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Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No.306 - New Series, Saturday, November 10, 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.

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NO. 306. NEW SERIES.      SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1849.      PRICE 1½_d._]


It is considered a sound rule not to sacrifice reality for appearances.
To be good is held as better than only to seem good. Appearances, in as
far as they may serve, and often do serve, as a means of cloaking some
evil reality, are not, upon the whole, in good esteem among mankind.
It is a word seldom mentioned without some expression of contempt or
reprobation. Yet it may be questioned if we could, in this world, quite
dispense with appearances.

To lead a life free of gross improprieties is undoubtedly the first
requisite. If, however, while doing this, we allow much of our conduct
to be interpretable into something opposite, is the result a matter of
indifference to society? The thoughtless lady who flirts, or, as the
common phrase is, allows herself latitudes, and who is yet studious to
be substantially correct, answers, Yes; or perhaps she goes no farther
than to say, Being in my own mind conscious of perfect rectitude, I
have nothing to say to society on the subject, and it has no title
to interfere, so long as I commit no actual transgression. This is
specious, and seems to exclude reply. Most people give way to its
force, yet do not act or speak as if they felt it to be quite right.
It is wrong in this way: such conduct tends to become a screen to
actual error; for if the virtuous appear to act exactly as the vicious
do, how can we know where vice exists? It is our duty even to appear
pure and irreproachable, because, when all that are pure present only
the symptoms of purity in their external behaviour, it is the more
difficult for the erring to conceal their guilt. They are forced into
hypocrisy, which is not merely a homage to virtue, but a means of
recruiting her ranks from the bands of vice, seeing that there is an
additional pain and trouble in being wicked. All hypocrites would be,
or have the advantages attendant on being, what they pretend to be.
Can we doubt that, under a system of perfect freedom, they would be
something worse than they are?

It thus appears that there is a philosophy in those little decorums of
society which minds of a bold and sprightly character are so apt to
deride, and which many persons, without the least ill intention, are so
often seen to disregard. Every great cause must have its banner. Under
every banner there will be a few rogues and cowards. But how much worse
would it be with an army to have no ensign at all? It might then have
the whole force of the enemy mingling in its ranks, and unresistedly
hewing it in pieces.

When we hear of people keeping up appearances, we usually either
condemn or laugh. Very often the condemnation or the ridicule is just,
but not always so. There is much to object to in endeavours to attain
or keep up a style of living different from that which is suitable
to our actual means or our actual place in society. Let this error be
abandoned to the unsparing satire of those who delight in exposing
human weakness and frailty. But all keeping up of appearances is not of
this nature. A family is often invested with a rank which its income
will scarcely support in proper style, yet which it must support, or
forfeit that rank altogether. Even in particular professions there is
this hard necessity. The style is part of the very profession itself,
something without which it cannot be practised. There is also such a
thing as a decline of worldly prosperity, where to appear poor would
be to become so even more rapidly than is strictly unavoidable. In
such cases, if a family does not basely, by incurring debt, throw
the actual suffering upon others--if it only pinches itself at one
time, that it may make a decent show at another--if it only spares
in its own grosser necessaries, that it may appear on a footing of
equality with those of its own nominal social rank, or escape the pity
which it is heavenly to give, but bitter to receive, there surely is
no offence committed. I must own I never could exactly see grounds
for the mirth which prosperous citizens will sometimes indulge in
regarding the 'appearances' of the struggling professional man, or the
fallen-off family of rank. Such efforts, seeing that they involve much
self-denial, that they tend to what is elegant rather than to what is
gross, to what is elevated rather than to what is low, seem to me more
creditable than otherwise. In our external life, observances become
habits, and habits become principles. We all of us live not merely for
and in ourselves, but partly for and in others. To be threatened with
a fall from our sphere or special field of life, is to anticipate one
of the greatest of evils, a sort of half death. It is not wonderful
that men and women should make such a struggle to avoid it. But in fact
efforts of this kind are connected with some of the best properties of
our nature. The father eager to give his family the benefits of his own
rank--the children willing to submit to any sacrifice, rather than see
their parents lowered in the eyes of their equals: the whole resolvable
into that sense of decency and sensibility to public esteem, without
which this social scene would be a howling wilderness. No, there is
surely no proper subject of merriment or of reprobation in these things.

There are in this empire two kinds of cities and towns--those which
are passing through a career of mercantile prosperity, and those which
rest at one point of prosperity, or are perhaps slowly falling off.
It is not uncommon to hear the denizens of the parvenu town indulging
in mirth at the expense of the meagre and ill-supported gentility
which they observe in their ancient neighbour. Perhaps this neighbour
has only a cathedral, or the county courts, to look to as a source of
income: it keeps up a brave spirit, but cannot give anything better
than tea-drinkings. Its better class are formal and refined in their
manners, and even its poor have a clean delicate air about them,
dressing much better than they eat or drink. All this is matter of
mirth to the unthinking members of the more thriving community, who
feel that, if they are less refined, they have at least more of the
substantialities of life at their command. It seems to be a great
prize to them that the genteel town is only a town of 'appearances.'
But is there in this any true ground for so much self-congratulating
merriment? I will admit there is, when it is established that the
material is superior to the spiritual--that gross, full-feeding habits
are more laudable than a taste for neat apparel--that a profuse, and
often ostentatious expenditure, unregulated by taste, is better than
a tasteful moderate expenditure, in which a sacrifice of immediate
appetites is made for the sake of some ultimate gratification in the
esteem of our fellow-creatures. It is a point of ambition with a
Scottish artisan to have a suit of superfine black clothes in which to
go to church and attend funerals. It may be said that this is keeping
up an appearance beyond his station; but if he only saves for this
appearance what a less intellectual operative of some other country
would spend on excesses in meat and drink, enjoyed out of sight, is
he not rather to be admired than condemned? I have known something of
country towns, where there is considerable poverty within doors and
in reality, while at the same time the bulk of the population make a
principle of appearing as well dressed as possible; and my feeling on
the subject is, that to laugh at such things is to laugh at virtue
itself. The whole moral being of the individual anchors perhaps in
some frail remains of well-saved clothes, or in the possession of some
tolerable house handed down from some more comfortable ancestor. Take
away this poor fiction from them, and their self-respect is diminished.
They feel that they are regarded as falling into a lower category, and
into that lower category they fall accordingly. No one, having a just
sense of human frailty, would wantonly remove, or wish removed, even
such slight edifications as these, but, on the contrary, rejoice to see
them carefully maintained.

To sum up--It will always be proper to exercise the greatest care in
discriminating between what is good and what is bad in appearances.
Their being necessary to the support of morality, will not make them
more amiable in those who lack the reality of goodness. Their being
respectable in persons to whom loss of external grade or the failure to
support it is social death, will not justify the ambitious citizen in
forfeiting the real comfort of his family in an effort to live in the
manner of those who possess better means. But, after the possibility of
such abuses is admitted, and the fact itself deprecated, we must still
keep in view that one of the essentials of a good life is a regard to

    R. C.


Though nearly threescore years have intervened, the remembrance is
still fresh on my memory of a certain spot which excelled all others I
have since looked upon in its bright emerald hue and verdant freshness.
It was on the outskirts of a village, which was only redeemed from
positive ugliness by most of its tenements being ancient, though
stretching away in a long straight line, and without either water or
trees to vary the monotonous aspect of the turnpike-road. Turning
abruptly from this road into a narrow lane, seemingly never-ending,
and sloping gently downwards, a pleasing surprise was afforded on
emerging into a deep valley, where the interminable winding of many
sparkling tiny rivulets kept up a continual murmur, enchanting to
listen to on a hot summer's day. Here were many fine old walnut-trees
also, beneath whose thick-spreading boughs the rays of a burning sun
never penetrated. Innumerable rows of osier-willows were planted on
the banks, used in the art of basket-making, the osiers being of the
finest and whitest kind, while everywhere and all around extended
beds of watercresses. Yet it was not altogether the streamlets or the
beautiful trees which made this spot so peculiarly refreshing: nowhere
did grass appear so rich and green as in this quiet valley; it looked
always as if it had just rained, the earth sending up the delicious
perfume, and the thrush singing meanwhile, as it does after a shower
in summer weather. Yet was there nothing indicative of damp or marsh
land; all was healthy and hilarious-looking, and no plants throve here
indigenous to unhealthy soils. Narrow planks of rough wood were thrown
across the bright waters, which had to be crossed many times before
reaching the dwelling-place of Taffy Lewin, the presiding genius of
the place. This dwelling-place was a thatched cottage, containing
three rooms; and Taffy herself, when I first saw her, almost realised
my idea of the superannuated or dowager-queen of the fairies: she
was then seventy years of age, and one of the least specimens of
perfectly-formed humanity that I have ever beheld. So agile and quick
was she in all her movements, that a nervous person would have been
frequently startled; while her little, black, bead-like eyes sparkled
in a most unearthly manner when her ire was aroused. She always wore a
green skirt and a white calico jacket, her gray hair being tucked back
beneath her mob-cap: she was, in short, the prettiest little old fairy
it is possible to imagine; and as neat, clean, and bright-looking in
her exterior, as if an enchanter's wand had just conjured her up front
amid the crystal streams and watercress beds.

'And so it is from _hence_ the fine watercresses come that I have
enjoyed so much each morning at breakfast?' said I to the friend who
accompanied me on my first introduction to Springhead, for so the
valley was named.

'Yes,' she answered; 'and Taffy Lewin is the sole proprietress and
gatherer of the cresses, for which she finds a ready sale in the
immediate neighbourhood, her musical but clear and piercing cry of
"Watercress fresh gathered--fine cress," being as well recognised, and
duly attended to, as the chimes of our venerable church clock.'

'And has the old dame no other means of support?' quoth I; for the
glimpse I had obtained of the interior of the cottage in the midst of
this 'greenerie' certainly hinted that the trade of gathering this
simple root was a most lucrative one; not only order and neatness, but
comfort apparently reigning within.

'She disposes of the produce of these fine walnut-trees,' answered
my friend; 'and she has also a companion residing with her, who
manufactures the most beautiful baskets from these delicate osiers,
which always fetch a high price. Taffy pays a very low rent to the
gentleman who owns this valley and the adjacent lands; and excepting,
I believe, a small sum in the savings' bank, to which she only resorts
on emergencies, I do not know that she has any other means of support
either for herself or her companion. Her story is a singular one, and
I think you would like to hear it after we have made our purchases of
baskets from poor Miss Clari.'

Miss Clari, as she was called, was a middle-aged female of plain
appearance; and my interest and pity were excited on observing, from
her lustreless eyes, that she was an imbecile. She was, however,
animated with the spirit of industry. Her long and thin fingers rapidly
and dexterously plied their task: she took no notice of _us_, but
continued chanting in a low sad voice the words of a quaint French
ditty. When Taffy approached her, she looked up and smiled: such a
smile it was; I have never forgotten it.

'We have only these two baskets left, ladies,' said Taffy Lewin; 'for
Miss Clari cannot make them fast enough for the sale they have; and
yet, poor dear soul! she never ceases, save when she sleeps, for her
fingers go on even when she is eating.'

'And are you not afraid that such close application may injure her
health?' said I.

'La, miss, try and take it from her, and see how she wanders about
with the tears silently coursing down her cheeks, and her fingers at
work all the same. Bless her dear heart! if it _hurt_ her, Taffy Lewin
wouldn't let her do it.'

'Is she your daughter, Taffy?' inquired I.

'_My_ daughter!' cried the little dame, her black beads twinkling
ominously. 'No, she is no daughter of mine; there is gentle blood flows
in _her_ veins, and she was not _born_ what you see her now. But take
your baskets, ladies; Miss Clari is no gossip, as ye see, and I have
work to do; for we eat not the bread of idleness here.'

I paid for the exquisitely-wrought baskets, and we quickly took our
departure. On our homeward route my friend imparted the following

When Taffy Lewin was a young woman, she had entered the service of
a family named Drelincourt as assistant nursery-maid; but the head
nurse soon after giving up her place, Taffy was promoted to it. This
situation was by no means a pleasant one, as Taffy soon found out, the
children being spoilt, and unruly to the greatest degree; but the wages
were high, and Taffy was a friendless orphan, and so she thought it
wisest to persevere. There were eight children, six girls and two boys.
Mrs Drelincourt was in very delicate health, and the squire himself
devoted to field-sports and boon companions. Drelincourt Hall was
indeed nearly always full of company, the lady not being able to exist
without the excitement of society suited to her taste any more than her
husband could. Extravagance and recklessness were visible in all the
domestic arrangements; and report said that not for many years longer
was it possible to carry on this game.

A few years witnessed great changes, however, at the old hall: Mrs
Drelincourt was gathered to her fathers, and five out of the eight
children were carried off, a boy and two girls only being left; these
three children seeming to concentrate in their own persons all the
unmanageable propensities of their departed brothers and sisters.

Mr Drelincourt was stunned by the overwhelming force of the bereavement
he had sustained, and he found his only present consolation and
contentment in lavishing redoubled affection on his remaining children,
and in gratifying their childish whims; much to their own detriment,
poor things! He was not an ill-meaning, though a weak man, and idly
disposed; avoiding trouble of all kinds, and determinately blind to
anything that promised to occasion it; so he spoiled his children,
and lived beyond his income, because it was pleasant to do so, and he
hated to be bored! After establishing a gentleman at Drelincourt in
the capacity of tutor to his son, Mr Drelincourt betook himself to the
continent, whither his physician recommended him for change of scene,
and more complete restoration of his shattered spirits.

Mr Drelincourt returned home, after some months' absence, with a
second wife, having espoused a widow lady. This lady had one child
by her first marriage, a little girl of ten or twelve years old, who
accompanied her mother to the new home provided for them. This second
union greatly displeased and surprised Mr Drelincourt's family and
connections; for the lady, though suitable in point of years, and
of a most gentle disposition, was altogether penniless; the small
stipend she had enjoyed in right of her deceased husband ceasing on
her marrying again. Thus Mr Drelincourt had not only a wife added to
his already heavy encumbrances, but a wife's child also on his hands;
when, in truth, he had not wherewithal to make provision for his own
two daughters. The Drelincourt estates were strictly entailed in the
male line; but should Mr Drelincourt not leave a son to inherit the
burthened landed property, it passed into stranger hands; and fearful
was the contemplation of such a contingency with a helpless family of
females, and nought but debts and disgrace for their inheritance!

However, the two Misses Drelincourt were brought up as if they were
heiresses; and with dispositions full of pride and arrogance unchecked,
it may easily be supposed that the introduction of a stepmother and
a new sister was highly disagreeable; they having been told all the

Clari St Eude, Mrs Drelincourt's daughter, was a plain, timid girl.
Having been nurtured in retirement and comparative poverty, she shrank
from the display of wealth around her now; but doubly she shrank from
the cold demeanour of her new associates, who took no pains to conceal
their contempt and aversion for the interloper. The Misses Drelincourt
and their brother Henry found that open impertinence would not be
tolerated, even by their doting father, when offered to his wife; but
in venting all their jealousy and petty spleen on the poor unoffending
Clari, who never resented and never complained, the case was far
different. Ah, it is not in _open_ warfare or unkindness that the
heaviest cross is to be borne: it is hypocrisy and concealment we need

This young girl, Clari St Eude, had little outwardly to prepossess
the stranger in her favour: she was of a nervous temperament, easily
alarmed, and chilled by an unkind word or look; but she had a clinging
affectionate heart, and a forgiving temper. Her mother's position was
a trying one, and Clari knew this, child as she was; nor would she for
worlds have increased it by a hint that she had cause of sorrow or
repining. Mrs Drelincourt struggled for peace, preserved and fostered
it by every means in her power; nor was it probable that, even had
she been otherwise disposed, Mr Drelincourt would have listened to or
credited complaints against his own spoiled offspring.

Although Taffy Lewin's services as a nurse had for some time been
dispensed with, she retained her comfortable chair in the commodious
nursery, where the tiny woman got through oceans of needlework. Now,
though Taffy certainly did feel a species of regard for Blanch and
Laura Drelincourt, and also for Master Henry--nurslings spared out
of a fine flock--she was by no means blind to their many defects
and unamiable qualities, though she had long found all remonstrance
useless. To this cheerful, sunny nursery of bygone days, often crept
the pale and sickly stranger, Clari St Eude; hour after hour she would
sit in silence by Taffy's side, until the kind-hearted little nurse
began to pity, and then to love her, and finally won the confidence of
the nervous, sensitive girl, who wept on her motherly bosom, and told
her 'she wished mamma had not married the rich English gentleman, for
she loved their Provence home better far than this.'

Clari inhabited a large sombre apartment all alone, and quite away
from the rest of the family. This was a sore trial to the timid girl,
though she never confessed her nameless fears, and struggled hard to
master them; and as it was 'convenient' that she should occupy this
chamber, her mother disliked to offer objections, nor was she, indeed,
fully aware of her daughter's nervous sufferings. Clari tried to step
sedately and composedly into that huge dark bed, with its black,
hearse-like plumes, after she had extinguished her candle, and the
darkness and silence were absolute: she tried to reason with herself,
and to analyse the cause of her trepidation, for she was not aware
that her physical debility accounted in a great degree for such mental
weakness. Henry Drelincourt, with boyish mischief, had soon found
out that 'Miss Wheyface' was a great coward; and it was one of his
favourite amusements to play off practical jokes, and try to frighten
her; while she, on her part, tried by all means in her power not to let
the cruel boy know that he but too often succeeded.

At this juncture Mr and Mrs Drelincourt were absent from home for a
few days, when, one morning, Miss Norman, the governess, who presided
at the breakfast-table, remarked how singular it was that Miss St
Eude, usually the first to make her appearance, had not yet come down.
The brother and sisters looked at each other, and began to titter,
and there was evidently a joke of some kind amongst them, which they
exceedingly enjoyed. But as their hilarity and free-masonry increased,
so did Miss Norman's indefinable apprehensions--Clari not coming, and
mischief mysteriously brewing!

At length Miss Norman sought Clari's chamber; but it was fastened, and
no answer was returned to her repeated summons; but a low, moaning
noise proceeded from within. After consulting Taffy Lewin, the door was
burst open, and poor Clari was found in the agonies of a brain-fever.
Taffy, from former experience, well knowing the imminent danger of the
hapless sufferer, medical advice was summoned, and Mrs Drelincourt
was instantly recalled. The doctors spoke of some sudden shock the
nerves of their patient had sustained, but of what kind, or under what
physical influence, it was impossible to say: the room was a dreary
one, the young girl was of a highly-nervous, excitable temperament,
and nervous disorders often took strange turns--frightful dreams, or
ill-arranged reading, sometimes produced distressing effects. Clari St
Eude recovered rapidly from the fever; but the brain was irretrievably
injured. The light of reason was never re-illumined: all efforts were
useless; there was hopeless darkness within.

But how came all this about?--what had happened? The chamber-door was
well secured within, therefore no trick could have been played off,
said Mr Drelincourt, even had any one had the mind to do so. It was
very mysterious. Miss Norman had her suspicions, and she named them to
Mr Drelincourt; but he dismissed her from his home and service: Taffy
Lewin kept hers within her own bosom, and watched and waited. When
the young Drelincourts were questioned, they answered with bravado,
'What!--are we invisible, or fairies, to fly through the keyhole?' It
did indeed appear foolish to think that any one could have entered
the chamber, it being well known that Miss St Eude always slept with
her door locked; so that it was at length considered an extraordinary
natural visitation, and poor Clari's affliction ceased to be the topic
of conversation.

The Misses Drelincourt and their brother became much subdued after
this sad event, and never willingly approached or saw the unfortunate
girl. She lived now entirely with Taffy Lewin in the nursery. Taffy's
compassion and devotion to her charge were without limits. Whatever
Taffy Lewin's thoughts were on the subject of Miss St Eude's sudden
attack, she never divulged them, even to Mrs Drelincourt. That
exemplary lady's patience and resignation were fully shown forth by
her piety and submission under this heavy and bitter affliction; for
Clari was her only child, and a most beloved one. It was Taffy who
suggested an occupation being found for Miss Clari, seconded by medical
advice. It was indeed a long time before it took a useful or tangible
form; but with perseverance, and kindness, and judicious treatment, at
length there appeared hope that the incessantly-working fingers of the
poor young lady might be moulded so as to benefit herself by creating
amusement. At that time probably they had little thought of the future
blessing this might prove to the bereaved.

Years passed on, and the old mouldering hall of the Drelincourts still
reposed amid its dark pine-woods--unchanged without: within, all was
not as it had been. The haughty and beautiful Blanch Drelincourt had
married, without the knowledge of her friends, a person who supposed
her to be the daughter of a wealthy man, and that a fortune must be
forthcoming. He was undeceived too late, and found that he had to
support a vain and penniless wife with an increasing family. Henry
Drelincourt's education had been an expensive one, and his ruinous and
profligate habits were more expensive still. It seemed clear to every
one that the debts and disgrace so rapidly accumulating would leave to
the heir of Drelincourt little more than the name. This young man came
to pass a few weeks at his father's, to recruit his health, which had
been shattered by a course of dissipation and recklessness. His sister
Laura was now his only companion; and frivolous and unamiable as Laura
Drelincourt was, she possessed one redeeming point, rendering her less
selfish and domineering; and this was, a devoted affection for her

She was never wearied of tending and studying his whims and caprices,
which were not a few; and when an alarming infectious fever made its
appearance in the village, and from thence spread to the hall--her
brother and father being simultaneously attacked--Laura fearlessly
devoted herself to the duties required in her brother's sick chamber;
Mrs Drelincourt's whole time and attention being taken up with her
husband. Mr Drelincourt fell the first victim to the ravages of the
fearful epidemic, while death among the retainers was busy in several
cases. Henry was only pronounced out of danger when his sister Laura
was attacked, and her life despaired of for many days. Mrs Drelincourt,
now released from attendance on her husband, nursed the suffering
Laura as if she had been her own child, and with the same feelings
of maternal anxiety and solicitude. Laura's life was spared; and she
seemed deeply penetrated with the unselfish and tender care she had
experienced from her stepmother. There was a sense of shame and deep
self-abasement in her manner, which seemed to say even more forcibly
than the circumstances demanded--'I have done you wrong; you are
heaping coals of fire on my head!'

When the brother and sister were permitted to see each other again,
the fatal truth flashed across Laura's mind for the first time, that
Henry, although spared from the violence of the fever, had received
a mortal blow, from which he never would recover; his constitution,
already prematurely broken, was sinking rapidly: it was too evident
that he had not many weeks to live. Nor did Mrs Drelincourt endeavour
to raise false hopes in the sister's bosom, but rather to strengthen
and enable her to bear the inevitable doom approaching. She supported,
she tended and fostered, the dying man with Christian love and motherly
compassion; and he writhed in agony beneath her kindness--the secret
weighing on his mind being evidently unsupportable, while he, too,
murmured, 'This is indeed heaping coals of fire on my head.'

It was after a long private conference between the brother and sister,
wherein recent agitation had left the invalid more weakened than usual,
that Henry, faintly requesting his gentle nurse to come beside him,
murmured, 'Mother'--it was the first time he had ever called her so--'I
wish you to bring poor Clari here; I wish to see her.' Clari--almost
forgotten during the late scenes of sorrow enacting in the hall--left
wholly to Taffy's care, had entirely escaped contagion; and in the
quiet distant nursery plied her simple amusement of weaving osiers,
by degrees promising to become an expert basket-manufacturer. Clari
came with her afflicted mother to Henry Drelincourt's side; and with
her pale face, and vacant smile, and expressionless eyes, gazed on the
dying man, taking up one of his thin wasted hands, and twining the
fingers round her own, muttering, 'Oh, pretty--pretty!'

Henry, in his turn, gazed on the hapless girl with a prolonged
and agonized look: the big round tears coursed down his sunken
cheeks--blessed tears!--as he turned towards Mrs Drelincourt, and with
clasped hands and streaming eye ejaculated, 'Can you forgive me?' She
seemed not to understand his meaning, and returned an inquiring and
astonished look, evidently thinking, poor lady, that her patient was

'Do you not understand me? _Look at her: I did it!_' he added in hollow
whispers, sinking back pale and exhausted. The truth now for the first
time flashed on the unhappy mother's mind; speech was denied her; and
she could only fold her child in her arms, and again and again embrace
her with low, pitying moans. But the poor girl had caught the sound of
Henry's words, '_forgive_;' and with smiles disengaging herself from
her mother's arms, she knelt down beside him; and passing her long
slender fingers caressingly over his wan face, she looked up at her
mother, and repeated gently, '_Forgive--mother--forgive!_'

Before another day had flown, Henry Drelincourt was no more: he died
in his sister Laura's arms, with one of his hands clasped in his
stepmother's. He had heard her words of forgiveness: and there was
another present who tremblingly besought pardon too--and unfolded a
tale which Henry had not power to do--and this was the weeping Laura,
from whom Mrs Drelincourt heard the following sad confession of
heedless, unprincipled folly:--

It seemed that when they were children, during inclement weather they
had had access to a large room, unused, and filled with lumber of
various descriptions--antique dresses, ancient pictures, &c. &c. They
delighted to rummage the huge closets and cabinets, and one day, in
removing an oak chest, which their united strength scarcely sufficed to
do, they struck against the panelling of the chamber, which gave way,
and discovered an opening: this opening proved to be a narrow passage
between the walls, and terminated in a hitherto unknown entrance to the
room occupied by Clari St Eude. What a discovery for these mischief,
trick-loving imps! They found the panel in this room could easily
be pushed aside, closed again, and no suspicion, no trace left of
intruders. Breathless with excitement and delight, they restored the
oak chest to its place; and big with their wonderful secret, the young
conspirators frequently met in the 'rubbish chamber' to organise their
plans, which were no less than a determination to play off some 'real
good trick' on that 'obstinate minx Clari,' the very first opportunity
that offered.

Too soon the opportunity presented itself: the fatal trick was played
off--some ghastly tableau represented with the aid of phosphorus
lights. The simple, weak-minded sleeper awakened to this scene of
apparent horror with the perfect remembrance of her well-secured
chamber-door; and the frightful sequel ensued which has been already
narrated. Henry Drelincourt had indeed powerful reasons for preserving
their direful secret, nor had his cautions been lost on his weaker
and more talkative sisters. Taffy Lewin's suspicions had indeed been
powerfully aroused, although they of course took no tangible form; but
she watched and waited, nor was she surprised when the repentant and
sorrowing Laura repeated the sad tale to her.

But now the heir of Drelincourt was dead, and the estates must pass
away into stranger hands; and what was to become of Mrs Drelincourt,
her helpless daughter, and the equally helpless Laura? There was no
provision whatever for them; they knew not where to turn, or where
to seek shelter or daily bread. The gentleman who succeeded to the
Drelincourt property was an impoverished man, with a large expensive
family; he was good-natured, and felt for their destitute condition,
but frankly confessed that it was not in his power to do much for them.
On visiting the hall, he had several interviews with Taffy Lewin;
and having young children, he earnestly desired to retain her in the
capacity of nurse, the commendations he received from Mrs Drelincourt
being of so high a nature.

But Taffy Lewin's decision was already made: she had related to the
new owner the sad history attached to Clari St Eude, and expressed her
firm determination never to desert this helpless being: 'For she will
soon, very soon, have only me; her mother is not long for this world,
sir.' Taffy went on to say that she had saved a little money, and meant
to return to her native village, and establish herself there, where,
by needlework, and Clari's basket-making, she hoped to earn a decent

'And what is to become of Mrs Drelincourt in the meantime, my good
Taffy?' asked Colonel Howard, the new proprietor, 'and of Miss Laura

'As to my lady,' answered Taffy Lewin, 'have a little patience, sir.
Poor thing! let her rest her bones in the old church at Drelincourt; it
wont be for long she needs _this_ shelter, _that_ is awaiting her full
soon. She has failed rapidly since master departed and Master Henry;
the shock altogether was too much for her. As to Miss Laura, she must
go out a-governessing, or something of that kind: young ladies often
do--and she can play music, and draw trees, and work most beautifully
all sorts of fancy kickshaws.'

'Ah, my worthy Taffy,' answered the colonel smiling, 'I fear much
that no one will be inclined to receive Miss Laura Drelincourt in the
capacity you suggest. But should your fears prove true with respect to
Mrs Drelincourt, which I sincerely trust they may not'--Taffy shook
her head--'why, then, all we can do is this; it is the only plan I can
suggest or follow out:--My brother is the proprietor of land in the
close vicinage of your native place, and I know of a little spot that
you can retire to; at my representation he will let you have it cheap,
for he is a kind fellow. I must give what I can towards assisting you
to maintain these two helpless girls, though it seems to me Miss Clari
is the most likely one to help herself.'

This, and a great deal more, said Colonel Howard, to all of which
Taffy Lewin thankfully acceded. Sooner even than the tiny woman
had anticipated, poor Mrs Drelincourt sank into her grave; and
Taffy, accompanied by her two charges, bade adieu for ever to the
gray venerable walls which had witnessed such chequered scenes. At
Springhead Taffy established herself forthwith; her quick little
eyes saw its wonderful 'capabilities;' and 'What a God-send were the
osiers!' said she; and what with needlework, and watercresses, and
basket-making, Taffy had need to dip but lightly into her hoard of

Laura Drelincourt did not long continue to reside with her faithful
nurse: her sister Blanch was left a widow, with no means of supporting
her family. Taffy Lewin appealed to Colonel Howard, intreating him to
permit Laura to share with her destitute sister the stipend he had
originally intended for the use of the former and Clari. Taffy said
that Clari and she could support themselves well; Laura was miserable
at Springhead; Blanch and her children were starving; and it was far
better and happier for them all that the sisters lived together, and
managed for themselves. Colonel Howard immediately agreed to Taffy's
request; and thus poor Clari was left solely dependent on the good
little soul, who is indeed her only friend and earthly stay.

'As to Miss Drelincourt and her sister,' continued my friend, 'they
set up a boarding-school for young ladies; but it did not answer; and
when Taffy last heard of them, they were living at a cheap village in
Wales on Colonel Howard's bounty--a sad fall for these proud, arrogant
ladies. Taffy's sole anxiety is respecting the future fate of her
unfortunate charge, should it please Providence to remove herself first
from this transitory scene. The Misses Howard not long ago paid a visit
to Springhead, and assured the tiny woman that she might set her heart
at rest on that score, for Miss Clari should be their care if death
deprived her of her present faithful protectress. They will not prove
false to their promise; they are my most valued friends; and when I pay
my annual visit to Drelincourt Hall, I inhabit the chamber formerly
occupied by poor Miss Clari, still known as "Miss Clari's Room." Taffy
refuses all pecuniary aid; she is in want of nothing, she says, but a
thankful heart. And it offends the honest pride of the Fairy Queen to
offer assistance.'

Thus my friend concluded her reminiscences; and I never since then
see watercresses on the table, or beautiful basket-work, without
associating them in my mind with the memories I retain of the good
Taffy Lewin and her 'greenerie.'



Having passed with little trouble or difficulty through the
customhouse formalities, we entered the city, and soon found ourselves
established in comfortable apartments in the Hôtel Royal. This is a
house on the usual large scale of the continental hotels, being a
quadrangle surrounding a courtyard, and accessible from the street
by a _port-cocher_. It is conducted by a gentleman--the term is in
no respect inapplicable--named Leobel, who speaks English, and seems
indefatigable in his friendly exertions for the benefit of his guests.
I believe there are other good hotels in Copenhagen, but I have heard
Mr Leobel's always admitted to be the best.

The first plunge into a large city is confusing. In our perfect
ignorance of the relative situations of the streets and public
buildings, we know not which way to turn without guidance. It is a
good plan in such circumstances to go at the very first to the top of
some height, natural or artificial, from which a view of the whole
may be obtained. In Copenhagen there is a certain Trinity Church,
situated obscurely in the densest part of the town, but furnished
with a singular tower of great altitude, and so spacious, that the
ascent is not by a stair, but by a spiral carriage-way, up which, it
is said, Peter the Great of Russia used to drive a coach-and-six. Our
little party immediately proceeded thither, and, ascending to the
top--where, by the way, there is an observatory--were gratified with a
comprehensive survey of the city and its environs. We soon ascertained
that Copenhagen is built on a flat piece of ground, with no hills near
it; that towards the sea, on the south and east, it is a congeries of
batteries, docks, stores, and arsenals; that its west end, contrary to
a flimsy theory on the subject, is the meaner and more ancient part;
and that it is chiefly confined within a line of fortifications, but
that these are now formed into public walks, here and there enlivened
with windmills. The only arresting object beyond the bounds of the city
is a slightly-rising ground, about two miles to the westward, crowned
by a palace (Fredericksberg). The chalk formation, which prevails here,
as over Denmark generally, is usually tumescent and tame of surface;
hence there are few points in the environs of Copenhagen calculated to
arrest attention.

A large irregular space in the centre of the town--called _Kongens
Nye Torv_; that is, the King's New Market--gives a key to the whole,
because from it radiate the leading thoroughfares, in which the shops
and best houses are situated--Ostergade to the west, Gothersgade to
the north, while to the east proceed the Amalie Gade, the Bred Gade,
and others--broad modern streets, containing many fine buildings, and
terminating on the citadel of Frederickshavn, the grand defence of
the city in that direction. To be a town of only 127,000 inhabitants,
and the capital of so small a state as Denmark, Copenhagen contains a
surprising number of goodly public buildings, particularly palaces; so
much, indeed, is this the case, that the houses for the residence of
the people appear as something subordinate, and put half out of sight.
These palaces convey a striking idea of the wantonness with which
former rulers have used, or rather abused, the means extorted from
the industrious part of the community. Will it be believed that four
palaces were set down in the last century, in a cluster, divided only
by the breadth of so many crossings; and that, after this was done,
another was built (Christiansborg), which measures upwards of 600 feet
in one direction, and is so huge a building, that Somerset House would
appear but a fragment of it? These stately edifices are now given up to
the service of the public as museums, picture-galleries, and libraries,
while the existing sovereign is contented to live quietly in one of
his equally numerous country palaces on an allowance of about sixty
thousand a year. The effect, however, is, that Copenhagen is a place
positively fatiguing from the multitude of its sights. One of those
conscientious travellers who get a list of show-places from a friend,
or from Murray's Handbook, and go through the whole as a duty, would
be like to die here of pure exhaustion of spirits before he had got
three-fourths way down the paper.

Notwithstanding the multitude of fine edifices, the city is deficient
in sprightliness. The English ambassador, Keith, in 1771, spoke
pathetically of the dulness of Copenhagen, and the same character
yet clings to it. A certain plainness marks even the best of the
population on the street. The shops, not fitted peculiarly, as in
England, for the show of goods at the windows, and often accessible
from obscure side-passages, contribute little gaiety to the street
scenery. Equipages are few and homely. There is a great abundance of
male figures in some sort of uniform, for the functionaries of the
state, civil and military, are a legion; but these persons are also,
in general, of very moderate appearance. One quickly remarks that
nine out of every ten men, of whatever kind, have cigars in their
mouths; and another circumstance, perhaps a corollary to the last,
attracts observation--namely, the great number of young men wearing
spectacles. While, however, one remarks an inferiority to England in
so many respects, he is forced to confess in one important particular
a comfortable superiority; and this is in the aspect of the humbler
classes. Here, as in most other continental towns, there is scarcely
any trace of that horde of abject miserables which is so prominent in
every British city. The labouring people are generally clad decently,
many of them, particularly the peasant women, gaily. As a matter of
course--as indeed the grand cause of this peculiarity--there is no
drunkenness seen amongst them. On the whole, the Danes, as seen in
their metropolis, appear an innocent, amiable people--a little stolid,
perhaps, but remarkably inoffensive and respectable.

It is, I believe, a general distinction between England and continental
countries, that in the latter elegancies and fineries are first
attended to, and things conducive to daily comfort only in the second
place, while in England the comfortable and the ornamental go hand in
hand together. Hence it is that, with all their fine palaces, which are
indeed almost objects of the past, the people of Copenhagen have not
even yet learned how to pave their streets, to introduce water into
their houses, or to establish gas-lighting. They make a causeway of
small, round, waterworn stones, like eggs placed on end, which tortures
the feet, and causes every passing wagon to produce a noise so great,
that conversation is drowned in it. They form a side pavement of the
same materials, with a border of hewn granite slabs; the whole being
far too narrow for the passing crowd, so that, there being, after all,
little more than a choice between the egg pavement on the side and the
egg pavement in the middle, the multitude is chiefly seen plodding its
way along the causeway, among wheelbarrows, wains, and carriages. The
diffusion of water, and the introduction of gas, are objects advocated
by an enlightened few; but, as usual, municipal privileges and pedantic
government regulations obstruct the blessing. It was a curious thing
for me to tell the people of Copenhagen and Stockholm that they were,
in this and some other matters, behind the small towns of Scotland
which had so many as a thousand or twelve hundred inhabitants.

The first object to which our party bent their steps was the Castle
of Rosenberg, an old palace in the northern section of the city,
surrounded by some fine gardens, which are open to the public.
Rosenberg is understood to be a production of the genius of Inigo
Jones: it reminds one of the order of buildings which we in England
call Elizabethan, and certainly was built by Christian IV. of Denmark
at the beginning of the seventeenth century. It is now simply a museum
of the antiquities of the Danish royal family--that is, the furniture,
dresses, ornaments, &c. which have belonged to those princes and their
children, even to the toys of some of them, in the course of the last
three or four centuries. Such a multitude of curious and elegant
objects, recalling the royalty of past ages, perhaps nowhere else
exists. They are so arranged in a suite of ancient state apartments,
that you pass from one age to another in proper chronological
succession, and find you have been reading the Danish history of
several centuries in the course of an hour's lounge. The most
conspicuous sovereign of the series is the builder of the house, who
was in truth a noted monarch in his day, an active, hard-headed man,
very warlike, very sensual, yet not devoid of a kind-hearted regard
for the good of his people. He was the brother-in-law of our James I.,
whom he once visited with a dozen ships of war in his train; on which
occasion he kept the English court for some time in such a whirlwind of
conviviality, that Shakspeare is supposed to have been induced by it to
pen the well-known passage in Hamlet, beginning,

    'This heavy-headed rival, east and west,
    Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations;'

and likewise to describe the usurping uncle as a drunkard. You see
here King Christian's audience-chamber, a handsome old panelled room,
full of little pictures, and having a small aperture in the door,
through which it is said the king could, from his sitting-room, observe
the conduct of his courtiers while they were waiting for him. In
glass-cases are ranged a bewildering multitude of antique gold boxes,
cups, baptismal basins, goblets, and drinking-horns, together with some
elegant decorated swords, and other weapons. The object singled out
for special observation is the celebrated silver horn of Oldenborg;
not, it seems, that which Dousterswivel speaks of as given to Count
Otto of Oldenborg by a mountain spirit, but one which is said to have
been made for Christian I. in 1447. The singularly rich decorations and
figurings on the outside are certainly in the style of that period, if
I may judge by the mace preserved at St Andrews--a rich product of the
Parisian workshop of the time of Charles VII. In a small room Christian
IV. slept in a hammock; the rings by which it was suspended are still
seen in the ceiling. Portraits of his favourite ladies hang around.
In another room there is a great variety of drinking-glasses; some of
them of the beautiful Venetian manufacture, said to be exceedingly rare
and valuable. One of the richest articles in the whole collection is
a set of horse-furniture which Christian presented to his son on his
marriage, and which cost a million of francs. The very buckles are set
with diamonds! An upper floor contains the grand hall of the palace,
styled the _Riddersal_, or Knights' Chamber: it has a silver throne at
one end, and much historical tapestry along the walls. One comes away
with a strong sense of the prodigality in which the royalty of Denmark
indulged during its days of absolute authority, when the people were
condemned to slavery, at once the sole workers and the sole taxpayers
in the country. I may remark that a party is shown through this palace
by a well-bred gentlemanlike man, who speaks in French, if required,
for a fee amounting to 6s. 9d. sterling. Everything is explained with
precision, and nothing but what is historically true is stated. An
enlightened visitor is thus left with a very different impression from
what he would acquire in any similar show-house in England, where
probably an old housekeeper, unfit for anything else, would be found
placed as a cicerone, full of childish legends and myths, which she
would relate as unchallengeable facts.

Before turning to any other Copenhagen sight, I may take the reader
to a place much allied in character to the Château Rosenberg--namely,
the cathedral of Roeskilde, which I did not visit till my return
from the north. A railway of about sixteen English miles--the only
thing of the kind as yet introduced into the country--enabled me to
be deposited there in an hour. We found a huge ungainly brick church
rising in the midst of a village which has something of the withered
look of Versailles. The inside is as plain as the outside is coarse,
and there is little trace of the Gothic architecture to be seen. Yet
there are here some exceedingly curious, and even some beautiful
objects. The altar-piece is a complicated exhibition of ancient Dutch
wood-carving, representing the principal events in the life of Christ.
It is said to be at least three hundred years old. Along the sides of
the space enclosed for the Communion-table are two series of still more
ancient wood-carvings, representing Bible events--the Old Testament
on one side, and the New on the other. The quaintness of many of the
figures, and the homely ideas embodied by the artist, are exceedingly
amusing--for example, Adam writhing in painful sleep, as the Almighty
is pulling Eve bodily out of his side; Noah calmly steering something
like an omnibus, with seven faces looking out at as many windows; and
Elijah going up into the air in a four-wheeled vehicle marvellously
resembling the ill-constructed wains which still rumble through the
streets of Copenhagen. Having dwelt long on the curious and minute
work here displayed, we proceeded to view the sarcophagi of the Danish
sovereigns of the last two centuries, all of which are placed in this
church. I found the aisle in the right transept in the course of being
repaired and adorned with frescoes, for the reception of the coffin
of Christian IV., and a grand statue of the monarch by Thorvaldsen.
As yet, he reposes in the half-lit vault below, with his queen by
his side, and his naked sword lying rusted and out of order upon his
coffin. The length of the weapon surprises the curious visitor, but is
explained by the uncommon stature of the royal owner--for Christian,
it seems, was a man of six feet five inches. The coffin is otherwise
distinguished only by a number of plain silver ornaments.

The marble tombs of Christian V. and Frederick IV., and their
queens--contemporaries of our William III. and Queen Anne--are placed
in a quadrangular arrangement behind the altar, and are certainly
magnificent structures of their kind, being formed of pure marble, and
adorned with many figures, all in the finest style of art. Medallion
portraits of the royal personages, and sculptures referring to events
in their lives, are among the ornaments of these mausolea, the
costliness of which tells the same tale as the Copenhagen palaces, of a
time when the king was everything, and the people nothing. In beholding
one of them, which seems to rise from the floor rather like some
magical exhalation than a work of human hands, the idea occurred to me,
'Certainly this is making the very best of the sad case of death which
it is possible for human nature to do, as far as its mere material
elements are concerned.' In the left transept, a beautifully fitted-up
chamber, as it may be called, in the Grecian style, are sarcophagi of
two earlier sovereigns, not much less splendid. The series of monarchs
thus liberally treated were all of them bad, selfish kings, who had
little feeling for their people, over whom they maintained absolute
rule. A more virtuous series, commencing with Frederick V.--the
contemporary of our George II.--are disposed of less magnificently,
most of them being placed in simple velvet-covered coffins on the
floor. Amongst these, one dull-looking ark in black velvet attracts
attention by its plainness. It contains the ashes of the imbecile
Christian VII., whose queen Matilda passed through so sad a history.
In the vicissitudes of subsequent ages, I should say that the plain
monuments have the best chance of preservation. The cicerone here
shows a pillar on which are three marks: one indicating the stature
of Christian I.--the first prince of the existing dynasty, and a
contemporary of our Edward IV.; he was, it seems, six feet ten inches
in height, and his sword, which hangs on the wall, is long enough to
reach up to the chin of a man of ordinary size; a second denotes the
stature of Christian IV.; a third, strikingly lower, betokens the
height of the late amiable king, Frederick VI.

Some other aisles contain the sarcophagi of distinguished noble
families of Denmark. I was arrested for a little by one which has a
door of iron grated-work, bearing a figure of the devil as large as
life, with horns, tail, and claws. The explanation is, that the family
reposing within is named Trolle, a famous one in Danish history.
Trolle is the name of one of the beings of Scandinavian superstition;
and this being is figured in the armorial-bearings of the house as
a man having his head placed in the middle of his body. Latterly, I
suppose, as these superstitions became obscure, the malignant Trolle
was confounded with the devil; and hence the figure on the grating as
an object bearing reference to this noble family. The English visitor
is disposed to pause under a different feeling over the slab beneath
which Saxo-Grammaticus reposes, when he recollects that Shakspeare
obtained the foundation of his Hamlet in the pages of that historian.
I find it stated in Feldborg's 'Denmark Delineated,' that when James
VI. of Scotland came to Copenhagen in the course of his matrimonial
excursion, he met in Roeskilde Cathedral the celebrated Dr Hemmingen,
and discussed with him in Latin the substantial presence of the body
and blood of Christ in the eucharist. Dr Hemmingen had been placed
here, as in an honourable banishment, for his Calvinistic notions on
this subject. The Scottish monarch was so much pleased with his cast of
opinion, that he invited him to dinner, and at parting bestowed upon
him a golden beaker.

The royal collection of pictures in the Christiansborg palace is a
large one, occupying twelve stately rooms; but it contains only a
few good pictures, and seldom detains a visitor long. While I was in
Copenhagen, a small collection of the productions of living Norwegian
artists was open to public inspection for a small fee, the proceeds
being applicable to the relief of the Danish soldiers wounded in the
Sleswig-Holstein war. Several of the landscapes, particularly one
by a Mr Gude, representing the Hardanger Fiord, struck me as works
of merit; and there was one conversation-piece, representing an old
peasant reading the Bible to his wife, which seemed to me not less
happy in its way. It is remarkable that the northern nations have not
yet produced any painter of great reputation, but that in sculpture
they have surpassed all other European nations besides Italy. The great
distinction attained by Thorvaldsen has thrown a glory over Denmark, of
which the Danes are justly proud. He was the son of a poor Icelandic
boat-builder, and was born in Copenhagen. On his attaining to eminence
in Rome about thirty years ago, his country at once awakened to a sense
of his merits; and when he afterwards visited it, he was received with
honours such as are usually reserved for some soldier who has saved his
country, or added stupendously to its laurels. He ultimately settled in
Denmark, where he died in 1844, leaving to his country many of his best
works in marble, casts of all his great works, besides his pictures,
curiosities, furniture, and the sum of 60,000 Danish dollars. The
consequence has been the erection of the Thorvaldsen Museum,
beyond all comparison the most interesting object in Copenhagen. It
is a quadrangular building in what is called the Pompeii style, with
a court in the middle; in the centre of which, within a simple square
of marble slabs, rest the remains of the great artist. In the halls
and galleries within are ranged the sculptures, casts, &c. under a
judicious classification, each apartment being adorned with frescoes
more or less appropriate to the objects contained in it. The finest
object in the whole collection is undoubtedly the cast of a colossal
figure of Christ, which Thorvaldsen executed, along with the twelve
apostles, and a kneeling angel bearing a font, for the Frue Kirk in
Copenhagen. The stranger sees the marble originals of all these figures
in the church with admiration; but it is admitted that the cast of
the Christ has a better effect than the original, in consequence of
its superior relative arrangement. The Saviour is represented in the
act of saying, 'Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden;'
and there is a mixture of human benevolence with divine majesty in
the attitude and expression, which perfectly answers to the text. The
tendency seems to be to an admission that this is the finest embodiment
of the idea of the Saviour of the world which that world has ever
seen; and I shall not be surprised if this opinion be confirmed. Many
of the artist's mythological figures--particularly those realising
ideal beauty, his Psyches, Venuses, Dianas, and Apollos, the cast of
his noble frieze of the triumphal march of Alexander, and some of his
subjects embodying the poetry of human life--are eminently beautiful.
The busts, which are numerous, are less interesting, and in most
instances inferior as works of art. The representations of the artist
himself, in sculpture and painting, are many, and calculated to give
a perfect idea of the man--a massive figure, with a massive head,
blue eyes, a pale complexion, and a gentle, but thoughtful expression
of countenance. After dwelling to weariness on the creations of the
man's genius, it is pleasant to walk into the rooms which contain
his simple household furniture, books, favourite pictures, and other
intimate memorials of his personal existence. It is equally agreeable
to pause in the midst of the contemplation of his works, and observe
the groups of admiring countrymen, from the noble to the peasant,
who pass through the rooms to enjoy the spectacle of an intellectual
triumph in which they feel that they have a part. Finally, one pauses
with speechless emotion over the plain enclosure in the courtyard,
which pronounces only the words BERTEL THORVALDSEN over one whom these
countrymen can never cease to revere. On the outside of the building
there are frescoes representing--_first_, the national reception of
Thorvaldsen on his final return to Copenhagen; and, _second_, the
public joy on the introduction of his works into their country. I heard
some criticise these frescoes severely; but I could never get so far as
criticism in their case. Every such attempt is anticipated with me by
a melting of the heart in sympathy with this worthy people, over the
glory which Thorvaldsen has conferred upon them in the eyes of their
fellow-nations, and that genial kindly relation between them and their
immortal compatriot, of which this invaluable museum is the monument.

The Danes are remarkably fond of amusement, and the means of affording
this gratification at Copenhagen are ample. The principal theatre
(_Konglige Theater_) is a handsome house of moderate size, where both
the Opera and Ballet are respectably presented. I was present one
evening, when an operatic piece of Hans Christian Andersen, named
_Brylluppet ved Como-Soen_, apparently of very simple construction, was
performed, and I thought both the singing and orchestra exceedingly
good. There are several other playhouses, some of which are chiefly
frequented by the humbler classes. On the outskirts of the town there
is an establishment called a Tivoli, resembling Vauxhall, and to which,
as the admission is only 4½d. sterling, immense multitudes resort. Here
is found a little theatre for dancing and short vaudevilles, which
the people witness standing in the open air. There is a _salon_ for
music, where the people are under cover, but without seats, unless they
choose to ask for refreshments. In the open air are merry-go-rounds, an
undulating railway, and machines for testing strength. In Denmark, a
merry-go-round is the enjoyment of old as well as young. It is composed
of a circular stage, bearing carriages like those of a railway, and
going partly upon wheels, while a brass band sounds vociferously in
the centre. It was most amusing to us English to observe the gravity
with which people of all ages took their places in this circumambient
train. One curricle presents a decent shopkeeper with his wife, he
with the baby on his knee, which he is endeavouring to awaken to a
sense of its droll situation--the cigar kept firm in his mouth all the
time; another exhibits a pair of young lovers in very amicable union; a
third an aged couple, who might be grandfather and grandmother to the
latter party. An inner circle of boys, whipping and spurring imaginary
horses, complete the whimsicality of the machine, as it goes grinding
and thundering on to the sound of the band. I do not envy the man who
can turn away contemptuously from such a sight as this. The simplicity
of intellect betrayed by such tastes one might certainly wish to see
improved; but yet there is something in being easily pleased which a
benevolent nature cannot easily resist. I quite loved the people for
the innocence of heart shown in their amusements.

A Sunday evening which I spent in Copenhagen on my return from the
north afforded me an additional insight into the habits of the Danes in
this respect. Sunday, it must be premised, is held all over Scandinavia
much less strictly than in England, and its religious character is
considered as terminating at six in the evening. What I had seen in
Norway made me not quite unprepared for what I found at Copenhagen;
nevertheless it was somewhat startling. The evening being fine, the
whole of the broad shady walks between the west gate of the city and
the palace of Fredericksberg, two miles off, were crowded with groups
of people in their best clothes; not merely peasants and artisans, or
even shopkeepers, but persons of superior condition, though perhaps
not in such great proportion. The peasant women, with their gaudy
gold-laced caps and ribbons, gave a striking character to the scene.
There were no drunk or disorderly people--all perfectly quiet and
well-behaved. Along the side of the road are numerous tea-gardens, some
of them having little theatres, others merry-go-rounds and nine-pins,
and so forth. These were all in full operation. It was astounding to
see old women, identical in aspect with those who in Scotland sit on
pulpit-stairs, and spend the Sunday evening over Boston's 'Fourfold
State' and 'Crook in the Lot,' here swimming along in the circular
railway to the music of a band. I tell, however, but a simple fact
when I say that such was the case. Scores of little parties were
enjoying themselves in the recesses along the walks. I observed that
many of these were family parties, whose potations consisted only
of tea. As the only variation to a laborious life for a whole week,
it must have been intensely enjoyed. In one garden connected with a
third-rate tavern there was a dancing saloon, with a clarionet, two
fiddles, and a bass, to which a few lads and lasses were waltzing;
and this seemed no solitary case. There was evidence of enjoyment
everywhere, but not the slightest symptom of a sense that there was
anything wrong in it. All seemed to be done openly and in good faith.
I could not help contrasting the scene with the Sunday evenings of my
own country. There the middle-classes spend the time at least quietly,
if not religiously, at home; and having the power, use it, to forbid
all public or acknowledged means of amusement to their inferiors. It
is well known, however, that the taverns frequented by the common
people are very busy that evening. It has been stated that in Glasgow,
on the evening of the Sunday on which the Communion was administered
last winter, one thousand and eighty public-houses were found in full
business. The difference, therefore, between Denmark and Britain is
mainly this--that in the one country amusements of a comparatively
innocent nature are partaken of without a sense of guilt, while in the
other enjoyments of a degrading kind are enjoyed clandestinely, and
with the feeling of a reprobation hanging over them which must add to
their anti-moral tendency. We must pause, then, I conceive, before we
express the feelings which are most apt to arise in our minds regarding
the Scandinavian mode of spending the Sunday evening.

The Museum of Northern Antiquities may perhaps be admitted to divide
the palm of interest with the Thorvaldsen Museum; but I postpone all
reference to the subject till a proper groundwork shall have been laid
by the description of my journeyings in Sweden and Norway.

    R. C.


There seems to be an increasing disposition among us to regard music
as an agent of civilisation, and therefore an increasing anxiety to
diffuse a taste for the art throughout all classes of the people.
The simple songs that are found in countries in an early stage of
progress cannot constitute the music of a refined nation, any more than
their rude ballads can be the staple, instead of the mere germ, of
their poetry. Both, however, serve as an excellent foundation for the
superstructures of taste; and to both we return occasionally from amid
the complications of art, to snatch from them a healthy inspiration.

It is not in mere refinement that the operation of music is obvious
and powerful: it humanises, and 'makes the whole world kin.' 'There is
no free-masonry so intimate and immediate, I believe,' says a recent
author when relating a conversation with Mrs Hemans, 'as that which
exists among the lovers of music; and although, when we parted, I could
not tell the colour of her eyes and hair, I felt that a confidence and
a good understanding had arisen between us, which the discussion of
no subject less fascinating could have excited.' It is in this point
of view that music should be regarded by philanthropists: the science
should be given to the masses of the people as a bond of sympathy
between them and the upper stratum of society. But while many efforts
are making in this direction, there is still great sluggishness in
one important branch of the business: the lower classes have no good
instruments, and have no great artists; the inspiration derived from
a Jenny Lind or a Sontag never descends beneath a certain line in
the social scale; and the pianoforte, the most useful of all musical
instruments, has never served for a rallying-point in the domestic
circles of the poor.

To deal with the former of these two difficulties is arduous--perhaps
impossible. Even in this country, where everything bears a money value,
including even the light that enters our houses, there are _some_
galleries where the works of great painters are patent to the public.
But the sister art is a monopoly of the rich, because the efforts of
performers produce no permanent creations, but merely an evanescent
sound, which may elevate the mind and linger on the memory, but can
never be reproduced by the listener. A painter lives by the sale of
works which survive even himself perhaps for hundreds of years; but a
musician retails performances that are not prolonged even by an echo.
The great singer, however, demands a higher reward than the great
poet; and the great actor grows rich while the great dramatist barely
lives. Who can help it? We give willingly what they demand: there is no
compulsion in the case, and the day of sumptuary laws is gone by.

But this deprivation does not press so much upon the poor as upon a
great portion of the middle-classes. We cannot find fault with musical
artists for demanding half a guinea or a guinea from every one who
chooses to listen to a few songs; because such sums are voluntarily
paid, and all dealers, even those who deal in harmonious sounds, have
the same right to sell them in the dearest market that they have to buy
their wines and jewels in the cheapest. But unluckily the deprivation
is felt by the very class which would benefit the most, and confer
the most benefit, by being admitted on reasonable terms to such
exhibitions of high art. It is neither from among the poor nor the rich
that great artists usually spring, but from that large middle-class
in which the genius of individuals receives an impulse from pecuniary
necessity. In that rank large sums cannot be paid for a song, and their
claims to gentility will not permit them to class themselves even at a
concert with the grade beneath them, permitted to listen for a lower
price in organ lofts and at the back of galleries. We do not say that
there is no remedy even for this evil. The genius of the present age
is fertile in expedients, and perhaps some plan may be hit upon to
satisfy the exorbitant expectations of musical artists, by providing a
larger and more frequent audience at prices better adapted to ordinary
means. So long as the present system, however, continues, music cannot
be expected to make any rapid progress among us; for the effect of the
system is to degrade art to the level of fashion, and thus repress the
noble and generous aspirations of genius.

But the difficulty arising from the enormous expense of such musical
instruments as the piano is less complicated; and indeed it would
appear at first sight to be very extraordinary that in an age of almost
unbounded speculation and competition it should exist at all. There is
nothing in the construction of the machinery of a piano which ought
to prevent it from being found in tens of thousands of houses in this
country from which it is at present entirely excluded. The existing
piano, however, is a traditional instrument--an heir-loom of the
wealthy; and for them alone it must be manufactured. Its case must be
of expensive foreign woods, and its keys of ivory; its legs must be
elegantly turned; its handsome feet must roll on brazen wheels adapted
for the rich carpet; and generally it must be decorated with carvings
in wood, such as of themselves, entirely superfluous as they are, add
several pounds to the expense. The manufacturers say that all this is
so because the instruments _must_ be made exclusively for the rich, who
would not purchase them if they were not elegant in form, and costly
in material and workmanship. But this, we strongly suspect, is no
longer true. Music has now descended lower in the social scale than it
did in the last generation, and thousands of hearts are beating with
the feeling of art and its aspirations, which were formerly cold and
silent. The comparatively poor and the really economical do not buy
pianos, simply because they are far beyond their means; and in England
the cause of musical science and kindly feeling is deprived of the aid
of a family instrument, which in Germany is found even in the parlour
of the village public-houses.

Tables and chairs, bedsteads, and other articles of furniture, are
manufactured on purpose to suit the means of the various classes of
purchasers. Bedsteads may be had in London, and we presume elsewhere
with equal ease, at 18s. and at L.50 a piece; and chairs which, in one
form, cost L.2 or L.3 each, in another--of stained wood, with cane
seats, extremely pretty and lasting--sell for 15s. the half-dozen. Why
should not the less wealthy families have their own piano as well as
their own chair or bedstead? And the humbleness of the materials, it
should be remarked, would not necessarily involve any want of elegance
in shape. The cheap chairs alluded to are sometimes very passable
imitations of rosewood chairs--and they answer the purpose as well!
Let us add, that the introduction of the new process of desiccation
applied to timber would seem to render the present a very favourable
juncture for such speculations as we hint at. Formerly, many years'
warehousing would have been required to divest the wood of those juices
which interrupt sound, and the trade in the material would thus be a
monopoly of wealthy capitalists; but now, thanks to the science of the
day, timber may be thoroughly dried in hours instead of years, and thus
a ruinous interest on invested money saved.

Should this new manufacture, however, be commenced, the speculators
must please to bear in mind that we do not ask for inferior
instruments, but for cheap materials and plain workmanship. Some time
ago an attempt was made to introduce watches with imitative gold
cases: but the works were spurious imitations likewise; and these
out-of-time-pieces, brought forward, if we recollect rightly, at 15s.,
sank speedily to 5s., and are now rarely seen at all. This should be a
lesson to piano-makers for the million. They should further recollect,
however, that an instrument, hitherto the prescriptive property of the
rich and refined, must, however humble its materials, retain a certain
elegance of form. A plain deal piano, for instance, even if the wood
were suitable, would not be bought; but one made of birch, and French
polished, with cheap keys, &c. would not disgrace a drawing-room. We
remember seeing furniture of this timber in some of the small country
inns in Russia; and it struck us as having an enormously-extravagant
look, having all the appearance of satin-wood. This, however, we give
merely as an illustration of our meaning. We put forth these paragraphs
as nothing more than a hint to set thinking on the subject persons who
possess the mechanical knowledge we cannot pretend to; and having so
done, we take leave of the subject.

    L. R.



The castle of Vincennes, within a few miles of Paris, has always been
as terrible a place of detention as was the Bastille. Even in these
days of comparative liberty and justice, Vincennes is made an engine of
oppression; for throughout all political changes, the French government
never scruples to seize and incarcerate _illegally_ any one against
whom it has a grudge.

The prisoners of Vincennes, till of late years, were seldom tried,
and rarely knew what their offence was. The question they had to ask
themselves was not, what is my crime?--but who is my enemy? who wants
my fortune or my place? who covets my wife or my sister? who dreads
my influence? Then the walls were so thick, the dungeons so deep, the
guard so strict, that no cry for justice could reach the world outside.

An unhappy person destined to be the inmate of this castle was
generally seized and brought there in the middle of the night. After
crossing a drawbridge, which spans a moat forty feet deep, he found
himself in the hands of two men, who, by the pale light of a lamp,
directed his trembling steps. Heavy doors of iron, with enormous bolts,
were opened and closed one after another; narrow, steep, winding
stairs, descending and descending; on all sides padlocks, bars, and
gratings; and vaults which the sun never saw! Arrived in his dungeon,
the prisoner, who perhaps an hour before had been dancing and feasting
at a court-ball, and still wore his suit of velvet and gold, was
searched and stripped of everything but the bare clothes that covered
him, and was then left with a miserable pallet, two straw chairs, and
a broken pitcher--the parting injunction of the jailors being, that he
was not to permit himself the slightest noise. 'C'est ici le palais
de la silence!' say they--('This is the palace of silence!') Those
who were fortunate enough to see the light again, and lived to be
restored to the world, were searched in the same way on leaving their
dungeon, and were obliged to take an oath never to reveal what had
passed in this state-prison, under the penalty of incurring the king's
displeasure. As the king's displeasure would have immediately carried
them back to Vincennes, we may believe that the vow was seldom violated.

The tragedy of the Duc d'Enghien, who, on the 21st of March 1804,
by the dim light of a lantern, was shot in the fosse of the castle
of Vincennes, is too well known to be dilated on here: but although
everybody has heard of the lamentable death of this brave man, and
although the universal voice of mankind has pronounced his execution
one of the darkest blots that stain the name of Napoleon Bonaparte,
few people are aware that his arrest, or at least the pretence for
it, originated in a simple police report, which was itself founded
on a misunderstanding. The duke, who had emigrated to Germany, had
there secretly married the Princess Charlotte de Rohan. What family
reasons induced them to make a mystery of the marriage have never been
disclosed; but the precautions he took to conceal his visits first
awakened the suspicions of the police, and ultimately led them to
report him as engaged in a counter-revolutionary intrigue. Another of
the accusations brought against him originated in the mispronunciation
of a name. It was reported that he was on intimate terms with General
Dumourier, a man most obnoxious to the First Consul. It was too late
discovered that the name of his associate was General _Thumery_. The
German pronunciation had rendered these two names identical to the ears
of the French agents of police. It is singular that the sole favour
the duke asked for on arriving at Vincennes was a day's liberty on his
parole, to shoot in the forest. The only tears shed at the sad ceremony
of his execution were by the wife of the commandant, Madame Harel, who,
by a romantic coincidence, happened to be his foster-sister.

One of the most celebrated prisoners of Vincennes in the eighteenth
century was Masères de La Tude, who expiated a folly by twenty years
of cruel captivity, spent partly here and partly in the Bastille.
Ingenious, clever, indefatigable, and patient, the schemes he
contrived to effect an escape, and to communicate with his neighbours
in misfortune, would fill a volume. Nevertheless, although Madame de
Pompadour, the person he had offended, was dead, he would probably
have never recovered his liberty but for a lucky breeze of wind, which
blew a piece of paper, on which he had described his sufferings, into
the lap of an honest woman called Legros, who kept a shop in Paris.
The good soul was so touched by the narrative, that, by dint of
perseverance and money, she obtained the release of her protégé in 1784.

Not far from the chamber inhabited by La Tude was that of the unhappy
Prévôt de Beaumont, who was guilty of the unpardonable rashness of
denouncing the famous _Pacte de Famine_. 'I accused De Sartines,'
says he in his memoir published after the Revolution, 'who was
attorney-general under Louis XV., of occasioning the famines that
desolated France for three years; and to punish me, he inflicted on
me, for fifteen years, sufferings to which the martyrology of the
saints can present no parallel. Torn from my family and friends, buried
alive in a dismal dungeon, chained to the wall, deprived of light and
air, perishing of hunger and cold, nearly naked, I endured horrors so
repugnant to nature, that my surviving to relate them is nothing less
than a miracle!'

Not only did the dire injustice of arbitrary will in those days
tyrannise thus cruelly over men's bodies, but it did not scruple to
destroy their minds. When a prisoner of state was considered dangerous
from his courage, his patience, or his power of endurance, it was no
uncommon thing to put him in a strait waistcoat, and carry him to
Bicêtre. Here he was shut up in a cage, and bled, under pretext of
curing him, till he died, or went really as mad as they said he was.
Few survived and withstood this treatment; but amongst those who did
was the Prévôt de Beaumont. He was found at Bicêtre by Mirabeau and his
colleagues when they visited the hospital for the purpose of releasing
those who had been unjustly confined there; on which occasion the
infamies discovered are said to have been terrific. Many of the prisons
in France are distinguished by the names of saints, which arises from
the circumstance of their having been formerly religious houses. St
Pelagie is the place to which persons were latterly sent for political
offences: editors of newspapers, caricaturists, and people who would
not be satisfied with things as they are, formed a considerable
portion of its population.

At the period of the First Revolution, the keeper of this prison
was a man named Bouchotte, who, uninfected by the rage of cruelty
that seemed to have seized on the population of Paris, distinguished
himself by his courageous humanity. When the massacres of September
were being perpetrated, and the furious mob were attacking all the
jails, and slaughtering the prisoners, the jailors, far from making any
resistance, generally threw wide their gates with a hearty welcome; but
when the assassins reached St Pelagie, they found the house apparently
abandoned; the gates were closed, all was silent within, and none
answered to their summons. At length, having obtained implements, and
forced an entrance, they found Bouchotte and his wife fast bound with
cords. 'You are too late, citizens!' said Bouchotte; 'the prisoners,
hearing of your approach, became desperate, and revolted. After serving
us as you see, they have all made their escape!' Fortunately the mob
was deceived; nor was it known till long afterwards that the whole
scene was a scheme of this worthy man's to save the lives of the
intended victims.

An American gentleman of the name of Swan resided for twenty years in
this prison; for we can scarcely say he was confined there, since he
might have been restored to liberty had he desired it. After a long
suit with a Frenchman, in which the American was cast, he preferred
going to jail to paying a demand he considered unjust. Every year his
creditor paid him a visit, in hopes of finding him less obstinate; and
the _employés_ of the prison, as well as his fellow-captives, by all
of whom he was exceedingly beloved, would intreat him to give way; but
he only smiled, and bowing to his disappointed visitor, bade him adieu
till that time next year. The love the prisoners bore him was well
earned by innumerable acts of kindness and beneficence. He not only
gave bread to the poorer debtors, but he restored many to liberty by
satisfying the demands of their creditors. Mr Swan died at St Pelagie
in 1830.

Clichy is also a prison for debtors, where a cell is shown which was
for two years inhabited by a man of forty years of age, who had been
sent there for a very singular sort of debt--namely, the money he
owed for the wet nurse's milk which he had imbibed while an infant,
the amount of the debt at the period of his incarceration having
accumulated to twelve thousand francs!

A law formerly prevailed in France, that if a debtor escaped, the
keeper became responsible for his debt. Of course this arrangement
rendered evasion extremely difficult; nevertheless, to revenge some
real or fancied injustice, a singular trick was played by a debtor,
which greatly amused the Parisians. A certain Monsieur L---- having
contrived to escape, presented himself one evening at the house of his
astonished creditor.

'You see,' said he, 'I am free. You may seize me, certainly, and send
me back to jail, but I can never pay you; whereas, if you will give me
money enough to escape out of the country, you can claim your debt of
the keeper who can.'

The creditor, who does not seem to have been very scrupulous, consented
to this arrangement, on condition that he himself saw Monsieur L----
off by the diligence; which having done, and feeling himself safe, he
on the following morning knocked at the gate of Clichy, and asked the
keeper if he remembered him.

'Certainly,' said the functionary; 'you are the creditor of Monsieur

'Exactly,' answered the creditor; 'and you are doubtless aware
that Monsieur L---- has effected his escape, and that you are now
responsible to me for the six thousand francs he owes me?'

But instead of the face of dismay he expected, the officer began to
laugh, and assured him that Monsieur L---- was safe in his room, and
should immediately make his appearance, which, on being summoned, he
did. The prisoner had his joke and his few hours of liberty, and
the creditor his disappointment, which his dishonest intentions well
merited. So many debtors escape, that it was lately proposed to revive
this law, now obsolete; but the suggestion was negatived, under the
apprehension that this trick of Monsieur L----'s might be repeated in
right earnest.

There is a singular story told of a young man called Pierrot Dubourg,
who was for some time a prisoner in the Luxembourg. Pierrot was a young
farmer, who in 1788 resided about twenty miles from Paris. Handsome,
gay, and prosperous in his circumstances, he was one of the happiest of
men; the more so, that he had won the affections of a beautiful young
girl called Geneviève, who had promised to become his wife. When the
period appointed for the wedding approached, Pierrot told her that he
must go to Paris for a short time, promising to bring her on his return
all sorts of pretty things for her _corbeille_. Well, Pierrot went,
but he did not return. Geneviève waited and waited, week after week,
and month after month; till at last, overcome by an anxiety which was
rendered more acute from a spice of jealousy, she determined to seek
him in the great city herself. She knew the address of the house he
lodged at on his arrival, and thither she directed her steps.

'Monsieur Pierrot Dubourg?' said the woman of the house; 'certainly he
lodged here, but that is some months ago: he has been in prison ever
since, and is not likely to get out, I fancy, for he was sent there by
the Comte de Fersen!'

Further inquiry elicited the following particulars:--Pierrot, on his
arrival in Paris, with plenty of money in his pocket, had fallen into
the hands of a set of persons who had very soon relieved him of it,
and indeed of everything he possessed besides. These were the servants
of some of the profligate courtiers of those days, whose morals appear
to have been of the same complexion as their masters'. The person
who had introduced him into this nest of plunderers was the Comte de
Fersen's coachman, and when Pierrot found himself ruined, it was to him
he attributed the mischief. Irritated and miserable at the loss, he
one day relieved his vexation by falling foul of the offender just as
he was mounting his box, full dressed, to drive his master to court.
Of course the comte, who was in the carriage, was indignant, and poor
Pierrot soon found himself in prison.

It might have been supposed that Geneviève would be very much grieved
when she heard this story, but, on the contrary, she was very happy:
her lover was not unfaithful, only unfortunate, and with a determined
will she set about getting him free. But although she succeeded at
last, the success cost her very dear, and strange to say, it cost the
king of France very dear too. After addressing herself to the police
and the judges, and after presenting a petition to the king, which
remained unanswered, and kneeling in the dust as the queen passed to
Versailles, who drove on without attending to her, Geneviève at length
procured an introduction to the Baron de Besenval, the favourite of
the Comte d'Artois, the king's brother, to whom she made many prayers
and many visits; and then one morning Pierrot Dubourg found himself,
he knew not why or wherefore, suddenly at liberty. As he stepped into
the street, an old woman accosted him, and bade him follow her. After
walking some distance, she begged permission to tie a handkerchief over
his eyes, to which--his curiosity being greatly excited--he consented.
When the bandage was removed, Pierrot opened his eyes in a magnificent
apartment, where nothing met his view but satin, velvet, gold, and
glass, and before him stood a lady attired like a princess, but masked.
Alas! it was the old story of Claudio and Angelo. Furious with rage,
Pierrot struck her, and then, ashamed of the unmanly act, he was about
to rush from the room; but she stopped him, and after telling him that
she gave him back his vows, and renounced his love, she handed him a
packet containing her peasant's dress, and all the presents he had made
her in their happy days: and so they parted; and when Pierrot returned
home, and they asked him what had become of Geneviève, he said she was

This happened in the reign of Louis XVI., and one might wonder how the
humble Pierrot's disappointed love could influence the destiny of the
king of France; and yet it did so. Pierrot had quitted Paris with his
heart full of bitterness against the aristocracy; but more especially
against the king, who had rejected Geneviève's petition; and against
the queen, who had disdained her tears and prayers. After staying a
short time in his formerly happy home, the contrast with the past,
and the cruel recollections constantly suggested, became too bitter
for him, and he wandered away, living an irregular sort of life, and
mingling more and more with the violent republicans, to whom his
only tie was, that they, too, hated the court and the courtiers. The
course of his travels having at length brought him to St Menehould, he
happened to be one day lounging in the streets, when, observing two
carriages approaching, he stopped to see them pass. His surprise may
be conceived when, on the driving-seat of one of them, dressed as a
servant, he recognised the Comte de Fersen! Such a disguise could not
be worn for nothing, and urged by hatred, he drew near the carriage,
and looked in. There sat the queen of France, whilst the king, attired
as a valet, was awkwardly endeavouring to perform the duties of his
supposed office. It was Pierrot Dubourg who whispered to Drouet the
postmaster who the travellers were, and it was he who accompanied
Drouet's son in pursuit of the unhappy fugitives, who were overtaken
at Varennes, and brought back to Paris. Pierrot Dubourg came too, and
after losing sight of him for some time, we find him again filling the
office of assistant executioner, in which situation he witnessed the
beheading of his once-loved Geneviève, who was guillotined on the same
day with Madame Dubarry.

Monsieur Arago, in his éloge of Lavoisier, relates that this great
chemist might possibly have escaped the death inflicted by his ignorant
and ungrateful countrymen, who told him they had no more need of
learned men, had he not been more anxious for the safety of others
than his own. A poor woman in the neighbourhood of the Luxembourg had
received him into her house, where she neglected no precautions for
his safety and concealment; but his alarm for the consequences to his
benefactress should he be discovered, distressed him so much more
than his own danger, that he made repeated attempts to escape from
her friendly roof, which she, by her vigilance, defeated. One night,
however, he succeeded in eluding her watchfulness, and the next day saw
him in the Luxembourg, whence he was removed to the Conciergerie, on
his rapid way to the scaffold.

Condorcet, the great mathematician, is said to have lost his life
by not knowing how many eggs there should be in an omelette. Aware
that he was suspected by Robespierre--for though a republican, he had
dared to pity the royal family--he disfigured his face and hands with
mortar, and fled from Paris in the disguise of a mason. After passing
twenty-four hours in a wood, hunger drove him to a little inn, where he
ordered an omelette.

'Of how many eggs?' asked the servant.

'Twelve,' replied the philosopher at random. A mason ordering an
omelette of twelve eggs awakened suspicion; he was searched, and a
volume of Horace being found in his pocket, he was arrested. Unable to
face the scaffold, Condorcet took poison, and died on the road to Paris.

Everybody knows that the horrors of the French Revolution were redeemed
by many noble actions. We have told the story of Bouchotte at St
Pelagie. Benoit, the keeper of the Luxembourg, also distinguished
himself by many generous and courageous deeds. He saved the life of
the Duchess of Orleans, the mother of Louis-Philippe, by refusing to
give her up when summoned before the Committee of Public Safety. He
declared she was ill--dying--all but dead, and thus averted her fate
till she had an opportunity of obtaining protection.

A lady called Jeanne Faurie also found a powerful friend in a jailor of
the Luxembourg. She was young, and extremely beautiful, and although
Rifaut was looked upon as one of the most inflexible of functionaries,
her bright eyes melted his rigidity. He procured her pens, ink, paper,
and books. 'I know my character and my life are at stake,' said he;
'but speak! command me! Whatever you desire I will do.' When he heard
that she was on the list of persons to be executed, he gave her a
disguise and all the money he had, and set her at liberty. For some
time he concealed the lady's flight; but when it could be no longer
kept secret, he went to Benoit, confessed his fault, and demanded the
punishment. Benoit, however, did not betray him; and Jeanne Faurie's
escape was not known till there was no danger in making it public.
The Luxembourg was called the Reservoir of the Conciergerie, and
Josephine Beauharnois was confined here before being transferred to the
latter prison. It is related that when she afterwards resided in the
Luxembourg as wife of the First Consul, she one day intreated Bonaparte
to accompany her to the cell she had formerly inhabited. When there,
she asked him for his sword, with which she raised one of the flags,
and there, to her great joy, she found a ring given her by her mother,
on which she set the highest value. She told him that when she was
summoned to quit the prison, supposing she was going to the scaffold,
she had contrived to conceal the jewel, which she could not bear to
think should fall into the hands of the public executioner.

Amongst the names inscribed on the keeper's register of the Luxembourg,
are those of the ministers of Charles X. in 1830, and also that of
Louis-Napoleon, the present President of the French Republic, who was
confined here after the unsuccessful affair of Strasburg.


The idea of Mr Malthus, that population has a tendency to increase
faster than the means of subsistence, unless some powerful and obvious
checks be interposed to keep down the race to the level of subsistence,
has been recently met by Mr Doubleday with a denial and an effort
at refutation. From an article by Mr Hickson in the last number of
the 'Westminster Review,' we learn that Mr Doubleday endeavours to
show grounds for believing that, while there are powerful tendencies
to increase beyond the limits of subsistence, there are likewise
tendencies to a decrease, which must result in preserving what may be
called a balance between the quantity of food and the number of people.
Mankind, from Adam downwards to our own day, have gone forward and
backward in numbers by a series of fits and starts--they have by no
means been going on as a constantly-increasing quantity. Look at the
countries in the East mentioned in the Bible--Egypt, Judæa, Asia Minor,
Persia, Assyria. Once densely peopled, they are now either desolate, or
inhabited by a poor decaying remnant of the proud races which formerly
inhabited them. Egypt would soon expire as a nation if not constantly
recruited by fresh arrivals from abroad. Neither China nor India is so
populous as it was two thousand years ago. The cultivated aboriginal
races of America, who left monuments of their greatness, long since
disappeared, and were succeeded by tribes of Indians, who are now
rapidly disappearing. The history of the world presents many other
instances of an entire disappearance of populations.

No doubt war, pestilence, famine, vice, and misery, have all played an
important part in sweeping away nations, or in reducing the numbers
of their people; but Mr Doubleday holds it to be demonstrable that
redundancy of population is prevented in a less continuous degree by
these causes, than by one which Malthus altogether overlooks--one, in
fact, which militates against his theory. The mention of this check,
which is only of recent discovery, will come upon most persons as a
surprise: it is _comfort_--easy circumstances, allied with cultivated
feeling; and, to all appearance, the easier the circumstances, the less
the increase. Mr Doubleday thinks it would not perhaps be going too
far to say, that by carrying these influences a certain length, the
race might become extinct. As proof, he refers to the gradual dying
out of families among the aristocracy and baronetage--two orders of
persons who, above all others, might be expected to be prolific in

    'Thus it has been,' proceeds this writer, 'that the peerage of
    England, instead of being old, is recent; and the baronetage,
    though comparatively of modern origin, equally so. In short,
    few, if any, of the Norman nobility, and almost as few of the
    original baronets' families of King James I., exist at this
    moment; and but for perpetual creations, both orders must have
    been all but extinct. * * * Of James I.'s creation in A.D.
    1611, only _thirteen families_ now remain; a decay certainly
    extraordinary, and not to be accounted for upon the ordinary
    ideas of mortality and power of increase amongst mankind.'

    Commenting on these facts, the reviewer observes:--'Several
    instances from humbler, but still wealthy, or at least
    comfortable classes of society, are given by Mr Doubleday,
    tending to the same conclusion, that an ample provision of the
    means of subsistence does not necessarily act as a stimulus
    to population, but often seems to have a directly contrary
    tendency; as if ease and abundance were the real check of
    population, and a certain amount of poverty and privation
    were essential to any considerable increase. Thus he mentions
    the case of the free burgesses of the wealthy corporation of
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a body, in 1710, of about 1800, possessing
    estates and endowments, and exclusive privileges, amply
    sufficient to protect every individual among them from want;
    and shows that, although all the sons of every citizen were
    free by birth, their numbers would have diminished had they
    not been recruited from without; and that, even with the aid
    of contested elections, when freemen by purchase were admitted
    for the sake of votes, the entire body of burgesses remained
    nearly stationary for upwards of a century. This, too, while
    the poorer corporation of Berwick-upon-Tweed doubled the number
    of its free citizens during the same period.

    'The examples of the corporation of Durham and Richmond in
    Yorkshire are adduced to the same effect; but we need not go
    so far north for corroborative evidence of the same class of
    facts. In the corporation of London, all the children of a
    citizen, whether male or female, enjoy the right of freedom by
    inheritance; and as many of the exclusive privileges of this
    body have not yet been done away, women still exercise in the
    city various avocations in their own name (such, for instance,
    as the trade of a town carman), from which the rest of the
    inhabitants of the metropolis, non-freemen, are excluded.
    Until recently, the freedom of the corporation of London
    was essential to a share in the administration of revenues
    amounting to upwards of a million per annum, and is still
    indispensable to a large portion of them. We may reasonably
    conclude that it was an object of some importance to the
    ancient citizens of London to keep the patronage connected
    with such large funds in their own hands, or to leave it in
    the hands of their own posterity. This object, however, has
    been so entirely defeated, that if we now inquire into the
    origin of the present holders of the good things in the gift
    of the London corporation and the trading companies, we find
    they are nearly all north countrymen, who have elbowed their
    way into the city from Scotland or the provinces, and that the
    descendants of such men as Sir William Walworth and Sir Thomas
    Gresham are nowhere to be found.

    'During the forty years from 1794 to 1833, the admissions by
    patrimony to the freedom of the corporation of London were only
    7794 out of a total of 40,221 admitted--a third of the number
    having been strangers who purchased their freedom, and one-half
    sons of strangers obtaining their freedom by apprenticeship.'

Mr Doubleday's explanation of these phenomena is to the effect, that it
is not misery, but comfort, which deadens the principle of increase.
It is notorious that the poorest parents have, as a general rule, the
greatest number of children. Only feed people on potatoes and salt,
oatmeal-porridge, or any other plain fare, and let them at the same
time maintain a struggle to get even that, and sure enough their
firesides, or the places where the fire should be, will be garnished
by as plenteous a crop of youngsters as you could wish to behold! How
these children are fed it is often so difficult to comprehend, that
one is almost driven to the conclusion that they somehow live and have
strength to romp about on the mere element--fresh air. It is very clear
that nature abhors all sorts of codling and pampering:--

    'It is a fact, admitted by all gardeners as well as botanists,'
    says Mr Doubleday, 'that if a tree, plant, or flower be placed
    in a mould either naturally or artificially made too rich for
    it, a plethoric state is produced, and fruitfulness ceases. In
    trees, the effect of strong manures and over-rich soils is,
    that they run to superfluous wood, blossom irregularly, and
    chiefly at the extremities of the outer branches, and almost,
    or entirely, cease to bear fruit. With flowering shrubs and
    flowers the effect is, first, that the flower becomes double,
    and loses its power of producing seed; next, it ceases almost
    even to flower. If the application of the stimulus of manure
    is carried still further, flowers and plants become diseased
    in the extreme, and speedily die; thus, by this wise provision
    of Providence, the transmission of disease (the certain
    consequence of the highly-plethoric state, whether in plants,
    animals, or in mankind) is guarded against, and the species
    shielded from danger on the side of plenty. In order to remedy
    this state when accidentally produced, gardeners and florists
    are accustomed, by various devices, to produce the opposite,
    or deplethoric state; this they peculiarly denominate "giving
    a check." In other words, they put the species in danger in
    order to produce a corresponding determined effort of nature to
    insure its perpetuation--and the end is invariably attained.
    Thus, in order to make fruit-trees bear plentifully, gardeners
    delay, or impede, the rising of the sap, by cutting rings in
    the bark round the tree. This, to the tree, is the production
    of a state of depletion, and the abundance of fruit is the
    effort of nature to counteract the danger. The fig, when grown
    in this climate, is particularly liable to drop its fruit
    when half-matured. This, gardeners now find, can be prevented
    by pruning the tree so severely as to give it a check; or,
    if grown in a pot, by cutting a few inches from its roots
    all round, so as to produce the same effect. The result is,
    that the tree retains, and carefully matures, its fruit. In
    like manner, when a gardener wishes to save seed from a gourd
    or cucumber, he does not give the plant an _extra_ quantity
    of manure or warmth. He does just the contrary: he subjects
    it to some _hardship_, and takes the fruit that is _least_
    fine-looking, foreknowing it will be filled with seed whilst
    the finest fruit are nearly destitute. Upon the same principle,
    it is a known fact, that after severe and long winters, the
    harvests are correspondingly rapid and abundant. Vines bear
    most luxuriantly after being severely tried by frost; and grass
    springs in the same extraordinary manner. After the long and
    trying winter of 1836-37, when the snow lay upon the ground in
    the northern counties until June, the spring of grass was so
    wonderful as to cause several minute experiments by various
    persons. The result was, that in a single night of twelve hours
    the blade of grass was ascertained frequently to have advanced
    full three-quarters of an inch; and wheat and other grain
    progressed in a similar manner.'

It is shown by facts, that in the animal economy a low physical state,
of course along with air and exercise, is equally favourable. In
proportion, therefore, as conditions adverse to this simple principle
are encouraged, so will the ratio of increase be limited. Indulgent
idleness, want of out-door exercise, codling with cordials, dosing
with medicines, tight-lacing, late hours, mental excitement, and fifty
other things, induce the physical weakness and irritability which
renders the production of offspring an impossibility. Causes of this
kind, operating along with those artificial restraints, the validity
of which Malthus is so far right in recognising, are mainly concerned
in keeping population within bounds. It would then appear, that so
long as there is an abject, struggling poor, ignorant and ill-fed,
there will be a vigorous growth, a dangerous population--dangerous,
because redundant as respects their capacity and will to work. On the
other hand, by an universal spread of education, by the cultivation of
rational tastes and habits, and by the simple mode of living which such
tastes would engender, there will ensue something like a medium between
a relatively-redundant and a comparative extinction of population.



At the beginning of the present century a certain regiment was ordered
to Ireland, and was very soon dispersed over various districts. One
detachment was sent to Ballybrag, and when the officer in command
and his two subalterns met at the wretched pothouse (for it was
scarcely an inn) where they were to mess, and began to discuss their
prospects of amusement, they were quite thrown out. There was no
visiting, no hunting, no shooting, no billiard-table, no horses to
ride, no milliners to flirt with, not so much as even 'a bridge to
spit over.' In those days military men had rarely a literary turn, but
books became of so much importance, that they read over the few they
possessed, and sent to the nearest town, which was very distant, for
more. Active amusement, however, was what they chiefly desired; and
one evening the countenances of all three became animated, during a
listless ramble, at the sight of a boy in a crownless hat, torn coat,
and nether integuments held on by a single button; he was shouting
forth 'The County Tyrone,' as he dangled a brace of trout in one hand,
and switched the air with a long wand he held in the other, his curly
hair blowing over his bright rosy countenance in the fresh breeze, the
picture of health and careless happiness.

'Hollo! my fine fellow! where did you catch these trout?'

'Plase your honour, in the Junnagh, just beyant.'

'Beyant! where's that?'

'Just behind them hills there's plenty. If I had but a fishing-rod, and
something more sinsible nor a crooked pin!'

'What a handsome intelligent boy! What's your name?'

'Patrick O'Sale, plase your honour.'

'Well, Paddy, you'll show us the trouting stream, and I'll give you a

Paddy O'Sale had heard of a shilling, but had never yet seen one; so
his gratitude was unbounded: he not only showed them the stream, but
made rush-baskets for the fish they caught, told them tales, sung
them songs, and, in short, by his good-humour and intelligent fun,
very much enlivened their stay at Ballybrag. He was very proud of the
notice of these gentlemen, was happy to be employed in doing anything
for them, and when the route came, manifested so much genuine sorrow,
that they resolved to adopt him, and make him, in fact, a _fils du
régiment_. He accordingly began his military career as a fifer in the
--th regiment, and when older, entered the ranks, and became servant
to his first friend, Captain B----. Very soon he distinguished himself
by his extraordinary intelligence and orderly conduct, which promoted
him to the rank of sergeant; twice he headed a forlorn-hope, and upon
all occasions showed so much bravery and prudence, that upon the
first vacancy he was unanimously recommended for an ensigncy, which
he obtained, retaining as an officer the good opinion he had before
possessed of all his former comrades. He was a remarkably handsome man,
and, we need scarcely observe, a very clever one also, taking advantage
of all that fell in his way as to education, &c. But alas! no one is
perfect; and Patrick O'Sale was vain and extremely ambitious: so, not
wishing to remain where his very humble origin was so well known, he
exchanged into another regiment, and very soon became equally popular
with his new companions as he had been with his old friends of the

The peace reduced him and many others to half-pay, and with it and his
handsome person he resolved to take his chance of fortune. He settled
himself in a town on the north coast of France, and looked about for
a wife. Not long had he to wait: his proficiency in French, which his
quick capacity enabled him to pick up easily, opened many doors which
were shut against his higher-born but less talented compatriots; and
ere long, the widow of a hotel-keeper, twenty years his senior, gave
him to understand that he needed but to propose. Whether this was
in all respects the prize he looked for it is hard to say; but they
married, and lived together three years, during which time he behaved
to her with affectionate kindness; and when she died, she left him all
that was in her power, which, although much less than he had hoped
for, made up, together with his half-pay, a reasonably good income.
This, although it would have been a mere pittance to most men, seemed a
fortune to our adventurer; and with it he started for Paris, where he
made so good a figure, that a young and handsome widow manifested the
same admiration his former less distinguished wife had done. We need
not enter into a description of the affair further than to say that
it terminated as the other had done--in marriage. While arranging the
preliminaries, the lady objected to his name.

'O'Sale!' cried she (_eau sale!_--dirty water!); 'never can I follow
such a name into a drawing-room!'

'I am very sorry, but it is my name.'

'Is there no _title_ in your family?'

'No,' stoutly answered the quondam Paddy.

'What, then, is the name of your father's estate?'

He thought of the cabin in which he had passed his childhood--the pig,
his playmate that had paid its rent--his father, in his long frieze
coat, with a hay-band round his hat--and his mother, attired in the
fluttering rags which so many of the Irish seem to think impart an
airy smartness to their dress; perhaps, too, he thought with regret of
the warm hearts that had beat beneath them, so fond, so proud of him;
and the 'sunshine' of his own 'breast,' that, in spite of his almost
uninterrupted good-fortune, had never bounded so lightly since: but at
anyrate he answered with admirably-acted quiet dignity, 'It is, alas!
no longer in our family.'

'But,' persisted the lady, 'you were born near some village--in some
parish that had a name?'

'The village of Ballybrag was not far from our residence.'

'A la bonne heure--that will do excellently well! Call yourself the
Baron de Ballybrag.'

'Call myself?'

'Mais oui, why not? I shall not object to be named De Ballybrag.'

She accordingly had her cards printed 'La B^{nne} de Ballybrag,' and
her husband, who, after all, had a fondness for his patronymic, left
his with his acquaintances as the Baron O'Sale de Ballybrag. One of
these I preserve as a memento of the odd characters and adventures
which so frequently make real life resemble a romance.


Experience had long taught the Scotch that oats, such as they grow in
their climate, are a most nutritious food; but the habits of the more
influential English, and the ridicule of a prejudiced lexicographer,
were beginning to make them ashamed of their national diet. Chemistry
has here stepped in, and by her analysis of both, has proved not only
that the oat is richer in muscle-forming matter than the grain of
wheat, but that oatmeal is in all respects a better form of nourishment
than the finest wheaten flour. But what is more, chemistry has brought
us acquainted with the value of parts of the grain formerly considered
almost as waste. The husk or bran of wheat, for example, though given
at times to pigs, to millers' horses, and other cattle, was usually
thought to possess but little nutritive virtue in itself. Analysis,
however, has shown it to be actually richer in muscular matter than
the white interior of the grain. Thus the cause of its answering so
well as food for cattle is explained; and it is shown that its use in
bread (whole-meal bread) must be no less nutritive than economical.
The true value of other kinds of food is also established by these
inquiries. Cabbage is a crop which, up to the present time, has not
been a general favourite in this country, either in the stall or for
the table, except during early spring and summer. In North Germany
and Scandinavia, however, it appears to have been long esteemed, and
various modes of storing it for winter use have been very generally
practised. But the cabbage is one of the plants which has been
chemically examined, in consequence of the failure of the potato,
with the view of introducing it into general use, and the result of
the examination is both interesting and unexpected. When dried so as
to bring it into a state in which it can be compared with our other
kinds of food (wheat, oats, beans, &c.), it is found to be _richer in
muscular matter than any other crop we grow_. Wheat contains only about
12 per cent., and beans 25 per cent.; but dried cabbage contains from
30 to 40 per cent. of the so-called protein compounds. According to
our present views, therefore, it is pre-eminently nourishing. Hence
if it can but be made generally agreeable to the palate, and easy
of digestion, it is likely to prove the best and easiest cultivated
substitute for the potato; and no doubt the Irish kolcannon (cabbage
and potatoes beat together) derives part of its reputation from the
great muscle-sustaining power of the cabbage--a property in which the
potato is most deficient. Further, it is of interest--of national
importance, we may say--that an acre of ordinary land will, according
to the above result, produce a greater weight of this special kind
of nourishment in the form of cabbage than in the form of any other
crop. Thus twenty tons of cabbage--and good land will produce, in good
hands, forty tons of drum-head cabbage on an imperial acre--contain
fifteen hundred pounds of muscular matter; while twenty-five bushels
of beans contain only four hundred pounds; as many of wheat only two
hundred, twelve tons of potatoes only five hundred and fifty, and even
thirty tons of turnips only a thousand pounds. The preference which
some farmers have long given to this crop, as food for their stock and
their milk-cows, is accounted for by these facts; while of course they
powerfully recommend its more general cultivation as food for man.
Again:--In many parts of our island furze or gorse grows up an unheeded
weed, and luxuriates in favourable spots without being applied to any
useful purpose. In other districts, however, it is already an object of
valuable though easy culture, and large breadths of it are grown for
the feeding of stock, and yield profitable returns. Chemical researches
show its nutritive property to be very great. Of muscle-building
materials it contains, when dry, as much as 30 per cent., and is
therefore in this respect superior to beans, and inferior only to
the cabbage. Under these circumstances we can no longer doubt the
conclusions at which some experimental feeders had previously arrived,
nor the advantage which might be obtained from the more extensive
cultivation of gorse on many poor and hitherto almost neglected
soils.--_Edinburgh Review._


There has been a great outcry against the post-office as well as the
police in Gangetic India. Newspapers are charged by weight, so that
before they can pass for single postage they must make use of the
smallest-sized sheet to be found in the meanest provincial town in
England; the paper must be as thin as a bank-note. In our rainy season,
if near full weight, it absorbs moisture so rapidly as to be charged
double postage at its journey's end: the postage on a daily paper,
from moderate distances, amounts to L.5 a year. The mails are carried
in leathern bags on men's heads, and so negligently made up, that they
occasionally reach their destination in a state of pulp. Thousands
of rupees are annually abstracted from letters, and every variety of
misconduct prevails. At the presidencies, the salary of the postmasters
is from L.2000 to L.3000--the heads of the departments are civilians,
who have been judges or collectors of revenue, and never saw the inside
of a post-office till they came to preside over it. At out-stations,
officers in the army get postmasterships as perquisites, the duties
in every case being performed by subordinates. The subject has been a
standing grievance time out of mind, but there is not the slightest
appearance of its meeting with attention.--_Bombay Times._


It is a subject of wonder to many why the article 'rice,' which has for
a long time been so extremely plentiful, and consequently cheap, does
not enter into more general consumption in this country. I think the
true answer is this:--'Because very few amongst us know how to prepare
it for table;' for not one cook in ten can ever plain boil it fit to be
seen and eaten, and not one in twenty (strange as it may appear) can
make a 'rice-pudding.' Now the first may be accomplished by using only
so much water as the rice will absorb in boiling, by which each grain
will be kept free and separated, and the mass not made into starch or
paste, as is generally the case; and the second can be perfected by
putting one teacupful of rice to one quart of milk, adding sugar to
suit the taste, a small quantity of chopped suet, butter, or dripping,
prating a little nutmeg on the top, and baking as usual. This will
be found one of the cheapest, lightest, and most delicious puddings
that can be eaten, and very superior to a 'rice-pudding,' as generally
made with eggs, &c. which not only add to its expense, but destroy the
character of the dish. In most parts of Ireland, where, during the
summer season, milk can be had for almost nothing, the above simple
recipe would, I think, be invaluable, and no doubt generate a taste for
this most wholesome grain, to the especial benefit of the poorer part
of the population.--_Daily News._


The following recipe is used for preparing the celebrated stucco
whitewash used on the east end of the president's house at
Washington:--Take half a bushel of good unslacked lime, slack it with
boiling water, covering it during the process to keep in the steam.
Strain the liquor through a fine sieve or strainer, and add to it a
peck of clean salt, previously dissolved in warm water, three pounds
of good rice, ground to a thin paste, and stirred while boiling hot;
half a pound of powdered Spanish whiting, and a pound of clean glue,
which has been previously dissolved by first soaking it well, and then
hanging it over a slow fire in a small kettle, within a large one
filled with water. Add five gallons of hot water to the mixture; stir
it well, and let it stand a few days, covered from dirt. It should be
put on quite hot; for this purpose it can be kept in a kettle on a
portable furnace. It is said that about one pint of this mixture will
cover a square yard upon the outside of a house, if properly applied.
Brushes more or less may be used according to the neatness of the job
required. It retains its brilliancy for many years. There is nothing of
the kind that will compare with it either for inside or outside walls.
Any required tinge can be given to the preparation by the addition of
colouring matter.--_Mining Journal._


Nothing is more curious than one of these repasts, which recall to
mind the feastings described by Homer. Enormous pieces of beef, whole
sheep, monstrous fishes, load an immense table bristling with bottles.
The guests, clothed in black, calm and serious, seat themselves in
silence, and with the air which one takes at a funeral. Behind the
President is placed a functionary called the toast-master. It is he
who is charged to make the speeches. The president whispers to him the
_mot d'ordre_, and 'Gentlemen,' says he with the voice of a Stentor,
'I am about to propose to you a toast which cannot fail to be received
by you with great favour--it is the health of the very honourable,
very respectable, and very considerable Sir Robert Peel, &c. &c.' The
guests then, shaking off their silent apathy, rise all at once, as if
they were moved by springs, and respond to the invitation by thundering
forth frantic cries. While the glasses are being emptied, three young
girls with bare shoulders slip from behind a screen and play a tune on
the piano. The toasts do not cease until the guests, having strength
neither to rise nor to remain seated, roll under the table.--_M. Eugene
Guinot in the Siècle (Paris paper)._


A French gentleman, M. Maratuch, has found by experiments, if three
frames of wire are placed near the base of the chimney, about one foot
apart, whilst no flame will pass through them, the draught will not
be impaired. As most of the soot lodges on the uppermost wire, but
little on the second, and none on the third, he suggests that a brush
be applied daily to keep them clean, and the chimney will never want


    Sister, hear ye not the rustling
    Of the sere leaves as they fall?
    Teach they not--thus dropping, dying--
    A lesson worth the heed of all?
    Nature preaching, ever teaching,
    A lesson worth the heed of all.

    Once these leaves were fresh and verdant,
    Warmed by sunshine into birth;
    Now chilled by nipping blasts of autumn,
    They drop unto their mother earth.
    For wise reason, but a season!
    They drop unto their mother earth.

    Some linger still, but yellow, faded,
    No more with green the boughs adorn;
    No shelter yield where erst they shaded;
    Reft of their kindred, lone, forlorn.
    Lifeless seeming, listless gleaming,
    Reft of their kindred, lone, forlorn.

    So, though thou'rt now arrayed in satin,
    And pearls are glistening in thy hair;
    Anon thou'lt need a warmer garment--
    Gray hairs instead of pearls thou'lt wear:
    Weeds arraying, grief betraying,
    Gray hairs instead of pearls thou'lt wear.

    Then, sister, let us muse and ponder
    On these leaves from nature's page;
    And prepare, while yet in season,
    For a pure and happy age:
    Undespairing, be preparing,
    For a pure and happy age.

    I would not damp thy smile of gladness,
    Or cast a shadow o'er thy youth;
    But ever shun the paths of folly,
    Cleave to virtue and to truth:
    Self-denying, faith relying,
    Cleave to virtue and to truth.

    For neither youth, nor health, nor beauty,
    Can from Time's stern clutches save;
    But all must drop, like leaves of autumn,
    To the cold and silent grave:
    Aye we're dropping, never stopping,
    To the cold and silent grave.



The poison of the viper consists of a yellowish liquid secreted in a
glandular structure (situated immediately below the skin on either
side of the head), which is believed to represent the parotid gland
of the higher animals. If a viper be made to bite something solid, so
as to void its poison, the following are the appearances under the
microscope:--At first nothing is seen but a parcel of salts nimbly
floating in the liquor, but in a very short time these saline particles
shoot out into crystals of incredible tenuity and sharpness, with
something like knots here and there, from which these crystals seem to
proceed, so that the whole texture in a manner represents a spider's
web, though infinitely finer and more minute. These spiculæ, or darts,
will remain unaltered on the glass for some months. Five or six grains
of this viperine poison, mixed with half an ounce of human blood,
received in a warm glass, produce no visible effects, either in colour
or consistence, nor do portions of this poisoned blood, mixed with
acids or alkalies, exhibit any alterations. When placed on the tongue,
the taste is sharp and acrid, as if the tongue had been struck with
something scalding or burning; but this sensation goes off in two or
three hours. There are only five cases on record of death following
the bite of the viper; and it has been observed that the effects are
most virulent when the poison has been received on the extremities,
particularly the fingers and toes, at which parts the animal, when
irritated (as it were by an innate instinct), always takes its
aim.--_F. T. Buckland._

       *       *       *       *       *

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.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No.306 - New Series, Saturday, November 10, 1849" ***

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