softness pours.
    Then wisdom prostrate lies, and fading fame
    Dissolves in air away; while the fond soul,
    Wrapp'd in gay visions of unreal bliss,
    Still paints the illusive form, the kindling grace,
    The enticing smile, the modest-seeming eye,
    Beneath whose beauteous beams, belying heaven
    Lurk searchless cunning, cruelty, and death;
    And still, false warbling in his cheated ear,
    Her siren voice, enchanting, draws him on
    To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy.
      Even present, in the very lap of love
    Inglorious laid--while music flows around,
    Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours--
    Amid the roses, fierce repentance rears
    Her snaky crest: a quick-returning pang
    Shoots through the conscious heart; where honor still,
    And great design, against the oppressive load
    Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.
      But absent, what fantastic woes, arous'd,
    Rage in each thought, by restless musing fed,
    Chill the warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life!
    Neglected fortune flies; and, sliding swift,
    Prone into ruin fall his scorn'd affairs
    'Tis naught but gloom around. The darken'd sun
    Loses his light. The rosy-bosom'd Spring
    To weeping fancy pines; and yon bright arch,
    Contracted, bends into a dusky vault.
    All nature fades extinct; and she alone
    Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought,
    Fills every sense, and pants in every vein.
    Books are but formal dullness, tedious friends;
    And sad amid the social band he sits,
    Lonely and unattentive. From the tongue
    The unfinish'd period falls: while, borne away
    On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies
    To the vain bosom of his distant fair;
    And leaves the semblance of a lover, fixed
    In melancholy site, with head declined,
    And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts,
    Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs
    To glimmering shades and sympathetic glooms,
    Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling stream,
    Romantic, hangs; there through the pensive dusk
    Strays, in heart-thrilling meditation lost,
    Indulging all to love; or on the bank
    Thrown, amid drooping lilies, swells the breeze
    With sighs unceasing, and the brook with tears.
    Thus in soft anguish he consumes the day;
    Nor quits his deep retirement, till the moon
    Peeps through the chambers of the fleecy east,
    Enlighten'd by degrees, and in her train
    Leads on the gentle hours; then forth he walks,
    Beneath the trembling languish of her beam,
    With softened soul, and woos the bird of eve
    To mingle woes with his; or, while the world
    And all the sons of care lie hush'd in sleep,
    Associates with the midnight shadows drear;
    And, sighing to the lonely taper, pours
    His idly tortur'd heart into the page
    Meant for the moving messenger of love--
    Where rapture burns on rapture, every line
    With rising frenzy fir'd. But if on bed
    Delirious flung, sleep from his pillow flies.
    All night he tosses, nor the balmy power
    In any posture finds; till the gray morn
    Lifts her pale lustre on the paler wretch,
    Exanimate by love: and then perhaps
    Exhausted nature sinks awhile to rest,
    Still interrupted by distracted dreams,
    That o'er the sick imagination rise
    And in black colors paint the mimic scene.
    Oft with the enchantress of his soul he talks;
    Sometimes in crowds distress'd, or if retir'd
    To secret-winding flower-enwoven bowers,
    Far from the dull impertinence of man,
    Just as he, credulous, his endless cares
    Begins to lose in blind oblivious love,
    Snatch'd from her yielded hand, he knows not how,
    Through forests huge, and long untravel'd heaths
    With desolation brown, he wanders waste,
    In night and tempest wrapp'd; or shrinks, aghast,
    Back from the bending precipice; or wades
    The turbid stream below, and strives to reach
    The farther shore, where succorless and sad
    She with extended arms his aid implores,
    But strives in vain: borne by the outrageous flood
    To distance down, he rides the ridgy wave,
    Or whelm'd beneath the boiling eddy sinks.
    These are the charming agonies of love,
    Whose misery delights. But through the heart
    Should jealousy its venom once diffuse,
    'Tis then delightful misery no more,
    But agony unmix'd, incessant gall,
    Corroding every thought, and blasting all
    Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects, then,
    Ye beds of roses, and ye bowers of joy,
    Farewell. Ye gleamings of departed peace,
    Shine out your last! the yellow-tinging plague
    Internal vision taints, and in a night
    Of livid gloom imagination wraps.
    Ah! then, instead of love-enliven'd cheeks,
    Of sunny features, and of ardent eyes
    With flowing rapture bright, dark looks succeed,
    Suffus'd and glaring with untender fire;
    A clouded aspect, and a burning cheek,
    Where the whole poison'd soul malignant sits,
    And frightens love away. Ten thousand fears
    Invented wild, ten thousand frantic views
    Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms
    For which he melts in fondness, eat him up
    With fervent anguish, and consuming rage.
    In vain reproaches lend their idle aid,
    Deceitful pride, and resolution frail,
    Giving false peace a moment. Fancy pours,
    Afresh, her beauties on his busy thought;
    Her first endearments, twining round the soul
    With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love.
    Straight the fierce storm involves his mind anew;
    Flames through the nerves, and boils along the veins;
    While anxious doubt distracts the tortur'd heart:
    For even the sad assurance of his fears
    Were peace to what he feels. Thus the warm youth,
    Whom love deludes into his thorny wilds,
    Through flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life
    Of fever'd rapture, or of cruel care;
    His brightest aims extinguish'd all, and all
    His lively moments running down to waste.

[Illustration: On the bank thrown amid drooping lilies]

[Illustration: In soft anguish he consumes the day]

[Illustration: Woos the bird of eve to mingle woes]

[Illustration: Still interrupted by distracted dreams]

      But happy they! the happiest of their kind!
    Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
    Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend,
    'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
    Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
    That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
    Attuning all their passions into love;
    Where friendship full-exerts her softest power,
    Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire
    Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;
    Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will
    With boundless confidence: for naught but love
    Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
    Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
    To bless himself from sordid parents buys
    The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
    Well-merited, consume his nights and days;
    Let barbarous nations whose inhuman love
    Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
    Let eastern tyrants, from the light of heaven
    Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd
    Of a mere lifeless, violated form:
    While those whom love cements in holy faith,
    And equal transport, free as Nature live,
    Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
    Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all!
    Who in each other clasp whatever fair
    High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish;
    Something than beauty dearer, should they look
    Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face--
    Truth, goodness, honor, harmony, and love,
    The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
    Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
    And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
    The human blossom blows; and every day,
    Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
    The father's lustre and the mother's bloom.
    Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
    For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
    Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
    To teach the young idea how to shoot,
    To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
    To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix
    The generous purpose in the glowing breast.

[Illustration: By degrees the human blossom blows]

[Illustration: Delightful task! to rear the tender thought]

    Oh, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear
    Surprises often, while you look around,
    And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss,
    All various nature pressing on the heart;
    An elegant sufficiency, content,
    Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
    Ease and alternate labor, useful life,
    Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.
    These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
    And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus,
    As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
    Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
    Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
    Till evening comes at last, serene and mild;
    When after the long vernal day of life,
    Enamor'd more, as more remembrance swells
    With many a proof of recollected love,
    Together down they sink in social sleep;
    Together freed, their gentle spirits fly
    To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.



[From Dickens's Household Words.]

THE HEART OF JOHN MIDDLETON; OR, THE POWER OF LOVE.


I was born at Sawley, where the shadow of Pendle Hill falls at sunrise.
I suppose Sawley sprang up into a village in the time of the monks, who
had an abbey there. Many of the cottages are strange old places; others
again are built of the abbey stones, mixed up with the shale from the
neighboring quarries; and you may see many a quaint bit of carving
worked into the walls, or forming the lintels of the doors. There is a
row of houses, built still more recently, where one Mr. Peel came to
live for the sake of the water-power, and gave the place a fillip into
something like life, though a different kind of life, as I take it, from
the grand slow ways folks had when the monks were about.

Now, it was six o'clock--ring the bell, throng to the factory; sharp
home at twelve; and even at night, when work was done, we hardly knew
how to walk slowly, we had been so bustled all day long. I can't
recollect the time when I did not go to the factory. My father used to
drag me there when I was quite a little fellow, in order to wind reels
for him. I never remember my mother. I should have been a better man
than I have been, if I had only had a notion of the sound of her voice,
or the look on her face.

My father and I lodged in the house of a man, who also worked in the
factory. We were sadly thronged in Sawley, so many people came from
different parts of the country to earn a livelihood at the new work; and
it was some time before the row of cottages I have spoken of could be
built. While they were building, my father was turned out of his
lodgings for drinking and being disorderly, and he and I slept in the
brick-kiln--that is to say, when we did sleep o' nights; but, often and
often we went poaching; and many a hare and pheasant have I rolled up in
clay, and roasted in the embers of the kiln. Then, as followed to
reason, I was drowsy next day over my work; but father had no mercy on
me for sleeping, for all he knew the cause of it, but kicked me where I
lay, a heavy lump on the factory-floor, and cursed and swore at me till
I got up for very fear, and to my winding again. But when his back was
turned I paid him off with heavier curses than he had given me, and
longed to be a man that I might be revenged on him. The words I then
spoke I would not now dare to repeat; and worse than hating words, a
hating heart went with them. I forget the time when I did not know how
to hate. When I first came to read, and learnt about Ishmael, I thought
I must be of his doomed race, for my hand was against every man, and
every man's against me. But I was seventeen or more before I cared for
my book enough to learn to read.

After the row of works was finished, father took one, and set up for
himself, in letting lodgings. I can't say much for the furnishing; but
there was plenty of straw, and we kept up good fires; and there is a
set of people who value warmth above every thing. The worst lot about
the place lodged with us. We used to have a supper in the middle of the
night; there was game enough, or if there was not game, there was
poultry to be had for the stealing. By day we all made a show of working
in the factory; by night we feasted and drank.

Now, this web of my life was black enough and coarse enough; but
by-and-by, a little golden filmy thread began to be woven in; the dawn
of God's mercy was at hand.

One blowy October morning, as I sauntered lazily along to the mill, I
came to the little wooden bridge over a brook that falls into the
Bribble. On the plank there stood a child, balancing the pitcher on her
head, with which she had been to fetch water. She was so light on her
feet that, had it not been for the weight of the pitcher, I almost
believe the wind would have taken her up, and wafted her away, as it
carries off a blow-ball in seed-time; her blue cotton dress was blown
before her, as if she were spreading her wings for a flight; she turned
her face round, as if to ask me for something, but when she saw who it
was, she hesitated, for I had a bad name in the village, and I doubt not
she had been warned against me. But her heart was too innocent to be
distrustful; so she said to me, timidly:

"Please, John Middleton, will you carry me this heavy jug just over the
bridge?"

It was the very first time I had ever been spoken to gently. I was
ordered here and there by my father and his rough companions; I was
abused and cursed by them if I failed in doing what they wished; if I
succeeded, there came no expression of thanks or gratitude. I was
informed of facts necessary for me to know. But the gentle words of
request or entreaty were aforetime unknown to me, and now their tones
fell on my ear soft and sweet as a distant peal of bells. I wished that
I knew how to speak properly in reply; but though we were of the same
standing, as regarded worldly circumstances, there was some mighty
difference between us, which made me unable to speak in her language of
soft words and modest entreaty. There was nothing for me but to take up
the pitcher in a kind of gruff, shy silence, and carry it over the
bridge as she had asked me. When I gave it her back again, she thanked
me, and tripped away, leaving me, wordless, gazing after her, like an
awkward lout, as I was. I knew well enough who she was. She was
grandchild to Eleanor Hadfield, an aged woman, who was reputed as a
witch by my father and his set, for no other reason, that I can make
out, than her scorn, dignity, and fearlessness of rancor. It was true we
often met her in the gray dawn of the morning when we returned from
poaching, and my father used to curse her, under his breath, for a
witch, such as were burnt, long ago, on Pendle Hill top; but I had heard
that Eleanor was a skillful sick-nurse, and ever ready to give her
services to those who were ill; and I believe that she had been sitting
up through the night (the night that we had been spending under the wild
heavens, in deeds as wild), with those who were appointed to die. Nelly
was her orphan grand-daughter; her little hand-maiden; her treasure; her
one ewe-lamb. Many and many a day have I watched by the brook-side,
hoping that some happy gust of wind, coming with opportune bluster down
the hollow of the dale, might make me necessary once more to her. I
longed to hear her speak to me again. I said the words she had used to
myself, trying to catch her tone; but the chance never came again. I do
not know that she ever knew how I watched for her there. I found out
that she went to school, and nothing would serve me but that I must go
too. My father scoffed at me; I did not care. I knew naught of what
reading was, nor that it was likely that I should be laughed at; I, a
great hulking lad of seventeen or upward, for going to learn my A, B, C,
in the midst of a crowd of little ones. I stood just this way in my
mind: Nelly was at school; it was the best place for seeing her, and
hearing her voice again. Therefore I would go too. My father talked, and
swore, and threatened, but I stood to it. He said I should leave school
weary of it in a month. I swore a deeper oath than I like to remember,
that I would stay a year, and come out a reader and a writer. My father
hated the notion of folks learning to read, and said it took all the
spirit out of them; besides, he thought he had a right to every penny of
my wages; and though, when he was in good humor, he might have given me
many a jug of ale, he grudged my two-pence a week for schooling.
However, to school I went. It was a different place to what I had
thought it before I went inside. The girls sat on one side, and the boys
on the other; so I was not near Nelly. She, too, was in the first class;
I was put with the little toddling things that could hardly run alone.
The master sat in the middle, and kept pretty strict watch over us. But
I could see Nelly, and hear her read her chapter; and even when it was
one with a long list of hard names, such as the master was very fond of
giving her, to show how well she could hit them off without spelling, I
thought I had never heard a prettier music. Now and then she read other
things. I did not know what they were, true or false; but I listened
because she read; and, by-and-by, I began to wonder. I remember the
first word I ever spoke to her was to ask her (as we were coming out of
school) who was the father of whom she had been reading; for when she
said the words "Our Father," her voice dropped into a soft, holy kind of
low sound, which struck me more than any loud reading, it seemed so
loving and tender. When I asked her this, she looked at me with her
great blue wondering eyes, at first shocked; and then, as it were,
melted down into pity and sorrow, she said in the same way, below her
breath, in which she read the words "Our Father,"

"Don't you know? It is God."

"God?"

"Yes; the God that grandmother tells me about."

"Tell me what she says, will you?" So we sat down on the hedge-bank, she
a little above me, while I looked up into her face, and she told me all
the holy texts her grandmother had taught her, as explaining all that
could be explained of the Almighty. I listened in silence, for indeed I
was overwhelmed with astonishment. Her knowledge was principally
rote-knowledge; she was too young for much more; but we, in Lancashire,
speak a rough kind of Bible language, and the texts seemed very clear to
me. I rose up, dazed and overpowered. I was going away in silence, when
I bethought me of my manners, and turned back, and said, "Thank you,"
for the first time I ever remember saying it in my life. That was a
great day for me, in more ways than one.

I was always one who could keep very steady to an object when once I had
set it before me. My object was to know Nelly. I was conscious of
nothing more. But it made me regardless of all other things. The master
might scold, the little ones might laugh; I bore it all without giving
it a second thought. I kept to my year, and came out a reader and
writer; more, however, to stand well in Nelly's good opinion, than
because of my oath. About this time, my father committed some bad, cruel
deed, and had to fly the country. I was glad he went; for I had never
loved or cared for him, and wanted to shake myself clear of his set. But
it was no easy matter. Honest folk stood aloof; only bad men held out
their arms to me with a welcome. Even Nelly seemed to have a mixture of
fear now with her kind ways toward me. I was the son of John Middleton,
who, if he were caught, would be hung at Lancaster Castle. I thought she
looked at me sometimes with a sort of sorrowful horror. Others were not
forbearing enough to keep their expression of feeling confined to looks.
The son of the overlooker at the mill never ceased twitting me with my
father's crime; he now brought up his poaching against him, though I
knew very well how many a good supper he himself had made on game which
had been given him to make him and his father wink at late hours in the
morning. And how were such as my father to come honestly by game?

This lad, Dick Jackson, was the bane of my life. He was a year or two
older than I was, and had much power over the men who worked at the
mill, as he could report to his father what he chose. I could not always
hold my peace when he "threaped" me with my father's sins, but gave it
him back sometimes in a storm of passion. It did me no good; only threw
me farther from the company of better men, who looked aghast and shocked
at the oaths I poured out--blasphemous words learned in my childhood,
which I could not forget now that I would fain have purified myself of
them; while all the time Dick Jackson stood by, with a mocking smile of
intelligence; and when I had ended, breathless and weary with spent
passion, he would turn to those whose respect I longed to earn, and ask
if I were not a worthy son of my father, and likely to tread in his
steps. But this smiling indifference of his to my miserable vehemence
was not all, though it was the worst part of his conduct, for it made
the rankling hatred grow up in my heart, and overshadow it like the
great gourd-tree of the Prophet Jonah. But his was a merciful shade,
keeping out the burning sun; mine blighted what it fell upon.

What Dick Jackson did besides, was this, his father was a skillful
overlooker, and a good man; Mr. Peel valued him so much, that he was
kept on, although his health was failing; and when he was unable,
through illness, to come to the mill, he deputed his son to watch over
and report the men. It was too much power for one so young--I speak it
calmly now. Whatever Dick Jackson became, he had strong temptations when
he was young, which will be allowed for hereafter. But at the time of
which I am telling, my hate raged like a fire. I believed that he was
the one sole obstacle to my being received as fit to mix with good and
honest men. I was sick of crime and disorder, and would fain have come
over to a different kind of life, and have been industrious, sober,
honest, and right-spoken (I had no idea of higher virtue then), and at
every turn Dick Jackson met me with his sneers. I have walked the night
through, in the old abbey field, planning how I could out-wit him, and
win men's respect in spite of him. The first time I ever prayed, was
underneath the silent stars, kneeling by the old abbey walls, throwing
up my arms, and asking God for the power of revenge upon him.

I had heard that if I prayed earnestly, God would give me what I asked
for, and I looked upon it as a kind of chance for the fulfillment of my
wishes. If earnestness would have won the boon for me, never were wicked
words so earnestly spoken. And oh, later on, my prayer was heard, and my
wish granted! All this time I saw little of Nelly. Her grandmother was
failing, and she had much to do in-doors. Besides, I believed I had read
her looks aright, when I took them to speak of aversion; and I planned
to hide myself from her sight, as it were, until I could stand upright
before men, with fearless eyes, dreading no face of accusation. It was
possible to acquire a good character; I would do it--I did it: but no
one brought up among respectable, untempted people, can tell the
unspeakable hardness of the task. In the evenings I would not go forth
among the village throng; for the acquaintances that claimed me were my
father's old associates, who would have been glad enough to enlist a
strong young man like me in their projects; and the men who would have
shunned me and kept me aloof, were the steady and orderly. So I staid
in-doors, and practiced myself in reading. You will say, I should have
found it easier to earn a good character away from Sawley, at some
place where neither I nor my father was known. So I should; but it would
not have been the same thing to my mind. Besides, representing all good
men, all goodness to me, in Sawley Nelly lived. In her sight I would
work out my life, and fight my way upward to men's respect. Two years
passed on. Every day I strove fiercely; every day my struggles were made
fruitless by the son of the overlooker; and I seemed but where I
was--but where I must ever be esteemed by all who knew me--but as the
son of the criminal--wild, reckless, ripe for crime myself. Where was
the use of my reading and writing. These acquirements were disregarded
and scouted by those among whom I was thrust back to take my portion. I
could have read any chapter in the Bible now; and Nelly seemed as though
she would never know it. I was driven in upon my books; and few enough
of them I had. The peddlers brought them round in their packs, and I
bought what I could. I had the "Seven Champions," and the "Pilgrim's
Progress;" and both seemed to me equally wonderful, and equally founded
on fact. I got Byron's "Narrative," and Milton's "Paradise Lost;" but I
lacked the knowledge which would give a clew to all. Still they afforded
me pleasure, because they took me out of myself, and made me forget my
miserable position, and made me unconscious (for the time at least) of
my one great passion of hatred against Dick Jackson.

When Nelly was about seventeen her grandmother died. I stood aloof in
the church-yard, behind the great yew tree, and watched the funeral. It
was the first religious service that ever I heard; and, to my shame, as
I thought, it affected me to tears. The words seemed so peaceful and
holy that I longed to go to church, but I durst not, because I had never
been. The parish church was at Bolton, far enough away to serve as an
excuse for all who did not care to go. I heard Nelly's sobs filling up
every pause in the clergyman's voice; and every sob of hers went to my
heart. She passed me on her way out of the church-yard; she was so near
I might have touched her; but her head was hanging down, and I durst not
speak to her. Then the question arose, what was to become of her? She
must earn her living; was it to be as a farm-servant, or by working at
the mill? I knew enough of both kinds of life to make me tremble for
her. My wages were such as to enable me to marry, if I chose; and I
never thought of woman, for my wife, but Nelly. Still, I would not have
married her now, if I could; for, as yet, I had not risen up to the
character which I had determined it was fit that Nelly's husband should
have. When I was rich in good report, I would come forward, and take my
chance; but until then, I would hold my peace. I had faith in the power
of my long-continued, dogged, breasting of opinion. Sooner or later it
must, it should yield, and I be received among the ranks of good men.
But, meanwhile, what was to become of Nelly? I reckoned up my wages; I
went to inquire what the board of a girl would be, who should help her
in her household work, and live with her as her daughter, at the house
of one of the most decent women of the place; she looked at me
suspiciously. I kept down my temper, and told her I would never come
near the place; that I would keep away from that end of the village; and
that the girl for whom I made the inquiry should never know but what the
parish paid for her keep. It would not do; she suspected me; but I know
I had power over myself to have kept to my word; and besides, I would
not for worlds have had Nelly put under any obligation to me, which
should speck the purity of her love, or dim it by a mixture of
gratitude--the love that I craved to earn, not for my money, not for my
kindness, but for myself. I heard that Nelly had met with a place in
Bolland; and I could see no reason why I might not speak to her once
before she left our neighborhood. I meant it to be a quiet, friendly
telling her of my sympathy in her sorrow. I felt I could command myself.
So, on the Sunday before she was to leave Sawley, I waited near the
wood-path, by which I knew that she would return from afternoon church.
The birds made such a melodious warble, such a busy sound among the
leaves, that I did not hear approaching footsteps, till they were close
at hand; and then there were sounds of two persons' voices. The wood was
near that part of Sawley where Nelly was staying with friends; the path
through it led to their house, and theirs only, so I knew it must be
she, for I had watched her setting out to church alone.

But who was the other?

The blood went to my heart and head, as if I were shot, when I saw that
it was Dick Jackson. Was this the end of it all? In the steps of sin
which my father had trode, I would rush to my death and to my doom. Even
where I stood I longed for a weapon to slay him. How dared he come near
my Nelly? She too--I thought her faithless, and forgot how little I had
ever been to her in outward action; how few words, and those how
uncouth, I had ever spoken to her; and I hated her for a traitoress.
These feelings passed through me before I could see, my eyes and head
were so dizzy and blind. When I looked I saw Dick Jackson holding her
hand, and speaking quick, and low, and thick, as a man speaks in great
vehemence. She seemed white and dismayed; but all at once, at some word
of his (and what it was she never would tell me), she looked as though
she defied a fiend, and wrenched herself out of his grasp. He caught
hold of her again, and began once more the thick whisper that I loathed.
I could bear it no longer, nor did I see why I should. I stepped out
from behind the tree where I had been lying. When she saw me, she lost
her look of one strung up to desperation, and came and clung to me; and
I felt like a giant in strength and might. I held her with one arm, but
I did not take my eyes off him; I felt as if they blazed down into his
soul, and scorched him up. He never spoke, but tried to look as though
he defied me; at last his eyes fell before mine. I dared not speak; for
the old horrid oaths thronged up to my mouth; and I dreaded giving them
way, and terrifying my poor trembling Nelly.

At last he made to go past me; I drew her out of the pathway. By
instinct she wrapped her garments round her, as if to avoid his
accidental touch; and he was stung by this I suppose--I believe--to the
mad, miserable revenge he took. As my back was turned to him, in an
endeavor to speak some words to Nelly that might soothe her into
calmness, she, who was looking after him, like one fascinated with
terror, saw him take a sharp shaley stone, and aim it at me. Poor
darling! she clung round me as a shield, making her sweet body into a
defense for mine. It hit her, and she spoke no word, kept back her cry
of pain, but fell at my feet in a swoon. He--the coward! ran off as soon
as he saw what he had done. I was with Nelly alone in the green gloom of
the wood. The quivering and leaf-tinted light made her look as if she
were dead. I carried her, not knowing if I bore a corpse or not, to her
friend's house. I did not stay to explain, but ran madly for the doctor.

Well! I can not bear to recur to that time again. Five weeks I lived in
the agony of suspense; from which my only relief was in laying savage
plans for revenge. If I hated him before, what think ye I did now? It
seemed as if earth could not hold us twain, but that one of us must go
down to Gehenna. I could have killed him; and would have done it without
a scruple, but that seemed too poor and bold a revenge. At length--oh!
the weary waiting oh! the sickening of my heart--Nelly grew better--as
well as she was ever to grow. The bright color had left her cheek; the
mouth quivered with repressed pain, the eyes were dim with tears that
agony had forced into them, and I loved her a thousand times better and
more than when she was bright and blooming! What was best of all, I
began to perceive that she cared for me. I know her grandmother's
friends warned her against me, and told her I came of a bad stock; but
she had passed the point where remonstrance from bystanders can take
effect--she loved me as I was, a strange mixture of bad and good, all
unworthy of her. We spoke together now, as those do whose lives are
bound up in each other. I told her I would marry her as soon as she had
recovered her health. Her friends shook their heads; but they saw she
would be unfit for farm-service or heavy work, and they perhaps thought,
as many a one does, that a bad husband was better than none at all.
Anyhow we were married; and I learned to bless God for my happiness, so
far I beyond my deserts. I kept her like a lady. I was a skillful
workman, and earned good wages; and every want she had I tried to
gratify. Her wishes were few and simple enough, poor Nelly! If they had
been ever so fanciful, I should have had my reward in the new feeling of
the holiness of home. She could lead me as a little child, with the
charm of her gentle voice, and her ever-kind words. She would plead for
all when I was full of anger and passion; only Dick Jackson's name
passed never between our lips during all that time. In the evenings she
lay back in her bee-hive chair, and read to me. I think I see her now,
pale and weak, with her sweet young face, lighted by her holy, earnest
eyes, telling me of the Saviour's life and death, till they were filled
with tears. I longed to have been there, to have avenged him on the
wicked Jews. I liked Peter the best of all the disciples. But I got the
Bible myself, and read the mighty acts of God's vengeance in the Old
Testament, with a kind of triumphant faith, that, sooner or later, He
would take my cause in hand, and revenge me on mine enemy.

In a year or so, Nelly had a baby--a little girl, with eyes just like
hers, that looked with a grave openness right into yours. Nelly
recovered but slowly. It was just before winter, the cotton-crop had
failed, and master had to turn off many hands. I thought I was sure of
being kept on, for I had earned a steady character, and did my work
well; but once again it was permitted that Dick Jackson should do me
wrong. He induced his father to dismiss me among the first in my branch
of the business; and there was I, just before winter set in, with a wife
and new-born child, and a small enough store of money to keep body and
soul together, till I could get to work again. All my savings had gone
by Christmas Eve, and we sat in the house foodless for the morrow's
festival. Nelly looked pinched and worn; the baby cried for a larger
supply of milk than its poor starving mother could give it. My right
hand had not forgot its cunning; and I went out once more to my
poaching. I knew where the gang met; and I knew what a welcome back I
should have--a far warmer and more hearty welcome than good men had
given me when I tried to enter their ranks. On the road to the
meeting-place I fell in with an old man--one who had been a companion to
my father in his early days.

"What, lad!" said he, "art thou turning back to the old trade? It's the
better business now, that cotton has failed."

"Ay," said I, "cotton is starving us outright. A man may bear a deal
himself, but he'll do aught bad and sinful to save his wife and child."

"Nay, lad," said he, "poaching is not sinful; it goes against man's
laws, but not against God's."

I was too weak to argue or talk much. I had not tasted food for two
days. But I murmured, "At any rate, I trusted to have been clear of it
for the rest of my days. It led my father wrong at first. I have tried
and I have striven. Now I give all up. Right or wrong shall be the same
to me. Some are fore-doomed; and so am I." And as I spoke, some notion
of the futurity that would separate Nelly, the pure and holy, from me,
the reckless and desperate one, came over me with an irrepressible burst
of anguish. Just then the bells of Bolton-in-Bolland struck up a glad
peal, which came over the woods, in the solemn midnight air, like the
sons of the morning shouting for joy--they seemed so clear and jubilant.
It was Christmas Day; and I felt like an outcast from the gladness and
the salvation. Old Jonah spoke out:

"Yon's the Christmas bells. I say, Johnny, my lad, I've no notion of
taking such a spiritless chap as thou into the thick of it, with thy
rights and thy wrongs. We don't trouble ourselves with such fine
lawyer's stuff, and we bring down the 'varmint' all the better. Now,
I'll not have thee in our gang, for thou art not up to the fun, and
thou'd hang fire when the time came to be doing. But I've a shrewd guess
that plaguy wife and child of thine are at the bottom of thy
half-and-half joining. Now, I was thy father's friend afore he took to
them helter-skelter ways; and I've five shillings and a neck of mutton
at thy service. I'll not list a fasting man; but if thou'lt come to us
with a full stomach, and say, 'I like your life, my lads, and I'll make
one of you with pleasure, the first shiny night,' why, we'll give you a
welcome and a half; but to-night, make no more ado but turn back with me
for the mutton and the money."

I was not proud; nay, I was most thankful. I took the meat, and boiled
some broth for my poor Nelly. She was in a sleep, or a faint, I know not
which; but I roused her, and held her up in bed, and fed her with a
teaspoon, and the light came back to her eyes, and the faint moonlight
smile to her lips; and when she had ended, she said her innocent grace,
and fell asleep with her baby on her breast. I sat over the fire, and
listened to the bells, as they swept past my cottage on the gusts of the
wind. I longed and yearned for the second coming of Christ, of which
Nelly had told me. The world seemed cruel, and hard, and strong, too
strong for me; and I prayed to cling to the hem of his garment, and be
borne over the rough places when I fainted and bled, and found no man to
pity or help me, but poor old Jonah the publican and sinner. All this
time my own woes and my own self were uppermost in my mind, as they are
in the minds of most who have been hardly used. As I thought of my
wrongs and my sufferings, my heart burned against Dick Jackson; and as
the bells rose and fell, so my hopes waxed and waned, that in those
mysterious days of which they were both the remembrance and the
prophecy, he would be purged from off the earth. I took Nelly's Bible,
and turned, not to the gracious story of the Saviour's birth, but to the
records of the former days when the Jews took such wild revenge upon
all their opponents. I was a Jew--a leader among the people. Dick
Jackson was as Pharaoh, as the King Agag, who walked delicately,
thinking the bitterness of death was past--in short, he was the
conquered enemy over whom I gloated, with my Bible in my hand--that
Bible which contained our Saviour's words on the Cross. As yet, those
words seemed faint and meaningless to me, like a tract of country seen
in the starlight haze; while the histories of the Old Testament were
grand and distinct in the blood-red color of sunset. By-and-by that
night passed into day; and little piping voices came round,
carol-singing. They wakened Nelly. I went to her as soon as I heard her
stirring.

"Nelly," said I, "there's money and food in the house; I will be off to
Padiham seeking work, while thou hast something to go upon."

"Not to-day," said she; "stay to-day with me. If thou wouldst only go to
church with me this once"--for you see I had never been inside a church
but when we were married, and she was often praying me to go; and now
she looked at me, with a sigh just creeping forth from her lips, as she
expected a refusal. But I did not refuse. I had been kept away from
church before because I dared not go; and now I was desperate and dared
do any thing. If I did look like a heathen in the face of all men, why,
I was a heathen in my heart; for I was falling back into all my evil
ways. I had resolved, if my search of work at Padiham should fail, I
would follow my father's footsteps, and take with my own right hand and
by my strength of arm, what it was denied me to obtain honestly. I had
resolved to leave Sawley, where a curse seemed to hang over me; so what
did it matter if I went to church, all unbeknowing what strange
ceremonies were there performed? I walked thither as a sinful
man--sinful in my heart. Nelly hung on my arm, but even she could not
get me to speak. I went in; she found my places, and pointed to the
words, and looked up into my eyes with hers, so full of faith and joy.
But I saw nothing but Richard Jackson--I heard nothing but his loud
nasal voice, making response, and desecrating all the holy words. He was
in broadcloth of the best--I in my fustian jacket. He was prosperous and
glad--I was starving and desperate. Nelly grew pale as she saw the
expression in my eyes; and she prayed ever and ever more fervently as
the thought of me tempted by the Devil, even at that very moment, came
more fully before her.

By-and-by she forgot even me, and laid her soul bare before God, in a
long silent weeping prayer, before we left the church. Nearly all had
gone--and I stood by her, unwilling to disturb her, unable to join her.
At last she rose up, heavenly calm. She took my arm, and we went home
through the woods, where all the birds seemed tame and familiar. Nelly
said she thought all living creatures knew it was Christmas Day, and
rejoiced, and were loving together. I believed it was the frost that had
tamed them; and I felt the hatred that was in me, and knew that whatever
else was loving, I was full of malice and uncharitableness, nor did I
wish to be otherwise. That afternoon I bade Nelly and our child
farewell, and tramped to Padiham. I got work--how I hardly know; for
stronger and stronger came the force of the temptation to lead a wild,
free life of sin; legions seemed whispering evil thoughts to me, and
only my gentle, pleading Nelly to pull me back from the great gulf.
However, as I said before, I got work, and set off homeward to move my
wife and child to that neighborhood. I hated Sawley, and yet I was
fiercely indignant to leave it; with my purposes unaccomplished. I was
still an outcast from the more respectable, who stood afar off from such
as I; and mine enemy lived and flourished in their regard. Padiham,
however, was not so far away, for me to despair--to relinquish my fixed
determination. It was on the eastern side of the great Pendle Hill; ten
miles away, maybe. Hate will overleap a greater obstacle.

I took a cottage on the Fell, high up on the side of the hill. We saw a
long bleak moorland slope before us, and then the gray stone houses of
Padiham, over which a black cloud hung; different from the blue wood or
turf smoke about Sawley. The wild winds came down, and whistled round
our house many a day when all was still below. But I was happy then. I
rose in men's esteem. I had work in plenty. Our child lived and throve.
But I forgot not our country proverb: "Keep a stone in thy pocket for
seven years: turn it, and keep it seven years more; but have it ever
ready to cast at thine enemy when the time comes."

One day a fellow workman asked me to go to a hill-side preaching. Now I
never cared to go to church; but there was something newer and freer in
the notion of praying to God right under His great dome; and the open
air had had a charm to me ever since my wild boyhood. Besides, they said
these ranters had strange ways with them, and I thought it would be fun
to see their way of setting about it; and this ranter of all others had
made himself a name in our parts. Accordingly we went; it was a fine
summer's evening, after work was done. When we got to the place we saw
such a crowd as I never saw before, men, women, and children; all ages
were gathered together, and sat on the hill-side. They were care-worn,
diseased, sorrowful, criminal; all that was told on their faces, which
were hard, and strongly marked. In the midst, standing in a cart, was
the ranter. When I first saw him, I said to my companion, "Lord! What a
little man to make all this pother! I could trip him up with one of my
fingers;" and then I sat down, and looked about me a bit. All eyes were
fixed on the preacher; and I turned mine upon him too. He began to
speak; it was in no fine-drawn language, but in words such as we heard
every day of our lives, and about things we did every day of our lives.
He did not call our short-comings, pride or worldliness or
pleasure-seeking, which would have given us no clear notion of what he
meant, but he just told us outright what we did, and then he gave it a
name, and said that it was accursed--and that we were lost if we went on
so doing.

By this time the tears and sweat were running down his face; he was
wrestling for our souls. We wondered how he knew our innermost lives as
he did, for each one of us saw his sin set before him in plain-spoken
words. Then he cried out to us to repent; and spoke first to us, and
then to God, in a way that would have shocked many--but it did not shock
me. I liked strong things; and I liked the bare full truth: and I felt
brought nearer to God in that hour--the summer darkness creeping over
us, and one after one the stars coming out above us, like the eyes of
the angels watching us--than I had ever done in my life before. When he
had brought us to our tears and sighs, he stopped his loud voice of
upbraiding, and there was a hush, only broken by sobs and quivering
moans, in which I heard through the gloom the voices of strong men in
anguish and supplication, as well as the shriller tones of women.
Suddenly he was heard again; by this time we could not see him; but his
voice was now tender as the voice of an angel, and he told us of Christ,
and implored us to come to Him. I never heard such passionate entreaty.
He spoke as if he saw Satan hovering near us in the dark dense night,
and as if our only safety lay in a very present coming to the Cross; I
believe he did see Satan; we know he haunts the desolate old hills,
awaiting his time, and now or never it was, with many a soul. At length
there was a sudden silence; and by the cries of those nearest to the
preacher, we heard that he had fainted. We had all crowded round him, as
if he were our safety and our guide; and he was overcome by the heat and
the fatigue, for we were the fifth set of people whom he had addressed
that day. I left the crowd who were leading him down, and took a lonely
path myself.

Here was the earnestness I needed. To this weak and weary, fainting man,
religion was a life and a passion. I look back now, and wonder at my
blindness as to what was the root of all my Nelly's patience and
long-suffering; for I thought, now I had found out what religion was,
and that hitherto, it had been all an unknown thing to me.

Henceforward, my life was changed. I was zealous and fanatical. Beyond
the set to whom I had affiliated myself I had no sympathy. I would have
persecuted all who differed from me, if I had only had the power. I
became an ascetic in all bodily enjoyments. And, strange and
inexplicable mystery, I had some thoughts that by every act of
self-denial I was attaining to my unholy end, and that, when I had
fasted and prayed long enough, God would place my vengeance in my
hands. I have knelt by Nelly's bedside, and vowed to live a self-denying
life, as regarded all outward things, if so that God would grant my
prayer. I left it in His hands. I felt sure He would trace out the token
and the word; and Nelly would listen to my passionate words, and lie
awake sorrowful and heart-sore through the night; and I would get up and
make her tea, and re-arrange her pillows, with a strange and willful
blindness that my bitter words and blasphemous prayers had cost her
miserable, sleepless nights. My Nelly was suffering yet from that blow.
How or where the stone had hurt her I never understood; but in
consequence of that one moment's action, her limbs became numb and dead,
and, by slow degrees, she took to her bed, from whence she was never
carried alive. There she lay, propped up by pillows, her meek face ever
bright, and smiling forth a greeting; her white pale hands ever busy
with some kind of work; and our little Grace was as the power of motion
to her. Fierce as I was away from her, I never could speak to her but in
my gentlest tones. She seemed to me as if she had never wrestled for
salvation as I had; and when away from her, I resolved, many a time and
oft, that I would rouse her up to her state of danger when I returned
home that evening--even if strong reproach were required I would rouse
her up to her soul's need. But I came in and heard her voice singing
softly some holy word of patience, some psalm which, maybe, had
comforted the martyrs, and when I saw her face, like the face of an
angel, full of patience and happy faith, I put off my awakening speeches
till another time.

One night, long ago, when I was yet young and strong, although my years
were past forty, I sat alone in my house-place. Nelly was always in bed,
as I have told you, and Grace lay in a cot by her side. I believed them
to be both asleep; though how they could sleep I could not conceive, so
wild and terrible was the night. The wind came sweeping down from the
hill-top in great beats, like the pulses of Heaven; and, during the
pauses, while I listened for the coming roar, I felt the earth shiver
beneath me. The rain beat against windows and doors, and sobbed for
entrance. I thought the Prince of the Air was abroad; and I heard, or
fancied I heard, shrieks come on the blast, like the cries of sinful
souls given over to his power.

The sounds came nearer and nearer. I got up and saw to the fastenings of
the door, for though I cared not for mortal man, I did care for what I
believed was surrounding the house, in evil might and power. But the
door shook as though it, too, were in deadly terror, and I thought the
fastenings would give way. I stood facing the entrance, lashing my heart
up to defy the spiritual enemy that I looked to see, every instant, in
bodily presence; and the door did burst open; and before me stood--what
was it? man or demon? a gray-haired man, with poor worn clothes all
wringing wet, and he himself battered and piteous to look upon, from the
storm he had passed through.

"Let me in!" he said. "Give me shelter. I am poor, or I would reward
you. And I am friendless too," he said, looking up in my face, like one
seeking what he can not find. In that look, strangely changed, I knew
that God had heard me; for it was the old cowardly look of my life's
enemy. Had he been a stranger I might not have welcomed him, but as he
was mine enemy, I gave him welcome in a lordly dish. I sat opposite to
him. "Whence do you come?" said I. "It is a strange night to be out on
the fells."

He looked up at me sharp: but in general he held his head down like a
beast or hound.

"You won't betray me. I'll not trouble you long. As soon as the storm
abates, I'll go."

"Friend!" said I, "what have I to betray?" and I trembled lest he should
keep himself out of my power and not tell me. "You come for shelter, and
I give you of my best. Why do you suspect me?"

"Because," said he, in his abject bitterness, "all the world is against
me. I never met with goodness or kindness; and now I am hunted like a
wild beast. I'll tell you--I am a convict returned before my time. I was
a Sawley man," (as if I, of all men did not know it!) "and I went back
like a fool to the old place. They've hunted me out where I would fain
have lived rightly and quietly, and they'll send me back to that hell
upon earth, if they catch me. I did not know it would be such a night.
Only let me rest and get warm once more, and I'll go away. Good kind
man! have pity upon me." I smiled all his doubts away; I promised him a
bed on the floor, and I thought of Jael and Sisera. My heart leaped up
like a war-horse at the sound of the trumpet, and said, "Ha, ha, the
Lord hath heard my prayer and supplication; I shall have vengeance at
last!"

He did not dream who I was. He was changed; so that I, who had learned
his features with all the diligence of hatred, did not at first
recognize him; and he thought not of me, only of his own woe and
affright. He looked into the fire with the dreamy gaze of one whose
strength of character, if he had any, is beaten out of him; and can not
return at any emergency whatsoever. He sighed and pitied himself, yet
could not decide on what to do. I went softly about my business, which
was to make him up a bed on the floor; and, when he was lulled to sleep
and security, to make the best of my way to Padiham, and summon the
constable, into whose hands I would give him up to be taken back to his
"hell upon earth." I went into Nelly's room. She was awake and anxious.
I saw she had been listening to the voices.

"Who is there?" said she. "John, tell me--it sounded like a voice I
knew. For God's sake, speak."

I smiled a quiet smile. "It is a poor man who has lost his way. Go to
sleep my dear--I shall make him up on the floor. I may not come for some
time. Go to sleep;" and I kissed her. I thought she was soothed, but not
fully satisfied. However, I hastened away before there was any further
time for questioning. I made up the bed; and Richard Jackson, tired out,
lay down and fell asleep. My contempt for him almost equaled my hate. If
I were avoiding return to a place which I thought to be a hell upon
earth, think you I would have taken a quiet sleep under any man's roof,
till somehow or another I was secure? Now comes this man, and with
incontinence of tongue, blabs out the very thing he most should conceal,
and then lies down to a good, quiet, snoring sleep. I looked again. His
face was old, and worn, and miserable. So should mine enemy look. And
yet it was sad to gaze upon him, poor hunted creature!

I would gaze no more, lest I grew weak and pitiful. Thus I took my hat
and softly opened the door. The wind blew in, but did not disturb him,
he was so utterly weary. I was out in the open air of night. The storm
was ceasing, and instead of the black sky of doom, that I had seen when
I last looked forth, the moon was come out, wan and pale, as if wearied
with the fight in the heavens; and her white light fell ghostly and calm
on many a well-known object. Now and then a dark torn cloud was blown
across her home in the sky, but they grew fewer and fewer, and at last
she shone out steady and clear, I could see Padiham down before me. I
heard the noise of the water-courses down the hill-side. My mind was
full of one thought, and strained upon that one thought, and yet my
senses were most acute and observant. When I came to the brook, it was
swollen to a rapid, tossing river; and the little bridge, with its
hand-rail was utterly swept away. It was like the bridge at Sawley,
where I had first seen Nelly; and I remembered that day even then in the
midst of my vexation at having to go round. I turned away from the
brook, and there stood a little figure facing me. No spirit from the
dead could have affrighted me as it did; for I saw it was Grace, whom I
had left in bed by her mother's side.

She came to me, and took my hand. Her bare feet glittered white in the
moonshine; and sprinkled the light upward, as they plashed through the
pool.

"Father," said she, "Mother bade me say this." Then pausing to gather
breath and memory, she repeated these words, like a lesson of which she
feared to forget a syllable.

"Mother says, 'There is a God in Heaven; and in His house are many
mansions. If you hope to meet her there, you will come back and speak to
her; if you are to be separate forever and ever, you will go on; and may
God have mercy on her and on you!' Father, I have said it right--every
word."

I was silent. At last I said,

"What made mother say this? How came she to send you out?"

"I was asleep, Father, and I heard her cry. I wakened up, and I think
you had but just left the house, and that she was calling for you. Then
she prayed, with the tears rolling down her cheeks, and kept
saying--'Oh, that I could walk!--Oh, that for one hour I could run and
walk!' So I said, 'Mother, I can run and walk. Where must I go?' And she
clutched at my arm; and bade God bless me; and told me not to fear, for
that he would compass me about; and taught me my message; and now,
Father, dear Father, you will meet mother in Heaven, won't you--and not
be separate forever and ever?" She clung to my knees and pleaded once
more in her mother's words. I took her up in my arms and turned
homeward.

"Is yon man there, on the kitchen floor?" asked I.

"Yes!" she answered. At any rate, my vengeance was not out of my power
yet.

When we got home I passed him, dead asleep!

In our room, to which my child guided me, was Nelly. She sat up in bed,
a most unusual attitude for her, and one of which I thought she had been
incapable of attaining to without help. She had her hands clasped, and
her face wrapt as if in prayer; and when she saw me, she lay back with a
sweet, ineffable smile. She could not speak at first; but when I came
near, she took my hand and kissed it, and then she called Grace to her,
and made her take off her cloak and her wet things, and, dressed in her
short scanty night-gown, she slipped into her mother's warm side, and
all this time my Nelly never told me why she summoned me; it seemed
enough that she should hold my hand, and feel that I was there. I
believed she had read my heart; and yet I durst not speak to ask her. At
last she looked up. "My husband," said she, "God has saved you and me
from a great sorrow this night." I would not understand, and I felt her
look die away into disappointment.

"That poor wanderer in the house-place is Richard Jackson, is it not?"

I made no answer. Her face grew white and wan.

"Oh," said she, "this is hard to bear. Speak what is in your mind, I beg
of you. I will not thwart you harshly; dearest John, only speak to me."

"Why need I speak? You seem to know all."

"I do know that his is a voice I can never forget; and I do know the
awful prayers you have prayed; and I know how I have lain awake, to pray
that your words might never be heard; and I am a powerless cripple. I
put my cause in God's hands. You shall not do the man any harm. What you
have it in your thoughts to do I can not tell. But I know that you can
not do it. My eyes are dim with a strange mist, but some voice tells me
that you will forgive even Richard Jackson. Dear husband--dearest John,
it is so dark I can not see you; but speak once to me."

I moved the candle--but when I saw her face, I saw what was drawing the
mist over those loving eyes--how strange and woeful that she could die!
Her little girl lying by her side looked in my face, and then at her;
and the wild knowledge of death shot through her young heart and she
screamed aloud.

Nelly opened her eyes once more. They fell upon the gaunt, sorrow-worn
man who was the cause of all. He roused him from his sleep, at that
child's piercing cry, and stood at the doorway looking in. He knew Nelly
and understood where the storm had driven him to shelter. He came toward
her:

"Oh, woman--dying woman--you have haunted me in the loneliness of the
Bush far away--you have been in my dreams forever--the hunting of men
has not been so terrible as the hunting of your spirit--that stone--that
stone!" he fell down by her bedside in an agony--above which her
saint-like face looked on us all, for the last time, glorious with the
coming light of heaven. She spoke once again:

"It was a moment of passion--I never bore you malice for it. I forgive
you--and so does John, I trust."

Could I keep my purpose there? It faded into nothing. But above my
choking tears, I strove to speak clear and distinct, for her dying ear
to hear, and her sinking heart to be gladdened.

"I forgive you, Richard; I will befriend you in your trouble."

She could not see; but instead of the dim shadow of death stealing over
her face, a quiet light came over it, which we knew was the look of a
soul at rest.

That night I listened to his tale for her sake; and I learnt that it is
better to be sinned against than to sin. In the storm of the night mine
enemy came to me; in the calm of the gray morning, I let him forth, and
bade him "God speed." And a woe had come upon me, but the burning burden
of a sinful, angry heart was taken off. I am old now, and my daughter is
married. I try to go about preaching and teaching in my rough, rude way;
and what I teach is how Christ lived and died, and what was Nelly's
faith of love.



[From Fraser's Magazine.]

PHANTOMS AND REALITIES.--AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.


PART THE FIRST--MORNING.


I.

The sapling, green and tender, yields readily to wind and sun and the
hand of the trainer; the grown tree resists the storm, and 'tis well
with it if it be not torn up by the roots; the aged trunk, dried to the
core, spreads out its branches and perishes. This is human life.

At first, all wonder and curiosity, we are moulded by surrounding
circumstances, which often affect our after lives, as colors laid at the
root of bulbous plants are said to transmit their tints to the blossom;
next comes the age of knowledge, when reason struggles with passion,
and is not always the victor; lastly, the decay, when passion is
extinct, and we live on a little longer on our memories, and then drop
into dust.

When I formed the resolution to set down the events that have agitated
my life, and marked it out with a strange difference from the lives of
other men, I did not see the difficulties that beset my confession on
the very threshold. They grew upon me by degrees. The more I reflected
on it, the more reluctance I felt at the thought of writing about things
which no man would believe. Looking back upon them from the verge of the
grave, which can not now be long untenanted, they seem, even to me, more
like fantastic dreams or wild allegories than real occurrences. How then
can I expect others to accept as true a narration which contradicts
their experience and convictions, and which I can not elucidate myself?
I can explain nothing; I can only relate what has happened to me,
careful not to deviate a hair's breadth into exaggeration. It would be
little to the purpose to say that truth is stranger than fiction, an
axiom which every body admits as a loose generality, but which nobody
will consent to apply in the instances by which it is illustrated. I can
attest, out of my own knowledge, that truth often presents inexplicable
phenomena, and is sometimes irreconcilable with the laws of nature. But
who will credit me, I said, when I narrate such things?

Again and again I approached the subject, and as often recoiled from the
execution of my design. It was only by repeated efforts that I summoned
up sufficient moral courage to overcome the fear and shame that
overwhelmed me, from the apprehension that I should be regarded as one
who had been himself deceived, or who was practicing a deception on
others. A patient examination of the motives upon which my resolution
was founded, determined me, however, to brave all such risks, in the
assurance that they who, exercising their literal judgment, as they have
a right to do, might see reason for doubting my veracity, could not
fail, upon the whole, to draw a practical moral from my revelations. For
the rest, I must appease my own scruples by declaring that I have herein
written nothing that is not strictly true, and related exactly as it
occurred.


II.

My earliest recollections of my father do not extend to his form or
lineaments. I remember nothing of him except his voice, the tone of
which lingers as distinctly in my ear to this hour as if I had heard it
yesterday. It was low and tremulous, and seemed to have a thrill in it
of suffering, or anger, I know not which. The only parent I knew was my
mother, with whom I lived in a solitude that I can not contemplate at
this distance of time without shuddering.

Our house was situated on a lonely moor in the north of England, close
upon the bleak border--a dismal neighborhood, savage, cold, and
desolate. It was built so far back as the reign of Richard II., and
with its flanking walls, crumbling on all sides into ruin, and its paved
court-yards, covered a considerable area. Most of the apartments were
large and gloomy, and hung with arras of so great an age, that the
colors had grown dim, and the thread in many places appeared to be
dropping into powder. Long corridors and smaller rooms ran round the
quadrangle; and as the uses for which this huge pile was designed by its
founders had long since passed away with the bands of retainers and
extravagant pomp that distinguished the days of feudal hospitality and
royal progresses, only a small part of it was kept up in an inhabitable
condition by my mother. Unfortunately for my after life, the part so
preserved lay in the very centre of the mansion, approachable only by
dark passages, utterly obscure at night, and barely lighted in the
day-time by narrow latticed windows, such as we see indented in the
thick walls of old cloisters. To reach the inhabited rooms it was
necessary to make many windings, to twine up a short spiral stair that
led from the outer court, and to traverse two sides of the quadrangle.

This was always a fearful thing to me, which use by no means deprived of
its terrors. There were many legends whispered from one to another in
the winter nights of revolting crimes which had taken place there in
former times, and which rose re-embodied before me as I cowered past the
spots where they were said to have been enacted. The aspect of the
dreary building, within and without, by day and night, made it all real.
If the moon shone brightly into the passages, strange shadows were
discernible flitting across the floor or creeping up the walls; and as I
involuntarily glanced through shattered doors and inner casements,
remnants of armor hanging about, and fragments of tapestry fluttering
against the windows, and other relics of a 'sheeted ancestry,' would
seem to glide out of the darkness, and fill the open spaces with forms
swaying and undulating before my eyes. I remember how my limbs used to
totter under me as I tried not to see these sights, and crept on,
stifling the fear that was distilling drops of agony over my body by the
greater fear of uttering a cry, lest the slightest noise might bring
worse horrors round me. I am speaking of my childhood--and children will
understand me.

Let no man scoff at these terrors. The wisest and bravest have quailed
under them. Skepticism may laugh, but it would be more profitably
employed in endeavoring to solve the problems which concern the
connection between the material and the spiritual universe. Why is it
that adults, as well as children, are impressed with a certain
uneasiness in the dark? Not a fear of ghosts, or robbers, or accidents,
or of any thing upon which the mind can reason, or of which the senses
are cognizant; but a vague consciousness of invisible influences. In the
daylight we have no such sensations; they belong exclusively to silence
and darkness.

As a child, I grew up in the awe of these influences, fostered by
loneliness and the moody companionship of a wayward woman, who held
little intercourse with the outer world, and shut herself up in dreams
and superstitions. An incident which occurred at this period helped to
give a supernatural turn to many circumstances that were, no doubt,
capable of a simple solution.

Toward the extremity of a court to the south of the old pile, there was
a chasm in the ground, partly filled up with loose stones and brambles.
The whole place was over-run with grass and weeds, and the walls and
outbuildings that surrounded it were in ruins. I had heard that this
spot, which gaped so grimly through the tall, lank bushes and
accumulated rubbish, was formerly the entrance to a series of
subterranean galleries, that had been excavated below the foundations
for the purpose of concealing troops, or stowing away prisoners, in
times of trouble; and that they had been used in that way during the
Civil War, when the mansion stood out a long siege against some of
Fairfax's generals. An irresistible curiosity to explore these galleries
seized upon me. I was fascinated by the very fear with which the stories
related about them had inspired me. I never could pass that yawning
chasm, which, now nearly choked up, was hardly wide enough to admit of
the descent of a grown person, without longing to plunge into its
depths. I often lingered there in the twilight, when the shadows were
falling about, enhancing the terror and the temptation; and one evening
in the autumn I took courage, and, clearing away the brambles with
trembling hands, I forced myself down, bringing with me a torrent of
stones and earth.

Finding my feet at the bottom, and rubbing my eyes, I tried to grope my
way onward. At first there was a dim light at a great distance above me,
in a slanting direction, but in an instant afterward I was in total
darkness. My first impulse was to laugh at the exploit I had achieved;
but as I pattered along, plashing sometimes in pools of water, and
sometimes knocking my head against the rough stones that jutted out on
each side, my mirth deserted me. When I became accustomed to the
darkness, I fancied I could discern shapeless figures rising up and
vanishing in the gloom--the walls seemed to move out of their places,
and heave to and fro like wrecks in a storm--then they would open, and
collapse, and disappear: all was in motion, black and tumultuous, and a
surging sound, as of winds and waters lashing and wailing in a confined
space, moaned dismally in my ears. Even when I closed my eyes, and
pressed my fingers upon them to shut out these sights, they were still
before me. This was, of course, the work of mere fright; but what
followed can not be so easily accounted for.

While I stood hesitating how I should proceed, for I had lost my track,
and knew not whether I ought to go backward or forward, I heard a
distinct rushing sound, quite close to me. It swept past, and all was
silent again. It was like a rush of silk or satin, or some fabric that,
suddenly crushed, gives out a crackling noise. All the blood in my body
gathered into my head; my eyes emitted fire, as if they had been struck
by a cord. A stifling sensation bubbled up to my throat, and I
involuntarily uttered a cry, which was echoed from a hundred recesses,
and continued at intervals, reverberating like a succession of shots in
the distance. I panted with horror, as I grasped the wall and listened.
My fear was too great to suffer me to cry out for help. The apprehension
of again invoking these dreadful echoes appalled me; I hardly breathed,
and stood still to listen, I know not how long. A death-like silence
pervaded the darkness. The soughing of the winds had ceased, or I
fancied so, the stillness was so heavy. It may be that my faculties were
intent upon that palpable sound I had heard, and could distinguish
nothing else.

At last I began to move, treading softly, and stopping at intervals to
watch and listen. I had scarcely proceeded in this way a dozen paces,
when I felt as plainly as if I saw the object in the broad glare of the
sun, a quick motion at my side in a nook or crevice of the wall. It was
like the effort of a person to shrink down and escape from me. In an
excess of fright and desperation I clutched at it with my hands, and
caught it--I say caught it, for a substance resembling a thick silk
filled the palms of both my hands. I held it with the grasp of one who
was struggling for life, and tried to speak, but my tongue was dry; and
I could not articulate a word: and while I held it, I was conscious that
the object was moving away--it moved away, and still I thought I held
it. I had not the power to loosen my fingers, which I had a strong
impulse to do--and then the silk glided out of them, although they were
coiled in it--and the next moment a grasp of muscles, cold and sharp,
was on my neck, and pressed into my flesh. I was distraught with terror,
and my senses forsook me.

When I recovered, I found myself lying on a couch in the great room, my
mother sitting at a distance, and an ancient female servant watching
over me.

This woman was the oldest domestic in the house. She had lived all her
life in the family, and had seen two generations into the grave. It was
from her lips I had learned most of the traditions that filled my head
with such alarm and curiosity; it was from her I had acquired a
knowledge of those subterranean passages in which I had encountered this
singular adventure; and as soon as my mother left the room I related the
whole story to her. She heard it to the end with a dark expression of
anger on her face, which I interpreted into a reproof on my willfulness
and folly in venturing into such places; and then she questioned me
severely as to what I heard and saw, and what I thought it could have
been. Finding that I could give her no satisfactory answers to these
questions, she enjoined me to hold my tongue about it, and above all
things not to speak of it to my mother. She rated me soundly for saying
that I firmly believed I had caught something like a woman's dress in my
hands; and she made me feel her old stuff gown, that I might assure
myself it was no such texture as that. "How could I be so silly as to
suppose that a woman, or even a man, would hide in vaults and passages
that had not been opened for hundreds of years? What could I imagine
they were doing there? It was more likely that rats, and toads, and bats
were to be found there than human beings." And a great deal more to the
like effect, as if she wanted to impress upon me that it was altogether
the fancy of a distempered brain, and no reality.

Yet, in spite of every thing she said, my conviction remained unaltered.
I could not be deceived in a fact so clearly attested by my own
sensations. But the mystery was never cleared up; and I brooded over it
in secret so perversely, that it exercised a blighting influence for a
long time upon my imagination.

Many years afterward a suspicion crossed my mind, that this woman knew
more about the matter than she cared to acknowledge. It was she who
carried me into the house, having discovered me, as she stated, lying
insensible in the court-yard; but I had no recollection of having found
my way out into the air--a circumstance which at the time did not
present itself to me in the light in which I am disposed to regard it
now. Nor should I, perhaps, have been led to suspect her of duplicity,
had she not acted with ingratitude at a time when sorrow and misfortune
had fallen upon the house that had nurtured her from infancy.


III.

My mother had no companion. Even the servants lived apart, and performed
their allotted offices at hours when she was not present; so that our
table was laid and our wants supplied, for the most part by unseen
hands. Such was my mother's way of life. Solitude and early griefs had
fallen heavily upon her spirits, and fretted her temper. She rarely
exchanged words with the servants, and never except upon unavoidable
occasions. A spoken language was almost interdicted among us, and in its
place the language of books was substituted. We dwelt in a world of our
own, in which the unreal was invested with a living interest.
Conversation wearied her; she had no sympathy with the actual life
around her, and had long closed her heart against it. But the charm of
books was ever fresh and inexhaustible. She possessed in a higher degree
than any person I ever knew the power of realizing their contents.
Portraits stepped out of them, and became as familiar to her as if they
had moved about her bodily in the flesh. This daily intercourse with the
creations of the brain fed her morbid desire for seclusion, and was
cultivated with an earnestness that proved fatal at last.

Her taste lay entirely in one direction; the marvelous and extravagant
alone interested her. She prohibited all works that treated of real
life, and sought for the excitement she loved in the region of wonder
and romance. Her library (a room of which I will speak more particularly
presently) was filled with histories of sorcery and enchantment--of
miraculous escapes and perils--providential interpositions--dreams,
omens, and spectral appearances--astrology and witchcraft--church-yard
legends, and the superstitions which ascribe a mysterious power to
spells, charms, and incantations--traditions of giants and
monsters--feats of the genii and evil spirits, and narratives that
embraced the whole round of that curious lore which relates to the
alchemists and diviners.

These books were the delight and occupation of her life; and when her
eyes latterly began to grow dim with age, it was my task to read them
aloud to her. At first, I revolted from this labor; it hung drearily
upon me, and sickened me. Youth is naturally mutinous under confinement,
and yearns for activity and freedom. But it was surprising how soon I
fell into her tastes, and found myself kindling, as she used to do, over
the horrors these terrible books unfolded. And now they took possession
of me, I began to believe in them as she did; and with belief, or the
awe which is so closely allied to it, my eagerness to penetrate further
and further grew into an irresistible passion. Many a time in the bleak
autumn nights, when the sharp winds snapped the leaves from the trees,
and drifted their crisp spoils against the windows, have I sat gasping
over some hideous tale, to which, by an involuntary association of
ideas, the desolation of the season imparted additional terrors. I was
wrought upon by that sort of fascination which resides in the eyes of
the snake, when it fixes its gaze upon the face of a child.

Children who have been brought up in a healthy collision with the world
know nothing of the state of fear and mental slavery I am describing. A
little judicious counsel would have dispelled these delusions; a little
timely explanation would have shown me their absurdity. But where was I
to seek it? In my isolation I had not a single adviser. I took all I
read for granted. The book could not dissipate the chaos of doubts and
importunities of struggling reason it generated; it was dumb, and could
not answer my questions. If I appealed to my mother, she was chafed at
the interruption and the heresy, and commanded me to read on. At last I
doubted no longer. Wonder after wonder swept away my feeble judgment. I
believed in a spiritual kingdom--in the return of the dead to the
earth--in the power of prophecy and the agency of demons--in second
sight and the elixir vitæ--in amulets and miraculous invocations; the
crystal mirror of Cornelius Agrippa, the witches of the Brocken, the
Flying Dutchman, the Wandering Jew, were all realities to me. The
ignorant alone believe in such things; but in this ignorance consisted
all the knowledge that was thrown open to me.

The library was at some distance from the inhabited part of the house.
It was an oblong room, with deep recesses, in which stood the old oak
book-cases. If we had had the power of selecting a theatre for the
performance of the legends which were read aloud here every night, we
could not have found one better adapted to the purpose. The apartment
was large and gloomy; and the tapestried walls, the ponderous draperies,
the polished floor, the painted ceiling, the high-backed chairs, and the
vast fire-place, with its carved mantle-shelf, supplied the very style
of scene and furniture best adapted to give a striking effect to tales
of crime and enchantment. Except close to the fire, and round the table
on which we placed our lights, the library, from its height and extent,
was buried in deep shadow; so that there was nothing wanted to help the
imagination to a fitting locality for all kinds of mysteries.

I shall never forget my mother's sensations on one occasion when I read
to her in this room an account of some man who kept watch through a
whole night in a haunted chamber, and was never heard of afterward. She
fancied that the tapestry moved, and called upon me to observe it. I did
so, and fancied I saw it too. Twice she grasped my arm, and bade me
cease; and looking shudderingly round, she twice desired me to listen,
and tell her if I did not hear a foot-fall passing the extremity of the
apartment in the dark with solemn regularity. I heard something--it was
like the slow tread of a sentinel.

It was in that room, which cast its gloom over every page, blotting out
its lines of sunshine wherever any happened to fall, that I read the
_Decameron_. The groups in the garden--radiant, joyous, and in rapt
attitudes of expectation and attention--were distinctly present to me,
but darkened by immediate associations. Sorrow and anguish seemed to sit
in their faces; there was no flush of emotion, no lightening in the
eyes, no intensity in the cleft lips, no streaming hair, or burning
cheeks, or startled gestures. All was cold, as if it were cut in marble.
That pallid circle of listeners, disposed in such picturesque forms,
seemed to me to be lying in a trance, so completely did the miserable
influence of that room kill the gayety of all objects, and leave nothing
but the skeleton behind.

We were never at a loss for excitement of this kind, which appeared,
indeed, the only thing for which we lived. Our pursuits were interrupted
for a time by the serious illness of my mother; but her irritable
temperament rendered her impatient of sickness, and before the signs of
the malady had passed out from her stricken frame she insisted upon
returning to her nightly vigils.

Night after night she continued at her dangerous indulgence, while her
eyes were visibly contracting a dull film, her cheeks wasting and
falling in, and her pulse growing fainter and fainter. It was not a
sight for a son to look upon, and tend with idle fancies and the
levities of fable. I felt this and remonstrated, and the agonizing
reality before me awakened me for a moment to the vanities of books. But
she persisted in her demand and still preserved her listening posture,
although the sense of hearing and the faculty of attention were sinking
rapidly.

Some weeks had been consumed in this way, when one winter night she
desired me to read a certain history from a favorite volume of old
legends. The history she selected was that of a supernatural appearance
that was alleged to have followed a gentleman of Verona with the
fidelity of a shadow. The history set forth the arts and devices by
which he endeavored to perplex and evade it--how he went into dark and
lonely places, and how still his spectral companion stood at his
side--how he rushed into crowded scenes, forcing his way violently
through the mass, in the hope that he would thus escape; but no matter
how dense the multitude, or by what stratagems and confederacy the
gentleman sought to bury himself out of sight, the apparition in its
human shape was ever standing or moving close beside him. The strangest
thing was that it bore an unnatural likeness to him, not only in its
face and form, but in its actions, which were always so faithfully and
so instantaneously copied after him, that they resembled a reflection in
a mirror. He tried the most painful and unexpected contortions, only to
see them reproduced with a rapidity that mocked his despair.

The history went on to say how he invented various schemes, and
underwent many fearful trials of sorcery, in the hope of banishing or
subduing his horrid familiar, but all in vain, for the fiend baffled all
his efforts, and was still found at his side, day and night, whether he
rode or walked, or threw himself on his couch for repose--how he
summoned courage to speak to it at last, and was answered by the echoes
of his own voice--how he swam floods with the ghastly thing floating
along with him on the surge--how he climbed the highest hills and fled
into savage caverns, the familiar still toiling or groveling beside
him--how, in a fit of madness, he tried to grapple it on the edge of a
precipice with the desperate intent of dragging it down with him into
the abyss below, and how the shape wrought in the struggle, impalpable
to the touch, but visible to the sight, like painted air--how, after
enduring horrible tortures, the man wasted away, and became a mere
shadow, the spirit waning and fading in like manner--and how the priests
of a holy order, in the solitudes of the Apennines, hearing of these
strange events, bethought them of shriving the man, and expelling the
incarnate devil that had worked such inexplicable misery upon him.

The history next went on to relate how the monks found the man so weak
and emaciated that he could scarcely take food or answer their
questions--and how they had him conveyed to their chapel at midnight,
amid the glare of torches and the chants of the holy brotherhood, the
imperishable fiend lying stretched by his side in the litter, in open
spite of the holy water with which they had sprinkled it, and of the
care with which they had caused it to be made so small that it was
thought impossible for him to find room upon it--and how, when the
wretched man was brought to the altar, they placed him upright before
it, and began to pray, the fiend all the while being in his usual place
next to his mortal fellow--and how, as the prayers proceeded and the
voices of the assembled priests, of whom numbers had collected from
distant places to witness the scene, ascended to the roof, filling the
sanctuary with solemn and blessed music, the man turned a look of
deathly fear, and gazed into the eyes of the spirit, the spirit giving
back the look with the same thrilling and awful expression--and how the
sufferer, when the venerable abbot came to the benediction, and offered
to place his hands upon his head, sank gradually down, the fiend sinking
with him--and how, as the last word was uttered, they vanished together
into the earth, and on the instant the torches were extinguished, as by
a sudden gust of wind.

When I came to this point of the story, I lifted my eyes to look upon my
mother. She sat upon her great chair opposite to me, looking straight at
me with a glassy and vacant stare. Her limbs were rigid, and a spasm sat
upon her features.

"Mother!" I exclaimed; "mother!" I could not speak more. I was choking
for utterance, my hair coiled out like living fibres, the room seemed to
swim round and round. I stretched out my arms and seized her hands--they
were cold, cold and clammy. Let me not dwell on it--in that spectral
chamber I was alone with the dead!


IV.

For many days afterward the house was like a tomb. My mother was laid
out in the state-room, which, never having been used in our time, had a
dank, earthy smell, and was wretchedly bleak and naked. She lay upon the
old square bed, whose hangings, swept up into a ring over head, were
once a bright orange damask, but now an undistinguishable tawny mass,
from which tracery and color had long disappeared. There was no other
article of furniture in the apartment, which bore dreary evidence of the
neglect into which it had fallen. The fire-place was closed up with a
screen; and the fragments of arras that hung from the walls were eaten
into shreds by the damp. Desolate was the pomp of the poor corpse that
lay freezing under its stately coverlid, in the icy air of that room.

The old woman, of whom I have already spoken, undertook the melancholy
office of watching the dead. She suffered nobody else to approach the
body. The house felt as if it were empty. Wherever a foot trod in the
passage it gave out a hollow sound; and the servants, scared by
undefined terror, immured themselves in their rooms, where they remained
cooped and huddled together till the last rites were over.

Then went forth a scanty procession of ashy faces, winding down the
black hills to the church-yard; and when she was laid in the grave, a
shudder passed among them, and they whispered one to another, and then
their eyes rested upon me. The action was significant of the feeling
with which they regarded my situation. I was the last of my race, and my
inheritance was little more than the mausoleum of my ancestors.

The old woman had done well to monopolize the tending of the dead, and
the management of the funeral. She knew my unfitness, from grief and
ignorance of the world, to enter upon such details; and she took them
all off my hands, with a most careful watchfulness of my ease--and her
own interest. During that brief interval of sorrow--when the whole
household had withdrawn into retirement--she collected all the plate,
valuables, and moneys, she could find in the house; and when the grave
was closed, and the servants had returned home, she was nowhere to be
found. She had, in short, made ample provision for the rest of her life
out of such spoils as she could secure; for which, I afterward
discovered, she had been making industrious preparations long before.
Some attempts were made to trace her, but they were fruitless.

This was my first experience of the heartlessness of the world; and,
although it is an incident of every-day occurrence in all civilized
communities, it was new to me at that time, and stung me to the soul.

After months of seclusion through the biting winter and spring, summer
came round again, and I thought I would venture abroad, in hope that the
air and a little activity and change of scene would recruit my health;
for I was shattered and nervous, and conscious of a prostration of mind
almost amounting to disease. The country round about was abrupt and
wild, covered with heather for the most part, broken up and picturesque,
and studded here and there with patches of bright verdure, invaded by
clumps of forest trees. In some places it took a mountainous character,
and brawling streams rushing through deep gorges and rocky glens
assimilated the scenery to the general tone of the region that lies
still farther to the north. The neighborhood was lonely and
unfrequented; it resembled the hilly solitudes of Arran and Bute; there
were few homesteads in the distant landscape to send up cheerful volumes
of smoke among the trees: and you might ride a whole morning without
meeting a wayfarer.

I was on horseback one day, passing leisurely in an idle mood out of the
mouth of a ravine that led to an open valley, when I saw a lady, in a
riding-habit, mounted at no great distance from me. Her horse was
apparently picking his way slowly through the hillocks that dotted the
surface of the sward. The appearance of a lady alone loitering in so
unfrequented a spot surprised me. Had I seen an apparition I could not
have been more astonished.

As she moved past toward the opposite side she turned her head, and her
clear, pensive eyes, fell full upon my face with an expression of
ineffable sweetness.

Where had I seen those features before? They seemed quite familiar to
me. The dress, the action of her arm as she reined up her horse, and,
above all, the sad beauty of her eyes, I could have protested I had seen
a hundred times. Yet an instant's reflection would have sufficed to
convince me that I was under a mistake, for visitors or friends like her
there were none in our lonely house.

Her brief, quiet glance, had something in it of a look of recognition. I
felt as if there was a recognition on both sides. I felt, too, or
imagined, that she was slightly agitated by it. I knew that my own heart
fluttered wildly. My solitary life had rendered me nervous, and the
dangerous lore with which my head was filled gave to the incident an
immediate coloring of romance. A new sensation had taken possession of
me, a new world was opening to me; the solitude and remoteness of the
place, and the unexpectedness of that vision rising up among the wild
flowers and the dark green heather, acted like a charm upon me, and
awakened me to a sense of bewildering delight I had never experienced
before.

There is always an awkwardness in country places at rencounters between
people who are unaccustomed to strangers. I hardly knew whether I should
advance or retreat, and suffering my horse to take his own course, he
carried me a little circuit behind a patch of trees that intervened
between us. When I looked again she was gone. Scarcely a moment had
elapsed, and she had vanished like a sunbow. I could hardly believe in a
disappearance so miraculous, and rubbed my eyes, and gazed again and
again over the vacant space before me. But she was nowhere to be seen.
My curiosity was highly excited, and, dashing at full speed over the
very spot she had so recently occupied, I traversed every outlet, but
without success. It was broad noon. I knew all the bridle-tracks in and
out of the valley, and it was impossible she could have taken any of
them, and escaped my vigilant search in so short a time. What, then, was
this form I had beheld? I had heard of Second Sight, and other visual
deceptions--was this one of them? Had she melted into air? Had she come
there only to mock me? Was I the victim of a self-delusion? The tortures
of Tantalus were slight in comparison with the misery I felt as I rode
round and round that sequestered dell, hoping in vain that she would
return. But it was unlike any misery that had ever preyed upon me
before. There was a strange thrill of expectation and uncertainty in
it, and it pointed to an object in the future which, from that hour,
gave me a novel interest in life. A total change had passed over me, and
any change was welcome.

Every day I renewed my visit to the same place, but the nymph of my
pilgrimage never returned to the spot where I had first beheld her.
Under this disappointment fancy liberally supplied a picture which
sustained and heightened my desire to gaze once more on the reality. By
a mental process, of which I can give no further account than that it is
very well known to all readers of romance who are endowed with faith and
imagination, I culled the most lovable and fascinating qualities of a
hundred heroines--the tenderness and devotion, gentleness and grace, of
all the Amandas, Isidoras, and Ethelindas, my brain had become
intimately acquainted with--and compiled out of them a suitable Ideal
for the worship of my perturbed affections. Nor was I satisfied with
creating this imaginary enchantress by a sweeping contribution from the
special charms of all the fine heroines I had read of, but I must needs
put her into every possible emergency that could show off her beauty and
her virtues to advantage. I believe I made her run the gauntlet of more
perilous adventures and extraordinary trials than ever befell any single
heroine in the whole library of fiction.

I could not for an instant dismiss her from my thoughts; and that one
look that had enthralled me was ever present to me. Even in sleep I was
haunted by its disturbing influence, and the tantalizing scene in the
valley was re-enacted, with sundry alterations and additions, over and
over again in my dreams. As it had then become the sole occupation of my
life to think of her, and to explore the country every day in search of
her, it was not very wonderful that her image should have resolved
itself into a settled illusion, possessing me so entirely that, in the
image conjured up by my distempered imagination, I should at last
believe that I actually saw before me that which I so cordially desired
to see, and the seeing which was the object that engrossed me to the
exclusion of all other pursuits. When one idea thus tyrannically absorbs
the mind, the very monotony of its pressure is apt to overlay the
reasoning faculties and coerce them into delusions. People mourning to
excess over the dead have sometimes supposed that they saw them again
"in their habit as they lived." Under the influence of great excitement,
profound grief has done the work of fever; and assuredly there is a
fever of the mind as well as of the body.

Thus it was that, laboring under this constant agony of desire, I saw
that abstraction of all conceivable loveliness once more. She was seated
in the library--in the very chair in which my mother died. I then little
suspected that I was entranced by a phantom of my own making, and that
the exquisite appearance that sat in my presence was of no more
substance than a beam of light, into which outlines and colors of
immortal beauty were infused by my heated fancy. I spoke to her--she
turned aside, and raised her hand with a motion, as I thought, of
surprise. Again I addressed her, and she rose, and passed noiselessly
toward the door. I confess that, anxious as I was to detain her, and
procure some explanation from her, my courage gave way at this movement,
and I spoke no more; but I followed her with my eyes, trying to read the
feeling that seemed to flit in hers. It was clear to me, ambiguous as
its expression was, and difficult as it is to explain it. The melancholy
smile that played over her features contained a history. There was love
(of course, having created her, it was natural I should make her return
my passion), intense love, darkened by some great sorrow, as if
insuperable obstacles stood in its way, and turned it to despair. She
retired to the door-way, and stood there for a moment in the attitude of
leave-taking. She was not, I thought, to be lost thus, and perhaps
forever--one effort, and I might yet preserve her. I advanced hastily to
grasp her hand, but as I stretched out mine to touch it, a chill, not of
fear, but awe, came upon me, and I stood looking helplessly upon the
inexplicable magic of her departure. She did not leave me in the manner
of one who fled from my approach, but rather as if she left me
reluctantly and by constraint, slowly and lingeringly dissolving from my
sight--like a bright cloud fainting from twilight into darkness.

A long illness followed this visitation. During the fever that
supervened, I was reunited in a delicious rapture to her who had so
mysteriously fascinated me. Alone with her in weird solitudes, I gazed
into the deep light of her eyes, fearing to speak lest at the sound of
my voice she might again vanish from me. Silence appeared to be
understood between us as the condition of our intercourse, so
unconsciously did my imagination adapt itself to the spiritual nature of
the delusion. At length the fever passed away, but although the body was
delivered from the raging fires that had consumed its strength, the mind
was still devoured by the same insatiable longing to discover the object
of my inextinguishable passion. I was shattered in health and spirits;
incapable of much exertion; and harassed by disappointments. I tried to
shake off the despair that was rapidly gaining an ascendency over me;
but the bleakness and loneliness of my life only helped to encourage it;
and I finally resolved to leave the country, and seek relief and
oblivion in new scenes and excitements. And so I forsook the old mansion
with a heavy heart, and directed my course to London.


V.

It was my first experiment in the world. I had no friends or
acquaintances in the great metropolis. I was a stranger in its thronged
thoroughfares, which are more desolate to a stranger than a howling
wilderness.

At first I was distracted out of myself by the whirl of the vortex in
which I found myself engulfed. The eternal din, the countless
multitudes, the occupation that was legibly written in every man's face,
gave me something to think of, and forced me into a sort of blind
activity. But the novelty of this uproar and bustle, in which my own
sympathies or interests were in no way engaged, soon palled upon me, and
threw me back upon the morbid humors which the sudden change had only
temporarily lulled. I panted again for quiet, and sought it in the depth
of the town.

At that time the church, of St. Martin-in-the-Fields was buried in a
mass of dingy buildings, which, clustering up about it on all sides,
blotted it out from the sun. These buildings were intersected by
numerous dark courts and passages, and in one of them there was a
retired tavern frequented by a few persons, mostly of an intellectual
caste--artists, musicians, authors; men of high aspirations, but whom
fortune never seemed weary of persecuting, and who met here of an
evening to compare notes, and vent their complaints against the world.
This was exactly the sort of company that fell in with my tastes. It was
a satisfaction to me to herd with disappointed men, and hear them rail
at the prosperity which refused to crown their merits. Their failures in
life had given a peculiar turn to their minds, and tinged their
conversation with a spirit of fatalism. They were one and all clearly
convinced that it was in vain to struggle against destiny--that no
genius, however original or lofty, could secure its legitimate rewards
by legitimate means--and that, in short, the only individuals really
deserving of success were those who, by a perverse dispensation of
laurels, never could attain it. This view of the wrongs and injustice
they suffered from society stirred up much pride and bitterness among
them, and led them into many abstract disquisitions, which were rendered
attractive to me, no less by the nature of the topics they selected,
than by the piquancy and boldness with which they dissected them.

The most remarkable person in this little knot was a young man of the
name of Forrester. Like myself, he was of no profession, and appeared to
be drawn into the circle by much the same motives. He was tall and pale,
and generally reserved in speech; but subject to singular
fluctuations--sometimes all sunshine, breaking out into fits of wild
enthusiasm, and sometimes overwhelmed with despondency. These
vicissitudes of mood and temperament, which indicated a troubled
experience beyond his years, interested my sympathies. The more intimate
I became with him, the more reason I had to suspect that his life, like
my own, was the depository of some heavy secret; but I did not venture
to question him on this point, from an apprehension which his bearing
toward me led me to entertain that a similar suspicion lurked in his
mind respecting me. I confess that I dreaded any allusion to my own
history, and carefully avoided all subjects likely to lead to it; for I
should have been ashamed to acknowledge the sufferings I underwent from
a cause which most men would have treated with ridicule and skepticism.
I was quite aware that it was vulnerable to attacks of that sort, and
the terror of having the deception, if it were one, which I had
cherished with such fervor, rudely assailed and beaten down by common
sense, made me preserve a strict silence in every thing relating to
myself--a precaution that probably gave a keener zest to the curiosity I
desired to baffle.

A strong friendship grew up between me and Forrester. We were both
idlers, and we discovered that, by a happy coincidence, our literary
tastes--if an industrious prosecution of desultory and unprofitable
reading may be dignified by such a term--lay in the same channels. He
was as deeply learned in the literature of the marvelous as I was
myself; and during the summer evenings we used to take long walks into
the country, beguiling the way by discussions upon a variety of
wonderful matters which we turned up out of our old stores. The exercise
at least was healthy, and the very disputations upon the evidence and
likelihood of these things strengthened my faculties, and cleared off
some clouds of credulity. This collision with another mind was a novelty
to me, and, for a time, diverted me from other thoughts.

At our tavern Forrester and I enjoyed distinguished popularity. Every
body listened to our opinions with attention, not so much because they
were remarkable for their soundness, as because they were generally
opposed to established notions, and were urged with earnestness. We
always spoke like men who speak out of their convictions, while most of
the others argued merely for argument's sake, and were ready to take any
side of a question for the pleasure of getting up a controversy, and
showing off their ingenuity.

One evening the conversation turned upon the possibility of the dead
revisiting the earth, and the theory of manifest warnings before
dissolution. The debate, which began in levity, soon took a more serious
tone, and we had been arguing a full hour before I discovered that
Forrester and I had engrossed the discussion to ourselves, the rest of
the company maintaining a profound silence, and listening to our
observations with undisguised wonder and astonishment. This discovery
abashed me a little, for I never meant to make such a display, and I
looked across at Forrester for the purpose of drawing his attention to
the circumstance. I perceived, then, for the first time, that his face
had undergone an extraordinary change. The natural pallor had taken an
almost livid hue. The ordinary placidity of his features had given place
to an expression of severe pain and alarm.

"What is the matter?" I inquired. "Are you ill?"

"No. Why do you ask?"

"You look dreadfully pale." He only smiled at this remark--but it was a
ghastly smile.

"I know that something is the matter," I cried. "What is it, Forrester?"

"Nothing. What can be the matter? Are we not all living men talking upon
equal terms, and in the best possible humor, about the dead? Why should
that affect me more than any body else?"

"I know not why it should," I replied, "but I feel it does."

"Are you quite sure," he returned, in a low voice, "that it does not
affect you as deeply?" He looked at me as if he knew my whole life,
which he could not have known; and, in spite of a violent effort to
suppress my feelings, I was conscious that I betrayed the agitation into
which I was thrown by that searching look.

"Come, come," he exclaimed, rallying wildly, "we have both looked death
in the face before now; and although use can not make it familiar, still
a sight often repeated must lose some of its horrors."

"No, you are wrong. I have not seen death often."

"Once--only once," he replied, in the same hollow voice; "but you have
seen many deaths in one."

"How do you know that?" I demanded; "or assume to know it?"

"One day you shall learn," he answered, calmly.

"You amaze me. Speak openly to me, Forrester, and not in these dark
enigmas. I can bear to hear."

"Can you bear to suffer?" he asked.

"I can--I think I can," I replied, shrinking at my heart from the ordeal
I invited. "I have suffered that which I should once have thought
utterly fabulous, and beyond human endurance."

"I know it. But endurance has its limits. The earthly can bear only that
which is of the earth--test them with sufferings that look out beyond
this world into the darkness of eternity, and they perish. The trial is
not in those things that are dated, bounded, and finite: it is where
speculation can not reach nor reason avail us, where human knowledge and
human strength are blind and idle, that the trial of that suffering
begins, which is akin to the penalties of immortal spirits--a beginning
without an end."

"I do not understand you," I answered.

"You _will_ understand me, however, when the hour arrives." Then
stopping short, he whispered, "they are observing us; this is not the
place for such a theme. We shall meet again, when you shall be
satisfied."

"When?"

"Soon--I fear too soon. No matter--we shall meet, and you shall be
satisfied."

He rose and left the room.

I was restrained from following him only by the consideration that I
should expose myself to the criticisms of our companions, who, I had
observed, were fond of making merry at the expense of their absent
friends; and as I was beginning to feel very sensitive to ridicule, I
determined not to give them an opportunity of exercising their wit upon
me.

When Forrester was gone, they immediately took him to pieces. His
character, habits, life, and opinions, furnished them with abundant
materials for commentary, which they were all the less scrupulous in
dealing freely with because they really knew little or nothing about
him. One said that there was a mysterious something about Forrester that
he couldn't make out--it might be all right, but, for his part, he liked
people to be candid with you and above-board; another remarked, that a
man who lived nobody knew exactly how, and who disappeared every night
at pretty much the same hour, and was so very incommunicative about his
pursuits, laid himself open to suspicion, at all events; a third
suggested that, probably, he had experienced some blight, which had
spoiled him for company--perhaps he had been crossed in love (here there
was a general laugh, and a rapid succession of puns); while a fourth,
who made it a rule never to form a judgment on any man's character
without knowing him thoroughly, could not help observing that Mr.
Forrester certainly held some rather extraordinary doctrines about
ghosts and other nonsense of that sort, which, to be sure, was no
imputation on his character, but--here the speaker stopped short, and
shook his head in a very significant manner.

These opinions, delivered off-hand, puzzled me exceedingly, for I could
not arrive at their meaning. It was evident that Forrester was an object
of mystery to our friends--and so he was to me. But neither they nor I
could get any farther in the matter. They, however, dismissed him from
their minds with the drain of their glasses, while I lay restlessly all
night ruminating on what had occurred.

I was passing through a state of transition from the seclusion in which
my faculties had been kept dormant into a section of society which was
eminently calculated to awaken and sharpen them for use. I was already
getting into a habit of reasoning with myself, of trying to trace
effects to causes, and examining with suspicion many things which I had
hitherto taken upon trust. At first I committed numerous blunders, and
fell into all sorts of mistakes, in my eagerness to emulate the
cleverness of the experienced individuals with whom I was in the habit
of associating. And I could not have dropped upon a clique better
qualified or disposed to ride roughshod over the whole region of
romance. They were generally practical men and some of them were worldly
men; for although not one of them was able to do any thing for himself,
they were all adepts in the knowledge of what other people ought to do.
They looked with supreme contempt upon sentimental people, and took
infinite pleasure in running them down. They were not the sort of men to
be tricked by appearances or clap-trap. They despised finery, and
ostentation, and outside manners. They loved to look at things as they
were, and to call them by their proper names; never, by any accident,
over-rating an excellence, but very frequently exaggerating a defect,
which they considered as an error on the right side. In this severe
school I acquired a few harsh practical views of life, and was beginning
to feel its realities growing up about me; but in the progress from the
visionary to the real there were many shapes of darkness yet to be
struggled with.

A few nights afterward I met Forrester on his way to the rendezvous.
There was the same unaccountable reserve in his manner which he betrayed
at our last abrupt parting; but my anxiety, awakened more by his looks
than his words, would not brook delay. I resolved to get an explanation
on the spot.

"Forrester," I said, "you have inflicted a pain upon me which no man has
a right to inflict upon another, without giving him at the same time his
full confidence. You have made use of strange allusions and hints, which
you are bound to explain. You seem to know more about me than I have
myself ever confided to you, or than you could have known through any
channels with which I am acquainted. I ask you to satisfy me at once
whether it is so, or not?"

"It is so," he replied. "You see I am as frank as you are curious."

"But that does not satisfy me. You say you know more about me than I
have thought it necessary or desirable to impart to you. What is it that
you know?"

"Little," he returned with a singularly disagreeable smile.

"Then it will be the sooner told. What is that little?" and I uttered
the last word with rather a bitter and satirical emphasis.

Forrester drew up gravely at this, and replied to me slowly,

"That little is all. All that has ever happened to you, and the whole
may be expressed in a single word. Your life has scarcely had enough of
action in it to stir the surface; it has been a life of inward strife."

"You have described it truly. My world has not been like that of other
men."

"Nor mine; but I have come out of the mist, and you are in it still."

"You speak riddles, and involve me in deeper obscurity than ever. But I
am resolved to be satisfied, and will be trifled with no longer. What is
that which you said, nay, pledged yourself I should soon learn?"

"You must not be impatient. Do not fear that I will not keep my pledge.
If you knew all, you would understand that I dare not break it.
To-morrow night, at this hour precisely, meet me on this spot, and you
shall be made wiser; happier, I will not promise. Better it should never
be, than that it should be too late. This is dark to you now, it will
soon be clear enough."

We shook hands after the promise of meeting on the following night, and
so parted. Neither of us was in a condition to join the cynics at the
tavern.

After a night of feverish suspense I rose early the next morning, my
brain full of the prospect, clouded as it was, of the interview with
Forrester. The day was passed in a ferment of agitation; I could not
remain at home; I wandered abroad, forgot to dine, and was racked with a
presentiment that my fate, for good or evil, hung upon the issue of the
night.


VI.

At last the appointed hour arrived. Forrester was punctual to the
moment. He was evidently affected by some strong emotion, which he made
fearful efforts to control. I was too much touched by his condition, and
had too much dread about what was coming, to venture upon any questions,
particularly as he seemed to desire silence. He locked his arm in mine
violently, and, without uttering a word, we traversed several streets
till we reached a part of the town with which I was unacquainted. As we
went forward Forrester's agitation sensibly increased; and when we
entered a small square, in the centre of which there was a stunted
plantation, with a mutilated fountain in the midst, he suddenly stopped,
and turning, looked me full in the face.

"Have you courage?" he demanded.

"Mortal courage," I replied, "no more."

"Well, well, we are fools," he continued; "very worms, to think that we
can cope with that which even to endure in ignorance is a task that
sublimes our nature. Suffering is retributive and purifying. This is my
last agony."

He then advanced hastily to a house, the door of which was screened by a
low porch, tastefully covered with creepers. In his attitude at this
instant there was a grandeur that made a deep impression upon me; it was
derived from the triumph of his manly spirit over the anguish that was
laboring at his heart. He knocked, and the door was hurriedly opened by
a servant in mourning.

I should here remark that I had never been at his house before, although
I had known him many months; nor was I even then aware that the house we
were entering was his.

Motioning me to follow him up the stairs, which he ascended stealthily,
I crept up after him with a very uneasy mind. When he reached the
drawing-room door he paused for a moment, then turning the handle slowly
and noiselessly, he entered the room. One glance at the apartment gave
me a general idea of its character. It was small and fashionably
furnished, but had an air of neglect and disorder which indicated that
its tenant had been long confined by illness. At the opposite side was a
sofa, which, for convenience, had been moved near the fire. A lady,
apparently in a very delicate state of health (I could only judge by the
languor of her position, for I could not see her face), lay resting upon
it. Forrester stole quietly to her side, and took her hand.

"Gertrude, how do you feel this evening?"

A sigh, from the depths of her heart, answered him.

"Don't be alarmed; I am not alone; we have come to--"

"Who?" she demanded, suddenly raising herself from the sofa. "Who is
come? Come!--come!--you!--Henry--and--"

She looked at me; I stood in the full light of the fire; our eyes met;
every vein and artery in my body seemed to beat audibly; she uttered an
hysterical cry, and fell back upon the sofa. I rushed to catch her,
sobbed, gasped, tried to speak, flung myself upon my knees before her,
and madly clasped the drooping hand, the living hand, of her who had so
long enthralled my soul, and who, until this hour, had appeared to me
more like a spirit of another world than a being of the earth like
myself.

During this short and agitated scene, Forrester stood looking at us with
a mixed expression of grief and satisfaction. His mind was evidently
relieved of some weight that had oppressed it, but there still remained
a heavy pang behind. His fortitude was admirable.

"It is accomplished!" he exclaimed, flinging himself into a chair; "and
if there be a hope of repose left, perhaps I may live to look back upon
this night with tranquillity."

The excitement of the moment affected the invalid so much that her
strength sank under it, and she fainted in my arms. I did not perceive
this until Forrester, whose watchfulness respecting her was unceasing,
gently directed my attention to it, at the same time moving her to an
easier position. I was too much bewildered to have sufficient
self-possession to know what to do, but, trivial as this accident was,
it instantly awoke me to the full consciousness that she lived and
breathed before me; she who had hitherto been to me like the invisible
spirit that accompanied the knight of old, uttering sweet sounds in the
air, until his heart was consumed by the love of that Voice which poured
its faithful music into his ears. It was a new life to know that she
lived, and that the happiness I had so hopelessly yearned for was now
within my reach.

"Enough," cried Forrester, "for the present. Let us leave her. She will
be tended by more skillful leeches than we should prove."

A servant entered the room just as we retired, and after one long gaze,
in which all past delusions seemed to expire, I followed him hastily
into the street.

I stopped at the first retired place we reached. The explanation could
no longer be delayed, but my impatience was so great that I interrupted
it by a flood of questions. My mind was full of wonder, and I broke
forth into a series of interrogatories, for the purpose of getting the
information I wanted in the order of my own thoughts.

"Resolve me, Forrester," I concluded,--"resolve me on all these points,
for I begin to fear that my life has hithertofore been but a dream, and
that even the reality which I have just looked upon will perish like the
rest."

"Patience, patience!" he returned; "my thoughts are as confused as
yours. I have as many scattered recollections to gather up as you have
questions to put, and I know not if either of us can be satisfied in the
end. But I am worn out. This new demand on my spirits has exhausted me.
Let us go forward to a seat."

We advanced into the shrubbery, and in one of the recesses we found a
seat. After a pause, Forrester began his revelations.


  (_To be continued._)



MAURICE TIERNAY, THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.

(_Continued from Page 372._)


CHAPTER XXIII. "THE TOWN-MAJOR OF CASTLEBAR."

I am at a loss to know whether or not I owe an apology to my reader for
turning away from the more immediate object of this memoir of a life, to
speak of events which have assumed an historical reputation. It may be
thought ill-becoming in one who occupied the subordinate station that I
did, to express himself on subjects so very far above both his
experience and acquaintance; but I would premise, that in the opinions I
may have formed, and the words of praise or censure dropped, I have been
but retailing the sentiments of those older and wiser than myself, and
by whose guidance I was mainly led to entertain not only the
convictions, but the prejudices, of my early years.

Let the reader bear in mind, too, that I was very early in life thrown
into the society of men--left self-dependent, in a great measure, and
obliged to decide for myself on subjects which usually are determined by
older and more mature heads. So much of excuse, then, if I seem
presumptuous in saying that I began to conceive a very low opinion
generally of popular attempts at independence, and a very high one of
the powers of military skill and discipline. A mob, in my estimation,
was the very lowest, and an army about the very highest, object I could
well conceive. My short residence at Castlebar did not tend to
controvert these impressions. The safety of the town and its inhabitants
was entirely owing to the handful of French who held it, and who,
wearied with guards, pickets, and outpost duty, were a mere fraction of
the small force that had landed a few days before.

Our "allies" were now our most difficult charge. Abandoning the hopeless
task of drilling and disciplining them, we confined ourselves to the
more practical office of restraining pillage and repressing violence--a
measure, be it said, that was not without peril, and of a very serious
kind. I remember one incident, which, if not followed by grave
consequences, yet appeared at the time of a very serious character.

By the accidental mis-spelling of a name, a man named Dowall, a
notorious ruffian and demagogue, was appointed "Commandant-de-Place," or
Town-Major, instead of a most respectable shopkeeper named Downes, and
who, although soon made aware of the mistake, from natural timidity,
took no steps to undeceive the General. Dowall was haranguing a mob of
half-drunken vagabonds, when his commission was put into his hands; and
accepting the post as an evidence of the fears the French entertained of
his personal influence, became more overbearing and insolent than ever.
We had a very gallant officer, the second major of the 12th Regiment of
the Line, killed in the attack on Castlebar, and this Dowall at once
took possession of poor Delactre's horse, arms, and equipment. His coat
and chako, his very boots and gloves, the scoundrel appropriated; and,
as if in mockery of us and our poor friend, assumed a habit that he had,
when riding fast, to place his sabre between his leg and the saddle, to
prevent its striking the horse on the flanks.

I need scarcely say that thoroughly disgusted by the unsightly
exhibition, our incessant cares, and the endless round of duty we were
engaged in, as well as the critical position we occupied, left us no
time to notice the fellow's conduct by any other than a passing sign of
anger or contempt--provocations that he certainly gave us back as
insolently as we offered them. I do not believe that the General ever
saw him, but I know that incessant complaints were daily made to him
about the man's rapacity and tyranny, and scarcely a morning passed
without a dozen remonstrances being preferred against his overbearing
conduct.

Determined to have his own countrymen on his side, he issued the most
absurd orders for the billeting of the rabble, the rations and
allowances of all kinds. He seized upon one of the best houses for his
own quarters, and three fine saddle-horses for his personal use, besides
a number of inferior ones for the ruffian following he called his staff!

It was, indeed, enough to excite laughter, had not indignation been the
more powerful emotion, to see this fellow ride forth of a morning--a
tawdry scarf of green, with deep gold fringe, thrown over his shoulder,
and a saddle-cloth of the same color, profusely studded with gold
shamrocks, on his horse; a drawn sword in his hand, and his head erect,
followed by an indiscriminate rabble on foot or horseback--some with
muskets, some pikes, some with sword-blades, bayonets, or even knives
fastened on sticks, but all alike ferocious-looking and savage.

They affected to march in order, and, with a rude imitation of soldiery,
carried something like a knapsack on their shoulders, surmounted by a
kettle, or tin-cup, or sometimes an iron-pot--a grotesque parody on the
trim-cooking equipment of the French soldier. It was evident, from their
step and bearing, that they thought themselves in the very height of
discipline; and this very assumption was far more insulting to the real
soldier than all the licentious irregularity of the marauder. If to us
they were objects of ridicule and derision, to the townspeople they were
images of terror and dismay. The miserable shopkeeper who housed one of
them lived in continual fear; he knew nothing to be his own, and felt
that his property and family were every moment at the dictate of a
ruffian gang, who acknowledged no law, nor any rule save their own will
and convenience. Dowall's squad were indeed as great a terror in that
little town as I had seen the great name of Robespierre in the proud
city of Paris.

In my temporary position on General Serazin's staff, I came to hear much
of this fellow's conduct. The most grievous stories were told me every
day of his rapacity and cruelty; but harassed and overworked, as the
General was, with duties that would have been over-much for three or
four men, I forbore to trouble him with recitals, which could only fret
and distress _him_, without affording the slightest chance of relief to
_others_. Perhaps this impunity had rendered him more daring; or,
perhaps, the immense number of armed Irish, in comparison with the small
force of disciplined soldiers, emboldened the fellow; but certainly he
grew, day by day, more presumptuous and insolent, and at last so far
forgot himself as to countermand one of General Serazin's orders, by
which a guard was stationed at the Protestant church to prevent its
being molested or injured by the populace.

General Humbert had already refused the Roman Catholic priest his
permission to celebrate mass in that building; but Dowall had determined
otherwise, and that, too, by a written order under his own hand. The
French sergeant who commanded the guard of course paid little attention
to this warrant; and when Father Hennisy wanted to carry the matter with
a high hand, he coolly tore up the paper, and threw the fragments at
him. Dowall was soon informed of the slight offered to his mandate. He
was at supper at the time, entertaining a party of his friends, who all
heard the priest's story, and of course, loudly sympathized with his
sorrows, and invoked the powerful leader's aid and protection. Affecting
to believe that the sergeant had merely acted in ignorance, and from not
being able to read English, Dowall dispatched a fellow, whom he called
his aid-de-camp, a schoolmaster named Lowrie, and who spoke a little bad
French, to interpret his command, and to desire the sergeant to withdraw
his men, and give up the guard to a party of "the squad."

Great was the surprise of the supper party, when, after the lapse of
half an hour, a country fellow came in to say that he had seen Lowrie
led off to prison between two French soldiers. By this time Dowall had
drunk himself into a state of utter recklessness; while encouraged by
his friend's praises, and the arguments of his own passions, he fancied
that he might dispute ascendency with General Humbert himself. He at
once ordered out his horse, and gave a command to assemble the "squad."
As they were all billeted in his immediate vicinity, this was speedily
effected, and their numbers swelled by a vast mass of idle and curious,
who were eager to see how the matter would end; the whole street was
crowded, and when Dowall mounted, his followers amounted to above a
thousand people.

If our sergeant, an old soldier of the "Sambre et Meuse," had not
already enjoyed some experience of our allies, it is more than likely
that, seeing their hostile advance, he would have fallen back upon the
main guard, then stationed in the market-square. As it was, he simply
retired his party within the church, the door of which had already been
pierced for the use of musketry. This done, and one of his men being
dispatched to head-quarters for advice and orders, he waited patiently
for the attack.

I happened that night to make one of General Serazin's dinner party, and
we were sitting over our wine, when the officer of the guard entered
hastily with the tidings of what was going on in the town.

"Is it the Commandant-de-Place himself is at the head?" exclaimed
Serazin, in amazement, such a thought being a direct shock to all his
ideas of military discipline.

"Yes, sir," said the officer; "the soldier knows his appearance well,
and can vouch for its being him."

"As I know something of him, General," said I, "I may as well mention
that nothing is more likely."

"Who is he--what is he?" asked Serazin hastily.

A very brief account--I need not say not a flattering one--told all that
I knew or had ever heard of our worthy "Town Major." Many of the
officers around corroborating, as I went on, all that I said, and
interpolating little details of their own about his robberies and
exactions.

"And yet I have heard nothing of all this before," said the General,
looking sternly around him on every side.

None ventured on a reply, and what might have followed there is no
guessing, when the sharp rattle of musketry cut short all discussion.

"That fire was not given by soldiers," said Serazin. "Go, Tiernay, and
bring this fellow before me at once."

I bowed, and was leaving the room, when an officer, having whispered a
few words in Serazin's ear, the General called me back, saying,

"You are not to incur any risk, Tiernay; I want no struggle, still less
a rescue. You understand me."

"Perfectly, General; the matter will, I trust, be easy enough!"

And so I left the room, my heart, shall I avow it, bumping and throbbing
in a fashion that gave a very poor corroboration to my words. There
were always three or four horses ready saddled for duty at each
general's quarters, and taking one of them, I ordered a corporal of
dragoons to follow me, and set out. It was a fine night of autumn; the
last faint sunlight was yet struggling with the coming darkness, as I
rode at a brisk trot down the main street toward the scene of action.

I had not proceeded far when the crowds compelled me to slacken my pace
to a walk, and finding that the people pressed in upon me in such a way
as to prevent any thing like a defense if attacked, still more, any
chance of an escape by flight, I sent the corporal forward to clear a
passage, and announce my coming to the redoubted "Commandant." It was
curious to see how the old dragoon's tactics effected his object, and
with what speed the crowd opened and fell back, as with a flank movement
of his horse he "passaged" up the street, prancing, bounding, and
back-leaping, yet all the while perfectly obedient to the hand, and
never deviating from the straight line in the very middle of the
thoroughfare.

I could catch from the voices around me that the mob had fired a volley
at the church-door, but that our men had never returned the fire, and
now a great commotion of the crowd, and that swaying, surging motion of
the mass, which is so peculiarly indicative of a coming event, told that
something more was in preparation; and such was it; for already numbers
were hurrying forward with straw-fagots, broken furniture, and other
combustible material, which, in the midst of the wildest cries and
shouts of triumph, were now being heaped up against the door. Another
moment, and I should have been too late--as it was, my loud summons to
"halt," and a bold command for the mob to fall back, only came at the
very last minute.

"Where's the Commandant?" said I, in an imperious tone. "Who wants him?"
responded a deep husky voice, which I well knew to be Dowall's.

"The general in command of the town," said I, firmly; "General Serazin."

"Maybe I'm as good a general as himself," was the answer. "I never
called him my superior yet! Did I, boys?"

"Never--devil a bit--why would you?" and such like, were shouted by the
mob around us, in every accent of drunken defiance.

"You'll not refuse General Serazin's invitation to confer with your
Commandant, I hope?" said I, affecting a tone of respectful civility,
while I gradually drew nearer and nearer to him, contriving, at the
same, by a dexterous plunging of my horse, to force back the bystanders,
and thus isolate my friend Dowall.

"Tell him I've work to do here," said he, "and can't come; but if he's
fond of a bonfire he may as well step down this far and see one."

By this time, at a gesture of command from me, the corporal had placed
himself on the opposite side of Dowall's horse, and by a movement
similar to my own, completely drove back the dense mob, so that we had
him completely in our power, and could have sabred or shot him at any
moment.

"General Serazin only wishes to see you on duty, Commandant," said I,
speaking in a voice that could be heard over the entire assemblage; and
then, dropping it to a whisper, only audible to himself, I added,

"Come along, quietly, sir, and without a word. If you speak, if you
mutter, or if you lift a finger, I'll run my sabre through your body."

"Forward, way, there," shouted I aloud, and the corporal, holding
Dowall's bridle, pricked the horse with the point of his sword, and
right through the crowd we went at a pace that defied following, had any
the daring to think of it.

So sudden was the act and so imminent the peril, for I held the point of
my weapon within a few inches of his back, and would have kept my word
most assuredly too, that the fellow never spoke a syllable as we went,
nor ventured on even a word of remonstrance till we descended at the
General's door. Then, with a voice tremulous with restrained passion, he
said,

"If ye think I'll forgive ye this thrick, my fine boy, may the flames
and fire be my portion! and if I hav'n't my revenge on ye yet, my name
isn't Mick Dowall."

With a dogged, sulky resolution he mounted the stairs, but as he neared
the room where the General was, and from which his voice could even now
be heard, his courage seemed to fail him, and he looked back as though
to see if no chance of escape remained. The attempt would have been
hopeless, and he saw it.

"This is the man, General," said I, half pushing him forward into the
middle of the room, where he stood with his hat on, and in attitude of
mingled defiance and terror.

"Tell him to uncover," said Serazin; but one of the aids-de-camp, more
zealous than courteous, stepped forward and knocked the hat off with his
hand. Dowall never budged an inch, nor moved a muscle, at this insult;
to look at him you could not have said that he was conscious of it.

"Ask him if it was by his orders that the guard was assailed?" said the
General.

I put the question in about as many words but he made no reply.

"Does the man know where _he_ is? Does he know who _I_ am?" repeated
Serazin, passionately.

"He knows both well enough, sir," said I; "this silence is a mere
defiance of us."

"Parbleu!" cried an officer, "that is the 'coquin' took poor Delactre's
equipments; the very uniform he has on was his."

"The fellow was never a soldier," said another.

"I know him well," interposed a third, "he is the very terror of the
townsfolk."

"Who gave him his commission?--who appointed him?" asked Serazin.

Apparently the fellow could follow some words of French, for as the
General asked this he drew from his pocket a crumpled and soiled paper,
which he threw heedlessly upon the table before us.

"Why this is not his name, sir," said I: "this appointment is made out
in the name of Nicholas Downes, and our friend here is called Dowall."

"Who knows him? who can identify him?" asked Serazin.

"I can say that his name is Dowall, and that he worked as a porter on
the quay in this town when I was a boy," said a young Irishman who was
copying letters and papers at a side-table. "Yes, Dowall," said the
youth, confronting the look which the other gave him, "I am neither
afraid nor ashamed to tell you to your face that I know you well, and
who you are, and what you are."

"I'm an officer in the Irish Independent Army now," said Dowall,
resolutely. "To the divil I fling the French commission and all that
belongs to it. 'Tisn't troops that run and guns that burst we want. Let
them go back again the way they came, we're able for the work
ourselves."

Before I could translate this rude speech an officer broke into the
room, with tidings that the streets had been cleared, and the rioters
dispersed; a few prisoners of the squad, too, were taken, whose muskets
bore trace of being recently discharged.

"They fired upon our pickets, General," said the officer, whose excited
look and voice betrayed how deeply he felt the outrage.

The men were introduced; three ragged, ill-looking wretches, apparently
only roused from intoxication by the terror of their situation, for each
was guarded by a soldier with a drawn bayonet in his hand.

"We only obeyed ordhers my lord; we only did what the Captain tould us;"
cried they in a miserable, whining tone, for the sight of their leader
in captivity had sapped all their courage.

"What am I here for? Who has any business with _me_?" said Dowall,
assuming before his followers, an attempt at his former tone of bully.

"Tell him," said Serazin, "that wherever a French general stands in full
command he will neither brook insolence nor insubordination. Let those
fellows be turned out of the town, and warned never to approach the
quarters of the army under any pretense whatever. As for this scoundrel
we'll make an example of him. Order a peloton into the yard and shoot
him."

I rendered this speech into English as the General spoke it, and never
shall I forget the wild scream of the wretch as he heard the sentence.

"I'm an officer in the army of Ireland. I don't belong to ye at all.
You've no power over me. Oh, Captain, darlin'; oh, gentlemen, speak for
me! General, dear; General, honey, don't sintince me! don't for the love
of God!" and in groveling terror the miserable creature threw himself
on his knees to beg for mercy.

"Tear off his epaulettes," cried Serazin, "never let a French uniform be
so disgraced."

The soldiers wrenched off the epaulettes at the command, and not
satisfied with this they even tore away the lace from the cuffs of the
uniform, which now hung in ragged fragments over his trembling hands.

"Oh, sir, oh, General! oh, gentlemen, have marcy!"

"Away with him," said Serazin contemptuously; "it is only the cruel can
be such cowards. Give the fellow his fusillade with blank cartridge, and
the chances are fear will kill outright."

The scene that ensued is too shocking, too full of abasement to record;
there was nothing that fear of death, nothing that abject terror could
suggest, that this miserable wretch did not attempt to save his life; he
wept--he begged in accents that were unworthy of all manhood--he kissed
the very ground at the General's feet in his abject sorrow; and when at
last he was dragged from the room his screams were the most terrific and
piercing.

Although all my compassion was changed into contempt, I felt that I
could never have given the word to fire upon him, had such been my
orders; his fears had placed him below all manhood, but they still
formed a barrier of defense around him. I accordingly whispered a few
words to the sergeant as we passed down the stairs, and then affecting
to have forgotten something, I stepped back toward the room, where the
General and his staff were sitting. The scuffling sound of feet, mingled
with the crash of fire-arms, almost drowned the cries of the still
struggling wretch; his voice, however, burst forth into a wild cry, and
then there came a pause--a pause that at last became insupportable to my
anxiety, and I was about to rush down stairs, when a loud yell, a savage
howl of derision and hate burst forth from the street; and on looking
out I saw a vast crowd before the door, who were shouting after a man,
whose speed soon carried him out of reach. This was Dowall, who thus
suffered to escape, was told to fly from the town, and never to return
to it.

"Thank heaven," muttered I, "we've seen the last of him."

The rejoicing, was, however, premature.


CHAPTER XXIV. "THE MISSION TO THE NORTH."

I have never yet been able to discover whether General Humbert really
did feel the confidence that he assumed at this period, or that he
merely affected it, the better to sustain the spirits of those around
him. If our success at Castlebar was undeniable, our loss was also
great, and far more than proportionate to all the advantages we had
acquired. Six officers and two hundred and forty men were either killed
or badly wounded, and as our small force had really acquired no
reinforcement worth the name, it was evident that another such costly
victory would be our ruin.

Not one gentleman of rank or influence had yet joined us, few of the
priesthood, and, even among the farmers and peasantry, it was easy to
see that our recruits comprised those whose accession could never have
conferred honor or profit on any cause.

Our situation was any thing but promising. The rumors that reached us,
and we had no other or more accurate information than rumors, told that
an army of thirty thousand men under the command of Lord Cornwallis, was
in march against us; that all the insurrectionary movements of the south
were completely repressed; that the spirit of the rebels was crushed,
and their confidence broken, either by defeat or internal treachery. In
a word that the expedition had already failed, and the sooner we had the
means of leaving the land of our disasters the better.

Such were the universal feelings of all my comrades; but Humbert, who
often had told us that we were only here to "éclairer la route" for
another and more formidable mission, now pretended to think that we were
progressing most favorably toward a perfect success. Perhaps he firmly
believed all this, or perhaps he thought that the pretense would give
more dignity to the finale of an exploit, which he already saw was
nearly played out! I know not which is the true explanation, and am half
disposed to think that he was actuated as much by one impulse as the
other.

"The army of the North" was the talisman, which we now heard of for the
first time, to repair all our disasters, and insure complete victory.
"The Army of the North," whose strength varied from twenty to
twenty-five, and sometimes reached even thirty thousand men, and was
commanded by a distinguished Irish general, was now the centre to which
all our hopes turned. Whether it had already landed, and where, of what
it consisted, and how officered, not one of us knew any thing; but by
dint of daily repetition and discussion we had come to believe in its
existence as certainly as though we had seen it under arms.

The credulous lent their convictions without any trouble to themselves
whatever; the more skeptical studied the map, and fancied twenty
different places in which they might have disembarked; and thus the
"Army of the North" grew to be a substance and reality, as undoubted as
the scenes before our eyes.

Never was such a ready solution of all difficulties discovered as this
same "Army of the North." Were we to be beaten by Cornwallis it was only
a momentary check, for the Army of the North would come up within a few
days and turn the whole tide of war. If our Irish allies grew
insubordinate or disorderly, a little patience, and the Army of the
North would settle all that. Every movement projected was fancied to be
in concert with this redoubted corps, and at last every trooper that
rode in from Killala or Ballina was questioned as to whether his
dispatches did not come from the Army of the North.

Frenchmen will believe any thing you like for twenty-four hours. They
can be flattered into a credulity of two days, and, by dint of great
artifice and much persuasion, will occasionally reach a third; but
there, faith has its limit; and if nothing palpable, tangible, and real
intervene, skepticism ensues; and what with native sarcasm, ridicule,
and irony, they will demolish the card edifice of credit far more
rapidly than ever they raised it. For two whole days the "Army of the
North" occupied every man among us. We toasted it over our wine; we
discussed it at our quarters; we debated upon its whereabouts, its
strength, and its probable destination; but on the third morning a
terrible shock was given to our feelings by a volatile young Lieutenant
of Hussars exclaiming--

"_Ma foi!_ I wish I could see this same 'Army of the North!'"

Now, although nothing was more reasonable than this wish, nor was there
any one of us who had not felt a similar desire, this sudden expression
of it struck us all most forcibly, and a shrinking sense of doubt spread
over every face, and men looked at each other, as though to say, "Is the
fellow capable of supposing that such an army does not exist?" It was a
very dreadful moment--a terrible interval of struggle between the broad
day-light of belief and the black darkness of incredulity; and we turned
glances of actual dislike at the man who had so unwarrantably shaken our
settled convictions.

"I only said I should like to see them under arms," stammered he, in the
confusion of one who saw himself exposed to public obloquy.

This half apology came too late, the mischief was done! and we shunned
each other like men who were afraid to read the accusation of even a
shrewd glance. As for myself, I can compare my feelings only to those of
the worthy alderman, who broke out into a paroxysm of grief on hearing
that "Robinson Crusoe" was a fiction. I believe, on that sudden
revulsion of feeling, I could have discredited any and every thing. If
there was no Army of the North, was I quite sure that there was any
expedition at all? Were the generals mere freebooters, the chiefs of a
marauding venture? Were the patriots any thing but a disorderly rabble,
eager for robbery and bloodshed? Was Irish Independence a mere phantom?
Such were among the shocking terrors that came across my mind as I sat
in my quarters, far too dispirited and depressed to mix among my
comrades.

It had been a day of fatiguing duty, and I was not sorry, as night fell,
that I might betake myself to bed, to forget, if it might be, the
torturing doubts that troubled me. Suddenly I heard a heavy foot upon
the stair, and an orderly entered with a command for me to repair to the
head-quarters of the General at once. Never did the call of duty summon
me less willing, never found me so totally disinclined to obey. I was
weary and fatigued; but worse than this, I was out of temper with
myself, the service, and the whole world. Had I heard that the Royal
forces were approaching, I was exactly in the humor to have dashed into
the thick of them, and sold my life as dearly as I could, out of
desperation.

Discipline is a powerful antagonist to a man's caprices, for with all my
irritability and discontent, I arose, and resuming my uniform, set out
for General Humbert's quarters. I followed "the orderly," as he led the
way through many a dark street and crooked alley, till we reached the
square. There, too, all was in darkness, save at the mainguard, where,
as usual, the five windows of the first story were a blaze of light, and
the sounds of mirth and revelry, the nightly orgies of our officers,
were ringing out in the stillness of the quiet hour. The wild chorus of
a soldier-song, with its "ran-tan-plan" accompaniment of knuckles on the
table, echoed through the square, and smote upon my ear with any thing
but a congenial sense of pleasure.

In my heart I thought them a senseless, soulless crew, that could give
themselves to dissipation and excess on the very eve, as it were, of our
defeat, and with hasty steps I turned away into the side street, where a
large lamp, the only light to be seen, proclaimed General Humbert's
quarters.

A bustle and stir, very unusual at this late hour, pervaded the passages
and the stairs, and it was some time before I could find one of the
staff to announce my arrival, which at last was done somewhat
unceremoniously, as an officer hurried me through a large chamber
crowded with the staff, into an inner room, where, on a small field-bed,
lay General Humbert, without coat or boots, a much-worn scarlet cloak
thrown half over him, and a black handkerchief tied round his head. I
had scarcely seen him since our landing, and I could with difficulty
recognize the burly high-complexioned soldier of a few days back in the
worn and haggard features of the sick man before me. An attack of ague,
which he had originally contracted in Holland, had relapsed upon him,
and he was now suffering all the lassitude and sickness of that most
depressing of all maladies.

Maps, books, plans, and sketches of various kinds scattered the bed, the
table, and even the floor around him; but his attitude as I entered
betrayed the exhaustion of one who could labor no longer, and whose
worn-out faculties demanded rest. He lay flat on his back, his arms
straight down beside him, and, with half closed eyes, seemed as though
falling off to sleep.

His first aid-de-camp, Merochamp, was standing with his back to a small
turf fire, and made a sign to us to be still, and make no noise as we
came in.

"He's sleeping," said he, "it's the first time he has closed his eyes
for ten days."

We stood for a moment uncertain, and were about to retrace our steps,
when Humbert said, in a low, weak voice,

"No! I'm not asleep, come in."

The officer who presented me now retired, and I advanced toward the
bed-side.

"This is Tiernay, General," said Merochamp, stooping down and speaking
low, "you wished to see him."

"Yes, I wanted him. Ha! Tiernay, you see me a good deal altered since we
parted last; however, I shall be all right in a day or two; it's a mere
attack of ague, and will leave when the good weather comes. I wished to
ask you about your family, Tiernay; was not your father Irish?"

"No, sir; we were Irish two or three generations back, but since that we
have belonged either to Austria or to France."

"Then where were you born?"

"In Paris; sir, I believe, but certainly in France."

"There, I said so, Merochamp; I knew that the boy was French."

"Still I don't think the precaution worthless," replied Merochamp;
"Teeling and the others advise it."

"I know they do," said Humbert, peevishly, "and for themselves it may be
needful, but this lad's case will be injured not bettered by it. He is
not an Irishman; he never was at any time a British subject. Have you
any certificate of birth or baptism, Tiernay?"

"None, sir, but I have my 'livret' for the school of Saumur, which sets
forth my being a Frenchman by birth."

"Quite sufficient, boy, let me have it."

It was a document which I always carried about with me since I landed,
to enable me any moment, if made prisoner, to prove myself an alien, and
thus escape the inculpation of fighting against the flag of my country.
Perhaps there was something of reluctance in my manner as I relinquished
it, for the General said, "I'll take good care of it, Tiernay, you shall
not fare the worse because it is in my keeping. I may as well tell you
that some of our Irish officers have received threatening letters. It is
needless to say they are without name, stating that if matters go
unfortunately with us in this campaign, they will meet the fate of men
taken in open treason; and that their condition of officers in our
service will avail them nothing. I do not believe this. I can not
believe that they will be treated in any respect differently from the
rest of us. However, it is only just that I should tell you, that your
name figures among those so denounced; for this reason I have sent for
you now. You, at least, have nothing to apprehend on this score. You are
as much a Frenchman as myself. I know Merochamp thinks differently from
me, and that your Irish descent and name will be quite enough to involve
you in the fate of others."

A gesture, half of assent but half of impatience, from the aid-de-camp,
here arrested the speaker.

"Why not tell him frankly how he stands?" said Humbert, eagerly. "I see
no advantage in any concealment."

Then addressing me, he went on. "I purpose, Tiernay, to give you the
same option I gave the others, but which they have declined to accept.
It is this: we are daily expecting to hear of the arrival of a force in
the north, under the command of Generals Tandy and Rey."

"The Army of the North?" asked I, in some anxiety.

"Precisely; the Army of the North. Now I desire to open a communication
with them, and at the same time to do so through the means of such
officers as, in the event of any disaster here, may have the escape to
France open to them; which this army will have, and which, I need not
say, we have no longer. Our Irish friends have declined this mission, as
being more likely to compromise them if taken; and also as diminishing
and not increasing their chance of escape. In my belief that you were
placed similarly, I have sent for you here this evening, and at the same
time desire to impress upon you that your acceptance or refusal is
purely a matter at your own volition."

"Am I to regard the matter simply as one of duty, sir? or as an
opportunity of consulting my personal safety?"

"What shall I say to this Merochamp?" asked Humbert, bluntly.

"That you are running to the full as many risks of being hanged for
going as by staying; such is my opinion," said the aid-de-camp. "Here as
a rebel, there as a spy."

"I confess, then," said I smiling at the cool brevity of the speech,
"the choice is somewhat embarrassing! May I ask what you advise me to
do, General?"

"I should say go, Tiernay."

"Go, by all means, lad," broke in the aid-de-camp, who throughout
assumed a tone of dictation and familiarity most remarkable. "If a stand
is to be made in this miserable country, it will be with Rey's force;
here the game will not last much longer. There lies the only man capable
of conducting such an expedition, and his health can not stand up
against its trials!"

"Not so, Merochamp; I'll be on horseback to-morrow or the day after at
furthest; and if I never were to take the field again, there are others,
yourself among the number, well able to supply my place: but to
Tiernay--what says he?"

"Make it duty, sir, and I shall go, or remain here with an easy
conscience," said I.

"Then duty be it, boy," said he; "and Merochamp will tell you every
thing, for all this discussion has wearied me much, and I can not endure
more talking."

"Sit down here," said the aid-de-camp, pointing to a seat at his side,
"and five minutes will suffice."

He opened a large map of Ireland before us on the table, and running his
finger along the coast-line of the western side, stopped abruptly at
the bay of Lough Swilly.

"There," said he, "that is the spot. There, too, should have been our
own landing! The whole population of the North will be with them--not
such allies as these fellows, but men accustomed to the use of arms,
able and willing to take the field. They say that five thousand men
could hold the passes of those mountains against thirty."

"Who says this?" said I, for I own it, that I had grown marvelously
skeptical as to testimony.

"Napper Tandy, who is a general of division, and one of the leaders of
this force;" and he went on: "The utmost we can do will be to hold these
towns to the westward till they join us. We may stretch away thus far,"
and he moved his finger toward the direction of Leitrim, but no further.
"You will have to communicate with them; to explain what we have done,
where we are, and how we are. Conceal nothing--let them hear fairly,
that this patriot force is worth nothing, and that even to garrison the
towns we take they are useless. Tell them, too, the sad mistake we made
by attempting to organize what never can be disciplined, and let them
not arm a population, as we have done, to commit rapine and plunder."

Two letters were already written--one addressed to Rey, the other to
Napper Tandy. These I was ordered to destroy if I should happen to
become a prisoner; and with the map of Ireland, pen-marked in various
directions, by which I might trace my route, and a few lines to Colonel
Charost, whom I was to see on passing at Killala, I was dismissed. When
I approached the bed-side to take leave of the General, he was sound
asleep. The excitement of talking having passed away, he was pale as
death, and his lips totally colorless. Poor fellow, he was
exhausted-looking and weary, and I could not help thinking, as I looked
on him, that he was no bad emblem of the cause he had embarked in!

I was to take my troop-horse as far as Killala, after which I was to
proceed either on foot, or by such modes of conveyance as I could find,
keeping as nigh the coast as possible, and acquainting myself, so far as
I might do, with the temper and disposition of the people as I went. It
was a great aid to my sinking courage to know that there really was an
"Army of the North," and to feel myself accredited to hold intercourse
with the generals commanding it.

Such was my exultation at this happy discovery, that I was dying to
burst in among my comrades with the tidings, and proclaim at the same
time my own high mission. Merochamp had strictly enjoined my speedy
departure without the slightest intimation to any whither I was going,
or with what object.

A very small cloak-bag held all my effects, and with this slung at my
saddle, I rode out of the town just as the church clock was striking
twelve. It was a calm, starlight night, and once a short distance from
the town, as noiseless and still as possible; a gossoon, one of the
numerous scouts we employed in conveying letters or bringing
intelligence, trotted along on foot beside me to show the way, for there
was a rumor that some of the Royalist cavalry still loitered about the
passes to capture our dispatch-bearers, or make prisoners of any
stragglers from the army.

These "gossoons," picked up by chance, and selected for no other
qualification than because they were keen-eyed and swift of foot, were
the most faithful and most worthy creatures we met with. In no instance
were they ever known to desert to the enemy, and stranger still, they
were never seen to mix in the debauchery and excesses so common to all
the volunteers of the rebel camp. Their intelligence was considerable,
and to such a pitch had emulation stimulated them in the service, that
there was no danger they would not incur in their peculiar duties.

My companion on the present occasion was a little fellow of about
thirteen years of age, and small and slight even for that; we knew him
as "Peter," but whether he had any other name, or what, I was ignorant.
He was wounded by a sabre cut across the hand, which nearly severed the
fingers from it, at the bridge of Castlebar, but with a strip of linen
bound round it now, he trotted along as happy and careless as if nothing
ailed him.

I questioned him as we went, and learned that his father had been a herd
in the service of a certain Sir Roger Palmer, and his mother a
dairy-maid in the same house; but as the patriots had sacked and burned
the "Castle," of course they were now upon the world. He was a good deal
shocked at my asking what part his father took on the occasion of the
attack, but for a very different reason than that which I suspected.

"For the cause, of course!" replied he, almost indignantly, "why
wouldn't he stand up for ould Ireland!"

"And your mother--what did she do?"

He hung down his head, and made no answer till I repeated the question.

"Faix," said he, slowly and sadly, "she went and towld the young ladies
what was goin' to be done, and if it hadn't been that the 'boys' caught
Tim Hynes, the groom, going off to Foxford with a letter, we'd have had
the dragoons down upon us in no time! They hanged Tim, but they let the
young ladies away, and my mother with them, and off they all went to
Dublin."

"And where's your father now?" I asked.

"He was drowned in the bay of Killala four days ago. He went with a
party of others to take oatmeal from a sloop that was wrecked in the
bay, and an English cruiser came in at the time and fired on them; at
the second discharge the wreck and all upon it went down!"

He told all these things without any touch of sorrow in voice or
manner. They seemed to be the ordinary chances of war, and so he took
them. He had three brothers and a sister; of the former, two were
missing, the third was a scout; and the girl--she was but nine years
old--was waiting on a canteen, and mighty handy, he said, for she knew a
little French already, and understood the soldiers when they asked for a
"goutte," or wanted "du feu" for their pipes.

Such, then, was the credit side of the account with Fortune, and,
strange enough, the boy seemed satisfied with it; and although a few
days had made him an orphan and houseless, he appeared to feel that the
great things in store for his country were an ample recompense for all.
Was this, then, patriotism? Was it possible that one, untaught and
unlettered as he was, could think national freedom cheap at such a cost?
If I thought so for a moment, a very little further inquiry undeceived
me. Religious rancor, party feuds, the hate of the Saxon--a blind,
ill-directed, unthinking hate--were the motives which actuated him. A
terrible retribution for something upon somebody, an awful wiping out of
old scores, a reversal of the lot of rich and poor, were the main
incentives to his actions, and he was satisfied to stand by at the
drawing of this great lottery, even without holding a ticket in it!

It was almost the first moment of calm reflective thought I had enjoyed,
as I rode along thus in the quiet stillness of the night, and I own that
my heart began to misgive me as to the great benefits of our expedition.
I will not conceal the fact, that I had been disappointed in every
expectation I had formed of Ireland.

The bleak and barren hills of Mayo, the dreary tracts of mountain and
morass, were about as unworthy representatives of the boasted beauty and
fertility, as were the half-clad wretches who flocked around us of that
warlike people of whom we had heard so much. Where were the chivalrous
chieftains with their clans behind them? Where the thousands gathering
around a national standard? Where that high-souled patriotism, content
to risk fortune, station--all, in the conflict for national
independence? A rabble led on by a few reckless debauchees, and two or
three disreputable or degraded priests, were our only allies; and even
these refused to be guided by our counsels, or swayed by our authority.
I half-suspected Serazin was right when he said, "Let the Directory send
thirty thousand men, and make it a French province; but let us not fight
an enemy to give the victory to the 'sans culottes.'"

As we neared the pass of Burnageeragh, I turned one last look on the
town of Castlebar, around which, at little intervals of space, the
watch-fires of our pickets were blazing; all the rest of the place was
in darkness.

It was a strange and a thrilling thought to think that there, hundreds
of miles from their home, without one link that could connect them to
it, lay a little army in the midst of an enemy's country, calm,
self-possessed, and determined. How many, thought I, are destined to
leave it? How many will bring back to our dear France the memory of this
unhappy struggle?


CHAPTER XXV. A PASSING VISIT TO KILLALA.

I found a very pleasant party assembled around the Bishop's
breakfast-table at Killala. The Bishop and his family were all there,
with Charost and his staff, and some three or four other officers from
Ballina. Nothing could be less constrained, more easy, or more
agreeable, than the tone of intimacy which in a few days had grown up
between them. A cordial good feeling seemed to prevail on every subject,
and even the reserve, which might be thought natural on the momentous
events then happening, was exchanged for a most candid and frank
discussion of all that was going forward, which I must own astonished as
much as it gratified me.

The march on Castlebar, the choice of the mountain-road, which led past
the position occupied by the Royalists, the attack and capture of the
artillery, had all to be related by me for the edification of such as
were not conversant with French; and I could observe that however
discomfited by the conduct of the militia, they fully relied on the
regiments of the line and the artillery. It was amusing, too, to see
with what pleasure they listened to all our disparagement of the Irish
volunteers.

Every instance we gave of insubordination or disobedience delighted
them, while our own blundering attempts to manage the people, the absurd
mistakes we fell into, and the endless misconceptions of their character
and habits, actually convulsed them with laughter.

"Of course," said the Bishop to us, "you are prepared to hear that there
is no love lost between you, and that they are to the full as
dissatisfied with _you_ as you are dissatisfied with _them_."

"Why, what can they complain of?" asked Charost, smiling; "we gave them
the place of honor in the very last engagement!"

"Very true, you did so, and they reaped all the profit of the situation.
Monsieur Tiernay has just told the havoc that grape and round-shot
scattered among the poor creatures. However, it is not of this they
complain--it is their miserable fare, the raw potatoes, their beds in
open fields and highways, while the French, they say, eat of the best
and sleep in blankets; they do not understand this inequality, and
perhaps it is somewhat hard to comprehend."

"Patriotism ought to be proud of such little sacrifices," said Charost,
with an easy laugh; "besides, it is only a passing endurance, a month
hence, less, perhaps, will see us dividing the spoils, and reveling in
the conquest of Irish independence."

"You think so, Colonel?" asked the Bishop, half slyly.

"Parbleu! to be sure I do, and you?"

"I'm just as sanguine," said the Bishop, "and fancy that about a month
hence we shall be talking of all these things as matters of history; and
while sorrowing over some of the unavoidable calamities of the event,
preserving a grateful memory of some who came as enemies, but left us
warm friends."

"If such is to be the turn of fortune," said Charost, with more
seriousness than before, "I can only say that the kindly feelings will
not be one-sided."

And now the conversation became an animated discussion on the chances of
success or failure. Each party supported his opinion ably and eagerly,
and with a degree of freedom that was not a little singular to the
by-standers. At last, when Charost was fairly answered by the Bishop on
every point, he asked:

"But what say you to the Army of the North?"

"Simply, that I do not believe in such a force," rejoined the Bishop.

"Not believe it--not believe on what General Humbert relies at this
moment, and to which that officer yonder is an accredited messenger!
When I tell you that a most distinguished Irishman, Napper Tandy--"

"Napper Tandy!" repeated the Bishop, with a good-humored smile; "the
name is quite enough to relieve one of any fears, if they ever felt
them. I am not sufficiently acquainted with your language to give him
the epithet he deserves; but if you can conceive an empty, conceited
man, as ignorant of war as of politics, rushing into a revolution for
the sake of a green uniform, and ready to convulse a kingdom that he may
be called a major-general; only enthusiastic in his personal vanity, and
wanting even in that heroic daring which occasionally dignifies weak
capacities--such is Napper Tandy."

"What in soldier-phrase we call a 'Blaque,'" said Charost, laughing.
"I'm sorry for it."

What turn the conversation was about to take I can not guess, when it
was suddenly interrupted by one of the Bishop's servants rushing into
the room, with a face bloodless from terror. He made his way up to where
the Bishop sat, and whispered a few words in his ear.

"And how is the wind blowing, Andrew?" asked the Bishop, in a voice that
all his self-command could not completely steady.

"From the north, or the northwest, and mighty strong, too, my Lord,"
said the man, who trembled in every limb.

The affrighted aspect of the messenger, the excited expression of the
Bishop's face, and the question as to the "wind," at once suggested to
me the idea that a French fleet had arrived in the bay, and that the
awful tidings were neither more nor less than the announcement of our
reinforcement.

"From the northwest," repeated the Bishop; "then, with God's blessing,
we may be spared." And so saying, he arose from the table, and with an
effort that showed that the strength to do so had only just returned to
him. "Colonel Charost, a word with you!" said he, leading the way into
an adjoining room.

"What is it?--what has happened?--what can it be?" was asked by each in
turn. And now groups gathered at the windows, which all looked into the
court of the building, which was now crowded with people, soldiers,
servants, and country-folk, gazing earnestly toward the roof of the
castle.

"What's the matter, Terry?" asked one of the Bishop's sons, as he threw
open the window.

"'Tis the chimbley on fire, Master Robert," said the man; "the kitchen
chimbly, wid those divils of Frinch!"

I can not describe the burst of laughter that followed the explanation!

So much terror for so small a catastrophe was inconceivable; and whether
we thought of Andrew's horrified face, or the worthy Bishop's pious
thanksgiving as to the direction of the wind, we could scarcely refrain
from another outbreak of mirth. Colonel Charost made his appearance at
the instant, and although his step was hurried, and his look severe,
there was nothing of agitation or alarm on his features.

"Turn out the guard, Truchet, without arms," said he. "Come with me,
Tiernay--an awkward business enough," whispered he, as he led me along.
"These fellows have set fire to the kitchen chimney, and we have three
hundred barrels of gunpowder in the cave!" Nothing could be more easy
and unaffected than the way he spoke this; and I actually stared at him,
to see if his coldness was a mere pretense; but far from it--every
gesture and every word showed the most perfect self-possession, with a
prompt readiness for action.

When we reached the court, the bustle and confusion had reached its
highest; for, as the wind lulled, large masses of inky smoke hung, like
a canopy, over head, through which a forked flame darted at intervals,
with that peculiar furnace-like roar that accompanies a jet of fire in
confined places. At times, too, as the soot ignited, great showers of
bright sparks floated upward, and afterward fell, like a fiery rain, on
every side. The country people, who had flocked in from the
neighborhood, were entirely occupied with these signs, and only intent
upon saving the remainder of the house, which they believed in great
peril, totally unaware of the greater and more imminent danger close
beside them.

Already they had placed ladders against the walls, and, with ropes and
buckets, were preparing to ascend, when Truchet marched in with his
company, in fatigue-jackets, twenty sappers with shovels accompanying
them.

"Clear the court-yard, now," said Charost, "and leave this matter to
us."

The order was obeyed somewhat reluctantly, it is true, and at last we
stood the sole occupants of the spot, the Bishop being the only civilian
present, he having refused to quit the spot, unless compelled by force.

The powder was stored in a long shed adjoining the stables, and
originally used as a shelter for farming tools and utensils. A few
tarpaulins we had carried with us from the ships were spread over the
barrels, and on this now some sparks of fire had fallen, as the burning
soot had been carried in by an eddy of wind.

The first order was, to deluge the tarpaulins with water; and while this
was being done, the sappers were ordered to dig trenches in the garden,
to receive the barrels. Every man knew the terrible peril so near him;
each felt that at any instant a frightful death might overtake him, and
yet every detail of the duty was carried on with the coldest unconcern;
and when at last the time came to carry away the barrels, on a species
of handbarrow, the fellows stepped in time, as if on the march, and
moved in measure, a degree of indifference, which, to judge from the
good Bishop's countenance, evidently inspired as many anxieties for
their spiritual welfare, as it suggested astonishment and admiration for
their courage. He himself, it must be owned, displayed no sign of
trepidation; and in the few words he spoke, or the hints he dropped,
exhibited every quality of a brave man.

At moments the peril seemed very imminent indeed. Some timber having
caught fire, slender fragments of burning wood fell in masses, covering
the men as they went, and falling on the barrels, whence the soldiers
brushed them off with cool indifference. The dense, thick smoke, too,
obscuring every object a few paces distant, added to the confusion, and
occasionally bringing the going and returning parties into collision, a
loud shout, or cry, would ensue; and it is difficult to conceive how
such a sound thrilled through the heart at such a time. I own that more
than once I felt a choking fullness in the throat, as I heard a sudden
yell, it seemed so like a signal for destruction. In removing one of the
last barrels from the hand-barrow, it slipped, and falling to the
ground, the hoops gave way, it burst open, and the powder fell out on
every side. The moment was critical, for the wind was baffling, now
wafting the sparks clear away, now whirling them in eddies around us. It
was then that an old sergeant of Grenadiers threw off his upper coat and
spread it over the broken cask, while, with all the composure of a man
about to rest himself, he lay down on it, while his comrades went to
fetch water. Of course his peril was no greater than that of every one
around him; but there was an air of quick determination in his act which
showed the training of an old soldier. At length the labor was ended,
the last barrel was committed to the earth, and the men, formed into
line, were ordered to wheel and march. Never shall I forget the Bishop's
face as they moved past. The undersized and youthful look of our
soldiers had acquired for them a kind of depreciating estimate in
comparison with the more mature and manly stature of the British
soldier, to whom, indeed, they offered a strong contrast on parade; but
now, as they were seen in a moment of arduous duty, surrounded by
danger, the steadiness and courage, the prompt obedience to every
command, the alacrity of their movements, and the fearless intrepidity
with which they performed every act, impressed the worthy Bishop so
forcibly, that he muttered half aloud, "Thank heaven there are but few
of them!"

Colonel Charost resisted steadily the Bishop's proffer to afford the men
some refreshment; he would not even admit of an extra allowance of
brandy to their messes. "If we become too liberal for slight services,
we shall never be able to reward real ones," was his answer; and the
Bishop was reduced to the expedient of commemorating what he could not
reward. This, indeed, he did with the most unqualified praise, relating
in the drawing-room all that he had witnessed, and lauding French valor
and heroism to the very highest.

The better to conceal my route, and to avoid the chances of being
tracked, I sailed that evening in a fishing-boat for Killybegs, a small
harbor on the coast of Donegal, having previously exchanged my uniform
for the dress of a sailor, so that if apprehended I should pretend to be
an Ostend or Antwerp seaman, washed overboard in a gale at sea.
Fortunately for me I was not called on to perform this part, for as my
nautical experiences were of the very slightest, I should have made a
deplorable attempt at the impersonation. Assuredly the fishermen of the
smack would not have been among the number of the "imposed upon," for a
more sea-sick wretch never masqueraded in a blue jacket than I was.

My only clew, when I touched land, was a certain Father Doogan, who
lived at the foot of the Bluerock Mountains, about fifteen miles from
the coast, and to whom I brought a few lines from one of the Irish
officers, a certain Bourke of Ballina. The road led in this direction,
and so little intercourse had the shore folk with the interior, that it
was with difficulty any one could be found to act as a guide thither. At
last an old fellow was discovered, who used to travel these mountains
formerly with smuggled tobacco and tea; and although, from the
discontinuance of the smuggling trade, and increased age, he had for
some years abandoned the line of business, a liberal offer of payment
induced him to accompany me as guide.

It was not without great misgivings that I looked at the very old and
almost decrepit creature, who was to be my companion through a solitary
mountain region.

The few stairs he had to mount in the little inn where I put up seemed a
sore trial to his strength and chest; but he assured me that once out of
the smoke of the town, and with his foot on the "short grass of the
sheep-patch," he'd be like a four-year-old; and his neighbor having
corroborated the assertion, I was fain to believe him.

Determined, however, to make his excursion subservient to profit in his
old vocation, he provided himself with some pounds of tobacco and a
little parcel of silk handkerchiefs, to dispose of among the country
people, with which, and a little bag of meal slung at his back, and a
walking-stick in his hand, he presented himself at my door just as day
was breaking.

"We'll have a wet day, I fear, Jerry." said I, looking out.

"Not a bit of it," replied he. "'Tis the spring tides makes it cloudy
there beyant; but when the sun gets up it will be a fine mornin'; but
I'm thinkin' ye'r strange in them parts;" and this he said with a keen
sharp glance under his eyes.

"Donegal is new to me, I confess," said I guardedly.

"Yes, and the rest of Ireland, too," said he, with a roguish leer. "But
come along, we've a good step before us;" and with these words he led
the way down the stairs, holding the balustrade as he went, and
exhibiting every sign of age and weakness. Once in the street however he
stepped out more freely, and before we got clear of the town, walked at
a fair pace, and, to all seeming, with perfect ease.


  (_To be continued._)



THE DEATH OF A GOBLIN.


There is a by-street, called the Pallant, in an old cathedral city--a
narrow carriage-way, which leads to half a dozen antique mansions. A
great number of years ago, when I began to shave, the presence of a very
fascinating girl induced me to make frequent calls upon an old friend of
our family who lived in one of the oldest of these houses, a plain,
large building of red brick. The father, and the grandfather, and a
series of great-great-great and other grandfathers of the then occupant,
Sir Francis Holyoke, had lived and died beneath its roof. So much I
knew; and I had inkling of a legend in connection with the place, a very
horrible affair. How and when I heard the story fully told, I have good
reason to remember.

We were in the great dark wainscoted parlor one December evening; papa
was out. I sat with Margaret by the fire-side, and saw in the embers
visions of what might come to pass, but never did. Ellen was playing at
her harpsichord in a dark corner of the room, singing a quaint and
cheerful duet out of Grétry's Coeur de Lion with my old school-fellow,
Paul Owen, a sentimental youth, who became afterward a martyr to the
gout, and broke his neck at a great steeple-chase. "The God of Love a
bandeau wears," those two were singing. Truly, they had their own eyes
filleted. The fire-light glow, when it occasionally flickered on the
cheek over which Paul was bending, could not raise the semblance of
young health upon its shining whiteness. That beautiful white hand was
fallen into dust before Paul Owen had half earned the wedding-ring that
should encircle it.

"Thanks to you, sister--thanks, too, to Grétry for a pleasant ditty.
Now, don't let us have candles. Shall we have ghost stories?"

"What! in a haunted house?"

"The very thing," cried Paul; "let us have all the story of the Ghost
of Holyoke. I never heard it properly."

Ellen was busy at her harpsichord again, with fragments from a Stabat
Mater. Not Rossini's luscious lamentation, but the deep pathos of that
Italian, who in days past "moerebat et dolebat," who moved the people
with his master-piece, and was stabbed to death by a rival at the
cathedral door.

"Why, Ellen, you look as if you feared the ghosts."

"No, no," she said; "we know it is an idle tale. Go to the fire, Paul,
and I will keep you solemn with the harpsichord, in order that you may
not laugh while Margaret is telling it."

"Well, then," began Margaret, "of course this story is all nonsense."

"Of course it is," said I.

"Of course it is," said Paul.

Ellen continued playing.

"I mean," said Margaret, "that really and truly no part of it can
possibly be any thing but fiction. Papa, you know, is a great
genealogist, and he says that our ancestor, Godfrey of Holyoke, died in
the Holy Land, and had two sons, but never had a daughter. Some old
nurse made the tale that he died here, in the house, and had a daughter
Ellen. This daughter Ellen, says the tale, was sought in marriage by a
young knight who won her good-will, but could not get her father's. That
Ellen--very much unlike our gentle, timid sister in the corner
there--was proud and willful. She and her father quarreled. His health
failed, because, the story hints mysteriously, she put a slow and subtle
poison into his after-supper cup night after night. One evening they
quarreled violently, and the next morning Sir Godfrey was gone. His
daughter said that he had left the house in anger with her. The tale,
determined to be horrible, says that she poisoned him outright, and with
her own hands buried him in an old cellar under this room. That
cellar-door is fastened with a padlock, to which there is no key
remaining. Not being wanted, it has not been opened probably for scores
of years."

"Well!"

"Well--in a year or two the daughter married, and in time had children
scampering about this house. But her health failed. The children fell
ill, and, excepting one or two, all died. One night--"

"Yes."

"One night she lay awake through care; and in the middle of the night a
figure like her father came into the room, holding a cup like that from
which he used to drink after his supper. It moved inaudibly to where she
lay, placed the cup to her lips; a chill came over her. The figure
passed away, but in a few minutes she heard the shutting of the
cellar-door. After that she was often kept awake by dread, and often saw
that she was visited. She heard the cellar-door creak on its hinge, and
knew it was her father coming. Once she watched all night by the
sick-bed of her eldest child; the goblin came, and put the cup to her
child's lips; she knew then that her children who were dead, and she
herself who was dying, and that child of hers, had tasted of her
father's poison. She died young. And ever since that time, the legend
says, Sir Godfrey walks at night, and puts his fatal goblet to the lips
of his descendants, of the children and children's children of his cruel
child. It is quite true that sickliness and death occur more frequently
among those who inhabit this house than is to be easily accounted for.
So story-tellers have accounted for it, as you see. But it is certain
that Sir Godfrey fell in Palestine, and had no daughter."

Ellen continued playing with her face bowed down over the harpsichord.
Margaret, a healthy cheerful girl, had lived generally with an old aunt
in the south of England. But the two girls wore mourning. In the flower
of her years their mother had departed from them, after long lingering
in broken health. The bandeau seemed to have been unrolled from poor
Paul's eyes, for, after a long pause, which had been filled by Ellen's
music, he said:

"Ellen, did _you_ ever see Sir Godfrey?"

She left her harpsichord and came to him, and leaning down over his
shoulder, kissed him.

Was she thinking of the sorrow that would come upon him soon?

The sudden closing of a heavy door startled us all. But a loud jovial
voice restored our spirits. Sir Francis had come in from his afternoon
walk and gossip, and was clamoring for tea.

"Why, boys and girls, all in the dark! What mischief are you after?"

"Laughing at the Holyoke Ghost, papa," said Margaret.

"Laughing, indeed; you look as if you had been drinking with him. Silly
tale! silly tale! Look at me, I'm hale and hearty. Why don't Sir Godfrey
tackle me? I'd like a draught out of his flagon."

A door below us creaked upon its hinges. Ellen shrank back visibly
alarmed.

"You silly butterfly," Sir Francis cried, "it's Thomas coming up out of
the kitchen with the candles you left me to order. Tea, girls, tea!"

Sir Francis, a stout, warm-faced, and warm-hearted gentleman, kept us
amused through the remainder of that evening. My business the next day
called me to London, from whence I sailed in a few days for Valparaiso.
While abroad, I heard of Ellen's death. On my return to England, I went
immediately to the old cathedral city, where I had many friends. There I
was shocked to hear that Sir Francis himself had died of apoplexy, and
that Margaret, the sole heir and survivor, had gone back, with her
health injured, to live with her aunt in the south of England. The dear
old house, ghost and all, had been To Let, and had been taken by a
school-mistress. It was now "Holyoke House Seminary for Young Ladies."

The school had succeeded through the talent of its mistress; but
although she was not a lady of the stocks and backboard school, the
sickliness among her pupils had been very noticeable. Scarlet fever,
too, had got among them, of which three had died. The school had become
in consequence almost deserted, and the lady who had occupied the house
was on the point of quitting. Surely, I thought, if this be Sir
Godfrey's work, he is as relentless an old goblin as can be imagined.

For private reasons of my own, I traveled south. Margaret bloomed again;
as for her aunt, she was a peony in fullest flower. She had a breezy
house by the sea-side, abominated dirt and spiders, and, before we had
been five minutes together, abused me for having lavender-water upon my
handkerchief. She hated smells, it seemed; she carried her antipathy so
far as to throw a bouquet out of the window which I had been putting
together with great patience and pains for Margaret.

We talked of the old house at ----.

"I tell you what it is, Peggy," she said, "if ever you marry, ghost or
no ghost, you're the heir of the Holyokes, and in the old house you
shall live. As soon as Miss Williams has quitted, I'll put on my bonnet
and run across with you into the north."

And so she did. We stalked together into the desolate old house. It
echoed our tread dismally.

"Peggy," said aunt Anne with her eyes quite fixed, "Peggy, I smell a
smell. Let's go down stairs." We went into the kitchen.

"Peggy," the old lady said, "it's very bad. I think it's Sir Godfrey."

"O aunt!" said Margaret, laughing; "he died in Palestine, and is dust
long ago."

"I'm sure it's Sir Godfrey," said aunt Anne. "You fellow," to me, "just
take the bar belonging to that window-shutter, and come along with me.
Peggy, show us Sir Godfrey's cellar."

Margaret changed color. "What," said the old lady, "flinch at a ghost
you don't believe in! I'm not afraid, see; yet I'm sure Sir Godfrey's in
the cellar. Come along."

We came and stood before the mysterious door with its enormous padlock.
"I smell the ghost distinctly," said aunt Anne.

Margaret did not know ghosts had a smell.

"Break the door open, you chap." I battered with the bar, the oaken
planks were rotten and soon fell apart--some fell into the cellar with a
plash. There was a foul smell. A dark cellar had a very little daylight
let into it--we could just see the floor covered with filth, in which
some of the planks had sunk and disappeared.

"There," said the old lady, "there's the stuff your ghost had in his
cup. There's your Sir Godfrey who poisons sleepers, and cuts off your
children and your girls. Bah! We'll set to work, Peggy; it's clear your
ancestors knew or cared nothing about drainage. We'll have the house
drained properly, and that will be the death of the goblin."

So it was, as our six children can testify.



A REMINISCENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.


The following sketch of his life was given to me by the subject of it,
while living as M. Hippolyte in a retired quarter of Paris, and
procuring a subsistence by following the profession of a baker:

"My name is Palamede de Tour la Roche. I was the third son of the Duc de
Tour la Roche, who, with his wife, eldest son, and daughter, perished in
the Revolution in '93. The earliest thing I remember was living in the
Hôtel Tour la Roche in great luxury and splendor--'the curled darling'
of my beautiful mother, and the spoiled pet and plaything of all the
house and all the company who came to it. My youth took no heed of
passing events; but one evening our hôtel was attacked, and from that
day to this I saw no more of my father and brothers--but my mother and
sister continued to live as before, only they were now continually
weeping, clasping me to their bosoms in passionate fondness, and never
going out of the great gates. Every thing was changed: we had no longer
any servants except an old woman, her daughter, and a lame son, with
whom I played in the garden, undisturbed by the cries which reached us
there, because I attached no ideas that I can remember to them, and I
was told not to be frightened, for it was only wicked, drunken people
shouting. When I inquired after my papa, and Henri, and Philippe--they
were called unexpectedly to England, and would be back again one of
these days, was the answer, which contented me. Although full eleven
years old, my mind had been kept so much under, and I had lived so
entirely in the perfumed atmosphere of the drawing-room--where, being
little of my age, people forgot it, and made a plaything of me--that
many a boy of seven or eight knew more of the world than I did.

"One night, after being some time in bed, I was awakened by a terrible
noise in the house, and loud voices, and lights glancing in the court. I
felt greatly frightened, but did not dare to move; in a little time it
ceased entirely, and, childlike, I again sunk to slumber. I lay awake
long next morning. I remember singing to myself, and wondering why old
Marotte did not, as usual, come to dress me; so at last I got up and
went into my mother's room. Every thing there was in disorder, and
neither mother, sister, nor servant to be seen. I cried bitterly, and
ran from room to room, searching in every corner in vain. All was
silent. My passionate cries of 'Maman! Maman! Louise! Louise!' remained
unanswered; and the doors were fastened or locked, all but the one which
led out of a small chamber into the garden, that had probably been
overlooked. At last they opened, and such a rabble came pouring in, that
I was frightened to death, and could scarcely make use of my trembling
limbs to convey me to the garden, where I crept into a very thick bush,
and remained happily unseen. There I sat, I suppose, for hours: I heard
sounds of revelry, of quarreling, and breaking, and gun-firing; saw
furniture thrown out of the windows--furniture I knew so well! and
people with bloody hands and faces standing at them. I think I must have
fainted. When I recovered my senses, however, it was getting quite dusk;
so, when the coast was pretty clear, I stole out into the street, and
wandering away toward the Champs Elysées, lay down under a tree, and
slept--forgetting grief, terror, hunger, and cold, in the dreamless
sleep of innocent childhood--the last I was ever to know--for the scenes
that I witnessed the day following 'my early bloom of heart destroyed.'
When I stood up, and saw where I was, and the events of the preceding
evening crowded to my confused mind, a sort of madness, I suppose,
seized me; I thought I was in my little gilded bed in my own alcove at
home, and was dreaming a frightful dream, not uncommon to children who
have been indulging in pastry or rich dishes. I therefore quietly turned
my steps toward the hôtel, expecting there to find things as usual. I
can scarcely tell what images passed through my brain, but the full
horror of my helpless situation did not break upon me until I found
myself before the well-known _porte cochère_, which was _shut_. Then I
knew it was no dream, and that all was real; and from that hour to this
I have never entered my father's house--never even seen him, my
brothers, my sister: my mother I saw once more--on the scaffold!"

Here the poor old man, whose voice had faltered two or three times,
stopped and sobbed audibly.

"Pray," said I, "do not go on, my dear Monsieur de Tour la Roche."

"Do not call me by that dear name: I can not bear it. No; I called
myself Hippolyte after one of our footmen: I could not bear to hear the
name my darling mother addressed me by profaned by the lips that
surrounded me afterward. But to proceed--"

"Oh no; pray spare yourself."

"On the contrary, it is a relief to my long-pent-up grief: I had for
some time lived in the streets, subsisting upon chance; and I was
standing on a heap of rubbish, just where the corner-house on the
left-hand side of the Rue Royale now stands, looking at the guillotine
doing its dreadful work. A man, a woman mounted, and their heads fell;
two other women, coarsely attired, stood waiting; one turned--Oh God! it
was my mother!--my gentle, timid, kind, darling mother! Timid and gentle
no longer, she looked calm and cold, moved resolutely, looking for one
moment up to Heaven, and said words I would now give my life-blood to
hear. My blood curdled, my heart stopped, as I heard the rattle and clap
of the descending guillotine. 'Maman! maman!' I shrieked. It was over!
'Encore une autre!' shouted a fierce man beside me. 'Maman! maman!'
'Wring the neck of that little aristocrat!' cried the mob. The man
advanced, as I hoped, to kill me at once, but he only grasped me fast,
saying, 'No, I shall take him home, pour le tuer à mon aise.' Death I
wished for; but torture!--I fainted; and when I came to myself I was in
an unfrequented street, still tightly held by the man. 'Don't be afraid,
my child--I shan't hurt you; but never, as you value your life, whisper
your name; if you do--here he swore a terrific oath--I _will_ kill you
_cruelly_. Now come with me. You shall sleep with mon petit Pierre: call
yourself Achille, Hercule, Hippolyte--what you please, if not your own
name.' Hippolyte, then, and Hippolyte I have been ever since--Jean
Hippolyte, when I signed my name. The house he carried me to was
wretched, dark, and dirty; the food given coarse, but plentiful; and
here I groveled, moody, and nearly mad, for more than a year, wandering
through the streets idle and in rags, seldom speaking, unless forced,
lest I should inadvertently betray myself. At last this man, whose name
was Jean Leroux, told me he had obtained employment for both Pierre and
me in a boulangerie. We were clothed somewhat more decently, and sent
about with bread to different parts of the neighborhood, and employed in
various little ways at first, sweeping out the shop, ovens, &c.; but by
degrees we made progress. As I could both read and write, which Pierre
could not do, and he was also naturally a slow, indolent boy, I was
preferred before him; but he was not ill-natured, and bore me no malice.
I grew up healthy enough, and tall; got forward at my trade, and soon
made money. I served also seven years under the Emperor, and brought
away, besides my laurels, two trifling wounds. Upon my return, still
keeping my secret, which, however, there was now no longer danger in
discovering, I commenced a search for my elder brother Philippe, of
whose death I have never heard; but without success; although I
ascertained that my father and Henri had been guillotined, and that my
poor sister had been massacred in the streets. I recommenced my former
business, and worked early and late to make enough to enable me to live
in peace and seclusion, waiting anxiously, but I hope patiently, until
He who in his wisdom has thought fit to afflict me, shall take me to
those realms where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes. I built this
house back from those which line the street: passages and kitchens look
into the courts; but I never go near those parts except at an early hour
to mass. I live in my garden, and with my books. Monsieur Butterini--who
never assumed the title his wife is so proud of, although he had an
undoubted right to bear it, poor man--married the daughter of the person
at whose house he lodged before taking up his abode in mine, as a matter
of economy, for she saved him a seamstress, a nurse, and a servant. She
is vain, weak, and vulgar, as you see, but has ever been correct in her
conduct, attentive to him while he lived, as she now is to me, in return
for my allowing her to retain two of the rooms she before occupied,
money enough to dress upon in the mean time, and a small annuity when I
die. The people whom I occasionally entertain, and to whom I shall leave
the little wealth I possess, are the families of Jean Leroux's children,
and those of my first master; but I feel still, as I have ever felt,
that I am of noble birth. When my will is read, all will then know that
a De Tour la Roche has baked their bread, but not until then. It has
been a great relief to my mind to tell all this to you, madame; and if
Philippe or his descendants _should_ be in England, promise that you
will seek them out, and speak to them of me, and perhaps even yet some
of my own blood will pray over my grave!"

I was deeply impressed by this melancholy history; and afterward spent
many an hour with the old man in his garden, where he always welcomed me
with a smile, and talked unreservedly, sometimes even cheerfully. He
lived several years afterward, but last winter died of bronchitis. Many
know parts of this story now, and I see no reason why I should not
relate the sad tale as he himself told it to me. Some worldly-wise
people may ask why he did not take his own proper title, and move in his
proper sphere, when he could do so; but I can very easily comprehend his
feelings. His heart was almost broken; he took no pleasure in this
world, nor in the things of this world, except those by which he could
"look up through nature unto nature's God." What were the vanities of
life to him? Obtaining his estate and title--the first of which would
have been difficult, if not impossible--would only have hindered his
desire of leading the life of calm, unpretending seclusion which pleased
him best; and, besides this, he was impressed with the idea that
Philippe, who was the rightful Duc de Tour la Roche, or his children,
were in existence somewhere. He was in no want of money, having made by
his own exertions more than enough for his moderate requirements: no,
nor of the world's respect. All respected him for his integrity and
charity; and his air and manner in themselves were sufficient to impress
those who came in contact with him, even while they knew he was but a
retired tradesman. I can understand it all perfectly. Some of those who
chance to read this paper may possibly have seen his tomb at Père la
Chaise: but they will not find the name of Tour la Roche, for that of
course is fictitious.



THE STORY OF FINE-EAR.


Ten or twelve years ago, there was, in the prison at Brest, a man
sentenced for life to the galleys. I do not know the exact nature of his
crime, but it was something very atrocious. I never heard, either, what
his former condition of life had been; for even his name had passed into
oblivion, and he was recognized only by a number. Although his features
were naturally well formed, their expression was horrible: every dark
and evil passion seemed to have left its impress there; and his
character fully corresponded to its outward indications. Mutinous,
gloomy, and revengeful, he had often hazarded his life in desperate
attempts to escape, which hitherto had proved abortive. Once, during
winter, he succeeded in gaining the fields, and supported, for several
days, the extremity of cold and hunger. He was found, at length, half
frozen and insensible under a tree, and brought back to prison, where,
with difficulty, he was restored to life. The ward-master watched him
more closely, and punished him more severely by far, than the other
prisoners, while a double chain was added to his heavy fetters. Several
times he attempted suicide, but failed, through the vigilance of his
guards. The only results of his experiments in this line were an asthma,
caused by a nail which he hammered into his chest, and the loss of an
arm, which he fractured in leaping off a high wall. After suffering
amputation, and a six months' sojourn in the hospital, he returned to
his hopeless life-long task-work.

One day this man's fierce humor seemed softened. After the hours of
labor, he seated himself, with the companion in misery to whom he was
chained, in a corner of the court; and his repulsive countenance assumed
a mild expression. Words of tenderness were uttered by the lips which
heretofore had opened only to blaspheme; and with his head bent down, he
watched some object concealed in his bosom.

The guards looked at him with disquietude, believing he had some weapon
hidden within his clothes; and two of them approaching him stealthily
from behind, seized him roughly, and began to search him before he could
make any resistance. Finding himself completely in their power, the
convict exclaimed: "Oh, don't kill him! Pray, don't kill him!"

As he spoke, one of the guards had gained possession of a large rat,
which the felon had kept next his bosom.

"Don't kill him!" he repeated. "Beat me, chain me; do what you like with
me; but don't hurt my poor rat! Don't squeeze him so between your
fingers! If you will not give him back to me, let him go free!"--And
while he spoke, for the first time, probably, since his childhood, tears
filled his eyes, and ran down his cheeks.

Rough and hardened men as were the guards, they could not listen to the
convict, and see his tears, without some feeling of compassion. He who
was about to strangle the rat, opened his fingers and let it fall to the
ground. The terrified animal fled with the speed peculiar to its
species, and disappeared behind a pile of beams and rubbish.

The felon wiped away his tears, looked anxiously after the rat, and
scarcely breathed until he had seen it out of danger. Then he rose, and
silently, with the old savage look, followed his companion in bonds, and
lay down with him on their iron bedstead, where a ring and chain
fastened them to a massive bar of the same metal.

Next morning, on his way to work, the convict, whose pale face showed
that he had passed a sleepless night, cast an anxious, troubled glance
toward the pile of wood, and gave a low, peculiar call, to which nothing
replied. One of his comrades uttered some harmless jest on the loss of
his favorite; and the reply was a furious blow, which felled the
speaker, and drew down on the offender a severe chastisement from the
task-master.

Arrived at the place of labor, he worked with a sort of feverish ardor,
as though trying to give vent to his pent-up emotion; and, while
stooping over a large beam, which he and some others were trying to
raise, he felt something gently tickle his cheek. He turned round, and
gave a shout of joy. There, on his shoulder, was the only friend he had
in the world--his rat!--who, with marvelous instinct, had found him out,
and crept gently up to his face. He took the animal in his hands,
covered it with kisses, placed it within his nest, and then, addressing
the head jailer, who happened to pass by at the moment, he said:

"Sir, if you will allow me to keep this rat, I will solemnly promise to
submit to you in every thing, and never again to incur punishment."

The ruler gave a sign of acquiescence, and passed on. The convict opened
his shirt, to give one more fond look at his faithful pet, and then
contentedly resumed his labor.

That which neither threats nor imprisonment, the scourge nor the chain,
could effect, was accomplished, and rapidly, by the influence of _love_,
though its object was one of the most despised among animals. From the
moment when the formidable convict was permitted to cherish his pet
night and day in his bosom, he became the most tractable and
well-conducted man in the prison. His Herculean strength, and his moral
energy, were both employed to assist the governors in maintaining peace
and subordination. Fine-Ear, so he called his rat, was the object of his
unceasing tenderness. He fed it before he tasted each meal, and would
rather fast entirely than allow it to be hungry. He spent his brief
hours of respite from toil in making various little fancy articles,
which he sold, in order to procure dainties which Fine Ear
liked--gingerbread and sugar, for example. Often, during the period of
toil, the convict would smile with delight when his little friend,
creeping from its nestling place, would rub its soft fur against his
cheek. But when, on a fine sunshiny day, the rat took up his position on
the ground, smoothed his coat, combed his long mustaches with his sharp
nails, and dressed his long ears with his delicate paws, his master
would testify the utmost delight, and exchange tender glances with the
black, roguish eyes of Master Fine-Ear.

The latter, confiding in his patron's care and protection, went, came,
sported, or stood still, certain that no one would injure him; for to
touch a hair of the rat's whisker would be to incur a terrible penalty.
One day, for having thrown a pebble at him, a prisoner was forced to
spend a week in hospital, ere he recovered the effects of a blow
bestowed on him by Fine-Ear's master.

The animal soon learned to know the sound of the dinner-bell, and jumped
with delight on the convict when he heard the welcome summons.

Four years passed on in this manner, when one day poor Fine-Ear was
attacked by a cat, which had found her way into the workshop, and
received several deep wounds before his master, flying to the rescue,
seized the feline foe, and actually tore her to pieces.

The recovery of the rat was tedious. During the next month the convict
was occupied in dressing his wounds. It was strange, the interest which
every one connected with the prison took in Fine-Ear's misfortune. Not
only did the guards and turnkeys speak of it as the topic of the day,
but the hospital nurses furnished plasters and bandages for the wounds;
and even the surgeon condescended to prescribe for him.

At length the animal recovered his strength and gayety, save that one of
his hind paws dragged a little, and the cicatrice still disfigured his
shin. He was more tame and affectionate than ever, but the sight of a
cat was sufficient to throw his master into a paroxysm of rage, and,
running after the unlucky puss, he would, if possible, catch and destroy
her.

A great pleasure was in store for the convict. Thanks to his good
conduct during the past four years, his sentence of imprisonment for
life had been commuted into twenty years, in which were to be included
the fifteen already spent in prison.

"Thank God!" he cried, "under His mercy it is to Fine-Ear I owe this
happiness!" and he kissed the animal with transport. Five years still
remained to be passed in toilsome imprisonment, but they were cut short
in an unlooked-for manner.

One day, a mutinous party of felons succeeded in seizing a turnkey, and
having shut him up with themselves in one of the dormitories, they
threatened to put him to death if all their demands were not instantly
complied with, and a full amnesty granted for this revolt.

Fine-Ear's master, who had taken no part in the uproar, stood silently
behind the officials and the soldiers, who were ready to fire on the
insurgents. Just as the attack was about to commence, he approached the
chief superintendent, and said a few words to him in a low voice.

"I accept your offer," replied the governor: "remember, you risk your
life; but if you succeed, I pledge my word that you shall be strongly
recommended to the government for unconditional pardon, this very
night."

The convict drew forth Fine-Ear from his bosom, kissed him several
times, and then placing him within the vest of a young fellow-prisoner
with whom the rat was already familiar, he said, in a broken voice:

"If I do not return, be kind to him, and love him as I have loved him."

Then, having armed himself with an enormous bar of iron, he marched with
a determined step to the dormitory, without regarding the missiles which
the rebels hurled at his head. With a few blows of his bar, he made the
door fly open, and darting into the room, he over-turned those who
opposed his entrance, threw down his weapon, and seizing the turnkey,
put him, or rather flung him, out safe and sound into the passage.

While in the act of covering the man's escape from the infuriated
convicts, he suddenly fell to the ground, bathed in blood. One of the
wretches had lifted the iron bar and struck down with it his heroic
comrade.

He was carried dying to the hospital, and, ere he breathed his last, he
uttered one word--it was "Fine-Ear!"

Must I tell it? the rat appeared restless and unhappy for a few days,
but he soon forgot his master, and began to testify the same affection
for his new owner that he had formerly shown to him who was dead.

Fine-Ear still lives, fat, and sleek, and strong; indeed, he no longer
fears his feline enemies, and has actually succeeded in killing a
full-grown cat and three kittens. But he no longer remembers the dead,
nor regards the sound of his master's number, which formerly used to
make him prick up his ears and run from one end of the court to the
other.

Does it only prove that rats, as well as men, may be ungrateful? Or is
it a little illustration of the wise and merciful arrangement, that the
world must go on, die who will?



[From Colburn's United Service Magazine.]

GENERAL ROSAS, AND THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC.


In the provinces of the Argentine confederation, as well as throughout
the whole of South America, the population is divided into two distinct
families; the city and the country. The inhabitants of the
cities--issues of the Spanish colonization--are, as it were, intimately
blended with the foreign element, which they seem to represent; the
inhabitants of the country, on the other hand, constitute the indigenous
element, with all the customs of primitive life. Until the accession to
power of General Rosas, who from the first had especially applied
himself to the task of incorporating these two distinct races under one
general head, by taming down the half savage nature of the country
party, this strongly marked separation between the two castes, had been
the principal cause of the numerous revolutions which had hitherto
distracted and laid waste the country. This fusion, it must be allowed,
was a difficult task to perform: and though not yet perfectly
accomplished, it is, nevertheless, easily recognizable in the province
of Buenos Ayres; above all, in that portion of it which lies round the
capital.

The inhabitant of the country, who is styled a Gaucho, is, as it were,
an isolated being on the face of creation; for in vain do we seek his
counterpart either in the deserts of Asia, or in the sands of Africa.
The provinces of the Argentine Confederation may almost be termed
deserts; since, over the entire face of a territory equal in extent to
the whole of France, is scattered a population numbering but 800,000
souls. In these vast and almost deserted plains, there are no cities to
be found, but merely _estancias_--a species of solitary farms planted
amid immense solitudes. Alone, among his peons (or daily laborers)
Gauchos like himself, the _estancier_ lives as absolute master, without
desires, without industry, without agricultural labor. His sole
occupation consists in branding, and, when the proper time shall come,
in slaughtering the cattle, which form his entire wealth. The Gaucho
exists on meat and water only; the use of bread, vegetables, fruits, or
spirituous liquors being unknown to him. As for his outward apparel, he
rudely manufactures it out of the hides of oxen, or the fleeces of the
sheep; a few sticks, and three or four ox hides, suffice for the
construction of his tent, when he sojourns for any length of time in one
spot; for ordinarily, he sleeps in the open air, enveloped in his
poncho. His simple, but formidable arms, are reduced to the _lasso_, and
the _bolas_, and to a large knife, which he wears stuck into his
waist-belt. The Gaucho remains for weeks and months entire, without
perceiving the face of a human being; passing his time in wandering amid
the innumerable flocks and herds which cover the plains.

Whenever he feels the calls of hunger, he springs on horseback, pursues
a bull, _lassoes_ it, slaughters it, and out of the still palpitating
flesh cuts the piece he prefers; rarely does he take the trouble to have
it cooked, but contents himself before devouring his steak, with
softening it, by leaving it for a while under his saddle.

It may easily be understood how completely this wild and solitary
existence tends to destroy in the breast of the Gaucho every social
sentiment; and what profound hatred he must nourish against the
inhabitant of the city, who knows how to enjoy all the blessings of
civilization, and derive profit from the produce of his rude and
toilsome trade.

In the same ratio as the Gaucho has held himself aloof from all social
progress, has the inhabitant of the city eagerly met it half-way. In the
dwelling of the latter, thanks to the activity of commerce, which pours
forth in profusion all its riches into the lap of its votary, we find
not only all our European comforts, but even our tastes, in science,
literature, and the arts. But, as we have said before, the causes of the
separation of the two races are beginning to disappear; and taking into
consideration the ever active and increasing stride of European
civilization, we may safely presume that in a very few years, there will
remain scarcely a trace of the former strongly marked difference.

Throughout the entire province of Buenos Ayres, the country is
completely naked, a dense grass alone covers the plains, which are
watered by numerous rivulets, that wind through the vast prairies; the
country is almost a perfect level, and the soil of which it is composed,
though still virgin of all implements of husbandry, of an extraordinary
degree of fertility; it is indeed with difficulty that we can discover
in the environs of the city, a few gardens where it has been even
turned.

The city of Buenos Ayres has been constructed upon an uniform plan; it
is divided into _suadres_, which intersect each other at right angles.
The houses are composed simply of a ground floor; they are painted
entirely white, and have a very neat and pleasing aspect. Buenos Ayres
is now very thickly peopled; its inhabitants numbering more than a
hundred thousand souls; it would appear, also, to be in a highly
flourishing condition, as regards its commerce, for in the course of
last year, upward of three hundred European ships entered its harbor,
bearing merchandise from almost every quarter of the world.

John Manuel Ortes de Rosas, the sovereign dictator of the republic,
personifies the country party, and is, according to his own account at
least, the descendant of an old and noble Spanish family, which, in the
time of the conquest, emigrated to South America; what is indisputable,
is, that he is a Gaucho. At the period when the first troubles broke out
in the country, he was proprietor of a considerable _estancia_; which,
by his skill and perseverance, he had been able to render a model
establishment. Rosas had been endowed by nature with all the talents and
virtues of the most finished Gaucho; there was not an inhabitant of the
plain who could tame a wild horse like him, or handle with more skill
and dexterity the _lasso_, or the _bolas_; not a Gaucho was there, who
possessed his dexterity in the use of the knife; or who, having thrown
himself in the midst of danger, could withdraw himself therefrom with
more good fortune. These physical qualities would alone have sufficed to
place him in the very first rank among these half-savage men, who
recognize no other law than that of force; but to these advantages,
Rosas joined those of a superior intellect, and a degree of
understanding very uncommon in a land so far removed from every source
of enlightened instruction. Appointed at first officer of militia, it
was not long ere he became commandant of the country; shortly after
this, he entered Buenos Ayres, drove Lavalle out of the city, and had
himself proclaimed governor.

Rosas is now a man of about fifty-eight or sixty years of age; and
though, according to popular rumor, suffering from gout, and other
infirmities, no traces of these disorders are perceptible upon his
person. He is a man of lofty stature; his features are regular, and
announce firmness; and his vivid and piercing eyes possess a degree of
penetration, which takes nothing away from the austerity of his personal
appearance. When conversing with strangers, the dignity of his mien, the
gravity of his gestures, and the choice of his expressions, would lead
one to imagine that he has constantly lived in the society of men
eminent for their learning and talents; occasionally he affects, but
without success, a sort of natural _bonhomie_; but he well knows that
this little deceit is easily seen through, and he seldom employs it,
except when in company with men whom he knows to be his inferiors in
point of intellect. When, on the contrary, Rosas finds himself amid his
old companions, the Gauchos, his tone and manner entirely change: it is
no longer the polished and civilized man, the man of the cabinet and the
study, that is before us, but rather the horse and bull tamer, the lion
hunter, and the wild dweller on the prairies. His speech, perhaps a
moment before elegant and scholarly, now becomes gross and obscene,
while his gestures assume an expression known only to the desert.

What we have just stated regarding Rosas, will suffice to make our
readers comprehend his consummate skill; if we add to this an obstinate
and resolute character, and a will which has never recoiled before any
necessity to attain its ends--did this necessity even involve an
assassination or a massacre--and an enormous superiority of intellect
over all the men who surround him, the almost boundless power which this
man has succeeded in grasping and maintaining in his country, may easily
be comprehended. What augments still further the degree of his power, is
the secret manner in which it is exercised. Although in reality reigning
as absolute sovereign over the country whose constitution and
institutions he is daily trampling under foot, Rosas has ever been
enabled to dissemble his power, and, nominally at least, shelter himself
behind the rampart of legality.

Thus, among the apparent rights which he has left to the Chamber of
Representatives, if it is necessary that it should give a decision upon
any question, he demands it by a public and official message, almost
with humility: but by a private letter addressed at the same time to the
President, he directs him as to the precise form which is to be adopted
by the Chamber in pronouncing the resolution to be taken, as well as the
exact day and hour when the said resolution is to be made known to him.
To such a point are these things carried, that it is in the very cabinet
of Rosas himself that the fulsome votes of thanks periodically passed by
the different provincial assemblies of the Confederation to _the hero of
the desert_, the _saviour of the country_, the _restorer of the laws_,
&c., &c., &c., are drawn up.

Rosas attained to power uttering the war whoop of "Death to the
Unitarians,"[1] and by giving himself out as the restorer of the
federal government; and yet it is a notorious fact, that there is not on
the face of the earth a system of government more centralizing, more
despotic, more Unitarian, if we must say the word, than that which he
has constituted; and it is this fact alone which clearly proves the
extraordinary skill of this man. He has been enabled to push beyond the
limits of the possible the sciences of audacity and falsehood. It is
with the assistance of the federalists that he has been enabled to
conquer; true, he has dubbed himself federalist in name, but as far as
regards the principle of the thing, he has done his utmost to wipe away
from the institutions and customs of the country every thing that might
bear the most remote resemblance to this form of government, by
collecting together in his own hands more than the sum of the public
power--in fact, assuming in all things the sovereign will of an
autocratic dictator, from whose decrees there can be no appeal.

One of the glaring defects of the Argentine character is the thirst for
power, which possesses the inhabitants, to obtain which no obstacle will
restrain them. Previous to attaining to the supreme power, though
recognized as the chief of the country party, Rosas was surrounded by
_caudillos_, whose devotion to his interests did not appear to him to be
completely absolute; in fact, he well knew that on the very first
occasion which should present itself, each of them, profiting by the
ascendency which he individually exercised over his partisans, would
make no scruple of disputing with him the power he envied. It was
absolutely necessary that he should rid himself of this obnoxious
body-guard, and this step he at once resolved upon, and forthwith put
into execution. In a very brief space of time, steel and poison had done
their work, and delivered him from all those rivals which his ambition
had to dread, while the provinces very soon lost, under the terror which
they experienced at this wholesale slaughter, the bare idea of
resistance. There still remained, however, the city: Buenos Ayres had
not supported Lavalle as it ought to have done, nevertheless it inclosed
within its walls a goodly number of men who, though they had indeed
reason to manifest indifference for the Unitarian government, were too
enlightened not to feel a bitter regret for their own culpable weakness.
It was as a fire smouldering within the city, which sooner or later
would not fail to burst forth into a flame. Rosas comprehended this
movement, and bethought himself of the means of stifling it in the bud.
It was then that he founded the famous popular society of the
_mashorca_. It has been asserted, and we believe with reason, that this
society by its number of outrages on human life, merits in the criminal
annals of the world a renown greater than that of the celebrated Jacobin
Club, and the revolutionary tribunal of the first French Revolution.
Recruited from among the ranks of the savage, ignorant, and cruel men
who surrounded the new Dictator, the members of the _mashorca_ set to
work with ardor to _moralize_ the country according to the will of
General Rosas. By the mere terror which this formidable _mashorca_
inspired, Rosas was enabled to make the world believe, that he was at
once the elect of his fellow citizens and the depository of their wishes
and desires. It served him also to drill the nation to the manifestation
of either enthusiasm or furious rage, of which he might, according to
circumstances, stand in need.

The people, docile as a flock of sheep, accordingly howled or applauded
in the streets, or upon the public places, at the will of the dictator.
The means of action of the _mashorqueros_ upon the multitude are well
known--they consist in violence and assassination. Although in
appearance mute and devoted to Rosas, the city of Buenos Ayres still
bears mourning for the victims which were then sacrificed to his fury
and ambition. Obedient to the resentments of the _elect of the people_,
the _mashorqueros_, at certain days and certain hours, would spread
themselves far and wide throughout the streets, poinard in hand, and,
penetrating into the dwellings pointed out to them, would pitilessly
immolate the Unitarian _savages_ which the _federal pacificator_ had
previously marked as victims for their homicidal fury. The precise
number of these victims of the blind rage of a sanguinary party is
unknown; but it must have been considerable, for during an entire week
the blood flowed unceasingly, and at that period it was no uncommon
sight to behold the decapitated heads of the slain exposed in the public
market-place; at length, one day, a cart, preceded by musicians, made
the circuit of the city, to collect the dead bodies which lay in piles
before the houses.

It is not difficult to comprehend the effect of a similar system of
government upon a population by no means numerous, exhausted by long
civil dissensions, and which would have been completely annihilated at
the very first symptom of any thing approaching resistance. It submitted
in silence. Rosas, now certain from henceforth of being able to reign by
terror, began to moderate his excesses, and only from time to time had
recourse to violence, in order to intimidate those among the population
in whose breasts there might still lurk the remnants of some generous or
patriotic sentiment.

Rosas possesses an incredible power of continuous labor: he sleeps
during the greater part of the day, and passes the night in his cabinet.
It is not until four o'clock in the afternoon that he quits his bedroom.
During the summer, when he is in the country, he may be seen from this
hour until six o'clock galloping through the gardens, open to all
comers, or playing in front of the house with an enormous tigress,
which, though of the greatest ferocity with strangers, trembles and
crouches to the earth, at his voice. At six o'clock he takes a light
repast; after which he sits down to work, and does not leave off until
five or six in the morning. It is at this hour that he dines in company
with a couple of jesters, dressed in an eccentric manner, one of whom
goes by the name of _the governor_, who seek to amuse him by their
witticisms, their grotesque games, and sometimes by fighting. It has
been said that Rosas is surrounded by guards. But this is utterly false.
His house, which is vast and elegant, stands upon the highway, and the
doors, according to the general custom of the country, are always wide
open. So far from it being the case that he keeps his person carefully
guarded, it is, on the contrary, frequently a very difficult matter on
entering the house to meet with even a domestic to announce you; and the
visitor could with as much ease reach his private cabinet or his
bed-chamber as he could the courts upon which these apartments open.
There is not even a sentry or a porter at the principal door.

Next to Rosas, the personage who plays the most important part in all
the Confederation, is his daughter, Manuelita. The position which this
woman has acquired for herself is unique, like that of her father,
although relatively less important, since she is not consulted upon
State affairs. She possesses, nevertheless, with regard to all that
appertains to the second rank, a liberty of action entirely her own.
Manuelita is, as it were, an under Secretary of State in the cabinet of
a minister in charge of a vast administration. She has her secretaries,
her offices, her correspondence; and is well able to attend to a vast
amount of important business without neglecting those duties toward
society, which her intellectual acquirements and natural amiability of
disposition impose upon her. By many writers, Manuelita has been
portrayed as a species of bacchante, unceasingly exciting her father to
the commission of acts of violence, giving herself up to all the
irregularities of a life of dissipation, and scandalizing society by the
spectacle of incessant orgies. Now nothing can be less true, nothing
more false, than this. It is not necessary to know Manuelita, it is
sufficient to have seen her but for a few moments to be convinced of the
utter falsehood of these mendacious travelers' tales. Manuelita is
Rosas' daughter, and consequently has many prejudices to overcome, many
hatreds to conquer: yet she is esteemed and loved by all, which, be it
remarked, is no mean praise in a country where it may be said that no
one is esteemed. This is, in our idea, the best reply to offer to the
various calumnies it has pleased the "many-headed" to heap upon her. And
how, we may ask, can it be otherwise? If there is a being on the earth
who can soften the rigors of Rosas' tyrannical government, can solicit
and obtain mercy or justice, it is Manuelita. She is the sole hope of
the unfortunate, of the oppressed, of the poor, and rarely is this hope
deceived.

Manuelita is tall and elegantly formed. Her age has been stated to be
about four-and-thirty although she looks no more than twenty-seven or
twenty-eight. Her features are regular and bear the Spanish impress,
that is to say, that they are strongly marked. Her large black eyes
announce great strength of mind, yet the glances which shoot therefrom
have an expression of infinite gentleness and kindness. Her jet black
hair serves to bring out in more prominent relief the ivory fairness of
her skin. Her entire person, in short, breathes an air of grace and
refinement to be met with only in the Spanish women, who possess the
rare art of being able to join to the charms of beauty a certain
_abandon_ unknown to the women of other countries.

Manuelita possesses in a high degree the "knowledge of the salons," as
the French would call it; she speaks English, French, and Italian, as
her mother tongue, and whatever turn the conversation may take, whether
"grave or gay, lively or severe," she is equally enabled to shine in it
either by judicious observations, or brilliant repartee. Manuelita
entertains for her father a degree of affection amounting to absolute
devotion; often has she been seen to shed tears on learning the
cruelties practiced by Rosas. In the excess of grief which the acts of
the Dictator caused her, she has sometimes let her indignation burst
forth before her friends, but nothing can sever the bonds of that filial
love which bind her to her father. And happy is it for the country that
this is the case, for it is very evident that were it not for her, the
fury of Rosas would have displayed itself more fatally than it has yet
done. We have heard related by two eye-witnesses a scene which took
place between her and her father, during the period of the first
_mashorca_ executions, which shows the degree of dominion which the
latter exercises over her. One evening while Manuelita was seated at her
piano-forte singing to her auditors some Spanish romance, Rosas entered
the room holding in his hand a silver salver, upon which was deposited a
pair of human ears cut from the head of a _savage_ Unitarian; advancing
slowly to the instrument he placed the salver upon the piano before the
eyes of his daughter. Manuelita started up violently from her seat and
with features almost livid with rage and horror, she seized her piece of
music and cast it over the plate, then turning round she was about to
give free course to her indignation, when her eyes met the fixed and
terrible glance of the general; she ceded to this power and fell
fainting to the ground.

We could relate a thousand facts of this nature, which abundantly prove
the falsity of the many imputations directed against the character of
Manuelita.

We have just said that the two individuals alone worthy of attention and
study throughout the whole of the Argentine Confederation, are first of
all General Rosas, and afterward, his daughter, Manuelita. In fact it is
in them, in their will or their caprices, that are concentrated the
entire policy and administration of the republic. The men who, below
them nominally fill the higher offices of the State, are but mutes,
divested alike of either power or will. Like the stage representatives
of noble knights and powerful monarchs, the higher functionaries of the
republic and especially the secretaries of state hold office without
filling any character. They serve occasionally to make known the will of
the governor without being permitted in any case to interpret it. Even
the general officers in command of the armed forces dispersed over the
territory are obliged to keep near their persons certain subaltern
agents enjoying the confidence of the governor, whose orders and
directions they are obliged implicitly to follow. Although nominally and
apparently holding appointments which seem to invest them with a certain
degree of authority, the state functionaries are in this respect no
better off than their less fortunate countrymen, but are like all the
rest of the Argentines, in a state of absolute and slavish dependence.

When General Rosas seized the reins of government, his first and
principal care was to transform completely the Argentine society. In
place of the enlightened men whom Rivadavia had applied himself to seek
out, Rosas has raised to the first rank, the crew of unlettered ignorant
men, stained with every crime which disgraces human nature, who had
seconded his ambitious views. The biographies of the individuals who
formed the _mashorca_ are well known to every one, but such is the
terror inspired by the Dictator, that each, even the sons, brothers, and
widows of those who fell beneath their murderous knives, eagerly hasten
to show all the civility and deference in their power for the particular
friends of the governor. Never in any country have we had so many
examples of abject and shameful servility as in this. The Argentine
society possesses neither morality, religion, honor, nor courage. All
look forward to the day when the country shall be delivered from the
reign of despotism and tyranny which has so long oppressed it; but there
is not a man in all Buenos Ayres who has the courage to manifest his
feelings of disgust and repugnance for those who aid the governor in
retaining power. And let not the reader imagine that it is only a tacit
assent which is rendered to the tyrant's iron rule; each after venting
curses "not loud but deep" when he is certain of not being heard,
against the Dictator and his acolytes, rushes into the streets to take
part in the public manifestations commanded by Rosas. The savage device
that we read upon the _cinta_[2] is the cry which the watchmen shout
aloud every hour of the night in the streets of the city; it is the cry
which the actors give utterance to upon the stage on federal days, by
way of prologue, previous to the commencement of the piece; it is the
shout which the troops and militia under arms howl forth when the
governor rides down the ranks, and as if the threat of death to the
Unitarians which it contains was not sufficient, it is augmented
according to circumstances by similar denunciations directed against any
particular marked individual who may have rendered himself obnoxious to
the government, and also against foreigners, as well as by _vivats_ in
honor of the immortal warrior, of the king of justice, of the restorer
of the laws, of the great, the magnificent, the high and mighty Rosas,
in a word.

If the thorough abasement of moral character, the inevitable result of
despotism, which we observe in the Buenos Ayreans, did not counteract
the feelings of sympathy one is naturally disposed to show for this
population, the Argentine society would possess great attractions for
the traveler. The men who represent the Unitarian element are in general
of polished and agreeable manners. All the women without exception are
possessed of a remarkable degree of beauty, and if their education is
not quite so finished as it might be, they are, like all Spanish women,
endowed with a sort of natural grace and tact which stand them in lieu
of it: they display an extraordinary degree of luxury in their toilets,
and one might say that they outstrip the Parisian fashions, which are
with them more ephemeral even than in the spot which has given them
birth. For luxury and lavish expenditure as regards the adornment of the
person, nothing is comparable to the interior of the Opera-house on a
crowded night; the dazzled eye perceives at first but a vast
amphitheatre sparkling with gold, jewels, silk and lace, so disposed as
to impart fresh attractions to the ivory shoulders and ebon locks they
deck, lending all the charms of art to the riches of nature.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] The centralizing party in the confederation is thus denominated.

[2] This device is thus conceived: "Long live the Argentine
Confederation! Death to the savage, filthy, and disgusting Unitarians!"



A NEW PHASE OF BEE-LIFE.


About the middle of an afternoon in July, 1848, we had landed on a low
sand-bank, which, for a short distance, skirted the right bank of the
stream, for the purpose of encamping for the night; and right glad were
we to stretch our limbs after ten hours' paddling. The Indians had
started in their wood-skin up the neighboring creek, in quest of game
for our evening's repast, and the women were clearing a space beneath
the branches for our hammocks, and collecting fuel for the nightly fire.
All who have wandered with the pleasant Waterton in his chivalrous
Expedition on the Essequibo, will remember his first guiltless attempt
to hook the wary cayman, before seeking more skillful allies in the
Indian settlement higher up the river. The sand-bank in which we were
about to bivouac, was that mentioned in his narrative, where, for four
days, he had impatiently waited for the shades of evening, and as often
turned into his hammock at day-break with his longings ungratified.

It was, as usual, intensely hot in the sun. To seek some relief, for the
first time during the day, I strolled--or rather straggled, for every
step through the tangled creepers had to be gained by hacking and hewing
with a cutlass--down to the cool banks of the creek, whose overhanging
branches, forming a magnificent arcade of verdure, almost excluded (or
admitted only at distant intervals), the scorching rays.

Seating myself on the smooth gray trunk of a tree, which lay prostrate
across the sluggish water, whose broken limbs shone bright in the gay
drapery of a scarlet-blossomed epiphyte, I lighted my pipe, and taking a
book from my pocket, began lazily turning over the pages and lightly
gleaning the pleasant thought of a witty and social poet. My attention
now and again drawn away by the ceaseless tappings of a yellow-headed
woodpecker on a decaying tree close at hand, to the glittering flashes
of a Karabimitas, a Topaz-throated humming-bird--a frequenter of dark
and solitary creeks, capturing flies among the gay petals, for his
nest-keeping partner, who, a few paces up the stream was gently swinging
with the evening breezes in her tiny home. I had been in this position
for some time, little regarding the whizzing hum of insects constantly
passing and repassing--when, my gaze chancing to fall a yard or more
from my resting-place, I detected a small bright-gray bee, about the
third of an inch in length, disappearing in what seemed a solid part of
the trunk.

There was no hole or crevice perceptible to the eye, nor did that
portion of the bark feel less smooth than that immediately adjoining. I
might be mistaken--nay, _I must be_. I had just arrived at this last
conclusion, when a tiny piece of the bark was suddenly raised, and out
flew the little gentleman I had seen disappear, or one too like him not
to belong to the same family. The mystery was solved. Some ingenious
bee-architect had devised an entrance-gate, fitting so admirably as to
defy discovery when shut; while I was certain that I could lay my finger
almost on the precise spot, the closest inspection failed to reveal any
trace of its outline. The bark, though polished and even, was covered
with faint interlaced streaks, from which even the smoothest bark is
never free; and the skillful carpenter had adapted the irregular
tracings of nature to his object of concealment. Wishing to inspect the
workmanship without injuring its delicacy, I had to wait patiently until
it should again fly open; nor was I kept long in expectation, for it
presently popped up to permit the egress of another of the fraternity,
and a ready twig prevented its descending. I found it designedly crooked
and jagged at the edges, with an average width of about a quarter of an
inch, and twice that in length; its substance was little more than the
outer skin of the bark, and, being still connected at one end, opened
and closed as with a spring. The cunning workman had no doubt been aware
that had he made it much shorter--which the size of the passengers would
have permitted--it would have required to be thrown farther back, when
the greater tension would soon have destroyed the elasticity of the
hinge, and, with that, its power of fitting close to the tree.
Immediately within the doorway was a small ante-chamber, forming a sort
of porter's lodge to the little surly gray-liveried gentleman inside,
who, without quitting his retreat, showed his displeasure at my
intrusion in a manner too pointed to be mistaken, and certainly
manifesting neither trepidation nor alarm at the sight of one of the
"lords of the creation," though probably the first offered to his
inspection. From the entrance-hall, two circular tunnels conducted into
the interior of the establishment, from whence came the confused murmurs
of a numerous and busy community. I had just allowed the door to close,
and was admiring the exceeding neatness of the workmanship, when another
of the family returned home, signifying his arrival, and obtaining
admittance in a manner at once novel and singular.

After darting against the entrance, and touching it with his feet, he
rose again into the air, and taking a wide swoop round the trunk came up
on the other side, this time, flying straight toward the "trap," which
was quickly raised, when he was a few inches distant, and, on his
entering, as quickly closed. The office of the pugnacious individual
inside was explained; he was actually the doorkeeper, and his returning
comrades, having, like any other modern gentleman, politely rapped,
circled out of the observation of prying eyes, till he was prepared to
admit them. Numbers were constantly arriving, and all went through the
process I have described, each flying away, after knocking, in a
different direction, but all allowing the same time to elapse before
returning for admission; thus, the door was never opened save at the
proper moment.

After watching their proceedings for some time, I discovered the reason
of their not waiting quietly at the entrance. Sneaking among the stray
leaves and rubbish in the trunk, and in the holes and cavities of the
bark, were numbers of small insects, of the same color as the bees, but
with the addition of one or two minute bands of black across the
abdomen; their slender, graceful forms and partially exposed ovipositors
revealed, however, the cause of their slinking about, and stamped them
the parasitic ichneumons of the hive. I thought that, after the habits
of their tribe, they were endeavoring to obtain an entrance, when they
pouncingly hovered over the bees as they were disappearing in the
door-way; but, as none ever succeeded, I conjectured that they had
devised and were pursuing some other plan of introducing their
blood-thirsty progeny. Further observation showed this to be correct.
The rascals were endeavoring to attach their eggs to the small pellets
of pollen with which each bee was laden, and they often succeeded, in
spite of the admirably devised tactics to prevent them.

The duties of the janitor were gradually ceasing; all the bees had
returned save a few stragglers, and even these were becoming scarce; the
last parting rays of the sun--a signal for the twilight birds to issue
from their lurking places--warned me, that in a few minutes I should
have some difficulty in penetrating through the thick underwood, for I
was in a clime where the sun "sinks at once, and all is night."

I was about to retrace my steps, when the measured stroke of paddles
caught my ear, and presently the Indian "corial," with a brave batch of
maroudis, and some smaller birds, turned a bend in the sinuous creek,
and swiftly glided toward me, guided through the fallen trees and
branches, which in some places almost choked the narrow stream, by the
skillful arm of old Paley, as I had dubbed our usual steersman. The same
keen eye that kept the frail bark clear of besetting obstacles, quickly
detected me--though it was almost dark--stretched in the tree above him.
Staying the progress of the "wood-skin" beneath, I slipped off my boots,
and cautiously lowered myself down.

I wouldn't advise any one to squat with booted heel in a flimsy "bark,"
especially when--intended for two and accommodating four--it is skimming
along with the water an inch or so from the edge. A lurch to one side,
and over you go--pleasantly enough in shallow water on a hot day, but
any thing but that with twenty feet of black fluid beneath, and you not
able to swim. A few weeks' practice had enabled me to balance myself
without endangering others; so we landed safely.

The birds, soon ready for the pot, were in a few minutes boiling away
among the "cassareep" and peppers. We made hearty suppers that night;
and as I lay in my hammock, taking the usual "soothing whiff" before
resigning myself to sleep, the howling of monkeys, the bellowings of
caymen, and the various cries of goatsucker, owl, and tiger-bird,
blending with the occasional roar of the jaguar in his midnight
courtship, the soughing of the breeze among the trees, and the murmur of
the distant falls, made as discordant and motley a "hushaby" as one
could imagine. Fortunately, all the screeching and howling in the
universe would have failed to drive away my slumbers; so I quietly fell
asleep, with the swaying branches brushing past my face. My latest
waking thoughts, I remember, now recalling the wandering Waterton (he
might have slept suspended from the same branch), and his fishing for
caymen; now, the bees and their tiny trap-doors; now, my tiger-robbed
coverlet, and the rapids we were to "shoot" in the morning; and, lastly,
blending into a confused murmur--raising pleasant recollections of the
old school-room buzz, and of the kindly comrades and anxious friends in
my far-off home.

We were up and away down the sparkling river at daybreak the next
morning; and I had no other opportunity of observing the economy of the
bees and their enemies; nor in my rambles did I ever chance to meet with
another family of the same species, or with kindred habits.



ANECDOTE OF A HAWK.


An English work on Game Birds and Wild Fowls, recently published,
contains the following curious anecdote:

"A friend of Colonel Bonham--the late Col. Johnson, of the Rifle
Brigade--was ordered to Canada with his battalion, in which he was then
a captain, and being very fond of falconry, to which he had devoted much
time and expense, he took with him two of his favorite peregrines, as
his companions, across the Atlantic.

"It was his constant habit during the voyage to allow them to fly every
day, after 'feeding them up,' that they might not be induced to take off
after a passing sea-gull, or wander out of sight of the vessel.
Sometimes their rambles were very wide and protracted. At others they
would ascend to such a height as to be almost lost to the view of the
passengers, who soon found them an effectual means of relieving the
tedium of a long sea voyage, and naturally took a lively interest in
their welfare; but as they were in the habit of returning regularly to
the ship, no uneasiness was felt during their occasional absence. At
last, one evening, after a longer flight than usual, one of the falcons
returned alone. The other--the prime favorite--was missing. Day after
day passed away and, however much he may have continued to regret his
loss, Captain Johnson had at length fully made up his mind that it was
irretrievable, and that he should never see her again. Soon after the
arrival of the regiment in America, on casting his eyes over a Halifax
newspaper, he was struck by a paragraph announcing that the captain of
an American schooner had at that moment in his possession a fine hawk,
which had suddenly made its appearance on board his ship during his late
passage from Liverpool. The idea at once occurred to Captain Johnson
that this could be no other than his much-prized falcon, so having
obtained immediate leave of absence, he set off for Halifax, a journey
of some days. On arriving there he lost no time in waiting on the
commander of the schooner, announcing the object of his journey, and
requested that he might be allowed to see the bird; but Jonathan had no
idea of relinquishing his prize so easily, and stoutly refused to admit
of the interview, 'guessing' that it was very easy for an Englisher to
lay claim to another man's property, but 'calculating' that it was a
'tarnation sight' harder for him to get possession of it; and concluded
by asserting, in unqualified terms, his entire disbelief in the whole
story. Captain Johnson's object, however, being rather to recover his
falcon than to pick a quarrel with the truculent Yankee, he had
fortunately sufficient self-command to curb his indignation, and
proposed that his claim to the ownership of the bird should be at once
put to the test by an experiment, which several Americans who were
present admitted to be perfectly reasonable, and in which their
countryman was at last persuaded to acquiesce. It was this. Captain
Johnson was to be admitted to an interview with the hawk--who, by the
way, had as yet shown no partiality for any person since her arrival in
the New World; but, on the contrary, had rather repelled all attempts at
familiarity--and if at this meeting she should not only exhibit such
unequivocal signs of attachment and recognition as should induce the
majority of the bystanders to believe that he really was her original
master, but especially if she should play with the buttons of his coat,
then the American was at once to waive all claim to her. The trial was
immediately made. The Yankee went up-stairs, and shortly returned with
the falcon; but the door was hardly opened before she darted from his
fist, and perched at once on the shoulder of her beloved and long-lost
protector, evincing, by every means in her power, her delight and
affection, rubbing her head against his cheek, and taking hold of the
buttons of his coat and champing them playfully between her mandibles,
one after another. This was enough. The jury were unanimous. A verdict
for the plaintiff was pronounced; even the obdurate heart of the
sea-captain was melted, and the falcon was at once restored to the arms
of her rightful owner."



NOTES ON THE NILE.

BY AN AMERICAN.


"Nile Notes, by an Howadji" (the Eastern name for traveler) is the title
of a new book, by a young American, soon to be issued from the press of
Messrs. Harper and Brothers. It is written with great vivacity, and will
compare favorably with "E[=o]then," or the best books of the day on the
East. The following extracts will be found attractive.


THE MUSIC OF THE EAST.

While the Hadji Hamed fluttered about the deck, and the commander served
his kara kooseh, the crew gathered around the bow and sang.

The stillness of early evening had spelled the river, nor was the
strangeness dissolved by that singing. The men crouched in a circle upon
the deck, and the reis, or captain, thrummed the tarabuka, or Arab drum,
made of a fish-skin stretched upon a gourd. Raising their hands, the
crew clapped them above their heads, in perfect time, not ringingly, but
with a dead, dull thump of the palms--moving the whole arm to bring them
together. They swung their heads from side to side, and one clanked a
chain in unison. So did these people long before the Ibis nestled to
this bank, long before there were Americans to listen.

For when Diana was divine, and thousands of men and women came floating
down the Nile in barges to celebrate her festival, they sang and
clapped, played the castanets and flute, stifling the voices of Arabian
and Lybian echoes with a wild roar of revelry. They, too, sang a song
that came to them from an unknown antiquity, Linus, their first and
only song, the dirge of the son of the first king of Egypt.

This might have been that dirge that the crew sang in a mournful minor.
Suddenly, one rose and led the song, in sharp, jagged sounds, formless
as lightning. "He fills me the glass full, and gives me to drink," sang
the leader, and the low-measured chorus throbbed after him, "Hummeleager
malooshee." The sounds were not a tune, but a kind of measured
recitative. It went on constantly faster and faster, exciting them, as
the Shakers excite themselves, until a tall, gaunt Nubian rose in the
moonlight and danced in the centre of the circle, like a gay ghoul among
his fellows.

The dancing was monotonous, like the singing, a simple jerking of the
muscles. He shook his arms from the elbows, like a Shaker, and raised
himself alternately upon both feet. Often the leader repeated the song
as a solo, then the voices died away, the ghoul crouched again, and the
hollow throb of the tarabuka continued as an accompaniment to the
distant singing of Nero's crew, that came in fitful gusts through the
little grove of sharp, slim masts:

    "If you meet my sweetheart,
    Give her my respects."

The melancholy monotony of this singing in unison, harmonized with the
vague feelings of that first Nile night. The simplicity of the words
became the perpetual childishness of the men, so that it was not
ludicrous. It was clearly the music and words of a race just better than
the brutes. If a poet could translate into sound the expression of a
fine dog's face, or that of a meditative cow, the Howadji would fancy
that he heard Nile music. For, after all, that placid and perfect animal
expression would be melancholy humanity. And with the crew only, the
sound was sad; they smiled, and grinned, and shook their heads with
intense satisfaction. The evening and the scene were like a chapter of
Mungo Park. I heard the African mother sing to him as he lay sick upon
her mats, and the world and history forgotten, those strange, sad sounds
drew me deep into the dumb mystery of Africa.

But the musical Howadji will find a fearful void in his Eastern life.
The Asiatic has no ear, and no soul for music. Like other savages and
children, he loves a noise, and he plays on shrill pipes--on the
tarabuka, on the tár, or tambourine, and a sharp, one-stringed fiddle,
or rabáb. Of course, in your first Oriental days, you will decline no
invitation, but you will grow gradually deaf to all entreaties of
friends, or dragomen, to sally forth and hear music. You will remind him
that you did not come to the East to go to Bedlam.

This want of music is not strange, for silence is natural to the East
and the tropics. When, sitting quietly at home, in midsummer, sweeping
ever sunward in the growing heats, we at length reach the tropics in the
fixed fervor of a July noon, the day is rapt, the birds are still, the
wind swoons, and the burning sun glares silence on the world.

The Orient is that primeval and perpetual noon. That very heat explains
to you the voluptuous elaboration of its architecture, the brilliance of
its costume, the picturesqueness of its life. But no Mozart was needed
to sow Persian gardens with roses breathing love and beauty, no
Beethoven to build mighty Himmalayas, no Rossini to sparkle and sing
with the birds and streams. Those realities are there, of which the
composers are the poets to Western imaginations. In the East, you feel
and see music, but hear it never.

Yet, in Cairo and Damascus the poets sit at the cafés, surrounded by the
forms and colors of their songs, and recite the romances of the Arabian
Nights, or of Aboo Zeyd, or of Antar, with no other accompaniment than
the tár, or the rabáb, then called the "Poet's Viol," and in the same
monotonous strain. Sometimes the single strain is touching, as when on
our way to Jerusalem, the too-enamored camel-driver, leading the litter
of the fair Armenian, saddened the silence of the desert noon with a
Syrian song. The high, shrill notes trembled and rang on the air. The
words said little, but the sound was a lyric of sorrow. The fair
Armenian listened silently as the caravan wound slowly along, her eyes
musingly fixed upon the East, where the flower-fringed Euphrates flows
through Bagdad to the sea. The fair Armenian had her thoughts, and the
camel-driver his; also the accompanying Howadji listened and had theirs.

The Syrian songs of the desert are very sad. They harmonize with the
burning monotony of the landscape in their long recitative and shrill
wail. The camel steps more willingly to that music, but the Howadji,
swaying upon his back, is tranced in the sound, so naturally born of
silence.

Meanwhile our crew are singing, although we have slid upon their music,
and the moonlight, far forward into the desert. But these are the forms
and feelings that their singing suggested. While they sang I wandered
over Sahara, and was lost in the lonely Libyan hills--a thousand simple
stories, a thousand ballads of love and woe trooped like drooping birds
through the sky-like vagueness of my mind. Rosamond Grey, and the child
of Elle passed phantom-like with vailed faces--for love, and sorrow, and
delight, are cosmopolitan, building bowers indiscriminately of
palm-trees or of pines.

The voices died away like the Muezzins', whose cry is the sweetest and
most striking of all Eastern sounds. It trembles in long-rising and
falling cadences from the balcony of the minaret, more humanly alluring
than bells, and more respectful of the warm stillness of Syrian and
Egyptian days. Heard in Jerusalem it has especial power. You sit upon
your house-top reading the history whose profoundest significance is
simple and natural in that inspiring clime; and as your eye wanders from
the aerial dome of Omar, beautiful enough to have been a dome of
Solomon's Temple, and over the olives of Gethsemane climbs the Mount of
Olives--the balmy air is suddenly filled with a murmurous cry, like a
cheek suddenly rose-suffused--a sound near, and far, and every where,
but soft and vibrating, and alluring, until you would fain don turban,
kaftan, and slippers, and kneeling in the shadow of a cypress on the
sun-flooded marble court of Omar, would be the mediator of those faiths,
nor feel yourself a recreant Christian.

Once I heard the Muezzin cry from a little village on the edge of the
desert, in the starlight before the dawn: it was only a wailing voice in
the air. The spirits of the desert were addressed in their own
language--or was it themselves lamenting, like water-spirits to the
green boughs overhanging them, that they could never know the gladness
of the green world, but were forever demons and denizens of the desert?
But the tones trembled away, without echo or response, into the starry
solitude. Al-lá-hu Ak-bar, Al-lá-hu Ak-bar!

So with songs and pictures, with musings, and the dinner of a Mecca
pilgrim, passed the first evening upon the Nile.


A CHARACTER.

Verde Giovane was joyous and gay. He had already been to the pyramids,
and had slept in a tomb, and had his pockets picked as he wandered
through their disagreeable darkness. He had come freshly and fast from
England, to see the world, omitting Paris and Western Europe on his way,
as he embarked at Southampton for Alexandria. Being in Cairo, he felt
himself abroad. Sternhold and Hopkins were his Laureates, for
perpetually on all kinds of wings of mighty winds he came flying all
abroad. He lost a great deal of money at billiards to "jolly" fellows
whom he afterward regaled with cold punch and choice cigars. He wrangled
wildly with a dragoman of very imperfect English powers, and packed his
tea for the voyage in brown paper parcels. He was perpetually on the
point of leaving. At breakfast, he would take a loud leave of the
"jolly" fellows, and if there were ladies in the room, he slung his gun
in a very abandoned manner over his shoulder, and while he adjusted his
shot-pouch with careless heroism, as if the enemy were in ambush on the
stairs, as who should say, "I'll do their business easily enough," he
would remark with a meaning smile, that he should stop a day or two at
Esne, probably, and then go off humming a song from the Favorita--or an
air whose words were well known to the jolly fellows, but would scarcely
bear female criticism.

After this departure, he had a pleasant way of reappearing at the
dinner-table, for the pale ale was not yet aboard, or the cook was ill,
or there had been another explosion with the dragoman. Verde Giovane
found the Cairene evenings "slow." It was astonishing how much execution
he accomplished with those words of very moderate calibre, "slow,"
"jolly," and "stunning." The universe arraying itself in Verde Giovane's
mind, under those three heads. Presently it was easy to predicate his
criticisms in any department. He had lofty views of travel. Verde
Giovane had come forth to see the world, and vainly might the world seek
to be unseen. He wished to push on to Sennaar and Ethiopia. It was very
slow to go only to the _cataracts_. Ordinary travel, and places already
beheld of men, were not for Verde. But if there were any Chinese wall to
be scaled, or the English standard were to be planted upon any vague and
awful Himmalayan height, or a new oasis were to be revealed in the
desert of Sahara, here was the heaven-appointed Verde Giovane, only
awaiting his pale ale, and determined to dally a little at Esne. After
subduing the East by travel, he proposed to enter the Caucasian
Mountains, and serve as a Russian officer. These things were pleasant to
hear, as to behold at Christmas those terrible beheadings of giants by
Tom Thumb, for you enjoyed a sweet sense of security and a consciousness
that no harm was done. They were wild Arabian romances, attributable to
the inspiration of the climate, in the city he found so slow. The
Cairenes were listening elsewhere to their poets, Verde Giovane was
ours; and we knew very well that he would go quietly up to the first
cataract, and then returning to Alexandria, would steam to Jaffa, and
thence donkey placidly to Jerusalem, moaning in his sleep of Cheapside
and St. Paul's.


PROSPECTS OF THE EAST.

That the East will never regenerate itself, contemporary history shows;
nor has any nation of history culminated twice. The spent summer
reblooms no more--the Indian summer is but a memory and a delusion. The
sole hope of the East is Western inoculation. The child must suckle the
age of the parent, and even "Medea's wondrous alchemy" will not restore
its peculiar prime. If the East awakens, it will be no longer in the
turban and red slippers, but in hat and boots. The West is the sea that
advances forever upon the shore, the shore can not stay it, but becomes
the bottom of the ocean. The Western, who lives in the Orient, does not
assume the kaftan and the baggy breeches, and those of his Muslim
neighbors shrink and disappear before his coat and pantaloons. The
Turkish army is clothed, like the armies of Europe. The grand Turk
himself, Mohammad's vicar, the Commander of the Faithful, has laid away
the magnificence of Haroun Alrashid, and wears the simple red Tarboosh,
and a stiff suit of military blue. Cairo is an English station to India,
and the Howadji does not drink sherbert upon the pyramids, but
champagne. The choice Cairo of our Eastern imagination is contaminated
with carriages. They are showing the secrets of the streets to the sun.
Their silence is no longer murmurous, but rattling. The "Uzbeekeeyah,"
public garden of Cairo, is a tea garden, of a Sunday afternoon crowded
with ungainly Franks, listening to bad music. Ichabod, Ichabod! steam
has towed the Mediterranean up the Nile to Boulak, and as you move on to
Cairo, through the still surviving masquerade of the Orient, the cry of
the melon-merchant seems the sadly significant cry of each sad-eyed
Oriental, "Consoler of the embarrassed, O Pips!"

The century has seen the failure of the Eastern experiment, headed as it
is not likely to be headed again, by an able and wise leader. Mohammad
Alee had Egypt and Syria, and was mounting the steps of the sultan's
throne. Then he would have marched to Bagdad, and sat down in Haroun
Alrashid's seat, to draw again broader and more deeply the lines of the
old Eastern empire. But the West would not suffer it. Even had it done
so, the world of Mohammad Alee would have crumbled to chaos again when
he died, for it existed only by his imperial will, and not by the
perception of the people.

At this moment the East is the El Dorado of European political hope. No
single power dares to grasp it, but at last England and Russia will meet
there, face to face, and the lion and the polar bear will shiver the
desert silence with the roar of their struggle. It will be the return of
the children to claim the birth-place. They may quarrel among
themselves, but whoever wins, will introduce the life of the children
and not of the parent. A possession and a province it may be, but no
more an independent empire. Father Ishmael shall be a sheikh of honor,
but of dominion no longer, and sit turbaned in the chimney corner, while
his hatted heirs rule the house. The children will cluster around him,
fascinated with his beautiful traditions, and curiously compare their
little black shoes with his red slippers.


THE DANCING WOMEN OF THE EAST.

The Howadji entered the bower of the Ghazeeyah. A damsel admitted us at
the gate, closely vailed, as if women's faces were to be seen no more
forever. Across a clean little court, up stone steps that once were
steadier, and we emerged upon a small, inclosed stone terrace, the
sky-vaulted ante-chamber of that bower. Through a little door that made
us stoop to enter, we passed into the peculiar retreat of the Ghazeeyah.
It was a small, white, oblong room, with but one window, opposite the
door, and that closed. On three sides there were small holes to admit
light, as in dungeons, but too lofty for the eye to look through, like
the oriel windows of sacristies. Under these openings were small glass
vases holding oil, on which floated wicks. These were the means of
illumination.

A divan of honor filled the end of the room; on the side was another,
less honorable, as is usual in all Egyptian houses; on the floor a
carpet, partly covering it. A straw matting extended beyond the carpet
toward the door, and between the matting and the door was a bare space
of stone floor, whereon to shed the slippers.

Hadji Hamed, the long cook, had been ill, but hearing of music and
dancing and Ghawazee, he had turned out for the nonce, and accompanied
us to the house, not all unmindful possibly, of the delectations of the
Mecca pilgrimage. He stood upon the stone terrace afterward, looking in
with huge delight! The solemn, long tomb-pilgrim! The merriest lunges of
life were not lost upon him, notwithstanding.

The Howadji seated themselves orientally upon the divan of honor. To sit
as Westerns sit is impossible upon a divan. There is some mysterious
necessity for crossing the legs; and this Howadji never sees a tailor
now in lands civilized, but the dimness of Eastern rooms and bazaars,
the flowingness of robe, and the coiled splendor of the turban, and a
world reclining leisurely at ease, rise distinct and dear in his
mind--like that Sicilian mirage seen on divine days from Naples--but
fleet as fair. To most men a tailor is the most unsuggestive of mortals;
to the remembering Howadji he sits a poet.

The chibouque and nargileh and coffee belong to the divan, as the parts
of harmony to each other. I seized the flowing tube of a brilliant
amber-hued nargileh, such as Hafiz might have smoked, and prayed Isis
that some stray Persian might chance along to complete our company. The
Pacha inhaled at times a more sedate nargileh, at times the chibouque of
the Commander, who reclined upon the divan below.

A tall Egyptian female, filially related, I am sure, to a gentle giraffe
who had been indiscreet with a hippopotamus, moved heavily about,
lighting the lamps, and looking as if her bright eyes were feeding upon
the flame, as the giraffes might browse upon lofty autumn leaves. There
was something awful in this figure. She was the type of those tall,
angular, Chinese-eyed, semi-smiling, wholly homely and bewitched beings
who sit in eternal profile in the sculptures of the temples. She was
mystic, like the cow-horned Isis. I gradually feared that she had come
off the wall of a tomb, probably in Thebes hard by, and that our
Ghawazee delights would end in a sudden embalming, and laying away in
the bowels of the hills with a perpetual prospect of her upon the walls.

Avaunt, Spectre! The Fay approaches, and Kushuk Arnem entered her bower.
A bud no longer, yet a flower not too fully blown. Large laughing eyes,
red pulpy lips, white teeth, arching nose, generous-featured, lazy,
carelessly self-possessed, she came dancing in, addressing the Howadji
in Arabic--words whose honey they would not have distilled through
interpretation. Be content with the aroma of sound, if you can not catch
the flavor of sense--and flavor can you never have through another
mouth. Smiling and pantomime were our talking, and one choice Italian
word she knew--_buono_. Ah! how much was _buono_ that choice evening.
Eyes, lips, hair, form, dress, every thing that the strangers had or
wore, was endlessly _buono_. Dancing, singing, smoking, coffee--_buono,
buono, buonissimo_! How much work one word will do!

The Ghazeeyah entered--not mazed in that azure mist of gauze and muslin
wherein Cerito floats fascinating across the scene, nor in the peacock
plumage of sprightly Lucille Grahn, nor yet in that June cloudiness of
airy apparel which Carlotta affects, nor in that sumptuous Spanishness
of dark drapery wherein Fanny is most Fanny.

The glory of a butterfly is the starred brilliance of its wings. There
are who declare that dress is divine--who aver that an untoileted woman
is not wholly a woman, and that you may as well paint a saint without
his halo, as describe a woman without detailing her dress. Therefore,
while the coarser sex vails longing eyes, will we tell the story of the
Ghazeeyah's apparel.

Yellow morocco slippers hid her feet, rosy and round; over these brooded
a bewildering fullness of rainbow silk--Turkish trowsers we call them,
but they are shintyan in Arabic. Like the sleeve of a clergyman's gown,
the lower end is gathered somewhere, and the fullness gracefully
over-falls. I say rainbow, although to the Howadji's little cognizant
eye was the shintyan of more than the seven orthodox colors. In the
bower of Kushuk, nargileh-clouded, coffee-scented, are eyes to be
strictly trusted?

Yet we must not be entangled in this bewildering brilliance. A satin
jacket, striped with velvet, and of open sleeves, wherefrom floated
forth a fleecy cloud of under-sleeve, rolling adown the rosy arms, as
June clouds down the western rosiness of the sky, inclosed the bust. A
shawl, twisted of many folds, cinctured the waist, confining the silken
shintyan. A golden necklace of charms girdled the throat, and the hair,
much unctuated, as is the custom of the land, was adorned with a pendent
fringe of black silk, tipped with gold, which hung upon the neck behind.

Let us confess to a dreamy, vaporous vail, overspreading, rather
suffusing with color, the upper part of the arms and the lower limits of
the neck. That rosiness is known as tób to the Arabians--a mystery
whereof the merely masculine mind is not cognizant. Beneath the tób,
truth allows a beautiful bud-burstiness of bosom; yet I swear, by John
Bunyan, nothing so aggravating as the Howadji beholds in saloons
unnamable nearer the Hudson than the Nile. This brilliant cloud, whose
spirit was Kushuk Arnem, our gay Ghazeeyah, gathered itself upon a
divan, and she inhaled vigorously a nargileh. A damsel in tób and
shintyan exhaling azure clouds of aromatic smoke, had not been
displeasing to that Persian poet, for whose coming I had prayed too
late.

But more welcome than he, came the still-eyed Xenobi. She entered
timidly like a bird. The Howadji had seen doves less gracefully sitting
upon palm-boughs in the sunset, than she nestled upon the lower divan. A
very dove of a Ghazeeyah--a quiet child, the last born of Terpsichore.
Blow it from Mount Atlas, a modest dancing-girl. She sat near this
Howadji, and handed him, O Haroun Alrashid! the tube of his nargileh.
Its serpentine sinuosity flowed through her fingers, as if the golden
gayety of her costume were gliding from her alive. It was an electric
chain of communication, and never until some Xenobi of a houri hands the
Howadji the nargileh of Paradise, will the smoke of the weed of Shiraz
float so lightly, or so sweetly taste.

Xenobi was a mere bud, of most flexile and graceful form, ripe and round
as the spring fruit of the tropics. Kushuk had the air of a woman for
whom no surprises survive; Xenobi saw in every new day a surprise, haply
in every Howadji a lover.

She was more richly dressed than Kushuk. There were gay gold bands and
clasps upon her jacket; various necklaces of stamped gold and metallic
charms clustered around her neck, and upon her head a bright silken web,
as if a sun-suffused cloud were lingering there, and, dissolving,
showered down her neck in a golden rain of pendants. Then, O Venus! more
azure still--that delicious gauziness of tób, whereof more than to dream
is delirium. Wonderful the witchery of a tób! Nor can the Howadji deem a
maiden quite just to nature, who glides through the world unshintyaned
and untóbed.

Xenobi was perhaps sixteen years old, and a fully developed woman;
Kushuk Arnem, of some half-dozen summers more. Kushuk was unhennaed; but
the younger, as younger maidens may, graced herself with the genial
gifts of nature. Her delicate filbert nails were rosily tinted on the
tips with henna, and those peddler poets meeting her in Paradise would
have felt the reason of their chant, "Odors of Paradise, O flowers of
the henna!" But she had no kohl upon the eyelashes, nor like Fatima of
Damascus, whom the Howadji later saw, were her eyebrows shaved and
replaced by thick, black arches of kohl. Yet fascinating are the
almond-eyes of Egyptian women, bordered black with the kohl, whose
intensity accords with the sumptuous passion that mingles moist and
languid with their light. Eastern eyes are full of moonlight--Eastern
beauty is a dream of passionate possibility, which the Howadji would
fain awaken by the same spell with which the prince of Faery dissolved
the enchanted sleep of the princess. Yet kohl and henna are only
beautiful for the beautiful. In a coffee-shop at Esne, bold-faced among
the men, sat a coarse courtesan sipping coffee and smoking a nargileh,
whose kohled eyebrows and eyelashes made her a houri of hell.

"There is no joy but calm," I said, as the moments, brimmed with beauty,
melted in the starlight, and the small room became a bower of bloom and
a Persian garden of delight. We reclined, breathing fragrant fumes, and
interchanging, through the Golden-sleeved, airy nothings. The Howadji
and the houris had little in common but looks. Soulless as Undine, and
suddenly risen from a laughing life in watery dells of lotus, sat the
houris; and, like the mariner, sea-driven upon the enchanted isle of
Prospero, sat the Howadji, unknowing the graceful gossip of Faery. But
there is a faery always folded away in our souls, like a bright
butterfly chrysalized, and sailing eastward, layer after layer of
propriety, moderation, deference to public opinion, safety of sentiment,
and all the thick crusts of compromise and convention roll away, and
bending southward up the Nile, you may feel the faery fairly flutter her
wings. And if you pause at Esne, she will fly out, and lead you a
will-o'-the-wisp dance across all the trim sharp hedges of accustomed
proprieties, and over the barren flats of social decencies. Dumb is that
faery, so long has she been secluded, and can not say much to her
fellows. But she feels and sees and enjoys all the more exquisitely and
profoundly for her long sequestration.

Presently an old woman came in with a tár, a kind of tambourine, and her
husband, a grisly old sinner, with a rabáb, or one-stringed fiddle. Old
Hecate was a gone Ghazeeyah--a rose-leaf utterly shriveled away from
rosiness. No longer a dancer, she made music for dancing. And the
husband, who played for her in her youth, now played with her in her
age. Like two old votaries who feel when they can no longer see, they
devoted all the force of life remaining to the great game of pleasure,
whose born thralls they were.

There were two tarabukas and brass castanets, and when the old pair were
seated upon the carpet near the door, they all smote their rude
instruments, and a wild clang rang through the little chamber. Thereto
they sang. Strange sounds--such music as the angular, carved figures
upon the temples would make, had they been conversing with us--sounds to
the ear like their gracelessness to the eye.

This was Egyptian Polyhymnia preluding Terpsichore.


TERPSICHORE.

                  "The wind is fair
    The boat is in the bay,
    And the fair mermaid Pilot calls away--"

Kushuk Arnem quaffed a goblet of hemp arrack. The beaker was passed to
the upper divan, and the Howadji sipping, found it to smack of anniseed.
It was strong enough for the Pharaohs to have imbibed--even for Herod
before beholding Herodias, for these dances are the same. This dancing
is more ancient than Aboo Simbel. In the land of the Pharaohs, the
Howadji saw the dancing they saw, as uncouth as the temples they built.
This dancing is to the ballet of civilized lands what the gracelessness
of Egypt was to the grace of Greece. Had the angular figures of the
temple sculptures preluded with that music, they had certainly followed
with this dancing.

Kushuk Arnem rose and loosened her shawl girdle in such wise, that I
feared she was about to shed the frivolity of dress, as Venus shed the
sea-foam, and stood opposite the divan, holding her brass castanets. Old
Hecate beat the tár into a thunderous roar. Old husband drew sounds from
his horrible rabáb, sharper than the sting of remorse, and Xenobi and
the Giraffe each thrummed a tarabuka until thought the plaster would
peel from the wall. Kushuk stood motionless, while this din deepened
around her, the arrack aerializing her feet, the Howadji hoped, and not
her brain. The sharp surges of sound swept around the room, dashing in
regular measure against her movelessness, until suddenly the whole
surface of her frame quivered in measure with the music. Her hands were
raised, clapping the castanets, and she slowly turned upon herself, her
right leg the pivot, marvelously convulsing all the muscles of her body.
When she had completed the circuit of the spot on which she stood, she
advanced slowly, all the muscles jerking in time to the music, and in
solid, substantial spasms.

It was a curious and a wonderful gymnastic. There was no graceful
dancing--once only there was the movement of dancing when she advanced,
throwing one leg before the other as gipsies dance. But the rest was
most voluptuous motion--not the lithe wooing of languid passion, but the
soul of passion starting through every sense, and quivering in every
limb. It was the very intensity of motion, concentrated and constant.
The music still swelled savagely in maddened monotony of measure. Hecate
and the old husband, fascinated with the Ghazeeyah's fire, threw their
hands and arms excitedly above their instruments, and an occasional cry
of enthusiasm and satisfaction burst from their lips. Suddenly stooping,
still muscularly moving, Kushuk fell upon her knees, and writhing with
body, arms and head upon the floor, still in measure--still clanking the
castanets, and arose in the same manner. It was profoundly dramatic. The
scenery of the dance was like that of a characteristic song. It was a
lyric of love which words can not tell--profound, oriental, intense, and
terrible. Still she retreated, until the constantly down-slipping shawl
seemed only just clinging to her hips, and making the same circuit upon
herself, she sat down, and after this violent and extravagant exertion
was marbly cold.

Then timid but not tremulous, the young Xenobi arose bare-footed, and
danced the same dance, not with the finished skill of Kushuk, but
gracefully and well, and with her eyes fixed constantly upon the elder.
With the same regular throb of the muscles she advanced and retreated,
and the Paradise-pavilioned prophet could not have felt his heavenly
harem complete, had he sat smoking and entranced with the Howadji.

Form so perfect was never yet carved in marble; not the Venus is so
mellowly moulded. Her outline has not the voluptuous excess which is not
too much--which is not perceptible to mere criticism, and is more a
feeling flushing along the form, than a greater fullness of the form
itself. The Greek Venus was sea-born, but our Egyptian is sun-born. The
brown blood of the sun burned along her veins--the soul of the sun
streamed shaded from her eyes. She was still, almost statuesquely still.
When she danced it was only stillness intensely stirred, and followed
that of Kushuk as moonlight succeeds sunshine. As she went on, Kushuk
gradually rose, and joining her, they danced together. The Epicureans of
Cairo indeed, the very young priests of Venus, assemble the Ghawazee in
the most secluded adyta of their dwellings, and there eschewing the
mystery of the shintyan, and the gauziness of the tób, they behold the
unencumbered beauty of these beautiful women. At festivals so fair,
arrack, raw brandy, and "depraved human nature," naturally improvise a
ballet whereupon the curtain here falls.

Suddenly, as the clarion call awakens the long-slumbering spirit of the
war-horse, old Hecate sprang to her feet, and loosening her girdle,
seized the castanets, and, with the pure pride of power, advanced upon
the floor, and danced incredibly. Crouching before like a wasting old
willow, that merely shakes its drooping leaves to the tempest, she now
shook her fibres with the vigor of a nascent elm, and moved up and down
the room with a miraculous command of her frame.

In Venice I had heard a gray gondolier, dwindled into a ferryman,
awakened in a moonlighted midnight, as we swept by with singers chanting
Tasso, pour his swan-song of magnificent memory into the quick ear of
night.

In the Champs Elysées I had heard a rheumy-eyed Invalide cry with the
sonorous enthusiasm of Austerlitz, "Vive Napoleon!" as a new Napoleon
rode by.

It was the Indian summer goldening the white winter--the Zodiacal light
far flashing day into the twilight. And here was the same in dead old
Egypt--in a Ghazeeyah who had brimmed her beaker with the threescore and
ten drops of life. Not more strange, and unreal, and impressive in their
way, the inscrutable remains of Egypt, sand-shrouded but undecayed, than
in hers this strange spectacle of an efficient Coryphée of seventy.

Old Hecate! thou wast pure pomegranate also, and not banana, wonder most
wonderful of all--words which must remain hieroglyphics upon these
pages--and whose explication must be sought in Egypt, as they must come
hither who would realize the freshness of Karnak.

Slow, sweet singing followed. The refrain was plaintive, like those of
the boat songs--soothing, after the excitement of the dancing, as
nursery lays to children after a tired day. "Buono," Kushuk Arnem! last
of the Arnems, for so her name signified. Was it a remembering refrain
of Palestine, whose daughter you are? "Taib," dove Xenobi! Fated, shall
I say, or favored? Pledged life-long to pleasure! Who would dare to be?
Who but a child so careless would dream that these placid ripples of
youth will rock you stormless to El Dorado?

O Allah! and who cares? Refill the amber nargileh, Xenobi--another
fingan of mellow mocha. Yet another strain more stirring. Hence, Hecate!
shrivel into invisibility with the thundering tár, and the old husband
with his diabolical rabáb. Waits not the one-eyed first officer below,
with a linen lantern, to pilot as to the boat? And the beak of the Ibis
points it not to Syene, Nubia, and a world unknown?

Farewell, Kushuk! Addio, still-eyed dove! Almost thou persuadest me to
pleasure. O Wall-street, Wall-street! because you are virtuous, shall
there be no more cakes and ale?



CURRAN, THE IRISH ORATOR.[3]


The next year after the exertions of Grattan had secured the
independence of the Irish legislature, and just as the great question of
reform began to loom up in the political horizon, there entered
parliament another man, whose name is imperishably connected with the
history of Ireland, JOHN PHILPOT CURRAN. Of a slight and ungainly
figure, there was nothing about him to overawe a legislative assembly.
Grattan was the Colossus of debate. Curran, like a skillful gladiator,
played round the arena, and sometimes thrusting himself into the lists
in the lighter armor of his wit, carried off the victory where his giant
ally would have been less successful. But, in truth, this was not his
proper theatre. He came into the Parliament-house in the evening, after
having been all day in court. He was then jaded in body and mind, and
chose rather to listen than to speak. As Grattan was most at home in
parliament, Curran was most in his element at the bar. It was in the
Four Courts that he rose above all other men; that he won the reputation
of being the most eloquent advocate that Ireland had ever produced.

But it is on other accounts that Curran deserves a more minute sketch in
this history. He represents, perhaps more than any of his celebrated
countrymen, the Irish character--a nature compounded of imagination and
sensibility. Though of less kingly intellect than Grattan, he was of a
warmer temperament, and more fitted to be a popular idol.

Curran sprang from the people. He was born at Newmarket, an obscure town
in the county of Cork, in 1750--being thus four years younger than
Grattan. On the father's side he was descended from one of Cromwell's
soldiers. Passing his childhood in the country, he was thrown much among
the people. He loved to recall the days when he played marbles in the
street of Newmarket, or assumed the part of Punch's man at a country
fair. He loved to visit the peasantry in their cabins, and to listen to
their tales. There he saw the Irish character--its wit, its humor, its
sensibility to mirth and tears. There too, in those rough natures, which
appear so sullen and savage, when brought face to face with their
oppressors, he found the finest and tenderest affections of the human
heart. There too he found a natural poetry and eloquence. He was a
constant attendant at the weddings and wakes of his neighborhood. It was
customary at that time to employ hired mourners for the dead, and their
wild and solemn lamentations struck his youthful imagination. In
after-years, he acknowledged that his first ideas of eloquence were
derived from listening to the laments of mourners at the Irish burials.

When transferred to Trinity College in Dublin, he became distinguished
chiefly for his social powers. Full of the exuberant life of youth,
overflowing with spirits, and fond of fun and frolic, he was always a
welcome companion among the students.

His mother had designed him for the church. When he came out of college,
his tastes took another turn. But his mother never got over her
disappointment at his not being a preacher. Not even his brilliant
reputation at the bar and in parliament, could satisfy her maternal
heart. She lived to see the nation hanging on the lips of this almost
inspired orator. Yet even then she would lament over him, "O Jacky,
Jacky, what a preacher was lost in you!" Her friends reminded her that
she had lived to see her son one of the judges of the land. "Don't speak
to me of _judges_," she would reply, "John was fit for any thing; and
had he but followed our advice, it might hereafter be written upon my
tomb that I had died the mother of a bishop."

But no one as yet knew that he had extraordinary talent for eloquence.
Indeed he did not suspect it himself. In his boyhood he had a confusion
in his utterance, from which he was called by his school-fellows
"stuttering Jack Curran." It was not until many years after, while
studying law at the Temple, that he found out that he _could speak_.
After his fame was established, a friend dining with him one day, could
not repress his admiration of Curran's eloquence, and remarked that it
must have been born with him. "Indeed, my dear sir," replied Curran, "it
was not, it was born twenty-three years and some months after me." But
when he had made the important discovery of this concealed power, he
employed every means to render his elocution perfect. He accustomed
himself to speak very slowly to correct his precipitate utterance. He
practiced before a glass to make his gestures graceful. He spoke aloud
the most celebrated orations. One piece he was never weary of repeating,
the speech of Antony over the body of Cæsar. This he recommended to his
young friends at the bar as a model of eloquence.

And while he thus used art to smooth a channel for his thoughts to flow
in, no man's eloquence ever issued more freshly and spontaneously from
the heart. It was always the heart of the man that spoke. It was because
his own emotions were so intense, that he possessed such power over the
feelings of others.

His natural sympathies were strong. Like every truly great man, he was
simple as a child. He had all those tastes which mark a genuine man. He
loved nature. He loved children. He sympathized with the poor. It was
perhaps from these popular sympathies that he preferred Rousseau among
the French writers, and that his friendship was so strong with Mr.
Godwin.

His nature was all sensibility. He was most keenly alive to gay, or to
mournful scenes. He had a boyish love of fun and frolic. He entered into
sports with infinite glee. In these things he remained a child to the
end of his days; while in sensibility to tears he had the heart of a
woman. Thus to the last hour of life he kept his affections fresh and
flowing.

He had the delicate organization of genius. His frame vibrated to music
like an Eolian harp. He had the most exquisite relish for the beauties
of poetry. He was extravagantly fond of works of imagination. He
devoured romances. And when in his reading he met with a passage which
gratified his taste, he was never weary of repeating it to himself, or
reading it to the friends who came to see him.

In conversation, perhaps the most prominent faculty of his mind was
fancy--sportive, playful, tender, and pathetic. His conversation was a
stream which never ceased to flow. His brilliant imagination, and the
warmth with which he entered into every thing, gave it a peculiar
fascination. Byron said that Curran had spoken more poetry than any man
had ever written. In a circle of genial friends, after dinner, his
genius was in its first action. His countenance lighted up, and his
conversation, beginning to flow, now sparkled, now ran like wine.
Flashes of wit played round him. Mirth gleamed from his eye and shot
from his tongue. He had an endless store of anecdote, to which his
extraordinary dramatic talent enabled him to give the happiest effect.
He told stories, and hitting off the point of Irish character by the
most exquisite mimicry; he "set the table on a roar," following perhaps
with some touching tale which instantly brought tears into every eye.
"You wept," says Phillips, "and you laughed, and you wondered; and the
wonderful creature, who made you do all at will, never let it appear
that he was more than your equal, and was quite willing, if you chose,
to become your auditor."

The wit of Curran was spontaneous. It was the creation of the moment,
the electric sparks shot from a mind overcharged with imagery and
feeling. In this it differed from the wit of another great Irishman.
Sheridan had more of the actor about him. His brilliant sayings were
prepared beforehand. He aimed at display in the receptions at Holland
House as much as when writing a comedy for Drury-lane.

Perhaps no foreigner, who has visited England, has had a better
opportunity of seeing its distinguished men than Madame De Stael. She
was constantly surrounded by the most brilliant society of London. Yet
even in that blaze of genius, she was most struck, as she often told her
friends, with the conversational powers of Curran. This too, was in
1813, when his health had sunk, and his spirits were so depressed, as to
make it an effort to support his part at all in society.

From the vivacity of his conversation, one would hardly have suspected
the depth and seriousness of his character. In talking with ladies or
with young persons, his mind was remarkable for its constant
playfulness. A gleam of sunshine illumined his whole being. Yet those
who knew him intimately were aware that he was subject all his life to
constitutional melancholy. Like many other men celebrated for their wit,
his gayety alternated with deep depression. The truth was that he
sympathized too intensely with the scenes of real life, to be uniformly
gay. In his country he saw so much to sadden him, that his feelings took
a melancholy tone. The transition was often instantaneous from humor to
pathos. His friends, who saw him in his lighter moods, were surprised at
the sudden change of his countenance. "In grave conversation, his voice
was remarkable for a certain plaintive sincerity of tone"--a sadness
which fascinated the listener like mournful music.

In his eloquence appeared the same transitions of feeling and variety of
talent. He could descend to the dryest details of law or evidence.
Thomas Addis Emmet, who, though younger, practiced at the same bar, says
that Curran possessed a logical head. From this he could rise to the
highest flights of imagination, and it was here, and in appeals to the
feelings, that he was most at home. Sometimes his wit ran away with him.
His fancy was let off like a display of fireworks. It flew like a
thousand rockets, darting, whizzing, buzzing, lighting up the sky with
fantastic shapes.

By turns he could use the lightest or the heaviest weapon, as suited the
object of his attack. Where ethereal wit or playful irony were likely to
be thrown away upon some gross and insensible subject, he could point
the keenest edge of ridicule, or the coarsest invective, or the most
withering sarcasm.

When dissecting the character of a perjured witness, he seemed to
delight in making him feel the knife. His victim, at such a time,
appeared like an insect whom he had lanced with a needle, and was
holding up to the laughter and scorn of the world. Thus, when treating
the evidence of O'Brien, a hired informer, who had come on the stand to
swear away the lives of men whom the government had determined to
sacrifice, Curran apostrophized the patriotic individual, "Dearest,
sweetest, Mr. James O'Brien," exposing the utter rottenness of his
character in a tone of irony, until the man, who had a forehead of
brass, was forced to slink back into the crowd, and to escape from the
court.

So in his place in parliament, when exposing the corruption of the
officers of government, he did not spare nor have pity. A swarm of
blood-suckers had fastened on the state, who were growing fat from
draining the life of their unhappy country. Curran proclaimed the
immaculate virtue of "those saints on the pension list, that are like
lilies of the field--they toil not, neither do they spin, but they are
arrayed like Solomon in his glory." The extent to which this corruption
had gone was incredible. "This polyglot of wealth," said Curran, "this
museum of curiosities, the pension list, embraces every link in the
human chain, every description of men, women, and children, from the
exalted excellence of a Hawke or a Rodney, to the debased situation of
the lady who humbleth herself that she may be exalted." The road to
advancement at that day in Ireland, to the peerage, to the judicial
bench, was to betray the country. Curran branded those who thus came
into power by one of the strongest figures in English eloquence. "Those
foundlings of fortune, overwhelmed in the torrent of corruption at an
early period, lay at the bottom like drowned bodies, while soundness or
sanity remained in them; but at length becoming buoyant by putrefaction,
they rose as they rotted, and floated to the surface of the polluted
stream, where they were drifted along, the objects of terror, and
contagion, and abomination."

At the bar he often indulged in sallies of wit, and thus conciliated the
attention of the court. His delicate satire, his comical turns of
thought, convulsed the court with laughter. Then suddenly he stopped,
his lip quivered, his sentences grew slow and measured, and he poured
forth strains of the deepest pathos, as he pictured the wrongs of his
country, or lamented the companions of other days, the illustrious
departed, "over whose ashes the most precious tears of Ireland had been
shed." His voice excelled in the utterance of plaintive emotions, and
the homage which had been paid to his eloquence by mirth, was now paid
in the sound of suppressed weeping, which alone broke the death-like
stillness of the room. In pleading for one on trial for his life, his
voice subsided toward the close and sunk away in tones of solemnity and
supplication. Thus would he say, "Sweet is the recollection of having
done justice in that hour when the hand of death presses on the human
heart! Sweet is the hope which it gives birth to! From you I demand that
justice for my client, your innocent and unfortunate fellow-subject at
the bar; and may you have it for a more lasting reward than the
perishable crown we read of, which the ancients placed on the brow of
him who saved in battle the life of a fellow-citizen!"

But the trait which appears most conspicuous in the public efforts of
Curran, and which made him the idol of his countrymen, was his
enthusiastic love of Ireland. Says his biographer, "Ireland was the
choice of his youth, and was from first to last regarded by him, not so
much with the feelings of a patriot, as with the romantic idolatry of a
lover." In early life he had learned to love the Irish peasantry, and no
lapse of time could chill his affection. No temptation of office could
seduce him from the side of the poor and the oppressed. He knew their
noble qualities, and his bosom burned at the wrongs which they suffered.

One of his first causes at the bar was pleading for a Catholic priest
who had been brutally assaulted by a nobleman. Such was the fear of
incurring the displeasure of a lord, that no one dared to undertake the
prosecution, until Curran stepped forward, then a young lawyer. His
effort was successful. Not long after, the priest was called away from
the world. He sent for Curran to his bedside. Gold and silver he had
none. But he gave him all in his power, the benediction of a dying man.
He caused himself to be raised up in his bed, and stretching out his
trembling hands to place them upon the head of the defender, invoked for
him the blessing of the Almighty. Such scenes as this, while they
excited the enthusiasm of the Catholic population throughout Ireland for
the young advocate, who had dared to defend a priest of their proscribed
religion, at the same time strengthened his determination to make common
cause with his countrymen in their sufferings.

It is melancholy to reflect that efforts so great for the liberty and
happiness of Ireland, were not crowned with complete success. But the
patriotism and the courage were not less noble because overborne by
superior power. It is the honor of Curran that he loved Ireland in her
woe, and loved her to the last. Toward the close of life he said, "To
our unhappy country, what I had, I gave. I might have often sold her. I
could not redeem her. I gave her the best sympathies of my heart,
sometimes in tears, sometimes in indignation, sometimes in hope, but
often in despondence."


FOOTNOTE:

[3] From the "Irish Confederates," by _Henry M. Field_, in the press of
Harper and Brothers.



[From the Dublin University Magazine.]

GHOST STORIES OF CHAPELIZOD.


Take my word for it, there is no such thing as an ancient village,
especially if it has seen better days, unillustrated by its legends of
terror. You might as well expect to find a decayed cheese without mites,
or an old house without rats, as an antique and dilapidated town without
an authentic population of goblins. Now, although this class of
inhabitants are in nowise amenable to the police authorities, yet as
their demeanor greatly affects the comforts of her Majesty's subjects, I
can not but regard it as a grave omission that the public have hitherto
been left without any statistical returns of their numbers, activity,
&c., &c. And I am persuaded that a Commission to inquire into and report
upon the numerical strength, habits, haunts, &c., &c., of supernatural
agents resident in Ireland, would be a great deal more innocent and
entertaining than half the Commissions for which the country pays, and
at least as instructive. This I say more from a sense of duty, and to
deliver my mind of a grave truth than with any hope of seeing the
suggestion adopted. But, I am sure, my readers will deplore with me that
the comprehensive powers of belief, and apparently illimitable leisure,
possessed by parliamentary commissions of inquiry, should never have
been applied to the subject I have named, and that the collection of
that species of information should be confided to the gratuitous and
desultory labors of individuals, who, like myself, have other
occupations to attend to. This, however, by the way.

Among the village outposts of Dublin, Chapelizod once held a
considerable, if not a foremost rank. Without mentioning its connection
with the history of the great Kilmainham Preceptory of the Knights of
St. John, it will be enough to remind the reader of its ancient and
celebrated castle, not one vestige of which now remains, and of the fact
that it was for, we believe, some centuries, the summer residence of the
Viceroys of Ireland. The circumstance of its being up, we believe, to
the period at which that corps was disbanded, the head-quarters of the
Royal Irish Artillery, gave it also a consequence of an humbler, but not
less substantial kind. With these advantages in its favor, it is not
wonderful that the town exhibited at one time an air of substantial and
semi-aristocratic prosperity unknown to Irish villages in modern times.

A broad street, with a well-paved foot-path, and houses as lofty as were
at that time to be found in the fashionable streets of Dublin; a goodly
stone-fronted barrack; an ancient church, vaulted beneath, and with a
tower clothed from its summit to its base with the richest ivy; an
humble Roman Catholic chapel; a steep bridge spanning the Liffey, and a
great old mill at the near end of it, were the principal features of the
town. These, or at least most of them, remain, but still the greater
part in a very changed and forlorn condition. Some of them indeed
superseded, though not obliterated by modern erections, such as the
bridge, the chapel, and the church in part; the rest forsaken by the
order who originally raised them, and delivered up to poverty, and in
some cases to absolute decay.

The village lies in the lap of the rich and wooded valley of the Liffey,
and is overlooked by the high grounds of the beautiful Phoenix Park on
the one side, and by the ridge of the Palmerstown hills on the other.
Its situation, therefore is eminently picturesque; and factory fronts
and chimneys notwithstanding, it has, I think, even in its decay, a sort
of melancholy picturesqueness of its own. Be that as it may, I mean to
relate two or three stories of that sort, which may be read with very
good effect by a blazing fire on a shrewd winter's night, and are all
directly connected with the altered and somewhat melancholy little town
I have named. The first I shall relate concerns


THE VILLAGE BULLY.

About thirty years ago there lived in the town of Chapelizod an
ill-conditioned fellow of Herculean strength, well known throughout the
neighborhood by the title of Bully Larkin. In addition to his remarkable
physical superiority, this fellow had acquired a degree of skill as a
pugilist which alone would have made him formidable. As it was, he was
the autocrat of the village, and carried not the sceptre in vain.
Conscious of his superiority, and perfectly secure of impunity, he
lorded it over his fellows in a spirit of cowardly and brutal insolence,
which made him hated even more profoundly than he was feared.

Upon more than one occasion he had deliberately forced quarrels upon men
whom he had singled out for the exhibition of his savage prowess; and,
in every encounter his overmatched antagonist had received an amount of
"punishment" which edified and appalled the spectators, and in some
instances left ineffaceable scars and lasting injuries after it.

Bully Larkin's pluck had never been fairly tried. For, owing to his
prodigious superiority in weight, strength, and skill, his victories had
always been certain and easy; and in proportion to the facility with
which he uniformly smashed an antagonist, his pugnacity and insolence
were inflamed. He thus became an odious nuisance in the neighborhood,
and the terror of every mother who had a son, and of every wife who had
a husband who possessed a spirit to resent insult, or the smallest
confidence in his own pugilistic capabilities.

Now it happened that there was a young fellow named Ned Moran--better
known by the _soubriquet_ of "Long Ned," from his slender, lathy
proportions--at that time living in the town. He was, in truth, a mere
lad, nineteen years of age, and fully twelve years younger than the
stalwart bully. This, however, as the reader will see, secured for him
no exemption from the dastardly provocations of the ill-conditioned
pugilist. Long Ned, in an evil hour, had thrown eyes of affection upon a
certain buxom damsel, who, notwithstanding Bully Larkin's amorous
rivalry, inclined to reciprocate them.

I need not say how easily the spark of jealousy, once kindled, is blown
into a flame, and how naturally, in a coarse and ungoverned nature, it
explodes in acts of violence and outrage.

"The bully" watched his opportunity, and contrived to provoke Ned Moran,
while drinking in a public-house with a party of friends, into an
altercation, in the course of which he failed not to put such insults
upon his rival as manhood could not tolerate. Long Ned, though a simple,
good-natured sort of fellow, was by no means deficient in spirit, and
retorted in a tone of defiance which edified the more timid, and gave
his opponent the opportunity he secretly coveted.

Bully Larkin challenged the heroic youth, whose pretty face he had
privately consigned to the mangling and bloody discipline he was himself
so capable of administering. The quarrel, which he had himself contrived
to get up, to a certain degree covered the ill-blood and malignant
premeditation which inspired his proceedings, and Long Ned, being full
of generous ire and whisky punch, accepted the gage of battle on the
instant. The whole party, accompanied by a mob of idle men and boys, and
in short, by all who could snatch a moment from the calls of business,
proceeded in slow procession through the old gate into the Phoenix Park,
and mounting the hill overlooking the town, selected near its summit a
level spot on which to decide the quarrel.

The combatants stripped, and a child might have seen in the contrast
presented by the slight, lank form and limbs of the lad, and the
muscular and massive build of his veteran antagonist, how desperate was
the chance of poor Ned Moran.

"Seconds" and "bottle-holders"--selected, of course, for their love of
the game--were appointed, and "the fight" commenced.

I will not shock my readers with a description of the cool-blooded
butchery that followed. The result of the combat was what any body might
have predicted. At the eleventh round, poor Ned refused to "give in;"
the brawny pugilist, unhurt, in good wind, and pale with concentrated,
and as yet, unslaked revenge, had the gratification of seeing his
opponent seated upon his second's knee, unable to hold up his head, his
left arm disabled; his face a bloody, swollen, and shapeless mass; his
breast scarred and bloody, and his whole body panting and quivering with
rage and exhaustion.

"Give in Ned, my boy," cried more than one of the by-standers.

"Never, never," shrieked he, with a voice hoarse and choking.

Time being "up," his second placed him on his feet again. Blinded with
his own blood, panting and staggering, he presented but a helpless mark
for the blows of his stalwart opponent. It was plain that a touch would
have been sufficient to throw him to the earth. But Larkin had no notion
of letting him off so easily. He closed with him without striking a blow
(the effect of which, prematurely dealt, would have been to bring him at
once to the ground, and so put an end to the combat), and getting his
battered and almost senseless head under his arm, fast in that peculiar
"fix" known to the fancy pleasantly by the name of "chancery," he held
him firmly, while with monotonous and brutal strokes, he beat his fist,
as it seemed, almost into his face. A cry of "shame" broke from the
crowd, for it was plain that the beaten man was now insensible, and
supported only by the Herculean arm of the bully. The round and the
fight ended by his hurling him upon the ground, falling upon him at the
same time, with his knee upon his chest.

The bully rose, wiping the perspiration from his white face with his
blood-stained hands, but Ned lay stretched and motionless upon the
grass. It was impossible to get him upon his legs for another round. So
he was carried down, just as he was, to the pond which then lay close to
the old Park gate, and his head and body were washed beside it. Contrary
to the belief of all, he was not dead. He was carried home, and after
some months, to a certain extent, recovered. But he never held up his
head again, and before the year was over he had died of consumption.
Nobody could doubt how the disease had been induced, but there was no
actual proof to connect the cause and effect, and the ruffian Larkin
escaped the vengeance of the law. A strange retribution, however,
awaited him.

After the death of Long Ned, he became less quarrelsome than before, but
more sullen and reserved. Some said, "he took it to heart," and others,
that his conscience was not at ease about it. Be this as it may,
however, his health did not suffer by reason of his presumed agitations,
nor was his worldly prosperity marred by the blasting curses with which
poor Moran's enraged mother pursued him; on the contrary, he had rather
risen in the world, and obtained regular and well-remunerated employment
from the Chief-secretary's gardener, at the other side of the Park. He
still lived in Chapelizod, whither, on the close of his day's work, he
used to return across the Fifteen Acres.

It was about three years after the catastrophe we have mentioned, and
late in the autumn, when, one night, contrary to his habit, he did not
appear at the house where he lodged, neither had he been seen any where,
during the evening, in the village. His hours of return had been so very
regular, that his absence excited considerable surprise, though, of
course, no actual alarm; and, at the usual hour, the house was closed
for the night, and the absent lodger consigned to the mercy of the
elements, and the care of his presiding star. Early in the morning,
however, he was found lying in a state of utter helplessness upon the
slope immediately overlooking the Chapelizod gate. He had been smitten
with a paralytic stroke; his right side was dead; and it was many weeks
before he had recovered his speech sufficiently to make himself at all
understood.

He then made the following relation: he had been detained, it appeared,
later than usual, and darkness had closed in before he commenced his
homeward walk across the Park. It was a moonlight night, but masses of
ragged clouds were slowly drifting across the heavens. He had not
encountered a human figure, and no sounds but the softened rush of the
wind sweeping through bushes and hollows, met his ear. These wild and
monotonous sounds, and the utter solitude which surrounded him, did not,
however, excite any of those uneasy sensations which are ascribed to
superstition, although he said he did feel depressed, or, in his own
phraseology, "lonesome." Just as he crossed the brow of the hill which
shelters the town of Chapelizod, the moon shone out for some moments
with unclouded lustre, and his eye, which happened to wander by the
shadowy inclosures which lay at the foot of the slope, was arrested by
the sight of a human figure climbing, with all the haste of one pursued,
over the church-yard wall, and running up the steep ascent directly
toward him. Stories of "resurrectionists" crossed his recollection, as
he observed this suspicious-looking figure. But he began, momentarily,
to be aware, with a sort of fearful instinct which he could not explain,
that the running figure was directing his steps, with a sinister
purpose, toward himself.

The form was that of a man with a loose coat about him, which, as he
ran, he disengaged, and as well as Larkin could see, for the moon was
again wading in clouds, threw from him. The figure thus advanced until
within some two score yards of him; it arrested its speed, and
approached, with a loose, swaggering gait. The moon again shone out
bright and clear, and, gracious God! what was the spectacle before him?
He saw as distinctly as if he had been presented there in the flesh, Ned
Moran, himself, stripped naked from the waist upward, as if for
pugilistic combat, and drawing toward him in silence. Larkin would have
shouted, prayed, cursed, fled across the Park, but he was absolutely
powerless; the apparition stopped within a few steps, and leered on him
with a ghastly mimicry of the defiant stare with which pugilists strive
to cow one another before combat. For a time, which he could not so much
as conjecture, he was held in the fascination of that unearthly gaze,
and at last the thing, whatever it was, on a sudden swaggered close up
to him with extended palms. With an impulse of horror, Larkin put out
his hand to keep the figure off, and their palms touched--at least, so
he believed--for a thrill of unspeakable agony, running through his arm,
pervaded his entire frame, and he fell senseless to the earth.

Though Larkin lived for many years after, his punishment was terrible.
He was incurably maimed; and being unable to work, he was forced, for
existence, to beg alms of those who had once feared and flattered him.
He suffered, too, increasingly, under his own horrible interpretation of
the preternatural encounter which was the beginning of all his miseries.
It was vain to endeavor to shake his faith in the reality of the
apparition, and equally vain, as some compassionately did, to try to
persuade him that the greeting with which his vision closed, was
intended, while inflicting a temporary trial, to signify a compensating
reconciliation.

"No, no," he used to say, "all won't do. I know the meaning of it well
enough; it is a challenge to meet him in the other world--in Hell, where
I am going--that's what it means, and nothing else."

And so, miserable and refusing comfort, he lived on for some years, and
then died, and was buried in the same narrow church-yard which contains
the remains of his victim.

I need hardly say how absolute was the faith of the honest inhabitants,
at the time when I heard the story, in the reality of the preternatural
summons which, through the portals of terror, sickness, and misery, had
summoned Bully Larkin to his long, last home, and that, too, upon the
very ground on which he had signalized the guiltiest triumph of his
violent and vindictive career.

I recollect another story of the preternatural sort, which made no small
sensation, some five-and-thirty years ago, among the good gossips of the
town; and, with your leave, courteous reader, I shall relate it.


THE SEXTON'S ADVENTURE.

Those who remember Chapelizod a quarter of a century ago, or more, may
possibly recollect the parish sexton. Bob Martin was held much in awe by
truant boys who sauntered into the church-yard on Sundays, to read the
tombstones, or play leap-frog over them, or climb the ivy in search of
bats or sparrows' nests, or peep into the mysterious aperture under the
eastern window, which opened a dim perspective of descending steps
losing themselves among profounder darkness, where lidless coffins gaped
horribly among tattered velvet, bones, and dust, which time and
mortality had strewn there. Of such horribly curious, and otherwise
enterprising juveniles, Bob was, of course, the special scourge and
terror. But terrible as was the official aspect of the sexton, and
repugnant as his lank form, clothed in rusty, sable vesture, his small,
frosty visage, suspicious, gray eyes, and rusty, brown scratch-wig,
might appear to all notions of genial frailty; it was yet true, that Bob
Martin's severe morality sometimes nodded, and that Bacchus did not
always solicit him in vain.

Bob had a curious mind, a memory well stored with "merry tales," and
tales of terror. His profession familiarized him with graves and
goblins, and his tastes with weddings, wassail, and sly frolics of all
sorts. And as his personal recollections ran back nearly three score
years into the perspective of the village history, his fund of local
anecdote was copious, accurate, and edifying.

As his ecclesiastical revenues were by no means considerable, he was not
unfrequently obliged, for the indulgence of his tastes, to arts which
were, at the best, undignified.

He frequently invited himself when his entertainers had forgotten to do
so; he dropped in accidentally upon small drinking-parties of his
acquaintance in public-houses, and entertained them with stories, queer
or terrible, from his inexhaustible reservoir, never scrupling to accept
an acknowledgment in the shape of hot whisky-punch, or whatever else was
going.

There was at that time a certain atrabilious publican, called Philip
Slaney, established in a shop nearly opposite the old turnpike. This man
was not, when left to himself, immoderately given to drinking; but being
naturally of a saturnine complexion, and his spirits constantly
requiring a fillip, he acquired a prodigious liking for Bob Martin's
company. The sexton's society, in fact, gradually became the solace of
his existence, and he seemed to lose his constitutional melancholy in
the fascination of his sly jokes and marvelous stories.

This intimacy did not redound to the prosperity or reputation of the
convivial allies. Bob Martin drank a good deal more punch than was good
for his health, or consistent with the character of an ecclesiastical
functionary. Philip Slaney, too, was drawn into similar indulgences, for
it was hard to resist the genial seductions of his gifted companion; and
as he was obliged to pay for both, his purse was believed to have
suffered even more than his head and liver.

Be this as it may, Bob Martin had the credit of having made a drunkard
of "black Phil Slaney"--for by this cognomen was he distinguished; and
Phil Slaney had also the reputation of having made the sexton, if
possible, a "bigger bliggard" than ever. Under these circumstances, the
accounts of the concern opposite the turnpike became somewhat entangled;
and it came to pass one drowsy summer morning, the weather being at once
sultry and cloudy, that Phil Slaney went into a small back parlor, where
he kept his books, and which commanded, through its dirty window-panes,
a full view of a dead wall, and having bolted the door, he took a loaded
pistol, and clapping the muzzle in his mouth, blew the upper part of his
skull through the ceiling.

This horrid catastrophe shocked Bob Martin extremely; and partly on this
account, and partly because having been, on several late occasions,
found at night in a state of abstraction, bordering on insensibility,
upon the high road, he had been threatened with dismissal; and, as some
said, partly also because of the difficulty of finding any body to
"treat" him as poor Phil Slaney used to do, he for a time forswore
alcohol in all its combinations, and became an eminent example of
temperance and sobriety.

Bob observed his good resolutions, greatly to the comfort of his wife,
and the edification of the neighborhood, with tolerable punctuality. He
was seldom tipsy, and never drunk, and was greeted by the better part of
society with all the honors of the prodigal son.

Now it happened, about a year after the grisly event we have mentioned,
that the curate having received, by the post, due notice of a funeral to
be consummated in the church-yard of Chapelizod, with certain
instructions respecting the site of the grave, dispatched a summons for
Bob Martin, with a view to communicate to that functionary these
official details.

It was a lowering autumn night: piles of lurid thunder-clouds, slowly
rising from the earth, had loaded the sky with a solemn and boding
canopy of storm. The growl of the distant thunder was heard afar off
upon the dull, still air, and all nature seemed, as it were, hushed and
cowering under the oppressive influence of the approaching tempest.

It was past nine o'clock when Bob, putting on his official coat of seedy
black, prepared to attend his professional superior.

"Bobby, darlin'," said his wife, before she delivered the hat she held
in her hand to his keeping, "sure you won't, Bobby, darlin'--you
won't--you know what."

"I _don't_ know what," he retorted, smartly, grasping at his hat.

"You won't be throwing up the little finger, Bobby, acushla?" she said,
evading his grasp.

"Arrah, why would I, woman? there, give me my hat, will you?"

"But won't you promise me, Bobby darlin'--won't you, alanna?"

"Ay, ay, to be sure I will--why not? there, give me my hat, and let me
go."

"Ay, but you're not promisin', Bobby mavourneen; you're not promisin'
all the time."

"Well, divil carry me if I drink a drop till I come back again," said
the sexton, angrily; "will that do you? And _now_ will you give me my
hat?"

"Here it is, darlin'," she said, "and God send you safe back."

And with this parting blessing she closed the door upon his retreating
figure, for it was now quite dark, and resumed her knitting till his
return, very much relieved; for she thought he had of late been oftener
tipsy than was consistent with his thorough reformation, and feared the
allurements of the half dozen "publics" which he had at that time to
pass on his way to the other end of the town.

They were still open, and exhaled a delicious reek of whisky, as Bob
glided wistfully by them; but he stuck his hands in his pockets and
looked the other way, whistling resolutely, and filling his mind with
the image of the curate and anticipations of his coming fee. Thus he
steered his morality safely through these rocks of offense, and reached
the curate's lodging in safety.

He had, however, an unexpected sick call to attend, and was not at home,
so that Bob Martin had to sit in the hall and amuse himself with the
devil's tattoo until his return. This, unfortunately, was very long
delayed, and it must have been fully twelve o'clock when Bob Martin set
out upon his homeward way. By this time the storm had gathered to a
pitchy darkness, the bellowing thunder was heard among the rocks and
hollows of the Dublin mountains, and the pale, blue lightning shone upon
the staring fronts of the houses.

By this time, too, every door was closed; but as Bob trudged homeward,
his eye mechanically sought the public-house which had once belonged to
Phil Slaney. A faint light was making its way through the shutters and
the glass panes over the door-way, which made a sort of dull, foggy halo
about the front of the house.

As Bob's eyes had become accustomed to the obscurity by this time, the
light in question was quite sufficient to enable him to see a man in a
sort of loose riding-coat seated upon a bench which, at that time, was
fixed under the window of the house. He wore his hat very much over his
eyes, and was smoking a long pipe. The outline of a glass and a quart
bottle were also dimly traceable beside him; and a large horse saddled,
but faintly discernible, was patiently awaiting his master's leisure.

There was something odd, no doubt, in the appearance of a traveler
refreshing himself at such an hour in the open street; but the sexton
accounted for it easily by supposing that, on the closing of the house
for the night, he had taken what remained of his refection to the place
where he was now discussing it _al fresco_.

At another time Bob might have saluted the stranger, as he passed, with
a friendly "good-night;" but, somehow, he was out of humor and in no
genial mood, and was about passing without any courtesy of the sort,
when the stranger, without taking the pipe from his mouth, raised the
bottle, and with it beckoned him familiarly, while, with a sort of lurch
of the head and shoulders, and at the same time shifting his seat to the
end of the bench, he pantomimically invited him to share his seat and
his cheer. There was a divine fragrance of whisky about the spot, and
Bob half-relented; but he remembered his promise just as he began to
waver, and said,

"No, I thank you, sir, I can't stop to-night."

The stranger beckoned with vehement welcome, and pointed to the vacant
place on the seat beside him.

"I thank you for your polite offer," said Bob, "but it's what I'm too
late as it is, and haven't time to spare, so I wish you a good-night."

The traveler jingled the glass against the neck of the bottle, as if to
intimate that he might at least swallow a dram without losing time. Bob
was mentally quite of the same opinion; but, though his mouth watered,
he remembered his promise, and, shaking his head with incorruptible
resolution, walked on.

The stranger, pipe in mouth, rose from his bench, the bottle in one
hand, and the glass in the other, and followed at the sexton's heels,
his dusky horse keeping close in his wake.

There was something suspicious and unaccountable in this importunity.

Bob quickened his pace, but the stranger followed close. The sexton
began to feel queer, and turned about. His pursuer was behind, and still
inviting him with impatient gestures to taste his liquor.

"I told you before," said Bob, who was both angry and frightened, "that
I would not taste it, and that's enough. I don't want to have any thing
to say to you or your bottle; and in God's name," he added, more
vehemently, observing that he was approaching still closer, "fall back,
and don't be tormenting me this way."

These words, as it seemed, incensed the stranger, for he shook the
bottle with violent menace at Bob Martin; but, notwithstanding this
gesture of defiance, he suffered the distance between them to increase.
Bob, however, beheld him dogging him still in the distance, for his pipe
shed a wonderful red glow, which duskily illuminated his entire figure,
like a lurid atmosphere of meteor.

"I wish the devil had his own, my boy," muttered the excited sexton,
"and I know well enough where you'd be."

The next time he looked over his shoulder, to his dismay he observed the
importunate stranger as close as ever upon his track.

"Confound you," cried the man of skulls and shovels, almost beside
himself with rage and horror, "what is it you want of me?"

The stranger appeared more confident, and kept wagging his head and
extending both glass and bottle toward him as he drew near, and Bob
Martin heard the horse snorting as it followed in the dark.

"Keep it to yourself, whatever it is, for there is neither grace nor
luck about you," cried Bob Martin, freezing with terror; "leave me
alone, will you."

And he fumbled in vain among the seething confusion of his ideas for a
prayer or an exorcism. He quickened his pace almost to a run; he was now
close to his own door, under the impending bank by the river side.

"Let me in, let me in, for God's sake; Molly, open the door!" he cried,
as he ran to the threshold, and leant his back against the plank. His
pursuer confronted him upon the road; the pipe was no longer in his
mouth, but the dusky red glow still lingered round him. He uttered some
inarticulate cavernous sounds, which were wolfish and indescribable,
while he seemed employed in pouring out a glass from the bottle.

The sexton kicked with all his force against the door, and cried at the
same time with a despairing voice,

"In the name of God Almighty, once for all, leave me alone!"

His pursuer furiously flung the contents of the bottle at Bob Martin;
but, instead of fluid, it issued out in a stream of flame, which
expanded and whirled round them, and for a moment they were both
enveloped in a faint blaze; at the same instant a sudden gust whisked
off the stranger's hat, and the sexton beheld that his skull was
roofless. For an instant he beheld the gaping aperture, black and
shattered, and then he fell senseless into his own doorway, which his
affrighted wife had just unbarred.

I need hardly give my reader the key to this most intelligible and
authentic narrative. The traveler was acknowledged by all to have been
the spectre of the suicide, called up by the Evil One to tempt the
convivial sexton into a violation of his promise, sealed, as it was, by
an imprecation. Had he succeeded, no doubt the dusky steed, which Bob
had seen saddled in attendance, was destined to have carried back a
double burden to the place from whence he came.

As an attestation of the reality of this visitation, the old thorn-tree
which overhung the doorway was found in the morning to have been blasted
with the infernal fires which had issued from the bottle, just as if a
thunderbolt had scorched it.

The moral of the above tale is upon the surface, apparent, and, so to
speak, _self-acting_--a circumstance which happily obviates the
necessity of our discussing it together. Taking our leave, therefore, of
honest Bob Martin, who now sleeps soundly in the same solemn dormitory
where, in his day, he made so many beds for others, I come to a legend
of the Royal Irish Artillery, whose head-quarters were for so long a
time in the town of Chapelizod. I don't mean to say that I can not tell
a great many more stories, equally authentic and marvelous, touching
this old town; but as I may possibly have to perform a like office for
other localities, and as Anthony Poplar is known, like Atropos, to carry
a shears, wherewith to snip across all "yarns" which exceed reasonable
bounds, I consider it, on the whole, safer to dispatch the traditions of
Chapelizod with one tale more.

Let me, however, first give it a name; for an author can no more
dispatch a tale without a title, than an apothecary can deliver his
physic without a label. We shall, therefore, call it,


THE SPECTRE LOVERS.

There lived some fifteen years since in a small and ruinous house,
little better than a hovel, an old woman who was reported to have
considerably exceeded her eightieth year, and who rejoiced in the name
of Alice, or popularly, Ally Moran. Her society was not much courted,
for she was neither rich, nor, as the reader may suppose, beautiful. In
addition to a lean cur and a cat, she had one human companion, her
grandson, Peter Brien, whom, with laudable good-nature, she had
supported from the period of his orphanage down to that of my story,
which finds him in his twentieth year. Peter was a good-natured slob of
a fellow, much more addicted to wrestling, dancing, and love-making,
than to hard work, and fonder of whisky-punch than good advice. His
grandmother had a high opinion of his accomplishments, which, indeed,
was but natural, and also of his genius, for Peter had of late years
begun to apply his mind to politics; and as it was plain that he had a
mortal hatred of honest labor, his grandmother predicted, like a true
fortune-teller, that he was born to marry an heiress, and Peter himself
(who had no mind to forego his freedom even on such terms), that he was
destined to find a pot of gold. Upon one point both were agreed, that,
being unfitted by the peculiar bias of his genius for work, he was to
acquire the immense fortune to which his merits entitled him by means of
a pure run of good luck. This solution of Peter's future had the double
effect of reconciling both himself and his grandmother to his idle
courses, and also of maintaining that even flow of hilarious spirits
which made him every where welcome, and which was, in truth, the natural
result of his consciousness of approaching affluence.

It happened one night that Peter had enjoyed himself to a very late hour
with two or three choice spirits near Palmerstown. They had talked
politics and love, sung songs, and told stories, and, above all, had
swallowed, in the chastened disguise of punch, at least a pint of good
whisky, every man.

It was considerably past one o'clock when Peter bid his companions
good-by, with a sigh and a hiccough, and, lighting his pipe, set forth
on his solitary homeward way.

The bridge of Chapelizod was pretty nearly the midway point of his night
march, and from one cause or another his progress was rather slow, and
it was past two o'clock by the time he found himself leaning over its
old battlements, and looking up the river, over whose winding current
and wooded banks the soft moonlight was falling.

The cold breeze that blew lightly down the stream was grateful to him.
It cooled his throbbing head, and he drank it in at his hot lips. The
scene, too, had, without his being well sensible of it, a secret
fascination. The village was sunk in the profoundest slumber, not a
mortal stirring, not a sound afloat, a soft haze covered it all, and the
fairy moonlight hovered over the entire landscape.

In a state between rumination and rapture, Peter continued to lean over
the battlements of the old bridge, and as he did so he saw, or fancied
he saw, emerging one after another along the river bank in the little
gardens and inclosures in the rear of the street of Chapelizod, the
queerest little white-washed huts and cabins he had ever seen there
before. They had not been there that evening when he passed the bridge
on the way to his merry tryst. But the most remarkable thing about it
was the odd way in which these quaint little cabins showed themselves.
First he saw one or two of them just with the corner of his eye, and
when he looked full at them, strange to say, they faded away and
disappeared. Then another and another came in view, but all in the same
coy way, just appearing and gone again before he could well fix his gaze
upon them; in a little while, however, they began to bear a fuller gaze,
and he found, as it seemed to himself, that he was able by an effort of
attention to fix the vision for a longer and a longer time, and when
they waxed faint and nearly vanished, he had the power of recalling them
into light and substance, until at last their vacillating indistinctness
became less and less, and they assumed a permanent place in the moonlit
landscape.

"Be the hokey," said Peter, lost in amazement, and dropping his pipe
into the river unconsciously, "them is the quarist bits iv mud cabins I
ever seen, growing up like musharoons in the dew of an evening, and
poppin' up here and down again there, and up again in another place,
like so many white rabbits in a warren; and there they stand at last as
firm and fast as if they were there from the Deluge; bedad it's enough
to make a man a'most believe in the fairies."

This latter was a large concession from Peter, who was a bit of a
free-thinker, and spoke contemptuously in his ordinary conversation of
that class of agencies.

Having treated himself to a long last stare at these mysterious fabrics,
Peter prepared to pursue his homeward way; having crossed the bridge and
passed the mill, he arrived at the corner of the main-street of the
little town, and casting a careless look up the Dublin road, his eye
was arrested by a most unexpected spectacle.

This was no other than a column of foot-soldiers, marching with perfect
regularity toward the village, and headed by an officer on horseback.
They were at the far side of the turnpike, which was closed; but much to
his perplexity he perceived that they marched on through it without
appearing to sustain the least check from that barrier.

On they came at a slow march; and what was most singular in the matter
was, that they were drawing several cannons along with them; some held
ropes, others spoked the wheels, and others again marched in front of
the guns and behind them, with muskets shouldered, giving a stately
character of parade and regularity to this, as it seemed to Peter, most
unmilitary procedure.

It was owing either to some temporary defect in Peter's vision, or to
some illusion attendant upon mist and moon-light, or perhaps to some
other cause, that the whole procession had a certain waving and vapory
character which perplexed and tasked his eyes not a little. It was like
the pictured pageant of a phantasmagoria reflected upon smoke. It was as
if every breath disturbed it; sometimes it was blurred, sometimes
obliterated; now here, now there. Sometimes, while the upper part was
quite distinct, the legs of the column would nearly fade away or vanish
outright, and then again they would come out into clear relief, marching
on with measured tread, while the cocked hats and shoulders grew, as it
were, transparent, and all but disappeared.

Notwithstanding these strange optical fluctuations, however, the column
continued steadily to advance. Peter crossed the street from the corner
near the old bridge, running on tip-toe, and with his body stooped to
avoid observation, and took up a position upon the raised foot-path in
the shadow of the houses, where, as the soldiers kept the middle of the
road, he calculated that he might, himself undetected, see them
distinctly enough as they passed.

"What the div--, what on airth," he muttered, checking the irreligious
ejaculation with which he was about to start, for certain queer
misgivings were hovering about his heart, notwithstanding the factitious
courage of the whisky-bottle. "What on airth is the mainin' of all this?
is it the French that's landed at last to give us a hand and help us in
airnest to this blessed repale? If it is not them, I simply ask who the
div--, I mane who on airth are they, for such sogers as them I never
seen before in my born days?"

By this time the foremost of them were quite near, and truth to say,
they were the queerest soldiers he had ever seen in the course of his
life. They wore long gaiters and leather breeches, three-cornered hats,
bound with silver lace, long blue coats, with scarlet facings and
linings, which latter were shown by a fastening which held together the
two opposite corners of the skirt behind; and in front the breasts were
in like manner connected at a single point, where, and below which, they
sloped back, disclosing a long-flapped waistcoat of snowy whiteness;
they had very large, long cross-belts, and wore enormous pouches of
white leather hung extraordinarily low, and on each of which a little
silver star was glittering. But what struck him as most grotesque and
outlandish in their costume was their extraordinary display of
shirt-frill in front, and of ruffle about their wrists, and the strange
manner in which their hair was frizzed out and powdered under their
hats, and clubbed up into great rolls behind. But one of the party was
mounted. He rode a tall white horse, with high action and arching neck;
he had a snow-white feather in his three-cornered hat, and his coat was
shimmering all over with a profusion of silver lace. From these
circumstances Peter concluded that he must be the commander of the
detachment, and examined him as he passed attentively. He was a slight,
tall man, whose legs did not half fill his leather breeches, and he
appeared to be at the wrong side of sixty. He had a shrunken,
weather-beaten, mulberry-colored face, carried a large black patch over
one eye, and turned neither to the right nor to the left, but rode right
on at the head of his men with grim, military inflexibility.

The countenance of these soldiers, officers as well as men, seemed all
full of trouble, and, so to speak, scared and wild. He watched in vain
for a single contented or comely face. They had, one and all, a
melancholy and hang-dog look; and as they passed by, Peter fancied that
the air grew cold and thrilling.

He had seated himself upon a stone bench, from which, staring with all
his might, he gazed upon the grotesque and noiseless procession as it
filed by him. Noiseless it was; he could neither hear the jingle of
accoutrements, the tread of feet, nor the rumble of the wheels; and when
the old colonel turned his horse a little, and made as though he were
giving the word of command, and a trumpeter, with a swollen blue nose
and white feather fringe round his hat, who was walking beside him,
turned about and put his bugle to his lips, still Peter heard nothing,
although it was plain the sound had reached the soldiers, for they
instantly changed their front to three abreast.

"Botheration!" muttered Peter, "is it deaf I'm growing?"

But that could not be, for he heard the sighing of the breeze and the
rush of the neighboring Liffey plain enough.

"Well," said he, in the same cautious key, "by the piper, this bangs
Banagher fairly! It's either the Frinch army that's in it, come to take
the town iv Chapelizod by surprise, an' makin' no noise for feard iv
wakenin' the inhabitants; or else it's--it's--what it's--somethin' else.
But, tundher-an-ouns, what's gone wid Fitzpatrick's shop across the
way?"

The brown, dingy stone building at the opposite side of the street
looked newer and cleaner than he had been used to see it; the front door
of it stood open, and a sentry, in the same grotesque uniform, with
shouldered musket, was pacing noiselessly to and fro before it. At the
angle of this building, in like manner, a wide gate (of which Peter had
no recollection whatever) stood open, before which, also, a similar
sentry was gliding, and into this gateway the whole column gradually
passed, and Peter finally lost sight of it.

"I'm not asleep; I'm not dhramin'," said he, rubbing his eyes, and
stamping slightly on the pavement, to assure himself that he was wide
awake. "It is a quare business, whatever it is; an' it's not alone that,
but every thing about the town looks strange to me. There's Tresham's
house new painted, bedad, an' them flowers in the windies! An' Delany's
house, too, that had not a whole pane of glass in it this morning, and
scarce a slate on the roof of it! It is not possible it's what it's
dhrunk I am. Sure there's the big tree, and not a leaf of it changed
since I passed, and the stars overhead, all right. I don't think it is
in my eyes it is."

And so looking about him, and every moment finding or fancying new food
for wonder, he walked along the pavement, intending, without further
delay, to make his way home.

But his adventures for the night were not concluded. He had nearly
reached the angle of the short lane that leads up to the church, when
for the first time he perceived that an officer, in the uniform he had
just seen, was walking before, only a few yards in advance of him.

The officer was walking along at an easy, swinging gait, and carried his
sword under his arm, and was looking down on the pavement with an air of
reverie.

In the very fact that he seemed unconscious of Peter's presence, and
disposed to keep his reflections to himself, there was something
reassuring. Besides, the reader must please to remember that our hero
had a _quantum sufficit_ of good punch before his adventure commenced,
and was thus fortified against those qualms and terrors under which, in
a more reasonable state of mind, he might not impossibly have sunk.

The idea of the French invasion revived in full power in Peter's fuddled
imagination, as he pursued the nonchalant swagger of the officer.

"Be the powers iv Moll Kelly, I'll ax him what it is," said Peter, with
a sudden accession of rashness. "He may tell me or not, as he plases,
but he can't be offinded, anyhow."

With this reflection having inspired himself, Peter cleared his voice,
and began,

"Captain," said he, "I ax your pardon, captain, an' maybe you'd be so
condescendin' to my ignorance as to tell me, if it's plaisin' to yer
honor, whether your honor is not a Frinchman, if it's plaisin' to you."

This he asked, not thinking that, had it been as he suspected, not one
word of his question, in all probability, would have been intelligible
to the person he addressed. He was, however, understood, for the officer
answered him in English, at the same time slackening his pace, and
moving a little to the side of the pathway, as if to invite his
interrogator to take his place beside him.

"No; I am an Irishman," he answered.

"I humbly thank your honor," said Peter, drawing nearer--for the
affability and the nativity of the officer encouraged him--"but maybe
your honor is in the _sarvice_ of the King of France?"

"I serve the same king as you do," he answered, with a sorrowful
significance which Peter did not comprehend at the time; and,
interrogating in turn, he asked, "But what calls you forth at this hour
of the day?"

"The _day_, your honor!--the night, you mane."

"It was always our way to turn night into day, and we keep to it still,"
remarked the soldier. "But, no matter, come up here to my house; I have
a job for you, if you wish to earn some money easily. I live here."

As he said this, he beckoned authoritatively to Peter, who followed
almost mechanically at his heels, and they turned up a little lane near
the old Roman Catholic chapel, at the end of which stood, in Peter's
time, the ruins of a tall, stone-built house.

Like every thing else in the town, it had suffered a metamorphosis. The
stained and ragged walls were now erect, perfect, and covered with
pebble-dash; window-panes glittered coldly in every window; the green
hall-door had a bright brass knocker on it. Peter did not know whether
to believe his previous or his present impressions; seeing is believing,
and Peter could not dispute the reality of the scene. All the records of
his memory seemed but the images of a tipsy dream. In a trance of
astonishment and perplexity, therefore, he submitted himself to the
chances of his adventure.

The door opened, the officer beckoned with a melancholy air of authority
to Peter, and entered. Our hero followed into a sort of hall, which was
very dark, but he was guided by the steps of the soldier, and in silence
they ascended the stairs. The moonlight, which shone in at the lobbies,
showed an old, dark wainscoting, and a heavy, oak bannister. They passed
by closed doors at different landing-places, but all was dark and silent
as, indeed, became that late hour of the night.

Now they ascended to the topmost floor. The captain paused for a minute
at the nearest door, and, with a heavy groan, pushing it open, entered
the room. Peter remained at the threshold. A slight female form in a
sort of loose, white robe, and with a great deal of dark hair hanging
loosely about her, was standing in the middle of the floor, with her
back toward them.

The soldier stopped short before he reached her, and said, in a voice of
great anguish, "Still the same, sweet bird--sweet bird! still the
same." Whereupon, she turned suddenly, and threw her arms about the neck
of the officer, with a gesture of fondness and despair, and her frame
was agitated as if by a burst of sobs. He held her close to his breast
in silence; and honest Peter felt a strange terror creep over him, as he
witnessed these mysterious sorrows and endearments.

"To-night, to-night--and then ten years more--ten long years--another
ten years."

The officer and the lady seemed to speak these words together; her voice
mingled with his in a musical and fearful wail, like a distant summer
wind, in the dead hour of night, wandering through ruins. Then he heard
the officer say, alone, in a voice of anguish,

"Upon me be it all, forever, sweet birdie, upon me."

And again they seemed to mourn together in the same soft and desolate
wail, like sounds of grief heard from a great distance.

Peter was thrilled with horror, but he was also under a strange
fascination; and an intense and dreadful curiosity held him fast.

The moon was shining obliquely into the room, and through the window
Peter saw the familiar slopes of the Park, sleeping mistily under its
shimmer. He could also see the furniture of the room with tolerable
distinctness--the old balloon-backed chairs, a four-post bed in a sort
of recess, and a rack against the wall, from which hung some military
clothes and accoutrements; and the sight of all these homely objects
reassured him somewhat, and he could not help feeling unspeakably
curious to see the face of the girl whose long hair was streaming over
the officer's epaulet.

Peter, accordingly, coughed, at first slightly, and afterward more
loudly, to recall her from her reverie of grief; and, apparently, he
succeeded; for she turned round, as did her companion, and both,
standing hand-in-hand, looked upon him fixedly. He thought he had never
seen such large, strange eyes in all his life; and their gaze seemed to
chill the very air around him, and arrest the pulses of his heart. An
eternity of misery and remorse was in the shadowy faces that looked upon
him.

If Peter had taken less whisky by a single thimbleful, it is probable
that he would have lost heart altogether before these figures, which
seemed every moment to assume a more marked and fearful, though hardly
definable contrast to ordinary human shapes.

"What is it you want with me?" he stammered.

"To bring my lost treasure to the church-yard," replied the lady, in a
silvery voice of more than mortal desolation.

The word "treasure" revived the resolution of Peter, although a cold
sweat was covering him, and his hair was bristling with horror; he
believed, however, that he was on the brink of fortune, if he could but
command nerve to brave the interview to its close.

"And where," he gasped, "is it hid--where will I find it?"

They both pointed to the sill of the window, through which the moon was
shining at the far end of the room, and the soldier said:

"Under that stone."

Peter drew a long breath, and wiped the cold dew from his face,
preparatory to passing to the window, where he expected to secure the
reward of his protracted terrors. But looking steadfastly at the window,
he saw the faint image of a new-born child sitting upon the sill in the
moonlight with its little arms stretched toward him, and a smile so
heavenly as he never beheld before.

At sight of this, strange to say, his heart entirely failed him, he
looked on the figures that stood near, and beheld them gazing on the
infantine form with a smile so guilty and distorted, that he felt as if
he were entering alive among the scenery of hell, and shuddering, he
cried in an irrepressible agony of horror:

"I'll have nothing to say with you, and nothing to do with you; I don't
know what yez are or what yez want iv me, but let me go this minute,
every one of yez, in the name of God."

With these words there came a strange rumbling and sighing about Peter's
ears; he lost sight of every thing, and felt that peculiar and not
unpleasant sensation of falling softly, that sometimes supervenes in
sleep, ending in a dull shock. After that he had neither dream nor
consciousness till he wakened, chill and stiff, stretched between two
piles of old rubbish, among the black and roofless walls of the ruined
house.

We need hardly mention that the village had put on its wonted air of
neglect and decay, or that Peter looked around him in vain for traces of
those novelties which had so puzzled and distracted him upon the
previous night.

"Ay, ay," said his old mother, removing her pipe, as he ended his
description of the view from the bridge, "sure enough I remember myself,
when I was a slip of a girl, these little white cabins among the gardens
by the river side. The artillery sogers that was married, or had not
room in the barracks, used to be in them, but they're all gone long
ago."

"The Lord be marciful to us!" she resumed, when he had described the
military procession, "it's often I seen the regiment marchin' into the
town, jist as you saw it last night, acushla. Oh, voch, but it makes my
heart sore to think iv them days; they were pleasant times, sure enough;
but is not it terrible, avick, to think it's what it was, the ghost of
the rigiment you seen? The Lord betune us an' harm, for it was nothing
else, as sure as I'm sittin' here."

When he mentioned the peculiar physiognomy and figure of the old officer
who rode at the head of the regiment--

"_That_," said the old crone, dogmatically, "was ould Colonel Grimshaw,
the Lord presarve us! he's buried in the church-yard iv Chapelizod, and
well I remember him, when I was a young thing, an' a cross ould
floggin' fellow he was wid the men, an' a devil's boy among the
girls--rest his soul!"

"Amen!" said Peter; "it's often I read his tombstone myself; but he's a
long time dead."

"Sure, I tell you he died when I was no more nor a slip iv a girl--the
Lord betune us and harm!"

"I'm afeard it is what I'm not long for this world myself, afther seeing
such a sight as that," said Peter, fearfully.

"Nonsinse, avourneen," retorted his grandmother, indignantly, though she
had herself misgivings on the subject; "sure there was Phil Doolan, the
ferryman, that seen black Ann Scanlan in his own boat, and what harm
ever kem of it?"

Peter proceeded with his narrative, but when he came to the description
of the house, in which his adventure had had so sinister a conclusion,
the old woman was at fault.

"I know the house and the ould walls well, an' I can remember the time
there was a roof on it, and the doors an' windows in it, but it had a
bad name about being haunted, but by who, or for what, I forget
intirely."

"Did you ever hear was there gold or silver there?" he inquired.

"No, no, avick, don't be thinking about the likes; take a fool's advice,
and never go next or near them ugly black walls again the longest day
you have to live; an' I'd take my davy, it's what it's the same word the
priest himself 'ud be afther sayin' to you if you wor to ax his
riverence consarnin' it, for it's plain to be seen it was nothing good
you seen there, and there's neither luck nor grace about it."

Peter's adventure made no little noise in the neighborhood, as the
reader may well suppose; and a few evenings after it, being on an errand
to old Major Vandeleur, who lived in a snug old-fashioned house, close
by the river, under a perfect bower of ancient trees, he was called on
to relate the story in the parlor.

The major was, as I have said, an old man; he was small, lean, and
upright, with a mahogany complexion, and a wooden inflexibility of face;
he was a man, besides, of few words, and if _he_ was old, it follows
plainly that his mother was older still. Nobody could guess or tell
_how_ old, but it was admitted that her own generation had long passed
away, and that she had not a competitor left. She had French blood in
her veins, and although she did not retain her charms quite so well as
Ninon de l'Enclos, she was in full possession of all her mental
activity, and talked quite enough for herself and the major.

"So, Peter," she said, "you have seen the dear, old Royal Irish again in
the streets of Chapelizod. Make him a tumbler of punch, Frank; and
Peter, sit down, and while you take it let us have the story."

Peter accordingly, seated near the door, with a tumbler of the nectarian
stimulant steaming beside him, proceeded with marvelous courage,
considering they had no light but the uncertain glare of the fire, to
relate with minute particularity his awful adventure. The old lady
listened at first with a smile of good-natured incredulity; her
cross-examination touching the drinking-bout at Palmerstown had been
teasing, but as the narrative proceeded she became attentive, and at
length absorbed, and once or twice she uttered ejaculations of pity or
awe. When it was over, the old lady looked with a somewhat sad and stern
abstraction on the table, patting her cat assiduously meanwhile, and
then suddenly looking upon her son, the major, she said,

"Frank, as sure as I live he has seen the wicked Captain Devereux."

The major uttered an inarticulate expression of wonder.

"The house was precisely that he has described. I have told you the
story often, as I heard it from your dear grandmother, about the poor
young lady he ruined, and the dreadful suspicion about the little baby.
_She_, poor thing, died in that house heart-broken, and you know he was
shot shortly after in a duel."

This was the only light that Peter ever received respecting his
adventure. It was supposed, however, that he still clung to the hope
that treasure of some sort was hidden about the old house, for he was
often seen lurking about its walls, and at last his fate overtook him,
poor fellow, in the pursuit; for climbing near the summit one day, his
holding gave way, and he fell upon the hard uneven ground, fracturing a
leg and a rib, and after a short interval died, and he, like the other
heroes of these true tales, lies buried in the little church-yard of
Chapelizod.



A MORNING WITH MORITZ RETZSCH.

BY MRS. S.C. HALL.


At Dresden we enjoyed the advantage of friendly intercourse with one who
is honored as much for his virtues as his talents, and whom it is a
gratification to name--Professor Vogel von Vogelstein, whose latest work
decorates a new church at Leipzig, designed by the estimable and highly
gifted Professor Heidelhoff of Nuremberg. The simplicity of life of the
great German masters, is very striking; they care nothing for display,
except that upon their canvas, or their walls. One of the great secrets
of their success is their earnestness of purpose. Professor Vogel seldom
leaves his studio except to render courtesy to friend or stranger: and
it is happy for those who have the privilege of his acquaintance, to
know that such labors of love draw him frequently forth. As yet, years
have not diminished the ardor with which he works--respected and beloved
by all who know him. It was a true pleasure to sit in his studio, and
converse with him; not only about Art, but about England; where he spent
some time in communion with Wilkie, and Callcott, and Lawrence, and
others, who, though passed away, have left immortalities behind them.

While conversing with Professor Vogel one morning we expressed an
earnest wish to see Moritz Retzsch--who had so wonderfully embodied the
conceptions of Goethe, of Shakspeare, and of Schiller; his extraordinary
powers of invention and description, with a few strokes of his pencil,
had rendered him an object of the deepest interest to us, many years ago
when an artist friend, now dead and gone, first made him known to us;
and although he resided we had been told, "a long way out of Dresden,"
we resolved, if we could, to visit him at his home. It was therefore
very pleasant when Professor Vogel offered to accompany us himself, and
present us to the great artist. In the evening, as we stood on the noble
bridge that spans the rapid Elbe, a summer-house crowning one of the
distant vine-clad hills, was pointed out to us as belonging to him whom
we so much desired to know.

"His dwelling," said our friend, "is directly below that hill, and he
resides on his paternal acres; his father's vineyards are as green as
ever; and the artist's love of nature, is fostered amid its beauties."
Nothing could be more charming than the scene. We had left the Bruhl
Terrace crowded with company, driven away from its music and society by
the clouds of tobacco smoke which wrap the Germans in an elysium
peculiarly "their own;" but the music was softened by distance, into
sweeter harmony. The sun was setting, warming the pale green of the
vineyards into autumnal richness, and casting delicious tints upon the
undulating waters; the atmosphere was so pure, so free from what sad
experience teaches us to consider the natural vapors of city life, that
the spires and public buildings looked as if carved in ivory; the mighty
river swept freely on, its strong current hopelessly contending with the
massive masonry of the bridge; one or two steamers were puffing their
way from some of the distant villages; and a party near the shore were
moving their oars, rather than rowing, singing what sounded to us like a
round and chorus, in that perfect tune and time, where the voices seem
as one; twilight came down without any haze, so that the range of hills
was still visible, and still we fancied we saw the Pavilion of Moritz
Retzsch. Our friend told us he was born at Dresden in 1779, and had
never visited the distant schools, nor wandered far from his native
city; in early childhood he manifested a talent for Art; modeling in
clay, carving in wood, and exercising his imitative, as well as his
imaginative powers, by drawing with any thing, or upon any thing,
whatever he saw or fancied. He never intended to become an artist; he
had not received what is called "an artistic education." He looked at
and loved whatever was beautiful in nature, and copied it without an
effort. At that period, the profession of Art would have been all too
tranquil a dream for his boyhood to enjoy; nay, his "hot youth," ardent
and desiring excitement, full of visions of adventure and liberty, had,
at one time, nearly induced him to become a huntsman, or forester--(one
of the jägers made familiar to us on the stage, in green hunting dress
and buckskin, with belt and bugle)--in the Royal service; a little
consideration, a few speaking facts, however, taught him that this
project would not have secured him the freedom he coveted so much; and,
most fortunately, when he entered his twentieth year, he determined on
the course which has given both to himself and to the world, such
delicious pleasure. He abandoned himself to Art, and has ever since
exercised it with a devotion and enthusiasm, a sacred freedom, that,
despite his excitable temperament, has rendered him happy. Such was our
friend's information concerning the author of those wonderful "OUTLINES"
which have been the admiration of the world for nearly half a century,
and are scarcely better known in Germany than they are in England.

"Nothing," he added, "could surpass the ardor with which the young
artist labored. His soul was animated by the grand conceptions of Goethe
and Schiller; his ears drank in the beauty and sublimity of their
poetry; and he lived in the mingled communion of great men, and the
lovely and softened beauty of Saxon fatherland." In 1828, he was
nominated Professor of Painting in the Dresden Royal Academy; but fame,
much as he sought and loved it, did not fill his soul. The older he
grew, the more his great heart yearned for that continuous sympathy with
some object to comprehend and appreciate his noble pursuit, and to value
him, as he believed he deserved. He coveted affection as much as fame.

One of the dwellers near his father's vineyard was rich in the
possession of a little daughter of extraordinary grace and beauty. She
inspired the artist with some of his brightest conceptions of that
peculiar infantine loveliness which his pencil has rendered with such
eloquent fidelity.

The child crept into his heart--the young girl took possession of it.
The poet-painter made no effort to dispossess her; on the contrary, he
increased her power by giving her an excellent education; and when she
had arrived at the age of womanhood, he made her his wife. Their married
years have numbered many. One may be considered old, the other is no
longer young; but their happiness has been, as far as it can be, without
a shadow. Although they have no children, they do not seem to have
desired them. Some gallant husbands pen a sonnet to a wife on her
birth-day, or the anniversary of her marriage, but Moritz Retzsch
_sketches_ his birthday ode, in which the beauty and worth of his
cherished wife, his own tenderness and happiness, their mingled hopes
and prayers, are penciled in forms the most poetic and expressive. From
year to year these designs have enriched the album of Madame Retzsch;
and never was a more noble tribute laid at the feet of any lady-love,
even in the times of old romance!

Professor Vogel had promised that Moritz Retzsch should show us his
drawings; and we were full of hope that we should also have the
privilege of seeing this Album. The sunset had given promise of--

    "A goodly day to-morrow."

And it was with no small delight that, on our return to our hotel, we
found an hour had been fixed for our visit to the village, or Weinberg,
and that Professor Vogel would be ready to accompany us at the time
appointed.

We were prepared to expect allegorical designs; and Mrs. Jameson has
long since converted us to a belief in the great power and benefit of
symbolic painting, particularly on the minds and imaginations of the
young. "To address the moral faculties through the medium of the
imagination," says this distinguished lady, "for any permanent or
beneficial purpose, is the last thing thought of by our legislators and
educators. Fable, except as a mere nomenclature of heathen gods and
goddesses, is banished from the nursery, and allegory in Poetry and the
Fine Arts is out of fashion;" and then she mingles her ink with gall,
and adds, "it is deemed the child's play of the intellect, fit only for
the days of Dante, or Spenser, or Michael Angelo."

Wearied with pleasure, we slept; but what we had seen and what we
anticipated rendered _repose_ impossible. The morning was bright, and
warm, and sunny; and when our kind friend entered the carriage, we felt
assured of a day's enjoyment. We soon skirted the city, and found
ourselves rolling in sight of the river; the road was overshadowed by
trees, which had not yielded a leaf to the insidious advances of autumn;
the villas--not certainly with shaven lawns and carefully-tended
gardens, were picturesque and charming from the novelty of their
construction, and not the less striking because the foliage was left to
twine about them in unconstrained luxuriance. We had become accustomed
to the wicker wagons, and the heavy oxen, and slow paces of men and
horses; but there is something always to admire in the broad faces of
the well-built Saxons, and the frank and kindly expression of their
clear blue eyes.

We soon reached the narrow roads that wound along the base of the
vine-clad hills, rising so abruptly as to form terrace after terrace,
until they achieved the topmost height. Nothing can be more delightful
than the situation of the houses at the foot of these hills, commanding,
as they do, the whole of the rich valley in which Dresden is placed.
"They call it Paradise," said our kind companion; "and truly it deserves
the name."

It was positively refreshing to hear how Professor Vogel delighted in
extolling Professor Retzsch. His eulogiums were so warm from the heart,
and the desire to do his friend service so sincere, that we honored him
more than ever. At last we paused at the garden-gate of the
cottage-house of the illustrator of Faust, and entered. Wide-spreading
trees overshadowed the path which led along the side of the house to a
sort of stone verandah, formed by the upper story projecting over the
lower, and supported by rude stone pillars. At the further end were
stairs leading to the living-rooms; and down these stairs came a
gentleman who must have riveted attention wherever seen. His figure was
somewhat short and massive, and his dress not of the most modern
fashion; yet the head was magnificent. His whole appearance recalled
Cuvier to us so forcibly, that we instantly murmured the name of the
great naturalist; but when his clear wild blue eyes beamed their
welcome, and his lips parted into a smile to give it words, we were even
more strongly reminded of Professor Wilson; in each, a large,
well-developed head, masculine features, a broad and high forehead, a
mouth strongly expressive of a combination of generosity and force,
bespoke the careful thinker and acute observer; and in both, the hair,
"sable silvered," seemed to have been left to the wild luxuriance of
nature. He preceded us to the drawing-room--an uncarpeted chamber,
furnished with old-fashioned German simplicity. Several birthday
garlands were hung upon the walls. There were three doors opening into
the apartment, and a long sofa extending along one of the sides; this
sofa was canopied by ivy, growing in pots at either end, and entwined
round a delicate framework. In Heidelhoff's house, at Nüremberg, we had
seen wreaths of ivy growing round the window-curtains in a peculiarly
graceful manner; and at Berlin, in the costly and beautiful dwelling of
the admirable sculptor Wichmann, the door leading from the dining into
the billiard-room--where Mendelssohn delighted to play while Jenny Lind
sat by and sung, enjoying, as she always does, the enjoyment of
others--that door is trellised with ivy, the trellis being formed of
light bamboo, and the foliage contrasting charmingly with the color of
the trellis. The dust of our carpets, perhaps, prevents the introduction
of this charming ornament generally into our rooms; but it is difficult
to conceive how much this simple loan from nature may be made to enrich
the interiors of our dwellings.

Nothing can be more frank and cordial than Retzsch's manner, mingling,
as it does, much simplicity with promptness and decision. After the
lapse of a few minutes, the servant who had opened the gate brought in a
couple of easels, and upon them the artist placed two paintings; both
exquisitely drawn and designed, but so unlike what we had expected in
color, that for a moment we felt disappointed. Our enthusiasm and
admiration however, soon revived; and when, shortly afterward, he
conducted us into an inner room, and, having seated us with due
formality, in a great chair, opposite a little table, produced a
portfolio of _drawings_, the kind face of Professor Vogel was illumined:
"Ah!" he exclaimed, "now you will be delighted. I have brought many to
my friend's studio; I have looked at these drawings over and over
again, yet each time I see something to admire anew; there is always a
discovery to be made--some allegory, half hidden under a rose-leaf; some
wise and playful satire, peeping beneath the wing of a Cupid, or from
the fardel of a traveler. What a pity you do not understand German, that
you might hear him read those exquisite lyrics, beautiful as the sonnets
of your own Shakspeare, or Wordsworth--but I will interpret--I will
interpret."

And so he did--with considerate patience: there we sat turning over page
after page of the most exquisite fancies; the overflowings not only of
the purest and most brilliant imagination, but of the deepest tenderness
and exalted independence. The allegories of Moritz Retzsch, are not of
the "hieroglyphic caste," such as roused the indignation of Horace
Walpole; there were no sentimental Hopes supported by anchors: no
fat-cheeked Fames puffing noiseless trumpets; no common-place Deaths,
with dilapidated hour-glasses; they were triumphs of pure Art, conveying
a poetical idea, a moral or religious truth, a brilliant satire,
brilliant and sharp as a cutting diamond, by "graphical representation;"
each subject was a bit of the choicest lyric poetry, or an epigram, in
which a single idea or sentiment had been illustrated and embodied,
giving "a local habitation," a name, a history, in the smallest compass,
and in the most intelligible and attractive form.

With what delight we turned over these matchless drawings, many of them
little more than outlines, yet so full of meaning--pausing between each,
to glance at the face of the interpreter; though so distinctly was the
idea conveyed, that there needed none; only it was such a rare delight
to hear him tell his meaning in his own full sounding tongue, his face
expressing all he wished to say, before the words were spoken.

We could have lingered over that portfolio for hours, and like Professor
Vogel have found something new at each inspection of the same drawing;
but the artist seemed to grow gently impatient to show us his wife's
Album--the book of which we had heard so much on the previous evening;
there it was, carefully cased and covered--and before he opened it, he
explained, with smiling lips, that on each of Madame Retzsch's
birthdays, he had presented to her a drawing expressive of his devotion,
his faith in her virtues, or the hopes or disappointments to which the
destiny of life had subjected them. However delicate and endearing may
be the love of youth, with it there is always associated a dread that it
may not endure until the end--that the world may tarnish or destroy it;
that,

    "A word unkind or wrongly taken,"

may be the herald of harshness and of estrangement; but when, after a
lapse of accumulated years, Cupid folds his wings without the loss of a
single feather, and laughs at his arch-enemy "Time," the sunshine of the
picture creates an atmosphere of happiness that excites the best
sympathies of our nature. While he descanted on these results of his
luxuriant and overflowing imagination and affection, never was genius
more thoroughly love-inspired; never, as we had heard, did poet pen more
exquisite birthday odes, than were framed by the tender and eloquent
pencil of Moritz Retzsch on the birthdays of his wife.

We did not feel it to be a defect in the graphic allegories, so rich and
varied in thought and expression, that they required, or rather
received, the eloquent explanations, of their great originator; the
scene around that little table was in exquisite harmony; Professor
Vogel's expressions of delight were as enthusiastic as our own; he
repeatedly said that a visit to his old friend was a renewal of his own
youth; he hailed the precious Album with as much pleasure as ourselves,
and reveled in the poetry and originality of its illustrations, with a
freshness of feeling supposed only to belong to the early years of life.

We can not remember that Retzsch sat down once during our long visit; he
was standing or moving about, the entire time, and frequently passed his
fingers through the masses of his long gray hair, so that it assumed
most peculiar styles; but nothing could detract from the picturesque
magnificence of his noble head. His restlessness was certainly peculiar,
he passed and repassed into the room where his precious drawings were
scattered in such rich profusion, returning again and again to the
window, enjoying our pleasure, the expression of his face varying so
eloquently and honestly, that a young child could have read his
thoughts: and then the indescribable brightness of that face; stormy, it
no doubt could be at times, but the thunder would have been as nothing
to the lightning.

The great artist seemed as curious about England as a country child is
about London; indeed the mingling of simplicity and wisdom, is one of
the strongest phases in his character; so gigantic, and yet so delicate,
in Art; so full of the rarest knowledge; animated by an unsurpassable
imagination; proud of the distinction his talents command, and yet of a
noble and heroic independence which secures universal respect. The
artist and his wife accompanied us to the gate which was soon to shut us
out of "Paradise;" and, amply gratified as we were with our visit and
its results, we felt that there was still so much more to say and to
see, that the past hours appeared like winged moments, reminding us
how--

    "Noiseless falls the foot of time
    That only treads on flowers."

It seemed as though the gate had closed upon an old friend, instead of
upon one seen for so brief a space, and never perhaps to be met with
again in this world. One of the dreams of a life-time had been fully
realized. We had paid Moritz Retzsch the involuntary compliment, of
forgetting the celebrity of the artist, in the warmth of our admiration
of the man. The gate was closed, and we were driving rapidly toward
Dresden--the scenery softened and mellowed by the gray and purply tone
which follows a golden sunset. Yes, we felt as if we had parted from a
friend; and surely the sacred lovingness we bear to those--honored
though unseen--who have been as friends within our homes, dispersing by
the power of their genius all trace, for a time, of the fret and turmoil
of the busy world; soothing our sorrows; teaching us how to endure, and
how to triumph; or enriching our minds by that ART-KNOWLEDGE, which, in
the holiness of its beauty, is only second to the wisdom "which cometh
from above;"--surely a higher tribute than either gratitude or
admiration, is that of placing them within our hearts, there to remain
until the end; amid the good, the beautiful, the true, and the beloved
of life itself.



THE QUEEN'S TOBACCO-PIPE.


We have seen pipes of all sorts and sizes in our time. In Germany, where
the finest cnaster is but twenty-pence a pound, and excellent
leaf-tobacco only five-pence, we have seen pipes that resembled actual
furnaces compared with the general race of pipes, and have known a man
smoke out half a pound of cnaster and drink a gallon of beer at a
sitting. But this is perfectly pigmy work when compared with the royal
pipe and consumptive tobacco power of Victoria of England. The queen's
pipe is, beyond all controversy--for we have seen it--equal to any other
thousand pipes that can be produced from the pipial stores of this
smoking world. She has not only an attendant to present it whenever she
may call for it, but his orders are to have it always in the most
admirable smoking state--always lighted, without regard to the quantity
of tobacco it may consume; and, accordingly, her pipe is constantly kept
smoking day and night without a moment's intermission, and there are,
besides the grand pipe-master, a number of attendants incessantly
employed in seeking the most suitable tobacco, and bringing it to the
grand-master. There is no species of tobacco which the queen has not in
her store-room. Shag, pig-tail, Cavendish, Manilla, Havanna, cigars,
cheroots, negrohead, every possible species of nicotian, she gives a
trial to, by way of variety. A single cigar she holds in as much
contempt as a lion would a fly by way of mouthful. We have seen her
grand-master drop whole handfuls of Havannas at once into her pipe, and
after them as many Cubas.

It may abate the wonder of the reader at this stupendous smoking power
of the queen, if we admit, as must, indeed, have become apparent in the
course of our remarks, that the queen performs her smoking, as she does
many of her other royal acts, by the hands of her servants. In truth, to
speak candidly, the queen never smokes at all, except through her
servants. And this will appear very likely, when we describe the actual
size of her royal pipe. It is, indeed of most imperial dimensions. The
head alone is so large, that while its heel rests on the floor of her
cellar, its top reaches out of the roof. We speak a literal fact, as any
one who procures an order for the purpose may convince himself by actual
inspection. We are sure that the quantity of tobacco which is required
to supply it, must amount to some tons in the year. Nay, so considerable
is it, that ships are employed specially to bring over this tobacco, and
these ships have a dock of one acre in extent at the port of London
entirely for their exclusive reception. In a word, the Queen's
Tobacco-pipe, its dimensions, its attendance, its supply and consumption
of tobacco, are without any parallel in any age or any nation.

If we have raised any wonder in the breasts of our readers, we shall not
diminish that wonder by some further explanations regarding this
extraordinary pipe; if we have raised any incredulity, what we are now
about to add will at once extinguish it.

The Queen's Tobacco-pipe, then, is a furnace built in the very centre of
the great Tobacco Warehouse at the London Docks. This furnace is kept
for the purpose of consuming all the damaged tobacco which comes into
port. As the warehouse is the Queen's Warehouse, the furnace is really
termed the Queen's Pipe; and all that we have related of it is literally
true, and is, in itself and all the circumstances connected with it, one
of the most remarkable things in this country.

If any one would form any thing like an adequate conception of the
wonders of London, and of the power and wealth of this country, he
should pay a visit to the London Docks. After having traversed the
extent, and amazed himself at the myriad population, the intense
activity, the stupendous affluence, and the endless variety of works
going on in this capital of the globe, he will, on arriving at the
Docks, feel a fresh and boundless astonishment. From near the Tower all
the way to Blackwall, a distance of four miles, he will find it a whole
world of docks. The mass of shipping, the extent of vast warehouses,
many of them five and seven stories high, all crowded with ponderous
heaps of merchandise from every region of the globe, have nothing like
it besides in the world, and never have had. The enormous wealth here
collected is perfectly overwhelming to the imagination.

If the spectator first enter St. Katherine's Docks, he finds them
occupying twenty-three acres, with water capable of accommodating one
hundred and twenty ships, and warehouses of holding one hundred and ten
thousand tons of goods; the capital of the company alone exceeding two
millions of pounds. Proceeding to the London Docks, properly so called,
there he will find an extent of more than one hundred acres, offering
water for five hundred ships, and warehouse room for two hundred and
thirty-four thousand tons of goods; the capital of the company amounting
to four millions of pounds. The West India Docks next present
themselves, being three times as extensive as the London Docks, having
an area of no less than two hundred and ninety-five acres, with water to
accommodate four hundred vessels, and warehouse-room for one hundred and
eighty thousand tons of merchandise; the capital of the company is more
than six millions of pounds, and the value of goods which have been on
the premises at one time twenty millions. Lastly, the East India Docks
occupy thirty-two acres, and afford warehouse-room for fifteen thousand
tons of goods.

The whole of these docks occupying four hundred and fifty acres,
offering accommodations for one thousand two hundred ships, and for five
hundred and thirty thousand tons of goods.

But these are only the docks on the left bank of the river; on the other
side, docks extend from Rotherhithe to Deptford; the Surrey Docks, the
Commercial Docks, and the East Country Docks. When the gigantic extent
of these docks, and the mass of property in them, are considered, Tyre
and Sidon shrink up into utter insignificance.

But of all these astonishing places, our present attention is devoted
only to the London Docks, properly so called, as being connected with
the operations of the Queen's Pipe; the damaged and unsalable goods of
these docks being its food. In these docks are especially warehoused
wine, wool, spices, tea, ivory, drugs, tobacco, sugars, dye-stuffs,
imported metals, and sundry other articles. Except the teas and spices,
you may procure inspection of all these articles, as they lie in their
enormous quantities, by a ticket from the secretary. If you wish to
taste the wines, you must have a tasting order for the purpose.

Imagine yourselves, then, entering the gateway of the London Docks. If
you wish only to walk round and see the shipping, and people at work,
you can do that without any order. As you advance, you find yourself
surrounded right and left by vast warehouses, where numbers of people,
with carts and trucks, are busily at work taking in and fetching out
goods. On your right you soon pass the ivory warehouse, where no lady is
admitted except by a _special_ order. The cause of this singular
regulation, by no means complimentary to the fair sex, we were unable to
ascertain. No lady could very well be suspected of carrying off in her
muff an elephant's tooth of some hundred weight, but there must have
been female thieves, dexterous enough to secrete, perhaps a rhinoceros's
tooth, of perhaps some dozen pounds, valued at one pound seven shillings
per pound; and thus contrived to bring a stigma on the whole sex.

Vast heaps of ivory lie on the floor of this warehouse, in huge
elephants' tusks, of from twenty to a hundred pounds weight each; tusks
of rhinoceros, and the ivory weapons of sword-fish and sea-unicorns.
Here lay, on our last visit, the African spoils of Mr. Gordon Cumming;
and, indeed, the spectacle is one that carries you away at once to the
African deserts, and shows you what is going on there while we are
quietly and monotonously living at home.

Proceeding down the dock-yard, you see before you a large area literally
paved with wine-casks, all full of the most excellent wines. On our last
visit, the wine then covering the ground was delicious Bordeaux, as you
might easily convince yourself by dipping a finger into the bunghole of
any cask; as, for some purpose of measurement, or testing the quality,
the casks were most of them open. This is, in fact, the great depôt of
the wine of the London merchants, no less than sixty thousand pipes
being capable of being stored away in the vaults here. One vault alone,
which formerly was seven acres, has now been extended under Gravel-lane,
so that at present it contains upward of twelve acres! These vaults are
faintly lit with lamps, but on going in, you are at the entrance
accosted with the singular demand--"Do you want a cooper?" Many people,
not knowing its meaning, say, "No, by no means!" The meaning of the
phrase is, "do you want to taste the wines?" when a cooper accompanies
you to pierce the casks, and give you the wine. Parties are every day,
and all day long, making these exploratory and tasting expeditions.
Every one on entering is presented with a lamp at the end of a lath,
about two feet long, and you soon find yourselves in some of the most
remarkable caving in the world. Small streets, which you perceive are of
great extent, by the glimmering of lamps in the far distance, extend
before you, and are crossed by others in such a manner that none but
those well acquainted with the geography of these subterranean regions
could possibly find their way about them. From the dark vaulted roof
over head, especially in one vault, hang strange figures, black as
night, light as gossamer, and of a yard or more in length, resembling
skins of beasts, or old shirts dipped in soot. These are fed to this
strange growth by the fumes of the wine.

For those who taste the wines the cooper bores the heads of the pipes,
which are ranged throughout these vast cellars on either hand in
thousands and tens of thousands, and draws a glassful. These glasses,
though shaped as wine-glasses, resemble much more goblets in their size,
containing each as much as several ordinary wine-glasses. What you do
not drink is thrown upon the ground; and it is calculated that at least
a hogshead a day is thus consumed. Many parties who wish for a cheap
carouse, procure a tasting order, take biscuits with them, and drink of
the best of all sorts of wine in the cellars, and in quantities enough
to terrify any disciple of Father Mathew. Here, again, we find a
regulation permitting no ladies to enter these cellars after one
o'clock. For such a rule there must be a sufficient cause, and the fact
which we have just stated may perhaps furnish the key to it.

Not less striking than those cellars is the Mixing House above, where
there are vats into which merchants who wish to equalize all their
wines of one vintage can have them emptied, and then re-drawn into their
casks. The largest of these vats contains twenty-three thousand two
hundred and fifty gallons; and to it the famous Heidelburg Tun is a mere
keg.

But the reader may ask, what have these wine-cellars to do with the
Queen's Pipe? It is this: in the centre of the great east vault you come
to a circular building without any entrance. It is the root and
foundation of the Queen's Pipe. Quitting the vault, and ascending into
the warehouse over it, you find that you are in the Great Tobacco
Warehouse, called the Queen's Warehouse, because the Government rent the
Tobacco Warehouses here for fourteen thousand pounds per annum. This one
warehouse has no equal in any other part of the world. It is five acres
in extent, and yet it is covered with a roof, the framework of which is
of iron, erected, we believe, by Mr. Barry, the architect of the new
houses of parliament, and of so light and skillful a construction, that
it admits of a view of the whole place; and so slender are the pillars,
that the roof seems almost to hang upon nothing. Under this roof is
piled a vast mass of tobacco in huge casks, in double tiers; that is,
two casks in height. This warehouse is said to hold, when full,
twenty-four thousand hogsheads, averaging one thousand two hundred
pounds each, and equal to thirty thousand tons of general merchandise.
Each cask is said to be worth, duty included, two hundred pounds; giving
a sum total of tobacco in this one warehouse, when filled, of four
millions, eight hundred thousand pounds in value! Besides this, there is
another warehouse of nearly equal size, where finer kinds of tobacco are
deposited, many of them in packages of buffalo-hide, marked "Giron," and
Manilla for cheroots, in packages of sacking lined with palmetto leaves.
There is still another warehouse for cigars, called the Cigar Floor, in
which there are frequently one thousand five hundred chests, valued at
one hundred pounds each, at an average, or one hundred and fifty
thousand pounds in cigars alone.

The scene in the Queen's Warehouse, to which we return, is very
singular. Long streets stretch right and left between the walls of
tobacco-casks; and when the men are absent at one of their meals, you
find yourself in an odd sort of solitude, and in an atmosphere of
tobacco. Every one of these giant hogsheads is stripped twice from the
tobacco during its stay in this warehouse; once on entrance, to weigh
it, and again before leaving, to ascertain whether the mass is
uninjured; and to weigh what is found good for the duty, and for the
sale price to the merchant. Thus the coopers take all these hogsheads
twice to pieces, and put them together again. This tobacco is of the
strong, coarse kind, for pigtail, shag, snuff, &c. The finer kinds, as
we have said, go to the other warehouse.

But your eye is now attracted by a guide-post, on which is painted, in
large letters, "TO THE KILN." Following this direction, you arrive at
the centre of the warehouse, and at the Queen's Pipe. You enter a door
on which is rudely painted the crown royal and the initials "V.R.," and
find yourself in a room of considerable size, in the centre of which
towers up the kiln; a furnace of the conical kind, like a glass-house or
porcelain furnace. On the door of the furnace is again painted the crown
and the "V.R." Here you find, in the furnace, a huge mass of fire, and
around are heaps of damaged tobacco, tea, and other articles ready to be
flung upon it, as it admits of it. This fire never goes out, day or
night, from year to year. There is an attendant who supplies it with its
fuel, as it can take it; and men, during the day-time, constantly coming
laden with great loads of tobacco, cigars, and other stuff, condemned to
the flames. Whatever is forfeited, and is too bad for sale, be it what
it will, is doomed to the kiln. At the other Docks damaged goods, we
were assured, are buried till they are partly rotten, and then taken up
and disposed of as rubbish or manure. Here the Queen's Pipe smokes all
up, except the greater quantity of the tea, which, having some time ago
set the chimney of the kiln on fire, is now rarely burnt. And strange
are the things that sometimes come to this perpetually burning furnace.
On one occasion, the attendant informed us, he burnt nine hundred
Australian mutton-hams. These were warehoused before the duty came off.
The owner suffered them to remain till the duty ceased, in hopes of
their being exempt from it; but this not being allowed, they were left
till so damaged as to be unsalable. Yet a good many, the man declared,
were excellent; and he often made a capital addition to his breakfast
from the roast that, for some time, was so odoriferously going on. On
another occasion he burnt thirteen thousand pairs of condemned French
gloves.

In one department of the place often lie many tons of the ashes from the
furnace, which are sold by auction, by the ton, to gardeners and
farmers, as manure, and for killing insects, to soap-boilers and
chemical manufacturers. In a corner are generally piled cart-loads of
nails, and other pieces of iron, which have been swept up from the
floors, or have remained in the broken pieces of casks and boxes which
go to the kiln. Those which have been sifted from the ashes are eagerly
bought up by gunsmiths, sorted, and used in the manufacture of
gun-barrels, for which they are highly esteemed, as possessing a
toughness beyond all other iron, and therefore calculated,
pre-eminently, to prevent bursting. Gold and silver, too, are not
unfrequently found among these ashes; for many manufactured articles, if
unsalable, are broken up, and thrown in. There have sometimes, indeed,
been vast numbers of foreign watches, professing themselves to be gold
watches, but being gross impostors, which have been ground up in a mill,
and then flung in here.

Such is the Queen's Tobacco-Pipe, unique of its kind, and in its
capacity of consumption. None of the other Docks have any thing like
it. It stands alone. It is _the_ Pipe--and as we have said, establishes
the Queen of England, besides being the greatest monarch on the globe,
as the greatest of all smokers--not excepting the Grand Turk, or the
Emperor of Austria, the greatest tobacconist of Europe.



THE METAL-FOUNDER OF MUNICH.


When we gaze in admiration at some great work of plastic art, our
thoughts naturally recur rather to the master mind whence the conception
we now see realized first started into life, than to any difficulties
which he or others might have had to overcome in making the quickened
thought a palpable and visible thing. All is so harmonious; there is
such unity throughout; material, form, and dimensions, are so adapted
and proportioned one to the other, that we think not of roughnesses or
of opposing force as connected with a work whence all disparities are
removed, and where every harshness is smoothed away. There stands the
achieved fact in its perfect completeness: there is nothing to remind us
of its progress toward that state, for the aids and appliances thereunto
have been removed; and the mind, not pausing to dwell on an intermediate
condition, at once takes in the realized creation as an accomplished
whole. And if even some were inclined to follow in thought such a work
in its growth, there are few among them who, as they look at a monument
of bronze, have any notion how the figure before them grew up into its
present proportions. They have no idea how the limbs were formed within
their earthen womb, and how many and harassing were the anxieties that
attended on the gigantic birth.

The sculptor, the painter, the engraver, has each, in his own
department, peculiar difficulties to overcome; but these for the most
part are such as skill or manual dexterity will enable him to vanquish.
He has not to do with a mighty power that opposes itself to his human
strength, and strives for the mastery. He has not to combat an element
which he purposely rouses into fury, and then subjugates to his will.
But the caster in metal has to do all this. He flings into the furnace
heaps of brass--cannon upon cannon, as though they were leaden toys; and
he lights a fire, and fans and feeds the flames, till within that
roaring hollow there is a glow surpassing what we have yet seen of fire,
and growing white from very intensity. Anew it is plied with fuel, fed,
gorged. The fire itself seems convulsed and agonized with its own
efforts; but still it roars on. Day by day, and night after night, with
not a moment's relaxation, is this fiery work carried on. The air is hot
to breathe; the walls, the rafters, are scorched, and if the ordeal last
much longer, all will soon be in a blaze. The goaded creature becomes
maddened and desperate, and is striving to burst its prison; while above
it a molten metal sea, seething and fiery, is heaving with its ponderous
weight against the caldron's sides!

Lest it be thought this picture is too highly colored, or that it owes
any thing to the imagination for its interest, let us look into the
foundry of Munich, and see what was going on there at midnight on the
11th of October 1845.

When King Louis I. had formed the resolution of erecting a colossal
statue of Bavaria, it was Schwanthaler whom he charged to execute the
work. The great artist's conception responded to the idea which had
grown in the mind of the king, and in three years' time a model in clay
was formed, sixty-three feet in height, the size of the future bronze
statue. The colossus was then delivered over to the founder, to be cast
in metal. The head was the first large portion that was executed. While
the metal was preparing for the cast, a presentiment filled the master's
mind that, despite his exact reckoning, there might still be
insufficient materials for the work, and thirty cwt. were added to the
half-liquid mass. The result proved how fortunate had been the
forethought: nothing could be more successful. And now the chest of the
figure was to be cast, and the master conceived the bold idea of forming
it in one piece. Those who have seen thirty or forty cwt. of metal
rushing into the mould below, have perhaps started back affrighted at
the fiery stream. But 400 cwt. were requisite for this portion of the
statue; and the formidable nature of the undertaking may be collected
from the fact that till now, not more than 300 cwt. had ever filled a
furnace at one time.

But see, the mass begins slowly to melt; huge pieces of cannon float on
the surface, like boats on water, and then gradually disappear.
Presently upon the top of the mass a crust is seen to form, threatening
danger to the furnace as well as to the model prepared to receive the
fluid bronze. To prevent this crust from forming, six men were employed
day and night in stirring the lava-like sea with long poles of iron;
retiring, and being replaced by others every now and then; for the
scorching heat, in spite of wetted coverings, causes the skin to crack
like the dried rind of a tree. Still the caldron was being stirred,
still the fire was goaded to new efforts, but the metal was not yet
ready to be allowed to flow. Hour after hour went by, the day passed,
and night came on. For five days and four nights the fire had been kept
up and urged to the utmost intensity, and still no one could tell how
long this was yet to last. The men worked on at their tremendous task in
silence; the fearful heat was increasing, and as though it would never
stop. There was a terrible weight in the burning air, and it pressed
upon the breasts of all. There was anxiety in their hearts, though they
spoke not, but most of all in his who had directed this bold
undertaking. For five days he had not left the spot, but, like a
Columbus watching for the hourly-expected land, had awaited the final
moment. On the evening of the fifth day exhausted nature demanded
repose, and he sat down to sleep. Hardly had he closed his eyes when his
wife roused him with the appalling cry, "Awake, awake, the foundry is
on fire!" And it was so. Nothing could stand such terrific heat. The
rafters of the building began to burn. To quench the fire in the usual
way was impossible, for had any cold fluid come in contact with the
liquid metal, the consequences would have been frightful: the furnace
would have been destroyed, and the 400 cwt. of bronze lost. With wet
cloths, therefore, the burning rafters were covered to smother the
flames. But the walls were glowing, too; the whole building was now like
a vast furnace. Yet still more fuel on the fire!--the heat is not
enough; the metal boils not yet! Though the rafters burn, and the walls
glow, still feed, and gorge, and goad the fire!

At last the moment comes!--the whole mass is boiling! Then the
metal-founder of Munich, Miller by name, called to the men who were
extinguishing the burning beams, "Let them burn; the metal is ready for
the cast!" And it was just midnight, when the whole of the rafters of
the interior of the building were in flames, that the plug was knocked
in, and the fiery flood rushed out into the mould below.

All now breathed more freely: there was an end of misgiving and
foreboding; and the rude workmen, as if awe-struck by what they had
accomplished, stood gazing in silence, and listening to the roar of the
brazen cataract. It was not till the cast was completed that the master
gave the signal for extinguishing the burning roof.

In due time the bell of the little chapel of Neuhausen was heard
summoning thither the master and his workmen to thank God for the happy
completion of the work. No accident had occurred to any during its
progress; not one had suffered either in life or limb.



THE FAIRY QUEEN.

THE LAST TALE BY THE AUTHOR OF "PUSS IN BOOTS," "CINDERELLA," "LITTLE
RED RIDING-HOOD," ETC.


"Once upon a time," in the earlier part of the seventeenth century, was
born Charles Perrault. We pass over his boyhood and youth to the period
when, after having long filled the situation of Commissioner of Public
Buildings, he fell into disgrace with his patron, the prime minister
Colbert, and was obliged to resign his situation. Fortunately he had not
been unmindful of prudential economy during the days of prosperity, and
had made some little savings on which he retired to a small house in the
Rue St. Jacques, and devoted himself to the education of his children.

About this time he composed his fairy tales. He himself attached little
literary importance to productions destined to be handed down to
posterity, ever fresh and ever new. He usually wrote in the morning the
story intended for the evening's amusement. Thus were produced in their
turn "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding-Hood," "Blue Beard," "Puss in
Boots," "Riquet with the Tuft," and many other wondrous tales which men
now, forsooth, pretend to call fictions. Charles Lamb knew better. He
was once looking for books for a friend's child, and when the
bookseller, seeing him turn from shelves loaded with Mrs. Trimmer and
Miss Edgeworth, offered him modern tales of fay and genii, as
substitutes for his old favorites, he exclaimed, "These are not my own
_true_ fairy tales!"

When surrounded by his grandchildren, Perrault related to them the
stories he had formerly invented for his children. One evening after
having repeated for the seventh or eighth time the clever tricks of
"Puss in Boots," Mary, a pretty little girl of seven years of age,
climbed up on her grandfather's knee, and giving him a kiss, put her
little dimpled hands into the curls of the old man's large wig.

"Grandpapa," said she, "why don't you make beautiful stories for us as
you used to do for papa and my uncles?"

"Yes," exclaimed the other children, "dear grandpapa, you must make a
story entirely for ourselves."

Charles Perrault smiled, but there was a touch of sadness in the smile.
"Ah, dear children," said he, "it is very long since I wrote a fairy
tale, and I am not as young as I was then. You see I require a stick to
enable me to get along, and am bent almost double, and can walk but
very, very slowly. My eyes are so dim, I can hardly distinguish your
little merry faces; my ear can hardly catch the sound of your voices;
nor is my mind what it was. My imagination has lost its vigor and
freshness; memory itself has nearly deserted me; but I love you dearly,
and like to give you pleasure. However, I doubt if my poor bald head
could now make a fairy tale for you, so I will tell you one which I
heard so often from my mother that I think I can repeat it word for
word."

The children joyfully gathered round the old man, who passed his hands
for a moment across his wrinkled brow, and began the story as follows:

My mother and your great-grandmother, Madeline Geoffrey, was the
daughter of a linendraper, who, at the time I speak of, had been
residing for three years in the Rue des Bourdonnais, close to the
Cemetery of the Innocents. One evening, having gone alone to vespers at
the church of St. Eustace, as she was hastening home to her mother, who
had been prevented by illness from accompanying her, she heard a great
noise at the top of the street, and looking up saw an immense mob
hurrying along, shouting and hooting. As they were then in the midst of
the troubles of the Fronde, Madeline in alarm hurried toward the house,
and having opened the door by a latch-key, was turning to close it, when
she was startled on seeing behind her a woman wrapped in a black mantle
holding two children by the hand. This woman rushed past Madeline into
the shop, exclaiming, "In the name of all you hold most dear, save me!
Hide me and my children in some corner of your house! However helpless
and unfortunate I may appear at this moment, doubt not my power to prove
my gratitude to you."

"I should want no reward for helping the distressed," said Madeline,
deeply touched by the mother's agony; "but poor protection can this
house afford against a brutal mob." The stranger cast a hurried and
tearful glance around; when, suddenly uttering a cry of joy, she fixed
her eye upon part of the floor almost concealed by the shop counter, and
rushing to the spot, exclaimed, "I have it!--I have it!" As she spoke,
she lifted a trap-door contrived in the floor, opening on a stone
staircase which led to a subterranean passage; and snatching up her
children in her arms, darted down into the gulf, leaving my mother
stupefied with astonishment. But the cries of the mob, who had by this
time reached the shop, and were clamorously demanding admittance, roused
her; and quickly closing the trap-door, she called her father who came
down in great alarm.

After a short parley, he opened the door, which they were beginning to
force. The mob consisted of two or three hundred miserable tattered
wretches, who poured into the house; and after searching every corner of
it, without finding any thing, were so furious with disappointment, that
they seized upon Madeline and her father.

"Deliver up to us the woman we are looking for!" they exclaimed. "She is
a vile sorceress--an enemy to the citizens of Paris; she takes the part
of the hated Austrian against us; she is the cause of all the famine and
misery that is desolating Paris. We must have her and her children, that
we may wreak just vengeance on them!"

"We know not who you mean," replied my grandfather, who, in truth, was
quite ignorant of what had occurred; "we have not seen any one--no one
has entered the house."

"We know how to make such obstinate old wretches speak," exclaimed one
of the ringleaders. He seized my mother, and pointing a loaded pistol at
her breast, cried, "The woman! We want the woman!"

At this moment Madeline, being exactly over the trap-door, heard a
slight rustle underneath; and fearing that it would betray the
stranger's hiding-place, endeavored to drown the noise from below by
stamping with her foot, while she boldly replied, "I have no one to give
up to you."

"Well, then, you shall see how it fares with those who dare to resist
us!" roared one of the infuriated mob. Tearing off her vail, he seized
Madeline by the hair, and pulled her to the ground.

"Speak!" he exclaimed, "or I will drag you through the streets of Paris
to the gibbet on the Place de la Grève." My mother uttered not a word,
but silently commended herself to God. What might have been the issue
Heaven only knows, had not the citizens in that quarter, on seeing their
neighbor's house attacked, hastily armed themselves, and dispersed the
mob. Madeline's first care was to reassure her almost fainting mother.
After which, rejoining her father, she helped him to barricade the
door, so as to be prepared for any new incursion, and then began to
prepare the supper as usual.

While laying the cloth, the young girl debated whether she should tell
her father of the refuge afforded to the stranger by the subterraneous
passage; but after a fervent prayer to God, to enable her to act for the
best, she decided that it would be more prudent not to expose him to any
risk arising from the possession of such a secret. Arming herself,
therefore, with all the resolution she could command, she performed her
usual household duties; and when her father and mother had retired to
rest, and all was quiet in the house, she took off her shoes, and
stealing down stairs into the shop, cautiously opened the trap-door, and
entered the vault with provisions for those who already were indebted to
her for life and safety.

"You are a noble girl," said the stranger to her. "What do I not owe to
your heroic devotedness and presence of mind? God will reward you in
heaven, and I trust he will permit me to recompense you here below."
Madeline gazed with intense interest on the stranger, as the light of
the lamp in her hand, falling full upon her face, gave to view features
whose dignified and majestic expression inspired at the very first
glance a feeling of respect. A long black mantle almost wholly concealed
her figure and a vail was thrown over her head. Her children lay at her
feet in a quiet sleep.

"Thanks for the food you have brought," said she to Madeline. "Thanks,
dear girl. As for me, I can not eat; but my children have tasted nothing
since morning. I will ask you to leave me your light; and now go, take
some rest, for surely you must want it after the excitement you have
undergone." Madeline looked at her in surprise.

"I should have thought, madam," said she, "that you would make an effort
to find some asylum, if not more secure, at least more comfortable than
this."

"Be not uneasy about me, my good girl. When my time is come, it will be
as easy for me to leave this place as it was to reveal to you the secret
of its existence. Good-night, my child. Perhaps we may not meet again
for some time; but remember I solemnly promise that I will grant any
three wishes you may form!" She motioned to her to retire; and that
indescribable air of majesty which accompanied every gesture of the
unknown seemed as if it left Madeline no choice but to obey.

Notwithstanding her fatigue, Madeline hardly slept that night. The
events of the day had seized hold of her imagination, and she exhausted
herself in continued and wondering conjecture. Who could this woman be,
pursued by the populace, and accused of being a sorceress, and an enemy
to the people? How could she know of a place of concealment of which the
inhabitants of the house were ignorant? As vainly did Madeline try to
explain her entire composure, the certainty with which she spoke of
being able to leave the vault whenever she pleased, and, above all, the
solemn and mysterious promise she had made to fulfill any three wishes
of the young girl.

Had you, my dear children, been in your great-grandmother's place,
should you not have been very much excited and very curious? What think
you? would you have slept a bit better than Madeline did? I hardly think
you would, if I may judge from those eager eyes.

The whole of the next day Madeline could think of nothing but her
secret. Seated behind the counter, in her usual place, she started at
the slightest sound. At one moment, it seemed to her as if every one who
entered the shop must discover the trap-door; at the next she expected
to see it raised to give egress to the unknown, till, dizzy and
bewildered, she scarcely knew whether to believe her whose life she had
saved to be a malignant sorceress or a benevolent fairy. Then smiling at
her own folly, she asked herself how a woman endowed with supernatural
power could need her protection. It is unnecessary to say how long the
time appeared to her till she could revisit the subterranean passage,
and find herself once more in the presence of the stranger. Thus the
morning, the afternoon, and the evening wore slowly away, and it seemed
ages to her till her father, mother, and the shopmen were fairly asleep.

As soon as the clock struck twelve, she rose, using still more
precaution than on the preceding night, opened the trap-door, descended
the stone staircase, and entered the subterraneous passage, but found no
one. She turned the light in every direction. The vault was empty: the
stranger and her children had disappeared! Madeline was almost as much
alarmed as surprised; however, recovering herself, she carefully
examined the walls of the vault. Not an opening, not a door, not the
smallest aperture was to be seen. She stamped on the ground, but no
hollow sound was heard. Suddenly she thought she perceived some written
characters on the stone-flag. She bent down, and by the light of her
lamp read the following words, evidently traced with some pointed
instrument: "Remember, Madeline, that she who owes to thee the life of
her children, promises to grant thee three wishes."

Here Perrault stopped.

"Well, children," said he, "what do you think of this first part of my
story, and of your great-grandmother's adventures? What conjectures have
you formed as to the mysterious lady?"

"She is a good fairy," said little Mary, "for she can grant three
wishes, like the fairy in Finetta."

"No, she is a sorceress," objected Louisa. "Did not the people say so,
and they would not have wanted to kill her unless she was wicked?"

"As for me," replied Joseph, the eldest of the family, "I believe
neither in witches nor fairies, for there are no such things. Am not I
right, grandpapa?"

Charles Perrault smiled, but contented himself with saying--"Now, be off
to bed. It is getting late. Do not forget to pray to God to make you
good children; and I promise, if you are very diligent to-morrow, to
finish for you in the evening the wonderful adventures of your
great-grandmother."

The children kissed their grandpapa, and went to bed to dream of
Madeline and the fairy.

The next evening, the old man, taking his usual seat in the arm-chair,
resumed his story without any preamble, though a preamble is generally
considered as important by a story-teller as a preface is by the writer
of a romance. He spoke as follows:

It would seem that my mother, in her obscure and peaceful life, had
nothing to wish for, or that her wishes were all fulfilled as soon as
formed; for she not only never invoked the fairy of the vault, but even
gradually lost all remembrance of the promises made her by the unknown,
and the whole adventure at last faded from her memory. It is true that
thirteen years had passed away, and the young girl had become a wife and
mother. She had long left the house where the occurrence I have related
to you took place, and had come to live in the Rue St. Jacques, where we
now reside, though I have since then rebuilt the former tenement.

My father, as you know, was a lawyer. Though of noble birth, he did not
think it beneath him to marry the daughter of a shopkeeper, with but a
small dowry. He found in Madeline's excellent qualities, her gentleness
and beauty, irresistible attractions--and who that knew her could
disapprove of his choice? Madeline possessed in an eminent degree that
natural refinement of mind and manner which education and a knowledge of
the world so often fail to give, while it seems intuitive in some. She
devoted herself entirely to the happiness of her husband and her four
sons, of whom I was the youngest. My father's income was quite
sufficient for all the expenses of our happy family; for a truly happy
family it was, till it pleased God to lay heavy trial upon us. My father
fell ill, and for a whole year was obliged to give up the profits of his
situation to provide a substitute; and he had scarcely begun, after his
recovery, to endeavor to repair the losses he had suffered, when a fresh
misfortune occurred.

One night, as my mother was lying quietly in bed, with her four little
cubs around her, she was awakened by an unusual noise to behold the
house wrapped in flames, which had already almost reached the room in
which we were. At this moment my father appeared, and took my eldest
brothers in his arms, while my mother had charge of Nicholas and me, who
were the two youngest. Never shall I forget this awful moment. The
flames crackled and hissed around us, casting a livid hue over the pale
faces of my father and mother, who boldly advanced through the fire.
With great difficulty they gained the staircase. My father dashed
bravely forward. Nicholas, whom my mother held by the hand, screamed
violently, and refused to go a step further. She caught him up in her
arms, but during the short struggle the staircase had given way, and for
a few moments my mother stood paralyzed by despair. But soon the
imminent danger roused all the energy of her heroic nature. Your
grandmother was no common woman. She immediately retraced her steps, and
firmly knotting the bedclothes together, fastened my brother and myself
to them, and letting us down through the window, my father received us
in his arms. Her children once saved, my mother thought but little of
danger to herself, and she waited in calm self-possession, till a ladder
being brought, she was rescued.

This trial was but a prelude to many others. The loss of our house
completed the ruin of which my father's illness was the beginning. He
was obliged to dispose of his situation, and take refuge in small
lodgings at Chaillot, and there set to work steadily and cheerfully to
support his family, opening a kind of pleader's office for legal
students; but his health soon failed, and he became dangerously ill. My
noble-minded mother struggled hard to ward off the want that now seemed
inevitable; but what availed the efforts of one woman to support a sick
husband and four children? One night came when we had literally nothing
to eat. I shall never forget my mother's face, and the tears which
streamed down her cheeks, when one of us cried, "Mother, we are very
hungry!"

She now resolved to apply for help to the nuns of Chaillot; a step
which, to her independent spirit, was a far greater trial than to brave
the threats of the mob or the fury of the flames. But what is there too
hard for a mother who has heard her children ask for food which she had
not to give them? With sinking heart, and cheek now pale, now crimson
from the struggle within her, she presented herself at the convent, and
timidly made known her desire to speak with the superior. Her well-known
character procured her instant admission, and her tale once told,
obtained for her much kindly sympathy and some relief. As she was
passing through the cloisters on her way back, she was startled by a
voice suddenly demanding, "Art thou not Madeline Perrault?"

My mother started; the tones of that voice found an echo in her memory,
and though thirteen years had elapsed since she had heard it, she
recognized it to be that of the being whom her husband was wont to call
her "Fairy." She turned round, and as the pale moonbeams that were now
struggling through the long dim aisle fell upon the well-remembered
stately form, in its black garb and flowing mantle, it seemed to
Madeline's excited imagination to be indeed a being of some other world.

"I made thee a promise," said the unknown--"didst thou doubt my power,
that thou hast never invoked my aid?" My mother crossed herself
devoutly, now convinced that she was dealing with a supernatural being.
The phantom smiled at her awe-struck look, and resumed, "Yet fear not;
you have but to name three wishes, and my promise is still sure: they
shall be granted." "My husband--oh, if he were but once more well!" "I
say not that to give life or healing is within my province to bestow.
God alone holds in his hands the issues of life and death. Say what else
lies near thine heart?"

"Bread for my husband and children. Save them and me from beggary and
want!"

"This is but one wish, and I would grant two more."

"I ask not--wish not for more."

"Be it so, then, Madeline Perrault; hold yourself in readiness to obey
the orders that shall reach you before twelve hours have passed over
your head." And she disappeared from Madeline's sight as suddenly as she
had appeared to her.

My mother returned home in considerable agitation, and told my father
all that had occurred. He tried to persuade her that the whole scene had
been conjured up by her own excited imagination. But my mother persisted
in repeating that nothing could be real if this was but fancy; and they
passed a sleepless night in bewildering conjectures.

Early the next day a carriage stopped at the door, and a footman
announced to my mother that it was sent to convey her and her family to
a place appointed by one whose summons there was good reason they should
obey. No questioning could extract from him any further information. You
may well fancy how long my father and mother debated as to the prudence
of obeying the mysterious summons. But curiosity at last prevailed; and
to the unmixed delight of the children of the party, we all got into the
carriage, which took the road to Paris, and drove on rapidly till we
reached the Rue St. Jacques, where it drew up before a new house; and as
the servant opened the carriage-door and let down the steps, my father
perceived that it occupied the site of his house which had been burned
down.

Our little party was met in the entrance by a deputation of the civic
authorities, who welcomed my father to his house, and congratulated him
on his being reinstated in the situation he had so long held with such
credit to himself, and, as they were pleased to add, to themselves as
members of the body to which he was such an honor.

My father stood as if in a dream, while my mother shed tears of joy and
gratitude. A letter was now handed to her; and, hastily breaking the
seal, she read, "Madeline, hast thou still a wish? Speak, and it shall
be gratified!"

"Only that I may be allowed to see my benefactress, to pour out at her
feet my heart's gratitude."

And at the instant the door opened, and the unknown appeared. Madeline,
with clasped hands, darted suddenly forward; then, as suddenly checking
herself, uttered some incoherent words, broken by sobs.

"Madeline," said the lady, "I have paid but a small part of the debt I
owe you. But for you a ferocious mob would have murdered me and my
children. To you I owe lives dearer to me than my own. Do not deem me
ungrateful in so long appearing to have forgotten you. It has pleased
our Heavenly Father to visit me also with heavy trials. Like you, I have
seen my children in want of food which I had not to give, and without a
spark of fire to warm their chilled limbs. But more, my husband was
traitorously put to death, and I have been myself proscribed. When you
rescued me, they were hunting me like a wild beast, because I refused to
take part against the son of my brother. But brighter days have dawned.
My son is restored to the throne of his fathers, and Henrietta of
England can now pay the debt of gratitude she owes Madeline Perrault."

"But how can poor Madeline ever pay the debt she owes?" exclaimed my
mother.

"By sometimes coming to visit me in my retreat at Chaillot; for what has
a queen without a kingdom, a widow weeping for her murdered husband, a
mother forever separated from her children--what has she any more to do
with the world whose nothingness she has so sadly experienced? To know
that amid my desolation I have made one being happy, will be soothing to
me, and your children's innocent merriment perchance may beguile some
lonely hours. Henceforth, Madeline, our intercourse will not bear the
romantic character that has hitherto marked it, and which chance, in the
first instance, and afterward a whim of mine, has made it assume. By
accident I was led to take refuge in your house in the Rue des
Bourdonnais, and instantly recollected it as the former abode of
Ruggieri, my mother's astrologer. His laboratory was the vault which
doubtless you have not forgotten, and the entrance to which was as well
known to me as the subterraneous passage by which I left it, and which
led to the Cemetery of the Innocents. Last night I heard all you said to
the superior, and was about to inquire directly of yourself, when,
seeing the effect of my sudden appearance, I was induced to play the
fairy once more. The instant you left me I put in requisition the only
fairy wand I possessed, and money soon placed at my disposal the house
which I have the happiness of making once again your own. You now know
my secret, but though no fairy, I have still some influence, and you
shall ever have in me a firm friend and protectress."

And from that time the queen never lost an opportunity of serving my
mother and her family, and it is to her I owe the favor and patronage of
the minister Colbert.

"And now, children," said Perrault, "how do you like my last fairy tale?"



[From Dickens's Household Words.]

THE EFFORTS OF A GENTLEMAN IN SEARCH OF DESPAIR.


Mr. Blackbrook lived in a world of his own. It was his pleasure to
believe that men were phantoms of a day. For life he had the utmost
contempt. He pronounced it to be a breath, a sigh, a fleeting shadow.
His perpetual theme was, that we are only here for a brief space of
time. He likened the uncertainty of existence to all the most frightful
ventures he could conjure up. He informed timid ladies that they were
perpetually on the edge of a yawning abyss; and warned little boys that
their laughter might be turned to tears and lamentation, at the shortest
notice. Mr. Blackbrook was a welcome guest in a large serious circle.
From his youth he had shown a poetic leaning, of the most serious order.
His muse was always in deep mourning--his poetic gum oozed only from his
favorite grave-yard.

He thought "L'Allegro" Milton's worst performance; and declared that
Gray's "Elegy in a Country Church-yard" was too light and frivolous. His
life was not without its cares; but, then, he reveled in his
misfortunes. He was always prepossessed with a man who wore a hatband.
The owl was his favorite bird. A black cat was the only feline specimen
he would admit to his sombre apartment; and his garden was stocked with
yew-trees. He reveled in the charm of melancholy--he would not, if he
could, be gay. His meditations raised him so great a height above his
family, that little sympathy could exist between them. Eternity so
engaged him, that his brothers and sisters--mere phantoms--did not cost
him much consideration. His youthful Lines to the Owl, in the course of
which he called the bird in question "a solemn messenger," "a dread
image of the moral darkness which surrounds us," "a welcome voice," and
"a mysterious visitant," indicated the peculiar turn of his mind. His
determination to be miserable was nothing short of heroic. In his
twenty-second year a relation left him a modest fortune. His friends
flocked about him to congratulate him; but they found him in a state of
seraphic sorrow, searching out a proper rhyme to the urn in which he had
poetically deposited the ashes of his benefactor. On looking over the
lines he had distilled from his prostrate heart, his friends, to their
astonishment, discovered that he had alluded to the bequest in question
in the most contemptuous strain:

    Why leave to one thy velvet and thy dross,
    Whose wealth is boundless, and whose velvet's moss?

So ran his poetic commentary. His boundless wealth consisted of
intellectual treasures exclusively, and the sweet declaration that moss
was his velvet, was meant to convey to the reader the simplicity and
Arcadian nature of his habits. The relation who had the assurance to
leave him a fortune, was dragged remorselessly through fifty lines as a
punishment for his temerity. Yet, in a fit of abstraction, Mr.
Blackbrook hurried to Doctors' Commons to prove the will; hereby
displaying his resignation to the horrible degree of comfort which the
money assured to him. It was not for him, however, to forget that life
was checkered with woe, that it was a vale of tears--a brief, trite,
contemptible matter. The gayety of his house and relations horrified
him; they interfered, at every turn, with his melancholy mood. He sighed
for the fate of Byron or Chatterton! Why was he doomed to have his three
regular meals per diem; to lie, at night, upon a feather-bed, and the
recognized layers of mattresses; to have a new coat when he wanted one;
to have money continually in his pocket, and to be accepted when he made
an offer of marriage? The fates were obviously against him. One of his
sisters fell in love. How hopefully he watched the course of her
passion! How fondly he lingered near, in the expectation, the happy
expectation, of a lovers' quarrel. But his sister had a sweet
disposition--a mouth made to distill the gentlest and most tender
accents. The courtship progressed with unusual harmony on both sides.
Only once did fortune appear to favor him. One evening, he observed that
the lovers avoided each other, and parted coldly. Now was his
opportunity; and in the still midnight, when all the members of his
household were in bed, he took his seat in his chamber, and, by the
midnight oil, threw his soul into some plaintive lines "On a Sister's
Sorrow." He mourned for her in heart-breaking syllables; likened her
lover to an adder in an angel's path; dwelt on her quiet gray eyes, her
stately proportions, and her classic face. He doomed her to years of
quiet despair, and saw her fickle admirer the gayest of the gay. He
concluded with the consoling intelligence, that he would go hand in hand
with her along the darkened passage to the grave. His sister, however,
did not avail herself of this proffered companionship, but chose rather
to be reconciled, and to marry her lover.

Mr. Blackbrook found some consolation for this disappointment in the
composition of an epithalamium of the most doleful character on the
occasion of his sister's marriage, in the course of which he informed
her that Jove's thunderbolts might be hurled at her husband's head at
any period of the day; that we all must die; that the bride may be a
widow on the morrow of her nuptials; and other equally cheerful truths.
Yet at his sister's wedding-breakfast, Mr. Blackbrook coquetted with the
choice parts of a chicken, and drowned his sorrow in a delectable jelly.

When for a short time he was betrayed into the expression of any
cheerful sentiment, if he ever allowed that it was a fine day, he
quickly relapsed into congenial gloom, and discovered that there might
be a thunder-storm within the next half-hour. His only comfort was in
the reflection that his maternal uncle's family were consumptive. Here
he anticipated a fine field for the exercise of his poetic gifts, and,
accordingly, when his aunt was gathered to her fore-fathers, her dutiful
nephew laid a sheet of blank paper upon his desk, and settled himself
down to write "a Dirge." He began by attributing all the virtues to
her--devoting about six lines to each separate virtue. Her person next
engaged his attention, and he discovered, though none of her friends had
ever remarked her surpassing loveliness, that her step was as the breath
of the summer-wind on flowers (certainly no gardener would have trusted
her upon his box-borders); that she was fresh as Hebe (she always
breakfasted in bed); that she had pearly teeth (her dentist has
maliciously informed us that they were made of the very best ivory);
and, finally, that her general deportment was most charming--so charming
that Mr. Blackbrook never dared trust himself in her seductive presence.
Having proceeded thus far with his melancholy duty, the poet ate a
hearty supper of the heaviest cold pudding, and--we had almost
written--went to bed--but we remember that Mr. Blackbrook always
"retired to his solitary couch." He rose, betimes, on the following
morning, looking most poetically pale. His dreams had been of woe, and
darkness, and death; the pudding had had the desired effect. Again he
placed himself at his desk, and having read over the prefatory lines
which we have endeavored to describe, he threw his fragrant curl from
his marble forehead, and thought of the funeral-pall, the darkened
hall--of grief acute, and the unstrung lute. He put his aunt's sorrowing
circle in every possible position of despair. He represented his
surviving uncle as threatening to pass the serene portals of reason; he
discovered that a dark tide rolled at the unhappy man's feet; that the
sun itself would henceforth look dark to him; that he would never smile
again; and that, in all probability, the shroud would soon enwrap his
manly form. He next proceeded to describe minutely the pearly tears of
his cousins, and the terrible darkness that had come over their bright,
young dreams. An affecting allusion to his own unfathomable grief on the
occasion, was concluded by the hope that he might soon join his sainted
aunt, though he had never taken the least trouble to pay her a visit
while she lived in St. John's Wood. This touching dirge was printed upon
mourning paper, and distributed among Mr. Blackbrook's friends. The
death of an aunt was an affecting incident, but still it fell short of
the brink of despair. Mr. Blackbrook's natural abiding-place was the
edge of a precipice. His muse must be fed on heroic sorrows, hopeless
agony, and other poetical condiments of the same serious nature. The
course of modern life was too level for his impetuous spirit; but in the
absence of that terrible condition to which he aspired, he caught at
every incident that could nerve the pinion of his muse for grander
flights. A dead fly, which he found crushed between the leaves of a
book, furnished him with a theme for one of his tenderest compositions.
He speculated upon the probable career of the fly--opined that it had a
little world of its own, a family, and a sense of the beautiful. This
effusion met with such fervent praise, that he followed it up by
"Thoughts on Cheese-dust," in which he dived into the mysteries of these
animalculæ, and calculated the myriads of lives that were sacrificed to
give a momentary enjoyment to the "pampered palate of man." His
attention was called, however, from these minor poetic considerations,
to a matter approaching in its gravity to that heroic pitch of sorrow
which he had sought so unsuccessfully hitherto.

His cousin was drowned by the upsetting of a pleasure-boat. At such a
calamity it was reasonable to despair--to refuse comfort--to leave his
hair uncombed--to look constantly on the ground--to lose all
appetite--to write flowing verse. Mr. Blackbrook entered upon his
vocation with a full sense of its heroism. At least one hundred lines
would be expected from him on so tremendous an occasion. The catastrophe
was so poetical! The sea-weed might have been represented entangled in
the golden tresses of the poor girl, had the accident happened only a
little nearer the Nore; and the print of her fair form might have been
faintly traced upon "the ribbed sea-sand." This was unfortunate. In
reality, the "melancholy occurrence" took place at Richmond. Mr.
Blackbrook began by calling upon the willows of Richmond and its
immediate vicinity to dip their tender branches in the stream, in token
of their grief. Mr. Blackbrook, felicitously remembering that Pope once
lived not far from Richmond, next invoked that poet's shade, and begged
the loan of his melodious rhythm. But the shade in question not
answering to the summons, all that remained for the sorrowing poet to do
was to take down his dictionary of rhymes, and tune his own lyre to its
most mournful cadences. He set to work: he called the Thames a
treacherous stream; he christened the wherry a bark; he declared that
when the pleasure-party embarked at Richmond-bridge, Death, the lean
fellow, was standing upon the beach with his weapon upraised. Asterisks
described the death; and some of his friends declared this passage the
best in the poem. He then went on to inform his readers that all was
over; but by this expression the reader must not infer that the dirge
was brought to a conclusion: by no means. Mr. Blackbrook had made up his
mind that his state of despair required, at least, one hundred lines to
give it adequate expression. He had devoted twenty to the death of a
fly--surely, then, a female cousin deserved one hundred. This logical
reflection spurred him on. He pulled down the blinds, and in a gloom
that suited well with his forlorn state of mind, he began a picture of
his condition. With the aid of his dictionary, having asserted that the
shroud enwrapped a cousin's form, he reflected that he envied the place
of the winding-sheet, and was jealous of the worms. He felt that he was
warming into his subject. He tried to think of the condition in which
the remains of his relative would speedily be; and having carefully
referred to an eminent medical work as to the length of time which the
human body requires to resolve itself into its original earth (for he
was precise in his statements), he proceeded to describe, with
heart-rending faithfulness, the various stages of this inevitable decay.
That was true poetry. He declared that the worm would crawl upon those
lips that the lover had fondly pressed, and that the hand which once
touched the harp so magically was now motionless forever. Having brought
this tragic description to a conclusion, he proceeded to number the
flowers that should spring from his cousin's grave, and to promise that

            ----from year to year,
    Roses shall flourish, moistened by a tear.

This vow evidently eased his heart a little, and enabled him to conclude
the poem in a more cheerful spirit. He wound up with the reflection,
that care was the lot of humanity, and that it was his duty to bear his
proportion of the common load with a patient though bruised spirit. He
felt that to complete his poetic destiny he ought to wander, none knew
whither, and to turn up only at most unseasonable hours, and in most
solemn places. But unhappily he was informed that it was necessary he
should remain on the spot for the proper management of his affairs. Fate
would have it so. Why was he not allowed to pursue his destiny? He was
one day mentally bewailing the even tenor of his way, when a few kind
friends suggested that he should publish his effusions. At first he
firmly refused. What was fame to him--a hopeless, despairing man on the
brink of the grave! His friends, however, pressed him in the end into
compliance; and in due time Mr. Blackbrook's "Life-drops from the Heart"
were offered to the public for the price of ten shillings--little more
than one shilling per drop.

An eminent critic wrote the following opinion of our friend and his
poetry:

"We notice Mr. Blackbrook as the representative of a school--the Doleful
School. He draws terrible pictures; but what are his materials? He does
not write from the heart, inasmuch as, if he really felt that incessant
agony, which is his everlasting theme, we should find in his
performances some original imagery--something with an individual stamp.
We rather hold Mr. Blackbrook to be a very deliberate, vain, and
calculating being, who takes advantage of a domestic calamity to display
his knack of verse-making; who composedly turns a couplet upon the
coffin of his mistress; whose sympathy and sensibility are only the
ingenious masks of inordinate self-esteem. His view of the poetic is
only worthy of an undertaker. He sees nature through a black-crape vail.
He describes graves with the minuteness of a body-snatcher; and when he
would be impressive is disgusting. You see the actor, not the poet. He
admits you (for he can not help it) behind the scenes. His rhymes are
not the music of a poetic faculty; but rather the jingle of a parrot. He
is one of a popular school, however; and while the public buy his wares,
he will continue to fashion them. Materialist to the back-bone, he
simpers about the littleness of human dealings and human sympathies. He
who pretends to be melted with pity over the fate of a fly, would use
his mother's tombstone as a writing-desk. He deals in human sorrow, as
his baker deals in loaves. Nervous dowagers, who love tears and
'dreadful descriptions;' who enjoy 'a good cry;' and who have the
peculiar faculty of seeing the dark side of every thing, enjoy his dish
of verses amazingly. To sensitive young ladies there is a terrible
fascination in his inventories of the tomb and its appendages; and
children are afraid to walk about in the dark, after listening to one of
his effusions. The followers of his school include one or two formidable
young ladies, who enter into descriptions of death--that is to say, the
material part of death--with a minuteness that must excite the envy even
of the most ingenious auctioneer. When bent upon a fresh composition,
these terrible young poetesses, having killed a child, proceed to trace
its journey to the tomb--its return to earth. How they gloat over the
dire changes!--how systematically the painful portrait is proceeded
with! In this they rival Chinese artists. And people of ill-regulated
sympathy, who, containing within them all the elements of spiritual
culture, are yet affected only by sensual appeals, regard these doleful
effusions as the outpourings of true human suffering.

"Mr. Blackbrook and his disciples are hapless materialists, verse-makers
without a sense of the beautiful. They are patronized by those to whom
they write down; and the effect of their lucubrations is to enchain the
imagination, to debase the moral capacity, to weaken that spiritual
faith which disdains the horrors of the church-yard. Mr. Blackbrook's
adventures in search of despair were undertaken, to our mind, in a
cold-blooded spirit. A resolute determination to discover the gloomiest
phase of every earthly matter, a longing for the applause of a foolish
clique, and a confused idea that Chatterton was a poet because he
perished miserably, while Byron owed his inspiration to his domestic
unhappiness--make up that picture of a verse-writer which we have
endeavored to delineate. When extraordinary vanity is allied to very
ordinary ability, the combination is an unwholesome, ascetic, weak, and
deformed mind: such a mind has Mr. Blackbrook. He endeavors to drag us
into a vault, when we would regard the heavenly aspect of death. Ask him
to solve the great mystery, and he points to the fading corpse. His
tears suggest the use of onions; and his threats of self-destruction,
remind us of the rouge and Indian ink of an indifferent melodramatic
actor. We have no respect for his misfortunes, since we find that he
esteems them only as opportunities for display: we know that despair is
welcome to him. He turns his back to the sun, and rejoices to see the
length of shade he can throw upon the earth. Nature to him is only a
vast charnel-house--so constructed that he may sing a life-long requiem.
He would have us journey through life with our eyes fixed upon the
ground, scenting the gases of decay. But wiser men--poets of the
soul--bid us look up to heaven, nor disdain, as we raise our heads, to
mark the beauty of the lily--to gather, and with hearty thanks, the
fragrance of the rose."



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.

(_Continued from page 396._)


CHAPTER XIII.

Whatever may be the ultimate success of Miss Jemima Hazeldean's designs
upon Dr. Riccabocca, the Machiavelian sagacity with which the Italian
had counted upon securing the services of Lenny Fairfield was speedily
and triumphantly established by the result. No voice of the Parson's,
charmed he ever so wisely, could persuade the peasant-boy to go and ask
pardon of the young gentleman, to whom, because he had done as he was
bid, he owed an agonizing defeat and a shameful incarceration. And, to
Mrs. Dale's vexation, the widow took the boy's part. She was deeply
offended at the unjust disgrace Lenny had undergone in being put in the
stocks; she shared his pride, and openly approved his spirit. Nor was it
without great difficulty that Lenny could be induced to resume his
lessons at school; nay, even to set foot beyond the precincts of his
mother's holding. The point of the school at last he yielded, though
sullenly; and the Parson thought it better to temporize as to the more
unpalatable demand. Unluckily Lenny's apprehensions of the mockery that
awaited him in the merciless world of his village were realized. Though
Stirn at first kept his own counsel, the Tinker blabbed the whole
affair. And after the search instituted for Lenny on the fatal night,
all attempt to hush up what had passed would have been impossible. So
then Stirn told his story, as the Tinker had told his own; both tales
were very unfavorable to Leonard Fairfield. The pattern boy had broken
the Sabbath, fought with his betters, and been well mauled into the
bargain; the village lad had sided with Stirn and the authorities in
spying out the misdemeanors of his equals: therefore Leonard Fairfield,
in both capacities of degraded pattern boy and baffled spy, could expect
no mercy; he was ridiculed in the one, and hated in the other.

It is true that, in the presence of the schoolmaster, and under the eye
of Mr. Dale, no one openly gave vent to malignant feelings; but the
moment those checks were removed, popular persecution began.

Some pointed and mowed at him; some cursed him for a sneak, and all
shunned his society; voices were heard in the hedgerows, as he passed
through the village at dusk, "Who was put in the stocks? baa!" "Who got
a bloody nob for playing spy to Nick Stirn? baa!" To resist this species
of aggression would have been a vain attempt for a wiser head and a
colder temper than our poor pattern boy's. He took his resolution at
once, and his mother approved it; and the second or third day after Dr.
Riccabocca's return to the Casino, Lenny Fairfield presented himself on
the terrace with a little bundle in his hand. "Please, sir," said he to
the Doctor, who was sitting cross-legged on the balustrade, with his red
silk umbrella over his head.

"Please, sir, if you'll be good enough to take me now, and give me any
hole to sleep in, I'll work for your honor night and day; and as for the
wages, mother says 'just suit yourself, sir.'"

"My child," said the Doctor, taking Lenny by the hand, and looking at
him with the sagacious eye of a wizard, "I knew you would come! and
Giacomo is already prepared for you! As to wages, we'll talk of them
by-and-by."

Lenny being thus settled, his mother looked for some evenings on the
vacant chair, where he had so long sate in the place of her beloved
Mark; and the chair seemed so comfortless and desolate, thus left all to
itself, that she could bear it no longer.

Indeed the village had grown as distasteful to her as to Lenny--perhaps
more so; and one morning she hailed the Steward as he was trotting his
hog-maned cob beside the door, and bade him tell the Squire that "she
would take it very kind if he would let her off the six months' notice
for the land and premises she held--there were plenty to step into the
place at a much better rent."

"You're a fool," said the good-natured Steward; "and I'm very glad you
did not speak to that fellow Stirn instead of to me. You've been doing
extremely well here, and have the place, I may say, for nothing."

"Nothin' as to rent, sir, but a great deal as to feeling," said the
widow. "And now Lenny has gone to work with the foreign gentleman, I
should like to go and live near him."

"Ah, yes--I heard Lenny had taken himself off to the Casino--more fool
he; but, bless your heart, 'tis no distance--two miles or so. Can't he
come home every night after work?"

"No, sir," exclaimed the widow almost fiercely; "he shan't come home
here, to be called bad names and jeered at! he whom my dead good-man was
so fond and proud of. No, sir; we poor folks have our feelings, as I
said to Mrs. Dale, and as I will say to the Squire hisself. Not that I
don't thank him for all favors--he be a good gentleman, if let alone;
but he says he won't come near us till Lenny goes and axes pardin.
Pardin for what, I should like to know? Poor lamb! I wish you could ha'
seen his nose, sir--as big as your two fists. Ax pardin! If the Squire
had had such a nose as that, I don't think it's pardin he'd ha' been
axing. But I let's the passion get the better of me--I humbly beg you'll
excuse it, sir. I'm no scollard, as poor Mark was, and Lenny would have
been, if the Lord had not visited us otherways. Therefore just get the
Squire to let me go as soon as may be; and as for the bit o' hay and
what's on the grounds and orchard, the new-comer will no doubt settle
that."

The Steward, finding no eloquence of his could induce the widow to
relinquish her resolution, took her message to the Squire. Mr.
Hazeldean, who was indeed rarely offended at the boy's obstinate refusal
to make the _amende honorable_ to Randal Leslie, at first only bestowed
a hearty curse or two on the pride and ingratitude both of mother and
son. It may be supposed, however, that his second thoughts were more
gentle, since that evening, though he did not go himself to the widow,
he sent his "Harry." Now, though Harry was sometimes austere and
_brusque_ enough on her own account, and in such business as might
especially be transacted between herself and the cottagers, yet she
never appeared as the delegate of her lord except in the capacity of a
herald of peace and mediating angel. It was with good heart, too, that
she undertook this mission, since, as we have seen, both mother and son
were great favorites of hers. She entered the cottage with the
friendliest beam in her bright blue eye, and it was with the softest
tone of her frank, cordial voice that she accosted the widow. But she
was no more successful than the Steward had been. The truth is, that I
don't believe the haughtiest duke in the three kingdoms is really so
proud as your plain English rural peasant, nor half so hard to
propitiate and deal with when his sense of dignity is ruffled. Nor are
there many of my own literary brethren (thin-skinned creatures though we
are) so sensitively alive to the Public Opinion, wisely despised by Dr.
Riccabocca, as that same peasant. He can endure a good deal of contumely
sometimes, it is true, from his superiors, (though, thank Heaven! _that_
he rarely meets with unjustly); but to be looked down upon, and mocked,
and pointed at by his own equals--his own little world--cuts him to the
soul. And if you can succeed in breaking this pride, and destroying this
sensitiveness, then he is a lost being. He can never recover his
self-esteem, and you have chucked him half way--a stolid, inert, sullen
victim--to the perdition of the prison or the convict-ship.

Of this stuff was the nature both of the widow and her son. Had the
honey of Plato flowed from the tongue of Mrs. Hazeldean, it could not
have turned into sweetness the bitter spirit upon which it descended.
But Mrs. Hazeldean, though an excellent woman, was rather a bluff,
plain-spoken one--and, after all, she had some little feeling for the
son of a gentleman, and a decayed fallen gentleman, who, even by Lenny's
account, had been assailed without any intelligible provocation; nor
could she, with her strong common sense, attach all the importance which
Mrs. Fairfield did to the unmannerly impertinence of a few young cubs,
which, she said truly, "would soon die away if no notice was taken of
it." The widow's mind was made up, and Mrs. Hazeldean departed--with
much chagrin and some displeasure.

Mrs. Fairfield, however, tacitly understood that the request she had
made was granted, and early one morning her door was found locked, the
key left at a neighbor's to be given to the Steward; and, on farther
inquiry, it was ascertained that her furniture and effects had been
removed by the errand-cart in the dead of the night. Lenny had succeeded
in finding a cottage, on the road-side, not far from the Casino; and
there, with a joyous face, he waited to welcome his mother to breakfast,
and show how he had spent the night in arranging her furniture.

"Parson!" cried the Squire, when all this news came upon him, as he was
walking arm-in-arm with Mr. Dale to inspect some proposed improvement in
the Alms-house, "this is all your fault. Why did not you go and talk to
that brute of a boy, and that dolt of a woman? You've got 'soft sawder
enough,' as Frank calls it in his new-fashioned slang."

"As if I had not talked myself hoarse to both!" said the Parson, in a
tone of reproachful surprise at the accusation. "But it was in vain! O
Squire, if you had taken my advice about the Stocks--_quieta non
movere_!"

"Bother!" said the Squire. "I suppose I am to be held up as a tyrant, a
Nero, a Richard the Third, or a Grand Inquisitor, merely for having
things smart and tidy! Stocks, indeed!--your friend Rickeybockey said he
was never more comfortable in his life--quite enjoyed sitting there. And
what did not hurt Rickeybockey's dignity (a very gentleman-like man he
is, when he pleases) ought to be no such great matter to Master Leonard
Fairfield. But 'tis no use talking! What's to be done now? The woman
must not starve, and I'm sure she can't live out of Rickeybockey's wages
to Lenny (by the way, I hope he don't board him upon his and Jackeymo's
leavings: I hear they dine upon newts and sticklebacks--faugh!). I'll
tell you what, Parson, now I think of it--at the back of the cottage
which she has taken there are some fields of capital land just vacant.
Rickeybockey wants to have 'em, and sounded me as to the rent when he
was at the Hall. I only half promised him the refusal. And he must give
up four or five acres of the best land round the cottage to the
widow--just enough for her to manage--and she can keep a dairy. If she
wants capital, I'll lend her some in your name--only don't tell Stirn;
and as for the rent, we'll talk of that when we see how she gets on,
thankless, obstinate jade that she is! You see," added the Squire, as if
he felt there was some apology due for this generosity to an object whom
he professed to consider so ungrateful, "her husband was a faithful
servant, and so--I wish you would not stand there staring me out of
countenance, but go down to the woman at once, or Stirn will have let
the land to Rickeybockey, as sure as a gun. And hark ye, Dale, perhaps
you can contrive, if the woman is so cursedly stiff-backed, not to say
the land is mine, or that it is any favor I want to do her--or, in
short, manage it as you can for the best." Still even this charitable
message failed. The widow knew that the land was the Squire's, and worth
a good £3 an acre. "She thanked him humbly for that and all favors; but
she could not afford to buy cows, and she did not wish to be beholden to
any one for her living. And Lenny was well off at Mr. Rickeybockey's,
and coming on wonderfully in the garden way; and she did not doubt she
could get some washing--at all events, her haystack would bring in a
good bit of money, and she should do nicely, thank their honors."

Nothing further could be done in the direct way, but the remark about
the washing suggested some mode of indirectly benefiting the widow. And
a little time afterward, the sole laundress in that immediate
neighborhood happening to die, a hint from the Squire obtained from the
landlady of the inn opposite the Casino such custom as she had to
bestow, which at times was not inconsiderable. And what with Lenny's
wages (whatever that mysterious item might be), the mother and son
contrived to live without exhibiting any of those physical signs of fast
and abstinence which Riccabocca and his valet gratuitously afforded to
the student in animal anatomy.


CHAPTER XIV.

Of all the wares and commodities in exchange and barter, wherein so
mainly consists the civilization of our modern world, there is not one
which is so carefully weighed--so accurately measured--so plumbed and
gauged--so doled and scraped--so poured out in _minima_ and balanced
with scruples--as that necessary of social commerce called "an apology!"
If the chemists were half so careful in vending their poisons, there
would be a notable diminution in the yearly average of victims to
arsenic and oxalic acid. But, alas, in the matter of apology, it is not
from the excess of the dose, but the timid, niggardly, miserly manner in
which it is dispensed, that poor Humanity is hurried off to the Styx!
How many times does a life depend on the exact proportions of an
apology! Is it a hairbreadth too short to cover the scratch for which
you want it? Make your will--you are a dead man! A life, do I say?--a
hecatomb of lives! How many wars would have been prevented, how many
thrones would be standing, dynasties flourishing--commonwealths brawling
round a _bema_, or fitting out galleys for corn and cotton--if an inch
or two more of apology had been added to the proffered ell! But then
that plaguy jealous, suspicious old vinegar-faced Honor, and her partner
Pride--as penny-wise and pound-foolish a she-skinflint as herself--have
the monopoly of the article. And what with the time they lose in
adjusting their spectacles, hunting in the precise shelf for the precise
quality demanded, then (quality found) the haggling as to
quantum--considering whether it should be apothecary's weight or
avoirdupois, or English measure or Flemish--and, finally, the hullaboloo
they make if the customer is not perfectly satisfied with the monstrous
little he gets for his money--I don't wonder, for my part, how one loses
temper and patience, and sends Pride, Honor, and Apology, all to the
devil. Aristophanes, in his "Comedy of _Peace_," insinuates a beautiful
allegory by only suffering that goddess, though in fact she is his
heroine, to appear as a mute. She takes care never to open her lips. The
shrewd Greek knew very well that she would cease to be Peace, if she
once began to chatter. Wherefore, O reader, if ever you find your pump
under the iron heel of another man's boot, Heaven grant that you may
hold your tongue, and not make things past all endurance and forgiveness
by bawling out for an apology!


CHAPTER XV.

But the Squire and his son, Frank, were large-hearted, generous
creatures in the article of apology, as in all things less skimpingly
dealt out. And seeing that Leonard Fairfield would offer no plaster to
Randal Leslie, they made amends for his stinginess by their own
prodigality. The Squire accompanied his son to Rood Hall, and, none of
the family choosing to be at home, the Squire, in his own hand, and from
his own head, indited and composed an epistle which might have satisfied
all the wounds which the dignity of the Leslies had ever received.

This letter of apology ended with a hearty request that Randal would
come and spend a few days with his son. Frank's epistle was to the same
purport, only more Etonian and less legible.

It was some days before Randal's replies to these epistles were
received. The replies bore the address of a village near London, and
stated that the writer was now reading with a tutor preparatory to
entrance at Oxford, and could not, therefore, accept the invitation
extended to him.

For the rest, Randal expressed himself with good sense, though not with
much generosity. He excused his participation in the vulgarity of such a
conflict by a bitter but short allusion to the obstinacy and ignorance
of the village boor; and did not do what you, my kind reader, certainly
would have done under similar circumstances, viz., intercede in behalf
of a brave and unfortunate antagonist. Most of us like a foe better
after we have fought him--that is, if we are the conquering party; this
was not the case with Randal Leslie. There, so far as the Etonian was
concerned, the matter rested. And the Squire, irritated that he could
not repair whatever wrong that young gentleman had sustained, no longer
felt a pang of regret as he passed by Mrs. Fairfield's deserted cottage.


CHAPTER XVI.

Lenny Fairfield continued to give great satisfaction to his new
employers, and to profit, in many respects, by the familiar kindness
with which he was treated. Riccabocca, who valued himself on penetrating
into character, had, from the first, seen that much stuff of no common
quality and texture was to be found in the disposition and mind of the
English village boy. On farther acquaintance, he perceived that, under a
child's innocent simplicity, there were the workings of an acuteness
that required but development and direction. He ascertained that the
pattern boy's progress at the village-school proceeded from something
more than mechanical docility and readiness of comprehension. Lenny had
a keen thirst for knowledge, and through all the disadvantages of birth
and circumstance, there were the indications of that natural genius
which converts disadvantages themselves into stimulants. Still, with the
germs of good qualities lay the embryos of those which, difficult to
separate, and hard to destroy, often mar the produce of the soil. With a
remarkable and generous pride in self-repute, there was some
stubbornness; with great sensibility to kindness, there was also strong
reluctance to forgive affront.

This mixed nature in an uncultivated peasant's breast interested
Riccabocca, who, though long secluded from the commerce of mankind,
still looked upon man as the most various and entertaining volume which
philosophical research can explore. He soon accustomed the boy to the
tone of a conversation generally subtle and suggestive; and Lenny's
language and ideas became insensibly less rustic and more refined. Then
Riccabocca selected from his library, small as it was, books that,
though elementary, were of a higher cast than Lenny could have found
within his reach at Hazeldean. Riccabocca knew the English language
well, better in grammar, construction, and genius, than many a not
ill-educated Englishman; for he had studied it with the minuteness with
which a scholar studies a dead language, and amidst his collection he
had many of the books which had formerly served him for that purpose.
These were the first works he had lent to Lenny. Meanwhile Jackeymo
imparted to the boy many secrets in practical gardening and minute
husbandry, for at that day farming in England (some favored counties and
estates excepted) was far below the nicety to which the art has been
immemorially carried in the north of Italy--where, indeed, you may
travel for miles and miles as through a series of market-gardens--so
that, all these things considered, Leonard Fairfield might be said to
have made a change for the better. Yet, in truth, and looking below the
surface, that might be fair matter of doubt. For, the same reason which
had induced the boy to fly his native village, he no longer repaired to
the church of Hazeldean. The old intimate intercourse between him and
the Parson became necessarily suspended, or bounded to an occasional
kindly visit from the latter--visits which grew more rare, and less
familiar, as he found his former pupil in no want of his services, and
wholly deaf to his mild entreaties to forget and forgive the past, and
come at least to his old seat in the parish church. Lenny still went to
church--a church a long way off in another parish--but the sermons did
not do him the same good as Parson Dale's had done; and the clergyman,
who had his own flock to attend to, did not condescend, as Parson Dale
would have done, to explain what seemed obscure, and enforce what was
profitable, in private talk, with that stray lamb from another's fold.

Now, I question much if all Dr. Riccabocca's sage maxims, though they
were often very moral, and generally very wise, served to expand the
peasant boy's native good qualities, and correct his bad, half so well
as the few simple words, not at all indebted to Machiavelli, which
Leonard had once reverently listened to, when he stood by his father's
chair, yielded up for the moment to the good Parson, worthy to sit in
it; for Mr. Dale had a heart in which all the fatherless of the parish
found their place. Nor was this loss of tender, intimate, spiritual lore
so counterbalanced by the greater facilities for purely intellectual
instruction, as modern enlightenment might presume. For, without
disputing the advantage of knowledge in a general way, knowledge, in
itself, is not friendly to content. Its tendency, of course, is to
increase the desires, to dissatisfy us with what is, in order to urge
progress to what may be; and, in that progress, what unnoticed martyrs
among the many must fall, baffled and crushed by the way! To how large a
number will be given desires they will never realize, dissatisfaction of
the lot from which they will never rise! _Allons!_ one is viewing the
dark side of the question. It is all the fault of that confounded
Riccabocca, who has already caused Lenny Fairfield to lean gloomily on
his spade, and, after looking round, and seeing no one near him, groaned
out querulously:

"And am I born to dig a potato-ground?"

_Pardieu_, my friend Lenny, if you live to be seventy, and ride in your
carriage; and by the help of a dinner-pill, digest a spoonful of curry,
you may sigh to think what a relish there was in potatoes, roasted in
ashes, after you had digged them out of that ground with your own stout
young hands. Dig on, Lenny Fairfield, dig on! Dr. Riccabocca will tell
you that there was once an illustrious personage[4] who made experience
of two very different occupations--one was ruling men, the other was
planting cabbages; he thought planting cabbages much the pleasanter of
the two!


CHAPTER XVII.

Dr. Riccabocca had secured Lenny Fairfield and might, therefore, be
considered to have ridden his hobby in the great whirligig with
adroitness and success. But Miss Jemima was still driving round in her
car, handling the reins, and flourishing the whip, without apparently
having got an inch nearer to the flying form of Dr. Riccabocca.

Indeed, that excellent and only too-susceptible spinster, with all her
experience of the villainy of man, had never conceived the wretch to be
so thoroughly beyond the reach of redemption as when Dr. Riccabocca took
his leave, and once more interred himself amidst the solitudes of the
Casino, without having made any formal renunciation of his criminal
celibacy. For some days she shut herself up in her own chamber, and
brooded with more than her usual gloomy satisfaction on the certainty of
the approaching crash. Indeed, many signs of that universal calamity
which, while the visit of Riccabocca lasted, she had permitted herself
to consider ambiguous, now became luminously apparent. Even the
newspaper, which, during that credulous and happy period, had given half
a column to Births and Marriages, now bore an ominously-long catalogue
of Deaths; so that it seemed as if the whole population had lost heart,
and had no chance of repairing its daily losses. The leading articles
spoke, with the obscurity of a Pythian, of an impending CRISIS.
Monstrous turnips sprouted out from the paragraphs devoted to General
News. Cows bore calves with two heads, whales were stranded in the
Humber, showers of frogs descended in the High-street of Cheltenham.

All these symptoms of the world's decrepitude and consummation, which by
the side of the fascinating Riccabocca might admit of some doubt as to
their origin and cause, now conjoined with the worst of all, viz.--the
frightfully progressive wickedness of man--left to Miss Jemima no ray of
hope save that afforded by the reflection that she could contemplate the
wreck of matter without a single sentiment of regret.

Mrs. Dale, however, by no means shared the despondency of her fair
friend, and, having gained access to Miss Jemima's chamber, succeeded,
though not without difficulty, in her kindly attempts to cheer the
drooping spirits of that female misanthropist. Nor, in her benevolent
desire to speed the car of Miss Jemima to its hymeneal goal, was Mrs.
Dale so cruel toward her male friend, Dr. Riccabocca, as she seemed to
her husband. For Mrs. Dale was a woman of shrewdness and penetration, as
most quick-tempered women are; and she knew that Miss Jemima was one of
those excellent young ladies who are likely to value a husband in
proportion to the difficulty of obtaining him. In fact, my readers of
both sexes must often have met, in the course of their experience, with
that peculiar sort of feminine disposition, which requires the warmth of
the conjugal hearth to develop all its native good qualities; nor is it
to be blamed overmuch if, innocently aware of this tendency in its
nature, it turns toward what is best fitted for its growth and
improvement, by laws akin to those which make the sunflower turn to the
sun, or the willow to the stream. Ladies of this disposition,
permanently thwarted in their affectionate bias, gradually languish away
into intellectual inanition, or sprout out into those abnormal
eccentricities which are classed under the general name of "oddity" or
"character." But, once admitted to their proper soil, it is astonishing
what healthful improvement takes place--how the poor heart, before
starved and stinted of nourishment, throws out its suckers, and bursts
into bloom and fruit. And thus many a belle from whom the beaux have
stood aloof, only because the puppies think she could be had for the
asking, they see afterward settled down into true wife and fond mother,
with amaze at their former disparagement, and a sigh at their blind
hardness of heart.

In all probability, Mrs. Dale took this view of the subject; and
certainly in addition to all the hitherto dormant virtues which would be
awakened in Miss Jemima when fairly Mrs. Riccabocca, she counted
somewhat upon the mere worldly advantage which such a match would bestow
upon the exile. So respectable a connection with one of the oldest,
wealthiest, and most popular families in the shire, would in itself give
him a position not to be despised by a poor stranger in the land; and
though the interest of Miss Jemima's dowry might not be much, regarded
in the light of English pounds (not Milanese _lire_), still it would
suffice to prevent that gradual progress of dematerialization which the
lengthened diet upon minnows and sticklebacks had already made apparent
in the fine and slow-evanishing form of the philosopher.

Like all persons convinced of the expediency of a thing, Mrs. Dale saw
nothing wanting but opportunities to insure its success. And that these
might be forthcoming, she not only renewed with greater frequency, and
more urgent instance than ever, her friendly invitations to drink tea
and spend the evening, but she artfully so chafed the Squire on his sore
point of hospitality, that the Doctor received weekly a pressing
solicitation to dine and sleep at the Hall.

At first the Italian pished and grunted, and said _Cospetto_, and _Per
Bacco_, and _Diavolo_, and tried to creep out of so much proffered
courtesy. But, like all single gentlemen, he was a little under the
tyrannical influence of his faithful servant; and Jackeymo, though he
could bear starving as well as his master when necessary, still, when he
had the option, preferred roast beef and plum-pudding. Moreover, that
vain and incautious confidence of Riccabocca, touching the vast sum at
his command, and with no heavier drawback than that of so amiable a lady
as Miss Jemima--who had already shown him (Jackeymo) many little
delicate attentions--had greatly whetted the cupidity which was in the
servant's Italian nature: a cupidity the more keen because, long
debarred its legitimate exercise on his own mercenary interests, he
carried it all to the account of his master's!

Thus tempted by his enemy, and betrayed by his servant, the unfortunate
Riccabocca fell, though with eyes not unblinded, into the hospitable
snares extended for the destruction of his--celibacy! He went often to
the Parsonage, often to the Hall, and by degrees the sweets of the
social domestic life, long denied him, began to exercise their
enervating charm upon the stoicism of our poor exile. Frank had now
returned to Eton. An unexpected invitation had carried off Captain
Higginbotham to pass a few weeks at Bath with a distant relation, who
had lately returned from India, and who, as rich as Croesus, felt so
estranged and solitary in his native isle that, when the Captain
"claimed kindred there," to his own amaze "he had his claims allowed;"
while a very protracted sitting of Parliament still delayed in London
the Squire's habitual visitors in the later summer; so that--a chasm
thus made in his society--Mr. Hazeldean welcomed with no hollow
cordiality the diversion or distraction he found in the foreigner's
companionship. Thus, with pleasure to all parties, and strong hopes to
the two female conspirators, the intimacy between the Casino and Hall
rapidly thickened; but still not a word resembling a distinct proposal
did Dr. Riccabocca breathe. And still, if such an idea obtruded itself
on his mind, it was chased therefrom with so determined a _Diavolo_
that, perhaps, if not the end of the world, at least the end of Miss
Jemima's tenure in it, might have approached, and seen her still Miss
Jemima, but for a certain letter with a foreign post-mark that reached
the Doctor one Tuesday morning.


CHAPTER XVIII.

The servant saw that something had gone wrong, and, under pretense of
syringing the orange-trees, he lingered near his master, and peered
through the sunny leaves upon Riccabocca's melancholy brows.

The Doctor sighed heavily. Nor did he, as was his wont, after some such
sigh, mechanically take up that dear comforter, the pipe. But though the
tobacco-pouch lay by his side on the balustrade, and the pipe stood
against the wall between his knees, childlike lifting up its lips to the
customary caress--he heeded neither the one nor the other, but laid the
letter silently on his lap, and fixed his eyes upon the ground.

"It must be bad news, indeed!" thought Jackeymo, and desisted from his
work. Approaching his master, he took up the pipe and the tobacco-pouch,
and filled the bowl slowly, glancing all the while to that dark, musing
face on which, when abandoned by the expression of intellectual vivacity
or the exquisite smile of Italian courtesy, the deep downward lines
revealed the characters of sorrow. Jackeymo did not venture to speak;
but the continued silence of his master disturbed him much. He laid that
peculiar tinder which your smokers use upon the steel, and struck the
spark--still not a word, nor did Riccabocca stretch forth his hand.

"I never knew him in this taking before," thought Jackeymo; and
delicately he insinuated the neck of the pipe into the nerveless fingers
of the hand that lay supine on those quiet knees--the pipe fell to the
ground.

Jackeymo crossed himself, and began praying to his sainted namesake with
great fervor.

The Doctor rose slowly, and, as if with effort, he walked once or twice
to and fro the terrace; and then he halted abruptly, and said,

"Friend!"

"Blessed Monsignore San Giacomo, I knew thou wouldst hear me!" cried the
servant; and he raised his master's hand to his lips, then abruptly
turned away and wiped his eyes.--"Friend," repeated Riccabocca, and this
time with a tremulous emphasis, and in the softest tone of a voice never
wholly without the music of the sweet South, "I would talk to thee of my
child."


CHAPTER XIX.

"The letter, then, relates to the Signorina. She is well?"

"Yes, she is well now. She is in our native Italy."

Jackeymo raised his eyes involuntarily toward the orange-trees, and the
morning breeze swept by and bore to him the odor of their blossoms.

"Those are sweet even here, with care," said he, pointing to the trees.
"I think I have said that before to the Padrone."

But Riccabocca was now looking again at the letter, and did not notice
either the gesture or the remark of his servant.

"My aunt is no more!" said he, after a pause.

"We will pray for her soul!" answered Jackeymo, solemnly. "But she was
very old, and had been a long time ailing. Let it not grieve the Padrone
too keenly: at that age, and with those infirmities, death comes as a
friend."

"Peace be to her dust!" returned the Italian. "If she had her faults, be
they now forgotten forever; and in the hour of my danger and distress,
she sheltered my infant! That shelter is destroyed. This letter is from
the priest, her confessor. You know that she had nothing at her own
disposal to bequeath to my child, and her property passes to the male
heir--mine enemy."

"Traitor!" muttered Jackeymo; and his right hand seemed to feel for the
weapon which the Italians of lower rank often openly wear in their
girdles.

"The priest," resumed Riccabocca, calmly, "has rightly judged in
removing my child as a guest from the house in which my enemy enters as
lord."

"And where is the Signorina?"

"With that poor priest. See, Giacomo--here, here--this is her
handwriting at the end of the letter--the first lines she ever yet
traced to me."

Jackeymo took off his hat, and looked reverently on the large characters
of a child's writing. But large as they were, they seemed indistinct,
for the paper was blistered with the child's tears; and on the place
where they had not fallen, there was a round fresh moist stain of the
tear that had dropped from the lids of the father. Riccabocca renewed,
"The priest recommends a convent."

"To the devil with the priest!" cried the servant; then, crossing
himself rapidly, he added, "I did not mean that, Monsignore San
Giacomo--forgive me! But your Excellency[5] does not think of making a
nun of his only child!"

"And yet why not?" said Riccabocca, mournfully; "what can I give her in
the world? Is the land of the stranger a better refuge than the home of
peace in her native clime?"

"In the land of the stranger beats her father's heart!"

"And if that beat were stilled, what then? Ill fares the life that a
single death can bereave of all. In a convent at least (and the priest's
influence can obtain her that asylum among her equals and amidst her
sex) she is safe from trial and from penury--to her grave."

"Penury! Just see how rich we shall be when we take those fields at
Michaelmas."

"_Pazzie!_" (follies) said Riccabocca, listlessly. "Are these suns more
serene than ours, or the soil more fertile? Yet in our own Italy, saith
the proverb, 'he who sows land reaps more care than corn.' It were
different," continued the father, after a pause, and in a more
irresolute tone, "if I had some independence, however small, to count
on--nay, if among all my tribe of dainty relatives there were but one
female who would accompany Violante to the exile's hearth--Ishmael had
his Hagar. But how can we two rough-bearded men provide for all the
nameless wants and cares of a frail female child? And she has been so
delicately reared--the woman-child needs the fostering hand and tender
eye of a woman."

"And with a word," said Jackeymo, resolutely, "the Padrone might secure
to his child all that he needs, to save her from the sepulchre of a
convent; and ere the autumn leaves fall, she might be sitting on his
knee. Padrone, do not think that you can conceal from me the truth, that
you love your child better than all things in the world--now the Patria
is as dead to you as the dust of your fathers--and your heart-strings
would crack with the effort to tear her from them, and consign her to a
convent. Padrone, never again to hear her voice--never again to see her
face! Those little arms that twined round your neck that dark night,
when we fled fast for life and freedom, and you said, as you felt their
clasp, 'Friend, all is not yet lost!'"

"Giacomo!" exclaimed the father, reproachfully, and his voice seemed to
choke him. Riccabocca turned away, and walked restlessly to and fro the
terrace; then, lifting his arms with a wild gesture as he still
continued his long, irregular strides, he muttered, "yes, heaven is my
witness that I could have borne reverse and banishment without a murmur,
had I permitted myself that young partner in exile and privation. Heaven
is my witness that, if I hesitate now, it is because I would not listen
to my own selfish heart. Yet never, never to see her again--my child!
And it was but as the infant that I beheld her! O friend, friend--"
(and, stopping short with a burst of uncontrollable emotion, he bowed
his head upon his servant's shoulder;) "thou knowest what I have endured
and suffered at my hearth, as in my country; the wrong, the perfidy,
the--the--" His voice again failed him; he clung to his servant's
breast, and his whole frame shook.

"But your child, the innocent one--think now only of her!" faltered
Giacomo, struggling with his own sobs.

"True, only of her," replied the exile, raising his face--"only of her.
Put aside thy thoughts for myself, friend--counsel me. If I were to send
for Violante, and if, transplanted to these keen airs, she drooped and
died--look, look--the priest says that she needs such tender care; or if
I myself were summoned from the world, to leave her in it alone,
friendless, homeless, breadless perhaps, at the age of woman's sharpest
trial against temptation; would she not live to mourn the cruel egotism
that closed on her infant innocence the gates of the House of God?"

Giacomo was appalled by this appeal; and indeed Riccabocca had never
before thus reverently spoken of the cloister. In his hours of
philosophy, he was wont to sneer at monks and nuns, priesthood and
superstition. But now, in that hour of emotion, the Old Religion
reclaimed her empire; and the skeptical, world-wise man, thinking only
of his child, spoke and felt with a child's simple faith.


CHAPTER XX.

"But again, I say," murmured Jackeymo, scarce audibly, and after a long
silence, "if the Padrone would make up his mind--to marry!"

He expected that his master would start up in his customary indignation
at such a suggestion--nay, he might not have been sorry so to have
changed the current of feeling; but the poor Italian only winced
slightly, and mildly withdrawing himself from his servant's supporting
arm, again paced the terrace, but this time quietly and in silence. A
quarter of an hour thus passed. "Give me the pipe," said P. Riccabocca,
passing into the Belvidere.

Jackeymo again struck the spark, and, wonderfully relieved at the
Padrone's return to his usual adviser, mentally besought his sainted
namesake to bestow a double portion of soothing wisdom on the benignant
influences of the weed.


CHAPTER XXI.

Dr. Riccabocca had been some little time in the solitude of the
Belvidere, when Lenny Fairfield, not knowing that his employer was
therein, entered to lay down a book which the Doctor had lent him, with
injunctions to leave on a certain table when done with. Riccabocca
looked up at the sound of the young peasant's step.

"I beg your honor's pardon--I did not know--"

"Never mind; lay the book there. I wish to speak with you. You look
well, my child; this air agrees with you as well as that of Hazeldean?"

"Oh, yes, sir."

"Yet it is higher ground, more exposed?"

"That can hardly be, sir," said Lenny; "there are many plants grow here
which don't flourish at the Squire's. The hill yonder keeps off the east
wind, and the place lays to the south."

"Lies, not _lays_, Lenny. What are the principal complaints in these
parts?"

"Eh, sir?"

"I mean what maladies, what diseases?"

"I never heard tell of any, sir, except the rheumatism."

"No low fevers? no consumption?"

"Never heard of them, sir."

Riccabocca drew a long breath, as if relieved.

"That seems a very kind family at the Hall."

"I have nothing to say against it," answered Lenny, bluntly. "I have not
been treated justly. But as that book says, sir, 'It is not every one
who comes into the world with a silver spoon in his mouth.'"

Little thought the Doctor that those wise maxims may leave sore thoughts
behind them. He was too occupied with the subject most at his own heart
to think then of what was in Lenny Fairfield's.

"Yes; a kind, English, domestic family. Did you see much of Miss
Hazeldean?"

"Not so much as of the Lady."

"Is she liked in the village, think you?"

"Miss Jemima? Yes. She never did harm. Her little dog bit me once--she
did not ask me to beg its pardon, she asked mine! She's a very nice
young lady; the girls say she's very affable: and," added Lenny with a
smile, "there are always more weddings going on when she's down at the
Hall."

"Oh!" said Riccabocca. Then, after a long whiff, "Did you ever see her
play with the little children? Is she fond of children, do you think?"

"Lord, sir, you guess every thing. She's never so pleased as when she's
playing with the babies."

"Humph!" grunted Riccabocca. "Babies--well, that's womanlike. I don't
mean exactly babies, but when they're older--little girls."

"Indeed, sir, I dare say; but," said Lenny, primly, "I never as yet kept
company with the little girls."

"Quite right, Lenny; be equally discreet all your life. Mrs. Dale is
very intimate with Miss Hazeldean--more than with the Squire's lady. Why
is that, think you?"

"Well, sir," said Leonard, shrewdly, "Mrs. Dale has her little tempers,
though she's a very good lady; and Madam Hazeldean is rather high, and
has a spirit. But Miss Jemima is so soft: any one could live with Miss
Jemima, as Joe and the servants say at the Hall."

"Indeed! Get my hat out of the parlor, and--just bring a clothes-brush,
Lenny. A fine sunny day for a walk."

After this most mean and dishonorable inquisition into the character and
popular repute of Miss Hazeldean, Signore Riccabocca seemed as much
cheered up and elated as if he had committed some very noble action; and
he walked forth in the direction of the Hall with a far lighter and
livelier step than that with which he had paced the terrace.

"Monsignore San Giacomo, by thy help and the pipe's, the Padrone shall
have his child!" muttered the servant, looking up from the garden.


CHAPTER XXII.

Yet Dr. Riccabocca was not rash. The man who wants his wedding-garment
to fit him must allow plenty of time for the measure. But, from that
day, the Italian notably changed his manner toward Miss Hazeldean. He
ceased that profusion of compliment in which he had hitherto carried off
in safety all serious meaning. For indeed the Doctor considered that
compliments, to a single gentleman, were what the inky liquid it
dispenses is to the cuttle-fish, that by obscuring the water, sails away
from its enemy. Neither did he, as before, avoid prolonged conversations
with that young lady, and contrive to escape from all solitary rambles
by her side. On the contrary, he now sought every occasion to be in her
society; and, entirely dropping the language of gallantry, he assumed
something of the earnest tone of friendship. He bent down his intellect
to examine and plumb her own. To use a very homely simile, he blew away
that froth which there is on the surface of mere acquaintanceships,
especially with the opposite sex; and which, while it lasts, scarce
allows you to distinguish between small beer and double X. Apparently
Dr. Riccabocca was satisfied with his scrutiny--at all events, under
that froth there was no taste of bitter. The Italian might not find any
great strength of intellect in Miss Jemima, but he found that,
disentangled from many little whims and foibles--which he had himself
the sense to perceive were harmless enough if they lasted, and not so
absolutely constitutional but what they might be removed by a tender
hand--Miss Hazeldean had quite enough sense to comprehend the plain
duties of married life; and if the sense could fail, it found a
substitute in good old homely English principles and the instincts of
amiable kindly feelings.

I know not how it is, but your very clever man never seems to care so
much as your less gifted mortals for cleverness in his helpmate. Your
scholars, and poets, and ministers of state, are more often than not
found assorted with exceedingly humdrum good sort of women, and
apparently like them all the better for their deficiencies. Just see how
happily Racine lived with his wife, and what an angel he thought her,
and yet she had never read his plays. Certainly Goethe never troubled
the lady who called him "Mr. Privy Councilor" with whims about "monads,"
and speculations on "color," nor those stiff metaphysical problems on
which one breaks one's shins in the Second Part of the Faust. Probably
it may be that such great geniuses--knowing that, as compared with
themselves, there is little difference between your clever woman and
your humdrum woman--merge at once all minor distinctions, relinquish all
attempts that could not but prove unsatisfactory, at sympathy in hard
intellectual pursuits, and are quite satisfied to establish that tie
which, after all, best resists wear and tear--viz., the tough household
bond between one human heart and another.

At all events, this, I suspect, was the reasoning of Dr. Riccabocca,
when one morning, after a long walk with Miss Hazeldean, he muttered to
himself,

              "Duro con duro
    Non fece mai buon muro."

Which may bear the paraphrase, "Bricks without mortar would make a very
bad wall." There was quite enough in Miss Jemima's disposition to make
excellent mortar: the Doctor took the bricks to himself.

When his examination was concluded, our philosopher symbolically evinced
the result he had arrived at by a very simple proceeding on his
part--which would have puzzled you greatly if you had not paused, and
meditated thereon, till you saw all that it implied. _Dr. Riccabocca
took off his spectacles!_ He wiped them carefully, put them into their
shagreen case, and locked them in his bureau: that is to say, he left
off wearing his spectacles.

You will observe that there was a wonderful depth of meaning in that
critical symptom, whether it be regarded as a sign outward, positive,
and explicit; or a sign metaphysical, mystical, and esoteric. For, as to
the last--it denoted that the task of the spectacles was over; that,
when a philosopher has made up his mind to marry, it is better
henceforth to be short-sighted--nay, even somewhat purblind--than to be
always scrutinizing the domestic felicity, to which he is about to
resign himself, through a pair of cold, unillusory barnacles. And for
the things beyond the hearth, if he can not see without spectacles, he
is not about to ally to his own defective vision a good sharp pair of
eyes, never at fault where his interests are concerned? On the other
hand, regarded positively, categorically, and explicitly, Dr.
Riccabocca, by laying aside those spectacles, signified that he was
about to commence that happy initiation of courtship when every man, be
he ever so much a philosopher, wishes to look as young and as handsome
as time and nature will allow. Vain task to speed the soft language of
the eyes through the medium of these glassy interpreters! I remember,
for my own part, that once on a visit to Adelaide, I was in great danger
of falling in love--with a young lady, too, who would have brought me a
very good fortune--when she suddenly produced from her reticule a very
neat pair of No. 4, set in tortoise-shell, and, fixing upon me their
Gorgon gaze, froze the astonished Cupid into stone! And I hold it a
great proof of the wisdom of Riccabocca, and of his vast experience in
mankind, that he was not above the consideration of what your
pseudo-sages would have regarded as foppish and ridiculous trifles. It
argued all the better for that happiness which is our being's end and
aim, that, in condescending to play the lover, he put those unbecoming
petrifiers under lock and key.

And certainly, now the spectacles were abandoned, it was impossible to
deny that the Italian had remarkably handsome eyes. Even through the
spectacles, or lifted a little above them, they were always bright and
expressive; but without those adjuncts, the blaze was soft and more
tempered: they had that look which the French call _velouté_, or
velvety; and he appeared altogether ten years younger. If our Ulysses,
thus rejuvenated by his Minerva, has not fully made up his mind to make
a Penelope of Miss Jemima, all I can say is, that he is worse than
Polyphemus, who was only an Anthropophagos.

He preys upon the weaker sex, and is a Gynophagite!


CHAPTER XXIII.

"And you commission me, then, to speak to our dear Jemima?" said Mrs.
Dale, joyfully, and without any bitterness whatever in that "dear."

DR. RICCABOCCA.--"Nay, before speaking to Miss Hazeldean, it would
surely be proper to know how far my addresses would be acceptable to the
family."

MRS. DALE.--"Ah!"

DR. RICCABOCCA.--"The Squire is of course the head of the family."

MRS. DALE (absent and _distrait_).--"The Squire--yes, very true--quite
proper." (Then looking up with _naïveté_)--"Can you believe me, I never
thought of the Squire. And he is such an odd man, and has so many
English prejudices, that really--dear me, how vexatious that it should
never once have occurred to me that Mr. Hazeldean had a voice in the
matter. Indeed, the relationship is so distant--it is not like being her
father; and Jemima is of age, and can do as she pleases; and--but as you
say, it is quite proper that he should be consulted, as the head of the
family."

DR. RICCABOCCA.--"And you think that the Squire of Hazeldean might
reject my alliance! Pshaw! that's a grand word indeed; I mean, that he
might object very reasonably to his cousin's marriage with a foreigner,
of whom he can know nothing, except that which in all countries is
disreputable, and is said in this to be criminal--poverty."

MRS. DALE (kindly).--"You mistake us poor English people, and you wrong
the Squire, heaven bless him! for we were poor enough when he singled
out my husband from a hundred for the minister of his parish, for his
neighbor and his friend. I will speak to him fearlessly--"

DR. RICCABOCCA.--"And frankly. And now I have used that word, let me go
on with the confession which your kindly readiness, my fair friend,
somewhat interrupted. I said that if I might presume to think my
addresses would be acceptable to Miss Hazeldean and her family, I was
too sensible of her amiable qualities not to--not to--"

MRS. DALE (with demure archness).--"Not to be the happiest of
men--that's the customary English phrase, Doctor."

RICCABOCCA (gallantly).--"There can not be a better. But," continued he,
seriously, "I wish it first to be understood that I have--been married
before."

MRS. DALE (astonished).--"Married before!"

RICCABOCCA.--"And that I have an only child, dear to me--inexpressibly
dear. That child, a daughter, has hitherto lived abroad; circumstances
now render it desirable that she should make her home with me. And I own
fairly that nothing has so attached me to Miss Hazeldean, nor so induced
my desire for our matrimonial connection, as my belief that she has the
heart and the temper to become a kind mother to my little one."

MRS. DALE (with feeling and warmth).--"You judge her rightly there."

RICCABOCCA.--"Now, in pecuniary matters, as you may conjecture from my
mode of life, I have nothing to offer to Miss Hazeldean correspondent
with her own fortune, whatever that may be."

MRS. DALE.--"That difficulty is obviated by settling Miss Hazeldean's
fortune on herself, which is customary in such cases."

Dr. Riccabocca's face lengthened. "And my child, then?" said he,
feelingly. There was something in that appeal so alien from all sordid
and merely personal mercenary motives, that Mrs. Dale could not have had
the heart to make the very rational suggestion--"But that child is not
Jemima's, and you may have children by her."

She was touched, and replied hesitatingly--"But, from what you and
Jemima may jointly possess, you can save something annually--you can
insure your life for your child. We did so when our poor child whom we
lost was born," (the tears rushed into Mrs. Dale's eyes); "and I fear
that Charles still insures his life for my sake, though heaven knows
that--that--"

The tears burst out. That little heart, quick and petulant thought it
was, had not a fibre of the elastic muscular tissues which are
mercifully bestowed on the hearts of predestined widows. Dr. Riccabocca
could not pursue the subject of life insurances further. But the
idea--which had never occurred to the foreigner before, though so
familiar to us English people, when only possessed of a life
income--pleased him greatly. I will do him the justice to say, that he
preferred it to the thought of actually appropriating to himself and his
child a portion of Miss Hazeldean's dower.

Shortly afterward he took his leave, and Mrs. Dale hastened to seek her
husband in his study, inform him of the success of her matrimonial
scheme, and consult him as to the chance of the Squire's acquiescence
therein. "You see," said she, hesitatingly, "though the Squire might be
glad to see Jemima married to some Englishman, yet, if he asks who and
what is this Dr. Riccabocca, how am I to answer him?"

"You should have thought of that before," said Mr. Dale, with unwonted
asperity; "and, indeed, if I had ever believed any thing serious could
come out of what seemed to me so absurd, I should long since have
requested you not to interfere in such matters." "Good heavens!"
continued the Parson, changing color, "if we should have assisted,
underhand as it were, to introduce into the family of a man to whom we
owe so much, a connection that he would dislike! how base we should be!
how ungrateful!"

Poor Mrs. Dale was frightened by this speech, and still more by her
husband's consternation and displeasure. To do Mrs. Dale justice,
whenever her mild partner was really either grieved or offended, her
little temper vanished--she became as meek as a lamb. As soon as she
recovered the first shock she experienced, she hastened to dissipate the
Parson's apprehensions. She assured him that she was convinced that if
the Squire disapproved of Riccabocca's pretensions, the Italian would
withdraw them at once, and Miss Hazeldean would never know of his
proposals. Therefore, in that case, no harm would be done.

This assurance coinciding with Mr. Dale's convictions as to Riccabocca's
scruples on the point of honor, tended much to compose the good man; and
if he did not, as my reader of the gentler sex would expect from him,
feel alarm lest Miss Jemima's affections should have been irretrievably
engaged, and her happiness thus put in jeopardy by the Squire's
refusal, it was not that the Parson wanted tenderness of heart, but
experience in womankind; and he believed, very erroneously, that Miss
Jemima Hazeldean was not one upon whom a disappointment of that kind
would produce a lasting impression. Therefore Mr. Dale, after a pause of
consideration, said kindly--

"Well, don't vex yourself--and I was to blame quite as much as you. But,
indeed, I should have thought it easier for the Squire to have
transplanted one of his tall cedars into his kitchen-garden, than for
you to inveigle Dr. Riccabocca into matrimonial intentions. But a man
who could voluntarily put himself into the Parish Stocks for the sake of
experiment, must be capable of any thing! However, I think it better
that I, rather than yourself, should speak to the Squire, and I will go
at once."


CHAPTER XXIV.

The Parson put on the shovel hat, which--conjoined with other details in
his dress peculiarly clerical, and already, even then, beginning to be
out of fashion with churchmen--had served to fix upon him, emphatically,
the dignified but antiquated style and cognomen of "Parson;" and took
his way toward the Home Farm, at which he expected to find the Squire.
But he had scarcely entered upon the village green when he beheld Mr.
Hazeldean, leaning both hands on his stick, and gazing intently upon the
Parish Stocks. Now, sorry am I to say that, ever since the Hegira of
Lenny and his mother, the Anti-Stockian and Revolutionary spirit in
Hazeldean, which the memorable homily of our Parson had awhile averted
or suspended, had broken forth afresh. For though, while Lenny was
present to be mowed and jeered at, there had been no pity for him, yet
no sooner was he removed from the scene of trial, than a universal
compassion for the barbarous usage he had received produced what is
called "the reaction of public opinion." Not that those who had mowed
and jeered repented them of their mockery, or considered themselves in
the slightest degree the cause of his expatriation. No; they, with the
rest of the villagers, laid all the blame upon the Stocks. It was not to
be expected that a lad of such exemplary character could be thrust into
that place of ignominy, and not be sensible of the affront. And who, in
the whole village, was safe, if such goings-on and puttings-in were to
be tolerated in silence, and at the expense of the very best and
quietest lad the village had ever known? Thus, a few days after the
widow's departure, the Stocks was again the object of midnight
desecration: it was bedaubed and bescratched--it was hacked and
hewed--it was scrawled all over with pithy lamentations for Lenny, and
laconic execrations on tyrants. Night after night new inscriptions
appeared, testifying the sarcastic wit and the vindictive sentiment of
the parish. And perhaps the Stocks themselves were only spared from ax
and bonfire by the convenience they afforded to the malice of the
disaffected: they became the Pasquin of Hazeldean.

As disaffection naturally produces a correspondent vigor in authority,
so affairs had been lately administered with greater severity than had
been hitherto wont in the easy rule of the Squire and his predecessors.
Suspected persons were naturally marked out by Mr. Stirn, and reported
to his employer, who, too proud or too pained to charge them openly with
ingratitude, at first only passed them by in his walks with a silent and
stiff inclination of his head; and afterward gradually yielding to the
baleful influence of Stirn, the Squire grumbled forth that "he did not
see why he should be always putting himself out of his way to show
kindness to those who made such a return. There ought to be a difference
between the good and the bad." Encouraged by this admission, Stirn had
conducted himself toward the suspected parties, and their whole kith and
kin, with the iron-handed justice that belonged to his character. For
some, habitual donations of milk from the dairy, and vegetables from the
gardens, were surlily suspended; others were informed that their pigs
were always trespassing on the woods in search of acorns; or that they
were violating the Game Laws in keeping lurchers. A beer-house, popular
in the neighborhood, but of late resorted to overmuch by the
grievance-mongers (and no wonder, since they had become the popular
party), was threatened with an application to the magistrates for the
withdrawal of its license. Sundry old women, whose grandsons were
notoriously ill-disposed towards the Stocks, were interdicted from
gathering dead sticks under the avenues, on pretense that they broke
down the live boughs; and, what was more obnoxious to the younger
members of the parish than most other retaliatory measures, three
chestnut trees, one walnut, and two cherry trees, standing at the bottom
of the park, and which had, from time immemorial, been given up to the
youth of Hazeldean, were now solemnly placed under the general defense
of "private property." And the crier had announced that, henceforth, all
depredators on the fruit-trees in Copse Hollow would be punished with
the utmost rigor of the law. Stirn, indeed, recommended much more
stringent proceedings than all these indications of a change of policy,
which, he averred, would soon bring the parish to its senses--such as
discontinuing many little jobs of unprofitable work that employed the
surplus labor of the village. But there the Squire, falling into the
department, and under the benigner influence of his Harry, was as yet
not properly hardened. When it came to a question that affected the
absolute quantity of loaves to be consumed by the graceless mouths that
fed upon him, the milk of human kindness--with which Providence has so
bountifully supplied that class of the mammalia called the "Bucolic,"
and of which our Squire had an extra "yield"--burst forth, and washed
away all the indignation of the harsher Adam.

Still your policy of half-measures, which irritates without crushing its
victims, which flaps an exasperated wasp-nest with a silk
pocket-handkerchief, instead of blowing it up with a match and train, is
rarely successful; and, after three or four other and much guiltier
victims than Lenny had been incarcerated in the Stocks, the parish of
Hazeldean was ripe for any enormity. Pestilent jacobinical tracts,
conceived and composed in the sinks of manufacturing towns--found their
way into the popular beer-house--heaven knows how, though the Tinker was
suspected of being the disseminator by all but Stirn, who still, in a
whisper, accused the Papishers. And, finally, there appeared among the
other graphic embellishments which the poor Stocks had received, the
rude _gravure_ of a gentleman in a broad-brimmed hat and top-boots,
suspended from a gibbet, with the inscription beneath--"A warnin to hall
tirans--mind your hi!--sighnde Captin sTraw."

It was upon this significant and emblematic portraiture that the Squire
was gazing when the Parson joined him.

"Well, Parson," said Mr. Hazeldean, with a smile which he meant to be
pleasant and easy, but which was exceedingly bitter and grim, "I wish
you joy of your flock--you see they have just hanged me in effigy!"

The Parson stared, and, though greatly shocked, smothered his emotions;
and attempted, with the wisdom of the serpent and the mildness of the
dove, to find another original for the effigy.

"It is very bad," quoth he, "but not so bad as all that, Squire; that's
not the shape of your hat. It is evidently meant for Mr. Stirn."

"Do you think so!" said the Squire, softened. "Yet the top-boots--Stirn
never wears top-boots."

"No more do you--except in hunting. If you look again, those are not
tops--they are leggings--Stirn wears leggings. Besides, that flourish,
which is meant for a nose, is a kind of a hook like Stirn's; whereas
your nose--though by no means a snub--rather turns up than not, as the
Apollo's does, according to the plaster cast in Riccabocca's parlor."

"Poor Stirn!" said the Squire, in a tone that evinced complacency, not
unmingled with compassion, "that's what a man gets in this world by
being a faithful servant, and doing his duty with zeal for his employer.
But you see that things have come to a strange pass, and the question
now is, what course to pursue. The miscreants hitherto have defied all
vigilance, and Stirn recommends the employment of a regular night-watch
with a lantern and bludgeon."

"That may protect the Stocks, certainly; but will it keep those
detestable tracts out of the beer-house?"

"We shall shut the beer-house up at the next sessions."

"The tracts will break out elsewhere--the humor's in the blood!"

"I've half a mind to run off to Brighton or Leamington--good hunting at
Leamington--for a year, just to let the rogues see how they can get on
without me!"

The Squire's lip trembled.

"My dear Mr. Hazeldean," said the Parson, taking his friend's hand, "I
don't want to parade my superior wisdom; but if you had taken my advice,
_quieta non movere_. Was there ever a parish so peaceable as this, or a
country-gentleman so beloved as you were, before you undertook the task
which has dethroned kings and ruined states--that of wantonly meddling
with antiquity, whether for the purpose of uncalled-for repairs, or the
revival of obsolete uses."

At this rebuke the Squire did not manifest his constitutional tendencies
to choler; but he replied almost meekly, "If it were to do again, faith,
I would leave the parish to the enjoyment of the shabbiest pair of
Stocks that ever disgraced a village. Certainly I meant it for the
best--an ornament to the green; however, now they are rebuilt, the
Stocks must be supported. Will Hazeldean is not the man to give way to a
set of thankless rapscallions."

"I think," said the Parson, "that you will allow that the House of
Tudor, whatever its faults, was a determined, resolute dynasty
enough--high-hearted and strong-headed. A Tudor would never have fallen
into the same calamities as the poor Stuart did!"

"What the plague has the House of Tudor got to do with my Stocks?"

"A great deal. Henry the VIII. found a subsidy so unpopular that he gave
it up; and the people, in return, allowed him to cut off as many heads
as he pleased, besides those in his own family. Good Queen Bess, who, I
know, is your idol in history--"

"To be sure!--she knighted my ancestor at Tilbury Fort."

"Good Queen Bess struggled hard to maintain a certain monopoly; she saw
it would not do, and she surrendered it with that frank heartiness which
becomes a sovereign, and makes surrender a grace."

"Ha! and you would have me give up the Stocks?"

"I would much rather they had staid as they were, before you touched
them; but, as it is, if you could find a good plausible pretext--and
there is an excellent one at hand--the sternest kings open prisons, and
grant favors, upon joyful occasions. Now a marriage in the royal family
is of course a joyful occasion!--and so it should be in that of the King
of Hazeldean." Admire that artful turn in the Parson's eloquence!--it
was worthy of Riccabocca himself. Indeed, Mr. Dale had profited much by
his companionship with that Machiavellian intellect.

"A marriage--yes; but Frank has only just got into long tails!"

"I did not allude to Frank, but to your cousin Jemima!"


CHAPTER XXV.

The Squire staggered as if the breath had been knocked out of him, and,
for want of a better seat, sate down on the Stocks.

All the female heads in the neighboring cottages peered, themselves
unseen, through the casements. What could the Squire be about?--what new
mischief did he meditate? Did he mean to fortify the Stocks? Old Gaffer
Solomons, who had an indefinite idea of the lawful power of squires, and
who had been for the last ten minutes at watch on his threshold, shook
his head and said, "Them as a-cut out the mon, a-hanging, as a-put in
the Squire's head!"

"Put what?" asked his grand-daughter.

"The gallus!" answered Solomons--"he be a-goin to have it hung from the
great elm-tree. And the Parson, good mon, is a-quotin Scripter agin
it--you see he's a-taking off his gloves, and a-putting his two han's
together, as he do when he pray for the sick, Jenny."

That description of the Parson's mien and manner, which, with his usual
niceness of observation, Gaffer Solomons thus sketched off, will convey
to you some idea of the earnestness with which the Parson pleaded the
cause he had undertaken to advocate. He dwelt much upon the sense of
propriety which the foreigner had evinced in requesting that the Squire
might be consulted before any formal communication to his cousin; and he
repeated Mrs. Dale's assurance, that such were Riccabocca's high
standard of honor and belief in the sacred rights of hospitality, that,
if the Squire withheld his consent to his proposals, the Parson was
convinced that the Italian would instantly retract them. Now,
considering that Miss Hazeldean was, to say the least, come to years of
discretion, and the Squire had long since placed her property entirely
at her own disposal, Mr. Hazeldean was forced to acquiesce in the
Parson's corollary remark, "That this was a delicacy which could not be
expected from every English pretender to the lady's hand." Seeing that
he had so far cleared ground, the Parson went on to intimate, though
with great tact, that, since Miss Jemima would probably marry sooner or
later, (and, indeed, that the Squire could not wish to prevent her), it
might be better for all parties concerned that it should be with some
one who, though a foreigner, was settled in the neighborhood, and of
whose character what was known was certainly favorable, than run the
hazard of her being married for her money by some adventurer or Irish
fortune-hunter at the watering-places she yearly visited. Then he
touched lightly on Riccabocca's agreeable and companionable qualities;
and concluded with a skillful peroration upon the excellent occasion the
wedding would afford to reconcile Hall and Parish, by making a
voluntary holocaust of the Stocks.

As he concluded, the Squire's brow, before thoughtful, though not
sullen, cleared up benignly. To say truth, the Squire was dying to get
rid of the Stocks, if he could but do so handsomely and with dignity;
and if all the stars in the astrological horoscope had conjoined
together to give Miss Jemima "assurance of a husband," they could not so
have served her with the Squire, as that conjunction between the Altar
and the Stocks which the Parson had effected!

Accordingly, when Mr. Dale had come to an end, the Squire replied with
great placidity and good sense, "That Mr. Rickeybockey had behaved very
much like a gentleman, and that he was very much obliged to him; that he
(the Squire) had no right to interfere in the matter, farther than with
his advice; that Jemima was old enough to choose for herself, and that,
as the Parson had implied, after all, she might go farther and fare
worse--indeed, the farther she went (that is, the longer she waited),
the worse she was likely to fare. I own for my part," continued the
Squire, "that, though I like Rickeybockey very much, I never suspected
that Jemima was caught with his long face; but there's no accounting for
tastes. My Harry, indeed, was more shrewd, and gave me many a hint, for
which I only laughed at her. Still I ought to have thought it looked
queer when Mounseer took to disguising himself by leaving off his
glasses, ha--ha! I wonder what Harry will say; let's go and talk to
her."

The Parson, rejoiced at this easy way of taking the matter, hooked his
arm into the Squire's, and they walked amicably toward the Hall. But on
coming first into gardens, they found Mrs. Hazeldean herself, clipping
dead leaves or fading flowers from her rose-trees. The Squire stole
slily behind her, and startled her in her turn by putting his arm round
her waist, and saluting her smooth cheek with one of his hearty kisses;
which, by the way, from some association of ideas, was a conjugal
freedom that he usually indulged whenever a wedding was going on in the
village.

"Fie, William!" said Mrs. Hazeldean coyly, and blushing as she saw the
Parson. "Well, who's going to be married now?"

"Lord, was there ever such a woman?--she's guessed it!" cried the Squire
in great admiration. "Tell her all about it, Parson."

The Parson obeyed.

Mrs. Hazeldean, as the reader may suppose, showed much less surprise
than her husband had done; but she took the news graciously, and made
much the same answer as that which had occurred to the Squire, only with
somewhat more qualification and reserve. "Signor Riccabocca had behaved
very handsomely; and though a daughter of the Hazeldeans of Hazeldean,
might expect a much better marriage, in a worldly point of view, yet as
the lady in question had deferred finding one so long, it would be
equally idle and impertinent now to quarrel with her choice--if indeed
she should decide on accepting Signor Riccabocca. As for fortune, that
was a consideration for the two contracting parties. Still, it ought to
be pointed out to Miss Jemima that the interest of her fortune would
afford but a very small income. That Dr. Riccabocca was a widower was
another matter for deliberation; and it seemed rather suspicious that he
should have been hitherto so close upon all matters connected with his
former life. Certainly his manners were in his favor, and as long as he
was merely an acquaintance, and at most a tenant, no one had a right to
institute inquiries of a strictly private nature; but that, when he was
about to marry a Hazeldean of Hazeldean, it became the Squire at least
to know a little more about him--who and what he was. Why did he leave
his own country? English people went abroad to save; no foreigner would
choose England as a country in which to save money! She supposed that a
foreign doctor was no very great things; probably he had been but a
professor in some Italian university. At all events, if the Squire
interfered at all, it was on such points that he should request
information."

"My dear madam," said the Parson, "what you say is extremely just. As to
the causes which have induced our friend to expatriate himself, I think
we need not look far for them. He is evidently one of the many Italian
refugees whom political disturbances have driven to our shore, whose
boast it is to receive all exiles, of whatever party. For his
respectability of birth and family he certainly ought to obtain some
vouchers. And if that be the only objection, I trust we may soon
congratulate Miss Hazeldean on a marriage with a man who, though
certainly very poor, has borne privations without a murmur; has
preferred all hardship to debt; has scorned to attempt betraying her
into any clandestine connection; who, in short, has shown himself so
upright and honest, that I hope my dear Mr. Hazeldean will forgive him
if he is only a doctor--probably of laws--and not, as most foreigners
pretend to be, a marquis, or a baron at least."

"As to that," cried the Squire, "'tis the best thing I know about
Rickeybockey, that he don't attempt to humbug us by any such foreign
trumpery. Thank heaven, the Hazeldeans of Hazeldean were never
tuft-hunters and title-mongers; and if I never ran after an English
lord, I should certainly be devilishly ashamed of a brother-in-law whom
I was forced to call markee or count! I should feel sure he was a
courier, or runaway valley-de-sham. Turn up your nose at a doctor,
indeed, Harry!--pshaw, good English style that! Doctor! my aunt married
a Doctor of Divinity--excellent man--wore a wig, and was made a dean! So
long as Rickeybockey is not a doctor of physic, I don't care a button.
If he's _that_, indeed, it would be suspicious; because, you see those
foreign doctors of physic are quacks, and tell fortunes, and go about
on a stage with a Merry-Andrew."

"Lord, Hazeldean! where on earth did you pick up that idea?" said Harry,
laughing.

"Pick it up!--why, I saw a fellow myself at the cattle fair last
year--when I was buying short-horns--with a red waistcoat and a cocked
hat, a little like the Parson's shovel. He called himself Doctor
Phoscophornio--wore a white wig, and sold pills! The Merry-Andrew was
the funniest creature--in salmon-colored tights--turned head over heels,
and said he came from Timbuctoo. No, no; if Rickeybockey's a physic
Doctor, we shall have Jemima in a pink tinsel dress, tramping about the
country in a caravan!"

At this notion, both the Squire and his wife laughed so heartily that
the Parson felt the thing was settled, and slipped away, with the
intention of making his report to Riccabocca.


CHAPTER XXVI.

It was with a slight disturbance of his ordinary suave and well-bred
equanimity that the Italian received the information, that he need
apprehend no obstacle to his suit from the insular prejudices or the
worldly views of the lady's family. Not that he was mean and cowardly
enough to recoil from the near and unclouded prospect of that felicity
which he had left off his glasses to behold with unblinking naked
eyes:--no, there his mind was made up; but he had met with very little
kindness in life, and he was touched not only by the interest in his
welfare testified by a heretical priest, but by the generosity with
which he was admitted into a well-born and wealthy family, despite his
notorious poverty and his foreign descent. He conceded the propriety of
the only stipulation, which was conveyed to him by the Parson with all
the delicacy that became a man professionally habituated to deal with
the subtler susceptibilities of mankind--viz., that, among Riccabocca's
friends or kindred, some one should be found whose report would confirm
the persuasion of his respectability entertained by his neighbors;--he
assented, I say, to the propriety of this condition; but it was not with
alacrity and eagerness. His brow became clouded. The Parson hastened to
assure him that the Squire was not a man _qui stupet in titulis_, (who
was besotted with titles), that he neither expected nor desired to find
an origin and rank for his brother-in-law above that decent mediocrity
of condition to which it was evident, from Riccabocca's breeding and
accomplishments, he could easily establish his claim. "And though," said
he smiling, "the Squire is a warm politician in his own country, and
would never see his sister again, I fear, if she married some convicted
enemy of our happy constitution, yet for foreign politics he does not
care a straw: so that if, as I suspect, your exile arises from some
quarrel with your Government--which, being foreign, he takes for granted
must be insupportable--he would but consider you as he would a Saxon
who fled from the iron hand of William the Conqueror, or a Lancastrian
expelled by the Yorkists in our Wars of the Roses."

The Italian smiled. "Mr. Hazeldean shall be satisfied," said he simply.
"I see, by the Squire's newspaper, that an English gentleman who knew me
in my own country has just arrived in London. I will write to him for a
testimonial, at least to my probity and character. Probably he may be
known to you by name--nay, he must be, for he was a distinguished
officer in the late war. I allude to Lord L'Estrange."

The Parson started.

"You know Lord L'Estrange?--a profligate, bad man, I fear."

"Profligate!--bad!" exclaimed Riccabocca. "Well, calumnious as the world
is, I should never have thought that such expressions would be applied
to one who, though I knew him but little--knew him chiefly by the
service he once rendered to me--first taught me to love and revere the
English name!"

"He may be changed since--" The parson paused.

"Since when?" asked Riccabocca, with evident curiosity.

Mr. Dale seemed embarrassed. "Excuse me," said he, "it is many years
ago; and, in short, the opinion I then formed of the gentleman in
question was based upon circumstances which I can not communicate."

The punctilious Italian bowed in silence, but he still looked as if he
should have liked to prosecute inquiry.

After a pause, he said, "Whatever your impressions respecting Lord
L'Estrange, there is nothing, I suppose, which would lead you to doubt
his honor, or reject his testimonial in my favor?"

"According to fashionable morality," said Mr. Dale, rather precisely, "I
know of nothing that could induce me to suppose that Lord L'Estrange
would not, in this instance, speak the truth. And he has unquestionably
a high reputation as a soldier, and a considerable position in the
world." Therewith the Parson took his leave. A few days afterward, Dr.
Riccabocca inclosed to the Squire, in a blank envelope, a letter he had
received from Harley L'Estrange. It was evidently intended for the
Squire's eye, and to serve as a voucher for the Italian's
respectability; but this object was fulfilled, not in the coarse form of
a direct testimonial, but with a tact and delicacy which seemed to show
more than the fine breeding to be expected from one in Lord L'Estrange's
station. It argued that most exquisite of all politeness which comes
from the heart: a certain tone of affectionate respect (which even the
homely sense of the Squire felt, intuitively, proved far more in favor
of Riccabocca than the most elaborate certificate of his qualities and
antecedents) pervaded the whole, and would have sufficed in itself to
remove all scruples from a mind much more suspicious and exacting than
that of the Squire of Hazeldean. But, lo and behold! an obstacle now
occurred to the Parson, of which he ought to have thought long
before--viz., the Papistical religion of the Italian. Dr. Riccabocca was
professedly a Roman Catholic. He so little obtruded that fact--and,
indeed, had assented so readily to any animadversions upon the
superstition and priestcraft which, according to Protestants, are the
essential characteristics of Papistical communities--that it was not
till the hymeneal torch, which brings all faults to light, was fairly
illumined for the altar, that the remembrance of a faith so cast into
the shade burst upon the conscience of the Parson. The first idea that
then occurred to him was the proper and professional one--viz., the
conversion of Dr. Riccabocca. He hastened to his study, took down from
his shelves long neglected volumes of controversial divinity, armed
himself with an arsenal of authorities, arguments, and texts; then,
seizing the shovel-hat, posted off to the Casino.


CHAPTER XXVII.

The Parson burst upon the philosopher like an avalanche! He was so full
of his subject that he could not let it out in prudent driblets. No, he
went souse upon the astounded Riccabocca,

                          "Tremendo.
    Jupiter ipse ruens tumultu."

The sage--shrinking deeper into his arm-chair, and drawing his
dressing-robe more closely round him--suffered the Parson to talk for
three-quarters of an hour, till indeed he had thoroughly proved his
case; and, like Brutus, "paused for a reply."

Then said Riccabocca mildly, "In much of what you have urged so ably,
and so suddenly, I am inclined to agree. But base is the man who
formally forswears the creed he has inherited from his fathers, and
professed since the cradle up to years of maturity, when the change
presents itself in the guise of a bribe;--when, for such is human
nature, he can hardly distinguish or disentangle the appeal to his
reason from the lure to his interests--here a text, and there a
dowry!--here Protestantism, there Jemima. Own, my friend, that the
soberest casuist would see double under the inebriating effects produced
by so mixing his polemical liquors. Appeal, my good Mr. Dale, from
Philip drunken to Philip sober!--from Riccabocca intoxicated with the
assurance of your excellent lady, that he is about to be "the happiest
of men," to Riccabocca accustomed to his happiness, and carrying it off
with the seasoned equability of one grown familiar with stimulants--in a
word, appeal from Riccabocca the wooer to Riccabocca the spouse. I may
be convertible, but conversion is a slow process; courtship should be a
quick one--ask Miss Jemima. _Finalmente_, marry me first, and convert me
afterward!"

"You take this too jestingly," began the Parson; "and I don't see why,
with your excellent understanding, truths so plain and obvious should
not strike you at once."

"Truths," interrupted Riccabocca profoundly, "are the slowest growing
things in the world! It took 1500 years from the date of the Christian
era to produce your own Luther, and then he flung his Bible at Satan (I
have seen the mark made by the book on the wall of his prison in
Germany), besides running off with a nun, which no Protestant clergyman
would think it proper and right to do nowadays." Then he added, with
seriousness, "Look you, my dear sir--I should lose my own esteem if I
were even to listen to you now with becoming attention--now, I say, when
you hint that the creed I have professed may be in the way of my
advantage. If so, I must keep the creed and resign the advantage. But
if, as I trust--not only as a Christian, but a man of honor--you will
defer this discussion, I will promise to listen to you hereafter; and
though, to say truth, I believe that you will not convert me, I will
promise you faithfully never to interfere with my wife's religion."

"And any children you may have?"

"Children!" said Dr. Riccabocca, recoiling--"you are not contented with
firing your pocket-pistol right in my face; you must also pepper me all
over with small-shot. Children! well, if they are girls, let them follow
the faith of their mother; and if boys, while in childhood, let them be
contented with learning to be Christians; and when they grow into men,
let them choose for themselves which is the best form for the practice
of the great principles which all sects have in common."

"But," began Mr. Dale again, pulling a large book from his pocket.

Dr. Riccabocca flung open the window, and jumped out of it.

It was the rapidest and most dastardly flight you could possibly
conceive; but it was a great compliment to the argumentative powers of
the Parson, and he felt it as such. Nevertheless, Mr. Dale thought it
right to have a long conversation, both with the Squire and Miss Jemima
herself, upon the subject which his intended convert had so
ignominiously escaped.

The Squire, though a great foe to Popery, politically considered, had
also quite as great a hatred to turn-coats and apostates. And in his
heart he would have despised Riccabocca if he could have thrown off his
religion as easily as he had done his spectacles. Therefore he said,
simply--"Well, it is certainly a great pity that Rickeybockey is not of
the Church of England, though, I take it, that would be unreasonable to
expect in a man born and bred under the nose of the Inquisition"--(the
Squire firmly believed that the Inquisition was in full force in all the
Italian states, with whips, racks, and thumb-screws; and, indeed, his
chief information of Italy was gathered from a perusal he had given in
early youth to _The One-Handed Monk_)--"but I think he speaks very
fairly, on the whole, as to his wife and children. And the thing's gone
too far now to retract. It is all your fault for not thinking of it
before; and I've now just made up my mind as to the course to pursue
respecting those d--d Stocks!"

As for Miss Jemima, the parson left her with a pious thanksgiving that
Riccabocca at least was a Christian, and not a Pagan, Mahometan, or Jew!


CHAPTER XXVIII.

There is that in a wedding which appeals to a universal sympathy. No
other event in the lives of their superiors in rank creates an equal
sensation among the humbler classes.

From the moment the news had spread throughout the village that Miss
Jemima was to be married, all the old affection for the Squire and his
House burst forth the stronger for its temporary suspension. Who could
think of the Stocks at such a season? They were swept out of
fashion--hunted from remembrance as completely as the question of Repeal
or the thought of Rebellion from the warm Irish heart, when the fair
young face of the Royal Wife beamed on the sister isle.

Again cordial courtesies were dropped at the thresholds by which the
Squire passed to his home-farm; again the sun-burnt brows uncovered--no
more with sullen ceremony--were smoothed into cheerful gladness at his
nod. Nay, the little ones began again to assemble at their ancient
rendezvous by the Stocks, as if either familiarized with the phenomenon,
or convinced that, in the general sentiment of good-will, its powers of
evil were annulled.

The Squire tasted once more the sweets of the only popularity which is
much worth having, and the loss of which a wise man would reasonably
deplore; viz., the popularity which arises from a persuasion of our
goodness, and a reluctance to recall our faults. Like all blessings, the
more sensibly felt from previous interruption, the Squire enjoyed this
restored popularity with an exhilarated sense of existence; his stout
heart beat more vigorously; his stalwart step trod more lightly; his
comely English face looked comelier and more English than ever--you
would have been a merrier man for a week to have come within hearing of
his jovial laugh.

He felt grateful to Jemima and to Riccabocca as the special agents of
Providence in this general _integratio amoris_. To have looked at him,
you would suppose that it was the Squire who was going to be married a
second time to his Harry!

One may well conceive that such would have been an inauspicious moment
for Parson Dale's theological scruples. To have stopped that
marriage--chilled all the sunshine it diffused over the village--seen
himself surrounded again by long sulky visages--I verily believe, though
a better friend of Church and State never stood on a hustings, that,
rather than court such a revulsion, the Squire would have found
jesuitical excuses for the marriage if Riccabocca had been discovered to
be the Pope in disguise! As for the Stocks, their fate was now
irrevocably sealed. In short, the marriage was concluded--first
privately, according to the bridegroom's creed, by a Roman Catholic
clergyman, who lived in a town some miles off, and next publicly in the
village church of Hazeldean.

It was the heartiest rural wedding! Village girls strewed flowers on the
way; a booth was placed amidst the prettiest scenery of the Park, on the
margin of the lake--for there was to be a dance later in the day--an ox
was roasted whole. Even Mr. Stirn--no, Mr. Stirn was not present, so
much happiness would have been the death of him! And the Papisher, too,
who had conjured Lenny out of the stocks; nay, who had himself sate in
the Stocks for the very purpose of bringing them into contempt--the
Papisher! he had as lief Miss Jemima had married the devil! Indeed he
was persuaded that, in point of fact, it was all one and the same.
Therefore Mr. Stirn had asked leave to go and attend his uncle the
pawnbroker, about to undergo a torturing operation for the stone! Frank
was there, summoned from Eton for the occasion--having grown two inches
taller since he left--for the one inch of which nature was to be
thanked, for the other a new pair of resplendent Wellingtons. But the
boy's joy was less apparent than that of others. For Jemima was a
special favorite with him--as she would have been with all boys--for she
was always kind and gentle, and made many pretty presents whenever she
came from the watering-places. And Frank knew that he should miss her
sadly, and thought she had made a very queer choice.

Captain Higginbotham had been invited; but, to the astonishment of
Jemima, he had replied to the invitation by a letter to herself, marked
"_private and confidential_." 'She must have long known,' said the
letter, 'of his devoted attachment to her; motives of delicacy, arising
from the narrowness of his income, and the magnanimity of his
sentiments, had alone prevented his formal proposals; but now that she
was informed (he could scarcely believe his senses, or command his
passions) that her relations wished to force her into a BARBAROUS
marriage with a foreigner of MOST FORBIDDING APPEARANCE, and most
_abject circumstances_, he lost not a moment in laying at her feet his
own hand and fortune. And he did this the more confidently, inasmuch as
he could not but be aware of Miss Jemima's SECRET feelings toward him,
while he was _proud_ and _happy_ to say, that his dear and distinguished
cousin, Mr. Sharpe Currie, had honored him with a warmth of regard which
justified the most _brilliant_ EXPECTATIONS--likely to be _soon_
realized--as his eminent relative had contracted a _very bad
liver-complaint_ in the service of his country, and could not last
long!'

In all the years they had known each other, Miss Jemima, strange as it
may appear, had never once suspected the Captain of any other feelings
to her than those of a brother. To say that she was not gratified by
learning her mistake, would be to say that she was more than woman.
Indeed, it must have been a source of no ignoble triumph to think that
she could prove her disinterested affection to her dear Riccabocca, by a
prompt rejection of this more brilliant offer. She couched the
rejection, it is true, in the most soothing terms. But the Captain
evidently considered himself ill used; he did not reply to the letter,
and did not come to the wedding.

To let the reader into a secret, never known to Miss Jemima, Captain
Higginbotham was much less influenced by Cupid than by Plutus in the
offer he had made. The Captain was one of that class of gentlemen who
read their accounts by those corpse-lights, or will-o'-the-wisps, called
_expectations_. Ever since the Squire's grandfather had left him--then
in short clothes--a legacy of £500, the Captain had peopled the future
with expectations! He talked of his expectations as a man talks of
shares in a Tontine; they might fluctuate a little--be now up and now
down--but it was morally impossible, if he lived on, but that he should
be a _millionaire_ one of these days. Now, though Miss Jemima was a good
fifteen years younger than himself, yet she always stood for a good
round sum in the ghostly books of the Captain. She was an _expectation_
to the full amount of her £4000, seeing that Frank was an only child,
and it would be carrying coals to Newmarket to leave _him_ any thing.

Rather than see so considerable a cipher suddenly sponged out of his
visionary ledger--rather than so much money should vanish clean out of
the family, Captain Higginbotham had taken what he conceived, if a
desperate, at least a certain, step for the preservation of his
property. If the golden horn could not be had without the heifer, why,
he must take the heifer into the bargain. He had never formed to himself
an idea that a heifer so gentle would toss and fling him over. The blow
was stunning. But no one compassionates the misfortunes of the covetous,
though few perhaps are in greater need of compassion. And leaving poor
Captain Higginbotham to retrieve his illusory fortunes as he best may
among "the expectations" which gathered round the form of Mr. Sharpe
Currie, who was the crossest old tyrant imaginable, and never allowed at
his table any dishes not compounded with rice, which played Old Nick
with the Captain's constitutional functions--I return to the wedding at
Hazeldean, just in time to see the bridegroom--who looked singularly
well on the occasion--hand the bride (who, between sunshiny tears and
affectionate smiles, was really a very interesting and even a pretty
bride, as brides go) into a carriage which the Squire had presented to
them, and depart on the orthodox nuptial excursion amidst the blessings
of the assembled crowd.

It may be thought strange by the unreflective that these rural
spectators should so have approved and blessed the marriage of a
Hazeldean of Hazeldean with a poor, outlandish, long-haired foreigner;
but, besides that Riccabocca, after all, had become one of the
neighborhood, and was proverbially "a civil-spoken gentleman," it is
generally noticeable that on wedding occasions the bride so monopolizes
interest, curiosity, and admiration, that the bridegroom himself goes
for little or nothing. He is merely the passive agent in the affair--the
unregarded cause of the general satisfaction. It was not Riccabocca
himself that they approved and blessed--it was the gentleman in the
white waistcoat who had made Miss Jemima--Madam Rickeybocky!

Leaning on his wife's arm--(for it was a habit of the Squire to lean on
his wife's arm rather than she on his, when he was specially pleased;
and there was something touching in the sight of that strong sturdy
frame thus insensibly, in hours of happiness, seeking dependence on the
frail arm of woman)--leaning, I say, on his wife's arm, the Squire,
about the hour of sunset, walked down to the booth by the lake.

All the parish--young and old, man, woman, and child--were assembled
there, and their faces seemed to bear one family likeness, in the common
emotion which animated all, as they turned to his frank fatherly smile.
Squire Hazeldean stood at the head of the long table; he filled a horn
with ale from the brimming tankard beside him. Then he looked round, and
lifted his hand to request silence; and, ascending the chair, rose in
full view of all. Every one felt that the Squire was about to make a
speech, and the earnestness of the attention was proportioned to the
rarity of the event; for (though he was not unpracticed in the oratory
of the hustings) only thrice before had the Squire made what could
fairly be called "a speech" to the villagers of Hazeldean--once on a
kindred festive occasion, when he had presented to them his bride--once
in a contested election for the shire, in which he took more than
ordinary interest, and was not quite so sober as he ought to have
been--once in a time of great agricultural distress, when, in spite of
reduction of rents, the farmers had been compelled to discard a large
number of their customary laborers; and when the Squire had said, "I
have given up keeping the hounds, because I want to make a fine piece of
water, (that was the origin of the lake), and to drain all the low lands
round the park. Let every man who wants work come to me!" And that sad
year the parish rates of Hazeldean were not a penny the more.

Now, for the fourth time, the Squire rose, and thus he spoke. At his
right hand, Harry; at his left, Frank. At the bottom of the table, as
vice-president, Parson Dale, his little wife behind him, only obscurely
seen. She cried readily, and her handkerchief was already before her
eyes.


CHAPTER XXIX. THE SQUIRE'S SPEECH.

"Friends and neighbors--I thank you kindly for coming round me this day,
and for showing so much interest in me and mine. My cousin was not born
among you as I was, but you have known her from a child. It is a
familiar face and one that never frowned, which you will miss at your
cottage doors, as I and mine will miss it long in the old Hall--"

Here there was a sob from some of the women, and nothing was seen of
Mrs. Dale but the white handkerchief. The Squire himself paused, and
brushed away a tear with the back of his hand. Then he resumed, with a
sudden change of voice that was electrical--

"For we none of us prize a blessing till we have lost it! Now, friends
and neighbors--a little time ago, it seemed as if some ill-will had
crept into the village--ill-will between you and me, neighbors!--why,
that is not like Hazeldean!"

The audience hung their heads! You never saw people look so thoroughly
ashamed of themselves. The Squire proceeded--

"I don't say it was all your fault; perhaps it was mine."

"Noa--noa--noa," burst forth in a general chorus.

"Nay, friends," continued the Squire humbly, and in one of those
illustrative aphorisms which, if less subtle than Riccabocca's were more
within reach of the popular comprehension; "nay--we are all human; and
every man has his hobby: sometimes he breaks in the hobby, and sometimes
the hobby, if it is very hard in the mouth, breaks in him. One man's
hobby has an ill habit of always stopping at the public house!
(Laughter). Another man's hobby refuses to stir a peg beyond the door
where some buxom lass patted its neck the week before--a hobby I rode
pretty often when I went courting my good wife here! (Much laughter and
applause). Others have a lazy hobby, that there's no getting on; others,
a runaway hobby that there's no stopping: but to cut the matter short,
my favorite hobby, as you well know, is always trotted out to any place
on my property which seems to want the eye and hand of the master. I
hate (cried the Squire warming) to see things neglected and decayed, and
going to the dogs! This land we live in is a good mother to us, and we
can't do too much for her. It is very true, neighbors, that I owe her a
good many acres, and ought to speak well of her; but what then? I live
among you, and what I take from the rent with one hand, I divide among
you with the other (low, but assenting murmurs). Now the more I improve
my property, the more mouths it feeds. My great-grandfather kept a
Field-Book, in which were entered, not only the names of all the farmers
and the quantity of land they held, but the average number of the
laborers each employed. My grandfather and father followed his example:
I have done the same. I find, neighbors, that our rents have doubled
since my great-grandfather began to make the book. Ay--but there are
more than four times the number of laborers employed on the estate, and
at much better wages, too! Well, my men, that says a great deal in favor
of improving property, and not letting it go to the dogs. (Applause).
And therefore, neighbors, you will kindly excuse my hobby: it carries
grist to your mill. (Reiterated applause). Well--but you will say,
'What's the Squire driving at?' Why this, my friends: There was only one
worn-out, dilapidated tumble-down thing in the Parish of Hazeldean, and
it became an eyesore to me; so I saddled my hobby, and rode at it. O ho!
you know what I mean now! Yes, but neighbors, you need not have taken it
so to heart. That was a scurvy trick of some of you to hang me in
effigy, as they call it."

"It warn't you," cried a voice in the crowd, "it war Nick Stirn."

The Squire recognized the voice of the Tinker; but though he now guessed
at the ringleader--on that day of general amnesty, he had the prudence
and magnanimity not to say, "Stand forth, Sprott: thou art the man." Yet
his gallant English spirit would not suffer him to come off at the
expense of his servant.

"If it was Nick Stirn you meant," said he, gravely, "more shame for you.
It showed some pluck to hang the master; but to hang the poor servant,
who only thought to do his duty, careless of what ill-will it brought
upon him, was a shabby trick--so little like the lads of Hazeldean, that
I suspect the man who taught it to them was never born in the parish.
But let by-gones be by-gones. One thing is clear, you don't take kindly
to my new Pair of Stocks! They have been a stumbling-block and a
grievance, and there's no denying that we went on very pleasantly
without them. I may also say that in spite of them we have been coming
together again lately. And I can't tell you what good it did me to see
your children playing again on the green, and your honest faces, in
spite of the Stocks, and those diabolical tracts you've been reading
lately, lighted up at the thought that something pleasant was going on
at the Hall. Do you know, neighbors, you put me in mind of an old story
which, besides applying to the Parish, all who are married, and all who
intend to marry, will do well to recollect? A worthy couple, named John
and Joan, had lived happily together many a long year, till one unlucky
day, they bought a new bolster. Joan said the bolster was too hard, and
John that it was too soft. So, of course, they quarreled. After sulking
all day, they agreed to put the bolster between them at night." (Roars
of laughter among the men; the women did not know which way to look,
except, indeed, Mrs. Hazeldean, who, though she was more than usually
rosy, maintained her innocent, genial smile, as much as to say, "There
is no harm in the Squire's jests.") The orator resumed, "After they had
thus lain apart for a little time, very silent and sullen, John sneezed.
'God bless you!' says Joan over the bolster. 'Did you say God bless me?'
cries John--'then here goes the bolster!'"

Prolonged laughter and tumultuous applause.

"Friends and neighbors," said the Squire, when silence was restored, and
lifting the horn of ale, "I have the pleasure to inform you that I have
ordered the Stocks to be taken down, and made into a bench for the
chimney nook of our old friend Gaffer Solomons yonder. But mind me,
lads, if ever you make the Parish regret the loss of the Stocks, and the
overseers come to me with long faces, and say, 'the Stocks must be
rebuilded,' why--" Here from all the youth of the village rose so
deprecating a clamor, that the Squire would have been the most bungling
orator in the world if he had said a word further on the subject. He
elevated the horn over his head, "Why, that's my old Hazeldean again!
Health and long life to you all!"

The Tinker had sneaked out of the assembly, and did not show his face in
the village for the next six months. And as to those poisonous tracts,
in spite of their salubrious labels, "The Poor Man's Friend," or "The
Rights of Labor," you could no more have found one of them lurking in
the drawers of the kitchen-dressers in Hazeldean, than you would have
found the deadly nightshade on the flower-stands in the drawing-room of
the Hall. As for the revolutionary beer-house, there was no need to
apply to the magistrates to shut it up; it shut itself up before the
week was out.

O young head of the great House of Hapsburg, what a Hazeldean you might
have made of Hungary!--What a "_Moriamur pro rege nostro_" would have
rung in your infant reign--if you had made such a speech as the
Squire's!


  (_To be continued._)


FOOTNOTES:

[4] The Emperor Diocletian.

[5] The title of Excellency does not, in Italian, necessarily express
any exalted rank, but is often given by servants to their masters.



BEAUTIES OF THE LAW.


As a happy illustration of the certainty, cheapness, and expedition of
the English law, in upholding those who are in the right, we have
received the following strange narrative from an esteemed correspondent,
who is himself a lawyer:

"The most litigious fellow I ever knew, was a Welshman, named Bones. He
had got possession, by some means, of a bit of waste ground behind a
public-house in Hogwash-street. Adjoining this land was a yard,
belonging to the parish of St. Jeremiah, which the Parish Trustees were
fencing in with a wall. Bones alleged that one corner of their wall was
advanced about ten inches on his ground, and as they declined to remove
it back, he kicked down the brickwork before the mortar was dry. The
Trustees having satisfied themselves that they were not only within
their own boundary, but that they had left Bones some feet of the parish
land to boot, built up the wall again. Bones kicked it down again.

"The Trustees put it up a third time under the protection of a
policeman. The inexorable Bones, in spite of the awful presence of this
functionary, not only kicked down the wall again, but kicked the
bricklayers into the bargain. This was too much, and Bones was marched
off to Guildhall for assaulting the bricklayers. The magistrate rather
pooh-poohed the complaint, but bound over Bones to keep the peace. The
_causa belli_, the wall, was re-edified a fourth time; but when the
Trustees revisited the place next morning, it was again in ruins! While
they were in consultation upon this last insult, they were politely
waited on by an attorney's clerk, who served them all with 'writs' in an
action of trespass, at the suit of Bones, for encroaching on his land.

"Thus war was declared about a piece of dirty land, literally not so big
as a door-step, and the whole fee-simple of which would not sell for a
shilling. The Trustees, however, thought they ought not to give up the
rights of the parish to the obstinacy of a perverse fellow, like Bones,
and resolved to indict Bones for assaulting the workmen. Accordingly,
the action and the indictment went on together.

"The action was tried first, and as the evidence clearly showed the
Trustees had kept within their own boundary, they got the verdict. Bones
moved for a new trial; that failed. The Trustees now thought they would
let the matter rest, as it had cost the parish about one hundred and
fifty pounds, and they supposed Bones had had enough of it. But they had
mistaken their man. He brought a writ of error in the action, which
carried the cause into the Exchequer Court, and tied it up nearly two
years, and in the mean time he forced them, _nolens volens_, to try the
indictment. When the trial came on, the Judge said, that as the whole
question had been decided in the action, there was no occasion for any
further proceedings, and therefore the defendant had better be
acquitted, and so make an end of it.

"Accordingly, Bones was acquitted; and the very next thing Bones did,
was to sue the Trustees in a new action, for maliciously instituting the
indictment against him without reasonable cause! The new action went on
to trial; and it being proved that one of the Trustees had been
overheard to say that they would punish him, this was taken as evidence
of malice, and Bones got a verdict for forty shillings damages besides
all the costs. Elated with this victory, Bones pushed on his old action
in the Exchequer Chamber to a hearing, but the court affirmed the
judgment against him, without hearing the Trustees' counsel.

"The Trustees were now sick of the very name of Bones, which had become
a sort of bugbear, so that if a Trustee met a friend in the street, he
would be greeted with an inquiry after the health of his friend Mr.
Bones. They would have gladly let the whole matter drop into oblivion,
but Jupiter and Bones had determined otherwise; for the indomitable
Briton brought a writ of error in the House of Lords, on the judgment
of the Exchequer Chamber. The unhappy Trustees had caught a Tartar, and
follow him into the Lords they must. Accordingly after another year or
two's delay, the case came on in the Lords. Their Lordships pronounced
it the most trumpery writ of error they had ever seen, and again
affirmed the judgment, with costs, against Bones. The Trustees now taxed
their costs, and found that they had spent not less than five hundred
pounds in defending their claim to a bit of ground that was not of the
value of an old shoe. But, then, Bones was condemned to pay the costs.
True; so they issued execution against Bones; caught him, after some
trouble, and locked him up in jail. The next week, Bones petitioned the
Insolvent Court, got out of prison; and, on examination of schedule, his
effects appeared to be £0 0_s._ 0_d._! Bones had, in fact, been fighting
the Trustees on credit for the last three years; for his own attorney
was put down as a creditor to a large amount, which was the only
satisfaction the Trustees obtained from perusing his schedule.

"They were now obliged to have recourse to the Parish funds to pay their
own law expenses, and were consoling themselves with the reflection that
these did not come out of _their own pockets_, when they received the
usual notification that a bill in Chancery had been filed against them,
at Mr. Bones's suit, to overhaul their accounts with the parish, and
_prevent the misapplication of the parish money_ to the payment of their
law costs! This was the climax. And being myself a disciple of Coke, I
have heard nothing further of it; being unwilling, as well, perhaps, as
unqualified, to follow the case into the labyrinthic vaults of the Court
of Chancery. The catastrophe, if this were a tale, could hardly be
mended--so the true story may end here."



THE ROBBER OUTWITTED.


Willie Bailie was a household name about a hundred years ago, in the
upper parts of Clydesdale. Men, women, and children had heard of Willie,
and the greater proportion had seen him. Few, in his time, could excel
Willie in dexterity in his profession, which consisted of abstracting
money from people's pockets, and in other predatory feats. He frequented
the fairs all round the district, and no man's purse was safe if Willie
happened to be in the market. The beautiful village of Moffat, in
Annandale, was one of his frequent places of resort when any of its
fairs happened to be held, and here, among the honest farmers, he was
invariably successful; and to show his professional skill on such
occasions, he has been known to rob a man and return his purse to him
two or three times in the same day; but this he did only with his
intimate friends, who were kind to him in providing lodgings, when
plying his nominal occupation of tinker from one farm-house to another;
in the case of others, it was, of course, different. His wife abetted
him in all his thieving exploits, and generally sat in a place in the
outskirts of the town, that had been previously fixed on, and there
received in silence whatever spoil her husband might throw incidentally
into her lap in the shape of her fairing. But Willie was a privileged
freebooter, was generous withal, and well liked by the people in the
neighborhood, on whom he rarely committed any acts of plunder, and any
one might have trusted what he called his "honor."

Willie's character was well known both to high and low, and he became
renowned for a heroism which few who esteem respectability would now
covet. The high estimation in which he was held as an adept in his
profession, induced a Scottish nobleman to lay a high bet, with an
Englishman of some rank, that Willie would actually rob and fairly
despoil a certain noted riever on the southern side of the border, who
was considered one of the most daring and dexterous that frequented the
highways in those dubious times, and one whose exploits the gentleman
was in the habit of extolling. The Scottish nobleman conferred with
Willie, and informed him of the project--a circumstance which mightily
pleased our hero, and into which he entered with all enthusiasm. The
interest which Willie took in the matter was to the nobleman a guarantee
of ultimate success; and, having given all the marks of the robber, and
directed him to the particular place on the road where he was sure to
meet with him, he left it to Willie himself to arrange the subsequent
mode of procedure.

Willie's ingenuity was instantly at work, and he concocted a scheme
which fairly carried him through the enterprise. He got an old,
frail-looking pony, partially lame, and with long, shaggy hair. He
filled a bag of considerable dimensions with a great quantity of old
buttons, and useless pieces of jingling metal. He next arrayed himself
in beggarly habiliments, with clouted shoes, tattered under-garments, a
cloak mended in a hundred places, and a soiled, broad-brimmed bonnet on
his head. The _money_-bag he tied firmly behind the saddle; he placed a
pair of pistols under his coat, and a short dagger close by his side.
Thus accoutred he wended his way slowly toward the border, both he and
the animal apparently in the last stage of helplessness and decrepitude.
The bag behind was carefully covered by the cloak, that spread its
_duddy_ folds over the hinder parts of the poor lean beast that carried
him. Sitting in a crouching posture on the saddle, with a long beard and
an assumed palsified shaking of the hand, nobody would have conceived
for a moment that Willie was a man in the prime of life, of a
well-built, athletic frame, with more power in his arm than three
ordinary men, and of an intrepid and adventurous spirit, that feared
nothing, but dared every thing. In this plight, our worthy went dodging
over the border, and entered the neighboring kingdom, where every person
that met him regarded him as a poor, doited, half-insane body, fit only
to lie down at the side of a hedge, and die unheeded, beside the crazy
steed. In this way, he escaped without suspicion, and advanced without
an adventure to the skirts of the wood, where he expected to encounter
his professional brother.

When Willie entered the road that led through the dark and suspicious
forest, he was all on the alert for the highwayman. Every rustling among
the trees and bushes arrested his attention, not knowing but a whizzing
ball might in a moment issue therefrom, or that the redoubted freebooter
himself might spring upon him like a tiger. Neither of these, however,
occurred; but a man on horseback was seen advancing slowly and
cautiously on the road before him. This might be he, or it might not,
but Willie now recollected every particular mark given of the man with
whom he expected to encounter, and he was prepared for the most vigilant
observation. As the horseman advanced, Willie was fully convinced that
he had met with his man, and this was the critical moment, for here was
the identical highwayman.

"How now, old fellow?" exclaimed the robber; "what seek you in these
parts? Where are you bound for, with this magnificent equipage of
yours?"

"Why, to tell you the truth, I am e'en a puir honest man frae Scotland,
gaen a wee bit farther south on business of some consequence, and I am
glad I have met with a gentleman like you, and I would fain put myself
under your protection in this dreary wood, as I am a stranger, and wadna
like ony mischance to befa', considering the errand I am on."

The robber eyed Willie with a sort of leer, thinking he had fallen in
with an old driveling fool, at whose expense he might amuse himself with
impunity, and play a little on his simplicity.

"What makes you afraid of this wood?" said the robber.

"Why, I was told that it was infested with highwaymen; and, to tell you
the truth, as I take you to be an honest man and a gentleman, I hae
something in this bag that I wadna like to lose, for twa reasons--baith
because of its value, and because it was intrusted to my care."

"What have you got, pray, that you seem so anxious to preserve? I can't
conceive that any thing of great value can be intrusted to your care.
Why, I would not give a crown-piece, nor the half of it, for the whole
equipage."

"That's just the very thing. You see, I am not what I appear to be. I
have ta'en this dress, and this auld, slovenly pony, for the purpose of
avoiding suspicion in these precarious places. I have behind me a bag
full of gold--you may hear by the jingling of the pieces when I strike
here with my hand. Now, I am intrusted with all this treasure, to convey
it to a certain nobleman's residence in the south; and I say again, that
I am glad that I have met you, to conduct me safely through the forest."

At this, the robber was highly amused, and could scarcely believe that a
simplicity so extreme, and bordering on insanity, could exist; and yet
there was an archness in the old man's look, and a wiliness in his
manner, that hardly comported with his external appearance. He said he
had gold with him--he affirmed that he was not exactly what he appeared
to be--not so poor as his tattered garments would indicate, and withal
trustworthy, having so large a sum of money committed to his care. It
might be, there was not a word of truth in his story; he might be some
cunning adventurer from the border, plying a certain vocation on his own
account, not altogether of a reputable cast; but, whatever the case
might be, the silly old man was completely in his power, and, if he had
gold in his possession, it must be seized on, and no time was to be
lost.

"I tell you," said the highwayman, wheeling his horse suddenly round in
front of Willie's pony, "I tell you, old man, that I am that same robber
of whom you seem to be afraid, and I demand an instant surrender of your
gold."

"Hoot, toot," exclaimed Willie, "gae wa, gae wa! You a robber! You are
an honest man, and you only want to joke me."

"I tell you distinctly that I am the robber, and I hold you in my
power."

"And I say as distinctly," persisted Willie, "that you are a true man.
That face of yours is no a robber's face--there's no a bit o' a robber
about ye, and sae ye maun e'en guard me through the wood, and gie me the
word o' a leel-hearted Englishman that ye'll no see ony ill come ower
me."

"No humbug!" vociferated the highwayman, in real earnest; "dismount, and
deliver me that bag immediately, else I will make a riddle of your
brainless skull in a trice."

Willie saw that it was in vain to parley, for the highwayman had his
hand on the pommel of his pistol, and an unscrupulous act would lay him
dead at his feet. Now was the time for the wary Scot to put his plan in
execution. All things had happened as he wished, and he hoped the rest
would follow.

"Weel, weel," said Willie, "since it maun be, it maun be. I shall
dismount, and deliver you the treasure, for life is sweet--sweeter far
than even gold to the miser. I wanted to act an honest part, but, as we
say on the north side of the border, 'Might makes right,' and sae, as I
said, it e'en maun be."

Willie then, with some apparent difficulty, as an old, stiff-limbed man,
lifted himself from the pony, and stood staggering on the ground.

"Now," said he, laying his hand heavily on the money-bag, "I have a
request or two to make, and all is yours. When I return to Scotland, I
must have some marks about my person to show that I have been really
robbed, and that I have not purloined the gold to my own purposes. I
will place my bonnet here on the side of the road, and you will shoot a
ball through it; and then, here is this old cloak--you must send another
ball exactly through here, so that I can show, when I return, what a
fray I have been in, and how narrowly I have escaped."

To this the robber consented, and, having alighted from his steed, made
two decided perforations in the way he was desired. This was with Willie
a great point gained, for the robber's pistols were now empty, and
restored to their place.

"I have yet another request," said Willie, "and then the matter will be
completed. You must permit me to cut the straps that tie the bag to the
saddle, and to throw it over this hedge, and then go and lift it
yourself, that I may be able to swear that, in the struggle, I did what
I could to conceal the money, and that you discovered the place where I
had hid it, and then seized it; and thus I will stand acquitted in all
points."

To this also the highwayman consented. Willie, accordingly, threw the
heavy bag over the hedge, and obsequiously offered to hold the robber's
high-spirited steed till he should return with the treasure. The bandit,
suspecting nothing on the part of the driveling old man, readily
committed his horse to his care, while he eagerly made his way through
the hedge to secure the prize. In the mean time, however, Willie was no
less agile; for, having thrown off his ragged and cumbersome cloak, he
vaulted upon the steed of the highwayman with as much coolness as if he
had been at his own door. When the robber had pushed his way back
through the hedge, dragging the bag with him, he was confounded on
seeing his saddle occupied by the simpleton whose gold he had so easily
come by. But he was no longer a simpleton--no longer a wayfaring man in
beggar's weeds--but a tall, buirdly man, arrayed in decent garb, and
prepared to dispute his part with the best.

"What, ho! scoundrel! Do you intend to run off with my horse? Dismount
instantly, or I will blow out your brains!"

"The better you may," replied Willie; "your pistols are empty, and your
broadsword is but a reed; advance a single step nearer, and I will send
a whizzing ball through your beating heart. As to the bag, you can
retain its contents, and sell the buttons for what they will bring. In
the mean time, farewell, and should you happen to visit my district
across the border, I shall be happy to extend to you a true Scotch
hospitality."

On this, Willie applied spur and whip to the fleet steed, and in a few
minutes was out of the wood, and entirely beyond the reach of the
highwayman. When Willie had time to consider the matter, he found a
valise behind the saddle, which, he had no doubt, was crammed with
spoils of robbery; nor was he mistaken, for, on examination, it
contained a great quantity of gold, and other precious articles. The
highwayman, on opening Willie's bag, found it filled with old buttons
and other trash. His indignation knew no bounds: he swore, and
vociferated, and stamped with his feet, but all to no purpose; he had
been outwitted by the wily Scot, and, artful as he himself was, he had
met with one more artful still.

The Scottish nobleman gained the bet, and the affair made a great noise
for many a long year. Daring men of this description were found in every
part of the kingdom, frequenting the dark woods, the thick hedges, and
the ruinous buildings by the wayside; and, what is remarkable, these
desperadoes were conventionally held in high repute, and were deemed
heroes. In the time of Charles II., when the English thoroughfares were
so infested with such adventurers, we find that one Claude Duval, a
highwayman, while he was a terror to all men, was at the same time a
true gallant in the esteem of all the ladies. He was as popular and
renowned as the greatest chieftains of his age; and, when he was at last
apprehended, "dames of high rank visited him in prison, and, with tears,
interceded for his life; and, after his execution, the corpse lay in
state, with all the pomp of scutcheons, wax-lights, black hangings, and
mutes." The order of society in the times to which we refer was vastly
different from what it is now. Men's habits and moral sentiments were
then of the lowest grade, but, thanks to the clearer light and better
teaching of Christianity, the condition of all classes is vastly
elevated. The Gospel has effected in the community infinitely more than
all law and social regulations otherwise could have accomplished.



[From Bentley's Miscellany.]

A CHAPTER ON BEARS, THEIR HABITS, HISTORY, ETC.


     _Slender._ Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

     _Anne._ I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

     _Slender._ I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at
     it as any man in England: you are afraid if you see the bear
     loose, are you not?

     _Anne._ Ay, indeed, sir.

     _Slender._ That's meat and drink to me now! I have seen Sackerson
     loose twenty times; and have taken him by the chain; but I
     warrant you the women have so cried and shrieked at it that it
     passed--but women, indeed can not abide 'em; they are very
     ill-favored, rough things.--_Merry Wives of Windsor._

Those who ramble amid the beautiful scenery of Torquay, who gaze with
admiration on the bold outlines of the Cheddar Cliffs, or survey the
fertile fen district of Cambridgeshire, will find it difficult to
believe that in former ages these spots were ravaged by bears surpassing
in size the grizzly bear of the Rocky Mountains, or the polar bear of
the Arctic regions; yet the abundant remains found in Kent Hole Torquay,
and the Banwell Caves, together with those preserved in the Woodwardian
Museum at Cambridge, incontestably prove that such was the case. Grand
indeed was the Fauna of the British isles in those early days!
Lions--the true old British lions--as large again as the biggest African
species, lurked in the ancient thickets; elephants, of nearly twice the
bulk of the largest individuals that now exist in Africa or Ceylon,
roamed here in herds; at least two species of rhinoceros forced their
way through the primeval forests; the lakes and rivers were tenanted by
hippopotami as bulky and with as great tusks as those of Africa. These
statements are not the offspring of imagination, but are founded on the
countless remains of these creatures which are continually being brought
to light, proving from their numbers and variety of size, that
generation after generation had been born, and lived, and died in Great
Britain.[6]

It is matter of history, that the brown bear was plentiful here in the
time of the Romans, and was conveyed in considerable numbers to Rome, to
make sport in the arena. In Wales they were common beasts of chase, and
in the history of the Gordons, it is stated that one of that clan, so
late as 1057, was directed by his sovereign to carry three bears' heads
on his banner, as a reward for his valor in killing a fierce bear in
Scotland.

In 1252, the sheriffs of London were commanded by the king to pay
fourpence a day for "our white bear in the Tower of London and his
keeper;" and in the following year they were directed to provide "unum
musellum et unam cathenam ferream"--_Anglicè_, a muzzle and an iron
chain, to hold him when out of the water, and a long and strong rope to
hold him when fishing in the Thames. This piscatorial bear must have had
a pleasant time of it, as compared to many of his species, for the
barbarous amusement of baiting was most popular with our ancestors. The
household book of the Earl of Northumberland contains the following
characteristic entry: "Item, my Lorde usith and accustomith to gyfe
yearly when hys Lordshipe is att home to his barward, when he comyth to
my Lorde at Cristmas with his Lordshippes beests, for making his
Lordschip pastyme the said xij days xxs."

In Bridgeward Without there was a district called Paris Garden; this,
and the celebrated Hockley in the Hole, were in the sixteenth century
the great resorts of the amateurs in bear-baiting and other cruel
sports, which cast a stain upon the society of that period--a society in
a transition state, but recently emerged from barbarism, and with all
the tastes of a semi-barbarous people. Sunday was the grand day for
these displays, until a frightful occurrence which took place in 1582. A
more than usually exciting bait had been announced, and a prodigious
concourse of people assembled. When the sport was at its highest, and
the air rung with blasphemy, the whole of the scaffolding on which the
people stood gave way, crushing many to death, and wounding many more.
This was considered as a judgment of the Almighty on these
Sabbath-breakers, and gave rise to a general prohibition of profane
pastime on the Sabbath.

Soon after the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, she gave a
splendid banquet to the French embassadors, who were afterward
entertained with the baiting of bulls and bears (May 25, 1559). The day
following, the embassadors went by water to Paris Garden, where they
patronized another performance of the same kind. Hentzer, after
describing from observation a very spirited and bloody baiting, adds,
"To this entertainment there often follows that of whipping a blinded
bear, which is performed by five or six men, standing circularly with
whips, which they exercise upon him without any mercy, as he can not
escape because of his chain. He defends himself with all his strength
and skill, throwing down all that come within his reach and are not
active enough to get out of it, and tearing their whips out of their
hands and breaking them." Laneham, in his account of the reception of
Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth, in 1575, gives a very graphic account of
the "righte royalle pastimes." "It was a sport very pleasant to see the
bear, with his pink eyes learing after his enemies' approach; the
nimbleness and wait of the dog to take his advantage, and the force and
experience of the bear again to avoid his assaults. If he were bitten in
one place, how he would pinch in another to get free; that if he were
taken once, then by what shift with biting, with clawing, with roaring,
with tossing and tumbling he would work and wind himself from them, and
when he was loose, to shake his ears twice or thrice with the blood and
the slaver hanging about his physiognomy."

These barbarities continued until a comparatively recent period, but are
now, it is to be hoped, exploded forever. Instead of ministering to the
worst passions of mankind, the animal creation now contribute, in no
inconsiderable degree, to the expansion of the mind and the development
of the nobler feelings. Zoological collections have taken the place of
the Southwark Gardens and other brutal haunts of vice, and we are glad
to say, often prove a stronger focus of attraction than the skittle
ground and, its debasing society. By them, laudable curiosity is
awakened, and the impression, especially on the fervent and plastic
minds of young people, is deep and lasting. The immense number of
persons[7] of the lower orders, who visited the London Gardens during
the past season, prove the interest excited. The love of natural history
is inherent in the human mind, and now for the first time the humbler
classes are enabled to see to advantage, and to appreciate the beauties
of animals of whose existence they were in utter ignorance, or if known,
so tinctured with the marvelous, as to cause them to be regarded mainly
as objects of wonder and of dread.

California is hardly less remarkable for its bears than for its gold.
The Grizzly Bear, expressively named _Ursus Ferox_ and _U. Horribilis_,
reigns despotic throughout those vast wilds which comprise the Rocky
Mountains and the plains east of them, to latitude 61°. In size it is
gigantic, often weighing 800 pounds; and we ourselves have measured a
skin eight feet and a half in length. Governor Clinton received an
account of one fourteen feet long, but there might have been some
stretching of this skin. The claws are of great length, and cut like a
chisel when the animal strikes a blow with them. The tail is so small as
not to be visible; and it is a standing joke with the Indians (who with
all their gravity are great wags), to desire one unacquainted with the
grizzly bear to take hold of its tail. The strength of this animal may
be estimated from its having been known to drag easily to a considerable
distance, the carcase of a bison, weighing upward of a thousand pounds.
Mr. Dougherty, an experienced hunter, had killed a very large bison, and
having marked the spot, left the carcase for the purpose of obtaining
assistance to skin and cut it up. On his return, the bison had
disappeared! What had become of it he could not divine; but at length,
after much search, discovered it in a deep pit which had been dug for it
at some distance by a grizzly bear, who had carried it off and buried it
during Mr. Dougherty's absence. The following incident is related by Sir
John Richardson: "A party of voyagers, who had been employed all day in
tracking a canoe up the Saskatchewan, had seated themselves in the
twilight by a fire, and were busy preparing their supper, when a large
grizzly bear sprang over their canoe that was tilted behind them, and
seizing one of the party by the shoulder, carried him off. The rest fled
in terror, with the exception of a Metif, named Bourasso, who, grasping
his gun, followed the bear as it was retreating leisurely with his prey.
He called to his unfortunate comrade that he was afraid of hitting him
if he fired at the bear, but the man entreated him to fire immediately,
as the bear was squeezing him to death. On this he took a deliberate
aim, and discharged his piece into the body of the bear, which instantly
dropped his prey to follow Bourasso, who however escaped with
difficulty, and the bear retreated to a thicket, where it is supposed to
have died." The same writer mentions a bear having sprung out of a
thicket, and with one blow of his paw completely scalped a man, laying
bare the skull, and bringing the skin down over the eyes. Assistance
coming up, the bear made off without doing him further injury; but the
scalp, not being replaced, the poor man lost his sight, though it is
stated the eyes were uninjured.

Grizzly bears do not hug, but strike their prey with their terrific
paws. We have been informed by a gentleman who has seen much of these
creatures (having indeed killed five with his own hand) that when a
grizzly bear sees an object, he stands up on his hind legs, and gazes at
it intently for some minutes. He then, if it be a man or a beast, goes
straight on utterly regardless of numbers, and will seize it in the
midst of a regiment of soldiers. One thing only scares these creatures,
and that is the _smell_ of man. If in their charge they should cross a
scent of this sort, they will turn and fly.

Our informant was on one occasion standing near a thicket, looking at
his servant cleaning a gun. He had just dismounted, and the bridle of
the thorough-bred horse was twisted round his arm. While thus engaged, a
very large grizzly bear rushed out of the thicket, and made at the
servant, who fled. The bear then turned short upon this gentleman, in
whose hand was a rifle, carrying a small ball, forty to the pound; and
as the bear rose on his hind legs to make a stroke, he was fortunate
enough to shoot him through the heart. Had the horse moved in the
slightest at the critical moment, and jerked his master's arm, nothing
could have saved him; but the noble animal stood like a rock. On another
occasion, a large bear was shot mortally. The animal rushed up a steep
ascent, and fell back, turning a complete somerset ere he reached the
ground. The same gentleman told us two curious facts, for which he could
vouch; namely, that these bears have the power of moving their claws
independently. For instance, they will take up a clod of earth which
excites their curiosity, and crumble it to pieces by moving their claws
one on the other; and that wolves, however famished, will never touch a
carcase which has been buried by a grizzly bear, though they will
greedily devour all other dead bodies. The instinct of burying bodies is
so strong with these bears, that instances are recorded where they have
covered hunters who have fallen into their power and feigned death, with
bark, grass, and leaves. If the men attempted to move, the bear would
again put them down, and cover them as before, finally leaving them
comparatively unhurt.

The grizzly bears have their caves, to which they retire when the cold
of winter renders them torpid; and this condition is taken advantage of
by the most intrepid of the hunters. Having satisfied themselves about
the cave, these men prepare a candle from wax taken from the comb of
wild bees, and softened by the grease of the bear. It has a large wick,
and burns with a brilliant flame. Carrying this before him, with his
rifle in a convenient position, the hunter enters the cave. Having
reached its recesses, he fixes the candle on the ground, lights it, and
the cavern is soon illuminated with a vivid light. The hunter now lies
down on his face, having the candle between the back part of the cave
where the bear is, and himself. In this position, with the muzzle of the
rifle full in front of him, he patiently awaits his victim. Bruin is
soon roused by the light, yawns and stretches himself, like a person
awaking from a deep sleep. The hunter now cocks his rifle, and watches
the bear turn his head, and with slow and waddling steps approach the
candle. This is a trying moment, as the extraordinary tenacity of life
of the grizzly bear renders an unerring shot essential. The monster
reaches the candle, and either raises his paw to strike, or his nose to
smell at it. The hunter steadily raises his piece; the loud report of
the rifle reverberates through the cavern; and the bear falls with a
heavy crash, pierced through the eye, one of the few vulnerable spots
through which he can be destroyed.

The Zoological Society have at various times possessed five specimens of
the grizzly bear. The first was Old Martin, for many years a well known
inhabitant of the Tower Menagerie. We remember him well as an enormous
brute, quite blind from cataract, and generally to be seen standing on
his hind legs with open mouth, ready to receive any tit-bit a
compassionate visitor might bestow. Notwithstanding the length of time
he was in confinement (more than twenty years), all attempts of
conciliation failed, and to the last he would not permit of the
slightest familiarity, even from the keeper who constantly fed him. Some
idea may be formed of his size, when we say that his skull (which we
recently measured) exceeds in length by two inches the largest lion's
skull in the Osteological Collection, although several must have
belonged to magnificent animals.

After the death of old Martin, the Society received two fine young bears
from Mr. Catlin, but they soon died. Their loss, however, has been amply
replaced by the three very thriving young animals which have been
recently added to the collection. These come from the Sierra Nevada,
about 800 miles from San Francisco, and were brought to this country by
Mr. Pacton. They were transported with infinite trouble across the
Isthmus of Panama, in a box carried on men's shoulders, and are
certainly the first of their race who have performed the overland
journey. The price asked was £600, but they were obtained at a much less
sum; since their sojourn in this country, they have greatly increased in
size, and enjoy excellent health. An additional interest attaches to
these animals from two of them having undergone the operation for
cataract.

Bears are extremely subject to this disease, and of course are thereby
rendered blind. Their strength and ferocity forbade any thing being done
for their relief, until a short time ago, when, by the aid of that
wonderful agent, chloroform, it was demonstrated that they are as
amenable to curative measures as the human subject.

On the 5th of last November, the first operation of the sort was
performed on one of these grizzly bears, which was blind in both eyes.
As this detracted materially from his value, it was decided to endeavor
to restore him to sight; and Mr. White Cooper having consented to
operate, the proceedings were as follow: A strong leathern collar to
which a chain was attached, was firmly buckled around the patient's
neck, and the chain having been passed round one of the bars in front of
the cage, two powerful men endeavored to pull him up, in order that a
sponge containing chloroform should be applied to his muzzle by Dr.
Snow. The resistance offered by the bear was as surprising as
unexpected. The utmost efforts of these men were unavailing; and, after
a struggle of ten minutes, two others were called to their aid. By their
united efforts, Master Bruin was at length brought up, and the sponge
fairly tied round his muzzle. Meanwhile the cries and roarings of the
patient were echoed in full chorus by his two brothers, who had been
confined to the sleeping den, and who scratched and tore at the door to
get to the assistance of their distressed relative. In a den on one side
was the Cheetah, whose leg was amputated under chloroform some months
ago, and who was greatly excited by the smell of the fluid and uproar.
The large sloth bear in a cage on the other side, joined heartily in the
chorus, and the Isabella bear just beyond, wrung her paws in an agony of
woe. Leopards snarled in sympathy, and laughing hyenas swelled the
chorus with their hysterical sobs. The octo-basso growling of the polar
bears, and roaring of the lions on the other side of the building,
completed as remarkable a diapason as could well be heard.

The first evidence of the action of the chloroform on the bear, was a
diminution in his struggles; first one paw dropped, then the other. The
sponge was now removed from his face, the door of the den opened, and
his head laid upon a plank outside. The cataracts were speedily broken
up, and the bear was drawn into the cage again. For nearly five minutes
he remained, as was remarked by a keeper without knowledge, sense, or
understanding, till at length one leg gave a kick, then another, and
presently he attempted to stand. The essay was a failure, but he soon
tried to make his way to his cage. It was Garrick, if we remember right,
who affirmed that Talma was an indifferent representative of
inebriation, for he was not drunk in his legs. The bear, however acted
the part to perfection, and the way in which (like Commodore Trunnion on
his way to church) he tacked, during his route to his den, was ludicrous
in the extreme. At length he blundered into it, and was left quiet for a
time. He soon revived, and in the afternoon ate heartily. The following
morning on the door being opened, he came out, staring about him, caring
nothing for the light, and began humming, as he licked his paws, with
much the air of a musical amateur sitting down to a sonata on his
violoncello.

A group might have been dimly seen through the fog which covered the
garden on the morning of the 15th November, standing on the spot where
the proceedings above narrated took place ten days previously. This
group comprised Professor Owen, Mr. Yarrell, the president of the
Society, Count Nesselrode, Mr. Waterhouse, Mr. Pickersgill, R.A.,
Captain Stanley, R.N., and two or three other gentlemen. They were
assembled to witness the restoration to sight of another of the grizzly
bears. The bear this time was brought out of the den, and his chain
passed round the rail in front of it. Diluted chloroform was used, and
the operation was rendered more difficult by the animal not being
perfectly under its influence. He recovered immediately after the
couching needle had been withdrawn from the second eye, and walked
pretty steadily to his sleeping apartment, where he received the
condolences of his brethren, rather ungraciously it must be confessed,
but his head was far from clear, and his temper ruffled. When the
cataracts have been absorbed the animals will have sight.

The wooded districts of the American continent were tenanted before
civilization had made such gigantic strides, by large numbers of the
well known black bear, _Ursus Americanus_. Some years ago, black bears'
skins were greatly in vogue for carriage hammer-cloths, &c.; and an idea
of the animals destroyed, may be formed from the fact, that in 1783,
10,500 skins were imported, and the numbers gradually rose to 25,000 in
1803, since which time there has been a gradual decline. In those days,
a fine skin was worth from twenty to forty guineas, but may now be
obtained for five guineas.

The chase of this bear is the most solemn action of the Laplander; and
the successful hunter may be known by the number of tufts of bears' hair
he wears in his bonnet. When the retreat of a bear is discovered, the
ablest sorcerer of the tribe beats the _runic_ drum to discover the
event of the chase, and on which side the animal ought to be assailed.
During the attack, the hunters join in a prescribed chorus, and beg
earnestly of the bear that he will do them no mischief. When dead, the
body is carried home on a sledge, and the rein-deer employed to draw it,
is exempt from labor during the remainder of the year. A new hut is
constructed for the express purpose of cooking the flesh, and the
huntsmen, joined by their wives, sing again their songs of joy and of
gratitude to the animal, for permitting them to return in safety. They
never presume to speak of the bear with levity, but always allude to him
with profound respect, as "the old man in the fur cloak." The Indians,
too, treat him with much deference. An old Indian, named Keskarrah, was
seated at the door of his tent, by a small stream, not far from Fort
Enterprise, when a large bear came to the opposite bank, and remained
for some time apparently surveying him. Keskarrah, considering himself
to be in great danger, and having no one to assist him but his aged
wife, made a solemn speech, to the following effect: "Oh, bear! I never
did you any harm; I have always had the highest respect for you and your
relations, and never killed any of them except through necessity. Pray,
go away, good bear, and let me alone, and I promise not to molest you."
The bear (probably regarding the old gentleman as rather a tough morsel)
walked off, and the old man, fancying that he owed his safety to his
eloquence, favored Sir John Richardson with his speech at length. The
bear in question, however, was of a different species to, and more
sanguinary than the black bear, so that the escape of the old couple was
regarded as remarkable.

The _Ursus Americanus_ almost invariably hybernates; and about a
thousand skins have been annually imported by the Hudson's Bay Company,
from these black bears destroyed in their winter retreats. A spot under
a fallen tree is selected for its den, and having scratched away a
portion of the soil, the bear retires thither at the commencement of a
snow-storm, and the snow soon furnishes a close warm covering. When
taken young, these bears are easily tamed; and the following incident
occurred to a gentleman of our acquaintance: a fine young bear had been
brought up by him with an antelope of the elegant species called
_Furcifer_, the two feeding out of the same dish, and being often seen
eating the same cabbage. He was in the habit of taking these pets out
with him, leading the bear by a string. On one occasion he was thus
proceeding, a friend leading the antelope, when a large fierce dog flew
at the latter. The gentleman, embarrassed by his charge, called out for
assistance to my informant, who ran hastily up, and in doing so
accidentally let the bear loose. He seemed to be perfectly aware that
his little companion was in difficulty, and rushing forward, knocked the
dog over and over with a blow of his paw, and sent him off howling. The
same bear would also play for hours with a Bison calf, and when tired
with his romps, jumped into a tub to rest; having recovered, he would
spring out and resume his gambols with his boisterous playfellow, who
seemed to rejoice when the bear was out of breath, and could be taken at
a disadvantage, at which time he was sure to be pressed doubly hard.
There was a fine bear of this description in the old Tower Menagerie,
which long shared his den with a hyena, with whom he was on good terms
except at meal-times, when they would quarrel in a very ludicrous
manner, for a piece of beef, or whatever else might happen to form a
bone of contention between them. The hyena, though by far the smaller
was generally master, and the bear would moan most piteously in a tone
resembling the bleating of a sheep, while the hyena quietly consumed the
remainder of the dinner.

The following is an account of an adventure which occurred to Frank
Forester, in America. A large bear was traced to a cavern in the Round
Mountain, and every effort made for three days without success to smoke
or burn him out. At length a bold hunter, familiar with the spot,
volunteered to beard the bear in his den. The well-like aperture, which,
alone could be seen from without, descended for about eight feet, then
turned sharp off at right angles, running nearly horizontally for about
six feet, beyond which it opened into a small circular chamber, where
the bear had taken up his quarters. The man determined to descend, to
worm himself, feet forward, on his back, and to shoot at the eyes of the
bear, as they would be visible in the dark. Two narrow laths of pine
wood were accordingly procured, and pierced with holes, in which candles
were placed and lighted. A rope was next made fast about his chest, a
butcher's knife disposed in readiness for his grasp, and his musket
loaded with two good ounce bullets, well wrapped in greased buckskin.
Gradually he disappeared, thrusting the lights before him with his feet,
and holding the musket ready cocked in his hand. A few anxious
moments--a low stifled growl was heard--then a loud, bellowing, crashing
report, followed by a wild and fearful howl, half anguish, half furious
rage. The men above wildly and eagerly hauled up the rope, and the
sturdy hunter was whirled into the air uninjured, and retaining in his
grasp his good weapon; while the fierce brute rushed tearing after him
even to the cavern's mouth. As soon as the man had entered the small
chamber, he perceived the glaring eyeballs of the bear, had taken steady
aim at them, and had, he believed, lodged his bullets fairly. Painful
moanings were soon heard from within, and then all was still! Again the
bold man determined to seek the monster; again he vanished, and his
musket shot roared from the recesses of the rock. Up he was whirled; but
this time, the bear, streaming with gore, and furious with pain, rushed
after him, and with a mighty bound, cleared the confines of the cavern!
A hasty and harmless volley was fired, while the bear glared round as if
undecided upon which of the group to wreak his vengeance. Tom, the
hunter, coolly raised his piece, but snap! no spark followed the blow of
the hammer! With a curse Tom threw down the musket, and, drawing his
knife, rushed forward to encounter the bear single handed. What would
have been his fate had the bear folded him in his deadly hug, we may be
pretty sure; but ere this could happen, the four bullets did their work,
and he fell; a convulsive shudder passed through his frame, and all was
still. Six hundred and odd pounds did he weigh, and great were the
rejoicings at his destruction.

The wild pine forests of Scandinavia yet contain bears in considerable
numbers. The general color of these European bears is dark brown, and to
a great degree they are vegetable feeders, although exceedingly fond of
ants and honey. Their favorite food is berries and succulent plants; and
in autumn, when the berries are ripe, they become exceedingly fat.
Toward the end of November the bear retires to his den, and passes the
winter months in profound repose. About the middle of April he leaves
his den, and roams about the forest ravenous for food. These bears
attain a large size, often weighing above four hundred pounds; and an
instance is on record of one having weighed nearly seven hundred and
fifty pounds. The best information relative to the habits and pursuits
of these Scandinavian bears is to be found in Mr. Lloyd's "Field Sports
of the North of Europe," from which entertaining work we shall draw
largely.

When a district in Sweden is infested with bears, public notice is given
from the pulpit during divine service, that a sk[)a]ll or battue is to
take place, and specifying the number of people required, the time and
place of rendezvous, and other particulars. Sometimes as many as 1500
men are employed, and these are regularly organized in parties and
divisions. They then extend themselves in such a manner that a cordon is
formed, embracing a large district, and all simultaneously move forward.
By this means the wild animals are gradually driven into a limited
space, and destroyed as circumstances admit. These sk[)a]lls are always
highly exciting, and it not unfrequently happens that accidents arise,
from the bears turning upon and attacking their pursuers. A bear which
had been badly wounded, and was hard pressed, rushed upon a peasant
whose gun had missed fire, and seized him by the shoulders with his fore
paws. The peasant, for his part, grasped the bear's ears. Twice did they
fall, and twice get up, without loosening their holds, during which time
the bear had bitten through the sinews of both arms, from the wrists
upward, and was approaching the exhausted peasant's throat, when Mr.
Falk, "öfwer jäg mästare," or head ranger of the Wermeland forests,
arrived, and with one shot ended the fearful conflict.

Jan Svenson was a Dalecarlian hunter of great repute, having been
accessory to the death of sixty or seventy bears, most of which he had
himself killed. On one occasion he had the following desperate
encounter: having, with several other peasants, surrounded a very large
bear, he advanced with his dog to rouse him from his lair; the dog
dashed toward the bear, who was immediately after fired at and wounded
by one of the peasants. This man was prostrated by the infuriated
animal, and severely lacerated. The beast now retraced his steps, and
came full on Jan Svenson, a shot from whose rifle knocked him over.
Svenson, thinking the bear was killed, coolly commenced re-loading his
rifle. He had only poured in the powder, when the bear sprung up and
seized him by the arm. The dog, seeing the jeopardy in which his master
was placed, gallantly fixed on the bear's hind quarters. To get rid of
this annoyance, the bear threw himself on his back, making with one paw
a blow at the dog, with the other holding Svenson fast in his embraces.
This he repeated three several times, handling the man as a cat would a
mouse, and in the intervals he was biting him in different parts of the
body, or standing still as if stupefied. In this dreadful situation
Svenson remained nearly half an hour; and during all this time the noble
dog never ceased for a moment his attacks on the bear. At last the brute
quitted his hold, and moving slowly to a small tree at a few paces'
distance, seized it with his teeth; he was in his last agonies, and
presently fell dead to the ground. On this occasion Svenson was wounded
in thirty-one different places, principally in the arms and legs. This
forest monster had, in the early part of the winter, mortally wounded
another man, who was pursuing him, and from his great size was an object
of general dread.

Lieutenant Oldenburg, when in Torp in Norrland, saw a chasseur brought
down from the forest, who had been desperately mangled by a bear. The
man was some distance in advance of his party, and wounded the animal
with a ball. The bear immediately turned on him; they grappled, and both
soon came to the ground. Here a most desperate struggle took place,
which lasted a considerable time. Sometimes the man, who was a powerful
fellow, being uppermost, at other times the bear. At length, exhausted
with fatigue and loss of blood, the chasseur gave up the contest, and
turning on his face in the snow, pretended to be dead. Bruin, on this,
quietly seated himself on his body, where he remained for near half an
hour. At length the chasseur's companions came up, and relieved their
companion by shooting the bear through the heart. Though terribly
lacerated, the man eventually recovered.

Captain Eurenius related to Mr. Lloyd an incident which he witnessed in
Wenersborg, in 1790: A bear-hunt or sk[)a]ll was in progress, and an old
soldier placed himself in a situation where he thought the bear would
pass. He was right in his conjecture, for the animal soon made his
appearance, and charged directly at him. He leveled his musket, but the
piece missed fire. The bear was now close, and he attempted to drive the
muzzle of the gun down the animal's throat. This attack the bear parried
like a fencing master, wrested the gun from the man, and quickly laid
him prostrate. Had he been prudent all might have ended well, for the
bear, after smelling, fancied him dead, and left him almost unhurt. The
animal then began to handle the musket, and knock it about with his
paws. The soldier seeing this, could not resist stretching out his hand
and laying hold of the muzzle, the bear having the stock firmly in his
grasp. Finding his antagonist alive, the bear seized the back of his
head with his teeth, and tore off the whole of his scalp, from the nape
of the neck upward, so that it merely hung to the forehead by a strip of
skin. Great as was his agony, the poor fellow kept quiet, and the bear
laid himself along his body. While this was going forward, Captain
Eurenius and others approached the spot, and on coming within sixteen
paces, beheld the bear licking the blood from the bare skull, and eying
the people, who were afraid to fire lest they should injure their
comrade. Captain Eurenius asserted, that in this position the soldier
and bear remained for a considerable time, until at last the latter
quitted his victim, and slowly began to retire, when a tremendous fire
being opened, he fell dead. On hearing the shots, the wretched sufferer
jumped up, his scalp hanging over his face, so as to completely blind
him. Throwing it back with his hand, he ran toward his comrades like a
madman, frantically exclaiming, "The bear! the bear!" the scalp was
separated, and the captain described it as exactly resembling a peruke.
In one respect the catastrophe was fortunate for the poor soldier; it
was in the old days of pipe-clay and pomatum, and every one in the army
was obliged to wear his hair of a certain form, and this man being, for
satisfactory reasons, unable to comply with the regulation, and a tow
wig not being admissible, he immediately received his discharge.

A curious circumstance is related by Mr. Lloyd, showing the boldness of
wolves when pressed by hunger. A party were in chase of a bear, who was
tracked by a dog. They were some distance behind the bear, when a drove
of five wolves attacked and devoured the dog. Their appetites being thus
whetted, they forthwith made after the bear, and coming up with him, a
severe conflict ensued, as was apparent from the quantity of hair, both
of the bear and wolves, that was scattered about the spot. Bruin was
victorious, but was killed a few days afterward by the hunters. The
wolves, however, had made so free with his fur, that his skin was of
little value. On another occasion, a drove of wolves attacked a bear,
who, posting himself with his back against a tree, defended himself for
some time with success; but at length his opponents contrived to get
under the tree, and wounded him desperately in the flank. Just then some
men coming up, the wolves retreated, and the wounded bear became an easy
prey.

It occasionally happens that cattle are attacked by bears, but the
latter are not always victorious. A powerful bull was charged in the
forest by a bear, when, striking his horns into his assailant, he pinned
him to a tree. In this situation they were both found dead--the bull
from starvation, the bear from wounds. So says the author above quoted.

The hybernation of bears gives rise to a curious confusion of cause and
effect in the minds of the Swiss peasantry. They believe that bears
which have passed the winter in the mountain caverns, always come out to
reconnoitre on the 2d of February; and that they if the weather be then
cold and winterly, return, like the dove to the ark, for another
fortnight; at the end of which time they find the season sufficiently
advanced to enable them to quit their quarters without inconvenience;
but that, if the weather be fine and warm on the 2d, they sally forth,
thinking the winter past. But on the cold returning after sunset, they
discover their mistake, and return in a most sulky state of mind,
without making a second attempt until after the expiration of six weeks,
during which time man is doomed to suffer all the inclemencies
consequent on their want of urbanity. Thus, instead of attributing the
retirement of the bears to the effects of the cold, the myth makes the
cold to depend on the seclusion of the bears!

The fat of bears has, from time immemorial, enjoyed a high reputation
for promoting the growth of hair; but not a thousandth part of the
bear's grease sold in shops comes from the animal whose name it carries.
In Scandinavia, the only part used for the hair is the fat found about
the intestines. The great bulk of the fat, which in a large bear may
weigh from sixty to eighty pounds, is used for culinary purposes. Bears'
hams, when smoked, are great delicacies, as are also the paws; and the
flesh of bears is not inferior to our excellent beef.

On a certain memorable day, in 1847, a large hamper reached Oxford, per
Great Western Railway, and was in due time delivered according to its
direction, at Christchurch, consigned to Francis Buckland, Esq., a
gentleman well known in the University for his fondness for natural
history. He opened the hamper, and the moment the lid was removed out
jumped a creature about the size of an English sheep dog, covered with
long shaggy hair, of a brownish color. This was a young bear, born on
Mount Lebanon, in Syria, a few months before, who had now arrived to
receive his education at our learned University. The moment that he was
released from his irksome attitude in the hamper, he made the most of
his liberty, and the door of the room being open, he rushed off down the
cloisters. Service was going on in the chapel, and, attracted by the
pealing organ, or some other motive, he made at once for the chapel.
Just as he arrived at the door, the stout verger happened to come
thither from within, and the moment he saw the impish looking creature
that was rushing into his domain, he made a tremendous flourish with his
silver wand, and, darting into the chapel, ensconced himself in a tall
pew, the door of which he bolted. Tiglath-pe-leser (as the bear was
called), being scared by the silver wand, turned from the chapel, and
scampered frantically about the large quadrangle, putting to flight the
numerous parties of dogs, who in those days made that spot their
afternoon rendezvous. After a sharp chase, a gown was thrown over Tig,
and he was with difficulty secured. During the struggle, he got one of
the fingers of his new master into his mouth, and--did he bite it off?
No, poor thing! but began vigorously sucking it, with that peculiar
mumbling noise for which bears are remarkable. Thus was he led back to
Mr. B.'s rooms, walking all the way on his hind legs, and sucking the
finger with all his might. A collar was put round his neck, and Tig
became a prisoner. His good-nature and amusing tricks soon made him a
prime favorite with the undergraduates; a cap and gown were made,
attired in which (to the great scandal of the _dons_) he accompanied his
master to breakfasts and wine parties, where he contributed greatly to
the amusement of the company, and partook of good things, his favorite
viands being muffins and ices. He was in general of an amiable
disposition, but subject to fits of rage, during which his violence was
extreme; but a kind word, and a finger to suck, soon brought him round.
He was most impatient of solitude, and would cry for hours when left
alone, particularly if it was dark. It was this unfortunate propensity
which brought him into especial disfavor with the Dean of Christchurch,
whose Greek quantities and hours of rest were sadly disturbed by Tig's
lamentations.

On one occasion he was kept in college till after the gates had been
shut, and there was no possibility of getting him out without the porter
seeing him, when there would have been a fine of ten shillings to pay
the next morning; for during this term an edict had gone forth against
dogs, and the authorities not being learned in zoology, could not be
persuaded that a bear was not a dog. Tig was, therefore, tied in a
court-yard near his master's rooms, but that gentleman was soon brought
out by his piteous cries, and could not pacify him in any other way than
by bringing him into his rooms, and at bed time Tig was chained to the
post at the bottom of the bed, where he remained quiet till day-light,
and then shuffling on to the bed, awoke his master by licking his
face--he took no notice, and presently Tig deliberately put his hind
legs under the blankets and covered himself up; there he remained till
chapel time, when his master left him, and on his return found that the
young gentleman had been amusing himself during his solitude by
overturning every thing he could get at in the room, and, apparently,
had had a quarrel and fight with the looking-glass, which was broken to
pieces and the wood work bitten all over. The perpetrator of all this
havoc sat on the bed, looking exceedingly innocent, but rocking backward
and forward as if conscious of guilt and doubtful of the consequences.
Near to Tig's house there was a little monkey tied to a tree, and
Jacko's great amusement was to make grimaces at Tig; and when the latter
composed himself to sleep in the warm sunshine, Jacko would cautiously
descend from the tree, and, twisting his fingers in Tig's long hair,
would give him a sharp pull and in a moment was up the tree again,
chattering and clattering his chain. Tig's anger was most amusing--he
would run backward and forward on his hind legs sucking his paws, and
with his eyes fixed on Jacko, uttering all sorts of threats and
imprecations, to the great delight of the monkey. He would then again
endeavor to take a nap, only to be again disturbed by his little
tormentor. However, these two animals established a truce, became
excellent friends, and would sit for half-an-hour together confronting
each other, apparently holding a conversation. At the commencement of
the long vacation, Tig, with the other members of the University,
retired into the country, and was daily taken out for a walk round the
village, to the great astonishment of the bumpkins. There was a little
shop, kept by an old dame who sold whipcord, sugar-candy, and other
matters, and here, on one occasion, Tig was treated to sugar-candy. Soon
afterward he got loose, and at once made off for the shop, into which
he burst to the unutterable terror of the spectacled and high capped old
lady, who was knitting stockings behind the counter; the moment she saw
his shaggy head and heard the appalling clatter of his chain, she rushed
up stairs in a delirium of terror. When assistance arrived the offender
was discovered, seated on the counter, helping himself most liberally to
brown sugar; and it was with some difficulty, and after much resistance,
that he was dragged away.

Mr. Buckland had made a promise that Tig should pay a visit to a village
about six miles distant, and determined that he should proceed thither
on horseback. As the horse shied whenever the bear came near him, there
was some difficulty in getting him mounted; but at last his master
managed to pull him up by the chain while the horse was held quiet. Tig
at first took up his position in front, but soon walked round and stood
up on his hind legs, resting his fore paws on his master's shoulders. To
him this was exceedingly pleasant, but not so to the horse, who not
being accustomed to carry two, and feeling Tig's claws, kicked and
plunged to rid himself of the extra passenger. Tig held on like grim
death, and stuck in his claws most successfully; for in spite of all the
efforts of the horse he was not thrown. In this way the journey was
performed, the country folks opening their eyes at the apparition.

This reminds us of an anecdote mentioned by Mr. Lloyd: a peasant had
reared a bear which became so tame that he used occasionally to cause
him to stand at the back of his sledge when on a journey; but the bear
kept so good a balance that it was next to impossible to upset him. One
day, however, the peasant amused himself by driving over the very worst
ground he could find, with the intention, if possible, of throwing Bruin
off his equilibrium. This went on for some time, till the animal became
so irritated that he gave his master, who was in front of him, a
tremendous thump on the shoulder with his paw, which frightened the man
so much that he caused the bear to be killed immediately; this, as he
richly deserved the thump, was a shabby retaliation.

When term recommenced, Tiglath-pe-leser returned to the University, much
altered in appearance, for being of the family of silver bears of Syria,
his coat had become almost white; he was much bigger and stronger, and
his teeth had made their appearance, so that he was rather more
difficult to manage; the only way to restrain him when in a rage, was to
hold him by the ears; but on one occasion having lost his temper, he
tore his cap and gown to pieces. About this time the British Association
paid a visit to Oxford, and Tig was an object of much interest. The
writer was present on several occasions when he was introduced to
breakfast parties of eminent savants, and much amusement was created by
his tricks, albeit they were a little rough. In more than one instance
he made sad havoc with book-muslins and other fragile articles of
female attire; on the whole, however, he conducted himself with great
propriety, especially at an evening meeting at Dr. Daubeny's, where he
was much noticed, to his evident pleasure.

Still, however, the authorities at Christchurch, not being zoologists,
had peculiar notions respecting bears; and at length, after numerous
threats and pecuniary penalties, the fatal day arrived, and Tig's master
was informed that either "he or the bear must leave Oxford the next
morning." There was no resisting this, and poor dear Tig was,
accordingly, put into a box--a much larger one than that in which he had
arrived--and sent off to the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park; here he
was placed in a comfortable den by himself; but, alas! he missed the
society to which he had been accustomed, the excitement of a college
life, and the numerous charms by which the University was endeared to
him; he refused his food; he ran perpetually up and down his den in the
vain hope to escape, and was one morning found dead, a victim to a
broken heart!


FOOTNOTES:

[6] See "A History of British Fossil Mammals," by our great Zoologist,
Professor Owen.

[7] The number of visitors to the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park,
during the past year, was very nearly 400,000.



NOT ALL ALONE.

BY ALARIC A. WATTS.


    Not all alone; for thou canst hold
      Communion sweet with saint and sage;
    And gather gems, of price untold,
      From many a consecrated page:
    Youth's dreams, the golden lights of age,
      The poet's lore, are still thine own;
    Then, while such themes thy thoughts engage,
      Oh, how canst thou be all alone?

    Not all alone; the lark's rich note,
      As mounting up to heaven, she sings;
    The thousand silvery sounds that float
      Above, below, on morning's wings;
    The softer murmurs twilight brings--
      The cricket's chirp, cicada's glee;
    All earth, that lyre of myriad strings,
      Is jubilant with life for thee!

    Not all alone; the whispering trees,
      The rippling brook, the starry sky,
    Have each peculiar harmonies
      To soothe, subdue, and sanctify:
    The low, sweet breath of evening's sigh,
      For thee hath oft a friendly tone,
    To lift thy grateful thoughts on high,
      And say--thou art not all alone!

    Not all alone; a watchful Eye,
      That notes the wandering sparrow's fall,
    A saving Hand is ever nigh,
      A gracious Power attends thy call--
    When sadness holds the heart in thrall,
      Oft is His tenderest mercy shown;
    Seek, then, the balm vouchsafed to all,
      And thou canst never be alone!



Monthly Record of Current Events.


POLITICAL AND GENERAL NEWS.


THE UNITED STATES.

The public mind has been almost wholly absorbed, during the past month,
in anxiety for the safety of the American steamer _Atlantic_. She was
known to have left Liverpool on the 28th of December, and was seen four
days out by a packet which afterward reached New York. From that time
until the 16th of February an interval of _fifty days_, nothing whatever
was known of her fate. The anxiety of the public mind was becoming
intense, when, on the evening of February 16th, the _Africa_ arrived
with news of her safety. It seems that on the 6th of January the main
shaft of her engine was broken, which rendered the engine completely
unmanageable. She stood for Halifax until the 11th, against strong head
winds, when it became evident that she could not reach that port before
her provisions would give out, and she accordingly put back for Cork,
where she arrived on the 22d of January. Her mails and passengers came
in the Africa. The Cambria had been chartered to bring her cargo, and
was to sail February 4th. The Atlantic was to be taken to Liverpool for
repairs, which would probably occupy three months. Few events within our
recollection have caused more general joy than the intelligence of her
safety.

CONGRESS, during the past month, has done but little of permanent
interest to any section of the country. Various important subjects have
been extensively discussed, but upon none of them has any favorable or
decisive action been taken. Several attempts have been made, by the
friends of a protective tariff in the House of Representatives, to
insert some provisions in the deficiency and appropriation bills which
would secure an amendment of the existing tariff favorable to their
views. None of these efforts, however, have been successful. A zealous
discussion has also been had upon a bill to establish a branch of the
United States Mint in the city of New York; it met with strong
opposition--especially from the city of Philadelphia and was finally
defeated. A bill concerning the land titles in California has also been
largely discussed in the Senate, and finally passed. A resolution has
been adopted in that body authorizing the President of the United States
to confer the brevet rank of Lieutenant General; it is of course
designed for application to General Scott. A bill further reducing the
rates of postage has passed the House of Representatives. Three cents
was by it adopted as the uniform rate of letter postage. The bill was
very greatly changed in the Senate, and its fate is still doubtful. The
French Spoliation Bill, the project for establishing a line of steamers
on the coast of Africa, and other bills have been before Congress but no
action has been had upon them. The Senate has passed a bill
appropriating ten millions of acres of public lands (equal to twelve
millions five hundred thousand dollars) to be apportioned among the
several States in an equitable ratio, for the endowment of Hospitals for
the indigent insane. This act is one of the most philanthropic and
beneficent ever passed by any legislative body. It has been ably and
zealously pressed upon the attention of Congress by Miss Dix, whose
devotion to the cause of humanity has already won for her a world-wide
reputation.

Elections of United States Senators have been held in several of the
States with various results. In FLORIDA, on the 15th of January, Mr.
MALLORY, Democrat, was elected over Mr. YULEE. In MISSOURI, after a
protracted effort, HENRY S. GEYER, Whig, was elected on the fortieth
ballot, receiving 80 votes against 55 for Mr. BENTON, and 20 scattering.
Mr. GEYER is a German by birth, but came to this country when he was
about three years old. He is now one of the ablest lawyers and most
upright men in the State which he is hereafter in part to represent. In
PENNSYLVANIA, Mr. BROADHEAD, Democrat, was elected without serious
difficulty. In NEW YORK both branches of the Legislature proceeded to
nominate a Senator in accordance with the law upon the subject, on the
4th day of February. In the Assembly HAMILTON FISH was nominated,
receiving 79 votes against 48 for other candidates. In the Senate he had
16 votes, while 16 Senators voted each for a separate candidate, one of
them, Senator BEEKMAN from New York City, being a Whig. After two
ballotings, on Mr. Beekman's motion, the Senate adjourned. No nomination
has been made, nor can the attempt be renewed, except by the passage of
a special law. In MASSACHUSETTS repeated efforts to elect a Senator have
proved unsuccessful. CHARLES SUMNER, Free Soil, has several times lacked
but three or four votes of an election, Mr. WINTHROP being his principal
opponent. The vacancy occasioned by Mr. Webster's resignation has been
filled by the election of Hon. ROBERT RANTOUL. Mr. BOUTWELL was elected
Governor of the State by the Legislature. The effort to elect a Senator
for the next term will be renewed from time to time. In RHODE ISLAND,
after several ballotings, in which two Whigs and one Democrat received
about an equal number of votes each, CHARLES T. JAMES, Esq., Democrat,
was elected, having received a large number of Whig votes. In OHIO, an
attempt to elect a Senator to succeed Mr. EWING, proved ineffectual. Ten
ballots were had, after which the Legislature adjourned, thus abandoning
the effort. In MICHIGAN General CASS has been re-elected United States
Senator by the Legislature.

The Legislature of NORTH CAROLINA has closed its session.
Notwithstanding the strenuous efforts that have been made to excite
among the people of this State serious disaffection toward the Union,
the action of the Legislature has been exceedingly moderate. Resolutions
upon the subject, calculated to inflame the public mind, were laid upon
the table by a very decisive vote. A bill has been passed authorizing an
agricultural, mineralogical, and botanical survey of the State. The
Governor is to make the appointment, and the Surveyor is required
personally, or by his assistants, "to visit every county in the State,
and examine every thing of interest or value in either of the above
departments, to ascertain the nature and character of its products, and
the nature and character of its soil, as well as to give an account of
its minerals."

Gen. Quitman, Governor of Mississippi, has been indicted at New Orleans
on charge of having participated in the unlawful expedition from the
United States against Cuba. He has resigned his office, and given bail
for his appearance in Court, asking for a speedy trial. A number of
others have also been indicted, one of whom, Gen. Henderson, has been
tried. The trial lasted several days, and was conducted on both sides
with great ability. The connection of the accused with the expedition
seemed to have been clearly proved: the jury, however, were not able to
agree on a verdict, four of them, it is said, taking the ground that the
expedition was justifiable and proper.

Intelligence to December 19th has been received from the Commission to
survey the boundary line between Mexico and the United States. The
Mexican Commissioner, Gen. Conde, had joined the American Commissioners
at El Paso. Several conferences were had before a starting point could
be agreed upon for the survey, as the maps of that region were very
inconsistent and imperfect. Throughout New Mexico, according to the most
recent advices, great inconvenience is sustained from Indian
depredations, made in spite of treaty stipulations.

The Arkansas Legislature adjourned January 14, after a session of
seventy-one days, which has been fruitful in acts of local importance.

The Governor of Texas has designated the first Thursday in March as a
day of public thanksgiving. The fact is worthy of record here as an
evidence that this New England custom is steadily making its way into
the new States.

Accidents to steamboats on our Western waters continue to challenge
public attention. The steamer _John Adams_ on the Ohio, on the 27th of
January, struck a snag and sunk in two minutes. One hundred and
twenty-three lives were lost--mostly of emigrants.

Hon. GEORGE F. FORT was installed into office as Governor of New Jersey
on the 21st of January. His inaugural address recommends the
establishment of free schools, the enactment of general incorporation
laws, homestead exemption, &c., and urges a full assent to the
Compromise measures of the last session of Congress.

Some attention has been attracted to a letter from Gen. HOUSTON to Hon.
John Letcher of Virginia, rebuking very severely the attempt made by
South Carolina to induce Virginia to take the lead in a scheme of
secession. Gen. Houston speaks of the Constitution as the most perfect
of human instruments, and refuses to countenance any attempt to alter or
amend its provisions. He says that every intelligent and disinterested
observer must concede that agitation at the North is dying out, that the
laws are obeyed, and that no necessity exists for resisting or
dissolving the Union. The letter exerts a marked influence on the
political movements of the day.

The House of Representatives in Delaware on the 5th of February adopted
a series of resolutions very warmly approving the Compromise measures of
the last session of Congress, and especially the law for the more
effectual enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution requiring
the surrender of fugitive slaves.

Hon. D.S. KAUFMAN, member of Congress from Texas, died very suddenly on
the 31st of January. His decease was ascribed to an affliction of the
heart, but it is supposed by those who knew him most intimately to have
resulted from a wound received by a pistol shot some years since in a
rencontre in the Texas Legislature. The ball had never been extracted.
He was a gentleman of ability and of a very amiable disposition.

A large "Union meeting" was held at Westchester, N.Y., on the 30th of
January. A letter was received from Daniel Webster, regretting his
inability to attend the meeting, and warmly approving its objects. Mr.
Clay also wrote a letter which was read at the meeting, in which he said
that "two classes of disunionists threaten our country: one is that
which is open and undisguised in favor of separation--the other is that
which, disowning a desire of dissolution of the Union, adopts a course
and contends for measures and principles which must inevitably lead to
that calamitous result." He considered the latter the "more dangerous,
because it is deceptive and insidious."

A correspondence between Mr. MATHEW, a British consul, and the Governor
of South Carolina, has excited some attention. Mr. Mathew represents the
very great inconvenience occasioned by the law of South Carolina
requiring the imprisonment of every colored person arriving in her ports
until the departure of the vessel, and the payment of expenses by her
captain. The correspondence is friendly, and the subject has been
referred to a committee in the South Carolina Legislature. The fact of a
correspondence between the representative of a foreign power and one of
the States of the Union, in its separate capacity, excites remark and
censure.

From CALIFORNIA our advices are to the 15th of January. The cholera had
entirely disappeared. The result of the late State election had been
definitely ascertained. In the Senate there is a Whig majority of two,
and in the Assembly a Whig majority of nine. This result is deemed
important on account of the pending election of U.S. Senator in place of
Mr. Frémont. Gov. Burnett has resigned, and Lieut.-Gov. McDougal been
installed in his place. Hon. David C. Broderick, formerly of New York,
was chosen President of the Senate. Renewed difficulties have occurred
with the Indians, and the general impression seemed to be that no
friendly arrangement could be made with them. They demand the free use
of their old hunting-grounds, and will listen to no proposition which
involves their surrender. The settlers, especially on the Trinity and
Klamath rivers, suffer grievously from their marauding incursions, and
have been compelled to raise and arm companies to repel them. A serious
and protracted war is apprehended.

The latest arrival brings the report of a discovery of gold exceeding in
magnitude any before made. Twenty-seven miles beyond the Trinity River,
it is said, is a beach seven miles in extent, bounded by a high bluff. A
heavy sea, breaking upon the shore washes away the lighter sand, and
that which remains is rich to an unparalleled extent. A company has been
formed to proceed to this locality, and the Secretary estimates the sum
which each member will secure, at many millions.

The whole amount of gold dust shipped at San Francisco during the year
1850, is officially stated at $29,441,583. At least twenty millions are
supposed to have gone forward, in addition, in private hands, so that
the total product of the mines during the year is estimated at nearly
fifty millions. The mines in all quarters continued to yield abundant
returns.


MEXICO.

We have intelligence from Mexico to the 25th of January. Congress
assembled on the 1st. The President opened the session by a speech about
an hour in length. He says that the stipulations of the treaty of peace
with the United States have been faithfully observed, and have proved
highly advantageous for Mexico. Three treaties have been concluded
during his administration--one with the United States in regard to the
Isthmus of Tehuantepec, another with the same power concerning the
extradition of criminals, and another with Guatemala on the same
subject. Domestic tranquillity has been preserved throughout the
country; complaint, however, is made that the States transcend their
rightful authority, and thus weaken the General Government; and the
necessity of providing a remedy for this abuse, in order to maintain the
integrity of the Federal Constitution, is strongly urged. Commerce and
manufactures are said to have flourished, and the mining business, which
is the chief resource of Mexico, has been peculiarly good. Their entire
returns during the last year are estimated at thirty millions. The
President urges the propriety of making laws to restrain the
licentiousness of the press. The army has been thoroughly reformed,
consisting now of only 6246 men, all of whom are characterized as "true
soldiers," stationed in places where their services will be most useful
to the Republic. On the 15th, Gen. Arista was inaugurated President of
Mexico. His opening address was brief, pertinent, and patriotic. He
spoke of peace as the first necessity of the Republic, and promised that
it should be "maintained at any cost, as the only manner in which the
happiness and prosperity of the people can be secured." He says that
"every thing will be done by the central authorities to enable the
States to equalize the expenses and their revenues; to multiply their
ways of communication; to augment their agricultural and commercial
industry; in short, to make them great and powerful, attracting to their
bosoms the intelligent, industrious and enlightened population which
they so much need." The address was received with great satisfaction.
The ceremony of the inauguration was extremely brilliant, and was
witnessed by an immense concourse of people. After it was over, the
President and his ministers repaired to the cathedral, where a _Te Deum_
was sung, and prayers offered up for the happiness of the nation. The
personal popularity of Gen. Arista is very great, and the best hopes are
indulged of his administration.

Mr. Letcher, the American Minister, left for the United States, on the
26th, and reached New Orleans Feb. 4th. It was supposed that he brought
the Tehuantepec treaty ratified with him. A revolt against the central
government has occurred in Guanajuato, but it was soon put down by the
troops. A number of the ringleaders in it have been executed. The
Mexican Government has granted to a company styled Rubio, Barron, Garay,
Torre & Co., the whole of the public lands in the State of Sonora,
comprising one of the most valuable tracts in the whole country.

The Yucatan papers complain loudly of the encroachments of the English
in fortifying Belize, and in otherwise interfering in the affairs of the
Peninsula. The American Hydrographic Party was busily engaged in
surveying the route across the Isthmus.


CENTRAL AMERICA.

From NICARAGUA we have intelligence to the 13th of January. A rich
placer of gold is said to have been discovered about eight miles from
Realejo. The crops throughout the country have been seriously threatened
by immense flocks of locusts. In consequence of the alarm created by
this menaced destruction, the Government has thrown open all the ports
of the country to the free admission of all kinds of grain. Don Jose
Sacasa has been elected Director of Nicaragua--the term of the present
incumbent expiring on the 1st of May. The difficulties between the
Government of San Salvador and the British Charge, Mr. Frederick
Chatfield, have led to the blockade by the latter, on behalf of his
Government, of all the ports of San Salvador. Mr. Chatfield resorted to
this extreme measure because the Government refused to comply with his
demands, that they should countermand certain instructions they had
given to their agents, and contradict, officially, certain statements
concerning the British Government made in the public prints of San
Salvador. The cause of this blockade was certainly somewhat singular;
but the form of it was still more so; for by its terms, British vessels
were excluded from its operation. Mr. Chatfield has also written a
letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, complaining of
the unwillingness of that Government to negotiate with Great Britain,
acting on behalf of the King of Mosquito, for a boundary between the
territories of Mosquito and those of Nicaragua; and saying that, "as a
proof of the conciliatory spirit of the British Government," it had
determined to prescribe and maintain a certain boundary line, which is
designated. He adds that the British government is still willing to
treat on the subject, and urges the importance of "coming to a friendly
understanding with the Mosquito government, since _no canal_, or any
other improved mode of transit across the Isthmus, can well be
established before the difficulty, raised by Nicaragua on this point, is
put an end to." In a subsequent letter, enforcing the necessity of
arranging the claims of a British house for damages, Mr. Chatfield makes
a singular but evident allusion to the hopes entertained by the
Government of Nicaragua of aid from the United States. He says that,
"Whatever assurances Nicaragua may receive that the conduct of its
Government, however irregular it may be toward another, will at all
times find support from third parties, still the Government of Nicaragua
must feel that no reliance should be placed on such assurances, as no
foreign Government will compromise political and commercial interests on
the behalf of a country whose rulers reject the ordinary means of
settling matters open to dispute, by argument, and negotiation."

From VALPARAISO we have intelligence to January 2d. The U.S. Corvette
Vincennes had been at that port, and took the American Minister, Hon.
Bailie Peyton, on a visit to the province of Conception. A very
destructive fire had occurred at Valparaiso, at which property to the
value of a quarter of a million of dollars was consumed. Congress met
December 16th, in extra session. A law had been passed authorizing the
Executive to reform the Custom-House regulations. A law is under
discussion making an appropriation of $36,000 annually to the Pacific
Steam Navy. By an existing law of the country, eight acres of land are
given to each foreign colonist: a new law is proposed, largely
increasing the grant. The sum of $2244 has been voted to afford
temporary residences for a colony of German emigrants. These facts are
important indications of the efforts made to invite foreigners into the
country. HENRI HERZ, the pianist, was at Valparaiso on the 1st of
January. On the 5th, there was an eruption of the volcano of Portillo,
near Santiago.


GREAT BRITAIN.

It is decided that Parliament is to be opened by the Queen in person, on
the 4th of February. Speculation is rife as to the course of Government
upon the subject of the "Papal Aggressions," of which though there are
many rumors, nothing authentic has transpired. The excitement upon this
subject, though the mode of manifestation is changed, seems not to have
died away. It occupies less space in the newspapers, and fewer public
meetings are held; the discussion now being carried on in books and
pamphlets, of which the last month has produced about one hundred, in
addition to nearly two hundred before published. In the address of the
English prelates to the Queen, which was noticed in our last Number, no
mention was made of the Irish Church. The bishops of that country have
taken the matter up, and have protested both to her Majesty and to their
English brethren, against any proceedings which shall imply that the two
branches of the Episcopal Church have separate rights and interests. The
Church question, in various aspects, can not well fail of being the
prominent one in the ensuing session of Parliament. A movement has been
set on foot, by the High Church Party with a view to a _convocation_ for
the settlement of various questions in debate within the Church; at a
public meeting for this object speeches marked by peculiar acrimony were
made. Secessions to the Roman Church, among the higher classes and the
clergy, are more frequent than at any former period.

The unwonted prospect of a surplus in the revenue, has occasioned
propositions for the abolition of many of the most onerous and odious
taxes. Among those spoken of are the window tax, the tax on paper, that
on tea, and the malt tax. The paper tax seems to be the favorite of the
press; but the probability is that the reduction will be made upon the
window tax. The question threatens to be an embarrassing one for the
Ministry, who will find it difficult to decide among so many conflicting
claims.

The Austrian government has officially demanded that punishment should
be inflicted upon those persons who committed the assault upon General
Haynau. After a somewhat prolonged correspondence the British Home
Secretary declined to make any inquiry into the matter, on the plea that
"it could not be attended with any satisfactory result." The refusal of
General Haynau to enter any complaint before the authorities is assigned
as the ground for this conclusion. Prince Schwartzenberg, in his closing
dispatch, hints that the Austrian government may consider it "befitting
to exercise reciprocity with regard to British subjects who may happen
to be in Austria."

In the colonies, the process of "annexation" goes on steadily. In India
one or two extensive districts are in course of absorption. At the Cape
of Good Hope, the Governor has deposed the most powerful of the Kaffir
chiefs, and appointed a British officer to assume the control of his
people. In Australia vehement opposition has sprung up against the
transportation system; and there is reason to suppose that this outlet
for the criminal population of Great Britain will soon be closed.

The "Crystal Palace," is so far completed that it has been made over
into the hands of the Commissioners. Severe storms have luckily
occurred, which have proved the entire stability of the edifice, not a
pane of glass, even, of which has been broken by them. Mr. Paxton has
written a letter to Lord John Russell, strenuously urging that after the
first fortnight, and with the exception of one day in each week,
admission to the Exhibition be gratis.


FRANCE.

From France the political intelligence is of considerable importance,
not so much on its own account, as showing a deep and increasing
hostility between the President and the National Assembly. This feeling
has been manifested by several incidents, and has caused within three
weeks three separate Ministries, besides an interregnum of a week. The
personal adherents of the President in the Assembly have never
constituted more than a third of that body; but he has always succeeded
in carrying his measures by dexterously pitting one party against the
other: each party preferring him to their opponents. But when the
President's designs for the perpetuation of his power became apparent,
all parties began to look upon General Changarnier as in some sort a
counterpoise. A collision having arisen between the General and the
Ministers, the Assembly took part with the former, whereupon the
Ministry resigned. The President, despite the remonstrances of the
leaders of the Assembly, made the dismissal of Changarnier a _sine quâ
non_ in the appointment of a new Ministry. He at length succeeded in
forming one that would take this step; and the General was dismissed,
and the enormous military functions he had exercised were divided among
a number of officers. A fierce opposition at once sprang up against the
new Ministry. A singular coalition was formed, mainly through the
tactics of M. Thiers, of Conservatives, Cavaignac Republicans, and ultra
Democrats, so that a vote declaring want of confidence in the Ministry
passed by 417 to 278; whereupon this Ministry resigned. No man of all
the majority could be found who would undertake to form a Ministry from
its discordant elements; a like attempt to form one from the minority in
the Assembly was unsuccessful. At last, the President formed one of
which not an individual was a member of the Assembly. Throughout the
whole of these transactions, Louis Napoleon has shown a political skill
and dexterity scarcely inferior to that manifested in the field by the
Great Emperor. With vastly inferior forces at his command, he has gained
every point: he has got rid of his most formidable rival, Changarnier;
he has convinced, apparently, the middle classes that the only hope of
peace and stability lies in his possession of power; and the Assembly
have been driven into acts of opposition which can bear no other
interpretation than that of a factious struggle for power. The position
of the President is considerably strengthened by the late occurrences.


GERMANY.

The Dresden Free Conference is still in session, and matters seem as
impracticable as the Genius of Mysticism could desire. Enough has
transpired to show that the minor Powers have not been alarmed without
good reason. The cordial understanding between Austria and Prussia is
displayed perhaps too ostentatiously to be altogether sincere; but there
can be no doubt that the two governments have combined to aggrandize
themselves at the expense of the others. It seems to be determined that
the new Executive Committee will be composed of eleven votes, of which
Austria and Prussia are each to have two. The Committee of the old
Confederation consisted of seventeen votes, of which those Powers had
one each, and even then it was complained that their influence was
excessive. It is admitted on all hands that any approach to a nearer
union is impracticable at present; that the Dresden Conference is quite
as incapable of improvising a German Nation, as was that assembly of
pedants and pettifoggers that called itself the Frankfort
Parliament.----Hostilities have ceased in Schleswig-Holstein, the
stadtholderate of which have yielded their functions to the
commissioners of the Confederation.----The first trial by jury at
Vienna, took place, under the new Austrian Constitution, on the 15th of
January.


LITERATURE, SCIENCE, ART, PERSONAL MOVEMENTS, ETC.


UNITED STATES.

The literary incidents of the month have not been very noteworthy.
JAMES, the English novelist, has been lecturing at Albany to large and
interested audiences. He has bought a residence at Stockbridge, Mass.,
where he will reside, in the immediate neighborhood of Longfellow, the
Sedgwicks, and other literary celebrities. A series of valuable lectures
upon Art have been delivered before the Artists of New York, in
pursuance of a very excellent plan adopted by their Association. The
first of the series was delivered by HENRY JAMES, Esq., and was an
excellent critical exposition of the nature and characteristics of Art.
He was followed by GEORGE W. CURTIS, Esq., in a fine sketch of the
condition and prospects of Art on the Continent. The leading idea of his
lecture was that Art never promised more abundant results than now.

Congress at its last session appropriated two thousand dollars to
commence the purchase of a library for the use of the President of the
United States. It is a little singular that a project so eminently
useful should have been so long neglected. Its execution has been now
undertaken with spirit, under the direction of Mr. Charles Lanman.

The birth-day of BURNS was celebrated by a public dinner on the 25th of
January at the Astor House, in New York. The poet BRYANT was present as
a guest, and made a very happy speech, in which he said that the fact
that Burns had taken a local dialect, and made it classical and given it
a character of universality, was of itself sufficient to stamp him as a
man of the highest order of genius.

Mr. HOE, celebrated for his printing presses, has just completed a new
one, having eight cylinders, and thus throwing off eight sheets at each
revolution, for the use of the _Sun_ newspaper in New York. He was the
recipient lately of a public dinner given to him by the proprietors of
the paper, at which several of the most eminent literary celebrities in
the country were present as guests. The occasion was one of interest: we
hope it may be deemed indicative of a growing disposition to tender
public honors to the benefactors, as well as to the destroyers, of their
race.

The literary productions of the month will be found noticed in another
department of this Magazine. Several works of interest are promised by
the leading publishers. The Harpers have in press a volume of traveling
sketches, entitled _Nile Notes_, by an American, which will be found to
be one of the best of its kind. It is written with great vivacity and
with very marked ability. Many of its chapters are fully equal to
_Eothen_, and the work in its general characteristics is not at all
inferior to that spirited and admirable book. The Harpers have also in
press a work by Mr. H.M. FIELD, giving a succinct history of the _Great
Irish Rebellion_ with biographical sketches of the most prominent of the
Irish Confederates. It will find a wide circle of readers. The Harpers
are also about to publish MAYHEW'S _London Labor and the London Poor in
the Nineteenth Century_, made up of his Letters in the London _Morning
Chronicle_ upon that subject, revised and extended. These papers reveal
a state of things not at all creditable to the English people or to the
age in which we live. As originally published in London they excited
great attention and have done much toward arousing the public sense of
justice to the poor.

COOPER, the novelist, has a work in preparation upon the Social History
of this country. It will probably, however, not be published until fall.
Mr. Putnam has in progress a new and very elegantly printed uniform
edition of his novels. Another New York house promise a complete edition
of Joanna Baillie's poems, with a new edition of Elizabeth Barret
Browning.

Prof. AGASSIZ, the celebrated Naturalist, is making a survey of the
Florida reefs and keys, in the hope that he may throw some light upon
their formation and growth. He is nominally attached to the Coast
Survey.

American scholars still continue their valuable contributions to
classical learning. Prof. DRISLER, of Columbia College, one of the most
thorough and accurate linguists in the country, is engaged upon an
_English-Greek Lexicon_, which will be a most valuable aid to the
classical student, in connection with similar works by the same author
hitherto issued.

In the departments of religious and theological literature, we find
indications of renewed activity among the divines of our country. Prof.
J. ADDISON ALEXANDER, of Princeton, has a new critical and exegetical
work in the course of preparation. Rev. Dr. SPRING will soon publish,
through M.W. Dodd, a volume under the title of _First Things_, a series
of lectures designed to set forth and illustrate some of the facts and
moral duties earliest revealed to mankind. From Rev. Dr. CONDIT, of
Newark, we are to have a work entitled _The Christian Home_, setting
forth the relations, duties, and benefits of the domestic institution.
Rev. H.A. ROWLAND, author of a work on the Common Maxims of Infidelity,
has in press a volume under the title of _The Path of Life_.

The late EDMOND CHARLES GENET, Embassador from the Republic of France to
this country at the close of the last century, left behind him, at his
decease, a vast amount of papers, consisting of journals of his life,
letters from the prominent statesmen and politicians of this country,
and correspondence with his sister, the celebrated Madame Campan. It is
understood that members of his family are arranging them with a view to
publication. From the close social and political relations which M.
Genet, after his dismissal from the embassy, bore to the prominent
politicians of the Democratic party, there can be no doubt that these
papers, if judiciously edited, will throw much light upon the political
history of the period preceding the war of 1812.

It is known by those familiar with current Continental literature, that
the wife of Prof. EDWARD ROBINSON published, some time since, in
Germany, under her usual pseudonym, TALVI, a very full and excellent
history of the early Colonization of New England. This work has lately
been translated from German into English by William Hazlitt, and
published in London. It was published originally at Leipsic in 1847. We
presume it will be reprinted here.

Rev. H.T. CHEEVER's _Whale and his Captors_ has been reprinted in
London, with a preface by Dr. SCORESBY, who commends it very highly.


EUROPEAN.

The London _Leader_ destroys the romance of Lamartine's visit to
England. It seems, according to that paper, that he did not go for the
philosophic purpose of studying the country, but to make bargains for
the publication of his _History of the Directory_, which he offered for
five thousand pounds. The publishers, he urged, could issue it
simultaneously in England, France, and Germany, and so secure an
enormous profit. "Our countrymen," says the _Leader_, "with an
indifference to Mammon worthy of a philosopher, declined the magnificent
proposal: and Lamartine returned to France and sold his work to an
association of publishers for 12,000 francs, which he hopes to get." He
is also to publish a new novel in the _feuilleton_ of the _Siècle_.

EDMOND TEXIER, a French journalist, has published a very lively history
of French journals and journalists. It is a small and unelaborate book,
but is exceedingly readable. Political writers in France, it will be
remembered, are required to sign their names to their articles. The
_Vote Universel_ recently contained a strong essay signed by GILLAND.
The Attorney-general prosecuted the paper, alleging that the article was
written by GEORGE SAND, and citing the bad spelling of Gilland's private
letters as a proof that he could not have been the writer. Madame George
Sand peremptorily denies having written a line of the article, and avers
that Rousseau himself, in a single letter in her possession, makes three
mistakes in spelling three lines, owing to the difficult and capricious
rules of the French language.

Lady MORGAN has published a pamphlet on the Roman Catholic Controversy.
It is in the form of a letter to Cardinal WISEMAN, and is a defense of
herself against an attack upon a passage in her book on Italy. In that
book she had related a curious anecdote. She said that when Bonaparte
entered Italy the enthroned chair of St. Peter, contained in the
magnificent shrine of bronze which closes the view of the nave in St.
Peter's Cathedral, was brought into a better light and the cobwebs
brushed off. Certain curious letters were discovered on the surface,
which were deciphered and found to contain the Arabian formula, "There
is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet." Cardinal Wiseman branded
this story as "false, foolish, slanderous, and profligate." Lady Morgan
gives as her authority for it the eminent _savans_ Denon and
Champollion, who saw the inscription, deciphered it, and told its
meaning in her presence. Her letter is ably written, and excites
attention.--Lady Morgan is said to be the oldest living writer who
continues to write: for though Miss Joanna Baillie is some five years,
and Rogers perhaps ten years her senior, neither of the latter has
touched a pen in the way of authorship for a long time; whereas Lady
Morgan, for all her blindness, has, according to the Liverpool Albion,
for a good while back, been a regular contributor to one of the London
morning journals.

The British government has bestowed a pension of £100 a year upon the
widow of the celebrated Belzoni, who died fifteen years ago. The public
satisfaction at this announcement is tempered with surprise that the
pension was not bestowed fifteen years ago. Mr. Poole, the author of
"Paul Pry," and other literary works of a light character, has received
a retiring pension of the same amount. Similar pensions have been
granted to George Petrie, LL.D., author of "The Round Towers of
Ireland," and other antiquarian works; and to Dr. KITTO, editor of the
"Pictorial Bible," "Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature," and other works
in that department of letters. Dr. Kitto, although deaf from an early
age, in consequence of an accident, has traveled over many lands in
connection with the Missionary Society.

Letters from Rome announce the death in that city of Mr. Ritchie, the
sculptor, of Edinburgh. The circumstances are peculiarly melancholy. It
had been the dream of Mr. Ritchie's life to go to Rome; this year he was
able to travel, and he arrived in that city in September last, with some
friends as little acquainted with the nature of the malaria as himself.
With these friends it appears that he made a visit to Ostia; the season
was dangerous; the party took no precautions, and they all caught the
malaria fever. He died after a few days' illness, and was followed to
the grave by most of the English and American artists in Rome.

AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD, whose enterprise has opened a new field for
historical research, was born in Paris, March 5, 1817. His father, who
was Dean of Bristol, filled a high civil office in Ceylon, between the
years 1820 and 1830. The early years of the future explorer of Nineveh
were spent in Florence, where he early acquired his artistic tastes and
skill as a draughtsman. On returning to England, young Layard commenced
the study of law, but his love of adventure rendered this profession
distasteful to him, and he abandoned it. In 1839 he left England, with
no very definite object in view, visited Russia and the North of Europe,
and spent some time in Germany. Thence he took his course toward the
Danube, and visited the semi-barbarous provinces on the Turkish
frontier, which form the debatable ground between the Orient and the
Occident. In Montenegro he passed some time, aiding an active young
Chief in his efforts to ameliorate the condition of his subjects. From
hence he passed into the East, where he led the life of an Arab of the
desert, and acquired a thorough knowledge of the languages of Arabia and
Turkey. We next find him in Persia, Asia Minor, and Syria, where he
visited almost every spot made memorable by history or tradition. He now
felt an irresistible desire to penetrate to the regions beyond the
Euphrates, to which history and tradition point as the birth-place of
the wisdom of the West. At Constantinople, he fell in with the English
Embassador, Sir Stratford Canning, by whom he was encouraged to
undertake and carry on those excavations amid the Assyrian and
Babylonian ruins, which have conclusively demonstrated that a gigantic
civilization had passed away before what we are accustomed to call
ancient civilization dawned, a civilization stretching back almost to
the days when the ark rested upon Ararat; a civilization which was old
when the pyramids were young. And, what is still more remarkable, the
relics of this civilization are more perfect and beautiful in proportion
to the remoteness of their date, the earlier of these ancient sculptures
being invariably the noblest in design, and the most exquisite and
elaborate in execution.

In 1848, Mr. Layard visited England for a few months, where,
notwithstanding the monthly attacks of an aguish fever contracted in the
damp apartments which he was obliged to inhabit while prosecuting his
excavations at Nimroud, he prepared for the press the two volumes of his
Nineveh and its Remains, executed the drawings for the hundred plates,
and a volume of inscriptions in the cuneiform character for the British
Museum.

The last survivor of Cook's voyage, a sailor named John Wade, is said to
be now begging his bread at Kingston-on-Thames. He is within a few
months of completing his hundredth year, having been born in New York in
May, 1751. He was with Cook when he was killed on the Island of Hawaii;
and is said to have served at the battles of Cape St. Vincent,
Teneriffe, the Nile, Copenhagen, Camperdown, and Trafalgar.

An interesting collection of sketches, by members of the Sketching
Society has been opened to the public. This society numbers among its
members the two Chalons, Bone, Christall, Partridge, Stump, Leslie,
Stanfield, and Uwins. What gives to the present collection a unique
interest is that they are entirely impromptu productions, three hours
being the limit allowed for their completion. At each meeting of the
society the president announces a subject, and the drawings are made on
the spot.

Sir Roger de Coverley's chaplain is familiar to the recollection of all.
He has lately found an imitator. The Vicar of Selby announced a few
weeks since, that he should that day commence reading the sermons of
others, as there were many productions of the ablest divines which were
altogether unknown to his parishioners; and he thought the time spent in
writing so many new sermons might be more usefully employed in other
matters connected with his profession. He then proceeded to read a
sermon which he said he had heard preached at the University with great
effect.

Professor OWEN, in 1840, had submitted to him for examination, a fossil
body, which he was enabled to identify as the tooth of some species of
whale. It was subsequently discovered that certain crags upon the coast
of Suffolk, especially one at Felixstow, contained an immense quantity
of fossils of a similar character, which examinations, undertaken by
Owen and Henslow, showed to be rolled and water-worn fragments of the
skeletons of extinct species of mammals, mostly of the whale kind. This
discovery has been shown by a recent trial in the English courts, to be
of immense pecuniary value. A Mr. Lawes took out a patent for the
manufacture of super-phosphate of lime, as a substitute for bone-dust,
for agricultural purposes, by applying sulphuric acid to any mineral
whatever, known or unknown, which might contain the phosphate of lime.
It was found that these fossil remains contained of this from 50 to 60
per cent., and Mr. Lawes undertook to extend his patent so as to include
the production of the super-phosphate from them. In this he was
unsuccessful, the court deciding that he could not claim a monopoly of
all the fossil remains in the country. It was shown on the trial, that
an income of more than $50,000 a year has been derived from the use of
this phosphate.

A number of classical works of decided interest have recently been
published; among them are: _Platonis Opera Omnia_. This new edition of
Plato is edited by Stallbaum, whose name is a sufficient guarantee for
the faithful editorial care bestowed upon it. It is in one volume, small
folio, uniform with the edition of Aristotle by Weisse, and that of
Cicero by Nobbe.--Lachmann's edition of _Lucretius_ supplies a want
which has been long felt of a good critical edition of the philosophical
poet. The volume of the text is accompanied by a critical commentary in
a separate volume.--The second part of the second volume of Professor
Ritschl's edition of _Plautus_ containing the "Pseudulus," has appeared.
The editor has the reputation of being the best Plautinian scholar in
Germany. He has spent years in the preparation of this edition, having
undertaken an entirely new recension of the works of the great dramatic
poet.--_Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum._ This important work, under the
editorial charge of the veteran Böckh, with whom is associated Franz, is
rapidly approaching completion. The third part of the third volume is
published. A fourth part, which will complete the work, is promised
speedily.

From the press of the Imperial Academy at St. Petersburgh has appeared
the first volume of a collection of _Mohammedan Sources for the History
of the Southern Coasts of the Caspian Sea_. The volume contains 643
pages of the Persian text of the history of Tabaristan, Rujan, and
Massanderan, by Seher-Eddin, edited, with a German introduction, by
Bernhard Dorn, Librarian of the Imperial Library. It gives a history,
commencing with the mythical ages and ending with the year 1476, of the
various dynasties which have ruled those regions, which have scarcely
been brought within the light of authentic history, but to which we must
look for the solution of many interesting problems in relation to the
progress and development of the race. The editor promises forthwith a
translation of the history, with annotations.

Professor HEINRICH EWALD, of Göttingen, has just put forth a translation
of and commentary upon the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, marked by
that free dealing with the sacred text characteristic of the
Rationalistic school. He proposes to himself the task of separating what
he supposes to be the original substance of the evangelical narrative
from subsequent additions and interpolations--"to free the kernel from
the Mosaic husk." The author had intended to delay the publication of
this commentary until after the publication of his History of the Jews;
but he thought he perceived in the present state of religion in Germany,
and especially in the alarming decline of the religious element among
the masses of the people, a call upon him to furnish an antidote--such
as it is. In the preface he takes occasion to make some severe
criticisms upon the politics of the day, and in particular those of
Prussia.


OBITUARIES.

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, the Ornithologist, died at his residence a few miles
from New York, on the 27th of January. He was born in Louisiana, about
1775, of French parentage, traces of which were apparent through life in
the foreign intonation with which he spoke the English language,
although he wrote it with great vigor and correctness. He early
manifested that enthusiastic love of nature, which subsequently became
his ruling passion, and the mainspring of all his endeavors through
life. In the preface to his "Ornithological Biography," he gives a vivid
sketch of the growth of his fondness for the winged creation. "None but
aerial companions," says he, "suited my fancy; no roof seemed so secure
to me as that formed of the dense foliage under which the feathered
tribes were seen to resort, or the caves and fissures of the massy rocks
to which the dark-winged cormorant and the curlew retired to rest, or to
protect themselves from the fury of the tempest." With increasing years,
a desire for the actual possession of his favorites grew up in his
mind. But this longing was nowise satiated by the possession of them
dead: with their life their charms were gone. At this period his father
showed him a book of illustrations--of no very high artistic excellence,
we may well believe. A bush thrown into certain solutions, in a
particular state, will cause crystalization. The young enthusiast's mind
was in such a state--the vague desires, the indefinite longings
crystalized around that Book of Illustrations. He longed to be a
creator. To imitate by lines and colors the beings he loved, became the
passion of his life. But like all true artists, he was at first doomed
to experience the disappointment of being unable to realize his ideal:
his drawings so far from truly representing the originals, were even
inferior to the engravings in his book. Every year he made hundreds,
which he regularly burned upon every succeeding birthday.

In his sixteenth year he was sent to Paris to pursue his education.
There he studied drawing under the revolutionary painter David. But his
heart was ever in his native woods, and after a stay of eighteen months
he gladly returned. His father now gave him a farm near Philadelphia, at
the junction of the Pekioming Creek and the Schuylkill. Here he married,
and entered into mercantile transactions, apparently with ill success.
He was in the forests when he should have been in the counting-house, if
he would succeed in business. His friends looked askance at him, as one
who only made drawings when he might have made money. They were
doubtless correct in their estimate of his capacity. That indomitable
spirit which bore him thousands of miles through the untrodden
wilderness, softened the earth or the branch of a tree for his bed;
"bore bravely up his chin" when he swam the swollen stream, with his
rifle and painting materials lashed above his head--was doubtless
adequate, if directed to that end, to have gained any given amount of
money. Pegasus made an indifferent plow-horse; and Audubon but a poor
trader. So after ten years of this divided pursuit, one bright October
morning found him floating down the Ohio in a skiff in which were his
wife and child, his scanty wares, and a couple of negro rowers. He set
up his household gods at Henderson, Kentucky, where he resided for some
years, and engaged again, with a partner, in trade. Still he was
accustomed to make long excursions, with no companion but his dog and
rifle, a tin box strapped to his side containing his brushes and paints.
All this while his collection of drawings, which was subsequently to
constitute the "Birds of America," grew under his hand; yet strange to
say, the thought of publishing never entered his mind.

One spring day in 1810, a stranger entered the counting-room of Audubon,
presented specimens of a book he was preparing, and requested his
patronage. The stranger was Alexander Wilson, and the book was his
"American Ornithology." Audubon was about to subscribe for it, when his
partner asked him, in French, why he did so, assuring him that his own
drawings were far better, and that he must be as well acquainted with
the habits of American birds as the stranger could be. Wilson asked if
Audubon had any drawings of birds. A large portfolio was exhibited: and
the veteran ornithologist could not avoid the conclusion that his own
efforts were far surpassed. He became sad, and though Audubon showed him
every attention, loaned him drawings, and accompanied him through the
neighboring woods, the thought of being excelled was more than he could
bear. He departed, shaking the dust from his feet, and entered in his
diary that "literature or art had not a friend in the place."

The year following, we find Audubon far down among the bayous of
Florida, still engaged in collecting materials for his work; yet still,
apparently, with no definite purpose of publication. Of the next ten or
twelve years of his life, we have no particular accounts. But we
understand that he has left behind him an autobiography, which will
doubtless be made public, and which we venture to predict, will exceed
in interest and adventure the lion-king Cumming's African exploits,
springing as Audubon's did from high devotion to science, instead of the
mere animal instinct of destruction. All this while his great work was
growing. But in a single night the result of the labor of years was
destroyed by a pair of rats, who selected a box containing two hundred
drawings, with more than a thousand figures, as a place in which to rear
their plundering brood. "The burning heat," says he, "which rushed
through my brain was too great to be endured without affecting the whole
of my nervous system. I slept not for several nights, and the days
passed like days of oblivion, until the dormant powers being aroused
into action through the strength of my constitution, I took up my gun,
my note-book, and my pencils, and went forward to the woods as gayly as
though nothing had happened." In three years his portfolios were again
full.

In 1824, Audubon found himself at Philadelphia, on his way to the great
lakes. Here he was introduced to Lucien Bonaparte, who seems to have
induced him to determine upon the publication of his work. A year and a
half of happy toil ensued, enlivened by a new object. He had loved and
wooed Nature for her own dear self; but now he began to feel
presentiments that his bride would raise him to a throne among the
immortals. In 1826 he set sail for England. His first feeling was that
of despondency. What was he, whose acquirements had been won by the
solitary wanderings of more than a quarter of a century, amid lonely
forest solitudes; what could he be in comparison with those who had been
trained and taught by intercourse with civilized life? But these
feelings were of brief duration. The wonderful backwoodsman was warmly
welcomed by the best and wisest men of Europe. Cuvier was his admirer,
Alexander von Humboldt became his cherished friend and correspondent.
"The hearts of all," wrote Wilson, "warmed toward Audubon, who were
capable of conceiving the difficulties, dangers, and sacrifices that
must have been encountered, endured, and overcome, before genius could
have embodied these, the glory of its innumerable triumphs."

And so Audubon was encouraged to publish his work. It was a vast
undertaking. It would take sixteen years to accomplish it; he was now
somewhat declined into the vale of years, and would be an old man when
it was completed; and when the first drawings were put into the hands of
the engraver he had not a single subscriber. But his heart was upborne
by reliance on that Power, on whom depends success. After three years
spent in Europe, he returned to America in 1829, leaving his work in
process of execution in Edinburgh. Toward the close of 1830 his first
volume, containing one hundred plates, every figure of the size and
colors of life, was issued. It was hailed with universal applause; royal
names headed his subscription list, which, at one thousand dollars each,
reached the number of 175, of whom eighty were Americans. His name was
enrolled among the members of the learned Societies of Great Britain
and the Continent, and the world claimed him among her great men.

In the Autumn of 1831, Audubon visited Washington, where he received
from Government letters of protection and assistance, to be used at all
national ports, revenue, and naval stations. Having been delayed by
sickness, he proceeded upon his expedition toward the close of the
following summer. He tracked the forests of Maine, explored the shores
of the British provinces, bringing back rich spoils; and returned to
Charleston, to spend the winter in the preparation of his drawings and
the accompanying descriptions. In 1834 he published his second volume.
The three following years were passed in exploring expeditions, mostly
to the South, one of which was to Florida, another to Texas, in a vessel
placed at his disposal by Government, and in the preparation of his
drawings and descriptions. At the close of this period he published the
fourth and last volume of plates, and the fifth of descriptions. The
whole work contained 435 plates, comprising more than a thousand figures
of birds, all drawn of the size of life, in their natural attitudes and
circumstances, and colored from nature.

In 1839 Audubon commenced in this country the republication of the
"Birds of America," in seven large octavo volumes, which were issued
during the succeeding five years. Before the expiration of this period,
however, he commenced the preparation of the "Quadrupeds of America," of
which he had materials for five large volumes: in the literary
department of which he was assisted by Dr. Bachman, of Charleston. This
has recently been concluded, and forms a monument to his memory hardly
less imposing than his earlier work. In the meanwhile, though more than
sixty winters had passed over his head, he projected an expedition to
the Rocky Mountains, with all the adventurous spirit of his youth. But
he perhaps over-rated his physical capabilities; at least the expedition
was not made. The concluding years of his life were passed on the
beautiful estate of Minniesland, upon the Hudson, some ten miles from
New York. For several years his health had been giving way, until the
time when he passed from earth to the still land of the immortals. His
was a happy life. He had found his vocation, and pursued it for long
years, earnestly, faithfully, and triumphantly. The forms of beauty
which won his early love, and drew him into the broad forests, he
brought back to cheer us who can not follow his footsteps. He has linked
himself with the undying loveliness of Nature; and, therefore, his works
are a possession to all men forevermore.

JOSEPH BEM, the famous Polish General in the late Hungarian war, died at
Aleppo in the early part of December. It is somewhat singular that
during the whole course of hostilities he declared his conviction that
he should survive until the year 1850. Bem was born in 1795 at Tarnow in
Gallicia. Having completed his education at the Military School in
Warsaw, he entered the army, and served as lieutenant of artillery in
the divisions of Davoust and Macdonald. On the conclusion of peace, he
remained with the Polish army, who were now in the Russian service,
where he attained the rank of captain and adjutant, and was finally
appointed teacher in the Artillery School at Warsaw. Dissatisfied with
his position, he applied for a discharge, which was granted; but for
some unexplained cause he was summoned before a court-martial, and
sentenced to an imprisonment of two months. From 1825 to the outbreak of
the Polish insurrection in 1830, he resided at Lemberg, where he busied
himself with mechanical and mathematical studies. When the rising of the
Poles took place, he hastened to Warsaw, was appointed major, and
obtained the command of a regiment of flying artillery. For his
distinguished services at the battles of Igania and Ostrolenka he was
raised successively to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and colonel, and
received the command of the Polish artillery. At Ostrolenka he was
wounded, but as he lay upon the ground, he directed the movements of his
guns. When the cause of Poland was lost, he headed the first emigration
to France, where the greater portion of the next eighteen years was
spent. In 1833 he entered into negotiations with Don Pedro of Portugal
to raise a Polish regiment for his service; but the project was
unsuccessful; and Bem incurred the suspicions of his fellow exiles, by
one of whom an attempt was made to assassinate him. The following years
he passed in France and England, where we trace him by several treatises
which he published upon the organization of artillery, the manufacture
of powder, the distillation of brandy, the modes of working in wood and
metal, and a system of mnemonics. He also taught languages, for a time,
for very scanty pay, at London and Oxford, but was obliged to abandon
this occupation in consequence of a surgical operation for the
extraction of a bullet; for a time he was in receipt of the few
shillings weekly which the Polish Association were able to bestow upon
destitute exiles. The bread of exile which Dante found so bitter, was
sweet compared with that which Bem, for long years, was forced to taste.
He made an attempt to establish a Polytechnic Company, near Paris, which
failed from the want of adequate funds.

Upon the breaking out of the revolutions of 1848, we find Bem in the
thick of the conflict. On the 14th of October he made his appearance at
Vienna, where he endeavored to organize the revolt in the Austrian
capital. Here he could never have anticipated success; but he was aware
that resistance in Vienna would give the Hungarians time to arm. Finding
the cause hopeless in Vienna, he betook himself to Kossuth, at Comorn.
Here he had some difficulty in proving his identity; but at length Bem
succeeded in winning the confidence of the Hungarian ruler. At Pesth,
where he concerted future operations with Kossuth, another attempt was
made to assassinate Bem by a young Pole who had conceived the idea that
he had betrayed the popular cause at Vienna. From Pesth Bem was
dispatched by Kossuth to Transylvania, in order to organize the revolt
against Austria. The transactions in Transylvania formed perhaps the
most brilliant portion of the whole Hungarian war. In the course of ten
weeks, with a newly raised army, always inferior in force to the enemy,
by a series of hard fighting and skillful manoeuvres, he placed
Transylvania in the hands of the Hungarians. The accession of Russia to
the side of Austria was decisive of the contest. Bem, sorely pressed in
Transylvania, was summoned by Kossuth to assume the command in chief;
and at Temesvar, on the 10th of August 1849, he lost the last battle of
Hungary; though he here displayed the highest qualities of the soldier
and the general. The Austrians were repulsed at all points, mowed down
by the terrible fire from the Hungarian artillery, which Bem had posted
with his accustomed skill; but his troops were exhausted, and a fresh
body of Austrians under Prince Lichtenstein, decided the day. "A single
draught of wine to each hussar," said Guyon, "would have saved the
battle." In the rout which ensued, Bem, who was weakened by his wounds,
was thrown from his horse, and broke his collar bone. The day following
the disastrous battle of Temesvar, Kossuth resigned the dictatorship
into the hands of Görgey, who two days after, on the 13th of August,
surrendered his whole army, consisting of 24,000 men with 144 pieces of
cannon, to the Russians.

Bem at first made some efforts to prolong the hopeless contest; but it
was in vain, and on the 17th of the month he bade farewell to the
country from which he had hoped so much. Kossuth, Dembinski, Bem, and
some others took refuge in Turkey, where their residence or extradition
was made a political question by the powers of Europe. In the
anticipation of being given up, Bem embraced Mohammedanism, and entered
the Turkish service, under the name of Murad Bey. There is nothing to
wonder at in this procedure. His one principle through life had been
hatred to Russia, and to this he would not hesitate to sacrifice any and
every other consideration; his only religion was to avenge his country
upon the Czar; if that could be done, it mattered little to him whether
it was effected under the banner of the cross or the crescent. He
persisted to the last in his profession of Mohammedanism, and was buried
with military honors, greatly lamented by the Ottoman government, into
whose military organization he had introduced many beneficial reforms.
Bem possessed military genius of a high order; he was bold and rapid in
his decisions, fertile in resources, whether to take advantage of a
victory or to retrieve a defeat. He clearly perceived that the most
effective arm in modern warfare is artillery, the service of which he
always superintended in person. Previous to a battle he appointed the
positions his guns were to assume, examined and leveled them in person,
whence he was nicknamed, by his German legion, "the Piano-forte player."
At the time of his death, he had reached his fifty-sixth year, but the
severe exposures which he had undergone, and his numerous wounds, gave
him the appearance of a still greater age. As a man, all who knew Bem
were enthusiastic in his praise. Generous in disposition, gentle and
modest in demeanor, he inspired deep personal attachment in all with
whom he came in contact.

VISCOUNT ALFORD (John Hume Cust) died on the 2d of January. In 1849 he
succeeded to the vast Bridgewater estates, and assumed, by royal
license, the name of Egerton, in place of that of Cust. He was a member
of the House of Commons from 1836 to 1847. He inherited an estate from
the late Earl of Bridgewater, under a will of very singular character.
By this document it was provided that unless Lord Alford should, within
five years, succeed in gaining a rank in the peerage higher than that of
earl, the estate should go to his brother, with a like condition, which
also failing, it was to pass to another branch of the family.

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE (Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham Clinton) died Jan.
12, at the age of 66. He was one of the most consistent and unbending of
the Tory conservative nobility of England, and a most strenuous opponent
of every measure of reform. He said of himself that "on looking back to
the past, I can honestly assert that I repent of nothing that I have
done. _Vestigia nulla retrorsum._ Such has been the cradle of my
opinions: time may have matured them, and given them something like
authority; at all events, the sentiments that might have been doubtful,
are now rootedly confirmed." Thus incapable of learning by experience,
of becoming wiser as a man than he was when a boy, his political career
was thoroughly consistent. He was alike opposed to Catholic
emancipation, the repeal of the Test Act, and any modification of the
Corn Laws. When Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, he refused, in spite
of the positive demand of Government, to insert in the commission of the
peace the names of two gentlemen who were not members of the Established
Church. When the Reform Bill was in agitation, he stood up manfully for
the rotten boroughs which enabled him to return six members to the House
of Commons, the disfranchisement of which cost him a large sum which he
had invested in property of which the franchise constituted the main
value. His hereditary possessions were very large, and by his wife he
obtained estates to the value of £12,000 per annum, besides personal
property to the amount of £200,000; yet, owing to extensive purchases of
unproductive estates, he was embarrassed in pecuniary matters. Apart
from his narrow and bigoted politics, his character was marked by many
noble and excellent traits.

FREDERICK BASTIAT, the leader of the free-trade party in France, died at
Rome, on the 24th of December. He was a member of the National Assembly;
and his death was hastened by his severe and protracted labors during
the last session. His essays, bearing the general title of _Sophismes
Economiques_, originally published in a periodical, the _Journal des
Economistes_, of which he was editor, have been made known to the
American public through the columns of the _Evening Post_, which is a
sufficient guarantee of their authority with the upholders of that
policy.

W.H. MAXWELL, the Irish novelist, died at Musselburg, near Edinburgh,
December 29. In early life he was a captain in the British army, and
noted for his social qualities. He subsequently entered the Church, and
obtained the benefice of prebendary of Balla, a wild district in
Connaught, with an income, but no congregation or official duties. Among
his works we recollect "Hector O'Halloran," "Story of My Life," "Wild
Sports of the West," and many humorous sketches in the periodical
literature of the day.

PROFESSOR SCHUMACHER, the Astronomer of the Observatory at Altona, died
on the 28th of December, in his 71st year. For many years he conducted
the _Astronomische Nachrichten_, in which capacity he was well known in
the scientific world. He had been successively Professor of Astronomy at
the University of Copenhagen, and Director of the Observatory at
Manheim, in Baden. From 1817 to 1821 he measured the length of the
degree of longitude from Copenhagen to the western coast of Jutland, and
that of the degree of latitude from the northern extremity of Jutland to
the frontiers of Hanover. He subsequently executed for the English
Government the measure of the difference of longitude between the
observatories of Greenwich and Altona.



Literary Notices.


_The Howadji; or, Nile Notes_ (published by Harper and Brothers), is a
new volume of Oriental travels, by a young New-Yorker, describing a
voyage on the Nile and the marvels of Egypt, with a freshness and
originality that give it all the fascination of a romance. Speaking in
the character of the Howadji, which is the name given by the Egyptians
to foreign travelers, the author describes a succession of rare
incidents, revealing the very heart of Eastern life, and transporting us
into the midst of its dim, cloud-like scenes, so as to impress us with
the strongest sense of reality. He does not claim the possession of any
antiquarian lore; he has no ambition to win the fame of a discoverer;
nor in the slightest degree is he a collector of statistical facts. He
leaves aside all erudite speculations, allowing the moot points of
geography and history to settle themselves, and gives himself up to the
dreamy fancies and romantic musings which cluster round the imagination
in the purple atmosphere of the East. His work is, in fact, a gorgeous
prose-poem, inspired by his recollections of strange and vivid
experiences, and clothed in the quaint, picturesque costume which
harmonizes with his glowing Oriental visions. No previous traveler has
been so richly imbued with the peculiar spirit of the East. His language
is pervaded with its luxurious charm. Bathed in the golden light of that
sunny clime, his words breathe a delicious enchantment, and lull the
soul in softest reveries. The descriptive portions of the book are often
diversified with a vein of profound and tender reflection, and with
incidental critical allusions to Art, which have the merit both of
acuteness and originality. From the uncommon force and freedom of mind,
exhibited in this volume, with its genuine poetic inspirations, we
foresee that a brilliant career in letters is opened to the author, if
his ambition or tastes impel him to that sphere of activity.

_Crumbs from the Land o' Cakes_, by JOHN KNOX (published by Gould and
Lincoln), is a rapid sketch of a tour in Scotland, by an enthusiastic
admirer and native of that country. It makes no pretensions to
originality or literary skill, but written without affectation, and from
recent actual experience, it makes a very readable volume. The title is
quaintly explained in the preface. "Crumbs are but trifles, though a
morsel of manchineel may poison a man, and the same quantity of
gingerbread may tickle his palate; but the crumbs here presented do not
belong to either class. All Scotchmen know that the cakes for which
their native land is celebrated are made of oatmeal (baked hard); which,
though substantial, are very dry: this consideration will show the
propriety of the title. It is also appropriate in another respect, for
the writer is conscious that these fragmentary notes of travel in his
native country are, in comparison to the richness of the materials and
the subject, but as the crumbs to the loaf."

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston, have published a third volume of DE
QUINCY's _Writings_, comprising his _Miscellaneous Essays_ on sacred
subjects, of which the quaint peculiarity of the title is suggestive of
the bold, fanciful genius of the author. Among them, we find "Murder,
considered as one of the Fine Arts;" "The Vision of Sudden Death;"
"Dinner, Real and Reputed," and others, all redolent of the strange
imaginative conceits, the playful toying with language, and the
startling intensity of description which characterize the Visions of the
English Opium Eater.

The same house have issued a neat duodecimo edition of GOETHE's _Faust_,
translated by HAYWARD, of which the curious aesthetic and philological
merits are well known to every German scholar. It is an almost literal
transcript of the original into English prose, but executed with such a
profound appreciation of its spirit, such nice verbal accuracy, and such
exquisite handling of the delicate mechanism of language, as to present
a more faithful idea of the wild and marvelous beauty of the great
German poem, than the most successful translation in verse. According to
Mr. Hayward's theory of translation, "If the English reader, not knowing
German, be made to stand in the same relation to Faust as the English
reader, thoroughly acquainted with German stands in toward it--that is,
if the same impressions be conveyed through the same sort of medium,
whether bright or dusky, coarse or fine--the very extreme point of a
translator's duty has been attained." The loudly-expressed verdict of
competent literary judges (so far as we know without a dissenting
voice), and the numerous editions it has gone through on both sides of
the Atlantic, are ample proofs of the felicitous and effective manner in
which the translator has completed the task thus imposed upon himself.
The Preface and Notes attached to this volume, show the vivacity of his
genius, and his rich stores of choice learning.

_Lavengro: The Scholar--The Gipsy--The Priest_, by GEORGE BORROW
(published by Harper and Brothers, and George P. Putnam), is the title
of certain portions of the unique autobiography of the erratic author of
"The Bible in Spain." Among the many things which he professes to have
aimed at in this book, is the encouragement of charity, and free and
genial manners, as well as the exposure of humbug in various forms. The
incidents related are in accordance with this design. Borrow's early
life was filled with strange and startling adventures. With a taste from
the cradle for savage freedom, he never became subject to social
conventionalisms. His soul expanded in the free air, by the side of
running streams, and in the mountain regions of liberty. He received the
strongest impressions from all the influences of nature. He was led by a
strange magnetism to intimacy with the most eccentric characters. An
ample fund of material for an interesting narrative was thus provided.
He has made use of them in his own peculiar and audacious manner. A more
self-reliant writer is not to be found in English literature. He has no
view to the effect of his words on the reader, but aims only to tell the
story with which his mind teems. Hence his pages are as fresh as morning
dew, and often run riot with a certain gipsy wildness. His narrative has
little continuity. He piles up isolated incidents, which remain in his
memory, but with no regard to regular sequence or completeness. On this
account he is sometimes not a little provoking. He shuts off the stream
at the moment your curiosity is most strongly excited. But the joyous
freedom of his spirit, his consummate skill as a story teller, and the
startling eccentricities of his life, so little in accordance with the
tameness and dull proprieties of English society, give an elastic
vitality to his book, and make it of more interest to the reader than
almost any recent issue of the English press.

Harper and Brothers have commenced the publication of a new series of
juvenile tales by JACOB ABBOTT, entitled _The Franconia Stories_. The
first volume, called _Malleville_, is a very agreeable narrative of life
in New Hampshire, abounding in attractive incidents, and related in the
fresh and natural style for which the author is justly celebrated. This
series is intended by the author to exert a kindly moral influence on
the hearts and dispositions of the readers, although it will contain
little formal exhortation and instruction. He has no doubt hit upon the
true philosophy, in this respect, nothing being so distasteful to a
young reader as the interruption of the narrative by the statement of a
moral, unless he can contrive to swallow the sugar, while he rejects the
medicine. Mr. Abbott relies on his quiet and peaceful pictures of happy
domestic life, and the expression of such sentiments and feelings as it
is desirable to exhibit in the presence of children. He is far more sure
of the effect aimed at by this method, than by any insipid dilutions of
Solomon or Seneca.

_The Practical Cook-Book_ (published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.) is
the title of a new work on gastronomic science, by a Lady of Boston,
which brings the taste and philosophy of that renowned seat of the Muses
to the elucidation of the mysteries of the cuisine. The young
housekeeper will be saved from many perplexities by consulting its lucid
oracles.

Edward H. Fletcher has published a new edition of the celebrated
_Discourse on Missions_, by JOHN FOSTER, delivered in 1818, before the
London Baptist Missionary Society, with a Preliminary Essay on the
Skepticism of the Church, by Rev. Joseph P. Thompson, of the Broadway
Tabernacle. It is republished in this country with a view to counteract
the impression since made by the extraordinary writer, in his critique
on Rev. Dr. Harris's popular work, "The Great Commission," in which
Foster alludes to the missionary enterprise in terms of disparagement,
giving the opposers of evangelical missions and evangelical religion the
sanction of his great name, and the authority of his latest opinions. In
the opinion of the Editor, no better refutation of his argument can be
given than is contained in the Missionary Discourse from Mr. Foster's
own pen. Being written in the maturity of his intellect, and regarded by
himself as one of his most successful efforts, it may be taken as a more
authentic expression of his opinions than the letter to Dr. Harris,
which was written in his old age: an old age rendered gloomy and morose
by seclusion from the world, and by the failure of the schemes which he
had fondly cherished in more ardent years. The character of the
Discourse is tersely summed up in a short paragraph by Mr. Thompson. "In
the thoroughness of its discussion and the comprehensiveness of its
view; in the clearness and strength of its reasoning, and the force and
beauty of its diction; in the glow of its sentiment, and the sublimity
of its faith, this discourse stands at the head of productions of its
class, as an exhibition of the grandeur of the work of missions, and of
the imperative claims of that work upon the Church of Christ. There is
nothing in it local or temporary, but it comes to Christians of this
generation with all the freshness and power which thirty years ago
attended its delivery." The Preliminary Essay by the Editor is a
vigorous and uncompromising attack on the prevalent skepticism of the
Church in respect to the obligations of the Missionary Enterprise.

J.S. Redfield has issued a work on _The Restoration of the Jews_, by
SETH LEWIS, in which the author maintains the doctrine of a literal
return of the Jews to Palestine, and the second coming of Christ in
connection with that event. Mr. Lewis, whose death took place one or two
years since, at an advanced old age, was one of the District Judges of
the State of Louisiana, and highly respected for his learning and
ability, as well as his exemplary private character. He was devoted to
the study of the Scriptures, and presents the fruits of his research
with modesty and earnestness, though hardly in a manner adapted to
produce a general conviction of the correctness of his views.

The same publisher has issued _A Practical System of Modern Geography_,
by JOHN F. ANDERSON, a successful teacher of one of the Public Schools
in this city. The leading features of this little work are brevity,
clearness, and simplicity. The author has aimed to present a practical
system of Geography, unconnected with subjects not pertaining to the
science, in a manner adapted to facilitate the rapid progress of the
pupil. We think that he has met with great success in the accomplishment
of his plan.

Tallis, Willoughby, and Co. continue the serial publication of _The Life
of Christ_, by JOHN FLEETWOOD, which beautiful work is now brought down
to the Twelfth Number. It is embellished with exquisite engravings, and
in all respects is worthy of a place in every family.

The same house are bringing out _Scripture Illustrations for the Young_,
by FREDERICK BAMBRIDGE, in a style of peculiar beauty--a work every way
adapted to charm the taste and inform the mind of the juvenile reader.

_The Dove and the Eagle_ (published by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields,
Boston) is a slight satirical poem, with some clever hits at
transcendentalism, socialism, teetotalism, woman's-rights-ism, and other
rampant hobbies of the day.

Among the latest republications of Robert Carter and Brothers, we find a
neat edition of _Young's Night Thoughts_, printed on excellent white
paper, in a convenient, portable form; _The Principles of Geology
Explained_, by Rev. DAVID KING, showing the relations of that science to
natural and revealed religion; _The Listener_, by CAROLINE FRY; the able
and elaborate work on _The Method of the Divine Government_, by JAMES
M'COSH; and _Daily Bible Illustrations_, by JOHN KITTO, in three
volumes. This last work has gained an extensive popularity in England,
and has the rare merit of presenting the scenes of Sacred History in a
vivid and picturesque light, with a rare freedom from bombast on the one
hand, and from weak common-place on the other.

The Carters have recently published a new edition of Mrs. L.H.
SIGOURNEY's popular contribution to the cause of Temperance, entitled
_Water Drops_, consisting of an original collection of stories, essays,
and short poems, illustrative of the benefits of total abstinence. The
Eighth Edition of Dr. G.B. CHEEVER's _Lectures on the Pilgrim's
Progress_, is also just issued by the same house.

_The History of the United States_, by RICHARD HILDRETH, Vol. IV.
(published by Harper and Brothers), commences a new series of his great
historical work, embracing the period subsequent to the adoption of the
Federal Constitution in 1789, and reaching to the close of Mr. Monroe's
first Presidential term in 1821. The volume now issued is devoted to the
administration of Washington, and gives a condensed and intelligible
view of the early development of American legislation, of the gradual
formation of the parties which have since borne the most conspicuous
part in our national politics, and of the character and influence of the
statesmen who presided over the first operations of the Federal
Government.

With a greater vivacity of style than is shown in the preceding volumes,
the present exhibits the results of no less extensive research, and a
more profound spirit of reflection. Mr. Hildreth evidently aims at a
rigid impartiality in his narrative of political events, although he
never affects an indifference toward the pretensions of conflicting
parties. His sympathies are strongly on the side of Washington,
Hamilton, and Jay, with regard to the questions that soon embarrassed
the first administration. While he presents a lucid statement of the
principles at issue, he takes no pains to conceal his own predilections,
always avoiding, however, the tone of a heated partisan. This portion of
his work, accordingly, is more open to criticism, than his account of
the earlier epochs of American history. The political devotee may be
shocked at the uncompromising treatment of some of his favorites, while
he can not fail to admit the ability which is evinced in the estimate of
their characters.

Among the topics which occupy an important place in this volume, are the
Inauguration of the Federal Government, the establishment of the Revenue
System, the Financial Policy of Hamilton, the Growth of Party Divisions,
the Insurrection in Pennsylvania, Mr. Jay's Treaty with England, and Mr.
Monroe's Mission to France. These are handled with great fullness and
clearness of detail, with a sound and discriminating judgment, and in a
style which, though seldom graphic and never impassioned, has the
genuine historical merits of precision, energy, and point. We rejoice to
welcome this series as an admirable introduction to the political
history of our Republic, and shall look for its completion with
impatience.

LOSSING's _Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution_ (published by Harper
and Brothers) has now reached the close of the First Volume. Its
interest has continued without diminution through the successive
Numbers. The liveliness of the narrative, as well as the beauty of the
embellishments, has given this work a wide popularity, which we have no
doubt it will fully sustain by the character of the subsequent volumes.
The union of history, biographical incidents, and personal anecdotes is
one of its most attractive features, and in the varied intercourse of
Mr. Lossing with the survivors of the Revolutionary struggle, and the
descendants of those who have deceased, he has collected an almost
exhaustless store of material for this purpose, which he has shown
himself able to work up with admirable effect.

_The United States: Its Power and Progress_ (published by Lippincott,
Grambo, and Co.) is a translation by EDMUND L. DU BARRY of the Third
Paris edition of a work by M. POUSSIN, late Minister of France to the
United States. It presents a systematic historical view of the early
colonization of the country, with an elaborate description of the means
of national defense, and of agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and
education in the United States. M. Poussin had some excellent
qualifications for the performance of this task. Residing in this
country for many years, he was able to speak from experience of the
practical working of republican institutions. Connected with the Board
of Engineers appointed by the American Government for topographical
surveys in reference to future military operations, he had attained an
exact knowledge of our geographical position, and the whole organization
of our internal improvements. A decided republican in feeling, his
warmest sympathies were with the cause of political progress in this
country. Free from the aristocratic prejudices of the Old World, the
rapid development of social prosperity in the United States was a
spectacle which he could not contemplate with indifference. Hence his
volume is characterized not only by breadth of information, but by
fairness of judgment. If he sometimes indulges a French taste for
speculative theories, he is, in general, precise and accurate in his
statements of facts. His description of our organization for the defense
of the coast and the frontiers is quite complete, and drawn to a great
degree from personal observation, may be relied on as authentic. We can
freely commend this work to the European who would attain a correct view
of the social condition, political arrangements, and industrial
resources of the United States, as well as to our own citizens who are
often so absorbed in the practical operations of our institutions as to
lose sight of their history and actual development.

_Salander and the Dragon_, by FREDERIC WILLIAM SHELTON (published by
George P. Putnam and Samuel Hueston), is a more than commonly successful
attempt in a difficult species of composition, and one in which the
disgrace of failure is too imminent to present a strong temptation to
any but aspirants of the most comfortable self-complacency. Mr. Shelton,
however, has little to fear from the usual perils that beset this path
of literary effort. He has a genius for the vocation. With such a fair
fruitage, from the first experiment, we hope he will allow no rust to
gather on his implements.

Salander is a black, or rather greenish monster of a dwarf, without
bones, capable of being doubled into all shapes, like a strip of India
Rubber, and stretching himself out like the same. He was committed for
safe-keeping to the jailer of an important fortress, called the Hartz
Prison. The jailer, whose name was Goodman, held the place under the
Lord of Conscienza, a noble of the purest blood, and very strict toward
his vassals. After suffering no slight annoyance from the pranks of the
horrid imp, the jailer applied to the lord of the castle for relief, who
told him that the rascally prisoner had been imposed upon him by forged
orders, but now that he had him in possession, he must guard him with
the strictest vigilance, and subject him to the most severe treatment.
The adventures of the jailer with the infernal monster compose the
materials of the allegory, which is conducted with no small skill, and
with uncommon beauty of expression. The upshot of the story is to
illustrate the detestable effects of slander, a vice which the author
treats with a wholesome bitterness of invective, regarding it as one of
the most diabolical forms of the unpardonable sin. It could not be
incarnated in a more loathsome body than that of the hideous Salander.
We can only tolerate his presence on account of the exceeding beauty of
the environment in which he is placed.

Geo. P. Putnam has published the Fifth Volume of COOPER's
_Leather-Stocking Tales_, containing _The Prairie_, with an original
Introduction and Notes by the author. In this volume we have the last
scenes in the exciting career of Leather-Stocking, who has been driven
from the forest by the sound of the ax, and forced to seek a desperate
refuge in the bleak plains that skirt the Rocky Mountains. The new
generation of readers, that have not yet become acquainted with this
noble creation, have a pleasure in store that the veteran novel-reader
may well envy.

_An Address_ by HENRY B. STANTON, and _Poem_ by ALFRED B. STREET
pronounced before the Literary Societies of Hamilton College, are issued
in a neat pamphlet by Rogers and Sherman Utica. Mr. Stanton's Address
presents a comparative estimate of Ultraists, Conservatives, and
Reformers, as mingled in the conflicting classes of American Society,
using the terms to designate forces now in operation rather than parties
and with no special reference to combinations of men which have been
thus denominated. His views are brought forward with vigor and
discrimination, and free from the offensive tone which discussions of
this nature are apt to produce. In applying the principles of his
Address to the subject of American literature, he forcibly maintains the
absurdity of an abject dependence on the ancient classics. "I would not
speak disparagingly of the languages of Greece and Rome. As mere
inventions, pieces of mechanism, they are as perfect as human lip ever
uttered, as exquisite as mortal pen ever wrote; and the study of the
literature they embalm refines the taste and strengthens the mind. But
while the writers of Greece and Rome are retained in our academic halls,
they should not be allowed to exclude those authors whose researches
have enlarged the boundaries of knowledge, and whose genius has added
new beauties to the Anglo-Saxon tongue. Let Homer and Shakspeare, Virgil
and Milton, Plato and Bacon, Herodotus and Macaulay, Livy and Bancroft,
Xenophon and Prescott, Demosthenes and Webster, Cicero and Brougham,
stand on the same shelves, and be studied by the same classes."

Mr. STREET's Poem is a polished and graceful description of the romantic
scenery of the Mohawk Valley, interspersed with several striking Indian
legends, comparing the tranquil happiness of the present day, with the
carnage and misery of the old warfare. Mr. Street gives a pleasing
picture in the following animated verses:

                      View the lovely valley now!
    Villages strew, like jewels on a chain,
    All its bright length. Whole miles of level grain,
    With leagues of meadow-land and pasture-field,
    Cover its surface; gray roads wind about,
    O'er which the farmer's wagon clattering rolls,
    And the red mail-coach. Bridges cross the streams,
    Roofed, with great spider-webs of beams within.

    Homesteads to homesteads flash their window-gleams,
    Like friends they talk by language of the eye;
    Upon its iron strips the engine shoots,
    (That half-tamed savage with its boiling heart
    And flaming veins, its warwhoop and its plume.
    That seems to fly in sullen rage along--
    Rage at its captors--and that only waits
    Its time to dash its victims to quick death).
    Swift as the swallow skims, that engine fleets
    Through all the streaming landscape of green field
    And lovely village. On their pillared lines,
    Distances flash to distances their thoughts,
    And all is one abode of all the joy
    And happiness that civilization yields.

Harper and Brothers have republished from the English edition Lord
HOLLAND's _Foreign Reminiscences_, edited by his son, Henry Edward, Lord
Holland--a book which has excited great attention from the English
press, and will be read with interest by the lovers of political
anecdote in this country. It is filled with rapid, gossiping notices of
the principal European celebrities of the past generation, and devotes a
large space to personal recollections of the Emperor Napoleon. Lord
Holland writes in an easy conversational style, and his agreeable
memoirs bear internal marks of authenticity.

_Jane Bouverie_, by CATHERINE SINCLAIR, is a popular English novel
(republished by Harper and Brothers), intended to sketch a portrait of
true feminine loveliness, without an insipid formality and without any
romantic impossibilities of perfection. The denouement has the rare
peculiarity of not ending in marriage, the heroine remaining in the
class of single ladies, designated by the author as par excellence "The
Sisters of England."

_London Labor and the London Poor_, by HENRY MAYHEW (republished by
Harper and Brothers), is the title of a work of the deepest interest and
importance to all who wish to obtain a comprehensive view of the present
condition of industry and its rewards in the metropolis of Great
Britain. It consists of the series of papers formerly contributed by the
author to the _Morning Chronicle_, entirely rewritten and enlarged by
the addition of a great variety of facts and descriptions. The author
has devoted his attention for some time past to the state of the working
classes. He has collected an immense number of facts, illustrative of
the subject, which are now brought to light for the first time. His
evident sympathies with the poor do not blind his judgment. His
statements are made after careful investigation, and show no disposition
to indulge in theoretic inferences. As a vivid picture of London life,
in the obscure by-ways, concerning which little is generally known, his
work possesses an uncommon value. It is to be issued in successive
parts, illustrated with characteristic engravings, the first of which
only has yet appeared in the present edition.

Harper and Brothers have published a new English novel by the author of
_Mary Barton_, entitled _The Moorland Cottage_, a pleasing domestic
story of exquisite beauty.



Three Leaves From Punch.


LECTURES ON LETTERS.

We find in a recent number of that well-known and reliable newspaper,
the London PUNCH, an interesting sketch of a new and improved system of
teaching the elementary branches of education. It proceeds upon
principles somewhat different from those which have generally obtained
in the popular methods of instruction. It was prepared by the Editor of
the journal referred to, for the Council of Education established a few
years since by the English Government, for the express purpose of
discussing and promoting improved methods of public teaching. In a note
accompanying the work, the author states that, as soon as it was
completed, he forwarded it, by

  THE PARCELS CONVEYANCE COMPANY,

with a polite note to the Secretary of the Council.

[Illustration: The Parcels Conveyance Company]

We regret that our limits will not permit us to present to the readers
of the New Monthly Magazine a full description of this novel work. We
can only give a slight sketch of the manner in which it proposes to
teach the Alphabet. The author thinks that, in the systems in general
use hitherto, advantage has not been sufficiently taken of the pictorial
form, as capable of connecting with the alphabet, not only agreeable
associations, but many useful branches of knowledge.

[Illustration: Oscillation illustrated]

He would begin with the letter =A=, by rendering it attractive to
children as a swing, and the opportunity might then be taken of leading
the conversation to the swing of the pendulum, the laws which govern its
oscillations, and the experiments of Maupertius, Clairault, and
Lemmonier, upon its variations in different latitudes.

[Illustration: Legendary G]

=G=, the child might be told, stands for George, and the pictorial
illustrations of St. George and the dragon (the latter about to swallow
its own tail) would enable the teacher to enter upon a disquisition
relative to the probable Eastern origin of the legendary stories of the
middle ages.

[Illustration: Historical H]

=H= would naturally suggest reminiscences of modern English history. The
teacher would give some account of George Fox, the first Quaker, and of
the singular customs and opinions of the sect he founded. Thence the
child might be led to perceive the evils of schism, and the legitimate,
and mischievous consequences of that right of private judgment still
claimed by a small, but happily now an uninfluential minority in the
established church.

[Illustration: Selfish Ends]

=J= might introduce some profitable remarks upon Natural History, when
the difference could be explained between bipeds by nature, and
quadrupeds who become bipeds only for selfish ends.

[Illustration: Pneumatical K]

Advantage might be taken of the pictorial illustration of =K= to lay the
foundation of an acquaintance both with the science of Pneumatics, and
with Captain Reid's theory of the laws affecting the course of storms.

[Illustration: A Stilted Subject]

With the letter =M= the child might learn the meaning of what is termed
the centre of gravity, so important to be maintained by ladies walking
on stilts.

[Illustration: Pisces]

The letter =S=, reminding the teacher of _Pisces_--_fishes_--one of the
signs of the Zodiac, would furnish him with a suitable opportunity for
discoursing upon Astronomy. Afterward he might take up the subject of
Ichthyology, and speak of the five orders, _the apodal_, _the jugular_,
_the abdominal_, _the thoracic_, and _cartilaginous_ species, into which
the great family of fishes is divided.


The Editor of this work gives also a general outline of the manner in
which this system was received by the Council, when it was first brought
to their notice. The President was so highly delighted with it, that he
not only promised to give the matter still further consideration, but
invited the author to bring forward certain other works for infancy,
upon which, it was generally understood, he had been engaged. To this
polite invitation the Editor replied that he had been able as yet to
complete only two works of this description, namely, the delightful
Poem,

  HOW DOTH THE LITTLE BUSY BEE,

and the equally interesting and still more tragic history of

  COCK ROBIN.

[Illustration: How doth the little busy Bee]

[Illustration: Cock Robin]

He thought the teacher could not better follow out Dr. Watts's idea of
"improving the shining hour," than by rendering the same lesson of
industry available for a full account of the genus _apis_, taking care
not to confound in the child's mind the _apis_ of entomology with _apis_
the bull, worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. With regard to the
historical work referred to, it was high time that the juvenile mind
should be disabused of a popular error. The facts were, that a man of
the name of _Sparrow_ had robbed a farm-yard of its poultry, for which
offense, after being taken and made to confess his guilt, he was
transported. The crime and punishment were suggestive of many useful
reflections upon the importance of honesty; but the facts were
ludicrously distorted and deprived of all their moral force in the
spurious account published by certain booksellers in St. Paul's
Church-yard of the same transaction. A question is asked, "Who kill'd
Cock Robin?" and the following answer is given:

    "I says the Sparrow,
    With my bow and arrow,
    I killed Cock Robin!!!"

In continuing his account of this interview, the Editor introduces the
new system of musical notation, which he also brought to the notice of
the Council, and which they all agreed would be found exceedingly useful
in

  ASSISTING A PUPIL UP THE GAMUT.

[Illustration: Assisting a pupil up the Gamut]

But into this branch of the subject we can not follow him. In fact, the
Editor states that, at this point of his exposition, he was constrained
to desist by noticing that several members of the Council had become so
deeply impressed with the merits of his pictorial system, that they were
illustrating it in their own persons, by throwing themselves into the
form of

  THE LETTER =Y=.

[Illustration: Yawning]

       *       *       *       *       *

PUNCH ON SPECIAL PLEADING.

INTRODUCTION.

Before administering law between litigating parties, there are two
things to be done--in addition to the parties themselves--namely, first
to ascertain the subject for decision, and, secondly, to complicate it
so as to make it difficult to decide. This is effected by letting the
lawyers state in complicated terms the simple cases of their clients,
and thus raising from these opposition statements a mass of entanglement
which the clients themselves might call nasty crotchets, but which the
lawyers term "nice points." In every subject of dispute with two sides
to it, there is a right and a wrong, but in the style of putting the
contending statements, so as to confuse the right and the wrong
together, the science of special pleading consists. This system is of
such remote antiquity, that nobody knows the beginning of it, and this
accounts for no one being able to appreciate its end. The accumulated
chicanery and blundering of several generations, called in forensic
language the "wisdom of successive ages," gradually brought special
pleading into its present shape, or, rather, into its present endless
forms. Its extensive drain on the pockets of the suitors has rendered it
always an important branch of legal study, while, when properly
understood, it appears an instrument so beautifully calculated for
distributive justice, that, when brought to bear upon property, it will
often distribute the whole of it among the lawyers, and leave nothing
for the litigants themselves.

CHAPTER I. OF THE PROCEEDINGS IN AN ACTION, FROM ITS COMMENCEMENT TO ITS
TERMINATION.

Actions are divided into _Real_, in which there is often much sham;
_Personal_, in which the personality is frequently indulged in by
Counsel, at the expense of the witnesses; and _Mixed_, in which a great
deal of pure nonsense sometimes prevails. The Legislature being at last
sensible to the shamness of Real, and the pure nonsense of Mixed
actions, abolished all except four, and for the learning on these
subjects, now become obsolete, we must refer to the "books," which have
been transferred to the shops of Butter, from the shop of
Butterworth.[8]

There are three superior Courts of Common Law, one of their great points
of superiority being their superior expense, which saves the Common Law
from being so common as to be positively vulgar; and its high price
gives it one of the qualities of a luxury, rendering it _caviare_ to the
million, or indeed to any but the _millionaire_. These Courts are the
Queen's Bench--a bench which five judges sit upon; the Exchequer, whose
sign is a chess or draught-board--some say to show how difficult is the
game of law, while others maintain it is merely emblematic of the drafts
on the pockets of the suitor; and thirdly, the Common Pleas, which took
its title, possibly, from the fact of the lawyers finding the profits
such as to make them un-Common-ly Pleas'd.

The real and mixed actions not yet abolished, are--1st, the Writ of
Right of Dower, and 2d, the Writ of Dower; both relating to widows; but
as widows are formidable persons to go to law against, these actions are
seldom used. The third is the action of _Quare Impedit_, which would be
brought against me by a parson if I kept him out of his living; but as
the working parsons find it difficult to get a living, this action is
also rare. The fourth is the action of Ejectment, for the recovery of
land, which is the only action that can not be brought without some
ground.

Of personal actions, the most usual are debt, and a few others; but we
will begin by going into debt as slightly as possible. The action of
debt is founded on some contract, real or supposed, and when there has
been no contract, the law, taking a contracted view of matters, will
have a contract implied. Debt, like every other personal action, begins
with a summons, in which VICTORIA comes "greeting;" which means,
according to JOHNSON, "saluting in kindness," "congratulating," or
"paying compliments at a distance;" but, considering the unpleasant
nature of a writ at all times, we can not help thinking that the word
"greeting" is misapplied. The writ commands you to enter an appearance
within eight days, and, by way of assisting you to make an appearance,
the writ invests you, as it were, with a new suit.

The action of Covenant lies for breach of covenant, that is to say, a
promise under seal; and under wafer it is just as binding, for you are
equally compelled to stick to it like wax.

The action of _Detinue_ lies where a party seeks to recover what is
detained from him; though it does not seem that a gentleman detaining a
newspaper more than ten minutes at a coffee-house would be liable to
detinue, though the action would be an ungentlemanly one, to say the
least of it.

The action of Trespass lies for any injury committed with violence, such
as assault and battery, either actual or implied; as, if A, while making
pancakes, throws an egg-shell at B, the law will imply battery, though
the egg-shell was empty.

The action of Trespass on the Case lies, where a party seeks damages for
a wrong to which trespass will not apply--where, in fact, a man has not
been assaulted or hurt in his person, but where he has been hurt in that
tender part--his pocket. Of this action there are two species, called
_assumpsit_, by which the law--at no time very unassuming--assumes that
a person, legally liable to do a thing, has promised to do it, however
unpromising such person may be; and _trover_, which seeks to recover
damages for property which it is supposed the defendant found and
converted, so that an action might perhaps be brought in this form, to
recover from Popery those who have been found and converted to the use,
or rather lost and converted to the abuses, of the Romish Church.

Having gone slightly into the different forms of actions; having just
tapped the reader on the shoulder with a writ in each case, which, by
the way, should be personally served on him at home, though the bailiff
runs the risk of getting sometimes served out, we shall proceed to
trial--perhaps, of the reader's patience--in a subsequent chapter.

CHAPTER II. OF THE DECLARATION.

The writ being now served, it is next to be returned, and this is
sometimes done by giving it back at once to the bailiff or throwing it
in his face. Such quick returns as these would bring such very small
profit to a plaintiff that they are not allowable, and the writ can only
be returned by the sheriff bringing it back, on a certain day, into the
superior court. He then gives a short account, in writing, of the manner
in which the writ has been executed; but, if the bailiff has been pumped
upon--as we find reported in SHOWER--or pelted with oysters, as in
SHELLEY's case, or kicked down stairs, as he was in FOOT against the
Sheriff, it does not seem that the particulars need be set forth.

If the defendant does not appear within eight days after the writ has
come "greeting," as if it would say, "my service to you," the plaintiff
may, in most cases, appear for him; and this shows how true it is that
appearances are often deceitful and treacherous; for, when a plaintiff
appears for a defendant, it is only to have an opportunity of appearing
against him at the next step.

The pleadings now commence, which were originally delivered orally by
the parties themselves in open Court, when success might depend on
length of tongue; but the parties themselves being got rid of, in the
modern practice, and the lawyers coming in to represent them, success
usually depends on length of purse. The object of pleading, whether oral
or written, is to bring the parties to an issue; which means, literally,
a way out; but, in practice, the effect of getting plaintiff and
defendant to an issue is to let them both regularly in.

Almost all pleas, except those of the simplest kind, must be signed by a
barrister; who does not usually draw the plea, but he merely draws the
half guinea for the use of his name. The pleading begins with the
declaration, in which the plaintiff is supposed to state the cause of
action; but in which he gives such an exaggerated account of his
grievances, that not more than one-tenth of what he states, is to be
believed. For example, if A has had his nose slightly pulled by B, the
former proceeds to say that "the defendant, with force and arms, and
with great force and violence, seized, laid hold of, pulled, plucked,
and tore, and with his fists, gave and struck a great many violent
blows, and strokes, on and about, diverse parts of the plaintiff's
nose." If JONES has been given into custody by SMITH, without
sufficient reason; and JONES brings an action for false imprisonment;
instead of saying, "he was compelled to go to a station-house," he
declares that the defendant, "with force, and arms, seized, laid hold
of, and with great violence pulled, and dragged, and gave, and struck a
great many violent blows and strokes, and forced, and compelled him--the
plaintiff--to go in and along divers public streets and highways, to a
police office; whereby the plaintiff was not only greatly hurt, bruised,
and wounded, but was also kept."

If SNOOKS's dog bites THOMSON's pet lamb, SNOOKS declares, "That
defendant did willfully and injuriously keep a certain dog, he, the
defendant, well knowing that the said dog was and continued to be fierce
and mad, and accustomed to attack, bite, injure, hurt, chase, worry,
harass, tear, agitate, wound, lacerate, snap at, and kill sheep and
lambs, and that the said dog afterward to wit, on the -- day of ----,
and divers other days, did attack (&c., &c., down to) and kill one
hundred sheep and one hundred lambs of the plaintiff; whereby the said
sheep and the said lambs (it will be remembered there was only one
lamb), were greatly terrified, damaged, injured, hurt, deteriorated,
frightened, depreciated, floored, flustered, and flabbergasted, to the
damage of the plaintiff of £--, and therefore he brings his suit."

The various forms of declaration are so numerous, that they fill a
volume of 700 large pages of Chitty, who is quite chatty on this dry
subject, so much does he find to say with regard to it. To this able and
amusing writer we refer those who are curious to know how a schoolmaster
may declare for "work and labor, care, diligence, and attendance of
himself, his ushers and teachers, there performed and bestowed in and
about the teaching, instructing, boarding, educating, lodging, flogging,
enlightening, thrashing, washing, whipping, and otherwise soundly
improving divers infants and persons." These, and almost all other
conceivable causes of action, are dealt with fully in the pages to which
we allude, and all therefore who wish the treat of going to law, are
referred to the treatise alluded to.

       *       *       *       *       *

SMITHFIELD CLUB CATTLE SHOW.

(FROM OUR OWN PROTECTIONIST.)

This melancholy event came off last week, when prizes were distributed
to the breeders of the very leanest stock--a brass band, the horns and
ophicleides draperied with black crape, playing funeral airs at
intervals. The results of free trade were never more shockingly
conspicuous than in the shadowy forms of steers and oxen; while there
was a pen of a dozen pigs, scarcely one of which was visible to the
naked eye. We observed more than one benevolent lady weeping pearls over
indefinite things that had vainly struggled to become porkers. There
were sheep that were nothing but the merest bladebones, here and there
covered with threads of worsted. The QUEEN and PRINCE ALBERT, with two
of the little Princes, visited the spectacle, contemplating it with
becoming gravity. The Prince carried away the prize for a bull that was
only visible when placed under a glass of forty Opera power.
Occasionally, an acute ear might detect sounds that a liberal mind might
interpret as ghost-like bellowings--spectral bleatings--with now and
then an asthmatic attempt at a grunt. The DUKE OF WELLINGTON's
battering-ram is not to be seen when looked at in front; but only from
either side. It is said to have been fed upon old drum-heads, with
occasionally the ribbons of a recruiting sergeant chopped and made into
a warm mash. We ought, by the way, to have remarked that the DUKE OF
RICHMOND attended, as President, in deep mourning; and bore in his face
and manner the profoundest traces of unutterable woe. However, let us
proceed to give the list of prizes, all of them so many triumphant
proofs of the withering influence of Free-Trade.

OXEN OR STEERS.

The DUKE OF RUTLAND carried away the £30 prize for the thinnest steer.
It had been fed on waste copies of Protectionist pamphlets with the tune
of "The Roast Beef of Old England," played in A flat on a tin trumpet.
Some idea may be entertained of the nicety with which the animal had
been brought to the lowest point of life, when we state that five
minutes after the noble Duke received the prize, the thing died; all the
brass band braying "The Roast Beef of Old England" for half-an-hour, in
the vain hope of reviving it. The beast was distributed among the
Marylebone poor; all of them ordered to appear in spectacles to see, if
possible, their proper quantities.

LONG-WOOLED SHEEP.

The DUKE OF ATHOLL bore off the first prize of £20, for an extraordinary
specimen of Highland sheep, that both puzzled and delighted the judges.
The sheep had been reared upon Highland thistles, according to the
Duke's well-known hospitality; and these thistles so judiciously served,
that they had taken the place of the wool, growing through the animal's
sides, and coating them all over with their brushy points. The REV. MR.
BENNETT was present, and was much delighted with his wool of thistles;
he is to be presented with a comforter--the thing will be very popular
by Christmas, to be called the Atholl Bosom Friend--woven from the
fleece. The web, in place of the vulgar linen shirt, is expected to
become very general with the ladies and gentlemen who feed upon the
honey hived at St. Barnabas.

PIGS.

COLONEL SIBTHORP took the prize for the Pig of Lead; so small a pig,
that it might creep down the tube of a MORDAN's pencil. MR. DISRAELI
sent the shadow of a sow; one of his practical epigrams, showing he had
ceased to have even a real squeak for Protection; he also sent a porker
that, from its largeness of size--where smallness was the object--was
deemed hopeless of any reward. However, MR. DISRAELI carefully removing
a muzzle from the pig's snout, the animal collapsed flat as a crush-hat.
The fact is, MR. DISRAELI had, as he afterward averred, seemingly
fattened the hog upon a pair of bellows. There are, we have heard, pigs
that see the wind; whether MR. DISRAELI's pig is of that sort, the
eloquent Protectionist said not. He, however, took a second prize; and
next year promises to exhibit a whole litter of the smallest pigs in the
world, suckled upon vials of aquafortis.

COWS.

The leap of the Cow that jumped over the Moon was exhibited by the DUKE
OF RICHMOND. This Cow had been fed on the printer's ink from the
_Standard_ newspaper, which sufficiently accounts for the daring
altitude of its flight. The Duke was proffered the gold medal, but
resolutely refused any such vanity.

In conclusion, we are happy to say that the Exhibition was well
attended. The thousands of our countrymen who witnessed the wretched
condition of the cattle must have carried away with them the profound
conviction, that the days of Free Trade are numbered; and that a speedy
return to Protection is called for by the interests of man and
brute--from Dukes to steers, from Parliament men to pigs.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES.

There is so much precious ore being brought from California, that people
are beginning to fear gold may become a drug as well as a metal. Already
gold fish are quoted at Hungerford market lower than silver, the recent
importations having acted even upon the finny tribe, and those with
silver scales have had the balance turned in their favor. In Europe, we
go to great expense in watering the road to lay the dust; but the gold
dust of California is so valuable, that no watering carts are employed,
and when a man comes home from a dusty walk he has only to shake his
coat, to shake a good round sum into his pocket. In California the
housemaids stipulate for the dust as a perquisite, and the "regular
dustman" of the place pays an enormous sum for the privilege of acting
as "dust-contractor for the district."

       *       *       *       *       *

UNIVERSAL CONTEMPT OF COURT.

It seems that any person is liable to be committed to prison for his
lifetime by the Court of Chancery, as guilty of contempt of Court, for
not paying that which he has not to pay, and for not doing other
impossibilities. What a number of people might be committed for contempt
of the Court of Chancery, if we all expressed our feelings!

       *       *       *       *       *

STARTLING FACT!

[Illustration: A startling Fact]

_Oxford Swell._ "DO YOU MAKE MANY OF THESE MONKEY-JACKETS NOW?"

_Snip._ "OH DEAR YES, SIR. THERE ARE MORE MONKEYS IN OXFORD THIS TERM
THAN EVER, SIR."



Early Spring Fashions.


[Illustration: FIG. 1.--MORNING AND EVENING COSTUMES.]

March is a fickle month; one day dallying with Zephyrus in the warm
sunlight, and promising verdure and flowers, and the next playing
bo-peep with Boreas at every corner, and spreading a mantle of frost or
snow over the fields where the early blossoms are venturing forth.

    "Now Winter lingers in the lap of Spring,"

and the ladies should remember the trite maxim, when preparing to lay
aside their heavy garments, that "one swallow does not make a Summer." A
few sunny days, during this month, will allow a change of out-of-door
costume, and for these Fashion has already provided; but generally the
winter fabrics and forms will be seasonable till near the close of the
month. The PROMENADE COSTUMES are the same as in February, and we omit
an illustration of them.

In the large plate, the larger figure on the left, shows a beautiful and
graceful style of MORNING COSTUME. It consists of a robe of blue
_brocade_; the high body opens in the front nearly to the waist. The
fronts of the skirt are lined with amber satin, and a fulling of the
same is placed on the edge of the fronts, graduating in width toward the
top, and carried round the neck of the dress.

The sleeves are very wide from the elbow, and lined with amber satin.
The edge of the sleeve is left plain, but there is a _rûche_ of satin
round the middle of the sleeve, just below the elbow. Underdress of
jaconet muslin, trimmed with lace, or embroidery. The cap is of _tulle_,
with blue trimmings.

The larger figure on the right, exhibits an EVENING DRESS of great
elegance. A skirt of white satin, the lower part trimmed with narrow
folds of the same, put on at equal distances. The sides are decorated
with an elongated puffing of satin, surrounded with a fulling of narrow
_blonde_. Over this is worn a short round tunic of white _tulle_,
encircled with a frilling of _blonde_, and decorated upon each side of
the front with two small white roses, surrounded with green leaves. The
body plain, pointed, draped with white _tulle_ and lace, forming short
sleeves. The small figure in the group shows a pretty style of dress for
a little Miss. It is of dark blue cashmere, the skirt trimmed with two
rows of ribbon-velvet. The cape is formed of narrow folds, open in the
front, and continued across with bands of velvet. Pantaloons of
embroidered cambric. The bonnet is formed of narrow pink fancy ribbon.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--MORNING COSTUME.]

FIGURE 2 represents another pretty style of MORNING COSTUME. It is a
high dress of pale blue silk, opening in front nearly to the waist,
which is long and pointed. It has a small cape, vandyked at the edge,
and trimmed with a narrow fringe, having a heading of velvet; the
sleeves to correspond. The skirt is long and full, with three broad
flounces deeply vandyked, and edged with two rows of narrow fringe
corresponding with those of the capes. The top flounce is headed by a
single row of fringe. Underdress and undersleeves, jaconet muslin,
trimmed with lace or embroidery. The cap is black lace, with a tie and
falls of the same. A full _rûche_ of white _tulle_ entirely surrounds
the face.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--VELVET BONNET.]

In bonnets there are a great variety of new and elegant patterns. The
front of the brims continue very large and open, the crowns round, low,
and small. FIGURE 3 is rather an exception to the extreme of fashion It
shows a very neat style of plain bonnets suitable for the closing
winter. It is of ultramarine velvet, with a broad black lace turned back
over the edge, and a deep curtain. A very fashionable style is composed
of Orient gray pearl, half satin, half _velours épinglé_, having a very
rich effect, and decorated with _touffés marquises_ made of _marabouts_.
Several very light and elegant bonnets have appeared, made entirely of
_blonde_, and ornamented with pink _marabouts_, and _sablés_ with
silver, which droops in _touffés_ upon the inclined side of the front,
while the other side is relieved with a bunch of pink velvet leaves.
Another style is very elegant for early Spring, represented in FIGURE 4.
It is made of light green fluted ribbon, a plain foundation, over which,
at the edge of the front and toward the crown, is the same material,
vandyked in pattern. The bonnet front is waved. Bonnets of white silk
(FIGURE 5) trimmed with lace, quite small and ornamented in the front
with small bunches of flowers, are fashionable for a carriage costume.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--RIBBON BONNET.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--WHITE SILK BONNET.]


The season for balls is nearly over. Dresses for these assemblies are
made of light material, and with two or three skirts. One charming model
is composed of white _tulle_, with three skirts trimmed all round with a
broad open-worked satin ribbon; the third skirt being raised on one
side, and attached with a large bouquet of flowers, while the ribbon is
twisted, and ascends to the side of the waist, where it finishes. The
same kind of flowers ornament the sleeves and centre of the corsage,
which is also trimmed with a deep drapery of _tulle_.

Feather trimmings are now much in vogue, disposed on fringes of
_marabout_, and placed at the edge of the double skirts of _tulle_.

FOR HEAD DRESSES, flowers and lace are in constant request.

FASHIONABLE COLORS are of deep and mellow hues; white predominates for
evening use.

       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's Notes:

Words surrounded by _ are italicized.

Words surrounded by = are bold.

Letters with unicode diacritical markings are represented as follow:
[=o] represents the letter o with a macron (straight line) mark above it;
[)a] represents the letter a with a breve (u-shaped) mark above it.

Captions added to captionless illustrations.

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired, other punctuations have
been left as printed in the paper book.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent
spellings have been kept, including:
- use of hyphen (e.g. "moonlight" and "moon-light");
- accents (e.g. "Nüremberg" and "Nuremberg");
- proper names (e.g. "Leipsic" and "Leipzig");
- any other inconsistent spellings (e.g. "Machiavelian" and
  "Machiavellian").

Pg 548, word "thing" removed (One thing [thing] only).





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