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

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HARPER'S

NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE

NO. XXVI.--JULY, 1852.--VOL. V.



[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW.]

THE ARMORY AT SPRINGFIELD

BY JACOB ABBOTT


SPRINGFIELD.

The Connecticut river flows through the State of Massachusetts, from
north to south, on a line about half way between the middle of the
State and its western boundary. The valley through which the river
flows, which perhaps the stream itself has formed, is broad and
fertile, and it presents, in the summer months of the year, one widely
extended scene of inexpressible verdure and beauty. The river meanders
through a region of broad and luxuriant meadows which are overflowed
and enriched by an annual inundation. These meadows extend sometimes
for miles on either side of the stream, and are adorned here and there
with rural villages, built wherever there is a little elevation of
land--sufficient to render human habitations secure. The broad and
beautiful valley is bounded on either hand by an elevated and
undulating country, with streams, mills, farms, villages, forests, and
now and then a towering mountain, to vary and embellish the landscape.
In some cases a sort of spur or projection from the upland country
projects into the valley, forming a mountain summit there, from which
the most magnificent views are obtained of the beauty and fertility of
the surrounding scene.

There are three principal towns upon the banks of the Connecticut
within the Massachusetts lines: Greenfield on the north--where the
river enters into Massachusetts from between New Hampshire and
Vermont--Northampton at the centre, and Springfield on the south.
These towns are all built at points where the upland approaches near
to the river. Thus at Springfield the land rises by a gentle ascent
from near the bank of the stream to a spacious and beautiful plain
which overlooks the valley. The town is built upon this declivity. It
is so enveloped in trees that from a distance it appears simply like a
grove with cupolas and spires rising above the masses of forest
foliage; but to one within it, it presents every where most enchanting
pictures of rural elegance and beauty. The streets are avenues of
trees. The houses are surrounded by gardens, and so enveloped in
shrubbery that in many cases they reveal themselves to the passer-by
only by the glimpse that he obtains of a colonnade or a piazza,
through some little vista which opens for a moment and then closes
again as he passes along. At one point, in ascending from the river to
the plain above, the tourist stops involuntarily to admire the view
which opens on either side, along a winding and beautiful street which
here crosses his way. It is called Chestnut-street on the right hand,
and Maple-street on the left--the two portions receiving their several
names from the trees with which they are respectively adorned. The
branches of the trees meet in a dense and unbroken mass of foliage
over the middle of the street, and the sidewalk presents very
precisely the appearance and expression of an alley in the gardens of
Versailles.


THE ARMORY GROUNDS.

On reaching the summit of the ascent, the visitor finds himself upon
an extended plain, with streets of beautiful rural residences on every
hand, and in the centre a vast public square occupied and surrounded
by the buildings of the Armory. These buildings are spacious and
elegant in their construction, and are arranged in a very picturesque
and symmetrical manner within the square, and along the streets that
surround it. The grounds are shaded with trees; the dwellings are
adorned with gardens and shrubbery. Broad and neatly-kept walks, some
graveled, others paved, extend across the green or along the line of
the buildings, opening charming vistas in every direction. All is
quiet and still. Here and there a solitary pedestrian is seen moving
at a distance upon the sidewalk, or disappearing among the trees at
the end of an avenue; and perhaps the carriage of some party of
strangers stands waiting at a gate. The visitor who comes upon this
scene on a calm summer morning, is enchanted by the rural beauty that
surrounds him, and by the air of silence and repose which reigns over
it all. He hears the distant barking of a dog, the voices of children
at play, or the subdued thundering of the railway-train crossing the
river over its wooden viaduct, far down the valley--and other similar
rural sounds coming from a distance through the calm morning air--but
all around him and near him is still. Can it be possible, he asks,
that such a scene of tranquillity and loveliness can be the outward
form and embodiment of a vast machinery incessantly employed in the
production of engines of carnage and death?

It is, however, after all, perhaps scarcely proper to call the arms
that are manufactured by the American government, and stored in their
various arsenals, as engines of carnage and destruction. They ought,
perhaps, to be considered rather as instruments of security and peace;
for their destination is, as it would seem, not to be employed in
active service in the performance of the function for which they are
so carefully prepared; but to be consigned, when once finished, to
eternal quiescence and repose. They protect by their existence, and
not by their action; but in order that this, their simple existence,
should be efficient as protection, it is necessary that the
instruments themselves should be fitted for their work in the surest
and most perfect manner. And thus we have the very singular and
extraordinary operation going on, of manufacturing with the greatest
care, and with the highest possible degree of scientific and
mechanical skill, a vast system of machinery, which, when completed,
all parties concerned most sincerely hope and believe will, in a great
majority of cases, remain in their depositories undisturbed forever.
They fulfill their vast function by their simple existence--and thus,
though in the highest degree useful, are never to be used.


THE BUILDINGS.

The general appearance of the buildings of the Armory is represented
in the engraving placed at the head of this article. The point from
which the view is taken, is on the eastern side of the square--that
is, the side most remote from the town. The level and extended
landscape seen in the distance, over the tops of the buildings, is the
Connecticut valley--the town of Springfield lying concealed on the
slope of the hill, between the buildings and the river. The river
itself, too, is concealed from view at this point by the masses of
foliage which clothe its banks, and by the configuration of the land.

The middle building in the foreground, marked by the cupola upon the
top of it, is called the Office. It contains the various
counting-rooms necessary for transacting the general business of the
Armory, and is, as it were, the seat and centre of the power by which
the whole machinery of the establishment is regulated. North and south
of it, and in a line with it, are two shops, called the North and
South Filing Shops, where, in the several stories, long ranges of
workmen are found, each at his own bench, and before his own window,
at work upon the special operation, whatever it may be, which is
assigned to him. On the left of the picture is a building with the end
toward the observer, two stories high in one part, and one story in
the other part. The higher portion--which in the view is the portion
nearest the observer--forms the Stocking Shop, as it is called; that
is the shop where the stocks are made for the muskets, and fitted to
the locks and barrels. The lower portion is the Blacksmith's Shop. The
Blacksmith's Shop is filled with small forges, at which the parts of
the lock are forged. Beyond the Blacksmith's Shop, and in a line with
it, and forming, together with the Stocking Shop and the Blacksmith's
Shop, the northern side of the square, are several dwelling-houses,
occupied as the quarters of certain officers of the Armory. The
residence of the Commanding Officer, however, is not among them. His
house stands on the west side of the square, opposite to the end of
the avenue which is seen opening directly before the observer in the
view. It occupies a very delightful and commanding situation on the
brow of the hill, having a view of the Armory buildings and grounds
upon one side, and overlooking the town and the valley of the
Connecticut on the other.

A little to the south of the entrance to the Commanding Officer's
house, stands a large edifice, called the New Arsenal. It is the
building with the large square tower--seen in the view in the middle
distance, and near the centre of the picture. This building is used
for the storage of the muskets during the interval that elapses from
the finishing of them to the time when they are sent away to the
various permanent arsenals established by government in different
parts of the country, or issued to the troops. Besides this new
edifice there are two or three other buildings which are used for the
storage of finished muskets, called the Old Arsenals. They stand in a
line on the south side of the square, and may be seen on the left
hand, in the view. These buildings, all together, will contain about
five hundred thousand muskets. The New Arsenal, alone, is intended to
contain three hundred thousand.


THE WATER SHOPS.

[Illustration: THE MIDDLE WATER SHOPS.]

Such is the general arrangement of the Arsenal buildings, "on the
hill." But it is only the lighter work that is done here. The heavy
operations, such as rolling, welding, grinding, &c., are all performed
by water-power. The stream which the Ordnance Department of the United
States has pressed into its service to do this work, is a rivulet that
meanders through a winding and romantic valley, about half a mile
south of the town. On this stream are three falls, situated at a
distance perhaps of half a mile from each other. At each of these
falls there is a dam, a bridge, and a group of shops. They are called
respectively the Upper, Middle, and Lower Water Shops. The valley in
which these establishments are situated is extremely verdant and
beautiful. The banks of the stream are adorned sometimes with green,
grassy slopes, and sometimes with masses of shrubbery and foliage,
descending to the water. The road winds gracefully from one point of
view to another, opening at every turn some new and attractive
prospect. The shops and all the hydraulic works are very neatly and
very substantially constructed, and are kept in the most perfect
order: so that the scene, as it presents itself to the party of
visitors, as they ride slowly up or down the road in their carriage,
or saunter along upon the banks of the stream on foot, forms a very
attractive picture.


THE MUSKET BARREL.

The fundamental, and altogether the most important operation in the
manufacture of the musket, is the formation of the barrel; for it is
obvious, that on the strength and perfection of the barrel, the whole
value and efficiency of the weapon when completed depends. One would
suppose, that the fabrication of so simple a thing as a plain and
smooth hollow tube of iron, would be a very easy process; but the fact
is, that so numerous are the obstacles and difficulties that are in
the way, and so various are the faults, latent and open, into which
the workman may allow his work to run, that the forming of the barrel
is not only the most important, but by far the most difficult of the
operations at the Armory--one which requires the most constant
vigilance and attention on the part of the workman, during the process
of fabrication, and the application of multiplied tests to prove the
accuracy and correctness of the work at every step of the progress of
it, from beginning to end.

The barrels are made from plates of iron, of suitable form and size,
called _scalps_ or barrel plates. These scalps are a little more than
two feet long, and about three inches wide. The barrel when completed,
is about three feet six inches long, the additional length being
gained by the elongating of the scalp under the hammer during the
process of welding. The scalps are heated, and then rolled up over an
iron rod, and the edges being lapped are welded together, so as to
form a tube of the requisite dimensions--the solid rod serving to
preserve the cavity within of the proper form. This welding of the
barrels is performed at a building among the Middle Water Shops. A
range of tilt hammers extend up and down the room, with forges in the
centre of the room, one opposite to each hammer, for heating the iron.
The tilt hammers are driven by immense water-wheels, placed beneath
the building--there being an arrangement of machinery by which each
hammer may be connected with its moving power, or disconnected from
it, at any moment, at the pleasure of the workman. Underneath the
hammer is an anvil. This anvil contains a die, the upper surface of
which, as well as the under surface of a similar die inserted in the
hammer, is formed with a semi-cylindrical groove, so that when the two
surfaces come together a complete cylindrical cavity is formed, which
is of the proper size to receive the barrel that is to be forged. The
workman heats a small portion of his work in his forge, and then
standing directly before the hammer, he places the barrel in its bed
upon the anvil, and sets his hammer in motion, turning the barrel
round and round continually under the blows. Only a small portion of
the seam is closed at one heat, _eleven_ heats being required to
complete the work. To effect by this operation a perfect junction of
the iron, in the overlapping portions, so that the substance of iron
shall be continuous and homogeneous throughout, the same at the
junction as in every other part, without any, the least, flaw, or
seam, or crevice, open or concealed, requires not only great
experience and skill, but also most unremitting and constant attention
during the performance of the work. Should there be any such flaw,
however deeply it may be concealed, and however completely all
indications of it may be smoothed over and covered up by a superficial
finishing, it is sure to be exposed at last, to the mortification and
loss of the workman, in the form of a great gaping rent, which is
brought out from it under the inexorable severity of the test to which
the work has finally to be subjected.

[Illustration: THE WELDING ROOM.]


RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WORKMEN.

We say to the _loss_ as well as to the mortification of the workman,
for it is a principle that pervades the whole administration of this
establishment, though for special reasons the principle is somewhat
modified in its application to the welder, as will hereafter be
explained, that each workman bears the whole loss that is occasioned
by the failure of his work to stand its trial, from whatever cause the
failure may arise. As a general rule each workman stamps every piece
of work that passes through his hands with his own mark--a mark made
indelible too--so that even after the musket is finished, the history
of its construction can be precisely traced, and every operation
performed upon it, of whatever kind, can be carried home to the
identical workman who performed it. The various parts thus marked are
subject to very close inspection, and to very rigid tests, at
different periods, and whenever any failure occurs, the person who is
found to be responsible for it is charged with the loss. He loses not
only his own pay for the work which he performed upon the piece in
question, but for the whole value of the piece at the time that the
defect is discovered. That is, he has not only to lose his own labor,
but he must also pay for all the other labor expended upon the piece,
which through the fault of his work becomes useless. For example, in
the case of the barrel, there is a certain amount of labor expended
upon the iron, to form it into scalps, before it comes into the
welder's hands. Then after it is welded it must be bored and turned,
and subjected to some other minor operations before the strength of
the welding can be proved. If now, under the test that is applied to
prove this strength--a test which will be explained fully in the
sequel--the work gives way, and if, on examination of the rent, it
proves to have been caused by imperfection in the welding, and not by
any original defect in the iron, the welder, according to the general
principle which governs in this respect all the operations of the
establishment, would have to lose not only the value of his own labor,
in welding the barrel, but that of all the other operations which had
been performed upon it, and which were rendered worthless by his
agency. It is immaterial whether the misfortune in such cases is
occasioned by accident, or carelessness, or want of skill. In either
case the workman is responsible. This rule is somewhat relaxed in the
case of the welder, on whom it would, perhaps, if rigidly enforced,
bear somewhat too heavily. In fact many persons might regard it as a
somewhat severe and rigid rule in any case--and it would, perhaps,
very properly be so considered, were it not that this responsibility
is taken into the account in fixing the rate of wages; and the workmen
being abundantly able to sustain such a responsibility do not complain
of it. The system operates on the whole in the most salutary manner,
introducing, as it does, into every department of the Armory, a spirit
of attention, skill, and fidelity, which marks even the countenances
and manners of the workmen, and is often noticed and spoken of by
visitors. In fact none but workmen of a very high character for
intelligence, capacity, and skill could gain admission to the
Armory--or if admitted could long maintain a footing there.

The welders are charged one dollar for every barrel lost through the
fault of their work. They earn, by welding, twelve cents for each
barrel; so that by spoiling one, they lose the labor which they expend
upon eight. Being thus rigidly accountable for the perfection of their
work, they find that their undivided attention is required while they
are performing it; and, fortunately perhaps for them, there is nothing
that can well divert their attention while they are engaged at their
forges, for such is the incessant and intolerable clangor and din
produced by the eighteen tilt hammers, which are continually breaking
out in all parts of the room, into their sudden paroxysms of activity,
that every thing like conversation in the apartment is almost utterly
excluded. The blows of the hammers, when the white-hot iron is first
passed under them and the pull of the lever sets them in motion, are
inconceivably rapid, and the deafening noise which they make, and the
showers of sparks which they scatter in every direction around,
produce a scene which quite appalls many a lady visitor when she first
enters upon it, and makes her shrink back at the door, as if she were
coming into some imminent danger. The hammers strike more than six
hundred blows in a minute, that is more than _ten in every second_;
and the noise produced is a sort of rattling thunder, so overpowering
when any of the hammers are in operation near to the observer, that
the loudest vociferation uttered close to the ear, is wholly
inaudible. Some visitors linger long in the apartment, pleased with
the splendor and impressiveness of the scene. Others consider it
frightful, and hasten away.


FINISHING OPERATIONS.--BORING.

From the Middle Water Shops, where this welding is done, the barrels
are conveyed to the Upper Shops, where the operations of turning,
boring and grinding are performed. Of course the barrel when first
welded is left much larger in its outer circumference, and smaller in
its bore, than it is intended to be when finished, in order to allow
for the loss of metal in the various finishing operations. When it
comes from the welder the barrel weighs over seven pounds: when
completely finished it weighs but about four and a half pounds, so
that nearly one half of the metal originally used, is cut away by the
subsequent processes.

The first of these processes is the boring out of the interior. The
boring is performed in certain machines called boring banks. They
consist of square and very solid frames of iron, in which, as in a
bed, the barrel is fixed, and there is bored out by a succession of
operations performed by means of certain tools which are called
augers, though they bear very little resemblance to the carpenter's
instrument so named. These augers are short square bars of steel,
highly polished, and sharp at the edges--and placed at the ends of
long iron rods, so that they may pass entirely through the barrel to
be bored by them, from end to end. The boring parts of these
instruments, though they are in appearance only plain bars of steel
with straight and parallel sides, are really somewhat smaller at the
outer than at the inner end, so that, speaking mathematically, they
are truncated pyramids, of four sides, though differing very slightly
in the diameters of the lower and upper sections.

The barrels being fixed in the boring bank, as above described, the
end of the shank of the auger is inserted into the centre of a wheel
placed at one end of the bank, where, by means of machinery, a slow
rotary motion is given to the auger, and a still slower progressive
motion at the same time. By this means the auger gradually enters the
hollow of the barrel, boring its way, or rather enlarging its way by
its boring, as it advances. After it has passed through it is
withdrawn, and another auger, a very little larger than the first is
substituted in its place; and thus the calibre of the barrel is
gradually enlarged, _almost_ to the required dimensions.

Almost, but not quite; for in the course of the various operations
which are subsequent to the boring, the form of the interior of the
work is liable to be slightly disturbed, and this makes it necessary
to reserve a portion of the surplus metal within, for a final
operation. In fact the borings to which the barrel are subject,
alternate in more instances than one with other operations, the whole
forming a system far too nice and complicated to be described fully
within the limits to which we are necessarily confined in such an
article as this. It is a general principle however that the inside
work is kept always in advance of the outside, as it is the custom
with all machinists and turners to adopt the rule that is so
indispensable and excellent in morals, namely, to make all right first
within, and then to attend to the exterior. Thus in the case of the
musket barrel the bore is first made correct. Then the outer surface
of the work is turned and ground down to a correspondence with it. The
reverse of this process, that is first shaping the outside of it, and
then boring it out within, so as to make the inner and outer surfaces
to correspond, and the metal every where to be of equal thickness,
would be all but impossible.


TURNING.

After the boring, then, of the barrel, comes the turning of the
outside of it. The piece is supported in the lathe by means of
mandrels inserted into the two ends of it, and there it slowly
revolves, bringing all parts of its surface successively under the
action of a tool fixed firmly in the right position for cutting the
work to its proper form. Of course the barrel has a slow progressive
as well as rotary motion during this process, and the tool itself,
with the rest in which it is firmly screwed, advances or recedes very
regularly and gradually, in respect to the work, as the process goes
on, in order to form the proper taper of the barrel in proceeding from
the breech to the muzzle. The main work however in this turning
process is performed by the rotation of the barrel. The workman thus
treats his material and his tools with strict impartiality. In the
_boring_, the piece remains at rest, and the tool does its work by
revolving. In the _turning_, on the other hand, the _piece_ must take
its part in active duty, being required to revolve against the tool,
while the tool itself remains fixed in its position in the rest.

Among the readers of this article there will probably be many
thousands who have never had the opportunity to witness the process of
turning or boring iron, and to them it may seem surprising that any
tool can be made with an edge sufficiently enduring to stand in such a
service. And it is indeed true that a cutting edge destined to
maintain itself against iron must be of very excellent temper, and
moreover it must have a peculiar construction and form, such that when
set in its proper position for service, the cutting part shall be well
supported, so to speak, in entering the metal, by the mass of the
steel behind it. It is necessary, too, to keep the work cool by a
small stream of water constantly falling upon the point of action. The
piece to be turned, moreover, when of iron, must revolve very slowly;
the process will not go on successfully at a rapid rate; though in the
case of wood the higher the speed at which the machinery works, within
certain limits, the more perfect the operation. In all these points
the process of turning iron requires a very nice adjustment; but when
the conditions necessary to success are all properly fulfilled, the
work goes on in the most perfect manner, and the observer who is
unaccustomed to witness the process is surprised to see the curling
and continuous shaving of iron issuing from the point where the tool
is applied, being cut out there as smoothly and apparently as easily
as if the material were lead.


THE STRAIGHTENING.

One of the most interesting and curious parts of the process of the
manufacture of the barrel, is the straightening of it. We ought,
perhaps, rather to say the straightenings, for it is found necessary
that the operation should be several times performed. For example, the
barrel must be straightened before it is turned, and then, inasmuch as
in the process of turning it generally gets more or less _sprung_, it
must be straightened again afterward. In fact, every important
operation performed upon the barrel is likely to cause some deflection
in it, which requires to be subsequently corrected, so that the
process must be repeated several times. The actual work of
straightening, that is the mechanical act that is performed, is very
simple--consisting as it does of merely striking a blow. The whole
difficulty lies in determining when and where the correction is
required. In other words, the _making straight_ is very easily and
quickly done; the thing attended with difficulty is to find out when
and where the work is crooked; for the deflections which it is thus
required to remedy, are so extremely slight, that all ordinary modes
of examination would fail wholly to detect them; while yet they are
sufficiently great to disturb very essentially the range and direction
of the ball which should issue from the barrel, affected by them.

[Illustration: STRAIGHTENING THE BARRELS.]

The above engraving represents the workman in the act of examining the
interior of a barrel with a view to ascertaining whether it be
straight. On the floor, in the direction toward which the barrel is
pointed, is a small mirror, in which the workman sees, through the
tube, a reflection of a certain pane of glass in the window. The pane
in question is marked by a diagonal line, which may be seen upon it,
in the view, passing from one corner to the other. This diagonal line
now is reflected by the mirror into the bore of the barrel, and then
it is reflected again to the eye of the observer; for the surface of
the iron on the inside of the barrel is left in a most brilliantly
polished condition, by the boring and the operations connected
therewith. Now the workman, in some mysterious way or other, detects
the slightest deviation from straightness in the barrel, by the
appearance which this reflection presents to his eye, as he looks
through the bore in the manner represented in the drawing. He is
always ready to explain very politely to his visitor exactly how this
is done, and to allow the lady to look through the tube and see for
herself. All that she is able to see, however, in such cases is a very
resplendent congeries of concentric rings, forming a spectacle of very
dazzling brilliancy, which pleases and delights her, though the
mystery of the reflected line generally remains as profound a mystery
after the observation as before. This is, in fact, the result which
might have been expected, since it is generally found that all
demonstrations and explanations relating to the science of optics and
light, addressed to the uninitiated, end in plunging them into greater
darkness than ever.

The only object which the mirror upon the floor serves, in the
operation, is to save the workman from the fatigue of holding up the
barrel, which it would be necessary for him to do at each observation,
if he were to look at the window pane directly. By having a reflecting
surface at the floor he can point the barrel downward, when he wishes
to look through it, and this greatly facilitates the manipulation.
There is a rest, too, provided for the barrel, to support it while the
operator is looking through. He plants the end of the tube in this
rest, with a peculiar grace and dexterity, and then, turning it round
and round, in order to bring every part of the inner surface to the
test of the reflection, he accomplishes the object of his scrutiny in
a moment, and then recovering the barrel, he lays it across a sort of
anvil which stands by his side, and strikes a gentle blow upon it
wherever a correction was found to be required. Thus the operation,
though it often seems a very difficult one for the visitor to
understand, proves a very easy one for the workman to perform.


OLD MODE OF STRAIGHTENING.

In former times a mode altogether different from this was adopted to
test the interior rectitude of the barrel. A very slender line, formed
of a hair or some similar substance, was passed through the
barrel--_dropped_ through, in fact, by means of a small weight
attached to the end of it. This line was then drawn tight, and the
workman looking through, turned the barrel round so as to bring the
line into coincidence successively with every portion of the inner
surface. If now there existed any concavity in any part of this
surface, the line would show it by the distance which would there
appear between the line itself and its reflection in the metal. The
present method, however, which has now been in use about thirty years,
is found to be far superior to the old one; so much so in fact that
all the muskets manufactured before that period have since been
condemned as unfit for use, on account mainly of the crookedness of
the barrels. When we consider, however, that the calculation is that
in ordinary engagements less than one out of every hundred of the
balls that are discharged take effect; that is, that ninety-nine out
of every hundred go wide of the mark for which they are intended, from
causes that must be wholly independent of any want of accuracy in the
aiming, it would seem to those who know little of such subjects, that
to condemn muskets for deviating from perfect straightness by less
than a hair, must be quite an unnecessary nicety. The truth is,
however, that all concerned in the establishment at Springfield, seem
to be animated by a common determination, that whatever may be the use
that is ultimately to be made of their work, the instrument itself, as
it comes from their hands, shall be absolutely perfect; and whoever
looks at the result, as they now attain it, will admit that they carry
out their determination in a very successful manner.


CINDER HOLES.

Various other improvements have been made from time to time in the
mode of manufacturing and finishing the musket, which have led to the
condemnation or alteration of those made before the improvements were
introduced. A striking illustration of this is afforded by the case of
what are called _cinder holes_. A cinder hole is a small cavity left
in the iron at the time of the manufacture of it--the effect,
doubtless, of some small development of gas forming a bubble in the
substance of the iron. If the bubble is near the inner surface of the
barrel when it is welded, the process of boring and finishing brings
it into view, in the form of a small blemish seen in the side of the
bore. At a former period in the history of the Armory, defects of this
kind were not considered essential, so long as they were so small as
not to weaken the barrel. It was found, however, at length that such
cavities, by retaining the moisture and other products of combustion
resulting from the discharge of the piece, were subject to corrosion,
and gradual enlargement, so as finally to weaken the barrel in a fatal
manner. It was decided therefore that the existence of cinder holes in
a barrel should thenceforth be a sufficient cause for its rejection,
and all the muskets manufactured before that time have since been
condemned and sold; the design of the department being to retain in
the public arsenals only arms of the most perfect and unexceptionable
character.

At the present time, in the process of manufacturing the barrels, it
is not always found necessary to reject a barrel absolutely in every
case where a cinder hole appears. Sometimes the iron may be forced in,
by a blow upon the outside, sufficiently to enable the workman to bore
the cinder hole out entirely. This course is always adopted where the
thickness of the iron will allow it, and in such cases the barrel is
saved. Where this can not be done, the part affected is sometimes cut
off, and a short barrel is made, for an arm called a musketoon.


THE GRINDING.

After the barrel is turned to nearly its proper size it is next to be
ground, for the purpose of removing the marks left by the tool in
turning, and of still further perfecting its form. For this operation
immense grindstones, carried by machinery, are used, as seen in the
engraving. These stones, when in use, are made to revolve with great
rapidity--usually about _four hundred times in a minute_--and as a
constant stream of water is kept pouring upon the part where the
barrel is applied in the grinding, it is necessary to cover them
entirely with a wooden case, as seen in the engraving, to catch and
confine the water, which would otherwise be thrown with great force
about the room. The direct action therefore of the stone upon the
barrel in the process of grinding is concealed from view.

[Illustration: GRINDING.]

The workman has an iron rod with a sort of crank-like handle at the
end of it, and this rod he inserts into the bore of the barrel which
he has in hand. The rod fits into the barrel closely, and is held
firmly by the friction, so that by means of the handle to the rod, the
workman can turn the barrel round and round continually while he is
grinding it, and thus bring the action of the stone to bear equally
upon every part, and so finish the work in a true cylindrical form.
One of these rods, with its handle, may be seen lying free upon the
stand on the right of the picture. The workman is also provided with
gauges which he applies frequently to the barrel at different points
along its length, as the work goes on, in order to form it to the true
size and to the proper taper. In the act of grinding he inserts the
barrel into a small hole in the case, in front of the stone, and then
presses it hard against the surface of the stone by means of the iron
lever behind him. By leaning against this lever with greater or less
exertion he can regulate the pressure of the barrel against the stone
at pleasure. In order to increase his power over this lever he stands
upon a plate of iron which is placed upon the floor beneath him, with
projections cast upon it to hold his feet by their friction; the
moment that he ceases to lean against the lever, the inner end of it
is drawn back by the action of the weight seen hanging down by the
side of it, and the barrel is immediately released.

The workman _turns_ the barrel continually, during the process of
grinding, by means of the handle, as seen in the drawing, and as the
stone itself is revolving all the time with prodigious velocity, the
work is very rapidly, and at the same time very smoothly and correctly
performed.


DANGER.

It would seem too, at first thought, that this operation of grinding
must be a very safe as well as a simple one; but it is far otherwise.
This grinding room is the dangerous room--the only dangerous room, in
fact, in the whole establishment. In the first place, the work itself
is often very injurious to the health. The premises are always
drenched with water, and this makes the atmosphere damp and
unwholesome. Then there is a fine powder, which, notwithstanding every
precaution, will escape from the stone, and contaminate the air,
producing very serious tendencies to disease in the lungs of persons
who breathe it for any long period. In former times it was customary
to grind bayonets as well as barrels; and this required that the face
of the stone should be fluted, that is cut into grooves of a form
suitable to receive the bayonet. This fluting of the stone, which of
course it was necessary continually to renew, was found to be an
exceedingly unhealthy operation, and in the process of grinding,
moreover, in the case of bayonets, the workman was much more exposed
than in grinding barrels, as it was necessary that a portion of the
stone should be open before him and that he should apply the piece in
hand directly to the surface of it. From these causes it resulted,
under the old system, that bayonets, whatever might have been their
destination in respect to actual service against an enemy on the
field, were pretty sure to be the death of all who were concerned in
making them.

The system, however, so far as relates to the bayonet is now changed.
Bayonets are now "milled," instead of being ground; that is, they are
finished by means of cutters formed upon the circumference of a wheel,
and so arranged that by the revolution of the wheel, and by the motion
of the bayonet in passing slowly under it, secured in a very solid
manner to a solid bed, the superfluous metal is cut away and the piece
fashioned at once to its proper form, or at least brought so near to
it by the machine, as to require afterward only a very little
finishing. This operation is cheaper than the other, and also more
perfect in its result; while at the same time it is entirely free from
danger to the workman.

No mode, however, has yet been devised for dispensing with the
operation of grinding in the case of the barrel; though the injury to
the health is much less in this case than in the other.


BURSTING OF GRINDSTONES.

There is another very formidable danger connected with the process of
grinding besides the insalubrity of the work; and that is the danger
of the bursting of the stones in consequence of their enormous weight
and the immense velocity with which they are made to revolve. Some
years since a new method of clamping the stone, that is of attaching
it and securing it to its axis, was adopted, by means of which the
danger of bursting is much diminished. But by the mode formerly
practiced--the mode which in fact still prevails in many manufacturing
establishments where large grindstones are employed--the danger was
very great, and the most frightful accidents often occurred. In
securing the stone to its axis it was customary to cut a square hole
through the centre of the stone, and then after passing the iron axis
through this opening, to fix the stone upon the axis by wedging it up
firmly with wooden wedges. Now it is well known that an enormous force
may be exerted by the driving of a wedge, and probably in many cases
where this method is resorted to, the stone is strained to its utmost
tension, so as to be on the point of splitting open, before it is put
in rotation at all. The water is then let on, and the stone becomes
saturated with it--which greatly increases the danger. There are three
ways by which the water tends to promote the bursting of the stone. It
makes it very much heavier, and thus adds to the momentum of its
motion, and consequently to the centrifugal force. It also makes it
weaker, for the water penetrates the stone in every part, and operates
to soften, as it were, its texture. Then finally it swells the wedges,
and thus greatly increases the force of the outward strain which they
exert at the centre of the stone. When under these circumstances the
enormous mass is put in motion, at the rate perhaps of five or six
revolutions in a _second_, it bursts, and some enormous fragment, a
quarter or a third of the whole, flies up through the flooring above,
or out through a wall, according to the position of the part thrown
off, at the time of the fracture. An accident of this kind occurred at
the Armory some years since. One fragment of the stone struck the wall
of the building, which was two or three feet thick, and broke it
through. The other passing upward, struck and fractured a heavy beam
forming a part of the floor above, and upset a work-bench in a room
over it, where several men were working. The men were thrown down,
though fortunately they were not injured. The workman who had been
grinding at the stone left his station for a minute or two, just
before the catastrophe, and thus his life too was saved.


POLISHING.

We have said that the grinding room is the _only_ dangerous room in
such an establishment as this. There is one other process than
grinding which was formerly considered as extremely unhealthy, and
that is the process of polishing. The polishing of steel is performed
by means of what are called _emery wheels_, which are wheels bound on
their circumference by a band of leather, to which a coating of emery,
very finely pulverized, is applied, by means of a sizing of glue.
These wheels, a large number of which are placed side by side in the
same room, are made to revolve by means of machinery, with an
inconceivable velocity, while the workmen who have the polishing to
do, taking their stations, each at his own wheel, on seats placed
there for the purpose, and holding the piece of work on which the
operation is to be performed, in their hands, apply it to the
revolving circumference before them. The surface of the steel thus
applied, receives immediately a very high polish--a stream of sparks
being elicited by the friction, and flying off from the wheel opposite
to the workman.

Now although in these cases the workman was always accustomed to take
his position at the wheel in such a manner as to be exposed as little
as possible to the effects of it, yet the air of the apartment, it was
found, soon became fully impregnated with the fine emery dust, and the
influence of it upon the lungs proved very deleterious. There is,
however, now in operation a contrivance by means of which the evil is
almost entirely remedied. A large air-trunk is laid beneath the floor,
from which the air is drawn out continually by means of a sort of fan
machinery connected with the engine. Opposite to each wheel, and in
the direction to which the sparks and the emery dust are thrown, are
openings connected with this air-trunk. By means of this arrangement
all that is noxious in the air of the room is drawn out through the
openings into the air-trunk, and so conveyed away.

The sparks produced in such operations as this, as in the case of the
collision of flint and steel, consist of small globules of melted
metal, cut off from the main mass by the force of the friction, and
heated to the melting point at the same time. These metallic
scintillations were not supposed to be the cause of the injury that
was produced by the operation of polishing, as formerly practiced. It
was the dust of the emery that produced the effect, just as in the
case of the grinding it was the powder of the stone, and not the fine
particles of iron.

The emery which is used in these polishing operations, as well as for
a great many similar purposes in the arts, is obtained by pulverizing
an exceedingly hard mineral that is found in several of the islands of
the Grecian Archipelago, in the Mediterranean. In its native state it
appears in the form of shapeless masses, of a blackish or bluish gray
color, and it is prepared for use by being pulverized in iron mortars.
When pulverized it is washed and sorted into five or six different
degrees of fineness, according to the work for which it is wanted. It
is used by lapidaries for cutting and polishing stones, by cutlers for
iron and steel instruments, and by opticians for grinding lenses. It
is ordinarily used in the manner above described, by being applied to
the circumference of a leathern covered wheel, by means of oil or of
glue. Ladies use bags filled with it, for brightening their needles.

Emery is procured in Spain, and also in Great Britain, as well as in
the Islands of the Mediterranean.


PROVING.

[Illustration: THE PROVING HOUSE.]

When the barrels are brought pretty nearly to their finished
condition, they are to be _proved_, that is to be subjected to the
test of actual trial with gunpowder. For this proving they are taken
to a very strong building that is constructed for the purpose, and
which stands behind the Stocking Shop. Its place is on the
right in the general view of the Armory buildings, and near the
foreground--though that view does not extend far enough in that
direction to bring it in. The exterior appearance of this building is
represented in the above engraving. It is made very strong, being
constructed wholly of timber, in order to enable it to resist the
force of the explosions within. There are spacious openings in lattice
work, in the roof and under the eaves of the building, to allow of the
escape of the smoke with which it is filled at each discharge; for it
is customary to prove a large number of barrels at a time. The barrels
are loaded with a very heavy charge, so as to subject them to much
greater strain than they can ever be exposed to in actual service. The
building on the left, in the engraving, is used for loading the
barrels, and for cleaning and drying them after they are proved. The
shed attached to the main building, on the right hand, contains a bank
of clay, placed there to receive the bullets, with which the barrels
are charged.

The arrangement of the interior of this building, as well as the
manner in which the proving is performed, will be very clearly
understood by reference to the engraving below.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE PROVING HOUSE.]

On the right hand end of the building, and extending quite across it
from side to side, is a sort of platform, the upper surface of which
is formed of cast-iron, and contains grooves in which the muskets are
placed when loaded, side by side. A train of gunpowder is laid along
the back side of this platform, so as to form a communication with
each barrel. The train passes out through a hole in the side of the
building near the door. The bank of clay may be seen sloping down from
within its shed into the room on the left. The artist has represented
the scene as it appears when all is ready for the discharge. The
barrels are placed, the train is laid, and the proof-master is just
retiring and closing the door. A moment more and there will be a loud
and rattling explosion; then the doors will be opened, and as soon as
the smoke has cleared away the workman will enter and ascertain the
result. About one in sixty of the barrels are found to burst under the
trial.

The pieces that fail are all carefully examined with a view to
ascertain whether the giving way was owing to a defect in the welding,
or to some flaw, or other bad quality, in the iron. The appearance of
the rent made by the bursting will always determine this point. The
loss of those that failed on account of bad welding is then charged to
the respective operatives by whom the work was done, at a dollar for
each one so failing. The name of the maker of each is known by the
stamp which he put upon it at the time when it passed through his
hands.

The barrels that stand this first test are afterward subjected to a
second one in order to make it sure that they sustained no partial and
imperceptible injury at the first explosion. This done they are
stamped with the mark of approval, and so sent to the proper
departments to be mounted and finished.

[Illustration: TESTING THE BAYONETS.]

The bayonets, and all the other parts of which the musket is composed
are subjected to tests, different in character indeed, but equally
strict and rigid in respect to the qualities which they are intended
to prove, with that applied to the barrel. The bayonet is very
carefully gauged and measured in every part, in order to make sure
that it is of precisely the proper form and dimensions. A weight is
hung to the point of it to try its temper, and it is sprung by the
strength of the inspector, with the point of it set into the floor, to
prove its elasticity. If it is found to be tempered too high it
breaks; if too low it bends. In either case it is condemned, and the
workman through whose fault the failure has resulted is charged with
the loss.


THE FORGING.

The number of pieces which are used in making up a musket is
forty-nine, each of which has to be formed and finished separately. Of
these there are only two--viz., the sight and what is called the
_cone-seat_, a sort of process connected with the barrel--that are
permanently attached to any other part; so that the musket can at any
time be separated into _forty-seven_ parts, by simply turning screws,
and opening springs, and then put together again as before. Most of
these parts are such that they are formed in the first instance by
being forged or rather _swedged_, and are afterward trimmed and
finished in lathes, and milling engines, or by means of files.
_Swedging_, as it is called, is the forming of irregular shapes in
iron by means of dies of a certain kind, called swedges, one of which
is inserted in the anvil, in a cavity made for the purpose, and the
other is placed above it. Cavities are cut in the faces of the
swedges, so that when they are brought together, with the end of the
iron rod out of which the article to be formed between them, the iron
is made to assume the form of the cavities by means of blows of the
hammer upon the upper swedge. In this way shapes are easily and
rapidly fashioned, which it would be impossible to produce by blows
directed immediately upon the iron.

[Illustration: THE BLACKSMITH'S SHOP.]

The shop where this swedging work is done at the Armory contains a
great number of forges, one only of which however is fully represented
in the engraving. The apparatus connected with these forges, differing
in each according to the particular operation for which each is
intended, is far too complicated to be described in this connection.
It can only be fully understood when seen in actual operation under
the hands of the workman. The visitor however who has the opportunity
to see it thus, lingers long before each separate forge, pleased with
the ingenuity of the contrivances which he witnesses, and admiring the
wonderful dexterity of the workman. There is no appearance of bellows
at any of these works. The air is supplied to the fires by pipes
ascending through the floor from a _fan blower_, as it is called,
worked by machinery arranged for the purpose below.


THE STOCKING SHOP.

The Stocking Shop, so called, is the department in which the _stocks_
to which the barrel and the lock are to be attached, are formed and
finished. The wood used for gun stocks in this country is the black
walnut, and as this wood requires to be seasoned some years
before it is used, an immense store of it is kept on hand at the
Armory--sufficient in fact for four years' consumption. The building
in which this material is stored may be seen on the right hand side in
the general view placed at the head of this article. It stands off
from the square, and behind the other buildings. The operations
conducted in the stocking shop are exceedingly attractive to all who
visit the establishment. In fact it happens here as it often does in
similar cases, that that which it is most interesting to witness is
the least interesting to be described. The reason is that the charm in
these processes consists in the high perfection and finish of the
machines, in the smoothness, grace, and rapidity of their motions, and
in the seemingly miraculous character of the performances which they
execute. Of such things no mere description can convey any adequate
idea. They must be seen to be at all appreciated.

A gun stock, with all the innumerable cavities, grooves, perforations,
and recesses necessary to be made in it, to receive the barrel, the
lock, the bands, the ramrod, and the numerous pins and screws, all of
which require a separate and peculiar modification of its form, is
perhaps as irregular a shape as the ingenuity of man could devise--and
as well calculated as any shape could possibly be to bid defiance to
every attempt at applying machinery to the work of fashioning it. The
difficulties however in the way of such an attempt, insurmountable as
they would at first sight seem, have all been overcome, and every part
of the stock is formed, and every perforation, groove, cavity, and
socket is cut in it by machines that do their work with a beauty, a
grace, and a perfection, which awaken in all who witness the process,
a feeling of astonishment and delight.

The general principle on which this machinery operates, in doing its
work, may perhaps be made intelligible to the reader by description.
The action is regulated by what are called _patterns_. These patterns
are models in iron of the various surfaces of the stock which it is
intended to form. Let us suppose, for example, that the large cavity
intended to receive the lock is to be cut. The stock on which the
operation is to be performed is placed in its bed in the machine, and
over it, pendant from a certain movable frame-work of polished steel
above, is the cutting tool, a sort of bit or borer, which is to do the
work. This borer is made to revolve with immense velocity, and is at
the same time susceptible of various other motions at the pleasure of
the workman. It may be brought down upon the work, and moved there
from side to side, so as to cut out a cavity of any required shape;
and such is the mechanism of the machine that these vertical and
lateral motions may be made very freely without at all interfering
with the swift rotation on which the cutting power of the tool
depends. This is effected by causing the tool to revolve by means of
small machinery within its frame, while the frame and all within it
moves together in the vertical and lateral motions.

Now if this were all, it is plain that the cutting of the cavity in
the stock would depend upon the action of the workman, and the form
given to it would be determined by the manner in which he should guide
the tool in its lateral motions, and by the depth to which he should
depress it. But this is not all. At a little distance from the cutter,
and parallel to it is another descending rod, which is called the
guide; and this guide is so connected with the cutting tool, by means
of a very complicated and ingenious machinery, that the latter is
governed rigidly and exactly in all its movements by the motion of the
former. Now there is placed immediately beneath the guide, what is
called the pattern, that is a cavity in a block of iron of precisely
the form and size which it is intended to give to the cavity in the
wooden stock. All that the workman has to do therefore, when the
machine is put in motion is to bring the guide down into the pattern
and move it about the circumference and through the centre of it. The
cutting tool imitating precisely the motions of the guide, enters the
wood, and cutting its way in the most perfect manner and with
incredible rapidity, forms an exact duplicate of the cavity in the
pattern. The theory of this operation is sufficiently curious and
striking--but the wonder excited by it is infinitely enhanced by
seeing the work done. It is on this principle substantially that all
the machines of the Stocking Shop are constructed; every separate
recess, perforation, or groove of the piece requiring of course its
own separate mechanism. The stocks are passed from one of these
engines to another in rapid succession, and come out at last, each one
the perfect fac-simile of its fellow.


DIVISION OF LABOR.

We have said that the number of separate parts which go to compose a
musket is forty-nine; but this by no means denotes the number of
distinct operations required in the manufacture of it--for almost
every one of these forty-nine parts is subject to many distinct
operations, each of which has its own name, is assigned to its own
separate workman, and is paid for distinctly and by itself, according
to the price put upon it in the general tariff of wages. The number of
operations thus separately named, catalogued and priced, is _three
hundred and ninety-six_.

These operations are entirely distinct from one another--each
constituting, as it were, in some sense a distinct trade, so that it
might be quite possible that no one man in the whole establishment
should know how to perform any two of them. It is quite certain, in
fact, that no man can perform any considerable number of them. They
are of very various grades in respect to character and price--from the
welding of the barrel which is in some points of view the highest and
most responsible of all, down to the cutting out of pins and screws of
the most insignificant character. They are all however regularly
rated, and the work that is performed upon them is paid for by the
piece.


ASSEMBLING THE MUSKET.

[Illustration: ASSEMBLING THE MUSKET.]

When the several parts are all finished, the operation of putting them
together so as to make up the musket from them complete, is called
"assembling the musket." The workman who performs this function has
all the various parts before him at his bench, arranged in boxes and
compartments, in regular order, and taking one component from this
place, and another from that, he proceeds to put the complicated piece
of mechanism together. His bench is fitted up expressly for the work
which he is to perform upon it, with a vice to hold without marring,
and rests to support without confining, and every other convenience
and facility which experience and ingenuity can suggest. With these
helps, and by means of the dexterity which continued practice gives
him, he performs the work in a manner so adroit and rapid, as to
excite the wonder of every beholder. In fact it is always a pleasure
to see any thing done that is done with grace and dexterity, and this
is a pleasure which the visitor to the Armory has an opportunity to
enjoy at almost every turn.

The component parts of the musket are all made according to one
precise pattern, and thus when taken up at random they are sure to
come properly together. There is no individual fitting required in
each particular case. Any barrel will fit into any stock, and a screw
designed for a particular plate or band, will enter the proper hole in
any plate or band of a hundred thousand. There are many advantages
which result from this precise conformity to an established pattern in
the components of the musket. In the first place the work of
manufacturing it is more easily performed in this way. It is always
the tendency of machinery to produce similarity in its results, and
thus although where only two things are to be made it is very
difficult to get them alike, the case is very different where there is
a call for two hundred thousand. In this last case it is far easier
and cheaper to have them alike than to have them different; for in
manufacturing on such a scale a machinery is employed, which results
in fashioning every one of its products on the precise model to which
the inventor adapted the construction of it. Then, besides, a great
convenience and economy results from this identity of form in the
component parts of the musket, when the arms are employed in service.
Spare screws, locks, bands, springs, &c., can be furnished in
quantities, and sent to any remote part of the country wherever they
are required; so that when any part of a soldier's gun becomes injured
or broken, its place can be immediately supplied by a new piece, which
is sure to fit as perfectly into the vacancy as the original occupant.
Even after a battle there is nothing to prevent the surviving soldiers
from making up themselves, out of a hundred broken and dismantled
muskets, fifty good ones as complete and sound as ever, by rejecting
what is damaged, and assembling the uninjured parts anew.

To facilitate such operations as these the mechanism by which the
various parts of the musket are attached to each other and secured in
their places, is studiously contrived with a view to facilitating in
the highest degree the taking of them apart, and putting them
together. Each soldier to whom a musket is served is provided with a
little tool, which, though very simple in its construction, consists
of several parts and is adapted to the performance of several
functions. With the assistance of this tool the soldier sitting on the
bank by the roadside, at a pause in the middle of his march, if the
regulations of the service would allow him to do so, might separate
his gun into its forty-seven components, and spread the parts out upon
the grass around him. Then if any part was doubtful he could examine
it. If any was broken he could replace it--and after having finished
his inspection he could reconstruct the mechanism, and march on as
before.

It results from this system that to make any change, however slight,
in the pattern of the musket or in the form of any of the parts of it,
is attended with great difficulty and expense. The fashion and form of
every one of the component portions of the arm, are very exactly and
rigidly determined by the machinery that is employed in making it, and
any alteration, however apparently insignificant, would require a
change in this machinery. It becomes necessary, therefore, that the
precise pattern both of the whole musket and of all of its parts, once
fixed, should remain permanently the same.

The most costly of the parts which lie before the workman in
assembling the musket is the barrel. The value of it complete is three
dollars. From the barrel we go down by a gradually descending scale to
the piece of smallest value, which is a little wire called the ramrod
spring wire--the value of which is only one mill; that is the workman
is paid only one dollar a thousand for the manufacture of it. The time
expended in assembling a musket is about ten minutes, and the price
paid for the work is four cents.


THE ARSENAL.

[Illustration: THE NEW ARSENAL.]

The New Arsenal, which has already been alluded to in the description
of the general view of the Arsenal grounds, is a very stately edifice.
It is two hundred feet long, seventy feet wide, and fifty feet high.
It is divided into three stories, each of which is calculated to
contain one hundred thousand muskets, making three hundred thousand in
all. The muskets when stored in this arsenal are arranged in racks set
up for the purpose along the immense halls, where they stand upright
in rows, with the glittering bayonets shooting up, as it were, above.
The visitors who go into the arsenal walk up and down the aisles which
separate the ranges of racks, admiring the symmetry and splendor of
the display.

The Arsenal has another charm for visitors besides the beauty of the
spectacle which the interior presents--and that is the magnificent
panorama of the surrounding country, which is seen from the summit of
the tower. This tower, which occupies the centre of the building, is
about ninety feet high--and as it is about thirty feet square, the
deck at the top furnishes space for a large party of visitors to stand
and survey the surrounding country. Nothing can be imagined more
enchanting than the view presented from this position in the month of
June. The Armory grounds upon one side, and the streets of the town
upon the other lie, as it were, at the feet of the spectator, while in
the distance the broad and luxuriant valley of the Connecticut is
spread out to view, with its villages, its fields, its groves, its
bridges, its winding railways, and its serpentine and beautiful
streams.


THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ARMORY.

[Illustration: QUARTERS OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER.]

The manufacture of muskets being a work that pertains in some sense to
the operations of the army, should be, for that reason, under
_military_ rule. On the other hand, inasmuch as it is wholly a work of
mechanical and peaceful industry, a _civil_ administration would seem
to be most appropriate for it. There is, in fact, a standing dispute
on this subject both in relation to the Armory at Springfield and to
that at Harper's Ferry, among those interested in the establishments,
and it is a dispute which, perhaps, will never be finally settled. The
Springfield Armory is at this time under military rule--the present
commanding officer, Colonel Ripley, having been put in charge of it
about ten years ago, previous to which time it was under civil
superintendence. At the time of Col. Ripley's appointment the works,
as is universally acknowledged, were in a very imperfect condition,
compared with the present state. On entering upon the duties of his
office, the new incumbent engaged in the work of improvement with
great resolution and energy, and after contending for several years
with the usual obstacles and difficulties which men have to encounter
in efforts at progress and reform, he succeeded in bringing the
establishment up to a state of very high perfection; and now the
order, the system, the neatness, the almost military exactness and
decorum which pervade every department of the works are the theme of
universal admiration. The grounds are kept in the most perfect
condition--the shops are bright and cheerful, the walls and floors are
every where neat and clean, the machinery and tools are perfect, and
are all symmetrically and admirably arranged, while the workmen are
well dressed, and are characterized by an air of manliness,
intelligence, and thrift, that suggests to the mind of the visitor the
idea of amateur mechanics, working with beautiful tools, for pleasure.

And yet the men at first complained, sometimes, of the stringency of
rules and regulations required to produce these results. These rules
are still in force, though now they are very generally acquiesced in.
No newspapers of any kind can be taken into the shops, no tobacco or
intoxicating drinks can be used there, no unnecessary conversation is
allowed, and the regulations in respect to hours of attendance, and to
responsibility for damaged work are very definite and strict. But even
if the workmen should be disposed in any case to complain of the
stringency of these requirements, they can not but be proud of the
result; for they take a very evident pleasure in the gratification
which every visitor manifests in witnessing the system, the order, the
neatness, and the precision that every where prevail.

Nothing can be more admirably planned, or more completely and
precisely executed than the system of accounts kept at the offices, by
which not only every pecuniary transaction, but also, as would seem,
almost every mechanical operation or act that takes place throughout
the establishment is made a matter of record. Thus every thing is
checked and regulated. No piece, large or small, can be lost from
among its hundreds of fellows without being missed somewhere in some
column of figures--and the whole history of every workman's doings,
and of every piece of work done, is to be found recorded. Ask the
master-armorer any questions whatever about the workings of the
establishment, whether relating to the minutest detail, or to most
comprehensive and general results, and he takes down a book and shows
you the answer in some column or table.

After all, however, this neatness, precision, and elegance in the
appearance and in the daily workings of an establishment like this,
though very agreeable to the eye of the observer, constitute a test of
only secondary importance in respect to the actual character of the
administration that governs it. To judge properly on this point, the
thing to be looked at is the actual and substantial results that are
obtained. The manufacture of muskets is the great function of the
Armory, and not the exhibition of beautiful workshops, and curious
processes in mechanics for the entertainment of visitors. When we
inquire, however, into the present arrangement of this establishment,
in this point of view, the conclusion seems to be still more decidedly
in its favor than in the other. The cost of manufacturing each musket
immediately before the commencement of the term of the present
commander was about seventeen dollars and a half. During the past year
it has been eight dollars and three quarters, and yet the men are paid
better wages now per day, or, rather, they are paid at such rates for
their work, that they can earn more now per day, than then. The saving
has thus not been at all made from the pay of the workmen, but wholly
from the introduction of new and improved modes of manufacture, better
machines, a superior degree of order, system, and economy in every
department, and other similar causes. How far the improvements which
have thus been made are due to the intrinsic qualities of military
government, and how far to the personal efficiency of the officer in
this case intrusted with the administration of it, it might be
somewhat difficult to decide.

In fact, when judging of the advancement made during a period of ten
years, in an establishment of this kind, at the present age of the
world, some considerable portion of the improvement that is manifested
is due, doubtless, to the operation of those causes which are
producing a general progress in all the arts and functions of social
life. The tendency of every thing is onward. Every where, and for all
purposes, machinery is improving, materials are more and more easily
procured, new facilities are discovered and new inventions are made,
the results of which inure to the common benefit of all mankind. It is
only so far as an establishment like the Armory advances at a more
rapid rate than that of the general progress of the age, that any
special credit is due to those who administer its affairs. It always
seems, however, to strangers visiting the Armory and observing its
condition, that these general causes will account for but a small
portion of the results which have been attained in the management of
it, during the past ten years.


CONCLUSION.

As was stated at the commencement of the article, it is only a small
part of the hundreds of thousands of muskets manufactured, that are
destined ever to be used. Some portion of the whole number are served
out to the army, and are employed in Indian warfare, others are
destined to arm garrisons in various fortresses and military posts,
where they are never called to any other service than to figure in
peaceful drillings and parades. Far the greater portion, however, are
sent away to various parts of the country, to be stored in the
national arsenals, where they lie, and are to lie, as we hope,
forever, undisturbed, in the midst of scenes of rural beauty and
continued peace. The flowers bloom and the birds sing unmolested
around the silent and solitary depositories, where these terrible
instruments of carnage and destruction unconsciously and forever
repose.



NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.[A]

BY JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

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


PEACE WITH ENGLAND.

It was the first great object of Napoleon, immediately upon his
accession to power, to reconcile France with Europe, and to make peace
with all the world. France was weary of war. She needed repose, to
recover from the turmoil of revolution. Napoleon, conscious of the
necessities of France, was consecrating Herculean energies for the
promotion of peace. The Directory, by oppressive acts, had excited the
indignation of the United States. Napoleon, by a course of
conciliation, immediately removed that hostility, and, but a short
time before the treaty of Luneville, ratified a treaty of amity
between France and the United States. The signature of this treaty was
celebrated with great rejoicings at the beautiful country seat which
Joseph, who in consequence of his marriage was richer than his
brother, had purchased at Morfontaine. Napoleon, accompanied by a
brilliant party, met the American commissioners there. The most
elegant decorations within the mansion and in the gardens, represented
France and America joined in friendly union. Napoleon presented the
following toast: "The memory of the French and the Americans who died
on the field of battle for the independence of the New World." Lebrun,
the Second Consul, proposed, "The union of America with the Northern
powers, to enforce respect for the liberty of the seas." Cambaceres
gave for the third toast, "The successor of Washington." Thus did
Napoleon endeavor to secure the friendship of the United States.

About this time Pope Pius VI. died, and the Cardinals met to choose
his successor. The respect with which Napoleon had treated the Pope,
and his kindness to the emigrant priests, during the first Italian
campaign, presented so strong a contrast with the violence enjoined by
the Directory, as to produce a profound impression upon the minds of
the Pope and the Cardinals.

The Bishop of Imola was universally esteemed for his extensive
learning, his gentle virtues, and his firm probity. Upon the occasion
of the union of his diocese with the Cisalpine Republic, he preached a
very celebrated sermon, in which he spoke of the conduct of the French
in terms highly gratifying to the young conqueror. The power of
Napoleon was now in the ascendant. It was deemed important to
conciliate his favor. "It is from France," said Cardinal Gonsalvi,
"that persecutions have come upon us for the last ten years. It is
from France, perhaps, that we shall derive aid and consolation for the
future. A very extraordinary young man, one very difficult as yet to
judge, holds dominion there at the present day. His influence will
soon be paramount in Italy. Remember that he protected the priests in
1797. He has recently conferred funeral honors upon Pius VI." These
were words of deep foresight. They were appreciated by the sagacious
Cardinals. To conciliate the favor of Napoleon, the Bishop of Imola
was elected to the pontifical chair as Pope Pius VII.

Naples had been most perfidious in its hostility to France. The Queen
of Naples was a proud daughter of Maria Theresa, and sister of the
Emperor of Austria and of the unfortunate Marie Antoinette. She surely
must not be too severely condemned for execrating a revolution which
had consigned her sister to the dungeon and to the guillotine. Naples,
deprived of Austrian aid, was powerless. She trembled under
apprehension of the vengeance of Napoleon. The King of Austria could
no longer render his sister any assistance. She adopted the decisive
and romantic expedient of proceeding in person, notwithstanding the
rigor of the approaching winter, to St. Petersburg, to implore the
intercession of the Emperor Paul. The eccentric monarch, flattered by
the supplication of the beautiful queen, immediately espoused her
cause, and dispatched a messenger to Napoleon, soliciting him, as a
personal favor, to deal gently with Naples. The occurrence was, of
course, a triumph and a gratification to Napoleon. Most promptly and
courteously he responded to the appeal. It was indeed his constant
study at this time, to arrest the further progress of the revolution,
to establish the interests of France upon a basis of order and of law,
and to conciliate the surrounding monarchies, by proving to them that
he had no disposition to revolutionize their realms. A word from him
would have driven the King and Queen of Naples into exile, and would
have converted their kingdom into a republic. But Napoleon refused to
utter that word, and sustained the King of Naples upon his throne.

The Duke of Parma, brother of the King of Spain, had, through the
intercession of Napoleon, obtained the exchange of his duchy, for the
beautiful province of Tuscany. The First Consul had also erected
Tuscany into the kingdom of Etruria, containing about one million of
inhabitants. The old duke, a bigoted prince, inimical to all reform,
had married his son (a feeble, frivolous young man) to the daughter of
his brother, the King of Spain. The kingdom of Etruria was intended
for this youthful pair. Napoleon, as yet but thirty years of age, thus
found himself forming kingdoms and creating kings. The young couple
were in haste to ascend the throne. They could not, however, do this
until the Duke of Parma should die or abdicate. The unaccommodating
old duke refused to do either. Napoleon, desirous of producing a moral
impression in Paris, was anxious to crown them. He therefore allowed
the duke to retain Parma until his death, that his son might be placed
upon the throne of Etruria. He wished to exhibit the spectacle, in the
regicide metropolis of France, of a king created and enthroned by
France. Thus he hoped to diminish the antipathy to kings, and to
prepare the way for that restoration of the monarchical power which
he contemplated. He would also thus conciliate monarchical Europe, by
proving that he had no design of overthrowing every kingly throne. It
was indeed adroitly done. He required, therefore, the youthful princes
to come to Paris, to accept the crown from his hands, as in ancient
Rome vassal monarchs received the sceptre from the Cæsars. The young
candidates for monarchy left Madrid, and repaired to the Tuileries, to
be placed upon the throne by the First Consul. This measure had two
aspects, each exceedingly striking. It frowned upon the hostility of
the people to royalty, and it silenced the clamor against France, as
seeking to spread democracy over the ruins of all thrones. It also
proudly said, in tones which must have been excessively annoying to
the haughty legitimists of Europe, "You kings must be childlike and
humble. You see that I can create such beings as you are." Napoleon,
conscious that his glory elevated him far above the ancient dynasty,
whose station he occupied, was happy to receive the young princes with
pomp and splendor. The versatile Parisians, ever delighted with
novelty, forgot the twelve years of bloody revolutions, which had
overturned so many thrones, and recognizing, in this strange
spectacle, the fruits of their victories, and the triumph of their
cause, shouted most enthusiastically, "Long live the king!" The
royalists, on the other hand, chagrined and sullen, answered
passionately, "Down with kings!" Strange reverse! yet how natural!
Each party must have been surprised and bewildered at its own novel
position. In settling the etiquette of this visit, it was decided that
the young princes should call first upon Napoleon, and that he should
return their call the next day. The First Consul, at the head of his
brilliant military staff, received the young monarch with parental
kindness and with the most delicate attentions, yet with the
universally recognized superiorities of power and glory. The princes
were entertained at the magnificent chateau of Talleyrand at Neuilly,
with most brilliant festivals and illuminations. For a month the
capital presented a scene of most gorgeous spectacles. Napoleon, too
entirely engrossed with the cares of empire to devote much time to
these amusements, assigned the entertainment of his guests to his
ministers. Nevertheless he endeavored to give some advice to the young
couple about to reign over Etruria. He was much struck with the
weakness of the prince, who cherished no sense of responsibility, and
was entirely devoted to trivial pleasures. He was exceedingly
interested in the mysteries of cotillions, of leap-frog, and of
hide-and-go-seek--and was ever thus trifling with the courtiers.
Napoleon saw that he was perfectly incapable of governing, and said to
one of his ministers, "You perceive that they are princes, descended
from an ancient line. How can the reins of government be intrusted to
such hands? But it was well to show to France this specimen of the
Bourbons. She can judge if these ancient dynasties are equal to the
difficulties of an age like ours." As the young king left Paris for
his dominions, Napoleon remarked to a friend, "Rome need not be
uneasy. There is no danger of _his_ crossing the Rubicon." Napoleon
sent one of his generals to Etruria with the royal pair, ostensibly as
the minister of France, but in reality as the viceroy of the First
Consul. The feeble monarch desired only the rank and splendor of a
king, and was glad to be released from the _cares_ of empire. Of all
the proud acts performed by Napoleon during his extraordinary career,
this creation of the Etruscan king, when viewed in all its aspects,
was perhaps the proudest.

Madame de Montesson had become the guilty paramour of the Duke of
Orleans, grandfather of Louis Phillipe. She was not at all ashamed of
this relation, which was sanctioned by the licentiousness of the
times. Proud even of this alliance with a prince of the blood, she
fancied that it was her privilege, as the only relative of the royal
line then in Paris, to pay to the King and Queen of Etruria such
honors as they might be gratified in receiving from the remains of the
old court society. She therefore made a brilliant party, inviting all
the returned emigrants of illustrious birth. She even had the boldness
to invite the family of the First Consul, and the distinguished
persons of his suite. The invitation was concealed from Napoleon, as
his determination to frown upon all immorality was well known. The
next morning Napoleon heard of the occurrence, and severely
reprimanded those of his suite who had attended the party, dwelling
with great warmth upon the impropriety of countenancing vice in high
places. Savary, who attended the party, and shared in the reprimand,
says, that Madame de Montesson would have been severely punished had
it not been for the intervention of Josephine, who was ever ready to
plead for mercy.

Napoleon having made peace with continental Europe, now turned his
attention earnestly to England, that he might compel that unrelenting
antagonist to lay down her arms. "France," said he, "will not reap all
the blessings of a pacification, until she shall have a peace with
England. But a sort of delirium has seized on that government, which
now holds nothing sacred. Its conduct is unjust, not only toward the
French people, but toward all the other powers of the Continent. And
when governments are not just their authority is short-lived. All the
continental powers must force England to fall back into the track of
moderation, of equity, and of reason." Notwithstanding this state of
hostilities it is pleasant to witness the interchange of the courtesy
of letters. Early in January of 1801, Napoleon sent some very valuable
works, magnificently bound, as a present to the Royal Society of
London. A complimentary letter accompanied the present,
signed--BONAPARTE, _President of the National Institute, and First
Consul of France_. As a significant intimation of his principles,
there was on the letter a finely-executed vignette, representing
Liberty sailing on the ocean in an open shell with the following
motto:

      "LIBERTY OF THE SEAS."

England claimed the right of visiting and searching merchant ships, to
whatever nation belonging, whatever the cargoes, wherever the
destination. For any resistance of this right, she enforced the
penalty of the confiscation of both ship and cargo. She asserted that
nothing was necessary to constitute a blockade but to announce the
fact, and to station a vessel to cruise before a blockaded port. Thus
all the nations of the world were forbidden by England to approach a
port of France. The English government strenuously contended that
these principles were in accordance with the established regulations
of maritime law. The neutral powers, on the other hand, affirmed that
these demands were an usurpation on the part of England, founded on
power, unsanctioned by the usages of nations, or by the principles of
maritime jurisprudence. "Free ships," said they, "make free goods. The
flag covers the merchandise. A port is to be considered blockaded only
when such a force is stationed at its mouth as renders it dangerous to
enter."

Under these circumstances, it was not very difficult for Napoleon to
turn the arms of the united world against his most powerful foe.
England had allied all the powers of Europe against France. Now
Napoleon combined them all in friendly alliance with him, and directed
their energies against his unyielding and unintimidated assailant.
England was mistress of the seas. Upon that element she was more
powerful than all Europe united. It was one great object of the
British ministry to prevent any European power from becoming the
maritime rival of England. Napoleon, as he cast his eye over his
magnificent empire of forty millions of inhabitants, and surveyed his
invincible armies, was excessively annoyed that the fifteen millions
of people, crowded into the little island of England, should have
undisputed dominion over the whole wide world of waters. The English
have ever been respected, above all other nations, for wealth, power,
courage, intelligence, and all stern virtues; but they never have been
beloved. The English nation is at the present moment the most
powerful, the most respected, and the most unpopular upon the surface
of the globe. Providence deals in compensations. It is perhaps
unreasonable to expect that all the virtues should be centred in one
people. "When," exclaimed Napoleon, "will the French exchange their
vanity for a little pride?" It may be rejoined, "When will the English
lay aside their pride for a little vanity--that perhaps more ignoble,
but certainly better-natured foible?" England, abandoned by all her
allies, continued the war, apparently because her pride revolted at
the idea of being conquered into a peace. And in truth England had not
been vanquished at all. Her fleets were every where triumphant. The
blows of Napoleon, which fell with such terrible severity upon her
allies, could not reach her floating batteries. The genius of Napoleon
overshadowed the land. The genius of Pitt swept the seas. The commerce
of France was entirely annihilated. The English navy, in the utter
destitution of nobler game, even pursued poor French fishermen, and
took away their haddock and their cod. The verdict of history will
probably pronounce that this was at least a less magnificent rapacity
than to despoil regal and ducal galleries of the statues of Phidias
and the cartoons of Raphael.

England declared France to be in a state of blockade, and forbade all
the rest of the world from having any commercial intercourse with her.
Her invincible fleet swept all seas. Wherever an English frigate
encountered any merchant ship, belonging to whatever nation, a shot
was fired across her bows as a very emphatic command to stop. If the
command was unheeded a broadside followed, and the peaceful
merchantman became lawful prize. If the vessel stopped, a boat was
launched from the frigate, a young lieutenant ascended the sides of
the merchantman, demanded of the captain the papers, and searched the
ship. If he found on board any goods which _he judged_ to belong to
France, he took them away. If he could find any goods which he could
consider as munitions of war, and which in his judgment the ship was
conveying to France, the merchantman, with all its contents was
confiscated. Young lieutenants in the navy are not proverbial for
wasting many words in compliments. They were often overbearing and
insolent. England contended that these were the established principles
of maritime law. All the nations of Europe, now at peace with France,
excessively annoyed at this _right of search_, which was rigorously
enforced, declared it to be an intolerable usurpation on the part of
England. Russia, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, France, and Spain
united in a great confederacy to resist these demands of the proud
monarch of the seas. The genius of Napoleon formed this grand
coalition. Paul of Russia, now a most enthusiastic admirer of the
First Consul, entered into it with all his soul. England soon found
herself single-handed against the world in arms. With sublime energy
the British ministry collected their strength for the conflict.
Murmurs, however, and remonstrances loud and deep pervaded all
England. The opposition roused itself to new vigor. The government, in
the prosecution of this war, had already involved the nation in a debt
of millions upon millions. But the pride of the English government was
aroused. "What! make peace upon compulsion!" England was conscious of
her maritime power, and feared not the hostility of the world. And the
world presented a wide field from which to collect remuneration for
her losses. She swept the ocean triumphantly. The colonies of the
allies dropped into her hand, like fruit from the overladen bough.
Immediately upon the formation of this confederacy, England issued an
embargo upon every vessel belonging to the allied powers, and also
orders were issued for the immediate capture of any merchant vessels,
belonging to these powers, wherever they could be found. The ocean
instantly swarmed with English privateersmen. Her navy was active
every where. There had been no proclamation of war issued. The
merchants of Europe were entirely unsuspicious of any such calamity.
Their ships were all exposed. By thousands they were swept into the
ports of England. More than half of the ships, belonging to the
northern powers, then at sea, were captured.

Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, had a large armament in the Baltic. A
powerful English fleet was sent for its destruction. The terrible
energies of Nelson, so resplendent at Aboukir, were still more
resplendent at Copenhagen. A terrific conflict ensued. The capital of
Denmark was filled with weeping and woe, for thousands of her most
noble sons, the young and the joyous, were weltering in blood. "I have
been," said Nelson, "in above a hundred engagements; but that of
Copenhagen was the most terrible of them all."

In the midst of this terrific cannonade, Nelson was rapidly walking
the quarter-deck, which was slippery with blood and covered with the
dead, who could not be removed as fast as they fell. A heavy shot
struck the main-mast, scattering the splinters in every direction. He
looked upon the devastation around him, and, sternly smiling, said,
"This is warm work, and this day may be the last to any of us in a
moment. But mark me, I would not be elsewhere for thousands." This was
heroic, but it was not noble. It was the love of war, not the love of
humanity. It was the spirit of an Indian chieftain, not the spirit of
a Christian Washington. The commander-in-chief of the squadron, seeing
the appalling carnage, hung out the signal for discontinuing the
action. Nelson was for a moment deeply agitated, and then exclaimed to
a companion, "I have but one eye. I have a right to be blind
sometimes." Then, putting the glass to his blind eye, he said, "I
really don't see the signal. Keep mine for closer battle still flying.
That is the way I answer such signals. Nail mine to the mast." The
human mind is so constituted that it must admire heroism. That
sentiment is implanted in every generous breast for some good purpose.
Welmoes, a gallant young Dane, but seventeen years of age, stationed
himself on a small raft, carrying six guns with twenty-four men,
directly under the bows of Nelson's ship. The unprotected raft was
swept by an incessant storm of bullets from the English marines. Knee
deep in the dead this fearless stripling continued to keep up his fire
to the close of the conflict. The next day, Nelson met him at a repast
at the palace. Admiring the gallantry of his youthful enemy, he
embraced him with enthusiasm, exclaiming to the Crown Prince, "He
deserves to be made an admiral." "Were I to make all my brave officers
admirals," replied the Prince, "I should have no captains or
lieutenants in my service."

By this battle the power of the confederacy was broken. At the same
time, the Emperor Paul was assassinated in his palace, by his nobles,
and Alexander, his son, ascended the throne. When Napoleon heard of
the death of Paul, it is said that he gave utterance, for the first
time in his life, to that irreverent expression, "Mon Dieu" (_My
God_), which is ever upon the lips of every Frenchman. He regarded his
death as a great calamity to France and to the world. The
eccentricities of the Emperor amounted almost to madness. But his
enthusiastic admiration for Napoleon united France and Russia in a
close alliance.

The nobles of Russia were much displeased with the democratic equality
which Napoleon was sustaining in France. They plotted the destruction
of the king, and raised Alexander to the throne, pledged to a
different policy. The young monarch immediately withdrew from the
maritime confederacy, and entered into a treaty of peace with England.
These events apparently so disastrous to the interests of France, were
on the contrary highly conducive to the termination of the war. The
English people, weary of the interminable strife, and disgusted with
the oceans of blood which had been shed, more and more clamorously
demanded peace. And England could now make peace without the
mortification of her pride.

Napoleon was extremely vigilant in sending succor to the army in
Egypt. He deemed it very essential in order to promote the maritime
greatness of France, that Egypt should be retained as a colony. His
pride was also enlisted in proving to the world that he had not
transported forty-six thousand soldiers to Egypt in vain. Vessels of
every description, ships of war, merchantmen, dispatch-boats, sailed
almost daily from the various ports of Holland, France, Spain, Italy,
and even from the coast of Barbary, laden with provisions, European
goods, wines, munitions of war, and each taking a file of French
newspapers. Many of these vessels were captured. Others, however,
escaped the vigilance of the cruisers, and gave to the colony most
gratifying proof of the interest which the First Consul took in its
welfare. While Napoleon was thus daily endeavoring to send partial
relief to the army in Egypt, he was at the same time preparing a vast
expedition to convey thither a powerful reinforcement of troops and
materials of war. Napoleon assembled this squadron at Brest,
ostensibly destined for St. Domingo. He selected seven of the fastest
sailing ships, placed on board of them five thousand men and an ample
supply of all those stores most needed in Egypt. He ordered that each
vessel should contain a complete assortment of every individual
article, prepared for the colony, so that in the event of one vessel
being captured, the colony would not be destitute of the precise
article which that vessel might otherwise have contained. He also, in
several other places, formed similar expeditions, hoping thus to
distract the attention of England, and compel her to divide her forces
to guard all exposed points. Taking advantage of this confusion, he
was almost certain that some of the vessels would reach Egypt. The
plan would have been triumphantly successful, as subsequent events
proved, had the naval commanders obeyed the instructions of Napoleon.
A curious instance now occurred, of what may be called the despotism
of the First Consul. And yet it is not strange that the French people
should, under the peculiar circumstances, have respected and loved
such despotism. The following order was issued to the Minister of
Police: "Citizen Minister--Have the goodness to address a short
circular to the editors of the fourteen journals, forbidding the
insertion of any article, calculated to afford the enemy the slightest
clew to the different movements which are taking place in our
squadrons, unless the intelligence be derived from the official
journal." Napoleon had previously through the regularly constituted
tribunals, suppressed all the journals in Paris, but fourteen. The
world has often wondered why France so readily yielded to the
despotism of Napoleon. It was because the French were convinced that
dictatorial power was essential to the successful prosecution of the
war; and that each act of Napoleon was dictated by the most wise and
sincere patriotism. They were willing to sacrifice the liberty of the
press, that they might obtain victory over their enemies.

The condition of England was now truly alarming. Nearly all the
civilized world was in arms against her. Her harvests had been cut
off, and a frightful famine ravaged the land. The starving people were
rising in different parts of the kingdom, pillaging the magnificent
country seats of the English aristocracy, and sweeping in riotous mobs
through the cities. The masses in England and in Ireland, wretchedly
perishing of hunger, clamored loudly against Pitt. They alleged that
he was the cause of all their calamities--that he had burdened the
nation with an enormous debt and with insupportable taxes--that by
refusing peace with France, he had drawn all the continental powers
into hostility with England, and thus had deprived the people of that
food from the Continent which was now indispensable for the support of
life. The opposition, seeing the power of Pitt shaken, redoubled their
blows. Fox, Tiernay, Grey, Sheridan, and Holland renewed their attacks
with all the ardor of anticipated success. "Why," said they, "did you
not make peace with France, when the First Consul proposed it before
the battle of Marengo? Why did you not consent to peace, when it was
again proposed after that battle? Why did you refuse consent to
separate negotiation, when Napoleon was willing to enter into such
without demanding the cessation of hostilities by sea?" They
contrasted the distress of England with the prosperity of France.
"France," said they, "admirably governed, is at peace with Europe. In
the eyes of the world, she appears humane, wise, tranquil, evincing
the most exemplary moderation after all her victories." With bitter
irony they exclaimed, "What have you now to say of this young
Bonaparte, of this rash youth who, according to the ministerial
language, was only doomed to enjoy a brief existence, like his
predecessors, so ephemeral, that it did not entitle him to be treated
with?"

Pitt was disconcerted by the number of his enemies, and by the clamors
of a famishing people. His proud spirit revolted at the idea of
changing his course. He could only reiterate his argument, that if he
had not made war against revolutionary France, England would also have
been revolutionized. There is an aspect of moral sublimity in the
firmness with which this distinguished minister breasted a world in
arms. "As to the demand of the neutral powers," said he, "we must
envelop ourselves in our flag, and proudly find our grave in the deep,
rather than admit the validity of such principles in the maritime code
of nations." Though Pitt still retained his numerical majority in the
Parliament, the masses of the people were turning with great power
against him, and he felt that his position was materially weakened.
Under these circumstances, Pitt, idolized by the aristocracy,
execrated by the democracy, took occasion to send in his resignation.
The impression seemed to be universal, that the distinguished
minister, perceiving that peace must be made with France, temporarily
retired, that it might be brought about by others, rather than by
himself. He caused himself, however, to be succeeded by Mr. Addington,
a man of no distinguished note, but entirely under his influence. The
feeble intellect of the King of England, though he was one of the most
worthy and conscientious of men, was unequal to these political
storms. A renewed attack of insanity incapacitated him for the
functions of royalty. Mr. Pitt, who had been prime minister for
seventeen years, became by this event virtually the king of England,
and Mr. Addington was his minister.

Napoleon now announced to the world his determination to struggle hand
to hand with England, until he had compelled that government to cease
to make war against France. Conscious of the naval superiority of his
foes, he avowed his resolve to cross the channel with a powerful army,
march directly upon London, and thus compel the cabinet of St. James's
to make peace. It was a desperate enterprise; so desperate that to the
present day it is doubted whether Napoleon ever seriously contemplated
carrying it into effect. It was, however, the only measure Napoleon
could now adopt. The naval superiority of England was so undeniable,
that a maritime war was hopeless. Nelson, in command of the fleet of
the channel, would not allow even a fishing boat to creep out from a
French cove. Napoleon was very desirous of securing in his favor the
popular opinion of England, and the sympathies of the whole European
public. He prepared with his own hand many articles for the
"Moniteur," which were models of eloquent and urgent polemics, and
which elicited admiration from readers in all countries. He wrote in
the most respectful and complimentary terms of the new English
ministry, representing them as intelligent, upright, and
well-intentioned men. He endeavored to assure Europe of the
unambitious desires of France, and contrasted her readiness to
relinquish the conquests which she had made, with the eager grasp with
which the English held their enormous acquisitions in India, and in
the islands of the sea. With the utmost delicacy, to avoid offending
the pride of Britain, he affirmed that a descent upon England would be
his last resource, that he fully appreciated the bravery and the power
of the English, and the desperate risks which he should encounter in
such an undertaking. But he declared that there was no other
alternative left to him, and that if the English ministers were
resolved that the war should not be brought to a close, but by the
destruction of one of the two nations, there was not a Frenchman who
would not make the most desperate efforts to terminate this cruel
quarrel to the glory of France. "But why," exclaimed he, in words
singularly glowing and beautiful, but of melancholy import, "why place
the question on this last resort? Wherefore not put an end to the
sufferings of humanity? Wherefore risk in this manner the lot of two
great nations? Happy are nations when, having arrived at high
prosperity, they have wise governments, which care not to expose
advantages so vast, to the caprices and vicissitudes of a single
stroke of fortune." These most impressive papers, from the pen of the
First Consul, remarkable for their vigorous logic and impassioned
eloquence, produced a deep impression upon all minds. This
conciliatory language was accompanied by the most serious
demonstrations of force upon the shores of the Channel. One hundred
thousand men were upon the coasts of France, in the vicinity of
Boulogne, preparing for the threatened invasion. Boats without number
were collected to transport the troops across the narrow channel. It
was asserted that by taking advantage of a propitious moment
immediately after a storm had scattered the English fleet, France
could concentrate such a force as to obtain a temporary command of the
channel, and the strait could be crossed by the invaders. England was
aroused thoroughly, but not alarmed. The militia was disciplined, the
whole island converted into a camp. Wagons were constructed for the
transportation of troops to any threatened point. It is important that
the reader should distinguish this first threat of invasion in 1801,
from that far more powerful naval and military organization executed
for the same purpose in 1804, and known under the name of the Camp of
Boulogne.

Not a little uneasiness was felt in England respecting the temporary
success of the great conqueror. Famine raged throughout the island.
Business was at a stand. The taxes were enormous. Ireland was on the
eve of revolt. The mass of the English people admired the character of
Napoleon; and, notwithstanding all the efforts of the government,
regarded him as the foe of aristocracy and the friend of popular
rights. Nelson, with an invincible armament, was triumphantly sweeping
the Channel, and a French gun-boat could not creep round a head-land
without encountering the vigilance of the energetic hero. Napoleon, in
escaping from Egypt, had caught Nelson napping in a lady's lap. The
greatest admirers of the naval hero, could not but smile, half-pleased
that, under the guilty circumstances, he had met with the
misadventure. He was anxious, by a stroke of romantic heroism, to
obliterate this impression from the public mind. The vast flotilla of
France, most thoroughly manned and armed under the eye of Napoleon,
was anchored at Boulogne, in three divisions, in a line parallel to
the shore. Just before the break of day on the 4th of August, the
fleet of Nelson, in magnificent array, approached the French flotilla,
and for sixteen hours rained down upon it a perfect tornado of balls
and shells. The gun-boats were, however, chained to one another, and
to the shore. He did not succeed in taking a single boat, and retired
mortified at his discomfiture, and threatening to return in a few days
to take revenge. The French were exceedingly elated that in a naval
conflict they had avoided defeat. As they stood there merely upon
self-defense, victory was out of the question.

The reappearance of Nelson was consequently daily expected, and the
French, emboldened by success, prepared to give him a warm reception.
Twelve days after, on the 16th of August, Nelson again appeared with a
vastly increased force. In the darkness of the night he filled his
boats with picked men, to undertake one of the most desperate
enterprises on record. In four divisions, with muffled oars, this
forlorn hope, in the silence of midnight, approached the French
flotilla. The butchery, with swords, hatchets, bayonets, bullets, and
hand grenades, was hideous. Both parties fought with perfect fury. No
man seemed to have the slightest regard for limb or life. England was
fighting for, she knew not what. The French were contending in
self-defense. For four long hours of midnight gloom, the slaughter
continued. Thousands perished. Just as the day was dawning upon the
horrid scene the English retired, repulsed at every point, and
confessing to a defeat. The result of these conflicts diminished the
confidence of the English in Nelson's ability to destroy the
preparations of Napoleon, and increased their apprehension that the
French might be enabled by some chance, to carry the war of invasion
to their own firesides.

"I was resolved," said Napoleon, afterward, "to renew, at Cherbourg,
the wonders of Egypt. I had already raised in the sea my pyramid. I
would also have had my Lake Mareotis. My great object was to
concentrate all our maritime forces, and in time they would have been
immense, in order to be able to deal out a grand stroke at the enemy.
I was establishing my ground so as to bring the two nations, as it
were, body to body. The ultimate issue could not be doubtful; for we
had forty millions of French against fifteen millions of English. I
would have terminated the strife by a battle of Actium."

One after another of the obstacles in the way of peace now gradually
gave way. Overtures were made to Napoleon. He accepted the advances of
England with the greatest eagerness and cordiality. "Peace," said he,
"is easily brought about, if England desires it." On the evening of
the 21st of October the preliminaries were signed in London. That very
night a courier left England to convey the joyful intelligence to
France. He arrived at Malmaison, the rural retreat of Napoleon, at
four o'clock in the afternoon of the next day. At that moment the
three Consuls were holding a government council. The excitement of
joy, in opening the dispatches, was intense. The Consuls ceased from
their labors, and threw themselves into each other's arms in cordial
embraces. Napoleon, laying aside all reserve, gave full utterance to
the intense joy which filled his bosom. It was for him a proud
accomplishment. In two years, by his genius and his indefatigable
exertions he had restored internal order to France, and peace to the
world. Still, even in this moment of triumph, his entire, never
wavering devotion to the welfare of France, like a ruling passion
strong even in death, rose above his exultation. "Now that we have
made a treaty of _peace_ with England," said Cambaceres, "we must make
a treaty of _commerce_, and remove all subjects of dispute between the
two countries." Napoleon promptly replied, "Not so fast! The political
peace is made. So much the better. Let us enjoy it. As to a commercial
peace we will make one, if we can. _But at no price will I sacrifice
French industry._ I remember the misery of 1786." The news had been
kept secret in London for twenty-four hours, that the joyful
intelligence might be communicated in both capitals at the same time.
The popular enthusiasm both in England and France bordered almost upon
delirium. It was the repose of the Continent. It was general,
universal peace. It was opening the world to the commerce of all
nations. War spreads over continents the glooms of the world of woe;
while peace illumines them with the radiance of Heaven. Illuminations
blazed every where. Men, the most phlegmatic, met and embraced each
other with tears. The people of England surrendered themselves to the
most extraordinary transports of ardor. They loved the French. They
adored the hero, the sage, the great pacificator, who governed France.
The streets of London resounded with shouts, "Long live Bonaparte."
Every stage-coach which ran from London, bore triumphant banners, upon
which were inscribed, _Peace with France_. The populace of London
rushed to the house of the French negotiator. He had just entered his
carriage to visit Lord Hawkesbury, to exchange ratifications. The
tumultuous throng of happy men unharnessed his horses and dragged him
in triumph, in the delirium of their joy rending the skies with their
shouts. The crowd and the rapturous confusion at last became so great
that Lord Vincent, fearing some accident, placed himself at the head
of the amiable mob, as it triumphantly escorted and conveyed the
carriage from minister to minister.

A curious circumstance occurred at the festival in London, highly
characteristic of the honest bluntness, resolution, and good nature of
English seamen. The house of M. Otto, the French minister, was most
brilliantly illuminated. Attracted by its surpassing splendor a vast
crowd of sailors had gathered around. The word _concord_ blazed forth
most brilliantly in letters of light. The sailors, not very familiar
with the spelling-book, exclaimed, "_Conquered!_ not so, by a great
deal. That will not do." Excitement and dissatisfaction rapidly
spread. Violence was threatened. M. Otto came forward himself most
blandly, but his attempts at explanation were utterly fruitless. The
offensive word was removed, and _amity_ substituted. The sailors,
fully satisfied with the _amende honorable_, gave three cheers and
went on their way rejoicing.

In France the exultation was, if possible, still greater than in
England. The admiration of Napoleon, and the confidence in his wisdom
and his patriotism were perfectly unbounded. No power was withheld
from the First Consul which he was willing to assume. The nation
placed itself at his feet. All over the Continent Napoleon received
the honorable title of "_The Hero Pacificator of Europe_." And yet
there was a strong under-current to this joy. Napoleon was the
favorite, not of the nobles, but of the people. Even his acts of
despotic authority were most cordially sustained by the people of
France, for they believed that such acts were essential for the
promotion of their welfare. "The ancient privileged classes and the
foreign cabinets," said Napoleon, "hate me worse than they did
Robespierre." The hosannas with which the name of Bonaparte was
resounding through the cities and the villages of England fell
gloomily upon the ears of Mr. Pitt and his friends. The freedom of the
seas was opening to the energetic genius of Napoleon, an unobstructed
field for the maritime aggrandizement of France. The British minister
knew that the sleepless energies of Napoleon would, as with a
magician's wand, call fleets into existence to explore all seas.
Sorrowfully he contemplated a peace to which the popular voice had
compelled him to yield, and which in his judgment boded no good to the
naval superiority of England.

It was agreed that the plenipotentiaries, to settle the treaty
definitively, should meet at Amiens, an intermediate point midway
between London and Paris. The English appointed as their minister Lord
Cornwallis. The Americans, remembering this distinguished general at
Brandywine, Camden, and at the surrender of Yorktown, have been in the
habit of regarding him as an enemy. But he was a gallant soldier, and
one of the most humane, high-minded, and estimable of men. Frankly he
avowed his conviction that the time had arrived for terminating the
miseries of the world by peace. Napoleon has paid a noble tribute to
the integrity, urbanity, sagacity, and unblemished honor of Lord
Cornwallis. Joseph Bonaparte was appointed by the First Consul
embassador on the part of France. The suavity of his manners, the
gentleness of his disposition, his enlightened and liberal political
views, and the Christian morality which, in those times of general
corruption, embellished his conduct, peculiarly adapted him to fulfill
the duties of a peace-maker. Among the terms of the treaty it was
agreed that France should abandon her colony in Egypt, as endangering
the English possessions in India. In point of fact, the French
soldiers had already, by capitulation, agreed to leave Egypt, but
tidings of the surrender had not then reached England or France. The
most important question in these deliberations was the possession of
the Island of Malta. The power in possession of that impregnable
fortress had command of the Mediterranean. Napoleon insisted upon it,
as a point important above all others, that England should not retain
Malta. He was willing to relinquish all claim to it himself, and to
place it in the hands of a neutral power; but he declared his
unalterable determination that he could by no possibility consent that
it should remain in the hands of England. At last England yielded, and
agreed to evacuate Malta, and that it should be surrendered to the
Knights of St. John.

This pacification, so renowned in history both for its establishment
and for its sudden and disastrous rupture, has ever been known by the
name of the Peace of Amiens. Napoleon determined to celebrate the
joyful event by a magnificent festival. The 10th of November, 1801,
was the appointed day. It was the anniversary of Napoleon's attainment
of the consular power. Friendly relations having been thus restored
between the two countries, after so many years of hostility and
carnage, thousands of the English flocked across the channel and
thronged the pavements of Paris. All were impatient to see France,
thus suddenly emerging from such gloom into such unparalleled
brilliancy; and especially to see the man, who at that moment was the
admiration of England and of the world. The joy which pervaded all
classes invested this festival with sublimity. With a delicacy of
courtesy characteristic of the First Consul, no carriages but those of
Lord Cornwallis were allowed in the streets on that day. The crowd of
Parisians, with most cordial and tumultuous acclamations, opened
before the representative of the armies of England. The illustrious
Fox was one of the visitors on this occasion. He was received by
Napoleon with the utmost consideration, and with the most delicate
attentions. In passing through the gallery of sculpture, his lady
pointed his attention to his own statue filling a niche by the side of
Washington and Brutus. "Fame," said Napoleon, "had informed me of the
talents of Fox. I soon found that he possessed a noble character, a
good heart, liberal, generous, and enlightened views. I considered him
an ornament to mankind, and was much attached to him." Every one who
came into direct personal contact with the First Consul at this time,
was charmed with his character.

Nine deputies from Switzerland, the most able men the republic could
furnish, were appointed to meet Napoleon, respecting the political
arrangements of the Swiss cantons. Punctual to the hour the First
Consul entered a neat spacious room, where there was a long table
covered with green baize. Dr. Jones of Bristol, the intimate friend of
several of these deputies, and who was with them in Paris at the time,
thus describes the interview. "The First Consul entered, followed by
two of his ministers, and after the necessary salutation, sat down at
the head of the table, his ministers on each side of him. The deputies
then took their seats. He spread out before them a large map as
necessary to the subject of their deliberations. He then requested
that they would state freely any objection which might occur to them
in the plan which he should propose. They availed themselves of the
liberty, and suggested several alterations which they deemed
advantageous to France and Switzerland. But from the prompt, clear,
and unanswerable reasons which Napoleon gave in reply to all their
objections, he completely convinced them of the wisdom of his plans.
After an animated discussion of _ten hours_, they candidly admitted
that he was better acquainted with the local circumstances of the
Swiss cantons, and with what would secure their welfare than they were
themselves. During the whole discussion his ministers did not speak
one word. The deputies afterward declared that it was their decided
opinion that Napoleon was the most extraordinary man whom they had met
in modern times, or of whom they had read in ancient history." Said M.
Constant and M. Sismondi, who both knew Napoleon well, "The quickness
of his conception, the depth of his remarks, the facility and
propriety of his eloquence, and above all the candor of his replies
and his patient silence, were more remarkable and attractive than we
ever met with in any other individual."

"What your interests require," said Napoleon, at this time, "is: 1.
Equality of rights among the whole eighteen cantons. 2. A sincere and
voluntary renunciation of all exclusive privileges on the part of
patrician families. 3. A federative organization, where every canton
may find itself arranged according to its language, its religion, its
manners, and its interests. The central government remains to be
provided for, but it is of much less consequence than the central
organization. Situated on the summit of the mountains which separate
France, Italy, and Germany, you participate in the disposition of all
these countries. You have never maintained regular armies, nor had
established, accredited agents at the courts of the different
governments. Strict neutrality, a prosperous commerce, and family
administration, can alone secure your interests, or be suited to your
wishes. Every organization which could be established among you,
hostile to the interests of France, would injure you in the most
essential particulars." This was commending to them a federative
organization similar to that of the United States, and _cautioning
them against the evil of a centralization of power_. No impartial man
can deny that the most profound wisdom marked the principles which
Napoleon suggested to terminate the divisions with which the cantons
of Switzerland had long been agitated. "These lenient conditions,"
says Alison, "gave universal satisfaction in Switzerland." The
following extract from the noble speech which Napoleon pronounced on
the formation of the constitution of the confederacy, will be read by
many with surprise, by all with interest.

"The re-establishment of the ancient order of things in the democratic
cantons is the best course which can be adopted, both for you and me.
They are the states whose peculiar form of government render them so
interesting in the eyes of all Europe. But for this pure democracy you
would exhibit nothing which is not to be found elsewhere. _Beware of
extinguishing so remarkable a distinction._ I know well that this
democratic system of administration has many inconveniences. But it is
established. It has existed for centuries. It springs from the
circumstances, situation, and primitive habits of the people, from the
genius of the place, and can not with safety be abandoned. You must
never take away from a democratic society the practical exercise of
its privileges. To give such exercise a direction consistent with the
tranquillity of the state is the part of true political wisdom. In
ancient Rome the votes were counted by classes, and they threw into
the last class the whole body of indigent citizens, while the first
contained only a few hundred of the most opulent. But the populace
were content, and, amused with the solicitation of their votes, did
not perceive the immense difference in their relative value." The
moral influence which France thus obtained in Switzerland was regarded
with extreme jealousy by all the rival powers. Says Alison, who,
though imbued most strongly with monarchical and aristocratic
predilections, is the most appreciative and impartial of the
historians of Napoleon, "His conduct and language on this occasion,
were distinguished by his usual penetration and ability, and a most
unusual degree of lenity and forbearance. And if any thing could have
reconciled the Swiss to the loss of their independence, it must have
been the wisdom and equity on which his mediation was founded."

The English who visited Paris, were astonished at the indications of
prosperity which the metropolis exhibited. They found France in a very
different condition from the hideous picture which had been described
by the London journals. But there were two parties in England. Pitt
and his friends submitted with extreme reluctance to a peace which
they could not avoid. Says Alison, "But while these were the natural
feelings of the inconsiderate populace, who are ever governed by
present impressions, and who were for the most part destitute of the
information requisite to form a rational opinion on the subject,
there were many men, gifted with greater sagacity and foresight, who
deeply lamented the conditions by which peace had been purchased, and
from the very first prophesied that it could be of no long endurance.
They observed that the war had been abruptly terminated, without any
one object being gained for which it was undertaken; that it was
entered into in order to curb the ambition, and to stop the democratic
propagandism of France." These "many men gifted with greater
sagacity," with William Pitt at their head, now employed themselves
with sleepless vigilance and with fatal success to bring to a rupture
a peace which they deemed so untoward. Sir Walter Scott discloses the
feelings with which this party were actuated, in the observations, "It
seems more than probable that the extreme rejoicing of the rabble of
London, at signing the preliminaries, their dragging about the
carriage of Lauriston, and shouting 'Bonaparte forever,' had misled
the ruler of France into an opinion that peace was indispensably
necessary to England. He may easily enough have mistaken the cries of
a London mob for the voice of the British people."

In the midst of all these cares, Napoleon was making strenuous efforts
to restore religion to France. It required great moral courage to
prosecute such a movement. Nearly all the generals in his armies were
rank infidels, regarding every form of religion with utter contempt.
The religious element, by _nature_, predominated in the bosom of
Napoleon. He was constitutionally serious, thoughtful, pensive. A
profound melancholy ever overshadowed his reflective spirit. His
inquisitive mind pondered the mysteries of the past and the
uncertainties of the future. Educated in a wild country, where the
peasantry were imbued with religious feelings, and having been trained
by a pious mother, whose venerable character he never ceased to adore,
the sight of the hallowed rites of religion revived in his sensitive
and exalted imagination the deepest impressions of his childhood. He
had carefully studied, on his return from Egypt, the New Testament,
and appreciated and profoundly admired its beautiful morality. He
often conversed with Monge, Lagrange, Laplace, sages whom he honored
and loved, and he frequently embarrassed them in their incredulity, by
the logical clearness of his arguments. The witticisms of Voltaire,
and the corruptions of unbridled sin, had rendered the purity of the
gospel unpalatable to France. Talleyrand, annoyed by the remembrance
of his own apostasy, bitterly opposed what he called "the religious
peace." Nearly all the supporters and friends of the First Consul
condemned every effort to bring back that which they denominated the
reign of superstition. Napoleon honestly believed that the interests
of France demanded that God should be recognized and Christianity
respected by the French nation.

"Hear me," said Napoleon one day earnestly to Monge. "I do not
maintain these opinions through the positiveness of a devotee, but
from reason. My religion is very simple. I look at this universe, so
vast, so complex, so magnificent, and I say to myself that it can not
be the result of chance, but the work, however intended, of an
unknown, omnipotent being, as superior to man as the universe is
superior to the finest machines of human invention. Search the
philosophers, and you will not find a more decisive argument, and you
can not weaken it. But this truth is too succinct for man. He wishes
to know, respecting himself and respecting his future destiny, a crowd
of secrets which the universe does not disclose. Allow religion to
inform him of that which he feels the need of knowing, and respect her
disclosures."

One day when this matter was under earnest discussion in the council
of state, Napoleon said, "Last evening I was walking alone, in the
woods, amid the solitude of nature. The tones of a distant church bell
fell upon my ear. Involuntarily I felt deep emotion. So powerful is
the influence of early habits and associations. I said to myself, If I
feel thus, what must be the influence of such impressions upon the
popular mind? Let your philosophers answer that, if they can. It is
absolutely indispensable to have a religion for the people. It will be
said that I am a Papist. I am not. I am convinced that a part of
France would become Protestant, were I to favor that disposition. I am
also certain that the much greater portion would continue Catholic;
and that they would oppose, with the greatest zeal, the division among
their fellow-citizens. We should then have the Huguenot wars over
again, and interminable conflicts. But by reviving a religion which
has always prevailed in the country, and by giving perfect liberty of
conscience to the minority, all will be satisfied."

On another occasion he remarked, "What renders me most hostile to the
establishment of the Catholic worship, are the numerous festivals
formerly observed. A saint's-day is a day of idleness, and I do not
wish for that. People must labor in order to live. I shall consent to
four holidays during the year, but to no more. If the gentlemen from
Rome are not satisfied with that, they may take their departure." The
loss of time appeared to him such a calamity, that he almost
invariably appointed any indispensable celebration upon some day
previously devoted to festivity.

The new pontiff was attached to Napoleon by the secret chain of mutual
sympathy. They had met, as we have before remarked, during the wars of
Italy. Pius VII., then the bishop of Imola, was surprised and
delighted in finding in the young republican general, whose fame was
filling Europe, a man of refinement, of exalted genius, of reflection,
of serious character, of unblemished purity of life, and of delicate
sensibilities, restraining the irreligious propensities of his
soldiers, and respecting the temples of religion. With classic purity
and eloquence he spoke the Italian language. The dignity and decorum
of his manners, and his love of order, were strangely contrasted with
the recklessness of the ferocious soldiers with whom he was
surrounded. The impression thus produced upon the heart of the pontiff
was never effaced. Justice and generosity are always politic. But he
must indeed be influenced by an ignoble spirit who hence infers, that
every act of magnanimity is dictated by policy. A legate was sent by
the Pope to Paris. "Let the holy father," said Napoleon, "put the
utmost confidence in me. Let him cast himself into my arms, and I will
be for the church another Charlemagne."

Napoleon had collected for himself a religious library of well chosen
books, relating to the organization and the history of the church, and
to the relations of church and state. He had ordered the Latin
writings of Bossuet to be translated for him. These works he had
devoured in those short intervals which he could glean from the cares
of government. His genius enabled him, at a glance, to master the
argument of an author, to detect any existing sophistry. His memory,
almost miraculously retentive, and the philosophical cast of his mind,
gave him at all times the perfect command of these treasures of
knowledge. He astonished the world by the accuracy, extent, and
variety of his information upon all points of religion. It was his
custom, when deeply interested in any subject, to discuss it with all
persons from whom he could obtain information. With clear, decisive,
and cogent arguments he advocated his own views, and refuted the
erroneous systems successively proposed to him. It was urged upon
Napoleon, that if he must have a church, he should establish a French
church, independent of that of Rome. The poetic element was too strong
in the character of Napoleon for such a thought. "What!" he exclaimed,
"shall I, a warrior, wearing sword and spurs, and doing battle,
attempt to become the head of a church, and to regulate church
discipline and doctrine. I wish to be the pacificator of France and of
the world, and shall I become the originator of a new schism, a little
more absurd and not less dangerous than the preceding ones. I must
have a Pope, and a Pope who will approximate men's minds to each
other, instead of creating divisions; who will reunite them, and give
them to the government sprung from the revolution, as a price for the
protection that he shall have obtained from it. For this purpose I
must have the true Pope, the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Pope,
whose seat is at the Vatican. With the French armies and some
deference, I shall always be sufficiently his master. When I shall
raise up the altars again, when I shall protect the priests, when I
shall feed them, and treat them as ministers of religion deserve to be
treated in every country, he will do what I ask of him, through the
interest he will have in the general tranquillity. He will calm men's
minds, reunite them under his hand, and place them under mine. Short
of this there is only a continuation and an aggravation of the
desolating schism which is preying on us, and for me an immense and
indelible ridicule."

The Pope's legate most strenuously urged some of the most arrogant
and exclusive assumptions of the papal church. "The French people must
be allured back to religion," said Napoleon, "not shocked. To declare
the Catholic religion _the religion of the state_ is impossible. It is
contrary to the ideas prevalent in France, and will never be admitted.
In place of this declaration we can only substitute the avowal of the
fact, _that the Catholic religion is the religion of the majority of
Frenchmen_. But there must be perfect freedom of opinion. The
amalgamation of wise and honest men of all parties is the principle of
my government. I must apply that principle to the church as well as to
the state. It is the only way of putting an end to the troubles of
France, and I shall persist in it undeviatingly."

Napoleon was overjoyed at the prospect, not only of a general peace
with Europe, but of religious peace in France. In all the rural
districts, the inhabitants longed for their churches and their
pastors, and for the rites of religion. In the time of the Directory,
a famous wooden image of the Virgin had been taken from the church at
Loretto, and was deposited in one of the museums of Paris, as a
curiosity. The sincere Catholics were deeply wounded and irritated by
this act, which to them appeared so sacrilegious. Great joy was caused
both in France and Italy, when Napoleon sent a courier to the Pope,
restoring this statue, which was regarded with very peculiar
veneration. The same embassador carried the terms of agreement for
peace with the church. This religious treaty with Rome was called "The
Concordat." The Pope, in secular power, was helpless. Napoleon could,
at any moment, pour a resistless swarm of troops into his territories.
As the French embassador left the Tuileries, he asked the First Consul
for his instructions. "Treat the Pope," said Napoleon, magnanimously,
"as if he had two hundred thousand soldiers." The difficulties in the
way of an amicable arrangement were innumerable. The army of France
was thoroughly infidel. Most of the leading generals and statesmen who
surrounded Napoleon, contemplated Christianity in every aspect with
hatred and scorn. On the other hand, the Catholic Church, uninstructed
by misfortune, was not disposed to abate in the least its arrogant
demands, and was clamorous for concessions which even Napoleon had not
power to confer. It required all the wisdom, forbearance, and tact of
the First Consul to accomplish this reconciliation. Joseph Bonaparte,
the accomplished gentleman, the sincere, urbane, sagacious, upright
man, was Napoleon's _corps de reserve_ in all diplomatic acts. The
preliminaries being finally adjusted, the Pope's legation met at the
house of Joseph Bonaparte, and on the 15th of July, 1801, this great
act was signed. Napoleon announced the event to the Council of State.
He addressed them in a speech an hour and a half in length, and all
were struck with the precision, the vigor, and the loftiness of his
language. By universal consent his speech was pronounced to be
eloquent in the highest degree. But those philosophers, who regarded
it as the great glory of the revolution, that all superstition, by
which they meant all religion, was swept away, in sullen silence
yielded to a power which they could not resist. The people, the
millions of France, were with Napoleon.

The following liberal and noble sentiments were uttered in the
proclamation by which Napoleon announced the Concordat to the French
people: "An insane policy has sought, during the revolution, to
smother religious dissensions under the ruins of the altar, under the
ashes of religion itself. At its voice all those pious solemnities
ceased, in which the citizens called each other by the endearing name
of brothers, and acknowledged their common equality in the sight of
Heaven. The dying, left alone in his agonies, no longer heard that
consoling voice, which calls the Christian to a better world. God
Himself seemed exiled from the face of nature. Ministers of the
religion of peace, let a complete oblivion vail over your dissensions,
your misfortunes, your faults. Let the religion which unites you, bind
you by indissoluble cords to the interests of your country. Let the
young learn from your precepts, that the God of Peace is also the God
of Arms, and that He throws his shield over those who combat for the
liberties of France. Citizens of the Protestant Faith, the law has
equally extended its solicitude to your interests. Let the morality,
so pure, so holy, so brotherly, which you profess, unite you all in
love to your country, and in respect for its laws; and, above all,
never permit disputes on doctrinal points to weaken that universal
charity which religion at once inculcates and commands."

To foreign nations the spectacle of France, thus voluntarily returning
to the Christian faith, was gratifying in the highest degree. It
seemed to them the pledge of peace and the harbinger of tranquillity.
The Emperor of Russia, and the King of Prussia publicly expressed
their joy at the auspicious event. The Emperor of Austria styled it "a
service truly rendered to all Europe." The serious and devout, in all
lands, considered the voluntary return of the French people to
religion, from the impossibility of living without its precepts, as
one of the most signal triumphs of the Christian faith.

On the 11th of April, 1802, the event was celebrated by a magnificent
religious ceremony in the cathedral of Nôtre Dame. No expense was
spared to invest the festivity with the utmost splendor. Though many
of the generals and the high authorities of the State were extremely
reluctant to participate in the solemnities of the occasion, the power
and the popularity of the First Consul were so great, that they dared
not make any resistance. The cathedral was crowded with splendor. The
versatile populace, ever delighted with change and with shows, were
overjoyed. General Rapp, however, positively refused to attend the
ceremony. With the bluntness of a soldier, conscious that his
well-known devotion to the First Consul would procure for him
impunity, he said, "I shall not attend. But if you do not make these
priests your aids or your cooks, you may do with them as you please."

As Napoleon was making preparations to go to the cathedral, Cambaceres
entered his apartment.

"Well," said the First Consul, rubbing his hands in the glow of his
gratification, "we go to church this morning. What say they to that in
Paris?"

"Many persons," replied Cambaceres, "propose to attend the first
representation in order to hiss the piece, should they not find it
amusing."

"If any one," Napoleon firmly replied, "takes it into his head to
hiss, I shall put him out of the door by the grenadiers of the
consular guard."

"But what if the grenadiers themselves," Cambaceres rejoined, "should
take to hissing, like the rest?"

"As to that I have no fear," said Napoleon. "My old mustaches will go
here to Notre Dame, just as at Cairo, they would have gone to the
mosque. They will remark how I do, and seeing their general grave and
decent, they will be so, too, passing the watchword to each other,
_Decency_."

"What did you think of the ceremony?" inquired Napoleon of General
Delmas, who stood near him, when it was concluded. "It was a fine
piece of mummery," he replied; "nothing was wanting but the million of
men who have perished to destroy that which you have now
re-established." Some of the priests, encouraged by this triumphant
restoration of Christianity, began to assume not a little arrogance. A
celebrated opera dancer died, not in the faith. The priest of St.
Roche refused to receive the body into the church, or to celebrate
over it the rites of interment. The next day Napoleon caused the
following article to be inserted in the _Moniteur_. "The curate of St.
Roche, in a moment of hallucination, has refused the rites of burial
to Mademoiselle Cameroi. One of his colleagues, a man of sense,
received the procession into the church of St. Thomas, where the
burial service was performed with the usual solemnities. The
archbishop of Paris has suspended the curate of St. Roche for three
months, to give him time to recollect that Jesus Christ commanded us
to pray even for our enemies. Being thus recalled by meditation to a
proper sense of his duties, he may learn that all these superstitious
observances, the offspring of an age of credulity or of crazed
imaginations, tend only to the discredit of true religion, and have
been proscribed by the recent concordat of the French Church." The
most strenuous exertions were made by the clergy to induce Napoleon
publicly to partake of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. It was
thought that his high example would be very influential upon others.
Napoleon nobly replied, "I have not sufficient faith in the ordinance
to be benefited by its reception; and I have too much faith in it to
allow me to be guilty of sacrilege. We are well as we are. Do not ask
me to go farther. You will never obtain what you wish. I will not
become a hypocrite. Be content with what you have already gained."

It is difficult to describe the undisguised delight with which the
peasants all over France again heard the ringing of the church-bells
upon the Sabbath morning, and witnessed the opening of the
church-doors, the assembling of the congregations with smiles and
congratulations, and the repose of the Sabbath. Mr. Fox, in
conversation with Napoleon, after the peace of Amiens, ventured to
blame him for not having authorized the marriage of priests in France.
"I then had," said Napoleon, in his nervous eloquence, "need to
pacify. It is with water and not with oil that you must extinguish
theological volcanoes. I should have had less difficulty in
establishing the Protestant religion in my empire."

The magistrates of Paris, grateful for the inestimable blessings which
Napoleon had conferred upon France, requested him to accept the
project of a triumphal monument to be erected in his honor at a cost
of one hundred thousand dollars. Napoleon gave the following reply. "I
view with grateful acknowledgments those sentiments which actuate the
magistrates of the city of Paris. The idea of dedicating monumental
trophies to those men who have rendered themselves useful to the
community is a praiseworthy action in all nations. I accept the offer
of the monument which you desire to dedicate to me. Let the spot be
designated. But leave the labor of constructing it to future
generations, should they think fit thus to sanction the estimate which
you place upon my services."

There was an indescribable fascination about the character of
Napoleon, which no other man ever possessed, and which all felt who
entered his presence. Some military officers of high rank, on one
occasion, in these days of his early power, agreed to go and
remonstrate with him upon some subject which had given them offense.
One of the party thus describes the interview.

"I do not know whence it arises, but there is a charm about that man,
which is indescribable and irresistible. I am no admirer of him. I
dislike the power to which he has risen. Yet I can not help confessing
that there is a something in him, which seems to speak that he is born
to command. We went into his apartment determined to declare our minds
to him very freely; to expostulate with him warmly, and not to depart
till our subjects of complaint were removed. But in his manner of
receiving us, there was a certain something, a degree of fascination,
which disarmed us in a moment; nor could we utter one word of what we
had intended to say. He talked to us for a long time, with an
eloquence peculiarly his own, explaining, with the utmost clearness
and precision, the necessity for steadily pursuing the line of conduct
he had adopted. Without contradicting us in direct terms, he
controverted our opinions so ably, that we had not a word to say in
reply. We left him, having done nothing else but listen to him,
instead of expostulating with him; and fully convinced, at least for
the moment, that he was in the right, and that we were in the wrong."

The merchants of Rouen experienced a similar fascination, when they
called to remonstrate against some commercial regulations which
Napoleon had introduced. They were so entirely disarmed by his
frankness, his sincerity, and were so deeply impressed by the extent
and the depth of his views, that they retired, saying, "The First
Consul understands our interests far better than we do ourselves."
"The man," says Lady Morgan, "who, at the head of a vast empire, could
plan great and lasting works, conquer nations, and yet talk astronomy
with La Place, tragedy with Talma, music with Cherubini, painting with
Gerrard, _vertu_ with Denon, and literature and science with any one
who would listen to him, was certainly out of the roll of common men."

Napoleon now exerted all his energies for the elevation of France. He
sought out and encouraged talent wherever it could be found. No merit
escaped his princely munificence. Authors, artists, men of science
were loaded with honors and emoluments. He devoted most earnest
attention to the education of youth. The navy, commerce, agriculture,
manufactures, and all mechanic arts, secured his assiduous care. He
labored to the utmost, and with a moral courage above all praise, to
discountenance whatever was loose in morals, or enervating or unmanly
in amusements or taste. The theatre was the most popular source of
entertainment in France. He frowned upon all frivolous and immodest
performances, and encouraged those only which were moral, grave, and
dignified. In the grandeur of tragedy alone he took pleasure. In his
private deportment he exhibited the example of a moral, simple, and
toilsome life. Among the forty millions of France, there was not to be
found a more temperate and laborious man. When nights of labor
succeeded days of toil, his only stimulus was lemonade. He loved his
own family and friends, and was loved by them with a fervor which
soared into the regions of devotion. Never before did mortal man
secure such love. Thousands were ready at any moment to lay down their
lives through their affection for him. And that mysterious charm was
so strong that it has survived his death. Thousands now live who would
brave death in any form from love for Napoleon.



PECULIAR HABITS OF DISTINGUISHED AUTHORS.


Among the curious facts which we find in perusing the biographies of
great men, are the circumstances connected with the composition of the
works which have made them immortal.

For instance, Bossuet composed his grand sermons on his knees; Bulwer
wrote his first novels in full dress, scented; Milton, before
commencing his great work, invoked the influence of the Holy Spirit,
and prayed that his lips might be touched with a live coal from off
the altar; Chrysostom meditated and studied while contemplating a
painting of Saint Paul.

Bacon knelt down before composing his great work, and prayed for light
from Heaven. Pope never could compose well without first declaiming
for some time at the top of his voice, and thus rousing his nervous
system to its fullest activity.

Bentham composed after playing a prelude on the organ, or while taking
his "ante-jentacular" and "post-prandial" walks in his garden--the
same, by the way, that Milton occupied. Saint Bernard composed his
Meditations amidst the woods; he delighted in nothing so much as the
solitude of the dense forest, finding there, he said, something more
profound and suggestive than any thing he could find in books. The
storm would sometimes fall upon him there, without for a moment
interrupting his meditations. Camoens composed his verses with the
roar of battle in his ears; for, the Portuguese poet was a soldier,
and a brave one, though a poet. He composed others of his most
beautiful verses, at the time when his Indian slave was begging a
subsistence for him in the streets. Tasso wrote his finest pieces in
the lucid intervals of madness.

Rousseau wrote his works early in the morning; Le Sage at mid-day;
Byron at midnight. Hardouin rose at four in the morning, and wrote
till late at night. Aristotle was a tremendous worker; he took little
sleep, and was constantly retrenching it. He had a contrivance by
which he awoke early, and to awake was with him to commence work.
Demosthenes passed three months in a cavern by the sea-side, in
laboring to overcome the defects of his voice. There he read, studied,
and declaimed.

Rabelais composed his Life of _Gargantua_ at Bellay, in the company of
Roman cardinals, and under the eyes of the Bishop of Paris. La
Fontaine wrote his fables chiefly under the shade of a tree, and
sometimes by the side of Racine and Boileau. Pascal wrote most of his
Thoughts on little scraps of paper, at his by-moments. Fenelon wrote
his _Telemachus_ in the palace of Versailles, at the court of the
Grand Monarque, when discharging the duties of tutor to the Dauphin.
That a book so thoroughly democratic should have issued from such a
source, and been written by a priest, may seem surprising. De Quesnay
first promulgated his notion of universal freedom of person and trade,
and of throwing all taxes on the land--the germ, perhaps, of the
French Revolution--in the _boudoir_ of Madame de Pompadour!

Luther, when studying, always had his dog lying at his feet--a dog he
had brought from Wartburg, and of which he was very fond. An ivory
crucifix stood on the table before him, and the walls of his study
were stuck round with caricatures of the Pope. He worked at his desk
for days together without going out; but when fatigued, and the ideas
began to stagnate in his brain, he would take his flute or his guitar
with him into the porch, and there execute some musical fantasy (for
he was a skillful musician), when the ideas would flow upon him again
as fresh as flowers after summer's rain. Music was his invariable
solace at such times. Indeed Luther did not hesitate to say, that
after theology, music was the first of arts. "Music," said he, "is the
art of the prophets; it is the only other art, which, like theology,
can calm the agitation of the soul, and put the devil to flight." Next
to music, if not before it, Luther loved children and flowers. That
great gnarled man had a heart as tender as a woman's.

Calvin studied in his bed. Every morning at five or six o'clock, he
had books, manuscripts, and papers, carried to him there, and he
worked on for hours together. If he had occasion to go out, on his
return he undressed and went to bed again to continue his studies. In
his later years he dictated his writings to secretaries. He rarely
corrected any thing. The sentences issued complete from his mouth. If
he felt his facility of composition leaving him, he forthwith quitted
his bed, gave up writing and composing, and went about his out-door
duties for days, weeks, and months together. But so soon as he felt
the inspiration fall upon him again, he went back to his bed, and his
secretary set to work forthwith.

Cujas, another learned man, used to study when laid all his length
upon the carpet, his face toward the floor, and there he reveled
amidst piles of books which accumulated about him. The learned Amyot
never studied without the harpsichord beside him; and he only quitted
the pen to play it. Bentham, also, was extremely fond of the
piano-forte, and had one in nearly every room in his house.

Richelieu amused himself in the intervals of his labor, with a
squadron of cats, of whom he was very fond. He used to go to bed at
eleven at night, and after sleeping three hours, rise and write,
dictate or work, till from six to eight o'clock in the morning, when
his daily levee was held. This worthy student displayed an
extravagance equaling that of Wolsey. His annual expenditure was some
four millions of francs, or about £170,000 sterling!

How different the fastidious temperance of Milton! He drank water and
lived on the humblest fare. In his youth he studied during the
greatest part of the night; but in his more advanced years he went
early to bed--by nine o'clock--rising to his studies at four in summer
and five in winter. He studied till mid-day; then he took an hour's
exercise, and after dinner he sang and played the organ, or listened
to others' music. He studied again till six, and from that hour till
eight he engaged in conversation with friends who came to see him.
Then he supped, smoked a pipe of tobacco, drank a glass of water, and
went to bed. Glorious visions came to him in the night, for it was
then, while lying on his couch, that he composed in thought the
greater part of his sublime poem. Sometimes when the fit of
composition came strong upon him, he would summon his daughter to his
side, to commit to paper that which he had composed.

Milton was of opinion that the verses composed by him between the
autumnal and spring equinoxes were always the best, and he was never
satisfied with the verses he had written at any other season. Alfieri,
on the contrary, said that the equinoctial winds produced a state of
almost "complete stupidity" in him. Like the nightingales he could
only sing in summer. It was his favorite season.

Pierre Corneille, in his loftiest flights of imagination, was often
brought to a stand-still for want of words and rhyme. Thoughts were
seething in his brain, which he vainly tried to reduce to order, and
he would often run to his brother Thomas "for a word." Thomas rarely
failed him. Sometimes, in his fits of inspiration, he would bandage
his eyes, throw himself on a sofa, and dictate to his wife, who almost
worshiped his genius. Thus he would pass whole days, dictating to her
his great tragedies; his wife scarcely venturing to speak, almost
afraid to breathe. Afterward, when a tragedy was finished, he would
call in his sister Martha, and submit it to her judgment; as Moliere
used to consult his old housekeeper about the comedies he had newly
written.

Racine composed his verses while walking about, reciting them in a
loud voice. One day, when thus working at his play of _Mithridates_,
in the Tuileries Gardens, a crowd of workmen gathered around him,
attracted by his gestures; they took him to be a madman about to throw
himself into the basin. On his return home from such walks, he would
write down scene by scene, at first in prose, and when he had thus
written it out, he would exclaim, "My tragedy is done," considering
the dressing of the acts up in verse as a very small affair.

Magliabecchi, the learned librarian to the Duke of Tuscany, on the
contrary, never stirred abroad, but lived amidst books, and almost
lived upon books. They were his bed, board, and washing. He passed
eight-and-forty years in their midst, only twice in the course of his
life venturing beyond the walls of Florence; once to go two leagues
off, and the other time three and a half leagues, by order of the
Grand Duke. He was an extremely frugal man, living upon eggs, bread,
and water, in great moderation.

The life of Liebnitz was one of reading, writing, and meditation. That
was the secret of his prodigious knowledge. After an attack of gout,
he confined himself to a diet of bread and milk. Often he slept in a
chair; and rarely went to bed till after midnight. Sometimes he was
months without quitting his seat, where he slept by night and wrote by
day. He had an ulcer in his right leg which prevented his walking
about, even had he wished to do so.

The chamber in which Montesquieu wrote his _Spirit of the Laws_, is
still shown at his old ancestral mansion; hung about with its old
tapestry and curtains; and the old easy chair in which the philosopher
sat is still sacredly preserved there. The chimney-jamb bears the
mark of his foot, where he used to rest upon it, his legs crossed,
when composing his books. His _Persian Letters_ were composed merely
for pastime, and were never intended for publication. The principles
of Laws occupied his life. In the study of these he spent twenty
years, losing health and eye-sight in the pursuit. As in the case of
Milton, his daughter read for him, and acted as his secretary. In his
Portrait of himself, he said--"I awake in the morning rejoiced at the
sight of day. I see the sun with a kind of ecstasy, and for the rest
of the day I am content. I pass the night without waking, and in the
evening when I go to bed, a kind of numbness prevents me indulging in
reflections. With me, study has been the sovereign remedy against
disgust of life, having never had any vexation which an hour's reading
has not dissipated. But I have the disease of making books, and of
being ashamed when I have made them."

Rousseau had the greatest difficulty in composing his works, being
extremely defective in the gift of memory. He could never learn six
verses by heart. In his _Confessions_ he says--"I studied and
meditated in bed, forming sentences with inconceivable difficulty;
then, when I thought I had got them into shape, I would rise to put
them on paper. But lo! I often entirely forgot them during the process
of dressing!" He would then walk abroad to refresh himself by the
aspect of nature, and under its influence his most successful writings
were composed. He was always leaving books which he carried about with
him at the foot of trees, or by the margin of fountains. He sometimes
wrote his books over from beginning to end, four or five times, before
giving them to the press. Some of his sentences cost him four or five
nights' study. He thought with difficulty, and wrote with still
greater. It is astonishing that, with such a kind of intellect, he
should have been able to do so much.

The summer study of the famous Buffon, at Montbar, is still shown,
just as he left it. It is a little room in a pavilion, reached by
mounting a ladder, through a green door with two folds. The place
looks simplicity itself. The apartment is vaulted like some old
chapel, and the walls are painted green. The floor is paved with
tiles. A writing-table of plain wood stands in the centre, and before
it is an easy chair. That is all! The place was the summer study of
Buffon. In winter, he had a warmer room within his house, where he
wrote his _Natural History_. There, on his desk, his pen still lies,
and by the side of it, on his easy chair, his red dressing-gown and
cap of gray silk. On the wall near to where he sat, hangs an engraved
portrait of Newton. There, and in his garden cabinet, he spent many
years of his life, studying and writing books. He studied his work
entitled _Epoques de la Nature_ for fifty years, and wrote it over
_eighteen times_ before publishing it! What would our galloping
authors say to that?

Buffon used to work on pages of five distinct columns, like a ledger.
In the first column he wrote out the first draught; in the second he
corrected, added, pruned, and improved; thus proceeding until he had
reached the fifth column, in which he finally wrote out the result of
his labor. But this was not all. He would sometimes re-write a
sentence twenty times, and was once fourteen hours in finding the
proper word for the turning of a period! Buffon knew nearly all his
works by heart.

On the contrary, Cuvier never re-copied what he had once written. He
composed with great rapidity, correctness, and precision. His mind was
always in complete order, and his memory was exact and extensive.

Some writers have been prodigiously laborious in the composition of
their works. Cæsar had, of course, an immense multiplicity of
business, as a general, to get through; but he had always a secretary
by his side, even when on horseback, to whom he dictated; and often he
occupied two or three secretaries at once. His famous _Commentaries_
are said to have been composed mostly on horseback.

Seneca was very laborious. "I have not a single idle day," said he,
describing his life, "and I give a part of every night to study. I do
not give myself up to sleep, but succumb to it. I have separated
myself from society, and renounced all the distractions of life." With
many of these old heathens, study was their religion.

Pliny the Elder read two thousand volumes in the composition of his
Natural History. How to find time for this? He managed it by devoting
his days to business and his nights to study. He had books read to him
while he was at meals; and he read no book without making extracts.
His nephew, Pliny the Younger, has given a highly interesting account
of the intimate and daily life of his uncle.

Origen employed seven writers while composing his _Commentaries_, who
committed to paper what he dictated to them by turns. He was so
indefatigable in writing that they gave him the name of _Brass
Bowels_! Like Philip de Comines, Sully used to dictate to four
secretaries at a time, without difficulty.

Bossuet left _fifty volumes_ of writings behind him, the result of
unintermitting labor. The pen rarely quitted his fingers. Writing
became habitual to him, and he even chose it as a relaxation. A
night-lamp was constantly lit beside him, and he would rise at all
hours to resume his meditations. He rose at about four o'clock in the
morning during summer and winter, wrapped himself in his loose dress
of bear's skin, and set to work. He worked on for hours, until he felt
fatigued, and then went to bed again, falling asleep at once. This
life he led for more than twenty years. As he grew older, and became
disabled for hard work, he began translating the Psalms into verse, to
pass time. In the intervals of fatigue and pain, he read and corrected
his former works.

Some writers composed with great rapidity, others slowly and with
difficulty. Byron said of himself, that though he felt driven to
write, and he was in a state of torture until he had fairly delivered
himself of what he had to say, yet that writing never gave him any
pleasure, but was felt to be a severe labor. Scott, on the contrary,
possessed the most extraordinary facility; and dashed off a great
novel of three volumes in about the same number of weeks.

"I have written _Catiline_ in eight days," said Voltaire; "and I
immediately commenced the _Henriade_." Voltaire was a most impatient
writer, and usually had the first half of a work set up in type before
the second half was written. He always had several works in the course
of composition at the same time. His manner of preparing a work was
peculiar. He had his first sketch of a tragedy set up in type, and
then rewrote it from the proofs. Balzac adopted the same plan. The
printed form enabled them to introduce effects, and correct errors
more easily.

Pascal wrote most of his thoughts on little scraps of paper, at his
by-moments of leisure. He produced them with immense rapidity. He
wrote in a kind of contracted language--like short hand--impossible to
read, except by those who had studied it. It resembled the impatient
and fiery scratches of Napoleon; yet, though half-formed, the
characters have the firmness and precision of the graver. Some one
observed to Faguere (Pascal's editor), "This work (deciphering it)
must be very fatiguing to the eyes." "No," said he, "it is not the
eyes that are fatigued, so much as the brain."

Many authors have been distinguished for the fastidiousness of their
composition--never resting satisfied, but correcting and re-correcting
to the last moment. Cicero spent his old age in correcting his
orations; Massillon in polishing his sermons; Fenelon corrected his
_Telemachus_ seven times over.

Of thirty verses which Virgil wrote in the morning, there were only
ten left at night. Milton often cut down forty verses to twenty.
Buffon would condense six pages into as many paragraphs. Montaigne,
instead of cutting down, amplified and added to his first sketch.
Boileau had great difficulty in making his verses. He said--"If I
write four words, I erase three of them;" and at another time--"I
sometimes hunt three hours for a rhyme!"

Some authors were never satisfied with their work. Virgil ordered his
_Æneid_ to be burnt. Voltaire cast his poem of _The League_ into the
fire. Racine and Scott could not bear to read their productions again.
Michael Angelo was always dissatisfied; he found faults in his
greatest and most admired works.

Many of the most admired writings were never intended by their authors
for publication. Fenelon, when he wrote _Telemachus_, had no intention
of publishing it. Voltaire's _Correspondence_ was never intended for
publication, and yet it is perused with avidity; whereas his
_Henriade_, so often corrected by him, is scarcely read. Madame de
Sevigní, in writing to her daughter those fascinating letters
descriptive of the life of the French Court, never had any idea of
their publication, or that they would be cited as models of
composition and style. What work of Johnson's is best known? Is it not
that by Boswell, which contains the great philosopher's
conversation?--that which he never intended should come to light, and
for which we have to thank Bozzy.

There is a great difference in the sensitiveness of authors to
criticism. Sir Walter Scott passed thirteen years without reading what
the critics or reviewers said of his writings; while Byron was
sensitive to an excess about what was said of him. It was the
reviewers who stung him into his first work of genius--_English Bards
and Scotch Reviewers_. Racine was very sensitive to criticism; and
poor Keats was "snuffed out by an article." Moliere was thrown into a
great rage when his plays were badly acted. One day, after _Tartuffe_
had been played, an actor found him stamping about as if mad, and
beating his head, crying--"Ah! dog! Ah! butcher!" On being asked what
was the matter, he replied--"Don't be surprised at my emotion! I have
just been seeing an actor falsely and execrably declaiming my piece;
and I can not see my children maltreated in this horrid way, without
suffering the tortures of the damned!" The first time Voltaire's
_Artemise_ was played, it was _hissed_. Voltaire, indignant, sprang to
his feet in his box, and addressed the audience! At another time, at
Lausanne, where an actress seemed fully to apprehend his meaning, he
rushed upon the stage and embraced her knees!

A great deal might be said about the first failures of authors and
orators. Demosthenes stammered, and was almost inaudible, when he
first tried to speak before Philip. He seemed like a man moribund.
Other orators have broken down, like Demosthenes, in their first
effort. Curran tried to speak, for the first time, at a meeting of the
Irish Historical Society; but the words died on his lips, and he sat
down amid titters--an individual present characterizing him as _orator
Mum_. Boileau broke down as an advocate, and so did Cowper, the poet.
Montesquieu and Bentham were also failures in the same profession, but
mainly through disgust with it. Addison, when a member of the House of
Commons, once rose to speak, but he could not overcome his diffidence,
and ever after remained silent.



OSTRICHES.

HOW THEY ARE HUNTED.


The family of birds, of which the ostrich forms the leading type, is
remarkable for the wide dispersion of its various members; the ostrich
itself spreads over nearly the whole of the burning deserts of
Africa--the Cassowary represents it amid the luxuriant vegetation of
the Indian Archipelago. The Dinornis, chief of birds, formerly towered
among the ferns of New Zealand, where the small Apteryx now holds its
place; and the huge Æpyornis strode along the forests of Madagascar.
The Emu is confined to the great Australian continent, and the Rhea to
the southern extremity of the western hemisphere; while nearer home
we find the class represented by the Bustard, which, until within a
few years, still lingered upon the least frequented downs and plains
of England.

With the Arabs of the desert, the chase of the ostrich is the most
attractive and eagerly sought of the many aristocratic diversions in
which they indulge. The first point attended to, is a special
preparation of their horses. Seven or eight days before the intended
hunt, they are entirely deprived of straw and grass, and fed on barley
only. They are only allowed to drink once a day, and that at
sunset--the time when the water begins to freshen: at that time also
they are washed. They take long daily exercises, and are occasionally
galloped, at which time care is taken that the harness is right, and
suited to the chase of the ostrich. "After seven or eight days," says
the Arab, "the stomach of the horse disappears, while the chest, the
breast, and the croup remain in flesh; the animal is then fit to
endure fatigue." They call this training _techaha_. The harness used
for the purpose in question is lighter than ordinary, especially the
stirrups and saddle, and the martingale is removed. The bridle, too,
undergoes many metamorphoses; the mountings and the ear-flaps are
taken away, as too heavy. The bit is made of a camel rope, without a
throat-band, and the frontlet is also of cord, and the reins, though
strong, are very light. The period most favorable for ostrich-hunting
is that of the great heat; the higher the temperature the less is the
ostrich able to defend himself. The Arabs describe the precise time as
that, when a man stands upright, his shadow has the length only of the
sole of his foot.

Each horseman is accompanied by a servant called _zemmal_, mounted on
a camel, carrying four goat-skins filled with water, barley for the
horse, wheat-flour for the rider, some dates, a kettle to cook the
food, and every thing which can possibly be required for the repair of
the harness. The horseman contents himself with a linen vest and
trowsers, and covers his neck and ears with a light material called
_havuli_, tied with a strip of camel's hide; his feet are protected
with sandals, and his legs with light gaiters called _trabag_. He is
armed with neither gun nor pistol, his only weapon being a wild olive
or tamarind stick, five or six feet long, with a heavy knob at one
end.

Before starting, the hunters ascertain where a large number of
ostriches are to be found. These birds are generally met with in
places where there is much grass, and where rain has recently fallen.
The Arabs say, that where the ostrich sees the light shine, and barley
getting ready, wherever it may be, thither she runs, regardless of
distance; and ten days' march is nothing to her; and it has passed
into a proverb in the desert, of a man skillful in the care of flocks,
and in finding pasturage, that he is like the ostrich, where he sees
the light there he comes.

The hunters start in the morning. After one or two days' journey, when
they have arrived near the spot pointed out, and they begin to
perceive traces of their game, they halt and camp. The next day, two
intelligent slaves, almost entirely stripped, are sent to reconnoitre;
they each carry a goat-skin at their side, and a little bread; they
walk until they meet with the ostriches, which are generally found in
elevated places. As soon as the game is in view, one lies down to
watch, the other returns to convey the information. The ostriches are
found in troops, comprising sometimes as many as sixty: but at the
pairing time they are more scattered, three or four couple only
remaining together.

The horsemen, guided by the scout, travel gently toward the birds; the
nearer they approach the spot the greater is their caution, and when
they reach the last ridge which conceals them from the view of their
game, they dismount, and two creep forward to ascertain if they are
still there. Should such be the case, a moderate quantity of water is
given to the horses, the baggage is left, and each man mounts,
carrying at his side a _chebouta_, or goat-skin. The servants and
camels follow the track of the horsemen, carrying with them only a
little corn and water.

The exact position of the ostriches being known, the plans are
arranged; the horsemen divide and form a circle round the game at such
a distance as not to be seen. The servants wait where the horsemen
have separated, and as soon as they see them at their posts, they walk
right before them; the ostriches fly, but are met by the hunters, who
do nothing at first but drive them back into the circle; thus their
strength is exhausted by being made to continually run round in the
ring. At the first signs of fatigue in the birds, the horsemen dash
in--presently the flock separates; the exhausted birds are seen to
open their wings, which is a sign of great exhaustion; the horsemen,
certain of their prey, now repress their horses; each hunter selects
his ostrich, runs it down, and finishes it by a blow on the head with
the stick above mentioned. The moment the bird falls the man jumps off
his horse, and cuts her throat, taking care to hold the neck at such a
distance from the body, as not to soil the plumage of the wings. The
male bird, while dying, utters loud moans, but the female dies in
silence.

When the ostrich is on the point of being overtaken by the hunter, she
is so fatigued, that if he does not wish to kill her, she can easily
be driven with the stick to the neighborhood of the camels.
Immediately after the birds have been bled to death, they are
carefully skinned, so that the feathers may not be injured, and the
skin is then stretched upon a tree, or on a horse, and salt rubbed
well into it. A fire is lit, and the fat of the birds is boiled for a
long time in kettles; when very liquid, it is poured into a sort of
bottle made of the skin of the thigh and leg down to the foot,
strongly fastened at the bottom; the fat of one bird is usually
sufficient to fill two of these legs; it is said that in any other
vessel the fat would spoil. When, however, the bird is breeding, she
is extremely lean, and is then hunted only for the sake of her
feathers. After these arrangements are completed, the flesh is eaten
by the hunters, who season it well with pepper and flour.

While these proceedings are in progress, the horses are carefully
tended, watered, and fed with corn, and the party remain quiet during
forty-eight hours, to give their animals rest; after that they either
return to their encampment, or embark in new enterprises.

To the Arab the chase of the ostrich has a double attraction--pleasure
and profit; the price obtained for the skins well compensates for the
expenses. Not only do the rich enjoy the pursuit, but the poor, who
know how to set about it, are permitted to participate in it also. The
usual plan is for a poor Arab to arrange with one who is opulent for
the loan of his camel, horse, harness, and two-thirds of all the
necessary provisions. The borrower furnishes himself the remaining
third, and the produce of the chase is divided in the same
proportions.

The ostrich, like many other of the feathered tribe, has a great deal
of self-conceit. On fine sunny days a tame bird may be seen strutting
backward and forward with great majesty, fanning itself with its
quivering, expanded wings, and at every turn seeming to admire its
grace, and the elegance of its shadow. Dr. Shaw says that, though
these birds appear tame and tractable to persons well-known to them,
they are often very fierce and violent toward strangers, whom they
would not only endeavor to push down by running furiously against
them, but they would peck at them with their beaks, and strike with
their feet; and so violent is the blow that can be given, that the
doctor saw a person whose abdomen had been ripped completely open by a
stroke from the claw of an ostrich.

To have the stomach of an ostrich has become proverbial, and with good
reason; for this bird stands enviably forward in respect to its
wonderful powers of digestion, which are scarcely inferior to its
voracity. Its natural food consists entirely of vegetable substances,
especially grain; and the ostrich is a most destructive enemy to the
crops of the African farmers. But its sense of taste is so obtuse,
that scraps of leather, old nails, bits of tin, buttons, keys, coins,
and pebbles, are devoured with equal relish; in fact, nothing comes
amiss. But in this it doubtless follows an instinct: for these hard
bodies assist, like the gravel in the crops of our domestic poultry,
in grinding down and preparing for digestion its ordinary food.

There was found by Cuvier in the stomach of an ostrich that died at
Paris, nearly a pound weight of stones, bits of iron and copper, and
pieces of money worn down by constant attrition against each other, as
well as by the action of the stomach itself. In the stomach of one of
these birds which belonged to the menagerie of George the Fourth,
there were contained some pieces of wood of considerable size, several
large nails, and a hen's egg entire and uninjured, perhaps taken as a
delicacy from its appetite becoming capricious. In the stomach of
another, beside several large cabbage-stalks, there were masses of
bricks of the size of a man's fist. Sparrman relates that he saw
ostriches at the Cape so tame that they went loose to and from the
farm, but they were so voracious as to swallow chickens whole, and
trample hens to death, that they might tear them in pieces afterward
and devour them; and one great barrel of a bird was obliged to be
killed on account of an awkward habit he had acquired of trampling
sheep to death. But perhaps the most striking proof of the prowess of
an ostrich in the eating way, is that afforded by Dr. Shaw, who saw
one swallow bullet after bullet as fast as they were pitched,
scorching hot, from the mould.



A DULL TOWN.


Putting up for the night in one of the chiefest towns of
Staffordshire, I find it to be by no means a lively town. In fact, it
is as dull and dead a town as any one could desire not to see. It
seems as if its whole population might be imprisoned in its Railway
Station. The Refreshment-room at that station is a vortex of
dissipation compared with the extinct town-inn, the Dodo, in the dull
High-street.

Why High-street? Why not rather Low-street, Flat-street,
Low-spirited-street, Used-up-street? Where are the people who belong
to the High-street? Can they all be dispersed over the face of the
country, seeking the unfortunate Strolling Manager who decamped from
the mouldy little theatre last week, in the beginning of his season
(as his play-bills testify), repentantly resolved to bring him back,
and feed him, and be entertained? Or, can they all be gathered
to their fathers in the two old church-yards near to the
High-street--retirement into which church-yards appears to be a mere
ceremony, there is so very little life outside their confines, and
such small discernible difference between being buried alive in the
town, and buried dead in the town-tombs? Over the way, opposite to the
staring blank bow windows of the Dodo, are a little ironmonger's shop,
a little tailor's shop (with a picture of the fashions in the small
window and a bandy-legged baby on the pavement staring at it)--a
watchmaker's shop, where all the clocks and watches must be stopped, I
am sure, for they could never have the courage to go, with the town in
general, and the Dodo in particular, looking at them. Shade of Miss
Linwood, erst of Leicester-square, London, thou art welcome here, and
thy retreat is fitly chosen! I myself was one of the last visitors to
that awful storehouse of thy life's work, where an anchorite old man
and woman took my shilling with a solemn wonder, and conducting me to
a gloomy sepulchre of needlework dropping to pieces with dust and age,
and shrouded in twilight at high noon, left me there, chilled,
frightened, and alone. And now, in ghostly letters on all the dead
walls of this dead town, I read thy honored name, and find, that thy
Last Supper, worked in Berlin Wool, invites inspection as a powerful
excitement!

Where are the people who are bidden with so much cry to this feast of
little wool? Where are they? Who are they? They are not the
bandy-legged baby studying the fashions in the tailor's window. They
are not the two earthy plow-men lounging outside the saddler's
shop, in the stiff square where the Town Hall stands, like a
brick-and-mortar private on parade. They are not the landlady of the
Dodo in the empty bar, whose eye had trouble in it and no welcome,
when I asked for dinner. They are not the turnkeys of the Town Jail,
looking out of the gateway in their uniforms, as if they had locked up
all the balance (as my American friends would say) of the inhabitants,
and could now rest a little. They are not the two dusty millers in the
white mill down by the river, where the great water-wheel goes heavily
round and round, like the monotonous days and nights in this forgotten
place. Then who are they? for there is no one else. No; this deponent
maketh oath and saith that there is no one else, save and except the
waiter at the Dodo, now laying the cloth. I have paced the streets,
and stared at the houses, and am come back to the blank bow-window of
the Dodo; and the town-clock strikes seven, and the reluctant echoes
seem to cry, "Don't wake us!" and the bandy-legged baby has gone home
to bed.

If the Dodo were only a gregarious bird--if it had only some confused
idea of making a comfortable nest--I could hope to get through the
hours between this and bed-time, without being consumed by devouring
melancholy. But the Dodo's habits are all wrong. It provides me with a
trackless desert of sitting-room, with a chair for every day in the
year, a table for every month, and a waste of sideboard where a lonely
China vase pines in a corner for its mate long departed, and will
never make a match with the candlestick in the opposite corner if it
live till doomsday. The Dodo has nothing in the larder. Even now, I
behold the Boots returning with my sole in a piece of paper; and with
that portion of my dinner, the Boots, perceiving me at the blank
bow-window, slaps his leg as he comes across the road, pretending it
is something else. The Dodo excludes the outer air. When I mount up to
my bed-room, a smell of closeness and flue gets lazily up my nose like
sleepy snuff. The loose little bits of carpet writhe under my tread,
and take wormy shapes. I don't know the ridiculous man in the
looking-glass, beyond having met him once or twice in a
dish-cover--and I can never shave _him_ to-morrow morning! The Dodo is
narrow-minded as to towels; expects me to wash on a freemason's apron
without the trimming; when I ask for soap, gives me a stony-hearted
something white, with no more lather in it than the Elgin marbles. The
Dodo has seen better days, and possesses interminable stables at the
back--silent, grass-grown, broken-windowed, horseless.

This mournful bird can fry a sole, however, which is much. Can cook a
steak, too, which is more. I wonder where it gets its Sherry! If I
were to send my pint of wine to some famous chemist to be analyzed,
what would it turn out to be made of? It tastes of pepper, sugar,
bitter almonds, vinegar, warm knives, any flat drink, and a little
brandy. Would it unman a Spanish exile by reminding him of his native
land at all? I think not. If there really be any townspeople out of
the church-yards, and if a caravan of them ever do dine, with a bottle
of wine per man, in this desert of the Dodo, it must make good for the
doctor next day!

Where was the waiter born? How did he come here? Has he any hope of
getting away from here? Does he ever receive a letter, or take a ride
upon the railway, or see any thing but the Dodo? Perhaps he has seen
the Berlin Wool. He appears to have a silent sorrow on him, and it may
be that. He clears the table; draws the dingy curtains of the great
bow-window, which so unwillingly consent to meet, that they must be
pinned together; leaves me by the fire with my pint decanter, and a
little thin funnel-shaped wine-glass, and a plate of pale biscuits--in
themselves engendering desperation.

No book, no newspapers! I left the Arabian Nights in the railway
carriage, and have nothing to read but Bradshaw, and "that way madness
lies." Remembering what prisoners and shipwrecked mariners have done
to exercise their minds in solitude, I repeat the multiplication
table, the pence table, and the shilling table: which are all the
tables I happen to know. What if I write something? The Dodo keeps no
pens but steel pens; and those I always stick through the paper, and
can turn to no other account.

What am I to do? Even if I could have the bandy-legged baby knocked up
and brought here, I could offer him nothing but sherry, and that would
be the death of him. He would never hold up his head again, if he
touched it. I can't go to bed, because I have conceived a mortal
hatred for my bedroom; and I can't go away because there is no train
for my place of destination until morning. To burn the biscuits will
be but a fleeting joy; still it is a temporary relief, and here they
go on the fire!



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

     [Footnote B: Continued from the June Number.]


CHAPTER X.--CONTINUED.

Randal walked home slowly. It was a cold moonlit night. Young idlers
of his own years and rank passed him by, on their way from the haunts
of social pleasure. They were yet in the first fair holiday of life.
Life's holiday had gone from him forever. Graver men, in the various
callings of masculine labor--professions, trade, the state--passed him
also. Their steps might be sober, and their faces careworn; but no
step had the furtive stealth of his--no face the same contracted,
sinister, suspicious gloom. Only once, in a lonely thoroughfare, and
on the opposite side of the way, fell a foot-fall, and glanced an
eye, that seemed to betray a soul in sympathy with Randal Leslie's.

And Randal, who had heeded none of the other passengers by the way, as
if instinctively, took note of this one. His nerves crisped at the
noiseless slide of that form, as it stalked on from lamp to lamp,
keeping pace with his own. He felt a sort of awe, as if he had beheld
the wraith of himself; and ever, as he glanced suspiciously at the
arranger, the stranger glanced at him. He was inexpressibly relieved
when the figure turned down another street and vanished.

That man was a felon, as yet undetected. Between him and his kind
there stood but a thought--a vail air-spun, but impassable, as the
vail of the Image at Sais.

And thus moved and thus looked Randal Leslie, a thing of dark and
secret mischief--within the pale of the law, but equally removed from
man by the vague consciousness that at his heart lay that which the
eyes of man would abhor and loathe. Solitary amidst the vast city, and
on through the machinery of Civilization, went the still spirit of
Intellectual Evil.


CHAPTER XI

Early the next morning Randal received two notes--one from Frank,
written in great agitation, begging Randal to see and propitiate his
father, whom he feared he had grievously offended; and then running
off, rather incoherently, into protestations that his honor as well as
his affections were engaged irrevocably to Beatrice, and that her, at
least, he could never abandon.

And the second note was from the Squire himself--short, and far less
cordial than usual--requesting Mr. Leslie to call on him.

Randal dressed in haste, and went at once to Limmer's hotel.

He found the Parson with Mr. Hazeldean, and endeavoring in vain to
soothe him. The Squire had not slept all night, and his appearance was
almost haggard.

"Oho! Mr. young Leslie," said he, throwing himself back in his chair
as Randal entered--"I thought you were a friend--I thought you were
Frank's adviser. Explain, sir; explain."

"Gently, my dear Mr. Hazeldean," said the Parson. "You do but surprise
and alarm Mr. Leslie. Tell him more distinctly what he has to
explain."

SQUIRE.--"Did you or did you not tell me or Mrs. Hazeldean, that Frank
was in love with Violante Rickeybockey?"

RANDAL (as in amaze).--"I! Never, sir! I feared, on the contrary, that
he was somewhat enamored of a very different person. I hinted at that
possibility. I could not do more, for I did not know how far Frank's
affections were seriously engaged. And indeed, sir, Mrs. Hazeldean,
though not encouraging the idea that your son could marry a foreigner
and a Roman Catholic, did not appear to consider such objections
insuperable, if Frank's happiness were really at stake."

Here the poor Squire gave way to a burst of passion, that involved, in
one tempest, Frank, Randal, Harry herself, and the whole race of
foreigners, Roman Catholics, and women. While the Squire himself was
still incapable of hearing reason, the Parson, taking aside Randal,
convinced himself that the whole affair, so far as Randal was
concerned, had its origin in a very natural mistake; and that while
that young gentleman had been hinting at Beatrice, Mrs. Hazeldean had
been thinking of Violante. With considerable difficulty he succeeded
in conveying this explanation to the Squire, and somewhat appeasing
his wrath against Randal. And the Dissimulator, seizing his occasion,
then expressed so much grief and astonishment at learning that matters
had gone as far as the Parson informed him--that Frank had actually
proposed to Beatrice, been accepted, and engaged himself, before even
communicating with his father; he declared so earnestly, that he could
never conjure such evil--that he had had Frank's positive promise to
take no step without the sanction of his parents; he professed such
sympathy with the Squire's wounded feelings, and such regret at
Frank's involvement, that Mr. Hazeldean at last yielded up his honest
heart to his consoler--and gripping Randal's hand, said, "Well, well,
I wronged you--beg your pardon. What now is to be done?"

"Why, you can not consent to this marriage--impossible," replied
Randal; "and we must hope therefore to influence Frank, by his sense
of duty."

"That's it," said the Squire; "for I'll not give way. Pretty pass
things have come to, indeed! A widow too, I hear. Artful
jade--thought, no doubt, to catch a Hazeldean of Hazeldean. My estates
go to an outlandish Papistical set of mongrel brats! No, no, never!"

"But," said the Parson, mildly, "perhaps we may be unjustly prejudiced
against this lady. We should have consented to Violante--why not to
her? She is of good family?"

"Certainly," said Randal.

"And good character?"

Randal shook his head, and sighed. The Squire caught him roughly by
the arm--"Answer the Parson!" cried he, vehemently.

"Indeed, sir, I can not speak ill of the character of a woman, who
may, too, be Frank's wife; and the world is ill-natured, and not to be
believed. But you can judge for yourself, my dear Mr. Hazeldean. Ask
your brother whether Madame di Negra is one whom he would advise his
nephew to marry."

"My brother!" exclaimed the Squire furiously. "Consult my distant
brother on the affairs of my own son!"

"He is a man of the world," put in Randal.

"And of feeling and honor," said the Parson, "and, perhaps, through
him, we may be enabled to enlighten Frank, and save him from what
appears to be the snare of an artful woman."

"Meanwhile," said Randal, "I will seek Frank, and do my best with him.
Let me go now--I will return in an hour or so."

"I will accompany you," said the Parson.

"Nay, pardon me, but I think we two young men can talk more openly
without a third person, even so wise and kind as you."

"Let Randal go," growled the Squire. And Randal went.

He spent some time with Frank, and the reader will easily divine how
that time was employed. As he left Frank's lodgings, he found himself
suddenly seized by the Squire himself.

"I was too impatient to stay at home and listen to the Parson's
prosing," said Mr. Hazeldean, nervously. "I have shaken Dale off. Tell
me what has passed. Oh! don't fear--I'm a man, and can bear the
worst."

Randal drew the Squire's arm within his, and led him into the adjacent
park.

"My dear sir," said he, sorrowfully, "this is very confidential what I
am about to say. I must repeat it to you, because without such
confidence, I see not how to advise you on the proper course to take.
But if I betray Frank, it is for his good, and to his own
father:--only do not tell him. He would never forgive me--it would for
ever destroy my influence over him."

"Go on, go on," gasped the Squire; "speak out. I'll never tell the
ungrateful boy that I learned his secrets from another."

"Then," said Randal, "the secret of his entanglement with Madame di
Negra is simply this--he found her in debt--nay, on the point of being
arrested--"

"Debt!--arrested! Jezabel!"

"And in paying the debt himself, and saving her from arrest, he
conferred on her the obligation which no woman of honor could accept
save from her affianced husband. Poor Frank!--if sadly taken in, still
we must pity and forgive him!"

Suddenly, to Randal's great surprise, the Squire's whole face
brightened up.

"I see, I see!" he exclaimed, slapping his thigh. "I have it--I have
it. 'Tis an affair of money! I can buy her off. If she took money from
him, the mercenary, painted baggage! why, then, she'll take it from
me. I don't care what it costs--half my fortune--all! I'd be content
never to see Hazeldean Hall again, if I could save my son, my own son,
from disgrace and misery; for miserable he will be when he knows he
has broken my heart and his mother's. And for a creature like that! My
boy, a thousand hearty thanks to you. Where does the wretch live? I'll
go to her at once." And as he spoke, the Squire actually pulled out
his pocket-book and began turning over and counting the bank-notes in
it.

Randal at first tried to combat this bold resolution on the part of
the Squire; but Mr. Hazeldean had seized on it with all the obstinacy
of his straightforward English mind. He cut Randal's persuasive
eloquence off in the midst.

"Don't waste your breath. I've settled it; and if you don't tell me
where she lives, 'tis easily found out, I suppose."

Randal mused a moment. "After all," thought he, "why not? He will be
sure so to speak as to enlist her pride against himself, and to
irritate Frank to the utmost. Let him go."

Accordingly, he gave the information required; and, insisting with
great earnestness on the Squire's promise, not to mention to Madam di
Negra his knowledge of Frank's pecuniary aid (for that would betray
Randal as the informant); and satisfying himself as he best might with
the Squire's prompt assurance, "that he knew how to settle matters,
without saying why or wherefore, as long as he opened his purse wide
enough," he accompanied Mr. Hazeldean back into the streets, and there
left him--fixing an hour in the evening for an interview at Limmer's,
and hinting that it would be best to have that interview without the
presence of the Parson. "Excellent good man," said Randal, "but not
with sufficient knowledge of the world for affairs of this kind, which
_you_ understand so well."

"I should think so," quoth the Squire, who had quite recovered his
good-humor. "And the Parson is as soft as buttermilk. We must be firm
here--firm, sir." And the Squire struck the end of his stick on the
pavement, nodded to Randal, and went on to Mayfair as sturdily and as
confidently as if to purchase a prize cow at a cattle-show.


CHAPTER XII

"Bring the light nearer," said John Burley--"nearer still."

Leonard obeyed, and placed the candle on a little table by the sick
man's bedside.

Burley's mind was partially wandering; but there was method in his
madness. Horace Walpole said that "his stomach would survive all the
rest of him." That which in Burley survived the last was his quaint
wild genius. He looked wistfully at the still flame of the candle. "It
lives ever in the air!" said he.

"What lives ever?"

Burley's voice swelled--"Light!" He turned from Leonard, and again
contemplated the little flame. "In the fixed star, in the
Will-o'-the-wisp, in the great sun that illumes half a world, or the
farthing rushlight by which the ragged student strains his eyes--still
the same flower of the elements. Light in the universe, thought in the
soul--ay--ay--Go on with the simile. My head swims. Extinguish the
light! You can not; fool, it vanishes from your eye, but it is still
in the space. Worlds must perish, suns shrivel up, matter and spirit
both fall into nothingness, before the combinations whose union makes
that little flame, which the breath of a babe can restore to darkness,
shall lose the power to unite into light once more. Lose the
power!--no, the _necessity_:--it is the one _Must_ in creation. Ay,
ay, very dark riddles grow clear now--now when I could not cast up an
addition sum in the baker's bill! What wise man denied that two and
two made four? Do they not make four? I can't answer him. But I could
answer a question that some wise men have contrived to make much
knottier." He smiled softly, and turned his face for some minutes to
the wall.

This was the second night on which Leonard had watched by his bedside,
and Burley's state had grown rapidly worse. He could not last many
days, perhaps many hours. But he had evinced an emotion beyond mere
delight at seeing Leonard again. He had since then been calmer, more
himself. "I feared I might have ruined you by my bad example," he
said, with a touch of humor that became pathos as he added, "That idea
preyed on me."

"No, no; you did me great good."

"Say that--say it often," said Burley, earnestly; "it makes my heart
feel so light."

He had listened to Leonard's story with deep interest, and was fond of
talking to him of little Helen. He detected the secret at the young
man's heart, and cheered the hopes that lay there, amidst fears and
sorrows. Burley never talked seriously of his repentance; it was not
in his nature to talk seriously of the things which he felt solemnly.
But his high animal spirits were quenched with the animal power that
fed them. Now, we go out of our sensual existence only when we are no
longer enthralled by the Present, in which the senses have their
realm. The sensual being vanishes when we are in the Past or the
Future. The Present was gone from Burley; he could no more be its
slave and its king.

It was most touching to see how the inner character of this man
unfolded itself, as the leaves of the outer character fell off and
withered--a character no one would have guessed in him--an inherent
refinement that was almost womanly; and he had all a woman's
abnegation of self. He took the cares lavished on him so meekly. As
the features of the old man return in the stillness of death to the
aspect of youth--the lines effaced, the wrinkles gone--so, in seeing
Burley now, you saw what he had been in his spring of promise. But he
himself saw only what he had failed to be--powers squandered--life
wasted. "I once beheld," he said, "a ship in a storm. It was a cloudy,
fitful day, and I could see the ship with all its masts fighting hard
for life and for death. Then came night, dark as pitch, and I could
only guess that the ship fought on. Toward the dawn the stars grew
visible, and once more I saw the ship--it was a wreck--it went down
just as the stars shone forth."

When he had made that allusion to himself, he sate very still for some
time, then he spread out his wasted hands, and gazed on them, and on
his shrunken limbs. "Good," said he, laughing low; "these hands were
too large and rude for handling the delicate webs of my own mechanism,
and these strong limbs ran away with me. If I had been a sickly, puny
fellow, perhaps my mind would have had fair play. There was too much
of brute body here! Look at this hand now! you can see the light
through it! Good, good!"

Now, that evening, until he had retired to bed, Burley had been
unusually cheerful, and had talked with much of his old eloquence, if
with little of his old humor. Among other matters, he had spoken with
considerable interest of some poems and other papers in manuscript
which had been left in the house by a former lodger, and which, the
reader may remember, that Mrs. Goodyer had urged him in vain to read,
in his last visit to her cottage. But _then_ he had her husband Jacob
to chat with, and the spirit-bottle to finish, and the wild craving
for excitement plucked his thoughts back to his London revels. Now
poor Jacob was dead, and it was not brandy that the sick man drank
from the widow's cruise. And London lay afar amidst its fogs, like a
world resolved back into nebulæ. So to please his hostess, and
distract his own solitary thoughts, he had condescended (just before
Leonard found him out) to peruse the memorials of a life obscure to
the world, and new to his own experience of coarse joys and woes. "I
have been making a romance, to amuse myself, from their contents,"
said he. "They may be of use to you, brother author. I have told Mrs.
Goodyer to place them in your room. Among those papers is a journal--a
woman's journal; it moved me greatly. A man gets into another world,
strange to him as the orb of Sirius, if he can transport himself into
the centre of a woman's heart, and see the life there, so wholly
unlike our own. Things of moment to us, to it so trivial; things
trifling to us, to it so vast. There was this journal--in its dates
reminding me of stormy events of my own existence, and grand doings in
the world's. And those dates there, chronicling but the mysterious
unrevealed record of some obscure loving heart! And in that chronicle,
O, Sir Poet, there was as much genius, vigor of thought, vitality of
being, poured and wasted, as ever kind friend will say was lavished on
the rude outer world by big John Burley! Genius, genius; are we all
alike, then, save when we leash ourselves to some matter-of-fact
material, and float over the roaring seas on a wooden plank or a
herring-tub?" And after he had uttered that cry of a secret anguish,
John Burley had begun to show symptoms of growing fever and disturbed
brain; and when they had got him into bed, he lay there muttering to
himself, until toward midnight he had asked Leonard to bring the light
nearer to him.

So now he again was quiet--with his face turned toward the wall; and
Leonard stood by the bedside sorrowfully, and Mrs. Goodyer, who did
not heed Burley's talk, and thought only of his physical state, was
dipping cloths into iced water to apply to his forehead. But as she
approached with these, and addressed him soothingly, Burley raised
himself on his arm, and waved aside the bandages. "I do not need
them," said he, in a collected voice. "I am better now. I and that
pleasant light understand one another, and I believe all it tells me.
Pooh, pooh, I do not rave." He looked so smilingly and so kindly into
her face, that the poor woman, who loved him as her own son, fairly
burst into tears. He drew her toward him and kissed her forehead.

"Peace, old fool," said he, fondly. "You shall tell anglers hereafter
how John Burley came to fish for the one-eyed perch which he never
caught: and how, when he gave it up at the last, his baits all gone,
and the line broken among the weeds, you comforted the baffled man.
There are many good fellows yet in the world who will like to know
that poor Burley did not die on a dunghill. Kiss me! Come, boy, you
too. Now, God bless you, I should like to sleep." His cheeks were wet
with the tears of both his listeners, and there was a moisture in his
own eyes, which, nevertheless, beamed bright through the moisture.

He laid himself down again, and the old woman would have withdrawn the
light. He moved uneasily. "Not that," he murmured--"light to the
last!" And putting forth his wan hand, he drew aside the curtain so
that the light might fall full on his face. In a few minutes he was
asleep, breathing calmly and regularly as an infant.

The old woman wiped her eyes, and drew Leonard softly into the
adjoining room, in which a bed had been made up for him. He had not
left the house since he had entered it with Dr. Morgan. "You are
young, sir," said she, with kindness, "and the young want sleep. Lie
down a bit: I will call you when he wakes."

"No, I could not sleep," said Leonard. "I will watch for you."

The old woman shook her head. "I must see the last of him, sir; but I
know he will be angry when his eyes open on me, for he has grown very
thoughtful of others."

"Ah, if he had but been as thoughtful of himself!" murmured Leonard;
and he seated himself by the table, on which, as he leaned his elbow,
he dislodged some papers placed there. They fell to the ground with a
dumb, moaning, sighing sound.

"What is that?" said he, starting.

The old woman picked up the manuscripts and smoothed them carefully.

"Ah, sir, he bade me place these papers here. He thought they might
keep you from fretting about him, in case you would sit up and wake.
And he had a thought of me, too; for I have so pined to find out the
poor young lady, who left them years ago. She was almost as dear to me
as he is; dearer perhaps until now--when--when--I am about to lose
him."

Leonard turned from the papers, without a glance at their contents:
they had no interest for him at such a moment.

The hostess went on--

"Perhaps she is gone to heaven before him: she did not look like one
long for this world. She left us so suddenly. Many things of hers
besides these papers are still here; but I keep them aired and dusted,
and strew lavender over them, in case she ever comes for them again.
You never heard tell of her, did you, sir?" she added, with great
simplicity, and dropping a half courtsey.

"Of her?--of whom?"

"Did not Mr. John tell you her name--dear--dear?--Mrs. Bertram."

Leonard started;--the very name so impressed upon his memory by Harley
L'Estrange.

"Bertram!" he repeated. "Are you sure?"

"O yes, sir! And many years after she had left us, and we had heard no
more of her, there came a packet addressed to her here, from over sea,
sir. We took it in, and kept it, and John would break the seal, to
know if it would tell us any thing about her; but it was all in a
foreign language like--we could not read a word."

"Have you the packet? Pray, show it to me. It may be of the greatest
value. To-morrow will do--I can not think of that just now. Poor
Burley!"

Leonard's manner indicated that he wished to talk no more, and to be
alone. So Mrs. Goodyer left him, and stole back to Burley's room on
tiptoe.

The young man remained in deep reverie for some moments. "Light," he
murmured. "How often "Light" is the last word of those round whom the
shades are gathering!"[C] He moved, and straight on his view through
the cottage lattice there streamed light, indeed--not the miserable
ray lit by a human hand--but the still and holy effulgence of a
moonlit heaven. It lay broad upon the humble floors--pierced across
the threshold of the death-chamber, and halted clear amidst its
shadows.

     [Footnote C: Every one remembers that Goethe's last words
     are said to have been, "More Light;" and perhaps what has
     occurred in the text may be supposed a plagiarism from those
     words. But, in fact, nothing is more common than the craving
     and demand for light a little before death. Let any consult
     his own sad experience in the last moments of those whose
     gradual close he has watched and tended. What more frequent
     than a prayer to open the shutters and let in the sun? What
     complaint more repeated, and more touching, than "that it is
     growing dark?" I once knew a sufferer--who did not then seem
     in immediate danger--suddenly order the sick-room to be lit
     up as if for a gala. When this was told to the physician, he
     said gravely, "No worse sign."]

Leonard stood motionless, his eye following the silvery silent
splendor.

"And," he said inly--"and does this large erring nature, marred by its
genial faults--this soul which should have filled a land, as yon orb
the room, with a light that linked earth to heaven--does it pass away
into the dark, and leave not a ray behind? Nay, if the elements of
light are ever in the space, and when the flame goes out, return to
the vital air--so thought, once kindled, lives for ever around and
about us, a part of our breathing atmosphere. Many a thinker, many a
poet, may yet illume the world, from the thoughts which yon genius,
that will have no name, gave forth--to wander through air, and
recombine again in some new form of light."

Thus he went on in vague speculations, seeking, as youth enamored of
fame seeks too fondly, to prove that mind never works, however
erratically, in vain--and to retain yet, as an influence upon earth,
the soul about to soar far beyond the atmosphere where the elements
that make fame abide. Not thus had the dying man interpreted the
endurance of light and thought.

Suddenly, in the midst of his reverie, a low cry broke on his ear. He
shuddered as he heard, and hastened forebodingly into the adjoining
room. The old woman was kneeling by the bedside, and chafing Burley's
hand--eagerly looking into his face. A glance sufficed to Leonard. All
was over. Burley had died in sleep--calmly, and without a groan.

The eyes were half open, with that look of inexpressible softness
which death sometimes leaves; and still they were turned toward the
light; and the light burned clear. Leonard closed tenderly the heavy
lids; and, as he covered the face, the lips smiled a serene farewell.


(TO BE CONTINUED.)



THE LITTLE GRAY GOSSIP.


Soon after Cousin Con's marriage, we were invited to stay for a few
weeks with the newly-married couple, during the festive winter season;
so away we went with merry hearts, the clear frosty air and pleasant
prospect before us invigorating our spirits, as we took our places
inside the good old mail-coach, which passed through the town of
P----, where Cousin Con resided, for there were no railways then.
Never was there a kinder or more genial soul than Cousin Con; and
David Danvers, the good-man, as she laughingly called him, was, if
possible, kinder and more genial still. They were surrounded by
substantial comforts, and delighted to see their friends in a
sociable, easy way, and to make them snug and cozy, our arrival being
the signal for a succession of such convivialities. Very mirthful and
enjoyable were these evenings, for Con's presence always shed radiant
sunshine, and David's honest broad face beamed upon her with
affectionate pride. During the days of their courtship at our house,
they had perhaps indulged in billing and cooing a little too freely
when in company with others, for sober, middle-aged lovers like
themselves; thereby lying open to animadversions from prim spinsters,
who wondered that Miss Constance and Mr. Danvers made themselves so
ridiculous.

But now all this nonsense had sobered down, and nothing could be
detected beyond a sly glance, or a squeeze of the hand now and then;
yet we often quizzed them about by-gones, and declared that engaged
pairs were insufferable--we could always find them out among a
hundred!

"I'll bet you any thing you like," cried Cousin Con, with a
good-humored laugh, "that among our guests coming this evening" (there
was to be a tea-junketing), "you'll not be able to point out the
engaged couple--for there will be only one such present--though plenty
of lads and lasses that would like to be so happily situated! But the
couple I allude too are real turtle-doves, and yet I defy you to find
them out!"

"Done, Cousin Con!" we exclaimed; "and what shall we wager?"

"Gloves! gloves to be sure!" cried David. "Ladies always wager gloves;
though I can tell you, my Con is on the safe side now;" and David
rubbed his hands, delighted with the joke; and _we_ already, in
perspective, beheld our glove-box enriched with half-a-dozen pair of
snowy French sevens!

Never had we felt more interested in watching the arrivals and
movements of strangers, than on this evening, for our honor was
concerned, to detect the lovers, and raise the vail. Papas and mammas,
and masters and misses, came trooping in; old ladies, and middle-aged;
old gentlemen, and middle-aged--until the number amounted to about
thirty, and Cousin Con's drawing-rooms were comfortably filled. We
closely scrutinized all the young folks, and so intently but covertly
watched their proceedings, that we could have revealed several
innocent flirtations, but nothing appeared that could lead us to the
turtle-doves and their engagement. At length, we really had hopes, and
ensconced ourselves in a corner, to observe the more cautiously a
tall, beautiful girl, whose eyes incessantly turned toward the door of
the apartment; while each time it opened to admit any one, she sighed
and looked disappointed, as if that one was not the one she yearned to
see. We were deep in a reverie, conjuring up a romance of which she
was the heroine, when a little lady, habited in gray, whose age might
average threescore, unceremoniously seated herself beside us, and
immediately commenced a conversation, by asking if we were admiring
pretty Annie Mortimer--following the direction of our looks. On
receiving a reply in the affirmative, she continued: "Ah, she's a
good, affectionate girl; a great favorite of mine is sweet Annie
Mortimer."

"Watching for her lover, no doubt?" we ventured to say, hoping to gain
the desired information, and thinking of our white kid-gloves. "She is
an engaged young lady?"

"Engaged! engaged!" cried the little animated lady: "no indeed. The
fates forbid! Annie Mortimer is not engaged." The expression of the
little lady's countenance at our bare supposition of so natural a
fact, amounted almost to the ludicrous; and we with some difficulty
articulated a serious rejoinder, disavowing all previous knowledge,
and therefore erring through ignorance. We had now time to examine our
new acquaintance more critically. As we have already stated, she was
habited in gray; but not only was her attire gray, but she was
literally gray all over: gray hairs, braided in a peculiar obsolete
fashion, and quite uncovered; gray gloves; gray shoes; and, above all,
gray eyes, soft, large, and peculiarly sad in expression, yet
beautiful eyes, redeeming the gray, monotonous countenance from
absolute plainness. Mary Queen of Scots, we are told, had gray eyes;
and even she, poor lady, owned not more speaking or history-telling
orbs than did this little unknown gossip in gray. But our attention
was diverted from the contemplation, by the entrance of another actor
on the stage, to whom Annie Mortimer darted forward with an
exclamation of delight and welcome. The new comer was a slender,
elderly gentleman, whose white hairs, pale face, and benignant
expression presented nothing remarkable in their aspect, beyond a
certain air of elegance and refinement, which characterized the whole
outward man.

"That is a charming-looking old gentleman," said we to the gray lady;
"is he Annie's father?"

"Her father! Oh dear, no! That gentleman is a bachelor; but he is
Annie's guardian, and has supplied the place of a father to her, for
poor Annie is an orphan."

"Oh!" we exclaimed, and there was a great deal of meaning in our oh!
for had we not read and heard of youthful wards falling in love with
their guardians? and might not the fair Annie's taste incline this
way? The little gray lady understood our thoughts, for she smiled, but
said nothing; and while we were absorbed with Annie and her supposed
antiquated lover, she glided into the circle, and presently we beheld
Annie's guardian, with Annie leaning on his arm, exchange a few words
with her in an under tone, as she passed them to an inner room.

"Who is that pleasing-looking old gentleman?" said we to our hostess;
"and what is the name of the lady in gray, who went away just as you
came up? That is Annie Mortimer we know, and we know also that she
isn't engaged!"

Cousin Con laughed heartily as she replied: "That nice old gentleman
is Mr. Worthington, our poor curate; and a poor curate he is likely
ever to continue, so far as we can see. The lady in gray we call our
'little gray gossip,' and a darling she is! As to Annie, you seem to
know all about her. I suppose little Bessie has been lauding her up to
the skies."

"Who is little Bessie?" we inquired.

"Little Bessie is your little gray gossip: we never call her any thing
but Bessie to her face; she is a harmless little old maid. But come
this way: Bessie is going to sing, for they won't let her rest till
she complies; and Bessie singing, and Bessie talking, are widely
different creatures."

Widely different indeed! Could this be the little gray lady seated at
the piano, and making it speak? while her thrilling tones, as she sang
of 'days gone by,' went straight to each listener's heart, she herself
looking ten years younger! When the song was over, I observed Mr.
Worthington, with Annie still resting on his arm, in a corner of the
apartment, shaded by a projecting piece of furniture; and I also noted
the tear on his furrowed cheek, which he hastily brushed away, and
stooped to answer some remark of Annie's, who, with fond affection,
had evidently observed it too, endeavoring to dispel the painful
illusion which remembrances of days gone by occasioned.

We at length found the company separating, and our wager still
unredeemed. The last to depart was Mr. Worthington, escorting Annie
Mortimer and little Bessie, whom he shawled most tenderly, no doubt
because she was a poor forlorn little old maid, and sang so sweetly.

The next morning at breakfast, Cousin Con attacked us, supported by
Mr. Danvers, both demanding a solution of the mystery, or the scented
sevens! After a vast deal of laughing, talking, and discussion, we
were obliged to confess ourselves beaten, for there had been an
engaged couple present on the previous evening, and we had failed to
discover them. No; it was not Annie Mortimer; she had no lover. No; it
was not the Misses Halliday, or the Masters Burton: they had flirted
and danced, and danced and flirted indiscriminately; but as to serious
engagements--pooh! pooh!

Who would have conjectured the romance of reality that was now
divulged? and how could we have been so stupid as not to have read it
at a glance? These contradictory exclamations, as is usual in such
cases, ensued when the riddle was unfolded. It is so easy to be wise
when we have learned the wisdom. Yet we cheerfully lost our wager, and
would have lost a hundred such, for the sake of hearing a tale so far
removed from matter-of-fact; proving also that enduring faith and
affection are not so fabulous as philosophers often pronounce them to
be.

Bessie Prudholm was nearly related to David Danvers, and she had been
the only child of a talented but improvident father, who, after a
short, brilliant career, as a public singer, suddenly sank into
obscurity and neglect, from the total loss of his vocal powers,
brought on by a violent rheumatic cold and lasting prostration of
strength. At this juncture, Bessie had nearly attained her twentieth
year, and was still in mourning for an excellent mother, by whom she
had been tenderly and carefully brought up. From luxury and indulgence
the descent to poverty and privation was swift. Bessie, indeed,
inherited a very small income in right of her deceased parent,
sufficient for her own wants, and even comforts, but totally
inadequate to meet the thousand demands, caprices, and fancies of her
ailing and exigent father. However, for five years she battled bravely
with adversity, eking out their scanty means by her exertions--though,
from her father's helpless condition, and the constant and unremitting
attention he required, she was in a great measure debarred from
applying her efforts advantageously. The poor, dying man, in his days
of health, had contributed to the enjoyment of the affluent, and in
turn been courted by them; but now, forgotten and despised, he
bitterly reviled the heartless world, whose hollow meed of applause it
had formerly been the sole aim of his existence to secure. Wealth
became to his disordered imagination the desideratum of existence, and
he attached inordinate value to it, in proportion as he felt the
bitter stings of comparative penury. To guard his only child--whom he
certainly loved better than any thing else in the world, save
himself--from this dreaded evil, the misguided man, during his latter
days, extracted from her an inviolable assurance, never to become the
wife of any individual who could not settle upon her, subject to no
contingencies or chances, the sum of at least one thousand pounds.

Bessie, who was fancy-free, and a lively-spirited girl, by no means
relished the slights and privations which poverty entails. She
therefore willingly became bound by this solemn promise; and when her
father breathed his last, declaring that she had made his mind
comparatively easy, little Bessie half smiled, even in the midst of
her deep and natural sorrow, to think how small and easy a concession
her poor father had exacted, when her own opinions and views so
perfectly coincided with his. The orphan girl took up her abode with
the mother of David Danvers, and continued to reside with that worthy
lady until the latter's decease. It was beneath the roof of Mrs.
Danvers that Bessie first became acquainted with Mr. Worthington--that
acquaintance speedily ripening into a mutual and sincere attachment.
He was poor and patronless then, as he had continued ever since, with
slender likelihood of ever possessing £100 of his own, much less £1000
to settle on a wife. It is true, that in the chances and changes of
this mortal life, Paul Worthington might succeed to a fine
inheritance; but there were many lives betwixt him and it, and Paul
was not the one to desire happiness at another's expense, nor was
sweet little Bessie either.

Yet was Paul Worthington rich in one inestimable possession, such as
money can not purchase--even in the love of a pure devoted heart,
which for him, and for his dear sake, bravely endured the life-long
loneliness and isolation which their peculiar circumstances induced.
Paul did not see Bessie grow old and gray: in his eyes, she never
changed; she was to him still beautiful, graceful, and enchanting; she
was his betrothed, and he came forth into the world, from his books,
and his arduous clerical and parochial duties, to gaze at intervals
into her soft eyes, to press her tiny hand, to whisper a fond word,
and then to return to his lonely home, like a second Josiah Cargill,
to try and find in severe study oblivion of sorrow.

Annie Mortimer had been sent to him as a ministering angel: she was
the orphan and penniless daughter of Mr. Worthington's dearest friend
and former college-chum, and she had come to find a shelter beneath
the humble roof of the pious guardian, to whose earthly care she had
been solemnly bequeathed. Paul's curacy was not many miles distant
from the town where Bessie had fixed her resting-place; and it was
generally surmised by the select few who were in the secret of little
Bessie's history, that she regarded Annie Mortimer with especial favor
and affection, from the fact that Annie enjoyed the privilege of
solacing and cheering Paul Worthington's declining years. Each spoke
of her as a dear adopted daughter, and Annie equally returned the
affection of both.

Poor solitaries! what long anxious years they had known, separated by
circumstance, yet knit together in the bonds of enduring love!

I pictured them at festive winter seasons, at their humble solitary
boards; and in summer prime, when song-birds and bright perfumed
flowers call lovers forth into the sunshine rejoicingly. They had not
dared to rejoice during their long engagement; yet Bessie was a
sociable creature, and did not mope or shut herself up, but led a life
of active usefulness, and was a general favorite amongst all classes.
They had never contemplated the possibility of evading Bessie's solemn
promise to her dying father; to their tender consciences, that fatal
promise was as binding and stringent, as if the gulf of marriage or
conventual vows yawned betwixt them. We had been inclined to indulge
some mirth at the expense of the little gray gossip, when she first
presented herself to our notice; but now we regarded her as an object
of interest, surrounded by a halo of romance, fully shared in by her
charming, venerable lover. And this was good Cousin Con's elucidation
of the riddle, which she narrated with many digressions, and with
animated smiles, to conceal tears of sympathy. Paul Worthington and
little Bessy did not like their history to be discussed by the rising
frivolous generation; it was so unworldly, so sacred, and they looked
forward with humble hope so soon to be united for ever in the better
land, that it pained and distressed them to be made a topic of
conversation.

Were we relating fiction, it would be easy to bring this antiquated
pair together, even at the eleventh hour; love and constancy making up
for the absence of one sweet ingredient, evanescent, yet
beautiful--the ingredient, we mean, of youth. But as this is a romance
of reality, we are fain to divulge facts as they actually occurred,
and as we heard them from authentic sources. Paul and Bessie, divided
in their lives, repose side by side in the old church-yard. He dropped
off first, and Bessie doffed her gray for sombre habiliments of darker
hue. Nor did she long remain behind, loving little soul! leaving her
property to Annie Mortimer, and warning her against long engagements.

The last time we heard of Annie, she was the happy wife of an
excellent man, who, fully coinciding in the opinion of the little gray
gossip, protested strenuously against more than six weeks' courtship,
and carried his point triumphantly.



THE MOURNER AND THE COMFORTER.


It was a lovely day in the month of August, and the sun, which had
shone with undiminished splendor from the moment of dawn, was now
slowly declining, with that rich and prolonged glow with which it
seems especially to linger around those scenes where it seldomest
finds admittance. For it was a valley in the north of Scotland into
which its light was streaming, and many a craggy top and rugged side,
rarely seen without their cap of clouds or shroud of mist, were now
throwing their mellow-tinted forms, clear and soft, into a lake of
unusual stillness. High above the lake, and commanding a full view of
that and of the surrounding hills, stood one of those countryfied
hotels not unfrequently met with on a tourist's route, formerly only
designed for the lonely traveler or weary huntsman, but which now,
with the view to accommodate the swarm of visitors which every summer
increased, had gone on stretching its cords and enlarging its
boundaries, till the original tenement looked merely like the seed
from which the rest had sprung. Nor, even under these circumstances,
did the house admit of much of the luxury of privacy; for, though the
dormitories lay thick and close along the narrow corridor, all
accommodation for the day was limited to two large and long rooms, one
above the other, which fronted the lake. Of these, the lower one was
given up to pedestrian travelers--the sturdy, sunburnt shooters of the
moors, who arrive with weary limbs and voracious appetites, and
question no accommodation which gives them food and shelter; while the
upper one was the resort of ladies and family parties, and was
furnished with a low balcony, now covered with a rough awning.

Both these rooms, on the day we mention, were filled with numerous
guests. Touring was at its height, and shooting had begun; and, while
a party of way-worn young men, coarsely clad and thickly shod, were
lying on the benches, or lolling out of the windows of the lower
apartment, a number of traveling parties were clustered in distinct
groups in the room above; some lingering round their tea-tables, while
others sat on the balcony, and seemed attentively watching the
evolutions of a small boat, the sole object on the lake before them.
It is pleasant to watch the actions, however insignificant they may
be, of a distant group; to see the hand obey without hearing the voice
that has bidden; to guess at their inward motives by their outward
movements; to make theories of their intentions, and try to follow
them out in their actions; and, as at a pantomime, to tell the drift
of the piece by dumb show alone. And it is an idle practice, too, and
one especially made for the weary or the listless traveler, giving
them amusement without thought, and occupation without trouble; for
people who have had their powers of attention fatigued by incessant
exertion, or weakened by constant novelty, are glad to settle it upon
the merest trifle at last. So the loungers on the balcony increased,
and the little boat became a centre of general interest to those who
apparently had not had one sympathy in common before. So calm and
gliding was its motion, so refreshing the gentle air which played
round it, that many an eye from the shore envied the party who were
seated in it. These consisted of three individuals, two large figures
and a little one.

"It is Captain H---- and his little boy," said one voice, breaking
silence; "they arrived here yesterday."

"They'll be going to see the great waterfall," said another.

"They have best make haste about it; for they have a mile to walk
up-hill when they land," said a third.

"Rather they than I," rejoined a languid fourth; and again there was a
pause. Meanwhile the boat party seemed to be thinking little about the
waterfall, or the need for expedition. For a few minutes the
quick-glancing play of the oars was seen, and then they ceased again;
and now an arm was stretched out toward some distant object in the
landscape, as if asking a question; and then the little fellow pointed
here and there, as if asking many questions at once, and, in short,
the conjectures on the balcony were all thrown out. But now the oars
had rested longer than usual, and a figure rose and stooped, and
seemed occupied with something at the bottom of the boat. What were
they about? They were surely not going to fish at this time of
evening? No, they were not; for slowly a mast was raised, and a sail
unfurled, which at first hung flapping, as if uncertain which side the
wind would take it, and then gently swelled out to its full
dimensions, and seemed too large a wing for so tiny a body. A slight
air had arisen; the long reflected lines of colors, which every object
on the shore dripped, as it were, into the lake, were gently stirred
with a quivering motion; every soft strip of liquid tint broke
gradually into a jagged and serrated edge; colors were mingled, forms
were confused; the mountains, which lay in undiminished brightness
above, seemed by some invisible agency to be losing their second
selves from beneath them; long, cold white lines rose apparently from
below, and spread radiating over all the liquid picture: in a few
minutes, the lake lay one vast sheet of bright silver, and half the
landscape was gone. The boat was no longer in the same element:
before, it had floated in a soft, transparent ether; now, it glided
upon a plain of ice.

"I wish they had stuck to their oars," said the full, deep voice of an
elderly gentleman; "hoisting a sail on these lakes is very much like
trusting to luck in life--it may go on all right for a while, and save
you much trouble, but you are never sure that it won't give you the
slip, and that when you are least prepared."

"No danger in the world, sir," said a young fop standing by, who knew
as little about boating on Scotch lakes as he did of most things any
where else. Meanwhile, the air had become chill, the sun had sunk
behind the hills, and the boating party, tired, apparently, of their
monotonous amusement, turned the boat's head toward shore. For some
minutes they advanced with fuller and fuller bulging sail in the
direction they sought, when suddenly the breeze seemed not so much to
change as to be met by another and stronger current of air, which came
pouring through the valley with a howling sound, and then, bursting on
the lake, drove its waters in a furrow before it. The little boat
started, and swerved like a frightened creature; and the sail,
distended to its utmost, cowered down to the water's edge.

"Good God! why don't they lower that sail? Down with it! down with
it!" shouted the same deep voice from the balcony, regardless of the
impossibility of being heard. But the admonition was needless; the
boatman, with quick, eager motions, was trying to lower it. Still it
bent, fuller and fuller, lower and lower. The man evidently strained
with desperate strength, defeating, perhaps, with the clumsiness of
anxiety, the end in view; when, too impatient, apparently, to witness
their urgent peril without lending his aid, the figure of Captain
H---- rose up; in one instant a piercing scream was borne faintly to
shore--the boat whelmed over, and all were in the water.

For a few dreadful seconds nothing was seen of the unhappy creatures;
then a cap floated, and then two struggling figures rose to the
surface. One was evidently the child, for his cap was off, and his
fair hair was seen; the other head was covered. This latter buffeted
the waters with all the violence of a helpless, drowning man; then he
threw his arms above his head, sank, and rose no more. The boy
struggled less and less, and seemed dead to all resistance before he
sank, too. The boat floated keel upward, almost within reach of the
sufferers; and now that the waters had closed over them, the third
figure was observed, for the first time, at a considerable distance,
slowly and laboriously swimming toward it, and in a few moments two
arms were flung over it, and there he hung. It was one of those scenes
which the heart quails to look on, yet which chains the spectator
to the spot. The whole had passed in less than a minute:
fear--despair--agony--and death, had been pressed into one of those
short minutes, of which so many pass without our knowing how. It is
well. Idleness, vanity, or vice--all that dismisses thought--may dally
with time, but the briefest space is too long for that excess of
consciousness where time seems to stand still.

At this moment a lovely and gentle-looking young woman entered the
room. It was evident that she knew nothing of the dreadful scene that
had just occurred, nor did she now remark the intense excitement which
still riveted the spectators to the balcony; for, seeking, apparently,
to avoid all intercourse with strangers, she had seated herself, with
a book, on the chair farthest removed from the window. Nor did she
look up at the first rush of hurried steps into the room; but, when
she did, there was something which arrested her attention, for every
eye was fixed upon her with an undefinable expression of horror, and
every foot seemed to shrink back from approaching her. There was also
a murmur as of one common and irrepressible feeling through the whole
house; quick footsteps were heard as of men impelled by some dreadful
anxiety; doors were banged; voices shouted; and, could any one have
stood by a calm and indifferent spectator, it would have been
interesting to mark the sudden change from the abstracted and composed
look with which Mrs. H---- (for she it was) first raised her head from
her book to the painful restlessness of inquiry with which she now
glanced from eye to eye, and seemed to question what manner of tale
they told.

It is something awful and dreadful to stand before a fellow-creature
laden with a sorrow which, however we may commiserate it, it is theirs
alone to bear; to be compelled to tear away that vail of
unconsciousness which alone hides their misery from their sight; and
to feel that the faintness gathering round our own heart alone enables
theirs to continue beating with tranquillity. We feel less almost of
pity for the suffering we are about to inflict than for the peace
which we are about to remove; and the smile of unconsciousness which
precedes the knowledge of evil is still more painful to look back upon
than the bitterest tear that follows it. And, if such be the feelings
of the messenger of heavy tidings, the mind that is to receive them is
correspondingly actuated. For who is there that thanks you really for
concealing the evil that was already arrived--for prolonging the
happiness that was already gone? Who cares for a reprieve when
sentence is still to follow? It is a pitiful soul that does not prefer
the sorrow of certainty to the peace of deceit; or, rather, it is a
blessed provision which enables us to acknowledge the preference when
it is no longer in our power to choose. It seems intended as a
protection to the mind from something so degrading to it as an unreal
happiness, that both those who have to inflict misery and those who
have to receive it should alike despise its solace. Those who have
trod the very brink of a precipice, unknowing that it yawned beneath,
look back to those moments of their ignorance with more of horror than
of comfort; such security is too close to danger for the mind ever to
separate them again. Nor need the bearer of sorrow embitter his errand
by hesitations and scruples how to disclose it; he need not pause for
a choice of words or form of statement. In no circumstance of life
does the soul act so utterly independent of all outward agency; it
waits for no explanation, wants no evidence; at the furthest idea of
danger it flies at once to its weakest part; an embarrassed manner
will rouse suspicions, and a faltered word confirm them. Dreadful
things never require precision of terms--they are wholly guessed
before they are half-told. Happiness the heart believes not in till it
stands at our very threshold; misery it flies at as if eager to meet.

So it was with the unfortunate Mrs. H----; no one spoke of the
accident, no one pointed to the lake; no connecting link seemed to
exist between the security of ignorance and the agony of knowledge. At
one moment she raised her head in placid indifference, at the next she
knew that her husband and child were lying beneath the waters. And did
she faint, or fall as one stricken? No: for the suspicion was too
sudden to be sustained; and the next instant came the thought, This
must be a dream; God can not have done it. And the eyes were closed,
and the convulsed hands pressed tight over them, as if she would shut
out mental vision as well; and groans and sobs burst from the crowd,
and men dashed from the room, unable to bear it; and women, too,
untrue to their calling. And there was weeping and wringing of hands,
and one weak woman fainted; but still no sound or movement came from
her on whom the burden had fallen. Then came the dreadful revulsion of
feeling; and, with contracted brow and gasping breath, and voice
pitched almost to a scream, she said, "It is not true--tell me--it is
not true--tell me--tell me!" And, advancing with desperate gestures,
she made for the balcony. All recoiled before her; when one gentle
woman, small and delicate as herself, opposed her, and, with streaming
eyes and trembling limbs, stood before her. "Oh, go not there--go not
there! cast your heavy burden on the Lord!" These words broke the
spell. Mrs. H---- uttered a cry which long rang in the ears of those
that heard it, and sank, shivering and powerless, in the arms of the
kind stranger.

Meanwhile, the dreadful scene had been witnessed from all parts of the
hotel, and every male inmate poured from it. The listless tourist of
fashion forgot his languor, the way-worn pedestrian his fatigue. The
hill down to the lake was trodden by eager, hurrying figures, all
anxious to give that which in such cases it is a relief to give, viz.,
active assistance. Nor were these all, for down came the sturdy
shepherd from the hills; and the troops of ragged, bare-legged urchins
from all sides; and distant figures of men and women were seen
pressing forward to help or to hear; and the hitherto deserted-looking
valley was active with life. Meanwhile, the survivor hung motionless
over the upturned boat, borne about at the will of the waters, which
were now lashed into great agitation. No one could tell whether it was
Captain H---- or the Highland boatman, and no one could wish for the
preservation of the one more than the other. For life is life to all;
and the poor man's wife and family may have less time to mourn, but
more cause to want. And before the boat, that was manning with eager
volunteers, had left the shore, down came also a tall, raw-boned
woman, breathless, more apparently with exertion than anxiety--her
eyes dry as stones, and her cheeks red with settled color; one child
dragging at her heels, another at her breast. It was the boatman's
wife. Different, indeed, was her suspense to that of the sufferer who
had been left above; but, perhaps, equally true to her capacity. With
her it was fury rather than distress; she scolded the bystanders, chid
the little squalling child, and abused her husband by turns.

"How dare he gang to risk his life, wi' six bairns at hame? Ae body
knew nae sail was safe on the lake for twa hours thegether; mair fule
he to try!" And then she flung the roaring child on to the grass, bade
the other mind it, strode half-leg high into the water to help to push
off the boat; and then, returning to a place where she could command a
view of its movements, she took up the child and hushed it tenderly to
sleep. Like her, every one now sought some elevated position, and the
progress of the boat seemed to suspend every other thought. It soon
neared the fatal spot, and in another minute was alongside the
upturned boat; the figure was now lifted carefully in, something put
round him, and, from the languor of his movements, and the care taken,
the first impression on shore was that Captain H---- was the one
spared. But it was a mercy to Mrs. H---- that she was not in a state
to know these surmises; for soon the survivor sat steadily upright,
worked his arms, and rubbed his head, as if to restore animation; and,
long before the boat reached the shore, the coarse figure and garments
of the Highland boatman were distantly recognized. Up started his
wife. Unaccustomed to mental emotions of any sudden kind, they were
strange and burdensome to her.

"What, Meggy! no stay to welcome your husband!" said a bystander.

"Walcome him yoursal!" she replied; "I hae no the time. I maun get his
dry claes, and het his parritch; and that's the best walcome I can gie
him." And so, perhaps, the husband thought, too.

And now, what was there more to do? The bodies of Captain H---- and
his little son had sunk in seventy fathom deep of water. If, in their
hidden currents and movements they cast their victims aloft to the
surface, all well; if not, no human hand could reach them. There was
nothing to do! Two beings had ceased to exist, who, as far as regarded
the consciousness and sympathies of the whole party, had never existed
at all before. There had been no influence upon them in their lives,
there was no blank to them in their deaths. They had witnessed a
dreadful tragedy; they knew that she who had risen that morning a
happy wife and mother was now widowed and childless, with a weight of
woe upon her, and a life of mourning before her; but there were no
forms to observe, no rites to prepare; nothing necessarily to
interfere with one habit of the day, or to change one plan for the
morrow. It was only a matter of feeling; a great only, it is true;
but, as with every thing in life, from the merest trifle to the most
momentous occurrence, the matter varied with the individual who felt.
All pitied, some sympathized, but few ventured to help. Some wished
themselves a hundred miles off, because they could not help her;
others wished the same, because she distressed them; and the solitary
back room, hidden from all view of the lake, to which the sufferer had
been home, after being visited by a few well-meaning or curious women,
was finally deserted by all save the kind lady we have mentioned, and
a good-natured maid-servant, the drudge of the hotel, who came in
occasionally to assist.

We have told the tale exactly as it occurred; the reader knows both
plot and conclusion: and now there only remains to say something of
the ways of human sorrow, and something, too, of the ways of human
goodness.

Grief falls differently on different hearts; some must vent it, others
can not. The coldest will be the most unnerved, the tenderest the most
possessed; there is no rule. As for this poor lady, hers was of that
sudden and extreme kind for which insensibility is at first mercifully
provided; and it came to her, and yet not entirely--suspending the
sufferings of the mind, but not deadening all the sensation of the
body; for she shivered and shuddered with that bloodless cold which
kept her pale, numb, and icy, like one in the last hours before death.
A large fire was lighted, warm blankets were wrapped round her, but
the cold was too deep to be reached; and the kind efforts made to
restore animation were more a relief to her attendants than to her.
And yet Miss Campbell stopped sometimes from the chafing of the hands,
and let those blue fingers lie motionless in hers, and looked up at
that wan face with an expression as if she wished that the eyes might
never open again, but that death might at once restore what it had
just taken. For some hours no change ensued, and then it was gradual;
the hands were withdrawn from those that held them, and first laid,
and then clenched together; deep sighs of returning breath and
returning knowledge broke from her; the wrappers were thrown off,
first feebly, and then restlessly. There were no dramatic startings,
no abrupt questionings; but, as blood came back to the veins, anguish
came back to the heart. All the signs of excessive mental oppression
now began, a sad train as they are, one extreme leading to the other.
Before, there had been the powerlessness of exertion, now, there was
the powerlessness of control; before she had been benumbed by
insensibility, now, she was impelled as if bereft of sense. Like one
distracted with intense bodily pain, her whole frame seemed strained
to endure. The gentlest of voices whispered comfort, she heard not;
the kindest of arms supported her, she rested not. There was the
unvarying moan, the weary pacing, the repetition of the same action,
the measurement of the same distance, the body vibrating as a mere
machine to the restless recurrence of the same thought.

We have said that every outer sign of woe was there--all but that
which great sorrows set flowing, but the greatest dry up--she shed no
tears! Tears are things for which a preparation of the heart is
needful; they are granted to anxiety for the future, or lament for the
past. They flow with reminiscences of our own, or with the example of
others; they are sent to separations we have long dreaded, and to
disappointments we can not forget; they come when our hearts are
softened, or when our hearts are wearied; but, in the first amazement
of unlooked-for woe, they find no place: the cup that is suddenly
whelmed over lets no drop of water escape.

It was evident, however, through all the unruliness of such distress,
that the sufferer was a creature of gentle and considerate nature; in
the whirlpool which convulsed every faculty of her mind, the smooth
surface of former habits was occasionally thrown up. Though the hand
which sought to support her was cast aside with a restless, excited
movement, it was sought the next instant with a momentary pressure of
contrition. Though the head was turned away one instant from the
whisper of consolation with a gesture of impatience, yet it was bowed
the next as if in entreaty of forgiveness. Poor creature! what effort
she could make to allay the storm which was rioting within her was
evidently made for the sake of those around. With so much and so
suddenly to bear, she still showed the habit of forbearance.

Meanwhile night had far advanced; many had been the inquiries and
expressions of sympathy made at Mrs. H----'s door; but now, one by
one, the parties retired each to their rooms. Few, however, rested
that night as usual; however differently the terrible picture might be
carried on the mind during the hours of light, it forced itself with
almost equal vividness upon all in those of darkness. The father
struggling to reach the child, and then throwing up his arms in agony,
and that fair little head borne about unresistingly by the waves
before they covered it over--these were the figures which haunted many
a pillow. Or, if the recollection of that scene was lulled for a
while, it was recalled again by the weary sound of those footsteps
which told of a mourner who rested not. Of course, among the number
and medley of characters lying under that roof, there was the usual
proportion of the selfish and the careless. None, however, slept that
night without confessing, in word or thought, that life and death are
in the hands of the Lord; and not all, it is to be hoped, forgot the
lesson. One young man, in particular, possessed of fine intellectual
powers, but which unfortunately had been developed among a people who,
God help them! affect to believe only what they understand, was
indebted to this day and night for a great change in his opinions. His
heart was kind, though his understanding was perverted; and the
thought of that young, lovely, and feeble woman, on whom a load of
misery had fallen which would have crushed the strongest of his own
sex, roused within him the strongest sense of the insufficiency of all
human aid or human strength for beings who are framed to love and yet
ordained to lose. He was oppressed with compassion, miserable with
sympathy, he longed with all the generosity of a manly heart to do
something, to suggest something, that should help her, or satisfy
himself. But what were fortitude, philosophy, strength of mind?
Mockeries, nay, more, imbecilities, which he dared not mention to her,
nor so much as think of in the same thought with her woe. Either he
must accuse the Power who had inflicted the wound, and so deep he had
not sunk, or he must acknowledge His means of cure. Impelled,
therefore, by a feeling equally beyond his doubting or his proving, he
did that which for years German sophistry had taught him to forbear;
he gave but little, but he felt that he gave his best--he _prayed_ for
the suffering creature, and in the name of One who suffered for all,
and from that hour God's grace forsook him not.

But the most characteristic sympathizer on the occasion was Sir Thomas
----, the fine old gentleman who had shouted so loudly from the
balcony. He was at home in this valley, owned the whole range of hills
on one side of the lake from their fertile bases to their bleak tops,
took up his abode generally every summer in this hotel, and felt for
the stricken woman as if she had been a guest of his own. Ever since
the fatal accident he had gone about in a perfect fret of
commiseration, inquiring every half-hour at her door how she was, or
what she had taken. Severe bodily illness or intense mental distress
had never fallen upon that bluff person and warm heart, and abstinence
from food was in either case the proof of an extremity for which he
had every compassion, but of which he had no knowledge. He prescribed,
therefore, for the poor lady every thing that he would have relished
himself, and nothing at that moment could have made him so happy as to
have been allowed to send her up the choicest meal that the country
could produce. Not that his benevolence was at all limited to such
manifestations; if it did not deal in sentiment, it took the widest
range of practice. His laborers were dispatched round the lake to
watch for any traces of the late catastrophe; he himself kept up an
hour later planning how he could best promote the comfort of her
onward journey and of her present stay; and though the good old
gentleman was now snoring loudly over the very apartment which
contained the object of his sympathy, he would have laid down his life
to save those that were gone, and half his fortune to solace her who
was left.

Some hours had elapsed, the footsteps had ceased, there was quiet, if
not rest, in the chamber of mourning; and, shortly after sunrise, a
side door in the hotel opened, and she who had been as a sister to the
stranger, never seen before, came slowly forth. She was worn with
watching, her heart was sick with the sight and sounds of such woe,
and she sought the refreshment of the outer air and the privacy of the
early day. It was a dawn promising a day as beautiful as the
preceding; the sun was beaming mildly through an opening toward the
east, wakening the tops of the nearest hills, while all the rest of
the beautiful range lay huge and colorless, nodding, as it were, to
their drowsy reflections beneath, and the lake itself looked as calm
and peaceful as if the winds had never swept over its waters, nor
those waters over all that a wife and mother had loved. Man is such a
speck on this creation of which he is lord, that had every human being
now sleeping on the green sides of the hills, been lying deep among
their dark feet in the lake, it would not have shown a ripple the
more. Miss Campbell, meanwhile, wandered slowly on, and though
apparently unmindful of the beauty of the scene, she was evidently
soothed by its influence. All that dreary night long had she cried
unto God in ceaseless prayer, and felt that without His help in her
heart, and His word on her lips, she had been but as a strengthless
babe before the sight of that anguish. But here beneath His own
heavens her communings were freer; her soul seemed not so much to need
Him below, as to rise to Him above; and the solemn dejection upon a
very careworn, but sweet face, became less painful, but perhaps more
touching. In her wanderings she had now left the hotel to her left
hand, the boatman's clay cottage was just above, and below a little
rough pier of stones, to an iron ring in one of which the boat was
usually attached. She had stood on that self-same spot the day before
and watched Captain H---- and his little son as they walked down to
the pier, summoned the boatman, and launched into the cool, smooth
water. She now went down herself, and stood with a feeling of awe upon
the same stones they had so lately left. The shores were loose and
shingly, many footsteps were there, but one particularly riveted her
gaze. It was tiny in shape and light in print, and a whole succession
of them went off toward the side as if following a butterfly, or
attracted by a bright stone. Alas! they we're the last prints of that
little foot on the shores of this world! Miss Campbell had seen the
first thunderbolt of misery burst upon his mother; she had borne the
sight of her as she lay stunned, and as she rose frenzied, but that
tiny footprint was worse than all, and she burst into a passionate fit
of tears. She felt as if it were desecration to sweep them away, as if
she could have shrined them round from the winds and waves, and
thoughtless tread of others; but a thought came to check her. What did
it matter how the trace of his little foot, or how the memory of his
short life were obliterated from this earth? There was One above who
had numbered every hair of his innocent head, and in His presence she
humbly hoped both father and child were now rejoicing.

She was just turning away when the sound of steps approached, and the
boatman's wife came up. Her features were coarse and her frame was
gaunt, as we have said, but she was no longer the termagant of the day
before, nor was she ever so. But the lower classes, in the most
civilized lands, are often, both in joy and grief, an enigma to those
above them; if nature, rare alike in all ranks, speak not for them,
they have no conventional imitation to put in her place. The feeling
of intense suspense was new to her, and the violence she had assumed
had been the awkwardness which, under many eyes, knew not otherwise
how to express or, conceal; but she had sound Scotch sense, and a
tender woman's heart, and spoke them both now truly, if not
gracefully.

"Ye'll be frae the hotel, yonder?" she said; "can ye tell me how the
puir leddy has rested? I was up mysel' to the house, and they tell't
me they could hear her greeting!"

Miss Campbell told her in a few words what the reader knows, and asked
for her husband.

"Oh! he's weel eneugh in body, but sair disquieted in mind. No that
he's unmindfu' of the mercy of the Lord to himsel', but he can no just
keep the thocht away that it was he wha helped those poor creatures to
their end." She then proceeded earnestly to exculpate her husband,
assuring Miss Campbell that in spite of the heavy wind and the
entangled rope, all might even yet have been well if the gentleman had
kept his seat. "But I just tell him that there's Ane above, stronger
than the wind, who sunk them in the lake, and could have raised them
from it, but it was no His pleasure. The puir leddy would ha' been
nane the happier if Andrew had been ta'en as well, and I and the
bairns muckle the waur." Then observing where Miss Campbell stood, she
continued, in a voice of much emotion, "Ah! I mind them weel as they
came awa' down here; the bairnie was playing by as Andrew loosened the
boat--the sweet bairnie! so happy and thochtless as he gaed in his
beautiful claes--I see him noo!" and the poor woman wiped her eyes.
"But there's something ye'll like to see. Jeanie! gang awa' up, and
bring the little bonnet that hangs on the peg. Andrew went out again
with the boat the night, and picked it up. But it will no be dry."

The child returned with a sad token. It was the little fellow's cap; a
smart, town-made article, with velvet band, and long silk tassel which
had been his first vanity, and his mother had coaxed it smooth as she
pulled the peak low down over his fair forehead, and then, fumbling
his little fingers into his gloves, had given him a kiss which she
little thought was to be the last!

"I was coming awa' up wi' it mysel', but the leddy will no just bear
to see it yet."

"No, not yet," said Miss Campbell, "if ever. Let me take it. I shall
remain with her till better friends come here, or she goes to them;"
and giving the woman money, which she had difficulty in making her
accept, she possessed herself of the cap, and turned away.

She soon reached the hotel, it was just five o'clock, all blinds were
down, and there was no sign of life; but one figure was pacing up and
down, and seemed to be watching for her. It was Sir Thomas. His
sympathy had broken his sleep in the morning, though it had not
disturbed it at night. He began in his abrupt way:

"Madam, I have been watching for you. I heard you leave the house.
Madam, I feel almost ashamed to lift up my eyes to you; while we have
all been wishing and talking, you alone have been acting. We are all
obliged to you, madam; there is not a creature here with a heart in
them to whom you have not given comfort!"

Miss Campbell tried to escape from the honest overflowings of the old
man's feelings.

"You have only done what you liked: very true, madam. It is choking
work having to pity without knowing how to help; but I would sooner
give ten thousand pounds than see what you have seen. I would do any
thing for the poor creature, any thing, but I could not look at her."
He then told her that his men had been sent with the earliest dawn to
different points of the lake, but as yet without finding any traces of
the late fatal accident; and then his eyes fell upon the cap in Miss
Campbell's hand, and he at once guessed the history. "Picked up last
evening, you say--sad, sad--a dreadful thing!" and his eyes filling
more than it was convenient to hold, he turned away, blew his nose,
took a short turn, and coming back again, continued, "But tell me, how
has she rested? what has she taken? You must not let her weep too
much!"

"Let her weep!" said Miss Campbell; "I wish I could bid her. She has
not shed a tear yet, and mind and body alike want it. I left her
lying back quiet in an arm-chair, but I fear this quiet is worse than
what has gone before!"

"God bless my heart!" said Sir Thomas, his eyes now running over
without control. "God bless my heart! this is sad work. Not that I
ever wished a woman to cry before in my life, if she could help it.
Poor thing! poor thing! I'll send for a medical man: the nearest is
fifteen miles off!"

"I think it will be necessary. I am now going back to her room."

"Well, ma'am, I won't detain you longer, but don't keep all the good
to yourself. Let me know if there is any thing that I, or my men, or,"
the old gentleman hesitated, "my money, madam, can do, only don't ask
me to see her;" and so they each went their way--Sir Thomas to the
stables to send off man and horse, and Miss Campbell to the chamber of
mourning.

She started as she entered; the blind was drawn up, and, leaning
against the shutter, in apparent composure, stood Mrs. H----. That
composure was dreadful; it was the calm of intense agitation, the
silence of boiling heat, the immovability of an object in the most
rapid motion. The light was full upon her, showing cheek and forehead
flushed, and veins bursting on the small hands. Miss Campbell
approached with trembling limbs.

"Where is the servant?"--"I did not want her."

"Will you not rest?"--"I _can not_!"

Miss Campbell was weary and worn out; the picture before her was so
terrible, she sunk on the nearest chair in an agony of tears.

Without changing her position, Mrs. H---- turned her head, and said,
gently, "Oh, do not cry so! it is I who ought to cry, but my heart is
as dry as my eyes, and my head is so tight, and I can not think for
its aching; I can not think, I can not understand, I can not remember,
I don't even know your name, then why should this be true? It is I who
am ill, they are well, but they never were so long from me before."
Then coming forward, her face working, and her breath held tightly, as
if a scream were pressing behind, "Tell me," she said, "tell me--my
husband and child--" she tried hard to articulate, but the words were
lost in a frightful contortion. Miss Campbell mastered herself, she
saw the rack of mental torture was strained to the utmost. Neither
could bear this much longer. She almost feared resistance, but she
felt there was one way to which the sufferer would respond.

"I am weary and tired," she said; "weary with staying up with you all
night. If you will lie down, I will soon come and lie by your side."

Poor Mrs. H---- said nothing, but let herself be laid upon the bed.

Three mortal hours passed, she was burnt with a fever which only her
own tears could quench; and those wide-open, dry eyes were fearful to
see. A knock came to the door, "How is she now?" said Sir Thomas's
voice, "The doctor is here: you look as if you wanted him yourself.
I'll bring him up."

The medical man entered. Such a case had not occurred in his small
country practice before, but he was a sensible and a kind man, and no
practice could have helped him here if he had not been. He heard the
whole sad history, felt the throbbing pulse, saw the flush on the
face, and wide-open eyes, which now seemed scarcely to notice any
thing. He took Miss Campbell into another room, and said that the
patient must be instantly roused, and then bled if necessary.

"But the first you can undertake better than I, madam." He looked
round. "Is there no little object which would recall?--nothing you
could bring before her sight? You understand me?"

Indeed, Miss Campbell did. She had not sat by that bed-side for the
last three hours without feeling and fearing that this was necessary;
but, at the same time, she would rather have cut off her own hand than
undertaken it. She hesitated--but for a moment, and then whispered
something to Sir Thomas.

"God bless my heart!" said he: "who would have thought of it? Yes. I
know it made me cry like a child."

And then he repeated her proposition to the medical man, who gave
immediate assent, and she left the room. In a few minutes she entered
that of Mrs. H---- with the little boy's cap in her hand, placed it in
a conspicuous position before the bed, and then seated herself with a
quick, nervous motion by the bed-side. It was a horrid pause, like
that which precedes a cruel operation, where you have taken upon
yourself the second degree of suffering--that of witnessing it. The
cap lay there on the small stone mantle-piece, with its long,
drabbled, weeping tassel, like a funeral emblem. It was not many
minutes before it caught those eyes for which it was intended. A
suppressed exclamation broke from her; she flew from the bed, looked
at Miss Campbell one instant in intense inquiry, and the next had the
cap in her hands. The touch of that wet object seemed to dissolve the
spell; her whole frame trembled with sudden relaxation. She sank,
half-kneeling, on the floor, and tears spouted from her eyes. No
blessed rain from heaven to famished earth was ever more welcome.
Tears, did we say? Torrents! Those eyes, late so hot and dry, were as
two arteries of the soul suddenly opened. What a misery that had been
which had sealed them up! They streamed over her face, blinding her
riveted gaze, falling on her hands, on the cap, on the floor.
Meanwhile the much-to-be-pitied sharer of her sorrow knelt by her
side, her whole frame scarcely less unnerved than that she sought to
support, uttering broken ejaculations and prayers, and joining her
tears to those which flowed so passionately. But she had a gentle and
meek spirit to deal with. Mrs. H---- crossed her hands over the cap
and bowed her head. Thus she continued a minute, and then turning,
still on her knees, she laid her head on her companion's shoulder.

"Help me up," she said, "for I am without strength." And all weak,
trembling, and sobbing, she allowed herself to be undressed and put to
bed.

Miss Campbell lay down in the same room. She listened till the
quivering, catching sobs had given place to deep-drawn sighs, and
these again to disturbed breathings, and then both slept the sleep of
utter exhaustion, and Miss Campbell, fortunately, knew not when the
mourner awoke from it.

Oh, the dreary first-fruits of excessive sorrow! The first days of a
stricken heart, passed through, writhed through, ground through, we
scarcely know or remember how, before the knowledge of the bereavement
has become habitual--while it is still struggle and not endurance--the
same ceaseless recoil from the same ever-recurring shock. It was a
blessing that she was ill, very ill; the body shared something of the
weight at first.

Let no one, untried by such extremity, here lift the word or look of
deprecation. Let there not be a thought of what she ought to have
done, or what they would have done. God's love is great, and a
Christian's faith is strong, but when have the first encounters
between old joys and new sorrows been otherwise than fierce? From time
to time a few intervals of heavenly composure, wonderful and gracious
to the sufferer, may be permitted, and even the dim light of future
peace discerned in the distance; but, in a moment, the gauntlet of
defiance is thrown again--no matter what--an old look, an old word,
which comes rushing unbidden over the soul, and dreadful feelings rise
again only to spend themselves by their own violence. It always seems
to us as if sorrow had a nature of its own, independent of that
whereon it has fallen, and sometimes strangely at variance with
it--scorching the gentle, melting the passionate, dignifying the weak,
and prostrating the strong--and showing the real nature, habits, or
principles of the mind, only in those defenses it raises up during the
intervals of relief. With Mrs. H---- these defenses were reared on the
only sure base, and though the storm would sweep down her bulwarks,
and cover all over with the furious tide of grief, yet the foundation
was left to cling to, and every renewal added somewhat to its
strength.

Three days were spent thus, but the fourth she was better, and on Miss
Campbell's approaching her bed-side, she drew her to her, and, putting
her arms round her neck, imprinted a calm and solemn kiss upon her
cheek.

"Oh! what can I ever do for you, dear friend and comforter? God, who
has sent you to me in my utmost need, He alone can reward you. I don't
even know your name; but that matters not, I know your heart. Now, you
may tell me all--all; before, I felt as if I could neither know nor
forget what had happened, before, it was as if God had withdrawn His
countenance; but now He is gracious, He has heard your prayers."

And then, with the avidity of fresh, hungry sorrow, she besought Miss
Campbell to tell her all she knew; she besought and would not be
denied, for sorrow has royal authority, its requests are commands. So,
with the hand of each locked together, and the eyes of each averted,
they sat questioning and answering in disjointed sentences till the
whole sad tale was told. Then, anxious to turn a subject which could
not be banished, Miss Campbell spoke of the many hearts that had bled,
and the many prayers that had ascended for her, and told her of that
kind old man who had thought, acted, and grieved for her like a
father.

"God bless him--God bless them all; but chiefly you, my sister. I want
no other name."

"Call me Catherine," said the faithful companion.

Passionate bursts of grief would succeed such conversations;
nevertheless, they were renewed again and again, for, like all
sufferers from severe bereavements, her heart needed to create a world
for itself, where its loved ones still were, as a defense against that
outer one where they were not, and to which she was only slowly and
painfully to be inured, if ever. In these times she would love to tell
Catherine--what Catherine most loved to hear--how that her lost
husband was both a believer and a doer of Christ's holy word, and that
her lost child had learned at her knee what she herself had chiefly
learned from his father. For she had been brought up in ignorance and
indifference to religious truths, and the greatest happiness of her
life had commenced that knowledge, which its greatest sorrow was now
to complete.

"I have been such a happy woman," she would say, "that I have pitied
others less blessed, though I trust they have not envied me." And then
would follow sigh on sigh and tear on tear, and again her soul writhed
beneath the agony of that implacable mental spasm.

Sometimes the mourner would appear to lose, instead of gaining ground,
and would own with depression, and even with shame, her fear that she
was becoming more and more the sport of ungovernable feeling. "My
sorrow is sharp enough," she would say, "but it is a still sharper
pang when I feel I am not doing my duty under it. It is not thus that
_he_ would have had me act." And her kind companion, always at hand to
give sympathy or comfort, would bid her not exact or expect any thing
from herself, but to cast all upon God, reminding her in words of
tenderness that her soul was as a sick child, and that strength would
not be required until strength was vouchsafed. "Strength," said the
mourner, "no more strength or health for me." And Miss Campbell would
whisper that, though "weariness endureth for a night, joy comes in the
morning." Or she would be silent, for she knew, as most women do,
alike how to soothe and when to humor.

It was a beautiful and a moving sight to see two beings thus riveted
together in the exercise and receipt of the tenderest and most
intimate feelings, who had never known of each other's existence
till the moment that made the one dependent and the other
indispensable. All the shades and grades of conventional and natural
acquaintanceship, all the gradual insight into mutual character, and
the gradual growth into mutual trust, which it is so sweet to look
back upon from the high ground of friendship, were lost to them; but
it mattered not, here they were together, the one admitted into the
sanctuary of sorrow, the other sharing in the fullness of love, with
no reminiscence in common but one, and that sufficient to bind them
together for life.

Meanwhile the friend without was also unremitting in his way. He
crossed not her threshold in person, nor would have done so for the
world, but his thoughts were always reaching Mrs. H---- in some kind
form. Every delicate dainty that money could procure--beautiful fruits
and flowers which had scarce entered this valley before--every thing
that could tempt the languid appetite or divert the weary eye was in
turn thought of, and each handed in with a kind, hearty inquiry, till
the mourner listened with pleasure for the step and voice. Nor was
Miss Campbell forgotten; all the brief snatches of air and exercise
she enjoyed were in his company, and often did he insist on her coming
out for a short walk or drive when the persuasions of Mrs. H---- had
failed to induce her to leave a room where she was the only joy. But
now a fresh object attracted Sir Thomas's activity, for after many
days the earthly remains of one of the sufferers were thrown up. It
was the body of the little boy. Sir Thomas directed all that was
necessary to be done, and having informed Miss Campbell, the two
friends, each strange to the other, and bound together by the interest
in one equally strange to both, went out together up the hill above
the hotel, and were gone longer than usual. The next day the
intelligence was communicated to Mrs. H----, who received it calmly,
but added, "I could have wished them both to have rested together; but
God's will be done. I ought not to think of them as on earth."

The grave of little Harry H---- was dug far from the burial-ground of
his fathers, and strangers followed him to it; but though there were
no familiar faces among those who stood round, there were no cold
ones; and when Sir Thomas, as chief mourner, threw the earth upon the
lowered coffin, warm tears fell upon it also. Miss Campbell had
watched the procession from the window, and told how the good old man
walked next behind the minister, the boatman and his wife following
him, and how a long train succeeded, all pious and reverential in
their bearing, with that air of manly decorum which the Scotch
peasantry conspicuously show on such occasions. And she who lay on a
bed of sorrow and weakness blessed them through her tears, and felt
that her child's funeral was not lonely.

From this time the mourner visibly mended. The funeral and the
intelligence that preceded it had insensibly given her that change of
the same theme, the want of which had been so much felt at first. She
had now taken up her burden, and, for the dear sakes of those for whom
she bore it, it became almost sweet to her. She was not worshiping her
sorrow as an idol, but cherishing it as a friend. Meanwhile she had
received many kind visits from the minister who had buried her child,
and had listened to his exhortations with humility and gratitude; but
his words were felt as admonitions, Catherine's as comfort. To her,
now dearer and dearer, every day she would confess aloud the secret
changes of her heart; how at one time the world looked all black and
dreary before her, how at another she seemed already to live in a
brighter one beyond; how one day life was a burden she knew not how to
bear, and another how the bitterness of death seemed already past.
Then with true Christian politeness she would lament over the
selfishness of her grief, and ask where Miss Campbell had learned to
know that feeling which she felt henceforth was to be the only solace
of her life--viz., the deep, deep sympathy for others. And Catherine
would tell her, with that care-worn look which confirmed all she said,
how she had been sorely tried, not by the death of those she loved,
but by what was worse--their sufferings and their sins. How she had
been laden with those misfortunes which wound most and teach least,
and which, although coming equally from the hand of God, torment you
with the idea that, but for the wickedness or weakness of some human
agent, they need never have been; till she had felt, wrongly no doubt,
that she could have better borne those on which the stamp of the
Divine Will was more legibly impressed. She told her how the sting of
sorrow, like that of death, is sin; how comparatively light it was to
see those you love dead, dying, crippled, maniacs, victims, in short,
of any evil, rather than victims of evil itself. She spoke of a
heart-broken sister and a hard-hearted brother; of a son--an only one,
like him just buried--who had gone on from sin to sin, hardening his
own heart, and wringing those of others, till none but a mother's love
remained to him, and that he outraged. She told, in short, so much of
the sad realities of life, in which, if there was not more woe, there
was less comfort, that Mrs. H---- acknowledged in her heart that such
griefs had indeed been unendurable, and returned with something like
comfort to the undisturbed sanctity of her own.

About this time a summons came which required Sir Thomas to quit the
valley in which these scenes had been occurring. Mrs. H---- could have
seen him, and almost longed to see him; but he shrunk from her,
fearing no longer her sorrow so much as her gratitude.

"Tell her I love her," he said, in his abrupt way, "and always shall;
but I can't see her--at least, not yet." Then, explaining to Miss
Campbell all the little arrangements for the continuation of the
mourner's comfort, which his absence might interrupt, he authorized
her to dispose of his servants, his horses, and every thing that
belonged to him, and finally put into her hands a small packet,
directed to Mrs. H----, with instructions when to give it. He had
ascertained that Mrs. H---- was wealthy, and that her great
afflictions entailed no minor privations. "But you, my dear, are poor;
at least, I hope so, for I could not be happy unless I were of service
to you. I am just as much obliged to you as Mrs. H---- is. Mind, you
have promised to write to me and to apply to me without reserve. No
kindness, no honor--nonsense. It is _I_ who honor _you_ above every
creature I know, but I would not be a woman for the world; at least,
the truth is, I _could_ not." And so he turned hastily away.

And now the time approached when she, who had entered this valley a
happy wife and mother, was to leave it widowed and childless, a
sorrowing and heavy-hearted woman, but not an unhappy one. She had
but few near relations, and those scattered in distant lands; but
there were friends who would break the first desolation of her former
home, and Catherine had promised to bear her company till she had
committed her into their hands.

It was a lovely evening, the one before their departure. Mrs. H----
was clad for the first time in all that betokened her to be a mourner;
but, as Catherine looked from the black habiliments to that pale face,
she felt that there was the deepest mourning of all. Slowly the widow
passed through that side-door we have mentioned, and stood once more
under God's heaven. Neither had mentioned to the other the errand on
which they were bound, but both felt that there was but one. Slowly
and feebly she mounted the gentle slope, and often she stopped, for it
was more than weakness or fatigue that made her breath fail. The way
was beautiful, close to the rocky bed and leafy sides of that sweetest
of all sweet things in the natural world, a Scotch burn. And now they
turned, for the rich strip of grass, winding among bush and rock,
which they had been following as a path, here spread itself out in a
level shelf of turf, where the burn ran smoother, the bushes grew
higher, and where the hill started upward again in bolder lines. Here
there was a fresh-covered grave. The widow knelt by it, while
Catherine stood back. Long was that head bowed, first in anguish, and
then in submission, and then she turned her face toward the lake, on
which she had not looked since that fatal day, and gazed steadily upon
it. The child lay in his narrow bed at her feet, but the father had a
wider one far beneath. Catherine now approached and was folded in a
silent embrace; then she gave her that small packet which Sir Thomas
had left, and begged her to open it on the spot. It was a legal deed,
making over to Mary H----, in free gift, the ground on which she
stood--a broad strip from the tip of the hill to the waters of the
lake. The widow's tears rained fast upon it.

"Both God and man are very good to me," she said; "I am lonely but not
forsaken. But, Catherine, it is you to whom I must speak. I have tried
to speak before, but never felt I could till now. Oh, Catherine! stay
with me; let us never be parted. God gave you to me when He took all
else beside; He has not done it for naught. I can bear to return to my
lonely home if you will share it--I can bear to see this valley, this
grave again, if you are with me. I am not afraid of tying your
cheerfulness to my sorrow; I feel that I am under a calamity, but I
feel also that I am under no curse--you will help to make it a
blessing. Oh! complete your sacred work, give me years to requite to
you your last few days to me. You have none who need you more--none
who love you more. Oh! follow me; here, on my child's grave, I humbly
entreat you, follow me."

Catherine trembled; she stood silent a minute, and then, with a low,
firm voice, replied, "Here, on your child's grave, I promise you. Your
people shall be my people, and your God my God." She kept her promise
and never repented it.



LIFE OF BLAKE, THE GREAT ADMIRAL.


Robert Blake was born at Bridgewater, in August, 1599. His father,
Humphrey Blake, was a merchant trading with Spain--a man whose temper
seems to have been too sanguine and adventurous for the ordinary
action of trade, finally involving him in difficulties which clouded
his latter days, and left his family in straitened circumstances: his
name, however, was held in general respect; and we find that he lived
in one of the best houses in Bridgewater, and twice filled the chair
of its chief magistrate. The perils to which mercantile enterprise was
then liable--the chance escapes and valorous deeds which the
successful adventurer had to tell his friends and children on the dark
winter nights--doubtless formed a part of the food on which the
imagination of young Blake, "silent and thoughtful from his
childhood," was fed in the "old house at home." At the Bridgewater
grammar-school, Robert received his early education, making tolerable
acquaintance with Latin and Greek, and acquiring a strong bias toward
a literary life. This _penchant_ was confirmed by his subsequent
career at Oxford, where he matriculated at sixteen, and where he
strove hard, but fruitlessly, for scholarships and fellowships at
different colleges. His failure to obtain a Merton fellowship has been
attributed to a crotchet of the warden's, Sir Henry Savile, in favor
of tall men: "The young Somersetshire student, thick-set,
fair-complexioned, and only five feet six, fell below his standard of
manly beauty;" and thus the Cavalier warden, in denying this aspirant
the means of cultivating literature on a little university oatmeal,
was turning back on the world one who was fated to become a republican
power of the age. This shining light, instead of comfortably and
obscurely merging in a petty constellation of Alma Mater, was to
become a bright particular star, and dwell apart. The avowed
liberalism of Robert may, however, have done more in reality to shock
Sir Henry, than his inability to add a cubit to his stature. It is
pleasant to know, that the "admiral and general at sea" never outgrew
a tenderness for literature--his first-love, despite the rebuff of his
advances. Even in the busiest turmoil of a life teeming with accidents
by flood and field, he made it a point of pride not to forget his
favorite classics. Nor was it till after nine years' experience of
college-life, and when his father was no longer able to manage his
_res angusta vitæ_, that Robert finally abandoned his long-cherished
plans, and retired with a sigh and last adieu from the banks of the
Isis.

When he returned to Bridgewater, in time to close his father's eyes,
and superintend the arrangements of the family, he was already
remarkable for that "iron will, that grave demeanor, that free and
dauntless spirit," which so distinguished his after-course. His tastes
were simple, his manners somewhat bluntly austere; a refined dignity
of countenance, and a picturesque vigor of conversation, invested him
with a social interest, to which his indignant invectives against
court corruptions gave distinctive character. To the Short Parliament
he was sent as member for his native town; and in 1645, was returned
by Taunton to the Long Parliament. At the dissolution of the former,
which he regarded as a signal for action, he began to prepare arms
against the king; his being one of the first troops in the field, and
engaged in almost every action of importance in the western counties.
His superiority to the men about him lay in the "marvelous fertility,
energy, and comprehensiveness of his military genius." Prince Rupert
alone, in the Royalist camp, could rival him as a "partisan soldier."
His first distinguished exploit was his defense of Prior's Hill fort,
at the siege of Bristol--which contrasts so remarkably with the
pusillanimity of his chief, Colonel Fiennes. Next comes his yet more
brilliant defense of Lyme--then a little fishing-town, with some 900
inhabitants, of which the defenses were a dry ditch, a few
hastily-formed earth-works, and three small batteries, but which the
Cavalier host of Prince Maurice, trying storm, stratagem, blockade,
day after day, and week after week, failed to reduce or dishearten.
"At Oxford, where Charles then was, the affair was an inexplicable
marvel and mystery: every hour the court expected to hear that the
'little vile fishing-town,' as Clarendon contemptuously calls it, had
fallen, and that Maurice had marched away to enterprises of greater
moment; but every post brought word to the wondering council, that
Colonel Blake still held out, and that his spirited defense was
rousing and rallying the dispersed adherents of Parliament in those
parts." After the siege was raised, the Royalists found that more men
of gentle blood had fallen under Blake's fire at Lyme, than in all
other sieges and skirmishes in the western counties since the opening
of the war.

The hero's fame had become a spell in the west: it was seen that he
rivaled Rupert in rapid and brilliant execution, and excelled him in
the caution and sagacity of his plans. He took Taunton--a place so
important at that juncture, as standing on and controlling the great
western highway--in July, 1644, within a week of Cromwell's defeat of
Rupert at Marston Moor. All the vigor of the Royalists was
brought to bear on the captured town; Blake's defense of which is
justly characterized as abounding with deeds of individual
heroism--exhibiting in its master-mind a rare combination of civil and
military genius. The spectacle of an unwalled town, in an inland
district, with no single advantage of site, surrounded by powerful
castles and garrisons, and invested by an enemy brave, watchful,
numerous, and well provided with artillery, successively resisting
storm, strait, and blockade for several months, thus paralyzing the
king's power, and affording Cromwell time to remodel the army,
naturally arrested the attention of military writers at that time; and
French authors of this class bestowed on Taunton the name of the
modern Saguntum. The rage of the Royalists at this prolonged
resistance was extreme. Reckoning from the date when Blake first
seized the town, to that of Goring's final retreat, the defense
lasted exactly a year, and under circumstances of almost overwhelming
difficulty to the besieged party, who, in addition to the fatigue of
nightly watches, and the destruction of daily conflicts, suffered from
terrible scarcity of provisions. "Not a day passed without a fire;
sometimes eight or ten houses were burning at the same moment; and in
the midst of all the fear, horror, and confusion incident to such
disasters, Blake and his little garrison had to meet the
storming-parties of an enemy brave, exasperated, and ten times their
own strength. But every inch of ground was gallantly defended. A broad
belt of ruined cottages and gardens was gradually formed between the
besiegers and the besieged; and on the heaps of broken walls and burnt
rafters, the obstinate contest was renewed from day to day." At last
relief arrived from London; and Goring, in savage dudgeon, beat a
retreat, notwithstanding the wild oath he had registered, either to
reduce that haughty town, or to lay his bones in its trenches.

Blake was now the observed of all observers; but, unlike most of his
compeers, he abstained from using his advantages for purposes of
selfish or personal aggrandizement. He kept aloof from the "centre of
intrigues," and remained at his post, "doing his duty humbly and
faithfully at a distance from Westminster; while other men, with less
than half his claims, were asking and obtaining the highest honors and
rewards from a grateful and lavish country." Nor, indeed, did he at
any time side with the ultras of his party, but loudly disapproved of
the policy of the regicides. This, coupled with his influence, so
greatly deserved and so deservedly great, made him an object of
jealousy with Cromwell and his party; and it was owing, perhaps, to
their anxiety to keep him removed from the home sphere of action, that
he was now appointed to the chief naval command.

Hitherto, and for years afterward, no state, ancient or modern, as
Macaulay points out, had made a separation between the military and
the naval service. Cimon and Lysander, Pompey and Agrippa, had fought
by sea as well as by land: at Flodden, the right wing of the English
was led by her admiral, and the French admiral led the Huguenots at
Jarnac, &c. Accordingly, Blake was summoned from his pacific
government at Taunton, to assume the post of "General and Admiral at
Sea;" a title afterward changed to "General of the Fleet." Two others
were associated with him in the command; but Blake seems at _least_ to
have been recognized as _primus inter pares_. The navy system was in
deplorable need of reform; and a reformer it found in Robert Blake,
from the very day he became an admiral. His care for the well-being of
his men made him an object of their almost adoring attachment. From
first to last, he stood alone as England's model seaman. "Envy,
hatred, and jealousy dogged the steps of every other officer in the
fleet; but of him, both then and afterward, every man spoke well." The
"tremendous powers" intrusted to him by the Council of State, he
exercised with off-handed and masterly success--startling politicians
and officials of the _ancien régime_, by his bold and open tactics,
and his contempt for tortuous by-paths in diplomacy. His wondrous
exploits were performed with extreme poverty of means. He was the
first to repudiate and disprove the supposed fundamental maxim in
marine warfare, that no ship could attack a castle, or other strong
fortification, with any hope of success. The early part of his naval
career was occupied in opposing and defeating the piratical
performances of Prince Rupert, which then constituted the support of
the exiled Stuarts. Blake's utmost vigilance and activity were
required to put down this extraordinary system of freebooting; and by
the time that he had successively overcome Rupert, and the minor but
stubborn adventurers, Grenville and Carteret, he was in request to
conduct the formidable war with Holland, and to cope with such
veterans as Tromp, De Witt, De Ruyter, &c.

On one occasion only did Blake suffer ever a defeat; and this one is
easily explained by--first, Tromp's overwhelming superiority of force;
secondly, the extreme deficiency of men in the English fleet; and,
thirdly, the cowardice or disaffection of several of Blake's captains
at a critical moment in the battle. Notwithstanding this disaster, not
a whisper was heard against the admiral either in the Council of State
or in the city; his offer to resign was flatteringly rejected; and he
soon found, that the "misfortune which might have ruined another man,
had given him strength and influence in the country." This disaster,
in fact, gave him power to effect reforms in the service, and to root
out abuses which had defied all his efforts in the day of his success.
He followed it up by the great battle of Portland, and other
triumphant engagements.

Then came his sweeping _tours de force_ in the Mediterranean; in six
months he established himself as a power in that great midland sea,
from which his countrymen had been politically excluded since the age
of the Crusades--teaching nations, to which England's very name was a
strange sound, to respect its honors and its rights; chastising the
pirates of Barbary with unprecedented severity; making Italy's petty
princes feel the power of the northern Protestants; causing the pope
himself to tremble on his seven hills; and startling the
council-chambers of Venice and Constantinople with the distant echoes
of our guns. And be it remembered, that England had then no Malta,
Corfu, and Gibraltar as the bases of naval operations in the
Mediterranean: on the contrary, Blake found that in almost every gulf
and island of that sea--in Malta, Venice, Genoa, Leghorn, Algiers,
Tunis, and Marseilles--there existed a rival and an enemy; nor were
there more than three or four harbors in which he could obtain even
bread for love or money.

After this memorable cruise, he had to conduct the Spanish war--a
business quite to his mind; for though his highest renown had been
gained in his conflicts with the Dutch, he had secretly disliked such
encounters between two Protestant states; whereas, in the
case of Popish Spain, his soul leaped at the anticipation of
battle--sympathizing as he did with the Puritan conviction, that Spain
was the devil's stronghold in Europe. At this period, Blake was
suffering from illness, and was sadly crippled in his naval
equipments, having to complain constantly of the neglect at home to
remedy the exigencies of the service. "Our ships," he writes,
"extremely foul, winter drawing on, our victuals expiring, all stores
failing, our men falling sick through the badness of drink, and eating
their victuals boiled in salt water for two months' space" (1655). His
own constitution was thoroughly undermined. For nearly a year, remarks
his biographer, "he had never quitted the 'foul and defective'
flag-ship. Want of exercise and sweet food, beer, wine, water, bread,
and vegetables, had helped to develop scurvy and dropsy; and his
sufferings from these diseases were now acute and continuous." But his
services were indispensable, and Blake was not the man to shrink from
dying in harness. His sun set gloriously at Santa Cruz--that
miraculous and unparalleled action, as Clarendon calls it, which
excited such grateful enthusiasm at home. At home! words of
fascination to the maimed and enfeebled veteran, who now turned his
thoughts so anxiously toward the green hills of his native land.
Cromwell's letter of thanks, the plaudits of parliament, and the
jeweled ring sent to him by his loving countrymen, reached him while
homeward bound. But he was not again to tread the shores he had
defended so well.

As the ships rolled through the Bay of Biscay, his sickness increased,
and affectionate adherents saw with dismay that he was drawing near to
the gates of the grave. "Some gleams of the old spirit broke forth as
they approached the latitude of England. He inquired often and
anxiously if the white cliffs were yet in sight. He longed to behold
once more the swelling downs, the free cities, the goodly churches of
his native land.... At last, the Lizard was announced. Shortly
afterward, the bold cliffs and bare hills of Cornwall loomed out
grandly in the distance. But it was too late for the dying hero. He
had sent for the captains and other great officers of his fleet, to
bid them farewell; and while they were yet in his cabin, the
undulating hills of Devonshire, glowing with the tints of early
autumn, came full in view.... But the eyes which had so yearned to
behold this scene once more were at that very instant closing in
death. Foremost of the victorious squadron, the _St. George_ rode with
its precious burden into the Sound; and just as it came into full view
of the eager thousands crowding the beach, the pier-heads, the walls
of the citadel, &c, ready to catch the first glimpse of the hero of
Santa Cruz, and salute him with a true English welcome--he, in his
silent cabin, in the midst of his lion-hearted comrades, now sobbing
like little children, yielded up his soul to God."

The corpse was embalmed, and conveyed to Greenwich, where it lay in
state for some days. On the 4th of September, 1657, the Thames bore a
solemn funeral procession, which moved slowly, amid salvos of
artillery, to Westminster, where a new vault had been prepared in the
noble abbey. The tears of a nation made it hallowed ground. A prince,
of whom the epigram declares that, if he never said a foolish thing,
he never did a wise one--saw fit to disturb the hero's grave, drag out
the embalmed body, and cast it into a pit in the abbey-yard. One of
Charles Stuart's most witless performances! For Blake is not to be
confounded--though the Merry Monarch thought otherwise--with the
Iretons and Bradshaws who were similarly exhumed. The admiral was a
moderate in the closest, a patriot in the widest sense.

In the chivalric disposition of the man, there was true affinity to
the best qualities of the Cavalier, mingled sometimes with a certain
grim humor, all his own. Many are the illustrations we might adduce of
this high-minded and generous temperament. For instance: meeting a
French frigate of forty guns in the Straits, and signaling for the
captain to come on board his flag-ship, the latter, considering the
visit one of friendship and ceremony, there being no _declared_ war
between the two nations--though the French conduct at Toulon had
determined England on measures of retaliation--readily complied with
Blake's summons; but was astounded on entering the admiral's cabin, at
being told he was a prisoner, and requested to give up his sword. No!
was the surprised but resolute Frenchman's reply. Blake felt that an
advantage had been gained by a misconception, and scorning to make a
brave officer its victim, he told his guest he might go back to his
ship, if he wished, and fight it out as long as he was able. The
captain, we are told, thanked him for his handsome offer, and retired.
After two hours' hard fighting, he struck his flag; like a true French
knight, he made a low bow, kissed his sword affectionately, and
delivered it to his conqueror. Again: when Blake captured the Dutch
herring-fleet off Bochness, consisting of 600 boats, instead of
destroying or appropriating them, he merely took a tithe of the whole
freight, in merciful consideration toward the poor families whose
entire capital and means of life it constituted. This "characteristic
act of clemency" was censured by many as Quixotic, and worse. But
"Blake took no trouble to justify his noble instincts against such
critics. His was indeed a happy fate: the only fault ever advanced by
friend or foe against his public life, was an excess of generosity
toward his vanquished enemies!" His sense of the comic is amusingly
evidenced by the story of his _ruse_ during a dearth in the same
siege. Tradition reports, that only one animal, a hog, was left alive
in the town, and that more than half starved. In the afternoon, Blake,
feeling that in their depression a laugh would do the defenders as
much good as a dinner, had the hog carried to all the posts and
whipped, so that its screams, heard in many places, might make the
enemy suppose that fresh supplies had somehow been obtained.

The moral aspects of his character appear in this memoir in an
admirable light. If he did not stand so high as some others in public
notoriety, it was mainly because, to stand higher than he did, he must
plant his feet on a _bad_ eminence. His patriotism was as pure as
Cromwell's was selfish. Mr. Dixon, his biographer, alludes to the
strong points of contrast, as well as of resemblance between the two
men. Both, he says, were sincerely religious, undauntedly brave,
fertile in expedients, irresistible in action. Born in the same year,
they began and almost closed their lives at the same time. Both were
country gentlemen of moderate fortune; both were of middle age when
the revolution came. Without previous knowledge or professional
training, both attained to the highest honors of their respective
services. But there the parallel ends. Anxious only for the glory and
interest of his country, Blake took little or no care of his personal
aggrandizement. His contempt for money, his impatience with the mere
vanities of power, were supreme. Bribery he abhorred in all its
shapes. He was frank and open to a fault; his heart was ever in his
hand, and his mind ever on his lips. His honesty, modesty, generosity,
sincerity, and magnanimity were unimpeached. Cromwell's inferior moral
qualities made him distrust the great seaman; yet, now and then, as in
the case of the street tumult at Malaga, he was fain to express his
admiration of Robert Blake. The latter was wholly unversed in the
science of nepotism, and "happy family" compacts; for, although
desirous of aiding his relatives, he was jealous of the least offense
on their part, and never overlooked it. Several instances of this
disposition are on record. When his brother Samuel, in rash zeal for
the Commonwealth, ventured to exceed his duty, and was killed in a
fray which ensued, Blake was terribly shocked, but only said: "Sam had
no business there." Afterward, however, he shut himself up in his
room, and bewailed his loss in the words of Scripture: "Died Abner as
a fool dieth!" His brother Benjamin, again, to whom he was strongly
attached, falling under suspicion of neglect of duty, was instantly
broken, and sent on shore. "This rigid measure of justice against his
own flesh and blood, silenced every complaint, and the service gained
immeasurably in spirit, discipline, and confidence." Yet more touching
was the great admiral's inexorable treatment of his favorite brother
Humphrey, who, in a moment of extreme agitation, had failed in his
duty. The captains went to Blake in a body, and argued that Humphrey's
fault was a neglect rather than a breach of orders, and suggested his
being sent away to England till it was forgotten. But Blake was
outwardly unmoved, though inwardly his bowels did yearn over his
brother, and sternly said: "If none of you will accuse him, I must be
his accuser." Humphrey was dismissed from the service. It is affecting
to know how painfully Blake missed his familiar presence during his
sick and lonely passage homeward, when the hand of death was upon that
noble heart. To Humphrey he bequeathed the greater part of the
property which he left behind him. In the rare intervals of private
life which he enjoyed on shore, Blake also compels our sincere regard.
When released for awhile from political and professional duties, he
loved to run down to Bridgewater for a few days or weeks, and, as his
biographer says, with his chosen books, and one or two devout and
abstemious friends, to indulge in all the luxuries of seclusion. "He
was by nature self-absorbed and taciturn. His morning was usually
occupied with a long walk, during which he appeared to his simple
neighbors to be lost in profound thought, as if working out in his own
mind the details of one of his great battles, or busy with some
abstruse point of Puritan theology. If accompanied by one of his
brothers, or by some other intimate friend, he was still for the most
part silent. Always good-humored, and enjoying sarcasm when of a
grave, high class, he yet never talked from the loquacious instinct,
or encouraged others so to employ their time and talents in his
presence. Even his lively and rattling brother Humphrey, his almost
constant companion when on shore, caught, from long habit, the great
man's contemplative and self-communing gait and manner; and when his
friends rallied him on the subject in after-years, he used to say,
that he had caught the trick of silence while walking by the admiral's
side in his long morning musings on Knoll Hill. A plain dinner
satisfied his wants. Religious conversation, reading, and the details
of business, generally filled up the evening until supper-time; after
family prayers--always pronounced by the general himself--he would
invariably call for his cup of sack and a dry crust of bread, and
while he drank two or three horns of Canary, would smile and chat in
his own dry manner with his friends and domestics, asking minute
questions about their neighbors and acquaintance; or when scholars or
clergymen shared his simple repast, affecting a droll anxiety--rich
and pleasant in the conqueror of Tromp--to prove, by the aptness and
abundance of his quotations, that, in becoming an admiral, he had not
forfeited his claim to be considered a good classic."

The care and interest with which he looked to the well-being of his
humblest followers, made him eminently popular in the fleet. He was
always ready to hear complaints, and to rectify grievances. When
wounded at the battle of Portland, and exhorted to go on shore for
repose and proper medical treatment, he refused to seek for himself
the relief which he had put in the way of his meanest comrade. Even at
the early period of his cruise against the Cavalier corsairs of
Kinsale, such was Blake's popularity, that numbers of men were
continually joining him from the enemy's fleet, although he offered
them less pay, and none of that license which they had enjoyed under
Prince Rupert's flag. They gloried in following a leader _sans peur et
sans reproche_--one with whose renown the whole country speedily
rang--the renown of a man who had revived the traditional glories of
the English navy, and proved that its meteor flag could "yet terrific
burn."



THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS.

BY FREDRIKA BREMER.


London possesses two scenes of popular enjoyment on a great scale, in
its British Museum and its Zoological Gardens. In the former, the
glance is sent over the life of antiquity; in the latter, over that of
the present time in the kingdom of nature; and in both may the
Englishman enjoy a view of England's power and greatness, because it
is the spirit of England which has compelled Egypt and Greece to
remove hither their gods, their heroic statues: it is England whose
courageous sons at this present moment force their way into the
interior of Africa, that mysterious native land of miracles and of the
Leviathan; it is an Englishman who held in his hand snow from the
clefts of the remote Mountains of the Moon; it is England which has
aroused that ancient Nineveh from her thousands of years of sleep in
the desert; England, which has caused to arise from their graves, and
to stand forth beneath the sky of England, those witnesses of the life
and art of antiquity which are known under the name of the Nineveh
Marbles, those magnificent but enigmatical figures which are called
the Nineveh Bulls, in the immense wings of which one can not but
admire the fine artistic skill of the workmanship, and from the
beautiful human countenances of which glances Oriental despotism--with
eyes such as those with which King Ahasuerus might have gazed on the
beautiful Esther, when she sank fainting before the power of that
glance. They have an extraordinary expression--these countenances of
Nineveh, so magnificent, so strong, and at the same time, so joyous--a
something about them so valiant and so joyously commanding! It was an
expression which surprised me, and which I could not rightly
comprehend. It would be necessary for me to see them yet again before
I could fully satisfy myself whether this inexpressible, proudly
joyous glance is one of wisdom or of stupidity! I could almost fancy
it might be the latter, when I contemplate the expression of gentle
majesty in the head of the Grecian Jupiter. Nevertheless, whether it
be wisdom or stupidity--these representations of ancient Nineveh have
a real grandeur and originality about them. Were they then
representatives of life there? Was life there thus proud and joyous,
thus unconscious of trouble, care, or death, thus valiant, and without
all arrogance? Had it such eyes? Ah! and yet it has lain buried in the
sand of the desert, lain forgotten there many thousand years. And now,
when they once more look up with those large, magnificent eyes, they
discover another world around them, another Nineveh which can not
understand what they would say. Thus proudly might Nineveh have looked
when the prophet uttered above her his "woe!" Such a glance does not
accord with the life of earth.

In comparison with these latest discovered but most ancient works of
art, the Egyptian statues fall infinitely short, bearing evidence of a
degraded, sensual humanity, and the same as regarded art. But neither
of these, nor of the Elgin marbles, nor of many other treasures of art
in the British Museum which testify at the same time to the greatness
of foregone ages, and to the power of the English world-conquering
intelligence, shall I say any thing, because time failed me rightly to
observe them, and the Nineveh marbles almost bewitched me by their
contemplation.

It is to me difficult to imagine a greater pleasure than that of
wandering through these halls, or than by a visit to the Zoological
Garden which lies on one side of the Regent's Park. I would willingly
reside near this park for a time, that I might again and again wander
about in this world of animals from all zones, and listen to all that
they have to relate, ice-bears and lions, turtles and eagles, the
ourang-outang and the rhinoceros! The English Zoological Garden,
although less fortunate in its locality than the _Jardin des Plantes_
in Paris, is much richer as regards animals. That which at this time
attracted hither most visitors was the new guest of the garden, a
so-called river-horse or hippopotamus, lately brought hither from
Upper Egypt, where it was taken when young. It was yet not full-grown,
and had here its own keeper--an Arab--its own house, its own court,
its own reservoir, to bathe and swim in! Thus it lived in a really
princely hippopotamus fashion. I saw his highness ascend out of his
bath in a particularly good-humor, and he looked to me like an
enormous--pig, with an enormously broad snout. He was very fat,
smooth, and gray, and awkward in his movements, like the elephant.
Long-necked giraffes walked about, feeding from wooden racks in the
court adjoining that of the hippopotamus, and glancing at us across
it. One can scarcely imagine a greater contrast than in these animals.

The eagles sate upon crags placed in a row beneath a lofty transparent
arch of iron work, an arrangement which seemed to me excellent, and
which I hope seemed so to them, in case they could forget that they
were captives. Here they might breathe, here spread out their huge
wings, see the free expanse of heaven, and the sun, and build
habitations for themselves upon the rock. On the contrary, the lions,
leopards, and such-like noble beasts of the desert, seemed to me
particularly unhappy in their iron-grated stone vaults; and their
perpetual, uneasy walking backward and forward in their cages--I could
not see that without a feeling of distress. How beautiful they must be
in the desert, or amid tropical woods, or in the wild caverns of the
mountains, those grand, terrific beasts--how fearfully beautiful! One
day I saw these animals during their feeding time. Two men went round
with wooden vessels filled with pieces of raw meat; these were taken
up with a large iron-pronged fork, and put, or rather flung, through
the iron grating into the dens. It was terrible to see the savage joy,
the fury, with which the food was received and swallowed down by the
beasts. Three pieces of meat were thrown into one great vault which
was at that time empty, a door was then drawn up at the back of the
vault, and three huge yellow lions with shaggy manes rushed roaring
in, and at one spring each possessed himself of his piece of flesh.
One of the lions held his piece between his teeth for certainly a
quarter of an hour, merely growling and gloating over it in savage
joy, while his flashing eyes glared upon the spectators, and his tail
was swung from side to side with an expression of defiance. It was a
splendid, but a fearful sight. One of my friends was accustomed
sometimes to visit these animals in company with his little girl, a
beautiful child, with a complexion like milk and cherries. The sight
of her invariably produced great excitement in the lions. They seemed
evidently to show their love to her in a ravenous manner.

The serpents were motionless in their glass house, and lay,
half-asleep, curled around the trunks of trees. In the evening by
lamp-light they become lively, and then, twisting about and flashing
forth their snaky splendors, they present a fine spectacle. The
snake-room, with its walls of glass, behind which the snakes live,
reminded me of the old northern myth of Nastrond, the roof of which
was woven of snakes' backs, the final home of the ungodly--an
unpleasant, but vigorous picture. The most disagreeable and the
ugliest of all the snakes, was that little snake which the beautiful
Queen Cleopatra, herself false as a serpent, placed at her breast; a
little gray, flat-headed snake which liked to bury itself in the sand.

The monkey-family lead a sad life; stretch out their hands for nuts or
for bread, with mournful human gestures; contentious, beaten,
oppressed, thrust aside, frightening one another, the stronger the
weaker--mournfully human also.

Sad, also, was the sight of an ourang-outang, spite of all its queer
grimaces, solitary in its house, for it evidently suffered ennui, was
restless, and would go out. It embraced its keeper and kissed him with
real human tenderness. The countenance, so human, yet without any
human intelligence, made a painful impression upon me; so did the
friendly tame creature here, longing for its fellows, and seeing
around it only human beings. Thou poor animal! Fain would I have seen
thee in the primeval woods of Africa, caressing thy wife in the clear
moonlight of the tropical night, sporting with her among the branches
of the trees, and sleeping upon them, rocked by the warm night wind.
There thy ugliness would have had a sort of picturesque beauty. After
the strange beast-man had climbed hither and thither along the iron
railing, seizing the bars with his hands, and feet which resembled
hands, and also with his teeth, he took a white woolen blanket,
wrapped it around him in a very complicated manner, and ended by
laying himself down as a human being might do, in his chilly, desolate
room.

After this, all the more charming was the spectacle presented by the
water-fowl from every zone--Ducks, Swans, and Co., all quite at home
here, swimming in the clear waters, among little green islands on
which they had their little huts. It was most charmingly pretty and
complete. And the mother-duck with her little, lively golden-yellow
flock, swimming neck and heels after her, or seeking shelter under her
wings, is at all times one of the most lovely scenes of natural
life--resembling humanity in a beautiful manner.

Even among the wild beasts I saw a beautiful human trait of maternal
affection. A female leopard had in her cage two young cubs, lively and
playful as puppies. When the man threw the flesh into her cage, she
drew herself back and let the young ones first seize upon the piece.

Crows from all parts of the world here live together in one
neighborhood, and that the chattering and laughter was loud here did
not surprise me, neither that the European crows so well maintained
their place among their fellows. That which, however, astonished and
delighted me was, the sweet flute-like melodious tones of the
Australian crow. In the presence of this crow from Paradise--for
originally it must have come therefrom--it seemed to me that all the
other crows ought to have kept silence with their senseless
chattering. But they were nothing but crows, and they liked better to
hear themselves.

Parrots from all lands lived and quarreled together in a large room,
and they there made such a loud screaming, that in order to stand it
out one must have been one of their own relations. Better be among the
silent, dejected, stealthy, hissing, shining snakes, than in company
with parrots! The former might kill the body, but the latter the soul.

Twilight came on, and drove me out of the Zoological Garden each time
I was there, and before I had seen all its treasures. Would that I
might return there yet a third time and remain still longer!



A TERRIBLY STRANGE BED.


The most difficult likeness I ever had to take, not even excepting my
first attempt in the art of Portrait-painting, was a likeness of a
gentleman named Faulkner. As far as drawing and coloring went, I had
no particular fault to find with my picture; it was the _expression_
of the sitter which I had failed in rendering--a failure quite as much
his fault as mine. Mr. Faulkner, like many other persons by whom I
have been employed, took it into his head that he must assume an
expression, because he was sitting for his likeness; and, in
consequence, contrived to look as unlike himself as possible, while I
was painting him. I had tried to divert his attention from his own
face, by talking with him on all sorts of topics. We had both traveled
a great deal, and felt interested alike in many subjects connected
with our wanderings over the same countries. Occasionally, while we
were discussing our traveling experiences, the unlucky set-look left
his countenance, and I began to work to some purpose; but it was
always disastrously sure to return again, before I had made any great
progress--or, in other words, just at the very time when I was most
anxious that it should not re-appear. The obstacle thus thrown in the
way of the satisfactory completion of my portrait, was the more to be
deplored, because Mr. Faulkner's natural expression was a very
remarkable one. I am not an author, so I can not describe it. I
ultimately succeeded in painting it, however; and this was the way in
which I achieved my success:

On the morning when my sitter was coming to me for the fourth time, I
was looking at his portrait in no very agreeable mood--looking at it,
in fact, with the disheartening conviction that the picture would be a
perfect failure, unless the expression in the face represented were
thoroughly altered and improved from nature. The only method of
accomplishing this successfully, was to make Mr. Faulkner, somehow,
insensibly forget that he was sitting for his picture. What topic
could I lead him to talk on, which would entirely engross his
attention while I was at work on his likeness?--I was still puzzling
my brains to no purpose on this subject, when Mr. Faulkner entered my
studio; and, shortly afterward, an accidental circumstance gained for
me the very object which my own ingenuity had proved unequal to
compass.

While I was "setting" my pallet, my sitter amused himself by turning
over some portfolios. He happened to select one for special notice,
which contained several sketches that I had made in the streets of
Paris. He turned over the first five views rapidly enough; but when he
came to the sixth, I saw his face flush directly; and observed that he
took the drawing out of the portfolio, carried it to the window, and
remained silently absorbed in the contemplation of it for full five
minutes. After that, he turned round to me; and asked, very anxiously,
if I had any objection to part with that sketch.

It was the least interesting drawing of the series--merely a view in
one of the streets running by the backs of the houses in the Palais
Royal. Some four or five of these houses were comprised in the view,
which was of no particular use to me in any way; and which was too
valueless, as a work of Art, for me to think of _selling_ it to my
kind patron. I begged his acceptance of it, at once. He thanked me
quite warmly; and then, seeing that I looked a little surprised at the
odd selection he had made from my sketches, laughingly asked me if I
could guess why he had been so anxious to become possessed of the view
which I had given him?

"Probably"--I answered--"there is some remarkable historical
association connected with that street at the back of the Palais
Royal, of which I am ignorant."

"No"--said Mr. Faulkner--"at least, none that _I_ know of. The only
association connected with the place in _my_ mind, is a purely
personal association. Look at this house in your drawing--the house
with the water-pipe running down it from top to bottom. I once passed
a night there--a night I shall never forget to the day of my death. I
have had some awkward traveling adventures in my time; but _that_
adventure--! Well, well! suppose we begin the sitting. I make but a
bad return for your kindness in giving me the sketch, by thus wasting
your time in mere talk."

He had not long occupied the sitter's chair (looking pale and
thoughtful), when he returned--involuntarily, as it seemed--to the
subject of the house in the back street. Without, I hope, showing any
undue curiosity, I contrived to let him see that I felt a deep
interest in every thing he now said. After two or three preliminary
hesitations, he at last, to my great joy, fairly started on the
narrative of his adventure. In the interest of his subject he soon
completely forgot that he was sitting for his portrait--the very
expression that I wanted, came over his face--my picture proceeded
toward completion, in the right direction, and to the best purpose. At
every fresh touch, I felt more and more certain that I was now getting
the better of my grand difficulty; and I enjoyed the additional
gratification of having my work lightened by the recital of a true
story, which possessed, in my estimation, all the excitement of the
most exciting romance.

This, as nearly as I can recollect, is, word for word, how Mr.
Faulkner told me the story:--

Shortly before the period when gambling-houses were suppressed by the
French Government, I happened to be staying at Paris with an English
friend. We were both young men then, and lived, I am afraid, a very
dissipated life, in the very dissipated city of our sojourn. One
night, we were idling about the neighborhood of the Palais Royal,
doubtful to what amusement we should next betake ourselves. My friend
proposed a visit to Frascati's; but his suggestion was not to my
taste. I knew Frascati's, as the French saying is, by heart; had lost
and won plenty of five-franc pieces there, "merely for the fun of the
thing," until it was "fun" no longer; and was thoroughly tired, in
fact, of all the ghastly respectabilities of such a social anomaly as
a respectable gambling-house. "For Heaven's sake"--said I to my
friend--"let us go somewhere where we can see a little genuine,
blackguard, poverty-stricken gaming, with no false gingerbread glitter
thrown over it at all. Let us get away from fashionable Frascati's, to
a house where they don't mind letting in a man with a ragged coat, or
a man with no coat, ragged or otherwise."--"Very well," said my
friend, "we needn't go out of the Palais Royal to find the sort of
company you want. Here's the place, just before us; as blackguard a
place, by all report, as you could possibly wish to see." In another
minute we arrived at the door, and entered the house, the back of
which you have drawn in your sketch.

When we got up-stairs, and had left our hats and sticks with the
doorkeeper, we were admitted into the chief gambling-room. We did not
find many people assembled there. But, few as the men were who looked
up at us on our entrance, they were all types--miserable types--of
their respective classes. We had come to see blackguards; but these
men were something worse. There is a comic side, more or less
appreciable, in all blackguardism--here, there was nothing but
tragedy; mute, weird tragedy. The quiet in the room was horrible. The
thin, haggard, long-haired young man, whose sunken eyes fiercely
watched the turning up of the cards, never spoke; the flabby,
fat-faced, pimply player, who pricked his piece of pasteboard
perseveringly, to register how often black won, and how often
red--never spoke; the dirty, wrinkled old man, with the vulture eyes,
and the darned great coat, who had lost his last _sous_, and still
looked on desperately, after he could play no longer--never spoke.
Even the voice of the croupier sounded as if it were strangely dulled
and thickened in the atmosphere of the room. I had entered the place
to laugh; I felt that if I stood quietly looking on much longer, I
should be more likely to weep. So, to excite myself out of the
depression of spirits which was fast stealing over me, I unfortunately
went to the table, and began to play. Still more unfortunately, as the
event will show, I won--won prodigiously; won incredibly; won at such
a rate, that the regular players at the table crowded round me; and
staring at my stakes with hungry, superstitious eyes, whispered to one
another that the English stranger was going to break the bank.

The game was _Rouge et Noir_. I had played at it in every city in
Europe, without, however, the care or the wish to study the Theory of
Chances--that philosopher's stone of all gamblers! And a gambler, in
the strict sense of the word, I had never been. I was heart-whole from
the corroding passion for play. My gaming was a mere idle amusement. I
never resorted to it by necessity, because I never knew what it was to
want money. I never practiced it so incessantly as to lose more than I
could afford, or to gain more than I could coolly pocket, without
being thrown off my balance by my good luck. In short, I had hitherto
frequented gambling-tables--just as I frequented ball-rooms and
opera-houses--because they amused me, and because I had nothing better
to do with my leisure hours.

But, on this occasion, it was very different--now, for the first time
in my life, I felt what the passion for play really was. My success
first bewildered, and then, in the most literal meaning of the word,
intoxicated me. Incredible as it may appear, it is nevertheless true,
that I only lost, when I attempted to estimate chances, and played
according to previous calculation. If I left every thing to luck, and
staked without any care or consideration, I was sure to win--to win in
the face of every recognized probability in favor of the bank. At
first, some of the men present ventured their money safely enough on
my color; but I speedily increased my stakes to sums which they dared
not risk. One after another they left off playing, and breathlessly
looked on at my game. Still, time after time, I staked higher and
higher; and still won. The excitement in the room rose to fever pitch.
The silence was interrupted, by a deep, muttered chorus of oaths and
exclamations in different languages, every time the gold was shoveled
across to my side of the table--even the imperturbable croupier dashed
his rake on the floor in a (French) fury of astonishment at my
success. But one man present preserved his self-possession; and that
man was my friend. He came to my side, and whispering in English,
begged me to leave the place, satisfied with what I had already
gained. I must do him the justice to say, that he repeated his
warnings and entreaties several times; and only left me and went away,
after I had rejected his advice (I was to all intents and purposes
gambling-drunk) in terms which rendered it impossible for him to
address me again that night.

Shortly after he had gone, a hoarse voice behind me cried: "Permit me,
my dear sir!--permit me to restore to their proper place two Napoleons
which you have dropped. Wonderful luck, sir!--I pledge you my word of
honor as an old soldier, in the course of my long experience in this
sort of thing, I never saw such luck as yours!--never! Go on,
sir--_Sacré mille bombes!_ Go on boldly, and break the bank!"

I turned round and saw, nodding and smiling at me with inveterate
civility, a tall man, dressed in a frogged and braided surtout. If I
had been in my senses, I should have considered him, personally, as
being rather a suspicious specimen of an old soldier. He had goggling,
bloodshot eyes, mangy mustaches, and a broken nose. His voice betrayed
a barrack-room intonation of the worst order, and he had the dirtiest
pair of hands I ever saw--even in France. These little personal
peculiarities exercised, however, no repelling influence on me. In the
mad excitement, the reckless triumph of that moment, I was ready to
"fraternize" with any body who encouraged me in my game. I accepted
the old soldier's offered pinch of snuff; clapped him on the back, and
swore he was the honestest fellow in the world; the most glorious
relic of the Grand Army that I had ever met with. "Go on!" cried my
military friend, snapping his fingers in ecstasy--"Go on, and win!
Break the bank--_Mille tonnerres!_ my gallant English comrade, break
the bank!"

And I _did_ go on--went on at such a rate, that in another quarter of
an hour the croupier called out: "Gentlemen! the bank has discontinued
for to-night." All the notes, and all the gold in that "bank," now lay
in a heap under my hands; the whole floating capital of the
gambling-house was waiting to pour into my pockets!

"Tie up the money in your pocket-handkerchief, my worthy sir," said
the old soldier, as I wildly plunged my hands into my heap of gold.
"Tie it up, as we used to tie up a bit of dinner in the Grand Army;
your winnings are too heavy for any breeches pockets that ever were
sewed. There! that's it!--shovel them in, notes and all! _Credié!_
what luck!--Stop! another Napoleon on the floor! _Ah! sacré petit
polisson de Napoleon!_ have I found thee at last? Now, then, sir--two
tight double knots each way with your honorable permission, and the
money's safe. Feel it! feel it, fortunate sir! hard and round as a
cannon ball--_Ah, bah!_ if they had only fired such cannon balls at us
at Austerlitz--_nom d'une pipe!_ if they only had! And now, as an
ancient grenadier, as an ex-brave of the French army, what remains for
me to do? I ask what? Simply this: to entreat my valued English friend
to drink a bottle of champagne with me, and toast the goddess Fortune
in foaming goblets before we part!"

Excellent ex-brave! Convivial ancient grenadier! Champagne by all
means! An English cheer for an old soldier! Hurrah! hurrah! Another
English cheer for the goddess Fortune! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

"Bravo! the Englishman; the amiable, gracious Englishman, in whose
veins circulates the vivacious blood of France! Another glass? _Ah,
bah!_--the bottle is empty! Never mind! _Vive le vin!_ I, the old
soldier, order another bottle, and half a pound of _bon-bons_ with
it!"

No, no, ex-brave; never--ancient grenadier! _Your_ bottle last time;
_my_ bottle this. Behold it! Toast away! The French Army!--the great
Napoleon!--the present company! the croupier! the honest croupier's
wife and daughters--if he has any! the Ladies generally! Every body in
the world!

By the time the second bottle of champagne was emptied, I felt as if I
had been drinking liquid fire--my brain seemed all a flame. No excess
in wine had ever had this effect on me before in my life. Was it the
result of a stimulant acting upon my system when I was in a
highly-excited state? Was my stomach in a particularly disordered
condition? Or was the champagne particularly strong?

"Ex-brave of the French Army!" cried I, in a mad state of
exhilaration. "_I_ am on fire! how are _you_? You have set me on fire!
Do you hear; my hero of Austerlitz? Let us have a third bottle of
champagne to put the flame out!" The old soldier wagged his head,
rolled his goggle-eyes, until I expected to see them slip out of their
sockets; placed his dirty forefinger by the side of his broken nose;
solemnly ejaculated "Coffee!" and immediately ran off into an inner
room.

The word pronounced by the eccentric veteran, seemed to have a magical
effect on the rest of the company present. With one accord they all
rose to depart. Probably they had expected to profit by my
intoxication; but finding that my new friend was benevolently bent on
preventing me from getting dead drunk, had now abandoned all hope of
thriving pleasantly on my winnings. Whatever their motive might be, at
any rate they went away in a body. When the old soldier returned, and
sat down again opposite to me at the table, we had the room to
ourselves. I could see the croupier, in a sort of vestibule which
opened out of it, eating his supper in solitude. The silence was now
deeper than ever.

A sudden change, too, had come over the "ex-brave." He assumed a
portentously solemn look; and when he spoke to me again, his speech
was ornamented by no oaths, enforced by no finger-snapping, enlivened
by no apostrophes, or exclamations.

"Listen, my dear sir," said he, in mysteriously confidential
tones--"listen to an old soldier's advice. I have been to the mistress
of the house (a very charming woman, with a genius for cookery!) to
impress on her the necessity of making us some particularly strong and
good coffee. You must drink this coffee in order to get rid of your
little amiable exaltation of spirits, before you think of going
home--you _must_, my good and gracious friend! With all that money to
take home to-night, it is a sacred duty to yourself to have your wits
about you. You are known to be a winner to an enormous extent, by
several gentlemen present to-night, who, in a certain point of view,
are very worthy and excellent fellows; but they are mortal men, my
dear sir, and they have their amiable weaknesses! Need I say more? Ah,
no, no! you understand me! Now, this is what you must do--send for a
cabriolet when you feel quite well again--draw up all the windows when
you get into it--and tell the driver to take you home only through the
large and well-lighted thoroughfares. Do this; and you and your money
will be safe. Do this; and to-morrow you will thank an old soldier for
giving you a word of honest advice."

Just as the ex-brave ended his oration in very lachrymose tones, the
coffee came in, ready poured out in two cups. My attentive friend
handed me one of the cups, with a bow. I was parched with thirst, and
drank it off at a draught. Almost instantly afterward, I was seized
with a fit of giddiness, and felt more completely intoxicated than
ever. The room whirled round and round furiously; the old soldier
seemed to be regularly bobbing up and down before me, like the piston
of a steam-engine. I was half-deafened by a violent singing in my
ears; a feeling of utter bewilderment, helplessness, idiotcy, overcame
me. I rose from my chair, holding on by the table to keep my balance;
and stammered out, that I felt dreadfully unwell--so unwell, that I
did not know how I was to get home.

"My dear friend," answered the old soldier; and even his voice seemed
to be bobbing up and down, as he spoke--"My dear friend, it would be
madness to go home, in _your_ state. You would be sure to lose your
money; you might be robbed and murdered with the greatest ease. _I_ am
going to sleep here: do _you_ sleep here, too--they make up capital
beds in this house--take one; sleep off the effects of the wine, and
go home safely with your winnings, to-morrow--to-morrow, in broad
daylight."

I had no power of thinking, no feeling of any kind, but the feeling
that I must lie down somewhere, immediately, and fall off into a cool,
refreshing, comfortable sleep. So I agreed eagerly to the proposal
about the bed, and took the offered arms of the old soldier and the
croupier--the latter having been summoned to show the way. They led me
along some passages and up a short flight of stairs into the bedroom
which I was to occupy. The ex-brave shook me warmly by the hand;
proposed that we should breakfast together the next morning; and then,
followed by the croupier, left me for the night.

I ran to the wash-hand stand; drank some of the water in my jug;
poured the rest out, and plunged my face into it--then sat down in a
chair, and tried to compose myself. I soon felt better. The change for
my lungs, from the fetid atmosphere of the gambling-room to the cool
air of the apartment I now occupied; the almost equally refreshing
change for my eyes, from the glaring gas-lights of the "Salon" to the
dim, quiet flicker of one bedroom candle; aided wonderfully the
restorative effects of cold water. The giddiness left me, and I began
to feel a little like a reasonable being again. My first thought was
of the risk of sleeping all night in a gambling-house; my second, of
the still greater risk of trying to get out after the house was
closed, and of going home alone at night, through the streets of
Paris, with a large sum of money about me. I had slept in worse places
than this, in the course of my travels; so I determined to lock, bolt,
and barricade my door.

Accordingly, I secured myself against all intrusion; looked under the
bed, and into the cupboard; tried the fastening of the window; and
then, satisfied that I had taken every proper precaution, pulled off
my upper clothing, put my light, which was a dim one, on the hearth
among a feathery litter of wood ashes; and got into bed, with the
handkerchief full of money under my pillow.

I soon felt, not only that I could not go to sleep, but that I could
not even close my eyes. I was wide awake, and in a high fever. Every
nerve in my body trembled--every one of my senses seemed to be
preternaturally sharpened. I tossed, and rolled, and tried every kind
of position, and perseveringly sought out the cold corners of the bed,
and all to no purpose. Now, I thrust my arms over the clothes; now, I
poked them under the clothes; now, I violently shot my legs straight
out, down to the bottom of the bed; now, I convulsively coiled them up
as near my chin as they would go; now, I shook out my crumpled pillow,
changed it to the cool side, patted it flat, and lay down quietly on
my back; now, I fiercely doubled it in two, set it up on end, thrust
it against the board of the bed, and tried a sitting posture. Every
effort was in vain; I groaned with vexation, as I felt that I was in
for a sleepless night.

What could I do? I had no book to read. And yet, unless I found out
some method of diverting my mind, I felt certain that I was in the
condition to imagine all sorts of horrors; to rack my brains with
forebodings of every possible and impossible danger; in short, to pass
the night in suffering all conceivable varieties of nervous terror. I
raised myself on my elbow, and looked about the room--which was
brightened by a lovely moonlight pouring straight through the
window--to see if it contained any pictures or ornaments, that I could
at all clearly distinguish. While my eyes wandered from wall to wall,
a remembrance of Le Maistre's delightful little book, "Voyage autour
de ma Chambre," occurred to me. I resolved to imitate the French
author, and find occupation and amusement enough to relieve the tedium
of my wakefulness by making a mental inventory of every article of
furniture I could see, and by following up to their sources the
multitude of associations which even a chair, a table, or a wash-hand
stand, may be made to call forth.

In the nervous, unsettled state of my mind at that moment, I found it
much easier to make my proposed inventory, than to make my proposed
reflections, and soon gave up all hope of thinking in Le Maistre's
fanciful track--or, indeed, thinking at all. I looked about the room
at the different articles of furniture, and did nothing more. There
was, first, the bed I was lying in--a four-post bed, of all things in
the world to meet with in Paris!--yes, a thorough clumsy British
four-poster, with the regular top lined with chintz--the regular
fringed valance all round--the regular stifling, unwholesome curtains,
which I remembered having mechanically drawn back against the posts,
without particularly noticing the bed when I first got into the room.
Then, there was the marble-topped wash-hand stand, from which the
water I had spilt, in my hurry to pour it out, was still dripping,
slowly and more slowly, on to the brick floor. Then, two small chairs,
with my coat, waistcoat, and trowsers flung on them. Then, a large
elbow chair covered with dirty-white dimity: with my cravat and
shirt-collar thrown over the back. Then, a chest of drawers, with two
of the brass handles off, and a tawdry, broken china inkstand placed
on it by way of ornament for the top. Then, the dressing-table,
adorned by a very small looking-glass, and a very large pincushion.
Then, the window--an unusually large window. Then, a dark old picture,
which the feeble candle dimly showed me. It was the picture of a
fellow in a high Spanish hat, crowned with a plume of towering
feathers. A swarthy sinister ruffian, looking upward; shading his eyes
with his hand, and looking intently upward--it might be at some tall
gallows at which he was going to be hanged. At any rate he had the
appearance of thoroughly deserving it.

This picture put a kind of constraint upon me to look upward, too--at
the top of the bed. It was a gloomy and not an interesting object, and
I looked back at the picture. I counted the feathers in the man's hat;
they stood out in relief; three, white; two, green. I observed the
crown of his hat, which was of a conical shape, according to the
fashion supposed to have been favored by Guido Fawkes. I wondered what
he was looking up at. It couldn't be at the stars; such a desperado
was neither astrologer nor astronomer. It must be at the high
gallows, and he was going to be hanged presently. Would the
executioner come into possession of his conical crowned hat, and plume
of feathers? I counted the feathers again; three, white; two, green.

While I still lingered over this very improving and intellectual
employment, my thoughts insensibly began to wander. The moonlight
shining into the room reminded me of a certain moonlight night in
England--the night after a pic-nic party in a Welsh valley. Every
incident of the drive homeward through lovely scenery, which the
moonlight made lovelier than ever, came back to my remembrance, though
I had never given the pic-nic a thought for years; though, if I had
_tried_ to recollect it, I could certainly have recalled little or
nothing of that scene long past. Of all the wonderful faculties that
help to tell us we are immortal, which speaks the sublime truth more
eloquently than memory? Here was I, in a strange house of the most
suspicious character, in a situation of uncertainty, and even of
peril, which might seem to make the cool exercise of my recollection
almost out of the question; nevertheless remembering, quite
involuntarily, places, people, conversations, minute circumstances of
every kind, which I had thought forgotten forever, which I could not
possibly have recalled at will, even under the most favorable
auspices. And what cause had produced in a moment the whole of this
strange, complicated, mysterious effect? Nothing but some rays of
moonlight shining in at my bedroom window.

I was still thinking of the pic-nic; of our merriment on the drive
home; of the sentimental young lady, who _would_ quote Childe Harold
because it was moonlight. I was absorbed by these past scenes and past
amusements, when, in an instant, the thread on which my memories hung,
snapped asunder; my attention immediately came back to present things
more vividly than ever, and I found myself, I neither knew why or
wherefore, looking hard at the picture again.

Looking for what? Good God, the man had pulled his hat down on his
brows!--No! The hat itself was gone! Where was the conical crown?
Where the feathers; three, white; two green? Not there! In place of
the hat and feathers, what dusky object was it that now hid his
forehead--his eyes--his shading hand? Was the bed moving?

I turned on my back, and looked up. Was I mad? drunk? dreaming? giddy
again? or, was the top of the bed really moving down--sinking slowly,
regularly, silently, horribly, right down throughout the whole of its
length and breadth--right down upon me, as I lay underneath?

My blood seemed to stand still; a deadly paralyzing coldness stole all
over me, as I turned my head round on the pillow, and determined to
test whether the bed-top was really moving or not, by keeping my eye
on the man in the picture. The next look in that direction was
enough. The dull, black, frowsy outline of the valance above me was
within an inch of being parallel with his waist. I still looked
breathlessly. And steadily, and slowly--very slowly--I saw the figure,
and the line of frame below the figure, vanish, as the valance moved
down before it.

I am, constitutionally, any thing but timid. I have been, on more than
one occasion, in peril of my life, and have not lost my
self-possession for an instant; but, when the conviction first settled
on my mind that the bed-top was really moving, was steadily and
continuously sinking down upon me, I looked up for one awful minute,
or more, shuddering, helpless, panic-stricken, beneath the hideous
machinery for murder, which was advancing closer and closer to
suffocate me where I lay.

Then the instinct of self-preservation came, and nerved me to save my
life, while there was yet time. I got out of bed very quietly, and
quickly dressed myself again in my upper clothing. The candle, fully
spent, went out. I sat down in the arm-chair that stood near, and
watched the bed-top slowly descending. I was literally spell-bound by
it. If I had heard footsteps behind me, I could not have turned round;
if a means of escape had been miraculously provided for me, I could
not have moved to take advantage of it. The whole life in me, was, at
that moment, concentrated in my eyes.

It descended--the whole canopy, with the fringe round it, came
down--down--close down; so close that there was not room now to
squeeze my finger between the bed-top and the bed. I felt at the
sides, and discovered that what had appeared to me, from beneath, to
be the ordinary light canopy of a four-post bed was in reality a
thick, broad mattress, the substance of which was concealed by the
valance and its fringe. I looked up, and saw the four posts rising
hideously bare. In the middle of the bed-top was a huge wooden screw
that had evidently worked it down through a hole in the ceiling, just
as ordinary presses are worked down on the substance selected for
compression. The frightful apparatus moved without making the faintest
noise. There had been no creaking as it came down; there was now not
the faintest sound from the room above. Amid a dead and awful silence
I beheld before me--in the nineteenth century, and in the civilized
capital of France--such a machine for secret murder by suffocation, as
might have existed in the worst days of the Inquisition, in the lonely
Inns among the Hartz Mountains, in the mysterious tribunals of
Westphalia! Still, as I looked on it, I could not move; I could hardly
breathe; but I began to recover the power of thinking; and, in a
moment, I discovered the murderous conspiracy framed against me, in
all its horror.

My cup of coffee had been drugged, and drugged too strongly. I had
been saved from being smothered, by having taken an over-dose of some
narcotic. How I had chafed and fretted at the fever fit which had
preserved my life by keeping me awake! How recklessly I had confided
myself to the two wretches who had led me into this room, determined,
for the sake of my winnings, to kill me in my sleep, by the surest and
most horrible contrivance for secretly accomplishing my destruction!
How many men, winners like me, had slept, as I had proposed to sleep,
in that bed; and never been seen or heard of more! I shuddered as I
thought of it.

But, erelong, all thought was again suspended by the sight of the
murderous canopy moving once more. After it had remained on the
bed--as nearly as I could guess--about ten minutes, it began to move
up again. The villains, who worked it from above, evidently believed
that their purpose was now accomplished. Slowly and silently, as it
had descended, that horrible bed-top rose toward its former place.
When it reached the upper extremities of the four posts, it reached
the ceiling too. Neither hole nor screw could be seen--the bed became
in appearance, an ordinary bed again, the canopy, an ordinary canopy,
even to the most suspicious eyes.

Now, for the first time, I was able to move, to rise from my chair, to
consider of how I should escape. If I betrayed by the smallest noise,
that the attempt to suffocate me had failed, I was certain to be
murdered. Had I made any noise already? I listened intently, looking
toward the door. No! no footsteps in the passage outside; no sound of
a tread, light or heavy, in the room above--absolute silence every
where. Besides locking and bolting my door, I had moved an old wooden
chest against it, which I had found under the bed. To remove this
chest (my blood ran cold, as I thought what its contents _might_ be!)
without making some disturbance, was impossible; and, moreover, to
think of escaping through the house, now barred-up for the night, was
sheer insanity. Only one chance was left me--the window. I stole to it
on tiptoe.

My bedroom was on the first floor, above an _entresol_, and looked
into the back street, which you had sketched in your view. I raised my
hand to open the window, knowing that on that action hung, by the
merest hair's-breadth, my chance of safety. They keep vigilant watch
in a House of Murder--if any part of the frame cracked, if the hinge
creaked, I was, perhaps, a lost man! It must have occupied me at least
five minutes, reckoning by time--five _hours_, reckoning by
suspense--to open that window. I succeeded in doing it silently, in
doing it with all the dexterity of a house-breaker; and then looked
down into the street. To leap the distance beneath me, would be almost
certain destruction! Next, I looked round at the sides of the house.
Down the left side, ran the thick water-pipe which you have drawn--it
passed close by the outer edge of the window. The moment I saw the
pipe, I knew I was saved; my breath came and went freely for the first
time since I had seen the canopy of the bed moving down upon me!

To some men the means of escape which I had discovered might have
seemed difficult and dangerous enough--to _me_, the prospect of
slipping down the pipe into the street did not suggest even a thought
of peril. I had always been accustomed, by the practice of gymnastics,
to keep up my schoolboy powers as a daring and expert climber; and
knew that my head, hands, and feet would serve me faithfully in any
hazards of ascent or descent. I had already got one leg over the
window-sill, when I remembered the handkerchief, filled with money,
under my pillow. I could well have afforded to leave it behind me; but
I was revengefully determined that the miscreants of the
gambling-house should miss their plunder as well as their victim. So I
went back to the bed, and tied the heavy handkerchief at my back by my
cravat. Just as I had made it tight, and fixed it in a comfortable
place, I thought I heard a sound of breathing outside the door. The
chill feeling of horror ran through me again as I listened. No! dead
silence still in the passage--I had only heard the night air blowing
softly into the room. The next moment I was on the window-sill--and
the next, I had a firm grip on the water-pipe with my hands and knees.

I slid down into the street easily and quietly, as I thought I should,
and immediately set off, at the top of my speed, to a branch
"Prefecture" of Police, which I knew was situated in the immediate
neighborhood. A "Sub-Prefect" and several picked men among his
subordinates, happened to be up, maturing, I believe, some scheme for
discovering the perpetrator of a mysterious murder, which all Paris
was talking of just then. When I began my story, in a breathless hurry
and in very bad French, I could see that the Sub-Prefect suspected me
of being a drunken Englishman, who had robbed somebody, but he soon
altered his opinion, as I went on; and before I had any thing like
concluded, he shoved all the papers before him into a drawer, put on
his hat, supplied me with another (for I was bare-headed), ordered a
file of soldiers, desired his expert followers to get ready all sorts
of tools for breaking open doors and ripping up brick-flooring, and
took my arm, in the most friendly and familiar manner possible, to
lead me with him out of the house. I will venture to say, that when
the Sub-Prefect was a little boy, and was taken for the first time to
the Play, he was not half as much pleased as he was now at the job in
prospect for him at the "Gambling-House!"

Away we went through the streets, the Sub-Prefect cross-examining and
congratulating me in the same breath, as we marched at the head of our
formidable _posse comitatus_. Sentinels were placed at the back and
front of the gambling-house the moment we got to it; a tremendous
battery of knocks were directed against the door; a light appeared at
a window; I waited to conceal myself behind the police--then came more
knocks, and a cry of "Open in the name of the law!" At that terrible
summons, bolts and locks gave way before an invisible hand, and the
moment after, the Sub-Prefect was in the passage, confronting a
waiter, half-dressed and ghastly pale. This was the short dialogue
which immediately took place:

"We want to see the Englishman who is sleeping in this house?"

"He went away hours ago."

"He did no such thing. His friend went away; _he_ remained. Show us to
his bedroom!"

"I swear to you, Monsieur le Sous-Préfet, he is not here! he--"

"I swear to you, Monsieur le Garçon, he is. He slept here--he didn't
find your bed comfortable--he came to us to complain of it--here he
is, among my men--and here am I, ready to look for a flea or two in
his bedstead. Picard! (calling to one of the subordinates, and
pointing to the waiter) collar that man, and tie his hands behind him.
Now, then, gentlemen, let us walk up-stairs!"

Every man and woman in the house was secured--the "Old Soldier," the
first. Then I identified the bed in which I had slept; and then we
went into the room above. No object that was at all extraordinary
appeared in any part of it. The Sub-Prefect looked round the place,
commanded every body to be silent, stamped twice on the floor, called
for a candle, looked attentively at the spot he had stamped on, and
ordered the flooring there to be carefully taken up. This was done in
no time. Lights were produced, and we saw a deep raftered cavity
between the floor of this room and the ceiling of the room beneath.
Through this cavity there ran perpendicularly a sort of case of iron,
thickly greased; and inside the case appeared the screw, which
communicated with the bed-top below. Extra lengths of screw, freshly
oiled--levers covered with felt--all the complete upper works of a
heavy press, constructed with infernal ingenuity so as to join the
fixtures below--and, when taken to pieces again, to go into the
smallest possible compass, were next discovered, and pulled out on the
floor. After some little difficulty, the Sub-Prefect succeeded in
putting the machinery together, and, leaving his men to work it,
descended with me to the bedroom. The smothering canopy was then
lowered, but not so noiselessly as I had seen it lowered. When I
mentioned this to the Sub-Prefect, his answer, simple as it was, had a
terrible significance. "My men," said he, "are working down the
bed-top for the first time--the men whose money you won, were in
better practice."

We left the house in the sole possession of two police agents--every
one of the inmates being removed to prison on the spot, The
Sub-Prefect, after taking down my "_procès-verbal_" in his office,
returned with me to my hotel to get my passport. "Do you think," I
asked, as I gave it to him, "that any men have really been smothered
in that bed, as they tried to smother _me_?"

"I have seen dozens of drowned men laid out at the Morgue," answered
the Sub-Prefect, "in whose pocket-books were found letters, stating
that they had committed suicide in the Seine, because they had lost
every thing at the gaming-table. Do I know how many of those men
entered the same gambling-house that _you_ entered? won as _you_ won?
took that bed as _you_ took it? slept in it? were smothered in it? and
were privately thrown into the river, with a letter of explanation
written by the murderers and placed in their pocket-books? No man can
say how many, or how few, have suffered the fate from which you have
escaped. The people of the gambling-house kept their bedstead
machinery a secret from _us_--even from the police! The dead kept the
rest of the secret for them. Good-night, or rather good-morning,
Monsieur Faulkner! Be at my office again at nine o'clock--in the mean
time, _au revoir_!"

The rest of my story is soon told. I was examined, and re-examined;
the gambling-house was strictly searched all through, from top to
bottom; the prisoners were separately interrogated; and two of the
less guilty among them made a confession. _I_ discovered that the Old
Soldier was the master of the gambling-house--_justice_ discovered
that he had been drummed out of the army, as a vagabond, years ago;
that he had been guilty of all sorts of villainies since; that he was
in possession of stolen property, which the owners identified; and
that he, the croupier, another accomplice, and the woman who had made
my cup of coffee, were all in the secret of the bedstead. There
appeared some reason to doubt whether the inferior persons attached to
the house knew any thing of the suffocating machinery; and they
received the benefit of that doubt, by being treated simply as thieves
and vagabonds. As for the Old Soldier and his two head-myrmidons, they
went to the galleys; the woman who had drugged my coffee was
imprisoned for I forget how many years; the regular attendants at the
gambling-house were considered "suspicious," and placed under
"surveillance"; and I became, for one whole week (which is a long
time), the head "lion" in Parisian society. My adventure was
dramatized by three illustrious playmakers, but never saw theatrical
daylight; for the censorship forbade the introduction on the stage of
a correct copy of the gambling-house bedstead.

Two good results were produced by my adventure, which any censorship
must have approved. In the first place, it helped to justify the
government in forthwith carrying out their determination to put down
all gambling-houses; in the second place, it cured me of ever again
trying "Rouge et Noir" as an amusement. The sight of a green cloth,
with packs of cards and heaps of money on it, will henceforth be
forever associated in my mind with the sight of a bed-canopy
descending to suffocate me, in the silence and darkness of the night.

Just as Mr. Faulkner pronounced the last words, he started in his
chair, and assumed a stiff, dignified position, in a great hurry.
"Bless my soul!" cried he--with a comic look of astonishment and
vexation--"while I have been telling you what is the real secret of my
interest in the sketch you have so kindly given to me, I have
altogether forgotten that I came here to sit for my portrait. For the
last hour, or more, I must have been the worst model you ever had to
paint from!"

"On the contrary, you have been the best," said I. "I have been
painting from your expression; and, while telling your story, you have
unconsciously shown me the natural expression I wanted."



WHAT THE SUNBEAM DOES.


Heat, or the caloric portion of the sunbeam, is the great cause of
life and motion in this our world. As it were with a magical energy,
it causes the winds to blow and the waters to flow, vivifies and
animates all nature, and then bathes it in refreshing dew. The
intensity of the heat which we receive depends on the distance of the
earth from the sun, its great source, and still more on the relative
position of the two orbs; since in winter we are nearer the sun than
we are in summer, yet, in consequence of the position of the earth at
that season, the sun's rays fall obliquely on its northern hemisphere,
rendering it far colder than at any other period of the year.

A great portion of the heat-rays which are emitted by the sun are
absorbed in their passage through the atmosphere which surrounds our
globe. It is calculated that about one-third of the heat-rays which
fall on it never reach the earth, which fact adds another to the many
beneficent purposes fulfilled by our gaseous envelope, screening us
from the otherwise scorching heat. It is curious to trace the varied
fates of the calorific rays which strike on the surface of the earth.
Some at once on falling are reflected, and, passing back through the
atmosphere, are lost amid the immensity of space; others are absorbed
or imbibed by different bodies, and, after a time, are radiated from
them; but the greater part of the beams which reach the earth during
the summer are absorbed by it, and conveyed downward to a considerable
distance, by conduction from particle to particle. Heat also spreads
laterally from the regions of the equator toward the poles, thereby
moderating the intense cold of the arctic and antarctic circles, and
in winter, when the forest-trees are covered with snow, their
deeply-penetrating roots are warmed by the heat, which, as in a vast
store-house, has been laid up in the earth, to preserve life during
the dreary winter. The rays which fall on the tropical seas descend to
the depth of about three hundred feet. The sun's attraction for the
earth, being also stronger at that quarter of the world, the heated
waters are drawn upward, the colder waters from the poles rush in, and
thus a great heated current is produced, flowing from the equator
northward and southward, which tends to equalize the temperature of
the earth. The sailor also knows how to avail himself of this
phenomenon. When out at sea, despite his most skillful steering, he is
in constant danger of shipwreck, if he fails to estimate truly the
force and direction of those currents which are dragging him
insensibly out of the true course. His compass does not help him here,
neither does any log yet known give a perfectly authentic result. But
he knows that this great gulf-stream has a stated path and time, and,
by testing from hour to hour the temperature of the water through
which he is proceeding, he knows at what point he is meeting this
current, and reckons accordingly.

We have already said that heat was the producer of the winds, which
are so essential to the preservation of the purity of the atmosphere.
In order to understand their action, we shall consider the stupendous
phenomenon of the trade-winds, which is similar to that of the current
we have described. The rays of the sun falling vertically on the
regions between the tropics, the air there becomes much heated. It is
the property of air to expand when heated, and, when expanded, it is
necessarily lighter than the cooler air around it. Consequently it
rises. As it rises, the cooler air at once takes its place. Rushing
from the temperate and polar regions to supply the want, the warm air
which has risen flows toward the poles, and descends there, loses its
heat, and again travels to the tropics. Thus a grand circulation is
continually maintained in the atmosphere. These aerial currents, being
affected by the revolution of the earth, do not move due north and
south, as they otherwise would. Hence, while they equalize the
temperature of the atmosphere, they also preserve its purity; for the
pure oxygen evolved by the luxuriant vegetation of the equatorial
regions is wafted by the winds to support life in the teeming
population of the temperate zones, while the air from the poles bears
carbonic acid gas on its wings to furnish food for the rich and
gorgeous plants of the tropics. Thus the splendid water-lily of the
Amazon, the stately palm-tree of Africa, and the great banyan of
India, depend for nourishment on the breath of men and animals in
lands thousands of miles distant from them, and, in return, they
supply their benefactors with vivifying oxygen.

Little less important, and still more beautiful, is the phenomenon of
dew, which is produced by the power of radiating heat, possessed in
different degrees by all bodies. The powers both of absorbing and of
radiating heat, in great measure, depend on the color of bodies--the
darker the color, the greater the power; so that each lovely flower
bears within its petals a delicate thermometer, which determines the
amount of heat each shall receive, and which is always the amount
essential to their well-being. The queenly rose, the brilliant
carnation, the fair lily, and the many-colored anemone, all basking in
the same bright sunshine, enjoy different degrees of warmth, and when
night descends, and the heat absorbed by day is radiated back, and
bodies become cooler than the surrounding air, the vapor contained in
the atmosphere is deposited in the form of dew. Those bodies which
radiate most quickly receive the most copious supply of the refreshing
fluid. This radiating power depends on the condition of the surface,
as well as upon color, so that we may often see the grass garden
bathed in dew, while the gravel walks which run through it are
perfectly dry, and, again, the smooth, shining, juicy leaves of the
laurel are quite dry, while the rose-tree beneath it is saturated with
moisture.

The great effect produced on the vegetable kingdom by the heat-rays
may be judged of from the fact, that almost all the plants which
exhibit the remarkable phenomena of irritability, almost approaching
to animal life, are confined to those regions where the heat is
extreme. On the banks of the Indian rivers grows a plant in almost
constant motion. In the hottest of the conservatories at Kew is a
curious plant, whose leaflets rise by a succession of little starts.
The same house contains Venus's fly-trap. Light seems to have no
effect in quickening their movements; but the effect of increased heat
is at once seen. They exhibit their remarkable powers most during the
still hot nights of an Indian summer.

Heat is of essential importance in the production and ripening of
fruit. Many trees will not bear fruit in our cold climate, which are
most productive in the sunny south. Animal as well as vegetable life
is in great measure dependent on heat. Look at the insect tribes. The
greater number of them pass their winter in the pupa state. Hidden in
some sheltered nook, or buried in the earth, they sleep on, until the
warmth of returning spring awakens them to life and happiness; and if,
by artificial means, the cold be prolonged, they still sleep on,
whereas, if they he exposed to artificial heat, their change is
hastened, and butterflies may be seen sporting about the flowers of a
hothouse, when their less favored relatives are still wrapped in the
deepest slumber. To judge of the influence of heat on the animal and
vegetable economy, we need but contrast summer and winter--the one
radiant and vocal with life and beauty, the other dark, dreary, and
silent.

The third constituent of the sunbeam is actinism--its property being
to produce chemical effects. So long ago as 1556, it was noticed by
those strange seekers after impossibilities, the alchemists, that horn
silver, exposed to the sunbeam, was blackened by it. This phenomenon
contained the germ of those most interesting discoveries which have
distinguished the present age; but, in their ardent search for the
philosopher's stone and the elixir of life, they overlooked many an
effect of their labors which might have led them to important truths.

As yet, the effects of actinism have been more studied in the
inanimate than the organic creation. Still, in the vegetable kingdom,
its power is known to be of the utmost importance. A seed exposed to
the entire sunbeam will not germinate; but bury it in the earth, at a
depth sufficient to exclude the light, yet enough to admit actinism,
which, like heat, penetrates the earth to some distance, and soon a
chemical change will take place; the starch contained in the seed is
converted into gum and water, forming the nutriment of the young
plant; the tiny root plunges downward, the slender stem rises to the
light, the first leaves, or cotyledons, then unfold, and now fully
expand to the light, and a series of chemical changes of a totally
different nature commence, which we have before noticed, when speaking
of light. Experiments clearly prove that this change is to be
attributed to actinism, and not to heat. Glass has been interposed of
a dark blue color, which is transparent to actinism, though opaque to
light and heat, and germination has been thereby quickened. Gardeners
have long known this fact practically, and are accustomed to raise
their cuttings under blue shades. There is no doubt that actinism
exercises a powerful and beneficent influence on plants during their
whole existence, but science has yet to demonstrate its nature; and it
is curious to observe that the actinic element is most abundant in the
sunbeam in the spring, when its presence is most essential in
promoting germination--in summer the luminous rays are in excess, when
they are most needed for the formation of woody fibre--and in autumn
the heat-rays prevail, and ripen the golden grain and the delicious
fruit; in each day the proportions of the different rays vary--in the
morning the actinic principle abounds most, at noon the light, and at
eventide the heat.

The influence of actinism on the animal world is not well known; but
it is probable that many of the effects hitherto referred to light are
in reality due to actinism. It has the strange power of darkening the
human skin, causing the deep color of those tribes who inhabit the
sunniest regions of the earth; and even in our own country, in summer,
that darkening of the skin called sun-burning. Doubtless, more careful
investigation will discover this principle to be equally important to
the life and health of animals as either of its closely allied powers
of light and heat.

Our knowledge of actinic influence on inanimate nature is not so
scanty, for it is now a well established fact, that the sunbeam can
not fall on any body, whether simple or compound, without producing on
its surface a chemical and molecular change. The immovable rocks which
bound our shores, the mountain which rears its lofty head above the
clouds, the magnificent cathedral, the very triumph of art, and the
beautiful statue in bronze or marble, are all acted on destructively
by the sunbeam, and would soon perish beneath its irresistible energy,
but for the beautiful provision made for their restoration during the
darkness of night--the repose of darkness being no less essential to
inorganic, than it is to animated nature. During its silent hours, the
chemical and molecular changes are all undone, and the destruction of
the day repaired, we know not how.

The art of painting by the sunbeam has been rather unfortunately
called photography, which means light-painting, for the process is not
due to light, but is rather interfered with by it; and, contrary to
all preconceived ideas, the pictures taken in our comparatively sombre
country, are more easily and brilliantly produced than in brighter
and more sunny lands--so much so, that a gentleman, who took the
requisite materials to Mexico, in order to take views of its principal
buildings, met with failure after failure, and it was not until the
darker days of the rainy season that he met with any measure of
success.



THE RECORD OF A MADNESS WHICH WAS NOT INSANITY.


A fresh, bright dawn, the loveliest hour of an English summer, was
rousing the slumbering life in woods and fields, and painting the
heavens and the earth in the gorgeous hues of the sunrise.

Beautiful it was to see the first blush of day mantling over the
distant hills, tinging them with a faint crimson, and the first smile
shooting, in one bright beam through the sky, while it lit up the fair
face of nature with a sparkling light. Lilias Randolph stood on the
flight of steps which led from the Abbey to the park, and looked down
on the joyous scene. She seemed herself a very type of the morning,
with her sunny eyes, and her golden hair; and her gaze wandered glad
and free over the spreading landscape, while her thoughts roamed far
away in regions yet more bright--even the sunlit fields of fancy.

It was the day and the hour when she was to go and meet Richard
Sydney, in order to have, at length, a full revelation of his
mysterious connection with her cousin. She knew that it was an
interview of solemn import to both of those, in whom she felt so deep
an interest; yet, so entirely were one thought and one feeling alone
gaining empire over her spirit that, even then, in that momentous
hour, they had no share in the visions with which her heart was busy.

So soon, therefore, as Lilias came within sight of Richard Sydney, who
had arrived first at the place of rendezvous, she resolutely banished
the thoughts that were so absorbing to her own glad heart, and set
herself seriously to give her entire attention to the work now before
her, if, haply, it might be given her, in some degree, to minister
unto their grievous misery. And truly her first glance upon the face
of the man who stood there, with his eyes fixed on the path which was
to bring her and her hoped-for succor near to him, would have sufficed
to have driven all ideas from her mind, save the one conviction, that
in that look alone she had acquired a deeper knowledge of suffering
than her own past life, in all its details, had ever afforded her.
Sydney heard her step, long before she believed it possible, and,
bounding toward her, he seized her hand with a grasp which was almost
convulsive. He drew her aside to some little distance from her nurse,
who sat down on a bank to wait for them.

Lilias bent down her head that she might not seem to note the workings
of his countenance, as he laid bare before her the most hidden springs
of his soul, and he began:

"I was born heir to a curse. Centuries ago an ancestor of mine
murdered a woman he once had loved, because his neglect had driven
her mad, and that in her ravings she revealed his many crimes. With
her dying breath she invoked the curse of insanity on him and his
house forever, and the cry of her departing soul was heard. There has
not been a generation in our family since that hour which has not had
its shrieking maniac to echo in our ears the murdered woman's scream.
Some there have been among the Sydneys of peculiar constitution, as it
would seem, who have not actually been visited with the malady; but
they have never failed to transmit it to their children. Of such am I;
while my father died a suicide by his own senseless act, and his only
other child besides myself, my sister, wears her coronet of straw in
the Dublin Asylum, and calls herself a queen.

"It would appall you to hear the fearful calamities which each
succeeding family has undergone through this awful curse. At last, as
the catalogue of tragic events grew darker and darker, it became a
solemn matter of discussion to our unhappy race, whether it were not
an absolute duty that the members of a house so doomed, should cease
at last to propagate the curse, and by a resolute abandonment of all
earthly ties, cause our name and misery to perish from the earth. The
necessity for this righteous sacrifice was admitted; but the
resolution in each separate individual to become the destined
holocaust, has hitherto forever failed before the power of the mighty
human love that lured them ever to its pure resistless joys. It was so
with my father--like myself he was an only son; and, in the ardor of a
generous youth, he vowed to be the offering needful to still the cry
of that innocent blood for vengeance; but the sweet face of my mother
came between him and his holy vow. He married her, and the punishment
came down with fearful weight on both, when her fond heart broke at
sight of his ghastly corpse. Then it was she knew the retribution in
their case had been just; and on her dying bed, with the yet unclosed
coffin of her husband by her side, she made me vow upon the holy cross
that I, myself, would be the sacrifice--that never would I take a wife
unto my heart or home; and that never, from my life, should any
helpless being inherit existence with a curse. That vow I took, that
vow I kept, and that vow I will keep, though Aletheia, beloved of my
heart and soul, dearer than all beneath the skies, were to lay herself
down beneath my very feet to die. Oh! shall we not rest in heaven."

He bowed his head for a moment, and his frame shook with emotion, but
driving back the tide of anguish, he went on: "After my mother's death
and my sister's removal, who had been insane almost from childhood, I
shut myself up entirely at Sydney Court, and gave way to a species of
morbid melancholy which was thought to be fearfully dangerous for one
in my position. I had friends, however; and the best and truest was
Colonel Randolph, my Aletheia's father, the early companion of my own
poor, hapless parent. He was resolved to save me from the miserable
condition in which I then was. He came to me and told me, with all the
authority of his long friendship, that I must go with him to the
M----, where he had been appointed governor. He said it was a crime to
waste a life, which, though unblest by human ties, might be made most
useful to my fellow-creatures. I had studied much in brighter days,
and given to the world the fruits of my labors. These had not passed
unheeded; he told me they had proved that talents had been committed
to me whereby I might be a benefactor to my race, all the more that no
soft endearments of domestic joys would wean my thoughts from sterner
duties. I was to go with him; he insisted it would benefit myself, and
would injure none. His family consisted of his one daughter, his
precious, beloved Aletheia, for he doated on her with more than the
ordinary love of a father. She knew my history, and would be to me a
sister. Alas! alas! for her destruction, I consented."

Again, a momentary pause. Lilias gently raised her compassionate eyes,
but he saw her not; he seemed lost in a vision of the past, and soon
went on:

"That lovely land where I dwelt with her, it seems a type of the
beauty and happiness which was around me then! And, oh! what a dream
it is to think of now--the cloudless sky--the glorious sun--and her
eyes undimmed, her smile unfaded! Oh! Aletheia--my Aletheia--treasure
of many lives! bright and joyous--light to the eyes that looked on
her, blessing to the hearts that loved her--would that I had died or
ever I drew her very soul into mine, and left her the poor, crushed,
helpless being that she is! You can not picture to yourself the
fascination that was around her then--high-minded, noble in heart,
lofty in soul; her bright spirit stamped its glory on her face, and
she was beautiful, with all spiritual loveliness. None ever saw her
who loved her not--her rare talents--her enchanting voice; that voice
of her very soul, which spoke in such wonderful music, drew to her
feet every creature who knew her; for with all these gifts, this
wonderful intellect, and rarest powers of mind, she was playful,
winning, simple as an innocent child. I say none saw her, and loved
her not; how, think you, _I_ loved her?--the doomed man, the desolate
being, whose barren, joyless life walked hand in hand with a curse.
Let this anguish tell you how I loved her;" and he turned on Lilias a
face of ghastly paleness, convulsed with agony, and wet with the dews
of suffering; but he did not pause, he went on rapidly: "I was mad,
then, in one sense, though it was the madness of the heart, and not
the brain. Poor wretch, I thought I would wring a joy out of my
blasted life in spite of fate, and, while none other claimed her as
their own, I would revel in her presence, and in the rapture of her
tenderness. I knew it was mockery when I bid her call me brother--a
sister truly is loved with other love than that I gave her. I would
have seen every relation I had ever known laid dead at my feet, could
I have thereby purchased for her, my thrice-beloved one, one moment's
pleasure.

"Lilias, does a passion of such fearful power shock and terrify you,
who have only known the placid beating of a gentle, childlike heart?
Take a yet deeper lesson, then, in the dark elements of which this
life may be composed, and learn that deep, and true, and mighty as was
my love for her, it is as a mere name, a breath, a vapor, compared
with that most awful affection which Aletheia had already, even then,
vowed unto me, in the depth of her secret heart. Ah! it needed, in
truth, such an agony as that which is now incorporate with it in her
heart, to cope with its immensity; for, truly, no weak happiness of
earth could have had affinity with it--a love so saint-like must needs
have been a martyr. I will not attempt to tell you what her devotion
to me was, and is, and shall be, while one faintest throb of life is
stirring in her noble heart. You have seen it--you have seen that love
looking through those eyes of hers, like a mighty spirit endowed with
an existence separate from her own, which holds her soul in its
fierce, powerful grasp.

"I must hurry on now, and my words must be rapid as the events that
drove us from the serene elysian fields of that first dear
companionship, through storm and whirlwind, to this wilderness of
misery where I am sent to wander to and fro, like a murderer, as I am;
condemned to watch the daily dying of the sweet life I have destroyed.
You may think me blind and senseless, for so I surely was, but it is
certain that I never suspected the love she bore me. I saw that she
turned away from the crowds that flocked around, and was deaf to all
the offers that were made to her, of rank, and wealth, and station,
and many a true heart's love; but I thought this was because her own
was yet untouched, and when I saw that I alone was singled out to be
the object of her attention and solicitude, I fancied it was but the
effect of her deep, generous pity for my desolate condition--and pity
it was, but such as the mother feels for the suffering of the
first-born, whom she adores. And the day of revelation came!

"I told you how Colonel Randolph doated on his daughter; truly, none
ever loved Aletheia with a common love. When he was released from the
duties of his high office, it was one of his greatest pleasures to
walk, or ride with me, that he might talk to me of her. One morning he
came in with a packet of letters from England, and, taking me by the
arm, drew me out into the garden, that he might tell me some news,
which, he said, gave him exceeding joy. The letters announced the
arrival of the son of an old friend of his, who had just succeeded to
his title and estates, the young Marquis of L----, and further
communicated, in the most unreserved manner, that his object in coming
to the M---- was to make Aletheia his wife, if he could win her to
himself; he had long loved her, and had only delayed his offer till he
could install her in his lordly castle with all the honors of his
station. To see this union accomplished, Colonel Randolph said, had
been his one wish since both had played as children at his feet, and
he now believed the desired consummation was at hand. Aletheia's
consent was alone required, and there seemed no reason to doubt it
would be given, for there was not, he asserted, in all England, one
more worthy of her, by every noble gift of mind, than the high-born,
generous-hearted L----.

"Why, indeed, should she not, at once, accept the brilliant destiny
carved out for her!--I did not doubt it more than the exulting father,
and I heard my doom fixed in the same senseless state of calm with
which the criminal who knows his guilt and its penalty, hears the
sentence of his execution. I had long known this hour must come; and
what had I now to do but gather, as it were, a shroud round my
tortured soul, and, like the Cæsars, die decently to all earthly
happiness! Even in that tremendous hour, I had a consciousness of the
dignity of suffering--suffering, that is, which comes from the height
of heaven above, and not from the depths of crime below! I resolved
that the lamp of my life's joy should go out without a sigh audible to
human ears, save hers alone, who had lit that pure flame in the black
night of my existence.

"Lilias, I enter into no detail of what I felt in that momentous
crisis, for you have no woman's heart if you have not understood it,
in its uttermost extent of misery. One thought, however, stood up
pre-eminent in that chaos of suffering--the conviction that I must not
see Aletheia Randolph again, or the very powers of my mind would give
way in the struggle that must ensue. This thought, and one other--one
solitary gleam of dreary comfort, that alone relieved the great
darkness which had fallen upon me, were all that seemed distinct in my
mind: that last mournful consolation was the resolution taken along
with the vow to see her no more, that ere I passed forever from her
memory, she should know what was the love with which I loved her.

"Quietly I gave her father my hand when I quitted him, and he said,
'We shall meet in the evening;' my own determination was never to look
upon his face again. I went home, and sitting down, I wrote to
Aletheia a letter, in which all the pent-up feelings of the deep,
silent devotion I cherished for her, were poured out in words to which
the wretchedness of my position gave a fearful intensity--burning
words, indeed! She has told me since, that they seemed to eat into her
heart like fire. I left the letter for her and quitted the house; and
I believed my feet should never pass that beloved threshold again.
There was a spot where Aletheia and I had gone almost day by day to
wander, since we had dwelt in that land. She loved it, because she
could look out over the ocean in its boundlessness, whose aspect
soothed her, she said, as with a promise of eternity. It was a huge
rock that rose perpendicularly from the sea, and sloped down on the
other side, by a gentle declivity, to the plain. I have often thought
what a type of our life it was; we saw nothing of the precipice as we
ascended the soft and verdant mount, and suddenly it was at our feet,
and if the blast of heaven had driven us another step, it had been
into destruction.

"Thither, when I had parted, as I believed, forever, with that darling
of my heart, I went with what intent I know not: it was not to commit
suicide; although in that form, in the mad longing for it, the curse
of my family has ever declared itself. I was yet sane, and my soul
acknowledged and abhorred the tremendous guilt of that mysterious
crime, wherein the created dashes back the life once given, in the
very face of the Creator; not for suicide I went, yet, Lilias, as I
stood within an inch of death, and looked down on the placid waters
that had so swiftly cooled the burning anguish of my heart and brain,
I felt, in the intense desire to terminate my life, and in that desire
resisted, a more stinging pain than any which my bitter term of years
has ever offered me. Oh, how shall I tell you what followed? I feel as
though I could not: and briefly, and, indeed, incoherently, must I
speak; for on the next hour--the supreme, the crowning hour of all my
life--my spirit enters not, without an intensity of feeling which
well-nigh paralyzes every faculty.

"I stood there, and suddenly I heard a sound--a soft, breathing sound,
as of a gentle fawn wearied in some steep ascent--a sound coming
nearer and nearer, bringing with it ten thousand memories of hours and
days that were to come no more: a step, light and tremulous, falling
on the soft grass softly, and then a voice.--Oh, when mine ears are
locked in death, shall I not hear it?--a voice uttering low and sweet,
my well-known name. I turned, and when I saw that face, on whose sweet
beauty other eyes should feed, yea, other lips caress, for one instant
the curse of my forefather seemed upon me; my brain reeled, and I
would have sprung from the precipice to die. But ere I could
accomplish the sudden craving of this momentary frenzy, Aletheia, my
own Aletheia, was at my feet, her clinging arms were round me, her
lips were pressed upon my hands, and her voice--her sweet, dear
voice--went sounding through my soul like a sudden prophecy of most
unearthly joy, murmuring, 'Live, live for me, mine own forever!'

"Oh, Lilias, how can I attempt with human words to tell you of these
things, so far beyond the power of language to express! I felt that
what she said was true--that in some way, by some wonderful means, she
was in very deed and truth, 'mine own, forever,' though, in that
moment of supremest joy, no less firmly than in the hour of supremest
sorrow by my mother's dying bed, my heart and soul were faithful to
the vow then taken, that never on my desolate breast a wife should lay
her head to rest. 'Mine own forever!'--as I looked down, and met the
gaze of fathomless, unutterable love with which her tearful eyes were
fastened full upon my own, I was as one who having long dwelt in
darkest night, was blinded with the sudden glare of new returning day.
I staggered back, and leant against the rock; faint and shivering I
stretched out my hands on that beloved head, longing for the power to
bless her, and said, 'Oh, Aletheia, what is it you have said: have you
forgotten who and what I am!'

"'No!' was her answer, steady and distinct; 'and for that very reason,
because you are a stricken man, forever cut off from all the common
ties of earth, have I been given to you, to be in heart and soul
peculiarly your own, with such a measure of entire devotion as never
was offered to man on earth before.'

"I looked at her almost in bewilderment. She rose up to her full
height, perfectly calm, and with a deep solemnity in her words and
aspect.

"'Richard,' she said, 'the lives of both of us are hanging on this
hour; by it shall all future existence on this earth be shaped for us,
and its memory shall come with death itself to look us in the face,
and stamp our whole probation with its seal; it becomes us, therefore,
to cast aside all frivolous rules of man's convention, and speak the
truth as deathless soul with deathless soul. Hear me, then, while I
open up my inmost spirit to your gaze, and then decide whether you
will lay your hand upon my life, and say--'Thou art my own;' or
whether you will fling it from you to perish as some worthless thing?'

"I bowed my head in token that she should continue, for I could not
speak. I, Lilias, who had looked death and insanity in the face, under
their most frightful shapes, trembled, like a reed in the blast,
before the presence of a love that was mightier than either! Aletheia
stretched out her hand over the precipice, and spoke--

"'Hear me, then, declare first of all, solemnly as though this hour
were my last, that, not even to save you from that death which, but
now, you dared to meditate, would I ever consent to be your wife, even
if you wished it, as utterly as I doubt not you abhor the idea of such
perjury--not to save you from death--I say--the death of the mortal
body, for by conniving at your failure in that most righteous vow,
once taken on the holy cross itself, I should peril--yea, destroy, it
may be, the immortal soul, which is the true object of my love. Hear
me, in the face of that pure sky announce this truth, and then may I
freely declare to you all that is in my heart--all the sacred purpose
of my life for you, without a fear that my worst enemy could pronounce
me unmaidenly or overbold, though I have that to say which few women
ever said unasked.'

"Unmaidenly! Oh, Lilias, could you have seen the noble dignity of her
fearless innocence in that hour, you would have felt that never had
the impress of a purer heart been stamped upon a virgin brow."

"'Have you understood and well considered this my settled purpose
never to be your wife?' she continued.

"And I said--'I have.'"

"'Then speak out, my soul,' she exclaimed, lifting up her eyes as if
inspired. 'Tell him that there is a righteous Providence over the life
that immolates itself for virtue's sake! and that another existence
hath been sent to meet it in the glorious sacrifice, in order that
this one may yield up its treasures to the heart that would have
stript itself of all! Richard, Richard Sydney, you have made a
holocaust of your life, and lo! by the gift of another life, it is
repaid to you.'

"Slowly she knelt down, and took my hand in both of hers, while with
an aspect calm and firm, and a voice unfaltering, she spoke this vow:

'I, Aletheia Randolph, do most solemnly vow and promise to give
myself, in heart and soul, unto the last day of my life, wholly and
irrevocably, to Richard Sydney. I devote to him, and him alone, my
whole heart, my whole life, and my whole love. I do forever forswear,
for his sake, all earthly ties, all earthly affections, and all
earthly hopes. I will love him only, live for him only, and make it my
one happiness to minister to him in all things as faithfully and
tenderly as though I were bound to him by the closest of human
bonds--in spite of all obstacles and the world's blame--in defiance of
all allurements, which might induce me to abandon him. I will seek to
abide ever as near to him as may be, that I may bestow on him all the
care and tender watchfulness which the most faithful wife could offer;
but absent or present, living or dying, no human being on this earth
shall ever have known such an entire devotion as I will give to him
till the last breath pass from this heart in death!'

"I was speechless, Lilias--speechless with something almost of horror
at the sacrifice she was making! I strove to withdraw my hand--I could
have died to save her from thus immolating herself; but she clung to
me, and a deadly paleness spread itself over her countenance as she
felt my movement.

"'Hear me! hear me yet again, Richard Sydney!' she exclaimed; 'you can
not prevent me taking this vow; it was registered in the record of my
fate--uttered again and again deep in my soul, long before it was
spoken by these mortal lips!--it is done--I am yours forever, or
forever perjured! But hear me!--hear me!--although the offering of my
life is made, yea, and it _shall_ be yours in every moment, in every
thought, in every impulse of my being, yet I can not force you to
accept this true oblation, made once for all, and forever! I can not
constrain you to load your existence with mine. Now, now, the
consummation of all is in your own hands; you may make this offering,
which is never to be recalled, as you will--a blessing or a curse to
yourself as unto me! I am powerless--what you decree I must submit to;
but hear me, hear me!--although you now reject, and scorn, and spurn
me--me, and the life which I have given you--although you drive me
from you, and command me never to appear before your eyes again, yet,
Richard Sydney, I WILL KEEP MY VOW! Even in obeying you, and departing
to the uttermost corner of the earth that you may never look upon my
face again; yet will I keep my vow, and the life shall be yours, and
the love shall be around you; and the heart, and the soul, and the
thoughts, and the prayers of her, who is your own forever, shall be
with you night and day, till she expires in the agony of your
rejection.

"'This were the curse, and curse me if you will, I yet will bless you!
And now hear, hear what the blessing might be if you so willed it. In
spiritual union we should be forever linked, soul with soul, and heart
with heart--all in all to one another in that wedding of our immortal
spirits only, as truly and joyously as though we had been bound in an
earthly bridal at the altar; abiding forever near each other in
sweetest and most pure companionship, while my father lives under the
same roof, and afterward still meeting daily; one in love, in joy, in
hope, in sorrow; one in death (for if your soul were first called
forth, I know that mine would take that summons for its own), and one,
if it were so permitted, in eternity itself. This we may be, Richard
Sydney, this we shall be, except you will, this day, trample down
beneath your feet the life that gives itself to you. But wherefore,
oh, wherefore would you do so? Why cast away the gift which hath been
sent, in order that, by a wondrous and most just decree, the righteous
man who, in his noble rectitude, abandoned every earthly tie, should
be possessed, instead thereof, of such a deep, devoted love as never
human heart received before? Wherefore, oh! wherefore? Yet, do as you
will, now you know all; and I, who still, whatever be your decree,
happen what may, am verily your own forever, must here abide the
sentence of my life.'

"Slowly her dear head fell down upon her trembling hands, and,
kneeling at my feet, she waited my acceptance or rejection of the
noblest gift that ever one immortal spirit made unto another. Lilias,
I told you when I commenced this agonizing record, that there were
portions of it which I would breathe to no mortal ears, not even to
yours, good and gentle as you are. And now, of such is all that
followed in the solemn, blessed hours of which I speak; you know what
my answer was; it can not be that you doubt it--could it have been
otherwise, indeed? She had said truly, that the deed was done--the
sacrifice was made--the life was given. What would it have availed if
I, by my rejection, had punished her unparalleled devotion with
unexampled misery? and for myself, could I--could I--should I have
been human if I, who, till that hour, had believed myself of all men
most accursed on earth--had suddenly refused to be above all men
blest?

"When the sun went down that night, sinking into the sea, whose
boundlessness seemed narrow to my infinity of joy, Aletheia lay at my
feet like a cradled child; and as I bent down over her, and scarcely
dared to touch, with deep respect, the long, soft tresses of her
waving hair, which the light breeze lifted to my lips, I heard her
ever murmuring, as though she could never weary of that sound of
joy--'Mine own, mine own forever.'

"The period which followed that wonderful hour was one of an Eden-like
happiness, such as, I believe, this fallen world never could before
have witnessed--it was the embodiment, in every hour and instant, of
that blessing of which my Aletheia had so fervently spoken--the
spiritual union which linked us in heart and soul alone, was as
perfect as it was unearthly; and the intense bliss which flowed from
it, on both of us, could only have been equaled by the love, no less
intense, that made us what we were.

"But, Lilias, of this brief dream of deep delight I will not and I can
not speak. This is a record of misery and not of joy," he continued,
turning round upon her almost fiercely. "It becomes not me, who have
been the murderer of Aletheia's joyous life, to take so much as the
name of happiness between my lips. It passed--it departed--that joy,
as a spirit departs out of the body; unseen, unheard; you know not it
is gone, till suddenly you see that the beautiful living form has
become a stark and ghastly corpse!--and so, in like manner, our life
became a hideous thing....

"Colonel Randolph asked me to go on an embassy to a distant town; the
absence was to be but for a fortnight. We were to write daily to one
another, and we thought nothing of it. Nevertheless, in one sense, we
felt it to be momentous. Aletheia designed, if an opportunity
occurred, to inform her father of the change in her existence, and the
irrevocable fate to which she had consigned herself. She had delayed
doing so hitherto, because his mind had been fearfully disturbed by
grievous disappointments in public affairs; and as he was a man of
peculiarly sensitive temperament, she would not add to his distresses
by the announcement of the fact, which she knew he would consider the
great misfortune of his life. It was impossible, indeed, that the
doating father could fail to mourn bitterly over the sacrifice of his
one beloved daughter, to the man who dared not so much as give her
barren life the protection of his name lest haply, he wed her to a
maniac.

"It was within two days of my proposed return to their home, that an
express arrived in fiery haste to tell me Colonel Randolph had fallen
from his horse, had received a mortal injury, and was dying. I was
summoned instantly. He had said he would not die in peace till he saw
me. One hurried line from Aletheia, in addition to the aid-de-camp's
letter, told how even, in that awful hour, I was first and last in his
thoughts. It ran thus: 'He is on his death-bed, and I have told him
all. I could not let him die unknowing the consecration of his child
to one so worthy of her. But, alas! I know not why, it seems almost to
have maddened him. He says he will tell you all; come, then, with all
speed.'

"In two hours I was by the side of the dying man. Aletheia was
kneeling with her arms round him, and he was gazing at her with
sombre, mournful fondness. The instant he saw me he pushed her from
him. 'Go,' he said, 'I must see this man alone.' The epithet startled
me. I saw he was filled with a bitter wrath. His daughter obeyed; she
rose and left the room; but as she passed me she took my hand, and
bowing herself as to her master, pressed it to her lips, then turning
round she said. 'Father, remember what I have told you: he is mine own
forever; not even your death-bed curse could make me falter in my
vow.' He groaned aloud: 'No curse, no curse, my child,' he cried;
'fear not; it is not you whom I would curse. Come--kiss me; we may
perhaps not meet again; and if you find me dead at your return--' He
waited till she closed the door, and then added, 'Say that Richard
Sydney killed me, and you will speak the truth! Madman, madman,
indeed! What is it you have done? Was it for this I took you into my
home, and was to you a father? That you might slay my only
daughter--that you might make such havoc of her life as is worse than
a thousand deaths.'

"I would have spoken; he fiercely interrupted me: 'I know what you
would say--that she gave herself to you--that she offered this
oblation of a whole existence--but I tell you, if one grain of justice
or of generosity had been within your coward heart, you would have
flung yourself over that precipice, and so absolved her from her vow,
rather than let her immolate herself to a doom so horrible; for you
know not, yourself, what is that doom! Yes, poor wretch,' he added,
more gently, 'you knew not what you did; but I know, and now will I
tell. I, who have watched over the soul of Aletheia Randolph for
well-nigh twenty years, know well of what fire it is made; I tell you
I have long foreknown that there was a capacity of love in her which
is most awful, and which would most infallibly work her utter woe,
except its ardent immensity found a perpetual outlet in the many ties
which weave themselves around a happy wife and mother. And now, oh!
was there none to have mercy on her, and save her noble heart and life
from such destruction; this soul of flame, fathomless as the deep,
burning and pure as the spotless noonday sky, hath gone forth to
fasten itself upon a desolating, barren, mournful love, where,
hungering forever after happiness, and never fed, it will be driven to
insanity or death! Yes, I tell you, it will be so; my departing spirit
is almost on my lips, and my words must be few, but they are words of
fearful truth. I know her, and I know that thus it will be; one day's
separation from you, whom the world will never admit to be her
own--one cloud upon your brow, which she has not the power to
disperse, will work in her a torment that will sap her noble mind, and
will make her, haply, the lunatic, and _you_--_you_, descendant of the
maniac Sydneys, her keeper! Oh, what had she done to you that you
should hate her so? Oh, wherefore have you cursed her, my innocent
child, my only daughter?'

"I fell on my knees; I gasped for breath; Lilias, I felt that every
word he said was true, that all would come to pass as he foretold; for
he spoke with the prophetic truth of the dying; he saw my utter agony.
Suddenly he lifted himself up in the bed, and the movement broke the
bandage on his head, whence the blood streamed suddenly with a
destructive violence; he heeded it not, but grasped my arm with the
last energy of life.

"'I see you are in torments,' he said, 'and fitly so; but if you have
this much of grace left, now at least to suffer, it may be that every
spark of justice is not dead within you, and that you will save her
yet.'

"'Save her!' I almost shrieked. 'Yes, if by any means upon this earth
such a blessing be possible! Shall I die? I am ready--oh, how ready.'

"'No; to die were but to carry her into your grave,' the cruel voice
replied; 'but living, I believe that you may save her. From what I
know of that most noble child's pure soul, I do believe that you may
save her yet. Man! who have been her curse and mine, will you swear to
do so, by any means I may command?'

"'I will swear!' was my answer, and his glazing eyes were suddenly lit
up with a fierce delight. 'And how?' I cried.

"'Thus,' he answered, drawing me close to him, and putting his lips to
my ear: 'by rendering yourself hateful to her! To quit her were to bid
her lament you unto the death; but _by her very side to render
yourself abhorrent to her_, thus shall you save her! You have
sworn--remember, you have sworn! Go! When I am dead, give up that
voice and look of love; put on a stern aspect; treat her as a cruel
taskmaster treats a slave; be harsh; be merciless; tell her the love
she bears you, by its depth of passion, hath become a crime, and you
have vowed to crush it out of her; but say not I commanded it; let her
believe it is your own free will; punish her for that love; let her
think you hate her for it; trample her soul beneath your haughty feet;
let her hear naught but bitterest words--see naught but sternest
looks--feel naught but a grasp severe and torturing--to tear her
clinging arms from around you!--so shall you save her; for she will
suffer but a little while at first, and then will leave you to be
forever blest;--so shall you crush her love, and send her out from
your heart to seek a better. Sydney, you have sworn to do it--you have
sworn!'

"He repeated the words with fearful vehemence, for life was ebbing
with the blood that flowed. Gathering up his last energies, he
shrieked into my ear--'Say that you have sworn!--answer, or my spirit
curses you forever!' and I answered: 'I have sworn!'

"He burst into a laugh of awful triumph, sunk back, and expired....

"Lilias, I have kept that vow!"

At these words, uttered in a hoarse and ominous tone, which seemed to
convey a volume of fearful meaning, a cold shiver crept over the frame
of the young Lilias: a horror unspeakable took possession of her, as
the vail seemed suddenly lifted up from the mysterious agony which had
made Aletheia's life, even to the outward eye, a mere embodiment of
perpetual suffering; and her deep and womanly appreciation of what her
unhappy cousin had endured, caused her to shrink almost in fear from
the wretched man by her side, who had thus been constrained to become
the cruel tyrant of her he loved so fondly. But he spoke again in such
broken, faltering accents, that her heart once more swelled with pity
for him.

"Yes, Lilias, I kept that fearful vow: the grasp of the dead man's
hand, which, even as he stiffened into a mass of senseless clay, still
locked my own as with an iron gripe, seemed to have bound it on my
soul, and I, alas! believed in the efficacy of this means for her
restoration from the destructive madness of her love to such an one as
I. I believed I thus should save her, and turn her pure affection to a
salutary hate. Yes; with energy, with fierce determination, I did keep
that vow, because it was to bind myself unto such untold tortures,
that it seemed a righteous expiation; and what, oh, what has been the
result! Her father thought he knew her. He thought the intensity of
her tenderness would brave insanity or death; but, not _my_ hatred and
contempt! and he knew her not, in her unparalleled generosity! for
behold her glorious devotion hath trampled even my contumely under
foot, and hath risen faithful, changeless, all perfect as before.

"Oh, Lilias, I can not tell you the detail of the cruelties I have
perpetrated on her--redoubled, day by day, as I saw them all fall
powerless before her matchless love. I told her that because of its
intensity, her affection had become a crime, for one whose eternal
abiding place was not within this world, and that it inspired me with
horror and with wrath; and since she had taken me for her master, as
her master, I would drive this passion from her soul, by even the
sternest means that fancy can devise; and then, I dare not tell you
all that I have done; but she, with her imploring voice, her tender,
mournful eyes, forever answered that if she were hateful to me I had
better leave her, only with me should go her love, her life, her very
soul! Alas! alas! I could not leave her till my fearful task was done.
I have labored--oh, let the spirit of that dead father witness--I have
labored according to his will, and what has been the up-shot of it
all? Lilias," he spoke with sudden fierceness, "I have learnt to crush
the life out of her, _but not the love_! the pure, devoted, boundless
love is there, still, true and tender as before, only it abides my
torture, day and night, chained to the rack by these cruel hands."

He buried his face on his knees, and a strong convulsion shook his
frame.



A TALE OF MID-AIR.


In a cottage in the valley of Sallanches near the foot of Mont Blanc,
lived old Bernard and his three sons. One morning he lay in bed sick,
and, burning with fever, watched anxiously for the return of his son,
Jehan, who had gone to fetch a physician. At length a horse's tread
was heard, and soon afterward the Doctor entered. He examined the
patient closely, felt his pulse, looked at his tongue, and then said,
patting the old man's cheek, "It will be nothing, my friend--nothing!"
but he made a sign to the three lads, who open-mouthed and anxious,
stood grouped around the bed. All four withdrew to a distant corner,
the doctor shook his head, thrust out his lower lip, and said "Tis a
serious attack--very serious--of fever. He is now in the height of the
fit, and as soon as it abates he must have sulphate of quinine."

"What is that, doctor?"

"Quinine, my friend, is a very expensive medicine, but which you may
procure at Sallanches. Between the two fits your father must take at
least three francs' worth. I will write the prescription. You can
read, Guillaume?"

"Yes, doctor."

"And you will see that he takes it?"

"Certainly."

When the physician was gone, Guillaume, Pierre, and Jehan looked at
each other in silent perplexity. Their whole stock of money consisted
of a franc and a half, and yet the medicine must be procured
immediately.

"Listen," said Pierre, "I know a method of getting from the mountain
before night three or four five-franc pieces."

"From the mountain?"

"I have discovered an eagle's nest in a cleft of a frightful
precipice. There is a gentleman at Sallanches, who would gladly
purchase the eagles; and nothing made me hesitate but the terrible
risk of taking them; but that's nothing when our father's life is
concerned. We may have them now in two hours."

"I will rob the nest," said Guillaume.

"No, no, let me," said Jehan, "I am the youngest and lightest."

"I have the best right to venture," said Pierre, "as it was I who
discovered it."

"Come," said Pierre, "let us decide by drawing lots. Write three
numbers, Guillaume, put them into my hat, and whoever draws number one
will try the venture."

Guillaume blackened the end of a wooden splinter in the fire; tore an
old card into three pieces; wrote on them one, two, three, and threw
them into the hat.

How the three hearts beat! Old Bernard lay shivering in the cold fit,
and each of his sons longed to risk his own life, to save that of his
father.

The lot fell on Pierre, who had discovered the nest; he embraced the
sick man.

"We shall not be long absent, father," he said, "and it is needful for
us to go together."

"What are you going to do?"

"We will tell you as soon as we come back."

Guillaume took down from the wall an old sabre, which had belonged to
Bernard when he served as a soldier; Jehan sought a thick cord which
the mountaineers use when cutting down trees; and Pierre went toward
an old wooden cross, reared near the cottage, and knelt before it for
some minutes in fervent prayer.

They set out together, and soon reached the brink of the precipice.
The danger consisted not only in the possibility of falling several
hundred feet, but still more in the probable aggression of the birds
of prey, inhabiting the wild abyss.

Pierre, who was to brave these perils, was a fine athletic young man of
twenty-two. Having measured with his eye the distance he would have to
descend, his brothers fastened the cord around his waist, and began to
let him down. Holding the sabre in his hand, he safely reached the
nook that contained the nest. In it were four eaglets of a light
yellowish-brown color, and his heart beat with joy at the sight of
them. He grasped the nest firmly in his left hand, and shouted
joyfully to his brothers, "I have them! Draw me up!"

Already the first upward pull was given to the cord, when Pierre felt
himself attacked by two enormous eagles, whose furious cries proved
them to be the parents of the nestlings.

"Courage, brother! defend thyself! don't fear!"

Pierre pressed the nest to his bosom, and with his right hand made the
sabre play around his head.

Then began a terrible combat. The eagles shrieked, the little ones
cried shrilly, the mountaineer shouted and brandished his sword. He
slashed the birds with its blade, which flashed like lightning, and
only rendered them still more enraged. He struck the rock and sent
forth a shower of sparks.

Suddenly he felt a jerk given to the cord that sustained him. Looking
up he perceived that, in his evolutions, he had cut it with his sabre,
and that half the strands were severed!

Pierre's eyes, dilated widely, remained for a moment immovable, and
then closed with terror. A cold shudder passed through his veins, and
he thought of letting go both the nest and the sabre.

At that moment one of the eagles pounced on his head, and tried to
tear his face. The Savoyard made a last effort, and defended himself
bravely. He thought of his old father, and took courage.

Upward, still upward, mounted the cord: friendly voices eagerly
uttered words of encouragement and triumph; but Pierre could not reply
to them. When he reached the brink of the precipice, still clasping
fast the nest, his hair, which an hour before had been as black as a
raven's wing, was become so completely white, that Guillaume and Jehan
could scarcely recognize him.

What did that signify? the eaglets were of the rarest and most
valuable species. That same afternoon they were carried to the village
and sold. Old Bernard had the medicine, and every needful comfort
beside, and the doctor in a few days pronounced him convalescent.



STORIES ABOUT BEASTS AND BIRDS.


The strength and courage of the lion is so great that, although he is
seldom four feet in height, he is more than a match for fierce animals
of three or four times his size, such as the buffalo. He will even
attack a rhinoceros or an elephant, if provoked. He possesses such
extraordinary muscular power, that he has been known to kill and carry
off a heifer of two years old in his mouth, and, after being pursued
by herdsmen on horseback for five hours, it has been found that he has
scarcely ever allowed the body of the heifer to touch the ground
during the whole distance. But here is an instance of strength in a
man--a different sort of strength--which surpasses all we ever heard
of a lion:

Three officers in the East Indies--Captain Woodhouse, Lieutenant
Delamain, and Lieutenant Laing--being informed that two lions had made
their appearance, in a jungle, at some twenty miles' distance from
their cantonment, rode off in that direction to seek an engagement.
They soon found the "lordly strangers," or natives, we should rather
say. One of the lions was killed by the first volley they fired; the
other retreated across the country. The officers pursued, until the
lion, making an abrupt curve, returned to his jungle. They then
mounted an elephant, and went in to search for him. They found him
standing under a bush, looking directly toward them. He sought no
conflict, but seeing them approach, he at once accepted the first
challenge, and sprang at the elephant's head, where he hung on. The
officers fired; in the excitement of the onset their aim was defeated,
and the lion only wounded. The elephant, meanwhile, had shaken him
off, and, not liking such an antagonist, refused to face him again.
The lion did not pursue, but stood waiting. At length the elephant was
persuaded to advance once more; seeing which, the lion became furious,
and rushed to the contest. The elephant turned about to retreat, and
the lion, springing upon him from behind, grappled his flesh with
teeth and claws, and again hung on. The officers fired, while the
elephant kicked with all his might; but, though the lion was
dislodged, he was still without any mortal wound, and retired into the
thicket, content with what he had done in return for the assault. The
officers had become too excited to desist; and in the fever of the
moment, as the elephant, for his part, now directly refused to have
any thing more to do with the business, Captain Woodhouse resolved to
dismount, and go on foot into the jungle. Lieutenant Delamain and
Lieutenant Laing dismounted with him, and they followed in the
direction the lion had taken. They presently got sight of him, and
Captain Woodhouse fired, but apparently without any serious injury, as
they saw "the mighty lord of the woods" retire deeper into the thicket
"with the utmost composure." They pursued, and Lieutenant Delamain got
a shot at the lion. This was to be endured no longer, and forth came
the lion, dashing right through the bushes that intervened, so that he
was close upon them in no time. The two lieutenants were just able to
escape out of the jungle to re-load, but Captain Woodhouse stood
quietly on one side, hoping the lion would pass him unobserved. This
was rather too much to expect after all he had done. The lion darted
at him, and in an instant, "as though by a stroke of lightning," the
rifle was broken and knocked out of his hand, and he found himself in
the grip of the irresistible enemy whom he had challenged to mortal
combat. Lieutenant Delamain fired at the lion without killing him, and
then again retreated to re-load. Meantime, Captain Woodhouse and the
lion were both lying wounded on the ground, and the lion began to
craunch his arm. In this dreadful position Captain Woodhouse had the
presence of mind, and the fortitude, amid the horrible pain he
endured, to lie perfectly still--knowing that if he made any
resistance now, he would be torn to pieces in a minute. Finding all
motion had ceased, the lion let the arm drop from his mouth, and
quietly crouched down with his paws on the thigh of his prostrate
antagonist. Presently, Captain Woodhouse, finding his head in a
painful position, unthinkingly raised one hand to support it,
whereupon the lion again seized his arm, and craunched it higher up.
Once more, notwithstanding the intense agony, and yet more intense
apprehension of momentary destruction, Captain Woodhouse had the
strength of will and self-command to lie perfectly still. He remained
thus, until his friends, discovering his situation, were hastening up,
but upon the wrong side, so that their balls might possibly pass
through the lion, and hit him. Without moving, or manifesting any
hasty excitement, he was heard to say, in a low voice, "To the other
side!--to the other side!" They hurried round. Next moment the
magnanimous lion lay dead by the side of a yet stronger nature than
his own.

Diedrik Müller, during his hunting time in South Africa, came suddenly
upon a lion. The lion did not attack him, but stood still, as though
he would have said, "Well, what do you want here in my desert?" Müller
alighted from his horse, and took deliberate aim at the lion's
forehead. Just as he drew the trigger, his horse gave a start of
terror, and the hunter missed his aim. The lion sprang forward; but,
finding that the man stood still--for he had no time either to remount
his horse, or take to his heels--the lion stopped within a few paces,
and stood still also, confronting him. The man and the lion stood
looking at each other for some minutes; the man never moved; at length
the lion slowly turned, and walked away. Müller began hastily to
re-load his gun. The lion looked back over his shoulder, gave a deep
growl, and instantly returned. Could words speak plainer? Müller, of
course, held his hand, and remained motionless. The lion again moved
off, warily. The hunter began softly to ram down his bullet. Again the
lion looked back, and gave a threatening growl. This was repeated
between them until the lion had retired to some distance, when he
bounded into a thicket.

A very curious question is started by the worthy vicar of Swaffham
Bulbec on the mortality of birds. The mortality must be enormous every
year, yet how seldom in our country rambles do we find a dead bird.
One, now and then, in the woods or hedgerows, is the utmost seen by
any body, even if he search for them. Very few, comparatively, are
destroyed by mankind. Only a few species are killed by sportsmen; all
the rest can not live long, nor can they all be eaten by other birds.
Many must die from natural causes. Immense numbers, especially of the
smaller birds, are born each year, yet they do not appear to increase
the general stock of the species. Immense numbers, therefore, must die
every year; but what becomes of the bodies? Martins, nightingales, and
other migratory birds, may be supposed to leave a great number of
their dead relations in foreign countries; this, however, can not
apply to our own indigenous stock. Mr. Jenyns partly accounts for this
by saying, that no doubt a great many young birds fall a prey to
stronger birds soon after leaving the nest, and probably a number of
the elder birds also; while the very old are killed by the cold of
winter; or, becoming too feeble to obtain food, drop to the earth, and
are spared the pain of starvation by being speedily carried off by
some hungry creature of the woods and fields. Besides these means for
the disposal of the bodies, there are scavenger insects, who devour,
and another species who act as sextons, and bury the bodies. During
the warm months of summer, some of the burying beetles will accomplish
"the humble task allotted them by Providence," in a surprisingly short
time. Mr. Jenyns has repeatedly, during a warm spring, placed dead
birds upon the ground, in different spots frequented by the
_necrophorus vespillo_, and other allied beetles, who have effected
the interment so completely in four-and-twenty hours, that there was a
difficulty in finding the bodies again.

All this goes a great way to account for our so very seldom seeing any
dead birds lying about, notwithstanding the immense mortality that
must take place every year; but it certainly is not satisfactory; for
although the birds of prey, and those which are not devoured by
others, are comparatively small in number, how is it that none of
_these_ are ever found? Once in a season, perhaps, we may find a dead
crow, or a dead owl (generally one that has been shot), but who ever
finds hawks, ravens, kites, sparrow-hawks, or any number of crows, out
of all the annual mortality that must occur in their colonies? These
birds are for the most part too large for the sexton beetle to bury;
and, quickly as the foxes, stoats, weasels, and other prowling
creatures would nose out the savoury remains, or the newly-fallen
bodies, these creatures only inhabit certain localities--and dead
birds may be supposed to fall in many places. Still, they are not
seen.

A pair of robins built their nest in the old ivy of a garden wall, and
the hen shortly afterward sat in maternal pride upon four eggs. The
gardener came to clip the ivy; and, not knowing of the nest, his
shears cut off a part of it, so that the four eggs fell to the ground.
Dropping on leaves, they were not broken. Notice being attracted by
the plaintive cries of the hen bird, the eggs were restored to the
nest, which the gardener repaired. The robins returned, the hen sat
upon the eggs, and in a few days they were hatched. Shortly afterward
the four little ones were all found lying upon the ground beneath,
cold, stiff, and lifeless. The gardener's repairs of the nest had not
been according to the laws of bird-architecture, and a gap had broken
out. The four unfledged little ones were taken into the house, and,
efforts being made to revive them by warmth, they presently showed
signs of life, recovered, and were again restored to the nest. The gap
was filled up by stuffing a small piece of drugget into it. The parent
robins, perched in a neighboring tree, watched all these operations,
without displaying any alarm for the result, and, as soon as they were
completed, returned to the nest. All went on well for a day or two:
but misfortune seemed never weary of tormenting this little family. A
violent shower of rain fell. The nest being exposed, by the close
clipping of the ivy leaves, the drugget got sopped, the rain half
filled the nest, and the gardener found the four little ones lying
motionless in the water. Once more they were taken away, dried near
the fire, and placed in the nest of another bird fixed in a tree
opposite the ivy. The parent birds in a few minutes occupied the nest,
and never ceased their attentions until the brood were able to fly,
and take care of themselves.

The story we have already related of Diedrik Müller's lion, is
surpassed by another of a similar kind, which we take to be about the
best lion-story that zoological records can furnish.

A hunter, in the wilds of Africa, had seated himself on a bank near a
pool, to rest, leaving his gun, set upright against a rock, a few feet
behind him. He was alone. Whether he fell asleep, or only into a
reverie, he did not know, but suddenly he saw an enormous lion
standing near him, attentively observing him. Their eyes met, and thus
they remained, motionless, looking at each other. At length the hunter
leaned back, and slowly extended his arm toward his gun. The lion
instantly uttered a deep growl, and advanced nearer. The hunter
paused. After a time, he very gradually repeated the attempt, and
again the lion uttered a deep growl, the meaning of which was not to
be mistaken. This occurred several times (as in the former case),
until the man was obliged to desist altogether. Night approached; the
lion never left him the whole night. Day broke; the lion still was
there, and remained there the whole day. The hunter had ceased to make
any attempt to seize his gun, and saw that his only hope was to weary
the lion out by the fortitude of a passive state, however dreadful the
situation. All the next night the lion remained. The man, worn out for
want of sleep, dared not to close his eyes, lest the lion, believing
him to be dead, should devour him. All the provision in his wallet was
exhausted. The third night arrived. Being now utterly exhausted, and
having dropped off to sleep, several times, and as often come back to
consciousness with a start of horror at finding he had been asleep, he
finally sunk backward, and lay in a dead slumber. He never awoke till
broad day, and then found that the lion was gone.

On the question of "best" stories of animals, there are so many
excellent stories of several species that the superlative degree may
be hard to determine. Setting down the above, however, as the best
lion-story, we will give what we consider to be (up to this time) the
best elephant-story. In one of the recent accounts of scenes of Indian
warfare (the title of the book has escaped us, and perhaps we met with
the narrative in a printed letter), a body of artillery was described
as proceeding up a hill, and the great strength of elephants was found
highly advantageous in drawing up the guns. On the carriage of one of
these guns, a little in front of the wheel, sat an artilleryman,
resting himself. An elephant, drawing another gun, was advancing in
regular order close behind. Whether from falling asleep, or
over-fatigue, the man fell from his seat, and the wheel of the
gun-carriage, with its heavy gun, was just rolling over him. The
elephant comprehending the danger, and seeing that he could not reach
the body of the man with his trunk, seized the wheel by the top, and,
lifting it up, passed it carefully over the fallen man, and set it
down on the other side.

The best dog-story--though there are a number of best stories of this
honest fellow--we fear is an old one; but we can not forbear telling
it, for the benefit of those who may not have met with it before. A
surgeon found a poor dog, with his leg broken. He took him home, set
it, and in due time gave him his liberty. Off he ran. Some months
afterward the surgeon was awoke in the night by a dog barking loudly
at his door. As the barking continued, and the surgeon thought he
recognized the voice, he got up, and went down stairs. When he opened
the door, there stood his former patient, wagging his tail, and by his
side another dog--a friend whom he had brought--who had also had the
misfortune to get a leg broken. There is another dog-story of a
different kind, told by Mr. Jenyns, which we think very amusing. A
poodle, belonging to a gentleman in Cheshire, was in the habit of
going to church with his master, and sitting with him in the pew
during the whole service. Sometimes his master did not come; but this
did not prevent the poodle, who always presented himself in good time,
entered the pew, and remained sitting there alone: departing with the
rest of the congregation. One Sunday, the dam at the head of a lake in
the neighborhood gave way, and the whole road was inundated. The
congregation was therefore reduced to a few individuals, who came from
cottages close at hand. Nevertheless, by the time the clergyman had
commenced reading the Psalms, he saw his friend the poodle come slowly
up the aisle, dripping with water: having been obliged to swim above a
quarter of a mile to get to church. He went into his pew, as usual,
and remained quietly there to the end of the service. This is told on
the authority of the clergyman himself.

A hungry jackdaw once took a fancy to a young chicken which had only
recently been hatched. He pounced upon it accordingly, and was
carrying it off, when the hen rushed upon him, and beat him with her
wings, and held him in her beak, until the cock came up, who
immediately attacked the jackdaw, and struck him so repeatedly that he
was scarcely able to effect his escape by flight. But the best
hen-story is one in Mr. Jenyns' "Observations." A hen was sitting on a
number of eggs to hatch them. An egg was missing every night; yet
nobody could conjecture who had stolen it. One morning, after several
had been lost in this way, the hen was discovered with ruffled
feathers, a bleeding breast, and an inflamed countenance. By the side
of the nest was seen the dead body of a large rat, whose skull had
been fractured--evidently by blows from the beak of the valiant hen,
who could endure the vile act of piracy no longer.

Mr. Jenyns relates a good owl-story. He knew a tame owl, who was so
fond of music that he would enter the drawing-room of an evening, and,
perching on the shoulder of one of the children, listen with great
attention to the tones of the piano-forte: holding his head first on
one side, then on the other, after the manner of connoisseurs. One
night, suddenly, spreading his wings, as if unable to endure his
rapture any longer, he alighted on the keys, and, driving away the
fingers of the performer with his beak, began to hop about upon the
keys himself, apparently in great delight with his own execution. This
pianist's name was _Keevie_. He was born in the woods of
Northumberland, and belonged to a friend of the Reverend Mr. Jenyns.

Good bear-stories are numerous. One of the best we take from the
"Zoological Anecdotes." At a hunt in Sweden, an old soldier was
charged by a bear. His musket missed fire, and the animal being close
upon him, he made a thrust, in the hope of driving the muzzle of his
piece down the bear's throat. But the thrust was parried by one of
huge paws with all the skill of a fencer, and the musket wrested from
the soldier's hand, who was forthwith laid prostrate. He lay quiet,
and the bear, after smelling, thought he was dead, and then left him
to examine the musket. This he seized by the stock, and began to knock
about, as though to discover wherein its virtue consisted, when the
soldier could not forbear putting forth one hand to recover his
weapon. The bear immediately seized him by the back of the head, and
tore his scalp over his crown, so that it fell over the soldier's
face. Notwithstanding his agony, the poor fellow restrained his cries,
and again pretended death. The bear laid himself upon his body, and
thus remained, until some hunters coming up relieved him from this
frightful situation. As the poor fellow rose, he threw back his scalp
with his hand, as though it had been a peruke, and ran frantically
toward them, exclaiming--"The bear! the bear!" So intense was his
apprehension of his enemy, that it made him oblivious of his bodily
anguish. He eventually recovered, and received his discharge in
consequence of his loss of hair. There is another bear-story in this
work, which savors--just a little--of romance. A powerful bull was
attacked by a bear in a forest, when the bull succeeded in striking
both horns into his assailant, and pinning him to a tree. In this
situation they were both found dead--the bear, of his wounds; the bull
(either fearing, or, from obstinate self-will, refusing, to relinquish
his position of advantage) of starvation!

The beat cat-and-mouse story (designated "Melancholy Accident--a Cat
killed by a Mouse") is to be found in "The Poor Artist," the author of
which seems to have derived the story from a somewhat questionable
source, though we must admit the possibility. "A cat had caught a
mouse on a lawn, and let it go again, in her cruel way, in order to
play with it; when the mouse, inspired by despair, and seeing only one
hole possible to escape into--namely, the round red throat of the cat,
very visible through her open mouth--took a bold spring into her jaws,
just escaping between her teeth, and into her throat he struggled and
stuffed himself; and so the cat was suffocated." It reads plausibly;
let us imagine it was true.

The best spider-and-fly story we also take from the last-named book.
"A very strong, loud, blustering fellow of a blue-bottle fly bounced
accidentally into a spider's web. Down ran the old spider, and threw
her long arms round his neck; but he fought, and struggled, and blew
his drone, and fuzzed, and sung sharp, and beat, and battered, and
tore the web in holes--and so got loose. The spider would not let go
her hold round him--and _the fly flew away with the spider_!" This is
related on the authority of Mr. Thomas Bell, the naturalist, who
witnessed the heroic act.



A MISER'S LIFE AND DEATH.


This is Harrow Weal Common; and a lovely spot it is. Time was when the
whole extent lay waste, or rather covered with soft herbage and wild
flowers, where the bee sought her pasture, and the lark loved to hide
her nest. But since then, cultivation has trenched on much of Harrow
Weal. Cottages have risen, and small homesteads tell of security and
abundance. It is pleasant to look upon them from this rising ground;
to follow the windings of the broad stream, with pastures on either
side, where sheep and cattle graze. Look narrowly toward yonder group
of trees, and that slight elevation of the ground covered with wild
chamomile; if the narrator who told concerning the miser of Harrow
Weal Common has marked the spot aright, that mound and flowers are
associated with the history of one whose profitless life affords a
striking instance of the withering effects of avarice.

On that spot stood the house of Daniel Dancer; miserable in the
fullest conception of the word: desolate and friendless, for no bright
fire gleamed in winter on the old man's hearthstone; nor yet in
spring, when all nature is redolent of bliss, did the confiding
sparrow build her nest beside his thatch. The walls of his solitary
dwelling were old and lichen-dotted; ferns sprung from out their
fissures, and creeping ivy twined through the shattered window-panes.
A sapling, no one knew how, had vegetated in the kitchen; its broken
pavement afforded a free passage, and, as time went on, the sapling
acquired strength, pushing its tall head through the damp and
mouldering ceiling; then, catching more of air and light, it went
upward to the roof, and, finding that the tiles were off and part of
the rafters broken, that same tree looked forth in its youth and
vigor, throwing its branches wide, and serving, as years passed on, to
shelter the inmates of the hut.

Other trees grew round; unpruned and thickly-tangled rank grass sprang
up wherever the warm sunbeams found an entrance; and as far as the eye
could reach, appeared a wilderness of docks and brambles, with huge
plantains and giant thistles, inclosed with a boundary hedge of such
amazing height as wholly to exclude all further prospect.

Eighty acres of good land belonged to Dancer's farm. An ample stream
once held its winding course among them, but becoming choked at the
further end with weeds and fallen leaves, and branches broken by the
wind, it spread into a marsh, tenanted alike by the slow, creeping
blind-worm, and water-newt, the black slug, and frogs of portentous
size. The soil was rich, and would have yielded abundantly; the
timber, too, was valuable, for some of the finest oaks, perhaps, in
the kingdom grew upon the farm; but the cultivation of the one, and
the culling of the other, was attended with expense, and both were
consequently left uncared for.

In the centre of this lone and wretched spot, dwelt the miserable
Dancer and his sister, alike in their habits and penuriousness. The
sister never went from home; the brother rarely, except to sell his
hay. He had some acres of fine meadow-land, upon which the brambles
had not trenched, and his attention was exclusively devoted to keeping
them clear of weeds. Having no other occupation, the time of
hay-harvest seems to have been the only period at which his mind was
engrossed with business, and this too was rendered remarkable by the
miser's laying aside his habits of penuriousness--scarcely any
gentleman in the neighborhood gave his mowers better beer, or in
greater quantity; but at no other time was the beverage of our Saxon
ancestors found within his walls.

Some people thought that the old man was crazed; but those who knew
him spoke well of his intelligence. As his father had been before him,
so was he; his mantle had descended in darkness and in fullness on all
who bore his name, and while that of Daniel Dancer was perhaps the
most familiar, his three brothers were equally penurious. One sordid
passion absorbed their every faculty; they loved money solely and
exclusively for its own sake, not for the pleasures it could procure,
nor yet because of the power it bestowed, but for the love of
hoarding.

When the father of Daniel Dancer breathed his last, there was reason
to believe that a large sum, amounting to some thousands, was
concealed on the premises. This conjecture occasioned his son no small
uneasiness, not so much from the fear of loss, as from the
apprehension lest his brothers should find the treasure and divide it
among themselves. Dancer, therefore, kept the matter as much as
possible to himself. He warily and secretly sought out every hole and
corner, thrusting his skinny hand into many a deserted mouse-hole, and
examining every part of the chimney. Vain were all his efforts, till
at length, on removing an old grate, he discovered about two hundred
pounds, in gold and bank-notes, between two pewter dishes. Much more
undoubtedly there was, but the rest remained concealed.

Strange beings were Dancer and his sister to look upon. The person of
the old man was generally girt with a hay-band, in order to keep
together his tattered garments; his stockings were so darned and
patched that nothing of the original texture remained; they were girt
about in cold and wet weather with strong bands of hay, which served
instead of boots, and his hat having been worn for at least thirteen
years, scarcely retained a vestige of its former shape. Perhaps the
most wretched vagabond and mendicant that ever crossed Harrow Weal
Common was more decently attired than this miserable representative of
an ancient and honorable house.

The sister possessed an excellent wardrobe, consisting not only of
wearing apparel, but table linen, and twenty-four pair of good sheets;
she had also clothes of various kinds, and abundance of plate
belonging to the family, but every thing was stowed away in chests.
Neither the brother nor the sister had the disposition or the heart to
enjoy the blessings that were liberally given them; and hence it
happened that Dancer was rarely seen, and that his sister scarcely
ever quitted her obscure abode.

The interior of the dwelling well befitted its occupants. Furniture,
and that of a good description, had formerly occupied a place within
the walls, but every article had long since been carefully secluded
from the light, all excepting two antique bedsteads which could not
readily be removed. These, however, neither Dancer nor his sister
could be prevailed to occupy; they preferred sleeping on sacks stuffed
with hay, and covered with horse-rugs. Nor less miserable was their
daily fare. Though possessed of at least ten thousand pounds, they
lived on cold dumplings, hard as stone, and made of the coarsest meal;
their only beverage was water; their sole fire a few sticks gathered
on the common, although they had abundance of wood, and noble trees
that required lopping.

Thus they lived, isolated from mankind, while around them the
desolation of their paternal acres, and the rank luxuriance of weeds
and brambles, presented a mournful emblem of their condition. Talents,
undoubtedly they had; kindly tempers in early life, which might have
conduced to the well-being of society. Daniel especially possessed
many admirable qualities, with good sense and native integrity; his
manners, too, though unpolished by intercourse with the world, were at
one time both frank and courteous, but all and each were absorbed by
one master passion--sordid avarice took possession of his soul, and
rendered him the most despicable of men.

At length Dancer's sister died. They had lived together for many
years, similar in their penuriousness, though little, perhaps, of
natural affection subsisted between them. The sister was possessed of
considerable wealth, which she left to her brother. The old man
greatly rejoiced at its acquisition; he resolved, in consequence, that
her funeral should not disgrace the family, and accordingly contracted
with an undertaker to receive timber in exchange for a coffin, rather
than to part with gold.

Lady Tempest, who resided in the neighborhood, compassionating the
wretched condition of an aged woman, sick, and destitute of even
pauper comforts, had the poor creature conveyed to her house. Every
possible alleviation was afforded, and medical assistance immediately
obtained; but they came too late. The disease, which proceeded
originally from want, proved mortal, and the victim of sordid avarice
was borne unlamented to her grave.

There was crowding on the funeral day beside the road that led to Lady
Tempest's. People came trooping from far and near, with a company of
boys belonging to Harrow School, thoughtless, and amused with the
strangeness of a spectacle which might rather have excited feelings of
sorrow and commiseration. First came a coffin of the humblest kind,
containing the emaciated corpse of one who had possessed ample
wealth--a woman to whom had been committed the magnificent gift of
life, fair talents, and health, with faculties for appropriating each
to the glory of Him who gave them, but who, on dying, had no soothing
retrospect of life, no thankfulness for having been the instrument of
good to others, no hope beyond the grave. Behind that coffin, as
chief-mourner, followed the brother, unbeloved, and heedless of all
duties either to God or man--a miserable being; the possessor of many
thousands, yet too sordid to purchase even decent mourning. It was
only by the importunate entreaties of his relatives that he consented
to unbind the hay-bands with which his legs were covered, and to put
on a second-hand pair of black worsted stockings. His coat was of a
whitish brown color, his waistcoat had been black about the middle of
the last century, and the covering of his head was a nondescript kind
of wig, which had descended to him as an heirloom. Thus attired, and
followed and attended by a crowd whom curiosity had drawn together,
went on old Daniel and the coffin of his sister toward the place of
its sojourn. When there, the horse's girth gave way, for they were
past all service, and the brother was suddenly precipitated into his
sister's grave; but the old man escaped unhurt. The service proceeded;
and slowly into darkness and forgetfulness went down the remains of
his miserable counterpart.

One friend, however, remained to the miser--and this was Lady Tempest.
That noble-minded woman had given a home to the sister, and sought by
every possible means to alleviate her sufferings; now also, when the
object of her solicitude was gone, she endeavored to inspire the
brother with better feelings, and to ameliorate his miserable
condition. This kindly notice by Lady Tempest, while it soothed his
pride, served also to lessen the sufferings and sorrows of his
declining age; and so far did her representations prevail, that,
having given him a comfortable bed, she actually induced him to throw
away the sack on which he slept for years. Nay, more, he took into his
service a man of the name of Griffith, and allowed him an ample supply
of food, but neither cat nor dog purred or watched beneath his roof;
he had no kindliness of heart to bestow upon them, nor occasion for
their services, for he still continued to live on crusts and
fragments; even when Lady Tempest sent him better fare, he could
hardly be prevailed to partake of it.

In his boyish days, he possessed, it might be, some natural feelings
of affection toward his kind; but as years passed on, and his sordid
avarice increased, he manifested the utmost aversion for his brother,
who rivaled himself in penury and wealth, and still continued to
pasture sheep on the same common. To his niece, however, he once
presented a guinea, on the birth of a daughter, but this he made
conditional, she was either to name the child Nancy, after his mother,
or forfeit the whole sum.

Still, with that strange contrariety which even the most penurious
occasionally present, gleams of kindness broke forth at intervals, as
sunbeams on a stony waste. He was known secretly to have assisted
persons whose modes of life and appearance were infinitely superior to
his own; and though parsimonious in the extreme, he was never guilty
of injustice, or accused of attempting to overreach his neighbors. He
was also a second Hampden in defending the rights and privileges of
those who were connected with his locality. While old Daniel lived, no
infringements were permitted on Harrow Weal Common; he heeded neither
the rank nor wealth of those who attempted to act unjustly, but,
putting himself at the head of the villagers, he resisted such
aggressions with uniform success. On one occasion, also, having been
reluctantly obliged to prosecute a horse-stealer at Aylesbury, he set
forth with one of his neighbors on an unshod steed, with a mane and
tail of no ordinary growth, a halter for a bridle, a sack instead of a
saddle. Thus equipped, he went on, till, having reached the principal
inn at Aylesbury, the miser addressed his companion, saying,

"Pray, sir, go into the house and order what you please, and live like
a gentleman, I will settle for it readily; but as regards myself, I
must go on in my old way."

His friend entreated him to take a comfortable repast, but this he
steadily refused. A penny-worth of bread sufficed for his meal, and at
night he slept under his horse's manger; but when the business that
brought him to Aylesbury was ended, he paid fifteen shillings, the
amount of his companion's bill, with the utmost cheerfulness.

Grateful too, he was, as years went on, to Lady Tempest for her
unwearied kindness, and he resolved to leave her the wealth which he
had accumulated. His sister, too, expressed the same wish; and when,
after six months of continued attention from that lady, Miss Dancer
found her end approach, she instructed her brother to give their
benefactress an acknowledgment from the one thousand six hundred
pounds which she had concealed in an old tattered petticoat.

"Not a penny of that money," said old Dancer, unceremoniously to his
sister. "Not a penny as yet. The good lady shall have the whole when I
am gone."

At length the time came when the old man must be gone; when his
desolate abode and neglected fields should bear witness no longer
against him. Few particulars are known concerning his death. The fact
alone is certain, that the evening before his departure, he dispatched
a messenger to Lady Tempest requesting to see her ladyship, and that,
being gratified by her arrival, he expressed great satisfaction.
Finding himself somewhat better, his attachment to the hoarded pelf,
which he valued even more than the only friend he had on earth,
overcame the resolution he had formed of giving her his will; and
though his hand was scarcely able to perform its functions, he took
hold of the precious document and replaced it in his bosom.

The next morning he became worse, and again did the same kind lady
attend the old man's summons; when, having confided to her keeping the
title-deeds of wealth which he valued more than life, his hand
suddenly became convulsed, his head sunk upon the pillow, and the
miser breathed his last.

The house in which he died, and where he first drew breath, exhibited
a picture of utter desolation. Those who crossed the threshold stood
silent, as if awe-struck. Yet that miserable haunt contained the
hoarded wealth of years. Gold and silver coins were dug up on the
ground-floor; plate and table-linen, with clothes of every
description, were found locked up in chests; large bowls, filled with
guineas and half-guineas came to light, with parcels of bank-notes
stuffed under the covers of old chairs. Some hundred-weights of
waste-paper, the accumulation of half a century, were also discovered;
and two or three tons of old iron, consisting of nails and
horse-shoes, which the miser had picked up.

Strange communings had passed within the walls--sordid, yet bitter
thoughts, the crushing of all kindly yearnings toward a better state
of mind. The outer conduct of the man was known, but the internal
conflict between good and evil remains untold.

Nearly sixty-four years have elapsed since the miser and his sister
passed from among the living. Perchance some lichen-dotted stone, if
carefully sought for and narrowly examined, may give the exact period
of their death, but, as yet, no record of the kind has been
discovered. Collateral testimonies, however, go far to prove that the
death of the miser took place about the year 1775, and that his sister
died a few months previous.



RESULTS OF AN ACCIDENT.--THE GUM SECRET.


In journeying from Dublin westward, by the banks of the Liffey, we
pass the village of Chapelizod, and hamlet of Palmerstown. The
water-power of the Liffey has attracted manufacturers at different
times, who with less or greater success, but, unfortunately, with a
general ill-success, have established works there. Paper-making,
starch-making, cotton-spinning and weaving, bleaching and printing of
calicoes, have been attempted. But all have been in turn abandoned,
though occasionally renewed by some new firm or private adventurer.
Into the supposed causes of failure it is not here necessary to
inquire. The manufacture of starch has survived several disasters.

The article British gum, which is now so extensively used by
calico-printers, by makers-up of stationery, by the Government in
postage-stamp making, and in various industrial arts, was first made
at Chapelizod. Its origin and history are somewhat curious.

The use of potatoes in the starch factories excited the vehement
opposition of the people, whose chief article of food was thus
consumed and enhanced in price. These factories were several times
assailed by angry multitudes, and on more than one occasion set on
fire by means never discovered. The fires were not believed to have
been always accidental.

On the fifth of September, 1821, George the Fourth, on his return to
England from visiting Ireland, embarked at Dunleary harbor, near
Dublin. On that occasion the ancient Irish name of Dunleary was
blotted out, and in honor of the royal visit that of Kingston was
substituted. In the evening the citizens of Dublin sat late in taverns
and at supper parties. Loyalty and punch abounded. In the midst of
their revelry a cry of "fire" was heard. They ran to the streets, and
some, following the glare and the cries, found the fire at a starch
manufactory near Chapelizod. The stores not being of a nature to burn
rapidly, were in great part saved from the fire, but they were so
freely deluged with water, that the starch was washed away in streams
ankle-deep over the roadways and lanes into the Liffey.

Next morning one of the journeymen block-printers--whose employment
was at the Palmerstown print-works, but who lodged at Chapelizod--woke
with a parched throat and headache. He asked himself where he had
been. He had been seeing the King away; drinking, with thousands more,
Dunleary out of, and Kingston into, the map of Ireland. Presently, his
confused memory brought him a vision of a fire: he had a thirsty sense
of having been carrying buckets of water; of hearing the hissing of
water on hot iron floors; of the clanking of engines, and shouts of
people working the pumps, and of himself tumbling about with the rest
of the mob, and rolling over one another in streams of liquefied
wreck, running from the burning starch stores.

He would rise, dress, go out, inquire about the fire, find his
shopmates, and see if it was to be a working day, or once again a
drinking day. He tried to dress; but--a--hoo!--his clothes were gummed
together. His coat had no entrance for his arms until the sleeves were
picked open, bit by bit; what money he had left was glued into his
pockets; his waistcoat was tightly buttoned up with--what? Had he been
bathing with his clothes on, in a sea of gum-arabic--that costly
article used in the print-works?

This man was not the only one whose clothes were saturated with gum.
He and four of his shopmates held a consultation, and visited the
wreck of the starch factory. In the roadway, the starch, which, in a
hot, calcined state, had been watered by the fire-engines the night
before, was now found by them lying in soft, gummy lumps. They took
some of it home; they tested it in their trade; they bought starch at
a chandler's shop, put it in a frying-pan, burned it to a lighter or
darker brown, added water, and at last discovered themselves masters
of an article, which, if not gum itself, seemed as suitable for their
trade as gum-arabic, and at a fraction of the cost.

It was their own secret; and, could they have conducted their future
proceedings as discreetly as they made their experiments, they might
have realized fortunes, and had the merit of practically introducing
an article of great utility--one which has assisted in the
fortune-making of some of the wealthiest firms in Lancaster (so long
as they held it as a secret), and which now the Government of the
British empire manufacture for themselves.

Its subsequent history is not less curious than that just related.
Unfortunately for the operative block-printers, who discovered it,
their share in its history is soon told.

It is said that six of them subscribed money to send one of their
number to Manchester with samples of the new gum for sale; the reply
which he received from drysalters and the managers of print-works, was
either that they would have nothing to do with his samples, or an
admonition to go home for the present, and return when he was sober.
His fellow-workmen, hearing of his non-success and fearing the escape
of the secret, sent another of their number to his aid with more
money. The two had no better success than the one. The remaining four,
after a time, left their work at Dublin, and joined the two in
Manchester. They now tried to sell their secret. Before this was
effected one died; two were imprisoned for a share in some drunken
riots; and all were in extreme poverty. What the price paid for the
secret was, is not likely to be revealed now. Part of it was spent in
a passage to New Orleans, where it is supposed the discoverers of
British gum did not long survive their arrival.

The secret was not at first worked with success. It passed from its
original Lancashire possessor to a gentleman who succeeded in making
the article of a sufficiently good quality; and at so low a price that
it found a ready introduction in the print-works. But he could not
produce it in large quantity without employing assistants, whom he
feared to trust with a knowledge of a manufacture so simple and so
profitable. In employing men to assist in some parts of the work, and
shutting them out from others, their curiosity, or jealousy, could not
be restrained. On one or two occasions they caused the officers of
Excise to break in upon him when he was burning his starch, under the
allegation that he was engaged in illicit practices. His manufactory
was broken into in the night by burglars, who only wanted to rob him
of his secret. Once the place was maliciously burned down. Other
difficulties, far too numerous for present detail, were encountered.
Still, he produced the British gum in sufficient quantities for it to
yield him a liberal income. At last, in a week of sickness, he was
pressed by the head of a well-known firm of calico-printers for a
supply. He got out of bed; went to his laboratory; had the fire
kindled; put on his vessel of plate-iron; calcined his starch, added
the water, observed the temperature; and all the while held
conversation with his keen-eyed customer, whom he had unsuspectingly
allowed to be present. It is enough to say that this acute
calico-printer never required any more British gum of the
convalescent's making. Gradually the secret spread, although the
original purchaser of it still retained a share of the manufacture.

When penny postage came into operation, it was at first doubtful
whether adhesive labels could be made sufficiently good and
low-priced, which would not have been the case with gum-arabic.
British gum solved the difficulty; and the manufacturer made a
contract to supply it for the labels. In the second year of his
contract, a rumor was spread, that the adhesive matter on the postage
stamps was a deleterious substance, made of the refuse of fish, and
other disgusting materials. The great British gum secret was then
spread far and wide. The public was extensively informed that the
postage-label poison was made simply of--potatoes.



MY LITTLE FRENCH FRIEND.


Mademoiselle Honorine is a teacher of her own language in a cathedral
town south of the Loire, celebrated for the finest church and the
longest street in France; at least, so say the inhabitants, who have
seen no others. The purest French is supposed to be spoken hereabouts,
and the reputation thus given has for many years attracted hosts of
foreigners anxious to attain the true accent formerly in vogue at the
court of the refined Catherine de Medici. It is true that this extreme
grace of diction and tone is not acknowledged by Parisians; who, when
they had a court, imagined the best French was spoken in the capital
where that court resided; and they have been long in the habit of
sneering at the pretensions of their rivals; who, however, among
foreigners, still keep their middle-age fame.

Mademoiselle Honorine is not a native of this remarkable town; and the
French she teaches is of a different sort, for she comes from a
far-off province, by no means so remarkable for purity of accent. She
is an Alsatian, and her natal town is no other than Vancouleurs, where
the tree under which Joan of Arc saw angels and became inspired, once
existed.

As may be imagined, Mademoiselle Honorine is proud of this accident of
birth, and tells with much exultation of having, at the age of
fifteen, some thirty-five years ago, borne the part of La Pucelle in
the grand procession to Domremy, formerly an annual festival. She
relates that she attracted universal attention on that occasion,
chiefly from the circumstance of her hair, which is now of silvery
whiteness, having been equally so then, much to the admiration of all
who beheld her.

"I was always," she remarks, with satisfied vanity, "celebrated for my
hair, and I had at all times a high color and bright eyes; so that,
though some people preferred the beauty of my sisters, I always got
more partners than they at all our _fêtes_. It is true they all
married, and no one proposed to me, except old Monsieur de Monzon, who
suffered from the gout and a very bad temper; but I had no respect for
his character and though he was rich, and I might have been a
_châtelaine_, instead of such a poor woman as I am, still I refused
him, for I preferred my liberty; and that, also, was the reason I left
my uncle's domain, because I like independence. We used, my aunt, my
uncle, and I, to spend most of our time at his country place, going
out every day lark-catching, which we did with looking-glasses: they
held the glasses and lured the birds, while I was ready with the net
to throw over them. My uncle, however, was always scolding me for
talking and frightening the birds away; so I got tired of this
amusement and of the dependence in which I lived."

The independence preferred by Mademoiselle Honorine to lark-catching
and snubbing, consists in giving lessons to the English. As, of late,
we islanders have been as hard to catch as the victims of the
looking-glasses, her occupation is not lucrative; and although she
sometimes devotes her energies to the arts, in the form of twisted
colored paper tortured into the semblance of weeping willows, and
nondescript flowers, yet these specimens of ingenuity do not bring in
a very large revenue. In fact, her income, when I knew her, could not
be considered enormous; for, to pay house-rent, board, washing, and
sundry little expenses, she possessed twelve francs a month: yet with
these resources, nevertheless, she contrived to do more benevolent and
charitable acts than any person I ever met with. She has always
halfpence for the poor's bag at church--always farthings for certain
regular pensioners, who expect her donation as she passes them, at
their begging stations, on her way to her pupils. Moreover, on
New-year's day, she has always the means of making the prettiest
presents to a friend who for years has shown her countenance, and put
little gains in her way.

She obtains six francs per month from a couple of pupils, whose merit
is as great in receiving, as hers in giving lessons. These are two
young workwomen who desire to improve their education, and daily
devote to study the only unoccupied hour they possess. From six
o'clock till seven, Mademoiselle Honorine, therefore, on her return
from the five o'clock mass--which she never misses--calls at the
garret of these devotees, and imparts her instruction in reading and
writing to the zealous aspirants for knowledge.

"I would not," she says, "miss their lessons for the world; because,
you see, I have thus always an eye upon their conduct, and have an
opportunity of throwing in a little good advice, and making them read
good books."

As these young damsels go out to their work directly after the lesson
is over--taking breakfast at a late hour in the day--Mademoiselle
Honorine provides herself, before starting to the five o'clock mass,
with a bit of dry bread, which she puts in her pocket, ready to eat
when the moment of hunger arrives. She never allows herself any other
breakfast; and, as she drinks only cold water, no expenditure of fuel
is necessary for this in her establishment. Except it occurs to any of
her pupils--few of whom are much richer than her earliest-served--to
offer her some refreshment to lighten her labors, Mademoiselle
Honorine contrives to walk, and talk, and laugh, and be amusing on an
empty stomach, till dinner-time, when she is careful to provide
herself with an apple and another slice of bread, which she enjoys in
haste, and betakes herself to other occupations, chiefly
unremunerative--such as visiting a sick neighbor, reading to a blind
friend, or taking a walk on the fashionable promenade with an infirm
invalid, who requires the support of an arm.

Fire in France is an expensive luxury which she economizes--not that
she indulges, when forced to allow herself in comfort, in much besides
turf or pine-cones, with perhaps a sprinkling of fagot-wood if a
friend calls in. She is able, however, to keep a little canary in a
cage, who is her valued companion; and she nourishes, besides, several
little productive plants in pots, such as violets and résida; chiefly,
it must be owned, with a view of having the means of making floral
offerings, on birthdays and christenings, to her very numerous
acquaintances.

She is never seen out of spirits, and is welcomed as an object of
interest whenever she flits along with her round, rosy, smiling face,
shrined in braids of white hair, and set off with a smart
fashionable-shaped bonnet; for she likes being in the fashion, and is
proud of the slightness of her waist, which her polka shows to
advantage. The strings of her bonnet, and the ribbons and buttons of
her dress, are sometimes very fresh, and her mittens are sometimes
very uncommon: this she is particular about, as she shows her hands a
good deal in accompanying herself on the guitar, which she does with
much taste, for her ear is very good and her voice has been musical.
There are few things Mademoiselle Honorine can not do to be useful.
She can play at draughts and dominos, can knit or net, knowing all the
last new patterns; her satin stitch is neatness itself. It is
suspected that she turns some of these talents to advantage; but that
is a secret, as she considers it more dignified to be known only as a
teacher.

She had a curious set of pupils when I became acquainted with her.
Those whom I knew were English; who were, rather late in their career,
endeavoring to become proficients in a tongue positively necessary for
economical, useful, or sentimental purposes, as the case might be, but
which in more early days they had not calculated on requiring.

They were of those who encourage late ambition--

      "And from the dregs of life think to receive
      What the first sprightly running could not give."

The first of these was a bachelor of some fifty-five, formerly a
medical practitioner, now retired, and living in a lively lodging, in
a _premier_ that overlooked the Loire; which reflected back so much
sun from its broad surface on a bright winter's day, that the
circumstance greatly diminished his expenses in the dreaded article of
fuel--a consideration with both natives and foreigners. Economy was
strictly practiced by Dr. Drowler. Nevertheless, as he was very
gallant, and loved to pay compliments to his fair young French
friends, whom he did not suspect of laughing at him, he became
desirous of acquiring greater facility in the lighter part of a
language which served him indifferently well in the ordinary concerns
of his bachelor house-keeping. He therefore resolved to take advantage
of the low terms and obliging disposition of Mademoiselle Honorine,
and placed himself on her form. There was much good-will on both
sides, and his instructress declared that she should have felt little
fear of his ultimate success, but for his defective hearing; which
considerably interfered with his appreciation of those shades of
pronunciation which might be necessary to render him capable of
charming the attentive ears of the young ladies, who were on the
tiptoe of expectation to hear what progress he had made in the
language of Jean Jacques Rousseau.

Another of Mademoiselle Honorine's charges was Mrs. Mumble, a widow of
uncertain age, whose early education had been a good deal left to
nature; and who--her income being small--had sought the banks of the
poetical Loire (in, she told her Somersetshire friends, the south of
France) to make, as she expressed it, "both ends meet." "One lesson a
week at a _franc_," she reflected, "won't ruin me, and I shall soon
get to speak their language as well as the best of 'em." Mademoiselle
Honorine herself would not have despaired of her pupil arriving at
something approaching to this result, could she have got the better of
a certain indistinctness of utterance caused by the loss of several
teeth.

Miss Dogherty was a third pupil; a young lady of fifty, with very
youthful manners, and a slight figure. She had labored long to acquire
the true "Porris twang," as she termed it; but, finding her efforts
unavailing, she had resolved during her winter in Touraine, to devote
herself to the language, drawing it pure from the source; and agreed
to sacrifice ten francs per month, in order, by daily hours of
devotion, to reach the goal. An inveterate Tipperary accent interfered
slightly with her views, but she hit on an ingenious expedient for
concealing the defect; this was, never to open her mouth to more than
half its size in speaking; and always to utter her English in a broken
manner, which might convey to the stranger the idea of her being a
foreigner. She had her cards printed as Mademoiselle Durté, which made
the illusion complete.

But these pupils were not to be entirely relied on for producing an
income--Mademoiselle Honorine could scarcely reckon on the advantages
they presented for a continuance, sanguine as she was. In fact, she
may be said to have, as a certainty, only one permanent pupil, whom
she looks upon as her chief stay, and her gratitude for this source of
emolument is such, that she is always ready to evince her sense of its
importance by adopting the character of nursemaid, classical
teacher--although her knowledge of the dead languages is not
extensive--or general governess, approaching the maternal character
the nearer from the compassion she feels for the pretty little orphan
English boy, who lives under the care of an infirm old grandmother.
With this little gentleman, whose domicile is situated about two miles
from her own, at the top of a steep hill, she walks, and talks, and
laughs, and teaches, and enjoys herself so much, that she considers it
but right to reward him for the pleasure he gives her by expending a
few sous every day in sweetmeats for his delectation; this sum making
a considerable gap in the monthly salary his grandmother is able to
afford. However, her disinterestedness is not thrown away here, and I
learn with singular satisfaction that Mademoiselle Honorine having
been detected in the act of devouring her dry crust, by way of
breakfast, and her pupil having won from her the confession that she
never had any other, a cup of hot chocolate was always afterward
prepared and offered to her by the little student as soon as she
entered his study. When I had an opportunity of judging--a fact which
more than once occurred to me--of the capabilities of Mademoiselle
Honorine's appetite, I was gratified, though surprised, to find that
nothing came amiss to her; that she could enjoy any thing in the shape
of fish, flesh, or fowl, and drank a good glass of Bordeaux, or even
Champagne, with singular glee.

It happened, not long since, that the friend who had revealed to me
the secret of her manner of life, was suddenly called upon to pay a
sum of money on some railway shares she possessed; and, being
unprepared, was lamenting in the presence of Mademoiselle Honorine,
the inconvenience she was put to.

The next day, the lively little dame appeared with a canvas bag in her
hand, containing no less a sum than five hundred francs. "Here," she
said, smiling, "is the exact sum you want. It is most lucky I should
happen to have as much. I have been collecting it for years; for, you
know, in case of sickness, one likes to avoid being a burden to one's
friends. It is at your service for as long a time as you like, and you
will relieve me from anxiety in taking it into your hands." It was
impossible to refuse the offer; and the good little woman was thus
enabled to repay the many kindnesses she had received, and to add
greatly to her own dignity; of which she is very tenacious.

"Ah!" said a Parisian lady to her one day, after hearing of her
thousand occupations and privations, "how do you contrive to live; and
what can you care about life? I should have had recourse to charcoal
long ago, if I had been in your situation. Yet you are always laughing
and gay, as if you dined on foie-gras and truffles every day of your
existence!"

"So I do," replied the little heroine--"at least on what is quite as
good--for I have all I want, all I care about, never owing a sous, and
being a charge to no one. Besides, I have a secret happiness which
nothing can take away; and, when I go into the church of a morning to
mass, I thank God with all my heart for all the blessings he gives me,
and, above all, for the extreme content which makes all the world seem
a paradise of enjoyment. I never know what it is to be dull, and as
for charcoal, I have no objection to it in a foot-warmer, but that is
all the acquaintance I am likely to make with it."

"Poor soul!" returned the Parisienne, "how I pity you!"



BLEAK HOUSE.[D]

BY CHARLES DICKENS.

     [Footnote D: Continued from the June Number.]


CHAPTER XI.--OUR DEAR BROTHER.

A touch on the lawyer's wrinkled hand, as he stands in the dark room,
irresolute, makes him start and say, "What's that?"

"It's me," returns the old man of the house, whose breath is in his
ear. "Can't you wake him?"

"No."

"What have you done with your candle?"

"It's gone out. Here it is."

Krook takes it, goes to the fire, stoops over the red embers, and
tries to get a light. The dying ashes have no light to spare, and his
endeavors are vain. Muttering, after an ineffectual call to his
lodger, that he will go down stairs, and bring a lighted candle from
the shop, the old man departs. Mr. Tulkinghorn, for some new reason
that he has, does not await his return in the room, but on the stairs
outside.

The welcome light soon shines upon the wall, as Krook comes slowly up,
with his green-eyed cat following at his heels. "Does the man
generally sleep like this?" inquires the lawyer, in a low voice. "Hi!
I don't know," says Krook, shaking his head, and lifting his eyebrows.
"I know next to nothing of his habits, except that he keeps himself
very close."

Thus whispering, they both go in together. As the light goes in, the
great eyes in the shutters, darkening, seem to close. Not so the eyes
upon the bed.

"God save us!" exclaims Mr. Tulkinghorn. "He is dead!"

Krook drops the heavy hand he has taken up, so suddenly that the arm
swings over the bedside.

They look at one another for a moment.

"Send for some doctor! Call for Miss Flite up the stairs, sir. Here's
poison by the bed! Call out for Flite, will you?" says Krook, with his
lean hands spread out above the body like a vampire's wings.

Mr. Tulkinghorn hurries to the landing, and calls, "Miss Flite! Flite!
Make haste, here, whoever you are! Flite!" Krook follows him with his
eyes, and, while he is calling, finds opportunity to steal to the old
portmanteau, and steal back again.

"Run, Flite, run! The nearest doctor! Run!" So Mr. Krook addresses a
crazy little woman, who is his female lodger: who appears and vanishes
in a breath: who soon returns, accompanied by a testy medical man,
brought from his dinner--with a broad snuffy upper lip, and a broad
Scotch tongue.

"Ey! Bless the hearts o' ye," says the medical man, looking up at
them, after a moment's examination. "He's just as dead as Phairy!"

Mr. Tulkinghorn (standing by the old portmanteau) inquires if he has
been dead any time.

"Any time, sir?" says the medical gentleman. "It's probable he wull
have been dead aboot three hours."

"About that time, I should say," observes a dark young man, on the
other side of the bed.

"Air you in the maydickle prayfession yourself, sir?" inquires the
first.

The dark young man says yes.

"Then I'll just tak' my depairture," replies the other; "for I'm nae
gude here!" With which remark, he finishes his brief attendance, and
returns to finish his dinner.

The dark young surgeon passes the candle across and across the face,
and carefully examines the law-writer, who has established his
pretensions to his name by becoming indeed No one.

"I knew this person by sight, very well," says he. "He has purchased
opium of me, for the last year and a half. Was any body present
related to him?" glancing round upon the three bystanders.

"I was his landlord," grimly answers Krook, taking the candle from the
surgeon's outstretched hand. "He told me once, I was the nearest
relation he had."

"He has died," says the surgeon, "of an over-dose of opium, there is
no doubt. The room is strongly flavored with it. There is enough here
now," taking an old teapot from Mr. Krook, "to kill a dozen people."

"Do you think he did it on purpose?" asks Krook.

"Took the over-dose?"

"Yes!" Krook almost smacks his lips with the unction of a horrible
interest.

"I can't say. I should think it unlikely, as he has been in the habit
of taking so much. But nobody can tell. He was very poor, I suppose?"

"I suppose he was. His room--don't look rich," says Krook; who might
have changed eyes with his cat, as he casts his sharp glance around.
"But I have never been in it since he had it, and he was too close to
name his circumstances to me."

"Did he owe you any rent?"

"Six weeks."

"He will never pay it!" says the young man, resuming his examination.
"It is beyond a doubt that he is indeed as dead as Pharaoh; and to
judge from his appearance and condition, I should think it a happy
release. Yet he must have been a good figure when a youth, and I dare
say good-looking." He says this, not unfeelingly, while sitting on the
bedstead's edge, with his face toward that other face, and his hand
upon the region of the heart. "I recollect once thinking there was
something in his manner, uncouth as it was, that denoted a fall in
life. Was that so?" he continues, looking round.

Krook replies, "You might as well ask me to describe the ladies whose
heads of hair I have got in sacks down stairs. Than that he was my
lodger for a year and a half, and lived--or didn't live--by
law-writing, I know no more of him."

During this dialogue, Mr. Tulkinghorn has stood aloof by the old
portmanteau, with his hands behind him, equally removed, to all
appearance, from all three kinds of interest exhibited near the
bed--from the young surgeon's professional interest in death,
noticeable as being quite apart from his remarks on the deceased as an
individual; from the old man's unction; and the little crazy woman's
awe. His imperturbable face has been as inexpressive as his rusty
clothes. One could not even say he has been thinking all this while.
He has shown neither patience nor impatience, nor attention nor
abstraction. He has shown nothing but his shell. As easily might the
tone of a delicate musical instrument be inferred from its case, as
the tone of Mr. Tulkinghorn from _his_ case.

He now interposes; addressing the young surgeon, in his unmoved,
professional way.

"I looked in here," he observes, "just before you, with the intention
of giving this deceased man, whom I never saw alive, some employment
at his trade of copying. I had heard of him from my stationer--Snagsby
of Cook's Court. Since no one here knows any thing about him, it might
be as well to send for Snagsby. Ah!" to the little crazy woman, who
has often seen him in Court, and whom he has often seen, and who
proposes, in frightened dumb-show, to go for the law stationer.
"Suppose you do!"

While she is gone, the surgeon abandons his hopeless investigation,
and covers its subject with the patchwork counterpane. Mr. Krook and
he interchange a word or two. Mr. Tulkinghorn says nothing; but
stands, ever, near the old portmanteau.

Mr. Snagsby arrives hastily, in his gray coat and his black sleeves.
"Dear me, dear me," he says; "and it has come to this, has it! Bless
my soul!"

"Can you give the person of the house any information about this
unfortunate creature, Snagsby?" inquires Mr. Tulkinghorn. "He was in
arrears with his rent, it seems. And he must be buried, you know."

"Well, sir," says Mr. Snagsby, coughing his apologetic cough behind
his hand; "I really don't know what advice I could offer, except
sending for the beadle."

"I don't speak of advice," returns Mr. Tulkinghorn. "_I_ could
advise--"

("No one better, sir, I am sure," says Mr. Snagsby, with his
deferential cough.)

"I speak of affording some clew to his connections, or to where he
came from, or to any thing concerning him."

"I assure you, sir," says Mr. Snagsby, after prefacing his reply with
his cough of general propitiation, "that I no more know where he came
from, than I know--"

"Where he has gone to, perhaps," suggests the surgeon, to help him
out.

A pause. Mr. Tulkinghorn looking at the law-stationer. Mr. Krook, with
his mouth open, looking for somebody to speak next.

"As to his connections, sir," says Mr. Snagsby, "if a person was to
say to me, 'Snagsby, here's twenty thousand pound down, ready for you
in the Bank of England, if you'll only name one of 'em, I couldn't do
it, sir! About a year and a half ago--to the best of my belief at the
time when he first came to lodge at the present Rag and Bottle Shop--"

"That was the time!" says Krook, with a nod.

"About a year and a half ago," says Mr. Snagsby, strengthened, "he
came into our place one morning after breakfast, and, finding my
little woman (which I name Mrs. Snagsby when I use that appellation)
in our shop, produced a specimen of his handwriting, and gave her to
understand that he was in wants of copying work to do, and was--not to
put too fine a point upon it--" a favorite apology for plain-speaking
with Mr. Snagsby, which he always offers with a sort of argumentative
frankness, "hard up! My little woman is not in general partial to
strangers, particular--not to put too fine a point upon it--when they
want any thing. But she was rather took by something about this
person; whether by his being unshaved, or by his hair being in want of
attention, or by what other ladies' reasons, I leave you to judge; and
she accepted of the specimen, and likewise of the address. My little
woman hasn't a good ear for names," proceeds Mr. Snagsby, after
consulting his cough of consideration behind his hand, "and she
considered Nemo equally the same as Nimrod. In consequence of which,
she got into a habit of saying to me at meals, 'Mr. Snagsby, you
haven't found Nimrod any work yet!' or 'Mr. Snagsby, why didn't you
give that eight-and-thirty Chancery folio in Jarndyce, to Nimrod?' or
such like. And that is the way he gradually fell into job-work at our
place; and that is the most I know of him, except that he was a quick
hand, and a hand not sparing of night-work; and that if you gave him
out, say five-and-forty folio on the Wednesday night, you would have
it brought in on the Thursday morning. All of which--" Mr. Snagsby
concludes by politely motioning with his hat toward the bed, as much
as to add, "I have no doubt my honorable friend would confirm, if he
were in a condition to do it."

"Hadn't you better see," says Mr. Tulkinghorn to Krook, "whether he
had any papers that may enlighten you? There will be an Inquest, and
you will be asked the question. You can read?"

"No, I can't," returns the old man, with a sudden grin.

"Snagsby," says Mr. Tulkinghorn, "look over the room for him. He will
get into some trouble or difficulty, otherwise. Being here, I'll wait,
if you make haste; and then I can testify on his behalf, if it should
ever be necessary, that all was fair and right. If you will hold the
candle for Mr. Snagsby, my friend, he'll soon see whether there is any
thing to help you."

"In the first place, here's an old portmanteau, sir," says Snagsby.

Ah, to be sure, so there is! Mr. Tulkinghorn does not appear to have
seen it before, though he is standing so close to it, and though there
is very little else, Heaven knows.

The marine-store merchant holds the light, and the law-stationer
conducts the search. The surgeon leans against a corner of the
chimney-piece; Miss Flite peeps and trembles just within the door. The
apt old scholar of the old school, with his dull black breeches tied
with ribbons at the knees, his large black waistcoat, his long-sleeved
black coat, and his wisp of limp white neck-kerchief tied in the bow
the Peerage knows so well, stands in exactly the same place and
attitude.

There are some worthless articles of clothing in the old portmanteau;
there is a bundle of pawnbrokers' duplicates, those turnpike tickets
on the road of Poverty, there is a crumpled paper, smelling of opium,
on which are scrawled rough memoranda--as, took, such a day, so many
grains; took, such another day, so many more--begun some time ago, as
if with the intention of being regularly continued, but soon left off.
There are a few dirty scraps of newspapers, all referring to Coroners'
Inquests; there is nothing else. They search the cupboard, and the
drawer of the ink-splashed table. There is not a morsel of an old
letter, or of any other writing, in either. The young surgeon examines
the dress on the law-writer. A knife and some odd halfpence are all he
finds. Mr. Snagsby's suggestion is the practical suggestion after all,
and the beadle must be called in.

So the little crazy lodger goes for the beadle, and the rest come out
of the room. "Don't leave the cat there!" says the surgeon: "that
won't do!" Mr. Krook therefore drives her out before him; and she goes
furtively down stairs, winding her lithe tail and licking her lips.

"Good-night!" says Mr. Tulkinghorn; and goes home to Allegory and
meditation.

By this time the news has got into the court. Groups of its
inhabitants assemble to discuss the thing; and the outposts of the
army of observation (principally boys) are pushed forward to Mr.
Krook's window, which they closely invest. A policeman has already
walked up to the room, and walked down again to the door, where he
stands like a tower, only condescending to see the boys at his base
occasionally; but whenever he does see them, they quail and fall back.
Mrs. Perkins, who has not been for some weeks on speaking terms with
Mrs. Piper, in consequence of an unpleasantness originating in young
Perkins having "fetched" young Piper "a crack," renews her friendly
intercourse on this auspicious occasion. The pot-boy at the corner,
who is a privileged amateur, as possessing official knowledge of life,
and having to deal with drunken men occasionally, exchanges
confidential communications with the policeman, and has the appearance
of an impregnable youth, unassailable by truncheons and unconfinable
in station-houses. People talk across the court out of window, and
bare-headed scouts come hurrying in from Chancery Lane to know what's
the matter. The general feeling seems to be that it's a blessing Mr.
Krook warn't made away with first, mingled with a little natural
disappointment that he was not. In the midst of this sensation, the
beadle arrives.

The beadle, though generally understood in the neighborhood to be a
ridiculous institution, is not without a certain popularity for the
moment, if it were only as a man who is going to see the body. The
policeman considers him an imbecile civilian, a remnant of the
barbarous watchmen-times; but gives him admission, as something that
must be borne with until Government shall abolish him. The sensation
is heightened, as the tidings spread from mouth to mouth that the
beadle is on the ground, and has gone in.

By-and-by the beadle comes out, once more intensifying the sensation,
which has rather languished in the interval. He is understood to be in
want of witnesses, for the Inquest to-morrow, who can tell the Coroner
and Jury any thing whatever respecting the deceased. Is immediately
referred to innumerable people who can tell nothing whatever. Is made
more imbecile by being constantly informed that Mrs. Green's son "was
a law-writer his-self, and knowed him better than any body"--which son
of Mrs. Green's appears, on inquiry, to be at the present time aboard
a vessel bound for China, three months out, but considered accessible
by telegraph, on application to the Lords of the Admiralty. Beadle
goes into various shops and parlors, examining the inhabitants; always
shutting the door first, and by exclusion, delay, and general idiotcy,
exasperating the public. Policeman seen to smile to potboy. Public
loses interest, and undergoes re-action. Taunts the beadle, in shrill,
youthful voices, with having boiled a boy; choruses fragments of a
popular song to that effect, and importing that the boy was made into
soup for the workhouse. Policeman at last finds it necessary to
support the law, and seize a vocalist; who is released upon the flight
of the rest, on condition of his getting out of this then, come! and
cutting it--a condition he immediately observes. So the sensation dies
off for the time; and the unmoved policeman (to whom a little opium,
more or less, is nothing), with his shining hat, stiff stock,
inflexible great-coat, stout belt and bracelet, and all things
fitting, pursues his lounging way with a heavy tread: beating the
palms of his white gloves one against the other, and stopping now and
then at a street-corner, to look casually about for any thing between
a lost child and a murder.

Under cover of the night, the feeble-minded beadle comes flitting
about Chancery Lane with his summonses, in which every Juror's name is
wrongly spelt, and nothing is rightly spelt, but the beadle's own name
which nobody can read or wants to know. His summonses served, and his
witnesses forewarned, the beadle goes to Mr. Krook's, to keep a small
appointment he has made with certain paupers; who, presently
arriving, are conducted up-stairs; where they leave the great eyes in
the shutter something new to stare at, in that last shape which
earthly lodgings take for No one--and for Every one.

And, all that night, the coffin stands ready by the old portmanteau;
and the lonely figure on the bed, whose path in life has lain through
five-and-forty years, lies there, with no more track behind him, that
any one can trace, than a deserted infant.

Next day the court is all alive--is like a fair, as Mrs. Perkins, more
than reconciled to Mrs Piper, says, in amicable conversation with that
excellent woman. The coroner is to sit in the first-floor room at the
Sol's Arms, where the Harmonic Meetings take place twice a week, and
where the chair is filled by a gentleman of professional celebrity,
faced by little Swills, the comic vocalist, who hopes (according to
the bill in the window) that his friends will rally round him and
support first-rate talent. The Sol's Arms does a brisk stroke of
business all the morning. Even children so require sustaining, under
the general excitement, that a pieman, who has established himself for
the occasion at the corner of the court, says his brandy-balls go off
like smoke. What time the beadle, hovering between the door of Mr.
Krook's establishment and the door of the Sol's Arms, shows the
curiosity in his keeping to a few discreet spirits, and accepts the
compliment of a glass of ale or so in return.

At the appointed hour arrives the Coroner, for whom the Jurymen are
waiting, and who is received with a salute of skittles from the good
dry skittle-ground attached to the Sol's Arms. The Coroner frequents
more public-houses than any man alive. The smell of sawdust, beer,
tobacco-smoke, and spirits, is inseparable in his vocation from death
in its most awful shapes. He is conducted by the beadle and the
landlord to the Harmonic Meeting Room, where he puts his hat on the
piano, and takes a Windsor-chair at the head of a long table, formed
of several short tables put together, and ornamented with glutinous
rings in endless involutions, made by pots and glasses. As many of the
Jury as can crowd together at the table sit there. The rest get among
the spittoons and pipes, or lean against the piano. Over the Coroner's
head is a small iron garland, the pendant handle of a bell, which
rather gives the Majesty of the Court the appearance of going to be
hanged presently.

Call over and swear the Jury! While the ceremony is in progress,
sensation is created by the entrance of a chubby little man in a
large shirt-collar, with a moist eye, and an inflamed nose, who
modestly takes a position near the door as one of the general public,
but seems familiar with the room too. A whisper circulates that this
is little Swills. It is considered not unlikely that he will get up an
imitation of the Coroner, and make it the principal feature of the
Harmonic Meeting in the evening.

"Well, gentlemen--" the Coroner begins.

"Silence there, will you!" says the beadle. Not to the Coroner, though
it might appear so.

"Well, gentlemen!" resumes the Coroner. "You are impaneled here, to
inquire into the death of a certain man. Evidence will be given before
you, as to the circumstances attending that death, and you will give
your verdict according to the--skittles; they must be stopped, you
know, beadle!--evidence, and not according to any thing else. The
first thing to be done, is to view the body."

"Make way there!" cries the beadle.

So they go out in a loose procession, something after the manner of a
straggling funeral, and make their inspection in Mr. Krook's back
second floor, from which a few of the Jurymen retire pale and
precipitately. The beadle is very careful that two gentlemen not very
neat about the cuffs and buttons (for whose accommodation he has
provided a special little table near the Coroner, in the Harmonic
Meeting Room), should see all that is to be seen. For they are the
public chroniclers of such inquiries, by the line; and he is not
superior to the universal human infirmity, but hopes to read in print
what "Mooney, the active and intelligent beadle of the district," said
and did; and even aspires to see the name of Mooney is familiarly and
patronizingly mentioned as the name of the Hangman is, according to
the latest examples.

Little Swills is waiting for the Coroner and Jury on their return. Mr.
Tulkinghorn, also. Mr. Tulkinghorn is received with distinction, and
seated near the Coroner; between that high judicial officer, a
bagatelle board, and the coal-box. The inquiry proceeds. The Jury
learn how the subject of their inquiry died, and learn no more about
him. "A very eminent solicitor is in attendance, gentlemen," says the
Coroner, "who, I am informed, was accidentally present, when discovery
of the death was made; but he could only repeat the evidence you have
already heard from the surgeon, the landlord, the lodger, and the
law-stationer; and it is not necessary to trouble him. Is any body in
attendance who knows any thing more?"

Mrs. Piper pushed forward by Mrs. Perkins. Mrs. Piper sworn.

Anastasia Piper, gentlemen. Married woman. Now, Mrs. Piper--what have
you got to say about this?

Why, Mrs. Piper has a good deal to say, chiefly in parenthesis and
without punctuation, but not much to tell. Mrs. Piper lives in the
court (which her husband is a cabinet-maker) and it has long been well
beknown among the neighbors (counting from the day next but one before
the half-baptizing of Alexander James Piper aged eighteen months and
four days old on accounts of not being expected to live such was the
sufferings gentlemen of that child in his gums) as the Plaintive--so
Mrs. Piper insists on calling the deceased--was reported to have sold
himself. Thinks it was the Plaintive's air in which that report
originatinin. See the Plaintive often, and considered as his air was
feariocious, and not to be allowed to go about some children being
timid (and if doubted hoping Mrs. Perkins may be brought forard for
she is here and will do credit to her husband and herself and family).
Has seen the Plaintive wexed and worrited by the children (for
children they will ever be and you can not expect them specially if of
playful dispositions to be Methoozellers which you was not yourself).
On accounts of this and his dark looks has often dreamed as she see
him take a pick-ax from his pocket and split Johnny's head (which the
child knows not fear and has repeatually called after him close at his
heels). Never however see the plaintive take a pick-ax or any other
wepping far from it. Has seen him hurry away when run and called after
as if not partial to children and never see him speak to neither child
nor grown person at any time (excepting the boy that sweeps the
crossing down the lane over the way round the corner which if he was
here would tell you that he has been seen a speaking to him frequent).

Says the Coroner, is that boy here? Says the beadle, no, sir, he is
not here. Says the Coroner, go and fetch him, then. In the absence of
the active and intelligent, the Coroner converses with Mr.
Tulkinghorn.

O! Here's the boy, gentlemen!

Here he is, very muddy, very hoarse, very ragged. Now, boy!--But stop
a minute. Caution. This boy must be put through a few preliminary
paces.

Name, Jo. Nothing else that he knows on. Don't know that every body
has two names. Never heerd of sich a thing. Don't know that Jo is
short for a longer name. Thinks it long enough for _him_. _He_ don't
find no fault with it. Spell it? No. _He_ can't spell it. No father,
no mother, no friends. Never been to school. What's home? Knows a
broom's a broom, and knows it's wicked to tell a lie. Don't recollect
who told him about the broom, or about the lie, but knows both. Can't
exactly say what'll be done to him arter he's dead if he tells a lie
to the gentlemen here, but believes it'll be something wery bad to
punish him, and serve him right--and so he'll tell the truth.

"This won't do, gentlemen!" says the Coroner, with a melancholy shake
of the head.

"Don't you think you can receive his evidence, sir?" asks an attentive
Juryman.

"Out of the question," says the Coroner. "You have heard the boy.
'Can't exactly say' won't do, you know. We can't take _that_, in a
Court of Justice, gentlemen. It's terrible depravity. Put the boy
aside."

Boy put aside; to the great edification of the audience;--especially
of Little Swills, the Comic Vocalist.

Now. Is there any other witness? No other witness.

Very well, gentlemen! Here's a man unknown, proved to have been in the
habit of taking opium in large quantities for a year and a half,
found dead of too much opium. If you think you have any evidence to
lead you to the conclusion that he committed suicide, you will come to
that conclusion. If you think it is a case of accidental death, you
will find a Verdict accordingly.

Verdict Accordingly. Accidental death. No doubt. Gentlemen, you are
discharged. Good afternoon.

While the Coroner buttons his great coat, Mr. Tulkinghorn and he give
private audience to the rejected witness in a corner.

That graceless creature only knows that the dead man (whom he
recognized just now by his yellow face and black hair) was sometimes
hooted and pursued about the streets. That one cold winter night, when
he, the boy, was shivering in a doorway near his crossing, the man
turned to look at him, and came back, and, having questioned him and
found that he had not a friend in the world, said, "Neither have I.
Not one!" and gave him the price of a supper and a night's lodging.
That the man had often spoken to him since; and asked him whether he
slept sound at night, and how he bore cold and hunger, and whether he
ever wished to die; and similar strange questions. That when the man
had no money, he would say in passing, "I am as poor as you to-day,
Jo;" but that when he had any he had always (as the boy most heartily
believes) been glad to give him some.

"He wos wery good to me," says the boy, wiping his eyes with his
wretched sleeve. "Wen I see him a layin' so stritched out just now, I
wished he could have heerd me tell him so. He wos wery good to me, he
wos!"

As he shuffles down stairs, Mr. Snagsby, lying in wait for him, puts a
half-crown in his hand. "If ever you see me coming past your crossing
with my little woman--I mean a lady--" says Mr. Snagsby, with his
finger on his nose, "don't allude to it!"

For some little time the Jurymen hang about the Sol's Arms
colloquially. In the sequel, half a dozen are caught up in a cloud of
pipe-smoke that pervades the parlor of the Sol's Arms; two stroll to
Hampstead: and four engage to go half-price to the play at night, and
top up with oysters. Little Swills is treated on several hands. Being
asked what he thinks of the proceedings, characterizes them (his
strength lying in a slangular direction) as "a rummy start." The
landlord of the Sol's Arms, rinding Little Swills so popular, commends
him highly to the Jurymen and public; observing that, for a song in
character, he don't know his equal, and that that man's
character-wardrobe would fill a cart.

Thus, gradually the Sol's Arms melts into the shadowy night, and then
flares out of it strong in gas. The Harmonic Meeting hour arriving,
the gentleman of professional celebrity takes the chair; is faced
(red-faced) by Little Swills; their friends rally round them, and
support first-rate talent. In the zenith of the evening, Little Swills
says, Gentlemen, if you'll permit me, I'll attempt a short
description of a scene of real life that came off here to-day. Is much
applauded and encouraged; goes out of the room as Swills; comes in as
the Coroner (not the least in the world like him); describes the
Inquest, with recreative intervals of piano-forte accompaniment to the
refrain--With his (the Coroner's) tippy tol li doll, tippy tol lo
doll, tippy tol li doll, Dee!

The jingling piano at last is silent, and the Harmonic friends rally
round their pillows. Then there is rest around the lonely figure, now
laid in its last earthly habitation; and it is watched by the gaunt
eyes in the shutters through some quiet hours of night. If this
forlorn man could have been prophetically seen lying here, by the
mother at whose breast he nestled, a little child, with eyes upraised
to her loving face, and soft hand scarcely knowing how to close upon
the neck to which it crept, what an impossibility the vision would
have seemed! O, if, in brighter days, the now-extinguished fire within
him ever burned for one woman who held him in her heart, where is she,
while these ashes are above the ground!

It is any thing but a night of rest at Mr. Snagsby's, in Cook's Court;
where Guster murders sleep, by going, as Mr. Snagsby himself
allows--not to put too fine a point upon it--out of one fit into
twenty. The occasion of this seizure is, that Guster has a tender
heart, and a susceptible something that possibly might have been
imagination, but for Tooting and her patron saint. Be it what it may,
now, it was so direfully impressed at tea-time by Mr. Snagsby's
account of the inquiry at which he had assisted, that at supper-time
she projected herself into the kitchen preceded by a flying
Dutch-cheese, and fell into a fit of unusual duration: which she only
came out of to go into another, and another, and so on through a chain
of fits, with short intervals between, of which she has pathetically
availed herself by consuming them in entreaties to Mrs. Snagsby not to
give her warning "when she quite comes to;" and also in appeals to the
whole establishment to lay her down on the stones, and go to bed.
Hence, Mr. Snagsby, at last hearing the cock at the little dairy in
Cursitor-street go into that disinterested ecstasy of his on the
subject of daylight, says, drawing a long breath, though the most
patient of men, "I thought you was dead, I am sure!"

What question this enthusiastic fowl supposes he settles when he
strains himself to such an extent, or why he should thus crow (so men
crow on various triumphant public occasions, however) about what can
not be of any moment to him, is his affair. It is enough that daylight
comes, morning comes, noon comes.

Then the active and intelligent, who has got into the morning papers
as such, comes with his pauper company to Mr. Krook's and bears off
the body of our dear brother here departed, to a hemmed-in
church-yard, pestiferous and obscene, whence malignant diseases are
communicated to the bodies of our dear brothers and sisters who have
not departed; while our dear brothers and sisters who hang about
official backstairs--would to Heaven they _had_ departed!--are very
complacent and agreeable. Into a beastly scrap of ground which a Turk
would reject as a savage abomination, and a Caffre would shudder at,
they bring our dear brother here departed, to receive Christian
burial.

With houses looking on, on every side, save where a reeking little
tunnel of a court gives access to the iron gate--with every villainy
of life in action close on death, and every poisonous element of death
in action close on life--here, they lower our dear brother down a foot
or two: here, sow him in corruption, to be raised in corruption; an
avenging ghost at many a sick-bedside; a shameful testimony to future
ages, how civilization and barbarism walked this boastful island
together.

Come night, come darkness, for you can not come too soon, or stay too
long, by such a place as this! Come, straggling lights into the
windows of the ugly houses; and you who do iniquity therein, do it at
least with this dread scene shut out! Come, flame of gas, burning so
sullenly above the iron gate, on which the poisoned air deposits its
witch-ointment slimy to the touch! It is well that you should call to
every passer-by, "Look here!"

With the night, comes a slouching figure through the tunnel-court, to
the outside of the iron gate. It holds the gate with its hands, and
looks in between the bars; stands looking in, for a little while.

It then, with an old broom it carries, softly sweeps the step, and
makes the archway clean. It does so, very busily and trimly; looks in
again, a little while; and so departs.

Jo, is it thou? Well, well! Though a rejected witness, who "can't
exactly say" what will be done to him in greater hands than men's,
thou art not quite in outer darkness. There is something like a
distant ray of light in thy muttered reason for this:

"He wos wery good to me, he wos!"


CHAPTER XII.--ON THE WATCH.

It has left off raining down in Lincolnshire, at last, and Chesney
Wold has taken heart. Mrs. Rouncewell is full of hospitable cares, for
Sir Leicester and my Lady are coming home from Paris. The fashionable
intelligence has found it out, and communicates the glad tidings to
benighted England. It has also found out, that they will entertain a
brilliant and distinguished circle of the _élite_ of the _beau monde_
(the fashionable intelligence is weak in English, but a
giant-refreshed in French), at the ancient and hospitable family seat
in Lincolnshire.

For the greater honor of the brilliant and distinguished circle, and
of Chesney Wold into the bargain, the broken arch of the bridge in the
park is mended; and the water, now retired within its proper limits
and again spanned gracefully, makes a figure in the prospect from the
house. The clear cold sunshine glances into the brittle woods, and
approvingly beholds the sharp wind scattering the leaves and drying
the moss. It glides over the park after the moving shadows of the
clouds, and chases them, and never catches them, all day. It looks in
at the windows, and touches the ancestral portraits with bars and
patches of brightness, never contemplated by the painters. Athwart the
picture of my Lady, over the great chimney-piece, it throws a broad
bend-sinister of light that strikes down crookedly into the hearth,
and seems to rend it.

Through the same cold sunshine and the same sharp wind, my Lady and
Sir Leicester, in their traveling chariot (my Lady's woman, and Sir
Leicester's man affectionate in the rumble), start for home. With a
considerable amount of jingling and whip-cracking, and many plunging
demonstrations on the part of two bare-backed horses, and two Centaurs
with glazed hats, jack-boots, and flowing manes and tails, they rattle
out of the yard of the Hôtel Bristol in the Place Vendôme, and canter
between the sun-and-shadow-checkered colonnade of the Rue de Rivoli
and the garden of the ill-fated palace of a headless king and queen,
off by the Place of Concord, and the Elysian Fields, and the Gate of
the Star, out of Paris.

Sooth to say, they can not go away too fast, for, even here, my Lady
Dedlock has been bored to death. Concert, assembly, opera, theatre,
drive, nothing is new to my Lady, under the worn-out heavens. Only
last Sunday, when poor wretches were gay--within the walls, playing
with children among the clipped trees and the statues in the Palace
Garden; walking, a score abreast, in in the Elysian Fields, made more
Elysian by performing dogs and wooden horses; between whiles filtering
(a few) through the gloomy Cathedral of Our Lady, to say a word or two
at the base of a pillar, within flare of a rusty little gridiron-full
of gusty little tapers--without the walls encompassing Paris with
dancing, love-making, wine-drinking, tobacco-smoking, tomb-visiting,
billiard card and domino playing, quack-doctoring, and much murderous
refuse, animate and inanimate--only last Sunday, my Lady in the
desolation of Boredom and the clutch of Giant Despair, almost hated
her own maid for being in spirits.

She can not, therefore, go too fast from Paris. Weariness of soul lies
before her, as it lies behind--her Ariel has put a girdle of it round
the whole earth, and it can not be unclasped--but the imperfect remedy
is always to fly, from the last place where it has been experienced.
Fling Paris back into the distance, then, exchanging it for endless
avenues and cross-avenues of wintry trees! And, when next beheld, let
it be some leagues away, with the Gate of the Star a white speck
glittering in the sun, and the city a mere mound in a plain: two dark
square towers rising out of it, and light and shadow descending on it
aslant, like the angels in Jacob's dream!

Sir Leicester is generally in a complacent state, and rarely bored.
When he has nothing else to do, he can always contemplate his own
greatness. It is a considerable advantage to a man to have so
inexhaustible a subject. After reading his letters, he leans back in
his corner of the carriage, and generally reviews his importance to
society.

"You have an unusual amount of correspondence this morning?" says my
Lady, after a long time. She is fatigued with reading. Has almost read
a page in twenty miles.

"Nothing in it, though. Nothing whatever."

"I saw one of Mr. Tulkinghorn's long effusions, I think?"

"You see every thing," says Sir Leicester, with admiration.

"Ha!" sighs my Lady. "He is the most tiresome of men!"

"He sends--I really beg your pardon--he sends," says Sir Leicester,
selecting the letter, and unfolding it, "a message to you. Our
stopping to change horses, as I came to his postscript, drove it out
of my memory. I beg you'll excuse me. He says--" Sir Leicester is so
long in taking out his eye-glass and adjusting it, that my Lady looks
a little irritated. "He says 'In the matter of the right of way--' I
beg your pardon, that's not the place. He says--yes! Here I have it!
He says, 'I beg my respectful compliments to my Lady, who, I hope, has
benefited by the change. Will you do me the favor to mention (as it
may interest her), that I have something to tell her on her return, in
reference to the person who copied the affidavit in the Chancery suit,
which so powerfully stimulated her curiosity. I have seen him.'"

My Lady, leaning forward, looks out of her window.

"That's the message," observes Sir Leicester.

"I should like to walk a little," says my Lady, still looking out of
her window.

"Walk?" repeats Sir Leicester, in a tone of surprise.

"I should like to walk a little," says my Lady, with unmistakable
distinctness. "Please to stop the carriage."

The carriage is stopped, the affectionate man alights from the rumble,
opens the door, and lets down the steps, obedient to an impatient
motion of my Lady's hand. My Lady alights so quickly, and walks away
so quickly, that Sir Leicester, for all his scrupulous politeness, is
unable to assist her, and is left behind. A space of a minute or two
has elapsed before he comes up with her. She smiles, looks very
handsome, takes his arm, lounges with him for a quarter of a mile, is
very much bored, and resumes her seat in the carriage.

The rattle and clatter continue through the greater part of three
days, with more or less of bell-jingling and whip-cracking, and more
or less plunging of Centaurs and bare-backed horses. Their courtly
politeness to each other, at the Hotels where they tarry, is the theme
of general admiration. Though my Lord is a little aged for my Lady,
says Madame, the hostess of the Golden Ape, and though he might be her
amiable father, one can see at a glance that they love each other.
One observes my Lord with his white hair, standing, hat in hand, to
help my Lady to and from the carriage. One observes my Lady, how
recognizant of my Lord's politeness, with an inclination of her
gracious head, and the concession of her so-genteel fingers! It is
ravishing!

The sea has no appreciation of great men, but knocks them about like
the small fry. It is habitually hard upon Sir Leicester, whose
countenance it greenly mottles in the manner of sage-cheese, and in
whose aristocratic system it effects a dismal revolution. It is the
Radical of Nature to him. Nevertheless, his dignity gets over it,
after stopping to refit; and he goes on with my Lady for Chesney Wold,
lying only one night in London on the way to Lincolnshire.

Through the same cold sunlight--colder as the day declines--and
through the same sharp wind--sharper as the separate shadows of bare
trees gloom together in the woods, and as the Ghost's Walk, touched at
the western corner by a pile of fire in the sky, resigns itself to
coming night--they drive into the park. The Rooks, swinging in their
lofty houses in the elm-tree avenue, seem to discuss the question of
the occupancy of the carriage as it passes underneath; some agreeing
that Sir Leicester and my Lady are come down; some arguing with
malcontents who won't admit it; now, all consenting to consider the
question disposed of; now, all breaking out again in violent debate,
incited by one obstinate and drowsy bird, who will persist in putting
in a last contradictory croak. Leaving them to swing and caw, the
traveling chariot rolls on to the house; where fires gleam warmly
through some of the windows, though not through so many as to give an
inhabited expression to the darkening mass of front. But the brilliant
and distinguished circle will soon do that.

Mrs. Rouncewell is in attendance, and receives Sir Leicester's
customary shake of the hand with a profound courtesy.

"How do you do, Mrs. Rouncewell? I am glad to see you."

"I hope I have the honor of welcoming you in good health, Sir
Leicester?"

"In excellent health, Mrs. Rouncewell."

"My Lady is looking charmingly well," says Mrs. Rouncewell, with
another courtesy.

My Lady signifies, without profuse expenditure of words, that she is
as wearily well as she can hope to be.

But Rosa is in the distance, behind the housekeeper; and my Lady, who
has not subdued the quickness of her observation, whatever else she
may have conquered, asks:

"Who is that girl?"

"A young scholar of mine, my Lady. Rosa."

"Come here, Rosa!" Lady Dedlock beckons her, with even an appearance
of interest. "Why, do you know how pretty you are, child?" she says,
touching her shoulder with her two forefingers.

Rosa, very much abashed, says "No, if you please, my Lady!" and
glances up, and glances down, and don't know where to look, but looks
all the prettier.

"How old are you?"

"Nineteen, my Lady."

"Nineteen," repeats my Lady, thoughtfully. "Take care they don't spoil
you by flattery."

"Yes, my Lady."

My Lady taps her dimpled cheek with the same delicate gloved fingers,
and goes on to the foot of the oak staircase, where Sir Leicester
pauses for her as her knightly escort. A staring old Dedlock in a
panel, as large as life and as dull, looks as if he didn't know what
to make of it--which was probably his general state of mind in the
days of Queen Elizabeth.

That evening, in the housekeeper's room, Rosa can do nothing but
murmur Lady Dedlock's praises. She is so affable, so graceful, so
beautiful, so elegant; has such a sweet voice, and such a thrilling
touch, that Rosa can feel it yet! Mrs. Rouncewell confirms all this,
not without personal pride, reserving only the one point of
affability. Mrs. Rouncewell is not quite sure as to that. Heaven
forbid that she should say a syllable in dispraise of any member of
that excellent family; above all, of my Lady, whom the whole world
admires; but if my Lady would only be "a little more free," not quite
so cold and distant, Mrs. Rouncewell thinks she would be more affable.

"'Tis almost a pity," Mrs. Rouncewell adds--only "almost," because it
borders on impiety to suppose that any thing could be better than it
is, in such an express dispensation as the Dedlock affairs; "that my
Lady has no family. If she had had a daughter now, a grown young lady,
to interest her, I think she would have had the only kind of
excellence she wants."

"Might not that have made her still more proud, grandmother?" says
Watt; who has been home and come back again, he is such a good
grandson.

"More and most, my dear," returns the housekeeper with dignity, "are
words it's not my place to use--nor so much as to hear--applied to any
drawback on my Lady."

"I beg your pardon, grandmother. But she is proud, is she not?"

"If she is, she has reason to be. The Dedlock family have always
reason to be."

"Well," says Watt, "it's to be hoped they line out of their
Prayer-Books a certain passage for the common people about pride and
vain-glory. Forgive me, grandmother! Only a joke!"

"Sir Leicester and Lady Dedlock, my dear, are not fit subjects for
joking."

"Sir Leicester is no joke, by any means," says Watt; "and I humbly ask
his pardon. I suppose, grandmother, that, even with the family and
their guests down here, there is no objection to my prolonging my stay
at the Dedlock Arms for a day or two, as any other traveler might?"

"Surely, none in the world, child."

"I am glad of that," says Watt, "because I--because I have an
inexpressible desire to extend my knowledge of this beautiful
neighborhood."

He happens to glance at Rosa, who looks down, and is very shy, indeed.
But, according to the old superstition, it should be Rosa's ears that
burn, and not her fresh bright cheeks; for my Lady's maid is holding
forth about her at this moment, with surpassing energy.

My Lady's maid is a Frenchwoman of two-and-thirty, from somewhere in
the Southern country about Avignon and Marseilles--a large-eyed, brown
woman with black hair; who would be handsome, but for a certain feline
mouth, and general uncomfortable tightness of face, rendering the jaws
too eager, and the skull too prominent. There is something indefinably
keen and wan about her anatomy; and she has a watchful way of looking
out of the corners of her eyes without turning her head, which could
be pleasantly dispensed with--especially when she is in an ill-humor
and near knives. Through all the good taste of her dress and little
adornments, these objections so express themselves, that she seems to
go about like a very neat She-Wolf imperfectly tamed. Besides being
accomplished in all the knowledge appertaining to her post,
she is almost an Englishwoman in her acquaintance with the
language--consequently, she is in no want of words to shower upon Rosa
for having attracted my Lady's attention; and she pours them out with
such grim ridicule as she sits at dinner, that her companion, the
affectionate man, is rather relieved when she arrives at the spoon
stage of that performance.

Ha, ha, ha! She, Hortense, been in my Lady's service since five years,
and always kept at the distance, and this doll, this puppet,
caressed--absolutely caressed--by my Lady on the moment of her
arriving at the house! Ha! ha! ha! "And do you know how pretty you
are, child?"--"No, my Lady."--You are right there! "And how old are
you, child? And take care they do not spoil you by flattery, child!" O
how droll! It is the _best_ thing altogether.

In short, it is such an admirable thing, that Mademoiselle Hortense
can't forget it; but at meals for days afterward, even among her
countrywomen and others attached in like capacity to the troop of
visitors, relapses into silent enjoyment of the joke--an enjoyment
expressed in her own convivial manner, by an additional tightness of
face, thin elongation of compressed lips, and sidewise look: which
intense appreciation of humor is frequently reflected in my Lady's
mirrors, when my Lady is not among them.

All the mirrors in the house are brought into action now: many of them
after a long blank. They reflect handsome faces, simpering faces,
youthful faces, faces of threescore-and-ten that will not submit to be
old; the entire collection of faces that have come to pass a January
week or two at Chesney Wold, and which the fashionable intelligence, a
mighty hunter before the Lord, hunts with a keen scent, from their
breaking cover at the Court of St. James's to their being run down to
Death. The place in Lincolnshire is all alive. By day guns and voices
are heard ringing in the woods, horsemen and carriages enliven the
park-roads, servants and hangers-on pervade the Village and the
Dedlock Arms. Seen by night, from distant openings in the trees, the
row of windows in the long drawing-room, where my Lady's picture hangs
over the great chimney-piece, is like a row of jewels set in a black
frame. On Sunday, the chill little church is almost warmed by so much
gallant company, and the general flavor of the Dedlock dust is
quenched in delicate perfumes.

The brilliant and distinguished circle comprehends within it, no
contracted amount of education, sense, courage, honor, beauty, and
virtue. Yet there is something a little wrong about it, in despite of
its immense advantages. What can it be?

Dandyism? There is no King George the Fourth now (more's the pity!) to
set the dandy fashion; there are no clear-starched jack-towel
neckcloths, no short-waisted coats, no false calves, no stays. There
are no caricatures, now, of effeminite Exquisites so arrayed, swooning
in opera boxes with excess of delight, and being revived by other
dainty creatures, poking long-necked scent-bottles at their noses.
There is no beau whom it takes four men at once to shake into his
buckskins, or who goes to see all the Executions, or who is troubled
with the self-reproach of having once consumed a pea. But is there
Dandyism in the brilliant and distinguished circle notwithstanding,
Dandyism of a more mischievous sort, that has got below the surface
and is doing less harmless things than jack-toweling itself and
stopping its own digestion, to which no rational person need
particularly object!

Why, yes. It can not be disguised. There _are_ at Chesney Wold this
January week, some ladies and gentlemen of the newest fashion, who
have set up a Dandyism--in Religion, for instance. Who, in mere
lackadaisical want of an emotion, have agreed upon a little dandy talk
about the Vulgar wanting faith in things in general; meaning, in the
things that have been tried and found wanting, as though a low fellow
should unaccountably lose faith in a bad shilling, after finding it
out! Who would make the Vulgar very picturesque and faithful, by
putting back the hands upon the Clock of Time, and canceling a few
hundred years of history.

There are also ladies and gentlemen of another fashion, not so new,
but very elegant, who have agreed to put a smooth glaze on the world,
and to keep down all its relations. For whom every thing must be
languid and pretty. Who have found out the perpetual stoppage. Who are
to rejoice at nothing, and be sorry for nothing. Who are not to be
disturbed by ideas. On whom even the Fine Arts, attending in powder
and walking backward like the Lord Chamberlain, must array themselves
in the milliners' and tailors' patterns of past generations, and be
particularly careful not to be in earnest, or to receive any impress
from the moving age.

Then there is my Lord Boodle, of considerable reputation with his
party, who has known what office is, and who tells Sir Leicester
Dedlock with much gravity, after dinner, that he really does not see
to what the present age is tending. A debate is not what a debate used
to be; the House is not what the House used to be; even a Cabinet is
not what it formerly was. He perceives with astonishment, that
supposing the present Government to be overthrown, the limited choice
of the Crown, in the formation of a new Ministry, would lie between
Lord Coddle and Sir Thomas Doodle--supposing it to be impossible for
the Duke of Foodle to act with Goodle, which may be assumed to be the
case in consequence of the breach arising out of that affair with
Hoodle. Then, giving the Home Department and the Leadership of the
House of Commons to Joodle, the Exchequer to Koodle, the Colonies to
Loodle, and the Foreign Office to Moodle, what are you to do with
Noodle? You can't offer him the Presidency of the Council; that is
reserved for Poodle. You can't put him in the Woods and Forests; that
is hardly good enough for Quoodle. What follows? That the country is
shipwrecked, lost, and gone to pieces (as is made manifest to the
patriotism of Sir Leicester Dedlock), because you can't provide for
Noodle!

On the other hand, the Right Honorable William Buffy, M.P., contends
across the table with some one else, that the shipwreck of the
country--about which there is no doubt; it is only the manner of it
that is in question--is attributable to Cuffy. If you had done with
Cuffy what you ought to have done when he first came into Parliament,
and had prevented him from going over to Duffy, you would have got him
into an alliance with Fuffy, you would have had with you the weight
attaching as a smart debater to Guffy, you would have brought to bear
upon the elections the wealth of Huffy, you would have got in for
three counties Juffy, Kuffy, and Luffy; and you would have
strengthened your administration by the official knowledge and the
business habits of Muffy. All this, instead of being, as you now are,
dependent on the mere caprice of Puffy!

As to this point, and as to some minor topics, there are differences
of opinion; but it is perfectly clear to the brilliant and
distinguished circle, all round, that nobody is in question but Boodle
and his retinue, and Buffy and _his_ retinue. These are the great
actors for whom the stage is reserved. A People there are, no doubt--a
certain large number of supernumeraries, who are to be occasionally
addressed, and relied upon for shouts and choruses, as on the
theatrical stage; but Boodle and Buffy, their followers and families,
their heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, are the born
first-actors, managers, and leaders, and no others can appear upon the
scene for ever and ever.

In this, too, there is perhaps more dandyism at Chesney Wold than the
brilliant and distinguished circle will find good for itself in the
long run. For it is, even with the stillest and politest circles, as
with the circle the necromancer draws around him--very strange
appearances may be seen in active motion outside. With this
difference; that, being realities and not phantoms, there is the
greater danger of their breaking in.

Chesney Wold is quite full, any how; so full, that a burning sense of
injury arises in the breasts of ill-lodged ladies' maids, and is not
to be extinguished. Only one room is empty. It is a turret chamber of
the third order of merit, plainly but comfortably furnished, and
having an old-fashioned business air. It is Mr. Tulkinghorn's room,
and is never bestowed on any body else, for he may come at any time.
He is not come yet. It is his quiet habit to walk across the park from
the village, in fine weather; to drop into this room, as if he had
never been out of it since he was last seen there; to request a
servant to inform Sir Leicester that he is arrived, in case he should
be wanted; and to appear ten minutes before dinner, in the shadow of
the library door. He sleeps in his turret, with a complaining
flag-staff over his head; and has some leads outside, on which, any
fine morning when he is down here, his black figure may be seen
walking before breakfast like a larger species of rook.

Every day before dinner, my Lady looks for him in the dusk of the
library, but he is not there. Every day at dinner, my Lady glances
down the table for the vacant place, that would be waiting to receive
him if he had just arrived; but there is no vacant place. Every night,
my Lady casually asks her maid:

"Is Mr. Tulkinghorn come?"

Every night the answer is: "No my Lady, not yet."

One night, while having her hair undressed, my Lady loses herself in
deep thought after this reply, until she sees her own brooding face in
the opposite glass, and a pair of black eyes curiously observing her.

"Be so good as to attend," says my Lady then, addressing the
reflection of Hortense, "to your business. You can contemplate your
beauty at another time."

"Pardon! It was your Ladyship's beauty."

"That," says my Lady, "you needn't contemplate at all."

At length, one afternoon a little before sunset, when the bright
groups of figures, which have for the last hour or two enlivened the
Ghost's Walk, are all dispersed, and only Sir Leicester and my Lady
remain upon the terrace, Mr. Tulkinghorn appears. He comes toward them
at his usual methodical pace, which is never quickened, never
slackened. He wears his usual expressionless mask--if it be a
mask--and carries family secrets in every limb of his body, and every
crease of his dress. Whether his whole soul is devoted to the great,
or whether he yields them nothing beyond the services he sells, is
his personal secret. He keeps it, as he keeps the secrets of his
clients; he is his own client in that matter, and will never betray
himself.

"How do you do, Mr. Tulkinghorn?" says Sir Leicester, giving him his
hand.

Mr. Tulkinghorn is quite well. Sir Leicester is quite well. My Lady is
quite well. All highly satisfactory. The lawyer, with his hands behind
him, walks, at Sir Leicester's side, along the terrace. My Lady walks
upon the other side.

"We expected you before," says Sir Leicester. A gracious observation.
As much as to say, "Mr. Tulkinghorn, we remember your existence when
you are not here to remind us of it by your presence. We bestow a
fragment of our minds upon you, sir, you see!"

Mr. Tulkinghorn, comprehending it, inclines his head, and says he is
much obliged.

"I should have come down sooner," he explains, "but that I have been
much engaged with those matters in the several suits between yourself
and Boythorn."

"A man of a very ill-regulated mind," observes Sir Leicester, with
severity. "An extremely dangerous person in any community. A man of a
very low character of mind."

"He is obstinate," says Mr. Tulkinghorn.

"It is natural to such a man to be so," says Sir Leicester, looking
most profoundly obstinate himself. "I am not at all surprised to hear
it."

"The only question is," pursues the lawyer, "whether you will give up
anything."

"No, sir," replies Sir Leicester. "Nothing. _I_ give up?"

"I don't mean any thing of importance; that, of course, I know you
would not abandon. I mean any minor point."

"Mr. Tulkinghorn," returns Sir Leicester, "there can be no minor point
between myself and Mr. Boythorn. If I go farther, and observe that I
can not readily conceive how _any_ right of mine can be a minor point,
I speak not so much in reference to myself as an individual, as in
reference to the family position I have it in charge to maintain."

Mr. Tulkinghorn inclines his head again. "I have now my instructions,"
he says. "Mr. Boythorn will give us a good deal of trouble--"

"It is the character of such a mind, Mr. Tulkinghorn," Sir Leicester
interrupts him, "_to_ give trouble. An exceedingly ill-conditioned,
leveling person. A person who, fifty years ago, would probably have
been tried at the Old Bailey for some demagogue proceeding, and
severely punished--if not," adds Sir Leicester, after a moment's
pause, "if not hanged, drawn, and quartered."

Sir Leicester appears to discharge his stately breast of a burden, in
passing this capital sentence; as if it were the next satisfactory
thing to having the sentence executed.

"But night is coming on," says he, "and my Lady will take cold. My
dear, let us go in."

As they turned toward the hall-door, Lady Dedlock addresses Mr.
Tulkinghorn for the first time.

"You sent me a message respecting the person whose writing I happened
to inquire about. It was like you to remember the circumstance; I had
quite forgotten it. Your message reminded me of it again. I can't
imagine what association I had with a hand like that; but I surely had
some."

"You had some?" Mr. Tulkinghorn repeats.

"Oh, yes!" returns my Lady, carelessly. "I think I must have had some.
And did you really take the trouble to find out the writer of that
actual thing--what is it!--Affidavit?"

"Yes."

"How very odd!"

They pass into a sombre breakfast-room on the ground-floor, lighted in
the day by two deep windows. It is now twilight. The fire glows
brightly on the paneled wall, and palely on the window-glass, where,
through the cold reflection of the blaze, the colder landscape
shudders in the wind, and a gray mist creeps along: the only traveler
besides the waste of clouds.

My Lady lounges in a great chair in the chimney-corner, and Sir
Leicester takes another great chair opposite. The lawyer stands before
the fire, with his hand out at arm's length, shading his face. He
looks across his arm at my Lady.

"Yes," he says, "I inquired about the man, and found him. And, what is
very strange, I found him--"

"Not to be any out-of-the-way person, I am afraid!" Lady Dedlock
languidly anticipates.

"I found him dead."

"Oh, dear me!" remonstrated Sir Leicester. Not so much shocked by the
fact, as by the fact of the fact being mentioned.

"I was directed to his lodging--a miserable, poverty-stricken
place--and I found him dead."

"You will excuse me, Mr. Tulkinghorn," observes Sir Leicester. "I
think the less said--"

"Pray, Sir Leicester, let me hear the story out;" (it is my Lady
speaking.) "It is quite a story for twilight. How very shocking!
Dead?"

Mr. Tulkinghorn re-asserts it by another inclination of his head.
"Whether by his own hand--"

"Upon my honor!" cries Sir Leicester. "Really!"

"Do let me hear the story!" says my Lady.

"Whatever you desire, my dear. But, I must say--"

"No, you mustn't say! Go on, Mr. Tulkinghorn."

Sir Leicester's gallantry concedes the point; though he still feels
that to bring this sort of squalor among the upper classes is
really--really--

"I was about to say," resumes the lawyer, with undisturbed calmness,
"that whether he had died by his own hand or not, it was beyond my
power to tell you. I should amend that phrase, however, by saying that
he had unquestionably died of his own act; though whether by his own
deliberate intention, or by mischance, can never certainly be known.
The coroner's jury found that he took the poison accidentally."

"And what kind of man," my Lady asks, "was this deplorable creature?"

"Very difficult to say," returns the lawyer, shaking his head. "He had
lived so wretchedly, and was so neglected, with his gipsy color, and
his wild black hair and beard, that I should have considered him the
commonest of the common. The surgeon had a notion that he had once
been something better, both in appearance and condition."

"What did they call the wretched being?"

"They called him what he had called himself, but no one knew his
name."

"Not even any one who had attended on him?"

"No one had attended on him. He was found dead. In fact, I found him."

"Without any clew to any thing more?"

"Without any; there was," says the lawyer, meditatively, "an old
portmanteau; but--No, there were no papers."

During the utterance of every word of this short dialogue, Lady
Dedlock and Mr. Tulkinghorn, without any other alteration in their
customary deportment, have looked very steadily at one another--as was
natural, perhaps, in the discussion of so unusual a subject. Sir
Leicester has looked at the fire, with the general expression of the
Dedlock on the staircase. The story being told, he renews his stately
protest, saying, that as it is quite clear that no association in my
Lady's mind can possibly be traceable to this poor wretch (unless he
was a begging-letter writer), he trusts to hear no more about a
subject so far removed from my Lady's station.

"Certainly, a collection of horrors," says my Lady, gathering up her
mantles and furs; "but they interest one for the moment! Have the
kindness, Mr. Tulkinghorn, to open the door for me."

Mr. Tulkinghorn does so with deference, and holds it open while she
passes out. She passes close to him, with her usual fatigued manner,
and insolent grace. They meet again at dinner--again, next day--again,
for many days in succession. Lady Dedlock is always the same exhausted
deity, surrounded by worshipers, and terribly liable to be bored to
death, even while presiding at her own shrine. Mr. Tulkinghorn is
always the same speechless repository of noble confidences: so oddly
out of place, and yet so perfectly at home. They appear to take as
little note of one another, as any two people, inclosed within the
same walls, could. But, whether each evermore watches and suspects the
other, evermore mistrustful of some great reservation; whether each is
evermore prepared at all points for the other, and never to be taken
unawares; what each would give to know how much the other knows--all
this is hidden, for the time, in their own hearts.


CHAPTER XIII.--ESTHER'S NARRATIVE.

We held many consultations about what Richard was to be; first,
without Mr. Jarndyce, as he had requested, and afterward with him;
but it was a long time before we seemed to make progress. Richard said
he was ready for any thing. When Mr. Jarndyce doubted whether he might
not already be too old to enter the Navy, Richard said he had thought
of that, and perhaps he was. When Mr. Jarndyce asked him what he
thought of the Army, Richard said he had thought of that, too, and it
wasn't a bad idea. When Mr. Jarndyce advised him to try and decide
within himself, whether his old preference for the sea was an ordinary
boyish inclination, or a strong impulse, Richard answered, Well, he
really _had_ tried very often, and he couldn't make out.

"How much of this indecision of character," Mr. Jarndyce said to me,
"is chargeable on that incomprehensible heap of uncertainty and
procrastination on which he has been thrown from his birth, I don't
pretend to say; but that Chancery, among its other sins, is
responsible for some of it, I can plainly see. It has engendered or
confirmed in him a habit of putting off--and trusting to this, that,
and the other chance, without knowing what chance--and dismissing
every thing as unsettled, uncertain, and confused. The character of
much older and steadier people may be even changed by the
circumstances surrounding them. It would be too much to expect that a
boy's, in its formation, should be the subject of such influences, and
escape them."

I felt this to be true; though, if I may venture to mention what I
thought besides, I thought it much to be regretted that Richard's
education had not counteracted those influences, or directed his
character. He had been eight years at a public school, and had learnt,
I understood, to make Latin Verses of several sorts, in the most
admirable manner. But I never heard that it had been any body's
business to find out what his natural bent was, or where his failings
lay, or to adapt any kind of knowledge to _him_. _He_ had been adapted
to the Verses, and had learnt the art of making them to such
perfection, that if he had remained at school until he was of age, I
suppose he could only have gone on making them over and over again,
unless he had enlarged his education by forgetting how to do it.
Still, although I had no doubt that they were very beautiful, and very
improving, and very sufficient for a great many purposes of life, and
always remembered all through life, I did doubt whether Richard would
not have profited by some one studying him a little, instead of his
studying them quite so much.

To be sure, I knew nothing of the subject, and do not even now know
whether the young gentlemen of classic Rome or Greece made verses to
the same extent--or whether the young gentlemen of any country ever
did.

"I haven't the least idea," said Richard, musing, "what I had better
be. Except that I am quite sure I don't want to go into the Church,
it's a toss-up."

"You have no inclination in Mr. Kenge's way?" suggested Mr. Jarndyce.

"I don't know that, sir!" replied Richard. "I am fond of boating.
Articled clerks go a good deal on the water. It's a capital
profession!"

"Surgeon--" suggested Mr. Jarndyce.

"That's the thing, sir!" cried Richard.

I doubt if he had ever once thought of it before.

"That's the thing, sir!" repeated Richard, with the greatest
enthusiasm. "We have got it at last. M.R.C.S.!"

He was not to be laughed out of it, though he laughed at it heartily.
He said he had chosen his profession, and the more he thought of it,
the more he felt that his destiny was clear; the art of healing was
the art of all others for him. Mistrusting that he only came to this
conclusion, because, having never had much chance of finding out for
himself what he was fitted for, and having never been guided to the
discovery, he was taken by the newest idea, and was glad to get rid of
the trouble of consideration, I wondered whether the Latin Verses
often ended in this, or whether Richard's was a solitary case.

Mr. Jarndyce took great pains to talk with him, seriously, and to put
it to his good sense not to deceive himself in so important a matter.
Richard was a little grave after these interviews; but invariably told
Ada and me "that it was all right," and then began to talk about
something else.

"By Heaven!" cried Mr. Boythorn, who interested himself strongly in
the subject--though I need not say that, for he could do nothing
weakly; "I rejoice to find a young gentleman of spirit and gallantry
devoting himself to that noble profession! The more spirit there is in
it, the better for mankind, and the worse for those mercenary
taskmasters and low tricksters who delight in putting that illustrious
art at a disadvantage in the world. By all that is base and
despicable," cried Mr. Boythorn, "the treatment of Surgeons aboard
ship is such, that I would submit the legs--both legs--of every member
of the Admiralty Board to a compound fracture, and render it a
transportable offense in any qualified practitioner to set them, if
the system were not wholly changed in eight-and-forty hours!"

"Wouldn't you give them a week?" asked Mr. Jarndyce.

"No!" cried Mr. Boythorn, firmly. "Not on any consideration!
Eight-and-forty hours! As to Corporations, Parishes, Vestry-Boards,
and similar gatherings of jolter-headed clods, who assemble to
exchange such speeches that, by Heaven! they ought to be worked in
quicksilver mines for the short remainder of their miserable
existence, if it were only to prevent their detestable English from
contaminating a language spoken in the presence of the Sun--as to
those fellows, who meanly take advantage of the ardor of gentlemen in
the pursuit of knowledge, to recompense the inestimable services of
the best years of their lives, their long study, and their expensive
education, with pittances too small for the acceptance of clerks, I
would have the necks of every one of them wrung, and their skulls
arranged in Surgeons' Hall for the contemplation of the whole
profession--in order that its younger members might understand from
actual measurement, in early life, _how_ thick skulls may become!"

He wound up this vehement declaration by looking round upon us with a
most agreeable smile, and suddenly thundering, Ha, ha, ha! over and
over again, until any body else might have been expected to be quite
subdued by the exertion.

As Richard still continued to say that he was fixed in his choice,
after repeated periods for consideration had been recommended by Mr.
Jarndyce, and had expired; and as he still continued to assure Ada and
me, in the same final manner that it was "all right;" it became
advisable to take Mr. Kenge into council. Mr. Kenge therefore, came
down to dinner one day, and leaned back in his chair, and turned his
eye-glasses over and over, and spoke in a sonorous voice, and did
exactly what I remembered to have seen him do when I was a little
girl.

"Ah!" said Mr. Kenge. "Yes. Well? A very good profession, Mr.
Jarndyce; a very good profession."

"The course of study and preparation requires to be diligently
pursued," observed my Guardian, with a glance at Richard.

"O, no doubt," said Mr. Kenge. "Diligently."

"But that being the case, more or less, with all pursuits that are
worth much," said Mr. Jarndyce, "it is not a special consideration
which another choice would be likely to escape."

"Truly," said Mr. Kenge. "And Mr. Richard Carstone, who has so
meritoriously acquitted himself in the--shall I say the classic
shades?--in which his youth had been passed, will, no doubt, apply the
habits, if not the principles and practice, of versification in that
tongue in which a poet was said (unless I mistake) to be born, not
made, to the more eminently practical field of action on which he
enters."

"You may rely upon it," said Richard, in his off-hand manner, "that I
shall go at it, and do my best."

"Very well, Mr. Jarndyce!" said Mr. Kenge, gently nodding his head.
"Really, when we are assured by Mr. Richard that he means to go at it,
and to do his best," nodding feelingly and smoothly over those
expressions; "I would submit to you, that we have only to inquire into
the best mode of carrying out the object of his ambition. Now, with
reference to placing Mr. Richard with some sufficiently eminent
practitioner. Is there any one in view at present?"

"No one, Rick, I think?" said my Guardian.

"No one, sir," said Richard.

"Quite so!" observed Mr. Kenge. "As to situation, now. Is there any
particular feeling on that head?"

"N--no," said Richard.

"Quite so!" observed Mr. Kenge again.

"I should like a little variety," said Richard; "--I mean a good range
of experience."

"Very requisite, no doubt," returned Mr. Kenge "I think this may be
easily arranged, Mr. Jarndyce? We have only, in the first place, to
discover a sufficiently eligible practitioner; and, as soon as we make
our want--and, shall I add, our ability to pay a premium?--known, our
only difficulty will be in the selection of one from a large number.
We have only, in the second place, to observe those little formalities
which are rendered necessary by our time of life, and our being under
the guardianship of the Court. We shall soon be--shall I say, in Mr.
Richard's own light-hearted manner, 'going at it'--to our heart's
content. It is a coincidence," said Mr. Kenge, with a tinge of
melancholy in his smile, "one of those coincidences which may or may
not require an explanation beyond our present limited faculties, that
I have a cousin in the medical profession. He might be deemed eligible
by you, and might be disposed to respond to this proposal. I can
answer for him as little as for you; but he _might_?"

As this was an opening in the prospect, it was arranged that Mr. Kenge
should see his cousin. And as Mr. Jarndyce had before proposed to take
us to London for a few weeks, it was settled next day that we should
make our visit at once, and combine Richard's business with it.

Mr. Boythorn leaving us within a week, we took up our abode at a
cheerful lodging near Oxford-street, over an upholsterer's shop.
London was a great wonder to us, and we were out for hours and hours
at a time, seeing the sights; which appeared to be less capable of
exhaustion than we were. We made the round of the principal theatres,
too, with great delight, and saw all the plays that were worth seeing.
I mention this, because it was at the theatre that I began to be made
uncomfortable again, by Mr. Guppy.

I was sitting in front of the box one night with Ada; and Richard was
in the place he liked best, behind Ada's chair; when, happening to
look down into the pit, I saw Mr. Guppy, with his hair flattened down
upon his head, and woe depicted in his face, looking up at me. I felt,
all through the performance, that he never looked at the actors, but
constantly looked at me, and always with a carefully prepared
expression of the deepest misery and the profoundest dejection.

It quite spoiled my pleasure for that night, because it was so very
embarrassing and so very ridiculous. But, from that time forth, we
never went to the play, without my seeing Mr. Guppy in the pit--always
with his hair straight and flat, his shirt-collar turned down, and a
general feebleness about him. If he were not there when we went in,
and I began to hope he would not come, and yielded myself for a little
while to the interest of the scene, I was certain to encounter his
languishing eyes when I least expected it, and, from that time, to be
quite sure that they were fixed upon me all the evening.

I really can not express how uneasy this made me. If he would only
have brushed up his hair, or turned up his collar, it would have been
bad enough; but to know that that absurd figure was always gazing at
me, and always in that demonstrative state of despondency, put such a
constraint upon me that I did not like to laugh at the play, or to cry
at it, or to move, or to speak. I seemed able to do nothing naturally.
As to escaping Mr. Guppy by going to the back of the box, I could not
bear to do that; because I knew Richard and Ada relied on having me
next them, and that they could never have talked together so happily
if any body else had been in my place. So there I sat, not knowing
where to look--for wherever I looked, I knew Mr. Guppy's eyes were
following me--and thinking of the dreadful expense to which this young
man was putting himself, on my account.

[Illustration: MR. GUPPY'S DESOLATION.]

Sometimes I thought of telling Mr. Jarndyce. Then I feared that the
young man would lose his situation, and that I might ruin him.
Sometimes, I thought of confiding in Richard; but was deterred by the
possibility of his fighting Mr. Guppy, and giving him black eyes.
Sometimes, I thought, should I frown at him, or shake my head. Then I
felt I could not do it. Sometimes, I considered whether I should write
to his mother, but that ended in my being convinced that to open a
correspondence would be to make the matter worse. I always came to the
conclusion, finally, that I could do nothing. Mr. Guppy's
perseverance, all this time, not only produced him regularly at any
theatre to which we went, but caused him to appear in the crowd as we
were coming out, and even to get up behind our fly--where I am sure I
saw him, two or three times, struggling among the most dreadful
spikes. After we got home, he haunted a post opposite our house. The
upholsterer's where we lodged, being at the corner of two streets, and
my bedroom window being opposite the post, I was afraid to go near the
window when I went up-stairs, lest I should see him (as I did one
moonlight night) leaning against the post, and evidently catching
cold. If Mr. Guppy had not been, fortunately for me, engaged in the
day-time, I really should have had no rest from him.

While we were making this round of gayeties in which Mr. Guppy so
extraordinarily participated, the business which had helped to bring
us to town was not neglected. Mr. Kenge's cousin was a Mr. Bayham
Badger, who had a good practice at Chelsea, and attended a large
public Institution besides. He was quite willing to receive Richard
into his house, and to superintend his studies; and as it seemed that
those could be pursued advantageously under Mr. Badger's roof, and as
Mr. Badger liked Richard, and as Richard said he liked Mr. Badger
"well enough," an agreement was made, the Lord Chancellor's consent
was obtained, and it was all settled.

On the day when matters were concluded between Richard and Mr. Badger,
we were all under engagement to dine at Mr. Badger's house. We were to
be "merely a family party," Mrs. Badger's note said; and we found no
lady there but Mrs. Badger herself. She was surrounded in the
drawing-room by various objects, indicative of her painting a little,
playing the piano a little, playing the guitar a little, playing the
harp a little, singing a little, working a little, reading a little,
writing poetry a little, and botanizing a little. She was a lady of
about fifty, I should think, youthfully dressed, and of a very fine
complexion. If I add, to the little list of her accomplishments, that
she rouged a little, I do not mean that there was any harm in it.

Mr. Bayham Badger himself was a pink, fresh-faced, crisp-looking
gentleman, with a weak voice, white teeth, light hair, and surprised
eyes: some years younger, I should say, than Mrs. Bayham Badger. He
admired her exceedingly, but principally, and to begin with, on the
curious ground (as it seemed to us) of her having had three husbands.
We had barely taken our seats, when he said to Mr. Jarndyce quite
triumphantly.

"You would hardly suppose that I am Mrs. Bayham Badger's third!"

"Indeed?" said Mr. Jarndyce.

"Her third!" said Mr. Badger. "Mrs. Bayham Badger has not the
appearance, Miss Summerson, of a lady who has had two former
husbands?"

I said "Not at all!"

"And most remarkable men!" said Mr. Badger, in a tone of confidence.
"Captain Swosser of the Royal Navy, who was Mrs. Badger's first
husband, was a very distinguished officer indeed. The name of
Professor Dingo, my immediate predecessor, is one of European
reputation."

Mrs. Badger overheard him, and smiled.

"Yes, my dear!" Mr. Badger replied to the smile, "I was observing to
Mr. Jarndyce and Miss Summerson, that you had had two former
husbands--both very distinguished men. And they found it, as people
generally do, difficult to believe."

"I was barely twenty," said Mrs. Badger, "when I married Captain
Swosser of the Royal Navy. I was in the Mediterranean with him; I am
quite a Sailor. On the twelfth anniversary of my wedding-day, I became
the wife of Professor Dingo."

("Of European reputation," added Mr. Badger in an under tone.)

"And when Mr. Badger and myself were married," pursued Mrs. Badger,
"we were married on the same day of the year. I had become attached to
the day."

"So that Mrs. Badger has been married to three husbands--two of them
highly distinguished men," said Mr. Badger, summing up the facts;
"and, each time, upon the twenty-first of March at Eleven in the
forenoon!"

We all expressed our admiration.

"But for Mr. Badger's modesty," said Mr. Jarndyce, "I would take leave
to correct him, and say three distinguished men."

"Thank you, Mr. Jarndyce! What I always tell him!" observed Mrs.
Badger.

"And, my dear," said Mr. Badger, "what do _I_ always tell you? That
without any affectation of disparaging such professional distinction
as I may have attained (which our friend Mr. Carstone will have many
opportunities of estimating), I am not so weak--no, really," said Mr.
Badger to us generally, "so unreasonable--as to put my reputation on
the same footing with such first-rate men as Captain Swosser and
Professor Dingo. Perhaps you may be interested, Mr. Jarndyce,"
continued Mr. Bayham Badger, leading the way into the next drawing
room, "in this portrait of Captain Swosser. It was taken on his return
home from the African Station, where he had suffered from the fever of
the country. Mrs. Badger considers it too yellow. But it's a very fine
head. A very fine head!"

We all echoed, "A very fine head!"

"I feel when I look at it," said Mr. Badger, "'that's a man I should
like to have seen!' It strikingly bespeaks the first-class man that
Captain Swosser pre-eminently was. On the other side, Professor Dingo.
I knew him well--attended him in his last illness--a speaking
likeness! Over the piano, Mrs. Bayham Badger when Mrs. Swosser. Over
the sofa, Mrs. Bayham Badger when Mrs. Dingo. Of Mrs. Bayham Badger
_in esse_, I possess the original, and have no copy."

Dinner was now announced, and we went down stairs. It was a very
genteel entertainment, very handsomely served. But the Captain and the
Professor still ran in Mr. Badger's head, and, as Ada and I had the
honor of being under his particular care, we had the full benefit of
them.

"Water, Miss Summerson? Allow me! Not in that tumbler, pray. Bring me
the Professor's goblet, James!"

Ada very much admired some artificial flowers, under a glass.

"Astonishing how they keep!" said Mr. Badger. "They were presented to
Mrs. Bayham Badger when she was in the Mediterranean."

[Illustration: THE FAMILY PORTRAITS AT MR. BAYHAM BADGER'S.]

He invited Mr. Jarndyce to take a glass of claret.

"Not that claret," he said. "Excuse me! This is an occasion, and _on_
an occasion I produce some very special claret I happen to have.
(James, Captain Swosser's wine!) Mr. Jarndyce, this is a wine that was
imported by the Captain, we will not say how many years ago. You will
find it very curious. My dear, I shall be happy to take some of this
wine with you. (Captain Swosser's claret to your mistress, James!) My
love, your health!"

After dinner when we ladies retired, we took Mrs. Badger's first and
second husband with us. Mrs. Badger gave us, in the drawing-room a
Biographical sketch of the life and services of Captain Swosser before
his marriage, and a more minute account of him dating from the time
when he fell in love with her, at a ball on board the Crippler, given
to the officers of that ship when she lay in Plymouth harbor.

"The dear old Crippler!" said Mrs. Badger, shaking her head. "She was
a noble vessel. Trim, ship-shape, all a taunto, as Captain Swosser
used to say. You must excuse me if I occasionally introduce a nautical
expression; I was quite a sailor once. Captain Swosser loved that
craft for my sake. When she was no longer in commission, he frequently
said that if he were rich enough to buy her old hulk, he would have an
inscription let into the timbers of the quarter-deck where we stood as
partners in the dance, to mark the spot where he fell--raked fore and
aft (Captain Swosser used to say) by the fire from my tops. It was his
naval way of mentioning my eyes."

Mrs. Badger shook her head, sighed, and looked in the glass.

"It was a great change from Captain Swosser to Professor Dingo," she
resumed, with a plaintive smile. "I felt it a good deal at first. Such
an entire revolution in my mode of life! But custom, combined with
science--particularly science--inured me to it. Being the Professor's
sole companion in his botanical excursions, I almost forgot that I had
ever been afloat, and became quite learned. It is singular that the
Professor was the Antipodes of Captain Swosser, and that Mr. Badger is
not in the least like either!"

We then passed into a narrative of the deaths of Captain Swosser and
Professor Dingo, both of whom seemed to have had very bad complaints.
In the course of it, Mrs. Badger signified to us that she had never
madly loved but once; and that the object of that wild affection,
never to be recalled in its fresh enthusiasm, was Captain Swosser. The
Professor was yet dying by inches in the most dismal manner, and Mrs.
Badger was giving us imitations of his way of saying, with great
difficulty, "Where is Laura? Let Laura give me my toast and water!"
when the entrance of the gentlemen consigned him to the tomb.

Now, I observed that evening, as I had observed for some days past,
that Ada and Richard were more than ever attached to each other's
society; which was but natural, seeing that they were going to be
separated so soon. I was therefore not very much surprised, when we
got home, and Ada and I retired up-stairs, to find Ada more silent
than usual; though I was not quite prepared for her coming into my
arms, and beginning to speak to me, with her face hidden.

"My darling Esther!" murmured Ada. "I have a great secret to tell
you!"

A mighty secret, my pretty one, no doubt!

"What is it, Ada?"

"O Esther, you would never guess!"

"Shall I try to guess?" said I.

"O no! Don't! Pray, don't!" cried Ada, very much startled by the idea
of my doing so.

"Now, I wonder who it can be about?" said I, pretending to consider.

"It's about," said Ada, in a whisper. "It's about--my cousin Richard!"

"Well, my own!" said I, kissing her bright hair, which was all I could
see. "And what about him?"

"O, Esther, you would never guess!"

It was so pretty to have her clinging to me in that way, hiding her
face; and to know that she was not crying in sorrow, but in a little
glow of joy, and pride, and hope; that I would not help her just yet.

"He says--I know it's very foolish, we are both so young--but he
says," with a burst of tears, "that he loves me dearly, Esther."

"Does he indeed?" said I. "I never heard of such a thing! Why, my pet
of pets, I could have told you that, weeks and weeks ago!"

To see Ada lift up her flushed face in joyful surprise, and hold me
round the neck, and laugh, and cry, and blush, and laugh, was so
pleasant!

"Why, my darling!" said I, "what a goose you must take me for! Your
cousin Richard has been loving you as plainly as he could, for I don't
know how long!"

"And yet you never said a word about it!" cried Ada, kissing me.

"No, my love," said I. "I waited to be told."

"But now I have told you, you don't think it wrong of me; do you?"
returned Ada. She might have coaxed me to say No, if I had been the
hardest-hearted Duenna in the world. Not being that yet, I said No,
very freely.

"And now," said I, "I know the worst of it."

"O, that's not quite the worst of it, Esther dear!" cried Ada, holding
me tighter, and laying down her face again upon my breast.

"No?" said I. "Not even that?"

"No, not even that!" said Ada, shaking her head.

"Why, you never mean to say--!" I was beginning in joke.

But Ada looking up, and smiling through her tears, cried. "Yes, I do!
You know, you know I do!" and then sobbed out, "With all my heart I
do! With all my whole heart, Esther!"

I told her, laughing, why, I had known that, too, just as well as I
had known the other! And we sat before the fire, and I had all the
talking to myself for a little while (though there was not much of
it); and Ada was soon quiet and happy. "Do you think my cousin John
knows, dear Dame Durden?" she asked.

"Unless my cousin John is blind, my pet," said I, "I should think my
cousin John knows pretty well as much as we know."

"We want to speak to him before Richard goes," said Ada, timidly, "and
we wanted you to advise us, and to tell him so. Perhaps you wouldn't
mind Richard's coming in, Dame Durden?"

"O! Richard is outside, is he, my dear?" said I.

"I am not quite certain," returned Ada, with a bashful simplicity that
would have won my heart, if she had not won it long before; "but I
think he's waiting at the door."

There he was, of course. They brought a chair on either side of me,
and put me between them, and really seemed to have fallen in love with
me, instead of one another; they were so confiding, and so trustful,
and so fond of me. They went on in their own wild way for a little
while--I never stopped them; I enjoyed it too much myself--and then we
gradually fell to considering how young they were, and how there must
be a lapse of several years before this early love could come to any
thing, and how it could come to happiness only if it were real and
lasting, and inspired them with a steady resolution to do their duty
to each other, with constancy, fortitude, and perseverance: each
always for the other's sake. Well! Richard said that he would work his
fingers to the bone for Ada, and Ada said that she would work her
fingers to the bone for Richard, and they called me all sorts of
endearing and sensible names, and we sat there, advising and talking,
half the night. Finally, before we parted, I gave them my promise to
speak to their cousin John to-morrow.

So, when to-morrow came, I went to my Guardian after breakfast, in the
room that was our town-substitute for the Growlery, and told him that
I had it in trust to tell him something.

"Well, little woman," said he, shutting up his book, "if you have
accepted the trust, there can be no harm in it."

"I hope not, Guardian," said I. "I can guarantee that there is no
secresy in it. For it only happened yesterday."

"Ay? And what is it, Esther?"

"Guardian," said I, "you remember the happy night when we first came
down to Bleak House? When Ada was singing in the dark room?"

I wished to recall to his remembrance the look he had given me then.
Unless I am much mistaken, I saw that I did so.

"Because," said I, with a little hesitation.

"Yes, my dear!" said he. "Don't hurry."

"Because," said I, "Ada and Richard have fallen in love. And have told
each other so."

"Already?" cried my Guardian, quite astonished.

"Yes!" said I, "and to tell you the truth, Guardian, I rather expected
it."

"The deuce you did!" said he.

He sat considering for a minute or two; with his smile, at once so
handsome and so kind, upon his changing face; and then requested me to
let them know that he wished to see them. When they came, he encircled
Ada with one arm, in his fatherly way, and addressed himself to
Richard with a cheerful gravity.

"Rick," said Mr. Jarndyce, "I am glad to have won your confidence. I
hope to preserve it. When I contemplated these relations between us
four which have so brightened my life, and so invested it with new
interests and pleasures, I certainly did contemplate, afar off, the
possibility of you and your pretty cousin here (don't be shy, Ada,
don't be shy, my dear!) being in a mind to go through life together. I
saw, and do see, many reasons to make it desirable. But that was afar
off, Rick, afar off!"

"We look afar off, sir," returned Richard.

"Well!" said Mr. Jarndyce. "That's rational. Now, hear me, my dears! I
might tell you that you don't know your own minds yet; that a thousand
things may happen to divert you from one another; that it is well this
chain of flowers you have taken up is very easily broken, or it might
become a chain of lead. But I will not do that. Such wisdom will come
soon enough, I dare say, if it is to come at all. I will assume that,
a few years hence, you will be in your hearts to one another, what you
are to-day. All I say before speaking to you according to that
assumption is, if you _do_ change--if you _do_ come to find that you
are more commonplace cousins to each other as man and woman, than you
were as boy and girl (your manhood will excuse me, Rick!)--don't be
ashamed still to confide in me, for there will be nothing monstrous or
uncommon in it. I am only your friend and distant kinsman. I have no
power over you whatever. But I wish and hope to retain your
confidence, if I do nothing to forfeit it."

"I am very sure, sir," returned Richard, "that I speak for Ada, too,
when I say that you have the strongest power over us both--rooted in
respect, gratitude, and affection, strengthening every day."

"Dear cousin John," said Ada, on his shoulder, "my father's place can
never be empty again. All the love and duty I could ever have rendered
to him, is transferred to you."

"Come!" said Mr. Jarndyce. "Now for our assumption. Now we lift our
eyes up, and look hopefully at the distance! Rick, the world is before
you; and it is most probable that as you enter it, so it will receive
you. Trust in nothing but in Providence and your own efforts. Never
separate the two, like the heathen wagoner. Constancy in love is a
good thing; but it means nothing, and is nothing, without constancy in
every kind of effort. If you had the abilities of all the great men,
past and present, you could do nothing well, without sincerely meaning
it, and setting about it. If you entertain the supposition that any
real success, in great things or in small, ever was or could be, ever
will or can be, wrested from Fortune by fits and starts, leave that
wrong idea here, or leave your cousin Ada here."

"I will leave it here, sir," replied Richard, smiling, "if I brought
it here just now (but I hope I did not), and will work my way on to my
cousin Ada in the hopeful distance."

"Right!" said Mr. Jarndyce. "If you are not to make her happy, why
should you pursue her?"

"I wouldn't make her unhappy--no, not even for her love," retorted
Richard, proudly.

"Well said!" cried Mr. Jarndyce; "that's well said! She remains here,
in her home with me. Love her, Rick, in your active life, no less than
in her home when you revisit it, and all will go well. Otherwise, all
will go ill. That's the end of my preaching. I think you and Ada had
better take a walk."

Ada tenderly embraced him, and Richard heartily shook hands with him,
and then the cousins went out of the room--looking back again
directly, though, to say that they would wait for me.

The door stood open, and we both followed them with our eyes, as they
passed down the adjoining room on which the sun was shining, and out
at its farther end. Richard, with his head bent, and her hand drawn
through his arm, was talking to her very earnestly; and she looked up
in his face, listening, and seemed to see nothing else. So young, so
beautiful, so full of hope and promise, they went on lightly through
the sunlight, as their own happy thoughts might then be traversing
the years to come, and making them all years of brightness. So they
passed away into the shadow, and were gone. It was only a burst of
light that had been so radiant. The room darkened as they went out,
and the sun was clouded over.

"Am I right, Esther?" said my Guardian, when they were gone.

He who was so good and wise, to ask me whether he was right!

"Rick may gain, out of this, the quality he wants. Wants, at the core
of so much that is good!" said Mr. Jarndyce, shaking his head. "I have
said nothing to Ada, Esther. She has her friend and counselor always
near." And he laid his hand lovingly upon my head.

I could not help showing that I was a little moved, though I did all I
could to conceal it.

"Tut tut!" said he. "But we must take care, too, that our little
woman's life is not all consumed in care for others."

"Care? My dear Guardian, I believe I am the happiest creature in the
world!"

"I believe so too," said he. "But some one may find out, what Esther
never will--that the little woman is to be held in remembrance above
all other people!"

I have omitted to mention in its place, that there was some one else
at the family dinner party. It was not a lady. It was a gentleman. It
was a gentleman of a dark complexion--a young surgeon. He was rather
reserved, but I thought him very sensible and agreeable. At least, Ada
asked me if I did not, and I said yes.


(TO BE CONTINUED.)



THE COUNTER-STROKE.


Just after breakfast one fine spring morning in 1837, an advertisement
in the _Times_ for a curate caught and fixed my attention. The salary
was sufficiently remunerative for a bachelor, and the parish, as I
personally knew, one of the most pleasantly situated in all
Somersetshire. Having said that, the reader will readily understand
that it could not have been a hundred miles from Taunton. I instantly
wrote, inclosing testimonials, with which the Rev. Mr. Townley, the
rector, was so entirely satisfied, that the return-post brought me a
positive engagement, unclogged with the slightest objection to one or
two subsidiary items I had stipulated for, and accompanied by an
invitation to make the rectory my home till I could conveniently suit
myself elsewhere. This was both kind and handsome; and the next day
but one I took coach, with a light heart, for my new destination. It
thus happened that I became acquainted, and in some degree mixed up,
with the train of events it is my present purpose to relate.

The rector I found to be a stout, portly gentleman, whose years
already reached to between sixty and seventy. So many winters,
although they had plentifully besprinkled his hair with gray, shone
out with ruddy brightness in his still handsome face, and keen,
kindly, bright-hazel eyes; and his voice, hearty and ringing, had not
as yet one quaver of age in it. I met him at breakfast on the morning
after my arrival, and his reception of me was most friendly. We had
spoken together but for a few minutes, when one of the French windows,
that led from the breakfast-room into a shrubbery and flower-garden,
gently opened and admitted a lady, just then, as I afterward learned,
in her nineteenth spring. I use this term almost unconsciously, for I
can not even now, in the glowing summer of her life, dissociate her
image from that season of youth and joyousness. She was introduced to
me, with old-fashioned simplicity, as "My grand-daughter, Agnes
Townley." It is difficult to look at beauty through other men's eyes,
and, in the present instance, I feel that I should fail miserably in
the endeavor to stamp upon this blank, dead paper, any adequate idea
of the fresh loveliness, the rose-bud beauty of that young girl. I
will merely say, that her perfectly Grecian head, wreathed with wavy
_bandeaux_ of bright hair, undulating with golden light, vividly
brought to my mind Raphael's halo-tinted portraitures of the
Virgin--with this difference, that in place of the holy calm and
resignation of the painting, there was in Agnes Townley, a sparkling
youth and life, that even amid the heat and glare of a crowded
ball-room, or of a theatre, irresistibly suggested and recalled the
freshness and perfume of the morning--of a cloudless, rosy morning of
May. And, far higher charm than feature-beauty, however exquisite, a
sweetness of disposition, a kind gentleness of mind and temper, was
evinced in every line of her face, in every accent of the low-pitched,
silver voice, that breathed through lips made only to smile.

Let me own, that I was greatly struck by so remarkable a combination
of rare endowments; and this, I think, the sharp-eyed rector must have
perceived, or he might not, perhaps, have been so immediately
communicative with respect to the near prospects of his idolized
grand-child, as he was the moment the young lady, after presiding at
the breakfast-table, had withdrawn.

"We shall have gay doings, Mr. Tyrrel, at the rectory shortly," he
said. "Next Monday three weeks will, with the blessing of God, be
Agnes Townley's wedding-day."

"Wedding-day!"

"Yes," rejoined the rector, turning toward and examining some flowers
which Miss Townley had brought in and placed on the table. "Yes, it
has been for some time settled that Agnes shall on that day be united
in holy wedlock to Mr. Arbuthnot."

"Mr. Arbuthnot, of Elm Park?"

"A great match, is it not, in a worldly point of view?" replied Mr.
Townley, with a pleasant smile at the tone of my exclamation. "And
much better than that: Robert Arbuthnot is a young man of a high and
noble nature, as well as devotedly attached to Agnes. He will, I doubt
not, prove in every respect a husband deserving and worthy of her;
and that from the lips of a doting old grandpapa must be esteemed high
praise. You will see him presently."

I did see him often, and quite agreed in the rector's estimate of his
future grandson-in-law. I have not frequently seen a finer-looking
young man--his age was twenty-six; and certainly one of a more
honorable and kindly spirit, of a more genial temper than he, has
never come within my observation. He had drawn a great prize in the
matrimonial lottery, and, I felt, deserved his high fortune.

They were married at the time agreed upon, and the day was kept not
only at Elm Park, and in its neighborhood, but throughout "our"
parish, as a general holiday. And, strangely enough--at least I have
never met with another instance of the kind--it was held by our entire
female community, high as well as low, that the match was a perfectly
equal one, notwithstanding that wealth and high worldly position were
entirely on the bridegroom's side. In fact, that nobody less in the
social scale than the representative of an old territorial family
ought, in the nature of things, to have aspired to the hand of Agnes
Townley, appeared to have been a foregone conclusion with every body.
This will give the reader a truer and more vivid impression of the
bride, than any words or colors I might use.

The days, weeks, months of wedded life flew over Mr. and Mrs.
Arbuthnot without a cloud, save a few dark but transitory ones which I
saw now and then flit over the husband's countenance as the time when
he should become a father drew near, and came to be more and more
spoken of. "I should not survive her," said Mr. Arbuthnot, one day in
reply to a chance observation of the rector's, "nor indeed desire to
do so." The gray-headed man seized and warmly pressed the husband's
hand, and tears of sympathy filled his eyes; yet did he, nevertheless,
as in duty bound, utter grave words on the sinfulness of despair under
any circumstances, and the duty, in all trials, however heavy, of
patient submission to the will of God. But the venerable gentleman
spoke in a hoarse and broken voice, and it was easy to see he _felt_
with Mr. Arbuthnot that the reality of an event, the bare possibility
of which shook them so terribly, were a cross too heavy for human
strength to bear and live.

It was of course decided that the expected heir or heiress should be
intrusted to a wet-nurse, and a Mrs. Danby, the wife of a miller
living not very far from the rectory, was engaged for that purpose. I
had frequently seen the woman; and her name, as the rector and I were
one evening gossiping over our tea, on some subject or other that I
forgot, came up.

"A likely person," I remarked; "healthy, very good-looking, and one
might make oath, a true-hearted creature. But there is withal a
timidity; a frightenedness in her manner at times, which, if I may
hazard a perhaps uncharitable conjecture, speaks ill for that smart
husband of hers."

"You have hit the mark precisely, my dear sir. Danby is a sorry
fellow, and a domestic tyrant to boot. His wife, who is really a good,
but meek-hearted person, lived with us once. How old do you suppose
her to be?"

"Five-and-twenty perhaps."

"Six years more than that. She has a son of the name of Harper by a
former marriage, who is in his tenth year. Anne wasn't a widow long.
Danby was caught by her good looks, and she by the bait of a
well-provided home. Unless, however, her husband gives up his corn
speculations, she will not, I think, have that much longer."

"Corn speculations! Surely Danby has no means adequate to indulgence
in such a game as that?"

"Not he. But about two years ago he bought, on credit, I believe, a
considerable quantity of wheat, and prices happening to fly suddenly
up just then, he made a large profit. This has quite turned his head,
which, by-the-by, was never, as Cockneys say, quite rightly screwed
on." The announcement of a visitor interrupted any thing further the
rector might have had to say, and I soon afterward went home.

A sad accident occurred about a month subsequent to the foregoing
conversation. The rector was out riding upon a usually quiet horse,
which all at once took it into its head to shy at a scarecrow it must
have seen a score of times, and thereby threw its rider. Help was
fortunately at hand, and the reverend gentleman was instantly conveyed
home, when it was found that his left thigh was broken. Thanks,
however, to his temperate habits, it was before long authoritatively
pronounced that, although it would be a considerable time before he
was released from confinement, it was not probable that the lusty
winter of his life would be shortened by what had happened.
Unfortunately, the accident threatened to have evil consequences in
another quarter. Immediately after it occurred, one Matthews, a busy,
thick-headed lout of a butcher, rode furiously off to Elm Park with
the news. Mrs. Arbuthnot, who daily looked to be confined, was walking
with her husband upon the lawn in front of the house, when the great
burly blockhead rode up, and blurted out that the rector had been
thrown from his horse, and it was feared killed!

The shock of such an announcement was of course overwhelming. A few
hours afterward, Mrs. Arbuthnot gave birth to a healthy male-child;
but the young mother's life, assailed by fever, was for many days
utterly despaired of--for weeks held to tremble so evenly in the
balance, that the slightest adverse circumstance might in a moment
turn the scale deathward. At length the black horizon that seemed to
encompass us so hopelessly, lightened, and afforded the lover-husband
a glimpse and hope of his vanished and well-nigh despaired of Eden.
The promise was fulfilled. I was in the library with Mr. Arbuthnot,
awaiting the physician's morning report, very anxiously expected at
the rectory, when Dr. Lindley entered the apartment in evidently
cheerful mood.

"You have been causelessly alarmed," he said. "There is no fear
whatever of a relapse. Weakness only remains, and that we shall
slowly, perhaps, but certainly remove."

A gleam of lightning seemed to flash over Mr. Arbuthnot's expressive
countenance. "Blessed be God!" he exclaimed. "And how," he added,
"shall we manage respecting the child? She asks for it incessantly."

Mr. Arbuthnot's infant son, I should state, had been consigned
immediately after its birth to the care of Mrs. Danby, who had herself
been confined, also with a boy, about a fortnight previously.
Scarlatina being prevalent in the neighborhood, Mrs. Danby was hurried
away with the two children to a place near Bath, almost before she was
able to bear the journey. Mr. Arbuthnot had not left his wife for an
hour, and consequently had only seen his child for a few minutes just
after it was born.

"With respect to the child," replied Dr. Lindley, "I am of opinion
that Mrs. Arbuthnot may see it in a day or two. Say the third day from
this, if all goes well. I think we may venture so far; but I will be
present, for any untoward agitation might be perhaps instantly fatal."
This point provisionally settled, we all three went our several ways:
I to cheer the still suffering rector with the good news.

The next day but one, Mr. Arbuthnot was in exuberant spirits. "Dr.
Lindley's report is even more favorable than we had anticipated," he
said; "and I start to-morrow morning, to bring Mrs. Danby and the
child--" The postman's subdued but unmistakable knock interrupted him.
"The nurse," he added, "is very attentive and punctual. She writes
almost every day." A servant entered with a salver heaped with
letters. Mr. Arbuthnot tossed them over eagerly, and seizing one,
after glancing at the post-mark, tore it eagerly open, muttering as he
did so, "It is not the usual handwriting; but from her, no doubt--"
"Merciful God!" I impulsively exclaimed, as I suddenly lifted my eyes
to his. "What is the matter?" A mortal pallor had spread over Mr.
Arbuthnot's before animated features, and he was glaring at the letter
in his hand as if a basilisk had suddenly confronted him. Another
moment, and the muscles of his frame appeared to give way suddenly,
and he dropped heavily into the easy-chair from which he had risen to
take the letters. I was terribly alarmed, and first loosening his
neckerchief, for he seemed choking, I said: "Let me call some one;"
and I turned to reach the bell, when he instantly seized my arms, and
held me with a grip of iron. "No--no--no!" he hoarsely gasped;
"water--water!" There was fortunately some on a side table. I handed
it to him, and he drank eagerly. It appeared to revive him a little.
He thrust the crumpled letter into his pocket, and said in a low,
quick whisper: "There is some one coming! Not a word, remember--not a
word!" At the same time, he wheeled his chair half round, so that his
back should be toward the servant we heard approaching.

"I am sent, sir," said Mrs. Arbuthnot's maid, "to ask if the post has
arrived?"

"Yes," replied Mr. Arbuthnot, with wonderful mastery of his voice.
"Tell your mistress I shall be with her almost immediately, and that
her--her son is quite well."

"Mr. Tyrrel," he continued, as soon as the servant was out of hearing,
"there is, I think a liqueur-stand on the sideboard in the large
dining-room. Would you have the kindness to bring it me,
unobserved--mind that--unobserved by any one?"

I did as he requested; and the instant I placed the liqueur-frame
before him, he seized the brandy _carafe_, and drank with fierce
eagerness. "For goodness' sake," I exclaimed, "consider what you are
about, Mr. Arbuthnot; you will make yourself ill."

"No, no," he answered, after finishing his draught. "It seems scarcely
stronger than water. But I--I am better now. It was a sudden spasm of
the heart; that's all. The letter," he added, after a long and painful
pause, during which he eyed me, I thought, with a kind of
suspicion--"the letter you saw me open just now, comes from a
relative, an aunt, who is ill, very ill, and wishes to see me
instantly. You understand?"

I _did_ understand, or at least I feared that I did too well. I,
however, bowed acquiescence; and he presently rose from his chair, and
strode about the apartment in great agitation, until his wife's
bedroom bell rang. He then stopped suddenly short, shook himself, and
looked anxiously at the reflection of his flushed and varying
countenance in the magnificent chimney-glass.

"I do not look, I think--or, at least shall not, in a darkened
room--odder, more out of the way--that is, more agitated--than one
might, that one _must_ appear after hearing of the dangerous illness
of--of--an aunt?"

"You look better, sir, than you did a while since."

"Yes, yes; much better, much better. I am glad to hear you say so.
That was my wife's bell. She is anxious, no doubt, to see me."

He left the apartment; was gone perhaps ten minutes; and when he
returned, was a thought less nervous than before. I rose to go. "Give
my respects," he said, "to the good rector; and as an especial favor,"
he added, with strong emphasis, "let me ask of you not to mention to a
living soul that you saw me so unmanned as I was just now; that I
swallowed brandy. It would appear so strange, so weak, so ridiculous."

I promised not to do so, and almost immediately left the house, very
painfully affected. His son was, I concluded, either dead or dying,
and he was thus bewilderedly casting about for means of keeping the
terrible, perhaps fatal tidings, from his wife. I afterward heard that
he left Elm Park in a post-chaise, about two hours after I came away,
unattended by a single servant!

He was gone three clear days only, at the end of which he returned
with Mrs. Danby and--his son--in florid health, too, and one of the
finest babies of its age--about nine weeks only--I had ever seen. Thus
vanished the air-drawn Doubting Castle and Giant Despair which I had
so hastily conjured up! The cause assigned by Mr. Arbuthnot for the
agitation I had witnessed, was doubtless the true one; and yet, and
the thought haunted me for months, years afterward, he opened only
_one_ letter that morning, and had sent a message to his wife that the
child was well.

Mrs. Danby remained at the Park till the little Robert was weaned, and
was then dismissed very munificently rewarded. Year after year rolled
away without bringing Mr. and Mrs. Arbuthnot any additional little
ones, and no one, therefore, could feel surprised at the enthusiastic
love of the delighted mother for her handsome, nobly-promising boy.
But that which did astonish me, though no one else, for it seemed that
I alone noticed it, was a strange defect of character which began to
develop itself in Mr. Arbuthnot. He was positively jealous of his
wife's affection for their own child! Many and many a time have I
remarked, when he thought himself unobserved, an expression of intense
pain flash from his fine, expressive eyes, at any more than usually
fervent manifestation of the young mother's gushing love for her first
and only born! It was altogether a mystery to me, and I as much as
possible forbore to dwell upon the subject.

Nine years passed away without bringing any material change to the
parties involved in this narrative, except those which time brings
ordinarily in his train. Young Robert Arbuthnot was a healthy, tall,
fine-looking lad of his age; and his great-grandpapa, the rector,
though not suffering under any actual physical or mental infirmity,
had reached a time of life when the announcement that the golden bowl
is broken, or the silver cord is loosed, may indeed be quick and
sudden, but scarcely unexpected. Things had gone well, too, with the
nurse, Mrs. Danby, and her husband; well, at least, after a fashion.
The speculative miller must have made good use of the gift to his wife
for her care of little Arbuthnot, for he had built a genteel house
near the mill, always rode a valuable horse, kept, it was said, a
capital table; and all this, as it seemed, by his clever speculations
in corn and flour, for the ordinary business of the mill was almost
entirely neglected. He had no children of his own, but he had
apparently taken, with much cordiality, to his step-son, a fine lad,
now about eighteen years of age. This greatly grieved the boy's
mother, who dreaded above all things that her son should contract the
evil, dissolute habits of his father-in-law. Latterly, she had become
extremely solicitous to procure the lad a permanent situation abroad,
and this Mr. Arbuthnot had promised should be effected at the earliest
opportunity.

Thus stood affairs on the 16th of October, 1846. Mr Arbuthnot was
temporarily absent in Ireland, where he possessed large property, and
was making personal inquiries as to the extent of the potato-rot, not
long before announced. The morning's post had brought a letter to his
wife, with the intelligence that he should reach home that very
evening; and as the rectory was on the direct road to Elm Park, and
her husband would be sure to pull up there, Mrs. Arbuthnot came with
her son to pass the afternoon there, and in some slight degree
anticipate her husband's arrival.

About three o'clock, a chief-clerk of one of the Taunton banks rode up
in a gig to the rectory, and asked to see the Rev. Mr. Townley, on
pressing and important business. He was ushered into the library,
where the rector and I were at the moment rather busily engaged. The
clerk said he had been to Elm Park, but not finding either Mr.
Arbuthnot or his lady there, he had thought that perhaps the Rev. Mr.
Townley might be able to pronounce upon the genuineness of a check for
£300, purporting to be drawn on the Taunton Bank by Mr. Arbuthnot, and
which Danby the miller had obtained cash for at Bath. He further
added, that the bank had refused payment and detained the check,
believing it to be a forgery.

"A forgery!" exclaimed the rector, after merely glancing at the
document. "No question that it is, and a very clumsily executed one,
too. Besides, Mr. Arbuthnot is not yet returned from Ireland."

This was sufficient; and the messenger, with many apologies for his
intrusion, withdrew, and hastened back to Taunton. We were still
talking over this sad affair, although some hours had elapsed since
the clerk's departure--in fact, candles had been brought in, and we
were every moment expecting Mr. Arbuthnot--when the sound of a horse
at a hasty gallop was heard approaching, and presently the pale and
haggard face of Danby shot by the window at which the rector and
myself were standing. The gate-bell was rung almost immediately
afterward, and but a brief interval passed before "Mr. Danby" was
announced to be in waiting. The servant had hardly gained the passage
with leave to show him in, when the impatient visitor rushed rudely
into the room in a state of great, and it seemed angry excitement.

"What, sir, is the meaning of this ill-mannered intrusion?" demanded
the rector, sternly.

"You have pronounced the check I paid away at Bath to be a forgery;
and the officers are, I am told, already at my heels. Mr. Arbuthnot,
unfortunately, is not at home, and I am come, therefore, to seek
shelter with you."

"Shelter with me, sir!" exclaimed the indignant rector, moving, as he
spoke, toward the bell. "Out of my house you shall go this instant."

The fellow placed his hand upon the reverend gentleman's arm, and
looked with his bloodshot eyes keenly in his face.

"Don't!" said Danby; "don't, for the sake of yourself and yours!
Don't! I warn you; or, if you like the phrase better, don't, for the
sake of me and _mine_."

"Yours, fellow! Your wife, whom you have so long held in cruel bondage
through her fears for her son, has at last shaken off that chain.
James Harper sailed two days ago from Portsmouth for Bombay. I sent
her the news two hours since."

"Ha! is that indeed so?" cried Danby, with an irrepressible start of
alarm. "Why, then--But no matter: here, luckily, comes Mrs. Arbuthnot
_and her son_. All's right! She will, I know, stand bail for me, and,
if need be, acknowledge the genuineness of her husband's check."

The fellow's insolence was becoming unbearable, and I was about to
seize and thrust him forcibly from the apartment, when the sound of
wheels was heard outside. "Hold! one moment," he cried with fierce
vehemence. "That is probably the officers: I must be brief, then, and
to the purpose. Pray, madam, do not leave the room for your own sake:
as for you, young sir, I _command_ you to remain!"

"What! what does he mean?" exclaimed Mrs. Arbuthnot bewilderedly, and
at the same time clasping her son--who gazed on Danby with kindled
eyes, and angry boyish defiance--tightly to her side. Did the man's
strange words give form and significance to some dark, shadowy,
indistinct doubt that had previously haunted her at times? I judged
so. The rector appeared similarly confused and shaken, and had sunk
nerveless and terrified upon a sofa.

"You guess dimly, I see, at what I have to say," resumed Danby with a
malignant sneer. "Well, hear it, then, once for all, and then, if you
will, give me up to the officers. Some years ago," he continued,
coldly and steadily--"some years ago, a woman, a nurse, was placed in
charge of two infant children, both boys: one of these was her own;
the other was the son of rich, proud parents. The woman's husband was
a gay, jolly fellow, who much preferred spending money to earning it,
and just then it happened that he was more than usually hard up. One
afternoon, on visiting his wife, who had removed to a distance, he
found that the rich man's child had sickened of the small-pox, and
that there was no chance of its recovery. A letter containing the sad
news was on a table, which he, the husband, took the liberty to open
and read. After some reflection, suggested by what he had heard of the
lady-mother's state of mind, he re-copied the letter, for the sake of
embodying in it a certain suggestion. That letter was duly posted, and
the next day brought the rich man almost in a state of distraction;
but his chief and mastering terror was lest the mother of the already
dead infant should hear, in her then precarious state, of what had
happened. The tidings, he was sure, would kill her. Seeing this, the
cunning husband of the nurse suggested that, for the present, his--the
cunning one's--child might be taken to the lady as her own, and that
the truth could be revealed when she was strong enough to bear it. The
rich man fell into the artful trap, and that which the husband of the
nurse had speculated upon, came to pass even beyond his hopes. The
lady grew to idolize her fancied child--she has, fortunately, had no
other--and now, I think, it would really kill her to part with him.
The rich man could not find it in his heart to undeceive his
wife--every year it became more difficult, more impossible to do so;
and very generously, I must say, has he paid in purse for the
forbearance of the nurse's husband. Well now, then, to sum up: the
nurse was Mrs. Danby; the rich, weak husband, Mr. Arbuthnot; the
substituted child, that handsome boy, _my son_!"

A wild scream from Mrs. Arbuthnot broke the dread silence which had
accompanied this frightful revelation, echoed by an agonized cry, half
tenderness, half rage, from her husband, who had entered the room
unobserved, and now clasped her passionately in his arms. The
carriage-wheels we had heard were his. It was long before I could
recall with calmness the tumult, terror, and confusion of that scene.
Mr Arbuthnot strove to bear his wife from the apartment, but she would
not be forced away, and kept imploring with frenzied vehemence that
Robert--that her boy should not be taken from her.

"I have no wish to do so--far from it," said Danby, with gleeful
exultation. "Only folk must be reasonable, and not threaten their
friends with the hulks--"

"Give him any thing, any thing!" broke in the unhappy lady. "O Robert!
Robert!" she added with a renewed burst of hysterical grief, "how
could you deceive me so?"

"I have been punished, Agnes," he answered in a husky, broken voice,
"for my well-intending but criminal weakness; cruelly punished by the
ever-present consciousness that this discovery must one day or other
be surely made. What do you want?" he after awhile added with
recovering firmness, addressing Danby.

"The acknowledgment of the little bit of paper in dispute, of course;
and say a genuine one to the same amount."

"Yes, yes," exclaimed Mrs. Arbuthnot, still wildly sobbing, and
holding the terrified boy still strained in her embrace, as if she
feared he might be wrenched from her by force. "Any thing--pay him any
thing!"

At this moment, chancing to look toward the door of the apartment, I
saw that it was partially opened, and that Danby's wife was listening
there. What might that mean? But what of helpful meaning in such a
case could it have?

"Be it so, love," said Mr. Arbuthnot, soothingly. "Danby, call
to-morrow at the Park. And now, begone at once."

"I was thinking," resumed the rascal with swelling audacity, "that we
might as well at the same time come to some permanent arrangement upon
black and white. But never mind: I can always put the screw on;
unless, indeed, you get tired of the young gentleman, and in that
case, I doubt not, he will prove a dutiful and affectionate son--Ah,
devil! What do you here? Begone, or I'll murder you! Begone, do you
hear?"

His wife had entered, and silently confronted him. "Your threats, evil
man," replied the woman quietly, "have no terrors for me now. My son
is beyond your reach. Oh, Mrs. Arbuthnot," she added, turning toward
and addressing that lady, "believe not--"

Her husband sprang at her with the bound of a panther. "Silence! Go
home, or I'll strangle--" His own utterance was arrested by the fierce
grasp of Mr. Arbuthnot, who seized him by the throat, and hurled him
to the further end of the room. "Speak on, woman; and quick! quick!
What have you to say?"

"That your son, dearest lady," she answered, throwing herself at Mrs.
Arbuthnot's feet, "is as truly your own child as ever son born of
woman!"

That shout of half-fearful triumph seems even now as I write to ring
in my ears! I _felt_ that the woman's words were words of truth, but I
could not see distinctly: the room whirled round, and the lights
danced before my eyes, but I could hear through all the choking
ecstasy of the mother, and the fury of the baffled felon.

"The letter," continued Mrs. Danby, "which my husband found and
opened, would have informed you, sir, of the swiftly approaching death
of _my_ child, and that yours had been carefully kept beyond the reach
of contagion. The letter you received was written without my knowledge
or consent. True it is that, terrified by my husband's threats, and in
some measure reconciled to the wicked imposition by knowing that,
after all, the right child would be in his right place, I afterward
lent myself to Danby's evil purposes. But I chiefly feared for my son,
whom I fully believed he would not have scrupled to make away with in
revenge for my exposing his profitable fraud. I have sinned; I can
hardly hope to be forgiven, but I have now told the sacred truth."

All this was uttered by the repentant woman, but at the time it was
almost wholly unheard by those most interested in the statement. They
only comprehended that they were saved--that the child was theirs in
very truth. Great, abundant, but for the moment, bewildering joy! Mr.
Arbuthnot--his beautiful young wife--her own true boy (how could she
for a moment have doubted that he was her own true boy!--you might
read that thought through all her tears, thickly as they fell)--the
aged and half-stunned rector, while yet Mrs. Danby was speaking, were
exclaiming, sobbing in each other's arms, ay, and praising God too,
with broken voices and incoherent words it may be, but certainly with
fervent, pious, grateful hearts.

When we had time to look about us, it was found that the felon had
disappeared--escaped. It was well, perhaps, that he had; better, that
he has not been heard of since.



PHILOSOPHY OF LAUGHTER.


From the time of King Solomon downward, laughter has been the subject
of pretty general abuse. Even the laughers themselves sometimes
vituperate the cachinnation they indulge in, and many of them

                              "Laugh in such a sort,
      As if they mocked themselves, and scorned the spirit
      That could be moved to laugh at any thing."

The general notion is, that laughter is childish, and unworthy the
gravity of adult life. Grown men, we say, have more to do than to
laugh; and the wiser sort of them leave such an unseemly contortion of
the muscles to babes and blockheads.

We have a suspicion that there is something wrong here--that the world
is mistaken not only in its reasonings, but its facts. To assign
laughter to an early period of life, is to go contrary to observation
and experience. There is not so grave an animal in this world as the
human baby. It will weep, when it has got the length of tears, by the
pailful; it will clench its fists, distort its face into a hideous
expression of anguish, and scream itself into convulsions. It has not
yet come up to a laugh. The little savage must be educated by
circumstances, and tamed by the contact of civilization, before it
rises to the greater functions of its being. Nay, we have sometimes
received the idea from its choked and tuneless screams, that _they_
were imperfect attempts at laughter. It feels enjoyment as well as
pain, but has only one way of expressing both.

Then, look at the baby, when it has turned into a little boy or girl,
and come up in some degree to the cachinnation. The laughter is still
only rudimental: it is not genuine laughter. It expresses triumph,
scorn, passion--anything but a feeling of natural amusement. It is
provoked by misfortune, by bodily infirmities, by the writhings of
agonized animals; and it indicates either a sense of power or a
selfish feeling of exemption from suffering. The "light-hearted laugh
of children!" What a mistake! Observe the gravity of their sports.
They are masters or mistresses, with the care of a family upon their
hands; and they take especial delight in correcting their children
with severity. They are washerwomen, housemaids, cooks, soldiers,
policemen, postmen; coach, horsemen, and horses, by turns; and in all
these characters they scour, sweep, fry, fight, pursue, carry, whirl,
ride, and are ridden, without changing a muscle.

At the games of the young people there is much shouting, argument,
vituperation--but no laughter. A game is a serious business with a
boy, and he derives from it excitement, but no amusement. If he laughs
at all, it is at something quite distinct from the purpose of the
sport; for instance, when one of his comrades has his nose broken by
the ball, or when the feet of another make off from him on the ice,
and he comes down upon his back like a thunderbolt. On such occasions,
the laugh of a boy puts us in mind of the laugh of a hyæna: it is, in
fact, the broken, asthmatic roar of a beast of prey.

It would thus appear that the common charge brought against laughter,
of being something babyish, or childish, or boyish--something
properly appertaining to early life--is unfounded. But we of course
must not be understood to speak of what is technically called
giggling, which proceeds more from a looseness of the structures than
from any sensation of amusement. Many young persons are continually on
the giggle till their muscles strengthen; and indeed, when a company
of them are met together, the affection aggravated by emulation,
acquires the loudness of laughter, when it may be likened, in
Scripture phrase, to the crackling of thorns. What we mean is a
regular guffaw; that explosion of high spirits, and the feeling of
joyous excitement, which is commonly written ha! ha! ha! This is
altogether unknown in babyhood; in boyhood, it exists only in its
rudiments; and it does not reach its full development till adolescence
ripens into manhood.

This train of thought was suggested to us a few evenings ago, by the
conduct of a party of eight or ten individuals, who meet periodically
for the purpose of philosophical inquiry. Their subject is a very
grave one. Their object is to mould into a science that which as yet
is only a vague, formless, and obscure department of knowledge; and
they proceed in the most cautious manner from point to point, from
axiom to axiom--debating at every step, and coming to no decision
without unanimous conviction. Some are professors of the university,
devoted to abstruse studies; some are clergymen; and some authors and
artists. Now, at the meeting in question--which we take merely as an
example, for all are alike--when the hour struck which terminates
their proceedings for the evening, the jaded philosophers retired to
the refreshment-room; and here a scene of remarkable contrast
occurred. Instead of a single deep, low, earnest voice, alternating
with a profound silence, an absolute roar of merriment began, with the
suddenness of an explosion of gunpowder. Jests, bon-mots, anecdotes,
barbarous plays upon words--the more atrocious the better--flew round
the table; and a joyous and almost continuous ha! ha! ha! made the
ceiling ring. This, we venture to say it, _was_ laughter--genuine,
unmistakable laughter, proceeding from no sense of triumph, from no
self-gratulation, and mingled with no bad feeling of any kind. It was
a spontaneous effort of nature coming from the head as well as the
heart; an unbending of the bow, a reaction from study, which study
alone could occasion, and which could occur only in adult life.

There are some people who can not laugh, but these are not necessarily
either morose or stupid. They may laugh in their heart, and with their
eyes, although by some unlucky fatality, they have not the gift of
oral cachinnation. Such persons are to be pitied; for laughter in
grown people is a substitute devised by nature for the screams and
shouts of boyhood, by which the lungs are strengthened and the health
preserved. As the intellect ripens, that shouting ceases, and we learn
to laugh as we learn to reason. The society we have mentioned studied
the harder the more they laughed, and they laughed the more the harder
they studied. Each, of course, to be of use, must be in its own place.
A laugh in the midst of the study would have been a profanation; a
grave look in the midst of the merriment would have been an insult to
the good sense of the company.

If there are some people who can not laugh, there are others who will
not. It is not, however, that they are ashamed of being grown men, and
want to go back to babyhood, for by some extraordinary perversity,
they fancy unalterable gravity to be the distinguishing characteristic
of wisdom. In a merry company, they present the appearance of a Red
Indian whitewashed, and look on at the strange ways of their neighbors
without betraying even the faintest spark of sympathy or intelligence.
These are children of a larger growth, and have not yet acquired sense
enough to laugh. Like the savage, they are afraid of compromising
their dignity, or, to use their own words, of making fools of
themselves. For our part, we never see a man afraid of making a fool
of himself at the right season, without setting him down as a fool
ready made.

A woman has no natural grace more bewitching than a sweet laugh. It is
like the sound of flutes on the water. It leaps from her heart in a
clear, sparkling rill; and the heart that hears it feels as if bathed
in the cool, exhilarating spring. Have you ever pursued an unseen
fugitive through the trees, led on by her fairy laugh; now here, now
there--now lost, now found? We have. And we are pursuing that
wandering voice to this day. Sometimes it comes to us in the midst of
care, or sorrow, or irksome business; and then we turn away, and
listen, and hear it ringing through the room like a silver bell, with
power to scare away the ill-spirits of the mind. How much we owe to
that sweet laugh! It turns the prose of our life into poetry; it
flings showers of sunshine over the darksome wood in which we are
traveling; it touches with light even our sleep, which is no more the
image of death, but gemmed with dreams that are the shadows of
immortality.

But our song, like Dibdin's, "means more than it says;" for a man, as
we have stated, may laugh, and yet the cachinnation be wanting. His
heart laughs, and his eyes are filled with that kindly, sympathetic
smile which inspires friendship and confidence. On the sympathy
within, these external phenomena depend; and this sympathy it is which
keeps societies of men together, and is the true freemasonry of the
good and wise. It is an imperfect sympathy that grants only
sympathetic tears: we must join in the mirth as well as melancholy of
our neighbors. If our countrymen laughed more, they would not only be
happier, but better, and if philanthropists would provide amusements
for the people, they would be saved the trouble and expense of their
fruitless war against public-houses. This is an indisputable
proposition. The French and Italians, with wine growing at their
doors, and spirits almost as cheap as beer in England, are sober
nations. How comes this? The laugh will answer that leaps up from
group after group--the dance on the village-green--the family dinner
under the trees--the thousand merry-meetings that invigorate industry,
by serving as a relief to the business of life. Without these,
business is care; and it is from care, not from amusement, men fly to
the bottle.

The common mistake is to associate the idea of amusement with error of
every kind; and this piece of moral asceticism is given forth as true
wisdom, and, from sheer want of examination, is very generally
received as such. A place of amusement concentrates a crowd, and
whatever excesses may be committed, being confined to a small space,
stand more prominently forward than at other times. This is all. The
excesses are really fewer--far fewer--in proportion to the number
assembled, than if no gathering had taken place How can it be
otherwise? The amusement is itself the excitement which the wearied
heart longs for; it is the reaction which nature seeks; and in the
comparatively few instances of a grosser intoxication being
superadded, we see only the craving of depraved habit--a habit
engendered, in all probability, by the _want_ of amusement.

No, good friends, let us laugh sometimes, if you love us. A dangerous
character is of another kidney, as Cæsar knew to his cost:

                      "He loves no plays,
      As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
      Seldom he laughs;"

and when he does, it is on the wrong side of his mouth.

Let us be wiser. Let us laugh in fitting time and place, silently or
aloud, each after his nature. Let us enjoy an innocent reaction rather
than a guilty one, since reaction there must be. The bow that is
always bent loses its elasticity, and becomes useless.



Monthly Record of Current Events.


THE UNITED STATES.

The past month has been one of unusual activity. The proceedings of
Congress have not been without importance:--political Conventions have
been held, shaping to a certain extent public movements for the coming
season: and numerous religious and benevolent associations, as well as
ecclesiastical assemblies for business purposes, have held their
annual meetings.

In the United States Senate, the debate upon an amendment to the
Deficiency Bill, by which it was proposed to grant a large increase of
pay annually to the Collins line of Atlantic steamers, continued for
several days. On the 30th of May, Senator Rusk spoke in favor of it,
and on the 6th, Senator James made an argument upon the same side.
Senator Jones, of Tennessee, opposed so large a grant as that
suggested, though he declared himself desirous of sustaining the line.
He moved to strike out $33,000, and insert $25,000, as the increase
each trip. On the 7th, Mr. Cass spoke at length in favor of the
appropriation. The amendment of Mr. Jones was then rejected, by a vote
of 20 to 28. Senator Brooke moved an amendment, granting the whole
amount of postages received in place of all other compensation: this
was rejected by 9 to 38. Mr. Rusk moved that Congress shall have the
power at any time after December, 1854, to discontinue the extra
allowance, on giving six months' notice. This was agreed to. Mr.
Mallory moved, that the contract be transferred from the Naval to the
Post Office Department: this was lost, 18 to 19. On the 13th, Senator
Borland spoke in opposition to the increased grant. On the 19th, the
amendment, giving the line $33,000 additional pay for each trip, was
agreed to, by a vote of 23 ayes to 21 noes: and on the 21st, upon a
motion to agree to this amendment, as reported by the Committee of the
whole, it was decided in the affirmative by an increased vote.

In the House of Representatives the only action taken, worthy of
special record, was the passage, on the 12th, of the Bill granting to
each head of a family, who may be a native citizen of the United
States or naturalized previous to January, 1852, the right to enter
upon and cultivate one quarter-section of the Public Lands, and
directing the issue to him of a patent for such land after five years
of actual residence and cultivation. The Bill was passed by a vote of
107 to 56.----The other debates of the House have turned so
exclusively upon unimportant topics, or upon temporary matters
relating to the approaching Presidential election, as to render
further reference to them here unnecessary.

In reply to the call of the Senate, the closing correspondence of
Chevalier Hulsemann, Austrian Chargé, with the State Department, has
been published. Under date of April 29, Mr. H. writes to the
Secretary, stating that the time had arrived for carrying into effect
the intentions of his government in regard to his official connection
with that of the United States. He complains that the Secretary had
not answered his communication of December 13, in regard to the public
reception given to Kossuth, and that, in spite of verbal
encouragements given him to expect different treatment, his movements
had been derisively commented on by the public journals. He had deemed
it his duty on the 21st of November, to complain of these annoyances,
and on the 28th the Secretary had thereupon notified him that no
further communication would be held with him except in writing. On the
7th of January, the Secretary of State had seen fit to mate a speech
encouraging revolution in Hungary. This demonstration he considered so
strange that he immediately inquired of the President whether it was
to be considered an expression of the sentiments of the government of
the United States. The Austrian government had expressed itself
satisfied with the assurances given in return by the President on the
12th of April, and had instructed him no longer to continue official
relations with the "principal promoter of the Kossuth episode." He
closed his letter by stating that Mr. A. Belmont, Consul-general of
Austria at New York, would continue in the exercise of his functions.
Under date of May 3, Mr. Hunter, acting Secretary of State,
acknowledged the receipt of this communication, and informed Chevalier
Hulsemann that, "as Mr. Belmont is well known to the Secretary of
State as a gentleman of much respectability, any communication which
it may be proper for him to address to the department in his official
character, will be received with entire respect."

The Democratic National Convention, for the nomination of candidates
for the coming canvass, met at Baltimore on the 1st of June, and was
organized by the election of Hon. JOHN W. DAVIS, of Indiana,
President. The number of delegates present was 288, and a rule was
adopted requiring a vote of two-thirds (192) for a nomination.
Unsuccessful ballotings were had for four days, and it was not until
the forty-ninth ballot that General FRANKLIN PIERCE, of New Hampshire,
received the nomination. Upon the forty-eighth ballot he received 55
votes, the remainder being divided among Messrs. Cass, Buchanan,
Douglass, and Marcy:--upon the next trial he received 282 votes. Hon.
WILLIAM R. KING, of Alabama, was then nominated for Vice President. A
series of resolutions was adopted, rehearsing the leading principles
of the Democratic party, and declaring resistance to "all attempts at
renewing in Congress, or out of it, the agitation of the slavery
question under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made"--and
also a determination to "abide by, and adhere to, a faithful execution
of the acts known as the Compromise measures settled by the last
Congress--the act reclaiming fugitives from service or labor
included." The Convention adjourned on the 5th.

Mr. Webster, being upon a brief visit to his place of residence,
accepted an invitation of the citizens of Boston to meet them at
Faneuil Hall, on the 22d of May, when he made a brief address. He
spoke of the pleasure which it always gave him to meet the people of
Boston--of the astonishing progress and prosperity of that city, and
of the many motives her citizens had to labor strenuously for her
advancement. He spoke also of the general nature and functions of
government, and of the many causes which the people of this country
have to reverence and cherish the institutions bequeathed to them by
their fathers.

In the State of New York, the Court of Appeals has decided against the
constitutionality of the law of 1851, for the more speedy completion
of the State canals. It will be recollected that the Constitution of
the State directs that the surplus revenues of the Canals shall in
each fiscal year be applied to these works, in such manner as the
Legislature may direct; and it also forbids the contracting of any
debt against the State, except by an act to be submitted to the
people, and providing for a direct tax sufficient to pay the interest
and redeem within eighteen years the principal of the debt thus
contracted. The Bill in question provided for the issue of
certificates to the amount of nine millions of dollars, to be paid
exclusively out of the surplus revenues thus set apart, and stating on
their face that the State was to be in no degree responsible for their
redemption; and for the application of moneys that might be raised
from the sale of these certificates, to the completion of the Canals.
Under the law contracts had been made for the whole work, which were
pronounced valid by the last Legislature. The Court of Appeals decides
that the law conflicts with that clause of the Constitution which
requires the application of the revenues in each fiscal year, as also
with that which forbids the incurring of a debt except in the mode
specified. The decision was concurred in by five out of the eight
judges of that Court.

In South Carolina the State Convention of delegates elected to take
such measures as they might deem expedient against the encroachments
and aggressions of the Federal Government, met at Columbia on the 29th
of April. It adopted a resolution, declaring that the wrongs sustained
by the State, especially in regard to slavery, amply "justify that
State, so far as any duty or obligation to her confederates is
involved, in dissolving at once all political connection with her
co-States, and that she forbears the exercise of that manifest right
of self-government, from considerations of expediency only." This
resolution was accompanied by an ordinance asserting the right of
secession, and declaring that for the sufficiency of the causes which
may impel her to such a step, she is responsible solely to God and to
the tribunal of public opinion among the nations of the earth. The
resolution was adopted by a vote of 135 to 20.

A bill has been passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts, forbidding
the sale of intoxicating liquors within the limits of the State. As
originally passed, it provided for its submission to the popular vote,
and was vetoed by the Governor, because it did not provide for taking
that vote by secret, instead of by an open ballot. The Legislature
then enacted the law without any clause submitting it to the people;
and in this form it received the assent of the Governor. A similar
law, has been enacted in Rhode Island.

During the second week in May all the Missionary, Bible, and other
benevolent associations connected with the several religious
denominations having their centres of operation in the city of New
York, held their anniversary celebrations in that city. They were so
numerous, and their proceedings, except as given in detail, would
prove so uninstructive, that it would be useless to make any extended
mention of them here. They were attended with even more than the
ordinary degree of public interest: very able and eloquent addresses
were made by distinguished gentlemen, clergymen and others, from
various parts of the country; and reports of their proceedings--of
results accomplished and agencies employed--were spread before the
public. The history of their labors during the year has been highly
encouraging. Largely increased contributions of money have augmented
their resources and their ability to prosecute their labors which have
been attended with marked success.----During the week succeeding,
similar meetings were held in Boston of all the associations which
have their head-quarters in that city.----The two General Assemblies,
which constitute the government of the two divisions of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States, have held their sessions
during the month. That representing the Old School met at Charleston,
S.C., on the 20th of May. Rev. John C. Lord, of Buffalo, N.Y., was
chosen Moderator. That of the New School met at Washington on the same
day, and Rev. Dr. Adams, of New York, was elected Moderator. Both were
engaged for several days in business relating to the government and
organization of their respective organizations.----The General
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (North) met at Boston on
the 1st of May, and held a protracted session--extending through the
whole month. Most of the business transacted related of course to
matters of temporary or local interest. Special reports were made and
action taken upon the interests of the Church in various sections of
the country, and in the fields of missionary labor. It was decided
that the next General Conference should meet at Indianapolis. Steps
were taken to organize a Methodist Episcopal Tract Society. On the
25th of May the four new bishops were elected by ballot--Rev. Drs.
Levi Scott, Matthew Simpson, Osmond C. Baker, and Edward R. Ames being
chosen. Dr. T. E. Bond was elected editor of the Christian Advocate
and Journal, the recognized organ of the Church; Dr. J. M'Clintock,
editor of the Quarterly Review; D. P. Kidder, of the Sunday School
publications; W. Nast, of the Christian Apologist; and Rev. Dr.
Charles Elliott, of the Western Christian Advocate. Rev. Dr. J. P.
Durbin was chosen Missionary Secretary.

Kossuth, after visiting the principal towns in Massachusetts, had a
public reception at Albany, and spent a week in visiting Buffalo,
Niagara, Syracuse, Troy, and other cities. He was expected at New York
when our Record closed.----Thomas Francis Meagher, Esq., one of the
Irish State prisoners, effected his escape from Van Dieman's Land in
February, and arrived, in an American vessel, at New York on the 1st
of June. He was very warmly welcomed by the public, especially by his
countrymen.

From CALIFORNIA we have intelligence to the 6th of May. The total
shipments of gold for April were $3,419,817; for March, $2,549,704.
Great numbers of Chinese continued to arrive, and they had become so
numerous in the country as to excite serious disaffection, and to lead
to various propositions for their exclusion. The Governor sent in a
special message to the Legislature, urging the necessity of
restricting emigration from China, to enhance the prosperity and
preserve the tranquillity of the State. He objects especially to those
who come under contracts for a limited time--returning to China with
the products of their labor after their term is out, and adding
nothing to the resources or industry of the country. He says that they
are not good American citizens, and can not be; and that their
immigration is not desirable. By a reference to statistics he shows
that China can pour in upon our coast millions of her population
without feeling their loss; that they live upon the merest pittance;
and that while they spend comparatively nothing in the country, the
tendency of their presence is to create an unhealthy competition with
our own people, and reduce the price of labor far below our American
living standard. Governor Bigler also expresses a doubt, whether the
Celestials are entitled to the benefit of the naturalization laws. He
proposes as a remedy--1st. Such an exercise of the taxing power by the
State as will check the present system of indiscriminate and unlimited
Asiatic emigration. 2d. A demand by the State of California for the
prompt interposition of Congress, by the passage of an Act prohibiting
"Coolies," shipped to California under contracts, from laboring in the
mines of this State. Measures have been taken in several of the mining
localities to exclude the Chinese from them.----The Legislature
adjourned on the 4th; the bill proposing a Convention to revise the
Constitution of the State was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 11
to 9.----Serious Indian difficulties have occurred again in the
interior. In Trinity County a company of armed citizens went in
pursuit of a band of Indians who were supposed to have been concerned
in the murder of one of their fellow-citizens. On the 22d of April
they overtook them, encamped on the south fork of Trinity river, and
taking them by surprise, shot not less than a hundred and fifty of
them in cold blood. Men, women, and children were alike
destroyed.----Accounts of murders, accidents, &c., abound. The
accounts from the mining districts continue to be encouraging.

From the SANDWICH ISLANDS, we have news to the 10th of April.
Parliament was opened on the 7th. In the Society group, the people of
Raiatea have rebelled against the authority of Queen Pomare. She had
just appointed one of her sons to the government of Raiatea, but
before his arrival the inhabitants had assembled, as those of the
others had previously done, elected a Governor of their own choice for
two years, and formed a Republic of confederated States, each island
to constitute a separate State. Military preparations had been made to
resist any attempt on the part of the Queen to regain her authority.
It was said that she had applied ineffectually for assistance to the
French, English, and American authorities at Tahiti. There seemed to
be little doubt that all the Leeward islands would establish their
independence.


MEXICO.

We have news from the city of Mexico to the 10th of May. The news of
the rejection of the Tehuantepec treaty is fully confirmed. The vote
was almost unanimous against it, and is fully sustained by the press
and public sentiment. The Government, however, has appointed Mr.
Larrainzas a special envoy to the United States, and has given him, it
is said, instructions for arranging this difficulty upon some
mutually-satisfactory basis. It is reported that Mexico is not
unwilling to grant a right of way across the Isthmus, but that the
very large grants of land embraced in the original treaty led to its
rejection. Upon this point, however, nothing definite is known.----A
difficulty has arisen between the Legislature of the State of Vera
Cruz and the Mexican Congress. The former insists upon a greater
reduction of the tariff of 1845 than the ten per cent. allowed by the
National Senate. The Senate will allow this reduction of ten per
cent., but refuses to do away with any of the duties. The Lower House
of Congress, on the contrary, is in favor of abolishing some of the
duties. Zacatecas and Durango, besides being ravaged by the savages,
are suffering from the visitation of a general famine.


SOUTH AMERICA.

From BUENOS AYRES we have news to the 5th of April. The upper
provinces have sent in felicitations to General Urquiza upon his
accession to power. It is thought that the provinces will unite in a
General Confederacy, under a Central Government, framed upon the model
of that of the United States: and it is suggested that General Urquiza
will probably aspire to the position of President. He is conducting
affairs firmly and successfully, though against great difficulties in
the province, and has issued several proclamations calling upon the
people to sustain him in maintaining order and tranquillity. It is
said that a rupture has occurred between the Brazilian authorities and
the Oriental government, in regard to the execution of late treaties
made and ratified by President Suarez. Negotiations had been
suspended.

From CHILI we hear of the execution, at Valparaiso, on the 4th of
April, of Cambiaso, the brigand leader of the convict insurrection at
the Straits of Magellan, together with six of his accomplices. They
all belonged to the army, Cambiaso being a lieutenant, and were
stationed at the garrison. The insurrection which he headed resulted
in the seizure of two American vessels, and the murder of all on
board. Several others connected with him were convicted, but pardoned
on proof that they had been forced to join him.

From RIO JANEIRO the only news of interest, is that of the ravages of
the yellow-fever, which has been very severe, especially among the
shipping. At the middle of April, there were great numbers of
American ships in port, unable to muster hands enough to get out of
port.

In PERU the Government has issued a decree against Gen. Flores's
expedition, dated the 14th of March, and stated that having received
repeated information of the warlike preparations taking place in Peru,
they have ordered the Prefects of the different provinces to take all
possible measures to put a stop to them; that government will not
afford protection to any Peruvian citizen who should embark on this
expedition, or take any part in it, and that all Peruvian vessels
engaged in the expedition, would no longer be considered as bearing
the national flag.

From NEW GRENADA we learn that the President has issued a Message
concerning the Flores expedition against Ecuador. From this it appears
that, according to a treaty of peace, amity, and alliance, established
between the Government and that of Ecuador, in December, 1832, the one
power is at all times bound to render aid to the other, both military
and pecuniary, in case of foreign invasion. To this end, the President
has proclaimed that there be raised in this country, either by loan or
force, the sum of sixteen millions of reals, or two millions dollars;
and further, that twenty thousand men be called to serve under arms,
in order to assist the sister republic. The President declares his
intention to oppose Flores and all countries rendering him aid, and
accuses Peru of fitting out two vessels, and Valparaiso one, to assist
in his expedition; he also demands authority to confiscate the
property of all natives and foreigners residing in New Grenada, who
may be found to have aided or abetted Flores in any way in his present
revolutionary movement. He further states his belief that Flores is
merely endeavoring to carry out his revolutionary movement of 1846, in
which he was defeated by the British Government, and that the object
of the present revolution is to re-establish a monarchical government
on the South Pacific coast, under the old Spanish rule. He also
expresses his fears that Flores, if successful in Ecuador, will
immediately come into New Grenada, and therefore deems it not only a
matter of honor, but also of policy, to assist Ecuador. Among the
documents submitted, is an official letter to the Ecuadorian
Government, from the United States Chargé d'Affairs at Guayaquil, the
Hon. C. CUSHING; in which he says that "he believes himself
sufficiently authorized to state that the Government of the United
States will not look with indifference at any warlike movements
against Ecuador, likely to effect its independence or present
government." At the latest dates, the 27th of April, Flores was still
at Puna, delaying his attack upon that place until the war he had
endeavored to excite between Peru and Ecuador, should break out. He
then expected sufficient aid from Peru to render his capture of the
place easy. Other accounts represent his forces as being rapidly
diminished by desertion; but these can scarcely be deemed authentic.
Reliable intelligence had reached Guayaquil that Peru had sent
reinforcements to the fleet of Flores, and this had created so great
an excitement that the residence of the Peruvian Consul was attacked
and demolished by a mob.


GREAT BRITAIN.

The intelligence from England extends from the 19th of April to the
22d of May, and embraces several items of more than ordinary interest.
Parliament re-assembled on the day first named, after the holiday
recess. In the House of Commons a committee was appointed, to inquire
into the condition of the British Empire in India,--after a speech
upon that subject from the President of the Board of Control, who
took occasion to say that the affairs of that country had never before
stood upon so good a footing, or in a position so well calculated to
develop its resources. There were now 2846 natives employed in
administrative offices, and forty educational establishments had been
endowed, in which the instruction given was of the highest
character.----On the 22d, Mr. Milner Gibson submitted a motion adverse
to continuing the duty upon paper, the stamp duties upon newspapers,
and the advertisement taxes. The proposition gave rise to a protracted
discussion, in which the injurious character of these duties, in
restricting the general diffusion of knowledge among the poorer
classes of the English people, was very generally admitted, and a wish
was expressed on all sides to have them removed. But the Chancellor of
the Exchequer feared the effect of such a step upon the revenue of the
kingdom--which the proposal would sacrifice to the extent of a million
and a half of pounds. Upon his motion the debate was adjourned until
the 12th of May, when it was renewed. Mr. Gladstone spoke earnestly in
exposition of the depressing influence of these taxes upon the
production and sale of books, but conceded full weight to the
financial reasons which had been urged against their removal. The vote
was then taken, first, upon the motion to abolish the paper duty as
soon as it could be done with safety to the revenue: which received
ayes, 107--noes, 195; being lost by a majority of 88; next, upon the
abolition of the stamp duty on newspapers; for which there were ayes,
100--noes, 199: majority against it, 99; and lastly, upon the motion
to abolish the tax upon advertisements, for which there were 116 ayes,
and 181 noes, and which was thus rejected by a majority of 65.----On
the 23d of April, the Militia Bill came up; and was supported by the
Ministerial party, and opposed by the late Ministers. Lord John
Russell opposed it, because he deemed it inadequate to the emergency.
The 41,000 infantry which it proposed to raise, he deemed
insufficient, and the character of the force provided, he feared would
make it unreliable. Lord Palmerston vindicated the bill against Lord
John's objections, and thought it at once less expensive and more
efficient than the one submitted by the late government. On the 26th,
to which the debate was adjourned, after further discussion, the
second reading of the bill was carried by 315 to 105.----The bill came
up again on the 6th, when Mr. Disraeli declared that its main object
was to habituate the people of Great Britain to the use of arms, and
thus to lay the foundation of a constitutional system of national
defense. He did not claim that the bill would at once produce a
disciplined army, able to encounter the veteran legions of the world;
but it would be a step in the right direction. After the debate, an
amendment, moved by Mr. Gibson, that the words 80,000 should not form
part of the bill, was rejected, 106 to 207. On the 13th, the debate
was renewed, and several other amendments, designed to embarrass the
bill, were rejected. But up to our latest dates, the vote on its final
passage had not been taken.----On the 10th of May, the Ministry was
defeated, upon a motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for leave
to bring in a bill to assign the four seats in Parliament, which would
be vacated if the bill for the disfranchisement of the borough of St.
Albans should pass. He proposed to assign two of these seats to the
West-Riding of Yorkshire, and the other two to the southern division
of the county of Lancaster. The motion was lost: receiving 148 votes
in favor, and 234 against it--being an anti-Ministerial majority of
86.----The Tenant Right Bill, intended to meliorate the condition of
land cultivators in Ireland, was rejected on the 5th, by a vote of 57
to 167, upon the second reading.----The Court of Exchequer having
decided against the right of Alderman Salomons to take his seat in
Parliament, Lord Lyndhurst has introduced a bill to remove Jewish
disabilities.----The Duke of Argyle called attention, on the 17th, to
the case of Mr. Murray, an Englishman, who was said to have been
imprisoned for several years in Rome, without a trial, and to be now
lying under sentence of death. The Earl of Malmesbury said that
strenuous efforts had been made to procure reliable information upon
this case; but that great difficulty had been experienced, in
consequence of the very defective and unworthy provisions which
existed for diplomatic intercourse with the Roman government. The Duke
of Argyle thought that the English government owed to its own dignity
some energetic action upon this case. The correspondence upon this
subject, as also that with Austria upon the expulsion of Protestant
missionaries from that country, was promised at an early day. On the
27th of April, Mr. Disraeli, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made the
annual statement of the financial condition and necessities of the
kingdom, which had been awaited with great interest, as an official
announcement of the intended course of the new Ministry upon the
subject of taxation. He discussed, in succession, the three modes of
deriving income--from duties on imports, duties on domestic
manufactures, and direct taxation. During the last ten years, under
the policy established in 1842 by Sir Robert Peel, the duties upon
corn and other articles of import, have been reduced, in the
aggregate, upward of nine million pounds sterling; and this reduction
had been so steadily and regularly made every year, that any
proposition to restore them would now have very slight chances of
success. In the excise duties, also, there had been reductions to the
amount of a million and a half; and it was clear that the Minister who
should propose to increase the revenue by adding to the duties on
domestic manufactures, could not expect to be sustained by the House
or the country. The income tax had been very unpopular, and could only
be renewed last year, for a single year, and then with very
considerable modifications. Comparing the actual income of the past
year, with that which had been estimated, Mr. Disraeli said that,
while it had been estimated at £52,140,000, the actual income had been
£52,468,317, notwithstanding the loss of £640,000 by the change of the
house tax for the window duty, and the reduction in the coffee,
timber, and sugar duties. The customs had been estimated to produce
£20,000,000. After deducting the anticipated loss, £400,000, on
account of the three last-named duties, they had produced £20,673,000;
and the consumption of the articles on which the duties had been
reduced had increased--foreign coffee by 3,448,000 lbs., as compared
with 1851, when the higher and differential duty prevailed; and
colonial coffee from 28,216,000 lbs. to 29,130,000 lbs. Foreign sugar
had increased in the last year by 412,000 cwts., and since 1846 (when
the first reduction took place) by 1,900,000 cwts. a year; British
colonial sugar, by upward of 114,000 in 1852, as compared with 1851;
and during the last six years the consumption had increased 95,000
tons, or 33 per cent. on the consumption of 1846; and in timber the
result was the same. The other heads of revenue had been thus
estimated: Excise, £14,543,000; stamps, £6,310,000; taxes, £4,348,000;
property tax, £5,380,000; Post-office, £830,000; Woods and Forests,
£160,000; miscellaneous, £262,000; old stores, £450,000; and had
produced respectively £14,543,000, £6,346,000, £3,691,000, £5,283,000,
£1,056,000, £150,000, £287,000, and £395,000. The expenditure of the
year, estimated at £50,247,000, had been £50,291,000, and the surplus
in hand was £2,176,988. The expenditure for the current year he
estimated at £51,163,979, including an additional vote to be proposed
of £200,000 for the Kaffir war, and another of £350,000 for the
expenses of the militia. The income, which in some items had been
increased by the Exhibition last year, was estimated for the next year
thus--Customs, £20,572,000; Excise, £14,604,000; stamps, £6,339,000;
taxes, £3,090,000; property tax (the half-year), £2,641,500;
Post-office, £938,000; Woods and Forests, £235,000; miscellaneous,
£260,000; old stores, £400,000; total, £48,983,000, exhibiting a
deficiency of £2,180,479, which would be increased in the next year by
the total loss of the income tax, supposing it not to be renewed, to
£4,400,000. If, however, that tax were re-imposed, he calculated it
would produce net £5,187,000, which would give a gross income, from
all sources, of £51,625,000, the surplus would then be £461,021. And
though it would give him great pleasure to re-adjust the burdens of
taxation fairly and equally on all classes, and all interests, yet,
seeing the position of the finances, and the difficulty, if not
impossibility, of dealing with the subject in the present state of
feeling in the House and the country, he felt bound to propose the
re-imposition of the property and income tax for a further limited
period of one year. This statement was received by the House, as by
the whole country, as embodying a substantial tribute from the
Protectionist Ministry to the soundness of the Free Trade policy and
to the necessity of leaving it undisturbed.

The annual dinner of the Royal Academy was attended on the 1st with
more than usual eclat. Sir Charles Eastlake presided, and proposed the
health of the Duke of Wellington, who duly acknowledged the
compliment. The Earl of Derby was present, and spoke encouragingly of
the prospect of having a better building soon erected for the
accommodation of the Academy's works. Pleasant compliments were
exchanged between Disraeli and Lord John Russell, and speeches were
made by sundry other dignitaries who were in attendance.----At the
Lord Mayor's dinner, on the 8th, the festivities partook more of a
political character. The Earl of Derby spoke long and eloquently of
the nature of the British Government, urging that in all its various
departments it was a compromise between conflicting expedients and a
system of mutual concessions between apparently conflicting interests.
Count Walewski, the French Minister, congratulated the company on the
good understanding which prevailed between France and England, and Mr.
Disraeli spoke of the House of Commons as a true republic--"the only
republic, indeed, that exists founded upon the principles of liberty,
equality, and fraternity; but liberty there was maintained by
order--equality is mitigated by good taste, and fraternity takes the
shape of cordial brotherhood."----The anniversary dinner of the Royal
Literary Fund took place on the 12th, and was chiefly distinguished by
an amusing speech from Thackeray.

An important collision has occurred between the book publishers in
London and the retail booksellers, which has engrossed attention to no
inconsiderable extent. The publishers, it seems, have been in the
habit of fixing a retail price upon their books, and then selling them
to dealers at a deduction of twenty-five per cent. Some of the
latter, thinking to increase their sales thereby, have contented
themselves with a smaller rate of profit, and have sold their books at
less than the price fixed by the publishers. Against this the latter
have taken active measures of remonstrance, having formed an
association among themselves, and agreed to refuse to deal with
booksellers who should thus undersell the regular trade. On the other
hand the retail dealers have held meetings to assert their rights, and
one of them, held on the 4th, was attended by a very large number of
the authors and men of letters interested in the question. Mr. Dickens
presided, and a characteristic letter was read from Mr. Carlyle, who
was warmly in favor of the objects of the meeting, though he thought
many other things necessary to give authors their proper position in
society. The rights of the case were submitted to Lord Campbell, Mr.
Grote, and Dr. Milman, who heard both sides argued, and gave a
decision on the 18th, on all points _against_ the regulations for
which the publishers contended.

Very sad intelligence has reached England of the fate of a party of
seven missionaries, who were sent out by the Protestant Missionary
Society, in 1850, to Patagonia. Captain Gardiner was at the head of
the band. The vessel that took them out landed at Picton Island, off
the southern coast of Terra del Fuego, on the 6th of December, 1850,
and kept hovering about to see how they were likely to be received.
The natives seemed menacing: but on the 18th of December the
missionaries left the ship, and with their stores of provisions,
Bibles, &c., embarked in two boats, meaning to make for the coast of
Terra del Fuego. On the 19th the ship sailed; and no news of them
having reached England, the ship _Dido_ was ordered by the Admiralty
in October, 1850, to touch there, and ascertain their fate. The _Dido_
reached the coast in January, and after ten or twelve days of search,
on a rock near where they first landed on Picton Island, a writing was
found directing them to go to Spaniard Harbor, on the opposite Fuegan
coast. Here were found, near a large cavern, the unburied bodies of
Captain Gardiner and another of the party; and the next day the bodies
of three others were found. A manuscript journal, kept by Captain
Gardiner, down to the last day when, only two or three days before his
death, he became too weak to write, was also found, from which it
appeared that the parties were driven off by the natives whenever they
attempted to land; that they were thus compelled to go backward and
forward in their boats, and at last took refuge in Spaniard harbor, as
the only spot where they could be safe; that they lived there eight
months, partly in a cavern and partly under shelter of one of the
boats, and that three of them died by sickness, and the others by
literal and lingering starvation. Four months elapsed between the
death of the last of the party and the discovery of their bodies. The
publication of the journal of Captain Gardiner, in which profound
piety is shown mingled with his agonizing grief, has excited a deep
sensation throughout England.----An explosion occurred in a coal pit
in the Aberdare valley, South Wales, on the 10th, by which sixty-four
lives were lost; another pit near Pembrey filled with water the same
night, and twenty-seven men were drowned.----The fate of the Crystal
Palace was sealed by a vote in the House of Commons of 103 to 221 on a
proposition to provide for its preservation. It has been sold, and is
to be forthwith taken down, and re-erected out of town, for a winter
garden.----A memorial numerously and most respectably signed, was
presented to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on the 17th of May,
praying that the Queen would extend clemency to the Irish State
prisoners now in exile at Van Dieman's Land. The Lord Lieutenant, in a
brief and direct speech, declined to lay the memorial before her
Majesty, on the ground that the exiles in question deserved no further
clemency at her hands. He noticed, with censure, the fact that one of
them had effected his escape.


FRANCE.

The _fêtes_ of May 10th, were attended with great splendor and eclat;
but the non-proclamation of the Empire on that occasion is the feature
most remarked upon by the foreign press. The number of troops present
is estimated at 80,000. The whole Champ de Mars had been prepared
especially for the occasion. The President was received with loud
applause. After distributing the eagles among the various regiments,
he addressed them briefly, saying that the history of nations was, in
a great measure, the history of armies--that on their success or
reverse depends the fate of civilization and of the country; that the
Roman eagle adopted by the Emperor Napoleon at the commencement of the
century was the most striking signification of the regeneration and
the grandeur of France; and that it should now be resumed, not as a
menace against foreign powers, but as the symbol of independence, the
souvenir of an heroic epoch, and as the sign of the nobleness of each
regiment. After this address the standards were taken to the chapel
and blessed by the Archbishop. The ceremonies were protracted and
attended by an immense concourse of spectators.----General Changarnier
has addressed a remarkable letter to the Minister of the Interior in
reply to his demand that he should take the oath of allegiance to
Louis Napoleon. He says that the President had repeatedly endeavored
to seduce him to his support--that he had offered not only to make him
Marshal but to confer upon him another military dignity unknown since
the Empire, and to attach to it immense pecuniary rewards; that when
he perceived that personal ambition had no effect upon him, he
endeavored to gain him over, by pretending a design to prepare the way
for the restoration of the Monarchy to which he supposed him to be
attached. All these attempts had been without effect. He had never
ceased to be ready to defend with energy the legal powers of Louis
Napoleon, and to give every opposition to the illegal prolongation of
those powers. The exile he had undergone in solitude and silence had
not changed his opinion of the duties he owed to France. He would
hasten to her defense should she be attacked, but he refused the oath
exacted by the perjured man who had failed to corrupt him. In reply to
this letter, M. Cassagnac, editor of the _Constitutionnel_, brought
against General Changarnier specific charges--that in March, 1849, he
demanded from Louis Napoleon written authority to throw the
Constituent Assembly out of the window--that he subsequently urged him
in the strongest manner to make a _coup d'etat_; and that in November,
1850, he assembled a number of political personages, and proposed to
them to arrest Louis Napoleon and send him to prison, to prorogue the
Assembly for six months, and to make him Dictator. It was further
alleged that one of the persons present at this meeting was M. Molé,
who refused to sanction the scheme and immediately disclosed it to the
President. Count Molé immediately published an indignant denial of the
whole story, so far as his name had been connected with it.----General
Lamoriciere has, also, in a published letter, refused to take the oath
required; he declares his readiness to defend France against foreign
foes whenever she shall be attacked, but he will not take the oath of
fidelity to a perjured chief.----The venerable astronomer, Arago, has
also refused to take the oath of allegiance required of all connected
in any way with the government. He wrote a firm and dignified letter
to the Minister notifying him of his purpose, and calling on him to
designate the day when it would be necessary for him to quit the
Bureau of Longitude with which he had been so closely connected for
half a century. He also informed him that he should address a circular
letter to scientific men throughout the world, explaining the
necessity which drove him from an establishment with which his name
had been so long associated, and to vindicate his motives from
suspicion. The Minister informed him that, in consideration of his
eminent services to the cause of science, the government had decided
not to exact the oath, and that he could therefore retain his
post.----These examples of non-concurrence in the new policy of the
President have been followed by inferior magistrates in various parts
of France. In several of the departments members of the local councils
have refused to take the oaths of allegiance, and in the towns of
Havre, Thiers, and Evreux the tribunals of commerce have done
likewise. The civil courts of Paris have also, in one or two
instances, asserted their independence by deciding against the
government in prosecutions commenced against the press. On the 23d of
April, moreover, the civil tribunal gave judgment on the demand made
by the Princes of the Orleans family to declare illegal the seizure by
the Prefect of the Seine, of the estates of Neuilly and Monceaux,
under the decree of the 22d of January, relative to the property of
the late king, Louis Philippe. In answer to this demand, the Prefect
of the Seine, in the name of the government, called on the tribunal to
declare that the decree of 22d January was a legislative act, and the
seizure of the property an administrative act, and that consequently
the tribunal had no jurisdiction. The case was pleaded at great
length; and the court pronounced a judgment declaring itself
competent, keeping the case before it, fixing a day for discussing it
on its merits, and condemning the Prefect in costs. These movements
indicate a certain degree of reaction in the public mind, and have
prepared the way for the favorable reception of a letter which the
Bourbon pretender, the Count de Chambord, has issued to the partisans
of monarchy throughout France. This letter is dated at Venice, April
27, and is designed as an official declaration of his wishes to all
who wish still to remain faithful to the principles which he
represents. He declares it to be the first duty of royalists to do no
act, to enter into no engagement, in opposition to their political
faith. They must not hesitate, therefore, to refuse all offices where
promises are required from them contrary to their principles, and
which would not permit them to do in all circumstances what their
convictions impose upon them. Still, important and active duties are
devolved upon them. They should reside as much as possible in the
midst of the population on whom they can exercise influence, and
should try, by rendering themselves useful to them, to acquire, each
day, still greater claims to their gratitude and confidence. They
ought also to aid the government in its struggles against anarchy and
socialism, and to show themselves in all emergencies the most
courageous defenders of social order. Even in case of an attempt to
re-establish the Empire, they are exhorted to abstain from doing any
thing to endanger the repose of the country, but to protest formally
against any change which can endanger the destinies of France, and
expose it once more to catastrophes and perils from which the
legitimate monarchy alone can save it. He urges them to be unalterable
on matters of principle, but at the same time calm, patient, and ever
moderate and conciliating toward persons. "Let your ranks, your
hearts," he says, "like mine, remain continually open to all. We are
all thrown on times of trials and of sacrifices; and my friends will
not forget that it is from the land of exile that I make this new
appeal to their constancy and their devotedness. Happier days are yet
in store for France and for us. I am certain of the fact. It is in my
ardent love for my country--it is in the hope of serving it--of being
able to serve it--that I gather the strength and the courage necessary
for me to accomplish the great duties which have been imposed on me by
Providence."----Additional importance is ascribed to this proclamation
from the fact that it was made just after a visit from the Grand Dukes
of Russia and Venice, and just before the arrival of the Emperor
Nicholas at Vienna. The death of Prince Schwarzenberg is supposed to
have led to a still closer union of interest and of policy between
Austria and Russia, as the personal leanings both of the Austrian
Emperor, and the new prime Minister are known to be in that direction.

Some further developments have been made of the sentiments of the
three allied powers, Austria, Russia, and Prussia, concerning the
re-establishment of the Empire in France. It is represented that the
late Minister of Austria was in favor of encouraging such a step, but
that both the other powers concurred in saying that the accomplishment
of it would be a "violation of the treaties of 1814 and 1815, inasmuch
as those treaties have excluded for ever the family of Bonaparte from
the government of France." Now, those treaties form the basis of the
whole policy of Europe; and it is the duty of the powers to demand
that they shall be respected by the President of the Republic himself
in all their provisions, and particularly not to permit any infraction
of them as to the point in question, which has reference to him
personally. Nevertheless, the sovereigns of Prussia and Russia would
not perhaps be disposed to refuse to recognize Louis Napoleon
Bonaparte as Emperor of the French Republic--if that title were
conferred on him by a new plébiscite--as had been spoken of but they
should only recognize him as an elective Emperor, and for life, with
only a status analogous to that of the former kings of Poland. If the
two cabinets of St. Petersburg and Berlin consented to such a
recognition, it was the utmost that it was possible to do; but, most
certainly, beyond that point they should never go. At the same time,
the cabinets formally declare, that they would only recognize the
Emperor of the French Republic on the condition of his election being
the result of the mode already announced (the plébiscite). They will
not admit any other manner of re-establishing in France an imperial
throne, even were it but for life; the two sovereigns being firmly
resolved never to accept in the person of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte,
any other than the supreme elective chief of the Republic, and to
oppose by all the means in their power the pretension of establishing
the actual President of the French Republic as Emperor, in the sense
of an hereditary transmitter or founder of a Napoleonian dynasty. They
add, that Louis Napoleon Bonaparte not being the issue of a sovereign
or reigning family, can not become a real sovereign, or assimilate
himself to reigning houses.----The pictures belonging to the late
Marshal Soult were sold at auction on the 19th. The collection
consisted of 157 paintings, and among them were many of the
master-pieces of the old masters. The most celebrated was Murillo's
'Conception of the Virgin,' for which the chief competitors were the
Emperor of Russia, the Queen of Spain, and the Director of the Louvre.
It was bought by the latter at the enormous price of 586,000
francs,--or about $117,200.


EASTERN AND SOUTHERN EUROPE.

In PRUSSIA, a communication was made on the 28th of April by the King
to the Chambers, transmitting a bill to abolish the articles of the
Constitution and regulate the organization of the peerage. In the
First Chamber it was referred to the existing committee on the
constitution of the body concerned. In the Second Chamber a committee
was appointed to consider the measure. The minister desired that the
matter might be quickly dispatched. In the same sitting of the 28th,
the Second Chamber came to two other important votes. It rejected, by
a majority of 186 to 82, the resolution of the First Chamber, and
which, dividing the budget of ordinary and extraordinary expenses,
decided that the first should be no longer fixed annually, but once
for all, and that no future modification should take place, except by
a law. It also rejected, by 225 to 57, another decision of the First
Chamber, by which it had declared, in opposition to the Constitution,
that it could vote the budget, article by article, like the Second
Chamber.

In TUSCANY a decree of the Grand Duke has abolished the Constitution
and Civic Guard, and constituted the government on the same basis as
before 1848. The ministers are henceforward responsible to the Grand
Duke; the Council of State is separated from that of the Ministers;
the communal law of 1849 and the law on the press are to be revised.

The DANISH question has been settled in London, by conferences of the
representatives of the several powers concerned. Prince Christian of
Glucksberg is to succeed to the crown on the death of the present King
and his brother, both of whom are childless.

In TURKEY all differences with Egypt have been adjusted. Fuad-Effendi,
it is announced by the Paris _Presse_, justifying all the hopes which
his mission had given birth to, has come to a complete understanding
with the Egyptian government, whose good intentions and perfect fair
dealing he admits. The Viceroy accepts the code with the modifications
called for by the state of the country, and which the Turco-Egyptian
Commissioners had already fixed in their conferences at
Constantinople. On its side, the Porte accords to the Viceroy the
right of applying the punishment of death during seven years, without
reference to the divan.



Editor's Table.


The birth-day of a nation is not merely a figurative expression.
Nations are _born_ as well as men. The very etymology of the word
implies as much. Social compacts may be _declarative of their
independence_, or definitive of their existence, but do not create
them. In truth, all such compacts and conventions do in themselves
imply a previous natural growth or organization lying necessarily
still farther back, as the ground of any legitimacy they may possess.
There can be no _con-vening_ unless there is something to determine,
_a priori_, who shall _come together_, and how they shall come
together--as _representatives_ of what _principals_--as _parts_ of
what ascertained _whole_--with what powers, on what terms, and for
what ends. There can no more be an artificial nation than an
artificial language. Aside from other influences, all attempts of the
kind must be as abortive in politics as they have ever been in
philology. Nations are not manufactured, either to order or otherwise,
but born--born of other nations, and nurtured in those peculiar
arrangements of God's providence which are expressly adapted to such a
result. The analogy between them and individuals may be traced to
almost any extent. They have, in general, some one event in which
there may be discovered the conceptive principle, or _principium_, of
their national life. They have their embryo or formative period. They
have their _birth_, or the time of their complete separation from the
maternal nationality to which they were most nearly and dependently
united. They have their struggling infancy--their youth--their
growth--_their heroic period_--their iron age of hardship
and utility--their manhood--their silver age of luxury and
refinement--their golden age of art and science and literature--their
acme--their decline--their decay--their final extinction, or else
their dissolution into those fragmentary organisms from which spring
up again the elements or seeds of future nationalities.

We need not trace our own history through each of these periods. The
incipient stages have all been ours, although, in consequence of a
more healthy and vigorous maternity, we have passed through them with
a rapidity of which the previous annals of the world present no
examples. Less than a century has elapsed since that birth, whose
festive natal day is presented in the calendar of the present month,
and yet we are already approaching the season of manhood. We have
passed that proud period which never comes but once in a nation's
life, although it may be succeeded by others far surpassing it in what
may be esteemed the more substantial elements of national wealth and
national prosperity. Almost every state has had its HEROIC AGE. We too
have had ours, and we may justly boast of it as one equaling in
interest and grandeur any similar period in the annals of Greece and
Rome--as one which would not shrink from a comparison with the
chivalrous youth of any of the nations of modern Europe. It is the
unselfish age, or rather, the time when the self-consciousness, both
individual and national, is lost in some strong and all-absorbing
emotion--when a strange elevation of feeling and dignity of action are
imparted to human nature, and men act from motives which seem
unnatural and incredible to the more calculating and selfish
temperaments of succeeding times. It is a period which seems designed
by Providence, not for itself only, or the great effects of which it
is the immediate cause, but for its influence upon the whole
after-current of the national existence. The strong remembrance of it
becomes a part of the national life; it enters into its most common
and constant thinking, gives a peculiar direction to its feeling; it
imparts a peculiar character to its subsequent action; it makes its
whole historical being very different from what it would have been had
there been no such epic commencement, no such superhuman or _heroic
birth_. It furnishes a treasury of glorious reminiscences wherewith to
reinvigorate from time to time the national virtue when impaired, as
it ever is, by the factious, and selfish, and unheroic temper produced
by subsequent days of merely economical or utilitarian prosperity.

This heroic age must pass away. It is sustained, while it lasts, by
special influences which can not have place in the common life and
ordinary work of humanity. Its continuance, therefore, would be
inconsistent with other benefits and other improvements of a more
sober or less exciting kind, but which, nevertheless, belong to the
proper development of the state. The deep effects, however, still
remain. It inspires the poet and the orator. It furnishes the
historian with his richest page. It tinges the whole current of the
national literature. In fact, there can be no such thing as a national
literature, in its truest sense--there can be no national poetry, no
true national art, no national music, except as more or less
intimately connected with the spirit of such a period.

It was not the genius of democracy simply, as Grote and some other
historians maintain, but the heroic remembrances of the Persian
invasion, that roused the Grecian mind, and created the brilliant
period of the Grecian civilization. The new energy that came from this
period was felt in every department--of song, of eloquence, of art,
and even of philosophy. Marathon and Salamis still sustained the
national life when it was waning under the mere political wisdom of
Pericles, the factious recklessness of Alcibiades, and the still more
debasing influence of the venal demagogues of later times. When this
old spirit had gone out, there was nothing in the mere forms of her
free institutions that could prevent Athens from sinking down into
insignificance, or from being absorbed in the growth of new and rising
powers.

Rome would never have been the mistress of the world, had it not been
for the heroic impetus generated in the events which marked her
earliest annals. Even if we are driven to regard these as in a great
measure mythical, they still, in the highest and most valid sense,
belong to Roman history, and all the efforts of Niebuhr and of Arnold
have failed, and ever will fail, to divest them of the rank they have
heretofore maintained among the formative influences in the Roman
character. They entered into the national memory. They formed for ages
the richest and most suggestive part of the national thinking. They
became thus more really and vitally incorporated into the national
being than many events whose historical authenticity no critic has
ever called in question. But we can not believe them wholly or even
mainly mythical. Some of the more modern theories on this subject will
have to be re-examined. With all their plausibility they are open to
the objection of presenting the mightiest effects without adequate or
corresponding causes. Twelve hundred years of empire, such as that of
Rome, could not well have had its origin in any period marked by
events less strangely grand and chivalrous than those that Livy has
recorded. Brutus, and Cincinnatus, and Fabricius, must have been as
real as the splendid reality which could only have grown out of so
heroic an ancestry. The spirit of Numa more truly ruled, even in the
later Roman empire, than did ever that of Augustus. It was yet
powerful in the days of Constantine. It was still present in that
desperate struggle which made it difficult, even for a Christian
senate, to cast out the last vestiges of the old religion, and to
banish the Goddess of Victory from the altars and temples she had so
long occupied.

A similar view, drawn from the Jewish history, must commend itself to
every one who has even an ordinary knowledge of the Scriptures. The
glorious deliverances from Egyptian bondage, the sublime reminiscences
of Sinai, the heroic, as exhibited in Moses, and Joshua, and Jephthah,
and Gideon, are ever reappearing in the Hebrew prophetic and lyrical
poetry. These proud recollections cheer them in the long years of the
captivity. Even in the latest and most debasing periods of their
history, they impart an almost superhuman energy to their struggle
with Rome; and what is more than all, after having sustained the
Jewish song, and the Jewish eloquence, during ages of depressing
conflict, their influence is still felt in all the noblest departments
of Christian art and Christian literature.

No, we may almost say it, there can not truly be a nation without
something that may be called its heroic age; or if there have been
such, the want of this necessary fountain of political vitality has
been the very reason why they have perished from the pages of history.
We, too, have had such a period in our annals, and we are all the
better for it, and shall be all the better for it, as long as our
political existence shall endure. Some such chapter in our history
seems necessary to legitimate our claim to the appellation; and
however extravagant it may seem, the assertion may, nevertheless, be
hazarded, that one borrowed from the maternal nationality, or from a
foreign source, or even altogether mythical, would be better than none
at all. If we had not had our Pilgrim Fathers, our Mayflower band, our
Plymouth Rock, our Bunker Hill, our Saratoga, our Washingtons, our
Warrens, our Putnams, our Montgomerys, our heroic martyr-Congresses,
voting with the executioner and the ax before their eyes, we might
better have drawn upon the epic imagination for some such introduction
to our political existence, than regard it as commencing merely with
prosaic paper compacts, or such artificial gatherings as are presented
in your unheroic, though very respectable Baltimore and Harrisburg
Conventions.

Some such chivalrous commencement is, moreover, absolutely essential
to that great idea of national _continuity_, so necessary for the
highest ends of political organization; and yet so liable to be
impaired or wholly lost in the strife of those ephemeral parties,
those ever-gathering, ever-dissolving factions, which, ignoring both
the future and the past, are absorbed solely in the magnified
interests of the present hour. For this purpose, we want an antiquity
of some kind--even though it may not be a distant one--something
parted from us by events so grand, so unselfish, so unlike the common,
every-day acts of the current years, as to have the appearance at
least of a sacred and memory-hallowed remoteness. We need to have our
store of glorious olden chronicles, over which time has thrown his
robe of reverence--a reverence which no profane criticism of after
days shall be allowed to call in question, no subsequent statistics be
permitted to impair. We need to have our proud remembrances for all
parties, for all interests, for all ages--our common fund of heroic
thought, affording a constant supply for the common mind of the state,
thus ever living in the national history, connecting each present not
only with such a heroic commencement, but, through it, with all the
past that intervenes, and in this way furnishing a historical bond of
union stronger than can be found in any amount of compromises or paper
constitutions.

If we would be truly a State, we must have "_the Fathers_," and the
revered "olden time." It is in some such veneration for a common
glorious ancestry that a political organization finds its deepest
root. Instead of being absurd, it is the most rational, as well as the
most conservative of all feelings in which we can indulge. The more we
are under its influence, the higher do we rise in the scale of being
above the mere animal state, and that individualism which is its chief
characteristic. It is a "good and holy thought" thus to regard the
dead as still present with us, and past generations as still having an
interest in our history--still justly claiming some voice in the
administration of that _inheritance_ they have transmitted to us, and
in respect to which our influence over the ages to come will be in
proportion to our reverential remembrance of those that have preceded.
Such a feeling is the opposite of that banefully radical and
disorganizing view which regards the state as a mere aggregation of
individual local fragments in space, and a succession of
separately-flowing drops in time--which looks upon the present
majority of the present generation as representing the whole national
existence, and which is, of course, not only inconsistent with any
true historical life, but with any thing which is really entitled to
the name of fundamental or constitutional law. It is the opposite,
both in its nature and its effects, of that contemptible cant now so
common in both political parties, and which is ever talking of "Young
America" as some new development, unconnected with any thing that has
ever gone before it. The heroic men of our revolution, they were
"Young America;" the gambling managers of modern political caucuses,
to whatever party they may belong, or whatever may be their age or
standing, are the real and veritable "old fogies."

We can not attach too much importance to this idea of _inheritance_,
so deeply grounded in the human mind. The _Sancti Patres_ are
indispensable to a true historical nationality. Hence the classical
name for country--_Patria a patribus_--_The Father-land_. We love it,
not simply for its present enjoyments and present associations, but
for its past recollections--

      Land of the Pilgrims' pride,
      Land where our fathers died.

Without some such thought of transmitted interest continually carrying
the past into the present, and both into the future, patriotism is but
the cant of the demagogue. Our country is our country, not only in
space, but in time--not only territorially, but historically; and it
is in this latter aspect it must ever present its most intense and
vital interest. Where such an interest is excluded, or unappreciated,
there is nothing elevated, nothing heroic, to which the name of
patriotism can be given. There is nothing but the most momentary
selfishness which can bind our affections to one spot on earth more
than to any other.

Opposed to this is a species of cosmopolitanism, which sometimes
claims the Scriptures as being on its side. The opinion, however, will
not stand the test of fair interpretation. The Bible, it is true,
enjoins love to all mankind, but not as a blind and abstract
philanthropy which would pass over all the intermediate gradations
that Infinite Wisdom has appointed. Love of "the fathers," love of
family, love of kindred, love of "our own people"--"our own,
our _native_ land"--our "own Zion," nationally, as well as
ecclesiastically, are commended, not only as good in themselves, but
as the foundation of all the other social virtues, as the appointed
means, in fact, by which the circle of the affections is legitimately
expanded, and, at the same time, with a preservation of that intensity
of feeling which is never found in any inflating abstract cosmopolitan
benevolence.

In no book, too, do we find more distinctly set forth that idea which
we have styled the root of all true patriotism--the idea of the
national continuance from generation to generation, as a living,
responsible whole--as one ever-flowing stream, in which the individual
parts are passing away, it is true but evermore passing to that
"congregation of the fathers" which still lives in the present organic
life. It is presented, too, not as any difficult or transcendental or
mystical conception, but as a thought belonging everywhere to the
common mind, and necessarily underlying all those dread views the
Scripture so often give us of national accountability and national
retribution.

Every country distinguished for great deeds has ever been proud of its
ancestors; has ever gloried in the facts of its early history; has
ever connected them with whatever was glorious in its later annals has
ever made them the boast of its eloquence, the themes of its poetry,
and the subjects of festal rejoicings. In the preservation of such
feelings and such ideas, our annual Fourth of July celebrations
instead of being useless, and worse than useless periods of noisy
declamation, as some would contend, are, in fact, doing more to
preserve our union than the strongest legislative acts. This may hold
when every other cable in the vessel has parted. The bare thought that
our glorious old Fourth of July could never more be celebrated in its
true spirit (and it would be equally gone for each and every sundered
fragment) is enough to check the wildest faction, and to stay the hand
of the most reckless disunionist.

It was in view of such an effect, that one of our wisest statesmen,
one the farthest removed from the demagogue, and himself a
participator in our heroic struggle, is represented as so
enthusiastically commending this annual festival to the perpetual
observation of posterity, "Through the thick gloom of the present," he
exclaims, "I see the brightness of the future as the sun in heaven. We
shall make this _a glorious, an immortal day_. When we are in our
graves our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with
thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its
annual return, they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears of
exultation of gratitude, and of joy." "And so that day _shall_ be
honored," continues his eloquent eulogist--"And so that day shall be
honored, illustrious prophet and patriot! so that day shall be
honored, and as often as it returns thy renown shall come along with
it, and the glory of thy life, like the day of thy death, shall not
fail from the remembrance of men!"

The highest reason, then, as well as the purest feeling, bid us not be
ashamed of glorying in our forefathers. Scripture is in unison here
with patriotism in commending the sacred sentiment. There is a
religious element in the true love of race and country. "The God of
our Fathers" becomes a prime article of the national as well as of the
ecclesiastical creed, and without the feeling inspired by it,
nationality may turn out to be a mere figment, which all political
bandages will fail to sustain against the disorganizing influence of
factious or sectional interests. It is not absurd, too, to cherish the
belief that our ancestors were better men than ourselves, if we
ourselves are truly made better by thus believing.

As we have remarked before, there may be mythical exaggeration
attending such tradition, but if so, this very exaggeration must have
had its ground in something really transcending what takes place in
the ordinary course of a nation's life. Some late German scholars have
been hunting out depreciating charges against the hero of Marathon,
and, for this purpose, have subjected his very ashes to the most
searching critical analysis. Truth, it may be said, is always sacred.
We would not wish to undervalue the importance of the sentiment. But
Miltiades the patriot is the real element that exerted so heroic an
effect upon the subsequent Grecian history. Miltiades charged with
political offenses lives only as the subject of antiquarian research,
or a humiliating example of the common depravity appearing among the
most lauded of mankind. And so, in our own case, what political
utility can there be in discovering, even if it were so, that
Washington was not so wise, or Warren so brave, or Putnam so
adventurous, or Bunker Hill so heroically contested, as has been
believed? Away with such skepticism, we say, and the mousing criticism
by which it is sometimes attempted to be supported. Such beliefs have
at all events become real for us by entering into the very soul of our
history, and forming the staple of our national thought. To take them
away would now be a baneful disorganizing of the national mind. Their
influence has been felt in every subsequent event. Saratoga and
Monmouth have reappeared in Chippewa, and New Orleans, and Buena
Vista. May it not be hoped, too, that something of the men who
convened in Philadelphia on the 4th of July, 1776, or of that earlier
band on whom Burke pronounced his splendid eulogy, may still live,
even in the worst and poorest of our modern Congresses!

Again, this reverence for "the fathers" is the most healthfully
conservative of all influences, because it presents the common sacred
ground on which all political parties, all sectional divisions, and
all religious denominations can heartily unite. Every such difference
ought to give way, and, in general, does give way, in the presence of
the healing spirit that comes to us from the remembrance of those old
heroic times. The right thinking Episcopalian not only acquiesces, but
rejoices cordially in the praises of the Pilgrim Fathers. He can glory
even in their stern puritanism, without losing a particle of reverence
or respect for his own cherished views. The Presbyterian glows with
pride at the mention of the cavaliers of Virginia, and sees in their
ancient loyalty the strength and consistency of their modern
republicanism. The most rigid Churchman of either school--whether of
Canterbury or Geneva--finds his soul refreshed by the thought of that
more than martial heroism which distinguished the followers of Penn
and the first colonists of Pennsylvania.

Our rapid editorial view has been suggested by the great festal period
of the current month; but we can not close it without the expression
of one thought which we deem of the highest importance. If the
influences coming from this heroic age of our history are so very
precious, we should be careful not to diminish their true conservative
power, by associating them with every wretched imitation for which
there may be claimed the same or a similar name. The memory of our
revolution (to which we could show, if time permitted, there should be
given a truer and a nobler epithet) is greatly lowered by being
compared continually with every miserable Cuban expedition and
Canadian invasion, or every European _émeute_, without any reference
to the grounds on which they are attempted, or the characters and
motives of those by whom they are commenced. We may indeed sympathize
with every true effort to burst the hard bonds of irresponsible power;
but we should carefully see to it that our own sacred deposit of
glorious national reminiscences lose not all its reverence by being
brought out for too common uses, or profaned by too frequent
comparison with that which is really far below it, if not altogether
of a different kind. When Washington and Greene and Franklin are thus
placed side by side with Lopez, and Ledru-Rollin, and Louis Blanc, or
a profane parallel is run between the Pilgrim colonists and modern
Socialists and St. Simonians, there is only an inevitable degradation
on the one side without any true corresponding elevation on the other.
They are the enemies of our revolution, and of its true spirit, who
are thus for making it subservient to all purposes that may be
supposed to bear the least resemblance. Our fathers' struggle, be it
ever remembered, was not for the subversion but the conservation of
constitutional law, and, therefore, even its most turbulent and
seemingly lawless acts acquire a dignity placing them above all vulgar
reference, and all vulgar imitation. He is neither a patriot nor a
philanthropist who would compare the destruction of the tea in the
harbor of Boston with every abolition riot, or every resistance to our
own solemnly enacted laws, or every lynching mob that chooses to
caricature the forms of justice, or every French _émeute_, or
revolutionary movement with its mock heroics--its burlesque travestie
of institutions it can not comprehend, and of a liberty for which it
so soon shows itself utterly unqualified. It is our mission to redeem
and elevate mankind, by showing that the spirit of our heroic times
lives constantly in the political institutions to which they gave
birth, and that republican forms are perfectly consistent, not only
with personal liberty, but with all those higher ideas that are
connected with the conservation of law, of reverence, of loyalty, of
rational submission to right authority--in a word, of true
_self-government_, as the positive antithesis to that animal and
counterfeit thing--the _government of self_. It is not the
conservative who is staying the true progress of mankind. A licentious
press, a corrupt and gambling spirit of faction in our political
parties, and, above all, frequent exhibitions of vulgar demagoguism in
our legislative bodies, may do more to strengthen and perpetuate the
European monarchies, than all the ignorance of their subjects, and all
the power of their armies.



Editor's Easy Chair.


An Easy Chair for July, and specially for such hot July, as we doubt
not is just now ripening over our readers' heads, should be a cool
chair, with a lining of leather, rather than the soft plushes which
beguile the winter of its iciness. Just so, we should be on the
look-out in these hap-hazard pages, that close our monthly labors, for
what may be cooling in the way of talk; and should make our periods
wear such shadows as will be grateful to our sun-beaten readers.

If by a touch of the pen, we could, for instance, build up a grove of
leaf-covered trees, with some pebble-bottomed brook fretting
below--idly, carelessly, impetuously--even as our pen goes fretting
over this Paris _feuille_; and if we could steep our type in that
summer fragrance which lends itself to the country groves of July; and
if we could superadd--like so many fragmentary sparkles of verse--the
songs of July birds--what a claimant of your thanks we should become?

Much as a man may be street-ridden, after long city experience--even
as the old and rheumatic become bed-ridden--yet the far-off shores of
Hoboken, and the tree-whispers of St. John's and Grammercy Parks, do
keep alive somewhat of the Eden longings, which are born into the
world with us, and which can only die when our hearts are dead.

And hence it is that we find it a loving duty to linger much and often
as we may in this sunny season of the year (alas, that it should be
only in imagination!) around rural haunts--plucking flowers with
broad-bonneted girls--studying shadows with artist eye--brushing the
dews away with farmers' boys--lolling in pools with sleek-limbed
cattle--dropping worms or minnow with artist anglers, and humming to
ourselves, in the soft and genial spirit of the scene, such old-time
pleasant verses as these:

      The lofty woods, the forests wide and long,
      Adorned with leaves and branches fresh and green,
      In whose cool bowers the birds with many a song
      Do welcome with their quire the summer's queen;
      The meadows fair, where Flora's gifts among
      Are intermixed with verdant grass between;
      The silver-scaled fish that softly swim
      Within the sweet brook's crystal watery stream.

      All these and many more of His creation
      That made the Heavens, the angler oft doth see;
      Taking therein no little delectation,
      To think how strange, how wonderful they be;
      Framing, thereof, an inward contemplation,
      To set his heart from other fancies free;
      And while he looks on these with joyful eye,
      His mind is rapt above the starry sky.

And since we are thus in the humor of old and rural-imaged
verse--notwithstanding the puff and creak of the printing enginery is
coming up from the caverns below us (a very Vulcan to the Venus of our
thought) we shall ask your thanks for yet another triad of verses,
which will (if you be not utterly barren) breed daisies on your
vision.

The poet has spoken of such omnibus drives and Perrine pavements as
offended good sense two or three hundred years ago:

      Let them that list these pleasures then pursue,
      And on their foolish fancies feed their fill;
      So I the fields and meadows green may view,
      And by the rivers fresh may walk at will,
      Among the daizies and the violets blue,
      Red hyacinth, and yellow daffodil,
      Purple narcissus like the morning rayes,
      Pale ganderglas, and azure culverkayes.

      I count it better pleasure to behold
      The goodly compass of the loftie skie;
      And in the midst thereof, like burning gold,
      The flaming chariot of the world's great eye;
      The wat'ry clouds that in the ayre up rolled
      With sundry kinds of painted colors flie;
      And faire Aurora lifting up her head,
      All blushing rise from old Tithonus' bed.

      The hills and mountains raised from the plains,
      The plains extended level with the ground,
      The ground divided into sundry vaines,
      The vaines enclosed with running rivers round,
      The rivers making way through Nature's chaines,
      With headlong course into the sea profound;
      The surging sea beneath the vallies low,
      The vallies sweet, and lakes that gently flow.

The reader may thank us for a seasonable bouquet--tied up with old
ribbon indeed, and in the old free and easy way--but the perfume is
richer than the artificial scents of your modern verse.

       *       *       *       *       *

We do not know who first gave the epithet "leafy June;" but the
goodness of the term was never so plain, as through that twelfthlet of
the year which has just shadowed our paths. Whether it be the heavy
rains of the early spring, or an over-luxurious outburst from the
over-stiff chains of the last winter--certain it is, that the trees
never bore up such heaviness of green, or the grass promised such
height and "bottom." And we can not forbear the hope, that the
exceeding beauty of the summer will stimulate the activity and
benevolence of those guardians of our city joy, in whose hands lies
the fate of the "Up-town Park."

       *       *       *       *       *

And as we speak of parks, comes up a thought of that very elegant
monument to the memory of Washington, which has risen out of the
brains of imaginative and venturesome people, any time during the last
fifty years. The affair seems to have a periodic and somewhat
whimsical growth. We suffer a kind of intermittent Washingtonianism,
which now and then shows a very fever of drawings, and of small
subscriptions; and anon, the chill takes us, and shakes the whole
fabric to the ground.

We can not but regard it as a very unfavorable symptom, that a
corner-stone should have been laid some two or three years ago in a
quarter called Hamilton Square, and that extraordinary energy should
have pushed forward the monumental design to the height of a few feet.

Since that period a debility has prevailed. The Washington sentiment
has languished painfully--proving to our mind most satisfactorily,
that the true Washington enthusiasm is periodic in its growth; and
that to secure healthful alternations of recruit and exuberance, it
should--like asparagus--be cut off below ground.

Meantime, the strangers and office-seekers of our great capital, are
doing somewhat toward redeeming the fame of the country. In connection
with their design, a suggestion is just now bruited of calling upon
clergymen, this coming Fourth of July (three days hence, bear in mind)
to drop a hint to the memory of the hero who has made that day the
Sunday of our political year, and furthermore, to drop such pennies,
as his parishioners will bestow, into the Washington monumental fund.

We should be untrue to the chit-chat of the hour--as well as to our
Washington fervor--if we did not give the suggestion a record, and the
purpose a benison!

       *       *       *       *       *

It is fortunate for all minor matters--such as Jenny Lind, Kossuth,
green-peas, strawberries, and Lola Montez--that our President-making
comes only by quartettes of years. It is painful to think of the
monotone of talk which would overtake the world, if Baltimore
Conventions were held monthly or even yearly.

We are writing now in the eye of the time; and can give no guess as to
what candidates will emerge from the Baltimore ballot-boxes; but when
this shall come under our reader's eye, two names only will form the
foci of his political fears and hopes. Without any predilections
whatever, we most ardently wish that our reader may not be
disappointed--however his hopes may tend: and if any editor in the
land can "trim" to his readers' humor, with greater sincerity, and
larger latitude, we should like to know it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ole Bull has been delighting the musical world, in his way, for the
month last gone, and has made more converts to the violin, by the
fullness of his faith, and the fervor of his action, than many
preachers can win over, by like qualities, to any labor of love.

The truth is, there lies in this Scandinavian a heartiness of impulse,
and an exuberance of soul, which makes the better part of what men
call genius. You have a conviction--as you listen--that you are
dependent for your delight upon no nice conformity with rules--no
precision of compliance--no formulary excellence, but only and solely
upon the spirit of the man, creeping over him to the very finger-tips,
and making music and melody of very necessity.

There is a freshness, a wildness, a _fierté_ in the harmonies that Ole
Bull creates, which appeal not alone to your nice students of flats
and sharps, but to every ear that ever heard a river flowing, or the
soughing of pine woods. It is a make-piece--not of Donizetti's
arias--but of that unceasing and musical hum which is going up every
summer's day in the way of bee-chants, and bird-anthems, and which the
soul-wakened Scandinavian has caught, and wrought and strung upon five
bits of thread!

The papers (they are accountable for whatever may not be true in our
stories) have told us strange, sad things of the musical hero's life.
First, that he has been a great patron of the arts--nor is it easy to
believe that he could be otherwise. Next, they have told us, that he
is an earnest lover of such liberty as makes men think, and read, and
till their own lands--nor is this hard to believe. Again they tell us
that he has sometimes rendered himself obnoxious to the powers that
be--that his estates, once very large, have been confiscated, and that
he has come hitherward only for the sake of repairing his altered
fortunes.

If the truth lie indeed so hardly upon him, we wish him even more
success than his merit will be sure to win.

Among the _on dits_ of the time, we must not pass by the good and
ill-natured comments upon the new-passed Liquor Laws of Massachusetts
and of Rhode Island. When the reader remembers that Nahant and Newport
are within the limits of these two States, and that summer visitors to
the favorite watering places are not unapt to call for a wine-card,
and to moisten their roast lamb and peas (especially after an
exhilarating sea-bath) with a cup of Heidseck, or of Longworth's
sparkling Catawba, they may readily imagine the consternation that has
crept over certain portions of the visiting world. We (meaning we as
Editors) are of course without any preferences either for watering
places or--for that matter--liquoring places. Yet we are curious to
see how far the new system will favor the fullness and the gayety of
the old summer resorts.

Persistent Newport visitors, who have grown old with their sherry and
their port, are arranging for the transportation of "small stores," as
a portion of their luggage; and are negotiating with the landlords
their rates of "corkage." Whether this side-tax on the matter will not
render host and guest obnoxious to the new-started laws, is a matter
we commend to the serious attention of the hopeful lawyers of Newport.

What the reformatory legal enactments may do with the wine-growers of
Ohio, and with the distillers of Pennsylvania and Indiana, we are
curious to see. As for the latter, we can not say (speaking now in our
individual capacity) that we should greatly regret the downfall of
those huge distillery pig-yards, which spend their odors over the Ohio
river; but as for the Cincinnati wines and vineyards, we must confess
that we have a lurking fondness that way--first, because the grape
culture is Scriptural, beautiful, healthful; and next, because it is
clothing the hill-sides of our West with a purple and bountiful
product, that develops nobly the agricultural resources of the
country, and throws the gauntlet in the very face of Burgundy. Still
again, we have a fancy--perhaps a wrong one--that pure wines, well
made, and cheapened to the wants of the humblest laborer, will outgrow
and overshadow that feverish passion for stronger drink which vitiates
so sadly our whole working population: and yet once again, we have
charity for western vineyards, for a very love of their products; and
have felt ourselves, after a wee bit of the quiet hock which
Zimmermann presses out of the ripe Catawba--a better feeling toward
our fellows, and a richer relish for such labor of the office as now
hampers our pen.

       *       *       *       *       *

Under story of pleasure-seeking for the summer, some Journalists
record the intent of a southern party to broach--in the August that
now lies thirty days into the sunshine--the passage of the Rocky
Mountains, skirting by the way the miniature valley of the
Missouri--wearing weapons of defense and offense--carrying parlors
upon wheels, and kitchens in their carts--shooting rabbits and Indians
as the seasons vary, and dining upon buffalo and corn bread _à
volanté_.

We wish them much pleasure of the trip--meaning good roads, few
Indians, and musquito bars.

Seriously, however, when shall we see the valley of the Missouri form
a pleasant tangent to summer travel, and the sportsman who now camps
it by Long Lake, or shoots coot by Moniment Point--oiling his rifle
for a range at the stalking varmint by St. Joseph's, and along the
thousand forked branches of the Missouri waters?

At Minnessota, they say (the doubtful newspapers again,) people have
discovered a gem of a lake,--so still, that the bordering trees seem
growing root upward, and the islands are all _Siamesed_ where they
float; and so clear that you count your fish before you throw them the
bait, and make such selections among the eager patrons of your hook,
as you would do at the City market on the corner of Spring-street.

When Professor Page's Galvanic Railroad will take us there in a day,
we will wash the ink from our fingers in the lake of Minnessota; and
if the fates favor us, will stew a trout in Longworth's Catawba;
meantime, we wait hopefully feeding upon Devoe's, moderately fatted
mutton, and great plenty of imaginative diet.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the rest, old Markham's "Summer Contentments" has furnished us
with rare meals, and inveigled us into trying with inapt hands the
_metier_ of the rod and angle. We flatter ourselves that we have won
upon the _character_ of the angler, however little we may win upon his
fish.

"He must," says pleasant old Markham, "neither be amazed with storms,
nor frighted with thunder; and if he is not temperate, but has a
gnawing stomach, that will not endure much fasting, and must observe
hours, it troubleth the mind and body, and loseth that delight which
only maketh pastime pleasing.

"He must be of a well-settled and constant belief, to enjoy the
benefit of his expectation; for than to despair, it were better never
to be put in practice: and he must ever think, when the waters are
pleasant, and any thing likely, that there the Creator of all good
things, hath stored up much of plenty; and though your satisfaction
be not as ready as your wishes, yet you must hope still, that with
perseverance you shall reap the fullness of your harvest with
contentment. Then he must be full of love both to his pleasure, and
his neighbor--to his pleasure, which will otherwise be irksome and
tedious--and to his neighbor, that he never give offense in any
particular, nor be guilty of any general destruction; then he must be
exceeding patient, and neither vex nor excruciate himself with any
losses or mischances, as in losing the prey when it is almost in hand,
or by breaking his tools by ignorance or negligence; but with pleased
sufferance amend errors, and think mischances instructions to better
carefulness."

We commend all this to the trout fishers among the musquitos, and
black flies of Hamilton County--for even into that dim, and barbarian
region, our monthly budget finds its way.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among other things of the hour, we must spare a note for those
pleasant statistics of author-and-bookdom, which the international
discussion of Copyright has called into print.

Heretofore, the man of books has been reckoned as a liver, for the
most part, upon such manna as rained down from time to time, from a
very imaginative heaven; he has lived, by a certain charitable
courtesy of the world, (which is coy of ferreting out its injustices)
beyond the tongue of talk, and his pride and poverty have suffered an
amiable reprieve.

The time, it seems, is now gone by; and we find Prescott and Irving
submitted to the same fiscal measurement, as are the brokers upon
'Change. We wish the whole author fraternity might come as bravely out
of it as the two we have named: and should it ever come to pass, that
the fraternity were altogether rich, we hope they will not neglect the
foundation of some quiet hospital for the poor fellows (like
ourselves) who record their progress, and chronicle their honors.

In old times a fancy held men's minds, that the payment for poetry
came only from Heaven: and that so soon as the Divine fingers which
caught the minstrelsy of the angel world, touched upon gold, they
palsied, and lost their power. Under the present flattering condition
of the author world (of which, alas, we only read!) it may be well to
revive the caution: the poor may, at the least, console themselves
thereby; and as for the rich--they need no consolation.

Time and time again, we believe, spicy authors have threatened to take
the publisher's business off his hands; and in lieu of half the
profits, to measure them all with themselves. But, unfortunately for
the credit of the calling, authors are, in the general way, blessed
with very moderate financial capacity; and from Scott to Lamartine,
they have in such venture, to the best of our observation, worked very
hard--for very little pay.

       *       *       *       *       *

Speaking of Lamartine, reminds us of a little episode of French life,
which has latterly crept into the French papers, and which would have
made (as the publishers say) a "companion volume" to Lamartine's
Raphael--always provided it were as well written out. The episode is
dismissed in two or three lines of the journals, and is headed in very
attracting way--"Died of Love."

Such a kind of death being mostly unheard of--especially in New
York--it will be necessary to justify the title by a somewhat fuller
_résumé_ of the story, than the journalist favors us with.

Marie of Montauban was as pretty a girl as the traveler might see in
going through all of southern France; and a pretty girl of southern
France, is more than pretty in any other quarter of France.

Her father had been a small _propriétaire_, and had married a
descendant of an old family, under circumstances of that vague and
wild romance which grew up a little after the old Revolution. Both the
parents, however, died early in life: she inherited from the mother
exceeding delicacy, and a refinement, which agreed very poorly with
the poverty to which her father's improvidence had left her an heir.

Admired and beloved, and sometimes courted by those about her, she
resolutely determined to secure her own support. She commenced in a
romantic way--by quitting secretly her home, and throwing herself upon
a very broad and a very wicked world. Fortune guided her to the home
of a worthy baker; she here learned the smaller mysteries of his
craft, and made such show in the front shop of her new-found patron,
as bewitched the provincial _gailliards_, and made its tale upon the
heart of the baker's son.

In short, the son wooed in earnest; the baker protested: and whether
it was the protest (which is sure to kindle higher flame) or the
honest heart of the wooer himself, Marie forgot the earnest longings,
which her mother's nature had planted in her, and became the runaway
wife of the runaway baker's son.

All French runaways (except from Government) go to Paris: therefore it
was, that in a year's time, you might have seen the humble sign of the
baker's son upon a modest shop of the Boulevard Beaumarchais. Beauty
is always found out in Paris, and it is generally admired. Therefore
it was, that the baker's son prospered, and the Café de Paris heard
mention of the beautiful baker's wife of the Beaumarchais.

But, with the sight of the Louvre, the Tuileries, and all the
elegancies of metropolitan life, the old longings of the motherly
nature came back to the humiliated Marie. She stole hours for reading
and for music, and quieted her riotous ambition with the ambition of
knowledge.

Still, however, her admirers besieged her; but thanks to her birth,
besieged in vain. From month to month she attended her shop; and from
month to month beguiled her mission with reading of old stories, and
with the music of her guitar.

Now, it happened that in this time, a certain Jacques Arago (well
known to fame) chanced upon a day to visit the baker's shop of the
Boulevard Beaumarchais; and it further happened, that as the customer
was a traveler and a savant, that he fell into talk with the beautiful
Marie, who even then held in her fingers some work of the visitor
himself.

Talk ripened into conversation, and conversation into interest. The
heart of Marie--always dutiful at home--now went wandering under the
guide of her mind. She admired the distinguished traveler, and from
admiring, she came presently--in virtue of his kind offices and of his
instructions continued day after day--to love him.

Therefore it was that Jacques Arago, when he came to depart upon new
voyages (and here we follow his own story, rather than probability),
did not whisper of his leave to the beautiful Marie, who still held
her place in the baker's shop upon the Boulevard Beaumarchais.

But she found her liking too strong to resist; and when she heard of
his departure, she hurried away to Havre--only to see the sails of his
out-bound ship glimmering on the horizon.

She bore the matter stoutly as she could--cherishing his letters each
one as so many parts of the mind that had enslaved her; and, finally,
years after, met him calmly, on his return. "I have lived," she said,
"to see you again."

But in a little while, Arago, sitting one day in his bureau, receives
a letter from Marie of Beaumarchais.

"You deceived me when you went away over the sea; I forgive you for
it! Will you forgive me now another deception? I was not well when you
saw me last; I am now in the Hospital Beaujon; I shall die before
tomorrow. But I die faithful to my religion--God--you! Adieu!

                                                          MARIE."

Jacques Arago himself writes so much of the story as has served to
make the back-bone for this; and we appeal to the ninety thousand
readers of our gossip if Jacques Arago needed any thing more than the
_finesse_ of Lamartine, and a touch of his poetic nature, to weave the
story of poor Marie into another Raphael?


AN OLD GENTLEMAN'S LETTER.

"THE STORY OF THE BRIDE OF LANDECK."

DEAR SIR--I now resume the very interesting tale I wished to tell you;
but from which, in my last, I was diverted in a manner requiring some
apology.

You know, however, that this failing of being carried away to
collaterals, is frequent in old gentlemen and nurses; and you must
make excuses for my age and infirmity. Now, however, you shall have
the story of "The Bride of Landeck." A bride is always interesting,
and therefore I trust that my bride will not be less so than others.
There is something so touching in the confidence with which she
bestows the care of her whole fate and happiness on another, something
so strangely perilous, even in her very joy, such a misty darkness
over that new world into which she plunges, that even the coarsest and
most vulgar are moved by it.

I recollect an almost amusing instance of this. The very words
employed by the speakers will show you that they were persons of
inferior condition; and yet they were uttered with a sigh, and with
every appearance of real feeling.

I was one day walking along through the streets of a great city, where
it is the custom, in almost all instances, for marriages to take place
in church. My way lay by the vestry of a fashionable church, and I was
prevented for a minute or two from passing by a great throng of
carriages, and a little crowd gathered to see a bride and bridegroom
set out upon their wedding tour. There were two mechanics immediately
before me--carpenters apparently--and, being in haste, I tried to
force my way on. One of the men looked round, saying quietly, "There's
no use pushing, you can't get by;" and in a moment after, the bridal
party came forth. The bridegroom was a tall, fine-looking, grave young
man; and the bride a very beautiful, interesting creature, hardly
twenty. They both seemed somewhat annoyed by the crowd, and hurried
into their carriage and drove away.

When the people dispersed, the two carpenters walked on before me,
commenting upon the occurrence. "Well," said the one, "she's as pretty
a creature as ever I saw; and he's a handsome man; but he looks a
little sternish, to my mind. I hope he'll treat her well."

"Ah, poor thing," said the other, "she has tied a knot with her
tongue, that she can not untie with her teeth."

It is not, however, only sentiment which is occasionally elicited at
weddings. I have known some of the most ludicrous scenes in the world
occur on these solemn occasions. One, especially, will never pass from
my mind, and I must try to give you an account of it, although the
task will be somewhat difficult.

Some fifty years ago, in the good city of Edinburgh, many of the
conveniences, and even necessaries of household comfort were arranged
in a very primitive manner. It was about this time, or a little before
it, that a gentleman, whom I afterward knew well, Mr. J---- F----,
wooed and won a very beautiful girl of the best society in the city.
His doing so was, indeed, a marvel to all; for, though young, witty,
and well-looking, he was perhaps the most absent man upon the face of
the earth; and the wonder was that he could ever recollect himself
sufficiently to make love to one woman for two days consecutively.
However, so it was; and a vast number of mistakes and blunders having
been got over, the wedding day was appointed and came. The ceremony
was to be performed in the house of the bride's father; and a large
and fashionable company was assembled at the hour appointed. The
bridegroom was known to have been in the house some time; but he did
not appear; and minister, parents, bride, bridesmaids, and bridesmen,
all full dressed, the ladies in court lappets, and the gentlemen with
_chapeaux bras_ under their arms, began to look very grave.

The bride's brother, however, knew his friend's infirmity, and was
also aware that he had an exceedingly bad habit of reading classical
authors in places the least fitted for such purposes. He stole out of
the room, then, hurried to the place where he expected his future
brother-in-law might be found; and a minute after, in spite of doors
and staircases, his voice was heard exclaiming, "Jimmy--Jimmy; you
forget you are going to be married, man. Every one is waiting for
you."

"I will come directly--I will come directly," cried another voice--"I
quite forgot--go and keep them amused."

The young gentleman returned, with a smile upon his face; but
announced that the bridegroom would be there in an instant; and the
whole party arranged themselves in a formidable semi-circle. This was
just complete, when the door opened, and the bridegroom appeared. All
eyes fixed upon him--all eyes turned toward his left arm, where his
_chapeau bras_ should have been; and a universal titter burst from all
lips. Poor F---- stood confounded, perceived the direction of their
looks, and turned his own eyes to his left arm also. Close pressed
beneath it, appeared, instead of a neat black _chapeau bras_, a thin,
flat, round piece of oak, with a small brass knob rising from the
centre of one side. In horror, consciousness, and confusion, he
suddenly lifted his arm. Down dropped the obnoxious implement, lighted
on its edge, rolled forward into the midst of the circle, whirled
round and round, as if paying its compliments to every body, and
settled itself with a flounder at the bride's feet. A roar, which
might have shook St. Andrews, burst from the whole party.

The bride married him notwithstanding, and practiced through life the
same forbearance--the first of matrimonial virtues--which she showed
on the present occasion.

Poor F----, notwithstanding the sobering effects of matrimony,
continued always the most absent man in the world; and one instance
occurred, some fifteen or sixteen years after his marriage, which his
wife used to tell with great glee. She was a very notable woman, and
good housekeeper. Originally a Presbyterian, she had conformed to the
views of her husband, and regularly frequented the Episcopal church.
One Sunday, just before the carriage came to the door to take her and
her husband to the morning service, she went down to the kitchen, as
was her custom, in mercantile parlance, to take stock, and give her
orders. She happened to be somewhat longer than usual: the carriage
was announced, and poor F----, probably knowing that if he gave
himself a moment to pause, he should forget himself, and his wife, and
the church, and all other holy and venerable things, went down after
her, with the usual, "My dear, the carriage is waiting; we shall be
very late."

Mrs. F---- went through her orders with customary precision, took up
her prayer-book, entered the carriage with her husband, and rolled
away toward the church.

"My dear, what an extraordinary smell of bacon there is in the
carriage," said Mr. F----.

"I do not smell it, my dear," said Mrs. F----.

"I do," said Mr. F----, expanding his nostrils emphatically.

"I think I smell it too, now," said Mrs. F----, taking a sniff.

"Well, I hope those untidy servants of ours do not smoke bacon in the
carriage," said Mr. F----.

"Oh, dear, no," replied his wife, with a hearty laugh. "No fear of
that, my dear."

Shortly after, the carriage stopped at the church door; and Mr. and
Mrs. F---- mounted the stairs to their pew, which was in the gallery,
and conspicuous to the whole congregation. The lady seated herself,
and laid her prayer-book on the velvet cushion before her. Mr. F----
put his hand into his pocket, in search of his own prayer-book, and
pulled out a long parallelogram, which was not a prayer-book, but
which he laid on the cushion likewise.

"I don't wonder there was a smell of bacon in the carriage, my dear,"
whispered Mrs. F----; and, to his horror, he perceived lying before
him, in the eyes of a thousand persons, a very fine piece of
red-and-white streaky bacon, which he had taken up in the kitchen,
thinking it was his prayer-book.

On only one subject could Mr. F---- concentrate his thoughts, and that
was the law, in the profession of which he obtained considerable
success, although occasionally, an awful blunder was committed; but,
strange to say, never in the strictly legal part of his doings. He
would forget his own name, and write that of some friend of whom he
was thinking instead. He would confound plaintiff with defendant, and
witnesses with counsel; but he never made a mistake in an abstract
legal argument. There, where no collateral, and, as he imagined,
immaterial circumstances were concerned--such as, who was the man to
be hanged, and who was not--the reasoning was clear, acute, and
connected; and for all little infirmities of mind, judges and jurors,
who generally knew him well, made due allowance.

Other people had to make allowance also; and especially when, between
terms, he would go out to pay a morning visit to a friend, Mrs. F----
never counted, with any certainty, upon his return for a month. He
would go into the house where his call was to be made, talk for a few
minutes, take up a book, and read till dinner time--dine--and lucky if
he did not fancy himself in his own house, and take the head of the
table. Toward night he might find out his delusion, and the next
morning proceed upon his way, borrowing a clean shirt, and leaving his
dirty one behind him. Thus it happened, that at the end of a
twelvemonth, his wardrobe comprised a vast collection of shirts, of
various sorts and patterns, with his own name on very few of them.

The stories of poor Jimmy F----'s eccentricities in Edinburgh were
innumerable. On one occasion, seeing a lady, on his return home,
coming away from his own door, he handed her politely into her
carriage, expressing his regret that she had not found Mrs F---- at
home.

"I am not surprised, my dear," said the lady, who was in reality his
own wife, "that you forget me, when you so often forget yourself."

"God bless me," cried Jimmy, with the most innocent air in the world.
"I was quite sure I had seen you somewhere before; but could not tell
where it was."

Dear old Edinburgh, what a city thou wert when I first visited thee,
now more than forty years ago! How full of strange nooks and corners,
and, above all, how full of that racy and original character which the
world in general is so rapidly losing! Warm hearted hospitality was
one of the great characteristics of Auld Reekie in those times, and it
must be admitted that social intercourse was sometimes a little too
jovial. This did not indeed prevent occasional instances of miserly
closeness, and well laughed at were they when they were discovered.
There was a lady of good station and ample means in the city, somewhat
celebrated for the not unusual combination of a niggard spirit, and a
tendency to ostentatious display. Large supper parties were then in
vogue; and I was invited to more than one of these entertainments at
the house of Lady C---- G----, where I remarked that, though the table
was well covered, the guests were not very strenuously pressed to
their food. She had two old servants, a butler and a foot-man, trained
to all her ways, and apparently participating in her economical
feelings. These men, with the familiarity then customary in Scotch
servants, did not scruple to give their mistress any little hints at
the supper table in furtherance of her saving propensities, and as the
old lady was somewhat deaf, these _asides_ were pretty much public
property. On one occasion, the butler was seen to bend over his
mistress's chair, saying, in a loud whisper, and good broad Scotch,
"Press the jeelies, my leddy--press the jeelies. They'll no keep."

Lady C---- G---- did not exactly catch his words, and looked up
inquiringly in his face, and the man repeated, "Press the jeelies, my
leddy: they're getting mouldy."

"Shave them, John--shave them," said Lady C---- G----, in a solemn
tone.

"They've been shaved already, my leedy," roared John; and the company
of course exploded.

But to return to my tale. The small village of Landeck, is situated in
the heart of the Tyrol, and in that peculiar district, called the
Vorarlberg. It is as lovely a spot as the eye of man can rest upon,
and the whole drive, in fact, from Innspruck is full of picturesque
beauty. But--

But I find this is the last page of the sheet, when I fondly fancied
that I had another whole page, which I think would be sufficient to
conclude the tale. I had probably better, therefore, reserve the story
of The Bride of Landeck for another letter, and only beg you to
believe me

                                             Yours faithfully,

                                                               P.



Editor's Drawer.


It is not a very long time ago, that "bustles" formed a very essential
part of a fashionable lady's dress; nor has this singular branch of
the fine arts altogether fallen into decadence at the present day.
And, as apropos of this, we find in the "Drawer" a description of the
uses of this article in Africa, which we think will awaken a smile
upon the fair lips of our lady-readers. "The most remarkable article
of dress," says the African traveler, from whom our extract is quoted,
"that I have seen, is one which I have vaguely understood to
constitute a part of the equipment of my fair countrywomen; in a word,
the veritable '_Bustle!_' Among the belles here, there is a reason for
the excrescence which does not exist elsewhere; for the little
children ride astride the maternal bustle, which thus becomes as
useful as it is an ornamental protuberance. Fashion, however, has
evidently more to do with the matter than convenience; for old
wrinkled grandmothers wear these beautiful anomalies, and little girls
of eight years old display protuberances that might excite the envy of
a Broadway belle. Indeed, Fashion may be said to have its perfect
triumph and utmost refinement in this article; it being a positive
fact that some of the girls hereabout wear _merely_ the bustle,
without so much as the shadow of a garment! Its native name is
"_Tarb-Koshe_.""

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is a formula for all who can couple "love" and "dove," by which
they may rush into print as "poets" of the common "water." The
skeleton may be called any thing--"Nature," "Poesy," "Woman," or what
not:

      Stream.....mountain.....straying,
      Breeze.....gentle.....playing;
      Bowers.....beauty.....bloom,
      Rose.....jessamine.....perfume.
      Twilight.....moon.....mellow ray,
      Tint.....glories.....parting day.
      Poet.....stars.....truth.....delight,
      Joy.....sunshine.....silence.....night;
      Voice.....frown.....affection.....love,
      Lion.....anger.....taméd dove.
      Lovely.....innocent.....beguile,
      Terror.....frown.....conquer.....smile;
      Loved one.....horror.....haste.....delay,
      Past.....thorns.....meet.....gay.
      Sweetness.....life.....weary.....prose,
      Love.....hate.....bramble.....rose;
      Absence.....presence.....glory.....bright,
      Life.....halo.....beauty.....light.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not long since a young English merchant took his youthful wife with
him to Hong-Kong, China, where the couple were visited by a wealthy
Mandarin. The latter regarded the lady very attentively, and seemed to
dwell with delight upon her movements. When she at length left the
apartment, he said to the husband, in broken English (worse than
broken China):

"What you give for that wifey-wife yours?"

"Oh," replied the husband, laughing at the singular error of his
visitor, "two thousand dollars."

This the merchant thought would appear to the Chinese rather a high
figure; but he was mistaken.

"Well," said the Mandarin, taking out his book with an air of
business, "s'pose you give her to me; give you _five_ thousand
dollar!"

It is difficult to say whether the young merchant was more amazed than
amused; but the very grave and solemn air of the Chinaman convinced
him that he was in sober earnest; and he was compelled, therefore, to
refuse the offer with as much placidity as he could assume. The
Mandarin, however, continued to press his bargain:

"I give you seven thousand dollar," said he: "You _take_ 'em?"

The merchant, who had no previous notion of the value of the commodity
which he had taken out with him, was compelled, at length, to inform
his visitor that Englishmen were not in the habit of selling their
wives after they once came in their possession--an assertion which the
Chinaman was very slow to believe. The merchant afterward had a hearty
laugh with his young and pretty wife, and told her that he had just
discovered her full value, as he had that moment been offered seven
thousand dollars for her; a very high figure, "as wives were going" in
China at that time!

Nothing astonishes a Chinaman so much, who may chance to visit our
merchants at Hong-Kong, as the deference which is paid by our
countrymen to their ladies, and the position which the latter are
permitted to hold in society. The very servants express their disgust
at seeing American or English ladies permitted to sit at table with
their lords, and wonder why men can so far forget their dignity!

       *       *       *       *       *

We have seen the thought contained in the following Persian fable,
before, in the shape of a scrap of "Proverbial Philosophy," by an
eastern sage; but the sentiment is so admirably versified in the
lines, that we can not resist presenting them to the reader:

      "A little particle of rain,
      That from a passing cloud descended,
      Was heard thus idly to complain:
      'My brief existence now is ended.
      Outcast alike of earth and sky,
      Useless to live--unknown to die.'

      "It chanced to fall into the sea,
      And then an open shell received it,
      And, after-years, how rich was he
      Who from its prison-house relieved it!
      That drop of rain had formed a gem,
      To deck a monarch's diadem."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a certain London cockneyism that begins to obtain among
_some_ persons even here--and that is, the substitution of the word
"gent," for gentleman. It is a gross vulgarism. In England, however,
the terms are more distinctive, it seems. A waiting-maid at a
provincial inn, on being asked how many "gents" there were in the
house, replied, "Three gents and four gentlemen." "Why do you make a
distinction, Betty?" said her interrogator. "Oh, why, the gents are
only _half_ gentlemen, people from the country, who come on horseback;
the others have their carriages, and are _real_ gentlemen!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Most readers will remember the ill-favored fraternity mentioned by
Addison, known as "_The Ugly Club_," into which no person was admitted
without a visible queerity in his aspect, or peculiar cast of
countenance. The club-room was decorated with the heads of eminent
ogres; in short, every thing was in keeping with the deformed objects
of the association. They have a practice at the West of giving to the
ugliest man in all the "diggins" round about, a jack-knife, which he
carries until he meets with a man uglier than himself, when the new
customer "takes the knife," with all its honors. A certain notorious
"beauty" had carried the knife for a long time, with no prospect of
ever being called upon to "stand and deliver" it. He had an under-lip,
which hung down like a motherless colt's, bending into a sort of pouch
for a permanent chew of tobacco his eyes had a diabolical squint
_each_ way; his nose was like a ripe warty tomato; his complexion like
that of an old saddle-flap; his person and limbs a miracle of
ungainliness, and his gait a cross between the slouch of an elephant
and the scrambling movement of a kangaroo. Yet this man was compelled
to give up the knife. It happened in this wise: _He was kicked in the
face by a horse!_ His "mug," as the English cockney would call it, was
smashed into an almost shapeless mass. But so _very_ ugly was he
_before_ the accident, that, when his face got well, it was found to
be so much improved that he was obliged to surrender up the knife to a
successful competitor! He must have been a handsome man, whom a kick
in the face by a horse would "improve!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Some years ago the Queen of England lost a favorite female dog. It was
last seen, before its death, poking its nose into a dish of
sweet-breads on the pantry-dresser. Foul play was suspected; the
scullery-maid was examined; the royal dog-doctor was summoned; a
"crowner's quest" was held upon the body; and the surgeon, after the
evidence was "all in," assuming the office of coroner, proceeded to
"sum up" as follows:

"This affair was involved, apparently, in a good deal of doubt until
this inquisition was held. The deceased might have been poisoned, or
might not; and here the difficulty comes in, to determine whether he
was or wasn't. On a post-mortem examination, there was a good deal of
vascular inflammation about the coats of the nose; and I have no doubt
the affair of the sweet-bread, which was possibly very highly
peppered, had something to do with these appearances. The pulse had,
of course, stopped; but, as far as I could judge from appearances, I
should say it had been pretty regular. The ears were perfectly
healthy, and the tail appeared to have been recently wagged; showing
that there could have been nothing very wrong in that quarter. The
conclusion at which, after careful consideration, I have arrived, is,
that the royal favorite came to his death from old age, or rather from
the lapse of time; and a _deodand_ is therefore imposed on the
kitchen-clock, which was rather fast on the day of the dog's death,
and very possibly might have accelerated his demise!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It is no small thing to be called on suddenly to address a public
meeting, of any sort, and to find all your wits gone a-wool-gathering,
when you most require their services. "Such being the case," and
"standing admitted," as it will be, by numerous readers, we commend
the following speech of a compulsory orator at the opening of a free
hospital:

"GENTLEMEN--Ahem!--I--I--I rise to say--that is, I wish to propose a
toast--wish to propose a toast. Gentlemen, I think that you'll all
say--ahem--I think, at least, that this toast is, as you'll say, the
toast of the evening--toast of the evening. Gentlemen, I belong to a
good many of these things--and I say, gentlemen, that this hospital
requires no patronage--at least, you don't want any recommendation.
You've only got to be ill--got to be ill. Another thing--they are all
locked up--I mean they are shut up separate--that is, they've all got
separate beds--separate beds. Now, gentlemen, I find by the report
(_turning over the leaves in a fidgety manner_), I find, gentlemen,
that from the year seventeen--no, eighteen--no, ah, yes, I'm
right--eighteen hundred and fifty--No! it's a 3, thirty-six--eighteen
hundred and thirty-six, no less than one hundred and ninety-three
millions--no! ah! (_to a committee-man at his side_,) Eh?--what?--oh,
yes--thank you!--thank you, yes--one hundred and ninety-three
thousand--two millions--no (_looking through his eye-glass_), two
hundred and thirty-one--one hundred and ninety-three thousand, two
hundred and thirty-one! Gentlemen, I beg to propose--

      "_Success to this Institution!_"

Intelligible as Egyptian hieroglyphics, and "clear as mud" to the
"most superficial observer!"

       *       *       *       *       *

That was a touch of delicate sarcasm which is recorded of Charles
Lamb's brother, "James Elia." He was out at Eton one day, with his
brother and some other friends; and upon seeing some of the Eton boys,
students of the college, at play upon the green, he gave vent to his
forebodings, with a sigh and solemn shake of the head: "Ah!" said he,
"what a pity to think that these fine ingenuous lads in a few years
will all be changed into frivolous members of parliament!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Some spendthrifts belonging to "_The Blues_" having been obliged to
submit their "very superior long-tailed troop horses" to the
arbitrament of a London auctioneer's hammer, a wag "improves the
occasion" by inditing the following touching parody:

      "Upon the ground he stood,
        To take a last fond look
      At the troopers, as he entered them
        In the horse-buyer's book.
      He listened to the neigh,
        So familiar to his ear;
      But the soldier thought of bills to pay,
        And wiped away a tear.

      "Beside the stable-door,
        A mare fell on her knees;
      She cocked aloft her crow-black tail,
        That fluttered in the breeze,
      She seemed to breathe a prayer--
        A prayer he could not hear--
      For the soldier felt his pockets bare,
        And wiped away a tear.

      "The soldier blew his nose--
        Oh! do not deem him weak!
      To meet his creditors, he knows
        He's not sufficient 'cheek.'
      Go read the writ-book through,
        And 'mid the names, I fear,
      You're sure to find the very Blue
        Who wiped away the tear!"

       *       *       *       *       *

We believe it is Dryden who says, "It needs all we know to make things
_plain_." We wonder what he would have thought of this highly
intelligible account of blowing up a ship by a submarine battery, as
Monsieur Maillefert blew up the rocks in Hellgate:

"There is no doubt that all submarine salts, acting in coalition with
a pure phosphate, and coagulating chemically with the sublimate of
marine potash, _will_ create combustion in nitrous bodies. It is a
remarkable fact in physics, that sulphurous acids, held in solution by
glutinous compounds, will create igneous action in aquiferous bodies;
and hence it is, therefore, that the pure carbonates of any given
quantity of bituminous or ligneous solids will of themselves create
the explosions in question."

We have heard men listen to such lucid, _pellucid_ "expositions" as
this, with staring eyes:

      "And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
      That one small head could carry all he knew."

       *       *       *       *       *

He was a keen observer and a rare discriminator of children, who drew
this little picture, in a work upon "Childhood and its Reminiscences:"

"See those two little girls! You hardly know which is the elder, so
closely do they follow each other. They were born to the same
routine, and will be bred in it for years, perhaps, side by side, in
unequal fellowship; one pulling back, the other dragging forward.
Watch them for a few moments as they play together, each dragging her
doll about in a little cart. Their names are Cecilia and Constance,
and they manage their dolls always as differently as they will their
children. You ask Cecilia where she is going to drive her doll to, and
she will tell you, 'Through the dining-room into the hall, and then
back into the dining-room,' which is all literally true. You ask
Constance, and with a grave, important air, and a loud whisper, for
Doll is not to hear on any account, she answers, 'I am going to take
her to London, and then to Brighton, to see her little cousin: the
hall is Brighton, you know,' she adds, with a condescending look.
Cecilia laments over a dirty frock, with a slit at the knee, and
thinks that Mary, the maid, will never give her the new one she
promised. Constance's doll is somewhat in the costume of the king of
the Sandwich Islands; top-boots and a cocked-hat, having only a skein
of worsted tied round her head, and a strip of colored calico or her
shoulders; but she is perfectly satisfied that it is a wreath of
flowers and a fine scarf; bids you smell of the "rose-oil" in her
hair, and then whips herself, to jump over the mat.

"In other matters, the case is reversed. When fear is concerned,
Cecilia's imagination becomes active, and Constance's remains
perfectly passive. A bluff old gentleman passes through that same
hall. The children stop their carts and stare at him, upon which he
threatens to put them in his pocket. Poor Cecilia runs away, in the
greatest alarm; but Constance coolly says: "You _can't_ put us in your
pocket; it isn't half big enough!"

It strikes us that there is an important lesson to parents in this
last passage. Because _one_ child has no fear to go to bed in the
dark, how many poor trembling children, differently constituted, have
passed the night in an agony of fear!

       *       *       *       *       *

There are few more striking things in verse, in the English Language,
than "_The Execution of Montrose_." The author has not, to our
knowledge, been named, and the lines appeared for the first time many
years ago. The illustrious head of the great house of GRAHAME in
Scotland was condemned to be hung, drawn, and quartered; his head to
be affixed on an iron pin and set on the pinnacle of the Tolbooth in
Edinburgh; one hand to be set on the port of Perth, the other on the
port of Stirling; one leg and foot on the port of Aberdeen, the other
on the port of Glasgow. In the hour of his defeat and of his death he
showed the greatness of his soul, by exhibiting the most noble
magnanimity and Christian heroism. The few verses which follow will
enable the reader to judge of the spirit which pervades the poem:

      "'Twas I that led the Highland host
        Through wild Lochaber's snows,
      What time the plaided clans came down
        To battle with Montrose:
      I've told thee how the Southrons fell
        Beneath the broad claymore,
      And how we smote the CAMPBELL clan
        By Inverlochy's shore:
      I've told thee how we swept Dundee,
        And tamed the LINDSAY'S pride!
      But never have I told thee yet,
        How the Great Marquis died!

      "A traitor sold him to his foes;
        Oh, deed of deathless shame!
      I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet
        With one of ASSYNT'S name--
      Be it upon the mountain side,
        Or yet within the glen,
      Stand he in martial gear alone,
        Or backed by armed men--
      Face him, as thou would'st face the man
        Who wronged thy sire's renown;
      Remember of what blood thou art,
        And strike the caitiff down!"

The poet goes on to describe his riding to the place of execution in a
cart, with hands tied behind him, and amidst the jeers and taunts of
his enemies; but his noble bearing subdued the hearts of many even of
his bitter foes. Arrived at the place of execution, the "Great
Marquis" looks up to the scaffold, and exclaims:

      "Now by my faith as belted knight,
        And by the name I bear,
      And by the red St. Andrew's cross
        That waves above us there--
      Ay, by a greater, mightier oath,
        And oh! that such should be!--
      By that dark stream of royal blood
        That lies 'twixt you and me--
      I have not sought on battle-field
        A wreath of such renown,
      Nor dared I hope, on my dying day,
        To win a martyr's crown!

      "There is a chamber far away,
        Where sleep the good and brave,
      But a better place ye have named for me
        Than by my father's grave.
      For truth and right 'gainst treason's might,
        This hand has always striven,
      And ye raise it up for a witness still
        In the eye of earth and heaven.
      Then raise my head on yonder tower,
        Give every town a limb,
      And GOD who made, shall gather them;
        I go from you to HIM!"

We know of few sublimer deaths than this, in which the poet has taken
no liberties with historical facts.

       *       *       *       *       *

A cunning old fox is Rothschild, the greatest banker in the world. He
said, on one occasion, to Sir Thomas Buxton, in England, "My success
has always turned upon one maxim. I said, '_I_ can do what _another_
man can;' and so I am a match for all the rest of 'em. Another
advantage I had: I was always an off-hand man. I made a bargain at
once. When I was settled in London, the East India Company had eight
hundred thousand pounds in gold to sell. I went to the sale, and
bought the whole of it. I knew the Duke of Wellington _must_ have it.
I had bought a great many of his bills at a discount. The Government
sent for me, and _said_ they must have it. When they had got it, they
didn't know how to get it to Portugal, where they wanted it. I
undertook all that, and I sent it through France; and that was the
best business I ever did in my life.

"It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to
make a great fortune, and when you have got it, it requires ten times
as much wit to keep it. If I were to listen to one half the projects
proposed to me, I should ruin myself very soon.

"One of my neighbors is a very ill-tempered man. He tries to vex me,
and has built a great place for swine close to my walk. So when I go
out, I hear first, 'Grunt, grunt,' then 'Squeak, squeak.' But this
does me no harm. I am always in good-humor. Sometimes, to amuse
myself, I give a beggar a guinea. He thinks it is a mistake, and for
fear I should find it out, he runs away as hard as he can. I advise
you to give a beggar a guinea sometimes--it is very amusing."

       *       *       *       *       *

Travelers by railroad, who stop at the "eating stations," and are
hurried away by the supernatural shriek of the locomotive before they
have begun their repast, will appreciate and laugh at the following:

"We have sometimes seen in a pastry-cook's window, the announcement of
'Soups hot till eleven at night,' and we have thought how very hot the
said soups must be at ten o'clock in the morning; but we defy any soup
to be so red-hot, so scorchingly and so intensely scarifying to the
roof of the mouth, as the soup you are allowed just three minutes to
swallow at the railway stations. In the course of our perigrinations,
a day or two ago, we had occasion to stop at a distant station. A
smiling gentleman, with an enormous ladle, said insinuatingly:

"'Soup, sir?'

"'Thank you--yes.'

"Then the gigantic ladle was plunged into a caldron, which hissed with
hot fury at the intrusion of the ladle.

"We were put in possession of a plateful of a colored liquid, that
actually took the skin off our face by mere steam. Having paid for the
soup, we were just about to put a spoonful to our lips when a bell was
rung, and the gentleman who had suggested the soup, ladled out the
soup, and got the money for the soup, blandly remarked:

"'Sir, the train is just off!'

"We made a desperate thrust of a spoonful into our mouth, but the skin
peeled off our lips, tongue, and palate, like the 'jacket' from a hot
potato."

Probably the same soup was served out to the passengers by the next
train. Meanwhile the "soup-vendor smiled pleasantly, and evidently
enjoyed the fun!"

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the best of the minor things of Thackeray's--thrown off,
doubtless before his temporarily-suspended cigar had gone out--is the
following. It is a satire upon the circumstance of some fifty deer
being penned into the narrow wood of some English nobleman, for Prince
ALBERT to "_hunt_" in those confined limits. The lines are by "Jeems,
cousin-german on the Scotch side," to "Chawls Yellowplush, Igsquire":

                   "SONNICK.

      "SEJESTED BY PRINCE HALBERT GRATIOUSLY KILLING
              THE STAGS AT JACKS COBUG GOTHY.

      "Some forty Ed of sleak and hantlered dear,
      In Cobug (where such hanimels abound)
      Was shot, as by the newspaper I 'ear,
      By Halbert, Usband of the British crownd.
      Britannia's Queen let fall the pretty tear,
      Seeing them butchered in their sylvan prisns;
      Igspecially when the keepers standing round,
      Came up and cut their pretty innocent whizns.
      Suppose, instead of this pore Germing sport,
      This Saxon wenison wich he shoots and bags,
      Our Prins should take a turn in Capel Court,
      And make a massyker of Henglish stags.
      Poor stags of Hengland! were the Untsman at you,
      What havoc he would make, and what a tremenjus battu.
                                           JEEMS."

       *       *       *       *       *

What is pleasure? It is an extremely difficult thing to say what
"pleasure" means. Pleasure bears a different scale to every person.
Pleasure to a country girl may mean a village ball, and "so many
partners that she danced till she could scarcely stand." Pleasure to a
school-boy means tying a string to his school-fellow's toe when he is
asleep, and pulling it till he wakens him. Pleasure to a "man of
inquiring mind" means, "a toad inside of a stone," or a beetle running
around with his head off. Pleasure to a hard-laboring man means doing
nothing; pleasure to a fashionable lady means, "having something to
do to drive away the time." Pleasure to an antiquary means, an
"illegible inscription." Pleasure to a connoisseur means, a "dark,
invisible, very fine picture." Pleasure to the social, the "human face
divine." Pleasure to the morose, "Thank Heaven, I shan't see a soul
for the next six months!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"Why don't you wash and dress yourself when you come into a court of
justice?" asked a pompous London judge of a chimney-sweep, who was
being examined as a witness. "Dress myself, my lord," said the sweep:
"I _am_ dressed as much as your lordship: you are in your
_working_-clothes, and so am I!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A good while ago that inimitable wag, PUNCH had some very amusing
"_Legal Maxims_," with comments upon them; a few of which found their
way into the "Drawer," and a portion of which we subjoin:

"_A personal action dies with the person._"--This maxim is clear
enough; and means that an action brought against a man, when he dies
in the middle of it, can not be continued. Thus, though the law
sometimes, and very often, pursues a man to the grave, his rest there
is not likely to be disturbed by the lawyers. If a soldier dies in
action, the action does not necessarily cease, but is often continued
with considerable vigor afterward.

"_Things of a higher nature determine things of a lower
nature._"--Thus a written agreement determines one in words; although
if the words are of a very high nature, they put an end to all kinds
of agreement between the parties.

"_The greater contains the less._"--Thus, if a man tenders more money
than he ought to pay, he tenders what he owes: for the greater
contains the less; but a quart wine-bottle, which is greater than a
pint and a half, does not always contain a pint and a half; so that,
in this instance, the less is not contained in the greater.

"_Deceit and fraud shall be remedied on all occasions._"--It may be
very true, that deceit and fraud _ought_ to be remedied, but whether
they _are_, is quite another question. It is much to be feared, that
in law, as well as in other matters, _ought_ sometimes stands for
nothing.

"_The law compels no one to impossibilities._"--This is extremely
considerate on the part of the law; but if it does not compel a man to
impossibilities, it sometimes drives him to attempt them. The law,
however, occasionally acts upon the principle of two negatives making
an affirmative; thus treating two impossibilities as if they amounted
to a possibility. As, when a man can not pay a debt, law-expenses are
added, which he can not pay either; but the latter being added to the
former, it is presumed, perhaps, that the two negatives, or
impossibilities may constitute one affirmative or possibility, and the
debtor is accordingly thrown into prison, if he fails to accomplish
it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some country readers of the "Drawer," unacquainted with the dance
called the "_Mazurka_," may like to know how to accomplish that
elaborate and fashionable species of saltation. Here follows a
practical explanation of the figures:

      Get a pair of dress-boats, high heels are the best,
        And a partner; then stand with six more in a ring;
      Skip thrice to the right, take two stamps and a rest,
        Hop thrice to the left, give a kick and a fling;
      Be careful in stamping some neighbor don't rue it,
      Though people with corns had better not do it.

      Your partner you next circumnavigate; that
      Is, dance all the way round her, unless she's too fat;
      Make a very long stride, then two hops for _poussette_;
      Lastly, back to your place, if you can, you must get.
      A general mêlée here always ensues,
      Begun by the loss of a few ladies' shoes;
      A faint and a scream--"Oh, dear, I shall fall!"
      "How stupid you are!"--"We are all wrong!" and that's all.

Truly to appreciate such a dancing scene as this, one should see it
through a closed window, at a fashionable watering-place, without
being able to hear a note of the music, the "moving cause" of all the
frisking.


CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR DRAWER.

MISS TREPHINA and MISS TREPHOSA, two ancient ladies of virgin fame,
formerly kept a boarding-house in the immediate neighborhood of the
Crosby-street Medical College. They _took in_ students, did their
washing, and to the best of their abilities mended their shirts and
their morals. Miss Trephina, in spite of the numerous landmarks which
time had set up upon her person, was still of the sentimental order.
She always dressed "_de rigueur_" in cerulean blue, and wore false
ringlets, and teeth (_miserabile dictu!_) of exceedingly doubtful
_extraction_. Miss Trephosa, her sister, was on the contrary an
uncommonly "strong-minded" woman. Her appearance would have been
positively majestic, had it not been for an unfortunate squint, which
went far to upset the dignified expression of her countenance. She
wore a fillet upon her brows "_à la Grecque_," and people _did_ say
that her temper was as cross as her eyes. Bob Turner was a
whole-souled Kentuckian, for whom his professorial guardian obtained
lodgings in the establishment presided over by these two fascinating
damsels. Somehow or other, Bob and his hostesses did not keep upon the
best of terms very long. Bob had no notion of having his minutest
actions submitted to a surveillance as rigid as (in his opinion) it
was impertinent. One morning a fellow-student passing by at an early
hour, saw the Kentuckian, who was standing upon the steps of the
dragons' castle, from which he had just emerged, take from his pocket
a slip of paper, and proceed to affix the same, with the aid of
wafers, to the street door. The student skulked about the premises
until Bob was out of sight, and he could read without observation the
inscription placarded upon the panel. It was as follows--we do not
vouch for its originality, although we know nothing to the contrary:

      "To let or to lease, for the term of her life,
      A scolding old maid, in the way of a wife;
      She's old and she's ugly--ill-natured and thin;
      For further particulars, inquire within!"

An hour afterward the paper had disappeared from the door. Whether Bob
was ever detected or not we can not tell, but he changed his lodgings
the next term.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Spaniards have a talent for self-glorification which throws that
of all other nations, even our own, into the shade. Some allowance
should be made, perhaps, for conventional hyperbolism of style, but
vanity has as much to do with it as rhetoric. A traveled friend
saw performed at Barcelona a play called "Españoles sobre
todos"--"Spaniards before all"--in which the hero, a Spanish knight,
and a perfect paladin in prowess, overthrows more English and French
knights with his single arm than would constitute the entire regular
army of this country. All these absurdities were received by the
audience with a grave enthusiasm marvelous enough to witness. The play
had a great run in all the cities of Spain, until it reached Madrid,
where its first representation scandalized the French embassador to
such a degree, that, like a true Gaul as he was, he made it a national
question, interfered diplomatically, and the Government suppressed the
performance.

There is a light-house at Cadiz--a very good light-house--but in no
respect an extraordinary production of art. There is an inscription
carved upon it, well peppered with notes of exclamation, and which
translated reads as follows:

"This light-house was erected upon Spanish soil, of Spanish stone, by
Spanish hands."

       *       *       *       *       *

An old farmer from one of the rural districts--we may be allowed to
say, from one of the very rural districts--recently came to town to
see the sights, leaving his better-half at home, with the cattle and
the poultry. Among various little keepsakes which he brought back to
his wife, on his return to his Penates, was his own daguerreotype.
"Oh! these men, these men! what creturs they are!" exclaimed the old
lady, on receiving it; "just to think that he should fetch a picture
of himself all the way from York, and be so selfish as not to fetch
one of me at the same time!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The following good story is told of George Hogarth, the author of
musical history, biography, and criticism, and of "Memoirs of the
Musical Drama." It seems that Mr. Hogarth is an intimate friend of
Charles Dickens. Upon one occasion, Mr. Dickens had a party at his
house, at which were present, among other notabilities, Miss ----, the
famous singer, and her mother, a most worthy lady, but not one of the
"illuminated." Mr. Hogarth's engagement as musical critic for some of
the leading London Journals kept him busy until quite late in the
evening; and to Mrs. ----'s reiterated inquiries as to when Mr.
Hogarth might be expected, Mr. Dickens replied that he could not
venture to hope that he would come in before eleven o'clock. At about
that hour the old gentleman, who is represented as being one of the
mildest and most modest of men, entered the rooms, and the excited
Mrs. ---- solicited an immediate introduction. When the consecrated
words had been spoken by the amused host, fancy the effect of Mrs.
----'s bursting out with the hearty exclamation, "Oh, Mr. Hogarth, how
shall I express to you the honor which I feel on making the
acquaintance of the author of the 'Rake's Progress!'"

We wish it had been our privilege to see Dickens' face at that moment.

       *       *       *       *       *

DR. DIONYSIUS LARDNER married an Irish lady, of the city of Dublin, we
believe, whose name was Cicily. The Doctor is represented not to have
treated her with all conceivable marital tenderness. Among the
University wags, he went by the name of "Dionysius, the _Tyrant of
Cicily_" (_Sicily._)

       *       *       *       *       *

The late Pope of Rome, Gregory XVI., was once placed in an extremely
awkward dilemma, in consequence of his co-existing authority as
temporal and spiritual prince. A child of Jewish parentage was stolen
from its home in early infancy. Every possible effort was made to
discover the place of its concealment, but for many years without any
success. At length, after a long lapse of time, it was accidentally
ascertained that the boy, who had now almost grown a man, was residing
in a Christian family, in a section of the town far removed from the
"Ghetto," or Jews' quarter. The delighted parents eagerly sought to
take their child home at once, but his Christian guardians refused to
give him up; and the Pope was applied to by both parties, to decide
upon the rival claims. On the one hand it was urged, that, as the head
of the State, his Holiness could never think of countenancing the
kidnapping of a child, and the detaining him from his natural friends.
On the other hand it was contended, that, as head of the Church, it
was impossible for him to give back to infidelity one who had been
brought up a true believer. The case was a most difficult one to pass
upon, and what might have been the result it would be hard to tell,
had not the voice of habit been stronger than the voice of blood, and
the subject of the dispute expressed an earnest desire to cling to the
Church rather than be handed over to the Synagogue.

       *       *       *       *       *

The famous humorist, Horne Tooke, once stood for Parliament in the
Liberal interest. His election was contested by a person who had made
a large fortune as a public contractor. This gentleman, in his speech
from the hustings, exhorted the constituency not to elect a man who
had no stake in the country. Mr. Tooke, in reply, said that he must
confess, with all humility, that there was, at least, one stake in the
country which he did not possess, and that was a _stake taken from the
public fence_.

Upon another occasion, the blank form for the income-tax return was
sent in to Mr. Tooke to be filled up. He inserted the word "Nil,"
signed it, and returned it to the board of county magistrates. Shortly
afterward he was called before this honorable body of gentlemen to
make an explanation. "What do you mean by 'Nil,' sir?" asked the most
ponderous of the gentlemen upon the bench. "I mean literally 'Nil,'"
answered the wag.

"We perfectly understand the meaning of the Latin word
_Nil_--nothing," rejoined the magistrate, with an air of
self-congratulation upon his learning. "But do you mean to say, sir,
that you live without any income at all--that you live upon nothing?"

"Upon nothing but my brains, gentlemen," was Tooke's answer.

"Upon nothing but his brains!" exclaimed the presiding dignitary to
his associates. "It seems to me that this is a novel source of
income."

"Ah, gentlemen," retorted the humorist, "it is not every man that _has
brains to mortgage_."

       *       *       *       *       *

In nothing is the irregularity of our orthography shown more than in
the pronunciation of certain proper names. The English noble names of
Beauchamp, Beauvoir, and Cholmondeley are pronounced respectively
Beechum, Beaver, and Chumley.

One of the "Anglo-Saxun" reformers, meeting Lord Cholmondeley one day
coming out of his own house, and not being acquainted with his
Lordship's person, asked him if Lord Chol-mon-de-ley (pronouncing each
syllable distinctly), was at home? "No," replied the Peer, without
hesitation, "nor any of his pe-o-ple."

       *       *       *       *       *

Before commons were abolished at Yale College, it used to be customary
for the steward to provide turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinner. As
visits of poultry to the "Hall" table were "few and far between," this
feast was looked forward to with anxious interest by all the students.
The birds, divested of their feathers, were ordinarily deposited
over-night in some place of safety--not unfrequently in the
Treasurer's office.

Upon one occasion a Vandal-like irruption, by some unknown parties,
was made in the dead of night upon the place of deposit. By the next
morning the birds had all flown--been spirited away, or carried
off--we give the reader his choice. A single venerable specimen of
antiquity, the stateliest of the flock, was found tied by the legs to
the knocker of the steward's door. And, as if to add insult to injury
(or injury to insult, as you please), a paper was pinned upon his
breast with the significant motto written upon it: _E pluribus
unum_--"One out of many."

       *       *       *       *       *

At one corner of the Palazzo Braschi, the last monument of Papal
nepotism, near the Piazza Navona, in Rome, stands the famous mutilated
torso known as the Statue of Pasquin. It is the remains of a work of
art of considerable merit, found at this spot in the sixteenth
century, and supposed to represent Ajax supporting Menelaus. It
derives its modern name, as Murray tells us, from the tailor Pasquin,
who kept a shop opposite, which was the rendezvous of all the gossips
in the city, and from which their satirical witticisms on the manners
and follies of the day obtained a ready circulation. The fame of
Pasquin is perpetuated in the term _pasquinade_, and has thus become
European; but Rome is the only place in which he flourishes. The
statue of Marforio, which stood near the arch of Septimus Severus, in
the Forum, was made the vehicle for replying to the attacks of
Pasquin; and for many years they kept up an incessant fire of wit and
repartee. When Marforio was removed to the Museum of the Capitol, the
Pope wished to remove Pasquin also; but the Duke di Braschi, to whom
he belongs, would not permit it. Adrian VI. attempted to arrest his
career by ordering the statue to be burnt and thrown into the Tiber,
but one of the Pope's friends, Ludovico Sussano, saved him, by
suggesting that his ashes would turn into frogs, and croak more
terribly than before. It is said that his owner is compelled to pay a
fine whenever he is found guilty of exhibiting any scandalous
placards. The modern Romans seem to regard Pasquin as part of their
social system; in the absence of a free press, he has become in some
measure the organ of public opinion, and there is scarcely an event
upon which he does not pronounce judgment. Some of his sayings are
extremely broad for the atmosphere of Rome, but many of them are very
witty, and fully maintain the character of his fellow-citizens for
satirical epigrams and repartee. When Mezzofante, the great linguist,
was made a Cardinal, Pasquin declared that it was a very proper
appointment, for there could be no doubt that the "Tower of Babel,"
"_Il torre di Babel_," required an interpreter. At the time of the
first French occupation of Italy, Pasquin gave out the following
satirical dialogue:

      "I Francesi son tutti ladri,
      "Non tutti--ma Buonaparte."
      "The French are all robbers.
      "Not all, but a _good part_;" or,
      "Not all--but Buonaparte."

Another remarkable saying is recorded in connection with the
celebrated Bull of Urban VIII., excommunicating all persons who took
snuff in the Cathedral of Seville. On the publication of this decree,
Pasquin appropriately quoted the beautiful passage in Job--"Wilt thou
break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry
stubble?"



Literary Notices.


_The Naval Dry Docks of the United States._ By CHARLES B.
STUART.--This elegant volume, by the Engineer-in-Chief of the United
States Navy, is dedicated with great propriety to President Fillmore.
It is an important national work, presenting a forcible illustration
of the scientific and industrial resources of this country, and of the
successful application of the practical arts to constructions of great
public utility. The Dry Docks at the principal Navy Yards in the
United States are described in detail--copious notices are given of
the labor and expense employed in their building--with a variety of
estimates, tables, and plans, affording valuable materials for
reference to the contractor and engineer. Gen. Stuart has devoted the
toil of many years to the preparation of this volume, which forms the
first of a series, intended to give a history and description of the
leading public works in the United States. He has accomplished his
task with admirable success. Every page bears the marks of fidelity,
diligence, and skill. The historical portions are written in a popular
style, and as few professional technicalities have been employed as
were consistent with scientific precision. In its external appearance,
this publication is highly creditable to American typography; a more
splendid specimen of the art has rarely, if ever been issued from the
press in this country. The type, paper, and binding are all of a
superior character, and worthy of the valuable contents of the volume.
The scientific descriptions are illustrated by twenty-four fine steel
engravings, representing the most prominent features of the Dry Docks
at different stages of their construction. We trust that this superb
volume, in which every American may well take an honest pride, will
not only attract the attention of scientific men, but find its way
generally into our public and private libraries.

A unique work on the manners of gentlemen in society has been issued
by Harper and Brothers, entitled, _The Principles of Courtesy_. The
author, GEORGE WINFRED HERVEY, whom we now meet for the first time in
the domain of authorship, seems to have made a specialty of his
subject, judging from the completeness of detail and earnestness of
tone which he has brought to its elucidation. It is clearly his
mission to "catch the living manners as they rise" to submit them to a
stringent search for any thing contraband of good feeling or good
taste. He is an observer of no common acuteness. While he unfolds with
clearness the great principles of courtesy, few trifles of detail are
too unimportant to escape his notice. He watches the social bearing of
men in almost every imaginable relation of life--detects the slight
shades of impropriety which mar the general comfort--points out the
thousand little habits which diminish the facility and grace of
friendly intercourse--and spares no words to train up the aspirants
for decency of behavior in the way they should go. We must own that we
have usually little patience with works of this description. The
manners of a gentleman are not formed by the study of Chesterfield. A
formal adherence to written rules may make dancing-masters, or Sir
Charles Grandisons; but the untaught grace of life does not come from
previous intent. This volume, however, somewhat modifies our opinion.
It is no stupid collection of stereotype precepts, but a bold, lively
discussion of the moralities of society, interspersed with frequent
dashes of caustic humor, and occasional sketches of character in the
style of La Bruyere. Whatever effect it may have in mending the
manners of our social circles, it is certainly a shrewd, pungent book,
and may be read for amusement as well as edification.

_An Exposition of some of the Laws of the Latin Grammar_, by GESSNER
HARRISON, M.D. (Published by Harper and Brothers.) This is a treatise
on several nice topics of Latin philology, which are discussed with
great sagacity and analytic skill. It is not intended to take the
place of any of the practical grammars now in use, but aims rather to
supply some of their deficiencies, by presenting a philosophical
explanation of the inflections and syntax of the language. Although
the subtle distinctions set forth by the author may prove too strong
meat for the digestion of the beginner, we can assure the adept in
verbal analogies, that he will find in this volume a treasure of rare
learning and profound suggestion. While professedly devoted to the
Latin language, it abounds with instructive hints and conclusions on
general philology. It is one of those books which, under a difficult
exterior, conceals a sweet and wholesome nutriment. Whoever will crack
the nut, will find good meat.

An excellent aid in the acquisition of the French language may be
found in Professor FASQUELLE'S _New Method_, published by Newman and
Ivison. It is on the plan of Woodbury's admirable German Grammar, and
for simplicity, copiousness, clearness, and accuracy, is not surpassed
by any manual with which we are acquainted.

_The Two Families_ is the title of a new novel by the author of "Rose
Douglas," republished by Harper and Brothers. Pervaded by a spirit of
refined gentleness and pathos, the story is devoted to the description
of humble domestic life in Scotland, perpetually appealing to the
heart by its sweet and natural simplicity. The moral tendency of this
admirable tale is pure and elevated, while the style is a model of
unpretending beauty.

_A Greek Reader_, by Professor JOHN J. OWEN (published by Leavitt and
Allen), is another valuable contribution of the Editor to the
interests of classical education. It comprises selections from the
fables of Æsop, the Jests of Hierocles, the Apophthegms of Plutarch,
the Dialogues of Lucian, Xenophon's Anabasis and Cyropædia, Homer's
Iliad and Odyssey, and the Odes of Anacreon. With the brief Lexicon
and judicious Notes by the Editor, it forms a highly convenient
text-book for the use of beginners.

The Second Volume of LAMARTINE'S _History of the Restoration_ (issued
by Harper and Brothers), continues the narrative of events from the
departure of Napoleon from Fontainebleau to his escape from Elba, his
defeat at Waterloo, and his final abdication. The tone of this volume
is more chaste and subdued, than that of the previous portions of the
work. The waning fortunes of the Emperor are described with calmness
and general impartiality, though the author's want of sympathy with
the fallen conqueror can not be concealed. Many fine portraitures of
character occur in these pages. In this department of composition,
Lamartine is always graphic and felicitous. We do not admit the charge
that he sacrifices accuracy of delineation to his love of effect. His
sketches will bear the test of examination. Among others, Murat,
Talleyrand, and Benjamin Constant are hit off with masterly boldness
of touch. In fact, whatever criticisms may be passed upon this work as
a history, no one can deny its singular fascinations as a
picture-gallery.

_Clifton_, by ARTHUR TOWNLEY (published by A. Hart, Philadelphia), is
an American novel, chiefly remarkable for its lively portraitures of
fashionable and political life in this country. The plot has no
special interest, and is in fact subservient to the taste for
dissertation, in which the writer freely indulges. His sketches of
manoeuvres and intrigues in society and politics are often quite
piquant, betraying a sharp observer and a nimble satirist. We do not
know the position of the author, but he is evidently familiar with the
sinuosities of Washington and New York society.

The Fourth Volume of _Cosmos_ by HUMBOLDT (republished by Harper and
Brothers), continues the Uranological portion of the Physical
Description of the Universe, completing the subject of Fixed Stars,
and presenting a thorough survey of the Solar Region, including the
Sun as the central body, the planets, the comets, the ring of the
zodiacal light, shooting stars, fireballs, and meteoric stones. This
volume, like those already published, is distinguished for its profuse
detail of physical facts and phenomena, its lucid exhibition of
scientific laws, and the breadth and profoundness of view with which
the unitary principles of the Universe are detected in the midst of
its vast and bewildering variety. Nor is Humboldt less remarkable for
the impressive eloquence of his style, than for the extent of his
researches, and the systematic accuracy of his knowledge. The sublime
facts of physical science are inspired with a fresh vitality as they
are presented in his glowing pages. He awakens new conceptions of the
grandeur of the Universe and the glories of the Creator. No one can
pursue the study of his luminous and fruitful generalizations, without
a deep sense of the wonderful laws of the divine harmony, and hence,
his writings are no less admirable in a moral point of view, than they
are for the boldness and magnificence of their scientific expositions.

_Dollars and Cents_, by AMY LOTHROP (published by G. P. Putnam), is a
new novel of the "Queechy" school, in many respects bearing such a
marked resemblance to those productions, that it might almost be
ascribed to the same pen. Like the writings of Miss Wetherell, its
principal merit consists in its faithful descriptions of nature, and
its insight into the workings of the human heart in common life. The
dialogue is drawn out to a wearisome tenuity, while the general
character of the plot is also fatiguing by its monotonous and sombre
cast. The story hinges on the reverses of fortune in a wealthy family,
by whom all sorts of possible and impossible perplexities are endured
in their low estate, till finally the prevailing darkness is relieved
by a ray of light, when the curtain rather abruptly falls. In the
progress of the narrative, the writer frequently displays an uncommon
power of expression; brief, pointed sentences flash along the page;
but the construction of the plot, as a whole, is awkward; and the
repeated introduction of improbable scenes betrays a want of
invention, which finally marks the work as a failure in spite of the
talent which it occasionally reveals.

The _Study of Words_ by RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH (Published by
Redfield.) A reprint of a curious, but not very profound English work
on the derivation of words. The author presents a variety of specimens
of ingenious verbal analysis; always suggestive; but not seldom
fanciful; relying on subtle hypotheses, rather than on sound
authority. Still his book is not without a certain utility. It
enforces the importance of a nice use of language as an instrument of
thought. The hidden meaning wrapped up in the derivation of terms is
shown to be more significant than is usually supposed; and the
numerous instances of cunning etymology which it brings forward tend
to create a habit of tracing words to their origin, which directed by
good sense, rather than fancy, can not fail to exert a wholesome
influence in the pursuit of truth.

_Life and Correspondence of Lord Jeffrey_, by Lord COCKBURN.
(Published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.) The best part of this book
is that in which Jeffrey is made to speak for himself. Except on the
ground of intimate friendship, Lord Cockburn had no special vocation
for the present task. He exhibits little skill in the arrangement of
his materials, and none of the graces of composition. His narrative is
extremely inartificial, and fails to present the subject in its most
commanding and attractive aspects. He often dwells upon trifles with a
zeal quite disproportioned to their importance. These defects,
however, are in some degree compensated by the thorough sincerity and
earnestness of the whole performance. It is altogether free from
pretension and exaggeration. Lord Cockburn writes like a plain,
hard-headed, common-sense Scotchman. He tells a straightforward story,
leaving it to produce its own effect, without superfluous
embellishment. His relations with Jeffrey were of the most familiar
character. Their friendship commenced early in life, and was continued
without interruption to the last hour. The difference in their
pursuits seemed only to cement their intimacy. Hence, on the whole,
the biography was placed in the right hands. We thus have a more
transparent record of the character of Jeffrey, than if the work had
been prepared in a more ambitious literary spirit. In fact, his
letters reveal to us the best parts of his nature, far more than could
have been done by any labored eulogy. The light they throw on his
affections is a perpetual surprise. His reputation in literature
depends so much on the keenness and severity of his critical
judgments, that we have learned to identify them with the personal
character of the writer. We think of him almost as a wild beast,
lurking in the jungles of literature, eager, with blood-thirsty
appetite, to pounce upon his prey. He seems to roll the most poignant
satire "as a sweet morsel under his tongue." But, in truth, this was
not his innate disposition. When prompted by a sense of critical
justice to slay the unhappy victim, "dividing asunder the joints and
the marrow," he does not spare the steel. No compunctuous visitings of
nature are permitted to stay the hand, when raised to strike. But,
really, there never was a kinder, a more truly soft-hearted man. He
often displays a woman's gentleness and wealth of feeling. The
contrast between this and his sharp, alert, positive, intellectual
nature is truly admirable. With his confidential friends, he lays
aside all reserve. He unbosoms himself with the frank artlessness of a
child. His letters to Charles Dickens are among the most remarkable in
these volumes. He early detected the genius of the young aspirant to
literary distinction. His passion for the writings of Dickens soon
ripened into a devoted friendship for the author, which was cordially
returned. Never was more enthusiastic attachment expressed by one man
for another than is found in this correspondence. It speaks well for
the head and heart of both parties. Incidental notices of the progress
of English literature during the last half-century are, of course,
profusely scattered throughout these volumes. The exceeding interest
of that period, the variety and splendor of its intellectual
productions, and the personal traits of its celebrities, furnish
materials of rare value for an attractive work. With all its defects
of execution, we must welcome this as one of the most delightful
publications of the season.

_Eleven Weeks in Europe_, by JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE. (Boston: Ticknor,
Reed, and Fields.) We never should be surfeited with books of travels,
if they all evinced the frankness, intelligence, and cultivated taste
which characterize this readable volume. Mr. Clarke shows how much can
be done in a short time on a European tour. His book is valuable as a
guide to the selection of objects, no less than for its excellent
descriptions and criticisms. Without claiming any great degree of
novelty, it has an original air from the freedom with which the author
uses his own eyes and forms his own judgments. He speaks altogether
from personal impressions, and does not aim to echo the opinions of
others, however wise or well-informed. His volume is, accordingly, a
rarity in these days, when every body travels, and all copy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Messrs. Lippincott, Grambo, and Co., of Philadelphia, are now
publishing a library edition of the WAVERLEY NOVELS, to be complete in
12 monthly volumes, neatly bound in cloth, with illustrations, at one
dollar per volume. They also issue the work in semi-monthly parts, at
fifty cents, each part embracing a complete novel. The above will take
the place of the edition recently proposed by Harper and Brothers.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third volume of DOUGLAS JERROLD'S writings contains some of his
most popular and remarkable pieces. The "Curtain Lectures, as suffered
by the late Job Caudle," and "The Story of a Feather" appeared
originally in _Punch_--and they have since been repeatedly reprinted,
the former in several editions. The thousands of readers who have
profited by the lectures of Mrs. Caudle may be glad to learn Mr.
Jerrold's characteristic account of the manner in which that household
oracle first addressed herself to his own mind. "It was a thick, black
wintry afternoon, when the writer stopt in the front of the
play-ground of a suburban school. The ground swarmed with boys full of
the Saturday's holiday. The earth seemed roofed with the oldest lead;
and the wind came, sharp as Shylock's knife, from the Minories. But
those happy boys ran and jumped, and hopped, and shouted,
and--unconscious men in miniature!--in their own world of frolic, had
no thought of the full-length men they would some day become; drawn
out into grave citizenship; formal, respectable, responsible. To them
the sky was of any or all colors; and for that keen east-wind--if it
was called the east-wind--cutting the shoulder-blades of old, old men
of forty--they in their immortality of boyhood had the redder faces,
and the nimbler blood for it. And the writer, looking dreamily into
that play-ground, still mused on the robust jollity of those little
fellows, to whom the tax-gatherer was as yet a rarer animal than baby
hippopotamus. Heroic boyhood, so ignorant of the future in the knowing
enjoyment of the present! And the writer, still dreaming and musing,
and still following no distinct line of thought, there struck upon
him, like notes of sudden household music, these words--CURTAIN
LECTURES. One moment there was no living object save those racing,
shouting boys; and the next, as though a white dove had alighted on
the pen-hand of the writer, there was--MRS. CAUDLE. Ladies of the
jury, are there not, then, some subjects of letters that mysteriously
assert an effect without any discoverable cause? Otherwise,
wherefore should the thought of CURTAIN LECTURES grow from a
school-ground?--wherefore, among a crowd of holiday schoolboys should
appear MRS. CAUDLE? For the LECTURES themselves, it is feared they
must be given up as a farcical desecration of a solemn time-honored
privilege; it may be exercised once in a life-time--and that once
having the effect of a hundred repetitions; as Job lectured his wife.
And Job's wife, a certain Mohammedan writer delivers, having committed
a fault in her love to her husband, he swore that on his recovery he
would deal her a hundred stripes. Job got well, and his heart was
touched and taught by the tenderness to keep his vow, and still to
chastise his helpmate; for he smote her once with a palm-branch having
a hundred leaves." To the "Curtain Lectures" and the "Story of a
Feather" Mr. Jerrold has added a very beautiful and characteristic
"tale of faëry," entitled, "The Sick Giant and the Doctor Dwarf."

       *       *       *       *       *

A new edition of Professor ANTHON'S _Anabasis of Xenophon_, with
English notes, is published in London, under the revision of Dr. John
Doran. "Dr. Anthon," says the _Athenæum_, "has edited, and elucidated
by notes, several of the ancient classics, and whatever he has
undertaken he has performed in a scholarly style. At the same time his
books are entirely free from pedantry, and the notes and comments are
so plain and useful, that they are as popular with boys as they are
convenient for teachers."

       *       *       *       *       *

The same Journal has rather a left-handed compliment to American
literature in general, to which, however, it is half inclined to make
our popular IK. MARVEL an exception.

"There is no very startling vitality in any other of Mr. Marvel's
'daydreams.' Still, at the present period, when the writers of
American _belles-lettres_, biography and criticism, show such a
tendency to mould themselves into those affected forms by which
vagueness of thought and short-sightedness of view are disguised, and
to use a jargon which is neither English nor German--a writer
unpretending in his manner and simple in his matter is not to be
dismissed without a kind word; and therefore we have advisedly
loitered for a page or two with Ik. Marvel."

       *       *       *       *       *

At a meeting of the Edinburgh Town Council, the following letter,
addressed to the Lord Provost, magistrates, and council, was read from
Professor Wilson, resigning the Professorship of Moral Philosophy in
the University: "My Lord and Gentlemen--When the kindness of the
patrons, on occasion of my sudden and severe illness in September
last, induced, and the great goodness of the learned Principal Lee
enabled them to grant me leave of absence till the close of the
ensuing session now about to terminate, the benefit to my health from
that arrangement was so great as to seem to justify my humble hopes of
its entire and speedy restoration; but, as the year advances, these
hopes decay, and I feel that it is now my duty to resign the chair
which I have occupied for so long a period, that the patrons may have
ample time for the election of my successor."

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the candidates for the chair of Moral Philosophy in Edinburgh,
vacant by the resignation of Professor Wilson, are Professor Ferrier,
of St. Andrews; Professor Macdougall, of New College, Edinburgh;
Professor M'Cosh, of Belfast; Mr. J. D. Morell; Mr. George Ramsay,
late of Trin. Col., Cam., now of Rugby; and Dr. W. L. Alexander, of
Edinburgh.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. MACLURE, one of the masters of the Edinburgh Academy, has been
appointed by the Crown to the Professorship of Humanity in Marischal
College, Aberdeen, vacant by the translation of Mr. Blackie to the
Greek chair at Edinburgh.

       *       *       *       *       *

The motion for abolishing tests in regard to the non-theological
chairs of the Scottish universities has been thrown out, on the second
reading in the House of Commons, by 172 to 157.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. W. JERDAN, late editor of _The Literary Gazette_, is to become
editor of "_The London Weekly Paper_," an "organ of the middle
classes."

       *       *       *       *       *

The department of MSS. in the British Museum has been lately enriched
with a document of peculiar interest to English literature--namely,
the original covenant of indenture between John Milton, gent., and
Samuel Symons, printer, for the sale and publication of _Paradise
Lost_, dated the 27th of April, 1667. By the terms of agreement,
Milton was to receive £5 at once, and an additional £5 after the sale
of 1300 copies of each of the first, the second, and the third
"impressions" or editions--making in all the sum of £20 to be received
for the copy of the work and the sale of 3900 copies.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Athenæum_ thus notices the death of a late traveler in this
country. "The world of literature has to mourn the untimely closing of
a career full of promise--and which, short as it has been, was not
without the illustration of performance. Mr. ALEXANDER MACKAY, known
to our readers as the author of 'The Western World,' has been snatched
from life at the early age of thirty-two. Besides the work which bears
his name before the world, Mr. Mackay had already performed much of
that kind of labor which, known for the time only to the scientific
few, lays the ground for future publicity and distinction. Connected
as a special correspondent with the _Morning Chronicle_ he had been
employed by that journal in those collections of facts and figures on
the aggregate and comparison of which many of the great social and
statist questions of the day are made to depend. In 1850 Mr. Mackay
was commissioned by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce to visit India
for the purpose of ascertaining by minute inquiries on the spot what
obstacles exist to prevent an ample supply of good cotton being
obtained from its fields, and devising the means of extending the
growth of that important plant in our Eastern empire."

       *       *       *       *       *

GRANIER DE CASSAGNAC, long known to France as an impudent,
unveracious, reckless journalist and critic, has published some
critical Essays, written in his obscurer days. He calls them _Oeuvres
Litéraires_. The volume contains articles on Chateaubriand, Lamennais,
Lacordaire, Corneille, Racine, Dumas, Hugo, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

The readers of the _Débats_ will remember a series of violent,
bigoted, conceited, but not unimportant articles in the _feuilleton_,
signed CUVILLIER FLEURY, devoted principally to the men and books of
the Revolutions of '89 and '48. Written with asperity and passion,
they have the force and vivacity of passion, although their intense
conceit and personality very much abates the reader's pleasure. M.
FLEURY has collected them in two volumes, under the title, _Portraits
Politiques et Révolutionnaires_. Politicians will be attracted toward
the articles on Louis-Philippe, Guizot, the Duchess of Orleans, the
Revolution of 1848, &c.; men of letters will turn to the articles on
Lamartine, Sue, Louis Blanc, Daniel Stern, Proudhon, and Victor Hugo,
or to those on Rousseau, St. Just, Barère, and Camille Desmoulins.

       *       *       *       *       *

Baron de WALKAENER, Perpetual Secretary of the Academy of Inscriptions
et Belles Lettres, of Paris, died April 27. In addition to eminence in
what the French call the Moral and Political Sciences, he was a very
laborious _homme de lettres_, and has given to the world interesting
biographies of La Fontaine and other French writers, together with
correct editions of their works. He was a member of the Institute, and
was one of the principals of the Bibliothèque Nationale.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first number of JACOB and WILHELM GRIMM'S _German Dictionary_ is
just out. It would be premature to criticise the work in its present
stage; it seems, however, to be most carefully and accurately
compiled. It is printed in large octavo form, in double columns, on
good paper, and in a clear print. Some idea may be formed of the labor
which has been expended on this work, from the fact that all the
leisure time of a learned professor has been devoted for the last
three years to reading through the works of Goethe alone in connection
with it. The first number consists of one hundred and twenty pages,
and contains about half the letter A. It is announced to us that 7000
copies had been subscribed for up to the 20th of April. This is a
result almost unparalleled in the German book-trade, and not often
surpassed in England.

       *       *       *       *       *

The library of the convent at Gaesdorf, in Germany, is in possession
of a most interesting MS. of REMPEN'S _De Successione Christi_. It
contains the whole of the four books, and its completion dates from
the year 1427. This MS. is therefore the oldest one extant of this
work, for the copy in the library of the Jesuits at Antwerp, which has
generally been mistaken for the oldest MS., is of the year 1440. The
publication of this circumstance also settles the question as to the
age of the fourth book of Rempen's work, which some erroneously
assumed had not been written previous to 1440.

       *       *       *       *       *

The new Catalogue of the Leipzig Easter Book-Fair contains, according
to the German papers, 700 titles more than the previous Catalogue for
the half year ending with the Fair of St. Michael. The latter included
3860 titles of published books, and 1130 of forthcoming publications.
The present Catalogue enumerates 4527 published works and 1163 in
preparation. These 5690 books represent 903 publishers. A single house
in Vienna contributes 113 publications. That of Brockhaus figures for
95.

       *       *       *       *       *

From Kiel it is stated that Germany has lost one of her most
celebrated natural philosophers in the person of Dr. PFAFF, senior of
the Professors of the Royal University of Kiel--who has died at the
age of seventy-nine. M. Pfaff is the author of a variety of well-known
scientific works--and of others on Greek and Latin archæology. Since
his death, his correspondence with Cuvier, Volta, Kielmayer, and and
other celebrated men, has been found among his papers.



Comicalities, Original and Selected.


[ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATION OF HUMBUG.

"'Tis true, there is a slight difference in our ages, but with hearts
that love, such considerations become frivolous. The world! Pshaw! Did
you but love as I do, you would care but little for its opinion. Oh!
say, beautiful being, will you be mine?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

RULES FOR HEALTH.

BY A SCOTCH PHILOSOPHER WHO HAS TRIED THEM ALL.

Never drink any thing but water.

Never eat any thing but oatmeal.

Wear the thickest boots.

Walk fifteen miles regularly every day.

Avoid all excitement; consequently it is best to remain single, for
then you will be free from all household cares and matrimonial
troubles, and you will have no children to worry you.

The same rule applies to smoking, taking snuff, playing at cards, and
arguing with an Irishman. They are all strong excitements, which must
be rigidly avoided, if you value in the least your health.

By attending carefully to the above rules, there is every probability
that you may live to a hundred years, and that you will enjoy your
hundredth year fully as much as your twenty-first.

       *       *       *       *       *

FINANCE FOR YOUNG LADIES.

Taxes on knowledge are objected to, and taxes on food are objected to;
in fact, there is so much objection to every species of taxation, that
it is very difficult to determine what to tax. The least unpopular of
imposts, it has been suggested, would be a tax on vanity and folly,
and accordingly a proposition has been made to lay a tax upon stays;
but this is opposed by political economists on the ground that such a
duty would have a tendency to check consumption.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MAINE-LAW PETITIONERS]

[Illustration: ANTI MAINE-LAW PETITIONERS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MATRIMONY MADE EASY.]

The following letter has been sent to our office, evidently in
mistake:

                   "_Matrimonial Office, Union Court, Love Lane._

                 "(STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.)

     "SIR--Your esteemed favor of the 10th ult. came duly to
     hand, and, agreeably to your desire, we have the honor to
     forward to you our quarterly sheet of photographic
     likenesses of our Female Clients. We were very sorry that
     the Ladies you fixed upon in our last year's sheets were all
     engaged before your duly honored application arrived at our
     Office; but we hope to be more fortunate in our present
     sheet, which we flatter ourselves contains some highly
     eligibles. We should, however, recommend as early an
     application as possible, as, this being leap-year, Ladies
     are looking up, and considerably risen in the Market, and
     shares in their affections and fortunes are now much above
     par. Should you not be particular to a shade, we should
     respectfully beg leave to recommend No. 7, her father having
     very large estates near Timbuctoo, to which she will be sole
     heiress in case of her twenty-seven brothers dying without
     issue. And should the Great African East and West Railway be
     carried forward, the value of the Estates would be
     prodigiously increased. No. 8 is a sweet poetess, whose
     'Remains' would probably be a fortune to any Literary Gent.
     to publish after her decease. No. 9 has been much approved
     by Gents., having buried eight dear partners, and is an
     eighth time inconsolable.

     "Further particulars may be had on application at our
     Office.

     "We beg also, respectfully, to inform you that your esteemed
     portrait was duly received and appeared in our last Gent.'s
     sheet of Clients; but we are sorry to say as yet no
     inquiries respecting it have come to hand.

     "Permit us further to remind you that a year's subscription
     was due on the 1st of January, which, with arrears amounting
     to £4 4_s._, we shall be greatly obliged by your remitting
     by return of post.

     "With most respectful impatience, awaiting a renewal of your
     ever-esteemed applications, and assuring you that they shall
     be duly attended to with all dispatch, secrecy, and
     punctuality.

                   "We have the honor to be, esteemed Sir,

                       "Your most obedient Servants,

                               "HOOKHAM AND SPLICER,

                    "_Sole Matrimonial Agents for Great Britain_.

     "P.S.--We find our female clients run much on mustaches.
     Would you allow us humbly to suggest the addition of them to
     your portrait in our next Quarterly Sheet? It could be done
     at a slight expense, and would probably insure your being
     one of our fortunate clients."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FAVORITE INVESTMENTS.

LADY.--"Goodness Bridget! what is that you have on?"

BRIDGET.--"Shure! an' didn't I hear you say these Weskitts was all the
fashion? An' so I borrer'd me bruther Pathrick's to wait at the table
in."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AN AGREEABLE PARTNER.

FASCINATING YOUNG LADY.--"I dare say you think me a very odd Girl--and
indeed, mamma always says I am a giddy, thoughtless creature--and--"

PARTNER.--"Oh, here's a vacant seat, I think."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DELICACY.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.--"I don't want to hurry you out of the room, old
girl, but the fact is--I am going to wash myself."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE DOG-DAYS.

PROPRIETOR OF THE DOG.--"Has he been a bitin' on you, sir?"

VICTIM.--"Oh!--Ah!--Ugh!"

PROPRIETOR.--"Vell, I thought as there was somethink the matter with
him, cos he wouldn't drink nuffin for two days, and so I vos jist
a-goin to muzzle him."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE AMERICAN CRUSADERS.

AIR--"_Dunois the Brave_."

      OLD HERMIT PETER was a goose
        To preach the first Crusade,
      And skase e'en GODFREY of Bouillon
        The speculation paid;
      They rose the banner of the Cross
        Upon a foolish plan--
      Not like we hists the Stars and Stripes,
        To go agin Japan.

      All to protect our mariners
        The gallant PERRY sails,
      Our free, enlightened citizens
        A-cruisin' arter whales;
      Who, bein' toss'd upon their shores
        By stormy winds and seas,
      Is wus than niggers used by them
        Tarnation Japanese.

      Our war-cries they are Breadstuffs, Silks.
        With Silver, Copper, Gold,
      And Camphor, too, and Ambergris,
        All by them crittars sold:
      And also Sugar, Tin, and Lead,
        Black Pepper, Cloves likewise.
      And Woolen Cloths and Cotton Thread,
        Which articles they buys.

      We shan't sing out to pattern saints
        Nor gals, afore we fights,
      Like, when they charged the Saracens,
        Did them benighted knights:
      But "Exports to the rescue, ho!"
        And "Imports!" we will cry;
      Then pitch the shell, or draw the bead
        Upon the ene--my.

      We'll soon teach them unsocial coon
        Exclusiveness to drop;
      And stick the hand of welcome out,
        And open wide their shop;
      And fust, I hope we shant be forced
        To whip 'em into fits,
      And chaw the savage loafers right
        Up into little bits.

       *       *       *       *       *

POETICAL COOKERY BOOK.

STEWED DUCK AND PEAS.

AIR--"_My Heart and Lute_."

      I give thee all my kitchen lore,
        Though poor the offering be;
      I'll tell thee how 'tis cooked, before
        You come to dine with me:
      The Duck is truss'd from head to heels,
        Then stew'd with butter well;
      And streaky bacon, which reveals
        A most delicious smell.

      When Duck and Bacon in a mass
        You in a stewpan lay,
      A spoon around the vessel pass,
        And gently stir away:
      A table-spoon of flour bring,
        A quart of water plain,
      Then in it twenty onions fling,
        And gently stir again.

      A bunch of parsley, and a leaf
        Of ever-verdant bay,
      Two cloves--I make my language brief--
        Then add your Peas you may!
      And let it simmer till it sings
        In a delicious strain:
      Then take your Duck, nor let the string
        For trussing it remain.

      The parsley fail not to remove,
        Also the leaf of bay;
      Dish up your Duck--the sauce improve
        In the accustom'd way,
      With pepper, salt, and other things,
        I need not here explain:
      And, if the dish contentment brings,
        You'll dine with me again.



Fashions for Summer.


[Illustration: FIGURES 1 AND 2.--COSTUMES FOR HOME AND FOR THE
PROMENADE.]

Novelty is the distinguishing characteristic of the prevailing
fashions. Give us something new in material, is the cry to the
manufacturer. Give us something new in form, is the demand made upon
the modiste. Both do their best to meet this demand; and both have
succeeded. For the present, whatever is new, fantastic, striking, and
odd, is admired and adopted. It will doubtless be a work of time to
return to simplicity again.

The costumes which we present for the present month, combine
originality enough to meet even the present demand, with good taste
and elegance--a union not always attainable.

FIG. 1.--Dress of white taffeta with colored figures, a particular
pattern for each part of the dress. The ground of the skirt and body
is sprinkled with small Pompadour bouquets _en jardinière_, that is to
say, with flowers of different colors in graduated shades. The
flounces have scolloped edges; the ground is white, and over each
scollop is a rich bouquet of various flowers. The body is very high
behind; it opens square in front, and the middle of the opening is
even a little wider than the top (this cut is more graceful than the
straight one). The waist is very long, especially at the sides; the
front ends in a rounded point not very long. The bottom of the body is
trimmed with a _ruche_, composed of small white ribbons mixed with
others. This _ruche_ is continued on the waist, and meets at the
bottom of the point. There are three bows of _chiné_ ribbon on the
middle of the body. The upper one has double bows and ends; the other
two gradually smaller. The sleeves are rather wide, and open a little
behind at the side. The opening is rounded; the edge is trimmed with a
_ruche_, like the body. There is a small lace at the edge of the body.
The lace sleeves are the same form as those of the stuff, but they are
longer. Coiffure, _à la jeune Femme_--the parting on the left side;
the hair lying in close curls on each side.

FIG. 2.--Redingote of _moire antique_; body high, with six
lozenge-shaped openings in front, diminishing in size toward the
waist. The edges of these lozenges are trimmed with velvet; the points
meet like bands under a button. Through these lozenge openings there
appears a white muslin habit-shirt, gathered in small flutes (this
muslin, however close, always projects through the openings, under the
pressure of the body). The habit-shirt is finished at the neck by two
rows of lace. The sleeve, which increases in size toward the bottom,
has also lozenge openings, confined by buttons, and through the
opening is seen a muslin under-sleeve, puffing a little, plaited
length-wise in small flutes and held at the wrist by an embroidered
band with lace at the edge. The skirt has nine graduated openings down
the front from top to bottom, buttoned like the others, through which
is seen a nansouk petticoat, worked with wheels linked together, small
at top and larger at bottom. Drawn bonnet of blond and satin. The brim
is very open at the sides and lowered a little in front. It is
transparent for a depth of four inches, and consists of five rows of
gathered blond, on each of which is sewed a narrow white terry velvet
ribbon, No. 1. The brim, made of Lyons tulle, is edged with a white
satin roll. The band of the crown is Tuscan straw on which are five
drawings of white satin. The top of the crown is round, and of white
satin; it is puffed in _crevés_. The curtain is blond, like the brim.
The ornament consists of a white satin bow, placed quite at the side
of the brim and near the edge.--The inside of the brim is trimmed with
four rows of blond, each having a narrow pink terry velvet, and a
wreath of roses, small near the forehead, larger near the cheeks.
Blond is likewise mixed with the flowers.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--BONNET.]

FIG. 3.--BONNET. Foundation of crèpe; trimming of blond and satin; the
curtain of crèpe, edged with narrow blond.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--CARRIAGE COSTUME.]

FIG. 4.--Dress of white muslin, the skirt with three deep flounces,
richly embroidered. The body, _à basquine_, is lined with pale blue
silk; it has a small pattern embroidered round the edge; which is
finished by a broad lace set on full. The sleeves have three rows of
lace, the bottom one forming a deep ruffle.--Waistcoat of pale blue
silk, buttoning high at the throat, then left open, about half way, to
show the chemisette; the waist is long, and has small lappets. White
lace bonnet, the crown covered with a _fanchonnette_ of lace; rows of
lace, about two inches wide, form the front. The bonnet is
appropriately trimmed with light and extremely elegant flowers.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--CAP.]

FIG. 5.--_Fanchon_ of India muslin, trimmed with pink silk ribbons,
forming tufts near the cheek, and a knot on the head.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--SLEEVE.]

FIG. 6.--_Pagoda sleeve_ of jaconet, with under-sleeves; trimming
relieved with small plaits.

The new materials of the season include some elegant printed
cashmeres, bareges, and broche silks, in endless variety as to
pattern, and combination of color. There are some beautiful dresses of
_lampas, broché_, with wreaths and bouquets in white, on a blue,
green, or straw-colored ground. Among the lighter textures, adapted
for both day and evening wear, are some very pretty mousselines de
soie, and grenadines. The new bareges are in every variety of color
and pattern.



Transcriber's Notes:

Words surrounded by _ are italicized.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent
spellings have been kept, including:
- use of accent (e.g. "Notre" and "Nôtre");
- use of hyphen (e.g. "bed-room" and "bedroom").

Pg 198, word "was" removed from sentence "He was [was] the first..."

Pg 248, sentence "(TO BE CONTINUED.)" added to the end of article.

Pg 279, word "or" changed into "of" in sentence "...election of my
successor..."





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