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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXIV, May 1852, Vol. IV
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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HARPER'S

NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

NO. XXIV.--MAY, 1852.--VOL. IV.



RODOLPHUS.--A FRANCONIA STORY.

BY JACOB ABBOTT.


CHAPTER III.

I. ANTONIO.

The person who came in so suddenly to help the boys extinguish the fire
under the corn-barn, on the night of the robbery, was Antonio, or
Beechnut, as the boys more commonly called him. In order to explain how
he came to be there, we must go back a little in our narrative, and
change the scene of it to Mrs. Henry's house at Franconia, where Antonio
lived.

One morning about a week before the robbery, Phonny, Mrs. Henry's son,
and his cousin Malleville, who was at that time making a visit at his
mother's, were out upon the back platform at play, when they saw Antonio
walking toward the barn.

"Children," said Antonio, "we are going into the field to get a great
stone out of the ground. You may go with us if you like."

"Well;" said Phonny, "come, Malleville, let us go."

So the children followed Antonio to the barn. There was a man there, one
of Mrs. Henry's workmen, called James, who was getting out the oxen.
James drove the oxen into the shed, and there attached them to a certain
vehicle called a drag. This drag was formed of two planks placed side by
side, with small pieces nailed along the sides and at the ends. The drag
was shaped at the front so as to turn up a little, in order that it
might not catch in the ground when drawn along. There was a hole in the
front part of the drag for the end of a chain to be passed through, to
draw the drag by. The end of the chain was fastened by a wooden pin
called a _fid_, which was passed through the hook or one of the links,
and this prevented the chain from being drawn back through the hole
again.

While James was attaching the oxen to the drag, Antonio was putting such
tools and implements upon it as would be required for the work. He put
on an iron bar, an ax, a saw, a shovel, and two spare chains.

"Now, children," said he, "jump on."

So Phonny and Malleville jumped on, and Antonio with them. Antonio stood
in the middle of the drag, while Phonny and Malleville took their places
on each side of him, and held on by his arms. James then started the
oxen along, and thus they went into the field.

"And now, Beechnut," said Malleville, "I wish you would sing me the
little song that Agnes sung when she was dancing on the ice that summer
night."

Phonny laughed aloud at this. "Oh, Malleville!" said he; "there could
not be any ice on a summer night."

"Yes, there could," said Malleville, in a very positive tone, "and there
was. Beechnut told me so."

"Oh, that was only one of Beechnut's stories," said Phonny, "made up to
amuse you."

"Well, I don't care," said Malleville, "I want to hear the song again."

Beechnut had told Malleville a story about the fairy Agnes whom he found
dancing upon a fountain one summer night in the woods, having previously
frozen over the surface of the water with a little silver wand. He had
often sung this song to Malleville, and now she wished to hear it again.
The words of the song, as Beechnut sang them, were as follows:

      Peep! peep! chippeda dee.
    Playing in the moonlight, nobody to see.
        The boys and girls have gone away,
        They've had their playtime in the day
    And now the night is left for me:
      Peep! peep! chippeda dee.

The music was as follows:

[Music:

Peep! Peep! Chip-pe-da-dee!
Playing in the moonlight, no-bod-y to see.
The boys and girls have gone a-way; They've
had their play-time in the day, And now the night is
left to me. Peep! peep! Chip-pe-da-dee!]

When Beechnut had sung the song Malleville said, "Again." She was
accustomed to say "again," when she wished to hear Beechnut go on with
his singing, and as she usually liked to hear such songs a great many
times. Beechnut always continued to sing them, over and over, as long as
she said "again."

Thus Malleville kept him singing Agnes's song in this instance all the
way toward the field.

At length Malleville ceased to say "again," on account of her attention
being attracted to a bridge which she saw before them, and which it was
obvious they were going to cross. It had only logs on the sides of it
for railing. Beyond the bridge the road lay along the margin of a wood.
The stone which James and Antonio were going to get out, was just beyond
the bridge, and almost in the road. When the oxen got opposite to the
stone, James stopped them, and Antonio and the children got off the
drag.

[Illustration: THE DRAG RIDE.]

It was only a small part of the stone that appeared above the ground.
James took the shovel and began to dig around the place, so as to bring
the stone more fully to view, while Antonio went into the wood to cut a
small tree, in order to make a lever of the stem of it. Phonny took the
saw--first asking Antonio's permission to take it--and climbed up into a
large tree near the margin of the wood, where he began to saw off a dead
branch which was growing there, and which may be seen in the picture.
Malleville, in the mean time, sat down upon a square stone which was
lying by the road-side near the wood, and occupied herself sometimes in
watching the operation of digging out the stone, sometimes in looking up
at Phonny, and sometimes in singing the song which Antonio had sung to
her on the way.

Presently Antonio, having obtained his lever, came out into the road
with it, and laid it down by the drag. He looked at the drag in doing
this, and observed that one of the side-pieces had started up, and that
it ought to be nailed down again. He looked up into the tree where
Phonny was sawing, and said:

"Phonny!"

"What!" said Phonny.

"Look up over your head," said Antonio. Phonny looked up.

"Do you see that short branch just above you?"

"This?" said Phonny, putting his hand upon it.

"Yes," said Antonio.

"Yes," said Phonny, "I see it."

"Hang your saw on it," said Antonio.

Phonny did so.

"Now, come down from the tree," said Antonio.

Phonny climbed down as fast as he could, and came to Beechnut.

"Take all the things out of your pocket and put them down on the drag."

Phonny began to take the things out. First came a pocket handkerchief.
Then a knife handle without any blades. Then a fishing line. Then two
old coins and a dark red pebble stone. This exhausted one pocket.--From
the other came a small glass prism, three acorns, and at last two long
nails.

"Ah, that is what I want," said Antonio, taking up the nails. "I thought
you had two nails in your pocket, for I remembered that I gave you two
yesterday. Will you give them back to me again?"

"Yes," said Phonny.

"Now, put the things back in your pocket. I admire a boy that obeys
orders, without stopping to ask why. He waits till the end, and then he
_sees_ why. Now, you can go back to your saw."

But instead of going back to his saw, Phonny seemed just at that instant
to get a glimpse of something which attracted his attention along the
road beyond the bridge, for as soon as he had put his goods and chattels
back in his pockets, he paused a moment, looking in that direction, and
then he set out to run as fast as he could over the bridge. Antonio
looked, and saw that there was a girl coming along, and that Phonny was
running to meet her.

Antonio wondered who it could be.

It proved to be Ellen Linn. When Malleville saw that it was Ellen, she
ran to meet her. She asked her why she did not bring Annie with her.

"I did," said Ellen; "she is at the house. She was tired after walking
so far, and so I left her there."

"I am glad that she has come," said Malleville, "let us go and see her."

"Not just yet," said Ellen. "I will go with you pretty soon."

The fact was that Ellen had come to see Antonio about Rodolphus, and now
she did not know exactly how she should manage to have any conversation
with him alone; and she did not wish to talk before James and all the
rest about the misconduct of her brother. As soon as Antonio saw her, he
went to meet her, and walked with her up to the place where they were at
work, to show her the great stone that they were digging out. Ellen
looked at it a few minutes and asked some questions about it, but her
thoughts were after all upon her brother, and not upon the stone.
Presently she went to the place where Malleville had been sitting, and
sat down there. She thought, perhaps, that Antonio would come there, and
that then she could speak to him.

Phonny climbed up into the tree again, partly to finish his sawing, and
partly to let Ellen Linn see how well he could work in such a high
place. While he was there, Antonio went to the place where Ellen Linn
was sitting, and asked her if she had heard from Rodolphus lately.

"Yes," said Ellen, "and that is the very thing that I came to see you
about. I want to talk with you about Rodolphus."

Ellen said this in a low and desponding voice, and Antonio knew that she
wished to speak to him alone.

"We can not talk very well here," said Antonio, "will it do if I come
and see you about it to-night?"

"Yes," said Ellen, looking up joyfully. "Only I am sorry to put you to
that trouble."

"I will come," said Antonio. "I shall get there about half-past eight."

Pretty soon after this, Ellen Linn went back to the house, and after a
time she and Annie went home. About a quarter past eight that evening,
she went out into the yard and down to the gate to watch for Antonio. At
length she saw him coming. When he reached the house, Ellen walked with
him to the great tree in the middle of the yard, and they both sat down
on the bench by the side of it, while Annie was running about in the
great circular walk, drawing her cart. Here Antonio and Ellen had a long
conversation about Rodolphus. Ellen said that she had heard very
unfavorable accounts of him. She had learned that he had got into bad
company in the town where he now lived, as he had done at home, and that
she was afraid that he was fast going to ruin. She did not know what
could be done, but she thought that perhaps Antonio might go there and
see him, and find out how the case really was, and perhaps do something
to save her brother.

"I will go, at any rate," said Antonio, "and see if any thing can be
done. Perhaps," he continued, "Mr. Kerber has found that he is a
troublesome boy and may be willing to give him up, and then we can get
him another place. However, at all events, I will go and see."

"When can you go?" asked Ellen.

"I can go next Saturday, most conveniently," said Antonio. "Besides if I
go on Saturday I can stay till Monday, and that will give me all of
Sunday to see Rodolphus, when he will of course be at leisure."

So it was arranged that Antonio was to go on Saturday. Ellen requested
him to manage his expedition as privately as possible, for she did not
wish to have her brother's misconduct made known more than was
absolutely necessary. Antonio told her that nobody but Mrs. Henry should
know where he was going, and that he would not even tell her what he was
going for.

That evening Antonio obtained leave of Mrs. Henry to go to the town
where Mr. Kerber lived, on Saturday, and to be gone until Monday. He
told Mrs. Henry that the business on which he was going, was private,
and that it concerned other persons, and that on their account, if she
had confidence enough in him to trust him, he should like to be allowed
to go without explaining what the business was. Mrs. Henry said that she
had perfect confidence in him, and that she did not wish him to explain
the nature of the business. She surmised, however, that it was something
relating to Rodolphus, for she knew about his character and history, and
she recollected Ellen's calling at her house to inquire for Antonio that
morning.

When the Saturday arrived, Antonio began about ten o'clock to prepare
for his journey. He had decided to set out on foot. He thought that he
should get along very comfortably and well without a horse, as he
supposed it would be easy for him to make bargains with the teamsters
and travelers that would overtake him on the road, to carry him a
considerable part of the way. He could have taken a horse as well as not
from Mr. Henry's, but as he was to remain in the place where he was
going over Sunday, he concluded that the expense of keeping the horse
there, if he were to take one, would be more than he would have to pay
to the travelers and teamsters for carrying him along the road.

He told James that he was going away, and that he was not to be back
again until Monday. He did not, however, tell him where he was going.
When he was all ready to set out, he went to his chest and took some
money out of his till--as much as he thought that he should need--and
then went into the parlor to tell Mrs. Henry that he was going.

"Are you all ready, and have you got every thing that you want?" asked
Mrs. Henry.

Antonio said that he had every thing.

"Well, good-by then," said Mrs. Henry. "I wish you a pleasant journey;
and if you find that any thing occurs so that you think it best to stay
longer than Monday, you can do so."

Antonio thanked Mrs. Henry, bade her good-by, and went away.

Antonio stopped at Mrs. Linn's as he passed through the village. He had
promised Ellen that he would call there on his way, to get a letter
which she was going to send, and had told her at what time he should
probably come. He found Ellen waiting for him at the gate. She had a
small parcel in her hand. When Antonio came to the gate she showed him
the parcel, and asked him if he could carry such a large one.

"It is not large at all," said Antonio; "I can carry it just as well as
not."

"It is my little Bible," said she, "and the letter is inside. It is the
Bible that my aunt gave me; but I thought she would be willing that I
should give it to Rodolphus, if she knew--"

Here Ellen stopped, without finishing her sentence, and walked away
toward the house. Antonio looked after her a moment, and then went away
without saying another word.

It was twelve o'clock before he was fairly set out on his journey. He
walked on for about two hours, meeting with various objects of interest
in the way, but without finding any traveler going the same way, to help
him on his journey. At last he came to a place where there were two
girls standing by a well before a farm-house. Antonio, being tired and
thirsty, went up to the well to get a drink.

[Illustration: THE WELL.]

"How far is it from here to Franconia?" said Antonio to the girls.

They looked at him as if surprised, but at first they did not answer.

"Do you know?" said Antonio, speaking again.

"Haven't you just come from Franconia?" said one of the girls.

"Yes," said Antonio.

"Then I should think that you would know yourself," said she.

"No," said Antonio, "I don't know. I have been walking about two hours;
but I don't know how far it is."

"I believe it is about five miles," said the youngest girl.

"Then I have come two miles and a half an hour," said Antonio. "It is
twenty miles more that I have got to go."

Then he made a calculation in his mind, and found that if he should have
to walk all the way, he should not reach the end of his journey till
about eleven o'clock, allowing one hour to stop for supper and rest.

Antonio thanked the girls for his drink of water and then went on.

Pretty soon he saw a large wagon in the road before him. He walked on
fast until he overtook it. He made a bargain with the wagoner to carry
him as far as the wagon was going on his road, which was about ten
miles. This ride rested him very much, but it did not help him forward
at all in respect to time, for the wagon did not travel any faster than
he would have walked.

At length the wagon came to the place where it was to turn off from
Antonio's road; so Antonio paid the man the price which had been agreed
upon, and then took to the road again as a pedestrian.

He walked on about an hour, and then he began to be pretty tired. He
concluded that he would stop and rest and get some supper at the very
next tavern. It was now about half-past seven, and he was yet, as he
calculated, nearly eight miles from the end of his journey. Just then he
heard the sound of wheels behind him, and, on looking round, he saw a
light wagon coming, drawn by a single horse, and with but one man in the
wagon. The wagon was coming on pretty rapidly, but Antonio determined to
stop it as it passed; so he stood at one side of the road, and held up
his hand as a signal, when the wagon came near.

The man stopped. On inquiry Antonio found that he was going directly to
the town where Rodolphus lived. Antonio asked the man what he would ask
to carry him there.

"What may I call your name?" said the man.

"My name is Antonio."

"And my name is Antony," said the man. "Antony. It is a remarkable
coincidence that our names should be so near alike. Get in here with me
and ride on to the tavern, we will see if we can make a trade."

Antonio found Antony a very amusing and agreeable companion. In the end
it was agreed that they should stop at the tavern and have some supper,
and that Antonio should pay for the supper for both himself and Antony,
and in consideration of that, he was to be carried in the wagon to the
end of his journey.

During the supper and afterward, while riding along the road, Antony was
quite inquisitive to learn all about Antonio, and especially to
ascertain what was the cause of his taking that journey. But Antonio
resisted all these attempts, and would give no information whatever in
respect to his business.

They reached the end of their journey about half-past nine o'clock.
Antonio was set down at the tavern, which has already been spoken of as
situated at the head of the lane leading to the corn-barn, where
Rodolphus and the other boys had made their rendezvous. Immediately
after being shown to his room, which it happened was a chamber on the
side of the house which was toward the lane, Antonio came down stairs
and went out. His plan was to proceed directly to Mr. Kerber's house,
hoping to be able to see Rodolphus that evening. He was afraid before he
left the tavern that it might be too late, and that he should find they
had all gone to bed at Mr. Kerber's. He thought, however, that he could
tell whether the family were still up, by the light which he would in
that case see at the windows; and he concluded that if the house should
appear dark, he would not knock at the door, but go back to the tavern,
and wait till the next morning.

The house _was_ dark, and so Antonio, after standing and looking at it a
few moments with a disappointed air, went back to the tavern. He went in
at the door, and went up to his room. It happened that no one saw him go
into the tavern this time, for as there was a very bright moon, and it
shone directly into his chamber-window, he thought that he should not
need a lamp to go to bed by, so he went directly up stairs to his room.

It was now about ten o'clock. Antonio sat down by his window and looked
out. It was a beautiful evening, and he sat some time enjoying the
scene. At length he heard suppressed voices, and looking down he saw
three boys come stealing along round the corner of a fence and enter a
lane. He saw the light of a lantern, too, for he was up so high that he
could look down into it, as it were. He was convinced at once from these
indications that there was something going on that was wrong.

He listened attentively, and thought that he could recognize Rodolphus's
voice, and he was at once filled with apprehension and anxiety. He
immediately took his cap, and went softly down stairs, and out at the
door, and then going round into the lane, he followed the boys down
toward the corn-barn. When they had all got safely in, underneath the
building, he crept up softly to the place, and looking through a small
crack in the boards he saw and heard all that was going on; he overheard
the conversation between the boys about the box, saw them take away the
straw, dig the hole, and bury it, and then had just time to step round
the corner of the barn, and conceal himself, when the boys came out to
see if the way was clear for them to go home. The next moment the light
from the burning straw broke out, and Antonio, without stopping to
think, ran instinctively in among the boys to help them to put out the
fire.

Of course when the boys fled he was left there alone, and he soon found
that it would be impossible for him to extinguish the fire. It spread so
rapidly over the straw and among the boxes, that it was very plain all
his efforts to arrest the progress of it would be unavailing. In the
mean time he began to hear the cry of "fire." The people of the tavern
had been the first to see the light, and were running to the spot down
the lane. It suddenly occurred to Antonio that if he were found there
at the fire he should be obliged to explain how he came there, and by so
doing to expose Rodolphus as a thief and a burglar.[1] When Antonio
thought how broken-hearted Ellen would be to have her brother sent to
prison for such crimes, he could not endure the thought of being the
means of his detection. He immediately determined therefore to run away,
and leave the people to find out how the fire originated as they best
could.

   [Footnote 1: The crime of breaking into a building in such a way is
   called burglary, and it is punished very severely among all
   civilized nations.]

All these thoughts passed through Antonio's mind in an instant, and he
sprang out from under the corn-barn as soon as he heard the men coming,
and ran off toward the fields. The men saw him, and they concluded
immediately that he was an incendiary who had set the building on fire,
and accordingly the first two that came to the spot instead of stopping
to put out the fire, determined to pursue the fugitive. Antonio ran to a
place where there was a gap in a wall, and, leaping over, he crouched
down, and ran along on the outer side of the wall. The men followed him.
Antonio made for a haystack which was near, and after going round to the
further side of the haystack, he ran on toward a wood, keeping the
haystack between himself and the men, in hopes that he should thus be
concealed from their view. As soon as he got into the wood he ran into a
little thicket, and creeping into the darkest place that he could find,
he lay down there to await the result.

The men came up to the place out of breath with running. They looked
about in the wood for some time, and Antonio began to think that they
would not find him. But he was mistaken. One of the men at length found
him, and pulled him out roughly by the arms.

They took hold of him, one on one side and the other on the other, and
led him back toward the fire. The building was by this time all in
flames, and though many men had assembled they made no effort to
extinguish the fire. It was obvious, in fact, that all such efforts
would have been unavailing. Then, besides, as the building stood by
itself, there was no danger to any other property, in letting it burn.
The men gathered round Antonio, wondering who he could be, but he would
not answer any questions. He was there an utter stranger to them all--a
prisoner, seized almost in the very act of setting the building on fire,
and yet he stood before them with such an open, fearless, honest look,
that no one knew what to think or to say in respect to him.

In the mean time the flames rolled fearfully into the air, sending up
columns of sparks, and illuminating all the objects around in the most
brilliant manner. Groups of boys stood here and there, their faces
brightened with the reflection of the fire, and their arms held up
before their eyes to shield them from the dazzling light. A little
further back were companies of women and children, beaming out
beautifully from the surrounding darkness, and a gilded vane on the
village spire appeared relieved against the sky, as if it were a great
blazing meteor at rest among the stars. At length the fire went down.
The people gradually dispersed. The men who had charge of Antonio took
him to the tavern, locked him up in a room there, and stationed one of
their number to keep guard at the door till morning.

[Illustration: THE CONFLAGRATION.]


II. ANTONIO A PRISONER.

During the night, Antonio had time to reflect upon the situation in
which he was placed, and to consider what it was best for him to do. He
decided that the first thing to be done, was to write to Mrs. Henry, and
inform her what had happened. He determined also not to reveal any thing
against Rodolphus, unless he should find that he was required by law to
do so--at least until he could have time to consider whether something
could not yet be done to save him from the utter ruin which would follow
from his being convicted of burglary and sent to the state prison.

In the morning, an officer came with a regular warrant for arresting
Antonio, on the charge of setting the corn-barn on fire. A warrant is a
paper signed by a justice or judge, authorizing the officer to seize a
prisoner, and to bring him before a magistrate, for what is called an
examination. If, on the examination, the magistrate sees that the
prisoner is clearly innocent, he releases him, and that is the end of
the matter. If, however, he finds that there is reason to suspect that
he may be guilty, he orders the officer to keep him in the jail till the
time comes for the court to meet and try his case.

Sometimes, when the offense is not very serious, they release the
prisoner _on bail_, as it is called, during the time that intervenes
between his examination and his trial. That is, they give him up to his
friends, on condition that his friends agree that he shall certainly
appear at the time of trial--covenanting that if he does not appear they
will pay a large sum of money. The money that is to be forfeited, if he
fails to appear, varies in different cases, and is fixed by the judge in
each particular case. This money is called the _bail_. If the prisoner
has a bad character, and his friends generally believe that he is
guilty, he can not get bail, for his friends are afraid that if they
give bail for him, and so let him have his liberty, he will run away
before the time comes for his trial, and then they will lose the money.
When, for this or any other reason, a prisoner can not get bail, he has
to go to prison, and stay there till his trial comes on. On the other
hand, if the prisoner has a good character, and if his friends have
confidence in him, they give bail, and thus he is left at liberty until
his trial comes on.

At the examination of a prisoner, which takes place usually very soon
after he is first arrested, he is allowed to say any thing that he
pleases to say, in explanation of the suspicious circumstances under
which he was taken. He is, however, not required to say any thing unless
he chooses. The reason of this is, that no one is required to furnish
any proof against himself, when he is charged with crime. If he can say
any thing which will operate in his favor, he is allowed to do it, and
what he says is written down, and is produced on his trial, to be used
for or against him according to the circumstances of the case.

When the officer came in, in the morning, to arrest Antonio, he told him
he was to go at eleven o'clock the next morning before the magistrate to
be examined. Antonio asked the officer whether he could be allowed, in
the mean time, to write a letter to his friends in Franconia.

"Yes," said the officer, "only I must see what you write."

So they brought Antonio a sheet of paper, and a pen and ink. He sat down
to a table and wrote as follows:

                                               "HIBURGH, July 10.
     "To MRS. HENRY;

   "There was a fire here last night which burnt up an old corn-barn,
   and I have been taken up for it, by the officers. They think that I
   set the corn-barn on fire, but I did not do it. I suppose, though,
   that I shall have to be tried, and I expect that I must go to
   prison until the trial comes on, unless Mr. Keep could come down
   here and make some arrangement for me. You may depend that I did
   not set the corn-barn on fire.

                                  "Yours with much respect,
                                               "A. BIANCHINETTE."

The officer read this letter when it was finished, and then asked
Antonio whether it should be put into the post-office. Antonio inquired
how much it would cost to send a boy with it on purpose. The officer
told him what he thought it would cost, and then Antonio took out the
money that he had in his pocket to see if he had enough. He found that
he had more than enough, and so the officer sent a special messenger
with the letter.

"And now," said the officer, "you must go with me to my house. I am
going to keep you there until the examination to-morrow."

So Antonio took his cap and went down stairs with the officer. He found
quite a number of men and boys at the door, waiting to see him come.
These people followed him along through the street, as he walked toward
the officer's house, some running before, to look him in the face, and
some running behind, and calling him incendiary and other hard names.
Antonio took no notice of them, but walked quietly along, talking with
the officer.

When he got opposite to the lane, he looked down toward the place where
the corn-barn had stood. He found that it had been burnt to the ground.
The ruins were still smoking, and several men and boys were standing
around the place--some looking idly on, and some poking up the
smouldering fires.

There was something in Antonio's frank and honest air, and in the
intelligence and good sense which he manifested in his conversation,
which interested the officer in his favor. He told his wife when he got
home that Antonio was the most honest looking rogue that he ever had the
custody of. It shows, however, he added, how little we can trust to
appearances. I once had a man in my keeping, who looked as innocent and
simple-minded as Dorinda there, but he turned out to be one of the most
cunning counterfeiters in the state.

Dorinda was the officer's little girl.

There was a room in the officer's house, which was made very strong, and
used for the temporary keeping of prisoners. They put Antonio into this
room and locked him in.

The officer, however, told him when he went away, that he would bring
him some breakfast pretty soon; and this he did in about half an hour.
Antonio ate his breakfast with an excellent appetite.

After breakfast he moved his chair up to a small window, which had been
made in one side of the room. The window had a sash on the inside, and
great iron bars without. Antonio opened the sash and looked out through
the iron bars. He saw a pleasant green yard, and a little girl playing
there upon the grass.

"What is your name?" said Antonio.

The little girl started at hearing this voice, ran back a little way,
and then stood looking at Antonio with her hands behind her.

"Bring me that piece of paper," said Antonio, "that lies there on the
grass, and I will make you a picture."

The girl stood still a moment as if much astonished, and then advancing
timidly, she picked up the paper and brought it to Antonio's window,
which was very near the ground, and held it up. Antonio reached his arm
out between the bars of the grating and took the paper in.

[Illustration: THE BARRED WINDOW.]

Although the window was not high, it seemed to be with some difficulty
that Antonio could reach the paper as Dorinda held it up. But this was
partly because Dorinda was afraid, and did not dare to come too near.

Antonio took a pencil out of his pocket, and putting the paper down upon
the window sill, he began to draw. Dorinda stood still upon the ground
outside, watching him. Antonio made a picture of a very grave and
matronly-looking cat, lying upon a stone step and watching two kittens
that were playing upon the grass before her. There was a bare-headed boy
near, who seemed to be putting a mitten upon his hand. Underneath
Antonio wrote the words--

    "This is the picture of a cat,
    Looking at some kittens;
    Also a boy without a hat,
    Putting on his mittens."

[Illustration: ANTONIO'S PICTURE.]

When the work was finished, Antonio threw the paper out the window, and
Dorinda who had been all the time looking on with a very serious
expression of countenance, took it up, and began to look at the drawing.
She could not read, so she only looked at the picture. After examining
it for some minutes, without, however, at all relaxing the extreme
gravity of her countenance, she ran off to show the paper to her mother.

Presently she came back again. By this time Antonio had made another
drawing. It was the representation of his own window, as it would appear
on the outside, with iron bars forming a grating, and himself looking
through between them. Underneath he wrote,

"Pity the poor prisoner, and bring him some books to read."

Dorinda took this picture too, when Antonio threw it out to her, and ran
in with it to her mother. Presently she came out with two books in her
hand. She came under the window and held them up timidly to Antonio, and
Antonio took them in.

By the help of these books and some other indulgences that the officer
allowed him, Antonio got through the day very comfortably and well.

The next morning, at eleven o'clock, the officer came to take his
prisoner to the justice, for examination. The officer led Antonio along
the street till he came to a lawyer's office. There were several men and
boys about the door. These persons eyed Antonio very closely when he
went in. On entering the office, Antonio was brought up in front of a
table which stood in the middle of the room. A young man was sitting at
the table with paper, and pen, and ink before him. He was the clerk. The
justice himself sat in an arm-chair near the window.

The men and boys from the outside came in immediately after Antonio, and
stood in the office, near the door, to hear the examination.

When all was ready, the justice commenced by saying to Antonio,

"What is your name?" young man.

"Antonio Bianchinette," said Antonio.

"Where do you live?" asked the justice.

"In Franconia," said Antonio.

"You are aware, I suppose," said the justice, "that you are charged
with having set fire to the building which was burned night before last,
and you are brought here for a preliminary examination. You can do just
as you please about giving any explanation of the circumstances of the
case, or answering any questions that I put to you. If you make any
statements or answer any questions, what you say will be put down, and
will be used either for, or against you, as the case may be, on your
trial."

Antonio said in reply, that he did not wish to make any statements, or
to answer any questions in relation to the fire.

"There is one thing, however," he added, "that I wish to say, and that
is, that there is something buried in the ground, under the place where
the building stood, that ought to be dug up, and if you will take me to
the place I will show you where to dig."

"What is it that is buried there?" said the justice.

"I would rather not answer that question," said Antonio.

The justice paused a moment to consider what to do. He had heard of the
robbery that had been committed on Saturday night, for Mr. Kerber, on
going into his office on Monday morning, had found the back door
unhasped, and his desk broken open, and the news of the robbery had
spread all over the village. People wondered whether there could be any
connection between the robbery and the fire, though nothing had been
said to Antonio about it.

After thinking a moment about Antonio's proposal, the justice concluded
to accede to it. The officer accordingly sent a man to get a spade and
directed him to come with it to the ruins of the corn-barn. Another man
went to tell Mr. Kerber that the boy who had been taken up for setting
the barn on fire, had said that there was something buried there, and
that perhaps it might prove to be his money-box. So Mr. Kerber
determined to go and see.

In a short time quite a large party were assembled around the ruins.
Antonio directed them where to dig. The men pulled away the blackened
timbers and brands which were lying over the spot, and began to dig into
the ground. In a few minutes they struck something hard with the spade,
and setting the spade down beneath it so as to pry it out, they found
that it was indeed Mr. Kerber's box.

The men gathered eagerly around to examine the box. Mr. Kerber shook it
and found that the money was safe inside. He took out his key, but he
could not get it into the key-hole, for the key-hole had got filled with
earth. He turned the box down upon its side and knocked it upon
something hard, and so got the earth out, and then he found that the key
would go in. He unlocked the box, and to his great joy found that all
was safe.

Antonio would not make any explanation, except that he did not suppose
that any thing else was buried there, and that consequently it would do
no good to dig any more. He said, moreover, that he expected some of
his friends would come from Franconia before night to see about his
case, and so the justice gave him up to the care of the officer again,
until his friends should come. The officer accordingly took his prisoner
away again, and Mr. Kerber carried his money-box home.

Mr. Keep arrived that day about noon. He immediately had an interview
with Antonio. After some little general conversation, Antonio said that
he would rather not make any explanations of the circumstances under
which he was arrested at present, even to Mr. Keep, unless Mr. Keep
requested it.

"I tell you truly, sir," said he, "that I am entirely innocent: but I
can not state what I know, without breaking a poor girl's heart who once
saved my life, and I can not do it."

Mr. Keep was silent a few minutes when Antonio said this. He recollected
Rodolphus and Ellen his sister, and recalled to mind the story of Ellen
and the snow-shoes, which he had heard at the time. He immediately
understood the whole case.

"I am not surprised that you feel as you do," said he, "but when a crime
is committed and we are called upon to testify as a witness, we are
bound to state what we know, without regard to our private feelings."

"Yes, sir," said Antonio, "but I am not called upon as a witness. I am
charged with committing the crime myself, and the justice said that I
was at liberty to answer or not, as I chose."

Mr. Keep was silent for a moment. He seemed to be reflecting upon what
Rodolphus had said.

"By taking the course that you propose," he added, at length, "you run a
great risk of being condemned yourself for the crime."

"Why, no, sir," said Antonio; "I can't be condemned unless they _prove_
that I did it; and as I really did not do it, I don't think that they
can prove that I did."

Mr. Keep smiled.

"Well suppose that you do as you propose," said Mr. Keep, "and allow
yourself to take the place of the one who is really guilty, what good
will it do him? You will only leave him to commit more crimes."

"I hope not, sir," said Antonio "I should try to get him away from here
to some new place. I think that he has been led away. He has got into
bad company."

"Well," said Mr. Keep, after a short pause, "the plan may succeed, but
you run a great risk in taking such a course. I think that there is
great danger that you would be condemned and sent to the state prison."

"Well," said Beechnut, "I should not mind that very much. There is no
great harm in going to prison, if you are only innocent. I have been
shut up here one day already, and I had a good time."

Mr. Keep said finally that the subject required time for consideration,
and that in the mean time he would make arrangements for giving bail for
Antonio. This he did, and then he and Antonio went together back to
Franconia.


III. THE TRIAL.

The time arrived for Antonio's trial very soon. At the appointed day he
and Mr. Keep went together to the town where the court was to be held.

Mr. Keep delivered Antonio to the officer again, and the officer led him
into a little room adjoining the court room and left him there under the
custody of a subordinate officer. At length his case was called, and the
officer came forward and conducted him into the court room.

[Illustration: THE COURT ROOM.]

When Antonio entered the room he looked around to see how it was
arranged. At one end there was a platform, with a curtained window
behind it, and a long desk in front. Behind the desk there sat an
elderly gentleman whom Antonio supposed was the judge. He sat in a large
arm-chair. There was another arm-chair upon the platform, but there was
nobody sitting in it. Antonio thought that probably it was for another
judge, and that he would come in by-and-by, but he did not come.

In front of the judge's desk and a little lower down, there was another
desk, with a great many books and bundles of papers upon it. There was a
man seated at this desk with his back to the judge's desk. This man was
writing. He was the clerk of the court.

In front of the clerk's desk, and toward the middle of the room was a
pretty large table with lawyers sitting around it. The lawyers had
green bags with papers in them.

On each side of the room there were two long seats facing toward the
middle of the room. These seats were for the juries. Each seat was long
enough for six men, making twelve in all on each side. Between the
juries' seats and the judge's platform, there was, on each side, a stand
for the witnesses. The witnesses' stands were placed in this position,
so that all could hear the testimony which the witnesses should give.

On the back side of the room there were several seats for spectators. In
front of the spectator's seats there were two chairs. The officer led
Antonio to one of these chairs and gave him a seat there. The officer
himself took his seat in the other chair. He had a long slender pole in
his hand, which was his badge of office.

The first thing to be done was for the clerk to read the accusation. The
accusation to be made against a prisoner is always written out in full,
and is called an indictment. The indictment against Antonio was handed
to the clerk and he read it. It charged Antonio with breaking into and
robbing Mr. Kerber's office, and then setting fire to the barn.

After the indictment had been read, the judge, looking to Antonio, asked
him whether he was guilty or not guilty.

"Not guilty," said Antonio.

The arrangements were then made for the trial. The jury were appointed,
and they took their places in the jury seats which were on the right
hand side of the court room. Some jury-men belonging to another jury
were sitting in the seats on the left hand, but they had now nothing to
do but to listen, like the other spectators.

There is a sort of public lawyer in every county, appointed for the
purpose, whose business it is to attend to the trial of any person
accused of crime in his county. He is called the county attorney. It is
his duty to collect the evidence against the prisoner, and to see that
it is properly presented to the court and jury, and to prove that the
prisoner is guilty, if he can. The prisoner, on the other hand has
another lawyer, whose duty it is to collect all the evidence in his
favor, and to try to prove him innocent. The trial is always commenced
by adducing first the evidences of the prisoner's guilt.

Accordingly, when the jury were ready, the judge called upon the county
attorney to proceed.

He rose, and spoke as follows:

"May it please your Honor."

Here the county attorney bowed to the judge.

"And you, gentlemen of the jury."

Here he bowed to the jury.

"I am very sorry to have to appear against so young, and, I may add, so
innocent-looking a person as the prisoner before you, on a charge of so
serious a nature as burglary. But I have no choice. However much we may
regret that a person so young should become so depraved as to commit
such crimes, our duty to the community requires that we should proceed
firmly and decidedly to the exposure and punishment of them. I shall
proceed to lay before you the evidence that the prisoner at the bar is
guilty of the crime charged against him. It will be the duty of his
counsel, on the other hand, to prove his innocence, if he can. I shall
be very glad, and I have no doubt that you will be, to find that he can
succeed in doing this. I fear, however, that it will be out of his
power.

"I shall prove to you, gentlemen of the jury, by the witnesses that I
shall bring forward, that the prisoner left his home in a very
mysterious manner on the Saturday when the robbery was committed. That
he came to Hiburgh, and arrived here about nine o'clock. That he then
went to his room, as if to go to bed, and immediately afterward went out
in a secret manner. About half-past ten the corn-barn was found to be on
fire; and on the people repairing to the spot, found the prisoner there
alone. He fled, and was pursued. He was taken, and at length finding
that he was detected, and terrified, perhaps, at the consequences of
what he had done, he gave information of the place where the money which
had been taken was concealed.

"These circumstances all point to the prisoner as the guilty party, or
at least as one of the guilty parties concerned in the robbery. As to
the fire, we lay no particular stress upon that, for it may have been
accidental. We think it probable that it was so. The charge which we
make against the prisoner is the robbery, and we are willing to consider
the fire as an accident, providentially occurring as a means of bringing
the iniquity to light."

       *       *       *       *       *

The county attorney then began to call in his witnesses. The first
witness was James.

James said that Antonio was well known to him; that he came originally
from Canada; that he had lived for some time at Mrs. Henry's; and that
on the Saturday in question he said that he was going to Hiburgh; but
would not give him, James, any explanation of the business that called
him there.

The next witness was Antony, the man who had brought Antonio in his
wagon the last part of his journey.

Antony testified that he overtook the prisoner on the road, and that he
brought him forward in his wagon. The prisoner, he said, seemed very
anxious to get into town before nine o'clock; but he was very careful
not to say any thing about the business which called him there. There
was something very mysterious about him, Antony said, and he thought so
at the time.

The next witness was the tavern keeper.

The tavern-keeper testified that Antonio came to his house a little past
nine; that he seemed in a hurry to go to his room, that the
tavern-keeper showed him the room and left him there; but that on going
up a few minutes afterward to ask him what time he would have breakfast,
he found that he was not there. That about an hour afterward he saw a
light, and running out he found that the corn-barn was on fire. He cried
"fire," and with another man ran to the corn-barn, and there saw some
one running away. He and the other man pursued the fugitive, and finally
caught him, and found that it was the prisoner--the same young man that
had come to his house as a traveler an hour before.

The next witness was Mr. Kerber.

Mr. Kerber testified that he left his office safe, with his money in the
money-box, in the desk, on Saturday night, about half-past eight. That
on the Monday morning following he found that the office had been broken
into, the desk opened, and the money-box carried away. That he was
present at the prisoner's examination before the justice, and that the
prisoner then and there said that there was something buried under where
the corn-barn had stood, and that the company all proceeded to the
place, and dug into the ground where the prisoner directed them to dig,
and that there they found the money-box.

The minutes of Antonio's examination before the justice were also read,
in which he declined to give any explanation of the case.

The county attorney then said that his evidence was closed.

The judge then called upon Mr. Keep to bring forward whatever evidence
he had to offer in the prisoner's favor. Mr. Keep had only two
witnesses, and they could only testify to Antonio's general good
character. They were Franconia men, who said that they had known Antonio
a long time, that he had always borne an irreproachable character, and
that they did not believe him capable of committing such a crime.

After the evidence was thus all in, Mr. Keep made a speech in defense of
his client. He admitted, he said, that the case was a very extraordinary
one. There was a mystery about it which was not explained. Still he said
it was not really _proved_, either that Antonio stole the money or that
he set fire to the barn. Many suppositions might be made to account for
the facts, without implicating Antonio as really guilty.

The county attorney then made his speech. It was, of course, against
Antonio. He said that the appearances were all against the prisoner, and
that if he were really innocent, it would be easy for him to explain the
case. His refusal to do this, and his showing where the money was hid,
ought to be considered as completing the proofs of guilt, furnished by
the other circumstances of the affair.

The judge then told the jury that it was their duty to decide whether it
had been _proved_ that Antonio was guilty.

"You have heard all the evidence," said he, "and you must decide. If you
are perfectly satisfied that the prisoner is guilty, then you must
condemn him. If you are satisfied that he is innocent, then of course
you must acquit him. And if you are uncertain whether he is innocent or
guilty, then you must acquit him too; for no one is to be condemned,
unless it is proved positively that he is guilty."

The jury were then conducted out by an officer of the court, to a small
room adjoining, where they were to deliberate on the case. In about
fifteen minutes they returned. The judge then called upon the prisoner
to rise. Antonio rose and looked toward the judge. The jury were
standing in their places, looking toward the judge, too.

"Gentlemen of the jury," said the judge, "are you agreed upon the
verdict?"

The foreman of the jury said,

"We are agreed."

"Gentlemen of the jury," said the judge again, "what say you? is the
prisoner guilty or not guilty?"

"Not guilty," said the foreman.

There was general smile of satisfaction about the room at hearing this
decision. The clerk wrote down the verdict in the record. The judge
directed the prisoner to be discharged, and then called for the case
which came next on the docket.[2]

   [Footnote 2: The docket is the list of cases.]

Antonio went out with Mr. Keep and got into a wagon which Mr. Keep had
provided all ready for him at the door. They set out, counsel and
client, on their return to Franconia.

Mr. Keep was of course very much relieved at the result of the trial;
for though he was himself perfectly satisfied of his client's innocence,
still the circumstances were very strong against him, and there was, in
fact, nothing but his good character in his favor. He had been very much
afraid, therefore, that Antonio would be condemned, for the jury are
bound to decide according to the evidence that is placed before them.

"You have got off very well, so far," said Mr. Keep. "Having been
accused as an accomplice in the crime, it was your privilege to be
silent. Should you, however, hereafter be called upon as a witness, you
will have to give your testimony."

"Why must I?" asked Antonio.

"Your duty to your country requires it," said Mr. Keep.

"Then," said Antonio, "I suppose I must, and I will."


IV. ANOTHER TRIAL.

Rodolphus and his two confederates in crime were in a state of great
anxiety and apprehension, during the period which intervened between the
committing of the crime and the trial of Antonio. Antonio did not
attempt to hold any communication with Rodolphus during this interval,
for fear that by so doing he might awaken in people's minds some
suspicion of the truth. He had, however, a secret plan of doing
something to save Rodolphus from ruin, so soon as the excitement, which
had been occasioned by the robbery and the fire, should have passed by.
All his plans however were defeated by an unexpected train of
occurrences, which took place a day or two after his acquittal, and
which changed suddenly the whole aspect of the affair.

One night very soon after Antonio's trial, Rodolphus, after he had gone
to bed and was just falling asleep, was awakened by a loud knocking at
his door.

"Rodolphus!" said a harsh voice, outside, "Rodolphus! get up and let us
in."

[Illustration: THE ARREST]

Rodolphus was dreadfully terrified. He was always terrified by any
unexpected sight or sound, as the guilty usually are. He got up and
opened the door. Mr. Kerber and another man came in.

"You are my prisoner," said the stranger. "You must put on your clothes
and come with me."

Rodolphus was in great distress and trepidation. He however put on his
clothes. He did not dare to ask what he was arrested for. He knew too
well. The officer informed him that he was arrested on a charge of being
concerned in the robbery of Mr. Kerber, but that he need not say any
thing about it unless he chose to do so. Rodolphus was so terrified and
distressed that he did not know what to say or do. So the officer led
him away, pale and trembling, to his house, and locked him up in the
same room where Antonio had been confined. There was a little bed in one
corner of the room. Rodolphus went and sat down upon it, and sobbed and
wept in anguish and despair.

In a day or two his friends in Franconia heard of his arrest, and Mr.
Keep went down to see him. Mr. Keep came as Rodolphus's counsel and
friend--in order to confer with him and to defend him on his trial; but
Rodolphus considered him as banded with all the rest of the world
against him, and either could not, or would not answer any of the
friendly questions which Mr. Keep proposed to him; but sat crying all
the time while Mr. Keep was there, and making himself very miserable.
Mr. Keep saw at once that he was guilty, and despaired of being able to
do any thing to save him.

There was nobody to give bail for Rodolphus, and so it was necessary to
keep him in close confinement until the time for his trial arrived. In
consideration, however, of his tender years, it was decided not to take
him to the jail, but to keep him at the house of the officer, in the
strong room where he was put when he was first arrested.

The room itself was a very comfortable one, but Rodolphus spent his time
in it very unhappily. The people treated him very kindly, but nothing
gave him any peace or comfort. They brought him books, but he could not
read well enough to take any pleasure in them. Sometimes he would go to
the window and look out upon the green yard, but it only made him more
miserable to see the grass and the flowers, and the trees waving in the
wind, and the birds flying about at liberty. Sometimes he saw Dorinda
there playing with her kitten, and singing little songs; but this sight
made him more unhappy than all the rest.

Rodolphus's mother came down to to see him once, with Antonio. Antonio
drove down with her in a wagon. The visit, however, did not give either
Rodolphus or his mother any pleasure. They spoke scarcely a word to each
other, while she staid. When she got into the wagon to go home, Antonio,
seeing how much she was distressed, tried to comfort her by saying, that
she must not be so troubled; he hoped, he said, that Rodolphus would yet
turn out to be a good boy. There had been a great many cases, where boys
had been led away when young, by bad company, to do what was very wrong,
who were afterward sorry for it, and changed their courses and behaved
well. This conversation seemed to make Mrs. Linn feel somewhat more
composed, but she was still very unhappy.

At length the time for the trial drew near. Rodolphus felt great
solicitude and anxiety as the time approached. He did not know what
evidence there was against him, for no one had been allowed to talk with
him on the subject of the crime. Even Mr. Keep, his lawyer, did not know
what the evidence was, for it is always customary in such cases, for
each party to keep the evidence which they have to offer, as much as
possible concealed. Antonio had, however, received a summons to appear
as a witness, and Mr. Keep told him that if they insisted on examining
him, he would be bound to answer all the questions which they put to
him, honestly and truly, whatever his private feelings might be.

When the day arrived, Rodolphus was taken by the officer to the court
room, and placed in the same chair where Antonio had sat. Antonio had
looked around upon the proceedings with so frank and honest an
expression of countenance, and with such an unconcerned air, that every
one had been impressed with a belief of his innocence. Rodolphus, on the
other hand, sat still, pale, and trembling, and he manifested in his
whole air and demeanor every indication of conscious guilt.

The preliminary proceedings were all much the same as they had been in
the case of Antonio. When these had been gone through, the judge called
upon the county attorney to proceed. After a short opening speech he
said, that his first witness was Mr. Kerber. Mr. Kerber was called, and
took his place upon the stand.

Mr. Kerber first gave an account of the robbery, describing the
situation of his office and of the two doors leading to it, and of the
desk in the corner, and narrating all the circumstances relating to the
appearance of his office on the Monday morning, and the discovery of the
strong box under the ruins of the corn-barn. He then proceeded as
follows:

"For a time I considered it certain that Antonio, the one who was first
suspected, was the one really guilty, and made no effort or inquiry in
any other direction until he was tried. I was convinced then that he was
innocent, and immediately began to consider what I should do to find out
the robber. I examined the hole again which had been bored into the
door, and the marks of the tools by which the desk had been broken open.
I thought that I might, perhaps, possibly find the tools that fitted
these places somewhere about town, and that if I should, I might,
possibly, in that way, get some clew to the robbers. So I borrowed the
bits and the chisels of several of my neighbors, but I could not find
any that would fit.

"At last I happened to think of some old tools that I had in a back
room, and on comparing them I found two that fitted exactly. There was a
bit which just fitted the hole, and there were some fibres of the wood
which had been caught upon the edge of the bit, where it was dull, that
looked fresh and compared well with the color of the wood of the door.
There was a large chisel, too, that fitted exactly to the impressions
made upon the wood of the desk, in prying it open.

"I could see, too, that some of these tools had recently been moved, by
the dust having been disturbed around them. There were marks and tracks,
too, in the dust, upon a bench, where some boy had evidently climbed up
to get the tools. I tried one of Rodolphus's shoes to these tracks, and
found that it fitted exactly."

While Mr. Kerber was making these statements, Rodolphus hung his head,
and looked utterly confounded.

"Just about the time," continued Mr. Kerber, "that I made these
discoveries, a person came to me and informed me--"

"Stop," interrupted Mr. Keep. "You are not to state what any other
person informed you. You are only to state what you know personally,
yourself."

Mr. Kerber was silent.

The county attorney, who knew well that this was the rule in all trials,
said that he had nothing more to ask that witness then, but that he
would withdraw him for a time. He then called Antonio. Antonio took his
place upon the stand.

After the oath was administered as usual, the county attorney began to
question Antonio as follows:

"Were you in Hiburgh on the night of this robbery?"

"I was," said Antonio.

"At what time did you arrive there?" asked the attorney.

"I believe it was a little past nine," said Antonio.

"Were you at the corn-barn when it took fire?"

"I was," said Antonio.

"State now to the jury what it was that led you to go there."

Antonio recollected that what first attracted his attention and led him
to go out, was seeing Rodolphus and the other boys going by with their
lantern, and hearing their suppressed voices; and he perceived that if
he went any further in his testimony he should prove Rodolphus to be
guilty; so he stopped, and after a moment's pause, he turned to the
judge, and asked whether he could not be excused from giving any more
testimony.

"On what ground do you wish to be excused?" said the judge.

"Why, what I should say," said Antonio, "might go against the boy, and I
don't wish to say any thing against him."

"You can not be excused," said the judge, shaking his head. "It is very
often painful to give testimony against persons accused of crime, but it
is a duty which must be performed."

"But there is a special reason," said Antonio, "in this case."

"What is the reason?" said the judge.

Antonio hesitated. At length he said timidly,

"His sister saved my life."

Here there was a pause. The preferring such a request, to be excused
from testifying, and for such a reason, is a very uncommon occurrence in
a court. The judge, the jury, the lawyers, and all the spectators looked
at Antonio, who stood upon the witness's stand all the time, turning his
face toward the judge, awaiting his decision.

After a pause the judge said,

"Your unwillingness to do any thing to injure the brother of a girl who
saved your life, does you honor, and I would gladly excuse you if I
could, but it is not in my power. The ends of justice require that you
should give your testimony, whatever the consequences may be."

"What would be done," asked Antonio, "if I should refuse to do so?"

"Then you would be sent to prison yourself," said the judge, "for
contempt of court."

"And suppose I am willing to go to prison," said Antonio, "rather than
testify against Ellen's brother; can I do so?"

The judge looked a little perplexed. What answer he would have given to
this question we do not know, for he was prevented from answering it, by
the county attorney, who here rose and said,

"May it please your honor, I will withdraw this witness for the present.
I shall be glad to get along without his testimony, if possible, and
perhaps I can."

Antonio then left the stand, very much relieved. Rodolphus wondered who
would be called next. His heart sank within him, when he saw an officer
who had gone out a moment before, come in and lead _Gilpin_ to the
witness-stand.

It is customary in almost all countries, whenever a crime is committed,
and it is not possible to ascertain who committed it by any ordinary
proofs, to allow any one of the accomplices who is disposed to do so, to
come forward and inform against the rest, and then to exempt him from
punishment in consideration of his so doing. It seems very base for one
person to lead another into sin, or even to join him in it, and then to
assist in bringing his accomplice to punishment, in order to escape it
himself. But they who combine to commit crimes, must be expected to be
base. Gilpin was so. There seemed to be nothing noble or generous in his
nature. As soon as he found out that Rodolphus was suspected, he feared
that Rodolphus would confess, and then that he should himself be seized.
Accordingly, he went immediately to Mr. Kerber, and told him that he
knew all about the robbery, and that he would tell all about it, if they
would agree that he should not come to any harm.

This arrangement was finally made. They, however, seized Gilpin, and
shut him up, so as to secure him for a witness, and he had been in
prison ever since Rodolphus's arrest, though Rodolphus knew nothing
about it. Christopher had run away the moment he heard of Rodolphus's
arrest, and nothing had since been heard of him. Gilpin was now brought
forward to give his testimony.

There was a great contrast in his appearance, as he came upon the stand,
from that of Antonio. He looked guilty and ashamed, and he did not dare
to turn his eyes toward Rodolphus at all. He could not go forward
himself and tell a connected story, but he made all his statements in
answer to questions put to him by the county attorney. He, however, in
the end, told all. He explained how Rodolphus had first cut a hole in
the partition, and then he narrated the conversation which the boys had
held together behind the wall. He told about the tools, and the dark
lantern, and the breaking in; also about going to the corn-barn, burying
the box, and then of the accidental setting of the straw on fire, and of
Antonio's suddenly coming in among them. In a word, the whole affair was
brought completely to light. Mr. Keep questioned Gilpin afterward very
closely, to see if he would contradict himself, and so prove that the
story which he was telling, was not true; but he did not contradict
himself, and finally he went away.

There were no witnesses to be offered in favor of Rodolphus, and very
little to be said in his defense. When, at length, the trial was
concluded, the jury conferred together a little in their seats, and then
brought in a verdict of guilty.

The next day Rodolphus was sentenced to ten days' solitary confinement
in the jail, and after that, to one year of hard labor in the state
prison.


V. THE FLIGHT.

Two or three days after Rodolphus's trial, Ellen, who had done every
thing she could to cheer and comfort her mother in her sorrow, told her
one morning that she desired to go and see her uncle Randon that day.

"Is it about Rodolphus?" asked her mother.

"Yes, mother," said Ellen.

"Well, you may go," said her mother; "but I don't think that any thing
will do any good now."

After all her morning duties had been performed, about the house, Ellen
put on her bonnet, and taking Annie by the hand, in order that she might
lead her to school, she set out on the way to her uncle's. She left
Annie at school as she passed through the village, and she arrived at
her uncle's about ten o'clock.

Her uncle had been married again. His present wife was a very strong and
healthy woman, who was almost all the time busily engaged about the farm
work, but she was very fond of Ellen, and always glad to see her at the
farm. When Ellen arrived at the farm, on this occasion, she went in at
the porch door as usual. There was no one in the great room. She passed
through into the back entry. From the back entry she went into the back
room--the room where in old times she used to shut up her kitten.

This room was now used as a dairy. There was a long row of milk-pans in
it, upon a bench. Mrs. Randon was there. She seemed very glad to see
Ellen, and asked her to walk into the house.

Ellen said that she came to see her uncle. So her aunt went with her out
into the yard where her uncle was at work; he was mending a harrow.

"Well, Ellen," said her uncle, "I am very glad to see you. But I am
sorry to hear about poor Rodolphus."

"Yes," said Ellen, "but I have thought of one more plan. It's of no use
to keep him from going to the state prison, even if we could, unless we
can get a good place for him. Now what I wish is, that if we can get him
free, you would let him come and live here with you. Perhaps you could
make him a good boy."

Mr. Randon leaned upon the handle of his broad ax, and seemed to be at a
loss what to say. He looked toward his wife.

"Yes," said she, "let him come. I should like to have him come very
much. _We_ can make him a good boy."

"Well," said Mr. Randon.

"Well!" said Ellen. Her eyes brightened up as she said this, and she
turned to go away. Mr. and Mrs. Randon attempted to stop her, but she
said that she could not stay then, and so she went away.

"She can not _get_ him free," said Mr. Randon.

"I don't know," said his wife. "Perhaps she may. Such a girl as she can
do a great deal when she tries."

Ellen went then as fast as she could go, to Mrs Henry's. She found
Antonio in the garden.

"Antonio," said she, "my uncle Randon says that he will take Rodolphus
and let him live there with him, on the farm, if we can only get him out
of prison."

"But we can't get him out of prison," said Antonio. "It is too late
now, he has been condemned and sentenced."

"But the governor can pardon him," said Ellen.

"Can he?" said Antonio.

"Yes," said Ellen.

"Can he?" repeated Antonio. "Then I'll go and see if he _will_."

Two days after this Antonio was on his way to the town where the
governor lived. He met with various adventures on his way, and he felt
great solicitude and doubt about the result of the journey. At last he
arrived at the place.

He was directed to a large and handsome house, which stood in the centre
of the principal street of the village, enveloped in trees and
shrubbery. There was a beautiful yard, with a great gate leading to it,
on one side of the house.

Antonio looked up this yard and saw an elderly gentleman there, just
getting into a chaise. A person who seemed to be his hired man was
holding the horse. The gentlemen stopped, with his foot upon the step of
the chaise, when he saw Antonio coming, and looked toward him.

[Illustration: THE GOVERNOR.]

"Is this Governor Dummer?" said Antonio, as he came up.

"Yes," said the gentleman, "that is what they call me."

"I wanted to see you about some business," said Antonio, "but you are
going away."

The governor looked at Antonio a moment, and, being pleased with his
appearance, he said,

"Yes, I am going away, but not far. Get into the chaise with me, and we
can talk as we ride."

So the governor got into the chaise.

Antonio followed him; the hired man let go of the horse's head, and
Antonio and the governor rode together out of the yard.

Antonio was quite afraid at first, to find himself suddenly shut up so
closely with a governor. He, however, soon recovered his
self-possession, and began to give an account of Rodolphus' case. The
governor listened very attentively to all he had to say. Then he asked
Antonio a great many questions, some about Rodolphus' mother and sister,
and also about Antonio himself. Finally he asked what it was proposed to
do with Rodolphus, in case he should be pardoned and set at liberty.
Antonio said that he was to go to his uncle's, which was an excellent
place, and where he hoped that he would learn to be a good boy.

The governor seemed very much interested in the whole story. He,
however, said that he could not, at that time, come to any conclusion in
respect to the affair; he must make some further inquiries. He must see
the record of the trial, and the other documentary evidence connected
with the case. He would attend to it immediately, he said, and write to
Mr. Keep in respect to the result.

About a week after this, Mr. Keep sent for Antonio to come and see him.
Antonio went.

"Well, Antonio," said Mr. Keep, as Antonio entered his office,
"Rodolphus is pardoned. I I should like to have you ask Mrs. Henry if
she will let you go to-morrow, and bring him home. If she says that you
may go, call here on your way, and I will give you some money to pay the
expenses of the journey."

Early the next morning, Antonio called at Mr. Keep's office, on his way
after Rodolphus. Mr. Keep gave him some money. Antonio received it, for
he thought it would not be proper to decline it. He had, however, plenty
of his own. He had already put in his pocket six half dollars which he
had taken from his chest that morning. Mr. Keep gave him a bank bill. He
put this bill into his waistcoat pocket and pinned it in.

He then proceeded on his journey. In due time he arrived at the place
where Rodolphus was imprisoned. The pardon had already arrived, and the
jailer was ready to deliver up Rodolphus to his friends. He told Antonio
that he was very glad that he had come to take the boy away. He did not
like, he said, to lock up children.

Antonio took Rodolphus in his wagon, and they drove away. It was late in
the afternoon when they set out, but though Antonio did not expect to
get to Franconia that night, he was anxious to proceed as far as he
could. He intended to stop that night at a tavern in a large town, and
get home, if possible, the next day. They arrived at the tavern safely.
They took supper; and after supper, being tired, they went to bed.
Antonio had done all that he could to make Rodolphus feel at his ease
and happy, during the day, having said nothing at all to him about his
bad conduct. He had talked to him about his uncle, and about his going
there to live, and other pleasant subjects. Still Rodolphus seemed
silent and sober, and after supper he seemed glad to go to bed.

The two boys slept in two rooms which opened into each other. Antonio
proposed to have the door open, between these rooms, but Rodolphus
seemed to wish to have it shut. Antonio made no objection to this, but
at last, when he was ready to go to bed, he opened the door a little to
say good-night to Rodolphus. Rodolphus, he saw, when he opened the door,
was sitting at a little table, writing upon a piece of paper, with a
pencil. Antonio bade him good-night and shut the door again.

"I hope he is writing to his mother," said Antonio to himself, "to
confess his faults and promise to be a good boy."

The next morning Antonio rose pretty early, but he moved softly about
the room, so as not to disturb Rodolphus, who he supposed was asleep, as
his room was still. Antonio went down and ordered breakfast, and
attended to his horses, and by-and-by he came up again to see if
Rodolphus had got up. He listened at the door, and all was still. He
then opened the door gently and looked in. There was nobody there, and
to Antonio's great surprise, the bed was smooth and full, as if had not
been disturbed.

Antonio went in. He saw a paper lying on the table with his own name on
the outside of it. He took this paper up, and found that it was in
Rodolphus's handwriting. It was half in written, and half in printed
characters, and very badly spelled. The substance of it was this.

    "ANTONIO,

   "I am sorry to go off and leave you, but I must. I should be glad
   to go and live at my uncle's, but I can't. Don't try to find out
   where I have gone. Give my love to my mother and to Ellen. I had
   not any money, and so I had to take your half dollars out of your
   pocket. If I ever can, I shall pay you.

                                                      "RODOLPHUS.

   "P.S. It's no use in me trying to be a good boy."

Antonio made diligent inquiry for Rodolphus, in the town where he
disappeared, and in all the surrounding region, but no trace of the
fugitive could be found. He finally gave up the search and went
mournfully home.



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.

BY JOHN S.C. ABBOTT.


THE CONSULAR THRONE.

France had tried republicanism, and the experiment had failed. There was
neither intelligence nor virtue among the people, sufficient to enable
them to govern themselves. During long ages of oppression they had sunk
into an abyss, from whence they could not rise, in a day, to the dignity
of freemen. Not one in thirty of the population of France could either
read or write. Religion and all its restraints, were scouted as
fanaticism. Few had any idea of the sacredness of a vote, of the duty of
the minority good-naturedly to yield to the majority. It is this
sentiment which is the political salvation of the United States. Not
unfrequently, when hundreds of thousands of ballots have been cast, has
a governor of a State been chosen by the majority of a single vote. And
the minority, in such circumstances, have yielded just as cordially as
they would have done to a majority of tens of thousands. After our most
exciting presidential elections, the announcement of the result is the
harbinger of immediate peace and good-natured acquiescence all over the
land. The defeated voter politely congratulates his opponent upon his
success. The French seemed to have attained no conception of the
sanctity of the decisions of the ballot-box. Government was but a series
of revolutions. Physical power alone was recognized. The strongest
grasped the helm, and, with the guillotine, confiscation, and exile,
endeavored hopelessly to cripple their adversaries. Ten years of such
anarchy had wearied the nation. It was in vain to protract the
experiment. France longed for repose. Napoleon was the only one capable
of giving her repose. The nation called upon him, in the loudest tones
which could be uttered, to assume the reins of government, and to
restore the dominion of security and order. We can hardly call that man
an usurper who does but assume the post which the nation with unanimity
entreats him to take. We may say that he was ambitious, that he loved
power, that glory was his idol. But if his ambition led him to exalt his
country; if the power he loved was the power of elevating the multitude
to intelligence, to self-respect, and to comfort; if the glory he sought
was the glory of being the most illustrious benefactor earth has ever
known, let us not catalogue his name with the sensualists and the
despots, who have reared thrones of self-aggrandizement and
self-indulgence upon the degradation of the people. We must compare
Napoleon with the leaders of armies, the founders of dynasties, and with
those who, in the midst of popular commotions, have ascended thrones.
When we institute such a comparison, Napoleon stands without a rival,
always excepting, in moral worth, our own Washington.

The next morning after the overthrow of the Directory, the three
consuls, Napoleon, Sieyes, and Ducos, met in the palace of the
Luxembourg. Sieyes was a veteran diplomatist, whose gray hairs entitled
him, as he supposed, to the moral supremacy over his colleagues. He
thought that Napoleon would be satisfied with the command of the armies,
while he would be left to manage the affairs of state. There was one
arm-chair in the room. Napoleon very coolly assumed it. Sieyes, much
annoyed, rather petulantly exclaimed, "Gentlemen, who shall take the
chair?" "Bonaparte surely," said Ducos; "he already has it. He is the
only man who can save us." "Very well, gentlemen," said Napoleon,
promptly, "let us proceed to business." Sieyes was staggered. But
resistance to a will so imperious, and an arm so strong, was useless.

[Illustration: THE CONSULS AND THE GOLD.]

Sieyes loved gold. Napoleon loved only glory. "Do you see," inquired
Sieyes, pointing to a sort of cabinet in the room, "that pretty piece of
furniture?" Napoleon, whose poetic sensibilities were easily aroused,
looked at it with interest, fancying it to be some relic of the
disenthroned monarchs of France. Sieyes continued: "I will reveal to you
a little secret. We Directors, reflecting that we might go out of office
in poverty, which would be a very unbecoming thing, laid aside, from the
treasury, a sum to meet that exigence. There are nearly two hundred
thousand dollars in that chest. As there are no more Directors, the
money belongs to us." Napoleon now began to understand matters. It was
not difficult for one who had proudly rejected millions, to look with
contempt upon thousands. "Gentlemen," said he, very coolly, "should this
transaction come to my knowledge, I shall insist that the whole sum be
refunded to the public treasury. But should I not hear of it, and I know
nothing of it as yet, you, being two old Directors, can divide the money
between you. But you must make haste. Tomorrow it may be too late." They
took the hint, and divided the spoil; Sieyes taking the lion's share.
Ducos complained to Napoleon of the extortion of his colleague. "Settle
the business between yourselves," said Napoleon, "and be quiet. Should
the matter come to my ears, you will inevitably lose the whole."

This transaction, of course, gave Napoleon a supremacy which neither of
his colleagues could ever again question. The law which decreed the
provisional consulship, conferred upon them the power, in connection
with the two legislative bodies, of twenty-five members each, of
preparing a new Constitution to be submitted to the people. The genius
of Napoleon, his energy, his boundless information, and his instinctive
insight into the complexities of all subjects were so conspicuous in
this first interview, that his colleagues were overwhelmed. That evening
Sieyes went to sup with some stern republicans, his intimate friends.
"Gentlemen," said he, "the republic is no more. It died to-day. I have
this day conversed with a man who is not only a great general, but who
is himself capable of every thing, and who knows every thing. He wants
no counselors, no assistance. Politics, laws, the art of governing, are
as familiar to him as the manner of commanding an army. He is young and
determined. The republic is finished." "But," one replied, "if he
becomes a tyrant, we must call to our aid the dagger of Brutus." "Alas!
my friends," Sieyes rejoined, "we should then fall into the hands of the
Bourbons, which would be still worse."

Napoleon now devoted himself, with Herculean energies, to the
re-organization of the government, and to the general administration of
the affairs of the empire. He worked day and night. He appeared
insensible to exhaustion or weariness. Every subject was apparently
alike familiar to his mind; banking, police regulations, diplomacy, the
army, the navy, every thing which could pertain to the welfare of France
was, grasped by his all-comprehensive intellect.

The Directory had tyrannically seized, as hostages, any relatives of the
emigrants upon whom they could lay their hands. Wives, mothers, sisters,
brothers, fathers, children, were imprisoned and held responsible, with
their lives, for the conduct of their emigrant relatives. Napoleon
immediately abolished this iniquitous edict, and released the prisoners.
Couriers, without delay, were dispatched all over France to throw open
the prison doors to these unfortunate captives.

Napoleon even went himself to the Temple, where many of these innocent
victims were imprisoned, that he might, with his own hand break their
fetters. On Napoleon's return from this visit to the prison he
exclaimed, "What fools these Directors were! To what a state have they
brought our public institutions. The prisoners are in a shocking
condition. I questioned them, as well as the jailers, for nothing is to
be learned from the superiors. When in the prison I could not help
thinking of the unfortunate Louis XVI. He was an excellent man, but too
amiable to deal with mankind. And Sir Sydney Smith, I made them show me
his apartments. If he had not escaped I should have taken Acre. There
are too many painful associations connected with that prison. I shall
have it pulled down one day or other. I ordered the jailer's books to be
brought, and finding the list of the hostages, immediately liberated
them. I told them that an unjust law had placed them under restraint,
and that it was my first duty to restore them to liberty."

[Illustration: NAPOLEON IN THE TEMPLE.]

The priests had been mercilessly persecuted. They could only escape
imprisonment by taking an oath which many considered hostile to their
religious vows. Large numbers of them were immured in dungeons. Others,
in dismay and poverty, had fled, and were wandering fugitives in other
lands. Napoleon redressed their wrongs, and spread over them the shield
of his powerful protection. The captives were liberated, and the exiles
invited to return. The principle was immediately established that the
rights of conscience were to be respected. By this one act, twenty
thousand grief-stricken exiles were restored to France, proclaiming
through city and village the clemency of the First Consul. In the rural
districts of France, where the sentiment of veneration for Christianity
still lingered, the priests were received with the warmest welcome. And
in the hut of the peasant the name of Napoleon was breathed with prayers
and tears of gratitude.

Some French emigrants, furnished with arms by England, were returning to
France, to join the royalists in La Vendee, in extending the ravages of
civil war. The ship was wrecked on the coast of Calais, and they were
all made prisoners. As they were taken with arms in their hands, to
fight against their country, rigorous laws doomed them, as traitors, to
the guillotine. Napoleon interposed to save them. Magnanimously he
asserted--"No matter what their intentions were. They were driven on our
soil by the tempest. They are shipwrecked men. As such they are entitled
to the laws of hospitality. Their persons must be held inviolable."
Unharmed they were all permitted to re-embark and leave France. Among
these emigrants were many men of illustrious name. These acts of
generosity on the part of Napoleon did much to disarm their hostility,
and many of them became subsequently firm supporters of his power.

The Revolutionary tribunals had closed the churches, and prohibited the
observance of the Sabbath. To efface, if possible, all traces of that
sacred day, they had appointed every tenth day, for cessation from labor
and festivity. A heavy fine was inflicted upon any one who should close
his shop on the Sabbath, or manifest any reverence for the discarded
institution. Napoleon, who had already resolved to reinstate
Christianity in paganized France, but who found it necessary to move
with the utmost caution, ordered that no man should be molested for his
religious principles or practices. This step excited hostility. Paris
was filled with unbelief. Generals, statesmen, philosophers, scouted the
idea of religion. They remonstrated. Napoleon was firm. The mass of the
common people were with him, and he triumphed over aristocratic
infidelity.

With singular tact he selected the most skillful and efficient men to
fill all the infinitely varied departments of state. "I want more head,"
said he, "and less tongue." Every one was kept busy. Every one was
under the constant vigilance of his eagle eye. He appeared to have an
instinctive acquaintance with every branch of legislation, and with the
whole science of government. Three times a week the minister of finance
appeared before him, and past corruption was dragged to light and
abolished. The treasury was bankrupt. Napoleon immediately replenished
it. The army was starving, and almost in a state of mutiny. Napoleon
addressed to them a few of his glowing words of encouragement and
sympathy, and the emaciate soldiers in their rags, enthusiastically
rallied again around their colors, and in a few days, from all parts of
France, baggage wagons were trundling toward them, laden with clothing
and provisions. The navy was dilapidated and blockaded. At the voice of
Napoleon in every port of France the sound of the ship hammer was heard,
and a large armament was prepared to convey succor to his comrades in
Egypt. Such vigor mortal man never exhibited before. All France felt an
immediate impulse. At the same time in which Napoleon was accomplishing
all these duties, and innumerable others, any one of which would have
engrossed the whole energies of any common man, he was almost daily
meeting his colleagues and the two committees to discuss the new
Constitution.

Sieyes was greatly alarmed at the generosity of some of Napoleon's acts.
"The emigrants," said he, "will return in crowds. The royalists will
again raise their heads, and the republicans will be massacred." His
imagination was so excited with apprehensions of conspiracies and
assassinations, that he once awoke Napoleon at three o'clock in the
morning, to inform him of a fearful conspiracy, which had just been
discovered by the police. Napoleon quietly listened to his story, and
then, raising his head from his pillow, inquired, "Have they corrupted
our guard?" "No!" Sieyes replied. "Then go to bed," said Napoleon, "and
let them alone. It will be time enough to be alarmed, when our six
hundred men are attacked." Napoleon was so powerful, that he could
afford to be generous. His magnanimity was his most effectual safeguard.

In less than six weeks, the new Constitution was ready to be presented
to the nation for their acceptance. In the original draft, drawn up by
Sieyes, the supreme power was to be vested in a Grand Elector, to be
chosen for life, to possess a revenue of one million of dollars, and to
reside in the utmost possible magnificence in the palaces of Versailles.
He was to be a mock king, with all the pomp and pageantry of royalty,
but without its power. This was the office which Sieyes hoped would
satisfy the ambition of Napoleon. Napoleon exploded it as with a
bomb-shell. "Can you conceive," he exclaimed, "that a man of the least
talent or honor, would humble himself to accept an office, the duties of
which are merely to fatten like a pig on so many millions a year?" The
Grand Elector was annihilated. The following was the Constitution
adopted. The sovereign power was to be invested in Napoleon as First
Consul. Two subordinate consuls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, were to be his
counselors, with deliberative voices only. The Consuls proposed laws to
a body called the Tribunate, who thoroughly discussed them, and either
rejected, or, if they approved, recommended the law to a third body,
called the Legislature. The Legislature heard the report in silence,
having no deliberative voice. Three were appointed from the Tribunate to
present the arguments in favor of the law, and three those against it.
Without further debate, the Legislature, as judges, voted. The Senate
also was a silent body. It received the law from the Legislature, and
approved or condemned. Here were the forms of an ample supply of checks
and balances. Every act proposed by Napoleon, must be sanctioned by the
Tribunate, the Legislature, and the Senate before it could become a law.

"The Constitution," said Sieyes, "is a pyramid of which the people is
the base." Every male in France 21 years of age, paying a tax, was a
voter. They amounted to about 5,000,000. In their primary assemblies,
they chose 500,000 delegates. These delegates, from their own number,
chose 50,000. These latter, from themselves, chose 5000. These 5000 were
the Notables, or the eligible to office. From them, thus elected by the
people, all the offices were to be filled. The Constitution declared
Napoleon to be First Consul for ten years, with an annual salary of
$100,000. Cambaceres and Lebrun were his associate Consuls, with a
salary of $60,000. These three, with Sieyes and Ducos, were to choose,
from the Notables, the Senate, to consist of eighty members. They were
elected for life, and received a salary of $5000. The Senate chose three
hundred members, from the Notables, to compose the Legislature, with a
salary of $2000, and one hundred members to compose the Tribunate, with
an annual salary of $3000 each.

Such, in brief, was the Constitution under which Napoleon commenced his
reign. Under a man of ordinary vigor this would have been a popular and
a free government. With Napoleon it was in effect an unlimited monarchy.
The energy of his mind was so tremendous that he acquired immediately
the control of all these bodies. The plans he proposed were either so
plainly conducive to the public welfare, or he had such an extraordinary
faculty of convincing Tribunes, Legislators, and Senators that they were
so, that these bodies almost invariably voted in perfect accordance with
his will. It was Napoleon's unquestioned aim to aggrandize France. For
the accomplishment of that purpose he was ready to make any conceivable
personal sacrifice. In that accomplishment was to consist all his glory.
No money could bribe him. No enticements of sensual indulgence could
divert his energies from that single aim. His capacious intellect seemed
to grasp intuitively every thing which could affect the welfare of
France. He gathered around him, as agents for the execution of his
plans, the most brilliant intellects of Europe, and yet they all took
the attitude of children in his presence. With a body which seemed
incapable of fatigue, and a mind whose energies never were exhausted,
he consecrated himself to the majestic enterprise, by day and by night,
and with an untiring energy which amazed and bewildered his
contemporaries, and which still excites the wonder of the world. No one
thought of resisting his will. His subordinates sought only to
anticipate his wishes. Hence no machinery of government, which human
ingenuity could devise, could seriously embarrass the free scope of his
energies. His associates often expressed themselves as entirely overawed
by the majesty of his intellect. They came from his presence giving
utterance to the most profound admiration of the justice and the
rapidity of his perceptions. "We are pressed," said they, "into a very
whirlwind of urgency; but it is all for the good of France."

The Constitution was now presented to the whole people, for their
acceptance or rejection. A more free and unbiased expression of public
opinion could not possibly have been obtained. The result is
unparalleled in the annals of the ballot-box. There were 3,011,007 votes
cast in favor of the Constitution, and but 1562 in the negative. By such
unanimity, unprecedented in the history of the world, was Napoleon
elected First Consul of France. Those who reject the dogma of the divine
right of kings, who believe in the sacred authority of the voice of the
people, will, in this act, surely recognize the legitimacy of Napoleon's
elevation. A better title to the supreme power no ruler upon earth could
ever show. With Americans it can not be a serious question who had the
best title to the throne, Louis Capet, from the accident of birth, or
Napoleon Bonaparte, from the unanimous vote of the people. Napoleon may
have abused the power which was thus placed in his hands. Whether he did
so or not, the impartial history of his career will record. But it is
singularly disingenuous to call this an usurpation. It was a nation's
voice. "I did not usurp the crown," said Napoleon, proudly and justly.
"It was lying in the mire. I picked it up. The people placed it on my
head." It is not strange that the French people should have decided as
they did. Where is the man now, in either hemisphere, who would not have
preferred the government of Napoleon to any other dominion which was
then possible in France?

From the comparatively modest palace of the Luxembourg, Napoleon and
Josephine now removed to take up their residence in the more magnificent
apartments of the Tuileries. Those saloons of royalty which had been
sacked and denied by the mob of Paris, were thoroughly repaired. The red
cap of Jacobinism had been daubed upon the walls of the apartments of
state, and a tri-colored cockade had been painted upon the military hat
of Louis XIV. "Wash those out," said Napoleon. "I will have no such
abominations." The palace was furnished with more than its former
splendor. Statues of illustrious men of all lands embellished the vacant
niches. Those gorgeous saloons, where kings and queens for so many ages
had reveled, were now adorned, with outvying splendor, for the residence
of the people's chosen ruler.

Louis was the king of the nobles, placed by the nobles upon the throne.
He consulted for their interests. All the avenues of wealth and honor
were open for them alone. The people were merely slaves, living in
ignorance, poverty, obscurity, that the king and the nobles might dwell
in voluptuousness. Napoleon was the ruler of the _people_. He was one of
their own number. He was elevated to power by their choice. He spread
out an unobstructed arena for the play of their energies. He opened
before them the highways to fame and fortune. The only aristocracy which
he favored was the aristocracy of intellect and industry. No privileged
classes were tolerated. Every man was equal in the eye of the law. All
appealed to the same tribunals, and received impartial justice. The
taxes were proportioned to property. The feudal claims of the landed
proprietors were abolished. And there was no situation in the state, to
which the humblest citizen might not aspire. They called Napoleon First
Consul. They cared not much what he was called, so long as he was the
supreme ruler of their own choice. They were proud of having their ruler
more exalted, more magnificent, more powerful than the kings of the
nobles. Hence the secret of their readiness to acquiesce in any plans
which might minister to the grandeur of their own Napoleon. His glory
was their glory. And never were they better pleased than when they saw
him eclipse in splendor the proudest sovereigns upon the surrounding
thrones.

One evening Napoleon, with his gray surtout buttoned up closely around
him, went out with Bourrienne, incognito, and sauntered along the Rue
St. Honoré, making small purchases in the shops, and conversing freely
with the people about the First Consul and his acts. "Well, citizen,"
said Napoleon, in one of the shops, "what do they say of Bonaparte?" The
shop-keeper spoke of him in terms of the most enthusiastic admiration.
"Nevertheless," said Napoleon, "we must watch him. I hope that it will
not be found that we have merely changed one tyrant for another--the
Directory for Bonaparte." The shop-keeper was so indignant at this
irreverent intimation, that he showered upon Napoleon such a volley of
abuse, as to compel him to escape precipitately into the street, greatly
amused and delighted with the adventure.

It was on the morning of the 19th of February, 1800, when all Paris was
in commotion to witness the most gratifying spectacle of the people's
sovereign taking possession of the palace of the ancient kings. The
brilliance of Napoleon's character and renown had already thrown his
colleagues into the shade. They were powerless. No one thought of them.
Sieyes foresaw this inevitable result, and, with very commendable
self-respect, refused to accept the office of Second Consul. A few
interviews with Napoleon had taught him that no one could share power
with a will so lofty and commanding. Napoleon says, "Sieyes had fallen
into a mistake respecting the nature of these Consuls. He was fearful of
mortification and of having the First Consul to contend with at every
step. This would have been the case had all the Consuls been equal. We
should then have all been enemies. But the Constitution having made them
subordinate, there was no room for the struggles of obstinacy." Indeed
there was no room for such a conflict. Utter powerlessness can not
contend with omnipotence. The subordinate Consuls could only _give
advice when Napoleon asked it_. He was not likely to trouble them.

The royal apartments in the Tuileries were prepared for the First
Consul. The more modest saloons in the Pavilion of Flora were assigned
to the two other Consuls. Cambaceres, however, was so fully conscious of
the real position which he occupied, that he declined entering the
palace of the kings. He said to his colleague, Lebrun, "It is an error
that we should be lodged in the Tuileries. It suits neither you nor me.
For my part, I will not go. General Bonaparte will soon want to lodge
there by himself. Then we shall be suffered to retire. It is better not
to go at all."

The morning of Napoleon's removal to the Tuileries, he slept later than
usual. When Bourrienne entered his chamber at seven o'clock, Napoleon
was soundly asleep. On awaking he said, "Well, Bourrienne, we shall at
length sleep at the Tuileries. You are very fortunate; you are not
obliged to make a show of yourself. You may go in your own way. But as
for me, I must go in a procession. This I dislike. But we must have a
display. It gratifies the people. The Directory was too simple; it
therefore enjoyed no consideration. With the army, simplicity is in its
place. But in a great city, in a palace, it is necessary that the chief
of a state should draw attention upon himself by all possible means. But
we must move with caution. Josephine will see the review from the
apartments of Consul Lebrun."

Napoleon entered a magnificent carriage, seated between his two
colleagues, who appeared but as his attendants or body-guard. The
carriage was drawn by six beautiful white horses, a present to Napoleon
from the Emperor of Austria, immediately after the treaty of Campo
Formio. A gorgeous train of officers, accompanied by six thousand picked
troops, in the richest splendor of military display, composed the
cortège. Twenty thousand soldiers, with all the concomitants of martial
pomp, in double files, lined the streets through which the procession
was to pass. A throng which could not be numbered, from the city and
from the country, filled the garden, the streets, the avenues, the
balconies, the house-tops, and ebbed and flowed in surging billows far
back into the Elysian Fields. They had collected to exult in introducing
the idol of the army and of the nation--the people's king--into the
palace from which they had expelled the ancient monarchs of France. The
moment the state carriage appeared, the heavens seemed rent with the
unanimous shout, "Long live the First Consul." As soon as Napoleon
arrived at the foot of the great stair, ascending to the palace, he left
the other Consuls, and, mounting his horse, passed in review the
magnificent array of troops drawn up before him. Murat was on his right;
Lannes on his left. He was surrounded by a brilliant staff of war-worn
veterans, whose scarred and sun-burnt visages told of many a toilsome
and bloody campaign. There were three brigades, which appeared with the
banners which had passed through the terrific conflicts of Lodi, Rivoli,
and Arcola. They were black with powder, and torn into shreds by shot.
Napoleon instantly uncovered his head, and, with profound reverence,
saluted these monuments of military valor. An universal burst of
enthusiasm greeted the well-timed and graceful act. Napoleon then
returned to the Tuileries, ascended to the audience-chamber, and took
his station in the centre of the room. All eyes were fixed upon him. The
two associate Consuls were entirely forgotten, or, rather, they were
reduced to the rank of pages, following in his train, and gracing his
triumph.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON'S ENTRANCE INTO THE TUILERIES.]

The suite of rooms appropriated to Josephine, consisted of two
magnificent saloons, with private apartments adjoining. In the evening a
vast assemblage of brilliant guests were gathered in those regal halls.
When Josephine entered the gorgeously illumined apartments, leaning upon
the arm of Talleyrand, and dressed with that admirable taste which she
ever displayed, a murmur of admiration rose from the whole assembly. The
festivities of the evening were protracted until nearly the dawn of the
ensuing morning. When the guests had all retired, Napoleon, with his
hands folded behind him, paced to and fro through the spacious halls,
apparently absorbed in profound and melancholy thought; and then, as if
half soliloquizing, said to his secretary, Bourrienne, "Here we are in
the Tuileries. We must take good care to remain here. Who has not
inhabited this palace? It has been the abode of robbers; of members of
the Convention. There is your brother's house, from which, eight years
ago, we saw the good Louis XVI. besieged in the Tuileries and carried
off into captivity. But you need not fear a repetition of that scene.
Let them attempt it with me if they dare."

The next morning Napoleon said to Bourrienne, "See what it is to have
the mind set upon a thing. It is not two years since we resolved to take
possession of the Tuileries. Do you think that we have managed affairs
badly since that time. In fact, I am well satisfied. Yesterday's affair
went off well. Do you imagine that all those people who came to pay
their court to me were sincere? Most certainly they were not. But the
joy of the _people_ was real. The people know what is right. Besides,
consult the great thermometer of public opinion, the public funds. On
the 17th Brumaire they were at 11--the 20th, 16--to-day, 21. In this
state of things, I can allow the Jacobins to chatter. But they must not
talk too loud."

With consummate tact, Napoleon selected the ablest men of the empire to
occupy the most important departments in the state. Talleyrand, the wily
diplomatist, having received his appointment, said to Napoleon, "You
have confided to me the administration of foreign affairs. I will
justify your confidence. But I deem it my duty at once to declare, that
I will consult with you alone. That France may be well governed, there
must be unity of action. The First Consul must retain the direction of
every thing, the home, foreign, and police departments, and those of war
and the marine. The Second Consul is an able lawyer. I would advise that
he have the direction of legal affairs. Let the Third Consul govern the
finances. This will occupy and amuse them. Thus you, having at your
disposal the vital powers of government, will be enabled to attain the
noble object of your aims, the regeneration of France." Napoleon
listened in silence. Having taken leave of his minister, he said to his
secretary, "Talleyrand has detected my views. He is a man of excellent
sense. He advises just what I intend to do. They walk with speed who
walk alone." Some one had objected to the appointment of Talleyrand,
saying, "He is a weathercock." "Be it so," said Napoleon, "he is the
ablest Minister for Foreign Affairs in our choice. It shall be my care
that he exerts his abilities."

"Carnot," objected another, "is a republican." "Republican or not,"
Napoleon replied, "he is the last Frenchman who will wish to see France
dismembered. Let us avail ourselves of his unrivaled talents in the war
department, while he is willing to place them at our command."

"Fouché," objected one, "is a compound of falsehood and duplicity."
"Fouché alone," Napoleon rejoined, "is able to conduct the ministry of
the police. He alone has a knowledge of all the factions and intrigues
which have been spreading misery through France. We can not create men.
We must take such as we find. It is easier to modify, by circumstances,
the feelings and conduct of an able servant than to supply his place."

M. Abriel, a peer of France, was recommended as Minister of Justice. "I
do not know you, citizen Abriel," said Napoleon, as he presented him his
diploma of office, "but I am informed that you are the most upright man
in the magistracy. It is on that account that I have named you Minister
of Justice."

One of Napoleon's first acts was to abolish the annual festival
celebrating the bloody death of Louis XVI. He declared it to be a
barbarous ceremony, and unworthy of a humane people. "Louis was a
tyrant," said Sieyes. "Nay, nay," Napoleon promptly replied, "Louis was
no tyrant. Had he been a tyrant, I should this day have been a captain
of engineers, and you, Monsieur L'Abbé, would have been saying mass."

The Directory had resorted to the iniquitous procedure of forced loans
to replenish the bankrupt treasury. Napoleon immediately rejected the
tyrannical system. He assembled seventy of the most wealthy capitalists
of Paris, in his closet at the Tuileries. Frankly he laid before them
the principles of the new government, and the claims it had on the
confidence of the public. The appeal was irresistible. The merchants and
bankers, overjoyed at the prospect of just and stable laws, by
acclamation voted an immediate loan of two millions of dollars. Though
this made provision but for a few days, it was very timely aid. He then
established an equitable tax upon property, sufficient to meet the
exigencies of the state. The people paid the tax without a murmur.

Napoleon entertained profound aversion for the men who had been engaged
in the sanguinary scenes of the revolution, particularly for the
regicides. He always spoke with horror of those men of blood, whom he
called the assassins of Louis. He deplored the necessity of employing
any of them. Cambaceres was a member of the Convention which had
condemned the king to the guillotine. Though he voted against the
sentence of death, he had advocated his arrest. "Remember," said
Napoleon one day to Cambaceres, at the same time playfully pinching his
ear, "that I had nothing to do with that atrocious business. But your
case, my dear Cambaceres, is clear. If the Bourbons ever return, you
must be hanged." Cambaceres did not enjoy such pleasantry. His smile was
ghastly. Upon the reorganization of the Supreme Court of France,
Napoleon said to Bourrienne, "I do not take any decided steps against
the regicides. But I will show what I think of them. Target, the
president of this court, refused to defend Louis XVI. I will replace him
by Tronchet, who so nobly discharged that perilous duty. They may say
what they choose. My mind is made up."

The enthusiasm of the army was immediately revived by the attention
which the First Consul devoted to its interests. He presented beautiful
sabres to those soldiers who had highly distinguished themselves. One
hundred were thus conferred. A sergeant of grenadiers had obtained
permission to write to the First Consul, expressing his thanks.
Napoleon, with his own hand, replied, "I have received your letter, my
brave comrade. You had no occasion to remind me of your gallant
behavior. You are the most courageous grenadier in the army since the
death of the brave Benezeti. You have received one of the hundred sabres
which I have distributed, and all agree that none deserve it better. I
wish much to see you again. The Minister of War sends you an order to
come to Paris." This letter was widely circulated in the army, and
roused the enthusiasm of the soldiers to the highest pitch. The First
Consul, the most illustrious general of France, the great Napoleon,
calls a sergeant of grenadiers "my brave comrade." This sympathy for the
people was ever a prominent trait in Napoleon's character.

The following anecdote will illustrate his views upon this subject; or,
rather, a part of his views. All men have varying moods of mind, which
seem to be antagonistic to each other. Napoleon was conversing with
O'Meara respecting the English naval service.

"During the winter," said O'Meara, "the seamen are better off at sea
than the officers."

"Why so?" inquired Napoleon.

"Because," was the reply, "they have the advantage of the galley-fire,
where they can warm and dry themselves."

"And why can not the officers do the same?"

"It would not be exactly decorous," O'Meara replied, "for the officers
to mix in that familiar way with the men."

"Ah, this aristocratic pride!" exclaimed Napoleon "Why, in my campaigns,
I used to go to the lines in the bivouacs; sit down with the humblest
soldier, and converse freely with him. You are the most aristocratic
nation in the world. I always prided myself on being the man of the
people. I sprung from the populace myself. Whenever a man had merit I
elevated him, without asking how many degrees of nobility he had. To the
aristocracy you pay every kind of attention. Nothing can be too good for
them. The people you treat precisely as if they were slaves. Can any
thing be more horrible than your pressing of seamen? You send your boats
on shore to seize upon every male that can be found, who, if they have
the misfortune to belong to the populace, if they can not prove
themselves _gentlemen_, are hurried on board your ships. And yet you
have the impudence to cry out against the conscription in France. It
wounds your pride, because it fell _upon all ranks_. You are shocked
that a gentleman's son should be obliged to defend his country, just as
if he were one of the common people--that he should be compelled to
expose his body like a vile plebeian. Yet God made all men alike. One
day the people will avenge themselves. That conscription, which so
offended your aristocratic pride, was conducted scrupulously according
to the principles of equal rights. Every native of a country is bound to
defend it. The conscription did not, like your press-gang, crush a
particular class, because they were poor. It was the most just, because
the most equal, mode of raising troops. It rendered the French army the
best composed in the world."

When a prisoner on board the Northumberland, in his passage to St.
Helena, all the common sailors, though English, became most
enthusiastically attached to Napoleon. Some one alluded to this fact.
"Yes," said Napoleon, "I believe that they were my friends. I used to go
among them; speak to them kindly, and ask familiar questions. My freedom
in this respect quite astonished them, as it was so different from that
which they had been accustomed to receive from their own officers. You
English are great aristocrats. You keep a wide distance between
yourselves and the people."

It was observed in reply, "On board a man-of-war it is necessary to keep
the seamen at a great distance, in order to maintain a proper respect
for the officers."

"I do not think," Napoleon rejoined, "that it is necessary to keep up so
much reserve as you practice. When the officers do not eat or drink, or
make too many freedoms with the seamen, I see no necessity for any
greater distinctions. Nature formed all men equal. It was always my
custom to go freely among the soldiers and the common people, to
converse with them, ask them little histories, and speak kindly to them.
This I found to be of the greatest benefit to me. On the contrary, the
generals and officers I kept at a great distance."

Notwithstanding these protestations of freedom from aristocratic pride,
which were unquestionably sincere, and in their intended application
strictly true, it is also evident that Napoleon was by no means
insensible to the mysterious fascination of illustrious rank. It is a
sentiment implanted in the human heart, which never has been, and never
can be eradicated. Just at this time Murat sought Napoleon's sister
Caroline for his bride. "Murat! Murat!" said Napoleon, thoughtfully and
hesitatingly. "_He is the son of an innkeeper. In the elevated rank to
which I have attained I can not mix my blood with his._" For a moment he
seemed lost in thought, and then continued, "Besides, there is no hurry.
I shall see by-and-by." A friend of the young cavalry officer urged the
strong attachment of the two for each other. He also plead Murat's
devotion to Napoleon, his brilliant courage, and the signal service he
had rendered at the battle of Aboukir. "Yes," Napoleon replied, with
animation, "Murat was superb at Aboukir. Well, for my part, all things
considered, I am satisfied. Murat suits my sister. And, then, they can
not say that I am aristocratic, that I seek grand alliances. Had I given
my sister to a noble, all you Jacobins would have cried out for a
counter-revolution. Since that matter is settled we must hasten the
business. We have no time to lose. If I go to Italy I wish to take Murat
with me. We must strike a decisive blow, there. Come to-morrow."
Notwithstanding Napoleon's vast power, and the millions which had been
at his disposal, his private purse was still so empty, that he could
present his sister Caroline with but six thousand dollars as her
marriage portion. Feeling the necessity of making some present in
accordance with his exalted rank, he took a magnificent diamond
necklace, belonging to Josephine, as the bridal gift. Josephine most
gracefully submitted to this spoliation of her jewelry.

As Napoleon became more familiar with the heights of power to which he
had attained, all these plebeian scruples vanished. He sought to ally
his family with the proudest thrones of Europe; and, repelling from his
bosom the faithful wife of his early years, he was proud of commingling
his own blood with that of a daughter of the Cæsars.

In the midst of these events, the news arrived in France of the death of
Washington. Napoleon immediately issued the following order of the day
to the army:--"Washington is dead! That great man fought against
tyranny. He established the liberty of his country. His memory will be
ever dear to the free men of both hemispheres; and especially to the
French soldiers, who, like him and the American troops, have fought for
liberty and equality. As a mark of respect, the First Consul orders
that, for ten days, black crape be suspended from all the standards and
banners of the Republic."

In reference to the course he pursued at this time, Napoleon
subsequently remarked, "Only those who wish to deceive the people, and
rule them for their own personal advantage, would desire to keep them in
ignorance. The more they are enlightened, the more will they feel
convinced of the utility of laws, and of the necessity of defending
them; and the more steady, happy, and prosperous will society become. If
knowledge should ever be dangerous to the multitude, it can can only be
when the government, in opposition to the interests of the people,
drives them into an unnatural situation, or dooms the lower classes to
perish for want. In such a case, knowledge will inspire them with the
spirit to defend themselves. My code alone, from its simplicity, has
been more beneficial to France than the whole mass of laws which
preceded it. My schools and my system of mutual instruction, are to
elevate generations yet unborn. Thus, during my reign, crimes were
constantly diminishing. On the contrary, with our neighbors in England,
they have been increasing to a frightful degree. This alone is
sufficient to enable any one to form a decisive judgment of the
respective governments."[3]

   [Footnote 3: This fact is corroborated by authentic documents.
   France in 1801, the second year of Napoleon's consulship, with
   34,000,000 of inhabitants, condemned to death 882. England, with
   but sixteen millions, executed the same year 3,400. In the year
   1811, after Napoleon had reigned ten years, France, with a
   population of 42,000,000, condemned but 392. England, with
   17,000,000, condemned 4,400.--_See Situation of England, by M.
   Montveran._]

"Look at the United States," he continued, "where, without any apparent
force or effort, every thing goes on prosperously. Every one is happy
and contented. And this is because the public wishes and interests are
in fact the ruling power. Place the same government at variance with the
will and interest of its inhabitants, and you would soon see what
disturbance, trouble, and confusion--above all, what increase of crime,
would ensue. When I acquired the supreme direction of affairs, it was
wished that I might become a Washington. Words cost nothing; and no
doubt those who were so ready to express the wish, did so without any
knowledge of times, places, persons, or things. Had I been in America, I
would willingly have been a Washington. I should have had little merit
in so being. I do not see how I could reasonably have acted otherwise.
But had Washington been in France, exposed to discord within and
invasion from without, he could by no possibility have been what he was
in America. Indeed it would have been folly to have attempted it. It
would only have prolonged the existence of evil. For my part, I could
only have been a _crowned Washington_. It was only in a congress of
kings, and in the midst of kings, yielding or subdued, that I could take
my place. Then, and then only, could I successfully display Washington's
moderation, disinterestedness and wisdom."

"I think," said La Fayette, at the time of the revolution which placed
Louis Phillipe upon the throne of France, "that the Constitution of the
United States is the best which has ever existed. But France is not
prepared for such a government. We need a throne surrounded by
republican institutions."

Napoleon was indefatigable in his endeavors to reorganize in the
Tuileries the splendors of a court. The French people were like children
who needed to be amused, and Napoleon took good care to provide
amusement for them. His ante-chambers were filled with chamberlains,
pages, and esquires. Servants, in brilliant liveries, loitered in the
halls and on the staircases. Magnificent entertainments were provided,
at which Josephine presided with surpassing grace and elegance. Balls,
operas, and theatres, began to be crowded with splendor and fashion, and
the gay Parisians were delighted. Napoleon personally took no interest
whatever in these things. All his energies were engrossed in the
accomplishment of magnificent enterprises for the elevation of France.
"While they are discussing these changes," said he, "they will cease to
talk nonsense about my politics, and that is what I want. Let them amuse
themselves. Let them dance. But let them not thrust their heads into the
councils of government. Commerce will revive under the increasing
expenditure of the capital. I am not afraid of the Jacobins. I never was
so much applauded as at the last parade. It is ridiculous to say that
nothing is right but what is new. We have had enough of such novelties.
I would rather have the balls of the opera than the saturnalia of the
Goddess of Reason."[4]

   [Footnote 4: During the revolution, a beautiful opera girl, of
   licentious character, was conveyed in most imposing ceremonial to
   the church of Notre Dame. There she was elevated upon an altar, and
   presented to the thronged assemblage as the Goddess of Reason.
   "Mortals!" said Chaumette, "cease to tremble before the powerless
   thunders of a God whom your fears have created. There is no God.
   Henceforth worship none but Reason. Here I offer you its noblest
   and purest image. Worship only such divinities as this." The whole
   assemblage bowed in adoration, and then retired to indulge in
   scenes which the pen refuses to record.]

While Napoleon was thus engaged in reconstructing society in France,
organizing the army, strengthening the navy, and conducting the
diplomacy of Europe, he was maturing and executing the most magnificent
plans of internal improvements. In early life he had conceived a passion
for architectural grandeur, which had been strengthened and chastened by
his residence among the time-honored monuments of Italy and Egypt. With
inconceivable activity of mind, he planned those vast works of utility
and of beauty in Paris, and all over the empire, which will forever
remain the memorials of his well-directed energies, and which will throw
a lustre over his reign which never can be sullied. He erected the
beautiful quay on the banks of the Seine, in front of the Tuileries. He
swept away the buildings which deformed the Place Carrousel, and united
the Louvre and the Tuileries, forming a magnificent square between those
splendid edifices. He commenced the construction of a fourth side for
the great square opposite the picture gallery. It was a vast and a noble
undertaking; but it was interrupted by those fierce wars, which the
allied kings of Europe waged against him. The Bridge of Arts was
commenced. The convents of the Feuillans and Capucines, which had been
filled with victims during the revolution, were torn down, and the
magnificent Rue de Rivoli, now one of the chief ornaments of Paris, was
thrown open. Canals, bridges, turnpike-roads, all over the empire, were
springing into existence. One single mind inspired the nation.

The most inveterate opponents of Napoleon are constrained to the
admission that it is impossible to refuse the praise of consummate
prudence and skill to these, and indeed to all the arrangements he
adopted in this great crisis of his history. "We are creating a new
era," said he. "Of the past we must forget the bad, and remember only
the good."

In one of the largest and most populous provinces of France, that of La
Vendee, many thousand royalists had collected, and were carrying on a
most desperate civil war. England, with her ships, was continually
sending to them money, ammunition, and arms, and landing among them
regiments of emigrant troops formed in London. They had raised an army
of sixty thousand men. All the efforts of the Directory to quell the
insurrection had been unavailing. The most awful atrocities had
disgraced this civil conflict. As soon as Napoleon was firmly seated in
his consular chair, he sent an invitation for the chiefs of these
royalist forces in La Vendee to visit him in Paris, assuring them of a
safe return. They all accepted the invitation. Napoleon met them in his
audience-chamber with the utmost kindness and frankness. He assured them
that it was his only object to rescue France from the ruin into which it
had fallen; to bring peace and happiness to his distracted country. With
that laconic logic which he had ever at command, he said, "Are you
fighting in self-defense? You have no longer cause to fight. I will not
molest you. I will protect you in all your rights. Have you taken arms
to revive the reign of the ancient kings? You see the all but unanimous
decision of the nation. Is it honorable for so decided a minority to
attempt, by force of arms, to dictate laws to the majority?"

Napoleon's arguments were as influential as his battalions. They yielded
at once, not merely their swords but their hearts' homage. One alone,
George Cadoudal, a sullen, gigantic savage, who preferred banditti
marauding above the blessings of peace, refused to yield. Napoleon had a
private interview with him. The guard at the door were extremely alarmed
lest the semi-barbarian should assassinate the First Consul. Napoleon
appealed to his patriotism, his humanity, but all in vain. Cadoudal
demanded his passports and left Paris. "Why did I not," he afterward
often said, as he looked at his brawny, hairy, Samson-like arms,
"strangle that man when I had him in my power?" He went to London, where
he engaged in many conspiracies for the assassination of Napoleon, and
was finally taken in France, and shot.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON AND THE VENDEEAN CHIEF.]

Civil war was now at an end, and with most singular unanimity all France
was rejoicing in the reign of the First Consul. Napoleon loved not war.
He wished to build up, not to tear down. He desired the glory of being
the benefactor and not the scourge of his fellow-men. Every conflict in
which he had thus far been engaged was strictly a war of self-defense.
The expedition to Egypt can not be considered an exception, for that
enterprise was undertaken as the only means of repelling the assaults of
the most determined and powerful enemy France has ever known. Napoleon
was now strong. All France was united in him. With unobstructed power he
could wield all her resources, and guide all her armies. Under these
circumstances most signally did he show his love of peace, by adopting
the very characteristic measure of writing directly to the King of
England and to the Emperor of Austria, proposing reconciliation. It was
noble in the highest degree for him to do so. Pride would have said,
"They commenced the conflict; they shall be the first to ask for peace."
To the King of England he wrote,

"Called, Sire, by the wishes of the French nation, to occupy the first
magistracy of the Republic, I judge it well, on entering my office, to
address myself directly to your Majesty. Must the war, which for the
four last years has devastated the world, be eternal? Are there no means
of coming to an understanding? How can the two most enlightened nations
of Europe, stronger already and more powerful than their safety or their
independence requires, sacrifice to ideas of vain-glory the well-being
of commerce, internal prosperity, and the repose of families! How is it
that they do not feel peace to be the first of necessities as the first
of glories? These sentiments can not be strangers to the heart of your
Majesty, who governs a free people with the sole aim of rendering it
happy.

"Your Majesty will perceive only, in this overture, the sincerity of my
desire to contribute efficaciously, for a second time, to the general
pacification, by this prompt advance, perfectly confidential and
disembarrassed of those forms, which, perhaps necessary to disguise the
dependence of weak states, reveal, when adopted by strong states, only
the wish of mutual deception. France and England by the misuse of their
powers, may yet, for a long period, retard, to the misery of all
nations, their exhaustion. But I venture to say that the fate of the
civilized world is connected with the termination of a war, which has
set the whole world in flames."

To this magnanimous application for peace, the King of England did not
judge it proper to return any personal answer. Lord Grenville replied in
a letter full of most bitter recriminations. And all France was
exasperated by the insulting declaration that if France really desired
peace, "_The best and most natural pledge of its reality and permanence,
would be the restoration of that line of princes which, for so many
centuries maintained the French nation in prosperity at home, and
consideration and respect abroad. Such an event would at once remove,
and will at any time remove all obstacles in the way of negotiation or
peace._"

This was, indeed, an irritating response to Napoleon's pacific appeal.
He, however, with great dignity and moderation, replied through his
minister, M. Talleyrand, in the following terms:

"So far from having provoked the war, France, from the commencement of
the revolution, solemnly proclaimed her love of peace, her
disinclination for conquests, and her respect for the independence of
all governments. And it is not to be doubted, that occupied at that time
entirely with her own internal affairs, she would have avoided taking
any part in those of Europe, and would have remained faithful to her
declarations.

"But from an opposite disposition, as soon as the French revolution had
broken out, almost all Europe entered into a league for its destruction.
The aggression was real long before it was public. Internal resistance
was excited; the enemies of the revolution were favorably received,
their extravagant declamations were supported, the French nation was
insulted in the person of its agents, and England particularly set this
example, by the dismissal of the minister of the Republic. Finally,
France was attacked in her independence, her honor, and her safety, long
before war was declared.

"It is to these projects of dismemberment, subjection, and dissolution,
that France has a right to impute the evils which she has suffered, and
those which have afflicted Europe. Assailed on all sides, the Republic
could not but equally extend the efforts of her defense. And it is only
for the maintenance of her own independence, that she has called into
requisition her own strength and the courage of her citizens. If in the
midst of the critical circumstances which the revolution and the war
have brought on, France has not always shown as much moderation as the
nation has shown courage, it must be imputed to the fatal and
persevering animosity with which the resources of England have been
lavished to accomplish the ruin of France.

"But if the wishes of his Britannic majesty are in unison with those of
the French Republic, for the re-establishment of peace, why, instead of
attempting apologies for the war, should not attention be directed to
the means of terminating it. It can not be doubted that his Britannic
Majesty must recognize the right of nations to choose their form of
government, since it is from this right that he holds his crown. But the
First Consul can not comprehend how, after admitting this fundamental
principle, upon which rests the existence of political societies, his
Majesty could annex insinuations, which tend to an interference with the
internal affairs of the Republic. Such interference is no less injurious
to the French nation and its government, than it would be to England and
his Majesty, if an invitation were held out, in form of a return to that
republican form of government which England adopted about the middle of
the last century, or an exhortation to recall to the throne that family
whom their birth had placed there, and whom a revolution had compelled
to descend from it."

There was no possibility of parrying these home thrusts. Lord Grenville
consequently entirely lost his temper. Replying in a note even more
angry and bitter than the first, he declared that England was fighting
for the security of all governments against French Jacobinism, and that
hostilities would be immediately urged on anew without any relaxation.
Napoleon was not at all disappointed or disheartened at the result of
this correspondence. He earnestly desired peace. But he was not afraid
of war. Conscious of the principle, "thrice is he armed who hath his
quarrel just," he was happy in the conviction that the sympathies of
impartial men in all nations would be with him. He knew that the
arrogant tone assumed by England, would unite France as one man, in
determined and undying resistance. "The answer," said he, "filled me
with satisfaction. It could not have been more favorable. England wants
war. She shall have it. Yes! yes! war to the death."

The throne of the King of England, the opulence of her bishops, and the
enormous estates of her nobles were perhaps dependent upon the issue of
this conflict. The demolition of all exclusive privileges, and the
establishment of perfect equality of rights among all classes of men in
France, must have shaken the throne, the aristocracy, and the hierarchy
of England, with earthquake power. The government of England was mainly
in the hands of the king, the bishops, and the lords. Their all was at
stake. In a temptation so sore, frail human nature must not be too
severely censured. For nearly ten years, the princes of France had been
wandering houseless fugitives over Europe. The nobles of France, ejected
from their castles, with their estates confiscated, were beggars in all
lands. Bishops who had been wrapped in ermine, and who had rolled in
chariots of splendor, were glad to warm their shivering limbs by the
fire of the peasant, and to satiate their hunger with his black bread.
To king, and bishop, and noble, in England, this was a fearful warning.
It seemed to be necessary for their salvation to prevent all friendly
intercourse between England and France, to hold up the principles of the
French Revolution to execration, and above all, to excite, if possible,
the detestation of the people of England, against Napoleon, the child
and the champion of popular rights. Napoleon was the great foe to be
feared, for with his resplendent genius he was enthroning himself in the
hearts of the _people_ of all lands.

But no impartial man, in either hemisphere, can question that the
_right_ was with Napoleon. It was not the duty of the thirty millions of
France to ask permission of the fifteen millions of England to modify
their government. The kings of Europe, led by England, had combined to
force with the bayonet, upon France, a rejected and an execrated
dynasty. The inexperienced Republic, distracted and impoverished by
these terrific blows, was fast falling to ruin. The people invested
Napoleon with almost dictatorial powers for their rescue. It was their
only hope. Napoleon, though conscious of strength, in the name of
bleeding humanity, pleaded for peace. His advances were met with contumely
and scorn, and the trumpet notes of defiant hosts rang from the Thames
to the Danube. The ports of France were blockaded by England's
invincible fleet, demolishing the feeble navy of the Republic, and
bombarding her cities. An army of three hundred thousand men pressed
upon the frontiers of France, threatening a triumphant march to her
capital, there to compel, by bayonet and bomb-shell, the French people
to receive a Bourbon for their king. There was no alternative left to
Napoleon but to defend his country. Most nobly he did it.

The correspondence with the British government, which redounds so much
to the honor of Napoleon, vastly multiplied his friends among the masses
of the people in England, and roused in parliament, a very formidable
opposition to the measures of government. This opposition was headed by
Fox, Sheridan, Lord Erskine, the Duke of Bedford, and Lord Holland. They
did not adopt the atrocious maxim, "Our country--right or wrong," but
rather the ennobling principle "Our country--when in the wrong, we will
try to put her right." Never, in the history of the world, has there
been a more spirited or a more eloquent opposition than this question
elicited. Fox, the rival of Pitt, and the profound admirer of Napoleon,
was the most prominent leader of this opposition. Napoleon, with his
laconic and graphic eloquence, thus describes the antagonistic English
statesmen. "In Fox, the heart warmed the genius. In Pitt the genius
withered the heart."

"You ask," the opposition exclaimed, "who was the aggressor? What
matters that? You say it was France. France says it was England. The
party you accuse of being the aggressor is the first to offer to lay
down arms. Shall interminable war continue merely to settle a question
of history? You say it is useless to treat with France. Yet you treated
with the Directory. Prussia and Spain have treated with the Republic,
and have found no cause for complaint. You speak of the crimes of
France. And yet your ally, Naples, commits crimes more atrocious,
without the excuse of popular excitement. You speak of ambition. But
Russia, Prussia, and Austria, have divided Poland. Austria grasps the
provinces of Italy. You yourself take possession of India, of part of
the Spanish, and of all the Dutch colonies. Who shall say that one is
more guilty than another in this strife of avarice. If you ever intend
to treat with the French Republic, there can be no more favorable moment
than the present."

By way of commentary upon the suggestion that France must re-enthrone
the Bourbons, a letter was published, either real or pretended, from the
heir of the exiled house of Stuart, demanding from George the Third, the
throne of his ancestors. There was no possible way of parrying this home
thrust. George the Third, by his own admission, was an usurper, seated
upon the throne of the exiled Stuarts. The opposition enjoyed
exceedingly the confusion produced, in the enemies' ranks, by this
well-directed shot.

The government replied, "Peace with Republican France endangers all the
monarchies of Europe. The First Consul is but carrying out, with
tremendous energy, the principles of the revolution--the supremacy of
the people. Peace with France is but a cessation of resistance to wrong.
France still retains the sentiments which characterized the dawn of her
revolution. She was democratic. She is democratic. She declares war
against kings. She continues to seek their destruction."

There was much force in these declarations. It is true that Napoleon was
not, in the strict sense of the word, a democrat. He was not in favor of
placing the government in the hands of the great mass of the people. He
made no disguise of his conviction that in France the people had neither
the intelligence nor the virtue essential to the support of a wise and
stable republic. Distinctly he avowed that in his judgment the
experiment of a republic had utterly failed, that France must return to
monarchy. The great mass of the people were also satisfied of this
necessity. "The French generally," said Napoleon, "do not ask for
_liberty_. They only seek _equality_."

But France no longer wished for an aristocratic king, who would confer
wealth, splendor, and power exclusively upon his nobles. The old feudal
throne was still hated with implacable hatred. France demanded a popular
throne; a king for the people, one who would consult the interests of
the masses, who would throw open to all alike the avenues of influence
and honor and opulence. Such a monarch was Napoleon. The people adored
him. He is _our_ emperor, they shouted with enthusiasm. We will make him
greater than all the kings of all the nobles. His palaces shall be more
sumptuous, his retinue more magnificent, his glory more dazzling; for
our daughters may enter his court as maids of honor, and our sons may go
in and out at the Tuileries, Versailles, and St. Cloud, the marshals of
France. Lord Grenville was right in saying that Napoleon was but
carrying out the principles of the revolution--equality of
privileges--the supremacy of popular rights. But the despots of Europe
were as hostile to such a king as to a republic.

On the same day in which Napoleon's pacific letter was sent to the King
of England, another, of the same character, was dispatched to the
Emperor of Austria. It was conceived in the following terms:

"Having returned to Europe, after an absence of eighteen months, I find
a war kindled between the French Republic and your Majesty. The French
nation has called me to the occupation of the First Magistracy. A
stranger to every feeling of vain-glory, the first of my wishes is to
stop the effusion of blood which is about to flow. Every thing leads me
to foresee that, in the next campaign, numerous armies, ably conducted,
will treble the number of the victims, who have already fallen since the
resumption of hostilities. The well-known character of your Majesty,
leaves me no doubt as to the secret wishes of your heart. If those
wishes only are listened to, I perceive the possibility of reconciling
the interests of the two nations.

"In the relations which I have formerly entertained with your Majesty,
you have shown me some personal regard. I beg you, therefore, to see in
this overture, which I have made to you, the desire to respond to that
regard, and to convince your Majesty, more and more, of the very
distinguished consideration which I feel toward you."

Austria replied, in courteous terms, that she could take no steps in
favor of peace without consulting her ally England. Thus all Napoleon's
efforts to arrest the desolations of war failed. The result had been
anticipated. He was well aware of the unrelenting hostility with which
the banded kings of Europe contemplated the overthrow of a feudal
throne, and of the mortal antipathy with which they regarded the thought
of receiving a democratic king into their aristocratic brotherhood.
Nothing now remained for Napoleon but to prepare to meet his foes. The
allies, conscious of the genius of that great captain who had filled the
world with the renown of his victories, exerted themselves to the utmost
to raise such forces, and to assail Napoleon with numbers so
overwhelming, and in quarters so varied as to insure his bewilderment
and ruin. The Archduke Charles, of Austria, who was practically
acquainted with the energy of Napoleon, urged peace. But England and
Austria were both confident that France, exhausted in men and money,
could not hold out for another campaign.

The Bourbons now made an attempt to bribe Napoleon to replace them upon
their lost throne. The Count of Provence, subsequently Louis XVIII.,
wrote to him from London, "For a long time, general, you must have known
the esteem in which I hold you. If you doubt my gratitude, mark your own
place. Point out the situation you wish for your friends. The victor of
Lodi, Castiglione, and Arcola, can never prefer a vain celebrity to true
glory. But you are losing the most precious moments. We could secure the
happiness of France. I say we, for I require Bonaparte for such an
attempt, and he could not achieve it without me. Europe observes you.
Glory awaits you. I am impatient to restore peace to my people."

Napoleon did not imitate the example of the King of England and pass
this letter over to his minister. Courteously and kindly, with his own
hand he replied. "I have received your letter. I thank you for the
obliging expressions it contains respecting myself. You should renounce
all hopes of returning to France. You could not return but over the
corpses of 100,000 Frenchmen. Sacrifice your interest to the happiness
and repose of your country. History will duly appreciate your conduct,
in so doing. I am not insensible to the misfortunes of your family, and
shall learn with pleasure that you are surrounded with every thing which
can restore the tranquillity of your retreat."

Benedict Arnold attempted to bring the American Revolution to a close by
surrendering the United States to their rejected king. It was not in
Napoleon's line of ambition to imitate his example. The Bourbons,
finding the direct proffer of reward unavailing, then tried the effect
of female blandishments. The fascinating Duchess of Guiche, a lady of
great beauty and talent, was dispatched a secret emissary to the court
of the First Consul, to employ all the arts of eloquence, address, and
the most voluptuous loveliness, in gaining an influence over Napoleon.
Josephine, who had suffered so much during the Revolution, and whose
associations had been with the aristocracy of France, was a royalist.
She trembled for the safety of her husband, and was very anxious that he
should do whatever in honor might be done, to restore the Bourbons. In
every possible way she befriended the royalists, and had secured, all
over Europe, their cordial esteem. The Duchess of Guiche easily got
access to Josephine. Artfully she said, one morning at the
breakfast-table, "A few days ago I was with the Count of Provence in
London. Some one asked him what he intended to do for Napoleon, in the
event of his restoring the Bourbons. He replied, 'I would immediately
make him Constable of France, and every thing else which he might
choose. And we would raise on the Carrousel, a magnificent column,
surmounted with a statue of Bonaparte crowning the Bourbons.'" Soon
after breakfast Napoleon entered. Josephine most eagerly repeated the
words to him. "And did you not reply," said Napoleon, "that the corpse
of the First Consul would be made the pedestal of the column." The
fascinating duchess was still present. She immediately assailed Napoleon
with all her artillery of beauty, smiles, and flattery. The voluptuous
freedom of her manners, and the charms of the bewitching emissary,
alarmed the jealousy of Josephine. Napoleon, however, was impervious to
the assault. That night the duchess received orders to quit Paris; and
in the morning, in the charge of the police, she was on her way toward
the frontier.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON AND THE DUCHESS OF GUICHE.]

It has often been said that Napoleon made overtures to the Bourbons for
the cession of their rights to the throne. In reference to this
assertion Napoleon says, "How was such a thing possible? I, who could
only reign by the very principle which excluded them, that of the
sovereignty of the people; how could I have sought to possess, through
them, rights which were proscribed in their persons? That would have
been to proscribe myself. The absurdity would have been too palpable,
too ridiculous. It would have ruined me forever in public opinion. The
fact is that neither directly nor indirectly, at home or abroad, did I
ever do any thing of the kind."

The report probably originated in the following facts. Friendly
relations were at one time existing between Prussia and France. The
Prussian government inquired if Napoleon would take umbrage if the
Bourbon princes were allowed to remain in the Prussian territory.
Napoleon replied that he had no objections to that arrangement.
Emboldened by the prompt consent, it was then asked if the French
government would be willing to furnish them with an annual allowance for
their support. Napoleon replied that it should be done most cheerfully,
provided Prussia would be responsible for the princes remaining quiet,
and abstaining from all intrigues to disturb the peace of France.

A few evenings after this last attempt of Louis XVIII. to regain the
throne, Napoleon was one evening walking with Bourrienne in the gardens
of his favorite retreat at Malmaison. He was in fine spirits, for all
things were moving on very prosperously.

[Illustration: NAPOLEON AND BOURRIENNE.]

"Has my wife," said he to Bourrienne, "been speaking to you of the
Bourbons?"

"No, general!" Bourrienne replied.

"But, when you converse with her," Napoleon added, "you lean a little to
her opinions. Tell me now, why do you desire the return of the Bourbons?
You have no interest in their return; nothing to expect from them. You
can never be any thing with them. You have no chance but to remain all
your life in an inferior situation. Have you ever seen a man rise under
kings by merit alone?"

"General," replied Bourrienne, "I am quite of your opinion on one point.
I have never received any favor under the Bourbons; neither have I the
vanity to suppose I should ever rise, under them, to any conspicuous
station. But I look at the interests of France. I believe that you will
hold your power as long as you live. But you have no children, and it is
pretty certain that you will never have any by Josephine. What are we to
do when you are gone? What is to become of France? You have often said
that your brothers were not--"

Here Napoleon interrupted him, exclaiming: "Ah! as to that you are
right. If I do not live thirty years to finish my work, you will, when I
am dead, have long civil wars. My brothers do not suit France. You will
then have a violent contest among the most distinguished generals, each
of whom will think that he has a right to take my place."

"Well, general," said Bourrienne, "why do you not endeavor to remedy
those evils which you foresee?"

"Do you suppose," Napoleon replied, "that I have never thought of that?
But weigh well the difficulties which are in my way. In case of a
restoration, what is to become of the men who were conspicuous in the
revolution? What is to become of the confiscated estates and the
national domain, which have been sold and sold again? What is to become
of all the changes which have been effected in the last twelve years?"

"But, general," said Bourrienne, "need I recall to your attention, that
Louis XVIII. in his letter to you guarantees the contrary of all which
you apprehend? Are you not in a situation to impose any conditions you
may think fit?"

"Depend upon it," Napoleon replied, "the Bourbons will think that they
have reconquered their inheritance, and will dispose of it as they
please. Engagements the most sacred, promises the most positive, will
disappear before force. No sensible man will trust them. My mind is made
up. Let us say no more upon the subject. But I know how these women
torment you. Let them mind their knitting, and leave me to mind my
affairs."

Pithily Bourrienne adds, "The women knitted. I wrote at my desk.
Napoleon made himself Emperor. The empire has fallen to pieces. Napoleon
is dead at St. Helena. The Bourbons have been restored."

The boundless popularity which Napoleon acquired, was that which follows
great achievements, not that which is ingloriously sought for by
pampering to the vices and yielding to the prejudices of the populace.
Napoleon was never a demagogue. His administration was in accordance
with his avowed principles. "A sovereign," said he, "must serve his
people with dignity, and not make it his chief study to please them. The
best mode of winning their love is to secure their welfare. Nothing is
more dangerous than for a sovereign to flatter his subjects. If they do
not afterward obtain every thing which they want, they become irritated,
and fancy that promises have been broken. If they are then resisted,
their hatred increases in proportion as they consider themselves
deceived. A sovereign's first duty is unquestionably to conform with the
wishes of his people. But what the people say is scarcely ever what
they wish. Their desires and their wants can not be learned from their
own mouths, so well as they are to be read in the heart of their
prince."

Again he said in memorable words, which must not be forgotten in forming
a just estimate of his character, "The system of government must be
adapted to the spirit of the nation. France required a strong
government. France was in the same state as Rome when a dictator was
declared necessary for the salvation of the republic. Successions of
coalitions against the existence of the Republic, had been formed by
English gold among all the most powerful nations of Europe. To resist
successfully it was essential that all the energies of the country
should be at the disposal of the chief. I never conquered unless in my
own defense. Europe never ceased to make war against France and her
principles. It was necessary for us to conquer, that we might not be
conquered. Between the parties which agitated France I was like a rider
seated on an unruly horse, who always wants to swerve either to the
right or the left. To lead him to keep a straight course, he is obliged
to make him feel the bridle. The government of a country, just emerging
from revolution, menaced by foreign enemies and agitated by the
intrigues of domestic traitors, must necessarily be energetic. In
quieter times my dictatorship would have terminated, and I should have
commenced my constitutional reign. Even, as it was, with a coalition
always existing against me, either secret or public, there was more
equality in France, than in any other country in Europe. One of my grand
objects was to render education accessible to every body. I caused every
institution to be formed upon a plan which offered instruction to the
public either gratis, or at a rate so moderate as not to be beyond the
means of the peasant. The museums were thrown open to the whole people.
The French populace would have become the best educated in the world.
All my efforts were directed to illuminate the mass of the nation,
instead of brutifying them by ignorance and superstition. The English
people, who are lovers of liberty, will one day lament, with tears,
having gained the battle of Waterloo. It was as fatal to the liberties
of Europe as that of Philippi was to those of Rome. It has precipitated
Europe into the hands of despots, banded together for the oppression of
mankind."

Though Napoleon felt deeply the sanctity of law, and the necessity of
securing the inflexible enforcement of its penalties, he was never more
highly gratified than when he was enabled, by the exercise of the
pardoning power, to rescue the condemned. Says Bourrienne, whose
testimony will not be questioned, "When the imperious necessities of his
political situation, to which, in fact, he sacrificed every thing, did
not interpose, the saving of life afforded him the highest satisfaction.
He would even have thanked those, to whom he rendered such a service,
for the gratification they had thus afforded him." A French emigrant, M.
Defeu, had been taken, with arms in his hands, fighting against France.
The crime was treason; the penalty death. He was connected with some of
the most honorable families in France. A very earnest petition was
presented to Napoleon for his pardon. "There is no room for mercy here,"
Napoleon sternly replied. "A man who fights against his country is a
child who would kill his mother." The affecting condition of his family
was urged, and the beneficial effects upon the community of such an act
of clemency. Napoleon paused for a moment, and then said, "Write, 'The
First Consul orders the judgment on M. Defeu to be suspended.'" The
laconic reprieve was instantly written, signed by Napoleon, and
dispatched to Sens, where the unfortunate man was imprisoned. The next
morning, the moment Bourrienne entered the First Consul's apartment,
Napoleon said to him, "I do not like to do my work by halves. Write to
Sens, 'The First Consul desires that M. Defeu be immediately liberated.'
He may repay the deed with ingratitude. But we can not help that--so
much the worse for him. In all such cases, Bourrienne, never hesitate to
speak to me. When I refuse it will only be because I can not do
otherwise."

In Napoleon's disposition firmness and gentleness were singularly and
beautifully blended. The following anecdote illustrates the
inflexibility of his sense of justice. A wealthy nobleman, thirty years
of age, had married a young girl of sixteen. It was a mercenary
marriage. The friends of the young lady, without any regard to her
feelings, dragged her to the altar. She cherished no affection for her
husband. He became jealous of her, and, without the slightest proof of
her criminality, murdered her. He was arrested, tried, and condemned to
death. Connected by birth with the first families in France, and
rallying around him the interest of the most influential of friends,
great exertions were made to obtain from the First Consul a pardon. To
the petitioners, pleading in his behalf, Napoleon replied:

"Why should I pardon this man? He availed himself of his fortune for the
vile purpose of bribing the affections of a girl. He did not succeed in
winning them, and he became jealous. His jealousy was not the result of
love but of vanity. He has committed the crime of murder. What urged him
to it? Not his honor, for his wife had not injured it. No! he was
instigated by brutality, vanity, and self-love. He has no claim to
mercy. The rich are too prone to consider themselves elevated above the
reach of the law. They imagine that wealth is a sacred shield to them.
This man has committed a crime for which there are no extenuating
circumstances. He must suffer the punishment to which he is justly
doomed. If I were to pardon him, that act of misplaced indulgence would
put in jeopardy the life of every married woman. As the law positively
protects the outraged husband, so it must protect the wife against the
consequences of dislike, interest, caprice, or a new passion, which may
impel a husband to obtain a divorce, by a more prompt and less
expensive course than a legal process."

[Illustration: UNAVAILING INTERCESSION OF JOSEPHINE.]

Josephine whose tender feelings at times controlled her judgment was
urgent in her intercession. Many of the relatives of the wretched man
were among her most intimate friends. "This," said she, "is the first
favor I have asked since your attainment of the supreme power. Surely
you will not deny me?"

"I can not," said Napoleon, "grant your request. And when it is known,
Josephine, that even your persuasions could not induce me to commit an
act of injustice, no one else will henceforth dare to petition me for
such a purpose."

England, Austria, and Russia, together with many other of the minor
powers of monarchical Europe, were now combined against France. The
Emperor Paul of Russia had furnished a large army to co-operate with the
allies in their assault upon the Republic. Ten thousand of the Russians
had been taken prisoners. But in the recent disasters which had
overwhelmed the arms of France, many thousand French prisoners were in
the hands of the allies. Napoleon proposed an exchange. The Austrian
government refused, because it selfishly wished to exchange for
Austrians only. The English government also refused, assigning the
reason that it was contrary to their principles to exchange for
prisoners taken from other nations. "What," exclaimed Napoleon to the
Court of St. James, "do you refuse to liberate the Russians, who were
your allies, who were fighting in your ranks, and under your own
commander, the Duke of York?" With Vienna he also expostulated, in tones
of generous warmth, "Do you refuse to restore to their country those men
to whom you are indebted for your victories and conquests in Italy, and
who have left in your hands a multitude of French prisoners, whom they
have taken? Such injustice excites my indignation." Then yielding to
those impulses, so characteristic of his generous nature, he exclaimed,
"I will restore them to the Czar without exchange. He shall see how I
esteem brave men." Whatever Napoleon undertook he performed
magnificently. The Russian officers immediately received their swords.
The captive troops, ten thousand in number, were assembled at
Aix-la-Chapelle. They were all furnished with a complete suit of new
clothing in the uniform of their own regiments, and thoroughly armed
with weapons of the very best of French manufacture. The officers were
authorized to organize them into battalions and regiments. And thus
triumphantly these battalions of armed men were returned into the bosom
of the ranks of the multitudinous hosts, rushing down upon France. It is
gratifying to record that magnanimity so extraordinary passed not away
unappreciated.

The Emperor Paul was so disgusted with the selfishness of Austria and
England, and was so struck with admiration in view of this unparalleled
generosity of Napoleon, that he immediately abandoned the alliance. He
attached himself to Napoleon with that enthusiasm of constitutional
ardor which characterized the eccentric monarch. In a letter to the
First Consul, written with his own hand, he said, "Citizen First
Consul!--I do not write to you to discuss the rights of men or citizens.
Every country governs itself as it pleases. Wherever I see at the head
of a nation a man who knows how to rule and how to fight, my heart is
attracted toward him. I write to acquaint you with my dissatisfaction
with England, who violates every article of the law of nations, and has
no guide but her egotism and her interest. I wish to unite with you to
put an end to the unjust proceedings of that government."

Russia was thus detached from the alliance, and sending a minister to
Paris, recognized the new government. Napoleon now sent an embassador to
Prussia to establish, if possible, friendly relations with that power.
Duroc, the only one whom Napoleon ever admitted to his ultimate
friendship, was selected for this mission, in consequence of his
graceful address, his polished education, and his varied
accomplishments.--Frederick William was a great admirer of military
genius. Duroc, who had been in the campaigns of Italy and of Egypt,
could interest him with the recital of many heroic enterprises. The
first interview of Duroc with the Prussian monarch was entirely private,
and lasted two hours. The next day Duroc was invited to dine with the
king, and the Prussian court immediately recognized the consular
government.

Notwithstanding Napoleon's vast exaltation, he preserved personally the
same simple tastes and habits, the same untiring devotion to the details
of business, and the same friendships as when he was merely a general of
the Republic. He rose at seven o'clock, dressed with scrupulous
neatness, during which time the morning journals were read to him. He
then entered his cabinet, where he read letters, and wrote or dictated
answers until ten. He then breakfasted with Josephine and Hortense,
usually some of his aids and one or two literary or scientific friends
being invited. At the close of this frugal meal, he attended the
meetings of the Council, or paid visits of ceremony or business to some
of the public offices. At five o'clock he returned to dinner, on
ordinary occasions not allowing himself more than fifteen minutes at the
table. He then retired to the apartments of Josephine, where he received
the visits of ministers, and of the most distinguished persons of the
metropolis.

In the organization of his court Napoleon was unalterably determined to
suppress that licentiousness of manners, which for ages had disgraced
the palaces of the French monarchs, and which, since the overthrow of
Christianity, had swept like a flood of pollution over all France. He
was very severe upon those females, often of the highest rank, who
endeavored to attract attention by freedom of dress or behavior. It was
expected that men and their wives should appear in society together--a
thing hitherto unprecedented, and contrary to all ideas of fashionable
life. The court had hitherto taken the lead in profligacy, and the
nation had followed. Napoleon thought that by enforcing purity of morals
in the palace, he could draw back the nation to more decorum of manners.
"Immorality," said he, "is, beyond a doubt, the worst of all faults in a
sovereign; because he introduces it as a fashion among his subjects, by
whom it is practiced for the sake of pleasing him. It strengthens every
vice, blights every virtue, and infects all society like a pestilence.
In short, it is a nation's scourge."

On one occasion a courtier, very high in rank and office, one of the
imperial chamberlains, requested permission to present his
daughter-in-law at court. She was extremely beautiful, and though
distinguished by a captivating air of simplicity, was one of the most
artful of the daughters of Eve. She joined the imperial parties on all
occasions, and wherever she went threw herself in the way of Napoleon.
Her soft and languishing eyes were riveted upon him. She sighed,
blushed, and affected bashfulness, while, at the same time, she
constantly placed herself in situations to attract his notice. Sometimes
she would stand, for a long time, apparently lost in reverie, gazing and
sighing before the portraits of Napoleon. Her father-in-law affected
displeasure at her conduct, and complained of the unfortunate but
resistless passion which she had imbibed. Her husband, who was
infamously in the intrigue, regarded the matter with the most
philosophic indifference. The mother-in-law also made herself busy to
help the matter along, saying that, after all, it was hard to blame her
for loving Napoleon. For some time Napoleon paid no attention to the
intrigue, and appeared not to notice it. At length the affair became a
subject of court gossip, and it was necessary that it should be noticed.

One evening, at the close of a sitting of the Council of State, at which
Napoleon had presided, conducting Cambaceres into the recess of one of
the windows, he said, "Madame B---- is rendering herself quite
intolerable to me. The conduct of her relations is still more odious.
The father-in-law is an infamous man, her husband a mean-spirited
wretch, and her mother a vile intriguing woman, by whose arts, however,
I am not to be duped. The abandoned female, who unreservedly puts up her
virtue to sale, is preferable to the hypocrite who, for motives equally
mercenary, affects a sentimental attachment. I wish you to call on my
chamberlain, and inform him that I dispense with his services for the
space of a year. Inform his wife that I forbid her appearance at court
for six years. And make known to the affectionate married couple, that,
to afford them an opportunity of duly appreciating each other's
excellent qualities, I give them leave to spend six months in Naples,
six months in Vienna, and six months in any other part of Germany."

On another occasion a lieutenant-colonel sent a petition to Napoleon,
soliciting promotion. In accordance with the corruptions of those
paganized times, he added, "I have two _beautiful daughters_, who will
be too happy to throw themselves at the feet of the good Emperor, and
thank him for the benefit conferred on their father." Napoleon was
indignant at this atrocious proposal. He said, "I know not what
withholds me from having this infamous letter inserted in the order of
the day of the writer's regiment." Napoleon made inquiries respecting
this officer, and found that he had been one of the assassins during the
reign of terror, and an intimate friend of Robespierre. He immediately
dismissed him from service. He found that the daughters were amiable and
interesting young ladies, totally unconscious of the infamous project
entertained by their father. That they might not suffer the penalty of
their father's baseness, he settled a small pension on each of them, on
condition of their leaving Paris, and retiring to their native city.

Napoleon effectually enthroned himself in the hearts of the common
people of France. They believed him to be their friend and advocate.
They still cherish the same belief. At this hour there is no ruler,
enthroned or entombed, who is regarded with the enthusiastic veneration
with which the people of France now cherish the memory of their emperor.
Napoleon stands alone in that glory. He has no rival.



THE BEDOUEEN, MOHAMMAD ALEE, AND THE BAZAARS.[5]

   [Footnote 5: From "The Howadji in Syria," by GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS,
   Author of "Nile Notes." Just published by Harper and Brothers.]


AMONG THE BEDOUEEN.

The pleasant tales of Sultans' pilgrimages are only the mirage of
memory.

The poor and pious Muslim, which is not the title of Caliphs, when he
undertakes a long desert journey, does not carry nine hundred camels for
his wardrobe, but he carries his grave-linen with him. Stricken by
fatigue, or privation, or disease, when his companions can not tarry for
his recovery or death, he performs the ablution with sand, and digging a
trench in the ground, wraps himself in his grave-clothes, and covering
his body with sand, lies alone in the desert to die, trusting that the
wind will complete his burial.

In the Arabs around you, you will mark a kindred sobriety. Their eyes
are luminous and lambent, but it is a melancholy light. They do not
laugh. They move with easy dignity, and their habitual expression is
musing and introverted, as that of men whose minds are stored with the
solemn imagery of the desert.

You will understand that your own party of Arabs is not of the genuine
desert breed. They are dwellers in cities, not dwellers in tents. They
are mongrel, like the population of a sea-port. They pass from Palestine
to Egypt with caravans of produce, like coast-traders, and are not pure
Bedoueen. But they do not dishonor their ancestry. When a true Bedoueen
passes upon his solitary camel, and with a low-spoken salaam, looks
abstractedly and incuriously upon the procession of great American
Moguls, it is easy to see that his expression is the same as that of the
men around you, but intensified by the desert.

Burckhardt says that all Orientals, and especially the Arabs, are little
sensible of the beauty of nature. But the Bedoueen is mild and
peaceable. He seems to you a dreamy savage. There is a softness and
languor, almost an effeminacy of impression, the seal of the sun's
child. He does not eat flesh--or rarely. He loves the white camel with a
passion. He fights for defense, or for necessity; and the children of
the Shereefs, or descendants of the Prophet, are sent into the desert to
be made heroes. They remain there eight or ten years, rarely visiting
their families.

The simple landscape of the desert is the symbol of the Bedoueen's
character; and he has little knowledge of more than his eye beholds. In
some of the interior provinces of China, there is no name for the ocean,
and when in the time of Shekh Daheir, a party of Bedoueen came to Acre
upon the sea, they asked what was that desert of water.

A Bedoueen after a foray upon a caravan, discovered among his booty
several bags of fine pearls. He thought them dourra, a kind of grain.
But as they did not soften in boiling, he was about throwing them
disdainfully away, when a Gaza trader offered him a red tarboosh in
exchange, which he delightedly accepted.

Without love of natural scenery, he listens forever to the fascinating
romances of the poets, for beautiful expressions naturally clothe the
simple and beautiful images he every where beholds. The palms, the
fountains, the gazelles, the stars, and sun, and moon, the horse, and
camel--these are the large illustration and suggestion of his poetry.

Sitting around the evening fire and watching its flickering with
moveless melancholy, his heart thrills at the prowess of El-Gundubah,
although he shall never be a hero, and he rejoices when
Kattalet-esh-Shugan says to Gundubah, "Come let us marry forthwith,"
although he shall never behold her beauty, nor tread the stately
palaces.

He loves the moon which shows him the way over the desert that the sun
would not let him take by day, and the moon looking into his eyes, sees
her own melancholy there. In the pauses of the story by the fire, while
the sympathetic spirits of the desert sigh in the rustling wind, he says
to his fellow, "Also in all true poems there should be palm-trees and
running water."

For him in the lonely desert the best genius of Arabia has carefully
recorded upon parchment its romantic visions, for him Haroun El Rashid
lived his romantic life, for him the angel spoke to Mohammad in the
cave, and God received the Prophet into the seventh heaven.

Some early morning a cry rings through the group of black square tents.
He springs from his dreams of green gardens and flowing waters, and
stands sternly against the hostile tribe which has surprised his own.
The remorseless morning secretes in desert silence the clash of swords,
the ring of musketry, the battle-cry. At sunset the black square tents
are gone, the desolation of silence fills the air that was musical with
the recited loves of Zul-Himmeh, and the light sand drifts in the
evening wind over the corpse of a Bedoueen.

--So the grim Genius of the desert touches every stop of romance and of
life in you as you traverse his realm and meditate his children. Yet
warm and fascinating as is his breath, it does not warp your loyalty to
your native West, and to the time in which you were born. Springing from
your hard bed upon the desert, and with wild morning enthusiasm pushing
aside the door of your tent, and stepping out to stand among the stars,
you hail the desert and hate the city, and glancing toward the tent of
the Armenian Khadra, you shout aloud to astonished MacWhirter,

    "I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race."

But as the day draws forward, and you see the same forms and the same
life that Abraham saw, and know that Joseph leading Mary into Egypt
might pass you to-day, nor be aware of more than a single sunset since
he passed before, then you feel that this germ, changeless at home, is
only developed elsewhere--that the boundless desert freedom is only a
resultless romance.

The sun sets and the camp is pitched. The shadows are grateful to your
eye, as the dry air to your lungs. But as you sit quietly in the
tent-door, watching the Armenian camp and the camels, your cheeks pales
suddenly as you remember Abraham, and that "he sat in the tent-door in
the heat of the day." Saving yourself, what of the scene is changed
since then? The desert, the camels, the tents, the turbaned Arabs, they
were what Abraham saw when "he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo!
three men stood by him."

You are contemporary with the eldest history. Your companions are the
dusky figures of vaguest tradition. The "long result of Time," is not
for you. In that moment you have lost your birthright. You are Ishmael's
brother. You have your morning's wish. A child of the desert, not for
you are Art, and Poetry, and Science, and the glowing roll of History
shrivels away.

The dream passes as the day dies, and to the same stars which heard your
morning shout of desert praise, you whisper as you close the tent-door
at evening,

    "Better fifty years of Europe, than a cycle of Cathay."


MOHAMMAD ALEE.

I do not wonder that Mohammad Alee burned to be master of Syria, and
struck so bravely for it.

His career was necessarily but a brilliant bubble, and his success
purely personal. That career was passed before the West fairly
understood it. It was easier for the Jews to believe good from Nazareth
than for us to credit genius in Egypt, and we should as soon have
dreamed of old mummied Cheops throned upon the great pyramid and ruling
the Pharaohs' realm anew, as of a modern king there, of kingliness
unsurpassed in the century, except by Napoleon, working at every
disadvantage, yet achieving incredible results.

He was the son of a fisherman--made his way by military
skill--recognized the inherent instability of the Mameluke government
then absolute in Egypt, and which was only a witless tyranny, sure to
fall before ambitious sense and skill. He propitiated the Sublime Porte,
whose Viceroy in Egypt was only a puppet of state, practically
imprisoned by the Mamelukes in the citadel--and he gained brilliant
victories in the Hedjaz, over the Wahabys, infidel and schismatic
Muslim.

In 1811, he accomplished the famous massacre of the Mamelukes in the
court of the citadel, of which Horace Vernet has painted so
characteristic a picture, and for which Mohammad Alee has been much
execrated.

But in Turkish politics, humanity is only a question of degree. With
Mohammad Alee and the Mamelukes it was diamond cut diamond. They were a
congregation of pestilent vapors, a nest of hoary-headed tyrants, whom
it was a satisfaction to Humanity and Decency to smoke out and
suffocate in any way. Mohammad Alee had doubtless little enough
rose-water in his policy to satisfy the grimmest Carlyle. The leader of
sanguinary Albanians and imbruted Egyptians against wild Arab hordes is
not likely to be of a delicate stomach.

But he was clear-eyed and large-minded. He had the genius of a statesman
rather than the shrewdness of a general, although as a soldier he was
singularly brave and successful. Of all his acts the massacre of the
Mamelukes was perhaps the least bloody, because, by crushing the few
heads he had won the victory. A sudden and well-advised bloodshed is
often sure to issue in a peace which saves greater misery. It was
Cromwell's rule and it was Napoleon's--it was also Mohammad Alee's, and
the results usually proved its wisdom.

Moreover, in the matter of this massacre, the balance of sympathy is
restored by the fact that only a short time previous to the Mamelukes'
Banquet of Death in the citadel, they had arranged Mohammad Alee's
assassination upon his leaving Suez. By superior cunning he ascertained
the details of this pleasant plan, and publicly ordered his departure
for the following morning, but privately departed upon a swift-trotting
dromedary in the evening. There was great consequent frustration of plan
and confusion of soul among the Mamelukes, who had thought, in this
ingenious manner, to cut the knot of difficulty, and they were only too
glad to hurry with smooth faces to the Pacha's festival--too much in a
hurry, indeed, to reflect upon his superior cunning and to be afraid of
it. They lost the game. They were the diamond cut, and evidently deserve
no melodious tear.

Mohammad Alee thus sat as securely in his seat as a Turkish Pacha can
ever hope to sit. He assisted the Porte in the Greek troubles,
perpetrating other massacres there; and afterward, when Abdallah, Pacha
of Acre, rebelled against "the Shadow," Mohammad Alee was sent to subdue
him. He did so, and then interceded with the Porte for Abdallah's
safety.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Alee had ascertained his force, and was already sure
of the genius to direct it. He had turned the streams of French and
English skill into the agriculture, manufactures, and military
discipline of Egypt. His great aim for years had been to make Egypt
independent--to revive the ancient richness of the Nile valley, and to
take a place for Egypt among the markets of the world. He accomplished
this so far, that, restoring to the plain of Thebes the indigo which was
once famous there, he poured into the European market so much and so
good indigo that the market was sensibly affected. His internal policy
was wrong, but we can not here consider it.

Watching and waiting, in the midst of this internal prosperity and
foreign success and amazement, while Egyptian youth were thronging to
the Parisian Universities, and the Parisian youth looked to Egypt as the
career of fame and fortune--as the young Spaniards of a certain period
looked to the diamond-dusted Americas--in the midst of all the web
Mohammad Alee sat nursing his ambition and biding his time.

Across the intervening desert, Syria wooed him to take her for his
slave. Who was there to make him afraid? Leaning on Lebanon, and laving
her beautiful feet in the sea, she fascinated him with love. He should
taste boundless sway. Eastward lay Bagdad and Persia, thrones of Caliphs
who once sat in his seat--why should not he sit in theirs? Then with
softer whispers she pointed to the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, and
looked what she dared not speak.

I do not wonder that he was enchanted. I do not wonder that he burned to
be master of the superb slave that lay so lovely and fair in the sun,
dreaming, as now we see her dream, under the vines and olives. His peer,
Napoleon Bonaparte, against whom, in Egypt, his maiden sword was
fleshed, whom he loved to name and to hear that they were born in the
same year, had thus seen from Elba the gorgeous Fata-Morgana of European
empire. How could Mohammad Alee reflect that sallying forth to grasp it,
that peer had bitten the dust? That fate deterred the Pacha, as the
experience of others always deters ourselves--as a blade of grass stays
the wind. Shall not you and I, my reader, swim to our Heros, though a
thousand Leanders never came to shore?

It was this Syria through which we plod, this brilliant morning, that
seduced Mohammad Alee.

A land of glorious resources and without a population. Here grow wheat,
rye, barley, beans and the cotton plant. Oats are rare; but Palestine
produces sesame and dourra, a kind of pulse like lentils. Baalbec grows
maize. Sugar and rice are not unknown at Beyrout. Lebanon is wreathed
with vines. Indigo flourishes without cultivation on the banks of the
Jordan. The Druses cultivate the white mulberry. Gaza has dates like
those of Mecca, and pomegranates as fine as those of Algiers. Figs and
bananas make the gardens of Antioch tropical. From Aleppo come
pistachio-nuts. The almond, the olive and the orange thrive in the
kindly air; and Damascus revels in twenty kinds of apricot, with all the
best fruits of France.

Many of the inhabitants pass us, and we can see what they are. They are
repulsive in appearance, the dregs of refuse races. They look mean and
treacherous, and would offer small resistance to determination and
skill. Mohammad Alee had little fear of the Syrians.

He could not resist the song of the Siren; and suddenly "the Eastern
Question" agitated political Europe, and the diplomatic genius of the
three greatest states--England, France and Russia--was abruptly
challenged by the alarming aspect of the Syrian war, which threatened,
with a leader despising the political stagnation and military imbecility
of the vast realm of "the Shadow of God on Earth," to issue in a new
empire.

Mohammad Alee having subdued Abdallah, Pacha of Acre, and saved his
life and throne by intercession with the Porte, was surprised that
Abdallah harbored all fugitives from Egypt. He observed that, following
his own example, Abdallah was introducing the European discipline into
his army, and was enticing into his service many young officers who had
been Europeanly instructed at his own expense. He expostulated with
Abdallah, and appealed to the Porte. The Sublime Porte, like other
political Sublimities, hesitated, meditated--

    "Then idly twirled his golden chain,
    And smiling, put the question by."

Mohammad Alee, with expectant eyes fixed upon Syria, sat silent, his
hand trembling with eagerness and ready to grasp the splendid prize.
"The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces" of a new oriental empire
rose, possible in the light of hope.

His army was carefully disciplined. The fame of its tried officers had
been won upon the battle-fields of the Empire. He had a fleet and all
the resources of the latest military and marine science. Over all, he
had his son Ibrahim, already proved in Arabia and Greece, of a military
genius peculiarly Oriental, swift and stern, rude in thought, but
irresistible in action--the slave of his father's ambition, the iron
right-hand of his will. Internal prosperity and external prestige sealed
Mohammad Alee's hope and determination.

Against him was arrayed the worldly magnificence of the Ottoman Porte.
But the bannered Muslim lance that had thundered at the gates of
Constantinople, and entering, had planted itself upon the earliest
Christian church, and flapped barbaric defiance at civilization, was
rusty and worm-eaten. Its crimson drapery fluttering, rent, upon an idle
wind, would be inevitably shivered by the first rough blow of modern
steel.

And the great Powers?--

Their action was, of course, doubtful. There was a chance of opposition,
a probability of interference. But the grandeur of the stroke was its
safety. From the universal chaos what new combinations might not be
educed!

No sooner, therefore, had the Porte "put the question by," than Mohammad
Alee proceeded to answer it. The Egyptian army, headed by Ibrahim Pacha,
advanced into Syria, and sat down before Acre. Cherishing the old grudge
against Abdallah, the Porte, now that a decided part had been taken,
smiled faintly in approval. But the conduct of the war betrayed
resources of ability and means which kindled terrible suspicions. The
firman came from Stamboul, commanding the Pacha of Egypt to withdraw
into his own province. He declined, and was declared a rebel.

The bridge thus fell behind him, and only victory or death lay before.

For six months Ibrahim Pacha lay before Acre, and on the 27th May, 1832,
he entered by bloody assault the city which Richard Coeur de Lion and
Philip Augustus had conquered before him, and from which Napoleon
Bonaparte had retired foiled. The Syrian war began.

The victorious army advanced, triumphing. The Syrian cities fell before
it. The stream of conquest swept northward, overflowing Damascus as it
passed. The war was no longer a quarrel of two Pachas, it was a question
of life or death for the Turkish Empire. Vainly the Sultan's choicest
generals struggled to stem the torrent. The proud walls along the Golden
Horn trembled, lest their pride should be for the third time humbled,
and this time, as the last, from the Asian shore.

Northern and Western Europe stared amazed at the wonderful spectacle,
listening across the hushed Mediterranean to the clang of arms
resounding in the effete East, as the appalled Romans heard the gusty
roar of the battle of the Huns high over them, and invisible in the air.

Surely it was only the interference of the three Powers that saved the
Sultan's throne. That alone deprived us of the pageant of another
oriental military romance, so rapid in inception, so entire in
execution, that we should have better comprehended those sudden,
barbaric descents of the middle ages, which changed in a moment the
political aspect of the invaded land:--in a moment, because the mighty
appearance of life and power was but a mummy, which a blow would
pulverize.

One man, however strong and skillful, could not withstand the force of
Europe, and Mohammad Alee retired, baffled, before the leaders of the
political Trinity that a few years before had dethroned Napoleon.

The crisis of his life was passed, and unfavorably for his hopes and
aims. At the age of sixty-five he relinquished the struggle with Fate,
and still one of the great men of a century, rich in great men, with no
hope before him, and none behind--for since kingly genius is not
hereditary, your divine right is a disastrous fiction--he sank slowly
away into dotage.

Before the end, however, both he and his son Ibrahim showed themselves
to the Europeans who had watched with such astonished interest the
culmination and decay of their power. Ibrahim Pacha, with his fangs
removed, shook his harmless rattle, for the last time in the world's
hearing, at a dinner given him by young Englishmen, at the Reform Club
in Pall Mall, and the wreck of Mohammad Alee, driveling and dozing, took
a hand at whist with young Americans in a hotel at Naples.

Father and son returned to Egypt and died there. A vast mosque of
alabaster, commenced by Mohammad Alee, and now finished, crowns Cairo,
"the delight of the imagination." He wished to be 'buried there; but he
lies without the city walls, in that suburb of tombs, upon the cracked
sides of one of which a Persian poet has written--"Each crevice of this
ancient edifice is a half-opened mouth, that laughs at the fleeting pomp
of royal abodes."

All the winds that blow upon Cairo, laugh that mocking laughter, and in
any thoughtful mood, as you listen to them and look over the city, you
will mark the two alabaster minarets of Mohammad Alee's mosque, shafts
of snow in the rich blue air, if you will, but yet pointing upward.

Leaning on Lebanon, and laving her beautiful feet in the sea, the superb
slave he burned to possess, still dreams in the sun. We look from the
tent door and see her sleeping, and the remembrance of this last,
momentary interest which disturbed the slumber, reminds us that it will
one day be broken. So fair is the prize, that, knowing all others desire
her as ardently, no single hand feels strong enough to grasp it, and the
conflict of many ambitions secures her peace.

Yet it is clear that nerve and skill could do what they have done, and
so spare is the population, so imbecile the government, and so rich the
soil, that a few thousand determined men could march unresisted through
Syria, and possess the fair and fertile land.


BAZAARS.

Christians and Saracens agree in reprobating the black hat. But the
Damascenes declare open war against it. In 1432, Bertrandon de la
Brocquière entered the city with a "broad beaver hat," which was
incontinently knocked off his head. Naturally his first movement was "to
lift my fist," but wisdom held his hand, and he desisted, content to
revenge himself by the questionable inference that it was "a wicked
race."

But if it be "wicked" to malign the black hat, who shall be justified?

This was only a gentle illustration of the bitter hatred of Christians
and all infidels, cherished by the Damascenes, who are the most orthodox
of Muslim. Indeed, it is only within twenty years that an accredited
English representative could reside in Damascus, and he maintains an
imposing state. At present, some hundred European tourists visit the
city yearly, and the devout faithful find reasons for toleration in
infidel gold, which they never found in argument.

Here, too, as every where in Syria, Ibrahim Pacha has been our ally. He
permitted infidels to ride horses through the streets. "O, Allah!"
exclaimed the religious Damascenes, who are termed by the Turks
_Shami-Shoumi_, cursed rascals. "Your Highness suffers Christians to sit
as high as the faithful."

"No, my friends," responded Ibrahim, "you shall ride dromedaries, which
will put you much above them."

We went into the bazaars to encounter these enemies of the black hat,
and _ex-officio_ riders of dromedaries. We had a glimpse of their beauty
as we entered the city. But Eastern life is delightful in detail. It is
a mosaic to be closely studied.

You enter, and the murmurous silence blends pleasantly with the luminous
dimness of the place. The matting overhead, torn and hanging in strips
along which, gilding them in passing, the sun slides into the interior,
is a heavy tapestry. The scene is a perpetual fair, not precisely like
Greenwich Fair, or that of the American Institute, but such as you
frequent in Arabian stories.

Bedoueen glide spectrally along, with wild, roving eyes, like startled
deer. Insane Dervishes and Santons meditate the propriety of braining
the infidel Howadji. Shekhs from distant Asia, pompous Effendi from
Constantinople, Bagdad traders, cunning-eyed Armenian merchants meet and
mingle, and many of our old friends, the grizzly-bearded, red-eyed
fire-worshipers, somnolently curled among their goods, eye us, through
the smoke they emit, as perfect specimens of the proper sacrifice they
owe their Deity. All strange forms jostle and crowd in passing, except
those which are familiar; and children more beautiful than any in the
East, play in the living mazes of the crowd.

Shopping goes actively on. The merchant without uncrossing his legs,
exhibits his silks and coarse cottons to the long draped and vailed
figures that group picturesquely about his niche. Your eye seizes the
bright effect of all the gay goods as you saunter on. Here a merchant
lays by his chibouque and drinks, from a carved glass, sweet liquorice
water, cooled with snow from Lebanon. Here one closes his niche and
shuffles off to the mosque, followed by his boy-slave with the
chibouque. Here another rises, and bows, and falls, kissing the floor,
and muttering the noon prayer. Every where there is intense but languid
life.

The bazaars are separated into kinds. That of the jewelers is inclosed,
and you see the Jews, swarthy and keen-eyed servants of Mammon, busily
at work. Precious stones miserably set, and handfuls of pearls, opals,
and turquoises are quietly presented to your inspection. There is no
eagerness of traffic. A boy tranquilly hands you a ring, and another,
when you have looked at the first. You say "_la_," no, and he retires.

Or you pause over a clumsy silver ring, with an Arabic inscription upon
the flint set in it. Golden Sleeve ascertains that it is the cipher of
Hafiz. You reflect that it is silver, which is the orthodox metal, the
Prophet having forbidden gold. You place it upon your finger, with the
stone upon the inside, for so the Prophet wore his upon the fore-finger,
that he might avoid ostentation. It is a quaint, characteristic,
oriental signet-ring. Hafiz is a common name, it is probably that of the
jeweler who owns the ring. But you have other associations with the
name, and as you remember the Persian poet, you suffer it to remain upon
your finger, and pay the jeweler a few piastres. You do not dream that
it is enchanted. You do not know that you have bought Ala-ed-deen's
lamp, and as a rub of that evoked omnipotent spirits, so a glance at
your ring, when Damascus has become a dream, will restore you again to
the dim bazaar, and the soft eyes of the children that watch you
curiously as you hesitate, and to the sweet inspiration of Syria.

You pass on into the quarter where the pattens are made, inlaid with
pearl, such as you remarked upon the feet of the kohl-eyebrowed houris.
Into the shoemakers, where the brilliant leathers justify better poetry
than Hans Sach's interminable rhymes, though here is only their music,
not their moral. You climb crumbling steps, and emerge from darkness
upon the top of the bazaar, on a ledge of a Roman ruin, and look down
into the sunny greenness of the great mosque, which you can not more
nearly approach. Then down, and by all the beautiful fabrics of the
land, hung with the tin-foiled letters that surround pieces of English
prints, and which the color-loving eye of the Oriental seizes as an
ornament for his own wares, you pass into the region of drugs and
apothecaries, and feel that you are about visiting that Persian Doctor
in Mecca who dealt in nothing but miraculous balsams and infallible
elixirs, whose potions were all sweet and agreeable, and the musk and
aloe wood which he burned, diffused a delicious odor through the shop.
Surely he was court-physician to Zobeide.

Golden Sleeve pauses before an old figure curled among the bottles and
lost in reverie, saturated, it seems, with opium, and dreaming its
dreams. This is Zobeide's doctor. He had evidently the elixir of life
among those sweet potions, and has deeply drunk. Life he has preserved;
but little else that is human remains, except the love that is stronger
than life. For as he opens his vague eyes and beholds us, they kindle
with an inward fire, as if they looked upon the Philosopher's Stone.
That stone is in our purses; the old magician knows it, and he knows the
charm to educe it. He opens a jar, and a dreamy odor penetrates our
brains. It is distilled of flowers culled from the gardens of the
Ganges: or is this delicate perfume preferable--this zatta, loved of
poets and houris, which came to the doctor's grandfather from Bagdad?

Attar of roses did Golden Sleeve suggest? Here is the essence of that
divinest distillation of the very heart of summer. But, O opulent
Howadji! no thin, pale, Constantinople perfume is this, but the viscous
richness of Indian roses. As many wide acres of bloom went to this jar
as to any lyric of Hafiz. It lies as molten gold in the quaint glass
vase. The magician holds it toward the Syrian sun, and the shadow of a
smile darkens over his withered features. Then, drop by drop, as if he
poured the last honey that should ever be hived from Hymettus, he
suffers it to exude into the little vials. They are closely stopped, and
sealed, and wrapped in cotton. And some wintry Christmas in the West the
Howadji shall offer to a fairer than Zobeide those more than drops of
diamond.

Nor this alone--but the cunning of Arabian art has sucked the secret of
their sweetness from tea and coffee, from all the wild herbs of Syria,
and from amber. In those small jars is stored the rich result of endless
series of that summer luxuriance you saw in the vale of Zabulon.
Sandal-wood to burn upon your nargileh, mystic bits to lay upon your
tongue, so that the startled Bedoueen, as you pass into the bazaar, and
breathe upon him in passing, dreams that you came from Paradise, and
have been kissed by houris.

Was it not the magic to draw from your purse the Philosopher's Stone?
The court-physician of Zobeide, relapsing into reverie, smiles vaguely
as he says salaam; as if the advantage were his--as if you were not
bearing away with you in those odors the triumphs of the rarest alchemy.

Breathing fragrance, you enter a khan opening upon the bazaar, that of
Assad Pacha, a stately and beautiful building, consisting of a lofty
domed court, the dome supported by piers, with a gallery running quite
around it. Private rooms for the choicest goods open out of the gallery.
The court is full of various merchandise, and merchants from every
region sit by their goods, and smoke placidly as they negotiate.

But we have received visits in our hotel from an Armenian merchant,
young and comely--why not Khadra's cousin?--and he brought with him
silks and stuffs at which all that was feminine in our nature swelled
with delight. Tempted by his odors, we have come to his garden. The room
is small and square, and rough-plastered. Upon the floor are strewn long
deep boxes, and the comely young Armenian, in a flowing dark dress,
reveals his treasures.

Scarfs, shawls, stuffs for dresses, morning gowns and vests,
handkerchiefs, sashes, purses, and tobacco-bags are heaped in rich
profusion. They are of the true Eastern richness, and in the true
Eastern manner they rely upon that richness for their effect, and not
upon their intrinsic tastefulness. The figures of the embroideries, for
instance, are not gracefully designed, but the superb material suffices.
They imply that there are none but beautiful women in the world, and
that all women are brunettes. As the quiet merchant unfolds them, they
have the mysterious charm of recalling all the beautiful brunettes who
have reigned Zenobias, and Queens of Sheba, and Cleopatras, in the
ruined realm of your past life.

But, Northerners and Westerners, we remember another beauty. We remember
Palma Vecchio's golden-haired daughter, and the Venetian pictures, and
the stories of angels with sunny locks, and the radiant Preziosa. The
astute Armenian knows our thoughts. From the beginning was not the
Oriental merchant a magician?

For while we sit smoking and delighted, the merchant, no less wily than
the court-physician of Zobeide, opens the last box of all, and gradually
unfolds the most beautiful garment the Howadji have ever seen. The
coronation robes of emperors and kings, the most sumptuous costumes at
court-festivals, all the elaboration of Western genius in the material
and in the making of dresses, pale and disappear before the simple
magnificence of this robe.

It is a bournouse or Oriental cloak, made of camel's hair and cloth of
gold. The material secures that rich stiffness essential in a superb
mantle, and the color is an azure turquoise, exquisite beyond words. The
sleeves are cloth of gold, and the edges are wrought in gold, but with
the most regal taste. It is the only object purely tasteful that we have
seen. Nor is it of that negative safety of taste, which loves dark
carriages and neutral tints in dress; but magnificent and imperial, like
that of Rachel when she plays Thisbe, and nets her head with Venetian
sequins. If the rest imply that all women are beautiful and brunettes,
this proclaims the one superb Blonde, Queen of them all.

"Take that, Leisurlie, it was intended from the beginning of the world
for an English beauty."

"Oh! _Kooltooluk!_ there is not a woman in England who could wear it."

Through the dewy distances of memory, as you muse in the dim chamber
upon all who might worthily wear the garment, passes a figure perfect as
morning, crowned with youth, and robed in grace, for whose image Alpine
snows were purer and Italian skies more soft. But even while you muse,
it passes slowly away out of the golden gates of possibility into the
wide impossible.

As we stroll leisurely homeward, it is early afternoon. But the shops
are closed--strange silence and desertion reign in the Bazaars--a few
dark turbaned Christians and Jews yet linger, and a few children play.

"They are gone to the cafés and gardens," says Golden Sleeve.

--And we follow them.



TIGER ROCHE.--AN IRISH CHARACTER.


Among the characters distinguished for unbridled indulgence and fierce
passions, who were, unfortunately, too frequently to be met with in
Ireland in the last century, was one whose name attained so much
celebrity as to become a proverb. "Tiger Roche," as he was called, was a
native of Dublin, where he was born in the year 1729. He received the
best education the metropolis could afford, and was instructed in all
the accomplishments then deemed essential to the rank and character of a
gentleman. So expert was he in the various acquirements of polite life,
that at the age of sixteen he recommended himself to Lord Chesterfield,
then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who offered him, gratuitously, a
commission in the army; but his friends having other views for him, they
declined it. This seems to have been a serious misfortune to the young
man, whose disposition and education strongly inclined him to a military
life. His hopes were raised, and his vanity flattered, by the notice and
offer of the viceroy; and in sullen resentment he absolutely refused to
embark in any other profession his friends designed for him. He
continued, therefore, for several years among the dissipated idlers of
the metropolis, having no laudable pursuit to occupy his time, and led
into all the outrages and excesses which then disgraced Dublin.

One night, in patrolling the city with his drunken associates, they
attacked and killed a watch-man, who, with others, had attempted to
quell a riot they had excited. He was, therefore, compelled to fly from
Dublin. He made his way to Cork, where he lay concealed for some time,
and from thence escaped to the plantations in North America. When the
war broke out between France and England, he entered as a volunteer in
one of the provincial regiments, and distinguished himself in several
engagements with the Indians in the interest of the French, during which
he seems to have acquired those fierce and cruel qualities by which
those tribes are distinguished.

He was now particularly noticed by his officers for the intrepidity and
spirit he displayed, and was high in favor with Colonel Massy, his
commander; but an accident occurred of so humiliating and degrading a
nature, as to extinguish at once all his hopes of advancement. An
officer of Massy's regiment was possessed of a very valuable
fowling-piece which he highly prized. He missed it from his tent, and
made diligent inquiry after it, but it was nowhere to be found. It was,
however, reported that it was seen in the possession of Roche, and an
order was made to examine his baggage. On searching among it the lost
article was found. Roche declared that he had bought it from one Bourke,
a countryman of his own, and a corporal in his regiment. Bourke was sent
for and examined. He solemnly declared on oath that the statement of
Roche was altogether false, and that he himself knew nothing at all of
the transaction. Roche was now brought to a court-martial, and little
appearing in his favor, he was convicted of the theft, and, as a lenient
punishment, ordered to quit the service with every mark of disgrace and
ignominy. Irritated with this treatment, Roche immediately challenged
the officer who had prosecuted him. He refused, however, to meet him, on
the pretext that he was a degraded man, and no longer entitled to the
rank and consideration of a gentleman. Stung to madness, and no longer
master of himself, he rushed to the parade, insulted the officer in the
grossest terms, and then flew to the picket-guard, where he attacked the
corporal with his naked sword, declaring his intention to kill him on
the spot. The man with difficulty defended his life, till his companions
sprung upon Roche and disarmed him. Though deprived of his weapon, he
did not desist from his intention; crouching down like an Indian foe, he
suddenly sprung, like Roderick Dhu, at his antagonist, and fastened on
his throat with his teeth, and before he could be disengaged nearly
strangled him, dragging away a mouthful of flesh, which, in the true
Indian spirit, he afterward said was "the sweetest morsel he had ever
tasted." From the fierce and savage character he displayed on this
occasion, he obtained the appellation of "Tiger," an affix which was
ever after joined to his name.

A few days after, the English army advanced to force the lines of
Ticonderoga. Unfortunate Roche was left desolate and alone in the
wilderness, an outcast from society, apparently abandoned by all the
world. His resolution and fidelity to his cause, however, did not desert
him. He pursued his way through the woods till he fell in with a party
of friendly Indians, and by extraordinary exertions and forced marches,
arrived at the fortress with his Indians, to join in the attack. He gave
distinguished proofs of his courage and military abilities during that
unfortunate affair, and received four dangerous wounds. He attracted the
notice of General Abercrombie, the leader of the expedition; but the
stain of robbery was upon him, and no services, however brilliant, could
obliterate it.

From hence he made his way to New York, after suffering incredible
afflictions from pain, poverty, and sickness. One man alone, Governor
Rogers, pitied his case, and was not satisfied of his guilt. In the year
1785, Roche received from his friends in Ireland a reluctant supply of
money, which enabled him to obtain a passage on board a vessel bound for
England, where he arrived shortly afterward. He reserved part of his
supply of money for the purchase of a commission, and hoped once more to
ascend to that rank from which he had been, as he thought, unjustly
degraded; but just as the purchase was about to be completed, a report
of his theft in America reached the regiment, and the officers refused
to serve with him. With great perseverance and determined resolution, he
traced the origin of the report to a Captain Campbell, then residing at
the British Coffee-house, in Charing-cross. He met him in the public
room, taxed him with what he called a gross and false calumny, which the
other retorted with great spirit. A duel immediately ensued, in which
both were desperately wounded.

Roche now declared in all public places, and caused it to be every where
known, that, as he could not obtain justice on the miscreant who had
traduced his character in America, he would personally chastise every
man in England who presumed to propagate the report. With this
determination, he met one day, in the Green Park, his former colonel,
Massy, and another officer, who had just returned home. He addressed
them, and anxiously requested they would, as they might, remove the
stain from his character. They treated his appeal with contempt, when he
fiercely attacked them both. They immediately drew their swords, and
disarmed him. A crowd of spectators assembled round, and being two to
one they inflicted severe chastisement on Roche. Foiled in his attempt,
he immediately determined to seek another occasion, and finding that one
of them had departed for Chester, Roche set out after him with the
indefatigable perseverance and pursuit of a bloodhound. Here Roche again
sought him, and meeting him in the streets, again attacked him. Roche
was, however, again defeated, and received a severe wound in the
sword-arm, which long disabled him.

But that redress to his character now came accidentally and
unexpectedly, which all his activity and perseverance could not obtain.
Bourke, the corporal, was mortally wounded by a scalping party of
Indians, and on his death-bed made a solemn confession that he himself
had actually stolen the fowling-piece, and sold it to Roche, without
informing him by what means he had procured it, and that Roche had
really purchased it without any suspicion of the theft. This declaration
of the dying man was properly attested, and universally received, and
restored the injured Roche at once to character and countenance. His
former calumniators now vied with each other in friendly offers to serve
him; and as a remuneration for the injustice and injury he had suffered,
a lieutenancy in a newly-raised regiment was conferred upon him
gratuitously. He soon returned to Dublin with considerable eclat; the
reputation of the injuries he had sustained, the gallant part he had
acted, and the romantic adventures he had encountered among the Indians,
in the woods of America, were the subject of every conversation.
Convivial parties were every where made for him. Wherever he appeared,
he was the lion of the night. A handsome person, made still more
attractive by the wounds he had received, a graceful form in the dance,
in which he excelled, and the narrative of "his hair-breadth 'scapes,"
with which he was never too diffident to indulge the company, made him
at this time "the observed of all observers" in the metropolis of
Ireland.

But a service which he rendered the public in Dublin deservedly placed
him very high in their esteem and good-will. It was at this time
infested with those miscreants who were known by the names of
"sweaters," or "pinkindindies," and every night some outrage was
perpetrated on the peaceable and unoffending inhabitants. One evening
late, an old gentleman with his son and daughter, were returning home
from a friend's house, when they were attacked on Ormond-quay by a party
of them. Roche, who was accidentally going the same way at the same
time, heard the shrieks of a woman crying for assistance, and instantly
rushed to the place. Here he did not hesitate singly to meet the whole
party. He first rescued the young woman from the ruffian who held her,
and then attacking the band, he desperately wounded some, and put the
rest to flight. His spirited conduct on this occasion gained him a high
and deserved reputation, and inspired others with resolution to follow
his example. He formed a body, consisting of officers and others of his
acquaintance, to patrol the dangerous streets of Dublin at night, and so
gave that protection to the citizens which the miserable and decrepit
watch were not able to afford.

But he was not fated long to preserve the high character he had
acquired. His physical temperament, impossible to manage, and his moral
perceptions, hard to regulate, were the sport of every contingency and
vicissitude of fortune. The peace concluded in 1763 reduced the army,
and he retired in indigent circumstances to London, where he soon lived
beyond his income. In order to repair it, he paid his addresses to a
Miss Pitt, who had a fortune of £4000. On the anticipation of this, he
engaged in a career of extravagance that soon accumulated debts to a
greater amount, and the marriage portion was insufficient to satisfy his
creditors. He was arrested and cast into the prison of the King's
Bench, where various detainers were laid upon him, and he was doomed to
a confinement of hopeless termination. Here his mind appears to have
been completely broken down, and the intrepid and daring courage, which
had sustained him in so remarkable a manner through all the vicissitudes
of his former life, seemed to be totally exhausted. He submitted to
insults and indignities with patience, and seemed deprived not only of
the capability to resent, but of the sensibility to feel them.

On one occasion he had a trifling dispute with a fellow-prisoner, who
kicked him, and struck him a blow in the face. There was a time when his
fiery spirit would not have been satisfied but with the blood of the
offender. He now only turned aside and cried like a child. It happened
that his countryman, Buck English, a personage of some notoriety, was
confined at the same time in the Bench; with him also he had some
dispute, and English, seizing a stick, flogged him in a savage manner.
Roche made no attempt to retaliate or resist, but crouched under the
punishment. But while he shrunk thus under the chastisement of men, he
turned upon his wife, whom he treated with such cruelty, that she was
compelled to separate from him, and abandon him to his fate.

At length, however, an act of grace liberated him from a confinement
under which all his powers were fast sinking; and a small legacy, left
him by a relation, enabled him once more to appear in the gay world.
With his change of fortune a change of disposition came over him; and in
proportion as he had shown an abject spirit in confinement, he now
exhibited even a still more arrogant and irritable temper than he had
ever before displayed. He was a constant frequenter of billiard tables,
where he indulged in insufferable assumption, with sometimes a shrewd
and keen remark. He was one day driving the balls about with the cue,
and on some one expostulating with him that he was not playing himself,
but hindering other gentlemen from their amusement; "Gentlemen!" said
Roche, "why, sir, except you and I, and one or two more, there is not a
gentleman in the room." His friend afterwards remarked that he had
grossly offended a large company, and wondered some of them had not
resented the affront. "Oh!" said Roche, "there was no fear of that.
There was not a thief in the room that did not consider himself _one_ of
the _two_ or _three_ gentlemen I excepted!"

Again his fortune seemed in the ascendant, and the miserable,
spiritless, flogged and degraded prisoner of the King's Bench, was
called on to stand as candidate to represent Middlesex in Parliament. So
high an opinion was entertained of his daring spirit, that it was
thought by some of the popular party he might be of use in intimidating
Colonel Luttrell, who was the declared opponent of Wilkes at that
election. In April, 1769, he was put into nomination at Brentford by Mr.
Jones, and seconded by Mr. Martin, two highly popular electors. He,
however, disappointed his friends, and declined the poll, induced, it
was said, by promises of Luttrell's friends to provide for him. On this
occasion he fought another duel with a Captain Flood, who had offended
him in a coffee-house. He showed no deficiency of courage, but on the
contrary even a larger proportion of spirit and generosity than had
distinguished him at former periods.

Returning at this time one night to his apartments at Chelsea, he was
attacked by two ruffians, who presented pistols to his breast. He sprang
back, and drew his sword, when one of them fired at him, and the ball
grazed his temple. He then attacked them both, pinned one to the wall,
and the other fled. Roche secured his prisoner, and the other was
apprehended next day. They were tried at the Old Bailey, and capitally
convicted; but at the humane and earnest intercession of Roche, their
punishment was mitigated to transportation.

All the fluctuations of this strange man's character seemed at length to
settle into one unhappy state, from which he was unable ever again to
raise himself. He met with a young person, walking with her mother in
St. James's Park, and was struck with her appearance. He insinuated
himself into their acquaintance, and the young lady formed for him a
strong and uncontrollable attachment. She possessed a considerable
fortune, of which Roche became the manager. His daily profusion and
dissipation soon exhausted her property, and the mother and daughter
were compelled to leave London, reduced to indigence and distress, in
consequence of the debts in which he had involved them.

He was soon after appointed captain of a company of foot in the East
India service, and embarked in the Vansittart, for India, in May, 1773.
He had not been many days on board, when such was his impracticable
temper that he fell out with all the passengers, and among the rest with
a Captain Ferguson, who called him out as soon as they arrived at
Madeira. Roche was again seized with a sudden and unaccountable fit of
terror, and made submission. The arrogance and cowardice he displayed
revolted the whole body of the passengers, and they unanimously made it
a point that the captain should expel him from the table. He was driven,
therefore, to the society of the common sailors and soldiers on board
the ship. With them he endeavored to ingratiate himself, by mixing
freely with them, and denouncing vengeance against every gentleman and
officer on board the ship; but his threats were particularly directed
against Ferguson, whom he considered the origin of the disgrace he
suffered. On the arrival of the ship at the Cape, after all the
passengers were disembarked, Roche came ashore, in the dusk of the
evening, and was seen about the door of the house where Ferguson lodged.
A message was conveyed to Ferguson, who went out, and was found soon
afterward round the corner of the house, weltering in his blood, with
_nine_ deep wounds, all on his left side; and it was supposed they must
have been there inflicted, because it was the unprotected side, and the
attack was made when he was off his guard.

Suspicion immediately fixed on Roche as the murderer; he fled during the
night, and took refuge among the Caffres. It was supposed that he ended
his strange and eventful life soon after. The Cape was at that time a
colony of the Dutch, who, vigilant and suspicious of strangers, suffered
none to enter there, but merely to touch for provisions and pass on. The
proceedings, therefore, of their colonial government were shut up in
mystery. It was reported at the time, that Roche was demanded and given
up to the authorities at the Cape, who caused him to be broken alive
upon the wheel, according to the then Dutch criminal law of the Cape,
which inflicted that punishment on the more atrocious murderers, and the
uncertainty that hung about the circumstance assorted strangely with the
wild character of the man.

It appears, however, he was tried by the Dutch authorities at the Cape,
and acquitted. He then took a passage in a French vessel to Bombay; but
the Vansittart, in which he had come from England to the Cape, had
arrived in India before him; information had been given to the British
authorities, charging Roche with Ferguson's murder; and Roche was
arrested as soon as he landed. He urged his right to be discharged, or
at least bailed, on the grounds that there was not sufficient evidence
against him; that he had been already acquitted; and that as the
offense, if any, was committed out of the British dominions, he could
only be tried by special commission, and it was uncertain whether the
Crown would issue one or not, or, if the Crown did grant a commission,
when or where it would sit. He argued his own case with the skill of a
practiced lawyer. The authorities, however, declined either to bail or
discharge him, and he was kept in custody until he was sent a prisoner
to England, to stand his trial.

An appeal of murder was brought against him, and a commission issued to
try it. The case came on at the Old Bailey, in London, before Baron
Burland, on the 11th December, 1775. The counsel for Roche declined in
any way relying on the former acquittal at the Cape of Good Hope; and
the case was again gone through. The fact of the killing was undisputed,
but from the peculiar nature of the proceedings, there could not be, as
in a common indictment for murder, a conviction for manslaughter; and
the judge directed the jury, if they did not believe the killing to be
malicious and deliberate, absolutely to acquit the prisoner. The jury
brought in a verdict of acquittal.

The doubt about Roche's guilt arose on the following state of facts. On
the evening of their arrival at the Cape, Ferguson and his friends were
sitting at tea, at their lodgings, when a message was brought into the
room; on hearing which Ferguson rose, went to his apartment, and, having
put on his sword and taken a loaded cane in his hand, went out. A friend
named Grant followed him, and found Roche and him at the side of the
house, round a corner, and heard the clash of swords, but refused to
interfere. It was too dark to see what was occurring; but in a few
moments he heard Roche going away, and Ferguson falling. Ferguson was
carried in, and died immediately. All his wounds were on the _left_
side. The most violent vindictive feelings had existed between them; and
there was proof of Roche's having threatened "to shorten the race of the
Fergusons." The message, in answer to which Ferguson went out, was
differently stated, being, according to one account, "Mr. Mathews wants
Mr. Ferguson," and to the other, "a gentleman wants Mr. Mathews." The
case for the prosecution was, that this message was a trap to draw
Ferguson out of the house, and that, on his going out, Roche attacked
him; and this was confirmed by the improbability of Roche's going out
for an innocent purpose, in a strange place, on the night of his
landing, in the dark, and in the neighborhood of Ferguson's lodgings;
and particularly by the wounds being on the left side, which they could
not be if given in a fair fight with small swords. Roche's account was,
that on the evening of his arrival he went out to see the town,
accompanied by a boy, a slave of his host; that they were watched by
some person till they came near Ferguson's, when that person
disappeared, and immediately afterward, Roche was struck with a loaded
stick on the head, knocked down, and his arm disabled; that afterward he
succeeded in rising, and; perceiving Ferguson, drew his sword, and,
after a struggle, in which he wished to avoid bloodshed, killed his
assailant in self-defense. This was, to some extent, corroborated by the
boy at the Dutch trial, and by a sailor in England, but both these
witnesses were shaken a little in their testimony. According to this
account, the message was a concerted signal to Ferguson, who had set a
watch on Roche, intending to assassinate him. The locality of Ferguson's
wounds was accounted for by his fighting both with cane and sword, using
the former to parry. If the second version of the message was correct,
it would strongly confirm this account. There was no proof that Ferguson
knew any one named Mathews.

A writer of the last century, in speaking of the Irish character,
concludes with the remark: "In short, if they are good, you will
scarcely meet a better: if bad, you will seldom find a worse." These
extremes were frequently mixed in the same person. Roche, at different
periods, displayed them. At one time, an admirable spirit, great
humanity, and unbounded generosity; at another, abject cowardice,
ferocity, treachery, and brutal selfishness. The vicissitudes of his
fortune were as variable as his character: at times he was exposed to
the foulest charges, and narrowly escaped ignominious punishment; at
others, he was the object of universal esteem and admiration.



WIVES OF GREAT LAWYERS.


Lawyers do not marry with the impulsiveness of poets. For they are a
prudent class--mostly shrewd, practical men--any thing but dreamers; and
though they may admire a handsome figure, and like a pretty face as
other men do, they have not usually allowed those adventitious gifts of
nature to divert their attention from the "main chance" in choosing a
wife. Lawyers are, take them as a whole, a marrying class, and they not
unfrequently enjoy that "lawyer's blessing," a large family. Take the
Lord Chancellors, for instance. Lord Clarendon, Lords-Keeper Coventry,
Lyttleton, Bridgeman, Judge Jeffries, Lord York, Lord Bathurst, Lord
Loughborough, and Lord Erskine, were twice married; Lord Shaftesbury,
Lord Maynard, and Lord Harcourt, were three times married. The wives
whom they chose were usually heiresses, or rich widows; those who
remained bachelors, or who married "for love," seem to have formed the
exceptions. And yet, on the whole, the married life of the Lord
Chancellors, judging from Lord Campbell's Lives, seems to have been
comfortable and happy.

The great Lord Bacon, when a young man plodding at the bar, but with a
very small practice, cast about his eyes among the desirable matches of
the day, and selected the handsome widow of Sir William Hutton (nephew
and heir of Lord Chancellor Hutton), who had a large fortune at her own
disposal. But another legal gentleman had been beforehand with him; and
when he proposed he was rejected. His favored rival was Sir Edward Coke,
a crabbed widower, but attorney-general, rich and of large estate, as
well as of large family. The widow who valued wealth as much as Bacon
did, married the old man, running off with him, and entering into an
irregular marriage, for which they were both prosecuted in the
Ecclesiastical Court. Bacon had reason to rejoice at his escape, for the
widow was of capricious and violent temper, and led Coke a most wretched
life, refusing to take his name, separating from him, doing every thing
to vex and annoy him, and teaching his child to rebel against him. Bacon
was however shortly after consoled by a rich and handsome wife, in the
daughter of Alderman Barnham, whom he married. But the marriage seems at
best to have been one of convenience on his part. They did not live
happily together; she never was a companion to him; and not long before
his death, a final separation took place, and the great Lord Chancellor
died without the consolations of female tenderness in his last moments.
When the separation took place, "for great and just causes," as he
expresses it in his will, he "utterly revoked" all testamentary
dispositions in her favor. But she lost nothing by this, for his costly
style of living during his official career left him without a penny, and
he died insolvent.

Sir Thomas More, when twenty-one, married the eldest daughter of one
"Maister Coult, a gentleman of Essex," a country girl, very
ill-educated, but fair and well-formed. Erasmus says of the
marriage--"He wedded a young girl of respectable family, but who had
hitherto lived in the country with her parents and sisters; and was so
uneducated, that he could mould her to his own tastes and manners. He
caused her to be instructed in letters; and she became a very skillful
musician, which peculiarly pleased him." The union was a happy one, but
short, the wife dying, and leaving behind her a son and three daughters;
shortly after which, however, More married again, this time a widow
named Alice Middleton, seven years older than himself, and not by any
means handsome. Indeed, More indulged himself in a jest on her want of
youth and beauty--"_nec bella nec puella_." He had first wooed her, it
seems, for a friend, but ended by marrying her himself. Erasmus, who was
often an inmate of the family, speaks of her as "a keen and watchful
manager." "No husband," continues Erasmus, "ever gained so much
obedience from a wife by authority and severity, as More won by
gentleness and pleasantry. Though verging on old age, and not of a
yielding temper, he prevailed on her to take lessons on the lute, the
viol, the monochord, and the flute, which she daily practiced to him."
Her ordinary and rather vulgar apprehension could not fathom the
conscientious scruples of her husband in his refusal to take the oath
dictated to him by Henry VIII.; and when he was at length cast by that
bad monarch into the Tower, then the grave of so many royal victims, his
wife strongly expostulated with him on his squeamishness. "How can a
man," she said to him on one occasion, "taken for wise, like you, play
the fool in this close filthy prison, when you might be abroad at your
liberty, if you would but do as the bishops have done?" She dilated upon
his fine house at Chelsea, his library, gallery, garden, and orchard,
together with the company of his wife and children. But to all he
opposed the mild force of his conscience and religious feelings. "Is not
this house," he asked, "as nigh heaven as my own?" to which her
contemptuous ejaculation was--"_Tilly vally, tilly vally!_" He persisted
in his course, and was executed, after which we hear no more of his
wife.

Among the few great lawyers who have married "for love," Hyde, Lord
Clarendon, deserves a place. While yet a young man, he became
desperately enamored of the daughter of Sir George Aycliffe, a Wiltshire
gentleman of good family, though of small fortune. A marriage was the
result, but the beautiful young wife died only six months after, of the
malignant small-pox (then a frightful scourge in this country), and Hyde
was for some time so inconsolable, that he could scarcely be restrained
from throwing up his profession and going abroad. Two years after,
however, he married again into a good family, his second wife being the
daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, Master of the Mint; and the marriage
proved highly auspicious. This worthy lady was his companion in all his
vicissitudes of fortune--lived with him for many years in exile--shared
all his dangers and privations, when at times the parents could with
difficulty provide food and raiment for their children; but the wife was
yet preserved to see her husband Earl of Clarendon, Lord Chancellor and
Prime Minister of England. As an instance of the straits to which the
family was occasionally reduced, we may quote the following extract from
a letter written by Hyde to a friend, when at Madrid in 1650, in which
he says: "All our money is gone, and let me never prosper, if I know or
can imagine how we can get bread a month longer;" and again, "Greater
necessities are hardly felt by any men than we for the present undergo,
such as have almost made me foolish. I have not for my life been able to
supply the miserable distress of my poor wife."

Francis North, afterward Lord-Keeper Guildford, went about marrying in a
business-like way. He was a reader at Lincoln's Inn, but much desired to
wed, because he had "grown tired of dining in the hall, and eating a
costelet and salad at Chateline's in the evening with a friend."
Besides, he wished to mend his fortune in the most summary way. He first
tried a rich, coquettish young widow, but she jilted him. Then he found
out an alderman who was reputed to be rich, and had three marriageable
daughters with a fortune of £6000 each. He made his approaches, was
favorably received, and proceeded to broach the money question to the
alderman. The sum named as the young lady's portion was £5000; but as
North had set his heart on the £6000, he was disappointed, and at once
took his leave. The alderman, running after him (at least so relates
Lord Campbell), offered him to boot £500 on the birth of the first
child. But North would not take a penny under the sum he had fixed upon,
and the match fell through. At last he found a lady with £14,000, one of
the daughters of the Earl of Devon, whom he courted in a business style,
and ultimately married.

Judge Jeffries, when a dissolute youth, courted an heiress, and in spite
of her father's interdict, the young lady encouraged Jeffries, and
corresponded with him. The father fell upon a heap of love-letters which
had passed between Jeffries and his daughter, and in a savage manner
turned the young lady from his doors. She was suffering great distress
in some house in Holborn, in which she had taken shelter, and where
Jeffries sought her out. Perhaps his marrying her under such
circumstances was the one generous act of that infamous man's life. She
made him an excellent wife while she lived, but before she died,
Jeffries was already courting another wife, and married her three months
after; and in about three months after that, his new wife presented him
with certain marital fruits rather prematurely. This woman caused much
scandal during her life, and seems to have been as great a disgrace to
the domestic conditions of life, as her husband was to the bench he
occupied.

Neither Lord Somers nor Lord Thurlow were married--both having been
disappointed in attachments in their younger years. The latter proposed
to a young Lincolnshire lady, a Miss Gouch, but she protested "she would
not have him--she was positively afraid of him;" so he forswore
matrimony thenceforward. We do not remember any other of the Lord
Chancellors who have led a single life.

Strange that Lord Chancellor Eldon--a man of so much caution and worldly
providence, should have been one of the few great lawyers who married
"for love;" but it was so. His choice was nearly a penniless beauty, and
he had nothing; she was only eighteen, and he twenty-one. Scott induced
the fair damsel to elope with him; she stole away from her father's home
by night, descending from her window by a ladder planted there by her
impatient lover; they fled across the border, and got married at
Blackshiels. The step was an important one for Scott--fraught with great
consequences; for it diverted him from the church, for which he had been
studying, and forced him to the bar, thus compelling him to enter upon a
career which ended in the highest honors. William Scott, his elder
brother, afterward Lord Stowell, helped the young couple on, and the
young lawyer worked with a will. "I have married rashly," said he, in a
letter to a friend, "and I have neither house nor home to offer to my
wife; but it is my determination to _work hard_ to provide for the woman
I love, as soon as I can find the means of so doing." He was shortly
after engaged by Sir Robert Chambers, as his deputy, to read lectures on
law at Oxford; and in after years he used to relate the following story
respecting his first appearance in the character of a lecturer. "The
most awkward thing that ever occurred to me was this: immediately after
I was married, I was appointed Deputy Professor of Law, at Oxford; and
the law professor sent me the first lecture, which I had to read
_immediately_ to the students, and which I began without knowing a word
that was in it. It was upon the statute of _young men running away with
maidens_. Fancy me reading, with about one hundred and forty boys and
young men giggling at the professor! Such a tittering audience no one
ever had."

It remains for us to notice the wives of two other great lawyers, who,
though not equal in rank to those we have named, were equal to any of
them in professional merit, and in true nobility of character. We allude
to the late Sir Samuel Romilly and Sir James Mackintosh, both of whom
were blessed in their married state, and have left behind them memorials
of the most touching kind in memory of their wives.

"For fifteen years," says Sir Samuel Romilly, writing in 1813, "my
happiness has been the constant study of the most excellent of wives; a
woman in whom a strong understanding, the noblest and most elevated
sentiments, and the most courageous virtue, are united to the warmest
affection, and to the utmost delicacy of mind and tenderness of heart;
and all these intellectual perfections are graced and adorned by the
most splendid beauty that human eyes ever beheld. She has borne to me
seven children, who are living, and in all of whom I persuade myself
that I discover the promise of them, one day, proving themselves not
unworthy of such a mother."

The noble woman here referred to was Anne, the eldest daughter of
Francis Garbett, Esq., of Knill Court, Herefordshire, whom Romilly
married in January, 1798. He first accidentally met the young lady when
on a visit to the Marquis of Lansdowne, at Bowood. He gives the
following charming account of the circumstance in his diary: "The
amiable disposition of Lord and Lady Lansdowne always renders the place
delightful to their guests. To me, besides the enjoyment of the present
moment, there is always added, when I am at Bowood, a thousand pleasing
recollections of past times; of the happy days I have spent, of the
various society of distinguished persons I have enjoyed, of the
friendships I have formed here; and above all, that it was here that I
first saw and became known to my dearest Anne. If I had not chanced to
meet with her here, there is no probability that I should ever have seen
her; for she had never been, nor was likely, unmarried, to have been in
London. To what accidental causes are the most important occurrences of
our lives sometimes to be traced! Some miles from Bowood is the form of
a white horse, grotesquely cut out upon the downs, and forming a
landmark to wide extent of country. To that object it is that I owe all
the real happiness of my life. In the year 1796 I made a visit to
Bowood. My dear Anne, who had been staying there some weeks, with her
father and her sisters, was about to leave it. The day fixed for their
departure was the eve of that on which I arrived; and if nothing had
occurred to disappoint their purpose, I never should have seen her. But
it happened that, on the preceding day, she was one of an equestrian
party which was made to visit this curious object; she overheated
herself by her ride; a violent cold and pain in her face was the
consequence. Her father found it indispensably necessary to defer his
and her journey for several days, and in the mean time I arrived. I saw
in her the most beautiful and accomplished creature that ever blessed
the sight and understanding of man--a most intelligent mind, an
uncommonly correct judgment, a lively imagination, a cheerful
disposition, a noble and generous way of thinking, an elevation and
heroism of character, and a warmth and tenderness of affection, such as
is rarely found even in her sex, were among her extraordinary
endowments. I was captivated alike by the beauties of her person, and
the charms of her mind. A mutual attachment was formed between us,
which, at the end of a little more than a year, was consecrated by
marriage. All the happiness I have known in her beloved society, all the
many and exquisite enjoyments which my dear children have afforded me,
even my extraordinary success in my profession, the labors of which, if
my life had not been so cheered and exhilarated, I never could have
undergone--all are to be traced to this trivial cause."

Lady Romilly died on the 29th of October, 1818, and the bereaved husband
was unable to bear up under this terrible loss. The shock occasioned by
her death deprived him of his senses, and in his despair he committed
the fatal act which laid him in the same grave with his devoted wife. In
life they were united, and in death they would not be separated.

Mackintosh married when only a young man in great pecuniary straits. He
was living in the family of Dr. Fraser, London, where Miss Catherine
Stuart, a young Scotch lady, was a frequent visitor. She was
distinguished by a rich fund of good sense, and an affectionate heart,
rather than for her personal attractions. An affection sprang up between
them, and they got privately married at Marylebone Church, on February
18th, 1789, greatly to the offense of the relatives of both parties.

When composing his _Vindiciæ Gallicæ_ at Little Ealing, his wife sat by
him in the room; he could tolerate no one else, and he required her to
be perfectly quiet--not even to write or work--as the slightest movement
disturbed him. In the evening, by way of recreation, he walked out with
his wife, reading to her as he went along. This amiable wife died in
1797, when slowly recovering from the birth of a child, and she left
three daughters behind her. Mackintosh thus spoke of his departed wife,
in a letter to Dr. Parr, written shortly after his sad bereavement, and
we do not remember ever to have met with a more beautiful testimony to a
deceased wife than this is:

"In the state of deep, but quiet melancholy, which has succeeded to the
first violent agitations of my sorrow, my greatest pleasure is to look
back with gratitude and pious affection on the memory of my beloved
wife; and my chief consolation is the soothing recollection of her
virtues. Allow me, in justice to her memory, to tell you what she was,
and what I owed her. I was guided in my choice only by the blind
affection of my youth. I found an intelligent companion and a tender
friend, a prudent monitress, the most faithful of wives, and a mother as
tender as children ever had the misfortune to lose. I met a woman who,
by the tender management of my weaknesses, gradually corrected the most
pernicious of them. She became prudent from affection; and though of the
most generous nature, she was taught frugality and economy by her love
for me. During the most critical period of my life, she preserved order
in my affairs, from the care of which she relieved me. She gently
reclaimed me from dissipation; she propped my weak and irresolute
nature; she urged my indolence to all the exertions that have been
useful and creditable to me; and she was perpetually at hand to admonish
my heedlessness or improvidence. To her I owe whatever I am; to her,
whatever I shall be. In her solicitude for my interest, she never for a
moment forgot my feelings, or my character. Even in her occasional
resentment, for which I but too often gave her cause (would to God I
could recall those moments), she had no sullenness nor acrimony. Her
feelings were warm and impetuous, but she was placable, tender, and
constant. Such was she whom I have lost; and I have lost her when her
excellent natural sense was rapidly improving, after eight years of
struggle and distress had bound us fast together, and moulded our
tempers to each other,--when a knowledge of her worth had refined my
youthful love into friendship, before age had deprived it of much of its
original ardor. I lost her, alas! (the choice of my youth, the partner
of my misfortunes) at a moment when I had the prospect of her sharing my
better days. If I had lost the giddy and thoughtless companion of
prosperity, the world could easily repair the loss; but I have lost the
faithful and tender partner of my misfortunes, and my only consolation
is in that Being, under whose severe, but paternal chastisement, I am
bent down to the ground."

Mackintosh married, about a year after the death of his first wife,
Catherine, the second daughter of John Allen, of Cresselly, Co.
Pembroke. She was an amiable and accomplished woman, and greatly
contributed to his happiness in after life. She died in 1830, at Chêne,
near Geneva, after a short illness; and her husband, speaking of her
afterward, "in the deep sincerity of deliberate conviction," calls her
"an upright and pious woman, formed for devoted affection, who employed
a strong understanding and resolute spirit in unwearied attempts to
relieve every suffering under her view."



CRIME DETECTED.--AN ANECDOTE OF THE PARIS POLICE.


Previously to the year 1789, but at what precise date can not say, the
city of Paris possessed as guardian of its safety, and chief minister of
police, a man of rare talent and integrity. At the same period, the
parish of St. Germais, in the quarter of the Rue St. Antoine, had for
its curé a kind venerable old man, whose whole life was spent in doing
good to both the souls and bodies of his fellow-creatures, and whose
holy consistency and dignified courage caused him to be loved by the
good, and respected by even the most abandoned characters. One cold dark
winter's night, the bell at the old curé's door was rung loudly, and he,
although in bed, immediately arose and opened the door, anticipating a
summons to some sick or dying bed.

A personage, richly dressed, with his features partly concealed by a
large false beard, stood outside. Addressing the curé in a courteous and
graceful manner, he apologized for his unseasonable visit, which, as he
said, the high reputation of monsieur had induced him to make.

"A great and terrible, but necessary and inevitable deed," he continued,
"is to be done. Time presses; a soul about to pass into eternity
implores your ministry. If you come you must allow your eyes to be
bandaged, ask no questions, and consent to act simply as spiritual
consoler of a dying woman. If you refuse to accompany me, no other
priest can be admitted, and her spirit must pass alone."

After a moment of secret prayer, the curé answered, "I will go with
you." Without asking any further explanation, he allowed his eyes to be
bandaged, and leaned on the arm of his suspicious visitor. They both got
into a coach, whose windows were immediately covered by wooden shutters,
and then they drove off rapidly. They seemed to go a long way, and make
many doublings and turnings ere the coach drove under a wide archway and
stopped.

During this time, not a single word had been exchanged between the
travelers, and ere they got out the stranger assured himself that the
bandage over his companion's eyes had not been displaced, and then
taking the old man respectfully by the hand, he assisted him to alight
and to ascend the wide steps of a staircase as far as the second story.
A great door opened, as if of itself, and several thickly-carpeted rooms
were traversed in silence. At length, another door was opened by the
guide, and the curé felt his bandage removed. They were in a
solemn-looking bed-chamber; near a bed, half-vailed by thick damask
curtains, was a small table, supporting two wax lights, which feebly
illuminated the cold death-like apartment. The stranger (he was the Duke
de ----), then bowing to the curé, led him toward the bed, drew back the
curtains, and said in a solemn tone:

"Minister of God, before you is a woman who has betrayed the blood of
her ancestors, and whose doom is irrevocably fixed. She knows on what
conditions an interview with you has been granted her; she knows too
that all supplication would be useless. You know your duty, M. le Curé;
I leave you to fulfill it, and will return to seek you in half an hour."

So saying he departed, and the agitated priest saw lying on the bed a
young and beautiful girl, bathed in tears, battling with despair, and
calling in her bitter agony for the comforts of religion. No
investigation possible! for the unhappy creature declared herself bound
by a terrible oath to conceal her name; besides, she knew not in what
place she was.

"I am," she said, "the victim of a secret family tribunal, whose
sentence is irrevocable! More, I can not tell. I forgive mine enemies,
as I trust that God will forgive me. Pray for me!"

The minister of religion invoked the sublime promises of the gospel to
soothe her troubled soul, and he succeeded. Her countenance, after a
time, became composed, she clasped her hands in fervent prayer, and then
extended them toward her consoler.

As she did so, the curé perceived that the sleeve of her robe was
stained with blood.

"My child," said he, with a trembling voice, "what is this?"

"Father, it is the vein which they have already opened, and the bandage,
no doubt, was carelessly put on."

At these words, a sudden thought struck the priest. He unrolled the
dressing, allowed the blood to flow, steeped his handkerchief in it,
then replaced the bandage, concealed the stained handkerchief within his
vest, and whispered:

"Farewell, my daughter, take courage, and have confidence in God!"

The half-hour had expired, and the step of his terrible conductor was
heard approaching.

"I am ready," said the curé, and having allowed his eyes to be covered,
he took the arm of the Duke de ----, and left the awful room, praying
meanwhile with secret fervor.

Arrived at the foot of the staircase, the old man, succeeded, without
his guide's knowledge, in slightly displacing the thick bandage so as to
admit a partial ray of lamp light. Finding himself in the carriage
gateway, he managed to stumble and fall, with both hands forward toward
a dark corner. The duke hastened to raise him, both resumed their places
in the carriage, and, after repassing through the same tortuous route,
the curé was set down in safety at his own door.

Without one moment's delay, he called his servant.

"Pierre," he said, "arm yourself with a stick, and give me your support;
I must instantly go to the minister of police."

Soon afterward the official gate was opened to admit the well-known
venerable pastor.

"Monseigneur," he said, addressing the minister, "a terrible deed will
speedily be accomplished, if you are not in time to prevent it. Let your
agents visit, before daybreak, every carriage gateway in Paris; in the
inner angle of one of them will be found a blood-stained handkerchief.
The blood is that of a young female, whose murder, already begun, has
been miraculously suspended. Her family have condemned their victim to
have her veins opened one by one, and thus to perish slowly in expiation
of a fault, already more than punished by her mortal agony. Courage, my
friend, you have already some hours. May God assist you--I can only
pray."

That same morning, at eight o'clock, the minister of police entered the
curé's room.

"My friend," said he, "I confess my inferiority, you are able to
instruct me in expedients."

"Saved!" cried the old man, bursting into tears.

"Saved," said the minister, "and rescued from the power of her cruel
relations. But the next time, dear abbé, that you want my assistance in
a benevolent enterprise, I wish you would give me a little more time to
accomplish it."

Within the next twenty-four hours, by an express order from the king,
the Duke de ---- and his accomplices were secretly removed from Paris,
and conveyed out of the kingdom.

The young woman received all the care which her precarious state
required; and when sufficiently recovered, retired to a quiet country
village where the royal protection assured her safety. It is scarcely
needful to say, that next to her Maker, the curé of St. Germais was the
object of her deepest gratitude and filial love. During fifteen years,
the holy man received from time to time the expression of her grateful
affection; and at length, when himself, from extreme old age, on the
brink of the grave, he received the intelligence that she had departed
in peace.

Never until then, had a word of this mysterious adventure passed the
good curé's lips. On his deathbed, however, he confided the recital to a
bishop, one of his particular friends; and from a relation of the
latter, I myself heard it. This is the exact truth.



ZOOLOGICAL STORIES.


Travelers' tales have a peculiar reputation for the marvelous, and many
travelers have been accused of fiction. Whether zoologists' tales are in
all cases to be trusted, we have, now and then, a doubt. They are true
in the main; but sometimes, possibly, the first narrator of an unusually
good story has judiciously abstained from sifting it; and once in the
Zoological Story-book, the pleasant tale has stood on its own merits,
and been handled tenderly, as is the way with ornaments; no man too
roughly scratching at them to find out of what materials they are
composed.

Of course we accept legends _as_ legends. It was once believed of
crocodiles, that, after they had eaten a man comfortably, and left only
his skull, at the sweet kernel of which--the brain--they could not get,
their tears were shed over the bone until they softened it, and so the
skull was opened, and the brain devoured. When that is told us as a
legend, we say, certainly, it was a very quaint thing to believe of the
tears of crocodiles. Then, travelers' tales of the proverbial kind are
next of kin to legends. Here is a very marvelous one, and yet, let us be
bold and say that we believe it. It is this. An Indian, having tamed a
rattlesnake, carried it about in a box with him, and called it his great
father. M. Pinnisance met with him as he was starting for his winter
hunt, and saw him open the box-door and give the snake his liberty,
telling it to be sure and come back to meet him, when he returned to the
same spot next May. It was then October. M. Pinnisance laughed at the
man, who immediately saw his way clearly to a speculation in rum, and
betted two gallons that his snake would keep the appointment. The wager
was made; the second week in May arrived; the Indian and the Frenchman
were on the appointed spot. The great father was absent, and the Indian,
having lost his wager, offered to repeat it, doubled, if the snake did
not return within the next two days. That wager the Frenchman took and
lost. The snake, who (had he speech) might have apologized for being
rather behind his time, appeared, and crawled into his box. We believe
this. Rattlesnakes are teachable; and, in this instance, the keeping of
the appointment seems to us only an apparent wonder. Snakes are not
given to travel in the winter, and the Indian's father, turned out of
the box, made himself snug at no great distance from the place of his
ejectment. Winter over, the Indian came back. His great father may have
been dining heartily, and indisposed to stir; but, as he grew more
brisk, the accustomed invocation of his little son became effectual, and
brought the tame snake to the box as usual.

Disjonval knew a spider (such a spider was a person to know) who
regularly placed himself upon the ceiling over a young lady's head
whenever she played the harp, and followed her if she changed her
position. The celebrated violinist, Berthome (it is our shame never to
have heard of him), when a boy, saw a spider habitually come out to hear
when he was practicing: this creature at last became familiar, and took
a seat upon the desk. Lenz tells of a goose who followed a harp-player
wherever he performed, probably to hiss him out of self-respect. Bingley
tells of a pigeon in the neighborhood of a young lady who played
brilliantly on the harpsichord; the pigeon did not greatly care about
her playing, except when she played the song of "Speri si," from
Handel's opera, Admetus: then it would come and sit by the window,
testifying pleasure; when the song was over, it would fly back to its
dovecote, for it had not learnt the art of clapping wings for an encore.

In the matter of experience, we can believe the story of a dog who
either was _not_ blessed with a love of music, or had a master given to
the perpetration of atrocities against his canine ear; the dog whose
peace was broken by his master's practice on the violin, took every
opportunity to hide the stick. Plutarch's story of the mule we are at
liberty, we hope, to set down in the list of pleasant fables. The mule
laden with salt blundered, by chance, into a stream; on coming out it
found its load to be so agreeably lightened, that it afterward made a
point of taking a bath upon its travels. To cure it of this trick, the
panniers were filled with sponge, and then when the mule came out of the
water with the sponges saturated, it felt a load that it had reason to
remember.

Dr. Pelican saw a party of rats around the bunghole of a cask of wine
dipping their tails in and then licking them. Mr. Jesse tells of rats
who performed a similar feat with an oil-bottle. But this is nothing in
comparison with the acuteness of Degrandpre's monkey. Left with an open
bottle of aniseed brandy, he sucked what he could from it with tongue
and fingers, and then poured sand into the bottle till the rest ran
over. Le Vaillant, the African traveler, had with him dogs and a monkey.
When the monkey was weary he leapt on a dog's back for a ride. One dog
on such occasions quietly stood still. The monkey, fearing to be left
behind, would presently jump off and hasten to the caravan: the dog,
with studious politeness, took good care to give him precedence. An
elephant--we must at once append one tale about the elephant, whose
great sagacity makes him the hero of a thousand and one--an elephant
belonging to an officer in the Bengal army, was left during the long
absence of his master to a keeper; who, as even elephant-ostlers will
do, cheated him of his rations. When the master came back, the poor
half-starved elephant testified the greatest joy, the keeper, in his
master's presence, put, of course, the full allowance of food before the
elephant, who immediately divided it into two parts, one representing
his short commons, which he devoured greedily; the other representing
the amount to which he had been defrauded in his dinners, he left. The
officer of course understood the hint, and the man confessed his breach
of trust.

We must get rid of another story of an elephant; like the last,
perfectly credible. Elephants have more sagacity than dogs, and of dogs
few tales that are current are doubtful. This is the tale of an elephant
in the Jardin des Plantes. A painter used to study from the animals in
the garden, and was minded once to paint the elephant. But of course he
must paint him in an attitude; and even the sagacity of an elephant
failed to understand that the artist wished him to keep his mouth open,
and hold up his trunk. The artist therefore got a little boy, and
intrusted to his care a bag of apples, which he was to throw into the
elephant's mouth one by one, obliging him in this way to keep his trunk
uplifted. "The apples," says Mr. Broderip, "were numerous, but the
painter was not a Landseer, and as he had not the faculty of seizing and
transferring character with Edwin's magical power and rapidity, the task
was tedious. By the master's directions, the boy occasionally deceived
the elephant by a simulated chuck, and thus eked out the supply.
Notwithstanding the just indignation of the balked expectant, his
_gourmandise_ checked his irritable impatience; and, keeping his eye on
the still well-filled bag, he bore the repeated disappointment,
crunching an apple, when it chanced to come, with apparent glee. At
length the last apple was thrown and crunched, the empty bag was laid
aside, and the elephant applied himself to his water-tank as if for the
purpose of washing down his repast. A few more touches would have
completed the picture, when an overwhelming _douche_ from his
well-adjusted trunk obliterated the design, and drenched the discomfited
painter. Having, by this practical application of retributive justice,
executed judgment on the instigator, the elephant, disdaining the boy,
whom he regarded as the mere instrument of wrong, marched proudly round
his inclosure, loudly trumpeting forth his triumph."

We have left that story in the pleasant words of its accomplished
narrator. Mr. Thomson now shall tell us one in his way, which
illustrates the faculty of imitation: "An oran-otan, brought up by Père
Carbasson, became so fond of him, that wherever he went, it always
seemed desirous of accompanying him; whenever, therefore, he had to
perform the service of his church, he was under the necessity of
shutting him up in a room. Once, however, the animal escaped, and
followed the father to the church, where, silently mounting the
sounding-board above the pulpit, he lay perfectly still till the sermon
commenced. He then crept to the edge, and overlooking the preacher,
imitated all his gestures in so grotesque a manner, that the whole
congregation were unavoidably urged to laugh. The father, surprised and
confounded at this ill-timed levity, severely rebuked their inattention.
The reproof failed in its effect; the congregation still laughed, and
the preacher, in the warmth of his zeal, redoubled his vociferations and
actions; these the ape imitated so exactly, that the congregation could
no longer restrain themselves, but burst out into a loud and continued
laughter." Of course a friend stepped up to acquaint the preacher with
the existence of a second person above the sounding-board, co-operating
with him zealously. And of course the culprit was taken out by the
servants of the church with a face expressive of insulted innocence.

There was a dog trained to run on errands for his master, who was
trotting home one evening along a by-road, with a basket containing hot
pies for his master's supper, when two highwaymen dogs burst out upon
him, and while he dogfully fought one, the other burglariously broke
into his basket. The dog who was waylaid saw instantly that fighting
would not save the pies; the pies must go, and it resolved itself into a
question who should eat them. He at once gave up his contest with the
adversary; if the pies were to be eaten--among dogs, at least--his right
was the best, so he immediately darted on the basket and devoured all
that remained.

A story of an elephant again comes to the surface. At Macassar, an
elephant-driver had a cocoa-nut given him, which he wantonly struck
twice against the elephant's forehead to break it. The next day, they
were passing by some cocoa-nuts in the street exposed for sale. The
elephant took up one, and began to knock it on the driver's head; the
result, unhappily, was fatal. Elephants commonly discriminate so well,
as to apportion punishment to the offense against them: they are
considerate, merciful, and magnanimous. Another story of an elephant, we
think, occurs in one of Mr. Broderip's books. A visitor to an elephant
at a fair, having given to him one by one a number of good ginger-bread
nuts, thought it a good joke to end by giving him at once a bag full of
the hottest kind. The elephant, distressed with pain, took bucket-full
after bucket-full of water, and the joker, warned of his danger, had
barely escaped over the threshold before the bucket was flung violently
after his departing figure. A year afterward, the foolish fellow came
again, with gingerbread in one pocket and hot spice in the other. He
began with his donations of gingerbread, and then modestly substituted
one hot nut. The moment it was tasted by the elephant, the offender was
remembered, and caught up into the air by his clothes; his weight tore
them, and he fell, leaving the elephant his tails and some part of his
trousers. The animal putting them on the floor set his foot upon them,
and having deliberately picked out of the pockets and eaten all the
gingerbread that he considered orthodox, he trod upon the rest, and
threw the tails away.

The Cape baboons appear to have a tact for battle, like the Caffres.
Lieutenant Shipp headed twenty men, to recapture sundry coats and
trowsers stolen by a Cape baboon. He made a circuit, to cut off the
marauders from their caverns; they observed him, and detaching a small
troop, to guard the entrance, kept their posts. They could be seen
collecting large stones, under the active superintendence of an old
gray-headed baboon, who appeared to be issuing his orders as a general.
The soldiers rushed to the attack, when down came an avalanche of
enormous stones, and Britons left baboons the masters of the situation.

Of monkey-tricks, the Indians have an amusing fable. A man went on a
journey with a monkey and a goat, and he took with him, for his
refreshment, rice and curds. Arrived at a tank, the man resolved to
bathe and dine. While he was in his bath, the monkey ate his dinner,
and, having wiped his mouth and paws on the goat's beard, he left the
goat to settle his account. When the man came out of the bath, and found
his dinner gone, it was quite easy to see, by the goat's beard, who had
stolen it.

The monkey was no ass. The sense of asses is not rated very high; but
that is a mistake about them. They are shrewder people than we take them
for, and kind-hearted as well. A poor higgler, living near Hawick, had
an ass for his only companion and partner in the business. The higgler
being palsied, was accustomed to assist himself often upon the road, by
holding to the ass's tail. Once, on their travels, during a severe
winter, man and ass were plunged into a snow-wreath, near Rule Water.
After a hard struggle, the ass got out; but, knowing that his helpless
master was still buried, he made his way to him, and placed himself so
that his tail lay ready to his partner's hand. The higgler grasped it,
and was dragged out to a place of safety. Zoologically speaking, it
ought not to be thought disrespectful in a man to call his friend "an
ass."

Elephants, again. They show their good taste, and are very fond of
children. Dr. Darwin says: The keeper of an elephant, in his journey in
India, sometimes leaves him fixed to the ground by a length of chain,
while he goes into the woods to collect food for him; and, by way of
reciprocal attention, asks the elephant to mind his child--a child
unable to walk--while he is gone. The animal defends it; lets it creep
about his legs; and, when it creeps to the extremity of the chain, he
gently wraps his trunk about the infant's body, and brings it again into
the middle of the circle.

And now we can not clear our minds of elephants without unburthening a
story, which we have from a tale-teller with Indian experience, and
which we imagine to be now first told in print. It causes us to feel
that in a Parliament of animals, elephants would have divided in favor
of a ten-hours' bill. There was a large ship's rudder to be floated; men
were busy about it one evening, when a file of elephants were passing,
on the way home from work, and it was proposed and carried that an
elephant might as well save them their pains, and push the thing into
the water for them. So an elephant was brought, and put his head down,
and appeared to push with might, but not a beam stirred. Another was
brought to help him, with the same result; and finally, as many
elephants as the rudder would allow, seemed to be busy and did nothing.
So the elephants went home. They had struck, and declined working but of
business hours: Next morning, on the way to work, one elephant was again
brought, and pushed the rudder down into the water, almost as a man
might push a walking-stick.

Stories illustrative of the kindness, gratitude, and kindred feelings of
which animals are capable, have no end; one follows on another; for in
fact, the animals, bird, beast, and fish, are all good fellows, if you
come to know them properly. A rat tamed by a prisoner at Genf slept in
his bosom. Punished for some fault, it ran away, but its anger or its
fear died and its love lived on: in a month it returned. The prisoner
was released, and in the joy of liberty it did not come into his mind to
take his old companion with him. The rat coiled itself up in some old
clothes left by his friend, all that was left of him, abstained from
food, and died in three days.

A surgeon at Dover saw in the streets a wounded terrier, and like a true
man took it home with him, cured it in two days, and let it go. The
terrier ran home, resolved to pay the doctor by installments. For many
succeeding weeks he paid a daily visit to the surgery, wagged his tail
violently for some minutes and departed. Tailwagging is dog's money, and
when this dog thought that he had paid in his own coin a proper doctor's
bill, the daily visit to the surgery was discontinued.



AN EPISODE OF THE ITALIAN REVOLUTION.


During my residence at London in the early part of 1848, I became
acquainted with Count ---- and his friend Del Uomo, both Italians. They
had settled at London about two years previously, and were remarkable
for the strength of attachment subsisting between them. I believe it was
four years since they had left Lombardy, and they had clung together in
exile closer than brothers. Del Uomo was several years the senior. His
age might be about thirty; and a nobler looking Italian I never met
with. There was a majesty in his fine manly form, and a dignity in his
bearing, that impressed every body at first sight. His countenance was
peculiarly handsome, yet shaded with an expression of habitual
melancholy. His piercing black eyes, and long black hair, and flowing
beard, added to the interest of his aspect. His influence over his young
companion was most extraordinary. Count ---- regarded him as friend,
brother, father. Whatever Del Uomo did or said was right in his eyes;
and yet on the vital subject of religion the two were diametrically
opposed.

At the time in question, Italy was in a flame of war, and refugee
Italians were hurrying from all parts of the world to fight in what they
deemed a righteous cause. For reasons not necessary to be named, Count
---- could not himself join his fellow-patriots; but his pen and his
purse were devoted to the cause. Del Uomo, however, at once prepared to
leave for the seat of war. "I have a father, mother, and sisters," said
he, "who are exposed to all the horrors of war, and for them, as well as
for my poor bleeding country, my sword must be drawn." His friend was
almost heartbroken to part with him, but there was no alternative. Well
do I remember the morning when Del Uomo left London. Numbers of Italians
assembled to bid him farewell, and the parting scene was deeply
affecting. When I myself wrung his hand, and bade God speed him, I felt
the subtle involuntary presentiment that he would be shot, and mentioned
it to my friends at the time. Little, however, did I think in what
manner he would meet his end.

Many months rolled on, with varying success to the arms of Italy. I
frequently heard tidings of Del Uomo from his friend. The gallant fellow
had obtained a commission in a regiment of cavalry, and was said to have
distinguished himself in every action. Ere the close of the campaign,
his regiment was almost annihilated, but he himself escaped, I believe,
without a wound. Austria triumphed, and Italy was bound in chains
heavier than ever.

One morning, Count ---- received a parcel of letters from Italy, the
perusal of which threw him into a state of distraction. It was two or
three days ere I learned their full import--detailing the following
intelligence of the betrayal of Del Uomo to his enemies, and his cruel
death.

The parents and family of Del Uomo remained in Lombardy--he himself
being in security in some other part of Italy. He was seized with an
intense desire to see them once more, and at all hazards determined to
indulge in this natural yearning. He had fought openly and manfully
against the Austrians, and, however merciless they might be, he did not
think they would have sufficient colorable excuse to put him to death,
even if he were recognized and seized. Probably he was correct in this,
but he had not reckoned on the depths of perfidy to which they would
descend.

Hardly had he set foot in the Lombard territory, ere he was recognized
by a creature of Austria, who instantly planned his destruction.
Accosting Del Uomo, this spy inquired whether he were not about to visit
such a town? (I believe, the very town where his parents dwelt.) The
unsuspicious fellow replied in the affirmative. "Then," said the other,
"would you do me the favor to deliver this letter to a friend of mine,
there resident? I have no other opportunity to send it, and shall be
infinitely obliged." Del Uomo, with his usual kindliness of disposition,
instantly consented, and put the letter into his pocket, without even
looking at the superscription. From that moment his doom was sealed, and
he went as a victim to the slaughter.

No sooner had he embraced his family than the bloodhounds of Austria
were on his track, and to his amazement, he was seized, and accused of
being engaged in a traitorous design. He indignantly denied it. "I
fought in open battle against you, man to man, sword to sword," replied
he; "but the war is over, and never since have I done aught against
Austria." He was searched, and the letter given him to deliver found in
his pocket. It was opened, and proved to be a treasonable correspondence
addressed to one known as a conspirator. Vain all explanation of the
manner in which it came into his possession--vain all the frantic
prayers for mercy by his agonized family. The ruthless Austrians only
required a fair-seeming pretext to put so distinguished an enemy to
death, and here it was. Whether the general in command did or did not
believe Del Uomo guilty, admits of some doubt; but that mattered not, so
far as his doom was concerned. Little respite--no mercy. He was
condemned to be shot on the spot. The priest, his confessor, was so
satisfied of his innocency, that he even knelt to the Austrian general,
imploring pardon, or at least a respite till the truth could be
investigated; but the general only answered, "He dies!"

Del Uomo behaved like a Christian and a hero. He prayed fervently to God
to receive his soul. Death he feared not in itself, but the bitterness
of such a death as this to his poor family was indeed an awful trial. He
was led out to the fatal spot, and there he embraced his relatives for
the last time. He gave his watch to his father, his handkerchief to a
sister, and bequeathed other little mementoes to his friends. His poor
mother swooned away, but his father and one or two sisters stood by him
till all was over. They offered to bind his eyes, but he refused. "No,"
said he, "I am not afraid to look upon death. I will enter eternity with
open eyes." And he looked his farewell at his friends, at the glorious
orb of day, at the landscape, at the soil of Italy, so soon to be
watered with his blood; then he drew himself to his full height, bared
his breast, and, with flashing eyes, cried, "Fire, soldiers! Long live
Italy!" Nine balls pierced him, and he ceased to breathe. Peace to the
memory of Del Uomo!



THE MIGHTY MAGICIAN.


    He stood upon the summit of a mount,
      Waving a wand above his head uplifted;
    And smote the ground, whence gushed, as from a fount,
      A sparkling stream, with magic virtues gifted.
    It fill'd the air with music as it leapt,
      Merrily bounding over hill and hollow;
    And swiftly to the distant plain it swept,
      Gurgling a challenge to the birds to follow.
    Onward and onward, parting as it ran
      A thousand streamlets from the parent river,
    It roll'd among the farthest haunts of man,
      Wooing the sunlight on its breast to quiver
    Where'er it flow'd, it fed the desert earth
      With wholesome aliment, its seeds to nourish;
    Quickening its treasures into rapid birth,
      And bidding golden harvests spring and flourish.
    Fair thriving cities rising on its banks,
      Gather'd the noble, and enrich'd the humble;
    Throng'd with the happy in their various ranks,
      They rear'd proud domes that ages scarce could crumble
    The Great Magician from his lofty height
      Beheld the world, with boundless plenty teeming,
    And his eye kindled with a sense of might,
      Proudly, yet softly, at the prospect gleaming.
    "I've wrought," he cried, "rich blessings for mankind
      I've thrill'd with happiness the hearts of mourners;
    And Fame will waft upon her wings of wind
      The deeds of PEACE to earth's remotest corners!"



TWO KINDS OF HONESTY.


Some few years ago, there resided in Long Acre an eccentric old Jew,
named Jacob Benjamin: he kept a seed shop, in which he likewise carried
on--not a common thing, we believe, in London--the sale of meal, and had
risen from the lowest dregs of poverty, by industry and self-denial,
till he grew to be an affluent tradesman. He was, indeed, a rich man;
for as he had neither wife nor child to spend his money, nor kith nor
kin to borrow it of him, he had a great deal more than he knew what to
do with. Lavish it on himself he could not, for his early habits stuck
to him, and his wants were few. He was always clean and decent in his
dress, but he had no taste for elegance or splendor in any form, nor had
even the pleasures of the table any charms for him; so that, though he
was no miser, his money kept on accumulating, while it occurred to him
now and then to wonder what he should do with it hereafter. One would
think he need not have wondered long, when there were so many people
suffering from the want of what he abounded in; but Mr. Benjamin, honest
man, had his crotchets like other folks. In the first place, he had less
sympathy with poverty than might have been expected, considering how
poor he had once been himself; but he had a theory, just in the main,
though by no means without its exceptions--that the indigent have
generally themselves to thank for their privations. Judging from his own
experience, he believed that there was bread for every body that would
take the trouble of earning it; and as he had had little difficulty in
resisting temptation himself, and was not philosopher enough to allow
for the varieties of human character, he had small compassion for those
who injured their prospects by yielding to it. Then he had found, on
more than one occasion, that even to the apparently well-doing,
assistance was not always serviceable. Endeavor was relaxed, and
gratuities, once received, were looked for again. Doubtless, part of
this evil result was to be sought in Mr. Benjamin's own defective mode
of proceeding; but I repeat, he was no philosopher, and in matters of
this sort he did not see much farther than his nose, which was, however,
a very long one.

To public charities he sometimes subscribed liberally; but his hand was
frequently withheld by a doubt regarding the judicious expenditure of
the funds, and this doubt was especially fortified after chancing to see
one day, as he was passing the Crown and Anchor Tavern, a concourse of
gentlemen turn out, with very flushed faces, who had been dining
together for the benefit of some savages in the Southern Pacific Ocean,
accused of devouring human flesh--a practice so abhorrent to Mr.
Benjamin, that he had subscribed for their conversion. But failing to
perceive the connection betwixt the dinner and that desirable
consummation, his name appeared henceforth less frequently in printed
lists, and he felt more uncertain than before as to what branch of
unknown posterity he should bequeath his fortune.

In the mean time, he kept on the even tenor of his way, standing behind
his counter, and serving his customers, assisted by a young woman called
Leah Leet, who acted as his shop-woman, and in whom, on the whole, he
felt more interest than in any body else in the world, insomuch that it
even sometimes glanced across his mind, whether he should not make her
the heiress of all his wealth. He never, however, gave her the least
reason to expect such a thing, being himself incapable of conceiving
that, if he entertained the notion, he ought to prepare her by education
for the good fortune that awaited her. But he neither perceived this
necessity, nor, if he had, would he have liked to lose the services of a
person he had been so long accustomed to.

At length, one day a new idea struck him. He had been reading the story
of his namesake, Benjamin, in the Old Testament, and the question
occurred to him, how many among his purchasers of the poorer class--and
all who came to his shop personally were of that class--would bring back
a piece of money they might find among their meal, and he thought he
should like to try a few of them that were his regular customers. The
experiment would amuse his mind, and the money he might lose by it he
did not care for. So he began with shillings, slipping one among the
flour before he handed it to the purchaser. But the shillings never came
back--perhaps people did not think so small a sum worth returning; so he
went on to half-crowns and crowns, and now and then, in very particular
cases, he even ventured a guinea; but it was always with the same luck,
and the longer he tried, the more he distrusted there being any honesty
in the world, and the more disposed he felt to leave all his money to
Leah Leet, who had lived with him so long, and to his belief, had never
wronged him of a penny.

"What's this you have put into the gruel, Mary?" said a pale,
sickly-looking man, one evening, taking something out of his mouth,
which he held toward the feeble gleams emitted by a farthing rush-light
standing on the mantle-piece.

"What is it, father?" inquired a young girl, approaching him. "Isn't the
gruel good?"

"It's good enough," replied the man; "but here's something in it: it's a
shilling, I believe."

"It's a guinea, I declare!" exclaimed the girl, as she took the coin
from him and examined it nearer the light.

"A guinea!" repeated the man; "well, that's the first bit of luck I've
had these seven years or more. It never could have come when we wanted
it worse. Show it us here, Mary."

"But it's not ours, father," said Mary. "I paid away the last shilling
we had for the meal, and here's the change."

"God has sent it us, girl! He saw our distress, and He sent it us in His
mercy!" said the man, grasping the piece of gold with his thin, bony
fingers.

"It must be Mr. Benjamin's," returned she. "He must have dropped it
into the meal-tub that stands by the counter."

"How do you know that?" inquired the man with an impatient tone and a
half-angry glance. "How can you tell how it came into the gruel? Perhaps
it was lying at the bottom of the basin, or at the bottom of the
sauce-pan. Most likely it was."

"Oh, no, father," said Mary: "it is long since we had a guinea."

"A guinea that we knew of; but I've had plenty in my time, and how do
you know this is not one we had overlooked?"

"We've wanted a guinea too much to overlook one," answered she. "But
never mind, father; eat your gruel, and don't think of it: your cheeks
are getting quite red with talking so, and you won't be able to sleep
when you go to bed."

"I don't expect to sleep," said the man, peevishly; "I never do sleep."

"I think you will, after that nice gruel!" said Mary, throwing her arms
round his neck, and tenderly kissing his cheek.

"And a guinea in it to give it a relish, too!" returned the father, with
a faint smile and an expression of archness, betokening an inner nature
very different from the exterior which sorrow and poverty had encrusted
on it.

His daughter then proposed that he should go to bed; and having assisted
him to undress, and arranged her little household matters, she retired
behind a tattered, drab-colored curtain which shaded her own mattress,
and laid herself down to rest.

The apartment in which this little scene occurred, was in the attic
story of a mean house, situated in one of the narrow courts or alleys
betwixt the Strand and Drury-lane. The furniture it contained was of the
poorest description; the cracked window-panes were coated with dust; and
the scanty fire in the grate, although the evening was cold enough to
make a large one desirable--all combined to testify to the poverty of
the inhabitants. It was a sorry retreat for declining years and
sickness, and a sad and cheerless home for the fresh cheek and glad
hopes of youth; and all the worse, that neither father nor daughter was
"to the manner born;" for poor John Glegg had, as he said, had plenty of
guineas in his time; at least, what should have been plenty, had they
been wisely husbanded. But John, to describe the thing as he saw it
himself, had always "had luck against him." It did not signify what he
undertook, his undertakings invariably turned out ill.

He was born in Scotland, and had passed a great portion of his life
there; but, unfortunately for him, he had no Scotch blood in his veins,
or he might have been blessed with some small modicum of the caution for
which that nation is said to be distinguished. His father had been a
cooper, and when quite a young man, John had succeeded to a
well-established business in Aberdeen. His principal commerce consisted
in furnishing the retail-dealers with casks, wherein to pack their dried
fish; but partly from good-nature, and partly from indolence, he
allowed them to run such long accounts, that they were apt to overlook
the debt altogether in their calculations, and to take refuge in
bankruptcy when the demand was pressed and the supply of goods
withheld--his negligence thus proving, in its results, as injurious to
them as to himself. Five hundred pounds embarked in a scheme projected
by a too sanguine friend, for establishing a local newspaper, which
"died ere it was born;" and a fire, occurring at a time that John had
omitted to renew his insurance, had seriously damaged his resources,
when some matter of business having taken him to the Isle of Man, he was
agreeably surprised to find that his branch of trade, which had of late
years been alarmingly declining in Aberdeen, was there in the most
flourishing condition. Delighted with the prospect this state of affairs
opened, and eager to quit the spot where misfortune had so unrelentingly
pursued him, John, having first secured a house at Ramsay, returned to
fetch his wife, children, and merchandise, to this new home. Having
freighted a small vessel for their conveyance, he expected to be
deposited at his own door; but he had unhappily forgotten to ascertain
the character of the captain, who, under pretense that, if he entered
the harbor, he should probably be wind-bound for several weeks,
persuaded them to go ashore in a small boat, promising to lie-to till
they had landed their goods; but the boat had no sooner returned to the
ship, than, spreading his sails to the wind, he was soon out of sight,
leaving John and his family on the beach, with--to recur to his own
phraseology--"nothing but what they stood up in."

Having with some difficulty found shelter for the night, they proceeded
on the following morning in a boat to Ramsay; but here it was found
that, owing to some informality, the people who had possession of the
house refused to give it up, and the wanderers were obliged to take
refuge in an inn. The next thing was to pursue, and recover the lost
goods; but some weeks elapsed before an opportunity of doing so could be
found; and at length, when John did reach Liverpool, the captain had
left it, carrying away with him a considerable share of the property.
With the remainder, John, after many expenses and delays, returned to
the island, and resumed his business. But he soon discovered to his
cost, that the calculations he had made were quite fallacious, owing to
his having neglected to inquire whether the late prosperous season had
been a normal or an exceptional one. Unfortunately, it was the latter;
and several very unfavorable ones that succeeded reduced the family to
great distress, and finally to utter ruin.

Relinquishing his shop and his goods to his creditors, John Glegg,
heart-sick and weary, sought a refuge in London--a proceeding to which
he was urged by no prudential motives, but rather by the desire to fly
as far as possible from the scenes of his vexations and disappointments,
and because he had heard that the metropolis was a place in which a man
might conceal his poverty, and suffer and starve at his ease,
untroubled by impertinent curiosity or officious benevolence; and, above
all, believing it to be the spot where he was least likely to fall in
with any of his former acquaintance.

But here a new calamity awaited him, worse than all the rest. A fever
broke out in the closely-populated neighborhood in which they had fixed
their abode, and first two of his three children took it, and died; and
then himself and his wife--rendered meet subjects for infection by
anxiety of mind and poor living--were attacked with the disease. He
recovered; at least he survived, though with an enfeebled constitution,
but he lost his wife, a wise and patient woman, who had been his
comforter and sustainer through all his misfortunes--misfortunes which,
after vainly endeavoring to avert, she supported with heroic and
uncomplaining fortitude; but dying, she left him a precious legacy in
Mary, who, with a fine nature, and the benefit of her mother's precept
and example, had been to him ever since a treasure of filial duty and
tenderness.

A faint light dawned through the dirty window on the morning succeeding
the little event with which we opened our story, when Mary rose softly
from her humble couch, and stepping lightly to where her father's
clothes lay on a chair, at the foot of his bed, she put her hand into
his waistcoat-pocket, and, extracting therefrom the guinea which had
been found in the gruel the preceding evening, she transferred it to her
own. She then dressed herself, and having ascertained that her father
still slept, she quietly left the room. The hour was yet so early, and
the streets so deserted, that Mary almost trembled to find herself in
them alone; but she was anxious to do what she considered her duty
without the pain of contention. John Glegg was naturally an honest and
well-intentioned man, but the weakness that had blasted his life adhered
to him still. They were doubtless in terrible need of the guinea, and
since it was not by any means certain that the real owner would be
found, he saw no great harm in appropriating it; but Mary wasted no
casuistry on the matter. That the money was not legitimately theirs, and
that they had no right to retain it, was all she saw; and so seeing, she
acted unhesitatingly on her convictions.

She had bought the meal at Mr. Benjamin's, because her father complained
of the quality of that she procured in the smaller shops, and on this
occasion he had served her himself. From the earliness of the hour,
however, though the shop was open, he was not in it when she arrived on
her errand of restitution; but addressing Leah Leet, who was dusting the
counter, she mentioned the circumstance, and tendered the guinea; which
the other took and dropped into the till, without acknowledgment or
remark. Now Mary had not restored the money with any view to praise or
reward: the thought of either had not occurred to her; but she was,
nevertheless, pained by the dry, cold, thankless manner with which the
restitution was accepted, and she felt that a little civility would not
have been out of place on such an occasion.

She was thinking of this on her way back, when she observed Mr. Benjamin
on the opposite side of the street. The fact was, that he did not sleep
at the shop, but in one of the suburbs of the metropolis, and he was now
proceeding from his residence to Long Acre. When he caught her eye, he
was standing still on the pavement, and looking, as it appeared, at her,
so she dropped him a courtesy, and walked forward; while the old man
said to himself: "That's the girl that got the guinea in her meal
yesterday. I wonder if she has been to return it!"

It was Mary's pure, innocent, but dejected countenance, that had induced
him to make her the subject of one of his most costly experiments. He
thought if there was such a thing as honesty in the world, that it would
find a fit refuge in that young bosom; and the early hour, and the
direction in which she was coming, led him to hope that he might sing
_Eureka_ at last. When he entered the shop, Leah stood behind the
counter, as usual, looking very staid and demure; but all she said was,
"Good-morning;" and when he inquired if any body had been there, she
quietly answered: "No; nobody."

Mr. Benjamin was confirmed in his axiom; but he consoled himself with
the idea, that as the girl was doubtless very poor, the guinea might be
of some use to her. In the mean time, Mary was boiling the gruel for her
father's breakfast, the only food she could afford him, till she got a
few shillings that were owing to her for needle-work.

"Well, father, dear, how are you this morning?"

"I scarce know, Mary. I've been dreaming, and it was so like reality,
that I can hardly believe yet it was a dream;" and his eyes wandered
over the room, as if looking for something.

"What is it, father? Do you want your breakfast? It will be ready in
five minutes."

"I've been dreaming of a roast fowl and a glass of Scotch ale, Mary. I
thought you came in with the fowl, and a bottle in your hand, and said:
'See, father, this is what I've bought with the guinea we found in the
meal!'"

"But I couldn't do that, father, you know. It wouldn't have been honest
to spend other people's money."

"Nonsense!" answered John. "Whose money is it, I should like to know?
What belongs to no one, we may as well claim as any body else."

"But it must belong to somebody; and, as I knew it was not ours, I've
carried it back to Mr. Benjamin."

"You have?" said Glegg, sitting up in bed.

"Yes, I have, father. Don't be angry. I'm sure you won't when you think
better of it."

But John _was_ very angry indeed. He was dreadfully disappointed at
losing the delicacies that his sick appetite hungered for, and which, he
fancied, would do more to restore him than all the _doctors' stuff_ in
London; and, so far, he was perhaps right. He bitterly reproached Mary
for want of sympathy with his sufferings, and was peevish and cross all
day. At night, however, his better nature regained the ascendant; and
when he saw the poor girl wipe the tears from her eyes, as her nimble
needle flew through the seams of a shirt she was making for a cheap
warehouse in the Strand, his heart relented, and, holding out his hand,
he drew her fondly toward him.

"You're right, Mary," he said, "and I'm wrong; but I'm not myself with
this long illness, and I often think if I had good food I should get
well, and be able to do something for myself. It falls hard upon you, my
girl: and often when I see you slaving to support my useless life, I
wish I was dead and out of the way; and then you could do very well for
yourself, and I think that pretty face of yours would get you a husband
perhaps." And Mary flung her arms about his neck, and told him how
willing she was to work for him, and how forlorn she should be without
him, and desired she might never hear any more of such wicked wishes.
Still, she had an ardent desire to give him the fowl and the ale he had
longed for, for his next Sunday's dinner; but, alas!--she could not
compass it. But on that very Sunday, the one that succeeded these little
events, Leah Leet appeared with a smart new bonnet and gown, at a
tea-party given by Mr. Benjamin to three or four of his intimate
friends. He was in the habit of giving such small inexpensive
entertainments, and he made it a point to invite Leah; partly because
she made the tea for him, and partly because he wished to keep her out
of other society, lest she should get married and leave him--a thing he
much deprecated on all accounts. She was accustomed to his business, he
was accustomed to her, and, above all, she was so honest!

But there are various kinds of honesty. Mary Glegg's was of the pure
sort; it was such as nature and her mother had instilled into her; it
was the honesty of high principle. But Leah was honest, because she had
been taught that honesty is the best policy; and as she had her living
to earn, it was extremely necessary that she should be guided by the
axiom, or she might come to poverty and want bread, like others she saw,
who lost good situations from failing in this particular.

Now, after all, this is but a sandy foundation for honesty; because a
person who is not actuated by a higher motive, will naturally have no
objection to a little peculation in a safe way--that is, when they think
there is no possible chance of being found out. In short, such honesty
is but a counterfeit, and, like all counterfeits, it will not stand the
wear and tear of the genuine article. Such, however, was Leah's, who had
been bred up by worldly-wise teachers, who neither taught nor knew any
better. Entirely ignorant of Mr. Benjamin's eccentric method of seeking
what, two thousand years ago, Diogenes thought it worth while to look
for with a lantern, she considered that the guinea brought back by Mary
was a waif, which might be appropriated without the smallest danger of
being called to account for it. It had probably, she thought, been
dropped into the meal-tub by some careless customer, who would not know
how he had lost it; and, even if it were her master's, he must also be
quite ignorant of the accident that had placed it where it was found.
The girl was a stranger in the shop; she had never been there till the
day before, and might never be there again; and, if she were, it was not
likely she would speak to Mr. Benjamin. So there could be no risk, as
far as she could see; and the money came just apropos to purchase some
new attire that the change of season rendered desirable.

Many of us now alive can remember the beginning of what is called the
sanitary movement, previous to which era, as nothing was said about the
wretched dwellings of the poor, nobody thought of them, nor were the ill
consequences of their dirty, crowded rooms, and bad ventilation at all
appreciated. At length the idea struck somebody, who wrote a pamphlet
about it, which the public did not read; but as the author sent it to
the newspaper editors, they borrowed the hint, and took up the subject,
the importance of which, by slow degrees, penetrated the London mind.
Now, among the sources of wealth possessed by Mr. Benjamin were a great
many houses, which, by having money at his command, he had bought cheap
from those who could not afford to wait; and many of these were situated
in squalid neighborhoods, and were inhabited by miserably poor people;
but as these people did not fall under his eye, he had never thought of
them--he had only thought of their rents, which he received with more or
less regularity through the hands of his agent. The sums due, however,
were often deficient, for sometimes the tenants were unable to pay them,
because they were so sick they could not work; and sometimes they died,
leaving nothing behind them to seize for their debts. Mr. Benjamin had
looked upon this evil as irremediable; but when he heard of the sanitary
movement, it occurred to him, that if he did something toward rendering
his property more eligible and wholesome, he might let his rooms to a
better class of tenants, and that greater certainty of payment, together
with a little higher rent, would remunerate him for the expense of the
cleaning and repairs. The idea being agreeable both to his love of gain
and his benevolence, he summoned his builder, and proposed that he
should accompany him over these tenements, in order that they might
agree as to what should be done, and calculate the outlay; and the house
inhabited by Glegg and his daughter happening to be one of them, the old
gentleman, in the natural course of events, found himself paying an
unexpected visit to the unconscious subject of his last experiment; for
the last it was, and so it was likely to remain, though three months had
elapsed since he made it; but its ill success had discouraged him. There
was something about Mary that so evidently distinguished her from his
usual customers; she looked so innocent, so modest, and withal so
pretty, that he thought if he failed with her, he was not likely to
succeed with any body else.

"Who lives in the attics?" he inquired of Mr. Harker, the builder, as
they were ascending the stairs.

"There's a widow, and her daughter, and son-in-law, with three children,
in the back-room," answered Mr. Harker. "I believe the women go out
charring, and the man's a bricklayer. In the front, there's a man called
Glegg and his daughter. I fancy they're people that have been better off
at some time of their lives. He has been a tradesman--a cooper, he tells
me; but things went badly with him; and since he came here, his wife
died of the fever, and he's been so weakly ever since he had it, that he
can earn nothing. His daughter lives by her needle."

Mary was out; she had gone to take home some work, in hopes of getting
immediate payment for it. A couple of shillings would purchase them coal
and food, and they were much in need of both. John was sitting by the
scanty fire, with his daughter's shawl over his shoulders, looking wan,
wasted, and desponding,

"Mr. Benjamin, the landlord, Mr. Glegg," said Harker.

John knew they owed a little rent, and was afraid they had come to
demand it. "I'm sorry my daughter's out, gentlemen," he said. "Will you
be pleased to take a chair."

"Mr. Benjamin is going round his property," said Harker. "He is
proposing to make a few repairs, and do a little painting and
whitewashing, to make the rooms more airy and comfortable."

"That will be a good thing, sir," answered Glegg--"a very good thing;
for I believe it is the closeness of the place that makes us country
folks ill when we come to London. I'm sure I've never had a day's health
since I've lived here."

"You've been very unlucky, indeed, Mr. Glegg," said Harker. "But you
know, if we lay out money, we shall look for a return. We must raise
your rent."

"Ah, sir, I suppose so," answered John, with a sigh; "and how we're to
pay it, I don't know. If I could only get well, I shouldn't mind; for
I'd rather break stones on the road, or sweep a crossing, than see my
poor girl slaving from morning to night for such a pittance."

"If we were to throw down this partition, and open another window here,"
said Harker to Mr. Benjamin, "it would make a comfortable apartment of
it. There would be room, then, for a bed in the recess."

Mr. Benjamin, however, was at that moment engaged in the contemplation
of an ill-painted portrait of a girl, that was attached by a pin over
the chimney-piece. It was without a frame, for the respectable gilt one
that had formerly encircled it, had been taken off, and sold to buy
bread. Nothing could be coarser than the execution of the thing, but as
is not unfrequently the case with such productions, the likeness was
striking; and Mr. Benjamin, being now in the habit of seeing Mary, who
bought all the meal they used at his shop, recognized it at once.

"That's your daughter, is it?" he said.

"Yes, sir; she's often at your place for meal; and if it wasn't too
great a liberty, I would ask you, sir, if you thought you could help her
to some sort of employment that's better than sewing; for it's a hard
life, sir, in this close place for a young creature that was brought up
in the free country air; not that Mary minds work, but the worst is,
there's so little to be got by the needle, and it's such close
confinement."

Mr. Benjamin's mind, during this address of poor Glegg's, was running on
his guinea. He felt a distrust of her honesty--or rather of the honesty
of both father and daughter; and yet, being far from a hard-hearted
person, their evident distress and the man's sickness disposed him to
make allowance for them. "They couldn't know that the money belonged to
me," thought he; adding aloud: "Have you no friends here in London?"

"No, sir, none. I was unfortunate in business in the country, and came
here hoping for better luck; but sickness overtook us, and we've never
been able to do any good. But, Mary, my daughter, doesn't want for
education, sir; and a more honest girl never lived!"

"Honest, is she?" said Mr. Benjamin, looking Glegg in the face.

"I'll answer for her, sir," answered John, who thought the old gentleman
was going to assist her to a situation. "You'll excuse me mentioning it,
sir; but perhaps it isn't every body, distressed as we were, that would
have carried back that money she found in the meal: but Mary _would_ do
it, even when I said perhaps it wasn't yours, and that nobody might know
whose it was; which was very wrong of me, no doubt; but one's mind gets
weakened by illness and want, and I couldn't help thinking of the food
it would buy us; but Mary wouldn't hear of it. I'm sure you might trust
Mary with untold gold, sir; and it would be a real charity to help her
to a situation, if you knew of such a thing."

Little deemed Leah that morning, as she handed Mary her quart of meal
and the change for her hard-earned shilling, that she had spoiled her
own fortunes, and that she would, ere night, be called upon to abdicate
her stool behind the counter in favor of that humble customer; and yet
so it was. Mr. Benjamin could not forgive her dereliction from honesty;
and the more he had trusted her, the greater was the shock to his
confidence. Moreover, his short-sighted views of human nature, and his
incapacity for comprehending its infinite shades and varieties, caused
him to extend his ill opinion further than the delinquent merited. In
spite of her protestations, he could not believe that this was her first
misdemeanor; but concluded that, like many other people in the world,
she had only been reputed honest because she had not been found out.
Leah soon found herself in the very dilemma she had deprecated, and the
apprehension of which had kept her so long practically honest--without a
situation, and with a damaged character.

As Mary understood book-keeping, the duties of her new office were soon
learned; and the only evil attending it was, that she could not take
care of her father. But determined not to lose her, Mr. Benjamin found
means to reconcile the difficulty by giving them a room behind the shop,
where they lived very comfortably, till Glegg, recovering some portion
of health, was able to work a little at his trade.

In process of time, however, as infirmity began to disable Mr. Benjamin
for the daily walk from his residence to his shop, he left the whole
management of the business to the father and daughter, receiving every
shilling of the profits, except the moderate salaries he gave them,
which were sufficient to furnish them with all the necessaries of life,
though nothing beyond. But when the old gentleman died, and his will was
opened, it was found that he had left every thing he possessed to Mary
Glegg; except one guinea, which, without alleging any reason, he
bequeathed to Leah Leet.



A FORGOTTEN CELEBRITY.


"Time and chance," as King Solomon says, "happen to all;" and this is
peculiarly the case in the matter of fame and reputation. Many who have
done much, and have enjoyed a fine prospect of a name that should
survive them, have scarcely earned an epitaph; while others, by a mere
accident, have rolled luxuriously down to posterity, like a fly on the
chariot-wheels of another's reputation. "The historic muse" is a very
careless jade, and many names with which she has undertaken to march
down to latest times, have been lost by the way, like the stones in the
legend that fell through the devil's apron when he was carrying them to
build one of his bridges. The chiffonniers of literature pick up these
histories from time to time; sometimes they are valuable, sometimes only
curious. Mademoiselle de Gournay's story is a curiosity.

Marie de Jars, Demoiselle de Gournay, was born at Paris in 1566. She was
of a noble and ancient family; her father, at his death, left what in
those days was a handsome fortune; but Mademoiselle de Gournay, his
widow, had an unfortunate mania for building, which devoured it. When
she took her place beside her husband in his grave, she left little but
mortgages behind her.

Judging from the portraits prefixed to her works, Marie de Jars must in
her youth have possessed some personal attractions, in spite of her
detractors: her figure was of middle height, her face rather round than
oval, but with a pleasing expression, and adorned with a pair of large
black eyes and a pretty little mouth. Her own account of herself, in a
copy of verses, addressed to her friend Mademoiselle de Ragny, is, that
she was of a very lively and obliging disposition. That she was
obliging and kind-hearted, many circumstances of her life could prove;
but for liveliness, we are inclined to think that she flattered herself:
nothing can be further removed from liveliness than her works--they are
pompously serious.

Her father died when she was very young, leaving five children: two
elder and two younger than Marie. The eldest daughter married; the son
entered the army; and Marie, the eldest of the remaining three, seems to
have been left pretty much to follow her own devices. From her earliest
years she had a passion for reading, and showed a wonderful sagacity in
the choice of books: her favorites were Amyot, Ronsard, and Montaigne;
to these authors she afterward added Racan. She was so faithfully
exclusive in her taste, that she never cared to read any others. It was
in 1580 that Montaigne published the two first volumes of his Essays.
Marie de Jars was scarcely fourteen when they fell accidentally in her
way, and her admiration amounted to enthusiasm: she sent a friend to
tell Montaigne, who was then in Paris, how much she admired him, and the
esteem in which she held his book. This proceeding from so young a
person, who was moreover "fort demoiselle," flattered Montaigne very
sensibly. He went the very next day to pay a visit to Mademoiselle de
Gournay: her conversation and enthusiasm won the heart of the
philosopher. In their first interview Montaigne offered her the
affection of a father for a daughter and Mademoiselle de Gournay proudly
assumed the title of the adopted daughter of Montaigne; and in a letter
addressed to him, which is still to be seen, she says, "that she feels
as proud of that title as she should be to be called the mother of the
Muses themselves." This friendship never failed or diminished; it was
the best thing Marie ever achieved in this life, and is her chief claim
on the sympathy and interest of posterity. But Marie de Jars became
possessed by the demon of wishing to become a distinguished woman on her
own account. To accomplish this, she set to work to learn Greek and
Latin, and though she brought more zeal than method to her studies, she
worked with so much perseverance as to obtain a good insight into both
languages.

Montaigne, in the next edition of his Essays, added the following
passage to the seventeenth chapter of the second book: "I have taken a
delight to publish in many places the hopes I have of Marie de Gournay
de Jars, my adopted daughter, beloved by me with more than a paternal
love, and treasured up in my solitude and retirement as one of the best
parts of my own being. I have no regard to any thing in this world but
to her. If a man may presage from her youth, her soul will one day be
capable of very great things; and, among others, of that perfection of
friendship of which we do not read that any of her sex could yet arrive
at; the sincerity and solidity of her manners are already sufficient for
it; her affection toward me more than superabundant, and such as that
there is nothing more to be wished, if not that the apprehension she
has of my end from the five-and-fifty years I had reached when she knew
me, might not so much afflict her.

"The judgment she made of my first Essays, being a woman so young, and
in this age, and alone in her order, place, and the notable vehemence
with which she loved and desired me, upon the sole esteem she had of me
before ever she saw my face, are things very worthy of consideration."

Any woman might justly have been proud of such a tribute, and one feels
to like Montaigne himself all the better for it. In 1588 Montaigne went
with Mademoiselle de Gournay and her mother to their château at
Gournay-sur-Aronde, and spent some time with them.

In the year following she published her first book, calling it
"Proumenoir de M. de Montaigne." She dedicated it to him, and sent a
copy to him at Bordeaux, where he was then residing. That must have been
a very proud day for Marie! This "Proumenoir" was not, as its title
might suggest, any account of Montaigne, or relics of his conversation,
but only a rambling Arabian story, which if gracefully told by Marie
herself, might perhaps have been interesting during the course of a
walk, but which, set down upon paper, is insipid to a degree, and of an
interminable length. Montaigne is answerable for the sin of having
encouraged her to write it, thus adding to the weary array of books that
nobody is able to read.

At her mother's death, Mademoiselle de Gournay did something much
better: she took charge of her younger brother and sister, and
administered the affairs of the family (which, as we have said, Madame
de Gournay had left in great embarrassment) with so much discretion and
judgment, that she redeemed all the mortgages, paid off all the debts,
and was in possession of about two thousand pounds in money.

Montaigne died in 1592, at Bordeaux. Enthusiastic and devoted,
Mademoiselle de Gournay set off as soon as she was informed of it, and,
providing herself with passes, crossed almost the whole kingdom of
France alone, to visit his widow and daughter, to console them as best
she might--and to weep with them the loss they had sustained.

Madame de Montaigne gave her the Essays, enriched with notes in her
husband's hand-writing, in order that she might prepare a new and
complete edition of them. This was a labor of love to Marie: she revised
all the proofs, which were executed with so much correctness, that she
is well entitled to call it, as she does, "le bon et vieux exemplaire."
It remains to this day the principal edition as regards authenticity of
text, and one of the handsomest as regards typography. It appeared in
1595 (Paris, Abel Langlier). Mademoiselle de Gournay wrote a preface,
which is not without eloquence. She vigorously repels all the objections
that had been raised against the work, and alludes to her adoption by
Montaigne with genuine feeling. We translate the passage: "Reader,
having the desire to make the best of myself to thee, I adorn myself
with the noble title of this adoption. I have no other ornament, and I
have a good right to call him my true father, from whom all that is good
or noble in my soul proceeds. The parent to whom I owe my being, and
whom my evil fortune snatched from me in my infancy, was an excellent
father, and a most virtuous and clever man--and he would have felt less
jealousy in seeing the second to whom I gave this title of father, than
he would have felt pride in seeing the manner of man he was." The good
lady's style is of the most intractable to render into common language.

With Montaigne's death, the whole course of Mademoiselle de Gournay's
life seemed to be arrested. Henceforth all her strength and enthusiasm
were expended in keeping herself exactly where he had left her. She
resolutely set her face against all the improvements and innovations
which were every day being brought into the French language, which was
making rapid progress; but Mademoiselle de Gournay believed that she had
seen the end of all perfection when Montaigne died. Not only in her
style of writing, but also in her mode of living, she remained
obstinately stereotyped after the fashion of the sixteenth century,
during the first half of the seventeenth. While still young, she became
a whimsical relic of a by-gone mode--a caricature out of date. She
resided in Paris, where there was at that time a mania for playing
practical jokes; and Mademoiselle de Gournay, with her pedantry and
peculiarities, was considered as lawful game; many unworthy tricks were
played upon her by persons who, nevertheless, dreaded the explosions of
her wrath on discovery, which on such occasions were of an emphatic
simplicity of speech, startling to modern ears. The word "hoaxing" was
not then invented, but the thing itself was well understood. A forged
letter was written, purporting to come from King James the First of
England, requesting Mademoiselle de Gournay to send him her portrait and
her life. She fell into the snare, and sat for her picture, and spent
six weeks in writing her memoirs, which she actually sent to
England--where, of course, no one knew what to make of them. But when
Marshal Lavardin, who was the French embassador in England, returned to
Paris, the parties who forged the letter did not fail to tell
Mademoiselle de Gournay that the King of England had spoken most highly
of her to the embassador, and had shown him her autograph, which
occupied a distinguished place in his cabinet. As M. de Lavardin died
almost directly after his return, Mademoiselle de Gournay ran no risk of
being undeceived.

For a short time she abandoned literature and the belles-lettres to
plunge into alchemy, for which she had a mania. Her friends remonstrated
in vain; they told her how many other people alchemy had ruined, but she
not the less persisted in flinging the remains of her fortune into the
crucible. Like all who have been bewitched by this science, Marie
fancied that her experiments were arrested by poverty at the moment of
success. She retrenched in every way; in food, in clothing; reduced
herself to barest necessaries; and sat constantly with the bellows in
her hand, hanging over the smoke of her furnace. Of course, no gold
rewarded her research, and she was at length absolutely obliged to
abandon her laboratory, and betake herself afresh to literature. As
generous in adversity as she had been in prosperity, Mademoiselle de
Gournay was not hindered by her poverty from adopting an orphan child,
the daughter of Jamyn, the poet, and friend of Ronsard. In the society
of this young girl, and of a cat which she celebrated in verse, Marie de
Gournay allowed every thing in the world to change and progress as they
might, fully persuaded that the glory of French literature had died with
her adopted father, and that she had had the honor of burying it.

This cat deserves a special mention, as it was a very noticeable animal
in its day. It rejoiced in the name of _Piallion_, and during the twelve
years it lived with Mademoiselle de Gournay, it never once quitted the
apartments of its mistress to run with other cats upon the roofs and
gutters of the neighboring houses; it was, in all respects, discreet and
dignified, as became a cat of quality, and above all, as became the cat
of such a mistress as Mademoiselle de Gournay. If Mademoiselle de
Gournay had been young and handsome, _Piallion_ would, no doubt, have
been as celebrated as Leslie's sparrow; as it was, however, it only
shared in the satires and caricatures that were made upon its mistress.
When Mademoiselle de Gournay renounced alchemy, and began again to busy
herself in literature, she unfortunately mixed herself up in some
controversy of the day where the Jesuits were in question; we forget
what side she took, but she brought down upon herself much abuse and
scandal; among other things, she was accused of having led an irregular
life, and being even then, "_une femme galante!_" This charge distressed
her greatly, and she appealed to a friend to write her vindication. He
told her by way of consolation, that if she would publish her portrait,
it would be more effectual than a dozen vindications! Poor Mademoiselle
de Gournay had long since lost whatever good looks she had possessed in
early life, and her alchemical pursuits had added at least ten years to
her appearance.

In the midst of all the disagreeable circumstances of her lot, she was
not without some consolation. She kept up her relation with the family
of Montaigne, and went on a visit to them in Guyenne, where she remained
fifteen months. In all her distress, Mademoiselle Montaigne and her
daughter, Mademoiselle de Gamaches, never deserted her. There is a
touching passage in one of her works, in which the name of the "bonne
amye" is mentioned. There is little doubt but that it refers to one of
these ladies; it is as follows:

"If my condition be somewhat better than could have been expected, from
the miserable remnant of fortune that remained to me after the
quittance of all my debts, liabilities, and losses, it is the assistance
of a good friend, who took pleasure to see me keep up a decent
appearance, which is the cause of it."

Mademoiselle de Gournay also brightened the dull realities of her
existence with brilliant ideas of the fame she was laying up for herself
with posterity--hopes which neither Mademoiselle Jamyn nor Piallion were
likely to damp. In 1626, she published a collection of her works, in
prose and verse, which she entitled "L'Ombre de Mademoiselle de
Gournay," and sat in her retirement expecting the rebound of the
sensation she had no doubt of producing throughout Europe.

The book was written in imitation of Montaigne's "Essays"--all manner of
subjects treated of, without any regard to order or arrangement; long
dissertations, rambling from topic to topic in every chapter, without
any rule but her own caprice. It may be imagined what advantage such a
work would give to those disposed to find matter for ridicule; the
spirit of mystification and love of hoaxing were not extinct. There was
a pitiless clique of idle men attached to the Court, and circulating in
society, who were always on the watch for victims, at whose expense they
might make good stories, or whom they might make the subjects of a
practical jest. Mademoiselle de Gournay had fallen into their snares
years before, and she seemed a still more tempting victim now. A regular
conspiracy of wicked wits was formed against the poor old woman, who was
then not much under sixty years of age. Her vanity had grown to enormous
magnitude; her credulity was in proportion; while her power of
swallowing and digesting any flattery, however gross, was something
fabulous. No tribute that could be offered exceeded her notion of her
own deserts. She certainly offered fair game for ridicule, and she was
not spared.

Louis the Thirteenth, who labored under the royal malady of ennui,
enjoyed the accounts of the mystifications that were constantly put upon
the poor old lady.

They told her (and she believed them) that there was nothing talked
about at Court but her book; and that his Majesty, Louis the Thirteenth,
was her warm admirer. Mademoiselle de Gournay not unnaturally expected
that some solid proof of the royal admiration would follow; but nothing
came. Louis, well content to be amused by absurd stories about her,
never dreamed of rewarding her for them. She was made to believe that
her portrait adorned the galleries of Brussels and Antwerp; that in
Holland her works had been published with complimentary prefaces; that,
in Italy, Cæsar Carpaccio and Charles Pinto had celebrated her genius in
their own tongue, and spread the glory of her name from one end of the
peninsula to the other; and that no well-educated person in Europe was
ignorant of her name and works. Marie de Gournay, after having been
adopted by Montaigne, found all these marvels quite probable and easy
of belief. These splendid visions of fame and success were quite as good
as reality; they gilded her poverty, and invested her privations with a
dignity more than regal. Among many other mystifications played off upon
her, there was one which has since, in different forms, made the plot of
farces and vaudevilles without number; but it was for the behoof of
Mademoiselle de Gournay that it was originally made and invented. The
poet Racan, whose works were some of the few Mademoiselle de Gournay
condescended to read, had received a copy of "L'Ombre," and prepared to
pay her a visit to return thanks. It must be borne in mind that they had
never seen each other; the conspirators chanced to hear of his
intentions. Such a fine occasion was not to be neglected; having
ascertained the time appointed for the interview they took care to be
beforehand. The first who presented himself was the Chevalier de
Bresire; he caused himself to be announced by Mademoiselle Jamyn (the
orphan she had adopted; now her friend and companion), as M. Racan. He
was clever and agreeable, and flattered Mademoiselle de Gournay with so
much grace, that she was enchanted with him. He had scarcely departed,
when M. Yvrande arrived: "Announce M. Racan," said he to Mademoiselle
Jamyn.

"M. Racan has only this moment left us."

"Some vile trick!" said he, with indignation.

Mademoiselle de Gournay, seeing a young man, still handsomer and more
agreeable than the other, and whose compliments were still more
poetical, was easily pacified, and received him graciously. A few
moments after he had left, the poet himself made his appearance. He was
absent, nervous, shabbily dressed, awkward, and had, moreover, a
ridiculous pronunciation. He called himself "LACAN."

The old lady was now out of all patience.

"Must I, then, see nothing but _Racans_ all the days of my life!" she
exclaimed, and taking off her slipper, she flung it at his head, abusing
him vehemently for daring to impose upon her; and drove him out of the
house.

Of course this story was much too good not to have a great success; it
circulated not only through the Court, but all over Paris, and came at
last to the ears of poor Mademoiselle de Gournay herself, who could not
be consoled, as it revealed all the tricks to which she had been a
victim. The illusions thus rudely destroyed were far more precious than
the philosopher's stone she had so vainly sought, and involved a
disappointment infinitely more painful. Who can help sympathizing with
the poor woman, who thus saw all her fairy treasures resolved into their
intrinsic worthlessness?

However, good came out of evil. Cardinal Richelieu--who had been
especially delighted with the story of the three Racans, and was never
weary of hearing it repeated--took the fancy of wishing to see her that
he might try to make a good story out of her himself. He sent for her,
and indulged in some very clumsy pleasantry, of which he had the grace
to feel afterward ashamed. Willing to make her some amends, he settled
a pension upon her, in order that for the rest of her days, she, and her
friend, and her cat, might live on something better than dry bread.

Under the influence of this gleam of sunshine, Mademoiselle de Gournay
edited another edition of Montaigne's work, with an abridgment of her
former preface. She also published a fresh work of her own, entitled,
"Avis et Présens de Mademoiselle de Gournay," which had a moderate
success. Another edition of "L'Ombre" was also called for. All this, in
some measure, consoled her for past humiliations.

Her prosperity lasted until the death of Cardinal Richelieu.
Mademoiselle de Gournay, then in extreme old age, still survived him.
When the list of pensions granted by the Cardinal was submitted to the
king, her name caught his eye. Louis the Thirteenth--who might have had
some grateful recollection of the many hearty laughs his royalty had
enjoyed at her expense--declared that the Cardinal must have been mad to
grant such a woman a pension, and ordered it to be suppressed!
Mademoiselle de Gournay passed the few remaining years of her life in a
state of poverty painful to reflect upon. She died somewhere about 1646,
at the age of eighty.

Poor as she was, she made her will as became a person of her birth. She
bequeathed her clothes to Mademoiselle Jamyn, who, old and infirm,
survived her; a few books she left to different friends; and a curious
old Map of the World, to the poet Gombauld--a personage as eccentric as
herself, and one who lived and died in still greater penury, but who
valued her legacy, and transmitted it to his heirs as the most precious
treasure in the world.



DILIGENCE IN DOING GOOD.


Thomas Wright, of Manchester, is a worn but not a weary man of
sixty-three, who has for forty-seven years been weekly servant in a
large iron foundry, of which he is now the foreman. His daily work
begins at five o'clock in the morning, and closes at six in the evening;
for forty-seven years he has worked through twelve hours daily, to
support himself and those depending on him. Those depending on him are
not few; he has had nineteen children; and at some periods there have
been grandchildren looking to him for bread. His income never has
attained two hundred pounds a year. This is a life of toil. Exeter Hall
might plead for him as a man taxed beyond the standard limit; but he had
bread to earn, and knew that he had need to work for it: he did work
with great zeal and great efficiency, obtaining very high respect and
confidence from his employers. A man so laboring, and leading in his
home an exemplary, pious life, might be entitled to go to bed betimes,
and rest in peace between these days of industry and natural fatigue.
What could a man do, in the little leisure left by so much unremitting
work? Poor as he was--toiling as he did, a modest man of humble origin,
with no power in the world to aid him but the wonderful spiritual power
of an earnest will--Thomas Wright has found means, in his little
intervals of leisure, to lead back, with a gentle hand, three hundred
convicted criminals to virtue; to wipe the blot from their names and the
blight from their prospects; to place them in honest homes, supported by
an honest livelihood.

Fourteen years ago Mr. Wright visited, one Sunday, the New Bailey
Prison, at Manchester, and took an earnest interest in what he saw. He
knew that, with the stain of jail upon them, the unhappy prisoners,
after release, would seek in vain for occupation; and that society would
shut the door of reformation on them, and compel them, if they would not
starve, to walk on in the ways of crime. The jail-mark branding them as
dangerous, men buttoned up their pockets when they pleaded for a second
trial of their honesty, and left them helpless. Then, Thomas Wright
resolved, in his own honest heart, that he would visit in the prisons,
and become a friend to those who had no helper.

The chaplain of the New Bailey, Mr. Bagshawe, recognized in the
beginning the true practical benevolence of the simple-minded visitor.
On his second visit a convict was pointed out, on whom Mr. Wright might
test his power. It was certain power. From the vantage-ground of a
comparative equality of station, he pleaded with his fellow workman for
the wisdom of a virtuous and honest life. Heaven does, and Earth should,
wipe out of account repented evil. Words warm from the heart, backed
with a deep and contagious sense in the hearer of the high-minded virtue
shown by his companion, were not uttered, like lip-sympathy, in vain.
Then Thomas Wright engaged to help his friend, to get employment for
him; and, if necessary, to be surety with his own goods for his
honorable conduct. He fulfilled his pledge; and that man has been ever
since, a prosperous laborer, and an upright member of society.

So the work began. So earnest, so humble; yet, like other earnest,
humble efforts, with a blessing of prosperity upon it. In this way,
during the last fourteen years, by this one man, working in the leisure
of a twelve hours' daily toil, hundreds have been restored to peace. He
has sent husbands repentant to their wives; he has restored fathers to
the fatherless. Without incurring debt, supporting a large family on
little gains, he has contrived to spare out of his little; contenting
himself with a bare existence, that he might have clothes to give and
bits of money, where they were required to reinstate an outcast in
society.

Mr. Wright is a dissenter--free, of course, from bigotry; for bigotry
can never co-exist with charity so genuine. Although a dissenter working
spiritually in the prison, he never comes into jarring contact with the
chaplain. He makes a point of kindling in his outcast friends a
religious feeling; but that is not sectarian; he speaks only the largest
sentiments of Christianity, and asks only that they attend, once every
week, a place of worship, leaving them to choose what church or chapel
it may be. And, in the chapel he himself attends, wherever his eye
turns, he can see decent families who stand by his means there; men whom
he has rescued from the vilest courses, kneeling modestly beside their
children and their wives. Are not these families substantial prayers?

Very humbly all this has been done. In behalf of each outcast in turn,
Mr. Wright has pleaded with his own employer, or with others, in a
plain, manly way. Many now work under himself, in his own place of
occupation; his word and guarantees having been sufficient
recommendation. Elsewhere, he has, when rebuffed, persevered from place
to place, offering and laying down his own earnings as guarantee;
clothing and assisting the repentant unemployed convict out of his own
means, as far as possible; speaking words, or writing letters, with a
patient zeal, to reconcile to him his honest relatives, or to restore
lost friends. Bare sustenance for his own body by day, that he might
screw out of himself little funds in aid of his good deeds--and four
hours' sleep at night, after his hard work, that he might screw out of
his bed more time for his devoted labor--these tell their tale upon the
body of the man, who still works daily twelve hours for his family, and
six or eight hours for his race. He is now sixty-three years old, and
working forward on his course worn, but unwearied.

No plaudits have been in his ear, and he has sought none. Of his labor,
the success was the reward. Some ladies joined; and working quietly, as
he does, in an under-current of society, after a while, he had from them
the aid of a small charitable fund, to draw upon occasionally in the
interest of the poor friends for whom he struggled. Prison Inspectors
found him out, and praised him in reports. At first there were a few
words, and a note told of "this benevolent individual. His simple,
unostentatious, but earnest and successful labors on behalf of
discharged prisoners are above all praise." After a few years, the
reports grew in their enthusiasm, and strung together illustrations of
the work that has been done so quietly. Let us quote from this source
one or two examples:

"Five years ago I was," owns a certain G.J., "in the New Bailey,
convicted of felony, and sentenced to four months' imprisonment. When I
was discharged from prison, I could get no employment. I went to my old
employer, to ask him to take me again. He said, I need not apply to him,
for if he could get me transported he would; so I could get no work
until I met with Mr. Wright, who got me employed in a place, where I
remained some time, and have been in employment ever since. I am now
engaged as a screw-cutter--a business I was obliged to learn--and am
earning nineteen shillings and twopence a week. I have a wife and four
children, and but for Mr. Wright, I should have been a lost man."

Others tell how they were saved by the timely supplies of Mr. Wright's
money, which "kept their heads above water" till they obtained the trust
of an employer. Another, after telling his career, adds: "I am now,
consequently, in very comfortable circumstances; I am more comfortable
now than ever I was in my life; I wish every poor man was as comfortable
as I am. I am free from tippling, and cursing, and swearing; have peace
of mind, and no quarreling at home as there used to be. I dare say I was
as wicked a man as any in Manchester. I thought if I could once get
settled under such a gentleman as Mr. Wright, I would not abuse my
opportunity, and all I expected I have received. I have got Bibles,
hymn-book, prayer-book, and tracts; and those things I never had in my
house since I have been married before. My wife is delighted. My boy
goes to school, and my girl also."

Were the spirit of Mr. Wright diffused more generally through society,
the number of fallen men--who, being restored with all due prudence to a
generous confidence, "would not abuse their opportunity"--would tell
decidedly on the statistics of our criminal courts and prisons. To labor
as Mr. Wright has done, must be the prerogative of few, though all the
indolent may note, by way of spur, how much a man, even like Thomas
Wright, poor, humble, scantily instructed, may beget of good out of an
earnest will.



THE NIGHT TRAIN.


The curate and his daughter sat before the fire. Both had been for some
time silent, for the father had fallen into that listless dreaminess to
which nothing is so conducive as gazing on the glowing caverns in the
coals, and pretty little Faith cared not to disturb a rest that he was
not likely to be long suffered to enjoy unmolested. And so the flamelets
rose and sank, lighting their thoughtful faces, and glittering on the
gold-embossed backs of the treasured volumes on the shelves--the
curate's most constant friends. Twilight saddened into night. Up from
behind the gray church tower came the moon. But still not a word broke
the silence in the parsonage parlor. The gaunt arms of the trees waved
drearily without. A streak of white moonshine crept across the carpet
like a silver snake. Still he gazed fixedly on the bright pagoda 'mid
the flame: it totters, but before it falls we will track his wandering
musings for a moment. All men, he thinks, have as children gazed on the
burning coals, and fashioned castles, figures, mountains in them, but
though the elements are all the same, no two men ever have presented to
them exactly the same position or difficulty in life, and so only
general rules of conduct can be laid down; but yet--the minaret crumbles
to nothing, and changes to a strange fantastic face, then into something
like a funeral plume; his dreams are all dispersed; the pensive damsel
looks up hurriedly, for high above the muttering wind, fierce as the
summons at the gates of Cawdor, he hears a knocking loud and long.

It was a farmer's boy from the village. His message was soon told. A
poor man had been seized with sudden illness at the wayside
public-house, and the clergyman's presence was required immediately. He
lingered to tell Faith not to wait up for him, then rose without a
murmur, and prepared for his long dreary walk. A moment after he was
crossing the neatly-kept garden, where the hydrangeas showed like piles
of skulls in the pale moonshine, and the chestnut leaves were falling
thick and fast. Then out into the deep-rutted road, through miry lanes,
across stark scraps of common, and paths covered with fern and
marsh-mallow, till at last the glimmering candle in the hostelry window
came in sight, and he stood under the creaking signboard of the White
Horse. The inn was of the humblest description, and the room into which
he was shown very wretched indeed. The plaster had peeled off the walls
in great odd shapes, like the countries on a map; the shutters had as
many cracks as an ill-fitting dissecting puzzle; the flooring was damp
and broken, there was a tracery of spiders' webs about the
bed-furniture, and the only sounds were the groans of the occupant of
the bed, and the drowsy ticking of the death-watch. Thinking he was
asleep, the curate prepared to sit down and wait for him to wake of
himself, but the noise of a drinking-song, shouted by some laborers in
the bar, startled him from his uneasy slumber, and when Mr. F. next
looked up, the ghastly face of the sick man confronted his own--an eery
nightmare face, such as meets one in the outlines of Retzsch, or peering
out of the goblin scenes and witches' caves of Peter Breughel. But if
the face was terrible, the voice that asked him "Why he came!" and bade
him take away the light that glared and hurt his eyes, was more
unearthly still. But when he recognized him as the clergyman, his manner
altered. In a comparatively tranquil state he listened to the minister's
earnest warnings and blessed consolations; then suddenly the pain seized
him; he screamed and groaned awhile in wild delirium; a deep calm
followed. Raising himself in the bed, he drew a roll of torn and
discolored papers from under the pillow, and put it into the curate's
hand. His senses never returned. A few more throbbings and struggles--a
wandering of the eyes about the room, first to the ceiling, where the
death-watch ticked on drearily, then to the Arcadian scene on the
tattered patchwork counterpane--a clutching at the bed-clothes--a
shuddering--a film--and then--death!

The curate did not sleep that night until he had read the stranger's
diary to an end. It began thus:

"_August 3d._--Brian Marcliffe came to me again; the same odd,
mysterious air that I have noticed so long. What can it mean? He can not
have found--But no, it's worse than useless having dark forebodings. I
shall soon be able to put the sea between me and this cursed golden
inferno, Brazil, and with my darling Bertha forget all these fears in
the paradise of full purses--England.

"_August 4th._--I met him by chance again, coming from the overseer's.
Confound it, how demon-like he looked! I will speak to him myself,
rather than be in suspense much longer. I should then know the worst, at
least.

"_August 5th._--Ruin! The worst has come. He does know all about my
being behindhand in my accounts, and hints--I can't write down what.
Bertha will never marry him but _as the only chance of saving me from
exposure_. Can he be devil enough to propose it?

"_August 20th._--Am I the same man I was a month ago! Farewell forever,
land of diamonds, slaves, and late summers. Farewell lust of gold and
dread of disgrace. It is over, I hope, forever. My Bertha--my own
now--is sleeping like a lily near me, and the only sound is the
splashing of the sea that is bearing me every moment further from my
fear. But stay; what have I left behind me! What is there in that glen
of mimosas? A rotting corpse. What in men's mouths? The name of
murderer. Pray God it be not. Let me think.

"On the Monday when I was leaving the office, Brian came again, and
asked me to go as far as old Olivenza's coffee plantation. I said I
would come, and we set out an hour past sunset. It was a beautiful
evening; the skies as pure as the robe of seraphim; the clouds like
curls of incense, now hiding, now revealing the dazzling glory of the
rising moon--all, save one black streak right across her face, like a
spread eagle. Well, we had nearly got to the plantation before Brian
spoke; but I saw he was preparing something by the villainous look of
his eyes. He began:

"'So, Reuben Darke, you have considered my proposition, and agree, of
course?'

"I believe I professed ignorance of it; for, indeed, he had never said
any thing definite.

"'The consequences of opposition are as terrible as they are
inevitable,' said he, threateningly.

"'You can not stoop to such vileness--to such wrong. You know that I am
striving for a great end--that I will make restitution full and ample if
I live to reach England.'

"This was the sense of what I said, but his answer was clearly prepared
long before he knew what I should urge. It came gnashing through his
closed teeth like the hiss of an adder.

"'I must do my duty. It is my place to overlook the accounts of all the
clerks. You will show me your books to-morrow.'

"He turned away. I prayed he might not speak again, for his voice
stirred up a feeling I had never known before; but my bad angel, I
suppose, brought him back. I scarcely recollect what he said. I have a
vague notion of hearing him mention Bertha's name with some cursed plan
that was to give her up to him forever, and then he would, 'for the sake
of old friendship, deal as gently as he possibly could with me.' Those
words I remember well, and those were the last he ever spoke to me. I
dread to think they were his last on earth. The feeling I had wrestled
against mastered me now. I could restrain myself no longer, and struck
at him with a knife. He clutched my left hand in his teeth like a
tiger-cat. For a second we were grappling together for life or death,
but he had no chance against me; and when I had breath to look at him
next, he was lying on his back, the hands that he had tried to parry my
blows with cut and bleeding, and red stains on the broad mimosa leaves
around. Oh, God! what a reproach there was in all the calm and silence
of the night! How the deep quiet of the sky spoke to my heart, so
troubled, dark, and guilty! As on the first dread day by sin polluted,
the voice of God in Eden drove Adam forth abashed, so spoke the still
small voice of holy Nature with more than earthquake tones to me, and
straight I fled away.

"My Bertha does not know the whole. She only knows that Brian had me in
his power, owing to some money transactions. If she did know it, my
conscience tells me she would not now be sleeping here. There--all will
be well in England. Pray Heaven we get there safe. I will go up on deck
a few minutes. Writing it down has brought the whole affair so fresh
before me, that it is useless trying to sleep in this fever. But yet I
am glad it is written.

"_October 15th._--We entered the Channel this afternoon. It is my wife's
birthday; she took it as a happy omen, and seemed so pleased with the
glitter and joyance of the busy river, that for a whole hour--the first
since I left Rio--the dreadful secret hidden 'mid those leaves was
absent from my mind.

"_October 16th._--The first news that meets me on entering London is,
that my uncle has died suddenly, and left all his affairs frightfully
embarrassed. My chief dependence was on him. This is a sad beginning;
indeed, I feel that 'all these things are against me.'"

Several pages were here torn from the unfortunate Darke's manuscript;
and in the succeeding ones the entries were scanty, and with long
intervals between each other. They detailed the sufferings of the writer
and his wife on their arrival in London; his repeated efforts to obtain
employment, and the difficulties he met with, owing to his uncle's
death, and his own inability to refer any one to the directors of the
mine at Rio. For more than a year (judging from the dates, by no means
regularly affixed) he appeared to have struggled on thus, until, when
his hopes were fast sinking, and his health rapidly giving way under
this succession of disappointments, he obtained a situation on a
recently-opened line of railway in the north, through the interest of an
old schoolfellow, whom he accidentally met, and who retained in manhood
schoolboy heart enough to show gratitude for many kindnesses in olden
days. The language was strangely impassioned and earnest in which he
expressed his joy at this change of fortune; and the full-hearted
thankfulness with which he described telling his wife the good news,
seemed to prove that affliction had exerted a calming and blessed
influence on his passion-tossed mind. But the clergyman could not help
noticing that the spirit pervading the latter part of the diary was
strangely different from that which animated the commencement, it being
written apparently with the firm conviction of an inevitable destiny
hanging over the writer; and this, like the shadow of an unseen cloud in
a fair picture, gave a sombre meaning to his self-communings.

After briefly mentioning the fact of his taking up his abode with Bertha
and one little child at the cottage provided by the company, and that he
had heard by chance that his enemy was still alive, he proceeded:

"I like this new home much. It is a tiny, sheltered cottage, with
beehives in the garden, and honeysuckles peeping in at the lattice,
nestling innocently among the pine-trees, like a fairy islet. The
railway runs for about a mile parallel with the canal, and the two modes
of traveling contrast curiously. The former with all its brightness,
freshness, and precision; the latter a very sluggard. I often have long
talks with Huntly, my assistant here, and try to make him see the change
it will work; but he is not over shrewd; or, rather, fate did not give
him a bookworm uncle like it did me, and so reasoning is hard work to
him; it always is to the untaught. The canal is picturesque certainly.
Let me try a description. The surface of the water is overlaid with
weeds rank and luxuriant, save where the passage of a boat has preserved
a trench, stagnant, and cold, and deep. There is not a human habitation
near except ours. Scarcely any paths, the thickets are so tangled. This
does not read an inviting account, I know, but there is a charm to me in
the leaves of myriad shapes, in fern, and moss, and rush, in every
silvan nook and glittering hedgerow--above all, in the dark slumberous
pines, those giant sentinels round our dear home. Bertha smiled quite
like her old self when she saw it. Oh, how, in all the wreck of this
last year, has her love upheld me! always lightening, never adding to
our weight of grief. She has, indeed, been faithful, true, and
beautiful--like the Indian tree, that has its flower and fragrance best
by night. I can not explain why it is that my love seems to grow each
hour, but with a kind of tremble in its intensity, as though there were
a separation coming. Perhaps it is only the result of the change in my
fortunes.

"_March 10th._--Two years ago I should have laughed had any one told me
that a dream would give me a second thought, much less that I should sit
down to write what I remember of one; but I must write down last
night's, nevertheless. I thought that it was a clear moonlight night,
and that I rose as usual to signal to the latest luggage train. I had
got to the accustomed place, and stood waiting a long time. For days,
for months; I knew this, because the trees were budding when I began my
watch--were bare as winter when, with a roar and quaking all around, the
night train came. At first I held a lantern in my hand, to signal all
was well. Strange as it may appear, I felt no weariness, for I was fixed
as by a wizard's rod. It passed at length; but not, thank God! as it has
ever passed before; for from the carriage window, like a mask, glared
Marcliffe's vengeful face. I said I held a light; but, as the smoke and
iron hurtled by, the lamp was dashed to atoms, and in my outstretched
hand I grasped a knife! There was a yell of demons in my ear, with
Brian's jeering laugh above it all. I moaned awhile in horror, and woke
to find my Bertha's eyes on mine. She has been soothing and kind as
mercy to me all the day, and I, alas! wayward, almost cruel. I saw it
pained her, but I could not help it. Oh, would that this world had no
concealments, no divisions, no estrangement of hearts! I dread the
night; there is something tells me it will come again, for when I took
the Bible down to read, it opened at the words:

"'I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak
unto him in a dream.'

"A thrill went through me as I read. It sounded like a death-knell.

"_The next day._--As I foresaw it came again last night; the same in
every terrible particular, and with the same consolation on awaking. But
what I have seen to-day gives it a meaning that I tremble at. Huntly
returned from D----. He brought a birthday present for little Harry; it
happened to be wrapped in an old newspaper. As it was opened, I saw
_his_ name, and a moment after read this:

   "'NEXT OF KIN.--If any child or children of the late Ehud
   Marcliffe, Gentleman, of Cranholm Manse, who died September 5,
   18--, be yet surviving, it is desired that he or they will
   forthwith put themselves in communication with Messrs. Faulk and
   Lockerby, Solicitors, D----.'

"This leaves me no hope; and knowing, as I do, the unfaltering
steadfastness of his hate I feel the days of this security and peace are
numbered....

"A whole month has gone since I opened this last. There is no fear now.
He is dead. But how? The eye that reads this record alone will know.
That fatal Thursday went by, a phantasm of dark thoughts; and then I lay
down, as usual, for a couple of hours before going to watch. I did this,
for there was a kind of instinct in me (the feeling deserves no higher
name) which made me go about my avocations in the accustomed way, and
seem as little disturbed as possible. I lay down, and in my dream, as
distinct as ever it passed by day, for the third time that awful freight
swept like a whirlwind by. I awoke. It wanted only three minutes to the
hour when the night-train usually passed. I staggered to the door, but,
instead of coming out into the light, an inky shadow lay across the
road. It was a car left by Huntly's carelessness on the up-rail. I stood
like one of stone, thinking of the tranquil happiness of the last
months, of Bertha's smile, and Harry's baby laugh--of all the sun and
pleasure of our home, and how this precious fabric, wove by love, was to
be rent and torn; and how one word from him would ruin all, and send my
wife and child to poverty again. And that man's life was in my hand.
Well may we daily pray against temptation.

"A white cloud curled up above the pines.

"There was no delay. I caught up the lantern, and ran down the line. A
throbbing, like the workings of a giant's pulse, smote my ear. I reached
the signal-post, and laid my hand upon the bell. But there was no time
for thought.

"The murmur deepened to a roar. The clouds of steam rose high above the
pines, and, girt about with wreathing vapor, the iron outline, with its
blood-red lamps and Hecla glow beneath, came on.

"My eyes were strangely keen, for at that distance I could discern a man
leaning out of the nearest window. I knew who it must be, and almost
expecting to see the last dreadful particular fulfilled, held out my
hand--_the sign that all was safe_. The driver signaled that he
understood, and quickened pace. I shut my eyes when it drew near, but,
as it passed, distinctly heard my name called thrice.

"There was a moment that seemed never-ending. Then a clatter as of a
hundred anvil strokes, a rush of snow-white steam, a shower of red-hot
ashes scattered far, the hum of voices, and the clanging of the bell.
Then, and not till then, I ventured to look up and hurry to the spot.
The train, a series of shapeless wrecks, luggage-vans, trucks, carriages
in wild confusion, lay across the road; live coals from the engine-fire
were hissing in the black canal stream; the guard was bleeding and
crushed beneath a wheel; twining wreaths of white steam, like spirits,
melted into air above. Huntly was stooping over a begrimed corpse. The
glare of the lantern, as it flashed upon the face, showed every omen
true. It was Marcliffe.

"I can bear to chronicle my own temptations, yielding, guilt, but not to
write down the separation that I dreaded most, and tried to avert, alas!
so fatally. It is indeed a lesson of the nothingness of man's subtlest
plans to avoid the penalty his crimes call down. How vain have all my
efforts been to preserve our hearth inviolate, to keep our home in
blessed security. Indeed, that night God's peace and favor 'departed
from the threshold of the house' forever."

The misfortune alluded to was thus briefly mentioned at the end of the
newspaper report of the accident, inclosed with the other papers of the
dead man:

"We are sorry to say that the wife of the station-keeper, Darke, whose
dangerous state we noticed a week ago, expired last night, after giving
birth to a child, still-born."

With the sentence given above Darke's diary closed. Here and there the
curate read a verse of a psalm, or a heart-broken ejaculation, but no
continued narrative of his after-sufferings. From what he could glean,
it appeared that he was put on his trial on the charge of manslaughter,
and acquitted, but that he had lost his situation in consequence of the
want of presence of mind he had evinced; after, it seemed, that he had
led a miserable vagrant life, earning just enough by chance-work to
support himself and his little Harry, the constant attendant of his
wanderings. The boy was at the inn on the night of the father's wretched
death, though the landlady's kindness removed him from the sight of the
troublous parting. An asylum was soon found for him by my friend's
kindness, and when I was at the parsonage last Christmas, as I read the
history of his father's fitful life, the unconscious son sat by with
little Faith, gazing with his large melancholy eyes at the strange faces
in the fire.



STORY OF A BEAR.


Thirty leagues from Carlstad, and not far from the borders of the Klar,
upon the shores of the lake Rada, rises a little hamlet named St. John,
the most smiling village of Scandinavia. Its wooden houses, mirrored in
the translucent waters, stand in bold relief against a background of
extensive forests. For a space of twenty leagues round, Nature has
blessed the generous soil with abundant harvests, filled the lake with
fish, and the woods with game. The inhabitants of St. John are rich,
without exception; each year they make a profit of their harvests, and
bury beneath their hearthstones an addition to their little fortunes.

In 1816, there lived at St. John a young man of twenty years of age,
named Daniel Tissjoebergist. A fortunate youth he thought himself, for
he possessed two farms; and was affianced to a pretty young girl, named
Raghilda, celebrated through all the province of Wermeland for her
shapely figure, her little feet, her blue eyes, and fair skin, besides a
certain caprice of character that her beauty rendered excusable.

The daughter of a forester, and completely spoiled by her father, who
yielded to all her whims, Raghilda was at the same time the torment and
the happiness of her affianced lover. If he climbed the heights, and
gathered the most beautiful mountain flowers as a tribute to her charms,
that very day the fantastic beauty would be seized with a severe
headache, and have quite a horror of perfumes. Did he bring her game
from the forest, she "could not comprehend," she would say, "how any man
could leave a pretty young girl to go and kill the poor hares." One day
he procured, at great expense, an assortment of necklaces and gold rings
from Europe. He expected this time, at any rate, to be recompensed for
his pains; but Raghilda merely declared that she much preferred to these
rich presents the heavy silver ornaments that decorate Norwegian
females. But she, nevertheless, took care to adorn herself with the
despised gifts, to the intense envy of the other young girls her
companions.

According to universal Wermeland usage, Raghilda kept bees. From morning
to evening she tended her hives, and the insects knew her so well, that
her presence did not scare them in the least, but they hummed and buzzed
around her without testifying either fright or anger.

Daniel, as our readers may imagine, never visited his mistress without
busying himself among her bees. One day he took it into his head that a
high wall, standing just before the hives, deprived them in part of the
heat of the sun, and compelled the insects to fly too high to gain the
plain, and collect their store of perfumed honey. He proposed to
Raghilda to diminish the height of the offending wall by some feet. At
first the young girl would not entertain the idea, merely because it
came from her lover; but she at length ceded to his reasonings, and the
wall was diminished in height.

For several weeks Daniel and Raghilda congratulated themselves on the
steps they had taken. The full heat of the sun marvelously quickened the
eggs of the queen-bee, without reckoning that the journey of the little
workers was shortened by one-half. But, alas! one fatal morning, when
the young girl placed herself at her window to say good-day to her dear
hives, she beheld them overturned, crushed, deserted. The honeycombs
were broken all to pieces, and the ground was strewed with the bodies of
the unfortunate insects. Upon Daniel's arrival, he found his lovely
Raghilda weeping despairingly in the midst of the melancholy ruins.

The latter had thought of nothing beyond the loss of her bees, her own
sorrow, and, above all, of her discontent with Daniel, and his
pernicious advice concerning the wall. Her lover, on the contrary, vowed
vengeance against the spoiler.

"I am," said he, "the involuntary cause of your unhappiness, Raghilda,
and to me it belongs to avenge you. These traces of steps are no human
footmarks, but the impressions of a bear's paw. I shall take my gun,
fasten on my _skidars_, and never return until I have killed the
brigand."

Raghilda was too sorrowful for the loss of her bees, and too furious
against Daniel for his imprudent advice about taking down the wall, to
make any reply, or even turn her head for a parting glance. Her lover
left her thus, and hastened, his heart full of rage, to take his wooden
skates, called skidars in Norway, and set forth in quest of the bear.

Tissjoebergist could not have proceeded far without this singular
_chaussure_. These skidars are of unequal size; that which is fastened
by the leathern straps to the left leg is from nine to twelve feet long,
while to the right they do not give more than six or seven. This
inequality procures ease to the hunter when he wishes to turn round on
broken ground; permitting him to lean with all his weight upon the
shorter skate, fabricated of solid materials. The skidars are about two
inches in width, weigh from ten to fifteen pounds, and terminate in
highly raised points, in order to avoid the obstacles that they might
encounter. The wearer slides with one, and sustains himself with the
other. The sole is covered with a sea-calf's skin, with the hair
outside; this precaution hinders retrograde movements. When the hunter
is compelled to surmount difficult heights, he does not lift his foot,
but proceeds nearly as we do upon the skates of our country. He holds a
stick in each hand, to expedite or retard his course, and carries his
weapons in a shoulder-belt. Upon even ground, it is easy to progress
with the skidars, and a man can accomplish forty leagues in twelve
hours. But, in the midst of a country like Wermeland, alternately
wooded, flat, mountainous, and marshy, strewed with rocks and fallen
trees, the use of these skates requires much courage, address, and,
above all, presence of mind. Daniel, habituated to their use from
infancy, skated with prodigious hardihood and celerity. Quick as
thought, he would now descend the almost perpendicular face of a
mountain, then surmount a precipice, or clamber the steep sides of a
ravine. A slight movement of his body sufficed to avoid the branches of
trees, and a zigzag to steer clear of the rocks strewn upon his path.
His ardent eye sought in the distance for the enemy he pursued, or
searched the soil for traces of the brute's paws. But all his researches
were fruitless.

After three fatiguing days, passed without repose or slumber, and almost
without food, he returned to St. John, in a state more easy to
comprehend than describe. Raghilda, during these three days, had caused
the wall to be built up again, and was now occupied in arranging the new
hives with which Aulic-Finn, Daniel's rival, had presented her, after
having filled them with bees by a process equally hardy and ingenious.
There was, in consequence of this, so violent a quarrel between the
engaged lovers, that Tissjoebergist returned to Raghilda the ring which
she had given him one evening during a solitary promenade on the
umbrageous banks of the lake Rada. The young girl took the ring, and
threw it with a gesture of contempt among the bee-hives.

"There!" said she, "the bear may have it. He will not fail to come, for
he knows that he may ravage my hives with impunity."

Tissjoebergist assembled his friends, and informed them of the affront
that he had received. Though a few were secretly pleased with the
humiliation of one whose manly beauty, address, courage, and good
fortune had often been the subject of envy, they all declared that they
would, the very next day, undertake a general _skali_, that is to say, a
_grande battue_.

Eight days from the time of this declaration, more than a thousand
hunters formed themselves into an immense semicircle, inclosing a space
of from five to six leagues. The other half-circle was represented by a
wide and deep pond, over which it was impossible for their prey to
escape by swimming. Daniel directed the skali with remarkable
intelligence. By his orders, signals, repeated from mouth to mouth,
caused the hunters to close up little by little, while a select band
beat the bushes.

They continued to advance in this way for several hours, without
discovering any thing save troops of hares and other small game, that
escaped between the legs of the hunters. These they did not attempt to
molest, for they looked only for the animal whose death Daniel had
sworn to compass. Suddenly they heard a low cry, and a gigantic bear,
that had been hidden behind a rock, abruptly rose, and stalked toward
Tissjoebergist. The youth took aim at the terrible beast, and pulled the
trigger of his musket. It missed fire. The bear seized his weapon with
his powerful paws, twisted it like a wand, broke it, and overturned
Daniel in the mud. All this passed with the rapidity of lightning. The
monster then took to flight, being hit in the shoulder by a ball from
Aulic-Finn; and the hunters saw him climb the hill, after which he
disappeared in the forest. Daniel, foaming with rage, pursued him
thither at the head of his friends, but in vain. Again the young man
returned to St. John without the vengeance he desired; well-nigh
heartbroken with shame and disappointment.

Raghilda welcomed Aulic-Finn most cordially, and there was a report
current in the village, that she had picked up the discarded ring from
among the hives, to place it on the finger of Tissjoebergist's rival.
This the young girls whispered among each other so loud, that Daniel
could not avoid overhearing them, though he did not comprehend the full
purport of their words. Nor were the young men behind-hand in their
comments. There are never wanting unkind hands to strike deeper the
thorns that rankle in our hearts.

In place of consoling himself by drinking and feasting among his
companions, as is the custom in those parts after a hunt, successful or
otherwise, the unfortunate lover now resolved to have recourse to the
_gall_. This is a stratagem which will be best explained by an account
of Daniel's preparations on the occasion.

He took a cow from his stables, tied a rope to her horns, and dragged
her along with so much violence, that her lowings resounded through the
forest. Toward nightfall he arrived with the poor beast near a sort of
scaffolding constructed in the thickest part of the wood, between three
or four trees, and about thirty feet from the ground. Having tied the
cow firmly by the rope to the roots of an old and strong stump, he
mounted the scaffolding and awaited the issue.

The first night the lowings of the cow were the only sounds that broke
the melancholy silence of the forest. It was the same the next day, and
the next. The fourth night, after a long struggle with the drowsiness
occasioned by the intense cold, for the young hunter's provision of
eau-de-vie had long been exhausted, nature overcame him, and he slept.

Then a huge bear raised his head from behind the scaffolding, and having
cautiously peered around him, crept toward the cow, seized her between
his paws, and broke the rope that held her. He turned his big pointed
face toward the slumbering hunter, and giving him an ironical glance,
disappeared with his shuddering prey into the depths of the forest.

An hour afterward, Daniel awoke. The sun had risen, and even in that
shady place there was light enough to distinguish the objects around. He
looked over the edge of the scaffolding, and beheld the rope severed,
and the cow gone. Sliding down, he marked the humid earth covered with
the impressions of the bear's claws. At this sight he thought he should
have gone mad.

He waited until nightfall before he re-entered the village, and then,
creeping to his house without detection, he took a large knife, which he
placed in his belt, unfastened a dog that was chained in the yard, and
retook the road to the forest. The season was the beginning of November,
the snow had fallen in abundance, and it froze hard. Tissjoebergist
skated along on the sparkling ice, preceded by his dog, who, from time
to time halted, and smelt around him. But these investigations led to no
result, and the animal continued his way. Cold tears fell down Daniel's
cheeks, and were quickly congealed into icicles. For one moment he
paused, took his musket from the shoulder-belt in which he carried it,
pressed the cold barrel against his forehead, and asked himself, whether
it would not be better to put an end to his disappointment and his shame
together. As he cast a last despairing glance behind him, he perceived
that his dog had stopped, and was gazing immovably at a small opening in
some underwood, which was discovered to him by the lurid rays of the
aurora borealis. A feeble hope dawned in Daniel's sick heart; he
advanced, and plainly saw a slight hollow in the snow, undisturbed every
where else.

The young man's heart beat violently. There, doubtless, lay his enemy,
gorged with the abundant meal furnished by the cow. The hunter strode
on. The hole was not more than two feet in diameter, and the bear might
be distinctly perceived squatting in the niche at about five feet of
depth. The noise of the hunter's approach disturbed the animal. He
stirred, opened his heavy eyelids, and saw Daniel. He was about to rush
out, but a blow with the butt-end of the musket drove him back to his
hole with a large wound in his eye, that streamed with blood. Another
bound, and the bear was free. He stood erect, face to face with the
young hunter, looked upon him for a few seconds with the horrible smile
peculiar to these animals when in anger, and precipitated himself upon
his enemy. The dog did not allow his master to be attacked with
impunity, and a _mélée_ ensued that covered the snow with blood. Daniel,
seized by the shoulders, and retained in the monster's clutches, had the
presence of mind to throw away his musket and have recourse to his
knife, with which he made three large wounds in his adversary's side.
Then he seized him by the ears, and, ably seconded by his dog, forced
him to let go his hold. The bear, enfeebled by loss of blood, yielded
the victory, and flew with so much swiftness, that the dog, who
immediately put himself upon his track, was obliged to renounce the hope
of overtaking him. The faithful animal returned to his master, whom he
found insensible, his face torn to ribbons, his breast lacerated, and
his shoulders covered with large wounds. Some peasants happening to pass
that way raised the unhappy young man in their arms, and brought him to
St. John, where he long lay between life and death. He would rather have
been left to die, for life was become insupportable. Bears could not be
mentioned before him without his detecting lurking smiles in the faces
of his associates. To crown all, the approaching marriage of Raghilda
and Aulic-Finn was no longer a mystery. Daniel had partly lost the use
of his right arm, and a bite inflicted by the bear upon his nose had
ruined the noble and regular features of the poor youth, and given him a
countenance nearly as frightful as that of his adversary. He fell into a
profound melancholy, sold his two farms and all his land, quitted
Wermeland, sojourned about two months at Carlstad, and finally
disappeared altogether from Scandinavia.

During this period, some hunters who were exploring the banks of the
Klar, found, near the parish of Tima, a one-eyed bear, pierced with
three strokes of a poniard, and in a dying condition. They took him
without resistance, dressed his wounds, and carried him to a neighboring
village. There they hired a light cart, placed him upon it, and took him
along with them.

The recovery of their patient was more rapid than they had dared to
hope. When the convalescent animal began to gain his strength, he was
inclosed in a large cage, conveniently furnished with iron bars. As he
was of gigantic stature, and possessed a magnificent coat, he proved a
very lucrative acquisition as a show to the gaping multitude, and soon
made the fortune of the _cornac_ who bought him.

It was thus that the wild inhabitant of the forests of Wermeland became
a cosmopolitan, and traversed Norway, Sweden, Germany and Prussia. In
course of time he arrived in France, where his enormous proportions,
savage mien, and thick fur, procured him the honor of being bought, for
360 francs, by M. Frederic Cuvier. He was brought in his cage to the
habitation prepared for him in the Jardin des Plantes. There he was
released from his narrow prison, and respired once more the fresh
breeze.

This first sensation exhausted, he slowly explored his new abode. It was
a species of cellar open to the air, twenty-five feet by thirty, and
twenty feet in depth. Its walls were of smooth stone, that left no hold
for the claws of its Scandinavian tenant. At one end was a kind of den,
furnished with iron bars, that vividly recalled his first cage, and at
the other a supply of water that fell into a trough of blue stone. In
the middle stood a tree despoiled of its leaves and bark, upon which the
little boys that had crowded round were continually throwing morsels of
bread and apple-cores tied to long strings, crying, at the same time,
"Martin! Martin!"

The bear disdainfully eyed the bread and the apple-cores, uttered a
furious bellow, and embracing the trunk of the tree endeavored to
overthrow it; but it stood the shock well, and did not even stagger. The
cries were repeated, accompanied by insolent roars of laughter.

For the first few days the new-comer remained disdainfully squatted in
his den. They might throw him cakes as they pleased, he did not even
look at them. If some blackguard occasionally resorted to stones, it
merely excited a jerking movement of the animal's paws, and a display of
his white teeth. But, at the end of a week, he began, not without some
false shame, to glance out of the corner of his eye at the tempting
morsels of cake or tartlets that lay around him.

At length he furtively laid his paw upon one of the nice-looking bits,
drew it toward him, slily dispatched it, and acknowledged that the
Parisian pastry-cooks understood their business. The next day the stoic
became an epicure, and collected the morsels that were thrown to him. A
little time afterward, he remarked a dog sitting upon his hind legs, and
agitating his fore-paws, to the great delight of the children, who
lavished cakes upon the clever beast. A venal thought entered the mind
of the bear. He imitated the cur, and begged.

The degraded savage now hesitated at nothing. He climbed the tree as the
last bear had done, danced, saluted, imitated death, and performed, for
the least bribe of bread or fruit, the most ridiculous grimaces. The
fame of his gentleness spread through all Paris. Nothing was talked of
but Martin, his intelligence and docility. His reputation circulated
through the departments, and foreign journals quoted anecdotes of his
sagacity.

For about ten years Martin feasted in peace, and enjoyed all the
advantages of his servile submission. One beautiful summer afternoon, he
was lying in the shade, nonchalantly digesting his food, when he
happened to glance at the crowd that surrounded the pit. Suddenly he
rose with a terrible bound, and rushed toward a shabbily-dressed man,
whose visage was horribly cicatrized, and who leaned upon a knotty stick
as he gazed down at the bear. The animal growled, writhed, opened his
muzzle, and exhibited the most frightful evidences of anger. The man was
not more placable; he brandished his stick with curses and menaces.

"I recognize thee," he cried in a strange tongue; "thou art the cause of
my shame, my wounds, and my misery. It is thou that hast robbed me of
happiness, and made me a wretched crippled-mendicant. It shall not be
said that I died without revenge."

The bear, by his cries of rage, testified equally that he had recognized
his enemy, and held himself in a posture of defiance.

The stranger drew from his pocket a large sharp-pointed knife,
calculated, with a frightful _sang froid_, the leap that he would have
to take, and jumped into the pit, brandishing his weapon. Unfortunately,
on reaching the ground, he sprained his foot against one of the stones
that paved the pit, and which had got displaced. The crowd beheld him
fall, and then saw the bear rush upon him, avoid the knife, and, keeping
his victim down, play with his head as if it had been a ball, knocking
it backward and forward between his paws. Lastly, the incensed animal
placed himself upon the breast of the stranger, and stifled him, with
every sign of hideous and ferocious triumph. All this passed in less
time than we have taken to describe it. The keepers ran to the rescue,
and obliged the bear to retire into his iron-grated den. The animal
peaceably obeyed, with the visible satisfaction of a satiated vengeance.
When they came to raise the man, they found that he was dead.

With the Parisians, every stranger is an Englishman. The report soon
spread, confirmed by the journals, that Martin's victim was what they
then called an _insulaire_. Few persons knew that Martin had killed his
ancient adversary, the unfortunate Daniel Tissjoebergist.

The following day the bear mounted the tree, excelled himself, picked up
the morsels of _galette_ that were thrown down by his admirers, basked
in the sun's rays, and regarded with his one small ferocious eye the
spot where, the evening before, he had accomplished his long meditated
revenge.



THE SICILIAN VESPERS.


Half a mile from the southern wall of the city, on the brink of the
ravine of Oreto, stands a church dedicated to the Holy Ghost, concerning
which the Latin fathers have not failed to record, that on the day on
which the first stone of it was laid, in the twelfth century, the sun
was darkened by an eclipse. On one side of it are the precipice and the
river, on the other the plain extending to the city, which in the
present day is in great part encumbered with walls and gardens; while a
square inclosure of moderate size, shaded by dusky cypresses,
honey-combed with tombs, and adorned with urns and sepulchral monuments,
surrounds the church.

This is now a public cemetery, laid out toward the end of the eighteenth
century, and fearfully filled in three weeks by the dire pestilence
which devastated Sicily in 1837. On the Tuesday, at the hour of vespers,
religion and custom crowded this then cheerful plain, carpeted with the
flowers of spring, with citizens wending their way toward the church.
Divided into numerous groups, they walked, sat in clusters, spread the
tables, or danced upon the grass; and, whether it were a defect or a
merit of the Sicilian character, threw off for the moment, the
recollection of their sufferings, when the followers of the justiciary
suddenly appeared among them, and every bosom was thrilled with a
shudder of disgust. The strangers came, with their usual insolent
demeanor, as they said, to maintain tranquillity; and for this purpose
they mingled in the groups, joined in the dances, and familiarly
accosted the women, pressing the hand of one, taking unwarranted
liberties with others; addressing indecent words and gestures to those
more distant, until some temperately admonished them to depart, in
God's-name, without insulting the women, and others murmured angrily;
but the hot-blooded youths raised their voices so fiercely that the
soldiers said one to another, "These insolent paterini must be armed
that they dare thus to answer," and replied to them with the most
offensive insults, insisting, with great insolence, on searching them
for arms, and even here and there striking them with sticks or thongs.
Every heart already throbbed fiercely on either side, when a young woman
of singular beauty and of modest and dignified deportment, appeared with
her husband and relations, bending their steps toward the church.
Drouet, a Frenchman, impelled either by insolence or license, approached
her as if to examine her for concealed weapons; seized her and searched
her bosom. She fell fainting into her husband's arms, who, in a voice
almost choked with rage, exclaimed, "Death, death to the French!" At
that moment a youth burst from the crowd which had gathered round them,
sprang upon Drouet, disarmed and slew him; and probably at the same
moment paid the penalty of his own life, leaving his name unknown, and
the mystery forever unsolved, whether it were love for the injured
woman, the impulse of a generous heart, or the more exalted flame of
patriotism, that prompted him thus to give the signal of deliverance.
Noble examples have a power far beyond that of argument or eloquence to
rouse the people--and the abject slaves awoke at length from their long
bondage. "Death, death to the French!" they cried; and the cry, say the
historians of the time, re-echoed like the voice of God through the
whole country, and found an answer in every heart. Above the corpse of
Drouet were heaped those of victims slain on either side; the crowd
expanded itself, closed in, and swayed hither and thither in wild
confusion; the Sicilians, with sticks, stones, and knives, rushed with
desperate ferocity upon their fully-armed opponents; they sought for
them and hunted them down; fearful tragedies were enacted amid the
preparations for festivity, and the overthrown tables were drenched in
blood. The people displayed their strength, and conquered. The struggle
was brief, and great the slaughter of the Sicilians; but of the French
there were two hundred--and two hundred fell.

Breathless, covered with blood, brandishing the plundered weapons, and
proclaiming the insult and its vengeance, the insurgents rushed toward
the tranquil city. "Death to the French!" they shouted, and as many as
they found were put to the sword. The example, the words, the contagion
of passion, in an instant aroused the whole people. In the heat of the
tumult, Roger Mastrangelo, a nobleman, was chosen, or constituted
himself their leader. The multitude continued to increase; dividing into
troops they scoured the streets, burst open doors, searched every nook,
every hiding-place, and shouting "Death to the French!" smote them and
slew them, while those too distant to strike added to the tumult by
their applause. On the outbreak of this sudden uproar the justiciary had
taken refuge in his strong palace; the next moment it was surrounded by
an enraged multitude, crying aloud for his death; they demolished the
defenses, and rushed furiously in, but the justiciary escaped them;
favored by the confusion and the closing darkness, he succeeded, though
wounded in the face, in mounting his horse unobserved, with only two
attendants, and fled with all speed. Meanwhile the slaughter continued
with increased ferocity, even the darkness of night failed to arrest it,
and it was resumed on the morrow more furiously than ever; nor did it
cease at length because the thirst for vengeance was slaked, but because
victims were wanting to appease it. Two thousand French perished in this
first outbreak. Even Christian burial was denied them, but pits were
afterward dug to receive their despised remains; and tradition still
points out a column surmounted by an iron cross, raised by compassionate
piety on one of those spots, probably long after the perpetration of the
deed of vengeance. Tradition, moreover, relates that the sound of a
word, like the Shibboleth of the Hebrews, was the cruel test by which
the French were distinguished in the massacre; and that, if there were
found a suspicious or unknown person, he was compelled, with a sword to
his throat, to pronounce the word _ciciri_, and the slightest foreign
accent was the signal of his death. Forgetful of their own character,
and as if stricken by fate, the gallant warriors of France neither fled,
nor united, nor defended themselves; they unsheathed their swords, and
presented them to their assailants, imploring, as if in emulation of
each other, to be the first to die; of one common soldier only is it
recorded, that having concealed himself behind a wainscot, and being
dislodged at the sword's point, he resolved not to die unavenged, and
springing with a wild cry upon the ranks of his enemies, slew three of
them before he himself perished. The insurgents broke into the convents
of the Minorites and Preaching Friars, and slaughtered all the monks
whom they recognized as French. Even the altars afforded no protection;
tears and prayers were alike unheeded; neither old men, women, nor
infants, were spared; the ruthless avengers of the ruthless massacre of
Agosta swore to root out the seed of the French oppressors throughout
the whole of Sicily; and this vow they cruelly fulfilled, slaughtering
infants at their mothers' breast, and after them the mothers themselves,
nor sparing even pregnant women, but, with a horrible refinement of
cruelty, ripping up the bodies of Sicilian women who were with child by
French husbands, and dashing against the stones the fruit of the mingled
blood of the oppressors and the oppressed. This general massacre of all
who spoke the same language, and these heinous acts of cruelty, have
caused the Sicilian Vespers to be classed among the most infamous of
national crimes. But these fill a vast volume, and in it all nations
have inscribed horrors of a similar, and sometimes of a blacker dye;
nations often more civilized, and in times less rude, and not only in
the assertion of their liberty or against foreign tyrants, but in the
delirium of civil or religious partisanship, against fellow-citizens,
against brothers, against innocent and helpless beings, whom they
destroyed by thousands, sweeping away whole populations. Therefore I do
not blush for my country at the remembrance of the vespers, but bewail
the dire necessity which drove Sicily to such extremities.



A SHORT CHAPTER ON FROGS.


In one of Steele's papers in the "Guardian" is the following passage: "I
observe the sole reason alleged for the destruction of frogs, is because
they are like toads. Yet amidst all the misfortunes of these unfriended
creatures, it is some happiness that we have not yet taken a fancy to
eat them; for should our countrymen refine upon the French never so
little, it is not to be conceived to what unheard-of torments owls,
cats, and frogs may be yet reserved."

That frogs constituted the chief diet of Frenchmen was, a few years ago,
as popular and beloved an article of belief among British lads, as that
one Englishman was equal to three of the said frog-consumers. More
extended intercourse has, however, shown us that frogs do not constitute
the entire food of our Gallic neighbors, and taught them that _we_ do
not all wear top-boots, and subsist solely on beef-steaks. As, however,
frogs _do_ form a dainty dish, I will give what the Yankees term a "few
notions consarning them and their fixings."

Happening to be in Germany in 1846, I was desirous of getting some
insight into the manners and customs of these inhabitants of the ponds,
and, after much observation, arrived at the same conclusion concerning
them as the master of one of Her Majesty's ships did respecting the
subjects of the Imaun of Muscat. Being compelled to record categorically
a reply to the inquiry, "What are the manners and customs of the
inhabitants?" he wrote, "Manners they have none, and their customs, are
very beastly." So of these frogs, say I.

My knowledge of their vicinity was based upon auricular confession.
Night after night the most infernal din of croaking bore testimony to
the fact that they were unburdening their consciences, and I determined
to try if I could not unburden their bodies of their batrachian souls
altogether. However, before I detail my proceedings, I have a word to
say with reference to their croaking.

Horace bears expressive testimony to the disgust _he_ felt at it, when,
after a heavy supper to help him on his way to Brundusium, he exclaimed

    ----"Mali culices, ranæque palustres Avertunt somnos."

So loud and continuous is their song, especially in the breeding season,
that in the former good old times of France, when nobles _were_ nobles,
and lived in their magnificent chateaus scattered throughout the
country, the peasants were employed during the whole night in beating
the ponds within ear-shot of the chateaus, with boughs of trees, to
prevent the slumbers of the lords and ladies being broken by their
paludine neighbors. This croaking is produced by the air being driven
from the lungs into the puffed-out cavity of the mouth, or into certain
guttural sacculi, which are developed very largely in the males. They
can produce this noise under water as well as on land.

In the male frog there are fissures at the corners of the mouth for
admitting the external protrusion of the vocal sacculi. These sacculi
they invariably protrude in their struggles to escape when held by the
hind legs. Under these circumstances they are also capable of uttering a
peculiar shrill cry of distress, differing completely from their
ordinary croak.

Having obtained a land net, I cautiously approached the pond, which I
knew must abound with them, from the concerts nightly held there, and
without allowing the shadow to fall on the water, or making the
slightest noise; yet the moment I showed myself, every individual who
happened to be above water jumped off his perch, and was out of sight in
an instant. I tried every means to catch them, but in vain. At last I
borrowed from some boys a long tube of wood, with a small hole smoothly
and equally bored through the centre, which they used to shoot small
birds about the hedges. Armed with some arrows made of sharp tin nails,
tipped with cotton wool, I ensconced myself in a bush, and waited
quietly for my prey. In a few moments, the frogs, one by one, began to
poke their noses out of the water. I selected the finest, and by dint of
a good shot, I succeeded in fixing an arrow in his head. In the course
of the afternoon I bagged several of the patriarchs of the pond, some of
them as large as the largest English toad. Upon being struck with the
arrow, they nearly all protruded their sacculi from each side of the
mouth, in the manner above narrated.

These frogs are not often used for the table in Germany, but in France
they are considered a luxury, as any _bon vivant_ ordering a dish of
them at the "Trois Frères" at Paris may, by the long price, speedily
ascertain. Not wishing to try such an expensive experiment in
gastronomy, I went to the large market in the Faubourg St. Germain, and
inquired for frogs. I was referred to a stately-looking dame at a
fish-stall, who produced a box nearly full of them, huddling and
crawling about, and occasionally croaking as though aware of the fate to
which they were destined. The price fixed was two a penny, and having
ordered a dish to be prepared, the Dame de la Halle dived her hand in
among them, and having secured her victim by the hind legs, she severed
him in twain with a sharp knife, the legs, minus skin, still struggling,
were placed on a dish; and the head, with the fore-legs affixed,
retained life and motion, and performed such motions that the operation
became painful to look at. These legs were afterward cooked at the
restaurateur's, being served up fried in bread crumbs, as larks are in
England: and most excellent eating they were, tasting more like the
delicate flesh of the rabbit than any thing else I can think of.

I afterward tried a dish of the common English frog, but their flesh is
not so white nor so tender as that of their French brothers.

The old fish-wife of whom I bought these frogs, informed me that she had
a man regularly in her employ to catch them. He went out every evening
at dusk to the ponds, in the neighborhood of Paris, with a lantern and a
long stick, to the end of which was attached a piece of red cloth. The
frogs were attracted by the light to the place where the fisherman
stood. He then lightly dropped his cloth on the surface of the water;
the frogs imagining that some dainty morsel was placed before them,
eagerly snapped at it, and their teeth becoming entangled, they became
an easy prey, destined for to-morrow's market, and the tender mercies of
the fish-woman.

I subsequently brought over several dozen of these frogs alive to
England, some of them are still, I believe, living in the Ward's
botanical cases of those to whom I presented them, the rest were turned
out in a pond, where I fear they have been devoured by the gourmand
English ducks, the rightful occupants of the pond.

The edible frog (_rana esculenta_) is brought from the country, in
quantities of from thirty to forty thousand at a time, to Vienna, and
sold to great dealers, who have conservatories for them, which are large
holes four or five feet deep, dug in the ground, the mouth covered with
a board, and in severe weather with straw. In these conservatories, even
during a hard frost, the frogs never become quite torpid, they get
together in heaps one upon another instinctively, and thereby prevent
the evaporation of their humidity, for no water is ever put to them.

In Vienna, in 1793, there were only three dealers, who supplied the
market with frogs ready skinned and prepared for the cook.

There is another species of frog common on the Continent, which is
turned to a useful account as a barometer. It is the _rana arborea_, of
which many specimens are to be seen in the Zoological Gardens. It has
the property, like the chameleon, of adapting its color to the substance
on which it may be placed: it especially inhabits trees, and when among
the foliage, is of a brilliant green; when on the ground, or on the
branches of trees, the color is brown. They are thus used as
prognosticators. Two or three are placed in a tall glass jar, with three
or four inches of water at the bottom, and a small ladder reaching to
the top of the jar. On the approach of dry weather the frogs mount the
ladder to the very top, but when rain may be expected, they not only
make a peculiar singing noise, but descend into the water. Small frogs
are a trilling bait for pike and perch, and this reminds me of an
incident which I saw. A fine perch was found floating dead, on the top
of the water in a pond, in one of the gardens at Oxford; upon
examination, it was found to be very thin, and apparently starved to
death, some devotee to the gentle art had been the unconscious cause of
the sad fate of this poor fish, for a hook was found firmly fixed in his
upper jaw, the shock of which projected so far beyond his mouth, that
his efforts to obtain food must have been useless, the hook always
projecting forward, kept him at a tantalizing distance from the desired
morsel. The fish has been dried, and is now preserved with the hook
fixed in his mouth.

But fishes, which, like perch, are provided with sharp prickles,
occasionally cause the death of those creatures that feed upon them. A
king-fisher was brought to me in the summer of 1848, by a boy who had
found it dead on the banks of the river Cherwell, near Oxford, no shot,
or other marks of injury were found on it, the feathers being perfectly
smooth, dry, and unstained; what then was the cause of death?--upon a
careful examination, I found the end of a small fish's tail protruding
from one of the corners of its mouth, I endeavored to drag it out, but
in vain, it was firmly fixed. By dissection, I found, that the fish in
question was one of the tribe of small fish which abound in shallow
water, and are called in Oxford, the bull's head, or miller's thumb. It
has a strong prickle, nearly a quarter of an inch long, with very sharp
and firm end, projecting on each side of its gills. The fish had, in its
struggles, protruded its prickles, which, sticking in his enemy's
oesophagus, had effectually stopped up the entrance, pressing on the
wind-pipe, and thus caused its death.



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.[6]

   [Footnote 6: Continued from the April Number.]


CHAPTER X.

The next morning Harley appeared at breakfast. He was in gay spirits,
and conversed more freely with Violante than he had yet done. He seemed
to amuse himself by attacking all she said, and provoking her to
argument. Violante was naturally a very earnest person; whether grave or
gay, she spoke with her heart on her lips, and her soul in her eyes. She
did not yet comprehend the light vein of Harley's irony; so she grew
piqued and chafed; and she was so lovely in anger; it so brightened her
beauty and animated her words, that no wonder Harley thus maliciously
teased her. But what, perhaps, she liked still less than the
teasing--though she could not tell why--was the kind of familiarity that
Harley assumed with her--a familiarity as if he had known her all her
life--that of a good-humored elder brother, or bachelor uncle. To Helen,
on the contrary, when he did not address her apart, his manner was more
respectful. He did not call _her_ by her Christian name, as he did
Violante, but "Miss Digby," and softened his tone and inclined his head
when he spoke to her. Nor did he presume to jest at the very few and
brief sentences he drew from Helen; but rather listened to them with
deference, and invariably honored them with approval. After breakfast he
asked Violante to play or sing; and when she frankly owned how little
she had cultivated those accomplishments, he persuaded Helen to sit down
to the piano, and stood by her side while she did so, turning over the
leaves of her music-book with the ready devotion of an admiring amateur.
Helen always played well, but less well than usual that day, for her
generous nature felt abashed. It was as if she was showing off to
mortify Violante. But Violante, on the other hand, was so passionately
fond of music that she had no feeling left for the sense of her own
inferiority. Yet she sighed when Helen rose, and Harley thanked her for
the delight she had given him.

The day was fine. Lady Lansmere proposed to walk in the garden. While
the ladies went up-stairs for their shawls and bonnets, Harley lighted
his cigar, and stept from the window upon the lawn. Lady Lansmere joined
him before the girls came out.

"Harley," said she, taking his arm, "what a charming companion you have
introduced to us! I never met with any that both pleased and delighted
me like this dear Violante. Most girls who possess some power of
conversation, and who have dared to think for themselves, are so
pedantic, or so masculine; but _she_ is always so simple, and always
still the girl. Ah, Harley!"

"Why that sigh, my dear mother?"

"I was thinking how exactly she would have suited you--how proud I
should have been of such a daughter-in-law--and how happy you would have
been with such a wife."

Harley started. "Tut," said he, peevishly, "she is a mere child; you
forget my years."

"Why," said Lady Lansmere, surprised, "Helen is quite as young as
Violante."

"In dates--yes. But Helen's character is so staid; what it is now it
will be ever; and Helen, from gratitude, respect, or pity, condescends
to accept the ruins of my heart; while this bright Italian has the soul
of a Juliet, and would expect in a husband all the passion of a Romeo.
Nay, mother, hush. Do you forget that I am engaged--and of my own free
will and choice? Poor dear Helen! Apropos, have you spoken to my father,
as you undertook to do?"

"Not yet. I must seize the right moment. You know that my lord requires
management."

"My dear mother, that female notion of managing us, men, costs you,
ladies, a great waste of time, and occasions us a great deal of sorrow.
Men are easily managed by plain truth. _We_ are brought up to respect
it, strange as it may seem to you!"

Lady Lansmere smiled with the air of superior wisdom, and the experience
of an accomplished wife. "Leave it to me, Harley; and rely on my lord's
consent."

Harley knew that Lady Lansmere always succeeded in obtaining her way
with his father; and he felt that the Earl might naturally be
disappointed in such an alliance, and, without due propitiation, evince
that disappointment in his manner to Helen. Harley was bound to save her
from all chance of such humiliation. He did not wish her to think that
she was not welcomed into his family; therefore he said, "I resign
myself to your promise and your diplomacy. Meanwhile, as you love me, be
kind to my betrothed."

"Am I not so?"

"Hem. Are you as kind as if she were the great heiress you believe
Violante to be?"

"Is it," answered Lady Lansmere, evading the question--"is it because
one is an heiress and the other is not that you make so marked a
difference in your manner to the two; treating Violante as a spoiled
child, and Miss Digby as--"

"The destined wife of Lord L'Estrange, and the daughter-in-law of Lady
Lansmere--yes."

The Countess suppressed an impatient exclamation that rose to her lips,
for Harley's brow wore that serious aspect which it rarely assumed save
when he was in those moods in which men must be soothed, not resisted.
And after a pause he went on--"I am going to leave you to-day. I have
engaged apartments at the Clarendon. I intend to gratify your wish, so
often expressed, that I should enjoy what are called the pleasures of my
rank, and the privileges of single-blessedness--celebrate my adieu to
celibacy, and blaze once more, with the splendor of a setting sun, upon
Hyde Park and May Fair."

"You are a positive enigma. Leave our house, just when you are betrothed
to its inmate! Is that the natural conduct of a lover?"

"How can your woman eyes be so dull, and your woman heart so obtuse?"
answered Harley, half-laughing, half-scolding. "Can you not guess that I
wish that Helen and myself should both lose the association of mere ward
and guardian; that the very familiarity of our intercourse under the
same roof almost forbids us to be lovers; that we lose the joy to meet,
and the pang to part. Don't you remember the story of the Frenchman, who
for twenty years loved a lady, and never missed passing his evenings at
her house. She became a widow. 'I wish you joy,' cried his friend; 'you
may now marry the woman you have so long adored.' 'Alas,' said the poor
Frenchman, profoundly dejected; 'and if so, where shall I spend my
evenings?'"

Here Violante and Helen were seen in the garden, walking affectionately,
arm in arm.

"I don't perceive the point of your witty, heartless anecdote," said
Lady Lansmere, obstinately. "Settle that, however, with Miss Digby. But,
to leave the very day after your friend's daughter comes as a
guest!--what will _she_ think of it?"

Lord L'Estrange looked steadfastly at his mother. "Does it matter much
what she thinks of me?--of a man engaged to another; and old enough to
be--"

"I wish to Heaven you would not talk of your age, Harley; it is a
reflection upon mine; and I never saw you look so well nor so handsome."
With that she drew him on toward the young ladies; and, taking Helen's
arm, asked her, aside, "if she knew that Lord L'Estrange had engaged
rooms at the Clarendon; and if she understood why?" As, while she said
this she moved on, Harley was left by Violante's side.

"You will be very dull here, I fear, my poor child," said he.

"Dull! But why _will_ you call me child? Am I so very--very childlike?"

"Certainly, you are to me--a mere infant. Have I not seen you one; have
I not held you in my arms?"

VIOLANTE.--"But that was a long time ago!"

HARLEY.--"True. But if years have not stood still for you, they have not
been stationary for me. There is the same difference between us now that
there was then. And, therefore, permit me still to call you child, and
as child to treat you!"

VIOLANTE.--"I will do no such thing. Do you know that I always thought I
was good-tempered till this morning."

HARLEY.--"And what undeceived you? Did you break your doll?"

VIOLANTE (with an indignant flash from her dark
eyes).--"There!--again!--you delight in provoking me!"

HARLEY.--"It _was_ the doll, then. Don't cry; I will get you another."

Violante plucked her arm from him, and walked away toward the Countess
in speechless scorn. Harley's brow contracted, in thought and in gloom.
He stood still for a moment or so, and then joined the ladies.

"I am trespassing sadly on your morning; but I wait for a visitor whom I
sent to before you were up. He is to be here at twelve. With your
permission, I will dine with you to-morrow, and you will invite him to
meet me."

"Certainly. And who is your friend? I guess--the young author?"

"Leonard Fairfield," cried Violante, who had conquered, or felt ashamed
of her short-lived anger.

"Fairfield!" repeated Lady Lansmere. "I thought, Harley, you said the
name was Oran."

"He has assumed the latter name. He is the son of Mark Fairfield, who
married an Avenel. Did you recognize no family likeness?--none in those
eyes--mother?" said Harley, sinking his voice into a whisper.

"No," answered the Countess, falteringly.

Harley, observing that Violante was now speaking to Helen about Leonard,
and that neither was listening to him, resumed in the same low tone.
"And his mother--Nora's sister--shrank from seeing me! That is the
reason why I wished you not to call. She has not told the young man
_why_ she shrank from seeing me; nor have I explained it to him as yet.
Perhaps I never shall."

"Indeed, dearest Harley," said the Countess, with great gentleness, "I
wish you too much to forget the folly--well, I will not say that
word--the sorrows of your boyhood, not to hope that you will rather
strive against such painful memories than renew them by unnecessary
confidence to any one: least of all to the relation of--"

"Enough! don't name her; the very name pains me. As to the confidence,
there are but two persons in the world to whom I ever bare the old
wounds--yourself and Egerton. Let this pass. Ha!--a ring at the
bell--that is he!"


CHAPTER XI.

Leonard entered on the scene, and joined the party in the garden. The
Countess, perhaps to please her son, was more than civil--she was
markedly kind to him. She noticed him more attentively than she had
hitherto done; and, with all her prejudices of birth, was struck to find
the son of Mark Fairfield, the carpenter, so thoroughly the gentleman.
He might not have the exact tone and phrase by which Convention
stereotypes those born and schooled in a certain world; but the
aristocrats of Nature can dispense with such trite minutiæ. And Leonard
had lived, of late, at least, in the best society that exists, for the
polish of language and the refinement of manners--the society in which
the most graceful ideas are clothed in the most graceful forms--the
society which really, though indirectly, gives the law to courts--the
society of the most classic authors, in the various ages in which
literature has flowered forth from civilization. And if there was
something in the exquisite sweetness of Leonard's voice, look, and
manner, which the Countess acknowledged to attain that perfection in
high breeding, which, under the name of "suavity," steals its way into
the heart, so her interest in him was aroused by a certain subdued
melancholy which is rarely without distinction, and never without charm.
He and Helen exchanged but few words. There was but one occasion in
which they could have spoken apart, and Helen herself contrived to elude
it. His face brightened at Lady Lansmere's cordial invitation, and he
glanced at Helen as he accepted it; but her eyes did not meet his own.

"And now," said Harley, whistling to Nero, whom his ward was silently
caressing, "I must take Leonard away. Adieu! all of you, till to-morrow
at dinner. Miss Violante, is the doll to have blue or black eyes?"

Violante turned her own black eyes in mute appeal to Lady Lansmere, and
nestled to that lady's side as if in refuge from unworthy insult.


CHAPTER XII.

"Let the carriage go to the Clarendon," said Harley to his servant; "I
and Mr. Oran will walk to town. Leonard, I think you would rejoice at an
occasion to serve your old friends, Dr. Riccabocca and his daughter?"

"Serve them! O yes." And there instantly occurred to Leonard the
recollection of Violante's words when on leaving his quiet village he
had sighed to part from all those he loved; and the little dark-eyed
girl had said, proudly, yet consolingly, "But to SERVE those you love!"
He turned to L'Estrange with beaming, inquisitive eyes.

"I said to our friend," resumed Harley, "that I would vouch for your
honor as my own. I am about to prove my words, and to confide the
secrets which your penetration has indeed divined;--our friend is not
what he seems." Harley then briefly related to Leonard the particulars
of the exile's history, the rank he had held in his native land, the
manner in which, partly through the misrepresentations of a kinsman he
had trusted, partly through the influence of a wife he had loved, he had
been driven into schemes which he believed bounded to the emancipation
of Italy from a foreign yoke by the united exertions of her best and
bravest sons.

"A noble ambition," interrupted Leonard, manfully. "And pardon me, my
lord, I should not have thought that you would speak of it in a tone
that implies blame."

"The ambition in itself was noble," answered Harley. "But the cause to
which it was devoted became defiled in its dark channel through Secret
Societies. It is the misfortune of all miscellaneous political
combinations, that with the purest motives of their more generous
members are ever mixed the most sordid interests, and the fiercest
passions of mean confederates. When these combinations act openly, and
in daylight, under the eye of Public Opinion, the healthier elements
usually prevail; where they are shrouded in mystery--where they are
subjected to no censor in the discussion of the impartial and
dispassionate--where chiefs working in the dark exact blind obedience,
and every man who is at war with law is at once admitted as a friend of
freedom--the history of the world tells us that patriotism soon passes
away. Where all is in public, public virtue, by the natural sympathies
of the common mind, and by the wholesome control of shame, is likely to
obtain ascendency; where all is in private, and shame is but for him who
refuses the abnegation of his conscience, each man seeks the indulgence
of his private vice. And hence, in Secret Societies (from which may yet
proceed great danger to all Europe), we find but foul and hateful
Eleusinia, affording pretexts to the ambition of the great, to the
license of the penniless, to the passions of the revengeful, to the
anarchy of the ignorant. In a word, the societies of these Italian
Carbonari did but engender schemes in which the abler chiefs disguised
new forms of despotism, and in which the revolutionary many looked
forward to the overthrow of all the institutions that stand between Law
and Chaos. Naturally, therefore" (added L'Estrange, dryly), "when their
schemes were detected, and the conspiracy foiled, it was for the silly
honest men entrapped into the league to suffer--the leaders turned
king's evidence, and the common mercenaries became--banditti." Harley
then proceeded to state that it was just when the _soi-disant_
Riccabocca had discovered the true nature and ulterior views of the
conspirators he had joined, and actually withdrawn from their councils,
that he was denounced by the kinsman who had duped him into the
enterprise, and who now profited by his treason. Harley next spoke of
the packet dispatched by Riccabocca's dying wife, as it was supposed to
Mrs. Bertram; and of the hopes he founded on the contents of that
packet, if discovered. He then referred to the design which had brought
Peschiera to England--a design which that personage had avowed with such
effrontery to his companions at Vienna, that he had publicly laid wagers
on his success.

"But these men can know nothing of England--of the safety of English
laws," said Leonard, naturally. "We take it for granted that
Riccabocca, if I am still so to call him, refuses his consent to the
marriage between his daughter and his foe. Where, then, the danger? This
Count, even if Violante were not under your mother's roof, could not get
an opportunity to see her. He could not attack the house and carry her
off like a feudal baron in the middle ages."

"All this is very true," answered Harley. "Yet I have found through life
that we can not estimate danger by external circumstances, but by the
character of those from whom it is threatened. This Count is a man of
singular audacity, of no mean natural talents--talents practiced in
every art of duplicity and intrigue; one of those men whose boast it is
that they succeed in whatever they undertake; and he is, here, urged on
the one hand by all that can whet the avarice, and on the other by all
that can give invention to despair. Therefore, though I can not guess
what plan he may possibly adopt, I never doubt that some plan, formed
with cunning and pursued with daring, will be embraced the moment he
discovers Violante's retreat, unless, indeed, we can forestall all peril
by the restoration of her father, and the detection of the fraud and
falsehood to which Peschiera owes the fortune he appropriates. Thus,
while we must prosecute to the utmost our inquiries for the missing
documents, so it should be our care to possess ourselves, if possible,
of such knowledge of the Count's machinations as may enable us to defeat
them. Now, it was with satisfaction that I learned in Germany that
Peschiera's sister was in London. I know enough both of his disposition
and of the intimacy between himself and this lady, to make me think it
probable he will seek to make her his instrument, should he require one.
Peschiera (as you may suppose by his audacious wager) is not one of
those secret villains who would cut off their right hand if it could
betray the knowledge of what was done by the left--rather one of those
self-confident, vaunting knaves, of high animal spirits, and conscience
so obtuse that it clouds their intellect--who must have some one to whom
they can boast of their abilities and confide their projects. And
Peschiera has done all he can to render this poor woman so wholly
dependent on him, as to be his slave and his tool. But I have learned
certain traits in her character that show it to be impressionable to
good, and with tendencies to honor. Peschiera had taken advantage of the
admiration she excited some years ago, in a rich young Englishman, to
entice this admirer into gambling, and sought to make his sister both a
decoy and an instrument in his designs of plunder. She did not encourage
the addresses of our countryman, but she warned him of the snare laid
for him, and entreated him to leave the place lest her brother should
discover and punish her honesty. The Englishman told me this himself. In
fine, my hope of detaching this poor lady from Peschiera's interests,
and inducing her to forewarn us of his purpose, consists but in the
innocent, and, I hope, laudable artifice, of redeeming herself--of
appealing to, and calling into disused exercise, the better springs of
her nature."

Leonard listened with admiration and some surprise to the singularly
subtle and sagacious insight into character which Harley evinced in the
brief clear strokes by which he had thus depicted Peschiera and
Beatrice, and was struck by the boldness with which Harley rested a
whole system of action upon a few deductions drawn from his reasonings
on human motive and characteristic bias. Leonard had not expected to
find so much practical acuteness in a man who, however accomplished,
usually seemed indifferent, dreamy, and abstracted to the ordinary
things of life. But Harley L'Estrange was one of those whose powers lie
dormant till circumstance applies to them all they need for
activity--the stimulant of a motive.

Harley resumed: "After a conversation I had with the lady last night, it
occurred to me that in this part of our diplomacy you could render us
essential service. Madame di Negra--such is the sister's name--has
conceived an admiration for your genius, and a strong desire to know you
personally. I have promised to present you to her; and I shall do so
after a preliminary caution. The lady is very handsome, and very
fascinating. It is possible that your heart and your senses may not be
proof against her attractions."

"Oh, do not fear that!" exclaimed Leonard, with a tone of conviction so
earnest that Harley smiled.

"Forewarned is not always forearmed against the might of Beauty, my dear
Leonard; so I can not at once accept your assurance. But listen to me:
Watch yourself narrowly, and if you find that you are likely to be
captivated, promise, on your honor, to retreat at once from the field. I
have no right, for the sake of another, to expose you to danger; and
Madame di Negra, whatever may be her good qualities, is the last person
I should wish to see you in love with."

"In love with her! Impossible!"

"Impossible is a strong word," returned Harley; "still, I own fairly
(and this belief also warrants me in trusting you to her fascinations)
that I do think, as far as one man can judge of another, that she is not
the woman to attract you; and, if filled by one pure and generous object
in your intercourse with her, you will see her with purged eyes. Still I
claim your promise as one of honor."

"I give it," said Leonard, positively. "But how can I serve Riccabocca?
How aid in--"

"Thus," interrupted Harley: "The spell of your writings is, that,
unconsciously to ourselves they make us better and nobler. And your
writings are but the impressions struck off from your mind. Your
conversation, when you are roused, has the same effect. And as you grow
more familiar with Madame di Negra, I wish you to speak of your boyhood,
your youth. Describe the exile as you have seen him--so touching amidst
his foibles, so grand amidst the petty privations of his fallen
fortunes, so benevolent while poring over his hateful Machiavel, so
stingless in his wisdom of the serpent, so playfully astute in his
innocence of the dove--I leave the picture to your knowledge of humor
and pathos. Describe Violante brooding over her Italian poets, and
filled with dreams of her father-land; describe her with all the flashes
of her princely nature, shining forth through humble circumstance and
obscure position; awaken in your listener compassion, respect,
admiration for her kindred exiles--and I think our work is done. She
will recognize evidently those whom her brother seeks. She will question
you closely where you met with them--where they now are. Protect that
secret: say at once that it is not your own. Against your descriptions
and the feelings they excite, she will not be guarded as against mine.
And there are other reasons why your influence over this woman of mixed
nature may be more direct and effectual than my own."

"Nay, I can not conceive that."

"Believe it, without asking me to explain," answered Harley.

For he did not judge it necessary to say to Leonard, "I am high-born and
wealthy--you a peasant's son, and living by your exertions. This woman
is ambitious and distressed. She might have projects on me that would
counteract mine on her. You she would but listen to, and receive,
through the sentiments of good or of poetical that are in her--you she
would have no interest to subjugate, no motive to ensnare."

"And now," said Harley, turning the subject, "I have another object in
view. This foolish sage friend of ours, in his bewilderment and fears,
has sought to save Violante from one rogue by promising her hand to a
man who, unless my instincts deceive me, I suspect much disposed to be
another. Sacrifice such exuberance of life and spirit to that bloodless
heart, to that cold and earthward intellect! By Heavens, it shall not
be!"

"But whom can the exile possibly have seen of birth and fortunes to
render him a fitting spouse for his daughter? Whom, my lord, except
yourself?"

"Me!" exclaimed Harley, angrily, and changing color. "I worthy of such a
creature? I--with my habits! I--silken egotist that I am! And you, a
poet, to form such an estimate of one who might be the queen of a poet's
dream!"

"My lord, when we sate the other night round Riccabocca's hearth--when I
heard her speak, and observed you listen, I said to myself, from such
knowledge of human nature as comes, we know not how, to us poets--I
said, 'Harley L'Estrange has looked long and wistfully on the heavens,
and he now hears the murmur of the wings that can waft him toward them.'
And then I sighed, for I thought how the world rules us all in spite of
ourselves. And I said, 'What pity for both, that the exile's daughter is
not the worldly equal of the peer's son!' And you, too, sighed, as I
thus thought; and I fancied that, while you listened to the music of
the wing, you felt the iron of the chain. But the exile's daughter is
your equal in birth, and you are hers in heart and in soul."

"My poor Leonard, you rave," answered Harley, calmly. "And if Violante
is not to be some young prince's bride, she should be some young
poet's."

"Poet's! Oh, no!" said Leonard, with a gentle laugh. "Poets need repose
where _they_ love!"

Harley was struck by the answer, and mused over it in silence. "I
comprehend," thought he; "it is a new light that dawns on me. What is
needed by the man whose whole life is one strain after glory--whose soul
sinks, in fatigue, to the companionship of earth--is not the love of a
nature like his own. He is right--it is repose! While I, it is true! Boy
that he is, his intuitions are wiser than all my experience! It _is_
excitement--energy--elevation, that Love should bestow on me. But I have
chosen; and, at least, with Helen my life will be calm, and my hearth
sacred. Let the rest sleep in the same grave as my youth."

"But," said Leonard, wishing kindly to arouse his noble friend from a
reverie which he felt was mournful, though he did not divine its true
cause--"but you have not yet told me the name of the Signora's suitor.
May I know?"

"Probably one you never heard of. Randal Leslie--a placeman. You refused
a place; you were right."

"Randal Leslie? Heaven forbid!" cried Leonard, revealing his surprise at
the name.

"Amen! But what do you know of him?"

Leonard related the story of Burley's pamphlet.

Harley seemed delighted to hear his suspicions of Randal confirmed. "The
paltry pretender! and yet I fancied that he might be formidable! However
we must dismiss him for the present; we are approaching Madame di
Negra's house. Prepare yourself, and remember your promise!"


CHAPTER XIII.

Some days have passed by. Leonard and Beatrice di Negra have already
made friends. Harley is satisfied with his young friend's report. He
himself has been actively occupied. He has sought, but hitherto in vain,
all trace of Mrs. Bertram; he has put that investigation into the hands
of his lawyer, and his lawyer has not been more fortunate than himself.
Moreover, Harley has blazed forth again in the London world, and
promises again _de faire fureur_; but he has always found time to spend
some hours in the twenty-four at his father's house. He has continued
much the same tone with Violante, and she begins to accustom herself to
it, and reply saucily. His calm courtship to Helen flows on in silence.
Leonard, too, has been a frequent guest at the Lansmeres': all welcome
and like him there. Peschiera has not evinced any sign of the deadly
machinations ascribed to him. He goes less into the drawing-room world:
he meets Lord L'Estrange there; and brilliant and handsome though
Peschiera be, Lord L'Estrange, like Rob Roy Mac-Gregor, is "on his
native heath," and has the decided advantage over the foreigner.
Peschiera, however, shines in the clubs, and plays high. Still scarcely
an evening passes in which he and Baron Levy do not meet.

Audley Egerton has been intensely occupied with affairs. Only seen once
by Harley. Harley then was about to deliver himself of his sentiments
respecting Randal Leslie, and to communicate the story of Burley and the
pamphlet. Egerton stopped him short.

"My dear Harley, don't try to set me against this young man. I wish to
hear nothing in his disfavor. In the first place, it would not alter the
line of conduct I mean to adopt with regard to him. He is my wife's
kinsman; I charged myself with his career, as a wish of hers, and
therefore as a duty to myself. In attaching him so young to my own fate,
I drew him necessarily away from the professions in which his industry
and talents (for he has both in no common degree) would have secured his
fortunes; therefore, be he bad, be he good, I shall try to provide for
him as I best can; and, moreover, cold as I am to him, and worldly
though perhaps he be, I have somehow or other conceived an interest in
him--a liking to him. He has been under my roof, he is dependent on me;
he has been docile and prudent, and I am a lone, childless man;
therefore, spare him, since in so doing you spare me; and ah, Harley, I
have so many cares on me _now_, that--"

"O, say no more, my dear, dear Audley," cried the generous friend; "how
little people know you!"

Audley's hand trembled. Certainly his nerves began to show wear and
tear.

Meanwhile the object of this dialogue--the type of perverted
intellect--of mind without heart--of knowledge which had no aim but
power--was in a state of anxious perturbed gloom. He did not know
whether wholly to believe Levy's assurance of his patron's ruin. He
could not believe it when he saw that great house in Grosvenor-square,
its hall crowded with lackeys, its sideboard blazing with plate; when no
dun was ever seen in the ante-chamber; when not a tradesman was ever
known to call twice for a bill. He hinted to Levy the doubts all these
phenomena suggested to him; but the Baron only smiled ominously, and
said--

"True, the tradesmen are always paid; but the how is the question!
Randal, _mon cher_, you are too innocent. I have but two pieces of
advice to suggest, in the shape of two proverbs--'Wise rats run from a
falling house,' and 'Make hay while the sun shines.' Apropos, Mr. Avenel
likes you greatly, and has been talking of the borough of Lansmere for
you. He has contrived to get together a great interest there.' Make much
of him."

Randal had indeed been to Mrs. Avenel's _soirée dansante_, and called
twice and found her at home, and been very bland and civil, and admired
the children. She had two, a boy and a girl, very like their father,
with open faces as bold as brass. And as all this had won Mrs. Avenel's
good graces, so it had propitiated her husband's. Avenel was shrewd
enough to see how clever Randal was. He called him "smart," and said,
"he would have got on in America," which was the highest praise Dick
Avenel ever accorded to any man. But Dick himself looked a little
care-worn; and this was the first year in which he had murmured at the
bills of his wife's dressmaker, and said with an oath, that "there was
such a thing as going _too_ much ahead."

Randal had visited Dr. Riccabocca, had found Violante flown. True to his
promise to Harley, the Italian refused to say where, and suggested, as
was agreed, that for the present it would be more prudent if Randal
suspended his visits to himself. Leslie, not liking this proposition,
attempted to make himself still necessary, by working on Riccabocca's
fears as to that espionage on his retreat, which had been among the
reasons that had hurried the sage into offering Randal Violante's hand.
But Riccabocca had already learned that the fancied spy was but his
neighbor Leonard; and, without so saying, he cleverly contrived to make
the supposition of such espionage an additional reason for the cessation
of Leslie's visits. Randal, then, in his own artful, quiet, roundabout
way, had sought to find out if any communication had passed between
L'Estrange and Riccabocca. Brooding over Harley's words to him, he
suspected there had been such communication, with his usual penetrating
astuteness. Riccabocca, here, was less on his guard, and rather parried
the sidelong questions than denied their inferences.

Randal began already to surmise the truth. Where was it likely Violante
should go but to the Lansmeres'? This confirmed his idea of Harley's
pretensions to her hand. With such a rival what chance had he? Randal
never doubted for a moment that the pupil of Machiavel would "throw him
over," if such an alliance to his daughter really presented itself. The
schemer at once discarded from his project all further aim on Violante;
either she would be poor, and he would not have her; or she would be
rich, and her father would give her to another. As his heart had never
been touched by the fair Italian, so the moment her inheritance became
more than doubtful, it gave him no pang to lose her; but he did feel
very sore and resentful at the thought of being supplanted by Lord
L'Estrange, the man who had insulted him.

Neither, as yet, had Randal made any way in his designs on Frank. For
several days Madame di Negra had not been at home, either to himself or
young Hazeldean; and Frank, though very unhappy, was piqued and angry;
and Randal suspected, and suspected, and suspected, he knew not exactly
what, but that the devil was not so kind to him there as that father of
lies ought to have been to a son so dutiful. Yet, with all these
discouragements, there was in Randal Leslie so dogged and determined a
conviction of his own success--there was so great a tenacity of purpose
under obstacles, and so vigilant an eye upon all chances that could be
turned to his favor, that he never once abandoned hope, nor did more
than change the details in his main schemes. Out of calculations
apparently the most far-fetched and improbable, he had constructed a
patient policy, to which he obstinately clung. How far his reasonings
and patience served to his ends, remains yet to be seen. But could our
contempt for the baseness of Randal himself be separated from the
faculties which he elaborately degraded to the service of that baseness,
one might allow there was something one could scarcely despise in this
still self-reliance, this inflexible resolve. Had such qualities, aided
as they were by abilities of no ordinary acuteness, been applied to
objects commonly honest, one would have backed Randal Leslie against any
fifty picked prizemen from the colleges. But there are judges of weight
and metal, who do that now, especially Baron Levy, who says to himself
as he eyes that pale face all intellect, and that spare form all nerve,
"That is a man who must make way in life; he is worth helping."

By the words "worth helping," Baron Levy meant "worth getting into my
power, that he may help me."


CHAPTER XIV.

But Parliament had met. Events that belong to history had contributed
yet more to weaken the administration. Randal Leslie's interest became
absorbed in politics; for the stake to him was his whole political
career. Should Audley lose office, and for good, Audley could aid him no
more; but to abandon his patron, as Levy recommended, and pin himself,
in the hope of a seat in Parliament, to a stranger--an obscure stranger,
like Dick Avenel--that was a policy not to be adopted at a breath.
Meanwhile, almost every night, when the House met, that pale face and
spare form, which Levy so identified with shrewdness and energy, might
be seen among the benches appropriated to those more select strangers
who obtained the Speaker's order of admission. There Randal heard the
great men of that day, and with the half contemptuous surprise at their
fame, which is common enough among clever, well-educated young men, who
know not what it is to speak in the House of Commons. He heard much
slovenly English, much trite reasoning, some eloquent thoughts, and
close argument, often delivered in a jerking tone of voice (popularly
called the parliamentary _twang_), and often accompanied by
gesticulations that would have shocked the manager of a provincial
theatre. He thought how much better than these great dons (with but one
or two exceptions) he himself could speak--with what more refined
logic--with what more polished periods--how much more like Cicero and
Burke! Very probably he might have so spoken, and for that very reason
have made that deadest of all dead failures--an excellent spoken essay.
One thing, however, he was obliged to own, viz., that in a popular
representative assembly it is not precisely knowledge that is power, or
if knowledge, it is but the knowledge of that particular assembly, and
what will best take with it;--passion, invective, sarcasm, bold
declamation, shrewd common sense, the readiness so rarely found in a
very profound mind--he owned that all these were the qualities that
told; when a man who exhibited nothing but "knowledge," in the ordinary
sense of the word, stood in imminent chance of being coughed down.

There at his left--last but one in the row of the ministerial
chiefs--Randal watched Audley Egerton, his arms folded on his breast,
his hat drawn over his brows, his eyes fixed with steady courage on
whatever speaker in the Opposition held possession of the floor. And
twice Randal heard Egerton speak, and marveled much at the effect that
minister produced. For of those qualities enumerated above, and which
Randal had observed to be most sure of success, Audley Egerton only
exhibited to a marked degree--the common sense, and the readiness. And
yet, though but little applauded by noisy cheers, no speaker seemed more
to satisfy friends, and command respect from foes. The true secret was
this, which Randal might well not divine, since that young person,
despite his ancient birth, his Eton rearing, and his refined air, was
not one of Nature's gentlemen;--the true secret was, that Audley Egerton
moved, looked, and spoke, like a thorough gentleman of England. A
gentleman of more than average talents and of long experience, speaking
his sincere opinions--not a rhetorician aiming at effect. Moreover,
Egerton was a consummate man of the world. He said, with nervous
simplicity, what his party desired to be said, and put what his
opponents felt to be the strong points of the case. Calm and decorous,
yet spirited and energetic, with little variety of tone, and action
subdued and rare, but yet signalized by earnest vigor, Audley Egerton
impressed the understanding of the dullest, and pleased the taste of the
most fastidious.

But once, when allusions were made to a certain popular question, on
which the premier had announced his resolution to refuse all concession,
and on the expediency of which it was announced that the cabinet was
nevertheless divided--and when such allusions were coupled with direct
appeals to Mr. Egerton, as "the enlightened member of a great commercial
constituency," and with a flattering doubt that "that right honorable
gentleman, member for that great city, identified with the cause of the
Burgher class, could be so far behind the spirit of the age as his
official chief,"--Randal observed that Egerton drew his hat still more
closely over his brows and turned to whisper with one of his colleagues.
He could not be _got up_ to speak.

That evening Randal walked home with Egerton, and intimated his surprise
that the minister had declined what seemed to him a good occasion for
one of those brief, weighty replies by which Audley was chiefly
distinguished, an occasion to which he had been loudly invited by the
"hears" of the House.

"Leslie," answered the statesman briefly, "I owe all my success in
Parliament to this rule--I have never spoken against my convictions. I
intend to abide by it to the last."

"But if the question at issue comes before the House you will vote
against it?"

"Certainly, I vote as a member of the cabinet. But since I am not leader
and mouthpiece of the party, I retain the privilege to speak as an
individual."

"Ah, my dear Mr. Egerton," exclaimed Randal, "forgive me. But this
question, right or wrong, has got such hold of the public mind. So
little, if conceded in time, would give content; and it is so clear (if
I may judge by the talk I hear every where I go) that, by refusing all
concession, the government must fall, that I wish--"

"So do I wish," interrupted Egerton, with a gloomy impatient sigh--"so
do I wish! But what avails it? If my advice had been taken but three
weeks ago--now it is too late--we could have doubled the rock; we
refused, we must split upon it."

This speech was so unlike the discreet and reserved minister, that
Randal gathered courage to proceed with an idea that had occurred to his
own sagacity. And before I state it, I must add that Egerton had of late
shown much more personal kindness to his _protégé_; that, whether his
spirits were broken, or that at last, close and compact as his nature of
bronze was, he felt the imperious want to groan aloud in some loving
ear, the stern Audley seemed tamed and softened. So Randal went on.

"May I say what I have heard expressed with regard to you and your
position--in the streets--in the clubs?"

"Yes, it is in the streets and the clubs, that statesmen should go to
school. Say on."

"Well, then, I have heard it made a matter of wonder why you, and one or
two others I will not name, do not at once retire from the ministry, and
on the avowed ground that you side with the public feeling on this
irresistible question."

"Eh!"

"It is clear that in so doing you would become the most popular man in
the country--clear that you would be summoned back to power on the
shoulders of the people. No new cabinet could be formed without you, and
your station in it would perhaps be higher, for life, than that which
you may now retain but for a few weeks longer. Has not this ever
occurred to you?"

"Never," said Audley, with dry composure.

Amazed at such obtuseness, Randal exclaimed, "Is it possible! And yet,
forgive me if I say I think you are ambitious and love power."

"No man more ambitious; and if by power you mean office, it has grown
the habit of my life, and I shall not know how to do without it."

"And how, then, has what seems to me so obvious never occurred to you?"

"Because you are young, and therefore I forgive you; but not the gossips
who could wonder why Audley Egerton refused to betray the friends of his
whole career, and to profit by the treason."

"But one should love one's country before a party."

"No doubt of that; and the first interest of a country is the honor of
its public men."

"But men may leave their party without dishonor!"

"Who doubts that? Do you suppose that if I were an ordinary independent
member of Parliament, loaded with no obligations, charged with no trust,
I could hesitate for a moment what course to pursue? Oh, that I were but
the member for ----! Oh! that I had the full right to be a free agent!
But if a member of a cabinet, a chief in whom thousands confide, because
he is outvoted in a council of his colleagues, suddenly retires, and by
so doing breaks up the whole party whose confidence he has enjoyed,
whose rewards he has reaped, to whom he owes the very position which he
employs to their ruin--own that though his choice may be honest, it is
one which requires all the consolations of conscience."

"But you will have those consolations. And," added Randal energetically,
"the gain to your career will be immense!"

"That is precisely what it can not be," answered Egerton, gloomily. "I
grant that I may, if I choose, resign office with the present
government, and so at once destroy that government; for my resignation
on such ground would suffice to do it. I grant this; but for that very
reason I could not the next day take office with another administration.
I could not accept wages for desertion. No gentleman could! And,
therefore--" Audley stopped short, and he buttoned his coat over his
broad breast. The action was significant: it said that the man's mind
was made up.

In fact, whether Audley Egerton was right or wrong in his theory depends
upon much subtler, and perhaps loftier views in the casuistry of
political duties, than it was in his character to take. And I guard
myself from saying any thing in praise or disfavor of his notions, or
implying that he is a fit or unfit example in a parallel case. I am but
describing the man as he was, and as a man like him would inevitably be,
under the influences in which he lived, and in that peculiar world of
which he was so emphatically a member. "_Ce n'est pas moi qui parle,
c'est Marc Aurèle._"

He speaks, not I.

Randal had no time for further discussion They now reached Egerton's
house, and the minister, taking the chamber candlestick from his
servant's hand, nodded a silent good-night to Leslie, and with a jaded
look retired to his room.


CHAPTER XV.

But not on the threatened question was that eventful campaign of Party
decided. The government fell less in battle than skirmish. It was one
fatal Monday--a dull question of finance and figures. Prosy and few were
the speakers. All the government silent, save the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, and another business-like personage connected with the Board
of Trade, whom the House would hardly condescend to hear. The House was
in no mood to think of facts and figures. Early in the evening, between
nine and ten, the Speaker's sonorous voice sounded, "Strangers must
withdraw!" And Randal, anxious and foreboding, descended from his seat,
and went out of the fatal doors. He turned to take a last glance at
Audley Egerton. The whipper-in was whispering to Audley; and the
minister pushed back his hat from his brows, and glanced round the
house, and up into the galleries, as if to calculate rapidly the
relative numbers of the two armies in the field; then he smiled
bitterly, and threw himself back into his seat. That smile long haunted
Leslie.

Among the strangers thus banished with Randal, while the division was
being taken, were many young men, like himself, connected with the
administration--some by blood, some by place. Hearts beat loud in the
swarming lobbies. Ominous mournful whispers were exchanged. "They say
the government will have a majority of ten." "No; I hear they will
certainly be beaten." "H---- says by fifty." "I don't believe it," said
a Lord of the Bedchamber; "it's impossible. I left government members
dining at the 'Travelers.'" "No one thought the division would be so
early." "A trick of the Whigs--shameful." "Wonder some one was not set
up to talk for time; very odd P---- did not speak; however, he is so
cursedly rich, he does not care whether he is out or in." "Yes; and
Audley Egerton, too, just such another; glad, no doubt, to be set free
to look after his property; very different tactics if we had men to whom
office was as necessary as it is--to me!" said a candid, young placeman.
Suddenly the silent Leslie felt a friendly grasp on his arm. He turned,
and saw Levy.

"Did I not tell you?" said the Baron, with an exulting smile.

"You are sure, then, that the government will be outvoted?"

"I spent the morning in going over the list of members with a
parliamentary client of mine, who knows them all as a shepherd does his
sheep. Majority for the Opposition at least twenty-five."

"And in that case, must the government resign, sir?" asked the candid
young placeman, who had been listening to the smart well-dressed Baron,
"his soul planted in his ears."

"Of course, sir," replied the Baron, blandly, and offering his snuff-box
(true Louis Quinze, with a miniature of Madame de Pompadour, set in
pearls). "You are a friend to the present ministers? You could not wish
them to be mean enough to stay in?" Randal drew aside the Baron.

"If Audley's affairs are as you state, what can he do?"

"I shall ask him that question to-morrow," answered the Baron, with a
look of visible hate. "And I have come here just to see how he bears the
prospect before him."

"You will not discover that in his face. And those absurd scruples of
his! If he had but gone out in time--to come in again with the New Men!"

"Oh, of course, our Right Honorable is too punctilious for that!"
answered the Baron, sneering.

Suddenly the doors opened--in rushed the breathless expectants. "What
are the numbers? What is the division!"

"Majority against ministers," said a member of Opposition, peeling an
orange, "twenty-nine."

The Baron, too, had a Speaker's order; and he came into the House with
Randal, and sate by his side. But, to their disgust, some member was
talking about the other motions before the House.

"What! has nothing been said as to the division?" asked the Baron of a
young county member, who was talking to some non-parliamentary friend in
the bench before Levy. The county member was one of the Baron's pet
eldest sons--had dined often with Levy--was under "obligations" to him.
The young legislator looked very much ashamed of Levy's friendly pat on
his shoulder, and answered hurriedly, "Oh, yes; H---- asked, 'if, after
such an expression of the House, it was the intention of ministers to
retain their places, and carry on the business of the government?'"

"Just like H----! Very inquisitive mind! And what was the answer he
got?"

"None," said the county member; and returned in haste to his proper seat
in the body of the House.

"There comes Egerton," said the Baron. And, indeed, as most of the
members were now leaving the House, to talk over affairs at clubs or in
saloons, and spread through town the great tidings, Audley Egerton's
tall head was seen towering above the rest. And Levy turned away
disappointed. For not only was the minister's handsome face, though
pale, serene and cheerful, but there was an obvious courtesy, a marked
respect, in the mode in which that rough assembly made way for the
fallen minister as he passed through the jostling crowd. And the frank
urbane nobleman, who afterward, from the force, not of talent, but of
character, became the leader in the House, pressed the hand of his old
opponent, as they met in the throng near the doors, and said aloud, "I
shall not be a proud man if ever I live to have office; but I shall be
proud if ever I leave it with as little to be said against me as your
bitterest opponents can say against you, Egerton."

"I wonder," exclaimed the Baron, aloud, and leaning over the partition
that divided him from the throng below, so that his voice reached
Egerton--and there was a cry from formal, indignant members, "Order in
the strangers' gallery!"--"I wonder what Lord L'Estrange will say!"

Audley lifted his dark brows, surveyed the Baron for an instant with
flashing eyes, then walked down the narrow defile between the last
benches, and vanished from the scene in which, alas! so few of the most
admired performers leave more than an actor's short-lived name!


CHAPTER XVI.

Baron Levy did not execute his threat of calling on Egerton the next
morning. Perhaps he shrank from again meeting the flash of those
indignant eyes. And, indeed, Egerton was too busied all the forenoon to
see any one not upon public affairs, except Harley, who hastened to
console or cheer him. When the House met, it was announced that the
ministers had resigned, only holding their offices till their successors
were appointed. But already there was some reaction in their favor; and
when it became generally known that the new administration was to be
formed of men, few, indeed, of whom had ever before held office--that
common superstition in the public mind, that government is like a trade,
in which a regular apprenticeship must be served, began to prevail; and
the talk at the clubs was, that the new men could not stand; that the
former ministry, with some modification, would be back in a month.
Perhaps that, too, might be a reason why Baron Levy thought it prudent
not prematurely to offer vindictive condolences to Mr. Egerton. Randal
spent part of his morning in inquiries, as to what gentleman in his
situation meant to do with regard to their places; he heard with great
satisfaction that very few intended to volunteer retirement from their
desks. As Randal himself had observed to Egerton, "their country before
their party!"

Randal's place was of great moment to him; its duties were easy, its
salary amply sufficient for his wants, and defrayed such expenses as
were bestowed on the education of Oliver and his sister. For I am bound
to do justice to this young man--indifferent as he was toward his
species in general, the ties of family were strong with him; and he
stinted himself in many temptations most alluring to his age, in the
endeavor to raise the dull honest Oliver and the loose-haired pretty
Juliet somewhat more to his own level of culture and refinement. Men
essentially griping and unscrupulous, often do make the care for their
family an apology for their sins against the world. Even Richard III.,
if the chroniclers are to be trusted, excused the murder of his nephews
by his passionate affection for his son. With the loss of that place,
Randal lost all means of support, save what Audley could give him; and
if Audley were in truth ruined? Moreover, Randal had already established
at the office a reputation for ability and industry. It was a career in
which, if he abstained from party politics, he might rise to a fair
station and to a considerable income. Therefore, much contented with
what he learned as to the general determination of his fellow officials,
a determination warranted by ordinary precedent in such cases, Randal
dined at a club with good relish, and much Christian resignation for the
reverse of his patron, and then walked to Grosvenor-square, on the
chance of finding Audley within. Learning that he was so, from the
porter who opened the door, Randal entered the library. Three gentlemen
were seated there with Egerton: one of the three was Lord L'Estrange;
the other two were members of the really defunct, though nominally still
existing, government. He was about to withdraw from intruding on this
conclave, when Egerton said to him gently, "Come in, Leslie; I was just
speaking about yourself."

"About me, sir?"

"Yes; about you and the place you hold. I had asked Sir ---- (pointing
to a fellow minister) whether I might not, with propriety, request your
chief to leave some note of his opinion of your talents, which I know is
high, and which might serve you with his successor."

"Oh, sir, at such a time to think of me!" exclaimed Randal, and he was
genuinely touched.

"But," resumed Audley with his usual dryness, "Sir ----, to my surprise,
thinks that it would better become you that you should resign. Unless
his reasons, which he has not stated, are very strong, such would not be
my advice."

"My reasons," said Sir ----, with official formality, "are simply these:
I have a nephew in a similar situation; he will resign, as a matter of
course. Every one in the public offices whose relatives and near
connections hold high appointments in the government, will do so. I do
not think Mr. Leslie will like to feel himself a solitary exception."

"Mr. Leslie is no relation of mine--not even a near connection,"
answered Egerton.

"But his name is so associated with your own--he has resided so long in
your house--is so well known in society (and don't think I compliment
when I add, that we hope so well of him), that I can't think it worth
his while to keep this paltry place, which incapacitates him too from a
seat in parliament."

Sir ---- was one of those terribly rich men, to whom all considerations
of mere bread and cheese are paltry. But I must add, that he supposed
Egerton to be still wealthier than himself, and sure to provide
handsomely for Randal, whom Sir ---- rather liked than not; and, for
Randal's own sake, Sir ---- thought it would lower him in the estimation
of Egerton himself, despite that gentleman's advocacy, if he did not
follow the example of his avowed and notorious patron.

"You see, Leslie," said Egerton, checking Randal's meditated reply,
"that nothing can be said against your honor if you stay where you are;
it is a mere question of expediency; I will judge that for you; keep
your place."

Unhappily the other member of the government, who had hitherto been
silent, was a literary man. Unhappily, while this talk had proceeded,
he had placed his hand upon Randal Leslie's celebrated pamphlet, which
lay on the library table; and, turning over the leaves, the whole spirit
and matter of that masterly composition in defense of the administration
(a composition steeped in all the essence of party) recurred to his too
faithful recollection. He, too, liked Randal; he did more--he admired
the author of that striking and effective pamphlet. And, therefore,
rousing himself from the sublime indifference he had before felt for the
fate of a subaltern, he said with a bland and complimentary smile, "No;
the writer of this most able publication is no ordinary placeman. His
opinions here are too vigorously stated; this fine irony on the very
person who in all probability will be the chief in his office, has
excited too lively an attention, to allow him the _sedet eternumque
sedebit_ on an official stool. Ha, ha! this is so good! Read it,
L'Estrange. What say you?"

Harley glanced over the page pointed out to him. The original was in one
of Burley's broad, coarse, but telling burlesques, strained fine through
Randal's more polished satire. It was capital. Harley smiled, and lifted
his eyes to Randal. The unlucky plagiarist's face was flushed--the beads
stood on his brow. Harley was a good hater; he loved too warmly not to
err on the opposite side; but he was one of those men who forget hate
when its object is distressed and humbled. He put down the pamphlet and
said, "I am no politician; but Egerton is so well known to be fastidious
and over scrupulous in all points of official etiquette, that Mr. Leslie
can not follow a safer counselor."

"Read that yourself, Egerton," said Sir ----; and he pushed the pamphlet
to Audley.

Now Egerton had a dim recollection that that pamphlet was unlucky; but
he had skimmed over its contents hastily, and at that moment had
forgotten all about it. He took up the too famous work with a reluctant
hand, but he read attentively the passages pointed out to him, and then
said, gravely and sadly,

"Mr. Leslie, I retract my advice. I believe Sir ---- is right; that the
nobleman here so keenly satirized will be chief in your office. I doubt
whether he will not compel your dismissal; at all events, he could
scarcely be expected to promote your advancement. Under the
circumstances, I fear you have no option as a--" Egerton paused a
moment, and, with a sigh that appeared to settle the question, concluded
with--"as a gentleman."

Never did Jack Cade, never did Wat Tyler, feel a more deadly hate to
that word "gentleman," than the well-born Leslie felt then; but he bowed
his head, and answered with his usual presence of mind--

"You utter my own sentiment."

"You think we are right, Harley?" asked Egerton, with an irresolution
that surprised all present.

"I think," answered Harley, with a compassion for Randal that was almost
over generous, and yet with an _équivoque_ on the words despite the
compassion--"I think whoever has served Audley Egerton never yet has
been a loser by it; and if Mr. Leslie wrote this pamphlet, he must have
well served Audley Egerton. If he undergoes the penalty, we may safely
trust to Egerton for the compensation."

"My compensation has long since been made," answered Randal, with grace;
"and that Mr. Egerton could thus have cared for my fortunes, at an hour
so occupied, is a thought of pride which--"

"Enough, Leslie! enough!" interrupted Egerton, rising and pressing his
_protégé's_ hands. "See me before you go to bed."

Then the two other ministers rose also, and shook hands with Leslie, and
told him he had done the right thing, and that they hoped soon to see
him in parliament; and hinted smilingly, that the next administration
did not promise to be very long-lived; and one asked him to dinner, and
the other to spend a week at his country seat. And amidst these
congratulations at the stroke that left him penniless, the distinguished
pamphleteer left the room. How he cursed big John Burley!


CHAPTER XVII.

It was past midnight when Audley Egerton summoned Randal. The statesman
was then alone, seated before his great desk, with its manifold
compartments, and engaged on the task of transferring various papers and
letters, some to the waste-basket, some to the flames, some to two great
iron chests with patent locks that stood open-mouthed, at his feet.
Strong, stern, and grim they looked, silently receiving the relics of
power departed; strong, stern, and grim as the grave. Audley lifted his
eyes at Randal's entrance, signed to him to take a chair, continued his
task for a few moments, and then turning round, as if with an effort he
plucked himself from his master passion--Public Life--he said, with
deliberate tones--

"I know not, Randal Leslie, whether you thought me needlessly cautious,
or wantonly unkind, when I told you never to expect from me more than
such advance to your career as my then position could effect--never to
expect from my liberality in life, nor from my testament in death--an
addition to your private fortunes. I see by your gesture what would be
your reply, and I thank you for it. I now tell you, as yet in
confidence, though before long it can be no secret to the world, that my
pecuniary affairs have been so neglected by me, in my devotion to those
of the state, that I am somewhat like the man who portioned out his
capital at so much a day, calculating to live just long enough to make
it last. Unfortunately he lived too long." Audley smiled--but the smile
was cold as a sunbeam upon ice--and went on with the same firm,
unfaltering accents: "The prospects that face me I am prepared for; they
do not take me by surprise. I knew long since how this would end, if I
survived the loss of office. I knew it before you came to me, and
therefore I spoke to you as I did, judging it manful and right to guard
you against hopes which you might otherwise have naturally entertained.
On this head I need say no more. It may excite your surprise, possibly
your blame, that I, esteemed methodical and practical enough in the
affairs of the state, should be so imprudent as to my own."

"Oh, sir! you owe no account to me."

"To you, at least, as much as to any one. I am a solitary man; my few
relations need nothing from me. I had a right to spend what I possessed
as I pleased, and if I have spent it recklessly as regards myself, I
have not spent it ill in its effect on others. It has been my object for
many years to have no _Private Life_--to dispense with its sorrows,
joys, affection; and as to its duties, they did not exist for me. I have
said." Mechanically, as he ended, the minister's hand closed the lid of
one of the iron boxes, and on the closed lid he rested his firm foot.
"But now," he resumed, "I have failed to advance your career. True, I
warned you that you drew into a lottery; but you had more chance of a
prize than a blank. A blank, however, it has turned out, and the
question becomes grave--What are you to do?"

Here, seeing that Egerton came to a full pause, Randal answered readily:

"Still, sir, to go by your advice."

"My advice," said Audley, with a softened look, "would perhaps be rude
and unpalatable. I would rather place before you an option. On the one
hand, recommence life again. I told you that I would keep your name on
your college books. You can return--you can take your degree--after
that, you can go to the bar--you have just the talents calculated to
succeed in that profession. Success will be slow, it is true; but, with
perseverance, it will be sure. And, believe me, Leslie, Ambition is only
sweet while it is but the loftier name for Hope. Who would care for a
fox's brush, if it had not been rendered a prize by the excitement of
the chase?"

"Oxford--again! It is a long step back in life," said Randal, drearily;
and little heeding Egerton's unusual indulgence of illustration. "A long
step back--and to what? To a profession in which one never begins to
rise till one's hair is gray! Besides, how live in the mean while?"

"Do not let that thought disturb you. The modest income that suffices
for a student at the bar, I trust, at least, to insure you from the
wrecks of my fortune."

"Ah, sir, I would not burthen you further. What right have I to such
kindness, save my name of Leslie?" And in spite of himself, as Randal
concluded, a tone of bitterness, that betrayed reproach, broke forth.
Egerton was too much the man of the world not to comprehend the
reproach, and not to pardon it.

"Certainly," he answered, calmly, "as a Leslie you are entitled to my
consideration, and would have been entitled perhaps to more, had I not
so explicitly warned you to the contrary But the bar does not seem to
please you?"

"What is the alternative, sir? Let me decide when I hear it," answered
Randal, sullenly. He began to lose respect for the man who owned he
could do so little for him, and who evidently recommended him to shift
for himself.

If one could have pierced into Egerton's gloomy heart as he noted the
young man's change of tone, it may be a doubt whether one would have
seen there, pain or pleasure--pain, for merely from the force of habit
he had begun to like Randal--or pleasure, at the thought that he might
have reason to withdraw that liking. So lone and stoical had grown the
man who had made it his object to have no private life. Revealing,
however, neither pleasure or pain, but with the composed calmness of a
judge upon the bench, Egerton replied:

"The alternative is, to continue in the course you have begun, and still
to rely on me."

"Sir, my dear Mr. Egerton," exclaimed Randal, regaining all his usual
tenderness of look and voice, "rely on you! But that is all I ask!
Only--"

"Only, you would say, I am going out of power, and you don't see the
chance of my return?"

"I did not mean that."

"Permit me to suppose that you did; very true; but the party I belong to
is as sure of return as the pendulum of that clock is sure to obey the
mechanism that moves it from left to right. Our successors profess to
come in upon a popular question. All administrations who do that are
necessarily short-lived. Either they do not go far enough to please
present supporters, or they go so far as to arm new enemies in the
rivals who outbid them with the people. 'Tis the history of all
revolutions, and of all reforms. Our own administration in reality is
destroyed for having passed what was called a popular measure a year
ago, which lost us half our friends, and refusing to propose another
popular measure this year, in the which we are outstripped by the men
who hallooed us on the last. Therefore, whatever our successors do, we
shall, by the law of reaction, have another experiment of power afforded
to ourselves. It is but a question of time; you can wait for it; whether
I can is uncertain. But if I die before that day arrives, I have
influence enough still left with those who will come in, to obtain a
promise of a better provision for you than that which you have lost. The
promises of public men are proverbially uncertain. But I shall intrust
your cause to a man who never failed a friend, and whose rank will
enable him to see that justice is done to you--I speak of Lord
L'Estrange."

"Oh, not him; he is unjust to me; he dislikes me; he--"

"May dislike you (he has his whims), but he loves me; and though for no
other human being but you would I ask Harley L'Estrange a favor yet for
_you_ I will," said Egerton, betraying, for the first time in that
dialogue, a visible emotion--"for you, a Leslie, a kinsman, however
remote, to the wife, from whom I received my fortune! And despite all my
cautions, it is possible that in wasting that fortune I may have wronged
you. Enough: You have now before you the two options, much as you had at
first; but you have at present more experience to aid you in your
choice. You are a man, and with more brains than most men; think over it
well, and decide for yourself. Now to bed, and postpone thought till the
morrow. Poor Randal, you look pale!"

Audley, as he said the last words, put his hand on Randal's shoulder,
almost with a father's gentleness; and then suddenly drawing himself up,
as the hard inflexible expression, stamped on that face by years,
returned, he moved away and resettled to Public Life and the iron-box.


CHAPTER XVIII.

Early the next day Randal Leslie was in the luxurious business-room of
Baron Levy. How unlike the cold Doric simplicity of the statesman's
library! Axminster carpets three inches thick, _portières à la
Française_ before the doors; Parisian bronzes on the chimney-piece; and
all the receptacles that lined the room, and contained title-deeds, and
post-obits, and bills, and promises to pay, and lawyer-like japan boxes,
with many a noble name written thereon in large white capitals--"making
ruin pompous"--all these sepulchres of departed patrimonies veneered in
rosewood that gleamed with French polish, and blazed with ormolu. There
was a coquetry, an air of _petit maître_, so diffused over the whole
room, that you could not for the life of you recollect that you were
with a usurer. Plutus wore the aspect of his enemy Cupid, and how
realize your idea of Harpagon in that Baron, with his easy French "_Mon
cher_," and his white warm hands that pressed yours so genially, and his
dress so exquisite, even at the earliest morn? No man ever yet saw that
Baron in a dressing-gown and slippers? As one fancies some feudal baron
of old (not half so terrible) everlastingly clad in mail, so all one's
notions of this grand marauder of civilization were inseparably
associated with varnished boots, and a camelia in the button-hole.

"And this is all that he does for you!" cried the Baron, pressing
together the points of his ten taper fingers. "Had he but let you
conclude your career at Oxford, I have heard enough of your scholarship
to know that you would have taken high honors--been secure of a
fellowship--have betaken yourself with content to a slow and laborious
profession--and prepared yourself to die on the woolsack."

"He proposes to me now to return to Oxford," said Randal. "It is not too
late!"

"Yes it is," said the Baron. "Neither individuals nor nations ever go
back of their own accord. There must be an earthquake before a river
recedes to its source."

"You speak well," answered Randal, "and I cannot gainsay you. But now!"

"Ah, the _now_ is the grand question in life--the _then_ is obsolete,
gone by--out of fashion; and _now, mon cher_, you come to ask my
advice."

"No, Baron; I come to ask your explanation."

"Of what?"

"I want to know why you spoke to me of Mr. Egerton's ruin; why you spoke
to me of the lands to be sold by Mr. Thornhill; and why you spoke to me
of Count Peschiera. You touched on each of those points within ten
minutes--you omitted to indicate what link can connect them."

"By Jove," said the Baron, rising, and with more admiration in his face
than you could have conceived that face so smiling and so cynical could
exhibit--"by Jove, Randal Leslie, but your shrewdness is wonderful. You
really are the first young man of your day; and I will 'help you,' as I
helped Audley Egerton. Perhaps you will be more grateful."

Randal thought of Egerton's ruin. The parallel implied by the Baron did
not suggest to him the rare enthusiasm of gratitude. However, he merely
said, "Pray, proceed--I listen to you with interest."

"As for politics, then," said the Baron, "we will discuss that topic
later. I am waiting myself to see how these new men get on. The first
consideration is for your private fortunes. You should buy this ancient
Leslie property--Rood and Dulmansberry--only £20,000 down; the rest may
remain on mortgage forever--or at least till I find you a rich wife--as,
in fact, I did for Egerton. Thornhill wants the twenty thousand
now--wants them very much."

"And where," said Randal, with an iron smile, "are the £20,000 you
ascribe to me to come from?"

"Ten thousand shall come to you the day Count Peschiera marries the
daughter of his kinsman with your help and aid--the remaining ten
thousand I will lend you. No scruple--I shall hazard nothing--the
estates will bear that additional burden. What say you--shall it be so?"

"Ten thousand pounds from Count Peschiera!" said Randal, breathing hard.
"You can not be serious? Such a sum--for what?--for a mere piece of
information? How otherwise can I aid him? There must be a trick and
deception intended here."

"My dear fellow," answered Levy, "I will give you a hint. There is such
a thing in life as being over suspicious. If you have a fault, it is
that. The information you allude to is, of course, the first assistance
you are to give. Perhaps more may be needed--perhaps not. Of that you
will judge yourself, since the £10,000 are contingent on the marriage
aforesaid."

"Over suspicious or not," answered Randal, "the amount of the sum is too
improbable, and the security too bad, for me to listen to this
proposition, even if I could descend to--"

"Stop, _mon cher_. Business first--scruples afterward. The security,
too, bad--what security?"

"The word of Count di Peschiera."

"He has nothing to do with it--he need know nothing about it. 'Tis my
word you doubt. I am your security."

Randal thought of that dry witticism in Gibbon, "Abu Rafe says he will
be witness for this fact, but who will be witness for Abu Rafe?" but he
remained silent, only, fixing on Levy those dark, observant eyes, with
their contracted, wary pupils.

"The fact is simply this," resumed Levy: "Count di Peschiera has
promised to pay his sister a dowry of £20,000, in case he has the money
to spare. He can only have it to spare by the marriage we are
discussing. On my part, as I manage his affairs in England for him, I
have promised that, for the said sum of £20,000, I will guarantee the
expenses in the way of that marriage, and settle with Madame di Negra.
Now, though Peschiera is a very liberal, warm-hearted fellow, I don't
say that he would have named so large a sum for his sister's dowry, if,
in strict truth, he did not owe it to her. It is the amount of her own
fortune, which, by some arrangements with her late husband not exactly
legal, he possessed himself of. If Madame di Negra went to law with him
for it, she could get it back. I have explained this to him; and, in
short, you now understand why the sum is thus assessed. But I have
bought up Madame di Negra's debts. I have bought up young Hazeldean's
(for we must make a match between these two a part of our arrangements).
I shall present to Peschiera, and to these excellent young persons, an
account that will absorb the whole £20,000. That sum will come into my
hands. If I settle the claims against them for half the money, which,
making myself the sole creditor, I have the right to do, the moiety will
remain. And if I choose to give it to you, in return for the services
which provide Peschiera with a princely fortune--discharge the debts of
his sister--and secure her a husband in my promising young client, Mr.
Hazeldean, that is my look-out--all parties are satisfied, and no one
need ever be the wiser. The sum is large, no doubt; it answers to me to
give it to you; does it answer to you to receive it?"

Randal was greatly agitated; but, vile as he was, and systematically as
in thought he had brought himself to regard others merely as they could
be made subservient to his own interest, still, with all who have not
hardened themselves in actual crime, there is a wide distinction between
the thought and the act; and though, in the exercise of ingenuity and
cunning, he would have had few scruples in that moral swindling which is
mildly called "outwitting another," yet thus nakedly and openly to
accept a bribe for a deed of treachery toward the poor Italian who had
so generously trusted him--he recoiled. He was nerving himself to
refuse, when Levy, opening his pocket-book, glanced over the memoranda
therein, and said, as to himself, "Rood Manor--Dulmansberry, sold to the
Thornhills by Sir Gilbert Leslie, knight of the shire; estimated
present net rental £2250, 7s. It is the greatest bargain I ever knew.
And with this estate in hand, and your talents, Leslie, I don't see why
you should not rise higher than Audley Egerton. He was poorer than you
once!"

The old Leslie lands--a positive stake in the country--the restoration
of the fallen family; and, on the other hand, either long drudgery at
the bar--a scanty allowance on Egerton's bounty--his sister wasting her
youth at slovenly, dismal Rood--Oliver debased into a boor!--or a
mendicant's dependence on the contemptuous pity of Harley
L'Estrange--Harley who had refused his hand to him--Harley who perhaps
would become the husband of Violante! Rage seized him as these
contrasting pictures rose before his view. He walked to and fro in
disorder, striving to re-collect his thoughts, and reduce himself from
the passions of the human heart into the mere mechanism of calculating
intellect. "I can not conceive," said he, abruptly, "why you should
tempt me thus--what interest is it to you?"

Baron Levy smiled, and put up his pocket-book. He saw from that moment
that the victory was gained.

"My dear boy," said he, with the most agreeable _bonhomie_, "it is very
natural that you should think a man would have a personal interest in
whatever he does for another. I believe that view of human nature is
called utilitarian philosophy, and is much in fashion at present. Let me
try and explain to you. In this affair I shan't injure myself. True, you
will say, if I settle claims, which amount to £20,000, for £10,000, I
might put the surplus into my own pocket instead of yours. Agreed. But I
shall not get the £20,000, nor repay myself Madame di Negra's debts
(whatever I may do as to Hazeldean's), unless the Count gets this
heiress. You can help in this. I want you; and I don't think I could get
you by a less offer than I make. I shall soon pay myself back the
£10,000 if the Count gets hold of the lady and her fortune. Brief--I see
my way here to my own interests. Do you want more reasons--you shall
have them. I am now a very rich man. How have I become so? Through
attaching myself from the first to persons of expectations, whether from
fortune or talent. I have made connections in society, and society has
enriched me. I have still a passion for making money. _Que voulez vous?_
It is my profession, my hobby. It will be useful to me in a thousand
ways, to secure as a friend a young man who will have influence with
other young men, heirs to something better than Rood Hall. You may
succeed in public life. A man in public life may attain to the knowledge
of state secrets that are very profitable to one who dabbles a little in
the Funds. We can perhaps hereafter do business together that may put
yourself in a way of clearing off all mortgages on these estates--on the
encumbered possession of which I shall soon congratulate you. You see I
am frank; 'tis the only way of coming to the point with so clever a
fellow as you. And now, since the less we rake up the mud in the pond
from which we have resolved to drink, the better, let us dismiss all
other thoughts but that of securing our end. Will you tell Peschiera
where the young lady is, or shall I? Better do it yourself; reason
enough for it, that he has confided to you his hope, and asked you to
help him; why should not you? Not a word to him about our little
arrangement; he need never know it. You need never be troubled." Levy
rang the bell: "Order my carriage round."

Randal made no objection. He was deathlike pale, but there was a
sinister expression of firmness on his thin bloodless lips.

"The next point," Levy resumed, "is to hasten the match between Frank
and the fair widow. How does that stand!"

"She will not see me, nor receive him."

"Oh, learn why! And if you find on either side there is a hitch, just
let me know; I will soon remove it."

"Has Hazeldean consented to the post-obit?"

"Not yet; I have not pressed it; I wait the right moment, if necessary."

"It will be necessary."

"Ah, you wish it. It shall be so."

Randal Leslie again paced the room, and after a silent self-commune,
came up close to the Baron, and said,

"Look you, sir, I am poor and ambitious; you have tempted me at the
right moment, and with the right inducement. I succumb. But what
guarantee have I that this money will be paid--these estates made mine
upon the condition stipulated?"

"Before any thing is settled," replied the Baron, "go and ask my
character of any of our young friends, Borrowell, Spendquick--whom you
please; you will hear me abused, of course; but they will all say this
of me, that when I pass my word I keep it; if I say, '_Mon cher_, you
shall have the money,' a man has it; if I say, 'I renew your bill for
six months,' it is renewed. 'Tis my way of doing business. In all cases
my word is my bond. In this case, where no writing can pass between us,
my only bond must be my word. Go, then, make your mind clear as to your
security, and come here and dine at eight. We will call on Peschiera
afterward."

"Yes," said Randal, "I will at all events take the day to consider.
Meanwhile I say this, I do not disguise from myself the nature of the
proposed transaction, but what I have once resolved I go through with.
My sole vindication to myself is, that if I play here with a false die,
it will be for a stake so grand, as, once won, the magnitude of the
prize will cancel the ignominy of the play. It is not this sum of money
for which I sell myself--it is for what that sum will aid me to achieve.
And in the marriage of young Hazeldean with the Italian woman, I have
another, and it may be a large interest. I have slept on it lately--I
wake to it now. Insure that marriage, obtain the post-obit from
Hazeldean, and whatever the issue of the more direct scheme for which
you seek my services, rely on my gratitude, and believe that you will
have put me in the way to render gratitude of avail. At eight I will be
with you."

Randal left the room.

The Baron sat thoughtful. "It is true," said he to himself, "this young
man is the next of kin to the Hazeldean estate, if Frank displease his
father sufficiently to lose his inheritance; that must be the clever
boy's design. Well, in the long-run, I should make as much, or more, out
of him than out of the spendthrift Frank. Frank's faults are those of
youth. He will reform and retrench. But _this_ man! No, I shall have him
for life. And should he fail in this project, and have but this
encumbered property--a landed proprietor mortgaged up to his ears--why,
he is my slave, and I can foreclose when I wish, or if he prove
useless;--no, I risk nothing. And if I did--if I lost ten thousand
pounds--what then? I can afford it for revenge!--afford it for the
luxury of leaving Audley Egerton alone with penury and ruin, deserted,
in his hour of need, by the pensioner of his bounty--as he will be by
the last friend of his youth--when it so pleases me--me whom he has
called 'scoundrel!' and whom he--"

Levy's soliloquy halted there, for the servant entered to announce the
carriage. And the Baron hurried his hand over his features, as if to
sweep away all trace of the passions that distorted their smiling
effrontery. And so, as he took up his cane and gloves, and glanced at
the glass, the face of the fashionable usurer was once more as varnished
as his boots.


CHAPTER XIX.

When a clever man resolves on a villainous action, he hastens, by the
exercise of his cleverness, to get rid of the sense of his villainy.
With more than his usual alertness, Randal employed the next hour or two
in ascertaining how far Baron Levy merited the character he boasted, and
how far his word might be his bond. He repaired to young men whom he
esteemed better judges on these points than Spendquick and
Borrowell--young men who resembled the Merry Monarch, inasmuch as

    "They never said a foolish thing,
    And never did a wise one."

There are many such young men about town--sharp and able in all affairs
except their own. No one knows the world better, nor judges of character
mere truly, than your half-beggared _roué_. From all these, Baron Levy
obtained much the same testimonials: he was ridiculed as a would-be
dandy, but respected as a very responsible man of business, and rather
liked as a friendly accommodating species of the Sir Epicure Mammon, who
very often did what were thought handsome, liberal things; and, "in
short," said one of these experienced referees, "he is the best fellow
going--for a money-lender! You may always rely on what he promises, and
he is generally very forbearing and indulgent to _us_ of good society!
perhaps for the same reason that our tailors are;--to send one of us to
prison would hurt his custom. His foible is to be thought a gentleman. I
believe, much as I suppose he loves money, he would give up half his
fortune rather than do any thing for which we could cut him. He allows a
pension of three hundred a year to Lord S----. True; he was his man of
business for twenty years, and, before then, S---- was rather a prudent
fellow, and had fifteen thousand a year. He has helped on, too, many a
clever young man;--the best boroughmonger you ever knew. He likes having
friends in Parliament. In fact, of course he is a rogue; but if one
wants a rogue, one can't find a pleasanter. I should like to see him on
the French stage--a prosperous _Macaire_; Le Maître could hit him off to
the life."

From information in these more fashionable quarters, gleaned with his
usual tact, Randal turned to a source less elevated, but to which he
attached more importance. Dick Avenel associated with the Baron--Dick
Avenel must be in his clutches. Now Randal did justice to that
gentleman's practical shrewdness. Moreover, Avenel was by profession a
man of business. He must know more of Levy than these men of pleasure
could; and, as he was a plain-spoken person, and evidently honest, in
the ordinary acceptation of the word, Randal did not doubt that out of
Dick Avenel he should get the truth.

On arriving in Eton-square, and asking for Mr. Avenel, Randal was at
once ushered into the drawing-room. The apartment was not in such good
solid mercantile taste as had characterized Avenel's more humble
bachelor's residence at Screwstown. The taste now was the Honorable Mrs.
Avenel's; and, truth to say, no taste could be worse. Furniture of all
epochs heterogeneously clumped together;--here a sofa _à la renaissance_
in _Gobelin_--there a rosewood Console from Gillow--a tall
mock-Elizabethan chair in black oak, by the side of a modern Florentine
table of mosaic marbles. All kinds of colors in the room, and all at war
with each other. Very bad copies of the best-known pictures in the
world, in the most gaudy frames, and impudently labeled by the names of
their murdered originals--"Raffaele," "Corregio," "Titian," "Sebastian
del Piombo." Nevertheless, there had been plenty of money spent, and
there was plenty to show for it. Mrs. Avenel was seated on her sofa _à
la renaissance_, with one of her children at her feet, who was employed
in reading a new Annual in crimson silk binding. Mrs. Avenel was in an
attitude as if sitting for her portrait.

Polite society is most capricious in its adoptions or rejections. You
see many a very vulgar person firmly established in the _beau monde_;
others, with very good pretensions as to birth, fortune, &c., either
rigorously excluded, or only permitted a peep over the pales. The
Honorable Mrs. Avenel belonged to families unquestionably noble both by
her own descent and by her first marriage; and if poverty had kept her
down in her earlier career, she now, at least, did not want wealth to
back her pretensions. Nevertheless, all the dispensers of fashion
concurred in refusing their support to the Honorable Mrs. Avenel. One
might suppose it was solely on account of her plebeian husband; but
indeed it was not so. Many a woman of high family can marry a low-born
man not so presentable as Avenel, and, by the help of big money, get the
fine world at her feet. But Mrs. Avenel had not that art. She was still
a very handsome, showy woman; and as for dress, no duchess could be more
extravagant. Yet these very circumstances had perhaps gone against her
ambition; for your quiet, little plain woman, provoking no envy, slips
into the _coteries_, when a handsome, flaunting lady--whom, once seen in
your drawing-room, can be no more overlooked than a scarlet poppy amidst
a violet bed--is pretty sure to be weeded out as ruthlessly as a poppy
would be in a similar position.

Mr. Avenel was sitting by the fire, rather moodily, his hands in his
pockets, and whistling to himself. To say truth, that active mind of his
was very much bored in London, at least during the forepart of the day.
He hailed Randal's entrance with a smile of relief, and rising and
posting himself before the fire--a coat tail under each arm--he scarcely
allowed Randal to shake hands with Mrs. Avenel, and pat the child on the
head, murmuring, "Beautiful creature." (Randal was ever civil to
children--that sort of wolf in sheep's clothing always is--don't be
taken in, O you foolish young mothers!) Dick, I say, scarcely allowed
his visitor these preliminary courtesies, before he plunged far beyond
depth of both wife and child, into the political ocean "Things now were
coming right--a vile oligarchy was to be destroyed. British
respectability and British talent were to have fair play." To have heard
him you would have thought the day fixed for the millennium! "And what
is more," said Avenel, bringing down the fist of his right hand upon the
palm of his left, "if there is to be a new parliament, we must have new
men--not worn out old brooms that never sweep clean, but men who
understand how to govern the country, sir. I INTEND TO COME IN MYSELF!"

"Yes," said Mrs. Avenel, hooking in a word at last, "I am sure, Mr.
Leslie, you will think I did right. I persuaded Mr. Avenel that, with
his talents and property, he ought, for the sake of his country, to make
a sacrifice; and then you know his opinions now are all the fashion, Mr.
Leslie: formerly they would have been called shocking and--vulgar."

Thus saying she looked with fond pride at Dick's comely face, which at
that moment, however, was all scowl and frown. I must do justice to Mrs.
Avenel; she was a weak silly woman in some things, and a cunning one in
others, but she was a good wife as wives go. Scotch women generally are.


(TO BE CONTINUED.)



BLEAK HOUSE.[7]

   [Footnote 7: Continued from the April Number.]

BY CHARLES DICKENS.


CHAPTER V.--A MORNING ADVENTURE.

Although the morning was raw, and although the fog still seemed heavy--I
say, seemed, for the windows were so encrusted with dirt, that they
would have made Midsummer sunshine dim--I was sufficiently forewarned of
the discomfort within doors at that early hour, and sufficiently curious
about London, to think it a good idea on the part of Miss Jellyby when
she proposed that we should go out for a walk.

"Ma won't be down for ever so long," she said, "and then it's a chance
if breakfast's ready for an hour afterward, they dawdle so. As to Pa, he
gets what he can, and goes to the office. He never has what you would
call a regular breakfast. Priscilla leaves him out the loaf and some
milk, when there is any, over night. Sometimes there isn't any milk, and
sometimes the cat drinks it. But I'm afraid you must be tired, Miss
Summerson; and perhaps you would rather go to bed."

"I am not at all tired, my dear," said I, "and would much prefer to go
out."

"If you're sure you would," returned Miss Jellyby, "I'll get my things
on."

Ada said she would go, too, and was soon astir. I made a proposal to
Peepy, in default of being able to do any thing better for him, that he
should let me wash him, and afterward lay him down on my bed again. To
this he submitted with the best grace possible; staring at me during the
whole operation, as if he never had been, and never could again be so
astonished in his life--looking very miserable also, certainly, but
making no complaint, and going snugly to sleep as soon as it was over.
At first I was in two minds about taking such a liberty, but I soon
reflected that nobody in the house was likely to notice it.

What with the bustle of dispatching Peepy, and the bustle of getting
myself ready, and helping Ada, I was soon quite in a glow. We found Miss
Jellyby trying to warm herself at the fire in the writing-room, which
Priscilla was then lighting with a smutty parlor candlestick--throwing
the candle in to make it burn better. Every thing was just as we had
left it last night, and was evidently intended to remain so. Below
stairs the dinner-cloth had not been taken away, but had been left ready
for breakfast. Crumbs, dust, and waste paper were all over the house.
Some pewter-pots and a milk-can hung on the area railings; the door
stood open; and we met the cook round the corner coming out of a public
house, wiping her mouth. She mentioned, as she passed us, that she had
just been to see what o'clock it was.

But before we met the cook, we met Richard, who was dancing up and down
Thavies Inn to warm his feet. He was agreeably surprised to see us
stirring so soon, and said he would gladly share our walk. So he took
care of Ada, and Miss Jellyby and I went first. I may mention that Miss
Jellyby had relapsed into her sulky manner, and that I really should not
have thought she liked me much, unless she had told me so.

"Where would you wish to go?" she asked.

"Any where, my dear," I replied.

"Any where's nowhere," said Miss Jellyby, stopping perversely.

"Let us go somewhere at any rate," said I.

She then walked me on very fast.

"I don't care!" she said. "Now, you are my witness, Miss Summerson, I
say I don't care--but if he was to come to our house, with his great,
shining, lumpy forehead, night after night till he was as old as
Methuselah, I wouldn't have any thing to say to him. Such ASSES as he
and Ma make of themselves!"

"My dear!" I remonstrated, in allusion to the epithet, and the vigorous
emphasis Miss Jellyby set upon it. "Your duty as a child--"

"O! don't talk of duty as a child, Miss Summerson; where's Ma's duty as
a parent? All made over to the public and Africa, I suppose! Then let
the public and Africa show duty as a child; it's much more their affair
than mine. You are shocked, I dare say! Very well, so am I shocked, too;
so we are both shocked, and there's an end of it!"

She walked me on faster yet.

"But for all that, I say again, he may come, and come, and come, and I
won't have any thing to say to him. I can't bear him. If there's any
stuff in the world that I hate and detest, it's the stuff he and Ma
talk. I wonder the very paving stones opposite our house can have the
patience to stay there, and be a witness of such inconsistencies and
contradictions as all that sounding nonsense, and Ma's management!"

I could not but understand her to refer to Mr. Quale, the young
gentleman who had appeared after dinner yesterday. I was saved the
disagreeable necessity of pursuing the subject, by Richard and Ada
coming up at a round pace, laughing, and asking us if we meant to run a
race? Thus interrupted, Miss Jellyby became silent, and walked moodily
on at my side; while I admired the long successions and varieties of
streets, the quantity of people already going to and fro, the number of
vehicles passing and repassing, the busy preparations in the setting
forth of shop windows and the sweeping out of shops, and the
extraordinary creatures in rags, secretly groping among the swept-out
rubbish for pins and other refuse.

"So, cousin," said the cheerful voice of Richard to Ada, behind me. "We
are never to get out of Chancery! We have come by another way to our
place of meeting yesterday, and--by the Great Seal, here's the old lady
again!"

Truly, there she was, immediately in front of us, courtesying and
smiling, and saying, with her yesterday's air of patronage:

"The wards in Jarndyce! Ve-ry happy, I am sure!"

"You are out early, ma'am," said I, as she courtesied to me.

"Ye-es! I usually walk here early. Before the Court sits. It's retired.
I collect my thoughts here for the business of the day," said the old
lady, mincingly. "The business of the day requires a great deal of
thought. Chancery justice is so ve-ry difficult to follow."

"Who's this, Miss Summerson?" whispered Miss Jellyby, drawing my arm
tighter through her own.

The little old lady's hearing was remarkably quick. She answered for
herself directly.

"A suitor, my child. At your service. I have the honor to attend court
regularly. With my documents. Have I the pleasure of addressing another
of the youthful parties in Jarndyce?" said the old lady, recovering
herself, with her head on one side, from a very low courtesy.

Richard, anxious to atone for his thoughtlessness of yesterday,
good-naturedly explained that Miss Jellyby was not connected with the
suit.

"Ha!" said the old lady. "She does not expect a judgment? She will still
grow old. But not so old. O dear, no! This is the garden of Lincoln's
Inn. I call it my garden. It is quite a bower in the summer-time. Where
the birds sing melodiously. I pass the greater part of the long vacation
here. In contemplation. You find the long vacation exceedingly long,
don't you?"

We said yes, as she seemed to expect us to say so.

"When the leaves are falling from the trees, and there are no more
flowers in bloom to make up into nosegays for the Lord Chancellor's
court," said the old lady, "the vacation is fulfilled; and the Sixth
Seal, mentioned in the Revelations, again prevails. Pray come and see my
lodging. It will be a good omen for me. Youth, and hope, and beauty are
very seldom there. It is a long, long time since I had a visit from
either."

She had taken my hand, and, leading me and Miss Jellyby away, beckoned
Richard and Ada to come too. I did not know how to excuse myself, and
looked to Richard for aid. As he was half amused and half curious, and
all in doubt how to get rid of the old lady without offense, she
continued to lead us away, and he and Ada continued to follow; our
strange conductress informing us all the time, with much smiling
condescension, that she lived close by.

It was quite true, as it soon appeared. She lived so close by, that we
had not time to have done humoring her for a few moments, before she was
at home. Slipping us out at a little side gate, the old lady stopped
most unexpectedly in a narrow back street, part of some courts and lanes
immediately outside the wall of the inn, and said, "This is my lodging.
Pray walk up!"

She had stopped at a shop, over which was written, KROOK, RAG AND BOTTLE
WAREHOUSE. Also, in long thin letters, KROOK, DEALER IN MARINE STORES.
In one part of the window was a picture of a red paper mill, at which a
cart was unloading a quantity of sacks of old rags. In another, was the
inscription, BONES BOUGHT. In another, KITCHEN-STUFF BOUGHT. In another,
OLD IRON BOUGHT. In another, WASTE PAPER BOUGHT. In another, LADIES' AND
GENTLEMEN'S WARDROBES BOUGHT. Every thing seemed to be bought, and
nothing to be sold there. In all parts of the window, were quantities of
dirty bottles: blacking bottles, medicine bottles, ginger-beer and
soda-water bottles, pickle bottles, wine bottles, ink bottles: I am
reminded by mentioning the latter, that the shop had, in several little
particulars, the air of being in a legal neighborhood, and of being, as
it were, a dirty hanger-on and disowned relation of the law. There were
a great many ink bottles. There was a little tottering bench of shabby
old volumes, outside the door, labeled, "Law Books, all at 9_d._" Some
of the inscriptions I have enumerated were written in law-hand, like the
papers I had seen in Kenge and Carboy's office, and the letters I had so
long received from the firm. Among them was one, in the same writing,
having nothing to do with the business of the shop, but announcing that
a respectable man aged forty-five wanted engrossing or copying to
execute with neatness and dispatch: Address to Nemo, care of Mr. Krook
within. There were several second-hand bags, blue and red, hanging up. A
little way within the shop door, lay heaps of old crackled parchment
scrolls, and discolored and dog's-eared law-papers. I could have fancied
that all the rusty keys, of which there must have been hundreds huddled
together as old iron, had once belonged to doors of rooms or strong
chests in lawyers' offices. The litter of rags tumbled partly into and
partly out of a one-legged wooden scale, hanging without any
counterpoise from a beam, might have been counselors' bands and gowns
torn up. One had only to fancy, as Richard whispered to Ada and me while
we all stood looking in, that yonder bones in a corner, piled together
and picked very clean, were the bones of clients, to make the picture
complete.

As it was still foggy and dark, and as the shop was blinded besides by
the wall of Lincoln's Inn, intercepting the light within a couple of
yards, we should not have seen so much but for a lighted lantern that an
old man in spectacles and a hairy cap was carrying about in the shop.
Turning toward the door, he now caught sight of us. He was short,
cadaverous, and withered; with his head sunk sideways between his
shoulders, and the breath issuing in visible smoke from his mouth, as if
he were on fire within. His throat, chin, and eyebrows, were so frosted
with white hairs, and so gnarled with veins and puckered skin, that he
looked, from his breast upward, like some old root in a fall of snow.

"Hi, hi!" said the old man, coming to the door. "Have you any thing to
sell?"

We naturally drew back and glanced at our conductress, who had been
trying to open the house door with a key she had taken from her pocket,
and to whom Richard now said, that, as we had had the pleasure of seeing
where she lived, we would leave her, being pressed for time. But she
was not to be so easily left. She became so fantastically and pressingly
earnest in her entreaties that we would walk up, and see her apartment
for an instant; and was so bent, in her harmless way, on leading me in,
as part of the good omen she desired; that I (whatever the others might
do) saw nothing for it but to comply. I suppose we were all more or less
curious;--at any rate, when the old man added his persuasions to hers,
and said, "Ay, ay! Please her! It won't take a minute! Come in, come in!
Come in through the shop, if t'other door's out of order!" we all went
in, stimulated by Richard's laughing encouragement, and relying on his
protection.

"My landlord, Krook!" said the little old lady, condescending to him
from her lofty station, as she presented him to us. "He is called among
the neighbors the Lord Chancellor. His shop is called the Court of
Chancery. He is a very eccentric person. He is very odd. Oh, I assure
you he is very odd!"

She shook her head a great many times, and tapped her forehead with her
finger, to express to us that we must have the goodness to excuse him,
"For he is a little--you know!--M--!" said the old lady, with great
stateliness. The old man overheard, and laughed.

"It's true enough," he said, going before us with the lantern, "that
they call me the Lord Chancellor, and call my shop Chancery. And why do
you think they call me the Lord Chancellor, and my shop Chancery?"

"I don't know, I am sure!" said Richard, rather carelessly.

"You see," said the old man, stopping and turning round, "they--Hi!
Here's lovely hair! I have got three sacks of ladies' hair below, but
none so beautiful and fine as this. What color, and what texture!"

"That'll do, my good friend!" said Richard, strongly disapproving of his
having drawn one of Ada's tresses through his yellow hand. "You can
admire as the rest of us do, without taking that liberty."

The old man darted at him a sudden look, which even called my attention
from Ada, who, startled and blushing, was so remarkably beautiful that
she seemed to fix the wondering attention of the little old lady
herself. But as Ada interposed, and laughingly said she could only feel
proud of such genuine admiration, Mr. Krook shrunk into his former self
as suddenly as he had leaped out of it.

"You see I have so many things here," he resumed, holding up the
lantern, "of so many kinds, and all, as the neighbors think (but they
know nothing), wasting away and going to rack and ruin, that that's why
they have given me and my place a christening. And I have so many old
parchmentses and papers in my stock. And I have a liking for rust and
must and cobwebs. And all's fish that comes to my net. And I can't abear
to part with any thing I once lay hold of (or so my neighbors think,
but what do _they_ know?) or to alter any thing, or to have any
sweeping, nor scouring, nor cleaning, nor repairing going on about me.
That's the way I've got the ill name of Chancery, _I_ don't mind. I go
to see my noble and learned brother pretty well every day, when he sits
in the Inn. He don't notice me, but I notice him. There's no great odds
betwixt us. We both grub on in a muddle. Hi, Lady Jane!"

A large gray cat leaped from some neighboring shelf on his shoulder, and
startled us all.

"Hi! Show 'em how you can scratch. Hi! Tear, my lady!" said her master.

The cat leaped down, and ripped at a bundle of rags with her tigerish
claws, with a sound that it set my teeth on edge to hear.

"She'd do as much for any one I was to set her on," said the old man. "I
deal in cat-skins among other general matters, and hers was offered to
me. It's a very fine skin, as you may see, but I didn't have it stripped
off! _That_ warn't like Chancery practice though, says you."

He had by this time led us across the shop, and now opened a door in the
back part of it, leading to the house-entry. As he stood with his hand
upon the lock, the old lady graciously observed to him before passing
out:

"That will do, Krook. You mean well, but are tiresome. My young friends
are pressed for time. I have none to spare myself, having to attend
court very soon. My young friends are the wards in Jarndyce."

"Jarndyce!" said the old man, with a start.

"Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The great suit, Krook," returned his lodger.

"Hi!" exclaimed the old man, in a tone of thoughtful amazement, and with
a wider stare than before. "Think of it!"

He seemed so rapt all in a moment, and looked so curiously at us, that
Richard said:

"Why, you appear to trouble yourself a good deal about the causes before
your noble and learned brother, the other Chancellor!"

"Yes," said the old man, abstractedly. "Sure! _Your_ name now will be--"

"Richard Carstone."

"Carstone," he repeated, slowly checking off that name upon his
forefinger; and each of the others he went on to mention, upon a
separate finger. "Yes. There was the name of Barbary, and the name of
Clare, and the name of Dedlock, too, I think."

"He knows as much of the cause as the real salaried Chancellor!" said
Richard, quite astonished, to Ada and me.

"Ay!" said the old man, coming slowly out of his abstraction. "Yes! Tom
Jarndyce--you'll excuse me, being related; but he was never known about
court by any other name, and was as well known there, as--she is now;"
nodding slightly at his lodger; "Tom Jarndyce was often in here. He got
into a restless habit of strolling about when the cause was on, or
expected, talking to the little shopkeepers, and telling 'em to keep
out of Chancery, whatever they did. 'For,' says he, 'it's being ground
to bits in a slow mill; it's being roasted at a slow fire; it's being
stung to death by single bees; it's being drowned by drops; it's going
mad by grains.' He was as near making away with himself, just where the
young lady stands, as near could be."

We listened with horror.

"He come in at the door," said the old man, slowly pointing an imaginary
track along the shop, "on the day he did it--the whole neighborhood had
said for months before, that he would do it, of a certainty, sooner or
later--he come in at the door that day, and walked along there, and sat
himself on a bench that stood there, and asked me (you'll judge I was a
mortal sight younger then) to fetch him a pint of wine. 'For,' says he,
'Krook, I am much depressed; my cause is on again, and I think I'm
nearer Judgment than I ever was.' I hadn't a mind to leave him alone;
and I persuaded him to go to the tavern over the way there, t'other side
my lane (I mean Chancery-lane); and I followed and looked in at the
window, and saw him, comfortable as I thought, in the arm-chair by the
fire, and company with him. I hadn't hardly got back here, when I heard
a shot go echoing and rattling right away into the inn. I ran
out--neighbors ran out--twenty of us cried at once, 'Tom Jarndyce!'"

The old man stopped, looked hard at us, looked down into the lantern,
blew the light out, and shut the lantern up.

"We were right, I needn't tell the present hearers. Hi! To be sure, how
the neighborhood poured into court that afternoon while the cause was
on! How my noble and learned brother, and all the rest of 'em, grubbed
and muddled away as usual, and tried to look as if they hadn't heard a
word of the last fact in the case; or as if they had--O dear me! nothing
at all to do with it, if they had heard of it by any chance!"

Ada's color had entirely left her, and Richard was scarcely less pale.
Nor could I wonder, judging even from my emotions, and I was no party in
the suit, that to hearts so untried and fresh, it was a shock to come
into the inheritance of a protracted misery, attended in the minds of
many people with such dreadful recollections. I had another uneasiness,
in the application of the painful story to the poor half-witted creature
who had brought us there; but, to my surprise, she seemed perfectly
unconscious of that, and only led the way up-stairs again; informing us,
with the toleration of a superior creature for the infirmities of a
common mortal, that her landlord was "a little--M--, you know!"

She lived at the top of the house, in a pretty large room, from which
she had a glimpse of Lincoln's Inn Hall. This seemed to have been her
principal inducement, originally, for taking up her residence there. She
could look at it, she said, in the night: especially in the moonshine.
Her room was clean, but very, very bare. I noticed the scantiest
necessaries in the way of furniture; a few old prints from books, of
Chancellors and barristers, wafered against the wall; and some
half-dozen reticules and work-bags, "containing documents," as she
informed us. There were neither coals nor ashes in the grate, and I saw
no articles of clothing any where, nor any kind of food. Upon a shelf in
an open cupboard were a plate or two, a cup or two, and so forth; but
all dry and empty. There was a more affecting meaning in her pinched
appearance, I thought, as I looked round, than I had understood before.

"Extremely honored, I am sure," said our poor hostess, with the greatest
suavity, "by this visit from the wards in Jarndyce. And very much
indebted for the omen. It is a retired situation. Considering, I am
limited as to situation. In consequence of the necessity of attending on
the Chancellor. I have lived here many years. I pass my days in court;
my evenings and my nights here. I find the nights long, for I sleep but
little, and think much. That is, of course, unavoidable; being in
Chancery. I am sorry I can not offer chocolate. I expect a judgment
shortly, and shall then place my establishment on a superior footing. At
present, I don't mind confessing to the wards in Jarndyce (in strict
confidence), that I sometimes find it difficult to keep up a genteel
appearance. I have felt the cold here. I have felt something sharper
than cold. It matters very little. Pray excuse the introduction of such
mean topics."

She partly drew aside the curtain of the long, low garret-window, and
called our attention to a number of bird-cages hanging there: some,
containing several birds. There were larks, linnets, and goldfinches--I
should think at least twenty.

"I began to keep the little creatures," she said, "with an object that
the wards will readily comprehend. With the intention of restoring them
to liberty. When my judgment should be given. Ye-es! They die in prison,
though. Their lives, poor silly things, are so short in comparison with
Chancery proceedings, that, one by one, the whole collection has died
over and over again. I doubt, do you know, whether one of these, though
they are all young, will live to be free! Ve-ry mortifying, is it not?"

Although she sometimes asked a question, she never seemed to expect a
reply; but rambled on as if she were in the habit of doing so, when no
one but herself was present.

"Indeed," she pursued, "I positively doubt sometimes, I do assure you,
whether while matters are still unsettled, and the sixth or Great Seal
still prevails, _I_ may not one day be found lying stark and senseless
here, as I have found so many birds!"

Richard, answering what he saw in Ada's compassionate eyes, took the
opportunity of laying some money, softly and unobserved, on the
chimney-piece. We all drew nearer to the cages, feigning to examine the
birds.

"I can't allow them to sing much," said the little old lady, "for
(you'll think this curious) I had my mind confused by the idea that
they are singing, while I am following the arguments in court. And my
mind requires to be so very clear, you know! Another time, I'll tell you
their names. Not at present. On a day of such good omen, they shall sing
as much as they like. In honor of youth," a smile and curtsey; "hope," a
smile and curtsey; "and beauty," a smile and curtsey. "There! We'll let
in the full light."

The birds began to stir and chirp.

"I can not admit the air freely," said the little old lady; the room was
close, and would have been the better for it; "because the cat you saw
down stairs--called Lady Jane--is greedy for their lives. She crouches
on the parapet outside, for hours and hours. I have discovered,"
whispering mysteriously, "that her natural cruelty is sharpened by a
jealous fear of their regaining their liberty. In consequence of the
judgment I expect being shortly given. She is sly, and full of malice. I
half believe, sometimes, that she is no cat, but the wolf of the old
saying. It is so very difficult to keep her from the door."

Some neighboring bells reminding the poor soul that it was half-past
nine, did more for us in the way of bringing our visit to an end, than
we could easily have done for ourselves. She hurriedly took up her
little bag of documents, which she had laid upon the table on coming in,
and asked if we were also going into court? On our answering no, and
that we would on no account detain her, she opened the door to attend us
down stairs.

"With such an omen, it is even more necessary than usual that I should
be there before the Chancellor comes in," said she, "for he might
mention my case the first thing. I have a presentiment that he _will_
mention it the first thing this morning."

She stopped to tell us, in a whisper, as we were going down, that the
whole house was filled with strange lumber which her landlord had bought
piecemeal, and had no wish to sell--in consequence of being a
little--M--. This was on the first floor. But she had made a previous
stoppage on the second floor, and had silently pointed at a dark door
there.

"The only other lodger," she now whispered, in explanation; "a
law-writer. The children in the lanes here say he has sold himself to
the devil. I don't know what he can have done with the money. Hush!"

She appeared to mistrust that the lodger might hear her, even there; and
repeating "Hush!" went before us on tiptoe, as though even the sound of
her footsteps might reveal to him what she had said.

Passing through the shop on our way out, as we had passed through it on
our way in, we found the old man storing a quantity of packets of waste
paper, in a kind of well in the floor. He seemed to be working hard,
with the perspiration standing on his forehead, and had a piece of chalk
by him; with which, as he put each separate package or bundle down, he
made a crooked mark on the paneling of the wall.

Richard and Ada, and Miss Jellyby, and the little old lady had gone by
him, and I was going, when he touched me on the arm to stay me, and
chalked the letter _J_ upon the wall--in a very curious manner,
beginning with the end of the letter and shaping it backward. It was a
capital letter, not a printed one, but just such a letter as any clerk
in Messrs. Kenge and Carboy's office would have made.

"Can you read it?" he asked me, with a keen glance.

"Surely," said I. "It's very plain."

"What is it?"

"J."

With another glance at me, and a glance at the door, he rubbed it out,
and turned an _a_ in its place (not a capital letter this time), and
said, "What's that?"

I told him. He then rubbed that out, and turned the letter _r_, and
asked me the same question. He went on quickly, until he had formed, in
the same curious manner, beginning at the ends and bottoms of the
letters, the word JARNDYCE, without once leaving two letters on the wall
together.

"What does that spell?" he asked me.

When I told him, he laughed. In the same odd way, yet with the same
rapidity, he then produced singly, and rubbed out singly, the letters
forming the words BLEAK HOUSE. These, in some astonishment, I also read;
and he laughed again.

"Hi!" said the old man, laying aside the chalk, "I have a turn for
copying from memory, you see, miss, though I can neither read nor
write."

[Illustration: THE LORD CHANCELLOR COPIES FROM MEMORY.]

He looked so disagreeable, and his cat looked so wickedly at me, as if I
were a blood-relation of the birds up-stairs, that I was quite relieved
by Richard's appearing at the door and saying:

"Miss Summerson, I hope you are not bargaining for the sale of your
hair. Don't be tempted. Three sacks below are quite enough for Mr.
Krook!"

I lost no time in wishing Mr. Krook good-morning, and joining my friends
outside, where we parted with the little old lady, who gave us her
blessing with great ceremony, and renewed her assurance of yesterday in
reference to her intention of settling estates on Ada and me. Before we
finally turned out of those lanes, we looked back, and saw Mr. Krook
standing at his shop-door, in his spectacles, looking after us, with his
cat upon his shoulder, and her tail sticking up on one side of his hairy
cap, like a tall feather.

"Quite an adventure for a morning in London!" said Richard, with a sigh.
"Ah, cousin, cousin, it's a weary word this Chancery."

"It is to me, and has been ever since I can remember," returned Ada. "I
am grieved that I should be the enemy--as I suppose I am--of a great
number of relations and others; and that they should be my enemies--as I
suppose they are; and that we should all be ruining one another, without
knowing how or why, and be in constant doubt and discord all our lives.
It seems very strange, as there must be right somewhere, that an honest
judge in real earnest has not been able to find out through all these
years where it is."

"Ah, cousin!" said Richard. "Strange, indeed! all this wasteful, wanton
chess-playing is very strange. To see that composed Court yesterday
jogging on so serenely, and to think of the wretchedness of the pieces
on the board, gave me the headache and the heartache both together. My
head ached with wondering how it happened, if men were neither fools nor
rascals; and my heart ached to think they could possibly be either. But
at all events, Ada--I may call you Ada?"

"Of course you may, cousin Richard."

"At all events, Ada, Chancery will work none of its bad influence on
_us_. We have happily been brought together, thanks to our good kinsman,
and it can't divide us now!"

"Never, I hope, cousin Richard!" said Ada, gently.

Miss Jellyby gave my arm a squeeze, and me a very significant look. I
smiled in return, and we made the rest of the way back very pleasantly.

In half an hour after our arrival, Mrs. Jellyby appeared; and in the
course of an hour the various things necessary for breakfast straggled
one by one into the dining-room. I do not doubt that Mrs. Jellyby had
gone to bed, and got up in the usual manner, but she presented no
appearance of having changed her dress. She was greatly occupied during
breakfast; for the morning's post brought a heavy correspondence
relative to Borrioboola-Gha, which would occasion her (she said) to pass
a busy day. The children tumbled about, and notched memoranda of their
accidents in their legs, which were perfect little calendars of
distress; and Peepy was lost for an hour and a half, and brought home
from Newgate market by a policeman. The equable manner in which Mrs.
Jellyby sustained both his absence, and his restoration to the family
circle, surprised us all.

She was by that time perseveringly dictating to Caddy, and Caddy was
fast relapsing into the inky condition in which we had found her. At one
o'clock an open carriage arrived for us, and a cart for our luggage.
Mrs. Jellyby charged us with many remembrances to her good friend, Mr.
Jarndyce; Caddy left her desk to see us depart, kissed me in the
passage, and stood, biting her pen, and sobbing on the steps; Peepy, I
am happy to say, was asleep, and spared the pain of separation (I was
not without misgivings that he had gone to Newgate market in search of
me); and all the other children got up behind the barouche and fell off,
and we saw them, with great concern, scattered over the surface of
Thavies Inn, as we rolled out of its precincts.


CHAPTER VI.--QUITE AT HOME.

The day had brightened very much, and still brightened as we went
westward. We went our way through the sunshine and the fresh air,
wondering more and more at the extent of the streets, the brilliancy of
the shops, the great traffic, and the crowds of people whom the
pleasanter weather seemed to have brought out like many-colored flowers.
By-and-by we began to leave the wonderful city, and to proceed through
suburbs which, of themselves, would have made a pretty large town, in my
eyes; and at last we got into a real country road again, with
wind-mills, rick-yards, milestones, farmers' wagons, scents of old hay,
swinging signs, and horse-troughs: trees, fields, and hedge-rows. It was
delightful to see the green landscape before us, and the immense
metropolis behind; and when a wagon with a train of beautiful horses,
furnished with red trappings and clear-sounding bells, came by us with
its music, I believe we could all three have sung to the bells, so
cheerful were the influences around.

"The whole road has been reminding me of my namesake, Whittington," said
Richard, "and that wagon is the finishing touch. Halloa! what's the
matter?"

We had stopped, and the wagon had stopped, too. Its music changed as the
horses came to a stand, and subsided to a gentle tinkling, except when a
horse tossed his head, or shook himself, and sprinkled off a little
shower of bell-ringing.

"Our postillion is looking after the wagoner," said Richard; "and the
wagoner is coming back after us. Good-day, friend!" The wagoner was at
our coach-door. "Why, here's an extraordinary thing!" added Richard,
looking closely at the man. "He has got your name, Ada, in his hat!"

He had all our names in his hat. Tucked within the band, were three
small notes; one, addressed to Ada; one, to Richard, one, to me. These
the wagoner delivered to each of us respectively, reading the name aloud
first. In answer to Richard's inquiry from whom they came, he briefly
answered, "Master, sir, if you please;" and, putting on his hat again
(which was like a soft bowl), cracked his whip, re-awakened his music,
and went melodiously away.

"Is that Mr. Jarndyce's wagon?" said Richard, calling to our post-boy.

"Yes, sir," he replied. "Going to London."

We opened the notes. Each was a counterpart of the other, and contained
these words, in a solid, plain hand:

   "I look forward, my dear, to our meeting easily, and without
   constraint on either side. I therefore have to propose that we meet
   as old friends, and take the past for granted. It will be a relief
   to you possibly, and to me certainly, and so my love to you.

                                                  JOHN JARNDYCE."

I had, perhaps, less reason to be surprised than either of my
companions, having never yet enjoyed an opportunity of thanking one who
had been my benefactor and sole earthly dependence through so many
years. I had not considered how I could thank him, my gratitude lying
too deep in my heart for that; but I now began to consider how I could
meet him without thanking him, and felt it would be very difficult
indeed.

The notes revived, in Richard and Ada, a general impression that they
both had, without quite knowing how they came by it, that their cousin,
Jarndyce, could never bear acknowledgments for any kindness he
performed, and that, sooner than receive any, he would resort to the
most singular expedients and evasions, or would even run away. Ada dimly
remembered to have heard her mother tell, when she was a very little
child, that he had once done her an act of uncommon generosity, and that
on her going to his house to thank him, he happened to see her through a
window coming to the door, and immediately escaped by the back gate, and
was not heard of for three months. This discourse led to a great deal
more on the same theme, and indeed it lasted us all day, and we talked
of scarcely any thing else. If we did, by any chance, diverge into
another subject, we soon returned to this; and wondered what the house
would be like, and when we should get there, and whether we should see
Mr. Jarndyce as soon as we arrived, or after a delay, and what he would
say to us, and what we should say to him. All of which we wondered
about, over and over again.

The roads were very heavy for the horses, but the pathway was generally
good; so we alighted and walked up all the hills, and liked it so well
that we prolonged our walk on the level ground when we got to the top.
At Barnet there were other horses waiting for us; but as they had only
just been fed, we had to wait for them, too, and got a long fresh walk,
over a common and an old battle-field, before the carriage came up.
These delays so protracted the journey, that the short day was spent,
and the long night had closed in, before we came to Saint Albans; near
to which town Bleak House was, we knew.

By that time we were so anxious and nervous, that even Richard
confessed, as we rattled over the stones of the old street, to feeling
an irrational desire to drive back again. As to Ada and me, whom he had
wrapped up with great care, the night being sharp and frosty, we
trembled from head to foot. When we turned out of the town, round a
corner, and Richard told us that the post-boy, who had for a long time
sympathized with our heightened expectation, was looking back and
nodding, we both stood up in the carriage (Richard holding Ada, lest
she should be jolted down), and gazed round upon the open country and
the starlight night, for our destination. There was a light sparkling on
the top of a hill before us, and the driver, pointing to it with his
whip and crying, "That's Bleak House!" put his horses into a canter, and
took us forward at such a rate, up-hill though it was, that the wheels
sent the road-drift flying about our heads like spray from a water-mill.
Presently we lost the light, presently saw it, presently lost it,
presently saw it, and turned into an avenue of trees, and cantered up
toward where it was beaming brightly. It was in a window of what seemed
to be an old-fashioned house, with three peaks in the roof in front, and
a circular sweep leading to the porch. A bell was rung as we drew up,
and amidst the sound of its deep voice in the still air, and the distant
barking of some dogs, and a gush of light from the opened door, and the
smoking and steaming of the heated horses, and the quickened beating of
our own hearts, we alighted in no inconsiderable confusion.

"Ada, my love, Esther, my dear, you are welcome. I rejoice to see you!
Rick, if I had a hand to spare at present, I would give it you!"

The gentleman who said these words in a clear, bright, hospitable voice,
had one of his arms round Ada's waist, and the other round mine, and
kissed us both in a fatherly way, and bore us across the hall into a
ruddy little room, all in a glow with a blazing fire. Here he kissed us
again, and, opening his arms, made us sit down side-by-side, on a sofa
ready drawn out near the hearth. I felt that if we had been at all
demonstrative, he would have run away in a moment.

"Now, Rick," said he, "I have a hand at liberty. A word in earnest is as
good as a speech. I am heartily glad to see you. You are at home. Warm
yourself!"

Richard shook him by both hands with an intuitive mixture of respect and
frankness, and only saying (though with an earnestness that rather
alarmed me, I was so afraid of Mr. Jarndyce's suddenly disappearing),
"You are very kind, sir! We are very much obliged to you!" laid aside
his hat and coat, and came up to the fire.

"And how did you like the ride? And how did you like Mrs. Jellyby, my
dear?" said Mr. Jarndyce to Ada.

While Ada was speaking to him in reply, I glanced (I need not say with
how much interest) at his face. It was a handsome, lively, quick face,
full of change and motion; and his hair was a silvered iron-gray. I took
him to be nearer sixty than fifty, but he was upright, hearty, and
robust. From the moment of his first speaking to us, his voice had
connected itself with an association in my mind that I could not define;
but now, all at once, a something sudden in his, manner, and a pleasant
expression in his eyes, recalled the gentleman in the stage-coach, six
years ago, on the memorable day of my journey to Reading. I was certain
it was he. I never was so frightened in my life as when I made the
discovery, for he caught my glance, and appearing to read my thoughts,
gave such a look at the door that I thought we had lost him.

However, I am happy to say that he remained where he was, and asked me
what _I_ thought of Mrs. Jellyby.

"She exerts herself very much for Africa, sir," I said.

"Nobly!" returned Mr. Jarndyce. "But you answer like Ada," whom I had
not heard. "You all think something else, I see."

"We rather thought," said I, glancing at Richard and Ada, who entreated
me with their eyes to speak, "that perhaps she was a little unmindful of
her home."

"Floored!" cried Mr. Jarndyce.

I was rather alarmed again.

"Well! I want to know your real thoughts, my dear. I may have sent you
there on purpose."

"We thought that, perhaps," said I, hesitating, "it is right to begin
with the obligations of home, sir; and that, perhaps, while those are
overlooked and neglected, no other duties can possibly be substituted
for them?"

"The little Jellybys," said Richard, coming to my relief, "are really--I
can't help expressing myself strongly, sir--in a devil of a state."

"She means well," said Mr. Jarndyce, hastily. "The wind's in the east."

"It was in the north, sir, as we came down," observed Richard.

"My dear Rick," said Mr. Jarndyce, poking the fire; "I'll take an oath
it's either in the east, or going to be. I am always conscious of an
uncomfortable sensation now and then when the wind is blowing in the
east."

"Rheumatism, sir?" said Richard.

"I dare say it is, Rick. I believe it is. And so the little Jell--I had
my doubts about 'em--are in a--oh, Lord, yes, it's easterly!" said Mr.
Jarndyce.

He had taken two or three undecided turns up and down while uttering
these broken sentences, retaining the poker in one hand and rubbing his
hair with the other, with a good-natured vexation, at once so whimsical
and so lovable, that I am sure we were more delighted with him than we
could possibly have expressed in any words. He gave an arm to Ada and an
arm to me, and bidding Richard bring a candle, was leading the way out,
when he suddenly turned us all back again.

"Those little Jellybys. Couldn't you--didn't you--now, if it had rained
sugar-plums, or three-cornered raspberry tarts, or any thing of that
sort!" said Mr. Jarndyce.

"O cousin--!" Ada hastily began.

"Good, my pretty pet. I like cousin. Cousin John, perhaps, is better."

"Then, cousin John!--" Ada laughingly began again.

"Ha, ha! Very good indeed!" said Mr. Jarndyce, with great enjoyment.
"Sounds uncommonly natural. Yes, my dear?"

"It did better than that. It rained Esther."

"Ay?" said Mr. Jarndyce. "What did Esther do?"

"Why, cousin John," said Ada, clasping her hands upon his arm, and
shaking her head at me across him--for I wanted her to be quiet: "Esther
was their friend directly. Esther nursed them, coaxed them to sleep,
washed and dressed them, told them stories, kept them quiet, bought them
keepsakes."--My dear girl! I had only gone out with Peepy, after he was
found, and given him a little, tiny horse!--"and, cousin John, she
softened poor Caroline, the eldest one, so much, and was so thoughtful
for me and so amiable!--No, no, I won't be contradicted, Esther dear!
You know, you know, it's true!"

The warm-hearted darling leaned across her cousin John, and kissed me;
and then, looking up in his face, boldly said, "At all events, cousin
John, I _will_ thank you for the companion you have given me." I felt as
if she challenged him to run away. But he didn't.

"Where did you say the wind was, Rick?" asked Mr. Jarndyce.

"In the north, as we came down, sir."

"You are right. There's no east in it. A mistake of mine. Come girls,
come and see your home!"

It was one of those delightfully irregular houses where you go up and
down steps, out of one room into another, and where you come upon more
rooms when you think you have seen all there are, and where there is a
bountiful provision of little halls and passages, and where you find
still older cottage-rooms in unexpected places, with lattice windows and
green growth pressing through them. Mine, which we entered first, was of
this kind, with an up-and-down roof, that had more corners in it than I
ever counted afterward, and a chimney (there was a wood-fire on the
hearth) paved all round with pure white tiles, in every one of which a
bright miniature of the fire was blazing. Out of this room, you went
down two steps, into a charming little sitting-room, looking down upon a
flower-garden, which room was henceforth to belong to Ada and me. Out of
this you went up three steps, into Ada's bed-room, which had a fine
broad window, commanding a beautiful view (we saw a great expanse of
darkness lying underneath the stars), to which there was a hollow
window-seat, in which, with a spring-lock, three dear Adas might have
been lost at once. Out of this room, you passed into a little gallery,
with which the other best rooms (only two) communicated, and so, by a
little staircase of shallow steps, with a great number of corner stairs
in it, considering its length, down into the hall. But if, instead of
going out at Ada's door, you came back into my room, and went out at the
door by which you had entered it, and turned up a few crooked steps that
branched off in an unexpected manner from the stairs, you lost yourself
in passages, with mangles in them, and three-cornered tables, and a
Native-Hindoo chair, which was also a sofa, a box, and a bedstead, and
looked, in every form, something between a bamboo skeleton and a great
bird-cage, and had been brought from India nobody knew by whom, or when.
From these, you came on Richard's room, which was part library, part
sitting-room, part bed-room, and seemed indeed a comfortable compound of
many rooms. Out of that, you went straight, with a little interval of
passage, to the plain room where Mr. Jarndyce slept, all the year round,
with his window open, his bedstead, without any furniture, standing in
the middle of the floor for more air, and his cold-bath gaping for him
in a smaller room adjoining. Out of that, you came into another passage,
where there were back-stairs, and where you could hear the horses being
rubbed down, outside the stable, and being told to Hold up, and Get
over, as they slipped about very much on the uneven stones. Or you
might, if you came out at another door (every room had at least two
doors), go straight down to the hall again by half-a-dozen steps and a
low archway, wondering how you got back there, or had ever got out of
it.

The furniture, old-fashioned rather than old, like the house, was as
pleasantly irregular. Ada's sleeping-room was all flowers--in chintz and
paper; in velvet, in needle-work, in the brocade of two stiff courtly
chairs, which stood, each attended by a little page of a stool for
greater state, on either side of the fire-place. Our sitting-room was
green; and had, framed and glazed, upon the walls, numbers of surprising
and surprised birds, staring out of pictures at a real trout in a case,
as brown and shining as if it had been served with gravy; at the death
of Captain Cook; and at the whole process of preparing tea in China, as
depicted by Chinese artists. In my room there were oval engravings of
the months--ladies hay-making, in short waists, and large hats tied
under the chin, for June--smooth-legged noblemen, pointing, with
cocked-hats, to village steeples, for October. Half-length portraits, in
crayons, abounded all through the house; but were so dispersed that I
found the brother of a youthful officer of mine in the china-closet, and
the gray old age of my pretty young bride, with a flower in her boddice,
in the breakfast-room. As substitutes, I had four angels, of Queen
Anne's reign, taking a complacent gentleman to heaven, in festoons, with
some difficulty; and a composition in needle-work, representing fruit, a
kettle, and an alphabet. All the movables, from the wardrobes to the
chairs and tables, hangings, glasses, even to the pincushions and
scent-bottles on the dressing-tables, displayed the same quaint variety.
They agreed in nothing but their perfect neatness, their display of the
whitest linen, and their storing-up, wheresoever the existence of a
drawer, small or large, rendered it possible, of quantities of
rose-leaves and sweet lavender. Such, with its illuminated windows,
softened here and there by shadows of curtains, shining out upon the
starlight night; with its light, and warmth, and comfort; with its
hospitable jingle, at a distance, of preparations for dinner; with the
face of its generous master brightening every thing we saw; and just
wind enough without to sound a low accompaniment to every thing we
heard; were our first impressions of Bleak House.

"I am glad you like it," said Mr. Jarndyce, when he had brought us round
again to Ada's sitting-room. "It makes no pretensions; but it is a
comfortable little place, I hope, and will be more so with such bright
young looks in it. You have barely half an hour before dinner. There's
no one here but the finest creature upon earth--a child."

"More children, Esther!" said Ada.

"I don't mean literally a child," pursued Mr. Jarndyce; "not a child in
years. He is grown up--he is at least as old as I am--but in simplicity,
and freshness, and enthusiasm, and a fine guileless inaptitude for all
worldly affairs, he is a perfect child."

We felt that he must be very interesting.

"He knows Mrs. Jellyby," said Mr. Jarndyce. "He is a musical man; an
Amateur, but might have been a Professional. He is an Artist, too; an
Amateur, but might have been a Professional. He is a man of attainments
and of captivating manners. He has been unfortunate in his affairs, and
unfortunate in his pursuits, and unfortunate in his family; but he don't
care--he's a child!"

"Did you imply that he has children of his own, sir?" inquired Richard.

"Yes, Rick! Half-a-dozen. More! Nearer a dozen, I should think. But he
has never looked after them. How could he? He wanted somebody to look
after _him_. He is a child, you know!" said Mr. Jarndyce.

"And have the children looked after themselves at all, sir?" inquired
Richard.

"Why, just as you may suppose," said Mr. Jarndyce: his countenance
suddenly falling. "It is said that the children of the very poor are not
brought up, but dragged up. Harold Skimpole's children have tumbled up
somehow or other.--The wind's getting round again, I am afraid. I feel
it rather!"

Richard observed that the situation was exposed on a sharp night.

"It is exposed," said Mr. Jarndyce. "No doubt that's the cause. Bleak
House has an exposed sound. But you are coming my way. Come along!"

Our luggage having arrived, and being all at hand, I was dressed in a
few minutes, and engaged in putting my worldly goods away, when a maid
(not the one in attendance upon Ada, but another whom I had not seen)
brought a basket into my room, with two bunches of keys in it, all
labeled.

"For you, miss, if you please," said she.

"For me?" said I.

"The housekeeping keys, miss."

I showed my surprise; for she added, with some little surprise on her
own part: "I was told to bring them as soon as you was alone, miss. Miss
Summerson, if I don't deceive myself?"

"Yes," said I. "That is my name."

"The large bunch is the housekeeping, and the little bunch is the
cellars, miss. Any time you was pleased to appoint to-morrow morning, I
was to show you the presses and things they belong to."

I said I would be ready at half-past six; and, after she was gone, stood
looking at the basket, quite lost in the magnitude of my trust. Ada
found me thus; and had such a delightful confidence in me when I showed
her the keys, and told her about them, that it would have been
insensibility and ingratitude not to feel encouraged. I knew, to be
sure, that it was the dear girl's kindness; but I liked to be so
pleasantly cheated.

When we went down stairs, we were presented to Mr. Skimpole, who was
standing before the fire, telling Richard how fond he used to be, in his
school-time, of football. He was a little bright creature, with a rather
large head; but a delicate face, and a sweet voice, and there was a
perfect charm in him. All he said was so free from effort and
spontaneous, and was said with such a captivating gayety, that it was
fascinating to hear him talk. Being of a more slender figure than Mr.
Jarndyce, and having a richer complexion, with browner hair, he looked
younger. Indeed, he had more the appearance, in all respects, of a
damaged young man, than a well-preserved elderly one. There was an easy
negligence in his manner, and even in his dress (his hair carelessly
disposed, and his neck-kerchief loose and flowing, as I have seen
artists paint their own portraits), which I could not separate from the
idea of a romantic youth who had undergone some unique process of
depreciation. It struck me as being not at all like the manner or
appearance of a man who had advanced in life, by the usual road of
years, cares, and experiences.

I gathered from the conversation, that Mr. Skimpole had been educated
for the medical profession, and had once lived, in his professional
capacity, in the household of a German prince. He told us, however, that
as he had always been a mere child in point of weights and measures, and
had never known any thing about them (except that they disgusted him),
he had never been able to prescribe with the requisite accuracy of
detail. In fact, he said, he had no head for detail. And he told us,
with great humor, that when he was wanted to bleed the prince, or physic
any of his people, he was generally found lying on his back in bed,
reading the newspapers, or making fancy-sketches in pencil, and couldn't
come. The prince, at last, objecting to this, "in which," said Mr.
Skimpole, in the frankest manner, "he was perfectly right," the
engagement terminated; and Mr. Skimpole having (as he added with
delightful gayety) "nothing to live upon but love, fell in love, and
married, and surrounded himself with rosy cheeks." His good friend
Jarndyce and some other of his good friends then helped him, in quicker
or slower succession, to several openings in life; but to no purpose,
for he must confess to two of the oddest infirmities in the world: one
was, that he had no idea of time; the other, that he had no idea of
money. In consequence of which, he never kept an appointment, never
could transact any business, and never knew the value of any thing!
Well! So he had got on in life, and here he was! He was very fond of
reading the papers, very fond of making fancy-sketches with a pencil,
very fond of nature, very fond of art. All he asked of society was, to
let him live. _That_ wasn't much. His wants were few. Give him the
papers, conversation, music, mutton, coffee, landscape, fruit in season,
a few sheets of Bristol-board, and a little claret, and he asked no
more. He was a mere child in the world, but he didn't cry for the moon.
He said to the world, "Go your several ways in peace! Wear red coats,
blue coats, lawn-sleeves, put pens behind your ears, wear aprons; go
after glory, holiness, commerce, trade, any object you prefer; only--let
Harold Skimpole live!"

All this, and a great deal more, he told us, not only with the utmost
brilliancy and enjoyment, but with a certain vivacious candor--speaking
of himself as if he were not at all his own affair, as if Skimpole were
a third person, as if he knew that Skimpole had his singularities, but
still had his claims too, which were the general business of the
community, and must not be slighted. He was quite enchanting. If I felt
at all confused at that early time, in endeavoring to reconcile any
thing he said with any thing I had thought about the duties and
accountabilities of life (which I am far from sure of), I was confused
by not exactly understanding why he was free of them. That he was free
of them, I scarcely doubted; he was so very clear about it himself.

"I covet nothing," said Mr. Skimpole, in the same light way. "Possession
is nothing to me. Here is my friend Jarndyce's excellent house. I feel
obliged to him for possessing it. I can sketch it, and alter it. I can
set it to music. When I am here, I have sufficient possession of it, and
have neither trouble, cost, nor responsibility. My steward's name, in
short, is Jarndyce, and he can't cheat me. We have been mentioning Mrs.
Jellyby. There is a bright-eyed woman, of a strong will and immense
power of business-detail, who throws herself into objects with
surprising ardor! I don't regret that _I_ have not a strong will and an
immense power of business-detail, to throw myself into objects with
surprising ardor. I can admire her without envy. I can sympathize with
the objects. I can dream of them. I can lie down on the grass in fine
weather--and float along an African river, embracing all the natives I
meet, as sensible of the deep silence, and sketching the dense
overhanging tropical growth as accurately, as if I were there. I don't
know that it's of any direct use my doing so, but it's all I can do, and
I do it thoroughly. Then, for heaven's sake, having Harold Skimpole, a
confiding child, petitioning you, the world, an agglomeration of
practical people of business habits, to let him live and admire the
human family, do it somehow or other, like good souls, and suffer him
to ride his rocking-horse!"

It was plain enough that Mr. Jarndyce had not been neglectful of the
adjuration. Mr. Skimpole's general position there would have rendered it
so, without the addition of what he presently said.

"It's only you, the generous creatures, whom I envy," said Mr. Skimpole,
addressing us, his new friends, in an impersonal manner. "I envy you
your power of doing what you do. It is what I should revel in, myself. I
don't feel any vulgar gratitude to you. I almost feel as if _you_ ought
to be grateful to _me_, for giving you the opportunity of enjoying the
luxury of generosity. I know you like it. For any thing I can tell, I
may have come into the world expressly for the purpose of increasing
your stock of happiness. I may have been born to be a benefactor to you,
by sometimes giving you an opportunity of assisting me in my little
perplexities. Why should I regret my incapacity for details and worldly
affairs, when it leads to such pleasant consequences? I don't regret it
therefore."

Of all his playful speeches (playful, yet always fully meaning what they
expressed) none seemed to be more to the taste of Mr. Jarndyce than
this. I had often new temptations, afterward, to wonder whether it was
really singular, or only singular to me, that he, who was probably the
most grateful of mankind upon the least occasion, should so desire to
escape the gratitude of others.

We were all enchanted. I felt it a merited tribute to the engaging
qualities of Ada and Richard, that Mr. Skimpole, seeing them for the
first time, should be so unreserved, and should lay himself out to be so
exquisitely agreeable. They (and especially Richard) were naturally
pleased for similar reasons, and considered it no common privilege to be
so freely confided in by such an attractive man. The more we listened,
the more gayly Mr. Skimpole talked. And what with his fine hilarious
manner, and his engaging candor, and his genial way of lightly tossing
his own weaknesses about, as if he had said, "I am a child, you know!
You are designing people compared with me;" (he really made me consider
myself in that light); "but I am gay and innocent; forget your worldly
arts and play with me!"--the effect was absolutely dazzling.

He was so full of feeling too, and had such a delicate sentiment for
what was beautiful or tender, that he could have won a heart by that
alone. In the evening when I was preparing to make tea, and Ada was
touching the piano in the adjoining room, and softly humming a tune to
her cousin Richard, which they had happened to mention, he came and sat
down on the sofa near me, and so spoke of Ada that I almost loved him.

"She is like the morning," he said. "With that golden hair, those blue
eyes, and that fresh bloom on her cheek, she is like the summer morning.
The birds here will mistake her for it. We will not call such a lovely
young creature as that, who is a joy to all mankind, an orphan. She is
the child of the universe."

Mr. Jarndyce, I found, was standing near us, with his hands behind him,
and an attentive smile upon his face.

"The universe," he observed, "makes rather an indifferent parent, I am
afraid."

"O! I don't know!" cried Mr. Skimpole, buoyantly.

"I think I do know," said Mr. Jarndyce.

"Well!" cried Mr. Skimpole, "you know the world (which in your sense is
the universe), and I know nothing of it, so you shall have your way. But
if I had mine," glancing at the cousins, "there should be no brambles of
sordid realities in such a path as that. It should be strewn with roses;
it should lie through bowers, where there was no spring, autumn, nor
winter, but perpetual summer. Age or change should never wither it. The
base word money should never be breathed near it!"

Mr. Jarndyce patted him on the head with a smile, as if he had been
really a child; and passing a step or two on, and stopping a moment,
glanced at the young cousins. His look was thoughtful, but had a
benignant expression in it which I often (how often!) saw again: which
has long been engraven on my heart. The room in which they were,
communicating with that in which he stood, was only lighted by the fire.
Ada sat at the piano; Richard stood beside her, bending down. Upon the
wall, their shadows blended together, surrounded by strange forms, not
without a ghostly motion caught from the unsteady fire, though reflected
from motionless objects. Ada touched the notes so softly, and sang so
low, that the wind, sighing away to the distant hills, was as audible as
the music. The mystery of the future, and the little clew afforded to it
by the voice of the present, seemed expressed in the whole picture.

But it is not to recall this fancy, well as I remember it, that I recall
the scene. First, I was not quite unconscious of the contrast, in
respect of meaning and intention, between the silent look directed that
way, and the flow of words that had preceded it. Secondly, though Mr.
Jarndyce's glance, as he withdrew it, rested for but a moment on me, I
felt as if, in that moment, he confided to me--and knew that he confided
to me, and that I received the confidence--his hope that Ada and Richard
might one day enter on a dearer relationship.

Mr. Skimpole could play on the piano, and the violoncello; and he was a
composer--had composed half an opera once, but got tired of it--and
played what he composed, with taste. After tea we had quite a little
concert, in which Richard--who was enthralled by Ada's singing, and told
me that she seemed to know all the songs that ever were written--and Mr.
Jarndyce, and I, were the audience. After a little while I missed, first
Mr. Skimpole, and afterward Richard; and while I was thinking how could
Richard stay away so long, and lose so much, the maid who had given me
the keys looked in at the door, saying, "If you please, miss, could you
spare a minute?"

When I was shut out with her in the hall, she said, holding up her
hands, "Oh, if you please, miss, Mr. Carstone says would you come
up-stairs to Mr. Skimpole's room. He has been took miss!"

"Took?" said I.

"Took, miss. Sudden," said the maid.

I was apprehensive that his illness might be of a dangerous kind; but,
of course, I begged her to be quiet and not disturb any one; and
collected myself, as I followed her quickly up-stairs, sufficiently to
consider what were the best remedies to be applied if it should prove to
be a fit. She threw open a door, and I went into a chamber; where, to my
unspeakable surprise, instead of finding Mr. Skimpole stretched upon the
bed, or prostrate on the floor, I found him standing before the fire
smiling at Richard, while Richard, with a face of great embarrassment,
looked at a person on a sofa, in a white great coat, with smooth hair
upon his head and not much of it, which he was wiping smoother, and
making less of, with a pocket-handkerchief.

"Miss Summerson," said Richard, hurriedly, "I am glad you are come. You
will be able to advise us. Our friend, Mr. Skimpole--don't be
alarmed!--is arrested for debt."

"And, really, my dear Miss Summerson," said Mr. Skimpole, with his
agreeable candor, "I never was in a situation, in which that excellent
sense, and quiet habit of method and usefulness, which any body must
observe in you who has the happiness of being a quarter of an hour in
your society, was more needed."

The person on the sofa, who appeared to have a cold in his head, gave
such a very loud snort, that he startled me.

"Are you arrested for much, sir?" I inquired of Mr. Skimpole.

"My dear Miss Summerson," said he, shaking his head pleasantly, "I don't
know. Some pounds, odd shillings, and halfpence, I think, were
mentioned.

"It's twenty-four pound, sixteen and seven pence ha'penny," observed the
stranger. "That's wot it is."

"And it sounds--somehow it sounds," said Mr. Skimpole, "like a small
sum?"

The strange man said nothing, but made an other snort. It was such a
powerful one, that it seemed quite to lift him up out of his seat.

"Mr. Skimpole," said Richard to me, "has a delicacy in applying to my
cousin Jarndyce, because he has lately--I think, sir, I understood you
that you had lately--"

"Oh, yes!" returned Mr. Skimpole, smiling. "Though I forgot how much it
was, and when it was. Jarndyce would readily do it again; but I have the
epicure-like feeling that I would prefer a novelty in help; that I would
rather," and he looked at Richard and me, "develop generosity in a new
soil, and in a new form of flower."

"What do you think will be best, Miss Summerson?" said Richard, aside.

I ventured to inquire generally, before replying, what would happen if
the money were not produced.

"Jail," said the strange man, coolly putting his handkerchief into his
hat, which was on the floor at his feet. "Or Coavinses."

"May I ask, sir, what is--"

"Coavinses?" said the strange man. "A 'ouse."

Richard and I looked at one another again. It was a most singular thing
that the arrest was our embarrassment, and not Mr. Skimpole's. He
observed us with a genial interest; but there seemed, if I may venture
on such a contradiction nothing selfish in it. He had entirely washed
his hands of the difficulty, and it had become ours.

"I thought," he suggested, as if good-naturedly to help us out, "that,
being parties in a Chancery suit concerning (as people say) a large
amount of property, Mr. Richard, or his beautiful cousin, or both, could
sign something, or make over something, or give some sort of
undertaking, or pledge, or bond? I don't know what the business name of
it may be, but I suppose there is some instrument within their power
that would settle this?"

"Not a bit on it," said the strange man.

"Really," returned Mr. Skimpole; "that seems odd, now, to one who is no
judge of these things!"

"Odd or even," said the stranger, gruffly, "I tell you, not a bit on
it!"

"Keep your temper, my good fellow, keep your temper!" Mr. Skimpole
gently reasoned with him, as he made a little drawing of his head on the
fly-leaf of a book. "Don't be ruffled by your occupation. We can
separate you from your office; we can separate the individual from the
pursuit. We are not so prejudiced as to suppose that in private life you
are otherwise than a very estimable man, with a great deal of poetry in
your nature, of which you may not be conscious."

The stranger only answered with another violent snort; whether in
acceptance of the poetry-tribute, or in disdainful rejection of it, he
did not express to me.

"Now, my dear Miss Summerson, and my dear Mr. Richard," said Mr.
Skimpole, gayly, innocently, and confidingly, as he looked at his
drawing with his head on one side; "here you see me utterly incapable of
helping myself, and entirely in your hands! I only ask to be free. The
butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole
what it concedes to the butterflies!"

"My dear Miss Summerson," said Richard, in a whisper, "I have ten pounds
that I received from Mr. Kenge. I must try what that will do."

I possessed fifteen pounds, odd shillings, which I had saved from my
quarterly allowance during several years. I had always thought that some
accident might happen which would throw me, suddenly, without any
relation or any property, on the world; and had always tried to keep
some little money by me, that I might not be quite penniless. I told
Richard of my having this little store, and having no present need of
it; and I asked him delicately to inform Mr. Skimpole, while I should be
gone to fetch it, that we would have the pleasure of paying his debt.

When I came back, Mr. Skimpole kissed my hand, and seemed quite touched.
Not on his own account (I was again aware of that perplexing and
extraordinary contradiction), but on ours; as if personal considerations
were impossible with him, and the contemplation of our happiness alone
affected him. Richard, begging me, for the greater grace of the
transaction, as he said, to settle with Coavinses (as Mr. Skimpole now
jocularly called him), I counted out the money and received the
necessary acknowledgment. This, too, delighted Mr. Skimpole.

[Illustration: COAVINSES.]

His compliments were so delicately administered, that I blushed less
than I might have done; and settled with the stranger in the white coat,
without making any mistakes. He put the money in his pocket, and shortly
said, "Well then, I'll wish you a good-evening, miss."

"My friend," said Mr. Skimpole; standing with his back to the fire,
after giving up the sketch when it was half finished, "I should like to
ask you something without offense."

I think the reply was, "Cut away, then!"

"Did you know this morning, now, that you were coming out on this
errand?" said Mr. Skimpole.

"Know'd it yes'day aft'noon at tea time," said Coavinses.

"It didn't affect your appetite? Didn't make you at all uneasy?"

"Not a bit," said Coavinses. "I know'd if you wos missed to-day, you
wouldn't be missed to-morrow. A day makes no such odds."

"But when you came down here," proceeded Mr. Skimpole, "it was a fine
day. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, the lights and shadows
were passing across the fields, the birds were singing."

"Nobody said they warn't, in _my_ hearing," returned Coavinses.

"No," observed Mr. Skimpole. "But what did you think upon the road?"

"Wot do you mean?" growled Coavinses, with an appearance of strong
resentment. "Think! I've got enough to do, and little enough to get for
it, without thinking. Thinking!" (with profound contempt.)

"Then you didn't think, at all events," proceeded Mr. Skimpole, "to this
effect. 'Harold Skimpole loves to see the sun shine; loves to hear the
wind blow; loves to watch the changing lights and shadows; loves to hear
the birds, those choristers in Nature's great cathedral. And does it
seem to me that I am about to deprive Harold Skimpole of his share in
such possessions, which are his only birthright!' You thought nothing to
that effect?"

"I--certainly--did--NOT," said Coavinses, whose doggedness in utterly
renouncing the idea was of that intense kind, that he could only give
adequate expression to it by putting a long interval between each word,
and accompanying the last with a jerk that might have dislocated his
neck.

"Very odd and very curious, the mental process is, in you men of
business!" said Mr. Skimpole, thoughtfully. "Thank you, my friend.
Good-night."

As our absence had been long enough already, to seem strange down
stairs, I returned at once, and found Ada sitting at work by the
fireside talking to her cousin John. Mr. Skimpole presently appeared,
and Richard shortly after him. I was sufficiently engaged, during the
remainder of the evening, in taking my first lesson in backgammon from
Mr. Jarndyce, who was very fond of the game, and from whom I wished of
course to learn it as quickly as I could, in order that I might be of
the very small use of being able to play when he had no better
adversary. But I thought, occasionally when Mr. Skimpole played some
fragments of his own compositions; or when, both at the piano and the
violoncello, and at our table, he preserved, with an absence of all
effort, his delightful spirits and his easy flow of conversation; that
Richard and I seemed to retain the transferred impression of having been
arrested since dinner, and that it was very curious altogether.

It was late before we separated: for when Ada was going at eleven
o'clock, Mr. Skimpole went to the piano, and rattled, hilariously, that
the best of all ways, to lengthen our days, was to steal a few hours
from Night, my dear! It was past twelve before he took his candle and
his radiant face out of the room; and I think he might have kept us
there, if he had seen fit, until daybreak. Ada and Richard were
lingering for a few moments by the fire, wondering whether Mrs. Jellyby
had yet finished her dictation for the day, when Mr. Jarndyce, who had
been out of the room, returned.

"Oh, dear me, what's this, what's this?" he said, rubbing his head and
walking about with his good-humored vexation. "What's this, they tell
me? Rick, my boy, Esther, my dear, what have you been doing? Why did you
do it? How could you do it? How much apiece was it?--The wind's round
again. I feel it all over me!"

We neither of us quite knew what to answer.

"Come, Rick, come! I must settle this before I sleep. How much are you
out of pocket? You two made the money up you know! Why did you? How
could you?--O Lord, yes, it's due east--must be!"

"Really, sir," said Richard, "I don't think it would be honorable in me
to tell you. Mr. Skimpole relied upon us--"

"Lord bless you, my dear boy! He relies upon every body!" said Mr.
Jarndyce, giving his head a great rub, and stopping short.

"Indeed, sir?"

"Every body! And he'll be in the same scrape again, next week!" said Mr.
Jarndyce, walking again at a great pace, with a candle in his hand that
had gone out. "He's always in the same scrape. He was born in the same
scrape. I verily believe that the announcement in the newspapers when
his mother was confined, was 'On Tuesday last, at her residence in
Botheration Buildings, Mrs. Skimpole of a son in difficulties.'"

Richard laughed heartily, but added, "Still, sir, I don't want to shake
his confidence, or to break his confidence; and if I submit to your
better knowledge again, that I ought to keep his secret, I hope you will
consider before you press me any more. Of course, if you do press me,
sir, I shall know I am wrong, and will tell you."

"Well!" cried Mr. Jarndyce, stopping again, and making several absent
endeavors to put his candlestick in his pocket. "I--here! Take it away,
my dear. I don't know what I am about with it; it's all the
wind--invariably has that effect--I won't press you, Rick; you may be
right. But, really--to get hold of you and Esther--and to squeeze you
like a couple of tender young Saint Michael's oranges!--It'll blow a
gale in the course of the night!"

He was now alternately putting his hands into his pockets, as if he were
going to keep them there a long time; and taking them out again, and
vehemently rubbing them all over his head.

I ventured to take this opportunity of hinting that Mr. Skimpole, being
in all such matters quite a child--

"Eh, my dear?" said Mr. Jarndyce catching at the word.

"--Being quite a child, sir," said I, "and so different from other
people--"

"You are right!" said Mr. Jarndyce, brightening. "Your woman's wit hits
the mark. He is a child--an absolute child. I told you he was a child,
you know, when I first mentioned him."

"Certainly! certainly!" we said.

"And he _is_ a child. Now isn't he?" asked Mr. Jarndyce, brightening
more and more.

He was indeed, we said.

"When you come to think of it, it's the height of childishness in you--I
mean me--" said Mr. Jarndyce, "to regard him for a moment as a man. You
can't make _him_ responsible. The idea of Harold Skimpole with designs
or plans, or knowledge of consequences! Ha, ha, ha!"

It was so delicious to see the clouds about his face clearing, and to
see him so heartily pleased, and to know, as it was impossible not to
know, that the source of his pleasure was the goodness which was
tortured by condemning, or mistrusting, or secretly accusing any one,
that I saw the tears in Ada's eyes while she echoed his laugh, and felt
them in my own.

"Why, what a cod's head and shoulders I am," said Mr. Jarndyce, "to
require reminding of it! The whole business shows the child from
beginning to end. Nobody but a child would have thought of singling
_you_ two out for parties in the affair! Nobody but a child would have
thought of _your_ having the money! If it had been a thousand pounds, it
would have been just the same!" said Mr. Jarndyce, with his whole face
in a glow.

We all confirmed it from our night's experience.

"To be sure, to be sure!" said Mr. Jarndyce. "However, Rick, Esther, and
you too, Ada, for I don't know that even your little purse is safe from
his inexperience--I must have a promise all round, that nothing of this
sort shall ever be done anymore. No advances! Not even sixpences."

We all promised faithfully; Richard, with a merry glance at me, touching
his pocket, as if to remind me that there was no danger of _our_
transgressing.

"As to Skimpole," said Mr. Jarndyce, "a habitable doll's house, with
good board, and a few tin people to get into debt with and borrow money
of, would set the boy up in life. He is in a child's sleep by this time,
I suppose; it's time I should take my craftier head to my more worldly
pillow. Good-night, my dears. God bless you!"

He peeped in again, with a smiling face, before we had lighted our
candles, and said, "O! I have been looking at the weather-cock. I find
it was a false alarm about the wind. It's in the south!" And went away,
singing to himself.

Ada and I agreed, as we talked together for a little while up-stairs,
that this caprice about the wind was a fiction; and that he used the
pretense to account for any disappointment he could not conceal, rather
than he would blame the real cause of it, or disparage or depreciate any
one. We thought this very characteristic of his eccentric gentleness;
and of the difference between him and those petulant people who make the
weather and the winds (particularly that unlucky wind which he had
chosen for such a different purpose) the stalking-horse of their
splenetic and gloomy humors.

Indeed, so much affection for him had been added in this one evening to
my gratitude, that I hoped I already began to understand him through
that mingled feeling. Any seeming inconsistencies in Mr. Skimpole, or in
Mrs. Jellyby, I could not expect to be able to reconcile; having so
little experience or practical knowledge. Neither did I try; for my
thoughts were busy when I was alone, with Ada and Richard, and with the
confidence I had seemed to receive concerning them. My fancy, made a
little wild by the wind perhaps, would not consent to be all unselfish
either, though I would have persuaded it to be so if I could. It
wandered back to my godmother's house, and came along the intervening
track, raising up shadowy speculations which had sometimes trembled
there in the dark, as to what knowledge Mr. Jarndyce had of my earliest
history--even as to the possibility of his being my father--though that
idle dream was quite gone now.

It was all gone now, I remembered, getting up from the fire. It was not
for me to muse over bygones, but to act with a cheerful spirit and a
grateful heart. So I said to myself, "Esther, Esther, Esther! Duty, my
dear!" and gave my little basket of housekeeping keys such a shake, that
they sounded like little bells, and rang me hopefully to bed.


CHAPTER VII.--THE GHOST'S WALK.

While Esther sleeps, and while Esther wakes, it is still wet weather
down at the place in Lincolnshire. The rain is ever falling, drip, drip,
drip, by day and night, upon the broad flag terrace-pavement, The
Ghost's Walk. The weather is so very bad, down in Lincolnshire, that the
liveliest imagination can scarcely apprehend its ever being fine again.
Not that there is any superabundant life of imagination on the spot, for
Sir Leicester is not here (and, truly, even if he were, would not do
much for it in that particular), but is in Paris with my Lady; and
solitude, with dusky wings, sits brooding upon Chesney Wold.

There may be some notions of fancy among the lower animals at Chesney
Wold. The horses in the stables--the long stables in a barren, red-brick
court-yard, where there is a great bell in a turret, and a clock with a
large face, which the pigeons who live near it, and who love to perch
upon its shoulders, seem to be always consulting--_they_ may contemplate
some mental pictures of fine weather, on occasions, and may be better
artists at them than the grooms. The old roan, so famous for
cross-country work, turning his large eyeball to the grated window near
his rack, may remember the fresh leaves that glisten there at other
times, and the scents that stream in, and may have a fine run with the
hounds, while the human helper, clearing out the next stall, never stirs
beyond his pitchfork and birch-broom. The gray, whose place is opposite
the door, and who, with an impatient rattle of his halter, pricks his
ears, and turns his head so wistfully when it is opened, and to whom the
opener says, "Woa gray, then, steady! Noabody wants you to-day!" may
know it quite as well as the man. The whole seemingly monotonous and
uncompanionable half-dozen, stabled together, may pass the long wet
hours, when the door is shut, in livelier communication than is held in
the servants' hall, or at the Dedlock Arms; or may even beguile the time
by improving (perhaps corrupting) the pony in the loose box in the
corner.

So the mastiff, dozing in his kennel, in the court-yard, with his large
head on his paws, may think of the hot sunshine, when the shadows of the
stable-buildings tire his patience out by changing, and leave him, at
one time of the day, no broader refuge than the shadow of his own house,
where he sits on end, panting and growling short, and very much wanting
something to worry, besides himself and chain. So now, half-waking and
all-winking, he may recall the house full of company, the coach-houses
full of vehicles, the stables full of horses, and the outbuildings full
of attendants upon horses, until he is undecided about the present, and
comes forth to see how it is. Then, with an impatient shake of himself,
he may growl, in the spirit, "Rain, rain, rain! Nothing but rain--and no
family here!" as he goes in again, and lies down with a gloomy yawn.

So with the dogs in the kennel-buildings across the park, who have their
restless fits, and whose doleful voices, when the wind has been very
obstinate, have even made it known in the house itself: up-stairs, down
stairs, and in my lady's chamber. They may hunt the whole country-side,
while the rain-drops are pattering round their inactivity. So the
rabbits with their self-betraying tails, frisking in and out of holes at
roots of trees, may be lively with ideas of the breezy days when their
ears are blown about, or of those seasons of interest when there are
sweet young plants to gnaw. The turkey in the poultry-yard, always
troubled with a class-grievance (probably Christmas), may be reminiscent
of that summer morning wrongfully taken from him, when he got into the
lane among the felled trees, where there was a barn and barley. The
discontented goose, who stoops to pass under the old gateway, twenty
feet high, may gabble out, if we only knew it, a waddling preference for
weather when the gateway casts its shadow on the ground.

Be this as it may, there is not much fancy otherwise stirring at Chesney
Wold. If there be a little at any odd moment, it goes, like a little
noise in that old echoing place, a long way, and usually leads off to
ghosts and mystery.

It has rained so hard and rained so long, down in Lincolnshire, that
Mrs. Rouncewell, the old housekeeper at Chesney Wold, has several times
taken off her spectacles and cleaned them, to make certain that the
drops were not upon the glasses. Mrs. Rouncewell might have been
sufficiently assured by hearing the rain, but that she is rather deaf,
which nothing will induce her to believe. She is a fine old lady,
handsome, stately, wonderfully neat, and has such a back, and such a
stomacher, that if her stays should turn out when she dies to have been
a broad old-fashioned family fire-grate, nobody who knows her would have
cause to be surprised. Weather affects Mrs. Rouncewell little. The house
is there in all weathers, and the house, as she expresses it, "is what
she looks at." She sits in her room (in a side passage on the ground
floor, with an arched window commanding a smooth quadrangle, adorned at
regular intervals with smooth round trees and smooth round blocks of
stone, as if the trees were going to play at bowls with the stones), and
the whole house reposes on her mind. She can open it on occasion, and be
busy and fluttered; but it is shut-up now, and lies on the breadth of
Mrs. Rouncewell's iron-bound bosom, in a majestic sleep.

It is the next difficult thing to an impossibility to imagine Chesney
Wold without Mrs. Rouncewell, but she has only been here fifty years.
Ask her how long, this rainy day, and she shall answer, "fifty year
three months and a fortnight, by the blessing of Heaven, if I live 'till
Tuesday." Mr. Rouncewell died some time before the decease of the pretty
fashion of pig-tails, and modestly hid his own (if he took it with him)
in a corner of the church-yard in the park, near the mouldy porch. He
was born in the market town, and so was his young widow. Her progress in
the family began in the time of the last Sir Leicester, and originated
in the still-room.

The present representative of the Dedlocks is an excellent master. He
supposes all his dependents to be utterly bereft of individual
characters, intentions, or opinions, and is persuaded that he was born
to supersede the necessity of their having any. If he were to make a
discovery to the contrary, he would be simply stunned--would never
recover himself, most likely, except to gasp and die. But he is an
excellent master still, holding it a part of his state to be so. He has
a great liking for Mrs. Rouncewell; he says she is a most respectable,
creditable woman. He always shakes hands with her, when he comes down to
Chesney Wold, and when he goes away; and if he were very ill, or if he
were knocked down by accident, or run over, or placed in any situation
expressive of a Dedlock at a disadvantage, he would say if he could
speak, "Leave me, and send Mrs. Rouncewell here!" feeling his dignity,
at such a pass, safer with her than with any body else.

Mrs. Rouncewell has known trouble. She has had two sons, of whom the
younger ran wild, and went for a soldier, and never came back. Even to
this hour, Mrs. Rouncewell's calm hands lose their composure when she
speaks of him, and unfolding themselves from her stomacher, hover about
her in an agitated manner, as she says, what a likely lad, what a fine
lad, what a gay, good-humored, clever lad he was! Her second son would
have been provided for at Chesney Wold, and would have been made steward
in due season; but he took, when he was a schoolboy, to constructing
steam-engines out of sauce-pans, and setting birds to draw their own
water, with the least possible amount of labor; so assisting them with
artful contrivance of hydraulic pressure, that a thirsty canary had
only, in a literal sense, to put his shoulder to the wheel, and the job
was done. This propensity gave Mrs. Rouncewell great uneasiness. She
felt it with a mother's anguish, to be a move in the Wat Tyler
direction: well knowing that Sir Leicester had that general impression
of an aptitude for any art to which smoke and a tall chimney might be
considered essential. But the doomed young rebel (otherwise a mild
youth, and very persevering), showing no sign of grace as he got older,
but, on the contrary, constructing a model of a power-loom, she was
fain, with many tears, to mention his backslidings to the baronet. "Mrs.
Rouncewell," said Sir Leicester, "I can never consent to argue, as you
know, with any one on any subject. You had better get rid of your boy,
you had better get him into some Works. The iron country farther north
is, I suppose, the congenial direction for a boy with these tendencies."
Farther north he went, and farther north he grew up; and if Sir
Leicester Dedlock ever saw him, when he came to Chesney Wold to visit
his mother, or ever thought of him afterward, it is certain that he only
regarded him as one of a body of some odd thousand conspirators, swarthy
and grim, who were in the habit of turning out by torch-light, two or
three nights in the week, for unlawful purposes.

Nevertheless Mrs. Rouncewell's son has, in the course of nature and art,
grown up, and established himself, and married, and called unto him Mrs.
Rouncewell's grandson: who, being out of his apprenticeship, and home
from a journey in far countries, whither he was sent to enlarge his
knowledge and complete his preparation for the venture of this life,
stands leaning against the chimney-piece this very day, in Mrs.
Rouncewell's room at Chesney Wold.

"And, again and again, I am glad to see you, Watt! And, once again, I am
glad to see you, Watt!" says Mrs. Rouncewell. "You are a fine young
fellow. You are like your poor uncle George. Ah!" Mrs. Rouncewell's
hands unquiet, as usual, on this reference.

"They say I am like my father, grandmother."

"Like him, also, my dear--but most like your poor uncle George! And your
dear father." Mrs. Rouncewell folds her hands again. "He is well?"

"Thriving, grandmother, in every way."

"I am thankful!" Mrs. Rouncewell is fond of her son, but has a plaintive
feeling toward him--much as if he were a very honorable soldier, who had
gone over to the enemy.

"He is quite happy?" says she.

"Quite."

"I am thankful! So, he has brought you up to follow in his ways, and has
sent you into foreign countries and the like? Well, he knows best. There
may be a world beyond Chesney Wold that I don't understand. Though I am
not young, either. And I have seen a quantity of good company too!"

"Grandmother," says the young man, changing the subject, "what a very
pretty girl that was, I found with you just now. You called her Rosa?"

"Yes, child. She is daughter of a widow in the village. Maids are so
hard to teach, nowadays, that I have put her about me young. She's an
apt scholar, and will do well. She shows the house already, very pretty.
She lives with me, at my table here."

"I hope I have not driven her away?"

"She supposes we have family affairs to speak about, I dare say. She is
very modest. It is a fine quality in a young woman. And scarcer," says
Mrs. Rouncewell, expanding her stomacher to its utmost limits, "than it
formerly was!"

The young man inclines his head, in acknowledgment of the precepts of
experience. Mrs. Rouncewell listens.

"Wheels!" says she. They have long been audible to the younger ears of
her companion. "What wheels on such a day as this, for gracious sake?"

After a short interval, a tap at the door. "Come in!" A dark-eyed,
dark-haired, shy, village beauty comes in--so fresh in her rosy and yet
delicate bloom, that the drops of rain, which have beaten on her hair,
look like the dew upon a flower fresh-gathered.

"What company is this, Rosa?" says Mrs. Rouncewell.

"It's two young men in a gig, ma'am, who want to see the house--yes, and
if you please, I told them so!" in quick reply to a gesture of dissent
from the housekeeper. "I went to the half-door, and told them it was the
wrong day, and the wrong hour; but the young man who was driving took
off his hat in the wet, and begged me to bring this card to you."

"Read it, my dear Watt," said the housekeeper.

Rosa is so shy as she gives it to him, that they drop it between them,
and almost knock their foreheads together as they pick it up. Rosa is
shyer than before.

"Mr. Guppy," is all the information the card yields.

"Guppy!" repeats Mrs. Rouncewell. "Mr. Guppy! Nonsense, I never heard of
him!"

"If you please, he told _me_ that!" says Rosa. "But he said that he and
the other young gentleman came from London only last night by the mail,
on business at the magistrates' meeting ten miles off, this morning; and
that as their business was soon over, and they had heard a great deal
said of Chesney Wold, and really didn't know what to do with themselves,
they had come through the wet to see it. They are lawyers. He says he is
not in Mr. Tulkinghorn's office, but is sure he may make use of Mr.
Tulkinghorn's name, if necessary." Finding, now she leaves off, that she
has been making quite a long speech, Rosa is shyer than ever.

Now, Mr. Tulkinghorn is, in a manner, part and parcel of the place; and,
besides, is supposed to have made Mrs. Rouncewell's will. The old lady
relaxes, consents to the admission of the visitors as a favor, and
dismisses Rosa. The grandson, however, being smitten by a sudden wish
to see the house himself, proposes to join the party. The grandmother,
who is pleased that he should have that interest, accompanies
him--though, to do him justice, he is exceedingly unwilling to trouble
her.

"Much obliged to you, ma'am!" says Mr. Guppy, divesting himself of his
wet dreadnought in the hall. "Us London lawyers don't often get an out;
and when we do, we like to make the most of it, you know."

The old housekeeper, with a gracious severity of deportment, waves her
hand toward the great staircase. Mr. Guppy and his friend follow Rosa,
Mrs. Rouncewell and her grandson follow them, a young gardener goes
before to open the shutters.

As is usually the case with people who go over houses, Mr. Guppy and his
friend are dead beat before they have well begun. They straggle about in
wrong places, look at wrong things, don't care for the right things,
gape when more rooms are opened, exhibit profound depression of spirits,
and are clearly knocked up. In each successive chamber that they enter,
Mrs. Rouncewell, who is as upright as the house itself, rests apart in a
window-seat, or other such nook, and listens with stately approval to
Rosa's exposition. Her grandson is so attentive to it, that Rosa is
shyer than ever--and prettier. Thus they pass on from room to room,
raising the pictured Dedlocks for a few brief minutes as the young
gardener admits the light, and reconsigning them to their graves as he
shuts it out again. It appears to the afflicted Mr. Guppy and his
inconsolable friend, that there is no end to the Dedlocks, whose
family-greatness seems to consist in their never having done any thing
to distinguish themselves, for seven hundred years.

Even the long drawing-room of Chesney Wold can not revive Mr. Guppy's
spirits. He is so low that he droops on the threshold, and has hardly
strength of mind to enter. But a portrait over the chimney-piece,
painted by the fashionable artist of the day, acts upon him like a
charm. He recovers in a moment. He stares at it with uncommon interest;
he seems to be fixed and fascinated by it.

"Dear me!" says Mr. Guppy. "Who's that?"

"The picture over the fire-place," says Rosa, "is the portrait of the
present Lady Dedlock. It is considered a perfect likeness, and the best
work of the master."

"'Blest!" says Mr. Guppy, staring in a kind of dismay at his friend, "if
I can ever have seen her. Yet I know her! Has the picture been engraved,
miss?"

"The picture has never been engraved. Sir Leicester has always refused
permission."

"Well!" says Mr. Guppy, in a low voice, "I'll be shot if it an't very
curious how well I know that picture! So that's Lady Dedlock, is it?"

"The picture on the right is the present Sir Leicester Dedlock. The
picture on the left is his father, the late Sir Leicester."

Mr. Guppy has no eyes for either of these magnates. "It's unaccountable
to me," he says, still staring at the portrait, "how well I know that
picture! I'm dashed!" adds Mr. Guppy, looking round, "if I don't think I
must have had a dream of that picture, you know!"

As no one present takes any especial interest in Mr. Guppy's dreams, the
probability is not pursued. But he still remains so absorbed by the
portrait, that he stands immovable before it until the young gardener
has closed the shutters; when he comes out of the room in a dazed state,
that is an odd though a sufficient substitute for interest, and follows
into the succeeding rooms with a confused stare, as if he were looking
every where for Lady Dedlock again.

He sees no more of her. He sees her rooms, which are the last shown, as
being very elegant, and he looks out of the windows from which she
looked out, not long ago, upon the weather that bored her to death. All
things have an end--even houses that people take infinite pains to see,
and are tired of before they begin to see them. He has come to the end
of the sight, and the fresh village beauty to the end of her
description; which is always this:

"The terrace below is much admired. It is called, from an old story in
the family, The Ghost's Walk."

"No?" says Mr. Guppy, greedily curious; "what's the story, miss? Is it
any thing about a picture?"

"Pray tell us the story," says Watt, in a half whisper.

"I don't know it, sir." Rosa is shyer than ever.

"It is not related to visitors; it is almost forgotten," says the
housekeeper, advancing, "It has never been more than a family anecdote."

"You'll excuse my asking again if it has any thing to do with a picture,
ma'am," observes Mr. Guppy, "because I do assure you that the more I
think of that picture the better I know it, without knowing how I know
it!"

The story has nothing to do with a picture; the housekeeper can
guarantee that. Mr. Guppy is obliged to her for the information; and is
moreover, generally obliged. He retires with his friend, guided down
another staircase by the young gardener; and presently is heard to drive
away. It is now dusk. Mrs. Rouncewell can trust to the discretion of her
two young hearers, and may tell _them_ how the terrace came to have that
ghostly name. She seats herself in a large chair by the fast-darkening
window, and tells them:

"In the wicked days, my dears, of King Charles the First--I mean, of
course, in the wicked days of the rebels who leagued themselves against
that excellent King--Sir Morbury Dedlock was the owner of Chesney Wold.
Whether there was any account of a ghost in the family before those
days, I can't say. I should think it very likely indeed."

Mrs. Rouncewell holds this opinion, because she considers that a family
of such antiquity and importance has a right to a ghost. She regards a
ghost as one of the privileges of the upper classes; a genteel
distinction to which the common people have no claim.

"Sir Morbury Dedlock," says Mrs. Rouncewell, "was, I have no occasion to
say, on the side of the blessed martyr. But it _is_ supposed that his
lady, who had none of the family blood in her veins, favored the bad
cause. It is said that she had relations among King Charles's enemies;
that she was in correspondence with them; and that she gave them
information. When any of the country gentlemen who followed His
Majesty's cause met here, it is said that my lady was always nearer to
the door of their council-room than they supposed. Do you hear a sound
like a footstep passing along the terrace, Watt?"

Rosa draws nearer to the housekeeper.

"I hear the rain-drip on the stones," replies the young man, "and I hear
a curious echo--I suppose an echo--which is very like a halting step."

The housekeeper gravely nods and continues.

"Partly on account of this division between them, and partly on other
accounts, Sir Morbury and his lady led a troubled life. She was a lady
of a haughty temper. They were not well suited to each other in age or
character, and they had no children to moderate between them. After her
favorite brother, a young gentleman, was killed in the civil wars (by
Sir Morbury's near kinsman), her feeling was so violent that she hated
the race into which she had married. When the Dedlocks were about to
ride out from Chesney Wold in the King's cause, she is supposed to have
more than once stolen down into the stables in the dead of night, and
lamed their horses; and the story is, that once, at such an hour, her
husband saw her gliding down the stairs, and followed her into the stall
where his own favorite horse stood. There he seized her by the wrist;
and in a struggle or in a fall, or through the horse being frightened
and lashing out, she was lamed in the hip, and from that hour began to
pine away."

The housekeeper has dropped her voice to little more than a whisper.

"She had been a lady of a handsome figure and a noble carriage. She
never complained of the change; she never spoke to any one of being
crippled, or of being in pain; but, day by day, she tried to walk upon
the terrace; and, with the help of a stick, and with the help of the
stone balustrade, went up and down, up and down, up and down, in sun and
shadow, with greater difficulty every day. At last, one afternoon, her
husband (to whom she had never, on any persuasion, opened her lips since
that night), standing at the great south window, saw her drop upon the
pavement. He hastened down to raise her, but she repulsed him as he bent
over her, and looking at him fixedly and coldly, said, 'I will die here,
where I have walked. And I will walk here, though I am in my grave. I
will walk here until the pride of this house is humbled. And when
calamity, or when disgrace is coming to it, let the Dedlocks listen for
my step!'"

Watt looks at Rosa. Rosa, in the deepening gloom, looks down upon the
ground, half frightened, and half shy.

"There and then she died. And from those days," says Mrs. Rouncewell,
"the name has come down--The Ghost's Walk. If the tread is an echo, it
is an echo that is only heard after dark, and is often unheard for a
long while together. But it comes back, from time to time; and so sure
as there is sickness or death in the family, it will be heard then."

"--And disgrace, grandmother--" says Watt.

"Disgrace never comes to Chesney Wold," returns the housekeeper.

Her grandson apologizes, with "True. True."

"That is the story. Whatever the sound is, it is a worrying sound," says
Mrs. Rouncewell, getting up from her chair, "and what is to be noticed
in it is, that it _must be heard_. My lady, who is afraid of nothing,
admits that when it is there, it must be heard. You can not shut it out.
Watt, there is a tall French clock behind you (placed there, a' purpose)
that has a loud beat when it is in motion, and can play music. You
understand how those things are managed?"

"Pretty well, grandmother, I think."

"Set it a-going."

Watt sets it a-going--music and all.

"Now, come hither," says the housekeeper. "Hither, child, toward my
lady's pillow. I am not sure that it is dark enough yet, but listen! Can
you hear the sound upon the terrace, through the music, and the beat,
and every thing?"

"I certainly can!"

"So my lady says."


(TO BE CONTINUED.)



THE RUSSIAN CZAR AT A PUBLIC BALL.


To provide resources for the invalids of the Russian army, great care is
taken; and in addition to more fixed estimates, the emperor makes
extraordinary exertions, by balls, and lotteries, and masquerades, of a
charitable nature, to augment the ways and means of the veterans who
have been disabled in his service. Sometimes the ball, the lottery, and
the masquerade are all combined in one festive display. Of course, such
displays take place in winter, which is the St. Petersburg season. It is
not two years since I was present on one of these occasions, round which
the emperor threw all the attractions of his gorgeous court. And, as the
festivities were for the especial benefit of the military invalids, I
may be excused for lingering for awhile on the details which I
witnessed. Besides, often as the emperor, who is the real
commander-in-chief of all the Russian forces, has been described, the
subject is far from being picked to the bone; and what I saw of him it
will gratify the curiosity of the reader to learn.

It is the military frequenters, with their prodigious variety of
costumes, who give so much splendor to the celebrated masquerades of
St. Petersburg. These are conducted on the model of the still more
celebrated masquerades of old, in Venice. The approximation is the less
complete, of course, because the climate is so different. Open-air
assemblies, for pleasure's sake, are out of the question, in a northern
winter. The merry-makers would have little else to do but rub each
other's noses with snow, to prevent their falling off gradually after
they had been bleached by the leprous-looking frost-bite. There are
nights when it is hardly an exaggeration to say that, if a person spits
out, it is a pellet of ice which rattles against the ground. The sudden
transition from such a winter to the intense heat of the Petersburg
summer is one among several conditions which render a residence in that
capital so unfriendly to the health of foreigners, unless they come in
the plastic time of childhood, and grow, with many precautions,
acclimatized.

The place of assembly for these great festive or charitable
demonstrations (the only kind of "demonstration," except such as are
military, which can be seen in Russia) is not unworthy of its purposes.
It is probably the finest of its kind in Europe or in the world, and is
called the "Hall of Nobility"--_Salle de Noblesse_--a vast edifice,
capable of receiving seven thousand guests, supported inside by splendid
scagliola columns, richly decorated, skillfully laid out, distributed
into a vast pit for dancing, with circumambient galleries and balconies,
with retiring or withdrawing apartments for the emperor and his court,
and with general refreshment-rooms in the outer circuit. This scene is
lit up by clusters of wax-lights the beams of which are multiplied by
crystal pendants; while the wax-lights themselves are many thousands in
number, more numerous, in fact, than the stars visible to the naked eye
on a bright frosty night.

A great masquerade ball for the benefit of the invalids, in such a
place, with the additional attraction of the promised presence of the
Emperor Nicholas, was irresistible. I determined to go, and my
determination was the more natural inasmuch as I happened to possess a
free ticket. On entering, I was struck by the novel and somewhat
grotesque feature imparted to the scene by the lottery prizes, which had
lain there "on view" for some days previously. I found a crowd which was
afterward estimated at seven thousand; but, I dare say, it numbered five
or six only.

Perfectly lost in the vastness of the place, the multitude assembled,
and the grotesque horror of beautiful forms without human faces, I sat
down for awhile, near the orchestra. The benches, on one of which I was,
rose here in successive tiers, from the vast, pit-like saloon to the
surrounding gallery, which was overhung by another gallery, and abutted
upon several splendid refreshment-rooms. Before and below, the crowd was
particularly dense around a little rostrum, on which a glass wheel and
several officials who plied it, stood together. The press, the throng,
the hustling, the jostling, the redness of faces where they could be
seen, and the activity of elbows where they could be insidiously
inserted, were raging around. A similar apparatus, besieged by similar
votaries, stood at the other three corners of the saloon. In the
ancillary apartments there were more of these shrines of gambling; a
gambling in which only one class was sure to win, a class unvexed by the
excitement of the game, the invalided veterans, the brave old disabled
soldiers of the empire. For their sakes was all this gorgeous commotion;
for their sakes this splendid mob bustled about the "_Ailetpii
Allegri_;" that is, the wheels of fortune, the lottery stands, the
stalls of fate. All round these, and between them, circulated the
pervading immensity of the masquerade.

Tired of this part of the scene, I asked the person next me, in what
part of the room the emperor was. I had already seen Alexander, the
crown prince, or, as he is called, the _Grand Duc Héritier_, walking
about with a lady on his arm, his handsome open countenance radiant with
the smiles that are so easily lit there.

"The emperor," said the person whom I had asked, "passed this way about
a quarter of an hour since, and must be somewhere yonder," and he
pointed to the end of the saloon, opposite the orchestra.

I arose, ascended the flights of stairs that conducted to the
Boulevard-like gallery, and I began to thread my way behind the
scagliola columns. Beyond these, across the width of the corridor, arose
the wall which was the running boundary of the corridor on the other
side; and into this wall were let tall mirrors, which multiplied every
particular of the confused and shifting splendor of the rooms.

When I reached the further end of the gallery, a spectacle was offered
to me, which arrested all my attention. I must premise, that when the
emperor attends these festivities, or others of a like nature, he
evinces certain likings, feelings, tastes. He is not entirely
indifferent as to what his subjects may do. If there be one thing more
than another which he abhors, it is that in these scenes of familiar
relaxation, in which he mingles to unbend his own mind, while
contributing indirectly a new interest to the revels of others, he
should be saluted as emperor, or beset by the unmannerly siege of a
universal stare. It is strictly understood, or, as the fashionable
jargon is, _de rigueur_, that he is present as any other stranger, not
to be noted, not to be quoted, quite incognitus. Here he comes, like any
one else, to amuse himself, to forget imperial cares for a brief moment.
Nothing pleases him more than to let him pass. Can he not be as any
other of the countless visitors, who engage in the intricate tactics of
these grave and sober saturnalia--this game of small mystery--this
strategic maze of hushed frolic--these profound combinations of grown-up
gentlemen and ladies at hide-and-seek?

I had easily figured to myself, that it was easier for the emperor to
let people know that such was his wish, than for others to affect an
unconsciousness which they did not feel, or an indifference which they
felt still less. I had guessed that, in such scenes, his desire to be
allowed to move about unnoticed, was difficult to be reduced to perfect
practice. But I was far indeed from being prepared for what I beheld.

Sauntering idly along, I became conscious, not of a start among the
throng--not of any exclamation--not even of any particular hush, but of
an indefinable _sensation_ around me. Crowds have their general
physiognomies like individuals. This sensation was as perceptible as a
change of countenance, and as silent. I looked up, and in the midst of a
vacant place, from which every one had shrunk back, as from a
plague-stricken spot, or a haunted floor, or a "fairy-ring," about ten
yards onward and facing me, I saw the emperor (his head bare), standing
alone, with his back against the opposite wall. I had often seen him
before in the streets, but never with so good an opportunity of noting
his physiognomy, deportment, figure, and whole appearance.

"Now," said I to myself, "let me realize this with accuracy. It is not
so much the Sovereign of Russia whom you see there, as it is Russia
itself--a power--a sway, in a single person. He is the only surviving
instance or ensample of types, such as loomed before the minds of the
prophets of God aforetime, and have been thought worthy to be the themes
of their awful predictions. This is Cyrus, or the second Cæsar; this a
mystic statue--not that of which the head was of fine gold, but the
breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass,
and the legs of iron; the feet part of iron, and part of clay."

Not such; yet assuredly such like.

I forgot every thing around me, except that great mighty figure towering
aloft. It were useless to describe very particularly the present Emperor
"of all the Russias." People in England still remember him, as he was
when he visited us in his magnificent youth. Years have indeed made some
change. His hair is thin, which was then so abundant. Public care has
written some lines on a face, far more commanding, though perhaps less
haughty, and certainly less blooming than in those days. But he has
still the same marvelous width of chest and shoulder, the same
royal-looking height, the same large open blue eye, full of authority
and instinct with mind; a forehead which is even broader and loftier
than of old, and which never yet belonged to one whose mental powers
were not extraordinary; and that statuesque set of the head, which, if
it wore no crown, would yet make you know it for the head of some mighty
king.

"They would have proclaimed him," said I to myself, "on their shields,
in the days of Attila, or of Clovis."

On the present occasion, the emperor was standing alone, as I have said;
his back resting against the wall, and a crowd of the most persistent
gazers around. He looked vexed--even melancholy. They would not grant
him this casual moment of amusement untormented. He had the air of one
at bay. He faced the crowd full, and wherever his glance fell, I could
see all eyes sink before it immediately. It rested a moment on myself. I
had often heard, and often read, that it was difficult to return his
look; and why I know not. It is but an eye; yet, whether it was the
involuntary sympathy I felt for a king thus bayed in his moments of
relaxation, or whether it was that in his piercing glance, there is an
expression as if he were about to address you, and thus to make you the
object of universal notice, or whatever else it may be, I too dropped my
looks to the ground.

A couple of masks approached him as if to speak; he turned full upon
them, to give the opportunity; their hearts failed them at once, and
with a low courtesy, they shrank back again.

I saw him again several times during the evening, once walking with a
lady (deeply masked, if I remember). His dress was that of a general
officer, and he wore a lofty hussar's cap, with a single tall feather at
its side. It made his stature seem still more colossal.

As I was defiling through the crowd, I felt shortly afterward a sharp
blow on my elbow. Turning, I saw a mask, who, looking at me for a
moment, retreated. I followed till my guide had sat down in a place
where there was room for two, making me to understand that I was to
occupy the vacant spot. I considered her figure for a moment, and then
feeling perfectly sure that it was not that of an acquaintance, I
declined. Without any answer, I strolled my way. Having seen what a
masquerade was at the "_Nobles' Hall_," I soon afterward left the rooms
altogether, hoping sincerely that the proceeds might be ample, for the
sake of the veteran invalids; and meditating much on the Czar, whom I
had had so good an opportunity of seeing, and whom these veterans
regarded as by right divine their perpetual "Generalissimo."



A SLEEP TO STARTLE US.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.


At the top of Farringdon-street in the city of London, once adorned by
the Fleet Prison, and by a diabolical jumble of nuisances in the middle
of the road called Fleet Market, is a broad new thoroughfare in a state
of transition. A few years hence, and we of the present generation will
find it not an easy task to recall, in the thriving street which will
arise upon this spot, the wooden barriers and hoardings--the passages
that lead to nothing--the glimpses of obscene Field-lane and
Saffron-hill--the mounds of earth, old bricks, and oyster-shells--the
arched foundations of unbuilt houses--the backs of miserable tenements
with patched windows--the odds and ends of fever-stricken courts and
alleys--which are the present features of the place. Not less perplexing
do I find it now, to reckon how many years have passed since I traversed
these by-ways one night before they were laid bare, to find out the
first Ragged School.

If I say it is ten years ago, I leave a handsome margin. The discovery
was then newly made, that to talk soundingly in parliament, and cheer
for Church and State, or to consecrate and confirm without end, or to
perorate to any extent in a thousand market-places about all the
ordinary topics of patriotic songs and sentiments, was merely to
embellish England on a great scale with whited sepulchres, while there
was, in every corner of the land where its people were closely
accumulated, profound ignorance and perfect barbarism. It was also newly
discovered, that out of these noxious sinks where they were born to
perish, and where the general ruin was hatching day and night, the
people _would not come_ to be improved. The gulf between them and all
wholesome humanity had swollen to such a depth and breadth, that they
were separated from it as by impassable seas or deserts; and so they
lived, and so they died: an always-increasing band of outlaws in body
and soul, against whom it were to suppose the reversal of all laws,
human and divine, to believe that society could at last prevail.

In this condition of things, a few unaccredited messengers of
Christianity, whom no bishop had ever heard of, and no government-office
porter had ever seen, resolved to go to the miserable wretches who had
lost the way to them; and to set up places of instruction in their own
degraded haunts. I found my first Ragged School, in an obscure place
called West-street, Saffron-hill, pitifully struggling for life, under
every disadvantage. It had no means, it had no suitable rooms, it
derived no power or protection from being recognized by any authority,
it attracted within its wretched walls a fluctuating swarm of
faces--young in years but youthful in nothing else--that scowled Hope
out of countenance. It was held in a low-roofed den, in a sickening
atmosphere, in the midst of taint, and dirt, and pestilence: with all
the deadly sins let loose, howling and shrieking at the doors. Zeal did
not supply the place of method and training; the teachers knew little of
their office; the pupils, with an evil sharpness, found them out, got
the better of them, derided them, made blasphemous answers to scriptural
questions, sang, fought, danced, robbed each other; seemed possessed by
legions of devils. The place was stormed and carried, over and over
again; the lights were blown out, the books strewn in the gutters, and
the female scholars carried off triumphantly to their old wickedness.
With no strength in it but its purpose, the school stood it all out and
made its way. Some two years since, I found it, one of many
such, in a large, convenient loft in this transition part of
Farringdon-street--quiet and orderly, full, lighted with gas, well
white-washed, numerously attended, and thoroughly established.

The number of houseless creatures who resorted to it, and who were
necessarily turned out when it closed, to hide where they could in heaps
of moral and physical pollution, filled the managers with pity. To
relieve some of the more constant and deserving scholars, they rented a
wretched house, where a few common beds--a dozen or a dozen-and-a-half
perhaps--were made upon the floors. This was the Ragged School
Dormitory; and when I found the school in Farringdon-street, I found the
dormitory in a court hard by, which in the time of the cholera had
acquired a dismal fame. The dormitory was, in all respects, save as a
small beginning, a very discouraging institution. The air was bad; the
dark and ruinous building, with its small close rooms, was quite
unsuited to the purpose; and a general supervision of the scattered
sleepers was impossible. I had great doubts at the time whether,
excepting that they found a crazy shelter for their heads, they were
better than in the streets.

Having heard, in the course of last month, that this dormitory (there
are others elsewhere) had grown as the school had grown, I went the
other night to make another visit to it. I found the school in the same
place, still advancing. It was now an Industrial School too; and besides
the men and boys who were learning--some, aptly enough; some, with
painful difficulty; some, sluggishly and wearily; some, not at all--to
read, and write, and cipher; there were two groups, one of shoemakers,
and one (in a gallery) of tailors, working with great industry and
satisfaction, Each was taught and superintended by a regular workman
engaged for the purpose, who delivered out the necessary means and
implements. All were employed in mending, either their own dilapidated
clothes or shoes, or the dilapidated clothes or shoes of some of the
other pupils. They were of all ages, from young boys to old men. They
were quiet, and intent upon their work. Some of them were almost as
unused to it as I should have shown myself to be if I had tried my hand,
but all were deeply interested and profoundly anxious to do it somehow
or other. They presented a very remarkable instance of the general
desire there is, after all, even in the vagabond breast, to know
something useful. One shock-headed man, when he had mended his own scrap
of a coat, drew it on with such an air of satisfaction, and put himself
to so much inconvenience to look at the elbow he had darned, that I
thought a new coat (and the mind could not imagine a period when that
coat of his was new!) would not have pleased him better. In the other
part of the school, where each class was partitioned off by screens
adjusted like the boxes in a coffee-room, was some very good writing,
and some singing of the multiplication-table--the latter, on a principle
much too juvenile and innocent for some of the singers. There was also a
ciphering-class, where a young pupil teacher out of the streets, who
refreshed himself by spitting every half-minute, had written a legible
sum in compound addition, on a broken slate, and was walking backward
and forward before it, as he worked it, for the instruction of his
class, in this way:

Now then! Look here, all on you! Seven and five, how many?

SHARP BOY (in no particular clothes).--Twelve!

PUPIL TEACHER.--Twelve--and eight?

DULL YOUNG MAN (with water on the brain).--Forty-five!

SHARP BOY.--Twenty!

PUPIL TEACHER.--Twenty. You're right. And nine?

DULL YOUNG MAN (after great consideration).--Twenty-nine!

PUPIL TEACHER.--Twenty-nine it is. And nine!

RECKLESS GUESSER.--Seventy-four!

PUPIL TEACHER (drawing nine strokes).--How can that be? Here's nine on
'em! Look! Twenty-nine, and one's thirty, and one's thirty-one, and
one's thirty-two, and one's thirty-three, and one's thirty-four, and
one's thirty-five, and one's thirty-six, and one's thirty-seven, and
one's what?

RECKLESS GUESSER.--Four-and-two-pence farden!

DULL YOUNG MAN (who had been absorbed in the
demonstration).--Thirty-eight!

PUPIL TEACHER (restraining sharp boy's ardor).--Of course it is!
Thirty-eight pence. There they are! (writing 38 in slate-corner.) Now
what do you make of thirty-eight pence? Thirty-eight pence, how much?
(Dull young man slowly considers and gives it up, under a week.) How
much, you? (to sleepy boy, who stares and says nothing.) How much,
_you_?

SHARP BOY.--Three-and-twopence!

PUPIL TEACHER.--Three-and-twopence. How do I put down
three-and-twopence?

SHARP BOY.--You puts down the two, and you carries the three.

PUPIL TEACHER.--Very good. Where do I carry the three?

RECKLESS GUESSER.--T'other side the slate!

SHARP BOY.--You carries him to the next column on the left hand, and
adds him on!

PUPIL TEACHER.--And adds him on! and eight and three's eleven, and
eight's nineteen, and seven's what?

--And so on.

The best and most spirited teacher was a young man, himself reclaimed
through the agency of this school from the lowest depths of misery and
debasement, whom the committee were about to send out to Australia. He
appeared quite to deserve the interest they took in him, and his
appearance and manner were a strong testimony to the merits of the
establishment.

All this was not the dormitory, but it was the preparation for it. No
man or boy is admitted to the dormitory, unless he is a regular
attendant at the school, and unless he has been in the school two hours
before the time of opening the dormitory. If there be reason to suppose
that he can get any work to do and will not do it, he is admitted no
more, and his place is assigned to some other candidate for the nightly
refuge: of whom there are always plenty. There is very little to tempt
the idle and profligate. A scanty supper and a scanty breakfast, each of
six ounces of bread and nothing else (this quantity is less than the
present penny-loaf), would scarcely be regarded by Mr. Chadwick himself
as a festive or uproarious entertainment.

I found the Dormitory below the School: with its bare walls and rafters,
and bare floor, the building looked rather like an extensive
coach-house, well lighted with gas. A wooden gallery had been recently
erected on three sides of it; and, abutting from the centre of the wall
on the fourth side, was a kind of glazed meat-safe, accessible by a
ladder; in which the presiding officer is posted every night, and all
night. In the centre of the room, which was very cool, and perfectly
sweet, stood a small fixed stove; on two sides, there were windows; on
all sides, simple means of admitting fresh air, and releasing foul air.
The ventilation of the place, devised by DOCTOR ARNOTT, and particularly
the expedient for relieving the sleepers in the galleries from receiving
the breath of the sleepers below, is a wonder of simplicity, cheapness,
efficiency, and practical good sense. If it had cost five or ten
thousand pounds, it would have been famous.

The whole floor of the building, with the exception of a few narrow
pathways, was partitioned off into wooden troughs, or shallow boxes
without lids--not unlike the fittings in the shop of a dealer in corn
and flour, and seeds. The galleries were parceled out in this same way.
Some of these berths were very short--for boys; some, longer--for men.
The largest were of very contracted limits; all were composed of the
bare boards; each was furnished only with one coarse rug, rolled up. In
the brick pathways were iron gratings communicating with trapped drains,
enabling the entire surface of these sleeping-places to be soused and
flooded with water every morning. The floor of the galleries was cased
with zinc, and fitted with gutters and escape-pipes, for the same
reason. A supply of water, both for drinking and for washing, and some
tin vessels for either purpose, were at hand. A little shed, used by one
of the industrial classes, for the chopping up of fire-wood, did not
occupy the whole of the spare space in that corner; and the remainder
was devoted to some excellent baths, available also as washing troughs,
in order that those who have any rags of linen may clean them once a
week. In aid of this object, a drying-closet, charged with hot-air, was
about to be erected in the wood-chopping shed. All these appliances were
constructed in the simplest manner, with the commonest means, in the
narrowest space, at the lowest cost; but were perfectly adapted to their
respective purposes.

I had scarcely made the round of the Dormitory, and looked at all these
things, when a moving of feet overhead announced that the School was
breaking up for the night. It was succeeded by profound silence, and
then by a hymn, sung in a subdued tone, and in very good time and tune,
by the learners we had lately seen. Separated from their miserable
bodies, the effect of their voices, united in this strain, was
infinitely solemn. It was as if their souls were singing--as if the
outward differences that parted us had fallen away, and the time was
come when all the perverted good that was in them, or that ever might
have been in them, arose imploringly to Heaven.

The baker who had brought the bread, and who leaned against a pillar
while the singing was in progress, meditating in his way, whatever his
way was, now shouldered his basket and retired. The two half-starved
attendants (rewarded with a double portion for their pains) heaped the
six-ounce loaves into other baskets, and made ready to distribute them.
The night-officer arrived, mounted to his meat-safe, unlocked it, hung
up his hat, and prepared to spend the evening. I found him to be a very
respectable-looking person in black, with a wife and family; engaged in
an office all day, and passing his spare time here, from half-past nine
every night to six every morning, for a pound a week. He had carried the
post against two hundred competitors.

The door was now opened, and the men and boys who were to pass that
night in the Dormitory, in number one hundred and sixty-seven (including
a man for whom there was no trough, but who was allowed to rest in the
seat by the stove, once occupied by the night-officer before the
meat-safe was), came in. They passed to their different sleeping-places,
quietly and in good order. Every one sat down in his own crib, where he
became presented in a curiously fore-shortened manner; and those who had
shoes took them off, and placed them in the adjoining path. There were,
in the assembly, thieves, cadgers, trampers, vagrants, common outcasts
of all sorts. In casual wards and many other Refuges, they would have
been very difficult to deal with; but they were restrained here by the
law of kindness, and had long since arrived at the knowledge that those
who gave them that shelter could have no possible inducement save to do
them good. Neighbors spoke little together--they were almost as
uncompanionable as mad people--but every body took his small loaf when
the baskets went round, with a thankfulness more or less cheerful, and
immediately ate it up.

There was some excitement in consequence of one man being missing; "the
lame old man." Every body had seen the lame old man up-stairs asleep,
but he had unaccountably disappeared. What he had been doing with
himself was a mystery, but, when the inquiry was at its height, he came
shuffling and tumbling in, with his palsied head hanging on his
breast--an emaciated drunkard, once a compositor, dying of starvation
and decay. He was so near death, that he could not be kept there, lest
he should die in the night; and, while it was under deliberation what to
do with him, and while his dull lips tried to shape out answers to what
was said to him, he was held up by two men. Beside this wreck, but all
unconnected with it and with the whole world, was an orphan boy with
burning cheeks and great gaunt eager eyes, who was in pressing peril of
death too, and who had no possession under the broad sky but a bottle of
physic and a scrap of writing. He brought both from the house-surgeon
of a Hospital that was too full to admit him, and stood, giddily
staggering in one of the little pathways, while the Chief Samaritan
read, in hasty characters underlined, how momentous his necessities
were. He held the bottle of physic in his claw of a hand, and stood,
apparently unconscious of it, staggering, and staring with his bright
glazed eyes; a creature, surely, as forlorn and desolate as Mother Earth
can have supported on her breast that night. He was gently taken away,
along with the dying man, to the workhouse; and he passed into the
darkness with his physic-bottle as if he were going into his grave.

The bread eaten to the last crumb; and some drinking of water and
washing in water having taken place, with very little stir or noise
indeed; preparations were made for passing the night. Some, took off
their rags of smock frocks; some, their rags of coats or jackets, and
spread them out within their narrow bounds for beds; designing to lie
upon them, and use their rugs as a covering. Some, sat up, pondering, on
the edges of their troughs; others, who were very tired, rested their
unkempt heads upon their hands and their elbows on their knees, and
dozed. When there were no more who desired to drink or wash, and all
were in their places, the night officer, standing below the meat-safe,
read a short evening service, including perhaps as inappropriate a
prayer as could possibly be read (as though the Lord's Prayer stood in
need of it by way of Rider), and a portion of a chapter from the New
Testament. Then, they all sang the Evening Hymn, and then they all lay
down to sleep.

It was an awful thing, looking round upon those one hundred and
sixty-seven representatives of many thousands, to reflect that a
Government, unable, with the least regard to truth, to plead ignorance
of the existence of such a place, should proceed as if the sleepers
never were to wake again. I do not hesitate to say--why should I, for I
know it to be true!--that an annual sum of money, contemptible in amount
as compared with any charges upon any list, freely granted in behalf of
these Schools, and shackled with no preposterous Red Tape conditions,
would relieve the prisons, diminish county rates, clear loads of shame
and guilt out of the streets, recruit the army and navy, waft to new
countries fleets full of useful labor, for which their inhabitants would
be thankful and beholden to us. It is no depreciation of the devoted
people whom I found presiding here, to add, that with such assistance as
a trained knowledge of the business of instruction, and a sound system
adjusted to the peculiar difficulties and conditions of this sphere of
action, their usefulness could be increased fifty-fold in a few months.

My Lords and Gentlemen, can you, at the present time, consider this at
last, and agree to do some little easy thing! Dearly beloved brethren
elsewhere, do you know that between Gorham controversies, and Pusey
controversies, and Newman controversies, and twenty other edifying
controversies, a certain large class of minds in the community is
gradually being driven out of all religion? Would it be well, do you
think, to come out of the controversies for a little while, and be
simply Apostolic thus low down?



LOUIS NAPOLEON AND HIS NOSE.


The following passage from a letter is amusing, as well as instructive:

"Trifles are said to amuse weak minds, and probably by a similar process
of reasoning, they may be said to annoy great minds. The extreme
susceptibility of the President respecting any attempt to turn either
his person or policy into ridicule has been frequently noticed, and this
excessive susceptibility has gradually attained an intensity which gives
it the air of absolute monomania. The police have peremptory orders to
ravage any shop in which any work or engraving is to be found in any way
reflecting upon that prominent feature in the Presidental visage which
has secured for him the time-honored title of '_Noscitur a naso_.' Any
semblance of a caricature on the Presidental proboscis exposes the
unfortunate possessor (as George Robins would have said) to the
persecution of the police. A short time past Paris was inundated with a
ludicrous counterfeit portrait of the President's features, which were
fashioned into a crockery tobacco-pot. The resemblance was so striking,
and yet so irresistibly ludicrous withal--for you know there is but one
step from the sublime to the ridiculous--that these tobacco-pots were
eagerly purchased, and the designer made a small fortune in his way. The
police have of late busily occupied themselves in hunting out the
purchasers of these crockery caricatures, which are seized and broken
without mitigation or remorse. The crockery shops have been ransacked,
and whenever any have been found the shopkeepers have been exposed to
considerable annoyance and persecution. Some weeks since two girls were
condemned to fine and imprisonment for having openly declared that they
never could fall in love with Louis Napoleon. But the Prince now appears
disposed to carry the matter still further; for it is alleged that
rather sharp notes have been sent to Belgium by the Minister of Foreign
Affairs with respect to a masquerade which took place at Ghent in the
latter part of the Carnival. Some young men, it appears, promenaded
through the streets, a man on a horse, wearing a dress to represent the
President of the Republic, and with a gigantic false nose. This man
carried in his hand a whip with which he struck from time to time a set
of puppets which he carried in his hand--the puppets, each of which had
a lock on his mouth, being intended to represent the French Senators and
Deputies. The Belgian government is said to have replied that it
disapproved of the parody, and offered to dismiss the commissary of
police who did not fulfill his duty by preventing it. But the French
government not considering this satisfaction sufficient, requires, it is
said, the dismissal of the governor, who was on the balcony when the
masquerade passed."



Monthly Record of Current Events.


THE UNITED STATES.

In Congress, during the past month, debate has turned mainly on topics
connected with the approaching Presidential contest. In the Senate, the
resolutions upon the subject of non-intervention have been still further
discussed, but no vote has been taken upon them. On the 18th of March,
Senator Jones, of Tennessee, replied at length to the speeches of
Senators Cass and Seward upon this subject--seeking to establish, by
copious citation of authorities, that it had never been the policy of
this country to take any part whatever in the affairs of other nations,
and urging the importance of still adhering to this course. He was
opposed to protesting against the violation of international law by
Russia, unless we were prepared to enforce that protest by war. Senator
Cass rejoined, defending his positions from the assault of Senator
Jones. On the 22d, Senator Soulé, of Louisiana, spoke upon the subject.
Whatever might be the fate of the resolutions, he said, their discussion
had given the country a chance of expressing its sympathy with the
oppressed and down-trodden nations of the earth. He then entered upon a
historical argument of some length to show that the neutrality advocated
and enforced by Washington, during the war between England and France,
was simply a matter of necessity--a temporary measure, which the
exigencies of the time demanded; and that it was not regarded by
Washington as a permanent rule for the action of this country. And
further, even if this were not so, and if Washington had really set
forth the doctrine, that this country must always remain indifferent to
the movements of other nations, Senator Soulé urged, our national growth
and progress would render it obsolete. The policy of this nation could
not remain the same from century to century; it must change with
changing circumstances, and keep pace with the rapid increase of our
national population and power. Upon the conclusion of his remarks, the
subject was again postponed. On the 26th, a message from the President
announced that certain papers, connected with the prosecution of Mexican
claims, which had been placed on file in the State Department, had been
abstracted therefrom; and asking for the adoption of measures for the
better protection of public documents and papers. On the 19th, Senator
Cass made a statement of his views on the Wilmot Proviso, in reply to
some remarks in a published letter from Senator Davis, of Mississippi.
He denied the right of Congress to impose upon a territorial government
any restriction in regard to its legislation upon slavery, claiming for
the Legislature the right to establish or prohibit slavery, as it may
see fit. He also justified the first settlers of California in the steps
they took for the establishment of a government, and complained that
many gentlemen at the South did not make a just and proper allowance for
the sentiments of the North concerning slavery. In the _House of
Representatives_, the proceedings have been wholly unimportant. A bill
to supply deficiencies in the appropriations for the last fiscal year,
has been made the occasion for discussing the prospects of political
parties, and the relative claims of various candidates for the
Presidency. On the 10th of March, Mr. Richardson, of Illinois, spoke in
defense of Senator Douglass, from imputations made upon his political
course; and Mr. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, vindicated General Butler
from similar censure. On the 18th, Mr. Marshall, of Kentucky, defended
President Fillmore against various assailants, and the discussion was
pursued from day to day.

Political Conventions have been held in several States during the month.
In Louisiana, the Whigs held one at Baton Rouge on the 16th of March, at
which resolutions were adopted in favor of nominating Mr. Fillmore for
President, and Mr. Crittenden for Vice-President--declaring the unabated
devotion of the people of the State to the Union--demanding the
protection of Government for the commerce, agriculture, and manufactures
of the country--affirming the mission of this Republic to be, "not to
propagate our opinions, or impose on other countries our form of
government, by artifice or force, but to teach by example, and show by
our success, moderation, and justice, the blessings of self-government,
and the advantages of free institutions;"--sustaining the Compromise
measures, and pledging the Whigs of the State to support the nominee of
the National Convention. The Democratic State Convention declared its
preference for General Cass, as the Presidential candidate, by a vote of
101, to 72 for Judge Douglass.----In Virginia, a Democratic Convention
assembled at Richmond on the 24th of March: a good deal of difficulty
was experienced in effecting an organization. On the third day of the
session, resolutions were adopted, affirming the resolutions of 1798-9;
denouncing a protective tariff and a division of the public lands among
the States; and re-affirming the Baltimore platform. They also resolved
to appoint four delegates from each Congressional District to the
Baltimore National Convention, who shall in that body sustain the
two-thirds rule, and be untrammeled in their choice of a candidate for
the Presidency, but vote for such a one as can command the greatest
strength with the Democracy, and whose principles are known to conform
most strictly to the cardinal tenets of the Democratic faith.----In
Pennsylvania, a Whig State Convention met at Harrisburgh, on the 24th.
Resolutions were adopted, expressing a desire to act in harmony with the
Whig party throughout the Union, declaring in favor of a protective
tariff, proclaiming devotion to the Constitution and the Union,
commending the administration of President Fillmore, and nominating
General Scott unanimously as the Whig candidate for the Presidency. A
resolution was also adopted, expressing regret at the illness of Mr.
Clay.----The Legislature of Mississippi adjourned on the 16th of March.
No United States Senator was chosen for the full term, to commence at
the close of the present Congress. In both Houses a bill was rejected
which proposed to provide for the payment of the bonds of the State
issued on account of the Planters' Bank, but both Houses passed a bill,
which has become a law, submitting the question of their payment to a
vote of the people. The bill for districting the State, for the election
of five members of Congress, was lost, from disagreement between the two
Houses--both being willing to pass the bill, but they could not agree as
to the composition of the districts.----In Alabama, a Southern Rights
State Convention met on the 4th. Only a small portion of the State was
represented. Resolutions were adopted in favor of maintaining the
separate organization of the Southern Rights party, but acquiescing in
the decision of the Southern States against secession for the
present.----A message from Governor Bigler, of Pennsylvania, in regard
to the debt of that State, states that there is now due and unpaid two
millions four hundred and ninety-one thousand two hundred and fifty-five
dollars of the bonds of the Commonwealth, bearing an interest of six per
cent., and a balance of near one hundred thousand dollars due to
domestic creditors, bearing a like interest, besides one million three
hundred and ninety thousand dollars, at five per cent.; over two
millions will fall due in 1853, and about three millions in 1854. He
recommends that the matured bonds, and such as may fall due during the
year, be canceled by the negotiation of a loan, and that bonds of the
Commonwealth be issued, reimbursable at the expiration of ten or fifteen
years, at a rate of interest not exceeding five per cent., with interest
certificates attached, or in the usual form, as may be deemed proper.

Mr. Webster happening to visit Trenton, N.J., to take part in a legal
argument, was received by the Legislature of the State, on the 26th of
March. He was welcomed in a highly eulogistic speech, to which he
replied briefly, paying a high compliment to the gallant devotion of New
Jersey to the cause of the country during the Revolution, and expressing
his thanks for the distinguished attentions which had been shown to him.
Senator Stockton, who happened to be present, spoke in terms of high
admiration of Mr. Webster, commending his political course, and alluding
incidentally to various topics of public interest.----Hon. JEREMIAH
MORROW, a distinguished citizen of Ohio, died on the 25th of March, at
the advanced age of 73. He was a member of the Territorial Legislature
of Ohio in 1800, a member of the Convention to form a State Constitution
in 1802, the first member of Congress from that State, afterward Senator
and then Governor, serving in the latter capacity two terms, and then
returning to Congress. He was a man of ability, influence, and marked
integrity.----A serious accident happened in the East River, near New
York, on the 26th of March. M. Maillefert, a French scientific
gentleman, had been for some time engaged in blasting under water the
rocks forming the whirlpool known as Hell-gate, by lowering upon the
rock very heavy charges of powder, and exploding them by a galvanic
battery. On this occasion, through some misunderstanding, the wrong wire
was put into his hands, and he exploded a canister lying in a boat and
containing sixty or seventy pounds of gunpowder. Three men were killed,
and two or three others, including M. Maillefert himself, were seriously
injured.----Ninety of the Americans, captured in Cuba and released by
the Queen of Spain, reached New York on the 13th of March.----An extract
of a private letter from Mr. Clay has been published, in which he
declares his preference for Mr. Fillmore as the Whig candidate for the
Presidency, on the ground that he has administered the executive
government with signal success and ability. Either Gen. Scott or Mr.
Webster, he says, "might possibly administer the government as well as
Mr. Fillmore has done. But neither of them has been tried." Mr. Fillmore
has been tried, and Mr. Clay thinks that "prudence and wisdom should
restrain us from making any change without necessity."----Seven vessels
of war are fitting out at New York to join the squadron in the East
India seas. It is stated that in connection with other duties, Commodore
Perry, the commander of this squadron, is to be instructed to make
commercial arrangements with Japan, and for the better treatment of
shipwrecked American sailors, who have been heretofore barbarously
treated by the Japanese in several instances; and possibly may be
required to make reclamations for injuries and losses heretofore
sustained by American citizens. Japan has now no treaty with any
Christian government except Holland.

From CALIFORNIA we have intelligence to the 1st of March. The steamship
North America running from Panama to San Francisco, went ashore on the
28th of February, about seventy miles south of Acapulco. The vessel is a
total loss; she had over 750 passengers, all of whom were saved.----Both
political parties in California had chosen delegates to the National
Conventions. No further injury had been sustained from attacks of the
Indians, and in the southern part of the State every thing was quiet.
Mr. Bartlett, of the Boundary Commission, had reached San Francisco,
after a very severe journey across the desert. A bill was pending in the
Legislature authorizing the call of a State Convention to revise the
Constitution, and the project of dividing the State continued also to be
pressed. Crime had increased considerably in San Francisco, and the
Vigilance Committee had again been organized. The anniversary of
Washington's birthday was celebrated at that city with great spirit.
Col. Berzenczey, who came to the United States in Kossuth's suite had
arrived at San Francisco on his way to Chinese Tartary, which he intends
to explore in order to discover, if possible, the origin of the Magyar
race: it has been stated that a tribe of Magyars still exists in some
part of that vast and unknown region. The United States sloop of war St.
Mary's had reached San Francisco, under orders to take on board and
return to their homes a number of shipwrecked Japanese. From the mines
the news is not important. Owing to lack of rain the labors of the
miners had been less productive than usual. Rich quartz veins continue
to be found, and very extensive preparations are being made for working
them. The whole amount of gold exported from San Francisco during the
year ending December 31, 1851, was $34,492,633. Judge Tefft, with three
other persons, was drowned, while attempting to land from the Ohio at
San Luis Obispo, in a small boat--the surf being high.


MEXICO.

We have news from the City of Mexico to the 28th of February. Both
Houses of Congress had voted the suppression of the justices of the
peace, but the Government had refused its sanction to the act. It is
stated that claims to the amount of twenty or thirty millions of dollars
will be brought against the United States, under the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, for outrages committed by Indians and invaders on the frontier.
The administration of Gen. Arista is losing strength, and rumors were
current of new plans of revolution of which Santa Anna is at the head.

Intelligence from the Rio Grande fully confirms the defeat of Caravajal
and the suppression of the insurrectionary movement in that quarter. On
the 21st of February that chief led his forces, consisting of about 300
men to the attack on Camargo, when he was met by about 250 Mexican
cavalry. The latter charged upon him three times, when the force under
his command broke in confusion and fled across the river. His loss is
stated at between thirty and sixty. This ends the revolutionary attempt
in Northern Mexico.----Serious annoyance is experienced from the ravages
of the Indians in that quarter. On the evening of the 21st a party of
sixteen attacked a party of Americans and Mexicans near San Antonio, and
killed several of the latter. About two hundred of them were encamped at
Lake Espantoza, near the junction of the Leona and Nueces rivers. On
the 16th, a party of dragoons attacked a body of Indians near
Belleville, and dispersed them after killing four.


SOUTH AMERICA.

We have at length reliable news of decisive events on the Rio de la
Plata. Rosas has been routed by Urquiza, and has fled to England. The
control of the whole country, therefore, passes into new hands. From
Buenos Ayres our intelligence is to the 3d of February. The passage of
the Parana by the liberating army under Gen. Urquiza, commenced on the
22d of December, and was accomplished on the 8th of January. His force
consisting of 28,000 men, with 50,000 horses, and 50 pieces of
artillery, was brought together on the Diamanté, one of the strongest
points upon the river, and he was at once joined by the citizens of the
whole province of Santa Fé, and by 4000 troops of Rosas. The Governor of
the Province fled toward Buenos Ayres. On the 10th of January the
inhabitants of San Nicolao, the frontier town of the province of Buenos
Ayres, pronounced against Rosas, and repelled an attack made upon them
by a large cavalry force stationed near them. On the 15th Gen. Urquiza
passed the frontier, with his whole army; and in a march of twelve days
obtained possession of the entire northern part of the province, driving
out all the cavalry of Rosas, which had been detached for its defense.
On the 29th of January, his advanced guard reached the Rio Conchas,
within six leagues of Buenos Ayres, having forced General Pacheco to
retreat across that river with the small force remaining of those with
whom he had gone to the defense of the province. Rosas had divided his
force into three parts--one division of 4000 under Echaqué, another of
3500 under Mancilla, and the third of 5800 under Pacheco. This
disposition of them rendered it easy for Urquiza to attack and defeat
them separately. On the 27th of January Rosas set out for Santos
Lugares, where his main force had been collected. A general engagement
at once took place along the whole line of defense, which lasted for
several hours, and resulted in the total defeat of the forces of Rosas,
General Urquiza remaining master of the field. Rosas immediately fled on
board a British vessel in the harbor of Buenos Ayres, with the intention
of proceeding to England at the earliest opportunity. He had been
engaged for some weeks in securing large amounts of treasure, in
apparent preparation for such a flight. General Urquiza immediately
followed up his victory by investing the city of Buenos Ayres. Deprived
of its governor, of course it could make no long defense, and steps had
already been taken to organize a constitutional government under the new
auspices. The intelligence of the fall of Rosas had created the
liveliest satisfaction in England, and was followed by an immediate and
very considerable rise in the market value of Buenos Ayres bonds. This
change in the political prospects of that portion of South America, it
is believed, will lead to a largely increased emigration thither from
the southern parts of Europe. The government of Rosas has been for many
years an object of terror and distrust in Buenos Ayres, and has greatly
retarded the industry and progress of the country. It has at last been
overthrown--not by the intervention of foreign states, but by the
independent exertions of the people themselves. General Urquiza, the
successful soldier, seems disposed to use his power so as to promote the
best interests of the country, and under his guidance a new organization
of the several states may be expected.----The Congress of _Venezuela_
was still in session on the 10th of March. The affairs of the country
were highly prosperous.----The revolted convicts at the Straits of
Magellan had been seized by the British war steamer Virago, and taken
heavily ironed to Valparaiso. There were in all 350, of whom 180 were
taken from the British brig Eliza Cornish, which they had seized:--the
rest had taken the American bark Florida, but were afterward subdued by
a counter-plot on board, and were delivered up. The officers of the
Cornish had been shot in cold blood by the miscreants, who were guilty
of shocking barbarities. They were landed at Valparaiso, February 25,
and delivered over to the authorities.----In _Peru_ an expedition had
been organized by General Flores, against Ecuador. It is said he has
enlisted two or three thousand men, and sent out four or five vessels
loaded with men and munitions, for an attack on the city of Guayaquil.
Great excitement prevailed at the latter place, where preparations had
been made to give the invaders a warm reception.----Panama papers record
the successful result of an expedition to the reputed gold placers on
the coast of Choco, in the southern part of the kingdom of _New
Grenada_, about 150 miles south of Panama. About 1500 ounces of pure
gold dust were exhibited in the latter city, as the first-fruits of the
enterprise. There seems to be no doubt of the existence of the _oro_ in
that vicinity in large quantities.


GREAT BRITAIN.

The political intelligence of the month has little interest. The Derby
Ministry still retains office, but without any definite announcement of
the line of policy it intends to pursue. On the evening of February 27,
the Earl of Derby made a statement of the reasons which had induced him
to take office. With regard to the intentions of the new ministry, he
said he should seek to maintain peace with foreign nations by calm and
conciliatory conduct, and by strict adherence to the obligations of
treaties. He was for rigidly respecting the right of every nation, great
and small, to govern themselves in their own way. So far as the national
defenses were concerned, he thought the preparations wisely made by his
predecessor should be continued, so as to screen the country from the
possibility of invasion. As regarded refugees, while England was the
natural refuge of all political exiles, it was the duty of the latter
not to abuse her hospitality; and the government was bound to keep watch
of them, and warn their governments of any steps they might take hostile
to their peace. With regard to financial measures, although he avowed
his belief that a revision of the existing system was desirable, he was
aware that it could only be effected by reference to the clearly
expressed wish of the people. So large a question could only be dealt
with by a government strong in popular confidence, and not by one called
suddenly to office. He did not know whether he had a majority in that
House; he knew he was in a minority in the other--but he had not felt
that the public interest would be consulted by a dissolution at this
period of the year and in this condition of the world. Government would
have to appeal to the forbearance of its adversaries and to the patience
of its supporters, but he had too much confidence in the good sense of
the House of Commons to believe that it would unnecessarily take up
subjects of controversy while there were legal and social reforms for
which the country was anxious. In reference to the measures introduced
by the late government, he said that he was most desirous to crush
corruption to the utmost of his power, but that, as regarded the
proposed reform bill, he should not follow it up, and he warned his
hearers, especially members of the House of Commons, against the danger
of perpetually unsettling everything, and settling nothing. He did not
contend that the system established in 1831 was perfect, or did not
require amendment, but he wished to be sure that a proposed remedy would
not aggravate the evils complained of. As regarded education, the
feelings of all classes had united in the conviction that the more you
educated the safer was the country; but he was opposed to the mere
acquisition of secular knowledge, dissociated from the culture of the
soul. And although he looked on all engaged in education as his
fellow-laborers, his chief reliance would be on the parochial clergy.
This explanation on the part of the new ministry has not been received
as sufficiently explicit to be satisfactory, and it meets, therefore,
with very warm hostility. Lord John Russell, in announcing his own
retirement, took occasion to say that, for the future, he should think
it his duty to oppose, out of office, as he had opposed in office, any
restoration of the duty on corn, whether under the name of protection or
of revenue;--that he should support an extension of the suffrage to
those who are fit to exercise the franchise for the welfare of the
country; and that he should use the little influence he might possess
for the maintenance of the blessings of peace.--Parliament, after these
explanations, adjourned until the 12th of March.--Mr. Disraeli, the new
Chancellor of the Exchequer, has issued a brief address to his
constituents, stating that on the 12th of March he should ask for a
re-election. The first duty of the new administration, he said, would be
to provide for the ordinary exigencies of the government; but at no
distant period they hoped to establish a policy in conformity with the
principles which in opposition they had felt it their duty to maintain.
"We shall endeavor," he adds, "to terminate that strife of classes which
of late years has exercised so pernicious an influence over the welfare
of this kingdom; to accomplish those remedial measures which great
productive interests, suffering from unequal taxation, have a right to
demand from a just government; to cultivate friendly relations with all
foreign powers, and secure honorable peace; to uphold in their spirit,
as well as in their form, our political institutions; and to increase
the efficiency, as well as maintain the rights, of our national and
Protestant church." Other members of the government had issued similar
addresses to their respective constituencies, and several of them had
already been re-elected.--At a subsequent session, the ministry
intimated that they would no longer resist the demand of the country for
a dissolution.

The advent of the Protective Ministry has called into new life the
Anti-Corn Law League at Manchester. A meeting of the League was held on
the 2d of March, at which resolutions were adopted reorganizing the
association, and taking measures to urge upon their friends throughout
the kingdom, not to return members in favor of restoring the duties on
corn; it was also resolved to petition the Queen for an immediate
dissolution of Parliament in order that the question of Free Trade might
be decided by a prompt appeal to the people. Mr. Cobden was present, and
made a long speech vindicating the operation of the existing system, and
resisting the policy of allowing the Ministry to strengthen themselves
for the restoration of the protective system. He wished the friends of
cheap bread to unite in order to drive the government into one of three
courses--either to recant forever the principle of protection, resign
their seats, or dissolve Parliament. It was within their power to compel
one or the other of these steps to be taken. A very large subscription
was immediately raised to defray the expenses of the projected
agitation.

The Earl of Derby, on taking office, tendered to Mr. Layard a
continuance in office as Under Secretary of State. The offer, however,
was declined.----Ireland lost two of its most celebrated men on the 26th
of February--THOMAS MOORE, the sweetest and best of her poets, and
Archbishop MURRAY, the mildest and best of the prelates of the Roman
Catholic Church in that country. Moore was in his 72d year, the
Archbishop in his 83d year. Moore died at his cottage at Sloperton, near
Devizes. For several years he had been alive only in the body. Like Sir
Walter Scott and Southey, the tenacity of physical existence outlived
the term of the mind. He was buried, according to his long-ago expressed
wish, in the quiet church-yard of the village where he died. Sir HERBERT
JENNER FUST, Dean of Arches, and long connected with law proceedings and
law literature, died on the 20th February, in the 76th year of his age.


FRANCE AND CENTRAL EUROPE.

The elections for members of the Legislative corps were held throughout
France on the 29th of February, and resulted in the success of the
Government candidate in nearly every instance. Gen. Cavaignac and Carnot
are the only Opposition candidates of any prominence who have been
elected. What course they will pursue is still a matter of conjecture.
It is clear, however, that such a thing as an opposition party in the
Legislature will scarcely exist.

The President continues the issue of decrees for the government of
France. They embrace, of course, the entire scope of legislation, as the
country for the present has no other source of law. One of the most
important of these decrees is that authorizing the establishment of
Mortgage Banks, the object of which is to enable owners of real estate
to borrow on mortgage, and repay the loans by means of long annuities;
that is, in addition to the interest the borrower is obliged to pay
annually say one per cent. as a sinking fund, which will extinguish the
debt in forty years. The banks are to loan on double real estate
security. They are allowed to issue notes or bonds. They are not to
require more than five per cent. interest, nor more than two nor less
than one per cent. as a sinking fund. An article in the _Moniteur_
followed the publication of this decree for the purpose of explaining
its provisions, from which it appears that there are $160,000,000 of
mortgaged debts in France, paying, inclusive of various expenses, an
average interest of eight per cent., and that these debts are increasing
at the rate of $12,000,000 yearly. It is claimed that the new law will
remedy this state of things, and Germany is pointed to in proof of the
beneficial effects of mortgage societies.----Another financial decree
directs that the holders of five per cent. government funds will receive
hereafter only four and a half per cent. or the principal at par value,
at their option. The effect of this change will be to reduce the annual
interest on the national debt, by about three and a half millions of
dollars. The holders of these securities of course complain of it as an
unjust reduction of their incomes.----Another decree directs the entire
organization of the College of France to be put under the immediate
control of the President, until the law for its permanent establishment
shall have been prepared. New officers have been appointed throughout--a
number of the most distinguished scholars of France being
superseded.----It has also been decreed that judicial officers shall be
disqualified at seventy years of age. By this means the President
secures the displacement of a large number of judges, whose seats he
will fill with persons more acceptable to himself.----It is decided that
M. Billault is to be President of the Legislative corps.----Several
distinguished Frenchmen have died during the month. Marshal MARMONT,
Duke of Ragusa, the last of the Marshals of Napoleon, died at Venice on
the 2d of March. He received his highest military title on the battle
field of Wagram. He forsook Napoleon's cause when Napoleon was falling,
held high offices under the restoration, and has lived in exile since
1830. Having forsaken Napoleon in 1814, and opposed the revolution of
July, his name was erased from the list of Marshals by Louis Philippe's
Government, and a black vail drawn over his portrait in the Hall of the
Marshals at the Tuileries.----ARMAND MARRAST, who acquired distinction
as editor of the _National_ and by his close connection with the
provisional government of 1848, died March 10.----The President has
offered a prize of fifty thousand francs in favor of the author of the
discovery which shall render the pile of Volta applicable with economy,
whether to industrial operations, as a source of heat, or to
illumination, or to chemistry, or to mechanics, or to practical
medicine. Scientific men of all nations are admitted to compete for the
prize. The competition shall remain open for the space of five
years.----He has also presented to M. Leon Foucault, the young _savant_
of Paris, distinguished for his works on electricity and light, and
especially for the experiment with the _pendulum_ illustrative of the
earth's rotary motion, the sum of ten thousand francs.

On the 21st of March, the President reviewed the troops, and bestowed
upon them the medal, instituted by the confiscation of the Orleans
estates. In the speech which he made to them upon the occasion, he said,
his object in instituting this medal was to make some more adequate
compensation for the services of the army, than they usually received.
It secures to each soldier, who shall have it, an annuity of 100 francs
for life; the sum is small, but the evidence of merit, which the medal
carries with it, adds to its value. He urges them to receive it as an
encouragement to maintain intact their military spirit. "Wear it," he
says, "as a proof of my solicitude for your interest, and my affection
for that great military family of which I am proud to be the head,
because you are its glorious children."

The demands of France upon BELGIUM were mentioned in our last Record. It
is stated that they have been boldly met and repelled. The King of
Belgium at once made an appeal to England and the Continental courts,
and he has received from all the European Powers the most positive
assurance that they will not suffer any aggressive step whatever of
Louis Napoleon against Belgium. The French Cabinet had required the
Belgian Government to remove the Lion which had been placed on the field
of Waterloo; but that demand was refused. It is said, upon reliable
authority, that the "decree" for annexing Belgium to France had been
prepared and even sent to the _Moniteur_ for publication; and was only
withdrawn in consequence of the strenuous opposition of those who have
more prudence than the President, and who fortunately possess some
influence over him.

The Paris correspondence of the London _Morning Chronicle_, furnishes
the details of a diplomatic correspondence between the principal
Continental Powers, which has decided interest and importance. It is
stated that, on the 7th of February, Prince Schwarzenberg addressed a
note to the representatives of Austria at St. Petersburg and Berlin, in
which he urged that the object of the Northern Powers ought now to be to
put down all that remained of constitutional government on the
continent of Europe; and that for this purpose they ought to insist on
the representative form of government being abolished in all the States
where it was still tolerated, and more especially in Piedmont and in
Greece. He further declared that Louis Napoleon, by his _coup d'état_ of
the 2d of December, which, while it put an end to constitutional
government, restored military government in France, had merited the
applause of all the Northern Powers, and he suggested that they ought to
concur in giving him their united and cordial support, even to the
exclusion of both branches of the House of Bourbon, because none of the
members of that illustrious House could reascend the throne without
according representative government in some shape. The representatives
of Austria at Berlin and St. Petersburg having been directed to
communicate this dispatch to the governments to which they were
accredited, did so, but the manner in which the communication was
received by the two Powers was very different. The Prussian government
at once declared that it strongly disapproved of the suggestion of the
Austrian government, and that, as it looked upon a certain degree of
constitutional freedom as necessary in the present state of Europe, it
highly disapproved of the attempt of Louis Napoleon to establish a
military despotism. The Russian Czar, who sets up as the arbiter of all
that is done to Germany, gave a very characteristic answer to both
Powers. He recommended to the Austrian government not to be so
enthusiastic in its admiration of Louis Napoleon, and to the Prussian
government, not to be so determined in its hostility to that personage;
and thus, says the writer, the affair for the present rests.

Concerning the SWISS question, we have more authentic intelligence. The
French diplomatic agent at Berne had delivered to the Federal
Authorities a note, dated January 25th, containing an explicit demand
from Louis Napoleon, "That the formal promise be made to me that all the
expulsions of refugees which I may ask be accorded to me, without any
examination as to what category the French political refugees affected
by this measure belong; and, in addition, that the orders of the central
power be executed according to terms prescribed in advance, without
being mitigated or wholly disregarded by the cantonal authorities, as I
can prove, by examples, has been done in previous instances. The French
embassador only is in a condition to know the individuals whose former
connections and present relations render impossible the prolongation of
their stay in the territory of the Helvetic Confederation; as also those
who can be tolerated provisionally, if their future conduct renders them
worthy of this tolerance. The first should depart from the moment that I
have designated them by name. The others should be told that they can
continue to reside in Switzerland only on condition that they give no
reason for complaint." It seems scarcely possible that so peremptory and
insulting a demand should have been made, even by the French autocrat,
upon any independent power; but the text of the letter is given. Austria
also made a similar requisition; and the _Assemblée Nationale_ says that
the Cabinet of Vienna distinctly announced to the Federal Council its
intention to occupy the canton of Ticino with Austrian troops, unless
the demands for the expulsion of certain refugees were complied with,
and guarantees given for preventing their return, as well as the renewal
of conspiracies against the peace of Lombardy. Prince Schwarzenberg sent
instructions to M. Hubner, the Austrian embassador at Paris, to propose
to the French government a simultaneous action in the same views, and
the occupation of Geneva and the canton of Vaud by the French troops.
The government of Louis Napoleon declined to co-operate with Austria in
invading the Swiss territory; and Austria was also persuaded to desist
from this enterprise. The firm attitude of the cabinets of London and
Berlin, backed perhaps by the counsels of Russia, is supposed to have
procured this result. But no sooner was the project of the joint
violation of the neutral territory baffled, than a new scheme was
adopted by the two conspiring Powers, which threatens to be equally
ruinous to Switzerland. The French and Austrian governments have entered
into a convention for the commercial blockade of that country. In order
to carry this into effect Piedmont must be forced to join the league and
stop her frontier against Swiss commerce. In the way of such a result
stand the government of Sardinia and British influence at the court of
Turin. How much these will avail remains to be seen. Subsequent advices
state that Switzerland had acceded to all the President's
requisitions--they having been repeated in less offensive terms.

From GERMANY there is no news of interest. The Emperor of Austria left
Vienna, February 25th, for Trieste and Venice, to meet the Grand Prince
of Prussia. The Second Chamber of Wurtemberg, in its sitting of the
26th, adopted, by 54 votes to 32, resolutions, declaring that the
fundamental rights proclaimed by the National Assembly of Frankfort
continue to have legal force in the kingdom, and can only be abolished
in the form presented by the Constitution. The Chamber rejected, by 66
votes to 20, a resolution protesting against certain measures of the
Germanic Diet; and it rejected, by 48 votes to 38, a motion relative to
the dissolution of the Chamber in 1850. M. de Plessen, after these
votes, made a declaration, in the name of the Government, that the
Chamber would probably be dissolved.

In SPAIN it is said that the Government is about to reinforce the
garrisons of Cuba and Porto Rico by an addition of three or four
thousand men. General Concha has been recalled from the Governorship of
Cuba; his successor, Gen. Caredo, was to sail from Cadiz on the 20th of
March. Extensive changes were taking place in all departments of the
public service.


THE EAST.

From TURKEY we learn that Reschid Pasha, whose dismissal was noted in
our last, has been received to favor again, and restored to office. The
Sultan has lately shown his magnanimity to rebels against his authority,
by bestowing upon Aziz Bey and his brother Ahmed Bey, rebel Kurdish
chiefs, near Bagdad, conquered by the Sultan, and brought to
Constantinople six months ago, a pension of three thousand piastres a
month. This clemency to political offenders is said to be common with
the Turkish Sovereign. The Turkish Government has recently forbidden the
loan of money to farmers at more than eight per cent. interest: it also
forbids the payment of all engagements hitherto made at higher rates. A
third bridge has just been finished across the Golden Horn. A splendid
ball was given at the close of the Carnival by the British Embassador,
at which about eight hundred persons were present.

In PERSIA the recently dismissed Grand Vizier, Mirza-Taghi-Khan, has
been put to death, by having his veins opened in a bath, and his
treasures have been seized by the Shah.

From INDIA we have news of further difficulties between the English and
the Burmese. Previous advices stated that Commodore Lambert had
complained to the King of Ava of the conduct of the Governor of Rangoon
in refusing compliance with certain demands of reparation for injuries
sustained by the British. The King professed a ready submission to the
Commodore's requisitions, but his sincerity was doubted, and Commodore
Lambert consequently resolved to remain with his squadron, for some days
longer, in order to test the truth of his suspicions. Scarcely had the
new Governor or Viceroy been placed in authority, than he commenced a
series of annoyances against all British subjects, which rendered it
imperative on the part of Commodore Lambert to seek an interview with
him, which was not only refused, but all communication between the shore
and fleet strictly prohibited. In this war-like aspect of affairs many
of the British took refuge on board the English vessels, while those who
remained behind desirous of securing their property, were cast into
prison. The fleet remained at anchor for twenty-four hours on the
opposite side of the river, when intimation was received from the
Viceroy that he would fire on the squadron should the Commodore attempt
to move down the river. On the 10th of January the Fox was towed down,
and anchored within a few hundred yards of the stockade erected by the
Viceroy, when the steamer having returned to bring away with her a
Burmese man-of-war, was fired on, which was immediately returned with
great vigor. The enemy dispersed after some three of them were slain.
The squadron then proceeded on its course, and the river ports of Burmah
were proclaimed to be in a state of blockade. Commodore Lambert then
proceeded to Calcutta for further instructions. Another campaign was
therefore deemed unavoidable, which, it was supposed, could not be
commenced before October.



Editor's Table.


Credulity and skepticism are often, in fact, but different aspects of
one and the same state of mind. No man is more credulous than the
infidel in respect to all that would make against the truth of
Christianity. Hindoo legends, Chinese chronologies, unmeaning Egyptian
hieroglyphics, are suffered at once to outweigh the clearest
declarations of that volume which alone sheds light on history, and
solves the otherwise inexplicable problem of our humanity.

Nowhere is this remark more strikingly exemplified than in the
pretensions of what may be called the pseudo-spiritualism of the day.
Men whose credulity can not digest the supernatural of the Bible are
most remarkably easy of belief in respect to spiritual rappings, and
spiritual table-liftings, and spiritual communications in Hebrew
translated into ungrammatical and false-spelled English. Prophecy and
inspiration are irrational; the belief in a Divine regenerating
influence on the human soul is superstitious and fanatical; but
clairvoyance and _clairvoyant prevision_, and mental alchemy are
embraced without difficulty, by the professors of this more transcendent
faith. They see and feel nothing of that grandeur of conception, that
holy seriousness, that impressive truthfulness of style, that superhuman
elevation above all that associates itself with the absurd, the
grotesque, the low, and the malignant--in a word, those traits which
every where characterize the miraculous of the Scriptures, and have ever
awed the most thoughtful into a recognition of its reality. And yet some
of these lecturers and _professors_ have even the impudence to baptize
their naturalistic jargon with the name of spiritualism, and while
treating the human soul with less reverence than is justly due to the
lowest form even of vegetable life, dare to talk of the _moral_ uses of
their pretended science, as though it had any more place for the word
and the idea than might be found in the jerking automaton of the
toy-shop.

Sometimes the pretense can be characterized by no milder term than
mocking blasphemy. One of these impostors, who has made some noise
lately, is said to have accurately foretold the words and ideas of a
discourse which was to be delivered by another person on a subsequent
day. It was no hypothetical prediction, grounded on a scientific
calculation of assumed causes and effects, but, in fact, a _clairvoyant
prevision_, not from any Divine impression (an idea which this
blasphemous pretender is known wholly to deride), but from a
transcendent subjective state of his natural intelligence. And yet some
who are known to believe only in an ideal Christ, and an ideal
resurrection, are not ashamed to signify a half assent to this monstrous
assertion of one of the highest conceivable attributes of the Almighty.
Every one who thinks at all must see that here there is no possible
middle ground. It is this claim, awfully profane and daring as it is, or
a downright imposture.

There is nothing derogatory to the human mind in the belief of the
_marvelous_. In fact, such belief is an element of its higher life. The
wonder is, that there is not more of it. But no degree of evidence can
justify us in giving credence to the _absurd_. The ridiculous is ever
proof of the presence of falsehood. The higher we rise in the scale of
truth, the more do we find ourselves ascending into a region of
seriousness. An impression of a sterner reality, of a deeper interest,
of more dread importance, of a more solemn consistency, accompanies
every genuine advance. Truth, as it grows purer and clearer, is ever
found to be more and more a fearful thing--joyful, indeed, and
soul-inspiring, yet finding the very fullness and solidity of its joy in
that graver element which gives it its highest and most real interest
for the human soul. A faith that has no awe proves itself a delusion. A
religion that has no fear, or is not deeply solemn, is a contradiction
in terms. For the absurd and the ridiculous even pure falsehood is too
stern a thing. They have their existence only in that grotesque mixture
of truth and error, in which the distortion of the one concealing the
malignity of the other gives birth to all revolting and ludicrous
monstrosities.

We need no better test. Apply it to the supernatural of the Scriptures,
and it furnishes one of the strongest evidences of their truth. So
serious a book can not be a lie. Bring to this criterion the modern
charlatanry, which so wantonly assumes the name of faith, "obtruding
itself with its fleshly mind" into the domain of the true supernatural,
and yet denying the supernatural--bring it to this criterion, we say,
and it is at once shown to be "earthly, sensual, devilish"--a grotesque
reflection of some of the worst things of this world thrown back in
lurid distortion from the darkness visible of the Satanic realms. But
even this may be assigning to it too high a rank. The position can not
be charged with irrationality which assumes that the "mocking fiend" may
sometimes be permitted to practice his jugglings on those rash fools,
who would venture too near to his domain of falsehood. But in most of
the modern cases of this kind, we are beginning to have little doubt
that sheer imposture is the predominant if not the only element.

On the outward evidence, however, we can not at present dwell, since it
is with the reasoning of these charlatans we design that our brief
strictures shall be mainly occupied. In this, too, we find the proof of
falsehood. For we return again to our text--the marvelous may be
believed, the absurd no amount of evidence can prove. And here some
thoughts suggest themselves to which we must give expression. What
amount of solid thinking, what discrimination of ideas, what right
knowledge of words, what degree of logical training, which, although not
the discoverer of truth, is the surest guard against error--in a word,
what amount of general, solid, mental culture must there be in an age
distinguished for the extensive circulation and approbation of such
works as Davis's Revelations of Nature, and Davis's Great Harmonia, and
Dodd's Psychology, &c., &c.? Could it have been so when Butler wrote his
immortal Analogy; or, farther back, when Howe preached his Living Temple
as evening lectures to a country congregation, and Baxter's tracts were
found in every hamlet in England? Could it have been so in our own land,
when Edwards preached his deep theology to plain men in plain New
England villages? The marvelous, we may well suppose, would have had no
lack of believers in those days. But would such absurdities in reasoning
have ever gained currency in those thinking though little scientific
periods? With all our talk of science, and progress, and universities,
and common schools, and the schoolmaster being abroad in the land, there
must be, somewhere, something wrong in our most modern ideas and modern
modes of education. Is not the physical element too predominant, and is
it not to the common smatterings in this department that such a
pretended spiritualism, yet real materialism, is directly to be traced?
A superficial sciolism, extensive enough in its facts, but utterly
hollow in its philosophy, is the food with which the common mind is
every where crammed even to satiety, while there is such a serious lack
of the logical, the theological, the Biblical, the classical, the
historical--in short, of those elements which must furnish the
foundation of all right thinking, and without which other knowledge is
more likely to lead to error than to truth.

But we can at present only hint at this. In respect to the reasonings of
these scientific discoverers (as they claim to be), we may say that
their fallacies get currency from this very cause, namely, the general
want of discrimination in respect to the true bounds of fundamental
ideas, and that abuse of language which is the necessary result. If the
consequences were not so serious, nothing could be more amusing than
their pretensions, or their method. They would have us believe that they
are the martyrs--Galileos--Bacons--Harveys, all of them. Each one is a
suffering Servetus, while all the bigotry of the theological world, with
all its inquisitorial priests and furious Calvins, is ever ready to
crush their new science, and give the crown of martyrdom to its devoted
teachers.

They have, too, the sagacity to perceive that audiences, in general,
love to be addressed in the technics of a scientific style, whether
rightly used or not. The vender of quack medicines has discovered the
same secret; and hence he, too, has his array of causes and effects, and
fluids, and mediums, and counteracting forces, and grand systems of
circulation, and positive and negative states. To be thus addressed
raises the hearer or reader at once in his own estimation, and thus
prepares him, sometimes, for the reception of almost any kind of
nonsense. He acquires, too, an interest in these high matters; and if
not himself an actual martyr to science, becomes at least a sympathizer
with those who are doomed to all this infamous persecution.

The usual course has now become so stereotyped, that one who has
attended a number of lectures of this kind, will be able to predict the
general method of remark quite as well as Davis is said to have foretold
that of Dr. Bushnell. He will be certain of the very places where the
peculiar and most original cant of the school will be sure to come in.
He will know just when and where to look out for Galileo and the
priests, and the Puritans and the Quakers, and Fulton and the
steam-engine. He anticipates precisely the spot where the lecturer will
tell us how Bacon "used up" the Stagyrite, and how wonderfully knowledge
has grown since that remarkable event, and how all previous progress was
preparatory to this new science, which it has been reserved for our bold
martyr not only to discover in its elements, but to present full formed
and full grown to his astonished hearers,--and which, moreover, he
generously offers to teach to private classes (the ladies to be by
themselves) at the exceedingly reasonable rate of ten dollars per
course.

Sometimes the whole of this scientific claptrap will consist of the
dextrous use of some one long new-coined term, very much like those that
are invented for the venders of soaps and perfumes to express the
psychology of their most ingenious and philosophical compounds. The
lecturer has discovered a new word, and it stands to him in place of a
mine of thought. In Martinus Scriblerus we read of a project to banish
metaphysics out of Spain. It was to be done by forbidding the use of the
compounds and decompounds of the substantive verb. "Take away from the
scholastic metaphysician," says this ingenious reformer, "his _ens_, his
_entitas_, his _essentia_, &c., and there is an end of him." So also we
have known lectures, and even books, on some of these new psychologies
from which the abstraction of a single term would cause the whole to
collapse. And yet to the quackish lecturer it is the key to unlock all
his scientific treasures. He has somehow picked up a _word_, and he is
deluding himself, and trying to delude others, into the notion that he
has really caught an _idea_. The connection of soul and body is no
longer a mystery. Science has at length dragged it out of its dark
retreat. Nothing can be simpler than the explanation at length afforded
of the fact which had so long baffled all inquiry. It is wholly owing to
the _nervo-vital_ fluid. But how is this? Is this connecting medium
mind, or matter, or a compound of both, or a tertium quid? If it is
either the first or the second, the mystery is just where it was before.
If it be said that it is the last (the only answer which does not at
once annihilate itself), the further query arises--How is that to be a
medium which needs itself a medium, or rather two other distinct media,
to serve as connecting links between it and the two worlds it would
unite? Or is it a bridge without an abutment on either shore?

But what are all such difficulties to our modern Galileo, or to his
scientific audience? It is the _nervo-vital_ fluid, whether or no. There
is a charming philosophy in the very sound, and it is impossible that so
good a term should not mean something. It is an admirable word--a most
euphonic word--and since the parts are certainly significant, there can
be no reason why the whole compound should not be so likewise.

Another of these magic words is _electricity_. It is getting to be the
_universal solvent_ for all scientific difficulties. It is life, it is
gravitation, it is attraction, it is generation, it is creation, it is
development, it is law, it is sensation, it is thought, it is every
thing. "Give me a place to put my lever," said Archimedes, "and I will
move the world!" Give us electricity and nervo-vital fluids, say our
biologists, and we will explain the mystery of all organizations, from
the animalcule to the universe!

We repeat it, The downright impositions in respect to facts, are not so
insulting to an audience, as the quackish reasoning which is often
presented by way of explanation. To state an example: One of the most
common performances of these mountebanks consists in the pretended
control of one mind or one person over the senses, the actions, the
volitions, and even the moral states of another. The performance is
generally contemptible enough in itself, but it is rendered still more
so when our man of science undertakes, as he generally does, to explain
to his audience the profound rationale of his proceedings. The lecturer
most modestly and reverently disclaims for himself the possession of
supernatural powers. It is all science--all strictly in accordance with
"_natural laws_" and performed on the most rational and scientific
principles. He had broken no law of mind or matter, as he would make
perfectly level to the understandings of his most respectable auditory.
The grand agent in the whole process was electricity, or the nervo-vital
fluid. By means of this, the mind of the operator was transferred to the
soul of the subject, and hence it is perfectly plain that the emotions
and mental exercises of the one become the emotions and mental exercises
of the other. A terrific scene was fancied (in the case which we have
now in mind it was a picture of serpents), and the patient was thrown
into a state of most agitating fright. Now that an impostor, or a
juggler, might deceive the senses of an audience, is nothing incredible,
and implies nothing derogatory to their intelligence. That some physical
effect may have been produced on the nervous system of some peculiarly
sensitive subject, is by no means beyond belief; or that in some way,
explicable or inexplicable, the agitation and convulsion may have had a
real existence. So far it may have been wholly false, or partly false
and partly real. Again, whether there may or may not be unknown fluids
through which one mind or one body affects another, is not the question.
If it were so, it would only be analogous to the ordinary modes of
mediate communication by air, and light, and sound, and would be liable
in kind, if not in degree, to the same imperfections. Still would it be
true, whatever the media, ordinary or extraordinary, that only as mind
is communicated to mind _as it really is_, can one affect the emotions,
and exercises, and states of the other. There may be less, there never
can be more, in the effect than in the cause.

Here, then, is the palpable absurdity, which should bring a blush of
shame upon every audience, and every individual calling himself
rational, who is for a moment affected by it. The mind of the operator,
it is maintained, is, for the time being, the mind of the patient. It
has taken possession of his thinking and feeling province. This is the
philosophy that Aristotle never knew, and of which even Bacon hardly had
a glimpse. Let us test it. As the lecturer is a very frank and fearless
man, he invites the fullest examination, not only of his facts, but of
his reasoning. Some one may, therefore, be supposed to present the
following or similar questions: You _willed_, did you, the scene and the
state of mind which produced these alarming results? Exactly so. Was it,
then, a simple volition of the _effect_, as an effect (if such a thing
were possible), or accompanied in your own mind, by a conception of the
scene presented? Certainly, replies the triumphant lecturer, the whole
rationale, as you have been told, consisted in throwing my mind into
that of the subject. He thought what I thought--he felt what I felt.
Very well. But were you frightened at the snakes? Did terror constitute
any part of the exercises of your own mind? This is a puzzler, but there
is an apparent way of surmounting the difficulty. The patient, it may be
said, _believes_ in the reality of the scene presented, while the
operator does not. But this only suggests a still greater absurdity.
This belief, or non-belief, is certainly a very important part of the
mental and emotional state. How comes one of the most essential
ingredients to be left behind in the psychological transfer? Does the
operator _will_ it thus to be? We have never heard any such thing
alleged; but if it were so, it would only be the crowning folly of this
superlatively foolish process--this very lunacy of nonsense. Such
volition itself would then become a part of the mental state, and must
pass over to the patient along with the other thoughts and emotions, and
with all the absurdity involved in it, or require another volition to
keep it back, and still another volition for this, and so on, _ad
infinitum_. Have any of our readers ever seen a foolish dog running
round and round after his own tail, and ever jerking it away just when
he seemed to himself to be on the point of catching it? Nothing can
furnish a better illustration of the exceeding folly that has often in
this way been presented as profound and scientific reasoning to what
have been styled enlightened and respectable audiences.

There is another fallacy running through all these pretended
sciences--from phrenology and phreno-mesmerism to the most stupid
exhibitions that have been ever given, under the names of "electrical
psychology" and "mental alchemy." It is that view which, in effect,
wholly denies any thing like a spiritual unity to the human soul, making
it a series of separate impulses, or, like the keys of a piano, each
when struck from without giving an isolated sound. Let one be touched,
the machine lifts up its hand, and is supposed to pray. Strike another,
and it blasphemes. And so, by turns, it hates and loves, and fears and
trusts--not different objects, which would be perfectly consistent with
a spiritual unity, in which the whole moral and intellectual state is
represented in every exercise, but the same objects, and with
transitions so sudden as to be almost simultaneous. We might, in a
similar way, expose the absurd reasoning contained in all this, but we
would rather dwell at present on the moral aspect of the case--the
shocking irreverence it manifests toward the human soul, making its
faith, its reason, its love, its conscience, as worthless as the lowest
bodily appetites--sinking it, indeed, below the dignity of respectable
organic or inorganic matter, with which such tricks can not be played,
and reducing all that have heretofore been regarded as the highest moral
truths to the rank of physical phenomena.

In some former remarks of our Editorial Table, there was an allusion to
the revolting claim clairvoyance makes to meddle with the soul's sacred
individuality. The thought is applicable to all those kindred
pretensions which are now so rife. Their tendency is to destroy all
reverence for our own spirituality, and with it all reverence for the
truly spiritual every-where. If this be true of what is called biology
and mental alchemy, in a still more impressive sense may it be charged
upon that other compound of blasphemy and Satanic mummery, which has
grown directly out of them. We allude to the pretense of holding
intercourse with departed spirits through mesmerized mediums, or what
are usually called _spiritual rappings_. The first class of performances
are an insult to the human intelligence; this is a moral outrage upon
the most tender, the most solemn, the most religious feelings of our
nature. The one is a profane trifling with all that is most sacred in
life--the other is a violation of the grave, and of all beyond, of which
it is the appointed vail. It is hard to write or speak with calmness
here. The mischief done and doing in this direction, defies all proper
estimate. These proceedings are sending lunatics to our asylums, but
this is by no means the sorest evil that may be laid to their charge. It
is the soul-hardening familiarity they are every where producing with
the most awful subjects that can be offered for human contemplation.
Such an effect, too, in relation to the spirit of man must soon be
followed by a similar one in respect to the still more tremendous idea
of Deity. To use a strange but most expressive term, first employed by
De Quincey (although applied to a different subject) we know
of nothing in human experience that threatens to be so utterly
_de-religionizing_--in other words, so fatally destructive of all that
reverence for the spiritual, that awe of the unseen, that tender
emotion, as well as solemn interest, which connect themselves with the
idea of the other life, and without which religion itself, in any form,
can have no deep or permanent hold upon the mind. We find it difficult
to conceive how any man possessed of the smallest share of these holy
sympathies, can bring himself to give any countenance whatever to such
practices. We appeal to those who have lost the nearest relatives--a
parent, a brother, a sister, a dear departed child--how should every
right feeling of the soul revolt against the thought of holding
intercourse with them, even though it were possible, through such means?
Who that has a Christian heart would not prefer the silence of the grave
to the thought of the dear departed one in the midst of such imaginings,
and such scenic associations as are connected with the usual
performances of this kind? Through that silence of the grave the voice
of faith may be heard speaking to us in the language of revelation--_He
is not dead but sleepeth_. Blessed word,--so utterly unknown to all
previous philosophy--never heard in any other revelation than that of
the gospel! They are not dead but _sleep_. "They enter into _peace_,"
says the prophet. And then the precious and consoling addition--They
sleep _in Jesus_. Surely the term thus employed can imply no cessation
of consciousness, no torpor of the higher and better faculties of the
soul; but it does denote, beyond all doubt, a state of rest, of
calmness, of security, of undisturbed and beatific vision--a state far
removed from all resemblance to this bustling life--a state in all
respects the opposite of that which fancy pictures as belonging to the
scenes presented in the manifestations of spiritual rappings, and
spiritual table-liftings, and, in a word, those spiritual pantomimes,
which seem to be becoming more and more extravagant and grotesque in
proportion to the infidel credulity with which they are received.

Such are every where the scriptural ideas in respect to the condition of
the pious dead, and from the other class we seek not to draw that vail
which it has thrown over them. Nothing shows more strikingly the extreme
secularity of the age in which we live than the disposition, even among
many who are professedly religious, to look upon the other world as only
a continuation of the activities of the present; but we affirm with all
boldness, that such a view receives no support from the Bible. Rest,
security, calmness, peace, removal from all agitation, from all
excitement, from all commingling in the scenes of this busy, restless,
probationary life--these are the thoughts which are suggested by its
parables, its metaphors, its visions, its direct and positive
assertions. Especially clear and prominent is the idea of entire
separation from the present world. They have "entered into rest"--they
are in "Abraham's bosom"--they are "with Christ in Paradise." To the
same effect would the spiritually-minded reader interpret certain
phrases employed in the Older Scriptures. They are in "the secret of his
pavilion," in the "hiding-place of his tabernacle"--they abide "under
the shadow of the Almighty." Such expressions may have a meaning in
connection with this life; but their fullest import is only brought out
when their consoling assurances are referred to the state of the
departed in the spirit-world.

And here the thought most naturally suggests itself--How striking the
difference between the sensual obtrusiveness, the impious pretensions,
the profane curiosity exhibited in connection with this modern
charlatanry, and what may be called the _solemn reserve_ of the Holy
Scriptures. The Bible never condescends to gratify our curiosity
respecting what may be called the physiology, or _physical_ theory of
the other life. On the other hand, the _moral_ effect is ever kept in
view, and to this, in all its communications, it ever aims at giving the
deepest intensity. In the light of this thought let any one contrast the
sublime vision of Eliphaz (Job iv.) with any of these modern spiritual
manifestations. The vail is for a moment withdrawn. A light just gleams
upon us from the spirit-world, not to show us things within, but to cast
its moral irradiation upon things without. The formless form, the
silence, and the voice leave all things physical, or psychological as
much unknown as before; but how deep the moral impression! There are no
disclosures of the scenery or topography of the unseen state; no
announcement of "great truths about to break forth;" nothing said of
"throwing down barriers between the two worlds." But instead of this, a
most solemn declaration of a Divine moral government, and a moral
retribution, to which all that is physical, or physiological, or
psychological even, is intended ever to be kept subservient.

Thus it is throughout the Bible. Paul had visions of the third Heavens.
Christ descended into Hades, and rose again; but he has told us nothing
of the state or doings of departed spirits. Where the sacred penmen draw
back, and scarce afford a hint, except as to the certainty of
retribution in another world, modern mystics, modern impostors have
given us volumes.

            Fools rashly venture in
    Where angels dare not tread.

And so, too, in respect to death itself. The impostor Davis profanely
assumes to describe the process of the elimination of the spirit from
the struggling body, and some have pronounced the unfeeling caricature
worthy of the genius of Dante or of Milton. But with what solemn reserve
does the Scripture cast a vail over this dread event, and reveal to us
only its moral consequences. It is a going down into a "Valley of
Shadows," and all that the believer is allowed to know of it is, that in
that Valley there is one to take him by the hand, one who will walk with
him through its darkness, and "whose rod and staff shall comfort him"
through all that dreary way. To this correspond the terms expressive of
the idea in primitive languages. It is a going into _Hades_, the
_Invisible_, the _Unknown_, not in the sense of any doubt, implied as to
the real existence of a spirit world (for men have never been without a
distinct belief in this, as matter of fact), but unknown as to its
physical states and modes of being. In the Hebrew it is _Beth Olam_, the
_Hidden House_ (imperfectly rendered _the long home_, Eccles. xii.),
where "the souls of the dead take no part in things that are done beneath
the sun." The living go to them, but they come not back any more to us.
And what right-feeling heart would have it otherwise. They are

    Not dead, but parted from their house of clay.

They still dwell, too, in our memories; they are enshrined in our
hearts. Who would not trust them to the Scripture promises of rest and
peace, rather than imagine them as subject to the unrest, and sharing in
the agitating and tumultuous scenes of this pseudo-spiritualism. The
believer in rappings charges his opponent with a Sadducean lack of
faith. But we would take issue with him on the term. The naturalistic
spirit-hunter is a stranger to the idea. With him it is only the
sensualism and sensual scenes of this earth carried into a supposed
spiritual world. It is a faith which has no trust, no patient waiting.
It is not "the evidence of things unseen." It is not "the substance of
things hoped for." It is rank materialism, after all. It is, moreover,
_essentially_ irreligious. As far as it extends, it threatens, to an
awful degree, to de-religionize the human soul--not only to take away
all true spirituality of view, but to render men incapable of those
ideas, on which alone a right religious belief can be founded.

We hope our readers will not think that we have indulged in a train of
thought too serious or sombre for the pages of a literary Monthly
Magazine. It is directly forced upon us by our subject, if we would
treat it as it deserves to be treated; and our only apology for choosing
such a theme, is found in the fact that it is connected with one of the
most wide-spread and mischievous delusions of the day. We should indeed
think that we had discharged a most important editorial duty, could we
only convey to the many thousands of our readers our deep impression,
not only of the falsehood and wickedness of these "_lying wonders_," but
also of the immense moral evil of which they threaten to be the cause.



Editor's Easy Chair.


The Spring hangs fire, like a rusty match-lock; and even as we
write--though the almanac tells stories of "pleasant showers about this
time"--the snow-flakes are dappling the distant roofs, and shivering
under a northern wind. The early-trout fishers upon the south-shore of
the Island, are bandaged in pea-coats, and the song-making blue-birds
twitter most scattered and sorry orisons.

It is a singular circumstance--and one of which the meteorologic men
must give us the resolution--that the seasons of the Eastern and Western
Continents balance themselves so accurately as they do. Thus, the severe
winter which, leaning from the Arctic Circle, has touched our Continent
with an icy _right_ hand, has kindled with a warm _left_, the north of
Europe into a premature Spring. The journalists tell us of flowers
blooming in Norway, through all the latter half of February; and the
winter in Paris has proved as sham a winter, as their Republic is sham
republic.

Is there any tide of atmosphere which makes flux and reflux of
cold--kindred to the sweep of the ocean? And may not that Northern
Centre, which geographers call the POLE, have such influence on the
atmospheric currents, as the moon is said to have upon the sea?

       *       *       *       *       *

Poor Sir John, meantime, shivering in the Northern Regions, or--what is
far more probable--sealed up in some icy shroud, that keeps his body
whole, and that will not break or burst until the mountains melt--is not
forgotten. Even now the British Admiralty are fitting out another
expedition, to flounder for a season among the icebergs, and bring back
its story of Polar nights, and harsh Arctic music.

A little bit of early romance, associated with the great navigator, has
latterly found its way into the journals, and added new zest to the talk
of his unknown fate. Lady Franklin was, it appears, in her youthful
days, endowed with the same poet-soul--which now inspires her courage,
and which then inspired her muse. Among other rhymed thoughts which she
put in print, were some wild, weird verses about the Northern realms,
and the bold navigators who periled life and fortune among the Polar
mountains. The verses caught the eye and the sympathies of Sir John
Franklin. He traced them to their source, and finding the heart of the
lady as true and brave, as her verse was clear and sound, he challenged
her love, and won such wife as became the solace of his quieter days,
and the world-known mourner of his fate.

       *       *       *       *       *

Domestic talk plays around the topic of the coming Presidential
campaign, and not a dinner of the whole Lenten season but has turned its
chat upon this hinge. And it is not a little curious to observe how the
names of the prospective Presidents narrow down, as the time approaches,
to some two or three focal ones, toward which converge all the rays of
calumny and of laudation. Yet in this free speech--thanks to our
privilege--we offer a most happy contrast to that poor shadow of a
Republic, which is now thriving in embroidered Paris coats, and whose
history is written under the ban of Censors. It is amusing to recall now
the speeches of those earnest French Republicans, who, in the debates of
1848, objected so strongly to any scheme of representation which should
bear that strong federal taint that belonged to our system. "It is an
off-shoot," said they, "of British and lordly birth, and can not agree
with the nobler freedom which we have established, and which has crowned
our Revolution."

May God, in his own good time, help the French--if they will not help
themselves--and give them no worse a ruler, than the poorest of our
present candidates!

       *       *       *       *       *

Some little time ago we indulged in a pleasant strain of
self-gratulation, that the extraordinary woman, Lola Montes--_danseuse_,
_diplomate_, widow, wife, _femme entretenue_--should have met with the
humblest welcome upon American shores, and by such welcome given a lift
to our sense of propriety. It would seem, however, that the welcome was
only stayed, and not abandoned. The cordial reception which our national
representatives have given the Bavarian Countess, was indeed a matter to
be looked for. Proprieties of life do not rule high under the
Congressional atmosphere; nor is Washington the moving centre of much
Christian enterprise--either missionary or other. But that Boston, our
staid rival, should have shown the _danseuse_ the honor of Educational
Committees, and given her speech in French and Latin of the blooming
Boston girls, is a thing as strange as it was unexpected. We observe,
however, that the officer in attendance upon Lola, pleads simple
courtesy as a warrant for his introduction, and regrets that newspaper
inquiry and comment should make known to his pupil-_protégées_ the real
character of the lady introduced. It certainly is unfortunate--but still
more unfortunate, that the character of any visitor should not be proof
against inquiry.

Lola, it seems, resents highly any imputation upon her good name, and
demands proof of her losses.

Her indignation is adroit, and reminds us of a certain old "nut for the
lawyers," which once went the round of the almanacs:

"Will Brown, a noted toper, being out of funds, and put to his wits,
entered the beer-shop, and called for four two-penny loaves of bread.
After ruminating awhile, with the loaves under his arm, he proposed to
exchange a couple of the loaves for a mug of ale. Bruin of the bar
assented to the bargain. Will quietly disposed of his ale, and again
proposed a further exchange of the remaining loaves, for a second mug of
the malt liquor.

"Will quietly discharged his duty toward the second tankard, and as
quietly moved toward the door. Bruin claimed pay. Will alleged that he
had paid in two-penny loaves. Bruin demanded pay for the bread; but
Will, very imperturbably swore that he did not keep the bread, and
challenged poor Bruin to prove his indebtedness."

       *       *       *       *       *

Jenny Lind has latterly slipped from the public eye into the shades of
her newly-found domestic life. Rumor, however, tells the story of one
last appearance, during the Spring, when all the world will be curious
to see how she wears her bridal state, and to take fuller glimpse of the
man, who has won her benevolent heart. Can the married world explain to
us, how it is that matrimony seems to dull the edge of triumph, and to
round a grave over maiden glory? Why is Madame Goldschmidt so much less
than Jenny Lind? Simply in this way: she who has conquered the world by
song and goodness, has herself been conquered; and the conqueror, if
rumor tells a fair story, is no better, or worthier, or stronger than
the average of men. The conclusion, then, is inevitable, that she,
having yielded, is, in some qualities of head or heart--even less than
he; and so reduced to the standard of our dull every-day mortality.

Rumor says again, that the songstress, after a visit only to her own
shores, is to return to the pleasant town of Northampton for a home. The
decision, if real, does credit to our lady's love of the picturesque;
for surely a more sightly town lies no where in our western world, than
that mass of meadow and sweeping hill which lies grouped under the
shoulder of Holyoke.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the spring-time, the city authorities are brushing the
pavements--very daintily--for the summer's campaign. Mr. Russ is
blockading the great thoroughfare, for a new fragment of his granite
road; and "May movings," on the very day this shall come to the eye of
our reader, will be disturbing the whole quiet of the metropolis. High
rents are making the sad burden of many a master of a household; and a
city paper has indulged in philosophical speculations upon the influence
of this rise in rent upon the matrimonial alliance. The matter is not
without its salient points for reflection. Young ladies, whose
extravagance in dress is promoting high prices of all sorts, must
remember that they are thereby cheapening their chances of a home and a
husband. The good old times, when a thousand or two thousand a year were
reckoned sufficient income for a city man to marry upon, and to bring up
such family as Providence vouchsafed him, are fast falling into the wake
of years.

A wife and a home are becoming great luxuries--not so much measured by
peace as by pence.

Would it not be well for domestically inclined clerks--whose rental does
not run to a large figure--to organize (in the way of the Building
Associations) cheap Marriage Associations? We do not feel competent to
suggest the details of such a plan, but throw out the hint for younger
men to act upon.

It is pleasant to fancy the "Special Notices" of the Tribune newspaper
lit up with such sparkling inducements for bachelors as these:

   The BLOOMER MARRIAGE ASSOCIATION will hold its regular meeting on
   Friday at half past seven. Those who appreciate the advantages of a
   good wife, at small cost, with reliable men for trustees, will not
   fail to attend. The stock is now nearly all taken. A few shares are
   left. Several new names of modest and marriageable young
   ladies--also two thriving widows with small families--are
   registered upon the books of the Association. Every information
   supplied.

                              JEDEDIAH RULETHEROOST, _Secretary_.

   CHEAP WIVES for poor and deserving young men. The CAROLINE FRY
   Marriage Association is the best and oldest of similar
   organizations. Hundreds of young men are now in the enjoyment of
   estimable partners for life, and all the endearments of the
   domestic circle through the agency of this Association. Shares are
   still to be sold, and the surplus of capital already amounts to the
   incredible sum of fourteen thousand dollars.

   Particular attention paid to proper matching of temperaments. Only
   two unfortunate marriages have thus far been contracted under the
   auspices of this Association. The best of medical advisers.

   Remember the number, 220 Broadway.

                                      SILAS WIDDERS, _Secretary_.

       *       *       *       *       *

English Punch is busy nowadays in twisting the Jew locks of the new
leader in the House of Commons. The personal peculiarities of Mr.
Disraeli make him an easy subject for the artists of Fleet-street. We
shall expect, however, to see some rare debates led off by the
accomplished Hebrew. Disraeli has his weaknesses of manner and of
action; but he is a keen talker, and can make such show of brilliant
repartee as will terribly irk the leaders of the Left.

The Earl of Derby, notwithstanding his fine and gentlemanly bearing,
comes in for his share of the Punch caricature. Few British statesmen
are so accomplished and graceful speakers as the Earl of Derby; and,
with the burden of the Government upon his shoulders, to spur his
efforts, we shall confidently look for such strong pleading, as will
surpass any thing yet heard from Lord Stanley.

       *       *       *       *       *

French talk is tired of political prognostic, and has yielded itself,
with characteristic indolence and _insouciance_, to the gayeties of the
_mi-caréme_. Balls have broken the solemnities of Lent, and a new drama
of the younger Dumas, which turns upon the life and fortunes of a
_courtisane_ of the last century, seems to chime with the humor of the
time.

The broidered coats are thickening under imperial auspices; and
Napoleon is winning a host of firm supporters among the broidering girls
of Nancy and of the metropolis. The Americans, it would seem, are doing
their part toward the festivities of the season; and forget Lent and
Republic, in the hilarity of balls and routs. An American club, holding
its meetings in the old saloon of Frascati, is among the _on dits_ of
the winter.

A proposition for shaving the beards of judges and advocates, has
wakened the apprehensions of all the benchers; and, in defense of their
old-time prerogatives, the subjects of the proposed edict have brought
to light an old pleading for their hirsute fancies, which may well have
its place.

The shaved chin is an incongruity as connected with the toga; the beard,
on the contrary, is in perfect keeping. If it had not existed by a wise
provision of Providence, it must have been invented. What more imposing
spectacle than a court rendering a solemn decree, in the presence of
both chambers--and what measure of authority would not the white beard
of the judge give to the sentence he pronounces!

If then, you have a real care for your dignity, oh magistrates, curb not
the flowing beard, but rather tempt its honors, with all the aids of
art. And if the eccentric sallies of some brother gownsman, or some
naïve testimony of an unkempt witness, put your gravity in peril, you
can laugh--in your beard. Thus nature will have her rights, and your
dignity rest unmolested.

We commend these opinions to their honors of the New York Bench; only
adding, that such aldermanic judges as are proof against wit--as they
are proof against sense, might yet value the beard to hide their
blushes.

       *       *       *       *       *

All European travelers know the value and the awkwardness of passports,
and the importance of securing them _en regle_.

The Count B----, wishing latterly to pass into Austria with a domestic
and a favorite horse, sent to the legation for the necessary papers,
charging his secretary to see that all was in order.

"As to the domestic," said the official, "he will have a separate
passport; but there are some formalities as to the horse; we must have a
perfect description of him, to insert in the passport of his owner."

"Very good," said the secretary, "I will send the groom with it."

The embassador proceeded to fill up the passport: "We, Envoy
Extraordinary, &c., invite the civil and military authorities to allow
M. le Comte, with his horse, to pass, and in case of need, to render all
possible aid and assistance to ----"

Here occurred a blank, in view of the fact that the applicant might
possess either wife or family. The good embassador (whom it is
reasonable to suppose a bachelor) reckoning the horse equivalent to one
or the other--filled up the blank with the word "them."

The signature being appended, the task of filling up the description was
left to the _attaché_.

In due time the groom arrived. The sub-officia copied faithfully the
description of the count's gelding.

  _Age_--three years and a half.
  _Height_--fourteen hands.
  _Hair_--dark sorrel.
  _Forehead_--spotted with white.
  _Eyes_--very lively.
  _Nose_--broad nostrils.
  _Mouth_--A little hard.
  _Beard_--none (the count was a veritable Turk).
  _Complexion_--none.
  _Private marks_--ears very long; small star branded on the left thigh.

In course of time the count departed, his passport in the guardianship
of his accomplished secretary.

The frontier officers are not, travelers will remember, either very
brilliant men, or very witty men. They have a dull eye for a joke.

The count's passport was scrutinized severely; the description did not
accord accurately, in the opinion of the _sergent_ of police, with the
actual man. The _sergent_ pulled his mustache, looked wise--and put
Monsieur le Comte under arrest. The story about the horse was a poor
story. The _sergent_ was not to be outwitted in that fashion.

The consequence was a detention under guard for four days, until the
necessary explanations could be returned from Paris, and the _sergent_
be fully persuaded that the description attached to the count's horse,
and not to some dangerous political refugee.

       *       *       *       *       *

Under the head of "Touching Matrimonial Confidence," a French provincial
paper gives the following: A certain Gazette of Auvergne published, a
few days since, this notice (not unknown to our newspaper annals):

   "No person will give credit to the woman
   Ursula-Veronica-Anastasia-Cunegonde Piot--my wife, as I shall pay
   no debts of her contracting."

The same Gazette published, a few days after, the following rejoinder
(which we commend to all wives similarly situated):

   "Monsieur Jerome Barnabas, my husband, could have spared himself
   the trouble of his late notice.

   "It is not to be supposed that I could get credit on his account;
   for, since he pays no debts of his own, nobody would count on him
   to pay any debts of mine.

                                      "FEMME BARNABAS--NEE PIOT."

We should not be greatly surprised if the precedent here afforded,
should lead to a new column of city advertisements.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Apropos_ of the late balls in Paris, a very good story is told of a
bouncing student at law (with rooms and _ménage_ in the quarter of the
Pantheon), who recently made his _débût_, under the auspices of his
father, at a ball of the Chaussée d'Antin.

His father, a stout provincial, but bolstered into importance by a fat
vineyard, and wine cellars to match, insisted upon introducing his son
to the high life of the capital. The son declined, urging that he did
not dance (the truth being that his familiarity was only with the
exceptional dances of the _Chaumière_ and such grisette quarters).

"_Mon Dieu_--not dance!" said the old gentleman.

"_Oui_--after a fashion, but in a way not appreciated, I fear, in such
salons."

The old gentleman chuckled over his son's modesty--he could imagine it
nothing else--and insisted upon the venture. The student was a guest;
but determined to keep by the wall, as a spectator of the refined
gallopades of the quarter d'Antin. The first look, however, at the salon
polka plunged him into a profound reverie. Was it indeed true that he
was in the elegant saloon of the _Marquise_ M----? thought he, gaining
courage.

It was his method precisely--the very dance that Amy had taught
him--practiced with all their picturesque temerity. Sure of his power,
and using all the art of the _Mabile_, he gave himself up to two hours
of most exhilarating pastime.

"They have calumniated the _beau monde_," mused he in leaving. "I find
it very entertaining. Our dances are not only understood, but
cultivated--practiced; and, _ma foi_, I rather prefer handling these
countesses, to those very greedy grisettes."

Our brave student at law might possibly find his paces as well
understood, in some American saloons as in those of the Chausée d'Antin!

       *       *       *       *       *

We close our long chat for the month with a little whimsicality of
travel, which comes to us in the letter of a friend.

Major M'Gowd was of Irish extraction (which he denied)--had been in the
English service (which he boasted), and is, or was two years ago,
serving under the Austrian flag.

He was not a profound man; but, as majors go, a very good sort of major,
and great disciplinarian--as the following will show:

You have seen the Austrian troops in review, and must have noticed the
curious way in which their cloaks are carried around their necks, making
the poor fellows look like the Vauxhall showman, looking out from the
folds of a gigantic anaconda.

On one occasion, the major, being officer of the day, observed a soldier
with his cloak lying loosely upon his arm.

"Where's your cloak, rascal?" was the major's peremptory demand.

"Here, sir," was the reply.

"What's the use of a cloak if it's not rolled up?" thundered the major;
and the poor scamp was sent to the lock-up.

Thus much for the major's discipline. But like most old officers of no
great depth of brain, the major had his standard joke, which had gone
the rounds of a hundred mess-tables. Latterly, however, he had grown coy
of a repetition, and seems to cherish a suspicion that he has not cut so
good a figure in the story as he once imagined.

A little after-dinner mellowness, however, is sure to bring the major to
his trump card, and in knowledge of this, Ned and myself (who had never
heard his story), one day tempted the major's appetite with some very
generous Tokay.

Major M'Gowd bore up, as most old officers are able to do, to a very
late hour, and it was not till eleven that he seemed fairly kindled.

"Well, major, now for the story," said we.

"Ah, boys, it won't do" (the major looked smilingly through his glass),
"it was really too bad."

"Out with it, major," and after as much refusing and urging as would
seat half the girls in New York at the piano, the old gentleman opened:

"It's too bad, boys; it was the most cutting, sarcastic thing that
perhaps ever was heard. You see, I was stationed at Uxbridge; you know
Uxbridge, p'raps--situated on a hill. I was captain, then; young and
foolish--very foolish. I wrote poetry. I couldn't do it now. I never
have since; I wish I hadn't _then_. For, do you see, it was the most
cruel, cutting thing--"

The major emptied his glass.

"Go on, major," said Ned, filling for him again.

"Ah, boys--sad work--it cut him down. I was young, as I said--stationed
at Uxbridge--only a captain then, and wrote poetry. It was there the
thing happened. It's not modest to say it, but really, a more cutting
thing--fill up your glasses, my boys.

"I became acquainted with a family of the name of Porter--friends of the
colonel; pray remember the name--Porter. There was a daughter, Miss
Porter. Keep the name in mind, if you please. Uxbridge, as you know, is
situated on a hill. About fifteen miles away was stationed another
regiment. Now, a young officer of this regiment was very attentive to
Miss Porter; don't forget the name, I beg of you.

"He was only a lieutenant, a second son--nothing but his pay to live on;
and the old people did not fancy his attentions, being, as I said,
second son, lieutenant; which was very sensible in them.

"They gave him a hint or two, which he didn't take. Finally they applied
to me, Captain M'Gowd, at that time, begging me to use my influence in
the matter. I had not the pleasure of acquaintance with the lieutenant;
though, apart from his being second son, lieutenant, small pay, &c., I
knew nothing in the world against the poor fellow.

"The more's the pity, boys; as I had no right to address him directly on
the subject, I determined to hit him off in a few lines of poetry--those
fatal, sarcastic lines!" sighed the major, finishing his glass.

"I had the reputation of being witty, and a poet; and though I say it
myself--was uncommonly severe.

"They commenced in this way," (the major threw himself into attitude.)

    "The other day to Uxbridge town--

"You recollect the circumstance--I was at Uxbridge--young and
foolish--had made the acquaintance of the Porters (remember the
name)--young lieutenant was attentive to Miss Porter (lively girl was
Mary Jane); poor, second son, not agreeable to old people, who, as I
told you, called on me to settle the matter. So I wrote the
lines--terribly sarcastic:

    "The other day to Uxbridge town--

now you're coming to it--

"A major (he was lieutenant, you know) of dragoons (he was in the
infantry) came down (Uxbridge is on a hill). It was a very sarcastic
thing, you see.

    "The other day to Uxbridge town
    A major of dragoons came down--

now for the point, my boys,

    "The reason why he came down here
    'Twas said he had--

You remember the name--Porter, and how I was at Uxbridge, situated on a
hill, was Captain M'Gowd, then--young lieutenant, &c., devilish severe
verses--but now mind--here they are:

    "The other day to Uxbridge town
    A major of dragoons came down,
    The reason why he came down here
    'Twas said he had a love (remember the name) for--Beer!"

If you have never heard a maudlin, mess-table story, told over the sixth
bottle, you have at the least, read one.



Editor's Drawer.


The readers of the "Drawer" will be amused with a forcible picture,
which we find in our collection, of the ups-and-downs of a strolling
player's life. One would think such things enough to deter young men and
women from entering upon so thorny a profession. "In one of the writer's
professional excursions," runs our extract, "his manager finds himself
in a woeful predicament. His pieces will not 'draw' in the quiet New
England village where he had temporarily 'set up shop;' he and his
company are literally starving; the men moodily pacing the stage; the
women, who had kept up their spirits to the last, sitting silent and
sorrowful; and the children, little sufferers! actually crying for food.

"I saw all this," says the manager, "and I began to feel very suicidal.
It was night, and I looked about for a rope. At length I spied just what
I wanted. A rope dangled at the prompt-side, and near a steep flight of
stairs which led to a dressing room. '_That's_ it!' said I, with gloomy
satisfaction: 'I'll mount those stairs, noose myself, and drop quietly
off in the night; but first let me see whether it is firmly fastened or
no.'

"I accordingly approached, gave a pull at the rope, when '_whish!
whish!_' I found I had set the rain a-going. And now a thought struck
me. I leaped, danced, and shouted madly for joy.

"'Where did you get your liquor from?' shouted the 'walking-gentleman'
of the company.

"'He's gone mad!' said Mrs. ----, principal lady-actress of the corps.
'Poor fellow!--hunger has made him a maniac. Heaven shield _us_ from a
like fate!'

"'Hunger!' shouted I, 'we shall be hungry no more! Here's food from
above (which was _literally_ true), manna in the wilderness, and all
that sort of thing. We'll feed on rain; we'll feed on rain!'

"I seized a hatchet, and mounting by a ladder, soon brought the rain-box
tumbling to the ground.

"My meaning was now understood. An end of the box was pried off, and
full a bushel of dried beans and peas were poured out, to the delight of
all. Some were stewed immediately, and although rather hard, I never
relished any thing more. But while the operation of cooking was going on
below, we amused ourselves with parching some beans upon the
sheet-iron--the 'thunder' of the theatre--set over an old furnace, and
heated by rosin from the lightning-bellows.

"So we fed upon rain, cooked by thunder-and-lightning!"

There is nothing in the history of IRVING'S "Strolling Player" more
characteristic of his class than the foregoing; and there is a
_verisimilitude_ about the story which does not permit us to doubt its
authenticity. It is too natural _not_ to be true.

       *       *       *       *       *

Think of a patent-medicine vender rising at the head of his table, where
were assembled some score or two of his customers, and proposing such a
toast as the following:

"Gentlemen: allow me to propose you a sentiment. When I mention
_Health_, you will all admit that I allude to the greatest of sublunary
blessings. I am sure then that you will agree with me that we are all
more or less interested in the toast that I am about to prescribe. I
give you, gentlemen,

"PHYSIC, and much good may it do us!"

This sentiment is "drunk with all the honors," when a professional
Gallenic vocalist favors the company with the annexed song:

    "A BUMPER of Febrifuge fill, fill for me,
    Give those who prefer it, Black Draught;
    But whatever the dose a strong one it must be,
    Though our last dose to-night shall be quaffed.
    And while influenza attacks high and low,
    And man's queerest feelings oppress him,
    Mouth-making, nose-holding, round, round let I go,
    Drink our Physic and Founder--ugh, bless him."

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader may have heard a good deal from the poets concerning "_The
Language of Flowers_;" but here is quite a new dialect of that
description, in the shape of mottos for different fruits and vegetables
in different months:

  _Motto for the Lilac in April_: "Give me leave."
  _For the Rose in June_: "Well, I'm blowed!"
  _For the Asparagus in July_: "Cut and come again."
  _For the Marrowfat Pea in August_: "Shell out!"
  _For the Apple in September_: "Go it, my Pippins!"
  _For the Cabbage in December_: "My heart is sound: my heart is my own."

       *       *       *       *       *

Now that "shads is come;" now that lamb has arrived, and green peas may
soon be looked for; now that asparagus is coming in, and poultry is
going out, listen to _the Song of the Turkey_, no longer seen hanging by
the legs in the market, and rejoice with him at his emancipation:

    "The season of Turkeys is over!
      The time of our danger is past:
    'Tis the turn of the wild-duck and plover,
      But the Turkey is safe, boys, at last!

    "Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
      No longer we've reason to fear;
    Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys,
      Let's trust to the chance of the year!

    "The oyster in vain now may mock us,
      Its sauce we can proudly disdain;
    No sausages vulgar shall shock us,
      We are free, we are free from their chain!

    "Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
      No longer we've reason to fear;
    Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys.
      Let's trust to the chance of the year!

    "What matters to you and to me, boys,
      That one whom we treasured when young,
    With a ticket, "Two dollars! look here!" boys,
      In a poulterer's window was hung!

    "Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
      No longer we've reason to fear;
    Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys,
      Let's trust to the chance of the year!

    "Then mourn not for friends that are eaten,
      A drum-stick for care and regret!
    Enough that, the future to sweeten,
      Our lives are not forfeited yet!

    "Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
      No longer we've reason to fear;
    Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys,
      Let's trust to the chance of the year!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Somewhat curious, if true, is an anecdote which is declared to be
authentic, and which we find among the _disjecta membra_ of our
_ollapodrida_:

Lieutenant Montgomery had seen much military service. The wars, however,
were over; and he had nothing in the world to do but to lounge about, as
best he could, on his half-pay. One day he was "taking his ease in his
inn," when he observed a stranger, who was evidently a foreigner, gazing
intently at him. The lieutenant appeared not to notice him, but shifted
his position. After a short time the stranger shifted _his_ position
also, and still stared with unblemished, unabated gaze.

This was too much for Montgomery. He rose, and approaching his
scrutinizing intruder, said:

"Do you _know_ me, sir?"

"I think I do," answered the foreigner. (He was a Frenchman.)

"Have we ever met before?" continued Montgomery.

"I will not swear for it; but if we have--and I am almost _sure_ we
have," said the stranger, "you have a sabre-cut, a deep one, on your
right wrist."

"I have," said Montgomery, turning back his sleeve, and displaying a
very broad and ugly scar. "I didn't get this for nothing, for the brave
fellow who made me a present of it I repaid with a gash across the
skull!"

The Frenchman bent down his head, parted his hair with his hands, and
said:

"You did: you may look at the receipt."

The next moment they were in each other's arms.

Now this story _seems_ a little problematical; and yet it is vouched for
on what ought to be considered reliable authority. In short, it is
_true_ in every respect.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some ambitious juvenile once sung, with an aspiration "peculiar to our
institutions,"

    "I wish I was the President
      Of these United States,
    I never would do nothing
      But swing on all the gates."

He little knew the miseries, the ennui, the mental dyspepsia, which
afflicts the wretch who has nothing to do. One of these unhappy mortals
it is, who says, in the bitterness of his spirit:

"Sir, I have no books, and no internal resources. I can not draw, and if
I could, there's nothing that I want to sketch. I don't play the flute,
and if I did there's nobody that I should like to have listen to me. I
never wrote a tragedy, but I think I am in that state of mind in which
tragedies are written. Any thing lighter is out of the question. I
whistle four hours a day, yawn five, smoke six, and sleep the rest of
the twenty-four, with a running accompaniment of swearing to all these
occupations except the last, and I'm not quite sure that I don't
sometimes swear in my dreams.

"In one word, sir, I'm getting desperate, for the want of _something to
do_."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a good deal of humor in the sudden contrast of sentiment and
language exhibited in the verses below. They purport to be the
tragi-comical tale of a deserted sailor-wife, who, with a baby in her
arms, comes often to a rock that overlooks the main, to catch, if
possible, a glimpse of a returning sail. At length, in despair, she
throws her infant into the sea:

    "A gush of tears fell fast and warm,
      As she cried, with dread emotion,
    Rest, baby! rest that fairy form
      Beneath the rush of ocean;
    'Tis calmer than the world's rude storm,
      And kinder--I've a notion!

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Now oft the simple country folk
      To this sad spot repair,
    When wearied with their weekly yoke,
      They steal an hour from care;
    And they that have a pipe to smoke,
      They go and smoke it there!

    "When soon a little pearly bark
      Skims o'er the level brine,
    Whose sails, when it is not too dark,
      With misty brightness shine:
    Though they who these strange visions mark
      Have sharper eyes than mine!

    "And, beauteous as the morn, is seen
      A baby on the prow,
    Deck'd in a robe of silver sheen,
      With corals round his brow--
    A style of head-dress not, I ween,
      Much worn by babies now!"

What somebody of the transcendental school of these latter days calls
the "element of unexpectedness," is very forcibly exemplified by the
writer from whom we have quoted.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have often laughed over the following scene, but couldn't tell where
it is recorded to save our reputation for "general knowledge." All that
we _do_ know is, that it is a clever sketch by a clever writer
_whoever_ he may be. The scene is a military station; and it should be
premised that a certain surly, ill-tempered major, whose wife and sister
are in the habit of visiting him at the barracks, gives orders, out of
spite to subordinate officers, whose families have hitherto enjoyed the
same privilege, that "no females are to be allowed in barracks after
tattoo, under any pretense whatever:"

"It so happened that the morning after this announcement appeared in the
order-book, an old lieutenant, who might have been the major's
grandfather, and whom we used to call "The General," on account of his
age and gray hairs, was the officer on duty. To the sergeant of the
guard "the General" gave the necessary orders, with strict injunctions
to have them obeyed to the letter.

"Shortly after tattoo, sundry ladies, as usual, presented themselves at
the barrack-gate, and were, of course, refused admission; when, to the
surprise of the sentinel on duty, the major's lady and sister-in-law
made their appearance, and walked boldly to the wicket, with the
intention of entering as usual. To their utter astonishment, the sentry
refused them permission to pass. The sergeant was called, but that
worthy was quite as much of a precisian as the ladies, and his
conscience would not permit him to let them in.

"'Do you know who we are, sir?' asked the major's lady, with much
asperity of voice and manner.

"'Oh, sartingly; I knows your ladyships wery well.'

"'And pray, what do you mean, sir, by this insolence?'

"'I means no imperance whatsomdever, marm; but my orders is partickler,
to let no female ladies into this here barracks a'ter tattoo, upon no
account whatever; and I means for to obey my orders without no mistake.'

"'Then you have the effrontery, do you, to refuse admittance to the lady
of your commanding officer?' screamed the Honorable Mrs. Snooks.

"'And her sister!' joined in the second lady.

"'Most sartingly, marm,' replied the non-commissioned officer, with
profound gravity: 'I knows my duty, marm.'

"'Good gracious, what assurance!' exclaimed both ladies in a breath.

"'No insurance at all, marm: if your ladyships was princesses, you
couldn't come in after tattoo; my orders is partikler!'

"'Don't you know, stupid, that these orders can not be intended to apply
to _us_?'

"'I doesn't know nuffin about _that_, my lady: all I know is, that
orders is _orders_, and must be obeyed.'

"'Impudence!'

"'Imperance or no imperance, I must do my duty; and I can tell your
ladyships if my superior officers was for to give me orders not to let
in the major himself, I would be obligated for to keep him off at the
p'int of the bay'net!'

"The officer of the guard was sent for, and the officer of the guard
sent for the orderly-book, which, by the light of the guard-room
lantern, was exhibited to the ladies by 'the General,' in justification
of his apparent rudeness."

It might, doubtless, have been added, that the effect of such a lesson
upon the major, was of a salutary nature; for the chalice was commended
to his own lips, which he had prepared for others, in downright earnest.

       *       *       *       *       *

These lines, from the pen of a Southern poet, are very tender and
touching. They were printed some ten years since:

    "My little girl sleeps on my arm all night,
    And seldom stirs, save when, with playful wile,
    I bid her rise and place her lips to mine,
    Which in her sleep she does. And sometimes then,
    Half-muttered in her slumbers, she affirms
    Her love for me is boundless. And I take
    The little bud and close her in my arms;
    Assure her by my action--for my lips
    Yield me no utterance then--that in my heart
    She is the treasured jewel. Tenderly,
    Hour after hour, without desire of sleep,
    I watch above that large amount of hope,
    Until the stars wane, and the yellow morn
    Walks forth into the night."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the final disposition of his characters, DICKENS excels any living
author. There is no confusion--no infringement of the natural. In
"Barnaby Rudge," for example, the old lethargic inn-keeper, Willett,
retiring in his dotage, and with his ruling passion strong upon him,
scoring up vast imaginary sums to imaginary customers, and the lament of
the elder Weller at the death of good old Master Humphrey, are not only
characteristic, they are perfect specimens of their kind. "And the sweet
old creetur," says the elder Weller "has bolted. Him as had no wice, and
was so free from temper that an infant might ha' drove 'im, has been
took at last with that ere unawoidable fit of the staggers, as we must
all come to, and gone off his feed forever!" "I see him," continues the
old stage-coach driver, "I see him gettin' every journey more and more
groggy. I says to Samivel, says I, 'Samivel, my boy, the Gray's a-going
at the knees;' and now my predilection is fatally werified; and him as I
could never do enough to serve or to show my likin' for, is up the great
uniwersal spout o' natur'!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It is poor Tom Hood, if we have not forgotten, who describes a species
of "Statistical Fellows" as

      ----"A prying, spying, inquisitive clan,
    Who jot down the laboring classes' riches,
      And after poking in pot and pan,
    And routing garments in want of stitches,
      Have ascertained that a working man
    Wears a pair and a half of average breeches!"

Of this kind was the "Scientific Ass-sociate" mentioned in the "Table
Talk of the late John Boyle." The Professor is setting forth one of his
"various important matters connected with every-day life." The learned
gentleman spoke of shaving as follows:

"The mode of shaving differs in different individuals. Some are very
close shavers; others are greater adepts at cutting unpleasant
acquaintances than themselves. It is, however, most important that the
art of shaving should be reduced to a nicety, so that a man can cut his
beard with the same facility as he could cut his stick. It is also of
consequence that an accurate calculation should be made of the number of
shaving brushes and the number of half pounds of soap used in the course
of the year by respectable shavers, for I have observed that some of
them are very badly off for soap. There is also a very great variation
in the price of labor. Some barbers undertake to shave well for
threepence; others charge a much higher sum. This is probably the effect
of competition; and I must say, that the Government deserves well of the
country for not encouraging any monopoly. At the same time there is a
looseness in the details of the profession, which I should like to see
corrected. An accurate register ought to be kept of the number of
individuals who shave themselves, and of those who shave daily, every
other day, and once a week only. We can hardly contemplate the immense
benefits which science would reap, if such matters as these were
properly attended to!"

Who has not seen just such statistics as these dwelt upon with unction
by your thorough "statist?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Never forget this "_Receipt of Domestic Economy_." When you have paid a
bill, always _take_, and _keep_, a receipt of the same:

    "O, fling not the receipt away,
      Given by one who trusted thee;
    Mistakes will happen every day.
      However honest folks may be;
    And sad it is, oh, _twice_ to pay,
    So cast not thy receipt away!

    "Ah, yes; if e'er in future hours,
      When we this bill have all forgot,
    They send it in _again_! ye powers!
      And swear that we have paid it not;
    How sweet to know, on such a day,
    We've never cast receipts away!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is one of the pen-and-ink portraits that have found their
way into the "Drawer." The sitter was a subject of our own Gotham.

"He was a Scotchman by birth, and had, without exception, the ugliest
face I ever saw on a man's shoulders, or a monkey's either, for that
matter. But by a perversity of taste, not unusual in the world, the man
made a complete hobby of his 'mug,' homely as it was; and was full of
the conceit that on fit occasions he could summon to it a look of
terrible and dignified sarcasm, that was more efficacious than words or
blows. He was rather insolent in his deportment, and was consequently
continually getting into scrapes with some one or other, in which he
invariably got the worst of it; because instead of lifting his hand, and
giving blow for blow, he always trusted to the efficacy of his _look_.
His various little mishaps he used to relate to his fellow-boarders at
meal-times, always concluding his narrations with, 'But didn't I give
the dirty rapscallions one o' my _looks_?' And then twisting his 'ugly
mug' into a shape impossible to be described, he fancied he had
convinced his hearers that his antagonists, whoever they were, would be
in no hurry to meddle with _him_ again!

"The last time I saw him, he was giving an account of an insult he had
received the night before at some porter-house in the neighborhood,
where a little fellow, who was a perfect stranger to him, had insisted
upon drinking at his expense, and who, when he refused to pay for the
liquor, had not only abused him most shamefully with his tongue, but had
actually _kicked_ him.

"'Kick you!' exclaimed a fellow-boarder.

"'Yes!' said he, growing warm with the recital; 'he kicked me here!' and
he laid his hand on that portion of his valorous person that had come in
contact with the stranger's boot.

"'And what did you say to _that_?' asked a second listener.

"'What did I _say_ to it?' he replied, as if astonished that any body
should be ignorant of his invariable rejoinder to similar assaults.
'What did I _say_? I said nothing at all. The kick was but a soft one,
and the fellow that gave it a wee bit of a 'jink-ma-doddy,' that I could
have throttled with one hand on the spot. But I just contented myself
with giving him one of my looks!'

"Here Sawney 'defined his position' to the company, by giving them one
of his awful glances. But _this_ time he managed to convey an expression
of ugliness and comicality so far beyond any thing he had ever called
up before, that the inference was irresistible that the kick he had
received must have been a good deal harder than he was willing to
acknowledge."

       *       *       *       *       *

Any man or woman walking up or down the sunny side of Broadway, on a
pleasant summer day, will see various little bipeds, with thin legs,
faded countenances, and jaded air, flourishing little canes, who may,
perhaps, bring to mind the following lines:

    "Some say there's nothing made in vain,
    While others the reverse maintain,
            And prove it, very handy,
    By citing animals like these--
    Musquitoes, bed-bugs, crickets, fleas,
            And, worse than all--A DANDY!"

But Nature, as the poet adds, "never made a dandy;" he was cast in a
fictitious mould altogether.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is something not over-complimentary to us, magazine-editors, in
the remonstrance which "Chawls Yellowplush" makes to his employer
against his discharging him from his employ, because he has ascertained
that he writes in magazines, and other periodicals:

"'Sir,' says I, claspink my 'ands, and bursting into tears, 'do not, for
Eving's sake, do not think of anythink of the sort, or drive me from
your service, because I have been fool enough to write in magazeens!
Glans but one moment at your honor's plate; every spoon is as bright as
a mirror; condescend to igsamine your shoos; your honor may see
reflected in them the faces of every one in the company. If occasionally
I've forgot the footman in the lit'ry man, and committed to paper my
remindicences of fashionable life, it was from a sinsear desire to do
good and promote nollitch; and I apeal to your honor--I lay my hand on
my busm, and in the face of this honorable company, beg you to say--when
you rung your bell, who came to you first? When you stopt out till
mornink, who sat up for you? When you was ill, who forgot the nat'ral
dignities of his station, and answered the two-pair bell? Oh, sir,' says
I, 'I knows what's what: don't send me away! I know them lit'ry chaps,
and, bleave me, I'd rather be a footman. The work is not so hard--the
pay is better--the vittels incompyrably shuperiour. I've but to clean my
things, run my errints, you put clothes on my back, and meat in my
mouth.'"

This was written by one who was himself, in his own person, an admirable
illustration of what success and honor a _true_ literary man is capable
of achieving; but Yellowplush's "lit'ry men" were of a different
calibre.

       *       *       *       *       *

The learned "science-women" of the day, the "deep, deep-blue stockings"
of the time, are fairly hit off in the ensuing satirical sonnet:

    I idolize the LADIES! They are fairies,
    That spiritualize this world of ours;
    From heavenly hot-beds most delightful flowers,
    Or choice cream-cheeses from celestial dairies,
    But learning, in its barbarous seminaries,
    Gives the dear creatures many wretched hours,
    And on their gossamer intellect sternly showers
    SCIENCE, with all its horrid accessaries.
    Now, seriously, the only things, I think,
    In which young ladies should instructed be,
    Are--stocking-mending, love, and cookery!--
    Accomplishments that very soon will sink,
    Since Fluxions now, and Sanscrit conversation,
    Always form part of female education!

Something good in the way of inculcation may be educed from this rather
biting sonnet. If woman so far forgets her "mission," as it is common to
term it nowadays, as to choose those accomplishments whose only
recommendation is that they are "the vogue," in preference to
acquisitions which will fit her to be a better wife and mother, she
becomes a fair subject for the shafts of the satirical censor.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following bit of gossip is especially "Frenchy," and will remind the
readers of "The Drawer" of the man described by the late ROBERT C.
SANDS, who sued for damages in a case of breach-of-promise of marriage.
He was offered two hundred dollars to heal his breaking heart. "Two
hundred dollars!" he exclaimed; "two hundred dollars for ruined
hopes--for blighted affection--for a wretched existence--a blasted life!
Two hundred dollars! for all this!! No--never! _Make it three hundred,
and it's a bargain!_" But to the French story:

"A couple very well known in Paris are at present arranging terms of
separation, to avoid the scandal of a judicial divorce. A friend has
been employed by the husband to negotiate the matter. The latest mission
was in relation to a valuable ring given to the husband by one of the
then sovereigns of Europe, and which he wished to retain. For this he
would make a certain much-desired concession, The friend made the
demand--

"What!" said the indignant wife, "do you venture to charge yourself with
such a mission to _me_! Can you believe that I could tear myself from a
gift which alone recalls to me the day when my husband loved me? No:
this ring is my only _souvenir_ of a happiness, now, alas! forever
departed! 'Tis all that I now possess of a once-fond husband!"

Here she threw herself upon a _fauteuil_, and covered her face with her
hands.

But the husband's friend insisted. The lady supplicated--grew
desperate--threatened to submit to a public divorce, as a lesser evil
than parting with that cherished ring--and at last confessed that she
had--_sold the ring six months before!_

Wasn't _that_ a climax?

       *       *       *       *       *

A very quaint and pretty scrap of verse is this, from the old German:

    "Should you meet my true love,
      Say, I greet her well;
    Should she ask you how I fare,
      Say, she best can tell.

    "Should she ask if I am sick,
      Say, I died of sorrow;
    Should she then begin to weep,
      Say, I'll come to-morrow!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been thought strange, that when a malefactor is executed at "_The
Tombs_," that curiosity should be excited to know how the unfortunate
wretch behaved at the last, and at the same time great anxiety is
manifested to obtain the slightest relic connected with his ignominious
death. This propensity is well hit off in the following episode in the
life of "_A Criminal Curiosity-Hunter_." A friend visits him, and he
thus describes the interview:

"He received me with extreme urbanity, and asked me to sit down in an
old-fashioned arm-chair. I did so.

"'I suppose, sir,' said he, with an air of suppressed triumph, 'that you
have no idea that you are now sitting in a very remarkable chair!'

"I assured him that I was totally unconscious of the fact.

"'Let me tell you, then,' said he, 'that it was in that chair that
Fauntleroy, the banker, who was hanged for forgery, was sitting when he
was arrested!'

"'Indeed!'

"'Fact, sir! I gave ten guineas for it! I thought, also, to have
obtained the night-cap in which he slept the night before his execution,
but another collector was beforehand with me, and bribed the turnkey to
steal it for him.'

"'I had no idea,' I said, 'that there could be any competition for such
an article.'

"'Ah, sir!' said he, with a deep sigh, 'you don't know the value of
these interesting relics. I have been upward of thirty years a collector
of them. When a man devotes himself to a great object, he must go to it
heart and soul. I have spared neither time nor money in _my_ pursuit;
and since I became a collector I have attended the execution of every
noted malefactor throughout the kingdom.'

"Perceiving that my attention was drawn to a common rope which served as
a bell-pull, he said to me:

"'I see you are remarking my bell-cord; that is the identical rope, sir,
which hanged Bellingham, who murdered Mr. Perceval in the House of
Commons. I offered any sum for the one in which Thistlewood ended his
life, to match it, but I was disappointed.... The Whigs, sir, have swept
away all our good old English customs, and deprived us of our national
recreations. I remember, sir, when Monday was called 'hanging-day' at
the Old Bailey; on that morning a man might be certain of seeing three
or four criminals swung off before breakfast.'"

The criminal curiosity-hunter now takes his friend into an adjoining
room, where he shows him his general museum of curiosities, comprising
relics of every grade of crime, from murder to petty larceny; among them
a door-mat made of oakum picked by a "lady"-culprit while in the
penitentiary; a short clay-pipe, once in the possession of Burke, the
wholesale murderer; and the _fork_ belonging to the _knife_ with which
some German had cut his wife's and children's throats!

       *       *       *       *       *

"Misery," it is said, "loves company." What a juvenile "company," when
the last thaw came--(and so many came, after what was supposed to be the
_last_ snow, this season, that it would be difficult to count
them)--what a juvenile company, we say, there was, to lament with the
skate-vender who poured out his griefs in the following affecting parody
upon the late THOMAS MOORE'S lines, "I never loved a dear gazelle," &c.:

    "I never wrote up 'Skates to sell,'
      Trusting to fickle Nature's law,
    But--when I advertised them well,
      And puffed them--it was sure to thaw.
    Yes; it was ever thus--the Fates
    Seem adverse to the trade in skates.

    "If a large lot I chanced to buy,
      Thinking 'twas likely _still_ to freeze
    Up the thermometer would fly,
      All in a day, some ten degrees.
    Their presence in my window-pane,
    Turns ice to mud, and snow to rain."

But, after all, our skate-vender has no great need of fear. We have had
deep snows in April, and May _may_ bring him his season yet: for what
says the Almanac of past years? Why, that

    "Monday, fourth of May,
    Was a very snowy day!"



_Literary Notices._


_Austria in 1848 and '49_, by W.H. STILES (Harper and Brothers). This
work, in two octavo volumes, by the late Chargé d'Affaires of the United
States, at the Court of Vienna, furnishes the most complete history that
has yet appeared of the political affairs of Hungary, with ample and
accurate details of the late disastrous revolutionary struggle. From his
diplomatic position at Vienna, Mr. Stiles had rare opportunities for
observation, of which he has availed himself in a manner that is highly
creditable to his acuteness and good sense. He has evidently made a
diligent study of his subject in all its bearings; the best authorities
have been faithfully consulted; conflicting views have been cautiously
weighed; but his final conclusions are derived from the free exercise of
his own judgment. Hence his work is quite free from the spirit of
partisanship. It is critical in its tone, rather than dogmatic. Aiming
at entire impartiality, it may seem too moderate in its statements to
satisfy the advocates of extreme views on either side. Mr. Stiles shows
an ardent attachment to the principles of liberty; he is thoroughly
imbued with the spirit of American institutions; but he has no sympathy
with the Communism or Red Republicanism of Europe. An admirer of the
heroic enthusiasm of Kossuth, he displays no wish to conceal the defects
of his character. He is opposed, with strong conviction, to the
interference of America in the affairs of Hungary. At the same time he
deprecates the tyranny of which she has been the victim, and presents a
candid and intelligent view of the nature of her recent struggle. His
volume contains many felicitous portraitures of the leading actors on
both sides. A number of valuable and interesting documents, illustrative
of the Revolutionary movement, are preserved in the Appendix.

The following description of the Seressâners, a portion of Jellachich's
troops, presents a favorable specimen of the picturesque style in which
the author often temperately indulges:

"_Seressâners_ are the wild border soldiers from Montenegro, and bearing
a stronger resemblance to the Indians of the North American forests than
to the ordinary troops of the European continent. The frame of such a
borderer seems to be nothing but sinew and muscle; and with ease, nay,
without appearing to be at all affected by them, he endures hardships
and fatigues to which the most seasoned soldiers are scarcely equal. A
piece of oaten bread and a dram of _sklikowitz_ (plum brandy) suffice
him, on an emergency, a whole day, and with that refreshment alone will
march on untired, alike in the most scorching heat and the most furious
snow-storm; and when night comes, he desires no other couch than the
bare ground, no other roof than the open sky. Their costume is most
peculiar, as well as picturesque. There is something half Albanian in
some portions of the dress--in the leggings and full trowsers fastened
at the knee, and in the heavily gold-embroidered crimson jacket. But
that which gives decided character and striking originality to these
sons of war is the cloak. Over these giant frames hangs a mantle of
scarlet cloth, fastened tightly at the throat; below this, on the
breast, depends the clasp of the jacket, a large silver egg, made so as
to open and serve as a cup. In the loose girdle are to be seen the
richly-mounted pistols and glittering kandjar--Turkish arms chiefly; for
every _Seressâner_ is held, by old tradition, to have won his first
weapon from the Turk. The mantle has a cape, cut somewhat in the shape
of a bat's wing, but which, joined together by hooks and eyes, forms a
sharp pointed hood, resembling those of the Venetian _marinari_, but
higher and more peaked. Over the crimson cap, confined by a gold band
upon the brow, falling with a gold tassel on the shoulder, rises this
red hood, usually overshadowing such a countenance as a Murillo or a
Vandyke would delight to portray. The brilliant rays of the long dark
eye repose beneath a thick fringe of sable lashes; but you feel that, if
awakened, they must flash forth in fire. The brow, the mouth, and the
nose are all essentially noble features; and over all is spread a skin
of such clear olive-brown, that you are inclined to think you have a
Bedouin before you."

Our readers will remember the controversy which has recently produced
some excitement in London, with regard to a person claiming to be a
Hungarian baroness, employed in the political service of Kossuth. The
following curious anecdote sets that question at rest, while it explains
the romantic manner in which Mr. Stiles was put in possession of the
dispatch from Kossuth, requesting his intervention with the Imperial
Government:

"On the night of the 2d December, 1848, when all communication between
Hungary and Austria had ceased, large armies on either side guarding
their respective frontiers, the author was seated in the office of the
Legation of the United States at Vienna, when his servant introduced a
young female, who desired, as she said, to see him at once upon urgent
business. She was a most beautiful and graceful creature, and, though
attired in the dress of a peasant, the grace and elegance of her manner,
the fluency and correctness of her French, at once denoted that she was
nearer a princess than a peasant. She sat and conversed for some time
before she ventured to communicate the object of her visit. As soon as
the author perceived that in the exercise of the utmost caution she
desired only to convince herself that she was not in error as to the
individual she sought, he told her that, upon the honor of a gentle man,
she might rest assured that the individual she saw before her was the
diplomatic agent of the United States at the court of Vienna. Upon that
assurance, she immediately said, 'Then, sir, I am the bearer of a
communication to you.' She then asked, 'Have you a servant, sir, in whom
you can rely, who can go with me into the street for a few moments?' The
author replied that he had no servant in whom he could rely, that he
feared they were all in the pay of the police, but that he had a private
secretary in whom he reposed confidence, and who could accompany her.
The secretary was immediately called, they descended together into the
street, and in a few moments returned, bearing with them the rack of a
wagon. This rack, which is a fixture attached either to the fore or back
part of a peasant's wagon, and intended to hold hay for the horses
during a journey, was composed of small slats, about two inches wide and
about the eighth of an inch thick, crossing each other at equal
distances, constituted a semicircular net-work. As all these slats,
wherever they crossed, were fastened together with either wooden or iron
bolts, with our unskillful hands an hour nearly was consumed before we
could get the rack in pieces. When this was accomplished, we saw nothing
before us but a pile of slats; but the fair courier, taking them up one
by one, and examining them very minutely, at length selected a piece,
exclaiming, 'This is it!' The slat selected resembled the others so
completely, that the most rigid observer, unapprised of the fact, could
not have detected the slightest difference between them; but, by the aid
of a penknife, to separate its parts, this slat was found to be composed
of two pieces, hollowed out in the middle, and affording space enough to
hold a folded letter. In this space had been conveyed, with a secrecy
which enabled it to pass the severe scrutiny of the Austrian sentinels,
the communication addressed to the author by Louis Kossuth.

"The mysterious personage, as intrepid as she was fair, who undertook
the conveyance of this dispatch, at night, alone and unprotected, in an
open peasant's wagon, in a dreadful snow-storm, through the midst of the
Austrian army, when detection would have been certain death, was (as M.
Pulszky has just informed the author) then a single lady, has since
married, and is now the Countess Motesiczky.

"The statement, therefore, of a person assuming the title of Baroness de
Beck, and who, in a work upon the Hungarian war, published in England
about two years ago, claiming for herself the credit of having been the
bearer of the dispatch referred to, is altogether without foundation.
This authoress, whose character, as well as untimely and remarkable
death, was involved in so much mystery, and excited for a time so much
discussion in Europe, was (as M. Pulszky represents) the servant of the
Countess Motesiczky, and thus became possessed of a knowledge of the
incident above detailed."

Stringer and Townsend have issued the fourth edition of _Frank
Forester's Field Sports of the United States_, by HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT,
with several additions and new pictorial illustrations. One need not be
a practical sportsman in order to enjoy, with keen zest, the racy
descriptions of silvan life which flow so charmingly from the practiced
pen of this accomplished "Forester." In the woods, he is every where at
home. He not only knows how to bag his game, but he studies all their
habits as a book, and never leaves them till they have fulfilled their
destiny on the table of the epicure. Writing, in a great measure, from
personal experience, his style has all the freshness of a mountain
breeze. With a quick eye for the picturesque, he paints the scenery of
our American sporting grounds, with admirable truthfulness and spirit.
He has made free use in these volumes of the works of distinguished
naturalists, Audubon, Giraud, Wilson, Godman and others, and has been
equally happy in his borrowings and in his own productions. We recommend
his manual to all who cherish a taste for rural life. To sportsmen, of
course, we need say nothing of its merits.

The _Golden Christmas_, by W. GILMORE SIMMS is the title of a slight
story, presenting many vivid sketches of social life on a Southern
plantation. In its execution, it is more careless than the usual
writings of the author, but its ease and vivacity will make it a
favorite with indulgent readers in search merely of amusement. Its
prevailing tone is "genial and gentle, tender and tolerant, not
strategetical and tragical." (Published by Walker, Richards, and Co.
Charleston, S.C.)

_Falkenburgh_ is a recent novel by the author of "Mildred Vernon," which
is well worth reading, for its piquant delineations of character, apart
from the current interest of the plot, which is one of great power and
intensity. The scene is laid in the picturesque regions of the Rhine,
and suggests many delightful pictures to the rare descriptive talents of
the writer. (Harper and Brothers.)


A new work of fiction by CAROLINE CHESEBRO, entitled _Isa, A
Pilgrimage_, is issued by J.S. Redfield, in the style of simple elegance
which distinguishes his recent publications. This is a more ambitious
effort than the former productions of the authoress, displaying a deeper
power of reflection, a greater intensity of passion, and a more complete
mastery of terse and pointed expression. On the whole, we regard it as a
successful specimen of a quite difficult species of composition. Without
the aid of a variety of incident or character, with scarcely a
sufficient number of events to give a fluent movement to the plot, and
with very inconsiderable reference to external nature, the story turns
on the development of an abnormal spiritual experience, showing the
perils of entire freedom of thought in a powerful, original mind, during
the state of intellectual transition between attachment to tradition and
the supremacy of individual conviction. The scene is laid in the
interior world--the world of consciousness, of reflection, of passion.
In this twilight region, so often peopled with monstrous shapes, and
spectral phantasms, the author treads with great firmness of step. With
rare subtlety of discrimination, she brings hidden springs of action to
light, untwisting the tangled webs of experience, and revealing with
painful minuteness, some of the darkest and most fearful depths of the
human heart. The characters of Isa and Stuart, the leading personages of
the story, certainly display uncommon insight and originality. They
stand out from the canvas in gloomy, portentous distinctness, with
barely light enough thrown upon them to enable us to recognize their
weird, mysterious features. For our own part, we should prefer to meet
this writer, whose rare gifts we cordially acknowledge, in a more sunny
atmosphere; but we are bound to do justice to the depth and vigor of the
present too sombre creation.

_The Howadji in Syria_, by GEORGE W. CURTIS (Harper and Brothers).
Another fragrant record of Oriental life by the delightful pen which
dropped spices and honey so luxuriantly in the unmatched _Nile Notes of
a Howadji_. This volume is written in a more subdued strain--the radiant
Oriental splendors gleam less dazzlingly, as the traveler approaches the
West--the pictures of gorgeous beauty are softened down to a milder
tone--and as the pinnacles of the Holy City appear in view, a "dim
religious light" tempers the glowing imaginative sensuosity which revels
in the glorious enchantments of the sunny Nile. As a descriptive writer,
the Howadji has few equals in modern literature. He is indebted for his
success to his exquisite perceptions of external nature, combined with a
fancy fertile in charming images, and a vein of subtle reflection, which
often gives an unexpected depth to his pictures, in the midst of what
may at first seem to be only the flashes of a brilliant rainbow
coloring. His notices of facts have the accuracy of a gazetteer. They
are sharp, firm, well-defined, and singularly expressive. The most
prosaic writer could not give a more faithful daguerreotype copy of
Eastern scenery. Read his account of the Camel, in the description of
his passage across the Desert from Cairo to Jerusalem. The ugly beast is
made as familiar to the eye as the horses in a Broadway omnibus. A few
authentic touches give a more vivid impression of this unwieldy "ship of
the desert" than the labored details of natural history. But this
fidelity to nature is by no means the ultimate aim of the Howadji. It is
only the condition of a higher sweep. It serves as the foundation of a
series of delicious prose poems, sparkling with beauty, electric with
emotion, and seductive to the ear by their liquid melody of expression.
The Howadji is no less loyal to feeling than he is faithful to nature.
With not the faintest trace of sentimentalism, he is not ashamed of the
eye and the soul susceptible to all beautiful influences. He writes out
his experience with a cordial frankness that disarms prejudice. This
union of imagination and fact in the writings of the Howadji must always
give a charm to his personal narratives. No one can listen to the
relation of his unique adventures without delight. How far his admirable
success in this line of composition would insure his success in a purely
imaginative work, we do not venture to predict. We trust he will yet
give us an opportunity to decide the experiment.

_A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs_, by MOSES STUART. In a
characteristic Preface to this volume, which is the last that came from
the press previous to the lamented death of the author, Professor Stuart
maintains that the Book of Proverbs was not wholly composed by Solomon,
but that it consists of a selection of the proverbial sayings that were
current among the wise men of the Hebrew nation. These were digested and
arranged by Solomon, and received his sanction by passing through his
hands. Most of the maxims are the offspring of sound common sense, of
much experience, and of acute discrimination. They present a vivid
picture of the internal Hebrew man--of his genius, feelings, morals,
industry, social condition, and, indeed, of the whole state of the
Hebrews, and their rank among the society of nations. The commentary by
Professor Stuart is adapted to beginners in the Hebrew study, giving
minute attention to all the philological difficulties, whether in form,
idiom, or syntax. It exhibits a profusion of grammatical and exegetical
learning, a devoted study of the original text, and considerable
analytic acumen. (Published by M.W. Dodd.)

_The Story of a Soul_, by HENRY W. PARKER, is the title of an
anniversary Poem, read before a literary society of Hamilton College,
devoted to a retrospect of the supposed experience of a soul, and of the
progress of society during the nineteenth century. It shows a lively
imagination, a familiar acquaintance with human nature, and an uncommon
fluency of expression. The alternation in the poem of grave reflections
on the spiritual life, and touches of sarcastic humor on the current
events of the day, gives a lively air to the composition, and well
sustains the interest of the reader. (Sold by Evans and Brittan.)

Lippincott, Grambo, and Co. have commenced the publication of a series
of _Cabinet Histories_, embracing a volume for each State in the Union.
The work is intrusted to the charge of T.S. ARTHUR, and W.H. CARPENTER,
whose names may be taken as a guarantee that their task will be
performed with exactness and fidelity, and that no sectarian, sectional,
or party feelings will bias their judgment, or lead them to violate the
integrity of history. It is intended to present a brief narrative of the
domestic policy of each State; and, at the same time, to give a peculiar
prominence to the personal history of the people, illustrating the
progressive development of the social state from the rude forest life of
the earlier day to the present condition of refinement and prosperity.
The design of the series is excellent. If ably carried out, as we have
no doubt it will be, it must prove an important contribution to the
interests of popular education. We have already received the _Histories
of Kentucky_ and of _Georgia_, which are executed in a manner that
furnishes the highest promise for the future volumes of the series. The
style is marked by rare simplicity and clearness. The facts are well
arranged, and apparently based on authentic evidence. A fine portrait of
the veteran pioneer, Daniel Boone, embellishes the History of Kentucky.

The translation of MOSHEIM'S _Commentaries on the State of Christianity
before the Age of Constantine_, by JAMES MURDOCK, D.D., is a valuable
contribution to the literature of Ecclesiastical History. This work is
well known to the students of theology as one of great learning and
research, and has not been superseded by the more elaborate and
ambitious productions of a later period. Dr. Murdock's name is a
sufficient assurance of the fidelity of the translation. (Published by
S. Converse.)

A new edition of Madame PULSZKY'S delightful _Tales and Traditions of
Hungary_ has been issued by J.S. Redfield. They are full to overflowing
of the genuine Magyar spirit, presenting a series of rich and beautiful
portraitures of the old Hungarian life. In the prevailing interest which
is now attached to the country of Kossuth, this volume can not fail to
find a welcome reception with the American public.

_Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers_, by WILLIAM EDMONDSTONE AYTOUN. The
brave martial spirit of these poems of the olden time is finely
sustained by the ringing melody of their rhythm. Combining a fervent
admiration of the Cavaliers with a devout hatred of the Covenanters, the
author has embodied his political feelings in resonant strains. The neat
edition of his volume brought out by Redfield will make him better known
in this country.

Harper and Brothers have published _Notes on the Book of Revelation_, by
Rev. ALBERT BARNES, forming the eleventh volume of Barnes's _Notes on
the New Testament_. The character of this popular commentary is too well
known to require any critical remarks. In the preface to the present
volume, the author makes some interesting statements with regard to the
progress of the work from its commencement to its completion. It was
begun more than twenty years ago. It was intended only to comprise brief
and simple Notes on the Gospels, for the use of Bible classes and
Sunday-school teachers. Contrary to the original plan of the author, his
Notes have been extended to eleven volumes, and embrace the whole of the
New Testament. They have been written entirely in the early hours of the
morning, before nine o'clock, the rest of the day having been invariably
devoted to other pursuits. In studying the Apocalypse, without any
pre-conceived theory as to its plan, Mr. Barnes discovered that the
series of events recorded by Gibbon bore a singular correspondence to
the series of symbols made use of by the sacred writer. This fact
presents a point of literary curiosity which we apprehend has escaped
the notice of previous writers. The remarks upon it by Mr. Barnes are
quite to the purpose: "The symbols were such as it might be supposed
_would be used_, on the supposition that they were intended to refer to
these events; and the language of Mr. Gibbon was often such as _he would
have used_, on the supposition that he had designed to prepare a
commentary on the symbols employed by John. It was such, in fact, that,
if it had been found in a Christian writer, professedly writing a
commentary on the book of Revelation, it would have been regarded by
infidels as a designed attempt to force history to utter a language that
should conform to a pre-determined theory in expounding a book full of
symbols. So remarkable have these coincidences appeared to me in the
course of this exposition, that it has almost seemed as if he had
designed to write a commentary on some portions of this book, and I have
found it difficult to doubt that that distinguished historian was raised
up by an overruling Providence to make a record of those events which
would ever afterward be regarded as an impartial and unprejudiced
statement of the evidences of the fulfillment of prophecy. The
historian of the 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' had no belief in
the divine origin of Christianity, but he brought to the performance of
his work learning and talent such as few Christian scholars have
possessed. He is always patient in his investigations; learned and
scholar-like in his references; comprehensive in his groupings, and
sufficiently minute in his details; unbiased in his statements of facts,
and usually cool and candid in his estimates of the causes of the events
which he records; and, excepting his philosophical speculations, and his
sneers at every thing, he has probably written the most candid and
impartial history of the times that succeeded the introduction of
Christianity, that the world possesses, and even after all that has been
written since his time, his work contains the best ecclesiastical
history that is to be found. Whatever use of it can be made in
explaining and confirming the prophecies, will be regarded by the world
as impartial and fair, for it is a result which he least of all
contemplated, that he would ever be regarded as an expounder of the
prophecies in the Bible, or be referred to as vindicating their truth."

_Romanism at Home_, by KIRWAN, is a controversial work against the Roman
Catholic Church, in a series of Letters to the Hon. Chief Justice Taney.
Bold, vehement, and enthusiastic--of a stringent polemical tone--and
abounding in striking local and personal details--it is adapted to make
a strong impression, and can not fail to be extensively read. (Harper
and Brothers.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Lord COCKBURN'S _Life of Francis Jeffrey_ is welcomed by the London
Press as one of the most charming books of the season. The
Correspondence is spoken of as being singularly delightful. "The
generous humanity," says the _Athenæum_, "the genial good-will, the
ever-recurring play of the noblest affections of the heart endear to us
the writer of these letters, and claim the sympathies of all who are
alive to what is beautiful in human nature. They exhibit much of the
vivacity and freshness of Walpole, combined with the literary grace of
Chesterfield and the sweet tenderness of Cowper. In their union of
emotional feeling with refined sense and bright conception, their
character is almost poetical. They are revelations of Jeffrey's heart as
well as of his head, and will make him known and loved by countless
readers. His fascination as friend and companion can be easily
understood after reading these effusions of a mind whose genial feeling
could not be stifled or depressed by forensic or literary toil, or by
the snows of age."

       *       *       *       *       *

The ninth and tenth volumes of Mr. GROTE'S _History of Greece_ are now
out. They bring down the history from the period of the culmination of
the Spartan supremacy, to the accession of Philip of Macedon. "A very
remarkable thing about these two volumes," says the _Leader_, "is the
amount of political teaching they contain, adapted to the present hour.
The volumes are, we may say, pervaded with a lesson of contrast between
the results of a government founded on despotism, and those of a
government founded on free speech. Invariably in Greece, where free
speech was permitted, and democratic spirit prevailed, the developments
of society were better, greater, and more orderly, than where matters
were managed by long continuations of military despotism, or occasional
_coups d'état_." Three or four volumes more will conclude this great
work.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. GLADSTONE has published the third volume of his translation of
FARINI'S _History of the Roman State_. This volume carries on the story
from the flight of the Pope, to the landing of General Oudinot at Civita
Vecchia. "The narrative is interesting," says the _Leader_, "but, like
the two previous volumes, narrow and peevish in its spirit. One regrets
more than ever, on reading these volumes, that MARGARET FULLER'S
_History of the Italian Movement_ has been lost to the world; it would
have told the story of the Roman Republic in so different a spirit from
that of the crabbed Farini, who, though he writes well enough, is
precisely one of those men who would act like vinegar in any cause,
souring all, and helping nothing. By-the-by, SAFFI, Mazzini's young and
gifted colleague in the Triumvirate (one of the few men of whom even
Farini speaks well, and who is precisely the man to win golden opinions
from all sorts of people, and what is more, to deserve them), is writing
a _History of the Roman Revolution of 1848-49_. We believe part of it is
already written, if not published by the Italian press of Switzerland."

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. MOXON has called in the _Shelley Papers_, in two volumes, published
in January last, it having been discovered that the whole work was a
collection of ingenious forgeries, deceiving alike publisher, editor,
and public. The first suspicion raised of their genuineness was by a
correspondent of the Literary Gazette drawing attention to the singular
identity of whole paragraphs of some of the letters, with an article in
the Quarterly on "Fine Arts in Florence" in 1840, and contemporaneously,
Mr. Palgrave discovered the embodiment of a whole article of his
father's, contributed to the Edinburgh Review. This led to further
examination and strict inquiry, and there appears at the present time,
says the London journals, but little reason to doubt that the letters
which were purchased at auctions for high prices can be traced to the
"George Gordon Byron, Esq.," whose projected publication in England,
some years since, of some alleged secret unpublished papers of Lord
Byron was prohibited.

We believe it has not yet been stated, with reference to these
forgeries, that they were made, not to impose on autograph collectors,
for which purpose their value, in relation to the time and pains spent
in their fabrication, would offer no inducement; but they were produced
to authenticate a new memoir of Lord Byron, but this publication having
failed, and the author falling into distress, was compelled to part with
his alleged "original MSS."

       *       *       *       *       *

The _London Critic_ says that the Messrs. "Routledge have presented to
the British lovers of poetry the collected works of JAMES RUSSELL
LOWELL, one of the foremost in local fame of the poets of America, but
who is less known in England than some of his brethren of lesser merit.
This reprint, at a trifling price, will, we trust, introduce him to the
better acquaintance of our readers, who can not but be pleased with the
vivid imagination, the fruitful fancy, the exquisite transcripts of
nature, and the lofty sentiment that pervades his productions."

       *       *       *       *       *

We learn from the _Athenæum_ that Margaret Fuller, on the eve of that
visit to the Continent which was to prove so eventful and disastrous,
left in the hands of a friend in London a sealed packet, containing, it
is understood, the journals which she kept during her stay in England.
Margaret Fuller contemplated at that time a return to England at no very
distant date; and the deposit of these papers was accompanied by an
injunction that the packet should then be restored with unbroken seal
into her own hands. The papers are likely to be of great interest, and
were doubtless intended for publication; but the writer had peremptorily
reserved the right of revision to herself, and forbidden the breaking of
the seals, on a supposition which fate has now made impossible. The
equity of the case under such circumstances demands only a reference to
Margaret Fuller's literary executors.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lord JOHN RUSSELL is engaged in the preparation of a Life of _Charles
James Fox_. The materials, collected by Lord Holland and by Mr. Allen,
have been long since placed at his lordship's disposal, and the work
might have been ready but for the public duties which occupy so much of
his attention and time.

       *       *       *       *       *

At a recent sale of books in London a few rarities were brought to the
hammer. "The Bokes of Solomon," printed by W. Copland, 1551, a very rare
little volume, sold for 26_l._; a copy of Coverdale's Bible, the edition
of 1560, but imperfect, sold for 31_l._; a manuscript book of "Hours,"
with miniatures very prettily painted, sold for 19_l._ As if to prove
that the days of bibliomania are not yet quite gone--a copy of "Barnes's
History of Edward III.," which in ordinary condition is worth about
10_s._, sold for the large sum of 9_l._ 10_s._, simply because it
happened to be in "choice old blue morocco, the sides and back richly
tooled."

       *       *       *       *       *

The election to the vacant chair of Greek in the University of Edinburgh
which took place on the 2d of March, was contested with uncommon zeal.
Up to a late period it seemed undecided which of the many able
candidates for the office would win--but at last the choice lay between
Dr. William Smith, Dr. Schmitz, Prof. Blackie, Prof. Macdowall, and Mr.
Price. The election was ultimately decided by the Lord Provost giving a
casting vote in favor of Prof. Blackie. In this gentleman the University
has secured a man of genius, energy, and kindly feeling--and one well
able to maintain its character for classical learning.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. DICKENS'S _Bleak House_ is producing quite a marked sensation in
Germany. Half a dozen publishers at least announced the work several
weeks since, and on the 30th of March the first number of _Bleak House_
was to appear in half a dozen German translations. It remains to be seen
what the German translators will do with the Court of Chancery and its
technicalities.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are now about five or six various translations of Macaulay's
'History of England' published in Germany. The number is likely to be
increased by another translation, for which a Brunswick book-seller has
engaged the name of HERR BESELER the Schleswig-Holstein politician of
the year 1848.

       *       *       *       *       *

BARANTE has published his third volume of the _Histoire de la Convention
Rationale_, which comes down to the epoch of CARRIER, at Nantes.

       *       *       *       *       *

PIERRE LEROUX, who is now an exile in London, is about to deliver a
course of lectures on the _History of Socialism_. Pierre Leroux has not
only the necessary erudition for the task, he has also the prestige of
having intimately known the modern Socialists.

       *       *       *       *       *

The works of CHAMFORT are collected into one octavo volume, with a
preliminary essay by ARSENE HOUSSAYE. These writings abound in
anecdotes, and sharp sentences, picturesque, ear-catching, brief, and
suggestive phrases.

       *       *       *       *       *

GEORGE SAND has made another unsuccessful dramatic experiment,
_Pandolphe en vacances_, which distresses the admirers of her genius,
who desire to see her renounce a stage to which that genius is clearly
not adapted, in spite of _Le Champi_ and _Claudie_.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ is commenced a skillful translation of
Mrs. NORTON'S beautiful novel, _Stuart of Dunleath_, by EMILE FORGUES;
and an intimation is given of this vein being actively worked.

       *       *       *       *       *

No small sensation has been caused in Paris by the discovery of the
extraordinary forgeries of the Shelley letters. The fact is, that the
system of forging letters and manuscripts of distinguished personages is
carried on to a large extent in that city: indeed it is as much a
regular branch of business as the manufacture of pictures by the great
masters is in Italy. In Germany similar frauds are practiced with great
success. Only a little while ago a gentleman purchased several letters
purporting to be written by Luther, every one of which it now appears is
a forgery. In Italy the same system is carried on.

       *       *       *       *       *

The literary remains of the late ANSELM FEUERBACH, the most learned of
the professors of criminal jurisprudence in Germany, are about to be
edited by his son, L. Feuerbach, and published by C. Wigand, of Leipzig.

       *       *       *       *       *

King Max of Bavaria has given a commission to M. Halbig, the sculptor of
Munich, to model from the life a bust of Schelling, the well-known
German philosophical writer.

       *       *       *       *       *

The admirers of German literature will be glad to learn that an attempt
has been made in Germany to register the enormous number of books and
pamphlets which the Germans themselves have published on their two great
poets, Goethe and Schiller. A catalogue of the Goethe literature in
Germany, from the year 1793 to 1851, has been published by Balde, at
Cassel, and in London by Messrs. Williams and Norgate. The Schiller
literature, from 1781 to 1851, is likewise announced by the same firm.

       *       *       *       *       *

The literary remains of the late Count PLATEN-HALLERMUNDE, author of
_The Tower with Seven Gates_, _The Romantic Oedipus_, _The Fateful
Fork_, and other works, which will always stand pre-eminent in German
literature, as well as the poet's correspondence with Count FUGGER, are
now in the hands of Dr. MINKVITZ, who is preparing them for publication.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first volume of _The Lives of the Sovereigns of Russia, from Rurik
to Nicholas_, is announced as nearly ready in London. It is to be
completed in three volumes, and to be printed uniformly with Miss
Strickland's _Queens of England_, with illustrations. The author, who is
not unknown to fame, truly remarks, "It is a singular fact that there is
no such work at present in the English language, and that we know,
perhaps, less of "Russia and the Russians," than we do of some of the
distant tribes of India. It does appear, therefore, that there is a
blank in our historical library which requires filling up; such a
publication, consequently, may be deemed a _desideratum_ in English
literature."



Three Leaves from Punch.


[Illustration: FIRST ARISTOCRATIC BUTCHER-BOY.--"Hullo, Bill. Don't mean
to say yer've come down to a Pony?"

SECOND DITTO DITTO.--"Not dezactly! Our Cart is only gone a-paintin'."]


[Illustration: OMNIBUS DRIVER.--"Reely, now! and so the _'lectric fluid_
takes a message between Dover and Calis. (Inquiringly) Pray, Sir, wot's
it like? Is it any thing like beer, for example?"]


[Illustration: FLUNKEY.--"Apollo? Hah! I dessay it's very cheap, but it
ain't my Ideer of a Good Figger!"]


[Illustration: ELLEN.--"Oh, don't tease me to-day, Charley; I'm not at
all well!"

CHARLEY.--"I tell you what it is, Cousin--the fact is, You are in Love!
Now, you take the advice of a fellow who has seen a good deal of that
sort of thing, and don't give way to it!"]


[Illustration: MRS. SMITH.--"Is Mrs. Brown in?"

JANE.--"No, Mem, she's not at Home."

LITTLE GIRL.--"Oh! what a horrid Story, Jane! Mar's in the Kitchen,
helping Cook!"]


PENALTIES.

The Penalty of buying cheap clothes, is the same as that of going to
law, the certainty of losing your suit, and having to pay for it.

The Penalty of marrying is a mother-in-law.

The Penalty of remaining single, is having no one who "cares a button"
for you, as is abundantly proved by the state of your shirts.

The Penalty of thin shoes, is a cold.

The Penalty of a pretty cook, is an empty larder.

The Penalty of stopping in Paris, is being shot.

The Penalty of tight boots, is corns.

The Penalty of having a haunch of venison sent to you, is inviting a
dozen friends to come and eat it.

The Penalty of popularity, is envy.

The Penalty of a baby, is sleepless nights.

The Penalty of interfering between man and wife, is abuse, frequently
accompanied with blows, from both.

The Penalty of a Godfather, is a silver knife, fork, and spoon.

The Penalty of kissing a baby, is half-a-crown (five shillings, if you
are liberal) to the nurse.

The Penalty of a public dinner, is bad wine.

The Penalty of a legacy, or a fortune, is the sudden discovery of a host
of poor relations you never dreamt of, and of a number of debts you had
quite forgotten.

The Penalty of lending, is--with a book or an umbrella, the certain loss
of it; with your name to a bill, the sure payment of it; and with a
horse, the lamest chance of ever seeing it back again sound.

The Penalty of being a witness, is to be abused by the lawyers, snubbed
by the judge, and laughed at by the spectators; besides having the
general state of your wardrobe described in the papers next morning.


[Illustration: Awful Contortion of the Face produced by the constant Use
of an Eye-glass.]


[Illustration: RATHER SEVERE.

"Shall I 'old your 'Orse, Sir?"]


WHAT I HEARD ABOUT MYSELF IN THE EXHIBITION.

[Illustration]

I am the original of the "Portrait of a Gentleman," in the Exhibition of
last year. I had my likeness taken, because I had a great admiration for
the original. I thought my face handsome, and my figure noble, if not
elegant--I believed that I had a remarkably grand head. I prided myself
on my eyes, not only on account of their color, which I took for a deep
gray, but also for a lustre which I fancied them to emit, which I
supposed was the fire of genius. I was persuaded that I had a Roman nose
and a finely chiseled mouth. Sometimes I thought I resembled Byron, at
others Shelley. It is true I could not conceal from myself that my
proportions were rather massive than lofty, and that my legs were
somewhat curved; but I imagined that these peculiarities imparted a
stalwart manliness to my bearing. While sitting to the artist I composed
my countenance into the most dignified and intellectual expression of
which it was capable. I was represented in full dress, and I thought I
presented the appearance of an Apollo--perhaps a little too much
developed--got up for an evening party. I was anxious that the public
should share my gratification, and had the portrait sent to the
Exhibition, where it appeared on the Catalogue as the "Portrait of a
Gentleman." As soon as the Exhibition was opened I went there, and
stationed myself before my picture; a crowd was gathered around. I
thought, at first, that they were admiring it as much as I did. I
listened to their criticisms, and was undeceived. "'Portrait of a
Gentleman!'" said one, "Portrait of a Snob!" and passed on. I was
indignant. "What could possess that fellow; with his unmeaning face, fat
paunch, and bandy legs, to have his picture taken?" inquired another. My
head swam, I thought I should have fainted. "Vulgarity personified;"
"What a silly simper upon the face;" "What a self-satisfied smirk about
the mouth," remarked a second, third, and fourth, as they cast their
eyes upon the picture. "The head is like a dumpling," said a
phrenological-looking visitor. "Why does he show that fat hand so
conspicuously?" asked a sixth. I was represented standing with one leg
crossed before the other, my hand resting upon a book--which attitude I
thought harmonized with my remarkably intellectual countenance. "The
figure would pass for Sancho Panza, but the face is too stupid," said a
seventh. By this time I was almost stupefied with humiliation; but the
worst was yet to come. Among those who were contemplating the portrait
was a lady--the loveliest, I think, I ever saw. "Poor fellow!" said she,
at last, with a sigh, "how dreadful it must be for him to have those
horrid green eyes!" I could bear no more. I rushed from the Exhibition,
and slunk to my rooms. What I suffered that night I can not describe.
But the next day I recovered my senses; sent for my picture from the
Exhibition; and am now reconciled to the fact that I am a very
ugly-featured, bandy-legged punchy little fellow, not the least in the
world like an Apollo.


[Illustration: NOBLE LORD.--"Here's this confounded Newspaper speaking
the Truth again. Ah! They manage these things better in France."]


[Illustration: INTERIOR OF A FRENCH COURT OF JUSTICE, 1852.]



Spring Fashions.


[Illustration: FIGURES 1 AND 2.--BALL AND VISITING TOILET.]

May is here with its bursting buds and early flowers, but its fickleness
overmatches that of its imitator, Fashion, and foils all her attempts at
adaptation of costume for the carriage or the promenade. To-day the sun
smiles as in leafy June; to-morrow cold, gray clouds lower upon the brow
of the firmament, and chilling winds chase the zephyrs back to the
orange groves of the South. To-day a light dress is seasonable;
to-morrow a cloak might not be uncomfortable. It is difficult for the
modiste to designate the best costume for promenade; and to avoid error,
we will confine our report to fashion in the parlor, drawing-room, and
saloon.

FIG. 1 represents a pretty DINNER or VISITING TOILET. The head-dress is
composed of blonde, ribbon and white satin, velvet ribbon and white
feathers, and is worn very backward on the head. The blonde forms a
round with scalloped edge, covered with figures. It is gathered in the
middle, and the gathers are concealed under a cross bow formed of two
loops of velvet and two of white satin, two long ends of white ribbon
(about fifteen inches) hang down behind. On each side there are two
white feathers. The upper one is laid backward, and the lower one comes
forward. From between the two proceed two velvet bows and a loose end.
This little Pompadour cap is the same on both sides. The ribbons of the
crown are No. 12; those of the sides No. 3. Dress of _moire antique_,
ornamented with narrow velvet ribbons, about three-eighths of an inch
wide. Body plain, high, opening in front, edged with two narrow velvets,
the first three-eighths of an inch wide. The opening is confined by five
_moire_ bands, each with a bow of the same. The sleeves, rather short,
are bordered with five velvet ribbons. The skirt is trimmed with two
series of velvets. The first begins six inches from the bottom, and is
composed of twenty rows. The second begins six inches above the other,
and contains fifteen. The rest of the skirt is plain. The under-sleeves
and habit-shirt are lace.

FIG. 2 is an elegant BALL TOILET. Hair waved and ornamented with a crown
of small parti-colored tulips; it inclines to the Mary Stuart form on
the head, and increases in size toward the bottom. Dress of taffeta
with _tulle_ tunic and bertha. The body is ornamented with a bertha,
open in front, round behind; this bertha, of _tulle_ in small puffs, is
trimmed with clouded Pompadour white ribbon, No. 9. They are placed in
such a manner as to inclose the bertha as if in a ring. The _tulle_
skirt is also tucked up and held by Pompadour ribbons, No. 16, which are
set as if they raised it and held it in long loops. At the waist, these
ribbons are plaited in with the plaits of the skirt. The _tulle_ skirt
is puffed in very small puffs. In the middle of the body are placed bows
of Pompadour ribbon, No. 9. On the left side there is a beautiful fall
of tulips with foliage; the silk skirt is studded with bows of Pompadour
ribbon, No. 12.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--VISITING DRESS.]

FIG. 3 represent a beautiful HOME or VISITING TOILET. Velvet vest and
skirt; waistcoat, watered silk. The waistcoat reaches high, and is
buttoned from top to bottom. The vest sits close behind and is open in
front; it has a lapel turning up from the bottom, and trimmed with a
plaid satin ribbon, having a velvet stripe in it. The sleeve is short,
and ends in a plaid cuff, open at the sides. The edges of the lapel and
the cuff are bound with a narrow black velvet. The skirt is trimmed with
three rows of plaid ribbon, No. 22; the lowest is placed two inches from
the edge. The second and third are at intervals of four inches from each
other. A black velvet, No. 2, is laid about half an inch from each side
of the ribbon. The collar is cambric, turning down flat, rounded at
bottom. Under the collar a narrow black satin cravat is worn. The
cambric under-sleeves are plaited small, and form a puff, confined by a
narrow plain wristband, and terminated at the hand by a plain open
_manchette_, rounded off at the corners, and held together by two jewel
buttons connected with a chain. This sleeve is very much like the
sleeves of a gentleman's shirt. A Matilda cap, of blonde. It is set very
backward on the head; the crown is very small, and is drawn by a white
watered ribbon, which is tied on one side, where it hangs in two ends. A
branch of moss roses springs out of the knot. The band of the cap, which
is made of indented blonde, is gathered, but short in front, whereas
behind it is gathered and long.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--BALL TOILET.]

FIGURE 4 represents a portion of an elegant BALL DRESS. Coiffure: hair
in bandeaux, wreath of roses, small bunches of grapes, and satin ribbons
with gold figures. Under-dress, white satin; the outer one with two
_tulle_ skirts, embroidered in spots with silk, and trimmed with
ribbons. The satin body is rather low in front, and inclining to the V
shape; the _tulle_ body is open in front down to the waist; it is
confined by four small cords of silk and gold, which are tied in the
middle, and terminate in small silk and gold tassels. The lower one goes
round the waist, like a sash, and the two tassels fall at unequal
distances rather low down the skirt. The _tulle_ body is gathered at the
waist, in front, and at the bottom of the back. It is also gathered in
the shoulder seam. Two ribbons are sewed on the edge of the body, the
second disappears in the gathers. The satin sleeves are even and short;
those of _tulle_ are open at the side and held by a knotted cord. The
large _tulle_ skirt is trimmed at bottom with five ribbons. The first is
gathered at the waist and arranged so as to drape in front and reach
down lower at the sides. The bottom of the tunic is trimmed with three
ribbons.

CAPS.--Those which are composed of English point-lace, Valenciennes, or
Mechlin, are principally decorated with long streamers, or narrow
ribbons, about two inches wide, forming a mass of _petit coques_, the
ends of which being _frisotés_, droop in a similar way to the _gerbés_.
Sometimes these narrow ribbons are colored and intermixed with various
shades, which gives them the name of the _touffes à la jardinière_.
Pretty ones are formed of Brussels point, and decorated with bunches of
narrow gauze ribbon, green, pink, blue, white, brown, yellow, &c,
twisted so as to form clusters upon each side of the bands. The little
caps of the present day are mostly made in a slight point just over the
forehead, where it comes a little forward, and rises upon each side just
over the temples. These caps are made rather long at the ears.

HEAD-DRESSES.--Several very charming ones are now worn, formed of black
lace, and ornamented upon the side with clusters of black velvet ribbon,
richly _broché_ in gold, and having long drooping ends floating over the
neck. We have also remarked several very piquant coiffures in velvet,
decorated with gold sequins, so much in fashion now; while others of a
lighter description are of _tulle_, embroidered with gold, and
interlaced with chains of sequins, falling upon each side of the neck,
and decidedly making the most aristocratic head-dress of the season. The
wreaths of flowers now intended for our young _élégantes_, are also
extremely pretty, some being formed of small bell-flowers, which droop
in a single row, quite over the top of the forehead, while others have
long sprays falling over the back part of the head, having a very novel
effect.



Transcriber's Notes:

Words surrounded by _ are italicized.

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired, other punctuations have
been left as printed in the paper book.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent
spellings have been kept, including:
- use of hyphen (e.g. "beehives" and "bee-hives");
- any other inconsistent spellings (e.g. "Bedoueen" and "Bedouin").

Pg 780, word "not" removed (is [not] mentioned).

Pg 793, word "have" removed (who have [have] dared to think).

Pg 828, sentence "(TO BE CONTINUED.)" added at the end of article.

Pg 813, three occurrences of word "courtesy" changed into "curtsey" (a
smile and curtsey).





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operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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