The Project Gutenberg eBook of International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science — Volume 1, No. 3, July 15, 1850

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Title: International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science — Volume 1, No. 3, July 15, 1850

Author: Various

Release date: July 22, 2004 [eBook #12982]
Most recently updated: December 15, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Cornell University, Joshua Hutchinson, William Flis, and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.


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Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. I. NEW YORK, JULY 15, 1850. No. 3.


George Sand is about to publish a book called "Memoirs of my Life," which is looked for with great expectations by both the admirers of her genius and the lovers of scandalous gossip. It is certain that if she makes a clean breast of her adventures and experiences, the world will have reason both for admiration and disgust over the confessions: admiration for the generosity of her character—for she never did a mean thing, and probably never had a mean thought—disgust at the recklessness with which she has cast off the delicacy and modesty of woman, and undermined the morality on which the holiest institutions of society depend. The interest with which the French public look forward to the book may be understood from the enormous price she has received for it between $30,000 and $40,000. The Credit, a most respectable daily journal of Paris, has purchased of the publisher, for $12,000, the right of issuing the first six volumes in its feuilleton, in advance of the regular publication, and will soon commence them.

Chateaubriand, in one of the latest chapters of his Posthumous Memoirs, speaks at some length of George Sand. The verdict of the most illustrious French literary man of the age which has just closed, upon this most remarkable writer of the age now passing, is every way interesting, and we translate it for the International from the columns of La Presse, as follows:

Madame Sand possesses talents of the first order. Her descriptions are true as those of Rousseau in his Reveries, and those of Bernardin St. Pierre in his Studies. Her free style is stained by none of the current faults of the day. Lelia, a book painful to read, and offering only here and there one of the delicious scenes which may be found in Indiana and Valentine, is nevertheless a master-work of its kind. Of the nature of a debauch, it is yet without passion, though it produces the disturbance of passion. The soul is wanting, but still it weighs upon the heart. Depravity of maxims, insult to rectitude of life, could not go farther; but over the abyss descends the talent of the author. In the valley of Gomorrah the dew falls nightly upon the Dead Sea.

The works of Madame Sand, those romances, the poetry of matter, are born of the epoch. Notwithstanding her superiority, it is to be feared that the author has narrowed the circle of her readers by the very character of her writings. George Sand will never be a favorite with persons of all ages. Of two men equal in genius, one of whom preaches order and the other disorder, the first will attract the greater number of hearers. The human race never give unanimous applause to what wounds morality, on which repose the feeble and the just. We do not willingly associate with all the recollections of our life those books which caused us the first blush, and whose pages were not those we learned by heart as we left the cradle: books which we have read only in secret, which have never been our avowed and cherished companions, and which were never mingled with either the candor of our sentiments or the integrity of our innocence. Providence has confined to very straight limits all success which has not its source in goodness, and has given universal glory as an encouragement for virtue.

I am aware that I reason here like a man whose narrow view does not embrace the vast humanitary horizon, like a retrograde attached to a ridiculous system of morality, a morality already passing to decay, and at the best good only for minds without intelligence, in the infancy of society. There is close at hand the birth of a new gospel, far above the common-places of this conventional wisdom, which hinders the progress of the human race, and the restoration to dignity and honor of this poor body, so calumniated by the soul. When women all resort to the street—when to perform the marriage ceremony it will be enough to open the window and call on God as witness, priest, and wedding-guest—then all prudery will be destroyed; there will be espousals everywhere, and we shall rise the same as the birds to the grandeur of nature. My criticism on books of the sort of George Sand's has then no value except in the vulgar order of things past, and therefore I trust she will not be offended by it. The admiration I profess for [pg 66] her ought to make her excuse these remarks, which have their origin in the infelicity of my age. Once I should have been more carried away by the Muses. Those daughters of heaven were in times past my lovely mistresses, now they are only my ancient friends. At evening they kept me company by the fireside, but they soon depart; for I go to bed early, and then they hasten to take their places around the hearth-stone of Madame Sand.

Without doubt Madame Sand will in this path prove her intellectual omnipotence, but yet she will please less, because she will be less original. She will fancy she augments her power by venturing into the depths of these reveries, beneath which we deplorable common mortals are buried, and she will be mistaken. In fact she is much superior to this extravagance, this vagueness, this presumptuous balderdash. At the same time that a person endowed with a rare but too flexible faculty, should be guarded against follies of the higher order, he ought also to be warned that fantastic compositions, subjective or intimate, painting (so runs the jargon) are restricted; that their course is in youth; that its springs are drying up every instant, and that after a number of productions the writer finishes with nothing but weak repetitions.

Is it very likely that Madame Sand will always find the same charm in what she now composes? Will not the merit and the enthusiasm of twenty lose their value in her mind as the works of my first days are depreciated in mine? There is nothing changeless except the labors of the antique muse, and they are sustained by a nobility of manners, a beauty of language, and a majesty of sentiments, which belong to the entire human species. The fourth book of the Eneid remains forever exposed to the admiration of men because it is suspended in heaven. The ships bearing the founder of the Roman Empire,—Dido, the foundress of Carthage, stabbing herself after having announced Hannibal:

Exoriare aliquis nostius exossibus ulta.—

Love causing the rivality of Rome and Carthage to leap from the flame of his torch, lighting with his own hand the funeral pile, whose blaze the fugitive Eneas perceives upon the waves,—is altogether another thing than the promenade of a dreamer in the woods, or the disappearance of a libertine who drowns himself in the sea. Madame Sand will, I trust, yet associate her talents with subjects as durable as her genius.

Madame Sand can only be converted by the preaching of that missionary with bald forehead and hoary beard, called Time. A voice less austere meanwhile enchains the captive ear of the poet. In fact, I am persuaded that the talent of Madame Sand has some of its roots in corruption; in becoming modest she would become commonplace. It would have been otherwise had she always remained in that sanctuary not frequented by men; her power of love, restrained and concealed beneath the virginal fillet, would have drawn from her heart those decent melodies which belong at once to the woman and the angel. However that may be, audacity of ideas and voluptuousness of manners form a spot not before cleared up by a daughter of Adam, and which, submitted to a woman's culture, has yielded a harvest of unknown flowers. Let us permit Madame Sand to produce these perilous marvels till the approach of winter; she will sing no more when the North wind has come. Meanwhile, less improvident than the grasshopper, let her make provision of glory for the time when there will be a famine of pleasure. The mother of Musarion was wont to repeat to her child: "Thou wilt not always be sixteen; will Choereas always remember his oath, his tears and his caresses?"

For the rest, women have often been seduced, and as it were carried off, by their own youth, but toward the days of autumn, restored to the maternal hearth, they have added to their harps the grave or plaintive chord on which either religion or unhappiness finds expression. Old age is a traveler in the night time; the earth is hidden from sight and he can see nothing but the heavens shining above his head.

I have not seen Madame Sand dressed in men's clothes or wearing the blouse and the iron-shod staff of the mountaineer. I have not seen her drinking from the cup of bacchanals and smoking indolently reclining on a sofa like a sultana,—natural or affected eccentricities which for me could add nothing to her charms or her genius.

Is she more inspired when she causes a cloud of vapor to rise from her mouth about her hair? Did Lelia escape from the head of her mother through a burning mist, as Sin, according to Milton, proceeded from the head of the glorious and guilty archangel amid a whirlpool of smoke? I know not what passes in the sacred courts; but here below Neamede, Phila, Lais, Gnathene, the witty Phryne, the despair of the pencil of Apelles, and the chisel of Praxiteles, Leëna, beloved of Harmodias, the two sisters named Aphyes, because they were small and had large eyes, Dorica, the fillet of whose locks and embalmed robe were consecrated in the temple of Venus,—all these enchantresses knew only the perfumes of Arabia. It is true that Madame Sand has on her side the authority of the Odalisques and the young Mexicans who dance with cigars between their lips.

What effect has Madame Sand had upon me, after the few gifted women, and many charming women whom I have known—after those daughters of the earth, who like Madame Sand said with Sappho: "Come, Mother of Love, to our delicious banquets, fill our cups with the nectar of roses?" As I have placed myself now in fiction and now in reality, the author of Valentine has made on me two very different impressions.

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As for fiction, I do not speak of it, for I ought no longer to understand its language; as for reality, a man of grave age, cherishing the notions of propriety, attaching as a Christian the highest value to the timid virtue of woman. I know not how to express my unhappiness at such a mass of rich endowments bestowed on the prodigal and faithless hours which are spent and vanish.


It is well known that our countrywoman MARIA DEL OCCIDENTE was on terms of familiar intimacy with the poet-laureate, whose admiration of her genius is illustrated in several allusions to her in his works, and particularly in that passage of "The Doctor" in which she is described as "the most impassioned and imaginative of all poetesses." Southey superintended the publication of "Zophiel," in London, and afterward was a frequent correspondent of Mrs. Brooks, during her residence in New York and in Cuba. Among the souvenirs of Mrs. Brooke's grateful recollection of his kindness, are two or three short poems commemorating her visits to Keswick, and the following song, put into a lyrical form by her, from the blank verse of "Madoc."


I've harnessed thee, my faithful steed—

Now, by the ocean, prove thy speed,

While, as we pass, th' advancing spray

Shall kiss thy side of glossy gray;—

Oh! fairer than the ocean foam

Is that cold maid for whom we roam!

Her cheek is like the apple flower

Or summer heavens, at evening hour,

While, in her tender bashfulness,

She starts and files my love's excess,

Tho' dim my brow, beneath its mail,

As ocean when the sun is pale.

On, on! until my longing sight,

Can fix upon that dwelling white,

Beside a verdant bank that braves

The ocean's ever-sounding waves;—

There, all alone, she loves to sing,

Watching the silver sea-mew's wing.

In crowded halls, my spirit flies

To wait upon her; and wasting sighs

Consume my nights; where'er I turn

For her I pant, for her I burn,

Who, like some timid, graceful bird,

Shrinks from my glance and fears my word.

I faint; my glow of youth is gone;

Sleepless at night and sick at morn,

My strength departs; I droop, I fade,

Yet think upon that lonely maid,

And pity her, the while I pine

That she should spurn a love like mine

This, Madoc took the harp to play;

Cold in the earth Prince Hoel lay;

And Llaian listened, fain to speak

But wept as if her heart would break.

In this connection, writing of Southey, soon after intelligence was received in this country of the decay of his intelligence, from her coffee estate in Cuba, Mrs. Brooks says:

When a child of ten years old I could admire the poem "Madoc," such is the simplicity of its sentiments and the beauty of its delineations. Looking it over, here, (amidst the woods and canes of that island where repose the bones of Columbus,) the song of Prince Hoel attached itself to my thoughts, and has been (involuntarily) put into rhyme. This song may be found in the first part of the poem mentioned. The lyric metre in which it now appears must rather injure than improve the belle nature of the original. Still I wish it to be published, as coming from my hand; because it gives me an opportunity of expressing, in some degree, my unqualified admiration of its composer. Well may he be called THE POET AND HISTORIAN OF THE NEW WORLD. To justify this appellation, one has only to look at Madoc and the History of Brazil. I have heard, from a friend, of a rumor that Southey is ill; and, as it is feared, irrecoverably.

This intelligence is unexpected as it is melancholy; for who had better reason to look forward to a protracted existence upon earth, than he who has written more than any other man except Voltaire—than Robert Southey, perfectly proportioned in person, just in mind, regular in his way of living, and benevolent in all his doings?

During that Spring which hallowed the last revolution in France, (that of July, 1830,) I saw this bard of the lakes surrounded by his most amiable and certainly beautiful family; one only individual of which, his "Dark-eyed Birtha, timid as a dove," was then absent. I must ever believe that a common reputation for beauty depends more on circumstances than on any particular faultlessness in the person said generally to be handsome.

Byron, in some one of the letters or conversations, written either by or for him, says, or is said to say: "I saw Southey (naming the time) at Lord Holland's, and would give Newstead for his head and shoulders." This quotation is from memory, but, I trust, right in sentiment, though it may not be perfectly so in words; but I have seen little else concerning the physique either of him "Who framed of Thalaba that wild and wondrous song," or of those to whom his blood is transmitted. Still, at the time I have mentioned, it was impossible to look unmoved upon so much perfection of color, sound and expression as arrested my eyes at Keswick; in the tasteful and hospitable dwelling of him who brought to earth that "Glendoveer," "one of the fairest race of Heaven," (the heaven of India,) who averted the designs of Arvalan, in that glowing and magnificent poem "The Curse of Kehama."

The Herodotus of Brazil, himself, had seen, when I first saw him, fifty-seven winters; but his once dark locks, though sprinkled with snow, were still curling as if childhood had not passed; and looked wild and thick as those of his own Thalaba. A "chevelure" like this, with black eyes, aquiline features, and figure tall and slender, without attenuation, assisted in presenting such an image as is seldom viewed in reality; while the effect of the whole was enhanced by easy, unpretending and affectionate manners.

The eldest daughter of this Minstrel of the Mountains was called Edith May, (the name of May having been given because she was born in the month of blossoms.) This lady (now Mrs. Warter,) was the bard himself with a different sex and complexion. "Her features his, but softened." Her gentle, graceful deportment was in perfect harmony with flaxen hair tinted with gold; and the outline of her father's face was embellished by the blue eyes and other delicate colors of her too sensitive mother, (named, also, Edith,) who had been chosen for love alone. The second daughter, Birtha, as I have said, was absent. The third, Catherine, "between the woman and the child," had hazel eyes and fine features, altogether with a delicate shape and complexion. Cuthbert, the only son, was a boy of eleven or twelve, with an open, expressive countenance.

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I could not help remarking that in the names of each individual of this pleasing group was heard that sound produced by the letter T followed by its companion H, which is so difficult to the organs of foreigners, but which, when tenderly pronounced, brings to mind the down of a swan or the wing of a dove. Edith, Birtha, Catherine, Cuthbert, Southey. If affection and innocence can insure felicity on earth, the course of their lives must be smooth as waters where the swan reposes; for certainly all their movements seemed innocent as those of the dove.

The month of March was nearly half gone, when I reached Keswick, by the road from Edinburgh; having passed, in my way, an old stone building, pointed out to me as "Branksome Tower," known by the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," who has sung the achievements of Scottish knights and ladies. This village, at the foot of Skiddaw, though much visited in the summer, has still all the wildness of nature. Daffodils were in blossom when I walked there; and primroses, daisies and violets opened, among the trees, upon every bank and grass plat, while the mountains, clustering about Derwent Water, assumed such tints and shades of purple and blue as are peculiar to a northern climate.

"Oh, man, thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear!"

All these pleasing images seemed to flit before me while putting into rhyme the "Song of Prince Hoel,"—but before I could write it down, tidings reached me of the illness, (perhaps incurable,) of him who drew it from the oblivion of its native Welsh.

Death already has robbed me of so much, that I have become, as it were, inured to grief, and accustomed, even in my least unhappy moments to reflect on the incertitude of all earthly hopes and wishes. I can now hear of losses with melancholy rather than with horror.

So much of the soul of Robert Southey has been dispersed about the world that a translation to some other state of being, (now, before time has given him any burthen to carry,) would be, perhaps, no misfortune, except to those left to sorrow. Yet to know that so benevolent a being is still existing, feeling, joying, and suffering, on the sphere of our own mortality, awakens a feeling so nearly allied to pleasure that all who can appreciate excellence must entreat of Heaven the continuance upon earth of a contemporary of whom it may be said:



It has been announced for years that Miss Leslie—the very clever but not altogether amiable magazinist—was engaged upon a memoir of JOHN FITCH, to whom, it has always seemed to us, was due much more than to Fulton, the credit of inventing the steamboat. While Fitch was in London, Miss Leslie's father was one of his warmest friends, and the papers of her family enable her to give many particulars of his history unknown to other biographers. When several years ago. R.W. Griswold published his Sketches of the Life and Labors of John Fitch, the late Noah Webster sent him the following interesting letter upon the subject:

DEAR SIR:—In your sketch of John Fitch you justly remarked that his biography is still a desideratum. The facts related of him by Mr. St. John to Mr. Stone, and published in the New York Commercial Advertiser, are new to me; and never before had I heard of Mr. Fitch at Sharon, in Connecticut; but I know Mr. St. John very well, and cannot discredit his testimony any more than I can Mr. Stone's memory. The substance of the account given of Mr. Fitch by the indefatigable J.W. Barber, in his Connecticut Historical Collections, is as follows: John Fitch was born in East Windsor, in Connecticut, and apprenticed to Mr. Cheney, a watch and clock-maker, of East Hartford, now Manchester, a new town separated from East Hartford. He married, but did not live happily with his wife, and he left her and went to New Brunswick, in New Jersey, where he set up the business of clock-making, engraving, and repairing muskets, before the revolution. When New Jersey was invaded by the British troops, Mr. Fitch removed into the interior of Pennsylvania, where he employed his time in repairing arms for the army.

Mr. Fitch conceived the project of steam navigation in 1785, as appears by his advertisement. He built his boat in 1787. In my Diary I have myself noted that I visited the boat, lying at the wharf in the Delaware, on the ninth day of February, 1787. The Governor and Council were so much gratified with the success of the boat that they presented Mr. Fitch with a superb flag. About that time, the company, aiding Mr. Fitch, sent him to France, at the request of Mr. Vail, our consul at L'Orient, who was one of the company. But this was when France began to be agitated by the revolution, and nothing in favor of Mr. Fitch was accomplished; he therefore returned. Mr. Vail afterward presented to Mr. Fulton for examination the papers of Mr. Fitch, containing his scheme of steam navigation. After Mr. Fitch returned to this country, he addressed a letter to Mr. Rittenhouse, in which he predicted that in time the Atlantic would be crossed by steam power; he complained of his poverty, and urged Mr. Rittenhouse to buy his land in Kentucky, for raising funds to complete his scheme. But he obtained no efficient aid. Disappointed in his efforts to obtain funds, he resorted to indulgence in drink; he retired to Pittsburgh, and finally ended his life by plunging into the Alleghany. His books and papers he bequeathed to the Philadelphia Library, with the injunction that they were to remain closed for thirty years. At the end of that period, the papers were opened, and found to contain a minute account of his perplexities and disappointments. Thus chiefly the narration of Mr. Barber, who refers for authority to the American edition of the Edinburgh Encyclopedia. It may be worth while for some gentleman to attempt to find these papers. N. WEBSTER.


The papers to which Dr. Webster alludes in the above letter, have been examined by Miss Leslie, and the curious details they contain of Fitch's early life, his courtship, unfortunate marriage, captivity among the Indians, experiments, &c. will be embraced in her work, which will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting biographies of this country.

The director of the Museum of Paris has opened a very interesting gallery of American antiquities, from Yucatan, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and other countries of the New World.

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Mr. Owen Jones, an English architect, and the author of a very beautiful work on the Alhambra, has been enabled, by the curious process of chromo-lithography, originally discovered by the Bavarian, Alois Sennefelder, to popularize and multiply almost indefinitely the delicate and highly-finished illuminations executed by the pious monkish artists of the middle ages.

According to Felton, the manuscript illuminators "borrowed their title from the illumination which a bright genius giveth to his work," and they form the connecting link in the chain which unites the ancient with the modern schools of painting. Their works, considered as a subordinate branch of pictorial art, though frequently grotesque and barbarous, are singularly characteristic of the epoch in which they lived, whether we retrace the art to its Byzantine origin in the earliest ages of Christianity, or follow it to its most complete and harmonious development in the two centuries which preceded the discovery of the printing press.

The primitive Christians were possessed with an unconquerable repugnance to the introduction of images, and the first notice we have of the use of pictures is in the censure of the Council of Illiberis, 300 years after the Christian era. Of these one of the earliest and most curious specimens is the consecrated banner which animated the victorious soldiers of Constantine. The Labarum was a long pike, topped with a crown of gold, inclosing a monogram expressive of the cross and the two initial letters of the name of Christ, and intersected by a transverse beam, from which hung a silken vail curiously inwrought with the images of the reigning monarch and his children. A medal of the Emperor Constantius is said to be still extant in which the mysterious symbol is accompanied with the memorable words, "By this sign shalt thou conquer." The austere simplicity of the Primitive Christians yielded at length to this innovation of sacred splendor. Before the end of the sixth century the use and even the worship of images, or pictorial representations of sacred persons and subjects, was firmly established in the capital, and those "made without hands" were propagated in the camps and cities of the Eastern empire by monkish artists, whose flat delineations were in the last degeneracy of taste.

In the eighth century, Leo the Isaurian ascended the throne of the East, and for a time the public or private worship of images was proscribed, but the edict was vigorously and successfully resisted by the Latins of the Western church. Charlemagne, whose literary tastes are attested by his encouragement of the learned, by the foundation of schools, and by his patronage of the arts of music and painting, gave a great impulse to the practice of illumination: and the Benedictines, whose influence extended throughout Europe, assigned an eminent rank among monastic virtues to the guardianship and reproduction of valuable manuscripts. In each Benedictine monastery a chamber was set apart for this sacred purpose, and Charlemagne assigned to Alcuin, a member of their order, the important office of preparing a perfect copy of the Scriptures.

The process of laving on and burnishing gold and silver appears to have been familiar to oriental nations from a period of remote antiquity, and the Greeks are supposed to have acquired from them the art of thus ornamenting manuscripts, which they in turn communicated to the Latins. Their most precious manuscripts were written in gold or silver letters, on the finest semi-transparent vellum, stained of a beautiful violet color (the imperial purple), and these were executed only for crowned heads. One of the most ancient existing specimens of this mode of caligraphy in the fourth century, the Codex Argenteus of Ulphilas, the inventor of the Visigothic alphabet, was discovered in the library of Wolfenbüttel, and is now at Upsal, Sweden. This fine MS. is written in letters of gold and silver on a purple ground; and the fragments of a Greek MS. of the Eusebian Canons of the sixth century, preserved in the British Museum, is perhaps a unique example of a MS. in which both sides of the leaves are illuminated upon a golden ground. Mr. Owen Jones' illustrations commence with a page from the celebrated Durham book, or Gospels of St. Cuthbert, in the Hiberno-Saxon style of the seventh century, which was borrowed originally from the Romans, and afterward diffused throughout Europe by the itinerant-Saxon Benedictines. This style is formed by an ingenious disposition of interweaving threads or ribbons of different colors, varied by the introduction of extremely attenuated lizard-like reptiles, birds, and other animals. The initial letters are of gigantic size, and of extreme intricacy, and are generally surrounded with rows of minute red dots.

The Coronation Oath Book of the Anglo-Saxon kings is a curious specimen of the rude state of art in the ninth century. The Lombard and the Carlovingian styles, of which latter the Psalter of Charles the Bold, is a fine specimen, prevailed on the continent during the eighth and ninth centuries. Toward the end of the tenth century, the Anglo-Saxon school, under the patronage of Bishop Ethelwold, at Winchester, assumed a new and distinct character, which was not surpassed by any works executed at the same period. This style, with its bars of gold, forming complete frames to the text, when enriched with interweaving foliage of the acanthus and the ivy, became the basis of the latter and more florid school of illumination, which attained its highest perfection in the twelfth century, and of which the Arnstein Bible is an example. This Bible belonged to the Monks of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, of Arnstein, and the value which [pg 70] was attached to it may be inferred from the following quaint and mild anathema at the end of the first volume:—

"The book of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, in Arnstein, the which, if any one shall purloin it, may he die the death—may he be cooked upon the gridiron—may the falling sickness and fevers attack him—and may he be broken upon the wheel and hung!"

In the thirteenth century Paris became celebrated for its illuminators, and the productions of Franco-Bolognese, whose skill in illuminating manuscripts was then paramount, is mentioned by Dante. Mr. Humphreys thus graphically describes the style of the fourteenth century:—

"It was a great artistic era—the architecture, the painting, the goldsmith's work, the elaborate productions in enamel, and the illuminator's art, were in beautiful harmony, being each founded upon similar principles of design and composition; even the art of writing lending itself to complete the chord of artistic harmony, by adopting that, crisp and angular feeling which the then general use of the pointed arch introduced into all works of artistic combination."


MR. CHRISTMAS, in his "Twin Giants," attacked the stronghold of popular superstition by exhibiting the foundations and growth of error in the early and ignorant ages, and of the progressive dissipation of these delusions as the light of history and science spread over the world. The present work is a translation from Calmet. It deals with spectres, vampyres, and all that tribe of visionary monsters. We have here the learning and opinion of the enlightened portion of the world a century ago. M. Calmet traversed all history for his facts, and gives us a mass of monkish inventions, which prove to what an extent the Romish church fostered superstition for its own purposes. We have dead men called from their graves to show the danger of neglecting to pay tithes, and to rivet on the rich the necessity of building churches, and paying liberally for masses. At p. 286 of vol. 1 we have a proof that the "knockings" which have made so much noise in the United States, are no novelty:—

"Humbert Birk, a burgess of note in the town of Oppenheim, had a country-house, called Berenbach. He died in the month of November, 1620, a few days before the feast of St. Martin. On the Saturday which followed his funeral they began to hear certain noises in the house where he had lived with his first wife; for at the time of his death he had married again. The master of this house, suspecting that it was his brother-in-law who haunted it, said to him: 'If you are Humbert, my brother-in-law, strike three times against the wall.' At the same time they heard three strokes only, for ordinarily he struck several times. Sometimes, also, he was heard at the fountain where they went for water, and he frightened all the neighborhood. He did not utter articulate sounds; but he would knock repeatedly, make a noise, or a groan or a shrill whistle, or sounds as of a person in lamentation."

This went on, at intervals, for a year, when the ghost found a voice, and told them to tell the cure to come there; and when he came he said he wanted three masses said for him, and alms given to the poor. The author has the following sensible observations on the modes in which ghost stories originate:—

"We call to our assistance the artifices of the charlatans, who do so many things which pass for supernatural in the eyes of the ignorant. Philosophers, by means of certain glasses, and what are called magic lanterns; by optical secrets, sympathetic powders: by their phosphorus, and, lately, by means of the electric machine, show us an infinite number of things which the simpletons take for magic, because they know not how they are produced. Eyes that are diseased do not see things as others see them, or else behold them differently. A drunken man will see objects double; to one who has the jaundice they will appear yellow: in the obscurity people fancy they see a spectre, where there is but the trunk of a tree.

"A mountebank will appear to eat a sword; mother will vomit coals, or pebbles. One will drink wine, and send it out again at his forehead; another will cut off his companion's head, and put it on again. You will think you see a chicken dragging a beam. The mountebank will swallow fire, and vomit it forth; he will draw blood from fruit; he will send from his mouth strings of iron nails; he will put a sword on his stomach, and press it strongly, and instead of running into him, it will bend back to the hilt. Another will run a sword through his body without wounding himself. You will sometimes see a child without a head, then a head without a child and all of them alive. That appears very wonderful; nevertheless, if it were known how all these things are done, people would only laugh, and be surprised that they could wonder at and admire such things."

If we are so easily deceived in these matters, is it strange that in peculiar states of mind or body, we are so completely imposed on in others? At p. 353 we have the story on which Goethe has founded a singular exploit of Mephistopheles in the cellar of Auerbach.

"John Faust Cudlington, a German, was requested, in a company of gay people, to perform in their presence some tricks of his trade. He promised to show them a vine loaded with grapes, ripe and ready to gather. They thought, as it was the month of December, he could not execute his promise. He strongly recommended them not to stir from their places, and not to lift up their hands to cut the grapes, unless by his express order. The vine appeared directly, covered with leaves and loaded with grapes, to the astonishment of all present. Every one took up his knife, awaiting the order of Cudlington to cut some grapes; but after having kept them some time in that expectation, he suddenly caused the vine and the grapes to disappear. Then every one found himself armed with his knife, and holding his neighbor's nose with one hand; so that if they had cut off a bunch without the order of Cudlington, they would have cut off one another's noses."

The book is curious and interesting and calculated to do away with much of the superstition which now appears to be gaining ground in almost every part of Christendom.

Footnote 1: (return)

THE PHANTOM WORLD: a Philosophy of Spirits, Apparitions, &c. By AUGUSTINE CALMET. Edited by Rev. Henry Christmas.

[pg 71]

Authors and Books.

George Sand, as elsewhere noted, has written her "Confessions," in the style of Rousseau, and a Paris bookseller has contracted to give her a fortune for them. The three greatest—intellectually greatest—women of modern times have lived in France and it is remarkable that they have been three of the most shamelessly profligate in all history. The worst of these, probably—Madame de Staël—left us no records of her long-continued, disgusting, and almost incredible licentiousness, so remarkable that Chateaubriand deemed her the most abandoned person in France at a period when modesty was publicly derided in the Assembly as a mere "system of refined voluptuousness." Few who have lately resided in Paris are ignorant of the gross sensualism of the astonishing Rachel, whose genius, though displayed in no permanent forms, is not less than that of the Shakspeare of her sex, the forever-to-be-famous Madame Dudevant, whose immoralities of conduct have perhaps been overdrawn, while those of De Staël and Rachel have rarely been spoken of save where they challenged direct observation. We perceive that Rachel is to be in New York next autumn, with a company of French actors.

Mr. G.P.R. James arrived in New York on the Fourth, and "landed amid discharges of artillery, the huzzas of assembled thousands, and such an imposing military display as is rarely seen in this country except on occasions of great moment and universal interest." He is certainly entitled to all the ceremonious honors he will receive during his summer in America, for no man living, probably, has contributed more to the quiet and rational pleasure of the people here than this prolific but always intelligent and gentlemanly author. We have it from the best authority that Mr. James does not intend in any way whatever to meddle with the copyright question, and that he will not write a book about us on his return to England. He visits the United States for a season's agreeable relaxation, with his family, comprising his wife and daughter and three sons. The London Morning Chronicle, in a review of one of his recent compositions, has the following piece of criticism, in contemplation of the present interruption of Mr. James's labors:—

"A season without two or three novels from Mr. James would be a marked year in the world of letters. There is not a power-loom in all Manchester which works with more untiring, unswerving regularity. Does Mr. James ever stop to think, to eat, to drink, to sleep? Is he ever sick? Has he ever a headache? Is he ever out of sorts, even as other men are, when they turn away from the inkstand as from a bottle of physic? We do not believe it. We sometimes doubt whether Mr. James be a man at all. Is he mortal? Has he flesh and blood, or is he some indefinite unheard-of machine, some anomaly of nature, some freak of creation, whose mission is to make novels—and who accordingly spins, spins away, and never leaves off for a moment—never! We know how M. Dumas manages to rear his wonderful literary offspring. With all Mr. James's fertility, however, the Frenchman has a thousand times Mr. James's invention. The romances of the latter are simply a series of ever-changing, yet never novel variations upon the one original theme furnished by Sir Walter Scott. Dumas, with his eighty volumes a year, yet manages to be ever fresh, ever new. Nobody knows, till he reads it, what a novel of the Frenchman's will be. Everybody, even before he cuts open page one, can tell you the certain features, the stereotyped characters, which flourish in eternal youth in the never-ending productions of James. It is only calling them by other names, and dressing them in different costumes—altering, in the description of a castle, the dais from the one end of the great hall to the other, or some such important revolution—and presto, Mr. James can whip the personages and the places who flourished in one country and in one century right slap into another generation and another land. The thing is done in a moment, and you have a new novel before you—just as new, at all events, as is any in his list of a hundred."

Botta's "Nineveh" has at last reached completion at Paris. It consists of five folio volumes of the largest size; only 400 copies have been printed; 300 of them are to be distributed by the Government, and 100 for booksellers, to be sold. The price is 1800 francs a copy, or about $600, the total expense of the edition being 296,000 fr. or not far from $55,000. The publication of the work on so expensive a scale, unaccompanied by an edition cheap enough for ordinary readers, is a great blunder; at least the reputation of the author suffers from it. The book does not reach those for whom it is written, while of Layard's work at least 10,000 copies have been sold, exclusive of the sale in America.

Arago announces that he will at last begin the printing of his long prepared but not yet published works. His health is deeply shattered. When the Provincial Government ceased to exist he was so weak that he could scarcely walk, but since then repose has considerably recruited his strength, but he does well to undertake the long postponed publication of his studies. The first issued will be on Measuring the Intensity of Light, which he is now reading to the Academy; subsequently he will bring out the Astronomy, so long waited for. It is true that some years since a book was printed with this title, composed from notes of some of his lectures; this work has passed through many editions and has been translated into other languages, though he has often protested against it as an entirely erroneous and perverted presentation of his ideas.

The Rev. H.W. Bellows has resigned the editorship of The Christian Enquirer, which he has conducted with distinguished ability, we believe from its commencement.

[pg 72]

Miss Cooper, a daughter of the great novellist, has been announced in London as the author of "Rural Hours," a volume to be published in two or three weeks by Bentley, and by our Aldus, Mr. Putnam. We have read and in this number of the International give some extracts from the advance sheets of "Rural Hours," and we think the work will be regarded as one of the most pleasing and elegant contributions which woman has in a long time made to English literature. It is in the form of a year's diary in the country, and it illustrates on almost every page a large and wise cultivation, and the finest capacities for the observation of nature. We shall hereafter enter more fully into the discussion of its merits, but meanwhile advise the reader to obtain the book as soon as possible, in confidence that it will prove one of the most delightful souvenirs of the summer.

Prof. Agassiz of Harvard College appears in the last number of the Christian Examiner—an able periodical, which no degree or affectation of "liberality" should have tempted to the admission of such a paper—in an elaborate argument against the Unity of the Human Race. It is ridiculous to attempt a disguise of this matter: the proposition of Prof. Agassiz is an attack upon the Christian religion, and he is guilty of scandalous dishonesty in endeavoring to evade its being so considered. He has undoubtedly a right to pursue any investigation to which he may be led by a love of science, and, guarding himself about with humility and candor, he has a right to accept the results which may be offered in the premises by a careful induction. But the right to assail the commonly received opinions of mankind, especially the right to assail a people's religion, has other and very rigid conditions, which will not, we are persuaded, justify this new outbreak of the restless spirit of Infidelity. Certainly, it would have become Prof. Agassiz, before venturing upon the course he has adopted, to dissociate himself from a University to which so many of the youth of the country have been sent without any thought on the part of their parents that they were to be exposed there to influences which they would dread above all others. There is no right to offer, except to men, capable of its thorough apprehension, any new or questionable or unsettled doctrine. Prof. Agassiz should have been in a condition to receive in his own person the consequences of a failure to establish his theory. We have no fears as to the result of the controversy upon which he has entered. No man worthy to be called a Christian scholar, deprecates the subjection of the Bible to any tests that are possible. It has withstood in the last two centuries quite too much of sham science to be in any way affected by the logic of Prof. Agassiz. Still, the appearance of such a paper in the Christian Examiner—the chief organ of American Unitarianism—is significant of a state of feeling and opinion to be regretted, and it should summon to the conflict the men whose predecessors made every similar wave of Infidelity bring support and strength to the bases of the rock of Christianity.

Letters from Dr. Layard have been received in London, to the 10th of April, dated from Arban, on the River Khabour. The last account from this quarter mentioned his purpose of penetrating into the desert, which he has explored for three weeks, meeting with numerous traces of ancient population, though not so many antiquities as he expected. His present site, however, is richer in archæological remains, and is important, as they are undoubtedly Assyrian, and prove the extent of that empire. Two winged bulls and other fragments are described as very remarkable, the meadows as rich in herbage, and the banks of the Khabour as literally gemmed with flowers; and Mr. Layard was desirous to examine this river to its mouth; but the Arabs were hostile to the plan, though it was trusted that arrangements would be made with the parties, wherever they interposed between Mr. Layard and his wishes. In his letter, he says he thinks Major Rawlinson wrong in some of his topography, and that the chronological deductions cannot as yet be considered settled.

Mr. Rogers, the poet, was lately knocked down by a cab, as he was returning from a dinner party, and so seriously injured as very much to alarm his friends. He was not restored sufficiently to see visitors at the last dates. Rogers, Montgomery, Moore, Hunt, Wilson, Savage Landor, and De Quincey, are "listening to the praises of posterity." Not any of them can last much longer.

Harro Harring, the Swedish republican novelist, had scarcely reached his own country after several years exile in America, before he was again imprisoned for some quixotic attack upon institutions which he has neither the ability nor the character, even if let alone by the government, to change.

Mr. W.E. Foster has published in London a new edition of Clarkson's Life of Penn, in the preface to which he has entered very fully into the points raised by Macaulay in his History in regard to the Quakers, vindicating them, and very ably sustaining the fame of their hero.

Rev. Dr. Judson, the missionary, is again reported in very feeble health, and in a decline. He is nearly sixty years of age.

The Poems of Frances A. and Metta V. Fuller, of Ohio, are in press, and to be published in a beautiful volume in the autumn.

Mr. Prescott, the historian, is passing the summer in England.

[pg 73]

LITERATURE IN PARIS.—A correspondent of the London Literary Gazette, under date of June 12, says:

"I notice reprints, by Didot, of several of the standard works of Chateaubriand; a condensation, by General O'Connor, of his "Monopoly;" a Treatise, by the Bishop of Langres, on the grave question of Church and State; a very interesting and curious work on the forests of Gaul, ancient France, England, Italy, &c.; a volume of the Unpublished Letters of Mary Adelaide of Savoy, Duchess of Bourgogne—which throws great light on many of the principal historical events and personages of her time; a charming series of Sketches from Constantinople, entitled "Nuits du Ramazan," by Gerard de Nerval, a popular feuilletoniste; a big volume of the works of St. Just, the terrible Conventionist; a continuation of the Illustrated Edition of Defauconpret's Translation of the complete works of Walter Scott; an admirable fac-simile collection of Contemporary Portraits of Eminent Individuals of the Sixteenth Century; a reprint of Boileau's Satires; an Alphabetical and Analytical Table of all the Authors, Sacred and Profane, discovered or published in the forty-three volumes of the celebrated Cardinal Mai; a 'Month in Africa,' by Pierre Napoleon Buonaparte, &c. There have also been more than the usual average of works in the Greek, Latin, Hebrew. Italian and Portuguese."

DR. GUTZLAFF, the famous missionary, is now in Germany, and he had recently an interview with the Presidents of the Corporation of Merchants of Stettin, to give them some information as to the sort of goods best adapted for exportation to China. He held out very little encouragement of a profitable trade with that country at present, as he said he could not name a single article of German manufacture he thought likely to secure any great demand. He commended the English government for establishing a "Chinese Exhibition," in order to instruct the merchants of the real nature and quality of Chinese productions. (He must have meant the exhibition of the late Mr. Dunn, of Philadelphia, so long open in London, and erroneously supposed that it was a government institution.) He also described the Chinese language itself, on account of its extreme difficulty, as the chief obstacle in the way of the civilization of the people. He did not believe the most learned Chinese perfectly knew his alphabet, as after twenty years' study he could not say he was master of it, a fact highly discouraging to the German savans.

A new Historical Society was formed at Hartford, Conn., a few weeks ago, under the title of the Historical Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. A constitution was formed, and Bishop Brownwell elected President. The objects are to collect and preserve such materials, as may serve to illustrate the history of the Episcopal church, and the collection and preservation of all memorials, printed, manuscript, or traditional, which throw light on the progress of the American branch of that church, in any period, and of all materials relating to the social and religious history of the times during which that church has existed.

The Fine Arts.

ELLIOTT is the subject of an editorial chapter in the Knickerbocker, in which justice and no more than justice, is done to him. In the regular succession he follows Copley, Stuart, Jarvis, Newton, and Inman, as the first portrait-painter of his time in the United States. Elliott has recently finished a very effective head of Dr. John W. Francis, to be placed in the permanent gallery of the Art Union, of which Dr. Francis was the first President. He is now engaged upon a portrait of Washington Irving, which will be engraved in the most elaborate style by Cheney.

MINOR K. KELLOGG has nearly completed, for Mr. Higgs, the banker, of Washington, an exquisite picture which he calls The Greek Girl,—similar, but we think in all respects superior, to his beautiful Circassian Girl, engravings of which by a Parisian artist have some time formed one of the attractions of the print shops. Mr. Kellogg is also painting a full-length of General Scott, for the city.

A PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN SUTTER, of California, has just been engraved in the finest style of Sartain, from a painting by S.S. Osgood, made while that excellent artist was in the Gold Region. It is a remarkably strong and pleasing head, and it will rank among Mr. Osgood's best productions.

BALL HUGHES, the sculptor, is preparing a monument to be placed over the remains of Josiah Sturgis, at Mount Auburn.

Original Poetry.



"Je vivrai eternellement."—La vie de Sappho. Traduction de Madame Dacier.

Nay—call me not thy rose—thine own sweet flower,

For oh, my soul to thy wild words is mute!

Leave me my gift of song—my glorious dower—

My hand unchanged, and free to sweep the lute.

Thus, when within the tomb thy memory slumbers,

Mine, mine will tie of those immortal names

Sung by the poet in undying numbers:

Call me not thine—I am the world's and fame's!

Were it not blissful, when from earth we sever,

To know that we shall leave, with bard and sage,

A name enrolled on fame's bright page forever—

A wonder, and a theme to after age!

Talk not of love! I know how, wasted, broken,

The trusting heart learns its sad lesson o'er—

Counting the roses Passion's lips have spoken,

Amid the thorns that pierce it to the core.

Oh, heart of mine! that when life's summer hour

For thee with love's bright blossoms hung the bough,

Too quickly found an asp beneath the flower—

And is naught left thee but ambition now?

Alas! alas! this brow its pride forsaking,

Would give the glory of its laurel crown

For one fond breast whereas to still its aching—

For one true heart that I might call mine own!

[pg 74]

[From the National Era.]



With something of the grateful feeling which prompted the memorable exclamation of Sancho Panza, "Blessings on the man who first invented sleep!" we have laid down these pleasant volumes. Blessings on the man who invented books of travel for the benefit of home idlers! the Marco Polos, the Sir John Mandevilles, and the Ibn Batutas of old time, and their modern disciples and imitators! Nothing in the shape of travel and gossip, by the way, comes amiss to us, from Cook's voyages round the earth to Count De Maistre's journey round his chamber. When the cark and care of daily life and homely duties, and the weary routine of sight and sound, oppress us, what a comfort and refreshing is it to open the charmed pages of the traveler! Our narrow, monotonous horizon breaks away all about us; five minutes suffice to take us quite out of the commonplace and familiar regions of our experience: we are in the Court of the Great Khan, we are pitching tents under the shadows of the ruined temples of Tadmor, we are sitting on a fallen block of the Pyramids, or a fragment of the broken nose of the Sphynx, dickering with Arab Shieks, opposing Yankee shrewdness to Ishmaelitish greed and cunning: we are shooting crocodiles on the white Nile, unearthing the winged lions of Ezekiel's vision on the Tigris—watching the night-dance of the Devil-worshipers on their mountains, negotiating with the shrewd penny-turning patriarch of Armenia for a sample from his holy-oil manufactory at Erivan, drinking coffee at Damascus, and sherbet at Constantinople, lunching in the vale of Chaumorng, taking part in a holy fête at Rome, and a merry Christmas at Berlin. We look into the happiness of traveling through the eyes of others, and, for the miseries of it, we enjoy them exceedingly. Very cool and comfortable are we while reading the poor author's account of his mishaps, hair-breadth escapes, hunger, cold, and nakedness. We take a deal of satisfaction in his moscheto persecutions and night-long battles with sanguinary fleas. The discomforts and grievances of his palate under the ordeal of foreign cooking were a real relish for us. On a hot morning in the tropics, we see him pulling on his stocking with a scorpion in it, and dancing in involuntary joy under the effects of the sting. Let him dance; it is all for our amusement. Let him meet with what he will—robbers, cannibals, jungle-tigers, and rattlesnakes, the more the better—since we know that he will get off alive, and come to regard them so many god-sends in the way of book-making.

The volumes now before us are not only seasonable as respects the world-wide curiosity in regard to California—the new-risen empire on the Pacific—abounding, as they do, in valuable facts and statistics, but they have in a high degree that charm of personal adventure and experience to which we have referred. Bayard Taylor is a born tourist. He has eyes to see, skill to make the most of whatever opens before him under the ever-shifting horizon of the traveler. He takes us along with him, and lets us into the secret of his own hearty enjoyment. Much of what he describes has already become familiar to us from the notes of a thousand gold-seekers, who have sent home such records as they could of their experiences in a strange land. Yet even the well known particulars of the overland route across the Isthmus become novel and full of interest in the narrative of our young tourist. The tropical scenery by day and night on the river, the fandango at Gorgona, and the ride to Panama through the dense dark forest, with death, in the shape of a cholera-stricken emigrant, following at their heels, are in the raciest spirit of story-telling. The steamer from Panama touched at the ancient city of Acapulco, and took in a company of gamblers, who immediately set up their business on deck. At San Deigo, the first overland emigrants by the route of the Gila river, who had reached that place a few days before, came on board, lank and brown as the ribbed sea-sand, their clothes in tatters, their boots replaced with moccasins, small deerskin wallets containing all that was left of the abundant stores with which they started—their hair and beards matted and unshorn, with faces from which the rigid expression of suffering was scarcely relaxed. The tales of their adventures and sufferings the author speaks of as more marvelous than anything he had ever heard or read since his boyish acquaintance with Robinson Crusoe and Ledyard. Some had come by the way of Santa Fe, along the savage Gila hills—some had crossed the Great Desert, and taken the road from El Paso to Sonora—some had passed through Mexico, and, after beating about for months in the Pacific, had run into San Deigo and abandoned their vessel—some had landed weary with a seven months' voyage round Cape Horn—while others had wandered on foot from Cape St. Lucas to San Deigo, over frightful deserts and rugged mountains, a distance of nearly fifteen hundred miles, as they were obliged to travel.

The Gila emigrants spoke with horror of the Great Desert west of the Colorado—a land of drought and desolation—vast salt plains and hills of drifting sand; the trails which they followed sown white with bones of man and beast. Unburied corpses of emigrants and carcasses of mules who had preceded them, making the hot air foul and loathsome. Wo to the weak and faltering in such a journey! They were left alone to die on the burning sands.

On the Sonora route, one of the party fell [pg 75] sick, and rode on behind his companions, unable to keep pace with them for several days, yet always arriving in camp a few hours later. At last he was missing. Four days after, a negro, alone and on foot, came into camp and told them that many miles back a man lying by the road had begged a little water of him, and urged him to hurry on and bring assistance. The next morning a company of Mexicans came up, and brought word that the man was dying. But his old companions hesitated to go to his relief. The negro thereupon retraced his steps over the desert, and reached the sufferer just as he expired. He lifted him in his arms; the poor fellow strove to speak to his benefactor, and died in the effort. His mule, tied to a cactus, was already dead of hunger at his side. A picture commemorating such a scene, and the heroic humanity of the negro, would better adorn a panel of the Capitol, than any battle-piece which was ever painted.

There is a graphic account of the author's first impressions of San Francisco. "A furious wind was blowing down through a gap in the hills, filling the streets with dust. On every side stood buildings of all kinds, began or half-finished, with canvas sheds open in front and covered with all kinds of signs, in all languages. Great piles of merchandise were in the open air, for lack of storehouses. The streets were full of people of as diverse and bizarre a character as their dwellings: Yankees of every possible variety, native Californians in serapes and sombreros, Chilians, Sonorians, Kanakas from Hawaii, Chinese with long tails, Malays armed with everlasting creeses, and others, in their bearded and embrowned visages, it was impossible to recognize any especial nationality." "San Francisco by day and night" is the title of one of the best chapters in the book.

Our author made a foot journey to Monterey during the sitting of the Convention which formed the State Constitution. He gives a pleasing account of the refined and polite society of this ancient Californian town; and makes particular mention of Dona Augusta Ximeno, a sister of one of the Californian delegates to the Convention, Don Pablo de la Guerra, as a woman whose nobility of character, native vigor and activity of intellect, and instinctive refinement and winning grace of manner, would have given her a complete supremacy in society, had her lot been cast in Europe or the United States. Her house was the favorite resort of the leading members of the Convention, American and Californian. She was thoroughly versed in Spanish literature, and her remarks on the various authors were just and elegant. She was, besides, a fine rider, and could throw the lariat with skill, and possesses all those bold and daring qualities which are so fascinating when softened and made graceful by true feminine delicacy.

He describes the native Californians as physically and morally superior to the Mexicans of other States. They are, as a class, finely built, with fresh, clear complexions. The educated class very generally are and appear well satisfied with the change of affairs, but the majority still look with jealousy on the new comers, and are not pleased with the new customs and new laws. The Californians in the Convention seemed every way worthy of their position. General Vallejo is a man of middle years, tall, and of commanding presence—with the grave and dignified expression of the old Castilian race. With him were Cavarrubias, the old Secretary of the Government, Pico, Carvillo, Pedrorena, La Guerra, and a half-blood Indian member, Dominguez, who, together with many of the most respectable and wealthy citizens of California, is now excluded from voting by a clause of the Constitution, which denies that privilege to Indians and negroes. This unjust exception—a blot on an otherwise admirable Constitution—was adopted after a warm debate, and against fierce opposition. The attempt to prohibit free people of color from inhabiting the State failed by a large majority. The clause prohibiting slavery passed by the vote of every member.

The account of the close of the Convention is sufficiently amusing. The members met and adjourned, after a brief session, and their hall was immediately cleared of forum, seats, and tables, and decorated with pine boughs and oak garlands. At eight in the evening, it was thrown open for a ball. Sixty or seventy ladies, and as many gentlemen, were present. Dark-eyed daughters of Monterey and Los Angelos and Santa Barbara, with Indian and Spanish complexions, contrasted with the fairer bloom of belles from the Atlantic side of the Nevada. There was as great a variety of costume as of complexion. Several American officers were there in their uniform. In one group might be seen Captain Sutter's soldierly moustache and clear blue eye; in another, the erect figure and quiet, dignified bearing of Vallejo. Don Pablo de la Guerra, with his handsome aristocratic features, was the floor manager, and gallantly discharged his office. Conspicuous among the native members, were Don Miguel Pedrorena and Jacinto Rodriguez, both polished and popular gentlemen. Dominguez. the Indian, took no part in the dance, but evidently enjoyed the scene as much as any one present. The most interesting figure was that of the Padre Ramirez, who, in his clerical cassock, looked until a late hour. "If the strongest advocate of priestly decorum had been present," says our author, "he could not have found it in his heart to grudge the good old padre the pleasure which beamed in his honest countenance."

The next day the Convention met for the last time. The parchment sheet, with the engrossed Constitution, was laid upon the table, and the members commenced affixing their names. Then the American colors were run up the flagstaff in front of the Hall, and the [pg 76] guns of the fort responded to the signal. The great work was done. California, so far as it depended on herself, was a State of the great Confederacy. All were excited. Captain Sutter leaped up from his seat, and swung his arm over his head. "Gentlemen!" he cried, "this is the happiest hour of my life. It makes me glad to hear the cannon. This is a great day for California!" Recollecting himself, he sat down, the tears streaming from his eyes. His brother members cheered. As the signing went on, gun followed gun from the fort. At last the thirty-first was echoed back from the hills. "That's for California!" shouted a member, and three times three cheers were given by the members. An English vessel caught the enthusiasm, and sent to the breeze the American flag from her mast-head. The day was beautiful; all faces looked bright and happy under the glorious sunset, "Were I a believer in omens," writes our tourist on the spot, "I would augur from the tranquil beauty of the evening—from the clear sky and sunset hues of the bay—more than all, from the joyous expression of every face—a glorious and happy career for the 'STATE OF CALIFORNIA!'"

Our author visited several of the most important "diggings," and his account of their location, productiveness, &c., does not materially differ from the descriptions which have become familiar to all our readers. It is evident from his statements, that with good health and perseverance, any reasonable expectation of wealth on the part of the miners may be realized, in a few months or years, according to the richness of the "diggings," or the ease with which they may be worked. What, however, has interested us more than the gold-product of California, is the confirmation which our traveler gives to the statements of Fremont and King, relative to the richness of its soil, and its great agricultural capacities. The valleys of the Sacramento and San Joaquim alone are capable of supporting a population of two millions, if carefully cultivated. The deep, black, porous soil produces the important cereal grains, although on the seaboard the air is too cool for the ripening of Indian corn. Enormous crops of wheat may be obtained by irrigation, such as was successfully practiced by the great Jesuit missions; and, without it, from forty to fifty bushels to the bushel of seed have been raised. Oats of the kind grown on the Atlantic grow luxuriantly and wild, self-sown on all the hills of the coast, furnishing abundant supplies for horses. Irish potatoes grow to a great size, and all edible roots cultivated in the States are produced in perfection, without irrigation.

The climate of San Francisco is unquestionably disagreeable; the cold, fierce winds which sweep over the bay, and they alternating with extreme heats, are prejudicial to health and comfort. Inland, however, in the beautiful valleys of San Jose and Los Angelos, the climate is all that can be desired. The heat during the summer months is indeed great, but its dryness renders it more endurable than the damp sultriness of an Atlantic August. At Los Angelos, latitude 34° 7', long. W. 118°, and forty miles from the ocean, the mean monthly temperature of ten months was as follows: June 73 deg., July 74, August 75, September 75, October 69, November 59, December 60.

Our author describes with a poet's enthusiasm the atmospheric effects of the Californian sunsets. Fresh from his travels in Italy, and with the dust of that Pincian hill still on his sandals from whence Claude sketched his sunsets, he declares that his memory of that classic atmosphere seems cold and pale, when he thinks of the splendor of evening on the bay and mountains of San Francisco.

The chapter on "Society in California" may prove of much practical utility, and should be read by all who are smitten with the gold fever. California is no place for the sick, the weak, the self-indulgent, the indolent, the desponding. There must be a willingness to work at anything and everything, and stout muscles to execute the will. Our author estimates that nearly one-third of the emigrants are unfitted for their vocation, "miserable, melancholy men, ready to yield up their last breath at any moment, who left home prematurely, and now humbly acknowledge their error." His own happy constitution and buoyant health led him to look on the best side of things, and to take the sunniest possible view of the condition of the new country he was exploring, but occasionally he reveals incidentally the reverse of the picture. Here is a sketch of a sick miner at Sacramento City, which is enough to make even California "gold become dim, and the fine gold changed."

"He was sitting alone on a stone beside the water, with his bare feet purple with cold on the cold, wet sand. He was wrapped from head to foot in a coarse blanket, which shook with the violence of his chill, as if his limbs were about to drop in pieces. He seemed unconscious of all that was passing; his long, matted hair hung over his wasted face; his eyes glared steadily forward with an expression so utterly hopeless and wild, that I shuddered at seeing it. This was but one of a number of cases, equally sad and distressing."

The hardy and healthy portion of the emigrants, under the stimulating excitements of the novel circumstances of their situation, seemed to revel in the exuberance of animal spirits. Each seemed to have adopted the rule of the wise man: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, that do with all thy might." They speculated, dug, or gambled, with an almost reckless energy. All old forms of courtesy had given place to hearty, blunt good fellowship in their social intercourse. They reminded our traveler of the Jarls and Norse sea-kings, and in the noisy and almost fierce revelry of these bearded gold-hunters around their mountain tires, he [pg 77] seemed to see the brave and jovial Berseckers of the middle ages.

We cannot forbear quoting a paragraph in relation to the great question of our time, "The Organization of Labor."

"In California, no model phalanxes or national workshops have been necessary. Labor has organized itself, in the best possible way. The dream of attractive industry is realized; all are laborers, and equally respectable; the idler and the gentleman of leisure, to use a phrase of the country, 'can't shine in these diggings.' Rich merchandise lies in the open street; and untold wealth in gold dust is protected only by ragged canvas walls, but thefts and robbery are seldom heard of. The rich returns of honest labor render harmless temptations which would prove an overmatch for the average virtue of New England. The cut-purse and pickpocket in California find their occupation useless, and become chevaliers of industry, in a better sense than the term has ever before admitted of. It will appear natural," says our author, "that California should be the most democratic country in the world. The practical equality of all the members of the community, whatever might be the wealth, intelligence, or profession of each, was never before so thoroughly demonstrated. Dress was no gauge of respectability and no honest occupation, however menial in its character, affected a man's standing. Lawyers, physicians, and ex-professors, dug cellars, drove ox-teams, sawed wood, and carried baggage, while men who had been army privates, sailors, cooks, or day laborers, were at the head of profitable establishments, and not unfrequently assisted in some of the minor details of government. A man who would consider his fellow beneath him, on account of his appearance or occupation, would have had some difficulty in living peaceably in California. The security of the country is owing in no small degree to this plain, practical development of what the French reverence as an abstraction, under the name of Fraternité. To sum up all in three words, Labor is respectable. May it never be otherwise while a grain of gold is left to glitter in Californian soil!"

Our author returned by way of Mazatlan and the city of Mexico, meeting with a pleasant variety of adventures, robbery included, on his route. In taking leave of his volumes, we cannot forbear venturing a suggestion to the author, that he may find a field of travel, less known, and quite as interesting at the present time, in the vast Territory of New Mexico—the valley of the Del Norte, with its old Castilian and Aztec monuments and associations; the Great Salt Lake, and the unexplored regions of the great valley of the Colorado, between the mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre and the Sierra Nevada. We know of no one better fitted for such an enterprise, or for whom, judging from the spirit of his California narrative, it would present more attractions.

Footnote 2: (return)

Eldorado: Adventures in the Path of Empire. By Bayard Taylor. New York. Putnam. 1850. Two volumes.

MEYERBEER AND WEBER.—The Berlin papers are reviving the rumor that Meyerbeer is to complete an opera which Weber left unfinished. This time his share is defined to be, a new third act, three numbers in the second, one number in the first, and an overture.

From Unpublished Books

From Miss Fenimore Cooper's "Rural Hours," in press by Putnam


Within twenty years from the foundation of the village, the deer had already become rare, and in a brief period later they had fled from the country. One of the last of these beautiful creatures seen in the waters of our lake occasioned a chase of much interest, though under very different circumstances from those of a regular hunt. A pretty little fawn had been brought in very young from the woods, and nursed and petted by a lady in the village until it had become as tame as possible. It was graceful, as these little creatures always are, and so gentle and playful that it became a great favorite, following the different members of the family about, caressed by the neighbors, and welcome everywhere. One morning, after gamboling about as usual until weary, it threw itself down in the sunshine, at the feet of one of its friends, upon the steps of a store. There came along a countryman, who for several years had been a hunter by pursuit, and who kept several dogs: one of his hounds came to the village with him on this occasion. The dog, as it approached the spot where the fawn lay, suddenly stopped; the little animal saw him, and started to its feet. It had lived more than half its life among the village, and had apparently lost all fear of them; but it seemed now to know instinctly that an enemy was at hand. In an instant a change came over it, and the gentleman who related the incident, and who was standing by at the moment, observed that he had never in his life seen a finer sight than the sudden arousing of instinct in that beautiful creature. In a second its whole character and appearance seemed changed, all its past habits were forgotten, every wild impulse was awake; its head erect, its nostrils dilated, its eye flashing. In another instant, before the spectators had thought of the danger, before its friends could secure it, the fawn was leaping wildly through the street, and the hound in full pursuit. The bystanders were eager to save it; several persons instantly followed its track, the friends who had long fed and fondled it, calling the name it had hitherto known, but in vain. The hunter endeavored to whistle back his dog, but with no better success. In half a minute the fawn had turned the first corner, dashed onward toward the lake, and thrown itself into the water. But, if for a moment the startled creature believed itself safe in the cool bosom of the lake, it was soon undeceived; the hound followed in hot and eager chase, while a dozen of the village dogs joined blindly in the pursuit. Quite a crowd collected on the bank, men, women, and children, anxious for the fate of the little animal known to them all: some threw themselves into boats, hoping to intercept the hound [pg 78] before he reached his prey; but the plashing of the oars, the eager voices of the men and boys, and the barking of the dogs, must have filled the beating heart of the poor fawn with terror and anguish, as though every creature on the spot where it had once been caressed and fondled had suddenly turned into a deadly foe. It was soon seen that the little animal was directing its course across a bay toward the nearest borders of the forest, and immediately the owner of the hound crossed the bridge, running at full speed in the same direction, hoping to stop his dog as he landed. On the fawn swam, as it never swam before, its delicate head scarcely seen above the water, but leaving a disturbed track, which betrayed its course alike to anxious friends and fierce enemies. As it approached the land, the exciting interest became intense. The hunter was already on the same line of shore, calling loudly and angrily to his dog, but the animal seemed to have quite forgotten his master's voice in the pitiless pursuit. The fawn touched the land—in one leap it had crossed the narrow line of beach, and in another instant it would reach the cover of the woods. The hound followed, true to the scent, aiming at the same spot on the shore; his master, anxious to meet him, had run at full speed, and was now coming up at the most critical moment; would the dog hearken to his voice, or could the hunter reach him in time to seize and control him? A shout from the village bank proclaimed that the fawn had passed out of sight into the forest; at the same instant, the hound, as he touched the land, felt the hunter's strong arm clutching his neck. The worst was believed to be over; the fawn was leaping up the mountain-side, and its enemy under restraint. The other dogs, seeing their leader cowed, were easily managed. A number of persons, men and boys, dispersed themselves through the woods in search of the little creature, but without success; they all returned to the village, reporting that the animal had not been seen by them. Some persons thought that after its fright had passed over it would return of its own accord. It had worn a pretty collar, with its owner's name engraved upon it, so that it could easily be known from any other fawn that might be straying about the woods. Before many hours had passed a hunter presented himself to the lady whose pet the little creature had been, and showing a collar with her name on it said that he had been out in the woods, and saw a fawn in the distance: the little animal instead of bounding away as he expected, moved toward him; he took aim, fired, and shot it to the heart. When he found the collar about its neck he was very sorry he had killed it. And so the poor little thing died; one would have thought that terrible chase would have made it afraid of man: but no, it forgot the evil and remembered the kindness only, and came to meet as a friend the hunter who shot it. It was long mourned by its best friend.


CIRCUMNAVIGATING A POPE.—Cardinal Maury did not allow you to advance far. He was fond of telling anecdotes, but he loved to select his subject and to choose his terms. Memory well managed can furnish a tolerable share of the wit and spirit of conversation, and he was, in this respect, the most capital manoeuvrer I ever met with. As he had been absent from Paris for fourteen years he had a great deal to tell. Every one, therefore, listened to his stories with pleasure—himself among the first. Even at the dinner-table he permitted himself the indulgence of a vast quantity of Spanish snuff, which he generally shared with his neighbors, distributing a large portion on their plates, which rather spoiled the pleasure of those who had the good fortune to be seated next to him, as it once happened to me at Madame du Roure's. While singing the praises of his beautiful villa at Monte-Fiascone, he frequently drew from his pocket an enormous snuff-box, the contents of which were most liberally showered down upon the company placed near him, and, between two pinches, he informed us that he had formerly the pretension of taking the very best snuff in France. He prepared it with his own hands, and spared no pains in the important proceeding. When he emigrated to Rome he carried with him two jars of the precious mixture. The future destiny of the Abbe Maury was dependent on the pope, and he was a great snuff-taker! "I presented myself several times (I quote his own expressions) before his holiness, and took great care never to omit displaying my snuff-box, which I opened and shut several times during the interview, making as loud a noise as possible. This was all I dared do,—respect forbade me making any advances toward his holiness by offering directly a taste of the mixture of which I was so justly proud. At length my perseverance met with its reward. One day I managed skillfully to push the snuff-box beneath his hand, and, in the heat of argument, he opened it mechanically, and took a pinch of snuff therefrom. It was an awful moment, as you may imagine. I observed him with the greatest attention, and immediately remarked the expression of satisfaction and surprise which overspread his features as he stretched forth his fingers to take another pinch. "Donde vi viene questo maraviglioso tobacco?" I told him that I alone possessed the mixture, and that I had only two jars left, or rather that I had no more, as, of course, they now belonged to his holiness. I am inclined to believe that this present was agreeable to him, as it was useful to me." After the story the cardinal boasted to us of the extraordinary frankness of his character. He had shown more of this than he had intended in the tale he had been telling.

—Souvenirs de France et d'Italie dans les Années 1830, 1831 et 1832.

[pg 79]

The Deutsche Reform publishes as a curiosity a selection, though an imperfect one, from the catalogue of the flying leaves and small cheap journals, political and satirical, that sprung into existence after the revolution, mostly in Berlin and Vienna; not more than three or four of them now exist. The insect world was a favorite source of names for the satirist, the sting of whose production was frequently only in the title: every week produced the Hornet, the Wasp, the Gadfly, and their plurals, the Wasps and the Gadflies; there was also an Imperial Gadfly, and one Wasp's Nest. The necessity of enlightenment exhausted the means of doing it through the Torch, the Taper, the Jet of Gas, the Lamp, the Everburning Lamp (the last flickers still at uncertain intervals, the extinguisher of the Berlin police coming down on it whenever it appears), the Lantern and the White Lamp, the Snuffers followed the list of lights, and the whole category concluded in an Egyptian Darkness, to which most of them have descended. The other titles are not so well classified: there was a Democratic Reasoner, a Shrieker (or Shouter), and the Berlin Widemouth, the Barricade Journal, the Street Journal, the Cat's Music, the Red Cap, the Sansculottes (Ohne-Hosen), the Tower of Fools, are miscellaneous: there was a variety of devils—the Travelling Devil, the Devil Untied, the Church Devil, the Revolutionary Devil. Some of the titles were cant words, quite untranslatable, as Kladderadatsch (the Berlin Punch, still existing), the Klitsch-Klatsch, and the Pumpernickel (a kind of black bread); the three last were—The Prussians Have Come, the General Wash, and the Political Ass. In the provincial towns all the flying leaves were something for the people—Volks-boten, Volks-freunde, Volks-zeitung—in a list that would be too long to repeat.

TRUE PROGRESS.—The civilization of antiquity was the advancement of the few and the slavery of the many—in Greece 30,000 freemen and 300,000 slaves—and it passed away. True civilization must be measured by the progress, not of a class or nation, but of all men. God admits none to advance alone. Individuals in advance become martyrs—nations in advance the prey of the barbarian. Only as one family of man can we progress. But man must exist as an animal before he can exist as a man: his physical requirements must be satisfied before those of mind; and hitherto it has taken the whole time and energies of the many to provide for their physical wants. Such wants have spread mankind over the whole globe—the brute and the savage have disappeared before the superior race—the black blood of the torrid zone has been mixed with the white of the temperate, and a superior race, capable of living and laboring under a zenith sun, has been formed, and we seem to be preparing for a united movement onward. The elements have been pressed into our service, the powers of steam and electricity would appear boundless, and science has given man an almost unlimited control over nature. The trammels which despotisms have hitherto imposed on body and mind have been thrown off, and constitutional liberty has rapidly and widely spread. The steamship and railway, and mutual interests in trade and commerce, have united nation to nation, and the press has given one mind and simultaneous thoughts to the whole community. Power there is in plenty for the emancipation of the whole race; since the steam engine and machinery may be to the working-classes what they have hitherto been to those classes above them. All that is wanted is to know how to use these forces for the general good. The powers of production are inexhaustible; we have but to organize them, and justly to distribute the produce.—Charles Bray.

COFFEE AND THE SAVANS.—In a letter from Paris it is said: "Some of our eminent scientific men are again squabbling on the vexed question as to whether coffee does or does not afford nourishment. One of them has laid down what seems a paradox, viz., that coffee contains fewer nutritive properties than the ordinary food of man, and yet that the man who makes it his principal food is stronger than one who feeds on meat and wine. In support of this paradox, our savant calls the example of the miners of the coal-pits of Charleroi, who never eat meat except a very small quantity on Sundays, and whose daily meals consist exclusively of bread and butter and coffee. These men, he says, are strong, muscular, and able to do, and actually perform, more hard work than the miners of the coal-pits of Onzin, in France, who feed largely on the more nutritive articles, meat and vegetables, and drink wine or beer. Another savant, taking nearly the same views, insists that the Arabs are able to live moderately, and to make long abstinences, as they do, entirely on account of their extensive use of coffee. But this last assertion is demolished, by the declaration of M. d'Abbadie, who has just returned from Abyssinia, that certain tribes of Arabs and Abyssinians who do not use coffee can support greater fatigue than those who do. In presence of such very contradictory facts, who shall say which of the learned doctors is in the right?"

A CURIOUS TRIO.—Mr. Dallas, when Secretary of the Treasury, says Mr. Paulding, told me the following story, which he had from Mr. Breck:—When the Duc de Liancourt was in Philadelphia, sometime after the execution of Louis the Sixteenth, Mr. Breck called to see him at his lodgings, in Strawberry-alley. Knocking at the door of a mean looking house, a little ragged girl came out, who, on being asked for the Duke, pointed to a door, which Mr. B. entered. At a little deal table he found Cobbett, teaching the Duke and Monsieur Talleyrand English!

[pg 80]

BAD COOKERY A CAUSE OF DRUNKENKESS.—To what are we to ascribe the prevalence of this detestable vice amongst us! Many causes might be plausibly assigned for it, and one of them is our execrable cookery. The demon of drunkenness inhabits the stomach. From that "vasty deep" it calls for its appropriate offerings. But the demon may be appeased by other agents than alcohol. A well-cooked, warmed, nutritious meal allays the craving quite as effectually as a dram; but cold, crude, indigestible viands, not only do not afford the required solatium to the rebellious organ, but they aggravate the evil, and add intensity to the morbid avidity for stimulants. It is remarked that certain classes are particularly obnoxious to drunkenness, such as sailors, carriers, coachmen, and other wandering tribes whose ventral insurrections are not periodically quelled by regular and comfortable meals. Country doctors, for the same reason, not unfrequently manifest a stronger predilection for their employers' bottles than their patients do for theirs. In the absence of innocuous and benign appliances, the deleterious are had recourse to exorcise the fiend that is raging within them. These views are explicable by the laws of physiology, but this is not the place for such disquisitions. One reason why the temperance movement has been arrested in this country is, that while one sensual gratification was withdrawn, another was not provided. The intellectual excitements which were offered as a substitute have not been found to answer the desired purpose. Our temperance coffee-houses are singularly deficient in gastronomical attractions; and the copious decoctions of coffee and chicory which are there served up, with that nauseous accompaniment, buttered toast, are more calculated to create a craving for stimulants than allay it. The lower classes of Scotland are as deficient in knowledge of cookery as the natives of the Sandwich Islands; and if our apostles of temperance would employ a few clever cooks to go through the country and teach the wives and daughters of the workingmen to dress meat and vegetables, and make soups, and cheap and palatable farinaceous messes, they would do more in one year to advance their cause, than in twenty by means of long winded moral orations, graced with all the flowers of oratory.—Wilson on the Social Condition of France as compared with that of England.

THE MONKEY AND THE WATCH.—A distinguished lord, going from home, left his watch hanging beside his bed. A tame monkey, who was in the habit of imitating the actions of his master, took the watch, and with the aid of a band, fastened it to his side. A moment afterward he drew it forth and wound it. Then he looked at it, and said, "This goes too fast." He opened it, put back the hand, and again adjusted it to his side. A few moments passed, and he took it in his hand once more. "Oh!" said the imitator, "now it goes too slow. What a trouble it is! How can it be remedied?" He winds it again with the regulator; then closes it, and applies it gracefully to the ear. "This movement is wrong, still;" and he wound it with the key in another way. Then bent to listen to it. "It does not go well, yet." He opened the case; looked and examined every part; touched this wheel, stopped that, moved another; in short, injured it so much by altering and shaking it in his hand, that it at length ceased all motion. Guard us, O propitious Heaven! from quacks that perform amongst men, as did the monkey with the unfortunate watch.—From the Italian.

A SYRIAN CHRISTIAN AND PHILOSOPHER.—When supper was brought in Amu Lyas, or Uncle Lyas, as Iskender always respectfully called him, said a grace of twenty minutes before he sat down, and one of equal duration after he got up. He was perpetually counting his beads and uttering devout sayings—which partly accounted for his influence with the priests. He and I agreed very well at the beginning, although in our very first conversation he forced on a religious discussion, and plainly told me to what place all heretics were irrevocably doomed. On this and other occasions he strictly maintained that the earth is stationary, that it is surrounded by the sea, that the moon rises and sets, and that the stars are no bigger than they seem; and turned pale with indignation at any contrary statements, which he asserted to be direct attacks on the foundation of the Christian religion. Further experience taught me that he was a very fair representative of public opinion among a large class of Syrian Christians. He was an ardent desirer of French domination, and entertained the most stupid prejudices against the English. I generally found that the Levantines preferred the French, whilst we are great favorites with the Arabs.—Two Years in a Levantine Family.

THE BRITISH HIERARCHY.—The Eternal Anarch, with his old waggling addle-head full of mere windy rumor, and his old insatiable paunch full of mere hunger and indigestion tragically blended, and the hissing discord of all the Four Elements persuasively pleading to him;—he, set to choose, would be very apt to vote for such a set of demigods to you.—Carlyle's Latter-Day Pamphlets.

[From Bohemian Poems, translated by A.H. Wraitsall, M.A., just published in London.]

Whither, oh, whither, now all things are over?

We to our journey and he to his home;

Eyes cannot pierce through the vail that must cover

Him whom we laid in the still silent tomb.

He hath but ended his journey before us,

We for a season are sojourning still

On the same earth with the same heaven o'er us,—

Turn we, oh, turn we, our tasks to fulfill!

Whither, oh, whither, now all things are ended?

We to our labor and he to his rest;

Let not the heart by its woe be offended,

Man seeks the pleasant, but God gives the best.

[pg 81]

From Household Words.


Antoine de Chaulieu was the son of a poor gentleman of Normandy, with a long genealogy, a short rent-roll, and a large family. Jacques Rollet was the son of a brewer, who did not know who his grandfather was; but he had a long purse and only two children. As these youths flourished in the early days of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and were near neighbors, they naturally hated each other. Their enmity commenced at school, where the delicate and refined De Chaulieu being the only gentilhomme amongst the scholars, was the favorite of the master (who was a bit of an aristocrat in his heart), although he was about the worst dressed boy in the establishment, and never had a sou to spend; whilst Jacques Rollet, sturdy and rough, with smart clothes and plenty of money, got flogged six days in the week, ostensibly for being stupid and not learning his lessons—which, indeed, he did not, but, in reality, for constantly quarreling with and insulting De Chaulieu, who had not strength to cope with him. When they left the academy, the feud continued in all its vigor, and was fostered by a thousand little circumstances arising out of the state of the times, till a separation ensued in consequence of an aunt of Antoine de Chaulieu's undertaking the expense of sending him to Paris to study the law, and of maintaining him there during the necessary period.

With the progress of events came some degree of reaction in favor of birth and nobility, and then Antoine, who had passed for the bar, began to hold up his head and endeavored to push his fortunes; but fate seemed against him. He felt certain that if he possessed any gift in the world it was that of eloquence, but he could get no cause to plead; and his aunt dying inopportunely, first his resources failed, and then his health. He had no sooner returned to his home, than, to complicate his difficulties completely, he fell in love with Mademoiselle Natalie de Bellefonds, who had just returned from Paris, where she had been completing her education. To expatiate on the perfections of Mademoiselle Natalie, would be a waste of ink and paper: it is sufficient to say that she really was a very charming girl, with a fortune which, though not large, would have been a most desirable acquisition to de Chaulieu, who had nothing. Neither was the fair Natalie indisposed to listen to his addresses, but her father could not be expected to countenance the suit of a gentleman, however well-born, who had not a ten-sous piece in the world, and whose prospects were a blank.

Whilst the ambitious and love-sick young barrister was thus pining in unwelcome obscurity, his old acquaintance, Jacques Rollet, had been acquiring an undesirable notoriety. There was nothing really bad in Jacques' disposition, but having been bred up a democrat, with a hatred of the nobility, he could not easily accommodate his rough humor to treat them with civility when it was no longer safe to insult them. The liberties he allowed himself whenever circumstances brought him into contact with the higher classes of society, had led him into many scrapes, out of which his father's money had one way or another released him; but that source of safety had now failed. Old Rollet having been too busy with the affairs of the nation to attend to his business, had died insolvent, leaving his son with nothing but his own wits to help him out of future difficulties, and it was not long before their exercise was called for. Claudine Rollet, his sister, who was a very pretty girl, had attracted the attention of Mademoiselle de Bellefonds' brother, Alphonso; and as he paid her more attention than from such a quarter was agreeable to Jacques, the young men had had more than one quarrel on the subject, on which occasions they had each, characteristically, given vent to their enmity, the one in contemptuous monosyllables, and the other in a volley of insulting words. But Claudine had another lover more nearly of her own condition of life; this was Claperon, the deputy governor of Rouen jail, with whom she had made acquaintance during one or two compulsory visits paid by her brother to that functionary; but Claudine, who was a bit of a coquette, though she did not altogether reject his suit, gave him little encouragement, so that betwixt hopes, and fears, and doubts, and jealousies, pour Claperon led a very uneasy kind of life.

Affairs had been for some time in this position, when, one fine morning, Alphonse de Bellefonds was not to be found in his chamber when his servant went to call him; neither had his bed been slept in. He had been observed to go out rather late on the preceding evening, but whether or not he had returned, nobody could tell. He had not appeared at supper, but that was too ordinary an event to awaken suspicion; and little alarm was excited till several hours had elapsed, when inquiries were instituted and a search commenced, which terminated in the discovery of his body, a good deal mangled, lying at the bottom of a pond which had belonged to the old brewery. Before any investigations had been made, every person had jumped to the conclusion that the young man had been murdered, and that Jacques Rollet was the assassin. There was a strong presumption in favor of that opinion, which further perquisitions tended to confirm. Only the day before, Jacques had been heard to threaten Mons. de Bellefonds with speedy vengeance. On the fatal evening, Alphonse and Claudine had been seen together in the neighborhood of the now dismantled brewery; and as Jacques, betwixt poverty and democracy, was in bad odor with the prudent and respectable part of society, it was not easy for him to bring witnesses to character, or prove an unexceptionable alibi. As for the Bellefonds [pg 82] and De Chaulieus, and the aristocracy in general, they entertained no doubt of his guilt; and finally, the magistrates coming to the same opinion, Jacques Rollet was committed for trial, and as a testimony of good will, Antoine de Chaulieu was selected by the injured family to conduct the prosecution.

Here, at last, was the opportunity he had sighed for! So interesting a case, too, furnishing such ample occasion for passion, pathos, indignation! And how eminently fortunate that the speech which he set himself with ardor to prepare, would be delivered in the presence of the father and brother of his mistress, and perhaps of the lady herself! The evidence against Jacques, it is true, was altogether presumptive; there was no proof whatever that he had committed the crime; and for his own part he stoutly denied it. But Antoine de Chaulieu entertained no doubt of his guilt, and his speech was certainly well calculated to carry that conviction into the bosom of others. It was of the highest importance to his own reputation that he should procure a verdict, and he confidently assured the afflicted and enraged family of the victim that their vengeance should be satisfied. Under these circumstances could anything be more unwelcome than a piece of intelligence that was privately conveyed to him late on the evening before the trial was to come on, which tended strongly to exculpate the prisoner, without indicating any other person as the criminal. Here was an opportunity lost. The first step of the ladder on which he was to rise to fame, fortune, and a wife, was slipping from under his feet!

Of course, so interesting a trial was anticipated with great eagerness by the public, and the court was crowded with all the beauty and fashion of Rouen. Though Jacques Rollet persisted in asserting his innocence, founding his defense chiefly on circumstances which were strongly corroborated by the information that had reached De Chaulieu the preceding evening,—he was convicted.

In spite of the very strong doubts he privately entertained respecting the justice of the verdict, even De Chaulieu himself, in the first flush of success, amidst a crowd of congratulating friends, and the approving smiles of his mistress, felt gratified and happy; his speech had, for the time being, not only convinced others, but himself; warmed with his own eloquence, he believed what he said. But when the glow was over, and he found himself alone, he did not feel so comfortable. A latent doubt of Rollet's guilt now burnt strongly in his mind, and he felt that the blood of the innocent would be on his head. It is true there was yet time to save the life of the prisoner, but to admit Jacques innocent, was to take the glory out of his own speech, and turn the sting of his argument against himself. Besides, if he produced the witness who had secretly given him the information, he should be self-condemned, for he could not conceal that he had been aware of the circumstance before the trial.

Matters having gone so far, therefore, it was necessary that Jacques Rollet should die; so the affair took its course; and early one morning the guillotine was erected in the court-yard of the jail, three criminals ascended the scaffold, and three heads fell into the basket, which were presently afterward, with the trunks that had been attached to them, buried in a corner of the cemetery.

Antoine de Chaulieu was now fairly started in his career, and his success was as rapid as the first step toward it had been tardy. He took a pretty apartment in the Hôtel Marboeuf, Rue Grange-Batelière, and in a short time was looked upon as one of the most rising young advocates in Paris. His success in one line brought him success in another; he was soon a favorite in society, and an object of interest to speculating mothers; but his affections still adhered to his old love Natalie de Bellefonds, whose family now gave their assent to the match—at least, prospectively—a circumstance which furnished such an additional incentive to his exertions, that in about two years from the date of his first brilliant speech, he was in a sufficiently flourishing condition to offer the young lady a suitable home. In anticipation of the happy event, he engaged and furnished a suite of apartments in the Rue du Helder; and as it was necessary that the bride should come to Paris to provide her trousseau, it was agreed that the wedding should take place there, instead of at Bellefonds, as had been first projected; an arrangement the more desirable, that a press of business rendered Mons. de Chaulieu's absence from Paris inconvenient.

Brides and bridegrooms in France, except of the very high classes, are not much in the habit of making those honeymoon excursions so universal in this country. A day spent in visiting Versailles or St. Cloud, or even the public places of the city, is generally all that precedes the settling down into the habits of daily life. In the present instance St. Denis was selected, from the circumstance of Natalie's having a younger sister at school there; and also because she had a particular desire to see the Abbey.

The wedding was to take place on a Thursday; and on the Wednesday evening, having spent some hours most agreeably with Natalie, Antoine de Chaulieu returned to spend his last night in his bachelor apartments. His wardrobe and other small possessions, had already been packed up and sent to his future home; and there was nothing left in his room now, but his new wedding suit, which he inspected with considerable satisfaction before he undressed and lay down to sleep. Sleep, however, was somewhat slow to visit him; and the clock had struck one, before he closed his eyes. When he opened them again, it was broad daylight; and his [pg 83] first thought was, had he overslept himself! He sat up in bed to look at the clock which was exactly opposite, and as he did so, in the large mirror over the fireplace, he perceived a figure standing behind him. As the dilated eyes met his own, he saw it was the face of Jacques Rollet. Overcome with horror he sunk back on his pillow, and it was some minutes before he ventured to look again in that direction; when he did so, the figure had disappeared.

The sudden revulsion of feeling such a vision was calculated to occasion in a man elate with joy, may be conceived! For some time after the death of his former foe, he had been visited by not unfrequent twinges of conscience; but of late, borne along by success, and the hurry of Parisian life, these unpleasant remembrances had grown rarer, till at length they had faded away altogether. Nothing had been further from his thoughts than Jacques Rollet, when he closed his eyes on the preceding night, nor when he opened them to that sun which was to shine on what he expected to be the happiest day of his life! Where were the high-strung nerves now! The elastic frame! The bounding heart!

Heavily and slowly he arose from his bed, for it was time to do so; and with a trembling hand and quivering knees, he went through the processes of the toilet, gashing his cheek with the razor, and spilling the water over his well polished boots. When he was dressed, scarcely venturing to cast a glance in the mirror as he passed it, he quitted the room and descended the stairs, taking the key of the door with him for the purpose of leaving it with the porter; the man, however, being absent, he laid it on the table in his lodge, and with a relaxed and languid step proceeded on his way to the church, where presently arrived the fair Natalie and her friends. How difficult it was now to look happy, with that pallid face and extinguished eye!

"How pale you are! Has anything happened? You are surely ill?" were the exclamations that met him on all sides. He tried to carry it off as well as he could, but felt that the movements he would have wished to appear alert were only convulsive; and that the smiles with which he attempted to relax his features, were but distorted grimaces. However, the church was not the place for further inquiries; and while Natalie gently pressed his hand in token of sympathy, they advanced to the altar, and the ceremony was performed; after which they stepped into the carriages waiting at the door, and drove to the apartments of Madme. de Bellefonds, where an elegant déjeuner was prepared.

"What ails you, my dear husband?" inquired Natalie, as soon as they were alone.

"Nothing, love," he replied; "nothing. I assure you, but a restless night and a little overwork, in order that I might have to-day free to enjoy my happiness!"

"Are you quite sure? Is there nothing else?"

"Nothing, indeed; and pray don't take notice of it, it only makes me worse!"

Natalie was not deceived, but she saw that what he said was true; notice made him worse; so she contented herself with observing him quietly, and saying nothing; but, as he felt she was observing him, she might almost better have spoken; words are often less embarrassing things than too curious eyes.

When they reached Madame de Bellefonds' he had the same sort of questioning and scrutiny to undergo, till he grew quite impatient under it, and betrayed a degree of temper altogether unusual to him. Then everybody looked astonished; some whispered their remarks, and others expressed them by their wondering eyes, till his brow knit, and his pallid cheeks became flushed with anger. Neither could he divert attention by eating; his parched mouth would not allow him to swallow anything but liquids, of which, however, he indulged in copious libations; and it was an exceeding relief to him when the carriage, which was to convey them to St. Denis, being announced, furnished an excuse for hastily leaving the table. Looking at his watch, he declared it was late; and Natalie, who saw how eager he was to be gone, threw her shawl over her shoulders, and bidding her friends good morning, they hurried away.

It was a fine sunny day in June; and, as they drove along the crowded boulevards, and through the Porte St. Denis, the young bride and bridegroom, to avoid each other's eyes, affected to be gazing out of the windows; but when they reached that part of the road where there was nothing but trees on each side, they felt it necessary to draw in their heads, and make an attempt at conversation. De Chaulieu put his arm round his wife's waist, and tried to rouse himself from his depression; but it had by this time so reacted upon her, that she could not respond to his efforts, and thus the conversation languished, till both felt glad when they reached their destination, which would, at all events, furnish them something to talk about.

Having quitted the carriage, and ordered a dinner at the Hôtel de l'Abbaye, the young couple proceeded to visit Mademoiselle Hortense de Bellefonds, who was overjoyed to see her sister and new brother-in-law, and doubly so when she found that they had obtained permission to take her out to spend the afternoon with them. As there is little to be seen at St. Denis but the Abbey, on quitting that part of it devoted to education, they proceeded to visit the church, with its various objects of interest; and as De Chaulieu's thoughts were now forced into another direction, his cheerfulness began insensibly to return. Natalie looked so beautiful, too, and the affection betwixt the two young sisters was so pleasant to behold! And they spent a couple of hours wandering about with Hortense, who was almost as well informed as the Suisse, till the brazen doors were open which admitted them [pg 84] to the royal vault. Satisfied, at length, with what they had seen, they began to think of returning to the inn, the more especially as De Chaulieu, who had not eaten a morsel of food since the previous evening, owned to being hungry; so they directed their steps to the door, lingering here and there as they went, to inspect a monument or a painting, when, happening to turn his head aside to see if his wife, who had stopt to take a last look at the tomb of King Dagobert, was following, he beheld with horror the face of Jacques Rollet appearing from behind a column! At the same instant, his wife joined him, and took his arm, inquiring if he was not very much delighted with what he had seen. He attempted to say yes, but the word would not be forced out; and staggering out of the door, he alleged that a sudden faintness had overcome him.

They conducted him to the Hôtel, but Natalie now became seriously alarmed; and well she might. His complexion looked ghastly, his limbs shook, and his features bore an expression of indescribable horror and anguish. What could be the meaning of so extraordinary a change in the gay, witty, prosperous De Chaulieu, who, till that morning, seemed not to have a care in the world? For, plead illness as he might, she felt certain, from the expression of his features, that his sufferings were not of the body but of the mind; and, unable to imagine any reason for such extraordinary manifestations, of which she had never before seen a symptom, but a sudden aversion to herself, and regret for the step he had taken, her pride took the alarm, and, concealing the distress she really felt, she began to assume a haughty and reserved manner toward him, which he naturally interpreted into an evidence of anger and contempt. The dinner was placed upon the table, but Du Chaulieu's appetite of which be had lately boasted, was quite gone, nor was his wife better able to eat. The young sister alone did justice to the repast; but although the bridegroom could not eat, he could swallow champagne in such copious draughts, that ere long the terror and remorse that the apparition of Jacques Rollet had awakened in his breast were drowned in intoxication. Amazed and indignant, poor Natalie sat silently observing this elect of her heart, till overcome with disappointment and grief, she quitted the room with her sister, and retired to another apartment, where she gave free vent to her feelings in tears.

After passing a couple of hours in confidences and lamentations, they recollected that the hours of liberty granted, as an especial favor, to Mademoiselle Hortense, had expired; but ashamed to exhibit her husband in his present condition to the eyes of strangers, Natalie prepared to re-conduct her to the Maison Royale herself. Looking into the dining-room as they passed, they saw De Chaulieu lying on a sofa fast asleep, in which state he continued when his wife returned. At length, however, the driver of their carriage begged to know if Monsieur and Madame were ready to return to Paris, and it became necessary to arouse him. The transitory effects of the champagne had now sub sided; but when De Chaulieu recollected what had happened, nothing could exceed his shame and mortification. So engrossing indeed were these sensations that they quite overpowered his previous ones, and, in his present vexation, he, for the moment, forgot his fears. He knelt at his wife's feet, begged her pardon a thousand times, swore that he adored her, and declared that the illness and the effect of the wine had been purely the consequences of fasting and over-work. It was not the easiest thing in the world to reassure a woman whose pride, affection, and taste, had been so severely wounded; but Natalie tried to believe, or to appear to do so, and a sort of reconciliation ensued, not quite sincere on the part of the wife, and very humbling on the part of the husband. Under these circumstances it was impossible that he should recover his spirits or facility of manner; his gayety was forced, his tenderness constrained; his heart was heavy within him; and ever and anon the source whence all this disappointment and woe had sprung would recur to his perplexed, tortured mind.

Thus mutually pained and distrustful, they returned to Paris, which they reached about nine o'clock. In spite of her depression, Natalie, who had not seen her new apartments, felt some curiosity about them, whilst De Chaulieu anticipated a triumph in exhibiting the elegant home he had prepared for her. With some alacrity, therefore, they stepped out of the carriage, the gates of the Hôtel were thrown open, the concierge rang the bell which announced to the servants that their master and mistress had arrived, and whilst these domestics appeared above, holding lights over the balusters, Natalie, followed by her husband, ascended the stairs. But when they reached the landing-place of the first flight, they saw the figure of a man standing in a corner as if to make way for them; the flash from above fell upon his face, and again Antoine de Chaulieu recognized the features of Jacques Rollet!

From the circumstance of his wife's preceding him, the figure was not observed by De Chaulieu till he was lifting his foot to place it on the top stair; the sudden shock caused him to miss the step, and, without uttering a sound, he fell back, and never stopped till he reached the stories at the bottom. The screams of Natalie brought the concierge from below and the maids from above, and an attempt was made to raise the unfortunate man from the ground; but with cries of anguish he besought them to desist.

"Let me," he said, "die here! What a fearful vengeance is thine! Oh, Natalie, Natalie!" he exclaimed to his wife, who was kneeling beside him, "to win fame, and fortune, and yourself, I committed a dreadful [pg 85] crime! With lying words I argued away the life of a fellow-creature, whom, whilst I uttered them, I half believed to be innocent: and now, when I have attained all I desired, and reached the summit of my hopes, the Almighty has sent him back upon the earth to blast me with the sight. Three times this day—three times this day! Again! again!"—and as he spoke, his wild and dilated eyes fixed themselves on one of the individuals that surrounded him.

"He is delirious," said they.

"No," said the stranger! "What he says is true enough,—at least in part;" and bending over the expiring man, he added, "May Heaven forgive you, Antoine de Chaulieu! I was not executed; one who well knew my innocence saved my life. I may name him, for he is beyond the reach of the law now,—it was Claperon, the jailer, who loved Claudine, and had himself killed Alphonse de Bellefonds from jealousy. An unfortunate wretch had been several years in the jail for a murder committed during the frenzy of a fit of insanity. Long confinement had reduced him to idiocy. To save my life Claperon substituted the senseless being for me, on the scaffold, and he was executed in my stead. He has quitted the country, and I have been a vagabond on the face of the earth ever since that time. At length I obtained, through the assistance of my sister, the situation of concierge in the Hôtel Marboeuf, in the Rue Grange Batelière. I entered on my new place yesterday evening, and was desired to awaken the gentleman on the third floor at seven o'clock. When I entered the room to do so, you were asleep, but before I had time to speak you awoke, and I recognized your features in the glass. Knowing that I could not vindicate my innocence if you chose to seize me, I fled, and seeing an omnibus starting for St. Denis, I got on it with a vague idea of getting on to Calais, and crossing the Channel to England. But having only a franc or two in my pocket, or indeed in the world, I did not know how to procure the means of going forward; and whilst I was lounging about the place, forming first one plan and then another, I saw you in the church, and concluding you wore in pursuit of me, I thought the best way of eluding your vigilance was to make my way back to Paris as fast as I could; so I set off instantly, and walked all the way; but having no money to pay my night's lodging, I came here to borrow a couple of livres of my sister Claudine, who lives in the fifth story."

"Thank Heaven!" exclaimed the dying man; "that sin is off my soul! Natalie, dear wife, farewell! Forgive! forgive all!"

These were the last words he uttered; the priest, who had been summoned in haste, held up the cross before his failing sight; a few strong convulsions shook the poor bruised and mangled frame; and then all was still.

And thus ended the Young Advocate's Wedding Day.

[From Dickens's Household Words for June 29.]


Quiet enough, in general, is the quaint old town of Lamborough. Why all this bustle to-day? Along the hedge-bound roads which lead to it, carts, chaises, vehicles of every description are jogging along filled with countrymen; and here and there the scarlet cloak or straw bonnet of some female occupying a chair, placed somewhat unsteadily behind them, contrasts gaily with the dark coats, or gray smock-frocks of the front row; from every cottage of the suburb, some individuals join the stream, which rolls on increasing through the streets till it reaches the castle. The ancient moat teems with idlers, and the hill opposite, usually the quiet domain of a score or two of peaceful sheep, partakes of the surrounding agitation.

The voice of the multitude which surrounds the court-house, sounds like the murmur of the sea, till suddenly it is raised to a sort of shout. John West, the terror of the surrounding country, the sheep-stealer and burglar, had been found guilty.

"What is the sentence?" is asked by a hundred voices.

The answer is "Transportation for Life."

But there was one standing aloof on the hill, whose inquiring eye wandered over the crowd with indescribable anguish, whose pallid cheek grew more and more ghastly at every denunciation of the culprit, and who, when at last the sentence was pronounced, fell insensible upon the green-sward. It was the burglar's son.

When the boy recovered from his swoon, it was late in the afternoon; he was alone; the faint tinkling of the sheep-bell had again replaced the sound of the human chorus of expectation, and dread, and jesting; all was peaceful, he could not understand why he lay there, feeling so weak and sick. He raised himself tremulously and looked around, the turf was cut and spoilt by the trampling of many feet. All his life of the last few months floated before his memory, his residence in his father's hovel with ruffianly comrades, the desperate schemes he heard as he pretended to sleep on his lowly bed, their expeditions at night, masked and armed, their hasty returns, the news of his father's capture, his own removal to the house of some female in the town, the court, the trial, the condemnation.

The father had been a harsh and brutal parent, but he had not positively ill-used his boy. Of the Great and Merciful Father of the fatherless the child knew nothing. He deemed himself alone in the world. Yet grief was not his pervading feeling, nor the shame, of being known as the son of a transport. It was revenge which burned within him. He thought of the crowd which had come to feast upon his father's agony; he longed to tear them to pieces, and he plucked savagely a handful of the grass on which he [pg 86] leant. Oh, that he were a man! that he could punish them all—all,—the spectators first the constables, the judge, the jury, the witnesses,—one of them especially, a clergyman named Leyton, who had given his evidence more positively, more clearly, than all the others. Oh, that he could do that man some injury,—but for him his father would not have been identified and convicted.

Suddenly a thought occurred to him,—his eyes sparkled with fierce delight. "I know where he lives," he said to himself; "he has the farm and parsonage of Millwood. I will go there at once,—it is almost dark already. I will do as I have heard father say he once did to the Squire. I will set his barns and his house on fire. Yes, yes, he shall burn for it,—he shall get no more fathers transported."

To procure a box of matches was an easy task, and that was all the preparation the boy made.

The autumn was far advanced. A cold wind was beginning to moan amongst the almost leafless trees, and George West's teeth chattered, and his ill-clad limbs grew numb as he walked along the fields leading to Millwood. "Lucky it's a dark night; this fine wind will fan the flame nicely," he repeated to himself.

The clock was striking nine, but all was quiet as midnight; not a soul stirring, not a light in the parsonage windows that he could see. He dared not open the gate, lest the click of the latch should betray him, so he softly climbed over; but scarcely had he dropped on the other side of the wall before the loud barking of a dog startled him. He cowered down behind the hay-rick, scarcely daring to breathe, expecting each instant that the dog would spring upon him. It was some time before the boy dared to stir, and as his courage cooled, his thirst for revenge somewhat subsided also, till he almost determined to return to Lamborough; but he was too tired, too cold, too hungry,—besides, the woman would beat him for staying out so late. What could he do? where should he go? and as the sense of his lonely and forlorn position returned, so did also the affectionate remembrance of his father, his hatred of his accusers, his desire to satisfy his vengeance; and, once more, courageous through anger, he rose, took the box from his pocket, and boldly drew one of them across the sand-paper. It flamed; he stuck it hastily in the stack against which he rested,—it only flickered a little, and went out. In great trepidation, young West once more grasped the whole of the remaining matches in his hand and ignited them, but at the same instant the dog barked. He hears the gate open, a step is close to him, the matches are extinguished, the lad makes a desperate effort to escape,—but a strong hand was laid on his shoulder, and a deep calm voice inquired, "What can have urged you to such a crime?" Then calling loudly, the gentleman, without relinquishing his hold, soon obtained the help of some farming men, who commenced a search with their lanterns all about the farm. Of course they found no accomplices, nothing at all but the handful of half-consumed matches the lad had dropped, and he all that time stood trembling, and occasionally struggling, beneath the firm, but not rough grasp of the master who held him.

At last the men were told to return to the house, and thither, by a different path, was George led till they entered a small, poorly-furnished room. The walls were covered with books, as the bright flame of the fire revealed to the anxious gaze of the little culprit. The clergyman lit a lamp, and surveyed his prisoner attentively. The lad's eyes were fixed on the ground, whilst Mr. Leyton's wandered from his pale, pinched features to his scanty, ragged attire, through the tatters of which he could discern the thin limbs quivering from cold or fear; and when at last impelled by curiosity at the long silence, George looked up, there was something so sadly compassionate in the stranger's gentle look, that the boy could scarcely believe that he was really the man whose evidence had mainly contributed to transport his father. At the trial he had been unable to see his face, and nothing so kind had over gazed upon him. His proud bad feelings were already melting.

"You look half-starved," said Mr. Leyton, "draw nearer to the fire, you can sit down on that stool whilst I question you; and mind you answer me the truth. I am not a magistrate, but of course can easily hand you over to justice if you will not allow me to benefit you in my own way."

George still stood twisting his ragged cap in his trembling fingers, and with so much emotion depicted on his face, that the good clergyman resumed, in still more soothing accents: "I have no wish to do you anything but good, my poor boy; look up at me, and see if you cannot trust me; you need not be thus frightened. I only desire to hear the tale of misery your appearance indicates, to relieve it if I can."

Here the young culprit's heart smote him. Was this the man whose house he had tried to burn? On whom he had wished to bring ruin and perhaps death? Was it a snare spread for him to lead to confession? But when he looked on that grave compassionate countenance, he felt that it was not.

"Come, my lad, tell me all."

George had for years heard little but oaths, and curses, and ribald jests, or the thief's jargon of his father's associates, and had been constantly cuffed and punished; but the better part of his nature was not extinguished; and at those words from the mouth of his enemy, he dropped on his knees, and clasping his hands, tried to speak: but could only sob. He had not wept before during that day of anguish; and now his tears gushed forth so freely, his grief was so passionate as he half knelt, half rested on the floor, that the good questioner saw that sorrow [pg 87] must have its course ere calm could be restored.

The young penitent still wept, when a knock was heard at the door, and a lady entered. It was the clergyman's wife; he kissed her as she asked how he had succeeded with the wicked man in the jail.

"He told me," replied Mr. Leyton, "that he had a son whose fate tormented him more than his punishment. Indeed his mind was so distracted respecting the youth, that he was scarcely able to understand my exhortations. He entreated me with agonizing energy to save his son from such a life as he had led, and gave me the address of a woman in whose house he lodged. I was, however, unable to find the boy in spite of many earnest inquiries."

"Did you hear his name?" asked the wife.

"George West," was the reply.

At the mention of his name, the boy ceased to sob. Breathlessly he heard the account of his father's last request, of the benevolent clergyman's wish to fulfill it. He started up, ran toward the door, and endeavored to open it; Mr. Leyton calmly restrained him. "You must not escape," he said.

"I cannot stop here. I cannot bear to look at you. Let me go!" The lad said this wildly, and shook himself away.

"Why, I intend you nothing but kindness."

A new flood of tears gushed forth; and George West said between his sobs,

"Whilst you were searching for me to help me, I was trying to burn you in your house. I cannot bear it." He sunk on his knees, and covered his face with both hands.

There was a long silence, for Mr. and Mrs. Leyton were as much moved as the boy, who was bowed down with shame and penitence, to which hitherto he had been a stranger.

At last the clergyman asked, "What could have induced you to commit such a crime?"

Rising suddenly in the excitement of remorse, gratitude, and many feelings new to him, he hesitated for a moment, and then told his story; he related his trials, his sins, his sorrows, his supposed wrongs, his burning anger at the terrible fate of his only parent, and his rage at the exultation of the crowd: his desolation on recovering from his swoon, his thirst for vengeance, the attempt to satisfy it. He spoke with untaught, child-like simplicity, without attempting to suppress the emotions which successively overcame him.

When he ceased, the lady hastened to the crouching boy, and soothed him with gentle words. The very tones of her voice were new to him. They pierced his heart more acutely than the fiercest of the upbraidings and denunciations of his old companions. He looked on his merciful benefactors with bewildered tenderness. He kissed Mrs. Leyton's hand then gently laid on his shoulder. He gazed about like one in a dream who dreaded to wake. He became faint and staggered. He was laid gently on a sofa, and Mr. and Mrs. Leyton left him.

Food was shortly administered to him, and after a time, when his senses had become sufficiently collected, Mr. Leyton returned to the study, and explained holy and beautiful things, which were new to the neglected boy: of the great yet loving Father; of Him who loved the poor, forlorn wretch, equally with the richest, and noblest, and happiest; of the force and efficacy of the sweet beatitude, "Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy."

I heard this story from Mr. Leyton, during a visit to him in May. George West was then head-plowman to a neighboring farmer, one of the cleanest, best behaved, and moat respected laborers in the parish.

From Fraser's Magazine.


The Russian is eminently fitted for a soldier's life; his education is almost as martial as if he had been brought up in a camp; for his relatives and neighbors hold their lands by military tenure, and love to talk together of the days when they served in the wars. All, from the highest order to the lowest, look to the fulfillment of their ancient prophecy, that "All the world is to be conquered by the arms of Russia." Should some man of resplendent genius, like Suwarrow, chance to command, there is no calculating on the position to which the Russian army might attain. Suwarrow was not alone fitted to lead an army, but was exactly the general to form one: his frankness and generosity, and the manner in which his habits identified him with his soldiers, endeared him to the army; while his religious feelings and exercises, and the habit of participating in some of their superstitions, sanctified him in the eyes of the men, and gave him unbounded influence. Some of the anecdotes with which we have met exhibit feelings for which we were but little inclined to give the devoted warrior credit, for most certainly we should never have sought in rude camps, and among wild Cossacks, for gentle affections and tender emotions; and yet even there they may be found; and we see that he whose whole existence was nearly an uninterrupted series of military exploits, was by no means devoid of those congenial sympathies which make up the charm of domestic life.... This is the more worthy of observation, as he has been regarded by many as something not far removed from an ogre—an impression which the barbarous warfare carried on between the Turks and Cossacks, in which he took such a prominent part, seemed to justify; coupled as it has been, too, with the story of his having packed up in a sack the heads of the Janissaries who had fallen by his hand, for the purpose of laying them at the feet of his general. The spirit of the times, and of those with whom his lot was cast, must be looked to as some palliation for the savage conflicts in which he was engaged. [pg 88] That they had not hardened his heart against all tender emotions is surprising.

Pierre Alexis Wasiltowitch, Count Suwarrow, was born in 1730, in Moscow, according to his biographer, of a Swedish family. He began his military career when but twelve years of age, having been placed in the School of Young Cadets in St. Petersburgh by his father. He was a mere boy when he entered the Russian service as a private soldier. For some years he was not advanced beyond the rank of a subaltern. From the earliest age the decision and originality of his character were developed, and he was not long in perceiving his own superiority to those by whom he was commanded. This conviction rendered the control to which he was forced to submit extremely distasteful, and made him determine to raise himself from a subordinate situation. To determine was to achieve, in one possessed of his powers of mind and matchless energy. The singularity of his bearing was very remarkable, and as he lost no opportunity of rendering it conspicuous, it soon attracted observation, which was all that was necessary for the discovery of the extraordinary intellectual powers which he possessed. Thus recommended by his superior abilities, his advancement was rapid. Before he was twenty-nine he was a lieutenant-colonel. His reliance on his own unaided powers was so entire, that he could ill brook the thought of considering himself bound by obedience to any one. When speaking at a later period on the subject, he said, "When my sovereign does me the honor to give me the command of her armies, she supposes me capable of guiding them to victory; and how can she pretend to know better than an old soldier like myself, who am on the spot, the road which leads to it? So, whenever her orders are in opposition to her true interests, I take it for granted that they are suggested by the enmity of her courtiers, and I act in conformity to what appears to me most conducive to her glory." On some occasions he acted in accordance with this declaration, and on a very remarkable one showed that he was justified in the dependence which he had on his own judgment; but whether his acting on it was defensible, must be left to the martinets to determine. In the year 1771, during the campaign, when he held the rank of major-general, he found that the Grand Marshal of Lithuania was assembling the Poles at Halowitz, of which he directly apprised the commander-in-chief, Marshal Boutourlin, and demanded leave to attack them. Boutourlin, who was a cautious man, thought such a risk should not be attempted, as Suwarrow had but a few hundred men under him, and therefore decidedly forbade any attack. At the same time, an account reached Suwarrow that the Regiment of Petersburgh had just been beaten by the Poles, whose numbers amounted to five thousand men, and were increasing every day. Fired by the intelligence, he at once determined on action, and advanced at the head of a thousand men to the attack. Every danger but excited him to additional exertion. In four days he marched fifty leagues, surprised the Poles at dead of night, and beat and dispersed them. He took the town of Halowitz and twelve pieces of cannon. His victory was complete, but he had disobeyed orders; and according to all rules of military discipline he deserved punishment. It was thus he announced his success to the commander of the army:

"As a soldier I have disobeyed—I ought to be punished—I have sent you my sword; but as a Russian I have done my duty in destroying the Confederate forces, which we could not have resisted had they been left time to unite."

Boutourlin was in the utmost astonishment, and quite at a loss what steps he should take. He laid Suwarrow's extraordinary dispatch before the Empress, and requested her orders as to the manner in which he should act. Catharine lost no time in addressing Suwarrow:

"Your commander, Marshal Boutourlin, ought to put you under arrest, to punish military insubordination. As your sovereign, I reserve to myself the pleasure of rewarding a faithful subject, who by a splendid action has well served his country."

The Order of St. Alexander accompanied this gracious letter. Never was commander more loved by his soldiers than Suwarrow. Like Napoleon, he shared their hardships and privations as well as their dangers. He would often pass the cold winter nights in their bivouac and partake of their humble fare. In every difficulty he kept up their spirits by his alacrity and cheerfulness. However tinctured with superstition, he had deep devotional feelings; and it is stated that he never went to battle without offering up a prayer, and that it was his first and last occupation every day. Often when provisions were failing he would order a fast to be observed by the troops, as a token of humiliation for their sins: and he always set the example of the prescribed abstinence himself. The noble self-denial which made him scorn any care for himself which was beyond the reach of the common soldiers, so thoroughly identified him with them, that all their tender sympathies were with him, as much as their respect and veneration. He was never seen on the long and heavy marches of his infantry but on foot by their side; and in every advance of his cavalry he was at their head on horseback. He worked indefatigably with them in the trenches, and in all their military operations. When the war broke out afresh with the Turks in the year 1785, he was surprised in the town of Kenburn by an advance of a great body of Osmanli horse; his troops were scattered through the adjacent country, and could not be brought together without great difficulty—a [pg 89] successful attack had been made upon one his generals. When the news was brought to him he betrayed no agitation, but instantly repaired to the church, where he directed that a Te Deum should be chanted as for a victory. This he might have done to show his firm trust in the prophesied success of the Russian arms, even under discouragement. He joined in the chant with animated fervor. As soon as the service was over he placed himself a the head of a small body of troops which were in waiting, and hastened to meet the enemy, who were coming on in considerable force. By a most desperate onset he drove them back, but in the engagement he was wounded; and his soldiers, no longer animated by his presence, became disheartened, and fled in confusion. Suwarrow leaped from the litter in which he was carried—all bleeding and wounded as he was—and springing on horseback, exclaimed, "I am still alive, my children!" This was the rallying cry—he led them on to victory.

Of all the brilliant achievements of Suwarrow, there was none more wonderful than the conquest of Ismail. It had stood out against two sieges, and was considered almost impregnable. The Empress, provoked at its not having yielded, gave an absolute order that it should be taken. Potemkin, who was then at the head of the Russian army, dreaded Catharine's displeasure should she be disappointed the third time. In his embarrassment he consulted with Suwarrow, who undertook the conduct of the siege. Notwithstanding the great danger of an enterprise which had failed twice, he felt confident of success; and said, with earnest faith in the result, "The Empress wills it—we must obey!"

After a forced march of four days he reached Ismail at the head of his troops. A few days were spent in the preparations necessary for an assault. When all was ready, orders were given: the column marched forward at midnight. At that moment a courier rode up at full speed with dispatches from Potemkin. Suwarrow was no sooner apprised of his arrival than he guessed with his usual quickness the nature of the dispatches, and he determined not to receive them till the fate of the enterprise was decided. He ordered his horse to be brought round to the door of his tent; he sprang on it and galloped off, without seeming to observe the courier. After a desperate resistance the Turks at length gave way, and Ismail fell into the hands of the Russians. With his staff gathered eagerly round Suwarrow to offer their congratulations, the eyes of the Marshal fell upon the officer who bore the dispatches.

"Who are you, brother?" said he.

"It is I," replied the courier, "who brought dispatches from Prince Potemkin yesterday evening."

"What!" exclaimed Suwarrow, with affected passion,—"what! you bring me news from my sovereign!—you have been here since yesterday, and I have not yet received the dispatches!" Then threatening the officer for his negligence, he handed the dispatch to one of his generals and bade him read it aloud.

A more striking scene can scarcely be conceived. There was deep silence as the dispatch was opened. Suwarrow and his companions in victory listened with breathless interest. Every danger which they had braved and surmounted was enumerated one after the other. It was urged that an enterprise undertaken in the midst of a winter even more than usually severe, must be disastrous, and that it was absolutely preposterous to think it possible to make an impression on a fortress furnished with 230 pieces of cannon and defended by 43,000 men, the half of whom were Janissaries, with a force that amounted to no more than 28,000—little more than half their number. The dispatch ended with a peremptory order for the abandonment of the enterprise.

"Thank God!" exclaimed Suwarrow, as soon as the general had ceased reading, raising his eyes to heaven and crossing himself with devotion, "thank God, Ismail is taken, or I should have been undone!"

There was silence for a moment, as if all participated in the feeling with which Suwarrow glanced at the different situation which would have been his had he not succeeded; every eye was fixed on him, and then a sudden shout of triumph burst through all the ranks. He then penned the following brief reply: "The Russian flag flies on the ramparts of Ismail."

It is not to our purpose to follow the victorious steps of Suwarrow through the campaigns in which he was engaged; they are now a part of history, and won for him that military glory after which his heart panted from his early boyhood. Decoration after decoration, honor after honor: title after title, marked the high estimation in which the services of this intrepid soldier were held by his sovereign; and never did ruler dispense favors with a more munificent hand than Catharine. What most attracted us, and from which we most wished to make a selection, were those characteristic traits which brought us in a manner personally acquainted with Suwarrow. In person Suwarrow was unlike what the imagination would picture. He was but five feet one inch in height, and of a fragile form; his mouth was large, and his features plain; but his countenance was full of fire, vivacity, and penetration. When he was moved, it became severe, commanding, and even terrible; but this seldom happened, and never without some powerful cause. His brow was much wrinkled, but as it seemed to be so from deep thinking it gave still greater expression to his face. Though of a form which appeared delicate and feeble, no one could endure greater fatigue. This may be attributed to his active and temperate habits, [pg 90] and to the wonderful energy of his mind. He was most certainly able to use more exertion and undergo more hardship and toil than most people of a robust frame. The spirit "which burned within him" was indeed equal to any effort. The only weak point in his character was the horror which he had of being reminded in any way of his age as he advanced in life: he most carefully avoided everything which could make him think of it. All the looking-glasses in his house were either removed or so completely covered that he could not catch even a transient glimpse of his face or person. He often joked about his personal appearance, but said that he had all his life avoided looking at himself in the glass, solely that he might not perceive the change which years bring, and which might perhaps make him suppose himself growing too old for military pursuits. Be this as it may, he never would look near a mirror. If he happened to go into a room where there was one, the very moment he perceived it he shut his eyes, made all manner of odd faces, and ran by it at his utmost speed out of the room. When a chair chanced to be in his way he jumped over it, to show that he retained his activity; and for the same reason he always ran in and out of the room. It was but seldom that he was seen to move at a slower pace. When in the company of strangers he even quickened the speed of his motions, and exhibited the most droll antics to impress upon their minds that he was still equal to take the field. It was the custom to rise early—never later at any time of the year than four o'clock, and often even at midnight—to the end of his life. As soon as he rose he was well drenched with cold water, even in the depth of the most severe winter. He generally dined in winter at eight o'clock in the morning, and in summer at seven. Dinner was his principal meal. Though his cookery could not have been very tempting, as it was made up of ill-dressed Cossack ragouts, nobody ventured to find any fault with it, and his good appetite made it palatable to himself. He never sat down to a meal without a thanksgiving or an invocation for a blessing. If any among his guests did not take part in the grace by responding "Amen," he would say, "Those who have not said amen shall have no eau de vie." He never took any refreshment through the rest of the day, but a few cups of tea or coffee. He never exceeded at table, but was fond of sitting long after dinner. This habit he wished to correct, and gave his aid-de-camp, Tichinka, directions to order him from table whenever he thought he was remaining too long; and this was to be managed after the fashion which he prescribed. When the injunction was obeyed, he would ask, "By whose order?" When Tichinka made reply, "By Marshal Suwarrow's order," he immediately rose from table, and said, with a smile, "Very well: the marshal must be obeyed." According to his desire the same ceremony was gone through when he was too sedentary, and as soon as he was told by his aid-de-camp that Marshal Suwarrow had ordered him to go out he instantly complied. As he was unlike every one, so he dressed like nobody else. He wore whole boots so wide that they fell about his heels. His waistcoat and breeches were of white dimity; the lining and collar of the waistcoat were of green cloth; his little helmet of felt was ornamented with green fringe. This was his military dress throughout the whole year, except when the weather was intensely cold, and then he substituted white cloth for the dimity. His appearance was still more strange from his frequently leaving the garter and stocking hanging loose upon one leg, while the other was booted; but as the boot was thus occasionally discarded in consequence of a wound in the leg, it was nothing to laugh at. His long sabre trailed along the ground, and his thin dress hung loosely about his slight person. Equipped in this extraordinary manner it was that Suwarrow reviewed, harangued, and commanded his soldiers. On great occasions he appeared in his superb dress as field-marshal, and wore the profusion of splendid ornaments which had been bestowed on the occasion of his victories. Among them was the magnificent golden-hilted sword, studded with jewels, and the gorgeous plume of diamonds which he had received from the hand of the Empress, among other marks of distinction, for his extraordinary services at Aczakoff. At other times he wore no ornament but the chain of the order of St. Andrew. He carried no watch or ornaments with him, save those which commemorated his military exploits. On these he delighted to look, as they were associated in his mind with the most gratifying events of his life—his glory, and the favor of his sovereign. He would sometimes show them to a stranger, exhibiting them one by one, and setting his stamp of value on each, as he would say, "At such an action I gained this order—at such another, this;" and so on till he had told the remarkable occurrence to which he owed the possession of each—a pride that was natural in one who had earned them so bravely. His whole style of living was marked by the greatest simplicity. He preferred the plainest apartment, without any article of luxury: he scarcely ever slept in a house when his troops were encamped; and he not only stayed in his tent at night, but for the most part of the day, only entering the house appropriated to his staff at dinner-time. Throughout his whole military career he had never passed an entire night in bed. He stretched himself, when he lay down to rest, on a bundle of hay; nor would he indulge himself in a more luxurious couch, even in the palace of the Empress. He had no carriage, but a plain kibitk, (a sort of chariot,) drawn by hired horses, for he kept no horses; but when he required one, as on the occasion of a review or some [pg 91] other military operation, he mounted any which chanced to be at hand. Sometimes it belonged to one of the Cossacks, but oftener was lent to him by his aid-de-camp, Tichinka. He was without servants, keeping but one attendant to wait upon himself, and employing some of the soldiers in the service of his house. This mode of living arose not from parsimony, but from an utter indifference to any kind of indulgence, which he considered beneath a soldier's attention. He had a contempt for money as a means of procuring gratification, but valued it as often affording him the pleasure of being generous and kind. He gave up his entire share of the immense booty at Ismail, and divided it among his soldiers. He never carried any money about him, or asked the price of anything, but left all to the management of Tichinka. His strictness in doing what he considered just, when he conceived himself in the slightest degree accountable, was very remarkable. On one occasion an officer had lost at play sixty rubles, with which he had supplied himself from the military chest. Suwarrow reprimanded the officer severely, but refunded the sum from his own resources. "It is right," said he, in a letter to the Empress, in which he alluded to the circumstance, "it is right that I should make it good, for I am answerable for the officers I employ." One of Suwarrow's odd peculiarities consisted in keeping up the appearance of a soldier at all times. When he saluted any person, he drew up, turned out his toes, threw back his shoulders, kept himself quite erect, and turned the back of his hand to his helmet, as soldiers do when saluting their officers. He was greatly attached to Tichinka, an old soldier, who had once saved his life. From that time he never separated from him: he made him his aid-de-camp, and gave him the sole management of all his affairs.

Suwarrow was very remarkable for his directness; and so great was his aversion to an evasive or unmeaning expression, that he never could bear the person who made use of such, and was sure to give him the name of Niesnion, which may be translated, "I don't know," "possibly," or "perhaps." He would take no such answer; but would say, in an emphatic tone, "try," "learn," or "set about it." Indeed, the abhorrence in which he held any mode of expression which was not dictated by the most perfect frankness was so great, that he could not endure the flattery and unmeaning civility of courtiers; and he never hesitated to mark his displeasure by bitter satire, regardless of the presence of those against whom it was directed, even if the Empress herself made one of the company. This caused him to be feared and disliked by many at court. His acquirements were considerable. He spoke eight languages—French, like a native. He composed verses with facility; he had read much, and was particularly well-informed in history and biography. Notwithstanding his remarkable frankness and all his oddities, his manners were engaging and polished: his conversation was original, energetic, and lively; he would often indulge in sallies of pleasantry to amuse the Empress, and as he was an excellent mimic, he would take off the uncouth manners and accents of some of the soldiers to the life. He had a dislike to writing, always asserting that a pen was an unfit implement for a soldier. His dispatches were laconic, but not the less striking on that account. Once or twice they were couched in concise couplets. His brevity was laid aside when he addressed his soldiers. It was his custom to harangue them at great length, sometimes even for two hours at a time, and in the very depth of winter.

"I remember," says M. de Guillaumanches, "that one day, in the month of January, he took it into his head to harangue a body of 10,000 men drawn up on parade at Varsovia. It was bitterly cold, and a freezing hoar frost came down from the sky. The marshal, in a waistcoat of white dimity, began his usual harangue. He soon found that the coldness of the weather made it seem long; accordingly, he stretched it to two hours. Almost all the generals, officers, and soldiers caught cold. The marshal was nothing the worse, and was even gayer than usual. His quarters rang with continued fits of coughing, and he seemed to enjoy hearing it. He had the satisfaction of thinking that he had taught his army to disregard fatigue, and winter with all its frosts."

M. de Guillaumanches speaks of the veneration which Suwarrow had for the ministers of his religion. He would often stop a priest on the road to implore his blessing. He loved to take part in their religious services and to join in their chants; but it is on the goodness of his heart that his biographer most delights to dwell. He tells us, "he was a kind relation, a sincere friend, and an affectionate father." In the midst of all his triumphs, it has been said that he was touched with pity and with sorrow for suffering humanity. "I asked him," says Mr. Tweddel, "if after the massacre of Ismail he was perfectly satisfied with the conduct of the day. He said, he went home and wept in his tent." Though Suwarrow spared but little time from his military avocation for social intercourse, his tenderness for children was so great that he could not bear to pass them without notice. He would stop, embrace, and bless them whenever he met them: that he fondly loved his own is sufficiently proved by the following anecdote:—

While on his way to join the army, thoughts of home were in his mind. He felt it might be long before he should see it in, if indeed, he should ever see it. He was seized with the most intense longing to look on his children once more. The desire became so irresistible, that he turned from the road he was traversing, and took that to Moscow. He rested neither day nor night till he got there. It was the middle of the night when he reached his house; he sprang [pg 92] lightly from his carriage, and knocked gently at the door. All the family were asleep. At length he was heard by one of the domestics, and let in. He stole on tiptoe to his children's room, and, withdrawing the curtains cautiously, for fear of disturbing them, bent over them; and, as he gazed on them in delight, they slept on, unconscious of their midnight visitor. Then throwing his arms gently over them, he held them for a moment in his fond embrace and left them a father's blessing, and then went away to join his troops.

After the death of Catharine, in the year 1796, there was a sad change in the fortunes of her faithful soldier. He served her successor with the same heroic devotion with which he had promoted her interest and glory. In 1799 he effected one of the most brilliant retreats that stand in the annals of history. Opposed in Italy by Moreau with an overwhelming force, when a retreat was resolved on he was so afflicted that he wrung his hands and wept bitterly. He led his troops over the heights of Switzerland into Germany with such consummate skill and undaunted energy as added fresh honors to his name. The dangers and difficulties of this memorable operation were such as would have been considered absolutely insurmountable by one less daring, and a commander less beloved could never have encouraged his troops to hold out against surrender. But they followed him in the midst of winter snows, through unknown and intricate paths and deep ravines; sometimes passing in what haste they could along the edge of frightful chasms and awful precipices, such as the weary traveler would tremble but to look at. Here they were frequently exposed to the fire of the enemy, who lay in ambush among the rocks, and ofttimes had to fight their way at the point of the bayonet. But still, even in retreat victorious, he achieved his object, and never yielded to the foe. He is the only general, it is stated, except Marlborough and Wellington, who was never defeated. The title of Prince Italisky was conferred to commemorate the glory of his having led his army unconquered in his retreat from Italy. He died the next year at St. Petersburgh. A broken heart was alleged by many to have been the fatal disease which ended his days. The indomitable spirit which is proof against danger, toil, and privation, may yet be borne down by the stings of ingratitude. The death of Suwarrow, so soon following his recall, and the indignities which he received at the hands of the emperor, tells in itself a tale of outraged feeling that needs no comment. It has been truly said that ridicule is more bitterly resented and more rarely forgiven than injury. The indulgence of a satiric humor, in some words spoken in jest by Suwarrow, is said to have piqued Paul so much that he took a cruel revenge. The rage of the emperor for the introduction of German fashions was so great, that he determined to have the German uniform adopted in the army.

When old Marshal Suwarrow got orders to introduce this uniform, and received little sticks for measures and models of the soldiers tails and side-curls, "Hair-powder," said he, "is not gunpowder, curls are not cannons, and tails are not bayonets." This, in the Russian language, falls into rhyme, and soon spread as a saying through the army: and having reached the emperor's ears, is said, in The Secret Memoirs of the Russian Court, to have been "the true cause which induced Paul to recall Suwarrow and dispense with his services."

The genius of Suwarrow was superior to every difficulty, and led him to fame and honors such as few have ever attained. Though born of a good family, he had neither money nor interest to advance him, but pushed his own fortunes from his boyhood. He rose to the rank of colonel when he was but twenty-nine. He was nominated general-in-chief for having compelled the Tartars to submit to the Russian arms. He was created a count, and obtained the surname of Rimnisky for a victory over the Turks near the river Rimnisky, by which he saved the Prince of Saxe Coburg and the imperial army. For his services in Poland he was made a field-marshal, and received the grant of an estate. In the year 1799 the title of Prince Italisky was conferred. This was the last favor shown: the following year saw him laid in the grave.

From Dickens's Household Words.



"Just under an island, 'midst rushes and moss,

I was born of a rock-spring, and dew:

I was shaded by trees, whose branches and leaves

Ne'er suffered the sun to gaze through.

"I wandered around the steep brow of a hill,

Where the daisies and violets fair

Were shaking the mist from their wakening eyes,

And pouring their breath on the air.

"Then I crept gently on, and I moistened the feet

Of a shrub which infolded a nest—

The bird in return sang his merriest song,

And showed me his feathery crest.

"How joyous I felt in the bright afternoon,

When the sun, riding off in the west,

Came out in red gold from behind the green trees

And burnished ray tremulous breast!

"My memory now can return to the time

When the breeze murmured low plaintive tones,

While I wasted the day in dancing away,

Or playing with pebbles and stones.

"It points to the hour when the rain pattered down,

Oft resting awhile in the trees;

Then quickly descending it ruffled my calm,

And whispered to me of the seas!

"'Twas then the first wish found a home in my breast

To increase as time hurries along;

'Twas then I first learned to lisp softly the words

Which I now love so proudly—'Press on!'

"I'll make wider my bed, as onward I tread,

A deep mighty river I'll be—

'Press on' all the day will I sing on my way,

Till I enter the far-spreading sea."

It ceased. A youth lingered beside its green edge

Till the stars in its face brightly shone;

He hoped the sweet strain would re-echo again—

But he just heard a murmur—"Press on!"

[pg 93]

[From Dickens's Household Words.]



I address you, gentlemen, as an humble individual who is much concerned about the body. This little joke is purely a professional one. It must go no farther. I am afraid the public thinks uncharitably of undertakers, and would consider it a proof that Dr. Johnson was right when he said that the man who would make a pun would pick a pocket. Well; we all try to do the best we can for ourselves—everybody else as well as undertakers. Burials may be expensive, but so is legal redress. So is spiritual provision; I mean the maintenance of all our reverends and right reverends. I am quite sure that both lawyers' charges and the revenues of some of the chief clergy are very little, if any, more reasonable than our own prices. Pluralities are as bad as crowded gravepits, and I don't see that there is a pin to choose between the church and the churchyard. Sanitary revolutionists and incendiaries accuse us of gorging rottenness, and battening on corruption. We don't do anything of the sort, that I see, to a greater extent than other professions, which are allowed to be highly respectable. Political, military, naval, university, and clerical parties, of great eminence, defend abuses in their several lines when profitable. We can't do better than follow such good examples. Let us stick up for business, and—I was going to say—leave society to take care of itself. No; that is just what we should endeavor to prevent society from doing. The world is growing too wise for us gentlemen. Accordingly, this Interments Bill, by which our interests are so seriously threatened, has been brought into Parliament. We must join heart and hand to defeat and crush it. Let us nail our colors—which I should call the black flag—to the mast, and let our war-cry be, "No surrender!" or else our motto will very soon be, "Resurgam;" in other words, it will be all up with us. We stand in a critical position in regard to public opinion. In order to determine what steps to take for protecting business, we ought to see our danger. I wish, therefore, to state the facts of our case clearly to you; and I say let us face them boldly, and not blink them. Therefore, I am going to speak plainly and plumply on this subject.

There is no doubt—between ourselves—that what makes our trade so profitable is the superstition, weakness, and vanity of parties. We can't disguise this fact from ourselves, and I only wish we may be able to conceal it much longer from others. As enlightened undertakers, we must admit that we are of no more use on earth than scavengers. All the good we do is to bury people's dead out of sight. Speaking as a philosopher—which an undertaker surely ought to be—I should say that our business is merely to shoot rubbish. However, the rubbish is human rubbish, and bereaved parties have certain feelings which require that it should be shot gingerly. I suppose such sentiments are natural, and will always prevail. But I fear that people will by and by begin to think that pomp, parade, and ceremony are unnecessary upon melancholy occasions. And whenever this happens, Othello's occupation will, in a great measure, be gone.

I tremble to think of mourning relatives considering seriously what is requisite—and all that is requisite—for decent interment, in a rational point of view. Nothing more, I am afraid Common Sense would say, than to carry the body in the simplest chest, and under the plainest covering, only in a solemn and respectful manner, to the grave, and lay it in the earth with proper religious ceremonies. I fear Common Sense would be of opinion that mutes, scarfs, hatbands, plumes of feathers, black horses, mourning coaches, and the like, can in no way benefit the defunct, or comfort surviving friends, or gratify anybody but the mob, and the street-boys. But happily, Common Sense has not yet acquired an influence which would reduce every burial to a most low affair.

Still, people think no more than they did, and in proportion as they do think, the worse it will be for business. I consider that we have a most dangerous enemy in Science. That same Science pokes its nose into everything—even vaults and churchyards. It has explained how grave-water soaks into adjoining wells; and has shocked and disgusted people by showing them that they are drinking their dead neighbors. It has taught parties resident in large cities that the very air they live in reeks with human remains, which steam up from graves; and which, of course, they are continually breathing. So it makes our churchyards to be worse haunted than they were formerly believed to be by ghosts, and, I may add, vampyres, in consequence of the dead continually rising from them in this unpleasant manner. Indeed, Science is likely to make people dread them a great deal more than Superstition ever did, by showing that their effluvia breed typhus and cholera; so that they are really and truly very dangerous. I should not be surprised to hear some sanitary lecturer say, that the fear of churchyards was a sort of instinct implanted in the mind, to prevent ignorant people and children from going near such unwholesome places.

It would be comparatively well if the mischief done us by Science, Medicine and Chemistry, and all that sort of thing—stopped here. The mere consideration that burial in the heart of cities is unhealthy, would but lead to extramural interment, to which our only objection—though even that is no very trifling one—is that it would diminish mortality, and consequently our trade. But this Science—confound it!—shows that the dead do not remain permanently in their coffins, even when the sextons of metropolitan graveyards will let them. It not only informs [pg 94] Londoners that they breathe and drink the deceased; but it reveals how the whole of the defunct party is got rid of, and turned into gases, liquids, and mould. It exposes the way in which all animal matter as it is called in chemical books—is dissolved, evaporates, and disappears; and is ultimately, as I may say, eaten up by Nature, and goes to form parts of plants, and of other living creatures. So that, if gentlemen really wanted to be interred with the remains of their ancestors, it would sometimes be possible to comply with their wishes only by burying them with a quantity of mutton—not to say with the residue of another quadruped than the sheep, which often grazes in churchyards. Science, in short, is hammering into people's heads truths which they have been accustomed merely to gabble with their mouths—that all flesh is indeed grass, or convertible into it; and not only that the human frame does positively turn to dust, but into a great many things besides. Now, I say, that when they become really and truly convinced of all this; when they know and reflect that the body cannot remain any long time in the grave which it is placed in; I am sadly afraid that they will think twice before they will spend from thirty to several hundred pounds in merely putting a corpse into the ground to decompose.

The only hope for us if these scientific views become general, is, that embalming will be resorted to; but I question if the religious feelings of the country will approve of a practice which certainly seems rather like an attempt to arrest a decree of Providence; and would, besides, be very expensive. Hero I am reminded of another danger, to which our prospects are exposed. It is that likely to arise from serious parties, in consequence of growing more enlightened, thinking consistently with their religious principles, instead of their religion being a mere sentimental kind of thing which they never reason upon. We often, you know, gentlemen, overhear the bereaved remarking that they trust the departed is in a better place. Why, if this were not a mere customary saying on mournful occasions—if the parties really believed this—do you think they would attach any importance to the dead body which we bury underground? No; to be sure: they would look upon it merely as a suit of left-off clothes—with the difference of being unpleasant and offensive, and not capable of being kept. They would see that a spirit could care no more about the corpse it had quitted, than a man who had lost his leg, would for the amputated limb. The truth is—don't breathe it, don't whisper it, except to the trade—that the custom of burying the dead with expensive furniture; of treating a corpse as if it were a sensible being; arises from an impression—though parties won't own it, even to themselves—that what is buried is the actual individual, the man himself. The effect of thinking seriously, and at the same time rationally, will be to destroy this notion, and with it put an end to all the splendor and magnificence of funerals, arising from it. Moreover, religious parties, being particular as to their moral conduct, would naturally consider it wrong and wicked to spend upon the dead an amount of money which might be devoted to the benefit of the living; and no doubt, when we come to look into it, such expenditure is much the same thing with the practice of savages and heathens in burying bread, and meat, and clothes, along with their deceased friends.

I have been suggesting considerations which are very discouraging, and which afford but a poor look-out to us undertakers. But, gentlemen, we have one great comfort still. It has become the fashion to inter bodies with parade and display. Fashion is fashion; and the consequence is that it is considered an insult to the memory of deceased parties not to bury them in a certain style; which must be respectable at the very least, and cost, on a very low average, twenty-five or thirty pounds. Many, such as professional persons and tradespeople, who cannot afford so much money, can still less afford to lose character and custom. That is where we have a pull upon the widows and children, many of whom, if it were not for the opinion of society, would be only too happy to save their little money, and turn it into food and clothing, instead of funeral furniture.

Now here the Metropolitan Interments Bill steps in, and aims at destroying our only chances of keeping up business as heretofore. We have generally to deal with parties whose feelings are not in a state to admit of their making bargains with us—a circumstance, on their parts, which is highly creditable to human nature; and favorable to trade. Thus, in short, gentlemen, we have it all our own way with them. But this Bill comes between the bereaved party and the undertaker. By the twenty-seventh clause, it empowers the Board of Health to provide houses and make arrangements for the reception and care of the dead previously to, and until interment; in order, as it explains in a subsequent clause, to the accommodation of persons having to provide the funerals—supposing such persons to desire the accommodation. Clause the twenty-eighth enacts "That the said Board shall make provision for the management and conduct, by persons appointed by them, of the funerals of persons whose bodies are to be interred in the Burial Grounds, to be provided under this Act, where the representatives of the deceased, or the persons having the care and direction of the funeral, desire to have the same so conducted; and the said Board shall fix and publish a scale of the sums to be payable for such funerals, inclusive of all matters and services necessary for the same, such sums to be proportioned to the description of the funeral, or the nature of the matter and services to be furnished and rendered for the same; but so that in respect of the lowest of [pg 95] such sums, the funerals may be conducted with decency and solemnity." Gentlemen, if this enactment becomes law, we shall lose all the advantages which we derived from bereaved parties' state of mind. The Board of Health will take all trouble off their hands, at whatever sum they may choose to name. Of course they will apply to the Board of Health instead of coming to us. But what is beyond everything prejudicial to our interests, is the proviso "that in respect of the lowest of such sums, the funerals may be conducted with decency and solemnity." Hitherto it has been understood that so much respect could not be paid in the case of what we call a low affair as in one of a certain style. We have always considered that a funeral ought to cost so much to be respectable at all. Therefore relations have gone to more expense with us, than they would otherwise have been willing to incur, in order to secure proper respect. But if proper respect is to be had at a low figure, the strongest hold that we have upon sorrowing relatives will be taken away.

It is all very fine to say that we are a necessary class of tradesmen, and if this Bill passes must continue to be employed. If this Bill does pass we shall be employed simply as tradesmen, and shall obtain, like other tradesmen, a mere market price for our articles, and common hire for our labor. I am afraid that it will be impossible to persuade the public that this would not be perfectly just and right. I think, therefore, that we had better not attack the Bill on its merits, but try to excite opposition against it on the ground of its accessory clauses. Let us oppose it as a scheme of jobbery, devised with a view to the establishment of offices and appointments. Let us complain as loudly as we can of its creating a new rate to defray the expenses of its working, and let us endeavor to get up a good howl against that clause of it which provides for compensation to incumbents, clerks, and sextons. We must cry out with all our might upon its centralizing tendency, and of course make the most we can out of the pretense that it violates the sanctity of the house of mourning, and outrages the most fondly cherished feelings of Englishmen. Urge these objections upon church-wardens, overseers, and vestrymen; and especially din the objection to a burial rate into their ears. Recollect, our two great weapons—like those of all good old anti-reformers—are cant and clamor. Keep up the same cry against the Bill perseveringly, no matter how thoroughly it may be refuted or proved absurd. Literally, make the greatest noise in opposition to it that you are able, especially at public meetings. There, recollect a groan is a groan, and a hiss a hiss, even though proceeding from a goose. On all such occasions do your utmost to create a disturbance, to look like a popular demonstration against the measure. In addition to shouting, yelling, and bawling, I should say that another rush at another platform, another upsetting of the reporter's table, another terrifying of the ladies, and another mobbing the chairman, would be advisable. Set to work with all your united zeal and energy to carry out the suggestions of our Central Committee for the defeat of a Bill which, if passed, will inflict a blow on the undertaker as great as the boon it will confer on the widow and orphan—whom we, of course, can only consider as customers. The Metropolitan Interments Bill goes to dock us of every penny that we make by taking advantage of the helplessness of afflicted families. And just calculate what our loss would then be; for, in the beautiful language of St. Demetrius, the silversmith, "Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth."

From Miss Fenimore Cooper's (unpublished) "Rural Hours."


Observing an old branchless trunk of the largest size, in a striking position, where it looked like a broken column, we walked up to examine it. The shaft rose, without a curve or a branch, to the height of perhaps forty feet, where it had been abruptly shivered, probably in some storm. The tree was a chestnut, and the bark of a clear, unsullied gray; walking round it, we saw an opening near the ground, and to our surprise found the trunk hollow, and entirely charred within, black as a chimney, from the root to the point where it was broken off. It frequently happens that fire steals into the heart of an old tree, in this way, by some opening near the roots, and burns away the inside, leaving merely a gray outer shell. One would not expect the bark to be left in such cases, but the wood at the heart seems to be more inflammable than the outer growth. Whatever be the cause, such shafts are not uncommon about our hills, gray without, charred within.

There is, indeed, much charred wood in our forests; fires which sweep over the hills are of frequent occurrence here, and at times they do much mischief. If the flames are once fairly kindled in dry weather, they will spread in all directions as the wind varies, burning sometimes for weeks together, until they have swept over miles of woodland, withering the verdure, destroying the wood already cut, and greatly injuring many trees which they do not consume. Several years since, in the month of June, there was quite an extensive fire on the eastern range of hills; it lasted for ten days or a fortnight, spreading several miles in different directions. It was the first important fire of the kind we had ever seen, and of course we watched its progress with much interest; but the spectacle was a very different one from what we had supposed. It was much less terrible than the conflagration of buildings in a town; there was less of power and fierce grandeur, and more of treacherous beauty about the flames as they ran hither and [pg 96] thither along the mountain-side. The first night after it broke out we looked on with admiration: one might have thought it a general illumination of the forest, as the flames spread in long winding lines, gaining upon the dark wood every moment, up and down, and across the hill, collecting here and there with greater brilliancy about some tall old tree, which they hung with fire like a giant lustre. But the next day the sight was a sad one indeed: the deceitful brilliancy of the flames no longer pleased the eye: wreaths of dull smoke and hot vapors hung over the blighted trees, and wherever the fire had wandered there the fresh June foliage was utterly blasted. That night we could no longer take pleasure in the spectacle; we could no longer fancy a joyous illumination. We seemed rather to behold the winding coils of some fiery serpent gliding farther and farther on its path of evil: a rattling, hissing sound accompanying its movement, the young trees trembling and quivering with agitation in the heated current which proclaimed its approach. The fresh flowers were all blighted by its scorching breath, and with its forked tongue it fed upon the pride of the forest, drying up the life of great trees, and without waiting to consume them, hurrying onward to blight other groves, leaving a blackened track of ruin wherever it passed.

Some fifty years since a fire of this kind is said to have spread until it inclosed within its lines the lake and the valley, as far as one could see, surrounding the village with a network of flame, which at night was quite appalling in its aspect. The danger, however, was not so great as it appeared, as there was everywhere a cleared space between the burning forest and the little town. At times, however, very serious accidents result from these fires: within a few days we have heard of a small village, in the northern part of the State, in St. Lawrence county, entirely destroyed in this way, the flames gaining so rapidly upon the poor people that they were obliged to collect their families and cattle in boats and upon rafts, in the nearest pools and streams.

Of course, more or less mischief is always done; the wood and timber already cut are destroyed, fences are burnt, many trees are killed, others are much injured, the foliage is more or less blighted for the season; the young plants are killed, and the earth looks black and gloomy. Upon the whole, however, it is surprising that no more harm is done. On the occasion of the fire referred to in these woods, we found the traces of the flames to disappear much sooner than we had supposed possible. The next season the smaller plants were all replaced by others; many of the younger trees seemed to revive, and a stranger passing over the ground to-day would scarcely believe that fire had been feeding on those woods for a fortnight only a few seasons back. A group of tall, blasted hemlocks, on the verge of the wood, is the striking monument of the event. The evergreens generally suffer more than other trees, and for some cause or other the fire continued busy at that point for several days. We repeatedly passed along the highway at the time, with the flames at work on either side. Of course, there was no danger, but it looked oddly to be quietly driving along through the fire. The crackling of the flames was heard in the village, and the smell of smoke was occasionally quite unpleasant.

A timely rain generally puts a stop to the mischief; but parties of men are also sent out into the woods to "fight the fire." They tread out the flames among the dry leaves by trampling them down, and they rake away the combustible materials, to confine the enemy to its old grounds, when it soon exhausts itself. The flames spread more frequently along the earth, than from tree to tree.

[From Household Words.]


Dear friend, love well the flowers! Flowers are the sign

Of Earth's all gentle love, her grace, her youth,

Her endless, matchless, tender gratitude.

When the Sun smiles on thee—why thou art glad:

But when the Earth he smileth, She bursts forth

In beauty like a bride, and gives him back,

In sweet repayment for his warm bright love,

A world of flowers. You may see them born,

On any day in April, moist or dry,

As bright as are the Heavens that look on them:

Some sown like stars upon the greensward; some

As yellow as the sunrise; others red

As day is when he sets; reflecting thus,

In pretty moods, the bounties of the sky.

And now, of all fair flowers, which lovest thou best?

The Rose? She is a queen more wonderful

Than any who have bloomed on Orient thrones:

Sabæan Empress! in her breast, though small,

Beauty and infinite sweetness sweetly dwell,

Inextricable. Or dost dare prefer

The Woodbine, for her fragrant summer breath?

Or Primrose, who doth haunt the hours of Spring,

A wood-nymph brightening places lone and green?

Or Cowslip? or the virgin Violet,

That nun, who, nestling in her cell of leaves,

Shrinks from the world, in vain!

Yet, wherefore choose, when Nature doth not choose?

Our mistress, our preceptress? She brings forth

Her brood with equal care, loves all alike,

And to the meanest as the greatest yields

Her sunny splendors and her fruitful rains.

Love all flowers, then. Be sure that wisdom lies

In every leaf and bloom; o'er hills and dales;

And thymy mountains; sylvan solitudes

Where sweet-voiced waters sing the long year through;

In every haunt beneath the Eternal Sun,

Where Youth or Age sends forth its grateful prayer,

Or thoughtful Meditation deigns to stray.

French Eulogy has always been prone to run riot. One M. Philoxene Boyer, in a grave work which has just published, in Paris, thus addresses Victor Hugo:—"You, Victor Hugo, will become not only President of the French Republic, but President of the Universal Republic, Chief of the Oecumenic Council of Nations, Intellectual Pope reigning in your Paris, whilst the Pope of Religion, united with you and Jesus Christ, the common master, will continue to reign in his Rome."