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Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 305 - New Series, Saturday, November 3, 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 305 - New Series, Saturday, November 3, 1849" ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS' EDINBURGH JOURNAL]

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF 'CHAMBERS'S
INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

NO. 305. NEW SERIES.      SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1849.       PRICE 1½_d._



TRACINGS OF THE NORTH OF EUROPE.

VOYAGE TO COPENHAGEN.


Ever since the end of a very pleasant excursion in Rhineland and
Switzerland in 1848, I had set apart the summer of the present year
for a more extended tour, which should embrace the principal German
cities and Italy. When the time came, however, those parts of the
continent were in such a volcanic state, that unless I had had a
decided taste for walking over hot cinders and lava ('_incedere
per ignes_'), there was no chance of getting along with any degree
of comfort. In these circumstances, I turned my thoughts to a part
of Europe which is not perhaps possessed of so many attractions,
but which at least had the merit of being sufficiently cool for
the foot of the English traveller--namely, the group of countries
which rank under the general appellative of Scandinavia. In England
these countries are generally regarded as only too cool--which
is not altogether true either--and they are accordingly little
visited. But here, again, lay a reconciling consideration; for,
if neglected, they were just so much the more _recherchés_ to the
person who should make his way into them. I also reflected on the
singular social condition of Norway as a curious study for such a
wanderer as myself: it would, I thought, be deeply interesting to
try and ascertain if a democratic constitution, and the absence
of a law of primogeniture, really did render that country the
paradise which it appears to be in the pages of Samuel Laing. Then
there were some curious geological and archæological studies to
be pursued in Scandinavia. One large lump of it is supposed to be
playing a sort of game of see-saw, to the great inconvenience of
mariners in the adjacent seas; while another, though now steady,
appears to have at some former period been engaged in the same
strange procedure. According to some philosophers, there had been
a time when a sheet of ice had passed athwart the whole country,
rubbing away every asperity from its craggy surface, excepting only
the peaks of the highest mountains. Its wild fiords were still as
curious for their natural phenomena as for the lonely grandeur of
their aspect. And the remains of the early inhabitants of these
remote regions, whether in the form of literature, or that of their
arms, personal ornaments, and domestic utensils, were, I knew, a
treasure of the richest kind to any one taking the least interest
in the past history of his species.

Having, for these reasons, determined on a tour through Denmark,
Sweden, and Norway, I left Edinburgh in the latter part of
June. The readiest course for one proposing such a tour is, in
general, either by the steamers which leave London, Hull, and
Leith for Hamburg, or those which proceed from the two first of
these ports to Copenhagen. At the time of my proposed journey,
the Elbe was under blockade by the Danish navy, in consequence
of the Sleswig-Holstein war. Copenhagen was therefore the only
access. It is much to be regretted that there is no steamer direct
from England to any port of Sweden and Norway. There was one to
Gottenburg a few years ago; it was discontinued because it did not
pay. According to Swedish report, an endeavour to revive it has
been obstructed by a demand of the English government that only
English steamers shall be employed; apparently a most unreasonable
demand, and one not characteristic of the present policy. It would
surely be much to be lamented if anything so advantageous to the
two countries as a direct intercourse be really prevented by such
petty difficulties. Let us hope that not another summer shall
elapse without the revival of the Gottenburg steamer.

A railway train conducted me from Edinburgh to Hull in the
interval between breakfast and supper, allowing me three hours of
pause at York, which I employed in a visit to the Minster. The
consequences of the second conflagration of this superb building
are now repaired, and the edifice is probably in a state of
completeness, both as to building and decoration, which it never
knew in Catholic times. I was led to reflect how strange it was
that so much zeal had been expended in the reconstruction of this
theatre of an extinct drama--for the Gothic church of the middle
ages was strictly a theatre in which to present daily to mankind,
under suitably impressive circumstances, the spectacle of a divine
sacrifice which had been made for them. Under modern Christianity,
this object exists no longer. The ancient church, accordingly, when
too large to be rendered into an ordinary place of worship--as is
the case with the English cathedrals--becomes, over and above the
corner devoted to the reading of a liturgy, a mere antiquarian
curiosity. It is strange that what was done in the twelfth century
under the impulse of a powerful religious feeling, can now be done,
and done more promptly and quickly, under a feeling almost purely
romantic. We must of course rejoice that so beautiful a building
as York Minster has been redeemed from the ruin into which it was
accidentally thrown, and once more made worthy of the homage of the
highest taste. Yet we cannot well forget that such works amongst us
can only be something similative or imitative--what the Eglintoune
tournament was to real chivalry. The paroxysm of public feeling in
which such noble structures originated was a true thing, and one
of the finest true things of its era. It is past--it can never be
reproduced. The feelings and energies which took that direction are
now expended on totally different objects. It is from a different
and secondary source that Gothic renovations proceed.

At this time there were in Hull 8000 people out of employment,
in consequence of the interruption to the Hamburg trade, and it
was said that much misery existed in the town. One would have
expected, in such circumstances, that any little job to one of
the hangers-on of the streets would have been keenly relished,
and the remuneration, if decent in amount, thankfully received.
Nevertheless, when I handed a shilling to two men who had, at
one turn of three minutes, carried my few packages from the cab
on the quay into the vessel, it was contemptuously rejected, and
only accepted after it became clear that I would not accede to
their demand of half-a-crown. What would a foreigner, in such
circumstances, have thought of the state of things which had been
described to him as appertaining to Hull? He could scarcely have
resisted a supposition that bad times in England are something
better than the best times on the continent.

Usually, the passport grievance does not commence till one has
set his foot on a foreign soil. On this occasion it began before
I left the harbour. At the earnest solicitation of the owners
of the steamer, I went to the Danish consul to have my passport
_visé_, for the sake of establishing that I had come from a
district unaffected by cholera. For this a fee of five shillings
was exacted from myself and some other passengers. It was hoped,
by such means, that no interruption would occur in the landing of
passengers at Copenhagen, and the subsequent proceeding of the
vessel to St Petersburg. It will be found that in this object we
were disappointed, and that the exaction was to us virtually an act
of spoliation. When will states be above the meanness of imposing
these petty taxes on travellers, whom one might suppose they would
see it to be for their interest to encourage, by every possible act
of civility and generosity, to visit their lands?

On rising early next morning, I found the vessel ploughing its
way out of the Humber, with the new works of Great Grimsby on the
right. This is designed as a new port for the east of England,
in connection with certain lines of railway. It is to enclose a
hundred and thirty-five acres of the sea-beach, and within this
space there will be an entrance basin, accessible at all times to
every kind of vessel, besides large docks, piers, and wharfs. The
scheme is a magnificent example of English enterprise, and promises
to be attended with success. In this event, Hull must fall into a
secondary place among British ports. If I am rightly informed--but
I only speak upon report--those privileges which have hitherto
appeared as her strength will have had no small concern in bringing
about the result.

A sea-voyage seems as if it could never be a comfortable thing. The
sickness from the motion of the vessel is the first and greatest
drawback; but the lesser evils of straitened accommodations,
imperfect ventilation, the odious smell inherent in the vessel, and
the monotony of the daily life, are scarcely less felt. Prostrated
under a sense of nausea, afraid to rise, and afraid or unable to
eat, unable to exert the mind in reading or discourse, one sinks
down into a state of mere stupid endurance, almost the most hapless
in which one can well be in the course of ordinary existence.

After suffering thus for four-and-twenty hours, I ventured upon
deck, and, finding the weather not unpleasant, walked about for
an hour or two. Here the want of objects on which to exert the
mind beset me, and I became surprised at the interest which the
slightest change of circumstances or sights occasioned. We eagerly
scanned the dim horizon for vessels, and reckoned them up with the
greatest care. We marked every variation in the direction of the
wind, and in the ship's course. But all was insufficient to give
an agreeable stimulus to the craving mind, and passiveness always
appeared, after all, as the best resource. Seeing two vessels at a
distance, sailing different ways under one wind, I amused myself by
comparing them to two speculative philosophers driving to opposite
conclusions from one set of facts.

On the third morning there were some symptoms of our coming near
the land, though it was still beyond the ken of vision. One of
these symptoms was a couple of small boats. Finding afterwards
that we sailed seven hours, or as much as seventy miles, without
approaching the land, I wondered that two small boats should be
met so far out at sea. Supposing they were fishing-boats, it was
the more surprising that it was on a Sunday morning, though this,
a passenger explained, might be from an anxiety to make as much as
possible of the short season during which fishing can be carried
on in these seas. As we approached the opening of the Sound,
vessels became more frequent, and at length one happy passenger
was able to announce that he saw the 'loom of the land.' It was,
as expected, a portion of the north of Jutland, a low tract of
sandy downs, presenting scarcely an object for many miles besides
a lighthouse and a solitary country church. We soon passed the
Skaw Point, amidst a crowd of vessels of all sizes, calling for
almost as much care in steering as is necessary in conducting a
drosky through the Strand. Then the young moon appeared setting in
a cloudless summer sky, and it became delightful to walk along the
elevated deck, watching her slow descent into the gleaming wave,
interchanging a word of remark now and then with a companion, and
mentally speculating on the new scenes which must meet our eyes
under the next sun. We were all by this time fully restored to our
usual healthy sensations, and each meal, as it came upon the board,
was heartily done justice to.

I was awakened next morning at five with the intelligence that we
were just about to pass through the Sound. I ascended to the deck
in a provisional dress, and soon saw that assemblage of objects
which has been made so generally familiar by means of pictures--a
low point, fronted with mounds bristling with cannon, and an old
pinnacled palace starting up from within a few yards of the water's
edge, while the narrow sea in front bears a crowd of vessels of all
sizes. We had now an opportunity of examining the coast on either
hand, but found nothing worthy of special observation, beyond the
smiling character imparted to the landscape by pleasant woods,
cottages, and gardens, such as one sees on the coast of England.
Behind Elsinore, however, there is a lofty bank, of which I shall
afterwards take some notice.

After passing a few miles of the low coast of Sealand--for such
is the name of this insulated part of the kingdom of Denmark--we
were told that the vessel was near Copenhagen, which, however,
shows itself in this direction only by a few traces of steeples
and dock-yards, with a screen of green mounds serving as batteries
in front. We were quickly brought to a pause in the mouth of the
harbour. Every passenger had prepared for immediate landing. The
offer of breakfast by the steward was treated disdainfully, as
visions of the _Hôtel Royal_ rose before us. The captain had gone
ashore with our passports, and his return with permission for our
landing was instantly expected; when a rumour began to spread
that we were to be detained a couple of days in quarantine. It
proved to be too true, the government having received intelligence
of the revival of cholera in London, which had determined it to
subject all vessels coming from England to a quarantine which
should interpose five full days between their leaving port and
their landing passengers and goods in Denmark. Then all was dismay,
though at first we could scarcely perceive or believe in the extent
of our misfortune. The magical five-shillings affidavit of the
consul at Hull was reverted to. We had paid our money for being
certified clear of infection, and clear of infection we must be:
otherwise, what were we to think of that transaction? Our chafing
was of course unavailing. The Danish government is unusually
tenacious and pedantic about quarantine regulations, to which it
sapiently attributes the remarkable fact, that Denmark has never
yet had a visit of the Asiatic scourge. There was no chance that
it would relent on the present occasion. Slowly, and with a bad
grace, did we address ourselves to the formerly-despised breakfast.
Our friend the steward no doubt viewed the case in a light peculiar
to himself.

Two days were spent in perfect inaction, and consequently with
much tedium and dissatisfaction. For my part there is something
which makes me placid under such troubles. It is perhaps a negative
satisfaction in considering that I cannot be blamed for _this_
evil, as I must be for most others which befall me. I grieved
to think that there must be two days of tame, unvaried life,
before I could step into the new city before me; but meanwhile
the circumstances were not positively uncomfortable in any great
degree; the company was not marred by any bad element in itself;
there were books to read and memoranda to arrange: finally,
it could not be helped. I therefore submitted with tolerable
cheerfulness.

After all, we were comparatively well dealt with, for we heard
of many persons who were obliged to lie for longer periods in
quarantine, and to spend their time of durance at a station
arranged for the purpose on a part of the coast a few miles off,
where life was very much that of a prison. Persons coming from
Germany would have to stay there five days. If I am not mistaken,
travellers from England by the continental route had at this time
to pass a previous quarantine at Hamburg, so that a journey to
Denmark by that route could not occupy less than a fortnight. I
have since heard of a Scottish merchant having lost a vessel on the
south coast of Sweden, and going out there, by way of Copenhagen,
to see after his property. From the exigencies of business at
home, he had only twelve days in all to give to the excursion. On
reaching Copenhagen, he would not be allowed to land till that time
had nearly expired, and he would consequently be obliged to return
to Scotland without accomplishing his object.

By way of a favour, a party of our passengers (in which I was
included) was allowed to go in a boat to bathe at a place in
front of one of the batteries, an emissary of the quarantine
station hovering near us as a watch, lest we should break rules.
Two boys, returning from an English school to St Petersburg for
the holidays, were full of frolic. We soon had a riotous scene
of ducking and splashing, accompanied by shouts of (I must say)
very foolish merriment, and thus would probably help in no small
degree to confirm our guard in an impression which is said to be
very prevalent in Denmark regarding the English--that they are
all a little mad. A companion remarked to me, that certainly men
will condescend in some circumstances to a surprising degree of
puerility, or rather childishness of conduct: here, for instance,
said he, there is scarcely the least difference to be observed
between the conduct of the schoolboys and their seniors. Take away
the pressure of our ordinary immediate circumstances, and how all
our usual habits are dissolved! But this is a theme as trite as it
is tempting, and I must cut it short. A lunch after the bath was
attended by jocularity nearly as outrageous, and we did not return
to the ship till near the dinner hour.

Our company was small, but it was sufficiently various. There were
two specimens of the idle English gentleman, if such a term may
be applied to the character. They were men in the prime of life,
unmarried, handsome, moustached, with an air of high society, yet
perfectly affable, and even agreeable, in their intercourse with
their fellow-travellers. I hesitate in applying the term idle
to these men, as they appear to be far from exemplifying true
inactivity. They speak of having travelled and sported in many
parts of the world. One is as familiar with the granitic wilds of
Finland as with Donegal and Inverness. He spends whole summers
of wild hardy life in the deserts near the head of the Gulf of
Bothnia, shooting bears and hunting deer, lost to wheaten bread
and every luxury for weeks at a time. His frame is sinewy and
firmly knit; his habits in eating and drinking are as simple as
possible. The other gentleman has been with his ship through every
sea in the East and West. He has left England at the height of
the gay season, to perform a journey of four months, commencing
with Copenhagen, St Petersburg, and Stockholm, to terminate on the
coasts of the Levant. Another of our party is a New Englander, with
an air of quiet confidence as remarkable as that of the Englishmen,
yet of a totally different character. He is a little of a humorist,
and not at all offensive. A fourth is an elderly Lincolnshire
farmer, homely, simple, good-natured, full of quaint remark, and
not unwilling to be smiled at by his companions on account of his
little peculiarities of manners and discourse. We have also a young
English student, evidently not of the university caste, delicate
in figure, of gentle manners, and possessed of considerable
intelligence. Of females we have few, only one being of the genus
_lady_, the sister of our bear-hunting friend; the rest are more
practical in their character. One is a mother with a charge of
young children, whom she is sadly ill-qualified for regulating or
keeping in order. Incessantly these juveniles are chattering about
something, or else crying and squalling. The mother goes about
with a broken-hearted air, and a voice worn down to its lowest
and saddest tones, either taking her children's querulousness
resignedly, or chiding them crossly for what is chiefly her own
blame. To attend even thus imperfectly to the group of little ones,
takes the whole time and energy of this poor mother, and of an
equally broken-spirited maid; for never does a minute pass when
there is not something to be done for them, either in the way of
attending to their personal necessities, or preventing them from
clapperclawing each other, and saving them from the effects of
their own recklessness. The thought occurred to me twenty times
a day--verily the _storge_ is a most marvellous endowment of the
mother's heart, enabling her, as it does, to submit placidly to
what every other person would feel to be intolerable misery.

We received a great alarm on the second day of our enforced
leisure. A party had gone off in a boat to row about and bathe,
without the attendance of a quarantine officer. No harm was meant,
but it was imprudent. By and by it was whispered that word had
come that, owing to this breach of regulations, we should all be
detained a week longer, or else have to pay a heavy fine--perhaps
both. This was dire intelligence to our good-natured captain, and
not less so to a mercantile person, who had sixteen first-class
English horses on board, which he was taking out on speculation
to Russia. These animals had to stand in cribs on deck during the
whole voyage from Hull to St Petersburg. While the vessel was
sailing, it was comparatively well with them, for the motion gave
them a certain amount of exercise: but the unexpected stoppage
of two days told sorely upon them: it was already remarked that
their legs were beginning to swell. The owner declared that a
week more of inaction would utterly ruin them. While we were
gloomily speculating on all the evils we had to dread, the peccant
boat-party returned, and relieved us so far, by declaring that they
had scrupulously abstained from approaching the shore or any other
vessel. They immediately despatched an assurance to this effect
to the quarantine station. Notwithstanding a defying tone on the
part of some of the defaulters, we passed the evening in a state of
serious apprehension, no one knowing what extent of penalty might
be imposed by an authority notoriously ruled by any considerations
rather than those of rationality. It was thought, on the strength
of former instances, not impossible that each of the grown
gentlemen of the party might have to pay twenty or five-and-twenty
pounds. One more confident than the rest offered four sovereigns
to another as an insurance to cover his own risk, or, as an
alternative, proposed to undertake that gentleman's risk for three;
and the latter arrangement was actually entered into. Early next
morning, when we were all on the _qui vive_ to learn our fate, a
boat came up, and the magical term so well understood in England,
'All right,' soon spread a general smile over the company. The
authorities, by an amazing stretch of generosity and common sense,
had agreed to overlook the delinquency, on condition that certain
expenses should be paid, amounting to something less than two
pounds. The passengers for Copenhagen were therefore permitted to
land immediately with their luggage, and the vessel was allowed
to commence discharge of cargo, preparatory to proceeding to St
Petersburg.

    R. C.



THE RETURN OF THE COMPAGNON.

A SWISS TALE.


The early darkness of a winter twilight had already set in, the
wind was blowing boisterously, and the snow rapidly descending,
when Herman the carpenter reached his cottage after a hard day's
toil, there to receive the fond caresses of his children. His wife
exchanged his wet clothes for such as were warm and dry, and little
Catherine drew his arm-chair to the side of the fire, while the
boys, anxious to do their part, brought his large pipe.

'Now, father,' said little Frank, when he saw a column of smoke
issuing forth, 'you are happy and comfortable; what shall we do
while mother gets supper ready? Tell us a tale.'

'Yes, tell us a story,' repeated the other children with delight.

They were on the point of clustering round, when something passing
caught little Catherine's eye. 'Oh,' said the child, 'here is such
a poor man in the street, all covered with snow, and who does not
seem to know where to go!'

'He is a compagnon' (journeyman), said Frank--'a whitesmith; I
see his tools in his bag. Why does he stop in the street in such
weather?'

'He plainly knows not his way,' Catherine replied. 'Shall I go and
ask him what he wants?'

'Do so, my child; and give him this small coin, for perhaps he is
poor, as I have been, and it will serve to pay for his bed, and
something to warm him. Show him the Compagnon's Inn at the end of
the street.'

When the child had returned, the clamour was again raised for the
story.

'What shall it be?'

'Daniel?'

'No.'

'Perhaps the Black Hunter?'

'Neither of these to-night, my children. I will tell you about the
"Return of the Compagnon."'

The children gladly drew round their father to hear his new story,
which was as follows:--

It was a beautiful spring morning: the sun had begun to show his
radiant face on the summits of the mountains; the little birds
cried for their food; the insects of every kind, shaking their
wings, began humming among the foliage; the sheep, penned up,
were bleating; and the labourers were preparing to resume their
toil. A young man, laden with a heavy bag, walked gaily along the
road leading to one of the little towns of Swissland, his dusty
feet showing that he had come from afar, and his sunburnt face
exhibiting the effects of more southern climes. He was a compagnon
carpenter returning to his country after years of absence, and
impatient to see his home again. He had walked all night, and now
a brilliant sun embellished each successive object that offered
itself to his anxious view. He had already seen the steeple of
the church of his beloved town, and his true Swiss heart bounded
with joy. 'Ha!' exclaimed he, 'how beautiful is the country where
we have lived from childhood to manhood! How clear and limpid its
waters, how pure its air, how smiling its meadows! My feet have
trodden the soil of France, where grows the grape, and Italy, the
land of figs and oranges: I have rested under groves of roses, and
the sweet lemon-tree has bent over my head, laden with its golden
fruits and perfumed flowers: I have, at the sound of the guitar and
the castanet, joined at night in the dance with people for whom
the middle of the day is the time for repose, and the absence of
the sun the signal for labour or pleasure--people whose life flows
on in cheerful contentment, because light work suffices for their
wants under so warm a sky, and possessed of a soil that nature
has covered with her choicest gifts, and does not desolate with
the north winds, frosts, and snows. Yes, the poor Swiss compagnon
has seen all these things, and has admired them, but never has he
wished to live and die among them. He has always sighed for the
pale rays of his northern sun, the steep rocks of his mountains,
the uniform colour of his dark pines, and the pointed roof of his
cottage, where he still hopes to receive his mother's blessing.'

While these thoughts, and many like them, were crowding into the
mind of the young workman, his steps became more and more rapid,
and his tired feet seemed to recover their swiftness. All on a
sudden, a turn of the road showed him the roofs of his native
village, from which curled some clouds of smoke. There was the
old church wall, there was the steeple stretching towards heaven.
At the sight of this the young traveller stopped short; the tears
trickled down his cheek; he exclaimed in a voice broken with
emotion, 'I thank thee, my God, for permitting my eyes once more to
see these things.' He pursued his walk, devouring with his eyes all
he saw. 'Ah, here,' said he, 'is the white wall marking the terrace
of the public walk where I used to play so joyfully! ah, there is
the arch of the little bridge where we have so often fished! Now
I can see the head of the old lime-tree which shades the church:
only twenty paces farther is the cottage in which I was born,
where I grew up, where I lost my poor father, and where I hope to
see my dear mother. It is not in vain I have laboured so long: I
have that with me which will comfort her old age.' As he spoke, a
small flower attracted his attention: it was a daisy. He stooped
down and gathered it, and commenced plucking its leaflets away one
after the other. 'It was thus,' he said smiling, 'the day before
my departure, that Gertrude gathered a daisy from the bank of the
river, and bending her pretty face over the flower to conceal the
emotion my departure occasioned, she pulled out the leaflets in
silence, and arriving at the last one, she said to me in a low
voice, "Adieu, Herman, I shall never marry till you return;" and
so saying, fled away, as if she feared having said too much. Soon
shall I see her little window with the blue curtain! Oh that I may
see my Gertrude there as I used, her eyes rejoicing at my return!
Happy the moment when I shall say to her, "Gertrude, here is Herman
returned, faithful to his promises, as you have been to yours. Come
and share the little wealth I have acquired: come and aid me in
rendering my aged mother happy."'

Under the influence of these thoughts the young workman rapidly
approached his native town. As he advanced, he interrogated the
countenances of those he met, hoping to meet with friendly looks, a
recollection of the past, or a few words of welcome, but in vain.
At last, as he passed the gates, he saw a man walking gravely to
and fro as he smoked his pipe: it was the toll-keeper. Herman,
looking at him closely, easily recognised Rodolphe, his playfellow,
his earliest friend. He was on the point of rushing into his arms,
and exclaiming, 'Here I am again!'--but the tollman looked coldly
at him as he passed, and left a cloud of tobacco-smoke behind him.
Poor compagnon! the sun of the south has shone too long on thy
face; he has made thee a stranger even to those who loved thee:
thy best friend knows thee not. Herman's heart sank within him,
and he resumed his journey with a sigh. A little farther on he saw
a new building in course of erection. An aged man was directing
the carpenters in their work, and at the sight of him Herman's
heart again rejoiced: it was his old master, whose advice and
kindness had made him an honest man and skilful mechanic. To him he
chiefly owed his success in life, and he was, moreover, Gertrude's
father. 'Ha,' said he, 'if Rodolphe so soon forgets the faces of
his friends, my old master will recollect me;' and so saying, he
approached him respectfully, hat in hand, and inquired whether
he could obtain work for him. The old man looked at him a while
before replying; and Herman's heart beat so quickly, that he could
scarce conceal his feelings. 'Come to me to-morrow,' at last said
the old man; 'I will then examine your certificates: work is not
scarce for good hands;' and turning towards his men, resumed his
occupations. 'What!' exclaimed the poor compagnon to himself as he
turned away, 'am I so changed that my features are not recognised
by my old master? What if Gertrude herself---- But no, that is
impossible! She who could distinguish me in a crowd a hundred paces
off, will surely know her Herman again, in spite of his sunburnt
face: besides, if her eyes failed her, her heart would prompt her
of my presence!' So thinking, he rapidly traversed the little town.
There was the old lime-tree, with the rustic seat beneath it; there
the fountain, where many women were washing; and there stood the
neat little cottage, upon which the young man's eyes now became
rivetted. The blue curtain and pots of carnations were there, as
they ever had been; and oh, joy, there sat a young woman spinning!
Herman's heart bounded with joy; he rushed forward, and then
stopped opposite the window, a few steps only separating him from
Gertrude. He remained immovable, so powerful were his emotions, and
admired the ripening of her charms which had taken place during his
absence: no longer the slender girl of fifteen, but a young woman
in all the fulness of her beauty; her whole appearance denoting
strength, health, and freshness. 'How beautiful she is!' exclaimed
Herman in a low voice. Gertrude did not catch the words, but the
voice struck her ear; and seeing a traveller but poorly clad with
his eyes fixed on her, said to herself with a sigh, 'Poor fellow,
he looks in want;' and throwing him a coin with Heaven's blessing,
she shut the window, and disappeared. Alas! the sun of the south
has too long shone on the face of the compagnon; his best friends
know him not, and his beloved regards him as a stranger! Had she
remained at the window, Gertrude must have remarked the expression
of the poignant grief Herman endured; and her heart would have
divined, that under those toilworn clothes and sunburnt face was
concealed him for whose advent she had so often prayed. After long
remaining on the same spot, as if his feet were rivetted to the
ground, the compagnon tore himself away, and turned towards his
home. But how changed in appearance! That buoyant step which, a few
moments before, had trod the ground so lightly, was now slow and
heavy; excessive fatigue overcame him. The weight of the bag he
carried--not felt before--now seemed excessive; his head hung down
on his chest, his hopes seemed blasted, and that native land which,
a few hours since, he saluted with such joy, now seemed indifferent
to him. In vain did the old lime-tree, with its majestic foliage,
meet his eyes; in vain did the antique fountain, with its grotesque
figures, that should have called to his mind so many childish
recollections, stand before him. He saw nothing; his wounded heart
felt nothing but sorrow. However, he still advanced towards his
home, and a few steps only separated him from the old churchyard
wall, near which he had passed so many happy days of boyhood, when
he saw an aged woman come tottering down the steps of the portico
of the church, supported by a stick. It was his mother returning
from offering her daily prayer for his return. 'Oh, how altered
is she!' he sorrowfully exclaimed: 'how can I hope her feeble
eyes should know her child, when mine can scarcely recognise her
timeworn frame!' But no sooner had she approached him, and raised
her head, than she fell into his arms, sobbing through her tears,
'My son, my beloved son!' Herman pressed her closely to his breast,
and falteringly exclaimed, 'My mother, thou at least hast not
forgotten me. Years of absence, the scorching sun, and toilsome
labour, conceal me not from you!'

Yes, if the sun of the south had rendered the face of the compagnon
a stranger to his dearest friends and his beloved, but one look
sufficed to make his mother exclaim, 'My son--my Herman! God be
praised that he has restored him to me!'

The narrator here seemed to have concluded his story, and remained
lost in the emotion he had depicted. Such a conclusion, however,
did not satisfy his listeners.

'But what became of the compagnon?' they demanded.

'Oh,' said the father, recollecting himself, 'he went home with his
mother, and said to her, "Here, mother, take what I have earned,
and live happily the rest of your days with your child," and to the
last breath the old woman blessed the return of her only son.' So
saying, he sorrowfully cast his eyes towards the corner of the room
where hung a distaff, surmounted by a crown of everlasting flowers.
The children followed their father's eyes, and long maintained a
respectful silence.

'So,' Frank at last suddenly exclaimed, 'Gertrude did not love the
beautiful things he brought for her?'

'Why did she shut the window then?' said another child.

'Perhaps,' added Catherine, 'she opened it again?'

'Yes, my Catherine,' said the carpenter smiling, 'she did open it
again: and it was with the compagnon and his Gertrude that their
old mother passed her days, blessing them both until she left this
world for a better.' At this moment his wife Gertrude, still in the
prime of life, entered with their homely supper.



THE ALBATROSS.


Of all the interesting objects which present themselves to the eye
of the voyager in the southern hemisphere, the albatross is among
the most noteworthy. Apart from its relieving the monotony of the
watery expanse, this bird, by its extraordinary characteristics,
seldom fails of exciting a lively degree of astonishment in the
spectator--for what can be thought of a bird which apparently
requires neither rest nor sleep? It is perhaps owing to this
peculiarity that sailors and others have regarded the albatross
with mingled feelings of awe and wonder: its presence was an
omen, but rather of good than evil. The weary crew of Bartholomew
Diaz doubtless looked on the swift air-cleaving creature as an
appropriate scout from the Cape of Storms, while Vasco de Gama may
have hailed it as the herald of his hope and success. Coleridge
has very happily availed himself of these different aspects in his
'Ancient Mariner,' where he makes the aged seaman, with 'long gray
beard and glittering eye,' relate how, from out the dismal mists--

    'At length did cross an albatross,
    Thorough the fog it came;
    As if it had been a Christian soul,
    We hailed it in God's name.

    It ate the food it ne'er had ate,
    And round and round it flew;

           *       *       *       *       *

    And a good south wind sprung up behind,
    The albatross did follow,
    And every day, for food or play,
    Came to the mariner's hollo!'

And then the disasters which ensued when

    ----'With his cross-bow
    He shot the albatross.'

Whatever delight might be experienced in contemplating the bird
under the mysterious point of view suggested by the poet, would
be rather heightened than diminished by a knowledge of its real
natural character; and this we may obtain from that valuable and
highly-meritorious work, 'The Birds of Australia,' by Mr Gould.
According to this enterprising naturalist--

'The _Diomedea exulans_ (wandering albatross) is by far the largest
and most powerful species of its tribe; and, from its great
strength and ferocious disposition, is held in terror by every
other bird with which it is surrounded. It is even said that it
will fearlessly attack and tear out the eyes of a drowning man,
a feat, from what I have observed of it, I can readily imagine
it would attempt. It is most abundant between the 30th and 60th
degrees of south latitude, and appears to be equally numerous in
all parts of the ocean bounded by those degrees; and I feel assured
that it is confined to no one part, but is constantly engaged in
making a circuit of the globe in that particular zone allotted by
nature for its habitation. The open sea is in fact its natural
home; and this it never leaves, except for the purpose of breeding,
when it usually resorts to rocky islands the most difficult of
access.

'The powers of flight of the wandering albatross are much greater
than those of any other bird that has come under my observation.
Although, during calm or moderate weather, it sometimes rests on
the surface of the water, it is almost constantly on the wing, and
is equally at ease while passing over the glassy surface during
the stillest calm, or sweeping, with arrow-like swiftness, before
the most furious gale; and the way in which it just tops the
raging billows, and sweeps between the gulfy waves, has a hundred
times called forth my wonder and admiration. Although a vessel
running before the wind frequently sails more than 200 miles in the
twenty-four hours, and that for days together, still the albatross
has not the slightest difficulty in keeping up with the ship, but
also performs circles of many miles in extent, returning again to
hunt up the wake of the vessel for any substances thrown overboard.

'Like the other species of the genus, it is nocturnal as well as
diurnal, and no bird with which I am acquainted takes so little
repose. It appears to be perpetually on the wing, scanning the
surface of the ocean for molluscs and medusæ, and the other marine
animals that constitute its food. So frequently does the boldness
of this species cost it its life, that hundreds are annually
killed, without, however, its numbers being apparently in any
degree lessened. It readily seizes a hook baited with fat of any
kind; and if a boat be lowered, its attention is immediately
attracted, and while flying round, it is easily shot.' It is not
surprising that a poetical imagination should have been excited by
such a subject, and Coleridge is not the only bard who has shaped
it into verse. Another writes--

    'Now upon Australian seas,
    Wafted by the tropic breeze,
    We salute the southern cross,
    Watch the wondrous albatross--
    Circling round in orbits vast,
    Pausing now above the mast,
    Laving now his snowy breast
    Where the billows sleeping rest.

    Now he skims the surface o'er,
    Rising, falling evermore:
    Floating high on stillest wing,
    Now he seems a guardian thing,
    Now a messenger of wrath,
    Cleaving swift his airy path;
    Bearing o'er the liquid plain
    Warning of the hurricane.'

Mr Gould's description of the _Diomedea melanophrys_,
black-eyebrowed albatross, exhibits other characteristics:--'Of all
the species,' he observes, 'with which I am acquainted, this is the
most fearless of man, and it often approaches many yards nearer the
vessel than any other. I have even observed it approach so near,
that the tips of its pinions were not more than two arms' length
from the tafferel. It is very easily captured with a hook and line;
and as this operation gives not the least pain to the bird, the
point of the hook merely taking hold in the horny and insensible
tip of the bill, I frequently amused myself in capturing it in
this way, and after detaining it sufficiently long to afford me an
opportunity for investigating any particular point respecting which
I wished to satisfy myself, setting it at liberty again. I also
caught numerous examples, marked, and gave them their liberty, in
order to ascertain whether the individuals which were flying round
the ship at nightfall were the same that were similarly engaged
at daylight in the morning, after a night's run of 120 miles, and
which, in nearly every instance, proved to be the case.'

Angling for albatrosses is no modern art, as appears from the
narrative of Sir Richard Hawkins' voyage to the South Sea in 1593,
in which it is pretty certain that these birds are spoken of.
'Certaine great fowles,' says the narrator, 'as bigge as swannes,
soared about us, and the winde calming, setled themselves in the
sea, and fed upon the sweepings of our ship; which I perceiving,
and desirous to see of them, because they seemed farre greater than
in truth they were, I caused a hooke and line to be brought me,
and with a piece of pilchard I bated the hooke, and a foot from it
tied a piece of corke, that it might not sinke deepe, and threw it
into the sea, which, our ship driving with the sea, in a little
time was a good space from us, and one of the fowles beeing hungry,
presently seized upon it, and the hooke in his upper beake. It is
like to a faulcon's bill, but that the point is more crooked, in
that manner, as by no meanes hee could cleere himselfe, except that
the line brake, or the hooke righted: plucking him towards the
ship, with the waving of his wings he eased the weight of his body,
and being brought to the sterne of our ship, two of our company
went downe by the ladder of the poope, and seized on his neck and
wings; but such were the blows he gave them with his pinnions, as
both left their hand-fast, beeing beaten blacke and blue; we cast
a snare about his necke, and so triced him into the ship. By the
same manner of fishing we caught so many of them, as refreshed and
recreated all my people for that day. Their bodies were great, but
of little flesh and tender; in taste answerable to the food whereon
they feed. They were of two colours--some white, some gray; they
had three joyntes in each wing; and from the pointe of one wing to
the pointe of the other, both stretched out, was above two fathoms.'

Similar instances are recorded, though not in language quaint
and tedious as the above, in Cook's Voyages. The great circumnavigator's
crew were glad to regale themselves on albatross roast and boiled,
after having been many weeks at sea, and confined to salt food. Sir
James Ross, too, after stating that when off the Aguilhas bank,
'the gigantic albatross was seen in great numbers, and many of them
taken by means of a fishing-line,' remarks--'these birds added a
degree of cheerfulness to our solitary wanderings, which contrasted
strongly with the dreary and unvarying stillness of the tropical
region.'

Most marvellous accounts have been given of the spread of wing of
the albatross, rivalling the wonderful roc of the 'Arabian Nights.'
Mr Gould took pains to verify the facts. The largest specimen seen
by him measured 10 feet 1 inch from tip to tip of the outspread
wings, and weighed 17 pounds. But Dr M'Cormick, surgeon of the
'Erebus,' in the Antarctic exploring voyage met with one weighing
20 pounds, and 12 feet stretch of wing. The Auckland Islands,
about to become the head-quarters of our southern whale-fishery,
are a much-frequented breeding-place for the birds; the others
as yet known to naturalists are the Campbell Island--some lonely
rocks off the southernmost extremity of Van Diemen's Land--and the
islands of Tristan d'Acunha. While at the Aucklands, Dr M'Cormick
made himself acquainted with what may be called the bird's
domestic habits:--'The albatross,' he writes, 'during the period
of incubation, is frequently found asleep with its head under
its wings: its beautiful white head and neck appearing above the
grass, betray its situation at a considerable distance off. On the
approach of an intruder, it resolutely defends its egg, refusing
to quit the nest until forced off, when it slowly waddles away
in an awkward manner to a short distance, without attempting to
take wing. Its greatest enemy is a fierce species of _Lestris_,
always on the watch for the albatross quitting its nest, when
the rapacious pirate instantly pounces down and devours the egg.
So well is the poor bird aware of the propensity of its foe, that
it snaps the mandibles of its beak violently together whenever it
observes the lestris flying overhead.'

Mr Earle, whose observations were made on the almost inaccessible
heights of Tristan d'Acunha, remarks:--'The huge albatross here
appeared to dread no interloper or enemy, for their young were on
the ground completely uncovered, and the old ones were stalking
around them. They lay but one egg, on the ground, where they make a
kind of nest by scraping the earth around it: the young is entirely
white, and covered with a woolly down, which is very beautiful. As
we approached, they snapped their beaks with a very quick motion,
making a great noise: this, and the throwing up of the contents
of the stomach, are the only means of offence and defence which
they seem to possess.' It was at one time believed that the head
of the female became of a scarlet colour while she was sitting,
and afterwards resumed its original hue. Be this as it may, the
male is very attentive to her during the time she keeps the nest,
and is constantly on the wing in search of food, which, as before
observed, consists of small marine animals, mucilaginous zoophytes,
and the spawn of fish. When opportunity offers, however, they
attack more solid fare. Commander Kempthorne relates, that while
on a voyage in 1836, in search of the lost crew of the 'Charles
Eaton,' he fell in with the half-putrid carcase of a whale,
surrounded by a host of fishes and birds, albatrosses among the
latter; 'and so occupied were they, that even the approach of our
boat did not disturb them, or put them to flight: many albatrosses
allowed us to attack them with our oars and the boat-hooks, and
several were consequently knocked down and killed.' The egg of
the albatross is about 4 inches long, white, and spotted at the
larger end: although good to eat, the albumen or white does not
solidify in the boiling. The penguin is said to take possession
of the nests when vacated. The albatross is a constant attendant
on fishing parties, and if in low condition from scarcity of food
or other causes, soon regains its flesh and fat, so voraciously
does it devour. It is no uncommon occurrence for one of these
birds to take a fish of several pounds' weight into its mouth, and
having swallowed one extremity, to wait, like the boa-constrictor,
digesting and gulping until the whole is consumed. Towards the
end of June, in anticipation of the fishing season, albatrosses
arrive in thousands on the coasts of Kamtchatka, and are captured
in great numbers, for food and other purposes, by the natives.
With the hollow bones of the wing they make pipe-stems, sheaths,
needle-cases, and combs, the latter being used in the preparation
of flax: they also make use of the inflated intestines as floats
for their nets.

Notwithstanding its large size, the albatross does not appear to
be a quarrelsome bird; and when attacked by its enemy the skua
gull, it endeavours to save itself by flight. Captain Cook once
saw a contest between two of these gulls and an albatross; the
sole object of the latter appeared to be to defend its breast and
the softer portions of its body from the fierce assaults of its
antagonists: loss of liberty, however, is said to irritate the bird
greatly. Its voice, according to Sonini, resembles that of the
pelican, with a cry approaching the bray of an ass. This author
further observes with regard to the flight of the albatross:--'The
manner of these birds' flying is very astonishing; the beating of
their wings is perceived only at the moment of taking wing, and
often they make use at the same time of their feet, which, being
webbed, enable them to rise by striking the water. This impulse
once given, they have no longer need to beat their wings; they keep
them widely extended, and seek their prey, balancing themselves
alternately from right to left, skimming with rapid flight the
surface of the sea. This balancing serves doubtless to accelerate
their course, but it would seem scarcely sufficient to support
them in the air. Perhaps an imperceptible fluttering; of their
feathers is the principal cause of this extraordinary movement. In
this respect they would require to have muscles especially adapted,
and for this reason I consider that the anatomy of these birds
merits the greatest attention.'

By the Germans the albatross is named 'der wandernde schiffsvogel'
(the wandering ship-bird); the Dutch term it 'Jean de Jenten;'
English sailors, looking to its bulky appearance, call it
'the Cape sheep;' and with them also the sooty albatross is
'the Quaker-bird.' There are seven species particularised by
naturalists: the technical description, however, of the _Diomedea
exulans_, given by Mr Gould, will apply in general terms to the
whole. 'The wandering albatross,' he observes, 'varies much in
colour at different ages: very old birds are entirely white, with
the exception of the pinions, which are black; and they are to
be met with in every stage, from pure white, white freckled, and
barred with dark-brown, to dark chocolate-brown approaching to
black, the latter colouring being always accompanied by a white
face, which in some specimens is washed with buff; beneath the
true feathers they are abundantly supplied with a fine white down;
the bill is delicate pinky-white, inclining to yellow at the tip;
irides very dark-brown; eyelash bare, fleshy, and of a pale-green;
legs, feet, and webs, pinky-white. The young are at first clothed
in a pure white down, which gives place to the dark-brown
colouring.' The 'cautious albatross,' as its name indicates, is
very shy, seldom approaches the land, and is not easily captured:
the yellow-billed species, when in pursuit of its prey, will dive
and swim for several yards under water.

Mr Bennet, in his 'Wanderings,' has some interesting passages on
the subject of the albatross. 'It is pleasing,' he writes, 'to
observe this superb bird sailing in the air in graceful and elegant
movements, seemingly excited by some invisible power, for there
is scarcely any movement of the wings seen after the first and
frequent impulses are given, when the creature elevates itself in
the air; rising and falling as if some concealed power guided its
various motions, without any muscular exertion of its own, and then
descending, sweeps the air close to the stern of the ship, with an
independence of manner, as if it were "monarch of all it surveyed."
It is from the very little muscular exertion used by these birds
that they are capable of sustaining such long flights without
repose.... When seizing on an object floating on the water, they
gradually descend with expanded or upraised wings, or sometimes
alight, and float like a duck on the water, while devouring their
food; then they again soar in mid-air, and recommence their erratic
flights. It is interesting to view them during boisterous weather,
flying with, and even against the wind, seeming the "gayest of the
gay" in the midst of the howling and foaming waves.' In another
passage, the author makes some further remarks as to this bird's
powers of flight. 'I remarked,' he says, 'that the albatross would
lower himself even to the water's edge, and elevate himself again
without any apparent impulse; nor could I observe any percussion of
the wings when the flight was directed against the wind, but then,
of course, its progress was tardy. Many, however, have differed
with me in considering that the birds never fly "dead against the
wind," but in that manner which sailors term "close to the wind,"
and thus make progress, aided by, when seemingly flying against,
the wind. This bird is evidently aided by its long wings, as well
as tail, in directing its flight; it is never seen to soar to any
great height, and is often observed to change its course by turning
the wings and body in a lateral direction, and oftentimes, when
raising itself, to bend the last joint of the wings downwards.'

From our extracts it is evident that for those who possess the 'art
of seeing,' a voyage across the wide ocean is not necessarily a
scene of monotonous weariness: there is food for instruction and
inspiration everywhere; and here, with some further lines from the
poem already quoted, we may appropriately bring our article to a
close:--

    'Oh thou wild and wondrous bird,
    Viewing thee, my thought is stirred.
    Round and round the world thou goest,
    Ocean solitude thou knowest--
    Into trackless wastes hast flown,
    Which no eye save thine hath known:
    Ever tireless--day or night;
    Calm or tempest--ceaseless flight.

    Albatross, I envy thee
    Oft thy soaring pinions free;
    For we deem the realms of air
    Too ethereal for care.
    Gladness as of endless springs
    Seems to me is born with wings.
    Thou canst rise and see the sun,
    When his course to us is done:
    A moral here may us engross,
    Thou the teacher--albatross!'



THE PALACE OF THE FRENCH PRESIDENT.


The Elysée National, which has been appropriated as the residence
of Louis Napoleon, is an edifice which has gone through many
changes of masters. Situated in the Rue Fauxbourg St Honoré, with
a façade behind towards the far-famed Champs-Elysées, it enjoys
one of the most agreeable localities in Paris. Externally it makes
no great appearance, being shut in by a lofty wall in front; but
in internal arrangements the house is elegant, with suites of
grand apartments, common to the palaces of France. The builder and
first proprietor of the Elysée was the wealthy Count d'Evreux, in
the era of the Regent, Philip of Orleans, at the beginning of the
eighteenth century. After this it became crown property, but for no
long time.

One day, in the year 1743, Madame de Pompadour entered Louis XV.'s
apartments, complaining of a dreadful headache. The king had made
her a marchioness and a lady-in-waiting; he had laden her with
honours and wealth. But this did not satisfy her, for unworthy
favourites are never content: they were the revolutionists of those
days.

'Is anything the matter with you, madame?' inquired the king
anxiously, observing her downcast looks.

'Alas! I have no hôtel!' replied Madame de Pompadour.

'Is that all?' exclaimed the sovereign; and the same day the Hôtel
d'Evreux was purchased for her: it need hardly be added, at the
king's cost. A little while after, Madame de Pompadour was again
severely incommoded by a distracting headache. Like questions from
the monarch, and new complaints from the favourite.

'My hôtel is but a citizen's dwelling in comparison with Choisy
and Trianon. Its interior is so antique and formal! I really seem
to exist among the ghosts of a past century. In short, I am dying
there of languor and ennui.'

'Live, fair lady! and let your abode be the temple of fashion.'

This was quite enough for La Pompadour, who, being a connoisseur in
painting, sent next day for Boucher and Vanloo, and installed them
in the Hôtel d'Evreux. The ceilings and panels were quickly peopled
with rosy Cupids playing amid shepherds and shepherdesses: the gilt
cornices were wreathed in flowers. The talents of the architect,
L'Assurance, were also put into requisition, and the building
greatly enlarged. Once more the king's purse was obliged to meet
all the consequent demands for these improvements. L'Assurance,
being his controller, took care to exercise no control whatever
over the whims of the favourite. From thenceforth Madame de
Pompadour held her court at the Hôtel d'Evreux. Courtly equipages
began to crowd around it: balls and _petits-soupers_ enlivened its
halls.

On one occasion the queen of the place assumed the part of an
actress, and after rehearsing her part with the Dukes de Chartres
and Duras, and Madames de Brancas and d'Estrades, in her own
saloon, they all set off in great style, and performed a little
piece in the king's cabinet of medals. Another day, Crébillon,
Voltaire, and all those _beaux-esprits_ who sported on the brink
of a volcano, were gathered around the marquise, to whom they
addressed epigrams and madrigals. Voltaire, whose paw of velvet
concealed a tearing claw, combined the madrigal and the epigram in
the following verses:--

    Que tous vos jours soient marqués par des fêtes;
    Que de nouveaux succès marquent ceux de Louis.
        Vivez tous deux sans ennemis
        Et gardez tous deux vos conquêtes.

Madame de Pompadour felt only the velvet; but the king felt
the claw; and Voltaire became an exile, and lost his office of
gentleman of the bedchamber. From that day forth the cat-like
genius of Voltaire scratched those whom he had hitherto caressed:
so easy is the transition from a flatterer to a foe!

But who is this other original who appears at the Hôtel d'Evreux?
He is young and handsome, or at least he appears to be so, for
his age is a problem. He pretends to have existed during the days
of the _Fronde_, which would make him a centenarian. His friends
declare that he has found the Philosopher's Stone; that he can
renew his youth when he pleases; that he can read the past, the
present, and the future. The fact is, that his origin is unknown;
and so is his fortune. His wealth seems to be unbounded and
exhaustless: his prodigality is carried to excess: he speaks every
language, understands every science, cultivates every art: his wit
is so lively, his eloquence so full of captivation, that he is able
to make falsehood assume the air of truth: his whole life is, in
fact, but a fable in action. Some people regard him as a demi-god,
some take him for a devil; one affirms that he is a sorcerer,
another that he is a magnetiser. It may easily be conceived that he
becomes an idol in the frivolous and wonder-loving court of Louis
XV.; nor is it less to be expected that La Pompadour should attract
him to her magic circle. There he creates as great a sensation
as at Versailles. One day the king comes purposely for the sake
of having a private conversation with him. He interrogates him
closely, hoping to win from him his secret: but all in vain. The
Proteus escapes through a thousand windings, and charms Louis XV.
without betraying himself to him. This wonderful, this inexplicable
man, was the famous Count de St Germain.

Another day the favourite expresses her suspicion that the diamonds
he wears are all false. Just at that moment he enters her saloon,
sparkling from head to foot. His lace ruffles are fastened with
rubies; his fingers are covered with rings; his shoe-buckles are
valued at 200,000 livres. Madame de Pompadour, quite dazzled by
this sparkling magnificence, asks if he is not afraid of risking
so much wealth by wearing it about his person. St Germain guesses
the suspicion, and answers it by taking out of his pocket a box.
This box is full of jewels. The count intreats of Madame du Hausset
(the favourite's _dame de compagnie_) to accept a small diamond
cross. At length she is prevailed on to do so. It is immediately
shown to the court jeweller, who values it at a hundred louis. Soon
afterwards this strange personage disappears. His exit from the
fashionable world is as mysterious as had been his _entrée_ into it.

On Madame de Pompadour's death, the Hôtel d'Evreux reverted
to Louis XV., and became first the residence of ambassadors
extraordinary, and was afterwards used as the wardrobe of the
crown, until in 1773, when it was purchased by Monsieur de Beaujon.
M. de Beaujon was the Crœsus of that time, but a Crœsus who devoted
his wealth to the encouragement of art, and to the succour of the
indigent. The Hôtel d'Evreux became in his hands a depository of
all that was choice and beautiful in the fine-arts. The marbles of
Tassant, of Guyard, of Pajou; the tapestries of the Gobelins; the
paintings of Vanloo, of Rubens, Teniers, Poussin, Guido, Murillo,
&c. besides innumerable articles of _virtù_, were to be found in
his saloons; and in one of the alcoves was placed a large mirror,
so situated as to reflect the Champs-Elysées as in a beautiful
landscape.

M. de Beaujon died in peace at his charming hôtel; but he had
previously sold it to Louis XVI. This prince parted with it to
Madame de Bourbon, the Princess de Lamballe's friend. Brief,
however, was this lady's enjoyment of her charming residence. The
Revolution approached, and she fled from France: so it passed into
the hands of a certain Sieur Hovyn, who made it a place of public
amusement, and all Paris danced, and played, and sang within its
precincts, as they did at a later time at Tivoli.

One day these noisy gaieties were disturbed by sounds of a sadder
and yet ruder nature. On the Place Louis XV., now become the Place
de la Révolution, large bodies of troops were assembled; cries of
savage fury echoed on every side; one voice of peace alone uttered
its gentle tones, 'Son of St Louis, ascend to Heaven!' Then came
shouts of 'Vive la République!' It was Louis XVI., who had been
immolated on the altar of Terror. Unhappily, for a time such scenes
were but too common in Paris: every heart was filled with either
rage or terror, and the voice of joy was no longer heard among the
people. There was neither music nor dancing at the Hôtel d'Evreux.

After Thermidor, however, it was re-opened to the public by some
speculators, who had purchased it of the nation. In the time of the
Directory and Consulate, the waltz and the quadrille flourished
within its princely walls. Every victory of Bonaparte's was
celebrated at the hamlet of Chantilly, for so was the newly-opened
garden now called. But the Empire approaches, raising up some
crowns, and creating others. In 1805, a handsome hussar becomes
the purchaser of L'Elysée. He enters it on horseback, orders it
to be repaired and richly decorated; and beneath the influence of
his magic wand it quickly becomes once more a palace. That wand,
unfortunately, is a sabre, and it is not swayed by the hand of
taste. Luxury reappears, without elegance: the graceful fancies of
Pompadour and of Beaujon are replaced by the heavy splendour of the
Empire: the grand saloon alone is spared by the new master. This
new master is Joachim Murat.

Madame Murat--the beautiful Marie Bonaparte--celebrated the
victories of her husband and her brother by brilliant fêtes at the
Elysée. It was there that she received the bulletins of Austerlitz
and Jena; it was there she received the tidings of her being the
queen of Naples. She resigned herself to her fate, and without a
sigh, abandoned her Parisian hôtel for the Neapolitan throne.

L'Elysée, now restored to the domain of the crown, soon saw beneath
its roof a little spare man, of lively disposition, and yet brusque
and pensive by nature. With booted spurs, and his hand wrapped
within his gray _capote_, he paced up and down its shady walks.
This little man was the Emperor Napoleon. L'Elysée was a favourite
residence of his, and he often dwelt there. There was but one thing
he regretted in the garden--a straight and well-covered avenue,
where he could walk on, engrossed in his own thoughts, without
looking before him. These were some of his happiest days. He had
still his guardian angel by his side--his Josephine. L'Elysée was
for a long while their paradise. But a day came in which Josephine
entered it alone bathed in tears. She was no longer empress, but it
was not for this she wept: it was for the lost love of her husband,
who cast her off with the hope of obtaining from another consort
the long-desired heir to his vast dominions. In her retreat at
L'Elysée, Josephine was consoled by the tender affection of her
daughter, the Queen Hortense, and a few friends who clung to her in
the hour of her adverse fortune.

In 1814, Napoleon quitted both L'Elysée and France. Another
emperor, victorious in his turn, entered his cabinet, and exclaimed
aloud, 'How many gigantic enterprises have been conceived in this
unpretending apartment! And how wonderful was that intellect which
could at once direct so many plans!' This emperor was Alexander
of Russia. The following year Napoleon reappeared for a moment at
L'Elysée. It was there that, on the 22d of June 1815, the Eagle,
wounded at Waterloo, received its deathblow. It was seized by
England, in the name of all Europe, and, by a stern necessity,
cast upon the far-off rock of St Helena.

Inhabited under the Restoration by the Duke de Berri until his
murder by Louvel, then by the Infant Don Miguel, and by the king
of Naples: appropriated during Louis-Philippe's reign to the use
of divers illustrious visitors, amongst whom were Ibrahim Pacha,
the Bey of Tunis, and the Infanta of Spain, L'Elysée Bourbon was
at length reserved as a dowry-palace for the Queen Marie-Amelia,
in the contemplated possibility of her widowhood; but its future
hostess having been obliged, like some of its former owners, to
fly from her country, its portals were opened to a new master in
December 1848, when, under the name of L'Elysée National, it became
the residence of the President of the Republic--of a nephew of
that Emperor who had said on leaving that very palace thirty-three
years before, 'It is only with _my name_ that France can hope to
become free, happy, and independent.' Such have been the fortunes
of L'Elysée National! Who can presume to say what destiny may yet
be in store for it?



JUVENILE CRIME AND DESTITUTION.


The increase of juvenile delinquency has become alarming. The
criminal statistics of the country show that one-eighth of the
offences which occupy our courts of justice are committed by mere
children, and one-fourth by transgressors under twenty years of
age. The depredations daily and daringly committed, especially
in towns, and the destitution continually exhibited by crowds of
young persons, have, during the current year, caused the public
to manifest a very general anxiety to inquire into causes of so
great and augmenting an evil. The inquiry cannot proceed far
without eliciting the mournful fact, that the mode of dealing
with crime in its earlier stages is not only seriously defective,
but tends to foster and increase rather than to diminish it. Not
hundreds, but thousands, of children are daily seen in London,
and in every other large town, without the means of moral or
intellectual culture, except that which has recently been provided
by private benevolence. Abandoned by their parents, unrestrained,
uncared-for by the law; hungry, and without food; cold, without
clothing; weary, and without whereon to lay their heads; existing
amidst every kind of suffering, and consequently influenced by the
strongest temptations, they embrace crime as the only means of
escape from want. Then, and not till then, does the law condescend
to notice them; not to succour or reform, but to punish.

In this respect we are immeasurably behind the legislatures of
other countries, not only modern, but ancient. The laws of Greece
placed children of tender years in a state of pupilage, and made
their teachers and pastors responsible for their conduct. Orphans
who had no natural protectors were apportioned to 'patrons,' who
were charged with, and made accountable for, their wellbeing. In
modern France, and in other continental countries, children under
sixteen years of age are not held responsible for the crimes they
may commit, but their parents are; and if they have no parents, the
state provides for them in its own fashion. The sixty-sixth article
of the French penal code stands in English thus:--

'When the accused shall be under sixteen years of age, if it has
been decided that he has acted without discernment, he shall be
acquitted; but he must be, according to circumstances, returned to
his parents, or sent to a House of Correction, there to be "brought
up" (_élevé_), and detained during such a number of years as the
judgment shall specify, and which in no case must extend beyond
the time when the accused shall have attained his twentieth year.'

By another article of the same code (the 67th), all children found
by the authorities who have neither parents nor homes are taken
to the House of Correction: nor is this plan confined to France.
The boldly-benevolent sheriff of Aberdeen, imitating this law,
formed his most efficient school, by causing all the destitute
and friendless children in the bounds of his jurisdiction to
be 'taken up' and housed in his miscellaneous but admirable
academy. The law of France, by this sort of procedure, exercises
a protective influence over the friendless and forlorn. The law
of England, on the contrary, only condescends to notice children
when they have become criminals. Here the 'eye of the law' is
shut against neglected and wretched outcasts from tainted homes,
or the offspring of vicious parents; but opens them wide, and
darts its fiery glare, to bring these young victims to punishment,
when they have committed crimes for which, as we shall presently
prove, they ought scarcely to be held accountable. The sternest
moralist will not deny that in a majority of cases offenders
under, say fourteen years of age, ought not to be deemed criminals
in the ordinary sense of the term--that is to say, as offenders
who, having acquired a knowledge of the duties of civilised life,
have violated them: the fact being, that the very possibility of
acquiring such knowledge the law denies; whilst, on the other hand,
every incentive and temptation to dishonesty is working within
them. These wretched young creatures are either homeless orphans,
committing petty thefts to keep life in them, or the offspring of
infamous parents, who urge them to pilfer, as a means of support in
their own profligacy, or are hired and taught by practised ruffian
employers to plunder for their benefit. How, then, can a child
of tender years, for whom the legislature has provided no means
of instruction, religious or moral, who has been sent out by his
parents to beg or steal--caressed when successful, and punished
when unlucky; or, more frequently, a being who has been cast loose
upon the world, without a friend in it--form any just notion of his
duties to society? Yet, because he has not done so, the law, when
it detects him in the consequences of such ignorance, sends him to
the treadmill or to jail. And even there our criminal code affords
no means of reformation, nor always of employment;[1] while, on the
contrary, every sort of instruction in depravity, and every means
of acquiring proficiency in thieving, are supplied by his prison
associates. 'Prisons,' says the chaplain of the Pentonville Prison
in the last report from that establishment, 'as they are throughout
the country, generally speaking, are schools in which everything
wicked, deceitful, impious, and abominable is practised, taught,
and propagated at a great expense of public money and public
morals.'

To illustrate vividly the condition of the juvenile criminal, the
bearing the law has upon his career and ultimate destiny, and,
finally, to render intelligible the best remedies it is in the
power of the country to apply to this worst of social diseases, it
is only necessary to trace the private history of at least one-half
of the unfortunate young beings who now infest our streets.

Before us lie two documents, from which it is easy to glean the
birth and parentage of a vast number of these wretched young
creatures. The first is the Report of the Parkhurst Prison, and the
second that of the Philanthropic Institution for the Reformation of
Juvenile Offenders; both for the year 1848. Against the lists of
'admissions' into the latter establishment are placed short notes
of the antecedents of the boys admitted during the year. The most
frequently-recurring entries against the initials of those inmates
who have been convicted more than once are such as:--'Father dead;
mother remarried; deserted by his friends.' 'Turned out of doors by
a stepfather.' 'Illegitimate; father unknown.' 'Father of dissolute
habits; deserted his wife.' 'An orphan, both parents dead;'
or 'Parents unknown,' occurs frequently. 'Mother dead, father
remarried, and turned out of doors,' and 'Utterly friendless,'
are also repeated in several instances. 'Mother separated from
her husband: she is of drunken habits: the boy led into evil by
discomforts of home:' 'Father of drunken habits,' are occasional
entries. Those boys who were admitted into the school upon one
conviction only, seem, in a majority of instances, to have been led
away by evil companions. We select the following from this category
as examples:--'The parents poor; father in bad health.' 'Father
dead; mother respectable.' 'Enticed to theft by bad companions,' &c.

Imagine the life of a young outcast belonging to the first class
of the cases above cited. His earliest endeavours may be towards
honest employment. This he seeks far and near--day after day--till,
worn out with fruitless solicitation, and nearly starved, he
takes to begging. With any charity-money he may obtain he abates
the pangs of hunger. In the casual wards of workhouses, to
which the young wanderer is often driven for a night's rest, he
has to associate with practised depredators;[2] but when more
successful, his sleeping companions in the low lodging-houses we
have previously adverted to in this Journal are chiefly young
thieves, whose occasional affluence he envies. He does not see
their more frequent privations, because at these places of meeting
no one can appear who has not been able to get money, the prompt
payment of the admission fee being indispensable. He has no moral
principles to fortify him against the jaunty, clever, convincing
persuasions of his new friends. They seem, so far as he can judge,
happy, and even joyous, which, to his perceptions, speak not only
of sufficient for subsistence, but of superfluity. He contrasts
his own condition and hopeless despondency with their evanescent
happiness, and longs to acquire such depraved knowledge as will
enable him to increase his quantum of food, and put him on a par
with his neighbours. In short, he soon becomes a thief--not an
occasional depredator, driven to dishonesty by the urgent demands
of nature, but a regular, practised, professional pilferer. Fraud
is his trade; and as it is by no means an easy one, he takes very
great pains, and runs great risks, to learn it. When he has been
'lucky,' his gains are to him great, and he spends them in a way
which debauches him still more, but which, for the time, affords
him a sort of enjoyment. There are, however, long intervals between
these saturnalia; and the want and misery he experiences meantime
are sharp and severe. But they teach him no lesson, for with him
it is 'either a hunger or a burst;' and when plenty comes, past
privation is drowned in present enjoyment.

But this is a bright view of a juvenile outcast's career. A
specimen of the miseries he has to endure was afforded by Lord
Ashley in his speech on the reformation of juvenile offenders in
the House of Commons towards the end of last session. His lordship
was anxious to ascertain from personal inspection what was the
actual condition of those persons; and he therefore, in company
with two or three others, perambulated the city of London. He found
these persons lying under dry arches, on the steps of doors, and
in outhouses; but by far the majority of them lying in the dry
arches of houses in course of erection. Those arches were quite
inaccessible in any ordinary way, being blocked up with masonry;
and the only mode of ascertaining whether any one was inside, was
by thrusting in a lantern. When lanterns were thrust in, however,
a great many were discovered, of whom he caused 33 to undergo an
examination. Their ages varied from twelve to eighteen. Of those,
24 had no parents, 6 had one parent, and 3 had stepmothers; 9 had
no shoes; 12 had been once in prison, 3 four times, 1 eight times;
and 1, only fourteen years of age, had been twelve times in prison!
The physical condition of those children was melancholy beyond
belief. The whole of them, without exception, were the prey of
vermin, a large proportion were covered with itch, a few of them
were suffering sickness, and in two or three days afterwards died
from exhaustion. Of these 33 he had himself privately examined
some eight or ten; and from the way in which their answers were
given, he was certain that they told the truth. He asked them
how often they had slept in a bed during the last three years.
One of them said, 'Perhaps as many as twelve times in the three
years;' another, three times; and another said that he could not
remember that he had ever slept in a bed. He then asked them how
they passed the time in winter, and whether they did not suffer
from the cold. They replied that they lay eight or ten together
in these cellars, in order to keep themselves warm. They fairly
confessed that they had no other means of subsistence than begging
or stealing, and that the only mode by which they could 'turn a
penny,' as they termed it, in a legitimate way, was by picking up
bones, and selling them to marine-store dealers. Let it be observed
that a large proportion of those young persons were at the most
dangerous age for society; many of them were from sixteen to two or
three-and-twenty, which was by far the most perilous age for every
purpose of fraud, and certainly of violence.

A well-authenticated anecdote gives an even more powerful
illustration of the excessive wretchedness to which young persons
without friends or protectors are, in thousands and tens of
thousands, reduced. The master of a Ragged School having occasion
to lecture a boy of this class, pointed out to him the consequences
of a perseverance in the career of crime he was pursuing; and to
enforce his precepts the stronger, painted in strong colours the
punishments he was earning in this life, and the torments in that
to come. 'Well,' said the boy, 'I don't think it can be worse than
the torments in this life.'

It is melancholy to know that it is chiefly the novices in crime
who have to endure the sharpest privations and miseries. As youths
grow more dexterous in their illicit calling, they have, as a
matter of course, better success. In lodging-houses and casual
wards they learn the elements of their illicit vocation; and it is
not till they have passed a few months in one of our prisons that
their education in crime is complete. Despite the 'silent-system,'
and the palatial accommodation of our modern prisons, detention
in them is still productive of the worst results. Although, by a
recent act, the power of summary conviction has been much extended
to police magistrates, so as to obviate the evil of long detention,
other and greater evils, which need not be specified here, have
sprung up. To show what efficient instruction in infamy those
already prepared to receive its lessons is afforded in prisons, we
need only instance a fact, related in the Pentonville Prison Report
by the chaplain, relative to a child of decent parentage, and not,
as one may suppose, so open as many to bad impressions:--'A very
young boy, seven years of age, was brought in, charged, in company
with other two boys somewhat older, with stealing some iron-piping
from the street. The little fellow--it was the first time he had
ever been in such a place--cried bitterly all the afternoon of
the Saturday; but by the Monday morning, the exhortations of his
companions, and their sneers at his softness, had reconciled him to
his situation; and the eldest of the three was teaching him to pick
pockets, practising his skill on almost all the other prisoners.
His mother came to see him in the forenoon, and the boy was again
overwhelmed with grief. Again his companions jeered him, calling
him by certain opprobrious epithets in use amongst such characters,
and in a short time the boy was pacified, and romping merrily with
his associates.'

In the same report we find the following account given by a
thoroughly-reformed prisoner, who spoke from what he had himself
witnessed:--'In the assize-yard there was a considerable number of
what are called first-offenders, nine or ten including myself, the
remainder forming an overwhelming majority; two of them murderers,
both of whom were subsequently condemned to death. I cannot reflect
without pain on the reckless conduct of these two unhappy men
during the few weeks I was with them. As regarded themselves, they
appeared indifferent to the probable result of their coming trial.
They even went so far as to have a mock trial in the day-room,
when, one of the prisoners sitting as judge, some others acting
as witnesses, and others as counsel, all the proceedings of the
court of justice were gone through, the sentence pronounced, and
mockingly carried into execution. I shall not soon forget that day
when one of these murderers was placed in the cell amongst us,
beneath the assize-court, a few moments after the doom of death
had been passed upon him. Prisoners on these occasions eagerly
inquire, "What is the sentence?" Coolly pointing the forefinger of
his right hand to his neck, he said, "I am to hang." He then broke
into a fit of cursing the judge, and mimicked the manner in which
he had delivered the sentence. The length of his trial was then
discussed: all the circumstances that had been elicited during its
progress were detailed and dwelt upon: the crowded state of the
court, the eagerness of the individuals present to get a sight of
him, the grand speech of his counsel--all were elements that seemed
to have greatly gratified his vanity, and to have drugged him into
a forgetfulness of the bitterness of his doom. He then dwelt upon
the speech he should make on the scaffold; was sure there would
be an immense concourse of people at his execution, as it was a
holiday-week; and from these and numerous other considerations,
drew nourishment to that vanity and love of distinction which had
in no small degree determined perhaps the commission of his crime.
To minds in the depths of ignorance, and already contaminated by
vicious and criminal courses of life, such a man becomes an object
of admiration. They obtain from him some slight memorial--such
as a lock of his hair, or some small part of his dress--which
they cherish with a sentiment for which veneration is the most
appropriate term; while the notoriety he has obtained may incite
them to the perpetration of some act equally atrocious.'

Mr Cloy of the Manchester Jail also reports that there the
prisoners form themselves into regular judge-and-jury societies,
and go through the whole form of a trial and conviction. They also
practise stealing from one another--less for the misappropriation
of the articles stolen, than for acquiring proficiency in the art
of picking pockets, and other degrading and immoral arts.

A constant supply of masters in the arts of dishonesty is kept up
by the system of short imprisonment. The author of 'Old-Bailey
Experience' says that thieves regard not imprisonment if it be
only for a short time. Indeed, in the winter-time, they rather
prefer it to liberty; for in jail they can insure protection from
the inclemencies of that season: but even at other times, so
ductile is nature to circumstances, that these men think themselves
fortunate if, out of twelve, they can have four mouths' 'run,'
as they call it. 'I have no hesitation in affirming,' says the
above-quoted author, 'that they would continue to go the same
round of imprisonment and crime for an unlimited period if the
duration of life and their sentences afforded them the opportunity.
I knew one man who was allowed a course of seventeen imprisonments
and other punishments before his career of crime was stopped by
transportation.' In each of these imprisonments, this practised
ruffian mixed with the youngest prisoners, and doubtless imparted
to them lessons in crime which made them ten times worse after they
had left than before they entered the prison.

Although numbers of these unfriended _pariahs_ of both sexes die in
their probation, yet some, by dint of depredation and subsistence
at the public expense in jail, grow up to adolescence. Let us hear,
in concluding this miserable history, Lord Ashley's experience of
the grown-up thief:--'Last year he received a paper signed by 150
of the most notorious thieves in London, asking him to meet them at
some place in the Minories, and to give them the best counsel he
could as to the mode in which they should extricate themselves from
their difficult position. Lord Ashley went to their appointment,
and instead of 150, he found 250 thieves assembled. They made no
secret of their mode of life. A number of addresses were delivered,
and he proceeded to examine them. They said, "We are tired to death
of the life we lead--we are beset by every misery--our lives are
a burthen to us, for we never know from sunrise to sunset whether
we shall have a full meal or any meal at all: can you give us any
counsel as to how we may extricate ourselves from our present
difficulties?" He told them that that was a most difficult question
to determine under any circumstances in the present day, when
competition was so great, and when no situation became vacant but
there were at least three applicants for it; more especially was it
difficult to determine when men whose characters were tainted came
in competition with others upon whose character there was no stain.
To that they replied, "What you say is most true: we have tried
to get honest employment, but we cannot--we find that our tainted
character meets us everywhere." In their efforts to escape from
their miserable condition, these poor creatures were constantly
foiled, and driven back to their old courses.'

Thus it is that an action and reaction are continually kept up;
and from this short sketch it may be readily seen how crime, and
especially that of young persons, increases, and will increase,
until some comprehensive remedy is earnestly applied. We repeat,
that in our present official system no machinery exists for
helping the helpless: the iron hand of the law does not hold out
the tip of its little finger to aid the orphan out of the gulf of
ignorance and crime which yawns for him at the very threshold of
his existence. This is the root of the evil--the radical defect in
our system; for it has been ascertained that not one in fifty ever
becomes a depredator after the age of twenty. Crime, therefore, can
only be checked by removing pollution from its source.

Before we take a glance at the beneficial efforts towards this
result which have been made by private benevolence, by means of
Ragged Schools, and other reformatory establishments, we must
point out one more trait of the infirmity of the law, by showing
the enormous expense to which the country is put by keeping the
cumbrous and clumsy legal machinery in operation.

A child indicted for a petty theft is often honoured with as
lengthy an indictment, occupies as much of the time of a grand
jury, and when brought into court, has as great an array of
witnesses brought against him--all involving draughts on the
county rates--as a capital offender. A petition was presented to
parliament last year by the Liverpool magistrates on this subject,
in which Mr Rushton gave the criminal biography of fourteen
lads, whose career of wickedness and misery had cost, in their
innumerable trials and convictions, about L.100 a-piece. This is
only a single instance; but a more comprehensive calculation shows
that the total amount we pay for punishing, or, more correctly,
for fostering crime, is two millions per annum; and it has been
computed that from two to three millions more are lost in plunder.
In the year 1846, the cost of each prisoner in England and Wales
averaged L.26, 17s. 7¼d.

Laying aside the higher aspects in which the duties of the
community towards their misguided and neglected fellow-beings may
be seen, and lowering our view to the merely fiscal expediency of
the question, it is easily shown that prevention--and reformation
when prevention is past hope--would be much cheaper than the
mischievous cure which is now attempted. At from one penny to
twopence a week, nearly 10,000 children are at this time being
taught reading and writing in the Ragged Schools: and although
reading and writing are by no means of themselves preventives to
crime, yet the moral instruction which is given along with them
to a certain extent is. Then as to reformation, the Philanthropic
School reforms juvenile offenders at L.16 per head; and even if we
add this sum to the L.26 odds which the conviction of each prisoner
is said to cost (for reformation can only be complete after
punishment), there would be a great saving to the country; for the
reformed youth would be withdrawn from the ranks of depredators,
and cease to be a burthen on the country.

In endeavouring, however, to provide for destitute criminal
juvenality, the danger presents itself of placing them in a better
position than the offspring of poor but honest parents, who have
no such advantages for their children. From the absolute necessity
of the case we could get over this: but there is another and
more peremptory objection. Anything like a wholesale sweeping-up
of juvenile vagrants, and providing for them, no matter how,
would most probably tend to a demoralisation of the lower class
of parents, who would be only too thankful to get rid of their
offspring on any terms. Plans of this nature must inevitably be
accompanied by an enforcement of parental responsibility. The
wretch who neglects his child, must be taught, even if by the whip
to his back, that he has no right or title to turn over his duties
to the philanthropist or to the public.

Another difficulty presents itself even after the reformation of
the more hardened offenders has been effected. How are they to
find employment? The 250 depredators who told Lord Ashley that
they could not get honest employment, only mentioned the ease of
every one of their crime-fellows. Some manage to obtain an honest
livelihood by concealing their past history, but even in such a
case the 'authorities' do not always leave them alone. One young
man told Lord Ashley that he had contrived to get a good situation,
and after some trial, his employer was as well pleased with him as
he was with his employer. One day, however, there came a policeman,
who said to his master, 'Are you aware that you are employing a
convicted felon?' The master, upon ascertaining that such was the
case, turned the young man at once out of his service, and he had
no alternative but starvation or a recurrence to the evil courses
from which he had so nearly extricated himself.

In such cases emigration meets the difficulty, and has hitherto
succeeded. Several batches of reformed juvenile criminals have
already been sent out from Parkhurst Prison, from the Philanthropic
School, and other reformatories, and the emigrants have, upon the
whole, given satisfaction to the employers.

We have laid the evil bare before our readers, and hinted at
remedies, not more for the importance of the facts set forth, than
to prepare them for a description we shall next attempt of the
interesting experiment now being tried by the Philanthropic Society
at their Farm-School at Red Hill in Surrey. Its object has been
to see how far a modification of the Mettray system is likely to
answer in this country. The results which have arisen up to this
time are of the most encouraging nature. What we saw during our
visit has led us to hope that at least a beginning has been made
towards removing much of the stigma which rests upon Great Britain
for suffering the existence, and allowing the increase, of more
crime and destitution among persons of tender years than exists in
any other country.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] No less than 26 per cent. of our prisoners are unemployed,
according to the last Report of the Inspectors of Prisons.

[2] Lord Ashley stated in the House of Commons, that of 150 thieves
he once met, 42 confessed that it was to casual wards that they
traced the commencement of their crimes.



THE LETTER OF INTRODUCTION.


Letters of introduction are like lottery-tickets, turning out
sometimes a blank, and sometimes a prize, just as accident directs.
It has frequently happened, however, that those presented at the
wrong address have been the most fortunate. We know of at least one
instance in which a gentleman came by a wife in consequence of a
blunder of this kind; and another occurred recently in the place in
which we write, 'killing two birds with one stone'--that is, the
letter-bearer making two acquaintances instead of one--by a series
of odd and perplexing _contre-temps_.

The missive in question was given to an English gentleman in
London, who was about to indulge his wife and himself with a trip
to Edinburgh. The writer was the brother-in-law of the individual
to whom it was addressed--Mr Archibald; and the fortunate possessor
was a certain Mr Smith, of the Smiths of Middlesex.

Soon after Mr Smith reached Edinburgh, where he had not a single
acquaintance, he set out to deliver his letter of introduction. He
found his way to Drummond Place easily enough, and then inquired
for the street he was in search of--Duncan Street; but the native
he applied to could not well make out his southron tongue, and
directed him instead to Dublin Street, which all men know is at
the opposite angle of the Place. When our letter-bearer reached
his number, he was surprised to find, instead of the respectable
'main-door' he had been taught to expect--a green-grocer's shop. He
was puzzled: but after comparing carefully the number of the house
and of the note, he concluded that his London friend had made a
mistake; and in this idea he was confirmed by the green-grocer, to
whom he applied.

'Hoot, sir,' said the man of cabbages, 'it's nae mistake to speak
o'--it's just ae side of the street for the ither;' and pointing
to a house almost immediately opposite, he informed him that
there Mr Archibald resided. Mr Smith crossed over to the number
indicated, and finding no knocker--for we do not like noise in
Edinburgh--pulled the bell.

'Is Mr Archibald at home?' demanded he of the serving-maiden who
came to the door.

'Yes, sir.'

'Can I see him?'

'He's no in, sir.'

'No in! Will you direct me to his office?'

'He has nae office.'

'No! What does he do? Where does he go?'

'He aye gangs to the kirk.'

'To the kirk! What is he?'

'He's a minister.'

Mr Smith was puzzled again. He had a strong impression that his
man was a merchant--nay, he had even some floating idea that he
was a wine-merchant: but still--here were the street and the name,
and not a particularly common name--a conjunction which formed a
stubborn fact. He asked if he could see Mrs Archibald, and was at
once shown into that lady's presence. Mrs Archibald received him
with the ease and politeness of one accustomed to the visits of
strangers, and on being told that he had a letter of introduction
for her husband, entered freely into conversation.

'I saw Mr Archibald's last communication to my friend in London,'
said Mr Smith, determined to feel his way: 'it was on the subject
of schools.'

'That is a subject in which Mr Archibald is much interested, and so
likewise am I.'

'He mentioned, more especially, Mrs So-and-so's school in George
Street.'

'Doubtless.'

'Then you are more nearly concerned in that school than in any
other.'

'It is natural that we should be so, for our children are there.'

'I thought so!'

There was now no longer any doubt that Mr Smith had hit upon the
right Mr Archibald; and taking the letter of introduction from his
pocket, he handed it to the lady, politely extricating it, before
doing so, from its envelop. Mrs Archibald read the letter calmly,
and then laid it upon the table without remark. This disturbed in
some degree the good opinion the stranger had been rapidly forming
of the lady; and the odd circumstance of her omitting to inquire
after her own nearest blood-relations threw him into a train of
philosophical reflections. Mr Smith--like all the rest of the
Smiths--kept a journal; and a vision of a 'mem.' flitted before
him: 'Curious National Characteristic--Scotch women civil, polite,
kindly--especially clergymen's wives--but calm, cold, reserved;
never by any chance ask strangers about their family, even when
distant hundreds of miles.'

Mr Smith, however, was an agreeable good-humoured man. He spoke
both well and fluently, and Mrs Archibald both listened and talked;
and the end of it was, that they were mutually pleased, and that
when Mr Smith was at length obliged to get up to take his leave,
she invited him, with the simple hospitality of a minister's wife,
to return to tea, to meet her husband. Mr Smith was much obliged,
would be very happy; but--the fact was, his wife was in town with
him. So much the better! Mrs Archibald would be delighted to
be introduced to Mrs Smith; he must do her the favour to waive
ceremony, and bring her in the evening exactly at seven. And so it
was settled.

When the evening came, the weather had changed. It was bitterly
cold; the wind blew as the wind only blows in Edinburgh; and it
rained--to speak technically, it rained dogs and cats! Mr and
Mrs Smith differed in opinion as to the necessity of keeping the
engagement on such an evening. Mrs Smith was decidedly adverse
to the idea of encountering the Scotch elements on a dark, cold,
wet, tempestuous night, and all for the purpose of drinking an
unpremeditated cup of tea. Mr Smith, on the other hand, considered
that an engagement was an engagement; that the Archibalds were
an excellent family to be acquainted with; and that, by keeping
their word, in spite of difficulties, they would set out by
commanding their respect. Mr Smith had the best of the argument;
and he prevailed. A cab was ordered; and shivering and shrinking,
they picked their steps across the _trottoir_, and commenced
their journey. This time, however, Mr Smith's southron tongue was
understood; and he was driven, not to Dublin Street, where he had
been in the morning, but to Duncan Street, where he had desired
to go--although of course he took care to give the coachman the
corrected number this time, as it was not his intention to drink
tea with the green-grocer.

When they arrived at the house, the coachman dismounted and rung
the bell; and Mr Smith, seeing the door open, let down the window
of the coach, although half-choked with the wind and rain that
entered, and prepared to make a rush with his wife across the
tempest-swept _trottoir_.

'Nae Mr Archibald at number so-and-so!' bawled the coachman.

'I say he is there,' cried Mr Smith in a rage: 'the servant has
deceived you--ring again!'

'It's nae use ringing,' said the coachman, speaking against the
storm; 'there's nae Mr Archibald there--I ken mysel!'

'Is it possible that I can have made a mistake in the number? Hark
ye, friend, try somewhere else. I know of my own knowledge that Mr
Archibald is in this street, and you must find him!'--and he shut
down the window exhausted.

It was not difficult to find Mr Archibald, for his house was almost
directly opposite; and the tea-drinkers at length, to their great
satisfaction, found themselves on a landing-place, with an open
door before them.

As Mr Smith paused for an instant on the threshold, he threw a
strange searching glance round the hall, and then, turning to the
servant, asked her if she had actually said that Mr Archibald lived
there? The girl repeated the statement.

'Then come along, my dear,' said he to his wife; 'places look so
different in the gaslight!' And striding through the hall, the
servant in surprise walking backwards before them, they went into
the drawing-room at the further end. The girl had opened the door
of the room for them by the instinct of habit; but no sooner did
she see them seated, than she ran at full speed to her mistress.

'Come ben, mem,' said she; 'come ben, I tell you, this moment!
There are twa strange folks wha ha'e marched in out o' the street
into the very drawing-room, without either with your leave or by
your leave, and sutten themselves doon on the sophy, as if the
house was their ain!' Mrs Archibald got up in surprise, and even
some little trepidation.

'Did they not mention who they were, or what was their pleasure?'

'Not a word, mem: they didna even speer if the maister or you was
at hame, but tramped in the moment they saw the door open.'

Mrs Archibald, who was a newly-married lady, wondered who such
visitors could be on such a night, and wished her husband was at
home; but telling the girl to keep close behind her, she at length
set forth to encounter them.

Mr and Mrs Smith in the meantime were speculating in a low voice,
in the fashion of man and wife, on their adventure.

'This is doubtless the drawing-room, my dear,' said Mr Smith,
looking round: 'it must have been the dining-room I saw in the
forenoon.'

'I wish we saw a fire in the meantime, my dear,' replied Mrs
Smith--'that I do! Do these people think it is not cold enough for
one? And such a night!--wind, rain, and utter darkness! A clergyman
forsooth! and a clergyman's wife!'

'It is a great neglect, I admit--for it is really cold; but we must
consider that the natives of a country are not so sensible of the
rigour of their climate as strangers. Mr and Mrs Archibald, you
know, are Scotch.'

'Yes, Scotch,' said Mrs Smith with a sardonic smile--'excessively
Scotch!' And drawing her shawl over her chin, she sat, looking like
an incarnation of Discomfort, till Mrs Archibald entered the room.

'How do you do, ma'am?' said Mr Smith, getting up and shaking
hands. 'You see I have brought my wife to drink tea with you. My
dear, let me introduce you to Mrs Archibald--Mrs Archibald, Mrs
Smith. The two ladies exchanged bows, the one sulkily, the other
stiffly; and even Mr Smith, though not a particularly observant
man, thought their hostess did not look so pleasant as in the
forenoon.

'How is Mr Archibald?' said he after a pause.

'My husband is pretty well, sir.'

'Not at church again, eh?'

'Sir!' Here Mrs Archibald looked anxiously to the half-open door,
where the girl was waiting concealed in the shadow, in readiness to
reinforce her mistress in case of necessity.

'A very windy, dismal evening--and cold. Don't you find it cold,
ma'am?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Perhaps we have come too soon?'

'Really, sir--I hope you will not think it ill-bred--but I have
been expecting to hear why you have come at all!'

'Mrs Archibald! Is it possible that you have forgotten me already?'

'I must confess you have the advantage of me.'

'You do not remember seeing me this forenoon, when your husband was
at church?'

'I really have no recollection of any such circumstance; nor am I
aware of anything that could take my husband to church to-day.'

'And you cannot call to mind that you asked me to tea, and
intreated me to bring my wife with me?'

'Surely not, since I was ignorant, till a few minutes ago, that
such individuals were in existence.'

'Mrs Archibald! I of course cannot, as a gentleman, refuse to
credit those assertions; but I take leave to tell you that I
by no means admire the _memory_ of the wives of the Scottish
clergy! Come, my dear. Our friend will be surprised to hear of the
hospitable reception obtained for us by his letter of introduction;
although perhaps Mrs Archibald'--and here Mr Smith wheeled round as
he reached the door, and fixed his eye upon the culprit--'although
perhaps Mrs Archibald is not disposed to admit having received
Mr ----'s letter at all!'

'Oh, that is my brother-in-law!' cried Mrs Archibald: 'do you come
from him? How is my dear sister? Pray, sit down!' A few words
sufficed to clear the whole _imbroglio_; and the true Mr Archibald
making his appearance immediately after, threw still more light
upon the subject by explaining that a namesake of his, a clergyman,
lived in the street at the opposite angle of the Place. They
learnt afterwards from this gentleman, that on seeing the letter
of introduction, he perceived at once it was not intended for him,
and went to call on Mr Smith to explain the mistake. The Fates,
however, were determined that the _contre-temps_ should run its
course, for Mrs Archibald had taken down the wrong number!

In another room the party found a cheerful fire, and the
much-desiderated tea; and before separating that night, Mr
Archibald placed collateral evidence of a highly-satisfactory
nature upon the table that Mr Smith's original conjecture was
correct, and that he was indeed no minister--but a Wine-merchant.



JOTTINGS ON BOOKS AND LITERATURE.


'The history of books,' it has often been said, 'is as curious and
instructive as that of men: it is therein that we have to seek
for the moral life of a people.' This remark has very much the
character of a truism, and more especially at the present period.
The ever-circling course of time brings phenomena in literature as
well as astronomy: from the no-book era the world passed into the
too-many-book era; from that of reading nothing but what pleased a
few, to that in which everybody read what they pleased; from that
of being punished for reading, to that in which the punishment
was for not reading. Nodier says, 'Printed books have existed but
little more than four hundred years, and yet, in certain countries,
they have already accumulated to such a degree as to peril the
old equilibrium of the globe. Civilisation has reached the most
unexpected of its periods--the Age of Paper.'

We have had the Golden Age, and the Age of Brass, and of Iron; but
the Age of Paper!--was such a wonder ever dreamt of by philosophy?
What does it bode? Is it synonymous with _flimsy_ age? Do the
centuries degenerate? According to M. Victor Hugo they do not. In
his reception-speech made to the Académie in 1840, he declared,
'Nothing has degenerated; France is always the torch of nations.
The epoch is great--great by its science, its eloquence, its
industry, great by its poetry and its art. At the present hour,
there is but one enlightened and living literature in the whole
universe--and it is the literature of France.' It is not easy to
account for differences of opinion, but only three short years
earlier--namely, in 1837--Monsieur Guizot affirmed, in addressing
another learned academy, 'The true and disinterested worship of
science has worn itself out among us; we seek for noise or for
profit, for a prompt satisfaction of self-love, or for a material
advantage.'

Contrast this with the period when pen, ink, and fingers did the
work now done by type and power-presses--the no-book era. Not the
least noteworthy among patient transcribers were the Benedictines.
'Their rule assigned an eminent rank among monastic virtues to the
guardianship and multiplication of valuable manuscripts. It taught
the copyist of a holy book to think of himself as at once a pupil
and a teacher--as a missionary while seated at his desk--using each
finger as a tongue--inflicting on the Spirit of Evil a deadly wound
at each successive line--and as baffling, with the pen, the dread
enemy who smiles at the impotent hostility of every other weapon
grasped by the hand of mortal man. In each Benedictine monastery a
chamber was set apart for the discharge of this sacred office. In
this _Scriptorium_ some of the monks plied their pens assiduously,
and in profound silence, to produce faultless transcripts of the
best originals. To others was committed the care of revising
the text of such works as were then held in the highest esteem.
Charlemagne himself assigned to the Benedictine Alcuin the high
office of preparing, from the various sources within his reach, a
perfect Codex of the Holy Scriptures. For what remains to us of
Pliny, Sallust, and Macrobius, and for the orations against Verres,
we are indebted to their literary zeal.'

We read of Claude Estiennot, who was procurator of the Benedictines
at Rome during the papacy of Innocent XI., that 'within eleven
years he had collected and transcribed forty-five bulky folios, at
the various libraries of his society in the several dioceses of
France, adding to them, says Dom le Cerf, "réflexions très sensées
et judicieuses"--"very sensible and judicious reflections."'
Forty-five volumes in eleven years! Perhaps this was a commendable
result in the eighth century, but the old-fashioned hand-press
in the village of Dumdrudge would beat it now-a-days, barring
probably the 'judicious reflections.' We have before us a
statement of the books and pamphlets printed in France in fifteen
years--1830-1845--including reprints, but omitting periodicals,
the number was 5862 annually, or a total of 87,930. Estimating
each work as two volumes and a-half, they amount to 220,000; and
reckoning 1200 copies of each work (a moderate calculation), the
grand total is 264,000,000 of volumes.

Nodier might well say the earth's equilibrium is imperilled:
and if we add to the above the typographical labours of other
countries! In the matter of Bibles alone, the British Societies
have distributed 20,000,000 copies since 1827. A house in
Paris published the Scriptures in three quarto volumes, price
seventy-five francs, in twelve years--1824-1836: by dint of
canvassing, and offering the work from house to house, they sold
65,000 copies, value 4,875,000 francs. Nor are we without monuments
of individual effort: Daniel Kieffer, a celebrated Protestant and
learned Orientalist of Strasburg, translated the Old Testament
into Turkish; and in one year, 1832, distributed at his sole
charge 160,000 of the volumes. The best Bohemian dictionary yet
published is the work of a M. Jungmann, who prepared and brought
it out at his own cost, and sold a vineyard to defray the expense.
According to Mr Kohl, Bibles are smuggled into Bohemia, Scripture
is contraband, and yet, contradictory as it may seem, Bibles may
be sold in that country, although they may not be printed there
or imported. The copies which do find an entrance are sent mostly
from Berlin and England. A few years since, two wagon-loads fell
into the hands of customhouse officers, who have ever since kept
the prize safely under lock and key. In the public library at Linz,
the above-named traveller saw an old edition of Luther's works
thickly coated with dust, and was informed by the attendant that
the volumes had not once been disturbed for thirty years.

Even in the days when oligarchs prescribed the popular reading,
Pasquin dared to say what he thought of their proceedings. Father
Germain, who accompanied Mabillon to Rome in 1685, relates
an incident:--'He found Rome agitated with the affair of the
Quietists. His account of the dispute is rather facetious than
theological. Just then a Spaniard had been sent to the galleys,
and a priest to the gallows; the first for talking, the second
for writing scandals; while the great Quietist Molinos was in the
custody of the Inquisition. Marforio, says Germain, is asked by
Pasquin, why are you leaving Rome? and answers, "He who speaks
is sent to the galleys; he who writes is hanged; he who remains
quiet goes to the Holy Office." Marforio had good cause for his
heresy; for the scandal which (as Germain pleasantly has it) "broke
the priest's neck" was merely his having said that the "mare had
knocked the snail out of its shell," in allusion to the fact of the
Pope's having been forced out of his darling seclusion and repose,
to be present at a certain festival, at which a mare or palfrey was
also an indispensable attendant. The rogues continue to repeat the
jest notwithstanding, observes the reverend looker-on.'

'Many men, many minds;' so runs the adage. About the year 1839, a
work, 'Le mariage au point de vue chrétien' was published by Madame
Gasparin. The French Academy awarded a prize to the authoress for
her book, but at the very same time it was inscribed by the church
in the Index Expurgatorius as a prohibited treatise: such being
one among the innumerable instances of difference of opinion.
The disappointment of writers, too, would fill a long catalogue:
there are extravagant expectations in literature as well as in
mines and railways. In 1836, one M. Châtel published the 'Code de
l'humanité,' which was to regenerate society. He announced himself
as Primate of the Gauls, drew around him a few disciples, who
remained faithful during fifteen years, when the delusion came
suddenly to an end--the primate had become a postmaster.

Some books, like human beings, come into the world with fortune
for their nurse, others encounter difficulties at the very outset,
and barely escape strangulation. According to Pliny, several
thousand men were placed at the service of Aristotle during the
time that his great work was in preparation, to furnish him with
information and observations on all sorts of natural objects--men
whose business it was to take care of cattle, fishing-grounds, and
apiaries. The monarch under whose auspices it was composed gave
him 800 talents (L.79,000) towards the expenses. Was ever a book
brought out under more favourable circumstances?

When Amari wrote his history of Sicily, he submitted it to
the censorship at Palermo, and obtained leave to publish. The
permission from some cause was, however, revoked before the work
appeared, and the author received orders to send the whole of the
copies to the police. Unwilling to make such a sacrifice, he packed
the books in a case, and shipped them on board a French vessel, and
at the same time sent a similar case to the authorities filled with
vegetables and rubbish. He then, with a false passport, sailed for
Marseilles, and eventually published his book at Paris with the
imprint 'Palermo' on the title-page. It has since gone through a
second edition.

Some writers have said the inventing of a title, or composing
of a preface, cost them more trouble or thought than any other
part of their work; it might not be unfair to suppose that the
subject-matter was very indifferent, or the preface very good.
True it is, however, that many books do exhibit strange freaks of
invention on the part of their authors, as a few specimens will
exemplify. In 'The Arte of Vulgar Arithmeticke,' published in 1600
by Thomas Hylles, we find 'the partition of a shilling into his
aliquot parts' thus exhibited:--

    'A farthing first findes fortie-eight,
    An halfepeny hopes for twentie-foure,
    Three farthings seekes out 16 streight,
    A peny puls a dozen lower:
    Dicke dandiprat drewe 8 out deade,
    Two-pence tooke 6 and went his way,
    Tom trip and goe with 4 is fled,
    But goodman grote on 3 doth stay;
    A testerne only 2 doth take,
    Moe parts a shilling cannot make.'

Schoolboys of the present day often chant a quatrain without a
suspicion that young scholars vented their discontent in the same
doggerel in the days when the invincible Armada was approaching our
shores. Professor De Morgan mentions a manuscript, date 1570, in
which these lines occur:--

    'Multiplication is mie vexation,
    And Division is quite as bad,
    The Golden Rule is mie stumbling-stule,
    And Practice drives me mad.'

In 1688, a teacher of arithmetic, W. Leybourn, doubtless thought
he had made a hit by his title-page, which is thus fancifully
arranged:--

                 A
    Platform  {     }  Purchasers.
    Guide     { for }  Builders.
    Mate      {     }  Measurers.

Another, of the same date, thought he had discovered an original
method for obtaining the square and cube roots, and says--

    'Now Logarithms lowre your sail,
      And Algebra give place,
    For here is found, that ne'er doth fail,
      A nearer way to your disgrace.'

There was a struggle to live even a hundred years ago; we do not
find that being a century nearer to the Golden Age than we are
made much essential difference in men's characters:--The author
of 'Arithmetick in Epitome,' published in 1740, entertains a
professional jealousy of interlopers, for he observes, 'When a
man has tried all Shifts, and still failed, if he can but scratch
out anything like a fair _Character_, though never so stiff and
unnatural, and has got but _Arithmetick_ enough in his Head to
compute the Minutes in a Year, or the Inches in a Mile, he makes
his last Recourse to a Garret, and, with the Painter's Help, sets
up for a Teacher of _Writing_ and _Arithmetick_; where, by the Bait
of low Prices, he perhaps gathers a Number of Scholars.'

Another, named Chappell, indulges in a little political
illustration in his book, published in 1798--was he a disappointed
place-hunter? He tells us in his versified tables--

    'So 5 times 8 were 40 Scots,
    Who came from Aberdeen,
    And 5 times 9 were 45,
    Which gave them all the spleen.'

The latter being an allusion to Wilkes' notorious No. 45 of the
North Briton.

Some curious facts with respect to old systems of arithmetic were
published at a meeting of the Schlesische Gesellschaft in Breslau
in 1846. On that occasion Herr Löschke gave an account to the
learned assembly of an old arithmetical work, 'Rechnen auf der
Linie,' by the 'old Reckon-master,' Adam Rise. Adam was born about
1492; of his education nothing is known; he lived at Annaberg, and
had three sons, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. His first 'Reckon-book,'
in which he explained his peculiar method, appeared in 1518. It
was somewhat on the principle of the calculating frame of the
Chinese; a series of lines were drawn across a sheet of paper, on
which, by the position of counters, numbers could be reckoned up
to hundreds of thousands. The first line of the series was for
units, the second for tens, the third for hundreds, the fourth for
thousands, the fifth for ten thousands, and so on. It is remarkable
that the highest counting-limit at that time was a thousand. The
word 'million' was as yet unknown to the great body of calculators.
Every number was counted, specified, and limited by thousands.
The numeration of large numbers was thus expressed: the sum was
divided into threes from right to left; a dot was placed over the
first, and a second dot over the third of the following three, and
so continued along the whole, until at last a dot stood over every
fourth figure from the right. For example,

  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
  6432798642102791527462,

which were read, six thousand thousand thousand thousand thousand
thousand times thousand, 432 thousand thousand thousand thousand
thousand times thousand, 798 thousand thousand thousand thousand
times thousand, 642 thousand thousand thousand times thousand, 102
thousand thousand times thousand, 791 thousand times thousand, 527
thousand and 462. With this curiosity of arithmetic we close our
Jottings for the present.



THE LITTLE WOODLAND GLEANER.


  'Art thou weary, Dove Annette--say, hast thou been roaming far?
  Seeking flowers fresh and wild, watching for the evening star?
  Heavily thy basket weighs; 'tis a cruel load for thee;
  Shades of night are stealing o'er; thou at home, fair child, shouldst be.'

  Dove Annette laughed merrily as she ope'd her basket lid;
  There no hyacinthine bell or sweet eglantine was hid:
  Pine cones, and fallen leaves, and slender twigs were gathered there;
  Far more precious these to her than the woodland treasures fair.

  'My old grandam she is cold, for the autumn nights are chill;
  So I search the golden woods over dale and over hill;
  Sticks, leaves, and cones together, make a warm and blazing fire;
  Shame 'twould be if Dove Annette on this errand e'er could tire!

  'My old grandam she is blind, but our scholars are a score;
  And she tells them how to spell, and the blessed Bible lore;
  At A B C I toil all day--alas, they are not quick to learn!
  Little 'tis that we are paid--poor the living thus we earn.

  'Forest glades are dusk and drear, save when pretty deer skip by;
  Evening stars I cannot see, trees arch overhead so high;
  Safely sleep the birds around: He who numbers them each one
  Cares, I know, for Dove Annette in the wild wood all alone.

  'So I fill my basket full--sure it is a heavy load;
  But I sing a pleasant song all along my homeward road:
  And within our cabin walls, gleaming with the ruddy blaze,
  Grandam teaches Dove Annette hymns of thankfulness and praise.'

    C. A. M. W.



BRIAN BOROIHME'S HARP.


It is well known that the great monarch Brian Boroihme was killed
at the battle of Clontarf, A.D. 1014. He left his son Donagh his
harp; but Donagh having murdered his brother Teige, and being
deposed by his nephew, retired to Rome, and carried with him the
crown, harp, and other regalia of his father. These regalia were
kept in the Vatican till Pope Clement sent the harp to Henry VIII.,
but kept the crown, which was of massive gold. Henry gave the harp
to the first Earl of Clanricarde, in whose family it remained until
the beginning of the eighteenth century, when it came by a lady
of the De Burgh family into that of M'Mahon of Glenagh, in the
county of Clare, after whose death it passed into the possession
of Counsellor Macnamara of Limerick. In 1782 it was presented to
the Right Hon. William Conyngham, who deposited it in Trinity
College Museum, where it now is. It is 32 inches high, and of
good workmanship--the sounding-board is of oak, the arms of red
sally--the extremity of the uppermost arm in part is capped with
silver, well wrought and chiselled. It contains a large crystal set
in silver, and under it was another stone, now lost.--_Tipperary
Free Press._

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAMBERS'S LIBRARY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

_Just Published,_

TRUE HEROISM, AND OTHER STORIES.

_Price One Shilling._

       *       *       *       *       *

_Now Completed,_

CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE.

NEW AND IMPROVED EDITION.

Two vols. cloth boards, price 16_s._; in 24 Parts at 7_d._; or in
100 Numbers at 1½_d._ each.

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also sold by
    D. CHAMBERS, 20 Argyle Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, 147 Strand,
    London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.--Printed by W.
    & R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.





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