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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 710 - August 4, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 710 - August 4, 1877" ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 710.      SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



PREDOMINANT DELUSIONS.


Seeing is believing! Such is an old saw, not usually called in
question, and yet it is exceedingly fallacious. A great many phenomena
seemingly true by the eyesight are not true at all. Ignorance and
prejudice have led to very extraordinary mistakes. We speak of the sun
rising and setting, because it appears to do so, but it neither sets
nor rises. The earth turns in front of it like a roast turning before
a fire. A conjurer will clearly shew you that he will bring any number
of eggs out of an empty hat. He only brings them out of his sleeve,
where they were cunningly concealed. And so on with a great many other
illusions, all seemingly fair and above board, but in which we are
imposed on either by our senses, or by some fallacy in reasoning.
Less than two hundred years ago, courts of justice were hanging and
burning thousands of old women for being witches--all on a sort of
evidence which in the present day would only be laughed at. The world
now knows better than believe such trash, but it took a long time to
learn; and even yet this highly experienced and much complimented
world occasionally falls into the most absurd crazes; or perhaps
we should more correctly say, there are large numbers of tolerably
educated but credulous people who with a taste for the wonderful are
ever ready to believe in any kind of nonsense that turns up. These
worthy individuals are, of course, not without excuse. Starting with
the principle that there may be forces in nature which science has as
yet failed to disclose, we should be cautious in asserting that any
particular phenomenon that seems incomprehensible is a result of mere
illusion or imposture. Let every mysterious demonstration, they say,
be impartially inquired into. Quite correct. The misfortune, however,
is, that before the matters in question have been examined impartially
by the light of science, the craze gets ahead, and many persons weakly
allowing themselves to be carried away by their feelings, get painfully
compromised, and are by the more cool and cautious part of mankind set
down as little better than--fools. Very hard! But the warning offered
is useful. If people of good standing will believe in absurdities
without proper examination, they must take the consequences.

We have been led to make these remarks by a perusal of the lately
issued work, _Mesmerism, Spiritualism, &c., Historically and
Scientifically considered_, by Dr W. B. Carpenter. In this ably written
and eminently readable small volume, the author brings to bear a long
experience in scientific inquiry into the popular crazes and impostures
of the last forty years, beginning with Mesmerism and Table-turning,
and ending with Spiritualism in the several shapes it has assumed. We
commend the book to the serious consideration of the credulous. Tracing
the history of marvels of different kinds, Dr Carpenter states that the
whole has been 'a long succession of epidemic delusions, the form of
which has changed from time to time, whilst their essential nature has
remained the same throughout; and that the condition which underlies
them all is _the subjection of the mind to a dominant idea_. There is
a constitutional tendency in many minds to be seized by some strange
notion which takes entire possession of them; so that all the actions
of the individual "thus possessed" are results of its operation.'
Placed on this footing, the Predominant Delusion, be it a belief in
witchcraft, mesmerism, or spiritualism, is a kind of monomaniacal
frenzy. An absurd idea has got possession of the individual, and no
reasoning with him to the contrary will have any effect in driving it
out. He will absolutely get out of temper if his fanciful notions are
so much as questioned. Usually the monomania spreads; and the more who
suffer themselves to be affected, the keener and more demonstrative
does the delusion become. Certain frantic religious ferments in past
and recent times have been due to nothing else than strange contagious
influences, of which, after a time, when passion has subsided, all
are pretty well ashamed, and fain to stifle out of disagreeable
remembrance. We happen to have seen several of these prevalent
crazes, droll in some respects, but very pitiable. After such mental
disturbances, things, happily, shake themselves right at last, and all
goes on as usual. The fever has subsided.

Often, able and estimable men suffer themselves to be affected by the
prevailing craze, and lead on others as imitators. It is now about
forty years since, when by invitation to a friend's house, we were
present at an evening séance in which an eminent professor at one of
our universities entertained the company with what he confidently
believed to be mesmeric experiments, such as sending persons to sleep,
or rendering them temporarily mute by bidding them 'tie their tongue.'
Here was a man skilled in a branch of physical science, but of eager
temperament and with a rage for novelty, lending himself indiscreetly
to certain popular delusions which had originated in the crazed fancy
of a charlatan. Mesmeric experiments of this sort were for a time a
favourite amusement. They reminded us of the superstition in the old
legends, in which 'glamour' is said to have been cast over weak-minded
individuals. This ancient glamour consisted in producing by looks and
gestures a negation of self-assertion. The operator threw the patient
into a kind of spell-bound or dreamy condition without any power of
correct reasoning. It was the conquest of the strong and resolute will
over the weak and irresolute, through the effects of a kind of jugglery.

Mesmeric sleep, as it is called, is ordinarily produced by seemingly
mystic passes of the hands, and an intense concentration of looks
on the eyes of the person operated upon. In it there is nothing
marvellous. Dr Carpenter explains that it 'corresponds precisely
in character with what is known in medicine as "hysteric coma;"
the insensibility being as profound while it lasts as in the coma
of narcotic poisoning or pressure on the brain; but coming on and
passing off with such suddenness as to shew that it is dependent
upon some transient condition of the sensorium, which, with our
present knowledge, we can pretty certainly assign to a reduction
in the supply of blood caused by a sort of spasmodic contraction
of the blood-vessels.' This explanation, on a physiological basis,
considerably reduces the mystic character of those mesmeric marvels
in which the late Dr Elliotson indulged at his public séances in
Conduit Street. It does not, however, as we imagine, detract from
the medical value that may be attached to the calming of the nervous
system by what is spoken of as mesmeric sleep. Mr Braid, a practising
surgeon in Manchester, ingeniously fell on the device of producing a
profound mesmeric slumber by simply causing individuals to fix their
gaze determinedly at a cork stuck at the top of their nose. It was
not surprising that people should have been lulled by being subjected
to this species of Hypnotism. Ordinary sleep may in most instances
be induced by keeping the lower extremities perfectly still, and
determinedly fixing attention on the act of breathing through the
nostrils. Speaking from experience, we offer this as a hint to the
habitually sleepless.

In the amusing book before us, the author shews how clairvoyants have
imposed on public assemblies by tricks, which could be seen through by
sceptical observers. Miss Martineau, as is well known, had a profound
belief in the marvels of mesmerism. This lady had a servant, J., to
whom was imputed wonderful powers of clairvoyance. On one occasion,
while in the mesmeric sleep, she gave 'the particulars of the wreck
of a vessel, of which her cousin was one of the crew; as also of the
previous loss of a boy overboard; with which particulars, it was
positively affirmed by Miss Martineau, and believed by many on her
authority, that the girl could not have been previously informed, as
her aunt had only brought the account to the house when the séance
was nearly terminated. On being asked, says Miss M., two evenings
afterwards, when again in sleep, "whether she knew what she related by
hearing her aunt telling the people below," J. replied: "No; I saw the
place and the people themselves--like a vision." And Miss Martineau
believed her.' After all, the girl was proved to be an impostor.
A medical friend, on making a rigorous investigation, discovered
'unequivocally that J.'s aunt had told the whole story to her sister,
in whose house Miss M. was residing, about _three hours before the
séance_; and that though J. was not then in the room, the circumstances
were fully discussed in her presence before she was summoned to the
mesmeric performance. Thus not only was J. completely discredited as a
seer, but the value of _all_ testimony to such marvels was seriously
lowered, when so intelligent a witness as Harriet Martineau could be so
completely led astray by her prepossessions as to put forth statements
as facts, which were at once upset by the careful inquiry which she
ought to have made before committing herself to them.'

A preconceived determination or proneness to believe in the reality of
any seeming marvel without any other evidence than the senses, goes
a great way to explain the stories that are fondly cherished by the
dupes of spiritualism. The error lies in taking things for granted.
At one time people were all agog as to the wonders of table-turning,
and it is amusing to remember how the wonder was speedily exploded by
the appliances suggested by Faraday. He conclusively shewed that the
operators, however honest, unconsciously exerted a muscular action,
causing the table to turn in the direction previously conceived.
The whole thing was a curious piece of self-deception. Dupes of
spiritualistic manipulators are similarly self-deceived. They go
to séances in the fond hope of seeing incomprehensible marvels by
'mediums' and table-rappers, and come away believing that all has been
real, instead of being only tricks worthy or unworthy of a conjurer.
Certainly, at no séance of spiritualists have the performances excelled
the wonders effected by those adepts in conjuring, Maskelyne and Cooke.

Although exploded and discredited, table-turning has latterly come up
in the new form of planchette, a fashionable toy alleged to be endowed
with singularly mystic qualities. Consisting of a small and easily
moved board, in which a pencil is stuck with the point downwards on
paper or slate laid on a table, the machine is said to be capable of
answering questions put to the operator who presses on the board with
his hands. No doubt, the pencil will write answers as required, but it
does so only by the conscious or unconscious muscular action of the
hands on the board. This weak device of pretending to get answers to
questions by the agency of an inanimate piece of wood and a pencil,
has been resorted to by real or sham believers in spiritualism; and
we are presented with the melancholy spectacle of decent-looking
ladies and gentlemen sitting gravely round a table affecting to hold a
conversation with beings in the unseen world.

Just as mesmerism lost its reputation as a branch of psychology, so
has spiritualism begun to be estimated at its true value. It was
always very much against it, that its professors held their séances in
darkened apartments, and that for the most part they took money for the
display of their wonders. The thing became a trade, and so it would
have continued but for the prosecution and conviction of persons who
stood guilty of imposture, and of taking money under false pretences.
To add to the discomfiture of trading spiritualists, their tricks have
been exposed in the book, _Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism_, by
D. D. Home, who, however, lets it be known that he is among the few
genuine professors of the art whose operations are alleged to be beyond
suspicion! As shewn by Dr Carpenter, deception is not confined to those
who practise for gain. He speaks of young ladies who take pleasure in
imposing on elderly persons by tricks of an ingenious kind. 'I could
tell,' says he, 'the particulars, in my possession, of the detection
of the imposture practised by one of the most noteworthy of these
lady-mediums, in the distribution of flowers which she averred to be
brought in by the "spirits" in a dark séance, fresh from the garden and
wet with the dew of heaven; these flowers having really been previously
collected in a basin up-stairs, and watered out of a decanter standing
by--as was proved by the fact, that an inquisitive sceptic having
furtively introduced into the water of the decanter a small quantity
of a nearly colourless salt (ferrocyanide of potassium), its presence
in the dew of the flowers was afterwards recognised by the appropriate
chemical test (a per-salt of iron), which brought out "Prussian-blue."'

Other instances are presented of deceptions practised in private
séances; but for these and much that illustrates the whole tenor of
the delusion, we must refer to the work itself. We restrict ourselves
to quoting only one, but a very pertinent remark: 'It is affirmed,
such exposures _prove_ nothing against the genuineness of any new
manifestation. But I affirm that to any one accustomed to weigh the
value of evidence, the fact that the testimony in favour of a whole
series of antecedent claims has been completely upset, seriously
invalidates (as I have shewn in regard to mesmeric _clairvoyance_)
the trustworthiness of the testimony in favour of any new claimant to
"occult" powers. Why should I believe the testimony of any believer in
the genuineness of D's performances, when he has been obliged to admit
that he has been egregiously deceived in the cases of A, B, and C?'

For this instructive and admirably written work, offering a lucid
philosophical explanation of the source of Predominant Delusions,
which are apt to be turned to a bad account by the designing, and
are in every sense mischievous, as conveying erroneous notions of
natural phenomena, the learned author deserves the hearty thanks of the
community.

    W. C.



THE LAST OF THE HADDONS.

CHAPTER XXXV.--A TWELVEMONTH AFTER.


A glorious morning in early August. I was standing in a large cheerful
room, from the windows of which was an extensive view of beautiful
country, hill and dale, clothed with the rich ripe fullness of
fruit-time, while to ear was borne 'the distant cries of reapers in the
corn--all the live murmur of a summer day.'

I was attiring myself--or I ought rather to say being attired--for
a wedding, attended right royally, no less than twenty handmaidens
hovering about me, each eager to do something towards my adornment; and
each as desirous that I should look my very best as I was myself, which
is saying a great deal. Never was slave of fashion more anxious to make
an effective appearance than was I on this bright August morning. But
even I began to be satisfied as the process of adornment went on, and I
was gradually transformed from a sober brown chrysalis into a brilliant
butterfly. A bright blue silk dress, an elegant lace cloak, white
bonnet with blush roses, &c. &c. Everything, be it understood, of the
very best that money could buy, and made in the latest mode, there not
being a sombre colour or faded shred about me. 'All new and fresh and
bright, as befits a butterfly!' I ejaculated, contemplating myself with
a glad smile.

And then there was the one thing--ah, I knew it now; my prayers _had_
been answered! Even allowing for the flush of excitement, this was
not the face of a twelvemonth ago smiling gaily back at me from the
dressing-glass. The eyes had lost their mournfulness, the mouth had
become used to smile, and the whole face was full of life and colour.
'Yes; it all matches beautifully,' I acknowledged, in smiling assent to
the exclamations of my attendants. 'But I require care, you know,' as
they all pressed about me; 'not a rose must be crushed. And it is to be
hoped that I shall not forget that I wear a train, and spoil the effect
by falling over it;' which raised a laugh amongst my handmaidens, as
royal wit should. Then being pronounced 'finished,' I went out into
the gallery, and descended the broad staircase (my home was one of the
finest old mansions in Kent) with my train about me. In the long room I
was met by Jane Osborne, who, after examining me very critically from
head to foot, was graciously pleased to add her testimony to that of
the rest, and pronounce that I should do. I was nevertheless obliged
to call her to order in a little aside for a certain trembling of the
voice and moisture in the eyes--a weakness not to be looked over in
Jane Osborne.

'God bless you, Mary! By five o'clock, remember.'

I just touched her lips, since she would have it so, notwithstanding
my pointing it out to her that it was not a time for sentiment; and
then with her hand in mine and attended by my train, I went into the
court-yard, where my carriage awaited me.

'It couldn't have been grander if it had been created out of a
pumpkin!' I whispered to Jane.

She looked uneasily at me. 'Do not try to jest, Mary,' she replied
anxiously.

'Why not? if I feel equal to it, you foolish person!'

'_Are_ you equal to it, Mary?'

'_Quite._ If I had doubted it before, I knew when I saw myself in the
glass this morning. You ought to be able to see the difference.'

'Yes,' she murmured, 'there is a difference.--You will find the flowers
in the carriage, Mary.'

I stepped in, and was swiftly borne away, amidst--I had almost written
a flourish of trumpets, so very loud and shrill were some of the voices
shouting all sorts of good wishes after me.

I flattered myself that the effect was very telling indeed, when my
equipage, with its spirited horses and coachman and footman wearing
large breastplates of flowers, drew up before the porch of the pretty
little ivy-covered vale church. I was received by the beadle and
pew-opener with due respect, and found that I was in very good time.
The gentlemen and some of the guests were already in the vestry,
said the pew-opener; and in the porch were waiting two pretty young
bride's-maids, who eyed me rather curiously. They had just time to
remind me that my place was with the guests inside the church, and I
to reply that I preferred waiting there, when a carriage of much more
modest pretensions than mine drew up, and the two I waited for stepped
out.

'Mary, Mary!' ejaculated Lilian, springing towards me with outstretched
arms, forgetful, as I even then had the nerve to remind her, of our
finery. What would become of me if I gave way now? 'Mary, Mary!'

And no sooner had I released myself from Lilian than there was my
dear old Mrs Tipper giving me a good honest hug, utterly regardless
of appearances. And as to finery! she had long ceased to allow that
to interfere with her love, and was not to be daunted by any such
consideration now.

The little bride's-maids, who were very carefully guarding their laces
and muslins, reserving themselves for the right moment, looked with
much disfavour at an ebullition of feeling at the wrong point in the
ceremony; and now reminded us that it was half-past eleven, and that
the clergyman and the other guests had been waiting some time. At
which, with a meaning look at me, Mrs Tipper put Lilian's hand into
mine, and we two passed up the aisle together, whilst the dear little
woman walked after us with the bride's-maids, notwithstanding their
whispered protestations that it was 'wrong--altogether wrong--and the
effect was _quite_ spoiled!'

As Philip turned to meet us, I put his bride's hand into his with a
smile which appeared to satisfy even him. Moreover, Robert Wentworth's
face brightened, and Robert Wentworth's critical observance had been
anticipated with some little anxiety.

Lilian's uncle, the father of the bride's-maids, was to 'give her
away;' he looked not a little curiously at the person whose appearance
seemed to cause so much sensation; but his curiosity did not affect me.

At the words, 'Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?' Major
Maitland gave the necessary response; but both bride and bridegroom
turned their eyes upon me, as though the gift were mine.

As soon as the ceremony was over, Philip and Lilian turned towards me;
and for a few moments we three gave no thought to the _convenances_, as
we clasped hands and murmured a few words meant only for each other.
Then the rest of the party gathered about the bride and bridegroom,
and I became conscious of the presence of others that were known to
me: Philip's brother Mr Dallas, and his wife, and Mrs Trafford and her
sister-in-law Mrs Chichester. Marian Trafford was gorgeously attired
in what no doubt was the latest Paris fashion; although I think that
even she was conscious that her splendour did not eclipse mine. They
had not evidently expected to see me there, and both, I felt, watched
very curiously for any slight giving-way upon my part. But if I could
calmly meet Philip's eyes, it may be imagined that I was proof against
the scrutiny of either Marian Trafford or her sister-in-law. And
Mrs Chichester's softly spoken little aside: 'Did not I think that
the bride and bridegroom were an admirably matched couple, even to
age--eighteen and thirty was just as it should be; was it not?' was
assented to with a cheerfulness which did not seem to gratify her as a
looker-on might have expected it to do.

There was only one shadow on the bride's lovely face, and that came
when she signed her name; and perhaps it was natural enough that Major
Maitland should frown at the remembrance of the wrong done to his
sister. But it was the last time Lilian would be so pained, and she was
not allowed time to dwell upon it now.

When we stood aside for her and Philip to pass out, she caught my hand
and drew me with them, and in that very unorthodox fashion we left the
church and entered the carriage--'Mary's carriage,' as Lilian termed
it. There not being room enough at the cottage, the breakfast was to
take place at Hill Side, and we were driven there--so far as a carriage
could convey us--for we had to alight at the foot of the hill and walk
the remainder of the distance.

As soon as we reached the plantations, Lilian took my face between her
hands and gazed at me with anxious tender eyes. Then, with a deep-drawn
sigh of relief and a radiant smile she murmured: 'It was true, Philip;
she _is_ happy!'

'Yes; thank God!' he ejaculated.

I made it the occasion for a little jest about my truth having been
doubted; and by that time some of the others had come up with us, when
the bride naturally absorbed all the attention, and the rest was easy.
It was the first wedding-breakfast at which I had been a guest, and
therefore I was not _au fait_ in such matters. I can only say that if
there were any little divergences from the etiquette proper upon such
occasions, they were unobserved by me. I knew that the two I most cared
for in the world were made happy, and that all the rest of us were
pleasant with each other, as befitted wedding-guests. I was afterwards
told that the bride's-maids thought that they had not been sufficiently
considered in being only provided with one gentleman, and he so grave a
one as Robert Wentworth. And Philip's brother and his wife were said
to be very stiff with us all; whilst Major Maitland was more anxious
than it was polite to be to catch an early return train, reminding his
daughters that _they_ must not be the cause of his losing it, and so
forth. But I looked through rose-coloured spectacles, and it seemed all
flowers and sunshine to me.

Dear old Mrs Tipper and I sat together; and it did me not a little good
to feel the eloquent pressure of her hand, which she now and again
slipped into mine as the breakfast went on. I am, to this day, not
quite sure how much Mrs Tipper knew of the truth; but I saw that she
at anyrate guessed something of it, when, in a tremulous voice, she
whispered a few words about my having given happiness to her child.

I tried a little jest about still having enough and to spare.

'Yes, my dear; that is the best of it; you really are happy. Thank God,
you are reaping'----

I hurriedly commenced asking questions about Becky, who, as I had so
much hoped she would, was about to become the wife of Tom. He was
engaged for the garden at Hill Side, and it was arranged that he should
live with his wife at the cottage. Mrs Tipper elected to continue her
cottage life; and as she had become very much attached to Becky, she
was very glad to adopt my suggestion, that the married couple should
live with her.

It must not be supposed that I was ignorant of anything which had
transpired during my absence. I had regularly corresponded with Lilian,
although I held firm to my first resolution, not to return amongst
them again until Philip and she were married, and so brought about the
event at an earlier date than it might otherwise have taken place. I
need not say that Becky proved a firm ally, and faithfully kept my
secret. Faithful Becky! how difficult it was for some time to get her
to talk about her happiness to me! This first day of my reappearance,
I inquired in vain for Becky; she was not to be found. I only caught
sight of her once when I was leaving Hill Side, watching me from the
back staircase, her eyes and nose bearing eloquent witness to violent
emotion; but when I turned to speak to her, she sped away as fast as
her feet would carry her.

As soon as might be, the bride slipped away with Mrs Tipper and me,
to the increased disapprobation of the bride's-maids, who prided
themselves upon being acquainted with all the proprieties for such
occasions. But it was not to be expected that we could allow two
comparative strangers to act as tire-women to our Lilian; and we
carried her off, regardless of the murmurs about its being 'all
wrong--quite wrong!' and so forth.

Once alone together, we three behaved--well, I will say as any other
three women who love each other and are not above having feelings might
be expected to behave under such circumstances. I contrived to satisfy
Lilian, as I had satisfied her aunt, that I was no unhappy martyr, as
she asked me question after question, eyeing me with wistful loving
eyes.

'And you will not desert us again, Mary?'

'No; I will not desert you again, Lilian.'

'It is quite delightful to see her like this--quite a grand personage,
with a fine carriage and livery servants and all the rest of it; isn't
it, auntie? I may now confess, Mary, that I have been the least bit
afraid that your talking about living in a grand old house with a
number of attendants to do your bidding, was'----

'Was what, goosy?'

'Too much like a fairy tale; and you know you used to talk like that
sometimes, when you--when I have fancied that you were not quite happy.'

'Are you satisfied at last, dearie?'

'Yes, I am--yes, quite. You look really happy.' I mentally offered up a
thanksgiving, as she went on: 'But of course I am longing to know how
it all came about. Recollect, you have promised to explain everything
very exactly in your first letter. Recollect too that I leave dear
auntie to your care; and of course we shall expect to find our sister
here on our return.'

I promised; and when we presently conducted the bride in her
travelling-dress to the drawing-room, she was looking happy enough to
satisfy Philip, who, I noticed, glanced anxiously from me to her as we
entered.

We all went down the winding path with them to the carriage waiting in
the road below; and sent them off with all sorts of merry speeches and
good wishes and the orthodox accompaniment of old slippers.



THE LAND OF THE PHARAOHS.


The past lends to Egypt a charm more entrancing than its cloudless
skies and delicious climate. Go where you will, antiquity meets you
at every turn. Around you lie the ruins of cities whose very names
have been obliterated in the silent march of the ages. Before you
flows the sacred river upon whose waves floated centuries ago the
little ark of the outcast Hebrew infant, and the golden barge of the
gorgeous daughter of the Ptolemies. Time was when this old Nile was
the highway down which many successive nations rushed to conquest: for
the Ethiopian, the Assyrian, the Persian, the Roman, and the Saracen
have all lorded it in turn in this ancient realm of the Pharaohs. Now
vexed no longer with the fleets of rival monarchs, the mighty river
rocks with slumberous swell the lotus lilies on its tranquil breast;
and on its lonely banks, which have rung so often in days gone by to
the shrill pæans of triumph, the palms in the sultry noontide throw
their long shadows athwart ruined temples and colossal statues, grand
in execution and faultless in detail, which reveal in every outline the
perfection to which the arts of architecture and sculpture were carried
in this their earliest cradle. The soil is strewed with fragments of
broken columns and defaced colossi. Buried beneath the drifting sand
of the Desert lie the glorious and yet grotesque masterpieces of the
Egyptian chisel. Serene, grave, majestic, inundated with a flood of
harmonious light, the calm features of the once inscrutable Sphinx look
down upon us, as many centuries ago they looked down in their grand
repose upon the wondering Father of History. Time has pressed lightly
on these Titanic temples and vast tomb palaces, but from their shadowy
portals the worshippers have gone for ever. Desolate and state-fallen,
they open now only to admit the curious stranger.

In _A Thousand Miles up the Nile_, by Miss Edwards, we have a lively
gossiping description of the Egypt of to-day with its wasted temples
and ruined palaces. Cairo--where Miss Edwards tells us she arrived
in the end of November 1873, with a party of friends in pursuit of
dry weather--is a picturesque city. Seen from a distance embowered in
gardens of the richest green, it looks like a forest of minarets and
domes intermingled with palm-trees and acacia groves. The streets, as
is always the case in eastern cities, are narrow and intricate; but
their gloom is enlivened by a series of gorgeous bazaars, where the
little pigeon-holes of shops are bright with many-hued carpets, and
gay with delicately tinted silks, and glittering tissues of gold and
silver. Here you can buy precious stones of varied value, and bracelets
and collars of intricate and complex designs, such as were the fashion
thousands of years ago at the court of the Pharaohs; or invest, if you
choose, in a variety of warlike weapons, inlaid with gold and silver,
and damascened with exquisite arabesque patterns.

The busy crowd passing and repassing the while, presents to the
stranger a series of intensely interesting _tableaux vivants_. There,
with ample turban and flowing beard and long robes of striped silk,
stalks the stately Turk, followed by a scantily clad Fellahin. Next
comes some Light of the Harem, some Fatima or Emineh, mounted on a
carefully painted donkey led by an armed slave. On the street this fair
enchantress is but a shroud-like mass of drapery, through which the
curious gazer can sometimes discern the outline of a delicately oval
face and the flash of a black liquid eye. Behind her, in thin clinging
robes of dark but vivid blue, with graceful form and carelessly veiled
melancholy face, a Niobe in bronze, glides an Abyssinian slave-girl.
By her side a swarthy Bedouin sheik reins in an Arab steed, whose
prancings and curvetings somewhat disturb the gravity of the tiny
donkey upon which that Englishman is mounted; while over all streams
the sunshine of an Egyptian noon, flooding with light the unfamiliar
draperies, the strange Saracenic architecture, and the varying features
and costumes of each commingling race.

While conducting the important operation of bargaining for a dahabeeyah
(a Nile-boat), Miss Edwards and her party went to interview the
Great Pyramid. She had fancied that the Pyramids looked small and
unimpressive when she first caught a glimpse of them from the railway
carriage; but once at the base of this gigantic tomb, she realised,
with a sense of awe and wonder, how mighty it was. As she lingered,
loath to leave the scene, the sun set in crimson glory behind the
sands of the Libyan Desert, and the shadow flung by this immense mass
of masonry stretched full three-quarters of a mile over the plain
below. 'It was,' she says, 'with a thrill of something like awe that I
remembered that this self-same shadow had gone on registering not only
the height of the most stupendous gnomon ever set up by human hands,
but the slow passage, day by day, of more than sixty centuries of the
world's history.'

Before starting up the Nile, Miss Edwards witnessed two of the
characteristic sights of Cairo--a performance of howling dervishes, and
the departure of a caravan of pilgrims for Mecca. She found the convent
of the howling dervishes situated in a picturesque nook beyond the
walls. The gateway and courtyard beyond were shaded by a great sycamore
tree, through whose branches the glowing sunshine broke in vivid flecks
and bars of gold. About seventy dervishes were present; and with the
aid of eight musicians, and to the chant of 'Allah! Allah!' they danced
round in a circle until they had worked themselves up into a state of
convulsive frenzy. Gradually their dance became a series of mad leaps,
performed with incredible rapidity, their chant swelled into a hoarse
scream, and at last one of the devotees fell writhing and shrieking to
the ground. This ended the first performance; and the English ladies
did not wait for a second.

Having made choice of a dahabeeyah yclept the _Philæ_, Miss Edwards
and her party started with a fair breeze for their voyage up the Nile.
This once sacred historic river is, as every one knows, all in all to
the Egyptian. His harvests depend upon its beneficent inundations, its
waves form his highway to the sea, he eats of its fish, he drinks of
its waters, and finds them still, as his ancestors found them of old,
delicious as the nectar of the gods. Egypt, baked and shrivelled by the
glowing sun into one immense brick, annually sinks beneath the waters
of the life-giving river, and emerges from the flood, fresh, radiant,
shining, like an emerald, flower-crowned like Ceres of old, and holding
in her full hands an ample promise of fruit and sheaf. A Nile voyage
in favourable weather is about the pleasantest of all pleasant things.
The large sails of the dahabeeyah swell out to the breeze like the wide
snowy wings of a sea-bird, and fleet as that bird, she cleaves her way
past water-palaces and suburban gardens. The minarets and domes of
Cairo are left behind; the Pyramids, towering over the groves of palm,
stand clearly out against the cloudless sky; and the distant ridges of
the Arabian hills glow with softened shades of tawny purple. As evening
falls, every charm of the landscape is subdued into a more tender
repose; the night-breeze balmy and cool sweeps up the river; darkness
follows, and your boat is moored for the night at Bedreshayn.

Morning on the Nile is inexpressibly fresh and beautiful. At the first
faint streak of dawn the light mist clears away, and Aurora spreads for
the sun a rosy chariot of clouds, into which he steps at once, flushing
the stately palm-groves, and the gleaming river, and the picturesque
water-wheels, and the swarthy crew, with a flood of golden radiance.
There was, however, little time for sentimental feeling, our author's
whole attention being claimed by a horrible clamour which arose
outside, caused by the arrival of a regiment of donkeys attended by a
phalanx of men and boys.

Mounted upon eight of these asinine martyrs, Miss Edwards and her party
proceeded to Sakkarah and Memphis, riding through a country which would
have been monotonous but for the subtle beauty of its colouring. Tender
tints of rose, and warm tones of russet gold, pale opalescent blues and
grays and dusky purples, were all blended by Nature's cunning brush,
shading into the nearer green of the dusky palm forests, until they
formed one inimitable whole. Sakkarah is a vast necropolis, whose more
distinguished tombs are pyramids. The soil around is full of fragments
of broken pottery, mummy gods, bones, shreds of linen, and lumps of a
strange brown substance like dried sponge. Tread lightly, O Northern
stranger! around you are the mighty dead; that brown spongy mass was
once warm human flesh, instinct with power and passion; that skull
perchance once held the scheming brain of a Pharaoh, who reared for
himself one of these vast sepulchres, little dreaming of this all too
ignoble resurrection. Of Memphis, the ancient city of the Egyptian
kings, only a few mounds remain embowered in vast palm-forests, through
whose fan-like foliage the brilliant sunshine falls aslant upon a muddy
pool, where, face downwards, lies the far-famed Colossus of Rameses the
Great, which, like Cleopatra's Needle, belongs to the British nation.
This, with a few battered sphinxes, is all that is left of one of the
earliest cities of the world.

On their way to Minieh, a Moslem saint of peculiar sanctity, yclept
holy St Cotton, swam out to them, and having hallowed by a touch the
tiller-ropes and yards of the _Philæ_, dropped into the water again,
and swam back to the shore. It happened to be market-day when they
arrived at Minieh, and having stores to buy, they proceeded to it,
and found almost everything exceedingly cheap. How it would rejoice
the heart of a thrifty housewife here at home to be able to buy a
hundred eggs for fourteenpence, or a couple of chickens for tenpence,
not to speak of fine geese at two shillings a head! Large and very
good turkeys may be bought for three-and-sixpence, a lamb for seven
shillings, and a sheep for sixteen shillings or a pound, fruit and
vegetables being proportionably moderate.

In Egypt, little children have very hard lines of it. It makes one's
heart ache to read of the disease and suffering induced by the
barbarous ignorance of their parents. Miss Edwards says: 'To brush
away the flies that beset the eyes of young children is impious; hence
ophthalmia and various kinds of blindness. I have seen infants lying in
their mother's arms with six or eight flies in each eye; I have seen
the little helpless hands put down reprovingly if they approached the
seat of annoyance. I have seen children of four or five years old with
the surface of one or both eyes eaten away, and others with a large
fleshy lump growing out where the pupil had been destroyed.'

As a consequence of this horrible cruelty three children out of every
five die in Egypt; and in certain districts every twentieth person is
either wholly or partially blind.

On Christmas-day Miss Edwards entertained some friends, who were in a
dahabeeyah behind them, to dinner. The guests consisted of a bride and
bridegroom and a painter. The scene around their floating dining-room
was lovely; the placid river flowed tranquilly through broad green
savannahs, and breezes redolent of perfume fanned the lotus lilies
beneath their prow. It required all the conventional sentiment which
attaches to a blazing plum-pudding to convince them that it was really
Christmas.

At Siout, the capital of Middle Egypt, they inspected the celebrated
Stabl d'Antar. It is a splendid tomb temple hewn out of the rock. The
roofs of its lofty chambers are painted in fresh and vivid colours, and
the walls are covered with bas-reliefs and hieroglyphics.

En route to Denderah, at a part of the river where the banks were
flat and bare, they saw on the western shore what seemed to be a
large grizzled ape perched upon a dust-heap, and learned with intense
surprise that it was Sheik Seleem, a sort of Moslem St Simon Stylites.
There he sat in the gathering night, as he had sat for fifty years from
darkness to dawn, and from dawn to darkness, amid inconceivable filth
and squalor, not even moving to feed himself. The sailors shouted to
him as they passed, loudly imploring his blessing; but he made no sign
of response. Motionless as a huge frog, he squatted on his dust-throne,
inflated with spiritual pride or madness, or both.

About ten miles below Denderah thousands of Fellahin were at enforced
work on the embankment of a new canal. These canals are the life of
Egypt; by them the supply of the precious water is regulated and its
outlay economised. Without canals and the ever-recurring water-wheels,
the fresh green beauty of the river-plains would soon disappear, and
famine, gaunt and hollow-eyed, stalk upon the scene, with disease and
death in its train.

At Denderah, among other interesting remains, they found a splendid
temple in an almost perfect condition, with a finely executed
bas-relief of Cleopatra. This queen of beauty, whose slaves were the
masters of the world, is fair enough in this mask of stone to recall
to Miss Edwards something of that loveliness which conquered Cæsar.
'Mannerism apart,' she says, 'the face wants for neither individuality
nor beauty. Cover the mouth, and you have an almost faultless profile.
The chin and throat are also quite lovely; while the whole face,
suggestive of cruelty, subtlety, and voluptuousness, carries with it an
indefinable expression, not only of portraiture but of likeness.'

On the third day after leaving Denderah, they saw in the faint light of
the early morning the gigantic propylons of Karnak towering vast and
gray against the horizon. The warm flush of the dawn bathed with rosy
light the range of precipitous hills, which are honeycombed with the
tombs of the kings, and kissed into tender beauty the time-worn columns
of Luxor, the ancient Woolwich of the Pharaohs. At Karnak, the ruins
are stupendous; the eye loses itself in a waste of giant propylons,
columns towering to the clouds, colossal figures in black granite,
partially buried in the sand; and a little apart, in solitary grandeur,
an immense obelisk, seventy-five feet high, covered with hieroglyphics
and bas-reliefs, depicting scenes in the life of Rameses the Great. In
the temple at Karnak, the great hall of pillars, roofless and vast,
presents to the eye of the curious gazer forests of colonnades, aisles
of pillars, huge pylons, towering like giants to the sky, half-hiding,
half-revealing weird fantastic bas-reliefs of the gods, who glare,
superb in ruin, over their desolated shrines. The sunlight streaming
through the open portal shines on avenues of sphinxes, battered
colossi, vast lengths of splendid bas-reliefs, glowing with a depth and
freshness of colour which Time has had no power to fade; labyrinths of
headless statues, prostrate obelisks, shattered images, all in such
numbers that they produce a bewildering effect upon the mind.

At Esneh, their next halting-place, there was also a very beautiful
temple, dedicated to Kneph. Assouan and Elephantiné (the Isle of
Flowers) came next. At Assouan, Egypt proper ceases, and Nubia
begins. Here the traveller enters upon the region of the Cataracts, a
succession of rapids extending almost all the way to Philæ. The Nile at
this point is singularly picturesque. First narrowed between banks of
dark red cliffs, it suddenly expands almost to the breadth of a lake,
and presents a broad expanse bristling with rocks and covered with
innumerable islets, round which the water rushes in swirling eddies of
foam. The navigation among these islets is difficult and dangerous;
the boat half buried in spray, struggles gallantly forward, making
a succession of rapid rushes, as if she were about to dive headlong
over the fall; but it is too much for her; she recoils, quivers, turns
round, and seems to be driving right upon a huge mass of black granite,
when the Sheik of the Cataracts comes to her aid. This tutelary genius
of the Nile dahabeeyahs has few of the external attributes of a hero.
He is a little fat ugly man; but what of that? he knows his work, and
can do it. A moment more, and the dahabeeyah and its inmates will be
ingulfed in the foaming abyss; but before that moment comes, he springs
up, plunges into the torrent, pushes off the boat by sheer force of
muscle; and then he and his tawny assistants drag her up the rapid.

It is a lengthy operation; and while it was in progress, Miss Edwards
and her party made a pilgrimage to Philæ. Beautiful Philæ, the
fabled tomb of Osiris, the Holy Island whose very soil was sacred,
still preserves almost uninjured the beautiful temples and gorgeous
tomb-palaces which were the master-pieces of the later style of
Egyptian art. The vastness, the gigantic proportions of Thebes and
Karnak, are not aimed at here; on the contrary, there is an inimitable
grace, an airy lightness about cloister and colonnade, which are half
Greek. And what Art has so nobly accomplished, Nature has not been slow
to assist. The cloudless sky, the graceful palms, the majestic carob
trees, enwrap with greenness and beauty all the wealth of colouring, of
sculpture, and of architecture which the past has bequeathed to this
spot, once so hallowed, now so lonely. Lingering tenderly reminiscent
on the pearly strand of this voluptuous Egyptian Iona, one half expects
to see the white-robed priests of Isis wind again in long procession
out of the shadow into the sunshine, solemn and stern, vainly
questioning of the forgotten ages--What meaneth this?

Leaving Philæ, ever lessening in the distance, the travellers glide
away into Nubia, and are quickly conscious of a perceptible change,
first in the river scenery, which becomes wilder and more grand, and
then in the character of the inhabitants, who become more savage,
and at the same time more truthful and honest. The climate becomes
warmer, and with the accession of heat, turbans disappear, and the only
headgear is that furnished by Nature, consisting of profuse thickly
matted hair, plentifully anointed with castor-oil, a species of pomade
which frizzling in a tropical sun makes a Nubian beau or belle an
exceedingly savoury individual. Very little clothing is worn; the young
of both sexes are content with a slight covering round the waist, and
the matrons with a single long loose garment of blue. The Nubian women
are often beautiful, with lustrous gentle eyes, and grand majestic
figures like Junos in bronze. If their wardrobes are slender, their
jewel caskets seem well supplied, for they almost invariably wear a
profusion of gold and silver ornaments.

Nubia, like Egypt, abounds in temples. At Aboo-Simbel there are two
excavated out of the sandstone rock. On the façade of the great
temple there is a wonderful row of colossal figures, portraits of
Rameses the Great and some of his more immediate successors. This
Rameses is believed with good reason to have been the Pharaoh who
oppressed the Israelites. Many hieroglyphic records of his reign have
been discovered, some of which when deciphered run thus: 'I, the
scribe, have obeyed the orders of my master, and served out rations
to the Hebrews, who quarry stone for the palaces of King Rameses, Mer
Ammon.' This monarch, whose passion it was to build, has left a more
ineradicable impress of his personality upon the scenes of his former
glory, than any of his predecessors or successors have done. His face,
preserved for us by an Aboo-Simbel Michael Angelo, still frowns in
lonely majesty across the desert sands, handsome, placid, sternly
implacable, precisely the man who would account the tears and anguish
of helpless thousands as less than nothing when weighed against a pet
project.

Shortly after leaving Aboo-Simbel, Miss Edwards had a pleasure which
she had almost despaired of--she saw a crocodile. The creature was
asleep upon a sandbank, and was to all appearance so exactly like a log
of drift-wood, that our author refused to believe it was a veritable
crocodile until, aroused by the approach of the dahabeeyah, it cocked
up its tail, wriggled off the bank, and splashed into the water with
amazing rapidity.

They were now on their return journey, and the wind was against them,
necessitating frequent and vexatious delays.

At a place called Ayserat they paid a visit to a native gentleman,
Ratab Agha, and before leaving were conducted to his harem. He had two
wives: the principal wife was very beautiful, with auburn hair, soft
brown eyes, and lovely complexion; her rival was plain; and both were
magnificently dressed in black robes embroidered with silver, full pink
Turkish trousers, and silver bracelets and anklets. They wore their
hair cut straight across the brow and plaited behind into an infinitude
of small tails studded with coins.

A parting visit to the Pyramids followed; and with an inspection of
these colossal monuments, which remain an imperishable testimony to the
vigour of the world's dawn, they bade adieu to what was once the mighty
temple-crowned empire of Rameses the Great.



A QUEER CLUE.

IN TWO CHAPTERS.--CHAPTER I.


As an ex-detective, I am often asked to relate my adventures, and
at one time I was ready enough to do so; but I soon found that my
tales were looked upon as dull prosy things, and not at all like what
detectives ought to have to say for themselves. Everybody seemed to
think that detectives ought to find things out by a sort of magical
divination; but I was reckoned a pretty good one, and I have known some
of our greatest celebrities; and the only way any of us ever found
anything out was by inquiring of everybody who was likely to know a
little, keeping our eyes on any probable party, holding our tongues,
and putting all the scraps together. Now and then we are befriended by
a lucky chance; and when this happens, we get a hundred times more
praise than when we puzzle out the darkest and toughest case. The last
affair I was ever engaged in was of this kind. I was first concerned in
it two years before I left the police, after, by-the-bye, I had quite
given up the detective branch; and I resumed it three years afterwards,
that is three years after I had left the police; and this is how it
occurred. I must first say, however, that I don't at all regard this
as one of the dull prosy cases I referred to; in fact, it was the most
exciting business I was ever engaged in.

I had left the detective work, as I said, and indeed had left London,
for when I grew a little tired of the business, I was recommended to
the authorities at Combestead, a thriving market-town in one of the
home counties; and I had a very comfortable situation there, having
little to do, very good pay, and being head of the borough police. Of
course there is a great deal of difference between life in the country
and life in town, and from a policeman's view it perhaps appears
greater than it does to anybody else; and whereas I had often wondered
how anybody could be detected in London, I was equally surprised to
think how anybody could hope to escape in the country; for, excepting
when strangers came down on some carefully planned burglary, we could
nearly always tell where to look for our men if anything went wrong; in
short, I knew everybody. As a matter of course, everybody knew me.

There was a middle-aged party lived in a quiet row of houses in Orchard
Street--which ran parallel with our High Street--a Miss Parkway, who
was reputed to be pretty well off, although not extremely rich, and
reputed also to be rather eccentric. She lived by herself, in the
sense of having none of her relatives with her; but there were other
persons, although not many, in the large house where she lodged. I had
my attention drawn to her by seeing her walking repeatedly in company
with a young man of no very good character, who was fully twenty years
her junior; and at last I heard she was going to be married to him. All
the town professed to be surprised and shocked at this, but I wasn't.
Whether detectives get hard of heart in such things or not, I can't
say, but nothing in the way of a woman of five-and-forty marrying a man
of five-and-twenty would ever surprise me; nor should I be surprised
at the man marrying the woman if she had money, as in this case. After
all, although I have said John Lytherly--that was his name--was of no
very good character, yet there was nothing serious against him. He
was a good-tempered, good-looking, easy sort of fellow, with a lot of
cleverness about him too, that always shewed itself when it wasn't
wanted; and never shewed itself when it might be of service. He now
called himself a photographer; but had been a solicitor's clerk, an
actor, a traveller for a wine-merchant, a barman, and had once, before
his mother died, been bought out of the Lancers. However, it was now
pretty well known that John was going to marry Miss Parkway, and half
the young chaps in Combestead ridiculed and envied him by turns.

Matters progressed so far that it was known the lady had given orders
to Bunnyman and Company, our chief bankers, to call in a thousand
pounds of her money which was out on mortgage; and it was said she
intended to buy one of the houses in the High Street and fit it up as
a photographer's. It was also reported that old Mr Bunnyman said: 'I
hope, Miss Parkway, that whatever you do with your money, you will do
nothing that you have not well considered.' And it was also said that
Miss Parkway replied: 'If I wanted to be preached to, Mr Bunnyman, I
should go to your brother the Ranter;'--perhaps because Mr Bunnyman
had a brother who preached, though he wasn't a Ranter at all. However,
as these two were by themselves, I don't see how any one could have
known what passed; and these confidential conversations in books and
histories are certainly things I don't believe in.

It was known for certain, however, that she had not only given notice,
but had actually withdrawn the money; and among other things it was
said that she had admitted to her landlady Mrs Ambliss, that the match
with Lytherly would break off all intimacy with her friends. She only
had one relative who came to see her, and that was a gentleman living
some forty miles away, but he had not been to Combestead lately.
Whether he was offended or not, neither the landlady nor lodger
could say; but the latter feared he was, as she had written and told
him exactly how affairs stood and what steps she had taken, but had
received no reply to her letter. Lytherly seemed, very naturally, to be
brightening up, and took our jocular congratulations--for I had my say
as well as the others--in a good-tempered although rather a conceited
style. One annoyance he felt, which was, that everybody to whom he
owed money--which was every one who would trust him--was anxious to be
the first paid; and thinking that a little gentle pressure might help
them, two or three of the tradesmen took out county court summonses
against him; and this, as he said, was very hard on him and very
selfish. However, there seemed a little chance that they would defeat
themselves, for, harassed and worried by these doings, he was forced
to ask Miss Parkway for an advance of money, being the first time he
had ever done so. He had received money from her; but she had always
offered it, and pressed it upon him when he made a show, if he was not
actually in earnest, of wishing to refuse it. Whether she was in a
bad temper at the time, or whether she was hurt at his making such a
request, Lytherly could not say, but she refused to make the advance,
and they parted worse friends than they had been for some time.

All this the young fellow let out at the _Bell_ on the Saturday, as
the refusal happened on the Friday. A great part of it in my hearing,
for I generally took my pipe and glass at the _Bell_, and I saw that
he was well on for tipsy. He had indeed been drinking there some
hours, and would perhaps have stopped longer, but that the landlord
persuaded him to go home. He was hardly able to walk, and as I did
not wish him to get into any trouble, which might mean also trouble
to me, I followed him to the door, determined I would see him to his
lodgings if necessary; but just then his landlady's son happened to
come by. The poor chap, as I well remember, had been to the dentist's
to have a tooth drawn; but his face was so swollen that Mr Clawes
would not attempt to draw it till daylight, and the poor fellow was
half distracted with pain. He offered to see Lytherly home; and as he
lived in the same house and slept in the same room, of course he was
the fittest party to do so; and so off they went together, and in due
course of time I went home too.

Next day was Sunday, and a quiet day enough it always was in
Combestead. Younger men might have thought it dull, but it suited me. I
had lived fifty years in London, and did not object to the steady-going
ways of the little town; in fact I took to going to church, and all
sorts of things. Well, the day passed by without anything particular;
and I was really thinking of going to bed, although it was only
half-past nine, for I felt sleepy and tired, when I heard somebody
run hurriedly up our front garden, and then followed a very loud
double-knock at the door. I lived, I should mention, at a nice house in
Church Street, which was a turning that led from the High Street into
Orchard Street, where, as I have said, Miss Parkway lived. I was just
about to drink a glass of egghot, which is a thing I am very partial
to when I have a cold, and this was winter-time; but I put the tumbler
down to listen, for when such a hurried step and knock came, it was
nearly always for me; and sure enough, in another half-minute the door
was opened, and I heard a voice ask if the superintendent was in; then
without any tapping or waiting, my door was thrown open, and I saw a
young woman, whom I knew as servant to Mrs Ambliss. The moment I saw
her, I knew something serious was the matter; long experience enabled
me to decide when anything really serious was coming.

'Now, Jane,' I said, 'what is it?'

'Oh, Mr Robinson!' she exclaimed (I forget whether I have mentioned
before that my name is Robinson, but such is the fact), 'come round at
once to missus's, for we have found poor Miss Parkway stone-dead and
murdered in her room.'

And with that, as is a matter of course with such people, off she went
into strong hysterics. I couldn't stop with her; so I opened my door,
and equally, as a matter of course, there I found the landlady and
her servant listening. 'Go in and take care of that girl,' I said;
'and one of you bring her round to Orchard Street as soon as she can
walk.' I didn't stop to blow them up, and they were too glad to escape,
to say a word; so off I went, and found a little cluster of people
already gathered round the gate of the house I wanted. 'Here is the
superintendent!' I heard them say as they made way for me. I hurried
through, but had no occasion to knock at the door, for they were on the
watch for me. Mr and Mrs Ambliss were in the passage, and a neighbour
from next door; all looked as pale and flurried as people do under the
circumstances.

'This is a most terrible affair, sir,' says poor old Ambliss, who was
a feeble superannuated bank clerk. 'We have sent for you, sir, and the
doctor, as being the best we could do. But perhaps you would like to go
into her room at once?'

I said I should, as a matter of course; and they led me to her room.
There was a light there, and they brought more up, so that everything
was plainly visible. The people had not liked, or had been afraid to
disturb anything, so the room was in the same state as when they had
entered it. It appeared they had not been surprised at Miss Parkway
not coming down in the morning, for this was not uncommon with her;
but when the afternoon and evening passed away and she did not appear,
and no answer was returned to their rapping at her door, they grew
alarmed, and at last forced an entrance, when they found the furniture
in confusion, as though a struggle had taken place, and poor Miss
Parkway in her night-dress lying on her face quite dead. They had
lifted her on to the bed, and from the marks on her throat had judged
she died by strangulation. As I could do no good to her, I noticed as
closely as I was able the appearance of the room, and especially looked
for any fragments of cloth torn from an assailant's clothes, which
often remain after a struggle; or a dropped weapon, or any unusual
marks. But I could see nothing. There was no difficulty in deciding
how the assassin had entered the apartment, and how he had left it,
for the room was on the ground-floor, and the lower sash of one of the
windows was thrown up, although the blind was drawn fully down. The
furniture was knocked over and upset; the washstand, which was a large
and somewhat peculiar one, of a clumsy and old-fashioned description,
had been overthrown, and had fallen into the fireplace, where it lay
resting on the bars in a very curious manner; while the jug had fallen
into the grate, deluging the fireplace with water, but, extraordinary
to relate, without being broken; not broken to pieces at anyrate,
although badly cracked. A great deal of noise had probably been made,
and cries for help probably uttered; but Ambliss and his wife were both
deaf, and they and the servant all slept at the top of the big house in
the front; while poor Miss Parkway slept at the bottom at the back, and
in a room which was built out from the house itself.

I had time to hear and notice all this before the doctor came; and
his attendance was of course a mere matter of form. No one could help
or harm the poor woman now; so, with the information I had gained, I
went to the house of the nearest magistrate, a very active gentleman
and a solicitor. I ought to have mentioned that the drawers in which
Miss Parkway kept her money and jewellery were forced open and every
valuable abstracted; the only trace of them being a few links of a
slight chain of a very unusual pattern, which, with a curious stone,
the lady generally wore round her neck. This chain had evidently been
broken by the violence used, and parts of it scattered about; the stone
was gone.

Information was of course sent to Miss Parkway's relative who came
sometimes to visit her. And the result of all the inquiries made was
to make things look so very suspicious against young Lytherly, and
so much stress was laid upon his quarrel with Miss Parkway on her
refusal to lend him money--which seemed known to everybody--that I was
obliged to apprehend him. I didn't want to hurt his feelings; so I went
myself with a fly, although his lodgings were not half a mile from
the town-hall, so as to spare him from walking in custody through the
streets. I found him at home, looking very miserable, and when he saw
me he said: 'I have been expecting you all the morning, Mr Robinson; I
am very glad you have come.'

'Well, I'm sorry,' I answered. 'But you may as well remember that the
least said is soonest mended, Mr Lytherly.'

'Thanks for your caution, old friend,' he says with a very sickly
smile; 'but I shan't hurt myself, and I feel sure no one else can
do so. Why I said I was glad you had come, was because from Sunday
night, when the murder was found out, until now, middle day on Tuesday,
everybody has shunned me and avoided me as if I had the plague. I know
why, and now it will be over.'

I didn't put handcuffs on him or anything of that; and when we got into
the street he saw the fly, round which there had already gathered at
least a score of boys and girls, who had, I suppose, seen me go in. He
looked round, and said: 'This was very thoughtful of you, Mr Robinson;
I shall not forget it.' We drove off, and spoke no more until we
arrived at the town-hall. Here the magistrates were sitting; and here I
found a tall, dark, grave-looking gentleman talking very earnestly to
Mr Wingrave, our chief solicitor. I soon found this was Mr Parkway, the
cousin of the murdered lady. He was giving instructions to the lawyer
to spare no expense; to offer a reward if he thought it necessary; to
have detectives down from London, and goodness knows what. Mr Wingrave
introduced me, and was kind enough to say that there was no necessity
for detectives to be brought, as they had so eminent a functionary as
myself in the town.

It was supposed that this would be merely a preliminary
examination, but it turned out differently. A few of Lytherly's
companions--although, as it transpired afterwards, they fully believed
him guilty--were yet determined he should have a chance, and so
subscribed a guinea for old Jemmy Crotton, the most disreputable
old fellow in the town, but a very clever lawyer for all that; and
Jemmy soon came bustling in. He had a few minutes' conversation with
Lytherly, and then asked that the hearing might be put off for an
hour. This was of course granted; and by the end of that time he
had overwhelming evidence to prove an alibi; for the landlady's son
hadn't slept a wink for his toothache, and he was with Lytherly until
dinner-time on Sunday; and then the accused went for a walk with a
couple of friends, and did not return until after dark, having spent
two or three hours at a public-house some miles off, as the landlord,
who happened to be in the town, it being market-day, helped to prove;
the rest of the time he was in the _Bell_, as was usual, poor fellow.

There was no getting over this. There was not a shadow of pretence for
remanding him, and so--much to Mr Parkway's evident annoyance--Lytherly
was discharged. He became more popular than ever among his
associates--although the respectable people of the town looked down
upon him--and they had a supper in his honour that night, at which
old Jemmy Crotton presided. In default of Lytherly, no clue could be
found. Not a shilling of Miss Parkway's money was ever discovered in
her apartments; so her murderer had got clear away with his booty. Many
wiseacres said we should hear of Lytherly quietly disappearing after
things had settled down.

Some little excitement was created by Lytherly attempting to get into
the sole funeral carriage that attended the hearse; but Mr Parkway
would not permit such a thing, and was himself the only follower. It
was very clear that the stranger, in common with many others, was
not half satisfied with the explanation which had secured Lytherly's
escape; and as I was on the ground at the funeral, I saw, as did
everybody else who was there, the frown he turned on the young man,
who, in spite of his rebuff, had gone on foot to the churchyard.

Mr Parkway left that evening, having placed his business in the hands
of Mr Wingrave; for as there was no will, he was the heir-at-law. Now
this was a very curious affair about the will, because Miss Parkway had
told her landlady not many days before, that she _had_ made her will,
and in fact had shewn her the document as it lay, neatly tied up, in
her desk. However, it was gone now; and she had either destroyed it,
or the person who had killed her had taken that as well as the money;
and even if the latter was the case, it was hardly likely to turn up
again. So, as I have said, Mr Parkway went home. The solicitor realised
the poor lady's property; and all our efforts were in vain to discover
the slightest clue to the guilty party. As for Lytherly, he soon found
it was of no use to think of remaining in Combestead, for guilty or
not, no one of any respectability cared to associate with him; and,
as he owned to me, the worst part of it all was that old Crotton the
lawyer, whenever they met at any tavern, would laugh and wink and clap
him on the shoulder, and call upon every one present to remember how
poor old Jemmy Crotton got his young friend off so cleverly, how they
'flummoxed' the magistrates and jockeyed the peelers, when it was any
odds against his young friend.

So he went; and a good many declared he had gone off to enjoy his
ill-gotten gains; but I never thought so; and one of our men going to
Chatham to identify a prisoner, saw Lytherly in the uniform of the
Royal Engineers, and in fact had a glass of ale with him. The young
fellow said it was his only resource; dig he could not, and to beg
where he was known would be in vain. He sent his respects to me; and
that was the last we heard for a long time of the Combestead murder.



A CURIOUS PICTURE-BOOK.


We have before us one of the most singular picture-books that can
well be imagined; singular because unexpected in its character. It
is a book containing the trade-marks of several thousand merchants,
manufacturers, and shopkeepers; each device printed, in the proper
size, from a block or cast of the original; and the whole collection
likely to be very formidable in dimensions by-and-by. The system has
sprung out of the passing of a particular Act of Parliament two years
ago; and we shall best facilitate a comprehension of its nature and
purport by glancing at that which preceded it.

A trade-mark and an armorial bearing have much the same meaning,
however different in splendour and dignity. Each is a token to
distinguish certain persons from others. In the middle ages
distinguished families and famous old commercial companies had their
marks; so had monasteries, abbeys, and convents; so had municipal towns
and chartered guilds; so had merchants and shipowners. By degrees
the mark became embodied as a trade-mark in some instances, as an
heraldic shield or crest or coat-armour in others. Some noble families
at the present day can shew coats of arms including (in the device)
trade-marks once belonging to the founder of the family when a trader.

As a feature in legitimate commerce, it is fair and right for a man
to affix to his wares some mark or symbol to distinguish them from the
wares of other traders. The mark may have a significant or symbolical
meaning, or it may be wholly fanciful; no matter which, provided it
be his and his only. The range to choose from is so wide as to be
practically limitless; for the mark may be a name, initial, signature,
word, letter, device, emblem, figure, sign, seal, stamp, or diagram;
and it may be impressed upon or otherwise attached to a cask, bottle,
vessel, canister, case, cover, envelope, wrapper, bar, plate, ingot,
sheet, bale, packet, band, reel, cork, stopper, label, or ticket. He
must indeed be a difficult man to please who cannot select out of all
these. A quadruped, bird, or fish; a sun, moon, star, or comet; a
triangle, diamond, square, oval, or hexagon; a crescent, a castle, a
ship; a portrait, medallion, or profile; a view of a warehouse or of a
plantation--anything will do, if it suffices to imply 'This is mine:
you must not imitate or forge it.'

No one can glance through the daily papers, in the columns relating to
actions at law, without seeing evidence how jealously the privileges
of trade-marks are watched by the owners; nor is it difficult to
see why this jealousy is exhibited. If A possess something which
has a money-value to him, B would like to possess it also if
honestly obtainable, or something sufficiently like it to be equally
advantageous. Unfortunately men do not always wait to consider how
far honesty should actuate them. There is a vast amount of shabby
peculation on the part of men who avail themselves, directly or
indirectly, of other men's trade-marks, in order to obtain a share
of custom which does not fairly belong to them. A belief or hope is
entertained that if the public do not know exactly which is the real
Simon Pure, a sham Simon may perchance come in for some of the pickings.

Suppose, for instance, there is a Macassar oil which has brought a
fortune to a particular firm; another concocter of toilet 'requisites'
may be tempted to adopt the same title, in the hope that the originator
may fail to shew that the Straits of Macassar have really anything to
do with the matter. If a compounder of pills and ointments (say Mr
Jones) is driving a flourishing trade at a particular shop, and if
another person (also named Jones) opens a shop close by, and sells
similarly curative pills and ointments, he may hope to trade partly
on the good-luck of the other, and may defy any one to prove that the
surname has been falsely assumed. If a trader be making a good thing
out of baking powder, and another man wraps up another (perhaps an
inferior) kind of baking powder in packets printed almost exactly
in the same style and wording, he trusts to an unwary public being
deceived in the matter. No small difficulty has been felt at times,
by judges and jurors, in determining whether a particular designation
or inscription really deserves the rank of a trade-mark, and ought to
be protected as such. If a man's name be combined with the name of
the article sold, this would in most cases be a good trade-mark: such
as Day and Martin's blacking, Delarue's playing-cards, Elkington's
electro-plate, Rimmel's perfumed valentines, Reid's stout, Beaufoy's
vinegar, Fortnum and Mason's hampers, Crosse and Blackwell's pickles,
and the like. But if there happen to be two men of the same name in
the same trade, then there may possibly be materials for wrangling,
should the men be disposed to wrangle. It is for this reason that
Dent's watches, Mappin's cutlery, Clarke's coals, Smith's gin, &c.
would not be alone sufficient as trade-mark designations; because there
are two persons or two firms entitled to use it, something additional
would be needed.

The imitation of a label is one of the most prevalent modes of
displaying the shabby dishonesty of those who disregard the rights
conferred by a trade-mark; but brands and painted marks are imitated
with equal boldness, if not so frequently. Soda-water bottles which
have in the making been stamped with the name of a particular firm
have, in like manner, got into the hands of persons who fill them
with soda-water of an obscure and unrenowned quality. Wine-casks
and cigar-boxes, branded with well-known names, have similarly been
utilised by the sellers of inferior commodities. As to two Howqua's
mixtures, it was shewn that there was no such person as Howqua
concerned in the matter. Is it true that Birmingham manufacturers
often receive orders from merchants to make certain goods, and to
stamp on them certain trade-marks belonging to third parties; and
that the manufacturers do this as a matter of course, 'all in the way
of business?' Is it true that, in obedience to orders from wholesale
houses in the Manchester goods-trade, manufacturers will sometimes put
two hundred yards of sewing-thread on a reel, and paste on it a label
denoting three hundred yards? If so, 'pity 'tis 'tis true.' The latter
of these two ifs does not relate to a trade-mark piracy, but it is
equally indicative of a shameful disregard of the principles of _meum_
and _tuum_.

Foreigners have had in past years much reason to complain of English
imitations of labels, inscriptions, signatures, and trade-marks. Among
metal goods there was one American Company famed for the really good
edge-tools manufactured by them; they were imitated at Birmingham, so
far as regards a similar mark stamped on each article, or a similar
label attached; of course the tools, whether good, middling, or bad,
were not what they professed to be; they were worth less in the market,
but were nevertheless sent forth as ifs made by the original Company--a
bit of sharp practice very little creditable to the parties concerned.

Most amply have foreigners taken their revenge; indeed it is not
improbable that they first began this game; seeing that they had more
to gain from a great manufacturing nation than we had to gain from them
in this way. Sheffield has been despoiled by them in a notable degree.
Knives, files, fish-hooks, needles, &c. made very cheaply of inferior
steel, receive in the German workshops (more perhaps than in those
of France or Belgium) brands, marks, wrappers, and labels so closely
resembling those of eminent Sheffield firms, as to deceive all but
the most wary. In some instances, the foreigners have given the go-by
to us with an almost superb audacity: imitating the very notification
on English wrappers that to imitate that particular trade-mark is
felony! Print what they may, stamp what they may, English manufacturers
of high-class goods find that they cannot ward off this kind of
cheatery--cheatery, not of money direct, but of the good reputation
which possesses money's worth. However, international trade-mark laws
are doing something to lessen this unfairness--of English towards
foreigners as well as of foreigners towards English. Some further
illustrations of these matters will be found in the volume of this
_Journal_ for 1859.

Now for our picture-book.

An Act of Parliament passed two years ago ordained that from and after
a specified date all new trade-marks must consist of the printed or
impressed or woven name of a particular firm or individual; or a
copy of the written signature of the party concerned; or distinctive
devices, designs, marks, headings, labels, or tickets. The scope is
sufficiently wide to give an ample choice; but it must not extend to
representations of the Queen, the royal family, or foreign sovereigns;
nor to royal or national arms, crests, or mottoes; nor to the arms of
cities, boroughs, countries, or families; nor to representations of
prize or exhibition medals; nor to the use of the words 'trade-mark,'
'patent,' 'warranted,' or 'guaranteed.' No such restrictions, however,
are placed upon any trade-marks that were in use before the passing of
the recent Act. The Lord Chancellor and the Commissioners of Patents
divide between them the carrying into effect of the new statute. A
new office has been established for the registry of trade-marks,
with a registrar at its head. The Lord Chancellor has framed rules
and regulations, with a tariff of fees approved by the Treasury. The
registry, when once granted for a trade-mark, holds good for fourteen
years, and is renewable for equal periods of fourteen years on the
payment of additional fees. There is so much to pay on application for
registry; then so much for any and every extension to other classes
of goods; then so much if there be two or more marks for the same
article; then so much on actual registration; then so much for every
change of name or of address; and then so much for a certificate. The
outlay amounts to a good many pounds altogether, but not approaching
the cost of a patent. The registrar has a certain time allowed to him
between the application and the registration to make the necessary
scrutiny, &c. Every application for registry, accompanied by a drawing
or engraving, must give an accurate description of the trade-mark,
specifying any words, &c. to which the applicant attaches special
value--of course within the limits permitted by the rules.

As one registration of any trade-mark is valid only for one class of
goods, a careful classification becomes necessary; and this has proved
to be one of the most remarkable features in the system. Some one's
brains, or the brains of more than one, must have been a good deal
exercised in dividing the whole range of human industry into fifty
classes, and in assigning the contents of each class. For instance, the
first three classes comprise chemical substances and preparations used
in manufactures, agriculture, and medicine; the fourth resins, oils,
and gums. Then follow three great classes to include metals, machines,
and engines; four more for instruments and tools of various kinds; and
two for cutlery and edge-tools. Without specifying each individually,
it will suffice to say that two classes are occupied with works in
the precious metals and jewellery; two with glass and china; two with
building and engineering materials and appliances; two with arms,
ammunition, and explosives; one for naval equipments and appliances;
and one for land vehicles of all kinds. The textile branches of
industry make a large demand for classification, in regard to raw
materials, yarns, thread, and piece-goods: three for cotton, three
for flax and hemp, one for jute, three for silk, three for wool and
worsted, and one for carpeting and rugs. Saddlery and harness require
one class to themselves, so does made-up clothing, so do india-rubber
and gutta-percha goods. Paper, printing, and bookbinding; furniture
and upholstery; food and ingredients for food; fermented and distilled
liquors; aërated and mineralised beverages; tobacco, snuff, and cigars;
agricultural and horticultural seeds; candles, matches, lamp-fuel, and
laundry substances; perfumery and toilet requisites; games and toys of
all kinds--claim each its own class. Lastly comes class fifty, a refuge
for the destitute, comprising everything 'miscellaneous,' everything
for which room cannot well be found in any of the other classes. The
registrar has sometimes a little difficulty in deciding to which class
a particular trade-mark properly belongs.

As one of the consequences of the new Act of Parliament, a _Trade-mark
Journal_ has been established by the Commissioners; and this is our
picture-book. It appears once, twice, or thrice a week, according to
the requirements of the subject, and (at the time we are now writing)
has reached about its seventieth number, and contains something like
four thousand pictures or representations of trade-marks. To what
extent the collection will increase by-and-by, no one can form even a
guess. The illustrations relate to the trade-marks applied for under
the new Act; and the Journal also gives the name and calling of each
applicant, a description of the goods, and a statement of the length
of time during which the mark has been used. The Journal thus affords
all persons interested in trade-marks authoritative information as to
the nature of the marks used in the respective trades. A wood-cut block
or an electrotype must be forwarded to the office, representing the
particular trade-mark applied for, if it is to appear in the Journal;
and each quarto page is made up by printing from several such blocks or
casts. Even if the mark consists only of names and words, still a block
or plate must be sent representing it.

The Master, Warden, Searchers, and Assistants of the Cutlers' Company
at Sheffield possess, in virtue of ancient charters, very special
privileges, which the new registrar of trade-marks is not allowed to
contravene. He works in harmony with the Company; and every trade-mark
recognised by the latter may claim of right admission into the
register. To facilitate the granting of trade-marks for cotton goods,
an office has been established at Manchester for the exhibition of all
marks, devices, headings, labels, tickets, letters, &c. used in the
cotton trade, and locally designated 'cotton-marks' and a committee
of experienced Manchester men decide which among these symbols or
hieroglyphics deserve to be regarded as trade-marks for registration.

Who can count the varieties of fanciful devices that make their
appearance in our picture-book? Analogy between the device and the
goods is sometimes attended to; but more frequently it is thrown
overboard altogether. Do we require portraits of individuals,
celebrated or otherwise? Here is a sarsaparilla man, here one renowned
for cod-liver oil, and anon a hero of sewing-machines; Sir Walter
Raleigh is brought into requisition by a tobacco manufacturer; while a
cigar-maker, taking advantage of the recent excitement connected with
a famous picture, adopts a wood-cut copy of Gainsborough's 'Duchess of
Devonshire.' Or are we likely to be smitten with views and landscapes?
We can choose between the Egyptian pyramids lighted up with an orient
sun; a view of Keswick (near which most of our black-lead for pencils
is obtained); a view of a paper manufactory. In some sense apposite
are a baby in a cradle, for needle-making; a broken willow-pattern
plate, for a newly warranted cement; the Colossus of Rhodes [roads],
for railway signals; Cupid sharpening his arrows, for emery-grinding
wheels; a smart man measuring round a smart forehead, for hat-making;
the sun eclipsing nearly everything, for the eclipse sauce; a dog's
head, for fibrine dog-cake; four nigger plantation minstrels, for
cigars; and 'No place like home' as a trade-mark motto for fenders and
fire-irons.

To account for others, the fancy must make wide excursions indeed. A
maker of edge-tools adopts stars and crowns, a monkey eating an apple,
an elephant's head, oxen and lions with initials on their flanks, a
negro's head, a cassowary, a boot, a sledge; and the head of an Aztec
accompanied by the inscription: 'Look for this stamp on each tool, if
you want a genuine article made from electro-boragic cast-steel.' A
locomotive does not seem specially suitable as a trade-mark for silk
goods; nor a rearing and roaring white lion for Portland cement; nor
a feudal castle for good hosiery; nor a crowing cock for artificial
manure; nor a helmsman at the wheel for aërated waters; nor a tearing
ranting buffalo for floor-cloth.



POPPET'S PRANKS.


Poppet, the subject of the following sketch, was a little brown monkey,
who was for several years a member of our family. She had no hair
on her face or the palms of her hands--I say _hands_, as they were
beautifully formed, with long filbert nails, very pretty although
black, except the thumb, which certainly was not aristocratic, being as
broad as long. Her feet were like her hands, but longer, and she could
use them with equal facility. Her eyes were really beautiful, of a
clear golden brown; the nose certainly rather flattened; and the mouth
large, but displaying a set of beautiful little pearly teeth that many
a belle might have envied. Altogether Poppet was a very pretty little
thing; and when arrayed in a little tartan dress with white tucker,
her hair brushed neatly, and an amiable expression on her face, looked
very winsome and coaxing; but that expression could vanish with the
swiftness of lightning, and one the reverse of prepossessing take its
place.

How we lived for the first three months after her arrival, when she
roamed the house at her own sweet will, has been a source of wonder
ever since; certainly it was in much discomfort; when working, sitting
with our scissors and thread in our pockets, for if they were placed on
the table, in an instant they were carried to the top of the window
cornice, Poppet's favourite retreat. Sometimes, if coaxed by an apple,
she would drop them; at other times no blandishments would prevail, and
she would sit drawing her sharp little teeth over the thread, cutting
through every row. If she captured a paper of pins or needles, she
delighted to climb to the top of a tall plum-tree, where, free from
molestation and deaf to entreaties, she amused herself by dropping them
one by one. One day my mother entered the bath-room just in time to
see Poppet dart out of the window to a large tree, which unfortunately
grew close by, with a quart bottle of magnesia in her hand, which she
proceeded to shower down, much amused at the miniature snow-storm, and
not leaving a grain in the bottle. The meals at that time were most
uncomfortable. When there were eggs for breakfast, we had to pocket or
hide those not in immediate use, or Poppet would snatch them up and be
out of reach in a moment. As a general rule, when food is fairly in the
mouth, it may be considered safe; but I have often seen Poppet perch on
some one's shoulder, open the mouth by a sudden jerk of one hand on the
nose, and another on the chin; then the little brown hand would dive
in, and the contents be transferred to her pouches; all being done with
such extreme rapidity that strangers used to think it little short of
magic.

It was always a terrible business to get Poppet to bed, having to coax
her down by placing an apple or piece of cake on the table, and then
try to seize her when she approached the decoy; but her movements were
so rapid that this had often to be repeated several times. At last
patience failed, and it was resolved she should be put to bed at six
o'clock, when she had her last meal, being quite sure of her then,
as she always had a 'goodie,' which she was allowed to take herself
from a bottle of mixed fruit-drops, kept for her especial delectation.
Poppet evidently regarded the production of this bottle as the event
of the day, but never learnt by experience that the bottle neck was
too narrow to draw back her hand when quite full, and that it could
only be done if one or two goodies were seized. Each night she would
sit with her little brown face puckered up into an expression of
intense anxiety as she clutched as large a handful as possible. After
trying ineffectually, she would draw out two with a sudden dash, and
endeavour to get her hand in again before the stopper was put on; and
her movements were so quick that she often succeeded!

Everything she stole was transferred to her pouches. Anything soft, as
mashed potato or rice pudding, she would eagerly cram there, until her
cheeks were quite distended, when she had a most comical appearance,
her face being far broader than long. When anything small was lost,
the first places examined were Poppet's pouches. I remember once
when she had been found in my father's dressing-room, they contained
a most wonderful collection, consisting of two pair of gold studs,
half-a-dozen buttons, a clock-hand much twisted, several large needles
and pins, a piece of toffy, and a small piece of carrot. Verily, as we
used to think, those same pouches must have been lined with leather.
Poppet had a great objection to a cuckoo clock we had, and her first
performance was to open the little door at the side, thrust in her
arm, drag out the poor cuckoo and bite off its head; and it was a
frequent exploit (having broken the glass by dragging the clock several
times off the mantelpiece on to the floor) to twist up the hands like
cork-screws, giving the poor clock the most demented expression. Of
course it didn't go well. Who could expect it, after such repeated
shocks to its constitution!

Poppet's bedroom was in a little cupboard under a washstand; the
hot-water pipe passed through it and made a kind of curve. On this a
cushion was placed; and her ladyship being clothed in a garment soft
and warm, was popped in, shut up with extreme rapidity, and came out in
the morning, as nurse used to say, 'as warm as a little toast.' When
we first got her, everybody said we should not keep her over the first
winter; but we took such good care of her that she lived over several
winters. Some of the family, I may observe, did secretly wish she were
not so tenacious of life, or the winters more severe. Words would
fail to mention the mischief she wrought; the vases and crockery she
smashed; the treasured articles (still retaining marks of her teeth)
she spoiled during her life of three years with us. She seemed to have
the power of elongating her limbs or throwing out an extra one in the
most mysterious way. If, for instance, you left her chained to the
fender and returned in about a minute, you were certain to find Poppet
playing with something from the far end of the room.

She was so immensely strong she frequently dragged a heavy iron fender
across the room and into the passage; and so cunning, that no knot,
however complicated, could hold her long. Those cunning little fingers
could have unravelled the Gordian knot itself. If she found she was
watched, she dropped her hands so as to cover what she was doing, and
assumed a vacant expression. She, however, never could repress a scream
of triumph as she broke loose. Then she would dash round, knocking over
vases and inkpots, and tipping over glasses generally full of something
that would stain; doing as much mischief in five minutes as the most
terrible child could in a day. Then ensued a chase, greatly enjoyed on
one side, though not on the other; Poppet springing from picture to
picture, making the cords creak with the sudden jerk, her chain rapping
on the glass of bookcases and mirrors as she flew along their tops;
at last taking refuge on the cornice, leaving every one panting and
exhausted from the chase and fright. She was a great source of terror
to nervous visitors, nor was this always unfounded, as on one occasion,
when a lady was leaving the house congratulating herself that the
visit was safely over, Poppet suddenly made her appearance, and nearly
dragged the bonnet from her head. Another time, when my mother entered
the drawing-room she found a friend lifting the cloth, and looking
under the table. She explained her peculiar action by saying she was
afraid that dreadful monkey might be there. I once had a friend Miss
G., staying at the house who took a great dislike to Poppet, and was
always making disparaging remarks anent her little ladyship. She was
always very quick in perceiving who liked her and who didn't; so this
disapproval she returned with interest. She would creep along the floor
dragging the fender until she could get hold of Miss G.'s foot, when
she would scold at her in the angriest manner, her eyes glowing with
indignation; and when loose, try to get at her with great fierceness.

On one occasion Poppet chased Miss G. up-stairs into her room, and
then perched herself on a large wardrobe close to the door, evidently
waiting for her to come out. Hearing my screams of laughter--for
Poppet's anger and the lady's fright were most comical--she opened the
door an inch or two and was beginning: 'Has that little wretch gone? I
wonder you can keep such an abominable little brute in'---- when she
caught sight of Poppet's wicked grinning little face, just going to
launch herself at the open door, which was closed with a hasty slam;
nor would she venture out until after repeated assurances that Poppet
was safe in her cage, for we had at last really been obliged to get her
one, and a very strong one too. When she was first put into it every
bar was shaken with all her force; and not until by frequent trials did
she become convinced that they were beyond her strength.

One of my sisters constituted herself Poppet's dressmaker. She wore
brown holland dresses, bound with scarlet in summer, and plaid or
dark-warm cloth in winter. One day, however, Maggie's enthusiasm always
to have Poppet well dressed received a sudden check. She had just
completed a new tartan, when turning away for a moment, she perceived
a strong smell of burning; and found Poppet had ungratefully consigned
the pretty new dress to the flames. Another time, when we were removing
to a different part of the country, Poppet was so upset by the noise
and confusion, that in sheer wantonness she laid a pair of boots in
the blazing grate; fortunately they were rescued before they were much
injured.

We shall never forget the consternation that prevailed when the
well-known cry, 'Poppet's loose!' echoed through the house. Every one
flew to their bedroom to close the window, as, the house being covered
with ivy and surrounded by trees, the monkey could make exit by any
that happened to be open.

Frequently she did mischievous things in the most ingenious way. One
day, finding a hair frisette on the stairs, my mother took it to her
room; her sudden entrance startled Poppet, who bolted out of the
window into a cherry-tree, knocking over and breaking a large mirror,
also leaving three bottles that were on the mantelpiece pouring their
several contents of oil, glycerine, and Eau de Cologne on to the
carpet. Although Poppet screamed loudly when angry or excited, she
bore pain wonderfully, and never cried out. Once when she was being
chased for stealing some cough-drops, one of her fingers was put out
of joint in the scrimmage. I rolled her up in a shawl and took her to
the doctor. He must have put her to considerable pain in putting it in;
but except by frowning very ominously, the creature made no sign. As
soon, however, as I got outside the door, she turned round and nearly
made her teeth meet in my thumb, evidently thinking: 'There! That's to
pay you out for the pain you have made me suffer.' And once when, with
her on my knee, I was using a pair of very sharp scissors, she inserted
her finger between the blades, which nearly divided it; however, she
never cried out, but actually bit at the wound till it bled terribly.
She once startled us by making her appearance in the drawing-room with
face, hands, and feet dyed a brilliant purple. We found she had upset
a bottle of violet ink in one of the bedrooms, and had then paddled
about on the white quilt and toilet-cover. The ink being 'permanent,'
caused the occupant of that room to regard the little brown offender
with righteous indignation for some time.

Poppet was extremely conceited, and fond of 'shewing off.' The children
of the village school used regularly to stop before the house to see
the monkey, when she would dance up and down the boughs of the trees
overhanging the lane, making an occasional wicked dash at the nearest
little one, when the circle would break with a scamper and scream. She
was very jealous of any child that came to the house, and once when a
baby was the object of general admiration, managed to pinch its cheek.
All the animals seemed to like her: the cat was her special friend;
but when Pussy had four kittens, Poppet would turn the poor mother out
of her bed, and nurse the babies herself; and very nicely she did it,
sitting up holding them properly, giving a funny little giggle when the
little furry things tickled her. I am sorry to say she was not always
so gentle, as she was met dragging a kitten down-stairs by the tip
of its tail, thumping its little head on every step. The old mother
came regularly to say good-morning to Poppet, making that caressing
tone in which a cat speaks to its kittens. Poppet usually returned the
attention by dragging open Pussy's mouth to see what she had had for
breakfast. When she had finished her own morning meal, she would sit in
the saucer and rock it up and down; or placing the saucer on her head,
look like a little heathen Chinee.

At last Poppet got to be too expensive a luxury. In one week she
broke an unusual number of valuable things. She began the campaign by
dragging the breakfast-room clock and two large old china bowls off
the chimney-piece; of course the china was smashed to atoms, and the
clock so injured, that ever since its voice has been most painfully
cracked. The next exploit was to send a large globe spinning down from
a high bookcase, thereby breaking the stand to fragments. Then in a
dance along the hall, she sprang on to one tip of a pair of immense
horns, bringing them down, and causing them to snap on each side of the
mounting.

Every one's patience was now exhausted, and 'Poppet must be got rid
of!' was the universal cry. A visit was paid to a celebrated menagerie
then in the town; but the monkeys' quarters were found so cold and
dirty, and their little faces looked so sad and anxious compared to
Poppet's contented well-fed look, that we decided it was impossible
to send her there. It was useless to offer her to our friends; her
fame had blown far and wide, and how we could keep 'such a tiresome
mischievous creature' was the wonder of all who knew us. At last it was
decided it would be more merciful to poison her than to give her where
she would be ill-used or ill-fed. It was a cruel resolve, but what were
we to do? The error had consisted in our ever trying to domesticate
such an untamable creature. Poppet must die, and in as simple a way as
possible. Prussic acid being said to be instantaneous, was to be the
agent of destruction; and as I was supposed to have the most nerve in
the family, notwithstanding my objections it was unanimously resolved I
should administer it. The poison remained under lock and key for some
time; at last, worked up by several dreadful breakages, I gave it in
some grapes, and retired from the room feeling like a murderer, leaving
poor Poppet extended insensible on the rug. In about half an hour I
returned, expecting to find her quite dead; but no; there she was,
sitting on the fender, scratching her legs, and looking only a little
languid. The revulsion of feeling was so great, and her invalid airs so
comical and coaxing, that we felt rather ashamed of having attempted
the life of so winning a creature. I may observe, however, that that
feeling died away as she recovered and the old amount of mischief
went on; and all looked very blue when some one read 'that monkeys
frequently lived to be a hundred years old;' there seemed nothing for
it but that Poppet should go as a family heirloom to the only son.
Then it began to be whispered I might try another dose, but I steadily
refused; till at the end of one hot summer afternoon which I had spent
in my room, I went down-stairs, to find my mother looking very white,
and hear her say: 'If I had known you were in the house I wouldn't
have done it;' and to find that poor Poppet had been very effectually
'done for' at last; that for the first time in her little tricksy
roguish life she was really quiet. She was buried in the garden, and a
headstone with a suitable inscription erected to her memory.

Now that the anguish for the loss of old friends (in glass and
china) has been blunted by time, as we sit round the fire 'between
the lights,' the recital of Poppet's pranks is listened to with rapt
attention by the children; and I often think, with Frank Buckland,
that many a more valuable friend may be less missed and less sincerely
mourned than a pet monkey.



MY BABY.


    They made a little crown in heaven
      When she was born--
    Only the breath of angels on it;
    Neither flower nor leaf upon it;
      Never a single thorn.

    Slowly it grew in form and beauty
      As the days passed on--
    Tinged her eyes with love-light's dawning;
    Ruby lips to love-words forming;
      Lisping future song.

    Brighter still the crown was budding
      As the year grew old;
    And my simple heart beguiling,
    Angels shewed it to me smiling:
      So the days grew cold.

    'Look! O mother! look upon it!'
      (Baby lay asleep);
    'In the heavens' sunny bowers
    Twine we everlasting flowers;
    Think upon it in the hours
      When you will weep!'

    'Look! O mother! fair we've made it
      For an angel's head!'
    There was something strange and wild
    Struck my heart--the angels smiled:
    I turned to look upon my child--
      And she was dead.

        F. ROCHAT.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoster Row, LONDON,
and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH.

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._





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