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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXIII.—April, 1852.—Vol. IV. - None
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXIII.—April, 1852.—Vol. IV. - None" ***

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               HARPER'S

          NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

     No. XXIII.-APRIL, 1852.--VOL. IV.



RODOLPHUS.--A FRANCONIA STORY.

BY JACOB ABBOTT.



CHAPTER II.


I. THE SNOW-SHOES.

As soon as Martha had gone, Ellen began to make such preparations as she
thought necessary for the night. She placed the furniture of the room in
order. She brought in some wood from the back room and laid it down very
gently by the side of the fire, so as to have a sufficient supply of
fuel at hand. She also brought the water pail and put it under the seat
of the settle, in order that the water might not freeze, and by means of
a long-handled tin dipper she filled the tea kettle full, in order that
there might be an ample supply of hot water, should any occasion occur
requiring any. She then brought a small blanket and held it to the fire,
and when it was very thoroughly warm, she put it very gently under the
counterpane, around her aunt's feet, fearing that her feet might be
cold. In fact they were very cold. Ellen extinguished the lamp, too, and
put it away upon her table near the window, lest the light of it should
shine upon her aunt's eyes and disturb her sleep. The light of the fire
was sufficient to illuminate the room. The light of the fire, too,
seemed more cheerful to Ellen than that of the lamp. It flashed brightly
upon the walls and ceiling, and diffused a broad and genial glow all
over the floor.

Ellen made all these arrangements in the most quiet and noiseless manner
possible. During all the time her aunt lay silent and motionless, as if
in a profound slumber.

After Ellen had extinguished the lamp, she paused a moment, looking
around the room to see if there was any thing which she had forgotten.
She could not think of any thing else to do, and so she concluded to sit
down and watch by her aunt until Martha should return.

She took a cushion from a great rocking chair which stood in a corner of
the room, and put it down upon the bear skin rug. She then sat down upon
the cushion and laid her head upon the pillow by the side of her aunt.
She then gently took her aunt's hand and laid it upon her cheek, in the
position in which her aunt herself had placed it, when Ellen had laid
her head down there before. She looked timidly into her aunt's face as
she did this, to see whether any signs that she was awake could be
observed. The eyes of the patient opened a very little, and a faint
smile lighted up her pale features for a moment, and Ellen thought that
she could perceive a gentle pressure upon her cheek from her aunt's
hand. In a moment, however, both the hand and the face returned to their
state of repose, as before.

Ellen remained quiet in this position a few minutes, looking into the
fire, and wondering when Martha would come back, when she felt something
gently touching her upon the shoulder. She looked round and found that
it was Lutie climbing up upon her. Lutie had jumped up from the floor to
the couch, and had crept along to where Ellen was lying, and was now
cautiously stepping over upon her.

"Ah, Lutie," said she. "Is it you? It is time for you to go to bed."

Lutie's bed was out in the back room. There was no door leading from the
room where Ellen was, directly into the back room. It was necessary to
go into a sort of entry first, and from this entry into the back room by
a separate door. All this may be clearly understood by referring to the
plan.

It happened, however, that there was an old window in the partition
between the great room and the back room. The reason why this window was
in the partition was this. The house was first built without any back
room, and then the window on that side looked out upon the yard. When at
last the back room was built, the window was rendered useless, but it
was not closed up. There was a curtain over it, and this curtain was
always left drawn. The back room was used for storage of various things,
and for rough and heavy work on extraordinary occasions.

Lutie's bed was in a box in a corner of this room. The place is marked L
in the plan. The bed was made of carpets and was very warm. Lutie was
always put out there every night at nine o'clock. She was not allowed to
remain at the fireside all night, lest she should do some damage to the
various things which were placed there on cold nights to keep them warm.
Lutie was accustomed to remain quietly in her bed until Martha got up in
the morning. She always knew when Martha got up, however early it might
be, for she could see the glow of the fire which Martha made, shining
through the old window in the partition between the rooms. When Lutie
saw this light she would go to the window, jump up upon the sill
outside, and mew for Martha to let her in.

Although it was not yet nine o'clock, and though Ellen would have liked
Lutie's company as long as she remained alone with her aunt, she thought
she would put her out.

"I may fall asleep myself," said she, "and then you will creep along
upon Aunt Anne, and disturb her. So you must go, Lutie."

She accordingly took up the kitten and carried her out. When she opened
the door into the entry, she saw quite a little drift of snow, which had
blown in under the edge of the door from the outer platform.

"Ah, it is a cold and stormy night," said she, "but you must get into
bed as soon as you can, and get warm."

Ellen stopped a moment to listen to the sound of the storm, as it howled
and roared among the trees of the forest, and then went back again to
her place at the fireside.

She moved her cushion and rug to the foot of the couch, and then
bringing a pillow from the bedroom, she put it upon the couch, at the
foot of it, so that she could sit upon the cushion, and lay her head
upon her own pillow, without any danger of incommoding or disturbing her
aunt. She then sat down and laid her head upon this pillow, with her
face toward the fire. She determined, however, though she thus laid her
head down, not to go to sleep, but to keep awake, if she possibly could,
until Martha or Hugh should return.

She did go to sleep, however, notwithstanding all her resolution. She
was asleep in fifteen minutes after she had laid her head down.

[Illustration: ELLEN ASLEEP.]

Lutie fell asleep too, very soon, in her bed in the back room, and
Ellen's aunt was asleep, so that all were asleep. There was no one
watching or awake in all the house.

Ellen slept several hours. In the mean time the wind and storm raged
more and more violently without, and the snow fell from the skies and
was driven along the ground faster and faster. Great drifts formed upon
the roofs and around the chimneys; and below, the yards, the fences, the
woodpiles were all covered. Great banks of snow were formed too, behind
the house, in the whirling eddy produced by the wind in turning round
the corner. One of these banks rose gradually up against the windows on
that side. At ten o'clock the whole lower sash of each window was
covered; at half past ten the snow had risen half way up the upper sash,
and at eleven one window was entirely concealed, while only a little
corner of the other was left, and even that was fast disappearing. The
bucket in the well was filled, and the snow was banked up against the
sides of the curb, till at last the crest of the drift began to curl
over at the top, as if seeking to bury up the well entirely. The fences
were all hidden from view, and a cart which had been left standing in
the corner of the yard, was so entirely covered, that nothing remained
but a white and shapeless mound to mark the place where it lay buried.

At last Ellen opened her eyes again. She was at first frightened to find
that she had been asleep. She feared that some mischief might have
happened, while she had been insensible. The fire had burned entirely
down, and the room was almost dark. Ellen threw on a small stick of wood
to make a little blaze, and by the light of this blaze she looked at her
aunt. She was lying, she found, in the same posture as when Ellen went
to sleep. Ellen put her ear down to listen, and found that her aunt was
breathing--very gently, indeed--but still breathing.

Ellen looked at the clock; for there was a large clock standing in a
corner of the room. It was twelve.

"It is midnight," said Ellen; "I did not think it was so late."

Ellen next put some large sticks of wood upon the fire. The room, she
thought, was getting cold. The wood was dry and it blazed up very
cheerfully and illuminated the whole apartment with a very cheerful
light. Lutie saw the light shining through the curtain, and she supposed
that it was morning, and that Martha had built the fire. So she
stretched her paws and rubbed her face, and then after listening a
moment to the sound of the storm, she stepped over the side of the box
where her bed was made, walked to the window, leaped up upon the
window-sill, and mewed, according to her usual custom, expecting that
Martha would come to let her in.

Ellen went and opened the window for Lutie. Then she went back again to
the fire. She stood at the fire a minute or two, and then went to the
front window of the room, to look out; she wondered what could have
become of Martha. She listened at the window. The storm was roaring
dreadfully down the valley, but nothing could be seen. The panes of
glass were half covered with the snow, which was banked up upon the sash
on the outside. Ellen concluded that she would go to the door, where
she thought that perhaps she might see a little way down the road, and
if she could not see, at least she could listen. So she put a shawl over
her shoulders and went out into the porch. She shut the door leading
from the porch into the room, and then unlatched the porch-door which
opened to the outer air.

As she opened the door a great bank of snow which had been piled up on
the outside of it, fell in about her feet. Ellen stepped back a little,
and then, standing still, she looked out into the storm and listened.
She had not listened long before she thought she heard a distant cry. It
came from down the road. She listened again. There came a blustering
blast of wind which rocked the trees, whirled the snow in her face,
roared in the chimneys over her head, and for a moment drowned all other
sounds. When this had passed, Ellen listened again. She was sure that
she heard a distant cry.

"It is my father and mother!" she exclaimed; "they are out in the
storm!"

Ellen's aunt had taught her to be collected and composed in all sudden
and alarming emergencies, and always to take time to consider calmly
what to do, however urgent the case might be. She stood for a moment,
therefore, quietly where she was, and then determined to go and wake her
aunt, and tell her what she had heard, and ask her what she had better
do.

She tried to shut the door but she could not. The snow that had fallen
in prevented its closing. So she left it open and went through the porch
to the inner door, and so back into the room, taking care to shut the
inner door as soon as possible after she had passed through.

She went to the couch, and kneeling down before it, she put her hand
softly upon her aunt's cheek and said, speaking in a low and gentle
tone,

"Aunt!--Aunt Anne!"

There was no answer.

"Aunt Anne!" she repeated. "Wake up a moment;--I want to speak to you a
moment."

There was still no answer. Ellen looked at her aunt's pale and beautiful
face for a moment, in doubt whether to speak to her again; and then she
determined to give up the attempt to awaken her, and to decide herself
what to do.

After a little reflection she concluded that she would go, a little way
at least, and see if she could learn what the cries were that she heard.
She accordingly went to a closet in her aunt's bedroom, and took down a
cloak which was hanging there, and also a warm quilted hood. These she
put on. She then went into the back room and got a pair of snow-shoes
which hung against the wall there. She carried these snow-shoes into the
porch, and put them down upon the floor.[1]

[Footnote 1: Snow-shoes are of an oval form and large and flat. They are
made of basket-work or of leather straps braided together. They are worn
by being fastened to the soles of the feet, and prevent the feet from
sinking down into the snow.]

"Now," said she, "I will get the horn." The horn which she referred to
was made of tin. It was kept hanging upon a nail near the back-door, and
was used for calling Hugh to dinner, when he was far away from the
house. It was very hard to blow for one who was not accustomed to it,
but when it was blown skillfully it could be heard a great way.

Ellen took down the horn from its nail, and went back into the porch.
She fastened the snow shoes to her feet, and drawing the cloak around
her, she sallied out into the storm.

She could scarcely see where to go. The wind blew the snow in her face,
and every thing was so covered that all the usual landmarks were
concealed from view. The snow was very light, but the snow-shoes
prevented her from sinking into it. She walked on toward the road,
without however knowing exactly on what course she was going. In fact,
in coming out of the yard, she inclined so far to the left, in her
bewilderment, that instead of going out at the gateway, she passed over
a corner of the fence, without knowing it--fence and gateway being both
alike deeply buried in the snow.

[Illustration: THE SNOW SHOES.]

As soon as Ellen found that she was in the road, she stopped, and
turning her back to the wind, blew a long and loud blast with her horn.
She then immediately paused to listen, in order that she might hear if
there should be any reply. She heard a reply. It sounded like one or two
voices calling together. The voices were shrill. As soon as the response
ceased, Ellen blew her horn again.

There was a second response--louder than the preceding one. Ellen was
very much pleased to find that her signals were heard, and she
immediately began to walk on down the road, in the direction from which
the sounds had proceeded.

One makes but a slow and laborious progress when walking upon
snow-shoes. It is true that the shoes do not sink far into the snow, but
they sink a little, and they are so large and unwieldy that it is quite
difficult to walk upon them. Besides, the snow-shoes which Ellen wore
were too large for her. They were made for a man. Still Ellen advanced
without any serious difficulty, though she was obliged to stop now and
then to rest. Whenever she stopped she would blow her horn again, and
listen for the response. The response always came, and it became louder
and louder the farther she proceeded down the valley.

At length Ellen arrived at the place from which the cries that she had
heard proceeded. She found there a horse and sleigh almost buried in the
snow, with her mother and Rodolphus in the sleigh. It would be hard to
say which was most astonished, Ellen, to find her mother and Rodolphus
in such a situation, or Mrs. Linn, at finding Ellen coming to their
rescue.

"Why, mother!" exclaimed Ellen; "is this you?"

"Why, Ellen!" said her mother; "is it possible that this is you?"

"Why, mother!" said Ellen, more and more astonished; "did you undertake
to come up in all this storm alone, with only Rodolphus?"

"No," said her mother, "Hugh came with us. We have been four hours
getting so far as here, and when Hugh found that we could not get any
further, he left us and went away alone to get some help."

"And you are almost frozen to death, I suppose," said Ellen.

"No," said her mother, "we are not very cold; we are well wrapped up in
buffalo robes, and the bottom of the sleigh is filled with straw."
Rodolphus peeped out from beneath the mass of coverings with which he
was enveloped, unharmed, but yet pale with anxiety and terror, though
now overjoyed at seeing Ellen.

"But I don't see now what we are to do, to get home," said Ellen. "There
is only one pair of snow-shoes, and there are three of us to go."

"We must go one at a time, then," said Rodolphus.

"But when one has gone, how can we get the snow-shoes back?" asked
Ellen.

"I don't know, I am sure," said Mrs. Linn. "I don't know what we shall
do."

"Why did not father come with you?" asked Ellen, despondingly.

"He was gone away," said her mother. "We waited for him a long time, but
he did not come, and so Hugh said that he would leave his team in the
village for the night, and come with me. But he went away some time ago,
and I don't know what can have become of him."

While this consultation had been going on, the storm had continued to
rage around them in all its fury. The track behind the sleigh had been
wholly obliterated, the horse was half-buried, and the snow was fast
rising all around the sleigh and threatening before long to overwhelm
the party entirely. They were entirely at a loss to know what to do. So
they paused a moment in their perplexity, and during the pause, Ellen
thought that she heard another cry.

"Hark!" said she.

They all listened as well as the howling of the wind around them would
allow them to listen. It was certainly a distant shout that they heard.

"Yes," said Ellen.

"It must be Hugh," said her mother.

Ellen raised the horn to her lips, and blew a long and loud blast,
turning the horn as she did so, in the direction of the voice. They all
listened after the sound of the horn had ceased, and heard a reply.

"Yes," said Ellen, "it must be Hugh. I will go down to him on my
snow-shoes."

"No," said Rodolphus, "you must not go and leave us here alone."

"Yes," said Ellen, "I will go. I can give him the snow-shoes and then he
can go and get some help for us."

Rodolphus declared that Ellen should not go, and began to scream and cry
in order to compel his mother to prevent her, but his mother said
nothing, and Ellen went away. She said, as she went,

"I will blow the horn now and then, mother, and as long as you hear it,
you will know that I am safe."

Ellen went toiling on down the road, stopping every few minutes to blow
her horn, and to listen to the responses of the voice. She soon found
that she was rapidly drawing near to the place whence the sound
proceeded. She perceived that the voice was that of a man. She had no
doubt that it was Hugh, and that he had lost his way, and was calling
for help. She still felt great anxiety, however, for she did not see, if
it should prove to be Hugh, what he could do with only one pair of
snow-shoes for four, to extricate such a party from their perilous
condition. She thought of her aunt, too, lying sick and alone upon her
couch, and of the distress and anxiety which she supposed the helpless
patient would feel, if she should wake up and find that both Martha and
Ellen had gone away, and left her, sick as she was, in absolute
solitude.

She, however, pressed diligently forward, and at length found herself
drawing nearer and nearer to the voice. Presently she began to see a
dark mass lying helplessly in the snow just before her.

"Hugh," said she, "are you here?"

"I am here," replied the voice, "but it is not Hugh."

"Why, Antonio, is it you?" said Ellen. She had recognized Antonio's
voice. "How came you to be here?"

"How came _you_ to be here, is the question, I think?" rejoined Antonio.

"I have got snow-shoes." said Ellen. "I heard cries and I came out to
see. My mother and Rodolphus are up the road a little way, in a sleigh,
and the snow is covering them over very fast. I'll blow my horn for
them."

Here Ellen blew another long and loud blast with her horn, and
immediately afterward she heard the distant call of her mother and of
Rodolphus answering it together.

"All right," said Antonio, "they answer. Now the first thing to do is
to get up to them. Give me the snow-shoes, and I think I can carry you
right along."

"Oh, no," said Ellen, "I am too heavy."

"Let us try," said Antonio. So saying he climbed up out of the snow, as
well as he could, and put on the snow-shoes. They were very easily put
on. Antonio found that the snow-shoes bore him up completely, but Ellen
had sunk down into the drift when she was deprived of them. Antonio,
however, soon raised her again, and took her in his arms. Enveloped as
she was in her cloak, she made a rather large looking load, though she
was not very heavy. Still it was difficult to carry even a light load,
walking with such shoes, on such a yielding surface, and in such a
storm. Antonio was obliged to stop very often to rest and to take
breath. At such times, Ellen would blow her horn, and listen for the
answer. Thus they gradually got back safely to the sleigh.

As they had thus come up the hill, Antonio, in the intervals of his
conversation with Ellen, had determined on the course which he would
pursue. He knew that there was a snow-sled at Mr. Randon's house; that
is, a hand sled made light and with the shoes of the runners very broad
and flat. By means of this construction, the sled had, like the
snow-shoes, the property of not sinking much in the snow. Antonio
determined to go himself up to the house on the snow-shoes--leaving
Ellen with Rodolphus and her mother in the sleigh--and get this sled,
and he hoped, by means of it, to draw them all up safely one by one. The
poor horse, he thought, would have to be left in the drifts to die.

Antonio's plan succeeded completely. He put Ellen under the buffalo
robes in the sleigh and covered her entirely in, except that he allowed
one little opening on one side for the horn, which he advised her to
blow from time to time, as it might possibly help Hugh to find his way
back to them. He then left the party in the sleigh, and was soon lost
from view. He went toiling up the hill to the house. He walked into the
yard. He groped his way to the barns and sheds, but the doors were all
blocked up with snow, so that he could not get them open. He, however,
contrived to climb up upon a roof, and by that means to get into a barn
window. He left his snow-shoes on the scaffold, and then groped his way
down in the dark to the place where Ellen had told him that the
snow-sled was kept. Every thing was in such perfect order that he met
with no difficulty on the way. He found the sled, and carrying it back
to the barn window, he contrived to heave it out there, throwing the
snow-shoes out after it.

He followed himself, descending as he had ascended, by the roof of the
shed. As soon as he got into the road, he mounted upon his sled, and
guiding himself by the sound of the horn, which he heard from time to
time, and by the dark forms of the firs which grew upon the sides of the
road, he slid quite rapidly down to the sleigh. To his great relief and
joy he found that Hugh was there.

It proved that Hugh had lost his way, and he would, perhaps, have
perished had he not heard the sound of the horn. The horn attracted his
attention just as he was about giving up in despair. He supposed that
the sound came from some farmer's house, where the people were, for some
reason or other, blowing a horn. He succeeded at last in making his way
to the place from which the sound proceeded, and was greatly astonished
to find himself back at the sleigh.

Antonio took Hugh home first. Each took the snow-shoes by turns and drew
the other on the sled. When they reached the house, Antonio left Hugh
there, and returned himself, for the others. The second time he took
Rodolphus, the third time, Ellen. Their mother insisted on being left to
the last. By the time that the party were all safely conveyed to the
house, Hugh had got the barn-doors open, and had brought out a yoke of
oxen, with a lantern and shovels. He then took the snow-shoes from
Antonio, and putting them upon his own feet, he walked on, to mark the
way, while Antonio followed with the oxen. Antonio was, however, obliged
to go behind the oxen in driving them, so as to walk in the path which
they had broken. The snow was up to the sides of the oxen all the way,
and in some places they came to drifts so deep, that Antonio and Hugh
were obliged to shovel the snow away for a long time, before the oxen
could get through. At length, however, they reached the place where the
horse and sleigh had become foundered. The horse was nearly exhausted
with fatigue and cold. Hugh and Antonio trod down and shoveled away the
snow around him, and then unfastened the harness, so as to separate the
horse from the sleigh. They then turned back the shafts of the sleigh,
and fastened the oxen to them by a chain, turning the heads of the oxen
up the hill. Hugh got into the sleigh, to ride and drive the oxen.
Antonio walked behind, leading the horse. The road was now so broken,
that though the snow was very deep, and Antonio and the horse both sank
down very far into it, it was possible for them to get along. They
stopped two or three times to rest, and twice to shovel away the snow,
but, at last, they safely reached the house, and turning into the yard,
went directly to the barn.

"Now," said Hugh, "I can take care of every thing here. You had better
go into the house and see if all is right there."

So Antonio went into the house. Ellen came out to meet him at the
porch-door, weeping as if her heart would break. Antonio asked her what
was the matter. She said that her Aunt Anne was dead.

Antonio tried to comfort Ellen as well as he could, but it was very hard
to comfort her. In the course of the evening, however, she was sometimes
tolerably composed, and at one such time, when she was sitting upon the
settle, Antonio took a seat by her side, and talked with her a little
while, about her going down to her mother in the storm.

"I don't know," said he, "what _she_ will think of your having saved her
life by your courage and presence of mind; but you may depend, that I
shall not very soon forget your having saved _mine_."


II. DEATH.

Rodolphus was very much shocked and overpowered at witnessing the scene
of anxiety and sorrow, into which he found himself ushered, when he
arrived at the house. He sat down for a time on Hugh's bench, in the
corner, by the fire, until he was warm. His mother then came and
undressed him and put him to bed in a sort of attic chamber over the
great room.

Rodolphus was afraid to be left alone in the solitary chamber. The wind
howled mournfully among the trees of the neighboring forest, and the
snow clicked continually against the windows. Rodolphus was, however,
not afraid of the storm----nor was he afraid of robbers or of ghosts. In
fact, he did not know what he was afraid of. Still he was afraid.
Undutiful and disobedient boys are always afraid when they are left
alone.

In fact, Rodolphus would have refused to go to bed altogether, had it
not been that his spirit was awed and subdued by the presence of death,
and by the strange situation in which he so suddenly found himself
placed. Notwithstanding this, however, he was upon the point of making
some resistance when his mother first came to him, to take him away, but
just then Antonio came into the room, and perceiving that there was
about to be some difficulty, he stopped and looked at Rodolphus, as if
to see what he was going to do. Rodolphus immediately submitted, and
allowed himself to be led away. He was more afraid of Antonio, than he
was even of being left alone in his chamber.

The next morning when Rodolphus awoke he found that the storm was still
raging. He looked out the window, and perceived that the air was full of
driving snow, while upon the ground nothing was to be seen but vast and
shapeless masses of white. He rose, dressed himself, and came down
stairs. He found a great fire blazing in the fire-place, but every thing
was very still and solitary about the house. The body had been removed
to the bedroom, and was laid out there. The bedroom door was open. Hugh
and Antonio were out, trying to get into the barn. Ellen was walking
softly about the bedroom, putting away the things which had been used
during the sickness, but which were now needed no longer. Martha, who
had got home the evening before, while Ellen had been gone, and had
brought some of the neighbors with her, was busy preparing the
breakfast. Both she, however, and Ellen, and the others who were there,
moved about silently, and spoke, when they spoke at all, in a subdued
and gentle tone, as if they were afraid of disturbing the repose of the
dead.

When the breakfast was ready, Martha went to call Hugh and Antonio and
all the others, to come to the table. They all came except Ellen. She
remained in the bedroom to watch with the body of her aunt. Her heart
was full of trouble. As she sat by her aunt's bed-side, she thought
bitterly of her loss, and she looked forward with many anxious
forebodings to the future. She felt as if her happiness was gone
forever. She loved her father and mother, it was true; but her aunt had
seemed to be her best and truest friend; and now that her aunt was gone
from her forever, she felt alone and desolate.

After breakfast Antonio went away upon the snow-shoes to see if he could
obtain some assistance from the neighbors, in relation to the funeral.
The storm, he said, appeared to have abated. The clouds looked thin, and
at one time he could almost see the sun. In about two hours he returned,
bringing with him two or three men, all upon snow-shoes; for the snow
which had fallen was so deep that any other mode of traveling was
impossible.

The preparations for the funeral went on during the day. The third day
the coffin came. It was brought upon a snow-sled, which was drawn by two
men upon snow-shoes. The storm had not yet entirely abated. The wind was
high, and the air was growing intensely cold. This was to be expected.
It is usually much colder in such cases after the storm is over, than
while the snow continues to fall.

They dug the grave at some little distance from the house, under the
margin of a wood where there was a little shelter. In digging it they
had first to go down through the deep snow, and then with pick-axes and
iron bars to dig into the frozen ground. When the grave was ready they
put boards over it, to prevent its being filled up again with the snow.

The funeral took place just at sunset. Hugh had broken out a road to the
place by means of the oxen. The men placed the coffin on a sled; it had
been arranged that two of the neighbors were to draw it. They said at
first that none but men could go to the grave, but Ellen said that she
_must_ go.

"I can walk very well," said she, "I know, if you can let me have a pair
of the snow-shoes. I _must_ go. My aunt loved me and always took care of
me, and I must keep with her till the very last."

When the men found how desirous she was to go, they said that they could
take another sled and draw her. They said that if she would like to take
Rodolphus with her, they could draw him, too; but Rodolphus said, that
he did not wish to go.

When all was ready, the company assembled in the great room, and Antonio
read a prayer which Ellen found in a prayer-book that had belonged to
her Aunt Anne. It was a prayer suitable to a funeral occasion. When the
prayer had been read, the funeral procession moved mournfully from the
door.

The coffin went first, covered as it lay upon the sled with a black
cloak for a pall, and drawn by two men. The other sled followed, drawn
also by two men. Ellen was seated upon the second sled, wrapped in
buffalo robes. The road had been broken out, so as to be passable, but
the snow was very deep, and the men made their way with great
difficulty through it. They stopped once or twice on the way to rest.

[Illustration: THE FUNERAL.]

When they arrived at the grave, they found that the sun was shining
pleasantly upon the spot, and the trees sheltered it from the wind.
Still it seemed to Ellen, as she looked down into the deep pit from the
top of the snow which surrounded it, that it was a very cold grave. The
men let the coffin down, and then two of them remained to fill the earth
in again, while Hugh and Antonio drew Ellen home.

Distressed and unhappy as Ellen was at the death of her aunt, there was
another blow still to come upon her. She found when she reached the
house on her return from the funeral, that the whole family were in a
state of consternation and terror at the tidings which had arrived from
the village, that her father had perished in the storm. He had been
across the river when the storm came on. In attempting to return, his
horse had become exhausted in the snow, and he was forced to abandon him
and attempt to find his way home alone. He lost his way and wandered
about till his strength failed, and then, benumbed with the cold, and
wearied with the hopeless toil, he sank down into a drift, and fell
asleep. Of course, he never woke again. He was found when the storm was
over, by means of a small dark spot formed by a part of his shoulder,
which projected above the surface of the snow.

It was thus that Rodolphus lost his father.


III.--CONSEQUENCES OF BAD TRAINING.

One pleasant morning in the month of June, during the next summer after
the great storm, Rodolphus was drawing his sister Annie about the yard
in a little green cart which her sister Ellen kept for her. There was a
great elm-tree in the middle of the yard, with a path leading all around
it. Rodolphus was going round and round this tree. Annie was playing
that Rodolphus was her horse, and she had reins to drive him by. She
also had a little whip to whip him with when he did not go fast enough.

Presently Ellen came to the door. She had a small hammer in one hand,
and a box containing some small nails and tags of leather in the other.
She was going to train up a climbing rose, which had been planted by the
side of the door.

Ellen told Rodolphus that she thought it was time for him to get ready
to go to school.

"Oh, no," said Rodolphus, "it is not time yet;" so he went prancing and
galloping on around the great tree.

A moment afterward his mother came to the door.

"Rodolphus," said she, "it is time for you to go to school."

"Oh no, mother, not yet," said Rodolphus.

"Yes," said his mother, "it is quite time. Come in directly."

"Well, mother," said Rodolphus, "I will."

Mrs. Linn stopped a moment to look at Ellen's rose-tree, and to say "How
pretty it looks climbing up here by the door;" and then she went in.
Rodolphus continued to run round the yard. Presently he came prancing up
to the door, and stopped to see what Ellen was doing.

"Rodolphus," said Ellen, "you ought to obey mother. She said that you
must go to school."

"Oh, pretty soon," said Rodolphus. "She is not in any hurry."

"Yes, Rodolphus," said Annie, in a very positive manner. "You ought to
obey my mother. You must go to school."

So saying, Annie began to move as if she were going to get out of the
cart, but Rodolphus perceiving this, immediately began to draw the cart
along, and thus prevented her. She could not get out while the cart was
going.

Rodolphus continued to run about for some time longer. Annie begged of
him to stop and let her get out, but he would not. At length his mother
came to the door again, and renewed her commands. She said that unless
he stopped playing with the cart, and went to school immediately, she
should certainly punish him.

"Why, mother," said Rodolphus, "it is not late. Besides, I am going to
draw Annie to school in the cart, and so we shall go very quick."

"No," said his mother, "you must not take the cart to school. If you
do, it will come to some damage."

"Oh, no," said Rodolphus. "Go and get me Annie's books, and I will start
off directly."

His mother went into the house and brought out a spelling-book, and put
it down on the step of the door. She called out at the same time to
Rodolphus, who was at that time near the great tree, telling him that
there was the book, and that he must leave the cart, and take Annie and
the book, and go directly.

The reason why Mrs. Linn was so solicitous for the safety of the cart,
was because it was Ellen's cart, and she knew that Ellen prized it very
highly. The way that Ellen came to have such a cart was this:

One day she was walking alone near the back fence of the garden, at a
place where the fence was very high and close, when she heard the voices
of some children on the other side, in a little green lane, where
children often used to play. Ellen thought she heard Rodolphus's voice
among the others, and there appeared to be some difficulty, as in fact
there usually was, where Rodolphus's voice could be heard. So Ellen
climbed upon a sort of trellis, which had been made there against the
fence, in order that she might look over and see what was the matter.

She found that there were two girls there with a small cart, and that
Rodolphus had got into the cart, and was insisting that the girls should
draw him along. The girls looked troubled and distressed, and were not
trying to draw.

"Pull," said Rodolphus. "Pull away, hearty."

"No," said the girls----"we can't pull. It is too heavy----besides, you
will break down our cart."

"Rodolphus!" said Ellen.

Rodolphus turned his head, and saw his sister looking down upon him from
the top of the fence.

"Ellen," said he, "is that you?"

"Yes," said Ellen, "I would not trouble those poor girls. Let them have
their cart."

"Why, they could pull me just as well as not," said Rodolphus, "if they
would only try. Come, girls," he added, "give one good pull, and then I
will get out."

The girls hesitated a moment, being obviously afraid that the cart would
be broken. They looked up to Ellen, as if they hoped that in some way or
other she could help them, but Ellen knew not what to do. So they
concluded to submit to Rodolphus's terms. They made a desperate effort
to draw the cart along a few steps, but the result which they had feared
was realized. The cart went on, staggering, as it were, under its heavy
burden, for a short space, and then a crack was heard, and one side of
it sank suddenly down to the ground. The axletree had broken, close to
the wheel.

The children seemed greatly distressed at this accident. Rodolphus got
out of the cart, and looked at the fracture----appearing perplexed in
his turn, and not knowing what to say. The oldest girl took up the
wheel, and began to examine the fracture with a very sorrowful
countenance, while the youngest looked on, the picture of grief and
despair.

"Now, Mary," said the youngest child, in a very desponding tone, "I
don't believe we can sell our cart at all."

"Do you wish to sell it?" asked Ellen.

"Yes," said Mary. "Father said that we might sell it, if we could find
any body that would buy it; but now it is broken, I don't suppose that
any body will."

"How much do you ask for it?" said Ellen.

"A quarter of a dollar," said Mary.

"Well," replied Ellen, "perhaps _I_ will buy it. If you will bring it
round to our house this evening after tea, I will get Antonio to look at
it and see if it is worth a quarter of a dollar; or, rather, if it _was_
worth a quarter of a dollar before it was broken----for that will make
no difference; and if he says it was, perhaps I may buy it."

"Well," said Mary, "we will."

"Is Beechnut coming to our house this evening?" asked Rodolphus.

"Yes," said Ellen.

The girls seemed much relieved of their distress at hearing this. Mary
took up the broken wheel and put it into the cart, saying at the same
time,

"Come, Ally, let us carry it home."

Mary stooped down to take hold of one side of the cart, while her sister
took hold of the other, and so they lifted it up.

"Rodolphus," said Ellen, "I think you had better help them carry the
cart home."

"Yes," said Rodolphus, "I will."

So Rodolphus took the wheel out of the cart and gave it to Mary to
carry, and then lifting up the cart bodily, he put it upside down upon
his head, as if it were a cap, and then began to run after the girls
with it. They fled, filling the air with shouts of laughter, and thus
the three went off together, all in high glee.

The end of it was, that Ellen bought the cart, and Antonio made a new
axletree for it, and put it, in all respects, in complete repair. He
also painted it beautifully inside and out, making it look better than
when it was new. Ellen's motive in getting the cart was chiefly to
promote Annie's amusement, but still she valued it herself, very highly.

She used often to lend it to Rodolphus when he was playing with Annie in
the yard, and Rodolphus would draw his sister about in it. Ellen always
gave him many cautions not to go too fast, and was very careful never to
allow him to put any thing inside that would bruise or soil it. There
was a little seat inside for Annie to sit upon, with a box beneath it
where a small basket of provisions could be stored, in case of an
excursion. Beechnut had promised, too, to make Annie a whip, and Ellen
was going to make her a pair of reins, so that when Rodolphus was
drawing her she might play drive.

But to return to the story.

Rodolphus drew the cart up to the door, and taking up the book, he put
it upon Annie's lap and then began to move away again.

"Stop," said Annie; "stop, and let me get out."

"No," said Rodolphus, "I am going to draw you to school."

"No," said Annie, "my mother said that you must not take my cart to
school."

"Oh, she won't care," said Rodolphus, still going.

"But she said that you must _not_," persisted Annie.

"That was because she thought the cart would come to some damage," said
Rodolphus. "But it will not come to any damage. I shall bring it home
all safe at noon, and then she won't care."

By this time Rodolphus had got out into the road. Annie looked anxious
and distressed, but as Rodolphus walked rapidly on, she was entirely
helpless, and could do nothing but sit still, though she urged Rodolphus
to stop, again and again, until at last, finding that it did no good,
she gave up in despair, and resigned herself to her fate.

They proceeded in this way until they had got pretty near the village,
when, as they were going along the road, which at this place led near
the margin of the river, just below the bridge and mill, Rodolphus saw
two boys getting into a boat. He asked them where they were going; they
said that they were going a-fishing.

[Illustration: THE BOYS AND THE BOAT.]

"I mean to go too," said Rodolphus, looking toward Annie.

"No," said Annie, "you must not go, for then what shall I do with my
cart?"

"Oh, you can draw your cart along to school yourself, very well," said
Rodolphus, and so saying, he lifted Annie hastily and roughly out of the
cart, calling out at the same time to the boys to wait a minute for him.
He put the handle, which was at the end of the tongue of the cart, into
Annie's hand, and then ran down to the water; and thus, almost before
Annie had time to recover from her astonishment, she found herself left
alone in the road, while the boat, with Rodolphus and the other boys in
it, began slowly to recede from the shore.

Annie began to cry. Rodolphus called out to her in a rough voice to go
along to school. So she began to walk slowly along, drawing the cart
wearily after her.

On her way home from school that day, when she came to the place in the
road where Rodolphus had left her in the morning, she found him waiting
there for her. She was coming without the cart. Rodolphus asked her what
she had done with it. She said that she had left it at school. The
teacher had told her that it was too heavy for her to draw, and had put
it in a corner, to wait till Rodolphus came. Rodolphus then told Annie
to sit down upon a stone by the side of the road till he came back, and
then began to run toward the school-house. In a short time he came back
bringing the cart. He put Annie into it and went toward home.

Annie asked him where he had been all the day--but he did not answer. He
seemed discontented and uneasy, and preserved a moody silence all the
way home, except that once he turned and charged Annie not to tell his
mother or Ellen that he had not been at school that day. When he reached
home, he left the cart at the door, and stepping into the entry he began
to call out aloud,

"Mother! Mother!"

Ellen came to the door and said in a gentle voice,

"Mother can't come now, Rolfy; she is busy."

"But I want to see her a minute," said he. "Mother! Mother!"

A moment afterward his mother appeared at her bedroom window.

"What do you want, Rolfy?" said she.

Rodolphus said nothing, but stood still, pointing to the cart, with a
triumphant air.

"What?" said his mother.

"See!" said Rodolphus.

"What is it?" said she.

"The cart," said Rodolphus, "all safe."

"Well," said his mother, "what then?"

"Why, you said," replied Rodolphus, "that if I took it to school, it
would come to some damage."

"Well, it _might_ have come to some damage," said she, "you know. And
you ought not to have taken it."

So saying his mother went away from the window.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rodolphus was, in fact, a source of continual trial and trouble to his
mother, though she did not know one half of his evil deeds. He concealed
them from her very easily, for she never made a careful inquiry into his
conduct when he was out of her sight. He played truant continually,
going off to play with idle boys. He fell into bad company, and formed
many evil habits. He was continually getting into mischief among the
neighbors. They complained of him sometimes, to his mother, but this did
no good. Generally, she would not believe any thing that they said
against him, and whenever any of his evil deeds were fully proved to
her, she made so many excuses for him, and looked upon his misconduct
with so indulgent a view, that she exercised no restraint upon him
whatever.

He wanted more money than his mother could furnish him with, and he
gradually fell into dishonest means of obtaining it. His sister Ellen
had some poultry, and once a-week she used to commission him to carry
the eggs into the village for sale. Ellen used to go out every morning
to get the eggs from her nests, but Rodolphus would often go out before
her, and take a part of the eggs and hide them. These he would consider
his own, and so when he carried her supply to market, he would secretly
add to them those he had thus purloined, so as to get more money for the
eggs than he returned to her. He used to get the apples, too, from the
neighbors' orchards, and once when he was in a store in a village, and
saw a little money upon the counter, which a girl had laid down there to
pay for some thread, and which the store-keeper had forgotten to put
away, Rodolphus, watching his opportunity, slipped it into his pocket
and went away with it. He felt very guilty after he had done this, for
several days; but still he kept the money.

Ellen was the only person who had any influence over Rodolphus, and she
had not a great deal. She was, however, herself a great help and a great
source of comfort to her mother. As soon as she came home, she began in
a very modest and unassuming manner, to introduce the system and order
which had prevailed in her aunt's household, into that of her mother.
She began with Annie's and Rodolphus' playthings, which, when she first
came home, were scattered all over the house in disorder and confusion.
She collected these playthings all together, repaired the books which
were damaged, mended the broken toys, and arranged them all neatly upon
a shelf which her mother allowed her to use for the purpose. Then she
gradually put the rooms in the house in order, one after another. She
drove up nails in convenient places, to hang implements and utensils
upon. She induced Rodolphus to put the yard and the grounds about the
house in order. Every useless thing that would burn, was put upon the
wood-pile, and all other rubbish cleared away. She planted the seeds of
climbing plants about the gateways, and near the windows of the house,
and in one corner she made a very pretty trellis, by tying poles
together with a kind of very flexible wire called binding wire. Antonio
showed her how to do it. In fact, by means of what Ellen did, the house
was in a very few months entirely transformed, and became one of the
neatest and pleasantest cottages in all the town; and she and her mother
and Annie would have lived together very happily in it, had it not been
for the anxiety and trouble which Rodolphus gave them.

One day Antonio, who often came to Mrs. Linn's to see if there was any
thing he could do for the family, and who had often talked with
Rodolphus about the evil of his ways, drove up to the gate in a wagon,
and proposed to Rodolphus to go and take a ride with him.

"Yes," said Rodolphus, "I will go."

"Go and ask your mother first," said Antonio.

"Oh, she will let me go, I know," said Rodolphus, coming at the same
time toward the wagon.

"Go and ask her," said Antonio.

So Rodolphus went and asked his mother, and she gave him leave. He then
ran back to the wagon, climbed up into it, and took his seat by the side
of Antonio.

In the course of this ride, Antonio had a long and plain conversation
with Rodolphus about his evil course of life, and the sorrows and
sufferings to which it would lead him, and in which it would involve his
mother and sister, if he went on as he had begun. He told him, however,
that if on the other hand he would make a change, if he would obey his
mother, and go regularly to school, and keep away from bad company, and
become industrious and honest, he would grow up to be a useful and
respectable man, and would make himself and all around him happy.

Rodolphus heard what Antonio said, patiently and attentively through to
the end, and then said,

"Yes, Beechnut, my sister Ellen told me that very same thing, and I have
tried to be a better boy, very hard indeed, but I can't."

However, notwithstanding this, Rodolphus promised Antonio that he would
try once more, and for several days after this conversation he was a
much better boy. He went to school regularly and was more willing to
help his mother and Ellen about the house. This lasted for about a week.

At the end of that time he was one evening working with Ellen in the
garden, about sunset, when he heard a sound near him by a wall. There
was an old stone wall on that side of the garden, with bushes which grew
upon the outside rising above it. Rodolphus looked up when he heard the
noise, and saw a boy's head just over the wall at an opening among the
bushes. The boy held his finger to his lips in token of silence and
secrecy, pointing very quickly to Ellen, whose face at that instant was
turned the other way, so that she did not see him; he then dropped down
behind the wall out of sight again.

Rodolphus knew that the boy wished to speak to him, and that he was
prevented from doing so because Ellen was there.

Accordingly a moment afterward, Rodolphus told Ellen that she had better
go in, and that he would finish the rest of the work and come in
presently with the tools. Ellen thanked Rodolphus for what she supposed
was his disinterested kindness, and went in.

As soon as Rodolphus was alone, the boy's head appeared above the wall
again.

"She's gone at last," said he. "I thought she never _would_ go." The boy
then seemed to rise higher, as if he were stepping up upon a stone
outside the wall. He held out his hand toward Rodolphus, saying, "See
there!"

Rodolphus looked, and saw that he had three half dollars in his hand.

"Where did you get that money?" said Rodolphus.

"Ah!" said the boy, winking, and looking very mysterious, "don't you
wish you knew! You'd like to find the nest that has such eggs as those
in it, wouldn't you? Well, I'll tell you all about it to-night. Come out
here after nine o'clock. I will be here to meet you. We have got plenty
of money and we're going to have a good time."

Soon after this Rodolphus carried his tools to the shed, and went in to
his supper. About eight o'clock it became dark, and at half-past eight,
Rodolphus said that he felt rather tired and he believed that he would
go to bed. Feeling guilty and self-condemned as he did, he appeared
absent-minded and dejected, and Ellen was anxious about him. She was
afraid that he was going to be sick. She lighted the lamp for him, and
went up with him to his room and did all that she could to make him
comfortable. At length she bade him good-night and went away.

The place where Rodolphus slept was in a little corner of an attic by a
great chimney. The place had been partitioned off, and there was a door
leading into it. This door had a hasp on the inside. There was also a
small window which opened out upon the roof of a shed. It was a pretty
long step from the window down to the roof of the shed, but yet
Rodolphus had often got down there, although his mother had repeatedly
forbidden him ever to do so.

[Illustration: THE EVASION.]

As soon as Ellen was gone, Rodolphus fastened the door and then waited a
little while till all was still. Then he opened the window very gently
and crept out. He put out his light the last thing before he got out of
the window, and crept down upon the roof of the shed. He stopped here to
listen. All was still. He walked softly, with his shoes in his hand,
down to the lower edge of the roof, and there he got down to the ground
by means of a fence which joined the shed at one corner there.

Rodolphus found the boys waiting for him beyond the garden wall. He went
away with them and spent the night in carousals and wickedness, under a
barn in a solitary place. About one o'clock he came back to the house.
He climbed up the fence and got upon the shed. He crept along the shed
softly, with his shoes in his hand as before, and got into his window.
When in, he shut down the window, undressed himself, and went to bed.

And this was the end of all Rodolphus's resolutions to reform.


IV. CRIME.

Rodolphus went on in the evil way which we described, for some time, and
at length he became so disorderly in his conduct and so troublesome, and
caused his mother so much anxiety and care, that she finally concluded
to follow the advice which all the neighbors had very frequently given
her, and bind the boy out to some master to learn a trade. As soon as
she had decided upon this course, she asked the assistance of Mr.
Randon, to find a good place. Mr. Randon made a great many inquiries but
he could not find any place that would do, in Franconia; all the persons
to whom he applied in the village declined taking Rodolphus, giving
various reasons for their refusals. Some did not want any new
apprentice, some had other boys in view that they were going to apply
to. Some said that Rodolphus was too old, others that he was too young.
Mr. Randon thought that the real reason probably was, in a great many of
these cases, that the men did not like Rodolphus's character. In fact,
one man to whom he made application, after listening attentively to Mr.
Randon, until he came to mention the name of the boy, said,

"What! Rodolphus Linn. Is it Rodolphus Linn?"

"Yes," said Mr. Randon.

"Hoh!" said the man. "I would not have Rodolphus Linn in my shop for a
hundred dollars a year."

At last, however, Mr. Randon found in another town, about twenty-five
miles from Franconia, a man who kept a livery stable, that said he
wanted a boy. This man's name was Kerber. Mr. Kerber said that if
Rodolphus was a stout and able-bodied boy, he would take him. Mr. Randon
said that Rodolphus was stout enough, but he frankly told Mr. Kerber
that the boy was rather rude and unmanageable. "I'll take care of that,"
said Mr. Kerber. "All I want is to have him _able_ to do his duty. If he
is only able to do it, you need not fear but that I'll find ways and
means of seeing that it is done."

Mr. Randon thought from this conversation, and from other indications,
that Mr. Kerber was a very harsh man, and he thought that Rodolphus
might be likely to have a hard time if apprenticed to him. He concluded,
therefore, that before making his report to Mrs. Linn, he would make
some further inquiry. He found at last another man in the same town with
Mr. Kerber, who was willing to take Rodolphus. This man was a carpenter.
The carpenter was a man of quiet and gentle spirit, and he bore a most
excellent character among his neighbors. At first, the carpenter was
unwilling to take Rodolphus when he heard what his character was, but
when Mr. Randon told him about the circumstances of the family, and
explained to him that it would be a deed of great benevolence to save
the boy from ruin, the carpenter said he would take him for three months
upon trial, and then if he found that he should probably succeed in
making him a good boy, he would take him regularly as his apprentice. So
Mr. Randon went back to report the result of his inquiries to
Rodolphus's mother.

Mrs. Linn was very anxious to have Rodolphus go to the carpenter's, but
Rodolphus himself insisted on going to Mr. Kerber's. The reason why he
wished to go there was, because Mr. Kerber kept a stable and horses. He
supposed that his chief business would be to tend the horses, and to
ride about. This would be much better, he thought, than to work hard all
day with planes, and saws, and chisels.

Ellen joined her mother in begging Rodolphus to go to the carpenter's,
but he could not be persuaded to consent, and so it was finally settled
that he should be bound apprentice to Mr. Kerber. Mrs. Linn, however,
made an express stipulation that while Rodolphus remained at Mr.
Kerber's he was never on any account to be whipped. If he neglected his
duty or behaved badly, Mr. Kerber was to find out some other way to
punish him beside whipping.

Mr. Kerber made no objection to this arrangement. He said to Mr. Randon,
when Mr. Randon proposed this condition to him, that he would make any
agreement of that kind that his mother desired. "I have learned," said
he, "that there are various contrivances for breaking refractory colts
besides silk snappers."

When a boy is bound apprentice to a master, a certain paper is executed
between the master on the one part, and the parent or guardian of the
boy on the other, which is called the Indentures. The indentures specify
the name and age of the boy, and state the time for which he is bound to
the master. During that time the boy is bound to work for the master,
and to obey his orders. The master is bound to provide food and clothing
for the boy, and to teach him the trade. He has a right to compel the
boy to attend industriously to his work, and to punish him for any
idleness, or disobedience, or insubordination that he may be guilty of.
In a word, the master acquires, for the time that the apprenticeship
continues, the same rights that the father, if the boy has a father,
possessed before.

According to this custom indentures of apprenticeship were regularly
drawn up, binding Rodolphus to Mr. Kerber till he was twenty-one years
of age. He was then nearly twelve. The indentures were signed, and
Rodolphus went to live with his new master.

He, however, soon began to have a pretty hard life of it. He found that
his business was not to ride the horses about, but to perform the most
disagreeable and servile work in the stable. He could not even ride the
horses to water, for there was a great trough in one corner of the
stable with a stream of water always running into it, and the horses
were all watered there. Rodolphus was employed in harnessing and
unharnessing the horses, and rubbing them down when they came in; and in
pitching down hay, and measuring out oats and corn for them. He had to
work also a great deal at the house, splitting wood and carrying it in,
and in bringing water for the washing. He was kept hard at work all the
time, except in the evening, when he was generally allowed to roam about
the streets wherever he pleased.

Rodolphus did not have much open difficulty with Mr. Kerber, for he
found out very soon that it was a very dangerous business to disobey
him. The first lesson that he had on that subject was as follows:

One afternoon when he had been at work at the house, and had had some
difficulty with Mrs. Kerber, he undertook to make her agree to some of
his demands by threatening, as he had been accustomed to do with his
mother, that if she did not let him do what he wished, he would go and
jump into the pond. This pond was a small mill pond which came up to the
foot of Mr. Kerber's garden, where the garden was bounded by a high
wall. Mrs. Kerber took no notice of this threat at the time, but when
her husband came home she told him about it at the supper table.

"Ah," said Mr. Kerber, when his wife had finished her statement; "he
threatened to drown himself, then? I am afraid he does not know exactly
what drowning is. I will enlighten him a little upon the subject after
supper."

Accordingly, after supper, Mr. Kerber commanded Rodolphus to follow
him. Mr. Kerber led the way down to the bottom of the garden, and there
he tied a rope round Rodolphus's waist, and threw him off into the
water, and kept him there until he was half strangled. He would pull him
up a moment to recover his breath, and then plunge him in again and
again, until the poor boy was half dead with exhaustion and terror.
Then, pulling him out upon the bank, he left him to come to himself, and
to return to the house at his leisure.

Rodolphus, after this, was very careful not to come into any open
collision with Mr. Kerber, or with his wife, but this kind of severity
did him, after all, no real good. When a boy has grown to such an age as
that of Rodolphus, in habits of self-indulgence, disobedience, and
insubordination, it is almost impossible to save him by any means
whatever----but heartless severity like this only makes him worse.
Rodolphus hated his master, and he determined to do as little for him as
he possibly could. Mr. Kerber, accordingly, was continually finding
fault with his apprentice for his idleness and his neglect of duty, and
he used often to punish him by putting him in what he called his
_prison_.

This prison was a stall in one corner of the stable, near a little room
which Mr. Kerber used for his office and counting-room. The stall had
been boarded up in front, some years before, and used to shut up a small
colt in. It was half full of boxes and barrels, and there was a heap of
straw in one corner of it. There was a door in front, with a great
wooden button outside. When Mr. Kerber got out of patience with
Rodolphus, he used to put him into this old colt-pen and button him in,
and sometimes keep him there without any thing to eat, till he was half
starved. At one time Mr. Kerber kept him there all night.

After the first half dozen times that Rodolphus was shut up there, he
did not suffer from hunger, for he made an arrangement with another
stable boy, older than himself, to supply him with food at such times.
The stable boy would get bread from the house by stealth, when Rodolphus
was in his prison, and bring it out to the stable in his pocket. Then,
watching his opportunity, when Mr. Kerber was not looking, he would
throw it over to Rodolphus. Rodolphus was thus saved from suffering much
through hunger, but yet he would always in such cases, when he was
finally let out, _pretend_ to be half starved, in order to prevent Mr.
Kerber's suspecting that he had been stealthily supplied with food.

The prison, as Mr. Kerber called it, was adjoining the stable office,
which was a very small room, partitioned off from the stable itself.
This office had two doors, one on each side of it. One door led out into
the stable, and was the one ordinarily used. The other led to a shed at
one side of the stable, where the wood was kept for the office fire,
which was made in a small stove that stood in one corner of the office.
There was a desk in another corner of the office, and in this desk Mr.
Kerber kept his papers and his money.

One day when Rodolphus was shut up in his prison, after having been
there several hours, he became very tired of having nothing to do, and
so, to amuse himself, he took his knife out from his pocket and began to
cut into the partition which separated the colt-pen from the office. The
partition was made of boards, and as Rodolphus's knife was pretty sharp,
he could cut into it quite easily. He heard voices in the office, and he
thought that if he should cut a small hole quite through the partition
he could hear what the men were saying, and see what they were doing. So
he cut away very diligently for half an hour, working very slowly and
carefully all the time, so as not to make a noise.

At last the light began to shine through. Then Rodolphus worked more
carefully than ever. He, however, soon had a small hole opened, and
putting his eye close to it, he could see a whip hanging up against the
opposite wall of the office. Rodolphus gradually enlarged his hole,
until he could see more. He made the hole very large on the side toward
his prison, and yet kept it very small toward the office, and by this
means he could change the position of his eye and so see almost all over
the office, without, however, having made the opening large enough to
attract attention on the inside.

Rodolphus saw Mr. Kerber and another man sitting by the desk. It was
summer, and there was no fire in the stove. There were a great many
whips hanging up on one side of the room, and a hammer, together with an
instrument called a nut-wrench, on a shelf over the desk. The door
leading out into the shed was fastened with a hasp. Rodolphus, as he
looked at it, thought that it would be easy for a thief, if he wished to
break into the office, to go into the shed and bore into the door of the
office just above the hasp, and then by putting in a slender iron rod,
the hasp might be lifted up out of the staple, and the door opened.

Rodolphus listened to the conversation between Mr. Kerber and his
visitor, but he could not understand it very well. It was all about
business. At last the man took a large leather purse out of his pocket,
and prepared to pay Mr. Kerber some money. Mr. Kerber unlocked his desk.
The man counted out the money upon a small table which was there. Mr.
Kerber counted it after him, and then took from his desk a small box,
made of iron, which he called his strong box. He unlocked the strong box
with a key that he took from his pocket, and put the money into it. He
then locked the strong box and put it back into the desk, and finally
shut down the lid of the desk, locked it, and put the key in his pocket.

Mr. Kerber kept Rodolphus confined in his prison much longer than usual
that day, so long, in fact, that Rodolphus became at last very impatient
and very angry. At length, however, Mr. Kerber let him out, and sent him
home to supper.

That evening about nine o'clock, as Rodolphus was talking with some of
the bad boys with whom he was accustomed to spend his evenings, and
telling them how he hated his tyrannical and cruel master, he said,
among other things, that he wished he knew some thief or robber. The
boys asked him why.

"Why, I would tell him," said Rodolphus, "how he might rob old Kerber,
and get as much money as he wanted."

Among the boys who were with Rodolphus at this time, was one named
Gilpin. Gilpin was a very bad boy indeed, and considerably older than
Rodolphus. He was about fourteen years old. When Gilpin heard Rodolphus
say this, he gave him a little jog with his elbow, as an intimation not
to say any thing more. Very soon Gilpin took Rodolphus away, and walked
on with him alone, along a wall which extended down toward the water
from the place where the boys had been playing. As soon as he had drawn
Rodolphus away from the other boys, he asked him what he meant by what
he had said about a good chance to get some money. So Rodolphus
explained to Gilpin how his master had shut him up in the stall, and how
he had cut a hole through the partition, and what he had seen in the
office. He also explained to him how the back door of the little office
was fastened by a hasp, which it would be easy to open by boring a hole
through the door, if the robber only had a bit and a bit-stock.

"Oh, we can get a bit and bit-stock, easily enough," said Gilpin.

"Well," said Rodolphus, "shall we do it?"

"Certainly," said Gilpin, "why not we as well as any body else. I want
money too much to leave any good chance for getting it to other people.
You and I will get it, and go shares."

"No," said Rodolphus, "I don't dare to. And, besides, if we should get
into the office, we could not open the desk. He keeps the desk locked."

"We can pry it open with a chisel," said Gilpin, "as easy as a man would
open on oyster."

"But then we can't open the strong box," said Rodolphus. "The strong box
is made of iron."

"We'll carry away the strong box and all," said Gilpin, "and get it open
at our leisure afterward."

Rodolphus was at first strongly disinclined to enter into this plot, and
it was in fact several days before he concluded to join in it. At
length, however, he consented, and immediately commenced aiding Gilpin
in making the necessary preparations. He found a bit and bit-stock in an
old shop belonging to Mr. Kerber, near his house, and also a chisel,
which Gilpin said would do for forcing open the desk. There was another
boy almost as old as Gilpin, who joined in the plan. He was a coarse and
rough boy, and was generally called Griff. His real name was
Christopher.

Gilpin and Griff gave Rodolphus a very large share of the work of making
the necessary preparations for the theft. Their plan was to make the
attempt on Saturday night They thought that by this means a whole day
would intervene before the discovery would be made that the money was
gone, since Mr. Kerber would not be likely to go to his office on
Sunday. They would thus, they thought, have ample time to take all the
necessary means for concealing their booty. Rodolphus was to go to bed
as usual, and then to get up about ten o'clock, and come out of his
window, over the roofs, as he used to do at home, and as he had very
often done since he came to Mr. Kerber's. The bit and bit-stock, and the
chisel were to be all ready in the shed, beforehand. Rodolphus was to
carry them there some time in the course of the afternoon. On descending
from the roofs, Rodolphus was to go to meet the other boys at a certain
corn-barn, which belonged to a house which had once been a farm-house in
the village.

A corn-barn is a small square building, standing upon high posts at the
four corners. These posts are usually about four or five feet high. The
building is raised in this manner above the ground, to prevent mice and
other animals from getting into it and eating the corn.

The corn-barn, however, at which the boys were to meet, was not now used
for the storage of grain, but as a sort of lumber-room for a tavern that
stood near by. It was behind the tavern, and almost out of sight of it,
at the end of a narrow lane. It was in a very secluded position. The
space beneath the building where the posts were, had been boarded up on
three sides, and there were various old boxes and barrels underneath it.
Rodolphus and the other bad boys of the village had often used this
place as a rendezvous, and had carried there the various things which
they had pilfered from time to time; and in summer nights they would
often meet there and stay half the night, spending the time in eating
and drinking, and in gambling with cards or coppers, and in other wicked
amusements. There was no floor but the ground, but the boys had carried
straw into the place, and spread it down where they were accustomed to
sit and lie, and this made the place very comfortable.

The boys were to meet at this place at ten o'clock. Griff was to bring a
dark lantern. This lantern was one which the boys had made themselves.
It was formed of a round block of wood for the base, with a hole or
socket in the middle of it, for the admission of the end of the candle.
Around this block there had been rolled a strip of pasteboard, so as to
make of it a sort of round box, with a wooden bottom and no top. The
pasteboard was kept in its place by a string, which was wound several
times around it. There was a long hole cut in the pasteboard on one
side, for the light to shine out of. There was another pasteboard roll
which went over the whole, and closed this opening when the boys wanted
the lantern to be perfectly dark.

The boys met at the place of rendezvous at the time appointed. They then
proceeded to the stable. They got into the shed, and there struck a
light, and lighted a short candle which one of the boys had in his
pocket. Rodolphus held this candle, while Gilpin, who was taller and
stronger than either of the other boys, bored the hole in the door, in
the place which Rodolphus indicated. When the hole was bored, the boys
inserted an iron rod into it, and running this rod under the hasp, they
pried the hasp up and unfastened the door. They opened the door, and
then, to their great joy, found themselves all safe in the office.

[Illustration: THUS]

They put the dark lantern down upon the table, and covered it with its
screen, and then listened, perfectly whist, a minute or two, to be sure
that nobody was coming.

"You go and watch at the shed-door," said Gilpin to Rodolphus, "while we
open the desk."

So Rodolphus went to the shed-door. He peeped out, and looked up and
down the village-street, but all was still.

Presently he heard a sort of splitting sound within the office, which he
knew was made by the forcing open of the lid of the desk. Very soon
afterward the boys came out, in a hurried manner----Griff had the
lantern and Gilpin the box.

"Have you got it?" said Rodolphus.

"Yes," said Griff.

"Let's see," said Rodolphus.

Griff held out the box to Rodolphus. It was very heavy and they could
hear the sound of the money within. All three of the boys seemed almost
wild with trepidation and excitement. Griff however immediately began to
hurry them away, pulling the box from them and saying, "Come, come,
boys, we must not stay fooling here."

"Wait a minute till I hide the tools again?" said Rodolphus, "and then
we'll run."

Rodolphus hid the tools behind the wood-pile, in the shed, where they
had been before, and then the boys sallied forth into the street. They
crept along stealthily in the shadows of the houses and in the most dark
and obscure places, until they came to the tavern, where they were to
turn down the lane to the corn-barn. As soon as they got safely to this
lane, they felt relieved, and they walked on in a more unconcerned
manner; and when at length they got fairly in under the corn-barn they
felt perfectly secure.

"There," said Griff, "was not that well done?"

"Yes," said Rodolphus, "and now all that we have got to do is to get the
box open."

"We can break it open with stones," said Griff.

"No," said Gilpin, "that will make too much noise. We will bury it under
this straw for a few days, and open it somehow or other by-and-by, when
they have given up looking for the box. You can get the real key of it
for us, Rodolphus, can't you?"

"How can I get it?" asked Rodolphus.

"Oh, you can contrive some way to get it from old Kerber, I've no doubt.
At any rate the best thing is to bury it now."

[Illustration: THE CORN-BARN.]

To this plan the boys all agreed. They pulled away the straw, which was
spread under the corn-barn, and dug a hole in the ground beneath,
working partly with sticks and partly with their fingers. When they had
got the hole deep enough, they put the box in and covered it up. Then
they spread the straw over the place as before.

During all this time the lantern had been standing upon a box pretty
near by, having been put there by the boys, in order that the light
might shine down upon the place where they had been digging. As soon as
their work was done, the boys went softly outside to see if the way was
clear for them to go home, leaving the lantern on the box; and while
they were standing at the corner of the barn outside, looking up the
lane, and whispering together, they saw suddenly a light beginning to
gleam up from within. They ran in and found that the lantern had fallen
down, and that the straw was all in a blaze. They immediately began to
tread upon the fire and try to put it out, but the instant that they did
so they were all thunderstruck by the appearance of a fourth person, who
came rushing in among them from the outside. They all screamed out with
terror and ran. Rodolphus separated from the rest and crouched down a
moment behind the stone wall, but immediately afterward, feeling that
there would be no safety for him here, he set off again and ran across
some back fields and gardens, in the direction toward Mr. Kerber's. He
looked back occasionally and found that the light was rapidly
increasing. Presently he began to hear cries of fire. He ran on till he
reached the house; he scrambled over the fences into the back yard,
climbed up upon a shed, crept along under the chimneys to the window of
his room, got in as fast as he could, undressed himself and went to bed,
and had just drawn the clothes up over him, when he heard a loud
knocking at the door, and Mrs. Kerber's voice outside, calling out to
him, that there was a cry of fire in the village, and that he must get
up quick as possible and help put it out.

                   (TO BE CONTINUED.)



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.[2]

BY JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

THE RETURN FROM EGYPT.


[Footnote 2: Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the
Southern District of New York.]

The Expedition to Egypt was one of the most magnificent enterprises
which human ambition ever conceived. The Return to France combines still
more, if possible, of the elements of the moral sublime. But for the
disastrous destruction of the French fleet the plans of Napoleon, in
reference to the East, would probably have been triumphantly successful.
At least it can not be doubted that a vast change would have been
effected throughout the Eastern world. Those plans were now hopeless.
The army was isolated, and cut off from all reinforcements and all
supplies. The best thing which Napoleon could do for his troops in Egypt
was to return to France, and exert his personal influence in sending
them succor. His return involved the continuance of the most honorable
devotion to those soldiers whom he necessarily left behind him. The
secrecy of his departure was essential to its success. Had the bold
attempt been suspected, it would certainly have been frustrated by the
increased vigilance of the English cruisers. The intrepidity of the
enterprise must elicit universal admiration.

Contemplate, for a moment, the moral aspects of this undertaking. A
nation of thirty millions of people, had been for ten years agitated by
the most terrible convulsions. There is no atrocity, which the tongue
can name, which had not desolated the doomed land. Every passion which
can degrade the heart of fallen man, had swept with simoom blast over
the cities and the villages of France. Conflagrations had laid the
palaces of the wealthy in ruins, and the green lawns where their
children had played, had been crimsoned with the blood of fathers and
sons, mothers and daughters. A gigantic system of robbery had seized
upon houses and lands and every species of property and had turned
thousands of the opulent out into destitution, beggary, and death.
Pollution had been legalized by the voice of God-defying lust, and
France, _la belle France_, had been converted into a disgusting
warehouse of infamy. Law, with suicidal hand, had destroyed itself, and
the decisions of the legislature swayed to and fro, in accordance with
the hideous clamors of the mob. The guillotine, with gutters ever
clotted with human gore, was the only argument which anarchy
condescended to use. Effectually it silenced every remonstrating tongue.
Constitution after constitution had risen, like mushrooms, in a night,
and like mushrooms had perished in a day. Civil war was raging with
bloodhound fury in France, Monarchists and Jacobins grappling each other
infuriate with despair. The allied kings of Europe, who by their
alliance had fanned these flames of rage and ruin, were gazing with
terror upon the portentous prodigy, and were surrounding France with
their navies and their armies.

The people had been enslaved for centuries by the king and the nobles.
Their oppression had been execrable, and it had become absolutely
unendurable. "We, the millions," they exclaimed in their rage, "will no
longer minister to your voluptuousness, and pride, and lust." "You
shall, you insolent dogs," exclaimed king and nobles, "we heed not your
barking." "You shall," reiterated the Pope, in the portentous
thunderings of the Vatican. "You shall," came echoed back from the
palaces of Vienna, from the dome of the Kremlin, from the seraglio of
the Turk, and, in tones deeper, stronger, more resolute, from
constitutional, liberty-loving, happy England. Then was France a
volcano, and its lava-streams deluged Europe. The people were desperate.
In the blind fury of their frenzied self-defense they lost all
consideration. The castles of the nobles were but the monuments of past
taxation and servitude. With yells of hatred the infuriated populace
razed them to the ground. The palaces of the kings, where, for uncounted
centuries, dissolute monarchs had reveled in enervating and
heaven-forbidden pleasures, were but national badges of the bondage of
the people. The indignant throng swept through them, like a Mississippi
inundation, leaving upon marble floors, and cartooned walls and
ceilings, the impress of their rage. At one bound France had passed from
despotism to anarchy. The kingly tyrant, with golden crown and iron
sceptre, surrounded by wealthy nobles and dissolute beauties, had
disappeared, and a many-headed monster, rapacious and blood-thirsty,
vulgar and revolting, had emerged from mines and workshops and the
cellars of vice and penury, like one of the spectres of fairy tales to
fill his place. France had passed from Monarchy, not to healthy
Republicanism, but to Jacobinism, to the reign of the mob. Napoleon
utterly abhorred the tyranny of the king. He also utterly abhorred the
despotism of vulgar, violent, sanguinary Jacobin misrule. The latter he
regarded with even far deeper repugnance than the former. "I frankly
confess," said Napoleon, again and again, "that if I must choose between
Bourbon oppression, and mob violence, I infinitely prefer the former."

Such had been the state of France, essentially, for nearly ten years.
The great mass of the people were exhausted with suffering, and longed
for repose. The land was filled with plots and counterplots. But there
was no one man of sufficient prominence to carry with him the nation.
The government was despised and disregarded. France was in a state of
chaotic ruin. Many voices here and there, began to inquire "Where is
Bonaparte, the conqueror of Italy, the conqueror of Egypt? He alone can
save us." His world-wide renown turned the eyes of the nation to him as
their only hope.

Under these circumstances Napoleon, then a young man but twenty-nine
years of age, and who, but three years before, had been unknown to fame
or to fortune, resolved to return to France, to overthrow the miserable
government, by which the country was disgraced, to subdue anarchy at
home and aggression from abroad, and to rescue thirty millions of people
from ruin. The enterprise was undeniably magnificent in its grandeur and
noble in its object. He had two foes to encounter, each formidable, the
royalists of combined Europe and the mob of Paris. The quiet and
undoubting self-confidence with which he entered upon this enterprise,
is one of the most remarkable events in the whole of his extraordinary
career. He took with him no armies to hew down opposition. He engaged in
no deep-laid and wide-spread conspiracy. Relying upon the energies of
his own mind, and upon the sympathies of the great mass of the people,
he went alone, with but one or two companions, to whom he revealed not
his thoughts, to gather into his hands the scattered reins of power.
Never did he encounter more fearful peril. The cruisers of England,
Russia, Turkey, of allied Europe in arms against France, thronged the
Mediterranean. How could he hope to escape them? The guillotine was red
with blood. Every one who had dared to oppose the mob had perished upon
it. How could Napoleon venture, single-handed, to beard this terrible
lion in his den?

It was ten o'clock at night, the 22d of August, 1799, when Napoleon
ascended the sides of the frigate Muiron, to sail for France. A few of
his faithful Guards, and eight companions, either officers in the army
or members of the scientific corps, accompanied him. There were five
hundred soldiers on board the ships. The stars shone brightly in the
Syrian sky, and under their soft light the blue waves of the
Mediterranean lay spread out most peacefully before them. The frigates
unfurled their sails. Napoleon, silent and lost in thought, for a long
time walked the quarter deck of the ship, gazing upon the low outline of
Egypt as, in the dim starlight, it faded away. His companions were
intoxicated with delight, in view of again returning to France. Napoleon
was neither elated nor depressed. Serene and silent he communed with
himself, and whenever we can catch a glimpse of those secret communings
we find them always bearing the impress of grandeur. Though Napoleon was
in the habit of visiting the soldiers at their camp fires, of sitting
down and conversing with them with the greatest freedom and familiarity,
the majesty of his character overawed his officers, and adoration and
reserve blended with their love. Though there was no haughtiness in his
demeanor, he habitually dwelt in a region of elevation above them all.
Their talk was of cards, of wine, of pretty women. Napoleon's thoughts
were of empire, of renown, of moulding the destinies of nations. They
regarded him not as a companion, but as a master, whose wishes they
loved to anticipate; for he would surely guide them to wealth, and fame,
and fortune. He contemplated them, not as equals and confiding friends,
but as efficient and valuable instruments for the accomplishment of his
purposes. Murat was to Napoleon a body of ten thousand horse-men, ever
ready for a resistless charge. Lannes was a phalanx of infantry,
bristling with bayonets, which neither artillery nor cavalry could
batter down or break. Augereau was an armed column of invincible troops,
black, dense, massy, impetuous, resistless, moving with gigantic tread
wherever the finger of the conqueror pointed. These were but the members
of Napoleon's body, the limbs obedient to the mighty soul which swayed
them. They were not the companions of his thoughts, they were only the
servants of his will. The number to be found with whom the soul of
Napoleon could dwell in sympathetic friendship was few--very few.

Napoleon had formed a very low estimate of human nature, and
consequently made great allowance for the infirmities incident to
humanity. Bourrienne reports him as saying, "Friendship is but a name. I
love no one; no, not even my brothers. Joseph perhaps a little. And if I
do love him, it is from habit, and because he is my elder. Duroc! Ah,
yes! I love him too. But why? His character pleases me. He is cold,
reserved, and resolute, and I really believe that he never shed a tear.
As to myself, I know well that I have not one true friend. As long as I
continue what I am, I may have as many pretended friends as I please. We
must leave sensibility to the women. It is their business. Men should be
firm in heart and in purpose, or they should have nothing to do with war
or government. I am not amiable. No; I am not amiable I never have been.
But I am just."

In another mood of mind, more tender, more subdued, he remarked, at St.
Helena, in reply to Las Casas, who with great severity was condemning
those who abandoned Napoleon in his hour of adversity: "You are not
acquainted with men. They are difficult to comprehend if one wishes to
be strictly just. Can they understand or explain even their own
characters? Almost all those who abandoned me would, had I continued to
be prosperous, never perhaps have dreamed of their own defection. There
are vices and virtues which depend upon circumstances. Our last trials
were beyond all human strength! Besides I was forsaken rather than
betrayed; there was more of weakness than of perfidy around me. _It was
the denial of St. Peter._ Tears and penitence are probably at hand, And
where will you find in the page of history any one possessing a greater
number of friends and partisans? Who was ever more popular and more
beloved? Who was ever more ardently and deeply regretted? Here, from
this very rock, on viewing the present disorders in France, who would
not be tempted to say that I still reign there? No; human nature might
have appeared in a more odious light."

Las Casas, who shared with Napoleon his weary years of imprisonment at
St. Helena, says of him: "He views the complicated circumstances of his
fall from so high a point that individuals escape his notice. He never
evinces the least symptom of virulence toward those of whom it might be
supposed he has the greatest reason to complain. His strongest mark of
reprobation, and I have had frequent occasions to notice it, is to
preserve silence with respect to them whenever they are mentioned in his
presence. But how often has he been heard to restrain the violent and
less reserved expressions of those about him?"

"And here I must observe," says Las Casas, "that since I have become
acquainted with the Emperor's character, I have never known him to
evince, for a single moment, the least feeling of anger or animosity
against those who had most deeply injured him. He speaks of them coolly
and without resentment, attributing their conduct, in some measure, to
the perplexing circumstances in which they were placed, and throwing the
rest to the account of human weakness."

Marmont, who surrendered Paris to the allies, was severely condemned by
Las Casas. Napoleon replied: "Vanity was his ruin. Posterity will justly
cast a shade upon his character, yet his heart will be more valued than
the memory of his career." "Your attachment for Berthier," said Las
Casas, "surprised us. He was full of pretensions and pride." "Berthier
was not without talent," Napoleon replied, "and I am far from wishing to
disavow his merit, or my partiality; but he was so undecided!" "He was
very harsh and overbearing," Las Casas rejoined. "And what, my dear Las
Casas," Napoleon replied, "is more overbearing than weakness which feels
itself protected by strength? Look at women, for example." This Berthier
had, with the utmost meanness, abandoned his benefactor, and took his
place in front of the carriage of Louis XVIII. as he rode triumphantly
into Paris. "The only revenge I wish on this poor Berthier," said
Napoleon at the time, "would be to see him in his costume of captain of
the body-guard of Louis."

Says Bourrienne, Napoleon's rejected secretary, "The character of
Napoleon was not a cruel one. He was neither rancorous nor vindictive.
None but those who are blinded by fury, could have given him the name of
Nero or Caligula. I think that I have stated his real faults with
sufficient sincerity to be believed upon my word. I can assert that
Bonaparte, apart from politics, was feeling, kind, and accessible to
pity. He was very fond of children, and a bad man has seldom that
disposition. In the habits of private life he had, and the expression is
not too strong, much benevolence and great indulgence for human
weakness. A contrary opinion is too firmly fixed in some minds for me to
hope to remove it. I shall, I fear, have opposers; but I address myself
to those who are in search of truth. I lived in the most unreserved
confidence with Napoleon until the age of thirty-four years, and I
advance nothing lightly." This is the admission of one who had been
ejected from office by Napoleon, and who had become a courtier of the
reinstated Bourbons. It is a candid admission of an enemy.

The ships weighed anchor in the darkness of the night, hoping before the
day should dawn to escape the English cruisers which were hovering about
Alexandria. Unfortunately, at midnight, the wind died away, and it
became almost perfectly calm. Fearful of being captured, some were
anxious to seek again the shore. "Be quiet," said Napoleon, "we shall
pass in safety."

Admiral Gantheaume wished to take the shortest route to France.
Napoleon, however, directed the admiral to sail along as near as
possible to the coast of Africa, and to continue that unfrequented
route, till the ships should pass the Island of Sardinia. "In the mean
while," said he, "should an English fleet present itself, we will run
ashore upon the sands, and march, with the handful of brave men and the
few pieces of artillery we have with us, to Oran or Tunis, and there
find means to re-embark." Thus Napoleon, in this hazardous enterprise,
braved every peril. The most imminent and the most to be dreaded of all,
was captivity in an English prison. For twenty days the wind was so
invariably adverse, that the ships did not advance three hundred miles.
Many were so discouraged and so apprehensive of capture that it was even
proposed to return to Alexandria. Napoleon was much in the habit of
peaceful submission to that which he could not remedy. During all these
trying weeks he appeared perfectly serene and contented. To the
murmuring of his companions he replied, "We shall arrive in France in
safety. I am determined to proceed at all hazards. Fortune will not
abandon us." "People frequently speak," says Bourrienne, who accompanied
Napoleon upon this voyage, "of the good fortune which attaches to an
individual, and even attends him through life. Without professing to
believe in this sort of predestination, yet, when I call to mind the
numerous dangers which Bonaparte escaped in so many enterprises, the
hazards he encountered, the chances he ran, I can conceive that others
may have this faith. But having for a length of time studied the 'man
of destiny,' I have remarked that what was called his fortune was, in
reality, his genius; that his success was the consequence of his
admirable foresight--of his calculations, rapid as lightning, and of the
conviction that boldness is often the truest wisdom. If, for example,
during our voyage from Egypt to France, he had not imperiously insisted
upon pursuing a course different from that usually taken, and which
usual course was recommended by the admiral, would he have escaped the
perils which beset his path? Probably not. And was all this the effect
of chance? Certainly not."

[Illustration: THE RETURN VOYAGE.]

During these days of suspense, Napoleon, apparently as serene in spirit
as the calm which often silvered the unrippled surface of the sea, held
all the energies of his mind in perfect control. A choice library he
invariably took with him wherever he went. He devoted the hours to
writing, study, finding recreation in solving the most difficult
problems in geometry, and in investigating chemistry and other
scientific subjects of practical utility. He devoted much time to
conversation with the distinguished scholars whom he had selected to
accompany him. His whole soul seemed engrossed in the pursuit of
literary and scientific attainments. He also carefully, and with most
intense interest, studied the Bible and the Koran, scrutinizing, with
the eye of a philosopher, the antagonistic systems of the Christian and
the Moslem. The stupidity of the Koran wearied him. The sublimity of the
Scriptures charmed him. He read again and again, with deep admiration,
Christ's sermon upon the mount, and called his companions, from their
card-tables, to read it to them, that they might also appreciate its
moral beauty and its eloquence. "You will, ere long, become devout
yourself," said one of his infidel companions. "I wish I might become
so," Napoleon replied. "What a solace Christianity must be to one who
has an undoubting conviction of its truth." But practical Christianity
he had only seen in the mummeries of the papal church. Remembering the
fasts, the vigils, the penances, the cloisters, the scourgings of a
corrupt Christianity, and contrasting them with the voluptuous paradise
and the sensual houries which inflamed the eager vision of the Moslem,
he once exclaimed, in phrase characteristic of his genius, "The religion
of Jesus is a threat, that of Mohammed a promise." The religion of Jesus
is not a threat. Though the wrath of God shall fall upon the children of
disobedience, our Saviour invites us, in gentle accents, to the green
pastures and the still waters of the Heavenly Canaan; to cities
resplendent with pearls and gold; to mansions of which God is the
architect; to the songs of seraphim, and the flight of cherubim,
exploring on tireless pinion, the wonders of infinity; to peace of
conscience, and rapture dwelling in the pure heart, and to blest
companionship loving and beloved; to majesty of person and loftiness of
intellect; to appear as children and as nobles in the audience-chamber
of God; to an immortality of bliss. No! the religion of Jesus is not a
threat, though it has too often been thus represented by its mistaken or
designing advocates.

One evening a group of officers were conversing together, upon the
quarter deck, respecting the existence of God. Many of them believed not
in his being. It was a calm, cloudless, brilliant night. The heavens,
the work of God's fingers, canopied them gloriously. The moon and the
stars, which God had ordained, beamed down upon them with serene lustre.
As they were flippantly giving utterance to the arguments of atheism,
Napoleon paced to and fro upon the deck, taking no part in the
conversation, and apparently absorbed in his own thoughts. Suddenly he
stopped before them and said, in those tones of dignity which ever
overawed, "Gentlemen, your arguments are very fine. But who made all
those worlds, beaming so gloriously above us? Can you tell me that?" No
one answered. Napoleon resumed his silent walk, and the officers
selected another topic for conversation.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON AND THE ATHEISTS.]

In these intense studies Napoleon first began to appreciate the beauty
and the sublimity of Christianity. Previously to this, his own strong
sense had taught him the principles of a noble toleration; and Jew,
Christian, and Moslem stood equally regarded before him. Now he began to
apprehend the surpassing excellence of Christianity. And though the
cares of the busiest life through which a mortal has ever passed soon
engrossed his energies, this appreciation and admiration of the gospel
of Christ, visibly increased with each succeeding year. He unflinchingly
braved the scoffs of infidel Europe, in re-establishing the Christian
religion in paganized France. He periled his popularity with the army,
and disregarded the opposition of his most influential friends, from his
deep conviction of the importance of religion to the welfare of the
state. With the inimitable force of his own glowing eloquence, he said
to Montholon, at St. Helena, "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus
Christ is not a man! The religion of Christ is a mystery, which subsists
by its own force, and proceeds from a mind which is not a human mind. We
find in it a marked individuality which originated a train of words and
maxims unknown before. Jesus borrowed nothing from our knowledge. He
exhibited himself the perfect example of his precepts. Jesus is not a
philosopher; for his proofs are his miracles, and from the first his
disciples adored him. In fact, learning and philosophy are of no use for
salvation; and Jesus came into the world to reveal the mysteries of
heaven and the laws of the spirit. Alexander, Cæsar, Charlemagne, and
myself have founded empires. But upon what did we rest the creations of
our genius? upon _force_. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon
love. And at this moment millions of men would die for him. I die before
my time, and my body will be given back to earth, to become food for
worms. Such is the fate of him who has been called the great Napoleon.
What an abyss between my deep misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ,
which is proclaimed, loved, and adored, and which is extending over the
whole earth! Call you this dying? Is it not living rather? The death of
Christ is the death of a God!"

At the time of the invasion of Egypt, Napoleon regarded all forms of
religion with equal respect. And though he considered Christianity
superior, in intellectuality and refinement, to all other modes of
worship, he did not consider any religion as of divine origin. At one
time, speaking of the course which he pursued in Egypt, he said, "Such
was the disposition of the army, that in order to induce them to listen
to the bare mention of religion, I was obliged to speak very lightly on
the subject; to place Jews beside Christians, and rabbis beside bishops.
But after all it would not have been so very extraordinary had
circumstances induced me to embrace Islamism. But I must have had good
reasons for my conversion. I must have been secure of advancing at least
as far as the Euphrates. Change of religion for private interest is
inexcusable. But it may be pardoned in consideration of immense
political results. Henry IV. said, _Paris is well worth a mass_. Will it
then be said that the dominion of the East, and perhaps the subjugation
of all Asia, were not worth a _turban and a pair of trowsers_? And in
truth the whole matter was reduced to this. The sheiks had studied how
to render it easy to us. They had smoothed down the great obstacles,
allowed us the use of wine, and dispensed with all corporeal
formalities. We should have lost only our small-clothes and hats."

Of the infidel Rousseau, Napoleon ever spoke in terms of severe
reprobation. "He was a bad man, a very bad man," said he, "he caused the
revolution." "I was not aware," another replied, "that you considered
the French Revolution such an unmixed evil." "Ah," Napoleon rejoined,
"you wish to say that without the revolution you would not have had me.
Nevertheless, without the revolution France would have been more happy."
When invited to visit the hermitage of Rousseau, to see his cap, table,
great chair, &c., he exclaimed, "Bah! I have no taste for such
fooleries. Show them to my brother Louis. He is worthy of them."

Probably the following remarks of Napoleon, made at St. Helena, will
give a very correct idea of his prevailing feelings upon the subject of
religion. "The sentiment of religion is so consolatory, that it must be
considered a gift from Heaven. What a resource would it not be for us
here, to possess it. What rewards have I not a right to expect, who have
run a career so extraordinary, so tempestuous, as mine has been, without
committing a single crime. And yet how many might I not have been guilty
of? I can appear before the tribunal of God, I can await his judgment,
without fear. He will not find my conscience stained with the thoughts
of murder and poisonings; with the infliction of violent and
premeditated deaths, events so common in the history of those whose
lives resemble mine. I have wished only for the power, the greatness,
the glory of France. All my faculties, all my efforts, all my movements,
were directed to the attainment of that object. These can not be crimes.
To me they appeared acts of virtue. What then would be my happiness, if
the bright prospect of futurity presented itself to crown the last
moments of my existence."

After a moment's pause, in which he seemed lost in thought, he resumed:
"But, how is it possible that conviction can find its way to our hearts,
when we hear the absurd language, and witness the iniquitous conduct of
the greater part of those whose business it is to preach to us. I am
surrounded by priests, who repeat incessantly that their reign is not of
this world; and yet they lay their hands upon every thing which they can
get. The Pope is the head of that religion which is from Heaven. What
did the present chief pontiff, who is undoubtedly a good and a holy man,
not offer, to be allowed to return to Rome. The surrender of the
government of the church, of the institution of bishops was not too much
for him to give, to become once more a secular prince.

"Nevertheless," he continued, after another thoughtful pause, "it can
not be doubted that, as emperor, the species of incredulity which I felt
was beneficial to the nations I had to govern. How could I have favored
equally sects so opposed to one another, if I had joined any one of
them? How could I have preserved the independence of my thoughts and of
my actions under the control of a confessor, who would have governed me
under the dread of hell!" Napoleon closed this conversation, by ordering
the New Testament to be brought. Commencing at the beginning, he read
aloud as far as the conclusion of our Saviour's address to his disciples
upon the mountain. He expressed himself struck with the highest
admiration, in contemplating its purity, its sublimity, and the
beautiful perfection of its moral code.

For forty days the ships were driven about by contrary winds, and on the
1st of October they made the island of Corsica, and took refuge in the
harbor of Ajaccio. The tidings that Napoleon had landed in his native
town swept over the island like a gale, and the whole population crowded
to the port to catch a sight of their illustrious countryman. "It
seemed," said Napoleon, "that half of the inhabitants had discovered
traces of kindred." But a few years had elapsed since the dwelling of
Madame Letitia was pillaged by the mob, and the whole Bonaparte family,
in penury and friendlessness, were hunted from their home, effecting
their escape in an open boat by night. Now, the name of Bonaparte filled
the island with acclamations. But Napoleon was alike indifferent to such
unjust censure, and to such unthinking applause. As the curse did not
depress, neither did the hosanna elate.

After the delay of a few days in obtaining supplies, the ships again
weighed anchor, on the 7th of October, and continued their perilous
voyage. The evening of the next day, as the sun was going down in
unusual splendor, there appeared in the west, painted in strong relief
against his golden rays, an English squadron. The admiral, who saw from
the enemy's signals that he was observed, urged an immediate return to
Corsica. Napoleon, convinced that capture would be the result of such a
man[oe]uvre, exclaimed, "To do so would be to take the road to England.
I am seeking that to France. Spread all sail. Let every one be at his
post. Steer to the northwest. Onward." The night was dark, the wind
fair. Rapidly the ships were approaching the coast of France, through
the midst of the hostile squadron, and exposed to the most imminent
danger of capture. Escape seemed impossible. It was a night of fearful
apprehension and terror to all on board, excepting Napoleon. He
determined, in case of extremity, to throw himself into a boat, and
trust for safety to darkness and the oars. With the most perfect
self-possession and composure of spirits, he ordered the long-boat to be
prepared, selected those whom he desired to accompany him, and carefully
collected such papers as he was anxious to preserve. Not an eye was
closed during the night. It was indeed a fearful question to be decided.
Are these weary wanderers, in a few hours, to be in the embrace of their
wives and their children, or will the next moment show them the black
hull of an English man-of-war, emerging from the gloom, to consign them
to lingering years of captivity in an English prison? In this terrible
hour no one could perceive that the composure of Napoleon was in the
slightest degree ruffled. The first dawn of the morning revealed to
their straining vision the hills of France stretching along but a few
leagues before them, and far away, in the northeast, the hostile
squadron, disappearing beneath the horizon of the sea. The French had
escaped. The wildest bursts of joy rose from the ships. But Napoleon
gazed calmly upon his beloved France, with pale cheek and marble brow,
too proud to manifest emotion. At eight o'clock in the morning the four
vessels dropped anchor in the little harbor of Frejus. It was the
morning of the 8th of October. Thus for fifty days Napoleon had been
tossed upon the waves of the Mediterranean, surrounded by the hostile
fleets of England, Russia, and Turkey, and yet had eluded their
vigilance.

This wonderful passage of Napoleon, gave rise to many caricatures, both
in England and France. One of these caricatures, which was conspicuous
in the London shop windows, possessed so much point and historic truth,
that Napoleon is said to have laughed most heartily on seeing it. Lord
Nelson, as is well known, with all his heroism, was not exempt from the
frailties of humanity. The British admiral was represented as guarding
Napoleon. Lady Hamilton makes her appearance, and his lordship becomes
so engrossed in caressing the fair enchantress, that Napoleon escapes
between his legs. This was hardly a caricature. It was almost historic
verity. While Napoleon was struggling against adverse storms off the
coast of Africa, Lord Nelson, adorned with the laurels of his
magnificent victory, in fond dalliance with his frail Delilah, was
basking in the courts of voluptuous and profligate kings. "No one," said
Napoleon, "can surrender himself to the dominion of love, without the
forfeiture of some palms of glory."

[Illustration: THE LANDING AT FREJUS.]

When the four vessels entered the harbor of Frejus, a signal at the
mast-head of the Muiron informed the authorities on shore that Napoleon
was on board. The whole town was instantly in commotion. Before the
anchors were dropped the harbor was filled with boats, and the ships
were surrounded with an enthusiastic multitude, climbing their sides,
thronging their decks, and rending the air with their acclamations. All
the laws of quarantine were disregarded. The people, weary of anarchy,
and trembling in view of the approaching Austrian invasion, were almost
delirious with delight in receiving thus, as it were from the clouds, a
deliverer, in whose potency they could implicitly trust. When warned
that the ships had recently sailed from Alexandria, and that there was
imminent danger that the plague might be communicated, they replied, "We
had rather have the plague than the Austrians." Breaking over all the
municipal regulations of health, the people took Napoleon, almost by
violence, hurried him over the side of the ship to the boats, and
conveyed him in triumph to the shore. The tidings had spread from
farm-house to farm-house with almost electric speed, and the whole
country population, men, women, and children, were crowding down to the
shore. Even the wounded soldiers in the hospital, left their cots and
crawled to the beach, to get a sight of the hero. The throng became so
great that it was with difficulty that Napoleon could land. The
gathering multitude, however, opened to the right and the left, and
Napoleon passed through them, greeted with the enthusiastic cries of
"Long live the conqueror of Italy, the conqueror of Egypt, the liberator
of France." The peaceful little harbor of Frejus was suddenly thrown
into a state of the most unheard of excitement. The bells rang their
merriest peels. The guns in the forts rolled forth their heaviest
thunders over the hills and over the waves; and the enthusiastic shouts
of the ever increasing multitudes, thronging Napoleon, filled the air.
The ships brought the first tidings of the wonderful victories of Mount
Tabor and of Aboukir. The French, humiliated by defeat, were exceedingly
elated by this restoration of the national honor. The intelligence of
Napoleon's arrival was immediately communicated, by telegraph, to Paris,
which was six hundred miles from Frejus.

When the tidings of Napoleon's landing at Frejus, arrived in Paris, on
the evening of the 9th of October, Josephine was at a large party at the
house of M. Gohier, President of the Directory. All the most
distinguished men of the metropolis were there. The intelligence
produced the most profound sensation. Some, rioting in the spoils of
office, turned pale with apprehension; knowing well the genius of
Napoleon, and his boundless popularity, they feared another revolution,
which should eject them from their seats of power. Others were elated
with hope; they felt that Providence had sent to France a deliverer, at
the very moment when a deliverer was needed. One of the deputies, who
had been deeply grieved at the disasters which were overwhelming the
Republic, actually died of joy, when he heard of Napoleon's return.
Josephine, intensely excited by the sudden and totally unexpected
announcement, immediately withdrew, hastened home, and at midnight,
without allowing an hour for repose, she entered her carriage, with
Louis Bonaparte and Hortense, who subsequently became the bride of
Louis, and set out to meet her husband. Napoleon almost at the same
hour, with his suite, left Frejus. During every step of his progress he
was greeted with the most extraordinary demonstrations of enthusiasm and
affection. Bonfires blazed from the hills, triumphal arches, hastily
constructed, spanned his path. Long lines of maidens spread a carpet of
flowers for his chariot wheels, and greeted him with smiles and choruses
of welcome. He arrived at Lyons in the evening. The whole city was
brilliant with illuminations. An immense concourse surrounded him with
almost delirious shouts of joy. The constituted authorities received him
as he descended from his carriage. The mayor had prepared a long and
eulogistic harangue for the occasion. Napoleon had no time to listen to
it. With a motion of his hand, imposing silence, he said, "Gentlemen, I
learned that France was in peril, I therefore did not hesitate to leave
my army in Egypt, that I might come to her rescue. I now go hence. In a
few days, if you think fit to wait upon me, I shall be at leisure to
hear you." Fresh horses were by this time attached to the carriages, and
the cavalcade, which like a meteor had burst upon them, like a meteor
disappeared. From Lyons, for some unexplained reason, Napoleon turned
from the regular route to Paris and took a less frequented road. When
Josephine arrived at Lyons, to her utter consternation she found that
Napoleon had left the city, several hours before her arrival, and that
they had passed each other by different roads. Her anguish was
inexpressible. For many months she had not received a line from her
idolized husband, all communication having been intercepted by the
English cruisers. She knew that many, jealous of her power, had
disseminated, far and wide, false reports respecting her conduct. She
knew that these, her enemies, would surround Napoleon immediately upon
his arrival, and take advantage of her absence to inflame his mind
against her. Lyons is 245 miles from Paris. Josephine had passed over
those weary leagues of hill and dale, pressing on without intermission,
by day and by night, alighting not for refreshment or repose. Faint,
exhausted, and her heart sinking within her with fearful apprehensions
of the hopeless alienation of her husband, she received the dreadful
tidings that she had missed him. There was no resource left her but to
retrace her steps with the utmost possible celerity. Napoleon would,
however, have been one or two days in Paris before Josephine could, by
any possibility, re-enter the city. Probably in all France, there was
not, at that time, a more unhappy woman than Josephine.

Secret wretchedness was also gnawing at the heart of Napoleon. Who has
yet fathomed the mystery of human love? Intensest love and intensest
hate can, at the same moment, intertwine their fibres in inextricable
blending. In nothing is the will so impotent as in guiding or checking
the impulses of this omnipotent passion. Napoleon loved Josephine with
that almost superhuman energy which characterized all the movements of
his impetuous spirit. The stream did not fret and ripple over a shallow
bed, but it was serene in its unfathomable depths. The world contained
but two objects for Napoleon, glory and Josephine; glory first, and
then, closely following, the more substantial idol.

Many of the Parisian ladies, proud of a more exalted lineage than
Josephine could boast, were exceedingly envious of the supremacy she had
attained in consequence of the renown of her husband. Her influence over
Napoleon was well known. Philosophers, statesmen, ambitious generals,
all crowded her saloons, paying her homage. A favorable word from
Josephine they knew would pave the way for them to fame and fortune.
Thus Josephine, from the saloons of Paris, with milder radiance,
reflected back the splendor of her husband. She, solicitous of securing
as many friends as possible, to aid him in future emergencies, was as
diligent in "winning hearts" at home, as Napoleon was in conquering
provinces abroad. The gracefulness of Josephine, her consummate delicacy
of moral appreciation, her exalted intellectual gifts, the melodious
tones of her winning voice, charmed courtiers, philosophers, and
statesmen alike. Her saloons were ever crowded. Her entertainments were
ever embellished by the presence of all who were illustrious in rank and
power in the metropolis. And in whatever circles she appeared the eyes
of the gentlemen first sought for her. Two resistless attractions drew
them. She was peculiarly fascinating in person and in character, and,
through her renowned husband, she could dispense the most precious
gifts. It is not difficult to imagine the envy which must thus have been
excited. Many a haughty duchess was provoked, almost beyond endurance,
that Josephine, the untitled daughter of a West Indian planter, should
thus engross the homage of Paris, while she, with her proud rank, her
wit, and her beauty, was comparatively a cipher. Moreau's wife, in
particular, resented the supremacy of Josephine as a personal affront.
She thought General Moreau entitled to as much consideration as General
Bonaparte. By the jealousy, rankling in her own bosom, she finally
succeeded in rousing her husband to conspire against Napoleon, and thus
the hero of Hohenlinden was ruined. Some of the brothers and sisters of
Napoleon were also jealous of the paramount influence of Josephine, and
would gladly wrest a portion of it from her hands. Under these
circumstances, in various ways, slanders had been warily insinuated into
the ears of Napoleon, respecting the conduct of his wife. Conspiring
enemies became more and more bold. Josephine was represented as having
forgotten her husband, as reveling exultant with female vanity, in
general flirtation; and, finally, as guilty of gross infidelity. Nearly
all the letters written by Napoleon and Josephine to each other, were
intercepted by the English cruisers. Though Napoleon did not credit
these charges in full, he cherished not a little of the pride, which led
the Roman monarch to exclaim, "Cæsar's wife must not be suspected."

Napoleon was in this troubled state of mind during the latter months of
his residence in Egypt. One day he was sitting alone in his tent, which
was pitched in the great Arabian desert. Several months had passed since
he had heard a word from Josephine. Years might elapse ere they would
meet again. Junot entered, having just received, through some channel of
jealousy and malignity, communications from Paris. Cautiously, but
fully, he unfolded the whole budget of Parisian gossip. Josephine had
found, as he represented, in the love of others an ample recompense for
the absence of her husband. She was surrounded by admirers with whom she
was engaged in an incessant round of intrigues and flirtations.
Regardless of honor she had surrended herself to the dominion of
passion. Napoleon was for a few moments in a state of terrible
agitation. With hasty strides, like a chafed lion, he paced his tent,
exclaiming, "Why do I love that woman so? Why can I not tear her image
from my heart? I will do so. I will have an immediate and an open
divorce--open and public divorce." He immediately wrote to Josephine, in
terms of the utmost severity, accusing her of "playing the coquette with
half the world." The letter escaped the British cruisers, and she
received it. It almost broke her faithful heart. Such were the
circumstances under which Napoleon and Josephine were to meet after an
absence of eighteen months. Josephine was exceedingly anxious to see
Napoleon before he should have an interview with her enemies. Hence the
depth of anguish with which she heard that her husband had passed her.
Two or three days must elapse ere she could possibly retrace the weary
miles over which she had already traveled.

In the mean time the carriage of Napoleon was rapidly approaching the
metropolis. By night his path was brilliant with bonfires and
illuminations. The ringing of bells, the thunders of artillery, and the
acclamations of the multitude, accompanied him every step of his way.
But no smile of triumph played upon his pale and pensive cheeks. He felt
that he was returning to a desolated home. Gloom reigned in his heart.
He entered Paris, and drove rapidly to his own dwelling. Behold,
Josephine was not there. Conscious guilt, he thought, had made her
afraid to meet him. It is in vain to attempt to penetrate the hidden
anguish of Napoleon's soul. That his proud spirit must have suffered
intensity of woe, no one can doubt. The bitter enemies of Josephine
immediately surrounded him, eagerly taking advantage of her absence, to
inflame, to a still higher degree, by adroit insinuations, his jealousy
and anger. Eugene had accompanied him in his return from Egypt, and his
affectionate heart ever glowed with love and admiration for his mother.
With anxiety, amounting to anguish, he watched at the window for her
arrival. Said one to Napoleon, maliciously endeavoring to prevent the
possibility of reconciliation, "Josephine will appear before you, with
all her fascinations. She will explain matters. You will forgive all,
and tranquillity will be restored." "Never!" exclaimed Napoleon, with
pallid cheek and trembling lip, striding nervously to and fro, through
the room, "never! I forgive! never!" Then stopping suddenly, and gazing
the interlocutor wildly in the face, he exclaimed, with passionate
gesticulation, "You know me. Were I not sure of my resolution, I would
tear out this heart, and cast it into the fire."

How strange is the life of the heart of man. From this interview,
Napoleon, two hours after his arrival in Paris, with his whole soul
agitated by the tumult of domestic woe, went to the palace of the
Luxembourg, to visit the Directory, to form his plans for the overthrow
of the government of France. Pale, pensive, joyless, his inflexible
purposes of ambition wavered not--his iron energies yielded not.
Josephine was an idol. He execrated her and he adored her. He loved her
most passionately. He hated her most virulently. He could clasp her one
moment to his bosom with burning kisses; the next moment he would spurn
her from him as the most loathsome wretch. But glory was a still more
cherished idol, at whose shrine he bowed with unwavering adoration. He
strove to forget his domestic wretchedness by prosecuting, with new
vigor, his schemes of grandeur. As he ascended the stairs of the
Luxembourg, some of the guard, who had been with him in Italy,
recognized his person, and he was instantly greeted, with enthusiastic
shouts, "Long live Bonaparte." The clamor rolled like a voice of thunder
through the spacious halls of the palace, and fell, like a death knell,
upon the ears of the Directors. The populace, upon the pavement, caught
the sound and reechoed it from street to street. The plays at the
theatres, and the songs at the Opera, were stopped, that it might be
announced, from the stage, that Bonaparte had arrived in Paris. Men,
women, and children simultaneously rose to their feet, and a wild burst
of enthusiastic joy swelled upon the night air. All Paris was in
commotion. The name of Bonaparte was upon every lip. The enthusiasm was
contagious. Illuminations began to blaze, here and there, without
concert, from the universal rejoicing, till the whole city was
resplendent with light. One bell rang forth its merry peal of greeting,
and then another, and another, till every steeple was vocal with its
clamorous welcome. One gun was heard, rolling its heavy thunders over
the city. It was the signal for an instantaneous, tumultuous roar, from
artillery and musketry, from all the battalions in the metropolis. The
tidings of the great victories of Aboukir and Mount Tabor, reached Paris
with Napoleon. Those Oriental names were shouted through the streets,
and blazed upon the eyes of the delighted people in letters of light.
Thus in an hour the whole of Paris was thrown into a delirium of joy,
and, without any previous arrangements, there was displayed the most
triumphant and gorgeous festival.

The government of France was at this time organized somewhat upon the
model of that of the United States. Instead of one President, they had
five, called Directors. Their Senate was called The House of Ancients;
their House of Representatives, The Council of Five Hundred. The five
Directors, as might have been expected, were ever quarreling among
themselves, each wishing for the lion's share of power. The Monarchist,
the Jacobin, and the moderate Republican could not harmoniously
co-operate in government. They only circumvented each other, while the
administration sank into disgrace and ruin. The Abbé Sieyes was
decidedly the most able man of the Executive. He was a proud patrician,
and his character may be estimated from the following anecdote, which
Napoleon has related respecting him:

"The abbé, before the revolution, was chaplain to one of the princesses.
One day, when he was performing mass before herself, her attendants, and
a large congregation, something occurred which rendered it necessary for
the princess to leave the room. The ladies in waiting and the nobility,
who attended church more out of complaisance to her than from any sense
of religion, followed her example. Sieyes was very busy reading his
prayers, and, for a few moments, he did not perceive their departure. At
last, raising his eyes from his book, behold the princess, the nobles,
and all the ton had disappeared. With an air of displeasure and contempt
he shut the book, and descended from the pulpit, exclaiming, 'I do not
read prayers for the rabble.' He immediately went out of the chapel,
leaving the service half-finished."

Napoleon arrived in Paris on the evening of the 17th of October, 1799.
Two days and two nights elapsed, ere Josephine was able to retrace the
weary leagues over which she had passed. It was the hour of midnight on
the 19th, when the rattle of her carriage-wheels was heard entering the
court-yard of their dwelling in the Rue Chanteraine. Eugene, anxiously
awaiting her arrival, was instantly at his mother's side, folding her in
his embrace. Napoleon also heard the arrival, but he remained sternly in
his chamber. He had ever been accustomed to greet Josephine at the door
of her carriage, even when she returned from an ordinary morning ride.
No matter what employments engrossed his mind, no matter what guests
were present, he would immediately leave every thing, and hasten to the
door to assist Josephine to alight and to accompany her into the house.
But now, after an absence of eighteen months, the faithful Josephine,
half-dead with exhaustion, was at the door, and Napoleon, with pallid
cheek and compressed lip, and jealousy rankling in his bosom, remained
sternly in his room, preparing to overwhelm her with his indignation.

Josephine was in a state of terrible agitation. Her limbs tottered and
her heart throbbed most violently. Assisted by Eugene, and accompanied
by Hortense, she tremblingly ascended the stairs to the little parlor
where she had so often received the caresses of her most affectionate
spouse. She opened the door. There stood Napoleon, as immovable as a
statue, leaning against the mantle, with his arms folded across his
breast. Sternly and silently, he cast a withering look upon Josephine,
and then exclaimed in tones, which, like a dagger pierced her heart,
"Madame! It is my wish that you retire immediately to Malmaison."

Josephine staggered and would have fallen, as if struck by a mortal
blow, had she not been caught in the arms of her son. Sobbing bitterly
with anguish, she was conveyed by Eugene to her own apartment. Napoleon
also was dreadfully agitated. The sight of Josephine had revived all his
passionate love. But he fully believed that Josephine had unpardonably
trifled with his affections, that she had courted the admiration of a
multitude of flatterers, and that she had degraded herself and her
husband by playing the coquette. The proud spirit of Napoleon could not
brook such a requital for his fervid love. With hasty strides he
traversed the room, striving to nourish his indignation. The sobs of
Josephine had deeply moved him. He yearned to fold her again in fond
love to his heart. But he proudly resolved that he would not relent.
Josephine, with that prompt obedience which ever characterized her,
prepared immediately to comply with his orders. It was midnight. For a
week she had lived in her carriage almost without food or sleep.
Malmaison was thirty miles from Paris. Napoleon did not suppose that she
would leave the house until morning. Much to his surprise, in a few
moments he heard Josephine, Eugene, and Hortense descending the stairs
to take the carriage. Napoleon, even in his anger, could not be thus
inhuman. "My heart," he said, "was never formed to witness tears without
emotion." He immediately descended to the court-yard, though his pride
would not yet allow him to speak to Josephine. He, however, addressing
Eugene, urged the party to return and obtain refreshment and repose.
Josephine, all submission, unhesitatingly yielded to his wishes, and
re-ascending the stairs, in the extremity of exhaustion and grief, threw
herself upon a couch, in her apartment. Napoleon, equally wretched,
returned to his cabinet. Two days of utter misery passed away, during
which no intercourse took place between the estranged parties, each of
whom loved the other with almost superhuman intensity.

Love in the heart will finally triumph over all obstructions. The
struggle was long, but gradually pride and passion yielded, and love
regained the ascendency. Napoleon so far surrendered on the third day,
as to enter the apartment of Josephine. She was seated at a
toilet-table, her face buried in her hands, and absorbed in the
profoundest woe. The letters, which she had received from Napoleon, and
which she had evidently been reading, were spread upon the table.
Hortense, the picture of grief and despair, was standing in the alcove
of a window. Napoleon had opened the door softly, and his entrance had
not been heard. With an irresolute step he advanced toward his wife, and
then said, kindly and sadly, "Josephine!" She started at the sound of
that well-known voice, and raising her swollen eyes, swimming in tears,
mournfully exclaimed, "Mon ami"--_my friend_. This was the term of
endearment with which she had invariably addressed her husband. It
recalled a thousand delightful reminiscences. Napoleon was vanquished.
He extended his hand. Josephine threw herself into his arms, pillowed
her aching head upon his bosom, and in the intensity of blended joy and
anguish, wept convulsively. A long explanation ensued. Napoleon became
satisfied that Josephine had been deeply wronged. The reconciliation was
cordial and entire, and was never again interrupted.

[Illustration: THE RECONCILIATION.]

Napoleon now, with a stronger heart, turned to the accomplishment of his
designs to rescue France from anarchy. He was fully conscious of his own
ability to govern the nation. He knew that it was the almost unanimous
wish of the people that he should grasp the reins of power. He was
confident of their cordial co-operation in any plans he might adopt.
Still, it was an enterprise of no small difficulty to thrust the five
Directors from their thrones, and to get the control of the Council of
Ancients and of The Five Hundred. Never was a difficult achievement more
adroitly and proudly accomplished.

For many days Napoleon almost entirely secluded himself from
observation, affecting a studious avoidance of the public gaze. He laid
aside his military dress, and assumed the peaceful costume of the
National Institute. Occasionally he wore a beautiful Turkish sabre,
suspended by a silk ribbon. This simple dress transported the
imagination of the beholder to Aboukir, Mount Tabor, and the Pyramids.
He studiously sought the society of literary men, and devoted to them
his attention. He invited distinguished men of the Institute to dine
with him, and avoiding political discussion, conversed only upon
literary and scientific subjects.

Moreau and Bernadotte were the two rival generals from whom Napoleon had
the most to fear. Two days after his arrival in Paris Napoleon said to
Bourrienne, "I believe that I shall have Bernadotte and Moreau against
me. But I do not fear Moreau. He is devoid of energy. He prefers
military to political power. We shall gain him by the promise of a
command. But Bernadotte has Moorish blood in his veins. He is bold and
enterprising. He does not like me, and I am certain that he will oppose
me. If he should become ambitious he will venture any thing. Besides,
this fellow is not to be seduced. He is disinterested and clever. But,
after all, we have just arrived. We shall see."

Napoleon formed no conspiracy. He confided to no one his designs. And
yet, in his own solitary mind, relying entirely upon his own capacious
resources, he studied the state of affairs and he matured his plans.
Sieyes was the only one whose talents and influence Napoleon feared. The
abbé also looked with apprehension upon his formidable rival. They stood
aloof and eyed each other. Meeting at a dinner party, each was too proud
to make advances. Yet each thought only of the other. Mutually
exasperated, they separated without having spoken. "Did you see that
insolent little fellow!" said Sieyes, "he would not even condescend to
notice a member of the government, who, if they had done right, would
have caused him to be shot." "What on earth," said Napoleon, "could have
induced them to put that priest in the Directory. He is sold to Prussia.
Unless you take care, he will deliver you up to that power." Napoleon
dined with Moreau, who afterward in hostility to Napoleon pointed the
guns of Russia against the columns of his countrymen. The dinner party
was at Cottier's, one of the Directors. The following interesting
conversation took place between the rival generals. When first
introduced, they looked at each other a moment without speaking,
Napoleon, conscious of his own superiority, and solicitous to gain the
powerful co-operation of Moreau, made the first advances, and, with
great courtesy, expressed the earnest desire he felt to make his
acquaintance. "You have returned victorious from Egypt," replied
Moreau, "and I from Italy after a great defeat. It was the month which
General Joubert passed in Paris, after his marriage, which caused our
disasters. This gave the allies time to reduce Mantua, and to bring up
the force which besieged it to take a part in the action. It is always
the greater number which defeats the less." "True," replied Napoleon,
"it is always the greater number which beats the less." "And yet," said
Gohier, "with small armies you have frequently defeated large ones."
"Even then," rejoined Napoleon, "it was always the inferior force which
was defeated by the superior. When with a small body of men I was in the
presence of a large one, collecting my little band, I fell like
lightning on one of the wings of the hostile army, and defeated it.
Profiting by the disorder which such an event never failed to occasion
in their whole line, I repeated the attack, with similar success, in
another quarter, still with my whole force. I thus beat it in detail.
The general victory which was the result, was still an example of the
truth of the principle that the greater force defeats the lesser."
Napoleon, by those fascinations of mind and manner, which enabled him to
win to him whom he would, soon gained an ascendency over Moreau. And
when, two days after, in token of his regard, he sent him a beautiful
poniard set with diamonds, worth two thousand dollars: the work was
accomplished, and Moreau was ready to do his bidding. Napoleon gave a
small and very select dinner party. Gohier was invited. The conversation
turned on the turquoise used by the Orientals to clasp their turbans.
Napoleon, rising from the table took from a private drawer, two very
beautiful brooches, richly set with those jewels. One he gave to Gohier,
the other to his tried friend Desaix. "It is a little toy," said he,
"which we republicans may give and receive without impropriety." The
Director, flattered by the delicacy of the compliment, and yet not
repelled by any thing assuming the grossness of a bribe, yielded his
heart's homage to Napoleon.

Republican France was surrounded by monarchies in arms against her.
Their hostility was so inveterate, and, from the very nature of the
case, so inevitable, that Napoleon thought that France should ever be
prepared for an attack, and that the military spirit should be carefully
fostered. Republican America, most happily, has no foe to fear, and all
her energies may be devoted to filling the land with peace and plenty.
But a republic in monarchical Europe must sleep by the side of its guns.
"Do you, really," said Napoleon, to Gohier, in this interview, "advocate
a general peace? You are wrong. The Republic should never make but
partial accommodations. It should always contrive to have some war on
hand to keep alive the military spirit." We can, perhaps, find a little
extenuation for this remark, in its apparent necessity, and in the
influences of the martial ardor in which Napoleon from his very infancy
had been enveloped. Even now, it is to be feared that the time is far
distant ere the nations of the earth can learn war no more.

Lefebvre was commandant of the guard of the two legislative bodies. His
co-operation was important. Napoleon sent a special invitation for an
interview. "Lefebvre," said he, "will you, one of the pillars of the
Republic, suffer it to perish in the hands of these _lawyers_? Join me
and assist to save it." Taking from his own aide the beautiful Turkish
scimitar which he wore, he passed the ribbon over Lefebvre's neck,
saying, "accept this sword, which I wore at the battle of the Pyramids.
I give it to you as a token of my esteem and confidence." "Yes," replied
Lefebvre, most highly gratified at this signal mark of confidence and
generosity, "let us throw the lawyers into the river."

Napoleon soon had an interview with Bernadotte. "He confessed," said
Napoleon to Bourrienne, "that he thought us all lost. He spoke of
external enemies, of _internal_ enemies, and, at that word he looked
steadily in my face. I also gave him a glance. But patience; the pear
will soon be ripe."

In this interview Napoleon inveighed against the violence and
lawlessness of the Jacobin club. "Your own brothers," Bernadotte
replied, "were the founders of that club. And yet you reproach me with
favoring its principles. It is to the instructions of some one, _I know
not who_, that we are to ascribe the agitation which now prevails."
"True, general," Napoleon replied, most vehemently, "and I would rather
live in the woods, than in a society which presents no security against
violence." This conversation only strengthened the alienation already
existing between them.

Bernadotte, though a brave and efficient officer, was a jealous
braggadocio. At the first interview between these two distinguished men,
when Napoleon was in command of the army of Italy, they contemplated
each other with mutual dislike. "I have seen a man," said Bernadotte,
"of twenty-six or seven years of age, who assumes the air of one of
fifty; and he presages any thing but good to the Republic." Napoleon
summarily dismissed Bernadotte by saying, "he has a French head and a
Roman heart."

There were three political parties now dividing France, the old royalist
party, in favor of the restoration of the Bourbons; the radical
democrats, or Jacobins, with Barras at its head, supported by the mob of
Paris; and the moderate republicans led by Sieyes. All these parties
struggling together, and fearing each other, in the midst of the general
anarchy which prevailed, immediately paid court to Napoleon, hoping to
secure the support of his all-powerful arm. Napoleon determined to
co-operate with the moderate republicans. The restoration of the
Bourbons was not only out of the question, but Napoleon had no more
power to secure that result, than had Washington to bring the United
States into peaceful submission to George III. "Had I joined the
Jacobins," said Napoleon, "I should have risked nothing. But after
conquering _with_ them, it would have been necessary almost
immediately, to conquer _against_ them. A club can not endure a
permanent chief. It wants one for every successive passion. Now to make
use of a party one day, in order to attack it the next, under whatever
pretext it is done, is still an act of treachery. It was inconsistent
with my principles."

Sieyes, the head of the moderate republicans, and Napoleon soon
understood each other, and each admitted the necessity of co-operation.
The government was in a state of chaos. "Our salvation now demands,"
said the wily diplomatist, "both a head and a sword." Napoleon had both.
In one fortnight from the time when he landed at Frejus, "the pear was
ripe." The plan was all matured for the great conflict. Napoleon, in
solitary grandeur, kept his own counsel. He had secured the cordial
co-operation, the unquestioning obedience of all his subordinates. Like
the general upon the field of battle, he was simply to give his orders,
and columns marched, and squadrons charged, and generals swept the field
in unquestioning obedience. Though he had determined to ride over and to
destroy the existing government, he wished to avail himself, so far as
possible, of the mysterious power of law, as a conqueror turns a
captured battery upon the foe from whom it had been wrested. Such a
plot, so simple, yet so bold and efficient, was never formed before. And
no one, but another Napoleon, will be able to execute another such
again. All Paris was in a state of intense excitement. Something great
was to be done. Napoleon was to do it. But nobody knew when, or what, or
how. All impatiently awaited orders. The majority of the Senate, or
Council of Ancients, conservative in its tendencies, and having once
seen, during the reign of terror, the horrors of Jacobin domination,
were ready, most obsequiously, to rally beneath the banner of so
resolute a leader as Napoleon. They were prepared, without question, to
pass any vote which he should propose. The House of Representatives or
Council of Five Hundred, more democratic in its constitution, contained
a large number of vulgar, ignorant, and passionate demagogues,
struggling to grasp the reins of power. Carnot, whose co-operation
Napoleon had entirely secured, was President of the Senate. Lucien
Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, was Speaker of the House. The two
bodies met in the palace of the Tuileries. The constitution conferred
upon the Council of Ancients, the right to decide upon the place of
meeting for both legislative assemblies.

All the officers of the garrison in Paris, and all the distinguished
military men in the metropolis, had solicited the honor of a
presentation to Napoleon. Without any public announcement, each one was
privately informed that Napoleon would see him on the morning of the 9th
of November. All the regiments in the city had also solicited the honor
of a review by the distinguished conqueror. They were also informed that
Napoleon would review them early on the morning of the 9th of November.
The Council of Ancients was called to convene at six o'clock on the
morning of the same day. The Council of Five Hundred were also to
convene at 11 o'clock of the same morning. This, the famous 18th of
Brumaire, was the destined day for the commencement of the great
struggle. These appointments were given in such a way as to attract no
public attention. The general-in-chief was thus silently arranging his
forces for the important conflict. To none did he reveal those
combinations, by which he anticipated a bloodless victory.

[Illustration: THE MORNING LEVEE.]

The morning of the 9th of November arrived. The sun rose with unwonted
splendor over the domes of the thronged city. A more brilliant day never
dawned. Through all the streets of the mammoth metropolis there was
heard, in the earliest twilight of the day, the music of martial bands,
the tramp of battalions, the clatter of iron hoofs, and the rumbling of
heavy artillery wheels over the pavements, as regiments of infantry,
artillery, and cavalry, in the proudest array, marched to the Boulevards
to receive the honor of a review from the conqueror of Italy and of
Egypt. The whole city was in commotion, guided by the unseen energies of
Napoleon in the retirement of his closet. At eight o'clock Napoleon's
house, in the Rue Chanteraine, was so thronged with illustrious military
men, in most brilliant uniform, that every room was filled and even the
street was crowded with the resplendent guests. At that moment the
Council of Ancients passed the decree, which Napoleon had prepared,
that the two legislative bodies should transfer their meetings to St.
Cloud, a few miles from Paris; and that Napoleon Bonaparte should be put
in command of all the military forces in the city, to secure the public
peace. The removal to St. Cloud was a merciful precaution against
bloodshed. It secured the legislatures from the ferocious interference
of a Parisian mob. The President of the Council was himself commissioned
to bear the decree to Napoleon. He elbowed his way through the brilliant
throng, crowding the door and the apartment of Napoleon's dwelling, and
presented to him the ordinance. Napoleon was ready to receive it. He
stepped upon the balcony, gathered his vast retinue of powerful guests
before him, and in a loud and firm voice, read to them the decree.
"Gentlemen," said he, "will you help me save the Republic?" One
simultaneous burst of enthusiasm rose from every lip, as drawing their
swords from their scabbards they waved them in the air and shouted, "We
swear it, we swear it." The victory was virtually won. Napoleon was now
at the head of the French nation. Nothing remained but to finish his
conquest. There was no retreat left open for his foes. There was hardly
the possibility of a rally. And now Napoleon summoned all his energies
to make his triumph most illustrious. Messengers were immediately sent
to read the decree to the troops already assembled, in the utmost
display of martial pomp, to greet the idol of the army, and who were in
a state of mind to welcome him most exultingly as their chief. A burst
of enthusiastic acclamation ascended from their ranks which almost rent
the skies. Napoleon immediately mounted his horse, and, surrounded by
the most magnificent staff, whom he had thus ingeniously assembled at
his house, and, accompanied by a body of fifteen hundred cavalry, whom
he had taken the precaution to rendezvous near his dwelling, proceeded
to the palace of the Tuileries. The gorgeous spectacle burst like a
vision upon astonished Paris. It was Napoleon's first public appearance.
Dressed in the utmost simplicity of a civilian's costume, he rode upon
his magnificent charger, the centre of all eyes. The gleaming banners,
waving in the breeze, and the gorgeous trappings of silver and gold,
with which his retinue was embellished, set off in stronger relief the
majestic simplicity of his own appearance. With the pomp and the
authority of an enthroned king, Napoleon entered the Council of the
Ancients. The Ancients themselves were dazzled by his sudden apparition
in such imposing and unexpected splendor and power. Ascending the bar,
attended by an imposing escort, he addressed the assembly and took his
oath of office. "You," said Napoleon, "are the wisdom of the nation. To
you it belongs to concert measures for the salvation of the Republic. I
come, surrounded by our generals, to offer you support. Faithfully will
I fulfill the task you have intrusted to me. Let us not look into the
past for precedents. Nothing in history resembles the eighteenth
century. Nothing in the eighteenth century resembles the present
moment."

An aid was immediately sent to the palace of the Luxembourg, to inform
the five Directors, there in session, of the decree. Two of the
Directors, Sieyes and Ducos, were pledged to Napoleon, and immediately
resigned their offices, and hastened to the Tuileries. Barras,
bewildered and indignant, sent his secretary with a remonstrance.
Napoleon, already assuming the authority of an emperor, and speaking as
if France were his patrimony, came down upon him with a torrent of
invective. "Where," he indignantly exclaimed, "is that beautiful France
which I left you so brilliant? I left you peace. I find war. I left you
victories. I find but defeats. I left you the millions of Italy. I find
taxation and beggary. Where are the hundred thousand men, my companions
in glory? They are dead. This state of things can not continue. It will
lead to despotism." Barras was terrified. He feared to have Napoleon's
eagle eye investigate his peculations. He resigned. Two Directors only
now were left, Gohier and Moulins. It took a majority of the five to
constitute a quorum. The two were powerless. In despair of successful
resistance and fearing vengeance they hastened to the Tuileries to find
Napoleon. They were introduced to him surrounded by Sieyes, Ducos, and a
brilliant staff. Napoleon received them cordially. "I am glad to see
you," said he. "I doubt not that you will both resign. Your patriotism
will not allow you to oppose a revolution which is both inevitable and
necessary." "I do not yet despair," said Gohier, vehemently, "aided by
my colleague Moulins, of saving the Republic." "With what will you save
it?" exclaimed Napoleon. "With the Constitution which is crumbling to
pieces?" Just at that moment a messenger came in and informed the
Directors that Santerre, the brewer, who, during the Reign of Terror,
had obtained a bloody celebrity as leader of the Jacobins, was rousing
the mob in the faubourgs to resistance. "General Moulins," said
Napoleon, firmly, "you are the friend of Santerre. Tell him that at the
very first movement he makes, I will cause him to be shot." Moulins,
exasperated yet appalled, made an apologetic reply. "The Republic is in
danger," said Napoleon. "We must save it. _It is my will._ Sieyes,
Ducos, and Barras have resigned. You are two individuals insulated and
powerless. I advise you not to resist." They still refused. Napoleon had
no time to spend in parleying. He immediately sent them both back into
the Luxembourg, separated them and placed them under arrest. Fouché,[3]
occupying the important post of Minister of Police, though not in
Napoleon's confidence, yet anxious to display his homage to the rising
luminary, called upon Napoleon and informed him that he had closed the
barriers, and had thus prevented all ingress or egress. "What means this
folly?" said Napoleon. "Let those orders be instantly countermanded. Do
we not march with the opinion of the nation, and by its strength alone?
Let no citizen be interrupted. Let every publicity be given to what is
done."

[Footnote 3: "Fouché," said Napoleon, "is a miscreant of all colors, a
priest, a terrorist, and one who took an active part in many bloody
scenes of the Revolution. He is a man who can worm all your secrets out
of you, with an air of calmness and unconcern. He is very rich; but his
riches have been badly acquired. He never was my confidant. Never did he
approach me without bending to the ground. But I never had any esteem
for him. I employed him merely as an instrument."]

The Council of Five Hundred, in great confusion and bewilderment,
assembled at eleven o'clock. Lucien immediately communicated the decree
transferring their session to St. Cloud. This cut off all debate. The
decree was perfectly legal. There could therefore be no legal pretext
for opposition. Napoleon, the idol of the army, had the whole military
power obedient to his nod. Therefore resistance of any kind was worse
than folly. The deed was adroitly done. At eleven o'clock the day's work
was accomplished. There was no longer a Directory. Napoleon was the
appointed chief of the troops, and they were filling the streets with
enthusiastic shouts of "Live Napoleon." The Council of Ancients were
entirely at his disposal. And a large party in the Council of Five
Hundred were also wholly subservient to his will. Napoleon, proud,
silent, reserved, fully conscious of his own intellectual supremacy, and
regarding the generals, the statesmen, and the multitude around him, as
a man contemplates children, ascended the grand staircase of the
Tuileries as if it were his hereditary home. Nearly all parties united
to sustain his triumph. Napoleon was a soldier. The guns of Paris
joyfully thundered forth the victory of one who seemed the peculiar
favorite of the God of war. Napoleon was a scholar, stimulating
intellect to its mightiest achievements. The scholars of Paris,
gratefully united to weave a chaplet for the brow of their honored
associate and patron. Napoleon was, for those days of profligacy and
unbridled lust, a model of purity of morals, and of irreproachable
integrity. The proffered bribe of millions could not tempt him. The
dancing daughters of Herodias, with all their blandishments, could not
lure him from his life of Herculean toil and from his majestic
patriotism. The wine which glitters in the cup, never vanquished him. At
the shrine of no vice was he found a worshiper. The purest and the best
in France, disgusted with that gilded corruption which had converted the
palaces of the Bourbons into harems of voluptuous sin, and still more
deeply loathing that vulgar and revolting vice, which had transformed
Paris into a house of infamy, enlisted all their sympathies in behalf of
the exemplary husband and the incorruptible patriot. Napoleon was one of
the most firm and unflinching friends of law and order. France was weary
of anarchy and was trembling under the apprehension that the gutters of
the guillotine were again to be clotted with blood. And mothers and
maidens prayed for God's blessing upon Napoleon, who appeared to them
as a messenger sent from Heaven for their protection.

During the afternoon and the night his room at the Tuileries was
thronged with the most illustrious statesmen, generals, and scholars of
Paris, hastening to pledge to him their support. Napoleon, perfectly
unembarrassed and never at a loss in any emergency, gave his orders for
the ensuing day. Lannes was intrusted with a body of troops to guard the
Tuileries. Murat, who, said Napoleon, "was superb at Aboukir," with a
numerous cavalry and a corps of grenadiers was stationed at St. Cloud, a
thunderbolt in Napoleon's right hand. Woe betide the mob into whose
ranks that thunderbolt may be hurled. Moreau, with five hundred men, was
stationed to guard the Luxembourg, where the two refractory Directors
were held under arrest. Serrurier was posted in a commanding position
with a strong reserve, prompt for any unexpected exigence. Even a body
of troops were sent to accompany Barras to his country seat, ostensibly
as an escort of honor, but in reality to guard against any change in
that venal and versatile mind. The most energetic measures were
immediately adopted to prevent any rallying point for the disaffected.
Bills were every where posted, exhorting the citizens to be quiet, and
assuring them that powerful efforts were making to save the Republic.
These minute precautions were characteristic of Napoleon. He believed in
destiny. Yet he left nothing for destiny to accomplish. He ever sought
to make provision for all conceivable contingencies. These measures were
completely successful. Though Paris was in a delirium of excitement,
there were no outbreaks of lawless violence. Neither Monarchist,
Republican, nor Jacobin knew what Napoleon intended to do. All were
conscious that he would do something. It was known that the Jacobin
party in the Council of Five Hundred on the ensuing day, would make a
desperate effort at resistance. Sieyes, perfectly acquainted with
revolutionary movements, urged Napoleon to arrest some forty of the
Jacobins most prominent in the Council. This would have secured an easy
victory on the morrow. Napoleon, however, rejected the advice, saying,
"I pledged my word this morning to protect the national representation.
I will not this evening violate my oath." Had the Assembly been convened
in Paris, all the mob of the faubourgs would have risen, like an
inundation, in their behalf, and torrents of blood must have been shed.
The sagacious transference of the meeting to St. Cloud, several miles
from Paris, saved those lives. The powerful military display, checked
any attempt at a march upon St. Cloud. What could the mob do, with
Murat, Lannes, and Serrurier, guided by the energies of Napoleon, ready
to hurl their solid columns upon them?

[Illustration: NAPOLEON ON HIS WAY TO ST. CLOUD.]

The delicacy of attention with which Napoleon treated Josephine, was one
of the most remarkable traits in his character. It is not strange that
he should have won from her a love almost more than human. During the
exciting scenes of this day, when no one could tell whether events were
guiding him to a crown or to the guillotine, Napoleon did not forget his
wife, who was awaiting the result, with deep solicitude, in her chamber
in the Rue Chanteraine. Nearly every hour he dispatched a messenger to
Josephine, with a hastily written line communicating to her the progress
of events. Late at night he returned to his home, apparently as fresh
and unexhausted as in the morning. He informed Josephine minutely of the
scenes of the day, and then threw himself upon a sofa, for an hour's
repose. Early the next morning he was on horseback, accompanied by a
regal retinue, directing his steps to St. Cloud. Three halls had been
prepared in the palace; one for the Ancients, one for the Five Hundred,
and one for Napoleon. He thus assumed the position which he knew it to
be the almost unanimous will of the nation that, he should fill. During
the night the Jacobins had arranged a very formidable resistance.
Napoleon was considered to be in imminent peril. He would be denounced
as a traitor. Sieyes and Ducos had each a post-chaise and six horses,
waiting at the gate of St. Cloud, prepared, in case of reverse, to
escape for life. There were many ambitious generals, ready to mount the
crest of any refluent wave to sweep Napoleon to destruction. Bernadotte
was the most to be feared. Orders were given to cut down the first
person who should attempt to harangue the troops. Napoleon, riding at
the head of this imposing military display, manifested no agitation. He
knew, however, perfectly well the capriciousness of the popular voice,
and that the multitude in the same hour could cry "Hosanna!" and
"Crucify!" The two Councils met. The tumult in the Five Hundred was
fearful. Cries of "Down with the dictator!" "Death to the tyrant!" "Live
the Constitution!" filled the hall, and drowned the voice of
deliberation. The friends of Napoleon were swept before the flood of
passion. It was proposed that every member should immediately take anew
the oath to support the Constitution. No one dared to peril his life by
the refusal. Even Lucien, the Speaker, was compelled to descend from his
chair and take the oath. The Ancients, overawed by the unexpected
violence of this opposition in the lower and more popular house, began
to be alarmed and to recede. The opposition took a bold and aggressive
stand, and proposed a decree of outlawry against Napoleon. The friends
of Napoleon, remembering past scenes of carnage, were timid and
yielding. Defeat seemed inevitable. Victory was apparently turned into
discomfiture and death. In this emergency Napoleon displayed the same
coolness, energy, and tact with which so often, on the field of battle,
in the most disastrous hour, he had rolled back the tide of defeat in
the resplendent waves of victory. His own mind was the corps de reserve
which he now marched into the conflict to arrest the rout of his
friends. Taking with him a few aids and a band of grenadiers, he
advanced to the door of the hall. On his way he met Bernadotte. "You are
marching to the guillotine," said his rival, sternly. "We shall see,"
Napoleon coolly replied. Leaving the soldiers, with their glittering
steel and nodding plumes, at the entrance of the room, he ascended the
tribune. The hush of perfect silence pervaded the agitated hall.
"Gentlemen," said he, "you are on a volcano. You deemed the Republic in
danger. You called me to your aid. I obeyed. And now I am assailed by a
thousand calumnies. They talk of Cæsar, of Cromwell, of military
despotism, as if any thing in antiquity resembled the present moment
Danger presses. Disaster thickens. We have no longer a government. The
Directors have resigned. The Five Hundred are in a tumult. Emissaries
are instigating Paris to revolt. Agitators would gladly bring back the
revolutionary tribunals. But fear not. Aided by my companions in arms I
will protect you. I desire nothing for myself, but to save the Republic.
And I solemnly swear to protect that _liberty and equality,_ for which
we have made such sacrifices." "And the _Constitution_!" some one cried
out. Napoleon had purposely omitted the _Constitution_ in his oath, for
he despised it, and was at that moment laboring for its overthrow. He
paused for a moment, and then, with increasing energy exclaimed, "The
Constitution! You have none. You violated it when the Executive
infringed the rights of the Legislature. You violated it when the
Legislature struck at the independence of the Executive. You violated it
when, with sacriligious hand, both the Legislature and the Executive
struck at the sovereignty of the people, by annulling their elections.
The Constitution! It is a mockery; invoked by all, regarded by none."

[Illustration: NAPOLEON IN THE COUNCIL OF FIVE HUNDRED.]

Rallied by the presence of Napoleon, and by these daring words, his
friends recovered their courage, and two-thirds of the Assembly rose in
expression of their confidence and support. At this moment intelligence
arrived that the Five Hundred were compelling Lucien to put to the vote
Napoleon's outlawry. Not an instant was to be lost. There is a
mysterious power in law. The passage of that vote would probably have
been fatal. Life and death were trembling in the balance. "I would then
have given two hundred millions," said Napoleon, "to have had Ney by my
side." Turning to the Ancients, he exclaimed, "if any orator, paid by
foreigners, shall talk of outlawing me, I will appeal for protection to
my brave companions in arms, whose plumes are nodding at the door.
Remember that I march accompanied by the God of fortune and by the God
of war."

He immediately left the Ancients, and, attended by his military band,
hastened to the Council of Five Hundred. On his way he met Augereau, who
was pale and trembling, deeming Napoleon lost. "You have got yourself
into a pretty fix," said he, with deep agitation. "Matters were worse at
Arcola," Napoleon coolly replied. "Keep quiet. All will be changed in
half an hour." Followed by his grenadiers, he immediately entered the
Hall of the Five Hundred. The soldiers remained near the door. Napoleon
traversed alone half of the room to reach the bar. It was an hour in
which nothing could save him but the resources of his own mind. Furious
shouts rose from all parts of the house. "What means this! down with the
tyrant! begone! begone!" "The winds," says Napoleon, "suddenly escaping
from the caverns of Æolus can give but a faint idea of that tempest." In
the midst of the horrible confusion he in vain endeavored to speak. The
members, in the wildest fray, crowded around him. The grenadiers
witnessing the peril of their chief rushed to his rescue. A dagger was
struck at his bosom. A soldier, with his arm, parried the blow. With
their bayonets they drove back the members, and encircling Napoleon,
bore him from the Hall. Napoleon had hardly descended the outer steps
ere some one informed him that his brother Lucien was surrounded by the
infuriated deputies, and that his life was in imminent jeopardy.
"Colonel Dumoulin," said he, "take a battalion of grenadiers and hasten
to my brother's deliverance." The soldiers rushed into the room, drove
back the crowd who, with violent menaces, were surrounding Lucien, and
saying, "It is by your brother's commands," escorted him in safety out
of the hall into the court-yard. Napoleon, now mounting his horse, with
Lucien by his side, rode along in front of his troops. "The Council of
Five Hundred," exclaimed Lucien, "is dissolved. It is I that tell you
so. Assassins have taken possession of the hall of meeting. I summon you
to march and clear it of them." "Soldiers!" said Napoleon, "can I rely
upon you?" "Long live Bonaparte," was the simultaneous response. Murat
took a battalion of grenadiers and marched to the entrance of the hall.
When Murat headed a column it was well known that there would be no
child's play. "Charge bayonets, forward!" he exclaimed, with
imperturbable coolness. The drums beat the charge. Steadily the
bristling line of steel advanced. The terrified representatives leaped
over the benches, rushed through the passage ways, and sprang out of the
windows, throwing upon the floor, in their precipitate flight, gowns,
scarfs, and hats. In two minutes the hall was cleared. As the
Representatives were flying in dismay across the garden, an officer
proposed that the soldiers should be ordered to fire upon them. Napoleon
decisively refused, saying, "It is my wish that not a single drop of
blood be spilt."

As Napoleon wished to avail himself as far as possible, of the forms of
law, he assembled the two legislative bodies in the evening. Those only
attended who were friendly to his cause. Unanimously they decreed that
Napoleon had deserved well of his country; they abolished the Directory.
The executive power they vested in Napoleon, Sieyes, and Ducos, with the
title of Consuls. Two committees of twenty-five members each, taken from
the two Councils, were appointed to co-operate with the Consuls in
forming a new Constitution. During the evening the rumor reached Paris
that Napoleon had failed in his enterprise. The consternation was great.
The mass of the people, of all ranks, dreading the renewal of
revolutionary horrors, and worn out with past convulsions, passionately
longed for repose. Their only hope was in Napoleon. At nine o'clock at
night intelligence of the change of government was officially announced,
by a proclamation which the victor had dictated with the rapidity and
the glowing eloquence which characterized all of his mental acts. It was
read by torchlight to assembled and deeply agitated groups, all over the
city. The welcome tidings were greeted with the liveliest demonstrations
of applause. At three o'clock in the morning Napoleon threw himself into
his carriage to return to Paris. Bourrienne accompanied him. Napoleon
appeared so absorbed in thought, that he uttered not one single word
during the ride.

At four o'clock in the morning he alighted from his carriage, at the
door of his dwelling in the Rue Chanteraine. Josephine, in the greatest
anxiety, was watching at the window for his approach. Napoleon had not
been able to send her one single line during the turmoil and the peril
of that eventful day. She sprang to meet him. Napoleon fondly encircled
her in his arms, briefly recapitulated the scenes of the day, and
assured her that since he had taken the oath of office, he had not
allowed himself to speak to a single individual, for he wished that the
beloved voice of his Josephine might be the first to congratulate him
upon his virtual accession to the Empire of France. The heart of
Josephine could appreciate a delicacy of love so refined and so
touching. Well might she say, "Napoleon is the most fascinating of men."
It was then after four o'clock in the morning. The dawn of the day was
to conduct Napoleon to a new scene of Herculean toil in organizing the
Republic. Throwing himself upon a couch, for a few moments of repose, he
exclaimed, gayly, "good-night, my Josephine! To-morrow, we sleep in the
palace of the Luxembourg."

Napoleon was then but twenty-nine years of age. And yet, under
circumstances of inconceivable difficulty, with unhesitating reliance
upon his own mental resources, he assumed the enormous care of creating
and administering a new government for thirty millions of people. Never
did he achieve a victory which displayed more consummate genius. On no
occasion of his life did his majestic intellectual power beam forth with
more brilliance. It is not to be expected that, for ages to come, the
world will be united in opinion respecting this transaction. Some
represent it as an outrage against law and liberty. Others consider it a
necessary act which put an end to corruption and anarchy. That the
course which Napoleon pursued was in accordance with the wishes of the
overwhelming majority of the French people no one can doubt. It is
questionable whether, even now, France is prepared for self-government.
There can be no question that then the republic had totally failed. Said
Napoleon, in reference to this revolution, "For my part, all my share of
the plot, was confined to assembling the crowd of my visitors at the
same hour in the morning, and marching at their head to seize upon
power. It was from the threshold of my door, and without my friends
having any previous knowledge of my intentions, that I led them to this
conquest. It was amidst the brilliant escort which they formed, their
lively joy and unanimous ardor, that I presented myself at the bar of
the Ancients to thank them for the dictatorship with which they invested
me. Metaphysicians have disputed and will long dispute, whether we did
not violate the laws, and whether we were not criminal. But these are
mere abstractions which should disappear before imperious necessity. One
might as well blame a sailor for waste and destruction, when he cuts
away a mast to save his ship. The fact is, had it not been for us the
country must have been lost. We saved it. The authors of that memorable
state transaction ought to answer their accusers proudly, like the
Roman, 'We protest that we have saved our country. Come with us and
render thanks to the Gods.'"

With the exception of the Jacobins all parties were strongly in favor of
this revolution. For ten years the people had been so accustomed to the
violation of the laws, that they had ceased to condemn such acts, and
judged of them only by their consequences. All over France the feeling
was nearly universal in favor of the new government. Says Alison, who
surely will not be accused of regarding Napoleon with a partial eye,
"Napoleon rivaled Cæsar in the clemency with which he used his victory.
No proscriptions or massacres, few arrests or imprisonments followed the
triumph of order over revolution. On the contrary, numerous acts of
mercy, as wise as they were magnanimous, illustrated the rise of the
consular throne. The elevation of Napoleon was not only unstained by
blood, but not even a single captive long lamented the ear of the
victor. A signal triumph of the principles of humanity over those of
cruelty, glorious alike to the actors and the age in which it occurred;
and a memorable proof how much more durable are the victories obtained
by moderation and wisdom, than those achieved by violence and stained by
blood."



PARADISE LOST.


My knapsack was on my shoulder.--So said Armand, a young artist, when a
little company of us were sitting together the other evening.--

My knapsack was on my shoulder, my ashen stick in hand; three leagues of
dusty road had whitened me like a miller. Whence I came, whither I was
going--what matters it? I was not twenty years of age. My starting
point, therefore, was home; my goal was Paradise--any earthly Paradise I
could find. The country was not particularly picturesque; and the
weather was very hot. Great undulations of harvest-laden fields rolled
irregularly on all sides. Here was a hamlet; there a solitary
farm-house; yonder a wood; on each eminence a windmill. Some peasants
that were in the fields sang; and the birds chirped at them as if in
mockery. One or two wagons, dragged by oxen and horses, slowly moved
along the tree-bordered road. I sat down on a heap of stones. A wagoner
gruffly asked me if I was tired, and offered me "a lift." I accepted;
and soon I was stretched where dung had been; jolted into an uneasy
half-slumber, not without its charm, with the bells of the lazy team
softly jingling in my ears, until I thought fifty silver voices were
calling me away to a home that must be bright, and a land that must be
beautiful.

I awoke in a mood sufficiently benign to receive an apology. The man had
forgotten me when he turned off the high road, and had taken me half a
league into the country. Where was the harm, honest wagoner? I am not
going any where; "I am only going to Paradise." There was no village of
that name in the neighborhood, he said; but he had no doubt I would be
pleased to see the grounds of the chateau. Of course, I had come on
purpose for that. I handed him his _pour-boire_. "Drink my health, good
man, and injure your own. Let us see these grounds.'" The man showed me
through a meadow near the farm (to which he belonged) and left me,
tossing the silver piece I had given him in his hard hand. I soon
observed that the place was worth seeing.

A hasty glance showed it to be a fragment of wild nature, occupied in
its original state, and barricaded against civilization. There were
woods, and solitary trees, and lakes, and streams of sufficient
dimensions for grandeur; and, when once the wall disappeared amidst the
heavy foliage, I could at first discern no traces whatever of the
presence of man. However, on closer examination, I discovered that
nature had been improved upon; that all objects which might ungraciously
intercept the view, or deform a landscape, had been removed. There were
no sham ruins nor artificial cascades; but the stranger's steps were
led, by some ingenious process of plantation, insensibly to the best
points of view. I felt, and was thankful, for the presence of the art
which so industriously endeavored to conceal itself; but being, at that
time, as most young men are, inclined to compare great things with
small--thinking to be epigrammatic and knowing--I exclaimed aloud: "The
toilet of this park has been admirably performed."

"A vulgar idea, vulgarly expressed," said a clear, firm voice above me.
I looked up, thinking that somebody was hidden in a tree; and, to my
surprise, saw a young woman, upon a fine large horse, holding a
riding-whip playfully over my head. She had approached across the turf
unheard; and had heard my exclamation, which, I assure you, was meant
for no ears but my own.

"Madam," replied I, when I had recovered from my confusion, "I think you
misunderstand me. There is no vulgarity in comparing a prospect in which
every superfluity is thus tastefully pruned away, to a woman who,
instead of loading herself with ornaments, uses the arts of the toilet
to display all her beauties to the best advantage."

"The explanation will not do," she replied. "It wants frankness. Your
phrase simply meant that you were ashamed of the admiration this view
had at first excited; and that you thought it necessary to exert the
manly privilege of contempt. If I had not seen you yonder using your
sketch-book, I should take you for a traveling hair-dresser."

The tone and manner of my new acquaintance puzzled me exceedingly; and I
was at first rather irritated by the hostile attitude she assumed on
such slight grounds. It was evident she wished to provoke an
intellectual contest; for, at the moment, I did not understand that her
real desire was to suppress the formalities of an introduction. I
returned to the charge; she replied. A broadside of repartee was fired
off on either side; but insensibly we met upon common ground;
affectation was discarded; and, as we streamed irregularly along the
swardy avenues, or stopped at the entrance of a long vista--she gently
walking her docile genet; I with my hand upon its mane--we made more
advances toward familiarity and friendship in an hour than would have
been possible under any other circumstances in a season.

Let me describe my impressions as I received them. Otherwise, how will
the narrative illustrate the theory? I am endeavoring to show, by
example, what an immense structure of happiness may be built upon a very
flimsy ground; that the material sequence of this life's events need
have no correspondence with the sequence of our sentiments; that--But I
must not anticipate.

The lady, dressed in a green riding-habit, was remarkably handsome, as
this miniature will show.

And Armand drew a small case from his breast.

"It is made from memory; but I will answer for its exactitude."

"We all know the face well enough, my friend," quoth Prevost; "it
re-appears in nearly all your pictures, like Raphael's Fornarina. Last
year you made it do duty for Medea; this year, modified to suit the
occasion, it will appear in the Salon as Charlotte Corday. Why have you
so carefully avoided that type in your Juliet and your Heloise? One
would imagine that, instead of being associated with pleasant
recollections, it suggested nothing but strife, violence, and despair."

"Were that the case, you know," quoth Armand, with feigned
sprightliness, "my theory falls to the ground; and, in telling you my
story, I am only impertinently taking advantage of your good-nature to
make a confession, and thus ease a somewhat troubled mind. Listen to the
end; it is not far off."

We reached a grotto on the borders of a little lake, where, to my
surprise, an elegant breakfast was laid out. There were two seats placed
ready; and Fifine, the maid, was there to serve. We partook of the meal
together, talking of every thing except of ourselves; but thinking of
nothing else. Once or twice a reflection on the oddity of this reception
flitted across my mind; but I thought that I had fallen in with some
eccentric mistress of the castle--such as one reads of in middle-age
romances--who was proud to give hospitality to a wandering artist. The
lady called me Hector, and I called her Andromache; and, under the
influence of some generous wine that came in with the dessert, I went so
far as to declare that my love for her was unbounded, and that she must
be my bride. I was thrown into ecstasies of delight by the frank reply,
that it only depended upon me to fix the day! What follies I committed I
scarcely recollect; but I know that Fifine scolded me; and said that,
for a well-educated young man, I was dreadfully forward.

What a delightful half-hour was that which succeeded! The entrance of
the grotto was wreathed with vines. The ripples of the lake broke upon a
little beach of sand that seemed of gold dust; the path by which we had
come along ran at the foot of a precipice for about thirty yards, and
then climbed a steep bank; the expanse of water--possibly it was merely
a large pool, but these things magnify in memory--nestled at the feet of
some lofty wooded slopes, which, with the pure blue sky, it reflected.
We sat, side by side, hand in hand; but Fifine, whose notions of
propriety were extremely rigid, expostulated vehemently. I whispered
that she ought to be sent away; and Andromache was, perhaps, of my
opinion; but she did not venture to agree with me aloud. Thus the hour
passed in silent happiness; for our hearts soon became too full for
words; and I solemnly declare, that, to spend such another day, I would
discount ten years of my existence.

As evening drew near, and I began to dream of the delights of a twilight
stroll along the margin of the lake, Fifine pitilessly suggested an
adjournment to the chateau. The word grated harshly on my ear. I had
almost pictured to myself the lady as a dryad, or a nymph living ever
amidst trees and grottoes. But prosy Fifine carried her point; and, in
half an hour, we were in the saloon of a most comfortable modern
dwelling, furnished with Parisian elegance. Several very commonplace
looking servants stared at me as I entered. My romantic ideas at once
received a shock. Five minutes afterward a post-chaise rolled up to the
door, and a stout old gentleman, accompanied by a tall, handsome young
man, issued therefrom.

Why should I give you the ludicrous details of the explanation?
Andromache was betrothed to Monsieur Hector Chose; but she had never
seen him. Her father, a wealthy naturalist, had gone that day to meet
the bridegroom at a neighboring town. The young lady (who was of a
romantic disposition) had descried me in the park, and had fancied this
was a pre-arranged surprise. She had got up the breakfast in the grotto;
and had made my acquaintance as I have related. I answered to the name
of Hector; she naturally retorted Andromache. This was the whole
explanation of the mistake. I was overwhelmed with shame, when the
father and the real Hector, with vociferous laughter, undeceived me; and
the young lady herself went away in tears of vexation. For a moment, I
hoped that I had produced an ineffaceable impression; but I was soon
undeceived. In my mortification I insulted Hector. A hostile meeting was
the result. I received a severe wound, and lay a long time helpless in a
neighboring hamlet. Still my love was not cured. Even when I heard that
the marriage had been celebrated, I persisted in looking upon the bride
as my Andromache; but when Madame Duclique, her cousin, came to see me,
she destroyed all my illusions. Andromache, she said, though with much
affectation of romance, was a very matter-of-fact personage, and
remembered our love-passage only as a ridiculous mistake. She had
married Hector, not only without repugnance but with delight. He brought
her every thing she desired--a handsome person, a fine fortune, an
exalted position; and she was the first to joke on the subject of "that
poor counterfeit Hector."

This interview cured me at once. I discovered that I was strong enough
to leave the Paradise I had lost. Madame Duclique, an amiable and
beautiful person, gave me a seat in her carriage, and drove me to the
town of Arques. I feel grateful to my Andromache for having impressed
upon my mind an enduring form of beauty.

"Let us drink her health!"



THE VATTEVILLE RUBY.


The clock of the church of Besançon had struck nine, when a woman about
fifty years of age, wrapped in a cotton shawl and carrying a small
basket on her arm, knocked at the door of a house in the Rue St.
Vincent, which, however, at the period we refer to, bore the name of Rue
de la Liberté. The door opened. "It is you, Dame Margaret," said the
porter, with a very cross look. "It is high time for you. All my lodgers
have come home long since; you are always the last, and--"

"That is not my fault, I assure you, my dear M. Thiebaut," said the old
woman in a deprecatory tone. "My day's work is only just finished, and
when work is to be done--"

"That's all very fine," he muttered. "It might do well enough if I could
even reckon on a Christmas-box at the end of the year; but as it is, I
may count myself well off, if I do but get paid for taking up their
letters."

The old woman did not hear the last words, for with quick and firm step
she had been making her way up the six flights of stairs, steep enough
to make her head reel had she been ascending them for the first time.
"Nine o'clock!--nine o'clock! How uneasy she must be!" and as she spoke,
she opened with her latch-key the door of a wretched garret, in which
dimly burned a rushlight, whose flickering flame scarcely seemed to
render visible the scanty furniture the room contained.

"Is that you, my good Margaret," said a feeble and broken voice from the
farther end of the little apartment.

"Yes, my dear lady; yes, it is I; and very sorry I am to have made you
uneasy. But Madame Lebriton, my worthy employer, is so active herself,
that she always finds the work-woman's day too short--though it is good
twelve hours--and just as I was going to fold up my work, she brought me
a job in a great hurry. I could not refuse her; but this time, I must
own, I got well paid for being obliging, for after I had done, she said
in her most good-natured way: 'Here, you shall take home with you some
of this nice pie, and this bottle of good wine, and have a comfortable
supper with your sister.' So she always calls you, madame," added
Margaret, while complacently glancing at the basket, the contents of
which she now laid out upon the table. "As I believe it is safest for
you, I do not undeceive her, though it is easily known she can not have
looked very close at us, or she might have seen that I could only be the
servant of so noble-looking a lady--"

The feeble voice interrupted her: "My servant--you my servant! when,
instead of rewarding your services, I allow you to toil for my support,
and to lavish upon me the most tender, the moat devoted affection! My
poor Margaret! you who have undertaken for me at your age, and with your
infirmities, daily and arduous toil, are you not indeed a sister of whom
I may well be proud? Your nobility has a higher origin than mine.
Reduced by political changes, which have left me homeless and penniless,
I owe every thing to you; and so tenderly do you minister to me, that
even in this garret I could still almost fancy myself the noble Abbess
of Vatteville!"

As she spoke, the aged lady raised herself in her old arm-chair, and
throwing back a black vail, disclosed features still beautiful, and a
forehead still free from every wrinkle, and eyes now sparkling with
something of their former brilliancy. She extended her hand to Margaret,
who affectionately kissed it; and then, apprehensive that further
excitement could not but be injurious to her mistress, the faithful
creature endeavored to divert her thoughts into another channel, by
inviting her to partake of the little feast provided by the kindness of
her employer. Margaret being in the habit of taking her meals in the
house where she worked, the noble Lady Marie Anne Adelaide de Vatteville
was thus usually left alone and unattended, to eat the scanty fare
prescribed by the extreme narrowness of her resources; so that she now
felt quite cheered by the novel comfort, not merely of the better-spread
table, but of the company of her faithful servant; and it was in an
almost mirthful tone she said, when the repast was ended; "Margaret, I
have a secret to confide to you. I will not--I ought not to keep it any
longer to myself."

"A secret, my dear mistress! a secret from me!" exclaimed the faithful
creature in a slightly reproachful tone.

"Yes, dear Margaret, a secret from you; but to be so no longer. No more
henceforth of the toils you have undergone for me; they must be given
up: I can not do without you. At my age, to be left alone is
intolerable. When you are not near me, I get so lonely, and sometimes
feel quite afraid, I can not tell of what, but I suppose it is natural
to the old to fear; and often--will you believe it?--I catch myself
weeping like a very child. Ah! when age comes on us, we lose all
strength, all fortitude. But you will not leave me any more? Promise me,
dear Margaret."

"But in that case what is to become of us?" said Margaret.

"This is the very thing I have to tell. And now listen to me. Take this
key, and in the right-hand drawer of the press you will find the green
casket, where, among my letters and family papers, you will see a small
case, which bring to me."

Margaret, not a little surprised, did as she was desired. The abbess
gazed on the case for some moments in silence, and Margaret thought she
saw a tear glisten in her eye as she pressed the box to her lips, and
kissed it tenderly and reverentially.

"I have sworn," said she, "never to part with it; yet what can I do? It
must be so: it is the will of God." And with a trembling hand, as if
about to commit sacrilege, she opened the case, and drew from it a ruby
of great brilliancy and beauty. "You see this jewel?" she said.
"Margaret, it is the glory of my ancient house; it is the last gem in my
coronet, and more precious in my eyes than any thing in the world. My
grand-uncle, the noblest of men, the Archbishop of Besançon, brought it
from the East; and when, in guerdon for some family service, Louis XIV.
founded the Abbey of Vatteville, and made my grand-aunt the first abbess
of the order, he himself adorned her cross with it. You now know the
value of the jewel to me; and though I can not tell its marketable
value, still, notwithstanding the pressure of the times, I can not but
think it must bring sufficient to secure us, for some time at least,
from want. Were I to consider myself alone, I would starve sooner than
touch the sacred deposit; but to allow you, Margaret, to suffer, and to
suffer for me--to take advantage any longer of your disinterested
affection and devoted fidelity--would be base selfishness. God has at
last taught me that I was but sacrificing you to my pride, and I must
hasten to make atonement. I will endeavor to raise money on this jewel.
You know old M. Simon? Notwithstanding his mean appearance and humble
mode of living, I am persuaded he is a rich man; and though parsimonious
in the extreme, he is good-natured and obliging whenever he can be so
without any risk of loss to himself."

The next day, in pursuance of her project, the abbess, accompanied by
Margaret, repaired to the house of M. Simon. "I know, sir," she said,
"from your kindness to some friends of mine, that you feel an interest
in the class to which I belong, and that you are incapable of betraying
a confidence reposed in you. I am the Abbess of Vatteville. Driven forth
from the plundered and ruined abbey, I am living in the town under an
assumed name. I have been stripped of every thing; and but for the
self-sacrificing attachment of a faithful servant, I must have died of
want. However, I have still one resource, and only one. I know not if I
am right in availing myself of it, but at my age the power to struggle
fails. Besides, I do not suffer alone; and this consideration decides
me. Will you, then, have the goodness to give me a loan on this jewel?"

"I believe, madam, you have mistaken me for a pawnbroker. I am not in
the habit of advancing money in this way. I am myself very poor, and
money is now every where scarce. I should be very glad to be able to
oblige you, but just at present it is quite out of the question."

For a moment the poor abbess felt all hope extinct; but with a last
effort to move his compassion, she said: "Oh, sir, remember that secrecy
is of such importance to me, I dare not apply to any one else. The
privacy, the obscurity in which I live, alone has prevented me from
paying with my blood the penalty attached to a noble name and lineage."

"But how am I to ascertain the value of the jewel? I am no jeweler; and
I fear, in my ignorance, to wrong either you or myself."

"I implore you, sir, not to refuse me. I have no alternative but to
starve; for I am too old to work, and beg I can not. Keep the jewel as a
pledge, and give me some relief."

Old Simon, though covetous, was not devoid of feeling. He was touched by
the tears of the venerable lady; and besides, the more he looked at the
jewel, the more persuaded he became of its being really valuable. After
a few moments' consideration, he said: "All the money I am worth at this
moment is 1500 francs; and though I have my suspicions that I am making
a foolish bargain, I had rather run any risk than leave you in such
distress. The next time I have business in Paris, I can ascertain the
value of the jewel, and if I have given you too little, I will make it
up to you." And with a glad and grateful heart the abbess took home the
1500 francs, thankful at having obtained the means of subsistence for at
least a year.

Some months later, old Simon went up to Paris, and hastening to one of
the principal jewelers, showed the ruby, and begged to know its value.
The jeweler took the stone carelessly; but after a few moments'
examination of it, he cast a rapid glance at the thread-bare coat and
mean appearance of the possessor, and then abruptly exclaimed: "This
jewel does not belong to you, and you must not leave the house till you
account for its being in your possession. Close the doors," he said to
his foreman, "and send for the police." In vain did Simon protest his
innocence; in vain did he offer every proof of it. The lapidary would
listen to nothing; but at every look he gave the gem, he darted at him a
fresh glance of angry contempt. "You must be a fool as well as a knave,"
he said. "Do you know, scoundrel, that this is the Vatteville--the
prince of rubies?--the most splendid, the rarest of gems? It might be
deemed a mere creation of imagination, were it not enrolled and
accurately described in the archives of our art. See here, in the _Guide
des Lapidaires_, a print of it. Mark its antique fashioning, and that
dark spot!--yes, it is indeed the precious ruby so long thought lost.
Rest assured, fellow, you shall not quit the house until you satisfy me
how you have contrived to get possession of it."

"I should at once have told you, but from unwillingness to endanger the
life of a poor woman who has confided in me. I got the jewel from the
Abbess de Vatteville herself, and it is her last and only resource." And
now M. Simon proved, by unquestionable documents, that notwithstanding
his more than humble appearance, he was a man of wealth and
respectability, and received the apologies which were tendered, together
with assurances that Madame Vatteville's secret was safe with one who,
he begged to say, "knew how to respect misfortune, whenever and however
presented to his notice."

"But what is the jewel worth?" asked M. Simon.

"Millions, sir! and neither I nor any one else in the trade here could
purchase it, unless as a joint concern, and in case of a coronation or a
marriage in one of the royal houses of Europe, for such an occasion
alone could make it not a risk to buy it. But, meanwhile, I will, if you
wish, mention it to some of the trade."

"I am in no hurry," said Simon, almost bewildered by the possession of
such a treasure. "I may as well wait for some such occasion, and, in the
mean time, can make any necessary advances to the abbess. Perhaps I may
call on you again."

The first day of the year 1795 had just dawned, and there was a thick
and chilling fog. The abbess and her faithful servant felt this day more
than usually depressed, for fifteen months had now elapsed since the
1500 francs had been received for the ruby, and there now remained
provision only for a few days longer. "I have got no answer from M.
Simon," said the abbess; and in giving utterance to her own thought, she
was replying to what was at that moment passing through Margaret's
mind. "I fear he has not been able to get more for the ruby than he
thinks fair interest for the money he advanced to me."

"It is most likely," said Margaret; and both relapsed into their former
desponding silence.

"What a dreary New-Year's Day!" resumed Madame de Vatteville, in a
melancholy tone.

"Oh, why can I not help you, dear mistress?" exclaimed Margaret,
suddenly starting from her reverie. "Cheerfully would I lay down my life
for you!"

"And why can I not return in any way your devoted attachment, my poor
Margaret?"

At this instant, two loud and hurried knocks at the door startled them
both from their seats: and it was with a trembling hand Margaret opened
it to admit the old porter, and a servant with a letter in his hand.

"Thank you, thank you, M. Thiebaut: this letter is for my mistress." But
the inquisitive old man either did not or would not understand
Margaret's hint to him to retire, and Madame de Vatteville was obliged
to tell him to leave the room.

"Not a penny to bless herself with, though she has come to a better
apartment!" muttered he, enraged at the disappointment to his
curiosity--"and yet as proud as an aristocrat!"

The abbess approached the casement, broke the seal with trembling hand,
and read as follows:

    "I have at length been able to treat with a merchant for the article
    in question, and have, after much difficulty, obtained a sum of
    25,000 francs--far beyond any thing I could have hoped. But the sum
    is to be paid in installments, at long intervals. It may therefore
    be more convenient for you, under your peculiar circumstances, to
    accept the offer I now make of a pension of 1500 francs, to revert
    after your decease to the servant whom you mentioned as so devotedly
    attached to you. If you are willing to accept this offer, the bearer
    will hand you the necessary documents, by which you are to make over
    to me all further claim upon the property placed in my hands; and on
    your affixing your signature, he will pay you the first year in
    advance.

                                                       SIMON."

"What a worthy, excellent man!" joyfully exclaimed the abbess; for, in
the noble integrity of her heart, she had no suspicion that he could
take advantage of her circumstances.

However Simon settled the matter with his conscience, the abbess,
trained in the school of adversity to be content with being preserved
from absolute want, passed the remainder of her life quietly and happily
with her good Margaret, both every day invoking blessings on the head of
him whom they regarded as a generous benefactor. Madame de Vatteville
lived to the age of one hundred, and her faithful Margaret survived only
a few months the mistress to whom she had given such affecting proofs of
attachment.

But Simon's detestable fraud proved of no use to him. After keeping his
treasure for several years, he thought the emperor's coronation
presented a favorable opportunity of disposing of it. Unfortunately for
him, his grasping avarice one morning suggested a thought which his
ignorance prevented his rejecting: "Since this ruby--old-fashioned and
stained as it is--can be worth so much, what would be its value if freed
from all defect, and in modern setting?" And he soon found a lapidary,
who, for a sum of 3000 francs, modernized it, and effaced the spot, and
with it the impress, the stamp of its antiquity--all that gave it value,
beauty, worth! This wanting, no jeweler could recognize it: it was no
longer worth a thousand crowns.

It was thus that the most splendid ruby in Europe lost its value and its
fame; and its name is now only to be found in _The Lapidaries' Guide_,
as that which had once been the most costly of gems. It seemed as if it
could not survive the last of the illustrious house to which it owed its
introduction into Europe, and its name.



IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND IN 1851.

FROM THE LETTERS AND MEMORANDA OF FREDRIKA BREMER.


THE CHOLERA IN LONDON.

It is two years since I first found myself in England. When I was in
England in the autumn of 1849, the cholera was there. A dense,
oppressive atmosphere rested over its cities, as of a cloud pregnant
with lightning. Hearses rolled through the streets. The towns were empty
of people; for all who had the means of doing so had fled into the
country; they who had not were compelled to remain. I saw shadowy
figures, clad in black, stealing along the streets, more like ghosts
than creatures of flesh and blood. Never before had I seen human
wretchedness in such a form as I beheld it in Hull and in London.
Wretchedness enough may be found, God knows, even in Stockholm, and it
shows itself openly enough there in street and market. But it is there
most frequently an undisguised, an unabashed wretchedness. It is not
ashamed to beg, to show its rags or its drunken countenance. It is a
child of crime; and that is perhaps the most extreme wretchedness. But
it is less painful to behold, because it seems to be suffering only its
own deserts. One is more easily satisfied to turn one's head aside, and
pass on. One thinks, "I can not help that!"

In England, however, misery had another appearance; it was not so much
that of degradation as of want, pallid want. It was meagre and retiring;
it ventured not to look up, or it looked up with a glance of hopeless
beseeching--so spirit-broken! It tried to look respectable. Those men
with coats and hats brushed till the nap was gone; those pale women in
scanty, washed-out, but yet decent clothes--it was a sight which one
could hardly bear. In a solitary walk of ten minutes in the streets of
Hull, I saw ten times more want than I had seen in a ten months'
residence in Denmark.

The sun shone joyously as I traveled through the manufacturing
districts; saw their groups of towns and suburbs; saw their smoking
pillars and pyramids towering up every where in the wide landscape--saw
glowing gorges of fire open themselves in the earth, as if it were
burning--a splendid and wonderfully picturesque spectacle, reminding one
of fire-worshipers, of ancient and modern times, and of their altars.
But I heard the mournful cry of the children from the factories; the cry
which the public voice has made audible to the world; the cry of the
children, of the little ones who had been compelled, by the lust of gain
of their parents and the manufacturers, to sacrifice life, and joy, and
health in the workshops of machinery; the children who lie down in those
beds which never are cold, the children who are driven and beaten till
they sink insensibly into death or fatuity--that living death; I heard
the wailing cry of the children, which Elizabeth Barrett interpreted in
her affecting poem; and the wealthy manufacturing districts, with their
towns, their fire-columns, their pyramids, seemed to me like an enormous
temple of Moloch, in which the mammon-worshipers of England offered up
even children to the burning arms of their god--children, the hope of
the earth, and its most delicious and most beautiful joy!

I arrived in London. They told me there was nobody in London. It was not
the season in which the higher classes were in London. Besides which,
the cholera was there; and all well-to-do people, who were able, had
fled from the infected city. And that, indeed, might be the reason why
there seemed to me to be so many out of health--why that pale
countenance of want was so visible. Certain it is, that it became to me
as a Medusa's head, which stood between me and every thing beautiful and
great in that great capital, the rich life and physiognomy of which
would otherwise have enchanted me. But as it was, the palaces, and the
statues, and the noble parks, Hampstead and Piccadilly, and Belgravia
and Westminster, and the Tower, and even the Thames itself, with all its
everchanging life, were no more than the decorations of a great tragedy.
And when, in St. Paul's, I heard the great roar of the voice of
London--that roar which, as it is said, never is silent, but merely
slumbers for an hour between three and four o'clock in the morning--when
I heard that voice in that empty church, where there was no divine
worship, and looked up into its beautiful cupola, which was filled by no
song of praise, but only by that resounding, roaring voice, a dark
chaotic roar, then seemed I to perceive the sound of the rivers of fate
rolling onward through time over falling kingdoms and people, and
bearing them onward down into an immeasurable grave!--It was but for a
moment, but it was a horrible dream!

One sight I beheld in London which made me look up with rejoicing, which
made me think "that old Ygdrasil is still budding." This was the
so-called metropolitan buildings; a structure of many homes in one great
mass of building, erected by a society of enlightened men for the use of
the poorer working class, to provide respectable families of that class
with excellent dwellings at a reasonable rate, where they might possess
that which is of the most indispensable importance to the rich, as well
as to the poor, if they are to enjoy health both of body and
soul--light, air, and water, pure as God created them for the use of
mankind. The sight of these homes, and of the families that inhabited
them, as well as of the newly-erected extensive public baths and
wash-houses for the same class, together with the assurance that these
institutions already, in the second year of their establishment,
returned more than full interest to their projectors, produced the
happiest impression which I at this time received of England. These were
to me as the seed of the future, which gave the promise of verdant
shoots in the old tree.

Nevertheless, when I left the shores of England, and saw thick autumnal
fog enveloping them, it was with a sorrowful feeling for the OLD world;
and with an inquiring glance of longing and hope, I turned myself to the
NEW.

Two years passed on--a sun-bright, glowing dream, full of the vigor of
life!--it was again autumn, and I was again in England. Autumn met me
there with cold, and rain, and tempest, with the most horrible weather
that can be imagined, and such as I had never seen on the other side of
the globe. But in social life, every where throughout the mental
atmosphere, a different spirit prevailed. There, I perceived with
astonishment and joy, there it was that of spring.

Free-trade had borne fruit, and under its banners manufacture and trade
had shot forth into new life; the price of all kinds of grain had
fallen, bread had become cheap. This tree of liberty, planted by Cobden
and Peel, had, with a strong and vigorous vitality, penetrated, as it
were, the life of the English people, and I heard on every hand the
soughing of its leaves in the free wind. The Crystal Palace was its
full-blown, magnificent blossom--and like swarms of rejoicing bees flew
the human throng upon the wings of steam, backward and forward, to the
great world's blossom; there all the nations met together, there all
manufactures, there all industry, and every kind of product unfolded
their flowers for the observation and the joy of all ... a Cactus
grandiflora, such as the world had never till then seen.

I perceived more clearly every day of my stay in England, that this
period is one of a general awakening to a new, fresh life. In the
manufacturing districts, in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, every
where I heard the same conversation among all classes; prosperity was
universal and still advancing. That pale countenance of want, which had
on my first visit appeared to me so appalling, I now no longer saw as
formerly; and even where it was seen stealing along, like a gloomy
shadow near to the tables of abundance, it appeared to me no longer as a
cloud filled with the breath of cholera, darkening the face of heaven,
but rather as one of those clouds over which the wind and sun have
power, and which are swallowed up, which vanish in space, in the bright
ether....


THE RAGGED SCHOOLS.

In Liverpool I visited the so-called Ragged Schools--the schools where
are collected from the streets vagabond, neglected, and begging
children, who are here taught to read and so on--who here receive the
first rudiments of instruction, even in singing. These schools are, some
of them evening, others day schools, and in some of them, "the
Industrial Ragged Schools," children are kept there altogether; receive
food and clothing, and are taught trades. When the schools of this class
were first established in Liverpool, the number of children who
otherwise had no chance of receiving instruction, amounted to about
twenty thousand. Right-minded, thinking men saw that in these children
were growing up in the streets, those "dangerous classes," of which so
much has been said of late times; these men met together, obtained means
to cover the most necessary outlay of expense, and then, according to
the eloquent words of Lord Ashley, that "it is in childhood that evil
habits are formed and take root; it is childhood which must be guarded
from temptation to crime;" they opened these ragged schools with the
design of receiving the most friendless, the most wretched of society's
young generation--properly, "the children of rags, born in beggary, and
for beggary."

I visited the Industrial Ragged School for boys, intended for the lowest
grade of these little children, without parents, or abandoned by them to
the influences of crime. There I saw the first class sitting in their
rags, upon benches in a cold room, arranging, with their little
frost-bitten fingers, bristles for the brush-maker. The faces of the
boys were clean; many of them I remarked were handsome, and almost
universally they had beautiful and bright eyes. Those little fingers
moved with extraordinary rapidity; the boys were evidently wishful to do
their best; they knew that they by that means should obtain better
clothing, and would be removed to the upper room, and more amusing
employment. I observed these "dangerous classes"--just gathered up from
the lanes, and the kennels, on their way to destruction; and was
astonished when I thought that their countenances might have borne the
stamp of crime. Bright glances of childhood, for that were you never
designed by the Creator! "Suffer little children to come unto me." These
words, from the lips of heaven, are forever sounding to earth.

In the upper room a great number of boys were busy pasting paper-bags
for various trades, confectioners, etc., who make use of such in the
rapid sale of their wares; here, also, other boys were employed in
printing upon the bags the names and residences of the various tradesmen
who had ordered them. The work progressed rapidly, and seemed very
amusing to the children. The establishment for their residence, and
their beds, were poor; but all was neat and clean, the air was fresh,
and the children were cheerful. The institution was, however, but yet
in its infancy, and its means were small.

Half-a-dozen women, in wretched clothes, sate in the entrance-room with
their boys, for whom they hoped to gain admittance into the school, and
were now, therefore, waiting till the directors of the establishment
made their appearance.


THE POORER CLASSES.

A few days later I visited some different classes of poor
people--namely, the wicked and the idle; they who had fallen into want
through their own improvidence, but who had now raised themselves again;
and the estimable, who had honorably combated with unavoidable poverty.
In one certain quarter of Liverpool it is that the first class is
especially met with. Of this class of poor, in their wretched
rooms, with their low, brutalized expression, I will not speak;
companion-pieces to this misery may be met with every where. Most of
those whom I saw were Irish. It was a Sunday noon, after divine service.
The ale-houses were already open in this part of the town, and young
girls and men might be seen talking together before them, or sitting
upon the steps.

Of the second class I call to mind, with especial pleasure, one little
household. It was a mother and her son. Her means of support, a mangle,
stood in the little room in which she had lived since she had raised
herself up again. It was dinner-time. A table, neatly covered for two
persons, stood in the room, and upon the iron stand before the fire was
placed a dish of mashed potatoes, nicely browned, ready to be set on the
table. The mother was waiting for her son, and the dinner was waiting
for him. He was the organ-blower in the church during divine service,
and he returned while I was still there. He was well dressed, but was a
little, weakly man, and squinted; the mother's eyes, however, regarded
him with love. This son was her only one, and her all. And he, to whom
mother Nature had acted as a step-mother, had a noble mother's heart to
warm himself with, which prepared for him an excellent home, a
well-covered table, and a comfortable bed. That poor little home was not
without its wealth.

As belonging to the third and highest class, I must mention two
families, both of them shoe-makers, and both of them inhabiting cellars.
The one family consisted of old, the other of young people. The old
shoemaker had to maintain his wife, who was lame and sick, from a fall
in the street, and a daughter. The young one had a young wife, and five
little children to provide for; but work was scanty and the mouths many.
At this house, also, it was dinner-time, and I saw upon the table
nothing but potatoes. The children were clean, and had remarkably
agreeable faces; but--they were pale; so was also the father of the
family. The young and pretty, but very pale mother said, "Since I have
come into this room I have never been well, and this I know--I shall not
live long?" Her eyes filled with tears; and it was plain enough to see
that this really delicate constitution could not long sustain the
effects of the cold damp room, into which no sunbeam entered. These two
families, of the same trade, and alike poor, had become friends in need.
When one of the fathers of the family wanted work, and was informed by
the Home-missionary who visited them that the other had it, the
intelligence seemed a consolation to him. Gladdening sight of human
sympathy, which keeps the head erect and the heart sound under the
depressing struggle against competition! But little gladdening to me
would have been the sight of these families in their cellar-homes, had I
not at the same time been aware of the increase of those "Model
Lodging-houses," which may be met with in many parts of England, and
which will remove these inhabitants of cellars, they who sit in
darkness, into the blessing of the light of life--which will provide
worthy dwellings for worthy people.


BEE-HIVES.

In my imagination Manchester was like a colossal woman sitting at her
spinning-wheel, with her enormous manufactories; her subject towns,
suburbs, villages, factories, lying for many miles round, spinning,
spinning, spinning clothes for all the people on the face of the earth.
And there, as she sate, the queen of the spindle, with her masses of
ugly houses and factories, enveloped in dense rain-clouds, as if in
cobwebs, the effect she made upon me was gloomy and depressing. Yet even
here, also, I was to breathe a more refreshing atmosphere of life; even
here was I also to see light. Free trade had brought hither her
emancipating spirit. It was a time of remarkable activity and
prosperity. The workpeople were fully employed; wages were good, and
food was cheap. Even here also had ragged-schools been established,
together with many institutions for improving the condition of the poor
working-classes. In one of these ragged-schools the boys had a perfectly
organized band of music, in which they played and blew, so that it was a
pleasure--and sometimes a disadvantage to hear them. The lamenting "cry
of the children" was no longer heard from the factories. Government had
put an end to the cruelties and oppressions formerly practiced on these
little ones by the unscrupulous lust of gain. No child under ten years
old can now be employed in the factories, and even such, when employed,
must of necessity be allowed part of the day for school. Every large
factory has now generally its own school, with a paid master for the
children. The boys whom I saw in the great rooms of the factories, and
with whom I conversed, looked both healthy and cheerful.

Two ideas were impressed upon my mind at this place: how dangerous it
is, even amid a high degree of social culture, to give one class of men
unrestrained power over another; and how easily a free people, with a
powerful public spirit and accustomed to self-government, can raise
themselves out of humiliating circumstances. This spirit has done much
already in England, but it has yet more to do.

Upon one of those large gloomy factories in Manchester, I read,
inscribed in iron letters, "THE GREAT BEEHIVE;" and in truth a good name
for these enormous hives of human industrial toil, in which people have
sometimes forgotten, and still forget, that man is any thing more than a
working bee, which lives to fill its cell in the hive and die. I visited
several of these huge beehives. In one of them which employed twelve
hundred work-people, I saw, in a large room, above three hundred women
sitting in rows winding cotton on reels. The room was clean, and so also
were all the women. It did not appear to be hard work; but the
steadfastly-fixed attention with which these women pursued their labor
seemed to me distressingly wearisome. They did not allow themselves to
look up, still less to turn their heads or to talk. Their life seemed to
depend upon the cotton thread.

In another of these great beehives, a long low room, in which were six
hundred power-looms, represented an extraordinary appearance. What a
snatching to and fro, what a jingling, what an incessant stir, and what
a moist atmosphere there was between floor and ceiling, as if the limbs
of some absurd, unheard-of beast, with a thousand arms, had been
galvanized! Around us, from three to four hundred operatives, women and
men, stood among the rapid machinery, watching and tending. The twelve
o'clock bell rung, and now the whole throng of work-people would go
forth to their various mid-day quarters; the greatest number to their
respective dwellings in the neighborhood of the factory. I placed
myself, together with my conductor, in the court outside the door of the
room, which was on lower ground, in order that I might have a better
view of the work-people as they came out.

Just as one sees bees coming out of a hive into the air, two, three, or
four at a time--pause, as it were, a moment from the effects of open air
and light, and then with a low hum, dart forth into space, each one his
own way; so was it in this case. Thus came they forth, men and women,
youths and girls. The greater number were well dressed, looked healthy,
and full of spirit. In many, however, might be seen the expression of a
rude life; they bore the traces of depravity about them.


THE ROYAL FAMILY.

The Queen and her husband stand before the people as the personation of
every domestic and public virtue! The Queen is an excellent wife and
mother; she attends to the education of her children, and fulfills her
duties as sovereign, alike conscientiously. She is an early riser; is
punctual and regular in great as well as in small things. She pays ready
money for all that she purchases, and never is in debt to any one. Her
court is remarkable for its good and beautiful morals. On their estate,
she and Prince Albert carry every thing out in the best manner,
establish schools and institutions for the good of the poor; these
institutions and arrangements of theirs serve as examples to every one.
Their uprightness, kindness, generosity, and the tact which they under
all circumstances display, win the heart of the nation. They show a
warm sympathy for the great interests of the people, and by this very
sympathy are they promoted. Of this, the successful carrying out of free
trade, and the Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, projected in the first
instance by Prince Albert, and powerfully seconded by the Queen, furnish
brilliant examples. The sympathies of the Queen are those of the heart
as well as of the head. When that noble statesman, the great promoter of
free-trade, Sir Robert Peel, died, the Queen shut herself in for several
days, and wept for him as if she had lost a father. And whenever a warm
sympathy is called forth, either in public or in private affairs it is
warmly and fully participated by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. That
which the English people require from their rulers, is not merely formal
government, but a living interest in their affairs.


BIRMINGHAM AND THE CHARTISTS.

From Manchester I traveled to Birmingham. I saw again the land of the
fire-worshipers, their smoking altars, in tall columns and pyramids,
towering above the green fields; saw again the burning gulfs yawning in
the earth, and--saw them now with unmixed pleasure. I heard no longer,
amid their boiling roar, the lamenting cry of the children; I heard and
saw them now only as the organs of the public prosperity, and rejoiced
over them as proofs of man's power over fire and water, over all the
powers of nature; the victory of the gods over the giants!

The sun burst forth from between rain-clouds as I arrived in Birmingham,
England's--nay, the world's--workshop of steel-pens, nails, steel, tin,
and brass wares of all kinds.

If Manchester is a colossal woman at her spinning-wheel, then is
Birmingham a colossal smith.

In Birmingham I visited a steel-pen manufactory, and followed from room
to room the whole process of those small metal tongues which go abroad
over all the world and do so much--evil, and so much good; so much that
is great, so much that is small; so much that is important, so much that
is trivial. I saw four hundred young girls sitting in large, light
rooms, each with her little pen-stamp, employed in a dexterous and easy
work, especially fitted for women. All were well dressed, seemed healthy
and cheerful, many were pretty; upon the whole, it was a spectacle of
prosperity which surpassed even that of the mill-girls in the celebrated
factories of Lowell in North America.

Birmingham was at this time in a most flourishing condition, and had
more orders for goods than it could supply, nor were there any male
paupers to be found in the town; there was full employment for all.

In Birmingham I saw a large school of design. Not less than two hundred
young female artists studied here in a magnificent hall or rotunda,
abundantly supplied with models of all kinds, and during certain hours
in the week exclusively opened to these female votaries of art. A
clever, respectable old woman, the porter of the school-house, spoke of
many of these with especial pleasure, as if she prided herself on them
in some degree.

I saw in Birmingham a beautiful park, with hot-houses, in which were
tropical plants, open to the public; saw also a large concert-room,
where twice in the week "glees" were sung, and to which the public were
admitted at a low price: all republican institutions, and which seem to
prosper more in a monarchical realm than in republics themselves.

From Birmingham I had determined to go for a few days to
Stratford-on-Avon, before I went to London in order to secure a view of
the Great Exhibition, the last week of which was at hand. I was,
therefore, obliged to leave the manufacturing districts earlier than I
wished; but before quitting them on paper, I must say a few words on
their population, on their artisans, etc.

These belong almost entirely to the class of what are called Chartists;
that is, advocates of universal suffrage. They are this, through good
and through evil; and the resistance which their just desire to be more
fully represented in the legislative body, has met with from that body,
has brought them more and more into collision with the power of the
state, more and more to base their demands in opposition, even to the
higher principles of justice: for they overlook the duty of rendering
themselves worthy of the franchise by sound education. But the fault
here, in the first place, was not theirs. Growing up amid machinery and
the hum of labor, without schools, without religious or moral worth;
hardened by hard labor, in continual fight with the difficulties of
life, they have moulded themselves into a spirit little in harmony with
life's higher educational influences, the blessings of which they had
never experienced. Atheism, radicalism, republicanism, socialism of all
kinds will and must nourish here in concealment among the strong and
daily augmenting masses of a population, restrained only by the fear of
the still more mighty powers which may be turned against them, and by
labor for their daily needs, so long as those powers are sufficing. And
perhaps the American slave-states are right when they say, in reference
to this condition of things, "England lies at our feet--England can not
do without our cotton. If the manufacturers of England must come to a
stand, then has she a popular convulsion at her door." Perhaps it may be
so; for these hosts of manufacturing workmen, neglected in the beginning
by society, neglected by church and state, look upon them merely as
exacting and despotic powers; and in strict opposition to them, they
have banded together, and established schools for their own children,
where only the elements of practical science are admitted, and from
which religious and moral instruction are strictly excluded. In truth, a
volcanic foundation for society, and which now, for some time past, has
powerfully arrested the attention of the most thinking men of England.

But into the midst of this menacing chaos light has already begun to
penetrate with an organizing power; and over the dark profound hovers a
spirit which can and will divide the darkness from the light, and
prepare a new creation.

I sought the manufacturing towns from a sense of duty, and the commands
of conscience. I was anxious to see this side of human life. But this
done, I thought I might do something for my own pleasure. I was in
England chiefly for this purpose. I must follow the impulse of my heart;
I must make a pilgrimage to the grave of Shakspeare. For the older I
have become, the more that I have lived and learned, the more valuable
have two good artists become to me--the more have I had to
thank--Beethoven and Shakspeare.

From Birmingham I traveled, on the morning of the fourth of October, by
the railway to Leamington, and thence, alone in a little carriage, to
Stratford-on-Avon.



TRUE COURAGE.--A TALE OF TATTERSHALL CASTLE.


In the summer vacation of 183-, a party of gay young collegians visited
Tattershall Castle, in Lincolnshire. This remarkably noble ruin consists
of a single lofty keep, rising to the height of two hundred feet, the
interior being open from summit to basement. Mighty oaken beams once,
however, spanned the massive walls, supporting floors which formed
stories of varying height. Many of these beams have fallen to the
basement, completely rotten, through shameful exposure to the weather
ever since the roof crumbled away; others still pertinaciously hang,
more or less broken and decayed, but, in a majority of instances, seem
as if a strong gust of eddying wind would send them down crashing, to
mingle their fragments with those already mouldering below.

The party were in high spirits. They had drunk old wines, and their
young blood flowed hotly in their veins; they had laughed, joked, and
talked themselves into wild excitement. About half way up to the castle
turrets there is a sort of open landing, which goes along one wall of
the structure; and on to this landing the party stepped from the grand
spiral staircase they had hitherto been ascending, and there paused a
moment to look about them. The scene was striking. A few beams sprung
across just below their feet; a few thick-moted rays of sun pierced
through the adjoining loop-holes; a few fleecy cloudlets flitted athwart
the blue ether high overhead. Startled by the noisy visitors, a number
of dusky jackdaws flew out of their holes up and down the walls, and,
after chattering their decided disapprobation of being disturbed, made
half-a-dozen whirling circuits of the interior, rising rapidly upward,
until they disappeared.

Immediately afterward, a great white owl projected its visage from a
hole close above where one of the beams joined the opposite wall, and,
frightedly peering with its great dazzled eyes, the harmless creature
bewilderedly popped from its hole on to the beam, and having made a few
feeble flutterings with its wings, remained quite stationary, crouched
in a ball-like figure, close to the wall.

"Oh, Deschamp," exclaimed one of the party to a friend at his side, who
was plucking the long gray moss of a peculiar species, which literally
clothes the castle walls inside and out, "look yonder at Minerva's
bird."

"Ha! ha!" chorused the company--"a veritable owl!"

Thereupon one and all began picking up bits of brick and mortar from
where they stood, and threw them at the bird with various degrees of
skill. One or two bits even struck it, but so far from being roused
thereby, the owl merely gave one boding, long-drawn, sepulchral screech,
and, contracting its ghastly outline into still smaller compass, fairly
buried its broad visage between the meeting bony tips of its wings.

"What a stupid creature! hoo! horoo!" shouted they, thinking by that
means to induce it to fly. But the outcry only terrified the bird to
such a degree, that it stuck its claws convulsively into the decayed
timber, and stirred not at all.

"It's the way o' them creeturs," here said the guide, who was showing
the party over the castle; "they're about the stupidest things in
creation, I'm a thinking!"

"Humph!" muttered Lord Swindon, a handsome, athletic young man of
twenty, "with such an example before our eyes, we can not but admit your
opinion to be highly philosophic and indisputable. But I say, old
fellow," added he, tapping the guide familiarly on the shoulder with the
light riding switch he carried in his hand, "is _that_ beam a rotten
one?"

"_I_ shouldn't be over-for'ard to trust myself on it, sir," replied the
man--a fat dumpy personage.

"_You_ wouldn't! No. I should rather think not," responded Lord Swindon,
a smile of supreme disdain sweeping across his features, as he surveyed
the "old fellow" from head to foot. "But, tell me, did you ever know
_any body_ walk upon it, eh?"

"Oh, dear, yes. Only last summer, a young Oxonian ran from end to end of
it, as I seed with my own eyes."

"Did he?"

"True," put in Deschamp. "I remember now, it was young Manners of
Brazennose; and didn't he brag about it!"

"Him!" exclaimed Lord Swindon, with a toss of the head; "that fellow,
poor milksop? Not," continued he, hastily, "that it is any thing of a
feat. Pooh!"

"Not a feat!" murmured his companions; and, with one accord, they
stretched forth their necks, and, gazing down the dim abyss, shuddered
at what they beheld. Well they might. The beam in question rose at a
height of about one hundred feet, and naught beneath it was there but a
gloomy chasm, only broken in one or two places by crumbling beams, and
not one even of these was by many feet near it. "Oh, Swindon, how can
you say so?"

"I can say it, and I do," snappishly replied the fiery young man, his
brain heated with wine; "and, at any rate, what that fellow Manners has
done, I can do. So look out!"

Thus speaking, he recklessly stepped on the beam, and, despite the
remonstrances of his companions, was in the act of proceeding along it,
when his arm was firmly grasped, and a low, deep-toned voice exclaimed,
"My lord, do you court a horrible death? Do not thus risk your life for
naught."

The individual who thus unhesitatingly interfered was evidently unknown
to all present, being a casual visitor to the castle, who had just
joined the group. With an imprecation, the madcap youngster jerked his
arm away, and sprang forward along the beam. Its surface was rough,
rounded, and uneven; and as he ran along, swerving from side to side,
every instant in danger of being precipitated downward, with the awful
certainty of being dashed to pieces, his friends could hardly restrain
themselves from shrieking with terror, though such a course would
probably have had the immediate effect of discomposing the equilibrium
of their rash companion, and so inducing the catastrophe they fully
anticipated, without the power of prevention. Had the adventurer's
presence of mind one moment failed--had his self-possession and
confidence wavered or forsaken him--had his brain sickened, or his eyes
turned dim for a single second--had he made the least false step--had
his footing slipped on the slimy surface of the beam--had he tripped
against any of the knots projecting from the rotten wood which had
mouldered away around them--at once would he have been hurled into dread
eternity.

But an unseen hand sustained him, and safely he reached the extremity of
the beam, ruthlessly wrenched the trembling owl from its perch, waved it
aloft in triumph, and then, with a proud ejaculation, began to retrace
his steps, with it shrieking and fluttering in his hands. When he
reached the centre of the frail beam, which creaked and bent terribly
with his comparatively small weight, he paused, drew himself up to his
full height--air above, air beneath, air all around, naught but air--and
deliberately tore the head of the owl by main force from its body.
Having perpetrated this cruel deed, he tossed the bloody head among the
breathless spectators, and sharply dashed the writhing body into the
void beneath his feet. He coolly watched its descent, until it lay a
shapeless mass on the stones below; then, with slow, bravadoing mien, he
walked back to his terrified party, and boastingly demanded of them
whether they thought "Manners could beat that?"

"My lord," solemnly said the stranger, "you have not performed the act
either of a brave or a sane man, and you have committed a despicable
deed on one of God's helpless creatures. You ought to thank Him, my
lord, from the depth of your soul, that he saved you from the penalty
you incurred."

"What do you say?" fiercely demanded Lord Swindon. "Do you dare to
insinuate cowardice against me?" and with flashing brow, he assumed a
threatening attitude.

"I know not, my lord, whether you are brave or not, but what I have
witnessed was certainly not an exercise of true courage," was the
passionless reply.

"And yet I'll wager a cool thousand that you daren't do it."

"True, I dare not: for I am incapable of offering a deadly insult to my
Maker."

"Fine words!" Then, carried away by the excitement of the moment, he
added, with an insolent look and gesture, "You are a lying coward."

"Listen, my lord," answered the person thus addressed, and this time his
tone was even calmer than before. "One year ago, you were walking at the
midnight hour on the pier at the sea-port of Hull, and but one other
person was upon it, and he was a stranger to you. You trod too near the
edge of the pier, and fell into the sea. The tempest was howling, and
the tide was high and running strongly; and, ere you could utter more
than one smothered cry, it had swept you many yards away, and you were
sinking rapidly. Except God, none but that stranger heard your cry of
agony; and, soon as it reached his ear, he looked forth upon the waters,
and, catching a glimpse of your struggling form, he instantly plunged
in, and, after much diving, eventually grasped you at a great depth.
Long did he support your helpless body, and stoutly did he buffet the
stifling waves, and loudly did he call for aid. At length help came; and
at the last moment, he and you were saved just in time for life to be
preserved in both. Is not this true, my lord?"

"It is," emphatically responded the young nobleman; "but what have you
to do with it? I don't know you--though it is not at all wonderful,"
added he, with a sneer, "that you should happen to know about the
matter, for the newspapers blazoned it quite sufficiently."

"My lord, one question more. Did you ever learn who that stranger was
who, under God, saved your life?"

"No; when I recovered a little, he left me at the hotel, where he was
unknown, and I have never seen him since."

"Then, my lord," was the startling rejoinder, "look well at me, for I am
that stranger."

"You?"

"Yes--I whom you have branded as a liar and a coward. Little thought I
that the life I saved at the imminent risk of my own would be madly,
wickedly jeopardized for no price whatever, as I have seen it this hour.
Mine, my lord, was true courage; yours was false. Henceforth know the
difference between them. Farewell."

So saying, the stranger bowed, and before another word could be uttered,
had left the astounded party.



INTRODUCTION OF THE POTATO INTO FRANCE.


In that rational estimate of true greatness which men are daily becoming
more inclined to form, names will yet rank high as those of the
benefactors of mankind, which history has too long suffered to give
place to those of heroes (so called), who might be better designated as
the destroyers of national prosperity, the scourges of their country.
Among the names of such benefactors, that of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
well deserves to be handed down to the gratitude of posterity. He was
born in the little town of Montdidier, in 1737, of poor but respectable
parents; and, having lost his father before he was three years old, he
was brought up altogether by his mother, a woman of considerable
intelligence, and in refinement of character far beyond her station; and
to her he owed much of that religious feeling and steadiness of
principle which stamped such value in after-life upon the ardent
disposition and spirit of enterprise which were natural to him. The good
curé of the place, who had long known and esteemed his parents, had an
opportunity of observing the uncommon intelligence of the boy, and
undertook to teach him the rudiments of Latin. At sixteen, the young
Augustin, anxious to be no longer a burden to his mother, placed himself
with an apothecary of his native town; but the following year he
repaired to Paris, invited thither by a relative, to study under him the
profession he had chosen.

It was not long before prospects of advancement opened to the young
medical student. The war of Hanover broke out, and, in 1757, Parmentier,
attached to the medical staff, though in a very subordinate post, joined
the army. It was not long before he had opportunity to prove his skill
and zealous devotion to his duties. A dreadful epidemic appeared among
the French soldiery, and tested to the utmost his unwearied activity and
unceasing attention to his duties. His services were acknowledged by his
being promoted to the rank of assistant-apothecary. His dauntless
exposure of himself on the field of battle caused him to be five times
taken prisoner--a misfortune to which he afterward often made mirthful
allusion; extolling the dexterity with which the Prussian hussars had
more than once stripped him, and declaring that they were the best
valets de chambre he had ever met.

It was while prisoner of war on one of these occasions that Parmentier
first conceived the idea which was destined to give him a claim upon the
gratitude of his country. The prisoners were kept in very close
confinement, and fed altogether on potatoes; but Parmentier, instead of
joining his companions in misfortune in their indignant abuse of a food
altogether new to them, was calmly and sensibly engaged in reflecting on
the utility of the vegetable, and in inquiring into its nature, and the
mode of cultivating it. We shall see how he kept the resolution he then
formed of not letting it escape his memory, should he ever be permitted
to revisit his native country.

Peace being declared, he was released, and came back to Paris in 1763,
where he attended the Abbe Mollet's course of natural philosophy, the
chemical course of the Brothers Douille, and the botanical lectures of
the celebrated Bernard de Jussieu. At this time, however, his poverty
was so great, that he had to endure the severest privations, to enable
him to pay the necessary fees, and to purchase such books as he
required, without interfering with the pecuniary aid which he felt it
alike his duty and his privilege to afford his mother. In 1766, he
became a candidate for a situation as medical attendant at the Hotel des
Invalides, and was almost unanimously elected. In this position, he gave
the utmost satisfaction; and not only did the skill he displayed obtain
for him professional reputation, but his playful, yet never satirical
wit, and the charm of his gentle and affectionate disposition, made him
a universal favorite. He was the object of respectful attachment to the
disabled veterans, and also to the good Sisters of Charity who attended
the hospital. In 1769, he received, as the reward of his labors, the
appointment of apothecary-in-chief, which permanently fixed him in the
Hotel des Invalides. With a little more leisure, and comparative freedom
from pecuniary care, came back the recollection of his former plans with
regard to the potato. This now well-known and almost universally-used
tubercle had been introduced into Europe from Peru early in the
sixteenth century, and had at once been cultivated in Italy and Germany.
Brought from Flanders into France, its culture was promoted in the
southern provinces by the encouragement given by the great Turgot; but
the dogged pertinacity with which ignorance so often resists the
introduction of any thing new, had in every other part of the kingdom
interfered with its propagation. Indeed, the popular prejudice against
it was so high as to lead to the belief that it had a baleful effect on
any soil in which it was planted, and produced in those who used it as
food leprosy and other loathsome diseases. Such were the absurd and
groundless prejudices which Parmentier had to encounter, but he prepared
himself to carry on the contest with the boldness and perseverance of
one who knew that, however difficult it may be to struggle with old
opinions and long-established customs, yet nothing is impossible to the
spirit of enterprise, guided by sound judgment, and animated by genuine
philanthropy. Parmentier was not unmindful that to attain his object he
would, in the first instance, need high patronage; and this patronage he
sought and found in no less a personage than Louis XVI. himself. At his
earnest solicitation, the monarch placed at his disposal, as a field for
his experiment, fifty acres of the Plaine des Sablons. For the first
time, this sterile soil was tilled by Parmentier, and the plant he so
ardently desired to naturalize committed to it. In due time the
long-wished-for blossoms appeared. Almost wondering at his success,
Parmentier eagerly gathered a bouquet of the flowers, more precious to
him than the rarest exotic in the royal gardens, and hastened to
Versailles, to present them to the king. Louis accepted the offering
most graciously, and, notwithstanding the satirical smiles of some of
his courtiers, wore them in his button-hole.

From that hour the triumph of the potato was secured. The nobles and
fine ladies, who had hitherto laughed at what they called "the poor
man's monomania," now took their tone from the monarch, and flocked
round the modest philanthropist with their congratulations. Guards
placed round the field excited the curiosity of the people; but as this
was a precaution rather against the pressure of the crowd than against
its cupidity, they were withdrawn at night, and soon it was announced to
Parmentier that his potatoes had been stolen. His delight at this
intelligence was extreme, and he bountifully rewarded the bearer of the
news; for he saw in this theft a proof of his complete success. "There
can scarcely be any remaining prejudice against my poor potatoes," he
said, "else they would not be stolen." A short time after he gave a
dinner, every dish of which consisted of the potato disguised in some
variety of form, and even the liquids used at table were extracted from
it. Among other celebrated persons, Franklin and Lavoisier were present.
And thus, to the persevering efforts of one individual was France
indebted for a vegetable which soon took its place in the first rank of
its agricultural treasures. By naturalizing the potato in that country,
Parmentier diffused plenty among thousands, once the hapless victims of
privation and misery during the seasons of scarcity hitherto frequently
recurring to desolate its provinces.

From 1783 to 1791, Parmentier occupied himself in the publication of
several works of great merit upon domestic economy and agriculture. But
now came on the evil days of the Revolution. From prudence, natural
inclination, and engrossment in other pursuits, Parmentier took no part
in the political storm then raging. His moderation was regarded as a
protest against the principles then in the ascendant. The man who had
just rendered the most signal service to the people became an object of
persecution to those calling themselves the friends of the people. "Talk
not to me of this Parmentier," said an infuriate club orator; "he would
give us nothing to eat but potatoes. I ask you, was it not he that
invented them?" His name was put into the list of the suspected, and he
was deprived not only of the small pension allowed him by Louis XVI.,
but also of his situation at the Hotel des Invalides. However, when the
coalition of all Europe forced France to avail herself to the utmost of
her every resource, it was found expedient to reorganize the medical
department of the military hospitals, and to improve the diet of the
soldiery; and Parmentier being fixed on for this difficult task, his
success amply justified the choice. His reputation for skill and talent
increasing with every test to which he was put, he was successively
placed on the sanitary commission for the department of the Seine, and
on the general committee of civil hospitals. Diplomas were sent to him
by all the learned societies, and he was enrolled a member of the
National Institute.

Parmentier lived throughout the period of the Empire, honored and
esteemed by all classes; but, in 1813, grief for the loss of a beloved
sister added to his deep dejection at the reverses of the French arms,
seriously affected his health. His patriotism could not but deeply feel
the evils threatening his country from foreign invasion. He became
dangerously ill, and on the 13th of December the cause of social
progress lost by his death one of its most zealous and enlightened
promoters. In a discourse pronounced on the occasion before the
Pharmaceutic Association, Cadet de Gassicour dwelt principally on the
two great benefits conferred by Parmentier--the use of the potato, and
the introduction of the Sirop de Raisin, thus providing, according to
the benevolent boast of the philanthropist himself, "the poor man's
bread, and the poor man's sugar." During his lifetime, a proposal had
been made by the Minister François de Neufchateau that the potato should
be called _Parmentière_. It is to be regretted that a proposal which
would have secured a memorial as inexpensive as it was appropriate, was
rejected; one which would have indissolubly linked in the minds of every
Frenchman the name of the benefactor with the benefit.



THE ARTIST'S SACRIFICE.


On a cold evening in January--one of those dark and gloomy evenings
which fill one with sadness--there sat watching by the bed of a sick
man, in a little room on the fifth floor, a woman of about forty, and
two pretty children--a boy of twelve and a little girl of eight. The
exquisite neatness of the room almost concealed its wretchedness: every
thing announced order and economy, but at the same time great poverty. A
painted wooden bedstead, covered with coarse but clean calico sheets,
blue calico curtains, four chairs, a straw arm-chair, a high desk of
dark wood, with a few books and boxes placed on shelves, composed the
entire furniture of the room. And yet the man who lay on that wretched
bed, whose pallid cheek, and harsh, incessant cough, foretold the
approach of death, was one of the brightest ornaments of our literature.
His historical works had won for him a European celebrity, his writings
having been translated into all the modern languages; yet he had always
remained poor, because his devotion to science had prevented him from
devoting a sufficient portion of his time to productive labor.

An unfinished piece of costly embroidery thrown on a little stand near
the bed, another piece of a less costly kind, but yet too luxurious to
be intended for the use of this poor family, showed that his wife and
daughter--this gentle child, whose large dark eyes were so full of
sadness--endeavored by the work of their hands to make up for the
unproductiveness of his efforts. The sick man slept, and the mother,
taking away the lamp and the pieces of embroidery, went with her
children into the adjoining room, which served both as ante-chamber and
dining-room: she seated herself at the table, and took up her work with
a sad and abstracted air; then observing her little daughter doing the
same thing cheerfully, and her son industriously coloring some prints
destined for a book of fashions, she embraced them; and raising her
tearful eyes toward heaven, she seemed to be thanking the Almighty, and,
in the midst of her affliction, to be filled with gratitude to Him who
had blessed her with such children.

Soon after, a gentle ring was heard at the door, and M. Raymond, a young
doctor, with a frank, pleasing countenance, entered and inquired for the
invalid.

"Just the same, doctor," said Madame G----.

The young man went into the next room, and gazed for some moments
attentively on the sleeper, while the poor wife fixed her eyes on the
doctor's countenance, and seemed there to read her fate.

"Is there no hope, doctor?" she asked, in a choking voice, as she
conducted him to the other room. The doctor was silent, and the
afflicted mother embraced her children and wept. After a pause, she
said: "There is one idea which haunts me continually: I should wish so
much to have my husband's likeness. Do you know of any generous and
clever artist, doctor? Oh, how much this would add to the many
obligations you have already laid me under!"

"Unfortunately, I am not acquainted with a single artist," replied the
young doctor.

"I must then renounce this desire," said Madame G----, sighing.

The next morning Henry--so the little boy was called--having assisted
his mother and his sister Marie in their household labors, dressed
himself carefully, and, as it was a holiday, asked leave to go out.

"Go, my child," said his mother; "go and breathe a little fresh air:
your continual work is injurious to you."

The boy kissed his father's wasted hand, embraced his mother and sister,
and went out, at once sad and pleased. When he reached the street
he hesitated for a moment, then directed his steps toward the
drawing-school where he attended every day: he entered, and rung at the
door of the apartment belonging to the professor who directed this
academy. A servant opened the door, and conducted him into an
elegantly-furnished breakfast-room; for the professor was one of the
richest and most distinguished painters of the day. He was breakfasting
alone with his wife when Henry entered.

"There, my dear," he said to her, as he perceived Henry; "there is the
cleverest pupil in the academy. This little fellow really promises to do
me great credit one day. Well, my little friend, what do you wish to say
to me?"

"Sir, my father is very ill--the doctor fears that he may die: poor
mamma, who is very fond of papa, wishes to have his portrait. Would you,
sir, be kind enough to take it? O do not, pray sir, do not refuse me!"
said Henry, whose tearful eyes were fixed imploringly on the artist.

"Impossible, Henry--impossible!" replied the painter. "I am paid three
thousand francs for every portrait I paint, and I have five or six at
present to finish."

"But, my dear," interposed his wife, "it seems to me that this portrait
would take you but little time: think of the poor mother, whose husband
will so soon be lost to her forever."

"It grieves me to refuse you, my dear; but you know that my
battle-piece, which is destined for Versailles, must be sent to the
Louvre in a fortnight, for I can not miss the Exposition this year. But
stay, my little friend, I will give you the address of several of my
pupils: tell them I sent you, and you will certainly find some one of
them who will do what you wish. Good-morning, Henry!"

"Good-by, my little friend," added the lady. "I hope you may be
successful." The boy took his leave with a bursting heart.

Henry wandered through the gardens of the Luxembourg, debating with
himself if he should apply to the young artists whose addresses he held
in his hand. Fearing that his new efforts might be equally unsuccessful,
he was trying to nerve himself to encounter fresh refusals, when he was
accosted by a boy of his own age, his fellow-student at the
drawing-school. Jules proposed that they should walk together; then
observing Henry's sadness, he asked him the cause. Henry told him of his
mother's desire; their master's refusal to take the portrait; and of his
own dislike to apply to those young artists, who were strangers to him.

"Come with me," cried Jules, when his friend had ceased speaking. "My
sister is also an artist: she has always taken care of me, for our
father and mother died when we were both very young. She is so kind and
so fond of me, that I am very sure she will not refuse."

The two boys traversed the Avenue de l'Observatoire, the merry, joyous
face of the one contrasting with the sadness and anxiety of the other.
When they got to the end of the avenue they entered the Rue de l'Ouest,
and went into a quiet-looking house, up to the fourth story of which
Jules mounted with rapid steps, dragging poor Henry with him. He tapped
gayly at a little door, which a young servant opened: he passed through
the ante-chamber, and the two boys found themselves in the presence of
Emily d'Orbe, the sister of Jules.

She appeared to be about twenty-five: she was not tall, and her face was
rather pleasing than handsome; yet her whole appearance indicated
cultivation and amiability. Her dress was simple, but exquisitely neat;
her gown of brown stuff fitted well to her graceful figure; her linen
cuffs and collar were of a snowy whiteness; her hair was parted in
front, and fastened up behind _à l'antique_: but she wore no ribbon, no
ornament--nothing but what was necessary. The furniture of the room,
which served at the same time as a sitting-room and studio, was equally
simple: a little divan, some chairs, and two arm-chairs covered with
gray cloth, a round table, a black marble time-piece of the simplest
form; two engravings, the "Spasimo di Sicilia" and the "Three Maries,"
alone ornamented the walls; green blinds were placed over the windows,
not for ornament, but to moderate the light, according to the desire of
the artist; finally, three easels, on which rested some unfinished
portraits, and a large painting representing Anna Boleyn embracing her
daughter before going to execution.

When he entered, little Jules went first to embrace his sister; she
tenderly returned his caresses, then said to him in a gentle voice, as
she returned to her easel: "Now, my dear child, let me go on with my
painting;" not, however, without addressing a friendly "Good-morning" to
Henry, who, she thought, had come to play with Jules.

Henry had been looking at the unfinished pictures with a sort of terror,
because they appeared to him as obstacles between him and his request.
He dared not speak, fearing to hear again the terrible word
"impossible!" and he was going away, when Jules took him by the hand and
drew him toward Emily. "Sister," he said, "I have brought my friend
Henry to see you; he wishes to ask you something; do speak to him."

"Jules," she replied, "let me paint; you know I have very little time.
You are playing the spoiled child: you abuse my indulgence."

"Indeed, Emily, I am not jesting; you must really speak to Henry. If you
knew how unhappy he is!"

Mademoiselle d'Orbe, raising her eyes to the boy, was struck with his
pale and anxious face, and said to him in a kind voice, as she continued
her painting: "Forgive my rudeness, my little friend; this picture is to
be sent to the Exposition, and I have not a moment to lose, because,
both for my brother's sake and my own, I wish it to do me credit. But
speak, my child; speak without fear, and be assured that I will not
refuse you any thing that is in the power of a poor artist."

Henry, regaining a little courage, told her what he desired: then Jules,
having related his friend's visit to their master, Henry added; "But I
see very well, mademoiselle, that you can not do this portrait either,
and I am sorry to have disturbed you."

In the mean time little Jules had been kissing his sister, and caressing
her soft hair, entreating her not to refuse his little friend's request.
Mademoiselle d'Orbe was painting Anna Boleyn: she stopped her work; a
struggle seemed to arise in the depth of her heart, while she looked
affectionately on the children. She, however, soon laid aside her
pallet, and casting one glance of regret on her picture: "I will take
your father's portrait," she said to Henry---"that man of sorrow and of
genius. Your mother's wish shall be fulfilled."

She had scarcely uttered these words when a lady entered the room. She
was young, pretty, and richly dressed. Having announced her name, she
asked Mademoiselle d'Orbe to take her portrait, on the express condition
that it should be finished in time to be placed in the Exposition.

"It is impossible for me to have this honor, madame," replied the
artist: "I have a picture to finish, and I have just promised to do a
portrait to which I must give all my spare time."

"You would have been well paid for my portrait, and my name in the
catalogue would have made yours known," added the young countess.

Mademoiselle d'Orbe only replied by a bow; and the lady had scarcely
withdrawn, when, taking her bonnet and shawl, the young artist embraced
her brother, took Henry by the hand, and said to him: "Bring me to your
mother, my child."

Henry flew rather than walked; Mademoiselle d'Orbe could with difficulty
keep up with him. Both ascended to the fifth story in the house in the
Rue Descartes, where this poor family lived. When they reached the door,
Henry tapped softly at it. Madame G---- opened it.

"Mamma," said the boy, trembling with emotion, "this lady is an artist:
she is come to take papa's portrait." The poor woman, who had not hoped
for such an unexpected happiness, wept as she pressed to her lips the
hands of Mademoiselle d'Orbe, and could not find words to express her
gratitude.

The portrait was commenced at once; and the young artist worked with
zeal and devotion, for her admiration of the gifted and unfortunate man
was intense. She resolved to make the piece valuable as a work of art,
for posterity might one day demand the portrait of this gifted man, and
her duty as a painter was to represent him in his noblest aspect.

Long sittings fatigued the invalid; so it was resolved to take two each
day, and the young artist came regularly twice every day. As by degrees
the strength of the sick man declined, the portrait advanced. At length,
at the end of twelve days, it was finished: this was about a week before
the death of M. G----.

At the same time that she was painting this portrait, Mademoiselle
d'Orbe worked with ardor on her large painting, always hoping to have it
ready in time. This hope did not fail her, until some days before the
1st of February. There was but a week longer to work: and this year she
must abandon the idea of sending to the Exposition.

Some artists who had seen her picture had encouraged her very much; she
could count, in their opinion, on brilliant success. This she desired
with all her heart: first, from that noble thirst of glory which God has
implanted in the souls of artists; and, secondly, from the influence it
would have on the prospects of her little Jules, whom she loved with a
mother's tenderness, and whom she wished to be able to endow with all
the treasures of education. This disappointment, these long hours of
toil, rendered so vain at the very moment when she looked forward to
receive her reward, so depressed the young artist, that she became
dangerously ill.

Mademoiselle d'Orbe had very few friends, as she was an orphan, and
lived in great retirement; she found herself, therefore, completely left
to the care of her young attendant. When Jules met Henry at the
drawing-school he told him of his sister's illness: Henry informed his
mother, and Madame G---- immediately hastened to Mademoiselle d'Orbe,
whom she found in the delirium of a fever from which she had been
suffering for some days. The servant said that her mistress had refused
to send for a doctor, pretending that her illness did not signify.
Madame G----, terrified at the state of her young friend, went out and
soon returned with Dr. Raymond.

The invalid was delirious: she unceasingly repeated the
words--"portrait," "Anna Boleyn," "Exposition," "fortune," "disappointed
hopes;" which plainly indicated the cause of her illness, and brought
tears into the eyes of Madame G----.

"Alas!" she said, "it is on my account she suffers: I am the cause of
her not finishing her picture. Doctor, I am very unfortunate."

"All may be repaired," replied the doctor; "if you will promise to nurse
the invalid, I will answer for her recovery."

In fact, Madame G---- ever left the sick-bed of Mademoiselle d'Orbe. The
doctor visited her twice in the day, and their united care soon restored
the health of the interesting artist.

Mademoiselle was scarcely convalescent when she went to the Exposition
of paintings at the Louvre, of which she had heard nothing--the doctor
and Madame G---- having, as she thought, avoided touching on a subject
which might pain her. She passed alone through the galleries, crowded
with distinguished artists and elegantly-dressed ladies, saying to
herself that perhaps her picture would have been as good as many which
attracted the admiration of the crowd. She was thus walking sadly on,
looking at the spot where she had hoped to have seen her Anna Boleyn,
when she found herself stopped by a group of artists. They were
unanimous in their praises "This is the best portrait in the
Exposition," said one. "A celebrated engraver is about to buy from the
artist the right to engrave this portrait for the new edition of the
author's works," said another. "We are very fortunate in having so
faithful a likeness of so distinguished a writer as M. G----."

At this name Mademoiselle d'Orbe raised her eyes, and recognized her own
work! Pale, trembling with emotion, the young artist was obliged to lean
on the rail for support; then opening the catalogue, she read her name
as if in a dream, and remained for some time to enjoy the pleasure of
hearing the praises of her genius.

When the Exposition closed she hastened to Madame G----, and heard that
it was Dr. Raymond who had conceived the happy idea of sending the
portrait to the Louvre. "My only merit is the separating myself for a
time from a picture which is my greatest consolation," added Madame
G----.

From this day the young artist became the friend of the poor widow,
whose prospects soon brightened. Through the influence of some of the
friends of her lost husband, she obtained a pension from government--a
merited but tardy reward! The two ladies lived near each other, and
spent their evenings together. Henry and Jules played and studied
together. Marie read aloud, while her mother and Mademoiselle d'Orbe
worked. Dr. Raymond sometimes shared in this pleasant intercourse. He
had loved the young artist from the day he had seen her renounce so much
to do a generous action; but, an orphan like herself, and with no
fortune but his profession, he feared to be rejected if he offered her
his hand. It was therefore Madame G---- who charged herself with
pleading his suit with the young artist.

Mademoiselle d'Orbe felt a lively gratitude toward the young doctor for
the care and solicitude he had shown during her illness, and for sending
her portrait to the Exposition. Thanks to him, she had become known;
commissions arrived in numbers, a brilliant future opened before her and
Jules. Madame G---- had, then, a favorable answer to give to her young
friend, who soon became the husband of the interesting artist whose
generous sacrifice had been the foundation of her happiness.



THE STOLEN BANK NOTES.


The newspapers of 1810 contain a few brief paragraphs--cold, bare, and
partial as a tombstone, relative to a singular, and, to my thinking,
instructive passage in the domestic annals of Great Britain, with which
I happened to be very intimately acquainted. The impression it produced
on me at the time was vivid and profound, and a couple of lines in a
Liverpool journal the other day, curtly announcing the death of a Madame
L'Estrange, recalled each incident as freshly to memory as if graven
there but yesterday; and moreover induced me to pen the following
narrative, in which, now that I can do so without the risk of giving
pain or offense to any one, I have given the whole affair, divested of
coloring, disguise, or concealment.

My father, who had influence with the late Lord Bexley, then Mr.
Vansittart, procured me, three weeks after I came of age, a junior
clerkship in one of the best paid of our government offices. In the same
department were two young men, my seniors by about six or seven years
only, of the names of Martin Travers and Edward Capel. Their salaries
were the same--three hundred pounds a year--and both had an equal chance
of promotion to the vacancy likely soon to occur, either by the death or
superannuation of Mr. Rowdell, an aged and ailing chief-clerk. I had
known them slightly before I entered the office, inasmuch as our
families visited in the same society, and we were very soon especially
intimate with each other. They were, I found, fast friends, though
differing greatly in character and temperament. I liked Martin Travers
much the best of the two. He was a handsome, well-grown, frank-spoken,
generous young man; and never have I known a person so full of buoyant
life as he--of a temper so constantly gay and cheerful. Capel was of a
graver, more saturnine disposition, with lines about the mouth
indicative of iron inflexibility of nerve and will; yet withal a hearty
fellow enough, and living, it was suspected, _quite_ up to his income,
if not to something considerably over. I had not been more than about
three months in the office, when a marked change was perceptible in
both. Gradually they had become cold, distant, and at last utterly
estranged from each other; and it was suggested by several among us,
that jealousy as to who should succeed to Rowdell's snug salary of six
hundred a year, might have produced the evidently bad feeling between
them. This might, I thought, have generated the lowering cloud hourly
darkening and thickening upon Capel's brow, but could scarcely account
for the change in Martin Travers. He whose contagious gayety used to
render dullness and ill-humor impossible in his presence, was now
fitful, moody, irascible; his daily tasks were no longer gone through
with the old cheerful alacrity; and finally--for he was morbidly
impatient of being questioned--I jumped to the conclusion--partly from
some half-words dropped, and partly from knowing where they both
occasionally visited--that the subtle influence which from the days of
Helen downward--and I suppose upward--has pleased and plagued mankind,
was at the bottom of the matter. I was quite right, and proof was not
long waited for. I was walking early one evening along Piccadilly with
Travers--who appeared, by-the-by, to wish me further, though he was too
polite to say so--when we came suddenly upon Capel. I caught his arm,
and insisted that he should take a turn with us as he used to do. I
thought that possibly a quiet word or two on the beauty and excellence
of kindly brotherhood among men, might lead to a better feeling between
them. I was deucedly mistaken. My efforts in that line--awkwardly enough
made, I dare say--proved utterly abortive. Capel indeed turned back,
rather than, as I supposed, fussily persist in going on; but both he and
Travers strode on as stiffly as grenadiers on parade--their cheeks
flushed, their eyes alight with angry emotion, and altogether sullen and
savage as bears. What seemed odd too, when Travers turned sharply round
within a short distance of Hyde Park Corner, with a scarcely-disguised
intention of shaking us off, Capel whirled round as quickly, as if quite
as resolutely determined not to be shaken off; while I, considerably
alarmed by the result of the pacific overture I had ventured upon, did,
of course, the same. We stalked on in silence, till just as we reached
Hoby's, and a Mr. Hervey, with his daughter Constance, turned suddenly
out of St. James's-street. I was fiery hot to the tips of my ears in an
instant. Travers and Capel stopped abruptly, stared fiercely at each
other, and barely recovered presence of mind in sufficient time to lift
their hats in acknowledgment of Mr. Hervey's brief greeting, and the
lady's slight bow, as, after half-pausing, they passed on. It was all
clear enough now. My two gentlemen had come to Piccadilly in the hope of
meeting with Constance Hervey, and accompanying her home; frustrated in
this, they had determined not to lose sight of each other; nor did they
for three mortal hours, during which, anxiety lest their rancorous
ill-humor should break out into open quarrel, kept me banging about from
post to pillar with them--a sullen companionship, so utterly wearisome
that I had several times half a mind to propose that they should fight
it out at once, or toss up which should jump for the other's benefit
into the Thames. At length ten o'clock struck, and it appearing to be
mutually concluded that a visit to Kensington was no longer possible, a
sour expression of relief escaped them, and our very agreeable party
separated.

A very dangerous person in such a crisis was, I knew, this Constance
Hervey, though by no means a catch in a pecuniary sense for
well-connected young men with present salaries of three hundred a year,
and twice as much in near expectancy. Her father, who had once held his
head pretty high in the commercial world, had not long since become
bankrupt, and they were now living upon an annuity of little more, I
understood, than a hundred pounds, so secured to Mr. Hervey that his
creditors could not touch it. This consideration, however, is one that
weighs very little with men in the condition of mind of Capel and
Travers, and I felt that once enthralled by Constance Hervey's singular
beauty, escape, or resignation to disappointment was very difficult and
hard to bear. She was no favorite of mine, just then, by the way. I had
first seen her about three years previously--and even then, while yet
the light, the simplicity, the candor, of young girlhood lingered over,
and softened the rising graces of the woman, I read in the full depths
of her dark eyes an exultant consciousness of beauty, and the secret
instinct of its power. Let me, however, in fairness state that I had
myself--moon-calf that I must have been--made sundry booby, blushing
advances to the youthful beauty, and the half-amused, half-derisive
merriment with which they were received, gave a twist, no doubt, to my
opinion of the merits of a person so provokingly blind to mine. Be this,
however, as it may, there could be no question that Constance Hervey was
now a very charming woman, and I was grieved only, not surprised, at the
bitter rivalry that had sprung up between Travers and Capel--a rivalry
which each successive day but fed and strengthened!

Capel appeared to be fast losing all control over his temper and mode of
life. He drank freely--that was quite clear; gambled, it was said, and
rumors of debt, protested bills, ready money raised at exorbitant
interest on the faith of his succeeding to Rowdell's post, flew thick as
hail about the office. Should he obtain the coveted six hundred a year,
Constance Hervey would, I doubted not--first favorite as Travers now
seemed to be--condescend to be Mrs. Capel. This, not very complimentary
opinion, I had been mentally repeating some dozen times with more than
ordinary bitterness as I sat alone one evening after dinner in our
little dining-room in Golden-square, when the decision came. The
governor being out, I had perhaps taken a few extra glasses of wine, and
nothing, in my experience, so lights up and inflames tender or
exasperating reminiscences as fine old port.

"Rat-tat-tat-tat." It was unmistakably Travers's knock, and
boisterously hilarious, too, as in the old time, before any Constance
Herveys had emerged from pinafores and tuckers to distract and torment
mankind, and more especially well-to-do government clerks. The startled
maid-servant hastened to the door, and I had barely gained my feet and
stretched myself, when in bounced Travers--radiant--a-blaze with
triumph.

"Hollo, Travers! Why, where the deuce do you spring from, eh?"

"From Heaven! Paradise!--the presence of an angel at all events!"

"There, there, that will do; I quite understand."

"No, you don't Ned. Nobody but myself _can_ understand, imagine, guess,
dream of the extent the vastness of the change that has come over my
life. Firstly, then--but this is nothing--Rowdell is at length
superannuated, and I am to have his place."

He paused a moment; and I, with certainly a more than half-envious
sneer, said--"And upon the strength of that piece of luck, you have
proposed to Constance Hervey, and been accepted--of course."

"_Jubilate_--yes! Feel how my pulse throbs! It is four hours since, and
still my brain lightens and my eyes dazzle with the tumultuous joy. Do
not light the candles; I shall grow calmer in the twilight."

"Confound his raptures," was my internal ejaculation. "Why the mischief
couldn't he take them somewhere else?" I, however, said nothing, and he
presently resumed the grateful theme. "You will be at the wedding, of
course. And by-the-by, now I think of it, haven't I heard Constance say
she especially remembers you for something--I forget exactly what--but
something pleasant and amusing--very!"

My face kindled to flame, and I savagely whirled the easy chair in which
I sat two or three yards back from the fire-light before speaking. "I am
extremely obliged to the lady, and so I dare say is poor Capel, who, it
seems, has been so carelessly thrown over."

"Carelessly thrown over!" rejoined Travers, sharply. "That is a very
improper expression. If he has, as I fear, indulged in illusions, he has
been only self-deceived. Still, his double disappointment grieves me. It
seems to cast--though there is no valid reason that it should do so--a
shadow on my conscience."

We were both silent for some time. I was in no mood for talking, and he
sat gazing dreamily at the fire. I knew very well whose face he saw
there. I have seen it myself in the same place a hundred times.

"There is another drawback, Ned," he at length resumed. "Our marriage
must be deferred six months at the least. I have but about two hundred
pounds in ready money, and the lease and furniture of the house we shall
require, would cost at least double that."

"Any respectable establishment would credit you for the furniture upon
the strength of your greatly-increased salary."

"So I urged; but Constance has such a perfect horror of debt--arising
no doubt from her father's misfortunes--that she positively insists we
must wait till every thing required in our new establishment can be paid
for when purchased. I could, I think, raise the money upon my own
acceptance, but should Constance hear that I had done so, she would, I
fear, withdraw her promise."

"Stuff and nonsense! Six hundred a year can not be picked up every day."

"You do not know Constance Hervey. But come; I must have patience!
Six--nine months are not a lifetime. Good-by. I knew you would be
rejoiced to hear of my good fortune."

"Oh, of course--particularly delighted, in fact! Good-evening." I have
slept better than I did that night.

It was Sunday evening when Travers called on me, and Capel did not make
his appearance at the office till the Friday following, his excuse being
urgent private business. Harassing business, if that were so, it must
have been, for a sharp fever could scarcely have produced a greater
change for the worse in his personal appearance. He was mentally changed
as greatly. He very heartily congratulated Travers on his promotion, and
took, moreover, the first opportunity of privately assuring him that his
(Capel's) transient fancy for Miss Hervey had entirely passed away, and
he cordially complimented his former rival on having succeeded in that
quarter also. This was all remarkably queer, _I_ thought; but Travers,
from whose mind a great load seemed taken, willingly believed him, and
they were better friends than ever; Capel, the more thoroughly, it
seemed, to mark his acquiescent indifference, accompanying Travers once
or twice to the Herveys'. So did I; though I would have given something
the first time to have been any where else; for if a certain kneeling
down, garden-arbor scene did not play about the lady's coral lips, and
gleam for a moment from the corners of her bewildering eyes, my pulse
was as steady and temperate just then, as it is now, after the frosts of
more than sixty winters have chilled its beatings. She was, however,
very kind and courteous, a shade _too_ considerately gentle and
patronizing, perhaps, and I became a rather frequent visitor. An ancient
aunt, and very worthy soul, lived with them, with whom I now and then
took a turn at backgammon, while the affianced couple amused themselves
with chess--such chess! Travers was, I knew, a superior player, but on
these occasions he hardly appeared to know a queen from a rook, or a
bishop from a pawn. They were thus absurdly engaged one evening, when I
made a discovery which, if it did not much surprise, greatly pained and
somewhat alarmed me. Aunt Jane had left the room on some household
intent, and I, partly concealed in the recess where I sat, by the
window-curtain, silently contemplated the queer chess-playing, the
entranced delight of the lover, and the calm, smiling graciousness of
the lady. I have felt in a more enviable frame of mind--more composed,
more comfortable than I did just then, but, good lord! what was my
innocent little pit-pat compared with the storm of hate, and fury, and
despair, which found terrific expression in the countenance that, as
attracted by a slight noise, I hastily looked up, met my view! It was
Capel's. He had entered the room, the door being ajar, unobserved, and
was gazing, as he supposed, unmarked, at the chess-players. I was so
startled that I, mechanically, as it were, sprang to my feet, and as I
did so, Capel's features, by a strong effort of will, resumed their
ordinary expression, save for the deathly pallor that remained, and a
nervous quivering of the upper lip which could not be instantly
mastered. I was more than satisfied as to the true nature of
smooth-seeming Mr. Capel's sentiments toward the contracted couple, but
as _they_ had observed nothing, I thought it wisest to hold my peace. I
could not, however, help smiling at the confiding simplicity with which
Travers, as we all three walked homeward together, sought counsel of
Capel as to the readiest means of raising--unknown to Miss Hervey--the
funds necessary to be obtained before Prudence, as interpreted by that
lady, would permit his marriage. Slight help, thought I, for such a
purpose, will be afforded by the owner of the amiable countenance I saw
just now.

It was just a week after this that thunder fell upon our office by the
discovery that sixteen hundred pounds in Bank of England notes, sent in
by different parties, late on the previous day, had disappeared,
together with a memorandum-book containing the numbers and dates. Great,
it may be imagined, was the consternation among us all, and a rigorous
investigation, which, however, led to nothing, was immediately
instituted. Capel, who showed extraordinary zeal in the matter, went,
accompanied by one of the chief clerks, to the parties from whom the
notes had been received, for fresh lists, in order that payment might be
stopped. On their return, it was given out that no accurate, reliable
list could be obtained. This, it was afterward found, was a _ruse_
adopted in order to induce the thief or thieves to more readily attempt
getting the notes into circulation.

This occurred in the beginning of September, and about the middle of
October, Travers suddenly informed me that he was to be married on the
following Monday--this was Tuesday. The lease of a house at Hammersmith
had, he said, been agreed for, the furniture ordered, and every thing
was to be completed and paid for by the end of the present week. "And
the money--the extra two hundred and odd pounds required--how has that
been obtained?" "Of my uncle Woolridge, a marriage-_gift_, though
he won't, I believe, be present at the wedding," returned the
bridegroom-elect, with a joyous chuckle. I was quite sure from his
manner, as well as from my knowledge of his uncle's penurious character,
that this was a deception. Constance Hervey's scruples, I had always
thought, now that it was certain his next quarter's salary would
be one hundred and fifty pounds were somewhat over strained and
unreasonable--still I was vexed that he had stooped to deceive her by
such a subterfuge. It was, however, no especial affair of mine, and I
reluctantly accepted his invitation to dine at the Herveys' with him on
the last day of his bachelorhood, that is, on the following Sunday.
Capel was invited, but he refused. I also, declined, and resolutely, to
attend the wedding. That would, I felt, be _un peu trop fort_ just then.

A very pleasant party assembled at Mr. Hervey's on the afternoon of that
terrible Sunday, and we were cheerfully chatting over the dessert, when
the servant-girl announced that four gentlemen were at the door who said
they _must_ see Mr. Travers instantly.

"_Must_ see me!" exclaimed Travers. "Very peremptory, upon my word. With
your leave, sir--and yours, Constance, I will see these very determined
gentlemen here. Bid them walk in, Susan."

Before Susan could do so, the door opened, and in walked the strangers
_without_ invitation. One of them, a square, thick-set, bullet-headed
man it instantly struck me I had been in company with before. Oh! to be
sure! he was the officer who conducted the investigation in the matter
of the stolen notes. What on earth could _he_ want there--or with
Travers?

"You paid, Mr. Travers," said he, bluntly, "something over four hundred
pounds to these two gentlemen, yesterday."

"Yes, certainly I did; no doubt about it."

"Will you tell us, then, if you please, where you obtained the notes in
which you made those payments?"

"Obtained them--where I obtained them?" said Travers, who did not, I
think, immediately recognize the officer. "To be sure. Four of
them--four fifties--I have had by me for some time; and--and--"

"The two one-hundred pound notes--how about them?" quietly suggested the
man, seeing Travers hesitate.

Travers, more confused than alarmed, perhaps, but white as the paper on
which I am writing, glanced hurriedly round--we had all impulsively
risen to our feet--till his eye rested upon Constance Hervey's
eagerly-attentive countenance. "I received them," he stammered,
repeating, I was sure, a falsehood, "from my uncle, Mr. Woolridge, of
Tottenham."

"Then, of course, you will have no objection to accompany us to your
uncle, Mr. Woolridge, of Tottenham?"

"Certainly not; but not now. To-morrow--you see I am engaged now."

"I am sorry to say, Mr. Travers, that you _must_ go with us. Those two
notes were among those stolen from the office to which you belong."

There was a half-stifled scream--a broken sob, and, but for me,
Constance Hervey would have fallen senseless on the floor. Travers was
in the merciless grasp of the officers, who needlessly hurried him off,
spite of his frantic entreaties for a brief delay. The confusion and
terror of such a scene may be imagined, not described. Although at first
somewhat staggered, five minutes had not passed before I felt thoroughly
satisfied that Travers was the victim of some diabolical plot; and I
pretty well guessed of whose concoction. An untruth he had no doubt been
guilty of, through fear of displeasing his betrothed--but guilty of
stealing money--of plundering the office!--bah!--the bare supposition
was an absurdity.

As soon as Miss Hervey was sufficiently recovered to listen, I
endeavored to reason with her in this sense, but she could not
sufficiently command her attention. "My brain is dizzy and confused as
yet," she said; "do you follow, and ascertain, as far as possible, _all_
the truth--the worst truth. I shall be calmer when you return."

"I did so, and in less than two hours I was again at Kensington. Travers
was locked up, after confessing that his statement of having received
the hundred-pound notes of his uncle Woolridge, was untrue. He would
probably be examined at Bow-street the next day--his wedding-day, as he
had fondly dreamed!"

I found Constance Hervey--unlike her father and aunt, who were moaning
and lamenting about the place like distracted creatures--perfectly calm
and self-possessed, though pale as Parian marble. I told her all--all I
had heard and seen, and all that I suspected. Her eyes kindled to
intensest lustre as I spoke. "I have no doubt," she said, "that your
suspicions point the right way, but proof, confronted as we shall be by
that wretched falsehood, will, I fear, be difficult. But I will not
despair; the truth will, I trust, ultimately prevail. And remember,
Thornton," she added, "that we count entirely upon you." She gave me her
hand on saying this; I clutched it with ridiculous enthusiasm, and
blurted out--as if I had been a warlike knight instead of a peaceable
clerk--"You may, Miss Hervey, to the death!" In fact, at that particular
moment, although by no means naturally pugnacious, and, moreover, of a
somewhat delicate constitution, I think I should have proved an ugly
customer had there been any body in the way to fight with. This,
however, not being the case, I consulted with Mr. Hervey as to what
legal assistance ought to be secured, and it was finally determined that
I should request Mr. Elkins, a solicitor residing in Lothbury, to take
Travers's instructions, and that Mr. Alley, the barrister, should be
retained to attend at Bow-street. This matter settled, I took my leave.

I had a very unsatisfactory account to render on the morrow evening to
the anxious family at Kensington. Travers's appearance at Bow-street had
been deferred, at the request of his solicitor, to Wednesday, in order
that the individual from whom the prisoner _now_ declared he had
received the stolen notes might be communicated with. The explanation
given by Travers to the solicitor was briefly this: About seven months
previously he had amassed a considerable sum in guineas--then bearing a
high premium, although it was an offense at law to dispose of them for
more in silver or notes than their nominal value. Somebody--Mr. Capel,
he was pretty sure, but would not be positive--mentioned to him the name
of one Louis Brocard, of No. 18 Brewer-street, as a man who would be
likely to give him a good price for his gold. Travers accordingly saw
Brocard, who, after considerable haggling, paid him two hundred pounds
in Bank of England notes--four fifties--for one hundred and sixty-two
guineas. That lately he, Travers, had often mentioned to Capel, that he
wished to raise, as secretly as possible, on his own personal security,
a sum of at least two hundred pounds, and that Capel--this he was sure
of, as not more than a month had since elapsed--Capel had advised him to
apply to Louis Brocard for assistance. He had done so, and Brocard had
given him the two one-hundred pound notes in exchange for a note of
hand, at six months' date, for two hundred and twenty pounds. I had
obtained temporary leave of absence from the office, and at the
solicitor's request I accompanied him to Brewer-street. Brocard--a
strong-featured, swarthy _emigré_ from the south of France, Languedoc, I
believe, who had been in this country since '92, and spoke English
fluently--was at home, and I could not help thinking, from his manner,
expecting and prepared for some such visit. There was a young woman with
him, his niece, he said, Marie Deschamps, of the same cast of features
as himself, but much handsomer, and with dark fiery eyes, that upon the
least excitement seemed to burn like lightning. Brocard confirmed
Travers's statement without hesitation as to the purchase of the gold
and the discount of the bill. "In what money did you pay the two hundred
pounds for which you received the acceptance?" asked the solicitor.

"I will tell you," replied Brocard, coolly. "Marie, give me the
pocket-book from the desk--the red one. September 26th," he continued,
after adjusting his spectacles, "Martin Travers, four fifty Bank of
England notes," and he read off the dates and numbers, of which I
possess no memoranda.

"Why, those are the notes," exclaimed Mr. Elkins, very much startled,
and glancing at a list in his hand, "which you paid Mr. Travers for the
gold, and which you and others I could name, knew he had not since
parted with!"

A slight flush crossed the Frenchman's brow, and the niece's eyes
gleamed with fierce expression at these words. The emotion thus
displayed was but momentary.

"You are misinformed," said Brocard. "Here is a memorandum made at the
time (March 3d) of the notes paid for the gold. You can read it
yourself. The largest in amount, you will see, was a twenty."

"Do you mean to persist in asserting," said Mr. Elkins, after several
moments of dead silence, "that you did not pay Mr. Travers for his bill
of exchange in two one-hundred pound notes?"

"Persist!" exclaimed the Frenchman. "I don't understand your 'persist!'
I have told you the plain truth. Persist--_parbleu_!"

I was dumfoundered. "Pray, Monsieur Brocard," said the solicitor,
suddenly; "Do you know Mr. Capel?"

The swarthy flush was plainer now, and not so transitory.
"Capel--Capel," he muttered, averting his face toward his niece. "Do we
know Capel, Marie?"

"No doubt your niece does, Mr. Brocard," said the solicitor, with a
sharp sneer, "or that eloquent face of hers belies her."

In truth, Marie Deschamps's features were a-flame with confused and
angry consciousness; and her brilliant eyes sparkled with quick ire, as
she retorted, "And if I do, what then?"

"Nothing, _perhaps_, young lady; but my question was addressed to your
uncle."

"I have nothing more to say," rejoined Brocard. "I know nothing of the
hundred pound notes; very little of Mr. Capel, whom now, however, I
remember. And pray, sir," he added, with a cold, malignant smile, "did I
not hear this morning, that Martin Travers informed the officers that it
was a relation, an uncle, I believe, from whom he received the said
notes--stolen notes, it seems? He will endeavor to inculpate some one
else by-and-by, I dare say."

There was no parrying this thrust, and we came away, much disturbed and
discouraged. I remained late that evening at Kensington, talking the
unfortunate matter over; but hope, alas! of a safe deliverance for poor
Travers appeared impossible, should Brocard persist in his statement.
The prisoner's lodgings had been minutely searched, but no trace of the
still missing fourteen hundred pounds had been discovered there.
Constance Hervey appeared to be greatly struck with my account of Marie
Deschamps's appearance and demeanor, and made me repeat each
circumstance over and over again. I could not comprehend how this could
so much interest her at such a time.

Brocard repeated his statement, on oath, at Bow-street, and Mr. Alley's
cross-examination failed to shake his testimony. The first declaration
made by Travers necessarily deprived his after protestations, vehement
as they were, of all respect; but I could not help feeling surprise that
the barrister's suggestion that it was absurd to suppose that a man in
possession of the very large sum that had been stolen, would have
_borrowed_ two hundred pounds at an exorbitant interest, was treated
with contempt. All that, it was hinted, was a mere colorable contrivance
to be used in case of detection. The prisoner feared to put too many of
the notes in circulation at once, and the acceptance would have been
paid for in the stolen moneys, and so on. Finally, Travers was committed
for trial, and bail was refused.

As the star of the unfortunate Travers sank in disastrous eclipse, that
of Capel shone more brilliantly. There was no doubt that he would
succeed, on his rival's conviction, to the vacated post; and some eight
or nine weeks after Travers had been committed, circumstances occurred
which induced me to believe that he would be equally successful in
another respect. I must also say that Capel evinced from the first much
sorrow for his old friend's lamentable fall; he treated the notion of
his being guiltless with disdain, and taking me one day aside, he said
he should endeavor to get Brocard out of the country before the day of
trial either by fair means or by tipping him the Alien Act. "In fact,"
he added, with some confusion of manner, "I have faithfully promised
Miss Hervey, that for _her_ sake, though she can have no more doubt of
his guilt than I have, that no effort shall be spared to prevent his
_legal_ conviction; albeit, life, without character will be, I should
think, no great boon to him."

"For _her_ sake! You, Edward Capel, have faithfully promised Miss Hervey
to attempt this for _her_ sake!" I exclaimed, as soon as I could speak
for sheer astonishment.

"Ay, truly: does that surprise you, Thornton?" he added, with a
half-bitter, half-Malvolio smile.

"Supremely; and if it be as your manner intimates, why then, Frailty,
thy name in very truth is--"

"Woman!" broke in Capel, taking the word out of my mouth. "No doubt of
it, from the days of Eve till ours. But come, let us return to
business."

I had been for some time grievously perplexed by the behavior of
Constance Hervey. Whenever I had called at Kensington, I found, that
though at times she appeared to be on the point of breaking through a
self-imposed restraint, all mention of Travers, as far as possible, was
avoided, and that some new object engrossed the mind of Constance, to
the exclusion of every other. What a light did this revelation of
Capel's throw on her conduct and its motives! And it was such a woman as
that, was it, that I had enshrined in the inmost recesses of my heart,
and worshiped as almost a divinity! Great God!

These thoughts were trembling on my lips, when a brief note was brought
me: "Miss Hervey's compliments to Mr. Edward Thornton, and she will be
obliged if, late as it is, he will hasten to Kensington immediately." I
had never seen a line of hers before in my life, and it was wonderful
how all my anger, suspicion, scorn, vanished--exhaled, before those
little fly-stroke characters; so much so that--but no, I won't expose
myself. A hack soon conveyed me to Kensington; Mr. Hervey, Constance,
and good Aunt Jane were all there in the parlor, evidently in
expectation of my arrival. Miss Hervey proceeded to business at once.

"You have not seen Marie Deschamps lately, I believe?"

"Not I! The last time I saw her was in Bow-street, whither she
accompanied her scoundrel of an uncle."

"Well, you must see her again to-morrow. She is deeply attached to Mr.
Capel, and expects that he will marry her as soon as Martin Travers is
convicted; and he, Capel, has secured the vacant place."

"Ha!"

"Mr. Capel," continued Miss Hervey, and a glint of sparkling sunlight
shot from her charming eyes, "has been foolish enough to prefer another
person--at least so I am instructed by papa, with whom the gentleman
left this note, not yet opened, addressed to me, some three hours since.
I can imagine its contents, but let us see."

I can not depict in words the scorn, contempt, pride--triumph, too--that
swept over that beautiful countenance. "Very impassioned and eloquent,
upon my word," she said; "I only wonder such burning words did not fire
the paper. Now, Mr. Thornton, you must see this forsaken damsel, Marie
Deschamps, and acquaint her with Mr. Capel's inconstancy. She will
require proof--it shall be afforded her. In answer to this missive, I
shall appoint Mr. Capel to see me here to-morrow evening at seven
o'clock. Do you bring her by half-past six, and place yourselves in yon
little ante-room, where every thing done here, and every word spoken,
can be distinctly seen and heard. This well managed, I am greatly
deceived in those southern eyes of hers if the iniquitous plot, of which
there can be no doubt she holds the clew, will not receive an
unlooked-for solution."

"Charming! glorious! beautiful!" I was breaking into _éclats_ of
enthusiastic admiration, but Miss Hervey, who was too earnest and
excited to listen patiently to rhapsodies, cut me short with, "My dear
sir, it's getting very late, and there is, you know, much to be done
to-morrow." It's not pleasant to be let down so suddenly when you are so
particularly stilty, but as I was by this time pretty well used to it, I
submitted with the best possible grace, and, after receiving some other
explanations and directions, took leave.

I obtained an interview without difficulty, on the following morning,
with Marie Deschamps, just before office hours, and in her uncle's
absence. She was curious to know the object of my visit; but her manner,
though free and gay, was carefully guarded and unrelenting, till I
gradually and cautiously introduced the subject of Capel's infidelity.
It was marvelous how, as each sentence fell upon her ear, her figure
stiffened into statue-like rigidity, and her eyes kindled with fiery
passion. "If this be so," she said, when I ceased speaking, "he is
playing with his life! Is she the lady I passed a fortnight since, when
with him in the Park?" "Describe the lady, and I will tell you." She did
so; it was the exact portrait of Miss Hervey, and so I told her. "I had
a misgiving at the time," she said; "if it prove true--but I will
believe, after what has passed, only my own eyes and ears."

This was all we desired; a satisfactory arrangement was agreed upon, and
I left her, not without hugging self-gratulation that _I_ was not the
recreant sweetheart about to be caught _in flagrante delicto_ by such a
damsel.

I watched Capel that day with keen attention. He was much excited it was
evident, and withal ill at ease: there was a nervous apprehensiveness in
his manner and aspect I had never before noticed, over which, however,
from time to time quick flashes of exultation glimmered, sparkled, and
then vanished. Is it, thought I, the shadow of a sinister catastrophe
that already projects over and awes, appalls him? It might be.

Marie Deschamps and I were ensconced punctually at the hour named, in
the little slip of a closet communicating with the Herveys' up-stairs
sitting-room. Nobody appeared there till about five minutes to seven,
when Constance, charmingly attired, and looking divinely--though much
agitated, I could see through all her assumed firmness--entered, and
seated herself upon a small couch, directly in front of the tiny window
through which we cautiously peered. "No wonder," I mentally exclaimed,
"that Capel has been beguiled of all sense or discretion!"

In reply to Marie Deschamps' look of jealous yet admiring surprise, I
whispered, pointing to the neat but poor furniture, "Capel expects, you
know, soon to have six hundred a year." "Ah," she rejoined, in the same
tone, "and in this country gold is God!" "And all the Saints in yours, I
believe; but hark! there is a knock at the door; it is he, no doubt."

Comparatively dark as the closet was, I could see the red, swarthy color
come and go on the young woman's cheeks and forehead; and I fancied I
could hear the violent and hurried beating of her heart. Presently Mr.
Capel entered the apartment; his features were flushed as with fever,
and his whole manner exhibited uncontrollable agitation. His first words
were unintelligible, albeit their purport might be guessed. Miss Hervey,
though much disturbed also, managed to say, after a few moment's awkward
silence, and with a half-ironical yet fascinating smile, taking up as
she spoke a letter which lay upon the table, "Upon my word, Mr. Capel,
this abrupt proposal of yours appears to me, under the circumstances, to
be singularly ill-timed and premature, besides--"

The lady's discomposure had, it struck me, dissipated a half-formed
suspicion in Capel's mind that some trap or mystification was preparing
for him, and, throwing himself at the feet of Constance, he gave way to
a torrent of fervent, headlong protestation, which there could be no
question was the utterance of genuine passion. Marie Deschamps felt
this, and but that I forcibly held her back, she would have burst into
the room at once: as it was she pressed her arms across her bosom with
her utmost force, as if to compress, keep down, the wild rage by which
she was, I saw, shaken and convulsed. Miss Hervey appeared affected by
Capel's vehemence, and she insisted that he should rise and seat
himself. He did so, and after a minute or so of silence, Constance again
resolutely addressed herself to the task she had determined to perform.

"But the lady, Mr. Capel, whom we saw you conversing with not long since
in the Park; one Marie--Marie, something?"

"The name of such a person as Marie Deschamps should not sully Miss
Hervey's lips, even in jest, ha!--"

No wonder he stopped abruptly, and turned round with quick alarm. Till
that moment I had with difficulty succeeded in holding the said Marie,
but no sooner was her name thus contemptuously pronounced, than she
plucked a small, glittering instrument from her bodice--the half of a
pair of scissors, it seemed to me, but pointed and sharp as a
dagger--and drove it into my arm with such hearty good-will, that I
loosed her in a twinkling. In she burst upon the utterly astounded Capel
with a cry of rage and vengeance, and struck furiously at him right and
left, at the same time hurling in his face the epithets of "liar!"
"traitor!" "robber!" "villain!" and so on, as thick as hail, and with
maniacal fury. I had instantly followed, and at the same moment Mr.
Hervey, and the officer who arrested Travers, came in by another door. I
and Mr. Hervey placed ourselves before Constance, who was terribly
scared, for this stabbing business was more than we had looked or
bargained for. The officer seized Marie Deschamps' arm, and with some
difficulty wrenched the dangerous weapon she wielded with such deadly
ferocity from her grasp. It was, as I supposed, a sharpened
scissors-blade, and keen, as a large scar on my arm still testifies, as
a poinard. Capel, paralyzed, bewildered by so unexpected and furious an
attack, and bleeding in several places, though not seriously hurt,
staggered back to the wall, against which he supported himself, as he
gazed with haggard fear and astonishment at the menacing scene before
him.

"And so you would marry that lady, thief and villain that you are!"
continued the relentless young fury; "she shall know, then, what you
are; that it was you contrived the stealing of the bank notes, which--"

"Marie!" shrieked Capel, "dear Marie! for your own sake, stop! I will do
any thing--"

"Dog! traitor!" she broke in, with even yet wilder passion than before,
if it were possible; "it is too late. I know you now, and spit at both
you and your promises? It was you, I say, who brought my uncle the
one-hundred pound notes by which your _friend_, Martin Travers, has been
entrapped!"

"'Tis false! the passionate, mad, jealous fool lies!" shouted Capel,
with frantic terror.

"Lie, do I? Then there is _not_ a thousand pounds worth of the stolen
notes concealed at this moment beneath the floor of your sitting-room,
till an opportunity can be found of sending them abroad! That, unmatched
villain that you are, is false, too, perhaps?"

She paused from sheer exhaustion, and for a brief space no one spoke, so
suddenly had the blow fallen. Presently the officer said, "The game is
up, you see, at last, Mr. Capel; you will go with me;" and he stepped
toward the unhappy culprit. Capel, thoroughly desperate, turned, sprang
with surprising agility over a dining-table, threw up a window-sash, and
leapt into the street. The height was not so much, but his feet caught
in some iron railing, and he fell head foremost on the pavement,
fracturing his skull frightfully. Before an hour had passed, he was
dead.

Brocard contrived to escape, but the evidence of Marie Deschamps and the
finding of the stolen notes, in accordance with her statement, fully
established the innocence of Travers, and he was restored to freedom and
his former position in the world. He and Constance Hervey, to whom he
owed so much, were married three months after his liberation, and I
officiated, by particular desire, as bride's father.

I had lost sight of Marie Deschamps for some twelve or thirteen years,
when I accidentally met her in Liverpool. She was a widow, having
married and buried a M. L'Estrange, a well-to-do person there, who left
her in decent circumstances. We spoke together of the events I have
briefly but faithfully narrated, and she expressed much contrition for
the share she had taken in the conspiracy against Travers. I fancied,
too--it was perhaps an unjust fancy--that, knowing I had lately been
promoted to four hundred a year, she wished to dazzle me with those
still bright eyes of hers--a bootless effort, by whomsoever attempted.
The talismanic image daguerreotyped upon my heart in the bright sunlight
of young manhood, could have no rival there, and is even now as fresh
and radiant as when first impressed, albeit the strong years have done
their work, yet very gently, upon the original. It could scarcely be
otherwise, living visibly, as she still does, in youthful grace and
beauty in the person of the gay gipsy I am, please God, soon to "give
away," at St. Pancras Church, as I did her grandmamma, more than forty
years ago, at Kensington. Constance, _this_ Constance is, as she well
knows, to be my heiress. Travers, her grandfather, is now a
silver-haired, yet hale, jocund, old man; and so tenderly, I repeat, has
Time dealt with his wife--the Constance Hervey of this narrative--that I
can sometimes hardly believe her to be more than about three or four and
forty years of age. This is, however, perhaps only an illusion of the
long and, whatever fools or skeptics may think, or say, elevating dream
that has pursued me through youth and middle age, even unto confirmed
old bachelorhood. Madame L'Estrange, as before stated, died a short time
since at Liverpool; her death, by influenza, the paper noticed, was
sudden and unexpected.



WONDERFUL TOYS.


Very wonderful things are told by various writers of the power of
inventive genius in expending itself upon trifles. Philip Camuz
describes an extraordinary automaton group that was got up, regardless,
of course, of expense, for the entertainment of Louis the Fourteenth.
It consisted of a coach and horses--what a modern coachman would
designate "a first-rate turn-out." Its road was a table; and, at
starting, the coachman smacked his whip, the horses began to prance;
then, subsiding into a long trot, they continued until the whole
equipage arrived opposite to where the King sat. They then stopped, a
footman dismounted from the foot-board, opened the door, and handed out
a lady; who, courtesying gracefully, offered a petition to his Majesty,
and re-entered the carriage. The footman jumped up behind--all
right--the whip smacked once more; the horses pranced, and the long trot
was resumed.

Some of the stories extant, respecting musical automata, are no less
extraordinary. D'Alembert gives an account, in the "_Encyclopédie
Methodique_," of a gigantic mechanical Flute-player. It stood on a
pedestal, in which some of the "works" were contained; and, not only
blew into the flute, but, with its lips, increased or diminished the
tones it forced out of the instrument, performing the legato and
staccato passages to perfection. The fingering was also quite accurate.
This marvelous Flautist was exhibited in Paris in 1738, and was made by
Jacques de Vaucanson, the prince of automaton contrivers.

Vaucanson labored under many disadvantages in constructing this
marvelous figure; among others, that of a skeptic uncle; who, for some
years, laughed him out of his project. At length, fortune favored the
mechanist with a severe illness; and he took advantage of it to contrive
the automaton he had so long dreamt of. This was at Grenoble; and, as
Vaucanson designed each portion of the figure, he sent it to be made by
a separate workman; that no one should find out the principle of his
invention. As the pieces came home, he put them together; and, when the
whole was completed, he crawled out of bed, by the help of a servant who
had been his go-between with the various operative mechanics, and locked
his chamber door. Trembling with anxiety, he wound up the works. At the
first sound emitted from the flute, the servant fell on his knees, and
began to worship his master as somebody more than mortal. They both
embraced each other, and wept with joy to the tune which the figure was
merrily playing.

None of Vaucanson's imitators have been able to accomplish the
organization by which his figure modified the tones, by the action of
the lips; although several flute-playing puppets have since been made.
About forty years ago there was an exhibition in London, of two
mechanical figures, of the size of life, which performed duets.
Incredulous visitors were in the habit of placing their fingers on the
holes of the flutes, in order to convince themselves that the puppets
really supplied the wind, which caused the flutes to discourse such
excellent music.

A full orchestra of clock-work musicians is quite possible. Maelzel, the
inventor of the Metronome, opened an exhibition in Vienna, in 1809, in
which an automaton Trumpeter as large as life, performed with
surprising accuracy and power. The audience first saw, on entering the
room, a tent. Presently the curtains opened, and Maelzel appeared
leading forward the trumpeter, attired in full regimentals of an
Austrian dragoon. He then pressed the left epaulet of the figure, and it
began to sound, not only all the cavalry flails then in use for
directing the evolutions of the Austrian cavalry, but to play a march,
and an allegro by Weigl, which was accompanied by a full band of living
musicians. The figure then retired; and, in a few minutes, reappeared in
the dress of a trumpeter of the French guard. The inventor wound it up
on the left hip; another touch on the left shoulder, and forth came from
the trumpet, in succession, all the French cavalry-calls, the French
cavalry march, a march by Dussek, and one of Pleyel's allegros; again
accompanied by the orchestra. In the _Journal des Modes_, whence this
account is derived, it is declared that the tones produced by Maelzel's
automaton were even fuller and richer than those got out of a trumpet by
human lungs and lips; because a man's breath imparts to the inside of
the instrument a moisture which deteriorates the quality of the tone.

Vaucanson has, however, never been outdone; after his Flautist, he
produced a figure which accompanied a flageolet played with one hand,
with a tambourine struck with the other. But his most wonderful
achievements were in imitating animals. His duck became a wonder of the
world. He simulated nature in the minutest point. Every bone, every
fibre, every organ, were so accurately constructed and fitted, that the
mechanism waddled about in search of grain; and, when it found some,
picked it up with its bill and swallowed it. "This grain" (we quote from
the _Biographie Universelle_) "produced in the stomach a species of
trituration, which caused it to pass into the intestines, and to perform
all the functions of digestion." The wonderful duck was not to be
distinguished from any live duck. It muddled the water with its beak,
drank, and quacked to the life. From men and ducks Vaucanson descended
to insects. When Marmontel brought out his tragedy of "Cleopatra,"
Vaucanson obliged the author with a mechanical Aspic, in order that the
heroine might be stung with the closest imitation of nature. At the
proper moment the insect darted forth from the side-scenes, and settled
upon the actress, hissing all the while. A wit, on being asked his
opinion of the play, answered pithily, "_I_ agree with the Aspic."

One never contemplates these wonders without regretting that so much
mechanical genius should have been mis-expended upon objects by which
mankind are no gainers beyond a little fleeting gratification. Vaucanson
did not, however, wholly waste himself upon ingenious trifling. He was
appointed by Cardinal Fleury, Inspector of Silk Manufactories, into
which he introduced, during a visit to Lyons, some labor-saving
improvements. In return for this, the workmen stoned him out of the
town; but he conveyed his opinion of their folly by constructing and
setting to work a machine which produced a very respectable flower
pattern in silk damask by the aid of an Ass. Had his genius confined
itself wholly to the useful arts, it is not to be doubted that Vaucanson
would have advanced the productive powers of machinery, and,
consequently, the prosperity of mankind, at least half a century. In
point of abstract ingenuity, his useless contrivances equal, if they do
not exceed in inventive power and mechanical skill, the important
achievements of Arkwright and Watt. Vaucanson's inventions died with
him; those of the great English engineers will live to increase the
happiness and comfort of mankind forever.

Single mechanical figures, including the automaton Chess-player (which
was scarcely a fair deception, and is too well known to need more than a
passing allusion), although surprising for their special performances,
were hardly more attractive than the groups of automata which have been
from time to time exhibited. One of the Memoirs of the French Academy of
Sciences describes, in 1729, a set of mechanical puppets, which were at
that time performing a pantomime in five acts. In 1746, Bienfait, the
show-man, brought out "The Bombardment of the City of Antwerp," which
was performed in the most soldier-like manner, by automata; all the
artillery being served and discharged with that regularity which is
always attributed to clock-work. A year or two later, the same artist
produced "The Grand Assault of Bergem-op-Zoom," with unequivocal
success. He called his company _Comédiens praticiens_.

The latest notable effort of mechanical puppet manufacture is exhibited
at Boulogne at the present time. It is that of a jeweler, who has
devoted eight years of his life to the perfection of a clock-work
conjuror; which he has made a thorough master of the thimble-rig.
Dressed in an Eastern costume, this necromancer stands behind a table,
covered, as the tables of professors of legerdemain usually are, with
little boxes and cabinets, from which he takes the objects he employs
during the exhibition. He produces his goblets, and shows the balls
under them; which vanish and reappear in the most approved style: now
two or three are conjured into a spot, a moment before vacant;
presently, these disappear again, and are perpetually divided and
re-united.

At every exclamation of the spectators, the little conjuror turns his
eyes from side to side, as if looking round the house; smiles, casts his
eyes modestly down, bows, and resumes his sleight-of-hand. He not only
takes up the goblets from a stand, and places them over the balls, but
leaves them there for a minute, and holds his hands up, to show the
audience that he conceals nothing in his palm or sleeve. He then seizes
the goblets again and goes on. This trick over, he puts his cups away,
and shuts his cabinet. He then knocks on his table, and up starts an
egg, to which he points, to secure attention; he touches the egg (which
opens lengthwise) and a little bird starts into life; sings a
roundelay, claps its enameled wings--which are of real hummingbirds'
feathers, beyond any metallic art in lustre--and then falls back into
its egg. The little conjuror nods, smiles, rolls his eyes right and
left, bows as before, and the egg disappears into the table; he bows
again, and then sits down to intimate that the performance is over. The
height of this little gentleman is about three inches; his table and
every thing else being in due proportion. He stands on a high square
pedestal, apparently of marble. It is, however, of tin, painted white,
and within it are all the wheels and works containing the heart of the
mystery.

This jeweler sold to a dealer, who re-sold to a Persian Prince, not long
since, a Marionnette flute-player; but whose fingering in the most
elaborate pieces, although as accurate as if Drouet or Nicholson had
been the performers, had no influence over the tune; which was played by
a concealed musical box. It was therefore, much inferior to those
mechanical flautists we have already described. The jeweler has never
ceased to regret having sold this toy. He could have borne to have
parted with it if it had remained in Europe, but that it should have
been conveyed, as he says, "to the other world," has been too cruel a
blow. "_Tout le monde_," he exclaims, "_sera enchanté de mon ouvrage;
mais, on ne parlera pas de moi, là-bas_"--all the world will be
enchanted with my work, but no one will speak of me yonder--by which
distant region, he probably means Ispahan.

He is now perfecting a beautiful bird, which flies from spray to spray,
and sings when it alights, somewhat similarly to the little Swiss bird
which warbled so sweetly at the Great Exhibition.



MY TRAVELING COMPANION.


My picture was a failure. Partial friends had guaranteed its success;
but the Hanging Committee and the press are not composed of one's
partial friends. The Hanging Committee thrust me into the darkest corner
of the octagon-room, and the press ignored my existence--excepting in
one instance, when my critic dismissed me in a quarter of a line as a
"presumptuous dauber." I was stunned with the blow, for I had counted so
securely on the £200 at which my grand historical painting was
dog-cheap--not to speak of the deathless fame which it was to create for
me--that I felt like a mere wreck when my hopes were flung to the
ground, and the untasted cup dashed from my lips. I took to my bed, and
was seriously ill. The doctor bled me till I fainted, and then said,
that he had saved me from a brain-fever. That might be, but he very
nearly threw me into a consumption, only that I had a deep chest and a
good digestion. Pneumonic expansion and active chyle saved me from an
early tomb, yet I was too unhappy to be grateful.

But why did my picture fail? Surely it possessed all the elements of
success! It was grandly historical in subject, original in treatment,
pure in coloring; what, then, was wanting? This old warrior's head, of
true Saxon type, had all the majesty of Michael Angelo; that young
figure, all the radiant grace of Correggio; no Rembrandt showed more
severe dignity than yon burnt umber monk in the corner; and Titian never
excelled the loveliness of this cobalt virgin in the foreground. Why did
it not succeed? The subject, too--the "Finding of the Body of Harold by
Torch-light"---was sacred to all English hearts; and being conceived in
an entirely new and original manner, it was redeemed from the charge of
triteness and wearisomeness. The composition was pyramidal, the apex
being a torch home aloft for the "high light," and the base showing some
very novel effects of herbage and armor. But it failed. All my skill,
all my hope, my ceaseless endeavor, my burning visions, all--all had
failed; and I was only a poor, half-starved painter, in Great
Howland-street, whose landlady was daily abating in her respect, and the
butcher daily abating in his punctuality; whose garments were getting
threadbare, and his dinners hypothetical, and whose day-dreams of fame
and fortune had faded into the dull-gray of penury and disappointment. I
was broken-hearted, ill, hungry; so I accepted an invitation from a
friend, a rich manufacturer in Birmingham, to go down to his house for
the Christmas holidays. He had a pleasant place in the midst of some
iron-works, the blazing chimneys of which, he assured me, would afford
me some exquisite studies of "light" effects.

By mistake, I went by the Express train, and so was thrown into the
society of a lady whose position would have rendered any acquaintance
with her impossible, excepting under such chance-conditions as the
present; and whose history, as I learned it afterward, led me to reflect
much on the difference between the reality and the seeming of life.

She moved my envy. Yes--base, mean, low, unartistic, degrading as is
this passion, I felt it rise up like a snake in my breast when I saw
that feeble woman. She was splendidly dressed--wrapped in furs of the
most costly kind, trailing behind; her velvets and lace worth a
countess's dowry. She was attended by obsequious menials; surrounded by
luxuries; her compartment of the carriage was a perfect palace in all
the accessories which it was possible to collect in so small a space;
and it seemed as though "Cleopatra's cup" would have been no
impracticable draught for her. She gave me more fully the impression of
luxury, than any person I had ever met with before; and I thought I had
reason when I envied her.

She was lifted into the carriage carefully; carefully swathed in her
splendid furs and lustrous velvets; and placed gently, like a wounded
bird, in her warm nest of down. But she moved languidly, and fretfully
thrust aside her servants' busy hands, indifferent to her comforts, and
annoyed by her very blessings. I looked into her face: it was a strange
face, which had once been beautiful; but ill-health, and care, and
grief, had marked it now with deep lines, and colored it with unnatural
tints. Tears had washed out the roses from her cheeks, and set large
purple rings about her eyes; the mouth was hard and pinched, but the
eyelids swollen; while the crossed wrinkles on her brow told the same
tale of grief grown petulant, and of pain grown soured, as the thin lip,
quivering and querulous, and the nervous hand, never still and never
strong.

The train-bell rang, the whistle sounded, the lady's servitors stood
bareheaded and courtesying to the ground, and the rapid rush of the iron
giant bore off the high-born dame and the starveling painter in strange
companionship. Unquiet and unresting--now shifting her place--now
letting down the glass for the cold air to blow full upon her withered
face, then drawing it up, and chafing her hands and feet by the
warm-water apparatus concealed in her _chauffe-pied_, while shivering as
if in an ague-fit--sighing deeply--lost in thought--wildly looking out
and around for distraction--she soon made me ask myself whether my envy
of her was as true as deep sympathy and pity would have been.

"But her wealth--her wealth!" I thought. "True she may suffer, but how
gloriously she is solaced! She may weep, but the angels of social life
wipe off her tears with perfumed linen, gold embroidered; she may
grieve, but her grief makes her joys so much the more blissful. Ah! she
is to be envied after all!--envied, while I, a very beggar, might well
scorn my place now!"

Something of this might have been in my face, as I offered my sick
companion some small attention--I forget what--gathering up one of her
luxurious trifles, or arranging her cushions. She seemed almost to read
my thoughts as her eyes rested on my melancholy face; and saying
abruptly: "I fear you are unhappy, young man?" she settled herself in
her place like a person prepared to listen to a pleasant tale.

"I am unfortunate, madam," I answered.

"Unfortunate?" she said impatiently. "What! with youth and health, can
you call yourself unfortunate? When the whole world lies untried before
you, and you still live in the golden atmosphere of hope, can you pamper
yourself with sentimental sorrows? Fie upon you!--fie upon you! What are
your sorrows compared with mine?"

"I am ignorant of yours, madam," I said, respectfully; "but I know my
own; and, knowing them, I can speak of their weight and bitterness. By
your very position, you can not undergo the same kind of distress as
that overwhelming me at this moment: you may have evils in your path of
life, but they can not equal mine."

"Can any thing equal the evils of ruined health and a desolated hearth?"
she cried, still in the same impatient manner. "Can the worst griefs of
wayward youth equal the bitterness of that cup which you drink at such a
time of life as forbids all hope of after-assuagement? Can the first
disappointment of a strong heart rank with the terrible desolation of a
wrecked old age? You think because you see about me the evidences of
wealth, that I must be happy. Young man, I tell you truly, I would
gladly give up every farthing of my princely fortune, and be reduced to
the extreme of want, to bring back from the grave the dear ones lying
there, or pour into my veins one drop of the bounding blood of health
and energy which used to make life a long play-hour of delight. Once, no
child in the fields, no bird in the sky, was more blessed than I; and
what am I now?--a sickly, lonely old woman, whose nerves are shattered
and whose heart is broken, without hope or happiness on the earth! Even
death has passed me by in forgetfulness and scorn!"

Her voice betrayed the truth of her emotion. Still, with an accent of
bitterness and complaint, rather than of simple sorrow, it was the voice
of one fighting against her fate, more than of one suffering acutely and
in despair: it was petulant rather than melancholy; angry rather than
grieving; showing that her trials had hardened, not softened her heart.

"Listen to me," she then said, laying her hand en my arm, "and perhaps
my history may reconcile you to the childish depression, from what cause
soever it may be, under which you are laboring. You are young and
strong, and can bear any amount of pain as yet: wait until you reach my
age, and then you will know the true meaning of the word despair! I am
rich, as you may see," she continued, pointing to her surroundings: "in
truth, so rich that I take no account either of my income or my
expenditure. I have never known life under any other form; I have never
known what it was to be denied the gratification of one desire which
wealth could purchase, or obliged to calculate the cost of a single
undertaking. I can scarcely realize the idea of poverty. I see that all
people do not live in the same style as myself; but I can not understand
that it is from inability: it always seems to me to be from their own
disinclination. I tell you, I can not fully realize the idea of poverty;
and you think this must make me happy, perhaps?" she added, sharply,
looking full in my face.

"I should be happy, madam, if I were rich," I replied. "Suffering now
from the strain of poverty, it is no marvel if I place an undue value on
plenty."

"Yet see what it does for me!" continued my companion. "Does it give me
back my husband, my brave boys, my beautiful girl? Does it give rest to
this weary heart, or relief to this aching head? Does it soothe my mind
or heal my body? No! It but oppresses me, like a heavy robe thrown round
weakened limbs: it is even an additional misfortune, for if I were poor,
I should be obliged to think of other things besides myself and my woes;
and the very mental exertion necessary to sustain my position would
lighten my miseries. I have seen my daughter wasting year by year and
day by day, under the warm sky of the south--under the warm care of
love! Neither climate nor affection could save her: every effort was
made--the best advice procured--the latest panacea adopted; but to no
effect. Her life was prolonged, certainly; but this simply means, that
she was three years in dying, instead of three months. She was a
gloriously lovely creature, like a fair young saint for beauty and
purity--quite an ideal thing, with her golden hair and large blue eyes!
She was my only girl--my youngest, my darling, my best treasure! My
first real sorrow--now fifteen years ago--was when I saw her laid, on
her twenty-first birthday, in the English burial-ground at Madeira. It
is on the grave-stone, that she died of consumption: would that it had
been added--and her mother of grief! From the day of her death, my
happiness left me!"

Here the poor lady paused, and buried her face in her hands. The first
sorrow was evidently also the keenest; and I felt my own eyelids moist
as I watched this outpouring of the mother's anguish. After all, here
was grief beyond the power of wealth to assuage: here was sorrow deeper
than any mere worldly disappointment.

"I had two sons," she went on to say, after a short time--"only two.
They were fine young men, gifted and handsome. In fact, all my children
were allowed to be very models of beauty. One entered the army, the
other the navy. The eldest went with his regiment to the Cape, where he
married a woman of low family--an infamous creature of no blood; though
she was decently conducted for a low-born thing as she was. She was
well-spoken of by those who knew her; but what _could_ she be with a
butcher for a grandfather! However, my poor infatuated son loved her to
the last. She was very pretty, I have heard--young, and timid; but being
of such fearfully low origin, of course she could not be recognized by
my husband or myself! We forbade my son all intercourse with us, unless
he would separate himself from her; but the poor boy was perfectly mad,
and he preferred this low-born wife to his father and mother. They had a
little baby, who was sent over to me when the wife died--for, thank God!
she did die in a few years' time. My son was restored to our love, and
he received our forgiveness; but we never saw him again. He took a fever
of the country, and was a corpse in a few hours. My second boy was in
the navy--a fine, high-spirited fellow, who seemed to set all the
accidents of life at defiance. I could not believe in any harm coming to
_him_. He was so strong, so healthy, so beautiful, so bright: he might
have been immortal, for all the elements of decay that showed themselves
in him. Yet this glorious young hero was drowned--wrecked off a
coral-reef, and flung like a weed on the waters. He lost his own life in
trying to save that of a common sailor--a piece of pure gold bartered
for the foulest clay! Two years after this, my husband died of typhus
fever, and I had a nervous attack, from which I have never recovered.
And now, what do you say to this history of mine? For fifteen years, I
have never been free from sorrow. No sooner did one grow so familiar to
me, that I ceased to tremble at its hideousness, than another, still
more terrible, came to overwhelm me in fresh misery. For fifteen years,
my heart has never known an hour's peace; and to the end of my life, I
shall be a desolate, miserable, broken-hearted woman. Can you
understand, now, the valuelessness of my riches, and how desolate my
splendid house must seem to me? They have been given me for no useful
purpose here or hereafter; they encumber me, and do no good to others.
Who is to have them when I die? Hospitals and schools? I hate the
medical profession, and I am against the education of the poor. I think
it the great evil of the day, and I would not leave a penny of mine to
such a radical wrong. What is to become of my wealth--?"

"Your grandson," I interrupted, hastily: "the child of the officer."

The old woman's face gradually softened. "Ah! he is a lovely boy," she
said; "but I don't love him--no, I don't," she repeated, vehemently. "If
I set my heart on him, he will die or turn out ill: take to the low ways
of his wretched mother, or die some horrible death. I steel my heart
against him, and shut him out from my calculations of the future. He is
a sweet boy: interesting, affectionate, lovely; but I will not allow
myself to love him, and I don't allow him to love me! But you ought to
see him. His hair is like my own daughter's--long, glossy, golden hair;
and his eyes are large and blue, and the lashes curl on his cheek like
heavy fringes. He is too pale and too thin: he looks sadly delicate; but
his wretched mother was a delicate little creature, and he has doubtless
inherited a world of disease and poor blood from her. I wish he was here
though, for you to see; but I keep him at school, for when he is much
with me, I feel myself beginning to be interested in him; and I do not
wish to love him--I do not wish to remember him at all! With that
delicate frame and nervous temperament, he _must_ die; and why should I
prepare fresh sorrow for myself, by taking him into my heart, only to
have him plucked out again by death?"

All this was said with the most passionate vehemence of manner, as if
she were defending herself against some unjust charge. I said something
in the way of remonstrance. Gently and respectfully, but firmly, I spoke
of the necessity for each soul to spiritualize its aspirations, and to
raise itself from the trammels of earth; and in speaking thus to her, I
felt my own burden lighten off my heart, and I acknowledged that I had
been both foolish and sinful in allowing my first disappointment to
shadow all the sunlight of my existence. I am not naturally of a
desponding disposition, and nothing but a blow as severe as the
non-success of my "Finding the Body of Harold by Torch-light" could have
affected me to the extent of mental prostration, as that under which I
was now laboring. But this was very hard to bear! My companion listened
to me with a kind of blank surprise, evidently unaccustomed to the
honesty of truth; but she bore my remarks patiently, and when I had
ended, she even thanked me for my advice.

"And now, tell me the cause of your melancholy face?" she asked, as we
were nearing Birmingham. "Your story can not be very long, and I shall
have just enough time to hear it."

I smiled at her authoritative tone, and said quietly: "I am an artist,
madam, and I had counted much on the success of my first historical
painting. It has failed, and I am both penniless and infamous. I
am the 'presumptuous dauber' of the critics--despised by my
creditors--emphatically a failure throughout."

"Pshaw!" cried the lady, impatiently; "and what is that for a grief! a
day's disappointment which a day's labor can repair! To me, your
troubles seem of no more worth than a child's tears when he has broken
his newest toy! Here is Birmingham, and I must bid you farewell. Perhaps
you will open the door for me? Good-morning: you have made my journey
pleasant, and relieved my ennui. I shall be happy to see you in town,
and to help you forward in your career."

And with these words, said in a strange, indifferent, matter-of-fact
tone, as of one accustomed to all the polite offers of good society,
which mean nothing tangible, she was lifted from the carriage by a train
of servants, and borne off the platform.

I looked at the card which she placed in my hand, and read the address
of "Mrs. Arden, Belgrave-square."

I found my friend waiting for me; and in a few moments was seated before
a blazing fire in a magnificent drawing-room, surrounded with every
comfort that hospitality could offer, or luxury invent.

"Here, at least, is happiness," I thought, as I saw the family assemble
in the drawing-room before dinner. "Here are beauty, youth, wealth,
position--all that makes life valuable. What concealed skeleton can
there be in this house to frighten away one grace of existence?
None--none! They must be happy; and, oh! what a contrast to that poor
lady I met with to-day; and what a painful contrast to myself!"

And all my former melancholy returned like a heavy cloud upon my brow;
and I felt that I stood like some sad ghost in a fairy-land of beauty,
so utterly out of place was my gloom in the midst of all this gayety and
splendor.

One daughter attracted my attention more than the rest. She was the
eldest, a beautiful girl of about twenty-three, or she might have been
even a few years older. Her face was quite of the Spanish style--dark,
expressive, and tender; and her manners were the softest and most
bewitching I had ever seen. She was peculiarly attractive to an artist,
from the exceeding beauty of feature, as well as from the depth of
expression which distinguished her. I secretly sketched her portrait on
my thumb-nail, and in my own mind I determined to make her the model for
my next grand attempt at historical composition--"the Return of
Columbus." She was to be the Spanish queen; and I thought of myself as
Ferdinand; for I was not unlike a Spaniard in appearance, and I was
almost as brown.

I remained with my friend a fortnight, studying the midnight effects of
the iron-foundries, and cultivating the acquaintance of Julia. In these
two congenial occupations, the time passed like lightning, and I woke as
from a pleasant dream, to the knowledge of the fact, that my visit was
expected to be brought to a close. I had been asked, I remembered, for a
week, and I had doubled my furlough. I hinted at breakfast, that I was
afraid I must leave my kind friends to-morrow, and a general regret was
expressed, but no one asked me to stay longer; so the die was unhappily
cast.

Julia was melancholy. I could not but observe it; and I confess that the
observation caused me more pleasure than pain. Could it be sorrow at my
departure? We had been daily, almost hourly, companions for fourteen
days, and the surmise was not unreasonable. She had always shown me
particular kindness, and she could not but have seen my marked
preference for her. My heart beat wildly as I gazed on her pale cheek
and drooping eyelid; for though she had been always still and gentle, I
had never seen--certainly I had never noticed--such evident traces of
sorrow, as I saw in her face to-day. Oh, if it were for me, how I would
bless each pang which pained that beautiful heart!--how I would cherish
the tears that fell, as if they had been priceless diamonds from the
mine!--how I would joy in her grief and live in her despair! It might be
that out of evil would come good, and from the deep desolation of my
unsold "Body" might arise the heavenly blessedness of such love as this!
I was intoxicated with my hopes; and was on the point of making a public
idiot of myself, but happily some slight remnant of common sense was
left me. However, impatient to learn my fate, I drew Julia aside; and,
placing myself at her feet, while she was enthroned on a luxurious
ottoman, I pretended that I must conclude the series of lectures on art,
and the best methods of coloring, on which I had been employed with her
ever since my visit.

"You seem unhappy to-day, Miss Reay," I said, abruptly, with my voice
trembling like a girl's.

She raised her large eyes languidly. "Unhappy? no, I am never unhappy,"
she said, quietly.

Her voice never sounded so silvery sweet, so pure and harmonious. It
fell like music on the air.

"I have, then, been too much blinded by excess of beauty to have been
able to see correctly," I answered. "To me you have appeared always
calm, but never sad; but to-day there is a palpable weight of sorrow on
you, which a child might read. It is in your voice, and on your eyelids,
and round your lips; it is on you like the moss on the young
rose--beautifying while vailing the dazzling glory within."

"Ah! you speak far too poetically for me," said Julia, smiling. "If you
will come down to my level for a little while, and will talk to me
rationally, I will tell you my history. I will tell it you as a lesson
for yourself, which I think will do you good."

The cold chill that went to my soul! Her history! It was no diary of
facts that I wanted to hear, but only a register of feelings--a register
of feelings in which I should find myself the only point whereto the
index was set. History! what events deserving that name could have
troubled the smooth waters of her life?

I was silent, for I was disturbed; but Julia did not notice either my
embarrassment or my silence, and began, in her low, soft voice, to open
one of the saddest chapters of life which I had ever heard.

"You do not know that I am going into a convent?" she said; then,
without waiting for an answer, she continued: "This is the last month of
my worldly life. In four weeks, I shall have put on the white robe of
the novitiate, and in due course I trust to be dead forever to this
earthly life."

A heavy, thick, choking sensation in my throat, and a burning pain
within my eyeballs, warned me to keep silence. My voice would have
betrayed me.

"When I was seventeen," continued Julia, "I was engaged to my cousin. We
had been brought up together from childhood, and we loved each other
perfectly. You must not think, because I speak so calmly now, that I
have not suffered in the past. It is only by the grace of resignation
and of religion, that I have been brought to my present condition of
spiritual peace. I am now five-and-twenty--next week I shall be
six-and-twenty: that is just nine years since I was first engaged to
Laurence. He was not rich enough, and indeed he was far too young, to
marry, for he was only a year older than myself; and if he had had the
largest possible amount of income, we could certainly not have married
for three years. My father never cordially approved of the engagement,
though he did not oppose it. Laurence was taken partner into a large
concern here, and a heavy weight of business was immediately laid on
him. Youthful as he was, he was made the sole and almost irresponsible
agent in a house which counted its capital by millions, and through
which gold flowed like water. For some time, he went on well--to a
marvel, well. He was punctual, vigilant, careful; but the responsibility
was too much for the poor boy: the praises he received, the flattery and
obsequiousness which, for the first time, were lavished on the
friendless youth, the wealth at his command, all turned his head. For a
long time, we heard vague rumors of irregular conduct; but as he was
always the same good, affectionate, respectful, happy Laurence, when
with us, even my father, who is so strict, and somewhat suspicious,
turned a deaf ear to them. I was the earliest to notice a slight change,
first in his face, and then in his manners. At last, the rumors ceased
to be vague, and became definite. Business neglected; fatal habits
visible, even in the early day; the frightful use of horrible words,
which once he would have trembled to use; the nights passed at the
gaming-table, and the days spent in the society of the worst men on the
turf--all these accusations were brought to my father by credible
witnesses; and, alas! they were too true to be refuted. My
father--heaven and the holy saints bless his gray head!--kept them from
me as long as he could. He forgave him again and again, and used every
means that love and reason could employ to bring him back into the way
of right; but he could do nothing against the force of such fatal habits
as those to which my poor Laurence had now become wedded. With every
good intention, and with much strong love for me burning sadly amid the
wreck of his virtues, he yet would not refrain: the evil one had
overcome him; he was his prey here and hereafter. Oh, no--not
hereafter!" she added, raising her hands and eyes to heaven, "if prayer,
if fasting, patient vigil, incessant striving, may procure him
pardon--not forever his prey! Our engagement was broken off; and this
step, necessary as it was, completed his ruin. He died...." Here a
strong shudder shook her from head to foot and I half rose, in alarm.
The next instant she was calm.

"Now, you know my history," continued she. "It is a tragedy of real
life, which you will do well, young painter, to compare with your own!"
With a kindly pressure of the hand, and a gentle smile--oh! so sweet, so
pure and heavenly!--Julia Reay left me; while I sat perfectly awed--that
is the only word I can use--with the revelation which she had made both
of her history and of her own grand soul.

"Come with me to my study," said Mr. Reay, entering the room; "I have a
world to talk to you about. You go to-morrow, you say. I am sorry for
it; but I must therefore settle my business with you in good time
to-day."

I followed him mechanically, for I was undergoing a mental castigation
which rather disturbed me. Indeed, like a young fool--as eager in
self-reproach as in self-glorification--I was so occupied in inwardly
calling myself hard names, that even when my host gave me a commission
for my new picture, "The Return of Columbus," at two hundred and fifty
pounds, together with an order to paint himself, Mrs. Reay, and
half-a-dozen of their children, I confess it with shame, that I received
the news like a leaden block, and felt neither surprise nor joy--not
though these few words chased me from the gates of the Fleet, whither I
was fast hastening, and secured me both position and daily bread. The
words of that beautiful girl were still ringing in my ears, mixed up
with the bitterest self-accusations; and these together shut out all
other sound, however pleasant. But that was always my way.

I went back to London, humbled and yet strengthened, having learned more
of human nature and the value of events, in one short fortnight, than I
had ever dreamed of before. The first lessons of youth generally come in
hard shape. I had sense enough to feel that I had learned mine gently,
and that I had cause to be thankful for the mildness of the teaching.
From a boy, I became a man, judging more accurately of humanity than a
year's ordinary experience would have enabled me to do. And the moral
which I drew was this: that under our most terrible afflictions, we may
always gain some spiritual good, if we suffer them to be softening and
purifying, rather than hardening influences over us. And also, that
while we are suffering the most acutely, we may be sure that others are
suffering still more acutely; and if we would but sympathize with them
more than with ourselves--live out of our own selves, and in the wide
world around us--we would soon be healed while striving to heal others.
Of this I am convinced: the secret of life, and of all its good, is in
love; and while we preserve this, we can never fail of comfort. The
sweet waters will always gush out over the sandiest desert of our lives
while we can love; but without it--nay, not the merest weed of comfort
or of virtue would grow under the feet of angels. In this was the
distinction between Mrs. Arden and Julia Reay. The one had hardened her
heart under her trials, and shut it up in itself; the other had opened
hers to the purest love of man and love of God; and the result was to be
seen in the despair of the one, and in the holy peace of the other.

Full of these thoughts, I sought out my poor lady, determined to do her
real benefit if I could. She received me very kindly, for I had taken
care to provide myself with a sufficient introduction, so as to set all
doubts of my social position at rest: and I knew how far this would go
with her. We soon became fast friends. She seemed to rest on me much for
sympathy and comfort, and soon grew to regard me with a sort of motherly
fondness that of itself brightened her life. I paid her all the
attention which a devoted son might pay--humored her whims, soothed her
pains; but insensibly I led her mind out from itself---first in kindness
to me, and then in love to her grandson.

I asked for him just before the midsummer holidays, and with great
difficulty obtained an invitation for him to spend them with her. She
resisted my entreaties stoutly, but at last was obliged to yield; not to
me, nor to my powers of persuasion, but to the holy truth of which I was
then the advocate. The child came, and I was there also to receive him,
and to enforce by my presence--which I saw, without vanity, had great
influence--a fitting reception. He was a pensive, clever, interesting
little fellow; sensitive and affectionate, timid, gifted with wonderful
powers, and of great beauty. There was a shy look in his eyes, which
made me sure that he inherited much of his loveliness from his mother;
and when we were great friends, he showed me a small portrait of "Poor
mamma;" and I saw at once the most striking likeness between the two. No
human heart could withstand that boy, certainly not my poor friend's.
She yielded, fighting desperately against me and him, and all the powers
of love, which were subduing her, but yielding while she fought; and in
a short time the child had taken his proper place in her affections,
which he kept to the end of her life. And she, that desolate mother,
even she, with her seared soul and petrified heart, was brought to the
knowledge of peace by the glorious power of love.

Prosperous, famous, happy, blessed in home and hearth, this has become
my fundamental creed of life, the basis on which all good, whether of
art or of morality, is rested: of art especially; for only by a tender,
reverent spirit can the true meaning of his vocation be made known to
the artist. All the rest is mere imitation of form, not insight into
essence. And while I feel that I can live out of myself, and love
others--the whole world of man--more than myself, I know that I possess
the secret of happiness; ay, though my powers were suddenly blasted as
by lightning, my wife and children laid in the cold grave, and my happy
home desolated forever. For I would go out into the thronged streets,
and gather up the sorrows of others, to relieve them; and I would go out
under the quiet sky, and look up to the Father's throne; and I would
pluck peace, as green herbs from active benevolence and contemplative
adoration. Yes; love can save from the sterility of selfishness,
and from the death of despair; but love alone. No other talisman
has the power; pride, self-sustainment, coldness, pleasure,
nothing--nothing--but that divine word of Life which is life's soul!



THE LITTLE SISTERS.


Almsgiving takes the place of the work-house system, in the economy of a
large part of Europe. The giving of alms to the helpless is, moreover,
in Catholic countries, a religious office. The voluntary surrender of
gifts, each according to his ability, as a means of grace, is more
prominently insisted upon than among Protestants; consequently
systematic taxation for the poor is not resorted to. Nor is there so
great a necessity for it as in England; for few nations have so many
paupers to provide for as the English are accustomed to regard as a
natural element in society; and thus it happens, that when, about ten
years ago, there was in France no asylum but the hospital, for aged and
ailing poor, the want of institutions for the infirm but healthy was not
so severe as to attract the public eye.

But there was at that time a poor servant-woman, a native of the village
of La Croix, in Brittany--Jeanne Sugon was her name--who was moved by
the gentleness of her heart, and the fervor of her religion, to pity a
certain infirm and destitute neighbor, to take her to her side as a
companion, and to devote herself to her support. Other infirm people
earned, by their helplessness, a claim on her attention. She went about
begging, when she could not work, that she might preserve life as long
as Nature would grant it to her infirm charges. Her example spread a
desire for the performance of similar good offices. Two pious women, her
neighbors, united with Jeanne in her pious office. These women
cherished, as they were able, aged and infirm paupers; nursed them in a
little house, and begged for them in the vicinity. The three women, who
had so devoted themselves, attracted notice, and were presently received
into the order of Sisters of Charity, in which they took for themselves
the name of "Little Sisters of the Poor"--PETITES S[OE]RS DES PAUVRES.

The first house of the Little Sisters of the Poor was opened at St.
Servan, in Brittany. A healthy flower scatters seed around. We saw that
forcibly illustrated, in the progress, from an origin equally humble, of
the Rauhe Haus, near Hamburgh: we see it now again, in the efforts of
the Little Sisters, which flourished and fructified with prompt
usefulness. On the tenth anniversary of the establishment at St. Servan,
ten similar houses had been founded in ten different French towns.

The _Petites S[oe]urs_ live with their charges in the most frugal way,
upon the scraps and waste meat which they can collect from the
surrounding houses. The voluntary contributions by which they support
their institution, are truly the crumbs falling from the rich man's
table. The nurse fares no better than the objects of her care. She lives
upon equal terms with Lazarus, and acts toward him in the spirit of a
younger sister.

The establishment at Dinan, over which Jeanne Sugon herself presides,
being under repair, and not quite fit for the reception of visitors, we
will go over the Sisters' house at Paris, which is conducted on exactly
the same plan.

We are ushered into a small parlor, scantily furnished, with some
Scripture prints upon the walls. A Sister enters to us with such a
bright look of cheerfulness as faces wear when hearts beneath them feel
that they are beating to some purpose in the world. She accedes gladly
to our desire, and at once leads us into another room of larger size, in
which twenty or thirty old women are at this moment finishing their
dinner; it being Friday, rice stands on the table in the place of meat.
The Sister moves and speaks with the gentleness of a mother among
creatures who are in, or are near to the state of second childhood. You
see an old dame fumbling eagerly over her snuff-box lid. The poor
creatures are not denied luxuries; for, whatever they can earn by their
spinning is their own money, and they buy with it any indulgences they
please; among which nothing is so highly prized or eagerly coveted as a
pinch of snuff.

In the dormitories on the first floor, some lie bed-ridden. Gentler
still, if possible, is now the Sister's voice. The rooms throughout the
house are airy, with large windows, and those inhabited by the Sisters
are distinguished from the rest by no mark of indulgence or superiority.

We descend now into the old men's department; and enter a warm room,
with a stove in the centre. One old fellow has his feet upon a little
foot-warmer, and thinly pipes out, that he is very comfortable now, for
he is always warm. The chills of age, and the chills of the cold
pavement remain together in his memory; but he is very comfortable
now--very comfortable. An other decrepit man, with white hair and bowed
back--who may have been proud, in his youth, of a rich voice for
love-song, talks of music to the Sister; and, on being asked to sing,
blazes out with joyous gestures, and strikes up a song of Béranger's in
a cracked, shaggy voice, which sometimes--like a river given to flow
under ground--is lost entirely, and then bubbles up again, quite thick
with mud.

We go into a little oratory, where all pray together nightly before they
retire to rest. Thence we descend into a garden for the men; and pass
thence by a door into the women's court. The chapel-bell invites us to
witness the assembly of the Sisters for the repetition of their psalms
and litanies. From the chapel we return into the court, and enter a
large room, where the women are all busy with their spinning-wheels. One
old soul immediately totters to the Sister (not the same Sister with
whom we set out), and insists on welcoming her daughter with a kiss. We
are informed that it is a delusion of her age to recognize in this
Sister really her own child, who is certainly far away, and may possibly
be dead. The Sister embraces her affectionately, and does nothing to
disturb the pleasant thought.

And now we go into the kitchen. Preparation for coffee is in progress.
The dregs of coffee that have been collected from the houses of the
affluent in the neighborhood, are stewed for a long time with great
care. The Sisters say they produce a very tolerable result; and, at any
rate, every inmate is thus enabled to have a cup of coffee every
morning, to which love is able to administer the finest Mocha flavor. A
Sister enters from her rounds out of doors with two cans full of broken
victuals. She is a healthy, and, I think, a handsome woman. Her daily
work is to go out with the cans directly after she has had her morning
coffee, and to collect food for the ninety old people that are in the
house. As fast as she fills her cans, she brings them to the kitchen,
and goes out again; continuing in this work daily till four o'clock.

You do not like this begging? What are the advertisements on behalf of
our own hospitals? what are the collectors? what are the dinners, the
speeches, the charity sermons? A few weak women, strong in heart,
without advertisement, or dinners, or charity sermons; without urgent
appeals to a sympathizing public; who have no occasion to exercitate
charity, by enticing it to balls and to theatrical benefits; patiently
collect waste food from house to house, and feed the poor with it,
humbly and tenderly.

The cans are now to be emptied; the contents being divided into four
compartments, according to their nature--broken meat, vegetables, slices
of pudding, fish, &c. Each is afterward submitted to the best cookery
that can be contrived. The choicest things are set aside--these, said a
Sister, with a look of satisfaction, will be for our poor dear sick.

The number of Sisters altogether in this house engaged in attendance on
the ninety infirm paupers, is fourteen. They divide the duties of the
house among themselves. Two serve in the kitchen, two in the laundry;
one begs, one devotes herself to constant personal attendance on the
wants of the old men, and so on with the others, each having her special
department. The whole sentiment of the household is that of a very large
and very amiable family. To feel that they console the last days of the
infirm and aged poor, is all the Little Sisters get for their hard work.



HOW GUNPOWDER IS MADE.--VISIT TO HOUNSLOW MILLS.


Hounslow Gunpowder Mills are not so much like a special "town," as so
many other large manufactories appear, but rather have the appearance of
an infant colony--a very infant one, inasmuch as it has very few
inhabitants. We never met a single man in all our rambles through the
plantations, nor heard the sound of a human voice. It is like a strange
new settlement, where there is ample space, plenty of wood and water,
but with scarcely any colonists, and only here and there a log-hut or a
dark shed among the trees.

These works are distributed over some hundred and fifty acres of land,
without reckoning the surface of the Colne, which, sometimes broad,
sometimes narrow, sometimes in a line, and sometimes coiling, and
escaping by a curve out of sight, intersects the whole place. It is, in
fact, a great straggling plantation of firs, over swells and declivities
of land, with a branch or neck of a river meeting you unexpectedly at
almost every turn. The more we have seen of this dismal settlement "in
the bush," the more do we revert to our first impression on entering it.
The place is like the strange and squalid plantation of some necromancer
in Spenser's "Fairy Queen." Many trees are black and shattered, as if by
lightning; others distorted, writhing, and partially stripped of their
bark; and all of them have a sort of conscious look that this is a very
precarious spot for the regular progress of vegetation. You wander up
narrow winding paths, and you descend narrow winding paths; you see the
broad arm of a river, with little swampy osier islands upon it, and then
you enter another plantation, and come upon a narrow winding neck of
river, leading up to a great black slanting structure, which you are
told is a "blast-wall;" and behind this is the green embankment of a
fortification, and further back you come upon one of the black,
ominous-looking powder "houses." You advance along other tortuous paths,
you cross small bridges, and again you enter a plantation, more or less
sombre, and presently emerge upon an open space, where you see a
semicircular road of red gravel, with cart-ruts deeply trenched in it;
and then another narrower road down to a branch of the river, where
there is another little bridge; and beyond this, on the other side, you
see a huge water-wheel revolving between two black barn-like houses.
You ascend a slope, by a path of mud and slush, and arriving at another
larger open space, you find yourself in front of a sheet of water, and
in the distance you observe one enormous wheel--the diabolical queen of
all the rest--standing, black and immovable, like an antediluvian
skeleton, against the dull, gray sky, with a torrent of water running in
a long narrow gully from beneath its lower spokes, as if disgorged
before its death. This open space is surrounded by trees, above which,
high over all, there rises a huge chimney, or rather tower; and again,
over all this there float clouds of black smoke, derived from charred
wood, if we may judge of the effect upon our noses and eyes.

At distances from each other, varying from thirty or forty to a hundred
and fifty yards, over this settlement are distributed, by systematic
arrangement of the intervals, and the obstructive character of the
intervening ground and plantations, no less than ninety-seven different
buildings. By these means, not only is the danger divided, but the loss,
by an explosion, reduced to the one "house" in which the accident
occurs. Such, at least, is the intention, though certainly not always
affording the desired protection. The houses are also, for the most
part, constructed of light materials, where the nature of the operation
will admit of it; sometimes extremely strong below, but very light
above, like a man in armor with a straw hat; so that if a "puff" comes,
there will be a free way upward, and they hope to get rid of the fury
with no greater loss than a light roof. In some cases the roofs are of
concrete, and bomb-proof; in others, the roofs are floated with water in
shallow tanks. There are five steam-engines employed, one being a
locomotive; and the extraordinary number of twenty-six water-mills, as
motive powers for machinery--obviously much safer than any other that
could be obtained from the most guarded and covered-in engines requiring
furnaces.

In this silent region, amidst whose ninety-seven work-places no human
voice ever breaks upon the ear, and where, indeed, no human form is seen
except in the isolated house in which his allotted task is performed,
there are secreted upward of two hundred and fifty work-people. They are
a peculiar race; not, of course, by nature, in most cases, but by the
habit of years. The circumstances of momentary destruction in which they
live, added to the most stringent and necessary regulations, have
subdued their minds and feelings to the conditions of their hire. There
is seldom any need to enforce these regulations. Some terrific explosion
here, or in works of a similar kind elsewhere, leaves a fixed mark in
their memories, and acts as a constant warning. Here no shadow of a
practical joke, or caper of animal spirits ever transpires; no
witticisms, no oaths, no chaffing, or slang. A laugh is never heard; a
smile seldom seen. Even the work is carried on by the men with as few
words as possible, and these uttered in a low tone. Not that any body
fancies that mere sound will awaken the spirit of combustion, or cause
an explosion to take place, but that their feelings are always kept
subdued. If one man wishes to communicate any thing to another, or to
ask for any thing from somebody at a short distance, he must go there;
he is never permitted to shout or call out. There is a particular reason
for this last regulation. Amidst all this silence, whenever a shout
_does_ occur, every body knows that some imminent danger is expected the
next moment, and all rush away headlong from the direction of the shout.
As to running toward it to offer any assistance, as common in all other
cases, it is thoroughly understood that none can be afforded. An
accident here is immediate and beyond remedy. If the shouting be
continued for some time (for a man might be drowning in the river), that
might cause one or two of the boldest to return; but this would be a
very rare occurrence. It is by no means to be inferred that the men are
selfish and insensible to the perils of each other; on the contrary,
they have the greatest consideration for each other, as well as for
their employers, and think of the danger to the lives of others, and of
the property at stake at all times, and more especially in all the more
dangerous "houses." The proprietors of the various gunpowder mills all
display the same consideration for each other, and whenever any
improvement tending to lessen danger is discovered by one, it is
immediately communicated to all the others. The wages of the men are
good, and the hours very short; no artificial lights are ever used in
the works. They all wash themselves--black, white, yellow, and
bronze--and leave the mills at half-past three in the afternoon, winter
and summer.

After several unsuccessful attempts to effect an entrance into one of
the mysterious manufactories--attributable solely to the dangers of
utter destruction that momentarily hover over all works of this kind,
and not in the least from any want of courtesy in the proprietors--we
eventually obtained permission to inspect these mills owned by the
Messrs. Curtis, which are among the largest works of the kind in Europe.
It was a very wet day, but that circumstance was rather favorable than
otherwise, as our obliging companion, Mr. Ashbee, the manager of the
works, considerately informed us. After visiting successively the mills
where the charcoal, saltpetre, and brimstone, are separately prepared,
we plash our way over the wet path to the "incorporation mill"--a
sufficiently dangerous place. Having exchanged our boots for India
rubber over-shoes, we enter and find the machinery--consisting of two
ponderous, upright millstones, rolling round like wagon-wheels, in a
small circle. In the bed beneath these huge rolling stones lies, not
one, but the _three_ terrible ingredients of powdered charcoal,
saltpetre, and sulphur, which are thus incorporated. The bed upon which
the stones roll is of iron; from it the stones would inevitably strike
sparks--and "there an end of all"--if they came in contact in any part.
But between the stones and the iron bed lies the incorporating
powder--forty pounds of it giving a bed of intermediate powder, of two
or three inches deep; so that the explosive material is absolutely the
only protection. So long as the powder lies in this bed with no part of
the iron left bare, all is considered to be safe. To keep it within the
bed, therefore--while the rolling twist of the stones is continually
displacing it, and rubbing it outward and inward--several mechanical
contrivances are adopted, which act like guides, and scoops, and
scrapers; and thus restore, with regularity, the powder to its proper
place, beneath the stones. A water-wheel keeps this mill in action. No
workmen remain here; but the time required for the incorporating process
being known, the bed of powder is laid down, the mill set in motion, and
then shut up and left to itself--as it ought to be, in case of any
little oversight or "hitch" on the part of the guides, scoops, or
scrapers. The machinery of these mills, as may be readily credited, is
always kept in the finest order. "And yet," says Mr. Ashbee, in a
whisper; "and yet, five of them--just such mills as these--_went off_ at
Faversham, the other day, one after the other. Nobody knew how." This
seasonable piece of information naturally increases the peculiar
interest we feel in the objects we are now examining, as they proceed
with their work.

The next house we visit, Mr. Ashbee assures us, is a very interesting
process. To be sure, it is one of the most dangerous; and what makes
this worse, is the fact that the process is of that kind which requires
the constant presence of the men. They can not set the machinery to
work, and leave it for a given time; they must always remain on the
spot. It is the "Corning House" sometimes called "Graining," as it is
the process which reduces the cakes and hard knobs, into which the
gunpowder has been forced by hydraulic pressure, into grains--a very
nice, and, it would appear, a sufficiently alarming operation.

Ascending by a rising pathway, we pass over a mound covered with a
plantation of firs, and descending to a path by the river side, we
arrive at a structure of black timber, some five-and-twenty feet high,
set up in the shape of an acute angle. This is a "blast-wall," intended
to offer some resistance to a rush of air in case of an explosion near
at hand. There is also a similar blast-wall on the opposite side of the
river. Passing this structure, we arrive at a green embankment thrown up
as in fortified places, and behind and beneath this stands the "Corning
House."

It is a low-roofed, black edifice, like the rest, although, if possible,
with a still more dismal appearance. We know not what causes the
impression, but we could fancy it some place of torture, devoted to the
service of the darkest pagan superstitions, or those of the Holy
Inquisition. A little black vestibule, or out-house, stands on the side
nearest us. The whole structure is planted on the river's edge, to which
the platform in front extends. We enter the little vestibule, and here
we go through the ceremony of the over-shoes. We are then permitted to
advance upon the sacred platform, and we then approach the entrance. If
we have received a strange and unaccountable impression of a place of
torture, from the external appearance and surrounding circumstances,
this is considerably borne out by the interior. The first thing that
seems to justify this is a dry, strangulated, shrieking cry which
continues at intervals. We discover that it is the cry of a wooden screw
in torment, which in some sort reconciles us. But the sound lingers, and
the impression too. The flooring is all covered with leather and hides,
all perfectly black with the dust of gunpowder, and on this occasion all
perfectly dry. We do not much like that: the wet sliding about was more
amusing; perhaps, also, a trifle safer.

The first object that seizes upon our attention is a black square
frame-work, apparently suspended from the ceiling. Its ugly
perpendicular beams, and equally uncouth horizontal limbs would be just
the thing to hang the dead bodies of tortured victims in. We can not
help following up our first impression. The men here, who stand in
silence looking intently at us, all wear black masks. On the left there
is reared a structure of black wood reaching to within two or three feet
of the roof. It is built up in several stages, descending like broad
steps. Each of these broad steps contains a sieve made of closely woven
wire, which becomes finer as the steps get lower and lower. In this
machine we noticed iron axles for the wheels, but our attention was
directed to the rollers, which were of zinc. Thus the friction does not
induce sparks, the action being also guarded against external blows. At
present the machine is not in motion; and the men at work here observe
their usual silence and depressing gravity. We conjecture that the
machine, when put in motion, shakes and sifts the gunpowder in a slow
and most cautious manner, corresponding to the seriousness of the human
workers, and with an almost equal sense of the consequences of iron
mistaking for once the nature of copper and brass. "Put _on_ the house!"
says Mr. Ashbee, in the calm voice always used here, and nodding at the
same time to the head corning-man. A rumbling sound is heard--the wheels
begin to turn--the black sieves bestir themselves, moving from side to
side; the wheels turn faster--the sieves shake and shuffle faster. We
trust there is no mistake. They all get faster still. We do not wish
them to put themselves to any inconvenience on our account. The full
speed is laid on! The wheels whirl and buzz--iron teeth play into brass
teeth--copper winks at iron--the black sieves shake their infernal sides
into fury--the whole machine seems bent upon its own destruction--the
destruction of us all! Now--one small spark--and in an instant the whole
of this house, with all in it, would be instantly swept away! Nobody
seems to think of this. And see!--how the gunpowder rashes from side to
side of the sieves, and pours down from one stage to the other. We feel
sure that all this must be much faster than usual. We do not wish it.
Why should pride prevent our requesting that this horror should cease?
We hear, also, an extraordinary noise behind us. Turning hastily round,
we see the previously immovable black frame-work for the dead whirling
round and round in the air with frightful rapidity, while two men with
wooden shovels are shoveling up showers of gunpowder, as if to smother
and suffocate its madness. Nothing but shame--nothing but shame and an
anguish of self-command, prevents our instantly darting out of the
house--across the platform--and headlong into the river.

What a house--what a workshop! It is quiet again. We have not sprung
into the river. But had we been alone here, under such circumstances for
the first time, we should have had no subsequent respect for our own
instincts and promptitude of action if we had done any thing else. As it
was, the thing is a sensation for life. We find that the whirling
frame-work also contains sieves--that the invisible moving power is by a
water-wheel under the flooring, which acts by a crank. But we are very
much obliged already--we have had enough of "corning."

We take our departure over the platform--have our over-shoes taken
off--and finding that there is something more to see, we rally and
recover our breath, and are again on the path by the water's edge. A man
is coming down the river with a small covered barge, carrying powder
from one house to another. We remark that boating must be one of the
safest positions, not only as unconducive to explosion, but even in case
of its occurring elsewhere. Mr. Ashbee coincides in this opinion,
although, he adds, that some time ago, a man coming down the river in a
boat--just as that one is now doing--had his right arm blown off. We see
that, in truth, _no_ position is safe. One may be "blown off" any where,
at any moment. Thus pleasantly conversing as we walk, we arrive at the
"Glazing-House."

The process of glazing consists in mixing black-lead with gunpowder in
large grains, and glazing, or giving it a fine glossy texture. For this
purpose four barrels containing the grains are ranged on an axle. They
are made to revolve during four hours, to render them smooth; black-lead
is then added, and they revolve four hours more. There is iron in this
machinery; but it works upon brass or copper wheels, so that friction
generates heat, but not fire. The process continues from eight to
twenty-four hours, according to the fineness of polish required; and the
revolution of the barrels sometimes causes the heat of the gunpowder
within to rise to one hundred and twenty degrees--even to charring the
wood of the interior of the barrels by the heat and friction. We inquire
what degree of heat they may be in at the present moment? It is rather
high, we learn; and the head-glazer politely informs us that we may put
our hand and arm into the barrels and feel the heat. He opens it at the
top for the purpose. We take his word for it. However, as he inserts one
hand and arm by way of example, we feel in some sort called upon, for
the honor of "Household Words," to do the same. It is extremely hot,
and a most agreeable sensation. The faces of the men here, being all
black from the powder, and shining with the addition of the black lead,
have the appearance of grim masks of demons in a pantomime, or rather of
real demons in a mine. Their eyes look out upon us with a strange
intelligence. They know the figure they present. So do we. This, added
to their subdued voice, and whispering, and mute gesticulation, and
noiseless moving and creeping about, renders the scene quite unique; and
a little of it goes a great way.

Our time being now short--our hours, in fact, being "numbered"--we move
quickly on to the next house, some hundred yards distant. It is the
"Stoving-house." We approach the door. Mr. Ashbee is so good as to say
there is no need for us to enter, as the process may be seen from the
door-way. We are permitted to stand upon the little platform outside, in
our boots, dispensing with the over-shoes. This house is heated by
pipes. The powder is spread upon numerous wooden trays, and slid into
shelves on stands, or racks. The heat is raised to one hundred and
twenty-five degrees. We salute the head stove-man, and depart. But
turning round to give a "longing, lingering look behind," we see a large
mop protruded from the door-way. Its round head seems to inspect the
place where we stood in our boots on the platform. It evidently
discovers a few grains of gravel or grit, and descends upon them
immediately, to expurgate the evil communication which may corrupt the
good manners of the house. A great watering-pot is next advanced, and
then a stern head--not unlike an old medallion we have seen of
Diogenes--looks round the door-post after us.

The furnace, with its tall chimney, by means of which the stove-pipes of
the house we have just visited, are heated, is at a considerable
distance, the pipes being carried under-ground to the house.

We next go to look at the "Packing-house," where the powder is placed in
barrels, bags, tin cases, paper cases, canisters, &c. On entering this
place, a man runs swiftly before each of us, laying down a mat for each
foot to step upon as we advance, thus leaving rows of mats in our wake,
over which we are required to pass on returning. We considered it a mark
of great attention--a kind of Oriental compliment.

The last of our visits is to a "Charge-House." There are several of
these, where the powder is kept in store. We approach it by a path
through a plantation. It lies deep among the trees--a most lonely,
dismal sarcophagus. It is roofed with water--that is, the roof is
composed of water-tanks, which are filled by the rain; and in dry
weather they are filled by means of a pump arranged for that purpose.
The platform at the entrance is of water--that is to say, it is a broad
wooden trough two inches deep, full of water, through which we are
required to walk. We do so, and with far more satisfaction than some
things we have done here to-day. We enter the house alone; the others
waiting outside. All silent and dusky as an Egyptian tomb. The tubs of
powder, dimly seen in the uncertain light, are ranged along the walls,
like mummies--all giving the impression of a secret life within. But a
secret life, how different! "Ah! there's the rub." We retire with a
mental obeisance, and a respectful air--the influence remaining with us,
so that we bow slightly on rejoining our friends outside, who bow in
return, looking from us to the open door-way of the "house!"

With thoughtful brows, and not in any very high state of hilarity, after
the duties of the day--not to speak of being wet through to the skin,
for the second time--we move through the fir groves on our way back. We
notice a strange appearance in many trees, some of which are curiously
distorted, others with their heads cut off; and, in some places, there
are large and upright gaps in a plantation. Mr. Ashbee, after
deliberating inwardly a little while, informs us that a very dreadful
accident happened here last year. "Was there an explosion?" we inquire.
He says there was. "And a serious one?"--"Yes."--"Any lives
lost?"--"Yes."--"Two or three?"--"More than that."--"Five or six?" He
says more than that. He gradually drops into the narrative, with a
subdued tone of voice. There was an explosion last year. Six different
houses blew up. It began with a "Separating House,"--a place for sizing,
or sorting, the different grains through sieves. Then the explosion went
to a "Granulating-House," one hundred yards off. How it was carried such
distances, except by a general combustion of the air, he can not
imagine. Thence, it went to a "Press House," where the powder lies in
hard cakes. Thence, it went in two ways--on one side to a "Composition
Mixing-House," and, on the other, to a "Glazing-House;" and thence to
another "Granulating-House." Each of these buildings were fully one
hundred yards from another; each was intercepted by plantations of fir
and forest trees as a protection; and the whole took place within forty
seconds. There was no tracing how it had occurred.

This, then, accounts for the different gaps--some of them extending
fifty or sixty yards--in the plantations and groves? Mr. Ashbee nods a
grave assent. He adds, that one large tree was torn up by the roots, and
its trunk was found deposited at such a distance, that they never could
really ascertain where it came from. It was just found lying there. An
iron water-wheel, of thirty feet in circumference, belonging to one of
the mills, was blown to a distance of fifty yards through the air,
cutting through the heads of all the trees in its way, and finally
lodging between the upper boughs of a large tree, where it stuck fast,
like a boy's kite. The poor fellows who were killed--(our informant here
drops his voice to a whisper, and speaks in short detached fragments;
there is nobody near us, but he feels as a man should feel in speaking
of such things)--the poor fellows who were killed were horribly
mutilated--more than mutilated, some of them--their different members
distributed hither and thither, could not be buried with their proper
owners, to any certainty. One man escaped out of a house, before it blew
up, in time to run at least forty yards. He was seen running, when
suddenly he fell. But when he was picked up, he was found to be quite
dead. The concussion of the air had killed him. One man coming down the
river in a boat was mutilated. Some men who were missing, were never
found--blown all to nothing. The place where some of the "houses" had
stood, did not retain so much as a piece of timber, or a brick. All had
been swept away, leaving nothing but the torn-up ground, a little
rubbish, and a black hash of bits of stick, to show the place where they
had been erected.

We turn our eyes once more toward the immense gaps in the fir groves,
gaps which here and there amount to wide intervals, in which all the
trees are reduced to about half their height, having been cut away near
the middle. Some trees, near at hand, we observe to have been flayed of
their bark all down one side; others have strips of bark hanging dry and
black. Several trees are strangely distorted, and the entire trunk of
one large fir has been literally twisted like a corkscrew, from top to
bottom, requiring an amount of force scarcely to be estimated by any
known means of mechanical power. Amid all this quietness, how dreadful a
visitation! It is visible on all sides, and fills the scene with a
solemn, melancholy weight.

But we will linger here no longer. We take a parting glance around, at
the plantations of firs, some of them prematurely old, and shaking their
heads, while the air wafts by, as though conscious of their defeated
youth, and all its once-bright hopes. The dead leaves lie thick beneath,
in various sombre colors of decay, and through the thin bare woods we
see the gray light fading into the advancing evening. Here, where the
voice of man is never heard, we pause, to listen to the sound of
rustling boughs, and the sullen rush and murmur of water-wheels and
mill-streams; and, over all, the song of a thrush, even while uttering
blithe notes, gives a touching sadness to this isolated scene of human
labors--labors, the end of which, is a destruction of numbers of our
species, which may, or may not, be necessary to the progress of
civilization, and the liberty of mankind.



AN INSANE PHILOSOPHER.


A visitor to the Hanwell Insane Asylum, in England, will have his
attention directed to one of the inmates who is at once the "pet," the
peer, the philosopher, and the poet of that vast community. No one can
long enjoy the privilege of his company without perceiving that he has
received a first-rate classical education. His mind is remarkably
clear-visioned, acute, severe, logical, and accomplished. His manners
usually display the refinement, polish, and urbanity of a well-bred
gentleman, though at times, it is said, they are tinged with a degree of
aristocratic pride, austerity, and hauteur, especially when brought
into contact with the ignorant and vulgar. In conversation, though
impeded by a slight hesitation of utterance, he displays clearness and
breadth of intelligence in all his views, and pours forth freely from
the treasures of a well-stored memory abundance of information,
anecdote, and fact. His physiognomy and physical structure are well
adapted to enshrine a mind of such a calibre. In stature he is tall,
rather slender, but firmly knit. The muscular development of the frame
denotes considerable strength--a quality which he claims to possess in a
pre-eminent degree. He boasts, probably with considerable truth, of
having no equal, in this respect, in the asylum. His head, beautifully
formed, after a fine intellectual type, is partially bald--the few
surviving locks of hair that fringe its sides being nearly gray. The
keen, twinkling, gray eye; the prominent classic brow; the
boldly-chiseled aquiline nose; the thin cheeks, "sicklied o'er with the
pale cast of thought;" the sharp features, together with the small,
firmly-compressed mouth, plainly bespeak him a man of reflection, and
strong purpose. In age, he appears to have weathered about fifty stormy
winters. The term of his residence in this rendezvous of afflicted
strangers is somewhere about six years. His _real_ name, his early
history, his human kindred, his former social status--in fact, all the
antecedents of his life, previous to his admission to the asylum--are
utterly unknown. On all these matters he preserves the silence of a
sphinx. No remarks, so far as we know, have ever escaped his lips,
calculated to afford any certain clew for the elucidation of the mystery
that enshrouds him. Surmise and conjecture have of course been busy with
their guesses as to his probable extraction; and the organ of wonder has
been sorely taxed in an effort to account for the marvelous fact, that a
gentleman of such apparent distinction, it may be of noble birth and
fortune, should have been lost to his friends for a space of six years,
and no earnest inquiries been made to discover his fate. That he is of
aristocratic descent, appears to be the general impression among the
officers and inmates of the asylum--an impression justified by his
elegant manners, his superior attainments, his extensive acquaintance
with noble families, and many significant allusions found in his painted
chamber, upon the walls of which he has faithfully daguerreotyped the
images, the feelings, the recollections, and the cherished sentiments of
his inner man. The _fictitious_ name by which he is known at present is
that of Mr. Chiswick--a name commemorative of the _scene_ of that sad
event which has overshadowed the afternoon, and which threatens to
darken the evening, of his earthly existence. But the reader will be
anxious to learn under what strange conjunction of circumstances this
mysterious being--without father or mother, brothers or sisters,
kinsfolk or acquaintances, and without even a local habitation or a
name--obtained an introduction to this strange home. We will at once
state such facts as we have been able to collect.

On one Sabbath-day, about six years ago, a congregation had gathered
together, as was their wont, for the celebration of divine worship, in
the small country church of Turnham Green, near Chiswick. The
officiating clergyman and the worshiping assembly had jointly gone
through the liturgical services without the occurrence of any unusual
event. As soon as the robed minister had ascended the sacred desk, and
commenced his discourse, however, the eyes of a portion of the audience
were attracted toward a gentleman occupying a somewhat conspicuous
position in the church, whose strange and restless movements, wild and
excited air, and occasional audible exclamations, indicated the presence
of either a fanatic or a lunatic. These symptoms continued to increase,
until, at length, as if irritated beyond endurance by some sentiment
that fell from the lips of the preacher, he gave way to a perfect
paroxysm of frenzy, under the influence of which he seized his hat, and
flung it at the head of the minister. Of course, the service was
suspended until the offender was expelled. It was soon discovered that
the unhappy author of this untoward disturbance was suffering under a
violent fit of mania. When borne from the church, no person could
recognize or identify him. He was a total stranger to all residing in
the neighborhood, so that no clew could be obtained that would enable
them to restore him to the custody and surveillance of his friends.
Under these circumstances, he was taken to the adjoining work-house at
Isleworth, where he was detained for some weeks under medical care,
during which period the most diligent inquiries were instituted with the
view of unraveling the mystery of the stranger's kinship. But without
avail. No one claimed him; and even when pressed himself to impart some
information on the subject, he either could not or would not divulge the
secret. Finding, at length, that all efforts to identify the great
Incognito were ineffectual, he was removed to Hanwell, the asylum of the
county to which he had thus suddenly become chargeable, and where he has
ever since remained.

Mr. Chiswick is treated by the magistrates and officers with great
kindness and consideration. His employments are such as befit a
gentleman. No menial or laborious tasks are imposed upon him. He is
allowed, to a great extent, to consult his predilections, and these are
invariably of a tasteful and elegant description. His time is divided
chiefly between reading and painting, in which occupations he is
devotedly industrious. He is an early riser, and intersperses his more
sedentary pursuits with seasons of vigorous exercise. To this practice,
in conjunction with strictly temperate habits, he attributes his
excellent health and remarkable prowess. To a stranger, no signs of
mental aberration are discernible. His aspect is so calm and collected,
and his ideas are so lucidly expressed, that, if met with in any other
place besides an asylum, no one would suspect that he had ever been
smitten with a calamity so terrible. He would simply be regarded as
eccentric. So satisfied is he of his own perfect saneness, and of his
ability to secure self-maintenance by the productions of his own genius,
that confinement begins to be felt by him as intolerably irksome and
oppressive. The invisible fetters gall his sensitive soul, and render
him impatient of restraint. On our last visit but one, he declared that
he had abandoned all thoughts of doing any thing more to his painted
room; he aspired to higher things than that. He was striving to
cultivate his artistic talents, so that by their exercise he might
henceforth minister to his own necessities. Who his connections, and
what his antecedents were should never be known--they were things that
concerned no one; his aim was to qualify himself, by self-reliant labor,
to wrestle once more with the world, and to wring from it the pittance
of a humble subsistence. As soon as he felt himself competent to hazard
this step, he intended to demand his immediate release; "and, should it
then be refused," said he, with the solemn and impressive emphasis of a
man thoroughly in earnest, "they will, on the next day, find me a
_corpse_." To the superintendent in the tailoring department, he
likewise remarked, a short time since, when giving instructions for a
new garment: "This is the last favor I shall ever ask of you. I intend
shortly to quit the asylum; for if they do not discharge me of their own
accord, in answer to my request, _I will discharge myself_."

On the occasion of our second visit to the asylum, we were received by
Mr. Chiswick with great courtesy, and were favored with a long
conversation on a variety of topics. Besides the exercise of his brush
and pencil, his genius manifests itself in other ways, some of them
being rather amusing and eccentric. Among these, is that of making
stockings, and other articles of apparel in a very original manner. His
mind, as we have remarked, is well replenished with anecdotes and
illustrations suitable to whatever topic may happen to be on hand. On
the present occasion, upon offering us a glass of wine, we declined his
hospitality, on the true plea that we had fasted since eight o'clock in
the morning, and it was then nearly five in the afternoon. Upon this, he
produced a piece of sweet bread, saying, "Take that first, and then the
wine will not hurt you. You remember the anecdote of the bride? Soon
after her marriage, her mother inquired,'How does your husband treat
you, my dear?' Oh, he loves me very much, for he gives me two glasses of
white wine every morning before I am up.' 'My dear child,' said the
mother, with an air of alarm, 'he means to kill you. However, do not
refuse the wine, but take a piece of cake to bed with you at night, and
when he is gone for the wine in the morning, do you eat the cake, then
the wine will not hurt you,' The bride obeyed the mother's advice, and
lived to a good old age."

Having sat down by the fire in the ward with a number of the patients,
Mr. Chiswick took out his pocket-book to show us a letter which he had
received from some kind but unknown friend, who had visited the asylum,
and also that he might present to us a piece of poetry, which had just
been printed at the asylum press. In looking for these, he accidentally
dropped a greater part of the contents of his pocket-book on the floor;
and when one of the lunatics hastened to scramble for some of the
papers, Mr. Chiswick, quick as thought, pulled off the officious
patient's hat, and sent it flying to the other end of the ward, bidding
its owner to run after it. We offered to assist in picking up the
scattered papers, but he would not allow us to touch them. "You act," we
remarked, "on the principle of not allowing others to do for you any
thing that you can do yourself." "Exactly so," said he, "and I will tell
you a good anecdote about that. There was once a bishop of Gibraltar,
who hired a valet; but for some time this valet had nothing to do: the
bishop cleaned his own boots, and performed many other menial tasks,
which the servant supposed that he had been engaged to do. At length he
said--'Your lordship, I should be glad to be informed what it is
expected that I should do. You clean your own boots, brush your own
clothes, and do a multitude of other things that I supposed would fall
to my lot.' 'Well,' said the bishop, 'I have been accustomed to do this,
and I can do it very well; therefore, why should you do it? I act upon
the principle of never allowing others to do what I can do myself.
Therefore, do you go and study, and I will go on as usual. I have
already had opportunities to get knowledge, and you have not; and I
think that will be to do to you as I should wish you to do to me.'"



BLEAK HOUSE.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.


CHAPTER I.--IN CHANCERY.

London. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in
Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the
streets, as if the water had but newly retired from the face of the
earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet
long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn hill. Smoke
lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with
flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes--gone into
mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs,
undistinguishable in mire. Horses scarcely better; splashed to their
very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another's umbrellas, in a
general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at
street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have
been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke),
adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those
points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound
interest.

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and
meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of
shipping, and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog
on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the
cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in
the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and
small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich
pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem
and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his
close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering
little 'prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over
the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if
they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the
sun may, from the spongy fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and
plow-boy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time--as the
gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look.

The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy
streets are muddiest, near that leaden-headed old obstruction,
appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old
corporation: Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln's Inn Hall,
at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High
Court of Chancery.

Never can there come fog too thick, never can there come mud and mire
too deep, to assort with the groping and floundering condition which
this High Court of Chancery, most pestilent of hoary sinners, holds,
this day, in the sight of heaven and earth.

On such an afternoon, if ever, the Lord High Chancellor ought to be
sitting here--as here he is--with a foggy glory round his head, softly
fenced in with crimson cloth and curtains, addressed by a large advocate
with great whiskers, a little voice, and an interminable brief, and
outwardly directing his contemplation to the lantern in the roof, where
he can see nothing but fog. On such an afternoon, some score of members
of the High Court of Chancery bar ought to be--as here they are--mistily
engaged in one of the ten thousand stages of an endless cause, tripping
one another up on slippery precedents, groping knee-deep in
technicalities, running their goat-hair and horse-hair warded heads
against walls of words, and making a pretense of equity with serious
faces, as players might. On such an afternoon, the various solicitors in
the cause, some two or three of whom have inherited it from their
fathers, who made a fortune by it, ought to be--as are they not?--ranged
in a line, in a long matted well (but you might look in vain for Truth
at the bottom of it), between the registrar's red table and the silk
gowns, with bills, cross-bills, answers, rejoinders, injunctions,
affidavits, issues, references to masters, masters' reports, mountains
of costly nonsense, piled before them. Well may the court be dim, with
wasting candles here and there; well may the fog hang heavy in it, as if
it would never get out; well may the stained glass windows lose their
color, and admit no light of day into the place; well may the
uninitiated from the streets, who peep in through the glass panes in
the door, be deterred from entrance by its owlish aspect, and by the
drawl languidly echoing to the roof from the padded dais where the Lord
High Chancellor looks into the lantern that has no light in it, and
where the attendant wigs are all stuck in a fog-bank! This is the Court
of Chancery; which has its decaying houses and its blighted lands in
every shire; which has its worn-out lunatic in every mad-house, and its
dead in every church-yard; which has its ruined suitor, with his
slipshod heels and threadbare dress, borrowing and begging through the
round of every man's acquaintance; which gives to moneyed might the
means abundantly of wearying out the right; which so exhausts finances,
patience, courage, hope; so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart;
that there is not an honorable man among its practitioners who would not
give--who does not often give--the warning, "Suffer any wrong that can
be done you, rather than come here!"

Who happen to be in the Lord Chancellor's court this murky afternoon
besides the Lord Chancellor, the counsel in the cause, two or three
counsel who are never in any cause, and the well of solicitors before
mentioned? There is the registrar below the Judge, in wig and gown; and
there are two or three maces, or petty-bags, or privy-purses, or
whatever they may be, in legal court suits. These are all yawning; for
no crumb of amusement ever falls from JARNDYCE AND JARNDYCE (the cause
in hand) which was squeezed dry years upon years ago. The short-hand
writers, the reporters of the court, and the reporters of the
newspapers, invariably decamp with the rest of the regulars when
Jarndyce and Jarndyce comes on. Their places are a blank. Standing on a
seat at the side of the hall, the better to peer into the curtained
sanctuary, is a little mad old woman in a squeezed bonnet, who is always
in court, from its sitting to its rising, and always expecting some
incomprehensible judgment to be given in her favor. Some say she really
is, or was, a party to a suit; but no one knows for certain, because no
one cares. She carries some small litter in a reticule which she calls
her documents; principally consisting of paper matches and dry lavender.
A sallow prisoner has come up, in custody, for the half-dozenth time, to
make a personal application "to purge himself of his contempt;" which,
being a solitary surviving executor who has fallen into a state of
conglomeration about accounts of which it is not pretended that he had
ever any knowledge, he is not at all likely ever to do. In the meantime,
his prospects in life are ended. Another ruined suitor, who periodically
appears from Shropshire, and breaks out into efforts to address the
Chancellor at the close of the day's business, and who can by no means
be made to understand that the Chancellor is legally ignorant of his
existence after making it desolate for a quarter of a century, plants
himself in a good place and keeps an eye on the Judge, ready to call out
"My lord!" in a voice of sonorous complaint, on the instant of his
rising. A few lawyers' clerks and others who know this suitor by sight,
linger, on the chance of his furnishing some fun, and enlivening the
dismal weather a little.

Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scare-crow of a suit has, in
course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it
means. The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed
that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without
coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable
children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have
married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of
persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and
Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited
legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant, who
was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be
settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted
away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers
and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone
out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere
bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth
perhaps, since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a
coffee-house in Chancery-lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its
dreary length before the Court, perennially hopeless.

Jarndyce and Jarndyce has passed into a joke. That is the only good that
has ever come of it. It has been death to many, but it is a joke in the
profession. Every master in Chancery has had a reference out of it.
Every Chancellor was "in it," for somebody or other, when he was counsel
at the bar. Good things have been said about it by blue-nosed,
bulbous-shoed old benchers, in select port-wine committee after dinner
in hall. Articled clerks have been in the habit of fleshing their
legal wit upon it. The last Lord Chancellor handled it neatly, when,
correcting Mr. Blowers the eminent silk gown who said that such a thing
might happen when the sky rained potatoes, he observed, "or when we get
through Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Mr. Blowers;"--a pleasantry that
particularly tickled the maces, bags, and purses.

How many people out of the suit, Jarndyce and Jarndyce has stretched
forth its unwholesome hand to spoil and corrupt, would be a very wide
question. From the master, upon whose impaling files reams of dusty
warrants in Jarndyce and Jarndyce have grimly writhed into many shapes;
down to the copying clerk in the Six Clerks' Office, who has copied his
tens of thousands of Chancery-folio-pages under that eternal heading; no
man's nature has been made the better by it. In trickery, evasion,
procrastination, spoliation, botheration, under false pretenses of all
sorts, there are influences that can never come to good. The very
solicitors' boys who have kept the wretched suitors at bay, by
protesting time out of mind that Mr. Chizzle, Mizzle, or otherwise, was
particularly engaged and had appointments until dinner, may have got an
extra moral twist and shuffle into themselves out of Jarndyce and
Jarndyce. The receiver in the cause has acquired a goodly sum of money
by it, but has acquired too a distrust of his own mother, and a contempt
for his own kind. Chizzle, Mizzle, and otherwise, have lapsed into a
habit of vaguely promising themselves that they will look into that
outstanding little matter, and see what can be done for Drizzle--who was
not well used--when Jarndyce and Jarndyce shall be got out of the
office. Shirking and sharking, in all their many varieties, have been
sown broadcast by the ill-fated cause; and even those who have
contemplated its history from the outermost circle of such evil, have
been insensibly tempted into a loose way of letting bad things alone to
take their own bad course, and a loose belief that if the world go
wrong, it was, in some off-hand manner, never meant to go right.

Thus, in the midst of the mud and at the heart of the fog, sits the Lord
High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.

"Mr. Tangle," says the Lord High Chancellor, latterly something restless
under the eloquence of that learned gentleman.

"Mlud," says Mr. Tangle. Mr. Tangle knows more of Jarndyce and Jarndyce
than any body. He is famous for it--supposed never to have read any
thing else since he left school.

"Have you nearly concluded your argument?"

"Mlud, no--variety of points--feel it my duty tsubmit--ludship," is the
reply that slides out of Mr. Tangle.

"Several members of the bar are still to be heard, I believe?" says the
Chancellor, with a slight smile.

Eighteen of Mr. Tangle's learned friends, each armed with a little
summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up like eighteen hammers in a
piano-forte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of
obscurity.

"We will proceed with the hearing on Wednesday fortnight," says the
Chancellor. For, the question at issue is only a question of costs, a
mere bud on the forest tree of the parent suit, and really will come to
a settlement one of these days.

The Chancellor rises; the bar rises; the prisoner is brought forward in
a hurry; the man from Shropshire cries, "My lord!" Maces, bags, and
purses, indignantly proclaim silence, and frown at the man from
Shropshire.

"In reference," proceeds the Chancellor, "still on Jarndyce and Jarndyce,
to the young girl----."

"Begludship's pardon--boy," says Mr. Tangle, prematurely.

"In reference," proceeds the Chancellor, with extra distinctness, "to
the young girl and boy, the two young people."

(Mr. Tangle crushed.)

"Whom I directed to be in attendance to-day, and who are now in my
private room, I will see them and satisfy myself as to the expediency of
making the order for their residing with their uncle."

Mr. Tangle on his legs again.

"Begludship's pardon--dead."

"With their," Chancellor looking through his double eye-glass at the
papers on his desk, "grandfather."

"Begludship's pardon--victim of rash action--brains."

Suddenly a very little counsel, with a terrific bass voice, arises,
fully inflated, in the back settlements of the fog, and says, "Will your
lordship allow me? I appear for him. He is a cousin, several times
removed. I am not at the moment prepared to inform the Court in what
exact remove he is a cousin; but he _is_ a cousin."

Leaving this address (delivered like a sepulchral message) ringing in
the rafters of the roof, the very little counsel drops, and the fog
knows him no more. Every body looks for him. Nobody can see him.

"I will speak with both the young people," says the Chancellor anew,
"and satisfy myself on the subject of their residing with their cousin.
I will mention the matter to-morrow morning when I take my seat."

The Chancellor is about to bow to the bar, when the prisoner is
presented. Nothing can possibly come of the prisoner's conglomeration,
but his being sent back to prison; which is soon done. The man from
Shropshire ventures another remonstrative "My lord!" but the Chancellor,
being aware of him, has dexterously vanished. Every body else quickly
vanishes too. A battery of blue bags is loaded with heavy charges of
papers and carried off by clerks; the little mad old woman marches off
with her documents; the empty court is locked up. If all the injustice
it has committed, and all the misery it has caused, could only be locked
up with it, and the whole burnt away in a great funeral pyre--why, so
much the better for other parties than the parties in Jarndyce and
Jarndyce!


CHAPTER II.--IN FASHION.

It is but a glimpse of the world of fashion that we want on this same
miry afternoon. It is not so unlike the Court of Chancery, but that we
may pass from the one scene to the other, as the crow flies. Both the
world of fashion and the Court of Chancery are things of precedent and
usage; over-sleeping Rip Van Winkles, who have played at strange games
through a deal of thundery weather; sleeping beauties, whom the Knight
will wake one day, when all the stopped spits in the kitchen shall begin
to turn prodigiously.

It is not a large world. Relatively even to this world of ours, which
has its limits too (as your Highness shall find when you have made the
tour of it, and are come to the brink of the void beyond), it is a very
little speck. There is much good in it; there are many good and true
people in it; it has its appointed place. But the evil of it is, that it
is a world wrapped up in too much jeweler's cotton and fine wool, and
can not hear the rushing of the larger worlds, and can not see them as
they circle round the sun. It is a deadened world, and its growth is
sometimes unhealthy for want of air.

My Lady Dedlock has returned to her house in town for a few days
previous to her departure for Paris, where her ladyship intends to stay
some weeks; after which her movements are uncertain. The fashionable
intelligence says so, for the comfort of the Parisians, and it knows all
fashionable things. To know things otherwise, were to be unfashionable.
My Lady Dedlock has been down at what she calls, in familiar
conversation, her "place" in Lincolnshire. The waters are out in
Lincolnshire. An arch of the bridge in the park has been sapped and
sopped away. The adjacent low-lying ground, for half a mile in breadth,
is a stagnant river, with melancholy trees for islands in it, and a
surface punctured all over, all day long, with falling rain. My Lady
Dedlock's "place" has been extremely dreary. The weather, for many a day
and night, has been so wet that the trees seem wet through, and the soft
loppings and prunings of the woodman's ax can make no crash or crackle
as they fall. The deer, looking soaked, leave quagmires, where they
pass. The shot of a rifle loses its sharpness in the moist air, and its
smoke moves in a tardy little cloud toward the green rise,
coppice-topped, that makes a back-ground for the falling rain. The view
from my Lady Dedlock's own windows is alternately a lead-colored view,
and a view in Indian ink. The vases on the stone terrace in the
foreground catch the rain all day; and the heavy drops fall, drip, drip,
drip, upon the broad flagged pavement, called, from old time, the
Ghost's Walk, all night. On Sundays, the little church in the park is
mouldy; the oaken pulpit breaks out into a cold sweat; and there is a
general smell and taste as of the ancient Dedlocks in their graves. My
Lady Dedlock (who is child-less), looking out in the early twilight from
her boudoir at a keeper's lodge, and seeing the light of a fire upon the
latticed panes, and smoke rising from the chimney, and a child, chased
by a woman, running out into the rain to meet the shining figure of a
wrapped-up man coming through the gate, has been put quite out of
temper. My Lady Dedlock says she has been "bored to death."

Therefore my Lady Dedlock has come away from the place in Lincolnshire,
and has left it to the rain, and the crows, and the rabbits, and the
deer, and the partridges, and pheasants. The pictures of the Dedlocks
past and gone seemed to vanish into the damp walls in mere lowness of
spirits, as the housekeeper has passed along the old rooms, shutting up
the shutters. And when they will next come forth again, the fashionable
intelligence--which, like the fiend, is omniscient of the past and
present, but not the future--can not yet undertake to say.

Sir Leicester Dedlock is only a baronet, but there is no mightier
baronet than he. His family is as old as the hills, and infinitely more
respectable. He has a general opinion that the world might get on
without hills, but would be done up without Dedlocks. He would on the
whole admit Nature to be a good idea (a little low, perhaps, when not
inclosed with a park-fence), but an idea dependent for its execution on
your great county families. He is a gentleman of strict conscience,
disdainful of all littleness and meanness, and ready, on the shortest
notice, to die any death you may please to mention rather than give
occasion for the least impeachment of his integrity. He is an honorable,
obstinate, truthful, high-spirited, intensely prejudiced, perfectly
unreasonable man.

Sir Leicester is twenty years, full measure, older than my Lady. He will
never see sixty-five again, nor perhaps sixty-six, nor yet sixty-seven.
He has a twist of the gout now and then, and walks a little stiffly. He
is of a worthy presence, with his light gray hair and whiskers, his fine
shirt-frill, his pure white waistcoat, and his blue coat with bright
buttons always buttoned. He is ceremonious, stately, most polite on
every occasion to my Lady, and holds her personal attractions in the
highest estimation. His gallantry to my Lady, which has never changed
since he courted her, is the one little touch of romantic fancy in him.

Indeed, he married her for love. A whisper still goes about, that she
had not even family; howbeit, Sir Leicester had so much family that
perhaps he had enough, and could dispense with any more. But she had
beauty, pride, ambition, insolent resolve, and sense enough to portion
out a legion of fine ladies. Wealth and station, added to these, soon
floated her upward; and for years, now, my Lady Dedlock has been at the
centre of the fashionable intelligence, and at the top of the
fashionable tree.

How Alexander wept, when he had no more worlds to conquer, every body
knows--or has some reason to know by this time, the matter having been
rather frequently mentioned. My Lady Dedlock, having conquered _her_
world, fell, not into the melting but rather into the freezing mood. An
exhausted composure, a worn-out placidity, an equanimity of fatigue, not
to be ruffled by interest or satisfaction, are the trophies of her
victory. She is perfectly well bred. If she could be translated to
Heaven to-morrow, she might be expected to ascend without any rapture.

She has beauty still, and, if it be not in its heyday, it is not yet in
its autumn. She has a fine face--originally of a character that would be
rather called very pretty than handsome, but improved into classicality
by the acquired expression of her fashionable state. Her figure is
elegant, and has the effect of being tall. Not that she is so, but that
"the most is made," as the Honorable Bob Staples has frequently asserted
upon oath, "of all her points." The same authority observes, that she is
perfectly got up and remarks, in commendation of her hair especially,
that she is the best-groomed woman in the whole stud.

With all her perfections on her head, my Lady Dedlock has come up from
her place in Lincolnshire (hotly pursued by the fashionable
intelligence), to pass a few days at her house in town previous to her
departure for Paris, where her ladyship intends to stay some weeks,
after which her movements are uncertain. And at her house in town, upon
this muddy, murky afternoon, presents himself an old-fashioned old
gentleman, attorney-at-law, and eke solicitor of the High Court of
Chancery, who has the honor of acting as legal adviser of the Dedlocks,
and has as many cast-iron boxes in his office with that name outside, as
if the present baronet were the coin of the conjuror's trick, and were
constantly being juggled through the whole set. Across the hall, and up
the stairs, and along the passages, and through the rooms, which are
very brilliant in the season and very dismal out of it--Fairy-land to
visit, but a desert to live in--the old gentleman is conducted, by a
Mercury in powder, to my Lady's presence.

The old gentleman is rusty to look at, but is reputed to have made good
thrift out of aristocratic marriage settlements and aristocratic wills,
and to be very rich. He is surrounded by a mysterious halo of family
confidences; of which he is known to be the silent depository. There are
noble Mausoleums rooted for centuries in retired glades of parks, among
the growing timber and the fern, which perhaps hold fewer noble secrets
than walk abroad among men, shut up in the breast of Mr. Tulkinghorn. He
is of what is called the old school--a phrase generally meaning any
school that seems never to have been young--and wears knee breeches tied
with ribbons, and gaiters or stockings. One peculiarity of his black
clothes, and of his black stockings, be they silk or worsted, is, that
they never shine. Mute, close, irresponsive to any glancing light, his
dress is like himself. He never converses, when not professionally
consulted. He is found sometimes, speechless but quite at home, at
corners of dinner-tables in great country houses, and near doors of
drawing-rooms, concerning which the fashionable intelligence is
eloquent: where every body knows him, and where half the Peerage stops
to say "How do you do, Mr. Tulkinghorn?" He receives these salutations
with gravity, and buries them along with the rest of his knowledge.

Sir Leicester Dedlock is with my Lady, and is happy to see Mr.
Tulkinghorn. There is an air of prescription about him which is always
agreeable to Sir Leicester; he receives it as a kind of tribute. He
likes Mr. Tulkinghorn's dress; there is a kind of tribute in that too.
It is eminently respectable, and likewise, in a general way,
retainer-like. It expresses, as it were, the steward of the legal
mysteries, the butler of the legal cellar of the Dedlocks.

Has Mr. Tulkinghorn any idea of this himself? It may be so, or it may
not; but there is this remarkable circumstance to be noted in every
thing associated with my Lady Dedlock as one of a class--as one of the
leaders and representatives of her little world. She supposes herself to
be an inscrutable Being, quite out of the reach and ken of ordinary
mortals--seeing herself in her glass, where indeed she looks so. Yet,
every dim little star revolving about her, from her maid to the manager
of the Italian Opera, knows her weaknesses, prejudices, follies,
haughtinesses, and caprices; and lives upon as accurate a calculation
and as nice a measure of her moral nature, as her dress-maker takes of
her physical proportions. Is a new dress, a new custom, a new singer, a
new dancer, a new form of jewelry, a new dwarf or giant, a new chapel, a
new any thing, to be set up? There are deferential people, in a dozen
callings, whom my Lady Dedlock suspects of nothing but prostration
before her, who can tell you how to manage her as if she were a baby;
who do nothing but nurse her all their lives; who, humbly affecting to
follow with profound subservience, lead her and her whole troop after
them; who, in hooking one, hook all and bear them off, as Lemuel
Gulliver bore away the stately fleet of the majestic Lilliput. "If you
want to address our people, sir," say Blaze and Sparkle the
jewelers--meaning by our people, Lady Dedlock and the rest--"you must
remember that you are not dealing with the general public; you must hit
our people in their weakest place, and their weakest place is such a
place." "To make this article go down, gentlemen," say Sheen and Gloss
the mercers, to their friends the manufacturers, "you must come to us,
because we know where to have the fashionable people, and we can make it
fashionable." "If you want to get this print upon the tables of my high
connection, sir," says Mr. Sladdery the librarian, "or if you want to
get this dwarf or giant into the houses of my high connection, sir, or
if you want to secure to this entertainment the patronage of my high
connection, sir, you must leave it, if you please, to me; for I have
been accustomed to study the leaders of my high connection, sir; and I
may tell you, without vanity, that I can turn them round my finger"--in
which Mr. Sladdery, who is an honest man, does not exaggerate at all.

"Therefore, while Mr. Tulkinghorn may not know what was passing in the
Dedlock mind at present, it is very possible that he may.

"My Lady's cause has been again before the Chancellor, has it, Mr.
Tulkinghorn?" says Sir Leicester, giving him his hand.

"Yes. It has been on again to-day," Mr. Tulkinghorn replies; making one
of his quiet bows to my Lady, who is on a sofa near the fire, shading
her face with a hand-screen.

"It would be useless to ask," says my Lady, with the dreariness of the
place in Lincolnshire still upon her, "whether any thing his been done."

"Nothing that _you_ would call any thing has been done to-day," replies
Mr. Tulkinghorn.

"Nor ever will be," says my Lady.

Sir Leicester has no objection to an interminable Chancery suit. It is a
slow, expensive, British, constitutional kind of thing. To be sure, he
has not a vital interest in the suit in question, her part in which was
the only property my Lady brought him; and he has a shadowy impression
that for his name--the name of Dedlock--to be in a cause, and not in the
title of that cause, is a most ridiculous accident. But he regards the
Court of Chancery, even if it should involve an occasional delay of
justice and a trifling amount of confusion, as a something, devised in
conjunction with a variety of other somethings, by the perfection of
human wisdom, for the eternal settlement (humanly speaking) of every
thing. And he is, upon the whole, of a fixed opinion, that to give the
sanction of his countenance to any complaints respecting it, would be to
encourage some person of the lower orders to rise up somewhere--like Wat
Tyler.

"As a few fresh affidavits have been put upon the file," says Mr.
Tulkinghorn, "and as they are short, and as I proceed upon the
troublesome principle of begging leave to possess my clients with any
new proceedings in a cause;" cautious man, Mr. Tulkinghorn, taking no
more responsibility than necessary; "and further, as I see you are going
to Paris, I have brought them in my pocket."

(Sir Leicester was going to Paris too, by-the-by, but the delight of the
fashionable intelligence was in his Lady.)

Mr. Tulkinghorn takes out his papers, asks permission to place them on a
golden talisman of a table at my Lady's elbow, puts on his spectacles,
and begins to read by the light of a shaded lamp.

"'In Chancery. Between John Jarndyce--'"

My Lady interrupts him, requesting him to miss as many of the formal
horrors as he can.

Mr. Tulkinghorn glances over his spectacles, and begins again lower
down. My Lady carelessly and scornfully abstracts her attention. Sir
Leicester in a great chair looks at the fire, and appears to have a
stately liking for the legal repetitions and prolixities, as ranging
among the national bulwarks. It happens that the fire is hot, where my
Lady sits; and that the hand-screen is more beautiful than useful, being
priceless, but small. My Lady, changing her position, sees the papers on
the table--looks at them nearer--looks at them nearer still--asks
impulsively:

"Who copied that?"

Mr. Tulkinghorn stops short, surprised at my Lady's animation and her
unusual tone.

"Is it what you people call law hand?" she asks, looking full at him in
her careless way again, and toying with her screen.

"Not quite. Probably"--Mr. Tulkinghorn examines it as he speaks--"the
legal character it has, was acquired after the original hand was formed.
Why do you ask?"

"Any thing to vary this detestable monotony. O, go on, do!"

Mr. Tulkinghorn reads again. The heat is greater; my Lady screens her
face. Sir Leicester dozes, starts up suddenly, and cries, "Eh? what do
you say?"

"I say I am afraid," says Mr. Tulkinghorn, who has risen hastily, "that
Lady Dedlock is ill."

"Faint," my Lady murmurs, with white lips, "only that; but it is like
the faintness of death. Don't speak to me. Ring, and take me to my
room!"

Mr. Tulkinghorn retires into another chamber; bells ring, feet shuffle
and patter, silence ensues. Mercury at last begs Mr. Tulkinghorn to
return.

"Better now," quoth Sir Leicester, motioning the lawyer to sit down and
read to him alone. "I have been quite alarmed. I never knew my lady
swoon before. But the weather is extremely trying--and she really has
been bored to death down at our place in Lincolnshire."


CHAPTER III.--A PROGRESS.

I have a great deal of difficulty in beginning to write my portion of
these pages, for I know I am not clever. I always knew that. I can
remember, when I was a very little girl indeed, I used to say to my
doll, when we were alone together, "Now, Dolly, I am not clever, you
know very well, and you must be patient with me, like a dear!" And so
she used to sit propped up in a great arm-chair, with her beautiful
complexion and rosy lips, staring at me--or not so much at me, I think,
as at nothing--while I busily stitched away, and told her every one of
my secrets.

My dear old doll! I was such a shy little thing that I seldom dared to
open my lips, and never dared to open my heart, to any body else. It
almost makes me cry to think what a relief it used to be to me, when I
came home from school of a day, to run up stairs to my room, and say, "O
you dear faithful Dolly, I knew you would be expecting me!" and then to
sit down on the floor, leaning on the elbow of her great chair, and tell
her all I had noticed since we parted. I had always rather a noticing
way--not a quick way, O no!--a silent way of noticing what passed before
me, and thinking I should like to understand it better. I have not by
any means a quick understanding. When I love a person very tenderly
indeed, it seems to brighten. But even that may be my vanity.

I was brought up, from my earliest remembrance--like some of the
princesses in the fairy stories, only I was not charming--by my
godmother. At least I only knew her as such. She was a good, good woman!
She went to church three times every Sunday, and to morning prayers on
Wednesdays and Fridays, and to lectures whenever there were lectures;
and never missed. She was handsome; and if she had ever smiled, would
have been (I used to think) like an angel--but she never smiled. She was
always grave, and strict. She was so very good herself, I thought, that
the badness of other people made her frown all her life. I felt so
different from her, even making every allowance for the differences
between a child and a woman; I felt so poor, so trifling, and so far
off; that I never could be unrestrained with her--no, could never even
love her as I wished. It made me very sorry to consider how good she
was, and how unworthy of her I was; and I used ardently to hope that I
might have a better heart; and I talked it over very often with the
dear old doll; but I never loved my godmother as I ought to have loved
her, and as I felt I must have loved her if I had been a better girl.

This made me, I dare say, more timid and retiring than I naturally was,
and cast me upon Dolly as the only friend with whom I felt at ease. But
something happened when I was still quite a little thing, that helped it
very much.

I had never heard my mamma spoken of. I had never heard of my papa
either, but I felt more interested about my mamma. I had never worn a
black frock, that I could recollect. I had never been shown my mamma's
grave. I had never been told where it was. Yet I had never been taught
to pray for any relation but my godmother. I had more than once
approached this subject of my thoughts with Mrs. Rachael, our only
servant, who took my light away when I was in bed (another very good
woman, but austere to me), and she had only said, "Esther, good-night!"
and gone away and left me.

Although there were seven girls at the neighboring school where I was a
day boarder, and although they called me little Esther Summerson, I knew
none of them at home. All of them were older than I, to be sure (I was
the youngest there by a good deal), but there seemed to be some other
separation between us besides that, and besides their being far more
clever than I was, and knowing much more than I did. One of them, in the
first week of my going to the school (I remember it very well), invited
me home to a little party, to my great joy. But my godmother wrote a
stiff letter declining for me, and I never went. I never went out at
all.

It was my birthday. There were holidays at school on other
birthdays--none on mine. There were rejoicings at home on other
birthdays, as I knew from what I heard the girls relate to one
another--there were none on mine. My birthday was the most melancholy
day at home, in the whole year.

I have mentioned, that, unless my vanity should deceive me (as I know it
may, for I may be very vain, without suspecting it--though indeed I
don't), my comprehension is quickened when my affection is. My
disposition is very affectionate; and perhaps I might still feel such a
wound, if such a wound could be received more than once, with the
quickness of that birthday.

Dinner was over, and my godmother and I were sitting at the table before
the fire. The clock ticked, the fire clicked; not another sound had been
heard in the room, or in the house, for I don't know how long. I
happened to look timidly up from my stitching, across the table, at my
godmother, and I saw in her face, looking gloomily at me, "It would have
been far better, little Esther, had you had had no birthday; that you
had never been born!"

I broke out sobbing and crying, and I said, "O, dear godmother, tell me,
pray do tell me, did mamma die on my birthday?"

"No," she returned. "Ask me no more, child!"

"O, do pray tell me something of her. Do now, at last, dear godmother,
if you please! What did I do to her? How did I lose her? Why am I so
different from other children, and why is it my fault, dear godmother?
No, no, no, don't go away. O, speak to me!"

I was in a kind of fright beyond my grief; and I had caught hold of her
dress, and was kneeling to her. She had been saying all the while, "Let
me go!" But now she stood still.

Her darkened face had such power over me, that it stopped me in the
midst of my vehemence, I put up my trembling little hand to clasp hers,
or to beg her pardon with what earnestness I might, but withdrew it as
she looked at me, and laid it on my fluttering heart. She raised me, sat
in her chair, and standing me before her, said, slowly, in a cold, low
voice--I see her knitted brow, and pointed finger:

"Your mother, Esther, is your disgrace, and you were hers. The time will
come--and soon enough--when you will understand this better, and will
feel it too, as no one save a woman can. I have forgiven her;" but her
face did not relent; "the wrong she did to me, and I say no more of it,
though it was greater than you will ever know--than any one will ever
know, but I, the sufferer. For yourself, unfortunate girl, orphaned and
degraded from the first of these evil anniversaries, pray daily that the
sins of others be not visited upon your head, according to what is
written. Forget your mother, and leave all other people to forget her
who will do her unhappy child that greatest kindness. Now, go!"

She checked me, however, as I was about to depart from her--so frozen as
I was!--and added this:

"Submission, self-denial, diligent work, are the preparations for a life
begun with such a shadow on it. You are different from other children,
Esther, because you were not born, like them, in common sinfulness and
wrath. You are set apart."

I went up to my room, and crept to bed, and laid my doll's cheek against
mine wet with tears; and holding that solitary friend upon my bosom,
cried myself to sleep. Imperfect as my understanding of my sorrow was, I
knew that I had brought no joy, at anytime, to anybody's heart, and that
I was to no one upon earth what Dolly was to me.

Dear, dear, to think how much time we passed alone together afterward,
and how often I repeated to the doll the story of my birthday, and
confided to her that I would try, as hard as ever I could, to repair the
fault I had been born with (of which I confusedly felt guilty and yet
innocent), and would strive as I grew up to be industrious, contented,
and kind-hearted, and to do some good to some one, and win some love to
myself if I could. I hope it is not self-indulgent to shed these tears
as I think of it. I am very thankful, I am very cheerful, but I can not
quite help their coming to my eyes.

There! I have wiped them away now, and can go on again properly.

I felt the distance between my godmother and myself so much more after
the birthday, and felt so sensible of filling a place in her house which
ought to have been empty, that I found her more difficult of approach,
though I was fervently grateful to her in my heart, than ever. I felt in
the same way toward my school companions; I felt in the same way toward
Mrs. Rachael, who was a widow; and O toward her daughter, of whom she
was proud, who came to see her once a fortnight! I was very retired and
quiet, and tried to be very diligent.

One sunny afternoon, when I had come home from school with my books and
portfolio, watching my long shadow at my side, and as I was gliding up
stairs to my room as usual, my godmother looked out of the parlor door,
and called me back. Sitting with her, I found--which was very unusual
indeed--a stranger. A portly, important-looking gentleman, dressed all
in black, with a white cravat, large gold watch seals, a pair of gold
eye-glasses, and a large seal-ring upon his little finger.

"This," said my godmother in an under tone, "is the child." Then she
said, in her naturally stern way of speaking, "This is Esther, sir."

The gentleman put up his eye-glasses to look at me, and said, "Come
here, my dear!" He shook hands with me, and asked me to take off my
bonnet--looking at me all the while. When I had complied, he said, "Ah!"
and afterward "Yes!" And then, taking off his eye-glasses and folding
them in a red case, and leaning back in his arm-chair, turning the case
about in his two hands he gave my godmother a nod. Upon that, my
godmother said, "You may go up-stairs, Esther!" and I made him my
courtesy and left him.

It must have been two years afterward, and I was almost fourteen, when
one dreadful night my godmother and I sat at the fireside. I was reading
aloud, and she was listening. I had come down at nine o'clock, as I
always did, to read the Bible to her; and was reading, from St. John,
how our Saviour stooped down, writing with his finger in the dust, when
they brought the sinful woman to him.

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself and said unto
them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at
her!'"

I was stopped by my godmother's rising, putting her hand to her head,
and crying out, in an awful voice, from quite another part of the book:

"'Watch ye therefore! lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And
what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch!'"

In an instant, while she stood before me repeating these words, she fell
down on the floor. I had no need to cry out; her voice had sounded
through the house, and been heard in the street.

She was laid upon her bed. For more than a week she lay there, little
altered outwardly; with her old handsome, resolute frown that I so well
knew, carved upon her face. Many and many a time, in the day and in the
night, with my head upon the pillow by her that my whispers might be
plainer to her, I kissed her, thanked her, prayed for her, asked her for
her blessing and forgiveness, entreated her to give me the least sign
that she knew or heard me. No, no, no. Her face was immovable. To the
very last, and even afterward, her frown remained unsoftened.

On the day after my poor good godmother was buried, the gentleman in
black with the white neckcloth re-appeared. I was sent for by Mrs.
Rachael, and found him in the same place, as if he had never gone away.

"My name is Kenge," he said; "you may remember it, my child; Kenge and
Carboy, Lincoln's Inn."

I replied, that I remembered to have seen him once before.

"Pray be seated--here, near me. Don't distress yourself; it's of no use.
Mrs. Rachael, I needn't inform you, who were acquainted with the late
Miss Barbary's affairs, that her means die with her; and that this young
lady, now her aunt is dead--"

"My aunt, sir!"

"It really is of no use carrying on a deception when no object is to be
gained by it," said Mr. Kenge, smoothly. "Aunt in fact, though not in
law. Don't distress yourself! Don't weep! Don't tremble! Mrs. Rachael,
our young friend has no doubt heard of--the--a--Jarndyce and Jarndyce."

"Never," said Mrs. Rachel.

"Is it possible," pursued Mr. Kenge, putting up his eye-glasses, "that
our young friend--I _beg_ you won't distress yourself!--never heard of
Jarndyce and Jarndyce?"

I shook my head, wondering even what it was.

"Not of Jarndyce and Jarndyce?" said Mr. Kenge, looking over his glasses
at me, and softly turning the case about and about, as if he were
petting something. "Not of one of the greatest Chancery suits known? Not
of Jarndyce and Jarndyce--the--a--in itself a monument of Chancery
practice? In which (I would say) every difficulty, every contingency,
every masterly fiction, every form of procedure known in that court, is
represented over and over again? It is a cause that could not exist, out
of this free and great country. I should say that the aggregate of costs
in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Mrs. Rachael;" I was afraid he addressed
himself to her, because I appeared inattentive; "amounts at the present
hour to from SIX-TY to SEVEN-TY THOUSAND POUNDS!" said Mr. Kenge,
leaning back in his chair.

I felt very ignorant, but what could I do? I was so entirely
unacquainted with the subject, that I understood nothing about it even
then.

"And she really never heard of the cause!" said Mr. Kenge. "Surprising!"


"Miss Barbary, sir," returned Mrs. Rachael, "who is now among the
Seraphim--"

("I hope so, I am sure," said Mr. Kenge, politely.)

"--Wished Esther only to know what would be serviceable to her. And she
knows, from any teaching she has had here, nothing more."

"Well!" said Mr. Kenge. "Upon the whole, very proper. Now to the point,"
addressing me. "Miss Barbary, your sole relation (in fact, that is; for
I am bound to observe that in law you had none), being deceased, and it
naturally not being to be expected that Mrs. Rachael--"

"O dear no!" said Mrs. Rachael, quickly.

"Quite so," assented Mr. Kenge; "that Mrs. Rachael should charge
herself with your maintenance and support (I beg you won't distress
yourself), you are in a position to receive the renewal of an offer
which I was instructed to make to Miss Barbary some two years ago, and
which, though rejected then, was understood to be renewable under the
lamentable circumstances that have since occurred. Now, if I avow that I
represent, in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, and otherwise, a highly humane, but
at the same time singular man, shall I compromise myself by any stretch
of my professional caution?" said Mr. Kenge, leaning back in his chair
again, and looking calmly at us both.

He appeared to enjoy beyond every thing, the sound of his own voice. I
couldn't wonder at that, for it was mellow and full, and gave great
importance to every word he uttered. He listened to himself with obvious
satisfaction, and sometimes gently beat time to his own music with his
head, or rounded a sentence with his hand. I was very much impressed by
him--even then, before I knew that he formed himself on the model of a
great lord who was his client, and that he was generally called
Conversation Kenge.

"Mr. Jarndyce," he pursued, "being aware of the--I would say,
desolate--position of our young friend, offers to place her at a
first-rate establishment; where her education shall be completed, where
her comfort shall be secured, where her reasonable wants shall be
anticipated, where she shall be eminently qualified to discharge her
duty in that station of life unto which it has pleased--shall I say
Providence?--to call her."

My heart was filled so full, both by what he said, and by his affecting
manner of saying it, that I was not able to speak, though I tried.

"Mr. Jarndyce," he went on, "makes no condition, beyond expressing his
expectation, that our young friend will not at any time remove herself
from the establishment in question without his knowledge and
concurrence. That she will faithfully apply herself to the acquisition
of those accomplishments, upon the exercise of which she will be
ultimately dependent. That she will tread in the paths of virtue, and
honor, and--the--a--so forth."

I was still less able to speak than before.

"Now, what does our young friend say?" proceeded Mr. Kenge. "Take time,
take time! I pause for her reply. But take time!"

What the destitute subject of such an offer tried to say, I need not
repeat. What she did say, I could more easily tell, if it were worth the
telling. What she felt, and will feel to her dying hour, I could never
relate.

This interview took place at Windsor, where I had passed (as far as I
knew) my whole life. On that day week, amply provided with all
necessaries, I left it, inside the stage-coach, for Reading.

Mrs. Rachael was too good to feel any emotion at parting, but I was not
so good, and wept bitterly. I thought that I ought to have known her
better after so many years, and ought to have made myself enough of a
favorite with her to make her sorry then. When she gave me one cold,
parting kiss upon my forehead, like a thaw-drop from the stone porch--it
was a very frosty day--I felt so miserable and self-reproachful that I
clung to her and told her it was my fault, I knew, that she could say
good-by so easily!

"No, Esther!" she returned. "It is your misfortune!"

The coach was at the little lawn gate--we had not come out until we
heard the wheels--and thus I left her, with a sorrowful heart. She went
in before my boxes were lifted to the coach-roof, and shut the door. As
long as I could see the house, I looked back at it from the window,
through my tears. My godmother had left Mrs. Rachael all the little
property she possessed; and there was to be a sale; and an old
hearth-rug with roses on it, which always seemed to me the first thing
in the world I had ever seen, was hanging outside in the frost and snow.
A day or two before, I had wrapped the dear old doll in her own shawl,
and quietly laid her--I am half-ashamed to tell it--in the garden-earth,
under the tree that shaded my own window. I had no companion left but my
bird, and him I carried with me in his cage.

When the house was out of sight, I sat, with my bird-cage in the straw
at my feet, forward on the low seat to look out of the high window;
watching the frosty trees that were like beautiful pieces of spar; and
the fields all smooth and white with last night's snow; and the sun so
red but yielding so little heat; and the ice, dark like metal, where the
skaters and sliders had brushed the snow away. There was a gentleman in
the coach who sat on the opposite seat, and looked very large in a
quantity of wrappings; but he sat gazing out of the other window, and
took no notice of me.

I thought of my dead godmother; of the night when I read to her; of her
frowning so fixedly and sternly in her bed; of the strange place I was
going to; of the people I should find there, and what they would be
like, and what they would say to me; when a voice in the coach gave me a
terrible start.

It said, "What the de-vil are you crying for?"

I was so frightened that I lost my voice, and could only answer in a
whisper. "Me, sir?" For of course I knew it must have been the
gentleman in the quantity of wrappings, though he was still looking out
of his window.

"Yes, you," he said, turning round.

"I didn't know I was crying, sir," I faltered.

"But you are!" said the gentleman. "Look here!" He came quite opposite
to me from the other corner of the coach, brushed one of his large furry
cuffs across my eyes (but without hurting me), and showed me that it was
wet.

"There! Now, you know you are," he said. "Don't you?"

"Yes, sir," I said.

"And what are you crying for?" said the gentleman. "Don't you want to go
there?"

"Where, sir?"

"Where? Why, wherever you are going," said the gentleman.

"I am very glad to go there, sir," I answered.

"Well, then! Look glad!" said the gentleman.

I thought he was very strange, or at least that what I could see of him
was very strange, for he was wrapped up to the chin, and his face was
almost hidden in a fur cap, with broad fur straps at the side of his
head, fastened under his chin; but I was composed again, and not afraid
of him. So I told him that I thought I must have been crying, because of
my godmother's death, and because of Mrs. Rachael's not being sorry to
part with me.

"Con-found Mrs. Rachael!" said the gentleman. "Let her fly away in a
high wind on a broomstick!"

I began to be really afraid of him now, and looked at him with the
greatest astonishment. But I thought that he had pleasant eyes, although
he kept on muttering to himself in an angry manner, and calling Mrs.
Rachael names.

After a little while, he opened his outer wrapper, which appeared to me
large enough to wrap up the whole coach, and put his arm down into a
deep pocket in the side.

"Now, look here!" he said. "In this paper," which was nicely folded, "is
a piece of the best plum-cake that can be got for money--sugar on the
outside an inch thick, like fat on muttonchops. Here's a little pie (a
gem this is, both for size and quality), made in France. And what do you
suppose it's made of? Livers of fat geese. There's a pie! Now let's see
you eat 'em."

"Thank you, sir," I replied; "thank you very much, indeed, but I hope
you won't be offended; they are too rich for me."

"Floored again!" said the gentleman, which I didn't at all understand;
and threw them both out of window.

He did not speak to me any more, until he got out of the coach a little
way short of Reading, when he advised me to be a good girl, and to be
studious; and shook hands with me. I must say I was relieved by his
departure. We left him at a milestone. I often walked past it afterward,
and never, for a long time, without thinking of him, and half-expecting
to meet him. But I never did; and so, as time went on, he passed out of
my mind.

When the coach stopped, a very neat lady looked up at the window, and
said,

"Miss Donny."

"No, ma'am, Esther Summerson."

"That is quite right," said the lady, "Miss Donny."

I now understood that she introduced herself by that name, and begged
Miss Donny's pardon for my mistake, and pointed out my boxes at her
request. Under the direction of a very neat maid, they were put outside
a very small green carriage; and then Miss Donny, the maid, and I, got
inside, and were driven away.

"Every thing is ready for you, Esther," said Miss Donny; "and the scheme
of your pursuits has been arranged in exact accordance with the wishes
of your guardian, Mr. Jarndyce."

"Of ----, did you say, ma'am?"

"Of your guardian, Mr. Jarndyce," said Miss Donny.

I was so bewildered that Miss Donny thought the cold had been too severe
for me, and lent me her smelling-bottle.

"Do you know my--guardian, Mr. Jarndyce, ma'am?" I asked, after a good
deal of hesitation.

"Not personally, Esther," said Miss Donny; "merely through his
solicitors, Messrs. Kenge and Carboy, of London. A very superior
gentleman, Mr. Kenge. Truly eloquent, indeed. Some of his periods quite
majestic!"

I felt this to be very true, but was too confused to attend to it. Our
speedy arrival at our destination, before I had time to recover myself,
increased my confusion; and I never shall forget the uncertain and
unreal air of every thing at Greenleaf (Miss Donny's house), that
afternoon!

But I soon became used to it. I was so adapted to the routine of
Greenleaf before long, that I seemed to have been there a great while;
and almost to have dreamed, rather than to have really lived, my old
life at my godmother's. Nothing could be more precise, exact, and
orderly, than Greenleaf. There was a time for every thing all round the
dial of the clock, and every thing was done at its appointed moment.

We were twelve boarders, and there were two Miss Donnys, twins. It was
understood that I would have to depend, by-and-by, on my qualifications
as a governess; and I was not only instructed in every thing that was
taught at Greenleaf, but was very soon engaged in helping to instruct
others. Although I was treated in every other respect like the rest of
the school, this single difference was made in my case from the first.
As I began to know more, I taught more, and so in course of time I had
plenty to do, which I was very fond of doing, because it made the dear
girls fond of me. At last, whenever a new pupil came, who was a little
downcast and unhappy, she was so sure--indeed I don't know why--to make
a friend of me, that all new-comers were confided to my care. They said
I was so gentle; but I am sure _they_ were! I often thought of the
resolution I had made on my birth-day, to try to be industrious,
contented, and true-hearted, and to do some good to some one, and win
some love if I could; and indeed, indeed, I felt almost ashamed to have
done so little, and have won so much.

I passed at Greenleaf six happy, quiet years. I never saw in any face
there, thank Heaven, on my birthday, that it would have been better if I
had never been born. When the day came round, it brought me so many
tokens of affectionate remembrance, that my room was beautiful with them
from New-Year's Day to Christmas.

In those six years I had never been away, except on visits at holiday
time in the neighborhood. After the first six months or so, I had taken
Miss Donny's advice in reference to the propriety of writing to Mr.
Kenge, to say that I was happy and grateful; and, with her approval, I
had written such a letter. I had received a formal answer acknowledging
its receipt, and saying, "We note the contents thereof, which shall be
duly communicated to our client." After that, I sometimes heard Miss
Donny and her sister mention how regularly my accounts were paid; and
about twice a year I ventured to write a similar letter. I always
received by return of post exactly the same answer, in the same round
hand; with the signature of Kenge and Carboy in another writing, which I
supposed to be Mr. Kenge's.

It seems so curious to me to be obliged to write all this about
myself!--as if this narrative were the narrative of _my_ life! But my
little body will soon fall into the background now.

Six quiet years (I find I am saying it for the second time) I had passed
at Greenleaf, seeing in those around me, as it might be in a
looking-glass, every stage of my own growth and change there, when, one
November morning, I received this letter. I omit the date.

                                     _Old Square, Lincoln's Inn._

    _Madam,_

        _Jarndyce and Jarndyce._

    _Our clt Mr. Jarndyce being abt to rece into his house, under an
    Order of the Ct of Chy, a Ward of the Ct in this cause, for whom he
    wishes to secure an elgble compn, directs us to inform you that he
    will be glad of your serces in the afsd capacity._

    _We have arrngd for your being forded, carriage free, pr eight
    o'clock coach from Reading, on Monday morning next, to White Horse
    Cellar, Piccadilly, London, where one of our clks will be in waiting
    to convey you to our offe as above._

            _We are, Madam,_
              _Your obed^t Serv^ts,_
                _Kenge and Carboy._

    _Miss Esther Summerson._

O, never, never, never shall I forget the emotion this letter caused in
the house! It was so tender in them to care so much for me; it was so
gracious in that Father who had not forgotten me, to have made my orphan
way so smooth and easy, and to have inclined so many youthful natures
toward me; that I could hardly bear it. Not that I would have had them
less sorry--I am afraid not; but the pleasure of it, and the pain of it,
and the pride and joy of it, and the humble regret of it, were so
blended, that my heart seemed almost breaking while it was full of
rapture.

The letter gave me only five days' notice of my removal. When every
minute added to the proofs of love and kindness that were given me in
those five days; and when at last the morning came, and when they took
me through all the rooms, that I might see them for the last time; and
when some cried "Esther, dear, say good-by to me here, at my bedside,
where you first spoke so kindly to me!" and when others asked me only to
write their names, "With Esther's love;" and when they all surrounded mo
with their parting presents, and clung to me weeping, and cried, "What
shall we do when dear Esther's gone!" and when I tried to tell them how
forbearing, and how good they had all been to me, and how I blessed, and
thanked them every one; what a heart I had!

And when the two Miss Donnys grieved as much to part with me, as the
least among them; and when the maids said, "Bless you, miss, wherever
you go!" and when the ugly lame old gardener, who I thought had hardly
noticed me in all those years, came panting after the coach to give me a
little nosegay of geraniums, and told me I had been the light of his
eyes--indeed the old man said so!--what a heart I had then!

And could I help it, if with all this, and the coming to the little
school, and the unexpected sight of the poor children outside waving
their hats and bonnets to me, and of a gray-headed gentleman and lady,
whose daughter I had helped to teach, and at whose house I had visited
(who were said to be the proudest people in all that country), caring
for nothing but calling out "Good-by, Esther. May you be very happy!"
could I help it if I was quite bowed down in the coach by myself, and
said, "O, I am so thankful, I am so thankful!" many times over!

But of course I soon considered that I must not take tears where I was
going, after all that had been done for me. Therefore, of course, I made
myself sob less, and persuaded myself to be quiet, by saying very often,
"Esther! now, you really must! This _will not_ do!" I cheered myself up
pretty well at last, though I am afraid I was longer about it than I
ought to have been; and when I had cooled my eyes with lavender water,
it was time to watch for London.

I was quite persuaded that we were there, when we were ten miles off;
and when we really were there, that we should never get there. However,
when we began to jolt upon a stone pavement, and particularly when every
other conveyance seemed to be running into us and we seemed to be
running into every other conveyance, I began to believe that we really
were approaching the end of our journey. Very soon afterward we stopped.

A young gentleman who had inked himself by accident, addressed me from
the pavement, and said, "I am from Kenge and Carboy's, miss, of
Lincoln's Inn."

"If you please, sir," said I.

He was very obliging; and as he handed me into a fly, after
superintending the removal of my boxes, I asked him whether there was a
great fire any where? For the streets were so full of dense brown smoke
that scarcely any thing was to be seen.

"O dear no, miss," he said. "This is a London particular."

I had never heard of such a thing.

"A fog, miss," said the young gentleman.

"O indeed!" said I.

We drove slowly through the dirtiest and darkest streets that ever were
seen in the world (I thought), and in such a distracting state of
confusion that I wondered how the people kept their senses, until we
passed into sudden quietude under an old gateway, and drove on through a
silent square, until we came to an odd nook in a corner, where there was
an entrance up a steep broad flight of stairs, like an entrance to a
church. And there really was a church-yard outside under some cloisters,
for I saw the grave-stones from the staircase window.

This was Kenge and Carboy's. The young gentleman showed me through an
outer office into Mr. Kenge's room--there was no one in it--and politely
put an arm-chair for me by the fire. He then called my attention to a
little looking-glass, hanging from a nail on one side, of the
chimney-piece.

"In case you should wish to look at yourself, miss, after the journey,
as you're going before the Chancellor. Not that it's necessary, I am
sure," said the young gentleman, civilly.

"Going before the Chancellor?" I said, startled for a moment.

"Only a matter of form, miss," returned the young gentleman. "Mr. Kenge
is in court now. He left his compliments, and would you partake of some
refreshment;" there were biscuits and a decanter of wine on a small
table; "and look over the paper;" which the young gentleman gave me as
he spoke. He then stirred the fire, and left me.

Every thing was so strange--the stranger for its being night in the
day-time, and the candles burning with a white flame, and looking raw
and cold--that I read the words in the newspaper without knowing what
they meant, and found myself reading the same words repeatedly. As it
was of no use going on in that way, I put the paper down, took a peep at
my bonnet in the glass to see if it was neat, and looked at the room
which was not half lighted, and at the shabby dusty tables, and
at the piles of writings, and at a bookcase full of the most
inexpressive-looking books that ever had any thing to say for
themselves. Then I went on, thinking, thinking, thinking; and the fire
went on, burning, burning, burning; and the candles went on flickering
and guttering, and there were no snuffers--until the young gentleman
by-and-by brought a very dirty pair; for two hours.

At last Mr. Kenge came. _He_ was not altered; but he was surprised to
see how altered I was, and appeared quite pleased. "As you are going to
be the companion of the young lady who is now in the Chancellor's
private room, Miss Summerson," he said, "we thought it well that you
should be in attendance also. You will not be discomposed by the Lord
Chancellor, I dare say?"

"No, sir," I said, "I don't think I shall." Really not seeing, on
consideration, why I should be.

So Mr. Kenge gave me his arm, and we went round the corner, under a
colonnade, and in at a side door. And so we came, along a passage, into
a comfortable sort of room, where a young lady and a young gentleman
were standing near a great, loud-roaring fire. A screen was interposed
between them and it, and they were leaning on the screen, talking.

They both looked up when I came in, and I saw in the young lady, with
the fire shining upon her, such a beautiful girl! With such rich golden
hair, such soft blue eyes, and such a bright, innocent, trusting face!

"Miss Ada," said Mr. Kenge, "this is Miss Summerson."

She came to meet me with a smile of welcome, and her hand extended, but
seemed to change her mind in a moment, and kissed me. In short, she had
such a natural, captivating, winning manner, that in a few minutes we
were sitting in the window-seat, with the light of the fire upon us,
talking together, as free and happy as could be.

What a load off my mind! It was so delightful to know that she could
confide in me, and like me! It was so good of her, and so encouraging to
me!

The young gentleman was her distant cousin, she told me, and his name
Richard Carstone. He was a handsome youth, with an ingenuous face, and a
most engaging laugh; and after she had called him up to where we sat, he
stood by us, in the light of the fire too, talking gayly, like a
light-hearted boy. He was very young; not more than nineteen then, if
quite so much, but nearly two years older than she was. They were both
orphans, and (what was very unexpected and curious to me) had never met
before that day. Our all three coming together for the first time, in
such an unusual place, was a thing to talk about; and we talked about
it; and the fire, which had left off roaring, winked its red eyes at
us--as Richard said--like a drowsy old Chancery lion.

We conversed in a low tone, because a full-dressed gentleman in a bag
wig frequently came in and out, and when he did so, we could hear a
drawling sound in the distance, which he said was one of the counsel in
our case addressing the Lord Chancellor. He told Mr. Kenge that the
Chancellor would be up in five minutes; and presently we heard a bustle,
and a tread of feet, and Mr. Kenge said that the Court had risen, and
his lordship was in the next room.

The gentleman in the bag wig opened the door almost directly, and
requested Mr. Kenge to come in. Upon that, we all went into the next
room; Mr. Kenge first, with my darling--it is so natural to me now, that
I can't help writing it; and there, plainly dressed in black, and
sitting in an arm-chair at a table near the fire, was his lordship,
whose robe, trimmed with beautiful gold lace, was thrown upon another
chair. He gave us a searching look as we entered, but his manner was
both courtly and kind.

The gentleman in the bag wig laid bundles of papers on his lordship's
table, and his lordship silently selected one, and turned over the
leaves.

"Miss Clare," then said the Lord Chancellor. "Miss Ada Clare?"

Mr. Kenge presented her, and his lordship begged her to sit down near
him. That he admired her, and was interested by her, even _I_ could see
in a moment. It touched me, that the home of such a beautiful young
creature should be represented by that dry official place. The Lord High
Chancellor, at his best, appeared so poor a substitute for the love and
pride of parents.

"The Jarndyce in question," said the Lord Chancellor, still turning over
leaves, "is Jarndyce of Bleak House."

"Jarndyce of Bleak House, my lord," said Mr. Kenge.

"A dreary name," said the Lord Chancellor.

"But not a dreary place at present, my lord," said Mr. Kenge.

"And Bleak House," said his lordship, "is in--"

"Hertfordshire, my lord."

"Mr. Jarndyce of Bleak House is not married?" said his lordship.

"He is not, my lord," said Mr. Kenge.

A pause.

"Young Mr. Richard Carstone is present?" said the Lord Chancellor,
glancing toward him.

Richard bowed and stepped forward.

"Hum!" said the Lord Chancellor, turning over more leaves.

"Mr. Jarndyce of Bleak House, my lord," Mr. Kenge observed, in a low
voice, "if I may venture to remind your lordship, provides a suitable
companion for--"

"For Mr. Richard Carstone?" I thought (but I am not quite sure) I heard
his lordship say, in an equally low voice, and with a smile.

"For Miss Ada Clare. This is the young lady. Miss Summerson."

His lordship gave me an indulgent look, and acknowledged my courtesy
very graciously.

"Miss Summerson is not related to any party in the cause, I think?"

"No, my lord."

Mr. Kenge leant over before it was quite said, and whispered. His
lordship, with his eyes upon his papers, listened, nodded twice or
thrice, turned over more leaves, and did not look toward me again, until
we were going away.

Mr. Kenge now retired, and Richard with him, to where I was, near the
door, leaving my pet (it is so natural to me that again I can't help
it!) sitting near the Lord Chancellor; with whom his lordship spoke a
little apart; asking her, as she told me afterward, whether she had well
reflected on the proposed arrangement, and if she thought she would be
happy under the roof of Mr. Jarndyce of Bleak House, and why she thought
so? Presently he rose courteously, and released her, and then he spoke
for a minute or two with Richard Carstone; not seated, but standing, and
altogether with more ease and less ceremony--as if he still knew, though
he _was_ Lord Chancellor, how to go straight to the candor of a boy.

"Very well!" said his lordship aloud. "I shall make the order. Mr.
Jarndyce of Bleak House has chosen, so far as I may judge," and this was
when he looked at me, "a very good companion for the young lady, and the
arrangement altogether seems the best of which the circumstances admit."

He dismissed us pleasantly, and we all went out, very much obliged to
him for being so affable and polite; by which he had certainly lost no
dignity, but seemed to us to have gained some.

When we got under the colonnade, Mr. Kenge remembered that he must go
back for a moment to ask a question; and left us in the fog, with the
Lord Chancellor's carriage and servants waiting for him to come out.

"Well!" said Richard Carstone, "_that's_ over! And where do we go next,
Miss Summerson?"

"Don't you know?" I said.

"Not in the least," said he.

"And don't _you_ know, my love?" I asked Ada.

"No!" said she. "Don't you?"

"Not at all!" said I.

We looked at one another, half-laughing at our being like the children
in the wood, when a curious little old woman in a squeezed bonnet, and
carrying a reticule, came courtesying and smiling up to us, with an air
of great ceremony.

"O!" said she. "The wards in Jarndyce! Ve-ry happy, I am sure, to have
the honor! It is a good omen for youth, and hope, and beauty, when they
find themselves in this place, and don't know what's to come of it."

"Mad!" whispered Richard, not thinking she could hear him.

"Right! Mad, young gentleman," she returned so quickly that he was quite
abashed. "I was a ward myself. I was not mad at that time," courtesying
low, and smiling between every little sentence. "I had youth, and hope.
I believe, beauty. It matters very little now. Neither of the three
served, or saved me. I have the honor to attend court regularly. With my
documents. I expect a judgment. Shortly. On the Day of Judgment. I have
discovered that the sixth seal mentioned in the Revelations is the
Great Seal. It has been open a long time! Pray accept my blessing."

[Illustration: THE LITTLE OLD LADY.]

As Ada was a little frightened, I said, to humor the poor old lady, that
we were much obliged to her.

"Ye-es!" she said, mincingly. "I imagine so. And here is Conversation
Kenge. With _his_ documents. How does your honorable worship do?"

"Quite well, quite well! Now don't be troublesome, that's a good soul!"
said Mr. Kenge, leading the way back.

"By no means," said the poor old lady, keeping up with Ada and me. "Any
thing but troublesome. I shall confer estates on both--which is not
being troublesome, I trust? I expect a judgment. Shortly. On the Day of
Judgment. This is a good omen for you. Accept my blessing!"

She stopped at the bottom of the steep, broad flight of stairs; but we
looked back as we went up, and she was still there, saying, still with a
courtesy and a smile between every little sentence, "Youth. And hope.
And beauty. And Chancery. And Conversation Kenge! Ha! Pray accept my
blessing!"


CHAPTER IV.--TELESCOPIC PHILANTHROPY.

We were to pass the night, Mr. Kenge told us when we arrived in his
room, at Mrs. Jellyby's; and then he turned to me, and said he took it
for granted I knew who Mrs. Jellyby was?

"I really don't, sir," I returned. "Perhaps Mr. Carstone--or Miss
Clare--"

But no, they knew nothing whatever about Mrs. Jellyby.

"In-deed! Mrs. Jellyby," said Mr. Kenge, standing with his back to the
fire, and casting his eyes over the dusty hearth-rug as if it were Mrs.
Jellyby's biography, "is a lady of very remarkable strength of
character, who devotes herself entirely to the public. She has devoted
herself to an extensive variety of public subjects, at various times,
and is at present (until something else attracts her) devoted to the
subject of Africa, with a view to the general cultivation of the coffee
berry--_and_ the natives--and the happy settlement, on the banks of the
African rivers, of our superabundant home population. Mr. Jarndyce, who
is desirous to aid in any work that is considered likely to be a good
work, and who is much sought after by philanthropists, has I believe, a
very high opinion of Mrs. Jellyby."

Mr. Kenge, adjusting his cravat, then looked at us.

"And Mr. Jellyby, sir?" suggested Richard.

"Ah! Mr. Jellyby," said Mr. Kenge, "is--a--I don't know that I can
describe him to you better than by saying that he is the husband of Mrs.
Jellyby."

"A nonentity, sir?" said Richard, with a droll look.

"I don't say that," returned Mr. Kenge, gravely. "I can't say that,
indeed, for I know nothing whatever _of_ Mr. Jellyby. I never, to my
knowledge, had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Jellyby. He may be a very
superior man; but he is, so to speak, merged--merged--in the more
shining qualities of his wife." Mr. Kenge proceeded to tell us that as
the road to Bleak House would have been very long, dark, and tedious, on
such an evening, and as we had been traveling already, Mr. Jarndyce had
himself proposed this arrangement. A carriage would be at Mrs. Jellyby's
to convey us out of town, early in the forenoon of to-morrow.

He then rang a little bell, and the young gentleman came in. Addressing
him by the name of Guppy, Mr. Kenge inquired whether Miss Summerson's
boxes and the rest of the baggage had been "sent round." Mr. Guppy said
yes, they had been sent round, and a coach was waiting to take us round
too, as soon as we pleased.

"Then it only remains," said Mr. Kenge, shaking hands with us, "for me
to express my lively satisfaction in (good-day, Miss Clare!) the
arrangement this day concluded, and my (_good_-by to you, Miss
Summerson!) lively hope that it will conduce to the happiness, the (glad
to have had the honor of making your acquaintance, Mr. Carstone!)
welfare, the advantage in all points of view, of all concerned! Guppy,
see the party safely there."

"Where _is_ 'there,' Mr. Guppy?" said Richard, as he went down stairs.

"No distance," said Mr. Guppy; "round in Thavies' Inn, you know."

"I can't say I know where it is, for I come from Winchester, and am
strange in London."

"Only round the corner," said Mr. Guppy. "We just twist up
Chancery-lane, and out along Holborn, and there we are in four minutes'
time, as near as a toucher. This is about a London particular _now_,
ain't it, miss?" He seemed quite delighted with it on my account.

"The fog is very dense indeed!" said I.

"Not that it affects you, though, I am sure," said Mr. Guppy, putting up
the steps. "On the contrary, it seems to do you good, miss, judging from
your appearance."

I knew he meant well in paying me this compliment, so I laughed at
myself for blushing at it, when he had shut the door and got upon the
box; and we all three laughed, and chatted about our inexperience, and
the strangeness of London, until we turned up under an archway, to our
destination: a narrow street of high houses, like an oblong cistern to
hold the fog. There was a confused little crowd of people, principally
children, gathered about the house at which we stopped, which had a
tarnished brass plate on the door, with the inscription, JELLYBY.

"Don't be frightened!" said Mr. Guppy, look-in at the coach-window. "One
of the young Jellybys been and got his head through the area railings!"

"O poor child," said I, "let me out, if you please!"

"Pray be careful of yourself, miss. The young Jellybys are always up to
something," said Mr. Guppy.

I made my way to the poor child, who was one of the dirtiest little
unfortunates I ever saw, and found him very hot and frightened, and
crying loudly, fixed by the neck between two iron railings, while a
milk-man and a beadle, with the kindest intentions possible, were
endeavoring to drag him back by the legs, under a general impression
that his skull was compressible by those means. As I found (after
pacifying him), that he was a little boy, with a naturally large head, I
thought that, perhaps, where his head could go, his body could follow,
and mentioned that the best mode of extrication might be to push him
forward. This was so favorably received by the milk-man and beadle, that
he would immediately have been pushed into the area, if I had not held
his pinafore, while Richard and Mr. Guppy ran down through the kitchen,
to catch him when he should be released. At last he was happily got down
without any accident, and then he began to beat Mr. Guppy with a
hoop-stick in quite a frantic manner.

Nobody had appeared belonging to the house, except a person in pattens,
who had been poking at the child from below with a broom; I don't know
with what object, and I don't think she did. I therefore supposed that
Mrs. Jellyby was not at home; and was quite surprised when the person
appeared in the passage without the pattens, and going up to the back
room on the first floor, before Ada and me, announced us as, "Them two
young ladies, Missis Jellyby!" We passed several more children on the
way up, whom it was difficult to avoid treading on in the dark; and as
we came into Mrs. Jellyby's presence, one of the poor little things fell
down stairs--down a whole flight (as it sounded to me), with a great
noise.

Mrs. Jellyby, whose face reflected none of the uneasiness which we could
not help showing in our own faces, as the dear child's head recorded its
passage with a bump on every stair--Richard afterward said he counted
seven, besides one for the landing--received us with perfect equanimity.
She was a pretty, very diminutive, plump woman, of from forty to fifty,
with handsome eyes, though they had a curious habit of seeming to look a
long way off. As if--I am quoting Richard again--they could see nothing
nearer than Africa!

"I am very glad indeed," said Mrs. Jellyby, in an agreeable voice, "to
have the pleasure of receiving you. I have a great respect for Mr.
Jarndyce; and no one in whom he is interested can be an object of
indifference to me."

We expressed our acknowledgments, and sat down behind the door, where
there was a lame invalid of a sofa. Mrs. Jellyby had very good hair, but
was too much occupied with her African duties to brush it. The shawl in
which she had been loosely muffled, dropped on to her chair when she
advanced to us; and as she turned to resume her seat, we could not help
noticing that her dress didn't nearly meet up the back, and the open
space was railed across with a lattice-work of stay-lace, like a
summer-house.

The room, which was strewn with papers and nearly filled by a great
writing-table covered with similar litter, was, I must say, not only
very untidy, but very dirty. We were obliged to take notice of that with
our sense of sight, even while, with our sense of hearing, we followed
the poor child who had tumbled down stairs: I think into the back
kitchen, where somebody seemed to stifle him.

But what principally struck us was a jaded, and unhealthy-looking,
though by no means plain girl, at the writing-table, who sat biting the
feather of her pen, and staring at us. I suppose nobody ever was in such
a state of ink. And, from her tumbled hair to her pretty feet, which
were disfigured with frayed and broken slippers trodden down at heel,
she really seemed to have no article of dress upon her, from a pin
upward, that was in its proper condition or its right place.

"You find me, my dears," said Mrs. Jellyby, snuffing the two great
office candles in tin candle-sticks, which made the room taste strongly
of hot tallow (the fire had gone out, and there was nothing in the grate
but ashes, a bundle of wood, and a poker), "you find me, my dears, as
usual, very busy; but that you will excuse. The African project at
present employs my whole time. It involves me in correspondence with
public bodies, and with private individuals anxious for the welfare of
their species all over the country. I am happy to say it is advancing.
We hope by this time next year to have from a hundred and fifty to two
hundred healthy families cultivating coffee and educating the natives of
Borrioboola-Gha, on the left bank of the Niger."

As Ada said nothing, but looked at me, I said it must be very
gratifying.

"It is gratifying," said Mrs. Jellyby. "It involves the devotion of all
my energies, such as they are; but that is nothing, so that it succeeds;
and I am more confident of success every day. Do you know, Miss
Summerson, I almost wonder that _you_ never turned your thoughts to
Africa?"

This application of the subject was really so unexpected to me, that I
was quite at a loss how to receive it. I hinted that the climate--

"The finest climate in the world!" said Mrs. Jellyby.

"Indeed, ma'am?"

"Certainly. With precaution," said Mrs. Jellyby. "You may go into
Holborn, without precaution, and be run over. You may go into Holborn
with precaution, and never be run over. Just so with Africa."

I said, "No doubt."--I meant as to Holborn.

"If you would like," said Mrs. Jellyby, putting a number of papers
toward us, "to look over some remarks on that head, and on the general
subject (which have been extensively circulated), while I finish a
letter, I am now dictating--to my eldest daughter, who is my
amanuensis--"

The girl at the table left off biting her pen, and made a return to our
recognition, which was half bashful and half sulky.

"--I shall then have finished for the present," proceeded Mrs. Jellyby,
with a sweet smile; "though my work is never done. Where are you,
Caddy?"

"Presents her compliments to Mr. Swallow, and begs--'" said Caddy.

"'--And begs,'" said Mrs. Jellyby, dictating, "to inform him, in
reference to his letter of inquiry on the African project.'--No, Peepy!
Not on any account!"

Peepy (so self-named) was the unfortunate child who had fallen down
stairs, who now interrupted the correspondence by presenting himself,
with a strip of plaster on his forehead, to exhibit his wounded knees,
in which Ada and I did not know which to pity most--the bruises or the
dirt. Mrs. Jellyby merely added, with the serene composure with which
she said every thing, "Go along, you naughty Peepy!" and fixed her fine
eyes on Africa again.

However, as she at once proceeded with her dictation, and as I
interrupted nothing by doing so, I ventured quietly to stop poor Peepy
as he was going out, and to take him up to nurse. He looked very much
astonished at it, and at Ada's kissing him; but soon fell fast asleep in
my arms, sobbing at longer and longer intervals, until he was quiet. I
was so occupied with Peepy that I lost the letter in detail, though I
derived such a general impression from it of the momentous importance of
Africa, and the utter insignificance of all other places and things,
that I felt quite ashamed to have thought so little about it.

"Six o'clock!" said Mrs. Jellyby. "And our dinner hour is nominally (for
we dine at all hours) five! Caddy, show Miss Clare and Miss Summerson
their rooms. You will like to make some change, perhaps? You will excuse
me, I know, being so much occupied. O, that very bad child! Pray put him
down, Miss Summerson!"

I begged permission to retain him, truly saying that he was not at all
troublesome; and carried him up-stairs and laid him on my bed. Ada and I
had two upper rooms, with a door of communication between. They were
excessively bare and disorderly, and the curtain to my window was
fastened up with a fork.

"You would like some hot water, wouldn't you?" said Mrs. Jellyby,
looking round for a jug with a handle to it, but looking in vain.

"If it is not being troublesome," said we.

"O, it's not the trouble," returned Miss Jellyby; "the question is, if
there _is_ any."

The evening was so very cold, and the rooms had such a marshy smell,
that I must confess it was a little miserable; and Ada was half crying.
We soon laughed, however, and were busily unpacking, when Miss Jellyby
came back to say, that she was sorry there was no hot water; but they
couldn't find the kettle, and the boiler was out of order.

We begged her not to mention it, and made all the haste we could to get
down to the fire again. But all the little children had come up to the
landing outside, to look at the phenomenon of Peepy lying on my bed; and
our attention was distracted by the constant apparition of noses and
fingers, in situations of danger between the hinges of the doors. It was
impossible to shut the door of either room; for my lock, with no knob to
it, looked as if it wanted to be wound up; and though the handle of
Ada's went round and round with the greatest smoothness, it was attended
with no effect whatever on the door. Therefore I proposed to the
children that they should come in and be very good at my table, and I
would tell them the story of little Red Riding Hood while I dressed;
which they did, and were as quiet as mice, including Peepy, who awoke
opportunely before the appearance of the wolf.

When we went down stairs we found a mug, with "A Present from Tunbridge
Wells" on it, lighted up in the staircase window with a floating wick;
and a young woman, with a swelled face bound up in a flannel bandage,
blowing the fire of the drawing-room (now connected by an open door with
Mrs. Jellyby's room), and choking dreadfully. It smoked to that degree
in short, that we all sat coughing and crying with the windows open for
half an hour; during which Mrs. Jellyby, with the same sweetness of
temper, directed letters about Africa. Her being so employed was, I must
say, a great relief to me; for Richard told us that he had washed his
hands in a pie-dish, and that they had found the kettle on his
dressing-table; and he made Ada laugh so, that they made me laugh in the
most ridiculous manner.

Soon after seven o'clock we went down to dinner; carefully, by Mrs.
Jellyby's advice; for the stair-carpets, besides being very deficient in
stair-wires, were so torn as to be absolute traps. We had a fine
cod-fish, a piece of roast beef, a dish of cutlets, and a pudding; an
excellent dinner, if it had had any cooking to speak of, but it was
almost raw. The young woman with the flannel bandage waited, and dropped
every thing on the table wherever it happened to go, and never moved it
again until she put it on the stairs. The person I had seen in pattens
(who I suppose to have been the cook), frequently came and skirmished
with her at the door, and there appeared to be ill-will between them.

All through dinner; which was long, in consequence of such accidents as
the dish of potatoes being mislaid in the coal-skuttle, and the handle
of the cork-screw coming off, and striking the young woman in the chin;
Mrs. Jellyby preserved the evenness of her disposition. She told us a
great deal that was interesting about Borrioboola-Gha and the natives;
and received so many letters that Richard, who sat by her, saw four
envelopes in the gravy at once. Some of the letters were proceedings of
ladies' committees, or resolutions of ladies' meetings, which she read
to us; others were applications from people excited in various ways
about the cultivation of coffee, and natives; others required answers,
and these she sent her eldest daughter from the table three or four
times to write. She was full of business, and undoubtedly was, as she
had told us, devoted to the cause.

I was a little curious to know who a mild, bald gentleman in spectacles
was, who dropped into a vacant chair (there was no top or bottom in
particular) after the fish was taken away, and seemed passively to
submit himself to Borrioboola-Gha, but not to be actively interested in
that settlement. As he never spoke a word, he might have been a native,
but for his complexion. It was not until we left the table, and he
remained alone with Richard, that the possibility of his being Mr.
Jellyby ever entered my head. But he was Mr. Jellyby; and a loquacious
young man, called Mr. Quale, with large shining knobs for temples, and
his hair all brushed to the back of his head, who came in the evening,
and told Ada he was a philanthropist, also informed her that he called
the matrimonial alliance of Mrs. Jellyby with Mr. Jellyby the union of
mind and matter.

This young man, besides having a great deal to say for himself about
Africa, and a project of his for teaching the coffee colonists to teach
the natives to turn piano-forte legs and establish an export trade,
delighted in drawing Mrs. Jellyby out by saying, "I believe now, Mrs.
Jellyby, you have received as many as from one hundred and fifty to two
hundred letters respecting Africa in a single day, have you not?" or,
"If my memory does not deceive me, Mrs. Jellyby, you once mentioned that
you had sent off five thousand circulars from one post-office at one
time?"--always repeating Mrs. Jellyby's answer to us, like an
interpreter. During the whole evening, Mr. Jeilyby sat in a corner with
his head against the wall, as if he were subject to low spirits. It
seemed that he had several times opened his mouth when alone with
Richard, after dinner, as if he had something on his mind; but had
always shut it again, to Richard's extreme confusion, without saying any
thing.

Mrs. Jellyby, sitting in quite a nest of waste paper, drank coffee all
the evening, and dictated at intervals to her eldest daughter. She also
held a discussion with Mr. Quale; of which the subject seemed to be--if
I understood it--the Brotherhood of Humanity; and gave utterance to some
beautiful sentiments. I was not so attentive an auditor as I might have
wished to be, however, for Peepy and the other children came flocking
about Ada and me in a corner of the drawing-room to ask for another
story: so we sat down among them, and told them, in whispers, Puss in
Boots and I don't know what else, until Mrs. Jellyby, accidentally
remembering them, sent them to bed. As Peepy cried for me to take him to
bed, I carried him up-stairs; where the young woman with the flannel
bandage charged into the midst of the little family like a dragoon, and
overturned them into cribs.

After that, I occupied myself in making our room a little tidy, and in
coaxing a very cross fire that had been lighted, to burn; which, at
last, it did, quite brightly. On my return down stairs, I felt that Mrs.
Jellyby looked down upon me rather, for being so frivolous; and I was
sorry for it; though, at the same time, I knew that I had no higher
pretensions.

It was nearly midnight before we could find an opportunity of going to
bed; and even then we left Mrs. Jellyby among her papers drinking
coffee, and Miss Jellyby biting the feather of her pen.

"What a strange house!" said Ada, when we got up-stairs. "How curious of
my cousin Jarndyce to send us here!"

"My love," said I, "it quite confuses me. I want to understand it, and I
can't understand it at all."

"What?" asked Ada, with her pretty smile.

"All this, my dear," said I. "It _must_ be very good of Mrs. Jellyby to
take such pains about a scheme for the benefit of Natives--and
yet--Peepy and the housekeeping!"

Ada laughed: and put her arm about my neck, as I stood looking at the
fire; and told me I was a quiet, dear, good creature, and had won her
heart. "You are so thoughtful, Esther," she said, "and yet so cheerful!
and you do so much, so unpretendingly! You would make a home out of even
this house."

My simple darling! She was quite unconscious that she only praised
herself, and that it was in the goodness of her own heart that she made
so much of me!

"May I ask you a question?" said I, when we had sat before the fire a
little while.

"Five hundred," said Ada.

"Your cousin, Mr. Jarndyce. I owe so much to him: Would you mind
describing him to me?"

Shaking back her golden hair, Ada turned her eyes upon me with such
laughing wonder, that I was full of wonder, too--partly at her beauty,
partly at her surprise.

"Esther!" she cried.

"My dear!"

"You want a description of my cousin, Jarndyce?"

"My dear, I never saw him."

"And _I_ never saw him!" returned Ada.

Well, to be sure!

No, she had never seen him. Young as she was when her mamma died, she
remembered how the tears would come into her eyes when she spoke of him,
and of the noble generosity of his character, which she had said was to
be trusted above all earthly things; and Ada trusted it. Her cousin,
Jarndyce, had written to her a few months ago--"a plain, honest letter,"
Ada said--proposing the arrangement we were now to enter on, and telling
her that, "in time, it might heal some of the wounds made by the
miserable Chancery suit." She had replied, gratefully accepting his
proposal. Richard had received a similar letter, and had made a similar
response. He _had_ seen Mr. Jarndyce once, but only once, five years
ago, at Winchester school. He had told Ada, when they were leaning on
the screen before the fire where I found them, that he recollected him
as "a bluff, rosy fellow." This was the utmost description Ada could
give me.

It set me thinking so, that when Ada was asleep, I still remained before
the fire, wondering and wondering about Bleak House, and wondering and
wondering that yesterday morning should seem so long ago. I don't know
where my thoughts had wandered, when they were recalled by a tap at the
door.

I opened it softly, and found Miss Jellyby shivering there, with a
broken candle in a broken candlestick in one hand, and an egg-cup in the
other.

"Good-night!" she said, very sulkily.

"Good-night!" said I.

"May I come in?" she shortly and unexpectedly asked me, in the same
sulky way.

"Certainly," said I. "Don't wake Miss Clare."

She would not sit down, but stood by the fire, dipping her inky middle
finger in the egg-cup, which contained vinegar, and smearing it over the
ink stains on her face; frowning, the whole time, and looking very
gloomy.

"I wish Africa was dead!" she said, on a sudden.

I was going to remonstrate.

"I do!" she said. "Don't talk to me, Miss Summerson. I hate it and
detest it. It's a beast!"

I told her she was tired, and I was sorry. I put my hand upon her head,
and touched her forehead, and said it was hot now, but would be cool
to-morrow. She still stood, pouting and frowning at me; but presently
put down her egg-cup, and turned softly toward the bed where Ada lay.

"She is very pretty!" she said, with the same knitted brow, and in the
same uncivil manner.

I assented with a smile.

"An orphan. Ain't she?"

"Yes."

"But knows a quantity, I suppose? Can dance, and play music, and sing?
She can talk French, I suppose, and do geography, and globes, and
needlework, and every thing?"

"No doubt," said I.

"_I_ can't," she returned. "I can't do any thing hardly, except write.
I'm always writing for Ma. I wonder you two were not ashamed of
yourselves to come in this afternoon, and see me able to do nothing
else. It was like your ill-nature. Yet you think yourselves very fine,
I dare say!"

[Illustration: MISS JELLYBY.]

I could see that the poor girl was near crying, and I resumed my chair
without speaking, and looked at her (I hope), as mildly as I felt toward
her.

"It's disgraceful," she said. "You know it is. The whole house is
disgraceful. The children are disgraceful. _I_'m disgraceful. Pa's
miserable, and no wonder! Priscilla drinks--she's always drinking. It's
a great shame, and a great story, of you, if you say you didn't smell
her to-day. It was as bad as a public-house, waiting at dinner, you know
it was!"

"My dear, I don't know it," said I.

"You do," she said, very shortly. "You sha'n't say you don't. You do!"

"O, my dear!" said I, "if you won't let me speak--"

"You're speaking now. You know you are. Don't tell stories, Miss
Summerson."

"My dear," said I, "as long as you won't hear me out--"

"I don't want to hear you out."

"O yes, I think you do," said I, "because that would be so very
unreasonable. I did not know what you tell me, because the servant did
not come near me at dinner; but I don't doubt what you tell me, and I am
sorry to hear it."

"You needn't make a merit of that," said she.

"No, my dear," said I. "That would be very foolish."

She was still standing by the bed, and now stooped down (but still with
the same discontented face) and kissed Ada. That done, she came softly
back, and stood by the side of my chair. Her bosom was heaving in a
distressful manner that I greatly pitied; but I thought it better not to
speak.

"I wish I was dead!" she broke out. "I wish we were all dead. It would
be a great deal better for us."

"In a moment afterward, she knelt on the ground at my side, hid her face
in my dress, passionately begged my pardon, and wept. I comforted her,
and would have raised her, but she cried, No, no; she wanted to stay
there!

"You used to teach girls," she said. "If you could only have taught me,
I could have learned from you! I am so very miserable, and I like you so
very much!"

I could not persuade her to sit by me, or to do any thing but move a
ragged stool to where she was kneeling, and take that, and still hold my
dress in the same manner. By degrees, the poor tired girl fell asleep;
and then I contrived to raise her head so that it should rest on my lap,
and to cover us both with shawls. The fire went out, and all night long
she slumbered thus before the ashy grate. At first I was painfully
awake, and vainly tried to lose myself, with, my eyes closed, among the
scenes of the day. At length, by slow degrees, they became indistinct
and mingled. I began to lose the identity of the sleeper resting on me.
Now, it was Ada; now, one of my old Reading friends from whom I could
not believe I had so recently parted. Now, it was the little mad woman
worn out with courtesying and smiling; now, some one in authority at
Bleak House. Lastly, it was no one, and I was no one.

The purblind day was feebly struggling with the fog, when I opened my
eyes to encounter those of a dirty-faced little spectre fixed upon me.
Peepy had scaled his crib, and crept down in his bedgown and cap, and
was so cold that his teeth were chattering as if he had cut them all.



HUNTING AN ALLIGATOR.


In the course of the year 1831, the proprietor of Halahala at Manilla,
in the Island of Luconia, informed me that he frequently lost horses and
cows on a remote part of his plantation, and that the natives assured
him they were taken by an enormous alligator who frequented one of the
streams which run into the lake. Their descriptions were so highly
wrought, that they were attributed to the fondness for exaggeration to
which the inhabitants of that country are peculiarly addicted, and very
little credit was given to their repeated relations. All doubts as to
the existence of the animal were at last dispelled by the destruction of
an Indian, who attempted to ford the river on horseback, although
entreated to desist by his companions, who crossed at a shallow place
higher up. He reached the centre of the stream and was laughing at the
others for their prudence, when the alligator came upon him. His teeth
encountered the saddle, which he tore from the horse, while the rider
tumbled on the other side into the water and made for the shore. The
horse, too terrified to move, stood trembling where the attack was made.
The alligator, disregarding him, pursued the man, who safely reached the
bank which he could easily have ascended, but, rendered foolhardy by his
escape, he placed himself behind a tree which had fallen partly into the
water, and drawing his heavy knife leaned over the tree, and on the
approach of his enemy struck him on the nose. The animal repeated his
assaults and the Indian his blows, until the former exasperated at the
resistance, rushed on the man and seizing him by the middle of the body,
which was at once inclosed and crushed in his capacious jaws, swam into
the lake. His friends hastened to the rescue, but the alligator slowly
left the shore, while the poor wretch, writhing and shrieking in his
agony, with his knife uplifted in his clasped hands, seemed, as the
others expressed it, held out as a man would carry a torch. His
sufferings were not long continued, for the monster sank to the bottom,
and soon after reappearing alone on the surface, and calmly basking in
the sun, gave to the horror-stricken spectators the fullest confirmation
of the death and burial of their comrade.

A short time after this event I made a visit to Halahala, and expressing
a strong desire to capture or destroy the alligator, my host readily
offered his assistance. The animal had been seen a few days before, with
his head and one of his fore-feet resting on the bank, and his eyes
following the motions of some cows which were grazing near. Our informer
likened his appearance to that of a cat watching a mouse, and in the
attitude to spring upon his prey when it should come within his reach. I
may here mention as a curious fact, that the domestic buffalo, which is
almost continually in the water, and in the heat of day remains for
hours with only his nose above the surface, is never molested by the
alligator. All other animals become his victims when they incautiously
approach him, and their knowledge of the danger most usually prompts
them to resort to shallow places to quench their thirst.

Having heard that the alligator had killed a horse, we proceeded to the
place, about five miles from the house; it was a tranquil spot and one
of singular beauty even in that land. The stream, which a few hundred
feet from the lake narrowed to a brook, with its green bank fringed with
the graceful bamboo, and the alternate glory of glade and forest
spreading far and wide, seemed fitted for other purposes than the
familiar haunt of the huge creature that had appropriated it to himself.
A few cane huts were situated at a short distance from the river, and we
procured from them what men they contained, who were ready to assist in
freeing themselves from their dangerous neighbor. The terror which he
had inspired, especially since the death of their companion, had
hitherto prevented them from making an effort to get rid of him, but
they gladly availed themselves of our preparations, and, with the usual
dependence of their character were willing to do whatever example should
dictate to them. Having reason to believe that the alligator was in the
river, we commenced operations by sinking nets upright across its mouth,
three deep, at intervals of several feet. The nets which were of great
strength, and intended for the capture of the buffalo, were fastened to
trees on the banks, making a complete fence to the communication with
the lake.

My companion and myself placed ourselves with our guns on either side of
the stream, while the Indians with long bamboos felt for the animal. For
some time he refused to be disturbed, and we began to fear that he was
not within our limits, when a spiral motion of the water under the spot
where I was standing, led me to direct the natives to it, and the
creature slowly moved on the bottom toward the nets, which he no sooner
touched than he quietly turned back and proceeded up the stream. This
movement was several times repeated, till, having no rest in the
inclosure, he attempted to climb up the bank. On receiving a ball in the
body, he uttered a growl like that of an angry dog, and plunging into
the water crossed to the other side, where he was received with a
similar salutation, discharged directly into his mouth. Finding himself
attacked on every side, he renewed his attempts to ascend the banks; but
whatever part of him appeared was bored with bullets, and finding that
he was hunted, he forgot his own formidable means of attack, and sought
only safety from the troubles which surrounded him. A low spot which
separated the river from the lake, a little above the nets, was
unguarded, and we feared that he would succeed in escaping over it. It
was here necessary to stand firmly against him, and in several attempts
which he made to cross it, we turned him back with spears, bamboos, or
whatever came first to hand. He once seemed determined to force his way,
and foaming with rage, rushed with open jaws and gnashing his teeth with
a sound too ominous to be despised, appeared to have his full energies
aroused, when his career was stopped by a large bamboo thrust violently
into his mouth, which he ground to pieces, and the fingers of the holder
were so paralyzed that for some minutes he was incapable of resuming his
gun. The natives had now become so excited as to forget all prudence,
and the women and children of the little hamlet had come down to the
shore to share in the general enthusiasm. They crowded to the opening,
and were so unmindful of their danger that it was necessary to drive
them back with some violence. Had the monster known his own strength and
dared to have used it, he would have gone over that spot with a force
which no human power could have withstood, and would have crushed or
carried with him into the lake about the whole population of the place.
It is not strange that personal safety was forgotten in the excitement
of the scene. The tremendous brute, galled with wounds and repeated
defeat, tore his way through the foaming water, glancing from side to
side, in the vain attempt to avoid his foes; then rapidly plowing up the
stream he grounded on the shallows, and turned back frantic and
bewildered at his circumscribed position. At length, maddened with
suffering and desperate from continued persecution, he rushed furiously
to the mouth of the stream, burst through two of the nets, and I threw
down my gun in despair, for it looked as though his way at last was
clear to the wide lake; but the third net stopped him, and his teeth and
legs had got entangled in all. This gave us a chance of closer warfare
with lances, such as are used against the wild buffalo. We had sent for
this weapon at the commencement of the attack, and found it much more
effectual than guns. Entering the canoe, we plunged lance after lance
into the alligator, as he was struggling under the water, till a wood
seemed growing from him, which moved violently above while his body was
concealed below. His endeavors to extricate himself lashed the waters
into foam mingled with blood, and there seemed no end to his vitality or
decrease to his resistance till a lance struck him directly through the
middle of the back, which an Indian, with a heavy piece of wood,
hammered into him as he could catch an opportunity. My companion on the
other side now tried to haul him to the shore, by the nets to which he
had fastened himself, but had not sufficient assistance with him. As I
had more force with me, we managed, by the aid of the women and
children, to drag his head and part of his body on to the little beach,
and giving him the _coup de grace_, left him to gasp out the remnant of
his life.

This monster was nearly thirty feet in length and thirteen feet in
circumference, and the head alone weighed three hundred pounds. On
opening him there were found, with other parts of the horse, three legs
entire, torn off at the haunch and shoulder, besides a large quantity of
stones, some of them of several pounds' weight.



THE MOOR'S REVENGE.[4]

A PARAPHRASE FROM THE POLISH OF MICKIEWICZ

BY EPES SARGENT.


  Before Grenada's fated walls,
    Encamped in proud array,
  And flushed with many a victory,
    The Spanish army lay.
  Of all Grenada's fortresses
    But one defies their might:
  On Alphuara's minarets
    The crescent still is bright.
  Almanzor! King Almanzor!
    All vainly you resist:
  Your little band is fading fast
    Away like morning mist.
  A direr foe than ever yet
    They met on battle-plain
  Assaults life's inmost citadel,
    And heaps the ground with slain.

  One onset more of Spanish ranks--
    (And soon it will be made!)
  And Alphuara's towers must reel,
    And in the dust be laid.
  "And shall the haughty infidel
    Pollute this sacred land?"
  Almanzor said, as mournfully
    He marked his dwindling band.
  "Upon our glorious crescent
    Shall the Spaniard set his heel?
  And is there not one lingering hope?
    Can Heaven no aid reveal?
  Ay, by our holy Prophet,
    _One_ ally still remains!
  And I will bind him close to me,--
    For better death than chains!"

  The victors at the banquet sat,
    And music lent its cheer,
  When suddenly a sentry's voice
    Announced a stranger near.
  From Alphuara had he come.
    With fierce, unwonted speed,
  And much would it import to Spain
    The news he bore to heed.
  "Admit him!" cry the revelers;
    And in the pilgrim strode,
  And throwing off his mantle loose,
    A Moorish habit showed!
  "Almanzor! King Almanzor!"
    They cried with one acclaim:
  "Almanzor!" said the Moslem chief--
    "Almanzor is my name.

  "To serve your prophet and your king,
    Oh, Spaniards! I am here;
  Believe, reject me, if you will--
    This breast has outlived fear!
  No longer in his creed or cause
    Almanzor can confide;
  For all the Powers above, 'tis clear,
    Are fighting on your side!"
  "Now, welcome, welcome, gallant Moor!"
    The Spanish chieftain said;
  "Grenada's last intrenchment now
    We speedily shall tread.
  Approach, embrace; our waning feast
    Your coming shall renew;
  And in this cup of foaming wine
    We'll drink to yours and you."

  Right eagerly, to grasp the hands
    Outstretched on every side,
  Almanzor rushed, and greeted each,
    As bridegroom might his bride;
  He glued his fevered lips to theirs--
    He kissed them on the cheek,
  And breathed on each as if his heart
    Would all its passion wreak.
  But suddenly his limbs relax,
    A flush comes o'er his face,
  He reels, as with a pressure faint,
    He gives a last embrace;
  And livid, purple, grows his skin,
    And wild his eyeballs roll,
  And some great torture seems to heave
    The life-roots of his soul.

  "Look, Giaours! miscreants in race.
    And infidels in creed!
  Look on this pale, distorted face,
    And tell me what ye read!
  These limbs convulsed, these fiery pangs,
    These eyeballs hot and blear--
  Ha! know ye not what they portend?
    The plague--the plague is here!
  And it has sealed you for its own!
    Ay! every Judas kiss
  I gave shall bring to you anon
    An agony like this!
  All art is vain; your poisoned blood
    All leechcraft will defy;
  Like me ye shall in anguish writhe--
    Like me in torture die!"

  Once more he stepped, their chief to reach
    And blast him with his breath;
  But sank, as if revenge itself
    Were striving hard with death.
  And through the group a horrid thrill
    His words and aspect woke,
  When, with a proud, undaunted mien,
    Their chief Alphonzo spoke:
  "And deem'st thou, treacherous renegade,
    Whatever may befall,
  These warriors true, these hearts of proof,
    Death ever can appall?
  Ay, writhe and toss, no taint of fear
    The sight to them can bring;
  Their souls are shrived, and Death himself
    For them has lost his sting!

  "Then let him come as gory War,
    With life-wounds deep and red,
  Or let him strike as fell Disease
    With racking pains instead--
  Still in these spirits he shall find
    A power that shall defy
  All woe and pain that can but make
    The mortal body die.
  So, brethren, leave this carrion here--
    Nay, choke not with thy gall!--
  And through our camp a note of cheer
    Let every bugle call!
  We'll tear yon crescent from its tower
    Ere stars are out to-night:
  And let Death come--we'll heed him not!--
    So forward! to the fight!"

  A groan of rage upon his lips,
    Almanzor hid his head
  Beneath his mantle's ample fold,
    And soon was with the dead.
  But, roused by those intrepid words,
    To death-defying zeal,
  The chieftains armed as if they longed
    To hear the clash of steel.
  The trumpets sounded merrily,
    While, dazzlingly arrayed,
  On Alphuara's walls they rushed,
    And low the crescent laid!
  And of the gallant, gallant hearts,
    Who thus grim Death defied,
  'Mid pestilence and carnage, none
    Of plague or battle died!

[Footnote 4: From THE STANDARD SPEAKER; containing exercises in prose
and poetry, for declamation in schools, academies, lyceums, and
colleges. Newly translated or compiled from the most celebrated orators,
ancient and modern. By EPES SARGENT. In press by Thomas, Cowperthwait &
Co., Philadelphia.]



A TASTE OF FRENCH DUNGEONS.

AN INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF MRS. RADCLIFFE.


Toward the middle of the year 1795, a short time after the deplorable
affair of Quiberon, an English lady was taken prisoner just as she was
entering France by the Swiss frontier. Her knowledge of French was
limited to a few mispronounced words. An interpreter was soon found, and
upon his interrogating her as to her motives for attempting so perilous
an enterprise without passport, she replied that she had exposed
herself to all these dangers for the purpose of visiting the château
where the barbarous Sieur de Fayel had made Gabrielle de Vergy eat the
heart of her lover. Such a declaration appeared so ridiculous to those
who heard it that they were compelled to doubt either the sanity or the
veracity of the strange being who ventured upon it. They chose to do the
latter, and forwarded the stranger to Paris, with a strong escort, as an
English spy. Upon her arrival there, she was safely deposited in the
Conciergerie.

Public feeling just then ran very high against the English. The
countrywoman of Pitt was loaded with ill-usage; and her terrors,
expressed in a singular jargon of English mingled with broken French,
served but to augment the coarse amusement of her jailers. After
exhausting every species of derision and insult upon their prisoner,
they ended by throwing her into the dampest and most inconvenient
dungeon they could find. The door of this den was not more than four
feet high; and the light that dimly revealed the dripping walls and
earthen floor, came through a horizontal opening four inches in height
by fifteen in width. The sole movables of the place consisted of a rope
pallet and a screen.

The bed served for both couch and chair; the screen was intended as a
partial barrier between the inhabitant of the dungeon and the curious
gaze of the jailers stationed in the adjoining apartment, who could
scrutinize at will, through a narrow opening between the cells, the
slightest movements of their prisoner.

The stranger recoiled with disgust, and asked whether they had not a
less terrible place in which to confine a woman.

"You are very bad to please, madame," replied her brutal jailer,
mimicking her defective French. "You are in the palace of Madame Capet."

And shutting behind him the massive door, barricaded with plates of iron
and secured by three or four rusty bolts, he left her, to repeat his
joke to his companion, and enjoy with them the consternation of Madame
_Rosbif_.

Meanwhile the prisoner fell upon her knees, and gazed around her with a
species of pious emotion.

"What right have I," she cried, "to complain of being cast into this
dungeon, once inhabited by the Queen of France--the beautiful, the noble
Marie Antoinette? I sought food for my imagination; I undertook a
journey to France to visit the most celebrated sojourns of the most
celebrated individuals. Fortune has come to my aid. Here is what is
better than the château of the Sieur de Fayel, and the terrible history
of the bleeding heart. Never did a grander inspiration overflow my
spirits. I will to work."

She drew from her pocket a small roll of paper, that had escaped the
scrutiny of the jailers; and, passing her hand across her forehead,
approached the horizontal opening, in order to make the most of the
little remainder of daylight; then, taking out a pencil, she rapidly
covered ten or twelve pages with microscopic characters in close lines.
The increasing darkness at length compelled her to pause, and she was
refolding the MS. to replace it in her pocket, when a rude hand snatched
it from her grasp.

"Ah! ah! Madame Rosbif," cried the jailer, triumphantly, "so you believe
yourself at liberty to scribble away here, hatching plots against the
Republic, and holding intelligence with the enemies of the nation. _Nous
verrons cela!_ These papers shall be remitted this very day to Monsieur
Tallien, and we will know all about this new attack upon liberty.
_Entendez-vouz?_ miserable agent of Pitt and Cobourg."

The same evening Tallien received the stranger's manuscript. Being
unacquainted with the English language, he rang for his secretary; but
the latter was nowhere at hand, so the puzzled minister took the papers
and proceeded to his wife's apartments.

Madame Tallien was just completing her toilet for a fancy ball. Leaning
forward in a graceful attitude, she was in the act of twining round her
slender ankle the fastenings of a purple buskin. Her Grecian tunic,
simply clasped upon the shoulder with diamonds, and her hair, knotted
like that of the Polyhymnia of the Louvre, harmonized admirably with the
classical contour of her features. Monsieur Tallien, as he gazed upon
her, half forgot his errand.

The lady uttered a little cry of surprise.

"Upon what grave errand has monsieur deigned to favor me with a visit at
this unaccustomed hour?"

"I have here some papers," replied the minister, "that have been seized
upon the person of a female spy, and are said to contain proofs of a
dangerous conspiracy. They are written in English; my secretary is
absent; and I must ask you to do me the favor to translate them to me."

Madame Tallien took the MS., and looked it over.

"Shall I read aloud?" said she, in an amused tone of voice.

Her husband assented.

"The wind howls mournfully through the foliage, and the descending rain
falls in torrents. The terrors of my prison become every instant more
fearful. Phantoms arise on every side, and wave their snowy
winding-sheets. Misfortune, with her cold and pitiless hand, weighs
heavily on my youthful brow.'

"Thus spoke the lovely prisoner, as she groped with her trembling hands
over the humid walls of the dungeon."

"Here is a singular conspiracy, truly," said Madame Tallien, as she
finished reading the above. "Let me see the envelope; 'Chapter XII. The
Dungeon of the Château.' And the authoress's name. 'Anne Radcliffe.'
_Vite, citoyen._ Set this woman at liberty, and bring her to me. Your
spy is no other than the great English romance-writer, the celebrated
authoress of the 'Mysteries of Udolpho!"

Tallien now recalled the romantic intention of the stranger's hazardous
journey, as confessed by herself; perceived the mistake of his agents,
and laughed heartily. Going quickly out, he issued orders for the
immediate liberation of the prisoner, and desired the messenger to bring
her straight to the presence of Madame Tallien.

Meanwhile, the beautiful Frenchwoman, forgetting her toilet and the
ball, paced the apartment with almost childish delight and impatience.
She was about to make the acquaintance--in a manner the most piquant and
unexpected--of the authoress of those romances which had so often filled
her vivid imagination with ideas of apparitions, and prisoners dying of
hunger in horrible dungeons. She consulted her watch perpetually, and
counted the very seconds. At length there was a sound of carriage-wheels
in the court-yard of the hotel. Madame Tallien rushed to the door; it
opened, and the two celebrated females stood face to face.

The minister's wife could not avoid recoiling with surprise, and some
degree of consternation, before the singular figure that paused in the
open doorway; for Mrs. Radcliffe had stopped short, dazzled and
bewildered by the lights of the saloon, which wounded eyes accustomed
for some hours past to the humid obscurity of a dungeon. The English
authoress presented a striking contrast to the radiant being before her.
Dry, cold, and angular, her attire necessarily in some degree of
disorder from her arrest, forced journey, and imprisonment, her whole
aspect had in it something _bizarre_ and fantastic, that added to her
age at least ten years.

A little recovered from her first surprise, Madame Tallien advanced
toward the stranger, gave her a cordial welcome in English, and told her
how happy she esteemed herself in having been the means of setting at
liberty so celebrated an authoress. The Englishwoman made a polite reply
to this compliment, and then they seated themselves before the fire,
whose clear flame and vivifying heat were very welcome to the liberated
prisoner, and quickly restored an activity of mind that appeared to have
been benumbed by the coldness of her dungeon. The ensuing conversation
was gay, piquant, full of charm and _abandon_, and was only interrupted
by the orders given by Madame Tallien to her _femme de chambre_ to send
the carriage away, and deny her to all visitors.

Mrs. Radcliffe had traveled much, and related her adventures with grace
and originality. Hours flew by unheeded, and the Englishwoman was in the
very midst of some bold enterprise of her journey in Switzerland, when
the time-piece struck twelve. She turned pale, and a visible shuddering
seized her. Then pausing in her tale, she looked wildly and fearfully
around, as if following the movements of some invisible being. Madame
Tallien, struck with a species of vague terror, dared not address a
single word to her visitor. The latter at length abruptly rose, opened
the door, and with an imperative gesture ordered some one by the name of
Henry to leave the room, after which she appeared to experience a sudden
relief.

The lovely Frenchwoman, with the tact of real kindness, appeared not to
notice this strange incident, and the new-made friends soon after
separated, Madame Tallien herself conducting her guest to the apartment
provided for her, where she took leave of her with an affectionate "_au
revoir!_"

The following evening Mrs. Radcliffe appeared in her hostess's saloon,
as soon as the latter had signified that she was ready to receive her.
Calm and composed, habited _a la Française_, the English romancist
appeared ten years younger than she had done the evening before, and was
even not without a certain degree of beauty. She said not a word on the
scene of the preceding evening; was gay, witty, amiable, and took an
animated part in the conversation that followed. But as soon as the
minute-hand of the time-piece pointed to half-past eleven, her color
fled, a shade of pensiveness replaced her former gayety, and a few
moments afterward she took her leave of the company.

The same thing happened the next day, and every ensuing evening. Madame
Tallien could not avoid a feeling of curiosity, but she had too much
politeness to question the stranger confided to her hospitality. In this
way a month elapsed, at the end of which time Mrs. Radcliffe could not
avoid expressing, one evening when she found herself alone with her new
friend, her disappointment at being detained a prisoner in France,
without the power of returning to her own country. Upon this Madame
Tallien rose, took a paper from a desk, and handed it to the
Englishwoman. It was a passport dated from the same evening that Mrs.
Radcliffe had been liberated from her dungeon.

"Since you wish to leave your French friends," said her lovely hostess,
smiling, "go, ingrate!"

"Oh, no, not ungrateful!" replied the authoress, taking the beautiful
hands of her friend, and carrying them to her lips; "but the year is
fast waning, and a solemn duty recalls me to my native land. In the
church-yard of a poor village near London are two tombs, which I visit
each Christmas-day with flowers and prayers. If I return not before
then, this will be the first time for five years that they have been
neglected. You already know all my other secrets," she continued,
lowering her voice; "it is my intention to confide this secret also to
your friendly ears." Passing her hand across her brow, the Englishwoman
then proceeded to relate a strange and tragic tale, for the particulars
of which we have not space in our limited sketch. Suffice it to say,
that it had left our authoress subject to a distressing and obstinate
spectral illusion. In the reality of this appearance she firmly
believed, not having sufficient knowledge of science to attribute her
visitation to its true origin--a partial disarrangement of the nervous
system. This visitation regularly recurred at midnight, and at once
accounted for the singular behavior that had so piqued the benevolent
Frenchwoman's curiosity.

Mrs. Radcliffe now returned to London, where she shortly afterward
published "The Italian, or the Confessional of the Black Penitents."

We can, in our day, realize to ourselves very little of the effect
produced by Anne Radcliffe's romances at the time of their appearance.
All the contemporary critics agree in testifying to their immense
success, only inferior to that of the Waverley novels in more recent
times. Now they appear nothing more than the efflux of a morbid
imagination, full of hallucinations and absurdities, and insufferably
tedious to our modern tastes, accustomed to the condensed writing of the
present day. Their unconnected plots are nevertheless not altogether
devoid of a certain sort of interest, and are fraught with picturesque
situations and melodramatic surprises. The living characters therein
introduced present few natural features. We recognize every where the
caprices of an unbridled fancy, and a prevailing vitiation of sense and
taste.

Anne Radcliffe died near London, on the 7th February, 1823, at the age
of 63. The "New Monthly Magazine," for May of that year, announces her
decease, and affirms that her death was accompanied by singular visions,
which had pursued her ever since a romantic event of her youth.



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.[5]


CHAPTER XVII.--CONTINUED.

[Footnote 5: Continued from the March Number.]

"Your flatterers will tell you, Signorina, that you are much improved
since then, but I liked you better as you were; not but what I hope to
return some day what you then so generously pressed upon me."

"Pressed upon you!--I? Signor, you are under some strange mistake."

"Alas! no; but the female heart is so capricious and fickle! You pressed
it upon me, I assure you. I own that I was not loth to accept it."

"Pressed it? Pressed, what?"

"Your kiss, my child," said Harley; and then added with a serious
tenderness, "And I again say that I hope to return it some day--when I
see you, by the side of father and of husband, in your native land--the
fairest bride on whom the skies of Italy ever smiled! And now, pardon a
hermit and a soldier for his rude jests, and give your hand in token of
that pardon, to--Harley L'Estrange."

Violante, who at the first words of this address had recoiled, with a
vague belief that the stranger was out of his mind, sprang forward as it
closed, and in all the vivid enthusiasm of her nature, pressed the hand
held out to her, with both her own. "Harley L'Estrange--the preserver of
my father's life!" she cried, and her eyes were fixed on his with such
evident gratitude and reverence, that Harley felt at once confused and
delighted. She did not think at that instant of the hero of her
dreams--she thought but of him who had saved her father. But, as his
eyes sank before her own, and his head, uncovered, bowed over the hand
he held, she recognized the likeness to the features on which she had so
often gazed. The first bloom of youth was gone, but enough of youth
still remained to soften the lapse of years, and to leave to manhood the
attractions which charm the eye. Instinctively she withdrew her hands
from his clasp, and, in her turn, looked down.

In this pause of embarrassment to both, Riccabocca let himself into the
garden by his own latch-key, and, startled to see a man by the side of
Violante, sprang forward with an abrupt and angry cry. Harley heard, and
turned.

As if restored to courage and self-possession by the sense of her
father's presence, Violante again took the hand of the visitor.
"Father," she said, simply, "it is he--_he_ is come at last." And then,
retiring a few steps, she contemplated them both; and her face was
radiant with happiness--as if something, long silently missed and looked
for, was as silently found, and life had no more a want, nor the heart a
void.


BOOK X.--INITIAL CHAPTER.

It is observed by a very pleasant writer--read nowadays only by the
brave, pertinacious few who still struggle hard to rescue from the House
of Pluto the souls of departed authors, jostled and chased as those
souls are by the noisy footsteps of the living--it is observed by the
admirable Charron, that "judgment and wisdom is not only the best, but
the happiest portion God Almighty hath distributed among men; for though
this distribution be made with a very uneven hand, yet nobody thinks
himself stinted or ill-dealt with, but he that hath never so little is
contented in _this_ respect."[6]

[Footnote 6: Translation of _Charron on Wisdom_. By G. STANHOPE, D.D.,
late Dean of Canterbury (1729). A translation remarkable for ease,
vigor, and (despite that contempt for the strict rules of grammar, which
was common enough among writers at the commencement of the last century)
for the idiomatic raciness of its English.]

And, certainly, the present narrative may serve in notable illustration
of the remark so drily made by the witty and wise preacher. For whether
our friend Riccabocca deduce theories for daily life from the great
folio of Machiavel; or that promising young gentleman, Mr. Randal
Leslie, interpret the power of knowledge into the art of being too
knowing for dull honest folks to cope with him; or acute Dick Avenel
push his way up the social ascent with a blow for those before, and a
kick for those behind him, after the approved fashion of your strong New
Man; or Baron Levy--that cynical impersonation of Gold--compare himself
to the Magnetic Rock in the Arabian tale, to which the nails in every
ship that approaches the influence of the loadstone fly from the planks,
and a shipwreck per day adds its waifs to the Rock: questionless, at
least, it is, that each of these personages believed that Providence had
bestowed on him an elder son's inheritance of wisdom. Nor, were we to
glance toward the obscurer paths of life, should we find good Parson
Dale deem himself worse off than the rest of the world in this precious
commodity--as, indeed, he had signally evinced of late in that shrewd
guess of his touching Professor Moss; even plain Squire Hazeldean took
it for granted that he could teach Audley Egerton a thing or two worth
knowing in politics; Mr. Stirn thought that there was no branch of
useful lore on which he could not instruct the squire; and Sprott, the
tinker, with his bag full of tracts and lucifer matches, regarded the
whole framework of modern society, from a rick to a constitution, with
the profound disdain of a revolutionary philosopher. Considering that
every individual thus brings into the stock of the world so vast a share
of intelligence, it can not but excite our wonder to find that
Oxenstiern is popularly held to be right when he said, "See, my son, how
little wisdom it requires to govern states;"--that is, Men! That so many
millions of persons each with a profound assurance that he is possessed
of an exalted sagacity, should concur in the ascendency of a few
inferior intellects, according to a few stupid, prosy, matter-of-fact
rules as old as the hills, is a phenomenon very discreditable to the
spirit and energy of the aggregate human species! It creates no surprise
that one sensible watch-dog should control the movements of a flock of
silly, grass-eating sheep; but that two or three silly, grass-eating
sheep should give the law to whole flocks of such mighty sensible
watch-dog--_Diavolo!_ Dr. Riccabocca, explain _that_ if you can! And
wonderfully strange it is, that notwithstanding all the march of
enlightenment, notwithstanding our progressive discoveries in the laws
of nature--our railways, steam engines, animal magnetism, and
electro-biology--we have never made any improvement that is generally
acknowledged, since Men ceased to be troglodytes and nomads, in the
old-fashioned gamut of flats and sharps, which attunes into irregular
social jog-trot all the generations that pass from the cradle to the
grave; still, "_the desire for something we have not_" impels all the
energies that keep us in movement, for good for ill, according to the
checks or the directions of each favorite desire.

A friend of mine once said to a _millionaire_, whom he saw forever
engaged in making money which he never seemed to have any pleasure in
spending, "Pray, Mr. ----, will you answer me one question: You are said
to have two millions, and you spend £600 a year. In order to rest and
enjoy, what will content you?"

"A little more," answered the _millionaire_. That "little more" is the
mainspring of civilization. Nobody ever gets it!

"Philus," saith a Latin writer, "was not so rich as Lælius; Lælius was
not so rich as Scipio; Scipio was not so rich as Crassus; and Crassus
was not so rich--as he wished to be!" If John Bull were once contented,
Manchester might shut up its mills. It is the "little more" that makes a
mere trifle of the National Debt!--Long life to it!

Still, mend our law-books as we will, one is forced to confess that
knaves are often seen in fine linen, and honest men in the most shabby
old rags; and still, notwithstanding the exceptions, knavery is a very
hazardous game; and honesty, on the whole, by far the best policy.
Still, most of the Ten Commandments remain at the core of all the
Pandects and Institutes that keep our hands off our neighbors' throats,
wives, and pockets; still, every year shows that the Parson's
maxim--_quieta non movere_--is as prudent for the health of communities
as when Apollo recommended his votaries not to rake up a fever by
stirring the Lake Camarina; still people, thank Heaven, decline to
reside in parallelograms; and the surest token that we live under a free
government is, when we are governed by persons whom we have a full right
to imply, by our censure and ridicule, are blockheads compared to
ourselves! Stop that delightful privilege, and, by Jove! sir, there is
neither pleasure nor honor in being governed at all! You might as well
be--a Frenchman.


CHAPTER II.

The Italian and his friend are closeted together.

"And why have you left your home in ----shire? and why this new change
of name?"

"Peschiera is in England."

"I know it."

"And bent on discovering me; and, it is said, of stealing from me my
child."

"He has had the assurance to lay wagers that he will win the hand of
your heiress. I know that too; and therefore I have come to
England--first to baffle his design--for I do not think your fears are
exaggerated--and next to learn from you how to follow up a clew which,
unless I am too sanguine, may lead to his ruin, and your unconditional
restoration. Listen to me. You are aware that, after the skirmish with
Peschiera's armed hirelings, sent in search of you, I received a polite
message from the Austrian government, requesting me to leave its Italian
domains. Now, as I hold it the obvious duty of any foreigner, admitted
to the hospitality of a state, to refrain from all participation in its
civil disturbances, so I thought my honor assailed at this intimation,
and went at once to Vienna to explain to the Minister there (to whom I
was personally known), that though I had, as became man to man, aided to
protect a refugee, who had taken shelter under my roof, from the
infuriated soldiers at the command of his private foe, I had not only
not shared in any attempt at revolt, but dissuaded, as far as I could,
my Italian friends from their enterprise; and that because, without
discussing its merits, I believed, as a military man and a cool
spectator, the enterprise could only terminate in fruitless bloodshed. I
was enabled to establish my explanation by satisfactory proof; and my
acquaintance with the Minister assumed something of the character of
friendship. I was then in a position to advocate your cause, and to
state your original reluctance to enter into the plots of the
insurgents. I admitted freely that you had such natural desire for the
independence of your native land, that, had the standard of Italy been
boldly hoisted by its legitimate chiefs, or at the common uprising of
its whole people, you would have been found in the van, amidst the ranks
of your countrymen; but I maintained that you would never have shared in
a conspiracy frantic in itself, and defiled by the lawless schemes and
sordid ambition of its main projectors, had you not been betrayed and
decoyed into it by the misrepresentations and domestic treachery of your
kinsman--the very man who denounced you. Unfortunately, of this
statement I had no proof but your own word. I made, however, so far an
impression in your favor, and, it may be, against the traitor, that your
property was not confiscated to the State, nor handed over, upon the
plea of your civil death, to your kinsman."

"How!--I do not understand. Peschiera has the property?"

"He holds the revenues but of one-half upon pleasure, and they would be
withdrawn, could I succeed in establishing the case that exists against
him. I was forbidden before to mention this to you; the Minister, not
inexcusably, submitted you to the probation of unconditional exile.
Your grace might depend upon your own forbearance from farther
conspiracies--forgive the word. I need not say I was permitted to return
to Lombardy. I found, on my arrival, that--that your unhappy wife had
been to my house, and exhibited great despair at hearing of my
departure."

Riccabocca knit his dark brows, and breathed hard.

"I did not judge it necessary to acquaint you with this circumstance,
nor did it much affect me. I believed in her guilt--and what could now
avail her remorse, if remorse she felt? Shortly afterward, I heard that
she was no more."

"Yes," muttered Riccabocca, "she died in the same year that I left
Italy. It must be a strong reason that can excuse a friend for reminding
me even that she once lived!"

"I come at once to that reason," said L'Estrange, gently. "This autumn I
was roaming through Switzerland, and, in one of my pedestrian excursions
amidst the mountains, I met with an accident, which confined me for some
days to a sofa at a little inn in an obscure village. My hostess was an
Italian; and, as I had left my servant at a town at some distance, I
required her attention till I could write to him to come to me. I was
thankful for her cares, and amused by her Italian babble. We became very
good friends. She told me she had been servant to a lady of great rank,
who had died in Switzerland; and that, being enriched by the generosity
of her mistress, she had married a Swiss innkeeper, and his people had
become hers. My servant arrived, and my hostess learned my name, which
she did not know before. She came into my room greatly agitated. In
brief, this woman had been servant to your wife. She had accompanied her
to my villa, and known of her anxiety to see me, as your friend. The
government had assigned to your wife your palace at Milan, with a
competent income. She had refused to accept of either. Failing to see
me, she had set off toward England, resolved, upon seeing yourself; for
the journals had stated that to England you had escaped."

"She dared!--shameless! And see, but a moment before, I had forgotten
all but her grave in a foreign soil--and these tears had forgiven her,"
murmured the Italian.

"Let them forgive her still," said Harley, with all his exquisite
sweetness of look and tone. "I resume. On entering Switzerland, your
wife's health, which you know was always delicate, gave way. To fatigue
and anxiety succeeded fever, and delirium ensued. She had taken with her
but this one female attendant--the sole one she could trust--on leaving
home. She suspected Peschiera to have bribed her household. In the
presence of this woman she raved of her innocence--in accents of terror
and aversion, denounced your kinsman--and called on you to vindicate her
name and your own."

"Ravings indeed! Poor Paulina!" groaned Riccabocca, covering his face
with both hands.

"But in her delirium there were lucid intervals. In one of these she
rose, in spite of all her servant could do to restrain her, took from
her desk several letters, and reading them over, exclaimed piteously,
'But how to get them to him?--whom to trust? And his friend is gone!'
Then an idea seemed suddenly to flash upon her, for she uttered a joyous
exclamation, sate down, and wrote long and rapidly; inclosed what she
wrote with all the letters, in one packet, which she sealed carefully,
and bade her servant carry to the post, with many injunctions to take it
with her own hand, and pay the charge on it. 'For, oh!' said she (I
repeat the words as my informant told them to me)--'for, oh, this is my
sole chance to prove to my husband that, though I have erred, I am not
the guilty thing he believes me; the sole chance, too, to redeem my
error, and restore, perhaps, to my husband his country, to my child her
heritage.' The servant took the letter to the post; and when she
returned, her lady was asleep, with a smile upon her face. But from that
sleep she woke again delirious, and before the next morning her soul had
fled." Here Riccabocca lifted one hand from his face, and grasped
Harley's arm, as if mutely beseeching him to pause. The heart of the man
struggled hard with his pride and his philosophy; and it was long before
Harley could lead him to regard the worldly prospects which this last
communication from his wife might open to his ruined fortunes. Not,
indeed, till Riccabocca had persuaded himself, and half persuaded Harley
(for strong, indeed, was all presumption of guilt against the dead),
that his wife's protestations of innocence from all but error had been
but ravings.

"Be this as it may," said Harley, "there seems every reason to suppose
that the letters inclosed were Peschiera's correspondence, and that, if
so, these would establish the proof of his influence over your wife, and
of his perfidious machinations against yourself. I resolved, before
coming hither, to go round by Vienna. There I heard with dismay that
Peschiera had not only obtained the imperial sanction to demand your
daughter's hand, but had boasted to his profligate circle that he should
succeed; and he was actually on his road to England. I saw at once that
could this design, by any fraud or artifice, be successful with Violante
(for of your consent, I need not say, I did not dream), the discovery of
this packet, whatever its contents, would be useless: his end would be
secured. I saw also that his success would suffice forever to clear his
name; for his success must imply your consent (it would be to disgrace
your daughter, to assert that she had married without it), and your
consent would be his acquittal. I saw, too, with alarm, that to all
means for the accomplishment of his project he would be urged by
despair; for his debts are great, and his character nothing but new
wealth can support. I knew that he was able, bold, determined, and that
he had taken with him a large supply of money, borrowed upon usury;--in
a word, I trembled for you both. I have now seen your daughter, and I
tremble no more. Accomplished seducer as Peschiera boasts himself, the
first look upon her face, so sweet, yet so noble, convinced me that she
is proof against a legion of Peschieras. Now, then, return we to this
all-important subject--to this packet. It never reached you. Long years
have passed since then. Does it exist still? Into whose hands would it
have fallen? Try to summon up all your recollections. The servant could
not remember the name of the person to whom it was addressed; she only
insisted that the name began with a B, that it was directed to England,
and that to England she accordingly paid the postage. Whom, then, with a
name that begins with B, or (in case the servant's memory here mislead
her) whom did you or your wife know, during your visit to England, with
sufficient intimacy to make it probable that she would select such a
person for her confidante?"

"I cannot conceive," said Riccabocca, shaking his head. "We came to
England shortly after our marriage. Paulina was affected by the climate.
She spoke not a word of English, and indeed not even French as might
have been expected from her birth, for her father was poor, and
thoroughly Italian. She refused all society. I went, it is true,
somewhat into the London world--enough to induce me to shrink from the
contrast that my second visit as a beggared refugee would have made to
the reception I met with on my first--but I formed no intimate
friendships. I recall no one whom she could have written to as intimate
with me."

"But," persisted Harley, "think again. Was there no lady well acquainted
with Italian, and with whom, perhaps, for that very reason, your wife
become familiar?"

"Ah, it is true. There was one old lady of retired habits, but who had
been much in Italy. Lady--Lady--I remember--Lady Jane Horton."

"Horton--Lady Jane!" exclaimed Harley; "again! thrice in one day--is
this wound never to scar over?" Then, noting Riccabocca's look of
surprise, he said, "Excuse me, my friend; I listen to you with renewed
interest. Lady Jane was a distant relation of my own; she judged me,
perhaps, harshly--and I have some painful associations with her name;
but she was a woman of many virtues. Your wife knew her?"

"Not, however, intimately--still, better than any one else in London.
But Paulina would not have written to her; she knew that Lady Jane had
died shortly after her own departure from England. I myself was summoned
back to Italy on pressing business; she was too unwell to journey with
me as rapidly as I was obliged to travel; indeed, illness detained her
several weeks in England. In this interval she might have made
acquaintances. Ah, now I see; I guess. You say the name began with B.
Paulina, in my absence, engaged a companion; it was at my suggestion--a
Mrs. Bertram. This lady accompanied her abroad. Paulina became
excessively attached to her, she knew Italian so well. Mrs. Bertram left
her on the road, and returned to England, for some private affairs of
her own. I forget why or wherefore; if, indeed, I ever asked or learned.
Paulina missed her sadly, often talked of her, wondered why she never
heard from her. No doubt it was to this Mrs. Bertram that she wrote!"

"And you don't know the lady's friends or address?"

"No."

"Nor who recommended her to your wife?"

"No."

"Probably Lady Jane Horton?"

"It may be so. Very likely."

"I will follow up this track, slight as it is."

"But if Mrs. Bertram received the communication, how comes it that it
never reached--O, fool that I am, how should it! I, who guarded so
carefully my incognito!"

"True. This your wife could not foresee; she would naturally imagine
that your residence in England would be easily discovered. But many
years must have passed since your wife lost sight of this Mrs. Bertram,
if their acquaintance was made so soon after your marriage; and now it
is a long time to retrace--long before even your Violante was born."

"Alas! yes. I lost two fair sons in the interval. Violante was born to
me as the child of sorrow."

"And to make sorrow lovely! how beautiful she is!"

The father smiled proudly.

"Where, in the loftiest houses of Europe, find a husband worthy of such
a prize?"

"You forget that I am still an exile--she still dowerless. You forget
that I am pursued by Peschiera; that I would rather see her a beggar's
wife--than--Pah, the very thought maddens me, it is so foul, _Corpo di
Bacco_! I have been glad to find her a husband already."

"Already! Then that young man spoke truly?"

"What young man?"

"Randal Leslie. How! You know him?" Here a brief explanation followed.
Harley heard with attentive ear, and marked vexation, the particulars of
Riccabocca's connection and implied engagement with Leslie.

"There is something very suspicious to me in all this," said he. "Why
should this young man have so sounded me as to Violante's chance of
losing a fortune if she married an Englishman?"

"Did he? Oh, pooh! excuse him. It was but his natural wish to seem
ignorant of all about me. He did not know enough of my intimacy with you
to betray my secret."

"But he knew enough of it--must have known enough to have made it right
that he should tell you I was in England. He does not seem to have done
so."

"No--_that_ is strange--yet scarcely strange; for, when we last met, his
head was full of other things--love and marriage. _Basta!_ youth will be
youth."

"He has no youth left in him!" exclaimed Harley, passionately. "I doubt
if he ever had any. He is one of those men who come into the world with
the pulse of a centenarian. You and I never shall be as old--as he was
in long-clothes. Ah, you may laugh; but I am never wrong in my
instincts. I disliked him at the first--his eye, his smile, his voice,
his very footstep. It is madness in you to countenance such a marriage:
it may destroy all chance of your restoration."

"Better that than infringe my word once passed."

"No, no," exclaimed Harley; "your word is not passed--it shall not be
passed. Nay, never look so piteously at me. At all events, pause till we
know more of this young man. If he be worthy of her without a dower,
why, then, let him lose you your heritage. I should have no more to
say."

"But why lose me my heritage!"

"Do you think the Austrian government would suffer your estates to pass
to this English jackanapes, a clerk in a public office? Oh, sage in
theory, why are you such a simpleton in action!"

Nothing moved by this taunt, Riccabocca rubbed his hands, and then
stretched them comfortably over the fire.

"My friend," said he, "the heritage would pass to my son--a dowry only
goes to the daughter."

"But you have no son."

"Hush! I am going to have one; my Jemima informed me of it yesterday
morning; and it was upon that information that I resolved to speak to
Leslie. Am I a simpleton now?"

"Going to have a son," repeated Harley, looking very bewildered; "how do
you know it is to be a son?"

"Physiologists are agreed," said the sage, positively, "that where the
husband is much older than the wife, and there has been a long interval
without children before she condescends to increase the population of
the world--she (that is, it is at least as nine to four)--she brings
into the world a male. I consider that point, therefore, as settled,
according to the calculations of statistics and the researches of
naturalists."

Harley could not help laughing, though he was still angry and disturbed.

"The same man as ever; always the fool of philosophy."

"_Cospetto!_" said Riccabocca, "I am rather the philosopher of fools.
And talking of that, shall I present you to my Jemima?"

"Yes; but in turn I must present you to one who remembers with gratitude
your kindness, and whom your philosophy, for a wonder, has not ruined.
Some time or other you must explain that to me. Excuse me for a moment;
I will go for him."

"For him--for whom? In my position I must be cautious; and--"

"I will answer for his faith and discretion. Meanwhile, order dinner,
and let me and my friend stay to share it."

"Dinner? _Corpo di Bacco!_--not that Bacchus can help us here. What will
Jemima say?"

"Henpecked man, settle that with your connubial tyrant. But dinner it
must be."

I leave the reader to imagine the delight of Leonard at seeing once more
Riccabocca unchanged, and Violante so improved; and the kind Jemima,
too. And their wonder at him and his history, his books and his fame. He
narrated his struggles and adventures with a simplicity that removed
from a story so personal the character of egotism. But when he came to
speak of Helen, he was brief and reserved.

Violante would have questioned more closely; but, to Leonard's relief,
Harley interposed.

"You shall see her whom he speaks of, before long, and question her
yourself."

With these words, Harley turned the young man's narrative into new
directions; and Leonard's words again flowed freely. Thus the evening
passed away happily to all save Riccabocca. But the thought of his dead
wife rose ever and anon before him; and yet when it did, and became too
painful, he crept nearer to Jemima, and looked in her simple face, and
pressed her cordial hand. And yet the monster had implied to Harley that
his comforter was a fool--so she was, to love so contemptible a
slanderer of herself, and her sex.

Violante was in a state of blissful excitement; she could not analyze
her own joy. But her conversation was chiefly with Leonard; and the most
silent of all was Harley. He sate listening to Leonard's warm, yet
unpretending eloquence--that eloquence which flows so naturally from
genius, when thoroughly at its ease, and not chilled back on itself by
hard unsympathizing hearers--listened, yet more charmed, to the
sentiments less profound, yet no less earnest--sentiments so feminine,
yet so noble, with which Violante's fresh virgin heart responded to the
poet's kindling soul. Those sentiments of hers were so unlike all he
heard in the common world--so akin to himself in his gone youth!
Occasionally--at some high thought of her own, or some lofty line from
Italian song, that she cited with lighted eyes, and in melodious
accents--occasionally he reared his knightly head, and his lips
quivered, as if he had heard the sound of a trumpet. The inertness of
long years was shaken. The Heroic, that lay deep beneath all the humors
of his temperament, was reached, appealed to; and stirred within him,
rousing up all the bright associations connected with it, and long
dormant. When he rose to take leave, surprised at the lateness of the
hour, Harley said, in a tone that bespoke the sincerity of the
compliment, "I thank you for the happiest hours I have known for years."
His eye dwelt on Violante as he spoke. But timidity returned to her with
his words--at his look; and it was no longer the inspired muse, but the
bashful girl that stood before him.

"And when shall I see you again?" asked Riccabocca disconsolately,
following his guest to the door.

"When? Why, of course, to-morrow. Adieu! my friend. No wonder you have
borne your exile so patiently--with such a child!"

He took Leonard's arm, and walked with him to the inn where he had left
his horse. Leonard spoke of Violante with enthusiasm. Harley was silent.


CHAPTER III.

The next day a somewhat old-fashioned, but exceedingly patrician
equipage stopped at Riccabocca's garden-gate. Giacomo, who, from a
bedroom window, had caught sight of it winding toward the house, was
seized with undefinable terror when he beheld it pause before their
walls and heard the shrill summons at the portal. He rushed into his
master's presence, and implored him not to stir--not to allow any one to
give ingress to the enemies the machine might disgorge. "I have heard,"
said he, "how a town in Italy--I think it was Bologna--was once taken
and given to the sword, by incautiously admitting a wooden horse, full
of the troops of Barbarossa, and all manner of bombs and Congreve
rockets."

"The story is differently told in Virgil," quoth Riccabocca, peeping out
of the window. "Nevertheless, the machine looks very large and
suspicious; unloose Pompey!"

"Father," said Violante, coloring, "it is your friend Lord L'Estrange; I
hear his voice."

"Are you sure?"

"Quite. How can I be mistaken?"

"Go, then, Giacomo; but take Pompey with thee--and give the alarm, if we
are deceived."

But Violante was right; and in a few moments Lord L'Estrange was seen
walking up the garden, and giving the arm to two ladies.

"All," said Riccabocca, composing his dressing-robe round him, "go, my
child, and summon Jemima. Man to man; but, for Heaven's, sake woman
to-woman."

Harley had brought his mother and Helen, in compliment to the ladies of
his friend's household.

The proud countess knew that she was in the presence of Adversity, and
her salute to Riccabocca was only less respectful than that with which
she would have rendered homage to her sovereign. But Riccabocca, always
gallant to the sex that he pretended to despise, was not to be outdone
in ceremony; and the bow which replied to the courtesy would have
edified the rising generation, and delighted such surviving relicts of
the old Court breeding as may linger yet amidst the gloomy pomp of the
Faubourg St. Germain. These dues paid to etiquette, the countess briefly
introduced Helen, as Miss Digby, and seated herself near the exile. In a
few moments the two elder personages became quite at home with each
other; and really, perhaps, Riccabocca had never, since we have known
him, showed to such advantage as by the side of his polished, but
somewhat formal visitor. Both had lived so little with our modern,
ill-bred age! They took out their manners of a former race, with a sort
of pride in airing once more such fine lace and superb brocade.
Riccabocca gave truce to the shrewd but homely wisdom of his
proverbs--perhaps he remembered that Lord Chesterfield denounces
proverbs as vulgar; and gaunt though his figure, and far from elegant
though his dressing-robe, there was that about him which spoke
undeniably of the _grand seigneur_--of one to whom a Marquis de Dangeau
would have offered _fauteuil_ by the side of the Rohans and
Montmorencies.

Meanwhile Helen and Harley seated themselves a little apart, and were
both silent--the first, from timidity; the second, from abstraction. At
length the door opened, and Harley suddenly sprang to his feet--Violante
and Jemima entered. Lady Lansmere's eyes first rested on the daughter,
and she could scarcely refrain from an exclamation of admiring surprise;
but then, when she caught sight of Mrs. Riccabocca's somewhat humble,
yet not obsequious mien--looking a little shy, a little homely, yet
still thoroughly a gentlewoman (though of your plain rural kind of that
genus)--she turned from the daughter, and with the _savoir vivre_ of the
fine old school, paid her first respects to the wife; respects
literally, for her manner implied respect--but it was more kind, simple
and cordial than the respect she had shown to Riccabocca; as the sage
himself had said, here, "it was Woman to Woman." And then she took
Violante's hand in both hers, and gazed on her as if she could not
resist the pleasure of contemplating so much beauty. "My son," she said,
softly, and with a half sigh--"my son in vain told me not to be
surprised. This is the first time I have ever known reality exceed
description!"

Violante's blush here made her still more beautiful; and as the countess
returned to Riccabocca she stole gently to Helen's side.

"Miss Digby, my ward," said Harley, pointedly, observing that his mother
had neglected her duty of presenting Helen to the ladies. He then
reseated himself, and conversed with Mrs. Riccabocca; but his bright
quick eye glanced ever at the two girls. They were about the same
age--and youth was all that, to the superficial eye, they seemed to have
in common. A greater contrast could not well be conceived; and, what is
strange, both gained by it. Violante's brilliant loveliness seemed yet
more dazzling, and Helen's fair, gentle face yet more winning. Neither
had mixed much with girls of their own age; each took to the other at
first sight. Violante, as the less shy, began the conversation.

"You are his ward--Lord L'Estrange's?"

"Yes."

"Perhaps you came with him from Italy?"

"No, not exactly. But I have been in Italy for some years."

"Ah! you regret--nay, I am foolish--you return to your native land. But
the skies in Italy are so blue--here it seems as if nature wanted
colors."

"Lord L'Estrange says that you were very young when you left Italy; you
remember it well. He, too, prefers Italy to England."

"He! Impossible!"

"Why impossible, fair skeptic?" cried Harley, interrupting himself in
the midst of a speech to Jemima.

Violante had not dreamed that she could be overheard--she was speaking
low; but, though visibly embarrassed, she answered distinctly--

"Because in England there is the noblest career for noble minds."

Harley was startled, and replied, with a slight sigh, "At your age I
should have said as you do. But this England of ours is so crowded with
noble minds, that they only jostle each other, and the career is one
cloud of dust."

"So, I have read, seems a battle to the common soldier, but not to the
chief."

"You have read good descriptions of battles, I see."

Mrs. Riccabocca, who thought this remark a taunt upon her
daughter-in-law's studies, hastened to Violante's relief.

"Her papa made her read the history of Italy, and I believe that is full
of battles."

HARLEY.--"All history is, and all women are fond of war and of warriors.
I wonder why."

VIOLANTE (turning to Helen, and in a very low voice, resolved that
Harley should not hear this time).--"We can guess why--can we not?"

HARLEY (hearing every word, as if it had been spoken in St. Paul's
Whispering Gallery.)--"If you can guess, Helen, pray tell me."

HELEN (shaking her pretty head, and answering with a livelier smile than
usual.)--"But I am not fond of war and warriors."

HARLEY (to Violante).--"Then I must appeal at once to you,
self-convicted Bellona that you are. Is it from the cruelty natural to
the female disposition?"

VIOLANTE (with a sweet musical laugh).--"From two propensities still
more natural to it."

HARLEY.--"You puzzle me: what can they be?"

VIOLANTE.--"Pity and admiration; we pity the weak, and admire the
brave."

Harley inclined his head and was silent.

Lady Lansmere had suspended her conversation with Riccabocca to listen
to this dialogue. "Charming!" she cried. "You have explained what has
often perplexed me. Ah, Harley, I am glad to see that your satire is
foiled; you have no reply to that."

"No; I willingly own myself defeated--too glad to claim the Signorina's
pity, since my cavalry sword hangs on the wall, and I can have no longer
a professional pretense to her admiration."

He then rose, and glanced toward the window. "But I see a more
formidable disputant for my conqueror to encounter is coming into the
field--one whose profession it is to substitute some other romance for
that of camp and siege."

"Our friend Leonard," said Riccabocca, turning his eye also toward the
window. "True; as Quevedo says wittily, 'Ever since there has been so
great a demand for type, there has been much less lead to spare for
cannon-balls.'"

Here Leonard entered. Harley had sent Lady Lansmere's footman to him
with a note, that prepared him to meet Helen. As he came into the room,
Harley took him by the hand, and led him to Lady Lansmere.

"The friend of whom I spoke. Welcome him now for my sake, ever after for
his own;" and then, scarcely allowing time for the Countess's elegant
and gracious response, he drew Leonard toward Helen. "Children," said
he, with a touching voice, that thrilled through the hearts of both, "go
and seat yourselves yonder, and talk together of the past. Signorina, I
invite you to renewed discussion upon the abstruse metaphysical subject
you have started; let us see if we can not find gentler sources for pity
and admiration than war and warriors." He took Violante aside to the
window. "You remember that Leonard, in telling you his history last
night, spoke, you thought, rather too briefly of the little girl who had
been his companion in the rudest time of his trials. When you would have
questioned more, I interrupted you, and said 'You should see her
shortly, and question her yourself.' And now what think you of Helen
Digby? Hush, speak low. But her ears are not so sharp as mine."

VIOLANTE.--"Ah! that is the fair creature whom Leonard called his
child-angel? What a lovely innocent face!--the angel is there still."

HARLEY (pleased both at the praise and with her who gave it).--"You
think so, and you are right. Helen is not communicative. But fine
natures are like fine poems--a glance at the first two lines suffices
for a guess into the beauty that waits you, if you read on."

Violante gazed on Leonard and Helen as they sat apart. Leonard was the
speaker, Helen the listener; and though the former had, in his
narrative the night before, been indeed brief as to the episode in his
life connected with the orphan, enough had been said to interest
Violante in the pathos of their former position toward each other, and
in the happiness they must feel in their meeting again--separated for
years on the wide sea of life, now both saved from the storm and
shipwreck. The tears came into her eyes. "True," she said very softly,
"there is more here to move pity and admiration than in--" She paused.

HARLEY.--"Complete the sentence. Are you ashamed to retract? Fie on your
pride and obstinacy."

VIOLANTE.--"No; but even here there have been war and heroism--the war
of genius with adversity, and heroism in the comforter who shared it and
consoled. Ah! wherever pity and admiration are both felt, something
nobler than mere sorrow must have gone before: the heroic must exist."

"Helen does not know what the word heroic means," said Harley, rather
sadly; "you must teach her."

Is it possible, thought he as he spoke, that a Randal Leslie could have
charmed this grand creature? No heroic, surely, in that sleek young
place-man. "Your father," he said aloud, and fixing his eyes on her
face, "sees much, he tells me, of a young man, about Leonard's age, as
to date; but I never estimate the age of men by the parish register; and
I should speak of that so-called young man as a contemporary of my
great-grandfather;--I mean Mr. Randal Leslie. Do you like him?"

"Like him?" said Violante slowly, and as if sounding her own mind. "Like
him--yes."

"Why?" asked Harley, with dry and curt indignation.

"His visits seem to please my dear father. Certainly, I like him."

"Hum. He professes to like you, I suppose?"

Violante laughed, unsuspiciously. She had half a mind to reply, "Is that
so strange?" But her respect for Harley stopped her. The words would
have seemed to her pert.

"I am told he is clever," resumed Harley.

"O, certainly."

"And he is rather handsome. But I like Leonard's face better."

"Better--that is not the word. Leonard's face is as that of one who has
gazed so often upon heaven; and Mr. Leslie's--there is neither sunlight
nor starlight reflected there."

"My dear Violante!" exclaimed Harley, overjoyed; and he pressed her
hand.

The blood rushed over the girl's cheek and brow; her hand trembled in
his. But Harley's familiar exclamation might have come from a father's
lips.

At this moment, Helen softly approached them, and looking timidly into
her guardian's face, said, "Leonard's mother is with him: he asks me to
call and see her. May I?"

"May you! A pretty notion the Signorina must form of your enslaved
state of pupilage, when she hears you ask that question. Of course you
may."

"Will you take me there?"

Harley looked embarrassed. He thought of the widow's agitation at his
name; of that desire to shun him, which Leonard had confessed, and of
which he thought he divined the cause. And so divining, he too shrank
from such a meeting.

"Another time, then," said he, after a pause.

Helen looked disappointed, but said no more.

Violante was surprised at this ungracious answer. She would have blamed
it as unfeeling in another. But all that Harley did, was right in her
eyes.

"Can not I go with Miss Digby?" said she, "and my mother will go too. We
both know Mrs. Fairfleld. We shall be so pleased to see her again."

"So be it," said Harley; "I will wait here with your father till you
come back. O, as to my mother, she will excuse the--excuse Madame
Ricccabocca, and you too. See how charmed she is with _your_ father. I
must stay to watch over the conjugal interests of _mine_."

But Mrs. Riccabocca had too much good old country breeding to leave the
Countess; and Harley was forced himself to appeal to Lady Lansmere. When
he had explained the case in point, the Countess rose and said----

"But I will call myself, with Miss Digby."

"No," said Harley, gravely, but in a whisper. "No--I would rather not. I
will explain later."

"Then," said the Countess aloud, after a glance of surprise at her son,
"I must insist on your performing this visit, my dear Madam, and you,
Signorina. In truth, I have something to say confidentially to--"

"To me," interrupted Riccabocca. "Ah, Madame la Comtesse, you restore me
to five-and-twenty. Go, quick--O jealous and injured wife; go, both of
you, quick; and you, too, Harley."

"Nay," said Lady Lansmere, in the same tone, "Harley must stay, for my
design is not at present upon destroying your matrimonial happiness,
whatever it may be later. It is a design so innocent that my son will be
a partner in it."

Here the Countess put her lips to Harley's ear, and whispered. He
received her communication in attentive silence: but when she had done,
pressed her hand, and bowed his head, as if in assent to a proposal.

In a few minutes, the three ladies and Leonard were on their road to the
neighboring cottage.

Violante, with her usual delicate intuition, thought that Leonard and
Helen must have much to say to each other; and ignorant as Leonard
himself was, of Helen's engagement to Harley, began already, in the
romance natural to her age, to predict for them happy and united days in
the future. So she took her step-mother's arm, and left Helen and
Leonard to follow.

"I wonder," she said musingly, "how Miss Digby became Lord L'Estrange's
ward. I hope she is not very rich, nor very high-born."

"La, my love," said the good Jemima, "that is not like you; you are not
envious of her, poor girl?"

"Envious! Dear mamma, what a word! But don't you think Leonard and Miss
Digby seem born for each other? And then the recollections of their
childhood--the thoughts of childhood are so deep, and its memories so
strangely soft!" The long lashes drooped over Violante's musing eyes as
she spoke. "And therefore," she said; after a pause, "therefore, I hoped
that Miss Digby might not be very rich, nor very high-born."

"I understand you now, Violante," exclaimed Jemima, her own early
passion for match-making instantly returning to her; "for as Leonard,
however clever and distinguished, is still the son of Mark Fairfield the
carpenter, it would spoil all if Miss Digby was, as you say, rich and
high-born. I agree with you--a very pretty match, a very pretty match,
indeed. I wish dear Mrs. Dale were here now--she is so clever in
settling such matters."

Meanwhile Leonard and Helen walked side by side a few paces in the rear.
He had not offered her his arm. They had been silent hitherto since they
left Riccabocca's house.

Helen now spoke first. In similar cases it is generally the woman, be
she ever so timid, who does speak first. And here Helen was the bolder;
for Leonard did not disguise from himself the nature of his feelings,
and Helen was engaged to another; and her pure heart was fortified by
the trust reposed in it.

"And have you ever heard more of the good Dr. Morgan, who had powders
against sorrow, and who meant to be so kind to us--though," she added,
coloring, "we did not think so then?"

"He took my child-angel from me," said Leonard, with visible emotion;
"and if she had not returned, where and what should I be now? But I have
forgiven him. No, I have never met him since."

"And that terrible Mr. Burley?"

"Poor, poor Burley! He, too, is vanished out of my present life. I have
made many inquiries after him; all I can hear is that he went abroad,
supposed as a correspondent to some journal. I should like so much to
see him again, now that perhaps I could help him as he helped me."

"_Helped_ you--ah!"

Leonard smiled with a beating heart, as he saw again the dear, prudent,
warning look, and involuntary drew closer to Helen. She seemed more
restored to him and to her former self.

"Helped me much by his instructions; more, perhaps, by his very faults.
You can not guess, Helen--I beg pardon, Miss Digby--but I forgot that we
are no longer children; you can not guess how much we men, and, more
than all perhaps, we writers, whose task it is to unravel the web of
human actions, owe even to our own past errors; and if we learn nothing
by the errors of others, we should be dull indeed. We must know where
the roads divide, and have marked where they lead to, before we can
erect our sign-posts; and books are the sign-posts in human life."

"Books!--And I have not yet read yours. And Lord L'Estrange tells me you
are famous now. Yet you remember me still--the poor orphan child, whom
you first saw weeping at her father's grave, and with whom you burdened
your own young life, over-burdened already. No, still call me Helen--you
must always be to me--a brother! Lord L'Estrange feels _that_; he said
so to me when he told me that we were to meet again. He is so generous,
so noble. Brother!" cried Helen, suddenly, and extending her hand, with
a sweet but sublime look in her gentle face--"brother, we will never
forfeit his esteem; we will both do our best to repay him! Will we
not--say so?"

Leonard felt overpowered by contending and unanalyzed emotions. Touched
almost to tears by the affectionate address--thrilled by the hand that
pressed his own--and yet with a vague fear a consciousness that
something more than the words themselves was implied--something that
checked all hope. And this word "brother," once so precious and so dear,
why did he shrink from it now?--why could he not too say the sweet word
"sister?"

"She is above me now and evermore?" he thought, mournfully; and the
tones of his voice, when he spoke again, were changed. The appeal to
renewed intimacy but made him more distant; and to that appeal itself he
made no direct answer; for Mrs. Riccabocca, now turning round, and
pointing to the cottage which came in view, with its picturesque
gable-ends, cried out,

"But is that your house, Leonard? I never saw any thing so pretty."

"You do not remember it, then," said Leonard to Helen, in accents of
melancholy reproach--"there where I saw you last! I doubted whether to
keep it exactly as it was, and I said, 'No! the association is not
changed because we try to surround it with whatever beauty we can
create; the dearer the association, the more the Beautiful becomes to it
natural." "Perhaps you don't understand this--perhaps it is only we poor
poets who do."

"I understand it," said Helen, gently. She looked wistfully at the
cottage.

"So changed--I have so often pictured it to myself--never, never like
this; yet I loved it, commonplace as it was to my recollection; and the
garret, and the tree in the carpenter's yard."

She did not give these thoughts utterance And they now entered the
garden.


CHAPTER IV.

Mrs. Fairfield was a proud woman when she received Mrs. Riccabocca and
Violante in her grand house; for a grand house to her was that cottage
to which her boy Lenny had brought her home. Proud, indeed, ever was
Widow Fairfield; but she thought then in her secret heart, that if ever
she could receive in the drawing-room of that grand house the great
Mrs. Hazeldean, who had so lectured her for refusing to live any longer
in the humble tenement rented of the Squire, the cup of human bliss
would be filled, and she could contentedly die of the pride of it. She
did not much notice Helen--her attention was too absorbed by the ladies
who renewed their old acquaintance with her, and she carried them all
over the house, yea, into the very kitchen; and so, somehow or other,
there was a short time when Helen and Leonard found themselves alone. It
was in the study. Helen had unconsciously seated herself in Leonard's
own chair, and she was gazing with anxious and wistful interest on the
scattered papers, looking so disorderly (though, in truth, in that
disorder there was method, but method only known to the owner), and at
the venerable, well-worn books, in all languages, lying on the floor, on
the chairs--any where. I must confess that Helen's first tidy womanlike
idea was a great desire to arrange the latter. "Poor Leonard," she
thought to herself--"the rest of the house so neat, but no one to take
care of his own room and of him!"

As if he divined her thought, Leonard smiled, and said, "It would be a
cruel kindness to the spider, if the gentlest hand in the world tried to
set its cobweb to rights."

HELEN.--"You were not quite so bad in the old days."

LEONARD.--"Yet even then, you were obliged to take care of the money. I
have more books now, and more money. My present housekeeper lets me take
care of the books, but she is less indulgent as to the money."

HELEN (archly).--"Are you as absent as ever?"

LEONARD.--"Much more so, I fear. The habit is incorrigible, Miss
Digby--"

HELEN.--"Not Miss Digby--sister, if you like."

LEONARD (evading the word that implied so forbidden an
affinity).--"Helen, will you grant me a favor? Your eyes and your smile
say 'yes.' Will you lay aside, for one minute, your shawl and bonnet?
What! can you be surprised that I ask it? Can you not understand that I
wish for one minute to think you are at home again under this roof?"

Helen cast down her eyes, and seemed troubled; then she raised them,
with a soft angelic candor in their dovelike blue, and as if in shelter
from all thoughts of more warm affection, again murmured "_brother_,"
and did as he asked her.

So there she sate, among the dull books, by his table, near the open
window--her fair hair parted on her forehead--looking so good, so calm,
so happy! Leonard wondered at his own self-command. His heart yearned to
her with such inexpressible love--his lips so longed to murmur, "Ah, as
now so could it be forever! Is the home too mean?" But that word
"brother" was as a talisman between her and him.

Yet she looked so at home--perhaps so at home she felt!--more certainly
than she had yet learned to do in that stiff stately house in which she
was soon to have a daughter's rights. Was she suddenly made aware of
this--that she so suddenly arose--and with a look of alarm and distress
on her face--

"But--we are keeping Lady Lansmere too long," she said, falteringly. "We
must go now," and she hastily took up her shawl and bonnet.

Just then Mrs. Fairfield entered with the visitors, and began making
excuses for inattention to Miss Digby, whose identity with Leonard's
child-angel she had not yet learned.

Helen received these apologies with her usual sweetness. "Nay," she
said, "your son and I are such old friends, how could you stand on
ceremony with me?"

"Old friends!" Mrs. Fairfield stared amazed, and then surveyed the fair
speaker more curiously than she had yet done. "Pretty, nice spoken
thing," thought the widow; "as nice spoken as Miss Violante, and
humbler-looking-like--though as to dress, I never see any thing so
elegant out of a picter."

Helen now appropriated Mrs. Riccabocca's arm; and after a kind
leave-taking with the widow, the ladies returned toward Riccabocca's
house.

Mrs. Fairfield, however, ran after them with Leonard's hat and gloves,
which he had forgotten.

"'Deed, boy," said she, kindly, yet scoldingly, "but there'd be no more
fine books, if the Lord had not fixed your head on your shoulders. You
would not think it, marm," she added to Mrs. Riccabocca, "but sin' he
has left you, he's not the 'cute lad he was; very helpless at times,
marm!"

Helen could not resist turning round, and looking at Leonard, with a sly
smile.

The widow saw the smile, and catching Leonard by the arm, whispered,
"But, where before have you seen that pretty young lady? Old friends!"

"Ah, mother," said Leonard, sadly, "it is a long tale; you have heard
the beginning, who can guess the end?"--and he escaped. But Helen still
leant on the arm of Mrs. Riccabocca, and, in the walk back, it seemed to
Leonard as if the winter had resettled in the sky.

Yet he was by the side of Violante, and she spoke to him with such
praise of Helen! Alas! it is not always so sweet as folks say, to hear
the praises of one we love. Sometimes those praises seem to ask
ironically, "And what right hast thou to hope because thou lovest? _All_
love _her_."


CHAPTER V.

No sooner had Lady Lansmere found herself alone with Riccabocca and
Harley than she laid her hand on the exile's arm, and, addressing him by
a title she had not before given him, and from which he appeared to
shrink nervously, said: "Harley, in bringing me to visit you, was forced
to reveal to me your incognito, for I should have discovered it. You may
not remember me, in spite of your gallantry. But I mixed more in the
world than I do now, during your first visit to England, and once sate
next to you at dinner at Carlton House. Nay, no compliments, but listen
to me. Harley tells me you have cause for some alarm respecting the
designs of an audacious and unprincipled--adventurer, I may call him;
for adventurers are of all ranks. Suffer your daughter to come to me, on
a visit, as long as you please. With me, at least, she will be safe; and
if you, too, and the--"

"Stop, my dear madam," interrupted Riccabocca, with great vivacity;
"your kindness over-powers me. I thank you most gratefully for your
invitation to my child; but--"

"Nay," in his turn interrupted Harley, "no buts. I was not aware of my
mother's intention when she entered this room. But since she whispered
it to me, I have reflected on it, and am convinced that it is but a
prudent precaution. Your retreat is known to Mr. Leslie--he is known to
Peschiera. Grant that no indiscretion of Mr. Leslie's betray the secret;
still I have reason to believe that the Count guesses Randal's
acquaintance with you. Audley Egerton this morning told me he had
gathered that, not from the young man himself, but from questions put to
himself by Madame di Negra; and Peschiera might, and would, set spies to
track Leslie to every house that he visits--might and would, still more
naturally, set spies to track myself. Were this man an Englishman, I
should laugh at his machinations; but he is an Italian, and has been a
conspirator. What he could do, I know not; but an assassin can penetrate
into a camp, and a traitor can creep through closed walls to one's
hearth. With my mother, Violante must be safe; that you can not oppose.
And why not come yourself?"

Riccabocca had no reply to these arguments, so far as they affected
Violante; indeed, they awakened the almost superstitious terror with
which he regarded his enemy, and he consented at once that Violante
should accept the invitation proffered. But he refused it for himself
and Jemima.

"To say truth," said he, simply, "I made a secret vow, on re-entering
England, that I would associate with none who knew the rank I had
formerly held in my own land. I felt that all my philosophy was needed,
to reconcile and habituate myself to my altered circumstances. In order
to find in my present existence, however humble, those blessings which
make all life noble--dignity and peace--it was necessary for poor, weak
human nature, wholly to dismiss the past. It would unsettle me sadly,
could I come to your house, renew awhile, in your kindness and
respect--nay, in the very atmosphere of your society--the sense of what
I have been; and then (should the more than doubtful chance of recall
from my exile fail me) to awake, and find myself for the rest of
life--what I am. And though, were I alone, I might trust myself perhaps
to the danger--yet my wife: she is happy and contented now; would she be
so, if you had once spoiled her for the simple position of Dr.
Riccabocca's wife? Should I not have to listen to regrets, and hopes,
and fears that would prick sharp through my thin cloak of philosophy?
Even as it is, since in a moment of weakness I confided my secret to
her, I have had 'my rank' thrown at me--with a careless hand, it is
true--but it hits hard, nevertheless. No stone hurts like one taken from
the ruins of one's own home; and the grander the home, why, the heavier
the stone! Protect, dear madam--protect my daughter, since her father
doubts his own power to do so. But--ask no more."

Riccabocca was immovable here. And the matter was settled as he decided,
it being agreed that Violante should be still styled but the daughter of
Dr. Riccabocca.

"And now, one word more," said Harley. "Do not confide to Mr. Leslie
these arrangements; do not let him know where Violante is placed--at
least, until I authorize such confidence in him. It is sufficient
excuse, that it is no use to know unless he called to see her, and his
movements, as I said before, may be watched. You can give the same
reason to suspend his visits to yourself. Suffer me, meanwhile, to
mature my judgment on this young man. In the mean while, also, I think
that I shall have means of ascertaining the real nature of Peschiera's
schemes. His sister has sought to know me; I will give her the occasion.
I have heard some things of her in my last residence abroad, which make
me believe that she can not be wholly the Count's tool in any schemes
nakedly villainous; that she has some finer qualities in her than I once
supposed; and that she can be won from his influence. It is a state of
war: we will carry it into the enemy's camp. You will promise me, then,
to refrain from all further confidence to Mr. Leslie."

"For the present, yes," said Riccabocca, reluctantly.

"Do not even say that you have seen me, unless he first tell you that I
am in England, and wish to learn your residence. I will give him full
occasion to do so. Pish! don't hesitate; you know your own proverb--

  'Boccha chiusa, ed occhio aperto
  Non fece mai nissun deserto.'

'The closed mouth and the open eye,' &c."

"That's very true," said the Doctor, much struck. "Very true. '_In
boccha chiusa non c'entrano mosche._' One can't swallow flies if one
keeps one's mouth shut. _Corpo di Bacco!_ that's very true, indeed!"

Harley took aside the Italian.

"You see if our hope of discovering the lost packet, or if our belief in
the nature of its contents, be too sanguine, still, in a few months it
is possible that Peschiera can have no further designs on your
daughter--possible that a son may be born to you, and Violante would
cease to be in danger, because she would cease to be an heiress. Indeed,
it may be well to let Peschiera know this chance; it would, at least,
make him delay all his plans while we are tracking the document that may
defeat them forever."

"No, no! for heaven's sake, no!" exclaimed Riccabocca, pale as ashes.
"Not a word to him. I don't mean to impute to him crimes of which he
may be innocent. But he meant to take my life when I escaped the pursuit
of his hirelings in Italy. He did not hesitate, in his avarice, to
denounce a kinsman; expose hundreds to the sword, if resisting--to the
dungeon, if passive. Did he know that my wife might bear me a son, how
can I tell that his designs might not change into others still darker,
and more monstrous, than those he now openly parades, though, after all,
not more infamous and vile. Would my wife's life be safe? Not more
difficult to convey poison into my house, than to steal my child from my
hearth. Don't despise me; but when I think of my wife, my daughter, and
that man, my mind forsakes me: I am one fear."

"Nay, this apprehension is too exaggerated. We do not live in the age of
the Borgias. Could Peschiera resort to the risks of a murder; it is for
yourself that you should fear."

"For myself!--I! I!" cried the exile, raising his tall stature to its
full height. "Is it not enough degradation to a man who has borne the
name of such ancestors, to fear for those he loves! Fear for myself! Is
it you who ask if I am a coward?"

He recovered himself, as he felt Harley's penitential and admiring grasp
of the hand.

"See," said he, turning to the Countess, with a melancholy smile, "how
even one hour of your society destroys the habits of years. Dr.
Riccabocca is talking of his ancestors!"


CHAPTER VI.

Violante and Jemima were both greatly surprised, as the reader may
suppose, when they heard, on their return, the arrangements already made
for the former. The Countess insisted on taking her at once, and
Riccabocca briefly said, "Certainly, the sooner the better." Violante
was stunned and bewildered. Jemima hastened to make up a little bundle
of things necessary, with many a woman's sigh that the poor wardrobe
contained so few things befitting. But among the clothes she slipped a
purse, containing the savings of months, perhaps of years, and with it a
few affectionate lines, begging Violante to ask the Countess to buy her
all that was proper for her father's child. There is always something
hurried and uncomfortable in the abrupt and unexpected withdrawal of any
member from a quiet household. The small party broke into still smaller
knots. Violante hung on her father, and listened vaguely to his not very
lucid explanations. The Countess approached Leonard, and, according to
the usual mode with persons of quality addressing young authors,
complimented him highly on the books she had not read, but which her son
assured her were so remarkable. She was a little anxious to know how
Harley had met with Mr. Oran, whom he called his friend; but she was too
high-bred to inquire, or to express any wonder that rank should be
friends with genius.

She took it for granted that they had formed their acquaintance abroad.

Harley conversed with Helen.--"You are not sorry that Violante is coming
to us? She will be just such a companion for you as I could desire; of
your own years too."

HELEN (ingenuously).--"It is hard to think I am not younger than she
is."

HARLEY.--"Why, my dear Helen?"

HELEN.--"She is so brilliant. She talks so beautifully. And I--"

HARLEY.--"And you want but the habit of talking, to do justice to your
own beautiful thoughts."

Helen looked at him gratefully, but shook her head. It was a common
trick of hers, and always when she was praised.

At last the preparations were made--the farewell was said. Violante was
in the carriage by Lady Lansmere's side. Slowly moved on the stately
equipage with its four horses and trim postillions, heraldic badges on
their shoulders, in the style rarely seen in the neighborhood of the
metropolis, and now fast vanishing even amidst distant counties.

Riccabocca, Jemima, and Jackeymo continued to gaze after it from the
gate.

"She is gone," said Jackeymo, brushing his eyes with his coat sleeve.
"But it is a load off one's mind."

"And another load on one's heart," murmured Riccabocca. "Don't cry,
Jemima; it may be bad for you, and bad for _him_ that is to come. It is
astonishing how the humors of the mother may affect the unborn. I should
not like to have a son who has a more than usual propensity to tears."

The poor philosopher tried to smile, but it was a bad attempt. He went
slowly in and shut himself up with his books. But he could not read. His
whole mind was unsettled. And though, like all parents, he had been
anxious to rid himself of a beloved daughter for life, now that she was
gone, but for a while, a string seemed broken in the Music of Home.


CHAPTER VII.

The evening of the same day, as Egerton, who was to entertain a large
party at dinner, was changing his dress, Harley walked into his room.

Egerton dismissed his valet by a sign, and continued his toilet.

"Excuse me, my dear Harley, I have only ten minutes to give you. I
expect one of the royal dukes, and punctuality is the stern virtue of
men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes."

Harley had usually a jest for his friend's aphorisms; but he had none
now. He laid his hand kindly on Egerton's shoulder--"Before I speak of
my business, tell me how you are--better?"

"Better--nay, I am always well. Pooh! I may look a little tired--years
of toil will tell on the countenance. But that matters little--the
period of life has passed with me when one cares how one looks in the
glass."

As he spoke, Egerton completed his dress, and came to the hearth,
standing there, erect and dignified as usual, still far handsomer than
many a younger man, and with a form that seemed to have ample vigor to
support for many a year the sad and glorious burthen of power.

"So now to your business, Harley."

"In the first place, I want you to present me, at the first opportunity,
to Madame di Negra. You say she wished to know me."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes."

"Well, then, she receives this evening. I did not mean to go; but when
my party breaks up--"

"You can call for me at 'The Travelers.' Do!"

"Next--you knew Lady Jane Horton better even than I did, at least in the
last year of her life." Harley sighed, and Egerton turned and stirred
the fire.

"Pray, did you ever see at her house, or hear her speak of, a Mrs.
Bertram?"

"Of whom?" said Egerton, in a hollow voice, his face still turned toward
the fire.

"A Mrs. Bertram; but Heavens! my dear fellow, what is the matter? Are
you ill?"

"A spasm at the heart--that is all--don't ring--I shall be better
presently--go on talking. Mrs.----; why do you ask?"

"Why? I have hardly time to explain; but I am, as I told you, resolved
on righting my old Italian friend, if Heaven will help me, as it ever
does help the just when they bestir themselves; and this Mrs. Bertram is
mixed up in my friend's affairs."

"His! How is that possible?"

Harley rapidly and succinctly explained. Audley listened attentively,
with his eyes fixed on the floor, and still seeming to labor under great
difficulty of breathing.

At last he answered, "I remember something of this Mrs.--Mrs.--Bertram.
But your inquiries after her would be useless. I think I have heard that
she is long since dead; nay, I am sure of it."

"Dead!--that is most unfortunate. But do you know any of her relations
or friends? Can you suggest any mode of tracing this packet, if it came
to her hands?"

"No."

"And Lady Jane had scarcely any friend that I remember, except my
mother, and she knows nothing of this Mrs. Bertram. How unlucky! I think
I shall advertise. Yet, no. I could only distinguish this Mrs. Bertram
from any other of the same name, by stating with whom she had gone
abroad, and that would catch the attention of Peschiera, and set him to
counterwork us."

"And what avails it?" said Egerton. "She whom you seek is no more--no
more!" He paused, and went on rapidly--"The packet did not arrive in
England till years after her death--was no doubt returned to the
post-office--is destroyed long ago."

Harley looked very much disappointed. Egerton went on in a sort of set
mechanical voice, as if not thinking of what he said, but speaking from
the dry practical mode of reasoning which was habitual to him, and by
which the man of the world destroys the hopes of an enthusiast. Then
starting up at the sound of the first thundering knock at the street
door, he said, "Hark! you must excuse me."

"I leave you, my dear Audley. Are you better now?"

"Much, much--quite well. I will call for you--probably between eleven
and twelve."


CHAPTER VIII.

If any one could be more surprised at seeing Lord L'Estrange at the
house of Madame di Negra that evening than the fair hostess herself, it
was Randal Leslie. Something instinctively told him that this visit
threatened interference with whatever might be his ultimate projects in
regard to Riccabocca and Violante. But Randal Leslie was not one of
those who shrink from an intellectual combat. On the contrary, he was
too confident of his powers of intrigue, not to take a delight in their
exercise. He could not conceive that the indolent Harley could be a
match for his own restless activity and dogged perseverance. But in a
very few moments fear crept on him. No man of his day could produce a
more brilliant effect than Lord L'Estrange, when he deigned to desire
it. Without much pretense to that personal beauty which strikes at first
sight, he still retained all the charm of countenance, and all the grace
of manner which had made him in boyhood the spoiled darling of society.
Madame di Negra had collected but a small circle round her, still it was
of the _élite_ of the great world; not, indeed, those more precise and
reserved _dames du château_, whom the lighter and easier of the fair
dispensers of fashion ridicule as prudes; but, nevertheless, ladies were
there, as umblemished in reputation as high in rank; flirts and
coquettes, perhaps--nothing more; in short, "charming women"--the gay
butterflies that hover over the stiff parterre. And there were
embassadors and ministers, and wits and brilliant debaters, and
first-rate dandies (dandies when first-rate, are generally very
agreeable men). Among all these various persons, Harley, so long a
stranger to the London world, seemed to make himself at home with the
ease of an Alcibiades. Many of the less juvenile ladies remembered him,
and rushed to claim his acquaintance, with nods, and becks, and wreathed
smiles. He had ready compliment for each. And few indeed, were there,
men or women, for whom Harley L'Estrange had not appropriate attraction.
Distinguished reputation as soldier and scholar, for the grave; whim and
pleasantry for the gay; novelty for the sated; and for the more vulgar
natures, was he not Lord L'Estrange, unmarried, heir to an ancient
earldom, and some fifty thousand a year?

Not till he had succeeded in the general effect--which, it must be
owned, he did his best to create--did Harley seriously and especially
devote himself to his hostess. And then he seated himself by her side;
and as if in compliment to both, less pressing admirers insensibly
slipped away and edged off.

Frank Hazledean was the last to quit his ground behind Madame di
Negra's chair; but when he found that the two began to talk in Italian,
and he could not understand a word they said, he too--fancying, poor
fellow, that he looked foolish, and cursing his Eton education that had
neglected, for languages spoken by the dead, of which he had learned
little, those still in use among the living, of which he had learned
naught--retreated toward Randal, and asked wistfully, "Pray, what age
should you say L'Estrange was? He must be devilish old, in spite of his
looks. Why, he was at Waterloo!"

"He is young enough to be a terrible rival," answered Randal, with
artful truth.

Frank turned pale, and began to meditate dreadful bloodthirsty thoughts,
of which hair-triggers and Lord's Cricket-ground formed the staple.

Certainly there was apparent ground for a lover's jealousy. For Harley
and Beatrice now conversed in a low tone, and Beatrice seemed agitated,
and Harley earnest. Randal himself grew more and more perplexed. Was
Lord L'Estrange really enamored of the Marchesa? If so, farewell to all
hopes of Frank's marriage with her! Or was he merely playing a part in
Riccabocca's interest; pretending to be the lover, in order to obtain an
influence over her mind, rule her through her ambition, and secure an
ally against her brother? Was this _finesse_ compatible with Randal's
notions of Harley's character? Was it consistent with that chivalric and
soldierly spirit of honor which the frank nobleman affected, to make
love to a woman in mere _ruse de guerre_? Could mere friendship for
Riccabocca be a sufficient inducement to a man, who, whatever his
weaknesses or his errors, seemed to wear on his very forehead a soul
above deceit, to stoop to paltry means, even for a worthy end? At this
question, a new thought flashed upon Randal--might not Lord L'Estrange
have speculated himself upon winning Violante?--would not that account
for all the exertions he had made on behalf of her inheritance at the
court of Vienna--exertions of which Peschiera and Beatrice had both
complained? Those objections which the Austrian government might take to
Violante's marriage with some obscure Englishman would probably not
exist against a man like Harley L'Estrange, whose family not only
belonged to the highest aristocracy of England, but had always supported
opinions in vogue among the leading governments of Europe. Harley
himself, it is true, had never taken part in politics, but his notions
were, no doubt, those of a high-born soldier, who had fought, in
alliance with Austria, for the restoration of the Bourbons. And this
immense wealth--which Violante might lose if she married one like Randal
himself--her marriage with the heir of the Lansmeres might actually tend
only to secure. Could Harley, with all his own expectations, be
indifferent to such a prize?--and no doubt he had learned Violante's
rare beauty in his correspondence with Riccabocca.

Thus considered, it seemed natural to Randal's estimate of human
nature, that Harley's more prudish scruples of honor, as regards what is
due to women, could not resist a temptation so strong. Mere friendship
was not a motive powerful enough to shake them, but ambition was.

While Randal was thus cogitating, Frank thus suffering, and many a
whisper, in comment on the evident flirtation between the beautiful
hostess and the accomplished guest, reached the ears both of the
brooding schemer and the jealous lover, the conversation between the two
objects of remark and gossip had taken a new turn. Indeed, Beatrice had
made an effort to change it.

"It is long, my lord," said she, still speaking Italian, "since I have
heard sentiments like those you address to me; and if I do not feel
myself wholly unworthy of them, it is from the pleasure I have felt in
reading sentiments equally foreign to the language of the world in which
I live." She took a book from the table as she spoke: "Have you seen
this work?"

Harley glanced at the title-page. "To be sure I have, and I know the
author."

"I envy you that honor. I should so like also to know one who has
discovered to me deeps in my own heart which I had never explored."

"Charming Marchesa, if the book has done this, believe me that I have
paid you no false compliment--formed no overflattering estimate of your
nature; for the charm of the work is but in its simple appeal to good
and generous emotions, and it can charm none in whom those emotions
exist not!"

"Nay, that can not be true, or why is it so popular?"

"Because good and generous emotions are more common to the human heart
than we are aware of till the appeal comes."

"Don't ask me to think that! I have found the world so base."

"Pardon me a rude question; but what do you know of the world?"

Beatrice looked first in surprise at Harley, then glanced round the room
with significant irony.

"As I thought; you call this little room 'the world.' Be it so. I will
venture to say, that if the people in this room were suddenly converted
into an audience before a stage, and you were as consummate in the
actor's art as you are in all others that please and command--"

"Well?"

"And were to deliver a speech full of sordid and base sentiments, you
would be hissed. But let any other woman, with half your powers, arise
and utter sentiments sweet and womanly, or honest and lofty--and
applause would flow from every lip, and tears rush to many a worldly
eye. The true proof of the inherent nobleness of our common nature is in
the sympathy it betrays with what is noble wherever crowds are
collected. Never believe the world is base;--if it were so, no society
could hold together for a day. But you would know the author of this
book? I will bring him to you."

"Do."

"And now," said Harley, rising, and with his candid winning smile, "do
you think we shall ever be friends?"

"You have startled me so, that I can scarcely answer. But why would you
be friends with me?"

"Because you need a friend. You have none."

"Strange flatterer!" said Beatrice, smiling, though very sadly; and,
looking up, her eye caught Randal's.

"Pooh!" said Harley, "you are too penetrating to believe that you
inspire friendship _there_. Ah, do you suppose that, all the while I
have been conversing with you, I have not noticed the watchful gaze of
Mr. Randal Leslie? What tie can possibly connect you together I know not
yet; but I soon shall."

"Indeed! you talk like one of the old Council of Venice. You try hard to
make me fear you," said Beatrice, seeking to escape from the graver kind
of impression Harley had made on her, by the affectation, partly of
coquetry, partly of levity.

"And I," said L'Estrange, calmly, "tell you already, that I fear you no
more." He bowed, and passed through the crowd to rejoin Audley, who was
seated in a corner, whispering with some of his political colleagues.
Before Harley reached the minister, he found himself close to Randal and
young Hazeldean.

He bowed to the first, and extended his hand to the last. Randal felt
the distinction, and his sullen, bitter pride was deeply galled--a
feeling of hate toward Harley passed into his mind. He was pleased to
see the cold hesitation with which Frank just touched the hand offered
to him. But Randal had not been the only person whose watch upon
Beatrice the keen-eyed Harley had noticed. Harley had seen the angry
looks of Frank Hazeldean, and divined the cause. So he smiled
forgivingly at the slight he had received.

"You are like me, Mr. Hazeldean," said he. "You think something of the
heart should go with all courtesy that bespeaks friendship--

  "The hand of Douglas is his own."

Here Harley drew aside Randal. "Mr. Leslie, a word with you. If I wished
to know the retreat of Dr. Riccabocca, in order to render him a great
service, would you confide to me that secret?"

"That woman has let out her suspicions that I know the exile's retreat,"
thought Randal; and with rare presence of mind, he replied at once:

"My Lord, yonder stands a connection of Dr. Riccabocca's. Mr. Hazeldean
is surely the person to whom you should address this inquiry."

"Not so, Mr. Leslie; for I suspect that he can not answer it, and that
you can. Well, I will ask something that it seems to me you may grant
without hesitation. Should you see Dr. Riccabocca, tell him that I am in
England, and so leave it to him to communicate with me or not; but
perhaps you have already done so?"

"Lord L'Estrange," said Randal, bowing low, with pointed formality,
"excuse me if I decline either to disclaim or acquiesce in the knowledge
you impute to me. If I am acquainted with any secret intrusted to me by
Dr. Riccabocca, it is for me to use my own discretion how best to guard
it. And for the rest, after the Scotch earl, whose words your lordship
has quoted, refused to touch the hand of Marmion, Douglas could scarcely
have called him back in order to give him--a message!"

Harley was not prepared for this tone in Mr Egerton's _protégé_, and his
own gallant nature was rather pleased than irritated by a haughtiness
that at least seemed to bespeak independence of spirit. Nevertheless,
L'Estrange's suspicions of Randal were too strong to be easily set
aside, and therefore he replied, civilly, but with covert taunt:

"I submit to your rebuke, Mr. Leslie, though I meant not the offense you
would ascribe to me. I regret my unlucky quotation yet the more,
since the wit of your retort has obliged you to identify yourself
with Marmion, who, though a clever and brave fellow, was an
uncommonly--tricky one." And so Harley, certainly having the best of it,
moved on, and joining Egerton, in a few minutes more both left the room.

"What was L'Estrange saying to you?" asked Frank. "Something about
Beatrice, I am sure."

"No; only quoting poetry."

"Then what made you look so angry, my dear fellow? I know it was your
kind feeling for me. As you say, he is a formidable rival. But that
can't be his own hair. Do you think he wears a _toupet_? I am sure he
was praising Beatrice. He is evidently very much smitten with her. But I
don't think she is a woman to be caught by _mere_ rank and fortune! Do
you? Why can't you speak?"

"If you do not get her consent soon, I think she is lost to you," said
Randal, slowly; and, before Frank could recover his dismay, glided from
the house.


CHAPTER IX.

Violante's first evening at the Lansmeres, had seemed happier to her
than the first evening, under the same roof, had done to Helen. True
that she missed her father much--Jemima some what; but she so identified
her father's cause with Harley, that she had a sort of vague feeling
that it was to promote that cause that she was on this visit to Harley's
parents. And the Countess, it must be owned, was more emphatically
cordial to her than she had ever yet been to Captain Digby's orphan. But
perhaps the real difference in the heart of either girl was this, that
Helen felt awe of Lady Lansmere, and Violante felt only love for Lord
L'Estrange's mother. Violante, too, was one of those persons whom a
reserved and formal person, like the Countess, "can get on with," as the
phrase goes. Not so poor little Helen--so shy herself, and so hard to
coax into more than gentle monosyllables. And Lady Lansmere's favorite
talk was always of Harley. Helen had listened to such talk with respect
and interest. Violante listened to it with inquisitive eagerness--with
blushing delight. The mother's heart noticed the distinction between the
two, and no wonder that that heart moved more to Violante than to Helen.
Lord Lansmere, too, like most gentlemen of his age, clumped all young
ladies together, as a harmless, amiable, but singularly stupid class of
the genus Petticoat, meant to look pretty, play the piano, and talk to
each other about frocks and sweethearts. Therefore this animated,
dazzling creature, with her infinite variety of look and play of mind,
took him by surprise, charmed him into attention, and warmed him into
gallantry. Helen sat in her quiet corner, at her work, sometimes
listening with almost mournful, though certainly unenvious admiration at
Violante's vivid, yet ever unconscious eloquence of word and
thought--sometimes plunged deep into her own secret meditations. And all
the while the work went on the same, under the same noiseless fingers.
This was one of Helen's habits that irritated the nerves of Lady
Lansmere. She despised young ladies who were fond of work. She did not
comprehend how often it is the source of the sweet, womanly mind, not
from want of thought, but from the silence and the depth of it. Violante
was surprised, and perhaps disappointed, that Harley had left the house
before dinner, and did not return all the evening. But Lady Lansmere, in
making excuse for his absence, on the plea of engagements, found so good
an opportunity to talk of his ways in general--of his rare promise in
boyhood--of her regret at the inaction of his maturity--of her hope to
see him yet do justice to his natural powers, that Violante almost
ceased to miss him.

And when Lady Lansmere conducted her to her room, and, kissing her cheek
tenderly, said, "But you are just the person Harley admires--just the
person to rouse him from melancholy dreams, of which his wild humors are
now but the vain disguise"--Violante crossed her arms on her bosom, and
her bright eyes, deepened into tenderness, seemed to ask, "He
melancholy--and why?"

On leaving Violante's room, Lady Lansmere paused before the door of
Helen's; and, after musing a little while, entered softly.

Helen had dismissed her maid; and, at the moment Lady Lansmere entered,
she was kneeling at the foot of the bed, her hands clasped before her
face.

Her form, thus seen, looked so youthful and child-like--the attitude
itself was so holy and so touching, that the proud and cold expression
on Lady Lansmere's face changed. She shaded the light involuntarily, and
seated herself in silence, that she might not disturb the act of prayer.

When Helen rose, she was startled to see the Countess seated by the
fire; and hastily drew her hand across her eyes. She had been weeping.

Lady Lansmere did not, however, turn to observe those traces of tears,
which Helen feared were too visible. The Countess was too absorbed in
her own thoughts; and as Helen timidly approached, she said--still with
her eyes on the clear low fire--"I beg your pardon, Miss Digby, for my
intrusion; but my son has left it to me to prepare Lord Lansmere to
learn the offer you have done Harley the honor to accept. I have not yet
spoken to my lord; it may be days before I find a fitting occasion to do
so; meanwhile, I feel assured that your sense of propriety will make you
agree with me that it is due to Lord L'Estrange's father, that strangers
should not learn arrangements of such moment in his family, before his
own consent be obtained."

Here the Countess came to a full pause; and poor Helen, finding herself
called upon for some reply to this chilling speech, stammered out,
scarce audibly--

"Certainly, madam, I never dreamed of--"

"That is right, my dear," interrupted Lady Lansmere, rising suddenly,
and as if greatly relieved. "I could not doubt your superiority to
ordinary girls of your age, with whom these matters are never secret for
a moment. Therefore, of course, you will not mention, at present, what
has passed between you and Harley, to any of the friends with whom you
may correspond."

"I have no correspondents--no friends, Lady Lansmere," said Helen
deprecatingly, and trying hard not to cry.

"I am very glad to hear it, my dear; young ladies never should have.
Friends, especially friends who correspond, are the worst enemies they
can have. Good-night, Miss Digby, I need not add, by the way, that,
though we are bound to show all kindness to this young Italian lady,
still she is wholly unconnected with our family; and you will be as
prudent with her as you would have been with your correspondents--had
you had the misfortune to have any."

Lady Lansmere said the last words with a smile, and pressed a reluctant
kiss (the step-mother's kiss) on Helen's bended brow. She then left the
room, and Helen sate on the seat vacated by the stately, unloving form,
and again covered her face with her hands, and again wept. But when she
rose at last, and the light fell upon her face, that soft face was sad
indeed, but serene--serene, as if with some inward sense of duty--sad,
as with the resignation which accepts patience instead of hope.

                            (TO BE CONTINUED.)



PIPE-CLAY AND CLAY PIPES.


I have an eccentric friend, whom I meet occasionally. He can not be said
to have an inquiring turn of mind, or usually to busy himself with the
science of industrial economy. Babbage is an unknown writer to him; and
he has not yet contrived to "get up" any interest in the recent Reports
on Her Majesty's Customs. In fact, I should not be surprised if he never
opened the interesting volumes in question. He is a man with an active
mind, nevertheless; but this activity is expended, as a rule, in
eccentric pursuits. He has one confirmed antipathy--he hates a purpose.
Since he heard that I had written a paper on the wrongs of factory
children, he has treated me with marked coolness. Yet he is a man with
an excellent heart. Let me at once give the key to his character. Most
people have one serious object in life, therefore he is opposed to all
serious objects. Lately, I met him walking briskly on his way homeward,
and I consented to accompany him. Suddenly, he remembered that he must
make a call before he entered his chambers.

This call led us out of a great thoroughfare, through two or three
narrow and dark streets, to the door of a dingy house. As we paused on
the threshold, my companion asked me if I had ever seen a tobacco-pipe
manufactory. I expressed my inexperience; and, having been cautioned
against sermons on what I was about to see, followed my eccentric friend
down a dark passage, which terminated in a very dirty and a very dark
warehouse. A few samples of tobacco-pipes lay upon a counter, and one
side of the warehouse was skirted with drawers full of "yards of
clay"--my eccentric friend's ordinary expression when alluding to his
pipes. In a dark corner, a strong man was savagely punching huge blocks
of clay with a heavy wooden bar; in another corner lay a huge pile of
clay-blocks in the rough state--apparently a heap of dirt, of little use
to any body. A mild woman--the wife of the manufacturer--showed us about
with a cheerful manner. My friend, who took an evident interest in all
the processes we witnessed, still contrived to maintain his eccentric
habit, by continually expressing his unconcern. As we looked at the
skillful action of the workmen's fingers, my friend allowed that they
played the fiddle well, but added that they could _only_ play the
fiddle. However, I left him to pursue his eccentric way, and wandered
about with unfeigned curiosity.

Turning from the muscular fellow who was beating the rough clay with the
wooden bar, and moistening it, that it might yield to the pressure of
the mould, I suddenly saw a black gaping mouth before me, that seemed to
be in the agony of swallowing a dense stack of tobacco-pipes; this, I
learned, was the pipe-kiln. The pipes were arranged in exact rows, and
in vast quantities. I ventured to express my astonishment at the number
of pipes in the capacious kiln; whereupon the clay-beater paused from
his labor, and, with a smile that expressed pity for my ignorance,
declared that there was a mere handful on the premises.

"There are a few still, up there," he added, pointing to the roof of the
warehouse.

I followed the direction of his finger, and saw above me a roof of
tobacco-pipes piled in regular rows on brackets. The number appeared
incalculable, but the clay-beater contemptuously pronounced it
insignificant. He informed me that I might see "a few more," if I would
have the goodness to go up stairs. My eccentric friend vowed that the
trouble was excessive--that our business was with the pipes when they
had tobacco in them; and not with the people who made them; and, as he
remarked (having had a sharp pecuniary altercation with the
manufacturer's wife), who took particular care to charge a remunerative
price for them. But he mounted the stairs, in spite of his objections,
and followed me into the room where the battered clay of the beater
below was undergoing other processes. Here and there men seemed to be
printing off pipes--the action of their arms, and the movement of their
presses nearly resembling those of hand-printing. A pale woman sat in
the centre of the room with a counter before her, and two or three
delicate tools; but we went past her at once to the man who had a mound
of soft gray clay before him. He was working briskly. He first seized
two lumps of clay, each of the average size of an apple, and having
carelessly kneaded them with his fingers, seemed to throw them
contemptuously upon the board before him. Then, with the palms of his
hand he rolled them sharply out on the board, leaving one end of each
lump very thick, and producing, altogether, two clay tadpoles of a large
size. These he took up, and placed with others in a row, all pressed and
sticking together. The apparent unconcern and indifference with which
the entire operation was performed struck us particularly. When we had
sufficiently noticed the manufacture of gigantic tadpoles, we crossed
the room to an opposite bench where a man was working rapidly. Here we
found a confused heap of clay tadpoles, ready to be run through and
burnt into seemly pipes.

We watched the operations of the second skilled laborer with intense
interest. First, with a weary air he took up a bundle of limp clay
tadpoles, and threw them down close beside him. He then took a fine
steel rod in his left hand, and seizing a tadpole, drew its long slender
tail on to the rod. This operation was so dexterously performed, that
the rod never protruded the least to the right or to the left, but was
kept, by the fine touch of the right-hand fingers, exactly in the centre
of the tube. The spitted tadpole was then laid flat in the lower half of
the metal pipe mould; the upper part was pulled down over it, and then
pressed. On lifting the mould from the press, the workman quickly cut
away the superfluous clay that stood up beyond the bowl, opened the
mould, and disclosed, to the undisguised admiration even of my eccentric
friend, the graceful flow of his usual "yard of clay." But it was not
yet ready for smoking; very far from it.

It was still a damp, leaden gray pipe, with two broad seams of clay
projecting from it, throughout its entire length. It was ragged too. On
these deficiencies my friend began to offer a few pungent remarks; when
the workman interrupted him by pointing toward an industrious woman, who
seemed to be in a desperate hurry; yet she was not at all excited. My
friend suggested that steam must be circulating in her nimble fingers,
instead of blood. She smiled at the pleasantry; and said meekly enough,
that it was custom. She was as clumsy as I should be when she began--but
long, long days of experience--there, sitting before that board, and
cutting incessantly those seams that curl so neatly off the rough
pipes, give that dexterity, and it is well, perhaps severely, paid for.
The work-woman wears a serious, dull face generally. It struck me, as I
watched the repetition of her movements, that in their dreadful monotony
there must be a deadening influence upon the mind and heart. I even
thought that she must find it a relief now and then to break a pipe, or
drop one of the glistening steel rods. First, she took up one of the
rough pipes, and with a sharp steel instrument, smoothed all the rough
clay about the bowl. Then she smoothed the stem with a flat
instrument--then she cut the mouthpiece even. Having thus rapidly
traveled over the moulder's work, she withdrew the fine steel rod from
the tube, blew down the pipe to assure herself that the air passed from
the bowl to the mouth-piece, and then carefully added it to a row,
placed upon a frame beside her. The finished pipe was hardly deposited
in its place before another was in her hands, and in rapid process
toward completion.

A roaring fire crackled in the grate, and the heat of the atmosphere was
oppressive. Above were more endless rows and galleries of pipes; waiting
to be baked, and in a fair way, I thought, of undergoing that process
where they lay. I could hear the dull, heavy sounds of the clay-beater's
weapon below, and in the rooms the incessant click of the closing
moulds. The workmen were proud to show their dexterity, as they well
might be. Our friend in the farther corner, as he talked pleasantly to
us on various subjects, still carelessly made his clay tadpoles; the
woman never paused from her rapid work when she exchanged occasional
sentences with a boy who stood near her; and the wife of the
manufacturer surveyed the busy scene with sparkling eyes.

I thought once or twice of the damp clay streaming about these
workpeople; and of the hard, stern work going on to provide receptacles
for lazy men's tobacco. Pipe-clay seemed to force itself every where;
about the rafters, on the benches, on the floor, in the walls. My
friend's curiosity was soon satisfied: for his anxiety to avoid contact
with the raw material of his favorite manufactured article, drove every
other consideration from his mind. He vowed that he did not wish to
appear in the streets of London in the guise of a miller--that,
generally, he preferred a black coat to a piebald one, and that not
being a military man, the less pipe-clay he took away in the nap of his
clothes, the better. But I had one or two questions to put to the
tadpole-maker--not with the view, as my friend stoutly asserted, of
writing a sermon, but perhaps with an object sufficiently laudable. I
learned that a workman, "keeping to it" twelve hours, can make "four
gross and a half" of pipes per day.

My friend was struck with this astonishing fact; and, forthwith, began
to prove from this assertion that he ought to have the half-gross he
wanted at a very low price indeed. It was only when the workman paused,
for the first time, from his work to discuss the beauties of various
pipes, that my friend felt himself quite at home in the manufactory.
Hereupon, the workman placed a variety of pipes in juxtaposition, and
began to talk of their relative excellences and beauties with the tact
of an artist. This man was not without a shrewd sense of art; he had his
ideal of a tobacco-pipe, as the political dreamer has his ideal of a
model state, or a sculptor of his ideal beauty. He had shrewd,
unanswerable reasons for a certain roundness in the bowl; his eye
wandered critically down the graceful bend of the tube, and his hand
tested nicely the finish of the surface. His skill lay, certainly, only
in the manufacture of tobacco-pipes; but, still, herein his mind was
active, and his taste was cultivated.

"What would become of you if smoking were put down by Act of
Parliament?" my friend asked, with a sarcastic air. But the man was a
match even for the practiced eccentricity of my companion.

"Why, sir," said the man, "most likely more snuff would be consumed
instead, and I should shut up the kiln, and take to making snuffboxes."

My friend was silenced; and, as we walked away from the manufactory,
down the dark, narrow streets, he allowed, in a whisper, that there was
wisdom in the pipemaker's answer. And then he began to make calculations
as to how many people flourish in every country on the bad habits and
vices of their fellow-citizens. He wove a chain of terrible length, to
show how many men were interested in the drunkenness of the country. A
man reeled past us in the imbecile, singing stage of the vice. "That
man," said my eccentric friend, "has done the state some service
to-night. He has been helping to swell the Excise returns; presently, he
will create a disturbance; a policeman will gallantly walk him off to
the station-house, and be promoted; his hat will be broken, to the great
advantage of a hatter; his shirt front will be torn, to the benefit of
some poor, lone sempstress; and there, he has broken his yard of clay,
to the advantage of the manufactory we have just left. Delirium tremens
will come at last; and with it a surgeon; and, with the surgeon, herbs
which are now growing under the burning heat of Indian skies." Thus my
eccentric friend ran on, and I did not interrupt him; for, in his words,
I detected sparks of light that led us merrily forward to our journey's
end, where we found half-a-gross of "yards of clay;" "a perfect
picture," according to my friend--lying, all white as snow before us,
trimmed, I knew, by the serious, nimble-fingered woman we had seen at
her work. And she is at it now, still cutting the seams off, and blowing
down the tubes!



HABITS AND CHARACTER OF THE DOG-RIB INDIANS.[7]


[Footnote 7: From Sir John Richardson's Arctic "Searching Expedition,"
just published by Harper and Brothers.]

Few traces of the stoicism popularly attributed to the red races exist
among the Dog ribs; they shrink from pain, show little daring, express
their fears without disguise on all occasions, imaginary or real, shed
tears readily, and live in constant dread of enemies, bodied and
disembodied. Yet all, young and old, enjoy a joke heartily. They are not
a morose people, but, on the contrary, when young and in a situation of
security, they are remarkably lively and cheerful. The infirmities of
age, which press heavily on the savage, render them querulous. They are
fond of dancing, but their dance, which is performed in a circle, is
without the least pretensions to grace, and is carried on laboriously
with the knees and body half bent and a heavy stamping, having the
effect of causing the dancers to appear as if they were desirous of
sinking into the ground. It is accompanied by a song resembling a chorus
of groans, or pretty nearly the deep sigh of a pavier as he brings his
rammer down upon the pavement. They are great mimics, and readily ape
the peculiarities of any white man; and many of the young men have
caught the tunes of the Canadian voyagers, and hum them correctly.

The Dog-ribs are practical socialists; and, as much of the misery they
occasionally experience may be traced to this cause, the study of the
working of such a system may be instructive in a community like this,
whose members owe their condition in the social scale solely to their
personal qualities, and not to inheritance, favor, or the other
accidents which complicate the results in civilized life. Custom has
established among them a practice universally acted upon--that all may
avail themselves of the produce of a hunter's energy and skill; and they
do not even leave to him the distribution of his own game. When it is
known in the camp that deer have been killed, the old men and women of
each family sally forth with their sledges, and, tracing up the hunter's
footsteps to the carcasses of the animals he has slain, proceed to
divide them among themselves, leaving to the proper owner the ribs,
which is all that he can claim to himself of right. He has also the
tongue, which he takes care to cut out on killing the deer. It is not in
the power of these people to restrain their appetites when they have
abundance; and the consequence is, that when the chase is successful,
all the community feast and grow fat, however little many of the
men--and there are not a few idle ones--may have contributed to the
common good. The hunter's wife dries the rib-pieces, after cutting out
the bone, in the smoke, or over a fire, to carry to a fort for the
purposes of trade; but, unless there is a superabundance, little
provision is made by the party for a time of scarcity, which is sure to
arrive before long; since the deer, when much hunted, move to some other
district. Taught by their frequent sufferings on such occasions, the
more active hunters frequently withdraw themselves and their families
from the knowledge of the drones of the community, leaving them at some
fishing station, where, with proper industry, they may subsist
comfortably. A fish diet is not, however, agreeable to the palates of
these people for any length of time; and, as soon as rumors of a
hunter's success reach them--which they do generally much exaggerated by
the way--a longing for the flesh-pots is instantly excited, especially
among the old, and a general movement to the hunting-ground ensues. If,
on their march, the craving multitude discover a hoard of meat stored up
by any of the hunting parties, it is devoured on the spot; but they are
not always so fortunate. Before they reach the scene of anticipated
abundance, the deer may have gone off, followed by the hunters, with
uncertain hopes of overtaking them, and nothing remains for the hungry
throng, including the old and the lame, but to retrace their steps, with
the prospect of many of them perishing by the way, should their stock of
food have been quite exhausted. Such occurrences are by no means rare;
they came several times under our immediate notice during our winter
residence at Fort Confidence, and similar facts are recorded by Mr.
Simpson of the same tribe. This gentleman expresses his opinion that the
charge made against this nation, of abandoning their infirm aged people
and children, had its origin in the _sauve qui peut_ cry raised during a
forced retreat from some one of these most injudicious excursions; and I
am inclined fully to agree with him; for I witnessed several
unquestionable instances of tenderness and affection shown by children
to their parents, and of compliance with their whims, much to their own
personal inconvenience. The grief they show on the loss of a parent, is
often great and of long continuance, and it is the custom, both for men
and women, to lament the death of relations for years, by nightly
wailings.

Hospitality is not a virtue which is conspicuous among the Dog-ribs, who
differ in this respect from the Eythinyuwuk, in whose encampments a
stranger meets a welcome and a proffer of food. It is not customary,
however, for the Dog-rib to receive the traveler who enters his tent
with the same show of kindness. If he is hungry, and meat hangs up, he
may help himself without eliciting a remark, for the 'Tinnè hold it to
be mean to say much about a piece of meat; or he may exert his patience
until some cookery goes on, and then join in the meal; and should there
be venison at hand, he will not have long to wait, for every now and
then some one is prompted to hang a kettle on the fire, or to place a
joint or steak to roast before it.

Of the peculiarities of their religious belief I could gain no certain
information. The interpreters to whom I applied for assistance disliked
the task, and invariably replied, "As for these savages, they know
nothing; they are ignorant people." The majority of the nation recognize
a "Great Spirit," at least by name, but some doubt his existence,
assigning, as a reason for their atheism, their miserable condition; or
they say, "If there be such a being, he dwells on the lands of the white
people, where so many useful and valuable articles are produced." With
respect to evil spirits, their name in the Dog-rib country is legion.
The 'Tinnè recognize them in the Bear, Wolf, and Wolverene, in the
woods, waters, and desert places; often hear them howling in the winds,
or moaning by the graves of the dead. Their dread of these disembodied
beings, of whom they spoke to us under the general name of "enemies," is
such that few of the hunters will sleep out alone. They never make any
offerings to the Great Spirit, or pay him an act of adoration; but they
deprecate the wrath of an evil being by prayer, and the sacrifice of
some article, generally of little value, perhaps simply by scattering a
handful of deer hair or a few feathers.



MONTHLY RECORD OF CURRENT EVENTS.


THE UNITED STATES.

In Congress, during the past month, there has been copious discussion of
a great variety of subjects, but no important action upon any. The
influence of the approaching Presidential election makes itself felt
upon the debates of Congress, coloring every speech and often
superseding every other subject. Memorials have been presented in favor
of authorizing another Arctic expedition in search of Sir John Franklin,
for which Mr. Henry Grinnell again tenders the use of his ships--asking
only that the government will send a small steamer with them and men for
officers and sailors. Commander Wilkes has also addressed Congress on
the subject; proposing a very large Expedition--sufficient indeed to
establish a permanent settlement in the Arctic regions, from which the
search may be prosecuted. Nothing has been done with regard to
either.----Governor Kossuth has addressed to Congress a letter of thanks
for the reception given him, which was presented in the Senate on the
17th of February, and gave rise to a long debate on the proposition to
print it: it was ordered to be printed by 21 votes to 20 against
it.----In the Senate a bill has been reported by Commitee to establish a
branch mint in the city of New York, on condition that the city donate
land for a site and the State exempt it from taxation.----A good deal of
the attention of the Senate has been devoted to a debate upon the Public
Land policy of the country, the question coming up on a bill granting
large tracts of land to Iowa to aid in the construction of certain
railroads. Mr. Sumner, of Massachusetts, spoke in favor of ceding all
the public lands to the States in which they lie, mainly on the ground
that the exemption of those lands from State taxation had created in
those States an equitable title to them. On the 24th of February Mr.
Geyer, of Missouri, spoke in favor of the same policy, basing his
argument in its support upon the same facts. Mr. Underwood offered an
amendment to the effect of distributing among the seventeen States in
which there are no public lands, fifteen millions of acres. He
spoke in defense of it at length. No vote has been taken upon the
subject.----Further debate has been had upon the resolutions on the
subject of non-intervention. On the 26th of February, Mr. Miller, of New
Jersey, spoke against the policy of intermeddling at all in the affairs
of foreign nations. He represented intervention in foreigns affairs as
the habitual policy of European monarchies, which Washington had
resisted; and he urged the duty and necessity of adhering strictly to
the ground of neutrality which was adopted during the early history of
this country. The subject was then postponed until the 9th of March,
when Mr. Seward of New York, spoke upon it. He urged the absolute
independence of every State, and the duty of all States to recognize and
respect it. He entered upon a historical review of the connection of
Hungary and Austria to show that Hungary was fully entitled to this
right, and that it had been grossly violated when her freedom and
constitution were destroyed by the armed intervention of Russia. He then
urged that the United States, although recognizing the existing rule in
Hungary from motives of political necessity, can not be indifferent to
such usurpation, and may lawfully protest against it, and especially
against any new intervention should it be intended by Russia. He
referred to the diplomatic history of the United States to show that
this principle has always been recognized and practiced by them, and
insisted that there was no reason why it should now be abandoned. Upon
the conclusion of his speech the subject was postponed for a week.----A
debate of personal rather than general interest occurred in the Senate
on the 27th and 28th of February, between Mr. Rhett of South Carolina
and Mr. Clemens of Alabama. The former read a very long paper which he
had prepared to expose the political inconsistencies of Mr. Clemens, and
in which he used strong language in characterizing his course. Mr.
Clemens replied with passionate warmth and with increased vituperation
Their speeches have no general interest or importance.----In the _House
of Representatives_ discussion, although it has comprehended various
subjects, has grown mainly out of bills to appropriate public lands to
certain railroads in Missouri and Illinois. They have been debated with
a good deal of warmth, and almost every speaker has connected with them
the discussion of the Presidential question. In the course of the debate
a letter from Gen. William O. Butler, addressed to a personal friend,
was read, in which he declares his entire assent and approval of the
Compromise Measures of 1850. On the 1st of March, Mr. Fitch of Iowa
offered a resolution deprecating all further agitation of the questions
growing out of these measures as useless and dangerous: and a vote was
taken on a motion to suspend the rules so as to allow its introduction:
there were ayes 119, nays 74. As two-thirds were required to pass it,
the motion failed.----On the 20th of February a message was received
from the President, transmitting, in reply to a resolution of the House,
copies of the correspondence between the officers of the Mississippi and
the Government concerning Kossuth. It was quite voluminous, embracing
letters from other American functionaries as well as naval officers.
They show on the part of all of them a strong distrust of Kossuth's
plans and great dissatisfaction at the marks of respect paid to him at
the various ports on the Mediterranean, at which the Mississippi
touched. His returning thanks to the people at Marseilles who cheered
him, is especially censured.

The month has been marked by several literary discourses of more than
common interest. At the anniversary meeting of the New York Historical
Society, held on the 23d of February, Hon. Daniel Webster read an
elaborate paper upon the dignity and importance of History, and making
sundry detailed criticisms upon the historical writings of ancient and
modern historians. He dwelt somewhat minutely upon all the great writers
of Greece and Rome, and passed more hastily over those of England. He
sketched the early history of the United States, dwelling especially
upon the proceedings of the first Congress after the Constitution, and
pronouncing a high eulogy upon the great men to whose hands the
legislation of that important era was intrusted. He closed by alluding
to the dangers which had recently menaced the Union and the
Constitution, and declared himself ready to co-operate with those of
every party who would rally in their defense. The discourse was heard
with marked attention by an immense and intelligent audience.----On the
evening of the 27th, a very large meeting was held in New York to
testify regard for the memory of the late J. Fenimore Cooper. The
occasion was distinguished by the attendance, as presiding officer, of
Mr. Webster, and by the presence of a great number of distinguished
literary gentlemen. Mr. Webster made a brief address, expressing his
cordial interest in the occasion, and the high respect which he
entertained for the writings of Cooper, as being preeminent for their
thorough American feeling and high moral tone, as well as great
intellectual ability. William Cullen Bryant delivered a commemorative
address, rehearsing Mr. Cooper's life, and making passing criticisms
upon his successive works.----On the evening of March 8th, Archbishop
Hughes read a Lecture on the Catholic Chapter in the History of the
United States, the leading purpose of which was to show that in this
country no religious denomination has any claim to supremacy--that it is
neither Protestant nor Catholic--but that the Constitution prohibits all
legislation upon the subject, and that all stand upon precisely the same
level.----A Whig State Convention was held in Kentucky, at Frankfort, on
the 24th of February. Hon. Chilton Allan presided. A series of
resolutions was adopted, pronouncing in favor of the Compromise measures
of 1850, and of the course pursued by the President of the United States
in securing the execution of the laws. They also declared in favor of
public appropriations for internal improvements, against granting the
public lands to the States in which they lie, and in favor of
maintaining strict neutrality in the affairs of all foreign nations. The
Convention declared its willingness to abide by the nomination of a Whig
National Convention, but presented President Fillmore to the
consideration of that body, as a "statesman of such approved prudence,
experience, firmness, and wisdom as to unite the entire Whig vote of
Kentucky."----A large public meeting was held in New York, on the 5th of
March, of those in favor of the nomination of Mr. Webster for the
Presidency, subject to the decision of a National Whig Convention. Mr.
George Griswold presided. An address was adopted rehearsing the public
history of Mr. Webster, and referring to his services to the country in
the various public offices which he has held.----A Whig State Convention
in Indiana adopted resolutions nominating General Scott for the
Presidency.----Washington's birth-day was celebrated at the National
Capital by a banquet, got up mainly by members of Congress. Senator
Stockton presided, and speeches were made by several gentlemen--mainly
directed against the policy of intermeddling to any degree or for any
purpose in the affairs of foreign nations. Mr Clay, whose illness
prevented his attendance, wrote a letter, saying that the serious
efforts made to subvert the policy of neutrality established by
Washington, called for energetic measures of resistance. The attempts
made to induce this country to plunge, by perilous proceedings and
insensible degrees, in the wars of Europe, rendered it proper to recall
attention to his principles by celebrating his birth-day.

From CALIFORNIA we have intelligence to the 2d of February. Col. JOHN B.
WELLER (Democrat) has been elected United States Senator in place of
Col. Frémont. He was once candidate for Governor of Ohio and more
recently chief of the Mexican Boundary Commission.----Governor Bigler
has sent to the Legislature a special message, concerning the financial
affairs of the State, in which he urges upon the Legislature the early
adoption of measures to relieve the burden of the State's liabilities,
and exhibits the amount of her indebtedness. According to the
Controller's report, $1,000,000 still stands against the State from the
expenses of last year's military expeditions. The aggregate
indebtedness, civil and military, of the State, on the 31st December was
$2,242,339.74.----There had been no further disturbances from the
Indians, though further precautions against them had been taken by
sending troops into their neighborhood.----Hon. T. B. King has published
a letter recommending the relinquishment of the public lands to actual
settlers, and the confirmation by Congress of the rules established by
the miners themselves, defining the rights of those who may be employed
in the collection of gold, or who may invest capital in machinery for
the purpose of working the vein mines.----Intelligence from the mining
districts continues to be encouraging. The quartz mining companies are
generally doing well, though from defects in machinery some failures
have occurred. New discoveries continue to be made.

From OREGON our advices are to Jan. 24. The Legislature and Judiciary
disagree about the seat of government, part of the members meeting in
the place fixed by judicial decision, and others refusing to concur in
the decision and meeting elsewhere. The dispute has been transferred to
the people, by the adjournment of the Assembly on the 21st of Jan. It is
canvassed with great warmth and earnestness.----Some doubts having
arisen as to the true boundary line between Oregon and California, the
Surveyor-general has been directed to make the necessary observations to
determine it.

In the Territory of NEW MEXICO, from which we have news to Jan. 31st,
fresh Indian outrages have occurred. An escort of United States troops,
consisting of a sergeant and four men, was proceeding southward when
they were attacked by a band of Apaches in ambush, and four of the party
were killed; the other succeeded in making his escape. Four murders were
perpetrated also near Polvodera in the early part of January, and soon
after the Indians attacked a party of nine persons of whom they killed
five. The scene of these outrages is the desert region called the
Jornada, lying on the route from Santa Fé to Chihuahua. The daring
nature of the attacks of the several tribes of Indians had created great
alarm throughout the country. A body of troops had been sent out to
punish the Indians for these murders, but returned without
success.----Movements are in progress in Santa Fé to work the gold
placers known to exist in that vicinity. The chief difficulty has
hitherto arisen from the want of water for washing the dust: this is now
to be remedied by digging wells. A gold hunting company of forty men has
left Santa Fé for a thorough exploration of the Gila region: they
expected to find others on the way to join them, so as to swell their
number to a hundred and fifty which would be sufficient for
self-defense.

From UTAH the last California mail brought news that the Mormons at the
Great Salt Lake city had published a declaration of independence,
announcing their determination to setup a republic for themselves--that
they had put the United States' authorities at defiance--that all the
United States' officers had left, and the people were preparing to
resist all authority, by fortifying their settlements. The delegate in
Congress from Utah, Mr. John W. Bernhisel, published a card on the 1st
of March, pronouncing the report untrue, so far as the latest
intelligence from home which had reached him enabled him to give an
opinion. He said he thought the rumor was merely an exaggerated
statement of difficulties previously known. On the other hand, another
gentleman who left California on the 16th of December, expresses the
belief that the accounts are true. He says that the news was by no means
unexpected to the people of Oregon and California, as they had long been
aware of their hostile and ambitious designs. For decisive intelligence
we shall be obliged to wait for another arrival.

From NORTHERN MEXICO we have news of a renewed repulse of Carvajal, whom
our last Record left on the Rio Grande, recruiting his forces. General
Avalos fortified Matamoras against an expected attack, which had created
great alarm among the inhabitants. On the 20th of February Carvajal
attacked Camargo with a force of over 500 men, but he was repulsed with
decided loss. He succeeded in escaping to the American side of the Rio
Grande. Of his whole force it is stated that only 84 were Mexicans.

From SOUTH AMERICA we have intelligence of a later date. In _Venezuela_,
from which we have news to the 1st of February, Congress opened on the
25th of January. The Message of President Monagas announces a great
improvement in the financial condition of the country. All the
obligations on account of the public service have been met--the expenses
of the wars of 1848 and 1849 have been partially liquidated--the
interest on the domestic debt, which has not been satisfied since 1847,
has been paid, and the installments on the foreign debt, which have been
neglected for some years, have been promptly remitted to London--thus
improving the national credit abroad.----From the _La Plata_ we have
intelligence of an engagement, about the 1st of January, between the
forces of Rosas and Urquiza, which is said to have resulted in the
victory of the former, and in the desertion to his standard of five
thousand of Urquiza's troops. It is not easy to say how much of this is
reliable.----Political offenders in _Chili_ have been for some years
banished to the Straits of Magellan. An insurrection took place among
them lately, in which they killed the governor, seized the garrison, and
declared themselves independent of Chili. It is said that they have also
seized two or three American vessels.


GREAT BRITAIN.

The political events of the month in England have been of striking
interest and importance. The expulsion of Lord Palmerston from the
Cabinet, mainly for offenses against etiquette--the meeting of
Parliament, and the subsequent defeat and retirement of the Russell
Ministry, with the reinstatement of a Protectionist Cabinet, are
certainly events of more consequence than are usually crowded into a
single month.

Parliament met on the 3d of February, and was opened in person by the
Queen. Her speech announced that she continued to maintain the most
friendly relations with Foreign Powers. She had reason to believe that
the treaty between Germany and Denmark, concluded at Berlin year before
last, will soon be fully executed. Although tranquillity has prevailed
throughout the greater part of Ireland, certain parts of the counties of
Armagh, Monaghan, and Louth have been marked by the commission of
outrages of the most serious description. Bills have been prepared
founded upon the reports of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into
the practice and proceedings of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity,
which are commended to deliberate attention. The act of 1848 suspending
the previous act which conferred representative institutions on New
Zealand, expires early next year; and no reason exists for its renewal.
The large reductions of taxes which have taken place of late years have
not been attended with a proportionate diminution of national income.
The revenue of the past year has been fully adequate to the demands of
the public service, while the reduction of taxation has tended greatly
to the relief and comfort of the people. The Queen states that it
appears to her that "this is a fitting time for calmly considering
whether it may not be advisable to make such amendments in the act of
the late reign, relating to the Representation of the Commons in
Parliament, as may be deemed calculated to carry into more complete
effect the principles upon which that law is founded." She had "the
fullest confidence that, in any such consideration, Parliament would
firmly adhere to the acknowledged principles of the Constitution, by
which the prerogatives of the Crown, the authority of both Houses of
Parliament, and the rights and liberties of the people are equally
secured."

Previous to the meeting of Parliament, the public was taken completely
by surprise by the retirement of Lord Palmerston from the Ministry, and
the appointment of Earl Granville as his successor. In the House of
Commons explanations took place on the first day of the session. The
reply to the Queen's speech was moved by Sir Richard Bulkeley; but,
before the question was taken, Sir Benjamin Hall called upon the Premier
for explanations of the disruption of the Ministry. Lord John Russell
immediately entered upon the subject, and after declaring his former
confidence in Lord Palmerston's management of Foreign Affairs, and
stating that in 1835, and again in 1845 and 1846 he had strongly
recommended him for that department, went on to state his conception of
the position of the Foreign Secretary toward the Crown and the Prime
Minister. He believed it to be the duty of the Minister to give to the
Crown the most full and frank details of every measure, and either to
obey the instructions he may receive, or resign. It "did so happen," he
said, "that in 1850 precise terms were laid down in a communication from
the Queen to Lord Palmerston--in which Her Majesty required, first, that
Lord Palmerston should distinctly state what he proposes in a given
case, in order that the Queen may know as distinctly to what she is
giving her Royal sanction; and, secondly, that having once given her
sanction to a measure, that it be not arbitrarily altered or modified by
the Minister. The Queen further expected to be kept informed of what
passes between the Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Ministers, before
important decisions are taken based upon that intercourse--to receive
the foreign dispatches in good time, and to have the drafts for her
approval sent to her in sufficient time to make herself acquainted with
their contents before they must be sent off."--In reply to this
communication, Lord Palmerston said he would not fail to attend to the
directions which it contained.--As for the Prime Minister, Lord John
Russell said he considered him, in fact, responsible for the business of
the department. At a meeting of the Cabinet, on the 3d of November, Lord
John expressed his opinion on the situation of Europe, which he deemed
very critical. There was a prospect of seeing social democracy, or
absolute power triumphant on the Continent; and in either case the
position of England would be very critical. He thought it necessary,
therefore, for England to preserve a strict neutrality, and to exercise
the utmost vigilance to prevent any cause of offense being given. Yet
very soon after that, Lord Palmerston received a deputation, and
listened to addresses containing expressions in the highest degree
offensive to sovereigns in alliance with England. Still Lord John said
he was willing to take the responsibility for all this, as he thought
the Secretary had merely committed an error.--The next cause of
difference occurred immediately after the usurpation of Louis Napoleon
on the 2d of December. The next day a cabinet meeting was held, at which
a request was presented from Lord Normanby, the English Minister at
Paris, that he might be furnished with instructions as to the
continuance of diplomatic relations with the new Government. In
conformity with the decision then made, Lord Palmerston, on the 5th,
instructed him to make no change in his relations with the French
government. On the 6th, Lord Normanby wrote saying that he had called on
M. Turgot, the French Minister, and informed him of this decision, to
which M. Turgot replied that it was of less consequence as he had two
days since heard from M. Walewski, the French Minister in London, that
Lord Palmerston had expressed to him his entire approbation of the act
of the President, and his conviction that he could not have acted
otherwise than he had done. On seeing this dispatch, Lord John asked
Lord Palmerston for an explanation, but got no answer. On the 13th of
December, he received a letter from the Queen, requesting an
explanation; but Lord Palmerston maintained the same disdainful silence.
On the 17th, he received another dispatch from Lord Normanby to Lord
Palmerston, complaining that Lord Palmerston should use one language in
his instructions to him and another to the French Minister in London,
and that while enjoining him not to express any opinion of French
politics, he should himself have expressed a very decided judgment. Such
a course, he added, subjected him to misrepresentation and suspicion.
Lord Palmerston, in reply to this, stated that Lord Normanby's
instructions related only to his conduct, and not to opinions: but that
if he wished to know Lord Palmerston's opinion concerning French
affairs, it was, that "such a state of antagonism had arisen between the
President and the Assembly, that it was becoming every day more clear
that their coexistence could not be of long duration; and it seemed to
him better for the interests of France, and through them for the
interests of the rest of Europe, that the power of the President should
prevail, inasmuch as the continuance of his authority might afford a
prospect of the maintenance of social order in France, whereas the
divisions of opinions and parties in the Assembly appeared to betoken
that their victory over the President would be the starting-point for
disastrous civil strife." Lord John Russell said that this dispatch
contained no satisfactory explanation of Lord Palmerston's course; that
the merits of the French government had now nothing to do with the case:
but that the real question was, whether the Secretary of State was
entitled of his own authority, to write a dispatch, as the organ of the
Government, in which his colleagues had never concurred, and to which
the Queen had never given her sanction. He thought, therefore, that he
could not without degrading the Crown, advise her Majesty longer to
retain Lord Palmerston in the Foreign department, and he had accordingly
advised her to request his resignation, which she had done. In
continuing his remarks Lord John expressed his belief that the President
of France had acted under a belief that the course he had taken was the
one best calculated to insure the welfare of his country; and proceeded
to censure the course of the English press toward Louis Napoleon, as
calculated to excite the animosity of the French nation, and perhaps to
involve the two countries in war. Lord Palmerston replied in a very
moderate tone, substantially admitting the truth of Lord John's
statements, though denying the justice of his inferences. He repelled
the intimation that he had abandoned the principles he had always
maintained--that he had become the advocate of absolute power, or in
favor of the abolition of Constitutional governments. He concurred in
what Lord John had said of the relations that ought to exist between the
Foreign Secretary and the Crown, and said he had done nothing
inconsistent with them. In regard to the deputation he had received, he
admitted that he had been surprised into a false position. His delay in
answering the letters of Lord John Russell had been entirely owing to
the great pressure of business; and his expressions of opinion
concerning Louis Napoleon were unofficial and in conversation. Other
members of the cabinet had expressed the same opinions, and under
circumstances quite as objectionable, certainly, as those under which
his own conversation was held. Lord Palmerston rehearsed the outlines of
the policy he had pursued in managing the foreign relations of Great
Britain, and concluded by saying that, on quitting office, he left the
character and reputation of England unsullied, and standing high among
the nations of the world.----In the House of Lords the debates following
the reading of the Queen's speech, had greater incidental than direct
interest. The Earl of Derby took occasion to speak in very strong terms
of what he termed "the injudicious and unjustifiable language of a large
portion of the English press upon the French government." He insisted
that it was the duty of the press to maintain the same tone of
moderation in discussing public affairs which is required of public men;
and he styled it worse than folly for the press in one breath to provoke
a French invasion, and in the next to proclaim the unpreparedness of the
English people to meet it. He was followed by Earl Grey, who expressed
his hearty concurrence in what he had said of the press, as did also
Lord Brougham. The London journals, and among them pre-eminently the
_Times_ and the _Examiner_, have taken up the challenge thus thrown
down, and have vindicated the press from the censures of the Lords in
some of the ablest writing of the day.

On the 9th, Lord John Russell introduced his new Reform Bill. Its
provisions may be very briefly stated. The £10 franchise was to be
reduced to £5; the £50 county franchise gives way to one of £20; that of
copyholders and long leaseholders is to be reduced from £10 to £5; and a
new class of voters is to be created out of those who, resident in
either county or borough, pay direct taxes to the amount of 40
shillings. In 67 boroughs additions are proposed to the electoral
boundaries; the property qualification is to be abolished, and the oaths
of members to be put in such a form as to create no invidious
distinctions. A member taking office under the crown vacates his seat;
but if he merely changes it, he may retain his representative capacity.
The Premier made a speech upon the subject, over an hour in length, and
remarkably free from feeling of any sort. The main objections urged to
the bill are that it does not concede the ballot, that it does not
remedy the evils of unequal representation, and that the changes it does
make in the existing law are of very little importance. Notice has been
given of an intention to move amendments to the bill which would remedy
these defects.----On the 19th, Lord Naas proposed a resolution severely
censuring the Earl of Clarendon's employment of the _World_ newspaper to
support the government, as being "of a nature to weaken the authority of
the executive, and to reflect discredit on the administration of public
affairs." The Earl was defended warmly by Lords Russell and Palmerston,
both of whom urged that, irregular as the proceeding might have been, it
was of trifling consequence compared with his lordship's eminent
services to the country. The resolution was rejected 229 to 137.----On
the 16th, Lord John Russell introduced a bill for the establishment of a
local militia force. He gave a sketch of the recent history of the
military organization of England, and set forth the reasons which, in
his judgment, rendered it important that some more effectual provision
should be made for the defense of the country against possible
hostilities. The general provisions of the bill were that persons of the
age of 20 and 21 years should be subject to being balloted for as
militia men--that one-fifth of the whole number should be chosen--and
that they should be drilled for 14 or 28 days each year. The entire
force thus raised, he thought, would be about 70,000 the first year,
100,000 the second, and 130,000 after that; the forces could not be
taken out of their own counties, without their consent, except in case
of invasion or danger. The subject was very slightly discussed at that
time, but came up again on the 20th, when Lord John Russell again spoke
in support of the bill. Lord Palmerston expressed his entire concurrence
in the principle of the bill, but moved as an amendment, to strike out
the word _local_ from the title, in order to make the title correspond
with the character of the bill itself. Lord John Russell said he could
not understand the object of such a motion, and that he should oppose
it. After some further debate the amendment was put and carried, ayes
136, noes 125, showing a majority against the Ministry of 11. Lord John
Russell expressed great surprise at the vote, and said that he should
hold office no longer. The resignation of the Ministry under such
circumstances created a good deal of surprise. In the course of three or
four days a new cabinet was formed under the leadership of the Earl of
Derby--late Lord Stanley--which is thoroughly Protectionist in its
sentiments. The Earl is Prime Minister; Mr. Disraeli is Chancellor of
the Exchequer and leader in the House of Commons; Mr. G. F. Young is
Vice President of the Board of Trade; Duke of Northumberland, first Lord
of the Admiralty; Lord John Manners, Commissioner of Woods and Forests;
Sir F. Thesiger, Attorney General; Earl of Eglintoun, Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland; Duke of Montrose, Lord Steward; Lord Stanley, Under Secretary
for Foreign Affairs. It is supposed that the new Ministry will break
ground at once against the corn-law policy established by Sir Robert
Peel, hostility to which is the only bond of union among its members;
and the universal belief is that the new administration will fail to be
sustained by the country on that question.

One of the earliest topics to which the attention of the Earl of
Granville, Lord Palmerston's immediate successor, was called, was the
degree of protection which England should afford to political refugees
from other countries. In reply to representations on this subject from
the Austrian Government, Earl Granville, in a dispatch dated January 13,
spoke of the right of asylum which England always had granted, and could
never refuse to political refugees; and added that the English
government would, nevertheless, consider any intrigues, carried on there
against governments with which they were at peace, as a breach of
hospitality, and would not fail to watch the conduct of suspected
refugees, and to prevent them from abusing the privileges afforded them
by English laws. Prince Schwarzenberg, in reply, expressed satisfaction
at the tenor of these assurances, but said, that until the words of the
English government were followed by deeds, it would be necessary for
Austria to take measures of precaution and protection against the
dangers which the ceaseless machinations of foreign refugees on English
soil created. The Imperial government would be especially rigid in
regard to English travelers, and would, moreover, reserve the right of
taking into consideration ulterior measures, if, unhappily, the need of
them should still make itself felt.----A terrible disaster from floods
occurred in the north of England on the 5th of February. Several of the
factories of the town of Holmfrith, near Huddersfield, were supplied
with water by large reservoirs, in which an immense body of water had
been accumulated. Owing to the heavy rains one of the largest of them
broke its banks, and the water poured through the town, sweeping houses
away in its path and causing an immense loss of life and property. Over
one hundred persons were drowned. Very great injury had been sustained
by other towns in that vicinity. In the south of Ireland also,
especially in the counties of Limerick and Clare, much property and some
lives have been lost by the swelling of the smaller streams.----The
dispatches of Earl Grey recalling Sir Harry Smith from the government of
the Cape, have been published: they show that his incompetence for the
post has been the real cause of his removal, and that the policy of the
government is to prosecute the war with increased vigor, so as to reduce
the Kaffirs and Hottentots to unconditional submission.----We mentioned
in our Record for March, the repulse of the English slave squadron while
attempting to ascend the river, to the town of Lagos, on the coast of
Africa, contrary to the commands of the chief. Later advices report the
renewal of the attempt, and the overthrow of the chief's authority,
though at a very heavy cost on the part of the English. The town of
Lagos has long been the stronghold of the slave trade on that part of
the coast, and the English have directed their efforts toward the
suppression of the traffic there. The chief of the town named Kosoko,
was actively engaged in the trade himself, in connection with Portugese
and Brazilian dealers. He had obtained power by expelling a rival named
Akitoye, who sought aid against him in an alliance with the English.
When Kosoko, therefore, refused permission to the English to bring their
armed boats to Lagos, the commander of the squadron concerted an attack
upon the town, with the adherents of the expelled chief. The town was
defended with a good deal of skill and bravery, and the assault upon it
lasted three days, at the end of which time it was found to have been
deserted. The English lost 16 killed and 64 wounded. It is said that the
destruction of this town will do much toward the suppression of the
slave trade.----A new expedition in search of Sir John Franklin has been
resolved upon by the British Government, and Sir Edward Belcher has been
appointed to the command. He will leave England about the middle of
April, with the four ships which composed Captain Austin's late
expedition. His attention will first be directed to Beechey Island,
where Sir John is known to have passed the winter of 1845-6. The great
object of this new expedition is to examine the upper part of Wellington
Strait as far as possible beyond Captain Penny's northwest advance.


FRANCE.

Political affairs in France remain substantially unchanged. The law
organizing the Legislative body has been published. The Legislature is
to consist of 261 deputies, elected by the people, in the proportion of
one for every 35,000 electors in the first instance, with one more
deputy for every 25,000 beyond that number. Algeria and the Colonies are
not to be represented. All electors are eligible except public
functionaries. Every Frenchman of the age of twenty-one, who has not
forfeited his civil rights, has the vote.----We mentioned in our last
Record the protest of the testamentary executors of Louis Philippe
against the decree of confiscation, issued by the President. The Princes
of Orleans--the Duke de Nemours, and the Prince de Joinville--have
addressed a letter of thanks to the executors, in which they resent with
becoming indignation the insults heaped upon the memory of their father,
which they say are "especially odious when brought forward by a man who
on two different occasions received proofs of the magnanimity of King
Louis Philippe, and whose family never received any thing from him but
benefits." To the honor of the country which they had always loyally
served and would ever love, they say, "these disgraceful decrees, and
their still more disgraceful preambles, have not dared to appear except
under the _régime_ of a state of siege, and after the suppression of all
the guaranties which protected the liberties of the nation." The Duchess
of Orleans has also addressed the following brief and indignant protest
to the President:--"Monsieur--As I do not acknowledge your right to
plunder my family, neither do I acknowledge your right to assign to me a
dotation in the name of France. I refuse the dowry.--HELENA
D'ORLEANS."----The new Ministry of Police has been organized by decree.
The Minister is to have attached to his office three directors-general,
who are to appoint inspector-general, special inspectors, and
commissaries of police in the departments. Prominent among the duties of
all of these officials are those of watching and reporting every attempt
to influence public opinion against the government, keeping a close eye
on the press and on publications of every sort--upon theatres, prisons,
schools, and political and commercial associations. They are all to be
under the immediate direction and control of the Minister of Police. The
organization spreads a complete network of precaution over every form of
public opinion in France.----Louis Napoleon gave a magnificent
entertainment to a large number of the English nobility at Paris, on the
1st of February, at the Elysée---the whole party numbering 44. It is
stated that after the dinner was over, he took occasion to complain of
the attacks upon him in the English press, and to say that he should be
obliged to exclude them from France. He also spoke of the rumors that he
intended to invade England as absurd.----Jerome Bonaparte is appointed
President of the Senate, with the _petit_ Luxembourg as his official
residence in Paris, the Palace of Meudon for his country-seat, and a
salary of 150,000 francs, besides 800,000 francs for entertaining, a
year.----It is stated that Madame George Sand recently had an interview
with the President, and made very strong representations to him of the
sufferings of the peasantry in the rural districts from the immense
number of arrests that had been made of suspected persons, and urgently
requesting him to grant a general amnesty. The President is said to have
expressed great interest in the subject, but to have declined any
compliance with the request.----The decree for the regulation of the
press has been promulgated. It is almost needless to say that it
destroys every semblance of freedom of the press, and makes it a mere
subservient tool in the hands of the Government. It consists of four
chapters, and the following are their provisions: (1.) No journal can be
published without first obtaining permission of the Government; nor can
any foreign journal be admitted into France except by the same
permission: and any person bringing into France an unauthorized paper
will be liable to a year's imprisonment and to a fine of 5000 francs.
Every publisher must deposit caution-money, from 15,000 to 50,000
francs, before he can issue a paper, under heavy penalties. (2.) Stamp
duties are imposed upon all journals whether published in France, or
introduced from other countries; and the authorities are enjoined to
seize all publications violating these regulations. (3.) Every violation
of the article of the Constitution which prohibits Legislative reports,
is punishable by fine of from 1000 to 5000 francs. The publication of
false news subjects to a fine, and if it be of a tendency to disturb the
public peace, imprisonment is added. No account of the proceedings of
the Senate or Council of State, and no report of trials for press
offenses, can be published; and in all affairs, civil, correctional, or
criminal, the courts may forbid the publication of their proceedings.
Every editor is bound to publish official documents, relations, and
rectifications which may be addressed to him by any public authority; if
he fail to do so, he may be fined and his journal seized No one can
carry on the bookseller's trade, or issue or sell engravings, medals, or
prints of any kind, without obtaining permission of the authorities, and
becoming subject to the same restrictions as are imposed upon journals.
(4.) With regard to existing journals, three months are allowed for them
to deposit the caution money required, and to conform to the other
provisions of the new law.----The President, by decree, has abolished
all fête days except the birth-day of the Emperor, on the ground that
their celebration recalls the remembrance of civil discord; and that the
only one observed should be that which best tends to unite all minds in
the common sentiment of national glory----The Paris correspondent of the
London _Times_ reports that a correspondence of general interest has
taken place between the governments of France and Russia. It is said
that the Czar wrote to his minister in Paris, expressing dissatisfaction
at the adoption by the President of the emblems of the Empire, stating
that he saw in all these movements the preliminaries of the
re-establishment of the Imperial era. While he approved of the _coup
d'état_ which had put an end to republicanism in France, he could only
regard Louis Napoleon as the temporary chief, and could not approve any
attempt to give another and more important character to his authority.
It is said that Louis Napoleon replied to this note, when it was read to
him, by complaining that his intentions had been misunderstood and
misrepresented;--that, in re-establishing the emblems of the Empire, and
in reverting to the constitution of the year VIII., he only meant to
establish a strong authority in his hands; that the recollections of the
Empire constituted his strength, and invested him with popularity among
the masses; that there was nothing astonishing in the fact of his
seeking in the institutions of the Empire what was certain to
re-establish authority in France; that he had no intention of
re-establishing the Empire, or of making himself Emperor; that he did
not want either, for the accomplishment of the mission to which he had
been called; that his title of President sufficed for him; that he had
no reason to trouble himself about an Imperial dynasty which has no
existence; and that there was no reason for the Emperor Nicholas
troubling himself about it.

The relations of France to Belgium are assuming a character of
considerable interest and importance. The fact that most of the exiled
Frenchmen found refuge in Belgium, excited the fears of the government
that they would thence exert a dangerous influence upon French affairs.
Strong representations were therefore made to the Belgian authorities,
who have adopted every possible means of satisfying the French
government, by suppressing distrusted journals, exercising strict
vigilance over refugees, and ordering many of them out of the country,
or away from Brussels. It is also stated that the Duke of Bassano, the
new French envoy to the Belgian court, has been authorized to demand
from that government the removal of the monumental lion erected by the
British government to commemorate the battle of Waterloo, and to
demolish the other trophies. The rumors of hostile designs on the part
of Louis Napoleon, have led to the publication of an official denial in
the _Moniteur_. That article states that the French government has
addressed no demands whatever to foreign powers, excepting Belgium,
where it was necessary, in order to prevent a system of incessant
aggression. It has not armed a single soldier, neither has it done any
thing to awaken the least susceptibility in its neighbors. All the views
of the power in France are bent upon interior improvements. "It will not
depart from its calm demeanor, except on the day when an attack shall
have been made on the national honor and dignity." The London _Morning
Chronicle_ states, as a fact of considerable historical interest, that,
as early as 1849, Louis Napoleon distinctly solicited General Changamier
to join with him in such a usurpation as he has since achieved, offering
to make him Constable of France, with a million of francs a year and the
palace of the Elysée for a residence; and that he was met by a
peremptory refusal.


SPAIN.

An attempt to assassinate the Queen of Spain was made by a priest named
Martin Marino, on the 2d of February. The Queen was proceeding along the
principal gallery of her palace toward the grand staircase, intending to
go out upon a fête occasion, for which splendid preparations had been
made, when she was approached by the priest, who kneeled to present a
memorial. Her Majesty reached out her hand to take it, when he suddenly
drew a dirk and made a stab at her side. Her arm, however, partially
averted the blow, though she was severely wounded. She leaned against
the wall, and one of her aids came up just in time to prevent a second
blow. The assassin was arrested and confessed the crime--saying that his
object was to render a service to humanity; and denying that he had any
accomplices. He was tried on the 3d, and sentenced to death by
strangulation. On the 7th, he was executed by the _garote vil_. He
conducted himself with the most brutal indifference, refusing any of the
usual offices of religion, and abusing all who came near him. The Queen
suffered considerably from the wound, but was convalescent at the last
accounts. Several arrests had been made, of persons suspected of having
been concerned as accomplices with him, but no evidence was found to
implicate any.


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.

No events of special importance have occurred in any of the continental
nations. All the governments seem to be more or less agitated by rumors
of differences with England and France, and their policy is somewhat
affected by them. The suspicion of hostile intentions on the part of
Louis Napoleon toward Belgium has enlisted a good deal of suspicion, and
letters from Brussels, dated the 19th February, state positively that a
convention had been entered into, by which Russia agrees to furnish
100,000 men for the defense of that territory in case it should be
invaded or seriously menaced by France. Prussia has also promised
similar assistance, and the Prince de Ligne is said to be now in Berlin
for the purpose of arranging the details. These important statements,
however, do not seem to be made on authority sufficient to command full
credit.

In AUSTRIA, it is said, that Prince Schwartzenberg is preparing a
general statement of the views of Austria concerning the state of
Europe, and an indication of the line of policy which she will pursue.
The mediation of Austria between Sardinia and the Pope has also been
proposed, and amicable relations are again to be established between the
Sardinian and Austrian governments. A new treaty has been concluded, by
which Austria is to supply Russia annually with large quantities of
salt.

In SWITZERLAND the only movements of importance relate to the demand
made by the French government that the Council should promise hereafter
to expel any fugitive who might be designated as dangerous. The Federal
Government, while firmly refusing to enter into any such engagement,
avowed its readiness to take all proper and necessary precautions
against the sojourn of political refugees in Switzerland becoming a
source of disquietude to neighboring states. An official report on the
subject states that in June last there were but 235 political refugees
in the Swiss states, and that they were all under the strict
_surveillance_ of the police. Those who had taken any active steps
likely to compromise the interests of other states, had been promptly
expelled. There was a great deal of public interest manifested
throughout Switzerland concerning the relations between their country
and France, and considerable apprehension prevailed that their rights
and liberties might not always be rigidly respected.

The government of the Duchy of HOLSTEIN was formally transferred by the
Commissaries of Prussia and Austria to the Commissary of Denmark, Count
Reventlow-Criminil, on the 8th of February, in an official conference
held at Kiel.

In both GREECE and TURKEY there have been changes of Ministry. In the
former country the change has no general importance. In Turkey, it is
significant of reaction. Reschid Pacha, the most liberal and enlightened
minister ever placed at the head of affairs in the Ottoman empire, has
been dismissed, and is succeeded by Raaf Pacha, a man upward of eighty
years of age, who was prime minister in 1838. The negotiation in regard
to the Holy Sepulchre has been abandoned, and the French minister was to
leave Constantinople forthwith.



Editor's Table.


Science, it has been said, is essentially unpoetical. It must be
acknowledged, nevertheless, that it not unfrequently furnishes some of
our choicest similes. Homer had, indeed, long ago compared thought to
the lightning; but how much more definite, and, on this account, more
effective, is the kindred simile drawn from the discovery of the modern
electric telegraph. And yet, is there not here something more than
simile? Is not the communication from soul to soul literally, as well as
figuratively _tele-graphic_, that is, _far-writing_, or _writing from
afar_? We hope to interest our readers by a brief examination of the
query we have started.

An identity might, perhaps, be shown in the very medium of
communication, so far as the process has a material medium. There is no
difficulty, and no danger, in admitting that the electric fluid may be
the agent in the cerebral and organic transmission, as well as in the
galvanic battery. But it is mainly in the process itself that we may
trace the striking correspondence between the two modes of intelligence.
The primary element of all thought is a spiritual _emotion_. The end
of all communication, mediate or immediate, is to produce the same
emotion or feeling in another soul. To this every other step is
subordinate. Even thought is not so much an end, in itself, as is the
spiritual feeling, or exercise of soul corresponding to it. This
spiritual emotion, then, must first be brought under the form of a
conception, or an objective picture, without which it can not be
distinctly read and understood, even by the soul in which it first
exists, much less communicated to another. So far the process is
strikingly the same with that adopted in the telegraphic dispatch. The
soul, by its own spiritual energy, first turns the emotion or feeling
into a thought. It translates the thought from the abstract to the
concrete, from the intuitional to the conceptive. It brings it down into
the soul's chamber of imagery, and imprints it on the brain. In other
words, the message is reduced to writing and given to the clerk at the
station-house, who translates it into telegraphic signals. The more
immediate transmitting power is now set in operation. An influence is
imparted from the brain to the nerves (or wires) of the vocal organs. It
is continued to the lungs, and sets in motion a current of air. This
impinges on the outward atmosphere, and is carried on through successive
undulations until it reaches the other station for which it was
designed. It enters the office-chamber of the ear, communicates with the
other cerebral battery, and then writes off from the auditory nerve or
wire, the signals which, by the other logical and linguistic faculty, or
the clerk at the second station, are translated into the pictorial
symbols understood by all, and thus written on the second brain. The
spiritual inhabitant to whom it is directed, again translates it, in a
reverse order, from the verbal to the conceptive, from the conceptive to
the emotional--the intuition is spiritually _seen_--the emotion is
_felt_--and thus the circuit is completed.

This is substantially the process every time we hold intercourse by
means of speech. The operation is ever imperfect in all, and more
imperfect in some than in others. We make mistakes in translating our
own intuitions and emotions. We make still greater mistakes in taking
off from the wires, and in re-translating the conceptual language which
brings to us the feelings and intuitions of others. But there is no
other way. The author of our spiritual and material constitution hath
literally _shut us up_ to this, and we can not get out of the limits
within which He has confined our intercourse with other spirits.
Clairvoyance boasts of having broken through them, or over them; but
clairvoyance is yet a fact to be established. Even, too, if it has any
claims upon our belief, it will doubtless be found, in the end, to be
only a stenographic shortening of some of the steps, without being, in
reality, any more an _immediate_ action of mind upon mind than the
ordinary process.

Spirit can only communicate with spirit through outward symbols, and by
more or less steps, all of which may be regarded as _outward_ to the
most interior effect. By long familiarity this circuitous chain assumes
to us the appearance of directness. But in truth we never see each
other; we never hear each other; if by the terms be meant our very
_self_--our very spiritual form, our very spiritual voice. Even to our
human soul may be accommodated without irreverence the language which
Paul applies to the Deity. Even of us it may be said, although in a far
lower sense, "_Our invisible things are only understood by the things
that are done_," even our temporal power and humanity. Each soul is
_shut up_ in an isolation as perfect, in one sense, as that which
separates the far distant worlds in the universe. Had there been round
each one of us a wall of adamant a thousand feet in thickness, with only
the smallest capillary apertures through which to carry the wires of
telegraphic signals, we could not, as to the essential action of the
spirit, be more secluded than we are at present. We say the essential,
or first action of the soul--for doubtless there may be various degrees
of difficulty or facility in the modes of mediate communication. But in
this more spiritual sense each one of us exists by himself. We live
apart in utter loneliness. The seclusion of each spirit knows no
infraction. Its perfect solitude has never been invaded by any foreign
intrusion.

To one who deeply reflects on the fact to which we have been calling
attention, the first feeling, and a just feeling too, might be one of
pride. The dignity of our nature would seem enhanced by such a
constitution. Each man's "mind is his kingdom," in which he may be as
autocratic as he wills. It makes even the lowest in the scale of
humanity such an absolute sovereign within his own spiritual boundaries,
so perfectly secure, if he please, against all foreign intervention. It
sets in so striking a light what in its physical and etymological,
rather than its moral sense, may be styled the _holiness_--_the
wholeness_, _hale-ness_, or _separate integrity_ of each man's essential
being. It is in this point of view, too, that to every hale mind the
pretensions of clairvoyance must appear so inexpressibly revolting. We
allude to its assumption of having the power of committing what, for the
want of a better name, we can only characterize as spiritual
burglary--in other words, of breaking into our spiritual house, and
taking its seat in the very shrine of the interior consciousness. What
can be more degrading to our human nature than to admit that any other
human power, or human will, can at any time, and from any motive, even
for purposes of the most frivolous amusement, actually enter this inner
sanctuary, turning the immortal spirit into a paltry show-house, and
rudely invading, or pretending to invade, the soul's essential glory,
its sacred and unapproachable individuality?

There is, however, another aspect of the thought in which it may give
rise to a very different, if not an opposite emotion. There may be, too,
at times, a feeling of the deepest melancholy called out by that other
consideration of our spiritual solitude, of our being so utterly alone
upon the earth--a feeling which has never been set forth with so much
power and, at the same time, truthful simplicity, as in the touching
language of inspiration--"_The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a
stranger meddleth not with its joy._" And then, again, although we would
in general shrink from it as a painful ordeal, there are periods when we
long for a more searching communion with other spirits than can ever be
expected from the most intimate methods of mediate intercourse. There
are periods when we are irresistibly drawn out to say--O that some other
soul were acquainted with us as we think we are acquainted with
ourselves, not only with our fancied virtues and our mere real sins, as
they appear imperfectly manifested by misinterpreted signals from
within, but with our very soul itself. Yes, there is sadness in the
thought that we are so unknown, even to those who would be thought to
know us best--unknown alike in that which makes us better as in that
which makes us worse than we seem;--for we are all better, and we are
all worse than we appear to our fellow-men.

And here, we think, may be found an argument for the existence of Deity,
built on stronger and more assuring ground than is furnished by any of
the ordinary positions of natural theology. It is an argument derived
from one of the most interior wants of our moral constitution. There is
no doubt that in our fallen state a feeling of pain--at times of intense
pain--may connect itself in our minds with the recognition of the Divine
idea; but there is also an element of happiness, and, if cherished, of
the highest and most serious happiness, in the thought that there is One
Great Soul that does penetrate into our most interior spirituality.
There is one Soul that is ever as intimately present with us as our own
consciousness--that holds communion with us, and with whom we may hold
communion, in a manner impossible for any other. There is One that
thinks our thoughts, and feels our feelings, even as we think them, and
as we feel them, although, along with this, in another manner, too, of
its own, that transcends our thinking "even as the heavens are high
above the earth," and is as far removed from all the imperfections of
our own spiritual exercises. There may seem an inconsistency in this
apparent mingling of the finite and the infinite in the Divine Nature,
but it is the belief of both which unlocks for us the meaning of the
Scriptures, and sheds light over every page of revelation and of
providence. There is a higher Soul that pervades our spiritual entity,
not as an impersonal or pantheistic abstraction, but as the most
distinctly personal of all personalities--not as a mere Law of nature,
but as a Father "who careth for us," as a Guardian "who numbereth the
very hairs of our heads," as a Judge who taketh note of every thought,
and gives importance to all our forgotten sins, while He is, at the same
time, present with, and caring for every other individual soul in the
universe. As in some previous musings of our Editorial Table, we might
have adverted to the Divine physical power as the ever-present dynamical
entity in the seeming vacuities of space, and binding together the
isolated material worlds, so here we may regard the Higher Spiritual
Presence as the true bond of union among all those isolated souls that
fill the spiritual universe. Thus viewed, the fact of such communion
would be the highest truth in philosophy, as a belief in the reality of
its possible consciousness would be the highest article of faith.


HISTORY IS PHILOSOPHY TEACHING BY EXAMPLE.

The thought has been deemed so profound as to give rise to some
discussion respecting its origin. As a definition, however, the maxim is
liable to serious objection. It presents, rather, the uses, or the chief
use, of history, than the essential idea. The individual memory may also
be said to be _philosophy teaching by example_; but then it becomes only
another name for that experience which is but the application of
remembered facts to the guidance of the future life. So history may be
called THE WORLD'S MEMORY--the memory of a race--of a nation--of a
collective humanity.

It is in vain, then, for us to say what facts, in themselves, _ought_ to
constitute history. The matter is settled. It is not what any
philosophy, or any theology, or any science of history may deem _worthy_
of remembrance, but what has actually been thus remembered, or is now so
entering into the common mind as to form the ground of memory in the
future. The parallelism in this respect between the individual and this
national, or common mind, is striking and complete. The true history of
each man is not so much what he has done, as what he has thought and
felt. The thought is the _form_ of the feeling, and the act merely the
outward testimony by which both are revealed. It is not, therefore,
every act, or _doing_, which enters into his history--not even those
which have formed the greater part of his constant daily exercise--but
simply such as for any reason have made the deepest impression on the
inner man, and which, therefore, stand out in the records of his memory
when all else has perished. What this chronicles is the man's veritable
history. However important other parts of his conduct may appear
externally, this is his true spiritual life. It is the record, the
imperishable record of that which has reached and stirred the depths of
his soul, while other acts, and other events, have had their lodgment
only in the outward un-emotional existence.

Such memory, or such history, may not be what it ought to have been; it
may not be the measure of accountability. All that we insist upon is the
fact, that, whether right or wrong, it is the true history of the
individual, because it is his real life. But then there are degrees of
memory. It is not always, in all its parts, either present to the mind,
or capable of recall at will. Still, what has once in this manner truly
_affected_ his soul, has by this become a part of it, and can,
therefore, never be lost. Like some old historical record it may be laid
aside for a season, but sooner or later must it come forth, and claim
its place as belonging to that individual personality into which it
enters as a constituent and inseparable portion.

The parallel may be traced to almost any extent. Like the memory of our
earliest years, so is the dawning history of a young world or nation,
except so far as positive revelation has shed its light upon it. Both
are _mythical_. In other words, facts are remembered, not as they are in
themselves, but as seen through the magnifying and coloring influence of
the emotional medium with which they are ever afterward associated. Like
stars observed through a densely refracting atmosphere, they stand
apart, each in its own seclusion, and hence they loom upon the vision
without any of those mutually connecting associations that belong to our
subsequent thinking. There is, too, in both cases, the same
chronicler--the pure remembrance, a _tradition_ unaided by any of those
outward helps that are afterward employed. At a later period more
regular annals succeed this mythic handing down of isolated facts. The
state has its formal remembrancer, its [Greek: syngrapheus], or
historical _arranger_ of events in a _connected_ story, and in their
mutual relations. Corresponding to this, then, arises in the individual
that orderly habit of thinking which produces associations, having a
similar effect in causing a stricter union between the outer and inner
relations of the soul.

Again, there are times when the man gets to himself what may be called
an _artificial_ memory. He would change the natural flow of thought,
and determine what he _will_ remember, and what he _ought_ to
remember--forgetting that before he can effectually do this he must be
changed himself in the innermost springs of his being. He studies
mnemonics. He manufactures new laws of association. But this effort ever
fails in the end. Nature will have her way. The old course of memory
will return; and with it the spiritual history of the man will go on as
before.

So, too, the state or nation may have its artificial periods, and its
systems of political mnemonics. The mythical, the epic, the heroic, and
not only these, but the later, yet not less thrilling chronicles of
stirring events that carried with them the whole heart of the national
humanity, give way to statistics, and documents of trade, or tables of
revenue, or in a word, to what are deemed the more important records of
_political economy_. Here, too, there may be an attempt to change the
course of nature, and make that to be history which never can be such,
except at the expense of some of those attributes, which, although
liable to great and dangerous perversions, are still the noblest parts
of our humanity.

Such artificial records of history may be highly useful in their
connection with the interests of particular classes and occupations. The
time also may come in which they may gather around them an antiquarian
value, blending with some of the more universal emotions of our common
nature. But aside from this, although they may furnish rich materials
for other departments of useful knowledge, they are not history, simply
because they lack that catholic element, by which alone they enter into
the common memory, and thus become a part of the common national mind.

Some say the world has heretofore been all wrong in the matter. History
has been but a record of wars, of tumultuous national movements, of
theological dogmas, of religious and political excitements. It has been
but the biography of monarchs and royal families, or a narrative of
popular commotions as connected with them. It has presented us only with
names of isolated pre-eminence. The time has now come when we "must
change all that." The daily pursuits of the masses, and all the
statistics of ordinary life--these ought to have been history, and good
writers will henceforth make them so, not only for our times, but for
the periods that are past. "The history of the world," it has been said,
"is yet to be written." But, alas! for these plausible and philanthropic
reforms, there are two serious obstacles in the way. In the first place,
the records of such matters as they would make the grounds of history
are too scanty and uncertain, because they never have had that catholic
interest which would give them an abiding place in the common national
memory. In the second place, it will be equally difficult to secure for
them such lodgment in the universal thinking of the present age, or of
ages yet to come. Not that the world will always continue the same, or
that there will not be ever new matters of genuine historical interest.
The course of things and thinking may greatly change. Wars may cease.
Monarchy may expire. Even democracies may become obsolete. Such changes
may be for the better or the worse. Faith may go out. Those religious
dogmas and discussions, which politicians and political economists have
regarded as such useless and troublesome intruders into the province of
history, may lose their hold upon the mind. Still our essential position
remains unchanged. It will not be what the masses severally _do_ but
what _moves_ the masses, not their _several_ occupations and pursuits,
but what has a deep and moving interest for the common national soul,
that will constitute history. The wars of the White and Red Roses were
the true history of England for that period, because they were the only
subjects that could be said to occupy all minds alike. It was not
because the chronicler forgot the masses, and thought only of the great,
but because he wrote for the masses, and for the masses not only of his
own time, but of times to come.

Events may have more or less of a personal connection with monarchs, but
it would not follow from this that the history which records them is a
history alone of kings and statesmen. It is only so far as they and
their acts were the representatives of the national heart, and the
national thought, that they came down in the national memory, and the
national records. The separate ordinary pursuits of men may, in one
sense, occupy more of our ordinary thinking, but the other or historic
interest we recognize as being of a higher, a more exciting, and even a
more absorbing kind, because belonging to us, and felt by us in common
with multitudes of other souls. The mechanic or farmer may consult books
of a professional or statistical nature, but _as history_ they will be
ever unreadable. Even in the workshop and in the field, although the
habitual current of his thoughts may be upon what would seem to him the
nearest, and therefore the more important concerns of life, these other
elements of history will yet have the greater charm, and occupy a higher
place both in his feelings and his intelligence.

It is what he thinks _with others_ that constitutes the higher life of
his being. Hence the tendency of the popular mind, in all ages, to be
absorbed in the recital of deeds most remote from the daily associations
of ordinary life. Hence the popularity of the rhapsodist, the minstrel,
the chronicler, and, in our own age, of the Magazine and the Newspaper.
Hence, too, in the more free and popular governments of modern times,
the universal devotion to what is called _politics_. Why is the farmer
more excited by an election than by the sale of his wheat? Most false as
well as unphilosophical is the view which would ascribe this to any
calculating patriotism, to any utilitarian vigilance, or to what is
commonly called an _enlightened self-interest_. The mechanic thinks more
of politics than of his trade; for the same reason that led his ancestor
to the crusade or the tournament. Instead of being the offspring of
utilitarian views, this _public spirit_ is often most blindly
destructive of the _private_ interest, and most directly opposed to all
the teachings of that political economy which recognizes its own
utilities as alone the true and rational ends of human action. In a much
higher sense, too, is all this true, when a religious element enters
into the common or catholic feeling.

To illustrate the view we have endeavored to present, let us select some
particular date--say the 5th day of March, in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and seventy. What was the history of our own
country for that day? What the masses were doing would be the answer
which some of the new school would promptly make. But even could this be
ascertained it would not be history. On that day the three millions of
our land were engaged in the various avocations connected with their
ordinary life and ordinary interests. On that day, too, there was a
particular, and, perhaps, ascertainable state of agriculture, of the
mechanic arts, of education, &c., such as might furnish the ground of a
most valuable statistical essay. There were also, doubtless, thousands
of striking incidents every where transpiring. But none of these
constituted the then history of our country. This was all taking place
in one narrow street of one single city, away off in one remote corner
of our land. A quarrel had arisen between a few foreign soldiers and a
collection of exasperated citizens, in the course of which some few of
the latter were slain. In this event was centred, for the time, the
whole history of the English colonies in North America, and of what
afterward became the great American nation. Among all the acts and
states, and influences of that day, this alone was history, because it
alone, whether right or not, entered into the universal national memory.
It was _thought_ by all, _felt_ by all, and therefore became, for the
time in which it was so thought and felt, the one common history of all.
Again--on the 19th day of April, 1775, the one fact which afterward
formed the common thought and the common memory, was the battle of
Lexington. On the 4th of July, 1776, it was the Declaration of American
Independence. On the 23d day of September, 1780, there might have been
seen, in a secluded valley of the Hudson, three rustic militia men
busily examining the dress of a British officer. One of them is in the
act of taking a piece of paper from the prisoner's boot. This, in a most
emphatic sense, was American history for that day; may we not say the
history of Europe also, and of the world. And so in other departments. A
single man is standing before a company of statesmen and ecclesiastics.
It is Luther before the Diet of Worms. This is the one common thought
which represents that momentous period in the records of the Church. The
subject tempts us with further illustrations, but we call to mind that
our Drawer and Easy Chair are waiting impatiently for the delivery of
their contents. It is time, therefore, to exchange the prosings of the
Editor's Table for their more varied, and, as we trust the reader will
judge, more attractive materials.



Editor's Easy Chair.


Our _now_, when we write, stands morally as far off from what will be
_now_ to our readers, when this sheet comes before them, as though the
interval measured half the circumference of the Ecliptic, instead of
being bounded between these dull March days and the bright April
morning, when our Magazine will be lying by many an open window from
Maine to Georgia. Our Easy Chair chit-chat must take its coloring from
our _now_, and not from that of our readers.

       *       *       *       *       *

The town has just woke up from its wintry carnival of sleighs and bells,
and wears much the aspect of a reveler who is paying the penalty for too
free over-night potations. Broadway no longer flows along like a stream
of molten silver, but resembles nothing so much as the mud-river of
Styx--"darker far than perse" of the great Florentine; and instead of
the fairy-like sleighs of the month gone by, is traversed only by the
lumbering omnibuses, scattering far and wide the inky fluid. To cross
the street dry-shod is not to be thought of, save at one or two points
where philanthropic tradesmen, mindful of the public good--and their
own--have subsidized a troop of sweepers to clear a passage in front of
their doors. We accept the favor with all gratitude, and do not inquire
too closely into the stories of silver goblets, presented by grateful
ladies to these public benefactors. Under such circumstances all lighter
matters of gossip are things of the past--and of the future, let us
hope.

       *       *       *       *       *

Into the current of graver talk several pebbles have been thrown, which
have rippled its surface into circlets wider than usual. The meeting in
commemoration of COOPER was a worthy tribute to the memory of one who
has shed honor upon his country by adding new forms of beauty to the
intellectual wealth of the world. It was singularly graceful and
appropriate that the funeral discourse of the greatest American
Novelist, should have been pronounced by the greatest American Poet--and
should we say the greatest living poet who speaks the tongue of Milton
and Shakspeare, who would dare to place another name in competition for
the honor with that of BRYANT?

       *       *       *       *       *

Public "Lectures," or the "Lyceum," as one of the lecturing notabilities
not very felicitously denominates the institution, had begun to assume a
somewhat mythical character in the estimation of townsmen, as relics of
ages long gone by, of which man's memory--the Metropolitan man's, that
is--takes no note. We have indeed had rumors from the "Athens of
America," and other far-away places, that Lectures had not fallen into
utter desuetude; but we were, on the whole, inclined to put little faith
in the reports. During the last few weeks, however, the matter has again
forced its way into the town talk. The "Tabernacle" weekly opens its
ponderous jaws, for the delivery of the "People's Lectures," where, for
the not very alarming sum of one shilling--with a deduction in cases
where a gentleman is accompanied by more ladies than one--a person may
listen for an hour to the mystic elocution and seer-like deliverances of
EMERSON, or may hear KANE depict the dreamy remembrances of those
Hyperborean regions where sunrise and sunset are by no means those
every-day occurrences that they are in more equatorial regions. To us,
as we sit in our Easy Chair, it seems as though this system of cheap
popular public lectures were capable of almost indefinite expansion. Why
should not SILLIMAN or GUYOT address three thousand instead of three
hundred hearers? Why should they not unswathe the world from its
swaddling-clothes before an audience which would fill our largest halls?
Why should not ORVILLE DEWEY discourse on the great problems of Human
Destiny and Progress before an assemblage which should people the
cavernous depths of the "Tabernacle," as well as before the audience,
relatively small, though doubtless fit, assembled before the frescoes of
the Church of the Messiah? We throw these suggestions out lightly, by
way of hint; a graver consideration of them would belong rather to our
Table than to our Easy Chair discourses.

       *       *       *       *       *

As a sort of pendant to the nine-days' talk of the Forrest divorce
case, we notice the unanimous verdict of approval which has been
accorded to the exemplary damages awarded in the case of a savage and
cowardly assault committed by one of the principals in that scandalous
affair. Though no pecuniary award can make reparation to the person who
has suffered the infliction of brutal personal outrage, yet as long as
there are ruffians whose only susceptible point is the pocket-nerve, we
are glad to see the actual cautery applied to that sensitive point.

       *       *       *       *       *

If things continue much longer in their present downward course, it will
be necessary for any man who hopes to gain acceptance in respectable
society to have it distinctly noted on his cards and letters of
introduction, that he is not a Member of either House of Congress. The
last month has been signalized at Washington by several exhibitions of
Congressional scurrility, which in no other city in the Union would have
been tolerated beyond the limits of the lowest dens of infamy. In one of
these affairs, the summit of impudence was crowned by one of the
interlocutors, who, after giving and receiving the most abusive
epithets, excused himself from having recourse to the duello, that
_ultima ratio_--of fools--on the plea that he was a member of a
Christian church; which plea was magnanimously accepted by his no less
chivalrous compeer in abuse. It would be no easy task to decide which
was the most disreputable, the "satisfaction" evaded, or the means of
its evasion.

       *       *       *       *       *

This is not the place to discuss the stringent "Maine Liquor Law," which
is proposed for adoption in the Empire State; but we can not avoid
chronicling the almost sublime assumption of one of its opponents, who
challenged its advocates to name any man of lofty genius who was not a
"toddy-drinker." As this side of the measure seems sadly in want of both
speakers and arguments, we consider ourselves entitled to the gratitude
of the opponents of the law, for insinuating to them that the defense of
punch by Fielding's hero, that it was "a good wholesome liquor, nowhere
spoken against in Scripture," is capable of almost indefinite extension
and application.

       *       *       *       *       *

A somewhat characteristic reminiscence of JOHN NEWLAND MAFFITT has been
lying for a long while in our mind; and we can not do better than accord
to it the honors of paper and ink. It happened years ago, when that
eccentric preacher was in the height of his reputation; when he was, or
at least thought he was in earnest; before the balance of his mind had
been destroyed by adulation, conceit, vanity, and something worse.

During these days, in one of his journeyings, he came to a place on the
Mississippi--perhaps its name was not _Woodville_, but that shall be its
designation for the occasion. Now, Woodville was the most notoriously
corrupt place on the whole river; it was the sink into which all the
filth of the surrounding country was poured; it was shunned like a
pest-house, and abandoned to thieves, gamblers, desperadoes, and
robbers.

Maffitt determined to labor in this uninviting field. He commenced
preaching, and soon gathered an audience; for preaching was something
new there; and besides, Maffitt's silvery tones and strange flashes of
eloquence would at that time attract an audience any where. Those who
knew the man only in his later years know nothing of him.

Day after day he preached, but all to no purpose. He portrayed the bliss
of heaven--its purity and peace--in his most rapt and glowing manner.
It was the last place which could have any charms for his Woodville
audience.

He portrayed the strife and turmoil of the world of woe. Apart from its
physical torments--and they felt a sort of wild pride in defying
these--they rather liked the picture. At all events, it was much more to
their taste than was his description of heaven.

So it went on, day after day. Not a sigh of penitence; not a wet eye;
not a single occupant of the anxious seat. His labors were fruitless.

Finally, he determined upon a change of tactics. He spoke of the decay
of Woodville; how it was falling behind every other town on the
river--"Oh!" said he, "might but the Angel of Mercy be sent forth from
before the Great White Throne, commissioned to proclaim to all the
region round that there was a revival in Woodville, and what a change
there would be! The people would flock here from every quarter; the hum
of business would be heard in your streets; the steamers, whose bright
wheels now go flashing past your wharf, would stay in their fleet
career; these dense forests, which now lour around, would be hewn down
and piled up for food for these vast leviathans; and thus a golden tide
would pour in upon you; and Woodville would become the wealthiest, the
most beautiful, and the happiest place on the banks of the great Father
of Waters!"

A chord had been touched in the hitherto insensible hearts of the
Woodvillers. Thought, emotion, feeling, were aroused; and soon the
strange electric sympathy of mind with mind was excited. The emotion
spread and increased; the anxious seats were thronged; and a powerful,
and to all appearance genuine revival of religion ensued. The character
of Woodville was entirely changed; and from that time it has continued
to be one of the most moral, quiet, thriving, and prosperous of all the
minor towns upon the Mississippi.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning our eye Paris-ward, our first emotion is one of sorrow--for
their sakes and our own--at the present sad fate of our French brethren
of the quill. The bayonet has pitted itself against the pen, and has
come off victor--for the time being. The most immediate sufferers are
doubtless political writers, who must stretch their lucubrations upon
the Procrustean bed furnished by the Prince-President. But the sparkling
_feuilletonists_ who blow up such brilliant bubbles of romance from the
prosaic soap-and-water of every-day life, can not escape. How can Fancy
have free play when the Fate-like shears of the _Censure_ or the mace of
the new press-law are suspended over its head? Besides, the lynx-eye of
despotism may detect a covert political allusion in the most
finely-wrought romance of domestic life. The delicate touches by which
the _feuilletonist_ sought to depict the fate of the deserted girl whose
body was fished up from the Seine, may be thought to bear too strongly
upon the fate of poor LIBERTÉ, betrayed and deserted by her quondam
adorer, the Nephew of his Uncle; in which case, the writer would find
himself forced to repent of his pathos behind the gratings of a cell,
while his publisher's pocket would suffer the forfeiture of the
'caution-money.' Parisian gossip can not, under such circumstances,
furnish us any thing very lively, but must content itself with
chronicling the brilliant but tiresome receptions of the Elysée.

An occasional claw is however protruded through the velvet paws upon
which French society creeps along so daintily in these critical days,
showing that the propensity to scratch is not extinct, though for the
present, as far as the President and his doings are concerned, "I dare
not waits upon I would" in the cat-like Parisian salon life.

       *       *       *       *       *

The subject of gossip most thoroughly French in its character, which has
of late days passed current, is one of which the final scene was Genoa,
and the prominent actor unfortunately an American. We touch upon the
leading points of this as they pass current from lip to lip.

Our readers have no great cause of regret if they have never before
heard of, or have entirely forgotten, a certain so-called "Chevalier"
WYKOFF, who, a few years since, gained an unenviable notoriety, in
certain circles in this country, as the personal attendant of the famous
_danseuse_, FANNY ELSSLER. Since that time the Chevalier has
occasionally shown his head above water in connection with Politics,
Literature, Fashion, and Frolic.

In due course of years the Chevalier grew older if not wiser, and became
anxious to assume the responsibilities of a wife--provided that she was
possessed of a fortune. It chanced that, about these times, a lady whom
he had known for many years, without having experienced any touches of
the tender passion, was left an orphan with a large fortune. The
sympathizing Chevalier was prompt with his condolences at her
irreparable loss, and soon established himself in the character of
confidential friend.

The lady decides to visit the Continent to recruit her shattered health.
The Chevalier--sympathizing friend that he is--is at once convinced that
there is for him no place like the Continent.

Having watched the pear till he supposed it fully ripe, the ex-squire to
the _danseuse_ proposed to shake the tree. One evening he announced that
he must depart on the morrow, and handed the lady a formidable document,
which he requested her to read, and to advise him in respect to its
contents.

The document proved to be a letter to another lady, a friend of both
parties, announcing a deliberate intention of offering his fine person,
though somewhat the worse for wear, to the lady who was reading the
letter addressed to her friend. This proposal in the third person met
with little favor, and the Chevalier received a decided negative in the
second person.

The Chevalier, however, saw too many solid charms in the object of his
passion to yield the point so easily. The lady returns to London, and
lo! there is the Chevalier. She flees to Paris, and thither he hies. She
hurries to Switzerland, and one morning as she looks out of the Hospice
of St. Bernard, she is greeted with the Chevalier's most finished bow of
recognition. She walks by the Lake of Geneva, and her shadow floats upon
its waters by the side of that of her indefatigable adorer. He watches
his opportunity and seizes her hand, muttering low words of love and
adoration; and as a company of pleasure-seekers to whom they are known
approaches, he raises his voice so as to be heard, and declares that he
will not release the hand until he receives a promise of its future
ownership. Bewildered and confused, the lady whispers a "Yes," and is
for the moment set at liberty. No sooner is she fairly rid of him than
she retracts her promise, and forbids her adorer the house.

She again flies to the Continent to avoid him. He follows upon her
track, bribes couriers and servants all along her route, and finally
manages at Genoa to get her into a house which he declares to be full of
his dependents. He locks the door, and declares that marry him she must
and shall. She refuses, and makes an outcry. He seizes her and tries to
_soothe_ her with chloroform. Once more she is frightened into a
consent.

But the Chevalier is now determined to make assurance doubly sure; and
demands a written agreement to marry him, under penalty of the
forfeiture of half her fortune, in case of refusal. To this the lady
consents: and the ardent admirer leaves the room to order a carriage to
convey her to her hotel. She seizes the opportunity to make her escape.

On the day following, the adventurous Chevalier involuntarily makes the
acquaintance of the Intendant of Police, and finds that his "bold stroke
for a wife" is like to entail upon him certain disagreeable consequences
in the shape of abundant opportunity for reflection, while a compulsory
guest of the public authorities of Genoa.

Ought not the Chevalier WYKOFF to have been a Frenchman?



Editor's Drawer.


The following anecdote of a legal gentleman of Missouri, was compiled
many years ago from a newspaper of that State. There is a racy freshness
about it that is quite delightful:

Being once opposed to Mr. S----, then lately a member of Congress, he
remarked as follows to the jury, upon some point of disagreement between
them:

"Here my brother S---- and I differ materially. Now this, after all, is
very natural. Men seldom see things in the same light; and they may
disagree in opinion upon the simplest principles of the law, and that
very honestly; while, at the same time, neither, perhaps, can perceive
any earthly reason why they should. And this is merely because they look
at different sides of the subject, and do not view it in all its
bearings.

"Now, let us suppose, for the sake of illustration, that a man should
come into this court-room, and boldly assert that my brother S----'s
head" (here he laid his hand very familiarly upon the large
"chuckle-head" of his opponent) "is _a squash_! I, on the other hand,
should maintain, and perhaps with equal confidence, that it was _a
head_. Now, here would be difference--doubtless an honest difference--of
opinion. We might argue about it till doom's-day, and never agree. You
often see men arguing upon subjects just as _empty_ and trifling as
this! But a third person coming in, and looking at the neck and
shoulders that support it, would say at once that I had reason on my
side; for if it was _not_ a head, it at least occupied the _place_ of
one: it stood where a head _ought_ to be!"

All this was uttered in the gravest and most solemn manner imaginable,
and the effect was irresistibly ludicrous.

       *       *       *       *       *

Washington Irving, in one of his admirable sketches of Dutch character,
describes an old worthy, with a long eel-skin queue, a sort of covering
that was "a potent nourisher and strengthener of the hair." This was in
"other times;" and here is a "Tail" of that remote period:

  "A Tale I'll tell of "other times,"
    Because I'm in the mind:
  You may have seen the tale before,
    I've seen it oft behind.

  "There's no detraction in this tale,
    Nor any vile attack,
  Or slander when 'tis told, although
    It goes behind one's back.

  "Impartial auditors it had,
    Who ne'er began to rail,
  Because there always was an ear
    For both sides of the tale.

  "But oh, alas! I have forgot,
    I am not in the queue;
  The tale has just dropped from my head.
    As it was wont to do!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A clergyman in one of our New England villages once preached a sermon,
which one of his auditors commended.

"Yes," said a gentleman to whom it was mentioned, "it _was_ a good
sermon, but he _stole_ it!"

This was told to the preacher. He resented it, at once, and called upon
his parishioner to retract what he had said.

"I am not," replied the aggressor, "very apt to retract any thing I may
have said, for I usually weigh my words before I speak them. But in this
instance I will retract. I said you had stolen the sermon. I find,
however, that I was wrong; for on returning home, and referring to the
book whence I thought it had been taken, I found it there, word for
word!"

The angry clergyman "left the presence," with an apparent consciousness
that he had made very little by his "motion."

       *       *       *       *       *

We gave in a late "Drawer" some rather frightful statistics concerning
snuff-takers and tobacco-chewers: we have now "the honor to present"
some curious characteristics of the kinds of _materiel_ which have
regaled the nostrils of so many persons who were "up to snuff."

Lundy Foot, the celebrated snuff-manufacturer, originally kept a small
tobacconist's shop at Limerick, Ireland. One night his house, which was
uninsured, was burnt to the ground. As he contemplated the smoking ruins
on the following morning, in a state bordering on despair, some of the
poor neighbors, groping among the embers for what they could find,
stumbled upon several canisters of unconsumed but half-baked snuff,
which they tried, and found so grateful to their noses, that they loaded
their waistcoat pockets with the spoil.

Lundy Foot, roused from his stupor, at length imitated their example,
and took a pinch of his own property, when he was instantly struck by
the superior pungency and flavor it had acquired from the great heat to
which it had been exposed. Treasuring up this valuable hint, he took
another house in a place called "Black-Yard," and, preparing a large
oven for the purpose, set diligently about the manufacture of that
high-dried commodity, which soon became widely known as "Black-Yard
Snuff;" a term subsequently corrupted into the more familiar word,
"Blackguard."

Lundy Foot, making his customers pay liberally through the nose for one
of the most "distinguished" kinds of snuffs in the world, soon raised
the price of his production, took a larger house in the city of Dublin,
and was often heard to say,

"I made a very handsome fortune by being, as I supposed, utterly
ruined!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Somebody has described Laughter as "a faculty bestowed exclusively upon
man," and one which there is, therefore, a sort of impiety in not
exercising as frequently as we can. One may say, with Titus, that we
have "lost a day," if it shall have passed without laughing, "An inch of
laugh is worth an ell of moan in any state of the market," says one of
the old English "Fathers." Pilgrims at the shrine of Mecca consider
laughter so essential a part of their devotion that they call upon their
prophet to preserve them from sad faces.

"Ah!" cried Rabelais, with an honest pride, as his friends were weeping
around his sick bed; "if I were to die ten times over, I should never
make you cry half so much as I have made you laugh!"

After all, if laughter be genuine, and consequently a means of innocent
enjoyment, _can_ it be inept?

       *       *       *       *       *

Taylor, an English author, relates in his "Records," that having
restored to sight a boy who had been born blind, the lad was perpetually
amusing himself with a hand-glass, calling his own reflection his
"little man," and inquiring why he could make it do every thing he did,
_except to shut its eyes_. A French lover, making a present of a mirror
to his mistress, sent with it the following lines:

  "This mirror _my_ object of love will unfold,
    Whensoe'er your regard it allures;
  Oh, would, when I'm gazing, that might behold
    On its surface the object of _yours_!"

This is very delicate and pretty; but the following
old epigram, on the same subject, is in even a much
finer strain:

  "When I revolve this evanescent state,
  How fleeting is its form, how short its date;
  My being and my stay dependent still
  Not on my own, but on another's will:
  I ask myself, as I my image view,
  Which is the real shadow of the two?"

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a little singular, but it is true, that scarcely any native writer
has succeeded better in giving what is termed the true "Yankee dialect,"
than a foreigner, an Englishman, Judge Haliburton, of Nova Scotia, "Sam
Slick." Hear him describe a pretty, heartless bar-maid, whom he met at
the "Liner's Hotel, in Liverpool:"

"What a tall, well-made, handsome piece of furniture she is, ain't she,
though? Look at her hair--ain't it neat? And her clothes fit so well,
and her cap is so white, and her complexion so clear, and she looks so
good-natured, and smiles so sweet, it does one good to look at her.
She's a whole team and a horse to spare, that's a fact. I go and call
for three or four more glasses than I want, every day, just for the sake
of talking to her. She always says,

"'What will you be pleased to have, sir!'

"'Something,' says I, 'that I can't have,' looking at her pretty
mouth--about the wickedest.

"Well, she laughs, for she knows well enough what I mean; and she says,

"'Pr'aps you'll have a glass of bitters, sir,' and off she goes to get
it.

"Well, this goes on three or four times a day; every time the identical
same tune, only with variations. It wasn't a great while afore I was
there agin.

"'What will you be pleased to have, sir?' said she agin, laughin'.

"'Something I can't git,' says I, a-laughin' too, and lettin' off sparks
from my eyes like a blacksmith's chimney.

"'You can't tell that till you try,' says she; 'but you can have your
bitters at any rate;' and she goes agin and draws a glass, and gives it
to me.

"Now she's seen _you_ before, and knows you very well. Just you go to
her and see how nicely she'll curtshy, how pretty she'll smile, and how
lady-like she'll say,

"'How do you do, sir? I hope you are quite well, sir? Have you just
arrived? Here, chamber-maid, show this gentleman up to Number Two
Hundred. Sorry, sir, we are so full, but to-morrow we will move you into
a better room. Thomas, take up this gentleman's luggage.' And then
she'd curtshy agin, and smile so handsome!

"Don't that look well, now? Do you want any thing better than that? If
you do, you are hard to please, that's all. But stop a little: don't be
in such an almighty, everlastin' hurry. Think afore you speak. Go there,
agin, see her a-smilin' once more, and look clust. It's only skin-deep;
just on the surface, like a cat's-paw on the water; it's nothin' but a
rimple like, and no more. Then look cluster still, and you'll discarn
the color of it. You laugh at the 'color' of a smile, but do you
_watch_, and you'll _see_ it.

"Look, _now_; don't you see the color of the shilling there? It's white,
and cold, and silvery: _it's a boughten smile_, and a boughten smile,
like an artificial flower, hain't got no sweetness into it. It's like
whipt cream; open your mouth wide; take it all in, and shut your lips
down tight, and it ain't nothin'. It's only a mouthful of moonshine,
a'ter all."

Sam goes on to say that a smile can easily be counterfeited; but that
the eye, rightly regarded, can not deceive.

"Square, the first railroad that was ever made, was made by Natur. It
runs strait from the heart to the eye, and it goes so almighty fast it
can't be compared to nothin' but 'iled lightning. The moment the heart
opens its doors, out jumps an emotion, whips into the car, and offs,
like wink, to the eye. That's the station-house and terminus for the
passengers, and every passenger carries a lantern in his hand, as bright
as an argand lamp; you can see him ever so far off.

"Look to _the eye_, Square: if there ain't no lamp there, no soul leaves
the heart that hitch: there ain't no train runnin', and the
station-house is empty. Smiles can be put on and off, like a wig; sweet
expressions come and go like lights and shades in natur; the hands will
squeeze like a fox-trap; the body bends most graceful; the ear will be
most attentive; the manner will flatter, so you're enchanted; and the
tongue will lie like the devil: _but the eye never_.

"But, Square, there's all sorts of eyes. There's an onmeanin' eye, and
a cold eye; a true eye and a false eye; a sly eye, a kickin' eye, a
passionate eye, a revengeful eye, a man[oe]uvring eye, a joyous eye, and
a sad eye; a squintin' eye, and the evil-eye; and more'n all, the dear
little lovin' eye. They must all be studied to be larnt; but the two
important ones to be known are the true eye and the false eye."

An American writer, somewhat more distinguished as a philosopher and
psychologist than Mr. Slick, contends that the "practiced eye" may often
deceive the most acute observer, but that there is something in the play
of the lines about the mouth, the shades of emotion developed by the
least change in the expression of the lips, that defies the strictest
self-control. We leave both theories with the reader.

       *       *       *       *       *

That was a pleasant story, told of an English wit, of very pleasant
memory, who was no mean proficient in "turning the tables" upon an
opponent, when he found himself losing. On one occasion he was rapidly
losing ground in a literary discussion, when the opposite party
exclaimed:

"My good friend, you are not such a rare scholar as you imagine; you are
only an _every-day_ man."

"Well, and you are a _week_ one," replied the other; who instantly
jumped upon the back of a horse-laugh, and rode victoriously over his
prostrate conqueror.

       *       *       *       *       *

We know not the author of the following lines, nor how, or at what time,
they came to find a place in the "Drawer;" but there is no reader who
will not pronounce them very touching and beautiful:

  I am not old--I can not be old,
    Though three-score years and ten
  Have wasted away like a tale that is told,
    The lives of other men

  I am not old--though friends and foes
    Alike have gone to their graves;
  And left me alone to my joys or my woes,
    As a rock in the midst of the waves

  I am not old--I can not be old,
    Though tottering, wrinkled, and gray;
  Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,
    Call me not old to-day!

  For early memories round me throng,
    Of times, and manners, and men;
  As I look behind on my journey so long,
    Of three-score miles and ten.

  I look behind and am once more young,
    Buoyant, and brave, and bold;
  And _my heart_ can sing, as of yore it sung,
    Before they called me old.

  I do not see her--the old wife there--
    Shriveled, and haggard, and gray;
  But I look on her blooming, soft, and fair,
    As she was on her wedding-day.

  I do not see you, daughters and sons,
    In the likeness of women and men;
  But I kiss you now as I kissed you once
    My fond little children then.

  And as my own grandson rides on my knee,
    Or plays with his hoop or kite,
  I can well recollect I was merry as he,
    The bright-eyed little wight!

  'Tis not long since--it can not be long,
    My years so soon were spent,
  Since I was a boy, both straight and strong.
    But now I am feeble and bent.

  A dream, a dream--it is all a dream!
    A strange, sad dream, good sooth;
  For old as I am, and old as I seem,
    My heart is full of youth.

  Eye hath not seen, tongue hath not told,
    And ear hath not heard it sung,
  How buoyant and bold, tho' it seem to grow old,
    Is the heart forever young!

  Forever young--though life's old age,
    Hath every nerve unstrung;
  The heart, _the heart_ is a heritage,
    That keeps the old man young!

       *       *       *       *       *

That is a good story told of an empty coxcomb, who, after having
engrossed the attention of the company for some time with himself and
his petty ailments, observed to the celebrated caustic Dr. Parr, that he
could never go out without catching cold in his head.

"No wonder," said the doctor, rather pettishly; "you always go out
without any thing in it!"

We have heard somewhere of another of the same stamp, who imagined
himself to be a poet, and who said to "Nat. Lee," whose insane verse was
much in vogue at the time:

"It is not easy to write like a madman, as you do."

"No," was the reply; "but it is very easy to write like _a fool_, as
_you_ do!"

There was some "method" in the "madness" that dictated that cutting
rejoinder, at any rate.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I was once a sea-faring man," said an old New York ship-master one day,
to a friend in "The Swamp," "and my first voyage was to the East Indies.
To keep me from mischief, the mate used to set me picking oakum, or
ripping up an old sail for 'parceling,' as it was called. While engaged
one day at this last employment, it occurred to me that a small piece of
the sail would answer an admirable purpose in mending my duck
over-trowsers, as they were beginning to be rather tender in certain
places, owing, perhaps, to my sitting down so much. I soon appropriated
a small piece, but was detected by the mate while 'stowing it away.'

"He took it from me, and while he was lecturing me, the captain, a noble
fellow, with a human heart in his bosom, came on deck, when the whole
matter was laid before him.

"'A----,' said he, 'always _ask_ for what you want; if it is _denied_ to
you, then steal it, if you think proper.'

"I remembered his advice; and in a short time afterward had another
piece of canvas snugly 'stowed away.' I carried it forward, and gave it
to my 'chummy,' an old 'salt,' who had the charge of my wardrobe (which
consisted of six pairs of duck-trowsers, the same number of red-flannel
shirts, a Scotch woolen cap, and a fine-tooth comb), and performed my
mending.

"The next day I went on deck with a clean pair of trowsers on, neatly
patched. As I was going forward the captain hailed me:

"'You took that piece of canvas, sir!'

"'Yes, captain,' I replied, 'I _did_. You yourself told me to ask, and
if I was refused, to do the _other_ thing. I was refused, and _did_ do
the 'other thing.''

"'Well,' rejoined the captain, 'I have no great objection to your having
the canvas, but let me tell you that you will never make a sailor if you
carry your flying-jib over the stern!'

"My 'chummy,' sewing from the inside, had 'seated' my trowsers with a
piece of canvas marked 'F. JIB!"'

       *       *       *       *       *

There used to be quite popular, many years ago, a species of
letter-writing in poetry, in accomplishing which much ingenuity was
tasked and much labor expended. The ensuing lines are a good example of
this kind of composition by comic writers who have not sufficiently
advanced in joking to get "out of their _letters_." The lines were
addressed to Miss Emma Vee, who had a pet jay, of which she was very
fond:

  "Your jay is fond, which well I know,
    He does S A to prove;
  And he can talk, I grant, but O!
    He can not talk of love.

  "Believe me, M A, when I say,
    I dote to that X S,
  I N V even that pet J,
    Which U sometimes caress.

  "Though many other girls I know,
    And they are fair, I C,
  Yet U X L them all, and so
    I love but M A V.

  "M A, my love can ne'er D K,
    Except when I shall die;
  And if your heart _must_ say me nay,
    Just write and tell me Y!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The following "_Welsh Card of Invitation_" is a very amusing example of
the avoidance of pronouns:

"Mr. Walter Morton, and Mrs. Walter Morton, and Miss Sandys's
compliments to Mr. Charles Morgan, Mrs. Charles Morgan, Miss Charles
Morgan, and the Governess (whose name Mr. Walter Morton, Mrs. Walter
Morton, and Miss Sandys do not recollect), and Mr. Walter Morton, Mrs.
Walter Morton, and Miss Sandys request the favor of the company of Mr.
Charles Morgan, Mrs. Charles Morgan, Miss Charles Morgan, and the
Governess (whose name Mr. Walter Morton, Mrs. Walter Morton, and Miss
Sandys do not recollect), to dinner on Monday next.

"_Mr. Walter Morton_, _Mrs. Walter Morton_, and Miss Sandys, beg to
inform Mr. Charles Morgan, Mrs. Charles Morgan, Miss Charles Morgan, and
the Governess (whose name Mr. Walter Morton, Mrs. Walter Morton, and
Miss Sandys do not recollect), that Mr. Walter Morton, Mrs. Walter
Morton, and Miss Sandys can accommodate Mr. Charles Morgan, Mrs. Charles
Morgan, Miss Charles Morgan, and the Governess (whose name Mr. Walter
Morton, Mrs. Walter Morton, and Miss Sandys do not recollect), with
beds, if remaining through the night is agreeable to Mr. Charles Morgan,
Mrs. Charles Morgan, Miss Charles Morgan, and the Governess (whose name
Mr. Walter Morton, Mrs. Walter Morton, and Miss Sandys do not
recollect!)"

This is an exact copy of an authentic note of invitation to a
dinner-party. In point of roundaboutativeness, it is on a par with the
long legal papers which used to be served upon pecuniary delinquents.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you would enjoy a bit of most natural and felicitous description,
read the following by that classical and witty writer--no longer, with
sorrow be it spoken, of this world--the author of "The American in
Paris." The passage has been in the "Drawer" for many years:

"There is a variety of little trades and industries which derive their
chief means of life from the wants and luxuries of the street; I mean
trades that are unknown in any other country than Paris. You will see an
individual moving about at all hours of the night, silent and active,
and seizing the smallest bit of paper in the dark, where you can see
nothing; and with a hook in the end of a stick, picking it up, and
pitching it with amazing dexterity into a basket tied to his left
shoulder; with a cat-like walk, being every where and nowhere at the
same time, stirring up the rubbish of every nook and gutter of the
street, under your very nose. This is the 'Chiffonier.' He is a very
important individual. He is in matter what Pythagoras was in mind; and
his transformations are scarcely less curious than those of the Samian
sage. The beau, by his pains, peruses once again his worn-out dicky or
cravat, of a morning, in the 'Magazin des Modes;' while the politician
has his linen breeches reproduced in the 'Journal des Debats;' and many
a fine lady pours out her soul upon a _billet-doux_ that was once a
dish-cloth. The 'chiffonier' stands at the head of the little trades,
and is looked up to with envy by the others. He has two coats, and on
holidays wears a chain and quizzing-glass. He rises, too, like the Paris
gentry, when the chickens roost, and when the lark cheers the morning,
goes to bed.

"All the city is divided into districts, and let out to these
'chiffoniers' by the hour; to one from ten to eleven, and from eleven to
twelve to another, and so on through the night; so that several get a
living and consideration from the same district. This individual does
justice to the literary compositions of the day. He crams into his bag
indiscriminately the last vaudeville, the last sermon of the Archbishop,
and the last essay of the Academy.

"Just below the 'chiffonier' is the 'Gratteur.' This artist scratches
the livelong day between the stones of the pavement for old nails from
horses' shoes, and other bits of iron; always in hope of a bit of
silver, and even perhaps a bit of gold; more happy in his hope than a
hundred others in the possession. He has a store, or 'magazin,' in the
Faubourgs, where he deposits his ferruginous treasure. His wife keeps
this store, and is a '_Marchande de Fer_.' He maintains a family, like
another man; one or two of his sons he brings up to scratch for a
living, and the other he sends to college; and he has a lot 'in
perpetuity' in Père la Chaise. His rank, however, is inferior to that of
the 'chiffonier,' who will not give him his daughter in marriage, and he
don't ask him to his _soirées_."

       *       *       *       *       *

A sad and "harrowing" event (after the manner of "the horrid" poetical
school), is recorded in the subjoined wild "Fragment:"

  "His eye was stern and wild; his cheek
    Was pale and cold as clay;
  Upon his tightened lip a smile
    Of fearful meaning lay:

  "He mused awhile, but not in doubt;
    No trace of doubt was there;
  It was the steady, solemn pause
    Of resolute despair!

  "Once more he looked upon the scroll,
    Once more its words he read;
  Then calmly, with unflinching hand,
    Its folds before him spread.

  "I saw him bare his throat, and seize
    The blue, cold-gleaming steel,
  And grimly try the temper'd edge
    He was so soon to feel!

  "A sickness crept upon my heart,
    And dizzy swam my head:
  I could not stir, I could not cry,
    I felt benumbed and dead!

  "Black icy horrors struck me dumb,
    And froze my senses o'er:
  I closed my eyes in utter fear,
    And strove to think no more!

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Again I looked: a fearful change
    Across his face had passed;
  He seemed to rave:--on cheek and lip
    A flaky foam was cast.

  "He raised on high the glittering blade;
    Then first I found a tongue:
  'Hold! madman! stay the frantic deed!
    I cried, and forth I sprung:

  "He heard me, but he heeded not:
    One glance around he gave:
  And ere I could arrest his hand,
    He had--BEGUN TO SHAVE!"

We can recall some half-dozen specimens of this style of writing; one,
at least, of which, from an erratic American poet, must be familiar to
the general reader.



Literary Notices.


_Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli._ (Published by Phillips, Sampson,
and Co.) The subject of these volumes has left a reputation for strength
and brilliancy of intellect which, we imagine, will hardly be justified
hereafter by the perusal of her writings. No one, however, can read this
touching tribute to her memory without perceiving that she was a
remarkable woman. It at once explains the secret of her success, and of
her want of general recognition. From her early childhood, she displayed
a wonderful precocity of genius. This was stimulated by constant mental
inebriation, produced by the excitements of an ambitious and ill-judged
education. Her girlish studies were devoted to subjects which demanded
the mature experience of a masculine intellect. Deprived of the frolic
delights of childhood, a woman in cultivation while young in years,
goaded to the wildest intensity of effort by the urgency of an exacting
parent, and attaining an extraordinary mental development at the expense
of her physical nature, she must, of course, soon have become the object
of marked attention and wonder--a prodigy to her friends, and a mystery
to herself. Thus she was early placed in a false position. She grew up
self-involved, her diseased mind preying on itself, and the
consciousness of her personal importance assumed a gigantic magnitude,
which threatened to overshadow all healthy manifestations of character.
In this condition, she was accustomed to claim more than she could
give--more than others were content to grant. The loftiness of her
self-esteem was the measure of her lavish disdain. Hence, with the
exception of those with whom chance had made her intimate, she was more
formidable than attractive to the circle of her acquaintance; her
presence in society called forth aversion or terror; as she dispensed
the scathing splendors of her Jove-like lightnings, rather than the
sweet refreshments of womanhood. But beneath this social despotism, were
concealed a genuine kindliness of nature, a large sympathizing heart, a
singular power of entering into the condition of others, and a weird
magnetic charm which drew to her closest intimacy the most opposite
characters. She was, moreover, generous and noble to an uncommon degree,
in all the more sacred relations of life; with a high sense of duty;
never shrinking from sacrifices; a wise and faithful counselor where her
confidence was invoked; absolutely free from every trait of petty or
sordid passion; the very soul of honor; and with a sense of justice that
seemed to ally her with Eternal Truth.--In these volumes, she is left in
a great measure to speak for herself. Her letters and private journals
present a transparent record of her character. The editorial portion, by
R. W. Emerson, James F. Clarke, and W. H. Channing, is executed with
beautiful candor. The most truthful simplicity graces and fortifies
their statements. With no other aim than to exhibit an honest
portraiture of their friend, they have in no case, that we can discover,
allowed their private feelings to gain the mastery over their sterner
judgments.--Her residence in Italy reveals her heroism, devotion, and
womanly tenderness, in a light that would almost induce the belief, on
the part of those who had met her only in the antagonisms of society,
that she had changed her identity. A profound, mysterious pathos hovers
around her Italian experience, preparing the reader for the tragic close
of a life, which was itself a tragedy. The description of her last hours
presents a scene of desolation, before which grief can only bow in mute
tears.

_Charity and its Fruits_, by JONATHAN EDWARDS, edited by TRYON EDWARDS.
A new work from the pen of the illustrious Northampton pastor can not
fail to be welcome to the admirers of his profound and original genius.
Combining a rare acuteness of metaphysical speculation, with a glowing
fervor of religious sentiment, Edwards has called forth the most
expressive eulogiums from the philosophers of the old world, while his
name is still "familiar as a household word" in the primitive homes of
New England. His character presented a striking union of intellectual
vigor with earnest piety. The childlike simplicity of his tastes was
blended with the refined subtlety of a mediæval schoolman. The apostle
of disinterested love, his soul was inspired and thrilled with
contemplating the glories of redemption, and the triumphs of grace over
the ruins of humanity The Lectures contained in this volume are devoted
to his favorite theme. They illustrate the principle of love as the
foundation of the Christian character, and the expression of
reconciliation with the Lord. In the high standard of duty which they
present, in their deep and comprehensive views of human nature, and in
the force and sweetness of their style, they compare favorably with the
standard productions of their author, and are certainly not surpassed by
any religious treatise of modern times.

The manuscripts from which these lectures have been prepared were nearly
ready for the press, as left by the writer. They were afterward placed
in the charge of Dr. Hopkins and Dr. Bellamy, and are now for the first
time given to the public by the present editor. He justly deserves the
gratitude of the religious world for this valuable gift. (Published by
R. Carter and Brothers).

Harper and Brothers have issued a neat octavo edition of Sir JOHN
RICHARDSON'S _Arctic Searching Expedition_, comprising a copious journal
of a boat-voyage through Rupert's Land and the Arctic Sea, in search of
Sir John Franklin--a variety of interesting details concerning the
savages of that region--and an elaborate treatise on the physical
geography of North America. Sir John Richardson left Liverpool in March,
1848, and after landing in New York, proceeded at once to the Saut Ste.
Marie, where he arrived about the last of April. Starting in a few days
from the Saut, he reached the mouth of the River Winnipeg on the 29th of
May, and arrived at Cumberland House, on the Saskatchewan, June 13--a
distance of nearly 3000 miles from New York. His various adventures on
the overland route to Fort Confidence, in 66 degrees of north latitude,
where the winter residence of the party was established, are related
with great minuteness, presenting a lively picture of the manners of the
Indians, and the physical phenomena of the icy North. The history of Sir
John Franklin's Expedition, and the present state of the search for that
intrepid navigator, is briefly recorded. With the prevailing interest in
every thing connected with Arctic discovery, this volume is a most
seasonable publication, and will be read with avidity by our intelligent
countrymen.

_The Future Wealth of America_, by FRANCIS BONYNGE, is a volume of
curious interest, describing the physical resources of the United
States, and the commercial and agricultural advantages of introducing
several new branches of cultivation. Among the products enumerated by
the author as adapted to the soil and climate of this country are tea,
coffee, and indigo, the date, the orange, the peach fruit, and the
guava. The work, though written in an enthusiastic spirit, is filled
with practical details, and presents a variety of useful suggestions in
regard to the conditions of national prosperity. Mr. Bonynge is
familiarly acquainted with the culture of tropical products, having
resided for fourteen years in India and China. His book is
well-deserving the attention of the American public.

The Twenty-second Part of COPLAND'S _Dictionary of Practical Medicine_
is published by Harper and Brothers, reaching to the eight hundredth
page of the third volume of the work, and to the commencement of the
letter S. For laymen who have occasion to refer to a medical work, this
Dictionary forms a valuable book of reference, and may be consulted with
convenience and profit. Its merits are too well known to the profession
to demand comment.

_A Reel in the Bottle, for Jack in the Doldrums_, by Rev. HENRY T.
CHEEVER. Modern allegory is a dangerous species of composition. The
taste of the age demands clearness, brevity, point; it prefers
practical facts to mystic symbols; and, above all, rejects artificial
tamperings with Oriental imagery. Imitations of the venerable simplicity
of the Bible are always offensive to a correct mind; and scarcely less
so is the ancient form of allegory disguised in fashionable trappings.
The volume now put forth by Mr. Cheever forms no exception to these
remarks. He has met with but indifferent success, in an attempt where a
perfect triumph would have brought little credit. The frequent
sacrifices of nature and good taste, which his plan demands, illustrate
his ingenuity at the expense of his judgment. He reminds us of John
Bunyan, whom he takes for his model, only by contrast. We should as soon
expect a modern Hamlet from Bulwer as a second Pilgrim's Progress from
the present author. (Published by Charles Scribner.)

_The Head of the Family_, by the gifted author of "The Ogilvies," forms
the One Hundred and Sixty-seventh number of Harper's "Library of Select
Novels." It is distinguished for the absorbing interest of its plot, the
refinement and beauty of its characterizations, and its frequent scenes
of tenderness and pathos.

NEANDER'S _Practical Exposition of the Epistle of James_ has been
translated by Mrs. H. C. CONANT, and published by Lewis Colby. We have
before spoken of the success of Mrs. Conant, as the translator of
Neander. She has accomplished her present task with equal felicity.
Biblical students are greatly in her debt for introducing them to the
acquaintance of such a profound and sympathizing interpreter of Holy
Writ. Neander wisely avoids metaphysical subtleties. Nor is he a barren,
verbal critic. He brings a sound, robust common sense to the exposition
of his subject, seeking to detect the living spirit of the writer, and
to reproduce it with genuine vitality. A new glow breathes over the
sacred page under his cordial, feeling comments, and we seem to be
brought into the most intimate communion with the inspired writer. It is
no small praise to say of the translator, that she has transferred this
lifesome spirit, to a great degree, into her own production.

Redfield has published a spirited translation of ARSENE HOUSSAYE'S work
on the _Men and Women of the Eighteenth Century_ in France. A more
characteristic portraiture of that egotistic and voluptuous age is not
to be found in any language. It places us in the midst of the frivolous
court, where the love of pleasure had triumphed over natural sentiment,
where religion was lost in hypocrisy, and earnestness of character
laughed out of countenance by shameless adventurers. The brilliancy of
coloring in these volumes does not disguise the infamy of the persons
whom it celebrates. They are displayed in all their detestable
heartlessness, and present a wholesome warning to the reader by the
hideous ugliness of their example.

BON GAULTIER'S _Book of Ballads_. These clever parodies and satires,
whose cool audacity and mischievous love of fun have secured them a
favorite place in the English magazines, have been republished in a neat
edition by Redfield. Our too thin-skinned compatriots may find something
to provoke their ire in the American Ballads, but the sly malice of
these effusions generally finds an antidote in their absurdity. For the
rest, Bon Gaultier may be called, in Yankee parlance, "a right smart
chap," excelling in a species of literature which the highest genius
rarely attempts.


We have a new edition of WALKER'S _Rhyming_ _Dictionary_ from Lindsay
and Blakiston--a welcome aid, no doubt, to scribblers in pursuit of
rhymes under difficulties. We hope it will not have the effect to
stimulate the crop of bad poetry, which of late has been such a nuisance
to honest readers.

       *       *       *       *       *

MISS MITFORD, in her _Literary Recollections_ gives some specimens of
poetical charades by Mr. Praed, the most successful composer of lyrical
_jeux d'esprit_ of this kind. In the review of her work by the
_Athenæum_, the two following charades are quoted, the latter of which,
Miss Mitford says, is still a mystery to her, and proposes a solution to
her readers:

I.

  "Come from my _First_, ay, come!
    The battle dawn is nigh;
  And the screaming trump and the thundering drum
    Are calling thee to die!
  Fight as thy father fought;
    Fall as thy father fell;
  Thy task is taught; thy shroud is wrought,
    So; forward and farewell!

  "Toll ye my _Second_! toll!
    Fling high the flambeau's light;
  And sing the hymn for a parted soul
    Beneath the silent night!
  The wreath upon his head,
    The cross upon his breast,
  Let the prayer be said, and the tear be shed,
    So,--take him to his rest!

  "Call ye my _Whole_, ay, call,
    The lord of lute and lay;
  And let him greet the sable pall
    With a noble song to-day;
  Go, call him by his name!
    No fitter hand may crave
  To light the flame of a soldier's fame
    On the turf of a soldier's grave.

II.

  "Sir Hilary charged at Agincourt,--
    Sooth 'twas an awful day!
  And though in that old age of sport
  The rufflers of the camp and court
    Had little time to pray,
  'Tis said Sir Hilary muttered there
  Two syllables by way of prayer.

  "My _First_ to all the brave and proud
    Who see to-morrow's sun;
  My _Next_ with her cold and quiet cloud
  To those who find their dewy shroud
    Before to-day's be done;
  And both together to all blue eyes
  That weep when a warrior nobly dies."

A correspondent of the _Literary Gazette_ furnishes
the following poetical solution of the two charades
in one:

  "No more we hear the sentry's heavy tramp
  Around the precincts of the drowsy _camp_;
  All now is hush'd in calm and sweet repose,
  And peaceful is the lovely evening's close;
  Save when the village chimes the hours forth-tell,
  Or parting souls demand the passing _bell_.
  Would I could grasp a _Campbell's_ lyric pen!
  I then might justice do to 'arms and men,'
  And sing the well-fought field of Agincourt,
  Where, hand to hand, mix'd in the bloody sport,
  The hosts of France, vain of superior might,
  By English valor were o'erthrown in fight,
  And bade to fame and fortune long _Good Night_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Messrs. Clark of Edinburgh have in preparation, translations of the
following works: viz.--Dr. JULIUS MULLER'S great work on the _Doctrine
of Sin_, translated under the superintendence of the author.--Professor
MUSTON'S _Israel of the Alps_, the latest and most complete History of
the Waldenses, translated with the concurrence of the author.--DORNER on
the _Person of Christ_, translated by the Rev. Mr. KINGSFORD, one of
the Chaplains to the Hon. East India Company.--BENGEL'S _Gnomon of the
New Testament_, translated by the Rev. PETER HOLMES, of the Plymouth
Royal Grammar School.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Bohn announces the following important Works as about to appear
shortly: KIRBY and KIDD'S _Bridgewater Treatises_.--_Coin-Collector's
Hand-Book_, by H. N. HUMPHREYS, with numerous engravings of Ancient
Coins.--_Greek Anthology; or Select Epigrams of the Greek Classic
Poets_, literally translated into Prose, with occasional parallels in
verse by English Poets.--OERSTED'S _Soul in Nature_, and other works,
translated from the Danish, with Life of the Author.--_Rome in the 19th
Century_; with Maps and Diagrams.--KUGLER'S _Historical Manual of
Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture, Ancient and Modern_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The election of the Greek Professor in the University of Edinburgh was
fixed for the 2d of March. The number of candidates in the field was
very large, but it was thought that many would retire before the day of
election. The principal struggle was supposed to be between Dr. William
Smith, of New College, London, the learned author of the Classical
Dictionaries; Dr. Price, late of Rugby, the friend of Dr. Arnold;
Professor Macdowall, of Queen's College, Belfast; and Professor Blackie,
of Aberdeen. The emoluments of the chair are upward of 800_l._, and the
college duties extend only over about half the year, during the winter
session from November to May.

       *       *       *       *       *

Professor ROBINSON, our townsman, whose proposed expedition to Palestine
we lately announced, was at Berlin, at the latest accounts, and expects
to be at Beyrout on the 1st of March. He intends to occupy most of his
time in visiting the more remote districts of the country, and those
villages off the usual routes, which are least known to travelers.
Toward the completion of the topography and geography of Palestine, we
may expect many new facts to be thus obtained. One of the American
missionaries in Syria, the Rev. ELI SMITH, and Mr. WILLIAM DICKSON, of
Edinburgh, are to join Professor ROBINSON at Beyrout, and accompany him
in the journey. The identification of the site of the Holy Sepulchre,
about which there has been much dispute lately, is one object to which
special attention will be given. Dr. Robinson was in London, on his
route to the Continent, and attended the meetings of the Geographical
and other Societies.

       *       *       *       *       *

The wife of Professor ROBINSON has recently published a protest in the
London _Athenæum_ against a garbled English edition of her work on the
Colonization of New England. Mrs. ROBINSON says, "A work appeared in
London last summer with the following title: 'Talvi's History of the
Colonization of America,' edited by William Hazlitt, in two volumes. It
seems proper to state that the original work was written under favorable
circumstances _in German_ and published in Germany. It treated only of
the colonization of _New England_:--and that only stood on its
title-page. The above English publication therefore, is a mere
translation--and it was made without the consent or knowledge of the
author. The very title is a misnomer; all references to authorities are
omitted; and the whole work teems with errors, not only of the press,
but also of translation--the latter such as could have been made by no
person well acquainted with the German and English tongues. For the work
in this form, therefore, the author can be in no sense whatever
responsible."

       *       *       *       *       *

A late number of the _London Leader_ in a review of HERMAN MELVILLE'S
_Moby Dick, or the Whale_, says, "Want of originality has long been the
just and standing reproach to American literature; the best of its
writers were but second-hand Englishmen. Of late some have given
evidence of originality; not _absolute_ originality, but such genuine
outcoming of the American intellect as can be safely called national.
Edgar Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville are assuredly no
British off-shoots; nor is Emerson--the _German_ American that he is!
The observer of this commencement of an American literature, properly so
called, will notice as significant that these writers have a wild and
mystic love of the super-sensual, peculiarly their own. To move a horror
skillfully, with something of the earnest faith in the Unseen, and with
weird imagery to shape these phantasms so vividly that the most
incredulous mind is hushed, absorbed--to do this no European pen has
apparently any longer the power--to do this American literature is
without a rival. What _romance_ writer can be named with HAWTHORNE? Who
knows the horrors of the seas like HERMAN MELVILLE?"

       *       *       *       *       *

A bill has been introduced by the Lord Advocate for abolishing tests in
the Scottish universities for all professional chairs but those of the
theological faculties. At present every professor, before induction, is
required by law to sign the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the
other formularies of the Scottish Established Kirk. In many cases the
signature is not actually required, or it is given as a mere matter of
form. Many of the most distinguished professors in Scotland do not
belong to the Established Church of that country.

       *       *       *       *       *

Count DE MONTALEMBERT'S formal reception as a Member of the Académie
Française took place on the 5th of February; and as an event of literary
and political importance, excited extraordinary sensation. The _salle_
of the Academy was thronged to excess by the _élite_ of Parisian
society, and hundreds who had obtained tickets were unable to secure
admission. As usual on such occasions, the Count delivered an harangue,
the text of which was the merits, real or supposed, of the deceased
member to whose chair he succeeded--but the burden of which was an
exposition of the Count's opinions on things political, and things in
general. As usual, also, one of the Academicians replied by a
complimentary discourse to the new member, and it so chanced that the
respondent was no less a personage than M. Guizot. These two
distinguished men are what the French call "eagles of eloquence," and
under any circumstance the liveliest interest would have been felt to
see the two noble birds take an oratorical flight; but on this occasion
it was immensely increased, by the fact that they are recognized chiefs
of two different creeds in religion, the Catholic and the Protestant; of
two hostile political parties, that of absolutism, and that of liberty;
and of two contending schools in philosophy--one, which imposes
authority on the mind of man, the other, which maintains his right to
free examination.

       *       *       *       *       *

CAVAIGNAC is stated to be employing the leisure of his voluntary exile
in writing his own memoirs. This may be one of the mere rumors which
float idly about in an age of interrupted sequence and disturbed action,
but should it prove true, the public may hope for a curious and
exciting narrative from the hero of June. Godfrey Cavaignac, his
brother, was one of the wittiest and sternest of republican writers
under Louis Philippe--and his own avowed opinions were the cause of much
suspicion to the government, though his brilliant exploits in Algiers
rendered it impossible to keep him down. Of course, however, the chief
interest of his memoirs would centre in the pages devoted to his share
in events subsequent to 1848.

       *       *       *       *       *

A letter-writer from Paris to a London journal, presents some sound
comments on the recent infamous law for the suppression of the freedom
of the press: "President Bonaparte has this day promulgated his
long-expected law on the press. It is of unexampled harshness and
oppression. Old Draco himself, if living in these days, would not have
made it so atrociously severe. It ruins newspaper and periodical
proprietors; it strips editors, and writers, and reporters of the means
of obtaining their bread by their honest industry; it altogether
annihilates the political press. And not content with this, it prohibits
the entrance into France of _foreign_ political journals and
periodicals, without the special authorization of the government.

"A few months ago the number of daily political newspapers in Paris
exceeded thirty; it now does not amount to ten, and of these ten some
are certain to disappear in the course of a short time. It is a very
moderate computation to suppose that each one of the twenty and odd
suppressed journals gave regular employment at good salaries to ten
literary men, as editors, contributors, reporters, correspondents, or
critics, and that each one afforded occasional employment to at least
the same number of feuilletonistes. Here, then, we have upward of twice
two hundred men, who, as regards intelligence, are of the _élite_ of
society, suddenly deprived of 'the means whereby they lived,' without
any fault of their own. What is to become of them? What of their
helpless wives and families? Few of them have any aptitude for any other
calling, and even if they had, what chance have they, in this
overstocked world, of finding vacant places? The contemplation of their
misery must wring every heart, and the more so as, from a certain
_fierté_ they all possess, they feel it with peculiar bitterness. But,
after all, they are but a small portion of the unfortunates who are
ruined by the ruining of the press: there are the compositors, who must
exceed two thousand in number; there are the news-venders, who must
amount to hundreds, there are the distributors, and the publishers, and
the clerks, and all the various dependents of a journal, who must amount
to hundreds more--all, like Othello, now exclaiming, 'My occupation's
gone.' And then paper-makers and type-founders must surely find work
slacker and wages lower, now that the newspapers are dead. And then,
again, the cafés and the reading-rooms--a very legion--can they do the
same amount of business when they have no newspapers to offer? I wonder
whether the French Dictator has ever thought of the wide-spread misery
he has occasioned, and is causing, by his enmity to the press. It may be
doubted--else, perhaps, he would never, from motives of personal or
political convenience, have annihilated such an important branch of
human industry, which gave bread to tens of thousands. It is a fine
thing to have a giant's strength, but tyrannous to use it as a giant."

       *       *       *       *       *

The German papers say that DR. MEINHOLD, the author of the _Amber
Witch_, has left among his papers an unfinished manuscript, entitled
"Hagar and the Reformation"--which, they add, is now in an editor's
hands, and will be shortly given to the public.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAMARTINE'S new periodical, the _Civilisateur_, is receiving fair
support. The subscriptions are coming in rapidly, and the first number
will appear shortly.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Mysteries of the People_, by EUGENE SUE, is announced to be
completed immediately. The sale of this eccentric novel, to say no more,
has been prodigious. Eugene Sue is in Switzerland.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. NEUMAN, Professor of History in the University of Munich, has
completed his long-promised _History of the English Empire in Asia_. It
is on the eve of publication.

       *       *       *       *       *

Herr HARTLEBEN, the publisher at Pesth and Vienna, whose meritorious
efforts to familiarize his countrymen with the best works of English
literature, has just published a translation of Mr. DICKENS'S _Child's
History of England_. A German edition of Mr. WARBURTON'S _Darien_ is
preparing for publication.

       *       *       *       *       *

The German letter addressed to the Countess HAHN-HAHN on her two
works--_From Babylon to Jerusalem_, and _In Jerusalem_--in Germany
generally ascribed to Dr. NITZSCH, of Berlin, has been translated and
published by Mr. Parker. It is very clever, and will probably amuse and
interest the readers of that lady's former novels. The restless longing
after new sensations, and the logicless action of a vain and ambitious
mind, have seldom been analyzed so well or satirized so keenly as in
_Babylon_ and _Jerusalem_. A sharp preface from the translator also adds
to the reader's zest.

       *       *       *       *       *

GUTZKOW, the German critic and novelist, has just published a collected
edition of his works in thirteen volumes, to which he is about to add a
fourteenth volume, containing the memoirs of his earlier years. His
gigantic novel, the _Knights of the Spirit_, has reached a second
edition.

       *       *       *       *       *

An English newspaper, _The Rhenish Times_, is about to be published at
Neuwied, on the Rhine. This new organ, which has not many chances of
success, is to be devoted to polite literature, politics, &c.; from the
contributions of a number of "eminent English authors," now residents of
Neuwied and its environs.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Austrian government, in order to secure the improvement of Hebrew
works of devotion for its own subjects, has authorized the establishment
of a special printing press at Goritz, in Illyrïa; and it calculates
that it will henceforth be able to supply the vast demand which exists
in the East. Heretofore the Jews of Eastern Europe, of Asia, and of
Northern Africa, have obtained their religious books principally from
Amsterdam or Leghorn.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Of the language and literature of Hungary," says the _Literary
Gazette_, "little is known in England. No European nation has excited so
much political interest, with so little intellectual communion, or
literary intercourse with other nations. By deeds, very little by words,
has Hungary gained the sympathy and respect of the Anglo-Saxon freemen
on both sides of the Atlantic. Few Englishmen have ever heard of the
names of Garay, and Petöfi, and Kisfaludy, and Vörösmartz, whose lyric
strains stir the hearts of the Magyars. The literature of so noble a
people can not remain longer neglected in England. Besides the
political importance which the country will yet assume, there is beauty
and originality in the language itself deserving study. Of all European
tongues, it has most of the Oriental spirit and form in its idioms. We
are glad to find that an elementary work, entitled 'The Hungarian
Language; its Structure and Rules, with Exercises and a Vocabulary,' is
in the press, by Sigismund Wékey, late aid-de-camp to Kossuth. Both in
Great Britain and America, we have little doubt, the book will be
popular."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Edinburgh papers record the death, upon the 14th, at the early age
of forty-four, of ROBERT BLACKWOOD, Esq., the head of the firm of
eminent publishers of that name. For the last two years the state of Mr.
Blackwood's health compelled his withdrawal from a business which, for
the previous fifteen years, he had conducted with admirable energy,
sagacity, and success. In the discharge of the difficult duties which
devolved upon him, from his position with reference to the literary men
of the day, Robert Blackwood uniformly displayed the same strong
practical sense for which his father, the founder of the Magazine, was
distinguished. He was respected and beloved for his simple and manly
qualities by all who had the happiness to know him. His judgments were
independent, clear, and decided; his attachments strong and sincere, and
by many his name will be long and warmly remembered as that of a stanch
and cordial friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

The friends and admirers of the late LORENZ OKEN, one of the most
eminent anatomists and natural philosophers of modern Europe, have set
on foot a subscription for a monument to his memory. Oken's writings
have been widely read in Europe and in America--and have, we believe,
been translated into French, Italian, and Scandinavian, as well as into
English. The character of the monument can not be determined until the
probable amount of the subscription shall have been ascertained--but it
is expected to take the form of a bust or a statue, to be set up in the
Platz at Jena.

       *       *       *       *       *

Baron D'OHSON died recently at Stockholm, aged 73. He was a member of
the Academy of Sciences, and President of the Royal Society of
Literature in that city. He was one of the most eminent Oriental
scholars of the day, and author, among other things, of an important
work on the peoples of Caucasus, and of a valuable history of Chinese
Tartary, He was born at Constantinople, of Armenian parents, but was
educated at Paris. He became secretary to Bernadotte, accompanied him to
Sweden, and subsequently fulfilled several diplomatic missions to Paris,
London, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turin journals announce the death of SERANGELI, an artist of celebrity.
He was born at Rome, in 1770, and became a pupil of the celebrated
David. At an early age he distinguished himself by a painting in one of
the annual exhibitions at Paris, and commissions of importance were
given to him by the government. His principal works are: _Eurydice dying
in the arms of Orpheus_; _Orpheus soliciting her release from the King
of Hell_; _Sophocles pleading against his Sons_; a _Christ Crucified_;
and the _Interview of the Emperors Napoleon and Alexander at Tilsit_. Of
late years he confined himself principally to portrait-painting, and his
skill as an historical painter declined in consequence.



Three Leaves from Punch.


[Illustration: GOING TO COVER.

VOICE IN THE DISTANCE.--"Now, then, Smith--Come along!"

SMITH.--"Oh, it's all very well to say, Come along! when he won't move a
step, and I'm afraid he's going to lie down!"]


[Illustration: OLD GENT.--"You see, my Dear, that the Earth turns on its
own Axis, and makes one Revolution round the Sun each Year."

YOUNG REVOLVER.--"Then, Pa, does France turn on its own Axis when it
makes its Revolutions?"

OLD GENT.--"No, my Dear, it turns on its Bayonets. However, that's not a
Question in Astronomy."]



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS.

(_Selected from a Course of Lectures by_ PROFESSOR PUNCH.)


The President has been elected for ten years. By the time this period
has closed, it will be found that not only the term of the President's
power, but the prosperity of France will be Decade (_Decayed_).

"ELECTION," according to the Dictionaries, is a synonym for "Choice.'"
But in Louis Napoleon's new Political Dictionary we find the significant
addendum:--"'_Hobson's' understood_."

The two parties in France, who are the one in favor of a King and the
other in favor of a Commonwealth, are easily distinguished by the
denominations of Monarchists and Republicans; but there is some
difficulty in finding a denomination for those in favor of an Empire,
unless we adopt that of _Empirics_.

The President is said to be a firm believer in the _Thompsonian
practice_ of medicine. This is probable, from the fact that he has
treated the Insurgents with _Cayenne_.

In honor of the vote for Louis Napoleon "the Tower of Notre Dame was
decorated with hangings." Considering the origin of the present
government, which is based on so many _shootings_, a very appropriate
decoration is by means of _hanging_.

The French trees of Liberty have been cut down and the wood given to the
poor for fuel. The only liberty which the French have is--to warm
themselves.

The French have long been well instructed in Deportment; the President
is now giving them lessons in Deportation.

France is still quiet; she is taking her little
_Nap_.

[Illustration: EARLY PUBLICATION OF A LIBERAL PAPER IN
PARIS.--_Time_--Four A.M.]

[Illustration: SCENE FROM THE "PRESIDENT'S PROGRESS."

(_Suggested by_ HOGARTH'S _Rake's Progress_.)]

This plate represents the "PRINCE PRESIDENT" taking possession of the
effects of his deceased Uncle. From an old chest he has rummaged out the
Imperial globe, crown, eagle, and collar. The Code Napoleon, a pair of
military boots--too large to fit the new owner--and a bayonet, make up
the remainder of the contents of the chest. The sceptre is surmounted by
an expanded hand, the thumb of which comes in suspicious proximity to
the nose of a bust of the Uncle. From an open closet the Imperial eagle,
reduced to the last state of emaciation, is looking out. In the
fireplace is the Imperial chair, to which an old hag, who might pass for
the Avenging Nemesis, is setting fire, probably with the wood of the
Trees of Liberty. Sundry hoards, left by the former occupant of the
house, have been discovered, from which the young heir's ghostly
attendant is helping himself. The new tailor, Monsieur GENDARME, is in
the act of measuring the President for a suit of "Imperial purple, first
quality." Mademoiselle LIBERTE, accompanied by her mother, Madame
FRANCE, comes to demand the fulfillment of the promises he has made her,
and has brought the wedding-ring; but he refuses to fulfill his solemnly
sworn engagement; and offers money to the mother, who rejects it with an
expression of countenance that brooks no good to the gay deceiver. "The
characters in this picture," says Heir SAUERTEIG, "are admirably
developed; the stupid brutality of the heir, the grief and shame of the
poor deceived LIBERTE, the anger of FRANCE, which, it is clear, will not
be satisfied with words, the greed and avarice of the peculating priest,
and the business-like air of the tailor--perfectly indifferent whether
he fits his patron with an imperial robe or a convict's blouse--are
worthy of the highest admiration."


[Illustration: LADY.--"I have called, Mr. Squills to say that my darling
Dog(!) has taken all his Mixture, but his Cough is no better."]


[Illustration: MASTER TOM--"Have a Weed, Gran'pa?"

GRAN'PA.--"A what! Sir?"

MASTER TOM.--"A Weed!--A Cigar, you know."

GRAN'PA.--"Certainly not, Sir. I never smoked in my life."

MASTER TOM.--"Ah! then I wouldn't advise you to begin."]


[Illustration: EFFECTS OF A STRIKE.

    UPON THE CAPITALIST.        UPON THE WORKMAN.]


[Illustration: MR. ----.--"So, your Name is Charley, is it? Now, Charley
doesn't know who I am?"

SHARP LITTLE BOY.--"Oh yes! but I do, though."

MR. ----.--"Well, who am I?"

SHARP LITTLE BOY.--"Why, you're the Gentleman who kissed Sister Sophy in
the Library, the other night, when you thought no one was there."]


[Illustration: "I say, Cook, will you ask the Policeman, could he step
up--there's a Row in the next street."]



THE SEVEN WONDERS OF A YOUNG LADY.


I.

Keeping her accounts in preference to an Album.

II.

Generously praising the attractions of that "affected creature" who
always cut her out.

III.

Not ridiculing the man she secretly prefers--nor quizzing what she
seriously admires.

IV.

Not changing her "dear, dear friend" quarterly--or her dress three times
a day.

V.

Reading a novel without looking at the third volume first; or writing a
letter without a post-script; or taking wine at dinner without saying
"the smallest drop in the world;" or singing without "a bad cold;" or
wearing shoes that were not "a mile too big for her."

VI.

Seeing a baby without immediately rushing to it and kissing it.

VII.

Carrying a large bouquet at an evening party, and omitting to ask her
partner "if he understands the language of flowers."



Spring Fashions.

[Illustration: FIGURES 1 AND 2.--DRAWING-ROOM AND BALL COSTUMES.]


The sunny days of April, after our long, cold winter, are peculiarly
inviting to promenaders, who have been housed for four months. Fashion,
always on the alert to please, and as prompt in her ministrations, as
the breath of spring to the buds, is unfolding her beauties in the world
of mode, and, within another month will bring forth her creations in
full bloom. In the mean while, new costumes for the drawing room and the
saloon are not wanting. We present our readers this month with a report
of in-door costumes only, but hope to give them something acceptable in
our next, concerning dresses for the carriage and the promenade. The
fabrics and colors suitable for March yet prevail, with few changes.

The figure on the right (Fig. 1) in our first illustration exhibits a
FULL DRESS TOILET, at once rich, chaste, and elegant. It is particularly
adapted to youthful matrons, or ladies who may have doubled their teens
without being caught in the noose of Hymen. The head-dress is very
elegant. The parting of the hair in the middle of the forehead is very
short, and the whole front hair is arranged in small curls, short in
front, and gradually lengthening toward the sides. A band of pearls goes
all round the head above the curls, and is brought round behind to hold
the back hair.

Dress of antique watered silk, open all the way down from top of body.
The body is cut so as to form lappets and has no seam at the waist; the
lappet, quite smooth, goes round behind. The skirt is put on and
gathered just under the edge of the lappet. The trimming of this dress
is silk net in puffed _bouillonnés_. There is some round the body, on
the sleeves, and all down the fore parts of the body and the dress. The
_bouillons_ on the top of the body and sleeves are confined by pearl
loops. A rich brooch of pearls and diamonds, conceals the junction of
the _bouillés_ at the top of the body on the breast. The _bouillonnés_
of the edges of fore part are confined by pearl cords, and at every
other _bouillon_, the strings of pearls are double and go from one edge
to the other. The body leaving open a space of two or three inches at
the waist, just shows the bottom of an under-body of white satin. The
under-skirt is satin, embroidered to represent an apron, with very rich
pattern worked in white silk and with the crochet. Two rows of Alençon
lace decorate each sleeve; a little white chemisette reaches beyond the
body. The silk crochet embroidery may be replaced by one executed in
silver, &c.

FIG. 2.--BALL COSTUME.--The season for balls is about closing, yet we
give another illustration of a very elegant style: Hair in puffed bands;
wreath of roses, laid so as to follow the curve of the bands, forming a
point in front, and meeting behind in the back hair. Dress, white satin,
covered with embroidered silk-net, and ornamented with bouquets of
roses. The body is close, plain, and straight at top, and cut in three
pieces in front; the point is long, the silk-net of sprigged pattern is
laid even on the body, and follows its cut. The satin skirt has hollow
plaits, and the net one is placed over it, so as to puff a good deal,
without following the same plaits as those in the satin skirt. The
effect of this black silk-net with black flowers over white satin, is
very striking. In the front of the skirt, and from left to right, ten or
eleven bouquets of moss roses and rose-buds are scattered at random, and
this is a most appropriate occasion to apply Boileau's verse, in which
he says, that "fine disorder is the effect of art." The short sleeves
are puffed a little, and are trimmed with _engageantes_ of
scolloped-edged black blonde.

FIG. 3 represents a portion of an elegant DRESS-TOILET. Over the head is
seen the upper part of a rich _sortie de bal_ of white silk, trimmed
with broad white galloon, watered, rather more than three inches wide.
This galloon is sewed on flat about an inch from the edge. A galloon of
an inch and a half begins at the waist, and comes, marking the shape of
the breast, to pass over the shoulder, and form a round at the back. The
galloon serves as an ornament, and it is below that the body of the
garment assumes the fullness for fluting. A double trimming of white,
worsted gimp, embroidered with white jet, forms a pelerine. The upper
one is raised, like a _fanchon_, to cover the top of the head, without
muffling the neck and chin. The bottom is also trimmed with a deep
gimp, gathered, in sewing on. The dress is yellow _moire antique_,
figured with a lampas pattern, reaching to the top. In the front, at the
middle, by an effect of white satin, obtained in the manufacture, the
imitation of a beautiful white ribbon is interwoven in the figured part,
beginning at the waist, diverging on either side as it descends, and
running round the bottom of the skirt. This admirable dress has received
the name of _Victoria_.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--DRESS TOILET.]

We denominate FIG. 4 a FANCY COSTUME for a little girl, because it has
not been in vogue for the last three-fourths of a century. It represents
the costume of a girl at about the time of our Revolution.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--FANCY COSTUME.]

It was the dress, not only of children, but of girls "in their teens."
It must be admitted, we think, that Fashion has not grown wise by age.
In elegant simplicity this costume is far in advance of the flaunting
exhibitions of finery, which little girls of our day often display. We
recommend it to our Bloomer friends, as a practical historical evidence
that their notions are not "new-fangled," but have the consecration of
age, and the sanction of the generation when our good Washington flirted
with the gay belles of Virginia.



[Transcriber's Note:

Variant spelling has been retained. Minor corrections to punctuation
have been made without note.

Oe ligature denoted by [oe] in the text version.

Superscript denoted with caret (^) in the text version.

A Table of Contents has been provided for the HTML version.

Small caps replaced by all caps and italics denoted by "_" in the text
version.

Correction of printer's errors:

Page 588: "...would to tend the horses..." changed to read "...would be
to tend the horses..."

Page 595: "...the fasts, the v.gils, the penances..." changed to read
"...the fasts, the vigils, the penances..."

Page 606: "...aided by my colleage, Moulins..." changed to read
"...aided by my colleague Moulins..."

Page 607: "...that thunberbolt may be..." changed to read "...that
thunderbolt may be..."

Page 607: "...sagacious transferrence of the meeting..." changed to read
"...sagacious transference of the meeting ..."

Page 661: "...he said was one one of the counsel..." changed to read
"...he said was one of the counsel ..."

Page 665: "...himself to Borriboola-Gha..." changed to read "...himself
to Borrioboola-Gha..."

Page 666: "...made a similar responce." changed to read "...made a
similar response."

Page 666: "...the utmost discription Ada could give..." changed to read
"...the utmost description Ada could give..."

Page 678: "...it it was Woman..." changed to read "...it was Woman..."

Page 687: "...Douglas could scarcly have called him ..." changed to read
"...Douglas could scarcely have called him..."

Page 690: "...the man was a a match..." changed to read "...the man was
a match..."

Page 693: "...washing the dus: this is..." changed to read "...washing
the dust: this is..."

Page 696: "...Lord Lieutenant of Ireand; Duke of Montrose..." changed to
read "...Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; Duke of Montrose..."

Page 696: "...a good deal of skil and bravery..." changed to read "...a
good deal of skill and bravery..."

Page 706: "...the color of the shiling there?" changed to read "...the
color of the shilling there?"

Page 708: "...she was a reremarkable woman." changed to read "...she was
a remarkable woman."

Page 710: "...the Greek Professsor in the University..." changed to read
"...the Greek Professor in the University..."]





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